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There is in man a power to see the invisible, to hear the inaudible, to know the unknowable, to enter into the non-sensuous and the spiritual; but this power lies in many a man dormant. Glimmerings of light come to him, glimpses of the invisible are afforded him; but for the most part he walks by sight and not by faith. He must born from above. The power to see the invisible must be awakened. He must be lifted out of his lower self; out of a lower realm into a higher realm. Then he sees what he did not before see; he understands what he did not before understand. He finds himself in a world of which before he knew nothing, although it was all about him. Learning will not give this birth, any more than a knowledge of music will give an understanding of art, or the appreciation of art will give a comprehension of literature. . . . One may be as learned, as wealthy, as respectable, as orthodox, as Nicodemus, but unless he is born from above he cannot see the kingdom whose fruits are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance, faith.

The life back of the word and back of the deed is receiving especial emphasis at this time. It means that there must be a soul in all we say and do. "The man behind the gun" is the logical as well as sentimental dictum. The man behind the sermon makes, the sermon effective. There are brilliant sermons which produce no lasting effect because they have no soul, there is no life in them. There are great deeds of attempted benevolence which come to naught because they have no personal life back of them to give them persistence of momentum to achievement There are multitudes of ministers and laymen who can preach about Christ—so far about him that they never touch him! But there are few who can preach Christ out of the Christ-life within their own souls. Yet that is the only effective preaching. The Gospel was never intended to be spasmodic, but eternal; as persistent and perpetual as God backing His universe to its eternal purpose.—The universalist Leader.

April 28, 1906

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