PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY

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1 --_._-,---_._----_. ~ ""t-"~',:, "." ~ '!" ',- r f',,~ ~ w' r:! u ' ~',!::,1. B ~~ ~,: PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY OTHER BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR EL AND SYBL JONES: Ther Lfe and Work. ZDO., 300 pages ( r889) A DYNAMC FATH. (r901) GEORGE FOX: An Autobography. ZDO., 2 vols., S84 pages, llustrated (r903) 12DO., los pages A BOY'S RELGON FROM MEMORY. r6mo., r45 pages (r902) SOCAL LAW N THE SPRTUAL WORLD. 12DO., 272 pages (1904) ~ t~ J ~ ~ ~: ~. :c. t. tl 1\.'[ V f fk ~, ~:: ~. j~,.,. K' ~! t hl ~,~ R ~;-, l! t ~ ~ " t ~,,t t;1 Essays on The Practce of Relgon BY RUFUS M. JONES, A. M., Ltt. D. PROFESSOR OF PHLOSOPHY N HAVERFORD COLLEGE NrtU altn tltltttgrn tntl1lt THE JOHN C. WNSTON CO. CHCAGO PHLADELPHA 1 7'11 TORONTO

2 NTRODUCTON pont. t smply needs to be appled as we are applyng the other forces whch are progressvely beng dscovered for our uses. Ths book s not a systematc treatse or exposton of Practcal Chrstanty; t s rather a seres of short essays, whch llustrate and nterpret phases of the Practcal Chrstan lfe, whch ndcate the method of the kngdom and whch seek to manfest the Sprt's power n the lfe and socety of our tme. Most of these chapters have already been prnted as edtorals, but t s hoped that they may have a further servce n ths collected form. Chapter L, on the Message of Quakersm s now prnted for the frst tme. t s not ntended to be a complete nterpretaton of Quakersm, nor s the pont of vew here set forth confned to Quakerssm by any means. t s merely an atttude of lfe and teachng whch has been characterstc of Frends and whch for want of a better ttle s here called the Message of Quakersm. " Forgve them where they fal n truth And n thy wsdom make me wse." Haverjord, Pennsyluana, 899' CHAPTER THE SUPREME DEMONSTRATON CHRSTANS are contnually beng asked to prove that Chrstanty s true, and they generally pont to the varous books of "evdences" as an answer. There are hstorcal proofs, monumental proofs, lterary proofs, so that the events of the lfe of Jesus are as well authentcated as any events of antquty. But we are told that Chrstanty makes assumptons of a Dvne orgn and a Dvne manfestaton whch no amount of hstorcal ev-. dence could ever prove after nneteen hundred years. t clams an ncarnaton, and t assumes that through Chrst God gves men eternal lfe. How call any book of evdence prove such clams as that? Must we not admt that no proof s possble? The two leadng exponents of apostolc Chrstanty-Paul and John -have gven us a method of proof or demonstraton whch s pecularly suted to the temper and sprt of our modern ways of thnkng and of testng truth. John says, "He that beleveth on the Son of God hath the wtness 2 (r~

3 ,8 PRA CTCA.". G1R.'STANTY THE SUPREME DEMONSTRATON 19 n hmself," and Paul, on the top wave of hs great nspraton, says, " The Sprt tself beareth wtness wth our sprt, that we are the chldren of God." n other words the supreme demonstraton of sprtual truths s an nternal evdence-a wtness wthn the soul tself, We know by mmedate, frst-hand knowledge that two and two are four, or that the shortest dstance between two ponts s a straght lne, or that a thng cannot both be and not be at the same tme. These thngs are self-evdent, we say. The mnd s of such a nature that we cannot doubt them. n the same way we " prove" our own exstence-we have the wtness wthn ourselves, and no amount of argument could ever shake us out of the convcton, for t s based on frst-hand evdence. Now our two apostles brng the whole content of sprtual revelaton-the mghty message of eternal lfe-down to a test of a smlar demonstraton. t s not dependent upon hstorcal evdence alone; t s open to the same proof as our axoms of mathematcs, or even our own exstence. Chrstanty professes to be a revelaton from God; t proclams salvaton from sn, and a new lfe n Chrst; t offers the prvlege of sonshp wth God, and t promses to fll belevers wth the sprt of love. Now the " only possble proof of such clams and promses s the demonstraton of personal experence. "Try t and see," s all we can say to the skeptcal. t would be mpossble to prove that two and two are four to a person who had no nternal faculty of percevng mathematcal truth; t would, too, be mpossble to prove to a man that he exsted f he had no self-conscousness of t. So, too, the only proof that we have power through Chrst" to become SOlS of God," S TO BEC01m ONE; the only demonstraton that He can save from sn and gve new lfe s TO BECOME SAVED AND TO RECEVE THE NEW Lr:B'E. Does anybody want any better evdence of the greatest sprtual truths of Chrstanty? The only evdence of the sunrse s that you see t wth your own eyes; the only evdence that one's mother s good and lovng s that one FEELS her love. Thus n our last resort we fall hack upon the "demonstraton of the Sprt," and cry back wth ths wtness wthn, "Abba, Father." We know Chrst s Dvne, for He has worked a dvne work wthn us,. we know He has power over sn, for He has taken away OW',s,. we know that He brngs sprtual lfe, for He has quckened us, and made us st n heavenly places; we know that the atonement s ~ realty, for we have been reconcled wth God,

4 .0 PRACTCAL CHRSTlANTl' and are at peace wth Hm. Scholastc theology dealt wth abstractons, and based ts doctrnes on logc and authorty; apostolc Chrstanty bases tself on the demonstraton of the Sprt of God to the sprt of man, on the wtness wthn, the supreme evdence-the soul's grasp of frst-hand truth. The revval of ths apostolc poston characterzes prmtve Q,uakersm.,. " j r '!' " 'l;' '01 ". 11 '. THNGS WHCH CHAPTER CANNOT BE SHAKEN N ths world of ours all our sprtual truths, all our eternal realtes, have to be expressed n temporal, human and changng forms. No matter how pure and exalted the truths, ts embodment must be more or less mperfect. n fact, t s absolutely mpossble to fnd a permanent and unvaryng expresson for any dea. There have been stagnant centures whch have kept unchanged the crystallzed' forms whch they nherted, and they have supposed that fath would cease to be f ths partcular form of truth should vansh away. The Pharsee could not magne a true relgon wthout crcumcson and the blood of bulls and goats; the Roman Catholc of the ffteenth century could not beleve that real relgon would survve f the doctrne of trans-substantaton-the real presence n the bread and wne-should be gven up. The >;alvnst supposed that hs artcles of fath were a permanent embodment of truth and hsplan of salvaton the only possble one. (2)

5 22 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY They all conceved of truth as somethng whch could' be expressed once for all n a form whch all comng ages must keep unchanged. As well mght we expect to bottle up the daylght to preserve t, or fx ths nfnte lfe about us n nature nto one unchangng form, to be preserved through all seasons, years and centures. The moment oue tres to "fx" lfe and crystallze nto a set shape, t ceases to be lfe. The characterstc of lfe s ts power to make ts own form and expresson, ever changng, ever developng, ever modfyng ts form, and yet keepng ts essence. Truth s never some dead thng whch can be "lad out;" t s lvng, movng, quckenng, outgrowng ts old forms, takng on new expressons and preservng tself, as lfe does, by endless varatons and by nfnte embodments. There are transtons gong on n every age. The thngs that can be shaken are removed, and the thngs that have waxed old vansh away. These thngs always brng tral to fath, for t s dffcult for most persons to dstngush between the temporary form-. e., the human embodment-and the eternal and abdng truth whch lves on n the mdst of change and vanshng forms. Here comes the great test of sprtual power and nsght. Those who have" short vson" r, ~4 '} ~ THNGS WHCH CANNOT BE SHAKEN 23 and a tradtonal fath buld on the temporal, and clng to the form V hch has grown famlar and dear to them, bu t f anythng shakes ths ther fath s shattered, and they suffer shpwreck. Those, however, who have real sprtual vson look through the temporal and fleetng, through the transtory forms and embodments, and settle ther hearts and ther fath upon the eternal realty.c-sthe nfnte Self who abdes and works through all changes. Ther fath blooms n the mdst of transton perods; they look calmly on whle "the thngs that can be shaken" are beng cemoved, and they have no fear when tr.0 thngs whch have "waxed old" are vansh. ng away, for they know that those thngs whch cannot be shaken must reman. There s no safety n ths present tme of transton and of changng form and expresson. to be found by closng the eyes or hdng the head n the sand, as the ostrch s sad to do. The only safe and sure course s to reach tlrouqh. the outward and fnd the eternal, to rest back upon the everlastng arms, to have a personal ntaton nto the rches of the glory of ths "mystery" "whch s Chrst n you, the hope of glory," to get free n the lvng truth. The thngs whch we see are temporal, the thngs whch the sprtual vson fnds real are eternal,,'r- :~,.,.

6 r NO CHAPTER XV SGN SHALL BE GVEN THERE s but one occason on record' whch drew a deep sgh of dscouragement from the heart of Jesus. Twce He wept; once n sympathy wth. mourners, though not n hopeless gref, because He was conscous at the same tme that He was the resurrecton and the lfe, and agan over Jerusalem, because He saw that only on the runs of the Jerusalem He loved could the more perfect Jerusalem arse. But ths "deep sgh" was dfferent. t was called out by a hopeless stuaton whch came before Hm n Hs mnstry. The people who faled to feel the power of the truth He taught, and were ncapable of apprecatng Hs sprtual revelaton, came demandng that He should authentcate or prove Hs revelaton by a physcal "sgn." "He sghed deeply and sad,, No sgn shall be gven.''' n fact, from the nature of the case no sgn could be gven. Sprtual truth must be taken at frst-hand or not at all. No physcal sgn could be gven to prove, or authentcate Chrst's message of ~ f "1;, :, NO SGN SHALL BE GVEN Dvne love, of forgveness of sn, of sonshp wth God, or the possblty of a lfe hd wth Chrst n God. One of Chrst's severest temptatons was the suggeston that He should mraculously make bread for Hmself out of stone. t was a temptaton to use Hs marvelous powers, but t threatened Hs very Messahshp, for f He had yelded He could have brought no redempton to man. f bread s made out of stones by a mracle for Hm who comes as a Savour of men, t at once puts Hm out of relatons wth those whom He came to save. Vve must tol and struggle, and eat our bread n the sweat of our brows, and f He refuses to taste man's hardshp and want, and eats the bread of mracle, He ceases to be n all ponts lke us, and, not sharng our lfe, He cannot be our complete Redeemer. He could not yeld and stll be the Savour. The mpossblty of yeldng to the cry for a physcal mraculous "sgn" s made stll clearer durng the crucfxon. The mockng prests and scrbes ask for a last sgn: "f He he the Chrst, let Hm come down from the cross that we may beleve." t was the very thng whch would have proved Hm no Chrst at all. The gft of Hmself, the manfestaton of Dvne love, Hs fathfulness unto death dd 6., (60).. ;:

7 52 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY prove Hs Sonshp and attest Hs message, but the sgn they demanded was forever mpossole for Hm, who even on the cross proves Hs ;prtual power, not by comng down Hmself, rut by lftng a dyng thef out of hs old, -uned lfe, up, up, untl he sees the meanng )f love and sonshp, and can BE WTH CHRST n paradse. Ths power to transform a lfe, and brng t nto Dvne relaton, s the supreme sgn; t s he only sgn by whch Chrst could attest Hs prtual message. Magdalen s a "sgn;".mon, the waverng, fckle, mpetuous fsherran, changed to Peter, the apostle of Jesus 'hrst s a sgn;.john, the son of thunder, -shng to call down fre all the Samartans, -ansforrned nto the apostle of love, s a sgn; aul, breathng out threatenngs and slaughter, aulng men and women to prson, changed to aul wth hs lfe hd wth Chrst n God, who, so "crucfed wth Chrst," can say n truth, lve by the fath' of the Son of God, who ved me and gave hmself for me," he s a ~n. Every soul snce, whch through Chrst S turned from ts prodgal 1fe, and cred, Abba, Father," has found Chrst's truth true, rd has become a lvng sgn to others. No her sgn shall be gven to ths or any other neraton,, '! 1 > : '~:' NO SGN SHALL le GVEN Each generaton n ts own way asks for a sgn. Crowds gather around the sprtualstc " medum" to get a materal "sgn" that the soul lves after death, but not thus shall the great truth of mmortalty be proved. One generaton expects the astronomer wth hs telescope to fnd an ndsputable sgn n the starry heavens; another asks the geologst to dg up one from the strata of the earth's crust, or the bologst to fnd a sgn n the cells of lvng forms. t s because of the falure to fnd God n materal thngs tha t a modern poet has cred out n hopelessness: " The God never once behold, Above the cloud, beneath the clod; The unknown God, the unknown God." -WLLAM WATSON. The trouble s, he s lookng n the wrong drecton for Hm, and he s askng for a sgn whch cannot be gven. " God s love," let us remember, and He can be found only where love can be, and the sgn must be sought n a human heart that can feel and test a sprtual truth. That f the meanng of Tennyson's great lne" n "n Memoram," wrtten when hs own heart was yearnng for a sgn that God s love and that lfe goes on. He says; 63 n ~ ", M of, t ' ",,ll 1,'.' ;,1)1"" f.1 "!Lfl,!" r,.' ';n.{:t f H ".f",,,11 ;/", " : ' ''.:!,dj :1: ll. -:: ' jt,!, p,': '~' J~,,', ':, *11: :;J'rl! ;!;,: t"~:' '.:,1' 1,,,'j';, "j. s ;': ]f,'!ym l'n,u l' r~~';~ -"l!~ ~Ut ;'': H \,1,:""1',, "'/' r~! '. ;l"fl:~j,,~a);

8 64 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY «found hm not n world or sun, n eagle's wng or nsect's eye; Nor thro' the questons men may try, The petty cobwebs we have spun. " f e'er when fath hath fallen asleep heard a voce, 'Beleve no more' And heard an ever-breakng shore That tumbled n the Godless deep; " A warmth 'wthn the breast would melt The freezng reason's colder part, And lke a man n wrath, the heart Stood up and answered, HAVE FELT.'" Ths frst-hand knowledge, by experences the only all-suffcent attestaton of a sprtual truth, and however much we may long for tests through our senses, and for sgns that are tangble, we must at last get where we can receve Hs beattude, "blessed are they that have not yet seen, yet have beleved," and cry out, because our hearts know Hm, " my Lord and my God." CHAPTER XV.,prSGAH VEWS OF LFE \ " Now see all of t, Only 'm dyng! " WHAT lves we mght lve f we couldonly begn lfe wth the wsdom whch we shall possess when we stand at ts close,and look back on t and realze that our earthly opportuntes are at an end! How trval much of one's lfe must seem vewed from ts farther end, and how strenuous and earnest t would be f t could be lved over n the lght of the experence whch these closng moments brng! t s not well to be haunted by the shadow of death, and t s an ndcaton of an unhealthy and morbd condton; but t mght be well occasonally, f we could take Psgah vews of lfe, and see t-see our own lves--n what the phlosophers call an "eternal aspect." Most of us lve for the hour; we do what pleases us at the tme. We see a pleasure or a task close at hand, and we enjoy the one and brace ourselves to perform the other, and we lve largely as the creatures of crcumstance, {j (65)

9 rn,. A CHAPTER XX RELGON OF POWER THERE have been many ways of regardng relgon, and dfferent persons to-day thnk of t dfferently. t s very common to speak of t as some thng whch one"gets" or "accepts." "He got relgon," the neghbors say, or "he has always kept hs relgon through every tral." t s not uncommon to thnk of t as a statement of belef or fath whch a person holds. " accept the doctrne of the Trnty, of the atonement, and of eternal lfe, and eternal punshment, therefore have relgon;" thus many a person explans hs relgon. To such a one t conssts largely of correct defntons. Another class of persons care nothng for defnton; they consder relgon to be a good lfe; they say: " do about rght, lve up to my lght and do not beleve God wll be hard on me." There s stll another way of vewng relgon. t s the power of God manfested n lfe. t does not begn wth defntons, t does not consst of lvng about rght, t s not some- (So) <, "::;:,: A RELGON OF POWER S, t.hng one "gets." t comes and gets the person. He does not keep hs relgon, but hs relgon keeps hm. t s a power, a force, just as real and just as persstent as that whch we call gravtaton, and ts effects are just as sure. No defntons of electrcty would ever lght a man's house, or move a trolley car. The frst step s to let the current n and the house becomes lght, or the car moves. Everythng bases tself on the ultmate, nvsble power, whch s smply RECEVED. Ths s true of relgon as t s of mechancs. There s no relgon apart from God, and untl a man comes to God an! God gets hm, the man s not truly relgous. t conssts frst and last of possesson-god's possesson of us and our joy n the sense of Hs ownershp. A relgon wthout power would be lke a gravtaton whch dd not draw anythng, or lke electrcty that had no force. Relgon s sprtual gravtaton. t draws the soul away from everythng else to ts true Central Sun. The frst effect of t on a person s to beget love. Love s the unfalng sgn of relgon. A loveless relgon s as mpossble as a waterless ocean, or a treeless forest. f a man's relgon does not flood hm wth love, t s the wrong knd of relgon. 6 ' :;, :1 : :,

10 ~r r p 'f!!:;rn T'!' 82 PRACTCAL CdRSTANTY We have been speakng of what relgon seems to us to be, now a word about how t comes. There has been n our world but one Person who was perfectly dvne and perfectly human. He revealed God and He showed what t means to be a son. He also showed how to be a son, and he planly sad to the whole race, " am the Way." Relgon means gettng to God, Chrst s the way and love s the sgn. CHAPTER XX PENTEOOST N OUR OHRSTANTY pentecost was a defnte date and a defnte experence n the early church. t came ffty days after the crucfxon, and the second chapter of Acts gves us all the nformaton we have of the event, as there s no other reference to t n the New Testament. So far as we know, much that occurred on that partcular day has never been repeated. There were vsble and audble phenomena whch nobody can now clearly explan and whch are generally consdered to have been a specal dspensaton for the beneft of the lttle group of belevers who had t lad upon them to carry the Gospel to an unbelevng world. The one feature of Pentecost whch s as possble for us to-day as for apostles and frends of Jesus ten days after ther :Master had left thersght, s the recepton of the Holy Ghost. We apparently do not need the gft of tongues, and the vsble fre no longer sts on the head of a modern Chrstan. Every Chrstan does, however, need to have a conscousness of the (83) ';:. : : ; ;'.

11 f '::;;:11 \' 84 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY presence of the Sprt of God, and not one of us can afford to mss the power whch comes when the Dvne Sprt breaks through a human lfe. All that was really vtal n the Jerusalem Pentecost may be repeated n the experence of every Chrstan, and our belef s that no one can be at hs best untl the Sprt of God floods hs lfe and makes hm see that salvat,on s nfntely more than the mere escape from the just penalty of sn. "He that s joned to the Lord s one Sprt,".e.. he who apprehends Chrst and puts Hm on, he whose lfe s hd wth Chrst, fnds that hs human sprt s taken up nto the Dvne Sprt and the Sprt-lfe becomes natural and habtual, but the Pentecost experence does not mean that Chrst has gone and that we have ganed somethng better. Chrst s never gone out of the Chrstan's lfe. The very way to gan the full lfe of the Sprt s to be joned to the Lord; there s no other way to t. Those who profess to get beyond the moralty and the teachng and the drawng of Chrst nto a state above law and order are salng wthout chart or compass and are steerng straght for the rocks. We do not say that the mnster needs a dfferent knd of experence than the humblest member of the body. No attanable degree of.' ~.. ~.: PENTECOST N OUR CHRSTANTY lfe or of baptsm s too good for the Chrstan wth the one talent or the half of a talent, f they are ever dvded. The mnsters, the teachers, the evangelsts, need a "gft" whch perhaps the ordnary member does not have. We call a man a 111nster because we recognze hs gft, but the man who pcks stones n the feld, who bulds the house, who sts at the recept of custom n the bank, needs to be flled wth the fullness of God, as well as the mnster does, to enable hm to lead the overcomng lfe, whch s after all the only true lfe. There s a strkng dfference between the damond, the sapphre and the opal, but t s the same lght whch makes all three beautful. We are all dfferent n our make-up and character, but the thng whch makes any Chrstan, n any walk of lfe, a man of power s hs unon wth Chrst, and hs lfe n the Sprt. Whether we can tell of the rushng, mghty wnd or not, we all ought to be able to show that the Sprt has come and has made Pentecost a present realty for us. 85 ',,;.. ":, fo.:.!.r ", ' 1, ":.;:

12 . :':~1';,;r and turmol, the grnd of labor, and the search for enjoyment, the clnk of wne glasses and the ndulgence n dangerous pleasures-wth no break or nterrupton-would leave man a dstorted wreck. Upon every lfe under the blue sky the peace and quet of the Lord's Day should fall and let the realty of hgher thngs mpress tself. Sprtual lfe demands one day at least n seven, and ro people can reman long sprtual f the world gets every day. Ths holy day s necessary for preservng the sweet nfluences of the home crcle; the hard pressed laborer must have t unless he s to be made a blnd machne wth no hgher, sweeter lfe. Around ths Lord's Day a crcle of separaton should be drawn. We must not let t become lke other days. t should be to our souls what the sprng showers are to the flowers, and we should make t a Lord's Day to all who are weary and heavy-laden. t s to save lfe, not to destroy. t s to lft hearts nto an ampler and dvner lfe. t s to make earth a holer place, and though we cast no stone at hm who pcks up stcks on ths day, as n the old dspensaton, yet t s our sacred duty to make t' a day of holy uses for the hgher lfe. CHAPTER XXXV THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD SOLDERS are always talkng about the enormous "waste" of powder whch s a feature of every battle whether on land or sea. For every bullet that takes effect hundreds are shot nto the ar or nto the ground. f ths were not so an attackng army would be annhlated before t reached the poston t s attemptng to carry. The wldness of the am s therefore one of the mercful features of a battle. Strangely enough ths wldness of am, ths same waste of ammunton, characterzes all our great sprtual contests as well. n the hot and prolonged fght wth the forces of sn nothng s more dscouragng than ths same false am and waste of energy. Read the hstory of our nneteen centures of Chrstanty and see how few of the shots have been straght at the enemy's head. Look at the mltant church to-day and see what a tremendous waste of force there s. Chrstans seem bound to fght everythng but the rea] ep.emy, and when they (1~3) :1 >~; " ~, :1 ' :'1 : J, 132 PRACTCAL cerstan'v

13 '34 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY fnd a man who does open fre on the central fortress, the others are qute lkely to open fre on hm, because he sn't shootng nne-tenths of hs weapons nto the ar. Jesus Chrst alway's refused the random ams and went straght to the mark. The arshooters of Hs day were al ways tryng to turn Hm off the man lne to an attack on phantom enemes, but He never swerved an ota. They came wth ther metaphyscal queston, whether heredtary sn made a poor man blnd, or whether t was hs own sn. Chrst brushed away the whole logcal qubble and showed them that the man thng was the present opportunty to work the work of God on the man who needed help. They never ceased to buzz about Hm wth hard problems about the Meesauc kngdom. He refused to waste force on dle dscusson wth those who were too blnd n ther own concets to apprecate any new truth, and He smply announced that "the pure n heart see God," and the poor n sprt are n the kngdom. Trcky questons about the resurrecton and trbute money were smply occasons for Hm to unfold the great truth that God s the God of the lvng, whether n the vsble or nvsble world, and that we can safely trust Hm, and that nether s to be slghted.!, \ THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD t s easy for us to get over our depth on every subject connected wth sprtual thngs f we only allow ourselves to tumble nto the slough of speculaton. But what s ganed by t? Relgon wants to keep out of all these qucksands and deal wth facts that can be tested. The Gospel of the Son of God s the message for to-day as t was when the "blessed feet" trod the hlls of Judea. Tell men as He dd of the Father's love. Declare everywhere Hs power and Hs readness to forgve sn. Show as He dd that the pure heart has an mmedate evdence, an unmstakable proof of God. Herald the kngdom of God as a fact, and make men see ts realty. Preach the Gospel of Redempton-Chrst gvng Hs lfe for snners and n nfnte love showng how the Dvne Heart yearns for every soul. Make men understand that Chrstanty s not a web of metaphyscal and abstract theores, but God revealng Hmself n a Son and so gvng Lfe to the world. Oh, frends, the Gospel of the Son s too precous a truth to be wasted n sham battles. Let us present t straght to men's hearts. 3S : :\ :;

14 DOES GOD REALLY LOVE US? 53 CHAPTER XL DOES GOD REALLY LOVE us? THE man message of the Gospel s the Love of God to men. The proclamaton of ths Love has always characterzed genune Chrstanty n every age and n every country. Nobody who rests hs fath on the New Testament revelaton can doubt the fact of God's Love. But there corne tmes n the personal experence of many when ths early fath n God's Love and Goodness s severely tred, when they fnd themselves clngng n the dark to a sngle spar, whle the bllows of doubt break over them. Such tmes perhaps never corne n prosperty. t seems very easy to beleve n God's Love when He s gvng us just what we want, when all our prayers are answered as soon as we ask. But when the heavens are as brass and the earth bars of ron, when some hard tral settles over us and we pray and plead for relef and none comes, when the plowshare resstly tears down to our prmtve rock and our cres and groans prove neffectual, then t s that the (52) senstve heart fnds t hard to go on wth the happy fath n God's Love, "f He loves me, why does He not help me? f He cares for me why does He not ease me of ths too heavy burden? " Such words sometmes almost force themselves to the lps, when" He answers not a word." Those who have had no taste of ths hard experence can hardly understand the feelng, and they very naturally take the poston whch Job's "comforters" dd, but many a heart knows what t means to stretch lame hands of fath. s there any way to help such perplexed souls who are strugglng to keep ther fath n the furnace of tral, when no rft seems to open n the brazen sky? The frst step must be to show that God's Love s not to be measured by the amount of temporal prosperty and comfort whch He bestows, nor would t be an evdence of Hs Goodness f He always gave just what we want. Such treatment would make" spoled chldren," not sants We must strve, too, to help our perplexed frends see the supreme mportance of the sprtual over the temporal. Whle n our short-sghtedness we clutch after thngs whch would gve us temporary joy and comfort, God s tranng us to look only at the thngs whch are unseen and eternal. Hs method of tranng often

15 '54 PRACTCAL CHRSTA-YTY seems lke a hard one, but no other method would succeed n weanng us from the thngs of sense and n preparng us for the enjoyment of sprtual thngs. Fnally we must help our perplexed frends to nterpret ther lves n the lght of Chrst's lfe. Hs lfe s the supreme revelaton of God's Love and yet Hs Father never once releved Hm of a hard cup or of a baptsm of tral. "f t s possble let ths. cup pass" s mmedately followed by the words, "Thy wll be done." The cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" gves place at once to the calm and trustful words, "Father, nto thy hands commend my sprt." The whole mystery seems solved n that remarkable sentence, "t became Hm n brngng many sons to glory to make the Captan.of ther salvaton perfect through sufferng." f we suppose God has no ultmate purposes n vew for us, then of course the hard dspensatons would ndcate that He dd not love us or care for us, but as soon as we look beyond the moment and see Hs purpose, we can jon the chorus: "All thngs work together for good to them that love God! " CHAPTER XLV THE NCARNATON ''he tme draws near the brth of Chrst.' MEN n all ages have longed for a REVELA- TON, for t has proved a bafflng and hopeless struggle to clmb up to God, and to fnd out God by human searchng. Plato spoke for all the ancent searchers after truth when he sad, " We shall never fnd the complete truth untl God or some God-sent person comes to us." The glory of Chrstanty s ts message that God has come to us. Ths s the central fact whch gves Chrstanty ts overcomng power, and t s ths fact of the ncar, naton whch opens for man the door to lfe, truth, salvaton and sprtual vctory. The moment we make the ncarnaton a metaphyscal puzzle, the moment we drft out nto a sea of speculaton about the Trnty,.we lose the mghty sgnfcance of the fact. The New Testament nowhere treats t as a puzzle or a problem. t smply announces the crownng fact that God tabernacledwth men, and manfested Hs Grace and Glory, and t (SS)

16 156 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY THE NCARNATON 157 sets forth the end and purpose of ths Dvne showng-that we also may become sons. God comes to us that we may come to Hm. The Word was wth God; the Word was wth man, and man wth God completes the crcle. " am come, that they mght have lfe," sums up the whole purpose of the ncarnaton. t can never be reduced to a cold and logcal doctrne; t must never be pressed as a dead flower and put away n a collecton of abstract theologcal defntons. Let us keep t warm and vtal, the perfect blossom whose fragrance stll comes as fresh and full of healng as when t broke nto flower under the "Syran blue." "God wth us" s the frst half of the great message; "we wth God" s the second half, and no one fully comprehends the frst half untl he experences the second half as a fact n hs own lfe. He who comes to lve hs lfe n God no longer wonders and puzzles over the problem, How could God come to us? He realzes that perfected humanty and Dvnty are not alen terms. The Dvne nature can express tself n a perfect human lfe. God does not cease to be omnpresent and omnscent, though He at a defnte perod shows forth Hs glory and love n a Person who walks among men and teaches wth human lps, who loves and suffers, who blesses and t r heals, who forever makes love and sacrfce and sympathy, and grace and gentleness the supreme realtes. n no other way could God speak to us, and make Hs revelaton comprehensble. f He wrote Hs thoughts on the vault of the sky we could not understand or nterpret them. We must have some one, to reveal Hm fully, who understands Hm and us, and who speaks n terms common to both, one who completely closes the gap, one who brngs God to us and us to God. "He became flesh and dwelt among us." "As many as receved Hm, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." These two sentences complete the crcut. The ncarnaton s a twofold revelaton, a revelaton of God and a revelaton of human nature, a manfestaton of what God s, and a revelaton of what man s to be when he comes to God. We know well enough of ourselves what we are, away from Hm; the ncarnaton reveals what s the hope of our callng, and what the rches of the glory of God's nhertance n us J '~. ~\ \~ ~rt,

17 "'" A RELGON OF FOUR ANCHORS '59 CHAPTER XLV A RELGON OF FOUP. "NCHORS N the mdst of the rackng storm on the Adran waters, n the darkness of the nght, the captan of Paul's vessel cast out four anchors, and wated for the day. t may be only a fancful symbol, but Paul's words on the shp ndcate that he, too, had put out four anchors, whch steaded hm, and gave hm hs SPRTUAL SOLDTY amd the storms of hs lfe. " beleve God;" "Hs am;" "Hm serve j ': "God hath gven me those who sal wth me." ''hs s what we have called a relgon of four anchors, and the person who has those four cables out can calmlywat for the day to "break. All relgous lfe and power of hgh qualty sprng from a fath whch beleves God. The old-tme strength-the qualty n Peter whch makes Chrst call hm the rock-man-comes not from a verbal fath, from a belef n secondhand testmony of any sort, or from "flesh and blood," but from a personal acquantance wth God, and an expermental certanty of (58) "., Hm. The persons who are really anchored are the ones who reach up through all the lower stages of belef and relance, and rest unshaken n a fath whch goes behnd the val-" beleve God." That s the frst step n the makng of a sprtual "rock-man." The second anchor s hardly less mportant, and that s, the sense of possesson-" Hs am." Our Quaker poet was expressng ths sense when he sad: " know not where God's slands lft Ther fronded palms n ar, only know cannot drft Beyond Hs love and care." What a lfe a man mght lve f he could walk the earth possessed of the unfalng convcton, " am God's " t s not smply that he cares for me, nor even alone 'that He loves me, but " belong to Hm"-that sense of relatonshp ought to make a Chrstan as dfferent from ordnary men as a Prnce s dfferent from a peasant, for t puts hm at once nto the rank of noblty, and makes t ncumbent upon hm to lve as a son, not as a hred servant. Ths conscousness of the dvne possesson s surely the second step n the makng of a sprtual" reck-man." Then out of our belef of God, and our sense of belongng to Hm comes the beautful, :,.' ;:-;!

18 'l~ 60 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY certanty that He trusts us and gves us Hs work to do-" whom serve." Many persons never get grounded n relgous experence because they never attan to ths certanty that God trusts them and makes them co-workers wth Hm. Hardly anythng strengthens one's lfe, and soldfes one's fath lke actve servce of some sort. " Backslders" are generally those who never got to the pont of beng grded for servce, and so never realzed how necessary they were to God. t s very sgnfcant that after Chrst told Peter that he was rock-lke, he added also, " wll gve unto thee the keys," for the keys n Orental countres, were the the badge of a 0 trusted servant. Our fourth cable of sprtual strength s the realzaton that our personal fath s not confned n ts effects to the narrow crcle of our own lves, but that t has a wonderful nfluence over the destnes of others- God has gven thee those who sal wth thee." No man of fath can lve unto hmself. The mother's fath affects the destny of her chld; the sant n the neghborhood "affects" the neghbors as though holness were contagous. Much of the power of sngularly sprtual men and women comes from ther realzaton that the destny of other lves s n some measure upon them. Ths sends the mssonary and the :fj~ v' A RELGON OF FOUR ANCHORS slum-worker to ther task; ths kndles the zeal of the reformer and the prophet, and ths s no slght element of strength n the relgous lfe of every profoundly sprtual man. beleve God, an God's, God trusts and uses me, and am responsble for others,-these are four anchors, and they are four strands of fath whch make sold sprtual character. 11."-." 6 j'!; J j,, J 1.,jl. H rq 1!1 r;l ll ll ~!, ~ l,ll o;,'. ~., 0 ':[ " do.~ '! 1 " < ' ',.!

19 CHAPTER L THE TEST OF CHRSTANTY WE have learned that t s never safe to estmate the worth and value of a man by the number of cubts whch measure hs stature. No foot-rule test gves the real capacty of a man, because personalty cannot be measured by the yard. Nevertheless the smlar mstake s contnually made of estmatng a man's Chrstanty by some such nadequate foot-rule test. t would be well for us, f we could, to get back to the standards of Chrst and the Apostles and see how they tested relgon. The queston never s, What knd of a coat do you wear? or what are your" vews" on creaton and sn and nspraton? or what do you thnk about the Sacraments? n fact, Chrst never asked a man a theologcal queston durng hs whole mnstry. "Art thou desrng to' be made whole?" "Dost thou love God wth all thy heart and thy neghbor as thyself? "Go and sn no more." "Her sns are forgven, for she loved much," are some of the wonder- ( 184) THE TEST OF CHRSTANTY 185 ful words whch came from Hs lps when He was dealng wth ndvdual cases. When the Jews tred to catch Hm wth metaphyscal and theologcal questons, such as "what sn caused ths man to be blnd?" or" whose wfe wll ths woman be n the resurrecton s» He mmedately brushed away the frutless abstractons and gave clear, practcal answers: "Ths blnd man s an occason for the exhbton of God's power"-. e. for workng a work of God, and"f you read the Scrptures arght 'you would understand that God s the God of the lvng, and that you must not measure the heavenly lfe by the lmtatons of the earthly lfe." John's tests of Chrstanty are qute dfferent from those whch we use to-day. He agan makes no reference to thngs whch we consder tests of soundness: "Everyone that loveth s born of God." " We know that we have passed from death to lfe because we love." "We know that we dwell n Hm, because we have Hs Sprt." "Whatsoever s born of God overcometh the world." " Whosoever s born of God snneth not." "He that hath the Son of God hath lfe." t can be quckly seen that these are no lght and easy tests, and that a man who could.answer all our artcles of belef and '-'-""1 ~l:;' ', '. "q,l 'f :: '.;

20 _-..., _,,-- "ow"",'" ". -;1p ;' 'j ( 186 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY make a great dsplay of theologcal orthodoxy, mght at the same tme fal n every pont of John's tests. He that loveth, he that has the Sprt n hs heart and lfe, he that overcometh the world, he that does not commt sn-what a sftng! Now there has been and stll s great danger of makng so much of theologcal tests of soundness that these deeper, truer and more sprtual tests-whch are the only ones of mportance to Chrst and the Apostles-should be overlooked. There are Chrstans to-day who decde upon a man's Chrstanty by hs ntellectual opnons and conclusons, rather than by the sprtual condton of hs heart and hs lfe, though t s an unscrptural poston to take. The end and am of relgonwe cannot say t too often-s to brng men to God and to make them Chrstlke, and relgon has never done ts perfect work n a man untl t flls hs lfe wth. the Holy Sprt and hs heart wth love. Rght belef upon questons whch drectly affect the sprtual lfe s tremendously mportant, and fath s the very hand by whch we grasp and approprate the dvne realtes; but we have no more rght to rule men out of Chrst's kngdom on the test of an ntellectual shbboleth than we have to count devls n, smply because they beleve THE TEST OF CHRSTANTY 187 and tremble. The tme has come when men's mnds must be left free to look at every fact n God's world, and to come to the best conclusons they can upon them, and we must estmate ther Chrstanty by New. Testament tests, whch are nvarably sprtual tests, and measure the lfe and fath by Chrst's standards. ',!!'.,!, ' f, ; : : ' ;.. (, 'q L,!!, '11

21 '.,'"._._.,."..,' _J _._,=_,...,~.".,..,~"_.~."~., THE MESSAGE OF QUAKERSM l8g CHAPTER L THE MESSAGE OF Q,UAKERSM EVERY great relgous movement starts out of some sngle fundament relgous prncple, but f t s to have extensve and permanent effect upon human socety, t must ultmately ramfy and llumne the whole realm of thought and the entre range of lfe and actvty. The sgnfcant perods of hstory are those ages when men have caught a new and clearer glmpse of God and have set ther lves by new and hgher standards. There s a wdely accepted theory that the true relgon s forever fxed and unchangeable. t s a rgd system of doctrnes, mysterously communcated, not to be questoned by reason, to be accepted by fath and to be guarded as the absolute truth, crystalzed nto a form suted to every age and every race of men. A very slght study of hstory undermnes that theory. The moment a relgon becomes only a system of thought or a crystalzed truth, ts servce to the world s over, t can no longer feed lvng souls, for t offers only a stone where bread s asked and furthermore, such a relgon becomes a dangerous hndrance to the advance of truth and a menace to a free access of the ndvdual soul to ts lvng God. On the contrary, relgon can never become a fxed and unchangeable thng, for relgon s the soul's lfe n Goel and ts response to Hm; and therefore t must be as free as lfe, and t wll have ts hgh tdes and ts low, ts ebbs and ts floods, as hstory shows us has been the fact. Relgon always begns wth a manfestaton, a revelaton of God and the soul's answer to t. Heathen relgons sprung from a sense of awe awakened n the presence of manfestatons of power, n thunder and lghtnng, n mghty storms, n sun-rse, n the rush of a great rver, n the sublmty of the dome of the sky. The Chrstan relgon begns wth the revelaton of God's love, n an ncarnaton, n a Personalty. "Thnk, Abb, dost thou thnk? So, the All-Great were the All-Lovng too-. So, through the thunder comes a human voce Sayng, '0 heart made, a heart beats here! Face, my hands have fashoned, see t n myself! Thou hast no power, nor may'st conceve of mne, But love gave thee, wth myself to love And thou must love me who have ded for thee!'" * <l An Epstle.l'-Robert Brownng. (188)

22 19" PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY Chrstanty begns wth the appearance of a Beng who s genunely human so that he can speak to human condtons and genunely Dvne so that he can reveal God. Ths revelaton through Personalty-the Word made flesh-shows the Dvne thought. e. that man was meant to be n the Dvne mage, to be a son, and t shows the Dvne heart beatng for us n our errors, our struggles, our sns. The whole gospel s summed up n the story of the Prodgal who comes to hmself and goes to the Father and fnds Hs love stll warm and Hs arms stll out for the embrace that welcomes to sonshp, Chrstanty, then, was meant to be a free rver to grace and lfe flowng from God through human lves and makng all thngs new. t soon crystalzed nto a church that was partally paganzed by contact.wth the old world. t shut out all approach to God except through ts narrow channels. t clamed that God could speak only through the herarchy of prests, that grace could come only through certan fxed sacraments, that truth could be found only n one book. God became a dstant beng, Chrst became a mystcal messenger from Hm to found an nfallble Church. The Vrgn and the sants became the real ntercessors between human hearts and THE MESSAGE OF QUAKERSM the dstant God. The glowng truths gven to the world at such tremendous cost and sacrfce hardened nto cold dogmas whch had to be accepted Ol pan of condemnaton for heresy and those who thought were forced to agree wth the nterpretatons of the past or to stop thnkng altogether. The world sank nto decreptude, a condton stll preserved n Span. Chrstanty seemed dyng a natural' death. Then came an age of awakenng, an emancpaton. A new world was dscovered. Prntng was nvented and books were made for rch and poor alke. Coperncus made a complete revoluton of thought by hs dscovery that the sun s the centre of our system of worlds, and the earth only a planet whch revol ves about t. Ths dscovery made modern scence possble. Luther naugurated another revoluton n thought n hs profound sprtual dscovery that "justfcaton s by fath." t seemed a smple truth, but t broke the power and domnon of the Latn Church and exalted at once the mportance of the ndvdual. Each man stands n an ndvdual relaton to God and he s responsble drectly for hs soul and for hs fath. Protestantsm s the gospel of ndvdualty. Lke the dscovery of Coper- " ncus, t fnds a new centre. Before, everythng revolved about the Church and the 191 \' 'f! ' r " 'l ::: 1 ~ ; j l'. ) (

23 =~~~~~;;;;;;;;;::;;r 192 PRA CTCAL CHRSTANTY herarchy. Henceforth, Chrst s the centre and each man's orbt s determned by hs relaton to Chrst. But t was mpossble for the Reformers to break entrely wth the hstorc Church. They were the creatures of ther age, and ther roots had grown deep n the sol of medaeval thought. The tme had not then come, perhaps t has not yet fully come for the realzaton of the Chrstan deal. But n the mddle of the 17th century n England, an honest effort was made to set forth a constructve prncple whch should transform man and socety and whch, when worked out n practcal lfe should affect the entre race, and t contans, beleve, the seeds of apostolc Chrstanty transplanted n new sol and after long centures of watng.. The central note of Quakersm, as t was orgnally promulgated, s the truth that man's salvaton and hgher lfe are personal matters between the ndvdual soul and God, that the lvng Chrst brngs.the soul nto newness of lfe n Hm, and that there s a clear wtness of the fact establshed n the conscousness of the belever and n hs changed lfe and nature. t s what the Apostle calls "the demonstraton of the sprt." t s the knd of evdence a man has of lght when he opens hs eyes and the sunlght THE MESSAGE OF QUAKERSM streams n. t s the knd of evdence an artst has of beauty when he stands caught by the glory of a sunset; t s the knd of evdence an expermenter has of the power of electrcty when the current from the dynamo thrlls through hm to the ends of hs fngers and the roots of hs har. t s an evdence not from. external authorty but from the mmedate percepton of the soul. Paul dates hs relgous lfe from an experence whch he compares to a fat lux of creaton. "God," he says, "shned nto our hearts to gve the lght of the knowledge of the glory of God n the face of Jesus Chrst." n language whch means almost precsely the same thng, George Fox dates hs relgous crss. "'When all my hope was gone so that had nothng outward to help me, then O! then, heard a voce whch sad 'There s one, even Jesus Chrst, that can speak to thy condton' and when heard t my heart dd leap for joy." The whole sprtual lfe sprngs mmedately from God and that s why there s no danger that relgon wll come to an end. So long as God contnues to surround our lves and break n upon senstve hearts, there wll be those who fnd n Chrst an ncarnaton of God who s near us all and who only wats for a wndow to open when hs lght breaks n and makes : r!, -! '! -,

24 ,.,..".x... _ ~.",,..'F"'=."'~-;:~~; '94 PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY lfe seem clear and real. As Sabater has sad, men are "ncurably relgous," and sncere and earnest souls wll contnue to fnd God and know Hm when He reveals Hmself to to them n the face of Jesus Chrst. We lve n an age when the worth and meanng of everythng are tested. We do not care how old a theory s, or how sacred t was n the mddle ages; we ask at once, s t true? Does t meet our need, does t speak to our condton? Now the message of Quakersm carres men beyond the props and scaffoldngs and stands them face to face wth a lvng God. t declares that men were meant for God and that a man can never be hs true self untl God possesses hm. That hs darkness s made, lke that of the earth, because he lves n hs own shadow. Wheel about and the lght fronts you, and has been shnng all the tme. You made your own darkness. Now, no amount of ceremony or of subscrpton to theologcal dogmas wll save a man who stll keeps hs face away from God, and stll lves n the dark whle he s holdng n hs lean hands the rags of hs external professon. Lfe, relgon, sonshp begn wth the creaton of a new man wthn a man, and there s no substtute for ths. The Chrstan relgon s not a theory, not a plan, not a scheme, but a dynamc force,.e. the THE MESSAGE OF QUAKERSM power of God unto salvaton, and every soul who comes to hmself and goes to the Father has a more mmedate conscousness of God as a realty than the most phlosophcal man has of the realty of the earth on whch hs feet stand, for the earth must always be a foregn object of nference, whle the Quaker message tells of a Chrst who becomes a part of our very lfe and" s closer to us than breathng, nearer than hands and feet." There, then, the Quaker message comes wth sure help to our agnostc age, to men who have seen the old land marks vansh one by one. t begns by sayng, put Chrstanty to a practcal test. Try t as you try the great laws of scence. How do you know that the law of gravtaton s true? You feel t tug upon you. You see every partcle of matter n the vsble unverse obey t. t swngssatelltes and planets before your eyes. t draws the whole ocean and dashes t up the beach twce each day. You cannot doubt t. How do you know there s any sprtual power, any Dvne truth, any God of love, any Chrst who can redeem from sn? There s only one sure test. Try t. Throw yourself on God as you plant your foot on the rock. Act as though God walked by your sde every mnute. ''urn your face to Chrst, follow Hm, obey every gleam of lght '95,,.j,

25 '."..."...~. ~...,~,.0':v.,:;::;;e, ".,=;'" """ gg PRACTCAL CHRSTANTY lou get. Set yourself stubbornly aganst every :hadow of a sn that crosses your track and reolve that f there s a God n the unverse, zou wll fnd Hm, know Hm, \ove Hm. 'he result s-the testmony s unversal-the oul that does that always fnds God, always loes get led nto the truth, always does become -enewed and transformed. Quakersm bulds lpon ths demonstraton of the Sprt, and n :0 dong, t s n harmony wth all the great eadem of modern phlosophy, notably, Des Jartes, Kant, Fchte and Hegel, all of whom mld ther systems on the mmedate testmony f self_conscousness. No dscovery of scence, 10 concluson of crtcsm, no possble adranees of thought, no separatons by tme from Dvne transactons on whch the hstorc Jhurch s bulded, can for a moment ondanser ths mmedate and dynamc fath. n olace of external sacraments, whch at best.ould never be more than outward symbols rf some realty, and whch could only have aad a use n the transton perod when the ::;hurch was hampered by ts Jewsh swaddlng,lothes, the Quaker message substtutes an effrent baptsm, a drect ncomng of Dvne forces forthe transformaton and control of the whole man, and a feedng of the soul wth sprtual t /;: ',: v THE MESSAGE OF QUAKERSM 197 bread whch shows ts effect n deepened lfe and an ever ncreased sprtualty. Ths means, then, that the Quaker message s a call for a perfected man and a perfected socety. t bulds on the belef that man was' not meant to lve n sn. That salvaton does not mean a scheme for escapng the penalty due for our sns j but t s a power by whch we are enabled to destroy sn tself, subdue t, put t down, trumph over t n the strength of a' new lfe whch comes from partcpaton n the Lfe-the Vne of whch we should be organc branches. ts goal s to put man n the condton Adam was n before he fell, or rather nto a hgher condton stll, for the man who has faced the moral struggle, who has tasted the tree of knowledge of good and evl, and has through Dvne grace won hs way upward to the shnng heght where he s a kng and prest-crowned and mtered-s almost nconcevably hgher than a beng that has not yet felt the tug of temptaton. Quakersm does not lmt the promulgaton o'fths truth to any sngle channel. t draws no hard and fast lne between clergy and laty. Every person, whether male or female, who receves the demonstraton of the Sprt and fnds hmselfjoned the Lord, as a member, s a propagator of ths holy order, ths sprtual,! 'j "' ",'" ;,(. '

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