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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Williamsiana

Speranza

Tennessee Williams, whose innovative drama and sense of lyricism were a major force in the postwar American theater, died at the Elysee Hotel, in New York.

He was found dead about 10:45 A.M. in his suite in the Hotel Elysee on East 54th Street.

Officials said that death was due to natural causes, and that he had been under treatment for heart disease.

An autopsy was scheduled.

Author of more than 24 full-length plays, including ''The Glass Menagerie,'' ''A Streetcar Named Desire,'' ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' - Tennessee Williams was the most important playwright after Eugene O'Neill.

The latter two won Pulitzer Prizes - and ''The Night of the Iguana,'' he had a profound effect on theater and on playwrights and actors.

Williams wrote with deep sympathy and expansive humor about outcasts in our society.

Though his images were often violent, he was a poet of the human heart.

His works, which are among the most popular plays of our time, continue to provide a rich reservoir of acting challenges.

Among the actors celebrated in Williams roles were Laurette Taylor in ''The Glass Menagerie''; Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy in ''A Streetcar Named Desire'' (and Vivien Leigh in the movie version), and Burl Ives in ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'' '

'The Glass Menagerie,'' his first success, was his ''memory play.''

Many of his other plays were his nightmares.

Although seldom intentionally autobiographical, the plays were almost all intensely personal -torn from his own private anguishes and anxieties.

He once described his sister's room in the family home in St. Louis, with her collection of glass figures, as representing ''all the softest emotions that belong to recollection of things past.''

But, he remembered, outside the room was an alley in which, nightly, dogs destroyed cats.

Williams's work, which was unequaled in passion and imagination by any of his contemporaries' works, was a barrage of conflicts, of the blackest horrors offset by purity.

Perhaps his greatest character, Blanche Du Bois, the heroine of ''Streetcar,'' has been described as a tigress and a moth, and, as Williams created her, there was no contradiction.

His basic premise was the need for understanding and tenderness and fortitude among individuals trapped by circumstance.

Just as his work reflected his life, his life reflected his work.

A monumental hypochondriac, he became obsessed with sickness, failure and death.

Several times he thought he was losing his sight, and he had four eye operations for cataracts.

Constantly he thought his heart would stop beating.

In desperation, he drank and took pills immoderately.

He was a man of great shyness, but with friends he showed great openness, which often worked to his disadvantage.

He was extremely vulnerable to demands - from directors, actresses, the public, his critics, admirers and detractors.

He feigned disinterest in reviews, but he was deeply disturbed by them.

Unfavourable ones could devastate him.

Favourable ones might corrupt him.

The most successful serious playwright of his time, he did not write for success but, as one friend said, as a ''biological necessity.''

Success struck him suddenly in 1945, with the Broadway premiere of ''The Glass Menagerie,'' and it frightened him much more than his failure.

He was born as Thomas Lanier Williams in Columbus, Miss., on March 26, 1911.

His mother, Edwina Dakin, was the puritanical daughter of an Episcopal rector.

His father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was a violent and aggressive traveling salesman who later settled down in St. Louis as manager of a shoe company.

There was an older daughter, Rose (memorialized as Laura in ''the Glass Menagerie''), and in 1919 another son was born, Walter Dakin.

''It was just a wrong marriage,'' the playwright wrote.

The familial conflict is made clear by instances from the son's art.

His mother was the model for the foolish but indomitable Amanda Wingfield in ''The Glass Menagerie,'' his father for the blustering, brutish Big Daddy in ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.''

While his father traveled, Tom was mostly brought up, and overprotected, by his mother - particularly after he contracted diphtheria at the age of 5.

By the time the family moved to St. Louis, the pattern was clear.

Tom retreated into himself. He made up and told stories, many of them scary.

In the fall of 1929 he went off to the University of Missouri to study journalism.

When his childhood girlfriend, Hazel Kramer, also decided to enroll at Missouri, his father said he would withdraw him, and succeeded in breaking up the incipient romance.

It was his only known romantic relationship with a woman.

In a state of depression, Tom dropped out of school and, at his father's instigation, took a job as a clerk in a shoe company.

It was, he recalled, ''living death.''

To survive, every day after work he retreated to his room and wrote - stories, poems, plays - through the night.

The strain finally led to a nervous breakdown.

Sent to Memphis to recuperate, Williams joined a local theater group.

Back in St. Louis, he became friendly with a group of poets at Washington University, particularly Clark Mills McBurney who, among other things, introduced Mr. Williams to the poems of Hart Crane.

Crane became his idol.

In 1937, Williams re-enrolled as a student, this time at the University of Iowa.

There and in St. Louis he wrote an enormous, and uncounted, number of plays, some of which were produced on campus.

In 1938, nine years after he had entered college, he graduated.

Success seemed paired with tragedy.

His sister lost her mind.

The family allowed - with subsequent recriminations - a prefrontal lobotomy to be performed, and she spent much of her life in a sanitarium.

Life in New Orleans At 28, Thomas Williams left home for New Orleans, where he changed his style of living, as well as his name.

 He offered several reasons for the name change.

It was a reaction against his early inferior work, published under his real name.

It was a college nickname.

It was because his father was from Tennessee.

It was distinctive.

In New Orleans he discovered new netherworlds, soaking up the milieu that would appear in ''A Streetcar Named Desire.''

He wrote stories, some of which later became plays, and entered a Group Theater playwriting contest.

He won $100 and was solicited by the agent Audrey Wood, who became his friend and adviser. ''Battle of Angels,'' a play he wrote during a visit of several months to St. Louis, opened in Boston in 1940 and was a disaster.

It closed in two weeks and did not come to New York.

Williams, however, brought it back in a revised version in 1957 as ''Orpheus Descending'' and as the Marlon Brando-Anna Magnani movie, ''The Fugitive Kind,'' and in 1973 it was presented at the Circle Repertory Company.

To his amazement, Audrey Wood got him a job in Hollywood writing scripts for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at $250 a week for six months.

He wrote a Lana Turner picture, worked briefly on a Margaret O'Brien picture and, disdainfully, began writing an original screenplay, which was rejected.

Still under contract, in a house at Malibu, he began turning the screenplay into a play titled ''The Gentleman Caller,'' which slowly evolved into ''The Glass Menagerie.''

On March 31, 1945, five days after its author became 34, it opened on Broadway and changed Williams's life, and theater.

He was inundated with success -the play won the New York Drama Critics' Circle award - and he fought to keep afloat.

''Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle,'' he wrote, ''you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.''

His art was his salvation.

Apprehending, he wrote his second masterpiece, ''A Streetcar Named Desire.''

Opening in December, 1947, ''Streetcar'' was an even bigger hit than ''The Glass Menagerie.''

It won Mr. Williams his second Drama Critics' award and his first Pulitzer Prize.

For many years after ''Streetcar,'' almost every other season there was another Williams play on Broadway (and a one-act play somewhere else).

Soon there was a continual flow from the stage to the screen.

And he never stopped revising his finished work.

For more than 35 years, the stream was unabated.

He produced an enormous body of work, including more than two dozen full-length plays, all of them produced - a record unequaled by any of his contemporaries.

There were successes and failures, and often great disagreement over which was which.

In 1948 there was ''Summer and Smoke,'' which he wrote on Nantucket while sharing his house with his friend Carson McCullers (at his encouragement she was dramatizing ''The Member of the Wedding'').

It failed on Broadway, was a huge success in a revival Off Broadway and made a star of Geraldine Page, one of many magnificent leading ladies in Williams's works (Laurette Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Vivien Leigh, Maureen Stapleton, Anna Magnani).

There followed ''The Rose Tattoo,'' ''Camino Real'' (a flop in 1953, but revived as a classic at Lincoln Center in 1970), ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' (his third Drama Critics' prize, his second Pulitzer), ''Orpheus Descending,'' ''Garden District,'' ''Sweet Bird of Youth.''

Most of these plays have been seen again in major revivals.

In addition to the plays, he wrote two novels, ''The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone'' and ''Moise and the World of Reason''; short stories, such as ''One Arm'' and ''Hard Candy''; a book of poetry, ''In the Winter of Cities,'' the film ''Baby Doll'' and his ''Memoirs.''

In his ''Memoirs,'' for the first time he wrote in detail about his homosexuality but, as usual, he was restrained in dealing with his creative life, explaining that his art was ''private.''

As he became more and more successful, Williams lost his look of boyish innocence and became somewhat portly and seedy.

Gradually he found it more and more difficult to write.

The turning point, as he saw it, was 1955, and after ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' there was a noticeable decline in his work.

To keep going, he began relying on a ritualistic combination of ingredients -strong coffee, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

In the late 1950's, Williams undertook psychoanalysis, explaining, ''If I am no longer disturbed myself, I will deal less with violent material.''

His first postanalysis work was the 1960 ''Period of Adjustment,'' a comedy that by common critical agreement was one of the slightest of his works.

He went back to his nightmares and reached further out for subject matter.

In terms of subject and theme, he was a pioneer, working with dark, theater of the absurd or the theater of cruelty was fashionable.

''The Night of the Iguana,'' which won a fourth Drama Critics' award for Williams in 1961, was considered a return to his earlier important work.

As it turned out, it was his last major success.

After ''Iguana,'' Williams went searching and seemed to fall apart.

But at the same time he discovered religion.

In 1968 he was converted to Roman Catholicism.

And his last plays, though still dealing with grotesques, also dealt with salvation. ''The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore,'' which failed in successive years on Broadway and as an Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton movie entitled ''Boom!'', was an allegory about a Christlike young man and a dying dowager.

His next three plays, ''Slapstick Tragedy,'' ''The Seven Descents of Myrtle'' and ''In a Bar in a Tokyo Hotel,'' also had minuscule runs.

Recovering from an illness, he plunged back to work, writing and rewriting.

In the 70's he was, characteristically, prolific, but success continued to elude him.

''Small Craft Warning'' had a comfortable run Off Broadway in 1972, and at one point, the author himself made his professional debut as an actor in his own play, assuming a small role.

  ''Out Cry'' was a quick failure on Broadway in 1973 and ''The Red Devil Battery Sign'' closed in Boston, although it was subsquently presented in London. ''Vieux Carre'' had a brief Broadway run in 1979 (and will be revived next month at the WPA).

Of his later plays, his most popular was the poignant ''A Lovely Sunday at Creve Coeur'' in 1979.

  His last Broadway play was ''Clothes for a Summer Hotel,'' a drama about Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald that proved to be one of his biggest failures.

Though wounded by the critical reception, he continued writing, in his last years working with noncommercial institutional theaters.

''Something Cloudy, Something Clear'' was produced Off Off Broadway at the Jean Cocteau Theater in 1981, and last year his final play, ''A House Not Meant to Stand,'' had its premiere at the Goodman Theater of Chicago.

That play, subsequently presented at the New World Festival of the Arts in Miami, deals with the physical and emotional disintegration of an older married couple in Mississippi.

In recent years, Williams divided his time between his apartment in New York at the Elysee and his house in Key West.

He also kept an apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the scene of ''A Streetcar Named Desire.''

Several weeks ago Williams had come to New York from Key West.

According to a close friend, he complained constantly of being exhausted and overworked and he said he was suffering with a shoulder condition.'

Williams's secretary, John Uecker, who shared the playwright's two-room hotel suite, said that at about 11 P.M. Thursday he heard a noise from Williams's room, but did not investigate.

The following morning, at approximately 10:45 he entered the room and found him lying next to his bed.

Williams is survived by his brother, Dakin, a Collinsville, Ill. attorney, and by his sister, Rose, who is in a nursing home in Westchester County.

''I always felt like Tennessee and I were compatriots,'' said Marlon Brando.

  ''He told the truth as best he perceived it, and never turned away from things that beset or frightened him."

"We are all diminished by his death.''

Friday, September 27, 2013

Battell

Speranza

Excerpts from:

William H. Sallmon, ed. "The Culture of Christian Manhood: Sunday Mornings in Battell Chapel, Yale." New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1897 .

When that prince of American preachers, the late Bishop Brooks, after careful deliberation, declined to accept the call to the pulpit at Harvard, he remarked to a friend that "the man who can preach helpfully to Harvard men is the man who holds a city pastorate."

The colleges are rapidly coming to this conclusion, and the college pastorate is giving way to the new system of college preachers.

The pastoral work, where it is attended to at all, is cared for by other agencies.

A few colleges, indeed, combine both methods, but in all the tendency is to place the main emphasis on the preaching.

The preacher now comes in from the busy world toward which so many of the students are looking, and gives them glimpses of it.

He comes from contact with a broader life than a settled college pastor could be acquainted with, and he brings the prestige of an exalted position, and a greater enthusiasm for the large opportunity opened before him than could be maintained by a permanent resident.

Naturally enough, the ablest men of the country are ready to respond to the call for such noble service.

No thinking minister can stand up before a company largely composed of young men without a strong wish to be plain-spoken and to come  straight to the point.

They have a fine impatience for all mere formalities and round-about modes of speech, which acts as a moral tonic to brace the mind from vagueness and cleanse the tongue from cant.

They want a man to say what he means and to mean what he says.

The influence of this unspoken demand is wholesome and inspiring, and the preacher ought to show his gratitude for it by honestly endeavoring to meet it.

These words, from one who occupies an influential city parish and commands the respect of college men wherever he meets them, will account for the direct and practical character of the discourses in this book.

They have been selected for what they are worth in themselves, and will repay reading and re-reading.

I take pleasure in introducing some of the finest minds in the pulpit, with the messages of inspiration which they have brought to the members of Yale — hoping that the influence of their words will be multiplied many-fold by thus being put into permanent form.


''That fe may be .children of God . , . in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom jye are seen as lights in the icorld, holding forth the word of life." — Phil. a. /5, 1 6.

The theme is Selected Lives; or^ the Distinction Conferred on Men by Academic Training.

Selected lives are lives singled out from the mass: set apart, trained, and commissioned unto a special opportunity.

The basis of selection may be chiefly that of physical competency, as when men are selected for service in the army or in the athletic games.

Or it may be chiefly that of intellectual culture, as in competitions for posts of honor in literary life.

Or it may be chiefly that of spiritual efficiency, as when Christ selected apostles, saying, " Ye did not  choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and  that your fruit should abide."

To-day my purpose is to remind you, as university men,  that by reason of your being here, in the  academic atmosphere, among the academic traditions, inheriting the academic privileges,  you are selected lives singled out from the  mass, set apart, trained, and commissioned unto a special opportunity. Standing in this  great congregation of college men, I feel that  I may speak without reserve of the distinction conferred on men by academic training. It  is difficult to speak of this in a promiscuous  assembly, where non-collegians are blended  with collegians, lest one be thought to disparage the excellent and forceful men who have not had the university training ; but in the pulpit of this venerable seat of learning, in an atmosphere charged with the purest and the best essence of the academic spirit, I feel no hesitation in reminding you that because you are collegians you constitute a class of selected lives.

I feel no reserve in applying to you and in breathing upon you that glorious apostolic prayer for selected lives which is our text : " That ye may be children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.

If instead of the hundreds of men present this morning there were but one man, and he a man of thoughtful, noble spirit, it would be easy to deliver to him the message God has laid upon my heart. I would bid him ponder the thought of a selected life.

I would bid him note hoiv he has been selected, why he has been selected.

I would bid him accept his destiny.

But while it would be easy to talk with one man alone of these things that lie so near to his personality, it is not difficult, because of the intense love and sympathy I feel toward young men, to speak to each one of you, in this hour, with a clear and impressive sense of your individuality.

The message, then, is this.

The selected life ; the mode of its selection; the end of its selection; the acceptance of destiny.

First and chiefly, the Selected Life.

I can conceive of nothing to which a noble soul responds more profoundly than to the sense of being a selected life : a life chosen, set apart, exalted from the mass, specialized unto a purpose.

We have read to-day the splendid story of the anointing of David; of the mystic purpose that singled him out from  among his brethren, that called him from the sheepfold, that would not let his life grow
narrow and rustic and indolent, basking in  the sun on upland pastures, but drew it as with the cords of love unto a loftier, broader destiny, drew it to the leadership of men, setting it apart with the sacred oil of a royal anointing. It is a wondrous picture: that beautiful boy, whose life till now has been so
pure, so natural, so simple, out upon the hills, where he has watched the white clouds sailing over him, where he has felt the free wind ( I Sam. xvi. 1-13) of Gotl playing upon him, while his heart,
unburclened by any care, has lived in the sunny present, giving, perchance, scarcely a thought to the future.

But in the hour of  his anointing it dawns upon him that he is a  selected life — that he, yes, he! is set apart  for an unusual destiny.

What thought is greater than this to a soul that is noble?

To feel the anointing of God upon itself ; to know that it is called out from the mass, selected  and set apart for something! It is an exalting thought — so high that often at the first one cannot attain unto it. While we all know that there are and ever have been selected lives, and while we all recognize selection in others who by their gifts and callings and opportunities are manifestly set apart in the
world as its leaders, there is much difficulty for many a noble soul in conceiving of itself as one of the called. But when that thought  comes home — when one is brought to feel that the anointing oil is upon one's own brow, and that life must henceforth have meanings reaching far beyond one's self and touching the destinies of others — the mind can hold lew thouL;nis more exalting. A deep joy rises
in the soul, "a tide too full for sound or foam," a sense of having caught some of Christ's meaning when he said, " I came that ye might have life, and that ye might  have it more abundantly." Yet this exalting thought of being a selected life brings no pride, no shallow vanity to a noble soul, for
it is also a most humbling thought. With the sense of one's own destiny comes a new  conception of le broadness of life, and to know that God has anointed one for a purpose is also to realize the solemn meaning of
living and the disproportion between one's
powers and one's calling. The more sure we
are that our lives have been selected from the
mass for a purpose, the more conscious do we
become of the deficiencies in ourselves that
threaten to hinder, if not to prevent, the ful-
filment of our calling. And thus the exalt-
ing thought, which is so truly the humbling
thought, becomes also the sanctifying thought.

The man on whom is dawning the conception
of his own hfe as n "-jlcctctl hfc begins to feel
the sacrodness of living. He sees th;»t he is
not his own, that lie is chosen and ortlained
for special duty in the kingdom of God, for
special service in the world of men. And
the spirit of consecration enters into his life
— the desire to accept his destiny and to be
made worthy of it.

Why do I place all this so earnestly before
you to-day? Because I regard you as a
body of selected lives. The fact that you
are here, in the university circle, in the aca-
demic brotherhood, constitutes you members
of a selected class in the world. Academic
training confers a distinction upon men, sets
them apart from the mass, specializes their
opportunity, pours upon their foreheads the
drops of a holy anointing. To claim this
distinction for college men is to claim no
more than facts will justify. Because you
are members of a great and populous univer-
sity, because you are accustomed to congre-
gate as a small army among yourselves,

because those of us who deal much with college problems are impressed with the growth
and expansion of student life in this country,
we ar^ all likely to overestimate the propor-
tion of college men in the population of the
United States. But it can be shown by most
carefully prepc. ;ed statistics how relatively
small is the student class, and how, for every
young man entering the academic circle, hun-
dreds must be denied the exalted privileges
of that noble circle, save as we who have had
those privileges, and have by means of them
become a selected class, shall know the mean-
ing of God's anointing upon ourselves, and
shall go forth as lights in the world, holding
forth the word of life, to those who have not
been called with our calling.

One difficulty stands in the way of your
realizing that you are all — every one of you
— selected lives, anointed and set apart for
special influence in the world. That difficulty
is the fact that within the university are such
marked differences not only in the capacity
of men to be leaders, but in the disposition
of men to live nobly. There must be striking diiTerences of capacity among you. Doubt-
less you have natural leaders among you :
men of brilliant personality and singular
forcefulness, who come to the front in your
counsels and achievements by a kind of natu-
ral and involuntary selection ; men who would
probably have been leaders anywhere, out of
college or in college. And there can be no
doubt that many a quieter man, many a man
less richly endowed with the fascinating gifts
of personality, is often depressed as he mea-
sures his own lesser influence against these
born leaders, judging them to be selected to
a class from which he has been left out. But
the thought I am presenting to-day is larger
than that which takes note of the scaling of
personal gifts. It is a thought that includes
every man among you in the class of selected
lives, on whom God has poured a holy anoint-
ing. Your academic life is your anointing.
You are selected because you are here, and
because of what you should be made by
being here. In every grouping of men there
will be gradings of power — some men more
evidently born for leadership than others.
Even among the twelve apostles there were
gradings of power and a few natural leaders.
Yet all were called and selected and set apart
by Christ to go out into the world and to
spread the light of his coming up and down
the world. And you, whatever the gradings
of power among you, are all called, even from
the least to the greatest, to go out into the
mass of the world from which you have been
singled and set apart, that you may be chil-
dren of God in the midst of a crooked and
perverse generation, among whom you are
seen as lights in the world, holding forth the
word of life. And the same is true in regard
to the different dispositions which may be
found among you toward living nobly. Your
capacities may differ, while yet you are all
called and selected ; so also your moral dis-
positions may differ, while yet you are all
called and selected, from the noblest to the
most ignoble. There must be earnest men
here, brave with a most exalted purpose,
conscious that God has selected and anointed
them for great ends. And there may be
men here far less earnest, devoid of the spirit
of consecration, idle, irresolute, yes, loving
darkness rather than light. Yet tJiey are
selected lives and anointed lives as much as
the others, by virtue of their being in this
academic brotherhood ; and the carelessness
of their lives is a more serious and melan-
choly perversion of good because it is the
denial of God's anointing and the misuse of
special privilege. By the rule Christ himself
laid down — " To whom much is given, of him
shall much be required " — it is more grievous
for a college man to live ignobly than for
another, for his is the greater light, his the
higher calling, his the more royal anointing.
But how came this selection, my brothers,
to be set on us? How is it we are here,
while others whom we have known are not
here and can never be here ? How were we
singled out and selected to live within this
academic circle, closed against hundreds of
our contemporaries? Ah, that is a deep
question; deep and far-reaching must be its
answer. Dotbiless many of us are here
through the consecrated self-denial of others
on our behalf. There are those who love us,
who think they see in us signs of God's se-
lecting grace, who have borne and are bear-
ing mighty burdens, that we through their
poverty might be made rich with the intel-
lectual and spiritual wealth of the academic
life. I know the fathers who are practising
heroic self-privation, some of them in remote
and ill-paid pastorates, that their sons may
enter manhood within this circle of selected
lives. I know the young sister who is hoard-
ing her scant income as a teacher, that her
younger brother may- not lack the privilege
of a European university. Doubtless many
of us are here through the mystic influence
of heredity. The strain of intellectual ten-
dency is in our blood, an ancestral heritage.
We were projected into this circle by the
momentum of an intellectual predestination,
gathering force, it may be, from colonial
times. Our selection was prenatal. We are
what we are because our fathers and their
fathers were what they were. And doubtless
many of us are here through the direct and
obvious calling of the Spirit of God. I doubt
whether Christ's selection of his apostles was
more emphatic or more individualistic than
his call and selection of some of us to come
into this circle, and live his life, and follow in
his train, and go out into our generation and
be seen in it as lights in the world, holding
forth the word of life. Can any one of us
entertain the belief that he is here because of
Christ's choosing, and not offer up his very
life to Christ in full response, saying, with
Johann SchefHer:

" O Love, who ere life's earliest dawn
On me thy choice hast gently laid ;
O Love, who here as Man wast born.
And wholly like to us wast made ;
O Love, I give myself to thee,
Thine ever, only thine, to be."

And unto what are we selected ? What is
the end and object of the distinction conferred
on men by their academic training? It is —
to speak the apostolic word with direct refer-
ence to the national and social and spiritual
questions of our own country and of our own
time — it is that we may stand in the midst of
our crooked and perverse generation, our
generation which has so many distorted ideas
and unwholesome practices, and be as lights
in the world, holding forth the word of life.
It is that we may show in ourselves and pro-
mote in others nobler citizenship, politically,
socially, spiritually. It was many years ago
that Benson, the fine-spirited Arclibishop of
Canterbury, who died so suddenly at Ha-
warden, said, in his impassioned way, to the
boys at Wellington College : '* As citizens
men despise their birthrghts." We have
been c( mpelled to witness much of thit de-
spising of the civic birthright on this side of
the sea ; much of a corrupt citizenship, sell-
ing its birthright for money, estimating the
public service by its gains. God forbid that
I should seem to imply that the line dividing
the noble from the ignoble in the ethics of
citizenship is the collegiate education; that
the citizens who honor their birthright are
not numerously found among those who never
matriculated in college. Patriotism in its
purest form may be found in every social
order of our land. But I do affirm the pe-
culiarly great opportunities given to him who
combines with a pure spirit a liberiil educa-
tion, to become a light in the world, a leader
of his countrymen toward higher and broader
conceptions of national honor and of civic
duty. The college man in politics is the
salvation of the present and the hope of the
future. Training tells. The untrained mind
may be as lofty in its intention as the mind
of a scholar. But the academic discipline
joined with the academic point of view are
indispensable for statesmanship; and what
this country chiefly needs is a race of states-
men, selected lives, trained in the university
to estimate upon the historic basis the trend
of events, nurtured in the university upon the
ideals of a fervent, white-souled patriotism,
kindled in the university with that sublime
ambition to serve the state for the state's
sake which makes citizenship a high profession and the birthright within the nation a

holy and unsullied trust. It is a great thing
to go forth as a collegian into the vast terri-
tory of philanthropic, moral, and Christian
opportunity. It is a great thing to be a col-
legian in these latter days, and to have part
in this mighty expansion of sociology as a
practical science. It is a great thing to be a
collegian and to carry the skill and fire of an
academic training into the moral movement
of our day. It is a great thing to be a colle-
gian in these times, and in the holy ministry
of Jesus to go out and preach a simple Chris-
tianity, a more fraternal and catholic church-
manship, a gospel whose spirit is first of all
and above all the missionary spirit.

Selected lives, called by the Spirit and the
providence of God into peculiar privilege
and specialized opportunity, accept your des-
tiny. It is within your grasp, to have and to
hold, or to reject and to throw away. God
puts your opportunity into your hand. If
you use it your life will be a victory ; if you
put it from you some other man will gladly
seize it and conquer where you failed.

May I not in this place speak — not into your ears only, into your very hearts — the message of  a Yale man of the class of '6i, Edward Rowland Sill?

 It is his wonderful parable of op-
portunity, a parable for each selected life to
ponder: of the coward who flung away his
sword upon a vain excuse, and of the king's
son, he on whose brow were the drops of the
royal anointing, who seized the sword the
coward flung away and with it won a splendid
triumph for the cause of truth :

" This I beheld— or dreamed it in a dream:
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain ;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, .-ad swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought : ' Had I a sword of keener steel, —
That blue blade that the king's son bears, — but this
Blunt thing! — ' he snapt and flung it from his hand.
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead.
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword.
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and, with battle-shout
Lifted afresh, he hewed his enemy down
And saved a great cause that heroic day."

" Sihcr and gold have I none; but suck as / have give J
thee." — ^cts in. 6.

THESE are very simple words. The
thought is neither original nor pro-
found, but it has always been a popular verse.
Perhaps this is because we are so often asked
to give what we cannot give, or we require
ourselves to do what we cannot do, that there
is special encouragement in being told on
high authority that we can only do what we
can and give what we have.

The incident itself is familiar. A man
lame from his birth was laid at the Beautiful
Gate of the Temple at the time of the even-
ing worship. He saw the two Galileans,
Peter and John, entering in, and he looked to
them for an alms. They fastened their eyes
i4K)ii his longing eyes, and Peter said, " Sil-
ver and gold have I none." It was .silver
and gold the man wanted, and his rising hope
fell into disappointment. But Peter fmished
his sentence, "Such as I have give I thee,"
and the man was content. The first words
are of little account, save as a natural begin
ning. The latter words hold the force of the
sentence. It was of no consequence to Peter
or to the man what the apostle had not ; the
strength was entirely on the positive side.
** What I have " is in itself a strong sentence.
Happily, that which he had was in itself of
much greater value than that which he lacked.
Silver and gold are of great worth, but they
cannot do all things. They can build a hos-
pital, but they cannot create physicians.
They can endow a college, but they cannot
make scholars. When we call the physician
to our necessity we do not care whether he
has silver and gold or not, and men have
been eminent as college professors who were
in no wise distinguished by their wealth.
Indeed, the need of silver and gold may be a
stimulus to exertion, as when the great Eng-
lish lawyer spraiig suddenly into his first
great cause and great fame, and assigned as
the reason for his remarkable effort that he
felt his children pulling at his gown and cry-
ing, " Father, give us bread." On the other
hand, the possession of wealth may lessen the
exertion. When Thomas Aquinas visited
Innocent IV., the pope displayed the great
treasures of the church and boasted, "The
time has gone by when the church must say,
' Silver and gold have I none.' " " Yes," was
the answer of the saintly doctor, " and the
time has gone by when the church can say to
a lame man, * Rise up and walk.' " The wise
man knows the use of wealth, while he keeps
himself independent of it. It was a fine as-
sertion of independence made by the English
prelate at New Zealand, when the authorities
in England warned him that if he persisted in
his course they should cut down his salary.
" You can get very good fish here in the
 bay," he said, "and I know a place in the
woods where you can dig up roots that you
can eat. ' What could be more absurd than
the attempt to control through his salary the
utterances of a man who can live on roots!

But if we are not to have silver and gold,
let us by all means have something. There
is so great variety in the wants of men that
there is great variety in the help which can
be given to them. Think how many things
might have been done for this lame man.
He could have been furnished with money;
he could have been furnished with sound feet
and ankle-bones; one who could have done
nothing more might have moved him into a
comfortable position against the wall, or have
drawn his rug over his feet, or brought him a
piece of bread or a cup of water. But the
man in his want represents the world and its
necessities, and suggests the varied opportu-
nities calling for whatever endowment of
skill or strength one may possess. Peter was
able to give to him the best gift when with
the divine power intrusted to him he Hfted
 up a man who had never stood upon his feet
and gave him strength to take up the work
of Hfe and to walk in its pleasant places.
This was Peter's grace. It may not be yours
or mine, but it is given to every one of us to
have something which the world needs and
which we can give as the manifesting of our
life. Let us make sure, by all means, that
we have something which the world needs,
and that we are usiii.^; wi; ■ we have, not
hindered by what we lack. Negative lives
are of small value. Negative acts, if there
are such things, are not worthy of men in the
serious work of life. The phrase sometimes
used of an act which we like to perform, that
" there is no harm in it," is not v/orthy of a
man. It is not what an act does not have in
it, but what an act does have in it. Lhat should
enlist our care. An act with nc hinn in it is
a purse with no money in it; It i'^ '• >^ jqual
to the needs of our daily life, while we are
easily able to have money in our purse. The
requirements of God do not stop at the nega-
tives. "Do not covet" means' T.ove." "Do
 not lie " means " Tell the truth." " Do not
steal" means "Give." For our own sake and
for the world's sake let us keep on this side of
possession and accomplishment. A colorless
life is of no honor and no use. To commend a
man for having no fault is often to reproach a
man for having no virtue. Stand for some-
thing ; have a place and be a force in the world.
They asked John the Baptist who he was.
He made little account of what he was not,
and we are not impressed by his words, ** I
am not the Christ. I am not that prophet."
It is the positive side of his declaration which
marks the man and asserts his force : " I am
the voice." The two great confessions in
the midst of the gospel are confessions upon
the positive side : " Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God." "Thou art Peter,
and on this rock will I build my church."
Stand for something. There is an expression
of great strength used by St. Paul in writing
to the Corinthian church : " Ye are members
in particular " ; not " members," not " mem-
bers in general," not " members upon the
 catalogue," but members with a definite place
and work and honor and reward — " members
in particular." I am walking with you, and
I point to a man whom we see upon the
street, and I say, " Who is that man ? " You
answer, " He is nobody in particular." " But
he is a man, is he not? " " Oh yes; he lives
here; I meet him frequently; you will find
his name in the city directory. But that is
all; he is nobody in particular." Another
day we meet another man, perhaps more
plainly dressed, more simple in his bearing,
and I repeat my question, " Who is that
man? " " That man? Why, that is the fin-
est lawyer in the town. That man was
governor of the connnonwealth. That man
is the leading professor in the college."
*' Ah, I see ; you have not told me his name,
but you have told me the man. He is what
St. Paul meant; he is somebody * in particu-
lar.' "

A positive life is the life of the highest
accomplishment and is lived in the highest
domain. There are many things that we do
 not know. There is a part of everything
that we do not know. We are all under-
graduates in the university of life. But we
know in part ; that is, in part we know. So
St. Paul teaches us. Use that part. What
we do not know is of Httle practical value
compared with the part that we do know.
If I may adapt the saying, our knowledge,
however small, is of greater account than our
ignorance, however great. We should be
very glad that it is only a part that we know.
Life would be dismal indeed if we had reached
the limit of truth upon any of its broad lines;
if there were no more great verities than we
have compassed or can soon compass ; if duty
and truth and life were all held within our
slender grasp ; if there were no more of glory
and honor and immortality than we can see
and understand and value and make our own.
It is the almost limitless extent of truth which
makes it divine, and the endless years that
are awaiting us are to be filled with the end-
less attainment of knowledge and grace and
life. St. Paul, with all his visions of eternal
 grace and life, rejoiced to confess, reveled in
the confession, that that in which he was liv-
ing passed his knowledge. So St. John, ris-
ing to his sublime conception of the character
of the saints, poured out his exultant heart in
the great confession, " Beloved, now are we
the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear
what we shall be." But while they knew in
part they used the part they knew; they
rested their own life upon it ; they gave it to
others for their learning; they breathed it
upon the world for its inspiration ; they be-
lieved in the steadily rising sun and the day
that eternally shall grow brigliterand brighter.
It is little to say that our knowledge, too, is
in part. Our knowledge of God is very far
from perfect. We believe in God, the Father
Almighty. We know the love of God. We
rejoice in his providence. But no man hath
seen God at any time, nor can see him. Yet
upon this knowledge of God which we do
possess we build a life of confidence, obedi-
ence, atfection, the strong life of a child of
God to whom there comes the continual
growth in all that is godly and divine in the
power of an endless life. We know Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Saviour. We know
that the eternal Word was made flesh and has
dwelt among us. We know that life of divine
beauty and help. We know the parables of
truth and the miracles of mercy, anci that he
loved the world and gave himself for it, the
Lamb of God, the Saviour of men, forever-
more Redeemer and Intercessor. But the
method of the incarnation we do not know.
The full secret of redemption we cannot trace.
The secret working of the Holy Ghost in the
souls of men we cannot define. Yet we open
our hearts to the Comforter; we intrust our-
selves to the Redeemer; we follow him who
is the light and the life of men. We know
in part, but the part we know is the part we
use. To use the pari we know is to know
more. Not the fondling of our doubts, but
the obedience of our verities leads up the
heights of knowledge.

Perhaps there is no better illustration of
the method of life which is here commended
than that which is given in the gospel in the
case of the man who was born bhnd. His
ignorance was very great and his knowledge
was very small. Christ came that way, and
spoke to him, and bade him go wash in the
pool of Siloam. The man heard the voice,
understood the direction, went down the hill,
and in that very act made the beginning of a
Christian life, for he had done at Christ's
word, though he had never seen Christ, what
no one else had ever done, what he had never
dreamed of doing, what no other one would
ever have asked him to do. He knew that
he was told to go and wash in Siloam, and he
went. He came back seeing, and his trouble
began. His life had been an easy one, nar-
row, dull, but free from great anxiety or large
exertion. From that time men who should
have rejoiced in the gift which came to him
gathered around him to annoy him and accuse
him, to make his new sight a burden to him ;
and even his father and mother, to whom he
might have looked for sympathy, turned upon

him the hard faces which seemed to make it
 hardly worth the while to be able to look
upon the features of a friend. The poor
man's ignorance was appalling, but shrewdly
he took hold of what he knew and worked
simply with that. "This man is a sinner,"
people said to him. They denounced, and
they would have him denounce, the stranger
who had given him his sight. To all their
reasoning he could make no answer. He
was wise in keeping himself free from what
he did not know. And finally, when they
had worried and badgered him to the last,
he cried out with the wit and shrewdness of
a man who had done much thinking, with a
poor appeal to pity in this confusion of his
new g'^t ; still clinging to the part he knew,
he cried out in this wise : "Gentlemen, have
compassion upon me. I am a poor man. I
have never had any chance. I have never
been to school. I cannot answer you. I do
not know an5'thing about these things you
are throwing at me. Whether he be a sinner
or no I know not. One thing I know : that,
whereas I was blind, now I see." On that
" pin-point of his experience " he stood, and
from it nothin<^' could move hun. Well, they
turned him out of the church. So much
they could do. l^ut they could not turn him
out of himself or away from Christ. Jesus
met him, for he heard that they had cast him
out, and he turned a compassionate look upon
the new eyes and said, " Dost thou believe
on the Son of God?" Mark the answer.
" If I knew who he was, I think I should
believe on him" — it was not that he said.
It was a forward, straight-out confession:
" Who is he. Lord, that I might believe on
him?" "Thou hast both seen him, and he
it is that speaketh with thee." And he said,
" Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.
Thus from the first moment when Jesus spoke
to him to this last moment of revelation the
man born blind stood in front of his ignorance,
took what he knew, used what he knew,
worked what he knew into his life, and be-
came the confessor, the first man to suffer for
his faith in Jesus Christ. What wonder that
one of our most brilliant, philosophic preachers should say, " When I would know just
what Christianity is in its last analysis I must
make a careful study of what passed between
Jesus and the man born blind " ?

The times that we are living in greatly
need this practical method. It is a day of
negation. Great questions of religion and of
life are under discussion. Nothing escapes
the scrutiny of the eager, restless mind of
man. Out of this time of removal the great
truths will come, and they will not sufTer
shock. Meantime it is a period of unrest,
and with many a period of increased uncer-
tainty. With the best intentions, they feel
less assured concerning many matters of faith
which they have held of great account. But
study cannot be checked, searching cannot be
repressed, and we must wait in faith and pa-
tience, in the quiet confidence that the things
which cannot and ought not to be shaken will
remain. But for »i\rselves, for our personal
life, for our influence in the world, the only
manly rule is that which is suggested to us
here by the blind man and by the apostle —
to use what we have, and in the faithful
employment of what we know to gain the
steady accession of knowledge, the constant
increase of its truth and pov^er. If it be
necessary to write over many a page " Silver
and gold have I none," we certainly are able
to write over many another page " Such as I
have." This is the time for using what we
have, and this is the place. The life in a
university is too young to be mortgaged to
ignorance. With the face set forward, with
willing ears waiting for t^e call of duty, we
are to be assured that i a positive living
which is called for, the use of what is in hand.
It is in this way that all advance in study is
made. We go from the alphabet that we
know into the literature that stretches its
endless reach beyond us. We go from the
few figures learned in childhood to the high
reckonings which mark the courses of the
planets. Let it be so in all study : from
what we have on to the greater having. In
the use of what we have let us come to be
Christ's disciples. In the use of what we
 have let us advance to higher discipleship,
ever learning, ever teaching, steadily getting,
steadily giving. When we take account of
life let us give especial heed to that which
we have. If we find that we have not the
means by which we might do some work
which is waiting for us, the result is not to
be inactivity, but the doing some other work
with the force in our hands. If we had sil-
ver and gold we would give them, but often-
times they cannot meet the want, and often-
times they are poor gifts. Modern charity
has learned the lesson, and is striving to teach
it to us, that money is seldom the best gift to
the poor, but the help to get money, which
shall maintain self-respect, promote industry
and all the virtues. If, some day, I find I
have no silver and gold, then let me go down
to the Beautiful Gate of the Temple and work
some simple miracle. I can help some lame
man ; I can read to some blind man ; I can
comfort and strengthen ; I can bless ; and
even wanting many things which might be of
service, I can do those larger things which
Christ has told me of, saying, " The works
that I do shall ye do ; and greater works than
these." Let us not forget that this incident
at the Temple was but the picture of his life.
Silver and gold Christ had none. In not one
instance in the gospel did he give this kind
of help, but he gave men strength and com-
fort and eternal life. One thing he always
had, and he gave that. That one thing every
man has, and, whatever be his property, every
man, like Christ, can give — himself. And no
man is poor who has himself to give.

Now let us away ! Let us raise the sails.
There is not much wind. But let us set
the sails and get the anchors up on deck.
There will be a strong breeze at night, and
before morning we shall be well out to sea.


"Bill liirhtiiig upon a pLuc zcUcic huo seas met, they r
I he vessel aground."— y/cts xxvii. 41.


Who can describe a shipwreck? — fury
of waves, terror of people, howling
of winds, and roaring of waters! For four-
teen days this ship on which the Roman cen-
turion and his prisoners hatl taken passage
was driven bv the wind ; for fourteen days
there was sight neither of sun nor of stars.
Two hundred and seventy-six persons were
on board. Strength and courage were alike
exhausted. There was no cessation of the
storm. The sailors imagined that they were
drawing near to land, and, sounding, found
first a depth of twenty fathoms, then fifteen

fathoms; then, fearing lest they should be
cast on a rocky shore, they put out four
anchors from the stern. That method of
anchoring ships was not uncommon in those
times. They "wished for the day." How
much is packed into those words ! But there
was selfishness even there. The sailors, pro-
fessing to look after the anchors, lowered one
of the ship's boats and were about to try to
save themselves when they were exposed by
Paul. As day began to dawn he moved
among the people and begged them to take
food, assuring them that they should all be
saved. Not until he took the bread himself
and calmly gave thanks to God were they
willing to eat. A ship is comparatively safe
in the open sea, even if the waves are piled
into mountains ; but when land is approached
breakers make quick work of the strongest
craft. In the dawning light they saw not far
distant a bay, which they tried to reach.
Having thrown overboard the wheat with
which the ship was loaded, they cut loose the
anchors, raised the sail, and made for the
haven. Suddenly they came to a place where
two seas met. Then nothing remained but
to run the vessel aground. The soldiers had
to answer for their charge with their lives.
Therefore they advised the centurion to kill
the prisoners so that none should escape. He
would not consent ; thereupon both prisoners
and passengers threw themselves into the
waters, and all reached land.

We have seen Paul facing angry mobs;
going alone through the mountains of Asia ;
in the presence of mocking philosophers in
Corinth and Athens; before the Roman
governor and the Jewish king; but we have
never seen him in circumstances so trying as
these. During weeks of storm he was the
good angel of the ship. He cheered the
sailors, comforted the prisoners, encouraged
the centurion. When others expected to go
to the bottom he was confident that all would
be saved. Tradition represents him as of
inferior presence — possibly of limping gait,
very likely with some serious affection of his
eyes, mean, as he has himself told us, in bodily

appearance. His power was in his qualities
of spirit, and those he never more superbly
manifested than when a prisoner on his way
to the imperial city. The greatness of per-
sonality has seldom had a finer illustration
than in his conduct in the midst of the ship-
wreck.

What do we mean by personality ? It is
all that distinguishes a man from a thing.
When one is richly endowed in mind, heart,
and will he has a strong personality. When
the heart predominates over the intellect he
has a sympathetic personality. When am-
bition prevails there is a malgn personality.
The word needs little definition ; its meaning
is evident. It may be a blessing or a curse.
If it is used in the interests of love it is a
blessing; if in the interests of selfishness it is a
curse. Paul was an eager, impassioned, per-
sistent enthusiast, a man of great intellect,
inspired and fired with fervent love. His in-
fluence was the result of what he was. Per-
sonality is the sum of all the powers. Pascal,
in one of his immortal " Pensees," has finely
said : " But were the universe to crush him,
man would still be more noble than that
which kills him, because he knows that he
dies, and the universe knows nothing of the
advantage it has over him." In other words,
spirit is mightier than matter, and personality-
is always spiritual. Will can never be con-
quered by force. A child may defy a storm ;
the ocean may engulf the man whom it can-
not destroy. I have never tired reading of
the attempts of the late Professor Tyndall to
scale the Matterhorn. He would not be pre-
vented from planting his feet upon its loftiest
peak and gazing upon the frozen ocean that
broke into billo v's of snow and ice at its base.
But personality is not so impressive when
it is pitted against nature as when in a
good man, alone and undaunted, it faces
a throng who are strong and bad. The
power one man may have over a multitude
is vividly illustrated in the story of that
monk who, hearing of the gladiatorial ex-
hibitions in Rome, made his way to ihe ini-
perial city and the Colosseum ; and who,
 as the brutal sport was about to begin,
leaped from tier to tier of the crowded seats
into the arena. Standing before the gladi-
ators with drawn swords, he cried to the
spectators in a voice which rang through all
the arches: "Will you praise God by the
shedding of innocent blood ? " The spectacle
did not cease that day, and he who tried to
stop it was run through by the swords of the
gladiators, but not until he had given a death
blow to the barbarism that had long dis-
graced the so-called Christian empire.

" Ilis dream became a deed that woke the world,
For while the frantic rabble in lialf-amaze
Stared at him dead, thro' all the nol)ler hearts
In that vast Oval ran a shudder of shame.
The Baths, the Forum gabbled of his death.
And preachers linger'd o'er his dying words,
Which would not die, but echo'd on to reach
lionorius, till he heard them, and decreed
That Rome no more should wallow in this old lust
Of Paganism, and make her festal hour
Dark with the blood of man who murder'd man."

What most attracts toward higher ideals ?

The splendid utterances of orators? The

finished sentences of brilliant authors? Our

Master showed finer discernment when he sent
 his dr:4ciples into the world to do just as he had
done. He attracted others by the evident
goodness of his hfe — by the power of his per-
sonaHty. When he called, Peter and John
left their nets and followed him. By the
same methods his work is to be continued.
Influence is not measured by words, but by
character. No book was ever so well worth
studying as a noble life. Men, not books,
have lifted the world toward higher things.
Some persons are so genuine, so true, so
trustworthy, that in the hour of need they
are always sought. The greatest figure in
English history is that of Oliver Cromwell.
But Cromwell did not leap into publicity at a
bound. He was a coimtry squire, in appear-
ance uncouth, in manner without poli.sh, with
no gift of oratory ; but he could be counted
on. The times demanded "a .still, strong
man," who could " rule and dare not lie," and
he was that man. What made Abraham
Lincoln the idol of the republic and the glory
of his generation? Not his eloquence, al-
though few have spoken more eloquently;
not his achievements, although few have
achieved greater things. He is remembered
and loved for what he was. The little
girl who pleaded for her brother found the
great President's ear attentive ; the widow
with the story of her only boy found his
heart sympathetic. He never ceased to be a
man, and in that fact was his power. Culture
alone is not personality ; neither are wealth, a
beautiful presence, an honored lineage, nor
physical strength. " A Httle child shall lead
them." We bow before strength, but
that will fail; we admire intellect, but in-
tellect is not always to be trusted. Show
me one who will never deceive, who is hon-
est as the day, unselfish as love, who never
seeks his own but always another's welfare,
and I will show you a man whom all who
know will trust, before whom many hearts
will open, and into whose keeping sacred
secrets will be committed. The greatest
power in the world is personal, and per-
sonal power culminates when wisdom and
knowledge are married to goodness and
love. When we are what we ouf^ht to he the
things which wc ought to do will be evident,
and the strength to do them at hand.

If Paul was reniarkal)le neither for physi-
cal strength nor for learning, and least of all
for grace and charm of manner, then what
was the secret of his unique personality ?
He would not have been long in answering
that question. " The love of Christ con-
straineth me." \\y that he would mean,
" The secret of mv life is in the fact that the
very love which was in Christ has reached
down and taken hold of ine and made me its
glad and grateful slave." " Christ liveth in
I am crucified with Christ." The
old Saul had gone out of sight, and a new
man had come in, who was impelled by the
very forces which took Jesus to the cross.
The secret of his power, service, and endur-
ance was in " the heavenly vision." Another
element in Paul's personality was his large
and vital faith. That is not synonymous
with belief. Faith in a person is never the
same as belief in a proposition. Faith is not

the acceptance of a series of doctrines ; it is
the bond which links us with the unseen ; it is
the bridge which we throw over the abyss
between ourselves and the infinite. " I be-
lieve in God so that I trust him" is a true
description of faith.

Faith is the faculty of realizing in our
mortal life the unseen and eternal and love
is the substitution of Christ's motives and
methods for those of the world. These two
graces combined in one character go far to-
ward the making of an inspiring personality.
Those who have " endured as seeinr. Him
who is invisible," who have dared lO face a
majority in the consciousness of being right,
who have followed love even though it has
taken them to the cross, have been leaders to
whom the world has come at last. That
monument on Commonwealth Avenue in
Boston is typical. There was a time when
the most maligned man in America was Wil-
liam Lloyd Garrison. Even Boston was
ready to hang him, for no reason except that
he believed in God and loved man. He was
not great, except in his passion for humanity.
He would not sacrifice a brother to win a
world's applause. The secret of heroism is
always found in faith and love. No one is
heroic without them. Those who trust God
seldom fear man, and will not doubt that in
the end truth and righteousness will prevail.
If they go down beneath the waters it will be
with a song upon their lips. He who forgets
himself and lives for others, though he be
as humble as the Galilean, will sooner or
later inspire many with a passion for his
idc^'.

Four characteristics are always found in
those who exert an enduring and benefi-
cent influence. The first is devotion to God.
Where there is no vision of God the tendency
is ever and inevitably downward. Those
who believe in no mountain-crests will seek
to climb none. Those who have stooped
lowest in service have previously been lifted
highest by their beliefs. Those who have
been surest of God and most consecrated to
him have had the most faith in man and

done the most for his elevation. Those
who have visions of God sooner or later be-
come like him. They are not attracted by-
evil, because they have fallen in love with
the good. No one has led the race far to-
ward the heavenly heights who has not been
sure of God. All are heroic who can say,
" Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."

The highest manhood necessitates the finest
culture of mind and heart. An ignorant good
man is never so efficient as one who has ample
knowledge and has cultivated his faculties.
Goodness is sometimes allied to coarse-
ness, and culture to crime ; circumstances
often make culture impossible ; but in them-
selves knowledge and training are elements
of strength, and, other things being equal,
he who knows much and who has been care-
fully trained will do most for God and man.
All men are " loaded with bias." Some-
thing which will develop the good and make
"a balance in the faculties" is desirable.
God gives his Spirit to those who can use it
best. Some ignorant men have done great
things, and some learned men have been
fools; but no man ever accomph'shed much
because he knew Httle, and no man was ever
a fool because he was learned. Paul spent
three years in Arabia before he began to
preach. All teachers of abiding influence
have spent more time in studying than in
teachnig. Every grace of manner, every gain
of education, every charm of presence, every
refinement of expression, will be sought by
those who are anxious to achieve worthy
things for the kingdom of God.

If personality and power are synonymous,
then those habits which hinder the fullest
and most beautiful development of the spirit
should be put away. Fineness of spirit can
manifest itself only through purity of body.
All ought sometime to oflfer Tennyson's
prayer :

" oil for a man to arise in me,

That the man I am may cease to be."

Whatever dulls the intellectual faculties or
dims the spiritual perception limits influence.
Those who have found nearness to God have

59



begun by abstinence from all that pampers

the flesh. Prophets have never spent much

time in parlors. Gluttony and spirituality are

sworn enemies. Narcotics and stimulants do

not clarify spiritual sight. The pure in heart

see God. The astronomer makes ll' e that

the glass of his telescope is not soiled by a

single fleck. The reflector in the lighthouse

must be kept untarnished. If we would

know God antl thus be of some little service

in making him known to our fellow-men, we

must make sure that our thoughts are pure

and our habits clean.

But perhaps the chief factor in a beneficent

personality is loss of self in devotion to

humanity. Sooner or later others will seek

the man who never schemes for himself.

Those who exalt themselves no one else will

exalt. A physician, at the peril of his life,

allowed a tube to be inserted into his veins,

that blood might be drawn from him to save

the life of a servant. Those who will risk

their lives for the lowliest are made of heroic

stuff. For such this world is waiting. Self-

assertion is hateful ; self-sacrifice to save
one's fellow-men, sublime. The inscription
on the tomb of General Gordon in St. Paul's
Cathedral closes as follows: "Who at all
times and everywhere gave his strength to
the weak, his substance to the poor, his sym-
pathy to the suffering, and his heart to God."
No wonder that Chinamen listened to him as
if he were a messenger from another world!
No wonder that African tribes believed that
he was a superior being! All who forget
themselves in the service of God and man
help to make grand, sweet music in the midst
of the storm and shipwreck of this mortal
life.

Personality is the prerogative of no class.
The loftiest spirit may inhabit the frailest
body and the whitest soul dwell in the deep-
est poverty. All who trust God and in the
spirit of Christ serve their fellow-men enter
into the secret places of abiding power.
Devotion to the divine, the culture of every
gift and faculty, body and mind " according

well " and kept pure and clean, loss of self in

the consciousness of the privilege of serving
humanity — these are the characteristics of
that lofty and beneficent manhood so finely
designated in our time by the word "per-
sonality," and perfectly illustrated for all time
in the example of Him who came not to be
ministered unto but to minister, and who by
losing His life became the Saviour of the
world.



"I thought on my icays,
/liid tinned my fat unto thy testimonies."  Ps. cxix. cjcf.

The thinker is always an interestingly bcinir; but sometimes he is a sophist, and, although interesting, he is misleading.

And even when he is not a sophist he is fre-
quently abstract, remote, vague, and there-
fore unprofitable. Here in the text we have
a man who is a thinker and yet no sophist,
no dreamer, but one who brings the full power
of an inspired intelligence to bear upon the
most urgent and tiie most momentous issues
of life. In the evolution of this typical vital
thinker as he comes before us in the words,

" I thought on my ways,
And turned my feet unto thy testimonies."

there are four things to be noted.

I. In the first place, his words are remark-
able for the clear recognition which they con-
tain of the supreme and ultimate relation of
every human life. The last reference of our
existence is to God. The words " my ways "
and " thy testimonies " present the two terms
in the great final comparison, the two persons,
the finite and the infinite, who have to do
with each other before all and after all. As
a cathedral built in the heart of a great city
rises with the other buildings round about it,
keeps company with them a certain distance,
and then leaves them all behind, soars away
skyward, and at last, solitary and alone, looks
up into the infinite spaces, so every man lives
among men. He rests with them upon the
same political and social foundation ; he
stands with them in a wide and important
fellowship ; he rises with them a certain way,
and then he goes beyond them all, and the
last look and reference of his spirit is to the
 Ktcrnal. We drew our being from God, we
live and move and have our being in God,
;ukI at death we breathe back our life into
God's hands. The first thing in our existence
is our Maker, and when we have done with
all others we have still to do with him. For
the clear and impressive recognition of this
supreme and final relation of human life the
words of the text are indeed remarkable. In
the evolution of thought this thinker began
at the divine beginning, and let us be thank-
ful to him for that.

The words of this man are remarkable,
in the second place, for the application which
they reveal of an awakened intelligence to the
business of living. Is it not strange that in
a world where so much thinking is done, and
where so many magnificent monuments have
been erected to the triumph of human reason,
so very little thought should be given to that
which is of supreme moment — life itself?
Every locomotive that leaves the station must
have an engineer; that is, intelligence must
be in command. Every ship that clears port

must have a captain ; again, reason must rule.
In all the professions the cry is for more light,
for larger-minded men. And no one expects
success anywhere in tlie business of the world
but in proportion as he puts his mind upon
his task. Our science, our art, our philoso-
phy, our political institutions, our industry,
our history, and our entire civilization are
monuments of the greatness and triumph of
the human mind. Upon every hand we behold
the marvels achieved by thought. Every-
where it is doing wonders, except in the evo-
lution of character. Life is left to make way
for itself, to go unshielded into the field of
battle. Character, the supreme thing, is
abandoned to chance ; it is left to grow wild ;
it is given no succor, no inspiration from the
power of intelligence. And one may as rea-
sonably expect a child to play in safety upon
the confines of a jungle, with the hiss of the
snake and the irrowl of the wild beast audible
from the thicket, as for a young man to hope
to keep his honor, maintain his purity, and

hold fast his integrity in the peril of the world
without the application of Christian intelh*-
gence to the business of livinn-

And this criticism holds against men of
genius as well as against ordinary men. Like
others, they are good and bad from impulse,
and moral iudgment has had but little to dc
with the guidance of their lives. Take, for
example, the criticism that Burns passes upon
himself in his poem "A Izard's Epitaph."
How much deeper, how much more severe,
how much more to the point it is than the
censure of any other critic!

" Is therr a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs himself life's mad career

Wild as the wave?
Here pause-and, tin ough the starting tear,

Survey this grave."

" The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow

And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low

And stain'd his name."

With what unerring insight the poet reaches
to the heart of the difficulty, and with what
utter fidelity he lays it bare! The fiuicla-
mental sin in the career of liurns was the fail-
ure to put his personal life under the power
of moral intcUi^^cncc. That, I do believe, is
at the heart of the overwhelming^; maj(^rity of
the blasted hopes and the blii^htcd careers
with which every fresh i^eneralion of young
men has hitherto disappointed the world and
plunged it in tears.

And even where thought is given to life, it
is usually one-sided. There are two great
partners in the business of living : the sum of
things and the individual man; the universe
and the single person ; God and the soul.
Two questions thus arise in every earnest
mind: How does God deal with us? How
do we behave toward God ? Upon the first
question we are marvelously free, and this
may be one of the reasons for the amazing
popularity in our time of the Book of Job.
The absolute freedom of speech in which he
indulges, the bold way in which he calls the
Almighty to account, accords wonderfully
well with our prevailing mood. We complain
 of the weather, which is not our work, but
the Ahniglity's; we are vexed at our physi-
cal constitution, which is not of our doin^,
but of the divino; we are sore at heart —
whatever we may pretend to the world —
because we are so poorly endowed in intel-
lect, which cannot be laid to our account, but
must be laid at the door of our Maker; we
are ashamed over the evil dispositions with
which our nature is infested, and for which
we are in no way responsible. We call God
to account for our total inheritance and en-
vironment ; we ask for light upon the mystery
of iniquity and the mystery of pain.

All this freedom of thought is well. Let
it go on. There is a fundamental faith in the
reality of righteousness underneath it that
makes it little short of a revelation of God.
Theodicies have their necessity in the moral
reason of man and in the conditions of the
world. Sometimes they are a mere parade
of rhetoric, like Pope's " Essay on Man " ;
again, they reduce themselves to nothing by
denying the facts, like the optimism of Leib-

nitz ; still further, they are epoch-making in
their freeduin, magnificence, and failure, like
Job; and yet once more, they create new
hope, as when Milton, on his way toward a
justification of the ways of God to men, emp-
ties heaven and earth and hell in the presence
of faith. Thcodicies there have always been ;
attempts at them there always mus. be in this
world. Ikit the moment we thn w the bur-
den of human life, the world, '.he universe
upon God we conquer gro^i.id for a new ex-
pectation. God will at last construct his own
justification. And what a day that will be
when the l^^ternal appears at the bar of the
conscience that he has made and enlightened
to give an account of his purpose in the uni-
verse! That will be the great and terrible
day of the Lord. That is the final judgment
toward which the conscience of man looks for-
ward both with awe and with deathless desire.
With such a cause, for such an end, with such
a Reasoner, how ineffably solemn and grand
the scene will be! Then surely the morning

stars will renew and perfect their song, and
 all the sons of God will shout for joy as they
never yet have done.

But if the universe has its problem, we
have ours. It is our privilege to ask God to
account to the conscience that he crceites and
trains for his conduct of the world. But here
our solicitude should cease. We may rest
assured that the Infniite will give his answer,
that God will accomplish what it is his to ac-
complish. Meanwhile we have our funda-
mental question, How are we behaving
toward the Eternai ? Granted that the mys-
tery of temptation, and hard tasks, and dis-
agreeable circumstances, and positive disap-
pointments, and occasional sweeping losses is
for God to explain, is it not ours to play the
man in all, under all, and through all ? There
are two questions that may be asked about
the great Face in the Franconia Notch, the
" Old Man of the Mountain." You may ask,
How does the sky deal with the Face ? Does
it bite it with frost, does it snow it under,
does it sweep it with storms, does it tread
the great features with the feet of hurricanes,
 does it greet it out of an endless succession
of sunrises, does the l;1o\v of innumerable
sunsets, reflected from the transfigured clouds
that float before it, light up the lofty profile?
That is one question. But there is another.
How does the Face behave toward the sky ?
Is it calm ami grand and fixed and serene,
sublimely expectant, and in immortal recon-
ciliation with tlic infinite, and in blessed
peace? IIow is God dealing witli you?
What kind of blood has he poured into your
veins? Of what tissue and substance has he
made you, and what are the forino of trial
with which he has girt you? What is your
inheritance and what your environment?
How is God dealing with you ? That is one
side of the business of living. But there is
another. What is your bearing toward him ?
Are you a coward or a king, a devotee of
indulgence or a hero of righteousness, a mu-
tineer in the world or an unchangeable wit-
ness of love and hope ?

This Hebrew thinker was remarkable
 for the way in which he discovered that he
 was wrong. He began to think upon his
personal life, and he soon found that he was
not the first nor the greatest thinker in that
region. A royal succession had preceded
him. They had recorded their thoughts
upon the greatest interests of existence.
Their recorded thoughts had become the
highest wisdom, the Holy Scriptures, the
Bible of the nation to wliich this man be-
longed. To these testimonies of God he
turned, and these sustained, enlarged, and
enlightened his best reflections upon his own
life. He took his career to the highest, and
in its presence he discovered the error in
which he had been trying to live.

When a young man who is gifted as a
musician goes to perfect his education, the
nobler his nature and the more promising his
mood, the more eager he is to live in the
company of such musicians as Schubert,
Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, These great
kings in the realm of harmony are ever about
him, ever looking down upon him, and his life
is rebuked and corrected by them and inspired

at the same time. When a student of paintinjT
really wishes to excel, to discover his defect,
and to see the path to high achievement, he
goes to the great European galleries where the
masters will look down upon him from the
walls. In the presence of Rembrandt, Titian,
and Raphael he will find both the error of his
work and the way out of It. There these
masters stand, forever revising, forever cor-
recting, forever [)ointing out the defect and
forever indicating the path to true achieve-
ment. Our own Longfellow, the most com-
pletely poetical nature that we iiave yet j)ro-
duced, owed his humility and his perfection
as an artist in no small measure to the iact
that he lived with Dante. The great Floren-
tine revised and guided, rebuked and inspired
his devoted scholar. And it is beautiful to
think of Tennyson, the consummate poet and
artist of our century, dying with Shakespeare
in his hand, thus acknowledging his deep in-
debtedness to the high excellence of that
supreme poetic
Now when a man of the world wants to
 test his goo(hiess, what does he usually do?
He picks out some sliabby church-member
and compares him with liimsclf. Findin^^
himself as i^^ood as the oilier member of tlie
couiparison, — he could not well be worse, —
he couL^ratuiates himself and concludes tiiat
he is \;ood enough. And so men who want
excuses for their low lives take good men at
their worst — Peter wlien he denied his Mas-
ter, the ten when they forsook the Lord, Paul
when he lost h.is temper — and again suborn
their moral judgment. Take good mem at
their best; take the divine man Christ, and
the error will soon leap to light. There is
one hymn which we especially need to sing
these days:

" O Gdd, how infinite art thoii!
What wortlik'ss wdrnis arc \vc!"

 We need the sense of contrast between our
wretclied lives and God's perfections, between
our poor, miserable actual and the blazing
and eternal ideal. The highest wisdom of
the race, the l^ible, the highest life in history,
 the life of Christ, — hither we must come for
the evolution of a true moral judgment upon
our personal life.

Last of all, this man is remarkable for
the ease with which, finding he was wrong,
he returned to righteousness. He con-
sulted the testimonies of God and found that
he was wrong. Instantly the active power of
his nature came into play : he turned his feet
unto these same testimonies ; he grasped the
right thouglit of life ; that, right thought must
be embodied in his heart, in his speech, in his
whole existence. Show an honest man that
he is wrong ; if he sees it, and if he is an
honest man, he will turn at once. If he is
full of excuses he is a liypocrite. Take the
difference between Paul and Felix. Paul»
going like a cyclone against Christianity,
against the great cause of humanity in his
age, is met by the light from heaven. It
struck him to the ground. He was spoken
to by the Lord, and what is his cry ? " What
wilt thou have me to do?" Tlie answer is,
"Become an apostle; retrace your steps; wherever you have persecuted my cause go
and preach it." Instantly he rose up and
went, and met the sneer and the scofT and the
persecution of those wlio liad hailed his fa-
naticism with joy, who now hated him be-
cause of his adoption of the new faith. By
his immediate renunciation of a discovered
error he showed his sincerity. He could not
stand by a lie; he could not consecrate his
power to that which God had demonstrated
to his soul to be wroni^. Take now the case
of Felix. Paul preached to Felix on temper-
ance and righteousness and judgment to
come, and he trembled in his inmost soul at
the power of that preaching. What was his
response ? " Go thy way for this time ; when
I have a convenient season, I will call for
thee." He was a sneak! No other word
describes it. Tell a man he is wrong ; if he
is a man, he will right it. by the help of God.
Show a man that he is wrong, and if he be-
gins to rea.son about it, give excuses for it,
procrastinate and promise amendment by and
by, that man is morally unisound to the cen-

ter of his S(nil. When the captain of a ship
has been out at sea in a fog for a week, and
lias been going God only knows where, and
suddenly the cloud lifts and the sun streams
upon him, and he finds out that he is hun-
dreds and hundreds of miles away from his
true course, what does he do? He thanks
God for deliverance, for the great rebuke, for
the sweet discovery of the light, heads the
ship the other way, and begins to beat back
with a singing heart to his true course. And
so when you find an honest man, and show
him that he is not on the right path, that he
has departed from his true course, gratitude
leaps like a spring set free in his heart, and
there is a new song in his soul, and he begins
to beat back to ricrhteousness.
 These, then, are the four things to be laid
to heart. First of all, we must recognize
and revere our Maker. In the evolution of
the thinker, we must begin at the beginning.
We come from God, we go to God, and our
entire existence is supported by his will.
We must see hmi face to face ; we must feel
him under and over and round about and
within our life. Our bcini^ must be ever open
toward him, as tiie windows of the devout
Jew in exile were toward Jerusalem. Our
nature must become alive with his presence,
our character all shot throu^^h with his power.
Then we shall have a divinely illuminated in-
telligence to brini; to bear upon the great
business of living. Christian manhood will
issue from the creative presence of the Inter-
nal Spirit within the soul, mediated, under-
stood, interpreted, and served by the whole
power of reason. And in the companionship
of the Lord the secret sin, the hidden fault,
the entire defect and error of existence, will
lie in perpetual open revelation. Last of all,
we shall leap to the grandest prixilcge given
to man, the sublime chance for the return to
righteousness. I cannot tell you how very
great human life seems to me U) be under
this conception. I hax'e looked at the tide
going seaward, at the (Kean returning uj^on
itself, until it seemed as if it would go away
forever and come again no more. But the

moment of pause, chanpje, and return finally
arrived. I^'irst in rij)plcs, then in heavier
swells and hunger rolls, with the constant
retrograde constatitly cliccked and overcome,
with the pull of the heavens and the cry of
the shore, it tiiuiulerfd lo the flood at last.
So we retreat from wisdom, from gootlness,
from God ; and so we return when we come
to ourselves. To beat back out of the depths
and from the far distances, to come home-
ward in sj)ile of all reverse movements, to
rise to the flood at length — that is but a poor
symbol lor the march upon righteousness,
the joy of the successive gains, and the hope
of the final and overwhelming triumph in
God.

 From that timefori'i began Jesus to show unto his dis-
ciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer
many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and
be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter
took him, and began to rebuke hir-, saying, Be it far from
thee. Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and
said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an
ojfcnse unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of
God, but those that be of men." — Matt. xvi. 21-2}.

IN the religion of the Parsees there are two
supreme beings: Ormuzd, "the Good,"
creator and sustainer of all things bright and
helpful ; and Ahriman, " the Black," who pre-
sides over the regions of darkness, evokes the
malignant passions, and stands sponsor for
war and sorrow, disease and death. These two

are perpetually arrayed against each other, the


 gage of conflict being the dominion of this
world. It is like a stupendous game of chess,
in which wars and truces, the convulsions of
nature, and the ups and downs of history, are
as the moves of pawns and castles upon the
board. It is impossible to say how long the
game will continue, or what the issue will be,
inasmuch as the contestants are coeval and
coequal. Perhaps it will go on forever.

We also believe in two great powers who
contend for the sovereignty of this world, but
they are not coequal. One is infinite ; the
other — though of immense guile and resource
— is finite. And the end is to be seen from
the beginning. God is always and every-
where getting the upper hand of Satan. The
world grows constantly and cumulatively
better from century to century, from year to
year, from day to day. Every time our old
world rolls around, it rolls a little farther into
the light.

" The eternal step of progress beats
To that great anthem, calm and slow,
Which God repeats.
God works in all things ; all obey
"Here am I; Send Mel"

His first propulsion from the night.

Wake tliou aiul watch ! Tlic world is gray

With morning light!"

There never was a moment, from the be-
ginning of the eternal ages, when God did
not intend to save this world. All things
were included in his foreknowledge. Sin,
suffering, salvation, the casting down of ini-
quity, and the restitution of all things in the
fullness of time, were from eternity present
before him. In one of the boldest and most
picturesque portions of Scripture we are in-
troduced into the councils of the ineffable
Trinity. The three Persons are represented
as in earnest conference respecting the de-
liverance of our sin-stricken race. The cry
of the erring and suffering has come up into
their ears. The inquiry is heard, " Whom
shall Vv^e send, and who will go for us?"
Then the only-begotten Son offers himself:
"Here ami; send me!" He girds himself
with omnipotence, binds upon his feet the
sandals of salvation, and goes forth as a
knight-errant to vindicate and rescue the
 children of men. When next we behold him
he is a child, wrapped in swaddling-clothes
and lying in a manger. The incarnation is
the first chapter in his great undertaking, and
a necessary part of it. As Anselm says in
Ctir Dens Homo — " He must become man
in order to suffer, and he must continue to be
God in order that he may suffer enough for
all." In thus assuming our nature he laid
aside the form of his Godhood and " the glory
which he had with the Father before the
world was"; but he never lost sight of his
beneficent purpose. Me realized constantly
that he had come to redeem the world by
dying for it.

In one of the earliest pictures of the nativ-
ity he is represented as lying in the manger,
while just above him, on the wall of the sta-
ble, is the shadow of a cross. So Holman
Hunt paints him in the carpenter shop : the
day's work is over ; the weary toiler lifts his
arms in an attitude of utter weariness, and
the level rays of the setting sun cast upon the

wall yonder again the shadow of a cross.


"For This Cause Came I"



The suggestion is true: he was born under
that shadow and lived under it. He knew
that he had come to die. He knew that, in-
asmuch as the penalty had been passed upon
the race, " The soul that sinneth, it shall die,"
there could be no deliverance but by death.
Mors janua vitiC.

A company of Greeks, on one occasion,
came, saying, " We would sec Jesus." He
kept them waiting while he uttered those ap-
parently inconsequential words, " Now is my
soul troubled." Why should his soul be
troubled? Because he saw in those waiting
Greeks the vanguard of a great multitude who
were to come to him as the fruit of the tra-
vail of his soul. At that moment he felt
himself passing under the shadow of the cross
— deeper, darker than ever — to pay ransom
for these seeking ones. He shrank from the
bitterness of his approaching death, yet knew
it to be necessary for the success of his errand :
** Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I
say? Father, save vie from this hour? Nay,
but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Father^ glorify thy name ! '^ He had come
to die for sinners. It must needs be. He
knew that without his vicarious death the
guilty race was without hope. He must give
" his soul an offering for sin."

It could not be supposed, however, that
Satan, the prince of this world, would suffer
his power to slip away without a desperate
effort to retain it. He would put forth every
energy and use every means to thwart the
beneficent purpose of Christ. Thus we ac-
count for those extraordinary manifestations
of malignant energy, during the years of
Christ's ministry, known as " demoniacal pos-
session." Wherever a soul was open and
willing to be used there the adversary entered
in. The plans of Jesus must be overturned ;
he must not be permitted to ransom the
world ; he must not die for it.

Out in the wilderness, after the forty days
of fasting, the adversary met Jesus and pre-
sented to his weak and suffering soul the
great temptation. He led him to a high

place and, with a wave of the hand, directed
his thought to all the kingdoms of this
world, saying, " All these are mine. I know
thy purpose : thou art come to win this world
by dying for it. Why pay so great a price?
I know thy fear and trembling — for thou art
flesh — in view of the nails, the fever, the
dreadful exposure, the long agony. IVAjy
pay so great a price ? I am the prince of this
world. One act of homage and I will abdi-
cate ! Fall down and worship me ! " Never
before or since has there been such a tempta-
tion, so specious, so alluring. But Jesus had
covenanted to die for sinners. He knew
there was really no other way of accomplish-
ing salvation for them. He could not be
turned aside from the work which he had
volunteered to do. Wherefore he put away
the alluring suggesiion with the word, " Get
thee behind me, Satan ! I cannot be moved.
I know the necessity that is laid upon me.
I know that my way to the kingdom is only
by the cross. I am therefore resolved to
suffer and die for the deliverance of men."
The stress of this temptation was over; but

once and again it returned, as when, after a
memorable day of preaching and wonder-
working, his followers proposed to lead him
to Jerusalem and place him upon the throne
of David (John vi. 15); and he "departed
into a mountain alone."

We now come to the immediate occasion
of our context. Jesus, with his disciples, was
on his last journey to Jerusalem — that mem-
orable journey of which it is written, " He set
his face steadfastly " toward the cross. He
had been with his disciples now three years,
but had not been able to fully reveal his mis-
sion, because they were not strong enough to
bear it. A man with friends, yet friendless,
lonely in the possession of his great secret,
he had longed to give them his full confi-
dence, but dared not venture. Now, as they
journeyed southward through Caesarea Phi-
lippi, he asked them, " Who do men say that
I am?" And they answered, " Some say
John the Baptist ; some, Elias : others, Jere-
\nias, or one of the prophets." And he saith,

•' But who say ye that I am ? " Then Peter
 — brave, impulsive, glorious Peter — witnessed
his good confession: "Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God." The hour had
come ! His disciples were beginning to know
him. He would give them his full confidence.
So as they journeyed toward Jerusalem he told
them all — how he had come to redeem the
world by bearing its penalty of death ; " he
began to show them, how he must suffer
many things of the elders and chief priests
and scribes, and be killed." At that point
Peter could hold his peace no longer, but
began to rebuke him, saying, " Be it far from
thee. Lord! To suffer? To die? Nay, to
reign in Messianic splendor!" And Jesus,
turning, said unto Peter, " Get thee behind
me, Satan!" — the very words with which he
had repelled the same suggestion in the
wilderness. As he looked on his disciple
he saw not Peter, but Satan — perceived how
the adversary had for the moment taken pos-
session, as it were, of this man's brain and
conscience and lips. " Get thee behind me,
Satan ! I know thee ; I recognize thy crafty

suggestion; but I am not to be turned aside
from my purpose. Get thee behind me!
Thou art an offense unto me. Thy words
are not of divine wisdom, but of human policy.
Thou savorest not the things that be of God,
but those that be of men!"

We are now ready for our proposition,
which is this : TJic vicarious death of Jesus is
tJie vital center of tJie whole Christian system;
and any zvord ivhicJi contravenes it is in the
nature of a satanic suggestion. There is one
truth before wiiich all other truths whatsoever
dwindle into relative insignificance, to wit,
that our Lord Jesus Christ was wounded for
our transgressions and bruised for our iniqui-
ties, that by his stripes we might be healed.
The man who apprehends this by fa.th is
saved by it.

And contrariwise, any denial of this truth
is mortal heresy. The first satanic suggestion
made to man was a denial of the law, when
the tempter said to Adam, " Thou shalt not
surely die." The last satanic suggestion is a
denial of grace : " It is not necessary that
 Christ should die for thee." The first ruined
the race, and the last will destroy any man
who entertains it.

The suggestion comes in various ways, as
when it is said that the gospel is not the only
religion that saves: "If a man is sincere,
what difTerence does it make?

' For forms of faith let canting bights fight,
His faith cannot ])e wrong whose life is right.'

Here is a Confucianist bowing before his an-
cestral tablets; here is a Hi-.ihman bathing in
his sacred river; and here an African bowing
before hjs fetish. All tliese are sincere ; shall
they not be saved with us? " If so, then the
death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only-
begotten Son of the Father, was an incom-
prehensible waste of divine resource, and
there is no significance in the word that is
written : " There is none other name under
heaven given among men, whereby we must
be saved."

It is said again, that w^e are saved by the
life of the Lord Jesus Christ as an example
of holiness, leading us on to self-culture and
character-building, and his death has prac-
tically nothing to do with our entrance into
life. If that is true, then Christ did but mock
our infirmity in setting up such an ideal. He
did indeed come into the world to tell us how
men ought to live, what a true man ought to
be, what character means. That was inci-
dental to his great redei"pptive mission, lead-
ing us on fiom deliverance to righteousness.
But if ihat were all, then I say he mocked our
infirmity. For there is not an earnest man
who does not kneel down beside his bed
at night, after his most strenuous effort to
imitate Christ, and say, " Have mercy upon
me, O Lord, for I have sinned." We have
all sinned and come short of the glory of
God.

Again, it is said that Christ did not die
vicariously, under the burden of sin, taking
our place before the offended law, but
died as all martyrs die. " He came into the
world as a reformer, to overthrow the evil
condition of things, and suffered the fate of
all earnest souls. He gathered into his devoted heart the shafts of the adversary, and
fell." If that be so, what is the meaning of
the constant statement that the death of Jesus
Christ was a voluntary death? The Father
gave him, he gave himself, an offering for
sin. " 1 have power to lay down my life,
and I have power to take it again; no man
taketh my life from me." Life was his; he
made it ; he played with it as little children
play with their toys.

To deny this doctrine of the vicarious
atonement, in any of these ways or other-
wise, is to set one's self athwart the whole
trend of Scripture. For from Genesis to
Revelation there is a thoroughfare stained
with the blood that cleanseth from sin. No
sooner had man sinned than the protevangel
spoke of the " Seed of the woman " suffering
for it. The first altar, reared by the closed
gate of paradise, prophesied of the slain Lamb
of God. As the years passed the prophets de-
clared, with ever-increasing clearness and par-
ticularity, the coming sacrifice. David sang
of it in his Messianic psalms. Isaiah drew

the portrait of the agonizing Christ as if he
had gazed on the cross : " He is ... a man
of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . . .
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried
our sorrows. . . . And the Lord hath laid
on him the iniquity of us all." The same
truth was emphasized by Moses, Daniel,
Zechariah, all the prophets down to Malachi,
who, waving his torch in the twilight of
the long darkness which closed the old
economy, said, " The Sun of righteousness
shall arise with healing in his wings." Open
the Book where you will, the face of Jesus,
so marred more than any man's, yet divinely
beautiful, looks out upon you.

The rites and symbols of the Old Testa-
ment all find their fulfilment in Christ cruci-
fied. Their center was the tabernacle. Enter
it and observe how it is everywhere sprinkled
with blood. Here is blood flowincf down the
brazen altar, blood on the ewer, the golden
candlestick, the table of showbread, the altar
of incense ; blood on the floor, the ceiling, on
posts and pillars, on knops and blossoms,

everywhere. Lift the curtain and pass into
the hoHest of all — but not without blood on
your palms. Here is blood on the ark of the
covenant, blood on the mercy-seat — blood,
blood everywhere. What does it mean ?
Nothing, absolutely nothing, unless it declares
the necessity of the cross. It is an empty
dumb-show except as it points the worshiper
to Him whose vicarious death is the only
means of our salvation.

Wherefore I say the man who denies this
truth must set himself against the sum and
substance of the Scriptures. For if the aton-
ing death of Christ be taken out of that
blessed Book it is of no more value than a
last year's almanac as a solution of the great
problem of life,

Again, a denial of this doctrine involves
a downright rejection of the philosophy of
history.

The world has been growing better ever
since the cross first cast its luminous shadow
over it. Progress is a fact — a fact that must
be accounted for. Hume undertook to write

history without Christ, and found it a laby-
rinth without a clue. So did Gibbon. They
saw civilization advancing through the cen-
turies, but, rejecting Christ, they could per-
ceive no reason for it. The " logic of events "
was nothing to them. There can, indeed, be
no "philosophy of history" for a man who
refuses to see Constantine's cross in the hea-
vens, with its great prophecy, " In Jioc signo.''
It is a miraculous coincidence that the limits
of civilization on earth to-day are coexten-
sive with the charmed circle known as Chris-
tendom. ** The world before Christ," says
Luthardt, " was a world without love." The
church with the proclamation of Christ, and
him crucified, has come down through the
centuries, like Milton's angel, with the torch ;
and all along the way have sprung up institu-
tions of learning and charity and righteous-
ness. The cross is the vital power of civili-
zation. " All the light of sacred " and of
secular story as well ** gathers round its head
sublime." If the world grows better, it is because Christ died for it.
Still further, to deny the vital impor-
tance of the vicarious death of Jesus is to
contradict the universal instinct.

The doctrine of the redemptive power of
substitutionary pain is not our exclusive
property. It has, indeed, a place in all, or
nearly all, the false religions. It may be
dimly seen in the hammer of Thor; in the
wounded foot of Brahma treading on the ser-
pent; in the fable of Prometheus, bound to
the Caucasus with a vulture at his vitals,
and lamenting, " I must endure this until one
of the gods shall bear it for me." It is still
more evident in the institution of the sacri-
fice. Wherever a living thing is slain upon
the altar, it means vicarious expiation, or else
it means nothing at all.

And why should it be thought strange that
God should send his only-begotten Son to
suffer in our stead? Is not sympathy the
noblest as well as the commonest thing in
human cAperience? Men are suffering
everywhere and always for other men.
Parents are suffering for their children. The

pains which we all endure are, for the most
part, not the consequence of our own acts.
At this point of sympathy our nature reaches
its noblest and best. We esteem above all
the unselfish man v/ho voluntarily bears
the burdens of others. Should we not, then,
expect something of the same sort in our
Father? He made us in his likeness. It
would be monstrous if God did not sym-
pathize with his children who have fallen into
trouble. The cross is the very highest ex-
pression of sympathy in the universe. The
atonement is what we should expect. It is
just like God.

And it is God's exact response to the uni-
versal need. It fits our circumstances. As
Coleridge said, " The gospel finds me." It
answers the deepest longing of earnest souls.
Dr. Chamberlain relates that among those
converted by his preaching at the sacred city
of Benares was a devotee who had dragged
himself many miles upon his knees and elbows
to bathe in the Ganges. He had at the bot-
tom of his heart the common conviction of
sin and desire of cleansing. ** If I can but
reach the Ganges," he thought, " this shame
and bondage and fear will be taken away."
Weak and emaciated from his long pilgrim-
age, he dragged himself down to the river's
edge and, praying to Gunga, crept into it;
then withdrawing, he lay upon the river's
bank and moaned, " The pain is still here ! "
At that moment he heard a voice from the
shadow of a banyan-tree near by. It was the
missionary telling the story of the cross. The
devotee listened, drank it in, rose to his knees,
then to his feet; then, unable to restrain him-
self, he clapped his hands and cried, " That's
what I want! That's what I want!" It is
what we all want; the whole creation has
from time immemorial groaned and travailed
for it.

And it is our only hope (spes unica). There are other
religions and other philosophies, but none
that suggests a rational plan of pardon for sin.
Spes unica. 1 remember an old crucifix, in
the public square of a Brittany village, which
no one passed without bending the knee.


Workmen on their way to the fields, little
children going to school, all bowed before
that stone figure of the Christ, which the
storms of centuries had worn almost out of
human semblance. The last night, as I was
leaving the village in the twilight, I saw an
old woman bent almost prostrate before it.
Her hands were clasped ; her uplifted face
bore the marks of suffering. I could not
know the bitterness of that poor heart, but
her eyes were turned toward the infinite
Source of help and consolation. The dear
hand upon the cross lifts every burden, heals
every wound, and saves us from the penalty,
the shame, and the bondage of sin.

And this is why we preach Christ, and him
crucified. " There is none other name under
heaven given among men, whereby we must
be saved." " He was wounded for our trans-
gressions, he was bruised for our iniquities ;
. . . and with his stripes we are healed." He
is thus made unto us wisdom and righteous-
ness and sanctification and redemption. He
is first, last, midst, and all in all.

lOO


" For the Son of man came to seek and to save that
which was lost."— Luke xix. lo,

THIS sentence, which is so familiar, and
which puts into a single phrase the
whole gospel, occurs only once in the New
Testament, in the narrative which describes
the interview of Jesus with Zacchaeus, the
publican with whom Jesus d'ned in Jericho.
In the revised version of the New Testament
the saying is omitted from the report of
Christ's words about little children where it
occurs in the received version, and we may
be glad that it is omitted there. For children
are not lost. When they are men and women
they may be lost, but as children they are
not lost. But Zacchaeus was regarded by the

lOI


 people of Jericho as lost. He was a despised
man. There was no salvation for him.
Yet Jesus, seeing the penitence and generosity
of the man, exclaimed, " To-day is salvation
come to this house." He may really have
been lost before he knew Jesus, but Jesus
came and saved him.

I. Who are the lost? What is it to be
lost? We suppose the lost are those who
fail of heaven, who finally are in the outer
darkness. But that is merely the end.
They will not be lost at last unless they were
lost before. Jesus spoke of those who were
lost then — people all about him, with whom
he conversed on the streets and in their
homes. Because they already were lost he
came to save them ; not merely to keep them
from being lost by and by, but to recover
them from tne lost state in which they then
were, 1j save ^hat which was lost. If it was
so then it doubtless is so now.

He took pains to explain by parables what
it is to be lost, and we :an understand best
by taking his own illust. tions :

 A lost sheep, one from a flock of a hun-
dred, gone astray in the wilderness ;

A lost coin, one out of ten pieces of silver
a woman had, which had rolled away into
some crevice ;

A lost son, one of two, who had become
dissipated and was in a far country, poor and
destitute.

These three illustrations, explaining what
it is to be lost, constitute the whole of that
pathetic, tender, hopeful fifteenth chapter of
Luke's gospel.

A lost sheep is not destroyed, has not been
killed and eaten by the wolf. Its value re-
mains. The fleece may be torn by briers,
but is still fine and heavy. It has gone
astray, has wandered farther and farther away
from home, and does not know the way back.
In the forest, among the rocks, with no fa-
miliar object, no trodden path to be seen, the
poor animal runs hither and thither, pitifully
bleating, helpless, frightened, lost. Have
you ever been lost in a forest? You have
been following a path, but it becomes narrow




and indistinct till at last it disappears alto-
gether. You do not know what direction
you should take. You wander aimlessly
about. At length you find footprints and
follow them, only to see after a while that
they are your own tracks. Daylight dies
away. In the twilight the trees seem to be
moving giants. Strange sounds startle you.
The deeper shadows fall ; the gloom is im-
penetrable. You are utterly bewildered, till
at last, exhauste'' and alarmed, you lean
against a tree or sink to the ground, knowing
that you are lost.

Jesus was thinking of those who had wrong
ideas of God, who were lost in a maze of
ceremonials and observances which did not
satisfy their need of God ; and was thinking
of those who had strayed from the path of
rectitude and purity and did not know the
way back to their true life as trusting, obedi-
ent children of God. They reminded him of
sheep lost in the wilderness. " When he saw
the multitudes, he was moved with compas-
sion for them, because they were distressed
 and scattered, as sheep not having a shep-
herd."

If one is perplexed with doubts concerning
God's lo^'e, or even his very existence, ask-
ing, as he sees the evils of the world and
suffers the disappointments and pains of his
own life, " Is there a God after all?" if one
can find no meaning in life, if he doubts or
dreads a life beyond, and wishes with a sigh
that he had a simple, unquestioning faith in
God, that one is lost — not lost beyond recov-
ery, but lost in the wilderness, not knowing
the way back, the way home. If one has not
kept his virtue, if by self-indulgence he has
made himself coarse, has forfeited his self-
respect, and feels that he has no right to as-
sociate with good men and pure women, is
full of bitter self-reproach, would give any-
thing if he had not so sinned, but does not
know how to recover himself, he is lost — not,
as he may suppose, beyond hope, but he is
wandering farther away from goodness, or in
his own old tracks, and cannot find the way
back.

A lost coin, a lost piece of silver, is in ex-
istence, represents value, but is covered with
dust on the floor, or is in some dark corner,
and so is useless. The owner has lost the
use of it. That is precisely the way in which
a great many people are lost. They are lost
to their right uses. They either are doing
nothing, sauntering through life blameless
and good-natured enough, or are living on
some low plane of selfishness to get gain and
spend it on themselves. It is said, " What a
pity that a young man of his talents, educa-
tion, property, is a mere pleasure-seeker!"
He has rolled into some narrow social crevice,
or has degraded himself to company only
with sporting men, — a piece of silver in a
dust-heap, — and is wasting -his life on trivial
interests. God has lost him, the world has
lost him, for they have no use of him. He
is lost to his right uses. In the disuse or
misuse of his powers he is lost in some dirty
corner, in which there must be diligent sweep-
ing to find him at all, to find that he still
 exists.


And a lost son, one of two — a prodigal
son. This is not so much an illustration as
an instance. The prodigal was not /ike a
lost man, he zvas a lost man. He was lost
to his father. There was no companionship,
no affection, no obedience. He might as
well not have been. It was as if he had been
dead, just as his father said when the son re-
turned : " He was dead." And he was lost
to himself, to his true self. Instead of being
what he might have been in purity, honor,
manliness, he was intemperate and licentious.
The true self, the real man, had been usurped
by the false self, the ruined man. So one
may be lost to his heavenly Father, as he
certainly is if by a selfish and dissolute life
he is lost to his earthly father. God, who
desires the trust, obedience, and affection of
his child, receives no sign, no prayer, no ser-
vice. God has lost his own child. One may
be lost to him.self even if he has not plunged
into the gross sins of sensuality and lust.
In the low life of pleasure and frivolity, with-
out high aims and noble ambitions, the mean,

narrow, selfish man has banished the true,
pure, magnanimous, gentle man. Why, here
was a boy of sweet nature, open, bright face,
quick intellect, upon whom great hopes were
placed. It was expected that he would be-
come a good man, a useful man, a respected
and honored man, a religious man. But that
boy has become a hard, contemptuous, vain,
coarse, and vicious man, and the man that
might have been is lost. He is not his true
and proper self. No wonder, when the prodi-
gal thought of what he might have been and
of what he was, and determined to go home,
it is said that he came to himself. It seems
a contradiction when it is remarked of one
that he is not himself; yet how often the
vices, follies, infatuations of men oblige us
to say just that!

So one is lost when he is wandering in
error, doubt, perplexity, like a lost sheep ;
lost when he is not put to his right uses, like
a lost coin ; lost when friendship and affection
have nothing from him, when God has noth-
ing from him, when he is lost to himself, like

io8









Christ Saving the Lost

a spendthrift who has wasted his substance in
riotous living, a lost son. If this is what it is
to be lost, then, alas! some are lost now,
long before the day of judgment.

2. The Son of man came to save that which
was lost. He would recover a man to him-
self, to his uses, and so to God. He knew
that in men, even those considered very-
wicked, there was power of recuperation,
power of recovery. So he came to bring to
them that truth, that influence, that life, that
love, on which they still could fasten, and
which could restore them to themselves, to
their uses, and to God. If only they would
believe him and would trust him and would
try, they could be saved.

There are many saviors in the world. A

good friend who will not give a man up when

he has gone astray, who throws the protection

of a generous friendship around him, saves

one who otherwise might be lost. A father,

a mother, has saved a child by letting the

child see what a true life is, by making a child

know that even if he should go astray he

109



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Christ Seeking the Lost



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would be welcomed back. The prodigal knew
his father well enough to know that, and that
was what brought him home. The world is
full of saving forces as well as of def :roying
forces. It has been said, " You may save
any one if you will love him enough." The
saviors ar? those who have the spirit of Christ,
who, knowing it or not knowing it, feel some-
what as he did toward men, never despairing
of them, ready to suffer for them and with
them.

How did Christ save men? How did he
save Zacchasus, for instance? He saved
Zacchaeus simply by telling him that he would
take dinner with him and by actually going
to his house to dine. Not a reputable man
in Jericho would have done that, would have
put himself on a social equality with that
despised and hated man who had become
rich by extorting heavy taxes from the people.
When this undersized man — a dwarf, per-
haps — saw Jesus, whose very presence and
bearing showed him noble and compassionate,
yet unswerving in righteousness and com-

IIO



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Received Him Joyfully

manding in moral authority^ and when he
heard his own name with the request for hos-
pitality, the man's heart leaped for joy ; there
was hope for him. " And he made haste,
and came down, and received him joyfully."
How much that act of gracious courtesy
meant and cost to Jesus is not overlooked in
the story. " And when they saw it, they all
murmured," — all of them, — " saying, He is
gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner."
Little cared Zacchaeus for that. For once
in his life he was well treated by one whose
regard he cared for. He was saved, — saved
to himself and to his uses, — and he at once
consecrated his wealth to the good of men.

Jesus saved men by making them under-
stand about God. " God feels toward you,"
he said, " as I feel. He loves you, cannot
bear to lose you." Some way they did
understand when they knew Jesus, as the
world has been understanding ever since, and
the doubts, the errors, the perplexities vanish,
the sins are forsaken, the life of useful service

is begun ; we know ourselves children of

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Christ Seeking the Lost

God ; we are carried home on Christ's strong
shoulders.

3. But this is not all. The Son of man
came to seek that which was lost. He did
not wait for men to make their painful way
to him, and so to perish if they should not
find him, to say nothing of those who do not
know they are lost and do not even try to
find a Saviour. He came to seek that which
was lost, to make his mighty way to them
through all obstacles and all indifference. He
was engaged in a holy, loving search for lost
souls, with an eagerness which could not fail
to find them.

When he taught and preached he was seek-
ing men. He scanned every company of
hearers, searching for the^ responsive faces,
the wistful, earnest faces, and addressed him-
self to them, as every real teacher and
preacher looks among the upturned faces
before him for those who respond to his
words. Then he would seek out privately
one and another whom he had noticed listen-
ing eagerly. In the throng around him

112






f



The Loving Search

at Jericho he saw one of the kind he sought
looking down on him out of the branches of
a shade-tree by the wayside.

But words and precepts even from the great
Teacher may fall unheeded — heard, indeed,
but not understood. He sought men by heal-
ings, by the cure of bodily ills, to get at their
souls afterward, as in the case of the blind man
whom he afterward found in the temple ; he
had been looking for him and at last found him.

He sought them in their homes, dined with
them, conversed with them one by one, tak-
ing great risks to himself, if need be, so that
he might get at them.

He sought them by his living, by showing
them the true life of purity, of courage, of sym-
pathy, so different from the hard, contempt-
uous, selfish life of their religious teachers.

He sought them by dying ; he gave up his
life because he would not be turned away from
that holy search for the lost and despised.
Even on the cross the search did not cease, for
there he found and saved the penitent thief.

Ever since, and now, Christ is seeking men,

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Christ Seeking the Lost



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is seeking us, making his way to us through
our prejudices, doubts, unbelief, and sin till
he stands before us. Sometimes one has a
thought of his true self, of what he might
have been, ought to have been. ** Oh, if I
could only live my life over again!" he says,
and says it while he is still young in years.
Thinking thus, he is ashamed of himself as he
is, yet does not know how to recover, or be-
lieves he cannot recover, that true self. You
are the very man Christ is seeking. In that
thought, that longing, that regret he has
found you, and he is saying to you, " Wouldst
thou be made whole?" If you will trust
yourself to him, venturing out on him, you
will regain what you have lost and will be a
man in Christ Jesus.

You have been living all to yourself, plan-
ning your life so as to get pleasure and gain
for your own enjoyment. You are conscious
of powers by which you can succeed in your
selfish ambitions. You think you can hold
your own in the fierce competition. But

sometimes you see that your powers can be

114



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Savod to One's Uses



used in a better way. You see a world of
need, sufTering, ignorance, which are largely
due to selfish strife. You hear the call to
service. You see that the truly great men,
the really good men, have devoted their gifts,
attainments, knowledge to the service of
others, and that such men as you are propos-
ing to yourself to be have only made the
world worse. Who of you has not had such
thoughts of a noble, useful life? Again, you
are the man Christ is seeking. In those
thoughts he has found you. He would have
you act on those convictions, would save you
thus to your right uses, to which you now
are lost in wrong and selfish uses.

Or, it does not seem real to you that there
is a God, or, if there is, that he knows you
or has anything to do with you. You seem
insignificant in this vast universe, lost in the
very greatness of the world, swept along, a
helpless atom, by its resistless, unfeeling
forces. You are like one lost in a dark, vast
forest, with no sun, no star even, to guide
you. And you are far away from God by

"5






Christ Seeking the Lost



your sins. You say you cannot pray now as
you could when you were a child. At the
beginning of a day you cannot ask God's
blessing on what you know you will do ; at
the end of a day you would be ashamed to
bring it to God. You see no path of life
which does not end in darkness or in danger.
Again, you are the man Christ is seeking.
Thank God that you think sometimes of him,
that you are not stolid, that you are not sat-
isfied to be lost in his world and a wanderer
from his ways. Jesus says, " God is not far
away, a great power regardless of you. He
is very near you. God is love. If you know
me, you know God, the heart of God. I came
right out from God to find you. See my
life, my love, my compassion, my hope for
you, and you see God, who is my Father and
your Father. You know what God would
have your life be. He would have it like
mine. Come into that life and you art back
in your Father's house. Come to yourself
and you come to God. Come unto me and

you shall find rest unto your soul."

u6



Seeking All and Seeking Each

We think that by and by, when we become
religious, God will be with us. But he is
with us now, in every desire for goodness, in
every regret for wrong, in the wish to be of
service in the world, in the desire to recover
the true self in character. If we did not have
such dcsJcs and regrets wc should be lost
indeed. If we do not act on them we shall
remain lost to ourselves, to our right uses,
and to God.

The shepherd out in the wilderness to find
one sheep out of a great flock of a hundred
shows that God seetks each one of us, no mat-
ter how many there are nor how vast the
world is ; and so of one piece of silver out of
ten. The love of the father for one son out
of only two shows how much he cares for
each of us. God does not forget you, but
seeks you in Christ to save you, if you are
only one out of a hundred or more. God in
Christ loves you and seeks you to save you
as earnestly as if he had only two sons and
you were one of those two.



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An Extraordinary Saint

By

William R. Richards, D.D.

Pastor of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, N. J.

" ^nd the Spirit of the Lord cjnw tiiightih' upon him,
and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he
had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his
mother what he had done"— Judges xiv. 6.

SAMSON — the most extraordinary char-
acter in the whole catalogue of saints.
We are puzzled to see how he deserves to
be called a saint ; yet there stands his name,
canonized in the Epistle to the Hebrews:
" Gideon, Barak, Samson " — one of the heroes
of the faith.

It is a hundred years, perhaps, since Gideon,
the great judge, broke the power of the Midi-
anites. The tribes of Israel, united for a little

by his valor, had soon fallen asunder after

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his death, once more an easy prey to any
new enemy. The most formidable of the
new enemies were the PhiHstines, a race of
strangers from nobody knows where, who
had estabhshed themselves in the lowlands to
the southwest of Canaan. A dull, heavy,
slow-witted people, but of great bodily
strength and devoted to war, they had com-
pletely subdued the southern part of Canaan,
reducing the wretched Hebrews there to such
a state of dependence that now they could
not even get a plow sharpened without
going down to some smith among the Phi-
listines.

It was a happy stroke of wit on the part
of the German student who fastened this
name " Philistine " to the townspeople round
about the university — the uncultured but
prcsperous middle classes, whom the poor
sciv liar or artist cringes to and laughs at by
tuni \ Well, such was this race which had
now humiliated poor Israel. For several
generations to come the struggle for national

existence will be against them, culminating

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at last in the glorious and triumphant career
of David.

Now it was Samson who began the resis-
tance which David brought to such grand
conclusion, and so we can understand how
for Hebrew patriots ever after the name of
Samson shared the glory of his more illustri-
ous successor. His story reads like a series
of martial songs, and perhaps that is what
much of it is — a series / riirtial songs rather
than prose record; but . ether you read it
or sing it, the story is wonderfully interesting
and may be profitable.

I say we can easily understand how the
name of this fearless champion against the
Philistines should become glorious in patri-
otic song and story. What possible religious
significance it has is not so clear. Yet the
tale is told religiously. This child had been
supernaturally promised to his parents, we
read, and no doubt in answer to prayer.
The parents were to bring him up as a Naz-
arite. In those days of disorder the He-
brews do not seem to have followed the strict



120



V



A Nazarite

rules of their law concerning things clean
and unclean, — if, indeed, those laws were yet
enacted in their later form, — but this child
must follow them ; he must be as one sepa-
rate from others in touching no unclean thing.
Beyond that, he must drink no wine nor strong
drink, and no razor must ever come upon his
head. Those were the rules of the Nazarites.
So there was something religious in him —
this quality of separateness. The length of
his hair — a curious mark of physical prowess
recently revived — was important as a chief
token of this Nazarite separateness. More-
over, he must drink no wine nor strong drink.
I do not suppose the Hebrew writer or reader
connected that rule with the dangers of intox-
ication, but we cannot fail to do so to-day,
knowing what we now know of alcohol and
its effects on the human system. Is it not
startling that this old Nazarite regulation
has slowly got itself established as a rule of
training for every modern Samson who wishes
to excel in strength? As Milton puts it
grandly in his poem :

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An Extraordinary Saint

" O madness, to think use of strongest wines
And strongest drinks our chief support of health,
When God with those forl)iddcn made choice to rear
His mighty cliampion, strong above compare,
Whose drink was only from the liquid brook."

So Samson grew up a Nazarite from birth,
and these Nazarite peculiarities made him a
sort of religious personage; but, except for
these peculiarities, he was as little like what
we call religious as anything you could well
conceive : a strong, fearless, irrepressible boy
and lad and youth, true to his Nazarite vow,
but in other things which we should deem
more important setting no bridle to his lusts,
and, above all, overflowing with a quality
which we seldom associate with the Hebrew
race ; for the amazing strength of this man is
not a more conspicuous 'trait in him than his
rollicking humor. His story is the one part
of the Bible which bubbles over with irre-
pressible fun. A big, overgrown boy, life was
one long joke to him until it was darkened
by his great disaster; and even then, the
ruling passion strong in death, he contrived
to make the last tragedy itself a kind of ap-

122



His Good Humor

palling jest, for he first got his enemies roar-
ing with laughter before he pulled down the
roof on their heads. Whether he was pro-
posing riddles at his own wedding to his
Philistine groomsmen; or, when he lost his
wager, paying it to the winners with the
spoil of some of their own friends whom he
slew for the purpose; or turning into their
fields of grain a lot of jackals with blazing
torches tied to their tails, that he might look
on from the hillside and see the manifold
devastation spreading itself among the grain
and laugh at the comical disaster; or choos-
ing a jaw-bone of an ass to slay Philistines
with, and celebrating the fight in a song, and
naming the place from that extraordinary
weapon — in all his encounters with these
heavy-witted foes Samson contrived to attain
two objects : he got his revenge on them and
he got his laugh out of them. The physical
strength and the cheerful good humor of the
youth were alike unconquerable, and it is an
interesting fact that the scholars are in some

doubt whether his name means strong or sunny.

123



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Reading the Bible with our Puritan asso-
ciations and antecedents, we have not always
appreciated this feature of the story. Our
Samson is rather the Samson Agonistes of
Milton's poem, a splendid poetic creation,
but by no means the same man with this
Samson of the Book of Judges; for John
Milton, Puritan that he was, had little time
for laughter. His hero moves on sedately in
majestic blank verse, fit captain for some
regiment of solemn-visaged Ironsides ; but
the real Samson laughed himself out of his
cradle, and through one chapter of his life
into another, and into his grave at last.

We thank God for our Puritan ancestry

and for their solemn, steadfast righteousness ;

but I thank God also that the inspired list of

saints finds room, somewhere between Enoch

and Moses and Samuel and all the prophets,

for poor Samson, the sunny and the strong.

So, then, this element of humor and fun is

not all of the devil, though the evil one may

have contrived to appropriate such large

tracts of it for his uses. There is a great

124



i*



Because Ye are Strong

deal of jesting that the apostle calls foolish
and not convenient ; those who make a mock
at sin are fools ; it is the laughter of fools
that is like the crackling of thorns under a
pot; the beatitude is for those who mourn.
Yet in spite of all this, the Bible also sets
forward this other side of the truth and tells
how God himself can fill men's souls with joy
and laughter, and that his appointed cham-
pion may be the sunny and strong.

" I write unto you, young men, because
ye are strong," says the apostle; not in spite
of your strength and all those cheerful ele-
ments of soul which compose it— not in spite
of it, but because ye are strong and sunny-
hearted. Behold this champion whose name
would cheer the Hebrews through genera-
tions of hard struggle against the t'^rrible
Philistines to final victory over them, because
God had given him such mighty strength
and such healthy and resolute and infectious
good humor. " I write unto you, young
men, because ye are strong " ; and remember
these same qualities of youthful strength and

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An Extraordinary Saint

good humor and natural, happy hopcfuhiess
ought to be serving some good purpose in
the Lord's campaign against sin, putting
heart into your sadder neighbors to fight on
the same side.

But I would not leave the impression that
this story of Samson is altogether pleasant
reading. It ought to be, but much of it is
not — quite the reverse ; it is laughable, but it
is very sad. His life-story is so nearly a fail-
ure. So far our English poet was justified in
making it the basis of a tragedy. With all
his strength he was so pitiably weak. Sam-
son had his laugh out of the Philistine men,
but their sisters avenged them on him, mak-
ing a slave and tool and fool of him. The
old writer tells his tale straight on without
stopping to moralize much, but where can
you find a sermon on the need of personal
purity like this — so magnificently strong, so
fatally and contemptibly weak ? Of the two
forms of sin which specially assail young
men, Samson may guard us from the one

by way of example, and from the other by

126



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Purity

way of warniniT. Touching no wine, he ex-
celled in strength ; but he listened to Delilah,
and there quickly followed weakness, dark-
ness, the prison-house, the grave. A giant
for muscle, but not a strong man all round.
He was a weakling beside that hero of Tenny-
son's who could say :

" My good blade carves the casques of men;
My tough lance thrustcth sure ;
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure."

But it would be a great mistake to suppose
that Samson's only fault was his susceptibility
to woman's beauty. That became a fatal
blemish in his character because of something
else that was amiss in him, or lacking in him.
His great fault was of omission more than ot
commission. The reason why he followed
after that which was evil was that he lacked
something else to follow after— something
that was good. Beyond the mere obedience
to his Nazarite vow, can you point out a
single ennobling purpose in this man's life, a
single persistent purpose of any sort, except

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An Extraordinary Saint

to get his own amusement out of life as he
went through it? lie shows a kind of patri-
otism, perhaps, but of no very exalted quality ;
for it appears that this valiant Hebrew slew
Philistines chiefly for purposes of his own,
to satisfy his own grudges. No doubt God
might use the man's exploits. afterward for
rousing Israel and encouraging her against
her foes. But Samson himself betrays no
such large purpose or expectation ; he was
avenging himself, that was all, or else amus-
ing himself.

Ah, young men, rejoice in your strength,
and laugh, if you will, when your hearts are
glad; but it is a sad thing to pass through
this world with nothing better to do than
laughing; and the more strength, the worse
for you, perhaps, if you can find no good
purpose to terve with it. You see a young
man developing physical prowess in his games,
and so long as the game lasts you are satis-
fied if he fairly wins ; but what a melancholy
failure the life seems if that young Hercules

carries out into the world that splendid phy-

128



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Want ot Purpose

siquc, hut finds nothing there to do with it,

P'^ "ort of man's work to make this world

liappier and better, nothing but to go on

amusing himself all his days, until he falls

victim to some fatal dissipation! Or even if

it be strength of mind that his studies have

developed in him, how far is that better than

strength of body if the man finds no manly

work to do with it, no deliberate campaign

for Israel against the Philistines, nothing but

to go on amusing himself with his strength

all his days? What Samson teaches us by

way of warning is that we must get something

which he had not — some steadfast, ennobling

purpose worthy of whatever strength God has

given us. That is the safeguard against

temptation. Delilah would have had little

chance at the hero if he had had something

to do. Laughter is to cheer a man in his

work, not to take the place of his work.

Games and sports are for the spare holiday,

or for evening's refreshment when day's task

is done ; the long day itself is not a game or

a joke. " They that sow in tears shall reap

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in joy. "■ So was our mouth filled with
laughter." But to let other men do all the
painful sowing while he spent his whole time
getting his idle sport cut of theirfaults and foi-
bles, like this big, playful champion of Israel,
was not the way a strong man ought to live
his life through, not good business for a saint.

Indeed, as we keep our eyes on this strange
character, the wonder continually grows how
any one ever ventured to call him a saint.
What did Samson to deserve the title?
"Through faith," says the Epistle to the
Hebrews ; but where did faith come in with
a character like *his?

That question was partly answered for us
at the outset. This man was a Nazarite.
" To touch no unclean thing, to drink no
wine or strong drink, to leave his head un-
shaven" — so far as it went this was matter
of religious principle with him, for he be-
lieved these peculiar customs to be God's will
for him. I lis obedience in that one particular
was matter of faith ; that was not a jest.
Samson laughed at almost everything else,



130



One Thread of Faith



but not at his own extraordinary head of
hair; and I fancy if any unwary Philistine
ever laughed at it in his presence, it was his
last laugh in this world.

There does not seem much piety in that
— that little patch of solemn reality in a
man's life, when all the rest was treated so
slightingly. No, it was very little; yet see
how even that little may be enough to save
the man. If a man's heart is bound to the
holy will of God by any frailest bond of will-
ing obedience, just that may be enough yet
to save the man, that is, to let God save him.
All the rest of Samson's life was somewhat
ignoble; not deliberately wicked, perhaps,
rude and undeveloped rather; a big, playful
animal, too idle to lift himself to the dignity
of moral choice, l^ut here in the matter of
his Nazarite vow was one moral principle, one
thread of religious faith binding his big brute
nature to the holy God above him ; and while
that thread holds, though the whoi. man
may seem more animal than angel, _. et there
is hope of his final salvation.

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But let Samson beware how he ever lets
that one frail thread be broken. A holier
man, like Moses, touching God on every
side, if he had chanced to be a long-haired
Nazarite and some day had lost his hair, it
might not have mattered much. But poor
Samson, losing that hair of his, will have lost
all the religion he ever had ; the Lord was
departed from him, his strength was turned
to weakness.

You will see people who do not impress
you as very godly, and yet you do believe
them loyal to some principle ; careless about
other things, they have been faithful to that.
Now I am glad to believe that any such faith-
fully cherished principle, which a man would
not betray at any cost, may be a sort of ger-
minal but genuine faith binding his soul to
God.

But what if now the man should lose even

that frail tie between his soul and heaven?

Thank God if there is any one conviction or

principle which in all the trials of life you

have always held fast, never letting it go.

13a



His Sin



Ah, but what if you should let it go now ? If
this Samson should wilfully break away from
God by cutting- off his own hair, that might
really be for him what the New Testament
calls the sin against the Holy Ghost.

You notice Samson was not guilty of that
sin, not quite. He did not wilfully break his
own vow; he did not cut off his own hair.
His fault was in trusting a fair and false
Philistine, letting her beguile his judgment
till he told her all that was in his heart.
That was fall enough for an Israelite. You
have no right to give your whole heart so
unreservedly to any Philistine, or any one
else except the holy Lord above you. And
the fault brought its swift and terrible pen-
alty. The treacherous temptress etrayed
him, of course, robbed him of his locks in his
sleep and gave him to his enemies. They
put out his eyes, and bound him with fetters
of brass, and made him grind in their prison-
house. At first view one would think the
end of this man as disastrous as if with his
own hand, with daring impiety, the Nazarite

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had shorn himself. So it often seems to us;
the heedless faults of men seem to entail as
fearful retribution as their deliberate crimes.
The boy or man or woman overmastered by
sudden temptuiion has let slip purity, honor,
truth, integrity, and the life seems as utterly
shipwrecked and darkened as if the sin had
been committed with deliberate malice.

But it was not so ; that is not the end of
the story of this man. For it reads: " How-
beit the hair of his head began to grow again
after he was shaven." I am not curious to
mark out the precise line between history
and poetic allegory in sentences so sublime as
these. The divine favor and strength were
not yet utterly forfeited for Samson ; that is
what we can understand.- Even in his blind-
ness the Spirit of God could begin to make
him strong again. Why, that old scene in
the dark Philistine prison-house glows with
light as a prophecy of Christ's salvation.
Have hope in God, you who have been be-
trayed and ruined by sin. There is hope in
God for all, however lost, who truly repent

134



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His Restoration

of their sin. For we know that God has sent
One into the world, " and anointed him to
preach dehverance to the captives, and re-
covering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty
them that are bruised." That is the gospel
of Christ : hope for the penitent, a glorious
light that was not yet shining in those savage
days of the judgt:;; but can you not see a
dim prophecy of it when you read, " Howbeit
the hair of his head began to grow again after
he was shaven " ?

And so the lords of the Philistines are
gathered to oflfer sacrifice in the temple of
their god ; and they send for their dishonored
enemy to make sport for them ; and his hands
touched the pillars of the house, and one
earnest prayer of faith rises to the God of his
strength, and he bowed himself with all his
might ; and the epitaph stands : " The dead
which he slew at his death were more than
they which he slew in his life." So he died
triumphantly at last, this Hebrew champion.
He could be counted among the victorious
believers, and his name will yet cheer his

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people to stubborn resistance and final vic-
tory over their Philistine oppressors ; for God
had regarded his penitence, the hair of his
head grew and his strength came back to him
in the prison.

Oh yes, we may have hope in God, how-
ever we may have been betrayed by the de-
ceitfulness of sin.

Yet it was a sad and tragical triumph,
after all — better than nothing; and if you
were speaking to a company of miserable old
men, who had already thrown away the
chances and hopes of a lifetime, you would
be glad to hold out to them even that sort of
meager encouragement. Better to be saved
so as by fire than to be lost altogether.

But I could not possibly satisfy myself with
the thought of any such destiny for you —
you men with the choice opportunities of life
still looking you in the face. I chose this as
a topic mainly with the purpose of urging
you not to throw away your lives as that
strong man threw away so much of his
through his idle, aimless uselessness. Oh,

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Walk in the Spirit

be sure to find some man's work to do ; pray
God to give you some man's work to do with
your strength o{ body, and your strength of
mind, and the natural, good-humored hope-
fulness of your young manhood. That is a
prayer you need not fear to ofTer in Christ's
name; it is a Christian prayer. If God will
put enough strong, positive Christian purpose
into your heart and life you will be safe from
the Philistines, I think ; but in no other way.
If you are walking in the Spirit you will not
fulfil the lusts of the flesh.



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By
Henry van Dyke, D.D.

Pastor of the Brick Churcli, New York

" Ho-w much, then, is a nmti better than a sheep!" —
Matt. xii. 12.

ON the lips of Christ these noble words
were an exclamation. He knew, as no
one else has ever known, " what was in man."
But to us who repeat them they often seem
like a question. We are so ignorant of the
deepest meaning of manhood, that we find
ourselves at the point to ask in perplexity,
How much, after all, is a man better than a
sheep ?

It is evident that the answer to this ques-
tion must depend upon our general view of
life. There are two very common ways of
looking at existence that set':le our judgment

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of the comparative value of a man and a
sheep, at once and inevitably.

Suppose, in the first place, that we take a
materialistic view of life. Looking at the
world from this standpoint, we shall see in it a
great mass of matter, curiously regulated by
laws which have results, but no purposes, and
agitated into various modes of motion by a
secret force whose origin is, and forever must
be, unknown. Life, in man as in other ani-
mals, is but one form of this force. Rising
through many subtle gradations, from the
first tremor that passes through the gastric
nerve of a jellyfish to the most delicate vibra-
tion of gray matter in the brain of a Plato or
a Shakespeare, it is really the same from the
beginning to the end — physical in its birth
among the kindred forces of heat and electri-
city, physical in its death in cold ashes and
dust. The only difference between man and
the other animals is a difTerence of degree.
The ape takes his place in our ancestral tree,
and the sheep becomes our distant cousin.
It is true that we have somewhat the ad-

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The Meaning of Manhood



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vantage of these poor relations. We belong
to the more fortunate branch of the family,
and have entered upon an inheritance con-
siderably enlarged by *-he extinction of collat-
eral branches. But, after all, it is the same
inheritance, and there is nothing in humanity
which is not derived from and destined to
our mother earth.

If, then, we accept this view of life, what
answer can we give to the question. How
much is a man better than a sheep? We
must say : He is a little better, but not much.
In some things he has the advantage. He
lives longer, and has more powers of action
and capacities of pleasure. He is more
clever, and has succeeded in making the
sheep subject to his domination. But the
balance is not all on one side. The sheep has
fewer pains as well as fewer pleasures, less
care as well ar less power. If it does not
know how to make a coat, at least it suc-
ceeds in growing its own natural wool cloth-
ing, and that without taxation. Above all,

the sheep is not troubled with any Oi" those

140



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The View of Commercialism

vain dreams of moral responsibility and future
life which are the cause of such great and
needless trouble to humanity. The flocks
that fed in the pastures of Bethlehem got just
as much physical happiness out of existence
as the shepherd David who watched them,
and, being natural agnostics, they were free
from David's delusions in regard to religion.
They could give all their attention to eating,
drinking, and sleeping, which is the chief end
of life. From the materialistic standpoint, a
man may be a little better than a sheep, but
not much.

Or suppose, in the second place, that we
take the commercial view of life, ^^e shall
then say that all things must be measured by
their money value, and that it is neither profi-
table nor necessary to inquire into their real
nature or their essential worth. Men and
sheep are worth what they will bring in the
open market, and this depends upon the sup-
ply and demand. Sheep of a very rare breed
have been sold for as much as five or six
thousand dollars. But men of common



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stock, in places where men are plenty and
cheap (as, for example, in Central Africa),
may be purchased for the price of a rusty
musket or a piece of cotton cloth. Accord-
ing^ to this principle, we must admit that the
comparative value of a man and a sheep fluc-
tuates with the market, and that there are
times when the dumb animal is much the
more valuable of the two.

This view, carried out to its logical con-
clusion, led to slavery, and put up men and
sheep at auction on tlie same block, to be dis-
posed of to the highest bidder. We have
gotten rid of the iooical conclusion. But
have wc gotten rid entirely of the premise
on which it rcstcil ? Does not the commercial
view of life still prevail' in civilized society?

There is a certain friend of mine who often
entertains me witli an account of the banquets
which he has attended. On one occasion he
told me that two great railroads and the major
part of all the sugar and oil in the United
States sat down at tiie same table with three
gold-mines and a line of steamships.

14a



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The Money Standard

" How much is that man worth? " asks the
curious inquirer. "That man," answers some
walking business directory, " is worth a million
dollars ; and the man sitting next to him is not
worth a penny." What other answer can be
given by one who judges everything by a
money standard ? If wealth is really the meas-
ure of value, if the end of life is the production
ortheacquisitionof riches, then humanity must
take its place in the sliding scale of commo-
dities. Its value is not fixed and certain. It
depends upon accidents of trade. W'c must
learn to look ui)on ourseh'cs and our fellow-
men purely from a business point of view and
to ask only: What can this man make? how
much has that man made? how nuich can I
get out of this man's labor? how much will
that man pay for my services? Those little
children that play in the squalid city streets
— they are nothing to me or to the world ;
there are too man}' of them ; they are worth-
less. Those long-fleeced, high-bred sheep
that feed upon my pastures — they are anu^ng
my most costly possessions; they will bring

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an enormous price; they are immensely valu-
able. How much is a man better than a
sheep? What a foolish question! Some-
times the man is better ; sometimes the sheep
is better. It all depends upon the supply
and demand. ^V < > r.<. i. --• .r.- , ■:, c *< -

Now these two views of life, the materi-
alistic and the commercial, alwavs have
prevailed in the world. Men have held
them consciously and unconsciously. At
this very day there are some who profess
them, and there are many who act upon
them, althouL;h they may not be willing to
acknowledge them. They have been the
parents of countless errors in philosophy and
sociology; they have bred innumerable and
loathsome vices and shames and cruelties and
oppressions in the human race. It was to
shatter and destroy these falsehoods, to
sweep them away from the mind and heart
of humanity, that Jesus Christ came into the
world. We caimot receive his gospel in any
sense, we cannot begin to understand its
scope and purpose, unless we fully, freely,

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Christ Reveals Man to Himself

and sincerely accept his great revelation of
the true meaning and value of man as man.
We say this was his revelation. Undoubt-
edly it is true that Christ came to reveal God
to man. But undoubtedly it is just as true
that he came to reveal man to himself. He
call-d himself the Son of God, but he called
himself also the Son of man. His nature
was truly divine, but his nature was no less
truly human. He became man. And what
is the meaning of that lowly birth, in the
most helpless form of infancy, if it be not to
teach us that humanity is so related to deity
that it is capable of receiving and embodying
God himself ? He died for man. And what
is the meaning of that sacrifice, if it be not to
teach us that God counts no price too great
to pay for the redemption of the human soul ?
This gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ contains the highest, grandest, most
ennobling doctrine of humanity that ever has
been proclaimed on earth. It is the only
certain cure for low and debasing views of
life. It is the only doctrine from which we

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can learn to think of ourselves and our fellow-
men as we ought to think. I ask you to
consider for a little while the teachings of
Jesus Christ in regard to what it means to be
a man.

Suppose, then, that we come to him with
this question : How much is a man better
than a sheep? He will tell us that a man is
infinitely better, because he is the child of
God, because he is capable of fellowship with
God, and because he is made for an immortal
life. And this threefold answer will shine out
for us not only in the words, but also in the
deeds, and above all in die death, of the Son
of God and the Son of man.

1. Think, first of all, of the meaning of
manhood in the light of the truth that man
is ^he offspring and likeness of God. This
was not a new doctrine first proclaimed by
Christ. It was clearly taught in the mag-
nificent imagery of the Book of Genesis.
The chief design of that great picture of
the beginnings is to show that a personal

Creator is the source and author of all things

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In the Image of God

that are made. But next to that, and of
equal importance, is the design to show
that man is incalculabl}- superior to all
the other works of Gud— that the distance
between him and the lower animals is not a
difference in degree, but a difference in kind.
Yes, the difference is so great that we must
use a new word to describe the origin of
humanity, and if we speak of the stars and
the earth, the trees and the flowers, the fishes,
the birds, and the beasts, as "the works"
of God, when man appears we must find a
nobler name and say, " This is more than
God's work; he is God's child."

Our human consciousness confirms this
testimony and answers to it. We know that
there is something in us which raises us in-
finitely above the things that we see and hear
and touch, and the creatures that appear
to spend their brief life in the automatic
workings of sense and instinct. These powers
of reason and affection and conscience, and
above all this wonderful power of free will,
the faculty of swift, sovereign, voluntary

147



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The Meaning of Maniiood

choice, belong to a higher being. We say
not to corruption, "Thou art my father," nor to
theworm," Thou art my mother" ; but to God,
"Thou art my Fatlier," and to the great Spirit,
" In thee was my Hfe born."

" Not only cunning casts in day :

Let Science prove we are, and then
What matters Science unto men,
At least to nie? I would not stay.

" Let him, the wiser man wlio springs
Hereafter, up from childhood shape
His action like the greater ape;
But I was />oni toother things."

Frail as our physical existence maybe, in some
respects the mt st frail, the most defenseless
among animals, we are yet conscious of some-
thing that lifts us up and makes us supreme.
" Man," says Pascal,- " is but a reed, the
feeblest thing in nature ; but he is a reed
that thinks. It needs not that the universe
arm itself to crush him. An exhalation, a
drop of water, suffice to destroy him. But
were the universe to crush him, man is yet
nobler than the universe ; for he knows that
he dies, and the universe, even in prevailing

against him, knows not its power."



Now the beauty and strength of Christ's
doctrine of man lie, not in the fact that he
was at pains to explain and defend and justify
this view of human nature, but in the fact that
he assumed it with an unshaken conviction of
its truth, and acted upon it always and every-
where. He spoke to man, not as the product
of nature, but as tiie child of God. He took
it for granted that we are difTerent from
plants and animals, and that we are conscious
of the difTerence. " Consider the lilies," he
says to us ; " the lilies cannot consider them-
selves : they know not what they are, nor
what their life means ; but you know, and
you can draw the lesson of their lower beauty
into your higher life. Regard the birds of the
air; they are dumb and unconscious depen-
dents upon the divine bounty, but you are
conscious objects of the divine care. Are
you not of more value than many sparrows? "
Through all his words wc feel the thrilling
power of this high doctrine of humanity.
He is always appealing to reason, to con-
science, to the power of choice between good

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The Meaning of Manhood



and evil, to the noble and godlike faculties in
man.

And now think for a moment of the fact
that his life was voluntarily, and of set pur-
pose, spent among the poorest and humblest
of mankind. Remember that he spoke, not to
philosophers and scholars, but to peasants and
fishermen and the little children of the world.
What did he mean by that? Surely it was
to teach us that this doctrine of the meaning
of manliooil applies to man as man. It
is not based upon considerations of wealth or
learning or culture or elocpience. Those are
the things of which the world takes account,
and without which it refuses to pay any at-
tention to us. A mere man, in the eyes of
the world, is a nobody. But Christ comes to
humanity in its poverty, in its ignorance,
stripped of all outward signs of power, desti-
tute of all save that which belongs in common
to mankind ; to this lowly child, this very
beggar-maid of human nature, comes the
King, and speaks to her as a princess in dis-
guise, and lifts her up and sets a crown upon

>5"



The Capacity of Fellowship

her head. I ask you if this simple fact ought
not to teach us how much a man is better
than a sheep.

2. lUit Christ reveals to us another and a
still higherelementof the meaningof manhood
by speaking to us as beings who are capable of
hokling C(MTimunion with God and reflecting
the divine holiness in our hearts and lives.
And here also his doctrine gains clearness
and force when we bring it into close connec-
tion with liis conduct. I suppose that there
are few of us who windd not be ready to ad-
mit at once that there are .'^^onie men and
women who have high sj;irilual capacities.
For them, we say, religion is a possible thing.
They can attain to the knowledge of God and
fellowship with him. They can pray, and
sing praises, and do holy v/ork. It is easy
for them to be good. They are born good.
They are saints by nature. But for the great
mass of the human race this is out of the
question, absurd, impossible. They must
dwell in ignorance, in wickedness, in impiety.

But to all this Christ says, "No!" No,

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to our theory of perfection for the few. No,
tu our theory of hopeless degradation for the
many. I le talcasts of the world, the publicans and the
harlots and sinners, and to them he speaks of
the mercy and the love of God and the beauty
of the heavenly life ; not to cast them into
black despair, not because it was impossible
for them to be good and to find God, but
because it was divinely possible. God was
waiting for them, and something in them
was waiting for God. They were lost. But
surely they never could have been lost
unless they had first of all belonged to
God, and this made it possible for them to
be found again. They were prodigals. But
surely the prodigal is also a child, and there
is a place for him in the father's house. He
may dwell among the swine, but he is not one
of them. He is capable of remembering his
father's love. He is capable of answering his
father's embrace. He is capable of dwelling in
his father's house in filial love and obedience.
That is the doctrine of Christ in regard to

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The Lost Likeness

fallen and disordered and guilty human
nature. It is fallen, it is disordered, it is
guilty ; but the capacity of reconciliation, of
holiness, of love to God, still dwells in it, and
may be quickened into a new life. That is
God's work, but God himself could not do it
if man were not capable of it.

Do you remember the story of the poi .rait
of Dante which is painted upon the walls of
the Bargello, at Florence? For many years
it was supposed that the picture had utterly
perished. Men had heard of it, but no one
living had ever seen it. But presently came
an artist who was determined to find it again.
He went into the place where tradition s id
that it had been painted. The room was used
as a storehouse for lumber and straw. The
walls were covered with dirty whitewash.
He had the heaps of rubbish carried away.
Patiently and carefully he removed the white-
wash from the wall. Lines and colors long
hidden began to appear ; and at last the grave,
lofty, noble face of the great poet looked out
again upon the world of light.

153






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The Meaning of Manhood



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" That was wonderful," you say, " that was
beautiful ! " Not half so wonderful as the work
which Christ came to do in the heart of man
— to restore the fori^otten likeness of God and
bring the divine image to the light. He comes
to "s with the knowledge that God's image is
there, though concealed ; he touches us with
the faith that the likeness can be restored.
To have upon our hearts the impress of the
divine nature, to know that there is no human
being in whom that treasure is not hidden
and from whose stained and dusty soul Christ
cannot bring out that reflection of God's face
— that, indeed, is to know the meaning of
manhood, and to be sure that a man is better
than a sheep !

3. There is yet one more element in
Christ's teaching in regard to the meaning
of manhood, and that is his doctrine of im-
mortality. This truth springs inevitably out
of his teaching in regard to the origin and
capacity of human nature. A being formed
in tlie divine image, a being capable of reflect-
ing the divine holiness, is a being so lofty

154



Iiiiinorrality Brought to Light



I



that he must have also the capacity of enter-
ing into a hfc which is spiritual and eternal,
an(i which leads onward to perfection. All
that Christ teaches about man, all that Christ
offers to do for man, ojens before him a vast
and boundless future.

This idea of immortality runs through
everythino that Jesus .says and does. Never
for a moment does he speak to man as a
creature who is bound to this present world.
Never for a moment docs he fori-et, or sufTer
us to forget, that our largest and most pre-
cious treasures may be laid up in the world to
come. He woukl arouse our souls to perceive
and contemplate the immense issues of life.

The perils that l)eset us here through sin
are not brief ,tnd momentary dangers, possi-
bilities of disgrace in the eyes of men, of
suffering such limited pnin as our bodies can
endure in the disintegrating process of dis-
ease, of dying a temporal death, which at the
worst can only cause us a few hours of an-
guish. A man might bear these things, and
take the risk of this world's shame and sickness

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The Mcimiiig ot Manhood



and death, for the sake of some darh'ng sin.
lUit the truth that flashes on us hke hghtning
from the word of Christ is that the consequence
of sin is the peril of losing our immortality.
" I'Y'ar not them which kill the body," said
he, "but are not able to kill the soul; but
rather fear him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell."

On the other hand, the opportunities that
come to us here through the grace of God are
not merely opportunities of temporal peace
and iiappiness. They arc chances of securing
endless and inmieasurable felicity, wealth liiat
can never be counted or lost, peace that the
world can neither give nor take away. We
must understand that now the kingdom of
God has come near unto us. It is a time
when the doors of heaven are open. We
may gain an inheritance incorruptible, and
undefiled, and that fadeth not away. We
may lay hold not oidy on a present joy of
holiness, but on an everlasting life with God.

It is thus that Christ looks upon the children

of men : not as herds of dumb, driven cattle,

156



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Our Need of Christ's Teaching

but as living souls moving onward to eternity.
It is thus that he dies for men: not to deliver
them from brief sorrows, but to save them
from final loss and to bring them into bliss
that knows no end. It is thus that he speaks
to us, in solemn words before which our
dreams of earthly pleasure and po\\er and
fame and wealth are dissipr,' -1 like unsub-
stantial vapors: "What shall it profit a man,
if he gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul ? Or what shall a man give in exchange
for his soul? "



There never was a time in which Chri'^t's
d(Ktrine of the meaning of manhooj was
more needed than it is to-day. There is
no truth more important and necessary for
us to take ir^o our hearts, and hold fast,
and carry out in our lives. F'or here we
stand in an age when the very throng and
pressure and superfluity of human life lead us
to set a low estimate upon its value. The air
we breathe is heavy with mate sialism and
commercialism. The lowest and most debas-

157



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ing views of human nature are freely pro-
claimed and unconsciously accepted. There
is no escape, no safety for us, save in coming
back to Christ and learnincr from him that
man is the child of God, made in the divine
image, capable of the divine fellowship, and
destined to an immortal life. 1 want to tell
you just three of the practical reasons why
we must learn this.

I. We need to learn it in order to under-
stand the real meaning, and guilt, and danger,
and hatefulness of sin.

Men are telling us nowadays that there is
no such thing as sin. It is a dream, a delu-
sion. It must be left out of account. All
the evils in the world are natural and inevi-
table. They are simply the secretions of hu-
man nature. There is no more shame or guilt
connected with them than with the malaria
of the swamp or the poison of the nightsliade.

But Christ tells us that sin is real, and that
it is the enemy, the curse, the destroyer oi
mankind. It is not a part of man as God

made him ; it is a part of man as he has un-

158



How to Hate Sin

made and dci^radcd himself. It is the marring
of the divine ima-e, the ruin of the glorious
temple, the self-mutilation and suicide of the
immortal soul. It is sin that casts man down
into the mire. It is sin that drags him from
the fellowship of God into the company of
beasts. It is sin that leads him into the far
country of famine, and leaves him among the
swine, and makes him fain to fill his belly
with the husks that the swine do eat. There-
fore we must hate sin, and fear it, and abhor
it, always and everywhere,
\\1icn we look
into our own heart and find sin there, we
must humble oursehes before God and repent
in sackcloth and ashes, Every sin that whis-
pers in our heart is an echo of the world's de-
spair and misery. Every selfish desire that
lies in our soul is a seed of that which has
brought forth strife, and cruelty, and murder,
and horrible torture, and bloody war among the
children of men. livery lustful thought that

defilesourimaginationisan image of that which
has begotten loathsome vices and crawling
shames throughout the world. My brother-

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men, God hates sin because it ruins man.
And when we know what that means, when
we feel that same poison of evil within us, we
must hate sin as he does, and bow in penitence
before him, crying, " God, be merciful to me
a sinner."

2. We need to learn Christ's doctrine of
the meaning of manhood in order to help us
to love our fellow-men.

This is a thing that is easy to profess, but
hard, bitterly hard, to do. The faults and
follies of human nature arc apparent. The
unlovely and co.itcmptible antl olTensive quali-
ties of many people thrust themselves sharply
upon our notice antl repel us. We are tempted
to shrink back, wounded and disappointed,
and to relapse into a life that is governed by
disgusts. If we dwell in the atmosphere of
a Christless world, if we read only tliose
newspapers which chronicle the crimes and
meannesses of men, or those realistic novels
which tleal with the secret vices and corrup-
tions of humanity, and fill our souls with the

unspoken conviction that virtue is an old-

i6o






How to Love Men



fashioned dream, and that there is no man
i^ood, no woman pure, I do not see how we
can help despisin^i; and hatin^ mankind.
Who shall deliver us from this spirit of
l)itterness? Wiio shall take us by the hand
and lead us out of this heavy, fetid air of the
lazar-house and the morgue?

None but Christ. If we will go with him, he

will teaeh us not to hate ourfellow- men for what
they are, but to love them for what they may
become. lie will teach us to look, not for the
evil which is manifest, but for the good which
is hidden. He will teach us not to despair,
but to hope, even for the most degraded of



mankind. And



S(



), perchance, as we ke(



company with him, we shall Irarn the secret
of that divine charity which fdls the heart
with peace and joy and quiet strength. We
shall learn to do good unto all men as we
have opportunity, not for the sake of grati-
tude or reward, but because they are the
children of our Father and the brethren of
our Saviour. We shall learn the meaning of

that blessed death on Calvarv, and be willinir

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The Meaning ot Manliooy

to give ourselves as a sacrifice for others,
knovvinthe error of his ways sliall save a soul from
ileath aiui cover a multitude of sins.

3. l^'inally, we need to accept and believe
Christ's doctrine of the meaning of manhoud
in order that it may lead us personally to God
and a higher life.

You are intuiitcly better and more precious

than the dumb beasts. You know it, you

feel it ; you are conscious that you belong to

another world. Anil yet it may be that there

are times when you forget it and live as if

there were no God, n(^ soul, no future life.

Your ambitions are fixed up(~>n the wealth that

corrodes, the fame that fades. Your desires

are toward the pleasures that pall upon the

senses. You aie bartering immortal treasure

for the things which perish in the using.

You a.e ignoring and despising the high

meaniiv': of vour manhood. Who shall re-

mind you of it. who shall bring you back to

yourself, who shall lift you up to the level of

your true being, unless it be the Teacher who

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spake as never man spak'c, the Master wlio
brought life and immortality to light?

Come, then, to Christ, who alone can save
you from the sin that defiles and destroys
your manhood. Come, then, to Christ, who
alone can make you good men and true, liv-
ing in the pov/er of an endless life. Come,
then, to Christ, that you may have fellowship
with him and realize all that it means to be
a man.



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Strength and Courage

By

Lewis O. Brastow, D.D.

Professor nf Homilctics and tlie I'astural ('liarj^c, Nalo Divinity School

" Bv strouff and of a /rood courage." — Dcul. xxxi. 0.

STRENGTH and courage are inseparable,
and the injunction to be strong is nearly
equivalent to the injunction to be courageous.
" Be strong " can only mean " Rally the
strength you have." "Be courageous"
means " Concentrate your strength against
danger or difficulty." Courage, then, is the
application of manly force in confronting
obstacles. Courage is strong-heartedness.
Etymologically it suggests that the heart is
the innermost center, " the rallying-ground,"
of the forces of moral manhood. Of one who
does not or cannot rally his resources (^f

strength we say that he is discouraged, dis-

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Rational Faith



heartened, has lost heart. We are deah'n^cr.
therefore, with a rational rather than with an
animal quality. It is a virtue in so far as it
involves a rational, .'^elf-determined effort in
confronting the contradictions of hfe. It is a
quality of character rather than a condition of
nerve or muscle. It is of this courage that I
wish to speak. It is the courage of inteili-
gence and freedom, the courage of self-deter-
mined moral purpose, the courage of moral
strength, and it has many forms. Their
ethical quality is conditioned by the influences
that produce them, or by the principles that
enter into them and the motive forces' that
dominate them. The courage inculcated by
my text would of course take the form of a
Hebrew virtue. But I wish to transfer this
injunction to the realm of Christian morality
and to speak of the more specifically Chris-
tian forms of that moral strength which in-
volves moral courage.

I. Such courage is preeminently the cou-
rage of a rational faith. In every struggle,
physical, political, moral, whatever it may be,

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a man needs good footing. It is an athlete's
first necessity to look out for his feet. The
moral athlete who makes a successful stand
against the difficulties of life must have good
standing-ground. Faith gives us footing.
Skepticism is a sapper and miner. It takes
the ground from under our feet. A man
must feel that he has something under him,
something he can trust. Difficulty brings one
to a stand, throws him back upon some re-
source. Courage is the girding of strength
for resistance. It is will rallying the dormant
or scattered forces of manhood to conflict.
The rally must be made from the basis of
something to which one is self-committed in
mental and moral confidence. One must
know that he stands on something that he
can trust. In any difficulty or danger the
mind must be in a positive attitude of confi-
dence. No man can fight difficulties in the
air. There is nothing but moral imbecility
in perpetual distrust or doubt. It is not re-
ligion alone, but morality, nor yet morality

also, but the want of life and the make of the

166



riic Vantage-ground of Faith



soul, that demands faith. An over-skeptical
habit of mind involves moral paralysis. In
any difficulty one sees as never odiervvise how
necessary it is to believe in something, to
believe in it positively and energetically and
even in spite of one's self and despite all com-
promising appearances. Faith is vantage-
ground for the battle. It is the Round Top,
the key-point of the situation for the batde
of life. A man may find a certain standing-
ground in himself. Well, God has put
strength into manhood, and he gives men
ample opportunity to test it, and a man
ought to be able to believe in himself. To
distrust one's self in a pinch is to invite defeat.
It is not safe to suspend one's self in the uncer-
tainty of self-distrust. One must trust other
men also. No one can stand alone. We are
obliged to believe in our fellow-men. A
man must also trust the wodd in which he
lives, and above all the God who is over it
and in it. In other words, the courage of
all soundest moral strength centers in faith,
in a higher power above us, and in the moral

167



i. I






Strength and Courage



i.



II



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order of the world. A surrender of faith in
God and Providence would leave the world
in the imbecility of despair. And I question
if there be not in all rational faith in personal
manhood, in fellow-men, and in the world in
which we live a certain latent or implicit con-
fidence in a higher power and in a moral
order that has a rational and moral beginning
and goal. Certain it is that when men begin
to think ethically and rationally they are
obliged to postulate the reality of God as a
basis of confidence in the ultimate victory of
life. This courage of faith in God is the old
Hebrew courage. The courage of self-confi-
derce is no Hebrew virtue. That would
be disloyalty to God. To be strong is to
be strong in God. It is the God of the
fathers, the covenant God, that is committed
to them and will see them through. And
the one great central virtue of Hebrew ethics
was faith in a covenant God.

The same stress is put upon faith in the
ethics of the Christian life. And this is no

insignificant thing as related to the moral con-

168



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Faith in Redemption

flict of life. Faith is a fundamental virtue in
the battle of life, because it is only unto faith
that we shall add a manly courage. This
conception of a Father God who would make
us his own possession, would hold us in fel-
lowship with himself, w^ould throw about us
the shield of his loving protection and carry
us victoriously through into the crown-heights
of our redemption, is ever struggling into
view in all prophetic Scriptures, and it breaks
forth in all its completeness and magnificence
in the revelation of God as the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ. It is the God of redemp-
tion that is committed to us and will see us
through the struggle of life. The greater
includes the lesser good. " H > that spared
not his own Son, but delivered him up for us
all, how shall he not also with him freely
give us all things?" is the word of lofty
cheer. Christian courage, then, is the cour-
age of faith in the calling of redemption as
the divine calling of life.

2. It is the courage of rational moral con-
viction. Conviction involves the action of

169



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Strength and Courage






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truth in the conscience. It gets lodged there
in the way of moral conquest. Moral truth
is well intrenched onlv when it is intrenched
in an intelligent conscience, and the only
valiant soldier in its army is the man who
carries it about with him in his moral con-
viction as a man carries his life and force in
the blood of his heart. The man who is
morally mastered by the truth is himself
masterful. To be thus morally vanquished
in the domain of truth and held in allegiance
to it is to be a conqueror in its service. It is
a dangerous thing for the evil of this world
when the truth gets intrenched in the moral
sense. It is not enough that it carry a man's
intelligence. Moral realities do not get very
deep root in the soil of the mind alone.
Convince and persuade a man, and he may
not remain convinced or persuaded. The
truth must get below the mind and below
emotion, that only transiently dominates th?
will. But it has won a great victory when it
gets hold of the conscience and wins men to
its intelligent service. It makes valiant men



170



The Vitality of Moral Conviction

of them. When a man invests with moral
sacredness what he holds for truth he will
maintain it against all comers and will advance
with it in the face of all opposition. Men do
not sacrifice much for nor stand by what they
hold indifferently. They stand for the truth
only when it takes vital hold of them. It is
a respectable thing to think correctly, and
indeed it is a safe thing to hold correct the-
ories, for they are likely to work themselves
out in practical life. But the quality of cor-
rectness is not enough. Living things hold
by the root, and they need good soil. Ra-
tional moral soil is the only soil that is fit for
the truth one holds with tenacity and defends
with courage. He who turns his back upon
what he professes to believe and honor, and
plays the coward, demonstrates that it has
taken but Httle hold of the vital part of him.
We in this easy-going age demonstrate that
we have lest all genuine sympathy with the
men of better days, — days of martyr spirits,
days of supremest moral grandeur, — have
lost capacity for courageous and heroic moral

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Strength and Courage



witnessing, in so far as we permit the most
vital and commanding truths and realities of
human life to become open questions and
play fast and loose in our allegiance to them.
The passive virtue of humility is indeed a
Christian virtue, but it is a humility that
should be matched by the most heroic and
aggressive boldness. We hear much in the
New Testament about boldness. That was a
brave church, that apostolic church. This
boldness took the form of free and open
utterance and of action corresponding. It
was the boldness that says it all out freely,
fully, uncompromisingly, without fear or
favor, whether men will hear or forbear, and
whatever the issue, as from God's inspiration.
To say what was in chem and to act from the
inner stress of conviction was simply to obey
God. They did not stop to balance dangers
against duties. They spoke and acted and
took the consequences, and they won a vic-
tory unmatched in human history. It was
not temporizing, it was not political trimming,
it was not partizan cowardice, that founded



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Moral Force Rules tlie World

Christianity. Nor is it that sort of moral
imbecility that shall perpetuate it. Christian
men will never be influential, they will never
be respectable, without moral strength.
Strength is what this world is looking for
and what it is sure to respect. It is moral
strength that is bound to rule this world, and
it is what the world needs to-day. There
is a loud call to-day for the pluck of old-
fashioned manly men. Before the political
Pontius Pilates of our age we need living
witnesses of Him who, in the presence of their
great prototype, witnessed his good confes-
sion : " To this end was I born, and for this
cause came I into the world, that I might
bear witne i to the truth." The world will
never be won to righteousness by surrender-
ing at discretion to its dominant spirit. The
moral conqueror of this world should not be
sacrificed to it by those who undertake to rep-
resent him. Christ does not know the man,
and will repudiate him, who sacrifices him
and his cause to his old enemy. Above the
iron doors of an " ample house " spoken of in

173



li:



Strength and Courage

Spenser's " Faerie Qiiecne " stand three in-
scriptions. Over the first the words " Be
bold." Over the second, " much fayrer than
the former, and richlier," was " Hkcwisc writ,
' Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.' "
And on the third, " Be not too bold." The
iron doorways these of a mysterious and
treacherous life, Loni^fellow in his " Mori-
turi Salutamus" has wrought these inscrip-
tions and left them as a fit battle- call to the
young men of this congregation and of the
nation :

" Write on your doors the saying wise and old,
* Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold ;
But not too bold.' Yet better the excess
Than the defect ; better the more than less ;
Better like Hector on the field to die,
Than like a perfumed Paris turn and fly."

Not too bold ; not shallow audacity ; the
sober courage of strong moral conviction —
this is Christian courage, and this is what the
world needs to-day. What a man holds to
be true and right let him hold firmly and
courageously ; let him be willing to fight for
it. We want no half-hearted, half-souled, or

174



Devotion is Moral Concenlration



double-minded religion. Away with a lack-
adaisical piety! Religion must be manly.
If it tolerate moral imbecility it will not win
respect. The man whose religion is strapped
up by moral conviction will add to it the vir-
tue of a manly courage.

3. A rational devotion also lies at the
foundation of strong and courageous charac-
ter. Devotion implies an object to be at-
tained, upon which one concentrates his
energies. There is a goal to be reached. It
lies beyond all intervening obstacle, difficulty,
or danger, and to reach it one concentrates
effort upon it. Any sort of devotion, even
the commonest, involves a rallying of one's
personal forces about a central and command-
ing purpose to reach the desired object at all
hazard and despite all difficulty. And here
is the rallying-ground of courage. In fact,
what is courage but devotion to a desired
object in the face of all obstacles ? The man
in ordinary secular life who makes all strue-
gle for the attainment of his object conditional
upon the personal ease or comfort with which

175



AiwyljaMjU M MMAiMMfa fc



r



Strength and Courage

he can do it, or who has no object at all that
he is willing to put the other side of whatever
diOiculties may arise, and has no dominant
purpose with respect to any supreme object
whatever, is a moral imhecile; he is a man
without moral life and character. A man
may be thrown back and baffled and confused
by some sudden stroke of calamity, but if he
be a man his manhood will assert itself and
he will clear away the barriers and start
again. Imbecility in the presence of difficulty
is moral cowardice. Think of a business or
professional man or a student making the
purpose of his life conditional upon getting
on without loss, or upon having an easy time
of it! He who puts his ain this side of
all difficulty and surrenders when difficulty
comes will not reach very far or very high in
this world's afTairs,

Now all concentrated and persistent ef-
fort in the work of life must rally about
this central purpose, and this purpose will
successfully meet all difficulty that lies scat-
tered along the entire life-path. Such a Hfe

176



'



BI1



The Personal Factor









must be a strong and courageous life. It
is the life of one who puts the object of
his striving far over and beyond the far-
thest mountain-peak of earthly difficulty and
who has an inclusive and commanding pur-
pose to go over, mastering every barrier till
he compass the object of his life. This
mighty purpose to reach the goal of life is a
species of devotion. When the purpose is of
supreme ethical importance it is religious de-
votion. But Christian devotiun involves
another factor, which in reality is its chief
characteristic. It is the personal factor. It
is the devotion of personal love and loyalty
to Jesus Christ. The strength and courage
of Christian devotion are more than a conse-
crated purpose to realize the ethical ends of
the Christian life. It is a purpose that cen-
ters in personal love and allegiance to Him
who is himself the source and the inspiration
and the pattern and the end of all Christian
life. He only can determine the objects for
which his disciple may live. In him alone
is the spring and the motive and t



1



gui



177



Strength and Courage



h'l



we need in reaching the object he sets before
us, and the strength of devotion will depend
on the personal relation. The aim of life can
never be reached without love for personal
beings. We know this in the experiences of
common life. The moral life of the world is
dependent on personal relations. Some
form of piety is necessary to morality. It is
preeminently true in the higher domain of
religion. The constraint of Christ's love is
the heart of Christian devotion. And what
is Christian courage but the soul's trusting
and loving self-preservation for the tasks of
life, in face of all difTiculty and obstacle and
danger, out of a sentiment and principle of
gratitude to Ilim who is of right the Lord and
Master of life ?

4. To a rational faith, conviction, and de-
votion there should be added a rational hope
as the crown and completion of a strong and
courageous Christian life. What we strive
for must be attainable in some measure and
form at least, or strength and courage fail.

If hope should fail the battle of life would

178



,



The Genesis of Hope

end. All over the field men would drop and
rise no more. The powers of manhood would
fail, and the end would be a universal wail
of despair. Nothin^r would remain but the
abyss of ruin to demonstrate that life is poi-
soned fatally at the loot, that the heart of
the universe is evil, and that existence is a
j^ngantic failure and mockery. Some frag-
ment at least of the good of life we must
reasonably hope to win. God put desire and
strength and confidence into the soul of man
for the battle of life. Desire of the good, or
what seems the good, consciousness of j)er-
sonal .strength and confidence in the universe
without or in what lies under it, one or both
—these are the elements of his equipment for
the conflict, and out of these hope is born.
You want the good as your portion; you
believe in the force God has lodged in you
with reference to its attainment; you believe
in the world in which you live ; or, better still,
as crowning and completing all and as hold-
ing the key of all mystery, you believe in the
God that made the world and set your Hfe in

179



Strength and Courage



"In



(I



its environment. Therefore you hope, and
therefore you have courage for the battle of
life. And there is always an abundant stock
of hope on hand for the world at large. All
over the world we see its conquests. The
heart of man in a struggling life is demon-
stration that good lies behind and before. It
is God's witness. That it is possible amid
Hfe's mountain barriers is intimation that good
is the law of Hfe and good its final goal. It
is the outreach of man's prophetic soul after
the good that is obscured by the shadows of
life and barred by its contradictions. It is
mightier than all obstacles, brightening above
the glare of consuming flames, buoying amid
devouring floods, singing amid the groanings
of the flesh, exalting itself in the faintings of
sorrow, strong in infirmity, triumphing in
defeat, and living in the agonies of death.
What a world it is, and what a life is this
human life ! If this small fragment of it were
the end, it sometimes seems as if no power
of last defeat could crush the energies of
this strange struggling creature, man. It is

1 80



The Song of Hope

clear enough that the world was built for
conquest by him, even material conquest.
But it was built, too, for moral conquest, and
what we need is hope for moral conquest.
To conquer the world is not to conquer the
untrained forces of the soul, nor to conquer
sin, nor to conquer death. We are conquer-
ing the material world in this nation of ours,
but materialism and animalism and sordid
selfishness are conquering us. But not all
men are conquering in the battle of material
life. The notes of discontent all about us are
bodeful. They may portend the desolation
of a coming tempest. Many give up the
struggle. What shall we do with the baffled ?
After all, is it not the larger number with
whom the world goes ill? And there is a
little joyous section of this struggling world,
weighted with the common sorrows, but joy-
ful still, that for almost nineteen centuries has
been singing the song of hope to keep the
weary brotherhood and sisterhood in heart.
The literature of hope is very rich. And it
suggests how much the song of hope is



Strength and Courage



^1' R



needed in the bafflings of life. How many a
burdened heart and bafiled hfe has sung out
the hope that has been kindled at the altar-
flame of a divine redemption unto the rally-
ing of the weary and burdened and despairing
brotherhood of the unblessed! The hope
that is earth-born is not enough. The true
goal of life is ** where beyond these voices
there is peace." We need a divine hand to
tear away the darkness of life and disclose
the crown that glitters for the conqueror
amid the glories of the perfected kingdom of
redemption. The song of the redemption
hope is a new song for earth. It is this hope
of eternal redemption that holds the soul to
its heavenly inheritance. Courage for the
moral conflict of life, courage to meet the
power of sin and of the last great enemy, is
the courage of Christian hope. The voice of
the resurrection hope has been lifted in the
darkness and suffering of earth. What Jesus
Christ has done for the strength and courage
of the world by his revelation of the hope of

eternal life and its rewards for the weary

182



The Song of the Resurrection Hope

of earth no human intelligence can well es-
timate.

Share, young men, with this conqueror of
sin and death his spoils of conquest, and share
his assurances of the ultimate completion of
that universal kingdom which is " righteous-
ness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."



! '



183



The Peril of Protracted Temptation

By

Teunis S. Hamlin, D.D.

Pastor of the Church of the Covenant, Washington, D. C.

^'Joab had turned after Adouijah, though he turned not
after Absalom.''' — / Kings ii. 28.

JOAB was David's nephew, the second of
the three sons of his sister Zeruiah. His
youngest brother, Asahel, famous for his
swiftness in running, was killed by Abner at
the battle of Gibeon. The oldest, Abishai,
a brave, fierce, revenjref'" ui^n, was always
at his uncle's side ar:- rciiUcicd him invalu-
able service. But Joab, greatest in military
prowess, as well as most statesmanlike, reached
the place of power next the king himself.
He treacherously killed Abner, partly in re-
venge for his brother's death and partly lest

he should hold under David the same post of

184



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t:\



Joab's Greatness

commander-in-chief that he had held under
Saul. The king was grieved and outraged at
this act, and compelled Joab to attend Abner's
funeral in sackcloth and with rent robe. Still,
induced, no doubt, by his preeminent fitness,
he gave him Abner's place. Joab had fairly
won this by accepting the challenge of David
to scale the rock of Jebus and thus capture
the fortress that was to become the national
capital. So far as defense and conquest arc
concerned he may be called the founder of
the kingdom. He made his headquarters in
Jerusalem and had a magnificent country
residence near by. He enjoyed almost royal
titles and honors. He was devotedly loyal
to his uncle and master. At the siege of
Rabbah he took the lower town on the river,
and then sent for the king to come and cap-
ture the fortress, lest the glory of the victory
should attach to the name of Joab. He
boldly disobeyed orders in killing the king's
rebel son, Absalom, and with equal boldness
reproved the king for his frantic grief, re-
called him to his duty to his subjects, and

185



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:u.



Tlie Teril of Protracted Temptation

constrained him to show himself in public.
This was the more unmistakably an act of
loyalty since he had brought about a recon-
ciliation between father and son after the
latter had murdered Amnon in revenge for
the outrage upon his sister Tamar. He
wickedly acquiesced in David's murderous
scheme against Uriah, but openly opposed
him in numbering the people. Superseded
by Amasa, he treacherously killed his rival
and recovered his old place. He died at last
by violence, David on his death-bed having
charged Solomon to avenge Abnerand Amasa.

Such are the chief incidents of an active,
stormy life, quite consonant with the general
tenor of the times. We are not now con-
cerned with it as biography, though it is very
fascinating biography ; nor as a miniature of
the life of the day, though in that aspect it
is most instructive. But it has a moral and
spiritual lesson of great value.

Joab was loyal to his sovereign through a
long life. He was loyal against many temp-
tations to be otherwise. From the time of

1 86



Joab's Relations to David

Abner's death David feared his impetuous,
passionate nephews ; indeed, he said at the fu-
neral, " I am this day weak, though anointed
king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah
are too hard for me."* Joab could not have
been uninfluenced by this fact; it is diffi-
cult for an inferior to retain respect for a su-
perior who he knows fears him, or whom he
regards as in any essential particular a weaker
man than himself. Moreover, he was in the
secret of his master's great crime — guilty, in-
deed, as an accessory, but not so guilty as the
principal, and so with another consciousness
of superiority which worked against his devo-
tion. And monarchy was new in Israel. The
king reigned more by virtue of his personal
power than of an established habit of obedi-
ence on the part of his people. There were
the incessant intrigues against the throne
that to this day mark all Oriental govern-
ments. A score of times Joab must have
been solicited to join the fortunes of this or
that pretender, to accept anything that he

* 2 Sam. iii. 39.
«87



J .1



'i



I'lic Peril of Protracted Temptation

chose to ask, to escape the growing ill will of
his sovereign and avenge the repeated slights
that he had suffered. Against all solicita-
tions he had stood firm year after year. But
now David is near his end — in fact, is almost
comatose. It is known that he has promised
the succession to a younger son, Solomon.
The legitimist party, who favor the oldest son,
Adonijah, determine not to wait for the king's
death, but to at once seize the throne. It is
particularly odious treason against a dying
and presumably helpless man. And it is es-
pecially pitiful to find the aged Joab engaged
in it. A few years before he had resisted the
pretensions of' the fascinating and popular
Absalom, and at the risk of his own life had
put him to death, as he deserved. But
meanwhile his moral fiber has deteriorated.
He lacks the robust virtue of other years.
Even the tho ight of his dying sovereign and
of the great things that they had passed
through toge ler cannot hold him to loyalty.
So he " turns after Adonijah, though he had

not turned aicer Absalom."

i88



Age Does Not Insure Safety

The theory is commonly held that old
men and women are safe from temptation.
We talk about character being formed, set-
tled, fixed. We speak of unassailable virtue.
We devote all our skill and energy to safe-
guarding the young, which is right ; but we
neglect to throw any protection about the
middle-aged, which is wrong. We treat our-
selves in the same fashion, assuming that,
say, after middle life we are in small peril of
going astrpy. We accordingly subject our
virtues to strains to which we would not
h'we thought of exposing them twenty or
thirty years earlier. Hence every community
is frequently shocked by acts of amazing folly,
vice, and even crime on the part of those
who were supposed to have outlived all
temptation in such directions. Hence we
have the proverb, " Count no man happy
until he is dead " — until he has passed be-
yond the possibility of throwing away by
one stupendous blunder or sin the accumu-
lated good reputation of three- or fourscore

years. We say of such a man, " He was old

189



The Peril of Protractetl Temptation



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enough to know better," which is in efTect a
confession that knowing better by no means
carries with it the strength to do better.
Hamlet regards it as the gravamen of his
mother's offense in her criminal marriage
with the king that she had passed the r/e
when she could plead the excuse of impetu-
ous passions. History, literature, our own
observation unite to demonstrate that, while
youth is imperiled by temptation, age is not
safe, and to give some countenance to the
rather harsh maxim that " there is no fool
like an old fool."

The fact is that the danger that lurks in
temptation is not a matter of age at all. Per-
sonality is of course the main thing. We are
tempted according to our heredity, our ap-
petites, our constitutional or acquired weak-
nesses, our individual proclivities toward this
or that sin. These vary at different periods
of life. Hence some temptations are strong-
est in youth, others in maturity, others in old
age. There is a sense, too, in which youth is

weaker to resist than maturity or age. The

190



Physical Perils

moral fiber, like the physical, is not yet
toughened. I'liysicians tell us that the period
of greatest peril to life, after infancy, is from
eighteen to twenty-five or thirty years. All
vital organs have developed rapidly; one
looks most robust; he will quickly take high
physical training in any direction, and, if he
endures it, gain marvelous power. But at
the same time he lacks high efficiency to re-
sist or throw off disease. Add to this such
■mprudencc as must accompany the unthink-
mg conviction that nothing can harm him ~
that he may eat and sleep an"■regularly as he pleases,-and it is not
marvelous that so many young men die in
their years of greatest promise and apparently
highest vitality. They are carried off by
d.sea.se before they luve learned their own

powers of endurance, or, knowingthem, gained
the moral courage to live well within them.
It is not an irrational solicitude, therefore
that parents feel for the health of their sons
and daughters even after they are old enouto be supposed to wisely care for themselves.

191



u



i



The Peril of Protracted Temptation

Here the moral and spiritual nature affords
a close analogy to the physical. Time
brings to the soul certain qualifications to
resist temptation that nothing else can bring,
such as an intelligent fear of doing wrong
and an accurate conception of its pernicious
consequences. Especially it brings the /ladii
of resisting the wrong and doing the right.
And it is to that settled habit more than to
anything else, except the immediate grace of
God, that we all owe our moral safety.

But if the young are thus specially exposed
at some points, they are also specially safe-
guarded at others. Their generous open-
heartedness saves them from meanness, which
is the essence of so many of the sins of later
life. They largely lack that calculating self-
ishness which, in the fierce struggle for suc-
cess in the world, lures to dishonesty and to
all the schemes of cold-blooded, relentless
ambition. In fact, they stand against temp-
tation far more nobly than could be fairly
expected. Some — indeed, too many — go
down and make early shipwreck, or lay the

19a



Joub Finally Yields

foundations of certain disaster in later years ;
but the vast majority stand and put to shame
the fears of those who believe too little both
in the essential integrity of human nature and
in the environing grace of God.

But, whatever the age, the real peril of
temptation lies in its being long continued.
It was not because Joab was old that he
turned after Adonijah, while a few years
before he had not turned after Absalom, but
because at that time the temptation of dis-
loyalty to his king had not been long enough
at work to undermine his powers of resistance.
When, however, Adonijah raised the standard
of revolt and invited Joab to join him, the
soliciting voice had spoken so many times,
and each time more alluringly, that his abil-
ity to say no had been exhausted. He threw
away reputation, honor, life itself, not because
he was a weak old man, — for he was not that, —
but because he had exposed himself through
a series of years to the temptation that he
had always hitherto been able to master, but
that now at last mastered him.

193



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I



The Peril of Protracted Temptation

Judas seems to have been a younger man
than Joab — probably had not reached middle
life ; but he was a weaker man morally.
What David's general had endured for forty
years, that Christ's disciple was not able to
endure for three. From the time that he
became treasurer of the little band we can see
avarice soliciting him. The Lord seems to
have carefully guarded him ; for instance, in
letting Peter, not Judas, pay the Temple tax.
But his power of resistance was steadily de-
creasing as the coin clinked in the bag at his
girdle. He had handled only small sums,
and when thirty pieces of silver dazzled his
fancy Jie must have them, though it meant the
betrayal of his best friend. It was just an-
other case of Joab ** turning after Adonijah,
though he had not turned after Absalom."

The fact is, dear friends, — and herein lies
the reason for the young standing so grandly
as they do, — that few are swept away by the
first attack of temptation. The fortress of
our instinctive love of the right and our care-
ful early training is not usually carried by

194



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II



Steel Gives Way at Last

assault, but by sapping and mining. Grant
conquered Lee by steady and persistent
pounding, in the spirit of the famous des-
patch, " I propose to fight it out on this line
if it takes all summer." The bravest army
ever marshaled — and none braver than Lee's
ever took the field — cannot forever stand
such dogged attacks from an enemy with
resources sufficient to keep them up indefi-
nitely. Nor can the strongest human nature
stand such attacks of temptation. No mat-
ter how confident you and I are of the qual-
ity of our moral fiber, we will act unwisely
in subjecting it to too prolonged a strain.

Indeed, this law holds throughout all
nature. We speak, for instance, of the life
of a steel rail, meaning the period during
which it can do its work. The incessant
hammering on it of locomotive and car wheels
finally changes the relation of its molecules
until their coherence is so weakened that
the strength of the metal is gone. Suddenly
there is an unaccountable railway accident.
It means only that rail or bridge or locomo-

195



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The Peril of Protracted Temptation

tive had been strained, not too hard, but too

long. They stood through Absalom's day,

but could not stand through Adonijah's.

There is in the Moyamensing prison an old

man who had worked for forty-three years in

the mint at Philadelphia. He had risen from

the humblest place to be chief weigher — from

being watched to watching others. He was

esteemed incorruptible and implicitly trusted.

He was not extravagant and had no vices.

But suddenly it was found that he was teal-

ing gold bullion. He was not selling it — was

practically deriving no benefit from it; he

was not taking gold coins, which were equally

at his disposal,, nor did he seem to want them ;

but the gold bars he could not resist. He

had handled them year after year and under

steadily decreasing danger of detection should

he steal them ; his moral fiber was insensibly

weakened, as dry-rot weakens an oak beam ;

at last it broke, and he was a thief. It was

not that he was handling more gold, or that

any stress of circumstances impelled him. It

was not that temptation was stronger, but

196



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The Strongest Body Poisoned

that he was weaker. He "turned after
Adonijah, though he had not turned after
Absalom."

Bacteriologists say that the germs of many
or most diseases exist in our bodies while we
are in good health ; but we are able to resist
them. There comes a time, however, when
such resistance is weakened by that clogging
of the system that we call a cold, and we
have pneumonia; or when our foes are rein-
forced by impure water, and we have typhoid
fever. We can withstand for a long time — a
marvelously long time — the poison of a foul
atmosphere, but the most robust constitution
will finally succumb to it. We are horrified
by stories of plagues and pestilences, as the
yellow fever, cholera, the black death. They
sweep over a country with awful devastation.
But they pass by, and, after all, do not kill
one where bad ventilation and unsanitary
drainage, with their endless persistence, kill
ten. The mighty storms that sweep the
Matterhorn throw down with awful crash only
the rocks that the constantly trickling and

197



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The Peril of Protracted Temptation

freezing rills of water have through years or
centuries insensibly crowded to the edge of
the cliff.

I feel sure, dear friends, that in determining
our moral safety or peril we give far too little
heed to this matter of protracted temptation.
I say nothing now of the duty of employers
to safeguard their employees by careful and
constant oversight, or of the many other im-
portant social bearings of the matter, but I
wish that we all might profoundly realize its
relation to ourselves. If we do realize it we
will avoid giving any temptation a long-con-
tinued chance to undermine our resistance.
The vital question is not whether we are
younger or older, but whemer the solicitation
of evil can reach us for a shorter or longer
period. No doubt we can resist once, twice,
a dozen times ; but it is not so clear that we
can resist twenty times or a hundred. One
might think that, as Joab did not turn after
the handsome, gallant, fascinating Absalom,
he was safe from ever becoming a renegade.

But no ; he turned after Adonijah. We may

198



Perfect Safety in God

be LOO proud to believe that we who have
withstood so long can ever yield, but this is
the very "pride that goeth before destruc-
tion." " I do not allow myself to look at a
bad picture," said Sir Peter Lely, the artist,
"for if I do my brush is certain to take a
hint from it." The only safe way to treat a
temptation that has begun to meet us fre-
quently is the way of this wise book : " Avoid
it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass on."
And even this counsel, good as we at once
recognize it to be, we will not heed unless we
seek divine grace. And that is ready : " God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able ; but will with
the temptation make also the way of escape,
that ye may be able to endure it." Trust
him and you shall not turn after either Ab-
salom or Adonijah.



199



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The Gospel's View of Our Life

By
Rev. Joseph H. Twichell

Pastor of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford, Conn.

"Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man,
but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised
him from the dead), and all the brethren which are with
me, unto the churches ofGalatia: Grace tojyou and peace
from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave
himself/or our sins, that he might deliver us out of this
present evil world, according to the will of our God and
Father: to whom be the glorjf for ever and ever. Amen."
— Gal. i. 7-5.

THIS salutatory benediction, with the like
of which St. Paul opens all his letters,
pulsates with feeling — feeling transparently
generated by thoughts and affections that
move in the highest plane. By reference or
by implication the characteristic truths, views,
sentiments of the Christian religion are em-
braced in it. It would make a text for ser-
mons on several subjects. But what just now

200








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Penetrated with the Sense of its Greatness



I would note in it is the sense of life and of
life's meaning to himself and to those to
whom he is speaking which the apostle reveals
in it — that general import as conveyed in the
nature of the things it touches upon and in
its tone. So taken it is as an opening by
which we may look into his mind and mark
in what lights the world and men habitually
appear to him— the common world and com-
mon men. For we are to consider that he is
addressing people who are nothing out of the
ordinary. This letter of his, when it reaches
its destination, will be read to congregations
or companies, of tradesmen, artisans, laborers,
and their families, come together on the Sab-
bath or in the evening after the day's work is
over, probably in some private house. They
are before him as he writes. It is to such
that he deems a greeting of so exalted a
strain, breathing the atmosphere of spiritual
realities, reaching in scope to eternal horizons,
not inappropriate but appropriate. Approach-
ing them in that manner, he is not above the
level, but at the level of their life as he con-



1



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; )



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201



The Gospel's View of Our Life



"I .



ceives it ; which is to say, he is affected with
an idea of their life that makes it a wonder-
fully great thing to his thought, not as their
life alone, but as human life. What we are
observing is but the expression, in one form,
of what has been fitly termed the Enthusiasm
of Humanity that distinguished him. To him
all men alike, as he contemplates them in
the situation and experience of this mortal-
ity, are the subjects of an overpowering inter-
est, sympathy, concern.

And in this he most truly represents the
Christian gospel ; for it is certainly a funda-
mental trait of it, stamped upon it by its
Author, that- to an incomparable degree it
discerns and feels the element of magnitude
in human life as such. It is pervaded by an
intense emotion, the subject of which is man
as it sees him and knows him in those earthly
conditions that are universal. Because of
that insight and knowledge it is kindled with
the desire of entering into communication
with his mind and spirit. It has somewhat
to say to him that it is immensely eager to

202






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Is Apt to Seem Overdrawn



M.



say. And so it is part of our preparation to
understand the suitableness of the gospel to
man's needs, part of our preparation to hear
it for ourselves, somehow to view life in a
way to make us share its feeling about it —
the feeling, i.e., of those features, accompani-
ments, contents of it that fill it in all circum-
stances with a profound import.

It may seem strange to say that in order to
do this, in order justly to compute the facts
of the life we are living and that is being lived
all around us, it "s necessary for us to pause
and consider. But nothing is truer than that
it is necessary ; for of the really large ingre-
dients of life — our own and that of others —
we are in a manner unconscious, or much of
the time unconscious. I mean we do not
think oi it in their lii^ht. We incline to esti-
mate life by its inferior aspects. This is
commonplace, but so it is. And when the
gospel speaks its great words to us they strike
us at first as unfitting to such an affair as life
is with us and with our fellows. They seem

pitched to too high a key.

203



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The Gospel's View of Our Life

It is not, however, the gospel alone that
beholds the scene with another eye. Take,
for example, out of many I might name, such
a book as Mr. Barrie's " Window in Thrums."
Thrums is a village of Scotch weavers whose
years are spent in task-work of the most
drudging sort ; whose dwellings, abutting on
narrow, gloomy streets, are cheerless ; whose
backs are bent with toil ; whose life-story, to
the casual observer, and to themselves prob-
ably, were they to tell it, is from youth to
age that of an unremitting struggle with
poverty. But no, that is not their story at
all ; rather, it transpires, only the merest out-
side and framework of it. For as you sit at
his window beside the writer, who has lived
there, and listen to him while he relates what,
in the exercise of his gift of penetrating sight,
he has watched going on among those people
in their homes, in their relations with one
another, in their private annals, in their
hearts, — the joys, the sorrows; the hopes,
the fears ; the loves, the enmities ; the noble-
ness, the baseness ; the moral victories, the

204



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The Main Contents of Experience \'eiled

moral defeats, — your sense of the dullness
and paltriness of their lot gives place to the
sense of its dramatic and tragic natu re. There
is material there for a Shakespeare to use,
plenty of it. Nor is there anything in the
Bible that overshoots the mark presented by
that community. And it is so everywhere,
in all communities. It is so here among you.
We are wont to speak of one's life as
though it were principally summed up in his
business, his occupation, his pursuit. But
that is only an incident of his life. Much of
his experience as may be connected with it,
more — far more — is aside from it and is an-
other story. You pass one another on the
campus, each going about his occasions ; you
exchange greetings; your acquaintance is
perhaps familiar, even intimate ; you are con-
siderably informed of one another's circum-
stances and happenings ; yet how little you
know of one another after all ! Some things,
indeed, that are among the causes of your
classmate's cheer or trouble, that touch him
deepl)^, you are aware of, and he has your
sympathy accordingly. But in his soul are
private chambers into which you do not sec
— neither you nor any one else, probably.
And so there are in yours. VVe all wear
masks behind which the multitude of the
motions of our thoughts is veiled and hidden.
And it is a happy thing that we do; for were
it otherw^-e — were all, tliat from the natural
instinct oi erve or for other reasons, we
keep to ourselves, revealed — we could hardly
go on transacting with one another as we do
and as it is necessary we should. Every once
in a while as pastor I come to the knowledge
of, for instance, some cross, heavy, bitter,
long borne in silence, unsuspected, betrayed
by no sign ; and when that occurs my view
of the life concerned is changed, sometimes
very greatly, and I .seem then to be warned
to go softly among my people, for I do not
know how many things of that kind there are
about me.

You to whom I am now speaking are a
community of students, living essentially such

a life as many thousands have lived here be-fore you, and as many thousands are con-
temporaneously living — a life cast in the mold
of the ordinary academic routine. There is
nothing specially remarkable in it, you would
say; nothing much for the imagination to
expatiate upon ; nothing to make a novel out
of, still less a poem ; yet, beyond question, if
you knew the realities that in the fellowship
of every day come close to you, nay, if you
knew what is around you at this moment, —
what thoughts, what experiences, representa-
tive of the deepest passion and pathos of
human life, — you would be struck with a
great amazement; you would stare at one
another.

In attributing the hue and quality of im-
pressive significance to our life I have tlius
far, with myself, been referring to those cir-
cumstances and events that lie out of view in
the background of personal Jiistory. But
there are other phases of life under the sur-
face — universal, omnipresent, at any rate
with such as we — that when pondered must

magnify our conception of its contents. The



thoughts, for instance, ///^;/ life that all of us
clay by day are thinking — what thoughts
they are and how do they follow us! Take
the thought of our luortality, and what a place
it holds in every mind that has the faculty of
reflection! I suppose there is not one of us
who does not ordinarily many times between
each waking and sleeping distinctly recognize
and in some fashion survey his situation as
the heir of an earthly existence that is tran-
sient and passing. Morning, noon, and night
we look that fact in the face. It is an ele-
ment of our self-consciousness, the thought
of it. It walks the street with us ; it goes
into company with us ; it comes between us
and the page \ve are leading; it mingles with
our work and with our play. The man you
meet and talk or joke v/ith has in all proba-
bility within the hour been visited by it, as
you have been, and as you both will be again
within the hour ensuing. It may stay with
you an instant only, but, wherever you are
and however you are engaged from one

year's end to the other, there occurs no long

208



The Thought of Mortah'ty

interval in which it does not step from behind
its curtain and exchange glances with you.
And life so punctuated with the sense of
mortality is something more than humdrum.
Again, those whom we pass and repass in
the to and fro of our and their common days
have their thoughts, and many thoughts, as
do we, on the things of this strange world
and of human experience that it is not possi-
ble to see through, that are enigmatic, un-
fathomable. Certainly they do; why not?
And people in all walks, of all conditions.
In one of the actor Edwin Booth's letters,
published not long since, he says : " Life is a
great big spelling-book, and on every page
we turn the words grow harder to understand
the meaning of." He adds, speaking from a
religious faith which I believe he had : " But
there is a meaning, and when the last leaf
flops over we'll know the whole lesson."
That feeling of his, so vividly expressed, with
which, notwithstanding the distractions of his
caUing, he communed, which no doubt went
on and came off the stage with him some-

209



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The Gospel's View of Our Life

times, and which grew deeper as he grew
older — you all understand it perfectly. And
it is everywhere ; it is an ingredient of human
life as we know it.

But ah, if the moral facts, the moral ex-
periences, that exist and are realities present
in the persons of those whose lives are min-
gled in any community, in this community of
yours, were uncovered, what aspects of life,
to clothe it with another character than it
wears to superficial view, would, we must
suppose, then appear! We cannot, indeed,
tell what, save in one instance, i.e., ourselves.
lUit we can conjecture; we have the means
of conjecturing. It is in the moral province
that men, that associates, have least know-
ledge of one another individually. These all
alike live hiddenly to a very great extent,
and necessarily so. I do not now mean a
purposed concealment, but that which is
natural. But behind the mask, the veil of
that privacy is what, were it seen, would
make it impossible for us ever to look on life
as a commonplace affair. In those to whom

2IO



The Invisible Facts around Us

we speak our "Good morning" and " How
are you " as they go by us, or with whom
we transact, we are all the while meeting
things that are of evil and darkness— things
also that are of goodness and light.

We meet sin, desires of sin, choices of sin,
consciences in the torment of self-accusation,
consciences growing seared by wicked works.
We meet falsehood, ugly resentment, black
envy, cruel malice, degrading sensuality.
We meet haunting, wretched secrets and the
miserable fears that wait upon them.

We meet other secrets too, and immeasur-
ably different ones : happy secrets ; secrets of
the desire and choice of truth, integrity, and
all righteousness; rejecHons of sin, repen-
tances, sweet approvals of conscience, pur-
poses of duty, girdings of the spirit fc r the
battle with temptation; unfathomable pure
and tender affections ; chanties, generosities,
forgivenesses— the higher nature prevailing
over the lower.

What is met in us, I repeat, we know, and
God knows ; but all these so opposite things

2H



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The Gospel's View of Our Life

we do daily and hourly meet in the familiar
paths of the fellowsliip of life. We do not
see them any more than we sec those other
contents of life that lie under the surface, of
which I have spoken, but they are there.
And they are what makes our common hu-
manity a great matter — truly a matter no less
than tragic. I do not say that we ought to
see them, or that we can. As I have re-
marked, we could hardly live, or live together,
if we did. But what I would say is that it is
in their light that God sees our life and that
the gospel of Christ sees it. It was one of
Christ's divine marks that ** he needed not
that any one should bear witness concerning
man, for he knew what was in man," and the
word of his gospel is addressed to our secret
thoughts, our secret hearts. That is the rea-
son of the emotion that fills it. That is why
it is so infinitely serious in its strain. It
speaks ever from the standpoint of its view
of our inward man. It brings us its sympa-
thies, it brings us its offers of help, accord-
ingly.

212



Speaks to the Inward Man

If any have trou!)le?, deep, distressful, that
they do not tell, that they may not tell, but
must bear alone, He whose voice this gospel
is, is not ignorant of them. " O trembling,
weary, burdened mortal," it whispers, "your
pain and sorrow are not hid ; there is a rich
and tender divine compassion brooding over
you, following you every step of your way.
Ever at your side, though unseen, is your
heavenly Father and Redeemer. Cast your
care on him, for he careth for you."

If we have our dark questions, and are
pressed by the weight of life's mystery, and
oftentimes know not what to think of it all,
the gospel understands that burden too, and
appreciates it wholly, and feels deeply for us
under its oppression, and has a great deal to
say — more than any other teacher — to lighten
the load of it.

If we have sins, sins of heart and of life,
that are unguessed by our fellow- incn, that
are our guilty secret, to the eye the gospel
turns upon us they are naked and open every
one. It knows all about them, and all our

213



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f


aPk^H


W '


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The Gospel's View of Our Life

unhappy and fearful thoughts arising from
them. And in them likewise it feels for us
intensely, and regarding them it has much to
say, most plainly, most earnestly, and in per-
fect kindness, if we will listen to it, that is
just what we need to hear.

And if, in the midst of our earthly pursuits,
participations, and hopes we are in our deep
heart honestly wishing and striving after
goodness, and, though by reason of our frailty
failing oft, are holding on that way, cherish-
ing the aim and resolve of a better obedience
to all duty, the gospel penetrates that secret ;
and there is not a thought we have, not a
difficulty w.e contend with, not a doubt or
fainting we fall into, that it does not compre-
hend completely, for which it has not instant
encouragement and aid, as some of you, I am
persuaded, have found out.

In short, in its reckoning our life is, far
above all else, the life so manifold, so check-
ered, so full of lights and shadows, that is
lived within. There is the main flow and

volume of it. To us as in that life, so much

214



> -4> ^ir. i» <^ « . < »»ii—


A Gospel for Every Soul

of which is unknown, and must be, except to
ourselves and to God, yet that comprehends
the bulk of our total experience and all its
heights and depths,— that hfe which, as our
souls are acquainted with it, has such room
for the message of eternal grace, mercy, and
peace, — it draws near and speaks. It appeals
to us in the name of our supreme and most
intimate personal realities, if we do but con-
sider. And so is it not a gift most practical
and most precious — a gospel for us and for
humanity ?



215



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Trophies of Youth the Safeguard of

Manhood

By

Rev. James G. K. McClure,

Pastor of tl>e Luke Forest (111.) rreshytcrian Church

" .^lui tlw f^rii'sf said, The stccrd of Goliath the Philis-
tiiw, whom thoti slra-cst in the valley of lUah, behold, it is
here wrapped in a eloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take
that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And
David said, There is none like that; give it me." — / Sam.
xxi. p.

In her gymnasium Yale has a trophy room.

Many a graduate feels his blood stirred as he enters it.

The emblems of contest, flag and cup, oar and ball, arouse the memory.

Scenes of the past become vivid — the surging crowd, the excited faces, the shouts of victory.

Other days are lived over again, and there is joy and inspiration in recalling them.

The setting up of trophies is a custom as old as history.

All ancient peoples did it.

The Greeks put shields and helmets on a tree of the battle-ground if it was a land victory,
and beaks of conquered vessels on the near-
est coast if it was a sea victory. The Romans
did differently. They carried their trophies
to some prominent spot in Rome itself. Still
differently did the Egyptians and the Israel-
ites, who deposited their trophies in their
temples.

So it was that the sword taken by youth-
ful David from conquered Goliath was in the
tabernacle. What stirring scenes that sword
suggested! A young man going out alone
to meet a vaunting foe. Two armies, Philis-
tines and Israelites, numbering thousands, on
opposite hills, watching the unevenly matched
contestants. The slinging of a smooth stone,
its sinking into Goliath's forehead, the giant's
fall, David's springing forward to draw Go-
liath's sword. Surely that was a moment
never to be forgotten when, with the giant's
head in his left hand, David held aloft the
giant's sword in his right hand, and there

217



Trophies of Youth

burst from the throats of Israel the shout of
victory that sent dismay to the hearts of the
X hihstines and made them as leaves before
the hurricane to the onrushing Israelites.

Henceforth that sword of Goliath was a
trophy. It stood for victory. The people
placed it in their most sacred building, that
the sight of it might call to mind a past tri-
umph and arouse to new courage. There it
was, behind the sacred robe of divination,
well wrapped in protecting cloths.

Years passed, and David, no more a ruddy
youth, but now a care-marked man, seeks
refuge in this very tabernacle where is Go-
liath's sword. Reverses have come to him.
Instead of being a favorite he is an exile flee-
ing before envy and hate for his life. He has
not one weapon of defense. He begs the
priest in charge to give him some piece of
armor. The priest answers that but one wea-
pon is in his keeping — the sword of Goliath.
David's heart bounds at the mention of that
trophy. " There is none like that ; give it

me," he says. As his hand touches it he

218



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The Joy of Victory

becomes a new man. His courage reasserts
itself. Cheered by the memory of what he
once had done with it, he now bravely faces
his difficulties. The trophy of his youth has
become the inspiration of his manhood.

Yo'jth-time trophies! It is Southey who
says : " Live as long as you may, the first
twenty years form the greater part of your
life. They aj^pear so when they are passing;
they seem to have been so when we look
back to them ; and they take up more room
in our memory than all the years which suc-
ceed them." Victories won then mean more
than victories won later. Never is a man so
conscious of the sweets of triumph and so
elated by the joys of success as in his earlier
years. The shout that greeted David when
he conquered Goliath sank deeper into his
heart and memory than any shout, he ever
heard afterward. To succeed in the contests
of youth, whatever their sphere, social, lite-
rary, political, athletic, is to have an experi-
ence of pleasure that is scarcely surpassed in
all one's life.

219






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Trophies of Youth

Besides, youth is like the Nile's springtime,
when the fullness of the river gives oppor-
tunity to store away for the coming drought.
In youth virtues and experiences can be laid
up for the crises of life. Only as hope and
courage are accumulated then are they in
reserved force for sudden difficulty a..-^ trial.
The soldier who in camp does not learn to
handle his rifle will be helpless in the confu-
sion of battle. Insurance cannot be obtained
when flames are bursting out of the house.
He who does not strive for victories in youth
stands small show of victories in manhood.
For time is a current bearing the yesterdays
into to-days and the to-days into to-mor-
rows. The present is the future, carrying it
in itself as the seed carries the flower. A to-
morrow unconnected with to-day is unthink-
able. The flower that is to be must have
somewhere a seed that now is. Youth is the
seed of manhood, and what we lay up, or fail
to lay up, in youth determines what we shall
have, or shall fail to have, in manhood.

What, then, are these trophies to be won

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A Sound Body

in youth for manhood's safeguard ? Physical
strength is one. Without it no mature man
can do his best work. Youth, with its warm
blood, vigorous vitality, strong appetite, rest-
ful sleep, may be a very magazine of power.
The wear and tear of physical strain have not
come yet. While they tarry a young man
may fortify himself for them by accumula-
tions of health which later will be a storehouse
of resource.

Such being the case, it is no slight matter
to hurt one's physical vigor either by neglect
or abuse. Many men have broken down
within five years of leaving college, and be-
come impaired, if not useless, because they
did not treasure their health while here.
Scores have fallen by the wayside later be-
cause of the recklessness with which they
spent their buoyant energy. Sickrvess and
death are indeed inevitable to every one, but
there is no necessity for soliciting their ap-
proach. Death v/alks as near the young
man's back as the old man's face, but why
urge him to overtake us ? That law of God

221



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Trophies of Youth

that makes physical decay the penalty of
physical wrong is unbreakable. Dissipation
of vital energy inevitably ends in physical
deterioration. A young man cannot let any
bodily passion run away with him and ex-
pect to be safe, any more than a child letting
a spirited horse take the bit in his teeth to
run as he will can expect to escape peril.
A man's body is God's temple, and God
never allows sacrilege to his temple to go
unchallenged and uncondemned. But if
with earnest desire to conserve its sacredness
a man stores away all possible physical vigor,
he will find in after-years, as David found
with Goliath's sword, that the purity and self-
control of his youth stand him in good stead
in the hours of exposure.

Intellectual discipline is another trophy to
be won in youth. Let the distinction be-
tween discipline and knowledge be kept clear.
What an educated youth needs is capabilit}'
to apply his mind — investigating, comparing,
combining, drawing deductions — and then to
put the full force of that mind into the work

222



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Ability to Think

undertaken. Better than universal knowleclL^e
is power to use limited knowledge. Too
much knowledge there cannot be, but know-
ledge without the ability to use it is an im-
pediment, not a help. He who fails in youth
to learn how to ponder facts and arrange
them is at a great disadvantage when caugiit
in the hurry and competition of after-years.
Neither merchants nor engineers, generals
nor scholars, can do their work successfully
with minds undisciplined. As much solid,
penetrating thought may be required 'u\ rail-
roading as in teaching, in banking as in edit-
ing. The success of a college youth in the
industry to which he gives iiimself will de-
pend largely on his power to think. If he
acquires that, then he may go whithersoever
Providence calls him and he need not be
afraid to attempt his work. The man who
can use aright two facts will always be
stronger than the man who has a hundred
facts, but who cannot use them.

And now for moral trophies. One such is
habits. In youth we form them, and then in

223



Trophies of Youth



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age they form us. At first they are our
method of life, and at last they are our life
itself. Once they involved conscious effort,
later they seem automatic. Care entered
into the first writing of our signature, but now
we write that signature almost as uncon-
cernedly as a machine prints.

Habits of good can thus become the pro-
tection of our maturity. They are the chief
dependence on which a man must rely for his
own right conduct when circumstances call
for such speedy action that he cannot stop to
analyze the motives that guide him. If
temptation to do evil suddenly assails one
habituated to the good, the chances are that
he will continue on in the habit of the good.
For there are hundreds of good things which
the human heart may do so regularly and
persistently that they become a very part of
the heart, shaping its opinions, controlling its
desires, and deciding its affections.

One such special habit is that of reverence.

Reverence is treating worthy things worthily,

and the most worthy things the most worthily.

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The: Mission of Reverence



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The command " not to take the name of the
Lord in vain " teaches that God, the best,
should be treated as the best. It is an in-
junction to have good judgment, to estimate
persons and things aright, and to act toward
the noblest and greatest as though they were
the noblest and greatest. Such a habit of
discriminating thought and conduct, once ac-
quired, is a ceaseless blessing. It secures a
just valuation of all objects to be considered,
and it prevents men from looking upon ten as
though it were fifty, on the mole-hill as
though it were a mountain, on the transient
as though it were permanent, on evil as
though it were good.

Happy the man who early acquires reve-
rence for purity. To consider spotlessness as
insignificant is to have the whole judgment
demoralized. Impure thought, once become
a fixed element of life, will color all vision
and lower all ideals, will make untrustworthy
all our opinions of society and of individuals.
But reverence for purity, once become a

habit, will so permeate our nature that the

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Trophies of Youth

low and lewd will have no hold upon our
thought, and we shall wonder that any per-
son can spoil his jokes with them or, still
worse, soil his own mind with them.

Happy, too, the man who early acquires
reverence for himself. When a young man
adopts the habit of regarding every one of
his appetites as a divine gift, bestowed for
holy purposes, and will not allow them to be
diverted to wrong uses, it is an absolute im-
possibility that he ever become a drunkard or
any kind of a profligate. Whatever is hurt-
ful to himself will be esteemed base by him
simply because it is hurtful. He will acquire
a self-mas.tery that will give him a victor's
sense of power. He will be too high-souled
to mind low and dishonorable things. They
liuiy throng about him, but they cannot ap-
peal to him.

This matter of reverence, what a safeguard
it is when it is reverence for God and for
what manifests God ! Certainly no one may
expect youth to estimate all objects as man-
hood does. Youth is not asked to be as

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Loyalty to Truth

sedate as age. Its very nature is sprightly.
But if youth, whatever its sprightiincss, will
continually hold itself to a reverential use of
God's name, of God's house, of God's wor-
ship, of God's Hible, yes, and of every fact
that in nature, in the soul, and in history re-
veals God, youth will have laid up a condition
of mind that will be its salvation when doubt
contemptuously asks, "What is truth?"
For if there is reverence for the real and an
earnest purpose to exalt highest the best
things of life, youth has a panoply tliat all
the hosts of mental and moral confusion can-
not pierce. But if there is no such reverence
failure is sure. Once I saw my own class-
mate, urged to a stronger, better life, throw
himself on a sofa and with tears in his eyes
hopelessly answer: " It is no use. I cannot
do it. I have yielded to wrong so oiLen that
I have no will power left. I cannot resolve
to do right." It was a pitiful scene : a charm-
ing, popular young man looking for an instant
beneath the surface of things, and helplessly
declaring himself the slave of a ^^owerless

227



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will ! And all because throughout his youth
he had habitually yielded to the poorer ele-
ments of his nature and had allowed an im-
potent will to become his A?^//;/^'- characteristic.
But there is one more spliere for youth-
time trophies, and that a i^reat one — memo-
ries. All youth is filling itself up with
memories, but no youth seems to have such
happy opportunities for memories as college
youth. Memories! They are almost the
largest, if not, in fact, the very largest, part
of what a man keeps with him when long
years have passed since he was a college
youth. Why should those memories ever
shame our hearts or injure our power in man-
hood? What a mistake that youth made
who for fifteen minutes, out of mere curiosity,
read a debasing book, and then afterward was
obliged to say, " That book has haunted me
like an evil specter ever since. I have asked
God on my knees to obliterate that book
from my mind, but I believe that I shall carry
down the damage of those fifteen minutes to



my grave



M



228



Good Memories a Defense



Good memories are strength and comfort.
Moses, still untried, heard God speak a mes-
sage of recognition and duty to him from a
burning bush. Later, grown to be an old
man and burdened with anxieties, Moses re-
called that experience at the bush and it
revived his faith and cheered his heart. It is
in early years that God loves to put his voices
into the soul, assuring us of his nearness, call-
ing to us to be earnest, and arousing us to
endeavors for our fellows. In more mature
years we may be almost dazed by our disap-
pointments, by the complexity and strife of
business, by the unkindness and even false-
ness of our supposed friends. Then the
temptation comes to us to question the good-
ness of God, to question the reality of the
soul and the worth of self-denying effort.
In such an hour what a help it is todook back
and say, " Once I was in college, and there
God came very close to me with his blessings.
I felt him in my heart. And though I knew
less of the world tlian now, still I had a ten-
der conscience then ; I was not embittered by

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life's rough usage ; my motives were simple
and pure " ! Tliat very memory steadies the
soul like an anchorage. There are many men
gone out from this college who to-day are
helped to be noble by the recollection of what
God enabled them to think and feel and do
when they were students here, walking be-
neath these elms and entering these halls.
God gave them glimpses of himself and of
duty that make it impossible for them to
doubt the reality of God and the joy of his
service.

A white-haired Yale man loved to tell this story.

In his undergraduate days he led a classmate to the new life of a Christian.

That
classmate became a wise and influential leader.
He blessed society and the church by his
Christian earnestness. He, in turn, led many
others to the Christian life. What a trophy
was this of ever-accumulating power laid up
in youth for the world's good! " Bury my
influence with me," said a man once vicious,
but now repentant. He was dying, but his

influence could not be buried with him. It

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Christian Character a Tropliy

was a living thinejf that would not die. John
Newton corrupted a companion when on
board the ship Harriet. Later, when John
Newton had reformed, he met the one he
had corrupted and tried to undo the evil he
had done, but he failed.

Noble Christian character! Who will lay-
up this trophy now? It is a trophy, never
coming of itself, but won, and won through
contest. There are five inclinations, Horace
says, that must be fought in this contest.
His words are: "Youth yields to every evil
impression, is rough to reproof, is slow in
attending to his best interests, is presumptu-
ous, and is swift to leave what before has
pleased his fancy." These are the inclinations
to be conquered. They are conquered when
youth (i) resists evil, (2) values reproof, (3)
hastens to do right, (4 ) seeks divine guidance,
and (5) cleaves to the good. The very im-
petuosity and passion of youth, turned from
wrong uses into right uses, help us to win
our trophies.

Win them, then, as David won Goliath's

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Trophies of Youth

sword. Go forth to life in the name and
under the inspiration of God. Have open
eyes to see the evils that threaten God's
kingdom in the world. Face those evils.
You know full well that God wishes their
overthrow. Do not hesitate to enter the
field against them. Advance upon them be-
fore the fascination of fear paralyzes you.
Thousands may stand irresolute, but do you
dare and do. If none else act, go forward
alone. Use the skill you have, simple though
it seem, c!.nd do your best. What if no voice
does speak to you from the skies, indicating
duty? It is enough that there is an evil
needing overthrow. Meet it with the soul
of a knight. God's eye is on you ; God's
heart is with you. To conquer is to give
cheer to all God's Israel. To-day and now
do the deeds and win the experiences that
to-morrow will be your joy and salvation.



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1



Manhood's Struggle and Victory

By

S. E. Herrick, D.D.

Pastor of >h. Moun, Vcmon Church, lioston, Mass.
The Umb ,„ade war U'ilh m heaH.-RcvehUo,,, passim.
jV/T Y text, you Observe, is not quoted, but
1 V 1 extracted. It is a condensation in few
words of extended passages of tiiis remark-
able book. I have long felt that but little
confidence is to be placed in any minute and
particularizing interpretation of its pictu-
resque and amazing scenery. The book has
been the favorite exercise-ground for the
■ngenuity and wilfulness of exegetical cranks
and prediction-mongers through all the cen-
fnes. It has been the arsenal, moreover
whence sectarian virulence and theological
hatred have drawn their weapons of nickname
and threat and invective. The beast, the



Manhood's Struggle and Victory



I
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dragon, the scarlet woman, Babylon the
Great — these names have been affixed in the
history of theological or ecclesiastical war-
fare to this party and to that, sometimes,
no doubt, in the spirit of sincere and
thoughtful interpretation, but quite as often
under the inspiration of that animosity which
so often attends religious differences among
people nominally Christian. Romanists and
Protestants alike have picked up stones out
of this field to throw at each other. Lope
de Vega, a most devoted Catholic, cele-
brated the privateering exploits of the Prot-
estant Sir Francis Drake in an epic poem
which he called " The Dragontea," punning
upon Sir F'-ancis's name, in which he is made
to fill the part of the great red dragon of
the Apocalypse, and is threatened with that
monster's fate as the enemy of God and
man. In the same poem Queen Elizabeth
figures as the " scarlet lady of Babylon."

But various and contradictory as have been
the interpretations of most of the great

figures which throng the gorgeous canvas of

234



f



The Lamb and the Beast

the revelator, there is one, the chief figure,
which appears more than a score of times,
concerning which, through all the ages, there
has been no difTerence of opinion. That is
the Lamb. Assuming that the great vision,
or series of visions, was seen and described
by John, the author of the fourth gospel,
there can be no doubt as to the meaning
with which this great central figure was
charged in his mind. The Lamb is mani-
festly the eternal Christ — the infinite gentle-
ness and patience and long-suffering, and
spirit of sacrifice, which is central and inti-
mate in Godhood, which was once, visibly to
mortals, condensed and expressed in the
historic life of Jesus of Nazareth — " the
Lamb of God," i.e., the Lamb which is in
God's nature eternally, without beginning
and without end. This gentle and yet
august figure appears and reappears through-
out the book, and often in positions of start-
ling incongruity. He stands " a Lamb as it
had been slain" — what so helpless? — and
yet in the midst of the throne, in the place of

235



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Manhood's Struggle and Victory

supreme eminence, from the foundation of
the world. It is the Lamb, again, that
opens the seven-sealed book of heaven's
mysteries. It is the Lamb who stands as
Bridegroom — his wife the new Jerusalem,
ever descending out of heaven from God.
It is the Lamb that is the lamp and glory of
the celestial city, in the midst of whose light
the nations are to walk. It is the Lamb —
type of all gentleness — from whose wrath
kings and princes and tribunes hide them-
selves and entreat rocks and mountains to
shelter them. And finally, it is the Lamb
which again and again makes war with the
beast, coming up now out of the earth and
now out of the sea, and which finally over-
comes and makes him powerless for ever and
ever.

The panorama is mystic, marvelous, amaz-
ing. I deem it a mistaken endeavor to
attempt any refinement of interpretation.
There is danger in dealing with such a pic-
ture too microscopically. Symbolism too

often runs into wilfulness. The tremors of

236






The Lamb and the Beast



the pencil are sometimes magnified into es-
sentials, while really grand essentials are lost
sight of. In the portrayal of a regenerating
world what matters it whether or no we can
discover all at once the special significance of
the jacinth, the amethyst, and the beryl, the
seven heads and ten horns of the beast, the
seven vials and the falling stars, and the
twelve manner of fruits that are growing
upon the tree of life? What we want is to
let the grand sweep and spiritual movement
of the picture into our thought and life.
While the glories of a magnificent park like
the Yosemite or the Yellowstone are around
one, it is not best to devote much time to t'le
microscopic investigation of a single flower
or the striae of a beetle's wing-case. It seems
to me that we have here the cartoon of a
master who does not care at present to re-
veal the significance of detail, but who
wishes to convey his ideal of a great time-
movement. He entitles his canvas at the
outset "The Revelation of Jesus Christ."
And the core of that revelation is " the

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Maiiliood's Struggle and Victory

Lamb making war with the beast." This
warfare and its issues constitute the underly-
ing^ unity of the whole book.

And the beast? VV^ell, the beast is the
beast; the beast which is the basal element in
human life, which matle human life possible,
and the struggle with which and the con-
quest of which make an angelic life possible.
The conquest of the beast by the Lamb is
the meaning of all history in its larger as-
pect and of all individual biography. The
interest which attaches to every piece of
biographical literature arises from the fact
that it shows how the battle went in some
particular case. This Book of Revelation is
for this reason in some grand sense a sum-
mary of all human history, as it is also a
typical picture of all personal struggle. In
fact, no novel, no romance, was ever written
that proved of any interest, save as it made
this conflict the burning problem of the
story. It is the solution of this problem
which chains your interest and makes you

eager for the development of the plot and its

238



i:



The Lamb and the Beast



culmination. When that is reached, and you
have Icariieil how the battle went, the author
has nothing niore that you care to read. A
story that were purely human, or even
purely angelic, would be too tame for earthly
readers. We want to see the beast van-
quished or transformed. We want to see
the earthly, the sensual, the devilish, tram-
pled down or regenerated. No stage-play
was ever successful for long, no drama could
ever get a place in literature, that did not
awaken an interest in this age-long, world-
wide, universal, an-', yet intensely personal
contest between the Lamb and the beast.
It is the truth which science emphasizes in
its latest word about the struggle for exis-
tence and the survival of the fittest. History
and science both have to do simply with this
— the elimination of the beast and the en-
franchisement of the Lamb. It is a terrific
warfare, but only pessimism says that its
issue is doubtful. " The meek shall inherit
the earth." "The persecuted for righteous-
ness' sake shall possess the kingdom of God."

^39



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Manhood's Struggle and Victory

If we take a large general retrospect of
human history, its dominant and most im-
pressive suggestion is the power of the beast,
the beast /// man, and the beast over man.
And the beast is so exultant, so vigorous, and
the man is so feeble and so vincible. The
beast seems to be the steering power. Go
through the roods of Oriental sculpture, say
in the Ikitish Museum, in which ancient civ-
ilizations have left the enduring records cf
their life and their religion. Everywhere
man and beast are joined intiissolubly, and
the beast is evidently the groom and gover-
nor of the union — bulls with human heads,
the faces- of men joined with the swift wing
and ferocious talons of ravenous and unclean
birds, sphinxes in which humanity seems to
be trying to paw itself free from its bestiality,
and yet to be helplessly held back by the
superior force of the brutishness. And the
fauns and satyrs and tritons and centaurs of
classic fable are reminiscences of the same
great fact in man's spiritual history. The

great empire upon whose ruins, and largely

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The Lamb and the Beast

out of whose materials, our modern civiliza-
tion has been constructed, with great pride
and in good faith traced its origin to the in-
fants that were suckled by the wolf. And
nine tenths of the scutcheons of the Old
World to-day still perpetuate the story of
this old consciousnejs of the power of the
beast, and instead of their shame, as it is,
treat it as their glory, with their dragons and
their griffins and their lions and their vultures
and their bulls and wild boars. We pass
these things by as the unmeaning relics of a
dead mythology. But they arc not myth-
ical or dead or unmeanini;. They are in
every case the assertion of the power of the
beast in the history of man's nature, religion,
and Hfc. They constitute the pictorial his-
tory of human animalism. They are a part
of the same heraldic blazonry which fills this
Book of the Revelation.

And the facts are not dead which they
represent. Beasthood may vary its prevalent
form from time to time, but it exists in some
form. Look around us. It is beasthood —

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Manhood's Struggle and Victory

huw it shall he controlled and kept under, how
it shall be transformed or cast out — that con-
stitutes tiie problem of government and of
society in all our large communities. The
trail of the dragon winds through all our
streets, and his poisonous breath meets one
at every turn. We can hardly keep it from
our purest and most secluded homes, and
over what numberless habitations it broods as
a constant atmosphere, poisoning all domes-
ticity, making households bitter and hearts
hopeless.

And it is not simply a social and govern-
mental problem, which you and I can hold
off and. look upon from afar with more or less
complacency. It is the one problem of all
personal life. Some of us can look into faces
made dear by years of pleasant companionship
or by ties of birth and blood, and watch with
solicitude the fortunes of this strange warfare
with the beast. No joy of life so high and
solemn as that with which we discern the
tokens of his weakening. No woe so grave,

so intolerable, as that which crushes our

242



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The Lamb and the Beast

hearts within us as wc see manhood or
womanhood ^r^ing down under the impulses
of animalism— beconn'nL,r "earthly, sensual,
and devilish." Nay, we all know this power
in ourselves. We are conscious of the beast
in us. We have experienced the ti^rerish
rage, the swinish selfishness, the unfeeling
hardness, the retaliating ini])ulses, the low
passions, mounting up and over our better
and purer thoughts and threatening the ex-
tinction of the divine. We all know it. The
best men in the world have felt the conflict
most deeply. St. Paul did fight with beasts
at Ephesus, and everywhere else. St. Geordid slay the dragon, and more than one or
two. St. Anthony did feel the thrust of the
swinish snouts and the tearing of tigers' and
vultures' claws, which y\lbert Dure;- painted
in his terrible but true picture of the saint's
temptation. It is the story of Hercules and
his labors, and of the Son of man in his forty
days* temptation in the wilderness.

Now it is against the beast that the eternal
Lamb makes his war, and will until he is con-

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Manhood's Struggle and Victory

quered and cast out forever. A strange con-
ception that, and one tliat ahnost shocks us
by its incongruity — a lamb warring against a
beast, with the purpose and expectation of
overcoming him. It requires a gooti deal of
effort to adjust our thoughts to it. And yet
it is but saying in another and bolder way
that God loves a bad world into goodness;
that he does not, after all, depend upon the
machinery of legislation and penalty and
polic(i to drive men out of their sins and
sensualisms. Force is not remedy. Shutting
a soul up under such mere mechanical condi-
tions that it would be imi^ossible for it to do
sinful things would be but a sort of half-way
victory. Shutting up the Jack-in-the-box
does not in any real sense change Jack ; the
hideous and repulsive thing i.s still there just
under the lid. The warfare of the Lamb
with the beast must be such war as a lamb
can make. The force by which the contest
is to be carried on and the victory gained is
not dynamic, but moral, affectional. The
life is not to be crushed in compulsions, as one

244



The Lamb and the Beast



might break up the ice of a river, but it is to
be melted in the sunshine of love and grace
and patience. Mence such expressions as
" having a heart washed in the blood of the
Lamb " have their real significance — a signifi-
cance which has been often obliterated by
mechanical interpretations. The only way in
which a lamb can fight a beast is to patiently
shed his blood in meek endurance. Christ
fights sin and conquers sin by his cross and
passion. The figure finds its true interpreta-
tion in the story of the prodigal son. The
beast in him was only conquered when
his father — patient, long-sufTering, anguish-
stricken at his heart — fell upon the boy's neck
and kissed him and wept over him. It was
the heart's blood of the father that washed
away the sin of the son.

" The patience of immartal love
Outwearies mortal sin."

And men are slovvlv learninq: this crreat
fact, that the war with the beast is to be the
Lamb's war. This is the temper of all the
earnest efforts which are now making in civil-

245



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Manhood's Struggle and Victory



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ized communities toward social reform and
betterment. Men are learning that heart's
blood must be shed in the battle. Compas-
sionate !o\'e goes further than great strenuous-
ness. They are learning that no throne or
seat of authority and conipulsi(Mi and force
can accomplish much that has not a bleeding
lamb in the center of it. ly^rr as 7i'ar fails.
War as co-passion disarnT^ and subdues even
the beast. You recall Whittier's version of
the Indian story :

" Once, on the crrantls of his mercy bent,
liUiMha, the holy anMet a fell nionnter, liuge ami fierce of look,
Whose aw*"-;! voice the hills aiul forests shook.
' () sorj of peacel' the jriant cried, ' thy fate
Is scalot at last, ami love shall yield to hate.'
The unarmed I>iiOf fear or anger, in the monster's face,
In pity said, ' Poor fiend, even tlwo I loie.^
Lo! as he spake the sky-tall terror sank
To handhrcadth size : the huge abhorrence shrank
Into the form and fashion of a dove;
AnCircling above him sweetly sang the bird.
* Hate hatli no harm for love,' so ran the song;
' An
And yet this pitying love is no weak thing.

Brightest light i> backed by darkest sliadow.

346



The Lamb and the Beast

Tenderest pity goes hand in hand with most
strenuous and uncompromising hate. The
more intense the love for any object, the
more consuming the wrath against whatever
assails the well- being of that object. There
is no wrath like the "wrath of the Lamb."
It must needs be mighty. It is the shield
which infinite love interposes for the protec-
tion . f the human spirit from its worst enemy.
It is the blast which saves the wheat and
drives away the chalT. It is the fire which
spares every atom of the gold and burns out
its dross and defilement. There is no friend-
lier word of Holy Writ than that "our God
is a consuming fire."

Now this, whether you find it in India or
in Juflea, is //n^ j^ospcl of Jesus Christ. It is
the LaiubofGod who taketh away the sins of
the world. It is of no lasting use to fight the
beast with the beast, in the world, in those
who are specially near and dear to us, or in
ourselves. As for the beast that is abroad in
the world, he is still rampant, terrible; but
there are signs everywhere that the Lamb is

247



Manhood's Struggle and Victory

on the field, and his patient work grows, Hke
a dawn upon the darkness. As for the beast
in those around us, there must be no heat of
anger, no resentment of the beastliness.
Cudgeling will only make a cur more cur-
rish. We must carry toward them a bleed-
ing lamb in our hearts. As for the beast in
ourselves, " If we walk in the Spirit," says the
apostle, " we shall not fulfil the lusts of the
flf sh." And " walking in the Spirit " is noth-
ing more or less than letting the gentleness,
the purity, the tenderness, and grace of God's
slain Lamb enter in and possess and dominion
our souls. He asks each one of us, as he asked
one of old, " Wilt thou ? " And to the assent
heartily given he responds, " I will ; be thou
clean."



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The Sabbath

By

Bishop John H. Vincent

Topeka, Kan.

"/fnd he said unto them, The Sabbath was wade for
man, and not man for the Sabbath: so that the Son of
man is lord even of the Sabbath."— Mark it. 2-j, 28.

JI^^SUS himself kept, in his own way, the
Sabbath of the Jews. It was his custom
on that day to attend the services of the
synagogue. In the lesson of the day we
have a hint as to his habit from boyhood in
the town "where he had been brought uj)."
In the record from which the text is taken
we find him and his disciples walking through
the fields on the Sabbath day, plucking the
bending wheat-heads as they pa.ssed. Jesus
more than once gave offense to his fellow-
countrymen by his independence of ceremo-

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nial requirements. He wrought works of
mercy and of necessity on Sabbath days which
if not specifically forbidden were to a faithful
Pharisee of doubtful propriety. His enemies
tried to entrap him, that they might condemn
him ; but he claimed that good deeds were
proper on a good day ; that the Sabbath was
made for man, and not man for the Sabbath ;
and that he, the Son of man, was lord of the
Sabbath. The followers of Christ, released
from the bondage of Jewish enactments and
customs, used the Sabbath for special Chris-
tian services, and later on observed the first
day of the week, which gradually became the
Christian way of fulfilling the Sabbatical ob-
ligation. • We find the recognition of the
Sabbath in the earliest records of the Jewish
(which is also in its essential elements the
Christian) faith. In the very beginning,
when the first notation of time was made,
and man began to live and to order affairs on
the planet, the Sabbath was instituted. It
began with the race. In the immortal song

of creation found on the first page of the

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The Day of Genesis

Book of Genesis two facts are made clear:
first, that God was the Creator, and second,
that the creation was a gradual, a progressive
movement. To aid human thought and to
make impressive the idea of gradualness, the
sacred writer introduces a time-scale. This
" day " of the first chapter of Genesis has
nothing to do with an actual "period,"
whether of twenty-four hours or twenty-four
milhons of years. It is a beautiful device—
this use of a week of days and nights— to
show that :he creation was not instantaneous.
The writer might have introduced any other
time-measurement. He might have sug-
gested years, or centuries, or cycles. But
the most convenient, the simplest scale was
the week of days— a figure to help us to the
thought of continuous creative energy.

On the " sixth day " man appears. He is
a higher creation. He is made in the image
of God. He is to be on earth the represen-
tative of God in dominion — one with God ;
having knowledge, in his measure, like God's
knowledge, life like God's life, authority like

251



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The Sabbath



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God's authority, and the possibility of right-
eousness like God's righteousness. And how
shall man be helped to a true conception of
a godlike life — a life, not of indolence, but of
strength, repose, and peace? How shall
man, with this wealth of material resources,
be reminded of his spiritual endowment, mis-
sion, and dependence? How shall he be
brought into a life of communion with God,
his Maker, his Father — a life above the phy-
sical life ; a life for the development of his
spiritual nature, derived from God ; a life
nobler than a life of physical, commercial,
social, political interest and activity ; a life of
preparation for all other and lower relations
and responsibilities? And if man made
innocent shall, when tested, fail of virtue
and drop to lower levels, how shall he be
brought up to righteousness and true holi-
ness? Therefore the inspired poet of the
creation added to his time-scale another day
— a seventh day, a Lord's day, a day of
divine rest and of human opportunity. It

was not a day of God's withdrawal from his

252



Paul and the Sabbath



universe, a day of the suspension of divine
interest and activity. It was an impressive
symbol of human need and of the true rest
of the soul of man — godlike only when in
perfect harmony and communion with him.
Thus the primeval Sabbath was instituted as
a reminder of man's high relationships, and
as a help to his highest training for dominion
on the earth and for the unutterable glories
of his destiny beyond. How insignificant do
Sunday laws about "things" appear when
we grasp the larger thought of Genesis and
of Jesus, that the Sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the Sabbath! This same
view Paul and the early Christians held.
The study of that apoatle's theory, as set
forth in the fourteenth chapter of his letter to
the Romans, will show his attitude toward
the ritualistic Sabbath of the Pharisees, while
we see clearly in his teachings and habits
that he exalted the spiritual life of divine
communion which the true Sabbath of the
Scriptures is appointed to promote.

The same misapprehensions and contro-

253



The Sabbath



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versies which caused discussions between
Jesus and the Pharisees, and between Paul
and the Judaizing Christians of his day, have
continued in the church until the present day.
And while such theories remain disputations,
extremes and excesses are inevitable. Those
who believe in the divine provision of the
sacred seventh of our time for the higher
uses of man cannot approve the indifference
and opposition of men who would abolish
all recognition of the Sabbath day. Men
who carry their ethical and religious convic-
tions into political and civic life, who make it
a matter of conscience to seek the enactment
of good laws, and the execution of them when
enacted,,are sure to array against themselves
and their measures men who carry the idea
of liberty beyond the limits of social security.
And these same good and true representa-
tives of the higher social and personal life
are in danger of insisting too strenuously
upon religious regulations which contravene
both religious and political liberty. So it

happens that severity remonstrates against

254



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Laxity in Sabbath Observance

Jaxity and sometimes enacts and enforces
restrictive laws, and men who are not re-
ligious, or at least not religious after the re-
ligious ways of their neighbors, feel that their
personal freedom is interfered with. Citizens
of foreign birth, accustomed to the more easy-
going social ways and the less rigid religious
notions of their native lands beyond the sea,
protest freely against what they call an in-
fringement of their rights in a free republic-
less free, they aver, in these respects than the
monarchical governments they left in order
to become citizens of this great nation of
freemen.

This foreign element, but not this alone,
will account for the increasing laxity of our
age touching Sabbath observance. We are
all aware of a reaction from the old-time
strictness in the ordering of domestic life,
and especially on the holy day. And this
reaction is not wholly evil. We have pic-
tures, not always exaggerated, of the early
times : of the silent house on the Sabbath ;
the cold and frugal meal; the long hours

255



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The Sabbath



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spent in straight-backed pews in square-
walled, square-windowed churches; long
prayers, long sermons, long faces; sharp
rebukes for smiles that could not be re-
pressed, and solemn tones on Sundays from
voices that on week-days were natural and
agreeable. And all this — with sundry other
public offices and private admonitions — con-
spired to make children loathe Sabbath days,
sanctuary services, and home solemnities.
People who had no such experiences them-
selves have heard and read about them and
ridiculed them, and have reached the conclu-
sion that Sabbath-keeping is a bondage and
a folly — a bondage they purpose never to
endure, a, folly of which they will never be
guilty. Thus what we call " society " laughs
at the church ; and as society is in the church,
the church of to-day laughs at the church of
yesterday, and we are in some danger of los-
ing through a laugh what is really a serious
and important factor in our civilization, phy-
sical, social, political, educational, religious —

the true Sabbath day, the American Sabbath

256



i'atriotism uFid the Sabbath

as distinguished from the Jewish, the Euro-
pean, and the Puritan Sabbath, the Sabbath
of which John Ellerton sings :

" This is the day of light : let there be light to-day;
O Dayspring, rise upon our night, and chase its gloom
away!

" This is the day of rest: our failing strength renew,
On weary brain and troubled breast shed thou thy freshen-
ing dew.

"This is the day of peace: thy peace our spirits fdl,
Bid thou the blasts of discord cease, the waves of strife be
still.

" This is the first of days : send forth thy quickening breath,
And wake dead souls to love and praise, O Vanquisher of
death! "

Let us still honor and cherish the day of God,
the sacred seventh of our treasure—//;;/^/
All good things may be abused—learning and
libe ty and love. A nation's flag may be
trailed in the dust. A nation's honor and
courage may be tossed into the arena and
played with by ambitious politicians to the
humiliation of patriots. But learning, liberty,
love, the nation's flag, and the nation's honor
and courage, are good things. As we would
save our land, let us save our Sabbath.
It does not matter what we call this day

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The Sabbath

—"Sabbath," "Sunday," or "Lord's day.*'
It matters not wliich day of the seven we
hallow — " First-day " or " Seventh-day." It
matters not at all which hours we keep —
from sunset to sunset, or from midnight to
midnight. But let us save the " sacred sev-
enth " ! Are there not wise reasons for try-
ing to do this? And is there not a wise way
of doing it? It is greatly in our favor that
we still have the Sabbath with us. It is an
institution long cherished; maintained by
wise and good men ; recently revived in Paris
by a society of advanced French reformers
who, although not churchmen, nor committed
to any form of religious worship, are con-
vinced that the French working-man must
have one day a week for physical rest and
social life. The Sabbath is in the legislation
of all Christian lands, and the more the Bible
is studied, the more plainly appears the
reasonableness, the righteousness, the neces-
sity of a day made for man — for man made
in the image of God.

Our own busy and exciting American life

258



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Its Symbolic Significance

especially needs the calming power of such a
day. The tension of the times demands re-
lief. Worn-out bodies, overtaxed brains,
constantly stimulated energies, require some
social regulation to compel recuperative rest.
How fully are these requirements met in
Sabbath stillness, rehgious reflection, the
subduing power of sacred music, the impres-
sive solemnities of public worship, the joy of
home life, the memories of a past now hal-
lowed by a love that was faithful in its day to
its opportunity and that now draws the soul
toward heaven !

The Sabbath day is a symbol of the high-
est and holiest verities in which man can be
concerned. It is a monument in time, rising
like the white obelisk in Washington from
the dust and clamor of the earth toward the
serene and stainless realm above. It is a
day that points upward to God and destiny.
It reminds us of duty. It offers to us par-
don for the past, peace in the present, and
hope for an immortal future. It represents
the righteousness that is indispensable to the

259






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The Sabbath

perpetuity of the republic. It represents
" heaven and earth in union : earth for heaven,
heaven for earth." Let the flag of the
nation float! Its intrinsic value is slight;
its significance beyond expression. Let the
day of days, God's Sabbath, stand! It is
but a shred of time; it is weighted with
treasures of eternity.

The Sabbath is the day of opportunity.
Its recognition by the community confers
immense privilege on the individual. It
withdraws the pressure of worldly occupation
and drudgery, and leaves the man free to go,
if he will, into the house of God " with the
multitude that k^eps holyday." It brings
people together in that holiest fellowship, the
fraternity of worship: parents and children,
friends and neighbors, classes of society
which the cares of the world elsewhere sepa-
rate into castes — merchant and clerk, em-
ployer and employee. Alas, alas! that I
dream of the possible rather than of the
actual. But this is the Sabbath ministry of

good neighborship, of good Samaritanship,

260



Its Sacred Opportunities



I



which makes it the day of the Son of man.
The Sabbath is opportunity for the reverent,
the associated, the private study of the most
important fields of thought to which man's
attention is called. For this we have books,
sermons, classes, and may enjoy frijndly
religious conversation and discussion. What
possibilities crowd the hours of the Sabbath!
The day makes possible personal growth
in faith and sympathy an. unselfishness. Is
there a thoughtful man who does not peri-
odically retire from the contusion of life into
secret chambers of reflection, of prayer, and
of resolve? Sabbath hours give him time
for this high service and furnish incentives to
its performance. What a corrective such
sacred endeavors are of all tendencies to ir-
reverence, to frivolity, to flippancy, to heed-
lessness, in matters of religious faith ! What
personal dignity is promoted by this personal
fellowship with the God who made him, the
Christ who redeemed him, and the Holy
Spirit who dwells within him! Thus the

Sabbath opens to -he devout soul treasures

261



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The Sabbath

of grace — the spirit of earnestness, of faith,
of rcsohitciicss. The American Sabbath is
preeminently tlie opportunity of the Ameri-
can home. May we too easily aban(h)n tlie
old-time systematic orderint; of the Sunday
life at home ? May we l)ecome careless in
this respect? Better tiie old-time rigidity!
I5etter for the children, better for the parents,
better for the nation.

It is a good habit, this Sunday habit. It
is hard to accpiire in the beginning, as is all
discipline ifi self-control and self-direction.
Children are ([uite likely to rebel against the
regime that is best for them. They may
succeed in evading or in slipping the yoke of
authority and then rejoice in their freedom.
lUit such liberty is likely to become bondage
in the end. It is good for a man to b.-.r: the
yoke in his youth, in the home, in the school-
room, in the field, in the shop. The parent
is likely to know better than the child what
ministers to personal strength and well-being.
Infinite wisdom and love express in law what

is best for man. That the best is for the

262



The Safeguard ot Youth



present distasteful and often ^^rievous is not
strange, hut it is folly to ar^ue that because
distasteful or even grievous it should be re-
mitted. It is not a bad thin^ to train a boy
in the decencies and proprieties of table
manners, however stronjr the protests of the
animal within him. It is not a bad thing to
repress the fury of his temper and his unrea-
soning insubordination. A firm grip, a tone
of authority, a withdrawal of coveted and
otherwise legitimate pleasure, a physical
demonstration of the reign of law and right-
eousnes.s — these are wholesome lessons for
the young brute who lias wrai)ped up within
him a man's reason, a potential conscience^
and the germs of sainthood. Let us have
fear in these days, not of too much home
government, but of a carelessness which may,
before we are aware of it, develop lawless-
ness. Let us have a Sabbath law and a
Sabbath life at home. One cannot excuse
the traditioucal puritanic rigidity concerning
Sabbath observance; but for the sake of the

children, by all that is beautiful and sacred in

263



The Sabbath



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I






home love, by all that is divine in parental
authority, by all that is imperative in moral
obligation, let us make the day of God a
sacred, a delightful, a memorable day in the
family circle.

I have little patience with the questions in
casuistry usually started when one speaks of
the holy day and its sacred uses : '* What
about writing letters and studying lessons on
Sunday?" "What about a Sunday after-
noon walk with the children or friends, din-
ing out, starting on a journey, reading the
Sunday papers, street-car travel, conversing
on secular topics?" and other questions of
this class. Let all such questions be settled
by theindividual. As Paul says, " Let every
man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
There are many large and radical questions,
far-reaching questions, which the man must
answer before he comes to these minor mat-
ters, these merely symptomatic conditions —
questions too numerous and too radical to
allow us to waste time on these. Let a man

ask himself, "Am I living an earnest life?

264



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Sabbath Questionings

Have I faith in eternal things? Am I really
theist or agnostic ? Do I know the thoughts
and reasonings of foremost philosophers,
scientists, and saints who have believed in
God, in revelation, in destiny ? Again, what
are the ruling motives in my life? Am I
aiming at service or at self-advancement?
Am I laying foundations of character that
will stand the pressure of temptation in the
years of public, social, or commercial life that
lie before me? Am I excusing myself from
personal investigation of the claims of religion
because I happen to know of some scholarly
and scientific man who openly repudiates
those claims? What do I really know about
Jesus of Nazareth? Is all the acquaintance
with him I can lay claim to based upon some
slight teaching in Sunday-school or upon some
references I have heard in the pulpit ? Do I
know his place in history ? Do I know only
what Strauss or Renan has written concern-
ing him, or is there a world of rich and reve-
rent and scholarly literature the reading of

which might modify my views of that great

265









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The Sabbath

figure in human history who is to-day more
talked about and thought about and written
about than ever before or than any character
in all history ? Is it not worth my while to
read what ten of the strongest and most gifted
scholars of this generation have written in
honor of this marvel of all history? " But I
have suggested only a tithe of the questions
an earnest soul ought to ask, and which a
truly earnest soul ivill ask, in reference to
the most momentous topics relating to human
life. Here is the Sabbath day, with its
splendid opportunities for reflection, reading,
listening, conversing, on all these themes.
Answer these questions and you will not be
puzzled about street-cars, Sunday papers,
Sunday dinners, or any of the usual small
talk about Sabbath observance. Be tremen-
dously in earnest, and topics will take their
proper places, and some themes will drop
out of sight, and others which you have
never considered at all will loom up like
mighty mountains on your horizon.

Young men, honor the Sabbath and let it

266



A Day of Rest



serve your higher nature. It was made for
man. Receive it as God's provision for men
who would be like God — knowing, loving,
creating, exercising " dominion." Use it as
a day of rest from the activities and perplexi-
ties of the lower realm of life, that you may
rejoice in the higher and thus exalt the lower.
Plato says, " Out of pity for the wretched life
of mortals the Deity arranged days of festal
refreshment." George Washington, at the
beginning of the War of the Revolution, is-
sued an order from which I quote : " That the
troops may have an opportunity of attending
public worship, as well as to take some rest
after the great fatigue they have gone through,
the general in future excuses them from fa-
tigue duty on Sundays, except at the ship-
yards or on special occasions, until further
orders. We can have but little hope of the
blessing of Heaven on our arms if we insult
it by our impiety and folly." Well says
Ralph Waldo Emerson, " Christianity has
given us the Sabbath, the jubilee of the whole

world, whose light dawns welcome alike into

267



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The Sabbath

the closet of the philosopher, into the garret
of toil, and into prison-cells, and everywhere
suggests even to the vile the dignity of spir-
itual being." Robertson of Brighton, whose
insight into spiritual philosophy was as direct
and penetrating as his practical surrender to
its teachings was complete, says of Sabbath
observance : " I am more and more sure by
practical experience that the reason for the
observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the
everlasting necessities of human nature, and
that as long as man is man the blessedness of
keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a
day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled."
Therefore let us, sons of men, sons of God,
keep with reverent care and with the joy of
love this holy day — ^this Sabbath that was
made for man. It is the sttidenfs day, where-
on he may turn from the ordinary to the sub-
limer world of thought and find new inspira-
tion for his daily endeavor. It is the doubter s
day, on which he may investigate the most
momentous questions of God and duty and

destiny. It is the children's day, when the

268



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The Universal Day

home circle may be perfect, and sweet mem-
ories be planted which shall fill the later years
with their fragrance. The children need the
gentle influence of the Sabbath. And if we
who are no longer children were to give up
ourselves to the consecration and the conser-
vation of the day in the interest of the young
life of the land, we should not only insure a
better and a larger life to the next generation,
but we should ourselves enter more fully and
with greater plenitude of power into that
kingdom of which its Founder said to his dis-
ciples, " Except ye be converted, and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of God." The Sabbath is ih^ poor
man's day, when he can have leisure to re-
ward the love of wife and children, go with
them to the house of God, and enjoy to the
full what Longfellow calls " the dear, deli-
cious, silent Sunday, to the weary workman
both of brain and hand the beloved day of
rest." It is the rich man's day, when, if he
will, he may throw off the burdens of anxiety
and prove to his family that there are some

269



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The Sabbath

things he prizes as much as stocks and es-
tates and silver and gold — a day when he
may transfer some of his treasures to the
heavens and fix his heart on things above,
where moth and rust cannot corrupt, nor
thieves break through and steal. It is the
mourner's day, on which eyes that weep in
sore bereavement may look upward and hear
a voice out of the heavens say, " In my
Father's house are many mansions." It is
the true all saints' day, when, rising above
the littleness, the rivalries, the limitations of
this life, we may look through Sabbath skies
to the innumerable company in the city on
Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and
smg :

'* City of God, how broad and far outspread thy walls sub-
lime!
The true thy chartered freemen are, of every age and
clime.

" One holy church, one army strong, one steadfast high in-
tent,
One working band, one harvest song, one King omnipo-
tent!

** In vain the surges' angry shock, in vain the drifting sands ;
Unharmed upon the eternal rock the eternal city stands."

270




The Day of Days



md es-
hen he

to the

above,
pt, nor

is the
veep in
lid hear

In my
' It is
[ above
tions of
th skies
city on
m, and



Therefore, as long as knowledge is better than
ignorance, wisdom weightier than folly, right-
eousness worthier than sin, freedom better
tlian bondage, earnestness nobler than frivol-
ity, the whole people of greater value than a
favored few, the soul more to be prized than
the body, and eternity than time, let us prize
highly, guard carefully, and keep holy the
Sabbath day, the day of the Son of man, the
day of the sons of God.



walls sub-
Y age and

it high in-
g omnipo-



ing sands ;
y stands."



271



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Immutability

By

M. Woolsey Stryker, D.D., LL.D.

President of Hamilton College, Clinton, N. Y.

" That those things which arc not shaken may remain.'
— Hch. xii. 2j.

WERE the Bible less complimented and
more appreciated it would be read
far more naturally. It has no magical effect.
Though it is the Book, it is a booky and a
book whose natural history is part of its su-
perlative value. Its origin was not artificial,
and the special occasion and accent — the
adaptation of each several part to a certain
set of circumstances — give to each part its
own peculiar value and explanation. We
want the point of view, and what is called
"introduction" is therefore indispensable.
Who, e.g., were Timothy and Paul? what was

272



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Crete, Corinth ? how did the Galatians differ
from the Philippians ? It is true of tlie Bible
also, and because it is so august, nascitiir uon
fit. The divine wisdom embodied in the very-
process and progress of revelation is one note
of its authority — each strand is dyed in the
colors of its own time. It is this normal
variety that leads us to be sure of that su-
preme unity in which all the books are
^providential chapters of one persistent and
ever-augmenting interpretation of the spirit
of ma.1 learning to understand the inspiration
of the Almighty. Just because this whole
Book goes deepest into origins and ends,
man's nature and God's nature, it is the most
natural book in the world. We must never
think that the supernatural is extra-natural
The Bible is not outside of human nature,
but at its core. Nature is not shallow ; it too
is a book; and the Bible is a book super-
naturally natural. It would be a great gain
if all this collection of writings could be set in
chronological sequence; the nearer we can
come to such a mental arrangement of them

273



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Immutability

the better for our comprehension. How shall
you get tiie force of Ezra or Jeremiah or
Amos if you do not know their dates? The
historical anatc my of d\c Book underlies its
physiology.

Of the twenty-seven New Testament books,
one is a great prophetic prose poem, five are
simple narratives, and twenty-one are letters.
This last is the most flexible and the most
personal form of writing. As il was the most
natural method for tiie apostles to use, so its
familiar facility best met the needs of those
diverse persons and grou[)s. Even its abstract
paragraphs are always quick and warm. The
whole New Testament is full of local color and
is incident to actual life. This " touch of na-
ture," this circumstantiality, this intense time-
liness, sign it with the signature of an all-com-
passing Providence. Because so vital it is
perennial. God's Spirit breathes through it.

Who reads a letter piecemeal? A letter
is meant for one sitting and a whole impres-
sion. These twenty-one letters are to be felt

in their individual completeness. " Who,

274



Retrospect ami Prospect



when, where, why, what?" Notably docs
the letter to the Hebrews reijuire and reward
a careful search for its dominant thought and
intent. It surely is among the six or seven
books of the New Testament foremost in
importance.

It has singular value as a book of relations
— showing the fulfilment of the Old Testa-
ment spirit in the spirit of the New. A per-
fect commentary upon Leviticus, it declares
the moral inviolability of God's one only
covenant; it explains the merging of the dis-
pensation of Israel in that of the Christian
church, and the completion of all ritual and
symbol in Ilim whom that system had pre-
figured and for whom it had prepared. It
interprets every tradition and [)rccedent as
transfigured in Jesus the Christ, and while
using the largest retrospect rebukes the idola-
try which can only look back.

But though the letter is such an ample
demonstration, it is more — an appeal. The
general scope of the argument is made glow-
ing hot by its spe* ial address to the trouble

275



Immutability



? , !



and anxiety of those to whom just then the
problem of transition was of painful and all
but overwhelming- perplexity. Here lies the
ardor, the pathos, the penetration of whoever
he was that penned it. This cardinal adapta-
tion to that time is what adapts it to all times
of strangeness and misgiving. Bishop West-
cott says (** C. C," p. 4) : " No men were ever
called to endure greater sacrifices, to sur-
render more precious hopes, to bear deeper
disappointments, than those to whom this
epistle was first addressed " ; and he opens its
inmost secret in declaring that it was written
" /o those who were ii7idergoing the trials of a
neiv age.'' This is indeed its message — a
perpetual lesson for all souls baffled and hesi-
tating under the exactions and special appre-
hensions of a changing time.

From that Jewish Christian whom this let-
ter takes by the hand how much that he held
sacred seemed to be slipping away! How
could he turn from that solemn and splendid
past and all at once be adjusted to what

seemed to disregard customs and associations

276



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Fulfilment



hen the

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How
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what
ations



intertwined with his deepest life ? The He-
brew had and held in veneration a nation, a
liturgy, a temple, and a law ; how could he,
without sharp travail, comprehend that there
had been ushered in that which was larger
than the nation, grander than the temple,
more hallowed than the old ceremonial,
deeper than the law ; and that patriotism,
worship, reverence, obedience, under new
forms, were to be kept not only, but en-
larged ?

No wonder that some, startled and dis-
tressed, drew back from what seemed to them
a collapse. No wonder that, unable so
swiftly to distinguish between the transient
and the permanent, some devout souls, caught
in the throes of such a period, found faith
itself in jeopardy. To show such how the
chosen people was the vessel of a world re-
demption ; how the chrysalis ages were sur-
passed ; that Christ was not a destroyer, but
a fulfiller, in whom all the ancient things had
come to their consummation — this was the

task of love the epistle so wondrously per-

277






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Immutability

formed. Its whole motif and criterion is the
evolution of an all-consistent, all-embracing
purpose, which glorified the past, not as a
sunsetting, but as a dawn. Your more de-
liberate reading may well analyze and array
this great translation of Hebrew thought into
Christian thought, but even the swift allusion
(which is all our present limit allows) can
give us the organ note that sounds the con-
stant key. More than any other New Testa-
ment writing this compact letter is ruled by
the method of comparison and antithesis.
All its detail is organized under contrast.
Every stroke declares that reestablishment is
the purpose of all disestablishment ; that,
whatever good God takes, he gives a better,
leading on to the best ; that where he sup-
plants he replants. And the final appeal is
to that affinity with him which disappoints
all fears and teaches the heart to " hold fast
the confession of hope, that it waver not."
" The law but a shadow of good things to
come"; "the disannulling of the command-
ment, and the bringing in of a better hope " ;

278



■». -at!girgi".r9WC !



The Building More than its Scaffold



^1



" a better covenant, enacted upon better
promises " ; "a greater and more perfect
tabernacle " ; " One worthy of more glory
than Moses " ; "a perpetual High Priest " ;
** a continuing city " ; "a kingdom that can-
not be shaken " ; "He taketh away the first,
that he may establish the second." These
contrasts, and many more their like, declare
the immanent, the perdurable, the immutable
care of a God under whom they are not to
" shrink back," but to believe; and at that
word out blazes the sublime definition of
xi. I, and, the skies shriveling as in an amphi-
theater, whereof all ages are the spectators
and each present age the spectacle, there is
disclosed the " great cloud of witnesses,"
and there is declared that moral continuity
of all believing generations in which the
past is forever perfecting in the " better
things " provided through each new present.
The culmination of the epistle lies in our
text, but the full chord was struck in its
opening phrase (i. i): " God, who," etc.

Here lies the appeal to our hearts. By all

279



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Immutability

this raptured argument the Faithful One chal-
lenges our confidence. Amid shaken cir-
cumstance u' shaken Providence! Out of
darkness the Shechinah! Through the
shattering of forms, the displacement of cus-
tom, the overruling of precedents, over all
and in all, God !

Here are the elements of all human dis-
cipline. Here is a solvent for the uncertain-
ties and reluctancy of every age, unexpectant
because too self-centered. God is the same,
and " Jesus Christ is the sa./ie yesterday,
and to-day, and forever." He "cannot deny
himself," and still declares, " It is I ; be not
afraid." He leads all generations and leads
each soul. To his fidelity we are to cleave
rather than to our associations with his past
method. In all swirl and gloom it is our
experience of hiniy rather than any forecast
of his way^ that must steady us.

The secret of life is growth, prolonging its

identity while ever weaving new garments.

Our very bodies are a parable of the uses of

change. Literally they " die daily." As in

280



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Whatever Lives Moves



i!



walking one perpetually loses and regains his
balance, taking ground with the heel and
leaving it with the toes, and thus moving, so
advances the soul — every new foothold a new
point of departure. Retrograde is not man's
natural gait ; it is the crab that creeps ahead
and runs backward! As the oncoming buds
of spring push off the leaves of autumn, so
we doflf the old summer and don the new.
Life is more than its leaves, and so (** as the
days of a tree "), " though the outward per-
ishes, the inner is renewed day by day."
This is the penalty and reward of our birth-
right. Immortal life must be perpetual
motion. Biology transcends morphology
and is a spiritual science. Whatever has
come to a standstill is dead. Then it may
be dissected, but not revived. The open
secret of life is lost. That is kept elsewhere
than in disjecta membra; it is at the other end
of the knife.

Following neither the extremists, who
retain all form, nor those who abandon all

substance, and discerning between the abso-

281



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lute and the relative, we can avow, as did
Jeremiah (xvii. 12) in other tumultuous and
seismic days, " A glorious throne, set on high
from the beginning, is the place of our sanc-
tuary."

With such comfort to courage as the be-
lieving Hebrews of the first Christian century
received this letter, so may we take it in this
latest century, which cannot be the last.
Each antms Domini must trace the past, not
to repeat, but to surpass, still going on into
the future's explorations with Him who never
stops. The developing parts which fear calls
fragments faith holds as portions, and finds
their implication by not detaching and isola-
ting them.

In " the first and the last and the living
One " we live and move. This is the legi-
bility of duty and the philosophy of history.
What seems to indolence and timidity an
emergency, or even a catastrophe, is but one
clause of that revelation which is punctuated
with commas and whose continuous sense

uses no disjunctives and attains no period.

282



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The Point of View



It is they who " have no changes " who
fear not God. Eccentricity is dislocation.
To him who stations himself upon what is
central every enlarging circumference is
normal. All new experience is serious, but
to the reverent mind it is always precious in
its recall to "the things that cannot be
shaken." Our vicissitudes are kindly in set-
ting aside secondary things and in putting
forward what is primary, in turning us from
the symbol to the sense, in bringing us back
to our necessary selves. Dislodgments
from ease and complacency (and from their
neglects and torpors) invite us to where we
can neither be disappointed nor surprised.
" Emptied from vessel to vessel " and edu-
cated in expectant attention, we get by heart
that old solace, "My soul, wait thou only
upon God." If nothing is so disagreeable,
so dreary, so futile, as religion without him,
nothing is so deep and sure as he. Faithful-
ness to the "two immutable things" (his
" word " and his " oath ") can never know
monotony or imagine danger. In the rapids

283



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Immutability



it is Cvirtain of the helmsman. " At the core
of the cyclone it finds a place of total calm."

" Let us be like the bird, one instant lighted
Upon a twig that swings ;
He feels it yield, but sings on unaffrighted,
Knowing he has his wings."

As in a distant land the appearance of a dear
friend can make strange scenes homelike, so
the recognition of the constancy of God can
surmount all the tremors of a lonely heart.

Or do we ponder the riddle of this our
time — its incisive, insistent questions, its
mental pace and strain? God has not for-
gotten. " Progress is made by shaking to
its center all that is uncritical." So has
every science been purged of guesses, and so
shall still be. Our definitions and explana-
tions are provisional. They are like the
manna, " good for this day only." God is
not peradventured upon our theodicies.

The great world's convulsions usher the
kingdom that cannot be shaken. Not even
the hideous disconcert of the so-called Chris-
tian powers can long bar back the Son of

284



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The Scepter of Light

man. He will break their insolent bluster
with a rod of iron.

Well may we go on with God and " nightly
pitch a moving tent," though all we are sure
of is " God " ; that syllable is central. What
if we stand in the fog, so we stand on that
Rock?

" Bright shoots of everlastingnesse " already
begin " the morning without clouds " which
puzzled and troubled souls shall know whose
very difficulties forced them to venture all
upon Him " with whom there is no parallax



or



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285



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The Sinless One

By

George T. Purves, D.D.

Professor of New Testament Literature in Princeton Theological

Seminary

"For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harm-
less, undefilcd, separate from sinners." — Heb. vii. 26.

WHATEVER makes the person of
Jesus Christ vividly real to our
thoughts helps us in our daily lives. Practical
Christianity finds a mighty stimulus in trust-
ing contemplating, understanding, and follow-
ing, him ; for in so doing we learn to live with
God and for man. He is the personal cen-
ter of our religion, the living revelation of
truth and life, the magnet by which we are
drawn heavenward, the one in and by whom
salvation becomes an actual possession. And
yet thus vividly and truthfully to apprehend

him is not easy. Being invisible he does not

286



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Theological

; holj', harm-
vii. 26.

person of
al to our
Practical
in trust-
ed foUow-
live with
nal cen-
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Studying Jesus

stand so clearly before us as other objects
which address themselves to our senses. The
historical distance from us of his earthly
career is apt to make his figure indistinct.
Even our dogmatic conceptions of his person
and work sometimes become formal and life-
less, though intended to interpret him and
though correctly expressing what we should
believe about him. It ought, therefore, to
be our effort constantly to repaint his figure
upon the canvas of our thought, to turn upon
him the light of experience and research, of
comparison and analysis, that fresh ideas of
his unspeakable glory may daily dawn upon
our minds, may delight our hearts, and cause
us to give him all the admiration and devo-
tion of which we may be capable.

Now in the words of our text we have
briefly described the moral purity of Jesus,
the sinles-s unspotted excellence of his per-
sonal character. The language is very vivid.
It shows the profound impression which
Jesus made on the first generation of disci-
ples — the immediate reflection of the impres-

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^ The Sinless One

sion made on those who came into direct
contact with him. The words breathe the
realism of personal acquaintance. They do
not enlarge upon what all knew, but they
express very beautifully the sense of ineffable
purity and holiness, of infinite moral superi-
ority, which the disciples received from him
whose very presence had revealed a new and
heavenly life. He was ** holy " ; and the
Greek word is not the common one for a thing
set apart for sacred usage, but a word K-^.
often employed and indicative of an exqui-
sitely pure and lofty character, one that real-
ized and discharged all its obligations. He
was " harmless," i.e., thoroughly good, gen-
tle, benevolent, tender-hearted, and true.
Out of him as they remembered him no harm
ever proceeded. No evil ever issued from
act or word of his. Nothing but good came
from him. When we remember how much
we influence one another, and how much evil
goes forth even from the best of us to coun-
terbalance not a little of the good we do, we

shall appreciate the character of the One of

288



ito direct
^athe the
They do
but they
f ineffable
al superi-
from him
I new and

and the
or a thing
word ]<"^'-
an exqui-
that rcal-
ons. He
3od, gen-
nd true.

no harm
lied from
Dod came
3w much
nuch evil

to coun-
re do, we

i One of



Spiritual Separation

whom it could be said by those who knew
him best that he was, as he bade them to
be, " harmless as a dove." Further, he was
'* undefiled " — untainted by the corruption of
the world in which he dwelt, unspotted by
the passions which left a stain even on apos-
tles. In short, he was " separate from sin-
ners." Some would take these words with
those that follow, " made higher than the
heavens," and understand them to describe
our Lord as now separated at the right hand
of God from the world of sinners, even as
the high priest in the most holy place was
separated from the multitude for whom he
made atonement. But I judge it more nat-
ural to see in the words another phrase to
describe Christ's personal character. He was
separated from sinners. The disciples who
stood nearest to him felt that there was a
great chasm between his spotless soul and
Uieirs. He was on a plane above them.
His motives and purposes were unlike theirs.
And this although in other respects he was

so near to them and so truly man. He had

289




The Sinless One

laid hold, as this epistle says, on the seed of
Abraham. He was touched with the feeling
of their infirmities. He was full of sympathy
and friendship. He understood them. He
took them by the hand. He wept over their
griefs and rejoiced in their joys. Yet he was
evidently as far above them as the gleaming
stars were higher than the water in which
their brilliance was reflected. He was the
frit; '^ o^ publicans and harlots, and yet he
was ** .. larate from sinners."

Could any language more forcibly express
the sense which the disciples had of their
Master's sinlessness? As I have said, the
words indicate the realism of personal ac-
quaintance. They do not speak in the lan-
guage of, the schools. They do not measure
Christ's worth by formal standards. They
are the outcome of personal adoration and
unspeakable reverence for One whose charac-
ter and life had been to those who knew him
the disclosure of the absolutely good.

Now I desire to enable you, if possible, to

realize afresh the sinlessness of Jesus Christ

290



the seed of
the feehng

sympathy
hem. He

over their
^et he was

gleaming

in which
' was the
id yet he

y express
of their
said, the
!onal ac-
the Ian-
measure
They
lion and
; charac-
Jew him

sible, to
5 Christ



No Sense of Sin

by suggesting certain considerations which
ought to make it very clear and very aston-
ishing to our minds. I would exalt your
sense of his personal perfection, — unlike that
of any other character who has ever appeared
in the history of our race,— -and I would do
it, not by a formal proof of the doctrine, but
by setting his life in its surroundings, with
the hope that the same impression may be
made on our minds as on those who knew
him first.

I. Consider, then, that in all the records
which we have of the Lord Jesus there is not
the slightest betrayal by him of the least
degree of the consciousness of sin. We have
a sufficiently complete record to justify us in
saying that this is a fact. We see him in
most trying hours. We hear him pray.
We listen to his teaching on religious themes.
We hear him reprove others. We catcli
glimpses of him in private as well as in pub-
lic. We know that he spake often about
himself. But in all the life of Christ we
never hear any confession of unworthiness or

291



il




The Sinless One

any longing after holiness, or discover any
indication whatever that he felt himself in
the least degree touched by sin.

The significance of this will appear if we
recall two other facts, one of experience, the
other of history.

The first is that, as a matter of universal
experience, the more spiritual a man becomes
the more does he feel himself a sinner and
unworthy of fellowship with God. The
progress of man's moral life commonly con-
sists in the awakening and sharpening of iiis
conscience. He becomes more keenly aware
of moral obligations. He sees them where
before he saw them not. He analyzes more
thoroughly his motives and classifies more
correctly his duties. He becomes more sen-
sitive to the demands made upon his con-
science, just as progress in other departments
of activity consists in the refinement of our
powers and the larger perception of the ob-
jects on which they were meant to terminate.
This is the law of the moral and spiritual life

of man. He is at first a child, and, like a

292



The Growth of Conscience



child, only takes in a few facts, feels his ob-
ligations in but a few directions. Some men
never grow beyond this stage. Though their
intellects may be cultured and their bodies
strengthened, their moral faculties remain
undeveloped. Then conscience is apt to
become a mere scourge, driving to unloved
duty; a nightmare, affrighting with threats
of torment. But just so far as the spiritual
life of man has blossomed and flowered, so
far has his sensitiveness to evil increased, his
recognition of it brightened and clarified, his
consciousness of its presence in him become
more intense, and his longings after freedom
from it become stronger. Witness in proof
of this the hymns of all religions, and espe-
cially the hymns of Christendom. Witness
the advance of social morality, taking in, as
it has gradually done, matters that were once
thought quite indifferent. Read the confes-
sions of the purest men and women who have
ever lived. Those that have risen highest
have felt themselves the lowest. And this
has not been a delusion with them; they

293






The Sinless One



11



have only seen more clearly. A villainous
murderer went to the scaffold saying that he
looked on his life as a whole with much sat-
isfaction, and felt that, with the trifling ex-
ception of a murder, he had tried to do right
by all men. Augustine wrote, '* The dwell-
ing of my soul is in ruins ; do Thou restore it.
There is that in it which must offend thine
eyes; I confess and know it: but who will
cleanse it?" Such are fair examples. Who
of us that try to love God does not know
the same thing from his own experience?
As Christian life proceeds, as its insight be-
comes clearer, as its consciousness deepens
and is purified, it becomes more and more
ready to say with the Scripture, " In my
flesh there dwelleth no good thing," and to
repeat confessions at which the world some-
times stands amazed. Just in proportion as
man's moral life advances does he feel that
he is not worthy even to gather up the
crumbs that fall from the festal table which
the grace of God has spread.

But lo! the one person who by act and

294



The Call to Repentance

word gave evidence of the most spiritual life
was absolutely without this element of mind.
He had the clearest insight into moral
duties. His words are still recognized as
embodying the loftiest ethics. His charac-
ter is held worthy of universal imitation.
He loved to pray. He talked with God as
though he saw him. And yet, unlike every
other man of spiritual insight who ever lived,
he never betrayed any sense of unworthiness
or of his need of greater holiness.

And this stands out still more remarkably
when we associate it with the historical fact
that in the Jewish world in which Jesus lived
the sense of sin and of general apostasy from
God was specially strong among awakened
minds. Jesus lived in the age when John
cried to all Israel "Repent!" and with pro-
phetic zeal unveiled the monstrous corrup-
tion of the church and nation. But John
himself very plainly confessed his own un-
worthiness. Speaking of Messiah, he said,
" His shoe's latchet I am not worthy to un-
loose." So, likewise, those men who followed

295



The Sinless One



.■I u



Jesus were very emphatic in their confessions
of sin. Peter cried, " I am a sinful man, O
Lord." The centurion said, " I am not
worthy that thou shouldest come under my
roof." Paul called himself " the chief of sin-
ners." Wherever Christ or his gospel went
men were awakened in an eminent degree to
the fact of sin, and were led to confess that,
even if believers, they were only beginning
to aspire to that holiness without which they
felt that no man can see the Lord.

But again, amid this whole movement and
as the vital center of it, the Lord Jesus never
betrayed the slightest consciousness of wrong.
If he had been the product of the same in-
fluences which molded the rest, he would
have been the loudest in his confessions.
But not an accent of such fell from his lips.
How does the consciousness of sin show it-
self? With some in fear, causing them to
turn away from God and dread to think of
him, much more to pray. With others it as-
sumes the form of bravado, leading them to

boldly dare the consequences of their mis-

296



! ) iV



No Need of Forgiveness



deeds. These effects, however, are seen in
characters which cannot possibly be com-
pared with Christ's. With good men, on the
other hand, who have been awakened to a
sense of sin, it shows itself in expressions of
repentance, in prayers for forgiveness, in
longings after holiness, in acknowledgment
of the unmerited grace of God ; sometimes in
painful acts of self-denial and asceticism,
which are supposed to compensate for trans-
gression or to extinguish the power of evil.
But none of these things are discoverable in
Jesus. Though he called others to repent,
he himself never expressed repentance. He
never asked to be forgiven, though he taught
us to ask it. On the contrary, we find him
rejoicing in the assurance of his Father's
eternal love, delighting in communion with
God, and finally openly challenging his ene-
mies on this very point : " Which of you con-
vinceth me of sin? " Nor is there any trtie
of development in his spiritual life, but, from
the first and to the last, the utter absence of
the consciousness of sin appears in him. The
Buddha claimed to reach perfection, but only
as the result of a long and painful process of
self-purification. Christ appears as free from
the sense of sin in the beginning of his career
as amid its close.

Is not this a life which stands alone in all
history ? Try to imagine if it be possible on
the ordinary siippositions of human experi-
ence. How could one be gifted with such
spiritual discernment and yet see no flaw in
himself, if there was a flaw ? How could one
teach such high and pure morals without
confessing his own shortcomings, if he di^'
come short? How could one dwell so near
to the divine Father and never ask to be for-
given sin, which that Father hates, if there
was any sin to be forgiven? I ask you to
think of this, not from the standpoint of the
deity of Christ in which we believe, but from
the standpoint of his humanity. Conceive
the impression which he must have made
upon those about him. Realize that he was
an actual living person. Then you will ap-
preciate the fact that in all the record of his


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Credibility of the Gospels

life there is not a trace of the slightest sense
of sin. " If I should say, I know not the
Father," said Jesus to the Pharisees, " I
should be a liar like unto you : but I know
him, and keep his sayings." " I do always
those things which please him." Such ex-
pressions, embedded in such a life, form a
unique fact in the history of moral teaching.
2. There are only two ways by which those
who doubt these facts can evade the force of
the evidence. The first is by saying that
the record in the gospels is not true, but that
the disciples exaggerated the character of
their Master, embellished his virtues and for-
got his faults. To reply to this objection
would lead us too far afield. It involves the
whole question of the credibility of the gos-
pels. But I may point out in passing that
the gospels do describe Christ's weakness and
weariness, his struggle? with temptation and
his agony in the garden. They evince no
disposition, therefore, to idealize the charac-
ter of Jesus, nor to hide his genuine human-
ity. On the other hand, they do not, except
in the prologue to the fourth gospel, briiit^
out the formal doctrine about him which the
apostles themselves believed, nor do they
impute to the Master the theological lan-
guage which later revelations would have
justified. They have therefore all the ap-
pearance of honest histories. They confirm
one another. They are themselves confirmed
by the epistles. The very simplicity of their
story attests their historical veracity.

The other way to escape the natural infer-
ence from the facts of which we have been
speaking is to say that Jesus was under an
hallucination, that his enthusiasm made him
blind to his own defects. So Renan writes :
** Jesus cannot be judged by the rule of our
petty propriety. The admiratiort of his dis-
ciples overwhelmed him and carried him
away."

I wish, therefore, to suggest certain other

facts which render these objections highly

improbable, and which also serve to give a

still livelier sense of the real sinlessness of

our Lord.


The first is that it was those who were nearest to him who have testified to his spotless purity. It is quite easy to make a good
impression on the public, it is not so easy
to extort from those who live with us a simi-
lar tribute, unless it be deserved. Many men
seem great and good at a distance, but nearer
at hand their faults are manifest. Now the
fact was that in public Jesus was often
charged with doing wrong. The Pharisees
openly called him a sinner because they
thought he broke the Sabbath, and a devil
because he opposed them, and a blasphemer
because he said God was liis Father. He
did not live such a life as to be called a saint
by the established standard of the day. His
reputation was not based on conformity to
the common ideal. On the contrary, he was
crucified as a malefactor. It was only those
who lived with him who testify to the spot-
less beauty of his character. '1 hey saw him
in private. They watched i .m in his most
critical hours. They heard his ejaculations.
They were his confidential friends. But it
was they who from the very first acknow-
ledged, and with greater emphasis as their
acquaintance with him ripened, that he was
the Holy One of God. Their testimony
seems of great worth. Popular applause is
easy to win if we conform to the popular
ideal, but this te^'^^'mony was rendered, in the
face of derision and apparent failure, by those
who knew him best.

Furthermore, nothing that Jesus ever said
or did appears even now to indicate sin in
him. We have grown very wise. Some
think that, speakmg comparatively, we have
grown good. Certainly the world has greatly
advanced in the knowledge of duty. But it
is a fact that we cannot find anything to
criticize in Jesus from a moral point of
view. All that we can do, whether Chris-
tians or not, from theologians to novelists, is
to show that our teachings were his. He can
still say, "Which of you convinceth me of sin ? "
In this age, for example, we lay great stress
on the love of man as the highest form of
morality; on benevolence, unselfishness, on
altruism. But all this was taught and prac-
tised ages ago by Jesus. Or, if we say that
morality depends on the motives from which
men act, what motives can be higher than
those which appear in the life of Jesus? The
Sermon on the Mount is the moral code of
the ages, and point, if you can, to any princi-
ple or precept of that sermon which Jesus did
not obey in his life. I need not expand
on this ; but I beg you to remember that
the growing moral sense of nineteen centu-
ries has not convicted him of any fault of
character.

And still again, remember that he made
this impression on his friends and gave this
evidence in his life althougl le was perfectly
open to temptation and, in fact, fcught it
hand to hand. He was not a cold 'deal.
He was not a statue in marble. Life's battle
was tremendously real to him. He was
tempted as we are. He grew also in know-
ledge and wisdom. And therefore the spot-
less holiness of his character becomes of
treble worth. It appears a living attainment.

It was a conquest. It was a thoroughly
human quality, and must on that account
have impressed the more those who were
about him. We need not stumble over the
notion that a sinless person cannot b^
tempted. If our first parents were tempte/1
and fell, Christ could be tempted without
falling. Moreover, the power of temptatio/x
consists simply in its offering us something
that we desire; and Jesus desired much that
he could not have, if he were to become man's
Redeemer. It was his lot to lay aside the
enjoyment of Heaven's favor; to apparently
fail of winning men to God ; at last to have
the Father hide his face from him. His
temptations lay in the desire for these good
things which were forbidden him, and the
very intensity of his love of God and man
made the temptations stronger. At any rate
the testimony is unanimous that he knew
temptation's power. The battle in the wil-
derness of Judea, the agony in the garden of
Gethsemane, the remark that fell from his lips,
" I have overcome the world," sufficiently







oroughly

account

^ho were

over the

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tempte/1

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and the

md man

any rate

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the wil-

arden of

his lips,

ficiently attest it.

This very writer of the Epistle to the
Hebrews knew it. He says, " He was in all
points tempted like as we are, yet without
sin." *' In that he himself hath suffered being
tempted, he is able to succor them that are
tempted." The disciples knew him too well
to claim for him exemption from the common
lot. They saw him harassed and oppressed,
and therefore bowed the more reverently
before the meekness and gentleness, the
purity and love, the unselfishness and the
righteousness which in spite of temptation
never failed to manifest themselves in Jesus.
This adds immensely to our admiration of
his character. He is one of ourselves. The
holiness of God may be too far above us for
us to comprehend it, but the spotless purity
of the tempted Saviour, who will not adore ?
And now, once more, I add that the Lord
Jesus had for his confessed rule of life a prin-
ciple which naturally made him realize keenly
the presence of sin, even in its least apparent
forms. He said, " My meat is to do the will
of him that sent me " ; and through all his

life the will of God was his law, to do that

will was his firm resolve. I ask you to note

this particularly ; for a man's sense of sin

depends directly upon his idea of what sin is.

Many people think that only crime is sin, and

because they have done no crime they feci

no sense of sin. Others think sin to be

merely selfishness, and because *^hey are kind

and philanthropic do not regard themselves

as seriously at fault. But the Bible teaches

that sin is far more than this. It is any want

of conformity to the will of God. Man owes

to God absolute loyalty of thought and act.

The least rupture of that loyalty is sin. The

broader and deeper our knowledge of the will

of God, the more must we feel that we are

sinful. Now my point is that Jesus was fully

aware of this. This was his rule ; by this he

judged. And he gives evidence of so broad

and deep a knowledge of what God's will is

that the rule of his life made him sensible of

sin to a degree in comparison with which our

best perceptions of it are as twilight to high

noon. And yet he had no sense of sin.

Though he had the highest possible standard
by which to judge, he never felt that the
standard condemned him. Though he was
keenly alive to moral differences, though he
stands before us the supreme Teacher of what
is right, though he had for his rule of life the
highest of all laws, he deliberately said, " I
have overcome the world " ; "I have finished
the work which thou gavest me to do."

Fellow-sinners, what a character is this!
It defies all explanations save that of the
text. A man, yet a sinless man ! Tempted,
but never stained! Fighting hand to hand
with evil, but never wounded by it! In the
world, and yet above it ! Once and on';'^ once
in human history has this spectacle appeared.

Permit me, then, in a word, to press upon
your minds the practical importance of this
truth.

The moral character of Jesus is a sufficient
credential of the truth of his gospel. He has
other credentials, but I bring forward this to-
day. He is unique. He is truth and right-
eousness incarnate. Thei ef ore his word must
be authoritative; his teaching concerning
God and duty, truth and salvation, must be
our absolute standard. He guarantees by
his personal sinlessness the authority of the
message. What he declares to be God's
truth we must accept as such. What he
declares to be God's will and purpose we
must obey and believe. We scarcely need
other evidence. At his feet mind and heart
should bow.

Further, he is worthy to be man's repre-
sentative before God. Sinless himself, he is
a rightful priest of humanity. So our text
says, *' Such an high priest became us." This
is what we need. Who but he can venture
for us into the most holy place? Who but
he can sprinkle the atoning blood ? He is a
priest whose right to mediate history and
conscience, as well as God, declare.

For can we suppose that this sinless life was lived for himself alone ? He himself assures us of the contrary. He came into the world.

He did not belong to it.

He had no need to live on earth at all. His express declaration is that he came for our redemption. If so, we must certainly behold in his sinless life more even than the perfect example of what our lives should be. It was the necessary preparation for the sacrifice of  the cross, and it becomes more than ever precious when we consider that it was part of the redemption price paid for our deliverance.

For we are " not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot." The character which the world itself cannot but admire, and the Hfe which stands forth as the great exception to all other lives, obtain the highest signi Seance when we also remember that God " hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Well may we adore him. Well may we imitate and obey him. But above all else, well may we trust him ; for he has won the right to redeem us, and is able to save unto the uttermost all those that come unto God by him.