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in that moving little book entitled Through the Iron Bars, by M. Emile Cammaerts. Or listen to the wail of Maeterlinck over the unmerited sufferings of his country. Belgium has been punished as never nation was punished for doing her duty as never nation did before her."

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But while temporal conquerors conquer to enslave and to destroy, Christ conquers to emancipate. His rule is the most humane, the most beneficent influence in the world. Wherever it has been effective in societies and states, there has been progress, enlightenment, heightened mentality, heightened morality, the lifting up of the standards of life, the development of civilisation. Macaulay, indeed, said openly in the House of Commons that "whoever speaks against Christianity is guilty of treason against the civilisation of mankind." And multitudes who are unable to accept Christ's claim in all its fulness, acknowledge Him nevertheless as the greatest Benefactor of human society, as the mightiest Force for good in all political, social, industrial and international relations. "It may be truly said," writes Mr. Lecky, "that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers, and than all the exhortations of moralists." And just as the rule of Christ means salvation for society, so also it ensures the well-being of the individual. In submission to Christ's rule man becomes the very best that he is capable of becoming, so that Pope's apothegm that “ the

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Christian is the highest style of man expresses the simple truth without a shade of exaggeration. Under the protection of Christ's rule man gets all blessings he requires-strength for duty when it is hardest, light in gloom when it is darkest, comfort in sorrow when it is heaviest, peace in conflict when it is sternest. And what more could a person wish for? Surely there cannot be anything more. In loving and loyal obedience to this kindly, kingly Christ, man finds rest and joy and spiritual satisfaction and enduring happiness and courage.

These, then, are my three plain reasons why Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, is qualified for the exercise of universal sovereignty. He alone, as King, is personally acceptable to all men: He alone has power to dominate the souls and consciences of all men and He alone so rules as to procure the highest good and happiness of all the subjects that He governs. "This is life to know Thee, this is peace to love Thee, this is rest to serve Thee."

And what, finally, is the practical conclusion of the matter? This truth of the sovereignty of the Son of God is intended not only for the nourishment of our faith and the increase of our comfort, but for the guidance of our conduct also. For if Christ be indeed the one legitimate world-monarch, then we are all His subjects, and the very least that we can do is to be loyal to our King. But what is our common attitude in respect of Christ to-day? Do we crucify Him afresh? Or do we pass Him over and ignore Him? I fancy that there are

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many who pass Him over and ignore Him. Or do we insolently approve and patronise Him? Or do we honour Him with our lips, while our hearts are very far from Him? Or do we follow Him and serve Him and love Him and worship Him, and crown Him very King in all our thoughts and words and actions? Let us honestly face the question. It is no earthly use to keep on playing with religion. Religion, if it be anything, is dutiful and faithful service, and where there is no service, there is only the mockery of religion. us do homage, then, to our King. Let us accept His discipline and fight His battle. Let us follow where He leads. Let us help bring about the establishment of His visible kingdom throughout the world. Our great Captain goes before us on the wonderful adventure. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He is clothed with a garment dipped in blood, and out of His mouth goes a sword to smite the nations, and on His vesture and on His thigh a name is written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Unto Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.

VII

PLAIN LIVING IN WAR-TIME

“The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”Luke xii. 23.

THAT surely is very reasonable. Our Lord Jesus Christ was always wonderfully reasonable. He did not make impracticable demands on human nature. It goes without saying that men's lives must be nourished and their bodies clothed, and Christ never dreamed of suggesting anything to the contrary. But He bade men put first things first. There are things which are important, but there are others which are more important. Do not invert the natural order. Do not turn things upside down. Do not reverse the scale of values, so that the trifles are on top and the vital things at the bottom. Assign things to their proper places. Let the first things come first, and the secondary things come second. That was our Lord's direction. And no one can deny that it was eminently reasonable. If we are not to be crazy people in a topsy-turvy world, we must form our estimates correctly, paying proper regard to the things that are good, but greater regard to the things that are better, and most regard of all to the things that are chief and best.

Now this opens out the subject on which I propose to speak this morning-Plain Living in War-time. This question of plain living is one to which most of us were certainly not disposed to give attention before the war commenced. Plain living! Why, so far from trying to simplify our mode of life, we all seemed to be bent upon complicating it as much as possible. We were rich, and we lived rich. The standard of our requirements was going up by leaps and bounds, and the more we had the more we wanted. People who owned already an expensive house in town, wanted another in the country. People who once were quite content to travel on a bicycle, found it impossible to go anywhere save in the latest make of automobile. The three-course dinner had swollen into the six-course banquet; and where clothes and furs and diamonds had formerly sufficed, more clothes, more furs, more diamonds were imperiously demanded. What was to be the end of this, not one of us could tell. But meanwhile we were swept along upon the flowing tide of luxury. Trades which catered for superfluities—that is to say, for things which the buyers do not really want, and which, when they have bought them, they do not know what to do with-were continually on the increase. Palatial hotels and "restaurants, where the price of being helped into one's overcoat is half-a-crown," were likewise on the increase. And the army of unnecessary servants, dependents, satellites, hangers-on of all kinds, had also increased out of all reason,

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