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the impulse which comes with a sweeping eloquence, which lifts us from the common levels of earth, and bears us as on wings toward issues and actions which we had not antici. pated; perhaps the impulse which comes with personal interest in missionaries whom we have known, or mission fields which we have traversed. Great successes on certain fields move our enthusiasm ; or tragic and terrible experiences in others, as recently among the Armenians, stir the deep fountains of our feeling. No one of these impulses is to be disregarded. Each one in its place has a power of its own, and all are to be valued and welcomed for their effect. But what we are to look for is the motive more deep, permanent, governing, which will be beneath and behind all these; as the tide-motive is beneath and behind the advancing and retreating waves which rise and flash, and break upon the beach; and this will be a motive not simple and single, but no doubt combined of several, distinguishable from each other, as a powerful current is made up of different uniting affluents. We must separate them in thought, that we may afterward combine them.

I think first, then, we shall all recognize this as essential to the missionary motive: a clear and profound recognition of the evilness and misery of the actual condition of mankind, certainly as compared with the powers which are instinctive in every human soul. It

makes no difference really, or very little, at this point, whether we accept the Scriptural declaration that man has fallen from a higher estate to his present level, or conceive, with some modern theorizers, that man is just now partially emerging from the conditions of his brute ancestry, stumbling up, through sin and error and manifold tremendous mistakes, toward wisdom and virtue, and the blessedness which they bring. In either case, the present condition of mankind is one of imperfection, weakness, unsatisfied desire, unrealized promise, and manifold peril. It is not the missionary who tells us this, principally or alone. Every observant foreign traveler repeats the same. Everyone who has resided abroad, and then he comes back to testify with an unprejudiced mind to that which he has observed, relates the same. The supreme difficulty here is in the want of the recognition of God, and of the great immortality.

It used to be a reproach against Christian scholars, made by skeptics, that they investigated the ethnic religions in the spirit of suspicious hostility, by which their processes were diverted from true lines, by which their conclusions were colored. I am not concerned to argue the case of the Christian scholars of fifty years ago, or more, but I can certainly affirm that the Christian scholars of our own time investigate these religions carefully, patiently, sympathetically, with an eager desire to find everything in them that is of beautiful worth; and they do find many things of truth and beauty, many things which excite their admiration, as illustrating the attainment of the higher aspiration of the human mind, reaching after the unseen if haply it might find it. But they find nowhere the discovery of one personal God, eternal in authority, immaculate in character, creating man in His own image, and opening before him the ageless immensities beyond the grave; and in the absence of such recognition of God, and such recognition of the immortality, man is left to grope where he can not fly, to clutch the earth where he misses heaven. So it is that industrially, politically, commercially, socially, intellectually, he is on the lower level, until some exterior power reaches and ennobles him. So it is that crime, such as is unknown in Christian communities, is familiar and tolerated in the world. In fact, we need not fix our thought, prominently, on the more devilish crimes which still exist in parts and portions of the earth,-cannibalism, infanticide, human sacrifices, self-torture, the slavery that would destroy body and soul together in its own hell. Commoner vices have told us the story sufficiently,—drunkenness, licentiousness, the gambling passion, the opium habit, the fierce self-will that rushes to its end, regardless of anything sacred, in order to attain its pleasure.

All these we know. How familiar they are to the mind, and in the life, of the world at large! And there seems no power arising within the circle not reached by Christian influence to relieve the gloom, to elevate those who are opprest by these sore burdens. There is no power. Property asserts its right to oppress, and to enjoy; poverty accepts its function, however unwillingly, of suffering in silence; the degradation of woman strikes a vicious stab at the heart and conscience of immense communities, while the oppression of childhood blights life at its germ; and, with the prospect of nothing better to come, suicide becomes a common refuge from the unbearable misery. There is nothing overstated in this description of the world at large; and you know how it is in your city slums, even in this city of refinement and culture, I have no doubt; certainly in the city in which I live; in the London and Birmingham of the other side, where the little girl twelve years old had never heard the name of Christ, where the boy of about the same age only knew the nature of an oath by having been his lordship’s caddy. These are what we are to reach and lift, if we can do it. These are they to whom we are to bring blessings from the Most High. Certainly, every heart in which there is a spark of Christian sympathy must feel the power of this motive, pressing to the utmost and instant exertion of every force to relieve the suffering, to enlighten the darkened, and to lift the opprest.

No one need exaggerate, everyone should recognize, the weakness and wretchedness, the exposure and the peril of human society. When we remember that in this universe of ours destiny clings closely to character, has never anything mechanical or arbitrary about it, but follows the spirit which encounters it, then those tremendous words of our Lord in the twenty-fifth of Matthew have upon them an appalling sharpness and reach, as addrest to the great classes and companies of mankind; and we must recognize it, and hear the solemn bell of the universe ringing through His word, and telling us of what is to be looked for in the hereafter.

But then with this recognition of the exposure and peril of human society, of mankind at large, we must associate the recognition of the recoverableness to truth, to virtue and God, of persons and of peoples who are now involved in these calamities and pains; to whom, now, unrest and apprehension are as natural as speech or sight; the recoverableness of men as persons, and of communities as well as persons.

Here, of course, we come into direct antagonism with the pessimist, who says, “It is all nonsense! You can't possibly do the work; you can't take these ragged and soiled remnants of humanity in your city streets

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