King's Business - 1965-06

obtained without hardships or sufferings. Our linkage to the living is momentous in opportuni­ ties and responsibilities. In other years Julius Caesar laid the foundation stones of a great empire. Socrates aroused the young men of Athens. Savonarola, under God, revived the city of Florence. Columbus discovered a new world. Luther had part in rebuking a corrupt church. Wycliffe kindled fires of reformation. Washington established democ­ racy in a new hemisphere. Lincoln signed the emanci­ pation proclamation for four million slaves. Joan of Arc led the armies of France to victory. Cromwell stretched a psalm into a war drum and dissolved a par­ liament. Beethoven “made surging seas of tone sub­ servient to his rod” as he touched the world’s harp strings. Angelo “ raised children unto God from the sterile womb of stone.” Florence Nightingale bandaged the world’s battle wounds. Dorothea Dix soothed the crazed brain. John Howard poured fresh air into the lazaretto. David Brainerd changed savage war-whoops into Sabbath songs. David Livingstone opened in Africa the highway, marked now by the tombstones of martyr missionaries, over which Ethiopia stumbles with outstretched hands toward God. Gutenberg, with his moveable type printing press, opened blind alleys of ignorance into endless highways of wisdom. Our debt to them and their example urge us in our day to be courageous and take care of liberty, to be wise and take care of justice, to be really Christian and weigh worthily on God’s scales, to measure tall by God’s measuring rod. With gratitude to great men who have gone before, with determination to perpetuate the price­ less principles of political and economic freedom that were born of the brain and bought with the blood of the founding fathers, we must live unselfishly with and for those with whom our lives are everywhere linked. We must die to some things before we can greatly live for others—even as Carey died to leather that he might live to missions, as Wilberforce died to fashion to live to simplicity, as Ruskin died to gold to live to beauty, as Brooks died to law to live unto the gospel, as Grenfell died to comfort to live to medical minis­ try in bleak Labrador. Thus we can produce soul fruit. I believe that this nation has been a thought in the mind of God from all eternity for this very hour. Be­ lieving that, we must believe that if the spiritual fails, the success of the material is worth little at the last. What are we profited if, citizens of a civilization that makes ice in the tropics, we attack no frigid con­ ventionalities with holy, spiritual impetuosity? Or, if using telescopes to see worlds millions of miles away, we get in fog banks and lose sight of God? Or, if add­ ing radios to our ears, we have deaf ears to the voice of God? Or, if listening to great choirs, we miss life’s central melody and become victims of dawdling ditties? Of, if adding telephones to our tongues, we have little of spiritual worth to say? Or, if building skyscrapers, we teach not that “ other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corin­ thians 3:11). Or, if writing around the world with the telegraph, we fail to write the literature of godli­ ness upon the fleshly tablets of human hearts? Or, if flying swifter and mounting higher than eagles with our airplanes, we are slow in service—and follow Christ limpingly and complainingly? Today we need Christian heroism, which, with undying purpose, red-hot convictions, with firmness in hours o f peril, dares to speak and live the truth that when Christianity goes, civilization goes. If Christian­ ity goes, there is nothing to live for. The past is gone forever into the tomb of Time; the

3ecular dream of history as an evolution into perfec­ tion is the most gigantic delusion in the history of human thought. The neurotic school of fiction is a give-away to the insecurity of the modern mind. The sexual novel furnishes a symptom of the same fum­ bling grasp of reality. Dr. Gordon Clark, a leading Christian professor of philosophy, says: “ From all that can be seen now, humanism and communistic hatred of Christianity will be the prevalent philosophy of the coming age.” Perhaps Dr. Clark had in mind what Dr. Julian Huxley, Director General of UNESCO said—namely: "Science and knowledge have brought the world to the place where God is no longer a useful hypothesis. While a faint trace of God still broods over the world like the smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat, Science and Knowledge will soon rub that faint trace away.” Or perhaps he knew what a philosopher-teacher in a big American University said: “ The Christian reli­ gion is a compensatory fiction for an inner feeling of inferiority—an importation of symbols into a world of fact.” While we protest the surrender of public schools to forces of irreligion, there are evils that would lead our greatest graces to the grave and leave the world no copy—while we, professing to be patriots, have never been so in danger of handing down our blood-be­ queathed legacies reduced in quality and in quantity. Edmund Burke said: “ Civilization is a contact be­ tween the great dead, the living, and the unborn.” Thus he shows our uncancellable contracts with the past, the present, the future—to which we are linked like Alpine mountain climbers. Linked to the past, debtors we are to the great dead. Rich our social and spiritual capital—rich in treasures from the past. Priceless trophies have we from battles never to be fought again. Examining our capital, we see that the social orchards that furnish fruit for us and the spiritual trees that shelter us have rootage in ancient graves. In all our capital we see the consecrated blood of yesterday. Ringing church bells, if we have ears to hear, echo with the groans of all who died in struggle for religious freedom. The Bible, the only great super­ natural book of the ages, miracle book of diversity in unity, of harmony in infinite complexity, so unlike all books in height, in depth, in breadth, in universality, in sweep, in glory—is stained with the tears and blood of those who stood for it on torture rack, in jail, in exile. But for them we would not have the Book through which God speaks, tells us His will, utters His commands, makes His appeals, gives His promises, tells His love, reveals His character. At terrible prices, men purchased immunity for us today from many diseases and plagues, and the road of their pioneering is stained with blood. In 1888, sixty-five hundred people in the State of New York died of diphtheria. Kock, Loeffler, Roux, and Bahring, who put forth the diphtheria anti-toxin, made us beneficiaries of their diligent research and inventive genius—and clipped the black wings of deadly diphthe­ ria that had hovered, bringing death, over tens of thou­ sands of cradles. Now the black wings of diphtheria cast a black shadow on few little cradles, close few baby eyes, open few baby coffins, fill few baby graves. Much we enjoy of civil, intellectual, and religious hope is but the moral courage, intellectual perception, and spiritual suffering of the past appearing in new and resplendent forms. We drink from wells we did not dig, reap from fields we did not sow, enjoy glories and privileges for which we toiled not nor spun, and


JUNE, 1965

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