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their competition. Imagine the contest for acquisition transformed into one of generosity. Conceive what the evolutionary process would work out were men to compete in sacrifices, were they to seek to give their labour to others instead of obtaining that of others for themselves. What a type of man would be the result! Would it not be that the ensample of which appeared in Him to whose obedience I am calling you ? Would there not result the collapse of the ascendency of wealth, and the selection for survival of those gifted in the qualities of unselfishness and humility ? Is not the prophecy of the Son of Man conceivably a statement of the outcome of the process, seen by its author and representative as one born out of due time ?-" The meek shall inherit the earth.” Is not such a consummation of the law just that to which looks the great hymn of democracy which the Church sings daily ? “ He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek.” The humble and meek, those who are to be exalted, the ultimate selection, the realization of the effort of the long course of human history,-may it not be that they are the “humiliores” of Tacitus, “ quos vulgos Christianos appellabat” ?
This is precisely what the obedient must look for and direct their energies to hasten. It must be asserted—asserted by the vivid speech of lives committed to its truth—that material acquisition is not the true end of human endeavour; that prosperity is not worth one pang of effort, nor its absence of regret. Some fine scorn of it all must make it understood that nothing is so extremely vulgar as “success.” There must stand up an order of men who repudiate the ordinary objects of toil. There must be organized a concert of men who, by calmly denying them, will confound the conventional standards of the world. There must arise an aristocracy of men who might “ succeed,'' but will not; who might acquire wealth, power, position, fame, but decline to do so; who, having within reach all that men now spend their lives striving for, despise it, preferring to the pleasure of getting the joy of giving.
The immediately noticeable characteristic of these aristocrats—the first peculiarity which would lift them from the proletariate and constitute them lords, would be this: their unpurchasableness.21 Their talents would not be for sale. The method of modern society is that of bargain; the struggle for existence takes the form of a contest in prices. Under the older form, men were
forced to give their services; they were enslaved by arms. To-day they are bought. The workingman, the artist, the priest, sell their work to the lords, operating their machinery, beautifying their palaces and comforting their consciences, for hire. This fraternity of high-born souls will be one of men who have no price. They will paint no pictures, give wings to no music, utter never a sentence of gratifying eloquence, for the sake of advancement, applause, or any other consideration with which the princes have hitherto compelled service. In perfect good humour, they will decline to submit to compulsion. They will give their services, here is the splendid pride of the aristocrat —they will give them freely, at their own motion and of their own will, disdaining any pay but the joy of the exercise and the satisfaction of independence; they will pour themselves out in service, spending every gift in continuous ministry to their brothers, toiling, suffering, sacrificing, but scorning to stipulate for those rewards which the vulgar look upon as the ends of life.
I confess to some confidence that, however those who delight to call themselves practical may have regarded many things I have said in the course of these addresses, it cannot but be generally felt that the form the programme of Christian obedience takes to-day has something to say for itself as a sane and practical proposition. Tell me, what is there in the standard I propose which prevents any man's or woman's em- · bracing it in perfect serenity ? There is no hysteria about it. I cannot, I find, in talking about it maintain a rapturous strain of discourse. I hope it is a rather fine, a rather noble standard, but it is perfectly within any one's power to make it his. Indeed, the unwritten codes of the professions already enjoin it. The common feeling emphatically
demands that a clergyman should serve for considerations other than his salary. The theory of the legal profession is that the attorney and the counsel are officers of justice, assisting the judge and the jury in the administration of the law; it is only of late that a lawyer's fee could be collected by process. Reputable physicians will not consort with one who patents a therapeutic secret. I want to know why this ennobling conception should be thought good for men in certain few only of all possible careers. I call for faithfulness to it where it is held, and for its extension to all callings and walks of life.
It would be a grateful task to sketch the social revolution which would come in with this idea as, from class to class, from man to man, spreads the determination to render service for its own sake and not for that of reward. The fever of “getting on” would be assuaged, the madness in which now business is driven would be cured, the plague of ambition which prevents happy marriages would be allayed, and, men dwelling in quiet