moves you to do this or that. Stop sometimes
and ask yourself why you do such and such a thing.
Did you ever hear of such a thing as a motive in
a human heart? And did your minister, watching
for your soul, ever tell you that your soul will be
lost or saved, condemned or justified at the last day
according to your motives? You never knew that!
You were never told that by your minister!
Miserable pair! What does he take up his Sabbaths
with? And what leads you to waste your Sabbaths
and your soul on such a stupid minister? But,
shepherd or no shepherd, minister or no minister, look
to yourself. Look to yourself when you lie down
and when you rise up; when you go out and when you
come in; when you are in the society of men and when
you are alone with your own heart. Look to yourself
when men praise you, and look to yourself when men
blame you. Look to yourself when you sit down
to eat and drink, and still more when you sit and speak
about your absent brother. Look to yourself
when you meet your enemy or your rival in the street,
when you pass his house, or hear or read his name.
Yes, you may well say so. At that rate a man’s
life would be all watching. So it would.
And so it must. And more than that, so it is
with some men not far from you who never told you how
much you have made them watch. Did you never
know all that till now? Were you never told
that every Christian man, I do not mean every communicant,
but every truly and sincerely and genuinely Christian
man watches himself in that way? For as the
one essential and distinguishing mark of a New Testament
minister is not that he is an able man, or a studious
man, or an eloquent man, but that he is a pastor and
watches for souls, so it is the chiefest and the best
mark, and to himself the only safe and infallible mark,
that any man is a sincere and true Christian man,
that he watches himself always and in all things looks
first and last to himself.
’In all things showing sincerity.’—Paul
Charles Bennett has a delightful drawing of Sincere
in Charles Kingsley’s beautiful edition of The
Pilgrim’s Progress. You feel that you
could look all day into those clear eyes. Your
eyes would begin to quail before you had looked long
into the fourth shepherd’s deep eyes; but those
eyes of his have no cause to quail under yours.
This man has nothing to hide from you. He never
had. He loves you, and his love to you is wholly
without dissimulation. He absolutely and unreservedly
means and intends by you and yours all that he has
ever said to you and yours, and much more than he
has ever been able to say. The owner of those
deep blue eyes is as true to you when he is among your
enemies as he is true to the truth itself when he
is among your friends. Mark also the unobtrusive
strength of his mouth, all suffused over as it is with
a most winning and reassuring sweetness. The