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such a case the blush of shame is a confession of wrong and the unblushing face is a token of hardened wrong. Men are often too little afraid to commit an unworthy, ungenerous, or trickish act and too prone to forget that the sense of meanness is a rebuke of conscience and a verdict of God. From all such things let them refrain for Christ's sake and for their own sake too. A thoroughly mean-spirited Christian is a phenomenon nowhere described in God's Word. I think he would be such a prodigy as God never made.
We also see that such a piety as we have described must be difficult of attainment, but worthy of the effort. Paul seems to speak of it as though it were to be the crown and climax of Philippian attainment. There is great difference in the natural amiableness which the Spirit of God finds in different men; but which class has most to contend with in the opening of a Christian life is not so clear. With some the danger is that they make their placid temper a substitute for spiritual piety or rest satisfied with good deeds that spring from a delicate organism, a quick sensibility, an uncalculating mind, or the love of a fair reputation rather than from the love of holiness and God. There are some minds so constituted that they are in danger of mistaking a religion of mere taste and beauty for a beautiful religion ; outward loveliness for the holiness whose fruit is loveliness. On the other hand there are those whose danger is just the opposite - that their religion never will find its way out into the things that are lovely and of good report. This is by far the commonest danger. There are often those of crabbed tempers, fretful and complaining spirits, hot-headed purposes, irritable vanity, torpid sensibilities, cold and selfish hearts, encrusted round so thick with ice and snow that the very light kindled within by God from heaven will scarcely shine through with a genial warmth. There are multitudes of others who find it easier to do occasional great things for God, as they reckon them, to be spasmodically good or rhapsodically devout, than to maintain the perennial bloom of a daily, honored, estimable, rounded piety.
But religion in its beauty will be very beautiful : when the cardinal virtues, the gentle graces and genial charities of the gospel shall be reassembled from their long dispersion like some brood of paradise clustering beneath the parent wing; when all that faith has longed for, that sin has counterfeited, and piety has mourned shall be gathered and realized; when decision and manliness and honor and energy and meekness and patience and gentleness and courtesy, like the lost gems of some heavenly diadem, shall be again united, and the fine gold shall lose its dimness.
This shall not all be this side of heaven ; yet it may be or have been our lot to have known some few who were striving toward it on earth. They go “from strength to strength ”; and when at length some one of them is not, for God hath taken him, we can think of him now become fair and bright, without a shock to all our recollections ; we can imagine him a dweller
on the heavenly hills without a fear for the blessedness of heaven.
Young Gentlemen of the Graduating Class : Your studies here are ended. Your instructors have imparted to you what training they could, and you have received it with what earnestness you would. They now stand aside, and you step out into the broader
Go forth into life's conflicts, I entreat you, as true “knights without fear or reproach," and therefore as knights of the Cross. I commend to you as the last best lesson of your college course this heavenly wisdom, this religion of Jesus Christ, and in all its finished fullness, excellent symmetry, and rounded manhood. As my closing words and the motto of your lives, in the Master's name, I enjoin upon you, and
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report ; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." And may the good Lord think on you with watchful care and never-failing help!
each of you,
CHARACTERISTICS AND DUTIES OF
BACCALAUREATE SERMON, JUNE 25, 1882.
Which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.
- 1 CHRONICLES 12:32.
HIS sentence occurs in the dry statistics of the
army that assembled at Hebron to place David on the throne. Among the "thousands" of Judah "that bare shield and spear," the tens of thousands of Simeon and Ephraim, mighty men of valour,” the scores of thousands of Zebulon and Asher, "expert in war,” and all the rest of the great host, there is one tribe of which the writer simply says: “and of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred ; and all their brethren were at their commandment."
A plodding German who has reckoned it out that the whole army was but one fourth of the fighting population of the land, yet rouses himself to remark that “the greatness of a host of God is to be measured by the power and spirit, and not by the number of the warriors.” His words are a faint echo of the statement that the heads of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, were but “two hundred," and “all their brethren were at their commandment.” They were the leaders of thought and of men.
Clearly those were times of peculiarity and of peril, of emergency and of opportunity. These men had mastered the times, and they were masters of the situation and of their generation. Skill is stronger than strength.
Other times, all times, are peculiar. The flow of events never returns on itself, but rolls on with new windings, by changing bluffs and headlands, through ever varying channels to its infinite ocean. Each child is born into environments greatly diverse from his father's. And it is the father's commonest blunder to attempt binding the son fast with all the methods of his own childhood and youth — of a generation that is dead and gone.
Doubtless "the thing that hath been, it is that which shall be,” but only in the substance, never in the accidents. The figures of the problem of life perpetually change; the ratio alone remains the same. He only who under the fluctuating figures discerns the hidden ratio is truly rational. Many a man is, in a different sense from that of Paul, “born out of due time.” Men may be a generation behind their opportunities. The times drift by them. They come floating sluggishly down like a northern iceberg in the Gulf Stream, warming and coalescing only as they melt and disappear. There is a fatal fixedness, the mother of fatal mistake. The Austrian generals adhered to their time-honored tactics and were cut in pieces by the youthful Napoleon. The American statesmen of a past generation clung to their obsolete compromise, and compromised their own name and fame. The