Much of our Lord's ministry was a voluntary burden-bearing for the accomplishment of a gracious end, viz., the demonstration to men, upon their plane of apprehension, of the power of Truth and Love to solve the human problem. He thus consented to suffer at the hands of his enemies when, as was made manifest on the night of his betrayal, he might have successfully resisted all their plans to injure him by the mere lifting of his hand. Much burden-bearing also came to him as an incident of the fact that he shared our human nature and had to work out his problem as we do ours. He was always actuated, however, by a broader, more inclusive purpose than this. The sense of brotherhood, of vicarious interest, was always to the front, so that instinctively, as one might say, he sought to live so that the life of others might be lessened of struggle and pain.

Not a little of the thought and conduct of professed Christians in all the centuries has presented a saddening contrast to this spirit of the Master. Many men have held their faith in Christ and pursued a given course of religious observance with the manifestly dominating hope and purpose of simply saving their own souls. Self-centeredness, the ascetic type of thought, has been all too plainly apparent in many who have indeed been for the Master rather than against him, but who have failed to apprehend, much less to enter into, that ministering impulse which gave an unselfish quality to all his words and acts. The caste distinctions and exclusiveness which have led "the third estate" so largely to look with reserve and questioning, if not with pronounced contempt, upon Christian profession, have given evidence of the absence of that altruistic aspiration and forethoughtedness which radiated from every facet of the Master's life.

November 27, 1909

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