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[Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, D.D., in The Christian Advocate]

This gospel of the Spirit is the supreme need of the church today. There never was a time when the church was so busily engaged in such a multitude of outward tasks, and hardly a time either when the church was more inwardly restless, more spiritually dissatisfied, and in many places more desperately inefficient. The danger of her practicalness is its superficiality. She is playing Martha in our generation. The Master has come; she rises to serve him, that his will should be done in government, in home and school, in all philanthropy and good citizenship; these are her anxieties. It is all noble and good, springing from Christian instincts, undeniably sublime; but what if in our busyness to do things for him we lose the attentive ear that listens to him and the ready heart that groweth like him? What if, like children, we fall to running many errands for a Father whom we do not inwardly know; and what if amid the clatter of our hurrying footsteps the Master once more were saying, "Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful"? For the real power of the church has never been the multitude of her tasks but the quality of her souls; the real business of the church has never been the multiplication of quantity in service but the production of quality in men. That men should be born anew, should become the organs and instruments of the vaster spiritual life of God,—that is the central business of the church, the biggest business of the world.

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October 23, 1915
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