I solemnly warn you!
(J.C. Ryle, "Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots" 1879)
Some professors are always trying to keep in with the world. They are ingenious in discovering reasons for not separating decidedly, and in framing plausible excuses for attending questionable amusements, and keeping up questionable friendships.
One day you are told of their attending a Bible class; the next day perhaps you hear of their going to a ball!
One day they fast, or go to the Lord's table and receive the sacrament; another day they go to the racecourse in the morning, and the opera at night!
One day they are almost in hysterics under the sermon of some sensational preacher; another day they are weeping over some novel!
But . . .
to walk closely with God;
to be really spiritually-minded;
to behave like strangers and pilgrims;
to be distinct from the world in use of time, in life-style, in amusements, in dress;
to bear a faithful witness for Christ in all places;
to leave a fragrance of our Master in every society;
to be prayerful, humble, unselfish, good-tempered, quiet, contented, charitable, patient;
to be jealously afraid of all manner of sin;
to be tremblingly alive to our danger from the world
— these, these are rare things! They are not common among those who are called Christians; and, worst of all, the absence of them is not felt and bewailed as it should be!
I beseech you not to be content with a small measure of grace — not to be satisfied with being a little better than the world!
I solemnly warn you not to attempt doing what never can be done: to serve Christ — and yet keep in with the world. I call upon you and beseech you . . .
to be a whole-hearted Christian,
to follow after eminent holiness,
to aim at a high degree of sanctification,
to live a consecrated life, and
to present your body a "living sacrifice" unto God!