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what will be the effect on experience? Can the spirit within us live without them? "No," says the secularist; "the spirit of man will not be content without these words; but glory, honour, and incorruption are found within the worldly life." Are they? "Glory" -have we that? Glory means solidity, reality, durability, and certainly we know nothing of these in the temporal sphere. If the spirituality of our nature is denied, man himself is palpably only a bubble, and all the worlds inflated films floating in space and doomed to vanish. There is no substance, no persistence where there is no spirit. "Honour"-have we that? When the soul is denied, we become like the beasts which perish, and the honours of life's short day are golden shoes, purple saddles, jingling bells. "Immortality”— have we that? Yes; fame. Fame! a death's-head crowned with a fading wreath.
The fact is, we have not these things, only these words, if we are without faith in God, the spirituality of our own nature and the eternal world. There is no lofty, luminous character, no rich, satisfying experience, except the living God and life in Him are recognized. "Thou shalt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." Let us seek and expect the realization of these great words in their largest significance. "To them who seek for glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life." Heaven goes beyond our utmost ideas, aspirations, and hopes, filling our biggest poetic words with over-running, infinite meaning. We have seen that on the lips of men these words shrink into very nothingness; but God gives them actu
ality, widens them into boundlessness, and fills them to overflowing with glorious suggestion and promise. Aim at the highest. When a great ideal slips out of a man's soul, he begins to rot; only as we cherish high and holy thoughts and beliefs do we find rest to our soul, and reach the stature of the perfect man.
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE PATHWAY.-"To them that by patience in well-doing seek." There is something quite startling between the grandeur of the aim and the homeliness of the condition. "Well-doing." "Glory, honour, and incorruption" are usually sought in very different paths, but at last the plain path is the royal one. Not brilliant strokes in trade, war, or scholarship, but well-doing in ordinary life. Doing humbly, purely, justly, hopefully the work God has assigned, whatever that work maybe. Fulfilling our task with a willing mind, a loving heart, and both hands. Nothing heroic; only faithfulness, simple diligence, and quiet perseverance in being good, getting good, doing good. In this world the grand prizes chiefly go to the brilliant few; the rewards for patient continuance in well-doing are painfully rare and modest. It was so at school where we began. The brilliant fellows got everything; the dull plodders little if anything. It is thus in the big world. Dull merit, patient conscientiousness, are lightly passed over. The world affects men who can conduct a dashing campaign, deliver a brilliant speech, pull a fortune out of the fire, or engineer dramatic movements; it worships genius, brilliance, audacity. The laurels of society are reserved for extraordinary talents and histrionic achievements. What a blessing to know that God rec
ognizes patient merit, and that He reserves the major prizes for dutiful souls faithful unto death!
Heaven recognizes the greatness of simple character. The greatest moral qualities, powers, and virtues exist in the humblest men and women. A musician listening to the talk of common people can distinguish in the cadences of their voices chords of the world's greatest music, notes of its sweetest songs and mightiest oratorios; and the sublimest faith and heroism of prophets, apostles, and martyrs are revealed in the works and ways of the dim multitude. It is easy to overlook great character in humble guise, yet it is clearly seen by Him who appreciates it the most. An art critic affirms that "scale is not a very important element in distinct impression"; but we are afraid that fine moral character and action are repeatedly un'marked by us when they lack social magnitude and conspicuousness. When magnanimity, patience, integrity, purity, and all the other graces are only on the inch scale of lowly life, they are liable to be ignored or disesteemed; we can appreciate majestic lines and fair colours only in heroic figures and expansive cartoons. But He who is a Spirit, and who judges according to truth, knows little of size and show; in His reckoning, the vastness of the circle is nothing, the exactly round being the question; the length of the line is not measured, only its straightness noted; the magnitude of the object is of trifling import, its truthfulness is the essential thing, even if that truthfulness is revealed only by the microscope. God knows the spiritual essence of all that is done, and unerringly recognizes the great soul in the small act. Many
amongst us are greater than they know; their actions. greater than they think. We have all heard of the man who spoke prose for forty years without knowing it; but a fact of far greater interest is that scores of men speak poetry without knowing it—nay, act splendid poetry without knowing it; and God shall surprise them with glory, honour, and incorruption beyond their most glowing dream.
God recognizes the greatness of simple duty. In a lowly post, entrusted with commonplace offices, called daily to discharge the most menial service, we may express the noblest conscientiousness, the most exquisite feeling, sublimest principle and behaviour. Lafcadio Hearn, in his last book on Japan, writes thus about the tea ceremonies which are such a feature in the female education of this artistic people: "The elaborate character of these ceremonies could be explained only by the help of many pictures; and it requires years of training and practice to graduate in the art of them. Yet the whole of this art, as to detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. However, it is a real art-a most exquisite art. The actual making of the infusion is a matter of no consequence in itself: the supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible. Everything done-from the kindling of the charcoal fire to the presentation of the tea-must be done according to rules of supreme etiquette; rules requiring natural grace as well as great patience to fully master. Therefore a training in the tea ceremonies is still held to be a training in politeness, in
self-control, in delicacy-a discipline in deportment." The matter of making and serving a cup of tea has been invested with all this importance; it has been made the frail instrument of artistic discipline, and has become the sign of culture. Not in studies and exercises of a splendid and expensive order, open to the elect few, have these wonderful people found the training for refined action and delicate behaviour, but in the simple, cheap, daily act of domestic life. Did not our Master teach the same lesson on a higher plane with the cup of cold water, where the grace of the gift is the chief thing, and the gift itself the symbol of the highest character? The training for glory, honour, and incorruption lies in the right use of vocations and vessels accounted vulgar by the thoughtless; and they who are faithful in that which is least shall inherit all things.
God recognizes the greatness of simple suffering. A writer has recently protested that the world just now wants heroes. Society comprehends more heroes than it knows. Gordon flashed a splendid figure on the imagination of the world, but many such heroes are hidden in obscure life. The hidden ones are sometimes much the more glorious. Carlyle awoke Europe with his monstrous melody if a neighbour's cock happened to crow; yet simple people all around us bear uncomplainingly the most bitter suffering, bravely resist the most terrible temptations, and with manly silence sustain the heaviest burdens. Obscure life conceals illustrious heroism, known only to God, but it is known to Him, and shall not lose its recompense of reward. Let us not despise lowly station and the hum-drum