“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).
Be not disheartened because the eye of the world is constantly and earnestly fixed upon you to detect your errors and to rejoice in your halting. But rather regard this state of things, trying as it may be, as one of the safeguards which a kind Father has placed around you, to keep alive in your own bosom an antagonist spirit of watchfulness, and to prevent those very mistakes and transgressions which your enemies eagerly anticipate.—Thomas C. Upham.
To be misunderstood, even by those whom one loves, is the cross and bitterness of life. It is the secret of that sad and melancholy smile on the lips of great men which so few understand. It is the cruelest trial reserved for self-devotion. It is what must have oftenest wrung the heart of the Son of Man, and if God could suffer, it would be the wound we should be for ever inflicting upon Him. He also—He, above all—is the great misunderstood, the least comprehended. “He was accustomed to this,” says Henry Drummond. “’Tis because He was accustomed to walk by a light that others could seldom see. All His life He had been misunderstood—by His disciples, by His relations, by His enemies, by His friends. Yes, and He could even remember a bitterer time than all, when His own mother said He was mad.”
Alas! alas! never to tire, never to grow cold; to be patient, sympathetic, tender; to look for the budding flower and the opening heart; to love always—this is duty.
Martin Luther said, “I am persuaded that for the last hundred years, there has not existed a man whom the world at large hated more than it hates me. You cannot know how delighted I am, at seeing day after day my adversaries rising higher in their fury against me. I never feel prouder, more full of lofty daring than when I hear from time to time, their denunciations upon me.”
Yesterday’s heretics often become today’s saints.—Unknown.