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had so mastered the map of eastern France in every nook and corner and the resources of Germany that when they roused him at midnight to say that war was declared he only replied, “Third portfolio on the left," and went to sleep again.
With such faithful forecast and preparation there is room for us all, whatsoever our capacity and tendency, as preachers, teachers, lawyers, physicians, journalists, inventors, manufacturers, mechanics, engineers, financiers, traders, poets, litterateurs, historians, linguists, scientists, archæologists, artists, metaphysicians, with scores of specialties in almost every line.
And what is more than all and above all, there is ample opportunity for manhood, good manhood, in all these lines of life-work. Christian manhood never had a broader field, a higher function, or a louder summons. The old guard and the young guard both need to rally round the banner of the cross. The function of the modern chevalier is still to save our sacred things from the infidel. The evil of the times is as luxuriant as the good, the tares as tall as the wheat. We have scientists that boast of spiritual nescience; philosophers who sooner believe in blind unconscious causes than in an omniscient and omnipotent God; romances of the frivolous and the brutal ; journals saturated with doubt; Christian teachers tampering with their divine commission; the world crowding the Church and the Church compounding with the world, with a loosening hold on the supernatural and the sacred ; astounding frauds in business life; silver senators and a dishonest dollar; the rich oppressor and the ferocious poor ; opportunities all around for the Christian man, for the poised intellect, the stout heart, the firm will. It is a time to live and labor and love and be loyal, a time and opportunity to be earnestly seized and faithfully used.
For there is another phrase in the Scriptures, “ They might have had opportunity,” used there of a rejected chance to go wrong, but too often of the lost chance to go right. There is no sadder phrase in human speech, no sadder fact in human life than those words then convey : “I might have been ; I might have done.” Life opened fair and bright. The paths of usefulness and blessing lay wide and clear, stretching from earth to heaven. The voice of wisdom cried without, the voice of God spoke within. “I might have heard; I might have heeded. I might, I might.” If those sad words at the last should be but a whole life's review, then would they rise to a great and endless bitter wail.
There is a strain, the “Song of Opportunity":
“ Master of human destinies am I,
Young Gentlemen of the Graduating Class : I have set before you, altogether inadequately, the conditions under which you go forth into life, inviting and hopeful as never before. Whatever the complications of the outlook, the path unfolds to the watchful eye and the firm foot. Now is the Spanish saying true : “ The man is the son of his works.” Make it a goodly ancestry and a noble heritage. Or if life be a voyage, set your helm right from the first. For the sailors say well : “He that is embarked with the devil must sail with him.” And they also say well: “Do good and cast it into the sea; if the fishes ignore it, God will know it."
So, then, do good work and do good; and be not eagerly ambitious. When you have filled your place more than full it will open out somewhere, most likely upward. So do not “hitch your wagon to a star” till you have calculated the star and are sure of your wagon. But work without wearying, rough it without whining, and wait without repining; and to this end imitate the one excellence of the Third Frederick of Germany – he had but one excellence; it was his fixed habit to regard events, however they concerned himself, with the calmness of a mere observer ; and so injuries and offenses which infuriated other men were judged by him without emotion. It saved him and will save you much trouble.
But I shall have failed of my purpose if I have not to some degree impressed on your minds the responsibility that comes with your opportunities. Interlocked with the world at every point it is no time to live for yourself alone. It is your privilege to be not only diligent in business but fervent in spirit. Along and above your secular work throw yourself into every wise scheme and effort for the good of man. Hold fast to sound principle, living truth, righteous aims, and above all to Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Thoroughly “believe your beliefs, doubt your doubts,” and work out your work. And God be with you all. Amen. CHRISTIAN COURAGE.
BACCALAUREATE SERMON, JUNE 26, 1892.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. — PSALM 56:3.
CUCH was the spirit in which a good man, beset w with human infirmities, went through a checkered, adventurous, and often precarious career. In the same spirit, long before, the warrior Joshua had entered on the conquest of Canaan, and the exile Nehemiah, long after, on the rebuilding of Jerusalem. So, also, a thousand years after the psalmist the great apostle said, “None of these things move me," as with opened eye and undaunted heart he looked down the long vista of dangers and sufferings, illuminated at the end with the gleam of the headsman's sword. My theme this morning is
There may be seen even among men a brute courage, a moral courage, and a Christian courage. The brute courage is of various kinds. There is a canine courage that in one form barks loudly from a safe place and in another clings ferociously till some hot iron burns it off; the lupine courage that ventures forth only in packs to worry down some solitary traveler; the taurine courage that shuts its eyes, thrusts out its horns, and daşhes reckless on; the leonine courage that with open eye and phlegmatic nerve faces the foe unterrified,