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Christian Manliness in Trial.

Christian Manliness in Trial.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN RHEY THOMPSON D.D.



From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no
more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve. Will ye also
po away? Then Simon Peter answered him. Lord, to whom
shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe
and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. —
John vi, 66-69.
BY JOHN RHEY THOMPSON D.D.



From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no
more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve. Will ye also
po away? Then Simon Peter answered him. Lord, to whom
shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe
and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. —
John vi, 66-69.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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CHRISTIA MALIESS I TRIAL. BY JOH RHEY THOMPSO D.D. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve. Will ye also po away? Then Simon Peter answered him. Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. — John vi, 66-69. I AM to speak to you to-night on Christian Man- liness in Trial. Manliness is tried or put to the test in all those experiences and conditions of human life which menace the steadfastness, the unselfish- ness, the heroism of our virtues. Who is there with sufficient hardihood to undertake an exhaustive cat- alogue of such experiences and conditions? In short, this is a probationary state of being, this whole life is a trial life, this time is a testing time, and our environment is what it is for the fulfillment of the final, gracious purposes of Almighty God. The problem of human existence on this globe resolves itself at last to this : the evolution, under divine superintendence and care, of perfect spirit- ual beings by the mysterious ministry of growth, struggle, and trial. Sickness, pain, the gradual ap- proach of certain death — in such experiences Chris- tian manliness is put to the trial. Manliness is tested by poverty and by wealth, by obscurity and by fame, by defeat and by success, by failure and by victory. Calumny, public vituperation and 86 Christian Manliness.
 
abuse, secret solicitation to evil, devotion to unpal- atable truth, the service, in the presence of a hos- tile public opinion, of the despised and degraded classes in society, loneliness, the irreducible inequal- ities of society, betrayal, the seenaing strength of wickedness, the seeming weakness of righteousness  — these words imperfectly denote some of the con- ditions by which our manliness is here tested. How easy it is for a man to secure a cheap, ephemeral reputation by the vigorous and coura- geous denunciation of dead or dying errors! To illustrate my thought, how cheap it is to-day for a Protestant preacher to denounce the errors of Ro- man Catholicism ! How easy it is for him to array himself against its dead or dying errors in the pres- ence of a sympathetic audience, who will be sure, at least inwardly, to applaud. Every bigot and zealot present will be especially delighted. How brave it is to get a reputation as a Defender of the Faith when perhaps there is not a Catholic present, and if there should be one, and he should rise and un- dertake a defense of his faith, he would be cast out of the synagogue ! ow, this is not the spirit of the men who three hundred years ago denounced Catholicism. The men of that day were face to face with Catholicism in its living power, and for them to denounce its errors probably meant, and in very many instances actually meant, imprison- ment, social ostracism, the fagot, death in some cruel forni. But it is not manly to seek to ob- tain a temporary reputation by the vigorous and Cliristian Manliness in Trial. Zj unsparing denunciation of error that is either dead or in the last gasp. I put this in that I might preach a httle to myself. 1 have preached a good
 
deal to you, and it is well sometimes for the preach- er to do as the physician does when he comes to our houses — taste his own medicine. Have you ever heard of the tests to which the manhood of Wellington was submitted in the Pe- ninsular Campaigns? How when he went there he found himself in the presence of 350,000 French soldiers, thirsting for glory and hitherto victorious on almost every battle-field, and led by some of apoleon's most distinguished marshals, w^hile Wel- lington had but 30,000 British troops? This was the case for four years, and he was subjected to the test of waiting with 30,000 men in Portugal until by his inactivity the French army should be demoralized, and he raise up a Portuguese and Spanish contingent that would enable him to have the victory. To wait four years at the head of 30,000 men with England clamoring for an attack, and all this time to be unmurmuring, and to abide by his policy until the day for victory came, was the exhibition of a noble manhood. or was this all. One of apoleon's marshals, when he marched out of Spain, carried with him some of the most valuable pictures in that country. The Duke of Wellington carried out of Spain and Portugal not a cent's worth of any thing that be- longed to another man. When he at last crossed the French frontier and news was brought to him 88 Christian Manliness, that 40,000 Spanish infantry were about to gather fortunes by indiscriminate pillage, he remonstrated with their officers, and when they would not hsten to him he sent the whole army back to Spain. At home they were plotting against him ; every jealous

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