The Question of Hazard

OUR first steps in human experience and endeavor are wont to be faulty; but, though we come far short of the ideal, it is to the present advantage of the individual, as well as to the permanent advantage of the race, that we prove true to our ideal from the moment it is clearly recognized, and strive faithfully and persistently for its attainment.

In a time of temporary defeat a large and comforting philosophy is likely to be trodden under foot by the thronging importunities of habit and of human affection; and yet the hope of humanity, and therefore of the individual, hangs upon the faithfulness and self-forgetfulness of our devotion. The question of the possible experience of human suffering or loss, because of adherence to a high ideal, is often presented to those who must decide not only for themselves but for their children, and that, too, when a given determination is likely to be strongly opposed by other members of their family, and it is therefore well to meet it frankly and understand our ground. The life and teaching of Jesus leave no room for doubt that temporary suffering and sacrifice may be incurred by those who resist and thus antagonize the asserted powers of evil. To oppose the currents of selfish human impulse and material belief is to experience their buffetings, even, perchance, to the cross, and this law obtains to-day no less certainly than it did when the martyrs marked with bleeding feet the course of their ascent. Error's resistance has varied forms of expression, some of which are no longer seen; but so long as criticism and condemnation find a place in mortal mentality, so long will all who are on the fighting line for truth need a clear and continuous consciousness of Love's protecting presence.

Letters to our Leader
August 26, 1905

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