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table distribution of the good things of life between the fivetalented men of organizing and administrative ability and the one-talented rank and file who toil mainly with their hands. Here is the injunction as it comes to us from the New Testament: “Masters, give unto your servants," — not the least that they can be induced to take under the pressure of their necessities, not the current wage as fixed perhaps by vast combinations of capital which have the working people at their mercy. “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal." That is Christian - the other is not. Under the rule of that principle some people would not become so rich, and a great many people would not remain so poor, either in purse or in heart. It is the business of the church to insist that there is a will of God in all these economic relations of ours to be ascertained and to be realized before we can stand right with Him.
Have we learned all this? Are we learning it now in our places of worship? It is all there in the New Testament in letters that burn. Has it all passed into our consciousness so completely as to find expression in our ordinary speech? When the question is asked “How much is that man worth?” does the mind think instantly in terms of personality so that the real worth of the man may be appraised? Or does the mind in obedience to an un-Christian convention make reply in dollars and cents, indicating the price of the things the man owns? The man may be worth a great deal in addition to all the things that he possesses, or he may with all his costly array of things remain as cheap as the chaff which the wind driveth away. The worth of a man depends upon his qualities of mind and heart, upon the amount of good he has done and the character he has won in the process. And until we have Christianized our thought and our speech, our estimates and our aspirations, our rules of action and our lines of advance, we are still heathen.
How Much Do WE CARE?
How much does our section of the Christian world care about such a condition of affairs as competent investigation brought to light in the mines of Colorado? It was a situation which like the blood of Abel cried to Heaven, not for vengeance, but for radical correction. How much do we care about such a situation as the one which led to the terrible strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a few years ago? The inarticulate cry of those toilers in the mills where pay was kept down that profits might be kept up, caused this nation to stop and look and listen! How much do we care that in most industrial communities in this broad land of opportunity the Church of Christ is looked upon by the toilers when they struggle to better their condition not as an asset, but as a liability making more difficult the pathway of their advance? Is all this nothing to some of you who pass by on your way to the morning service? You will remember who it was that said, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden.” It was the great Head of the church; and He added, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me.” Then not in idleness but in higher, finer forms of action men would find rest unto their souls.
Human life began, we are told, in a garden. The conditions were simple, primitive, pastoral. Men and women could live on what they plucked from the trees. But the goal of their ambition was life in a city with walls great and high. Into that more highly developed life the nations of the earth would bring their glory and their honor.
But that intricate life of the city can only become a proper object of desire when it has in it the glory of God as its directing principle. It can only become acceptable to the hearts of men when a pure river of the water of life flows through every street of it. It can only sustain those human values at their best when the trees of life grow where the busy traffic goes on, yielding their fruit every month, and with leaves on them for the healing of every human hurt. The Christian city is to be God's masterpiece. The ultimate victory of these redemptive processes now at work and of a truly socialized religion, is to be realized in a life rich, full, glad, where the tears shall be wiped from all eyes, and in every father's house there shall be bread enough and to spare.
THE OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE But watchman, what of the night? Is the night far spent? Is it true that the morning cometh? We were told at the start that the Kingdom of God on earth would not come rapidly nor with ease. “There shall be wars and rumors of wars. Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There shall be earthquakes and famine and pestilence. Ye shall see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not."
“Be not troubled" the end is not yet! Be strong and of good courage. The Lord thy God, He is it that goeth with thee. He will not fail thee nor forsake thee. In days like these our grit and our hope must spring from a deep-rooted faith. The whole venture and process of earthly life lies embedded in a moral order. It lies secure in the will and purpose of God. He will overturn and overturn until that mode of life whose right it is to reign shall be enthroned.
It is a fearful thing for men to fall into the hands of the living God when their purposes are wrong. The vital forces of Europe are engaged at this hour in a death struggle with a scheme of life which is heartless and godless. You may name it variously, but it all comes to this — it is the habit of mind which stands ready to sacrifice the individual, body, brain, and soul to the upbuilding of a mechanism. That whole method in the eyes of the Christian world is openly immoral. There is at work in modern society a subtle, treacherous, unscrupulous spirit which puts darkness for light, bitter for sweet, and evil for good. We cannot come to any kind of terms with that spirit. It must be grappled by strong men, who have put on the armor of God, and relentlessly cast out.
In the light of my own Christian faith I have no fear as to the final outcome. “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.” The march of progress, which in the last analysis is the movement of democracy, informed and inspired by moral purpose and the spirit of the living God, - the march of progress was too much for Philip II. of Spain. It was too much for Napoleon of Corsica. And, please God, it will be too much for that arrogant policy of frightfulness which is now staining the fields of Europe with human blood.
Our own immortal Lincoln standing yonder on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg in the presence of the quick and the dead charged the men of that generation to see to it that ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people should not perish from the earth.” They saw to it and their work has stood the test of another half-century. The men of this generation are charged from on high with a like duty. The cause of democracy is still on trial throughout the world. The spirit of liberty and of aspiration for the highest is again sailing the high seas armed for conflict. It hears tonight in the troubled air the fierce songs of hate. It stands erect on the field of battle facing undaunted the onslaught of military force. And that spirit of liberty and of moral aspiration will march on until all its glad domains shall at last be merged into that kingdom which is an everlasting kingdom.
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IN A TIME
REV. OZORA S. DAVIS, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” – John 17:19.
"He that findeth his life, shall lose it: he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”. - Matt. 10:39.
But be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” — Matt. 23: 8.
“THE gospel is still good news in Korea," said Sherwood Eddy, returning from the Far East.
So the gospel was good news in the first century to a dismayed and yearning world. And it always has been an evangel, ringing clearly above the discords of war and disaster, standing with its serene sanction behind the drift and calamity of doubt.
But sometimes it has been good news supremely. Every age has conditioned the evangel; each era has determined the message. What, then, is the gospel today, when the claims of Christianity are challenged as never before and perplexed men are eager for assurance and comfort.
The Great War, unimaginable as a . possibility eighteen months ago, and incomprehensible today in its magnitude, its desolation, and its possible end, has created a situation which calls for the affirmation of the gospel of Christ as no other age since Calvary has done.
The calamity that has fallen upon our missions in Turkey, the colossal barbarity of all time, causes us, as representatives of the American Board, to crave some word of assurance and hope that shall steady us as we bear our present burden and face a future full of fear.
Under such circumstances it is fitting that we seek to define and affirm again the present meaning of the gospel of Christ.