Lilies and roses—among the briars

(Thomas Watson, "Religion Our True Interest")

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of
 this world!" Romans 12:2

We should be holiest in evil times. The profaneness
of the times should not slacken our zeal—but heighten
it. The looser others are—the stricter we should be.

The way to hell is a well-trodden road.
"You shall not
follow a multitude to do evil." Exodus 23:2. Dead fish
swim down the stream—living fish swim against it. Mere
professors cut the garment of their religion according to
the mode and fashion of the times.

Let us keep up the vigor of our zeal, in degenerate times.
We should by a holy contrariness—burn hotter in a frozen
age. We live in the dregs of time; sin is grown common and
impudent. It is excellent to walk contrary to the world. Let
us be as lilies and roses—among the briars. Sin is
never the better—because it is in fashion! The impiety of
the times, is a foil to set off grace all the more, and give
it a greater luster.

This plea will not help at the last day—"that we did as
most others did." God will say, "Seeing you sinned with
the multitude—you shall go to hell with the multitude!"

Oh, let us keep pure among the dregs! Let us be like
fish, which retain their freshness, in salt waters.

It is better to go to heaven with a few—than to hell in the
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate
and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many
enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road
that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14