Forward Ever, Backward Never!" Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell."— C.T. Studd.
As a soldier of the Cross, C.T. is remembered for "his courage in any emergency, his determination never to sound the retreat, his conviction that he was in God's will, his faith that God would see him through, his contempt of the arm of the flesh, and his willingness to risk all for Christ." bio
The Chocolate Soldier
Heroism is the lost chord; the missing note of present day Christianity! Every true soldier is a hero! A SOLDIER WITHOUT HEROISM IS A CHOCOLATE SOLDIER! Who has not been stirred to scorn and mirth at the very thought of a Chocolate Soldier? In peace true soldiers are captive lions, fretting in their cages. War gives them their liberty and sends them, like boys bounding out of school, to obtain their heart's desire or perish in the attempt. Battle is the soldier's vital breath! Peace turns him into a stooping asthmatic. War makes him a whole man again, and gives him the heart, strength, and vigor of a hero.
"I must be carried to the skies
On a flowery bed of ease,
Let others fight to win the prize,
Or sail thro' bloody seas.
Mark time, Christian heroes,
Never go to war;
Stop and mind the babies
Playing on the floor.
Wash and dress and feed them
Forty times a week.
Till they're roly poly
Puddings so to speak.
Round and round the nursery
Let us ambulate
Sugar and spice
and all that's nice
Must be on our slate.
Noah walked with God, he didn't only preach righteousness, he acted it. He went through water and didn't melt. He breasted the current of the popular opinion of his day, scorning alike the hatred and ridicule of the scoffers who mocked at the thought of their being but one way of salvation. He warned the unbelieving and, entering the ark himself, didn't open the door an inch when once God had shut it. A real hero untainted by the fear of man.
Learn to lose with God;
Jesus won the world through' shame!
And beckons us His road.
Abraham, a simple farmer, at a word from the Invisible God, marched, with family and stock, through the terrible desert to a distant land to live among a people whose language he could neither speak nor understand! Not bad that! But later he did even better, marching hot foot against the combined armies of five kings, flushed with recent victory, to rescue one man! His army? Just 318 odd fellows, armed like a circus crowd. And he won too. "He always wins who sides with God." What pluck! Only a farmer! No war training! Yet what hero has eclipsed his feat? His open secret? He was THE FRIEND OF GOD.
Moses -the man of God -was a species of human chameleon-scholar, general, lawgiver, leader, etc. Brought up as the Emperor's grandson with more than a good chance of coming to the throne, one thing only between him and it-TRUTH-what a choice! What a temptation! A throne for a lie! Ignominy, banishment, or likely enough death for the truth! He played the man! "Refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin and success for a season, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt."
David- the man after God's own heart- was a man of war and mighty man of valor. When all Israel were on the run, David faced Goliath - alone...with God (and he but a stripling, and well scolded too by his brother for having come to see the battle). What a splendid fool Eliab must have been! As though David would go to see a battle and not stay to fight. THEY ARE CHOCOLATE SOLDIERS WHO MERELY GO TO SEE BATTLES, AND COOLLY URGE OTHERS TO FIGHT THEM. They had better save their journey money and use it to send out real fighters instead. Soldiers don't need dry nurses, and if they did the Holy Ghost is always on the spot and ready to undertake any case on simple application. No! David went to the battle and stayed to fight, and won! Wise beyond his years, he had no use for Saul's armor. It cramped his freedom of action. He tried it on and took it off, quick sharp. And, besides, it made such a ghastly rattle, even when he walked, that he could not hear the still small voice of God, and would never have heard Him saying afterwards, "This is the way to the brook, David! And there are the five smooth stones! Trust only in Me and them. Your own home-made sling will do first class, and There, that's the shortest cut to Goliath." THE CHOCOLATES RAN AWAY - they were all Chocolates - but David ran upon Goliath. One smooth stone was enough.
Nathan was another real Christian Soldier. He went to his king and rebuked him to his face, like Peter's dealing with Ananias (only David embraced his opportunity and confessed), and unlike the Chocolate Soldiers of today who go whispering about and refusing either to judge, rebuke, or put away evil because of the entailed scandal in truth. Genuine Soapy Sams. They say "It is nothing! nothing at all! A mere misunderstanding!" As though God's cause would suffer more through a bold declaration and defense of the truth and the use of the knife, than by the hiding up of sin, and the certain development of mortification in the member, involving death to the whole body. "He that doeth righteousness is righteous," and "he that doeth sin is of the devil," and ought to be told so. He that is a second time led captive by the devil needs neither plaster nor antidote for poison, but the stiff rebuke and summons to repentance of a righteous man to effect his salvation. WE ARE BADLY IN NEED OF NATHANS TODAY, who fear God and nought else, no, not even a scandal.
Daniel was another hero. Of course he was! Was he not the man greatly beloved of God who sent an angel to tell him so? I love to watch him as he walks, with firm step and radiant face, to the lions' den, stopping but once - like his Master en route to Calvary - to comfort his weeping and agonized emperor. God shut the mouths of the lions against Daniel, but opened them wide against those who had opened their mouths against His servant.
John the Baptist - a man taught and made and sent of God - good old John! Who doesn't love and admire him? Why, even Herod did. A genuine deficiency of oil and an antidote for poison in his composition. He always told the flat truth, with emphasis. As he loved, so he warned. He knew not how to flatter. HE WOOED WITH THE SWORD, AND "MEN" LOVED HIM THE BETTER FOR IT. They always do.
But here are other foot-tracks - outrageous ones: they can belong only to one man - THAT GRANDEST OF CHRISTIAN PARADOXES - THE LITTLE GIANT PAUL - whose head was as big as his body, and his heart greater than both. Once he thought and treated every Christian as a combination of knave and fool. Then he became one himself. He was called "fool" because his acts were so far beyond the dictates of human reason, and "mad" because of his irresponsible fiery zeal for Christ and men. A first-class scholar, but one who knew how to use scholarship properly; for he put it on the shelf, declaring the wisdom of men to be but folly, and determined to know nothing else save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The result - he made the world turn somersault. His life was a perpetual gamble for God. Daily he faced death for Christ. Again and again he stood fearless before crowds thirsting for his blood. He stood before kings and governors and "turned not a hair". He didn't so much as flinch before Nero, that vice-president of hell. His sufferings were appalling; read them. He trod in his Master's footsteps, and so received (God is always just in His favors) the same splendid compliment that Jesus did. "All forsook him." So there were some Chocolate Christians in those days too. Anyone who forsook Paul must have been made of Chocolate.
"Nobly they fought to win the prize,
Climbing the steep ascents of heaven,
Through' peril, toil, and pain.
O God, to us let grace be given,
To follow in their train."
The Chocolate Christians of today can at least boast of having ancient pedigrees. There are CHOCOLATES A LA RUEBEN, who have great searchings of heart, and make great resolves of heart too. But somehow they still sit among the sheepfolds, listening to the pipings of their much-loved organs and church choirs. It's good to have a great heart searching. It's better to make a great heart-resolve. But, if instead of obeying, we squat among the sheep, leaving our few hard-pressed brethren to tackle the wolves by themselves, verily we are but Chocolate Christians. You made a great resolve to go to Africa for Christ a year or two ago. Where are you now? In England? Yes! Yes! Lollipop! (Judges 5:16)
There are CHOCOLATES MEROZ, who earned the curse of the angel of the Lord. War was declared; the battle about to begin; the odds were outrageous, and Meroz remained in England attending conventions until the battle was over, then he went, in comfort and security, as a Cook's tourist! Doubtless they said, "They couldn't fight till they had been properly ordained, and, besides, there was so very much to be done in fat, overfed Meroz, and surely to feed a flock of fat sheep in a safe place has always been considered the ideal training of war"; as though the best training for the soldier was to become a nursemaid!!! (Judges 5:23.)
CHOCOLATES DU BALAAM begin first-class, and earn the name of prophets. Then they develop a squint, melt, and finally run out of the frying pan into the fire, thus Balaam. One day he couldn't get his left eye to look at God. It would look at earth and mammon and that chit of a girl, Miss Popularity. He ought to have done as God told him, and plucked it out. But he said that was too much to ask of any man, and besides he wanted the best of both worlds. He had a hearty desire to die the death of the righteous, but he wasn't willing to pay the price of a righteous life. He hadn't the pluck to curse God's people, so he made plans for others to make them sin. But one day, while his dupes were putting his chestnuts into the fire, they fell in themselves, and Balaam with them (Numbers 22-24).
CHOCOLATE DEMAS, who left old fiery hard-hitting Paul for an easier path. He said he thought Paul should wink at, or slobber over sin, instead of rebuking it. "He was so very fond of the knife, you know; and he never would use sticking-plaster, because he said it never healed the sore but made it burrow underneath and become bigger, worse, and dangerous" (2 Tim. 4:10).
MARK joined the Chocolate Brigade once. He left Paul and Barnabas in the lurch, and went back to Jerusalem for a rest cure - a religious retreat. Thank God he got sick of it ere long, resigned his commission, and re-enlisting in God's army became a useful soldier (Acts 13:13).
MANY FINE YOUNGSTERS ARE TURNED INTO CHOCOLATES BY OLD PROPHETS. Old prophets who have lost their fire, or fire off words instead of deeds, usually become Great Chocolate Manufacturers. That poor young prophet. He did so well when he obeyed God only, but it was all over with him when he listened to another voice, even though that of an old prophet. Didn't the old prophet say he was a prophet? And say he'd got the message straight from God? What a damnable lie! The floor of Christendom and elsewhere is littered with wrecks made by old prophets. God won't stand nonsense from any man. Every man has to choose between Christ and Barabbas, and every Christian between God and some old prophet. Better be a silly donkey in the estimation of an old prophet than listen to his soft talk and flattery, and afterwards become a wreck. "This is My beloved Son, hear HIM." No! Not even Moses, nor Elijah, nor both. "HEAR HIM." "You have an anointing from God, and you have no need that any man teach you." You say you believe the Bible! No your deeds give the lie to your words? (I Kings 13)
THE TEN SPIES WERE CHOCOLATES. They melted and ran over the whole congregation of Israel, turning them into CHOCOLATE CREAMS - "softies", afraid to face the fire and water before them. God put them all into the saucepan again and boiled them for forty years in the desert, and left them there. He has no use for Chocolates. It's not small things He despises, but "Chocolates"; for He said, "Your little ones shall inherit the promised land which you have forfeited through listening to men and despising Me" (Numbers 13).
JONAH became a Chocolate Soldier once. Told to go to Africa, he went to Liverpool and took ship for America. Luckily he met a storm and a whale which, after three days' instruction, taught him how to pray and obey, and set him once again on the right track (Jonah 1).
CHOCOLATE CARAMELS - "stick-jaw", boys call them - jawing, "I go, sir," and sticking fast in Christendom. No conquest is made in assured safety, and conquest for Christ certainly cannot so be made.
The "Vox Humana" plays too important a part in our Christian organs and organizations today. The music, whoever plays, is bound to be thin when the tops of "Instant Obedience" and "Fiery Valor" are missing or unused, and without them to play the "Lost Chord" of Heroism is an impossibility.
A thousand times you have admitted Christ's
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands your life, your soul, your all.