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I do think I have the right to demand of my preacher who ministers to me the truth, that he has tested it by his own thinking or his own experience, that he has made it his own truth. I do not care to have him minister to me somebody else's probable opinion. I do not care to have him preach his reading to me. I would have him read; but his reading should have passed through his own mind. "Reading," says my Lord Bacon, "maketh a full man:" but when a man is constantly spilling over his reading, it looks as if his capacity was not great. What my preacher says to me from his pulpit on Sunday may not be novel or profound, or brilliant, or striking; I have no right to expect that. But I do expect that it shall be vital; not second-hand but fresh from his thought, warm with his own feeling. To such a message coming from such a man, this man whom I know and love as my pastor seven days in the week, whom I never see without wanting to shake hands with him in good fellowship—to such a message from such a man I shall listen, you may be sure.

Prof. C. T. Winchester.
The Hartford Seminary Record.

If we had no higher thought of spiritual power than that of some vast and everywhere present force, ready to flow in where the will of man affords it an opening, the first condition of utilizing that force would be to open the doorst of the soul to give it entrance—in other words, to venture upon it, as the chemist ventures upon mechanical forces and the machinist upon mechanical forces. And here is just the point where all the churches stand in constant danger from pure intellectuality or the inertia of fixed tradition. Joy and enthusiasm are fruits of the personal experience which comes of venturing with God. Unless we heed Christ's call to this venture, we have no power to move and hold men. We have not exhausted the possibilities of joy and strength with any call to life which does not include the demand for courage in experiment. And unless our Christianity offers that joy of personal acquaintance and experiment as a present thing and not a hope postponed beyond the grave, we are outside the field of Jesus, whose favorite word is "Now."—The Congregationalist.

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July 21, 1906

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