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terribly and absolutely and everyhow true, and have tremendously to do with our daily lives and duties, as well as with our tastes and mental pleasures; then they are not beautiful fancies floating bodilessly in the air, but eternal principles demanding to be given flesh and bone in the deeds of those to whom they have revealed themselves. Let us have done forever with this dilettante nonsense, and either openly defy, or honestly accept Truth for what it is—stern, severe, and inexorable as it is fair, and requiring not to be talked about, but to be practised, not to be wrought into clever treatises, but to be obeyed. Has not all our learning taught us this as its supreme lesson ?-that Knowledge must pass into Life ? Does not the highest philosophy alike of Art and Society, announce that Æsthetics and Ethics, the logic of Beauty and the logic of Duty, are at base one ? Is not the final declaration of Science this ?—the universality of Law; that is, the Authority of Truth ? Has History any other lesson than that of the vanity of defiance by kings or empires or churches, of the divine Will who orders human concerns ? Has our modern psychological introspection any newer teaching than that given by One long ago, that if any man will do the will, he shall know of the doctrine ;—that is, that the price of Truth is its practice; that nothing is so illuminating as Obedience ?
Has not the time come to hearken to these voices ? Is not this age, so great even in its follies, of stuff to be great also in nobler fashions? Is there not heroism among us, children of the world's old age, to set about sternly enquiring of every revelation of the true and the beautiful that is made, “ What wilt thou have me to do ?” and then to set as sternly about doing it, without hesitation or regard for expediency, stopping at no sacrifices, careless of apparent results ? Are there not among us men who, feeling Knowledge within them calling to Action, will heed its importunity, and highly resolve under God, that His Truth shall be obeyed !
You see instantly how vast are the results for which the New Obedience looks, as it reaches out and claims its disciples from the ranks of men who, from varying points of view, have seen each his aspect of Truth, and are now to practise it. What would the world be if the visions that come to our students in these days of scientific wonders and historical illumination were to be to them what the vision on the Damascus road was to St. Paul?—if, as they trace and measure the movements of the past, and explore the secret chambers of nature, finding everywhere unity, purpose, promises of the tri. umph prepared for Love, in library and laboratory they should hear the voice of God calling to them: “ This is My eternal Truth, My command to thee. Take it up as the rule of thy life. Listen, and obey!”
What would it be if his zeal for law and facts were to inspire every scientist with the determination to found his personal character upon them ?-if philosophers felt the obligation to set forth Truth in their lives, as they do in their books?-if composers of music were to undertake to be themselves as full of harmony as are their works, or painters to become in character as beautiful as the pictures with which they delight us ?
We have made the world splendid by a mental, a theoretical devotion to Truth; but we shall make it incomparably more magnificent and beautiful when we give ourselves body and soul to Truth in the practical relations of commerce, politics, and society.
Consider what marvellous secrets of the world would be wrung from it by the operation of that principle to which I have in a word referred,—the illuminating power of Obedience. “They said unto Him, Master, where dwellest Thou? He saith unto them, Come and ye shall see." Truth must be followed; then it leads to deeper Truth. Of every new revelation in the career of the race in the path of knowledge, it must say, “ I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.”
You apprehend, I am sure, that the subject is too great to be more than suggested in an address like this, to be more than sketched in such a course as this is to be. My purpose is, however, on these Fridays in Lent to indicate a little more definitely what the results of such an Obedience as I have proposed will be in what we are accus
tomed to think of as the distinctively Christian field; that is, what will ensue when men who call themselves Christians begin seriously to accept and really to obey the plain commands of the historical personage Jesus of Nazareth, commands which heretofore we have been satisfied to quote with appropriately pious unction, and dismiss with religious alacrity. Here also I can do no more than indicate, and if these mere hints interest, or, it may be, trouble and amaze, anyone, -how much more mightily shall the world be moved when some God-appointed prophet shall pursue the demands of Obedience to the end, and make the ultimate and inevitable applications to business and society of the Christian principles which we now profess,—and hold so lightly!
As we pursue our enquiries, we shall be compelled to severe arraignment of the maxims upon which the intercourse of society is conducted, and the theories upon which its institutions are founded. We shall discover that the literal and heroic acceptance of Christ's words as meant to be obeyed, will force us to profoundly modify the con