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championing of the claims of social justice and social service; the making of the Bible, through reading and study, the mightiest force in our civilization as it was in that of England in the last years of Elizabeth and after; through classes of education the intelligent understanding of the problem of Christianizing the nations; by community extension the bringing of the masses to Christ through city and country. What enterprise is more sweeping or inspiring than this?
When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren who fight beneath the banners of liberty and democracy with the might of manhood, indignant at a nation which trails in the dust all principles of Christianity and humanity. Fight victoriously without emulating their hate or their heartlessness.
When the victory is won, strengthen thy brethren by insisting that Christ's principles of justice, brotherhood, democracy, and righteousness, shall take the place of the force, chicanery, lying, and deceit which hitherto have guided the affairs of nations. See to it that President Wilson's bold proclamation of the Christian program shall be steadfastly adhered to by America.
When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren through a divine enthusiasm. To many religion is but a dead and dry adherence to law and statement. But not so to him who had the princely passion. Enthusiasm, en-theos-asm, has a birthright in religion, if it has anywhere. A religion which consists in a mere cold and respectable ob
servance of form is not religion. It is hard to keep a small blaze going, the flame from one little stick soon becomes feeble and flickering and sickly, but pile on the logs criss-cross fashion and how the sparks leap to the heavens, the whole camp is cheered and illuminated. Aristotle said, “There is no great genius without some admixture of madness." The man who arrives in any line of work is the man who gives himself with all the spirit that is in him. How the church's lack of enthusiasm was rebuked by a criminal in England just before his execution! The ministries of religion were being offered to him. The old, old story was related by the chaplain. The man replied, “Sir, if I believed what you say there would be no limit to the power that I would put into its proclamation; I would crawl across England on broken glass on my hands and knees to tell men it was true.” The rough, red-hot Luther and not the erudite Erasmus was the bulwark of the Reformation. Joseph Parker, for a long generation the flaming evangel of City Temple, London, said, So long as the church is one of many institutions she will have her little day, will die, and that will be all, but just as soon as she gets the spirit of Jesus Christ until the world thinks she has gone stark mad, she will be on the right way of capturing this old planet for Christ."
He who feels the sway of the princely passion hears the trumpet call of sacrifice. Man was made for struggle and not for ease. The fierce joy of the Christian way is that it challenges a man to
“ endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” We belong to a comfort-loving, luxuryworshipping generation. We need more of iron in our blood. Christianity has flourished best when Christians had to suffer. The blood of the martyrs has been evermore the seed of the church. The rough-hewn story of Xavier and Livingstone and Grenfell ought to shame our dilettante Christianity. When thou art converted thou wilt strengthen thy brethren, even at the expense of sacrifice, yea, because of the sacrifice. Our generation which is so dazzled by fame and success evermore calls to the flowery path rather than to the thorny. How splendid then is the hero spirit when we see it lived out.
The sacrificial demands of this titanic day are proving the salvation of our souls. Men are discovering that “Whosoever loseth his life, findeth it.” Multitudes of common men, on the plains of Flanders and of France are showing themselves gentlemen unafraid.
“ Beyond the path of the outmost sun, through utter darkness
hurled, Farther than ever comet flared or vagrant stardust swirled, Live such as fought, and sailed, and ruled, and lived and
made our world.
" And oft times cometh our wise Lord God, master of every
trade, And tells them tales of his daily toil, of Edens newly made, And they rise to their feet as He passes by, “gentlemen
“And he awoke out of his sleep, and said I will go out as at other times and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him.”—JUDGES 16, 20:21.
AMSON was the champion strong man. He
was a giant physically. The extraordinary
thing is that he was numbered among the saints. Yet, you unquestionably find his record among the immortals of the faith enrolled in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
The first was he of the warriors who sought to put down Philistine power. The Philistines had reduced the Israelites to such abject servitude that the people could not even sharpen a ploughshare. Philistia was a little country southwest of Judah. Its people were strong physically, but like the Thebans, they were thick-headed and dull. Those who pride themselves on the philosophy of Elbert Hubbard's “ Philistine ” might well remember the origin of the name.
Samson was a great overgrown boy, bubbling over with life and fun, untempered by restraint or sense of cruelty. He ties lighted torches to foxes' tails; he is fond of asking riddles; he pays a wedding forfeit by slaying the friends of those to whom
the forfeit is to be paid; he slays Philistines with
the jaw-bone of an ass. He takes long journeys into the desert; he discovers wild honey in unlikely places. This son of the adventurous life had no definite purpose. He was actuated by a kind of halfway patriotism. His one redeeming quality was his “Nazarite Vow." He abstained from strong drink, but he gave way to sensual weakness.
His one surpassing characteristic was his physical strength. He could carry the gates of Gaza as easily as a school boy his books. He could be bound seven times with green withes and with rope as tough as tow and strong as hemp, and he could snap them like threads.
He laid him down in the lap of sensuality. Betrayed into the hands of his enemies," he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times and shake myself free. But he wist not that the Lord his strength had departed from him. And the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prisonhouse."
Looking at this giant smitten in the fulness of his powers, the examining physicians are unanimous of diagnosing the disease which laid him low as “unconscious deterioration."
Because the creeping paralysis of unconscious deterioration is more deadly than spinal meningitis, because it threatens annihilation for every man, woman, and child; because Unconscious Deteriora