Common experience supplies us with many exhibitions of a great and abiding love for that which to human sense is distinctly unlovable. How frequently one meets with the case of an abnormal child, in body or disposition, who commands the tenderest, most untiring service of its parents! No gentleness of patience is lacking in the ministry rendered, and yet the object of devotion may seem not only unattractive, but altogether repulsive to those not linked to it by that love which "never faileth," that inexplicable and inexhaustible compassion of kinship which ofttimes proves itself to be as constant and unvarying as the night watch of the stars. Indeed it ever was and ever will be true that there can be no genuine compassion which is not born of a deep recognition of kinship; and this explains the teaching of the Master that world redemption must be preceded by a universal sense of brotherhood.

Every now and then a great crisis or disaster brings this otherwise apparently dormant sense into assertive action, and then we have the heroisms of the Titanic,—a display of the unflinching readiness of men of every station to hazard their own lives in the effort to save the life of an unfortunate fellow man; their capacity and disposition to do for a little time what Christ Jesus taught we should do all the time, and this reappearance of the Christ-spirit gives one a new sense of the divine nearness, a new faith in the nobler possibilities of humanity. The fact that earthly kinship, the paternal or fraternal affection, prompts to such splendid self-sacrifice, and that in supreme moments the average man is found capable of rising to what men call "godlike deeds," gives some hint of the resistless power and transforming uplift resident in that apprehension of brotherhood which the Nazarene came to awaken and illustrate, and which he emphasized as the natural and requisite mental mood of the truly saving life.

May 18, 1912

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