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washed his hands in human tears. He laughed at human woe and turned a deaf ear to the prayers of the broken-hearted. Homes were crushed that he might live, and childhood cursed that he might prosper. He lived in luxury and rode in splendour. His loved ones were robed in fabrics woven out of the heart-strings of the helpless. He stood well in the realm of commerce and passed in good society, as a serpent might crawl through a bed of roses. The ruin he wrought was colossal, and every evil in a growing civilization sought protection beneath the vast bulwarks of his organized brutality. The magnitude of the slaughter of character and manhood was only equalled by the scientific precision with which the work of devastation was carried on. He was rich in his material possessions and influential in his commercial position. Men honoured him in public and cursed him in their hearts. The trinity of all human evil-war, famine and pestilence-grew insignificant in his presence. He had enthroned hell on the earth and given to misery a perpetual lease. So he stood forth as the incarnation of the mightiest and the meanest. I class him as the meanest man I ever knew. Organized meanness! Systematic meanness! Scientific meanness! Meanness reduced to a science! I wonder if he ever knew that I regarded him as the meanest man I ever knew? I wonder!
THE LAW OF CONFLICT
TO-DAY we have many kinds of Christians.
Each generation produces a new type.
These types are finally arranged and classified. Each class is dignified with a distinguishing title, or appellation. And thus we have, ever and anon, the growth, evolution and development of a new brand of Christian character. Each new class necessitates a label, and therefore we read of Christians who are “cultured," "well-to-do," "consecrated," “amiable," “ well-dressed," “educated," "respectable," "wealthy," "beautiful,” "lovely," and so
Just at the present time there seems to be a demand for a new brand, namely—“the fighting Christian"-or "the fighting saint.” We are looking for
" the saint who is “on the war-path" for purity and for righteousness. We are in search of the Christian who is disposed to "carry the war into Africa.” We should be delighted to find some heroic soul worthy of the “championship of the world” in the manifes
“ tation of an aggressive Christianity. Weare honestly hungering for the believer whose belief is of such a
quality as to lead him to “throw down the gauntlet' and "take up the cudgels " for the pressing reforms demanded in our civic and municipal affairs;—for the civilization of the future will centre in the city, and that which is enthroned in the city will give quality and character to the hills and valleys which lie midway between city and town, village and hamlet.
The banner of the Church has two sides. Christianity is a proclamation and a protest. Religion exists for a twofold purpose, namely, to enthrone the right and dethrone the wrong. Jesus Christ intended that the Church should be a militant force as well as a pervasive influence—"I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
The great souls of history, almost without exception, have been fighters. David was a “man of war." Moses “slew the Egyptian." Joshua “left not one of them alive." Caleb, inspired by a possible conquest, exclaimed, “We are well able to do it.” Every one of the prophets carried "a big stick," and Paul, the founder of a new civilization, exclaimed, “Put on the whole armour of God." Strong men resist. Every great soul finds his opponent. It is Luther and John Eck, Knox and Mary, Calvin and Servetus, Webster and Haynes, Lincoln and Douglass, Savonarola and Lorenzo.
About the first recorded appearance of Moses on the platform of human history is noted in these words: " He slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” He not only had "sand” in his own character,
but found enough elsewhere to accommodate the Egyptian.
What is the fighting spirit ? Is it the quarrelsome spirit? Is it the spirit of the man who is always spoiling for a fight? Is it the spirit of the man with a chip on his shoulder ? Not so. It is the spirit of the man who will stake everything, even life itself, for a great conviction, or for a great cause.
The only thing you really “believe” is the thing which you are willing to stand for, fight for, battle for-and suffer for. I am tired of hearing men say,
“I favour this,” or “I favour that.” Almost every man "favours" something. The smallest creature perambulating on two feet can tell you what he "favours." I have one question to ask of every person who professes to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ : “What are you willing to stand for?” These are the rules of the battle : First, have a conviction! Second, take a stand! Third, have a hand in the fight!
The splendid period in the life of every nation has been its fighting period. Israel and the emancipation, Greece and the memories of Marathon, Scotland and the Covenanters, England and the Commonwealth, France and the Revolution, the United States and the War of the Rebellion-Japan resisting the encroachments of Russia. Nations have been benefited and blessed for ages by being thrown into the white heat of a great passion. The great monuments of our Christian civilization stand in unfading glory on the sacred soil where ten thou
sand battles have been fought for truth and righteousness.
What star of glory have you in the diadem of a Christian civilization which you did not battle for? You cannot find a Christian institution worthy of the name which has not been purchased by blood, -a Christian home, a quiet Sabbath, an open Bible, a free church, a sovereign state, and an unfettered press. The right to think and the right to be heard —these are privileges which have been bought by a thousand Calvaries.
Moral warfare makes men hard, but superficial peace makes men soft. Christian conflict in its culmination means character. Heaven save us from a soft-handed, flabby-cheeked, brittle-boned, weakeyed, thin-skinned, spineless Christianity. The Church always wins when she has her armour on. When John the Baptist exclaimed, “Oh, generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come ?” the whole generation of vipers turned out and turned in to hear the prophet who knew a viper when he saw it, and dared to call it by the right name. For every dare-devil there ought to be a dare-saint, and for every sinner as daring as Satan there ought to be a saint as audacious as the Son of God.
The demand to-day is for the fighting saint. Fighting editors who will not sell out to a political party. Fighting preachers who do not shiver in the presence of a millionaire. Fighting college professors who would rather think than wear fetters of gold. Fight