THE MEASURE OF MA By R. H. Crossfield Text.

— "But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love." — Cor. 13:13. IT is generally accepted as a fact that we possess no definite knowledge as to how long the human race has existed. Revelation nowhere furnishes this information, nor does it supply the slightest foundation for a conjecture. Science declares that it traces evidences of human life back millions of years, yet it nowhere gives an unqualified answer to the inquiry. But whether mankind has lived on the earth six thousand or six million years, all will agree that ample time has elapsed for the development of a competent standard by which to measure a man. We may go a step further. If all the generations anteceding the present one were obliterated root and branch, we would still have abundant data by which to answer the question raised, "What are the outstanding values of life, what is the measure of man?" "Moreover, is not the experience of a single individual abundantly sufficient for this purpose? Each human life is not a detached, or independent unit, but an epitome — a resume of all that has gone before, — so that when we study with minute care an individual, we are brought face to face with the salient characteristics of the race. Many, however, do not properly appraise the values of life. Just as the physician, who knows the malignant influences of opiates on the system, does not always exercise self control, and as the teacher, versed in the principles and art of pedagogy, does not invariably practice what he preaches, so men frequently fail to live up to the best of their knowledge and opportunities with respect to the highest purposes of life.

300 THE EW LIVI G PULPIT We are not, therefore, altogether surprised to discover that the ordinary, everyday man does not constantly apply the wisdom of the ages to his life, does not clearly see the things that should challenge his supreme purpose in their proper perspective, and that he does not always succeed in putting first things first. It is with the hope that you young people, whose program has not yet become permanently and rigidly defined, may be led to act with discretion and judgment that I speak on the subject announced. Moreover, I wish to emphasize the fact that the standards which you now choose by which to measure a successful life will largely determine your future. It is most necessary, therefore, that your ideal — that upon which your eye is fixed — should be right, for if your purpose is less lofty than the highest, if your eye is not set upon the noblest goals, you will certainly fall short of the best attainments. Speaking negatively, and employing the process of elimination, permit me to say that the true measure of man is not found in the realm of physical attainment. Do not understand me to underestimate or discourage proper attention to the science of body building. This is a fundamental duty. To become physically able and efficient, is among the first of the first things earnestly to be sought. You have heard it said, I presume, that there is coming a time when to be sick will constitute a disgrace. Whether that prophecy be realized or not, the day will be when the physician who practices will largely be supplanted by the physician who prevents. Prophylaxis will be the order of the day, and, like our Chinese contemporaries, we will pay our physician to keep us well, and not to cure us when sick. An ounce of prevention has always been worth many pounds of cure. Such health is necessary to the largest happiness. When

Alexander Pope observed, "All pride of reason, all joy of sense, Lies in three words — health, peace, and competence, ' ' he expressed a profound truth. Health enables us to enjoy

K. H. CROSSFIELD 301 work, and leisure, and home, and study, and travel, and all the beauties, duties, and recreations of life. Good health enables us to be efficient. However attractive the songs of Milton and Homer, however eloquent the preaching of Bossuet, however remarkable the culture of Helen Keller, it is manifest that the world has lost much by reason of their blindness. So with any physical defect, whether it be that of the loss of one of the senses, or the impairment of health. Have you considered what we lose in productivity on account of ill health? Dr. J. W. Jenks, of Cornell University, estimates that the sickness of the American people costs us one and a quarter billion dollars annually, and that each member of our population loses, on an average, 13 days a year as a consequence of physical impairment. Therefore, all honor to the man who develops his physical potentialities, who grows into symmetrical manhood. or do I fail properly to evaluate physical beauty. The most attractive sight in the world is a human face — the cheeks glowing with health, the eyes beaming with intelligence, the lips expressive of love, the brow crowned with dignity and honor. Personal beauty should be cultivated, and all the graces and charms of face and feature should be wooed and won. To this end, the human form should be attired tastefully and becomingly, so that beauty and attractiveness in every way

may be emphasized. But the large meaning of life is not to be found in physical health and strength and beauty. Such accessories do not abide. These bodies of ours, despite the care we give them, will soon dissolve into the elements — return to the dust whence they came — and become " brother to the insensible rock and the sluggish clod." These temples we live in, so "express and admirable," will one day become ghastly and repulsive. o discovery of science has ever prevented ultimate dissolution. The kings of Egypt, with their wonderful tomb-pyramids and their art of embalming, could not effectually forestall decay.

302 THE EW LIVI G PULPIT Even these pyramids have been fatally scarred by the tooth of time, and the mummies they contained scattered to the winds. or is the true measure of life found in accumulated treasure. I would not inveigh against the outstanding human instinct for getting and holding. Acquisitiveness is as necessary a part of our natural endowment as any other instinct. It is against the preversion of this instinct that I raise my voice. Many in our generation, it seems, have come to believe that "money answereth all things," that the great purpose of life is to acquire and keep; and while this sentiment is not universal, it is, nevertheless, true that Phocion, who might have been rich, though he preferred to remain poor, is not one of the patron saints of any American community. Do not infer, however, that I underestimate the value of money. Money is power. It speaks every language and dialect, understands the customs and manners of all peoples, sails every sea, climbs the highest mountain, and traverses the widest plain. Yes, money is power. It enabled Columbus to discover America, it has checkered every continent with railways, filled all seas with the Argosies of commerce, brought to light the terra

incognita of other days, discovered the orth Pole, built the Panama Canal, equipped hospitals and sanitariums, erected churches for prayer, endowed colleges for education, and sent missionaries throughout the world. On the other hand, money is today prosecuting the most sanguinary war known to men. It is plowing the fields of Europe with cannon shot, and obscuring the sun and the moon with the smoke of battle. It is destroying cities and villages, homes and farms. It is pouring out the red blood of the best French and German and Austrian and English and Eussian and Italian youth. It is rendering homes desolate, wives widows, and children orphans. It is letting loose every demon of destruction and damnation, and trampling under foot every good thing that hundreds of years of civilization have developed. Yes, money is power, as great a power for evil as for good. Allow me now to affirm emphatically that money is not the end, that "a man's life consisteth in the abundance of the

R. H. CROSSFIELD 303 things which he possesseth." Read again, if you will, the story of the rich fool, and then turn your eyes this way and that, and see him, your contemporary, the man whose gold is his god. As he says, "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." You may hear the God of heaven answer, "Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee, and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be ? ' ' Yes, verily money takes wings and flies away. or is the true measure of man found in the attainment of selfish ambition. Once more I beg that you do not misunderstand me. Ambition is both good and necessary. It means the planning for, and

reaching out after that which is beyond. It signifies the ideal toward which we strive, and which constitutes so valuable an inspiration. It says, "Anywhere but where we are, othing could be worse than this; The best is good enough for us." It points out that ' ' Too low they build who build beneath the stars. ' ' Selfish ambition is another matter, is manifestly unworthy, and must ever fail. Shakespeare makes one of his characters say, ' ' By that sin fell the angels ; how can man then, In the image of his Maker, hope to win by it 1 f ' Croesus undertook to carry out a program of personal ambition with disastrous results. He said, ' ' I will become great and famous by amassing the largest fortune the world has ever known." He built Sardis, his capital, in marble, like the Athens of Pericles or Augustan Rome; he swelled the coffers of his treasury until they were bursting with wealth; he provided for the gratification of every desire, although to do these things he was compelled to pillage the surrounding nations, and to cause poverty and want to knock at many a door. He enslaved

304 THE EW LIVI G PULPIT his fellows, made in the image of God, and sent them out as servitors of his ambitions. But emesis never fails. Solon, who visited Croesus, and who was asked by this regal friend, ' ' Who is the happiest man you have met?" replied, ''Count no man fortunate or happy until the end has come."" That was the answer of wisdom.

Sardis, the capital of Lydia, was soon sacked by Cyrus of Persia who invaded the realm. Croesus was degraded, placed on a funeral pyre, and his ambition brought to an ignominious end. Julius Caesar furnished the world another startling example of selfish ambition. Historians say that his supreme desire was to be king. Having done so much to unify and enlighten the world of his day, he essayed to become the ruler of the world. Shakespeare makes Brutus say in his famous oration, "As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as lie was fortunate I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears, for his love; joy, for his fortune; honor, for his valor, and death, for his ambition. ' ' In more recent times, apoleon Bonaparte furnishes the most conspicuous example of inordinate, selfish ambition. Like Alexander, he wanted to rule the world. To do so, he was willing to wade through blood to a throne. He was ready to break the eggs to make the omelet. But his success, which arose so gloriously at Austerlitz, and which crowned him emperor in the palace of Tuilleries, soon began to decline, and his overthrow was the significant climacteric of Waterloo. Life cannot be properly measured by any of these norms. They are the dross which corrupts, and which is burned. one of them abide. Riches take wings and fly away. "The path of glory leads but to the grave." The monarch is robbed of his sceptre, his ermine, his crown. After the great change comes, Cleopatra has no more charms than the veriest hag. The Venus of beauty finally loses her lure. In the silent chamber of death, all are brought to one level. Lazarus and Dives sleep side by side in the grave. Julius Caesar, occupying six feet of earth, is no more potent than a dead slave.

R. H. CEOSSFIELD 305

If this be true, and who will doubt it? then, "Why should the spirit of mortal be proud ? ' ' What, then, abides with us forever, which we may properly call our own? What can we carry with us into the beyond? What is worth while? I hear a voice saying, "If riches and glory and honor and beauty and power are stripped from us by the hand of misfortune, there yet remaineth the holy, Heavenly Three, Faith, Hope and Love." These three abide, and from them the soul derives its nourishment and joy. I announce, then, the conclusion that the measure of man is found in the character he ouilds. The first element of that character is Faith. "According to thy faith so is thy life." Faith is a magic word, a term to conjure with. It has in it the spirit of conquest. It possesseth the assurance of any army with banners. Faith climbs the steepest mountain, descends into the most precipitous chasm. Faith feeds and clothes the wretched Lazarus, strikes the chains from the hands and feet of the Apostle, and sets the prisoner free. You cannot destroy faith. It abides forever. If you will examine the 11th chapter of Hebrews, you will find that in all the trials to which those holy martyrs were subjected — the rack, the gibbet, the fire, the lions and the like — they never lost their faith. Yes, faith is the victory, for it never dies. You cannot crucify it upon a tree, behead it upon the block, drown it in the sea. Another element of character is Hope. * ' Why art thou cast down, my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me ? Hope thou in God. ' ' Surely this has been the solace and consolation of men under all circumstances and during all trials. I hear the voice of singing. It is midnight's holy hour. Paul and Silas are leading the refrain. How can they sing in such a filthy Roman dungeon, their wounds all gaping, and

their bodies weakened by loss of blood, and their companions in durance jeering and taunting them? The answer is, They have hope in God. Christian in the Castle of Giant Despair is not dejected nor

306 THE EW LIVI G PULPIT unliappy. Why this? He discovers a key in his bosom, the key of Hope. That makes him glad. Madam Guyon, in Castle Vincennes, sings a song in her lonely confinement. That song is the inspiration of Hope. Thos. Brown was voicing his hope when he said, "In expectation of a better, I can embrace this life." Hope says, "I shall see my pilot face to face, when I have crossed the bar;" "There is rest for the weary, if rest they will seek;" "I am going home tomorrow." The last element of character that constitutes the worthwhile life is Love. Fichte wrote, "We only live when we love." What do we mean by the familiar term love? It is the manifestation of such a spirit as the Master revealed to the world — the giving of a cup of cold water, the visiting of the sick and the imprisoned, the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, the relieving of distress, — in a word, absolute self -for getting service. It means the uplifting of all classes and conditions. It means the helping of the man across the street or across the world. It means the ennobling of life everywhere. This is my message. Will you make this standard the measure of your life ? Will you consecrate your abilities to such a task? othing less than this ideal is worthy. "We are building every day, in a good or evil way,

And the building as it grows, will our inmost self enclose. Build it well, whate'er you do, Build it strong and straight and true, Build it clean and high and good, Build it for the eye of God."

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