I am sure, too, that it keeps men out of mischief to set about spreading the knowledge of Christ. The most useful members of a church are usually those who would be doing harm if they were not doing good. They cannot be chips in the porridge, they must flavour it one way or another. I know very well if I was not always at work I should be sure either to worry myself or others, for my brains will not imitate the dormouse, and take a long sleep. To have nothing to do would kill some of us outright. Active-minded idlers are a curse to any community. Lazy members of churches, if they have restless dispositions, become critical hearers, grumblers, gossips, heretics, or schismatics. They find pleasure in giving pain.
It is fine to see a sluggard lean over a rail and find fault with those who are hard at work in their shirt-sleeves; he says they are out of order, and ought to wear dress coats. It would be better if they would dress his coat for him. On a very hot day it is very pleasant to sit in a boat and find fault with the two fellows who are rowing so hard that they drip with sweat. I know some who enjoy this delight in a spiritual sense, and also add to it the further joy of criticizing the way in which the rowers feather their oars. If the workers should turn round and say, “Try and do better yourself,” they would be justified in the observation, and I wish the idle gentlemen would accept such a bit of practical wisdom. Now, you with fault-finding tongues, use your mouths for a better purpose, and we shall be less troubled by you. Spare energy soon runs wild if it be not yoked to the gospel plough. Vines which bear little fruit go all to wood, and many of the branches run over the wall.