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Wherewith shall I come before Jehovah, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burntofferings, with calves a year old? will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?-Micah 6: 6-8.

Translate that into modern terms: Wherewith shall I come before the Father of Jesus, and bow myself before the God who is love? Shall I come before him with gorgeous ceremonies, with elaborate rituals? Will the Father of all mercies be pleased with thousands of repeated credos or with ten thousands of eloquent sermons ? Shall I give the bending of the knee for my transgression, the offering of my purse for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Father require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God? How many of us need such instruction yet in the utterly righteous character of God, and his demands on men! Raymond Lull, who, after a life of splendid usefulness, was stoned to death by Muhammadans in North Africa in 1315, urging his “sweet and reasonable appeal” for Christ, put a primary truth into worthy words: “He who would find Thee, O Lord, let him go forth to seek Thee in love, loyalty, devotion, faith, hope, justice, mercy, and truth; for in every place where these are, there art Thou.”

O Father of Light and God of all Truth, purge the world from all errors, abuses, corruptions, and sins. Beat down the standard of Satan, and set up everywhere the standard of Christ. Abolish the reign of sin, and establish the kingdom of grace in all hearts; let humility triumph over pride and ambition; charity over hatred, envy, and malice; purity and temperance over lust and excess; meekness over passion; disinterestedness and poverty of spirit over covetousness and the love of this perishable world. Let the Gospel of Christ in faith and practice prevail throughout the world.-French Coronation Order.

First Week, Second Day

Another reason why so much of religion's driving power is unharnessed to the tasks of service is man's curious ability to keep divine relationships in one compartment of life and human relationships in another. Are we yet beyond the reach of Isaiah's swift and terrible indictment?

What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith Jehovah: I have had enough of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies,-I cannot away with iniquity and the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide_mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.Isa. 1:11-17.

Here are people who are religious, but their piety does not involve goodness, nor their faith justice, nor their worship humaneness. Their life with God has no connection with their daily relationships; it does not make them better home-folk, friends, neighbors, or citizens. Are not plenty of such cases in the Christian churches? How many folk believe in God's good purpose for mankind with the religious side of their minds, but never order their practical ambitions as though there were such a purpose in the world! Or with the religious part of their nature they believe that God loves all men, while with the practical side they themselves neglect, mistreat, and contemn men.

We still need the advice which was given to David Livingstone by an aged Scotchman: “Now, lad, make religion the everyday business of your life, and not a thing of fits and starts."

Lord! Our Light and our Salvation, help us, we beseech Thee, to enter into, and abide in, the secret place of the Most High; and may the shadow of the Almighty be our covering defense. Help each of us to set his love upon Thee, to bring thoughts and affections and purposes to Thyself, to think as Thou dost teach us, to love as Thou hast loved us, to do and will as Thou dost command us. So may we live in union with Thyself, and our word-worship in this place be in harmony with our consecration of life in our daily work.-Alexander Maclaren.

First Week, Third Day

Unmoral religion such as we are considering is often caused by a preoccupying interest in the subordinate and trivial corollaries of religion, its external expressions, its accidental accompaniments. Still the thunder of Amos is, needed to clear our air!

I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Yea, though ye offer me your burnt-offerings and meal-offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.Amos 5:21-24.

How impatiently the prophet contrasts the etiquette of religious ritual with the importance of human justice! Many a man needs so to take his religion out of doors from the suffocating narrowness of small rubrics and petty rules, and to see it in terms not of “mint and anise and cummin,” but of “justice and mercy and faith.” Quentin Hogg poured out his life in Christian service for the poor boys of London. In a letter to one of the reclaimed lads, he wrote: “I do not care a rush what denomination you belong to, I do not very much care what special creed you profess, but I do care beyond all expression that the result of that creed in your daily life should be to make you a power for good amongst your fellowmen. . We hear much talk about creeds, professions of faith and the like; but I want you to remember that when God started to write a creed for us, He did it, not in words that might change their meaning, but He set before us a life, as though to teach us that whereas theology was a science which could be argued about, religion was a life and could only be lived.”

Guide me, teach me, strengthen me, till I become such a person as Thou wouldst have me be; pure and gentle, truthful and high-minded, brave and able, courteous and generous, o ful and useful.--Charles Kingsley.

First Week, Fourth Day

Still another familiar source of a religious life divorced from practical goodness and daily usefulness is the segregation of the Church, setting it apart from life, as though God dwelt in a temple instead of living in the struggles of humanity. So, of old time, Hosea cried :

O Ephraim, what shall I do.unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burntofferings.-Hos. 6:4-6.

When the Master, for service's sake, ate with the ceremonially unclean (Matt. 9:13) and again when for human helpfulness he transgressed the Sabbath rules (Matt. 12:7), and in both cases was denounced as an enemy of God, he fell back upon this passage from Hosea : "Go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” He felt as General Booth did, of whom it was said that, in comparison with the importance of helping men, “every canon of society appeared in his eyes as the trivial and pitiful etiquette of a child's doll's house.” The Master could not patiently see his Father treated as old fire-worshipers might have treated their sacred fire, keeping it aloof in their shrine and refusing it to the people to warm their houses, cook their food, and illumine their darkness. For, in Jesus' eyes, God was not primarily in church; God was in the midst of needy, sinning, aspiring, failing humanity. And religion was not professional piety. As Henry Ward Beecher said: “Religion means work. Religion means work in a dirty world. Religion means peril; blows given, but blows taken as well. Religion means transformation. The world is to be cleaned by somebody and you are not called of God if you are ashamed to scour and scrub."

Almighty God, Fountain of Life and Light, who didst raise up prophets in ancient times to warn and instruct, and whose Son Jesus Christ did send abroad into the world apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, we beseech Thee to raise up in these days an increasing number of wise and faithful men, filled with the old prophetic fire and apostolic zeal, by whose

labours Thy Church may be greatly blessed, and Thy Kingdom come and Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven:John Hunter.

First Week, Fifth Day

Still another reason for the great quantity of religious motive power not yet belted into human service is defective ideas of what is morally right. Religious zeal does not necessarily argue ethical enlightenment. We are shocked to read of an ancient temple in Mexico, surrounded by 136,000 human skulls symmetrically piled; we wince at the thought of serving God, as some cults do, by murder and prostitution. But one need only read the prophets to see what a struggle it cost to be rid of such abominations in our own religious heritage. Are we yet rid of the heavy incubus of ethical blindness on religious life? Is “zeal without knowledge” a past problem? Rather Jeremiah might still hurl his invective at Christendom:

Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor; if ye oppress not the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even for evermore.

Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods that ye have not known, and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered; that ye may do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, saith Jehovah.-Jer. 7: 3-11.

Here were people who were zealous in their religious life. Feel the ardent intensity with which they cry up “the Temple.” But they had not learned that simple lesson which Sir Wilfred Grenfell, from his practical service on the Labrador Coast, has put into wholesome words: “Whether we, our neighbor,

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