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no sphere in which your influence as citizens can be more legitimately or successfully exerted than in the councils in which the principles of state or national policy are determined, and the men who are to go before the people as the representatives of those principles are chosen. Don't be alarmed at the cry of "politician! politician!!" There is an animal that defends itself by a stench of its own secretion. The baser class of politicians practice upon that principle. They seek by similar means to protect themselves from the presence of men whose honesty and integrity would rebuke, expose, and punish their corrupt practices. "Politician" is now a term of reproach. But it is capable of redemption; it can be transformed into a title of honor. Only, however, in the way we have indicated. Honest men, and many of them, is the only ingredient that can clarify the turbid pool of modern politics.
There is no class of obligations resting upon men of Christian culture concerning which their conceptions fall so far below the reality as in the case of their civil responsibilities. Some do vote. Others, through a sickly sentimentality growing out of a misconstruction of Christ's declaration, "My kingdom is not of this world," or through sinful indifference, neglect even that; then dolefully sigh over the degeneracy of the times and the appalling corruption of administrations.
If there is any element in our national character that gives hope of improvement upon the experience of the republics that have been, anything that can save us from going down under corruptions that proved their ruin, it is the leaven of Christianity. This is the only force that can successfully resist and counter-work the disintegrating and destructive influence of the dominant selfishness that underlies all political corruption and intrigue. But this corrective will not be effectively applied until Christian men are educated to the idea that political duly is religious duty—until loyalty to the truth and to principle shall be recognized as paramount to all purely party allegiance. It is the truth whose clear light will expose the evils of the present, and guide to the wisest policy for the future. It is vital Christianity, operative in the individual soul, that discounts the inordinate estimate of self, and exalts the conception of and inspires devotion to the rights of others. It is the spirit of the Crucified One in the heart of the citizen that recognizes government as a means for the blessing of humanity and converts patriotism into philanthropy. The vicariousness on which the eternal government rests is suggestive of the basal element of that perfect ideal toward which all human government should ever tend.
Where the individual cannot voluntarily surrender personal advantage for the public good, where the few cannot willingly forego self-interest in their devotion to the welfare of the many, there the essential elements of the highest ideal of government are wanting.
Unless the representative of the people, in self-forgetting devotion, administers the power vested in him for his constituents, the fundamental principle of the government is perverted. Unless those who are exalted to public position are capable of sacrificing possible personal interests for the public weal; yea, unless they are incapable of sacrificing the public good for personal emolument, they are morally disqualified for discharging the functions of office. The interests of the people are not safe in their hands.
Mr. Adams, in the introduction to his eulogy upon the late Mr. Seward, has given us the following classification of public men:
The first class embraces all those who exercise their power mainly for personal ends, with little regard to the public good. The second class includes those who, with pure motives and equal capacity, address themselves to the work of maintaining the existing state of things. The third class embraces those who, possessing a creative force, labor to advance the condition of their fellow-men. The first class works the fall of nations; the second class sustains nations; and the third class develops nations.
The indecent scramble for office, the means by which it is secured, the manner of its administration, and the frequent exhibitions of wealth irregularly acquired by the incumbent, awaken the suspicion that many of our politicans are enrolled by their own record in the first of these classes. We are annually the witnesses of the mortifying spectacle of our public men immodestly hawking their claims through the land, like vociferous hucksters. Those who spend time and treasure so lavishly to secure office, inform us by their actions that they intend to reimburse themselves when the desired place is gained. To wrest the government from the custody of such men and place it in the hands of those whose integrity and intelligent conservatism will cling tenaciously to the good already attained, and whose constructive genius will penetrate the future, and force its glorious possibilities into beneficent realities—this is the work of the hour; this is the problem that now demands solution. There is nothing chimerical in the conception; it can, and should be, realized. It is a possible work; a work to which men of high moral and intellectual culture must rouse the masses of the people.
In the providence of God, the Christian scholars of America are to-day summoned to a work as noble as ever inspired the heart or enlisted the energies of a Christian patriot. It is theirs—not to form parties, nor to fabricate artificial issues — but to develop the latent virtue of the people, and give it efficient direction against every form of public vice. It is theirs to create a public sentiment that shall blast and wither the corrupt official; a sentiment that shall cause public men to prefer honesty with poverty to perfidy with wealth. It is theirs to tear the mask from the guilded aristocracy of the time, and expose the underlying corruption and ignorance to their merited contempt; to abolish the false standard that measures men by what they have, and establish the true test that recognizes virtue, integrity, and intelligence as the marks of a genuine nobility. By teaching and by example they may lead the masses to a higher conception of their duty as citizens and stimulate them to its more faithful discharge.
Christian men, this work of needed reform is yours; for it your qualifications and opportunity are heaven's commission. The example, the spirit, and the faith of your fathers, call to you from the history of the past, and summon you to it; the facts of the present force it upon you, and you are lured to it by the hopes and possibilities of a promising future.
I. C. Wynn.
Camdes, N. J.
AN estimate of the proper relation of our educational institutions in this country to the great work of Foreign Missions has a vital dependence upon our conception of the chief characteristics of that work itself. We may be permitted, then, to approach our subject by means of that with which it is so closely connected.
I. No description of the Christian church can be Scriptural which omits or slightly mentions her missionary calling. Not more strictly is an army a body of men organized and equipped for war—this being its controlling function and its informing motive—than is a Christian church a body of men organized and equipped for purposes of evangelization. This evangelistic purpose, essentially militant and assuredly conquering, lies in the original divine idea of the church which determined her form, her endowments, her instrumentalities, and her obligations. The charter of her existence, and the warrant of unfailing divine attendance and protection, are written only upon her perpetual, irrevocable commission to evangelize the world. Only an evangelizing church can be an evangelical church. Only a church that "goes among all the nations," can prove herself apostolic— called of God and sent of God—sent by Jesus Christ, whose name she wears, even as he was sent by the Father.
And, as has been intimated, all the instrumentalities of the church have been shaped and adjusted to this comprehensive missionary purpose. If the very organization of the individual Christian church bespeaks this missionary characteristic—if every Christian is a sworn missionary, the light of the world and the salt of the earth—equally conspicuous are the missionary features in all the visible agencies whereby Christianity is to be continued and extended. The divine truth of which the church is depositary and expositor, is in her keeping only as a trust for the whole world. She may not modify it in a single syllable or letter, and just as little may she withhold it from those for whom it was given. By the grace of this stewardship of God's Word, the church is made a debtor alike to Greek and barbarian, to wise and foolish, and her only becoming disposition is a zealous readiness to preach the gospel to all whom she can reach. The Bible is God's message for the race.
So also with the Christian ministry, the divinely-appointed leaders, teachers, and servants of the church. Their function is inherently evangelistic, especially in its ultimate scope and purpose. While their first and far-reaching duty is the training of the local churches over which they are severally placed, an essential aim in such training must be ever the evangelistic activity of the compacted and disciplined bodies. In the inspired account of the splendid endowment of spiritual instructors with which our triumphant and glorified Lord has enriched his militant people, it is said (in a passage seriously mistranslated and therefore grievously misread) that "he gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, with a view to the perfect qualifying of the saints for the work of ministration and for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Ephesians iv. 11, 12.) Neither the work of ministration nor the work of edification is delegated wholly to the official leaders. Both departments of activity are committed to all the saints, to the entire Christian body—the body of Christ—into which and through which the power of the commissioned teachers must pass in order to be most abundantly effective. This body is to be knit together and to be enlarged by the appropriate supplies of every joint and the appropriate energy of every part. Thus only is it ordained that the multitude of the elect throughout the earth shall attain unto the oneness of the faith and of the complete knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect manhood, unto the consummate maturity of the fulness of Christ.
These three leading visible agencies of Christianity, to which all others are subordinate, and through which the invisible Spirit chiefly manifests his sovereign and resistless power—the organized church, the inspired Word, and the personally chosen ministry—all bear this