Obrazy na stronie
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tianity. Very little right have we to call ourselves by His name, we who still maintain a thousand institutions and practices directly opposed to His plain commands.

The race of men has yet to realize its kinship, its indestructible unity. Yet surely we can perceive the slow birth of a new perception of this. A race consciousness, a social mind, a common human spirit, is it not awakening to know, and to wonder at, itself? Are we not learning to see ourselves in each other, and to see ourselves in a larger life and consciousness of which we are parts ? learning, each of us, that in our own interest, we cannot be indifferent to the fortunes of any brother-man ? that each of us must, in a measure, bear in our own flesh the sorrow of the world ? that, as the Bishop of Durham exclaimed, 12 it is our own cause which is at stake there in the haunts of sin and misery, there also in the abodes of thoughtless luxury ? that upon us every one is the burden of the essential, unescapable brotherhood, with its solemn responsibilities, and its yet magnificent inspiration ?

And can we doubt that as this sense of our unity grows in us, the Kingdom will come? What will it be when it has come ? Probably it will never have come; it will be forever coming. But in its coming, it will do these things:

It will take command of the energy now spent in the effort-on the part of many, ineffectual-to gain the mere means of subsistence, and it will direct it to fruitful ends, freeing all men during the larger part of each day, for profitable recreation, reading, and public service.

It will relieve those who are now obliged to accept disproportionate rewards for their services, the rich, from that necessity, and set them free from the thankless and worrying task of administering wealth, giving them opportunity for happier and truer living.

It will abolish sweating, slums and idleness. It will stimulate invention, and encourage honest work in crafts and arts.

It will level,-level up, to the best of us, —the classes; “ exploited” and “exploiters" will become words of forgotten meaning. It will bring it about that no man to whom God has given capacity for knowledge

need die ignorant, and that under the fair sky, on the earth of the smiling fields and the laughing waters, no man nor woman need beg, sell honour for bread, die or live in shame, wretchedness, or sorrow, unloved.

A dream! A Utopia! An enthusiastic vision! Yes. But Christ's dream.

To-day we have talked of the Kingdom of redeemed humanity, of the perfected social state, as an ideal, one toward which society is, possibly very slowly, working. There has been nothing in these reflections to alarm us; nothing to more than pleasantly interest us. The consummation of the Kingdom is in the centuries far ahead. We are willing devoutly to pray for it, from afar, and meanwhile we find living in the existing state of things, very pleasant.

There remains the question whether we living men and women have any duty in reference to the coming Kingdom beyond that of praying for it. It remains for us to ask ourselves whether any among us are called to lives so ordered that they will hasten the day when the ideal shall step forth into the daylight of reality.

The kingdom come.

Thy kingdom come.

AMEN.

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