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The Word of God as a Character-builder

The Word of God as a Character-builder

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Published by glennpease
BY HERRICK JOHNSON

" And the word of God abideth in you." — i John ii. 14.
BY HERRICK JOHNSON

" And the word of God abideth in you." — i John ii. 14.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 21, 2014
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THE WORD OF GOD AS A CHARACTER-BUILDER BY HERRICK JOHNSON " And the word of God abideth in you." — i John ii. 14. This age is robust. It is marked by a preva-lent study of force. Athleticism is having its say in all realms, and with a will. Weakness is deemed ignoble — almost a crime. Young men of to-day and young women, too, are fairly assaulted with the idea that they must get a great deal of vigorous, tenacious fiber into their character, or go to the wall. And the suspicion is abroad, lurking secretly in many minds, openly avowed by others, that the Christian religion is not equal to the emergency; that Christianity does not furnish the stuff the character for our times needs to be made of Let us look at this matter. It will be doing good service to vindicate the Bible to intelligent- judgment as a formative force in character. Our theme is, the Bible as a character-builder. If a ballot were taken, asking any given num-ber of men or women of average intelligence to
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51 52 FROM LOVE TO PRAISE name the elements that go to make up the noblest character, there would probably be considerable diversity of reply. But, without a doubt, the great body of them would include, in one or another form of statement, at least these three elements : Heartiness, Fixedness, Aggressiveness. If to these three were added three others — viz., the Courage of Repose, the Power of Reserve, and Self-sacrifice, we should have a fairly full list of qualities for fine character-building. Physical force is not named in this category, for, while that is a good thing to have, it is a brute thing, and often associated with meanness
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and cowardice. Character pertains to spirit, not to muscle. As a base and instrument for exploits, too much cannot be said in favor of physical force. But, after all you have said of it, you have scarcely touched the hem of the garment of real character. See the morning papers chronicling the university boat-race or football game of the day before, voicing their eulogy after this fashion : " Muscle has won and won in gallant style." " It was beef, ample, well-trained beef, overmatching younger stuff, equally well trained and far better coached, but there was not so much of it." Surely an ideal character is not to be characterized as " beef" So we leave out physical force. THE WORD AS A CHARACTER-BUILDER 53 Physical courage is not named as an element of character, for that every bulldog has. Moral courage is not named, for that interpenetrates the whole group of desirable qualities, and is com-prehended in each and all. I. Heartiness. — Say what we will about the
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