by George H. Morrison

The Lowly Duty of Fidelity
George H. Morrison
Matthew 25:21

It was very like our Lord to make fidelity the test of life. He was quick to recognize the lowly virtues. Just as He took obscure and lowly men when He wanted to build up a kingdom, so did He take obscure and lowly virtues when He wanted to build up a character, and this not merely because they were obscure, but because they were within the range of all, and His was to be a universal gospel. There is nothing dazzling in fidelity. It is not at all a rare and splendid gift. It has no power to arrest the eyes nor get itself chronicled in any newspaper. And it is singularly like the Lord, with His passion for undistinguished people, that He should crown a virtue such as that. Some of my readers never can be brilliant. They serve in the great army of the commonplace. But there is one thing within the compass of them all, and that is the steady practice of fidelity. And the inspiring thought is that our Lord should take a thing within the reach of everybody and make it the criterion of character.

It is like Him, too, to recognize that fidelity demands a certain courage. In the parable from which our text is taken that is very charmingly exhibited. There is one man there who was not faithful. He took his talent and he buried it. And it is a master-touch of a profound psychology that in the end of the day, when the reckoning was taken, that man is made to say I was afraid. His infidelity was fear, and the Lord delights to hint at truth by negatives. There is a courage of the battlefield which is often a very splendid thing. There is a courage needed for every high adventure, whether it be in Africa or Everest. But perhaps the finest courage in the world (in the eyes of God, if not of men) is the quiet and steady courage of fidelity. To do things when you don't feel like them, to keep on keeping on, to get to duty through headache and through heartache, to ply the drudgery when birds are calling-there are f ...

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