We have given the world a peace plan that provides for the investigation of all disputes before a resort to arms—a plan that gives time for passions to subside and for reason to resume her sway. We have substituted the maxim: "Nothing is final between friends," for the old-fashioned diplomacy based on threats and ultimatums. We have turned from the blood-stained precedents of the past and invoked a spirit of brotherhood for the purpose of preventing wars. These treaties contain a provision which, though seemingly very simple, is profoundly significant. In former times treaties ran for a certain number of years and then lapsed unless renewed. The thirty treaties negotiated by our nation in 1913 and 1914 with three-quarters of the world, providing for investigation of all disputes before hostilities can begin, run for five years and then, instead of lapsing, continue until one year after one of the parties to the treaty has formally demanded its termination. Note the difference: the old treaties gave the presumption to war—the new treaties give the presumption to peace. As our constitution requires a two-thirds vote for ratification of a treaty, a minority of the Senate (as few as one-third plus one) could prevent the renewal of a treaty; under the new plan the treaty continues indefinitely until a majority denounce it.
But while we have made a splendid beginning as the leader of the peace movement in the world much remains to be done. Our nation should lead in the crusade for disarmament; no other nation is so well qualified for leadership in this movement so necessary for civilization. The desire for peace, intensified by the agonies of an unprecedented war, ought to be sufficient to bring about disarmament; it should be unnecessary to invoke financial reasons. But national debts have increased so enormously as to have become unbearable and the world must disarm or face universal bankruptcy. The reaction against militarism is more advanced, but the reaction against navalism is just as sure to come—one cannot survive without the support of the other. Rivalry in the building of battleships will not long be tolerated after rivalry in land forces has been abandoned.
The United States should be the champion of the Christian method of preserving peace—and the world is ready for it. The devil never won a greater victory than when he persuaded statesmen to make the absurd experiment of trying to prevent war by getting ready for it. "Arm yourselves," he whispered, "and you will never have to use your weapons." How his Satanic majesty must have gloated over the gullibility of his dupes.
John Bright, Quaker statesman of Great Britain, pointed out the fallacy of this policy. He called it, "Worshipping the scimitar" and predicted that it would invite war instead of preventing it. But the din of the munition factories drowned the voice of protest and the civilized world—yes, the Christian world—went into a prepared war, each nation protesting that it was drawn into the conflict against its will.
Permanent peace cannot rest upon terrorism; friendship alone can inspire peace, and friendship has no swagger in its gait; it does not flourish a sword. Our nation has invited the world to a conference to consider the limitation of armaments; if disarmament by agreement fails we should enter upon a systematic policy of reduction ourselves and by so doing arouse the Christians, the friends of humanity and the toilers of the world to the criminal folly of the brute method of dealing with this question.
We should also join the world in creating a tribunal before which every complaint of international injustice can be heard. If reason is to be substituted for force the forum instituted for the consideration of these questions must have authority to hear all issues between nations, in order that public opinion, based upon information, may compel such action as may be necessary to remove discord.
It does not lessen the value of such a tribunal to withhold from it the power to enforce its findings by the weapons of warfare. In the case of our own nation, we have no constitutional right to transfer to another nation authority to declare war for us, or to impair our freedom of action when the time for action arrives.
Then, too, the judgment that rests upon its merits alone, and is not enforceable by war, is more apt to be fair than one that can be executed by those who render it. A persuasive plea appeals to the reason; a command is usually uttered in an entirely different spirit.
There is another difference between a recommendation and a decree; if the European nations could call our army and navy into their service at any time they might yield to the temptation to use our resources to advance their ambitions. As the man who carries a revolver is more likely than an unarmed man to be drawn into a fight, so the European nations would be more apt to engage in selfish quarrels if they carried the fighting power of the United States in their hip pocket. For their own good, as well as for our protection and for the saving of civilization, it is well to require a clear and complete statement of the reasons for the war and of the ends that the belligerents have in view, before we mingle our blood with theirs upon the battle-field.
Our nation is in an ideal position; it has financial power and moral prestige; it has disinterestedness of purpose and far-reaching sympathy. When to these qualifications for leadership independence of action is added we can render the maximum of service to the world.
It matters not what name is given to the cooperative body; it may be a League of Nations or an Association of Nations or anything else. The name is a mere form; the tribunal should be the greatest that has ever assembled. Our delegates should be chosen by the people directly, as our senators, our congressmen, our governors, and our legislators are, and as our President virtually is. Representatives chosen to speak for the American people on such momentous themes as will be discussed in that body should have their commissions signed by the sovereign voters themselves. We cannot afford to intrust the selection of these delegates to the President or to Congress. The members of our delegation should not be discredited by any flavour of presidential favouritism or by any taint of Congressional log-rolling.
Delegates, selected by popular vote in districts, would reflect the sentiment of the entire country, and their power would be enhanced rather than decreased if they were compelled to seek endorsement of their views on vital questions at a referendum vote. Their authority to cast the nation's vote for war ought to be subject to the approval of the people, expressed at the ballot box. Those who are to furnish the blood and take upon themselves the burden of war-debts ought to be consulted before the solemn duties and the sacrifices of war are required of them.
Our nation can, by its example, teach the world the true meaning of that democracy which was to be made safe throughout the world. The essence of democracy is found in the right of the people to have what they want, and experience shows that the best way to find out what the people want is to ask them. There is more virtue in the people themselves than can be found anywhere else; the faults of popular government result chiefly from the embezzlement of power by representatives of the people—the people themselves are not often at fault. But, suppose they make mistakes occasionally: have they not a right to make their own mistakes? Who has a right to make mistakes for them?
The Saviour not only furnished a solution for all of life's problems, individual and governmental, national and international, but He also called His followers to the performance of the duties of citizenship: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," was the answer that Christ made to those who were quibbling about the claims of the government under which they lived.
The citizen is a unit of the community in which he lives and a part of his government. Our government derives its power from the consent of the governed; what kind of a government would we have if all Christians were indifferent to its claims? No rule can be laid down for one citizen that does not apply to all; each citizen, therefore, should bear his share of the burden if he is to claim his share of the government protection. The teachings of Christ require that we should respect the rights of others as well as insist upon the recognition of our own rights. In fact, the recognition of the rights of others is a higher form of patriotism than mere insistence upon that which is due us and the spirit of brotherhood is calculated to create just such a community of interest. Each will find his security in the safety of all—the welfare of each being the concern of the whole group.
In a government like ours the Christian is compelled by conscience to avoid sins of omission as well as sins of commission; he must not only avoid the doing of evil, but he must not permit wrong-doing by law if he can prevent it. In other words, the conscientious citizen must understand the principles of his government, the methods employed by his government and the policies that come before the government for adoption or rejection. He is a partner in a very important business—a stockholder in the greatest of all corporations. If the good people of the land do not do their duty as citizens they may be sure that bad people will use the power and instrumentalities of government for their own advantage and for the injury of the many.
An indifferent Christian? It is impossible. A Christian cannot be indifferent without betraying a sacred trust. And yet every bad law, and every bad condition that can be remedied by a good law, proclaims an indifferent citizenship or a citizenship lacking in virtue, for popular government is merely a reflection of the character of its active citizenship.
The charitable view to take of a nation's failure to have the best government, the best laws and the best administration possible, is not that the citizenship is lacking in virtue and good intent, but that it is lacking in information. It is the business of the good citizen, therefore, to encourage the spread of accurate information—the dissemination of light—in order that those who "love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil" may not be able to work under cover. No evil can stand long against a united Christian citizenship; witness how prohibition came as soon as the churches united against the saloon.
Having faith in the power of truth to win its way when understood, Christians believe in publicity and are not afraid to call every evil before the bar of public judgment. Believing in the superhuman wisdom of Christ, as well as in the saving power of His blood, they are bold to apply His code of morals to every problem. His is a name that will increasingly arouse the hosts of righteousness to irresistible attacks on the brutishness that endangers government, society and civilization.
I am so confident that the Christian citizenship of this country will prove faithful to every trust and rise to the requirements of every emergency that I venture to repeat a forecast of our nation's future, made more than twenty years ago:
I can conceive of a national destiny which meets the responsibilities of to-day and measures up to the possibilities of to-morrow. Behold a republic, resting securely upon the mountain of eternal truth—a republic applying in practice and proclaiming to the world the self-evident propositions that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with inalienable rights; that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights; and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Behold a republic, in which civil and religious liberty stimulate all to earnest endeavour and in which the law restrains every hand uplifted for a neighbour's injury—a republic in which every citizen is a sovereign, but in which no one cares to wear a crown. Behold a republic, standing erect, while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments—a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared. Behold a republic, increasing in population, in wealth, in strength and in influence; solving the problems of civilization, and hastening the coming of an universal brotherhood—a republic which shakes thrones and dissolves aristocracies by its silent example and gives light and inspiration to those who sit in darkness. Behold a republic, gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor to the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes—a republic whose history like the path of the just—"is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
THE SPOKEN WORD
Some have prophesied that with the spread of the newspaper public speaking would decline—but the prediction has not been fulfilled and its failure is easily explained. In the first place, the written page can never be a substitute for the message delivered orally. The newspaper vastly multiplies the audience but they hear only the echo, not the speech itself. One cannot write as he speaks because he lacks the inspiration furnished by an audience. Gladstone has very happily described the influence exerted by the audience upon the speaker, an influence which returns to the audience stamped with his own personality. He says that the speaker draws inspiration from the audience in the form of mist and pours it back in a flood. It need hardly be added that this refers to speaking without manuscript, but reading, while always regrettable, is sometimes necessary—especially when accuracy is more important than the immediate effect.
In order to secure both accuracy and animation it is well to prepare the speech in advance and then revise it after delivery.
With increased intelligence a larger percentage of the population are able to think upon their feet, to take part in public discussions and to give their community and country the benefit of their conscience and judgment. The fraternities and labour and commercial organizations have largely aided in the development of speaking by the exchange of views at their regular meetings. The extension of popular government naturally increases public speaking as it brings the masses into closer relation to the government and makes them more and more a controlling force in politics.
The newspapers, instead of making the stump unnecessary, often increase the necessity for face to face communication in order that both sides may be represented and, sometimes, in order that misrepresentations may be exposed.
No substitute can be found for the pulpit. Earnestness which finds expression through the voice cannot be communicated through the printed page. If we are thrilled by what we read it gives us only a glimpse of the power of speech to stir the soul. If the spoken word is to continue to play an important part in the communication of information and in the compelling of thought it is worth while to consider some of the rules that contribute to the effectiveness of the pulpit and the platform.
Sometimes I receive a letter from a young man who informs me that he is a born orator and asks what such an one should do to prepare him for his life-work. I answer that while an orator must be born like others his success will not depend on inheritance, neither will a favourable environment in youth assure it. An ancestor's fame may inspire him to effort and the associations of the fireside may stimulate, but ability to speak effectively is an acquirement rather than a gift.
Eloquence may be defined as the speech of one who knows what he is talking about and means what he says—it is thought on fire. One cannot communicate information unless he possesses it. There is quite a difference in people in this respect; we say of one that he knows more than he can tell and, of another, that he can tell all he knows, but it is a reflection upon a man to say that he can tell more than he knows.
The first thing, therefore, is to know the subject. One should know his subject so well that a question will aid rather than embarrass him. A question from the audience annoys one only when the speaker is unable to answer it or does not want to answer it. Many a speaker has been brought into ridicule by a question that revealed his lack of information on the subject; and a speaker has sometimes been routed by a question that revealed something he intended to conceal. Before discussing a subject one should go all around it and view it from every standpoint, asking and answering all the questions likely to be put by his opponents. Nothing strengthens a speaker more than to be able to answer every question put to him. His argument is made much more forcible because the question focuses attention on the particular point; a ready answer makes a deeper impression than the speaker could make by the use of the same language without the benefit of the question to excite interest in the proposition.
But knowledge is of little use to the speaker without earnestness. Persuasive speech is from heart to heart, not from mind to mind. It is difficult for a speaker to deceive his audience as to his own feelings; it takes a trained actor to make an imaginary thing seem real. Nearly two thousand years ago one of the Latin poets expressed this thought when he said, "If you would draw tears from others' eyes, yourself the signs of grief must show."
If one is master of an important subject and feels that he has a message that must be delivered he will not lack a hearing. As there are always important subjects before the country for settlement there will always be oratory. In order to speak eloquently on one subject a man need not be well informed on a large number of subjects, although information on all subjects is of value. One who can in a general way discuss a large number of subjects may be entirely outclassed by one who knows but one subject but knows it well and feels it.
The pulpit has developed many great orators because it furnishes the largest subject with which one can deal. The preacher who knows the Bible and feels that every human being needs the message that the Bible contains cannot fail to reach the hearts of his hearers. Dr. E. Benjamin Andrews, once the President of Brown University and later Chancellor of Nebraska University, told me of a sermon that he heard Jasper, the coloured preacher of Richmond, deliver late in life on an anniversary occasion. Jasper claimed nothing for himself but attributed his long pastorate and whatever influence he had to the fact that he preached from only one book—the Bible.
When I was in college I heard a visitor draw a contrast between Cicero and Demosthenes. I am not sure that it is fair to Cicero but it brings out an important distinction. As I recall it, the speaker said, "When Cicero spake the people said, 'How well Cicero speaks'; when Demosthenes spake his hearers cried, 'Let us go against Philip.'" One impressed himself upon his audience while the other impressed his subject. It need hardly be said that in all effective oratory the speaker succeeds in proportion as he can make his hearers forget him in their absorption in the subject that he presents. I may add that there is a practical advantage in the speaker's diverting attention from himself. There is only one of him and he would soon become monotonous if he continually thrust himself forward; but, as subjects are innumerable, he can give infinite variety to his speech by putting the emphasis upon the theme.
It is better that the audience, when it breaks up, should gather into groups and discuss what the speaker said than to go away saying, "What a delightful speech it was," and yet not remember the things said. Whether the statements made are true or not it does no harm to have them challenged; if some dispute what has been said and others defend the speaker it is certain that thought has been aroused, and thinking leads to truth. That is why freedom of speech is so essential in a republic; it is the only process by which truth can be separated from error and made to stand forth in all its strength. We should, therefore, invite discussion.
While acquaintance with the subject and heartfelt interest in it are the first essentials of convincing speech, there are other qualities that greatly strengthen discourse. First among these I would put clearness of statement. Jefferson declared in the Declaration of Independence that certain truths are self-evident. It is a very conservative statement of an important fact; it could be made stronger: all truth is self-evident. The best service one can render a truth, therefore, is to state it so clearly that it can be understood. This does not mean that every self-evident truth will be immediately accepted because there are many things that interfere with the acceptance of truth.
First, let us consider depth of conviction. Some people take their convictions more seriously than others. In India I heard a missionary speak of another person as having "no opinions—nothing but convictions"; while one of the enemies of Gladstone described him as being the only person he ever knew who "could improvise the convictions of a lifetime." Depth of conviction gives great force to an individual when he is going in the right direction, but he is difficult to change if he is going in the wrong direction. When I visited the Hermitage for the first time they told me of an old coloured man, formerly a slave of Jackson's, who survived his master many years. He was, of course, an object of interest and many questions were asked in regard to Jackson's characteristics. One visitor inquired of him if he thought Andrew Jackson went to heaven. He quickly responded, "If he sot his head that way, he did."
Prejudice also delays the spread of truth. People sometimes brace themselves against arguments. If I may be pardoned a personal illustration I will cite a case of political prejudice that came under my own observation. I was speaking in a town in western Nebraska, an out-of-the-way place that I had seldom visited. A friend heard a man say, "Well, I never heard him and I thought I would come and see what he has to say." And then, with a determined look upon his face he added, "But he will not convince me." Political prejudice is not so hard to overcome as race prejudice and race prejudice is not so deep-seated as religious prejudice; but prejudice of any kind, whether it be personal, political, race, or religious, seriously interferes with the progress of truth.
Narrowness of vision often obstructs acceptance of truth. One must be made to feel interested in the subject before he will listen to that which is said about it. Aristotle has suggested a means by which each one can measure himself. "If he is interested in himself only he is very small; if he is interested in his family he is larger; if he is interested in his community he is larger still." Thus he grows in size as his sympathies expand—the largest person being the one whose heart takes in the whole world. In proportion as we can enlarge the horizon of the hearer we can increase the number of subjects to which he will give attention. The minister has an advantage in that he deals with the one subject about which all mankind thinks. The soul yearns for God: it is man's highest aspiration and his most enduring concern. When one's heart is changed—when he is born again—he listens to, understands and accepts arguments that he rejected before.
Selfish interest is one of the most common obstructions to the advance of truth. Very often this difficulty can be overcome by showing that the party is mistaken as to the effect of the proposed measure upon his interests. Fortunately in matters of government a large majority of the people have interests on the same side and the real task is to make this plain. Where there is a real opposing interest, argument is of little use unless it can be shown that the public welfare outweighs the personal interest—that is, that a public interest is large enough to swallow up the interest that is private and personal.
Whenever one refuses to admit such a self-evident truth, for instance, as that it is wrong to steal, don't argue with him—search him; the reason may be found in his pocket.
Next to clearness of statement, I would put conciseness—the condensing of much into a few words. This is a great asset to a speaker. The moulder of public opinion does not manufacture opinion; he simply puts it into form so that it can be remembered and repeated; just as my father used bullet-moulds to make bullets when he was about to go squirrel hunting. The moulds did not create the lead, they simply put it into effective form. Jefferson was the greatest moulder of public opinion in the early days of this country. He did not create Democratic sentiment; he simply took the aspirations that had nestled in the hearts of men from time immemorial and put them into appropriate and epigrammatic language, so that the nation thought his thoughts after him, as the world is now doing. The proverbs of Solomon are priceless for the same reason; they are full of wisdom—wisdom so expressed that it can be easily comprehended.
When I was a boy my father would call me in from work a little before noon, read to me from Proverbs and comment on the sayings of the Wise Man. After his death (when I was twenty) I recalled his fondness for Proverbs and read the thirty-one chapters through each month for a year. I was increasingly impressed with their beauty and strength. I have used many of them in speeches. The one I have most frequently used in the advocacy of reforms reads: "A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished."
I have often used a story to illustrate how much can be said in a few words. A man said to another, "Do you drink?" The man to whom the question was addressed, replied rather indignantly, "That is my business, sir." "Have you any other business?" asked the first man. The story is not only valuable as an illustration of brevity but it has a moral side; if a man drinks much he soon has no other business.
In this connection I will speak of the words to be employed. Our use of big words increases from infancy to the day of graduation. I think it is safe to say that with nearly all of us the maximum is reached on the day when we leave school. We use more big words that day than we have ever used before or will ever use again. When we go from college into every-day life and begin to deal with our fellowmen we drop the big words because we are more interested in making people understand us than we are in parading our learning. The more earnest one is the smaller the words used. If a young man used big words to assure his sweetheart of his affection she would never understand him, but the word love has but one syllable, just as the words life, faith, hope, home, food, and work are one-syllable words. Remember that nearly every audience is made up of people who differ in the amount of book learning they have received. If you speak only to those best educated you will speak over the heads of those less educated. A story is told on a great scientist who made two holes in the back fence and showed them to his wife, explaining that the big hole was for the cat and the small hole for the kitten. "But cannot the kitten go through the same hole as the cat?" inquired his wife. If you use little words you can reach not only the least learned, but the most learned as well.
Illustration is one of the most potent forms of argument; we understand new things by comparing them with what we know. Christ was a master of illustrations—the master. No one of whom history tells us has ever used the illustration as effectively as He. He took the objects of every-day life and made them mirrors which reflected truth. His parables give us a wide range of illustration—the Sower going forth to sow, the Wheat and the Tares, the Prodigal Son, the Wise and Foolish Virgins—in fact, all the illustrations that He used might be cited to prove the power of this form of argument.
The question has been used throughout history; at every great crisis the orators of the day have used the question form of argument. Its strength depends upon the completeness with which the speaker includes all of the essentials involved in summing up the situation. The greatest question ever presented as an argument was that in which Christ concentrated attention upon the value of the soul. No one will ever place a higher estimate upon the soul than Christ did when He asked, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" No greater question was ever asked, or can be asked. (See Lecture, "The Value of the Soul.")
Courage is the last attribute to which I shall invite your attention. The speaker must possess moral courage, and to possess it he must have faith.
Faith exerts a controlling influence over our lives. If it is argued that works are more important than faith, I reply that faith comes first, works afterward. Until one believes, he does not act, and in accordance with his faith, so will be his deeds.
Abraham, called of God, went forth in faith to establish a race and a religion. It was faith that led Columbus to discover America, and faith again that conducted the early settlers to Jamestown, the Dutch to New York and the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock. Faith has led the pioneer across deserts and through trackless forests, and faith has brought others in his footsteps to lay in our land the foundations of a civilization the highest that the world has known.
I might draw an illustration from the life of each one of you. You have faith in education, and that faith is behind your study; you have faith in this institution, and that faith brought you here; your parents and friends have had faith in you and have helped you to your present position. And back of all these manifestations of faith is your faith in God, in His Word and in His Son. We are told that without faith it is impossible to please God, and I may add that without faith it is impossible to meet the expectations of those who are most interested in you. Let me present this subject under four heads:
First—You must have faith in yourselves. Not that you should carry confidence in yourselves to the point of displaying egotism, and yet, egotism is not the worst possible fault. My father was wont to say that if a man had the big head, you could whittle it down, but that if he had the little head, there was no hope for him. If you have the big head others will help you to reduce it, but if you have the little head, they cannot help you. You must believe that you can do things or you will not undertake them. Those who lack faith attempt nothing and therefore cannot possibly succeed; those with great faith attempt the seemingly impossible and by attempting prove what man can do.
But you cannot have faith in yourselves unless you are conscious that you are prepared for your work. If one is feeble in body, he cannot have the confidence in his physical strength that the athlete has, and, as physical strength is necessary, one is justified in devoting to exercise and to the strengthening of the body such time as may be necessary.
Intellectual training is also necessary, and more necessary than it used to be. When but few had the advantages of a college education, the lack of such advantages was not so apparent. Now when so many of the ministers, lawyers, physicians, journalists, and even business men, are college graduates, one cannot afford to be without the best possible intellectual preparation. When one comes into competition with his fellows, he soon recognizes his own intellectual superiority, equality or inferiority as compared with others. In China they have a very interesting bird contest. The singing lark is the most popular bird there, and as you go along the streets of a Chinese city you see Chinamen out airing their birds. These singing larks are entered in contests, and the contests are decided by the birds themselves. If, for instance, a dozen are entered, they all begin to sing lustily, but as they sing, one after another recognizes that it is outclassed and gets down off its perch, puts its head under its wing and will not sing any more. At last there is just one bird left singing, and it sings with enthusiasm as if it recognized its victory.
So it is in all intellectual contests. Put twenty men in a room and let them discuss any important question. At first all will take part in the discussion, but as the discussion proceeds, one after another drops out until finally two are left in debate, one on one side and one on the other. The rest are content to have their ideas presented by those who can present them best. If you are going to have faith, therefore, in yourselves, you must be prepared to meet your competitors upon an equal plane; if you are prepared, they will be conscious of it as well as you.
A high purpose is also a necessary part of your preparation. You cannot afford to put a low purpose in competition with a high one. If you go out to work from a purely selfish standpoint, you will be ashamed to stand in the presence of those who have higher aims and nobler ambitions. Have faith in yourselves, but to have faith you must be prepared for your work, and this preparation must be moral and intellectual as well as physical. The preacher should be the boldest of men because of the unselfish character of his work.
Second: Have faith in mankind. The great fault of our scholarship is that it is not sufficiently sympathetic. It holds itself aloof from the struggling masses. It is too often cold and cynical. It is better to trust your fellowmen and be occasionally deceived than to be distrustful and live alone. Mankind deserves to be trusted. There is something good in every one, and that good responds to sympathy. If you speak to the multitude and they do not respond, do not despise them, but rather examine what you have said. If you speak from your heart, you will speak to their hearts, and they can tell very quickly whether you are interested in them or simply in yourself. The heart of mankind is sound; the sense of justice is universal. Trust it, appeal to it, do not violate it. People differ in race characteristics, in national traditions, in language, in ideas of government, and in forms of religion, but at the heart they are very much alike. I fear the plutocracy of wealth; I respect the aristocracy of learning; but I thank God for the democracy of the heart. You must love if you would be loved. "They loved him because he first loved them"—this is the verdict pronounced where men have unselfishly laboured for the welfare of the whole people. Link yourselves in sympathy with your fellowmen; mingle with them; know them and you will trust them and they will trust you. If you are stronger than others, bear heavier loads; if you are more capable than others, show it by your willingness to perform a larger service.
Third: If you are going to accomplish anything in this country, you must have faith in your form of government, and there is every reason why you should have faith in it. It is the best form of government ever conceived by the mind of man, and it is spreading throughout the world. It is best, not because it is perfect, but because it can be made as perfect as the people deserve to have. It is a people's government, and it reflects the virtue and intelligence of the people. As the people make progress in virtue and intelligence, the government ought to approach more and more nearly to perfection. It will never, of course, be entirely free from faults, because it must be administered by human beings, and imperfection is to be expected in the work of human hands.
Jefferson said a century ago that there were naturally two parties in every country, one which drew to itself those who trusted the people, the other which as naturally drew to itself those who distrusted the people. That was true when Jefferson said it, and it is true to-day. In every country there are those who are seeking to enlarge the participation of the people in government, and that group is growing. In every country there are those who are endeavouring to obstruct each step toward popular government, and that group is diminishing. In this country the tendency is constantly toward more popular government, and every effort which has for its object the bringing of the government into closer touch with the people is sure of ultimate triumph.
Our form of government is good. Call it a democracy if you are a democrat, or a republic if you are a republican, but help to make it a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A democracy is wiser than an aristocracy because a democracy can draw from the wisdom of the people, and all of the people know more than any part of the people. A democracy is stronger than a monarchy, because, as the historian, Bancroft, has said: "It dares to discard the implements of terror and build its citadel in the hearts of men." And a democracy is the most just form of government because it is built upon the doctrine that men are created equal, that governments are instituted to protect the inalienable rights of the people and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
We know that a grain of wheat planted in the ground will, under the influence of the sunshine and rain, send forth a blade, and then a stalk, and then the full head, because there is behind the grain of wheat a force irresistible and constantly at work. There is behind moral and political truth a force equally irresistible and always operating, and just as we may expect the harvest in due season, we may be sure of the triumph of these eternal forces that make for man's uplifting. Have faith in your form of government, for it rests upon a growing idea, and if you will but attach yourself to that idea, you will grow with it.
Fourth, the subject presents itself in another aspect. You must not only have faith in yourselves, in humanity and in the form of government under which we live, but if you would do a great work, you must have faith in God. I am not a preacher; I am but a layman; yet, I am not willing that the minister shall monopolize the blessings of Christianity, and I do not know of any moral precept binding upon the preacher behind the pulpit that is not binding upon the Christian and whose acceptance would not be helpful to every one. I am not speaking from the minister's standpoint but from the observation of every-day life when I say that there is a wide difference between the desire to live so that men will applaud you and the desire to live so that God will be satisfied with you. Man needs the inner strength that comes from faith in God and belief in His constant presence.
Man needs faith in God, therefore, to strengthen him in his hours of trial, and he needs it to give him courage to do the work of life. How can one fight for a principle unless he believes in the triumph of right? How can he believe in the triumph of the right if he does not believe that God stands back of the truth and that God is able to bring victory to His side? He knows not whether he is to live for the truth or to die for it, but if he has the faith he ought to have, he is as ready to die for it as to live for it.
Faith will not only give you strength when you fight for righteousness, but your faith will bring dismay to your enemies. There is power in the presence of an honest man who does right because it is right and dares to do the right in the face of all opposition. That is true to-day, and has been true through all history.
If your preparation is complete so that you are conscious of your ability to do great things; if you have faith in your fellowmen and become a colabourer with them in the raising of the general level of society; if you have faith in our form of government and seek to purge it of its imperfections so as to make it more and more acceptable to our own people and to the oppressed of other nations; and if, in addition, you have faith in God and in the triumph of the right, no one can set limits to your achievements. This is the greatest of all ages in which to live. The railroads and the telegraph wires have brought the corners of the earth close together, and it is easier to-day for one to be helpful to the whole world than it was a few centuries ago to be helpful to the inhabitants of a single valley. This is the age of great opportunity and of great responsibility. Let your faith be large, and let this large faith inspire you to perform a large service.
Because the preacher has consecrated himself to God's service and seeks divine guidance from the Bible and through prayer, he is able to speak with absolute confidence. His trust is the measure of his strength; because he knows what Christ has done for him he knows what Christ can do for others. His own experience is the foundation of his trust in the Gospel that he preaches. Because a miracle was wrought in his own life he knows that the day of miracles is not past; because one heart has been regenerated he knows that all hearts can be, and that Christ, through His power to transform the life of each individual, can transform a world.
I beg you to prepare yourselves to proclaim the Word of God by voice as well as with pen. You have a mighty message for a waiting world—a message worthy of all your powers of heart and mind and tongue.
P. WHITWELL WILSON Author of the "Christ We Forget"
The Vision We Forget
A Layman's Reading of the Book of Revelation. $2.00
"Certainly this is the most entertaining treatise on the Revelation ever written. Will make the Revelation a new book in the reading of many Christians. It brings the Revelation down into the present day and makes it all intensely vital and modern."
The author of "The Kingdom in Mystery."_
Thinking Through the New Testament
An Outline Study of Every Book In the New Testament. $1.75
A course of study in the books of the New Testament. Dr. Ross has prepared a volume which can be used by the individual student as well as by study groups.
FREDERIC B. OXTOBY
Making the Bible Real
Introductory Studies in the Bible. $1.00
In simple, direct language, Dr. Oxtoby brings his readers into close, intimate contact with the wonderful story of God's chosen People, their Land, their History, their Prophets and their Literature.
PHILIP MAURO Author of "The Number of Man"
Bringing Back the King
Another Volume on the Kingdom. $1.00
Continuing his study of the Kingdom, the author in this volume sets forth the relation of King David with the Gospel.
Our Liberty in Christ
A Study in Galatians. $1.25
An exposition of Galatians from the standpoint that its main theme is "the Liberty wherewith Christ has made us free." Special attention is given to the unfolding of the remarkable "allegory" in Chapter IV.
WORK AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
HUGH T. KERR
Children's Gospel Story-Sermons
A New Volume of Talks to the Young. $1.25
The stories are drawn from history, mythology, the daily newspapers, biography, and fiction. They are all interesting, and the author always makes a plain, sensible, evangelical application of them, well calculated to help boys and girls.
Author of "If I Were You."
To Be or Not To Be
Brief Talks with Children and Young Folks. $1.25
In Mr. Chambers' new volume of "Five Minute Talks" he aims at helping the children to right decisions—to determine whether they will, or will not, acquire certain good and bad qualities, calculated to either make or mar their characters and lives. A useful series, quite above the ordinary.
W. RUSSELL BOWIE
Rector St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Richmond, Va. Author of "The Children's Year," etc.
and Other Sermons for Children. $1.25
"Every pastor has the rich opportunity of speaking to the children, and desires to magnify this opportunity for indoctrination to the highest degree. The advantage of this book lies in the fact that the preacher has had unusual success in his ministry with the children in which he has made use of all the materials here accumulated." Christian Advocate.
WADE O. SMITH
Author of "The Little Jets", etc.
Chummy Talks with Young Men about the Game of Life. $1.25
A volume of the famous talks from Wade Smith's Boys' Class: "Say Fellows, the finest and biggest and most thrilling game of all is the life game, in which our adversary is the devil. The forces of the devil are most powerfully organized to overthrow the forces of God's Kingdom."
OZORA S. DAVIS
President, Chicago Theological Seminary
With Sermon Outlines and Talks to Children and Young People. $1.50
"The best help on this important subject that we have ever seen. Sets forth with skill and completeness the method of evangelism that best appeals to the men and women of the present day."—C.E. World.
WILLIAM E. BIEDERWOLF
Sec. The National Federated Evangelistic Committee
Its Justification—Operation—Value. $1.75
"It is a text-book and a call. Every chapter is full of value. It tells how to give the invitation and how to conduct the after-meeting. It is a book for every one who is interested in doing evangelistic work."
Herald and Presbyter.
FREDERICK L. FAGLEY
Executive Secretary Commission on Evangelism Congregation Churches.
An Outline of a Year's Program. $1.00
Mr. Fagley lays down a sensible, workable plan of work, including the formalities and maintenance of an evangelistic committee, a program of preaching, methods of personal work, deepening of the prayer-life, etc.
The Assurance of Salvation
And Other Evangelistic Sermons. $1.25
"Sermons of the distinctly orthodox type and suggestive in outline and illustration. Warm the soul and stimulate the thought."—Evangelical Messenger.
CHARLES FORBES TAYLOR (The Boy Evangelist)
The Riveter's Gang
and Other Revival Addresses. $1.25
"The value of this book lies not alone in the anecdotes and sermons that it contains, but in the illustration of how a successful evangelistic preacher may enforce his teaching."—Lookout.
ROGER W. BABSON
Pres. Babson's Statistical Organization
Making Good in Business $1.25
The famous Business Expert here applies a fundamental knowledge of business principles to daily business life. The latest work by the author of "Fundamentals of Prosperity" is crammed with the most valuable sort of hints and suggestions for the attainment of a successful business career.
WILLIAM GEORGE JORDAN Author of "Self Control", etc.
The Trusteeship of Life
A Study in the True Values of Existence $1.25
A new volume of Mr. Jordan's winning Essays which have called forth the hearty praise of Henry van Dyke who said: "They are suggestive and stimulating. His philosophy has three big little words—courage, cheerfulness and charity."
FREDERICK LYNCH Educational Secretary of The Church Peace Union
Personal Recollections of Andrew Carnegie $1.50
"Happily Dr. Lynch's little volume of personal recollections of Andrew Carnegie admirably supplements the autobiography. These two books taken together will explain the real Carnegie to his countrymen." Independent.
PHILIP I. ROBERTS
A Study in Personality. $1.00
Dr. Edgar Whitaker Work says. "Brief as it is, it serves its purpose successfully. It leaves a picture of the great singer in the mind that cannot be forgotten."
DAVID GREGG, D.D.
A Book of Remembrance
Selections from the writings of Dr. David Gregg. Compiled by Frank Dilnot. $2.00
A book of rare stimulus and devotional charm overflowing with precious thoughts selected from the works of the well-known preacher and devotional writer by one well qualified for the task.