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dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this onething I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth for those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." If St. Paul chose to express his idea of Christian endeavor and what his own religious position was by these sentences, we ought to be satisfied, and others abandon sneering at those who strive not to be better than their fellows, but better than they themselves have been in the past.
The second fact is, that because there are unworthy children of the kingdom, the world has no right to consider all are hypocrites and base. The parable of the tares, and also that of the net full of divers fishes, both good and bad, shows this. And who are we to judge? What do we know of any man's temptations, struggles or falls; " to his own master he standeth or falleth, yea he shall be holden up," and how do we know how others view our actions!
Let us each strive to attain the full measure of the stature of a Christian and let our fellows settle their own affairs with ́the Father of all, who is infinitely more merciful in his judgments than man.
WHY SHOULD A TEACHER BE A CHRISTIAN?
DR. ELMER E. BROWN.
Delivered March 20, 1892.
A question like this, implying that a teacher may not be a Christian, would have sounded very strange three or four centuries ago in the ears of any Christian community. It would have been a strange question to raise in any of the Universities in Christian lands. Why should a teacher be a Christian? It went without saying that he must not only be a Christian but have taken holy orders as well. But times have changed. I dare say one of those old, medieval worthies, whether clerical or civil or royal, would find it hard to adjust his ideas to this new order of things; and it is well-nigh certain he would fail to realize how much more significant the Christianity of a teacher becomes when it involves his own free choice and is no longer a matter of course.
I wish to offer as my first answer to this question that, if I rightly understand the state of the case, a teacher should be a Christian for the same reasons that would lead any other man, woman, or child to be a Christian. A teacher is a man before he is a teacher-a man or a woman, standing up before God and the world in the simple responsibility of manhood, of womanhood. And any teacher who is less than this has not begun to be a teacher yet in the true sense of the word. Why, then, should a teacher be a Christian? Why should any being formed in the image of God be a Christian? This is the question to be
answered first. After that we may find special reasons, and they are not few, why a teacher, because of his calling, finds this obligation resting on him in a special and peculiar form. To the first question, then-Why should a teacher or why should any man be a Christian in view of the simple fact of his humanity ?-my answer may seem old-fashioned, but such as it is I will speak it out.
After all our theorizing, after all our science, after all our theology or rejection of theology, the unconquerable fact remains that we have sinned.
We may study sin in its psychological and ethical bearings, we may stake it out and fence it into its appropriate pen in our systems of metaphysics, and then flatter ourselves with the common fallacy that a fact explained is a fact overthrown; but our conscience still assures us there is guilt resting upon We cannot shift the responsibility, for we know in our hearts that we have sinned. We have done the things that we ought not to have done and have left undone the things that we ought to have done. I pray God, He will send us one breath of Heaven's pure air this morning to clear away whatever mists of speculation we have allowed to obscure our consciences, that we may have the clearer view of our responsibility and of our need.
Let us note some of the strong words of Scripture upon this fact of human sinfulness: "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one, Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. For there is no difference.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Was then that which is good made death unto' me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my · mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which: is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”’
[Part of the 3d and 7th chapters of the Epistle, to the Romans.]
This is not a pleasant subject to dwell upon. But untold harm has been done by glossing it over. If there were not hope of better things, it would be but a devilish performance to hold up before men a picture of their shame and misery.' The gospel is faithful to the truth in that it takes men where they are and tells them of their guilt. It is faithful to the larger truth in that it tells of hope for those whom sin has brought to ruin. When John the Baptist came to prepare the way for one mightier than himself, his message was "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." When the Lord sent out the twelve before his face, they went out, and preached that men should repent. When Jesus after the imprisonment of John, "came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God," he said,Repent ye, and believe the gospel. Here is the starting point for every one, be he accountant or emperor or chimney-sweep or teacher, who, finding himself in this life, desires to live. I
would that some one of the pure in heart, who see God every day and whose lips are touched with a coal from off His altar, might speak to us on this theme this morning. His words would not be cold and measured but would, go home to all hearts. I doubt not some of you, listening to such a one,, would lay aside for a day the scientific inquiry into phenomena or the aesthetic contemplation of the world, and cry out from the depths of life-long need, "What must I do to be saved from sin?
This, then, is my first reason for urging teachers that they be Christians first: Because of sin; because of the forgiveness and deliverance which has been brought to men by Jesus Christ; because that here, as I believe, in repentence toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, is the beginning of all true life.
Not only on account of sin and its forgiveness do I believe a man should be a Christian, but also on account of faith. In the words just quoted from the great apostle, it was not only repentence toward God that was preached, but equally faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. I remember seeing a little boy come pale and trembling into school. It was his first day in that school. His face and bearing told a story of his sorry little life up to that moment. He had been scolded and cuffed ever since he could remember. He was afraid, to speak or move for fear of violating some rule. I believe his mother was kind at heart, but her very righteousness. had scared the boy. What change came over his life under the care of the patient and gentle woman who was now his teacher.. Trembling, fear, misery, were changed to confidence and happiness. The sunshine of life chased away the shadows fron his face and heart. We children, of a larger growth become morbid and fearful