Of spectators and combatants

“Perhaps you wonder, ‘Why are the wicked joyous? why do they live in luxury? why don’t they have to strive like I do?’

“The reason is that they who have not signed up to strive for the crown are not required to undergo the labors of the contest. Those who haven’t gone down to the track don’t smear themselves with oil, nor get covered with dust. Trouble comes only to those on their way to glory. The perfumed spectators prefer to watch, not to join in the struggle, nor to endure the sun, the heat, the dust, and the rain.

“So those who have devoted themselves to pleasures, luxury, robbery, gain or honors are spectators rather than combatants. They have the profit of labor but the not the fruits of virtue. They love their ease. By cunning and wickedness they heap up riches. But they will pay the penalty of their iniquity, though it be late in coming. Their rest will be in hell, yours in paradise. Thus, Job said beautifully that they watch in the tomb (see Job 21:32), for they cannot have the calm of quiet rest that he enjoys who shall rise again.”

-Ambrose of Milan (337-397 A.D.)

Author: westportexperiment

I am a minister serving Presbyterian Reformed Church of Rhode Island, with strong interest in the history, theory, and contemporary application of parochial church extension.

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