(by Newman Hall)

"He who overcomes will inherit all this, and
 I will be his God and he will be my son." Rev. 21:7

To be a true Christian is not so easy a thing
as some suppose. It is not merely . . .
  true beliefs,
  an evangelical creed,
  a scriptural church,
  a comfortable sermon once or twice a week. 

It is not this which constitutes Christianity.

You who think religion so very easy a thing,
be apprehensive lest, when too late, you find
that you knew not what true religion meant.

Easy? A depraved being to trample upon his
lusts? a proud being to lie prostrate with
humility and self reproach? those who are
"slow of heart, to believe," to receive the
Gospel as little children?

Easy? To "crucify the flesh," "to deny ungodliness,"
"to cut off a right hand, and to pluck out a right eye?"

Easy? To be in the world, and yet not of the world;
to come out from it, not by the seclusion of the
cloister, but by holiness of life; to be diligent in
its duties, yet not absorbed by them; appreciating
its innocent delights, and yet not ensnared by them;
beholding its attractions, and yet rising superior to them?

Easy? To live surrounded by objects which appeal to
the sight, and yet to endure as seeing what is invisible?

Easy? To pray and see no answer to prayer, and still
pray on; to fight this battle, and find fresh foes ever
rising up, yet still to fight on; to be harassed with
doubts and fears, and yet walk on in darkness, though
we see no light, staying ourselves upon God?

Easy? To be preparing for a world we have never
visited, in opposition to so much that is captivating
in a world where we have always dwelt, whose
beauties we have seen, whose music we have
heard, whose pleasures we have experienced?

Easy? To resist that subtle foe who has cast
down so many of the wise and the mighty?

Easy? When Jesus says it is a "strait gate,"
and that if we would enter we must "strive,"
bidding us "take up our cross daily, deny
ourselves, and follow Him?"

Ah! it is no soft flowery meadow, along
which we may languidly stroll; but a rough,
craggy cliff that we must climb.

It is no smooth, placid stream, along which
we may dreamily float, but a tempestuous
ocean we must stem.

It is no easy lolling in a cushioned chariot, that
bears us on without fatigue and peril. If we are
to be saved, we must "overcome."

"He who overcomes will inherit all this, and
 I will be his God and he will be my son." Rev. 21:7