Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 3, 1968

Don't Pull Down Hill

(Stephen Cheek, a faithful gospel preacher in Australia almost a century ago, edited a paper from 1880 to 1883 known as Truth In Love. A few years after brother Cheek's death the Australian congregations became associated with the Conference and introduced instrumental music into their worship thereby taking on the mold of the Christian Churches in the U. S. A. The following article appeared in the November, 1881 issue of brother Cheek's Truth In Love. I found it interesting to observe that this article, which seems timely for 1968 in the U. S., was also appropriate almost ninety years ago in another continent — which proves that no matter where nor when, the devil is just up to his "old" tricks when Christians fall prey to his folly.) — Robert Harkrider, P.O. Box 52, Caringbah, N.S.W. 2229, Australia.

In passing through life I have noticed, that while it takes some talent and much pains to do even a little good, a great deal of mischief may be done by a man with neither ability nor character. Any fool can do a vast amount of evil with comparative ease, but it needs a wise man to do good, and he will have to work hard enough, if he is to accomplish much. I have further observed, that the action of a very stupid person will sometimes frustrate the best endeavors of the worthiest and ablest of men. Let me tell a story to illustrate the point at which I am driving.

A gentleman while standing at his window one day saw four powerful horses dragging a very heavy load up a very steep ascent. There they were, with sweating sides and swollen sinews, in their desperate struggles to reach the top. Yet inch by inch they dragged their heavy load up that steep ascent. But just as they had almost gained the summit, a wag yoked a lean, half-starved donkey to the back of the cart. This donkey, having got its head down hill, began to pull, and forthwith brought the whole thing to a perfect stand. So that this one wretched donkey, with its head downwards, was more than a match for the four fine animals, struggling upwards and onwards. Verily, "one sinner destroyeth much good." And so, also a very stupid church member may produce stagnation in the work of a whole community. Remember, it requires no genius to grumble or obstruct.

Anything in the shape of humanity is good enough for that. A block of coarsest stone, a beam of commonest wood, thrown across the rails, will prevent the finest locomotive in the world from advancing a single inch. Whereas, it takes a good engine, in good condition and under good direction, to make substantial progress.

Let me say to every church member who may happen to read this — Don't pull down hill. If you can show your power only by getting your head down hill, and marring the work of better men, strive to be quiet. Christian churches beware, "lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."

— Congregational Miscellany