Part 1 out of 3
Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Charlie Kirschner
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
BY ANNA ROBERTSON BROWN LINDSAY PH.D.
WHAT IS WORTH WHILE?
CULTURE AND REFORM
THE VICTORY OF OUR FAITH
This work was begun nearly five years ago. Since then, the whole face of
American history has changed. We have had the Spanish-American War, and
the opening-up of our new possessions. In this period of time Gladstone,
Li Hung Chang, and Queen Victoria have died; there has also occurred the
assassination of the Empress of Austria and of President McKinley. There
has been the Chinese persecution, the destruction of Galveston by storm
and of Martinique by volcanic action. Wireless telegraphy has been
discovered, and the source of the spread of certain fevers. In this time
have been carried on gigantic engineering undertakings,--the
Trans-Siberian Railroad, the Trans-Balkan Railroad, the rebuilding of
New York. We have also looked upon the consolidation of vast forces of
steel, iron, sugar, shipping, and other trusts. We have witnessed an
extraordinary growth of universities, libraries, and higher
schools,--the widespread increase of commerce, the prosperity of
business, the rise in the price of food, and the great coal-strike of
1902. Perhaps never before in the world's history have there been
crowded into five years such dramatic occurrences on the world-stage,
nor such large opportunities for the individual man or woman.
It is interesting for me to notice that since the first outlines of the
book were written, many things then set down as prophecy have now been
fulfilled. It was my purpose, in projecting the essays at what seemed
to me to be the dawn of a great religious era, to help the onward
movement by a few earnest words. History itself has swept the world far
beyond one's dreams, and in completing them, I only ask that they may
stand a further witness to the overwhelming majesty and influence of the
ANNA ROBERTSON BROWN LINDSAY
_Philadelphia, November_ 1_st_, 1902
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. CHORDS OF AWAKENING:
THE HIGHER CONQUEST
THE CALL OF JESUS
THE CHURCH OF GOD
IV. THE WORLD-MARCH:
OF PRELATES AND EVANGELISTS
I. CHORDS OF AWAKENING: THE HIGHER CONQUEST
_The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain:
His blood-red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train?
Who best can drink his cup of woe,
Triumphant over pain;
Who patient bears his cross below,
He follows in His train!
They met the tyrant's brandished steel,
The lions gory mane;
They bowed their necks the death to feel:
Who follows in their train?
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven
Through peril, toil, and pain:
O God, to us may grace be given
To follow in their train!_
The universe is not awry. Fate and man are not altogether at odds. Yet
there is a perpetual combat going on between man and nature, and between
the power of character and the tyranny of circumstance, death, and sin.
The great soul is tossed into the midst of the strife, the longing, and
the aspirations of the world. He rises Victor who is triumphant in some
great experience of the race.
The first energy is combative: the Warrior is the primitive hero. There
are natures to whom mere combat is a joy. Strife is the atmosphere in
which they find their finest physical and spiritual development. In the
early times, there must have been those who stood apart from their
tribesmen in contests of pure athletic skill,--in running, jumping,
leaping, wrestling, in laying on thew and thigh with arm, hand, and
curled fist in sheer delight of action, and of the display of strength.
As foes arose, these athletes of the tribe or clan would be the first to
rush forth to slay the wild beast, to brave the sea and storm, or to
wreak vengeance on assailing tribes. Their valor was their insignia.
Their prowess ranked them. Their exultation was in their freedom
Such men did not ask a life of ease. Like Tortulf the Forester, they
learned "how to strike the foe, to sleep on the bare ground, to bear
hunger and toil, summer's heat and winter's frost,--how to fear nothing
but ill-fame." They courted danger, and asked only to stand as Victors
at the last.
Hence we read of old-world warriors,--of Gog and Magog and the Kings of
Bashan; of the sons of Anak; of Hercules, with his lion-skin and club;
of Beowulf, who, dragging the sea-monster from her lair, plunged beneath
the drift of sea-foam and the flame of dragon-breath, and met the clutch
of dragon-teeth. We read of Turpin, Oliver, and Roland,--the
sweepers-off of twenty heads at a single blow; of Arthur, who slew
Ritho, whose mantle was furred with the beards of kings; of Theodoric
and Charlemagne, and of Richard of the Lion-heart.
There are also Victors in the great Quests of the world,--the Argonauts,
Helena in search of the Holy Rood, the Knights of the Holy Grail, the
Pilgrim Fathers. There are the Victors in the intellectual wrestlings of
the world,--the thinkers, poets, sages; the Victors in great sorrows,
who conquer the savage pain of heart and desolation of spirit which
arise from heroic human grief,--Oedipus and Antigone, Iphigenia,
Perseus, Prometheus, King Lear, Samson Agonistes, Job, and David in his
penitential psalm. And there are the Victors in the yet deeper strivings
of the soul--in its inner battles and spiritual conquests--Milton's
Adam, Paracelsus, Dante, the soul in _The Palace of Art_, Abt Vogler,
Isaiah, Teufelsdroeckh, Paul. To read of such men and women is to be
thrilled by the Titanic possibilities of the soul of man!
The world has come into other and greater battle-days. This is an era of
great spiritual conflicts, and of great triumphs. To-day faith calls the
soul of man to arms. It is a clarion to awake, to put on strength, and
to go forth to Holy War. If there were no fighting work in the Christian
life, much of the intense energy and interest of the race would be
unaroused. There are apathetic natures who do not want to undertake the
difficult,--sluggish souls who would rather not stir from their present
position. And there are cowards who run to cover. But there is
in all strong natures the primitive combative instinct,--the
let-us-see-which-is-the-stronger, which delights in contests, which is
undismayed by opposition, and which grows firmer through the warfare
of the soul.
It is this phase of the Christian life which is most needed to-day,--the
warrior-spirit, the all-conquering soul. In entering the Christian life,
one must put out of his heart the expectation that it is to be an easy
life, or one removed from toil and danger. It is preeminently the
adventurous life of the world,--that in which the most happens, as well
as that in which the spiritual possibilities are the greatest. It is a
life full of splendor, of excitement, of trial, of tests of courage and
endurance, and is meant to appeal to those who are the very bravest
and the best.
There are two forms of conquest to which the soul of man is called--the
inner and the outer. The inner is the conquest of the evil within his
own nature; the outer is the struggle against the evil forces of the
world--the constructive task of building up, under warring conditions,
the spiritual kingdom of God.
The real world is far more subtle than we as yet understand. When we
dive down into the deep, sky and air and houses disappear. We enter a
new world--the under-world of water, and things that glide and swim; of
sea-grasses and currents; of flowing waves that lap about the body with
a cool chill; of palpitating color, that, at great depths, becomes a
sort of darkness; of sea-beds of shell and sand, and bits of scattered
wreckage; of ooze and tangled sea-plants, dusky shapes, and
Or if we look upward we reach an over-world, where moons and suns are
circling in the heights. What draws them together? What keeps a subtle
distance between them, which they never cross? How do they, age after
age, run a predestined course? We drop a stone. What binds it earthward?
Under our feet run magnetic currents that flow from pole to pole. In the
clouds above, there are electric vibrations which cannot be described
in exact terms.
Thus also, in spiritual experiences, there are currents which we cannot
measure or describe. The psychic world is the final world, though its
towers and pinnacles no eye hath seen. If we try to shut out for an hour
the outer world, and descend into the soul-world of the life of man, we
find ourselves in a new environment, and with an outlook over new forms
and powers. We find ourselves in a world of images and attractions, of
impulses and desires, of instincts and attainments. It is not only a
world of separate and individual souls, but each soul is as a thousand;
for within each man there is an inner host contending for mastery, and
everywhere is the uproar of battle and of spiritual strife.
What is the Self that abides in each man? Is it not the consciousness of
existence, together with a consciousness of the power of choice? Our
individuality lies in the fact that we can decide, choose, and rule
among the various contestant impulses of our souls. Herein is the
possibility of victory and also the possibility of defeat.
Looking inward, we find that Self began when man began. We inherit our
dispositions from Adam, as well as from our parents and a long ancestral
line. When the first men and women were created, forces were set in
action which have resulted in this Me that to-day thinks and wills and
loves. Heredity includes savagery and culture, health and disease,
empire and serfdom, hope and despair. Each man can say: "In me rise
impulses that ran riot in the veins of Anak, that belonged to Libyan
slaves and to the Ptolemaic line. I am Aryan and Semite, Roman and
Teuton: alike I have known the galley and the palm-set court of kings.
Under a thousand shifting generations, there was rising the combination
that I to-day am. In me culminates, for my life's day, human history
Individuality is thus a unique selection and arrangement of what has
been, touched with something--a degree of life--that has not been
before. To rise above heredity is to rise above the downward drag of all
the years. It is not escaping the special sin of one ancestor, but the
sin of all ancestors. _This is the first problem that is set before each
man: to rise above his race--to be the culmination of virtue until now_.
_The second problem is not greater, but different. It is to mould
environment to spiritual uses_. The conditions of this struggle and the
opportunities of this conquest are the content of this book. It is meant
to deal with the more heroic aspects of the Christian life.
What is environment? Is it the material horizon that bounds us? If so,
where does it end? Our first environment is a crib, a room, our mother's
eyes. Sensations of hunger, heat, and motion beat upon the baby-brain;
there is a vague murmur of sound in the baby-ears. Yet it is this babe
who, in after days, has all the universe for his soul's demesne! His
environment stretches out to towns and rivers, shore and sea. Looking
upward into space, he can view a star whose distance is a thousand times
ten thousand miles. Beyond the path of his feet or of his sight, there
is the path of thought, which leads him into new countries, new climes,
new years! His meditations are upon ages gone; his work competes with
that of the dead. In his reveries and imaginings, he can transport
himself anywhither, and can commune with any friend or god. Hence to be
master of one's environment is really to have the universe within
We are too much afraid of customs and traditions. We are put into our
times, not that the times may mould us, but that we may mould the times!
Ways? Customs? They exist to be changed! The _tempora_ and the _mores_
should be plastic to our touch. The times are never level with our best.
Our souls are higher than the _Zeitgeist_. Why should we cringe before
an inferior essence or command? But society seals our lips: we walk
about with frozen tongues.
Each asks himself at some time: How shall I become one of the Victors of
the race? Is it in me? Mankind is weighted by every previous sin. Where
am I free? How am I free? Can I do as I choose? Or are there bourns of
conduct beyond which I can never go? Am I foreordained to sin? Do the
stars in their courses lay limitations on free will?
There are in man two forces working: a human longing after God, and, in
response, God inly working in the soul. The Victor is he who, in his own
life, unites these two things: a great longing after the god-like, which
makes him yearn for virtue,--and the divine power within him, through
which and by which he is triumphant over time and death and sin.
Whatever our trials, sorrows, or temptations, joy and courage are ever
meant to be in the ascendant; life, however it may break in storms upon
us, is not meant to beat down our souls. Unless we are triumphant, we
are not wholly useful or well trained. Will and heart together work
As there flashes and thrills through all nature a subtle electric
vibration which is the supreme form of physical energy, so there runs
through the history of mankind a current of spiritual inspiration and
power. To possess this magnetism of soul, this heroism of life, this
flame-like flower of character, is to be Victor in the great combats of
the race. It is the spirit of courage, energy, and love. Nothing is too
hard for it, nothing too distasteful, nothing too insignificant. Through
all the course of duty it spurs one to do one's best. Its essence is to
overcome. This is the indwelling Holy Spirit, wherein is freedom, power,
and rest. To its final triumph all things are accessory. To joy, all
II. PRELUDE: THE CALL OF JESUS
_I heard the voice of Jesus say
Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad._
_I heard the voice of Jesus say
Behold I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink, and live.
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him._
_I heard the voice of Jesus say
I am this dark world's light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I'll walk,
Till travelling days are done._
It is a world of voices in which we live. We are daily visited by
appeals which are ministering to our growth and progress, or which are
tending to our spiritual downfall. There are the voices of nature, in
sky, and sea, and storm; the voices of childhood and of early youth; the
voices of playfellows and companions,--voices long stilled, it may be,
in death; the voices of lover and beloved; the voices of ambition, of
sorrow, of aspiration, and of joy.
But among all these many voices, there is one which is most inspiring
and supreme. When the _Vorspiel_ to _Parsifal_ breaks upon the ear it is
as if all other music were inadequate and incomplete--as if a voice
called from the confines of eternity, in the infinite spaces where no
time is, and rolled onward to the far-off ages when time shall be no
more. Even so, high and clear above the voices of the world, deeper and
tenderer than any other word or tone, comes the voice of Jesus to the
soul of man.
Look, if you will, upon the World of Souls, many-tiered and vast,
stretching from day's end to day's end,--a world of hunger and of anger,
of toiling and of striving, of clamor and of triumph,--a dim, upheaving
mass, which from century to century wakes, and breathes, and sleeps
again! Years roll on, tides flow, but there is no cessation of the march
of years, and no whisper of a natural change. Is it not a strange thing
that one voice, and only one, should have really won the hearing of the
race? What is this voice of Jesus, so enduring, matchless, and supreme?
What does it promise, for the help or hope of man?
There are some who say that Jesus has held the attention and allegiance
of the race by an appeal to the religious instinct; that all men
naturally seek God, and long to know Him. But if we try to define the
religious instinct, we shall find it a hard task. What might be called a
religious instinct leads to human sacrifice upon the Aztec altar;
directs the Hindu to cast the new-born child in the stream, the friend
to sacrifice his best friend to a pagan deity.
There are others who say that Christ appeals to the gentler instincts of
man,--to his unselfishness, his meekness and compassion. Yet some of the
most admirable Christians have been ambitious and aggressive. Others
say, He appeals to our need of help. But self-reliance is a Christian
trait. Others say, He appeals to our sense of sin--our need of pardon.
But many a Christian goes through life like a happy child, scarcely
conscious at any time of deep guilt, and never overwhelmed by intense
conviction or despair.
The truth seems to be that Christ appeals to our whole selves. He calls
us by an attraction which is unique. In the universe there exists a
force which we must recognize--though we do not yet in the least
understand it--which is gradually drawing the race Christward. The law
of spiritual gravitation is, that by all the changing impulses of our
nature we are drawn upward unto Him. Spohr's lovely anthem voices this
cry of the soul:
"_As pants the hart for cooling streams,
When heated in the chase,
So longs my soul, O God, for Thee,
And Thy refreshing grace.
"For Thee, my God, the living God,
My thirsty soul doth pine;
Oh! when shall I behold Thy face,
Thou Majesty divine_?"
1. Jesus calls us by the mystery of life. There are hours of silence and
meditation when the great thought _I am_ beats in upon the soul. But
what am I? Whence came I? A heap of atoms in some strange human
semblance--is that all? And so many other heaps of atoms have already
been, and passed away! Blown hither and thither--where? The universe
reels with change. Star-dust and earth-dust are alike in ceaseless
whirl. Little it profits to build the spire, the sea-wall, the dome, the
bridge, the myriad-roofed town. A new era shall dawn upon them, and they
shall fall away.
Not only that, but each man who lives to-day has less possible material
dominion than he had who preceded him. Only so many square feet of
earth, and now there are more to walk upon them! The ground we tread was
once trodden by the feet of those long dead. I am taking up their room,
and in due time I must myself depart, that there may be footway for
those who are to come after me. Only the under-sod is really mine--the
little earth-barrow to which I go.
There is no question more baffling than this simple, ever-recurring one:
What am I? If I should decide what I am to-day, I discover that
yesterday I was quite a different person. To-day I may be six feet in
height, and climb the Alps; yesterday I lay helpless in swaddling
clothes. Yesterday I was a thing of laughter and frolic; to-day I am
grave, and brush away tears. As a babe, was I still I? What is Myself?
When did I come to Myself? How far can I extend Myself? My feet are
here, but in a moment my spirit can flee to Xanadu and Zanzibar. There
is no spot in the universe where I may not go. Where, then, are the
limits of Myself?
Personality is never for a single moment fixed: it is as changing and
evanescent as a cloud. We are whirlwind spirits, swept through time and
space, bearing within our souls hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, which are
never twice the same. Every aspect of the universe leaves new
impressions on us, and our wills, in their world-sweep, daily desire
Incompleteness lies on life--restlessness is in the heart. True love has
no final habitation on earth; there is no abiding-place for our deepest
affection, our most tender yearning. It is curious how deeply one may
love, and yet feel that there is something more. In all our journeys,
skyward and sunward, we never reach the End of All.
Over against this vague and changing self, there stands out the figure
of the changeless Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. In
Him we find the environment of all our lives, and the sum of all
2. Jesus calls us by our earth-born cares. In Mendelssohn's _Elijah_,
there is a voice which sings: "O rest in the Lord!" This angel's message
is the voice of Jesus to the human race.
The voice of Jesus calls us to awake to toil. We sometimes forget this,
and imagine that if we follow Jesus, we shall never have anything to do.
Christ does not still the machinery of the world, nor shut the mine, nor
take away the sowing and the reaping. The call of Jesus is not a call to
rest from work, but to rest in work. The rest we receive is that of
sympathy, of inspiration, of efficiency. Christ really increases the
toil-capacity of man. Man can do more work, harder work, and always
better work, because of the faith that is in him. What makes the
confusion and fatigue of life is, that men are everywhere scrambling
for themselves, and trying to manage their own undertakings, instead of
falling into harmony with God, and through Him, with all that is. What
wears the soul out is not the work of life itself--it is its drudgery,
its monotony, its blind vagueness, its apparent purposelessness. We do
not wish to scatter our lives and spend our years in nothingness.
Christ comes into the world and says: Over-fatigue is abnormal. There
is not enough work in the universe to tire every one all out. There is
just enough for each one to do happily, and to do well. I am come as the
great industrial organizer. My mission is not to take away toil, but to
redistribute it. My industrial plan is the largest of history--it is
also the most simple. I look down over the world, as a master upon his
men. My work is not to found an earthly kingdom, as some have thought;
it is not primarily to set up industrial establishments, or syndicates,
or ways of transport and trade. My work is to build up in the universe a
spiritual kingdom of energy, power, and progress. To this kingdom all
material things are accessory. In My hand are all abilities, as well as
all knowledge. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without My notice. Not
a lily blooms without My delight. Not a brick is laid, not a stone is
set, not an axe is swung, except beneath My eye. I provide for My own.
To each man I assign his work, his task. If he takes upon him only what
I give him to do, he will never be under-paid, or over-tired.
Hence the first step towards an industrial millennium is to arise and do
what Jesus bids. Heaven is heaven because no one is unruly there, or
idle, or lazy, or vicious, or morose. Each soul is at true and happy
work. Each energy is absorbed; each hour is alive with interest, and
there are no oppressive thoughts or ways.
If each heart and soul responded to the call of Jesus, there would be a
new heaven and a new earth--a Utopia such as More never dreamed of, nor
Plato, nor Bellamy, nor Campanella in his _City of the Sun_. Each hand
would be at its own work; each eye would be upon its own task; each foot
would be in the right path. All the fear, the weariness, the squalor,
and the unrest of life would be done away. The life of each man would be
a life of contentment, and of economic advance.
3. Jesus calls us by the scourging of our sins. Flagellation is not of
the body--it is of the soul. Remorse is as a scorpion-whip, and memory
beats us with many stripes. The first sin that besets us is
forgetfulness of God. Apathy creeps over the spirit, and sloth winds
itself about our deeds. Nothing is more pathetic than the decline of the
merely forgetful soul. "Be sleepless in the things of the spirit," says
Pythagoras, "for sleep in them is akin to death."
Sin lifts bars against success: the root of failure lies in irreligion.
Pride, conceit, disobedience, malice, evil-speaking, covetousness,
idolatry, vice, oppression, injustice, and lack of truth and honor fight
more strongly against one's career than any other foe. No sin is without
its lash; no experience of evil but has its rebound. To expect a higher
moral insight in middle age because of a larger experience of sin in
youth, is as reasonable as to look for sanity of judgment in middle age
because in youth a man had fits!
Looking at ourselves in a mirror, do we not sometimes think how we would
fashion ourselves if we could create a new self, in the image of some
ideal which is before us? Would we not make ourselves wholly beautiful
if we could make ourselves?
Even so, looking out upon our own spirits, do we not some day rouse to
the distortion and deformity of sin? Do we wish to retain these
grimacing phases of ourselves? Do we not yearn eagerly for the dignity
and beauty of high virtue? Do we not long for the graces and perfections
which make up a radiant and happy life? If we could be born again, would
we not be born a more spiritual being?
It is to this new birth that Jesus calls our souls. All around the babe,
hid in its mother's womb, there lies a world of which it has neither
sight nor knowledge. The fact that the babe is ignorant does not change
the fact that the world is there. So about our souls there lies the
invisible world of God, which, until born of the Spirit, we do not see
or understand. It is a world in which God is everywhere; in which there
is no First Cause, except God; in which there is no will, except the
will of God; in which there is no true and perfect love, except from
God; no truth, except revealed by God; no power, except from Him.
Conversion is the outlook over a world which is arranged, not for our
own glory, but for the good of God's creatures; in which what we do is
necessary, fundamental, permanent--not because we ourselves have done it
well, nor, in truth, because we have done it at all--but because what we
have done is a part of the universe which God is building. We change
from a self-centre to a God-centre; from the thought of whether the
world applauds to whether God approves; from the thought of keeping our
own life to the thought of preserving our own integrity; from isolation
from all other souls to a sympathy with them, an understanding of their
needs, and a desire to help their lives. It is a turning from a delight
in sin, or an indifference to sin, or merely a moral aversion to it, to
a deep-rooted hatred of every thought and act of sin, to penitence, and
to an earnest desire to pattern after God.
4. Jesus calls us by our sorrows, Jesus calls us by our dreams. He
thrills us by each high aim that life inspires. His voice is one of
understanding, of tenderness, of human appeal. How could we love Jesus
if He did not sympathize with our ideals? But here is a Divine One in
whose sight we are not visionary; who lovingly guards our least hope;
who welcomes our faintest spiritual insight; who takes an interest in
our social plans, and points out to us the great kingdom that is to be.
Christ lays hold of the divine that is in us, and will not let us go.
5. Jesus calls us by our latent gifts and powers. Which of us has ever
exhausted his possibilities? Which of us is all that he might be?
It is an impressive thought, that nothing in the universe ever gets used
up. It changes form, motion, semblance,--but the force, the energy,
neither wastes nor dies away. Air--it is as fresh as the air that blew
over the Pharaohs. Sun--it is as undimmed as the sun that looked down on
the completion of Cheops. Earth--it is as unworn as the earth that was
trodden by the cavemen.
No generation can ever bequeath to us a single new material atom. The
race is ever in old clothes. Nor can we hand down to others one atom
which was not long ere we were born. Yet the vitality of the universe is
being constantly increased, and this increase is also permanent. God has
a great deal more to work with now than a thousand years ago.
For not all energy is material. With each birth there comes a new force
into the world, and its influence never dies. The body is born of ages
past, of the material stores of centuries; but the soul, in its living,
thinking, working power, is a new phase of energy added to the energy
of the race.
This fact confers on each individual man a strange impressiveness and
power. It gives a new significance to the fact that I am. I am something
different from what has been, or ever shall be. In the great whirling
myriads, I am distinguished and apart. I am an appreciable factor in
universal development and a being of elemental power. By every true
thought of mine the race becomes wiser. By every right deed, its
inheritance of tradition is uplifted; by every high affection, its
horizon of love is enlarged. We can bequeath to others this new
spiritual energy of our lives.
This thought gives us a new zest for life. There is an appetite which is
of the soul. It is this wish for growth, for the development of our
powers, for a larger life for ourselves and for those who shall
come after us.
Is there any one who wishes to stay always where he is to-day?--to be
always what he is this morning? Beyond the hill-top lies our dream. Not
all the voices that call men from place to place are audible ones. We
hear whispers from a far-off leader; we are beckoned by an unseen guide.
Out of ancestry, tradition, talent, and training each departs to
his own way.
What calls is not largeness of place--it is largeness of ideal. To each
of us, thinking of this one and that one who has taken a large part in
the shaping of the world, there comes a feeling: Beside all these I am
in a narrow way! What can I think that shall be worth the consideration
of the race? What can I do that shall be a stepping-stone to progress?
What can I hope that shall unseal other eyes to the universal glory,
comfort others in the universal pain? We say: I do not want to be mewed
up here, while others are out where thrones and empires are sweeping by!
I do not want to parse verbs, add fractions, and mark ledgers, while
others are the poets, the singers, the statesmen, the rulers, and the
wealth-controllers of the world! We wish to step out of the trivial
experience into that which is significant. Each day brings uneasiness of
soul. "Man's unhappiness," says Carlyle, "as I construe it, comes of his
greatness; it is because there is an infinite in him, which with all his
cunning he cannot quite bury under the finite." Says Tennyson:
"_It is not death for which we pant,
But life, more life, and fuller, that we want_."
These aspirations are prophetic. Does a clod-hopper dream? We move
toward our desires. The wish for growth is but the call of Jesus to our
souls. We sometimes hear of the "limitations of life." What are they?
Who set them? Man himself, not God. The call of Jesus urges the soul of
man to possibilities which are infinite.
A large life is the fulfilment of God's ideal of our lives--the life
which, from all eternity, He has looked upon as possible for us. Could
any career be grander than the one that God has planned for us? God does
not think petty thoughts: He longs for grandeur for us all.
6. Jesus calls us by the spirit of the times. There is a growing
recognition of the affinity between God and the human soul. Religion has
changed in spirit as well as in form. It used to be considered a tract
in one's experience, and now it is perceived to be all of life--its
impetus, its central moving force, the reason for being, activity,
development, for ethical conduct, and for unselfish and joyous
helpfulness. Religion is more and more perceived to be, not a thing of
feeble sentiment, of restraint, of exaction, of meek subordination and
resignation, but the unfolding of the free human spirit to the
realization of its highest possibilities and its allegiance to that
which is eternal and supreme. The nineteenth century closes with the
thinker who is also a man of meditation and devotion. We offer to Heaven
the incense of aspiration, hope, research, talent, and imagination.
The chief thing toward which we are moving is, I believe, the
Enthronement of the Christ. Christ has always been, in the hearts of the
few, enthroned and enshrined. Even in the dark years of mediaeval
superstition and unrest, there were the cloistered ones who maintained
traditions of faith and did works of mercy, as there were knightly ones
who upheld the ministry of chivalry, and followed, though afar, the
tender shining of the Holy Grail. But now all the signs point to a great
and general recognition of the Christ--Christ to be lifted high on the
hands of the nations, to His throne above the stars!
A new spiritual note is to be heard in modern subjects of study, is
noticeable in all paths of intellectual prestige. History is no more
looked upon as the story of the trophies of warriors, conquerors, and
kings. History, rising out of dim mists, is seen to be the marching and
the countermarching of nations in the throes of progress and of social
change. It is not the story of princes alone, but of peasants as well;
the result of myriads of small, obscure lives; of changing conditions;
of the movements of great economic, psychologic, and spiritual forces.
Looking backward over the moving processional of the nations of the
earth, we may see how, without rest, without pause, through countless
ages, the myriad legions of men have been passing across the scene of
life--passing, and fading away!
"_All that tread
The globe are but a handful of the tribes
That slumber in its bosom_."
Empires have risen, and empires have decayed; dynasties have been
buried, and long lines of kings, wrapping stately robes about them, have
lain down to die. Thrones have been overturned, armies and navies have
been mustered and scattered, land and sea have been peopled and made
desolate, as the thronging tribes and races have lived their little life
and passed away. Babylon and Assyria, India and Arabia, Egypt and
Persia, Rome and Greece,--each of these has had its lands and conquests,
its song and story, its wars and tumults, its wrath and praise. Under
all the tides of conquest and endeavor but one fact shines supreme: the
steady progress of the Cross.
One principle of growth and development is being slowly revealed,--an
approach to symmetry and civic form, which is seen in freedom, justice,
popular education, the rise of masses, the power of public opinion, and
a general regard for life, health, peace, national prosperity, and the
individual weal. The day has passed when men merely lived, slept, ate,
fought; they are now involved in an intricate and progressive
civilization. Sociology, ethics, and politics are newly blazed pathways
for its development, its guidance, and its ideals. We are moving on to
new dreams of patriotism, of statesmanship, and of civil rule.
Literature, instead of being considered as merely an expression of the
primitive experiences of a race in its sagas, glees, ballads, dramas,
and larger works and songs, is more and more revealing itself as an
appeal to the Highest in the supreme moments of life. It is the
unfolding panorama of the concepts of the soul in regard to duty,
conduct, love, and hope. Literature asks: What do I live for? as well
as, How shall I speak forth beauty? How ought the soul of man to act in
an emergency? What is the best solution of the great human problems of
duty, love, and fate? The voices of Dante, Milton, Shakespeare,
Tennyson, and Browning sweep the soul upward to spiritual heights, and
answer some of the deepest questionings of the soul of man. And hence
literature is no longer merely a thing of vocabulary, of phrase, of
rhythm, of assonance, of alliteration, or of metrical and philosophical
form. It is a revelation of the progress of the soul, of its standards,
of its triumphs, its defeats, and its desires. It is the unfolding of
one's intellectual helplessness before the unmoved, calm passing of
years; of one's emotional inadequacy without God for adjudicator. It is
a direct search for God. One finds wrapped within it the mystery,
aspiration, and spiritual passion of the soul.
Science, no longer a dry assembling of facts and figures, is an
increasing revelation of the imagination, the exactness, the
thoroughness, and the great progressive plans of God. Evolution has
become a spiritual formula. The scientist looks out over the earth and
sky and sun and star. Against his little years are meted out vast
prehistoric spans; against his mastery of a few forms of life, stands
Life itself. Back of all, there looms up the great Figure of the
Originator of life, and of the forms of life; the Maker and Ruler of
them all. Each scientific fact helps exegesis and evidence. Each new
aspiration after truth becomes a form of prayer.
Yes, the whole world is being subtly and powerfully drawn to the worship
of the Christ. Never before was there so deep, genuine, and widespread a
Revival of Religion. It has not come heralded with great outcries, with
flame and wind, and revolution and upheaval; it has come as the great
changes that are most permanent come, in stillness and strength.
Throughout the world there is being turned to the service of religion
the highest training, the most intellectual power. Wars are being
wrought for freedom; the Church and the university are joining hands;
the rich and the poor are drawing near together for mutual help and
understanding; industry is growing to be, not only a crude force, brutal
and disregarding, but a high ministry to human needs; the home is
becoming more and more the guardian of faith and the shrine of peace;
business houses are taking upon them a religious significance; commerce
and trade are perceiving ethical duties. Armies are marching in the
name of Jehovah, and a great poet has this one message: "Lest
7. Jesus calls us by the future of the race. Life proceeds to life.
Eternity is what is just before. Immortality is a native concept for the
soul. Beyond this hampered half-existence, the soul demands life,
freedom, growth, and power.
We stand between two worlds. Behind us is the engulfed Past, wherein
generations vanish, as the wake of ships at sea. Before us is the
Future, in the dawn-mist of hovering glory, and surprise. Looking out
over eternity, that billowy expanse, do we not see rising, clear though
shadowy, a vast Permanence, Completion, Realization, in which the soul
of man shall have endless progress and delight? This is the Promise held
out by all the ages, and the future toward which all the thoughts and
dreams of man converge. It is glorious to be a living soul, and to know
that this great race--life is yet to be!
At the threshold of each new century stands Jesus, star-encircled, with
a voice above the ages and a crown above the spheres,--Jesus, saying,
III. PROCESSIONAL: THE CHURCH OF GOD
_The Church's one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word:
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His Holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore opprest,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distrest;
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.
'Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest._
SAMUEL JOHN STONE
The subject that is being carefully considered by many thinking men and
women to-day is this: the place and prospects of the Christian Church.
All about us we hear the cry that the Church is declining, and may
eventually pass away; that it does not gain new members in proportion to
its need, nor hold the attention and allegiance of those already
enrolled. Are these things true? If so, how may better things be brought
to pass? To share in the civilization that has come from nineteen
hundred years of the work of the Church, and to be unwilling to lift a
pound's weight of the present burden, in order to pass on to others our
precious heritage, is certainly a selfish and unworthy course. It is
better to ask, What is my work in the upbuilding of the Church? What can
I do to further the Royal Progress of the Church of God?
The root-failure of the organized Church to-day is its failure to share
in the growing life of the world. A growing life is one that is full of
new ideas, new experiences, new emotions, a new outlook over life--that
works in new ways, and that is full of seething and tumultuous energy,
enthusiasm, and hope. If we look out over the colleges, business
enterprises, periodicals, agriculture, manufacturing, and shipping of
the world, we find everywhere one story--growth, impetus, courage,
resources, vigorous and bounding life. Beside these things the average
church services to-day are both stupid and poky. The forces of religion
are neither guided nor wielded well. There is in most churches, however
we may dislike to own the fact, a decrease of interest and proportionate
membership, a waning prestige, a general air of discouragement, and a
tale of baffled efforts and of disappointed hopes.
The Church--and by this word I here mean the organized body of both
clergymen and laymen--is meant to be the supreme spiritual leader of the
world. It is meant to possess vigor, decision, insight, hope, and
intellectual power. But before it can accomplish its high and holy work,
a great reconstruction must begin. To help in this reconstruction, to
aid in vivifying, cooerdinating, and ruling the varied processes of
organized religion, is your work and mine.
1. The Church must rouse to a sense of its noble duties and exalted
powers. We underrate the Church. We are looking elsewhere for our
highest ideals, instead of claiming from the Church that spiritual
guidance and inspiration which should be its right to give. One of the
things that is a monumental astonishment to me, is that when we need
supplication, intercession, prayer for the averting of great personal or
national calamity, we flee to the Church, but we seldom think of the
Church when we need brains!
The Church should lead, and not follow, the great dreams of the world.
In the midst of our new national life we are sending all over the
country for the best-trained help and thought in every department of
government influence and control. Our problems of the day are
preeminently spiritual ones. Colonial control is not a question of
material ascendancy--it is a rule over the minds, hearts, and ideals of
men. Its moral significance is patent. We are called upon, not only to
import provisions, clothing, and household and industrial goods into our
new possessions; we are called upon to develop a higher sense of honor,
truth, honesty, and every-day morality. Scholars, working-men, business
men, farmers, and merchants are being consulted in regard to different
phases of our national advance, and every idea which their insight and
experience furnish is seized upon. But who is consulting the Church in
these concerns, except in reference to mere technical points? Who is
looking to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual standards of the
Church for guidance? We are to-day ruled spiritually, as well as
intellectually, by laymen, and in a way which is quite outside the
organized work of the Church.
2. The Church needs a more business-like organization and way of work.
It needs a more military spirit and discipline. The Church is diffuse
and loosely strung. There are in the United States alone about two
hundred and fifty-six kinds of religious bodies. There is no centralized
interest or work; there is no economic adjustment of funds; there is no
internal agreement as to practical methods. The result is a most
wasteful expenditure of force. Movements are not only duplicated, but
reproduced a hundred times in miniature, in one denomination after
another; special talent is restricted to a narrow field; buildings and
church-plants are multiplied, but lie largely disused; sects and
communities are at loggerheads on unessential points; all this--and the
world is not being saved! The Church fails to see openings for
aggressive work; it fails to seize strategic points; it does not carry a
well-knit local organization, with a husbanding of economic force; it
does not front the world in dead-earnest; it is not proud and honorable
in meeting its local debts; it loses progressive force, from lack of
knowledge as to how to judge men, and train them, and set them to work.
It also lacks greatly in office-force and in supplies. The gospel itself
is without price, but in the nature of things it cannot be proclaimed,
nor church-work efficiently carried on, without financial outlay. There
should be a more adequate equipment for this work. All other enterprises
need, without question, stationery, stenographers, literature for
distribution, office-rooms, office-hours, and a general arrangement
looking toward enlargement and progress. A busy pastor should have an
office-equipment just as much as a business man, and it should be
supported, as a business office is, out of the funds of the business
organization, _i.e._ the local church.
There should be, first of all, a united spirit, and a general
reorganization throughout the whole of evangelical Christendom, not
necessarily destroying denominational lines, with a view to quick
mobilization of energy in any direction most needed. What would a
general do, who, in looking over his troops, should find two hundred and
fifty-six provincial armies, not at ease or at peace with each other,
and yet expected to make war upon a common foe? Shall we not endeavor to
share in some broadly planned, magnificently executed scheme of
The Church has reached a point where a vast constructive work is to be
done. Its scattered parts must be knit into a powerful and aggressive
whole, to turn a solid front upon the evil of the world. The times are
ripe for a successor of Peter the Hermit, of Luther, Knox, Calvin,
Zwingli, Savonarola, Whitefield, Finney, Moody. Whether a great
preacher, theologian, or evangelist, he will certainly be a business
man, a man of vast energy and executive capacity, who shall perform this
miracle of organization of which many dream, and who shall set the
progress of the Church for a full century to come!
This united spirit should prevail, not only through the smaller bodies,
but between the Roman Catholic and Protestant communions. There has been
a distinct division between these two bodies, much mutual suspicion,
jealousy, and antagonism: it is only quite lately that Protestant and
Catholic leaders have been willing to work amicably together for great
A new situation has arisen. In our new possessions we are confronted
with a large population who, whatever may be the reason, are
unquestionably not, as a whole, progressive, enlightened, educated, or
highly moral. The problem now is, not for Catholic and Protestant to
waste energy and spiritual strength in contending for mastery over each
other, but for them to unite in changing and bettering the condition of
our island peoples. What is past is past. Our present duty is to bring
peace, industry, intelligence, high ideals, and spiritual living to our
new countrymen. This is a work to fill the hands and heart of both
churches, and perhaps, in a common task, each may learn to understand
and regard the other as those should understand and regard each other
who have one Lord, one hope, one heaven.
3. The Church needs stronger and more gifted leaders. In every business
or intellectual enterprise to-day, there is an effort to place at the
head of each organization the most powerful and resourceful man whose
services can be obtained. Nothing in this age works, or is expected to
work, without the leadership of brains. A primary step, in a
far-reaching ecclesiastical policy, is to endeavor to draw into both
ministry and membership the most active and intellectual class. All
earnest souls can work, but not all can work equally effectively.
Particularly in the ministry, north, south, east, and west, men are
needed who are really _men_. This does not necessarily mean the men with
the longest string of academic degrees, the men who can write the best
poems or make the best speeches on public occasions; it means the
thinking men who are brave, talented, spiritual, and warm-hearted.
In the Report of one of the missionary Boards, I have recently read the
following stirring words. They refer to the work of missionaries in the
far north, one of whom has lately travelled a thousand miles over the
snow in a dog-sled: "He who follows that mining crowd must be more than
the minister, who would do well for towns in the west or elsewhere in
Alaska. He must be a man who, when night overtakes him, will be thankful
if he can find a bunk and a plate in a miner's cabin; he must travel
much, and therefore cannot be cumbered with extra trappings--must dress
as the miners do, and accept their food and fare. He must be no less in
earnest in his search for souls than they in search for gold. He must be
so 'furnished' that, without recourse to books or study-table, he can
minister acceptably to men who under the guise of a miner's garb hide
the social and mental culture of life in Eastern colleges and
It is far from that land of frost and snow to the beautiful island of
Porto Rico, washed by tropical seas, through the streets of whose
capital there passes every day the carriage of the Governor, with its
white-covered upholstery and its livery of white. But I add this word:
The missionary sent to Porto Rico, be he Catholic or Protestant, must be
a man who can stand among statesmen and society men and women, as well
as one who can live and work among the humblest folk who lodge in
leaf-thatched huts along the roadside or far on lonely hills.
Representative men of ability, health, culture, and courage are being
chosen to carry on governmental work: it is idle to send provincial men
to the Church. What is locally true of the Church in Porto Rico is
fundamentally true all over the world, at home and abroad. Each
ministerial post to-day requires an imperial man. Not every post
requires the same sort of man, either in regard to general heredity or
education. Men are needed of the Peter-type, of the John-type, of the
Paul-type; it suffices that, they be men of unusual power, and well
fitted to their individual work.
4. The Church needs a better system for the proper placing of men. No
phase of the world's work can be carried on merely and simply because a
man is pious. In every phase of life, there is a constant shifting of
men according to temperament, ability, and general influence and power.
In the Church we must have a quick and decisive recognition of a man's
ability, and he must be set where that talent can work easily and
effectively. Churches are not all alike. There are no two alike. When we
think of it, what a ghoulish business "candidating" is! No scheme for
the right placing of men can be devised which does not place a great
deal of power in the hand of a few leading men. This power may be
abused, but ought not to be, if it were really looked upon as under
divine direction and inspiration. Cannot a great leader be inspired to
the choice of a man, as well as a great author to the choice of a word,
a rhyme? Comparatively few men thoroughly understand how to rate other
men, and to these few men, as in all other great enterprises, must be
given the power and authority to select and adjust. By this I do not
mean that a set of ecclesiastics will alone be adequate. Ecclesiastical
vision, like all other highly specialized vision, is partial, and does
not always see quite straight. There should also be called into play the
business ability and discernment of men of large business interests or
administrative gifts. Sooner or later the various religious
organizations will have to meet, in some better way than any thus far
formulated, this growing need.
5. We need a release of pressure on the abler men. Many a minister
to-day is a sort of community lackey. What other men are frankly too
busy to do, he is supposed to be cheerfully ready to do. The list of odd
jobs which fall to his lot would be ridiculous, were not their influence
upon his life and work so retrogressive and so sad. He lives to serve
others, but this vow of service is greatly imposed upon. If he is to
lead in intellectual and spiritual matters, he must be given fewer
errands to run, the financial burden of his church must be taken
absolutely from his shoulders, he must have a suitable salary, and his
time must be at least as carefully guarded as that of the average man.
Some calls he is bound to obey, at whatever cost of time or
strength,--illness, certain public duties, and real spiritual
needs,--but his life must not be at the mercy of cranks, or of idle
6. We need a reorganization of preaching traditions. It is a tradition
that a minister must, in general, preach two set sermons every week,
give one informal week-day lecture, and be prepared to deliver, at any
moment, funeral addresses, anniversary speeches, "remarks," or to
perform other utterly impossible intellectual feats. Anyone who writes,
or who speaks in public, knows that the preparation of a half-hour
address which is worth anything requires a great deal of time. It
cannot ordinarily be "tossed off," and help men's souls. Only an
occasional inspiration, the result of a lifetime of thought and
experience, is born in this sudden way. Usually excellence is the result
of long and careful labor. The way to help this would seem to be a
constant interchange of preachers, not only in one denomination, but
among the various denominations, so that a really fine sermon would be
heard by many people, and fewer sermons would require to be written.
This is easily done in a large city or its vicinity. What congregations
need most is not altogether formal sermons, but thoughtful, helpful
talks containing a fresh, uplifting, and spiritual outlook over life,
with a practical bearing on the occasions and duties of life. The work
of both Frederick Robertson and Horace Bushnell has this direct and
Ministers must study more. If they are freed from many tasks now put
upon them, it is not unreasonable to ask that this time be put on more
careful thinking. Too many a minister of to-day is, intellectually,
something of a flibbertigibbet. His sermons do not take hold, because
they have not the roots to take hold with. How many ministers possess,
for instance, a scholarly knowledge of human nature or of the deeper
aspects of redemption? Yet these things he ought to know. There is a
large amount of intensely interesting, though spiritually undigested,
material for a minister in a book like William James's _Varieties of
7. Greater care must be taken of the rural church. Any one interested in
a great ecclesiastical polity must surely recognize the ultimate
possibilities of our rural regions. Here are growing up the leading men
and women of to-morrow. Ideals and inspirations set upon their hearts
will bear fruit a thousand-fold. Hence there should be a definite
arrangement by which a certain portion of the preaching time of the
really able preachers shall be placed each year in some small and remote
place. Several scattered country churches might unite for these
services. Let such a man also make helpful suggestions for neighborhood
social and intellectual life. While he is in the village, let the
country pastor go to town, browse in libraries, art-collections, hear
music, and get a general quickening of interest and inspiration. Let
each compare notes with the other. They will both gain by this
8. There is too little recognition of individual talent in the Church.
Too few workers are set at work which they know how to do, and the
untaught rush at tasks which angels fear to touch. We have myriads of
Sabbath-school teachers, but how many men or women really know how to
teach a little child? The man is asked to speak or pray in
prayer-meeting, who cannot possibly do it well, but no notice is taken
of the fact that he thoroughly understands public accounts. A man is
asked to subscribe ten dollars to a church affair, who cannot afford it,
but his spiritual insight might save the impending church quarrel.
People come and go in the churches, and many, I am convinced, drift away
because they are never asked for anything but money for the support and
interest of the Church. In no other sort of organization is this true.
Even in the summer camp or mountain hotel or Atlantic liner, when any
pastime or entertainment is suggested, the first thing to discover is,
What can each one _do_? One, who has the gift of organization and
management, "gets it up"; one sings; one reads or recites; one writes a
bright bit of verse; another smooths out rising jealousies, or bridges,
by a little tact, the abyss of caste. Why do we hide so many pretty
talents under a bushel, when the church-door swings behind us? Why do we
substitute such strange and foolish tasks, particularly for women? What
would leading lawyers and doctors do, I wonder, if they were asked, as
busy women often have been, to spend a precious morning in a church-room
sorting cast-off clothes?
In every church, large or small, there are both men and women who are
talented in a special way; who could bring gifts of training and
experience to bear upon the problems and opportunities of the Church.
Tell me, in prayer or speech-making, formal or social occasion, pastor
or people, do we often bring our very deepest, tenderest, most inspiring
emotional or intellectual life? It is not a whit more spiritual to be
stupid than to be bright. This is what our church-meetings should
be--not a formal and very dull round of prayers and set remarks, more or
less pointless; they ought to be a yielding-up of our heart's best life
9. We need, as a Church, a deeper spiritual life. We need the Power of
the Holy Ghost. In spite of all the sorrow of the world, sorrow both of
a personal nature and that which touches whole communities, there is
only one real burden upon the heart of earnest men and women: it is our
own inadequate representation of Christianity,--the disheartening
difference between what we practise and what we profess. When the Church
of God is in reality a powerful and hard-working body of sincere,
honest, and loving people, the world will soon be saved!
By the question, Why join the Church?--I do not mean alone, Why add my
name to a church-roll? I mean, Why give myself, my powers, my education,
my love, my loyalty, to advance the progress of the Church?
There is nothing we resent more than a waste of ourselves. To attract
our service, there must be in the Church an inner vitality, a moving
and spiritual fire.
1. The Church embodies the spiritual dreams of the world. Man does not
live by bread alone; he lives by imagination, and by religious powers.
In the Church of God, the spiritual imagination of man reached its
highest field of energy, and has brought forth its most triumphant
works. The great art of the world has centred about the Christian
Church--its architecture and much of its noblest speech. Imagine a world
in which every work which was inspired by the Church, or by the concepts
of religion embodied in it, should be left out. What would we then lack?
We would lack the greatest works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian,
Francesca, Botticelli, Murillo; we would not see the cathedrals of
Milan, Strasburg, or Cologne; we would never read the poems of Caedmon,
Milton, or Dante. The hamlet would be without a spire; philanthropy
would be almost unknown; there would be neither night-watch nor
morning-watch of united prayer. We should have no processional of
millions churchward on the Lord's Day, no hymns to stir our souls to joy
and praise, no anthems or oratorios, no ministers, no ecclesiastical
courts and assemblies, no church conventions, no church-schools,
religious societies, nor religious press. All these works and
institutions proclaim the glory of belief, and hand down the religious
traditions and the spiritual aspirations of the generations of men.
Shall we let others share in the mystery and triumph while we stand
apart, silent, unapproving, and alone?
The dreams of the Church are high and holy. There is the dream of
Freedom, of the Freedom of the Soul. It is an inspiring thought this,
the essential democracy of the race. We do not find intellectual
equality of souls. We see each man or woman differently circumstanced,
differently gifted, differently trained. Yet each may say, I am
spiritually free! To me also is given the opportunity of development, of
majesty of character, of high service. The soul is the thrall of none;
nothing can bind it to spiritual serfdom.
Next, there is the dream of Allegiance. Some one has well said: "Wouldst
thou live a great life? Ally thyself with a great cause." Allegiance is
devotion of the whole of ourselves to a leader, a cause. We can no more
go through the world without allying ourselves to something than we can
go through it and live nowhere. If the object of our allegiance be a
high one, if the ideal be a grand one, our lives are in a constant
process of development toward that height, that grandeur. Each act of
faith becomes an impetus to progress. We are daily enriched by the
experience of mere obedience. To obey and follow are acts in the
If, on the other hand, we ally ourselves to that which is lower than
ourselves, by the very act we are dragged down. No one can remain upon
even his own level, who is in obedience and devotion to that which is
below him. Allegiance to a Higher is one of the trumpet-calls of the
world. It has been the rally of all armies, of all legions, of all
crusades. The great commander is, by his very position, a grouper of
other men, the ruler of their thoughts, their deeds, their dreams. His
power to call and to sway is beyond his own ideas of it. How otherwise
could it be that out of one century one heart calls to another--out of
one age, proceeds the answer to the cry of ages gone?
The lover of music to-day allies himself to Bach, to Haydn, to Mozart,
to Wagner, by his appreciation, his sympathy, his understanding of what
they have done. He acknowledges their control of his musical self by his
efforts to interpret their work to others, and to create new works which
shall be inspired by their ideals. Thus he acknowledges their control of
his own powers. Such control over the spirit of man is that of the
Church over the social body; it stirs the spiritual aspiration of man,
it directs his ambition. It fixes upon a standard, the Cross; upon a
Hero, the Christ, and reaches unto all the world its arm of power,
drawing unto itself the loyalty, the faith, the affection, and the royal
service of successive generations of mankind.
The dream of Redemption. It is not technical creeds for which the
Church as a whole stands, but for certain vital principles which concern
the life of the soul, and its relation to God and man. Virtue has always
been a dream of the heart. But how inaccessible is virtue, with a past
of unforgiven sin! The height of our ideal of redemption is conditioned
upon the depth of our realization of sin. To the shallow, redemption is
an easy-going process, a way of healing the scratches which the world
makes. To the deep and serious-minded, redemption involves the
regeneration of the race. Only the ransomed can truly work, love,
There is one sorrow which God never calls us to--the sorrow of a wasted
life. By redemption, the Church reveals not only a saving from
rebellion, unbelief, and crime, but redemption from sloth, from
indifference, from lack of purpose, and from low aims. Redemption looms
up as the great economic force of Time--that which inspires and
preserves our powers, directs our energies, creates opportunity, brings
to pass our most high and holy desires, and fills life with satisfying
and abiding things.
Beauty, harmony, and affection are the natural laws of the moral world.
There is no despair where there has been no disobedience. _Christus
Salvator_ stands out before the world in majesty and power. Virtue is
enthroned in a universe which is beneficent.
The dream of Fellowship. The Church is the great social body. We can
never live our best life in the world, and stand outside the Church.
There is something vital in personal contact, and in social affiliation.
It strengthens the best and otherwise most complete work. The Christian
Church is a body of allies, whose work is the upbuilding of the kingdom
of God. We do not realize how great a bond this is. We have our own
church centre, our own denomination, our own local interests. But by and
by a great occasion arises--a revival which sweeps the country, a
reunion of two long-divided parties, an Ecumenical Council, a Chinese
persecution--and suddenly there arises before the mind's eye a glimpse
of that Church which girdles the world, whose emissaries are in every
country, whose voices speak in every tongue. We perceive that
"_Swelling hills and spacious plains
Besprent from shore to shore with steeple-towers,
And spires whose silent finger points to heaven_."
Says Wordsworth also:
"_They dreamt not of a perishable home,
Who thus could build_."
Many an ideal state has been thought out, in which fellowship should be
the root of social progress. But in what state is the proffered
fellowship like that of the communion of saints? Each has his share of
work and dreams; each has his endowment of talent and of opportunity;
each has his aspirations and supreme hope. The joys of one are the joys
of all. The sorrows of one are the sorrows of all. The triumphs of one
are the triumphs of all. The World-burden is the task set to be removed.
The World-upbuilding in love, joy, peace, and truth is the final
endeavor. This community of interest is the strongest coalition the
world has yet known.
There are those who say, I prefer to worship by myself! One might as
well say, I prefer to fight in battle by myself! There is a time for
personal worship, and there is a time for social worship. Alone, the
heart meets God. Alone, its prayers for individual needs and longings
are offered up. Alone, it asks for blessings on the individual life and
work. But the personal life is only a fragmentary part of the life
universal. Above the ages rings an Over-song of praise. From shrines and
cathedrals, from chapels, churches, tents, and caves, there arises, day
after day, this incense of united prayer, from a vast and
heaven-uplifted throng! Each of us would say, Canopied under
world-skies, I, too, would join this chorus of adoring love!
The dream of Permanence. The immortality of the Church is akin to the
immortality of the soul. It is a connection which is never severed. When
we enter the visible body of the Church on earth, we connect ourselves
with the invisible hosts of the Church on high. We enter a company
which shall never be disbanded nor dismayed. Something subtle and
eternal seems to lay hold of our spirits, and to lift them even to God's
Throne. For this Time has been, and for this Time now is: to present
spotless before Him the innumerable company of the redeemed, the
lion-hearted who, armed by faith and shod with fire, in robes of azure
and with songs of praise, shall stand before Him even for evermore!
2. The Church is the centre of a great circle of remembrance. One of
Constable's famous paintings represents the Cathedral of Salisbury
outlined against a storm-swept sky, with a lovely rainbow arched beyond
it. So stands the Church athwart the landscape of our lives. In each
community the church is like a living thing! How every stone grows
significant and dear! How the lights and shadows of its arches, the dim,
faint-tinted windows, the carvings and tracings, the atmosphere and
coloring, all sink into the heart, and make a background for memories
that never pass away! Who ever forgets the tones of the old organ, the
voice of the choir, the accent, look, and bearing of one's early pastor,
the rustle of the leaves without the window, the rush of the fresh
summer air, the soft falling of the rain?
The path to the church is worn by the feet of generations. Thither the
aged go up, and thither the laughing, romping children. Weary men and
women bear their burdens thither; triumphant souls bring shining faces
and uplifted brows; love and dreams cluster round the church, and the
life of the soul, silent and hidden, is subtly acted upon by persuasions
and convictions that rule the heart amid the fiercest storms and
temptations of the world. The church is a sanctuary and shield; it is an
emblem of strength and peace. Three angels stand before its altar: Life,
Love, Death! Hither is brought the babe for the christening, hither
comes the wedding procession, and here are laid, with farewell tears,
the quiet dead. Day by day within that church, as one grows to manhood
and womanhood, one enters into race-experiences, and feels, however
vaguely, that the Holy Spirit abides within them all.
3. The Church affords the best outlet for moral activity. Where shall we
put our moral powers? In what work shall they centre? From what point
shall they diverge? Scattered action is irresolute; it is the
centripetal powers that count.
The Church stands ready to engage, to the full, the moral powers of man.
It can rightly distribute the spiritual vitality of the world. It rouses
the moral emotions and affections, and gives scope for contrition,
adoration, and thanksgiving,--the Trisagion of the heart.
In the press and stir of life we sometimes forget that the highest
emotions of which we are capable are those of joy, praise, and prayer.
Joy is a heavenward uplift of life--deep happiness of spirit. Praise is
an appreciation of the greatness and mercy of the Infinite. Worship is
the outpouring of the whole nature, an ascription of blessing, glory,
honor, and power and majesty to God. It flows from the religious
imagination, and is the supreme offering of the intellectual as well as
of the emotional life.
The Church is a body ministrant: it has received the accolade of
spiritual service. It stands among the world's forces, as one of giving,
not of gain. It holds within its scope both a teaching and a training
power. It is the school of the soul, the illuminator of the meaning and
discipline of life. Abelard is said to have attracted thirty thousand
students to Paris by his teaching. But the Church to-day calls into its
assemblies fully one-third of the millions of the world. They are held
by its tenets, guided by its ideals, thrilled by its hopes, and set to
its works of charity and mercy. The highest philanthropy is but a
scientific renewal and adaptation of work which has had its start,
primarily, in the Christian Church. Wealth is its vicegerent, and from
the adherents to the Church fall largely the contributions to great
Take the work of Missions alone: Has there ever before been a body which
attempted to bring the whole world into its fellowship, to make known
everywhere its ideals, and to share with all living a spiritual
inheritance? "The Evangelization of the World by this Generation" is
one of the most sublime thoughts which has come to the race.
4. There is a large amount of ability in the world which the Church
needs, but which has not yet been thoroughly enlisted in church service.
Take business energy, executive ability. It is a common saying, that
business men are not interested in the Church, and do not work well in
it. Why? Because there is not yet in the Church enough of the active and
economic spirit to make a business man feel at home in it, or approve of
its ways of work.
This weak spot in the Church, which business men mock at, or fret at,
exactly reveals the work that is waiting for business men to do.
Business to-day takes intellectual grasp and insight--promptness,
energy, enterprise, and common-sense. These qualities are needed at once
in the conduct of the Church.
A second class greatly needed by the Church is the university-bred. Many
college graduates are church-members--some are even active workers. But
until lately the universities as a whole have stood rather indifferently
apart from the Church. They have somewhat indulgently regarded it as one
more historic institution for preserving myth and legend. To them the
Christ-life has meant little more than the Beowa-myth, the Arthur-saga,
the Nibelungen cycle, the Homeric stories, the Thor-and-Odin tales!
Druids, fire-worshippers, moon-dancers, and Christian communicants have
been comparatively studied, with a view to understanding the
race-progress in rite and religious form.
This spirit is changing. The most remarkable aspect of the intellectual
life of to-day is the rise of faith in the universities. Like the
incoming of a great tidal wave at sea is the wave of spiritual insight
and religious aspiration that is rolling over the colleges of our land.
The whole intellectual structure of the Church is approaching
reconstruction--its doctrines, creeds, tenets. This reconstruction
cannot possibly be effected by schools of theology alone. At every point
the theologian needs assistance from the man of science. Philosophy,
psychology, ethics, history, literature, sociology, language, natural
science, and archaeology are all bound up in an old creed and must be
looked into, ere a new statement can take form. Their data must be known
at first-hand. Hence there is no intellectual specialty which may not be
made invaluable to the Church.
Too often religion has been a matter of hearsay or dogma. A bitter
conflict has always raged between theology and the latest word of
science. The Church cannot afford to be without the scientific thinkers
of the race. The time has come when there is everywhere heard the call
of Jesus to men of mind.
What work awaits the university man or woman? It is to help free the
Church from traditions and superstitions which scholarship cannot
uphold. It is to throw fresh vigor and intellectual vitality into the
services of the Church. It is to build up a hymnology which shall be
noble and poetic in expression; it is to contribute a great religious
literature to the world. It is the work of educated men and women to add
their insight, their zeal for truth, their scholarship, their training
and ideals to the Christian community: to sweep thought and practice out
of ancient ruts, to clarify the spiritual vision of the world, and to
present new aspects of truth and new goals of human endeavor! Let
Research join hands with Prayer.
A third class which the Church needs to-day is that of the working-man.
The hand of the working-man is the hand that has really moulded history.
Working-men lead a brave and self-sacrificing life. From their toil come
the necessaries and many of the comforts of the race. The man of labor
knows the root-problems of the industrial world. While all his industry
and skill, all his courage, heroism, and strong-armed life are so
largely alienated from the Church, the Church is deprived of one of the
fundamental sources of inspiration and growth. The tree of progress can
never grow, except it has labor-roots. It is absolutely essential for
the health of the Church that every form of human energy be represented.
Suppose that by some great revival a very large number of working men
and women could suddenly be added to the membership of the Church. What
would happen? Would there not be at once a return to more simplicity of
life? There are two currents at work always in society--emulation and
sympathy. Rightly used, each is for the social good. If all classes of
men and women worked side by side in the Church, many great social
differences would become adjusted.
5. It holds sway over the fortunes of the home. Where, outside of the
Church, will you find the ideal conception of marriage, and the really
united and happy home? The Church makes for domestic happiness, because
it goes straight to the roots of life and plants happiness where
happiness alone can grow. More and more the Church is lifting the
standards of a noble, proud, pure, and rejoicing married life. Its ideal
of human love is sacred, because founded on the deeper love of the soul
in God. The Church is drawing hosts of young people under the shelter of
its teaching, and is placing before men and women ideals which cannot
fail to make their mark upon the social standards of the times. It
stands for purity, for patience, for tenderness, for the love of little
children, for united education and endeavor, for mutual hopes and
dreams, for large public service.
6. It is the militant force of time. We speak of the Church militant,
and of the Church triumphant. For us, to-day, the Church militant.
To-morrow, triumph comes. Armies have been, and armies shall be, but the
hosts of this world fight against material foes, and largely for
material ends. It is the glory of the Church militant that its conquests
are spiritual and its victories are eternal. Its fight is chiefly
against the inner, not the outer foe--against sin and wrong-doing,
impatience, strife, anger, clamor, meanness, evil-speaking, wrath. It is
the foe of tyranny and its heel is upon the head of the oppressor and
the avenger. Its banner flies over every country and has been carried
through tribulation, through sorrow, through danger, and through death
to the remotest parts of the yet-known world. Its troops are legion,
marching from the far distances of the past, and extending out to the
far confines of the eternal years.
7. It is the ascendant force of the future. Rightly conducted, it will
surely absorb the vigor of the world. To stand apart from it is to be
out of step with the march of nations. The processional of progress
to-day is the processional of the historic influence of the Church. What
force has there been in time gone by, which has lived and so greatly
grown for nineteen hundred years? Nations have risen, and nations have
decayed. States, once prominent, have passed into the oblivion of the
years. Plato and Pericles, Socrates and Sophocles, Philip and Alexander,
the Caesars, the Georges, and the Louis have passed away. Their
politics have passed from our following; their empires are no more. But
through these centuries of change, the Church of God has risen stronger,
more powerful year by year; stretching its arm out to the uttermost
parts of the earth; levying tribute on the islands of the sea; enlisting
all ages and conditions, and looking out over coming generations--not as
a waning, but as a growing and ever-increasing power. Think you that
such a Church can die? Think you that any spiritual power aloof from
this Church can be as efficient as if it were allied with it?
These, you say, are the reasons why one's allegiance should be given to
the Christian Church. Let us now look back over the processional as it
marches across the dim years. Saints, martyrs, confessors, evangelists,
and singing children have joined its historic train. Is there any other
processional in the world's history which, numbering such millions and
millions, began with only one? When the Christ enters the arena of
history, He comes as one to lead myriad deep-lived souls! Next, there
follow twelve. They, two by two, take up the marching line. Think of
their deeds and influence, of their inspiring power! What would have
been the record of those obscure fishermen of Galilee and of their
simple friends, had they refused to ally themselves with the leader who
called for their allegiance and their obedient love?
Next follow the early disciples. Tried by scourging, by stripes, by
poverty, by imprisonment, by all manner of danger and trial, they yet
remain true. Then follow the prophets, those whose clear vision looks
out on things unknown and things unseen. To the prophet is intrusted the
ministry of hope and inspiration. Then follow the martyrs who yield life
for the cause they profess. In torture at the stake, and on the cross,
by fire and by sword, they show forth an unshaken and undying faith.
Then follow matrons and virgins, babes and children, reformers and
mediaeval saints with a convoy of angels, singing as they march. These
are the Church triumphant, the Church above. But to-day we have among us
the Church militant--the long processional of congregations, elders,
deacons, members, ministers and missionaries, young people, and workers
in every phase of enterprise and reform. These all communicant on earth
are the Church militant, whose work is to keep alive the traditions of
the past and to march onward to an endless victory and to an unceasing
praise. Who, looking upon that processional, filing through the ages of
the years of man, would say that there may be a parliament of religions?
A parliament of boasts and pomps, of good precepts and queries, of
misuses and half-truths, of superstitions and infinite idolatries, no
doubt; but there is but one religion, though it be perverted in many
ways and rightly revealed at divers times; and there is but one God,
infinite, true, holy, just, loving, and eternal. Where now are the gods
of Hamath and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Bow thy head,
O Buddha! and do thou, O Zoroaster! hang thy head. Isis and Osiris grow
dim; Jove nods in heaven; the pipe of Pan is dumb; Thor is silent in the
northern Aurora; the tree of Igdrasil waves in midnight; Confucius is
pale; Muhammad is dust. Darkness is over the skirts of the gods of the
past--gloom receives them, Erebus holds outstretched arms. But the Lord
God, Jehovah, the Ancient of Days, encanopied in space and glory, leads
onward to the end of years His people in a mighty train, to a rule and
kingdom which shall know no end. May thou and I, dear friend-soul, in
whatsoever land thou be, may thou and I be numbered in that throng!
IV. THE WORLD-MARCH: OF KINGS
[DIE WACHT AM RHEIN]
_Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.
Blessings abound where'er He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains,
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.
Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen_.
The elemental force of some men is appalling. They lift their
eyes--thrones tremble; they wave a hand--empires rise or fall. It comes
over the heart of many a man at times, Here am I, running my little
office, shop, factory, fire-engine, or professional circuit, with no
influence that I can see, beyond my borough or my barn-yard. But in the
world there are other men, no taller than I, no older than I--men born
within a stone's throw of where I was born--whose hand is on the fate of
nations, and whose decrees are universal law!
It is deeply impressive, the way in which one man, born not above
myriads of his fellows, begins to rise until by and by he stands head
and shoulders above his generation! What is the inner vitality which
presses him upward? What is this hidden difference in men by which one
remains in the by-eddies of life, and another sweeps out on the crest of
the rising tide of history?
Much of it is in the man himself. To be kingly is inborn. There is the
nature that refuses to be shut up to the petty, that will not content
itself with one street or town, that steps out into life from childhood
with the step of the conqueror, and walks among us; one who was born a
king. To be a king, one must have the powers of organization,
combination, discipline, direction, statesmanship. These qualities
enlarge as one passes from the particular to the general, from the
personal to the range of natural forces, emergencies, and wide pursuits.
Dominion is an inherent right of the soul. In all our hearts, did we but
listen and understand, there are adumbrations of kingly ancestors, and
the latent stirrings of kingly powers.
Which of us would want to be born at all, if we should be told in
advance, You shall never control anything? You shall never have the
slightest chance of self-assertion, of impressing your own individuality
upon the world? One might as well be born without hands or feet!
Kingship involves ascendancy and authority. Both are truly gained, not
by chicanery, but by personal force. There is a natural gift of
leadership, which is strengthened by endurance, perseverance, and
ceaseless hard work.
Kingship also involves a larger vision. One man looks at his
shoe-strings; another man looks at the stars. The first step toward rule
is to find a point of view from which one can look widely out over the
race. This is the primary value of education: it is not that books are
important, but that men are--the men who have swayed history--and books
tell of such men. Not the library is inspirational, but the life-spirit
of mankind, bound up in even dusty papyrus-rolls, or set on
clay-tablets of four thousand years ago. He who would serve his times
politically must first understand, so far as may be, all times.
Another basis of supremacy is conviction. Leadership belongs to those
who believe. The man who has a definite policy to propose, and a
definite way of working for it, soon outstrips the man who is just
Kingship involves an iron will. An iron will does not imply necessarily
ugliness of temper, obstinacy, or pig-headedness. It is simply a
straight-forward, dauntless, and invincible way of doing things. What I
say, you must do, is back of all successful leadership, whether in the
home or in the world-arena. The man who is master of the obedience of
his child, or of his fellows, is master of their fate. We are all at the
mercy of the strong-willed.
Growth is development in right assertion; it is the assumption of
legitimate responsibility and command. To be lowly of heart does not
mean to be inefficient; to be humble does not necessarily mean to be
obscure. Luther and Lincoln were both of a childlike humility of heart.
What Christianity has not emphasized in the past, but what it must now
begin to emphasize, is the reality of dominion--its value, and its
relation to the kingdom of God. For centuries, religion has too often
been thought of, too often spoken of, as if it were the last resource of
the heart, A brilliant young professor of psychology not long ago
referred to religion as something to flee to, by those who were
disappointed in love! We have spoken so much of "giving up," that the
Christian life has wrongly seemed to mean the giving-up of one's
individuality, interests, powers. As well might we expert the deep sea
to give up its rolling tides, or the air to give up its four winds, as
to expect the heart of man to part with its human hopes!
This is not a right interpretation of life. When Nature plants an oak in
the forest, she does not say, Be a lichen, an _Eozooen canadense_, a
small ground-creeping thing! She says, Grow! Become a tall, strong,
mountain tree! When we hold our baby in our arms, we do not say, My
child, be good for nothing! Neither does God say, Be nothing, do
nothing! Just exist as humbly and meekly as you can! He says, "Quit you
Each of us is born for a sceptre and a crown. It gives a strange new
thrill to life, to realize that we may be just as ambitious as we
please, that we may long earnestly for high things, and work for them,
if our inmost desire is not for self but for God. This new idea of
ambition should be at the root of education and of religious teaching.
Piety is not a namby-pamby sentiment; it is a great intellectual force.
Desire is architectural: our dreams should be of prestige and power.
True ambition is the reaching-out of the soul toward preordained
things. What else is the meaning of our love for excellence, our
insatiable yearning for perfection? "What is excellent," says Emerson,
"is permanent." To excel in any work is to combine in that work the most
enduring qualities of human labor; to excel in any place is to shine
forth with the great qualities of the race. Hence, ambition has a
The power of a king is the power of control. All about us are moving the
great forces of the universe--physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual.
What we can do with them is a test of our power. Life is in many ways a
majestic trial of one's power to command.
Three men buy adjoining tracts of land. One man mines coal upon his
acres. He amasses wealth and influence because he is in control of the
Carboniferous age and the human need of light and heat. The second man
tills his ground and raises wheat and corn. He is in command of living
nature--of the rotation of seasons, of wind, frost, rain; he uses them
to provide food for those that hunger and must be fed. The third man
lies under the trees. He digs no mine. He plants and reaps no corn and
grain. He simply lies under the trees, gazes into the sky and dreams.
Men call him idle, but he is not so. One day he writes a book. It lives
a thousand years. His control is over the spirit of man. He has entered
into its hopes and sorrows, its aspirations and its dreams.
This story is a Parable of Kings. Such is the power of control that is
granted to each new soul. Each child is bequeathed at birth a sceptre
and a crown.
The first rule is parental. The primitive monarchy is in the home. A
young baby cries. The trained nurse turns on the light, lifts the baby,
hushes it, sings to it, rocks it, and stills its weeping by caresses and
song. When next the baby is put down to sleep, more cries, more soothing
and disturbance, and the setting of a tiny instinct which shall some day
be will--the power of control.
The grandmother arrives on the scene. When baby cries, she plants the
little one firmly in its crib, turns down the light, pats and soothes
the tiny restless hands that fight the air, watches, waits. From the
crib come whimpers, angry cries, yells, sobs, baby snarls and sniffles
that die away in a sleepy infant growl. Silence, sleep, repose, and the
building of life and nerve and muscle in the quiet and the darkness. The
baby has been put in harmony with the laws of nature--the invigoration
of fresh air, sleep, stillness--and the little one wakens and grows like
a fresh, sweet rose. The mother, looking on, learns of the ways of
God with men.
Firmness is the true gentleness. There is a form of authority which must
be as implacable as the divine decree. Mercy is the requiring of
obedience to law; it is not a cajoling training in law-defiance, which
shall one day break the mother's heart and upset the social relations of
The next rule is personal: the direction of one's own energy in the way
of one's own will. The child moves his hands, his feet; he turns his
rattle up and down, and shakes it about. He discovers that he can pull
things toward him and push them away; that he can reach things that are
higher than his head. He begins to creep. He touches things that are the
other side of the world from him, that is, across the room. He plucks
fibres from the rug or carpet; swallows straws, buttons, and little
strings. He pounds, and sets up vibrations of pleasant noise; he clashes
ten-pins, he blows his whistle, squeezes his rubber horse and man,
rattles the newspaper, flings about his bottle and his blocks. He feels
himself a self-directing power, and at times asserts this power against
the will of those who would make him do what he does not want to do. The
love of rule is in him, and he lays his little hands on power.
Education determines whether this power shall be for good or for evil.
We cannot take away power from any child--he shall move the affairs of
nations--but we can direct this love of power, or crush it; strengthen
it, or weaken it; turn it toward the highest help of man, or deflect it
to tyranny, cruelty, and crime.
Child-training is guidance in the way of God's decrees. It is not the
setting of one's own ideas upon a little child; it is not the
gratification of one's own love of power; it is not the satisfaction of
one's own self-conceit. It is a firm, humble striving to carry on the
harmony of the universe: to bring up the child to love order, justice,
mercy, and truth.
Education is the teaching of how to direct energy for the universal
good. It lays hold of a child and, out of his destructive instincts--the
instinct to bang, and pull, and tear to pieces--it develops creative
power, the inventive genius that lies hid within him. It takes the pure
love of noise, and trains it to pitches, harmonies, intervals, and makes
a musician of the boy who used to whack his spoon. It takes the alphabet
and the early pothooks, and the boy by and by combines them into
literature. The apples and the peaches which he is taught to exchange
justly are by and by transmuted into trade and commerce. He brings
cargoes from Cuba and Ceylon, trades with Japan and Hawaii, and the
Asiatic isles. The energy of block-building is developed into sculpture,
architecture, and civil engineering. The stamping of his foot in anger
is directed to determination, perseverance, the rule of the brave
spirit, the unconquerable will. Nothing is more marvellous than this
The next rule is social: the direction of personal energy that shall
leave a distinct impress on other lives. It is long before we realize
that for each exertion we are responsible; that what we do is held
against us in strict account, not only by fate, which builds our destiny
for us out of our own deeds, but by every other person with whom we come
in contact. Our fellows check off daily against us so much vitality, so
much magnanimity, so much idleness, cruelty, spite, goodness,
selfishness, meanness, or loving-kindness. Life holds a record of our
every deed, and from no least responsibility can we make our escape. We
are the prisoners of events which we ourselves have brought about.
The discipline of ethics, of home-training, of the Church, and of
religious teaching is addressed fundamentally to this social
consciousness of ours, this responsibility which we cannot evade. To
bear rule aright is to go forth into the world to build up, in
authority, talent, and influence, the kingdom of God.
1. There is the agricultural phase of social rule. A man tills a farm.
It has upon it trees, streams, woodland, and meadow-land. He may
rule--to what end? If he rules it for his own personal ends--merely to
fill his granaries, and lay up gold--he rules it for miserliness, with a
sort of thrift that is as passing in inheritance as the flying
Or he may say: I will keep my land in trust for God. I will hold rain
and frost, heat and cold, storm and sun, in fee simple for the race. My
grain shall pass out into the world's mart, sent forth with love and
prayer. Such a farmer is the incarnation of moral grandeur. Let men
laugh, if they will, at his overalls and plough, his wide-brimmed hat,
his simple manners, and his homely, racy speech. His feet are by the
furrow, but his heart is in heaven, and his treasure is there also. Says
the author of _Nine Acres on the Hillside_, "The agriculturist walks
side by side with the Creator."
There is a fine integrity which lies in land. There is a resolution
which is concerned with crops. There is a wisdom born of wind and
weather. There is a power which comes from the constant revival of life
in seed and fruit and flower. This man is King of God's Acres. Let him
not despise his kingdom, and may the succession not depart from
2. There is a rule which is industrial. A man is sent into the world to
wield a hammer, a saw, and run an engine. If his rule over his hammer is
weak, if he does not know how to use it well, if its blow is uncertain
and its result unskilled, then he passes from the line of kings, and is
subject, instead of in authority, in his own domain. He is captive to a
piece of steel or wood. So with every tool of trade. Each man who
conquers his tool is a ruler--is in control of elements of human
happiness and good. The roof-mender, the furnace-builder, the
cloth-weaver, the yarn-spinner, the steel-worker, the miller--do not
these all keep the race warmed, and clad, and fed?
3. The next rule is commercial. Trade itself is neither menial nor
demeaning. Rightly used, it is a high form of control. People have
things to buy and things to sell. The maker is handicapped. He cannot
travel elsewhere to dispose of what he has. The buyer is ignorant. He
does not know where to go, or cannot go, at first-hand, for the shoes,
the hat, the reaper, the bricks, the lumber, the stationery which he
must use. There appears upon the scene the man of observation, of
investigation, of capital, of shrewdness, of resources. With one hand he
gathers the products of the Pacific and of the South Seas. With the
other, he takes the output of the Atlantic seaboard, the Gulf States,
the Mississippi valley, the northern lakes and hills. He sets up an
establishment, he puts forth runners, advertisements, and show-windows.
He stocks shelves, decks counters, and employs clerks, packers,
salesmen, cash-boys, buyers, and department heads. The man who wants to
buy, buys from a man across the sea and yet is served in his own town.
The man of commercial power is a man of world-wide rule. He may lay up
in banks a fortune which he intends to try to spend upon himself; or he
may say: I am accountable for the pocket-books of the world. I am in
authority over them. I open a market, or close it. I buy, dispense, and
disperse human labor. I create wants, and I satisfy them. I will
establish honest laws of trade. What I do shall be rated as commercial
law. What I say shall be quoted as a way of equity and probity. That man
is a King of Trade. His throne is set upon hills and seas. His subjects
are all men with needs, and all men with products of the land, the
coasts, the sea, or brain, or skill. This is the lawful King of Trade.
He represents God's mart of exchange. Primarily, goods are not bought
and sold in the market. They are first transferred in that man's brain.
4. Another rule is of concerted works: the rule of the Engineer. Back of
every advance in our country, in facilities of trade and transportation,
or of public health and safety, stands the man who thought it out. Take,
for instance, the development of the "Great American Desert." Who
projected its irrigation, by which areas have been redeemed from
barrenness and waste? Who planned the economic use of the Niagara Falls?
Who built the Brooklyn Bridge? Who projected the vast waterway from
Chicago to the Gulf? Who first thought of a cable across the depths of
seas? Who bridged the Firth of Forth, the Ganges, the Mississippi? Who
projected the gray docks of Montreal? the Simplon Tunnel? Who wound the
iron rails across the Alleghanies, the Rockies, the Sierras? Who drew
the wall that has encircled China for a thousand years? Who projected
the Suez Canal? the Trans-Siberian Railway? Who sunk the mines of
Eldorado? Who designed the Esplanade at Hamburg? the stone banks of the
Seine? the waterways of Venice? the aqueducts of Rome? the Appian Way?
the military roads of Chili and Peru? the Subway in New York?
Gravity, stress, strain, weight, tension, sag, cohesion,--a few
mathematical formulas, and a knowledge of the primary laws of
physics,--upon such principles as these, the world is rapidly changing
form and use.
The Engineer, in a strange and subtle way, stands near to God. His work
is done hand-in-hand with God. He takes the forces of nature and the
laws of the material world, and bends them to the needs and use of man.
Sky and sea or desert may be about him. He knows the arctic cold, the
tropic heat; the forest and the plain; the mountain and the marsh; the
brook and river; the peak and the precipice; the glacier and the tempest
in their course. Out of the very elements he is daily building new paths
for man to tread. Soon he, too, must pass; laid after death, it may be,
beside some mighty water that his handiwork has spanned.
In loneliness and silence does he not often think, I wonder, of the God
with whom he deals? It is God who provides the river and the sea; God
who through endless ages has piled stone on stone, crust on crust, and
has crumpled the strata of the earth as tissue in His hand. It is God
who has bound every mote to the earth-centre; who has sent magnetic
currents coursing through the globe, and has made tides and sea-changes,
and the trade-winds to blow. It is the God of the Gulf Stream, the
Caribbean Sea, the God of the Appalachians, the God of the Himalayas,
the God of the Cordilleras, of the Amazon, the Yukon, the Yang-tse-Kiang
with which he really deals.
The endless ages pass and go, but God abides. Little, daring man lifts
here and there a hand to mould the world which God has made--pricks the
earth for gold or silver, iron or coal--but GOD is everywhere immanent
and shines through every hour of change. Hence the March of Engineers is
the march of men whom God has trained; in a special sense His
master-workmen, craftsmen whom He loves. It is theirs to say, We are the
Kings of Works: the Master-builders of the Most High!
5. There are Kings of Academic Thought, men who lead in professions and
in collegiate careers. The wise man is the true aristocrat. His court
may not be in a palace, but within its precincts are received and
entertained the leaders of the race. To be provost, to be college
president or university professor, is to be seated on an
The problem of academic rule is not to attract a large number of
students, to put up imposing buildings, to have endowments, and fill
chairs with learned specialists; to grant many degrees, and to keep the
hum of a teaching staff and of a student body alive in the ears of a
community, marking the college group by flags and colors, cap and gown,
processions and occasions. These things are right, but are mainly
accessory. We have not all of a university when we have men and
buildings, money, students, brains. Back of a university there lies its
foundation-idea, that of academic control.
What is academic rule? It is rule over the pride of man. A college is a
place whose chief power is to inculcate humility by the means of true
learning; to establish intellectual honor and integrity by searching out
the ways of God in nature, science, and philosophy, and in letters
and in art.
It is the primary work of a university to make men humble. The Freshman
is not teachable. The Sophomore is an intellectual upstart. But by the
time a man has been beaten and conquered by the great ideals of the
world, which have pierced his bones and humbled his conceit--by the time
the race-passions and the race-sorrows have crept across his spirit, by
the time that he has been confronted with the achievements of Homer,
Empedocles, Hippocrates, Michelangelo, Socrates, Buddha, Plato, Emerson,
Gladstone, Bismarck, Lincoln, and Carlyle--his self-exaltation drops
from him like a garment. He--who knows how to construe a few pages of
the classics, who knows how to demonstrate a few mathematical problems,
scan a few verses, recite a few odes, carry on a few scientific
experiments, undertake a small research--how shall he compete with these
rulers of the thought of men?
Then it is that the real rule of a university--its spirit of humility,
and of reverence for antiquity--begins. The true university man, born
and bred in the century, not in the years, in the race halls, not those
alone in his Alma Mater, is neither a scoffer nor an atheist, nor a
critic, sceptic, or cynic. He is a man of simple and exalted faith. God,
who hath brought such great things to pass in science, nature, and art,
in human character, in the destiny of nations, and the history of humble
men and women, is a God before whom there must be awe and reverence, and
not a flippant scouting of the ancient ideals. Man, who is so tried by
temptation and scourging of the spirit, is a creature to be loved,
appreciated, understood; not a being to whom shall be shown arrogance,
aloofness, and pride. The university that makes snobs of its graduates
has not yet entered into its kingdom of control.
A university also holds rule over truth. Absolute truth is in God's
hand. But the university has class-rooms and libraries, apparatus and
laboratories, which are intended for the discovery and furtherance of
truth. The university is not a place to cry out for big salaries. The
salaries should be living salaries. The seeker after truth should not be
left without enough money for heat and shelter, for bread and meat, rest
and summer-change; for the coming of children and their education. But
truth may lodge without shame in an humble dwelling and may be greatly
furthered without an elaborate bill of fare.
The university men of the times are the establishers of a kind of
righteousness that is not always found in books. Their individual value,
as they go out into the world, is to set right values on social customs
and decrees; to establish the law of freedom in the home; to lead men
and women out of the thraldom of ignorance, vulgarity, hearsay, and
"style," into simplicity of living and a sane scale of household
expense. The university leader of the future is the man who shall set
laws over household accounts and who shall rule over such simple things
as what best to eat and buy. He shall be an economist of the larger
sort, providing for the spiritual necessities of men and their moral
conduct, rather than for their balls, card-parties, and social
side-shows, including church entertainments and philanthropic dances and
bazaars. He shall pave the way to a larger view of wealth, influence,
and reform; endue man with a keener sense of his own responsibilities,
make him a creature of larger desires and of more aspiring wants.
In particular, he shall pass down from generation to generation the high
and noble learning of the past; he shall keep alive the flower of
courtesy and charity; he shall tell the dreams of past sages, and
interpret them; he shall review the thronging nations; and he shall so
imbue the mind with a love of truth, of ideals, of excellence, of honor,
that a new race shall go out into a larger and a nobler world. And then
a better day shall dawn for men.
6. The Kings of State. Says Milton, in his sonnet on Cromwell:
"_Yet much remains
To conquer still; Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than War: new foes arise,
Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw_."
In the third moon of the year 1276, Bayan, the conquering lieutenant of
Genghis Khan, captured Hangchow, received the jade rings of the Sungs,
and was taken out to the bank of the river Tsientang to see the spirit
of Tsze-sue pass by in the great bore of Hangchow--that tidal wave which
annually rolls in, and, dashing itself against the sea-wall of Hangchow,
rushes far up the river, bringing, for eighteen miles inland, a tide of
fresh, deep-sea splendor, and thrilling all who see or hear.
In the life of nations there are times and tides. Against the tide-wall
of history, beaten by many a storm, and battered by many a thundering
wave, there is about to sweep the incoming wave of a new life for the
race: there is about to pass a greater than the spirit of Tsze-sue,--even
the Spirit of God!
"_We are living,-we are dwelling,
In a grand and awful time,
Age on age to ages telling,
To be living is sublime_!"
We are moving out into a period of great statesmen, and of great
political standards and ideals. The days before us are days which will
make the Elizabethan era pale in history. Upon the head of our nation
are set responsibilities such as have never before rested on any
The day of the true statesman is here; the day of the demagogue is done!
The rule of the orator is over the ideals and hopes of men. The
demagogue prostitutes this power. His rule is over the passions,
prejudices, and resentments of men. He cries aloud in the market-place,
and rogues and ward-heelers, and evil-minded politicians, group
themselves around him. He waves his sceptre over the vulgar and the
rascals of the town.
The vital problem of municipal reform is not the shattering of the ring,
the overturning of the boss, the gagging of a few loud tongues. It is
the problem of the training of better bosses; the education of men and
women in social control; their enlightenment, from childhood up, in
civic duties, in national affairs, and the conduct of civil power.
Thereupon oratory turns to its higher ends. Through statesman, preacher,
and political teacher, it cries aloud of righteousness. I look for the
time when the typical politician shall be an honorable man; when to be
"in the ring" of municipal or national control shall mean to be an
integral and orderly part of the administration of God's great world;
when city life shall be purified; and when international law shall be
the interpretation of the will of the Almighty for the rule of nations.
We have honest doctors, lawyers, tradesmen; shall we not have an honest
politician and an upright ward-boss?
Public service is a god-like service! Our Presidents shall more and more
be chosen, not alone for ideas, experience, or for party affiliations:
the President shall be chosen because he is a moral hero! Something has
stirred in the heart of the American people, which shall not soon be
stilled: a spiritual outlook upon political preferment. In the White
House we long to have the great spiritual exemplars of our race. Not
alone in church shall we offer up a "Prayer before Election." The time
is coming when each true ballot-slip shall be a prayer.