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and path that led him straight to his camp. It was then one strong forward push. When one girds himself up to walk in the path of duty he is thereby girded with strength. Glimpses of the thought have dawned on the pagan mind. That was a proud inscription over the three hundred at Thermopylæ : “O stranger, tell the Lacedemonians that here we lie, obedient to their laws.” They saved Greece. And one of the noblest defenses ever made, rising almost to the Christian standpoint, was that of the great orator after the disastrous defeat of Chæronea, when he not only showed that the course of his advising was the best that could be seen beforehand, but that had all those disasters risen before their faces as fixed facts their only course was to press forward as they did with manly breast and meet them.
And when such a spirit rises to the height of a Christian sense of obligation and determination it has a singular power to hold one together, and hold him to his purpose, whether it be in the long laboring and waiting, as that of Wilberforce, forty years, for the Emancipation Act, and of the missionary Thomas, seventeen years, for his first convert in Bengal, and of the Moffats, who after ten years of rayless night among the Bechuanas of Africa ordered from England the communion set which three years later came on the day before their first six baptisms; or on sudden occasions as when in the English civil war Dr. Harris, surrounded by threats and with a carbine leveled at his head, calmly finished his sermon against profane swearing ; or as when in our own day the enraged slave catcher, pistol in hand, said to Isaac Hopper, “I will blow your brains out if you say another word,” and received the quiet answer, “I do not believe thou hast the least intention of using thy pistol in that way, but thou art much agitated and may fire it accidentally; therefore I request thee not to point it toward me but to turn it the other way.” There is nothing like Christian courage to give point, poise, and power to human life. To bore through the triple-plate iron armor of difficulty Christian courage is the heavy steel conical shot.
(2) Christian courage rallies and organizes support to the right. Those who have lived long are apt to be painfully impressed with the wisdom and activity of the men of this world in contrast with those of the children of light. The enthusiasm of the youth is chilled and repressed as he goes on. He sees hesitancy and timidity and inactivity in matters which seem to him of the clearest obligation and vital importance. Many a time it confronts him like an iceberg on the ocean voyage.
But appearances here may be in part deceitful. What is lacking may be the leader or the
Good men are never all dead; they may be quiescent. Christian communities are often in the state of some saturated chemical solution. Drop into it a crystal and the whole crystallizes. A stanch Christian courage is that crystal. One clear, calm, selfpoised, God-directed, forceful spirit in church or community, in school or committee, in the assembly or the mob, is beyond price. It gathers round it what is good and true and quickens it to life and motion. It concentrates and it radiates. The boy Arthur Stanley saying the prayers his mother taught him, undaunted by jeers and missiles, was a lesson and an inspiration, not alone to the timid boys around him but to thousands of readers of “Tom Brown at Rugby." So our “old man eloquent,” who day after day for months together stood up for the right of petition in the midst of abuse and oaths and yells and threats, two years later saw the whole House fall into his bold leadership in difficulty, and heard the hall of Congress resound with a deafening applause that well-nigh shook the Capitol as two slaveholders conducted him to the chair. The great English statesman is reaping at last the fruits of his steady Christian principle in his growing admiration and influence, if not returning power, and could another eighty years be added to his life what might that influence not be to the British empire and the world! The ashes of Wickliffe cast into the Swift, as we read, not only floated down the Avon and the Severn through England to the main ocean but they carried sparks to the heart of John Huss of Prague; and when in turn the ashes of Huss were cast into the Rhine, four hundred and fifty nobles of Bohemia banded themselves into a league for religious freedom that made its mark for a century and bequeathed its influence to the present time: More critical and more potent still was that action in the infancy of the Church when at Antioch the youngest of the apostles stood up in the general defection and by his own bold fidelity rallied the faithful and saved the Church from untold disaster. But not in high places only are these choice spirits and bright examples needed and found also, but through all the spheres and callings of human life — the faithful men, the cheerful and resolute men, the conscientious men, the men that never fail you. They are sail and ballast and anchor too.
(3) Christian courage has the coöperation of God's Providence. Even in Matthew Arnold's attenuated theology there is in this world a "power that makes for righteousness.” Yea, verily. And the bad find it out even sooner than the good. In the long run and on the broad scale we are made to see how that power
takes care of its own, when they take care of themselves, and care for Him. And Providence itself is full of lessons and examples for the good man. There is a little bird that comes and keeps around in the depths of winter. I have often wondered when everything is locked in ice and the mercury is very low, how the blood can flow unfrozen in that little body of his, not larger than a hen's egg; but he hops round from branch to branch and cheerily chirps his “chickadee!” as though nothing were the matter outside ; and when once an egg-gatherer found the mother bird on a nest in a hollow stump she peered up at him so confidingly, as he records, and with “such a mingled look of surprise and firmness as was very disconcerting.” It ought to have disconcerted him and taught him a lesson. It reminds one of the noble young business man defrauded
of his little property by a swindling partner, and writing to his anxious mother: "I have good health, a good name, a good reputation, and sixty-seven cents in my pocket. What more can a young man ask?” So when I have seen a thoroughbred horse, excitable and nervous, trembling in every limb, yet obedient to the master's voice, walking straight up to the frightful locomotive and experiencing no harm, I have thought of a sensitive human being — some humble, timid Christian - facing difficulties and trials to find the danger fled with the fear.
But these natural analogies sometimes come short in the human sphere. When I have seen a master painting showing a gallant stag with noble antlers dragged to the earth by a pack of wolves, I have said: "Among men that is not so.' No human wolves can worry down God's fallow deer or ibex, in the fastnesses of the rocks, and standing on the Eternal Rock. There was another picture, a cartoon, years ago, in which the British lion, the Prussian eagle, and the Russian bear were dragging from his horse the man in the famous gray coat and cocked hat, the ablest man in Europe, but as hardened as brilliant – him who had observed that “Providence favors the heavy battalions,” but who saw at Leipsic and at Waterloo that Providence placed the heavy battalions on the other side.
It is very noteworthy on the lower scale how little of “luck” there is in this world ; and how in all rational undertakings work, pluck, and hope carry
the day. Opportunity wants the opportune man. One man's