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"For CHRIST'S Crown. 



For Christ's Crown 







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Copyright, 1896, 
By Wilbur B. Ketcham. 



" For Christ's Crown," ----- 7 

The Unspeakable Turk, - - - - 19 

Mors Janua Vit^, ------ 33 

The Form of Godliness, - _ - - 42 

The Story of an Outcast, . - - - 51 

The Story of an Outcast— The Sequel, - - 63 

The Ascent of Man, ... - . 74 

Loose Him and Let Him Go, . - - - 83 

The Gknealogy of Jesus, ----- 92 

Armageddon, ...-.- 104 

The Story of a Wayward Youth, - - - 120 

The Part of the Hand That Wrote, - - 132 

The Conspiracy Against The Liquor Traffic, - - 144 

The White Solar Ray, . - - - 156 

The University of Jerusalem, - - - - 167 

As the Hart Panteth, ----- 182 

TiiE Cleansing of the Temple, - : - - 191 

Come and See, ------ 202 

Protestantism, ------ 213 

King Saul at the Witch's Cave, - - - 224 

How Jericho Fell, . . - . - 235 

Tom Brown of Rugby ; Or, Manly Christianity, - 244 

The Prophecy of Palm Sunday, - - - - 254 

How to read History, . . - - 264 

The Boundless Prayer of Faith, - - - 276 



The Epworth Singer, ----- 285 

The Sunday Newspaper, - - - - - 297 

The First and Great Commandment, - - 305 

And the Second is Like unto it, - - - 314 

Esther in Shushan, ----- 322 

Orthodoxy, ------ 331 

He is Apprehended in the Garden - - - 341 

How David Thought of the Forgiveness of Sin, - 351 

The Golden Wedge, ----- 361 


"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor 
and glory for ever and ever." Amen.— I. Tim. i. 17. 

The ideal form of government is the Jewish the- 
ocracy. In it were combined all the advantages of 
all other forms of government whatsoever. It was a 
republic, in that all men were free and equal before 
the law. It was a sovereignty, in that God was recog- 
nized as King, sole and absolute. It is scarcely pos- 
sible to conceive a better order of things. Far enough 
have the nations departed from that original fabric, 
but in the final restitution they will surely return to 
it. The millenial glory will be established in the 
commonwealth of God. 

It was natural, however, that the children of Israel 
should be impatient under these conditions. They 
saw the neighboring tribes and nations prospering in 
the magnificence of fleets and armies and royal estab- 
lishments, while they themselves had only the sim- 
plest forms, with no rulers save priests and prophets 
who administered in the behalf of God. Wherefore 
they demanded a king : " Make us a king to judge us 
like all the nations." And God was pleased to yield 
to their importunate weakness. Howbeit he solemnly 
protested against their folly. He admonished them 
that in time to come their kings would whip them 



with whips of scorpions and lay on them vexatious 
and intolerable burdens. Nevertheless they insisted : 
"We will have a king to rule over us!'* Therefore 
Saul was chosen ; and there was not among the chil- 
dren of Israel a goodlier person than he. In due time 
he was inaugurated with much pomp and circum- 
stance, and the peoole offered sacrifices and peace offer- 
ings unto thu Lord and rejoiced greatly. "If now," 
said the prophet on this occasion, " ye will fear the 
Lord and obey his commandments, then shall both ye 
and your king continue to follow him ; but if not, his 
hand shall be against you. Now, therefore, stand 
and behold a sign, that this is the Lord's doing ! " 
It was the dry season of the wheat harvest ; never- 
theless, on a sudden the heavens were darkened, 
black clouds marshalled themselves and amid rolling 
thunder copious rains poured down all day. Thus 
ended the theocracy, and thus amid awful omens and 
admonitions began the sovereignty of Israel. The 
outcome — is it not written in the chronicles of the 
nation, from the time of Saul until the sceptre passed 
from Judah, and the King whose right alone it was 
to reign sat over upon the slopes of Olivet and 
mourned : "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would 
I have gathered your children as a hen doth gather 
her brood under her wings and ye would not"? 

All powers and dignities whatsoever — didactic, 
pontifical and political — centre in Christ. He is our 
Prophet, Priest and King. The administration of 
this world's affairs is committed to him. The ancient 
line of prophets, a mere temporary makeshift and ex- 
pedient, moving through history, comes at length to 
Bethlehem and vanishes in the glory of him of whom 
it had been written, " A prophet shall the Lord your 


God raise up from among your brethren ; him shall 
ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto 
you." And he alone is Prophet since that day. In 
like manner the priestly line came down through the 
centuries, kindling the altar fires on either side to 
symbolize the atonement of Calvary, until it also came 
to Bethlehem and lost itself in him of whom it had 
been written, " He is an high priest forever after the 
order of Melchizedek " ; who was to offer himself 
once for all as a sacrifice for the world's sin, to lift 
the veil and enter with blood-stained hands into the 
Holiest of All, where he ever liveth to make interces- 
sion for us. And there has never been a priest, save 
by usurpation of authority, from that time until now. 
So all the kings of the earth, the Sauls and Caesars 
and Alexanders, are mere signs and silhouettes of 
Christ's Kingship, pointing on to the glory of that 
ultimate reign when the revolted kingdoms and do- 
minions of this world shall become the kingdom of 
Christ. "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, in- 
visible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for- 
ever and ever !" 

The Kingship of Christ runs like a golden thread 
through ancient prophecy : " For unto us a child is 
born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall 
be upon his shoulder ; his name shall be called Won- 
derful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting 
Father and the Prince of Peace." He was seen in the 
visions of Isaiah clothed in regal splendor and marked 
with the tokens of a glorious triumph : "Who is this 
that Cometh from Edom, this that is glorious in his 
apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength ? " 
" I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." 
" Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy 


garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat ? " 
" I have trodden the wine-press alone ; and of the 
people there was none with me ; for the day of ven- 
geance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed 
is come," 

This was ''the hope of Israel." All through the 
centuries of her sin and suffering she looked for the 
coming of her King. He was David's son, and his 
reign was to be marked by a magnificence beyond 
that of Solomon in all his glory. The song of the 
procession that wound around the spur of Olivet, 
leading the man of Nazareth to the Holy City, was 
an historic song : " Hosanna ! hosanna ! to the Son of 
David ; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the 
Lord ! " 

And Christ in his Messianic character claimed 
this regal authority : " Ye call me Lord and Master, 
and ye say well for so I am." He had much to say 
of " the kingdom." This is the key of his preaching. 
He came to set up, amid the chaos and confusion of 
earthly principalities, the kingdom of truth, the king- 
dom of righteousness, the kingdom of heaven, the 
kingdom of God. He came to restore the simple 
glory of the theocracy, the Commonwealth of God. 
The charge brought against him for which he was 
haled to judgment and ultimately dragged to Calvary, 
was that he made himself a king. His judge took 
him aside from Gabbatha and gave him an opportu- 
nity to clear himself of this accusation. " Art thou 
a king?" he asked. And Jesus answered, in the 
strongest form of affirmation that was possible in the 
Aramaic tongue, '^ Thou sayest it." And this accusa- 
tion was written over his head : /esu Nazaret Rex 

"for CHRIST S crown. II 

ludceorum — Jesus the man of Nazareth, the King of the 
whole Israel of God ! 

And here runs the party line — the line of separa- 
tion between citizens of the kingdom and aliens from 
the household of faith. The human race is divided 
in twain along this line, the acceptance or rejection 
of the Kingly claim of Christ. The Jews and their 
Roman confreres committed the unpardonable sin. 
They reviled his royalty, placing a crown of thorns 
upon his head, throwing about him the cast-off 
purple of a Roman magistrate, putting an impotent 
reed in his hand, bowing before him and crying in 
derision, " Hail, O King ! " The same sin is com- 
mitted still by those who reduce the dignity of this 
eternal King to that of a mere man, dispossessing 
him of his scepter and degrading him to the level of 
the creatures of his hand, as well as by those who 
reject his authority with a sturdy disclaimer, saying, 
"We will not have him to rule over us." 

But, blessed be his name, there is a vast and ever 
increasing number of such as acknowledge his be- 
nignant sway. They believe that he, being the only- 
begotten Son of the Father, came into this world to 
set up a kingdom whose cardinal truth is righteous- 
ness, laying its foundation in the great atonement of 
the cross. And they count it their highest joy to pass 
under his yoke and call themselves citizens of the 
commonwealth of which he alone is ruler. 

How came they into this citizenship ? By faith ; 
an implicit, appropriating, obedient faith in the Mes- 
sianic claims of Christ. By an absolute surrender to 
his authority and a joyous acquiescence in his word, 
"If any man will come after me, let him deny him- 
self, take up his cross and follow me." 


But while faith in this sovereign Christ marks the 
birth of a sinner into the kingdom and so assures his 
deliverance from sin and death, it is only the begin- 
ning of his citizenship ; that is to say, of his spiritual 
life. Two things now follow, not so much because 
they are enjoined as because they naturally and in- 
evitably proceed from loyalty to the King : 

I. Confession. He who truly believes in the sover- 
eignty of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords 
will obviously not hesitate to acknowledge him. 

Did you ever hear an assembly of Englishmen sing 
"God save the Queen " ? Not long ago I was in a 
company of Scottish gentlemen at a banquet reach- 
ing into the wee sma' hours, and when they closed 
their conference with that inspiring hymn, my Anglo- 
Saxon blood was quickened by the enthusiasm of 
their devotion to Her Majesty. She is neither tall nor 
fair. Not by the largest stretch of the imagination 
can she be called beautiful. But you will speak a 
word against her on British soil at your peril- 
Ashamed of Victoria ? Not they. She represents the 
greatness of that empire on whose dominion the sun 
never sets. She represents in her own person the 
armies and navies of the realm. She stands for the 
history of five centuries of political splendor and for 
the hope of brighter glories and nobler conquests yet 
to come. Ashamed of Queen Victoria? O no ! 

Followers of Christ, up with your hearts, up with 
your voices alway, " God save the King ! " '' Long live 
the King ! " He hath upon his vesture and his thigh 
a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. 
Behold his diadem of stars. What are the crown 
jewels of the nations to this ? Behold his girdle of 
almighty power, his vesture like the snow, his eyes 

"for CHRIST S crown. I3 

like flaming fire. Think of his conquests, the hearts 
he has subdued, the evil powers he has vanquished) 
the Caesars he has scourged to their tombs, the em- 
pires he has touched and they have crumbled into 

Jesus ! and shall it ever be, 
A mortal man ashamed of thee? 
Ashamed of thee, whom angels praise, 
Whose glories shine through endless days? 

Ashamed of Jesus ! sooner far 
Let evening blush to own a star ; 
He sheds the beams of light divine 
O'er this benighted soul of mine. 

Ashamed of Jesus ! yes, I may, 
When I've no guilt to wash away ; 
No tear to wipe, no good to crave, 
No fears to quell, no soul to save. 

Till then — nor is my boasting vain — 
Till then, I boast a Saviour slain ! 
And, oh, may this my glory be 
That Christ is not ashamed of me ! 

II. Obedience — frank, implicit and absolute. Obe- 
dience in all things. Obedience unquestioning. Obe- 
dience joyous and unto death. 

All the problems of life are solved for Chris- 
tian people in this word obedience. These are the 
matters of supreme moment to us : truth, character 
and service. And these are the three great problems: 
What shall I believe ? What shall I be ? and What 
shall I do ? All these are solved at the footstool of 
the King. 

(i) What shall I believe ? Believe what the Master 
says. His word is the final dictum for the formula- 
tion of our creed. He himself is the court of last 

14 ''for CHRIST S crown. 

appeal in all matters pertaining to truth. When our 
Sovereign speaks there is an end of controversy. Let 
infallible popes and councils and ecclesiastical courts 
stand out of our light. Tradition must yield to his 
ipse dixit. In our quest for truth we have been sent 
forth like sailors in a staunch ship over a great sea 
and our Lord has provided us with a trusty pilot and 
a trustworthy chart. Our chart is the Bible, as he 
said, " Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye 
have eternal life and these are they which testify of 
me." Our pilot is his Spirit, as he said, "If I go 
away, I will send unto you the Comforter ; he shall 
lead you into all truth." If we fall into error, it is 
because we doubt his word or deny his Spirit. ^ 

(2) What shall I be ? Be like Christ. His char- 
acter must be our rule of character. To imitate him 
is to grow unto the full stature of a man. Here again^ 
for our guidance, he has given us his word and his 
Spirit. In that word we have his portrait — the ideal 
Man, the chiefest among ten thousand, the one al- 
together lovely. We attain unto perfection just in the 
measure in which we copy him and in that effort we 
have the assistance of his Spirit. The fruit of that 
Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The effort of 
our life, as royal subjects of the King, is to make that 
bundle of graces ours. ''Add to your faith virtue; 
and to virtue knowledge ; and to knowledge temper- 
ance ; and to temperance patience ; and to patience 
godliness ; and to godliness brotherly kindness ; and 
to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be 
in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall 
neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of 
our Lord Jesus Christ." 


(3) What shall I do 2 Do what the King commands. 
This is the secret of a successful Christian life. And 
the King's command is this, Seek ye the kingdom. 
Seek ye first the kingdom. Seek ye first of all the 
kingdom. As citizens of this divine Commonwealth 
it is our business to do our utmost toward the exten- 
sion of our Sovereign's realms. And we have our in- 
structions in that word, '* Go ye into all the world and 
evangelize, beginning at home." 

The work of the kingdom begins at home ; in 
the narrow circle of your immediate environment. If 
you love the King, see that his name is honored by 
your intimate friends and associates. " Go down 
to your own house," said Jesus to the man of Gadara, 
"and tell what great things the Lord hath done for 

Then the broader provinces — the city, the common- 
wealth, the nation, the world. Oh, for an enlarge- 
ment of our hearts ; for it devolves upon every true 
follower of Christ to extend his influence to the very 
uttermost. This is involved in loyalty to the King. 
His purpose is to subjugate the world ; he is setting 
up the kingdom which shall ultimately extend from 
the river to the uttermost parts of the earth. To this 
end the campaign has been marked out and as loyal 
and obedient servants of Christ it is not for us to pre- 
sume to criticise his methods. It should be enough 
for us that he has said, *' Go ye." 

In view of the recent massacre of missionaries in 
China, the question has again been broached, " Do 
missions pay?" It is discussed in labored editorials 
in our secular newspapers. Do missions pay ? Pay ! 
Who said anything about paying? Look to your 
marching orders! If every missionary that ever set 

i6 "for Christ's crown." 

out to preach the glorious gospel in the habitations 
of cruelty had been murdered in cold blood ; if there 
were not one native convert to show for the great ex- 
penditure of wealth and energy from the time of 
William Carey, the consecrated cobbler, until now; it 
would still remain the indubitable duty of the Church> 
calmly, unquestioningly, without hesitation and 
with implicit faith, to push the propaganda to the re- 
motest corners of the globe. The word of the King 
has gone forth ; who are we that we should reply 
against him ? 

But missions do pay. Let the question be looked 
at from any standpoint whatever ; commercial, scien- 
tific, industrial, moral or spiritual. Missions do pay. 
The history of the last one hundred years, the one 
hundred years of missionary enterprise, is the history 
of modern civilization. The King's blessing has been 
placed upon the obedience of his fai*:hful people in 
the c:?nversion of multitudes, the enlightenment of 
nations and the opening up of the whole world to the 
benignant grace of the Son of Righteousness. The 
royal standards onward go! 

And the ultimate triumph is sure. " Let the kings 
of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take coun- 
sel together. He that sitteth in the heavens shall 
laugh : the Lord shall hold them in derision." The 
battalions who were seen going forth on their white 
horses in the vision of the Apocalypse, are already 
returning from conquest : One riding at their head in 
garments stained with blood. " Worthy art thou ! " 
is the cry of the veteran host, and " Worthy art thou !" 
is the response of angels and archangels at heaven's 
gate, "to receive honor and glory and power and 
dominion for ever and ever," 

"for CHRIST S crown. I7 

Thanks be to God for the honor of serving the 
King! A brave word was that of the wounded Spar- 
tan who, having distinguished himself in battle, was 
asked by his king, " What wilt thou ? A wreath, a 
noble title, a lucrative province ? What wilt thou ? " 
And he answered, " Let me march, O king, in the 
van of the army." There is no higher distinction 
than that. Let us push to the front, O followers of 
Christ ; close to the royal banner, close to the person 
of the King. 

Not long ago in the Gallery of the Luxem- 
bourg I saw a picture called, " The Return of the 
Martyr." The scene is in the catacombs. Yonder 
through the door-way, seen by the flickering light of 
torches, the mangled body of one slain in the amphi- 
theatre is being carried in. Friends are weeping ; 
some are gazing with a sorrow too deep for tears. The 
minister stretches forth his hands in welcome to the 
dead. A mother lifts her babe that the shadow of the 
bier may fall in blessing over it. Yonder is the niche 
in the wall awaiting its treasure of dust. A palm- 
branch is ready to be placed beside it. And as I looked 
upon that picture I thought, what if some artist could 
paint the entrance of yon martyr's soul into the heaven- 
ly glory ? Ah, that were a theme to make a man im- 
mortal. But who shall show the rolling back of the 
pearly gates, the rainbow arch, the crystal sea, the 
waving palms, the dazzling splendor of the throne ? 
And who shall paint the glow upon the faces of those 
who press forward to salute the veteran, or the ma- 
jesty of him who stretches forth his hands, saying, 
"Well done, good servant. Enter into joy " ? All 
heaven is in that word. " Be thou faithful unto death, 
and I will give thee a crown of life." Oh, to come 

i8 "for Christ's crown" 

thither and enter into the eternal peace of that bene- 
diction ! Oh, to behold at last the King in his beauty! 
"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the 
only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. 


" There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave ; all of them slain, 
fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether 
parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living ; yet 
have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit. — 
EzEK. xxxii. 24, 

The land of Elam here referred to lay west of 
Persia and south of Assyria and was, therefore, in 
part, identical with the "Turkey in Asia" of to-day. 
It was a mighty power as far back as the time of 
Abraham. There is a set of tablets in the British 
Museum taken from the royal library of Ass- 
urbanipal on one of which is a war bulletin signed 
by Assurbanipal himself, in which he says: **I 
directed the march against Elam. I overwhelmed 
Elam from end to end. I cut off the head of the 
king Te-umman, who was ever devising evil. I 
slew a multitude of his soldiers. I swept over 
the land for a month and a day." This was about 
B.C. 650. The bloody and barbarous land of Elam 
has a worthy successor in the Sublime Porte; and 
the kings of Elam, from Te-umman down to His 
Majesty the present Sultan Abdul-Hamid II., have 
ever been " devising evil." The face of Abdul- 
Hamid tells its own story — the low sensual brows, 
the cunning eyes, the sinister lips. The government 
of Elam has suffered the usual vicissitudes of time ; 
but king and people remain as cruel and barbarous 

as ever. 



The Armenians also are an ancient nation. In 
Xenophon's " Retreat of the Ten Thousand " he refers 
to them as a courageous people devoted to industrial 
pursuits. They may be still characterized in that 
way. The Armenians are the leading merchants, 
skilled artisans and farmers of the Turkish Empire. 
They are, moreover, a deeply religious people. It is 
claimed that the Armenian Church is the oldest 
Christian Church on earth. The story runs that King 
Abgarus sent a letter to Jesus of Nazareth enquiring 
as to the new religion which he was introducing 
among the Jews. He received a courteous reply 
through Thaddeus and Bartholomew, who preached 
the gospel to Abgarus and his people. It may be 
asserted, without passing judgment upon the truth 
of this venerable legend, that the Armenians have 
stood for their ancestral religion as far back as run- 
neth the memory of man. 

The Turk stands as the pre-eminent representative 
and champion of Islam. Turk versus Armenian is 
but another phrase for Mohammed versus Christ* 
The relation of these two neighboring peoples has 
been for centuries a story of continuous strife and 
oppression. It was back in the fourteenth century 
that Timour the Tartar celebrated the triumphs oj 
his crescentade by piling up outside the gates of 
Baghdad a pyramid of Christian skulls. 

The narrative of this conflict is in two chapters, 
(i) Conversion. For some hundreds of years the 
effort of the Turks was to win over the Armenians to 
the Mohammedan faith. The sword was the constant 
instrument of this propaganda aided by tyrannies and 
oppressions of every sort, including the imposition of 
unjust taxes and burdens greater than any people 


could bear. (2) Extermination. Failing in the 
endeavor to convert the Armenians by even the 
strongest methods of force, the Sublime Porte has ap- 
parently resorted to the plan of wholly destroying the 
Armenians as a people. The Kurds — a wild nomadic 
people without industry, devoted to plunder and un- 
scrupulous in slaughter — have been organized for the 
accomplishment of this purpose. A faint parallel to 
this may be found in the appeal made by Gen. Bur- 
goyne at the beginning of the American Revolution 
to the Mohawk and other Indians, urging them 
to march against the American colonists, — an appeal 
against which Pitt remonstrated in a speech in Par- 
liament in 1777, saying, "Such abominable methods 
are equally abhorrent to religion and to humanity." 
The Sultan has organized these Kurds into cohorts of 
cavalry, which have, during recent years, committed 
dreadful outrages against the Armenians under his 
authority and with the open support of the Turkish 

I. This condition of things is a belated fact in the 
history of civilization. The world has moved on 
magnificently since the rising of the Day-Star at the 
beginning of the Christian era ; the light has been 
diffused everywhere. But here, in the Turkish 
Empire, is a deep, dark corner of hell still remaining 
in the midst of the general progress of the race. 

The massacre of Sassoun, which occurred two 
years ago, was but an episode in this policy of ex- 
termination. With the approval of the Sultan, an 
army of three thousand Kurds was let loose upon the 
Armenians. For two horrible weeks they plundered 
and killed. The details are too harrowing for words. 
Men, women and children were slaughtered until the 


air was foul with the stench of the unburied dead. 
No less than seventy villages were wholly or in part 
destroyed. The Kurds, during this fortnight of in- 
human slaughter, carried aloft upon their spears the 
heads of the slain and the bodies of unborn children 
torn from their worse than murdered mothers. A 
company of sixty young women and girls having 
suffered beyond all possibility of portrayal were, on 
one occasion during this march of devastation, 
offered life on certain indescribable conditions if 
they would abjure their faith. " Our fathers and 
brothers," they answered, " lie yonder dead ; we are 
no better than they. In mercy, kill us ! " I know of 
nothing better than that in the chronicles of heroism. 
It is estimated that more than ten thousand victims 
fell in this massacre. Their blood crieth from the 
ground ! 

"The massacre of Sassoun," says Dr. Dillon, who 
speaks from personal observation as special com- 
missioner of the London Daily Telegraph to Armenia, 
"sends a shudder to the hearts of the most callous. 
But that butchery was a divine mercy compared with 
the hellish deeds that are being done every week and 
every day of the year. The piteous moans of famish- 
ing children ; the groans of old men who have lived 
to see what can never be embodied in words ; the 
piercing cries of violated maidenhood, nay, of tender 
childhood ; the shrieks of mothers made childless by 
crimes compared with which murder would be a 
blessing; the screams, scarcely human, of women 
writhing under the lash ; and all the vain voices of 
blood and agony that die away in that dreary desert 
without having found a responsive echo on earth or 
in heaven, combine to throw Sassoun and all its hor^ 
rors into the shade." 


It thus appears that the story of Sassoun was a 
mere incident in the continuous effort of the Turkish 
Government to exterminate this people. An eye- 
witness of a more recent massacre at Trebizond 
writes as follows : " On October 8th, all danger 
seemed to be over and shops were opened and people 
walked in the st/eets. Suddenly, at ii a.m., people 
in the streets were shot down. Men standing or 
sitting at their shop doors were dropped with a 
bullet through their heads or hearts. The aim of the 
Turks was deadly ; I have heard of no wounded men. 
Some were slashed with swords until life was extinct. 
Generally, the Turks allowed the women and younger 
children to live. For five hours this horrid work 
of inhuman butchery went on, the cracking of 
musketry, sometimes like a volley from a platoon of 
soldiers, but more often single shots from near and 
distant points, the crashing in of doors, and the thud, 
thud of sword blows sounded on our ears. Then the 
sound of musketry died away, and the work of loot- 
ing began. Every shop of an Armenian in the 
market was gutted, and the victors in this cowardly 
and brutal way glutted themselves with the spoils. 
For hours bales of broadcloth, cotton goods and 
every conceivable kind of merchandise passed along 
without molestation to the homes of the spoilers. So 
far as appearance went, the police and the soldiers 
distinctly aided in this savage work. They were 
mingled with the armed men, and, so far as we could 
see, made not the least effort to check them. Not 
one of the perpetrators of these outrages has been 
arrested or disarmed, but all have moved about with 
the utmost freedom to accomplish their nefarious 
purposes. On the other hand, many of the Armen- 


ians are in prison. There is no telling how many- 
have perished in this outbreak. Four hundred is a 
moderate estimate." 

Time and again they have appealed to the nations 
of Christendom for help. A petition signed by three 
hundred and six of the principal inhabitants of Ar- 
menia runs as follows: *' We now solemnly assure 
you that the butchery of Sassoun is but a drop in the 
ocean of Armenia blood, shed gradually and silently- 
all over the empire since the late Turko-Russian war. 
Year by year, month by month, day by day, innocent 
men, women and children have been shot down, 
stabbed, or clubbed to death in their houses and in 
their fields, tortured in strange, fiendish ways in fetid 
prison cells, or left to rot in exile under the scorching 
suns of Arabia. During the progress of that long and 
horrible tragedy no voice was raised for mercy, no 
hand extended to help us. That process is still going 
on; it has already entered upon its final phases, and 
the Armenian people are at the last gasp. Is Euro- 
pean sympathy destined to take the form of a cross 
upon our graves ? " 

The suffering and destitution of this people have 
touched the hearts of the Christian Churches in 
America, who have sent contributions of food and cloth- 
ing to be distributed by their missionaries among 
them. A telegram from Constantinople bearing the 
date of October 31st,* reads as follows : "The Turks 
demand that the American missionaries, who are dis- 
tributing relief to the suffering people of Sassoun, 
withdraw from there in three days, otherwise, they 
say, they fear there will be a repetition of the mas- 

* This sermon was preached on November 3, iSgSu 


sacres. In view of this critical situation, the United 
States Ambassador, Alexander W. Terrell, has ad- 
vised the American missionaries to withdraw tempo- 
rarily from Sassoun. The Kurds are held in check 
by the missionaries, fearing to commit excesses in 
their presence." Withdraw from Sassoun under such 
circumstances? Our missionaries withdraw from 
Sassoun for the accommodation of the Kurds who de- 
sire to continue their work of blood and violence? 
The good God forbid ! The mere suggestion on the 
part of our national representative is suggestive of 
cowardice most contemptible. The followers of the 
crucified Christ, who uphold the banner of his cross 
in yonder land of persecution, can ill afford to pre- 
serve their lives at such a cost. Let them stand there 
in the spirit of their Master, like Aaron in the plague- 
stricken camp of Israel, waving their censers between 
the living and the dead ! 

II. To what shall we trace the origin of this dread- 
ful tragedy ? To the Oriental blood ? Nay. The 
Turks stand almost alone among the Oriental nations 
in this murderous policy. To the fact that they are 
only semi-civilized ? Nay; barbaric nations are not 
all cruel. The trouble lies deeper down and further 
back than this, in the religion of the Turks. They 
stand as sponsors and defenders of Mohammedanism. 
We hear it said that the Turk is on trial. True. The 
Turk has been on trial for long centuries and was 
found guilty of crimes nameless and intolerable long 
centuries ago. But Islam is on trial ! The Turk is 
what his religion makes him. " By their fruits ye shall 
know them " is true of religions as of individuals. If it 
be answered, " Has not Christianity also drawn the 
sword?" We answer, "Yes; but never in the spirit 
of Christ." Note the following facts : 


(i) The policy of blood is ingrained in the very- 
fabric of Islam. The Lord Christ came as Prince of 
Peace. He said to Peter : "Put up thy sword into 
the sheath, for they that take the sword shall perish by 
it." He marked out the plan for the propagation of 
the Christian faith in the peaceable preaching of the 
gospel of good will. But Mohammed at the very out- 
set declared a crescentade of blood. He sent forth 
eight of his followers from Medina to waylay a cara- 
van in the valley of Nakhla ; they returned with the 
announcement that they had killed one and taken 
two prisoners. " Allah be praised ! " said the prophet. 
The tiger had tasted blood and his appetite was 
whetted for more. A Jewish tribe entrenched in its 
stronghold was presently besieged and overcome ; 
eight hundred prisoners were led out in companies of 
sixes and butchered in cold blood, while Mohammed 
stood by, praising God. The sword of Islam has 
never been sheathed from that day to this. It is 
written in the Koran: " Fight against the unbelievers 
until the true religion stands alone upon the earth." 
Those who are accustomed to believe that one religion 
is as good as another, who speak kindly of Islam, 
may well ponder the following prayer — the official 
prayer of Islam, which is repeated daily in the great 
university at Cairo by ten thousand theological stu- 
dents and is used throughout the Turkish dominions; 
'*I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed. 
In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merci- 
ful ! O Lord of all Creatures ! O Allah ! Destroy 
the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the ene- 
mies of the religion ! O Allah ! Make their children 
orphans, and defile their abodes ! Cause their feet to 
slip; give them and their families, their households, 


and their women, their children and their relations by 
marriage, their brothers and their friends, their pos- 
sessions and their race, their wealth and their lands, 
as booty to the Moslems, O Lord of all Creatures ! " 
(2) The shedding of blood — occurring in Christian 
history at intervals as an outburst of human wicked- 
ness and in distinct contravention of the mind and in- 
junction of Jesus — is the settled policy of the Moham- 
medan religion, and has been the continuous method 
of Islam from the beginning until now. The Jehad, 
or Holy War, is a sacramental observance. To perish 
in the Jehad is better than to make a pilgrimage to 
Mecca. He who dies with his sword drawn against 
an unbeliever goes straight to Paradise, to receive the 
most splendid rewards and to be waited upon forever 
by beautiful houris. It is estimated that the number 
of Christian subjects massacred in Turkey since 1820 
is above ninety-three thousand. In this connection 
it will be profitable to recall the words of Gladstone, 
uttered with reference to the Turkish massacres in 
Bulgaria in 1876 : " I entreat my countrymen, upon 
whom far more than perhaps any other people of 
Europe it depends, to require and to insist that our 
government, which has been working in one direction, 
shall work in the other, and shall apply all its vigor 
to concur with the other states of Europe in obtain- 
ing the extinction of the Turkish power in Bulgaria. 
Let the Turks now carry away their abuses in the 
only possible manner — namely, by carrying off them- 
selves. Their Zaptiehs and their Mudirs, their Bim- 
bashis and their Yuzbachis, their Kaimakams and 
their Pashas — one and all, bag and baggage — clear 
out from the province they have desolated and pro- 
faned. This thorough riddance, this most blessed de- 


liverance, is the only reparation we can make to tne 
memory of those heaps on heaps of dead ; to the 
violated purity alike o matron, of maiden, and of 
child ; to the civilization which has been affronted 
and shamed ; to the laws of God, or, if you like, of 
Allah ; to the moral sense of mankind at large. There 
is not a criminal in a European jail, there is not a 
cannibal in the South Sea Islands, whose indignation 
would not arise and overboil at the recital of that 
which has been done ; which has too late been exam- 
ined, but which remains unavenged ; which has left 
behind all the foul and all the fierce passions that 
produced it; and which may again spring up, in an- 
other murderous harvest, from the soil soaked and 
reeking with blood, and in the air tainted with every 
imaginable deed of crime and shame. That such 
things should be done once is a damning disgrace to 
the portion of our race which did them ; that a door 
should be left open for their ever-so-barely possible 
repetition would spread that shame over the whole. 
Better, we may justly tell the Sultan, almost any in- 
convenience, difficulty, or loss associated with Bul- 

' Than thou reseated in thy place of light, 
The mockery of thy people and their bane.' 

We may ransack the annals of the world, but I know 
not what research can furnish us with so portentous 
an example of the fiendish misuse of the powers es- 
tablished by God ' for the punishment of evil-doers* 
and for the encouragement of them that do well. 
No government ever has so sinned ; none has proved 
itself so incorrigible in sin, or, which is the same, so 
impotent for reformation. If it be allowable that the 
executive power of Turkey should renew, at this great 


crisis, by permission or authority of Europe, the 
charter of its existence in Bulgaria, then there is not 
on record, since the beginnings of political society, a 
protest that man has lodged against intolerable mis- 
government, or a stroke he has dealt at loathsome 
tyranny, that ought not henceforth forward to be 
branded as a crime." 

(3) It should be observed also that the attitude of 
the followers of Mohammed in these persecutions is 
one of open defiance. No denial is offered ; no apol- 
ogy is made. When the foreign Consuls took it upon 
themselves to remonstrate with the governor of Erze- 
roum in behalf of the suffering Armenians, he replied 
in substance as follows : "Would you presume to in- 
terfere with the affairs of my harem ? Would you 
question my right to strip and starve and beat my 
wives ? The relation of the Turk to the Armenian is 
that of a husband to his wife, and you must not pre- 
sume to interfere with it." 

In view of such considerations we are justified in 
the assertion that the responsibility for these deeds of 
violence must be laid upon the Mohammedan religion 
For hundreds of years its representatives have carried 
on their propaganda with sword in hand and fortified 
on either side by the harem and the slave market. 
These are the three historic forces of Islam : the 
sword, slavery and licentiousness. Back of these lies 
the two-fold doctrine of the system : there is one God, 
and Mohammed is his Prophet. The doctrine of the 
one God has been characterized as the infinite truth. 
Let us go one step further and characterize the other 
doctrine, "Mohammed is his Prophet," as the infinite 
lie. It is in the spreading of this falsehood that the 
Turks have manifested their most fanatical intoler- 


ance. The Sublime Porte is what Islam has made it. 

III. As to the remedy. We have reached a point 
in the history of civilization where the responsibility 
for the solution of a problem so momentous must be 
laid upon all nations and all the children of men. A 
mere expression of grief or anger or sympathy goes 
for naught. 

Shall we look for a political solution of the diffi- 
culty ? One would think that France and Germany 
and Russia and England — great Christian nations all 
— would somehow solve the problem. But there is 
one insuperable difficulty in the way — the " Balance 
of Power." The Turkish Government has, for a 
quarter of a century, been called the ''sick man," and 
this " sick man " would have died long ago but for 
the fact that the great powers of Europe dare not let 
him die. England is afraid of such a result — a con- 
summation otherwise most devoutly to be wished — 
because Russia would, in all probability, become 
the residuary legatee. England stands sponsor, 
therefore, for Turkey's power in Asia ; pledged to the 
integrity and perpetuity of her dominions there. Nay, 
furthermore, forty-one millions of the one hundred and 
seventy millions of Mohammedans on earth are sub- 
jects of the English crown. Wherefore it may be said 
with little fear of question, that England stands sponsor 
for the perpetuity of Islam. Under these conditions 
it is well nigh hopeless to look for deliverance toward 
the great powers of Europe ; unless, indeed, in God's 
providence, a war should be precipitated for the set- 
tlement of the Eastern Question, in which event the 
God of battles would in all likelihood put an utter 
end to the government of the unspeakable Turk. 

In the meantime, is it too much to hope that Amer- 



ica, the youngest of the Christian nations, and the 
only great nation which is unhampered by considera- 
tions of the " Balance of Power," should make her in- 
fluence felt? We may at least demand that our mis- 
sionaries and their native proteges, their churches and 
schools, with the Armenian children gathered in them, 
shall be protected in their life and liberty and posses- 
sions. It may be that in God's providence our nation 
may yet be able, by the use of a courageous policy 
in the defense of its own foreign rights, to accomplish 
what has seemed to be impossible to nations involved 
in the perplexities of the Eastern Question. 

But the ultimate solution of this and all kindred 
difficulties lies in the calm and sure processes of the 
gospel of Christ. It was the word spoken by Paul 
from the Mammertine prison that destroyed the 
power of the Roman Empire and ushered in the 
Christian Italy of to-day. It was the gospel from 
the lips of Boniface, in the eighth century, that blasted 
the oaks of Odin and transformed the barbarism of 
the Northland into the Christian civilization of the 
Germany of to-day. It was the gospel from the lips 
of Irenaeus, who met a martyr's death in the reign of 
Marcus Aurelius, that dissipated the darkness of 
pagan Gaul and made the Christian France of to- 
day. It was the gospel preached by St. Augustine 
among the Druids of Britain that shattered the 
Cromlechs and prepared the way for the splendid 
civilization of the England of to-day. So, in process 
of time, will the religion of Christ make itself felt in 
the dominions of Islam. Up to this time, however, 
the number of missionaries sent into Turkey for its 
evangelization would scarcely make the one-half of 
a regiment in our American army. And the total ex- 


penditure on Foreign Missions among the Moham- 
medans since the beginning of the Christian era is 
estimated at less than ten millions of dollars — less 
than we spend upon one of our great metropolitan 
hostelries ; a mere fraction of the money spent on 
our East River Bridge. Is it not true that we are 
** playing at missions " ? When the Church sets about 
the conversion of the Moslem world in earnest, the 
work will be done. Meanwhile the kingdom of Christ 
in that distant land, as everywhere, is like a mustard 
seed planted in the ground, which indeed is the least 
of all seeds ; but when it is grown, it becometh a tree, 
and the fowls of the air lodge in the branches of it. 


" But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."— Gal. vi. 14. 

Here is a statement of a great truth — Life out of 
Death. " He that loveth his life," said Jesus, " shall 
lose it ; and he that hateth his life for my sake and 
the Gospel's, shall keep it." And again, " I, if I be 
lifted up, will draw all men unto me." 

It is the law of the acorn, of the chrysalis, of the 
graveyard ; life out of death, and out of death only. 
" Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, 
it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much 
fruit." What is this that the husbandman scatters 
over his ploughed field ? Bread. The bread which 
is necessary to sustain his own life ; bread for his 
children's hunger. Why then, O husbandman, do 
you thus broadcast it ? Why throw it away ? — Lift up 
your eyes and see. The fields are white unto the har- 
vest. The loaded wains come groaning to the gran- 
aries. The family gathers about the generous board. 
The corn of wheat died, and lo, it has passed into an 
infinitely vaster life. 

This is the occasion of Paul's glorying. In these 
triumphant words he furnishes a threefold illustra- 
tion of the great law. Here are three deaths and 
three resurrections to newness of life. 



I. The cross of Jesus Christ. He died, not only 
that he might deliver the world from its penalty of 
death, but that through the portals of his self-re- 
nunciation he might himself enter upon a more glo- 
rious life. 

The Lord Christ is dead. See him yonder upon 
the cross, his limbs distorted in the last anguish. No 
need of any death certificate here. '' Is he quite 
dead?" asked the Centurion of his guard. *' Aye, 
this is the spear which I thrust into his side but a 
moment ago ; and when it was withdrawn, it gave 
sure token that his heart had ceased to beat." The 
Jews, Priests and Rabbis passed by, and, noting the 
pallor of his face, they said, "The Man of Nazareth 
is dead ; we shall hear no further of his doctrines and 
wonderful works. He will trouble us no more." The 
disciples as they loosed him from the tree felt of his 
hands, and they were cold ; and of his pulse, and it 
was still. "We hoped," they lamented, ''that it was 
he who should deliver Israel ; but, alas ! he is dead." 

Dead ! Then why all this commotion ? Why this 
controversy among the children of men ? Is it possi- 
ble that the world is still moved, troubled, about a 
dead man — one who died and was buried eighteen 
centuries ago ? 

What does this mean ? There are some hundreds 
of millions of people who gather at intervals about a 
table where a frugal repast is spread. They break 
the bread and say, "Lo, thus his flesh was bruised." 
They pour the wine and say, " Lo, thus his blood was 
shed." And then they lift their hearts and voices 
and speak with him as a living Christ, laying all their 
plans and purposes and hopes before him. 

And what means this ever increasing multitude 


of men and women who declare that he, with a 
mighty hand, has lifted them out of the miry pit and 
set their feet upon an everlasting rock ? He said to 
the paralytic in Capernaum, "Son, thy sins be for- 
given thee " ; and he has been loosing paralytics from 
their infirmity and forgiving their sins from then 
until now. He said to the sinful woman who 
anointed his feet with oil of spikenard, *' Daughter, 
go in peace ; thy sins be forgiven thee " ; and through 
all the centuries he has been saving Magdalenes and 
restoring them to self-respect and to divine peace. 
He said to the dying thief on Golgotha, "To-day 
thou shalt be with me in paradise"; and there are 
multitudes of malefactors as guilty as poor Dysmas, 
who are prepared to testify that just now he met 
them with the same message of pardoning grace. 

And how is it that the name of Jesus is to-day the 
most potent name in war and diplomacy ? His figure 
towers aloft in the affairs of nations like the Brocken 
of the Alps. What has become of other magnates 
who ruled the earth in centuries gone by ? 

" Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay, 
May stop a hole to keep the wind away." 

But Christ is the most influential arbiter in the affairs 
of men and nations. Let Napoleon speak from his 
lonely retreat at St. Helena : "You speak of Caesars, 
of Alexanders, of their conquests, of the enthusiasm 
which they kindle in the hearts of their soldiers ; but 
think of the conquests of this dead Man. Can you 
conceive of Caesar as the eternal Emperor of the Ro- 
man Senate and from the depth of his mausoleum 
governing the empire, watching over the destinies of 
Rome? Yet here is an Arm thatfor eighteen centuries 


has protected the Church from the storms which have 
threatened to engulf it." 

It may be that Macaulay's vision will come true, 
and at some future time a New Zealander will 
stand upon a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch 
the ruins of St. Paul's. If so, however, it will be be- 
cause the New Zealander himself will be the last con- 
summate fruit of Christian culture ; a man of higher 
attainments in moral power than those who reared 
the fabric of St. Paul's. For Christ is a living and 
omnipotent force moving the world, through each 
succeeding sun, into a clearer light ; and this will 
continue until, in the restitution of all things, every 
knee shall bow before him and every tongue confess 
in the full glory of his millennial reign, that he alone 
is King over all. 

II. lam crucified with Christ. Who is this "I"? 
In the philosophy of St. Paul, man has a dual person- 
ality. The lower nature and the higher nature are 
ever struggling for the mastery. The " old man " 
grapples with the " new man who is created in 
Christ unto righteousness and true holiness." The 
antagonists are elsewhere characterized as "flesh" 
and " Spirit." As where it is written, " There is, 
therefore, now no condemnation to them which are 
in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after 
the Spirit ; for to be carnally minded is death, but to 
be spiritually minded is life and peace." 

It is this lower Ego or self which is crucified with 
Christ. But from the death and burial of this lower 
nature, the truer self rises into newness of life. '' I 
am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, and yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me." 

I live now as never before for the true advantage 


of self. So long as my carnal nature had the mas- 
tery, the story of my life was constant degeneration. 
But now that my better nature has triumphed, I en- 
ter upon a process of progressive sanctification. I 
shall never cease to grow in character, but will con- 
tinue to increase from grace to grace and from glory 
to glory, ever approaching the full stature of a man. 

I live now more than ever toward others. The 
lower nature is selfish. The " old man " was given 
over to self-gratification, but the '* new man " follows 
close in the footsteps of him of whom it was written : 
" He went about doing good." The influence of one 
whose sordid self has perished on the cross is an ever- 
increasing influence for good. The close of his 
earthly career does not end it. " Fear not, Brother 
Ridley; we do light a candle in England to-day which 
by God's grace shall never be put out." 

And I live now more than ever towards God. The 
unregenerate man who lives after the flesh and not 
after the Spirit, is of little or no consequence in the 
kingdom of truth and righteousness. He bears to the 
household of faith the same relation that a scape- 
grace son does to any family circle. But as I come 
forth out of the death of the flesh into the life of the 
Spirit, I assume a new and vital relation toward the 
kingdom of God. The King counts me now a loyal 
subject and condescends to work through me for the 
casting down of the strongholds of wickedness and 
the building up of truth and righteousness on earth. 
I am living on a higher level and breathing a new 
atmosphere ; as one who stands upon the summit of a 
mountain looking down on those who plod along the 
lower paths. What mites and midgets they are, who 
bustle to and fro in quest of things that perish with 


the using! Up here are life and immortality. I died 
down yonder on the cross to live up here with God- 
I buried all and have all. I was crucified, yet I live ; 
nay, Christ liveth in me. 

Ill, The world is crucified to me. What is this 
" world " which is impaled on yonder cross — the 
world that is dead to me ? It is the habitat of those 
who live in the flesh, who spend their energies in 
sordid pursuits. This is the world that ever comes 
between a man and his own eternal life. This is the 
world of which it is written, "The friendship of the 
world is enmity against God." This is the world 
which was in the mind of Jesus when he said to the 
young ruler who had great possessions, " Go, sell all 
thou hast and come, follow me.' 

But the world which thus dies to the spiritual man 
has also a glorious resurrection. It lives again. It 
lives to me in all that makes life worth living ; in all 
the dear pursuits which legitimately belong to this 
beautiful world in which God has placed me. 

I am free as never before to pursue wealth. It is 
the business of every follower of Christ to acquire 
wealth so far as is possible by honest methods, be- 
cause in so doing he shall increase his power for God. 
It takes money to print Bibles, to equip churches, to 
build schools and hospitals and reformatories, to 
charter missionary ships and propagate the gospel in 
distant lands. But let it be observed that the spirit- 
ually quickened man is urged to the acquisition of 
wealth by a motive far higher than that which pre- 
viously prompted him. He is now the servant of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and whatever he gets or gains is 
to be used wholly for the advancement of his cause. 
He is no longer an owner, but a trustee. He acquires, 


not for the sake of getting, or of hoarding, or of 
spending ; but that he may with his substance glorify 
his Lord. And in all this he is amassing for himself 
a great treasure — not here, but all in bags that wax 
not old. He is putting all his treasure beyond the 
reach of rust that corrupts and of thieves that break 
through and steal. He is making himself rich forever 
toward God. 

I am free also to pursue pleasure. It is not fair to 
say to a young Christian, " You must surrender all the 
pleasures of this world when you enter on the higher 
life." It is wiser and truer to say, "You now enter 
upon the enjoyment of all innocent delights with ten- 
fold zest." " Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth ; 
but remember ! " Remember that as a servant of the 
Lord Christ you must needs keep your conscience 
pure and sweet. No amusement is lawful now that 
comes between me and the complacent smile of my 
new Master. No amusement is banned that does 
not dull the fine edge of the moral sense. Keep your 
heart sweet, your conscience clean. Let all your 
pleasure be as merry and as harmless as the laughter 
of a child. Get all the good out of this blessed world 
that God intended for you. Go down with Jesus to 
the marriage supper at Cana and make merry there 
with him. Away with passion, gluttony, sensual ex- 
citement, mad dissipation, the laughter like the crack- 
ling of thorns ; and welcome the smiling peace of a 
conscience in harmony with the purposes of Christ. 
Let the tranquil satisfaction of doing your best, and 
the generous pleasure of kindly deeds, be ever yours. 
And, withal, remember that the milk and honey are 
beyond the wilderness. The sweetest pleasures of this 
present world are but clusters from the vineyards of 


the better country. " At the right hand of the Lord 
are pleasures forevermore." 

And I am free also to pursue honor — not for its 
own sake indeed, but I ought to make the most of 
myself and enlarge my influence to the uttermost, 
because I am serving the Lord Christ. The man 
who realizes that all earthly honors and emoluments 
are merely a trust to be used for the highest good, is 
the man who, in the long run of history, gets the 
greatest honor. Not long ago, one of our fellow- 
citizens was appointed to a place of authority and 
straightway, in pursuance of his oath, set out to 
enforce the laws without fear or favor. The beasts 
of Ephesus, with the foam of malt-madness dripping 
from their lips came, out against him. To his honor 
be it said, he has stood consistently for the sanctity 
of law ; and to-day, despite all cavil and malignant 
opposition, there is no man in America held in 
higher honor than he. The blessing of heaven rests 
upon all who wear their laurel wreaths as servitors 
of truth and justice and who care more for God's 
"Well done, good servant," than for what is called, 
popularity. It is for such as these that the promise 
is given, "To him that overcometh will I give to sit 
with me in my throne." 

So then in Paul's manifesto we have the apologue 
of a noble life. Here are three crosses. On one 
hangs Christ the Author and Finisher of our faith, 
dead ; but we look beyond and see his majestic pres- 
ence, potent among all nations and the children of 
men, and we hear a voice saying, " I am he that liveth 
and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore ; 
and have the keys of death and hell." On the second 
cross I am crucified with Christ. Dead, also ; dead 


to the world. Yet here am I thrilled through and 
through with the life of the risen One. Entering into 
fellowship with his death, I have also come into fel- 
lowship with his resurrection. My life that seemed 
to have passed away is hid with Christ in God. On 
the third cross the world is impaled — the world of 
shame and selfishness and wrong ambition, dead. 
But beyond it, see another world ; harvests ripening 
from the wheat that died ; mountain slopes whereon 
the soul stands surveying great truths and vast possi- 
bilities ; rivers where we stoop to drink of living 
water. It is a royal demesne, and the King stands 
yonder, crown in hand, ready to welcome us. 

These are the visions that strengthened the heart 
of Paul awaiting his departure. These are the visions 
that moved him to say, " All things are yours ; 
Paul, Apollos, Cephas, things present, things to come, 
the world, life, death ; all are yours ; and ye are 
Christ's, and Christ is God's." 


"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."— II. Tim. iii. 5. 

The best definition of religion is in the word itself 
which is said to be derived from religare^ meaning 
"to bind back." Religion is godliness ; that is God- 
likeness. It is the binding back of the soul to God. 

There is a "form of godliness." All substantial 
things indeed have both essence and form, God 
himself is the only exception, he being without "body, 
parts or passions." There are frames for pictures, 
trellises for climbing plants and cups for wine. Re- 
ligion finds expression in outward forms ; towards 
God in praise and prayer and faithful service, to- 
wards man in the reflection of the divine character. 

But while essence without form is unthinkable, 
the obverse is to be found on every side. There are 
frames without pictures, trellises without honey-suck- 
les, and empty cups. There is art without the artis- 
tic instinct, poetry without the divine aftlatus, music 
without a soul. In like manner we note the form of 
godliness with none of its power. The correspond- 
ence is that of a manikin to a man. Here is the form 
of the eye, but no seeing ; the form of the ear, 
but no hearing ; the form of the heart, but no throb- 
bing pulse ; the venous system, but no flowing blood; 
the nervous system, yet you may tread with impunity 
on this manikin's foot, for no sympathetic thrill will 



fly to its finger tips. What is needed ? Life. Power; 
the power to feel, to think, to act. 

We have various kinds of formalists in the world. 

I. The aboriginal formalist. The prophet Isaiah 
pictures him going out into the forest to hew him 
down a cedar : "And he taketh a part thereof to burn; 
he kindleth it, and baketh bread ; he roasteth roast, 
and is satisfied ; yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, 
Aha ! I am warm, I have seen the fire. And the resi- 
due thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image; 
he worketh it out with a line, he fitteth it with planes 
and the compass and maketh it after the figure of a 
man. He falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, 
saying. Deliver me, for thou art my God." Poor soul; 
he surely knows better than this. He must be aware 
that a lie is in his right hand. He cannot for a mo- 
ment believe that the dull eyes of this image behold 
him as he prostrates himself before it ; or that its 
carven hands can be stretched forth to help him. 
Here is formalism of a base and vulgar sort indeed. 
But who shall show to this bond slave of superstition 
the wiser and better way ? 

n. The philosophic formalist. The Apostle Paul 
portrays him in his best estate in cultured Athens : 
"I observe, O men of Athens, that ye are exceedingly 
devout." The instinct of worship expressed itself 
here in numberless shrines. It was a proverb that in 
Athens gods were more numerous than men. There 
were gods and goddesses for every episode of life. 
Lucina presided at the birth ; Rumina attended to 
the nursing ; Nundina was invoked at the christen- 
ing ; Potina prescribed the drink and Educa the food; 
Statina directed the first step ; Farinus unloosed the 
tongue and Locutinos taught the child to speak. 


There were lares and penates ; gods on domes and 
pedestals, worn as armlets about the neck or carried 
in the girdle. There were avenues of gods. If the 
king put his left sandal on the right foot a score of 
pontiffs must be summoned to rectify the blunder. 
If a crow lighted on the Parthenon, the sacred men 
of all Greece must join their supplications to avert 
the evil omen. Aye, the men of Athens were exceed- 
ingly devout ; but withal, they were notoriously un- 
godly. Their piety was wholly divorced from life. 

Then came the philosophers ; they were the Prot- 
estants of Greece. It was their purpose to get be- 
neath the surface of things. By the banks of the 
Ilyssus they walked in solemn converse searching for 
truth. In no spirit of disloyalty to their gods, they 
still believed that there was a kernel of life in the 
form of devotion ; but alas ! they failed to find it. 
Socrates, the best of all that goodly fellowship, 
divided much of his time between the home of the 
courtesan Aspasia and the temple of his god, ^scu- 
lapius. Bad morals were the rule upon the banks of 
the Ilyssus as elsewhere in Athens. Those were the 
days of frivolty, of dishonesty, of sensuality, of fash- 
ionable infanticide. Those were the days when wo- 
men counted their divorces by the rings upon their 
fingers which they flaunted before the public gaze. 
Greek culture was attended by a carnival of vice. 
The form of godliness was there, but there was a 
universal denial of the power of it. 

III. The Jewish for7nalist. The palmiest days of 
Jewish ceremonialism were the ungodliest. The 
temple service was elaborated to the utmost, while 
the whole head was sick and the whole heart faint. 
"Bring no more vain oblations, saith the Lord ; your 


incense is an abomination unto me ; your new moons 
and your appointed feasts my soul hateth ; they are a 
trouble unto me ; I am weary to bear them. Your 
hands are full of blood ; wash you, make you clean. 
Cease to do evil ; learn to do well." 

Then came the Pharisees. They were the Prot- 
estants of Israel, The meaning of their name was 
separatists. But they lapsed presently into the com- 
mon error. With respect to doctrine they were strict 
constructionists. As to the proprieties of worship 
they were scrupulous to the last degree. On their 
garments they wore four tassels of blue ; on their 
phylacteries and on the frontlet between their eyes 
were passages of Scripture, such as, " Hear, O Israel, 
the Lord your God is one Lord." They fasted twice in 
the week — more than the law required. They paid 
tithes, not only of the common products of the field 
but of their garden herbs — mint, anise, and cummin. 
They were extremely careful as to their ablutions 
— the cleansing of cups, platters and couches. They 
had a rigid rule of hand-washing ; the water must first 
be poured into the palm of the right hand, then the 
left, then the palms must be turned upside down and 
left to drip. They were conscious of a superior 
righteousness, insomuch that they drew aside their 
garments from common sinners, saying, "Stand 
by thyself, for I am holier than thou." 

It was against these religionists that the Lord 
complained, saying, "They honor me with their lips, 
but their hearts are far from me." It was upon these 
that his severest anger fell : " Woe unto you scribes 
and Pharisees, hypocrites ! who strain out a gnat and 
swallow a camel. Ye make long prayers and devour 
widow's houses. Ye are like whited sepulchres ; 


fair without, but within full of dead men's bones and 
all uncleanness.'* Here was form without power. 
Here was a show of godliness but no life. 

IV. Christiaii formalists. "And unto the angel of 
the Church at Laodicea write, I know thy works. 
Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with 
goods, and have need of nothing ; and knowest not 
that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and 
blind and naked ; I counsel thee to buy of me gold 
tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich ; and white 
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the 
shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and anoint 
thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. I 
know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. 
I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou 
art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew 
thee out of my mouth." 

They were church members, and, so far as we 
know, in "good and regular standing." In all prob- 
ability they were sticklers for orthodoxy, regular in 
their attendance on the sacraments, devoted to the 
institutions of the church ; but alas ! there was noth- 
ing to correspond with this scrupulosity in their out- 
ward lives. Their walk and conversation were not 
such as became the avowed followers of Christ. 

A recent traveller tells of a scene which he wit- 
nessed in a gambling house in Madrid. A company 
of men were shuffling cards and casting dice and in- 
dulging in profane and unholy jests, when the tink- 
ling of a bell was heard without. A procession of 
priests was passing through the streets, bearing the 
consecrated wafer to the bed-side of the dying. At 
the sound all in this iniquitous place fell upon their 
knees and muttered their prayers. The bell ceased 


and they resumed their pleasure. Here was Chris- 
tian formalism at its worst and basest ; but at its best, 
there is something abhorrent in it. 

We complain of the criticisms which the world 
passes on those who have made a religious profes- 
sion. But indeed religion invites scrutiny. Thanks 
to the critics, the cavillers, the fault finders. Turn on 
the lights. If there are counterfeits, shall not the 
government itself be most interested in exposing 
them ? 

V. Non-Christian formalists. For Christians are 
not alone in making professions. There are multi- 
tudes of excellent people as the world goes — who pay 
their debts, comply with all the requirements of the 
civil law and are blameless in their outward life — who 
profess to be so self-sufficient as to need no church, 
no support of Christian fellowship, no atonement of 
Christ. They are like the young ruler who came to 
Jesus desiring to know the way of life, and on being 
enjoined to keep the commandments, protested in all 
sincerity, that he had kept them all from his youth 
up. ''One thing thou lackest," said Jesus. One 
thing. A new heart ; a changed nature ; regenera- 
tion. For without this all apparent goodness is mere 
veneering. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except 
a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of 

But why should we discriminate between these 
various classes of formalists, when in truth there is 
no difference ? They are all of one family ; all having 
the form of godliness, but denying the power 
thereof. All dying for the one thing needful, namely, 
life ; the life that can only come through the regen- 
erating touch of God. 


No sort of formalism can please God. He looketh 
on the heart. The fig tree that put forth leaves 
but bore no fruit, was placed under the ban of 
eternal barrenness : " No man eat fruit of thee for- 
ever." This is the curse which is ever laid upon a 
profession void of life. 

No sort of formalism can satisfy the soul. 
" Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which 
is not bread and your labor for that which satisfieth 
not?" An eminent Churchwoman on her death bed 
lamented that, with all her good works, her devotion 
to church and charity, hers had been a Christless 
Christianity and she had never truly known God. To 
live thus is to sit at a Barmecide feast and to warm 
one's self at a painted fire. 

" Not all the blood of beasts 
On Jewish altars slain, 
Can give the guilty conscience peace, 
Nor take away its stain." 

And, saddest of all, a formal profession is impotent 
to save. The five foolish virgins stood knocking at 
the door of the marriage hall, crying, " Lord, Lord, 
open unto us ! " But the door was closed against 
them. They had lamps in hand, but because they 
had no reserve of oil in their vessels for their lamps, 
their lights had gone out. " And many shall say in 
that day, Lord, Lord, open unto us. We have eaten 
and drunk in thy presence and thou hast taught in 
our streets. We have cast out devils in thy name. 
But he from within shall answer, I know ye net 
whence ye are ; depart from me." 

The woman of Samaria was divided betwixt the 
claims of Zion and Gerizim. Her mind was running 
wholly on the respective claims of Jewish and Sa- 


maritan forms of worship. And the Master said, 
"Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall 
neither in this mountain nor at Jerusalem, worship the 
Father. The hour cometh and now is when the true 
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in 
truth ; for the Father seeketh such to worship him, 
God is a Spirit and they that worship him mus' \\ nr- 
ship him in spirit and in truth." 

The only escape from the bondage of formalism is 
in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The bones in the 
valley of Ezekiel's vision were "very dry" ; insomuch 
that the prophet could scarcely believe that life was 
possible to them. But the voice said, " Come from 
the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these 
bones that they may live." And there was a noise 
and a shaking, and the bones came together and the 
sinews were knit upon them. And again the voice 
said, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and 
breathe upon these slain. And the breath came in- 
to them and they lived, and stood up upon their feet." 

O Spirit of God, come, and with quickening energy, 
awake us to newness of life ! Lay thy vivifying hand 
upon our Bibles till their pages glow, and we 
see the living Christ walking through them like a 
king through the colonnades of his palace ! Touch 
our pulpits until they shall seem transformed into 
temple courts where Christ himself shall stand, as in 
the great day of the feast, crying, " If any man thirst, 
let him come unto me and drink ; and the water that 
I shall give him shall be in him a well of water 
springing up into everlasting life ! " Touch our com- 
munion tables until every crumb of bread shall quiver 
like bruised flesh and every drop of wine shall say,, 
" He died for thee " ! Touch the mercy-seat where 


we kneel at morning and night till it shall sound, like 
a harp string, the promises of him who ever liveth to 
make intercession for us ! Touch our eyes until they 
shall see apocalyptic visions of God and heaven and 
truth and righteousness and all eternal verities ! 
Touch our lips until they shall burn to speak the gos- 
pel story as if kindled with a living coal from off the 
heavenly altar ! Touch our hands until they thrill 
with longing to do those greater works which are 
possible to those who are baptized with power from 
on high ! Touch our feet until they ache with eager- 
ness to go about in the Master's steps, doing good ! 
Touch our wills until they cry " Amen " to every 
word of invitation and command ! Touch our con- 
sciences that they may be quick to discern between 
the evil and the good ! Touch our hearts until they 
throb and yearn with the unselfishness of the great 
heart that broke on Calvary for us ! Touch our souls 
through and through until they live and love and 
long forevermore for the life and love that dwelt in 
infinite fulness in the heart of the Lord Christ ! And 
the honor and glory shall be thine for ever and ever. 


" And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the 
Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there 
met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwell- 
ing among the lombs ; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 
because that he had been ofteti biund with fetters and chains, and the 
chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in 
pieces: neither could any man tame him And always, night and day, 
he was in the mountains, and in tne tombs, crying, and cutting himself 
with stones."— Mark V. 1-5. 

It had been a busy day. The Lord had been 
teaching in parables to the people on the beach at 
Capernaum and had wrought many miracles of heal- 
ing. He was weary. As the day wore on he looked 
across the lake to the green slopes of Gadara and 
longed.for rest and a breath of the country air. " Let 
us go over," he said to his disciples, "to the other 
side." Not without misgivings — for there were signs 
of an approaching storm — they pushed out. The 
Master lay down in the stern of the little boat with 
his head on the pilot's pillow and fell asleep. Look 
at him now. "We have an High Priest that can be 
touched with a feeling of our infirmities; he took not 
on him the nature of angels, but of men." 

On a sudden the wind came roaring through the 
deep ravines on the eastern side of the lake and 
whipped the water into a foaming tempest. The 
fishermen sprang to the shrouds. Only one was un- 
concerned — the sleeper. They wakened him, " Carest 
thou not, Master, that we perish ? " He arose, looked 
into their scared faces, then out upon the troubled 



sea. He lifted his hands and with the quiei voice of 
one conscious of power, said, " Peace be still." The 
winds went moaning to their caverns ; the waves fell 
sobbing asleep ! 

It was a wondrous thing. Who but the Almighty- 
Son of God could have wrought this miracle ? 
Canute, the Dane, attempted it ; standing on the 
heights, when the storm was beating against the 
rocks beneath, he cried, " Be still! " and the tempest 
laughed at him. Xerxes, the Persian, tried it ; com- 
manding his courtiers to place his throne upon the 
beach, he said to the flowing tide '' No further " ; but 
it drew nearer, nearer until it lapped his feet and they 
carried him back and proceeded by his orders to lay 
a penalty of three hundred lashes on the irreverent 
sea. Akbar, the Saracen, thought to do it ; he 
spurred his horse down into the water calling out de- 
fiance to old Neptune ; fetlock deep, knee deep, now 
to the saddle girth, when the horse, wiser than his 
rider, turned and fled shoreward and old Neptune 
roared after him. But Jesus of Nazareth calmed the 
stormy sea with a word. 

However, we are to see a greater miracle than this. 
The little boat has touched the strand. The stern 
anchor is thrown, the bow made fast. Look yonder ! 
What creature is that ? A man ? a demon ? his hair 
flying, his clothes torn from him, his face distorted, 
foam issuing from his lips ; muttering, shrieking out 
blasphemy, rattling a broken chain from his uplifted 
arms ! Let us fasten our eyes on him as he runs furi- 
ously this way — for here is the power of sin— the 
monstrous power of sin ! 

Time was when yonder demoniac was a babe on 
his mother's breast ; she fondled his chubby hands. 


kissed his lips, looked down into his sweet blue eyes, 
and dreamed a mother's dreams. Then he was a 
merry lad; his laughter ringing clear as he mingled 
with his playmates in the village street. 

Life went a-Maying 

With Nature, Hope and Poesy, 
When he was young. 

And then a young man with all a young man's 
hopes and aspirations. What possibilities of honor 
and influence awaited him ! But some evil power 
met him. Was it a siren with a sweet alluring voice ? 
Was it a fiend with a crimson cup in hand ? He 
yielded and fell and yonder he is. In him let us be- 
hold what sin can do. Nay, rather what sin in its 
approach to ripeness is ever bound to do. 

We need in these days a deeper apprehension of 
this awful truth. The reason why men do not all 
hunger and thirst for salvation is because they are 
not sufficiently sensible of sin. The truth with all its 
dread significance is not pressed upon them. The 
sick must know their malady before they are willing 
to call a physician. Conviction precedes conversion. 
The needle of the law must enter the soul before the 
thread of the gospel. 

It will not be unprofitable for us, therefore, to study 
in this miserable victim the full effects of sin. 

I. Sin had unlawed this man. *' He could not be 
bound, no, not with chains. He could not be tamed." 
In the controversies of the early Church a word was 
used to characterize sin v/hich has since passed out of 
use and we have no other which precisely takes its 
place; to wit, anomia^ which may be rendered, "un- 
lawry." Sin and law are opposites. Sin is trespass, 
transgression, climbing a fence, intruding upon a pre- 


serve, breaking open a bolted door, a protest against 
restraint in any form. 

Man was originally created under law ; he was a 
normal being. He lived in an atmosphere of obedi- 
ence. He moved in calm conformity with the laws of 
his own being. In such condition he was absolutely 
and ideally free. For freedom is defined to be per- 
fect obedience to perfect law. 

He fell. Fell from what ? From law. He lost 
something. What? His freedom. And what did he 
gain instead ? License, lawlessness, aversion to re- 
straint ; that is to say, sin. Some are fond of char- 
acterizing this acquisition as personal freedom; mean- 
ing by that, the liberty to defy God and the rights of 
one's fellow-men. It is in pursuance of this perverted 
sense of freedom that assaults are made upon our 
Sabbath laws, our temperance laws, our marriage 
laws, and all rules and regulations which are intended 
to conserve our happiness and prosperity in social life. 
Here the demon of sin clothes himself in the name of 
freedom and appears as an ang.el of light. He pours 
forth philippics against law and order. His other 
name is Anarchy. He was seen at his worst and 
ripest in that famous Haymarket meeting in Chicago 
where, amid the hissing of bombs, the cry arose, 
'' Throttle the law!" 

II. Sin had unshamed this 7?ian. His clothes were 
torn from him. He was heedless of the common de- 
cencies of life. There is a form of sin which one is 
reluctant even to mention to polite ears ; but it must 
needs be. 

It stares at us from the dead walls in painted 
placards, and from the windows of photographers' 
establishments along the thoroughfares. It looks us 


boldly in the face from our illustrated periodicals, 
and utters its vile pleasantries in the daily papers. 
It assumes the form of advanced culture on the walls 
of our art galleries. This is nothing new. It is as 
old as Satan. The same sort of "culture" frescoed 
the walls of Pompeii with cartoons that made that 
city the reproach of the old-time world. And God 
looked down upon it with eyes of flaming fire. At 
his command the ashes of Vesuvius were belched 
forth over that iniquitous city and buried it from the 
sight of men. 

This form of sin is conspicuous in much of our 
current literature. It is estimated that more than 
one-half of the English novels issued during the past 
year have presented, as their heroines for public 
consideration, a class of creatures so disreputable 
that no self-respecting man or modest woman would 
for a moment think of saluting them if they were to 
spring into life and pass along the street. What a 
procession of "living pictures" with Trilby at their 
head ! And many of us, the followers of the meek 
and lowly Jesus, men and women professing to 
honor the things that are pure and lovely and of good 
report, have welcomed them into the sanctity of our 
home-life ! 

And the drama ? It is not necessary just now 
to advert to the question whether or no it is right to 
attend the theatre. Let it suffice to say that at this 
moment, by common consent, there are almost no 
plays presented in New York which can be witnessed 
with impunity by people of clean character. The 
contagion has seized not only on the concert halls 
and vaudeville resorts, but upon the two or three 
theatres which have hitherto assumed to be respect- 


able. Within a stone's throw of this pulpit, in the 
play-house which has hitherto been assigned to the 
highest place of virtuous trustworthiness, there is a 
play on the boards of such a character that a man or 
woman witnessing it, while able to preserve an "anato- 
mical virtue," can by no stretch of the imagination re- 
main morally pure. One such spectacle as that rubs 
off the bloom of the peach. 

In answer to such observations as this it is cus- 
tomary to remark, " To the pure all things are pure." 
Flat and nauseous sophism ! Dirt is dirt anywhere 
and everywhere. Obscenity is obscenity. No ad- 
mixture of antiseptic can change a dish of offal into 
a lemon-ice. It is impossible to take pitch into the 
bosom and not be defiled. Avoid it, therefore ; pass 
by on the other side ; go not near it. 

III. Furthermore, sin isolated this man. *' He made 
his dwelling among the tombs." Here were 
ghosts gibbering by moonlight ; but he was not 
afraid. His proper home was among the dead. Here 
were the sepulchres of hope and promise and noble 
aspiration all about him. Dust and ashes of the 
past. A place of solitude and barrenness. He could 
see the village just yonder, hear the echo of its 
laughter and the hum of its industry. But he had 
no part nor lot in it. By night he saw the lights kind- 
ling in the windows. One light yonder in the win- 
dow of his own home where wife and children were ; 
but he had no business there. That was a village 
full of honest folk ; he had ruled himself out. Sin 
always rules us out, robs us of the sweets of fellow- 
ship, shuts us up to selfish envy and jealousy, drives 
us alone to our own place. The sorrow of perdition 
lies in those words, " outer darkness." The soul 


exiled to wander there is not excluded from heaven 
by closed gates, for heaven's gates are always open ; 
he is shut out by his own character — fixed, formu- 
lated, crystallized in his earthly life. He is here 
among congenial associations. There is only one 
place in the universe that would be more dismal than 
hell to him, that is heaven ; because he has disquali- 
fied himself for it. If he drawls near to an open gate 
he hears the voice of prayer, but prayer is not for 
him ; he hears the voice of singing, 

"All hail the power of Jesus' name 
Let angels prostrate fall." 

But what sympathy has he with that coronation song? 
If God were to send forth his angels and archangels 
to constrain that poor soul to enter in, he would run 
shrieking to the furthest caves of night. He can never 
be at home save in his own place. " For without are 
dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers 
and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." 

IV. Sin 77iade this man injurious to himself. *' He 
cut himself with stones." We are accustomed to say 
of a man who is under the dominion of some tyran- 
nical passion that he is his own worst enemy. But 
the sin in any man antagonizes his best interests; 
it robs him of all that makes life worth living and, in 
the long run, when it is finished it bringeth forth 

A plant flourishes so long as it lives in harmony 
with the laws that environ it ; the moment it disobeys, 
refuses to assimilate the dew or sunlight or turns 
aside from any of the rules of its being, it begins to 
wither and fade. A star lives so long as it regards 
its orbit ; if it deviate an inch, it loses its place in the 
universal system, whizzes through space, and enters 


Upon a career which means ultimate ruin. The soul 
that defies the moral laws that are interwoven with its 
very being, proceeds along the same path. Any form 
of transgression is self-injurious, as it is written, " He 
that sinneth against God, wrongeth his own soul." 
It is not easy to perceive in the earlier stages of sin 
when it assumes the form of stolen pleasure, this 
sure tendency towards death. But the tendency is 
there ; and as sure as gravitation in the natural world, 
I recall five scenes in the life of a young man whose 
face comes to me from the days of my early youth. 
I saw him first with his sleeves rolled up, at work in 
the hay field. He was the only son of his mother and 
she was a widow. He was pointed out as an indus- 
trious young man, but with wild ways. I saw him 
again as I looked through the windows of a gilded 
gin palace ; he was standing with a group of well- 
dressed men before the bar ; his matted hair fallen 
upon his forehead, his hat thrown back, a half empty 
glass before him. I saw him again reeling through 
the street, out at elbows now, reeling along the 
downward way. I saw him again with his face against 
the barred window, his eyes red and wild, seeing 
phantoms. He had reached mania a potu. I saw him 
once more laid out for his burial ; his face black and 
bloated, his mother bowed down with both her arms 
around him, kissing that poor face. His sin was 
"finished " ; it had killed him. 

V. Sin fnade this man injurious to others ; as Luke 
says, "Travellers could not pass that way." We are 
all depending upon one another in this world. We 
are all travelling along by the way of the tombs, 
hoping to reach some better place. It is our business 
to help each other to bear one another's burdens, to 


relieve one another of pain and weariness, to make 
life tolerable and, if possible, happy for all. But, 
alas ! sin makes us selfish and envious and injurious. 
Under its malignant power we are unsafe friends and 
comrades. We hurt where we should help. We in- 
crease the burden where we should lighten it. 

If a man could die unto himself alone ; if he could 
waste his life, squander his energies and go out alone 
into the eternal night, that would be sufficiently 
dreadful — but that is not the worst. No man can die 
unto himself. A train follows after him. The sins of 
which he has been guilty are as stumbling blocks 
over which other souls fall and perish. 

On last Thursday a man under the influence of 
liquor came to his home on Fifty-third Street. He 
was not a bad man ordinarily as drunkards go, but, 
being out of work, he had for weeks yielded to his 
besetting sin. His wife not being at home to wel- 
come him, he walked up and down the room in anger. 
His only child, an infant of nine months, lay sleep- 
ing on the couch. His wife who had gone out per- 
haps to earn a little bread threw open the door and 
faced him. He began to curse her, and in a moment 
seized his child and threw the little one at its mother 
with such violence that it struck her and fell upon the 
floor dead ! It is bad enough that he should now be 
shut up in a prison cell to contemplate his awful 
crime under the shadow of a gallows tree. But think 
of the consequences that his sin entails ; a deserted 
home, a murdered child, a wife broken-hearted, worse 
than widowed, doomed to shame wherever she goes. 
If he die upon the gallows tree, will that end it ? Nay, 
the ghost of his iniquity will still live, to drive, as with 
a whip of scorpions, other souls to follow in his steps. 


We shall all agree probably that the case made 
against sin in the person of this demoniac is bad 
enough. It is not with sin in him, however, that we 
have to do. It is of no profit to look on sin yonder 
at a distance as an objective thing. The theft of the 
little ewe lamb did indeed arouse the indignation 
and wrath of King David when he heard it; but a 
conviction deeper than that and more salutary came 
when the prophet pointed his finger and cried, 
"Thou art the man ! " We have practically to do, 
not with sin in this demoniac of Gadara, but with sin 
as it is in ourselves, in you and me ; for there is not 
one among us who can plead innocence. The best 
we can say is, that sin, as yet, is not finished in us; 
but we all shall fall upon our knees to-night if we are 
honest men and women, and confess before God " I 
have sinned and done evil in thy sight." If sin have 
indeed in itself such potency and possibility as we 
have been contemplating, shall we not cry out " Who 
shall deliver us from the body of this death ? Who 
shall deliver me ?" 

The little boat has been waiting during this medi- 
tation by the beach at Gadara. The demoniac with 
hideous cries hastens this way. The Man of Naza- 
reth, concious of his power, is not affrighted. He 
faces the sinner and his sin and cries " Come out of 
him ! " A moment later, the man lies sobbing before 
his feet. We shall see him presently clothed and in 
his right mind. 

It is glorious to think in the presence of such an 
awful scourge as sin, that there is One mighter than sin. 
One that has power on earth to forgive sin. Nay, more 
he has power to deliver from the bondage of sin. 
If ever there was a desperate case it was that of this 


demoniac. All entreaties and remonstrances had been 
vain. Law, penalty, fetters, and manacles had been 
futile. His friends had given him up. But did you 
never observe how Jesus loved to deal with desperate 
cases ? If a paralytic were brought to him, it was 
only when all the poor victim's money had been 
wasted on physicians, and his last strength and re- 
source were all gone, and he could by no means lift 
himself up. If a leper presented himself, it was in 
the last stages of his disease when his fingers were 
dropping from their joints. Or, perhaps, Jesus was 
called to a desolated home, from which the dear one 
had been carried out four days ago to his burial, so 
that corruption had already seized upon him. But 
here lay his great strength. He knew no hopeless- 
ness. Nothing was impossible to him. He healed 
them every one. O his name is The Mighty to Save ! 
If there is a man who feels himself so wholly under 
the power of a long-cherished habit that he has sur- 
rendered all hope of deliverance, to him the Lord 
Jesus speaks the word of hope. If there is a mother 
whose scapegrace boy has gone off into the far 
country and wasted his substance, whom no mater- 
nal love or entreaty has been able to reach, to her 
this Omnipotent Son of God speaks the word of 
hope. Bring your loved one to Jesus ; he is able to 
save unto the uttermost. 

The old cobbler who laid his hand upon the 
shoulder of an inebriate, who was staggering through 
the streets of Nantucket long ago, saying, kindly, 
"John, there is One that can help you," wrought bet- 
ter than he dreamed. For those words had in them 
the ring of new strength and comfort, and John B. 
Gough lived to testify for forty glorious years to the 


power of the One that had helped him. There is help 
here. There is help nowhere else. Jesus is master of 
sin. All others are in less or greater measure servants 
of sin. He has power to forgive. He has power to 
deliver. " He is able to save unto the uttermost all 
that come unto God by him." 


*' And they see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, 
sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind." — Mark v. 15. 

It is said that when the demoniac came into the 
village and told the strange thing that had happened 
" all men did marvel." And no wonder. If a man is 
disposed to reject the supernatural, he will find diffi- 
culties innumerable in this narrative. 

(i) There, to begin with, is the suggestion of a 
personal devil. There are many excellent people who 
decline to believe anything of the sort. Sin, indwel- 
ling corruption, an evil principle ; aye, by all means. 
But a personal devil, they will have none of it. There 
was a time when I disbelieved in that particular form 
of highway robbery known as "garroting." But one 
morning an old acquaintance came in to tell me that 
he had been garroted on the previous night, and 
showed me in evidence a purple mark around his 
neck. There was no reasoning against that. In like 
manner there are multitudes of people who bear 
about in their bodies the marks of a personal devil, — 
stigmata that can scarcely be traced to an impersonal 

(2) Demonianism or demoniacal possession. Here 
is another difficulty which some are disposed to cir» 



cumvent by assigning this phenomenon to the cate- 
gory of mere physical maladies. But this will not 
answer. The Lord Jesus Christ had come into the 
world to deliver it from the bondage of sin. In other 
words, he was making an invasion upon the realms of 
the Prince of Darkness. Was it to be expected that 
the ruler of this world would allow his sovereignty to 
slip out of his hands without making a desperate 
effort to retain it ? Demonianism was the outward 
token of this tremendous conflict at close duarters. 
The Son of God stood alone as the knight-errant of 
the fallen race ; his adversary summoned all the hosts 
of the nether world to his aid. As God was expres- 
ising himself in the incarnate form of Jesus of Naza- 
reth, so the Prince of Darkness must needs oppose 
him through mortal agency. Therefore the emis- 
saries of evil entered in and took possession wherever 
the door of a human heart lay open. All heaven and 
hell stood looking on. And whenever this Jesus met 
his adversary hand to hand, it was as when Samson 
met the lion on the way to Timnath ; " He rent him 
as he would have rent a kid," 

(3) There is adifficulty also in the matterof the swine. 
Yet nothing in the narrative is more reasonable than 
this. Where else could the unclean spirits have found 
a refuge so congenial ? See the swine yonder seeking 
their sustenance among the offal heaps. At the word 
of commission the unclean spirits take possession of 
them; then a sudden panic in the herd. They are 
rolling in the mire, uttering strange half-human cries, 
jostling one another, plunging headlong down the 
declivity and so into the water. Then a mighty com-> 
motion ; they are struggling, strangling, drowning. 
They have left naught behind them but bubbling con. 


fusion and widening, vanishing circles. All is over. 
The unclean spirits have gone to their own place and 
they have gone in their own way. It is an exquisite 
touch of nature. This was their fitting end. 

(4) The most serious difficulty of all, however, in 
the narrative is the strange transformation in this 
man. There is nothing so marvellous in all the meta- 
morphoses of Ovid. An hour ago we saw him 
running down the cliffs toward the lake, naked, hands 
uplifted, rattling a broken chain, foaming at the lips 
and shouting forth obscene blasphemies. Now here 
he lies, bound as chains never could bind him ; tamed 
as laws could never tame him ; transformed by the 
power of the Son of God ! 

We saw him under the power of sin — a hard task- 
master. It is related of Scirion, the robber, that he 
kept his captives always four days. On the first they 
were entertained with lavish hospitality at his table ; 
on the second they were required to wash his feet 
and those of his robber band ; on the third they were 
confined in a prison cell ; on the fourth they were 
brought to the edge of a precipitous cliff and pushed 
into the sea. And therein vv^e mark the downward 
steps of sin. It begins with self-indulgence ; the 
feast of stolen pleasures. 

" Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee 
Jest and youthful Jollity, 
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles, 
Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles, 
Sport that wrinkled Care derides. 
And Laughter holding both his sides ! " 

Next come the menial services of vice — the loss of 
self-respect, license, the gratification of the lower na- 
ture and sensuality. Then bondage ; " For, whoso- 


ever committeth sin is the servant of it." And finally 
death ; the cup is drunk to its dregs ; there remains 
only enough to betray the fact that all along we have 
been partaking of slow poison. Death ; spiritual and 
eternal death. Come Shame, Regret, Remorse, De- 
spair, Retribution and push him out into the night ! 
Probation is past ; eternity begins. " He that is un- 
just let him be unjust still." Aton ion aionon — for- 
ever and ever ! 

The demoniac of Gadara had reached the last and 
most portentous chapter of his guilty life and was be- 
ing pushed by all the furies headlong down to death, 
when he met — O, would to God that all who are in 
like extremity might meet him too — the mighty Son 
of God. At his word of command the furies fled and 
the unclean spirits abandoned their prey. Mark now 
the stupendous change ; he lies prone before Jesus 
trembling in every sinew and sobbing out his m.ingled 
grief and gratitude. " John, Peter, lend a hand ! 
Wash his open wounds and anoint them. Break off 
this clanking chain ! Andrew, cast thy tunic over him 
and give him a little parched corn from thy girdle, 
with a drink of cool water from the lake ! Now raise 
him up !" 

This is conversion. The schoolmen might call it 
regeneration, but regeneration is the divine side of 
the great change and we have practically nothing to 
do with it. But conversion is a turning about. We 
turn about under the power of God. Our backs to 
the darkness ; our faces to the light. Our backs to 
the world, the flesh and the devil ; our faces toward 
God and the endless life. This is a revolutionary 
change. It is not a mere veneering, but runs through 
and through the human fabric. The old colonial 


clock that stands in your hallway is adjusted every 
morning by the turning of its hands, nor will it ever 
keep time in a trustworthy way, until you have sum- 
moned an expert to heal its constitutional infirmity. 
A man may turn over a new leaf, but as to his being 
made over again, that can only be done when he sub- 
mits himself to God. A heart disease cannot be 
healed with a fly-blister. " Not by might, nor by 
power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." The 
change in this demoniac has been wrought from 
above. He is a new creature in Christ Jesus; new 
will, new heart, new conscience, new life. Old things 
are passed away, behold, all things are become new. 
Observe some of the tokens of this change : 

I. He is ^'' clothe dy That is to say, he has re- 
gained his self-respect, and with it a respect for the 
courtesies of social life. Yesterday he would have 
declaimed loudly about personal liberty ; his right to 
be clothed or unclothed according to his pleasure. 
But to-day he thinks not of himself only, but of his 

II. He is " in his right mind^ He was previously 
wrong-minded as to all important things. God was 
not in all his thoughts. Immortality was nothing to 
him ; he lived for the present hour. His philosophy 
was, " Let us eat and drink for to-morrow we die." 
As to the beauty of holiness, this was repugnant to 
him. He was accustomed to think of religion as 
mere sanctimoniousness — a straight-laced melan- 
choly. Perhaps he had seen it misrepresented in the 
lives of professed religionists and he had no desire 
for it. Now he longs for holiness ; it seems the most 
delightsome thing in the world to him. And then as 
to the person and character of Christ. If he knew 


Christ at all, it was only to hate and despise him. 
He was a root out of a dry ground and there was no 
form or beauty in Him that this man should desire 
him. Now there is no other in the universe so dear as 
Jesus. No other face like his ; the chiefest among 
ten thousand and the one altogether lovely. And 
with respect to duty. Duty ! What had he formerly 
to do with duty ? Now it is the principal thing. 
Duty is destined henceforth to be the largest word in 
his vocabulary — larger than sympathy, larger than 
honor, larger than pleasure, larger than life. This 
conviction marks the beginning of the spiritual life. 
" What wilt thou have me to do ? " cried Saul of Tar- 
sus, under the great sun-burst from heaven. " Let 
me be with thee," cries the demoniac of Gadara, 
" Let me sit at thy feet as a disciple ; let me follow in 
thy steps." " Nay," said Jesus, " go down to thy 
home and tell thy friends how great things the Lord 
hath done for thee," 

in. At home. This man wanted to go with 
Jesus ; but there were reasons why he could ac^ 
complish more in the narrow circle of his acquaints 
ances than by joining the group of followers who ac. 
companied Christ in his missionary work. 

The home-coming of this saved man was most 
pathetic. It may be that an old mother had for 
years been praying for his return and hoping against 
hope. God bless the dear faithful mothers who never 
give up their wayward sons and daughters ; who 
never forget the covenant and never lose hope! There 
she sat, her withered hands folded in her lap, when 
he stood in the door-way. Who shall tell the glad- 
ness in her heart ? Who shall paint the brightness in 
her dimmed eyes ? ... It would appear that a 


wife awaited him. Time was when at the altar she 
passed with him under an arch of flowers out into the 
joys and cares of wedded-life. He had promised to 
love, honor and protect her. But as time passed 
there came a cooling of love, neglect, a remaining 
from home far into the night, a returning with red 
eyes and angry words, and oh ! the horrible breath 
of the wine cup. Then one night, when he did not 
return at all, where had he gone ? Some of the 
neighbors had seen him out in the tombs yonder, 
gashed and bleeding and muttering to himself. On 
stormy nights she lay awake and thought of him. 
God be praised for conjugal life ; the love of the 
faithful wife that weathers all gales ; the patience 
of hopeful wives that holds fast to early vows and the 
memory of former joys and the hope of a better time 
coming. He sees her standing yonder by the door. 
'* Wife, I've come back," he says. " I've come back 
to begin again. I've seen Jesus of Nazareth and he has 
cast out the demons. I've come back to you and the 
children ; to life and God." . . . And his chil- 
dren, how they dreaded his approach. They knew 
his savage ways. They had been accustomed to run 
and hide when he drew near, waving his hands and 
uttering his angry blasphemies. Now they stand at 
a distance awe-struck and wondering ; they had never 
seen it on this fashion. " Come here," he says, " little 
daughter, I will not hurt you " ; and the eldest re- 
luctantly approaches. He parts her hair from her 
forehead and with sad, loving words makes his con- 
fession ; " I've been a bad father, dear ; but I've 
met Jesus of Nazareth and the demons are gone." 
His other children sidle near, wondering. At what? 
At the same mystery of regeneration which puzzles 


the older people. And they allow themselves to be 
taken upon his knees. He kisses them one by one 
and the past is gone. 

Up yonder on the wall is a chain hanging, 
"Let us take it down, good wife. Please God, you 
shall never call in the neighbors to bind me again." 
And as he looks this way there is something glisten- 
ing on his cheek, — a strong man's tear. Aye ; and 
there is a rainbow of promise in it. " The sacrifices 
of God are a broken spirit ; a broken and contrite 
heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." So the new 
life begins. There are scars on the man's face, his 
cheeks are still white and thin, and he will long carry 
about with him the marks of that awful nightmare 
in the tombs. But here with wife and children 
about him, ah, this is heaven begun on earth! 

Is that all ? Oh no. On the evening of that day 
he gathers his wife and children about him and tells 
them the whole story, how it all happened. How he 
saw the little boat upon the lake and ran down with 
curses to meet it. How the strong Man looked who, 
standing in the bow of the little boat, boldly faced 
him. How, with a ring of conscious power in his 
voice. He uttered those words, "Come out of him ! " 
And then the awful struggle for a moment when life 
and death tugged for the mastery within him ; and 
how life won. "The Lord bade me,*' he con- 
tinues, " return here to the old home and live down my 
past and do good as I may have opportunity, by a 
holy and helpful life. But I can't do that without 
prayer. I am helpless and hopeless except as I have 
strength from above. Let us kneel down, therefore, 
and pray, * Have mercy upon me, O God, according 
to thy loving kindness and according unto the multi- 


tude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgres- 
sions. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean ; 
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Open 
thou my lips that my mouth shall show forth thy 
praise.' A long pause, ^nd then : ' Bless the Lord, 
O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy 
name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all 
his benefits ; who forgiveth all thine iniquities and 
redeemeth thy life from destruction. The Lord is 
merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in 
mercy. As far as the east is from the west, so far 
hath he removed our transgressions from us. Bless 
the Lord ye his angels that excel in strength ; that 
do his commandments, hearkening to his voice. Bless 
the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul! ' " And thus the changed 
man has changed his poverty-stricken home into the; 
very gate of heaven. There may have been no tapes- 
tries or pictures there ; little meal in the barrel, or 
oil in the cruise ; but there was love and there was 
the family altar. It was like the house of Obed-edom 
with the Ark of the Covenant in the midst of it. 

And was that all ? The next morning his neigh- 
bors dropped in to see ; old friends who had known 
him in earlier and better days ; some who had 
joined in his revels and tarried with him long at the 
wine. And they marvelled. His earnest face, his 
evident sincerity, his interest in their welfare, won 
for him a hearing. There was no gainsaying his 
word. He told his simple story, keeping Jesus 
always in the center of it. He was never weary of 
sounding the praises of his friend. " He published 
throughout the whole city what Jesus had done for 


Nor was that all. One chapter more remains. So 
far as we are aware this man never saw Jesus again. 
Nor did the Master ever return to Gadara. The 
people, immediately after this miracle and before 
they knew its whole bearing, had implored him to de- 
part out of their coasts. It was a dreadful thing to 
do on the impulse of the moment. And he had gone. 
They stood and watched the little boat as it crossed 
the lake, and knew not what they were losing. Fare- 
well, O Christ ; Saviour, Helper, Friend of sinners, — 
farewell ! The little boat has vanished and the light 
of a great possibility has gone with it. Nay, not 
wholly so ; for Christ in leaving had provided for the 
need of these Gadarenes in his instructions to this 
man. He required him to abide among them a liv- 
ing epistle respecting His power to save. He was 
true to that commission and went about doing good, 
preaching the gospel in his humble way ; and at length 
he fell on sleep. One moment he closed his eyes on 
earth ; the next he opened them in heaven. Yonder 
on the throne sat One like unto the Son of Man. O 
light and glory unapproachable ! He was the same, 
yet not the same. His hands were stretched out in 
welcome, and the demoniac fell down before him, as 
once before he had fallen before him at the lake- 
shore, and cried, " Oh Jesus of Nazareth, let all 
heaven hear ! I am the demoniac of Gadara. I 
am he that dwelt among the tombs. I am he that 
broke the silence of the night with cries of blas- 
phemy, and thou didst restore me to hope and man- 
hood and life. Thou are worthy to receive honor and 
glory and power and dominion ; for thou hast brought 
me into the land of everlasting peace ! " 

And this is the gospel which I preach unto you, 


the gospel of a glorious salvation, of a Christ able to 
save sinners of the deepest dye, — a mighty gospel ; 
to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks 
foolishness ; but to them which believe, the wisdom 
and the power of God I 


" I will make a man more precious than fine goldf even than the golden wedge 
of Ophir."— IsA. xiii. 12. 

We come upon these words in a prophecy respect- 
ing the fall of Babylon. Babylon stands for the 
world-power; for wealth and arrogance; for carnal 
pleasures and selfish pursuits. It stands for fleets 
and armies ; for the subordination of the people to 
princes, of the many to the few. The overthrow of 
Babylon means the restitution of all things, the 
building up of the kingdom of heaven on earth, the 
uprooting of envy and jealousy and inordinate am- 
bition, the ushering in of the Golden Age. Of the 
tokens of the approach of this millenial epoch none 
is more significant than this, that manhood shall be 
placed at its true value. " I will make a man more 
precious than fine gold ; even than the golden wedge 
of Ophir." 

The two ever-present thoughts of Scripture are 
God and Man. We say, " I believe in God the Father 
Almighty." How easy it is to utter the name, but 
who shall tell what infinite universes of meaning are 
in it ? God ; — infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his 
being and attributes. God ; — omnipotent, omniscient, 
omnipresent ! And along with this runs the thought 
of Man, — Man, who borrows all his greatness from his 
relations with God. " When I consider thy heavens^ the 



work of thy fingers^ the moon and the stars, which thou hast 
ordained ; what is man, that thou art mind/til of him ? and 
the son of man, that thou visitest him ? For thou hast 
made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned 
him with glory aftd honor. Thou madest him to have do- 
minion over the work of thy hands ; thou hast put all things 
under his feet : all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of 
the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and 
whatsoever passeth throtigh the paths of the sea'' The 
apostrophe of Edward Young is but a paraphrase : 

" How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, 
How complicate, how wonderful, is man ! 
How passing wonder He who made him such ! 
Who centred in our make such strange extremes, 
From different natures marvellously mixed, 
Connection exquisite of distant worlds ! 
Distinguished link in being's endless chain ! 
Midway from nothing to Deity ! 
A beam ethereal, sullied, and absorpt ! 
Though sullied and dishonored, still divine I 
Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! 
An heir of glory ! a frail child of dust ! 
Helpless immortal ! insect infinite ! 
A worm ! a God !" 

The subject of our thought is the Christian doc- 
trine of Man. The Scriptures are very definite as to 
three points : 

First. The divine origin of Man. We are intro- 
duced into a council of the ineffable Trinity in which 
we hear the several persons of the Godhead saying, 
to one another, " Let us make man in our image, after 
our likeness." Here is God's masterpiece, the crown- 
ing work of his creative hand. 

Set over against that Scriptural statement the words 
of Charles Darwin : "Man is descended from a hairy 


quadruped, arboreal in its habits." If the Scriptural 
record is to be believed, man stands at the summit of 
all created things. He is vicegerent under the uni- 
versal King; ''having," as Emerson says, "in his 
senses the morning and night and the unfathomable 
galaxy, and in his brain the geometry of the city of 
God." But if Darwin is to be believed, Man is the 
product of insensate laws acting on dead atoms ; the 
last outgrowth of a pedigree of bestial ancestors ; the 
sum total of environment, air, food, water, nurses 
physicians, associations and culture. Let Thomas 
Carlyle speak : " I have known three generations of 
the Darwins, grandfather, father and son ; atheists 
all. It is related that among the grandfather's effects 
was found a seal engraven with this legend, Om7iia 
ex conchis^ — Everything from a clam-shell. A good 
sort of man is this Darwin and well meaning, but 
with very little intellect. Ah, it's a sad and terrible 
thing to see a whole generation of men and women, 
professing to be cultivated, looking around in a pur- 
blind fashion and rinding no God in this universe. I 
suppose it is a reaction from the reign of Kant. And 
this is what we have got to. All things from frog- 
spawn ! The gospel of dirt the order of the day." 

If we must needs choose between the two theories 
of human origin, let us cling to the traditional self- 
respect v/hich comes from our belief that we are born 
of God. Give us to feel ourselves the kings and 
prophets of this world and the blessed world to come. 

The philosophers of the olden time were greatly 
puzzled to find a definition of man. The best that 
Plato — who stood head and shoulders above them all 
— could do, was to say, after long thinking, "Man is a 
featherless biped." How splendidly in contrast with 


that sage observation, shines the Scriptural record: 
" So God created man in his own image ; in the 
image of God, created He him. And He gave him 
dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the 
air and over all the earth and over every creeping 

" O mighty brother soul of man 
Where'er thou art, or low or high, 
Thy skyey arches with exultant span 
O'er-roof infinity." 

A triple inheritance comes to us by reason of this 
divine origin : 

(i) Mind. Not simply that faculty of perception 
and calculation which is seen in many of the lower 
orders — by which the fox, for example, can measure 
the brook before he undertakes to leap it — but a fac- 
ulty by which we are enabled to confront the great 
verities and problems of the endless life. By this 
faculty we are enabled, furthermore, to confer with 
the Infinite, as it is written ; " Come now, saith the 
Lord, let us reason together." 

(2) Conscience. By this we are enabled to deter- 
mine between right and wrong, or as Plato said, "to 
discern between the worse and better reason." Our 
moral sense brings us into an apprehension of the 
word "ought ; " by which are resolved all the ques- 
tions of human responsibility ; that is to say, all 
questions which concern our immediate relations with 

(3) Will. A sovereign will. It is difficult, if not 
impossible, to see how God could have created man 
in his own likeness without endowing him with an 
independent will. Yet, obviously, that way lies dan- 
ger. For here is suggested the possibility of going 


either right or wrong. It is common in these days to 
speak of "the reign of law. " All things in the universe 
are indeed under the reign of law. There is no crys- 
tal which is not formed according to an invariable 
rule. The stars of heaven revolve without swerving 
an inch from their appointed orbit. The flowers of 
the field are in perfect harmony with the laws of their 
being. The birds migrate and return when nature 
strikes the hour. Nowhere will you find disobedi- 
ence until you come to the province of man. He is 
distinguished from ail existing things, animate or in- 
animate, in this, that when law says "Thou shalt ! " 
he can answer "I will not ! " And in this very free- 
dom of the will, which is perverted into wilfulness, 
the bitter source of all his miseries, we find the pre- 
eminent evidence of his kinship with God. 

Second. The Scriptures have a definite message as to 
the destiny of man. We are reminded at this point that 
the Scriptures do not assert the immortality of the 
soul. But why should they ? This is the fundamen- 
tal postulate on which the whole fabric of Scripture 
rests. If the soul is not immortal, this volume of 
revelation is as meaningless as a last year's almanac. 
But in fact while immortality is not stated as a prop- 
osition or in syllogistic form, the Book is everywhere 
full of it. 

It says, among other things, that when God 
created man he breathed into his nostrils the breath 
of life, and he became a living soul. So then the 
life of man is the breath of God. A zephyr comes 
this way laden with the fragrance of an oriental gar- 
den or the faint murmur of a distant song and passes 
by. What has become of it? Has it ceased to be ? 
O no. A mere tyro in science will tell you that even 


SO slender a force as a zephyr can never cease to be. 
What then becomes of this breath which God has 
breathed into every man ? Can death destroy it ? 
Nay ; this is but the passing of the soul. It still lives 
somewhere and is destined to live forever and ever, 

A like suggestion is found in the old problem, 
" What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole 
world and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man 
give in exchange for his soul ? " Here is a drunkard 
in the ditch — red-faced, filthy, ragged, his blood pol- 
luted, his flesh sodden, the flies buzzing about him. 
You can scarcely abide the sight. But look again 
and deeper, for there is a man within this man, down 
deeper than clothes and cuticle. A man made in 
God's image and made to live somewhere forever. 
You will note the proof of his greatness when he 
presently rises from his shame and reels along his 
way muttering his maudlin sorrow. He struggles to 
his feet. He enters into conflict, ill or well, with his 
passions. He weeps over his sins. He repents and 
begins a noble life. Not so do swine return from 
their wallow or dogs from their vomit. There is 
all the time something still lingering in this poor 
wretch far superior to anything which you may find 
in the lower orders of life. It is his divineness, his 
manhood, buttressed by a sweet memory and an un- 
speakably precious hope. 

And what mean all these apocalyptic visions ; for 
the Scriptures are a book of visions ? Here are doors 
opening before us, and yonder toward the night be- 
hold the smoke of torment ascending and hear cries 
and curses and sobs of despair. And yonder a city 
with gates of pearl and pavements of gold ; light, 
beauty and the singing of a multitude like the far-off 


murmuring of many waters. " Who are these %\\ 
white robes with palms in their hands and whetice 
came they ? These are they which came up out of 
great tribulation and have washed their robes in the 
blood of the Lamb. And they shall hunger no more, 
neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun light 
on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in 
the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall 
lead them unto living fountains of waters ; and God 
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." 

Third. A clear light is also thrown upo7i the history 
of man — the long history that lies between his origin 
and the ultimate fulfilment of his destiny. It is 
written in two chapters : 

(i) The Fall. The man who was created in God's 
likeness passes out of the garden, his head fallen upon 
his breast and his heart bowed under an unspeakable 
burden of shame. Something has happened. Call it 
The Fall, or whatever you will. A new and calamitous 
factor has come into the problem, to-wit, — sin. We 
follow this man as he turns his back upon the gate of 
paradise, guarded by its flaming sword. We shall see 
him tilling the earth, which is accursed for his sake, 
with groans of weariness. We shall see him bending 
over his dead with bitter tears. We shall find him 
mingling in wars and confusions, his garments dipped 
in blood. Aye, something has happened. It is a 
long way from Eden to Esdraelon. This man is but 
a ruin of his former self. The glory is departed. He 
is, however, a magnificent ruin ! As in some old 
temple we can close our eyes and see the priest dis- 
robed, discrowned, walking amid the crumbling walls 
and bewailing the glory of the former days, so is it 
with this fallen child of God. 


(2) The Restoration. In the midst of the deso- 
lation is raised the cross and the word goes forth ; "I 
will make a man more precious than fine gold; even 
than the p^olden wedge of Ophir." 

It is plain at the outset that there can be no resto- 
ration of this ruin until there has been a clearing 
away of the debris. The past must, somehow, be 
gotten out of the way. It is vain to speak of char- 
acter building so long as our sin abides upon us, 
But here is our promise ; '* Come now, saith the Lord. 
let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet 
they shall be as white as snow." "The blood of 
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." 

Then the upbuilding. God who made us, can re- 
make us. The same Spirit that breathed into our 
nostrils the breath of life can again breathe into us a 
new and nobler life. The man who, sensible of God's 
pardoning grace in Jesus Christ, undertakes to perfect 
himself in manhood, may rest assured of divine re- 
enforcement. He is referred to the precepts of Scrip- 
ture for his guidance in conduct. He is referred 
to Jesus Christ, the ideal Man, as his Exemplar, 
and is instructed to proceed in this holy endeavor 
looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of his 
faith. And still further, he receives the enabling 
influence of the Holy Ghost. "Work out your own 
salvation, for it is God that worketh in you." "Add," 
"grow," "be strong," "go on unto perfection." 
Thus the temple rises. The graces are as living 
stones and life is a long endeavor to attain unto the 
full stature of a man. 

In this connection let us bear with us two practi- 
cal thoughts : First^ Know thyself. Know thine ori- 
gin and destiny as a child of God. The shield of 


Luther bore on one side two hammers, the token of 
his father's handicraft ; and on the obverse a winged- 
heart with this legend, Astra petimus. A man may be 
bound down to the sordid toil of the workshop, but 
never in such a manner as that he may not realize 
the responsibility of vaster, nobler tasks. 

" Rise my soul and stretch thy wings, 
Thy better portion trace. 
Rise from transitory things, 
Toward heaven, thy native place." 

Knd finally. Know thy neighbor. Know him also 
as a child of God. As we pass along the crowded 
thoroughfare, let us realize that every one we jostle is 
destined to eternity. Let us return to our drunkard 
fallen by the way and gaze upon him with an infinite 
sorrow and compassion, nearing meanwhile that di- 
vine word : " What shall it profit a man if he gain the 
whole world and lose his own soul?" By the side of 
this poor wretch pile up a mountain of gold, private 
fortunes, national exchequers, crowns, royal jewels, 
diadems of the Pharaohs and Caesars, pearls of the 
ocean, all the gold that lies buried in the bosom of 
the everlasting hills, and reflect that this Popo- 
catapetl of wealth is nothing, nothing, in comparison 
with the value of that drunkard's soul. Then let us go 
our way and remember, that as children of the King- 
dom we have no business but to co-operate with 
Christ in the restoring of all such to their original 
glory as children of God. The way is clear, the cross 
has been uplifted, the fountam of blood has been 
opened for uncleanness, the Spirit of power de- 
scends upon us. Let us lend a hand to the glorious 
work of restoring the race. For this is the true and 
only "Ascent of Man.'* 


" Loose him and let him go." — John xi. 44. 

We are introduced in the home at Bethany to the 
commonplace life of a brother and two dependent 
sisters. Of the latter we have clear information. 
Mary was a woman of strong affections, attached to 
the members of her own household, and devotedly 
fond of the Nazarene prophet, who was frequently 
entertained here as a welcome guest. We behold her 
sitting, in rapt attention and reverent love, at Jesus* 
feet. Martha was cumbered with much serving ; the 
care of the household fell upon her, and little wonder 
if she occasionally lost her equanimity amid the fret 
and worry of her multitudinous tasks. Yet, under 
the troubled surface of her life ran also a clear stream 
of affectionate and practical loyalty to Christ. It is 
a curious fact, however, that we know next to nothing 
of Lazarus. Was he possessed of brilliant gifts or 
extraordinary traits of character? What was his 
handicraft ? We have no record of a single word 
that ever fell from his lips. It is said, however, that 
"Jesus loved him." And when the end drew near — 
the dark shadow in the doorway, the breath fluttering 
and the pulse beating slow — a message was sent to 
Jesus over at Bethabara : " He whom thou lovest is 


84 "loose him and let him go." 

sick." That was enough. The Master — taking his 
own time, as if to teach the lesson of patience in faith — 
answered the summons ; and here he is facing the 

It is the crisis of a great battle. The Prince of 
Life and the King of Terrors are at close quarters 
Naught separates them but yonder stone at the mouth 
of the sepulchre. Christ has no fear of the issue — 
nay, he is eager to meet his adversary. "Take ye 
away the stone ! " The attendants had already laid 
their hands upon it when Martha interposed : " Nay, 
Lord, he hath been dead four days ; by this time 
there is corruption." Death ? corruption ? dust ? 
What are these to the Sovereign of Life ? " Did I 
not tell thee, Martha, that if thou wouldst believe, 
thou shouldst see the glory of God ? " And then 
again, " Roll ye away the stone ! " 

It was done. A moment's prayer. Then the bat- 
tle was joined. With a loud voice Jesus cried, "Lazarus^ 
come forth ! " See yonder in the far recesses of the 
tomb there are shadows moving. He comes this way, 
swathed in white, bound about his face with a napkin, 
moving with tardy, shuffling steps — a blind man 
groping his way from darkness to light ; a dead man 
feeling his way to newness of life. "Quick; John! 
Peter ! James ! Why stand ye trembling and shiver- 
ing? Unswathe his bandages, unbind the napkin 
about his face, loose him and let him go ! " 

So Lazarus returned among men. But of what 
he did, how he deported himself in the after time, we 
are as ignorant as of his former life. Did he ever 
speak, in answer lo the eager questioning of his 
townsmen, of what he had seen and heard during 
those four days among the shades ? Or had God 


in some manner sealed his lips ? It is quite certain 
that those mysterious days had not been passed 
in unconsciousness. "Soul sleeping" has no place 
in reason or in common sense. "To-day shalt thou 
be with me in paradise" is the Master's word to 
the soul on the further borders of time. Lazarus had 
been somewhere mingling with the immortals, and 
we may venture to assume that the remembrance of 
that brief sojourn in the spiritual world was not 
without its influence on his after life. 

Tne word of Jesus, " Come forth," had called him 
out of the land of shadows into a renewal of the com- 
mon tasks of life among men. His friends, in re- 
sponse to the injunction, " Loose him and let him go," 
were given an opportunity of joining hands with 
Jesus in the induction of this man into newness of 

I. He came forth into the glorious liberty of the chil- 
dren of God. But what does that mean — the glorious 
liberty of the children of God ? 

It means, to begin with, the liberty of truth. He 
is the free man whom the truth makes free. We are 
mistaken in attributing to the so-called freethinker a 
freedom which does not belong to those who pursue 
reverently and with due regard for the laws and 
limitations of thought, the quest of spiritual and eter- 
nal truth. The man who doubts is more or less be- 
wildered, and bewilderment is not freedom, but bond- 
age. The man who yields to prejudice is likewise not 
his own master. A Brahman, under bonds to ob- 
serve the sanctity of law, was shown through the 
microscope a drop of water swarming with animal- 
culae. He could drink no water henceforth without, 
as he supposed, perpetrating ten thousand murders at 

S6 ''loose him and let him go." 

a draught. *' Is there another microscope in this 
country?' asked he. On being assured that this 
was the only one, he broke it in pieces ; and so, re- 
storing himself to his former bondage under false- 
hood, rejoiced to call himself free. Such is human 
nature. Such is prejudice, but, O for a glimpse into 
eternity ! When Lazarus returned, it was to an 
untrammelled franchise over all the thoroughfares of 

And he entered, also, into the liberty of duty. His 
conviction as to the great verities must have affected 
his life. Duty took upon itself a new significance and 
emphasis. He was henceforth free to do right. He 
was a citizen of the great Commonwealth which is 
organized under the Higher Law. Earth seemed 
small to him and heaven great. Wealth, pleasure, 
and the emoluments of earthly glory, were as the 
small dust of the balance in contrast with the great 
responsibilities which had revealed themselves to 
him. The tasks of a holy life were no more bond- 
age, but joyous service. The things which had been 
difficult would now be easy. I have seen a little child 
lean over the taffrail, and with her slender fingers 
help the boatswain draw a bucket of water out of the 
ocean ; and she found no difficulty at all until the 
burden came to the surface ; then all her strength 
could not budge it. So all tasks are easy when we 
are working " in our element." To do the things of 
the kingdom is grievous bondage to those outside of 
the kingdom. But when we have realized the truth 
and importance of eternal things, then we rejoice in 
duty as the Master did when he said, "In the volume 
of the Book it is written of me, I rejoice to do thy 


II. It may also be safely said that Lazarus in com- 
ing out of his old life, through a brief sojourn in 
eternity into a renewal of his earthly tasks, entered 
upon a wise apprehension of the dignity of nian. 

He must have regarded himself with an increased 
respect. If ever he had doubted his immortality, he 
could doubt no more. He knew whence he came and 
whither he was bound. He knew his place in the 
kingdom of truth and righteousness. The Scribes 
and Pharisees viewed him with suspicion and would 
have put him to death for his innocent part in this 
miracle. But what cared he ? The Apostle Paul on 
one occasion was moved to say, with respect to cer- 
tain criticisms which had been passed upon him, 
" Let no man trouble me ; I bear about in my body the 
marks of the Lord Jesus." A glorious declaration of 
independence ! He was branded with the stigmata 
of faithful service. Marks of the scourge, the callous 
marks of fetters on his wrists, bruises made by the 
shower of stones. He was entitled to the service- 
chevron. So Lazarus might say with an added em- 
phasis, " I have been through the valley of the shadow. 
I have lain in the dungeon of the King of Terrors. 
I have worn the cerements of night. The pains of 
death are loosed. Trouble me not ! I have looked 
with open eyes upon my destiny. I know my man- 
hood; and mark me, if henceforth I quit myself not 
like a man." 

And by the same token he was prepared to ac- 
knowledge the equal dignity of all his fellow-men. 
The adventitious circumstances by which men are 
placed on various levels were as nothing to him. 
Gold was sordid dust. Crowns were toys for chil- 
dren to play with. Manhood was everything. Here 

88 ''loose him and let him go." 

is the glory of the gospel, " The secret of Messiah 
is the secret of man." 

The great manifesto of human equality was that 
which Paul uttered by divine inspiration on Mars 
Hill: ''God hath made of one blood all nations of 
men for to dwell upon the face of the earth." The 
best transcript ever made of that statement is in 
the preamble of our American Magna Charta : "All 
men are created free and equal and with certain 
inalienable rights." This, however, will not bear 
analysis. In point of fact all men are not created 
free ; multitudes are born into a condition of natural 
servitude or under horrible bonds of inherited vice 
and disease and shame. Nor are all men created 
equal ; multitudes are born inferior to their fellows 
in natural and inherited gifts; born dwarfs, idiots, 
hopeless paupers. So that if the proposition is to 
be regarded as true, it must be only as stated in its 
original form: all are of "one blood," and are 
therefore entitled to equal rights as children of 

III. In his return from the grave Lazarus, more- 
over, entered into the gospel of reco7iciliation ; he came 
forth to the service of jnen. 

In view of his brief experience in the unseen world 
he must have understood thenceforth that salvation 
for himself was not a mere process of personal deliver- 
ance from death. In recognition of the possibilities 
of human nature it devolved upon him to bring others 
to a knowledge of truth. He saw men with his 
Master's eyes. He saw them as sheep without a shep- 
herd. He could not leave them to their fate without 
an utmost endeavor to admonish and persuade them 
respecting the endless life. 

"loose him and let him go." 89 

You may never have observed the incompleteness 
of the first part of the " Pilgrim's Progress." In that 
great allegory the man who flees from the City of 
Destruction is represented as going alone, leaving 
his dear ones behind, and crying as he turned his 
back on the former things, " Life ! Life ! Eternal 
life ! " Alone he pursues his journey, save as here 
and there he falls in with fellow-travellers intent 
like himself on a personal salvation, until he passes 
through the gate into the City of God. Not so 
does the Christian life appear to those who have 
caught its spirit from an intimate acquaintance with 
the unseen or from the example of the Christ. "They 
that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firm- 
ament ; and they that turn many to righteousness, as 
the stars forever and ever." And John Bunyan was 
not unmindful of this fact, for the sequel tells of the 
pilgrimage of Christiana and her children. 

The reconciliation of the gospel, however, is not 
merely a restoration of right relations between men 
and God ; it is a gospel of peace on earth and good- 
will among men. On January ist, 1863, with a stroke 
of his pen, President Lincoln liberated four millions of 
slaves. It was an infinitely grander deed that was 
accomplished on Calvary when Jesus cried, " It is 
finished!" There was a rattling of broken chains 
in that instant over all the earth and down along the 
ages. Here was the great at-one-ment, not only of 
man with God, but of man with his fellow-men, in 
the consummation of which all wrongs shall ultimately 
be righted. Swords shall be beaten into plough- 
shares and spears into pruning hooks, and peace shall 
reign from the river unto the ends of the earth. 

As you walk about the streets of Paris you may 

go "loose him and let HtM GO. 

see upon the walls of churches, palaces, legislative 
halls, everywhere, these cabalistic words : ^''Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity !'' What memories gather about 
them. They recall the Reign of Terror, the Medicis, 
the Girondists, the Bastile, the guillotine, mobs, mur- 
ders and conflagrations, the turnings and overturn- 
ings of long despair and a last futile struggle. There 
is nothing, or next to nothing, to show for it. Yet 
those words represent the deepest, highest, divinest 
longings of man in his relations with his fellow-men. 

It will be observed that the new world of Lazarus 
to which he returned from those mysterious days of 
absence, was represented by these truths : Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity ; that is to say, the glorious 
liberty of the children of God, a wise apprehension 
of the true dignity of man, and the gospel of rec- 
onciliation. The world in which we are living, will 
in the Golden Age be dominated by these truths. 
And the years of history are hastening on to this con- 

What the violence of the dreadful period of the 
French Revolution and of all wars and convulsions 
have not been able to accomplish, is being brought 
about by the calm operation of the gospel of peace. 
If it were proposed to bring down Gibraltar to the 
level of the sea by the use of gunpowder, it would be 
regarded as the fancy of an unsettled brain ; but the 
atmosphere and sunlight are doing that very thing. 
Slowly, silently they are crumbling the mighty rock 
and sifting it into the sea. So is the gospel doing its 
work. Wars, tumults, revolutions, play their part in 
the age-long problem ; but it is the power of the sun- 
light that gathers about the cross and of the atmos- 
phere that emanates from that stupendous manifes- 


tation of infinite love, that will ultimately bring about 
the restitution of all things. 

Let us rejoice meanwhile that we are chosen to 
co-operate in this work. " Roll ye away the stone," 
said Jesus to his disciples ; not because he could not 
have himself attended to that small task, but he would 
enlist their service. " Loose him and let him go," he 
said; he could himself have unwound the bandages, 
but that is not his way of doing things. He is saving 
the world through us. There are multitudes of souls 
awakening to the glory of the better life — moving, 
like Lazarus, with slow, uncertain, tottering steps 
from darkness to light. His word to every one of his 
followers is, ** Lend a hand. Loose them and let 
them go." Why stand we idle at the grave's mouth ? 
We cannot regenerate, we cannot quicken from the 
dead ; but we can suffer the Master to use us. The 
great Emancipator speaks. Unbind the cerements ! 
This is practical "Altruism.'* This is the work of all 
true believers. So may we help our Master in accom- 
plishing the restoration of the race to the glory of 


" The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ."— Matt. i. i. 

It is a significant fact that the genealogy of Jesus 
is given twice in the Gospels, to-wit ; by St. Matthew 
and St. Luke. We think it dry reading — this cata- 
logue of names variously spelled and not easy to pro- 
nounce ; but there is a sufficient reason for it. 

"All Scripture given by inspiration is profitable." 
We readily concede this as applied to certain favorite 
portions of Holy Writ, such as the twenty-third Psalm, 
the story of a pilgrim coming out of the wilderness 
leaning on his beloved ; the fifty-third of Isaiah, a 
splendid foregleam of the coming of Messias ; the 
fourteenth of John, the home-bringing of God's chil- 
dren ; the thirteenth of first Corinthians, " Now abide 
faith, hope and charity, and the greatest of these is 
charity ; " the fifteenth of first Corinthians, life and 
immortality brought to light. But the statement ap- 
plies with equal force to all other portions of Scrip- 
ture ; and notably to this genealogical table which is 
as dry as Homer's catalogue of ships. 

I. We may learn from this genealogical table that 
the Christian religion centers in a personality. At this 
point it is differentiated from all other religions. 



(i) It does not principally consist in a creed ; that 
is to say, a system of formulated truths. It must not 
be inferred from this, however, that doctrines are un- 
important. At this moment the people of America 
are discussing with great interest and earnestness the 
Monroe Doctrine ; for the defense of which it has ap- 
peared possible that we may be plunged into war 
with our brethren beyond the sea. Let us pray that 
this may not be the outcome. Indeed war is unlikely 
for two reasons, namely; England cannot afford it 
and America cannot afford it. Let this, however, be 
said, that the so-called Monroe Doctrine — a formu- 
lation of the truth that the great powers beyond 
the Atlantic must not interfere with the integrity of 
American States and governments — represents a prin- 
ciple which is of vital importance to the welfare and 
perpetuity of our Republic. Is it not strange, how- 
ever, that while all our people are practically united 
in recognition of this political " Doctrine" there should 
be such a general disposition to deny the importance 
of "doctrines" in the far higher realm of spiritual 
things ? 

(2) Neither does our religion place its fundamen- 
tal emphasis upon a moral code. It offers indeed the 
only perfect ethical system in the world ; consisting, 
in brief, of the Decalogue and the Sermon on the 
Mount ; the latter being Christ's exposition of the 
former. No man can be a true follower of Christ 
without recognizing the importance of these rules of 
conduct and adjusting his life and character to them. 
Nevertheless the heart of Christianity is deeper than 
this. Buddhism boasts of an elaborate system called 
"The Noble Eight-fold Path ;" touching every pos- 
sible or conceivable relation of human life. But it 


begins and ends in selfishness. There is no spiritual 
uplift in it. 

(3) Nor shall we find the essence of Christianity 
in ritual. The teaching of our Lord Jesus is very 
distinct upon this point. He denounced the hypoc- 
risy of the Scribes and Pharisees because, while out- 
wardly blameless and most scrupulous as to the ob- 
servance of the rites and ceremonies of Israel, they 
were quite devoid of inward spiritual life. He took 
occasion to wipe out of existence, with a wave of his 
hand, the whole ceremonial system of the Old Econo- 
my, on the ground that it was fulfilled in the Gospel. 
In so doing, he preserved the memory of that system, 
with all that it contained of value, in two simple sac- 
raments, namely ; Baptism and the Lord's Supper. 
And in establishing these sacraments — the former to 
take the place of all purifications, the latter of all 
sacrifices — he was careful to prescribe the utmost 
simplicity in their observance. We, therefore, recog- 
nize the importance of these rites, but only in their 
proper place as incidental to the great underlying 
and indwelling life of Christianity. 

This life of Christianity is in a personal relation 
of the soul with Jesus Christ, He is Alpha and 
Omega ; the first and last letters of the alphabet of 
life and character. He is the beginning of all high 
purpose and splendid hope ; the end of all true am- 
bition and holy endeavor. He is first, last, midst, and 
all in all. 

II. We learn again from this genealogical table 
that Jesus, as the living centre of Christianity, was " very 
man of very man.'' He was of common blood and 
lineage with those whom he came to redeem. We 
shall find his divinity brought out clearly in other 


portions of Scripture as "very God of very God ;" 
but at this point the distinct emphasis is put upon the 
fact that he took part of our human nature. And 
this it would appear was necessary to the accomplish- 
ment of his work. 

God might have revealed himself indeed in angelic 
form, as when he stood before Joshua with drawn 
sword announcing himself as Captain of the host. 
He might possibly have manifested his divine glory 
without the intervention of fleshly form. He might 
have withdrawn the curtains of heaven and appeared in 
glory, seated upon his throne. But in that event men, 
corrupted by sin and disabled for such bright visions, 
would have fled affrighted before him, calling upon 
the rocks and the hills to cover them. He might 
possibly have come as the Gnostics and Docetists 
thought, as the mere inhabitant of a fleshly form with- 
out the assumption of human nature — a theophany 
whose human appearance was a mere phantom. But 
this is not the doctrine of the incarnation. The fact 
of the incarnation is that God so assumed a fleshly 
body as that Godhood and manhood were blended 
into a single personality, woven in warp and woof of 
the Theanthropic Christ. 

It is not easy to conceive how otherwise he could 
so have entered into fellowship with humanity as to 
accomplish its deliverance from sin. It is said of 
Warren Hastings that he lived only to repair the lost 
fortunes of his family. He was the son of a village 
clergyman. As a lad he stood in the doorway of his 
father's house and looked out on the vast estate as 
far as his young eyes could see and remembered that 
these had belonged to his fathers. He resolved then 
that he would yet be Hastings of Daylesford; and 


through all his long life he pursued that resolution 
with dauntless will and courage. Macaulay says : 
" When under a tropical sun he ruled over fifty mil- 
lions of Asiatics, his hopes, amid all the cares of war, 
finance and legislation, still pointed to Daylesford. 
And when his long public life, so singularly checkered 
with good and evil, with glory and obloquy, had at 
length closed forever, it was to Daylesford that he re- 
turned todie." So the only begotten Son of God entered 
into fellowship with us that he might retrieve the fort- 
unes of the family name. He purposed to buy back the 
heritage which was ours by birth but had been squan- 
dered through sin. He took our name, he assumed 
our blood, in order that he might become our Goel, 
our Daysman. He became flesh of our flesh, bone of 
our bone ; taking not on him the nature of angels, 
but of men. He paid the ransomed price on Calvary 
and restored the glory of man. 

ni. It is made to appear from this genealogical 
list that Jesus was of noble ancestry. It need scarcely 
be said that this was not for the mere purpose of 
blazoning his name. There is no more frivolous 
business in this world than tuft-hunting. 

" Honor and shame from no condition rise, 
Act well your part, there all the honor lies." 

There was, however, a special reason for establish- 
ing the legitimacy of Jesus. An inheritance was in- 
volved and the succession to a throne. If Jesus is to 
be recognized as the Messiah, three points must be 
distinctly shown. First ; He must be in the direct 
line of David. The promise given to David was that 
the sovereignty should abide in his family until the 
coming of Emmanuel, in whom the ultimate hope of 


Israel should be fulfilled. In this genealogy it is 
made to appear that Jesus was the son of David. 
Second; It must be shown that he was descended in 
an unbroken line from Abraham. For the covenant 
with Abraham was this, ''In thy seed shall all the 
nations of the earth be blessed." At this point also 
the messianic claim of Jesus is unimpeached and un- 
impeachable ; he is the son of Abraham. Third ; As 
he is to be an universal Saviour and King of the 
whole human race, his lineage must be traced to 
Adam. This also is made clear. He vindicates his 
title as Son of Man. 

IV. There are some names in this lineage which are 
obviously no better than they ought to be. Here is Ruth, a 
Moabitess ; outside of the Commonwealth of Israel 
and belonging to a tribe forbidden to enter God's 
house unto the tenth generation. Here is Rahab, the 
harlot, and of the abominable seed of the Canaan- 
ites. Here is Bath-sheba, the wife of Uriah, co-par- 
cener with David in his dreadful sin. Here is Ahaz, 
a gross idolater who required his own children to pass 
through the fires. Here is Manasseh, who was trans- 
ported to Babylon to wear out, in a shameful bond- 
age, the penalty of his misdeeds. Here is Amon, 
one of the very basest of kings, who was murdered 
by his servants. Strange links these in the genea- 
logical chain of the Messiah. Why are these incor- 
porated here ? 

(i) Perhaps to teach that he who would establish 
his birthright must take the units of succession as 
they come. Those who are beggars of the past can- 
not be choosers of their blood. We would probably 
be slow to utter Burns' words : 


" My ancient but ignoble blood 

Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood." 

Nevertheless it is greatly to be doubted if there is 
a living man who can trace his lineage backward 
without discovering any taint of dishonor. And even 
at this point Jesus, as the Son of Man, became our 
fellow. The mixed blood of good, bad and indifferent 
people flows through his veins. 

(2) It means moreover that wicked people have a 
place in the divine economy. They cannot block the 
divine purpose but are used and overruled so as to 
accomplish God's glory. Some of our young En- 
deavorers have recently united in prayer for one of our 
notorious infidels. The wisdom of so doing is called 
in question. No promise is given that prayer shall 
be answered for the gratification of a whim. One 
soul is of no more value than another soul. Never- 
theless all prayer is answered as God deems wisest 
and best. He forced Sennacherib to serve his own 
great purpose and said, " I will put my hook in his 
nose and my bridle in his lips and will lead him back 
by the way that he came." No doubt some of those 
who are named in this genealogical table of Jesus would 
have been glad, if the matter had been submitted to 
them, to prevent the coming of the Christ. But they 
were not consulted. God simply used them. They 
had a place in his general plan. " He maketh the 
wrath of men to praise him." 

(3) The occurrence of these names gives us also 
to understand that no man is a mere creature of hered- 
ity or circumstance. The blood of evil ancestry 
flowed in the veins of the Nazarene, but he was supe- 
rior to it. Heredity is indeed a momentous fact, but 
it is not entitled to a small fraction of the importance 


which is assigned to it in moral and material thera- 
peutics. A man is arrested for theft and brought be- 
fore our civil courts ; his attorney searches among 
his ancestors and discovers that some of them were 
guilty of theft, and immediately enters this fact as an 
extenuating plea ; and his client is cleared as a klep- 
tomaniac. He is not a kleptomaniac ; he is a thief. 
A man acquires the drinking habit and disgraces 
himself; a search is made along his pedigree, and it 
is discovered that he has inherited his taste for liquor; 
so he is pronounced a dipsomaniac. All rubbish! He 
is not a dipsomaniac, but a plain drunkard. The fact 
is that if the taint of ancestral blood could be justly 
entered as an extenuation for ill-doing, we should all 
be exculpated. But, blessed be God, we have in the 
grace of Jesus Christ power over both heredity and 
environment, and the test of true manhood is to 
prove one's self superior to them. Every man is, 
under God, the architect of his own fortune. Every 
man, be he saint or sinner, is a self-made man. 

V. The length of this genealogical table marks the ful- 
ness of time. There is not a name too few or too many, 
It was said by Napoleon that the Austrians were de- 
feated at the battle of Rivoli "because they were not 
on the minute." God is never too early, never too 
late. He never hurries, yet is he not slack concern- 
ing his promise. 

The time represented by this succession of names 
was some thousands of years. Meanwhile the world 
was waiting for Christ. The hearts of the faithful 
were agonizing for his advent. Souls were perishing 
in multitudes, groping after truth and passing out 
into the endless night. How long, O Lord .? how 
long? But there were reasons for this long delay. 



A three-fold preparation was necessary for the com- 
ing of the Christ. The Jews, as the chosen people, 
were entrusted with the work of leavening the nations 
with monotheism ; and they were doing it. The 
Greeks must perfect themselves in the philosophic 
method and must formulate a language for the ex- 
pression of spiritual truths ; and they were doing it. 
The Romans must conquer the earth and cast up an 
highway for the coming of the King ; and they were 
doing it. The roads which were built to the remotest 
corners of the earth were supposed to be for the con- 
venience of Caesar and his armies, but in God's pur- 
pose they were for the coming of Messiah and the 
speeding of his messengers with the tidings of life. 
As soon as this three-fold preparation had been ac- 
complished, the signal was given and the angels sang 
their advent song : " Glory to God in the highest, 
peace on earth, good will toward men." 

All history — from chaos to the Christian Era — 
Eden, the Deluge, the Confusion of Tongues, the 
Egyptian bondage, the Deliverance, the Conquest of 
the promised Land ; rural life, pastoral life, city life, 
royalty, yeomanry, handicraft, braincraft, statecraft ; 
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Rome ; leg- 
end, tradition, chronicle — all history passes before us, 
in this genealogical table, on its way toward Bethle- 
them where it finds in the Christ-child the consumma- 
tion of all. 

The most extensive river course on earth is the 
Amazon, which rises among the Andes and, flowing 
along a channel of about four thousand miles, empties 
itself just under the Equator into the sea. Its current 
is perceptible two hundred miles out in the ocean and 
the tides are felt through an upward course of four 


thousand miles. It waters a valley of not less than 
two million five hundred thousand square miles. In 
all that area there is not a river, not a brook, not a 
fountain gushing from the hills which does not pour 
itself into the Amazon and flow onward into the sea. 
In like manner all the history of the early ages, its 
war and peace, its vicissitudes of men and nations, 
lead up to the coming of the Christ. 

VI. The 7tame of Jesus Diarks the end of the family line. 
He suffered the greatest sorrow that could befall a son 
of Israel in that he lived and died a childless man. So 
it was prophesied; "He shall be taken from prison and 
from judgment: and who shall declare his generation ? 
For he shall be cut off out of the land of the living." 
Had he then no posterity ? No sons nor daughters ? 

Read on in the prophecy: "It pleased the Lord to 
bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 
make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed^ 
he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord 
shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of 
his soul, and shall be satisfied." Children? O yes; an 
innumerable multitude. The old lineage was indeed 
cut off; but A fino Domini marks the divisional point in 
the history of the race. A new family line begins. 
Jesus is the refounder of humanity, the second Adam, 
the first born among many brethren. 

Read again in this prophecy: " For ye shall go out 
with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains 
and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, 
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. In- 
stead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead 
of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall 
be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that 
shall not be cut off .'' Aye, an undyingname; an endless 


posterity ! Souls like the fluttering leaves of Vallom- 
brosa. Trees clapping their hands; mountains sing- 
ing; the gladness of a regenerated race. And up in 
heaven a voice like the sound of many waters. Souls 
redeemed ; ten thousand times ten thousand and 
thousands of thousands. 

" One family we dwell in him, 
One church above, beneath. 
Though now divided by the stream. 
The narrow stream of death." 

It is our privilege — and higher privilege there can- 
not be — to belong to the new family line which was 
thus begun in Jesus the Christ. It is recorded that 
on one occasion, when he was preaching and a great 
multitude were gathered about him, a message was 
brought, *' Thy mother and thy brethren (that is, 
kinsmen, probably his cousins) stand without desiring 
to speak with thee." It was at a critical time in his 
ministry; these kinsmen loved him; they perceived 
that he was involving himself in danger and were 
deeply perplexed and anxious for him. They would 
save him from impending evil and bring him back, if 
possible, to the quiet of his Nazareth home. But it 
was too late. The die was cast; the Rubicon had 
been crossed. The shadow of Calvary was over him. 
They had never quite understood his mission; how 
he must be about his Father's business. He could 
not, therefore, hearken to them at this juncture. His 
words were: "Who is my mother and who are my 
brethren ? Whosoever shall do the will of my Father 
which is in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother, 
my sister." 


What does this mean? Blood is indeed thicker 
than water; but there is no earthly bond of consan- 
guinity so strong or precious as that which binds 
together those who believe in the Christ and follow 
him. This mystic bond is set forth in the parable 
of the vine and the branches ; we dwell in Christ 
and Christ dwelleth in us. He is not ashamed to call 
us brethren. We are members of his body, of his 
flesh and of his bone. In him we are received by 
adoption into that great household which, finds its 
shibboleth of unity in those sweet words, "Abba 
Father." " Now are we the Sons of God and it doth 
not yet appear what we shall be." How all personal 
kinship dwindles in view of this glorious truth. Far 
better to be of this lineage than of the line royal. 
Far better to inherit its wealth than that of all earth's 
multi-millionaires. Sons of God ! " And if sons, 
then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus 
Christ to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and 
that fadeth not away." 


"And he gathered them together in a place called in the Hebrew tongue Ar- 
mageddon." — Rev. xvi, i6. 

It would be foreign to our purpose to enter into 
the controversy as to the precise location of Arma- 
geddon. Place is neither here nor there. The im- 
portant point is, that there is to be ultimately some- 
where a great decisive conflict between the powers 
of good and evil ; the outcome of which will be the 
complete overthrow of the Prince of Darkness and 
the undisputed reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 

There is a considerable number of eminently good 
people who believe that the world is going from bad 
to worse, that the Church is being more and more 
honeycombed with worldliness and that the present 
order of things will end in a shipwreck out of which 
a few superexcellent saints will escape like the crew 
at Melita " on boards and broken pieces of the ship." 
But the great majority of Christians do not share in 
this melancholy outlook. They are not unmindful of 
the fact that the Evil One clings with a tenacious 
grip to his dominion ; but they clearly see that there 
has been a sure, constant, uninterrupted progress in 
truth and righteousness from the beginning of the 



Christian era, and they have faith to believe that the 
Sun of Righteousness will shine upon this sin- 
stricken world brighter and brighter until the per- 
fect day. 

For right is right, since God is God ; 

And right the day must win ; 
To doubt would be disloyalty, 
To falter would be sin. 

But why, it is asked, has not God arrested the 
power of evil ? Why did he not long ago put an end 
to the dominion of the Prince of Darkness ? For the 
same reason that a surgeon allows a felon to come to 
a head before he lances it. God does nothing except 
in the fulness of time. 

A cursory glance at current events will make it 
appear that the malignant forces at work on earth 
are growing more and more desperate, and are dis- 
playing themselves in most hateful and abominable 
forms. It is this very fact which will precipitate 
the ultimate conflict and put a final end to the 
power of the Evil One. The Prophet Daniel says 
that the end of the present aeon is to be marked 
as "a time of trouble." Christ says, "Ye shall 
hear of wars and rumors of wars ; nation shall rise 
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom ; and 
there shall be earthquakes and famines and troubles; 
these are the beginnings of sorrows." And again, 
" There shall be great tribulation, such as was not 
from the beginning of the world nor ever shall be." 

The captains of the contending armies in the 
great conflict are the beast — a most characteristic term 
— and the Lamb, that is to say, " the Lamb of God 
slain from the foundation of the world " who is else- 
where called, Faithful and True, making war in 


righteousness, clothed with a vesture dipped in blood. 
The former is followed by a great multitude, bearing 
on their foreheads ''the mark of the beast " ; the lat- 
ter by a greater multitude of such as bear the name 
of Jesus and have the love of truth and righteous- 
ness enshrined in their hearts. The contending 
armies meet with a shock that staggers the heavens 
and the earth. When the smoke of the conflict clears 
away, the armies of Christ are in possession of the 
field; a cry is heard, *' Babylon the great is fallen, is 
fallen !" and amid a sound of rattling of chains, the 
beast and his followers are hurled into the pit and 
"the smoke of their torment ascendeth up." 

To this event all history has been tending through 
the centuries, and the Prince of Darkness is hastening 
it by his desperate designs. He is fulfilling the 
prophecy that evil men and seducers shall wax worse 
and worse, and that wickedness shall abound more 
and more until the last time. As truth and right- 
eousness increase in potency so much the more does 
the beast oppose them ; he is ever doing his worst 
and utmost to interrupt the calm progress of Christ. 
When the tension has reached its last degree, then 
will come Armageddon. The ultimate demonstration 
of evil on earth will be like that of the unclean spirit, 
of which it is written, " He tare the man before he 
came out of him." 

In pursuance of this thought it will be profitable 
to mark the manifestations of evil in these last days ; 
and then on the other hand to observe some of the 
sure tokens of the triumph of Christ. . 

I. Let us note at the outset the aggravated forms of 
Avarice which prevail in these days. This is the Drama 
of the Street. Ycu may stand upon the corner any- 



where and perceive it in the restless eye, the wrinkled 
brow, the eager step of those who pass by. Aurt 
sacra fames! It is not to be observed merely in the 
increased power of grasping monopolies ; it is not the 
sin of the rich alone; but the humbler people, handi- 
craftsmen, the very beggars with their hands stretched 
out, are addicted to it. The horse leech's daughters 
are everywhere crying, " Give ! Give ! " At this mo- 
ment seven thousand Jews in this city are suffering 
from a " lockout," Jews from Bohemia, Servia, Rou- 
mania, Russia — thin, haggard, hungry, patient toil- 
ers, who beg for the privilege of working ten hours a 
day, with their needles, for one dollar or less. All 
that they want, is enough to keep body and soul to- 
gether. And why not? Because there are middle- 
men — "sweaters" — of their own kith and kin who, 
unmindful of their ancestral laws as to oppression, 
are grinding the life out of these poor men. Here is 
but a symptom of an awful malady which affects the 
race. The scramble for wealth is universal, with all 
its attending selfishness and brutality. There never 
has been a time in history when it was more malig- 
nant or more manifest than just now. 

2. Observe also the defiant front of Intemperance 
in our time. It is organized anarchy ; an open and 
flagrant defiance of all law, human and divine. It 
is the enemy of our home-life, our social life, our 
political life. It devours the wealth of our republic 
at the rate of one billion two hundred million dollars 
per annum. It consumes the wages of a vast multi- 
tude of our workingmen, depriving their families of 
the common means of livelihood and exposing them 
to unspeakable shame and distress. An employer 
in this vicinity, in order to test the question as to 


what proportion of his workmen's wages was squan- 
dered in drink, recently paid his hands on Saturday- 
night in marked bills. The total amount which they 
received was seven thousand dollars, of which four 
thousand one hundred dollars was passed into the 
hands of rum-sellers by those who received it. Who 
shall portray the want and sorrow involved in that 
fact ! Just now it is stated that the liquor men of 
the State of New York have contributed a large sum 
of money wherewith to influence the legislation of the 
Assembly which is about to convene. They can afford 
to do it, for this Legislature is arranging to amend our 
Excise Laws. These are mere intimations of the des- 
perate power of this organized evil. It was never so 
brazen, never so defiant, since the beginning of time. 
3. As to Sensuality . We recall with horror how the 
Virgin Mary was torn from her shrine above the high 
altar in Notre Dame in the Reign of Terror, to give 
place to a courtesan to whom were paid divine honors. 
But was that worse than the movement in behalf of 
uncleanness which we observe in our social life to-day? 
Look into the books upon your table written by 
Hardy, Du Maurier and the like. Run down the 
amusement column of the newspapers and see how 
lust, passion, carnality, are holding revel in these 
days. The bestial man and neurotic woman go reel- 
ing and smirking hand in hand along our streets. 
The mark of the beast is on their foreheads. Pop- 
psea of the Roman court, Aspasia of Athens, Pom- 
padour of the time of Louis XV. are outdone. And, 
alas ! many of the mothers and daughters among us 
are wittingly or unwittingly surrendering themselves 
unblushingly to the shame of the carnival. " Public 
sentiment" favors it. 



4. Another of the current forms of malignant evil 
is Bibliophobia, or hatred of the Scriptures as the Word 
of God. This is the fashionable form of infidelity. 
God is no longer denied; atheism is out of fashion. 
Christ is no longer rejected; no, fulsome adulation of 
Christ is the order of the day. The Church is no 
longer assailed; the Church is a great institution, a 
splendid organism for humanitarian effort. But the 
Scriptures, which are the very citadel of the Christian 
religion, are assailed with unparalleled fury; and the 
worst of this movement is that its force comes from 
within the Church of God. The enemies of the Bible 
are not avowed atheists and unbelievers; they are 
Biblical exegetes, whose assaults upon inspiration are 
met with plaudits from many who profess to be the 
followers of Christ. 

It is said that Agamemnon, king of Greece, 
besieged Troy for ten weary years without avail; 
then making a wooden horse, he filled its capa- 
cious belly with armed men, and introduced it into 
the beleagured city; the bolts were drawn and Troy 
fell. It is by a similar strategem that the enemy assails 
the stronghold of Christianity to-day. Wheel in the 
Trojan horse — into the pulpit, into the theological 
chair, into the Sabbath school, into the Christian 
home. In this manner the Adversary hopes to de- 
stroy the power of the Word of God. 

5. Sabbath Desecration. Here again the assault upon 
the power of the Christian religion is in most specious 
and malignant form; and it comes not from without, 
but from within the Church. We view with conster- 
nation the covert assault made upon the American 
Sabbath in our legislatures by propositions to legal- 
ize various forms of labor and amusement, as well as 


the rum traffic, on that day. But the real danger lies in 
the sentiment of Christian people. There is an outcry 
against the Puritan Sabbath. There is a disposition 
to hold that the requirements of the Fourth Com- 
mandment are met by a cessation of toil. "Why 
should we not have the Continental Sabbath, in which 
men and women lend themselves to the pleasures of 
the drama and musical entertainment ? " It should be 
remembered, however, that the divine law calls not 
merely for rest from labor, but also from doing our 
own pleasure on the Lord's day. Are we to conclude 
that we have wrought a real deliverance of our labor- 
ing classes from the bondage of their secular life, 
when we have liberated them from the workshop, only 
to let them loose into the dissipations of the wine- 
shop and the beer garden, there to squander their 
earnings which should be given to the replenishing of 
the oil in the cruise and the meal in the barrel ? Nay, 
it were far better if men were required to toil seven 
days in every week and three hundred and sixty-five 
days in every year. Far better never to rest, rather 
than to rest in pleasures and dissipations which de- 
stroy the real sanctions and all the just benefits of 
the Sabbath. The Fourth Commandment begins 
with the word, '' Remember " ; this suggests the 
danger of forgetting. In this new phase of Christian 
sentiment, with respect to the Sabbath, we observe 
again the craft and the desperation of the Power of 

6. As to Persecution. We thought that the days of 
persecution had gone by; but we have lived to see in 
this Nineteenth Century of boasted Christian civili- 
zation, such an outburst of malignant hatred against 
Christianity as the world never witnessed. It is esti- 


mated that one hundred thousand of the Armenians 
are slain and thousands more reduced to beggary, 
Nero kindling his living torches, the bones of the 
Waldenses "scattered on the Alpine mountains cold," 
the horrors of St. Bartholomew's day, are outdone. 
And while all this is going on the great Christian 
powers of Europe stand idly by. Not a hand is up- 
lifted to save the persecuted nation from this fiendish 

Let us hear a parable : A certain nation fell among 
thieves, thugs and murderers, who stripped it of rai- 
ment and wounded it and departed leaving it half 
dead. And by chance the Christian Czar of Russia 
came down that way and he saw this wounded nation 
and said, " I would gladly help were it possible, 
but I cannot risk the possibility of gaining a seaport 
on the Mediterranean " ; and he passed by on the 
other side. And likewise the Christian war-lord of 
Germany came that way and he said, "Alas ! here is 
a melancholy sight and I would fain help, but I must 
needs remember Alsace and Lorraine and the people 
beyond who await an opportunity of falling upon 
me " ; and he passed by on the other side. And like- 
wise the Christian Queen of England came that way 
and she said, " Woe is me ! Here is a dire calamity 
for Christian eyes to gaze upon. I would that it 
were possible for me to help, but I must needs pro- 
tect my Colonies, collect my opium tax, defend my 
commerce " ; and she passed by on the other side. 
And the wounded nation lay weltering in blood and 
crying and wailing, " Is there none among the Chris- 
tian nations to bind up my wounds, to pour in oil and 
wine and to bring me to an inn ?" And, alas, there 
was none. There was no eye to pity and no arm to 


save ! And the Power of Evil smiled with satisfac- 
tion as he beheld it. 

7. War. The most horridly repulsive of the 
dragon's heads is war. We have been saying all 
along that because of the developments of Christian 
civilization, war between the great nations of the 
earth was impossible. Yet how near we have been to 
it ! A war that would have set the two greatest of 
Christian nations against each other. A war in which 
probably all the important governments of Europe 
would have been directly or indirectly involved as 
well as the lesser governments of America. Has it 
been averted ? Shall it be averted ? If so, it will not 
be by any sentimental consideration of an alleged 
kinship between the American and English people. 
William Watson, candidate for the appointment 
of Poet Laureate, has published the following appeal 
to the people of the United States: 

" O towering daughter, Titan of the West ! 

Behind a thousand leagues of foam secure ; 

Thou toward whom our inmost heart is pure 
Of ill intent, although thou threatenest 
With most unfilial hand thy mother's breast : 

Not for one breathing space may earth endure 

The thought of war's intolerable cure 
For such vague pains as vex to-day thy breast." 

But England is not the mother, and America is 
not the daughter. We are not an English people. 
The smallest strain of blood that flows in America's 
veins is English blood. Our laws, our institutions, 
are not English. The most that can be said is that 
we speak a kindred dialect of an ancient Germanic 

Nor if this war is to be averted, will it be 


by any sentimental appeal to the magnanimity of 
England. That, by the record of history, is wholly a 
fabulous factor, or at best an infinitesimal quantity in 
the problem. When have we had national experience 
of the magnanimity of England ? At the time of the 
Stamp act? During the War of 1812 ? During the 
long and awful period of our Civil War ? In our con- 
tention respecting the cod fisheries or the seal fisher- 
ies ? In our contention respecting Alaska or the 
Nicaragua Canal ? In our commercial relations ? 
Never once. 

Nor, if this war is to be averted, will it be 
by a surrender of our just cause. The Monroe 
Doctrine is the expression of a principle which is 
bound to be vindicated sooner or later ; because it is 
right, and because it is absolutely necessary to the 
welfare and perpetuity of our Republic. There is a 
"balance of power" on the other side of the Atlantic 
which is accounted necessary to the preservation of 
peace. The great powers over yonder would not for 
a moment tolerate an encroachment on one another's 
rights or possessions. The Monroe Doctrine is simply 
an expression of the same principle on this side of the 
water. The balance of power here must be preserved; 
and certainly the United States, as the overwhelm- 
ingly greatest of American governments, can tolerate 
no encroachment from beyond the sea. 

But if this war is to be averted, it will be by virtue 
of two considerations : Firsts We are afraid. Both 
parties to the controversy are afraid. So much of 
blood and treasure is involved ! And second, The de- 
termining factor in the argument will be, must be, a 
Christian consideration. Both England and America 
recognize the power of Christian truth, of the spirit 


of our Lord, of the Golden Rule. This appeals with 
tremendous power to our sober second thought. It 
expresses itself specifically in tne term "arbitration." 
[t is a noteworthy fact that just when the war excite- 
ment was at its warmest, when we were reckoning up 
our fleets and armies and exchequers with a view to 
the awful contingency, there came an interruption. 
The Christmas-tide was here ; the song of Bethlehem 
was heard : " Glory to God in the highest, peace on 
earth and good will to men." 

We have spoken of the forces of evil at work for 
the disturbance of men and nations. These are fore- 
tokens of Armageddon. The tension grows tighter 
and tighter. The signal may be given at any mo- 
ment that will plunge the nations into an universal 
conflict. There is a moment in the history of a snow- 
drift on the Alps when the mighty mass is poised for 
its plunge. The bleating of a lost kid, the scream of 
an eagle, the scurrying of a rodent from its hole may 
disturb the mass ; and then the avalanche. 

Let us turn now to the brighter side. If the beast has 
been manifesting his power in a desperate effort to 
retain the dominion of the world, the Lamb, the cham- 
pion of truth and righteousness, has not been inactive. 
The world has been growing better constantly and 
Christ has been distancing his foe. It will be suffi- 
cient, without entering into detail as to the various 
manifestations of the power of the gospel, to indicate 
a few points which mark the certain triumph of 

I. The Scriptures as divijie truth have a deeper hold 
than ever on the hearts of Christian people. It has not 
been for nothing that all the powers of adverse criti- 
cism in the Church and outside of it, have been 


brought to bear for years upon the Word. The 
lights have been turned on. The knife of destructive 
criticism has been ruthlessly applied to the Book. 
The corrosive acid of irreverence has been poured 
over its pages. And the Scriptures have come forth 
out of the fierce ordeal as gold seven times tried. No 
praise to those who have assailed the oracles; God 
hath made the wrath of men to praise him. 

It is as when the Philistines carried away the Ark of 
the Covenant from the battle of Ebenezer. They 
brought it into the house of Dagon, and on the next 
morning, lo, Dagon had fallen on his face before it. 
They replaced their idol upon its pedestal; and on the 
next morning again he had fallen upon his face and 
his head and the palms of his hands were cut off. In 
capturing this symbol of the divine presence, the 
Philistines were now beginning to realize that they 
had undertaken more than they could manage. In 
their city of Ashdod the people were afflicted with a 
painful malady. Their homes were filled with shame 
and misery, so that the cry of the city went up to 
heaven. The Ark of the Covenant was too much for 
them. What should they do with it ? They sent it 
back to Israel. 

In like manner God has been pleased to bring 
to naught the machinations of men who hope 
to overthrow his Word. The old Book is cher- 
ished as it never was cherished before; is studied 
more earnestly ; is believed in more cordially. " The 
Word of the Lord is tried." It has been vindicated, 
triumphantly vindicated as a true volume from be- 
ginning to end. In this we behold a token of God's 
special providence ; for what can his Church do with- 
out the Scriptures ? It is vain to contend with the 


Adversary unless we can hold in our right hand the 
Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. 

2. Christ is served in his Church more loyally and ef- 
fectively than ever. We have a new conception of 
church membership to-day. The time was when to 
be a member of the Church meant little more than a 
name on the roster, an interest in social communion, 
a sense of salvation from death, and then to sit and 
sing one's self away to everlasting bliss. But a 
mighty change has transpired. To-day church mem- 
bership means, above all, an individual responsi- 
bility for service. We are living in an epoch of or- 
ganizations within the Church ; the men, the women, 
the young people, the children, are banded together 
in leagues and committees and associations; the ob- 
ject of which is to assign a specific duty to every one. 

In the days of Nehemiah the rebuilders of the wall 
toiled with weapon in one hand and trowel in the 
other ; heeding not the taunts of Sanballat and 
Tobiah, since all alike were concerned in doing 
a great work "and could not come down." The 
secret of the success of those rebuilders is re- 
corded in the words, ^^So built we the wall." In 
like manner the disciples of Christ are beginning to 
understand the importance of working each over 
against his own place. 

The various denominations of believers are agreed 
as to essentials, tolerant as to non-essentials, and 
cordial in co-operating for the advancement of the 
kingdom. There is perfect harmony among them. 
The cry for Church union has given way to a more 
reasonable insistence on Christian union. There is 
indeed more of unity among the denominations 
to-day than there is between the various parties in 



the Roman Catholic Church or between the divi- 
sional sects in the Anglican Church. For this we 
praise God and take courage. We are approaching 
a realization of the dream of Wesley, "All at it, 
always at it, altogether at it." 

3. The personality a7id poiver of the Holy Ghost are 
recognized in the Church as never before. We have a 
new conception of the Holy Spirit. It is not many 
years since the substance of controversy was Chris- 
tological. To-day we are dwelling on the importance 
of honoring the Holy Ghost. 

It is recorded that on a certain occasion Paul 
coming to Ephesus found a company of believers to 
whom he said, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost 
since ye believed ?" They answered, "We have not 
so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." 
Whereupon he laid his hands upon them, conferring 
the unspeakable gift, and straightway they began to 
speak with tongues and prophesied. It will be a 
great day for the Christian Church when the truth as 
to the Holy Spirit shall pervade all hearts. 

We are living in the dispensation of the Holy 
Ghost. We are working under his supervision for 
the building up of the kingdom of Christ. The Bible 
is a meaningless book until he illumines its pages 
and touches our eyes that we may read and under- 
stand it. Christ is a mystery until he takes of the 
things of Jesus and shows them unto us. True ser- 
vice is out of the question until he quickens, enables 
and directs us. This is pre-eminently the age of the 
Holy Ghost and by the same token it is the epoch of 
missionary progress. We are living among the 
miracles of missions. Under the guidance of the 
Holy Ghost an army of messengers are going out in 


all directions to declare the riches of the Gospel and 
are meeting with unprecedented successes. This 
means Christ for the world and the world for 

So have the two forces of good and evil been mov- 
ing onward toward the final struggle and the con- 
summation of all things. The times are ripe for 
momentous events. As the Nineteenth Century 
draws towards its close we find that, while wicked- 
ness grows worse and worse unto desperation, the 
Lord's army is more and more mobilized for the last 
march and the perpetual triumph. 

In Mid-Summer Night's Dream the last degree of 
improbability is suggested when Puck declares 

*' I'll put a girdle round the earth." 

But the thing which seemed so distant and inconceiv- 
able has indeed been done. It is proposed to celebrate 
the incoming of the Twentieth Century by a circular 
commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ; to be- 
gin at London and continue successively at Jerusa- 
lem, at Hong Kong, at Yokohama, at Honolulu, at 
San Francisco, eastward to New York and thence 
across the ocean to London; thus girdling the globe. 
While the followers of Christ have been lamenting 
the slow advance of his Gospel, he has been all along 
the centuries unceasingly accomplishing a splendid 
progress. The sun never sets on his dominions. The 
dream of Tennyson is almost realized when the earth 
shall be every way " bound as with gold chains about 
the feet of God." 

It is not for us to speak definitely as to times 
and seasons, but when the signal shall be given 
for the last conflict and all nations shall have 


done their part at Armageddon, the lifting smoke 
will disclose a conclusive and perfect victory. Then 
the tabernacle of God shall come down among men 
and he will dwell among them and they shall be his 
people and God himself shall be their God. 


Luke 15, 1-24. 

It is strange that no playwright has ever drama- 
tized this Pearl of Parables. It contains a "plot" 
of surpassing interest, and unlikely to become super- 
annuated, inasmuch as it is true to every age, and 
likely to occur among all sorts and conditions of 

Scene I. — The old home. A farm cottage on the 
hills of Palestine. The proprietor is a well-to-do 
farmer with broad acres of pasturage for his abundant 
flocks and herds, and vineyards on the hill sides 
sloping toward the south. There are evidences of 
prosperity on every side. But the shadow of 
affliction is here ; it is a motherless home. Possibly 
the story might have been different, had the loving, 
restraining hand of a mother been present. There are 
two sons, like Jacob and Esau. The elder is a thrifty, 
industrious, close-handed, narrow-minded youth ; the 
younger is full of generous impulses, fond of com- 
panionship and pleasure, a bundle of undeveloped 
potencies, and is just coming of age. 

To this younger son the old-fashioned home was 
like a cave of gloom. He was restive and discon- 



Cented. He looked toward the hills and dreamed of 
the world beyond. He saw the caravans that wound 
their way along the thoroughfare on the distant 
heights, as they journeyed from Dam.ascus to Egypt; 
and the bright apparel of the merchants and the gleam- 
ing trappings of the camels gave him a tantalizing 
glimpse into a larger life. He went up, perhaps, with 
his father and brother to the annual feasts at Jerusa- 
lem, and saw there the thronging multitudes from far 
distant lands, and sometimes princes and dignitaries ; 
and the sight awoke within him a longing for inde- 
pendence, — a desire to see and touch the wondrous 
things that lay beyond the horizon of his life. 

And he said unto his father, " Father, give me the 
portion of goods that falleth to me." 

"Why so, my son ; has anything gone wrong?" 

*' No, father, but I want to see the world. I can- 
not be a farmer's boy forever." 

" But, my son, you are young still and there is 
time enough. The years are all before you." 

" I know ; but I am of age and I am entitled to it. 
I am not a boy any longer ; let me have my way." 

And he had his way. What is it the poet says? 
" A boy's will is the wind's will." The time has come 
for the youth's departure. I see him at the door- 
way. His brother has said, " Farewell." His sad- 
faced father has kissed the lad on either cheek and 
is giving his blessing in a broken voice : "The Lord 
bless thee, my son ; the God of Israel be with thee ! " 

Down the road he goes with a long, swinging step 
gaily -apparelled, his wallet full of coin, humming 
cheerily to himself. At the turn of the road he looks 
backward and sees in the doorway a bowed figure 
which he will remember in the coming days. He 


waves his hand. Farewell ! Free at last ! Now for a 
joyous life ; a glorious future. Farewell, old-fash- 
ioned home, discipline and bondage. Farewell, loved 
ones, homely peace and comfort. Farewell, boyhood 
and innocence. Farewell ! Farewell ! 

Scene II. — In the far country. As far as possible 
from the old life. And here he enters upon his career 
at a rapid pace. 

His first step downward is into bad company. 
There is no lack of companionship. The wolves 
are always ready when there is a lamb. But woe 
to the youth who thus enters upon his city life. 
"Can one touch pitch and not be defiled by it ?" Or, 
" Can one take fire into his bosom and not be 
burned ? " A man is like a tree-toad which takes its 
color from its surroundings ; gray against the bark 
of an elm, green on the growing corn. A man is 
known by his companions. Our youth has chosen 
the " fast crowd." His friends are hail fellows well 

The next downward step is into lawless pleasure ; 
revels, carousals. He is sowing his wild oats. Let 
him take heed : " He that soweth the wind shall reap 
the whirlwind." Thousands in our city to-day are 
sowing, thousands are reaping the awful harvest. 

In the time of the English Commonwealth it was 
customary to punish intemperance with '* the drunk- 
ard's cloak." The culprit was placed in a barrel, with 
his head protruding from the top and holes for his 
arms on either side. In such guise he was compelled 
to walk about the streets. What a cooper's proces- 
sion there would be on Broadway if that sort of pen- 
alty were inflicted now ; old drunkards and young 


drunkards ; sots, tipplers and topers ; red-eyed and 

It is said that Diogenes once met a young man on 
his way to a bacchanalian feast and fastening his arms 
about him, despite all resistance, carried him back to 
his friends. O would it were possible to carry back 
these thoughtless youths who are ruining their pres- 
ent and future alike, in drink, sensuality and the 
" pleasures of the green baize field " ; would it were 
possible to carry them back to friends, to happy 
homes, to praying parents, to purity and hope ! 

" And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty 
famine in that land, and he began to be in want." His 
wallet was empty, his clothes were thread-bare, his sub- 
stance was wasted. Wasted! Alas! that's the sorrow of 
it, the awful waste. His money was gone, but that was 
least of all. He had squandered his physical strength 
as well ; his eyes were red and watery; his limbs were 
tremulous ; his liver was out of order, his digestion 
bad ; his nerves were unstrung ; his breath polluted ; 
his brain confused. He was incapacitated for the 
common tasks of life. — He had wasted his good name 
also. In vain did he apply for a situation. In every 
case he was asked for "credentials"; but who would 
give him credentials ? All knew his record; none had 
confidence in him. It was hard times; situations were 
scarce ; there were plenty of trustworthy young 
men. — And he had wasted his self-respect too. 
He knew himself to be a ne'er do weel. Parity 
and honesty and character were gone. It began to 
dawn upon him that he had played the fool. — He had 
wasted opportunity, also. What a splendid chance he 
had had of making something of himself, and he 
had lost it. — Moreover his friends were gone. He 


felt the pangs of hunger, and, approaching one of 
his former comrades, asked for the loan of a few 
farthings. " I am sorry," was the answer, '* but I 
have nothing with me." One by one they shook 
him off. Friends ! Fair-weather friends; they had 
squeezed him dry, poor fool ; and had no further 
need of him. They no longer recognized him as they 
passed by. He had reached the end of his tether. 

It was under circumstances like these that Lord 
Chesterfield said : " I have enjoyed all the pleasures 
of the world. I have been behind the curtain, have 
seen the dirty ropes and pulleys that work the ma- 
chinery. I have smelled the guttering candles that 
furnish the illumination, to the amazement of the 
juvenile audience. And I am sick and tired of it." 

Scene III. — In the swine field. " And he went 
and joined himself to a citizen of that country, who 
sent him into the fields to feed swine." A swine-herd 
— and he a Jew ! But he had no alternative ; beggars 
must not be choosers. It was that or starve. 

So here he is. See him sitting on the trough; 
pale, haggard, in rags and tatters. Around him are 
the swine ; the unclean things, the rooting, jostling 
wallowing, gluttonous things. Yet his situation is 
not so bad as it might be. 

" • • • Sweet are the uses of adversity ; 
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man." 

There is something to be said for the swine field. 
God knows how to deal with the wayward, when to 
allow them to reach the very depths of shame. Time 
was when this young man had no taste for solitude ; 
now it is forced upon him. He looks into his own 
face and sees himself in his proper guise. A fool, if 


ever there was one ! There is nothing here to inter- 
rupt the current of his honest thoughts. His con- 
science is at work. And memory is at work too. 
He looks over his shoulder at the past. He gazes off 
toward the hills and recalls the old home life and 
how gaily he tripped away from it. " In my father's 
house," he says within himself, " there is bread enough 
and to spare, and I perish here with hunger." What 
pleasant days those were by the fireside ; under the 
tree before the door-way; out in the fields harvesting, 
or among the flocks ! 

The boys who are away at boarding schools and 
those who have come to the great city to make their 
fortunes — who have begun at the foot of the ladder 
and are working up — get together in their social 
coteries and sing the old songs. It was so when we 
sat on the college fence through the evening and into 
the night. And why do we always drift into songs 
like this ? 

" How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection presents them to view ! 
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood, 
And every loved spot which my infancy knew." 

Or this ? 

Those evening bells ! those evening bells ! 
How many a tale their music tells 
Of youth, and home, and that sweet time 
"When last I heard their soothing chime ! " 

Or this ? 

'Way down upon the Swanee river, 

Far, far away; 
There's where my heart is turning ever. 

There's where the old folks stay." 


Or this ? 

" Oft in the stilly night, 

Ere slumber's chain has bound me, 
Fond Memory brings the light 
Of other days around me : 
The smiles, the tears 
Of bygone years, 
The words of love then spoken ; 
The eyes that shone, 
Now dimmed and gone, 
The cheerful hearts now broken." 

Or this — always this when the other songs were sung 
and we were breaking up? 

" 'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home ! 
Home ! home ! sweet, sweet home ! " 

And as this youth in the swine-field thought and remem- 
bered there came to his mind the possibility of better 
things. All was not lost. He was a young man still. 
''The sun is not down," said Napoleon to his dis- 
heartened troops, " the sun is not down, there is time 
to win this battle yet." The wayward youth is com- 
ing to himself ; he awakes from his miserable life, as 
from a bad dream. A resolve is born within him ; he 
says, '* I will " — What ? 

" I will turn over a new leaf. I will be faithful in 
my position as a swine-herd and work my way up- 
ward. I will ask no odds of anybody, but prove my- 
self a man yet." No ; this will not answer. He must 
get out of this country, awa}^ from his old associa- 
tions. He must cut loose from the past. 

"I will write home and see if my father still lives; 
and, if so, whether he would welcome me." No. His 


extremity is too great ; his heart is too sore. His 
longing is too deep and honest. 

" I will arise and go unto my father ! " This is as 
it should be. There is good stuff in this youth ; the 
stuff that men are made of. — And he arose and went. 

It was not for nothing that God had suffered this 
young man to reach the very depths of despair. An 
English soldier, who had been wounded in one of the 
battles of Egypt and left behind on the march, lay 
under the shadow of a rock in the desert. He had 
given up heart and hope ; but as he looked upward 
he saw a vulture circling about him and waiting, 
waiting for its prey. The sight drove him to quick 
resolve. He struggled to his feet and staggered on 
with a purpose to live. So does the prodigal betake 
himself from the swine-field with his face toward 

Scene IV. — On the journey. A veritable tramp, 
ragged and haggard, staff in hand. It is a long 
journey. Would that he had not gone so far. 
But he trudges on, making up his speech as he goes : 
" I will say unto my father, Father, I have sinned 
against heaven and in thy sight. I am no more 
worthy to be called thy son; make me as thy hired 
servant." No place can be too humble for him, he 
thinks, even that of a door-keeper or a toiler in the 
fields. Why not ? His part of the inheritance is 
wasted ; the right of a son is no longer his. 

Had he but known what had been happening 
meanwhile at the old home ! His father had been 
waiting ; not a night when he had not prayed for the 
return of his wayward son ; not a morning when he 
did not stand in the doorway and look away toward 
the hills and move his lips until the mist came over 


his eyes. He had heard rumors of the lad's wild ex- 
cesses in the far country. His heart was heavy, but 
he hoped against hope. Ah, if his son had only 
known ! 

The heart of the returning wanderer misgave him 
many a time. Would he receive a welcome ? Was 
the game worth the candle ? His father might be 
dead ; his brother's heart might be hardened against 
him ; but the youth trudged on. Aye, there is good 
stuff in him. It is this sort of experience that tries 
the soul of a man. So Milton, old and blind, his 
fondest hopes all blighted, wrote : 

" I argue not 
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still bear up, and steer 
Right onward ! " 

The wanderer climbed a rock beside the highroad 
and saw in the distance his old home. The trees 
were there ; the fields where he used to play. And 
then for a little, — weak, despondent, and half-fam- 
ished, — the heart almost went out of him. But 
presently he arose, tightened his girdle and trudged 
on. It was in the after part of the day when he came 
out upon a slope fronting his home. He drew as 
near as he dared, trembling now in every limb, and 
paused. A thousand doubts, misgivings, eager hopes 
were struggling in his breast. He leaned upon the top 
of his staff, like Jacob of old, and wept and prayed. 

In the door-way of the farm-house stood the old 
father, shading his eyes and looking off toward 
the hills. What was yon figure at the spur of the 
road ? It was like his boy ; but O so thin, so rag- 
ged, so hopeless in his attitude ! Nevertheless he 


knew him. " Bring me my staff ! " he cried, and 
down the path he staggered, his lips moving as he 
went, his eyes lifted now and then toward the height. 
The figure was still there, but " a great way off." As 
he comes near he begins to cry, " My son ! my son ! " 
He has fallen upon his neck and kissed him ! And 
the youth is sobbing out — '^ O my father ! I have 
sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no 
more worthy to be called thy son ; make me — make 
me — " ; but he cannot finish that fine speech ; — 
there is that in his father's eyes which makes it im. 
possible to finish it ; — a lump comes up in his throat 
and checks him so that he cannot say, "as one of 
thy hired servants." Nay, he knows that he shall 
again be his father's son. 

Is there anything like that in the dry disquisitions 
of the schools on the Divine Attributes ? O no ; but 
it is true ; this is the loving God, the patient God, 
the waiting God, the forgiving God. He giveth us 
the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father ! 

Scene V. — At home again. There is a fire in the 
great fireplace. The returning prodigal has satisfied 
his hunger and is clothed in comfortable garments. 
No questions are asked, for everybody knows. No 
explanations are offered ; one word has told it all, " I 
have sinned." The pride has all gone out of this 
young man. He watches his father here and there, 
and notes the love-light in his eyes, and thinks, 
" How I wronged him ! " 

As twilight falls, the lights are kindled and the 
neighbors come in. There is to be a banquet. The 
fatted calf has been killed. There is music. The 
table is spread ; they are taking their places ; the 
wayward son is moving toward the foot of the table ; 


but his father leads him to the place of honor. There 
are shoes on his feet, the token of sonship ; the best 
robe has been put upon him and a ring upon his 
hand, — the last degree of favor. The father speaks : 
"Neighbors, rejoice with me ; this my son was dead 
and is alive again, he was lost and is found." 

We leave him there. There is an unwritten chap- 
ter of life and usefulness ; the new life upon which 
this youth has entered, in which he seeks to expiate 
the past. But let that go. Amid the lights and music 
and laughter the curtain falls. 

And what does all this mean ? You know why 

Jesus told this parable. It was because the Scribes 

and Pharisees had murmured, "He receiveth sinners.'' 

You know what he meant by the telling of this sweet 

story of the return from sin to the happiness of a 

manly life. 

" There's a wideness in God's mercy, 

Like the wideness of the sea ; 

There's a kindness in his justice, 

Which is more than liberty." 

The new year has begun. Some have already come 
home and are sitting at the table in the Father's 
house. Some have set out upon the journey. Others 
are still in the far country. But there is a light in 
the window for all wanderers. There is a welcome 
for all who feel the pangs of famine in their souls. 
God waits ; his hands are stretched out still. Let 
God be praised for adversity, if it awakens in the 
breast a longing for better things. 

" Blest be the sorr<iw, kind the storm, 
That drives us nearer home. " 

One thing only is necessary, the resolution, " I will 
arise and go unto my Father." 


In one of our Western military posts a volunteer, 
who had run away from his home and enlisted, was 
walking up and down on patrol duty. It was Sab- 
bath night and there was divine service in one of the 
tents. He heard the voice of singing: 

•' We're travelling home to heaven above ; 
Will you go ? Will you go ? 
To sing the Saviour's dying love; 
Will you go ? Will you go?" 

The sentry's memory was busy with former days. 
He saw the sad mistake of his life, and felt his sin. 
His heart was tender. 

" We're going to see the bleeding Lamb; 
Will you go ? Will you go ? 
In rapturous strains to praise his name; 
Will you go ? Will you go ? " 

He was resolved. He looked toward the stars, lifted 
his hand and solemnly said, ''By the grace of God, I 
will go." So begins the better life. And will you go? 
All things are ready. The fatlings are killed ; the 
invitations are gone out. And there is no doubt as 
to the welcome that awaits you. Here is a word that, 
as an ambassador of Christ, I bring straight from 
heaven's gate: " Him that cometh unto me, I will in 
no wise cast out." 


' In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against 
the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace ; and the 
king saw the part of the hand that wrote."— Daniel v. s. 

This Belshazzar was a reckless fool — a weak, sen- 
sual, impulsive, arrogant, headstrong fool. He had 
been admonished again and again in vain. He should 
have learned wisdom from his father's dreams and the 
sad afflictions which had befallen him. But all lessons 
were lost upon him. 

At this time his capital city was under siege. En- 
gines of war were planted on the walls round about 
it; great stones from the catapults went hurtling 
through the air. Belshazzar ought to have been 
superintending the defence of the city ; but here he 
sat at a magnificent revel. Imagine him in the midst 
of his oriental palace with its fountains and hanging 
gardens ; its walls frescoed with pagan parables, 
winged figures of the national deities and ascriptions 
of glory to victorious kings. A thousand of his lords 
are gathered about him, with his wives and concu- 
bines. They drink long and deep. The enemy are 
thundering at the gates ; but what matters it ? they 
drink defiance to alien gods and men. 

A happy thought ! To add to the abandon of the 


revels let the golden vessels be brought, which Nebu- 
chadnezzar had taken from the temple at Jerusalem ; 
the cups and chalices are brought and filled to the 
brim. " Confusion to Jehovah ! " is the toast. They 
drink to Bel and Nebo, to gods of gold and silver and 
brass and iron and wood and stone. And then, with 
blasphemous, fevered lips, "Confusion to Jehovah ! " 
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ; he that 
created the eye, shall he not see ? 

Look yonder ! A spectral hand is moving along 
the wall. The king is transfixed with terror ; his 
face is ashen, his eyes are starting from their sockets, 
his knees smite together. Slowly the hand writes ; 
O how slowly! in strange characters : MENE, MENE, 
TEKEL, UPHARSIN. Come hither, seers, prophets' 
astrologers, soothsayers, necromancers, let us know 
the meaning of it ! 

A hand ? No, only the fingers. Why not the 
whole hand ? Why not the clear outline of the mys- 
terious Scribe ! Because this is not the order of na- 
ture or of grace. We know in part. We see as 
through a glass darkly. The veil is only slightly 
withdrawn. Something is left for faith and reason to 
fill out. 

But why this consternation ? Why this blanching 
of the face and trembling of the knees? It is an il- 
lustration of a universal fact : we are afraid of the 
unseen. Children are frightened in the dark. We 
can remember when the dear mother, having made 
the good-night prayer and tucked us in, vanished 
with the light. And then? — then we cowered down 
and drew the coverlet over our faces. Why ? Give 
a reason if you can. When the mother came back 
and sat beside us and remonstrated and explained and 


once more vanished with the light, lo, the room was full 
of bogies again. There is no reason in it. So we call 
it an instinct, an intuition. The unseen suggests the 
supernatural ; the fingers imply a hand ; the hand a 
personalit/. Who or what is it ? 

First. In nature. This is the problem of science. 
The scientist sees nothing but the fingers of the hand. 
Here is a maple leaf, bearing the tracery of an ex- 
quisite figure ; a comparison with ten thousand times 
ten thousand maple leaves will show an infinite di- 
versity of detail with an absolute uniformity of plan. 
Here is the veiling of power. One thing is plain, law. 
A step further will bring us into the presence of a 
law-giver ; but that step must not be taken because it 
is an inference and unsustained by visible facts ; for 
want of that farther step the scientist becomes an ag- 
nostic. What is beyond those fingers ? He answers, 
"I do not know." A child might suggest a solution 
of the problem, but the undevout scientist will have 
none of it. He would rather guess than reason by 
faith. So we have all sorts of conjectures expressed 
in such terms as law, force, protoplasm, bathybius, 
universum, the unconscious absolute, elementary life- 
stuff. But these furnish in fact no solution of the 
problem. We have made no progress beyond the 
fingers that write. 

Second. In providence. We know ourselves to be 
under the domination of a power not ourselves. We 
plan, and our plans fall about our ears like card 
houses. Man proposes, but something else disposes. 
There is something that "shapes our ends, rough hew 
them how we will." 

We are in the grip of the invisible. Among the 
last words of David Strauss, the infidel, were these : 


"In the enormous machine of the universe, amid 
the incessant whirl and hiss of its wheels and the 
pounding of its ponderous stamps and hammers, 
in all this terrific commotion, I find myself a 
helpless and defenseless man, not sure for a moment 
that a wheel may not seize and rend me, or a hammer 
crush me into powder." This was the language of a 
man who practically insisted on eliminating the su- 
pernatural from the problem of life. 

But who or what is this that overrules and thwarts 
us ? Joseph sets out to watch his flocks and finds 
himself upon the throne of Egypt. Moses sets o-it to 
watch his flocks and finds himself in command of an 
army of fugitive slaves. David sets out to watch his 
flocks and is turned aside into the forefront of the his- 
tory of the most important people on earth. Whence 
is this interference ? We are like the patriarch who 
by the brookside felt himself grappled by unseen 
hands. All night he wrestled and would fain have 
known his antagonist ; but he vanished with the 
break of day. Before he went, however, he asked of the 
patriarch, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Ja- 
cob," and added, " Tell me, I pray thee, thy name." 
And the unseen one said, " Wherefore dost thou ask 
it ?" We must reason out for ourselves the problem 
of providence. There is something beyond the fin- 
gers, which faith alone can fill out. 

Third. In history. " Go to," they said in the land 
of Shinar, "let us make brick and burn them thor- 
oughly." "Go to," they said, "let us build a city." 
" Go to, let us rear a tower which shall stand like a 
finger of defiance pointed at the unseen and super- 
natural." But the supernatural said, " Go to, let us 


go down and confound thein ; " and the builders were 

scattered '^n.. Meft off to build." 

It Lhe parable of history. We look back over 

the s^^ory of the past and lo, there are dim shadows ; 

call them Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne ; they are 

shadows and nothing more. The thing that hath 

been, shall be. This is the spirit dance of which 

Prosperosaid : 

"Our actors 
Are melted into air, into thin air. 
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, 
The clouci-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, 
And, like the n^ubstantial pageant faHed, ^ 

Leave not '^ behind. We are such t?;uff 

A& c'i^earr ;.de of, and ourlittlevlfe • r] 

Is roundt 1 sleep." - [ 

If this has a ^nificance whatever, it means 

that the Gre-'t P^ ^f history have been under the 

inresiuible ''f^tr ^ a power beyond themselves. 
There '^ mo losophy of History which does 

not r.j jKon . ^ t j fingers of the hand. Faith, by 

which alone \Vu grapple with the problem of the 

invisible, is the necessary part of the equipment of an 
historian who v/ould get below the 'face of things. 
If we pause here, we arehopw./f .j x>cwildered. Na- 
ture, Provider" , History, areri?-ordian knots whicl^ 
no in'-enuityna ' i, and .n- ':uteness '»f intelleci 

can Sv er. I'' lyGoetf whose only deity wa's 

hun, ,''ity, d" iming, ''Light! moVe light*! '^ 

This ' , the German phi'los jpher, died 

muiL J truth, where is it?" This-'' 

v:hy I ^be. ; 2ist, died in an agony of unc 

tainty, saying, •" I am taking a fearful leap into 


dark ! " These men had refused to reason beyond 
the part of the hand which they saw. ^ 

At this point, however, we are not left t^, conjec- 
ture. The spectral fingers write and they write/' over 
against the candlestick," so that he who runs may 
read. Let us look again at the wall of Belshazzar's 
palace and read what we may. 

First. God. An unlettered, unarticulated word. 
It appears in th blaze of light which furnishes a back- 
ground for the inscription. The frightened king, 
when he turned his face that way, had no need to be 
told there is a God. No need for seer or necromancer 
to make that announcement. On the instant he per- 
:eived it. p . 

This i, the great truth bac- ^'..the fingers. This 
la the infe. jnce to which thf ^lat" rally springs 

-rom the veiling of power. t throws a great 

light into the problems which vise remain unan- 


In nature. There is a . f,\.' of God. in 

every grass blade. I do not st istr^tion of 

God. There is always room r and «o, /<?;' 

^^«/r^, alwpys room for unbelief. . the fingers are 

there, and the fingers argue a himd, and the hand a 
personality, ar the personality a brain and heart. 
He who is-williiife ^ f. son by faith will not need to 
go to theological '••Cxiools for the P *:rine of God. 
He will ever} here ; in /• ,.i. rs \ air anj| sky. 
A Red Republican \ > saying -r'^i-gittaasant/sDEf La 
V^end-ee, " vVe are going to puU ' yc^ir^StVrmes, 

your churobjes, your monumen :'■?/ bkfecan 

recall to mind the superanh; 'arsod/' 

-•^5*hen," said the peasant, "do^. j .io p*. I down 
,, .: stars." He was right ; for so long as a twinkling 


beam is left in heaven, there must be a system of 
theology on earth. You must take away the fingers 
if you would prevent us simple folk from going 
straight on to the hand, the intellect, the heart of God. 
In providence. Here again a demonstration is 
futile. And indeed it is impossible if by "demon- 
stration " you mean a mathematical proof by facts 
that lie within the reach of one's finger tips. Never- 
theless we are conscious of God. You would find it 
a difficult matter to describe flame to a blind man ; 
or to analyze caloric in such a manner as that he should 
comprehend it. But when the blind man stands by 
the hearth, he apprehends the fire and says, I feel it. 
So are we sensible of God. In him we live and move 
and have our being. Every breath I draw is an irre- 
futable argument in theology, though in the province 
of faith. For what is behind this principle of life? 
Is life automatic ? Nothing is automatic. There are 
no fingers without a hand ; no hand without some- 
thing behind it. " Whither shall I go to escape from 
his presence ? If I take the wings of the morning and 
flee unto the uttermost parts of the sea, even there 
shall his hand lead me and his right hand hold me." 
Our response to the Doctrine of God in providence is 
like that of the ocean to the heavenly powers that 
wield it : 

" And as the waxing moon can take 
The tidal waters in her wake, 
And lead them round and round to break, 
Obedient to her drawings dim, 
So may the movements of His mind, 
The great all-Father of mankind. 
Affect with answering movements mind 
And draw the souls that live by Him." 
In history. The philosophy of history now becomes 


plain. Politics take definite shape. We hear much at 
this moment of the Great Powers---the syndicate of 
Great Powers beyond the sea. Here are armies and 
imposing fleets ; here are captains and commanders 
with decorations on the lapels of their coats; admirals 
in flag-ships and secretaries in bureaus of state. But 
above them all is One, dimly revealed, in whose hand 
are the issues of life for nations as well as for men. It 
is a splendid game, this game of politics. Pawns and 
castles and knights play their part and in turn are 
tumbled off the board, but the play goes on. Only 
the King is never taken. 

Great Powers ! Look down the path of history 
and see the Great Ruins. This is nothing new. The 
thing that hath been shall be. Rome, Egypt, Assyria, 
Babylon, Medo-Persia, gone ! Conferences, decrees, 
protocols, manifestoes, treaties, child's play ! There 
is a Power above and behind them all. God alone is 
great. The blaze of light on the palace wall of 
Belshazzar dimmed all the cuneiform inscriptions 
there ; the bulletins of battles ; the epitaphs on 
valiant men, the eulogiums of kings ; the processions 
of victories ; commanders with captives at their 
chariot wheels. The spectral fingers wrote above 
them all: God alone is great ! 

Second. Judgment. The fingers are writing in that 
blaze of light : MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 
The part of the divine hand that we see is always 
writing, always writing the same thing : *' Weighed, 
Wanting, Divided ! " The truth was recognized in 
that palace hall. The king surmised what it meant 
before it was interpreted to him. Little wonder that 
he shook and trembled. Conscience makes cowards 
of us all. 


" That night they slew him on his father's throne, 
The deed unnoticed and the hand unknown ; 
Crownless and sceptreless Belshazzar lay, 
A robe of purple round a form of clay." 

Was it God's hand that slew him ? We are not called 
upon to relieve God of responsibility. The hand that 
drove that dagger was divinely allowed to do it. We 
may make the most of that. What does it mean ? 
Law was allowed to take its course. The Buddhist 
doctrine of Karma — the doctrine of consequences — is 
tremendously true. " The soul that sinneth, it shall 
die." " As a man soweth, so also shall he reap." 
The hand behind these fingers has a sword in it. 
"When he shall whet his glittering sword, who shall 
stand before him ? " 

That phosphorescent inscription in Belshazzar's 
hall is a foregleam of judgment. Weighed, Wanting, 
Divided ! We must give an account of the deeds 
done in the body. There is to be a great assize. 
The account kept here so imperfectly is to be bal- 
anced sometime. Things will not be left forever at 
odds and ends. There is reason in the present dis- 
order of justice. If all sins were punished in this 
present life, we would think there is to be no judg- 
ment because there is no need of it. If no sins were 
punished in this present life, we would conclude that 
there is to be no judgment because there is no God. 
We see the fingers only and are left to infer the right 
arm. Here is enough to set men thinking. Here is 
enough to drive men to a conclusion. 

It is as Robertson says: "The judgment-coming 
of Christ is like the springing of a mine. There is a 
moment of deep suspense after the match has been 
applied to the fuse ; men stand at a distance and 


hold their breath ; there is nothing seen but a thin 
column of white smoke rising fainter and fainter till 
it seems to die away. Then men breathe again ; and 
the inexperienced would approach the place thinking 
that the thing had been a failure ; but just when expec- 
tation has begun to cease, the low, deep thunder sends 
up the earth to heaven, and all that was on it comes 
crushing down again in its far circle, shattered and 
blackened with the blast." The foolish see a slight 
token of the doctrine of retribution and give no heed ; 
but the wise are admonished and avoid it. 

Third. Here also is a7i afinoimcemenf of God's milder 
attributes. God is love. Was that announced in Bel- 
shazzar's hall ? Aye, it was. Daniel the prophet was 
sent for to interpret the writing ; Daniel the Mes- 
sianic prophet who could not enter that palace hall 
without bringing with him the message of pardoning 
mercy ; Daniel the prophet whose whole life and 
character were bound up in the hope of Messiah — the 
Christ of God. It was he who called Messiah by 
name ; who prophesied his vicarious death in behalf 
of the people. He announced His coming in the ful- 
ness of time. It was Daniel the prophet who inter- 
preted the vision of the great image and the stone 
cut out of the mountain without hands. It was he 
who interpreted the vision of the four beasts, the 
great world-powers that vanished to give way to the 
empire of the Son of Man. As Daniel draws near, 
the Saviour comes upon the scene. 

Here is the whole hand. The hand with the nail- 
prints in it. Here is the hand that explains the fingers 
of all prophecy. Here is the bleeding hand that in- 
terprets the significance of all sacrifice — the Lamb 
slain from the foundation of the world. 


The mysteries are clearing now. Ihe problem of 
nature finds its solution in the word of Christ : *' Con- 
sider the lilies of the field how they grow ; they toil 
not, they spin not, yet your Father careth for them." 
The problem of providejice is solved in him: "Much 
more shall he care for you." And, *' God so loved 
the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that 
whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life." We call that "grace" ; but indeed 
it is the very consummation of providence — the one 
supreme " special providence " in behalf of sinful men. 
And the probkfn of history is cleared up. Yonder is 
the effigy of the cross against the sky and over it is 
the superscription : " I. N.R.I." — Jesus of Nazareth, 
King of the whole Israel of God. Set that inscription 
over against the words that were written on Belshaz- 
zar*s banquet hall. It means that above all kings and 
potentates, He, whose right it is to reign, shall be su- 
preme over all. 

But who hath believed our report ? And to whom 
is the arm of the Lord revealed ? The arm of the 
Lord ! When God approached the work of redemp- 
tion he is represented as rolling back his sleeve like a 
workman addressing himself to some tremendous 
task. He made bare his arm on Calvary. The arm 
of the Lord is made manifest in the redemptive power 
of his only begotten and well-beloved Son. But to 
whom is that arm revealed ? He shall grow up as a 
tender plant and as a root out of dry ground, and 
there is no form nor comeliness that we should desire 
him. Nevertheless, he is wounded for our transgres- 
sions, and by his stripes we are healed. When he 
shall give his soul an offering for sin, he shall see 


his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure 
of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 

This is the conclusion of the whole matter. This 
is the quod erat demonstrandum at which we arrive 
when we proceed from the fingers to the hand, from 
the pierced hand to the strong arm, from the strong 
arm to the infinite intellect, and from that intellect 
to the loving, omnipotent heart. Faith can no 
further go. Here is the end of all problems in 
nature, providence, history. His kingdom is an 
everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endureth 
forever and ever. Amen. 


A Complaint* 

I take pleasure in the opportunity of being heard 
for my cause. The fraternity which I represent is 
engaged in a legitimate traffic. The law recognizes 
and sanctions it. At this juncture, however, owing 
to a long-continued appeal to prejudice and passion, 
there is a manifest conspiracy in many quarters 
against us. We feel that we are wronged, and the 
class of people represented in this congregation 
is largely responsible for the wrong which is being 
inflicted upon us. We are satisfied, nevertheless, 
that you will be willing to accord us fair treatment 
when you have listened to our plea. The counts of 
our complaint are as follows : 

I. The courts are against us. In nearly all cases, 
which have recently been submitted to their arbitra- 
tion, the decisions have been adverse to our interests. 
The last instance is of a most flagrant character. It has 

* The preacher in introducing the subject remarked: "It 
is only just to give the rumsellera hearing before condemning 
him. He complains that there is a conspiracy against him. 
He is entitled to fair play. Let him therefore speak for him- 



been decided that we cannot do business "within two 
hundred feet of any church or public school." It is 
conceded that there is an ancient law to that effect on 
the statute books, but, as everybody is aware, that law 
has been regarded as a dead letter for many years. 
It is now proposed to enforce it rigidly. 

It is obvious that under this decision a shameful 
stigma is put upon our business. No other industry 
is excluded from the immediate vicinity of churches 
or public schools. Why should a discrimination be 
made against us ? In this manner we are branded 
like lepers of the olden time who were required to 
stand afar off, with their fingers upon their lips, cry- 
ing, " Unclean ! unclean ! " 

We are involved in another hardship by this de- 
cision of the court. A considerable number of liquor 
establishments were set up within the prescribed 
limit under the old order of things. Of course we 
knew that the law referred to was in existence, but 
we had no reason to expect that it would be used 
against us. In one section of this city there are no 
less than twenty saloons within two hundred feet of 
a church. The proprietors of these establishments 
must, as matters now stand, retire from business. It 
must be obvious to any fair-minded man that this is 
not in the nature of fair play. 

It is our desire to keep on the best possible terms 
with all reputable classes of people. We especially 
desire to cultivate good feeling with the churches. 
But this unjust provision opens an unnecessary gulf 
between us. We would be pleased to establish 
the same terms with the churches which now 
exist between us and the play-houses and resorts of 
similar character. The proper relation is that which 


was to be seen in Bristcl, England, where a church 
stood upon the summit of a hill and at the foot of the 
stairway a liquor store. A wag wrote this inscription 
half way up : 

" There's a spirit above and a spirit below, 
A spirit of love and a spirit of woe ; 
The spirit above is the Spirit Divine ; 
The spirit below is the spirit of wine." 

This is as it should be — barring some unfortunate 
expressions. There is no reason why there should be 
any ill-feeling between us, 

II. There is a combination of the police against us. A 
man named Roosevelt has recently come into power 
in this city and the dear old times are gone. His 
preposterous position is this: that he is not appointed 
to make laws or interpret them, but simply to enforce 
them. And he is enforcing the laws. And things 
are getting to be intolerable. 

As matters were under the old regime, the pro- 
prietor of a saloon, with perhaps a gambling place 
overhead and a brothel attached, had merely to 
"see" the police captain of the precinct and possibly 
the patrolman, and he was never molested. Now, 
however, the screws are turned on: we are obliged to 
keep the laws just like grocers, preachers, handicrafts- 
men, millionaires and other people. 

This is in contravention of all precedent. It has 
never been expected of liquor-dealers that they would 
keep the laws. Indeed we have been given to under- 
stand that the law-makers and the magistrates them- 
selves did not expect that we should observe them. 
We have no objection to law; our objection is simply 
to its construction as bearing against us. The fact is 


that we have never before been included among the 
law-observing classes. Superintendent Byrnes, be- 
fore he retired from his place, made the statement 
that a large majority of the saloon-keepers of New 
York were openly and avowedly conducting their 
business in violation of the Excise Law, All this, 
however, has been changed. We would be glad to 
" see " the captain of the precinct, the magistrates if 
necessary, the patrolman, and all who are concerned 
in these premises, but we are informed that this would 
merely be a further violation of law. 

III. We are 7iot allowed to do business on Sunday. The 
injustice of the situation at this point is evident from 
the fact that we are not Puritans, do not believe in 
the Fourth Commandment, take no stock in the Bible 
or Blue Laws. 

If it be said that Sunday is recognized as dies non 
in the constitutional fabric of our republic, we reply 
that we ought not to be subjected to the imposition 
of laws which are distinctively American, because our 
fraternity is almost exclusively made up of foreigners. 
The population of this country is conglomerate, 
made up of people from every quarter of the globe. 
It ought to be clear that, if we are to continue in 
peace with one another, the laws and customs of the 
country must be adjusted to the various elements of 
its population. The Irish will be irritated if they are 
prevented from raising the green flag upon the City 
Hall. The Turks — and the Turkish contingent in 
our city is by no means inconsiderable — ought to be 
allowed to observe the marital customs of their na- 
tive land, where every man is permitted to have four 
wives if he can afford it. And the Germans, who 
have their beer gardens in the Fatherland, should be 


allowed to have their beer gardens here. Have 
Uitlanders no rights ? How can Germans live with- 
out their beer on Sunday ? Let every nationality be 
permitted to have its own way. This is the proper 
method of running a free government. The will of 
the majority has nothing to do with it. 

It should be considered also that Sunday is our 
most profitable day. More than one-third of our en- 
tire receipts are from our Sunday sale of liquors. 
The workingmen get their wages on Saturday night; 
if in the good old times you had looked into our 
places of business on Sunday, we could have shown 
you what became of those wages. In order that our 
traffic might be as unobtrusive as possible, we have 
been willing to close our establishments in front and 
admit patrons through the side-door. But it has 
been decided that we shall not be permitted to do 
this. In taking this position you are robbing us and 
our families of our livelihood. The laboring man's 
wages, which, if allowed to take their normal course, 
would come into our tills, are spent for his family's 
food and clothing, and we get practically none of it. 

IV. We are forbidden to sell liquor to minors. The 
law respecting this matter has hitherto been re- 
garded as a dead letter ; but we are now admonished 
that we must observe it. 

A considerable part of our income is from this 
source. There are some of our fraternity who have 
had special doors for the accommodation of children. 
You have no idea how many boys and girls have been 
accustomed to patronize us. If you will consult the 
records of the Gerry Society, you will observe how 
important this source of income is to our prosperity- 
A few days ago a lad of seven years was carried away 


to one of our police stations and pronounced by- 
physicians to be a confirmed inebriate. That is the 
work we are doing. That is where our bread and 
butter largely come from. That is how we are en- 
abled to build our comfortable homes, provide our- 
selves with diamonds and our wives with jewels, and 
erect great breweries and distilleries. It must be 
perceived that the proposition to curtail our income 
at this point is in the nature of downright robbery. 

And further consider the disreputable methods 
which are being employed to enforce this antique law 
against us. The man Roosevelt has stooped to the 
employment of children as spies in order to convict 
us. The very boys and girls who have been our reg- 
ular patrons day after day, have been hired to come 
in with pails and bottles for liquor, and subsequently 
to testify against us. Think what a debauchingof the 
youthful mind and conscience is involved in such a 
course as this ! How can the children who come under 
the malign influence of Roosevelt in this manner ever 
be expected to grow up into good citizens and orna- 
ments of society ? The newspapers have duly venti- 
lated the true character of such methods. They have 
grasped the situation and join us in uttering an indig- 
nant protest in the name of violated humanity. 
Childhood is sacred ; let it not be thus wronged and 
perverted ; for it is a true saying, " The child is 
father of the man." Where are the churches that 
they do not properly grasp this matter and lift up 
their voices against it ? Have they forgotten what 
their divine Teacher said : ''Whosoever shall offend 
one of these my little ones, it were better that a 
millstone were hanged about his neck and that he 
were drowned in the depths of the sea " ? 


V. // is proposed to raise the license. A bill is now 
before the Assembly of the State of New York, look- 
ing to this end. We have sent, however, an imposing 
delegation to Albany to checkmate this proposed in- 
fringement of our rights. 

Why indeed should there be any license upon our 
traffic at all? Is not ours a legitimate business? 
Did not God make alcohol ? Every creature of God 
is good. We agree with you that it is to be used as 
not abusing it. The most of you, however, will con- 
cede that it is right to drink. But if it is right to use 
intoxicating liquor as a beverage, it is obviously right 
to buy and sell it. That gives the saloon a lawful 
standing as real as that of the meat-market or the 
tailor shop. 

But if there must be a license, let it be as low as 
possible so that any honest man, who is disposed to 
enter upon our business, can do so. The argument that 
because ninety-five percent, of the paupers, criminals 
and insane people are made so by intoxicating liquor, 
therefore the saloon should be taxed to support 
the jails, poor houses, and insane asylums, is all 
rubbish. What is the state for, we enquire, but to 
take care of its dependent wards? And inasmuch as 
the people constitute the state, there should manifestly 
be an equable apportionment of taxes among all. 

To increase the license fee at this juncture will 
freeze out many of the poor but honest rumsellers who 
find it difficult even under present conditions to make 
both ends meet. And what will become of them? 
They cannot dig ; to beg they are ashamed. They 
have never served an apprenticeship in any handi- 
craft. Their skill in mixing drinks, shaking dice and 
discussing municipal politics, would go for nothing 


in any other position of life. If you force them out 
of their present business, you will drive them into 
sonje such vulgar industry as hod-carrying or raking 
the streets. This would be an offense to their man- 
hood and self-respect. Their proud spirits would 
bow and break, if they were forced to pass from a 
life of genteel leisure and come under the curse pro- 
nounced upon the race, "In the sweat of thy face, 
shalt thou eat bread." 

VI. The public schools are arrayed against us. A 
bill has recently passed the Legislature calling for 
temperance education. The effect of this will be to 
cut off our supplies at the very source. Our patrons 
are dying off at the rate of a million or there- 
abouts every year. It is estimated that a hundred 
thousand of these die from drunkenness. But are 
we to blame for their overdoing the thing ? Our 
whole constituency is practically wiped out every ten 
years. Where are the further patrons of the liquor 
traffic to come from, if the rising generation is to re- 
ceive fanatical instruction as to the influence of alco- 
hol on the human system ? 

We are aware that for many years there was a law 
upon the statute books requiring such temperance in- 
struction, but this law was prudently drawn in such 
a manner as that no penalties were affixed to the viola- 
tion of it. This left the teachers in our public schools 
to consult their own pleasure. Many of these teachers 
— particularly such as were indebted for their ap- 
pointment to the friends of the liquor traffic in our 
municipal government and elsewhere — had conscien- 
tious scruples against such instruction, and accord- 
ingly they forbore to give it. 

The new law was passed a year ago in defiance of the 


united protest of our friends. As it differs from the 
former law chiefly in the fact that penalties are af- 
fixed to it, the brewers, distillers, wholesale liquor 
dealers and dramsellers were a unit in opposing it. 
No attention, however, was paid to this imposing 
array of respectable influence. The bill was passed 
in both houses of the Legislature without a single 
dissenting vote. 

In our opposition to this law we were reinforced, 
also, by " The Church Temperance Society " — which, it 
may be said in passing, is the only organization of this 
character which we can endorse. It denounces 
drunkenness, which we also cordially disapprove. 
But it favors temperance in the proper and scriptural 
sense — that is, moderation in the use of intoxica- 
ting drinks as in every thing else — and so do we. But 
despite this combination of forces, the law was en- 
acted, and it is now being carried out with more or 
less of sympathetic acquiescence by the teachers in 
our public schools. 

We were still further aided in our efforts to pre- 
vent the enactment of this law by the State Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction, who addressed to 
teachers a personal circular, in which they were in- 
vited to join with him in a petition to the Governor 
calling for a veto of this pernicious bill. Many of 
the teachers who, from conscientious conviction, 
had previously refused to give temperance instruc- 
tion to their classes, joined willingly with the State 
Superintendent in this petition. But it was of no 
avail ; there were other influences at work over which 
we had no control, and at the eleventh hour the 
Governor signed the bill. The result is, that at this 
moment the boys and girls are being taught that 


alcohol is a poison, that used in excess it defiles the 
blood, soddens the flesh, injures the digestion, dis- 
arranges the nervous system and weakens the func- 
tions of the brain. It must be clear to all right-think- 
ing people'that this is a blow aimed at our prosperity, 
and that an unfair advantage is being taken of us. 

An effort is being made, however, in the present 
legislature to so amend this law as to eliminate its 
objectionable features, and in behalf of justice and hu- 
manity it is hoped that no serious opposition may be 
made to it. If the proposed measure goes through, 
the form of the temperance education law will remain; 
but no real or effective penalties will be attached for 
disobedience. This is as it should be. Laws are 
unobjectionable— if only they are not enforced. No- 
body, for example, would make any objection to the 
Monroe Doctrine at this present juncture but for the 
unfortunate disposition in some quarters to enforce it. 

VII. We co7nplain of the attitude of the churches. 
What is the church ? A religious organization. It is 
the business of the church to teach free will, fixed 
fate, foreknowledge absolute. As one of the poets 
has said : 

" Content you with monopolizing heaven, 
And let this little rolling ball alone." 

But what have we ? A scandalous exhibition of 
ecclesiastical degeneration. A general and complete 
departure from the policy of him who said, " My 
kingdom is not of this world." 

The preachers have taken to preaching politics ! 
What have ihey to do with politics ? That is our 
affair. From time immemorial we have been per- 
mitted to do as we pleased with legislatures and 


courts. We have been permitted to manage primaries, 
frame laws, control magistrates, and name, from among 
our own fraternity, members of the Excise Board. 
Now everything is at odds and ends. The church 
has assumed such an attitude that the managers of 
both political parties are no longer free to consult our 
wishes. We are frankly admonished that Christian 
citizens henceforth propose to vote as they pray. If 
this continues, if the Church so far forgets her high 
calling as to persist in interfering in the manage- 
ment of sublunary things, what is to become of us? 

Nor is this all. Misfortunes never come singly. 
Until recently we have felt sure of the recognition 
and the moral support of the Roman Catholic 
Church. But lo and behold, the papal delegate, 
Satolli, has recently decided, in the case of an Ohio 
appeal, that liquor dealers shall not be admitted to 
the sacrament, and, if they refuse to throw up their 
business, may be expelled from Catholic Associations. 
This means that we have no longer an ecclesiastical 
refuge. It is of momentous significance in view of 
the fact that a large number, if not a majority, of our 
fraternity are members of the Catholic communion. 
" Rum and Romanism " is to be no longer a combina- 
tion to juggle with. His Holiness Leo XIII. has turned 
his back upon us ; we are delivered over to the uncove- 
nanted mercies of God ! 

It is manifest, therefore, that there is a conspiracy 
against us. And under these circumstances we have 
no alternative but to enter our complaint and to pre- 
sent an earnest plea for fair dealing. The people are 
probably not informed generally of the dimensions 
of the liquor traffic. It is an industry of immense 
importance to the financial well-being of the land. 


We have about nine thousand saloons in New York 
City alone ; that is, one for every twenty-five families. 
If these saloons were drawn up in line, they would 
make a street thirty miles long ; the windows on either 
side filled with red bottles and nude pictures, and the 
sidewalks lined with kegs, barrels and loafers. The 
amount of money which passes through our hands is 
something immense. It is estimated that last year 
not less than one thousand millions of dollars was 
employed in this country in the manufacture and sale 
of intoxicating liquors. The Chamber of Commerce 
in this city understands the importance of this traffic; 
it has accordingly issued its manifesto and appointed 
its lobbyists to influence legislation in our behalf. 
Now unless something is done to arrest the present 
agitation, this great industry must be immensely in- 
jured, if not, as some fanatics desire, practically 
blotted out. We present our complaint, therefore, to 
you, reasonable people, in the name of justice, of 
humanity, of pure and undefiled religion, of indus- 
trial prosperity, of the proper training of childhood, 
of the welfare of the working-classes, of personal 
freedom and of our own prosperity and well-being. 
Let this conspiracy cease. Leave the rum-seller to 
the possession of those rights to which he, in com- 
mon with all other citizens of this free common- 
wealth, is entitled, to wit, liberty and the pursuit of 

*At the conclusion of this plea, the preacher said, " If I 
were counsel for the conspirators, I should be willing to submit 
the case to this jury without argument. As it is, I have but 
two words to offer, and these are words of the living God. The 
first is with respect to th-t rumseller : ' Cursed is every one that 
putteth the bottle to his neighbor's lips.' The second has to do 
with his victim : 'No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of 
God.' " 


'•Because it is written. Be ye holy, for I am holy,"— I. Pet. i. i6. 

It is safe to say that the average hearer takes no 
special interest in the doctrine of the divine holiness. 
Is it because he cannot apprehend it ? Yet there is 
no more of mystery here than with reference to any 
other of the attributes of God. His love passeth all 
understanding ; his judgments are a mighty deep. 
Or is it because there is no practical value in a con- 
sideration of this theme ? But surely we are interested 
in our own lineage ; our father's honesty, our mother's 
purity are matters of concern to us. The suggestion 
of a bar sinster on our shield would be instantly re- 
sented. Surely then since God is our father, the study 
of his character should be of deep interest to us. The 
fact is, however, there is something within us which 
is antipathetic to the divine holiness — something which 
is offended by it. This is a serious matter. The eye 
was made for Jight and is of no value except as it is 
properly adjusted to it. If the eye shrinks from the 
light, or cannot bear it, the time has come for an oc- 
culist to exercise his skill upon it. 

The importance of this doctrine is indirectly certi- 
fied by the fact that infidelity has so virulently as- 
sailed it. David Strauss argues against the divine 
holiness because, as he says, " It involves the thought 



of susceptibility to impressions ab extra, which is in- 
consistent with absolute being." But what of that? 
God is not "absolute being," if indeed there is any- 
such thing as absolute being ; he is a distinct and 
concrete personality whom we delight to call Our 
Father. Another objection urged in a similar quarter 
against the divine holiness is that it implies a vital 
relation to law ; the fact being that Deity is ex lex j 
that is outside of law. But this is not true. So far 
from being outside of law, God is the very source 
and centre of it. The laws of the universe, natural 
and moral, radiate from him as the light of the solar 
system does from the central sun. Still another ob- 
jection urged against God's holiness is that it sug- 
gests bondage, while Deity must, in the nature of the 
case, be morally free. This objection, however, rests 
upon a wrong idea of freedom, namely, an equilibrium 
between right and wrong. On the other hand free- 
dom is rightly defined to be felix necessitas bom, or 
perfect obedience to perfect law. In this sense holi- 
ness is indispensable to it. 

In the Scriptures God is more frequently charac- 
terized by his holiness than in any other way. His 
name is the Holy One of Israel. He dwells in a holy 
hill, sits on a throne of holiness, and his robe is a gar- 
ment of holiness. He swears by his holiness and 
those who would worship him must approach in the 
beauty of holiness. The whole system of rites and 
ceremonies in the Old Economy had reference to this 
attribute. This system may be broadly classified 
under the heads of purifyings and sacrifices. Water 
and fire are the great purifiers. There were "divers 
washings;" hands and feet, beds and dishes, the 
person of the leper, — all were sprinkled with water. 


The sacrifices were of similar import ; they were in- 
tended to set forth that moral purification which is 
accomplished by the expiatory burning out of guilt. 
Now turn to the New Economy and we shall find 
that Christ, in nailing to his cross the handwriting 
of ordinances which was against us and taking it 
away, preserved the whole ancient ritual in the two 
simple sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. 
In Baptism is set forth symbolically the washing of 
the waters of regeneration, and in the Lord's Supper 
we have a compendium of all burnt offerings in the 
presentation of the bruised flesh and shed blood of him 
who was sacrificed once for all. Thus the ceremonial 
of both the Old and New Dispensations is at all 
points significant of holiness — God's holiness and 
the necessity for holiness of all who would approach 

Once under the Old Economy there was a distinct 
vision of God. It was at a time when Isaiah was 
greatly troubled on account of Israel's sin. The 
national religion was honeycombed with formality 
and worldliness. "Hear, O heavens," cried the Prophet, 
" and give ear, O earth : for the Lord hath spoken ; I 
have nourished and brought up children, and they 
have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, 
and the ass his master's crib ; but Israel doth not 
know, my people doth not consider. Ah, sinful nation, 
ye have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger. 
Why should ye be stricken any more ? The whole 
head is sick, and the whole heart faint. Your hands 
are full of blood. Wash ye, make you clean ; cease 
to do evil ; learn to do well." Then came the prophet's 
vision ; he was transported to a palace of indescribable 
splendor where he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne 


high and lifted up. Above it stood the seraphim, 
each having six wings ; with twain he covered his 
face, and with twain he did cover his feet, and with 
twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and 
said, " Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." The 
prophet was overwhelmed with his vision : " Woe is 
me ! for I am undone ; I am a man of unclean lips, 
and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, 
and mine eyes have seen the King." Then flew one of 
the seraphim, having a live coal which he had taken 
from the altar ; and he laid it upon the prophet's lips, 
saying, '^ Lo, thine iniquity is taken away." And a 
voice was heard, saying, "Whom shall we send and 
who will go for us ? " Then the prophet, uplifted and 
invigorated by his glimpse of the Holy One, answered, 
" Here am I ; send me." 

Once at the beginning of the New Economy we 
come upon a similar vision. John the Evangelist, old 
and weary, saw from his desert exile the rising smoke 
of martyr-fires. He knew that his Christian brethren 
were suffering all manner of persecution for the truth's 
sake. ** How long, O Lord," he cried, "how long?" 
Then a door was opened into heaven and he saw the 
great white throne, " and he that sat was to look upon 
like a jasper and a sardine stone; and there was a rain- 
bow above him in sight like unto an emerald." Then, 
amid the glory of golden lamps and swinging censers 
and beauty indescribable, the rush of angel wings 
and the rapt faces of an innumerable host of wor- 
shippers, he heard the Trisagion : " They cried one 
to another, saying, Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Al- 
mighty! " And the dreamer fell at his feet as one 
dead ; then a kindly hand was laid upon him, and 
a voice said, " Fear not, I am he that liveth and 


was dead and am alive forevermore." And John 
arose from this vision of the divine holiness and went 
forth to meet with renewed courage the cares and re- 
sponsibilities of life. 

It is not a vain thing, therefore, to address our- 
selves to the study of the divine holiness and our 
personal relation to it. The clearer our view of our 
Father's majesty, the more distinctly shall we appre- 
hend the possibilities of our own nature as his chil- 
dren ; and the more earnestly shall we be moved to 
keep ourselves unspotted from the world that we may 
resume our normal relations with him. 

But what do we mean by God's holiness? We 
have spoken of it as an attribute, but in fact it is a 
bundle of his attributes rolled into one. If a sunbeam 
be transmitted through a prism, it will resolve itself 
into the seven primary colors, to wit : violet, indigo, 
blue, green, yellow, orange and red, and always in that 
order. It is thus that from the earthward side we 
perceive the attributes of God. In heaven the angels 
and archangels know him as the Holy One ; but here 
we emphasize his love, his justice, his truth and all 
the other qualities that are found in the analysis 
of holiness. But if we catch the seven primary 
colors in a concave mirror, we shall find them 
reunited at its focus, and again we shall have the 
white solar ray. 

The best definition of holiness is to be found in 
the primitive meaning of the word itself, whole-ness. 
God's holiness is the symmetry of all divine graces. 
One of the early fathers said, "The divine holiness is 
a most perfect pulchritude, which cannot be seen with 
human eyes nor declared with fleshly lips." 

How does this attribute manifest itself before us ? 


(i) Negatively, in a perfect freedom from sin. It 
would seem to be a gratuitous thing to speak of the 
sinlessness of God inasmuch as we are accustomed 
always to think of him in that way. In fact, how- 
ever, he is differentiated in this particular from 
nearly all the pagan conceptions of deity. The 
best the cultivated Greeks and Romans could do 
in formulating the divine ideal was to be seen in their 
Olympic assemblage. And what a gathering of gods ! 
What crimes and revels ! what mobs and quarrels ! 
Here is Bacchus, a drunken vagabond. Here is 
Venus, a drab, whose name is associated with un- 
cleanness in literature and in the drama to this day. 
Here is Mercury, a thief, the patron god of the ban- 
ditti who still in our time infest the Italian moun- 
tains. And here is Jupiter, the father of the gods, 
who was defiled with countless vices ; who hung up 
his faithless wife in mid- heaven with anvils tied to 
her heels. Look on that picture and then on this. 
What a contrast ! God is light ; in him is no dark- 
ness at all. He is of purer eyes than to behold in- 
iquity. The stars of heaven are not clean in his 
sight. Angels and archangels veil their faces before 
him and cry continually, " Holy ! Holy ! " 

This glorious divine attribute is shown positively 
in God's hatred of everything that savors of sin. Sin 
is the only thing in all the universe which he hates, 
and he hates it with loathing unspeakable. Why 
not? Sin has defiled the world which he created and 
pronounced very good ; has covered it with battle- 
fields and filled it with graves. Sin has ruined his 
masterpiece, man, whom he created in his own image, 
but a little lower than the angels, has embittered 
man's heart in rebellion against his own beneficent 


authority, and has alienated it from all things pure 
and lovely and of good report. Nay, beyond all 
things, sin slew his only begotten and well-beloved 
Son. It is written that the sons of King Zedekiah 
were murdered before his eyes. How, think you, did 
Zedekiah regard the sword that was drawn dripping 
from their hearts ? Was he indifferent to it ? That 
would have been most unnatural. God hates sin 
with an infinite hatred because it nailed his Beloved 
One to the accursed tree. 

And God must needs punish sin. He is the ex- 
ecutive of law throughout the universe. His admoni- 
tion is as clear in Scripture as articulate speech can 
make it : ''The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Nor 
are we left to any uncertainty as to the meaning of 
this death. It is set forth under such figures as these : 
the fire that is never quenched, the worm that dieth 
not, outer darkness, weeping and wailing and gnash- 
ing of teeth. 

" There is a death whose pangs 

Outlive this fleeting breath. 
Oh, what eternal horrors hang 

Around the second death ! " 

If it be said that these are mere figures of speech, 
granted ; but this symbolism is quite meaningless and 
would certainly never have been used unless there 
were something in fact to correspond with it. 

Let us look now at the other and more practical 
side of this truth: " Be ye holy ; for I am holy." 
There is a world of meaning in that illative conjunc- 
tion. The ultimate ground of all moral character 
lies in the fact that as God is our Father, we must 
evermore strive to be like him. 

Let us note the problem, The publican stands 


yonder, beating upon his breast — because he knows 
that the trouble lies there — and crying, "God be merci- 
ful to me a sinner ! '" Off yonder is the sanctuary at 
a great distance from him. The name of the sanctu- 
ary suggests its character ; it is the holy place. All 
things within that enclosure are holy ; the posts and 
curtains, the altar, the candlestick, the lamps and 
censers, the gifts, the frankincense, every knop and 
almond blossom and pomegranate, the priest's mitre 
and breast-plate and gem-clasped girdle, the tinkling 
bells, wreathen chains and jeweled hangings, are all 
consecrated to "holiness unto the Lord." At the 
further extreme of this sacred enclosure is the Holiest 
of All ; within it is the Ark of the Covenant with its 
cherubim between whose outstretched wings was the 
token of the peculiar presence of the Holy One. It 
is meet and proper that the publican should stand 
"afar off" from that sanctuary, for he is a sinner, and 
without holiness no man shall see God. 

Here is the problem : How to bring that publican, 
without offense to law or justice, within the precincts 
of that holy place ? It is an iteration of the old ques- 
tion : How can God be just and yet the justifier of 
the ungodly? or, from man's side. How can a man 
be just with God ? 

At the very outset it is obvious, that this sinner 
must be cleansed from his sin. This will, however, 
bring him into possession of a merely negative holi- 
ness ; but he can make no further progress until he 
has acquired it. The laver stands before the altar of 
incense. The heathen themselves, with their imper- 
fect conceptions of deity, were sensible of this fact. 
Procul ! Procul I Abeste profa?iiI cried the guard 
before the heathen shrines. When ^Eneas returned 


from the wars and was invited to worship, he said to 
his father, Anchises, " Do you draw nigh and sacri- 
fice ; as for me, this is not lawful until I have cleansed 
myself at the running stream." God has made pro- 
vision for this cleansing in his gospel. The blood of 
Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin. Come 
now, saith the Lord, let us reason together ; though 
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as 
snow ; though they be red like crimson, they shall be 
as wool. 

But this negative holiness, brought about by the 
pardon of sin, does not entitle the sinner to enter the 
presence of the Holy One. He must be born again 
and he must be built up in character. Provision is 
made for this also by the influence of the Holy 
Ghost. The Apostle John says, " Ye have an 
unction from the Holy One." The reference is to 
the athletes or agonistai, who were accustomed 
to prepare themselves for the games by a long course 
of training, in which they persistently anointed them- 
selves with unguents, to secure grace and suppleness. 
This was not a mere superficial anointing. The skin 
indeed shone, but the very flesh of the athlete was 
pervaded and permeated through and through with 
the ointment. Such is the influence of the Spirit in 
sanctification. He is called the Holy Spirit because 
his special and particular function is to endow the 
forgiven sinner with those graces which shall qualify 
him to enter heaven. Here again we come upon the 
fact that holiness is the sum total of all graces. If 
the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, 
be bound together, we shall have the same resultant 


that we get from uniting the primary colors of the 
spectrum, namely, the white solar ray. 

In the acquiring of these graces we fit ourselves 
for the duties and responsibilities of common life. 
It is written that when Alexander and his army laid 
siege to Jerusalem, the High Priest, Jaddua — all 
other hope of repelling the enemy having failed — 
arrayed himself in his white garments and bound on 
his breast-plate whereon was the inscription. Holi- 
ness unto the Lord. At his approach, the legend 
says, so bright was that whiteness and so dazzling 
the splendor of the breast-plate, that Alexander and 
his army were overpowered and fell prostrate before 
him. So are we qualified by the cultivation of godli- 
ness to meet all the trials that await us. 

In the same manner are we prepared for 
death. Could anything be more beautiful than the 
passing of Chrysostom ? He had not time even to lie 
down on his couch ; but as he sat in his chair en- 
gaged in devotions, he felt the approach of the death 
angel. "Bring me," said he to his attendant, "the 
white garments which I have prepared against this 
hour.'* And thus arrayed in "fine linen clean and 
white" he went over to meet God. The time comes 
when we also shall be called to pass over. As we ap- 
proach the gate we shall note this inscription above 
it, " There shall in no wise enter here anything that 
defileth^ neither anything that worketh an abomi- 
nation, or maketh a lie ; but they which are written in 
the Lamb's book of life.' And as we cross the thresh- 
old we shall find ourselves in the presence of a great 
multitude which no man can number, all of them 
arrayed in white. Here are men and women who; 
during their earthly lives, were sinners like ourselves, 


but they were washed in the blood of Christ and 
built up in Christian character by the influence of 
the Spirit of God. 

And a voice said, " What are these which are ar- 
rayed in white robes and whence came they ? " And 
I said unto him, "Sir, thou knowest." And he 
answered, '* These are they which have washed their 
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
Therefore are they before the throne of God and 
serve him day and night in his temple. And he that 
sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; they 
shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; 
neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For 
the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall 
feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains 
of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from 
their eyes." 


"At the teet of Gamaliel.— Acts xxii. 3. 

On the bow of a Phoenician grain-ship ploughing 
her way through the Mediterranean stood a lad of 
fifteen years or thereabouts, shading his eyes and look- 
ing away toward the south. He was '^ going to col- 
lege." What a world of dreams and aspirations is in 
that phrase, "going to college!" Up to this time 
the lad had pursued his studies at Tarsus ; he was 
now bound for Jerusalem, where greater opportunities 
were afforded for the obtaining of a liberal educa- 
tion. He was a " Hebrew of the Hebrews," and his 
heart throbbed fast with all the hopes and prejudices 
of his race. He could scarcely wait to see Jerusalem 
that lay yonder in the southern mist. On the left, as 
they skirted the shore, he saw the snow-crowned 
heights of Lebanon with the green mantle of cedar 
along its slopes ; and further on, Carmel, fraught 
with memories of the Lord's controversy, whose 
cliffs had echoed to the people's cry, ** The Lord, 
he is the God ! " It was on the second day out, 
possibly, that the ship came to anchor in the port 
^f Caesarea. A brief land-journey brought the youth 

*This sermom was preached by invitadon of the Student's 
Club of New York. 



to an eminence, from which the scene he had so 
longed to behold burst suddenly upon his view. 
Jerusalem, beautiful for situation, the joy of the 
whole earth ! Yonder were its homes and palaces ; 
in the midst of them a roof of gold glittering in the 
sun, with marble porticoes around it ; this v/as the 
" House Magnifical." A little later, the youth stood 
before the city gate, which he did not enter, probably, 
without recalling the Psalmist's rhapsody : "Our feet 
shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Peace be 
within thy walls and prosperity within thy palaces. 
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now 
say. Peace be within thee. For the sake of the 
house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good." 

On entering the city he betook himself at once to 
the school of Gamaliel. The Jews at this period were 
divided into two rival sects, known by the names of 
their leaders, Hillel and Shammai ; the former the 
defender of the traditions of the elders, the latter a 
strict constructionist who stood for the exclusive 
sanctity of the Mosaic Law. The most eminent parti- 
san of Hillel at this time was Gamaliel, whose school 
has been called, "The University of Jerusalem." 
He was one of the seven theological teachers of Israel 
who were entitled to the rank of Rabban. He was 
familiarly knov/n as " The Flower of the Law." He 
was a Pharisee, but comparatively free from the nar- 
row prejudices of that sect, insomuch that he was 
"had in reputation of all the people." He was so 
greatly beloved by his pupils that at his death they 
raised to his memory such a costly funeral pile "as 
had never been known except at the burial of a king." 

It is easy to imagine the routine of Saul's life at 
this school. The head-master sat upon an elevated 


dais with his pupils gathered about him in a semi- 
circle, literally, sitting at Gamaliel's feet. Here they 
studied the Hebrew Scriptures with the aid of the 
traditions and all the learned disquisitions and com- 
mentaries of the elders. Still further, they addressed 
themselves to the Greek language and philosophy ; 
this school being distinguished for its liberal policy 
in that particular. It was here that Saul acquired 
his knowledge of Stoicism and Epicureanism, and 
also of classic poetry. 

While Saul was thus engaged, another youth, some- 
what older than he, was attending the priestly school 
at Hebron, whose voice would presently be heard as the 
herald of the King, proclaiming, *' Repent ye, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand." A group of fishermen 
up at Gennesaret were mending their nets and plying 
their traffic all unconscious of the fact that they were 
appointed to lead the vanguard in the propaganda 
of the universal religion. A young man stood in a 
carpenter shop at Nazareth, chips and shavings about 
his feet and the implements of his trade upon the 
bench before him, preparing himself for the an- 
nouncement of an evangel which should shake the 
temple of Judaism to its foundation and cause the 
palaces of the Caesars to crumble into dust. All this, 
however, was nothing to Saul the student. His world 
was hemmed in by the horizons of his ancestral faith. 
He was busily engaged in the mastery of Jewish 
dogma, clever feats of logic, the form and signifi- 
cance of rite and ceremony. He was developing an 
intense zeal, scrupulosity and self-righteousness. 
His greatest ambition was to become a zealot in de- 
fense of Judaism. At length he passed his exami- 
nations and, as we have reason to believe, received 

1 76 The university of Jerusalem. 

his diploma cum laude. A great future opened before 
him. In all Jewry there was not a youth of greater 
promise than he. So under the rainbow of hope he 
passed into the world of busy life. 

We shall find him referring many times, directly 
or indirectly, to the training which he received at 
this school ; he never forgot its associations. There 
is something constitutionally wrong with the man 
who does not gratefully cherish the memories of his 
college life. Is there in all this land an alumnus of 
Phillips Academy who does not remember the winds 
that swept over Andover Hill ; the pump at the 
corner where we paused on our way to the morning 
prayers ; the faces of the boys who sat together in 
" Number Nine " at the feet of Dr. Taylor ? 

" O for the touch of a vanished hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still." 

Is there an alumnus of Yale who does not fondly re- 
call the campus, the over-shadowing elms, the college 
fence where we were wont to sing our merry songs 
far into the night? Is there a Union Seminary man 
who does not look back gratefully to the golden age 
of that institution of theological learning with its 
historic triumvirate, Schaff, Hitchcock and Shedd ? 
Haec olim meminisse juvabit. 

I rejoice in the opportunity of addressing myself 
to-night to college men and students generally. Let 
me ask them to consider the Privilege, the Tempta- 
tions and the Safeguards of their student life. 

I. The Privilege. They are engaged in the pur- 
suit of knowledge. What is better than this ? It 
was a proud day for Jason and the Argonauts when 
they sailed forth in search of the golden fleece, hop- 


ing to snatch it from beneath the sleepless eyes of the 
dragon and the bulls breathing flame. A splendid 
enterprise was that of Launcelot and his fellow- 
knights of the round table who sought the San Greal, 
the Sacramental cup which, tradition said, had 
touched the Saviour's lips. A noble quest was that 
of Ponce de Leon after the fountain of perpetual 
youth. But what were these to the quest of knowl- 
edge ? Wisdom is the principal thing. It is more 
precious than rubies, it cannot be valued with the 
gold of Ophir. Therefore, get wisdom ; and with all 
thy getting, get understanding. 

Truth is to be esteemed for its own sake. All truth is 
of value. Light ; more light ; sun-light, moon-light, 
star-light, rush-light, glowworm, firefly. Anything 
is better than the darkness of ignorance. It was a 
quaint picture that rare Ben Johnson made of Truth: 

" Upon her head she wears a crown of stars, 

Through which her orient hair waves to her waist, 

By which believing mortals hold her fast, 

And in those golden cords are carried, even 

Till with her breath she blows them up to heaven." 

But truth is to be most highly esteemed for its pur- 
chasing value. We are living in a utilitarian age. 
The only science worth acquiring is " applied science." 
No man now-a-days will take the trouble to cross the 
•Pon^ Asinorum unless he wishes to go somewhere. 
Jt is a true saying, " Knowledge is power." It is 
more than power, however ; it is wealth, honor, influ- 
ence, happiness. These are things which lie within 
its purchasing value. 

// forms a basis of character. What a man knows 
is the index of what he is. The word "belief" is 
said to come from the Saxon, " bi-lif ian ; " that is, 


what we live by. " As a man thinketh in his heart, 
so is he." " I'm a made man! " cried James Marshall 
when he rode into camp in 1848 with a few shining 
nuggets which he had gathered from among the 
pebbles of a brook. There are other discoveries 
which are of more value than gold. To know that 
there is a God ; that man is immortal ; that Jesus is 
the Christ ; that the Bible is true ; — is to have a sub- 
stratum for the building of character. It is such 
truths as these that formulate life. He who has set- 
tled such problems can say with reason, " I am a 
made man. " 

But further, knowledge is of value because // fur- 
nishes an equip7nent for usefulness. Truth is the stock 
in trade of the man who wishes to make his life tell. 
One of Aristotle's wise sayings was this : " How does 
the educated man differ from the uneducated? As 
the living from the dead." The acquisitions of our 
student-life are to be measured by their utility in the 
broad world of duty and responsibility. 

The fact that a flexible thing is contracted by 
moisture is of little importance in itself. Why should 
a scholar congratulate himself on knowing it ? But 
the great obelisk, now standing in the square of St. 
Peter's at Rome, attests the real value of that simple 
truth. This obelisk was raised to its place by order of 
Pope Sixtus V. in 1586. Great preparations were 
made. High Mass was said in the morning. The 
architect and workmen received the Papal benedic- 
tion. At the blast of a trumpet a great number of 
workmen and horses appeared and set to work. 
Fifty-two vain attempts were made with ropes and 
pulleys. The great monolith was raised from the 
e?\rth higher and higher to the very verge of the ped- 


estal, and there it halted. Man-power and horse- 
power had done their best ; the ropes had reached 
their utmost tension. And yet an inch was lacking. 
Then a voice was heard from among the crowd, 
"Wet the ropes." It was done ; the needed inch was 
gained. Knowledge is power. The obelisk was raised 
to its place, and there it stands to-day. 

A scholar's worth in this busy world of ours is 
measured by his success in using his information for 
the general weal. Why was Peter Cooper made Doc- 
tor of Laws ? It was not because he had what is known 
as a liberal education, for he had attended school only 
a single year. Whatever of knowledge he acquired 
was through much dithculty and by persistent appli- 
cation. But the secret of his deserved fame lies in 
the fact that every atom of his acquisition was used 
for the good of those about him. In the corner-stone 
of Cooper Institute there is a scroll which bears this 
inscription : " The object which I desire to accom- 
plish in raising this fabric, is to open avenues of 
knowledge to the youth of our country, that they 
may learn to love Him from whom cometh every 
good and perfect gift." 

II. The Temptations of Student life. The most im- 
portant and alluring of these is one which, by reason 
of its intangible and specious character, is likely to be 
unobserved, to wit, an exaggerated idea of the importance 
of knowledge as an end and not as a means to an end. 
There ought to be some word in the English language 
with which to label this vice, but there is none. 
An overweening regard for wealth is called *' avarice." 
And the man who pursues wealth for its own sake, 
neither giving nor spending, but always loving and 
hoarding, is a miser. The love of pleasure, mere 


pleasure for itself alone, is sensuality. And the man 
who pursues pleasure to the disregard of better and 
other things is called by many names — a sybarite, a 
voluptuary, an epicurean, a sensualist. But there is 
no name by which to characterize this other vice or 
the man who pursues it. The seeking of knowledge 
for itself alone is a sordid quest, as really as the 
pursuit of wealth or pleasure ; and he who sets 
his heart upon knowledge for its own sake is as little 
worthy of his manhood as the miser or the voluptuary, 
for he is a thoroughly selfish man. Such an one was 
Sir Thomas Browne, whose ambition was to know all 
that could be known about dead men's bones, ashes, 
cerements, graveyards and epitaphs. He lived in the 
time of the English Commonwealth and wrote " Hy- 
driotaphia " in his room overlooking the Strand in 
London. The busy life that surged along the thor- 
oughfare below had no interest for him. Thrones 
and empires were tottering and falling. Cromwell 
and the Roundheads were fighting at Marston Moor. 
The great controversies of the afterglow of the Refor- 
mation were being contested in courts and councils. 
The King's head fell from the block on Tower Hill. 
The face of the civilized world was being changed. 
But all this was nothing to Sir Thomas Browne. He 
knew about bones and cerements, and he cared to know 
nothing more. He sat in his room on the Strand and 
wrote " Urn Burial," in sweet forgetfulness of all the 
duties and obligations of the time which weighed so 
heavily on the hearts of his countrymen. 

Another of the most constant temptations of stu- 
dent-life is in Cameraderie. Here a word must be 
borrowed because there is none in the English lan- 
guage that can describe student comradeship. It is 


more than friendship. The story of the two friends 
who came to Vulcan's forge and asked him to lay 
their hearts upon his anvil and beat them into one, is 
not a fable ; it is the simple tale of what is always 
transpiring in school life. We read in Scripture of 
the sanctity of the laying on of hands ; but there is 
an almost equal sanctity in the clasping of hands. 
Heart thrills against heart ; life blends with life. 
There is a transference of faith and of character. 
Take heed, therefore, to your boon companionship. 
Edgar Allen Poe was an orphan lad, the adopted 
son of a Baltimore merchant who sent him to London 
and placed him in a boarding school at the early age 
of seven years. If at that period he had received a 
little mothering, poor lad, or if he had fallen in with 
helpful friends, there is no telling what might have 
been the subsequent story of that mighty brain and 
generous heart. But the shadow of evil friendships 
fell over him. He was led into the downward path, 
and fell at the very verge of his manhood a victim to 
the influence of evil associations. He has left on 
record his own sorrow in these pathetic words : 

" And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, 
On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above mj'- chamber door ; 
And his eyes have all the meaning of a demon that is dream- 
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow 

on the floor ; 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the 

Shall be lifted — ne7JertnoreI " 

It would be impossible to make profitable mention 
of the temptations of youth at this preparatory period 
without reference to certain vulgar vices. One of 
them is named in the ninth chapter of Proverbs : "^ 


woman sitteth at the door of her house to call passengers 
who go right on in their ways : ' Whoso is simple, let 
him turn in hither; ' and as for him that wanteth under- 
standing, she saith to him, ''Stolen waters are sweet and 
bread eaten in secret is pleasant' But he knoweth 7iot that 
the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of 
hell." Another is referred to in the twenty-third 
chapter of the same book : ^^Look not thou upon the 
wine when it is red, when it give th its color in the cup, when 
it moveth itself aright; for at last it biteth like a serpent 
and stingeth like an adder'' There are still others with 
which Solomon, with all his sad experience of illicit 
pleasure, was not familiar ; such as the impurity that 
lurks in current fiction and in the public drama ; an 
impurity that burns its way into heart and con- 
science and irreparably dulls the fine edge of man- 
hood and womanhood. 

The students who are present in this company will 
remember how Virgil made reference to the conse- 
quences of yielding to these forms of temptations : 

" Facilis descensus Averni ; 
Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras, 
Hie labor, hoc opus est." 

It is true indeed, the descent to the realms of dark- 
ness is easy, but to retrace one's steps and reascend 
to truth and purity, this is the task that tries the soul 
of a man. 

It is such resistance, however, that develops the 
true metal of manhood. Gold is refined in furnace 
fires. When Prince Hal was surrounded by his foes, 
a herald sped across the field post-haste and said to 
the king, "Thy son must have reinforcements. Sire ; 
he is encircled by his foes and his horse is shot from 


under him." The king answered, " Is he wounded 
unto death ? " " Nay, but he is hard bestead." "Tell 
Prince Hal," said the king, ''that he hath never had 
so golden an opportunity of winning his spurs." 

III. The Safeguards of Student-life. It is said that 
two hundred and seventeen of the three hundred and 
sixty-nine members of the senior class at Yale are 
members of the church. This is probably a larger 
proportion than can be found in any other simi- 
lar school of learning. And it is of importance 
in view of recent statements respecting the moral in- 
fluences at New Haven. It must be granted, however, 
that Satan is to be found in every school and college 
in the land and that he is not waiting for youth to 
pay their addresses to him, but is pressing his atten- 
tions upon them, "seeking whom he may devour." 
Five mischievous or wicked youth in any community 
of students can create the impression of a Reign of 
Terror. But if a young man yields to temptation in 
a voluntary surrender of his manhood, it is absolutely 
his own fault ; for there are many helpful influences 
to hold him to truth and righteousness. 

To begin with, he has his sense of honor. And 
the average youth has a deep sense of honor. When 
James Harper, the founder of the publishing house, 
was leaving his home to learn the printer's trade 
in the great metropolis, his mother, bidding him 
farewell at the gate, said, "James, remember you 
have good blood in you." This is an appeal which 
touches the heart of every true man. 

*' Who misses or who wins the prize, 
Go, lose or conquer as you cam 
Or if you fall or if you rise, 

Be each, pray God, a gentleman." 


A noble ambition is among the most helpful influ- 
ences of student-life. The higher this ambition is the 
better. Horace Bushnell said, '' Grasp the handle of 
your being." Ralph Waldo Emerson said something 
better, " Hitch your wagon to a star." One of the 
noblest masterpieces of hand-wrought art in iron is 
the well-curb in the market-place of Antwerp, There- 
by hangs a tale. Quentin Matsys, a blacksmith's 
apprentice, fell in love with an artist's daughter. The 
girl's father curtly refused him, saying, " Never, until 
thou hast made a splendid work of art." In no wise 
abashed, he set himself to the task. The difficulties 
in his way were as nothing because of the prize before 
him. With no implements but hammer and file he 
made the well-curb and won his wife. No man can 
work well unless he can speak as the great Master 
did of the '' joy set before him." 

And this leads me to the greatest of all safeguards 
and the most encouraging of all stimulating influences 
to a noble life ; that is, the power of personal religion. 
We need something outside of and beyond ourselves. 
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I ! 

I speak to many young men and women who have 
professed the Gospel of Christ. You can look back 
to the time when you consecrated yourselves to him. 
Remember you are not your own, you are bought 
with a price ; not silver and gold, but the precious 
blood of Jesus as of a lamb without blemish and 
without spot. Be true to your profession. Be loyal 
to Christ and to the Christian Church. Be faithful 
to your moral convictions. Make much of the Bible, 
which is your only weapon of defense, the sword of 
the Spirit which is the Word of God. Make much 
of prayer. You are like couriers bearing a treasure 


through a wilderness infested by robbers on either 
side. If you are to uphold yourselves in Christian 
faithfulness, it will be because God's presence is round 
about you. 

It is related that only two men ever lived who 
were able to resist the song of the sirens — the tempt- 
resses who frequented the rock Peloris off the coast 
of Sicily and allured passing mariners with songs of 
gold and glory and pleasure. One who resisted was 
Ulysses who, as he voyaged homeward after the siege 
of Troy, hearing the songs afar off, had himself bound 
to the mast, and so was held despite his own struggles 
while the ship swept by. So may a man be held by 
the stern sense of duty, constrained by his obligation 
to what he believes to be right. But there is still a 
better way. The other of the two who resisted was 
Orpheus who, as he heard the alluring songs touched 
his lyre and sang the praises of heaven so sweetly, 
so divinely, that the sirens themselves paused to 
listen as he swept by. It is well to be held as 
with golden chains to the noblest and best ; it is better 
still to have religion so interwoven with the very 
fibres of our being as that duty itself shall become 
pleasure, and life's trials shall turn aside to leave us 
to the even tenor of our way. This was the mind of 
Christ Jesus, who was so bound up in his beneficent 
purpose that earthly and sordid things could take 
no hold of him ; his heart was fixed ; the prince of 
this world came and had nothing in him. 

I speak to others who have never professed de- 
votion to Christ. When Saul of Tarsus received his 
diploma from the hands of Gamaliel, he may have 
supposed that his education was complete. One 
thing, however, was lacking. It came to him as he 


journeyed along the Damascus highway, — an inquisi- 
tor breathing out slaughter against the followers of the 
Nazarene prophet ; — a light above the brightness of 
the sun shone down upon him and he fell to the earth. 
He was blinded in that instant, but saw such visions 
as fleshly eyes can never look on. The great truth 
came to him like a sun-burst, and his whole nature 
responded in the word, " Lord, what wilt thou have 
me to do ? " This was really the beginning of his 
life ; he laid everything in that moment at Jesus' 
feet ; his birth, learning, Roman citizenship, rhetori- 
cal skill, hope, ambition ; so that he was able to say 
thereafter, " I know nothing but Christ and him 
crucified ; the love of Christ constraineth me." Oh, 
that those before me, who have never known a like 
experience, might make the same response to God's 
appeal to-night, so that the new life with all its 
blessed hopes andpossibilities might open before them. 

And this last word to all. We are nothing of our- 
selves save as our all is consecrated to God. Are you 
an art student ? Let your love of the beautiful be 
devoted to him as really as was the skill of Bezaleel 
who wrought upon the posts and curtains of the 
temple. Are you a student of music ? Let your 
skill be devoted to him as was the harp of David, 
which he made to minister to minds diseased and 
used continually to magnify the glory of God. Are 
you a medical student ? Follow in the footsteps of 
that good Physician whose life was spent in allaying 
pain and soothing sorrow, opening blind eyes, heal- 
ing diseases, raising the dead, and all subsidiary to 
the more gracious power of delivering souls from sin. 
Duty calls you. Be ready to answer, " Here am L" 

When Col. Newcome lay dying, he recalled the 


days which he had spent at the Charity School. He 
sat again among the boys and heard the voice of 
the head-master calling the roll. He rose upon his 
arm in bed and listened until he seemed to hear his 
own name called, then answering, Adsum, he fell back 
on the pillow and slept his last sleep. There is 
nothing better than this, to answer *' Present " at the 
call of the Master, Christ. 

The blessing of the Lord be with you all. 


" As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O 
God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God : when shall I come 
and appear before God ? "—Psalm xlii. 1-2. 

The love of David for Absalom was the bitter 
fountain of the most poignant sorrows of his life. Oh, 
how he loved that wayward boy! And indeed there 
was much in him to love and admire. He was a 
handsome youth, with long, flowing hair ; vain, am- 
bitious, inordinately fond of display, usually attended 
by a troop of fifty life-guardsmen. His father could 
not bear to put a salutary restraint upon him, much 
less to chastise him. So it happened in the irrever- 
sible course of nature that his heart was burdened 
with ever-increasing sorrows, until at last he stag- 
gered up the winding stair-way to his chamber of 
prayer on the house-top, crying as he went, " O Ab- 
salom, my son, my son ; would God that I had died 
for thee" ! 

Now there were rumors of an insurrection, and 

with unspeakable grief the king learned that Absalom 

was chief conspirator. What should he do ? He could 

not take up arms against his favorite son. His love 

had cut the sinews of his strength. He arose and 

fled ; accompanied by a few faithful friends he crossed 



the ford of the Kedron, weeping, with his head cov- 
ered, and went up by the ascent of Mt. Olivet toward 
the wilderness. 

In camp among the trans-Jordanic cliffs, the exiled 
king was joined by all sorts of adventurers ; gather- 
ing about him a very Falstaff's army of motley men. 
Peasants of the surrounding country gave token of 
their affection by generous gifts of wheat and barley, 
beans and lentils, butter and provisions of every sort. 
Nevertheless the king's soul was burdened ; not for 
the loss of his kingdom, for he could endure that. 
Not supremely for the baseness of Absalom, though 
indeed he was learning to his great anguish how 
sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thank- 
less child. But his sins sat heavy on his conscience 
and God's face was hidden from him. He knew now 
that he should have thought twice before he married 
the beautiful Maacah, a pagan princess, the mother 
of this lad. And there were other sins still more 
heinous that rose like spectres now to shake their 
fingers at him. 

He stood alone on one of the barren heights, as in 
a great sanctuary, communing with his own soul and 
seeking to commune with God. What a sanctuary 
was this ! Its roof was the canopy of heaven. Its 
aisles were the valleys below where the wild goats 
were grazing. Its pillars and arches were the rug- 
ged cliffs ; its tapestries, the verdure of forest and 
field. As he stood amid the glories of this great 
cathedral of nature, there was a rustling of boughs 
near by, and a deer, wounded by the archers, wild 
with terror, with hot eyeballs, panting sides, distended 
nostrils, an arrow quivering in its flank, bounded past 
and onward through the forest glade to quench the 


fever of its thirst. And David found his prayer at 
last ; "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so 
panteth my soul after thee, O God." It is himself he 
sees ; a troubled, wounded, frightened soul, wounded 
unto death, hearing God's voice afar off like the mur- 
mur of water trickling from the rock. "So panteth 
my soul after thee, O God." 

What have we here for the experience of common 
life ? What are the lessons for us ? 

I. A lesson in soul thirst. It is a false saying, " Man 
wants but little here below, nor wants that little long." 
We are born with a cry ; " Like our shadows, our 
wishes lengthen as our sun declines " ; we end our 
lives with a groan, or else a cry of deliverance like 
the song of a captive bird escaping from its cage into 
light and sunshine and the freedom of the upper air 
Ixion bound to the wheel ; Sisyphus rolling the stone 
up hill only to have it rolled back again from the 
summit and so forever and ever ; Tantalus standing 
up to his lips in a fountain whose waters recede 
whenever he would drink, stretching his hand to- 
ward clusters of fruit that are carried out of reach 
just as he would pluck them — these are not fables, 
these are pictures of common life. " Man never is, 
but always to be, blest." 

And the waters of this world can never satisfy 
our thirst. There is enough and to spare, but it only 
tantalizes us. It is like the fountain of Marah, bitter 
and brackish. It is like the taunting miles of sea 
that lay before the eyes of the ancient mariner : 

" Water, water everywhere, 

And all the boards did shrink ; 
Water, water everywhere, 
Nor any drop to drink ! " 


What do these people want, that jostle each other 
along the streets with restless eyes and furrowed 
brows and troubled faces ? They are not satisfied. 
What would they have ? Gold ? They spend their 
days in grasping — bags, boxes, bonds, and mortgages, 
houses and lands, thousands, millions, but the 
wrinkles are still there. One day there is a dimness 
before their eyes, a sense of cold fingers groping to- 
ward the heart, death ! The hands unclasp at last ; 
they lie there open and empty. What would these 
people have ? Pleasure ? Go to, I will try thee with 
mirth. Eat, drink and be merry ! The glass, the 
cymbals, the dice. One day a spectre comes, grim 
and forbidding, and the laughter dies in a long moan 
like the sighing of a twilight wind. I said of laugh- 
ter, It is mad ; and of mirth. What doeth it ? Vanity 
of vanities, alt is vanity and vexation of spirit. What 
do they want ? Honor ? Here is the most eager 
chase of human life. For yonder wreath of laurel 
they plan and worry and fret and agonize. At last 
they grasp it ; and lo, it drops from the hand a withered 
thing, dry, valueless ; it crumbles into dust. The 
man whom we Americans have placed upon the 
highest pedestal of fame was fond of repeating to 
himself these words : 

" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 

And all that beauty, all that wealth ere gave. 
Await alike the inevitable hour — 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave." 

n. The diag7iosis of the souVs moral pain. My soul 
thirsteth for God. 

The wounded deer can interpret its need. Nature 
has taught it. When lips are dry, v/hen eyes are hot, 
when throat is parched, water alone can satisfy. 


Would ihat we were as wise as the wounded deer to 
interpret the longing of our souls. Why did the 
Greeks rear in the public square at Athens that altar 
" to the unknown God " ? They had Athene, Aphro- 
dite, Poseidon, Father Zeus, a vast Pantheon of 
helpers, and still they thirsted. This altar is the con- 
fession of that thirst. It was from this inscription 
that Paul found occasion for his sermon on Mars 
Hill : " God hath made of one blood all nations 
of men, for to dwell on the face of the earth ; and 
hath determined the times before appointed and the 
bounds of their habitation ; that they should seek the 
Lord if haply they might feel after him and find him, 
though he be out far from every one of us ; for in 
him we live and move and have our being ; as certain 
of your own poets also have said, For we are also his 
offspring." They were seeking the Lord in a poor, 
helpless way, like blind men groping along the wall. 

The plant that struggles into being in the cellar, 
a poor peasant thing, a child of solitude and prisoner 
of night, feels with its blanched tendrils, like thin 
fingers, toward yonder chink in the wall ; life groping 
its way toward light ! An apt symbol of the soul 
panting for God. 

Here is the token of our divine birth. They say 
that when Africanus returned from his campaign the 
Censors took his father's ring from off his hand be- 
cause he was unworthy to bear it. But we, de- 
generate children of a divine Father, have still in this 
inarticulate cry that throbs forth from our souls the 
lingering token of our lineage. My soul panteth for 

Here also is the abiding hope of our immortal 
destiny. The starling in its cage that cries continu- 


ally, " I can't get out ! " pays tribute to its birth-riglit 
and to its franchise for the freedom of the open air. 
How shall we deal fairly with our poor imprisoned 
souls ? A caravan of famishing men went staggering 
through a dry and thirsty land. A cry was raised, 
" Let loose the antelopes ! " It was done and the fleet- 
footed creatures set out all in one direction ; for the 
secret of the fountains was in their breasts. Oh, that 
we were willing to let loose our love, our reverence, 
our holy instincts and aspirations ! If they had free- 
dom they would soon find God. 

III. Our want can find satisfaction only in Christ. 
For Christ alone is God's manifestation of himself 
among men. 

The oldest of the patriarchs expressed his longing 
in this wise : " Oh, that I knew where I might find 
God ; that I might come even to his seat ! I would 
order my cause before him and fill my mouth with 
arguments. But, behold, I go forward and he is not 
there ; and backward, but I cannot perceive him ; on 
the left hand, but I cannot behold him; he hideth him- 
self on the right hand that I cannot see him." From 
that vain quest of the patriarch we pass to the upper 
chamber where Christ is conversing with his disciples: 
"And Philip saith unto him, Lord show us the 
Father and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him. 
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou 
not known me, Philip ? he that hath seen me hath 
seen the Father ; how sayest thou then, Shew us 
the Father. Believest thou not that I am in the Fa- 
ther and the Father in me"? Here then is the 
answer to the old despairing cry, *' Canst thou by 
searching find out God " ? 

(i) Here is the living God. My soul thirsteth for 


the living God ; when shall I come and appear before 
him ? It is not enough to bow before a graven 
image, crying, " O Baal, hear us " ! Our souls do not 
respond to the philosophy that bids us worship law, 
force, energy. Shall we make our prayers to the 
star-dust, or pour out our sorrows to the primordial 
germ ? Nor can pantheism meet the desire of our 
souls. As well try to worship the impalpable ether 
that fills the interstellar fields of space. No, no; my 
soul thirsteth for the living God. We are not satis- 
fied even with the word that came to Moses at the 
burning bush, " I AM THAT I AM." This is but a 
voice, a definition, a m.ystery. We must needs find 
the living God. And here he is coming to us through 
the tempest in the dark night : " It is I, be not afraid." 
He comes aboard the little ship ; we are fallen at his 
feet ; the storm is hushed ; the ship is at the shore. 

{2) Here is the incarnate God. Flesh of our flesh 
and bone of our bone. Nearer to us God cannot 
come than in Jesus Christ. A letter was taken from 
one of the postal boxes, written by a poor, friendless 
child, and addressed to God. It read thus: ''Dear 
God, — We are very poor. We have no bread, no 
C;lothes, no fire. Dear God, come and help us." We 
are taught out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. 
Here is the God we need, and this the way to ap- 
proach him. "Except ye become as little children, ye 
shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God." 

(3) Here is the satisfying God. " In hym ye 
ben fylled." Our thought of deity is not as of one 
who stands upon the shore looking out over the ocean 
with shaded eyes, but as one bending over the brook 
that trickles from the heights. Our Lord stood by 
the woman of Sychar at the well and said, "Whoso- 


ever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall 
never thirst ; but the water that I shall give him shall 
be in him a well of water springing up into everlast- 
ing life." 

In a recent conference of ministers in this city a 
good deal was said as to the importance of returning 
to the old method of presenting the sterner attributes 
of God. '^ Let us be faithful, however reluctant, in 
preaching the terrors of the Law," said one ; ''let us 
not shrink from preaching hell." No doubt this rests 
upon us as a stern obligation ; to preach hell with 
bated breath, tenderly, lovingly, faithfully ; ever 
mindful of the fact that while God is love he is also 
a consuming fire. But what is hell? "It came to 
pass that the rich man died and was buried ; and in 
hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and cried, 
saying. Have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he 
may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my 
tongue." The pain of eternal retribution is here rep- 
resented as a vain regret, despair, unavailing sorrow, 
an eternal thirst. And the minister must needs pre- 
sent this truth as he would be faithful in declaring 
the whole counsel of God. 

But, behold, I show unto you a better way. Preach 
Christ ! Christ who came into the world to quench 
the burning thirst of the children of men. As he 
hung in his last agony on the cross, the night closed 
about him — that awful darkness at noon-day — and in 
his solitary anguish he cried, "I thirst"! His lips 
were dry, his throat was parched, his eyes were hot ; 
"I thirst" ! In that moment he, as we are wont to 
say in our historic creed, "descended into hell" for 
us. But standing here beneath the cross, in view of 
that vicarious sacrifice, I hear the patter of rain drops 



in the grassy fields of Caanan ; I hear the ripple of 
brooks on their way down the mountain slopes of the 
land that floweth with milk and honey ; I hear the 
roll of the river, the river of life that flows from the 
cleft rock beneath the throne of God. 

Dip down and drink and live. If any man thirst 
let him come unto me and drink to his fill. O blessed 
salvation ! It is free as the air ; the element of life 
for bird and beast and man. It is free as the sun- 
light ; the king at his window enjoys its warmth and 
sees the beggar who lies beside his gate basking in it. 
It is free as ihe water ; there is enough and to spare; 
the clouds are full of it, the rivers are full of it, the 
fountains are full of it. 

One word from the Old Economy : '' Ho, every one 
that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ; and he that 
hath no money, come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, 
buy wine and milk without money and without 
price." And one word from the New : "The Spirit 
and the bride say. Come. And let him that heareth 
say. Come. And let him that is athirst come ; and 
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." 
Drink, drink, and thirst no more ! 


" And Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold 
oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting : and when 
he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the 
temple, and the sheep and the oxen ; and poured out the changers' 
money, and overthrew the lables ; amd said unto them that sold doves. 
Take these things hence ; make not my Father's house an house of mer- 
chandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of 
thine house hath eaten me up." John ii. 13-17. 

The Jews were expecting the Messiah. The signs 
of the times all pointed to his near advent. It was 
written in their oracles, *' The Lord whom ye seek 
shall suddenly come to this temple." What a day 
that would be when Prince Shiloh, crowned with 
honor, his face radiant with the glory of heaven, 
should enter the sacred precincts, lift his hands in 
blessing and restore to Israel the splendor of former 
times. This, they thought, would be the manner of 
his coming. But how strangely was that prophecy 
fulfilled. A man in the garb of a Galilean peasant, 
whip in hand, eyes aflame with holy indignation, 
scourges the traffickers from the temple court and 
lashes their rulers with reproaches for their defile- 
ment of the sacred place. A strange coming of the 
Christ ! Yet so he ever comes ; for is it not written, 
" Judgment must begin at the house of God " ? 

How are we to interpret this incident ? Was it 
intended to teach that a place dedicated to the wor- 
ship of Almighty God must not be prostituted to 
secular uses ? Aye, and something more. I was in 




St. Paul's in London a few years ago, when a poor 
fellow, over in one corner of the Cathedral, shot him- 
self through the heart. The sacred edifice was so de- 
filed by his blood spattered upon its wall, that it was 
presently re-consecrated with solemn rites. It is hard 
to understand how such a proceeding could be justi- 
fied except upon the lowest and narrowest view of 
the sanctity of the place. There are worse things 
than the blood of a suicide upon the floor and walls 
of our sanctuaries. And if there must be re-consecra- 
tion for every defilement, we must needs be intoning 
our formulae and swinging our censers all day long. 
No, this is not the way to keep the house clean. As 
well undertake to purify a leper by washing his san- 
dals. There is a much current superstition respect- 
ing the holiness of a church building. It must in- 
deed be reserved for purposes of worship exclusively, 

" What's hallowed ground ? Has earth a clod 

Its Maker meant not to be trod 

By man the image of his God ?" 

The house is merely the outward shell of the true 
temple. It has no sacredness except for the fact that 
thither the tribes go up to worship God ; its pillars 
and curtains are wood and flax. The Church, Ecclesta, 
exceeds all bounds of roof and walls. No outward 
garnishing of nave and transept can commend to 
Heaven a company of worshipers whose hands are 
unclean and whose hearts are impure. A clean plat- 
ter may serve to furnish forth a most unwholesome 

The Jews were a chosen people — chosen to evangel- 
ize the world. Their commission was as wide as that 
of the Christian Church. For its accomplishment they 


were entrusted with the oracles and the prophecies of 
theChrist. The temple was the center of their work of 
evangelization ; its rites and symbols and elaborate 
ceremonial were all significant of that purpose. To 
this end there was a Court of the Gentiles ; the outer 
and larger portion of the sacred enclosure, which the 
heathen of all nations might visit. Its use was pre- 
cisely that which is served by the so-called ''altar" in 
some of our modern churches, namely, a place of 
welcome for outsiders who desire to acknowledge the 
true God. At the time of our text this Court of the 
Gentiles had passed into disuse. There was no gen- 
eral desire to receive proselytes into the Jewish 
Church. Why then should not the space allotted to 
them be devoted to other purposes ? It was leased 
accordingly to those who sold sheep and oxen and 
turtle doves for sacrifice, and to money-changers who 
were ready to exchange, for a consideration of five per 
cent., the coin of other countries for the Jewish half- 
shekel with which every loyal son of Israel must pay 
his annual poll-tax. 

The cleansing of the temple occurred twice ; at 
the beginning and again at the close of Christ's min- 
istry. On the first occasion he had come down 
from the north with a caravan of pilgrims to attend 
the Passover. On a hot April day he reached Jerusa- 
lem and betook himself at once to the temple. As 
he ascended the marble steps, he heard sounds of 
traffic, the shouts of drovers, the lowing of cattle and 
bleating of flocks, the clinking of money on the tables 
of the money-changers. I would give much to have 
seen the look of righteous indignation on the face of 
the Nazarene prophet as he stooped to gather from 
the floor the handful of rushes with which he drave 


them out. " Take these things hence ; make not my 
Father's house an house of merchandise ! " And there 
was no resistance. Why? Why did not Ahab arrest 
Elijah at the gate of Naboth's vineyard ? Why did 
not the magistrates of Nineveh lay hands on Jonah as 
he went up and down the streets crying, "Yet forty 
days and this city shall be destroyed"? Why did 
not the people mob Moses when he hurled the golden 
calf from its pedestal in the midst of the idolatrous 
multitude? "Conscience makes cowards of us all," 
and "he is thrice armed who hath his quarrel just." 
O, there is an unspeakable power in a transport of 
righteous indignation ! Who shall measure the 
power of that indignation when it flamed forth from 
the eyes of the incarnate Son of God ? 

The other occasion of the cleansing of the temple 
was four days before the crucifixion. Jesus had 
come down again to attend the Passover. He was 
accompanied by many pilgrims on their way to 
the feast. And as he came along the road from Olivet 
he was met also by a multitude from the city who 
cast their garments before him and cried, " Hosanna ! 
Hosanna, to the Son of David ! " As he entered the 
gate and passed along the street the people leaned 
from their lattices and stood in the doorways of the 
bazaars wondering at this strange procession. Again 
he entered the temple. Three years had elapsed, but 
he found the same condition of things. The colon- 
nades had again been invaded by the merchants ; 
here were pens and stalls for sheep and cattle ; here 
were the drovers and the money-changers. Again he 
drove them out, and again none dared resist his holy 
zeal. This done, he remained in the Court of the 
Gentiles ; preaching ancj healing the sick who were 


brought to him, while from within came the voices of 
children and the songs of the pilgrims : " Hosanna! 
Hosanna, to the Son of David ! Blessed is he that 
Cometh in the name of the Lord ! " 

I have never known a time during my ministry of 
twenty-five years when there seemed to be such a 
general desire for a revival of true religion in the 
Churches as just now. The matter is referred to con- 
stantly in our preachers' meetings, and the prayers of 
the people in our devotional services indicate the drift 
of common desire. O for the coming of the Lord in 
power to the saving of a multitude of souls ! But are 
we ready ? Is the Church prepared for a work of 
heavenly grace ? If the Lord were to come presently, 
would there be no occasion for his scourge before the 
lifting of his hands in benediction ? Is it not possible 
that with us also, ** judgment must first begin at the 
house of God " ? And if so, what evils would the Lord 
find to arouse his just and holy wrath ? 

I. One of the prevailing sins of Christian people 
is covetousnessj that is, the turning aside of divine 
things to personal and selfish uses. 

The priests of Israel had appropriated the Court 
of the Gentiles to the purposes of merchandise, be- 
cause of the income they derived from it. Why not? 
What harm was there in leasing this unused space for 
such trafficking as indirectly ministered to the altar? 
Thus they justified themselves in turning it to their 
own account. The canker of gold had infected heart 
and conscience. 

Tt is stated that the annual gifts of the Christian 
people of America to the work of missions outside the 
local parish are about ten cents per capita ; that is, 
one-fiftieth of one per cent, of the average income 


of a laboring man. And the people who are making 
such contributions are offering up, day by day, the 
prayer, '' Thy kingdom come." The yearly gifts 
of all the nations of Christendom for missions 
would not pay the liquor bill of America for three 
days. The people of the world — the witnesses who 
compass us about — when they learn such facts as 
these, must be led to strange conclusions. For they 
know that, as Christians, we have consecrated our- 
selves body and soul, talents and possessions, wholly 
and absolutely to the service of Christ. And this is 
the outcome ! 

We are living in hard times. The long strain is 
felt in all our Christian beneficences. Our Missionary 
Boards are all laboring under a heavy burden of 
debt ; our institutions of Christian education are run- 
ning behind. Whose fault is it? There is money 
enough in the hands of Christ's disciples in 
our own country to pay off all the indebtedness 
of these enterprises without feeling it. I could 
point my finger at five Christian men in America, 
multi-millionaires, having in their possession trust- 
funds belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ, who could 
place all our missionary boards and charitable insti- 
tutions on a basis of permanent prosperity by parting 
with a mere modicum of their wealth. The time has 
come when God places a clear requisition upon such 
possessions ; he does not call for a tithe of the income ; 
he does not ask the whole of the interest ; he demands 
that those to whom he has entrusted riches shall now 
cut in upon the principal, for that principal belongs 
to him. No doubt we have all been impressed by the 
severity with which our Lord in his preaching spoke of 
rich men, as where he said, " How hardly shall they 


that have ricnes enter into the kingdom of God ! It 
is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye 
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of 
God." It may be that in this passage he desired to 
teach the impossibility of the salvation .of a man 
whose heart is set upon the acquisition of wealth 
and upon its selfish use. Or it may be that he re- 
ferred to that gate of Jerusalem called " The Needle's 
Eye," which is said to have been large enough to ad- 
mit a camel, but not with a load upon its back. Un- 
load if you would enter in ! The silver and the gold 
are God's; his people must recognize that fact. Souls 
cannot be saved while the Court of the Gentiles is 
perverted to selfish uses. 

II. Another of the current sins of the Church in 
these times is externalism. At the very time when 
the temple court was filled with sounds of chaffering 
merchants and the bleating of sheep and oxen, the 
priests within were devoting their utmost attention to 
the scrupulosity of outward form. Censers were 
swinging and antiphonal choirs were chanting, " Oh, 
that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and 
for his wonderful works to the children of men." 
This was the golden age of ceremonialism in Israel, 
and God hated if. " Bring no more vain oblations," 
he said. "Your incense is an abomination unto me ; 
your new moons and appointed feasts my soul hateth ; 
I am weary to bear them. Wash you, make you 
clean. Cease to do evil ; learn to do well." Jesus in 
like manner rebuked it. The long prayers, the broad 
phylacteries, the ringing of the resounding gifts in 
Corban; how he denounced them ! " Ye are as whited 
sepulchres, fair without, but within full of dead men's 
bones and all uncleanness." 


There is a ritualistic tendency in our time which 
is greatly to be deplored; a turning away from the 
simplicity of pure worship to spectacular display. 
Let it be remembered that our Lord in setting up the 
religion of the New Economy announced the fulfill- 
ment of former rites and ceremonies and the reduc- 
tion of religion to its very simplest form. The 
Church at Laodicea incurred his grave displeasure 
because it was neither cold in abandoning the faith 
nor hot in zealously defending it ; but eminently re- 
spectable. The letter which killeth was there, but 
there was an absence of the Spirit which maketh 
alive. " So then because thou art lukewarm, and 
neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
And because thou sayest : ^ I am rich, and increased 
with goods, and have need of nothing '; and knowest 
not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, 
and blind, and naked ; I counsel thee to buy of me 
gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich ; and 
white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that 
the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and 
anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest 

There is no more specious temptation to the 
Church than that of captivating and unwarranted 
forms in worship. Let it be remembered tjiat what- 
soever is not of God is of sin. At the well of Sychar 
our Lord said to the woman of Samaria, who was 
much concerned about the rival claims of Moriah and 
Gerizim with their divers rites and symbols: "Wo- 
man, believe me the hour cometh when ye shall 
neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship 
the Father. The hour cometh and now is when the 
true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit 


and in truth ; for he seeketh such to worship him. 
God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must 
worship him in spirit and in truth." 

III. Mention must also be made of the prevalent 
sin of intolerance. The priests of the ancient temple 
were at this time ready to welcome almost any form 
of heresy; and they had engrafted upon their religion 
much of pagan philosophy. If liberalism were needed, 
they had enough of it ; but they were intolerant to- 
ward truth and impatient of the teachings of their 
own scriptures. At this hour they were full of hatred 
toward Christ and his doctrine, and were devising 
measures to accomplish his death. 

There are many of God's people who incline to- 
ward liberalism in their treatment of false philoso- 
phies; but who cannot abide a reference to the old 
landmarks, or the " traditional view " of the doctrine 
of Christ. As ministers and laymen, we stand 
pledged in solemn covenant to the loyal upholding of 
Christ and the Scriptures ; the Written and the Incar- 
nate Word of God. The bigot of these days is not 
the man who insists upon loyalty to those funda- 
mental facts, but rather the one who extends the 
right hand of fellowship to such as reject them, while 
denouncing the upholders of the faith once de- 
livered to the saints as bigots and fanatics. This is 
a practical renunciation of loyalty to the gospel 
of Christ. Let us be liberal toward truth and toward 
all lovers of truth, and generously disposed toward 
all who reject the truth in praying that they may be 
brought to a knowledge of it. 

The broadest and most generous of the Apostles 
was John the Evangelist. He is represented as 
leaning upon the Master's breast. His constant 
theme was Love ; insomuch that when he was an 


old man and burdened with his years, he is said to 
have been carried to the church to deliver his brief 
sermon, " Little children, love one another." This 
was the man who, toward the close of his life, writing 
to the Elect Lady, said, "This is love, that we walk 
after his commandments. For many deceivers are 
entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus 
Christ is come in the flesh. Whosoever transgresseth 
and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not 
God. If there come any unto you and bring not this 
doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid 
him God-speed : for he that biddeth him God-speed 
is partaker of his evil deeds.'' This is the sort of 
tolerance which prevailed in the Apostolic Church. 
It is liberalism of another sort that has largely para- 
lyzed the energies of the Church in Holland, in Ger- 
many, in Scotland and in England to-day. We can- 
not afford to compromise with error. To compromise 
with error is to be intolerant toward truth. We must 
love those who are without and seek their conversion ; 
but must frankly refuse, in the interest of truth, to 
hold religious fellowship with them. 

IV. Still another of the sins prevalent in the 
Church to-day is spiritual conceit. The Jews were 
aware of God's plan as to the conversion of the na- 
tions. They knew that there would have been no 
Court of the Gentiles but for his desire that the Gen- 
tiles should be brought in. But they did not approve 
of his plan. They thought of themselves as a select 
company of people entrusted with the oracles and 
possessed of certain exclusive privileges. As to out- 
siders, they were wont to speak of them as " dogs of 
Gentiles." They had no desire to gather them in. 

Our Lord has left us in no doubt as to his pur- 
pose respecting the Church. It is the great living or- 


ganism through which he is working for the bringing 
of all nations to the knowledge of truth. He came 
back after his crucifixion and spent forty days with 
his disciples, apparently for the purpose of marking 
out the plan of campaign. He said to them repeat- 
edly, from his first meeting of them in the upper 
room, to his last address on the mount of ascension, 
" Go ye into all the world and evangelize ; and lo, I 
am with you alway, even unto the end." His meaning 
is perfectly clear. And yet it is not an uncommon 
thing in our time to hear professing Christians say, 
" I do not believe in Foreign Missions." Was there 
ever greater arrogance ? What right has any believer 
to set up his own opinion as against the distinct com- 
mandment of his Lord ? What assumption ! what 
self-opinionated vanity is here ! No use for the Court 
of the Gentiles indeed. What is the Church then? 
A coterie of saints ? A mutual-admiration society ? 
A fellowship of good people who desire to sit and 
sing their souls away to everlasting bliss ? Nay ; 
Christ settled it. This is his business ; let us allow 
him to manage it in his own way. 

Before we can receive the blessing which the 
Church needs, the Temple must be purged. The 
Lord of the Temple already stands in the Court of 
the Gentiles ; the scourge in his hand falls on the 
backs of our pleasant and cherished sins. He bids us 
remove from our hearts and lives the covetousness 
which has robbed God, the externalism which has 
mocked God, the intolerance which has rejected truth 
instead of error, and the spiritual narrowness and 
self-sufficiency which have dared to limit God's saving 
grace to us and ours. When the Temple is cleansed, 
his glory will shine in it like the glory of the sun. 


" Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? 
Philip saith unto him, Come and see." John i, 47. 

It would appear that Nathanael had been com- 
muning with himself " under the fig-tree." He had 
perhaps been praying there, and, as an "Israelite in- 
deed," longing for the coming of the Christ. To him 
came Philip, saying, " We have found the Messiah, 
the long-looked-for One." Where? — "Jesus of Naz- 
areth." — "Impossible"! At this point Nathanael 
showed himself to be a prejudiced man. He was fa- 
miliar with two proverbs of the time, to wit ; "Out of 
Galilee ariseth no prophet," and, " Can any good 
thing come out of Nazareth " ? These proverbs rep- 
resented tradition and public opinion ; the sub- 
stratum of prejudice. "What the people say " has 
greater weight in many quarters than, " What is 
truth " ? 

In his reply to this rebuff, which spoke with the 
voice of prejudice, Philip showed great wisdom. 
He might have railed at Nathanael as a warped, 
jaundiced, narrow-minded, unreasonable man ; but 
that would have done no good. Vinegar swarms no 
bees. Or he might have argued with him ; but 

" A man convinced against his will 
Is of the same opinion still." 

*'COME AND SEE. 203 

He very properly appealed to the evidence of Na- 
thanael's own senses : " Come and see." 

This is the right sort of preaching. As ambassa- 
dors of Christ we are appointed, not to display our 
rhetorical or argumentative skill so much as to stand 
with pointed finger, saying, " Behold the Lamb of 
God " ! The world cares little for our personal ipse 
dixit : " I am Sir Oracle, and when I open my lips let 
no dog bark." Men do their own thinking in these 
days. There is only one man on earth who claims 
infallibility, and he does not seem to be absolutely 
sure about it. The best we can do in the pulpit is to 
present our claim, namely, that Jesus is the Christ ; 
and then appeal to the fair-minded judgment of our 
congregations, urging them to use their own facul- 
ties : '* Behold the Lamb of God." 

In pursuance of this method I would lead you to- 
day, as Philip led Nathanael, into the presence of 
Jesus of Nazareth, saying, " Come and see." See 
what ? 

\. See a Man. Is there anything remarkable in 
that ? Aye ; a man is not easy to find. We have all 
sorts of lay figures, manikins, leather and prunella 
imitations ; but where will you find a man ? Call in 
Diogenes with his lantern and let him search the 
world over ; then turn your eyes toward this Jesus of 
Nazareth and behold him. Ecce Homo! A man; 
a veritable man ; a man without a fault : 
— " the elements 
So mixed in him, that nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, * This is a Man."' 

There are four particulars in which this Jesus of 
Nazareth differs from all other men : 

(1) In respect to his intellect; it was perfectly 

204 * COME AND SEE. 

clear to discern truth. He saw things in every prov- 
ince of knowledge precisely as they are. An oculist 
will tell you that there is probably not one pair of ab- 
solutely perfect eyes on earth ; there is a twist of 
some sort in everybody's sight. But Jesus saw 
clearly ; saw to the very heart of every mystery ; saw 
the great verities, God and immortality and heaven 
and hell. He solved the great problems. He untied the 
knots of philosophy without resorting to any Gordian 
trick. He touched these things with a fearless hand, 
and made them so simple in his discourse that it was 
said, " Never man spake like this man." 

(2) As to his heart ; it was wholly pure and be- 
nevolent. He hated sin only. The wisest detective 
of whom I have any knowledge, was an old Spartan 
judge, who, in order to detect the real criminal among 
a number of suspects, placed his ear to the bosom of 
each in succession until he came to one of whom he 
said, " Thou art the man." He knew him by the quick 
palpitation of his heart. No human heart beats pre- 
cisely as it should, because no man is wholly free 
from sin. This Jesus, however, confidently said, 
"Wholayeth anything to my charge " ? He taught 
us to pray, " Forgive us our debts as we forgive our 
debtors" ; but never once did he make such a prayer 
in his own behalf. He was without sin. 

(3) In respect to his conscience ; it was clear to 
discern betwixt the worse and better reason. No ship 
that sails the sea is without its compass ; yet there is 
no magnetic needle which points with absolute exact- 
ness towards the North. It may be diverted from its 
proper direction by the magnetism in the atmosphere, 
by something in the ship's cargo, by the very nails 
that fasten the craft together ; so the needle always 

*' COME AND SEE. 205 

vibrates on its pivot and deviates more or less from 
its true direction. Tiie moral sense of the race is 
diverted in like manner by sin. The conscience of 
Jesus, however, pointed ever toward God and right. 

(4) As to his will ; it led him always to obey the 
perfect will of God. We complain of a war in our 
members, so that the good we would, we do not, and 
the evil that we would not, that we do. But there 
was no such war in the members of Christ. The 
source of our trouble is in our perverted wills. When 
Israel Putnam was leading his Green Mountain boys 
toward the north in the French War his march was 
intercepted by a gunboat which had been launched 
upon the lake. He waited until nightfall and then, 
providing himself with a beetle and wedge, rowed out 
under the stern of the boat and drove the wedge be- 
hind its rudder. The next morning the gunboat lay 
there helpless with flapping sails. This is precisely 
what sin has done for the human will. But the moral 
sense of Jesus led him into a perfect harmony with 
the mind of God. 

Here then was a quadrilateral man ; quite perfect 
in intellect, heart, conscience and will. For this rea- 
son, among others, he was called the Son of Man ; 
that is, the unique, the singular, the incomparable 
man; the *' recapitulation of humanity," the Ideal 

II. See, furthermore, the Son of God. But what is 
peculiar in that ? I also am a son of God. Was I 
not created in his likeness and after his image ? 
Have I not, by his infinite grace, been received by the 
Spirit of adoption so that I have a double right to 
say, "Abba, Father " ? But not in the sense in which 
this Jesus of Nazareth was called the Son of God. 

2o6 "come and see." 

He is th<; only-begotten and well-beloved One. Thrice 
was he so acknowledged from heaven. When he stood 
in the verge of the Jordan at his baptism, a voice from 
above was heard to say, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased." Again on the Mount of 
Transfiguration, when the disciples, fearing, entered 
into the luminous cloud and saw Jesus glorified, his 
garments white and glistening, a voice was heard, 
'' This is my beloved Son, hear ye him." And once 
more when he was crucified ; the earth rumbling pro- 
claimed it with an inarticulate voice, and the light- 
nings wrote it against the dark noonday sky in mys- 
tic characters, " This is my only-begotten and well- 
beloved Son." 

He is distinguished from all other and lower sons 
of God in four particulars. 

(i) No other can claim pre-existence. He said to 
the Scribes and Pharisees, who tempted him when 
he was preaching in the temple porch, " Before Abra- 
ham was, I am." Not, " I was," which would be far 
beyond what any mortal could say, but " I am " ; this 
being an arrogation to himself of the old incommuni- 
cable name of Deity, "I AM THAT I AM." He 
thus claims self-existent being. He is very God of 
very God, to whom there is neither past, present, nor 
future ; whose life-time is an everlasting now. So it 
is elsewhere written of him : "In the beginning was 
the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word 
was God ; the same was in the beginning with God." 
(2) No other son of God ever held such a commis- 
sion as this Jesus of Nazareth. Pie was the " Sent 
One." He said of himself : " The Father hath sent 
me." The persons of the ineffable Godhead are met 
in council to determine what should be done for the 


ruined race ; the cry of men's misery has come up to 
heaven ; and the Three are represented as say- 
ing, ''Whom shall we send and who will go for us ?'* 
The Son volunteers to go to the earth as a knight 
errant for the deliverance of the race, saying, ^* Here 
am I, send me." The incarnation was the result. 
He has come under a three-fold commission : to teach 
the truth ; to illustrate in his own life and character 
the graces which qualify for kinship with God ; and 
pre-eminently to bear the world's sin in his own body 
on the tree. 

The cross is the consummation of his work. He 
there uplifts, as a great Atlas, the sin of the world 
upon his mighty shoulders, even while his heart 
breaks under the crushing burden. A man went 
forth into the forest and measured the trees with 
his eye until he found a suitable one ; then he cut 
it down and had it conveyed to his work shop ; 
there he laid upon it his measuring line and said, 
"The cross-piece must be twelve spans and the up- 
lift must be ten cubits ; " and thus he measured and 
made the cross whereon this Jesus died. But who 
shall measure that cross ? It is vast as the procession 
of the ages ; it is broad as the world ; it is high as 
heaven ; it is deep as hell ; and he who hangs upon 
it — is this Joseph's son ? Nay, this is the great living 
magnet of the universe who said of himself: "I, if I 
be thus lifted up, will draw all men unto me." 

(3) Noother sonof God ever went to heaven like this 
one. He gathered his disciples about him and said, 
" All power is given unto me, in heaven and on earth j 
go ye therefore into all the world and evangelize, and, 
lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end." Then 
he began to ascend out of the midst of them. No 

2o8 "come and see." 

chariot, no horses of flame came to bear him upward ; 
by his own power, in apparent defiance of nature's 
laws, he arose with hands outstretched in a last bene* 
diction until the opening heavens received him So he 
went as he had prophesied, to resume the "glory 
which he had with the Father before the world was." 

(4) And he will come again ! "Why stand ye 
gazing upward " ? said the angels to the bewildered 
disciples. " He shall so come as ye have seen him 
go." There is one chapter still to be written in the 
life of this Jesus of Nazareth on earth. He is yet to 
reign in visible splendor among men. 

III. Behold the Messiah. The Son of Man and the 
Son of God are the two distinctive Messianic titles ; 
the blending of perfect manhood with Godhood con- 
stitutes the theanthropic person of the Christ. 

Let the conversation of Christ with Nathaniel be 
observed: "And Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him 
and said, * Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is 
no guile.' " (By this he meant, not that Nathanael was 
without sin, but that he, as a true Israelite, was pre- 
pared in all frankness to receive the Christ when he 
should find him. The children of Israel were called a 
"chosen people"; chosen to possess and transmit 
the oracles which were in type and symbol and pro- 
phecy a declaration of the coming of the Christ. For 
this reason the expectation of Messiah was called 
"The Hope of Israel." Jesus saw in Nathanael a 
genuine and guileless Israelite, who held himself ever 
in readiness to accept the fulfillment of that hope.) 

" And Nathanael said unto him, * Whence knowest 
thou me ?' 

Jesus answered, * When thou wast under the fig- 
tree I saw thee.' " (There is a prudent reserve at 

" COME AND SEE." 209 

this point. Jesus respects the man's secret, even as 
he declares his acquaintance with it.) 

" And Nathanael saith unto him, 'Rabbi, thou art 
the Son of God ; thou art the King of Israel ! ' " (He 
knew he was in the presence of one whose eyes 
pierce with an all-revealing light. This Jesus had 
perceived the secret imagination of his heart. By- 
such a glimpse of omniscience, he was persuaded that 
Jesus of Nazareth was none other than the long-ex- 
pected One.) 

"And Jesus answered, 'Because I said, "I saw 
thee under the fig-tree," believest thou ? Thou shalt 
see greater things than these. Verily, verily, I say 
unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven opened and 
the angels of God ascending and descending upon the 
Son of Man.' " (Nathanael had called him Son of 
God ; he calls himself Son of Man. Son of God and 
Son of Man — the Messiah ; the intermediary betwixt 
heaven and earth, like Jacob's ladder whose foot was 
on a barren mountain, whose top round was by the 
throne of God, along which angels ascending bore the 
prayers of suffering men and returned with blessings 
from on high.) 

In this ladder we have a significant figure of the 
work of Jesus of Nazareth who, as the great Medi- 
ator, is ever present with us. He is present among 
the children of men. His great work is the con- 
version of souls ; this is his constant miracle. We 
wonder at the conversion of Saul of Tarsus : at 
one moment breathing out slaughter against the 
followers of Jesus, the next moment rolling upward 
his blinded eyes and crying, " Lord, what wilt 
thou have me do ? " We wonder at the conver- 
sion of Luther : one moment a bond slave in the 


superstitions of a degenerate church, and the next 
half way up Sancta Scala^ hearing the voice, " The 
just shall live by faith," and so entering into newness 
of life. We wonder at the conversion of John New- 
ton : a pirate swinging in his hammock and seeing a 
vision of the Christ, and rising to indite his faith in 
the hymn : — 

" Amazing grace ! how sweet the sound 
That saved a wretch like me ; 
I once was lost, but now am found ; 
Was blind, but now I see." 

But there is nothing wonderful here. Such conver- 
sions are occurring constantly around us. Regenera- 
tion is an " earthly thing." Men and women are be- 
ing taken out of their misery and set upon their feet; 
brought out of chains into freedom, out of darkness 
into light, out of death into newness of life, every 
hour of every day. And it is the power of Messiah, an 
ever-present Christ, that is doing it. 

He is at work among the nations in like manner. 
He converts a nation just as he converts a man. Take 
a map of the world at the beginning of the Christian 
era, and beside it spread out a map of the world of 
to-day ; mark how the Christ has during these eigh- 
teen centuries laid his hand on one nation after an- 
other, and lifted it out of the darkness of paganism 
and superstition into the light and glory of Chris- 
tendom. And to-day he is apparently working in 
this way. Japan is on her knees under conviction of 
sin. China is trembling under his glance. Turkey is 
writhing under his anger as if it were a whip of scor- 
pions. It is doubtful if there was ever a time in his- 
tory when the nations of the earth were in such com- 
motion as just now. We are looking to diplomacy 


for a settlement of international affairs : — to the War- 
lord of Germany, to Salisbury, to our own Secretary 
of State. Who are these that we should put our con- 
fidence in them ? The Messiah is walking among the 
nations ; the heart of the king is in his hand as the 
rivers of water. He is working out his own purposes. 
He is accomplishing his great work. He is moving on 
toward the deliverance of the whole world from sin. 

Nebuchadnezzar in his dream saw a great image ; 
head of gold, breast of silver, loins of brass, legs of 
iron, feet of clay. The prophet was called in to in- 
terpret the dream. What is this image ? It is the 
Great Powers. And a stone from the mountain side 
was seen to detach itself and roll downward until it 
smote the image and ground it to powder ; and a 
mighty wind arose and swept away the dust of the 
Great Powers as chaff is swept from the threshing 
floor ; and, behold, the stone increased until it be- 
came a mountain and filled the earth. This is the 
parable of Messiah's work. All kings and poten- 
tates and statesmen and diplomats are as puppets be- 
fore him. All powers and principalities are but as 
card-houses in contrast with the kingdom of Christ. 
He shall rule when all have vanished. The glory of 
his kingdom shall cover the earth as the waters cover 
the sea. 

All that is needed in order that men should ac- 
knowledge that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, is a 
frank treatment of his claim. To look calmly into his 
face is to be convinced. But, alas, men do not stop to 
think. The average man is too busy with the sordid 
affairs of this present life to gaze fixedly upon him. 

At the beginning of this present century Sir 
Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton, who were in pro- 

found sympathy with the infidelity which had been 
developed in the French Encyclopedia, determined 
on a master stroke for the suppression of the Gospel. 
It seemed to them that the two great alleged miracles 
were the Resurrection of Christ and the Conversion 
of Saul of Tarsus. Gilbert West agreed to write a 
refutation of the resurrection of Christ, and Lord Lyt- 
tleton a refutation of the conversion of Saul. At the 
conclusion of their work they met by appointment. 
Lord Lyttleton asked, *' What is the result of your 
work ? " The answer was, " I have thoroughly in- 
vestigated the resurrection of Christ, and have come 
to the conclusion that he who is said to have come 
forth from the sepulchre of Joseph's garden, was, as 
he claimed to be, the veritable Son of God." And 
Lord Lyttleton said, '' I have fully investigated the 
narrative of the conversion of St. Paul and am satis- 
fied that this man, on his journey along the Damas- 
cus highway, really saw Jesus of Nazareth, and that 
this Jesus was the very Christ of God." The two 
essays which were written by these men became 
classics in Christian Apologetics. Would that 
all men might be persuaded to pursue, as calmly 
and thoroughly as they did, the study of the great 
verities of the Gospel. If they are true, they are 
awfully and eternally true ; and they are of stupend- 
ous importance to every one of us. Judge ye as wise 
men. We speak that we do know and testify that we 
have seen. This Jesus is the Christ. That which our 
ears have heard, that which our eyes have seen, that 
which our hands have handled of the word of life, 
declare we unto you. Behold the Lamb of God ! 


"And Gamaliel said, Refrain from these men, and let them alone : for if this 
counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought : but if it be of 
God, ve cannot overthrow it ; last haply ye be found even to fight against 
God."— Acts v. 38, 39. 

This was wise counsel. The new religion was 
making a great stir and the leaders of the Jews were 
much concerned about it. What should be done? 
Should they oppose it ? Sword and fagot never yet 
killed a cause. The blood of the martyrs is the seed 
of the Church. There was nothing to do but to let it 
alone and trust to the logic of events. 

Truth crushed to the earth will rise again, 
The eternal years of God are hers ; 

But error wounded, writhes with pain 
And dies among her worshippers. 

In the great square at Wittemberg there stands a mon- 
ument to the Reformation, on the base of which is 
this inscription : *' Ist's Gottes Werk, so wird's 
bestehen. Ist's Menschen Werk wird's untergehen." 
The outcome of these three hundred years of Pro- 
testantism proves the wisdom of that apothegm. 
If this work had been of men, it would long ago have 
come to naught ; but since it is of God, the gates of 
hell have not been able to prevail against it. 

The word Protestant suggests a negative attitude. 


This is unfortunate, because Protestantism is dis- 
tinctly positive and structural. All truths, howevei 
are bi-frontal. You must deny before you can affirm. 
You must fell the forest before you can till the field. 
You must clear away the debris before you can lay 
the foundations of your temple. The sun protests 
before it asserts. It protests against the night, the 
moon and stars, miasm and disease and death, owls 
and jackals, ghosts and spectres. But even while pro- 
testing it affirms ; the birds begin to sing, the heavens 
are illumined with red and azure glory, the grass 
blades of the meadow are hung with diamonds, the 
wheels of commerce revolve, and the roar of indus- 
try is heard in the great centres of life. 

It is a mistake, however, to suppose that Protes- 
tantism began with the Reformation. The Refor- 
mation was merely the revival of a dormant principle. 
In the hand of one of Belzoni's mummies, taken from 
a crypt by the river side in Egypt a hundred years 
ago, was found a bulb. It had been within the clasp 
of that dead hand for three thousand years ; but 
being planted it put forth newness of life. All that 
the reformers did was to unclasp the stiff fingers of a 
Church dead in formalism and take therefrom a form 
of religion, which, though it shared in the darkness of 
death, had never died ; and they planted it, and like the 
mustard seed it has grown and become a tree, so that 
the fowls of the air lodge in the branches of it. 

But what is Protestantism ? What is its doctrinal 
fabric? Wherein does it differ from the Greek relig- 
ion and from Roman Catholicism ? There is a differ- 
ence between apologetics and polemics. It is not at 
all necessary that in vindicating our position as Pro- 
testants, we should make war upon those who differ 


with US ; they are entitled to respectful treatment. 
At the same time it is becoming that all who are in 
the Protestant communion should be able to give, to 
every one that asketh, a reason for their faith. The 
fundamental facts on which Protestantism rests are 
three, to- wit : Christy Scripture and Freedom. Let us 
address ourselves to these. 

(I) Christ. At the outset Protestantism protests 
against the relegation of Christ to a subordinate place 
in Christian doctrine and life. In making this pro- 
test, it formulates a great truth in most positive 

(i) Christ is the foundation of the Church. Protes- 
tants believe that when Christ said, *' Thou art Fetros, 
and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates 
of hell shall not prevail against it," he meant not 
that Peter was to be the foundation of the Church, 
but rather the great truth to which Peter had just 
given utterance : " Thou art the Christ the Son of 
the living God." To say that Peter is the Rock is 
bad philology, bad philosophy, bad history, bad relig- 
ion and bad common sense. The Apostle was called 
FetroSy a stone, because, on account of his brave 
statement of the great fundamental truth, he was as a 
stone hewn out of the rock ; just as Scipio was 
called Africanus because he had traversed Africa, 
and just as Balboa was called Pacificus because, 
from the crags of Panama, he first had seen the 
great western sea. This view is consistent with 
Scripture ; for '' other foundation can no man lay than 
hath been laid, which is Jesus Christ." It is also con- 
sistent with history ; for in point of fact Christ, and 
not Peter, has been and is the foundation of the 
Christian Church. Had it been otherwise, the story 


of the Church would in all probability have been 
written in these words : " The rains descended and 
the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon it, 
and it fell." As it is, however, the history stands 
thus : *' The rains descended and the floods came and 
the winds blew and beat upon it, and it fell not, be- 
cause it was founded upon a rock." Thus the prom- 
ise is fulfilled, *' The gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it." 

(2) Christ stands alone in his relation to the Church. 
Indeed he is alone everywhere ; in his incarnation, in 
his unique life and character, in his passion, in his 
triumph over the grave, and in his intercession at the 
throne of the heavenly grace. That was a signifi- 
cant event which occurred on the Mount of Trans- 
figuration where five of the most distinguished be- 
lievers who ever lived were met in conference with 
Christ as to the decease which he was presently to ac- 
complish for sinful men. The two sons of thunder 
were there and Peter himself ; Moses the representa- 
tive of the Law, and Elijah, who stood for the his- 
toric line of Prophets. And when the luminous cloud 
enclosed them and Jesus had appeared to them in 
garments white and glistering, it was Peter who 
said, "Lord, let us make here three tabernacles; one 
for thee and one for Moses and one for Elias." But 
he wist not what he said. The cloud vanished ; 
Moses and Elijah went their way ; *' and they saw no 
man, but Jesus only." Jesus only ! He is first, last, 
midst, and all in all. The saints in glory are at an 
infinite remove from Him. Mary, the virgin mother, 
was blessed among women, but she was a mere wo- 
man, after all. It was a grave rebuke that was ad- 
ministered to John in Patmos when he fell at the 


feet of the angel to worship him. If ever a being, 
other than God himself, was worthy of adoration, it 
was surely that strong angel who, with glowing face, 
had drawn the veil to reveal to the exiled evangelist 
his visions of the endless life. But when John would 
have accorded to him this honor, he recoiled with 
horror from it, saying, " See thou do it not ; for I am 
thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets ; 
worship God." This is why we Protestants have 
no saints in our calendar. This is why we have no 
Ave Marias in our liturgy. We J^elieve that the word 
is imperative and final : " Worship God ! " 

(3) Christ is accessible to all. We deny the need of 
any intermediaries between the soul and him. His 
word is, "Come unto me." The rending of the veil 
from the top to the bottom in the very hour when 
Jesus dying, cried, upon the cross, "It is finished !" 
meant that a new and living way was now opened 
into the holiest of all. Let priests and pontiffs and 
ecclesiastical principalities and powers of every sort 
now stand aside ! Out of the way ! The function 
of the Church and her ministers is not to guard the 
mercy-seat against the approach of the sinner, but 
simply to announce that Jesus waits to hear and com- 
fort and strengthen and pardon and save him. Medi- 
ators? Oh no. Intercessors? Oh no. Confessors? 
Oh no. This is child's play, but with serious conse- 
quences. Out upon all such interference with the 
sovereignty of Christ in holy things. In the new dis- 
pensation of the Spirit every man is made a king and 
priest unto God. 

II. The Bible. Here also we begin with a protest; 
a protest against the co-ordination of the Scriptures 
with any other writings on earth. The positive state- 


ment of our belief is this: "The Scriptures are the 
only infallible rule of faith and practice." 

(i) We believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures as 
the veritable Word of God. It is not for us to closely 
define inspiration or declare the method of it. The 
Mohammedans can tell you precisely how the Koran 
was delivered to them. It had been recorded from 
all eternity on the tables beside the throne of God. 
In fulness of time it was transcribed by the angel 
Gabriel who caused it to be written on palm leaves, 
the shoulder blades of camels and the breasts of men, 
and so placed before Mohammed's eyes and made 
current among men. But we cannot speak so clearly 
as to the manner in which our Scriptures came from 
God. It is quite enough for us to know that holy 
men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 
We are satisfied with the assurance that all Scripture 
given by inspiration is profitable for us. The word 
is, Theopneustos; that is, God-breathed. God breathed 

(2) The Scriptures thus delivered stand alone as our 
infallible rule of life. They are separated by their 
absolute truth and trustworthiness from all other 
books. We sometimes speak of the inspiration of 
Homer and Dante and Virgil and Shakespeare ; it is 
hardly necessary to say, however, that their inspira- 
tion is of a totally different sort and implies no gift 
of infallibility. The holy men who were chosen to 
write Scripture were endued with power to declare 
without error the whole counsel of God. The touch- 
stone of Scripture is inerrancy. There is a vast ac- 
cumulation of apocryphal writings, traditions and 
pseudo-gospels which are not without historical value, 
but not to be mentioned in the same breath with 


the inspired Word. The man who denies the truth- 
fulness of Scripture sets himself against the con- 
sensus of the Protestant Churches and is, so far forth, 
a rationalist. The Protestant Church asserts its faith 
in Scripture as a true declaration of the divine will. 

(3) The Scriptures are free and open to every man. 
The Reformation began when Luther, rummaging 
through the library of the University at Erfurt, came 
upon a dusty copy of the Scriptures and opened it. 
He read there, "The just shall live by faith"; a 
truth which came to be known historically as the doc- 
trine of a standing or a falling Church. And still 
further he read, *' Search the Scriptures ; for in them 
ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which 
testify of me." Here was the search-warrant placed 
by the Master in the hand of every believer, entitling 
him to read for himself and interpret for himself this 
revealed Word. In pursuance of that truth the Prot- 
estant Churches have multiplied the Scriptures in the 
vernacular until they are now circulated in more than 
three hundred various tongues and scattered over the 
world like leaves of the tree of life. We hold that all 
power is in this Word ; the power of conversion, as it 
is written, " The Word of God is quick and powerful 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even 
to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit"; 
the power of sanctification, as implied in our Master's 
pontifical prayer, " Sanctify them by thy truth, thy 
Word is truth " ; the power of the world's ultimate 
deliverance, as it is written, " Go ye, evangelize," and 
again, "Preach the Word," and again, "As the rain 
Cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth 
not hither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to 
bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the 


sower, and bread to the eater : so shall my Word be 
that goeth forth out of my mouth ; it shall not re- 
turn unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which 
I please, and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." 

The last three hundred years are the glory of all 
history. At the beginning of the i6th century the 
world was in darkness. The Scriptures were laid 
away in monasteries, where the monks were engaged 
in illuminating missals, chanting prayers and swing- 
ing censers. The people without, the unshod people 
under the shadow of the monasteries, were in mid- 
night darkness. The truth in the open Scriptures 
flew abroad like Milton's angel with the flaming 
torch. Schools, hospitals and institutions of mercy 
were multiplied along the way. The people became 
a power. The world began to recognize the dignity 
of man. Light came not in a sun-burst, but, as it 
pierced the primeval shadows of chaos, glimmering 
and trembling, brighter and brighter unto the perfect 
day. So the world moves on, under the illuminating 
power of the Scriptures, toward the restitution of all 

III. Freedom. Here again, we begin by protesting 
against the subjugation of the individual mind and 
conscience to any other than God. Then we affirm 
the freedom of mind, conscience and heart ; the 
voluntary principle in religion, the enfranchisement 
of the nations, and the deliverance of the race from 
spiritual bondage into the glorious liberty of the 
children of God. 

( I ) The underlying principle is that of personal re- 
sponsibility. Every man must answer for himself at 
the judgment bar. It is said that when our fore- 
fathers came together in the Continental Congress to 


consider the Declaration of Independence, there was 
a long silence. Why ? They had before them a 
manifesto to which it was proposed to mutually 
pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred 
honor, and for which they would be called to account, 
not en masse, but personally. It was not the Continental 
Congress, but John Adams, Roger Sherman, John 
Hancock, Chailes Carroll of Carrolton and the other 
members of that Congress who, one by one, must 
answer for the decision of that day. Well might 
they be silent. In like manner we face all the great 
duties of life. The thought of a personal judgment 
is thrown backward over all that we do. 

(2) It follows, therefore, that as we are personally 
accountable, we can take orders only from God. In 
vindication of this principle the great battles of 
Protestantism have been fought. The glory of the 
recent history of civilization gathers about the Pro- 
testant Quadrilateral; the four peoples who have stood 
as in a solid square confronting the aggressions of 
ecclesiastical tyranny. The Waldenses, whose bones 
lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold; the Beggars 
of Holland, at cost of home, treasure and life, facing 
the Spanish Fury ; the Covenanters of Scotland, 
exiled from their churches, worshipping in conven- 
ticles among the hills and uplifting the banner " For 
Christ's Crown and Covenant ; " and the Huguenots 
reddening the pavements of Paris and the soil of all 
France with their consecrated blood. These consti- 
tute the great battalion who, devoting themselves to 
death for the truth's sake, have liberated the nations 
of Christendom in refusing to receive orders from 
priest, presbytery, oecumenical council or ecclesiastical 
judicatory; from anywhere save the throne of God. 


(3) And this accou?its for modern progress. Lay 
down the map of Christendom and see how that pro- 
gress has been limited by the boundaries of Protes- 
tant nations. The motto of the Protestant Church is 
not '''Semper ide7n^'' but ""Niinquam idem.'' There are 
only two great facts that abide ever the same. Jesus 
is the same yesterday, to-day and forever ; yet all the 
world is ever catching new glimpses of the beauty of 
his face. The Scriptures, also, abide unaltered, be- 
cause God sealed the Book with seven seals and 
marked it, " Finis." There is no appendix, no adden- 
dum. The revelation was adjusted to the progress 
of all time. Nevertheless, as John Robinson said, 
there are new truths ever bursting forth from the 
Word. But between these two abiding facts, Christ 
and the Bible, the Church moves onward in new 
enterprises to ever greater conquests of faith. It is 
from the bell towers of the Protestant Churches that 
the announcement of progress is heard. 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky ! 
Ring out the old, ring in the new, 
Ring out the false, ring in the true, 
Ring out old shapes of foul disease, 
Ring in the thousand years of peace. 
Ring in the valiant man and free, 
The larger heart, the kindlier hand, 
Ring out the darkness of the land, 
Ring in the Christ that is to be ! 

We say in the historic creed of the centuries, " I 
believe in the Holy Catholic Church." Holy, because 
it magnifies the perfection of the life and character 
of the only begotten Son of God. Catholic, because 
its only rule of faith and practice is the Scripture 
which is adjusted to the needs of every soul of man. 


Indestructible, because it rests upon the eternal 
Rock and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 

This is Protestanism. Its only pontiff is Christ, 
whose name is above every other which is named in 
heaven or on earth. Its only hierarchy is the proces- 
sion of torch bearers, who go forth to illuminate 
the dark places of cruelty and the habitations of 
death, and of reapers who come from harvest fields 
bringing their sheaves with them. Its only Book is 
that which was written by holy men who were moved 
by the Holy Ghost ; and its only creed is that which 
is framed from the Scriptures by men sitting at the 
feet of Christ. Its grandest cathedrals are the lives 
of holy men who realize their holy birth and destiny 
and who " know their rights and knowing dare main- 
tain." Its most fervent litany is this, From all 
tyranny of mind and conscience and heart, good Lord 
deliver us. Its grandest music is the breaking of 
chains ; and its magnificent gloria is — Ave Maria^ 
Hail Mary, mother of God, pray for us ? No ! No ! 
No ! But this, 

"All hail the power of Jesus' name ! 
Let angels prostrate fall, 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 
And crown Him Lord of all." 



"Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar 
spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to 
him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-dor." 
I Samuel xxviii. 7. 

It is said, "There is no character in a photograph, 
because it is a portrait taken at a single sitting." 
The "composite photograph" gives the best impres- 
sion of the real man. We want therefore to view 
Saul at different periods of his life. 

Our first glimpse of him is out upon the moun- 
tains where he seeks his father's asses. He is "a 
choice young man and a goodly, and among the chil- 
dren of Israel there is not a goodlier person than he." 
His stature and sturdy bearing remind us instantly 
of John Ridd in ** Lorna Doone." In the course of 
his quest he comes upon the home of the prophet 
Samuel, of whom he inquires the whereabouts of the 
lost asses. The prophet replied, "Set not thy mind 
on them, for they are found. And on whom is all the 
desire of Israel ? Is it not upon thee ? " 

He is next seen at the school of the prophets. 
Here he is getting rid of some of his roughness, the 
odor of the soil, and preparing in a measure, un- 
awares, for the high office that awaits him. His char- 
acter is changed; as it is written, "God gave him an- 
other heart, and the Spirit of- God came upon him." 



He is moved by new hopes and purposes. His re- 
markable presence in this company ''coming down 
from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret and 
a pipe and a harp before them," is remarked upon 
in a phrase which afterwards becomes a proverb — " Is 
Saul also among the prophets " ? 

Next at Mizpeh. The people have been called to- 
gether in solemn assemblage for the formal choice of 
a king. The lot is taken, and it falls upon the tribe 
of Benjamin; of the tribe of Benjamin the family of 
Matri is chosen; and in the family of Matri, the lot 
falls upon Saul, the son of Kish. He is sought for 
and cannot be found, for " behold, he hath hid him- 
self among the stuff"; that is, the baggage which 
surrounds the camp. He is brought forth into the 
midst of the assembly, and his presence inspires the 
greatest enthusiasm, for when he stands among the 
people he is higher than any of them from his shoul- 
der and upwards. And all the people shout, *' God 
save the King "! 

But Saul himself seems to have been indifferent to 
his high calling. There were some among the people 
who looked upon him as a mere yeoman, and said, 
"How shall this man save us"? The king-elect 
returned to his farm. He gloried in the open air and 
the sunlight. He loved to throw back his shoulders 
and rejoice in the freedom of the fields. He was fol- 
lowing the plow when messengers came to announce 
an incursion of the Ammonites. The town of Jabesh- 
gilead was besieged, and the cry of the terror, 
stricken people rang in his ears. He hewed in pieces 
a yoke of oxen, after the rude custom of that time, 
and sent them throughout the borders of Israel to 
enkindle their patriotic zeal, as the Scots were 


aroused in later times by the flaming cross upon 
their hills. He found himself at the head of a consid- 
erable army of volunteers; the martial spirit was 
aroused within him; he marched to the relief of the 
besieged city, and accomplished a great deliverance; 
as it is written, "He slew the Ammonites until the 
heat of the day." 

Then Saul assumed his proper place in the palace. 
He v/as every inch a king, just and resolute, ruling 
in equity. A cabinet of remarkable counselors was 
gathered about him. Samuel was his court chaplain 
Abner was his secretary of war, Abiathar was the 
high priest; David soon became his lieutenant and 
confidential friend. The king now showed him- 
self a man of magnetic control, and entered upon a 
remarkable career. Victory succeeded victory in the 
field. Those of the people who had formerly dis. 
trusted Saul now gathered loyally about him. 

But as time passed a strange malady falls upon 
him. We find him giving way to his passions and 
eccentric impulses. He is filled with envy and jeal- 
ousy. He shows himself cruel and vindictive to- 
wards those who oppose him. At Michmash, in the 
absence of Samuel, desiring to offer sacrifice before 
the battle, he profanely takes matters into his own 
hands. He hurls his javelin at David, who seeks to 
comfort his melancholy. He massacres the priests at 
Nob. Is it the intoxication of power that has seized 
him? Is he realizing, in moral bondage, the result of 
his self-indulgence; as it is written, "He that doeth 
sin is the servant of it"? Or is he indeed possessed 
of an evil spirit? He rejects all divine counsels and 
admonitions, and seems determined to run upon the 
bosses of the shield of God, There is scarcely a more 


lamentable picture of the decay of character than 
this : 

So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn 

Which once he wore! 
The glory from his gray hairs gone 


Of all "we loved and honored, naught 

Save power remains — 
A fallen angel's pride of thought, 

Still strong in chains. 

All else is gone; from those great eyes 

The soul has fled. 
When faith is lost, when honor dies, 

The man is dead! 

Then pay the reverence of old days 

To his dead fame; 
Walk backward, with averted gaze, 

And hide the shame!* 

The affairs of the kingdom have now reached a 
crisis. The Philistines have crowded their way- 
through the borders of Israel and massed themselves 
at the old battle-field of Esdraelon like a Tartar 
horde. The desperate and remorseful king knows 
not where to turn. His old adviser, Samuel, is dead. 
Abiathar, the priest, has gone and taken the Urim 
and Thummim with him. The priests, outraged by 
the massacre of their brethren, have forsaken him. 
He is no more counseled in dreams and visions of the 
night. The chill shadow of approaching disaster has 
fallen over him. He cannot go into this battle with 
out some supernatural support. He is at his wits* 

* These words were written by Whittier on the political 
recreancy of Daniel Webster in 1850. 


end. At this point he learns of a female necromancer 
who plies her lawless trade among the hills. He dis- 
guises himself, and with two faithful friends makes 
his way to the witch's cave at En dor. It is night. 

And the king said, " I pray thee, divine unto me by 
the familiar spirit and bring me him up whom I shall 
name unto thee." 

Then said the woman, " Whom shall I bring up 
unto thee?" 

And he said, " Bring me up Samuel " — Samuel of 
all men — whom he had loved and hated, grieved and 
persecuted, and ultimately driven to his death ! 

The witch waved her wand, mumbled her cabalistic 
charms and suddenly uttered a shriek of surprise. 
And the king said, " Be not afraid. What seest 
thou ? " 

The woman said, *' I see a god rising from the 
earth " ; and then, " An old man cometh up ; he is 
covered with a mantle." The king bowed himself 
to the earth and received the intimation of his ap- 
proaching defeat and death. 

It is an open question whether or no it was the 
real Samuel who appeared on this occasion. Not that 
the spirits of the dead may not return on occasion to 
this world ; for did not Moses and Elijah commune 
with the Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration? 
But there are two suspicious facts in the present case ; 
one is that Saul did not see Samuel. He took the 
witch's word for it, and he was in the very mood to 
believe that it was he. The other is that the message 
delivered by the spectre was nothing new. The king 
had previously been warned again and again of the 
calamity which was to overtake him. But I am not 
disposed to turn aside here into irrelevant or collateral 


questions, for there are certain practical truths and 
lessons which demand our attention. 

I. As to the probationary character of life. Saul had 
all along been on trial. In his call to the throne he 
had been required to meet certain tasks and respon- 
sibilities and was endowed with peculiar gifts 
and faculties for the discharge of them. If ever God 
was patient, it was with this man. He surrounded 
him with faithful counsellors who warned, exhorted 
and entreated him. He had a fair chance to make a 
success of character and life. So have we all — " a 
fighting chance " ; no more, no less. In many ways 
our circumstances are against us ; but the " mark of 
true greatness is for a man to prove himself su- 
perior to his environment." It is for us to say 
whether we will fight down our lower nature and be 
true to our best impulses and to the God who is ever 
stimulating and remonstrating with us, or give way 
to our besetting sins and temptations. To triumph 
means character and usefulness ; to yield means an 
utter loss of manhood and ultimate exile from God 

II. The touch-stone of spiritual success is obedie?ice. 
There is no room for wilfulness in the better life. 
Saul was determined to have his own way and he had 
it. The turning point in his life was in his famous 
campaign against the Amalekites. The Lord had 
said/* Go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all 
that they have, and spare them not." The result was 
an utter rout of the enemy ; " Saul smote the Amal- 
ekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur ; and 
he took Agag, the king, alive ; and spared also the 
best of the sheep and the oxen and the fatlings, and 
would not utterly destroy them." On his return from 
battle he met Samuel and said, " Blessed be thou of 


the Lord ; I have performed the commandment ot 
the Lord." And Samuel said, " What meaneth then 
this bleating of sheep and lowing of oxen which 
I hear?" The truth was, Saul had spared Agag to 
grace his own triumph ; but he was probably right 
when he excused himself further by saying, "I have 
spared the sheep and oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord 
thy God." And the prophet said, '' Why didst not 
thou obey the voice of the Lord ? To obey is better 
than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 
And rending his mantle, he said, "The-Lord hath 
rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day." 

The beginning of the higher life is in a covenant of 
absolute subjection to the divine will. There must 
be no reservation. There can be no wilfulness. *' Ye 
are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." 
No half-hearted service will answer. " My son give 
me thy heart." All or nothing ! We cannot serve 
God and have our own way. " Whatsoever he saith 
unto you, do it." 

in. There is such a thing as ''''grieving the Spirit *j 
this is for those who profess to be the people of God. 
For the impenitent there is another phrase, " quench- 
ing the Spirit"; this is done in rejecting the over- 
tures of mercy which are extended from time to time, 
as one puts out a kindling flame by repeatedly throw- 
ing water upon it. But we *' grieve " those whom we 
profess to love, our friends, our mothers, our counsel- 
ors ; we grieve them by repeated slights and 
affronts and inattentions. Our best friend is the Holy 
Spirit ; he is constantly urging us to larger measures 
of grace and virtue and fruitfulness. He is grieved 
when we refuse his invitations and admonitions. He 
is grieved by habitual disobedience, by worldliness, 


by neglect of known duty, by persistence in sin. 
And with what result ? Coldness of heart, discom- 
fort, self-accusation, departure farther and farther 
from God. Then misery and hopelessness ; no more 
Urim and Thummim ; no more blessed visions in the 
night watches ; no more walking with God in the 
cool of the day. We feel ourselves to be as Saul was, — 
alone, forsaken. The awful consummation of such a 
course is seen in the bitterness of Christ's anguish on 
the cross, when, not for himself, but in behalf of those 
who have exposed themselves to this grievous pain of 
abandonment, he cried, '' My God ! My God ! Why 
hast thou forsaken me ?" 

IV. But we must have soffie sort of religion. I call 
you to witness that no matter how far we may have 
wandered from our original devotion to Christ, we 
cannot live without some form of devotion. The soul 
craves it. If we cannot find God, we shall seek the 
witch of En-dor. We know that we belong to two 
worlds. We must keep up our communication with 
the invisible and supernatural. The soul's thirst must 
be slaked at wayside pools if not at the river of life. 

Whither shall we go in our wandering? Into 
atheism? That is most unnatural; the evidence 
of "a power not ourselves making for righteousness" 
is so interwoven with the fibres of our being that 
denying God is like wrenching off an arm or plucking 
out an eye. It is the fool, and the fool only, who hath 
said in his heart, " There is no God." 

If not into atheism, where then ? Into rationalism ? 
To reject the revelation from above in order that we 
may follow the dictates of unaided reason is pure 
wilfulness ; it leads us into all manner of error and 
unbelief. We wander about like a man lost on the 


prairie, with no landmarks anywhere, A level stretch 
of boundless, monotonous prospect on every side ; no 
path except that made by our own foot-prints, to 
which we ever return. We refuse to get our bearings 
from the only hopeful quarter, the stars that shine in 
heaven above us. This is to be lost indeed. 

Or if not into rationalism, perhaps into agnosti- 
cism ? This is the logical outcome of the habit of re- 
jecting truths which are constantly set before us. We 
begin by doubting and end by saying, " I know not. 
There may be a God ; but I cannot see him. It is 
possible that there is a future life ; but no one has re- 
turned to speak definitely about it. The Scriptures 
may be true ; but there is a difference of opinion, and 
I am not wise enough to solve it." So we find our- 
selves at the last like those eyeless fish in the waters 
of the Mammoth Cave, who have nothing but scars to 
show that once they could see. 

Or it may be that we find ourselves joined to some 
form of base superstition. Saul was a spiritualist. 
I do not say that there is no truth underlying this 
most specious form of falsehood. But for the so-called 
*' spiritualism " of these times I have no feeling but of 
contempt and abhorrence. The idea that our dear 
ones who have gone to glory, to sit at the feet of 
Jesus in the heavenly splendors, should return to 
earth to tap tables and hide in cabinets and submit to 
materialization in darkened rooms, to drivel senti- 
mental nothings and meaningless trivialities at the 
call of male and female transcendentalists of generally 
doubtful character, is too puerile and contemptible 
for a moment's thought. And experience proves that 
danger lies that way. 

I had a schoolmate once, the son of a clergyman, 


taught by a Christian mother to receive the simple 
truths of the Gospel, who as time passed, following 
his own inclinations, forsook the covenant with its 
moral precepts and yielded himself a willing attend- 
ant at the witch's cave. He deemed himself a pro- 
found thinker, and asserted that he had found a sys- 
tem of philosophy far better than the Gospel of 
Christ. He finished his course in the murder of Presi- 
dent Garfield ; and he excused himself for that dread- 
ful crime by saying that he was under the control 
of a supernatural influence. 

The danger point is at the divergence of the paths. 
The star that swings out of its orbit by a single inch, 
is lost forever in infinite space. God, the Bible, the 
influence of the Spirit, these mark the appointed route 
of the Christian life. The moment we depart from 
them we are on dangerous ground. The Christian 
system is like a chain whose strength is lost if but a 
single link be broken. To say that we believe with a 
reservation, is to say that we do not believe at all. 
And this is the tendency of our time, — to place one's 
own heart and reason over against the divine author- 
ity. " For I bear them record that they have a zeal 
of God ; but not according to knowledge ; for they 
being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going 
about to establish their own righteousness, have not 
submitted themselves unio the righteousness of God." 
If we persist in such a course, wilful and unrestrained, 
it is certain that we shall ultimately be "given over 
to believe a lie." 

The last chapter in the history of Saul remains to 
be told. On the heights of Gilboa he met the Philis- 
tines. The figure of the stalwart king was to be seen 
amid a shower of arrows, desperation in his face. 


despair in his heart. A troop of the enemy had 
driven him up a steep hill, and there he stood at 
bay. His three sons had been slain; his armor- 
bearer lay dead beside him; his shield, stained with 
blood, had been cast away, and he leaned heavily upon 
his spear, weak from a self-inflicted wound. The 
dizziness and darkness of death were before him; he 
reeled and fell. The next morning his armor was 
fastened above the altar of the Ashtaroth and his head- 
less body was impaled on the wall of Beth-shan like a 
captured bird of prey. 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. 
Back to thy first love, O believer in Christ! Back to 
thy covenant and thy vow^s of espousal! Back to the 
old-fashioned Book which is thy only infallible rule 
of faith and practice! Back to the mercy seat where 
once thy communion was so sweet with. God! It is 
not too late; the hands of mercy are stretched out 

In the recent exhibit at the Luxembourg there 
was one picture by an American artist which attracted 
great attention. It was called "The Return." A 
wandering son in rags and tatters has come home; 
he kneels in an attitude of hopeless anguish by the 
side of the high bed whereon his father lies dead with 
the candles about him. Too late! too late! 

This is not true. The Father never dies; the 
prodigal may. The Father waits with outstretched 
hands. Here is the divine record, "And he arose and 
came to his father. But when he was a great way off 
his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and 
fell on his neck and kissed him." 


** By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after Ihey were compassed about 
seven days. Heb. xi, 30. 

The children of Israel were at the borders of the 
promised land. They had crossed the river and were 
encamped at Gilgal in the edge of a magnificent 
grove of palm trees. Two miles away they could see 
Jericho, a strong city with " walls up to heaven," en- 
circled by an amphitheatre of hills ; and beyond that 
was the land flowing with milk and honey, the land 
which had been promised to Abraham four hundred 
and thirty years before. The key of the situation was 
Jericho. It stood like a sentinel guarding the way. 

At night Joshua went out to reconnoitre. He 
passed through the palm-grove and surveyed the 
barred gates and towering walls, searching for some 
point of attack. On a sudden there stood over 
against him a man with a drawn sword in his hand. 
" Who goes there ? " He instantly stood on guard and 
uttered the challenge, thinking the intruder to be one 
of the enemy. The answer was, " Nay, but as captain 
of the Lord's host am I come." It was the Angel of 
the Covenant. Then ensued a conference respecting 
the siege of Jericho. 

The plan traversed in that conference was carried 
out in due time. It was a singular performance, the 


like of which has never been seen in military tactics. 
This was the arrangement of the army that was to 
compass the city : a band of armed men led the 
way; then came seven priests with rams' horns ; after 
them the Levites bearing the Ark of the Covenant ; 
then again the armed men. There was to be perfect 
silence in the ranks, except for the blowing of the 
rams' horns. 

On the first day the guards, who stood upon the 
walls of Jericho, saw this strange procession come 
down the road from Gilgal and begin its march 
around the city. On the second day they probably 
remarked upon the singularity of the proceeding. On 
the third day they looked into each other's faces and 
smiled. On the fourth everybody in Jericho probably 
turned out to see it. There they come ! the same 
priests, the same order, the same wooden chest, the 
same rams' horns, the same solemn silence. It is safe 
to say that on the fifth day and the sixth there was 
much derision and laughter ; 

" The King of France, with twice ten thousand men, 
Marched up the hill, and then marched down again." 

On the seventh day the procession having com- 
pleted its living circumvallation, did not turn out 
into the Gilgal road, but proceeded to compass the 
city again, and so on until seven times. Then, on 
reaching the gate, they paused ; the priests lifted the 
twisted horns to their lips and sounded a blast ; 
whereat the armed men began to shout with one ac 
cord, perhaps, Jehovah Nissi ! "The Lord our banner!" 
The people of Jericho, watching with smiling interest, 
felt the stone fabric under their feet begin to shake 
and tremble as if ten thousand giants were tugging 


and straining at the parapet ; their laughter ceased ; 
their faces blanched, and in another moment the 
great bulwarks tottered and fell asunder ! Then 
amid the cries of the wounded and dying, over the 
ruined heaps the army of Israel rushed in to pos- 
sess the city. 

How shall we explain this ? The secret, if known 
to the Great Powers of Europe, would save them an 
expenditure of millions of money for arms and arma- 
ments. It would be of incalculable value to the 
Church also ; for an important part of her work is the 
casting down of the strongholds of evil. There is 
Islam, a frowning Jericho, standing in the way of 
Christian progress. There is Judaism, founded deep 
in divine tradition and with walls towering to heaven. 
There is infidelity entrenched in bulwarks that have 
resisted the assaults of ages. There are the dram 
shop, licentiousness. Sabbath desecration — Jerichos 
all. How shall the church reduce them ? Here is 
the secret : " By faith the walls of Jericho fell down." 
By faith ! Let us see how Faith proceeded to the 

I. It began by throwing up its hands. It confessed 
an utter inability. When Joshua on that moonlight 
night saw the barred gates and towering walls, he 
knew that the task was hopeless. But just here is the 
beginning of strength. "I will glory in my infirmities," 
says Paul, " that the power of Christ may rest upon 
me. I take pleasure in my infirmities for Christ sake; 
for when I am weak then am I strong. I can do all 
things through him who strengtheneth me." 

II. Y^\\.\).fell on its knees and called on God. At this 
time the children of Isiael kept the Passover. It in- 
volved them in a delay of an entire week and gave 


the enemy an opportunity of strengthening his de- 
fences. But no matter ; the Passover must be kept. 
The lamb was slain, the altar blazed, the prayers were 
made, and Israel was set right before God. 

The Duke of Alva, engaged in a campaign, was 
asked if he had observed the eclipse. " No," he re- 
plied, " I am quite too busy to look toward the sky." 
This is a common fault. But he makes a grievous 
mistake who enters upon a day of solemn tasks and 
duties without the morning prayer; and you will be 
a foolish man if you to-night shall go into the un- 
known country of darkness and danger without, at 
the least, folding your hands as the dear mother 
taught you long ago, and saying, 

" Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep." 

III. '^QXt,Ysi\t\\ got hold of a promise. The captain 
of the Lord's host said, '' I deliver Jericho into thy 
hand." That was enough ; Joshua believed it. 

It is a great thing to have a promise at the out- 
set. A young man from a western town wrote me 
recently, " I am ambitious to come to New York and 
make my way. Can you give me a word of encour- 
agement ? I must have something to bank on." O, 
what enheartenment there is in a word from heaven! 
And the Book is full of promises. Here is one of 
boundless possibilities : "Ask and it shall be given 
you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be 
opened unto you." Here is another that rings like a 
trumpet: " They that wait upon the Lord shall re- 
new their strength ; they shall mount up with wings 
as eagles ; they shall run and not be weary, and they 
shall walk and not faint." Here is another as a 


Strong staff to lean on : " Lo, I am with you alway 
even unto the end of the world." Get hold of a 
promise, my friend. It will be a starting point for 
your journey ; a postulate for the great argument of 
life. Get. hold of a promise ; spread it out ; medi- 
tate upon it night and day ; grasp it tighter ; stretch 
it wider, wider ; lie down upon it ; rest in it. The 
great bridge over the Niagara began with a kite 
string, then a whip-cord, then a rope, then a larger 
rope, then a wire, then a strand of wire, a cable, a 
larger cable, a foot bridge, and finally a magnificent 
fabric over which the loaded trains are passing to-day. 

IV. FsiiXh found out a divine plan and fell in with it. 
If you or I had been in Joshua's place, it is probable 
that we would have called a council of war. One 
would have said the way to reduce Jericho is by sap- 
ping and mining ; another would have suggested 
that catapults should be put on the hills round about 
to batter down the gates ; and still another might 
have insisted that the only hope lay in a protracted 
siege and the slow processes of famine. But Joshua 
did the better thing ; he hearkened to what the cap- 
tain of the Lord's host had to say. 

God's plan for our daily life is all marked out in 
Scripture. The plan of salvation is here : repent, be- 
lieve and be baptized ; that is to say, turn your back 
on sin, accept the Lord Jesus Christ and confess him 
before men. The plan of sanctification also is here, 
to-wit : a creed, an ethical code and a rule of service. 
Our creed is whatever God says as to spiritual truth. 
Our code of morals is the Decalogue plus all the other 
precepts of the divine law. And our rule of service 
is, Go evangelize ; do good a? you have opportunity 
unto all men. 


There are other plans of salvation besides that of 
Scripture, but this is the only one that saves ; as it is 
written, *' There is none other name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must be saved, than 
that of Jesus Christ." 

Other methods of sanctification are proposed also, 
but the Scripture plan which brings us under the in- 
fluence of the Holy Spirit is the only one that brings 
us into Christ-likeness and up to the full stature of a 

V. Faith then pj'oceeded to business. Joshua and the 
children of Israel did precisely as the Angel of the 
Covenant had commanded them to do. They formed 
in line, took the Ark along with them, kept perfect 
silence in the ranks, marched round and round once 
every day, seven times on the Sabbath, and then 
shouted. Here was exact obedience. This is the 
secret of success in serving God. 

A passive faith is no faith at all. Faith without 
works is dead. People do not reach heaven by sitting 
in their pews and singing hymns. Off yonder is a 
vessel on the sea ; let us hail it. 

" Ship ahoy ! " 

"Ay! ay! " 

" Whither are you bound ? " 

" To Canaan's happy shore." 

" Where's your skipper ? " 

" Down below." 

" Where's your helmsman .?" 

*' Down below." 

*' Where are your crew ? " 

" Down below." 

" What are you doing ? " 

" Drifting." 


" You'll never get there ! " 

And they never will. People do not reach Canaan 
that way. 

It took courage for the children of Israel to carry 
out the divine plan. No doubt while they were 
marching around the city, many an arrow came from 
the walls, and, worse than that, laughter and derision ; 
but they kept right on. 

It took patience also. Patientia omnia vincit ! A 
little fellow in kilts with a fire shovel in hand was 
engaged in carrying a ton of coal from the sidewalk 
to the shute. A gentleman passing by said, " Do 
you expect to shovel that all in?" "Yes, sir,' 
said the little fellow, " if I keep at it." There was 
a world of philosophy in that reply. He that be- 
lieveth shall not make haste. All things are accom- 
plished by bravely, patiently keeping at it. 

VI. But after all, Faith did nothing ; nothing at all. 
The rams' horns did not blow down those walls. 
There was no virtue in that weary tramp, tramp, of 
the queer procession. The final shout had surely 
nothing to do with it. Who then or what overthrew 
those walls ? God did it. And God has everything 
to do with the triumphs of our spiritual life, that all 
the glory may be his. 

It is so in the matter of our salvation : repent, be- 
lieve, be baptized ; these are conditions precedent, 
but the one thing needful is regeneration, and that is 
wholly the work of God. " Not by might nor by 
power ; but by my spirit, saith the Lord." '' Except 
a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of 

It is so in our sanctification. " Work out your own 
salvation with fear and trembling." Work it out — 


that is, to its glorious fullness and consummation in 
Christ-like character ; " for it is God that worketh in 
you both to will and do of his own good pleasure." 
If we breathe spiritually, it is because God furnishes 
the air. If we eat, it is God's bread. If we drink, it 
is water out of the King's well. All glory to him ! 

It is so also in service. Paul may plant and 
Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. In all 
things faith is a conditional but not an efficient cause. 
No matter what we do, we come up ultimately against 
the absolute need of a miracle. The children of 
Israel went out of Egypt and down the road toward 
Canaan until they reached the border of the sea. 
They could go no farther ; on either side were the 
mountains and behind them they heard the rumbling 
of Pharaoh's chariots ; they were wholly in the power 
of the foe, as far from deliverance as ever. All their 
doing thus far was as naught. In their impotency 
they fell upon their knees and cried to heaven. Then 
came the word, " Stand still and see the salvation of 
your God." The waters of the sea were piled up in 
crystal walls on either side ; they passed through dry 
shod ; and on the further shore they sang, not of what 
they themselves had done, but of what the Almighty 
God had wrought in their behalf ; " Who is like unto 
thee, O God, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, 
doing wonders ? The horse and his rider hast thou 
cast into the sea." 

Here is the secret of self-conquest. All earnest 
men and women are engaged in a stern conflict with 
the pride and passion of unregenerate nature. We 
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against prin- 
cipalities and powers. Let us begin aright by kneel- 
ing at Calvary and invoking the help of him who 


said, '^ No man shall pluck you out of my hand.*' It 
is a serious warfare and there is no discharge in this 

O watch and fight and pray, 

The battle never give o'er ; 
Renew it boldly every day, 
And help divine implore. 

And here is the secret of the conquest of the 
world. Out of the upper chamber went a little com- 
pany of humble folk to be the vanguard of a great 
procession, who have ever since been compassing the 
world. Their only weapon is the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the Word of God. The " foolishness of 
preaching" by force of example as well as in pulpit 
ministration is destined to overthrow all the strong- 
holds of evil. The very essence of preaching is fool- 
ishness ; as it is written, "We preach Christ cruci- 
fied ; to the Jews a stumbling block ; to the Greeks 
foolishness ; but to them which are saved the wisdom 
and the power of God." 

Marching, rams' horns, silence, shouting; O this 
seems a hopeless task ! But we are going to win 
the world yet. This is the victory which over- 
cometh the world, even your faith. We follow the 
divine plan; and just in the measure of our obedi- 
ence we are winning the world for God. It is a 
glorious work. Lend a hand, good friend ! To hold 
aloof would be the mistake of your life. The un- 
speakable joy of heaven will be that you had some 
part in it. 


"Till we an come in the knowledge of the Son of God unto& perfect man 
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."— Eph. iv. 13. 

Tom Brown is dead. A week ago he crossed the 
tropics. Had I said Judge Hughes of Chester you 
might not have understood, but everybody knows 
Tom Brown of Rugby and Oxford. His age was 
above three score and ten, but he kept his boyhood 
to the end. The width of the Atlantic was between 
us. yet he was dear to all Americans ; for during our 
Civil War he stood beside John Bright in his defense 
of freedom and the Union. Was his life a success? 
Not as a lawyer ; for he dwelt a briefless barrister at 
Lincoln's Inn. Not as a business man ; he was the 
founder of Rugby Colony in Tennessee in 1880 ; 
made up of young Englishmen familiar with lawn 
tennis and fox-hunting, it soon dwindled out. Not 
as a statesman ; for, though he was a member of Par- 
liament in his time, he was rarely heard of. But he 
did one thing well ; he painted the portrait of a manly 
youth. He did it in such a manner as to captivate 

*This discourse was preached on the Sabbath following the 
death of Thomas Hughes, the author ot " Tom Brown's School- 
days," '' The Manliness of Christ," and other wcyrks. 



and stimulate the nobler impulses of youth through- 
out the world. And throughout his life he sought to 
exemplify this : a frank, kindlyj broad-hearted, gener- 
ous, earnest Christian man. 

He had his faults ; that goes without saying. But 
he stood for manliness in Christian living ; and for 
this the world will always revere him. The children 
of the market-place may not judge wisely as to Chris- 
tianity, and often they do not; but the world knows 
a thorough Christian when it sees him. It has no 
patience with sentimentalism on the one hand or with 
worldly Christianity on the other. It detests the holy 
whine, the melancholy accent, and the mere outward 
garb. It equally detests that profession of Christian- 
ity which is ever compromising with the world's 
fashion. " Ye are the salt of the earth : but if the 
salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? 
it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, 
and to be trodden under the foot of men. Ye are the 
light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot 
be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it 
under a bushel, but on a candlestick ; and it giveth 
light unto all that are in the house. Let your light 
so shine before men, that they may see your good 
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 

In thinking over the life of Thomas Hughes I have 
constantly associated him with the familiar phrase, 
Sana mens In sano corpore : " A sound mind in a healthy 

I. The healthy body to begin with. Tom Brown was 
the champion of college athletics. The boat-race 
between Oxford and Cambridge took place yesterday 
on the Isis. Had he been living, he would in all 
probability have been there and " running with the 


crews." Our American colleges are indebted to him 
for the introduction of the Rugby game of foot-ball. 

I confess to a sincere sympathy with the college 
athletics of our time. In the entire calendar there is 
no better exhibition of the manliness of American 
student-life than in the annual Yale-Princeton foot- 
ball game. No doubt there are many excesses and 
extravagances. Nevertheless, the present order of 
things is much better than that of former days. You 
may take your choice ; a slender youth, narrow- 
chested, stoop-shouldered, with watery eyes, a hack- 
ing cough and a profoundly laborious devotion to his 
books, on the one hand ; on the other, the stroke oar, 
the first base, or the quarter-back — broad-chested, 
robust, brown as an Indian, and with no reason in the 
world why he should not be equally devoted to his 
books. As a rule, the modern system of athletics is 
conducive to health. We have sixty thousand physi- 
cians in America, all good men ; but God is better 
than all, and the air and the sunlight are his Materia 

And athletics practiced within the bounds of rea- 
son are also conducive to moral health. There is a 
sense in which the proverb, " Boys will be boys," 
holds true; and that other proverb also, "You can- 
not put an old head on young shoulders." There 
must be some vent for the exuberant spirits of youth. 
A great change has come over college life since the 
days of the "Thanksgiving powwows "and the "Fresh- 
man rush," hazing, society dinners and carousing 
of various sorts. It is far better that a boy should 
break a finger or lame himself than spend his days 
and nights sowing wild oats. Better water on the 
knee than water on the brain. 


II, But the Sana mens is of high impoj'tance. A 
healthy body is of little use unless it be occupied by 
a healthy mind. The word sana here is suggestive. 
The beginning of true manhood is in coming to one's 
self. "The mind" in this connection must be taken 
as a comprehensive term, meaning the whole spiritual 
nature. A sane mind is simply a soul at complete 
peace with itself and God. 

I am like one awaking from a bewildered dream 
and finding myself in a prison cell. I cannot remem- 
ber how I came here ; but I want to escape. I be- 
gin to investigate ; I climb up to the windows, they 
are securely barred ; I inspect the lock, it is fast ; I 
examine the floor to see if the slabs can be lifted ; I 
cry aloud in my despair, and my cry echoes back to 
mock me. I hear the grating of the hinges and turn 
to see ; the door is open and one stands there with 
hands outstretched, pierced hand?, saying, " Come 
with me and I will liberate you." To answer that 
call is faith ; to follow him is to come forth into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God. So I find my 
manhood. So I come to myself again. Henceforth 
my mind is a right mind ; a sane mind reconciled to 
itself and God. 

And this was the sum and substance of the teach- 
ing of Thomas Hughes ; a Christian resolution domi- 
nating the whole habit of life. It was natural that 
in pursuance of this thought, he should make much 
of the three manly graces ; Courage, Courtesy, and 

I. Courage. If you have formed a conviction as to 
truth and duty, be ready on occasion to stand for it. 
Let no man take thy crown ; let no man despise 


There is one episode in Tom Brown's school-days 
at Rugby which is calculated to stimulate all that is 
noble in a youthful heart. The new boy Arthur from 
Devonshire had just entered school ; a pale lad, 
with a delicate hand, large blue eyes and fair hair. 
He had a rough reception from the boys and was 
almost scared out of his wits. On the first night, at 
the retiring hour, he was shown to " Number Four " 
where there were twelve beds. The other boys were 
laughing and chatting, but poor Arthur was over- 
whelmed with the strangeness of it. How could he 
ever sleep in a room with twelve other boys ? At 
length, however, he summ.oned resolution and man- 
aged to get into his night-gown. Then came the tug 
of war ! He had promised his mother to kneel down 
and say his prayer. {Now, boy, to thine own self be 
true !) Some of the lads were already in bed with 
their chins on their knees. It was a trying moment 
for lonely Arthur. But he dropped on his knees by 
his bedside just as he had done ever since he could 
remember. There was a momentary lull in conver- 
sation ; then somebody laughed, and the fun began. 
Tom Brown was sitting on the foot of his bed un- 
lacing his boots and failed to see what was going on. 
A brute of a fellow, standing in the middle of the 
room, picked up a slipper and shied it at the kneeling 
boy. Tom turned and saw ; and the next moment 
the boot he had pulled off flew straight at the bully's 

''Confound you. Brown," he roared. "What's 
that for?" 

"Never mind," said Tom. "If any fellow wants 
the other boot he knows how to get it." 

That ended the matter just then; butTom couldn't 


sleep; his head throbbed, his conscience troubled him. 
He too had promised his mother years ago. When he 
awoke, his trouble was still with him. At length he 
determined to quit himself like a man. He leaped from 
his bed and knelt down, but he could not pray ; the 
bell as it rang seemed to mock him ; he listened to 
every whisper in the room. What were they thinking 
of him ? He was ashamed to remain upon his knees 
and ashamed to rise. He could only repeat to him- 
self over and over, " God be merciful to me a sinner." 
But the battle had been fought and won. Rise up, 
Tom Brown, Knight of the Cross of Jesus Christ ! 
He arose to face his schoolmates ; two of them had 
followed his example and were kneeling beside their 

2. Courtesy. Tom Brown was as gentle as he was 
brave. So it always is ; "the bravest are the tender- 
est, the loving are the daring." A gentleman is 
simply a gentle man. 

It is a difficult thing for a man of noble birth and 
breeding, or of wealth or education, to be courteous. 
A plain man on a humbler level finds it easy ; but for 
those of higher station the temptation to be arrogant 
or else patronizing in their manner is almost irresis- 

Oh it is excellent 

To have a giant's strength ; but is tyrannous 

To use it like a giant. 

A lady hurrying along the street in London turned 
a corner and ran against a grimy newsboy. With the 
instinct of a lady she said, "I beg your pardon, my 
boy. Did I hurt you ?" He looked at her in a dazed 
sort of way and then whipped off his cap like a gentle- 
man of the old school, and said, *' You have my pard- 


ing, Miss, and welcome ; and the next time you run 
ag'in me, you kin knock me clean off my feet and I'll 
never say a word." He followed her out of sight 
and turning to a fellow Arab, said, "I say, Jim, its 
the first time I ever had anybody ax my parding, and 
it knocked me all in a heap." There is an incalcula- 
ble power in such courtesy as that ; kings and poten- 
tates, as well as beggar boys, have been conquered 
by it. 

We speak of chivalry ; it is not necessary to go to 
courts or tilting grounds to find it; an opportunity 
awaits you in a Broadway car. This young man is 
so industriously engaged in reading his newspaper 
that he does not heed the old lady who, with hei 
arms full of bundles, is holding to a strap near by. 
A woman opposite, whose neighbor has just vaca- 
ted a seat, thinks nothing of the weary waiters, but 
shakes out her skirts and occupies twice her former 
space. A youth rises to offer his seat to a pretty girl, 
not realizing that the colored maid or seamstress 
yonder, being much more weary, has a tenfold claim 
upon it. And she who draws her dainty skirts aside, 
because a laboring man with soiled and callous hands, 
has taken his place beside her, no doubt thinks her- 
self a gentlewoman. There is much of this sort of 
behavior, and much of the other also. True relig- 
ion projects itself into the smallest things of life. 
You may show yourself a Christian in a cable car. 

3, Cheerfulness. Why not ? This is a good world 
and there is a gracious God above it. 

There are some people who are always gruff and 
in a captious mood. Nothing agrees with them ; 
nothing suits them. , The weather is never right. 
The country is going to the dogs. And, except 



themselves, the people generally are no better than 
they ought to be. Then there are others like Mark 
Tapley, cheerful under all circumstances ; or like 
Sidney Smith, who said, " I have gout, asthma, and 
seven other maladies, but otherwise, thank the Lord, 
I am very well." 

It is cheerfulness that makes the wheels of this 
old world go merrily round. A few years ago a fire 
occurred in Minneapolis which destroyed one of the 
large business houses and wiped out its owner's 
wealth. He was in the far west at the time, and 
when the disaster was telegraphed to him fell into a 
deep melancholy from which nothing could arouse 
him. He took the train for home. At Omaha he re- 
ceived a bundle of letters which he listlessly read 
one by one. At length the passengers saw him open 
a letter which made him smile and presently he 
laughed audibly. The tide was turned, and this was 
what did it : " My dear Papa, I went down to see 
your store that was burned and you can't think how 
pretty it looked all covered with ice. Love and 
kisses from your little Lilian." He saw the vision 
which his little daughter had conjured up ; icicles 
hanging in crystal beauty over the ruin of his for- 
tunes. There was something to live for yet. God 
be praised for the bright sunny people who make the 
best of life for themselves and for others around 
them ! 

But after all in this matter of right Christian 
living, all depends upon the way we begin. What is 
our purpose ? Have we '' grasped the handle of our 
being " ? Do we propose to spend and be spent in 
our own interest alone ? Or, do we mean to live for 
others and the glory of God ? The aim is everything. 


And the true inspiration of life is caught only by- 
fixing our eyes upon the Ideal Man. 

The Ideal Man was never seen on earth but once. 
Thomas Hughes saw him in Christ, and his thought 
of Christian manliness was borrowed directly from 
him. All youth are familiar with "Tom Brown at 
Rugby " and " Tom Brown at Oxford ; " but Thomas 
Hughes wrote one thing which is more universally 
known and read than these, a pamphlet on "The 
Manliness of Christ." In his early life he saw Christ, 
loved and revered him, and resolved to be like him. 

The Man of Nazareth was a man of the people : 
brave, gentle, generous, true to his convictions, faith- 
ful unto death. In his carpenter-shop he did honest 
work, and vindicated the dignity of labor for all time. 
In his ministry he " went about doing good." His 
ear was open to every cry of distress ; his hand was 
ever stretched forth to help. How brave he was in 
denouncing all shams and hypocrisies : *' Woe unto 
you, Scribes and Pharisees ! How shall ye escape the 
damnation of hell ? " How gentle he was to the weak 
and erring and penitent: "Go and sin no more." 
How eager to relieve pain and weariness: "Come 
unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I 
will give you rest." And how gladsome withal. The 
sun shone through his eyes. He scrupled not to at- 
tend the marriage in Cana and make himself at 
home among the guests. And his life was crowned 
with one deed of self sacrifice the like of which the 
world had never seen and never will see again, by which 
our human nature is exalted and glorified forever. 
He died for sinners. They had wronged him and had 
no claim upon him. They scourged him, mocked 
him, nailed him to the accursed tree. And while he 



hung there in mortal anguish, and those for whom he 
had died passed by wagging their heads at him, he 
prayed, "Father, forgive them ; they know not what 
they do ! " Never a Coeur de Leon or Sir Philip Sidney 
wrought like that. We stand under the cross in the 
presence of such magnanimity and say as Thomas 
Hughes was fond of saying of him, 

*' The best of men that e'er wore earth about him 
Was a sufferer, a calm, meek, patient, loving spirit. 
The first true Gentleman that ever lived." 

This then at the outset ; to come into the fellow- 
ship of Christ. How ? By a frank acceptance of the 
proffer of his grace. The manliest deed that earth 
ever saw was Christ's bearing of his cross ; the man- 
liest deed possible to our human nature is the ac- 
ceptance of it, '' If any man will come after me, let 
him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." 
So by the imitation of Christ ; that is, in the knowledge 
of the Son of God, shall we come at length to a per- 
fect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness 
of Christ. 


'•AH this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, 
saying, , . . " — Matt. xxi. 4. 

There is nothing more remarkable in the minis- 
try of Jesus than the reticence which he frequently 
observed and enjoined on his disciples with respect 
to his own character and redemptive work. He 
opened the eyes of a blind man and forthwith said to 
him, "See thou tell it not." He wiped away the 
leper's spots and commanded him, "Tell no man 
concerning this matter." On the Mount of Transfig- 
uration he appeared to the chosen three in garments 
white and glistening, revealing to them a momentary 
glimpse of his heavenly glory ; but, as they were 
coming down from the mountain, he enjoined them to 
tell no man what they had seen until after he had 
risen from the dead. At the very close of his minis- 
try, when at his own solicitation and to his own great 
satisfaction Peter had witnessed the good confession, 
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"! 
he still insisted that no man should be told of it. 
The purpose of this injunction was no doubt to pre- 
vent the precipitation of the last sad, yet glorious, 
chapter of his life. But now the hour has come ! He 
is on his way to Jerusalem, his face set steadfastly 
toward the cross. This thing must not be done in a 



corner ; he must be lifted up before the eyes of all 
the people, so that the ends of the earth may look 
unto him and be saved. With this intent he allows 
himself to be escorted to Jerusalem by a multitude 
of Passover pilgrims. It is, however, a strange pub- 
licity. Never was such a triumphal advent as this. 
There are no heralds going on before him to trumpet 
his coming ; no retinue of slaves following after, or 
captives at his chariot wheels. He would enter the 
city as a man of the people; a wayfaring man with 
the dust of travel on his homespun garb. Men on 
their way to worship, and women and little children, 
shall be his attendants. Why so ? All this was done 
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the 
prophet. And here we come upon our first helpful 
truth, to-wit : 

I. The unity of Scripture. The Bible is called 
Ta Biblia; it is however one Book ; it is not a mere 
aggregation of truths and moral precepts like the 
Analects of Confucius, but rather a living movement 
of truths advancing to a final consummation in the 
restitution of all things. 

In the margin of our narrative we are referred to 
Zech. ix, 9. Let us accordingly go back five hundred 
years and we shall find ourselves in Jerusalem during 
the rebuilding of the Temple. A caravan made up 
of five thousand of the flower of Israel had been per- 
mitted to return from Babylon. At once they set to 
work, animated by the most patriotic and religious 
motives, to rebuild the Temple. They had received 
contributions of about half a million of dollars in 
free-will offerings for this purpose. In Ziph, the 
blossom month, the work began in earnest ; and it was 
continued for a period of some years despite many dis- 


couragements and the opposition of the surrounding 
tribes. Then their enthusiasm ceased ; the fires upon 
the altar died out; the workmen longed to return to 
agricultural pursuits ; the fields lay fallow in their 
sight ; one by one they laid by the hammer and 
trowel and went forth to attend to their own affairs. 
The sanctuary was deserted; its bare walls were open 
to the skies ; the winds from the heights of Moab 
swept through its unlinteled doors; owls made their 
nests in its nooks and crannies ; foxes from the 
ravine of Hinnom crept in and out its Holy Place ; 
the outer precincts were filled with heaps of uncut 
stone and lumber. This was the condition of affairs 
when Zechariah came. He exhorted the men of 
Israel to return to their sacred task ; he sought to 
rekindle their ardor by reciting a series of glowing 
visions through which walked in divine majesty their 
Messianic King. The climax of his exhortation was 
reached in this prophecy ; " Rejoice greatly, O daugh- 
ter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem ; behold, 
thy king cometh unto thee ; he is just and having 
salvation ; lowly, and riding upon an ass ; and his 
dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river 
to the ends of the earth." 

Now link that event with this triumphal entry 
which occurred A. D. 30. It is the darkest hour in 
the history of Israel. The religion of the chosen 
people is much like the unfinished Temple, and their 
government is trodden down by alien feet. The Man 
of Nazareth is on his way to Jerusalem. He has 
passed the night in Bethany, and at daybreak resumes 
his journey, staff in hand. His disciples are with 
him, and a company of pilgrims to the great annual 
feast. Not far from Bethphage he rests for a season. 



and sends two of his disciples for the beast of burden 
which is to carry him into the city. In the meantime 
it is known in Jerusalem that Jesus of Nazareth is 
drawing near. The story of his preaching and mira- 
cles is on every lip. The people, encamped in leafy 
booths on the hill sides, see the caravan approaching 
on the heights overlooking the Kedron. They hear 
the shouting and commotion ; they know what it 
means. They stream up the road, tearing off branches 
of the palm-trees ; so the two companies meet ; 
those going before joining with those that follow 
after in the cry, *' Hosanna ! Hosanna to the Son of 
David " ! They wave the palm branchef>) they cast 
their garments in the road before him, and so escort 
him over the ford of the Kedron and on through the 
city gates. The people on the roofs and in their 
doorways see the procession passing by ; traders and 
camel-drivers, and rabbis in robes embroidered with 
gold, all gaze with interest. Who is this ? It is the 
carpenter of Nazareth, who claims to be the Messiah 
of God. On toward the Temple moves the strange 
procession, crying, " Hosanna ! Hosanna ! Blessed 
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord " ! 

Now link that event with still another which is as 
j'-et behind the veil. It was seen by John the Evan- 
gelist before the Book was sealed ; for the triumphal 
advent was itself a mere prophecy of John's vision. 
In his vision the moon was covered with a bloody 
veil ; the stars fell as when a fig-tree is shaken of its 
untimely figs ; the heavens were rolled up like a 
scroll ; the earth was on fire ; the hour struck ; the 
spirits of the dead came forth ; angels and archangels 
crowded the expanse above. Armies ! Armies ! 
Armies ! Palms in their hands and shouts of victory ! 


Far as the eye can reach, angels and archangels and 
saints triumphant. Now the trumpet blast! The heav- 
ens are opened and the Son of Man appears, robed in 
light and glory, and crowned with a diadem of stars ; 
he lifts his hands in benediction, intercessory hands, 
marked with the scars of his mediatorial anguish, 
" Hosanna ! Hosanna ! to the Son of David ! Worthy 
art thou to receive honor and glory and dominion 
and power for ever and ever " ! The end has come ; 
the tabernacle of God is among men. The prophe- 
cies are ended. Close the book and seal it. Jesus of 
Nazareth is universal king ; his dominion is from sea 
to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. 

II. Here is also a suggestion as to the philosophy of 
histofj J for history is not a mere record of events and 
happenings thrown together and tied up by old 
Father Time like a bundle of fagots, but rather a 
living tree ; one event growing out of another, as 
boughs from the trunk and twigs from the bough and 
blossoms from the twig and fruit from the blossom ; 
its roots deep down in the divine purpose and its life 
borrowed from the very throbbing of the heart of God. 

There is no chance; there are no accidents. We 
cannot say it happened that Zechariah had a vision, 
or that it happened that Jesus came riding into the 
holy city, or that it will happen some day that he will 
come through the open heavens to rule on earth in 
the Golden Age. Nothing happens. It is said that 
William the Conqueror slipped and fell as he landed 
from his little boat. There was a loud cry from his 
followers, who knew that this was the worst of evil 
omens. He recovered himself cleverly, however, and 
said, "See, my lords, by the grace of heaven I have 
taken possessio'n of England with both hands," as if 


he had intended it. But God indeed intends all 
things. The vision of Zechariah, though it wait five 
hundred years, will find its sequel ; and the triumphal 
advent of Jesus, which has already waited nigh two 
thousand years, will find its complement yet. 

And there is no confusion. The builders on the 
unfinished Temple said, "Cyrus is dead and his son 
Cambyses, and Darius knoweth us not ; Tyre and 
Sidon are breathing out slaughter against us, and the 
Philistines are rattling their chariots down yonder in 
the maritime plain." But God said to Zechariah, 
"Speak unto the children of Israel. The king's heart is 
in my hand as the rivers of water. As for Tyre and 
Sidon, behold their villages are all aflame. Syria 
shall be made a gazingstock. The bleeding carcass 
shall be torn from Philistia and the cup of trembling 
placed to her lips. For behold, the king cometh." 
And indeed there is never a moment in history when 
there is aught but confusion to human eyes ; wars 
and rumors of wars, entanglements among the nations 
and distresses among the children of men. But if 
we could take our position beside the throne of 
heaven and look down, we should see the procession 
of the King marching through all events toward the 
throne. God's ways are not as our ways, nor his 
thoughts as our thoughts. We shall go out with joy 
and be led forth with peace, for the mouth of the 
Lord hath spoken it ; the mountains and the hills 
shall break forth before us into singing and all the 
trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of 
the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of 
the briar shall come up the myrtle-tree ; and it shall 
be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign 
that shall not be cut off. 


And in all this vast proceeding of history there is 
no haste. The life-time of God is from everlasting 
to everlasting, and with him a thousand years are as 
one day. Haste is the infirmity of finite beings, of 
business men whose obligations fall due to-morrow, 
of lawyers whose briefs must be ready for the assem- 
bling of court, of preachers who must be in their pul- 
pits at the ringing of the bell. But God never hurries 
to meet his appointments. The world is under con- 
demnation ; men are dying; saints cry, " How long, 
O Lord, how long?" and still he awaits the fulness 
of time. Time is not a reaper with sickle in hand ; 
but a weaver sitting at the loom, throwing his shuttle 
to and fro, weaving in the bright with the sombre — 
each cast of his shuttle, a year, a generation, an aeon 
— but when he cuts the thread, the pattern is perfect, 
the fabric is complete and the King shall array himself 
in it. So let us rest in the old truth : 

•' Right forever on the scafifold, 

Wrong forever on the throne ; 
Yet that scaffold sways the future, 

And behind the dim unknown 
Standeth God, within the shadow. 

Keeping watch above His own." 

HI. Still another truth suggested here is the con- 
tinuity of life. No man liveth unto himself. History 
is genealogy ; dynasties are generations only ; fate 
is heredity. If eighty men of three-score years and 
ten, succeeding one another, were to be placed in line 
they would cover all history back to Adam. 

But each must stand in his allotted place ; in right 
relation to those going before and coming after. I 
am a part of God's definite plan, so are you, and so 
is every other. A man in Bethphage tethered his 


ass in the early morning before his home ; two men 
came and led it away ; a fourth man held it while 
Jesus mounted; a man cried *'Hosanna"! another 
and another and another joined in. All these are 
nameless, but each had his part in the proceeding. 
The whole world knows how Sir Walter Raleigh 
threw down his cloak at the crossing fur Queen Eliza- 
beth to tread on ; but no one knows aught of those 
men who cast their garments in the way before the 
Man of Nazareth. However, God remembers ; some 
of those names are doubtless written on the palms of 
his hands. 

It is for us to stand in our places and do the work 
divinely appointed for us. One day last summer a 
rivet in the engine of the steamship St. Paul said, "If 
I were a walking-beam or a piston-rod, I should be 
of some importance ; but I am only a rivet and of no 
use." And it shook itself loose and fell into a crevice 
of the cylinder. There it stopped the rod and arrested 
one of the propellers, so that the ship came like a poor 
cripple hobbling across the sea. My place is planned; 
if I refuse to fill it, I may hinder the progress of the 
King. God waits for all his people to do their part. 
The work will doubtless go on without us, but we 
shall lose our opportunity and fall short of the possi- 
bilities of life. And every act, every word, every 
thought tells. A child throws a pebble into the sea 
and creates a ripple that, however infinitesimal, goes 
to and fro forever. It was Anna Boleyn's charming 
smile that sundered the Church of Rome and changed 
the current of subsequent history. She did not know 
and did not intend such a change. 

So comes responsibility. We must answer not 
only for the things done, but for the things undone. 


Sin is by default as well as by transgression. They 
erred who refused to cry, '' Hosanna " ! as well as 
those who subsequently shouted " Crucify him " ! 
The words of the verdict are, "Inasmuch as ye did it 
not." Let us address ourselves, therefore, to all 
duties, however humble, which the spirit is ever sug- 
gesting to us. For all things are written down in a 
Book of Remembrance. God knows; we forget, but 
he, never. And the glory of our life is in being 
laborers together with God. 

It is recorded that Christ, as he approached Jeru- 
salem, paused on the slopes of Olivet and wept over 
the city ; " O Jerusalem," he said, " if thou hadst 
known in this thy day — but now thy house is left 
desolate." *' If thou hadst known " ! Oh the sorrow 
of lost opportunity ! The procession passes by ; let 
us have eyes to see and ears to hear and hands to 
wave the palm branches. Hearken to the sound of 
tramping feet ; now is our salvation nearer than we 
thought ; " Hosanna ! Hosanna to the Son of David ! 
The kingdom of heaven is at hand ! Blessed is he 
that Cometh in the name of the Lord ! " 

To-day is Palm-Sunday the w^orld over. In St. 
Peter's at Rome the Supreme Pontiff, golden cruci- 
fix in hand, followed by his cardinals and priests, ap- 
proaches a chamber which is closed throughout the en- 
tire year ; he knocks on the closed door thrice with the 
crucifix in the name of the Father and the Son and 
the Holy Ghost ; and the door swings open and the 
company enter, singing, " Hosanna to the Son of 
David"! It is an apologue of the work of the uni- 
versal church. We march toward the open heavens 
with the uplifted cross before us. The cross is the 
key of the apocalypse. When we shall stand and 


knock with sufficient earnestness, and unitedly cry, 
with all our hearts, " Open, open unto us " ! the clouds 
will roll back like mighty gates and the King of 
Glory will appear. Then the cry, " Maranatha " ! the 
Lord Cometh. The Scripture will have met its fulfill- 
ment ; all history will reach its consummation ; and 
the long procession of life will enter into the enjoy- 
ments of a Palm-Sunday whose sun shall never set — 
the ultimate and endless triumph of the King ; the 
eternal rest which is prepared for the people of God. 


"And Jesus said, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven."— Luke x. i8. 

Jesus had been a wanderer for eighteen months, 
an exile, to all intents from the Holy City. 
" He came unto his own, and his own received 
him not." On being driven out of Jerusalem, he 
had gone to his own townsmen at Nazareth, and they 
refused to entertain him. He had gone out for 
a while, and tarried at Capernaum, and there wrought 
many wonderful works, and preached the unsearch- 
able riches of the Gospel to people with hard hearts 
and dull ears. At last he was moved to cry, " O Ca- 
pernaum, thou hast been exalted unto heaven ; thou 
shalt be cast down unto hell." He had gone out 
among the villages of Galilee, and they had refused, 
also, to receive him, insomuch that his apostles would 
for their ingratitude have called down fire from 
heaven upon them. Now the end of his ministry 
was drawing near, and Christ was on his last journey 
to the Holy City. As he went, he appointed seventy to 
go to and fro as evangelists among the villages, and 
to preach the gospel of repentance to them. The func- 
tion of the seventy was not that of the twelve apostles; 
the twelve corresponded to the heads of the twelve 
tribes of Israel, but the seventy corresponded to the 



seventy elders of Israel, and they were to serve 
as lay workers. But in sending them out the 
Lord endowed them with great spiritual gifts — 
charismata; the power not only to speak the truth 
with flaming lips, but also to work miracles of healing 
and blessing. As he journeyed on, the seventy 
came in from time to time, until they were all 
back again. Then they made their report. Their 
hearts were beating fast with the enthusiasm of a 
magnificent triumph. They had expected great 
things, but had accomplished a thousand-fold more 
than they had ever dared to hope. One of them said, 
" I saw the lame man leap as an hart when I touched 
him." Another, " I saw the blind man open his 
eyes and go seeing when I touched them." Another, 
" I saw the white spots of leprosy fall from the 
leper when I touched him." Another, " I saw a 
raving maniac who was possessed of demons, sit, 
clothed in his right mind, tractable and docile as a 
little child, when I spoke to him." So they all re- 
ported marvellous success. Jesus stood by; and at 
length, with a far-away look in his eyes, he said, " I 
beheld Satan fall as lightning out of Heaven" — as 
a meteor; light for a moment, and then vanishing in 
the night; as a meteor, illuminating the skies from 
horizon to horizon, and then gone out forever ! 

It may be that Jesus alluded to the traditional 
mutiny which had occurred away back in the 
remote ages of which Jude tells in his word 
touching the angels that lost their first estate, and 
fell, and are reserved in chains unto the last day. 
The Apostle Peter also speaks of it ; Milton sings 
of that great defection in Heaven; and Shakespeare 
says: "Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away am- 


bition; by that sin fell the angels." But I believe 
that the immediate reference of Jesus was not 
to any event whatsoever. He stood there in the 
midst of all history, and in this glowing account of 
the triumph of his disciples he perceived the splendid 
consummation of all. The events of all the centuries 
passed before him in an instantaneous panorama. 
His own life-time was central to all human history. 
Past and future were alike to him. From everlast- 
ing to everlasting he was God. With those glowing 
eyes of his he saw all in a moment. They had ob- 
served a merciful miracle here and there. He saw 
everything in an instant of time. And thus he spoke 
of the great ultimate victory: "I beheld Satan fall 
as lightning out of Heaven." 

The Lord here teaches us how to read history. 
O for those illuminated eyes of Jesus! O for that 
far-seeing vision of Jesus! O for that world-con- 
sciousness of Christ, that was able to open the pages 
of earthly chronicles, and see what he saw that 
day ! 

He teaches us here, to begin with, that history is 
an argument. It is not a mere bundle of assorted 
facts, but it is an argument by the process known as 
progressive approach to an ultimate conclusion. We 
speak of the logic of events. He knew the meaning 
of that significant phrase, the logic of events. 

Here is his first premise, — God. He always began 
with God. Kant says that there is no need of God in 
philosophy, and La Place said the same thing — "I 
have no need of God in my system of philosophy." 
But there is no philosophy of history without God, 
who is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end 
of all. We borrow all our confidence from the fact 


that God is in the midst of histor^^ and that he 
reigns among the children of men. The mother of 
Sisera looked out of her window, and cried, " Why do 
the wheels of his chariot tarry so long?" We also 
mourn because of the long delay of the coming of 
Jesus Christ to reign from the river unto the ends of 
the earth. The mother of Sisera did not know that 
her son was lying in the tent with a nail through his 
temple, and that the bodies of the men of Harosheth 
were being swept down the river Kishon to the sea. 
But our God is a living God, who manifests his love 
and power continually among us. 

And his second prem.ise is Redemption. The word 
has in it an immense power. Redemption — the buy- 
ing back. Of what? Of this old, sin-stricken world 
of ours, that was sold and forfeited under sin, and 
passed under the reign of Satan, who thenceforth 
called himself " The Prince of this World." Redemp- 
tion is the buying back. At what cost ? On the cross 
is the ransom price: the Lamb; the Lamb of God, 
slain! Slain when? We date historical events from 
the building of Rome or from the birth of Christ 
at Bethlehem. But redemption, to those clear eyes of 
Jesus, was an event that stretched from the very 
beginning to the end of the ages. The Lamb was 
"slain from the foundation of the world"; from the 
beginning of sin to the bowing of the knee of the last 
stubborn sinner who will confess that Jesus is the 
Christ of God. 

The conclusion of the argument from those two 
premises is the triiunph of Christ. We stand here 
under the cross, where he was standing, and where 
the seventy also were standing, though they knew it 
not, and under that shadow we may see for ourselves. 


I see the stars of Heaven, and hear God promising 
to the Messiah, "So shall thy seed be." I see the 
ocean stretching afar, and I hear God saying that 
his glory and kingdom shall cover the earth as those 
waters cover the deep. I see the forest, and I hear 
God say, " The trees of the field shall clap their hands 
before him." I see the first budding of the vegetation 
of spring by the brookside, and I hear God saying to 
him, in a universal promise, that his followers shall 
" spring up like willows by the water courses." I hear 
the sound of the rustling of wings, as doves that fly to 
their windows; the sound of the footfall of a caravan 
of camels coming this way, the dromedaries of 
Midian, the rams of Nabaioth; the patter cf raindrops, 
the murmur of brooks down the mountain side, the 
roll of rivers on toward the sea. What is this ? The 
coming of souls to Jesus Christ; the flowing of the 
Gentiles, the nations, as a mighty torrent to the 
feet of this Only Begotten Son of God. This is 
the argument of history as Jesus shows it : God, 
Redemption, and the ultimate and eternal Triumph 
of goodness and truth. 

As we stand here with Jesus, while his bright eyes 
are cast over all the ages and generations marching 
before him, we may learn to read history not only 
as an argument, but as a problem also — a problem full 
of confusion to us, unless we can approach it in the 
power of a clear- seeing faith. 

I remember well that there was one place in 
arithmetic that I never could get over. It was 
Partial Payments. And to this day, if I were to 
take up arithmetic again, I should be puzzled with 
Partial Payments. It was all confusion. So is 


history to a man who looks at it with the stolid eyes 
of mere fleshly sight. 

There are some things that cannot be solved by 
the lower mathematics, that will not yield to the 
Rule of Three. It is a hundred years since the 
beginning of the missionary epoch of the church. A 
glorious century! But how long will it be, at this 
rate, before Jesus Christ comes to reign ? We have 
had a hundred years since William Carey sat at his 
lapstone studying the map of India there on the wall 
before him, and to-day the doors of the whole world, 
and of all nations, except Thibet alone, are open to 
the messengers of the Cross. To-day there are two 
hundred missionary societies organized for the evan- 
gelization of the nations that lie in darkness and the 
shadow of death. To-day, after the lapse of this 
single missionary century, the Bible is printed in 
three hundred tongues and dialects of the earth. To- 
day there are thirty thousand laborers at work in the 
foreign field, their feet beautiful upon the moun- 
tains as they carry the glad tidings of salvation ; 
climbing the Andes; climbing the Himalayas; climb- 
ing the mountains of Africa ; their feet beautiful 
upon the mountains because they say, "Thy God 
reigneth." To-day there are a million and a half of 
converts to show for this century of work among 
the benighted nations of the pagan world. Since we 
gathered here on the last Sabbath, two thousand 
souls, at the lowest estimate, have been brought from 
darkness into light, and that among the pagan na- 
tions only. Oh, if they could file before us here! 
Two thousand men and women with dusky faces, 
born out of darkness, out of ignorance, out of super- 
stition! If they could come filing in here before us 


to-day, how it would thrill our hearts! Born into the 
Kingdom since a week ago ! And at an outlay of 
fifteen dollars for every soul ! I blush for the mere 
mention of it, because, I say again, there are some 
great moral facts to which the rules of arithmetic 
cannot be made to apply. 

There is an energy at work in the missionary 
Church to-day which will not yield to any mathe- 
matical rule. What is the power of a tear? Ask 
^a scientist, and he will tell you exactly how many 
pounds it will lift, if it be transformed into steam. 
But who can estimate the love, the sympathy, the 
mother's prayer, the heart-break, that is in that 
tear? The night before he set out from Atlanta 
on his famous march to the sea, Sherman sat 
down and made an estimate. " We shall need certain 
things. We must needs have certain power to 
work with. How many miles is it from Atlanta 
to the sea ? How much ammunition must we have ? 
How many mules and wagons ? How many troops ? " 
There was his mathematical problem. But if that 
had been all, would he ever have reached the sea? 
There was one thing that he could not put down 
on paper: the blood that was throbbing fast and 
hot with patriotic fervor in the hearts of his brave 
men ; the fire that flashed for the Republic from 
the eyes of the soldiers who were going to march 
with him. 

We cannot estimate the progress of the Church 
in figures such as I have given here to-day. It is 
folly to undertake it. Can a man measure ' the 
stature of God Almighty with a yard-stick ? Can a 
man measure the progress of God Almighty with a 
surveyor's chain ? Or can you test the stability of 


His throne by shaking it? We must come up 
into higher mathematics ; up out of arithmetic into 
ilgebra ; up where we shall find an unknown 
quantity, and make allowance for it ; and when we 
find X, we must bring faith to bear upon it. Here 
?s the unknown quantity — God walking in the 
.nidst of the Church; dwelling in the hearts of his 
people; going with their feet; working with their 
hands; seeing with their eyes; loving with their 
hearts; the King, hand in hand with his bride, who 
fooketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear 
as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. 

The disciples on the, Day of Pentecost, made 
^.heir prayer, and Peter rose and preached his sermon. 
Off yonder in the corner of the open court two rabbis 
were standing, and one of them said: "This is the 
new movement. How long at this rate will it take 
these followers of the Nazarene to organize their 
Church ? See them standing here, and hear yon fisher- 
men muttering theirprayersandpreachingabout Jesus. 
How long will it take to bring a thousand men into 
the following of the Nazarene Prophet at this rate"? 
And while they looked and pointed their fingers, the 
strange thing transpired — the X in the problem, the 
unknown and constantly working factor that men 
never, never can estimate: the wind began to blow, and 
the fire came down, and the disciples stood upon their 
feet; and those that were round about began to cry out 
under a power that was invisible, imponderable, and 
undebatable, "Men and brethren, what shall we do"? 
and about three thousand were brought into the 
Church that day. 

You cannot calculate by the lower mathematics 
the power that is working in the Church of Jesus 


Go forth in obedience to our Lord's great injunction 
and when we have done our part, and reached the 
end of the problem, it will all be as clear as any 
solved problem in algebra ever was ; for God will 

And then, if we go and stand again beside Jesus, 
as he looks with those clear eyes, we shall read 
history as he reads it now, as a volume of Christiju 
economics. For here is a field to which all the followers 
of Jesus Christ are called. Lift up your eyes and see. 
This is husbandry. Lift up your eyes and see. *' Say 
not. It is yet four months, and then cometh the har- 
vest; behold the fields that they are already white 
unto the harvest." 

Where is thy sickle? Go, thrust in thy sickle and 
reap. That is thy glorious privilege. Blessed be 
God for that word privilege which applies to all 
Christian service. Privilege is privus lex — a private 
law. That is to say, a law which has a peculiar ap- 
plication to some particular individual or class ; as 
the king's privilege, the privilege of the hierarchy. 
There were laws for the people, but there was a spe- 
cial law, a private law, a privilegium^ for kings, for 
nobles, for hierarchy. There is a special law for me. 
My privilege is to stand, sickle in hand, touching hands 
with the Only Begotten Son of God, in the great har- 
vest field of the kingdom. To that I am called, and 
all my glory in Christian living is in these two words 
—"Go" and ''Give." 

Go ! The Church believed during the first two 
centuries that Jesus meant it, and to this belief her 
tremendous success in the apostolic era was due. 
Then came fifteen centuries when the Church cared 
nothing about missions. Those were fifteen hundred 



years of lost time in history. If I see a boy without 
any spirit, a languid lad, whose arms hang down, whose 
eyes lack lustre, and who moves with a slow step, I say, 
" The boy has no *go' in him." That was precisely the 
trouble with the Church for fifteen centuries. It went 
nowhere, but worked with centripetal force until the 
beginning of this last era, the hundred years of the 
miracles of missions ; of Carey and Hans Egede, and 
David Livingstone, and all the glorious ambassadors 
of the cross who have gone out to preach, to suffer, 
to die, and to live forever in the progress of the ages. 
Go ye ! The Master meant you when he said it. 
In our Civil War the loyal people were all at the 
front. The boys in blue marched through our 
streets, and we gave them Godspeed as they kept 
step to the battle hymn, and passed out of sight. 
But we lads sent out our hearts after them. Good 
women went by proxy, sending their husbands and 
their sweethearts, the very light of their life, out 
into the high places of the field. And poor cripples, 
who could not march in the rank and file, went when 
they staid by the stuff. And the grandmother in 
the chimney-corner went with the soldiers for the 
defense of the Republic when she did nothing but 
knit stockings, while they won fights. Go ye ! If 
not by following the fight, go ye in prayer, in sym- 
pathy. Never, never murmur against the Master's 
plan of the propaganda. And if you have ever said 
never say it again — that you do not believe in the 
evangelization of the heathen nations of the earth. 

Go, and give ! The secret of all giving is in giving 
your own self, first of all. So Paul wrote to the 
Churches of Macedonia, He said that out of their 
extreme poverty they had abounded in their liberality. 


first of all in this : that they gave their own selves 
unto the Lord. Body, soul, spirit, heart, conscience, 
hands, feet, substance, all we have, let us give. ** Ye 
are not your own ; ye are bought with a price — not 
silver and gold — but the precious blood of Jesus, as 
of a Lamb without blemish, and without spot." If a 
man has once given himself, the giving of all that he 
has will be as nothing to him. The old Kaiser 
Wilhelm, grandfather of the present war-lord of Ger- 
many, was driven out to war with an empty treasury. 
He made an affectionate appeal to his people to sus- 
tain him. The one stimulus to their generosity was 
the iron cross, which is the proudest decoration of the 
German people to-day. They brought in that ex- 
igency their jewels of gold, their rings, their bracelets^ 
and gave them up ; and to every donor was given an 
iron cross, upon which was this legend : " I gave gold 
for iron." One of these days, when we are in the 
Kingdom of Heaven, we who 'calculated upon our 
gifts, and gave so little in consequence, will be glad 
that we gave at all ; and our proudest boast yonder 
will be that we gave iron for gold, and in our giving 
made ourselves forever rich unto God. 

In the Reformed Church of America we are talking 
of retrenchment, — of closing the doors of some scores 
of high caste Hindoo schools. We have been twenty 
years opening those doors, and preparing the way for 
the mostexcellent missionary record amongthedenom- 
inations of Christians to-day ; and we are talking of 
retrenchment now ! O, God forbid that one of the 
shaggy locks of this Sampson of ours should ever be 
shorn ! 

I know it is hard times, but what of that ? Do you 
remember Lord Nelson in the battle of Copenhagen : 

HOW TO rp:ad history. 


It was a stern fight. The Admiral, Nelson s ranking 
officer, an old man whose heart misgave him, put 
up at the masthead of the flagship signal 39 — to 
retreat. Nelson, pacing the deck of his ship, looked 
askance and saw it, but fought on. His lieutenant 
said to him, "My Lord Admiral, see the signal 39 
yonder on the flagship " ? Nelson raised his glass to 
his one blind eye and said, '' No, I see it not. Nail to 
our mast signal 27 — for close quarters." Nelson won 
the day. That is the sort of courage, that is needed in 
the universal Church of Christ in these hard times. 
Wehavenot strained amuscleora sinew yet. Wehave 
not put one drop of our Christian blood to its last 
crucial test. O for the clear eyes of Jesus Christ ! 
O for the brave heart of Jesus Christ ! O for the 
strong faith of our Master ! that we may stand where 
he stands now, and see what he sees, — all the domin- 
ions of this world, sin, shame, the strongholds of in- 
iquity cast down ; Satan fallen like a meteor out of 
the sky ; the great triumph assured, and the throne 
of Messiah set up ! O that we might hear his 
word that was uttered on Ascension Mount, "All 
authority is given unto me, in heaven and on earth. 
Go ye, therefore, into all the world, and preach the 
gospel unto every creature." There is the commis- 
sion of the Church to the end of the ages. " Lo, I am 
with you." There is the promise. Let your heart 
never tremble. Let your faith never fail. "Lo, I am 
with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 


" If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and 
it shall be done unto you " — John xv. 7. 

At one of our military posts on the frontier, an old 
Indian was often found, hungry and in rags and tat- 
ters, begging of the soldiers a little to keep soul 
and body together. And they were used to his ap- 
proaches, for he had come year after year in that 
misery. At length one felt moved to inquire what it 
was that hung from an old ribbon about the In- 
dian's neck. A locket was suspended there ; and 
when he opened the locket, there fell out a bit of 
parchment ; that parchment was a Revolutionary 
pension bearing the signature of George Washington, 
the Commander-in-chief of the American Army, which 
entitled him to a comfortable competence during all 
the remainder of his days. And he had not known it ! 

Here is a promise for Christian people to-day: if 
ye abide in him, and his words abide in you, ye shall 
ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. It 
is a draft on the Bank of the Kingdom, signed by 
the King himself, with the amount left in blank for us 
to fill out, and absolutely no limitations or conditions 
affixed to it. And we never have begun to use it ! 
If we had, we should not be going about mourning, 
'^Oh, my leanness! my leanness"! God intends 



US to be Strong and enriched by his grace, with 
enough of everything that is needful in order to 
the satisfaction of our souls to the very uttermost. 
"Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto 

But, mark you, that promise was given only to 
such as believed in Christ. It was addressed to 
them in that marvellous discourse in the upper room. 
Not that an unbeliever cannot pray. He cannot say, 
"My Father," for " He that hath not the Son hath 
not the Father" ; he cannot say, " For Jesus' sake," 
for he has never accepted him of whom it is written, 
" He ever liveth to make intercession for us." But 
there is one prayer that every man may make — and 
for his life let him make it ! — the prayer of the publi- 
can, who beat upon his breast as he stood afar off, with 
fallen eyes, crying, *' O God, be merciful unto me, the 
sinner" ; and God, out of his infinite grace, will hear 

This promise was uttered in connection with the 
Parable of the Vine and the Branches; "If a man abide 
in me, and I in him, he shall bring forth much fruit : 
for without me ye can do nothing"; and, "If ye 
abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask 
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." " If ye 
abide in me" — that is the inner lite ; " If my words 
abide in you " — that is the outer life. The world can- 
not see whether Christ is abiding in you or not, but 
the world can see by your walk and conversation 
whether or no his words are abiding in you. Under 
this twofold condition, " ye may ask what ye will, and 
it shall be done unto you," — all thinp;s, anything, 
everything ! Whatsoever ! That is the term of the 
promise. Ask, and it shall be given unto you. There 


is no such thing as a Divine failure to answer. All 
prayer is answered ; all prayer, mind you, offered in 
the filial spirit — for nothing else is prayer. The only 
true prayer is that which goes up from the heart of 
God's child to the throne of the Heavenly Grace ; 
which begins with " Our Father," and ends with " For 
Jesus' sake." And that gets hold upon the strength 
of God, and nothing is impossible to it. So our pro- 
position is, the boundless prayer cf faith ; absolutely, 
literally, the boundless prayer of faith. It rests upon 
three boundless facts. Here they are : 

The first is the boundless power of God. He has in- 
finite resources at his command. Why should not he 
give us whatsoever we ask ? Do you feel the 
hand of death gripping at your heart-strings ? Has 
some mortal malady taken hold upon you ? And has 
the physician said, '' Nothing can be done " ? I be- 
lieve in the faith cure : not in the professional char- 
latanry using that phrase ; but in the power of the 
prayer of faith to do precisely what it did when Jesus 
went along the highways in the Holy Land. " If I 
may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be 
made whole." It was the touch of absolute faith that 
got hold of the hem of his garment, when virtue went 
out of him. 

Are you in distress respecting your temporal 
estate ? Oh, the cattle on a thousand hills are his, 
and all the gold and silver that lie buried in the deep 
bosom of the everlasting mountains, — they are all his. 
What a little matter it is for God to relieve you ! 

Do you want to grow in grace toward the full 
stature of the manhood of Christ ? He loves that de- 
sire, and is ready at the first impulse of your heart to 
grant it unto you. 


Are you praying for a friend ? Pray on. God 
loves an unselfish prayer. God can reach out any- 
where to save a soul. How easy it is for him ! 
If one of my dear ones was over yonder strug- 
gling in the water for life, and you were nearby, and 
could reach out a hand, and I should call to you, " Oh, 
save him ! " would you hesitate ? Why shall God 
hesitate when I plead for the deliverance of my be- 
loved from spiritual and eternal death ? 

Do you say, " True, but his laws stand in the way " ? 
Can a watchmaker adjust the machinery of a chro- 
nometer and turn the hands backward, if he will ? And 
shall God not be able to manage the machinery of the 
universe as he will ? The laws of the universe are 
God's laws. The universe is his chronometer. "Sun, 
stand thou still upon Gibeon ! and thou, Moon, in 
the valley of Ajalon " ! There was a man named 
Joshua praying down yonder, and God moved the laws 
of the universe, and answered him. 

Let us believeinhis inexhaustible resources. Noth- 
ing is too hard for him. When Scipio was over in 
Egypt, he said to the inhabitants, desiring to conciliate 
them after their subjugation, *' Now, draw upon me, as 
you do upon your generous Nile, and see how magnani- 
mous I can be." It was a splendid hyperbole. He 
could not do it, even if he had the heart for it. But 
if you and I were to sit upon the banks of the Nile 
until the almond-tree of old age blossomed and 
watch its current rolling along to refresh the earth, 
and satisfy the thirst of successive generations, 
and if that current were all of molten gold, flowing 
out of the Divine exchequer, yet would it not 
diminish God's treasury so much as one drop of water 


exhaling from the boundless deep exhausts the im- 
measurable supply of it. 

And then, this boundless prayer of faith rests on 
a second fact : the boundless goodness of God. He is 
able ; is he willing ? His name is Love. Oh, the 
length, and the breadth, and the depth, and the 
height of it ! 

" There's a wideness in God's mercy 
Like the wideness of the sea." 

YWs promise, also, is given to us. *'Ask and it shall 
be given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it 
shall be opened to you." There is not an " if" there; 
not a '' perhaps " ; nor " it may be so " : '' it shall be 
opened unto you." And as if he thought some of us 
might question his sincerity in making so vast a prom- 
ise, he immediately repeats it in this wise: "For 
every one that asketh, receiveth ; and every otie that 
seeketh, findeth ; and to evety one that knocketh, it 
shall be opened." 

Besides, we have an argtcment back of that promise 
— a great argument, a fortiori, from the less to the 
greater — so that we may not misunderstand or ques- 
tion it. " For which of you, if his son shall ask bread, 
will he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he 
give him a serpent ? or if he ask an ^^'g, will he offer 
him a scorpion ? If ye then, being evil, know how to 
give good things to your children, how much more 
shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things 
to them that ask him." 

And then, in addition to all that, his name, his 
promise, his argument, he adds the tremendous ^f^r^z^j-/ 
which we have in Jesus Christ, when he says, " He 
that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for 


US all, how shall he not with him also freely give us 
all things?" He bared his heart, took the very heart 
of his love out of his bosom, and cast it down upon 
this guilty world to save it. Now, " shall he not with 
him also freely give us all things " ? 

It is nothing for him to give. He delights to give. 
It is the joy of the Divine life to be giving all the 
time. The most delightsome day in the life of the 
Empress Josephine, she said in one of her letters, was 
when coming through the walks with her husband, she 
was left for a little while to rest in a humble cottage. 
She saw that the eyes of the lone woman there 
were stained with tears, and she asked her trouble. 
The woman said it was poverty. " How much," said 
Josephine, "would relieve it?" "Oh," she said, 
"there is no relieving it ; it would require four hun- 
dred francs to help us out, to save our little vineyard 
and our goats." Josephine counted out of her purse 
the four hundred francs into the woman's lap, and 
she gathered them together, and fell down before her, 
and kissed her feet. And that was the happiest day 
in that poor Empress's life. But all God's life is 
filled with days like that. His name is Love. He 
delights to hear our prayer, to answer it, to relieve 
and to enrich us. 

This boundless prayer of faith rests upon yet a 
third fact, to-wit : God's boundless wisdom. He knows 
precisely what I need, and for that reason I am em- 
boldened to ask. I would not dare to ask if God 
were no wiser than myself. I would not dare to kneel 
down and ask him for a temporal gift that might be 
to my moral and eternal ruin, for all I know. I can- 
not see beyond my finger tips, but I can trust him. 
My Father knows ; knows what is best for me. " But 


if he knows before the asking what I need, why should 
I make a prayer at all " ? That is the word of an ob- 
jector who never knew God's love in Jesus Christ. It 
is enough for you that he bids you keep up the con- 
stant current of communication between your heart 
and him. "Ask, and it shall be given you." 

Ask largely. The prayer of faith knows no limit. 
Be not afraid. Your large request honors every at- 
tribute of God. In one of the Psalms it is written 
"Open thy mouth v/ide and I will fill it." I wonder 
if the figure came from David's life among the hills, 
where, watching from yonder cliff, he saw the fledg- 
lings in the eagle's nest, saw them as the mother bird 
came back with with some rich morsel, open their 
bills and wait ? I wonder if that suggested to him 
our helplessness, and God's desire to honor our re- 
quests ? Open your mouth wide and he will fill it. 

Ask confidently. Be assured that he will answer 
you. You are a child of God. The filial spirit is the 
only condition that is presupposed as to prayer. It 
is the only prerequisite, and includes all other condi- 
tions that affect our approach to the mercy seat. 
Pray as a son or daughter of the loving God, 
that is, being mindful of his superior wisdom. You 
may ask a stone ; he will not give it, but he 
will give you bread ; and will you say, " He did 
not answer me"? You may, out of the shortness 
of your wisdom, ask a scorpion ; He will not give 
you that, but he will honor your prayer, and give you 
a fish ; and will you say, *' He did not answer me"? 
The Lord Jesus once, in the weakest hour of all his 
earthly life, when all his flesh was crying out against 
the approaching anguish of a bitter death, made the 
prayer of a real man. (And God wants us to pour out 


our whole soul before him. Better make a wrong 
prayer than no prayer at all.) In that awful hour in 
Gethsemane, the Lord implored, "My Father, if it be 
possible, let this cup pass from me." But, after all, 
as the light of the great redemption work dawned 
upon his soul, he went on to say, " Oh, my Father, 
Thy will be done" ; and so his prayer was answered 
that day. 

The widow of a minister, long, long ago, came to 
the prophet's house, and wept out her sorrow, saying 
"My creditors have come, and they require my 
two sons as a pledge, and they are all that I 
have. The good man is dead. You knew him — 
how he worked for God ; and I am left alone with 
my two lads." And the prophet said, "Go back to 
thy home. What hast thou ? " "Nothing." "Noth- 
ing?" "No; only a pot of oil; that is all that is 
left." " Go back to thy house, and take thy two lads, 
and make ready the pot of oil ; then go borrow ves- 
sels. Borrow of all thy neighbors round about. 
Now, borrow vessels not a few, remember ; and then 
enter into a room with thy lads, and the pot of oil, 
and the vessels, and shut to the door, and pour out." 
And she did so, and she filled the first vessel with oil, 
and the supply was not gone. " Bring me another 
vessel," said she to the lads ; and they brought her 
another, and she filled it ; and the oil was not stayed, 
yet. Another, and another, vessels not a few ; all the 
vessels that were there. "Bring me yet another." 
And one of the lads said, " Mother, there is not another 
vessel here " ; and the oil stayed. 

There is supply under God's bounty forever, if we 
will. What limits the supply? Faith. God's re- 
sources are infinite. The oil flows on forever, but the 


vessels give out. O for faith ! O for a larger faith ! 
— a faith that shall approach the infinite love of the 
infinite God ! — a faith that shall rest absolutely on 
his unbounded power, his unbounded goodness, his 
unbounded wisdom, and shall believe his Word : "If 
ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall 
ask what ye wiil, and it shall be done unto you " I 


" And his songs were a thousand and five."— I. Kings iv. 32. 

We hear a great deal from our elders about the 
good old times. If you question your grandfather, 
he will tell you that we have fallen on evil days ; 
that the world is not what it used to be when he was 
young ; that the Church is not what it once was, 
and that politics is not what it used to be. "We 
had Clay and Webster in those days"! If you 
question your grandmother, she will tell you that the 
prints are not what they were when she was young 
and that the carpets will not turn any more, and that 
the workingmen these days do not put their 
consciences into their work as they did in the good 
old days. 

" Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind ? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And days of auld lang syne " ? 

But then, we know we are living in vastly better 
times. There is a living God, and every time the 
world rolls around His face shines a little more 
brightly upon it. There never was a century like 
the one we are passing through just now. All things 
are better than they used to be. God is " the same, 



yesterday, to-day, forever"; but everything else in 
the universe is better than of old. The Church 
is better, politics is better, and light is better ; we 
have better food than they used to have, and better 
sanitary arrangements ; and the fashions are better 
than they used to be. It is a better world to live in. 
Praise God for it ! 

We are going back to-night into the seventeenth 
century and the early half of the eighteenth. That 
was a period of great spiritual declension. The 
Church had just got through fighting for the Refor- 
mation, and was resting for a while. It was a 
time of great spiritual weakness. The ministers 
of those days gave themselves over to the finest 
points of casuistry; they discussed sublapsarianism 
and supralapsarianism, and they were extremely 
scrupulous about nice distinctions in doctrine. But 
there was a deplorable condition of immorality among 
them ; gambling was very common, profanity not 
infrequent. Clerical dishonesty — the dishonesty of 
the pulpit — was not at all unusual ; and it was con- 
doned, as, blessed be God ! it is not condoned in 
these days. The Archbishop of London gave such 
balls and festivities in Lambeth Palace that the 
king had to interfere, as he said it was a scandal to 
his reign. 

But the people ? Were they better than the min- 
istry ? Do not flatter yourselves — " like priests, 
like people," always. The Bible was a closed book. 
The mind of the people dwelt upon outward circum- 
stance, and rite, and ceremony. And they were spir- 
itually ignorant. It is a matter of historic fact that 
a man in one of the London churches brought his 
minister to task, and had him before one of the eccle- 


siastical courts for profanity, because he said in one 
of his sermons, " He that believeth not shall be 
damned." It was a time of great moral declension, 
and God must interpose somehow. 

In 1708 there was born in Epworth parsonage, a 
mud cottage with a thatched roof, a child who was 
destmed to have a great influence upon his time, — 
a weak little one, the son of a minister of the Church 
of England who was content on fifty pounds a year. 
This was the tenth child of the household. For sev- 
eral weeks the infant did not open its eyes, and had 
scarcely a perceptible pulse; but the fond mother 
held him in her arms, and at last was gratified to see 
him look up into her face with a glance of such 
gentleness and appeal that she at once opened 
her great heart and took him in. A wonderful 
woman was this mother of the Wesleys, who said 
"O God, I shall be forever happy if with my ten 
children I can come up to heaven's gate at last, and 
say, ' Here am I, and the children whom thou hast 
given me.' " 

The boy Charles grew up a long-limbed, awkward, 
homely lad, and went trudging afoot to Oxford. 
As yet he had made no profession of faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ. His brother John was concerned 
for him, and often importuned him ; and Charles 
would say, " I have no feeling about it, and you 
surely wouM not have me be a Christian all at once." 
But while he was in the University, he went up 
to London and visited for a time in the family of a 
Mrs. Turner. Her name is seldom spoken, and what 
I am about to relate is all that is known* about 
her ; but the dear face of Mrs. Turner shines all 
through the inspired hymns of Charles Wesley as we 


sing them to-day; for that night as he slept in her 
upper room she heard him groaning under conviction 
of sin. The sword of the spirit was dividing asunder 
the very joints and marrow of the man, and he cried 
out in his anguish, " God be merciful to me, a sinner." 
Mrs. Turner at last plucked up courage, went up 
the stairs, and spoke to him from outside the door: 
" In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up, and 
thou shalt be whole." It was a word in due season, and 
has been bearing fruit ever since; for the next morn- 
ing he arose with the light of God's countenance 
shining in his heart. And he sat down then, before 
he brake his fast, and wrote : 

"Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing 
My dear Redeemer's praise; 
The glories of my God and King, 
The triumphs of His grace. 

" He breaks the power of reigning sin, 
He sets the prisoners free; 
His blood can make the foulest clean, 
His blood availed for me." 

So he went back to the University. He called 
in his brother John, and another of the Oxford 
boys, whose name passed into the history of England, 
and of our American nation as well — George 
Whitefield — and seven others ; and they formed 
themselves into a Christian fraternity. It was a time 
when the finger of derision was pointed at an earnest 
Christian man. That little coterie in Oxford was 
dubbed '' The Holy Club," and its members were 
called "Bible Moths," bigots, fanatics, and all 
that. But thev had the courage of their convic- 
tions; and those ten Oxford students, standing up 
before the pointed finger and the laughter of their 


fellows, went out to shake that irreligious century 
with extraordinary power. 

When his University course was over, Charles, who 
had made up his mind to enter upon the service of the 
Gospel, found himself settled in a colliery town. Hi? 
heart went out to the sorrows of those who were in 
darkness and the shadow of death. Just as he en- 
tered upon his first settlement, he went up to 
London to be married. Here is the record as he left 
it: " It was a cloudless day. I rose at five in the 
morning, and spent three hours in prayer and singing 
praises to God. At nine o'clock I led my Sallie to 
church, and my bi other John there put our hands to- 
gether, and prayed God to come as he came to the 
marriage supper at Cana, when he turned the water 
into wine. And then we went to our temporary home, 
and knelt down together, and gave ourselves anew to 
the service of Christ. We spent the day cheerful 
without mirth, and serious with sadness." 

And then away to their country parsonage. Under 
that doorway there passed many a time the shadow 
of sorrow and of death, but never was there an hour 
when the singer of Epworth could not praise God, 
making melody in his heart. 

He was out preaching among the colliers once, and 
because he declared the whole counsel of God, they 
received his sermon with an ill grace. After a 
while they gathered up stones and drove him away, 
and followed him up, until, poor man ! he found 
shelter in a cottage by the roadside. There, with 
the blood streaming from his wounds, he wrote : 

'* Worship and thanks and blessing 
And strength be unto Jesus; 
For He alone defends His own, 
When earth and hell oppress us. 


Accepting our deliverance, 

We triumph in His favor; 
And for His love, which here we prove, 

We give Him thanks forever." 

On another occasion he was preaching to a great 
multitude of the common people out in the open 
fields, as his custom was, when the earth began to 
tremble and shake. It was the Lisbon earthquake; 
but these humble, ignorant and superstitious people 
supposed it was the end of the world. Wesley at 
once changed his theme, and preached on this text : 
''God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in 
trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the 
earth be removed, and though the mountains be 
carried into the midst of the sea." It was down on the 
seashore; the hills w^ere vibrating all around him, and 
out yonder a tidal wave was coming in, rolling and 
tossing its masses of foam. In the midst of his 
sermon he exclaimed : 

" Earth unhinged, as from her basis, 

Ov/ns her Great Restorer nigh. 
Plunged in complicate distresses, 

Poor distracted sinners lie. 
Men, their instant doom deploring. 

Faint beneath their fearful load. 
Ocean working, rising, roaring, 

Claps his hands to meet his God!" 

That is the way Charles Wesley was accustomed 
to break out into sacred song. He was preaching in 
a stone quarry, and all around him the men were 
using their hammers upon the cliff. Now and then 
ihey paused and looked over to him. O, if they would 
only listen to him as he spoke to them about our 


Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ ! But he met no re- 
sponse, and at last cried out : 

" Come, O Thou all victoriobs Lord, 
Thy power to us make known: 
Strike with the hammer of Thy Word, 
And break these hearts of stone!" 

Once he was at Land's End, away out at the 
further edge of the British Island, with Bristol Chan- 
nel on one hand, and the Atlantic Ocean stretching 
before him. He seemed to be standing between two 
eternities, and there, all alone, he sang to himself: 

" Lo, on a narrow neck of land, 
'Twixt two unbounded seas I stand, 

Yet how insensible ! 
A point of time — a moment's space — 
Removes me to yon heavenly place, 
Or shuts me up in hell ! 

*' O God, my inmost soul convert; 
And deeply on my thoughtless heart 

Eternal truth impress. 
Teach me to know its awful weight, 
And feel its import ere too late; 

Wake me to righteousness." 

I suppose the romance of his life attaches more to 
the hymn known as "Wrestling Jacob " than to any 
other. He was at Kingswood when he wrote it. All 
night he had wrestled alone in prayer, for he knew 
what it is to be trusting and importunate both. 
Then he wrote that strange hymn: 

" Come, O Thou Traveller unknown, 
Whom still I hold, but cannot see; 
My company before is gone, 

And I am left aloi:e with Thee; 
With Thee all night I mean to stay, 
And wrestle till the break of day." 


But, after all, the hymn that has come to the very 
center of the Christian heart of the world is one 
that he wrote when a bird came fluttering into his 
window one day, pursued by a hawk : 

" Jesus, lover of my soul, 

Let me to Thy bosom fly, 
While the nearer waters roll, 

While the tempest still is high: 
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide, 

Till the storm of life be past; 
Safe into the haven guide; 

O receive my soul at last." 

Henry Ward Beecher said, " I would rather have 
written that hymn than to have all the crowns of all 
the sovereigns that have reigned upon the earth, and 
all the wealth of all the millionaires that ever were 
rich among us." 

Thus he lived, preaching among the humble 
people and writing his hymns, till he was burdened 
with his years — for his life-time covered almost a 
century — and in 1788 he lay down to die. But even 
in death, the ruling passion still strong, he murmured 
at the last : 

*' O, could I catch one smile from Thee, 
And sink into eternity." 

That is the way he died. They held the service in 
the village church, and John Wesley, his elder brother 
who was now very decrepit with age, came to take 
part in the funeral service. The Scripture was read 
the funeral discourse was preached, and John rose to 
give out "Wrestling Jacob." All went well until he 
came to the place where it is written. 


" My company before is gone, 
And I am left alone with Thee " ; 

and thereat he fell to sobbing, and sat down, and all 
the congregation was given to tears and silence. 
After a while they arose, and began to sing, and the 
chronicler says he never heard such singing as he 
heard that day : 

*' I know Thee, Saviour, who Thou art — 

Jesus, the sinner's only friend ; 
Nor wilt Thou with the night depart, 

But stay and help me to the end. 
Thy mercies never shall remove ; 

Thy nature and Thv name is Love." 

They laid him away in old Marylebone churchyard, 
and there you may see his gravestone now, and read 
upon it the epitaph which he himself wrote : 

" A sinner saved, by grace forgiven, 

Redeemed on earth, to reign in heaven." 

Is it not worth while to spend a little season on a 
Sabbath evening in thinking upon the work of a sweet 
singer like Charles Wesley ? Is there anything for us 
to take away with us ? Yes, the lesson of the one 
talent. He could not preach like John Wesley. It 
was his older brother who laid the foundations of the 
great Methodist Church, God bless it ! And Charles 
was never such a preacher as he ; but O, he could 
sing ! 

*' Take my voice and let it be 
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee." 

There is some one here who has only one talent ; 
who can preach, who can sing. It maybe some dear 
old father or mother in Israel whom age has almost 


blinded ; you may be shut in from the world, and 
seemingly laid aside from usefulness ; but there is 
one talent left to be used for God. O, do not wrap 
it in a napkin, and bury it in the earth ! Use it ! 
Sing for God ! Pray for God ! Toil for God ! 
*' What hast thou in thy hand, Shamgar " ? " An ox- 
goad." " Go, scourge the Canaanites with it " ! 
"What hast thou in thy hand, David " ? "A harp." 
" Go, sing and play upon it to the glory of God " ! 
" What hast thou in thy hand " ? A needle ? A 
broom ? 

*' Who sweeps a room as to God's laws, 
Makes that and th' action fine." 

Anything else for us ? Yes, a lesson in enthusiasm, 
that is the secret of the magnificent success which 
has attended the hundred year history of the Methodist 
Church. That is the secret of the power of the Sal- 
vation Army. And God grant that it may be the 
secret of the future power of the Volunteers ! Blood 
and fire ! The blood of Jesus Christ ! The fire of 
the Holy Ghost ! The blood bathing the heart, and 
the fire quickening and energizing it ! We can be 
enthusiastic for anything else but our religion. O 
that there were more Holy Clubs in our colleges ! O 
that there were more of us ministers who dared, like 
Charles Wesley and his brother John, to stand up 
and declare the whole counsel of God ! O for more 
of holy enthusiasm to set our lives on fire for the 
glory of God ! 

A#ything else for us ? Yes, a lesson on the power 
of sacred song. Let us sing and make melody in our 
hearts, in these sweet hymns that Wesley and the 
other singers have left us. Ours is the religion of 


song. There is no place on earth for a melancholy 
Christian. I know your sorrow. I know there is dis- 
appointment in your heart. But then, "all things 
work together for good to them that love God." You 
are redeemed. "There is no condemnation to them 
that are in Christ Jesus." You have the privilege of 
service. Can you not go singing with your sickle in 
hand ? All heaven is opened before you, and the an- 
gels are singing there, and you are presently to join 
them. Is there a man here, is there a woman here, 
who does not know what the gladness of Christian 
living is ? Come and fall in with us as we go singing 
on our journey towards h^^aven's gate. "He giveth 
songs in the night"; songs in the night of sorrow, of 
pain, of ignorance, and of forgiven sin. "He giveth 
songs in the night," like those with which Paul and 
Silas shook the arches of the Philipp.ian prison, when, 
it is said, the prisoners heard them. Blessed be God 
for a religion of song! Come with us! Believe 
in the Lord Jesus Christ! Take at his hands the 
glory of redemption! Receive at his hands the com- 
mission for service! Take from his lips the hope 
of the everlasting life! And go on singing with us 
toward heaven's gate. All these dark days will pres- 
ently be over: the days of pain, of sorrow, of weeping, 
for "he shall wipe away the tears from off all faces "; 
the days of faith, for faith shall be lost in sight, and 
hope in fruition; the days of prayer, for in him we 
shall be filled there. But, as has been written, 

" Our days of praise shall ne'er he past, 
While life, or thought, or being last, 
Or immortality endures." 

Come, with us, as we journey singing with the 


multitude of the redeemed, who shall, after a while, 
**come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon 
their heads "; to fall in with that other multitude, 
who are singing now: 

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive 
honor, and glory, and power, and dominion, forever 
and ever, Amen." 


" Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines." — Song of Solomon 
ii. I. 

The prevalent, growing, ominous sin of our time 
is Sabbath desecration. As a rule, Christian people 
mean to do right in this matter as in other things, 
but, for want of reflection, they oftentimes lend their 
influence the wrong way. 

The head and front of the offending, is the Sun- 
day newspaper. It is said that when burglars go 
prowling about at night they take with them a clever 
boy to climb over the transoms and open the door. 
The Sunday newspaper is the tuppenny door-opener 
for the larger forms of Sabbath desecration. Be- 
cause I thus believe, I have seven or eight things 
to say about it. 

I. The Sunday newspaper is unnecessary ; and, if 
unnecessary, it ought not to be. It originated in the 
time of our civil war. Previously there were only 
two papers in the world that printed Sunday editions, 
the New York Herald and the Alta Callforfiia. It 
was not strange that when our fathers and brothers 
were at the front and battles were being fought, we 
crowded about the telegraph offices and eagerly 
scanned the bulletins. 

Then when " extras " were issued on the Sabbath, 


as on other days, giving the heart-breaking lists of 
dead and wounded, we felt justified in getting them. 
Thus the wedge was entered by considerations of both 
mercy and necessity. But not by the wildest stretch 
of the imagination can the Sunday newspaper be 
regarded as a work of either necessity or mercy in 
these piping times of peace. 

2. \t IS unlawful. In many of our commonwealths 
it is under a legal ban. In New York, however, the 
laws have been so adjusted as to allow it. But, inas- 
much as the Supreme Court has repeatedly decided 
that the moral law is an organic part of our national 
Constitution, it may be affirmed without hesitation 
that this, as well as other forms of Sabbath desecra- 
tion, is a distinct violation of the fundamental prin- 
ciples of the republic. The ''sign" of God's cov- 
enant with Israel was the Sabbath. As a Christian 
nation we also are in covenant with God and cannot 
with impunity disregard his law. 

3. The Sunday newspaper is disreputable. It is 
wont to present its own claims as " a great educator." 
This is amusing. If the claim were true it would 
still not excuse the offense. Our public schools 
are generally thought to be educational ; but that 
does not constitute an argument for opening them on 
Sunday. These newspapers, however, are not an 
educating influence. Let me read a tabulated state- 
ment of the contents of a recent Sunday issue of sev- 
eral leading newspapers — the New York Tribune, 
Times^ Herald, Sun, Press^ World, Journal and News : 

Murders and Assaults 12 columns. 

Adulteries 7 " 

Thefts, etc 24 " 

Total of crime 43 '* 


Sporting 81 columns. 

Theatrical 44 " 

Gossip and Fashion 77 " 

Sensational 42 " 

Fiction 99 " 

Unclean Personals 8 " 

Total of gossip (mostly disreputable). 351 " 

Foreign News 47 " 

Political News 113 '• 

Other Miscellaneous News 92 '* 

Editorial 39 " 

Specials 199 " 

Art and Literature 24 *' 

Religious 3|^ '* 

Total (chiefly) news and politics. 5174 " 

Grand total 911^ " 

The amount of religion in a Sunday newspaper is 
like Gratiano's " Two grains of w^heat hid' in two 
bushels of chaff ; you shall seek all day ere you find 
them, and when you have them they are not worth 
the search." 

But to be more specific, here is a brief summary of 
the headlines in one of these Sunday papers : 

Gossip of Court. — An Alleged Dramatic Shark. — 
Embezzlement. — A Sudden Death. — The Buzzard 
Gang. — A Tennessee Man in the Toils. — A Woman 
Burned to Death. — Vagrants. — Smuggled Goods. — 
A Bogus Divorce Suit. — An Eloping Husband. — A 
Mock Marriage Scandal. — A Chained and Beaten 
Wife. — Bride Arrested. — Defalcation. — Forgery. — A 
Stockholder Disappears. — Small-pox in Brooklyn. — 
Convicted of Assaulting Miss Emerson. — Mine Ex- 
plosion. — Murder. — Cattle Plague. — Strangled His 
Wife.— Shot His Brother.— Robbed.— Killed.— Cuban 


Bandits. — Deadly, Canned Fruit. — Trapeze Perform- 
er's Fall. — Abhorrent Scenes in a Tropical Cemetery. — 
Failures. — Deadly Oleomargarine. — Gone Down at 
Sea. — Pacific Express Robbery. — Three Wives Living. 
— Suicide. — Violently Insane. — Murder Trial. — Dyna- 
miters. — Rowdies. — He Pulled a Revolver and Threat- 
ened to Shoot Her If She Did Not Marry Him.— 
Desperate Murderer Arrested. — Witness Saw Clara 
and Traphagen in a Compromising Position. — Gossip 
for Ladies at the Sunday Breakfast Table. — Snubbed. 
— Disgrace. — An Illegitimate Child. — A Glove Fight. 
— Elegant Baltimore Girl for a Mistress. — Defaulting 
Teller. — Good Gracious ! — Too Thin ! — Blew Out His 
Brains With a Pistol. — The Waistless Dress. — The 
Bite of an Epileptic. — Brooklyn Tax Dodgers. 

I say, therefore, the Sunday paper is disreputable. 
I have been told by a leading editor that it is the 
custom to set apart during the week all the salacious 
items for enlargement in the Sunday edition. It is 
the common sewer of all our social life, the cesspool 
of all shames and scandals and unmentionable things. 

4. It robs an army of employes of their needed 
rest. It is estimated that since the introduction of 
the Sunday newspaper not less than 150,000 composi- 
tors and pressmen and others are kept at work seven 
days in the week, 365 days in the year. A reporter 
was asked, not long since, " Do you have one-seventh 
of your time for rest ? " " No," said he, " nor one- 
seventy-seventh. We have no time, regularly given, 
that we can call our own." 

It is sometimes said that it is the Monday paper 
that makes the Sunday work. That is a miserable 
evasion. If there were no Sunday issue, the prepara- 
tion of the Monday number, excepting the telegraphic 


items, would fall on Saturday, and its publication on 
Monday morning. 

Nor must it be overlooked that hundreds and 
thousands of newsboys are calling their wares on 
Sunday in our streets. That is their business now: 
and they are getting their business education for the 
future. To whistle up a boy and buy a newspaper 
for a nickel seems a matter of slight consequence. 
But follow it out. A Christian man in the real estate 
business would not think for a moment of selling a 
corner lot on the Lord's day. But to the newsboy the 
sale of his paper is relatively a matter of equal con- 
sequence ; and as co-partners in the transaction, we 
are doing our part to train him for larger methods of 
Sabbath breaking in after life. 

5. It invades the Sabbath rest of a great multitude 
of business men. As a people we are desperately 
absorbed in money-getting. Our national malady is 
" nervous debility." Our vital forces are under con- 
stant strain. A man with his brain in a whirl, his 
nerves twitching, his temper in a fever, his sleep dis- 
turbed, goes to a physician for relief. A sea voyage 
is prescribed. Why ? Not because of any remedial 
virtue in sea air; but, once on the ocean, the world is 
shut out. The buzz of the stock ticker is unheard. 
Wars and revolutions may occur, but they are nothing 
to him. The " news " no longer frets him. If he 
could know what was going on in the busy world he 
would be as eager and perturbed as ever ; but out 
yonder, with the infinite skies above and the bound- 
less deep below, he has nothing to do but rest. 
That is precisely what God meant the Sabbath to be, 
an ocean voyage for the soul, a season of rest be- 
tween two continents of secular toil and pleasure. 


We have, therefore, no right to drag the world into 
our lives, as we do by means of the newspaper, on this 
divine day. 

6. It breaks up the home life. Time was when in 
Christian families the members gathered at the 
family altar to worship ; and after that came the 
reading of good books and the religious press. There 
was room in those days for missionary magazines ; 
children found time to read their Sunday-school 
books. But how is it now ? The head of the family 
reads his Sunday paper, and the boys and girls are 
waiting covetously for him to get through with it. 
God and heaven are crowded out. The fable of the 
Arab has come true. The thrusting in of the camel's 
nose has been followed by the thrusting out of the 
owner from the tent. The Sunday newspaper is re- 
sponsible for the downfall of many a family altar and 
the breaking up of the sanctity of many a Christian 

7. It unfits for the sanctuary. It is difficult to see 
how a man can come from the perusal of the Sunday 
newspaper to sing, without hypocrisy — 

This is the day the Lord hath made, 

He calls the hours His own ; 
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad, 

And praise surround the throne. 

Or how he can repeat the Lord's prayer : " Thy 
kingdom come ; thy will be done on earth as it is in 
heaven ; lead us not into temptation, but deliver us 
from evil," while his mind is full of the abominations 
of his *' blanket sheet ? " 

One day in seven is not too much for an immortal 
man to set apart for sacred rest and meditation. If 


there is a God who hates sin ; if there is a hereafter, 
and this life is preparatory for it, we need that por- 
tion of time for setting ourselves right with Heaven. 
If the adversary is ever tugging at our souls and 
craftily scheming to trip us up, then I submit it was 
a gracious act of God to set apart one day in seven, 
wherein we might climb to the mountain-top and 
think about eternal truths, breathe the pure air and 
be alone a little while with him. But if a man has 
no Sabbaths, if he allows the world to confiscate them, 
he must expect his spiritual nature to be dwarfed and 
shrivelled. His soul in its prison will cry in vain, 
like Sterne's starling, " I can't get out ! I can't get 

8. It ejifeebles the conscience. This is not a little 
sin, for it leads on to endless issues. Time was 
when a man closed his shop on Saturday night, 
stopped his business and went home. How is it now 
after twenty-five years of the Sunday newspaper? 
He closes his shop on Saturday night and puts an 
advertisement in the Sunday newspaper. He flatters 
himself that he is resting from toil. O no ! He is 
doing a booming business all through the holy day. 
Half a million heralds are going up and down the 
streets, telling in flaming headlines what bargains 
he has to offer on the morrow. His business goes 
right on. 

The conscience of Christian people generally has 
been enfeebled and debauched in this way. I can re- 
mciiiber when there was entire unanimity among 
Christians as to Sabbath desecration of every sort ; 
but we have grown accustomed to it. 

" Vice is a monster of so frightful mien 
As to be hated needs but to be seen." 


That was the way we looked at it twenty five years 

" Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace." 

That is the condition of things to-day. We think 
we are growing liberal. We are simply getting loose. 
We are afraid of being called precisions and Puritans. 
But better be precisions than Parisians in this matter; 
far better be Puritans than profligates. 

They tell us the Sunday newspaper has come to 
stay. Suppose it has. That is no reason why it 
should stay in our homes or in our hands. Sin has 
come to stay ; so have yellow fever and cholera ; but 
that is no reason why you should contract or foster 
them. In God's good time he will wipe them all out 
of existence as a maid shakes a napkin or wipes a 
platter clean. Meanwhile it is for us to be true to 
our consciences. 

I have tried to reason with you as thoughtful 
men ; I have tried to show the evil and why you 
should put it from you. Of one thing be assured, we 
cannot live without Sabbath rest. The promise of 
Isaiah is as true to-day as when it was first spoken : 
(Is. Iviii. 13) "If thou turn away thy foot from the 
Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day ; 
and call the Sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, 
honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own 
ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking 
thine own words : then shalt thou delight thyself in 
the Lord ; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high 
places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of 
Jacob thy father ; for the mouth of the Lord hath 
spoken it." 


"And Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and 
great commandment.^'— Matt. xxii. 37, 38. 

It was Tuesday of Passion Week, " The Day of 
Temptations." The enemies of Jesus had compassed 
him about in a strenuous effort to ensnare him. The 
Pharisees first approached him with the question as 
to the payment of the capitation tax. " Is it lawful 
to pay tribute to Caesar or not ? " Here was a dilemma; 
to answer " Yes " would be to alienate his own coun- 
trymen ; to answer " No " would be to antagonize the 
Herodians or Romanizing party. " Show me a penny," 
said he. On one side were the haughty features of 
Tiberius, on the other the inscription^ Fontif ex Maxi- 
mus. How it galled them ! " Whose image and 
superscription is this ? " " Caesar's." " Render unto 
Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the 
things that are God's." And they went their way. 
Then came the Sadducees with an old, stale bit of 
casuistry. They were great quibblers. There was 
no room in their philosophy for the supernatural or 
the future life. This Jesus believed in the resurrec- 
tion ; they would make a reductio ad absurduin of his 
doctrine. So they propose the question of the "seven- 


3o6 "the first and great COxMMANDMENT." 

fold widow ; " to-wit, A woman, according to the 
Levitical law, had seven brothers as husbands, one 
after the other, and successively they died ; then she 
died also ; "Good Rabbi, in the resurrection whose 
wife shall she be ? " It was a clever question, but he 
was equal to it. " Ye do err, not knowing the Scrip- 
tures or the power of God." What ? This to the 
Sadducees ? Not know the Scriptures ? Not know 
the power of God ? Nay, further still, they were not 
acquainted with the simplest of the great verities that 
underlie the spiritual life ; that is, flesh and blood 
cannot inherit the kingdom. Everyone to his proper 
conditions. " In heaven they neither marry nor are 
given in marriage (in the low, base sense in which the 
Sadducees understood it), but are as the angels of 
God." And they went their way. 

A scribe next approached him, a professor of 
Biblical theology. The school to which he belonged 
was devoted to the analysis and exposition of the 
Mosaic Law. They counted and weighed its precepts, 
and carefully estimated their relative value. They 
said there were two hundred and forty-eight affirma- 
tive precepts, corresponding to the members of the 
body ; three hundred and sixty-five negative precepts, 
corresponding to the veins and arteries ; making a 
total of six hundred and thirteen, just the number of 
Hebrew letters in the Decalogue. Some of these 
were called Kol^ or light ; and others Kobeb^ or heavy. 
The least of the commandments, by common consent, 
was that which had reference to the robbing of a 
bird's nest. But the important question was. Which 
is the greatest ? Was it the injunction with respect 
to the breadth of fringes or phylacteries, or the pre 
script as to oblations or sacrifices? No point in 

"the first and great commandment." 307 

Rabbinical controversy was regarded as more mo- 
mentous than this. It was a catch question. "Good 
Rabbi, which is the greatest commandment?" And 
Jesus pointed to the Tephillijn^ the frontlet between 
his eyes, on which was written, " Hear, O Israel, the 
Lord our God is one Lord," and asked, " What readest 
thou ? ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind 
and with all thy strength.' This is the first and great 
commandment. And," he continued, " the second 
is like unto it, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy- 

The Law was inscribed in two tables. The first 
has reference to our relations with God, and the 
second to our relations with our fellow-men. We 
have to do now with our Lord's compendium of the 
first table of the Law. The second can wait. 

The beginning of religion is love to God. Here 
is a moralist who says, " I keep the Law. Thou 
shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not 
commit adultery, thou shalt not lie. What more 
can God ask of me ? " Here is a ceremonialist who says, 
"I worship in the beauty of holiness. I pay tithes, 
swing the censer and make my stated prayers. What 
more can be required of me?" Here is a humani- 
tarian who says, " I try to deal kindly with all. My 
saint is Abu Ben Adhem. I do good as I have op- 
portunity unto all men. Will the Lord deal hardly 
with one who lives in that way ? " 

The fact is, however, that these outward displays 
of goodness are the mere empty shell of religion, no 
more in themselves than sounding brass or a tinkling 
cymbal. They bear the same relation to manifesta- 
tions of true piety that the flowers on a bonnet do to 

3o8 "the I'lKsr and great commandment." 

the sweet peas and morning glories in a cottage garden 
with the early dew glistening upon them. Lite, life 
is what they lack. The buds, blossoms and fruit will 
take care of themselves if our religion has a living 
root ; and the root of religion is love to God. 

I. But why should we love God? Because he is essen- 
tially worthy of our love, the One altogether lovely: 
and because he is the source and centre and ultima- 
tum of our life ; our chief end being to glorify him. 
It is proof of our depravity that the question should 
arise, *' Why should I love God ? " The withholding 
of our hearts from him who created and sustained us 
is the very essence of sin. " Hear, O heavens, and 
give ear O earth ; for the Lord hath spoken : ' I 
have nourished and brought up children, and they 
have rebelled against me : the ox knoweth his owner, 
and the ass his master's crib : but Israel doth not 
know, my people doth not consider. Ah, sinful 
nation, a people laden with iniquity ; they have for- 
saken me ! ' " 

*' Ah ! mi>ie iniquity 
Crimson hath been. 
Infinite \ Infinite ! 

Sin upon sin, 
Sin of not knowing Him, 
Sin of not loving Him, 
Infinite sin ! " 

II. But how can we love God? " Our affections are 
not under our control." Yes, but they are. The 
reason why we do not love God is because we are not 
acquainted with him , and we are not acquainted 
with him because we choose not to commune with 
him. We think of him as an ethereal being with 
whom we have little or naught to do. He is law, 

"the first and great COiMMANDMENT. 309 

force, energy ; a something not ourselves that work- 
eth for righteousness ; anything but a living, per- 
sonal God. It is not possible under such conditions 
to be warmly or devotedly attached to him. The 
skipper of the Mary Jane will tell you that he loves 
his sloop ; every spar and rope, every curve and 
angle, from keel to top-mast. But there is another 
Mary Jane down Cape Cod way whom he loves in- 
finitely better and in a very different way — a tidy 
little woman with a babe in her arms, standing in the 
doorway looking out over the sea and thinking of 
her good man. We may admire an inanimate thing 
of beauty, but our affection goes out toward kindling 
eyes and throbbing heart and kindly hand. " As the 
hart panteth after the waterbrooks so panteth my 
soul after thee, O God. When shall I come and ap- 
pear before the living God ! " 

If you would become acquainted with him, enter 
into the closet and shut to the door. **The world is 
too much with us." We have no time to confront the 
sublime truths of eternal life. We have little dis- 
position to be alone with God. Love is like the 
edelweiss, which does not grow in a cottage, but on 
the inaccessible cliffs. Lay down your alpenstock, 
O weary traveller, and rest awhile ; here at your 
feet is the fairest flower that blooms. Alas for us, if 
we neglect the trysting-place ! 

Go to the Oracles also if you would find him. 
Thank God for the Bible. What is it but a love-letter 
sent out by the King after his wandering ones ? Here 
is a setting of his character in all its glorious at- 
tributes. Here are songs and precepts and prophe- 
cies and chronicles ; but all of them centre in the 
glorious truth, God is love. The face of the kind 

3IO "the first and great commandment.' 

Father looks out from all its pages. Here are ex- 
ceeding great and precious promises. Here are words 
of wooing and persuasion. The youth who went 
across the mountains into the far country and wasted 
his substance in riotous living, may perhaps have 
kept in a fold of his tattered cloak a letter from his 
father ; but little heart had he to read it. But when 
he sat alone in the swine-field, he opened the worn 
parchment and read ; every line seemed vibrant with 
love. What could he say, but — " I will arise and go '7 

But if you would know God in the very fulness of 
his love, you must find him at Calvary. I come there 
a seeking sinner in the dark night ; peace gone, 
hope abandoned, bewildered, lost, lying prone upon 
the verge of a bottomless abyss. I hear the sound of 
a breaking heart, and, looking up, see yonder the in- 
carnation of God's love against the midnight sky — a 
seeking God. He has come out upon the dark moun- 
tains after me. The night has gathered about him. 
All the thunders of death and judgment are roaring 
and bellowing ; all the lightnings of hell are flashing 
luridly over him. I reach up my trembling, helpless 
hand ; a pierced hand is reached down, and the two 
are clasped. This is the gracious at-one-ment. The 
seeking sinner finds the seeking God ! Then the open 
heavens, the day-break, light and glory forever; " Son, 
thy sins be forgiven thee." 

The secret of love toward God is in apprehending 

his love toward us. We love him because he first 

loved us. The secret is revealed beneath the cross. 

God so loved the world — God so loved me. 

" Shall I not love thee, Father mine? 
Shall I not love thee well? 
Not with the hope of winning heaven, 
Nor of escaping hell, 

"the first and great commandment." 311 

Not for the sake of gaining aught, 

Or earning a reward ; 
But freely, fully as thyself 

Hast loved me, O Lord." 

III. What then ? The beginning of love is in the ac- 
ceptance of God as he has manifested himself in Christ. 
As it is written, " He that hath not the Son, hath not 
the Father." It is preposterous to claim loyalty to 
the King while rejecting his overtures through his 
well-beloved Son who is heir apparent to the throne. 
But having accepted him, what then? What is 
the sequel of love ? Confession to begin with. It 
is a true saying, "They do not love who do not show 
their love." The Scripture speaketh on this wise : 
'* Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven 
to bring Christ down? Or, Who shall descend into 
the deep to bring him up again from the dead ? But 
what saith it ? The word is nigh thee, even in thy 
mouth and heart ; that is, the word of faith — to-wit : 
* If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, 
and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised 
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.' For with 
the heart man believeth unto righteousness ; and 
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." 

Then obedience, obedience, implicit, unmurmur- 
ing and exact. " Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." 
The obedience of love is not like that of servility. 
When Humboldt was botanizing in Central America 
he found it impossible to persuade his men to work 
as they were entering the jungle ; they groaned under 
the burden of a basket of moss. But on their return, 
when their faces were set homeward, they would 
carry their canoes without a murmur all day long, 
singing by the way. Oh, how light is the labor of 


love! "And hereby we know that we know him, if 
we keep his commandments." "Ye are my friends if 
ye do whatsoever I command you." 

Then holiness, or godliness ; that is, God-likeness ; 
the building up of character in the imitation of Christ. 
Be ye holy; "coy and tender to offend." In our 
moments of affectionate transport, we envy the priv- 
ilege of Mary who poured the spikenard on the 
Master's feet. But to live a pure and holy life, to 
exemplify the Christian graces in our walk and con- 
versation is better than spikenard, better than the fat 
of fed beasts, better than any offering that a soul can 
lay before the feet of God. 

Finally, How shall we discover whether or no we love 

" 'Tis a point I long to know, 

Oft it causes anxious thought: 
Do I love my Lord or no ? 
Am I his, or am I not?" 

But why shall we sit moping and mourning? and 
why shall we question about it ? Let us find out. 
Let us seek God face to face and set things right. 
Let us take the steps prerequisite to knowing and 
loving him. It is safe to say that none of us loves as 
much as he ought to ; but the desire, the aspiration, 
is a sure token that our hearts are inclining toward 
him. So far so good. Let us live up to the slight 
measure of our love and move on. He is not an ex- 
acting God. He remembers that we are dust. He 
knows the trials and allurements that surround us. 

I came upon the legend of an Arab, who, perish- 
ing in the desert, found a spring gushing from the 
sand. He drank and praised God. " There never 
was such water," he cried. " I will fill my leathern 


bottle and carry it to the king." He came at length, 
dusty and weary, to the royal city, presented himself 
in the audience room, rose from his knees and held 
out the water bottle. The king drank and thanked 
him in most gracious terms. The courtiers crowded 
about and begged for a draught, but in vain. When 
the Arab was gone, the king said, " The water was 
warm and insipid ; but I knew the love in the travel- 
ler's heart and I saw the affectionate glow in his eyes 
and was grateful for it." So, good friends, there is 
nothing in the universe so grateful to our Father as 
the tribute of our poor love. Kings may lay their 
crowns before him, angels surround him with their 
anthems ; but there is nothing more pleasing to him 
than the libations of our hearts. Love is the sub- 
limest thing on earth, the divinest thing in heaven. 
Love is the highest attainment of human nature, the 
nearest approach to divinity ; for God himself is love, 
and love is the fulfilling of the law. 


"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."— 
Matt. xxii. 39. 

The lawyer in this case got more than he bar- 
gained for. His purpose was to trip Jesus with the 
catch question, " Which is the great commandment ?" 
The answer came without a moment's hesitation and 
with an emphasis and solemnity that must have made 
a profound impression, '* Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind, this is 
the first and great commandment." But then the 
Lord proceeded, "And the second is like unto it, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The lawyer 
should have been familiar with the former ; for was 
it not written in the law, " Hear, O Israel, the Lord 
thy God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind?" 
But this other, in the form in which it was given, was 
distinctly a new commandment. It was elsewhere so 
characterized, as when Jesus said " A new command- 
ment give I unto you, that ye love one another." 
And also, " Ye have heard that it hath been said, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. 
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them 
that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and 
pray for them which despitefully use you and perse- 
cute you." 



This was putting the law upon a new basis. The 
Ten Commandments had been regarded as ten lofty- 
peaks of justice, marked, like Sinai itself, by stupen- 
dous tokens of the divine Majesty ; the lowering 
clouds, blackness, darkness, tempest, fateful light- 
nings with which the mountain seemed on fire, and the 
voice of the trumpet waxing louder and louder. But 
they are here given to understand that these moun- 
tains were cast up by the central fires of love. Law 
and love are made identical. Law proceeds from 
love, accomplishes its purposes and terminates in it. 
The sum and substance of the first table is love 
toward God ; of the second table, love toward men. 

The purpose of law is to prepare the way for the 
reign of love ; and ultimately law will resolve itself 
into love and love into law. The sole remnant of the 
magnificence of a mediaeval abbey is in granite walls 
and oaken beams. There were silken tapestries, 
once, and beautiful frescoes, and vessels of gold and 
silver ; but only the granite and oak have resisted 
"the tooth of time and rasure of oblivion." Thus 
with the passing of the present order all will crumble 
save Law and Love. One is granite, the other oak ; 
and both are destined to abide forever. 

There are difficulties attending a clear under- 
standing of this commandment, "Thou shalt love 
thy neighbor as thyself." They will all be made to 
disappear, however, by a right use of the three key- 
words, "Like," "As," and "Neighbor." 

L Like; "The second is like unto it." Wherein 
can this commandment be said to be like that, "Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God ? " 

First — In that it proceeds from it. There is no 
true philanthropy which does not find its fountain in 


piety. There is indeed a tenderness of heart in less 
or greater measure among all men, but it is an open 
question how much of moral worth there is in a mere 
natural affection. Sir Walter Scott was so tender- 
hearted that, having broken a dog's leg by an inad- 
vertent blow, he never ceased to feel remorse for it. 
Some persons can look dry-eyed on scenes of suffer- 
ing that move others to ready tears. True humanity, 
however, is founded not upon mere sentiment, but 
upon principle. It proceeds from a recognition of 
the divine nature in every man and of the divine love 
toward all. A child stood at the window of a baker's 
shop, looking in with hungry eyes. A lady passing 
by took compassion on her. The little one received 
the purchased dainties without a word, until at part- 
ing she quaintly and pathetically said, '' Be you God's 
wife?" There was profound philosophy at the bot- 
tom of that. All true kindness proceeds from the best 
and noblest — yes, from God within us. 

And second — Because a true manifestation of 
philanthropy is the proof of love toward God. So it 
is written, "If a man say, I love God, and hate his 
neighbor, the truth is not in him." This was why 
Jesus denounced the Pharisees. They professed a 
deep piety, which they attested by tithes and frequent 
fasts, long prayers and broad phylacteries. " God is 
our Father," they said ; but the Lord's reply was, 
" Nay ; yonder is a widow whom ye have dispos- 
sessed ; yonder is a man impoverished by your usury ; 
your hands are red with blood ! " He who wilfully 
and deliberately wrongs his neighbor can by no means 
be regarded as a friend of God. 

II. As; "Thou shalt love thy neighbor ^.y thyself." 
By this he intended to say, not that the mete or 

"and the second is like unto it." 3'7 

standard of love to one's neighbor is the selfishness 
which prevails among many, but the true self-love 
which should rule among all. 

There is a self-love or egotism which is self-ruinous 
and destructive. It is said of Narcissus that, as he 
beheld himself in the fountain, he was so overcome by 
his own beauty that he died in a rapture of self-ad- 
miration. This is indeed the commonest form of 
suicide. Men devote themselves to wealth, pleasure 
and honor for the mere getting and keeping and 
using on self ; this is misef-love, gourmand-love, 
Napoleonic self-love. '' Let no man think of himself 
more highly than he ought to think." Let no man 
live as if he were the only soul worthy of considera- 
tion. A man living in this manner could by no pos- 
sibility love his neighbor as he loves himself. 

But there is another form of self-love which is 
right and dutiful ; a true egotism which puts a right 
estimate on the importance of self. An old weaver 
in England used to make this prayer each morning, 
" Lord, teach me to respect myself." This was a 
right prayer. I am a man made in God's likeness 
and after his image ; it is my duty to make the most 
of myself, not for self's sake alone, but for the sake 
of others and the glory of God. It is my duty to 
realize the vast possibilities of my life and the destiny 
which is divinely intended for me. 

An oriental legend tells of a man who had stored 
away a vast quantity of wheat in expectation of famine. 
In the time of necessity the people besought him in 
vain ; he would reserve his store for a higher price. 
Multitudes died in the streets and scill his granaries 
were locked. At length the exigency was so great that 
the people were ready to pay whatever he might ask. 



He opened his granaries and went in; there was 
nothing there but dust and crawling worms. He had 
overreached himself. This is the way of the selfish 
world. It is indeed the duty of every man to increase 
his stores, to fill his granaries, but only that he may 
disburse his wealth and distribute his possessions to 
the needy children of men. 

HI. Neighbor. Nach bauer; that is, near-dweller. 
This word, however, does not properly characterize 
the thought in the Saviour's mind. The neighbor to 
whom he referred was distinctly not the near-dweller. 
For indeed vicinage has little or nothing to do with 
the real claims of humanity. This is a pagan concep- 
tion. In the philosophy of Hierocles the relative 
claims of others upon a man's regard were indicated 
in concentric circles. The nearest circle enclosed the 
man himself, the next his household, the next his 
townsmen, the next his fellow-citizens, and the great 
multitude lay wholly without these circumscriptions 
of love. The Romans had only one word, hostis^ by 
which to characterize a stranger and an enemy. To 
the Greeks, all but themselves were barbarians. A 
shipwrecked sailor on the coast of Britain was doomed 
without ceremony to the altar. Thus to the non- 
Christian thought of the world, the only neighbor was 
the near-dweller: the man who lived next door. There 
are persons in Christian communities who cherish the 
same idea, but it is distinctly at odds with the Chris- 
tian view. 

We are left in no uncertainty as to Christ's opinion 
at this point. A lawyer came to him on a certain 
occasion, asking, "Master, what shall I do to inherit 
eternal life?" He answered, "Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind 

"and the second is like unto it 319 

and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.' There- 
upon the lawyer, feeling some qualms of conscience 
and desiring to justify himself, asked, "But who is 
my neighbor?" And Jesus said. ^^ A certain 7fiamaent 
doivn from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves^ 
who stripped him of his raiment^ and wounded him^ and 
departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there 
came down a certain priest that way, and when he saw him 
he passed by on the other side; and likewise a Levite came 
and looked on him and passed by on the other side. But a 
certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; 
and when he saw him he had compassion on him, and he 
boufid up his wounds., and took care of him. Which now 
of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor to him that 
fell among the thieves ? " Observe, he does not directly 
answer the lawyer's question, "Who is my neighbor?" 
but tells him rather how he should be neighbor to 
every man: for when the lawyer answered, "He 
that showed mercy on him," Jesus said unto him, 
"Go, and do thou likewise." 

" Thy neighbor? 'Tis that wearied man 
Whose years are at their brim, 
Bent low with sickness, cares and pain : 
Go thou and comfort him. 

" Thy neighbor? Yonder toiling slave, 
Fetter'd in thought and limb. 
Whose hopes are all beyond the grave! 
Go thou and ransom him.* 

The true Christian is a cosmopolite. He believes 
in the fatherhood of God, and consequently in the 
brotherhood of man. In pursuance of this conviction 
he sends out his sympathy and helpfulness not only 
to his kinsmen or his countrymen, but to all men 


everywhere, who have need of him. As it is written, 
"One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and 
Father of all." 

The rabbis say, that once upon a time there were 
two affectionate brothers who tilled the same farm. 
Oa a certain night, after the gathering of the harvest, 
one of them said to his wife, " My brother is a lonely 
man, who has neither wife nor children ; I will go 
out and carry some of my sheaves into his field." It 
happened that, on the same night, the other said, 
"My brother has wife and children, and needs the 
harvest more than I ; I will carry some of my 
sheaves into his field." So the next morning their 
respective heaps were unchanged, and thus it hap- 
pened night after night, until at length, one moonlight 
night, the brothers with their arms full of sheaves 
met midway face to face. On that spot the Temple 
was built, because it was esteemed to be the place 
where earth was nearest heaven. This is indeed the 
noblest attitude of man. And what a world ours 
would be if all men, realizing that they are children 
of the same God and therefore brethren of the same 
household, were to treat each other in this way. 

And the Lord said, "On these two commandments 
hang all the Law and the Prophets." Love is the 
sum and substance of law. Love God supremely and 
love thy neighbor as thyself. He that doeth this law 
shall live by it. 

If we would learn the true philosophy of the law 
and catch the true spirit of obedience, we must visit 
the cross. It is here that we discover how God loved 
us. "He commendeth his love toward us in that, 
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If 
once we apprehend the length, breadth, depth and 

"and the second is like unto it. 321 

height of the love manifested in this supreme self- 
sacrifice in our behalf, we shall never need to say to 
ourselves again, *' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." 
And if once we shall perceive that Jesus here tasted 
death for every man — for the drunkard that reels 
along our streets, for the poor fetish worshipper in 
the far-away jungles of Africa — we shall need no 
more to say to ourselves, " Love thy neighbor as thy- 
self." The God who gave Christ is the Father of all. 
The Christ who suffered and died is the Brother of 
all. To love as the Father and Son have loved is the 
consummation of duty. Love is the fulfilling of the 


" I will go in unto the king.''— Esther iv. i6. 

A group of notable dignitaries passes before us in 
the glamour of the far-away past. 

Here is Ahasuerus, king of Persia, familiar to us 
as Xerxes the Great. It was he who lashed the sea 
because it would not obey him. He called himself 
the '' King of kings and Lord of lords." He was 
cruel, capricious, magnificent ; his word was irre- 
versible law. 

Here is Esther, his beautiful queen. She was a 
Jewess, brought up under the protection of her kins- 
man, Mordecai. Her exaltation to the throne was by 
a strange providence. She had concealed her lineage 
thus far, as it would appear, to avoid the finger of 
scorn ; for the Jews were hated then as now. But, 
standing up among the daughters of Persia, she 
shone pre-eminent in beauty. Radiant as the star 
that sparkled in her name, she was chosen from 
among all. 

And here is Haman, the son of Hammedatha, 
court favorite, villain of the piay. Puffed up with a 
little brief authority, he will have all the people doff 
their bonnets as he goes by. One only refuses, the 



aged Mordecai. He will not '* bend the pregnant 
hinges of the knee that thrift may follow fawning." 
The proud heart of Haman is filled with wrath. He 
puts his spies upon the old man's track. " What dost 
thou say? A Jew ? Then we shall make a splendid 
reprisal." It is not enough that Mordecai shall suf- 
fer. The king is persuaded to pronounce the decree 
of death upon all the children of Israel within the 
Persian realm. 

The Jewish homes of Shushan are filled with lam- 
entation. The mourners on the housetops kneel with 
uplifted eyes and hands pressed together. They have 
learned their doom, and are praying and listening. 
The blast of a trumpet ! The clang of horses' hoofs ! 
A troop of heralds riding forth with parchment 
scrolls ! They are the messengers of doom. By the 
Assyrian mountains, by the southern plain, by the 
Parthian Sea, all Israel must die. 

In the open square beneath the queen's window, 
an old man leans on his ivory staff, uttering a low, 
wailing cry. At length he succeeds in attracting the 
queen's attention. She appears at her lattice. He 
tells the sorrowful story of which she in her retire- 
ment has been kept in ignorance ; he entreats her to 
go in unto the king in behalf of her people. Useless 
are her protestations : "The king is at his revels; to 
approach him uninvited now, is death under the Per- 
sian law." — '' No matter; the fate of all Israel depends 
upon it ; and who knoweth but thou art come unto 
the kingdom for such a time as this?" — She pleads, 
resists, and yields. "I will go in unto the king; 
and if I perish, I perish." 

The hour is come. For many days the king and 
his courtiers have been feasting in Shushan. The 


halls are filled with incense and music ; the doors are 
defended by stolid Nubian guards. Who comes 
yonder along the marble walk ? They start in amaze- 
ment and whisper to one another. It is the queen ! 
For a woman to intrude upon the king*s revels at such 
a time is to incur a double certainty of death. She 
draws near, arrayed in her royal apparel — a vision of 
beauty. They stand aside, overawed, to let her pass. 
At the threshold of Shushan she pauses ; her lips 
move silently in prayer ; she enters and stands in the 
banquet hall. Yonder is the king with his favorites 
about him ; pale, but resolute, she faces him. The 
destiny of her kinspeople is in the balance. Her 
beauty, her calm demeanor, her magnificent courage, 
have vanquished him. ''What wilt thou. Queen 
Esther? It shall be done unto thee, even unto the 
half of my kingdom." The sceptre is stretched out ; 
the crisis is past ; Israel is saved ! 

And what does this signify to us ? The glory of 
intercession. We are living in a world of perishing 
souls, who, " forever hastening to the grave, stoop 
downward as they run." Death has passed upon all 
for that all have sinned. The law has gone forth, 
"The soul that sinneth it shall die." Our friends, 
neighbors, kinsfolk, are among them, and the responsi- 
bility of their deliverance rests largely upon us. 

" I stood at the open casement 
And looked upon the night, 
And saw the westward-going stars 
Pass slowly out of sight. 

" Slowly the bright procession 

Went down the gleaming arch, 
And my soul discerned the music 

Of the long triumphal march ; s 


" Till the great celestial army, 

Stretching far beyond the poles, 
Became the eternal symbol 
Of the mighty march of souls. 

" Onward, forever onward. 

Red Mars led down his clan ; 
And the moon, like a veiled maiden, 
Was riding in the van. 

*' And some were bright in beauty, 
And some were faint and small ; 
But these might be, in their great heights. 
The noblest of them all. 

" Downward, forever downward, 
Behind earth's dusky shore. 
They passed into the unknown night, 
They passed — and were no more." 

I. Observe the bended form of this suppliant queen. 
Here is the noblest attitude of human nature ; to 
bow before the throne of the heavenly grace in behalf 
of others. 

To make one's calling and election sure is chrono- 
logically first and most important of all. No man 
can look after the spiritual welfare of others until he 
has attended to his personal salvation. Do the first 
things first. Come like the publican, beating upon 
your breast, and crying, " God be merciful to me a 
sinner." Come to the cross and the fountain filled 
with blood; and, by the truth of a hundred great and 
precious promises, he will stretch his scarred hands 
and say, " Thy sins be forgiven thee." 

But if this were all, religion would be indeed a selfish 
thing. The captain of the "Algona," discharged from 
service, is hiding himself shamefaced somewhere. 
His ship went down and forty-eight of his crew and 


passengers went down with it ; but he swam ashore ! 
A man may come to heaven in that way, saved so as 
by fire. But, alas ! it would seem almost better to go 
with the outcasts. No sheaf from the harvest ; no 
star in one's crown. No, no ; this is not to fulfill the 
high vocation of a Christian life. 

We have power to convert. A stupendous thought ! 
'' He that converteth a sinner from the error of his 
ways shall save a soul from death and hide a multitude 
of sins." But how ? By seasonable words which are 
like apples of gold in silver baskets ; by the example 
of an upright walk and conversation ; and by inter- 
cessory prayer. Here is where a man finds himself at 
his noblest and best ; on his knees interceding for 
men. Moses was never so great as when, after the 
sin of the golden calf, he threw himself upon his face 
on the mountain and cried, " O, this people have 
sinned a great sin; if thou wilt, forgive them — and if 
not, blot me out of thy book !" Hezekiah was never so 
great as when, with the tents of Sennacherib all around 
his city, he knelt, spread out the scornful letter of 
Rabshakeh and begged for their deliverance at the 
hands of God. Paul, the ''ugly little Jew," seems of 
gigantic stature when he exclaims, " I could wish that 
myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, 
my kinsmen according to the flesh." We stand rever- 
ently at the door of John Knox's closet while he pleads, 
" O God, give me Scotland or I die ! " Here is our 
coigne of vantage in the Christian life. We can con- 
vert ! Wives can save their husbands^ parents can 
save their children, young men can save their com- 
rades, masters can save their servants, by the power 
of prayer. 


* There is an eye that never sleeps 

Beneath the wing of night ; 
There is an ear that never shuts, 
When sink the beams of light. 

•* There is an arm that never tires, 
When human strength gives way ; 
There is a love that never fails, 
When earthly loves decay. 

" That eye is fixed on seraph throngs ; 

That arm upholds the sky ; 
That ear is filled with angels' songs ; 

That love is throned on high. 

" But there's a power which man can wield 

When mortal aid is vain, 
That eye, that arm, that love to reach, 

That listening ear to gain. 

" That power is prayer, which soars on high, 
Through Jesus to the throne ; 

And moves the hand which moves the world, 
I'o bring salvation down.'* 

II. Observe the outstretched sceptre of the King It 
speaks of God's willingness to hear and answer us. 
We pray for ourselves with faith ; we pray for our 
friends with misgiving. Let us rather add faith to 
faith when we plead for others ; for certainly the 
good God is pleased to hear an unselfish supplication. 
Did not the heart of Ahasuerus respond to the peti- 
tion of his beautiful queen in behalf of her people, 
more readily and joyously than if she had asked for 
the half of his kingdom or any other personal favor ? 

We are encouraged by great promises. Interces- 
sory prayer falls within the circumscription of all 
God's assurances. No limitations are put upon it. 
No conditions are affixed to it. Ask, ask, and it shall be 


given to you ; for every one that asketh, receiveth. 
Oh, if the multitude of half-hearted supplicants, who 
are pleading for their beloved, could only believe in 
God's willingness to hear. How many mothers 
there are like Rizpah who went out in the time 
of the barley harvest, spread sackcloth upon the 
barren rock, and watched beside her seven sons hang- 
ing on the gibbet ; fire in heart and bludgeon in 
hand, keeping away the beasts of the field and the 
fowls of the air. But why need the wayward die ? 
Why need the prodigal perish in his sins, when 
parents have power to save ? God's covenant is sure ; 
his promises are "yea" and "amen." 

We are led to believe in Christ's willingness to 
hear intercessory prayer from the analogy of his 
earthly life. Did he refuse the request of Jairus who 
besought him for his daughter near to death ? Nay ; 
he left the feast where he was being entertained and 
went to the sorrowing father's house, passed through 
the hired mourners that were beating on their breasts, 
took the little, cold hand in his, saying, Talitha^ cumi; 
and the child arose. Did he refuse the prayer of the 
Syrophcenician woman who cried, " My daughter is 
grievously vexed with a demon ? " His disciples en- 
treated, " Send her away, she troubleth us." But he 
said, " Be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Did he 
disregard the solicitous kindness of the four friends 
who carried the paralytic up the outer stairway and 
let him down through the roof into the midst ? Nay ; 
it is written that " when he saw their faith " he healed 
his infirmity and forgave his sin. At the gateway of 
Nain he had compassion on the widow who was fol- 
lowing her son to the grave; her tears were her prayer, 
and he answered it. Wherever he went, the sick were 



brought on couches by their friends and laid along 
the way, and he "healed them every one." And this 
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, to-day and for- 

We are led furthermore to believe in his willing- 
ness to hear, by the fact of his own intercession. His 
whole life indeed was intercessory. The stretching 
out of his hands upon the cross was an intercessory 
prayer for the children of men. And in heaven he 
ever liveth to make intercession for us. A legend 
says that the angel Sandalphon waits at the outer 
most gates of heaven, with his feet on a ladder of 
light, listening. The songs of the great multitude of 
angels and redeemed come from above, but he heeds 
them not. The songs and laughter of earthly homes 
are all about him, but he heeds them not. He heark 
ens for the mother's cry in behalf of her wayward 
son, for the sob of a burdened heart bleeding for 
the lost and wandering ; he bears these supplica- 
tions aloft, lays them before the throne, and they 
turn to garlands at the feet of God. 

III. Observe the sequel. Haman the Magnificent 
swings from the gallows tree ; the homes of the 
Israelites are filled with music and laughter. 

Joy is ever the sequel of unselfish toil and praA'^er. 
The delight of the Christian life is in doing for 
others. There is no pleasure like '* the generous 
pleasure of kindly deeds." The Lord, at Sychar, was 
an hungered and his disciples went away for food. 
He spoke to the woman of Samaria, of the living 
water, and to the people of the town also who came 
about him. On the return of the disciples he said, 
*' I have meat to eat that ye know not of." The cry 
of the body for nourishment had been hushed by his 


eagerness to help ; the nobler passion had gotten the 
upper hand of it. This is the joy of the Lord, and it 
makes a heaven on earth. 

And this is the joy of heaven too. At the close of 
our Civil War when Lincoln visited Richmond the 
slaves loosed the horses from his carriage and drew 
it through the streets, crying, *' God bless Massa Lin- 
coln " ! There were men among them whose backs 
were scarred in a life-time of bondage; and he was 
their deliverer. Oh, there is many a Caesarian triumph 
awaiting the faithful up yonder! Make to yourselves 
friends, that they may receive you into those everlast- 
ing habitations. 

I stand by heaven's gate and see a man coming in 
alone. Saved; but with no souls for his hire. Saved; 
but with no trophies for benevolent faithfulness. O 
lonely, lonely man ! I see another coming who 
has rejoiced to spend and be spent for others, and 
what a welcome he receives ! What greeting and 
hand-clasping ! Here are many who have come be- 
fore him, saved by his faithful toil and intercession, 
who delight to receive him into the joy of the Lord. 

Come, friends, let us cease our selfish striving for 
mere personal advantage, spiritual or otherwise^ and 
busy ourselves in doing good. Let us journey by the 
king's highway, taking prisoners of hope with us. 
It was intended that every Christian should be a 
priest unto God. And this is a true saying, "They 
that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the fir- 
mament, and they that turn many to righteousness as 
the stars forever and ever." 


" But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine." — Titus ii : i. 

To begin with, orthodoxy is not "my doxy" as 
the common parlance puts it. If there ever was a 
time when a minister could say, " I am Sir Oracle, and 
when I ope my lips let no dog bark," that time has 
gone by. No man living has the right to force a 
formulary of belief upon another, nor has any living 
man the right to receive his creed at second hand. It 
is the business of each to make the best possible ap- 
plication of heart, reason, and conscience, to every 
proposition of faith, as each for himself must answer 
for his own convictions at the judgment bar of God. 
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Do 
your own thinking. Hear what other thinkers have 
to say, lend a respectful attention to the Church and 
council, and then determine for yourself what you 
will believe respecting the great problems of the end- 
less life. Let no man take thy crown ! 

Still further, orthodoxy is not slavish subscription 
to the deliverances of the past. Of course " tradition " 
counts. A man would be a fool not to allow that the 
researches and controversies of these hundreds of 
years should have their proper weight. What would 
be thought of a farmer who, throwing aside all labor- 




saving inventions, should insist on ploughing with a 
crooked stick, threshing his grain with a flail, and 
grinding it with mortar and pestle ? He would be 
independent indeed, but not bright. The creeds and 
deliverances of the past are labor-saving conveniences 
for thoughtful men. It is a true saying that a dwarf 
can see farther than a giant, if he stands on the 
giant's shoulders. No one can afford to refuse the ad- 
vantage of this view-point. Climb up, friend; climb 
on the shoulders of the past; but when you are there, 
use not the giant's eyes but your own. Let creeds 
and catechisms and formularies be but steps upward 
by which you reach a magnificent coigne of vantage 
in your earnest quest for truth. 

And further still, orthodoxy must not be regarded 
as the mark of a Boeotian credulity. There is a dis- 
position on the part of some callow folk in these days 
to assume that all the clever people are heretics, and 
that loyalty to established truth is the mark of a 
torpid intellect. The impression is given that heresy 
is somehow necessary to progress — as if a locomotive 
could not go except on down grade with open brakes. 
The fact is, however, that the really progressive 
thinkers, who increase the world's treasure of faith, 
are those who give all proper deference to established 
facts and all due regard to the limitations of thought. 
It is not the wild rovers of the sea who find El Dora- 
does, but such as sail by chart and compass. 

Orthodoxy is an honorable word. It is associated 
with the noblest episodes in history. It savors of the 
times when men loved truth better than life. It was 
for his loyalty to conviction that Abel was slain beside 
the altar. It was for his devotion to right that Abram 
left his country and his father's house and went 


forth, not knowing whither he went. It was for their 
orthodoxy that the three Babylonish youth were cast 
into the furnace of fire. The time would fail me to 
tell of those who in this cause had trial of cruel mock- 
ings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and im- 
prisonment ; were stoned, were sawn asunder, were 
slain with the sword ; of whom the world was not 
worthy. Nay, it was for his devotion to "sound doc- 
trine" that Jesus himself set his face steadfastly 
towards the cross. It is an easy matter in these pip- 
ing times of peace to point the finger at the word 
Orthodoxy and make sport of it. But there is no 
grander word in our vocabulary. It has been stained 
with blood and scarified with fire. Its joints have 
been drawn asunder and its flesh pulled with pinc- 
ers. It is covered with honorable scars. Long life 
to it! 

But we want a definition. What is Orthodoxy? A 
case came before the circuit court of Baltimore some 
time ago which awakened no little interest in ecclesi- 
astical circles. A gentleman had left the bulk of his 
estate for the erection of an edifice for " the worship 
of Jesus Christ according to the Orthodox Baptist 
faith." The construction of the will hinged upon the 
meaning of the word " Orthodox." It was held by 
the presiding judge that, in the absence of a stale 
church, it was not competent for the court to deter- 
mine what is Orthodox and what not. In other 
words, that Orthodoxy is a word without a definition. 
It is not for us to criticise that opinion in its legal 
aspects, but we may venture to dissent in so far as it 
suggests that the word is without a very distinct sig- 

It is true that the word Orthodoxy does not 



occur in Scripture ; but for that matter neither 
does creed or incarnation; but the fact is distinctly 
there. ''The time will come," writes Paul to Tim- 
othy, "when they will not endure sound doctrine." 
And again in his Epistle to Titus, " Speak thou the 
things which become sound doctrine." Etymologi- 
cally it is precisely that, orthe doxa, "sound doctrine." 

Historically, it means loyalty to the formularies 
of any particular bodies. In this sense all depends 
upon the environment. An orthodox Mohammedan 
is one who believes that there is only one God 
and Mohammed is his prophet. An orthodox Unit- 
arian is one who believes that Jesus of Nazareth is 
not the divine Son of God. An orthodox Episco- 
palian is one who believes in the Thircy-nine Articles. 
An orthodox Reformed or Presbyterian is one who 
believes in the system of doctrine contained in the 
Calvinistic symbols, such as the Canons of Dort 
and the Westminster Confession of Faith. 

But there is a larger sense in which the word is 
applied to the universal fellowship of believers in 
Christ. A?i Orthodox Christian is one who believes in 
the truths which are held in common by the universal 
Church of Christ. We say, "I believe in the Holy 
Catholic Church ; " that is, the Church made up of all 
denominations which receive the fundamentals of the 
gospel of Christ. There is no difficulty in understand- 
ing what this sort of Orthodoxy means, unless, 
indeed, there is a desire to misunderstand it. 

I. The life of Christian Orthodoxy is Christ. He is 
its Alpha and Omega. He ij first, last, midst and 
all in all. It does not follow, however, that a man is 
orthodox because he says he believes in Christ. This 
declaration may be the subterfuge of those who are 


constantly recreant to the fundamental truths which 
centre in him, or of those who repose only a partial 
faith in him. There are many in our time who use the 
name of Jesus as the specious term of an exclusively 
humanitarian religion. They paint his character in 
glowing colors, saying, " Behold him as he goes 
about doing good; opening blind eyes, healing the 
sick, comforting the sorrowing and making life 
sweeter and purer. What is better than to live like 
this? Creeds are nothing, dogma is nothing, the 
Scriptures are a matter of little moment. Why dis- 
cuss these minor points ? Let Christ be all and in 

It is a pity to say aught against this form of belief 
and manner of life. Nevertheless it should be un- 
derstood that Christ must not be dismembered. If 
we receive him at all, we must receive him every way. 
He offers himself not only as our Exemplar in ben- 
evolence, but as our Prophet, Priest and King. To 
reject his demands at any point is practically to 
reject him in to to. 

(i.) He offers himself as our Priest. He stands on 
Calvary as our substitute to make expiation for our 
sin. He takes the heart out of his own bosom and 
lays it throbbing on the altar there. He is wounded 
for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, 
that by his stripes we may be healed. To deny that 
is to make him a deceiver. If we believe in Christ, 
we must believe in the atoning power of the blood 
that he shed for us. 

(2.) He is our Prophet; that is, our Teacher in 
spiritual things. His Word is our court of last ap- 
peal. He has something to say as to God; as to the 
heinousness of sin; as to the spiritual death which fol- 


lows — the worm that dieth not, the fire that is not 
quenched; as to life and immortality, — the resurrec- 
tion body and the final judgment. If we receive 
Christ in sincerity, we must accept his word as a final 
statement of truth. 

(3.) He is our King. " Ye call me Master and Lord, 
and ye say well, for so I am." He has much to say as 
to the manner of our daily life. He utters a distinct 
injunction as to the sacramental table: " Take, eat; 
do this in remembrance of me " He lays upon us a 
command as to the great propaganda: "Go ye, into 
all the world and evangelize." If we accept Christ, 
we should recognize his authority and should not 
hesitate to obey him. "Ye are my disciples if ye do 
whatsoever I command you." "Whatsoever he saith 
unto you, do it." 

II. The symbol of Christian Orthodoxy is the Bible. 
The symbols of denominational Orthodoxy are the 
standards of the various bodies of believers in Christ. 
There is, however, a larger fellowship of v/hich we 
say, " I believe in the Holy Catholic Church." The 
symbol of this larger fellowship is the Bible and the 
Bible only. 

(i.) If it be said that Christ is enough, we answer, 
The Scriptures are the only authoritative source of 
information respecting Christ. Christ without the 
Scriptures is a mere name and quite meaningless except 
for sentimental uses. You believe in Christ? What 
Christ ? The Christ of history. Then there is a 
history of Christ? Yes; the Bible. Do you mean the 
New Testament ? No ; Old Testament and New Tes- 
tament. The Scriptures are Christological from be- 
ginning to end. As it takes two hemispheres to make 
a world, so it requires the two Testaments to make 


one complete record of Christ. But why must 
I believe in the Scriptures? Is it not enough that 
Christ should be everything to me ? No ; Christ 
as the incarnate Word, and the Scriptures as the 
written Word, make together a complete revelation — 
the binomial Word of God. So then, your religion 
is the religion of a book? Yes; the religion of the only 
begotten Son of God as he is reliably described in a 
divine book. 

It is like this : You go to the Water Com- 
missioner and say, "I want water in my house 
immediately; we must have it or die." "Well, 
don't worry," he answers. " It is an easy matter to 
get water there. We'll have the pipes put in right 
away." ''Pipes? Who said anything about pipes? 
It's water we want." "But, my friend, you've got 
to get the water through the pipes. It's pipes or 
no water." And you submit to it. So it is the Bible 
or no Christ, because the Bible is the medium through 
which he is revealed or conveyed to us. 

(2.) Let it be observed that Christ himself accepted 
the Scriptures as accurately revealing himself and the 
plan of salvation which centres in hirn. He was 
thoroughly familiar with it. He quoted from Genesis, 
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Samuel, 
Kings, Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Songs of Sol- 
omon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and most of 
the Minor Prophets. He made corroborative refer- 
ence to the stories of Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah, the 
Flood, Abraham, the Destruction of Sodom, Lot's 
wife, Jacob's ladder, the Burning Bush, the Manna, 
the Brazen Serpent, the Queen of Sheba, Jonah in the 
whale's belly and other portions of the truth which 
have been called in question during these last days. 


It is a matter of grave significance, furthermore, 
that Jesus himself never said a word nor gave an 
intimation of any sort whatever, that any portion 
of the Scriptures was other than absolutely trust- 
worthy. Either he did not know as much as some 
of our modern destructive critics with respect to 
the Bible, or else he intended to convey a wrong 
impression, or else he believed the Scriptufes to 
be inerrant. The conclusion is irresistible. If we 
accept Christ we must also accept his view of the 
Scriptures as the Word of God. 

(3.) He commended the Scriptures to us in terms 
which should be decisive! ''Search the Scriptures, for 
in them ye think ye have eternal life and these are they 
which testify of me." Search for yourselves with 
liberty of personal interpretation. Search them with 
the help of all the attainable lights of sound scholar- 
ship. Search them as honest men. 

III. The administrator of Christian Orthodoxy is the 
Holy Ghost. Let us be thankful that we are living 
in a time when the Holy Ghost is more honored than 
formerly as the Paraclete, or constant Helper in 
spiritual things. 

(i.) He reveals the truth of the Scriptures. Spiritual 
things are spiritually discerned. I stand in the wheel- 
house of an ocean steamer looking in a bewildered 
way on the Marine Reports which are written in 
cipher and hieroglyphics ; but presently the captain, 
standing by and seeing my bewilderment, makes all 
plain. He holds the key. So in my unaided wisdom 
I look upon the Scriptures and they are as if written 
in an unknown tongue. If I will, however, the Holy 
Ghost anoints my eyes and throws a light upon the 


pages of Scriptures, so that I see in them the treasures 
of truth; lo, they are full of the knowledge of God. 

(2.) He takes of the things of Jesus and shows them 
unto us. Here I stand beside the manger, crying, 
"Great is the mystery of Godliness, God manifest in 
the flesh." He makes the incarnation clear to me. 
When I stand at Calvary, philosophizing as many 
excellent men have done with reference to the 
atonement, he makes it as simple as is a mother' s love 
to the infant on her breast, saying simply, "God so 
loved the world." When I stand at the open grave 
in Joseph's garden querying, "Does death end all?" 
he points away to the open heavens — the living 
Christ and the Father's house with many mansions. 

(3.) He leads us into all truth. "It is expedient 
that I go away," said Jesus, " for if I go not away the 
Paraclete will not come ; and when he is come he will 
lead you into all truth." If we have fallen into heresy 
of any sort whatever, it is simply and solely because 
we have not been willing that the Holy Ghost should 
guide us. There is a desperate and intolerable pride 
of human wisdom which is defiantly opposed to the 
work of the Holy Ghost. The promise is, "If any of 
you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all 
men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be 
given him." 

It is my hope that as the result of this meditation, 
we shall think a little more kindly of Orthodoxy, Of 
late it has been the fashion to deride it. The new 
school of thinkers have smeared its face with phospho- 
rus, crowned it with cap and bells, and put it in the 
stocks to be gazed at. But, moved by the love of 
truth, devotion to principle, and fealty to God, let us 
uncover and do obeisance as we pass by. 


We are grieved just now for the sorrows of the 
Armenians. Their homes have been burned, their 
villages destroyed, their liberties taken away, iheir 
wives and daughters dishonored, and a hundred 
thousand oT them have been butchered in cold blood. 
And why? Is it not all unnecessary ? Did not the 
Sultan long ago make them a most reasonable propo- 
sition? "You shall be treated with all due consider- 
ation, if only you will utter the formula, 'God is God 
and Mohammed is his Prophet.' Nay, if you will 
only lift your finger in token of assent to it." But, 
blessed be God, they would not ! There is a spirit in 
man. They would not accept life on such contempti- 
ble terms. They preferred to die rather than sur- 
render their convictions of truth. That is Orthodoxy. 
And in the long run, when right and expediency shall 
have ended their strife and the light of eternity shall 
shine upon nations and individual lives, it will be 
found that Orthodoxy w^as worth dying for. Sto pro 
veritate. Have your convictions. Is there a sense of 
duty and assurance of truth deep at the centre of 
your soul ? Then by your hope of eternal blessedness 
stand for it! 


Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests 
and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons." 
— Jno. xviii, 3. 

On a moonlight night in a garden just outside the 
walls of Jerusalem was gathered the most historic 
group that ever came together on earth. If the Czar 
of Russia, Queen Victoria, the Mikado, the Emperor 
of China, the War Lord of Germany and the Presi- 
dent of the United States were all to meet in confer- 
ence they would not form such an historic assemblage 
as this. The central figure in this group is Jesus of 
Nazareth, claiming to be Emmanuel, — that is, God 
with us. He bears no outward mark to distinguish 
him from other men, and yet all the great problems 
of subsequent centuries were destined to revolve about 
him. He has just come from a stupendous struggle 
under the shadow of the olive trees, where the purple 
cup of death was pressed to his lips ; the marks of 
that conflict are still upon him. Near by are John 
and James, the Sons of Thunder ; Peter, the Man of 
Rock; and the other disciples, with a single exception. 
One is missing ; where is he ? 

On the same memorable night the door of the high 
priest's palace in Jerusalem was flung open and a 


342 ''he is apprehended in the garden. 

strange company issued from it. In front was Judas, 
the missing one of the twelve ; then came scribes, 
members of the Sanhedrin, soldiers and others. 
They were armed with swords and staves and carried 
lanterns ; for, though it was the time of the paschal 
moon, they were going to the heights beyond the 
Kedron to search for a malefactor, and there were 
many lurking places there. As this company passed 
along the streets, they were joined by many of the 
people ; they passed out at the north gate, down into 
the dark valley of the Kedron, up the slope of Olivet, 
with the moon shining on their faces, until they 
reached the garden. Here let us pause and observe 
them ; for they constitute a typical company of the 
enemies of Christ. We have their counterpart in 
these days. 

I. Judas, the man of Kerioth. He has no friends. 
There are indeed those who would mitigate his guilt 
by representing that he simply wished, in the betrayal 
of Christ, to precipitate the setting up of his earthly 
throne ; but there is nothing in this. He was a wil- 
ful, deliberate betrayer of his Lord ; a rebel against 
the truth and righteousness of the kingdom of God. 
In brief, he was a hypocrite. The word means, 
" under a mask." A hypocrite is not one who unwit- 
tingly deceives himself and others, but one who, like 
Judas, steals the livery of heaven to serve the devil in. 
The punishment is measured by the guilt. Dante 
leads us down through his series of hells until he 
comes to the deepest, darkest place of torture, the sea 
of ice, where he shows us Judas transfixed in 
unimaginable pain. We may not penetrate the mys- 
teries of the unseen world as boldly as the poet does; 
but we recall the significant words of Jesus, " It were 


better for that man had he never been born." For 
the better understanding of that word, let us see 
Judas in the hall Gazith bargaining, under the malig- 
nant inspiration of envy and covetousness, to deliver 
his Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Let us see him a 
little later when his treason had been consummated, 
returning to the temple, his face distorted with a 
tragic remorse, flinging down at the feet of the 
rabbis those blood-stained pieces of silver, with 
the cry, " I have betrayed innocent blood ! " Let 
us then go out to the cliff above the Valley of 
Hinnom and see his body swinging from 3^onder tree 
in the night wind. So shall we, perhaps, gain a 
measurable apprehension of the significance of that 
sentence, ''It were better for him had he never been 

And the lesson is sincerity. Let us be true to our 
convictions. "To counterfeit is death." Let us be 
what we seem to be. Lord Bacon says, "An ill man 
is always ill, but he is worst who pretends to be a 
saint." The original meaning of the word sincere is 
said to be, "tried by the sun." Honesty is transpar- 
ency. Let us see that all our graces are translucent, 
inasmuch as presently we must stand in our true 
characters in the light of the countenance of God. 

n. Close after Judas follow the Rabbis. And 
what an opportunity was theirs ! They were the re^ 
ligious teachers who, having special charge of the 
oracles, should have been familiar with messianic 
prophecy. They were the leaders of the people, the 
makers of public sentiment. At this juncture it would 
appear, had they been so disposed, they might have 
swung all Jewry into line with the redemptive pur- 
poses of God. But, alas ! two things were in the way: 


(i) Pride; the pride of intellect. They had made 
such acquisitions in rabbinical lore that they were 
unwilling to be taught by any man, and least of all 
by this Nazarene carpenter ! They saw him standing 
in Solomon's Porch with the people gathered about 
him, touching with an unparalleled boldness the great 
spiritual problems which had defied all the wisdom of 
the schools. "Is not this the son of Joseph ?" they 
asked. "And whence hath this man letters .''" " Shall 
he torch us ? " 

" A little learning is a dangerous thing ; 
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring." 

But, unfortunately for us, we cannot drink deep; we 
can only at the best wet our lips at the Pierian springs. 
Pride ill becomes the wisest among us. "He who 
knows his own ignorance," said Socrates, " is on the 
way to knowing more." And when we stop to re- 
flect, how preposterous is our assumption of wisdom 
in the presence of the omniscient One. The light of 
our intellect is as the infinitesimal spark in the eye of a 
snail to the glory of the noonday sun that shrivels it. 
(2) Prejudice. They had their own opinions of 
Messiah. He must come wearing a crown, and show 
himself, by outward pomp and circumstance, worthy 
to restore the glory to Israel. A thoughtful reference 
to their oracles would have corrected this misconcep- 
tion, but unfortunately "a man convinced against his 
v/ill is of the same opinion still." Prejudice is like a 
jaundiced eye; all things look yellow to it; the sea, 
the verdant fields, the overarching sky, all yeilow, be- 
cause the eye itself is so. God save us from pride 
and prejudice. If we would make a voyage, we must 
begin by hoisting the anchor. If we would attain to 


truth, we must cut loose from all ill-formed prejudg- 
ments, hold ourselves open to convictions, and be 
willing to see. The same Jesus who taught in Solo- 
mon's Porch is still teaching among us. He who 
rightly apprehends the value of wisdom and sincerely 
desires to acquire it, will lend a listening ear despite 
the confusing clamor from within and without, saying, 
" If this be truth, I will receive it." 

III. Then the Soldiers. There is something to be 
said for them; for they were under orders and accus- 
tomed to obey. Had any of them desired to befriend 
Christ, he would have found circumstances greatly 
against him. But what of that? Are not circum- 
stances against us all ? 

(i) Are we not all under the constraint of heredity? 
The blood of long generations of sinners is in our 
veins; but this furnishes no excuse for ill-doing. 
Nero was the son of a father who drove over a beg- 
gar in Appia Via, struck out a soldier's eye in a 
quarrel in the forum, and killed a freedman for fail- 
ing to drink enough to please him. Thus the heir-ap- 
parent to the Roman throne inherited the disposition 
of a tiger; was he then to blame for it ? Aye; greatly 
to blame for giving way to it. We are all alike 
under the curse of such inheritance. One man has 
intemperance running hot in his blood, another licen- 
tiousness, another avarice; and others still inherit 
the less conspicuous, but not less heinous, vices. A 
large part of the serious business of our life is to fight 
against our ancestors. The man who excuses him- 
self for giving way to an evil disposition on the 
ground of heredity is a coward. It was bad enough 
for Adam to throw the blame of his transgression on 
iiis wife; it is incomparably v/orse and meaner for one 

346 "he is apprehended in the garden." 

to blame his forbears. The thing to do is to make a 
brave struggle and triumph over an evil heredity. 
And, blessed be God, this is possible, has been proven 
to be possible ten thousand times ten thousand times. 
Here is the key to Samson's riddle: " Out of the eater 
is come forth meat, and out of the strong is come 
forth sweetness." 

(2) Environment. No man finds it easy to live a 
righteous life or build up a noble character. There 
are difficulties all about him and obstacles ever in the 
way. But the mark of true greatness is to overcome 
them and rise above them. One of the best men I 
have ever known, was born in the slums of New York 
of parents who were no better than they ought to be. 
His home was next door to a distillery; and he has 
told me that when he was a lad of eight years, it was 
no uncommon thing for him to lie down under the 
mash tubs where he could catch the intoxicating drip- 
pings, and be carried home by his mother at evening 
sodden with drink. But there came a time in his 
early manhood when he determined that neither he- 
redity nor environment should get the better of him; 
but that, by the grace of God, he would prove him- 
self a man. To-day he is one of the most successful 
ministers of Christ. 

(3) Habit. As if it were not enough that our an- 
cestors and companions should be against us, we 
bind ourselves with fetters and manacles; and true 
manliness becomes more and more difficult as the 
years pass on. But the comforting thought is that 
God stands ready with his sovereign and omnipotent 
relief, and there is no living man who cannot, thus 
reinforced, break these bands of habit as Samson 
broke the green withes wherewith they bound him. 


No man can excuse himself for sin, by saying, " I 
cannot help it." By God's grace he can help it. 

" Toil on; 

In hope o'ercome the steeps God set for thee, 

For past the Alpine summits of great toil lieth thine Italy." 

No doubt the soldiers who went out against Jesus 
on that memorable night would have found it difficult 
to resist the current of opposition to Christ; but that 
it was not impossible is proven by the fact that one, 
who was probably one of their number — the centurion 
to whom was assigned the task of superintending the 
crucifixion of Jesus — was himself convicted and con- 
vinced and moved to say, '* Verily, this was the Son 
of God." 

IV. Then came the People ; a rabble made up 
from the multitude who are gathered from all direc- 
tions to attend the feast. There were traders, shep- 
herds, vine dressers, camel-drivers, artisans, all sorts 
and conditions of men. They correspond to the 
lapsed masses of our time — the unchurched multi- 
tudes, who fall in impulsively with every popular 
movement, except that which impels toward accept- 
ance of divine grace in the gospel of Christ. Where 
is the trouble ? 

(1) They do not think. They do not stop to con- 
sider seriously the great problems and the verities 
which center in Christ. The common sin of every 
age is heedlessness. " For want of a nail, the shoe 
was lost ; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost ; for 
want of a horse, the rider was lost ; for want of a 
rider, the kingdom was lost. ' The average man is so 
busy with the common cares of life — the bread-and- 
butter work, the gaining of a livelihood, the winning 

34^ "he is apprehended in the garden." 

of a competence — that the greater matters of truth 
and righteousness are little or nothing to him. 

(2) They run with the multitude, doing as others 
do. When Napoleon returned from his Austrian cam- 
paign, he was received with bonfires and huzzas. One 
of his marshals remarking upon the devotion of the 
people to his cause, he replied " Yes ; but they would 
follow me just as eagerly to prison and the guillo- 
tine." And the sequel proved it. So is it ever. 
Those who to-day receive the Christ at the city gates 
with shouts of " Hosanna ! Hosanna to the Son of 
JiJavid ! " will to-morrow tall in with the rabble who 
cry, *' Crucify him ! crucify him ! " 

Let us have the courage, good friends, to stand by 
ourselves while the multitude surges by. Let us do 
our own thinking. Let us read our Bibles for our- 
selves with the light which the Holy Spirit gives us. 
Let us gaze with our own eyes at the cross, until the 
eye affecteth the heart and we believe in him. It is 
written that when Jesus was dying on the cross, " The 
people stood beholding." The coldness of that word 
makes us shiver. They stood beholding with dull 
eyes, while the heart of the Saviour yonder on the 
cross was breaking under the burden of their sins. 
O, if they had known ! And they would have known, 
had they stopped to reflect, had they been willing to 
reason for themselves. Yet, our condemnation under 
like conditions is greater than theirs. " O foolish 
Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should 
not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ 
hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? " 

But while we have been taking counsel together, 
the band has entered the garden. They are peering, 
lantern in hand, here and there into the dense shadows. 

"he is apprehended in the garden." 349 

Lo, yonder he stands; pale, worn, with a forecast of 
the last agony upon him. The torchlight falls weirdly 
on his face. " Whom seek ye ? " " Jesus of Nazareth " 
"I am he." They lead him away to judgment and 
thence to the cross. 

The three hours of vicarious pain are over; the 
Galilean is dead ! 

Time passes ; and by the banks of the Tigris, 
worsted in a vain struggle against the increasing 
power of the gospel and wounded unto death, Julian 
the Apostate clutches the earth and cries, "Galilean, 
thou hast conquered ! " 

Time passes ; and Constantine marching back 
from Saxa-Rubra, where he won his famous victory 
against the old herdsman emperor, plants the red 
cross banner of Jesus in the Forum at Rome. 

Time passes; and under the oaks of Britain, be- 
side the cromlechs, the missionary Augustine preaches 
the gospel to the Druid worshippers. 

Time passes; and Columbus plants the red cross 
banner on the shores of the new world, christening it 
San Salvador^ " Land of the vSaviour." 

Time passes ; and missionaries are going every- 
where, their feet beautiful upon the mountains, to 
carry into the regions of darkness and the habitations 
of death the unsearchable riches of the gospel of 

Time passes ; and the world grows brighter and 
brighter, and the day approaches when the clouds 
above shall part asunder, and he whose right it is to 
reign, shall come to be king over all and blessed for- 
ever. In that day his faithful friends shall rejoice at 
his appearing, and they that pierced him shall behold 


him. Let us be getting ready, friends, for the coro- 

" All hail the power of Jesus' name ! 
Let angels prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

Sinners, whose love can ne'er forget 

The wormwood and the gall, 
Go, spread your trophies at His feet, 

And crown Him Lord of all. 

O that with yonder sacred throng, 

We at His feet may fall; 
We'll join the everlasting song. 

And crown Him Lord of all." 


" Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."— Ps. 
xxxii. I. "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man 
unto whom God imputeth righteousness without worlis, saying, Blessed 
are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."— 
Romans iv. 6, 7. 

We have a peculiar expression here, known as the 
** plural of emphasis." In like manner when the He- 
brews wished to name the greatest of monsters they 
said, Behemoth^ a plural word meaning " beasts." So 
the words of the Psalmist would be more accurately 
rendered, "O the blessednesses of the man whose trans- 
gression is forgiven." The singular number would 
not express it. Joy upon joy ! Numberless pleasures! 
O the felicities of the pardoned soul ! 

The Apostle Paul attributes this saying to 
David. Some of the higher critics insist that David 
had nothing to do with it. But we old-fashioned folk 
must be permitted to believe that Paul was probably 
as familiar with correct Biblical exegesis as those who 
take issue with him. And particularly since the 
higher critics have nothing to proceed upon except 
what they call "internal evidence" — that is, David 
could not have written this Psalm because it does not 
sound like him. Aye, but it does. The internal 
evidence is what convinces us of the Davidic author- 



ship of this saying. The ring of David's voice is in 
it ; the twang of David's harp-string is in it. He 
knew sin and he knew the burden of sin. It may be 
that when he wrote this rhapsody he had in mind the 
matter of Uriah and Bathsheba. It rested as an in- 
tolerable burden on his soul ; it stained his hands 
blood red ; it ploughed furrows of remorse across his 
brow. He could not sleep ; the furies sat about him 
in the watches of the night, pointing their fingers and 
whispering, "Uriah!" "Bathsheba!" What should 
he do ? What could he do but cry unto the Lord in 
his trouble, " Have mercy upon me according to thy 
loving kindness, and according unto the multitude of 
thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions ; for 
against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this 
evil in thy sight?" Did God hear ? God always hears. 
There is nothing in the universe so sweet to him as 
the cry of a returning prodigal. So David sings, 
" This poor man cried, and the Lord heard and saved 
him out of all his trouble. O that men would praise 
the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works 
to the children of men." 

And it was meet and proper that Paul should echo 
this ; for his was a similar experience. His sin 
was ever before him. He could not forget how he 
had held the garments of those who stoned 
Stephen ; — that upturned, pleading face, that last 
prayer, " Lay not this sin to their charge." He could 
not forget the deeds of blood committed, when, 
as a zealot of the Sanhedrin, he went hither and yon 
breathing out slaughter against God's little ones ; 
when in pursuit of his inquisition he rode down the 
Damascus highway and saw in a sudden flash of light 
the face so marred, yet divinely beautiful, and heard 


the voice, " I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." It is 
anguish to remember this, and anguish to know that 
the " motions of sin" are still in his members. "O 
wretched man," he cries, " who shall deliver me from 
the body of this death?" And then he continues, 
"Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ !" 
His regret for the past is swallowed up in his blissful 
experience of God's pardoning grace: "Who shall 
separate me from the love of Christ ? I am persuaded 
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principal- 
ities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to 
come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature 
shall be able to separate me from the love of God 
which is in Christ Jesus my Lord." 

"I believe in the forgiveness of sins;" so the 
Church professes in her historic creed. So sing the 
innumerable multitude of the redeemed in heaven, " I 
believe in the forgiveness of sins." 

*' O ! may the sweet, the blissful theme 
Fill every heart and tongue, 
Till strangers love Thy charming name, 
And join the sacred song ! " 

It is a vast subject ; too great for a single discourse. 
It will answer our purpose merely to inquire what 
David thought about it. He uses four significant ex- 
pressions for the forgiveness of sin. 

I. He speaks of it as "r^;'z^^r/«^." "Blessed is the 
man whose sin is covered." This expression is the 
equivalent of erased or blotted out. So Peter said to 
the multitude in Solomon's Porch, " Repent and be 
converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when 
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence 
of the Lord." 


In those days the writing was frequently done on 
wax tablets ; it was an easy matter, therefore, to erase 
it. The accounts were kept in that way. If a man 
came in to square his account, the stylus was simply 
drawn over the tablet and the score vanished ; it was 
covered, and thus erased or blotted out. 

In the interest of justice a strict account is kept of 
every man. We read of a memorial book in which 
our sins are all written down. We may forget them ; 
indeed we do forget them nearly all. But the ledger 
will be opened on the judgment day ; sins innumer- 
able that had passed from remembrance will be ex- 
posed to view; destiny will be determined by that 
record. If no payment has been made in our behalf, 
then the uttermost farthing will be required of us. 
If we are forgiven, it will be only because our indebt- 
edness has been paid by our Lord Jesus Christ. He 
holds the stylus in his pierced hand, awaiting our word 
of prayer that he may erase it. If faith speaks the 
word, lo, it is done ! 

" Jesus paid it all, 
All to Him I owe." 

II. David also speaks of the forgiveness of sin as 
a cleatising. " Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be 
clean ; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." 
The response to this prayer is in the assurance of the 
gospel : " The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
cleanseth us from all sin." 

The finer instincts of our nature grasp the fact that 
sin is uncleanness. One of the Greek philosophers 
expressed the wish that, in the interest of sincerity, a 
window might be placed in the breast of every man. 
But there are few, if any, of us who would be willing 


to have it so. One of the best of modern Christians 
has said, '' If the secret imaginations of my heart were 
known, I should be ashamed to pass along the street, 
lest the children should make sport of me and the 
very dogs bark at me." At times this repugnant 
aspect of sin forces itself upon us ; but we are loath 
to dwell upon it. 

One of the significant types of sin is leprosy, not 
because of the incurableness of that malady, but rather 
of its uncleanness. There are other mortal diseases, 
but there is none that so utterly excludes the patient 
from all fellowship of men. Let a leper be found in 
the Chinese quarter of New York City to-day, and he 
is hurried away to a lone island in the harbor, to dwell 
there in a secluded hut where none shall approach 
him. It is written of Naaman the Syrian, " He was a 
great man with his master, and honorable ; he was 
also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper." 
What mattered it if his was the arrow that smote 
through thejointsofAhab's armor, orthathe had often- 
times distinguished himself on the high places of the 
field ? He would fain have traded places with the 
meanest of the cringing slaves in his kitchen, if only 
those white spots might be taken from him. The 
Jew who was infected with this disease must needs 
go apart from his fellows, and stand afar off, with his 
finger upon his lips, crying, " Unclean ! unclean ! " 
This is the significant type by which the inspired 
writers are wont to characterize the repulsiveness of 
sin. But a fountain has been opened for uncleanness, 
in the blood of Jesus Christ : '' Come now, saith the 
Lord, and let us reason together ; though your sins be 
as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow : though 
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." 


III. Again the Psalmist speaks of forgiveness as a 
removing. '' He hath not dealt with us after our sins, 
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities ; for as 
the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his 
mercy toward them that fear him ; as far as the east 
is from the west, so far hath he removed our trans- 
gressions from us." In like manner Hosea says, '' O 
Israel, return unto the Lord your God, and say, Take 
away our iniquity and receive us graciously ; so will 
we render the calves of our lips." 

Sin is here conceived of as a burden. So Cain^ 
fleeing from his brother's blood, cried out, " My pun- 
ishment is greater than I can bear." But God in the 
gospel of Christ has made known his willingness to 
lift the burden and carry it away. The Christian 
in the " Pilgrim's Progress " went through great 
difficulty " because of the load upon his back," 
until he came to the cross ; and at the foot of the 
cross was the sepulchre; and when he came there, his 
burden was loosed from off his shoulder and ''began 
to tumble and so continued to do until it came to the 
mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in and he saw it 
no more. Then was he glad and blithesome, and said 
with a merry heart, ' He hath given me rest by his 
sorrow and life by his death.' " 

On Yom Kippur, the great Day of Atonement, the 
scapegoat was brought to the door of the tabernacle 
and the high priest laid his hands upon its head, so 
signifying that the sins of the people were laid there; 
then the scapegoat was led by the hand of a fit man 
out into the land of Azazel. The people stood, shad- 
ing their eyes, and saw the fit man lead the goat over 
the hills and far away. It was gone, and their sins 
were gone with it ! So is the sinner's burden laid 



upon the heart of Christ at Calvary, and Christ's heart 
breaks under it. 

" My faith would lay her hand 
On that dear head of Thine, 
While like a penitent I stand 
And there confess my sin." 

How far is our sin removed by this loving kind- 
ness of our Lord ? Mark the great distance : " As far 
as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed 
our transgressions from us." We may measure the 
distance from north to south, but not from east to west. 
The sailor who sets out with his prow pointed west- 
ward may sail on and on and round and round for- 
ever. So our sins are removed infinitely from us. 

IV. But the most significant figure which David 
uses to designate the forgiveness of sin is '''forget- 
ting.'" His prayer is, " O Lord, remember not the sins 
of my youth ; " and again, " O Lord, remember not 
against us our former iniquities ; let thy tender mer- 
cies prevent us." And God's answer is in these 
words, " I will be merciful unto thee, and thine in- 
iquities will I remember no more against thee." An 
" Act of Oblivion " is passed upon our sins. They 
shall never more be recalled or cast up against us. 

In Hebrew and Arabic " to forget " is expressed 
by the phrase "to cast behind one's back." Thus if 
an oriental ruler desires to rid himself of his Prime 
Minister, he ''casts him behind his back ;" that is, 
out of his sight. He thinks no more of him. This 
is precisely what God, in his infinite mercy, does with 
our sins. Up to the moment of forgiveness they are 
before his face, as it is written : " He hath set our 
secret sins in the light of his countenance " — the light 


beyond the brightest glory of the sun. But when he 
forgives, he puts our iniquities behind his back and so 
stands between us and them forever. 

We find an expression of like emphasis in the 
words of Micah, " Thou wilt turn again and have 
compassion ; thou wilt cast the sins of the people 
into the depths of the sea." Was the prophet think- 
ing of a stone that goes down, down into the depths 
forever? Or shall we find the similitude in a burial 
at sea, where the shotted, shrouded burden slips from 
the plank and with a momentary splash disappears 
from view? Nay, not so ; for there shall be a resur- 
rection, the sea shall give up its dead ; but the sin 
that is forgiven shall be seen no more forever. 

In 1862 the British ship Enrica was fitted out as a 
Confederate cruiser, to be commanded by Captain 
Raphael Semmes. Her crew and armament were 
British ; and she carried a British flag to use when 
occasion required it. In the course of the next two 
years she destroyed sixty-six American vessels and 
millions upon millions of property. The "Alabama 
Claims " have been settled in just arbitration ; but 
the merchant marine of America has never recovered 
from the blow. The Alabama never entered a south- 
ern port, but cruised to and fro, capturing and burn- 
ing everywhere. At length, early in the summer of 
1864, she put into the harbor of Cherbourg, France, 
for repairs. The Kearsarge, commanded by Captain 
Winslow, which had long been pursuing her, anchored 
at the entrance of the harbor. A meeting was inevi- 
table. On the 19th day of June they joined battle 
seven miles out. They were at close quarters for an 
hour, firing shot and shell into each other ; then the 
Alabama began to settle ; she quivered like a living 


thing and went down, down, fathoms down, among 
the coral and sea-weed and slimy crawling things on 
the bottom of the sea. There she has lain ever since ; 
there she will lie until the end of time ; her iron rust- 
ing, her timbers rotting, the fishes swimming through 
her port holes. There is no resurrection for her. So 
God sends our sins down, down, to the bottom of the 
sea, never to be seen again, never to be heard of, 
never to be remembered. 

The ancients speak of a river called Lethe, flowing 
through hell. The dead drank of it and forgot the 
past. It is not we, however, who drink of Lethe. We 
shall remember our sins, but only to praise the God 
who has forgiven them. We shall look upon the pit 
out of which we are delivered, and call upon our souls 
and all that is within us to bless his holy name. Nay, 
it is God who drinks of Lethe ; he forgets, he remem- 
bers our sins no more against us. 

Let it be observed that the forgiveness here vouch' 
safed to us is only for Jesus' sake. There is no word 
in Scripture to encourage hope otherwise. "There is 
none other name under heaven given among men 
whereby we must be saved." The atonement of the 
cross furnishes the only theory of pardon which ever 
has been suggested. The false religions are utterly de- 
void of any hint of the forgiveness of sin. This is the 
glory of our religion. The world believes in Karma, 
the doctrine of retribution. "Whatsoever a man 
soweth, that shall he also reap." It makes one shiver 
to think of this philosophy of irrevocable death. It 
was fifty years ago, or thereabouts, when Professor 
Webster, of Harvard University, was tried for murder. 
The man who sat in judgment on that occasion was 
Chief Justice Shaw, who had been the college friend 


of the prisoner at the bar. When the jury returned 
with its verdict of " Guilty," the judge was so over- 
come that tears poured over his cheeks and he could 
not speak. At length he arose to pronounce the 
death sentence, saying, "The law must have its 
course." Thanks be to God, the law need not have 
its course at the Great Assize, '* for w^hat the lav/ 
could not do in that it was weak through the flesh" 
— our sinful flesh — " God, sending his own Son in the 
likeness of sinful flesh, hath done for us." We believe 
that through Jesus Christ there is forgiveness with 

But only through faith in him. Faith is the hand 
stretched out to appropriate the unspeakable gift. 
We shall probably agree that the strangling swimmer 
who deliberately refuses to grasp the rope thrown to 
him deserves to drown ; that the Jew who would not 
eat of the manna that lay around his feet, plenteous 
and white as hoar frost, deserved to starve ; that the 
man who will not dip up the water of the fountain 
and drink, deserves to perish of thirst. The great sal- 
vation is offered to us on the sole condition of faith ; 
"He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be 
saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned;" 
that is, he who takes Christ to be the propitiation of 
his "' ' shall live through him, but he who prefers to 
^ ix.s own sins forever shall have his way. Who 
Liien, shall complain ? And how shall we escape if we 
neglect so great salvation ? Let us accept Christ, 
therefore, and be grateful. Only believe ! Only be- 
lieve ! And let our lives show that we believe in 
Christ, and that in him we have received the forgive- 
ness of sin. 


"Therefore, the children of Israel could not stand, but turned their backs be> 
fore their enemies."— Josh. vii. 12. 

The siege of Jericho was a singular performance. 
In all the history of military tactics there was nothing 
like it. It was never known that a city should be re- 
duced by the simple tramp, tramping of a multitude, 
in profound silence, and then a final blast of rams' 
horns. It was manifestly the Lord's doing, and mar- 
vellous in all the people's eyes. And, inasmuch as 
God had planned the siege, and reduced the city with- 
out any man's aid, it was obviously his right to affix 
any conditions whatsoever to the triumph that might 
please him. He said, accordingly, *' There must be no 
looting, no plunder now." He was not going to have 
the army of Israel develop into a mere mob of ma- 
rauders. That would do for pagan nations, but not 
for the people of God. He said that the city itself 
should be devoted to destruction; it must be utterly 
burned up, and the gold and the silver must be con- 
secrated to the house of God; but there should be no 
plunder. And so they went into Jericho. 

Out in his tent on the hillside that night, in full 
sight of the smoke that still rose from the burning 
city, was a soldier who had in his possession a Baby- 
lonish garment, a purse that contained two hun- 



dred shekels of silver, and a golden wedge. He was 
all alone ; and he digged a hole in the ground, and 
kneeled down and, folding up that precious Babylon- 
ish garment, and looking around him to see if any- 
one was watching him, he put it there. And he 
opened the purse, and counted out the two hundred 
shekels of silver, and replaced them, and placed it 
also there. And the wedge of gold — how his eyes 
sparkled as he laid it with the silver, and buried it ! 
And he looked about him, and said, " None seeth me." 
But the eyes that ''run to and fro through all the 
earth, beholding the evil and the good," were all the 
w^hile looking down upon him. 

The next morning it was proposed to take yonder 
fortress that lay three thousand feet higher up the 
mountain road that led into the Holy Land. A squad 
of soldiers was sent up to reconnoitre, and they came 
back and said, " We need not send the army up there; 
it will be enough to send two or three regiments. It 
is only a small garrison; we can easily overcome it." 
So in the camp they watched the men going up, and 
heard in the distance the sound of conflict; but soon 
they saw their warriors come flying down like a flock 
of sheep, for their hearts had melted like water within 
them. Joshua, the man of battle, stood by, wondering; 
he called the roll, and asked, ''Were ye overcome? 
Did some great disaster fall upon you?" But they 
were all there except thirty-six. They had not been 
overwhelmed by numbers, or by superior strength. 
What was it, then, that struck them with that sudden 
panic, and sent them fleeing down the hillside? 
Joshua, overwhelmed with shame, fell down upon 
his face, and cried out, " Alas, that Israel should 
have done this ! That an army of Israel should ever 


have failed to take the little fortress of Ai ! What 
will the Canaanites say of it ? And what shall be said 
for the name of the Lord, our God ? " Then a voice 
said to him, "Rise up i Stand upon thy feet ! Why 
liest thou here, mourning and lamenting ? There is 
a golden wedge in the camp. One of thy soldiers 
hath taken of the devoted, the unclean thing. Find 
it; punish him; for, therefore, Israel hath not been 
able to stand before the enemy, but hath turned his 
back upon him." And it was proclaimed throughout 
the camp that there was a malefactor who had taken 
plunder, and that he was to be found out. 

That was a terrible night for Achan. He lay in 
his tent, with the Babylonish garment, and the 
golden wedge, and the purse of shekels buried be- 
neath him, and tossed, sleepless, like guilty Macbeth. 
O, if he would only arise now, and get down upon 
his knees, and make a clean breast of the whole mat- 
ter before God ! O, if he would only leave his tent, 
and fall before Joshua, and confess all ! "But," he 
said to himself, " may be these are unfounded 
qualms of mind. I shall never be found out." 

The next morning the lot was taken, and the black 
stone fell to the tribe of Judah ; and the rabbis say 
that every man in Judah then drew his sword, and 
vowed that the malefactor should die. The ballot was 
cast again, and the black stone fell to the clan of the 
Zerahites; again, and the black stone fell to the family 
of Zabdi ; again, and Achan trembled to the centre 
of his heart — for the black stone was in his hand! 
What shall be done to the man who by his sin has 
endangered all Israel, and put God's people to an 
open shame ? It was at the very beginning of the 
theocracy, and an exemplary punishment must be in- 


flicted upon him. He was taken out and stoned to 
death, and his tent was burned. Then went the 
army of Israel forward, and Ai fell, and the people 
went in to possess the land. 

I preached here a little while ago on the secret of 
success. But success is a very extraordinary thing. 
I doubt if there is a man or woman here who feels 
that he or she has achieved it. I want to say some- 
thing to you now about the secret of failure; and that 
will touch every one of us. 

As to the Church, I know how gloriously the bles- 
sing of Heaven has rested upon the Church all along 
the ages. The eleven men that came down the outer 
stairway from that upper room have come to be four 
hundred millions of people, scattered all over the 
world, in more or less close connection with the 
Church of God. It is a wonderful history — the 
history of the universal Church of Christ. It is a 
wonderful success — when we look at it from this 
standpoint of our lower life. But O ! it is the colos- 
sal failure of all the history of the universe, when we 
look at it from the standpoint of the ideal, and the 
possible, and the divinely-intended. "Go ye," said 
the Master, to the people who were assembled upon 
the Mount of Ascension, — " Go ye into all the world, 
and preach the Gospel to every creature ; and, lo ! 
I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 
If they had only heeded ! There was a command — 
" Go ye ! " There was a promise — " Lo ! I am with 
you." Omniscience marked out the campaign. 
Omnipotence was pledged to the ultimate triumph. 
Yet here we are, after the lapse of eighteen weary 
centuries, still watching the heavens, and wondering 


when the Lord will come. " O Lord, how long? how 
long ? " 

What is the trouble? Sin in the camp. The 
Church of God is not what it ought to be. But for 
the sin of the Church, the conquest of the world 
would have been accomplished long centuries ago. 
If you want to transmit an electric current and pro- 
duce a tremendous power by it, you must be very 
careful that the wires along which the power passes 
shall be thoroughly insulated. There must be no loss of 
power by contact with foreign things. I can place you 
on an insulated stool, and turn a current of electricity 
upon you; and if you will not touch anything, but hold 
yourself aloof from everything that could possibly 
conduct the power away from you, I will fill you so 
full of electricity that it will go sparkling in electric 
flashes from your finger tips. There will be con- 
vulsions of power and earthquakes of energy within 
you. O! if the Church had only stood there — ''Come 
out from the world, and be ye separate, saith the 
Lord: for I have chosen you to be an holy priesthood, 
a peculiar people. Put away the unclean thing from 
among you." That is the injunction which God is ever 
addressing to his militant Church. If you want to 
reduce Buddhism ; if you want to conquer Islam ; if 
you want to destroy Confucianism ; if you want to 
save the nations who are worshipping Fetish idols in 
the darkness of death, put away the unclean thing 
from you. "Loose thyself from thy bands; shake 
thyself from the dust, O captive daughter of Jerusa- 
lem." Let God energize thee. Then shalt thou be 
God's people, and God himself shall be thy God. 

But now as to the individual Christian — for it is 
not a matter of great consequence to speak of the 


Church in the abstract, or en masse. The Church is 
what we individual Christians make it. From one 
standpoint, it is a wonder that you are as good a 
Christian man as you are. That is to be said to your 
credit. " For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, 
but against principalities and powers, against spiritual 
wickedness in high places." We are constantly 
opposed by the world, and the flesh, and the devil; 
and it is a wonder to me that we Christian people 
are half as good as we are reputed to be. What was 
it that Baxter said? "I am not what I ought to 
be ; I am not what I hope to be ; I am not what I 
mean to be ; but by the grace of God I am what I 

So you have made a success of it, if you look at 
the Christian life from the lower levels ; but if you 
occupy the standpoint of the ideal and the possible, 
O, what a colossal failure you and I have made of it ! 
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on 
a hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before 
men that they may see your good works, and glorify 
God." How is it that you have been thwarted in 
your best resolutions ? How is it that you have risen 
in the morning, and made your prayer of consecra- 
tion, and gone out to meet the world, and come back 
defeated, as the soldiers of Israel came back along 
that mountain road from Ai ? And then you have 
kneeled down to say, as David did — '* Have mercy 
upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness, and 
according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot 
out my transgressions; for I have sinned." How is 
it that when you have made your best resolutions you 
have, after all, come to say with Paul : "I find a law 
in my members, so that the good that 1 would, I 


do not ; and the evil that I would not, that I do ; who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death?" 
There it is — the corpse tied to the swimmer's neck, and 
he strangling and struggling for his life. But who 
shall deliver me from this sin, this very body of death ? 

That is the trouble with us — the old, the darling 
sin, the long-cherished habit, that is continually get- 
ting the better of us. It seems a little matter. In, 
one of the fairy tales that we used to read when we 
were children, there was a princess immured in a dun- 
geon, who after a while found a secret passage, and 
crept along in the dark until she came within sight 
of an open door, and made her way toward it. But 
here was a spider's thread. She paused, and drew 
it aside, and there was another ; and she paused, and 
drew that aside, and there was another ; and presently 
she was in the meshes of a million spiders' threads. 
And she sat down and wept, and gave up the struggle. 
That is the story of many a Christian life. The little 
sin, year after year, loved and cherished — the darling 
sin — enmeshes and destroys us. 

But here is a word also for those who never have 
professed to be the followers of Christ. I give the 
average man who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ 
credit for many excellent hopes and purposes and 
earnest resolutions. We cannot get rid of the fact 
that we were made in the likeness of God. You 
may not have prayed this morning. It is probable 
that there is a man in this congregation who did not 
have the grace, after sleeping in God's arms all night, 
and being cared for by his providence, to get down 
before him this morning and say, " I thank you." But 
no matter how far you have wandered from God, you 
know that you were born of God ; you feel stirring^ 


within you the impulses of your better nature. I 
believe in total depravity, but not in any such sense as 
that the man who is depraved has nothing that is natu- 
rally good in him. You may be a kind husband, an 
intelligent father, a good neighbor, and a loyal 
citizen ; you may be a good man, as men go, and 
looked at from the earthly standpoint; but if you look 
at yourself from the standpoint of the ideal and the 
possible, your life has been a lamentable failure, and 
you have met with a stupendous defeat. You are 
not what you ought to be. 

A man came to me recently, and said, " I am in a 
little trouble, and I want to talk with you. Now, 
don't tell me to repent, and think I come to you as a 
sinner, because I am not a sinner ; " and I opened my 
eyes, for that is a very extraordinary thing — "I am 
not a sinner, and I don't need to repent ; but I am 
just dead weary of a life of mere self-gratification. 
I have got enough of this world's goods ; I have a 
surplus of energy, and I am doing nothing for any- 
body, and I am just weary of living this way." De- 
feated, thwarted, tired out ! Why is it ? What is 
the matter ? Sin ! Sin ! Paralyzing, debilitating, un- 
nerving, unmanning sin ! If you don't get rid of it, 
my brother, it will be the death of you. Sin kills. It 
ruins us while we are going on toward eternity. It 
meets us at every step. It lays upon our hearts a 
burden beyond what we are able to bear, and ulti- 
mately consigns us to spiritual and eternal death — 
or else there is not a word of truth in that old- 
fashioned Book of ours. 

You may have seen the instrument of torture in 
the castle of Nuremberg, that is called "The Virgin." 
Her arms were open, and the victim of the Inquisi- 


tion was commanded to embrace her. As he obeyed, 
a knife pierced his eye, a knife pierced his temple, a 
knife pierced his breast, knives pierced him every- 
where. That was quick death. It is not always so 
sudden, but sin is sure death. 

What is needed ? Up ! Consecrate yourselves ! 
Get rid of sin, as you love life ! Get rid of the old 
sin that has been accumulating upon you in the mis- 
lived past ! How will you get rid of it ? You can- 
not wash your hands, like Pilate, in a basin of water 
and get rid of it. The laver stood before the altar. 
The cross of Jesus Christ is both laver and altar. A 
fountain gushes out from the rock beneath the cross 
— "a fountain opened for all uncleanness." Come, 
my friend; you have failed everywhere else. You 
know your infirmity. You know you will be thwarted 
and defeated if you keep on this way. Come, and 
kneel down here at Calvary. " Come, now, saith the 
Lord; let us reason together. Though your sins are 
as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they 
be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." "The 
blood of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, 
cleanseth usfrom all sin." It is the old message; but, 
my brother, it is the message of life to you. 

And having done that, what then ? Christians all, 
now, let us see to it that we cherish no sin henceforth 
and forever ; that we bury no golden wedges in our 
tent. When Madagascar became a Christian island, 
and the Hovas surrendered to Christ, the Queen was 
baptized, and there was a solemn day of consecration, 
in which the great image was brought from the temple, 
and the smaller idols were brought from the Hovas' 
homes, a great bonfire was made, and the idolatry of 
the island was burned up. But there was something 


wrong. The Queen herself, long afterwards, came to 
the missionaries and took from her neck a little black 
image, only three inches long, which she had still 
cherished, and worn as an amulet there. The royal 
idol ! The darling sin ! Not until that was surren- 
dered, could she become a Christian Queen. Not 
until the last idol w^as burned, was the Island of Mad- 
agascar given to Christ. Let us surrender all. Let 
us consecrate all. Let us not touch the unclean 
thing. The secret of failure is devotion to any sin. 
The secret of success is — 

" Here, Lord, I give myself away, 
'Tis all that I can do." 

The secret of success is insulation from the world ; 
consecration to truth, and goodness, to the love of 
Jesus Christ, and the service of God. 



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