Jesus Christ will not have even His work preferred before Him. The final sacrifice which some men are called upon to make is not the sacrifice of a pleasure, or the relinquishment of some precious treasure; it is the sacrifice of a dear purpose by which they hoped to bring glory to their Lord. They are required to turn from the path of hallowed service, to renounce the holy enterprise. John Ruskin has told us how, when he came into clearer light, his hope of some better service was cut off by failure of health. "Just when I was coming out of school, very sorry for having been such a foolish boy, yet having taken a prize or two, and expect now to enter upon some more serious business than cricket, I am dismissed, by the Master I hoped to serve, with a 'That's all I want of you, sir.'" To give up what is dear to them is for some men comparatively easy, but to give up what they deemed dear to Christ, — to bind on the altar of sacrifice the one offspring of our heart, which gave such fair promise that in it men should be blessed, — that is hard. But it has to be done to the bitter end. No angelic voice stays the descending knife.
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