I listened to a podcast recently on Augustus Toplady, and on its completion I thought it would be interesting to pull out a book I bought a long time ago, but has been collecting dust on a bookshelf. The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady, published in 1987, but, from the flyleaf “Printed verbatim from the first edition of his works, 1794.” While randomly leafing through the pages I came on this nugget – it almost seemed to leap out at me (from page 362):
“Some Christians are like decayed milestones; which stand, it is true, in the right road, and bear some traces of the proper impression; but so wretchedly mutilated and defaced that they who go by can hardly read or know what to make of them.”
I have often joked to my wife that when I grew up I wanted to be an old curmudgeon, so when I read that, I chuckled. But then it sank in. What is a grumpy old man, a curmudgeon, especially a Christian, but a decayed milestone, something that once served a purpose but now is useless – maybe in the right place, but utterly worthless, of no value to any who needed the direction it might have provided?
It was good that Toplady followed that very apt description with a thought, a prayer, that our minds and hearts would be renewed, and our signposts be refreshed, repainted to give appropriate direction to those seeking.
May the blessed Spirit of God cause all our hearts this morning to undergo a fresh impression; and indulge us with a new edition of our evidences for heaven! O may showers of blessing descend upon you from above! May you see that Christ and the grace of God in him, are all in all! you are upon earth, may you ever ascribe the whole glory to him! And sure I am, that when you come to heaven, you will never ascribe it to any other.
So, that’s my prayer, my aspiration now. No longer to be a curmudgeon, but a beacon, a shining light, lamppost, pointing to the glory of God!