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C ontents

I . THE MASTE R SE C RE T ,

II . T HE MAS TE R MOTIVE ,

I II . THE MA S TE R WORD ,

VI S I O N AND T AS ' ,

V . A N A NC IE N T PS ALM O' LI' E ,

VI . C HRI S TI AN ITY AND THE S U PE RNAT


UR L ,A
' o rew o rd

I' th e C h ristian revelation h ad no o ther


consequence than to impress us that in the
sight o f Heaven all that is essentially h u
man is innitely precious that result alone
,

would leave the Christian reli gion o f i nes


timable value to the world .

Could any teaching be more exp lici t


than the teaching of Jesus upon this mat

ter ' The very hairs o f your head are
numbered Fear not ye are of more v al u e
.
,

than many sparrows and not one of
,

them is forgotten in the sight of God .


Jesus took a little child and set him in the

midst of His disciples and from the
,

child taught at once t h e simplest and the



deepest truth the ultimate worth in the
sight of God of unspoi led human trust and
human love Humanity become s skeptical
.

as to its own worthfulness and cynical and


,

cruel Jesus brings us back to an app re ci a


.

tion of the value of whatever is essentially


h u man I n contrast with the cynical i n
.

di ff erence with which pharisaical hardness


F O REWO R D

o f h ear t loo k ed u p on a woman th at w as a



sinner , Jesus with chivalrous courtesy
and del i cacy lifted into esteem for evermore
the value o f a person H umanity can
.


never forge t H i s word Neither d o I
,

con d emn t hee ' g o an d Si n no more .

The w atchword o f human i ty i n its


p ro gress towards the ligh t o f a new day is

taken from the l i p s o f Jesus Ye are o f
,

val ue
.

There i s no argumen t f or th e grea t ness


of man l i ke th e f act o f the greatness o f his
need The humbles t of men ki c k ed and
.
,

bu ff eted b y hi s fellows and by h is f ate ,

l ittle esteemed and nding it di fcul t to


,

lift his head i n sel f res p ect never th e l ess


-
,

needs for th e sa tisfac ti on o f hi s life t ruth ,

and immo rtali t y l ove an d God His need


, .

has im peri a l p ro p orti ons N othing less


.

th an Heaven and d i vinity can ap pease his


hunger of soul N o va l ues l ess th an e terna l
.

can sa ti s fy hi m .

Some years i n t h e m m rst ry an d oth er


years in contact wi th student l i fe in college
wor k have led m e through an increasingly

sym p athetic study o f th e p roblem o f
h u m an lif e t o a pp reciate the i ncom p arab le
6
FO REWO R D

value of the m ethod of the M as ter i n d i s


covering the values o f life .

In p art t he thoughts contained in th ese


pages have found express i on i n college
chapel talks and in the pulpit of Central
Avenue Church T h e recep tion they have
.

there received leads m e to ho pe th at they


may nd an equally generous and kindly
reception by the larger audience to which
they are no w addressed .


One ch a pter ,An Anci ent Psa lm o f

Life, ta kes u p an Old Testam ent char
acter and a p salm as showi ng the funda

mental h arm ony betw een th e old and new


dis pensati ons
.

Th e ch apter on Chri sti ani ty and th e



Su pernatural i s re p ublish ed by permis
sion from the Methodi st R evi ew .

ALB E RT B O Y N TO N ST ORMS .

Central A venu e Methodi st E pi scopal Chu rch,


The Ma ste r Se c r e t

The Master Sec ret


All l n l n
a o e a o e,

God h ll sp eak t o thee


S a o u t of t he S ky .

T he y ears wil l b ri ng u s hast e ni ng t o the ir goal ,

A littl e m ore o f c al m ne ss and o f t r u st


, ,

With still t he old old d ou b t of d eath and d u st


, ,

A nd still t he exp e c ta ncy withi n t he sou l .

0 F ath e r as w e go t o m ee t t h e y ears
, ,

We ask not j oy th at fam e or pl easure b ri ngs ,

B ut so m e cal m knowl edge of t he su m o f


thi ngs
A hi nt of g l o ry g limm eri ng over t ears '
T hat he w ho walks with sanction from T hy hand
,

Some t oke n of i t s p rese nce m ay have seen ,

B eneath whic h w e m ay tread t he p ath sere ne


Int o t h e s till ne ss of t he u n know n l and ( S IL L ) .

I h ave t rodden t he w i ne press al one . I sai ah


63 : 3 .

T HI S is the cry o f a soul that reach es us



out of the far past I have trodden the
.


wine press alone The cry h as in it the
.

p ath os of a great so rrow and strikes the ,

9
TH E MAST ER S E C R ET

d ee pes t c h ord i n th e h u m an h ear t A .

h uman voice r i c h and resonant m ay


, ,

awaken sym p atheti c res p onse fro m the


chords o f a har p t h us creating i ts own ac
,

c om p ani m e nt And so t h e ap p eal o f a


.

noble gri e f i s p rofound and un i versal .

I t i s one o f the p arad oxes o f life th a t


Sorro w w h i ch we treat as an enem y from
, ,

whi ch we sh rin k an d whi c h w e see k to,

bani s h coun ti n g ourselves h app y onl y


,


wh en Sorrow i s absent th at un welcom e
S orrow i s yet t he angel th at o pens th e

h ear t t o l i fe s mos t p reci ous treasures .

T h e m em or y o f a great sorro w i s ch er
i shed .

T h e lit erat ure th at i s i mmortal s t rikes



th i s d ee p no t e Pri am s grie f as sun g by
.


Homer Davi d s lament f or h is son Riz
, ,

p ah s slee pl ess vigilance as sh e f ri ghtened
away th e beasts o f p rey i n t h e n i gh t an d
t h e vultures by day i n h er l one l y w atc h
u p on th e roc k o f Gi lboa wh ere h er sons,

h ung i n j ud i ci a l exp i a tion f or th e s i ns o f



Saul ' J ob s soul cry i n th e anguish o f nu
-

certai nty as to th e goodness o f God never ,

l ose t h e power o f the i r a pp eal to t h e h uman



heart I t is the a pp eal o f Sorro w
. D ee p.

cal leth unto d ee p .

10
T HE MAST ER S E C R ET

Th e vi sion recorded i n Isai ah i s Se t in


th e time of the captivity No people ever
.

i dentied themselves with the ideals and


the fut u re of their nation more abso l utely
than the Hebrews That the ci ti zen ex
.

i st e d for the State was a f amiliar an d a


commanding idea amon g the ancients .

The Greek found his personal worthful


ness his individual denition i n hi s citi
, ,

ze nshi p. Apart from his city or his State


he would have l ost signicance He lived .

for the State There was an elegance a


.
,

s plendor about Greek patriotism that has


never been equaled elsewhere The R o .

m an too with his stoical devotion to the


, ,

State as the embodiment o f law and au


t hori t y developed a patriotis m no t un l ike
,

that of the modern Japanese Patriotism .

th us becomes a kind of stern religi on The .

individ u al counts not his li fe d ear unto


himself if its sacrice will add t o th e glory

of the State or help to m aintai n and to
vindicate the politica l i deals o f his State .

Modern Western peoples have develo ped a


similar passionate patriotism for th e State
as the expression of the ideals of liberty .

The Hebrews the race chosen to bring


,

to humanity i t s n oblest religious ideas ,


l

11
T H E MAST E R S E C RET

th e race wi th a gen i us f or Go d conce i ved ,

the State as a theocracy Jehovah was .

their super sovereign And Jehovah had


-
.

a great purpose t o be achieved through His


ch osen people T h e h umb l est Hebrew
.

shared in the gl ory of th e divine p urpose .

Through this people God w as t o sh ine u pon


t he nati ons . I nevitably they came to
i denti fy th e national li fe t h e stability and
,

p ower o f th eir government w ith the i n


t e gri t y and strength of th e divine pur p ose .

To th em it w as incredible th at th eir nati on


S hould no t be preserved T h ei r prophets
.

h ad one su p reme and never ending t ask -

i t w as t o h old th i s p eo p le to h umility o f
S pirit and to their religious ideals The .

t endency w as strong to become fanatically


o ver c o n de n t
-
nationally selsh p oliti
, ,

cally arrogant and reli giously as i ntolerant


,

as supercial .

Wh en the Hebrew na ti on w as h umil


i at e d before t h e nations and l eft crushed
and bleeding in the dust her great prophets,

s aw i n this the discipline of Jehovah The .

i deals o f the Hebrew s should not perish .

The nation should be p urged and puried .


A rem nant should carry forward the
divi ne p ur p ose The p ro p hets h ad the
.

12
T HE MAST ER S E C RET

savi ng salt of 1de ali sm They conce ived


.


the nation vi vidly as a p erson as a s uf ,

fe ri ng servant of Jehovah .


There then arose be fore Israel s great
p rophet the s u blimest ideal vision th at ever
lled the soul of a seer with divine af at us ,
.

Out of the bruised n ation there arise s be



fore his vision One whose face was so

m arred m ore than the face o f any man
, ,

that men were astonied at Him ' They

esteemed Him stricken smitten of God , ,



and al i c t ed . And it seemed as though

He should be cut off with none left to

perpetuate Him or to declare His gener

ation . Yet a m ore m arvelous concepti on

supersedes this of One despised and re
,

j e c t e d of men ' a Man of sorrows and


acquainted wi th grief : and as One fro m
who m m en h ide thei r faces The p i teous .

and repuls i ve and even h i d eous becom es


glori ous i n beauty and power .

A new truth is coming to vi ew Thi s .


Silent Su ff erer who as a shee p be fore his
,

shearers i s dumb opening not His m outh


, ,

has saving power I t pleased the Lord to


.


bruise Him to put Him to grief
, Ou t .

of this deep humiliation shall spring an


imm ort a l p ower that shal l make the kings
13
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

o f th e eart h s h ut t h ei r mouth s be fore



Him in awe He shall S ee of the travai l
.


o f H i s sou l an d s h all be satised Surely
.

He h at h borne our gri e f s and carri ed our


sorrows . He w as wounded for
our t ransgress i ons He w as bruised for
.

our i n i qu i ties ' th e chastisemen t of o u r


peace w as u p on Him ' and wi th His stri pes
we are h eale d All w e li ke sh ee p h ave
.
, ,

gone astray ' w e h ave turned every one n

to h is own w ay ' an d the Lord h at h lai d



on H i m the i n i qu i ty o f us all This one
.


Sh all i ndeed divide a p o rti on wi th the
great and the s p oil wi t h the
,

So th e vi si on I n the sixty th i rd o f -

I sai ah i s o f one th a t comet h f ro m E do m


with d ye d g arm ents f rom B ozrah Out .

from t he South th e p ro ph et sees a D el iverer


comi ng no t w i t h an army but alone
, , .

F rom th e ruins o f Jerusalem wi th d esolate d


tem p le and cruel humiliati on the seer be
h olds a Redeemer a p proach ing swaying ,

f orward not as one w ho staggers i n w eak


ness but as one wh o is invi ncible i n power
,
.


An d the One i s h eard to say I h ave
,

trod d en the w ine press alone .

There i s h ere no t alone th e boas t o f


Isai ah 5 3 .

14
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

single h anded vi ctory but the cry o f a


-
,

great and noble sorrow This MA N of the .


p rophet s vision has entered the Great
S oli tude where the soul must meet Duty
and D estiny and God alone .

The nob lest of the re dm e n used to send


th ei r youth singly and alone into the soli
t udes and the silences th ere for days and
,

nigh ts to remain silent under the stars that


they m igh t become aware of the Great
S pi ri t and o f their own souls .

I t wou ld be well if far m ore th an we


,

do we too cou l d send our youth i nto the


, , ,

so l itude an d the silence In th e desire for


seclusi on o f ten interpreted as moodiness
,

o f young peo pl e as they come f ace to face

wi th t h e great change from youth to


maturi ty in faci ng the mystery of life
, ,

th ere should be opportunity for self knowl -

edge self reverence and self mastery


,
-
,
-
.

The secre t th at lies deeply in the


Method of the Master is the secret o f rever

ence for one s own soul and reverence for ,

God Ou t o f th ese reverences spri ngs the


.


complementary reverence for other p eople s
souls All hopeful and sound social phi
.

IO S O p hy m u st take up this p rinciple of


reverence for the person And it i s in the .

15
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

S i naiti c sol i tudes and s i lences th a t men


grow reverent and i ndependen t and suf
ci e n t
. Only as men become aware o f
G od and o f thei r o w n souls can they stand
upon their ow n f eet an d hear i ntelligently
the vo i ce o f th e Lord .

We h ear m uch t o d ay abou t soc i al iz i ng


i ndustry about the soc i al state and about
, ,

the soc i al s i gn i cance of C h risti anity .

As a re cogniti on o f the di ffusion of th e


S pi rit o f C h risti an i ty and o f th e i ncreasing
comp l exity of the i ndustrial economic and
, ,

pol iti cal re l ati ons o f the age this h as ,

S ign i cance B ut there is the greater need


.

o f gras p m g th e trut h t h at li f e i s essent i ally

i nd i vid ual .

Al l soci a l relationship s h owever i m


,

p ortant are yet su percial compared wi t h


,

th e sou l s own indivi duality Ind ivi dual .

i sm i s t h e deepest philoso p hy of l i fe I ndi .

v i du ali s t s we must all be or become otsam

an d j etsam The social powers of m en l i e


.

i n the f act tha t as i nd i viduals th ey stand


i nde p endent and above m ere relationships
and can both criticise and control them .

Social ism i n the sense o f an absolute


,

p ri nci ple i s self destructive Society can


,
-
.

be C h risti an and enduring only as its


16
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

m embers become independent and i n t e lu


gent enough to make society Christian ,

through the ado p tion of the spirit of soc ial


service ' not by reversing the p rocess and
expecting to make m en Christian by social
izing industry and by the aid o f social
instituti ons However much value may
.

be attached to wholesome envi ronment ,

envi ronment can not create anything i t


can only o ff er favorable so i l in wh i ch living

seed may spring to fruitage A spiritual .

desert will never p roduce th e fruits of


righteousness h owever m uc h it m ay be
,

We need to com e back to th e everlast


i ng truth th at th e Soul and God al one
stand sure .

I t would be well i f we could res tore the


s ignicance of in di vidual conversion as th e

i nitiation of indi vi dual reli gious li fe .

Th e outward accompan im ents vi si b l e,


phenomena the tragic experiences are not


,

essential We could no m ore restore th e


.

camp meeting of one h undred years ago


-
,

with i t s b odily exerci ses which in them
,

selves p roted litt le than the rud e social


,

customs o f the frontier .

But wh en th e dee p seri ousness of th e


2
17
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

soul s p ersona l a pp roac h to God was l os t
or dimmed spiritual life began to lose its
,

deni te and distinctive character A so .

ci ali z ed Christ i anity tends to vagueness .

The p ro found personal conviction of re


lat i o nshi p w i t h God is blurred R eligion
.

becomes a mil d al truism good natured b ut,


-
,

l ac ki ng bot h i n c l earness o f vi si on and


strength o f convi cti on .

T h e mere see ki ng o f th e externa l as


p e c t s o f i ntense s pi ri t ua l ex p er i ences may
become i n the high es t degree artic i al a ,

sor t o f pretense a pl ay B ut th e bleaching


, .

of reli gion out i nto com m onplace morality


an d mere decency of li vi ng i s to rob re
li gi o n o f any d ee p s i gnicance or compell
i ng p ower and to blur th e eterna l i ssues o f
li fe As a matter o f conventions m ere l y
.
,

th e ten d ency t o s ag i s i rresi stib l e .

R eli gi on may o f necessi ty nd i ts ex


p ressi on i n soci al service but ye t socia l,

servi ce i s not reli gion .R eligion i s the



sou l s conscious response t o the Sp i rit and
the Wi l l o f God The soul must stand
.

solitary b e f ore Go d t o b e co m e self con -

sci ous .

After al l has been sai d that m ay be said


about the social signicance o f Chri sti an
18
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

an d mi sses something essential as life ,

i tsel f in the research of the biologists .

Into the holy mystery of the soul of Mary


we are permitted to l oo k R everence .

alone becomes us .

Around the Beth l eh em m an ger cradle -

and i n the tem p le are groups of devou t


souls that have visi on for th e glory of God .

At th e age o f tw elve Jesus in the temple



utters a most signicant word Wist ye ,

not t h at I must be about M y Father s ,


business ' Nothing more until His public
mi n i stry A mass of detail that would ll
.

vo l umes might have been given to ll these


blank i ntervening p ages and have se rved
only to con f use the signally signicant
t hing t h e deep lying motive the sou l
,
-
,

s ecret , th e true character o f th e i nd i


v i du ali t y of Jesus .

Le t u s come near h ere i n d ee p es t rev


,

erence to the p ower o f motherhood in


,

f orgi ng the soul o f th e child M ary s .

m aternal p rayer h as b een treasured Out .

of the spiritual passi on of her race she


voices th e Magn i cat The spirit of
.

p rophecy breathes through h er And in .

that atmosphere Jesus came .

A gain at the baptism and i n th e temp


,

20
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

t at i o n , a soul secret is revealed T he atti


-
.
t


tude of Jesus towards the Fath er s will ,

and His attitude towards the subtle temp


t at i o n s to world mastery by the meth ods
of the world make His inner life as an
,

open book .

So also the prayers of Jesus treasured


for u S as they were graven upon the minds
of Hi s disciples who heard Him as He
prayed or to whom He told the prayers
,

that were forged in His soul in the storm



and stress of His sorrow the prayers of
3

Jesu s given I n the most generous and



sacred and divine co n de n ce consti tu te a
so ul revelation nowhere equaled
-
.

So too the words from th e Cross are a


, ,

revelation

.

And this is th e m eth od o f God th e


M aster Secret of humanity that out of th e
dis c iple of solitude the soul shall come
with the beauty and strength of God

For every soul must bec ome like Ch rist .

Ev ery soul m u st become a savior Merely .

to end u re sorrow or temptation is not


enough The u se we make of life is the
.

mam thing We too must march breast


.
, ,

forward as Jesus did We too m us t .


, ,

know His bap tism .

21
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

Our p ersonal sorrow s are unbearab l e


because we meet them pettily and selshly .

Out from every great sorrow and our ,

deepest ex p eriences are inseparably linked


with sorrow we should come as Jesus did
, ,

with faces chastened but smitten with the


l ight of eternal day We h ave no righ t to
.

p ass through any d eep experience and


com e f or th l ess than wh en we entered
u p on it . N ot to crush an d bru i se and
weaken but to strengthen and ennobl e us
, ,

i s th e discipline of life given Th e bruised


reed He will not break an d th e smo ki ng



ax He wi l l not quench .

I t is a si n to mee t sorrow and not be


made better by i ts touch The stren gth .

o f God i s p romised not merely that we


,

may some h ow endure but t h at we may be


,


more th an conquerors We have the
.


righ t to pray Let the beauty of the Lord
,

our God be upon us . B ut the prayer can


not be answered unless our faces are lifted

t o the skies All chastening seemeth for
the present to be not j oyous but grievous '
yet afterw ard i t yieldeth peaceable frui t

unto them that are exercised thereby .

And this is the method o f God th e ,

m aster secret o f h umanity .

22
TH E MAST E R S E C RET

The n welcom e eac h re b uff



T hat t u rns earth s sm ooth ness rough ,

E ac h sti ng th at b id s not S it nor st and b ut go ' ,

B e o u r j oy s th re e p ar t s p ai n '
Strive and hol d c heap t he st rain '
,

Learn no r acco u nt t he pang ' dare never grudge


, ,

t he th roe

.

Th e i nner secret of a great life i s always


of fascinating interest I t will never cease .

to be of p rofound in teres t t o seek an



answer to th e questi on How did Lincol n ,

come to be '
Here too we are given a glimpse i nto
, ,

soul secrets He lost his mother when he


.

was but nine years old but her i nuence ,

was ineffaceable She seems to have been .

much abo ve the average of her associates


in i ntelligence and native renement But .

the h ardships of a pioneer life crushed out


her life This early bereavement left its
.

mark upon Lincoln I n his early man.

hood he loved with all the chivalrous de


v ot i on of his nature A nn R utledge who ,

sickened and died under circumstances


most pathetic Lincoln spent wi th her
.

the last hour of her consciousness She .

then relapsed in her brain fever into coma ,

and Linco l n went out into the mi dn i gh t o f


23
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

a grea t gri e f th at f or m onth s th rea tened


to unsettle his reason Biograp h ers h ave .

in general m ade bu t sl i gh t re ference to th e


deeply personal ex periences o f Li ncol n .

Ye t t hese great sorrows f ollowed by a l ife ,

o f continuous d i sa pp o i ntments cu l mi na ,

ting i n th e t aki n g in t o h i s ow n soul a



n a ti on s w oe p rod uced t h e L i nco l n wh om
,

we k now Out o f dee p sorrow th e M AN


.

came .H i s c h arac ter w as forged i n the


s to r m an d stress o f th e e l emental f orces

that h ave m ade g reat sou l s i n al l ages .


H e t oo could sa y
, , I h ave t rod d en the
,

wine p ress a l one .

We do no t know h o w di a m on d s are
m ade .N a t ure guards h er secre t wel l .

We know that diamon d s d o not ro t As .

you hol d th e p reci ous stone i n your h and ,

hither an d th i th er t urn i ng it t o see th e



ri ch light pl ay i n its m ysteri ous de p th s ,

you marve l as t o th e M aster S e cre t b y


which carbon i s t urned i n t o s pl en d or o f
light .

An d so w e m arve l at th e t ransgu rat i on


of personali ty i nto divi ne beauty and
power B ut here th e secret i s not so j eal
.

o u sly guarded God gives us glim p ses


.

i nto th e sou l s o f m en as H e h as i n to th e
24
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

soul o f H i s Son I t is no t i n mayd ays o f


.

transient delight that greatness of so u l is


achieved but in th e storm and stress i n

,

t h e solitudes i n the awful silence No .

l ife is strong that merely its in the su n


beams of summer days Often God will .

no t let us be so silly and triing and super


ci al as we wish The waters come i n .

upon our souls Ou t of the deeps we cry.

to God And He hears o u r c ry not merely


.
,

t o lift us out of the waters into which we


are sinking th rough unbelief but to make ,

us forever nobler and migh tier for th at


li ft o f the D i vine Hand .

T here are ( t hose) w ho h old lif e li ke a prec ious


st one ,

Hith er and thith er t u rning it t o see


T he ri c h li g ht pl ay i n i t s m y s t e r io us d e pt h s '
A nd oth e r m e n t o wh o m li fe see m s a b rid ge
By whi c h th ey pass t o thi ngs whic h li e b eyond '
A nd oth e rs still w ho c o u nt li fe b u t as wi ne
, , ,

I n whi c h th e y d ri n k th e i r pl e d ge s t o th e i r f ri e nd s .


B ut th e n th e re are t o wh o m l i fe s d e arne ss li e s

I n that it i s t he p re ssu re of God s h and ,

Wit h whic h He h old s o u r fee b le hand i n love ,

A nd m ake s u s k now o ursel ve s i n knowi ng

E xt ct f m t b k of Phi llip B k L if f
ra ro n o e- oo s roo s e o
Brooks All n V l I I p 3 6 6
, e . o . , . .

25
The Mas ter Mo tiv e
The n i d I Lo I a m c o m e '
sa , ,

I n t he r ol l of t he b oo k it i s wri tt e n of me
I d e li g ht t o do T h y will 0 m y God ' ,

Y ea T h y law i s wit hi n m y h eart


P
.
,

salm s 40: 7

'E SUS w as a revo l ut i on i s t He cam e .t o

establish a new order He w as a con


.

s tructive revoluti on i st an d a cons t ructi ve


,

revolu ti on i st is a true evoluti on i s t I n evo .

lu t i o n t h e hus ks are throw n o ff T h e vi .

tal i ty of th e see d i s conserved not de ,

stroyed The expansion o f a vital p rinciple


.

creates th e superci al i m p ressi on o f ruin '


but it i s destruc ti on t h a t th ere m ay be
construction ' i t i s deat h t h a t th ere may
be life ' it i s t h e birth pai n o f j oy .

The Old Testament and the ol d dis


p e n s at i o n contained s e e d T h ese men
. o f
vision saw f undamenta l i ssues and gras p ed
p ri nci p l es .

Th e conce p ti on th at li es bac k o f this


forti eth psalm i s nob l e Here i s a p er
.

Al
so H b w 10
e re s

26
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

Jesus cam e t o l ift i n t o power th e new


l aw . The p rinci p le of His life w as not
j ustice but l ove
, He did not come to.

teach men to stand stoutly f or their rights



and f or t h e square deal He taught and .

i llustrated a sor t o f noble cont empt for


m ere p e t ty p ersona l right s an d pre roga
t i ve s .


Ye h ave h eard th a t it w as sa id An ,

eye f or an eye an d a t ooth for a tooth :


but I say unto you R esist no t him t h at is ,

evil : but wh osoever smiteth th ee on thy


ri gh t c h eek turn to him the other also
, .

And wh osoever shall compel thee to go one


m ile go wi th him twain
,
Give to h im .

that asket h thee and from hi m that would


,

borro w o f t h ee t urn not th ou away
, .

Wh at o f i t He seems to say and th e


, ,

m essage gains compelling S i gnicance i n



the light of H i s own life what of it if men ,

do impose u p on you in th e things of petty


ambition Be nobly improvident h ere
. .

You h ave innitely nobler bus i ness than


to be greatly concerned about your coat
or cloak The M aster M otive lies deeper
. .

Neither can you a fford to su ffer loss of


energy and i nuence and to become be
28
TH E MAST ER M OTIV E

meaned by squabbling wi th rude i m pe rt i


mence . I f one strike thee on the right
cheek turn to him the other also
, .

So ldiers engaged in an urgen t cam


p aign explorers see king th e pole h unters
, ,

on the chase ' nay better still statesmen


, ,

who have grasped commanding ideals ,

apostles with a burning message souls ,

with a destiny to fulll can afford to dis


,

card im p edimenta .

A great p u rpose a mighty moti ve makes


,

men apparently reckless of lesser things .


They press towards the prize of a hi gh
calli n g .

Thus th e M ast er Secret of J esus be


comes His M aster Motive Here as else .

where the centrally great in principle be


comes th e d u ty o f men The humblest .


become possessors of the greatest Life s .

eternal val u es are not reserved for the


great of this world God has revealed
.

them unto babes The M aster Moti ve is


.

his who loves God prizes t h e simple S in


.
,

cere life that is willing to accept the great


law Jes u s was not a cynical Diogenes
.

carrying a lantern by daylight loo king for



a man Jesus searched the souls of men
.

29
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

f or capaci ty o f sympathy wit h t h e master


p assion of His own l i fe and found such
,

capacity .

I nto this great and M aster M otive He


inducted men who were willing And He .

has forever been doing so The company .

of sou l s th us linked to H i m th rough the



brief centuri es is indeed a noble com

pany . T h e p ower of th e M aster M otive
grows .

B ut l e t us see t h e na t ure o f thi s M as ter


M otive .

Jesus as h as been sai d was a con


, ,

structive revolutionist a true evoluti onist


, .


He t reated the l aw wi th p ro found
res p ect He evaluated the p ast and the
.

treasures of tradition innitely better than


th e o fcial custodians of l aw and religion .

He grasped the p rinciples tha t l ay i m


be dded i n law an d t rad i ti on an d se t these

princi p les free .

Now i n the t reatmen t o f th e Hebrew


,

l aws b y Jesus there is an attitude that


S hould greatly interest us m this age o f
science when the spirit and the method o f
science impel us to look into the nature of
things for their inherent law or principle .

Jesus saw the ultimate si gnicance of


30
T HE MAST ER M OTIV E

God s unwri tten law as t reasured by the
Hebrew faith That law reached back to
.

and served as an educational discipline for


the elemen t al forces th at i nhere i n human
nature .

Take for exampl e H i s treatment o f


, ,

marriage Here is an elemental instinct


. .

Man shares it with the animals Jes u s


recognizes and respects this mating i n

s t i nc t
. He said He which made them
,

from the beginning made them male and



female . God the Creator and Father is
recogn ized in th e natural law Comple .

mentary to th i s natural law is the religio u s


law of marriage which makes this rela
t i o n shi p the h olies t an d m ost binding o f
social bonds .

The Hebrews gave women a social and


legal status in advance of the customs of

their age Wives could not be put away
.

w ithout legal p rocedure and bills of di


v orce m e nt But even so Jesus declared
.
, ,

that such p utting away was a fail u re

of the social purpose in God s law He .

holds up to men the ideal of marriage that


is forever perfect because it grasps the
,

ultimate spirit and p u rpose of God in the


natural and religious institution of mar
31
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

r i age . Always and ever as m an an d


w oman under Christian auspices stand a t
the marriage altar the relationship es ,

t ab li sh e d is hallo w ed by t h e authoritative
i deals of Jesus His is th e ultimate truth
.

about this as about every o th er f unda


m ental f ac t an d relat i on .

So also i s H i s treatmen t o f p rayer an d


o f al msgivi n g an d o f Sabbath observance .

He gras ped p ri nc i p l es His w ords were .

S p irit an d l ife His was th e work o f a


.

constructi ve revoluti on i s t .

And now i n regard t o th e m os t f unda


,

m ental o f al l p ri nciples t h e Master Moti ve ,

o f life He s p eak s with ulti ma te authority


, .

T h e disciples i n thei r p ersonal j e al


,

o u si e s and ambit i ons f urn i s h th e occasi on ,

f or His teach ing .

Th e desi re f or m as tery i s an e lemental


p assion It h as i ts use like every other
.

i nstinct I n t h e brute it wil l be very


.

brutal I n brutal men it wi l l be worse


.

th an brutal N o brute can be so bru ta l


.

as a bruta l m an T h e bru te l acks t h e


.

f aculties and p owers o f a fallen angel that


m ay be perverted to i ngenious malevolence .

The struggle for mastery I s I n the


b l ood This elementa l p assi on nee d s ed u
.

32
TH E MAST ER MOTIV E

cation and direction In its more elemental


.

forms it may become the Master Motive


i n the savage strife for chieftainship .

The terric battle for the leadership of


the wild h erd of beasts i s almost more
noble th an the struggles for mastery
among men when this struggle i s undis
,

c i p li ne d by w or t hy motives and ideals .

B usiness competition may be as merciless


as the brute struggle for mastery .

One stage of advance is gained when


c o operation sup p lants competition
-
Even .


the trusts with all th eir actual and pos
,

sible evils are essentially an advance b e


,

yond selsh and narrow competition A .

s tep farther needs to be taken in trust



organization and e ffect the taking into
account the silent partners the public t he
, ,

f amilies of working men society, .

And in the control of i ndustry and o f


industrial organization the function of
,

government is largely th at of umpire or


referee to see that the i mp roved rules of
the game are observed by all .

Now this is well B ut again let it be


.
,

said that Jesus and the Christianity of


Jesus do not nd the goal of purp ose here

in the square deal .

3
33
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

T h e p ri ncipl e th e Savi or came t o teac h


and to give rst place as the M aster M otive
of men was not to secure merely the

square deal , bu t to i m p lan t i n men a
noble an d generous p urpose t o serve
others to mi n i ster i n th e highes t i nterests
,

of life .

This is th e M oti ve whi ch He se ts b e


f ore men as th e goal o f amb i ti on This .

p rimal insti nc t to gain supremacy i s to be


di s crp li n ed b y l ove unti l the consu m ing
p assi on of life s h al l be not t o gain but to
give O f such i t may be sai d
.

L ove t k up t he harp of life


oo , and s ru t ck o n all

t h e c h ord s with mi g ht
Struc k t he c hord of se lf whic h
, , t re mb li ng ,
p asse d
i n m u si c o ut of sigh t

.

Jesus h as come to i mplant t hi s motive


and to make i t supreme U nder the
.


tyranny of the instant even exponents
o f the gospel o f ten miss the mark I n a .

recent sermon whic h was so much ap


p r e c i at e d as to be requested f or publica
tion and used in extens i ve c i rculati on ,

occurs t h i s sentiment :
34
TH E MAS T ER S E C RET

w ord C h ri stian stands centrally for j ust


this loyalty in spirit and conduct to the
,

M aster M oti ve .

Here i s the true p h i l oso ph y o f life .

H ere lies t h e true denition o f desti ny .

D estiny is not blind fate but th e o p en


,

door of opportunity whi ch one mus t enter


or never know the secret of Go d Des tiny .
,

i n the Christian concepti on i s no t blind


,

f ate but a p ossibility that must be real ized


,

i n d en i te consecration and achievement .


True life is an heroic achievement .

F a t e never does an yth ing good or i ll for


anybody T h ere i s no moral destiny save
.

t h at which is ach i eved either for goo d or


evil by the response wh ich one makes to
th e envi ronment about him and the use he
makes o f the tendenc i es and aptitudes
w ithin h im .

So i t often h app ens th a t a whi te l i ly


rises somewhere ou t of th e socia l mire and

looks i nto God s face with the purity o f
h eaven The secret o f character i s here
.

the response of life to the will of God .

Fate apparently decreed that a forlorn


lad born in Kentucky i n 18 09 robbed of ,


his angel mother at nine with a settled
,

m elancholy i n hi s very soul that gave


36
TH E MAST ER M OT IV E

p ath os t o his ri ch humor disappoi nted for


,

fty years in almos t every cherished am


b i t i o n sho u ld be a Western frontiersman
, ,

i gnorant and coarse limited as were his


,


associ ates at best a rough Western law
yer But destiny decreed otherwise And .


i n all reverence we must say th a t Honest
Abe and Divine Providence worked to

geth er to prod u ce our country s savior .

Such destiny may be lost as certainly


as it may be won I t i s the t ragedy o f
.

humanity that many doubtless go vision


less and unblest thro u gh l ife who might
have seen the glory of God and might have
wrought at a task that would make angels
envio u s .

A letter from a friend elevated to a



high o fce bore th is petition Pray that,

I may not only ll an o fce but do a ,


work . And the work par excellence of
men of Christian faith is to make supreme

the M aster Motive of Jesus I am in the ,

midst of you as he th at serveth .


Destiny is thus to be achieved We .

have b u t to issue commands says M aeter ,



l inck and fate will obey There is noth
, .

i ng in the world that will o ffer such l ong



an d p ati ent s ubmission .

37
The Ma s t er W or d
B ut T h ee b ut T hee O S overe ign Se er of t i me
, , ,

B u t T h ee O p oe t s P oe t wi sd o m s T o ng u e
, , ,

B u t T h e e O m an s b e st Man O l ove s bes t L ove

, , ,

0 p e rfe c t li fe i n p e rfe c t lab o r w rit ,

0 all m e n s C o m rad e Se rvant ' i ng or P ri e st



, , ,

Wh at if o r yet what m ol e what aw w hat lap se


, , , ,

What l east d e fe c t or shad ow of d efe ct ,

W hat r u m o r tattl e d b y an e ne m y ,

O f i nfe re n ce l oose what lac k of grace


,

E v e n i n t o rt u re s g ras p o r s l ee p s or d eath s

,

Oh what a miss m ay I forg ive i n T h e e


, ,

'es u s good Parago n T h ou C ry st al C h ri st '


LA N I E R
, ,

Th ou art t he C h r i st , t he Son of t he liv i ng


Go d.
Matt 16 : 16 . .

E VE R Y great man imposes upon the world


the task of understanding him Thus .

philosophy is still and destined always to


be largely an interpretation of Socrates
and Plato of Descartes and Kant and
,

Hegel From these mountains that hold


.

the snows o f summer upon their bosoms


the valleys are nourished All literature .

of power carries within itself the spiritual


g u lf streams that spring from the master
souls w ho h ave lived in the great p ast .

38
T HE MAST ER WO R D

I t is therefore in harmony with a


f u ndamental law that Christianity should
consist chiey I n an interpretati on of
Christ And when Jesus turned to His

disciples with t h e q u e st i on Who do men

,

say that I t h e Son of man am '
,
and the
,

farther and more direct question Who say ,



ye that I am ' he asked the most search
ing and si gnicant question of the ages .

The designation of Himself as th e



Son of man is interesting This was a .

term of reproach applied to Him by His


enemies They had said contemptuo u sly
.
,

this Jesus is j ust one of the common



people a son of man
, The disciples
.

never use the expression when addressing


J esus or speaking of Him But Jesus .

picked up this term of reproach a bitter ,

epithet and wore it The mud thrown at


, .

Jesus by malignant hands was t rans gu red


into a jewel upon His breast So He .

lifted the cross and was lifted u p on it


from ignomy to glory .

Jesus accepted the designation He .

identied Himself with the common people .


Jesus was the world s great democrat .

And yet He invites such confession


concerning Himself as lifts Him into
39
T HE MAST ER S E C R E T

di vi ne pre eminence
-
Wh en Peter said.
,

Thou art the Christ the Son of the ,

living God J esus w as profoundly moved


, ,

and placed upon this confession the deep


est signicance B lessed art thou Simon
.
,

B arj ona ' for esh and blood hath not re


veal ed i t unto t h ee but M y Father wh i ch
,

i s i n Heaven And I say unto thee that


.
,

t h ou art Peter and upon this rock I will


,

bu il d M y Church ' and the gates of h e ll



sh all no t p revail against i t .

Some centuries have passed si nce Jesus


th us stood with His disciples at the h ead
w aters o f the beautiful sea Ther e by the .

sho re wh ere th e w aves caressed the sands


,

like a lover s ki ss or h urled their ponderous
,

w eight u p on the rocks and cli ff s breaking ,

with th e laughter o f Ti tans Jesus asked ,



the G reat ' uestion Wh o do men say that
,

I the Son o f man am '
, Wh o d o ye
,

s ay that I am '

Jesus with His discipl es h ad


,
re ,

treated into t h e coasts o f C aesarea Phil
i ppi I t is said that in th i s region are the
.


two springs Jor
, and Dan whose ,

combined waters are the source of the


river that bears th ei r comb i ned names ,

th e Jordan .

40
TH E MAST ER WO R D

Jesus loved the sol i tude th e open sky , ,

the mountain sides the trees and the


, ,

water . He loved folks too ' but He,

got away from the crowd at times to be


alone with God and with His disciples .

There is perfect wholesomeness and p oise



i n the Master s soul .

I nt o t he woo d s m y M ast er went ,

C l ean fo rspe nt fo rsp e nt


, .

I nto t he woo d s my M ast er came ,

Forspe nt with l ove and Sham e .

B u t t he o live s th e y we re not b li nd t o H i m ,

T he littl e gray l eave s we re ki nd t o H i m


T he th orn t ree had a mi nd t o Him
-

Wh en i nt o t he wood s He came .

Ou t of wood s my M aster we nt
t he ,

A nd He w as we ll c o nt e nt .

Ou t o f t he woo d s m y M ast e r cam e ,

C o nt e nt with d eath and s h am e .

Wh e n Death and S ham e wou ld w oo Him last ,

F rom u nd e r t he t ree s th ey d rew Him last :



T w as o n a t ree th e y sl e w Him la t s

Wh e n o ut of t he wood s He

I t w as here in the retreat by the head



waters o f the Jordan when Jesu s came

into the coasts of C aesarea Philippi that
Jesus elicited the Great Confession He .

A B allad f T
o and t h
ree s Ma t Lani
e s er . er.

41
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

asked a leading question : he drew Peter


out The time had come for the disciples
.

to know the sweep and power the maj esty ,



of their Lord s personality He was no .

mere rabbi after the order o f the teachers


of Israel .

I n an swer t o H i s ques ti on Wh o d o ,

m en say th at I t h e Son o f m an am '
, ,

the disci ples repeate d wha t men w ere say


i ng in thei r attempts to understand Jesus .

Some say J o h n th e Ba p tist ' some E lias '


an d oth ers J ere m ias or one o f the p roph

ets.

Al l th ese were a p preci at i ve esti mates .

This w as the best men knew T h ey cou l d ,

give Jesus no higher h onor .

B u t Jesus el i ci ted an d w el come d an


entirely di ff eren t est i mate o f H i msel f .


Though He called H i msel f th e Son o f

man when Peter said
, Thou art th e
,

Christ the Son of t h e l i vi ng God Jesus
, ,

replied Fles h an d b l ood h at h no t re


,

vealed i t unto t h ee bu t M y Fa th er wh ich


,

art in Heaven .

I f Jesus ever s t ated th e centra l and


vital princi ple o f religion i t i s here This, .

answer in t he Great Confession i s the


cl i max the consummat i on o f reve l ati on
, .

42
TH E M AST E R S E C RET

road wi th th ei r garmen t s and wi t h th e


branches of trees and there came from the
,


multitudes a spontaneous Hosanna in

the highes t that anthem f rom a people s
heart has never ceased to ech o round the

worl d t h a t t oo w as a grea t d ay for
, ,

h umani t y .

B u t th e clim ax an d th e consummati on

o f Go d s revel ation i n Jesus Chri s t was
no t a t th e tem pt ati on and th e mastery of
evil nor i n th e s p on taneous acclaim of the
,

m ul ti tu d e bu t i n the momen t o f i llumina


,

tion wh en there s p rang f rom t he soul o f



m an th e Great Confession Thou art the ,

C h ri s t th e Son o f t h e livi ng God
, .

And as Jesus p ut Himsel f to th e test


th ere i n P ales ti ne so He d oes i n the wider
,

el d o f h uman hi story Jesus was no


.

p rovi nci al ' He s p o ke i n worl d terms He ,

deal t with h uman i t y and Hi s p rogram


,

com p ri ses t h e ages .

And He s t ands be f ore us t o d ay wi th -


the same questi on Wh o d o men say
,

tha t I the Son o f m an a m '
, Wh o do
,

ye say that I am '
Jesus Chris t can no t be i gnored He .


has so wrou gh t Himsel f i nto humanity s
bes t l ife th a t t o i gnore H i m i s i nsane .

44
TH E M AST ER WO RD

There are vari ous schools o f medicine but ,

underneath all medical sci ence are the


forces of nature that heal There are many .

kinds of architecture b u t none can ignore


,

the power we call gravitation Jesus .

stands central in the spiritu al life of the


world . Sects may di ffer and even war
among themselves but none can do wi th
,

out Christ .Severed from Him ethics ,

and reli gion both are withered branches ,

and fr u itless The stamp of His authority


.

i s upon the very principles which men


must use i n making moral j u dgments and ,

religious faith nds its denition in Him .

I b v e as a motive force in the world springs


from this life which John declares w as and

i s the Light of the world .

Then as now th ere are various answers


to the Great ' uestion B u t none now
.

speak ill of Him He has silenced all cavil


.

and shamed all contempt Many lips .

still speak His name in coarse and brutal


blasphemy but even such do no t know
,

what they say or do not mean what they


s ay
. Taken seriously and sincerely men ,

reverence Christ Like the coarse blus


.

t e re r who was s u bdued before a great


painting of th e C hrist and unconsciously
45
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

removed his hat and s p o ke softly so all ,

men do Him reverence .

Yet this kind of res p ect is no t su fcien t .

To p lace Him with the great and good ,

and to call Him one of the pro ph ets does ,



no t su fce The R ock alone su fcient
.


to support the C h urch is the recognitio n

of Jesus as th e Chri st th e Son o f the
,

living God .

And this recogn i tion i s born wi thi n


m en by the light of the E ternal Flesh .

and blood does not reveal it This i nward .

convi ction of th e Deity o f Jesus is i nspired


by God H i mself wi thin t h e souls of men .

At rst glance it seems an aston i shin g


thing that Peter o f all men sh ould be the
, ,

one from w ho m Jesus Shou ld elicit this


confess i on and that to h i m o f all men
, , ,


sh ould be given the designati on R ock ,
.

B ut P eter was capable o f utter sin


ce r i t y and of clear conviction courage to ,

step out into new light capacity f or truth


, .

This impul sive and uctuating m an coul d


become as stable as granite O f ten we
.


have heard Peter discussed as a weak
man . This is not a true esti mate A .

mere weakling is incapab l e o f t ruth .

Jesus sel ect ed Hi s man P e ter was ca p a


.

46
TH E MAST ER WO R D

ble later of the broader interpretation o f


the gospel and broke down the middle
,

wall of partition between the Jews and


the Gentiles He voiced the world message
.
-

of salvation .

And strong men and women capable ,

of conviction and capable of truth capable ,

of power ' men and women resourceful ,

and of warm sympathies and capable of,

splendid devotion are needed now The


,
.

progress o f the Kingdom of Christ rests


upon men and women who can do things .

But the absolute importance of that



initial convi ction wi thin the sou l born o f

God can not be overlooked Nothing .

less than this evidence that God th e Father


had by His Spirit wrought conviction and
given vision to the soul satised the
Master . He was not looking for mere
personal regard from men They might .

hav e exhausted language to speak words


of mere eulogy but that would not have
,

satised the eager inqu i ry of Jesus All .

thro u gh the ages there h ave been such


words spoken of Jesus as no other has
ever elicited .

Jean Paul Richter c rie d out i n ecs t asy



of Jesus , Th e mightiest am ong th e p ure
47
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

and the purest among the m i gh ty wh ose ,

pier c ed hands have lifted empires off their


hinges turned the stream of th e centuries
,


out of its channel and still rules the ages
, .

Such intellects as Carlyle and Browning


have given their unstinted eulogy to this

Crystal Chri s t .

Yet suc h tes ti mony alone is not suf



ci e n t there i s a sense o f i ncompleteness
an d insu fc i enc y abou t i t all We load .

o u r shelves wi t h the l iterature o f Christ

ology and it is th e m ost w onderf u l liter


,

ature of the ages ' but the ultimate revela


ti on of His divinity is not there i t is
w ithin the soul of the humble believer .


Behold said Jesus to ord i nary men
, ,

l ike ourselves Behold th e Ki ngdom of


, ,

Heaven 1s within you The Great Con .

f e ssi o n born I n the sou l by the Spirit of


,

God that Jesus i s th e C h ri st i s alone


, ,

s u fcient .

I t is not unusual to try and i nterpret


Christ and Christian i ty solely in terms o f
charity I t is easy to remember th e
.

emphasi s Jesus Himself placed upon doing


go od and to forget this central emphasis
which He placed upon the Grea t Con
fessi o n .

48
T HE MAST ER WO R D

Pau l se iz ed u p on th e vital princi ple o f



Christian religion wh en he said Though ,

I give my bod y t o be burned and all m y


goods to f eed th e p oor and have not ,

charity i t p ro t et h me noth ing
,
The .

spirit of love o f wh i ch Paul speaks is to


be i nde n t i ed with the Great Confession
of his own Deity o f wh i ch C h rist Himself
,

s p eaks .

Not m ere l y to do good important as ,

doing good may seem but th e summons to ,

a Christian life i s a summ ons to the Great


Confessi on This faith i n th e Son of man
.

as th e Christ i s the fruitful fai th of all th e


ages .

I t is th i s fai th for whi ch m en are willing


to die as C h inese Christians S howed them
,

selves will i ng t o do i n th i s m odern age o f


m arty rs Not for a dogma or a system
.
,

of moral teaching and good w orks but for ,

Him who died for them men and tender ,

women and even children are willing to


, ,

die. This f aith has i nspired in men


supreme allegiance to Jesus Christ .

In the Great Confession lies the dy


nam i cs of faith The Church Jesus
.

founded is not an ethica l culture club nor


a charity organiz ation bu t a body of ,

4
49
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

di scipl es wh o s h are a common f ai th Th e .

Great Confession i s t h e master w ord o f


un i on Believing men m ay h ave th e W i d
.

est di ff erence upon other questi ons bu t ,

I n answer to th e Supreme ' uesti on th e y



give on e answer , Thou ar t th e C h ri s t ,

th e Son o f th e l i vi n g Go d.

There are tw o symbolic narra ti ves i n


th e Bible t h a t h ave com p lementary si g
n i cat i on
. At th e Tower o f B abel t h ere
was con f usi on o f t ongues Here w as the
.

symbo l o f amb iti on and selsh ness and


m aterialism an d t he con f usi on th e s p ir
,

i t u al con f usi on th a t results


, .On t he day
of Pentecost on t h e contrary m en h eard
, ,

each in h i s ow n tongue the marvel ous


m essage o f the gospel and there was unity .

U ltimately all disunion and discord wi l l be


h arm on iz ed i n th e Grea t Con fessi on .

50
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

N ver t o b e agai n ' B u t m any m o re of t he ki nd


e

A S g ood nay b e t t e r p erc h anc e : i s thi s y o u r com


, ,

fort t o m e '
T o m e w h o m u st b e save d b e cau se I c li ng w i t h m y
,

mi nd
T o t he sa m e sam e se lf sa m e l ove sam e Go d : ay
, , , ,

what w as shal l b e
B R O WN I N G
, .
-
.

T h ere c omes a m o me nt i n l ife w h en m oral


b eaut y see m s m ore u rge nt m ore p e net rati ng th an ,

i nte l l e ct ual b eau t y ' wh e n all t he mi nd has t reas


u re d m u st b e b ath e d i n t h e gr ea t ne s s o f so u l l e st it ,

p eri s h i n t he sand y d ese rt forl orn as t he river t h at ,

se e ks i n vai n f or t h e s ea

Let t he b eaut y of t he Lord o ur God b e u p on

us .
P salms

I w as not disobe dient un o t t he H eav enl y


vi sion .
P aut .


A nd t
d H i m u nto Hi s di s
He ( 'esu s) u rn e

c i p le s a nd sa i d p r i vat e l y B l e sse d are t he eyes



,

wh i ch see t he th i ngs t h at ye see L u ke 10: 2 3 .



.

A nd i t shall c o m e to p ass i n t he l ast day s , sa it h


Go d,
I will p o ur fort h of M y S pi ri t u po n all esh
A nd y o u r so ns and y o u r d au g ht e rs s h all p ro ph e s y ,

A nd y o u r y o u ng m e n s h all se e v i si o ns ,

A nd y o u r o ld m e n S h all d rea m d rea m s


Y ea and o n m y se rvant s and o n m y h andm aid ens
,

i n th o se d ay s
Will I po u r fo rth of M y Sp iri t ' and t h ey Sh all

p rop hesy A cts 2 .

.

52
VISION AN D TASK

S E A' A RE R S take their bearings fro m the


stars At stated intervals though upon
.
,

familiar waters they determine their own ,

latitude and longitude by fresh observa


tions of the heavenly bodies The con .


servation of life s great reverences the ,

preservation of faith in th eir own spiritual


capacity the gift o f vision the worth of
, ,


personality the fac t of God th ese are
,

the xed stars by which m en m ust get


their reckonings .

Two things are to be noted concern i ng


the man of vision First he has the right .
,

of way To him other men must listen


. .

He has the signicant word And second .


,

the intimate and vital relationship be t ween


vision and task Vision and task go to .

gether Without vision there can be no


.

purposeful task And without denite task .

the power of vision is lost M r Cham . .

b e rlai n in a remarkable discussion of the


,

relationship between po etry and music '

shows that music except as wedded to ,

poetry loses deni te signi cance and tha t


, ,

poetry nds i t s com p letest and h ighest


expression in m usical form Thus too .
, ,

' ' ou ndati ons of the N i neteenth C entury , C hamberlai n ,


vol . II p, .5 06 .

53
TH E MAST E R S E C RET

v i si on and tas k stand i n mu t ual and i n ter


de p endent relation .

B ut vision must have validity The .

m ore thoroughly penetrating and search


m g i n i ts test o f realities the power of vision
becomes t h e greater the range and sweep
,

and constructive use o f th is power Angelo


.

greatly i ncreased the p ossibilities of art


by his thoroughly ori ginal and f ai th fu l
s t udy of human anatomy His gures de
.

p arted absolutely f rom the conventi on al


style o f treatmen t t hat had p revailed .

H is men h ad skeletons and muscles an d


n erves all as faithfully underlying the
s u p ercia l p ainting or sculpture as thoug h

h e had b een a teacher o f anatomy Nature


.

i s i nn i tely richer than unintelligent f ancy .

Task and VI S I O n here in t h e master o f art


i n its nobles t f orms were most i nti ma tel y
W edde d .

There i s a traditi on cherished th at


Hiram Ab i ( or Hiram the master) who ,

h ad charge o f t h e building of Solomon s
Temple was slain
, . The man of vi sion
h aving b een removed confus i on resulted
, .

There could be no progress wi thout de


nite plans from the m an of vi si on Like a .

sw arm o f bees whose queen h ad been


54
VISIO N A N D TAS '
killed there was chaos Sacred tradition
,
.


also tells us of an ancient skyscraper ,


the Tower of Babel work upon which ,

fell into chaotic disorder by reason of a



confusion o f tongues Here , too is
.
,

suggested the l oss o f vision Before .

Michael Angelo was comm i ssi oned to plan



St Peter s there had been many designs
.
,


submitted f ussy elaborate and ambi
,

tious confused and lacking in both dignity


,
'

and unity o f conception At l ast th e


master had a vi sion of the great dome


swung between heaven and earth th at it
was the tas k o f the age to realiz e i n m arble
and gold .

So into th e pet ty politics and policies ,

the selsh ambition of rulers and States ,

God th rusts forward now and again a


statesman th e man of vision and out of
, ,

confusi on an d ch aos governments spring


that embody new and grander ideas of
national power and purpose .

Sometimes the doer and the seer are


not the same but di fferent men who work
,

together Hegel at the siege of Jena


.
, ,

working away at his window on the con


cluding chapters of his Phenomenology

of Spirit while Napoleon with an arm y
, ,

55
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

o f a h undred t h ousand men w as p ounding


,

the city s defenses to p ieces was laying ,

down in de ni t ene ss of conce p tion th e


ideal of nati onal solidarity t h at af terwards
Bismarck for Germany and L i ncoln for
America made so e ffective i n th e most
notable p olitica l achievemen ts o f th e age .

So M azzin i an d Gari baldi Cavour an d


,

t h e I mmanuels h ave cons pi red togeth er



w rough t to geth er f or the new I taly .

Withou t the m en o f vi si on th e restless


energies o f men w ould p erhaps mark ti me
on battleelds and i n h alls of legi slati on '
but there could be no p rogress .

The Bible metho d culminates i ts record


of vision and th e p ower of visi on 111 t he

m ost marvelous o f all vi si ons th e vi sion
and the p ower o f visi on i n th e mi n d o f
the M aster J esus was th e grea test of all
.

t h e p rophets o f a rem ar k able lineage o f


,

men of vi s i on Jesus c h eri shed the power


.

of vision as th e hi gh es t p ower th a t even


H e p ossessed .

On the M oun t o f Transgurati on th ere


was converse about t h e f uture Here the .

S p i ri tua l statesmanship of the centuri es


m ap p ed out th e progra m of the ages to
come .
' esu s c h er i s h e d th e p o w er o f
56
VISION AN D TASK

vi si on i n H i s discipl es He did not at


.

tempt to shield them from the storm and



stress of world conict He sent them .


forth to breast the world As a su fcient .

safeguard He promised them spiritual


,

bap tism . And when the promise found



distinctive fulllment on t h e Day of
P entecost a man of vision stood up to
,

say , Th i s i s that which hath been spoken .

A nd it shall b e i n t he last days saith God , ,

I W ill po u r forth o f M y S pir it u po n all e sh


A nd yo u r so n s and y o u r d au g ht ers s hall p ro ph e sy ,

A nd y o u r y o u ng m e n s hall se e v i sio ns ,

A nd yo ur o ld m en s h all d ream d rea m s


Yea and o n M y se rvant s and o n M y hand
,

maid ens i n those days


Will I po ur forth of M y S pirit and th ey Shall ,

p roph esy .

The m eth od o f Jesus i s thus i n pro


f ound h armony with the method of prog
ress elsewhere I t would be strange if in
.

the su p reme matters of the Spirit and in ,

the execution of a world program Jesus ,

Christ should not i llustrate the very


h ighest use of the power o f vision He .

gave His disciples little of ritual and noth


ing of organization Baptism and a Prayer
.

and a S u pp er o f Spiritual Fellowshi p .

57
TH E MAST E R S E C RET

These see m a meager program f or w orld


organization . B ut in the hearts of the
men He sent forth lay the M aster Secret
and the M aster M otive And th e source.

o f i ns p iration w as open to the m i n th e


p resence o f th e Comforter With such .

equi p men t men become invincible They .

an d t hei r vision belon g t o t h e a ges an d ,



th ei r t ask i s human i ty s task .


Your young men s h all see vi si ons .

You th is the time of vision T h e wo rl d .

p rogresses no farther i n any generati on


th an i ts young men can see i n its begin
n i n g The achievemen t of an age wil l not
.

go an i nch beyond the dreams o f i ts s p ir


i t u al architec ts . Th e ch i sels of the w ork
men wi ll never cu t ou t f rom marble or
gran it e any nobler statues th an those tha t
live in t h e imaginati on of the artis t who
conceives and directs t h e i r labors I f we .

w ould measure men w e mus t k now the


,

size o f t h ei r convicti ons the m ora l girth


,

of their ideas U ltimately the m easure o f


.
,

man must be the radius o f his vi si on the ,

sweep of his h orizon the outlook from the


,

t owers o f his soul The opportune time for


.


mastering life s spiritual geometry i s in
th e dew y morn i n g wh en th e bird s are
,

58
T H E MAST ER S E C RET

t h eo l ogy . Someti mes th is i s no te d as


though Paul had so modied the original
teaching of J e sus and the belief of the dis
c i p le s as to vitiate the purity of the
original t eaching On the contrary it was
.
,

this man of vision w ho saw the signicance


of th e Cross and lifted in into place and
p ower forever as the central symbol of
f ai th Here was t h e man of discrimination
.

w hose call to apostleship was so important


and signicant that we have the record o f
the remarkable ex p erience To this on e .

man as though thus t o se t out the supreme


,

i m port o f his future task Jesus appeared ,

an d u p on hi m laid the M aster task of the


ages He w as the seer whose vision should
.

culminate the p ro p hetic foreshadowings o f


m any centuri es an d form the basis of th e
p rogram of future ages Wh en Jesus l eft .

t o His discipleship the great commiss ion


t o go into all th e world preaching th e
gospel He gave to this man o f vi si on
,
.
,

born out of due time t he t as k o f de n
,

i ng the commission .

The culmination o f t h e d i vi ne p urp oses


i s to be found in the realm o f h uman per
s o n ali t i e s and h u man achievement Here .
,

if an yw here t he f unction o f vision will nd


,

60
VISIO N AN D TASK

perpe t ual place . Is any U topia of eco


nomic j ustice to be realized in this world
of selsh struggle ' I t will be when and ,

only when men of vi sion share incre asingly


,

the vi sion of Jesus and the compassion of


Jesus and make both the vision and the
,

passion compelling upon society Will the


.

dream of democratic eq u ality ever be more



than a dream ' I t will when men of
commanding leadership are possessed with
unshakable convi c tion that the ethics of
democracy have divine sanction when ,

they make all men see the beauty and th e



truth of the world s great Democrat Jesus ,

the Christ Shall the world be Christian


.

i z ed or shall a hybrid religion an eclectic


, ,

patchword creed weak and ineff ective as


,

such hybrids and patchworks always are ,

gradually usurp the place of a denite


faith and leave even the most virile of
races characterless mongrels with shadow
gods of abstract speculation ' I f the world
i s Christianized it will be by reason o f the
,

leadership of men and women of vision


who possess the audacity of a mighty faith
and who grip the world with the power of
valid vision .

The ti me h as come either to vindicate


61
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

the c l aim s o f Jesus C h ri s t as t h e w orld s
Redeemer or to admit that He is only one

of many i ncarnations of varying valid i ty
an d p ossi b l e uses The ch allenge o f th e
.

age to m en o f f ai th can neither be ap p reci


ated nor acce p ted exce p t by men of vi sion .

Now even m ore than a t Pen tecost Go d


, ,

must p our ou t o f Hi s S p iri t that young


men shal l see vi si ons and old men dream

dreams vi si ons and d reams th a t s p ri n g
from th e h eart of the E ternal .

I nto suc h p rivilege and p ow er t h e Lord


i
o f life w oul d lead all o f u s w ho are able

and wil ling t o be bap tized wi th the bap


t i sm wh erewi t h He w as bap ti ze d Servi ce
.

and Du t y never pulsed wi t h such tre


mendo ns m ean i ng as now . To conquer
the masterful but bru t al materi alism o f
t he age t o command men to swi ng their
,

S plendid e n e rgl e s into a spiritual program ,

to inau g urate a world brotherh ood and a


world f aith tha t shal l grip vi tally the c on
v i c t i o n s of m en i s an ac hi evement i n wh ic h

the souls th at are f oun d w orthy m ay wel l


as p ire t o s h are
.


Tennyson s son i n th e

, M emo i r ,


says : M y father felt strongl y th at only
under th e ins pi rati on of i deals and with
,

62
VISION AN D TASK

hi s sword bath ed in Heaven can a man ,

combat the cynical indi fference the intel ,

lectual selshness the sloth of will the


, ,

uti litarian materialism of a transition age .


Poetry is truer than fact he wo u ld say , .

Guided by the voi ce within the ideal so u l ,

looks out into the Innite for the highest


Ideal and nds it nowhere realized so
,


mightily as in the Word who wrough t
with human h ands th e creed of

This is man s grea t spiritual task in

life to grasp the ideal to gain the h e av ,

e nly vi sion and then to make it imperial


,

in the real m of the real : to t rans gu re


stone and dust by the power of the Spirit ,

t o trouble the clod by a spark to nd ,

the imprisoned idea i n rough blocks of


granite and marble to transform sinful,

men into sons of God by faith .

M m i L d T nnys n vol I I p 12 9
e o r or e o . . , . .

63
A n A n c i en t Ps alm o f Li fe
T he 90t h P sal m , A P ray e r of M oses , t he Man of

God .

L ord Thou hast b een our d welli ng p lace


,

I n all ge ne rati o ns .

B e fore t he m ountai ns were b rough t forth ,

Or e ve r T h o u h ad st form ed t he eart h and


t h e w orld ,

E ven fro m eve rl ast i ng t o everlast i ng


T h ou art God .

Tho u t urnest m an t o d estru ct ion '


A nd saye st R et u rn ye c hil d re n of m en
, , .

' o r a th ou sand y ears i n T h y si gh t


A re b u t as y e st erd ay wh e n i t i s past ,

A nd as a wat c h i n t he nigh t .

Thou carr iest th e m away as wi t h a ood


t h ey are as a sl ee p :
I n t he m orni ng th e y are li ke grass whi c h
growet h u p .

I n t he m o rni ng i t o uri shet h and grow ,

et h u p '

I n t he ve ni ng it i s cut d own and wit h eret h


e , .

' o r w e are c o nsu m e d i n T hi ne anger ,

A nd i n Th y w rath are w e t ro ub l ed .

T h o u h ast se t o ur i niq u ities b e fore Th ee ,

O u r se c ret si ns i n t he l igh t of T h y co u n
t e nance .
A N ANC I E NT PSALM OF LI F E

' or all o u r days are passe d away in Thy


wrath :
We b ri ng o ur years t o an end as a tal e
that i s told .

T he d ay s of o u r years are th ree score years


and t e n ,

Or eve n by reason of stre ngt h fou rscore


years '
Ye t i s th e ir p rid e b ut lab or and so rrow '
' or it i s soo n g o ne and w e y away
, .

Who k noweth t he p owe r of Thi ne anger ,

A nd T h y wrath accordi ng t o t he f ear t hat '

i s du e u nt o T h ee '
So t eac h u s t o nu m be r ou r d ay s ,

T hat we may get u s an h eart of wisd om .

R e t u rn 0 Lo rd ' h o w l o ng '
,

And le t it re pe nt T h ee c o ncerni ng T h y
se rvant s .

O sati sfy u s i n t he m orni ng with T h y mercy ,

That we m ay rej o i ce and b e glad all our


d ays .

M ake u s glad accordi ng t o t he days wh e re i n


T h ou h a t af ict ed u s
s ,

A nd t he y ea r s whe re i n w e h ave se e n evil .

Let T h y wo r k app ear u nt o T h y se rvant s ,

A nd T h y g l ory u p o n th e i r c hild re n .

And le t t he b eaut y of t he L ord o u r God b e


u p on u s :

A nd e s tab li s h T h ou t he work of o u r h and s


u p on u s '

Y ea t h e work of o u r hand s e st ab l i sh T h ou
,

it
.

65
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

N o E A R t h at h as ever been a tt uned t o t h e


nob l est m usi c can f ail to be charme d by
t h e transcen d en t beauty of thi s closi ng
s t anza of an im mortal poe m I t i s th e
.

utterance o f an old man not grown gar ,

r ulo u s bu t grand w it h th e years ' o new h o


, ,

h as p assed th rough th e vicissitudes of a


noble career a mas t er mind o f two re
,

li gi o ns and tw o ci vi lizations w h o was sum


mo u ed to great l eadershi p by t h e direct
command o f God wh o m He met fac e to
,

f ace by the burnin g bus h an d i n the soli


tudes of S i nai The 90t h Psalm has come
.

down to us th rough th e centuries as th e


d ee pe st h eart utterance o f M oses th e ,

m an of God .

Out f ro m th ese sub lim e sol it u d es o f th e


m ountain and t he soul th i s man came
f orth wi t h a mora l grandeur o f c haracter
an d a s p iri tua l visi on th at made him no t
merely the p rop h et and la wgi ver o f I srael ,

but the universal seer .

T h ere are men wh o stam p the die o f


their souls upon the thoughts of power
that live on t h rough history and whose ,

p ersonalities must be reckoned with as


'

the most potent o f the world forces that -

construct ci vi lizati ons and religi ons S uch .

66
TH E MAST ER S E C RE T

f rom all th e record o f his li fe and d eed s .

To be sure the psalm would not be s u f


,

ci e n t in i tself but st anding out agai nst


, ,

the background o f the deeds and the


words of the man it constitutes the s p ir
,

i t u al ower o f the revela t ion o f his ch ar


acter .

Un d er t h e p ressure and t h e d i scipli ne


o f great responsibiliti es great characters
,

are formed I t was under the stress and


.

strain of the deathless and grim stru ggle


for freedom that William o f Orange grew
into the p rincely and patient leader ' it
w as through the uns p eakable sorrow of a
gre at people the moral struggle o f a
,

nation the p athos of su ff ering which all


,

could pity but none could stay that Lin ,

coln grew to the intellectual and moral


grandeur that made possible and inevi
table his historica l designation as the
savior o f his country .

M oses was p otentially great w he n h e


turned his back on the court of Pharao h ,

despising the l uxuries of an E gyptian


palace in comparison wi t h the excellence of
a spiritual inheritance with his own race .

I t was this I n i tial excellence of character


t hat ca lle d f orth th e eulogy o f t h e boo k o f
68
AN ANCI EN T PSALM OF LI F E

Hebrews Choosing rather to be evil e n


,

treated with the people of God than to



enj oy the pleasures of si n for a season .

Dwell with me for a mom ent u p on this


wondrous psalm :

L ord T h o u h ast b een our dwelling p lace i n all


,

ge nerations .

B efore t he m o u ntai ns we re b roug ht forth ,

Or e ve r T h o u h ad st fo rm e d t he earth and t he
world ,

E ve n f ro m e ve rlast i ng t o eve rl asti ng Th ou art


,

God .

These utterances stand nobly by the


side of the rst word of the Sacred Scrip

t u res
,
I n the beginning God created the

heaven and the earth I t marks the dis
.

t i n gu i shi n g characteristic of the Bible It .

lifts and denes in one great word the


conception of the personality of God that
ov erarches all u p lifting and ho p eful re
li gi o u s faith .

T h ou t u rne st m an t o d e st ru ction
,

A n d saye st R et u rn ye c hild re n of
, , m en .

We can imagine Moses turning back I n


retrospect over the forty dreary but si g
n i c ant y ears of the wilderness j ourney a ,

69
T H E MA ST ER S E C RET

tim e o f m ora l d i sci pl ine wh en th ese He ,

bre w peo p le learned the stern lesson that


God i s in earnest and that He stands for
moral w orth i ntellectual sm ce ri t y and
, ,

sterlin g ac hi evement ' tha t God i s the


E ternal that His p urposes p ersist th a t
, ,

men p eris h either I n j udgm ent or i n


frailty bu t tha t
,

T h rou gh t he a ges o ne i ncreasi ng p urpo se runs ,

A nd t h e th ou ght s of m en are widene d wit h t he


p c
ro e ss of t he su ns .

' or at housand y ears i n T h y sigh t


Are b u t as y e st e rd ay wh e n i t i s pa st ,

A nd as a wat c h i n t he nig ht .

T h ou carri e st th e m away as wit h a ood ' t hey


are as a s l e e p '

I n t h e m o rni ng th e y are li ke g rass w h i c h


groweth u p .

I n t he m o rn i ng i t o u ri shet h and g rowe th u p '


,

I n t he e ve ni ng i t i s c u t d o w n a nd wit h e re t h
, .

' or w e are c onsu m e d i n T hi ne ange r ,

A nd i n T h y w rath are we t ro u b l ed .

T hou h ast set o u r i ni qu it ie s b e fore T h ee ,

O ur se c ret s i ns i n t he li g ht of T h y c o u nt e nanc e .

' or all o u r d ay s are p asse d away i n T h y w rath '


We b ri ng o u r years t o an e nd as a tal e th at i s t old .

T h e d ay s of o u r y ears are th re e sco re y ears and t e n ,

Or eve n by re aso n of st re ngt h fo u rsco re y ears '


Y e t i s th e i r p rid e b ut l ab or and so rro w '
' or i t i s soo n gone and w e y away

.
,

70
A N A N C I EN T PSAL M O F LI F E

I t i s no matter o f surpri se when we ,

enter deeply into sympathy with Moses ,

that he should have expressed the feeling


of awe at the evident j udgments o f God .

And yet i t is no t th e craven fear of a


groping ignorance app al led at the calami
,

ties and sorrows o f life but th e utterance


,

o f a man who can stand forth i n moral and


spiritual dignity and in th e f aith that
,

there is a divine wisdom and m ercy a t the


heart o f th e d ark mysteri es o f l ife .

Who knowet h t he po wer of T hi ne anger ,

A nd T h y wrath acc ordi ng t o t he fear t hat


, is
due u nt o T h ee '
So t eac h u s t o nu m b er o u r d ay s ,

That we may get us an h eart of wi sd om .

Th ese consi derati ons lead th e man o f


God to a p rayer o f penitence and o f sup
plicati on .

R et urn , 0Lord ' how long '


A nd let i t re pe nt T h ee c o ncerni ng T h y se rvant s .

O sati sfy us i n t he m orni ng with T h y mercy '


Th at we m ay rej oi ce and b e gl ad all our days .

M ake u s g lad acc ordi ng t o t he days W h erei n T hou


h ast af icted u s ,

A nd t he y ears wh erei n we h ave see n ev i l



.

And then f o l lows th e m agn i cent p p


71
TH E MAST E R S E C RET

t im i sm ,
th e outlook o f faith th e sp i ri tual ,

mastery over li fe of t h ese words o f our


p salm
Let Th y work appear u nt o Th y se rvant s ,

A nd T h y g l ory u po n t h e i r c hi l d re n .

A nd let t he b eaut y of t he Lo rd o ur God be u p


on

us

A nd es a t b li sh Thou t he work of o u r hand s u p on

us '

Yea, t he work of o ur hand s , t


es a b li sh Thou i t .

T h e w or k an d t h e glory an d th e beauty
o f God to be revealed to His c hildren and ,

th e establishment of th eir wor k in glory


and beauty l ik e unto Hi s g lory and beauty

thi s i s M oses p ra yer .

T HE WO R' O' GOD .


Thi s word

wor k i s f undamental i n our speech .

The roo t o f t hi s word as wel l as th e ,

energy o f its though t gives vi gor t o th e


,

sp eech of al l Germanic and Saxon p eoples .


I t is werken

i n German I t i s the .


synonym o f the Gree k roo t e nergos ,

whence we d erive the w ord energy .

The w or k of God means the energi zi ng


of God Note h ow Moses came to recog
.

n ize the f act that God energizes or wo rks ,

th a t God i s ac ti vel y interes ted i n th e af


72
AN ANC I EN T PSALM OF LI F E

fairs of th e world and of men that God ,

has purposes and plans This vigorous


.

and clear conception by Moses was no


doubt the e ffect of the study of the rel i gion
of his people The Hebrews had this
.

characteristic excellence in all their educa


tion They thoroughly drilled into their
.

youth a reverent appreciation of the tra


di t i o nal heroes of the race and these tra
,

di t i o nal heroes brought into bold relief the


qualities of ch aracteristic moral and spir
i t ual strength . Their Scriptures held the
treasures of spiritual conception th at have
m ade them the richest inheritance of the

human race . Thus we have in Paul s
l etters to Timothy a picture of the youth
i n characteristic Hebrew fashion learning

the Scriptures a t h is mother s knee ' and
thus we have the treasured picture of the
Christ at the age of twelve drawing near
to the holy city and its temple wi t h the
spiritual exaltation that a l ways thrills us
with wonder as we reread the narration .

Th u s the group at Bethlehem at the time


of the Nativity are lled with thoughts of
God and of His great and gracious pur
poses for the race and their prayers took
,

Shape in t he language of their great


73
T HE M AST E R S EC RET

pro ph ets an d psal m i sts An d th us M oses


.
,

at his mother s k n e e was taught the re
,

li gi o n of h is people unti l he saw t h e i n


comparable excellence an d wor th o f h is
s p iritual i nheritance by birth .

I t suggests to us a lesson th a t t hi s age



sorely needs t h e p rl ce less value o f tra
di t i on al fait h
. We h ave m ade such as
t o ni sh i ng advancement i n m ateri a l w ays
and in p olitical achievements an d transi
,

tion i n thought conceptions o f lif e and of


human d estiny have been so ra p i d and the ,

molds in whi ch fait h s h all cast its creeds


h ave been broken and abandoned an d
formed anew with suc h facility that we
are i n t he graves t danger o f puttin g a
ch ea p es timate upon the priceless treasures
of trad i ti onal faith . I have lived i n the
country ' I have lived in th e heart o f t he
great c ity ' I have lived in th e m i dst of
university and college life ' I have l i ved in
the mids t o f the modern co m mercial world '
I have f elt the stress and strain to wh ic h
men are subj ec t in th e un i versity and on
the board of trade on th e f arm and in
,

the f actory an d I am ready to say that


,

there i s nothing o f such su p reme val ue to


us as a p eo p le and as i nd i vi duals as th e
74
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

h omes th at men h ave come with a l ofty


s p iri t o f devotion to answer the call of the
State and of the school and of the Church
for high and holy service I t is in such.

homes that the call to th e Christian min


i s t ry has been heard and the i ncen ti ve to
an education has been fel t .

When given an opportunity to kn ow


the beauty and the p ower of the i ncentives
whic h spring from spiri tual i deals and re
li gi o u s faith young men and w omen have
,

scorned bei ng merely mercenary or fr1v o


l o u sly selsh .

The p eo p le wh o h ave l ived near God


and h ave cheri shed belief i n t h e divine
p rovidence and in divine purpose h ave by ,

their faith thrown a glory over life and


,

relieved its hardness I t is by f aith that


.

men and women have b e en made patient



and able to endure as seeing Him who is
invisible . I t h as been my rich p fi v i le ge
to know many such homes as these of
which I s p eak and to see come out from
,

them th e young men and w omen of purity


o f li fe o f l ofty aspirations and of earnest
, ,

purposes that augur well for the con


structi ve work and th e spi rit ua l achieve
men ts o f th e f u t ure .

76
AN ANC I E NT PSALM OF LI FE

I am convi nced that th e blight of h eart


atheism would be the most fatal that could
fall upon us . A blight upon the elds
might leave us hungry ' a plague among
the cattle and swine might leave us poor '
but out from such hunger and such pov
e rt y we might come cleaner and stronger

for th e f u t u re : but a blight u p on the so u l


,

although the harvests should remain rich


and the cattle multiply upon a thousand
hills would leave us uns p eakably wretched
,

and miserably poor .


Where there is no vision th e p eople

perish . The convi cti on whi ch grew upon
Moses and the Hebrew people the con ,

v i c t i o n of the moral earnestness of God i s


,

of as fundamental importance to the s t a


bi li t y of our ci v iliz ation as it was to the
nationality o f the Hebrews This age of
.

science and of marvelous material achieve


ment needs nothing so much as clear
S piritual vision and a genuine and earnest
faith This conviction and this faith were
.

wrought in Moses and in th e Hebrew


people by the stern discipline of the wilder
ness Looking back upon it Moses said
.
, ,

Thou carri est them away as with a



ood . God S loughs o ff the work of men
77
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

wh en ext raneous t o Hi s p ur p o se ' th e


wicked are like th e c h a ff wh i ch th e wind

dri vet h away .

Men do no t achi eve en d uri ng results



save as t h ey build i n h arm ony with God s
i d eals. I f we w ere standing to day in -

Westmi nster Abbey we s h ould be i m


,

p ressed wi t h tw o th i ngs : rst as to the


,

engineeri n g del i ty o f t h e bu i lders of this


noble tem p le Th ey w rough t in accord
.

ance wi th th e pl ans an d t h e s p ec i cations


o f the I nni te E ngi neeri ng i s no th i ng
.

m ore nor l ess t h an an apprenti ceshi p i n


th e drafti ng rooms o f th e Creator and so ,

these w alls stan d stanc h an d beautifu l


because th ey conform with more or l ess
del ity to th e p lans o f the Chief E ngineer '
bu t bac k o f i ts en gineeri ng delity you
, ,

wou ld be im p ressed w i t h i ts religi ous and


s pi rit ua l val i d i ty I t i s a tem pl e f or
.

worship . I t re p resents an d e pi tomizes


th e s pi ri tual l i fe o f a great p eo p le an d
vi c t ori ou s race Wi th i n its walls rest the
.


d us t o f Bri tain s most i llust rious sons .

Here th e generati ons h ave continuity .

Here is t ly symbolized the ethica l and


sp i ritua l f aith of th e nation and so the
,

tem pl e s tands worthi ly i n th e m etro p olis


78
A N A N C I EN T PSAL M O F LI F E

of the kingdom wi th perenn i al and noble


,

signi cance But if it were only a pile o f


.

stone and of mortar i f it had no ideals ,

breathing life and beauty upo n i t it would ,

be of no m ore value than any o t h er s tone


p ile .

Af ter much else has been forgo tten


much o f in c iden t and of passi on of th e
fearfu l civil strife that rent our country for

four long years the memory of Lincoln
z

in h u m b le p rayer before God with deepest ,

agony o f soul for h is country and yet calm ,

by the sustaining power of a sublime faith ,

will be sket ch ed upon th e p age o f our na


t i o n al history I f th ere i s anyth ing th at
.

Shall endure th rough the centuries from


the constructive work of these past yea rs ,

it will be because men have built in


harmony wi t h the p ur p oses of God '
.

I n t h e Lif e of Gover nor A ndr ew of M assachu setts an i n i c


dt t gthg v wchl c cthh wc l ght up l g u tu l ty
en i s i en i h
i n L in o n s

ro s i o n t h e secre
ar a t er an d t h e r e i i o s q a i
of r e se r e vd
t ch upp t
s r en of t h e
p t t m It u mm
,

a ri o i s of hi s s an
wh m c p t tl d td
s o r er s w as i n t h e s er of
b
.

18 6 2 an i a i on w as e i n g a ke a gr e a
v
, en e
day Go ernor A n re
d wW th
d w t
bu tw d
d w d W
se n f or E
gr ee t e him i t h e l n or s How do y ou d o '
g l

y
Iw t
ar
eal
' in s e .
One
an d
.

d
y o u t o go t o
v
Go e rnor
h g
I I c t
sai
tas i n

on

g
W h gt
. l y p l d Wh y
M r
,

. ' in s e
uc h
re ie
an
, ,

th I mp bl
an go t o as i n o n o n an y s
tc bu y
, ,

n o i e as is am e f o r m e t o go
my l v g th c u t y d
. s an d i t i s i
, oss i .


All f o ks are se r i n ei r o n r s ai h e ' an d h e m e n
v u vc m mb t w
,

t i on ed t h e
gWg d gt
a e
ashi n
, d wI tch mm
i n an d sai mph
d
i eS m b dy m u t
ari o s se r i es t h e

W ll
e
as i s
e rs o f h i s s aff

d I
,o e o

s

e re e n
go t o

th t I h h
on o an y o u t o go e sai
v p ut u
.
,

Go e rn o r i t in a w ay an d s all g o of co rse
m th g
T e re
m m u
, , .


i s so e i ng oi n g o n , h e re ar ked 1T h i s i s a
. om en t o s

79
TH E M AST ER S E C RET

There is i n th i s p rayer o f M oses a



petition for an awakening capacity Let .

thy work ap p ear un t o t hy servants and ,



they glory unto their ch i l dren I t seems .

t ha t M oses hi mself need ed to be startled


i nto an a pp reci ation o f th e d i vine p resence ,

as a t th e burn i ng bush and agai n d i s , ,

c i p li ned th rough f or ty l on g years i n the

m oun t ai n silences to th e capacity or ,

p ower o f li stenin g t o th e di vine vo i ce th at


s h ou ld summon h im t o great tasks and
h igh duty And the p eople under h i s .

leadership needed also the long discipline


o f t h e wil d erness before they acquired the

t i me u n d udd l y t w d m nd aid Y b li

He

I i d Why f c u Th
t r e s en o ar e a s ou e eve
in p y
.
,

d ' l t
p ay ' d h k l t i gh t d w t t h ch i th t w pl c d
ra t y
er , o n ou sa , , o o rse . en e

th ' w b th k l d d h d uch p y
us r an e ne r o n a e a r a as a e
w d I n
th
ere e o ne e e o n , an ev e r ear s a ra er
i n ll my l if I v w n a th f G d xc pt
wh n m y m t h di d I w t h I i d t t h G n
a e. ne er as so e r e rone o o , e e

I will t t thi f t n f W h i gt
e o er e as as en sa o e ov e r or ,
I
.
,

yb d y m u th n d
s ar s a er o on or as n on soon
f u d t th t m ci p t i w i
.

w h n I g t t W hi gt
o n ou a e an a on as n e ve r o s o a
ll d u p Sum h b g
,

d
k d m t g
e o o as n o n , an ca e on ner , e e an
t lk m ci p t i H d th P i
nd t ll hi m h w t h p pl f B t n d N w E gl nd
to a e an a on . e as e e o o an see e res
d nt
ga d d i t I w t t t h Wh i t H u th t v i g nd m t
e , a e o e eo e o os o an e n a

W t t l k d b u t v ythi g b u t m
re r e . en o e e o se a e en n a e
th P id t i
p t i n d l l y h k d m w h t I t h u gh t b u t m i
e res en . e rs a e a o e er n e ane

p t i n I t ld h i m w h t I th u gh t b u t i t d i d th t
a o , an na e as e e a o a o e anc

A nd w w t d i it t h t I h d
a o o a o a o an sa a
fa i t
. ,

G
th t p t t h P i d t i g d
n
o v er or re as so r n e r es e n a a no
d ubt h h d t m
w h t t h cl pl I m t i B t
o e a sen e e re o os e res en n re ar
f p d N w Y k
t h u ght f i t d th I p t d t hi m I h d p vi u l y
to a e a ss o eo e e n o s on an e or

t hi p y f t h G v w ll I c uld
o o an en re ea e o as a re o s
Sum
, ,

m mb i t T h P i d t i d Wh w h v t h G v
to ne r , s ra er o e o e rn o r s , as e as o

ch u tt t d
re e er e re s en sa en e a e e o e rno r
t p i th w y h h
. ,

f M d
wh w h v h i m t utt u c h I hv
o assa se s o se n us r oo s n e a e as , an
p y f
dA nudbt wth tl wII h 4ll7 u d P a n Lif f ' h A
en e a e o er s ra e rs or us , a e no
o a e S a s ccee . e rso 8 e o o n .

v
re p. o .
, . .
A N A NC I EN T PS A L M O F LI F E

spiritual educati on t o co operate with the -

divine purposes .

There is appalli n g m oral waste in the


world Waste because men work at cross
.

p urposes with God and their work comes ,

to naught ' and men work a t cross pur -

p oses with God either through willfulness



or ignorance through wi llfulness when ,

like undisciplined children th ey fancy ,

their own way an d will to be better than



God s way and God s will and through ,

i gnorance from lack o f s p iri tual vision


,

and spiritual faith they become little and


,

provincial in the great U n i verse of God .

Talleyrand was dining with Wellington


when word came that Napoleon was dead .


What an event they al l cri ed, T is .


no event said Talleyrand
, T i s but a ,

piece of news ' and Talleyrand was right .


Napoleon s gen i us was p ros tituted to a
selsh ambition He is m emorable in
.

history because o f th e temporary dis


t u rb an c e which he made among the powers
of E urope because of his colossal schemes
, ,

because of his military genius and because ,

through him multitudes p erished in battle ,

because he impoverished a nation France .

h as never yet recovered f rom th e waste


6
81
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

an d the exhau sti on of th e N a p ol eon i c


r 'gime Grant would no t vis i t the tomb
.

o f Nap o l eon such w as his re p ugnance and


,

ri gh t eous i ndignation at t h e character and


the career o f the Corsican . Napoleon
mus t be recorded i n h i story as a m ere
provi nci al H i s w ork does not endure
. .

M oreover besides t h e necessity o f


,

working i n harmony with God i f man s ,

wor k shall endure th ere i s th e necessity


,

f or sincere and genuine and p ure ch ar


ac ter if men would thus be t reasured i n
m emory along wi t h the goo d causes wh i c h
they have advocated Gladstone i s quote d
.

by M orl ey as S aying o f Parnel l an d o f Par



nell s braz enness i n th e f ace o f th e ex
p o s u re of h i s p ersonal im p ur i ty , t h at P ar

nell re p resented t h e u nru l ed conti nu i ty

of stained l ead ershi p ' and t h rough th e
m oral j udgmen t o f th e p eo pl e o f E ngl and
and o f Ireland P arnell h as been branded
and was ob liged a t last to retire ignobly .

Browning in Paracelsus speaks of one


, ,

upon whom the moral j udgm ent of God


w as w rou ght like this
N o m ean t ri c k
He l e ft u nt ri ed and t ru l y wel l ni g h w orm ed
,
-


A ll t race s of Go d s nge r o ut o f hi m
T h en d i ed grown old
,

.

82
Ch r i s t i a n i t y an d the
Su p e rn atu ral '

M E THOD .
When one contemplates th e
heavy strain that is put upon the faith of
p eople who l isten to a series of a p ologetic
or defensive lectures and who read them, ,

i t i s enoug h to make one h es itate ab out


add i ng another ounce to the burden .

Somewhere I have read o f a verger who


said he sat through twenty series of B am p

ton lectures on The Defense o f Faith
and that h e still remai ned a humble b e
l iever No t all humble believers however
.
, ,

are p roo f against the p erils of an attempt


to de fend their faith Too e l aborate and .

carefu l defensive operations usually sug


gest one of th ree things : an apprehension
of weakness Within that wh ich i s to be de
f ended a fear of the attacking force or a
, ,

Mc C le llan like power of constructive i m ag


-

i n at i on that distrusts i ts own strength


while quadru p ling the actual strength o f
the enemy .

eR p u b li h d b y p m
s e n f
er m t h M th di t R vi w
i ssi o ro e e o s e e .

C H R ISTIAN ITY S UPER NATU RAL

So the r 6 1e of an apologist is not an


easy b u t a di fcult one And never more
,
.

di fc u lt than to day when all apologetics


-
,

and the very attitude of defense of faith


are di s co u fi t ed and discredited to begin
with as savoring of dogmatism and lacking
the scientic s p irit of fearless freedom in
all inquiry .

Yet it may well be asked wheth er the


positive attit u de and the apologetic method
may not be q u ite as legitimate and quite
as necessary in arriving at truth as the
attitu de of neutrality A cold blooded
.
-

analytical method may miss something es


s e n t i al .A corpse is not a living organism ,

and the anatomist in his st u dy of s t ru c


,

tures and analysis of tiss u es and gases ,

should not forget that he is after all only


studying a magnicent ruin a splendid ,

d 'bris . Life has accomplished i t s ner


p u rpose and has ed The anatomist is
.

not in the presence of the mystery of life


h e is in a morgue .The scientic method

is quite right the meth od of severe anal
y s i s and testing of evidence and loyalty ,

to the facts regardless of preconceptions


or wishes or prej u dices or conseq u ences
the scientic method i s of incalculable
85
T H E M AST ER S E CRET

val ue ' but th ere is always danger th at


some essential f actors shall be omitted in
the calculation that something i mportant
,

shall be overloo ked And in the e ff ort to


.

estimate t h e th ings o f faith and to account


for f ai th and to assay the s p irit th e s ci e n ,

t i c m et h o d und er the dominance of a


p rej udice f or materia li stic or m echanical ,

or even ph ys i o l ogi ca l t h eor i es may lead ,

t h e i nvestigator t o overlook something e s


s e nt i al to f orge t the sou l
, And the sci e n
.

t i c I nvestigator may b e come i m p ati en t


and fretful when urged to ta k e i nto ac .
.

coun t the fac t ors whi ch h e h as omi tted in


hi s calculati ons .

Years ago Jose ph Coo k t old us h o w


P ro fessor Tyndall on th e Alps i n company
,

with a fri end was requested to tell wha t


,

i s behin d th e keyboard o f the nerves in


m an or i n other words what causes i n th e
, , ,

substance o f the brain the molecular mo ,

ti ons wh i ch are su p posed to be the basis


o f t hought cho i ce and emoti on
, , No t .

able to give any satisfactory answer Tyn ,

dall a t l as t burst out with these fran k



w ords : I vi e w nature existence t h e , ,

un i vers e as the keyboard of a pianoforte .

Wh a t cam e be f ore the bass I do not know


86

C HR IST IANITY S U PE R N AT U RA L

and I do not care Wh at comes after th e


.

treble I equally little know o r care The .

keyboard with i t s white and black keys


, ,

is mine to study .

Now we m ay not quarrel with Pro


,

fess or Tyndall or wi th any one else wh o


,

frankly li m its hi s researches to the blac k


and white keys but there are those who
,

do care about something else An d for .

th e larger purposes of truth and life we ,

do obj ect to th e closing of the door in ou r


faces or to th e arrogance o f dogmatic
negati on th at p ronounces worthless al l
that does not come within its own acce p ted
categories A S between the dogmatism o f
.

negation and the dogmatism of belief I ,

am disposed to the opinion th at the dog


m at i sm of belief may be in a better way

to reach the substance of things not

seen. In other words may there not be,

as great a degree of open mindedness to -

the light of truth in an attitude and by a


method that takes i nto acco unt the data
of spirit and is not perforce limited to the
,

mechanical categories of physical science ,

as in the attitude and the m ethod that are


so limited '

I t is now some years si nce Goldwin


87
TH E M AST ER S E CR ET

Sm i th i n hi s , S t udy o f H i s tory ,
wro te
t h is warn i n g

I se e i m possib ili ty b ut an extrem e li keli


no ,

h ood that ph ysical sc ie nce h avi ng latel y ac hieved


, ,

so m u c h s h o u l d arro gat e m ore t h an sh e has ac h i e ve d


,

a nd th at a m o c k s c i e nce s h o u l d th u s h ave b ee n set

u p w h e re t h e d o m ai n of real sc ie nce e nd s .

An d aga i n h e sa ys

Wh y m ay t here no t be a w h ol e sp h ere of ex
i st e nc e e m b rac i ng t he re l ati ons and t he c omm u ni o n
,

b etwee n God and m an with whi c h nat u ral sc ie nce


,

has no co nce rn and i n whi c h h e r d i c tati o n i s as


,

i m pert i nent as t he di ctat ion of th eol ogy i n p h ysic s


.

T hi s i s p reci sely wh a t h as h appened .

So bot h Science and Th eology are now


quits Theology did for a l ong time under
.

t ake to d i ctate i n p hysics and Science has ,

u ndertaken t o dictate in T h eo l ogy E ac h .

h as tried to a pp ly its own categori es I n


the eld o f th e other I n th e supposed .

i nterest o f the authority o f th e B i ble for ,

example T h eology assumed th at Biblica l


,

s tatemen t s about the creation o f t h e w orld

m us t be good sci enti c geo l ogy To ques .

t ion the accuracy o f any Biblical state


m en t ab ou t nat ure or th e p rocesses o f
88

CH R I STIA N ITY S U P ERNATU RAL

nature h as been thought to endanger its


authority upon other matters incl u ding ,

spiritual and ethical principles I f the .

Bible says th at the sun stood still then it ,

stood still To question the authority of


.

Scripture upon a statement of a physical


f act might j eopardize its authority when
i t says in th e words of Jesus that the rst
, ,

l aw of life is to love God and the second


to love our neighbors Theori es of Bib
.

li c al i nspiration and o f authority have


m ade i t seem necessary to defend the
scien ti c accuracy of the account of Crea

ti on
. I f Moses i s the author then he ,

m us t be made out a good geologist as well


as a law giver in religion and morals
-
.

And so ecclesiastical authority makes a


Galileo recant pronounces in the name of
,

religi on upon scientic theories like that of


evolution seeks t o extend the authority
,

of Scripture however erroneously inter


,

p r e t,ed over the realm of Science This .

is an impertinence I t is no small gain


.

that the sphere of the legitimate authority


of Scripture has been limited and dened .

The opening verse of Scripture ought


to have saved men from much blundering
as to the n ature and pur p ose o f all Scri p

89
TH E M AS T ER S E C RET

t ure i f t h ey h ad h eeded its tone an d


,


accent . I n the beginning God created ,

the heavens and the earth A sublime .

rel igious conception ' I t has held before



men s minds through the ages the idea o f
a personal Creator I ts purpose is t e
.

li gi o u s not scientic
, Under the light and
.

the power of tha t conception it became ,

e xceedingly di fcult even in superstitious

and i dolatrous times for men Hebrew



men to f all into i dolatry And this w as .

its purpose How entirely i na p t and use


.

less to have substituted even if i t had ,

been concei vab l y possible a sci en ti c ,

t reatise on th e ph ysi cal p rocesses o f the


evolution o f t he world and life ' Here i s

a poem a rel i gious p oem whether by
M oses or handed down from remoter ages ,

of the sublime reli gious conception of a Per


sonal Creator wh om m en ough t t o w orsh i p
and obey .

B ut S cience too has been dogm ati c


, ,

and over reaching I n the name o f Science


-
.

the most dogmatic p os i ti ons h ave been


t aken limiting kn owl edge to the categories
o f p hysical science God and the so u l
.

must yield evi dence o f reality i n the test


tubes an d on th e balances o f the ph ysi cal
90
TH E M AST E R S E CR ET

abou t th e i nuences of envi ronmen t we ,

shou l d be able with the certainty of a


,

m athem atical demonstration to determine ,

exac tly what ki nd of a man he must be ,

w hat th e things he would think and what ,

t h e things he would do Freedom of choice.

becomes a fancy I t is th e moth thinking


.

i tsel f free in i gh t but destined inevi


, ,

tably to dro p into the ame And so men


, .

like J o h n Stewart Mill become disciples of


Necessity as absolutely as th e ancient
,

Greeks became the h elp l ess subj ects o f


Fate .

B ut t h is mechanical concepti on did


h ave the merit of unity A mechanical .

and necessitated world was better so far ,

as mental poise was concerned than a ,

dual and distracted and hopelessly con


t radi c t o ry one .

Over against the theory of mecha ni cal


necessity has stood an equally radical
spiritualism that ignores the physical as
,

having any reality We may admire the


.

heroic fortit u de of him who wi ll have u ni ty


even at the cost of denying reality to the
stone ag ai ns t which he stubs his toe but ,

few of us can rise to that height o f imagi


n ary mastery over tough facts .

92

CH R ISTIAN ITY S U P ER NAT URAL

U SE O'
S U P E R NAT U RAL And now I
.

wish to call attention to what is really the



thesis of this lecture the essentially spir
i t u al character of the Christian religion
and the u se which has been made of the
s u pernatural incl u ding the miraculous to
, ,

emphasize the fact of spirit .

Christianity is essentially a religion of


spiritu al freedom The marginal reading.

of John 3 : 8 is direct instead of gurative :

T he Spi it b
r th eth wh e re he li steth and th ou
r ea ,

h e are t hi s voi ce b u t knoweth not whe nce h e


s ,

c o m e th o r whith er he goe th S o i s every one that i s


.

b orn of t h e Spirit .

Christi an i ty i s the religion of sp i ri t and


personality ' of life and love ' of fre ed om
and immortality These are the great
.


words of Scripture the keynotes of Chris
t i an i t y .

But in striking these keynotes use ,

has been made of the supernatural .

I t is not my purpose t o enter into a


discussion of miracles much less to under ,

take a detailed defense of Biblical miracles .

B u t I do want you to see the practical u se


whi c h is made of them here in the Bible .

Everywhere the s u premacy of m ind o f ,

93
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

s pi rit i s emp h asized and at ti mes tre


,

men dously emphasized by the presence o f


miracle The miraculous is real ly much
.

less in p ro p ortion in the Bible th an w e


are accustomed t o th i nk The few the .
,

r elatively very f e w i nstances gi ven h ow


, ,

ever serve to emp h asize th e p resence and


,

the su p remacy o f Spirit .

Some one h as said r ecentl y th a t th e


B ibl i cal miracles are an embarrassment t o
fai th a burden t h a t C h ri stian belief w oul d
,

l i ke t o be ri d o f if i t cou l d B u t l et us .

remember that th e Bib l e w as no t con


cei v ed solely for u S i n thi s sc i entic age ,

f ull of conceit at its own superior wi sdom ,

strongly biased an d p rej udiced by the


dominant t h eories tha t speak in t h e name
and by th e authori ty of M odern Sci ence .

For thousands of years Science w as not


dreamed o f B u t men h ad to live t h eir
.

l i ves in very rea l c o ntac t wi t h thi s stub


born physical w orl d an d th e p resence o f
S p i ri t ual veri ties as wel l How shoul d .

they n d intellectua l pe ace i n a conception


o f unity an d where S h ould rest be found
,

for the weary spirit ' The m ethod o f reve


.

l ati on is least o f al l any attem p t at pre


m at ure s ci ence How con f usi n g an d use
.

94

C HR ISTIA N I TY S U PER NAT URAL

less all th at would h ave been ' But men


are t aught th e fac t of D ivine Personality
and th e fact o f human personality The .

spirit i s challenged to conscious freedom .

The soul is commanded to a mighty faith .

And there were ages when it would


seem that nothing could have driven this
challenge home to the souls of men like the
p resence of miracle We may receive that
.

challenge more eff ectively by other means ,


,

but for those ages of formative faith and ,

wi th a radically di fferent intellectual hor


i zon and atmosphere th is was the most
,

eff ective means .

And i t accomplish ed this p urp ose

C HA RA C TE R or B I B L I CAL M I RAC LE S .

Wh ile some of the recorded Biblical mir


acles may be of much less apparent si g
n i c anc e than others their character is in
,

general one of great d i gni ty an d effecti ve


ness.

Let us take a single i llustration that o f ,

Elij ah and t h e priests of Baal I t is a


.

time of decline in nobler religious c o nce p


tions and nobler living From the court
.

to the peasant this half rude people were


-

becom e reli gi ously sodden The y had l os t


.

95
TH E MAST E R S E C RET

t h e i nsp i ri ng vis i on o f Go d o f earli er days .

Ahab the king had married a Ph oenician


, ,

princess w ho i ntroduced B aal worsh ip -


, .

A crisis h ad come one o f t h e great crises


of history Sp i ritual and ethi cal religion
.

w as in danger o f p eri shing T h ere i s no .

more striking gure i n hi story t h an t h a t o f


E lij ah th e p ro ph e t as h e s tan d s f orw ard to
meet t his cr i s i s
The setting i s d ram a ti c Thi s m an o f .

J eh ovah wi th h is rough S ki n mantl e and


,

owing locks and rugged gran d eur of ch ar


acter challenges B aal w orship to th e kind
,
-

of test t h at to t h at age w ould be most


decisive . Le t th e Go d th a t answers by
re be Go d Th e p ries ts o f Baal p re p are
.

t heir altar an d their sacrice and work ,

themselves i nto a frenz y t hroughout the


entire day i n call i ng u p on t h ei r god to
answer by re ' and h e does no t answer .

E lij ah t aunts them and w e fee l t h e terrible


,

scorn of h is taunt E lij ah moc ked th em
.

and s ai d Cry aloud ' f or h e i s a god '


,

either h e i s m u sm g or h e i s gone asi de or ,

h e i s on a j ourney or p eradventure h e,

sleepeth and must be awakened Then he .

calmly rebui lds the altar of Jehovah and


l ays t he sacri ce and sa t urates it with
96

CH R ISTIA N ITY SU PERN ATU RAL

water utters a few bri e f words of petition


, ,

and lightning falls and consumes the sacri


ce . And then come the refreshing tor
rents of rain upon the p arched earth .

I want you to think of the use wh i ch


i s here made of the su p ernatural I t is .

the setting and accompan i ment of a


mighty but typical conict A p ure re .

li gi o n and pure ethics are at stake It is .

the i ssue between the high and the low ,

the pure and th e base truth and fals ehood


, .

The occasi on is worthy the m eans .

As you listen to the oratori o o f E lij ah


a greater musical conceptio n i n its un i ty ,

dignity tragic power and the force o f


, ,

i nterpretation than even the Messiah
you nd yourself at its close i n a tem per

o f m i n d to exclai m I t must have been
,

so. I f there was no such setting of re


and tempest of defeat and of victory
, ,

there ought to have been I t i s worthy . .

The supernatu ral i s used to th e worthi est

Indeed must we no t say th at so far


, ,

as we can see no other means could have


,

been so e fcient or su fciently e fcient .

Miracles are si gns And they uniformly in


.

Bible use si gnify t he su p remac y of S p irit ,

7
97
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

th e t rut h o f religion t h e f ac t of p ersonal i ty


, ,

the real i ty o f God and of th e soul .

Throughou t th e B i ble records we are left


always in t h e p resence o f t he sublime con
v i c t i o n th a t God and th e soul stand

sure .

D OGMAT I C N E GATI O N .
M a tthew
Ar
no l d begins h i s discussi on o f miracles by

the statement t h at miracl es do not hap

pen , and t h en asks how much evidence
i t would take t o make us believe t h at a
centaur w as seen trotting dow n Regent
Street A s i f there were an y conceivable
.

S ignicance t o a centaur t ro t ting down


Regen t Stree t as com p ared wi th Biblica l
mi rac l es T h e closure o f mind to the
.

dee p er sign i cance o f the truth to which


the su p ernatural has often borne most
telling wi tness by th e dogm ati s m o f nega
tion wh i ch starts out by saying what
, ,

can no t be i s one o f the most singular and


most serious p hases of modern speculative
th i n ki ng I t is hopelessly ske p tical not
.
,

merely of the supernatura l witn ess to the


deeper truth s of the spirit and o f f reedom ,

bu t o f th ose dee p er truths themselves .

O f c ourse i t i s easy t o retor t that


98
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

i s reasonable or p robab l e th a t th is rati ona l


order ever is or ever has been broken or
suspended or changed for moral or re
li gi o u s reasons The answer to t h is qu es
.

tion will de p end l argely upon the relative


importance attach ed to s p iritual ends .

I s it conceivably w orth while if such ,

means should a pp ear m os t e ffect i ve to ,

suspen d or c h an ge th e na t ural order t h at


telling em ph asi s m i gh t be p ut u pon s pi r
i t u al freedo m ' I f we conceive that men
emerge into th e i r s pi ri t ual birthright as
sons of God no t by involuntary an d e f
,

f o rt less evoluti on but by such labor o f


,

spirit and such mighty conquests as make


all lesser struggles see m trivial ' by age
l ong e ffort full of t ragedy and p ath os bu t
, ,

never ceasing then i t may appear rati ona l


,

that the whole creation should travel and


groan togeth er for the redem p ti on of the
sons of God An app reciative estimate of
.

the supernatural does not rest u po n child


i sh n ess but ultimately u po n t h e subl i m est
,

conceptions of human progress .


Doctor Gordon in his Religion and,


M iracle , j ust published has taken th e ,

ground that religion and i n particular the ,

C h ri s tian reli gion is inde p en d en t o f mi r


,

100

C H R I ST IANIT Y S U P ER N ATU RAL

acle That th ough mi racles sh ould all be


.
,

explained away the essential things in


,

Christian faith would still remain ' that


i n no important sense is spiritual truth ,

or the truth of th e soul s relationship with
God which is th e essence of religion really
, ,

de pendent upo n p hysical ph enomena of


the supernatural He reckons himself
.

f ree from any bondage of fear or concern


as to the nal estimate of m iracle .

Wh ile there is a valuable assertion l n


this attitude of th e essentially spiritual
character of religion it seems to me to go
,

needlessly far in cheap ening the estimate


which we may and should have of the
utility o f the su p ernatural i n aiding to
bring about the very spiritual emancipa
tion whic h Doctor Gordon so j ustly prizes .

I n a series of lectures upon the general



subj ect What is Christianity ' Pro
,

fessor Adol ph Harnack h as said

Wh ile we are convi nced that w hat takes p lace


o r h appe ns i n space and tim e i s s u b j e c t t o t he ge n

e ral l aw s of nat u re t h e re li g i ou s m an if relig i o n
-
,

r ea lly pe rm eat e s him and i s so m ethin g m o re th an a



b elief i n t he reli gio n of oth ers i s cert ai n that he
i s not s h u t u p W ithi n a b li nd and b ru tal co urse of
N at ure b ut that this course of Nat ure serves
,

101
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

high e r e nd s or as i t m ay b e t h at som e i nner and


, , ,

d ivi ne p o we r can h elp u s t o so e nco u nt er it as th at


e ve ry thi ng m u st ne c e ssar il y b e f or t h e b e st T hi s .

e xp e r i e nc e whi c h I mig ht exp re ss i n o ne wo rd as


,

t he ab ilit y t o e s cap e fro m t h e p owe r and t he se rvi ce


of t ransit o ry th i ng s i s alway s f e l t afre s h t o b e a
,

mi racl e eac h tim e th at it o cc urs ' it i s i nse parab le


f ro m eve ry high e r re ligion and w ere it t o b e sur ,

re nd e re d r el i g i o n w o u l d b e a t an e nd

.
,

C HRI S T A S S E R TI O N O ' F REEDO M



s .

The assertion of spiritual freedo m makes


C h rist th e gre at emanci p ator and never ,

was that accent upon p ersonality and


freedom more needed and more we l come
than a t this h our I n the nineteent h.


century men p u t u pon Hersche l s t omb
th e w ords :
He b roke t h rough t he b arriers of t he h eave ns
and add e d a u ni verse t o o u r k no wl e d g e

.

Of Jesus th e twenti eth century mus t


,

s ay as did t h e rst :
,

He b ro ugh t l ife an d i mm ort alit y to l igh t .

Jesus has taught us wherein freedom


consist s I t lies not only in superior excel
.

lence of intellect in power of will suprem


, ,

acy of character but i n s pi ri tual consci ous


,

ness o f p ersonality .

102
THE MAS T E R S E C RET

work s i n t h e p resence o f t h e unbe l ie f o f


men merely to appease thei r curiosity '
He wo u ld not lift His strengt h t o sh iel d
Himself f rom any blow or to esca p e any
su ff ering ' He would no t turn stones into
bread to ap p ease H i s ow n h unger ' He
would no t p ush the b it ter cu p from H i s
own l i ps in Geth semane even t h ough in
exquisite agony He prayed th at i t migh t
pass Jesus used th e su p erna t ural much
.


less i n p roporti on to His l ife s acti vities
than w e ordinarily sup p os e .

B ut He did i n acts o f si ngular a p pro


p r i at e n e ss and power accent the truth He
taught by supernatural deed s that will for
ever cause that t ruth to s tand disti nc t and
singular .

Jesus was Himself t h e m i racl e o f hi s


tory Have we not al ready come t o the
.

time when evo l uti on i tself l eads t o th e


l ogical necessity o f t h e Son o f God th e ,

Perfect M an God in th e esh '


,

I nstead o f shrinking f ro m th e Io f ti est


and nal m anifestati on o f th e super
natural i n Jesus Chris t we m ay and we
,

should rise rather t o an a pp reciation o f


the appropri ateness and the ef c i ency o f
t he su p ernatural i n Chri st and t o th e en d
,

104

C H R IST IA N IT Y S UPERN ATU RA L

tha t men may be lifted forever to the


dignity and freedom of sons of God .

Jesus raised the dead Nothing less .


would be su fcient He di d not dabble
.


and trie with the s u pernat u ral ' He
ros e f rom the dead . A Christ who did not
and could not wo u ld not be a s u fcient
Christ for you or me He brought life and
.

immortality to light No less a revelation


.

would change the accent of the words


spo ken at all open graves Ashes to ashes
'

, ,

d u st to dust and transform them from
,

frozen clods of eart h that bruise the


broken heart of grief to a benediction th at
falls sweetly from the skies With such a .

Christ as the New Testament gives us in ,

His integrity we can rest with assurance


upon His own condence in God when He
bids Hi s disciples believe in God and


believe in Me .

The spiritual enterprise of the ages is


to get this accent and emphasis upon the
f act of pe rsonality and the fact of freedom .

And th ere is no place where this ac c ent


and this freedom can so certainly be fo u nd
as by the side of Jesus Christ on the ope n
mountain and i n the crowded street .


H amilton Mab i e says We can no more
,

105
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

ge t aw ay from the books o f p ower than



we can get away from th e stars And .

we can not i f w e would get away fro m


, ,

Jesus t h e Christ . I i f I be lifted up
, ,


He said , wi l l draw al l m en un t o M e .


By the dee pe st law o f t h e i nt e llec t m an
must turn to Him For He demonstrates
.

the unity o f t he w orl d of experience ' but


a unity t h at at t h e same time satises a
still d ee per law a unity wi th spiritual
,

f r eed o m. Philoso p hers scientists and


, ,

little children alike and together can j oin


h an d s and walk out with Him under th e
o pen skies and breathe the atmosphere o f

f ree dom . Consider the lilies Beh o l d
,

the birds of the air . And ye t H i s atti
tude is not merely that o f com p lacency .

He can and He d oes t ouc h th e leprous


es h and it becomes as th e esh of a little
c hi l d
. He can and He d oes tear away
t h e t ough curtains th a t h ave h idden eyes
f rom the light of the day and the blind ,

see And it is all the most appropriate


.

and the most impressive in suggestion


of His unique place in the main an d cen
tral s p iritual enterprise of the ages the
setti n g o f men f ree t h e put ti n g o f t he
,

106
TH E MAST ER S E C RET

tha t s h al l m a ke so m e w or th y accou nt o f

t he p sych e or sp i ri t .

I can no t be t ter close thi s necessari ly


fragm entary d i scussi on o f a vitally i m
portant ques ti on th an by a wo rd f rom
Tennyson :

T hi s m ai n m iracle t hat Th ou art Th ou


,

W ith p o wer on Thine own act and on t he



world
.

108