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Our Father, let the mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus. Help us to look at life in the world as he looked at it, with love for that which is in it, and kindly feeling toward all that are here. We pray Thee that we, like him, may be in the midst of this nature, attending to its lightest sound, responsive to its mute appeal, having time to look at the flowers that are by the way and watching the great movement of the stars that are above, recognizing the infinite providence of God, which, in its comprehensive provision, takes account both of good and evil, just and unjust. We come today, then, to ask that life may be looked at through his eyes, and not only nature but people; that we, like him, may see in every face the lineaments of our Father in heaven, underneath all the soiling, disfigurement and deformity which sin and suffering and sorrow have brought. We ask that we may see the ideal man, the humanity that is to be, and that we, like him, may seek to unloose these fettered spirits, to free these imprisoned souls, to bring them out into the heritage of the sons of light.
We look over all this vast teeming world, and see so many constantly coming, so many going, grouping in little companies of friendship, family, state, and nation; see them breaking apart through mutual dissension and quarrelings, each seeking his own and not the other's good. We ask again and again, as the moan of those that are crushed and the cry of those that are broken and the mute appeal of those who have no chance in life comes to us, what does it mean? Is there indeed a heart of
Then, as we come
love in the center of the universe? to see some good man or know some good woman, all human nature takes on a possible glory. From one good man we see what all men might be; from one good woman, what all women might be; and our hope is fed and our faith finds a sure foundation as we labor for men in love, that some time there shall come to each one his privilege and his portion, that which he ought to have to fill him out to the roundness of a complete man; that which every little child ought to have to make it a noble and useful man or woman.
O God, may we learn to look upon all kinds and conditions of people as he looked upon them, never in anger, always in pity, love, and hope, seeing as those of old saw-the painter and the saint of old time-the glory resting like a halo about the head of the 'little child Jesus. May we too see with the eyes of faith the promise of a happier, better life playing about every little child, and the promise of its better and truer life made real to it. That which the faith and hope of the old time saw, we of a later time, more serious and more earnest too, with more complex problems to solve and greater burdens to lift, shall see in the face of every child the face of a child of God, and in the face of every woman and of every man the full development in womanhood and in manhood of the possibilities that lie in each. O God, give to each of us the insight which reads the possible in the actual, the ideal in the real; and then when we have seen it, give us the earnestness which comes of a lofty purpose, the consecration which comes of a devotion to it, to see to it that that which is possible to each one shall become the actual for each
We are proud of this Nation and of our part in it, of its traditions, memories, hopes and wealth. Oh, make us to be really proud of a freedom which shall
grant to each one his development; of a truth which shall give to each one a key to lead him out of all darkness. Help us so to make the conditions of life that not one soul shall be imprisoned, and not one spirit sit in darkness. Enable us to place the same value upon other's children that we do upon our own, and as we would resist any law which took from our child his privilege and his portion, let us see to it that every law shall secure for each other child his privilege and his portion in the bounty and beauty of any gift of God.
Let Thy blessing rest upon fathers and mothers and little children. Let the memory of our own past happiness in childhood and the pleasure we take in the little children that are with us now, or have been called of God away, prompt us in all endeavors to make life happier for all.
Bless all who teach in schools. Give them the inspiration of a great purpose. Give them the consecration that comes with recognized duty. Be with and bless all those who mourn and comfort them, those that are bruised in heart, and bind up their wounds. Be to those that are lonely a comfort, and a friend to those that grieve, a guide and direction of life to those that wander, giving complete and full restoration of that which they have lost.
May the world come to the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea, and the accents of the Holy Ghost be not echoed and blown about by the winds, but be the splendid triumphant marching songs of the children of God, as they go from victory to victory, conquering present evils and sweeping aside ancient abuses, until every hill of difficulty shall be leveled, and every valley of despondency shall be filled up. Then shall they go on, Thy will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
THE IDEAL IN MAN.
"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
MATTHEW V, 44-45.
REDERICK DOUGLASS said that Mr. Lincoln was the only man in whose presence he forgot 000 that he was a negro, the only man that treated him as a man, to whom the accident of color and the fact that he belonged to a despised race counted for absolutely nothing. In the presence of Mr. Lincoln he had nothing to ask by way of consideration. It was soul meeting soul.
A good physician, when he stands before one that is sick, asks no question as to the condition and manner of life of this one that is now prostrated. Whether he or she may have been evil or good, just or unjust, prince or pauper, is to the true physician absolutely nothing. Here is an appeal for help, the appeal of humanity represented in this one for the time being, asking for that skill and care with which the physician is entrusted. In each suffering one, good or bad, just or unjust, the true physician sees the appeal of the ideal human, and the accident of birth and the incident of condition count for nothing.