[Rollin A. Sawyer, D.D., in Christian Work and Evangelist.]

At this moment we are in the process of waking out of a slumberous state of the public conscience. Society is passing before a new mirror. Public men find new tests set up by the old paths. It is a time of readjustment, a period of reform, a turning of a new leaf in the book of life, a taking of new observations, fixing the place and progress of our age in the history of man. We are getting some new glimpses into that mystery of the ages, the ultimate significance of human life. Some people are content to call it a time of unrest, as if the world of man were simply turning over in its sleep. But the mighty fact is that the moral sense of the world is quickening into action, the whole world's conscience is waking up. We are told that the morals of men are falling below old standards or finding a frail footing on new ideals. There is hurry and scurry to prop up the ancient levels of conduct by new devices underneath and readjustments up above. There is haste in the new evangelism of old doctrines of living that savors not only of distress, but of despair. The missionaries are out with cry and placard of alarm. It would seem that society was in danger of collapse and the signs of last-day catastrophes would blaze out of our serenest sky. There is no sort of objection to activity and vigilance on the part of our conspicuous workers for religion and righteousness, but the peril of mistaking the meaning of all social and religious change is not only very great, but it is menacingly very nigh. What is needed at this moment most of all is a recognition of the roused spirit that is abroad, moving on the souls of men as the creative spirit marched on to kindle light and life out of the primitive "deep." These unwonted stirs are not a refluent, but an advancing, tide. The sea is coming in. Humanity swings in response to heaven, that call from its own deep answering to the deeps on high. All this restless, yearning struggle is a sign of health, a symptom of irrepressible growth. Why treat it as a signal of decline, decay, and death? The world is not waxing evil. The patient we are called to treat is alive and going on to higher life. The mistake in treatment may produce the very ill we fight and fear. [Theodore G. Soares in Standard.]

April 20, 1912

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