Against Wind and Tide: Derek Kidner’s Preface to His Book on Jeremiah

In the preface to The Message of Jeremiah: Against Wind and Tide in the series of books edited by Stott and Motyer called The Bible Speaks Today, Derek Kidner writes,

“. . . a preface also gives me room to put the subtitle, ‘Against wind and tide’, into its context. It comes, of course, from The Pilgrim’s Progress, at the point where Christian overtakes Mr By-ends. That easygoing character admits his difference ‘in two small points’ from ‘those of the stricter sort’ — those who ‘are for hazarding all for God at a clap’. ‘First’, he says, ‘we never strive against wind and tide. Secondly, we are always most zealous when Religion goes in his silver slippers . . .’ To this, Christian replies, ‘If you will go with us, you must go against wind and tide; . . . You must also own Religion in his rags, as well as when in his silver slippers; and stand by him, too, when bound in irons . . .
Such — initially under bitter protest, but with no turning back — was the hard pilgrimmage that Jeremiah accepted, lending its own depth to his message. To study that life and message we can well be invited in John Bunyan’s words:

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither.
One here will constant be,
Come wind, Come weather
.

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