And what I say to you I say to all, Watch.
I. AGAINST SIN. Put on the Christian soldier's armour to preserve you from the fiery darts of the wicked. Be in earnest. You may be armed from head to foot, and yet false in your Christianity. Some time since I remember walking across the tesselated pavement of a grand hall in the mansion of one of England's noblest born. In a niche I saw, by the light which streamed through the painted glass of an oriel window, a statue. I thought at first it was a man. I walked across the pavement, and drew near to examine the figure. He had upon his head a helmet of iron; the vizor was drawn down over his face, concealing the features; he held on his arm a long shield that reached to the very ground; in his hand was grasped an iron sword, double edged; he wore on his bosom a strong breastplate; his limbs were covered with greaves and rings; his feet were also shod with iron. I drew near, and began to examine this well-protected figure. Presently, to my surprise, I saw something protruding; it was a piece of straw. On walking round, I saw some more straw sticking out through the greaves of the armour. I soon found this was a man in armour — if you will, — but stuffed with straw. And so, there may be many armed with the spiritual panoply — ready to quote texts, apt with religious arguments, apparently respectable and sincere, — whose religion is false, hollow, and worthless. Unless you are watching against all inroads of the enemy, and pressing onward in the battle, you are none of Christ's.
II. AGAINST TEMPTATION. Satan comes in many guises. Be on the lookout. Don't let him deceive you with specious arguments and seductions.
III. FOR SOULS. Seek to turn others into the right way. Draw them by love and with care. Do not let an opportunity slip, or you will regret it forever. There was one whose hand I held in mine; with whom I trod — the narrow way that leadeth unto life? No — the broad road that leadeth unto hell; and he has departed, he has been removed beyond the reach of my voice. I will tell you how it was. Bred early to a knowledge of God, I became a backslider, and I wandered with him for years in the road that leads to hell. I left this country, and wandered over the shores of Mexico, Texas, the West Indies, and through the Caribbean Seas; and then returned home, after having been a long while away. I went to where my friend lived, and asked, "Where is so and so?" The person hesitated. "Where is he? Is he here, or in another part of the country?" The person turned pale. I said, "Tell me — I must have it — where is he?" "Well," was the reply, "he is dead." "Dead!" I felt petrified. Then I demanded, "Where did he die?" The person said, "He went up to London; there he ran a course of dissipation, and then he was suddenly cut off by the hand of God." Now, do you know, I have never lost the remembrance of that. Sometimes I close my door and go on my knees in prayer, and beseech God to blot out the black mark. And sometimes, when I lie down to sleep, I see staring at me through the gloom a pale face that I know — it is the face of that damned man. Aye, methinks, if he might speak, he would curse me; he would say, "God curse you!" "Why?" "Because you might have preached to me Christ Jesus; and now I am lost." Let not this reproach be cast upon you.
IV. FOR CHRIST. With affection. With patience. With perseverance.
(H. G. Guinness.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.