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The Christian in the World.

The Christian in the World.

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By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.

" I pray not that Thou shonldest take them
out of the world, but that Thou shouldest
keep them from the evil." JoHNXVii.15.
By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.

" I pray not that Thou shonldest take them
out of the world, but that Thou shouldest
keep them from the evil." JoHNXVii.15.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Christian in the World.By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A." I pray not that Thou shonldest take themout of the world, but that Thou shouldestkeep them from the evil." JoHXVii.15.THE last words of Christ to hisdisciples, clustered round him inthat solemn hour when he took leave of them before he died, wereprayer. It was a prayer as reportedto us, whicji threw into pregnantwords the meaning of his wholework, but it was also steeped inthe tender thought which fills theheart of one who parts from thosehe has long loved. As he prayedfor those around him, who wereto spread among men the goodnews of God, commending themto his Father's care, every word istouched with the human tender-ness of separation. " Holy32 THE CHRISTIAFather, keep through Thine ownname those whom Thou hastgiven me, that they may be one "one in love, one in that Willof God which is 'the bond of love." Keep them from the world, notfrom the outward world, but fromthe evil of the world." Withthat prayer Christ defines theposition of his followers in theirlife among men, and the mean-ing of it is our subject.What is Christ's meaning forthe term ' ' world " ? It is this pass-
ing scene of time, with its transientpleasures and sorrows, pursuits andloves ; and the mass of men thatlive for these alone. There is theworld of men, of business, of politics, of labour for wealth andfame the storm of life in whichwe sail. "Pray," men say, "tobe taken out of that ; out intothe deserts or the quietude of ourretired rooms ; in solitary medita-tion to live the life of God.""I do not pray," said Christ,THE WORLD. 33"that you should be removedfrom that only from its evil."The spirit of this prayer wasthe practice of his life. His wasnot the fanaticism of the ascetic,or the devout dreaming of theconvent; his was the life whichmoved in cities, and collectedaround it the countryman, thefisherman, the labourer, thepublican, the sick, the hungry,all shades and classes of mankind ;in active giving and receiving, invivid sympathy with the domestic,social, and universal life of men.And that is our life, we who desireto follow Christ ; he will be nearestto us, and God will be most withus, when we are doing our dailywork most vigorously in the midstof the world.When we see our calling as thewill of (jod for us, as the place Hehas set for us to keep, and inwhich we are to reveal His will
and promote His work then, outof this worldly calling, good and34 THE CHRISTIApower will daily flow into ourcharacter, and all its evil will bekept far away. Pray every morn-ing 1 , not that you may be takenout of this world of work, but thatyou may be guarded from its sin.There are worlds in which wemove, other than the world of business. There is the passingworld of human love. Decaybesets it, passions injure it, lifewears it out, sin corrupts it, deathseems to shatter it into pieces.This is its passive evil, that itfleets away. But it has also activeevils. The love of home is mixedwith too eager a desire for wealth,with too absorbing an interest topush our way into society, becausewe want a good position for ourchildren. We often sacrifice tohome the great social interests of men, and establish selfishnesswithin our family. Then, too, lovemay become so slavish through jealousy, so enthralling throughsensual passion, as to rob us of THE WORLD. 85the power of work, or of the visionof God. These are evils of theworld of love, and Christ prays toG-od that we may be kept fromthem but he does not pray that

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