Imágenes de páginas



“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."



SPOKE to you last Sunday morning on the religion of self-respect, taking the incident of Jesus with the woman of Samaria, and showing how, passing by all forms of worship and all holy places, all precedent and all custom and all public opinion, all creed and all convention, he led her, as he would fain lead us, and as Christianity in its purest form does lead us, into the soul itself, there to get the word directly from God. For it is in the intuitions of the soul that we receive our living commandment from God.

I wish to carry out that thought yet a little further, and to say this: That the religion of self-respect or of the soul carries with it obligations that are finer, responsibilities that are heavier, than those that are ordinarily accepted by religion which leans upon something external to the soul. We are not to think that going into the soul and taking up the yoke or the burden or the commandment which is there imposed upon us is any easier work. On the contrary, the obligations are finer, the life is necessarily more complex, the responsibilities are heavier, and the necessities. of instant obedience are greater, than in ordinary life. Where we live by the current opinion, by custom, by

precedent, by creed, by commandment of church, life is in a certain sense mechanical. We can easily adjust ourselves to that. But when, for any reason, you have left these things, to retire into your own soul and hear what God the Lord shall say unto you, you are dealing with voices that are not so loud; you are assuming responsibilities that are weightier; you are recognizing obligations that are finer, and your obedience must be unhesitating and quick.

We all remember when we first left the home of childhood. There everything had been prepared for us; the commandment of the house, whether voiced or not, was present with us; the responsibility of selfsupport was not on us; the environment of happy conditions was around us. When we left this home and went out into the world it was a painful experience. No father's voice was there to guide and no mother's word to direct. The responsibilities of life were upon us. The external conditions which meant so much in keeping us noble and true were now changed; we were thrown upon ourselves. There was a painful period in trying to adjust one's self to the principles and obligations which come from the soul itself. Many wrecks have been made of young lives, boys who were good in the home, but who, when they went out into the great world, were led astray. It is because the habit of selfdependence, of looking to a principle instead of to a precept, living by a thought instead of by a rule, had not been built up within them. They had so depended upon the external things of life that when they were thrown upon their own resources they failed-failed through ignorance and through weakness, and not through evil tendencies. A bird that has had its home in the wild, when it first leaves a cage in which it has been held in captivity, flutters here and there, moves in this direction and that, uncertain, troubled. At length

« AnteriorContinuar »