What the Church of the Past Would Think

Sometimes we are altogether too much concerned with what the present world will say about us—whether it will regard us as progressive and enlightened and liberal; while we but too seldom consider what would be the historic judgment passed upon us by the church of the former ages if its great figures could gather around us and review the part we take in the making of the history of the present—whether they would be shamed or gladdened by our doings. Let us then sometimes at least endeavor to view our condition and performance in this light. Let us ask ourselves whether we can without shame and self-reproach allow the soundness of our faith, the purity of our life, the consecration of our service to fall below the attainments of any earlier generation in the church of God. And on the other hand, though the world may look down upon us as reactionaries and antiquated people, if we can conscientiously say that we have remained faithful to the principles which God himself stamped with his historic approval in the past, let us derive comfort from the thought that we walk not alone, but are compassed about on every side by an innumerable host of friends who will honor us as God has honored them.

—Geerhardus Vos


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