Truth against the majority

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

How man has struggled against man! Man is the wolf of mankind. Not the elements in all their fury, nor the wild beasts of prey in all their cruelty, have ever been such terrible enemies to man as man has been to his own fellow. When you read the story of the Marian persecution in England, you are astounded that ever creatures wearing a human form could be so bloodthirsty. Call these Catholics who thus persecuted the Protestants? Call them Catholics? Much better call them cannibals, for they behaved more like savages than Christians, in their bloody martyrdoms and murders of the saints of God.

We do not in this age feel the cruelty of man to that extent, but this is only because the custom of the land will not allow it; for there are many who dare not smite with the hand, who are very busy in laying on their tongue, and this not by exposing our errors, which they have a perfect right to do, but in many cases the children of God are misrepresented, slandered, abused, persecuted, ridiculed for truth’s sake; and we know many instances where other means are resorted to — anything to drive the servants of God away from their integrity and from their simple following of their Master. Well did the Lord Jesus say, “Beware of men.” “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Do not expect men to be the friends of your piety, or if they are, suspect the reality of that piety of which ungodly man is a friend. Thou must expect to be sometimes bullied and sometimes coerced, to be sometimes flattered, and, anon, threatened; thou must expect at one time to meet with the oily tongue which hath tinder it the drawn sword, and at another time with the drawn sword itself. Look out, and expect that men will be against you. But what are they all? Suppose every living man in the world were against you, and that you had to stand in solitude like Athanasius, you might say, as Athanasius did, “I, Athanasius, against the whole world; I know I have truth on my side, and therefore against the world I stand.”

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