Hero or Chocolate Soldier? Part 1

C.T. Studdby C.T. Studd

“The Chocolate Soldier”
or
“Heroism–The Lost Chord of Christianity”

Heroism is the lost chord; the mission note of present-day Christianity!

Every true soldier is a hero! A Soldier Without Heroism Is A Chocolate Soldier! Who has not been stirred to scorn and mirth at the very thought of a Chocolate Soldier! In peace true soldiers are captive lions, fretting in their cages. War gives them their liberty and sends them, like boys bounding out of school, to obtain their heart’s desire or perish in the attempt. Battle is the soldier’s vital breath! Peace turns him into a stooping asthmatic. War makes him a whole man again, and gives him the heart, strength, and vigor of a hero.

Every True Christian Is A Soldier–of Christ–a hero “par excellence”! Braver than the bravest–scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger, and death, whom he counts among his bosom friends.

The Otherwise Christian Is A Chocolate Christian! Dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. “Sweeties” they are! Bonbons, lollipops! Living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in his soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution.

Here are some Portraits Of Chocolate Soldiers taken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

“He said, ‘I go, sir,’ and went not”;

he said he would go to the heathen, but stuck fast to Christendom instead.

“They say and do not”–they tell others to go, and yet do not go themselves. “Never,” said General Gordon to a corporal, as he himself jumped upon the parapet of a trench before Sebastopol to fix a gabion which the corporal had ordered a private to fix, and wouldn’t fix himself, “Never tell another man to do what you are afraid to do yourself.”

To the Chocolate Christian the very thought of war brings a violent attack of ague, while the call to battle always finds him with the palsy. “I really cannot move,” he says. “I only wish I could, but I can sing, and here are some of my favorite lines:

“I must be carried to the skies
On a flowery bed of ease,
Let others fight to win the prize,
Or sail thro’ bloody seas.
Mark time, Christian heroes,
Never go to war;
Stop and mind the babies
Playing on the floor.
Wash and dress and feed them
Forty times a week.
Till they’re roly poly–
Puddings so to speak.
Chorus:
Round and round the nursery
Let us ambulate
Sugar and spice and all that’s nice
Must be on our slate.”

“Thank the good Lord,” said a very fragile, white-haired lady, “God never meant me to be a jelly-fish!” She wasn’t!

God Never Was A Chocolate Manufacturer, And Never Will Be. God’s men are always heroes. In Scripture you can trace their giant foot-tracks down the sands of time.

Noah walked with God, he didn’t only preach righteousness, he acted it. He went through water and didn’t melt. He breasted the current of the popular opinion of his day, scorning alike the hatred and ridicule of the scoffers who mocked at the thought of there being but one way of salvation. He warned the unbelieving and, entering the ark himself, didn’t open the door an inch when once God had shut it. A real hero untained by the fear of man.

Learn to scorn the praise of men.
Learn to lose with God;
Jesus won the world thro’ shame!
And beckons us His road.

Abraham, a simple farmer, at a word from the Invisible God, marched, with family and stock, through the terrible desert to a distant land to live among a people whose language he could neither speak nor understand! Not bad that! But later he did even better, marching hot foot against the combined armies of five kings, flushed with recent victory, to rescue one man! His army? Just 318 odd fellows, armed like a circus crowd. And he won too. “He always wins who sides with God.” What pluck! Only a farmer! No war training! Yet what hero has eclipsed his feat? His open secret? He was The Friend Of God.

Moses–the man of God–was a species of human chameleon–scholar, general, law-giver, leader, etc. Brought up as the Emperor’s grandson with more than a good chance of coming to the throne, one thing only between him and it–Truth–what a choice! What a temptation! A throne for a lie! Ignominy, banishment, or likely enough death for the truth! He played the man! “Refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin and success for a season, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.”

Again I see him. Now an old man and alone, marching stolidly back to Egypt, after forty years of exile, to beard the lion in his den, to liberate Pharaoh’s slaves right under his very nose, and to lead them across that great and terrible wilderness. A Wild-Cat Affair, if ever there was one! When were God’s schemes otherwise? Look at Jordan, Jericho, Gideon, Goliath, and scores of others. Tame tabby-cat schemes are stamped with another hall mark–that of the Chocolate Brigade! How dearly they love their tabbies yet think themselves wise men! Real Christians Revel In Desperate Ventures For Christ, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration. History cannot match these feats of Moses. How was it done? He consulted not with flesh and blood, he obeyed not men but God.

Once again I see the old grey-beard, this time descending the Mount with giant strides and rushing into the camp, his eyes blazing like burning coals. One man against three million dancing dervishes drunk with debauchery. Bravo! Well done, old man! First class! His cheek pales not, but his mouth moves, and I think I catch his words, “If God be for me who can be against me? I will not be afraid of 10,000 of the people that have set themselves against me. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” And he didn’t. He wins again. Whence this desperate courage? Listen! “Now the man Moses was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.” “My servant, Moses,” said his Master, “is faithful in all Mine house, with him will I speak mouth to mouth.” Such is the explanation of Moses the chameleon, the man and friend of God and consequently a first-class hero.

by C.T. Studd

Read Hero or Chocolate Soldier – Part 2

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