Soft pillows or the way of the cross


I was reading Thomas Watson’s exposition of “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” whilst sitting comfortably on the day-bed in my study. You can imagine what effect the following excerpt had on my attitude to too comfortable a lifestyle.

Alas how far are they from suffering who indulge the flesh: ‘. . . that lie upon beds of ivory and stretch themselves upon their couches’ (Amos 6: 4); a very unfit posture for suffering. That soldier is like to make but poor work of it who is stretching himself upon his bed when he should be in the field exercising his arms. What shall I say, says Jerome, to those Christians who make it all their care to perfume their clothes, to crisp their hair, to sparkle their diamonds, but if sufferings come, and the way to heaven has any water in it, they will not endure to set their feet upon it! Most people are too effeminate. They use themselves too nicely and tenderly. Those ‘silken Christians’ (as Tertullian calls them) that pamper the flesh, are unfit for the school of the cross. The naked breast and bare shoulder is too soft and tender to carry Christ’s cross. Inure yourselves to hardship. Do not make your pillow too easy.

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