It is human to stand with the crowd; it is divine to stand alone.
It is manlike to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is godlike to follow a principle, to stem the tide.
It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure; it is divine to sacrifice both on the altar of truth and duty.
“No man stood with me, but all men forsook me,” wrote the battle-scarred apostle in describing his first appearance before Nero to answer for his life for believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world.
Noah built and voyaged alone. His neighbors laughed at his strangeness, and perished.
Abraham wandered and worshiped alone. The Sodomites smiled at the simple shepherd, followed the fashion, and fed the flames.
Daniel dined and prayed alone. Elijah sacrificed and witnessed alone. Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. Jesus loved and died alone.
And of the lonely way his disciples should walk he said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Of their treatment by the many who walk in the broad way he said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world,…therefore the world hateth you.”
The church in the wilderness praised Abraham and persecuted Moses. The church of the Kings praised Moses and persecuted the prophets. The church of Caiaphas praised the prophets and persecuted Jesus. The church of the popes praised the Saviour, and persecuted the saints. And multitudes now, in both the church and the world, applaud the courage and fortitude of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, but condemn as stubbornness or foolishness like faithfulness to truth to-day.
Wanted, to-day, men and women, young and old, who will obey their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortune and friends and life itself! – Selected.