But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.…
The poet George Herbert was so highly connected, and in such favour at court, that at one time a secretaryship of state seemed to him not unattainable. But he gave up all such prospects for the work of a humble clergy man, and in looking back upon the time he made his choice, he could say, "I think myself more happy than if I had attained what then I had so ambitiously thirsted for. And I can now behold the court with an impartial eye, and see plainly that it is made up of frauds and bitters, and flattery, and many other such empty imaginary and painted pleasures — pleasures which are so empty as not to satisfy when they are enjoyed. But in God and His service is a fulness of all joy and pleasure and no satiety."
(J. F. B. Tinling.)Raymond Lully, or Lullius, to whom the Arabic professorship at Oxford owes its origin, was the first Christian missionary to the Moslems. When shipwrecked near Pisa, after many years of missionary labour, though upwards of seventy, his ardour was unabated. "Once," he wrote, "I was fairly rich; once I had a wife and children; once I tasted freely of the pleasures of this life. But all these things I gladly resigned that I might spread abroad a knowledge of the truth. I studied Arabic, and several times went forth to preach the gospel to the Saracens. I have been in prison, I have been scourged, for years I have striven to persuade the princes of Christendom to befriend the common cause of converting the Mohammedans. Now, though old and poor, I do not despair; I am ready, if it be God's will, to persevere unto death." And he did so, being stoned to death at Bergia, in Africa, in 1314, after gathering a little flock of converts.
(Sunday at Home.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.