An echo may be somewhat confused and indefinite because of the imperfections of reflecting surfaces, nevertheless it is quite sure to retain something of the distinctive characteristic of the parent voice and to enlarge its fame and range of influence. It therefore serves to illustrate the indirect gain which a truth may realize through the reverberations of an opposing thought. St. Paul's recognition of this vantage, secured to his cause through the excitation of human sense and feeling which his assertive preaching brought about, is made apparent in one of the introductory paragraphs of his letter to the Philippians. He says, "Some indeed actually preach Christ out of envy and contentiousness.... [They] proclaim him from motives of rivalry and insincerity, supposing that by this they are embittering my imprisonment. What does it matter however? In any case Christ is preached either perversely or in honest truth; and in that I rejoice, aye, and will rejoice" (Weymouth's translation).

We may be entirely sure that the apostle did not enjoy his own vilification or the misstatement of his message. He was not made glad over the imperfect concepts of Christian truth which were no doubt echoed back and forth by the frowning antagonisms which surrounded him, but he did rejoice that whatever of personal trial the malicious activity of his enemies might bring him, his mission and his message were nevertheless being noised abroad thereby, and through the divine overruling, enmity and prejudice were thus made to contribute to the larger and perchance more speedy triumph of that truth for the dissemination of which he was ever ready to suffer and to count all other things as nothing.

August 31, 1907

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