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worthy of me; he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” In discussing this doctrine of Dante, Mr. J. S. Carroll says: “ Instinctively we feel that to sacrifice family for country is noble and to sacrifice country for family is base treachery to a higher claim. But if country is thus greater than kindred, is it not still greater than friendship? Yet traitors to friends are set in the third ring, as if worthy of a darker doom. The reason seems to lie in the principle laid down that both kin and country are bonds created for us by nature independently of our choice; whereas just this is the mark of friendship, that it is a bond of our own creation. By the very act of choosing a friend we create a special faith, and he regards treason to a faith which we ourselves have called into existence as more heinous than treachery to a mere involuntary bond of nature.”
To use Dante's fourfold division, Christ is our brother, our fatherland, our friend and benefactor. To be disloyal to Him is to be worthy only of the icy realm of Cocytus, where is condemned every traitor.
3. It is imperative to discriminate between lesser and greater loyalties.
The good is evermore the enemy of the best. Christianity and Christ have no hesitation in claiming absolute mastery and right of way
Loyalty to Christ means loyalty to His truth, to His ideas, to His love, to His church, to His work.
Grant that Christ is the supreme loyalty, in a world of many demands shall the word, “He that loveth father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me,” be put to unexceptional and scrupulous practice? If this word be construed as demanding universal ascetism and denial of any other obligation whatsoever than that of constant and sacrificial attendance on the part of every one to a life of extreme devotion that knows no other consideration, we answer, "No." If every person were a Francis of Assisi, there would be none to furnish the support wherewith the ministry of service actually could be given.
What needs to be borne in mind is that the lesser loyalties are all provided for in the program of Jesus and take their place naturally in the supreme loyalty to Him. Loyalty to father and mother was part of the program of Jesus. He especially rebuked those who followed a legalistic law that put temple dues above filial service. Yet He does not mean for that loyalty to forestall an acceptance of His program, His love and His devotion. His demands of loyalty are imperious and can know no admixture.
What the world needs more than liberty and better material conditions is overwhelming sense of loyalty to a great cause.
Royce calls attention to the need of loyalty on the part of the rising generation. He says,* "Our young people grow up with a great deal of their
* Page 220.
attention fixed upon personal success, and also with a great deal of training in sympathetic sentiments, but they get far too little knowledge, either practical or theoretical, of what loyalty means."
Again, in his “ Philosophy of Loyalty,” Professor Royce states the imperative of loyalty with strength and vigour. Says he, *“ As our philosophy of loyalty states the case, the moral law is (1) be loyal; (2) to that end have a special cause or a system of causes which shall constitute your personal object of loyalty, your business in life; (3) choose this cause, in the first place for yourself, but decisively, and so far as the general principle of loyalty permits, remain faithful to this chosen cause until the work that you can do for it is done; and the general principle of loyalty to which all special choices of one's cause are subject, is the principle: Be loyal to loyalty, that is, do what you can to produce a maximum of the devoted service of causes, a maximum of fidelity, and of selves that choose and serve fitting objects of loyalty.”
What he states in the terms of philosophy we would uphold in the Christian way of life. Christianity in its essence is loyalty, loyalty not to self, but to service; loyalty not to success, but to striving; loyalty not to time, but to eternity. Here was the measure of that loyalty: “Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minis
'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Loyalty to
* Royce, " The Philosophy of Loyalty," page 201.
love, loyalty to service, He incarnated in Himself, therefore He said, “ He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me."
As thoughtful men and women, we will let loyalty like a passion transform our lives, and all the lesser loyalties of life we will cluster round about Jesus Christ, our Master loyalty.
THE POWER OF A PRINCELY PASSION
“When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren."LUKE 22:32.
HERE are many avenues of approach to
human interest; there are varying expres
sions of human capacity; but there is only one immortal and invincible secret of eternal conquest. This secret lies nowhere else than in the power of a mighty conviction. The power of conviction grips men's souls, it makes plain men heroes, and old men young; it gives to the grace of womanhood sacrificial devotion, to girlhood the white lily of a holy modesty, to young manhood the baptism of a consecrated ambition that drives the fiery steeds of youth to the achievement of a noble purpose.
Conviction has the passion of eternity, the breath of infinity breathes here. Whether there be prophecies they shall fail, whether there be tongues they shall cease, but love, the molten power of conviction, never faileth. The man who suffers and the woman who sacrifices for the sake of conviction understands that if the earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. Therefore the noble company of the immortals has not hesitated to be true to conviction. Through faith