Characteristics of a Zealous Man
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently
a man of one thing. It is not enough to
say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising,
thoroughgoing, wholehearted, fervent in spirit.
He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing,
he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in
one thing; and that one thing is to please God.
Whether he lives, or whether he dies
whether he has health, or whether he has sickness
whether he is rich, or whether he is poor
whether he pleases man, or whether he gives
whether he is thought wise, or whether he is
whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise
whether he get honour, or whether he gets shame
for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all.
He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to
please God, and to advance God’s glory. If he is
consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it
- he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he
is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he
has but done the work for which God appointed him.
Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal.
If he cannot preach, work, and give money, he will
cry, and sigh, and pray. . . If he cannot fight in
the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses,
Aaron, and Hur, on the hill (Exodus 17:9-13).
If he is cut off from working himself, he will give
the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another
quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean
when I speak of ‘zeal’ in religion.
J. C. Ryle