To lead a people long crushed by oppression away from the degradations of slavery into a true and intelligent freedom, to teach those who have no inheritance of steady purpose to rise into new habits of thought and feeling, and away from the heredity of superstitions which were unrelated with morality, into a faith which really purifies the heart and the life, is not the work of a year, nor of fifty years. It means patient continuance in well doing. It means consecration, responsibility and self-sacrifice on the part of those who take upon themselves and into themselves, the sins and the sorrows, and the struggles and failures of those who are to be saved.
Nothing but a consecration that becomes a passion of the soul in Christ’s love and for Christ’s sake, and an abiding faith in the triumph of his kingdom of love and righteousness, will explain the earnestness and labor of the devoted souls in our mission work, who are God’s kings and priests ministering to the lowly, and crowding their days with service for those who have been the victims of the strong, and who, now weak and poor, are despised in their poverty and weakness.
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All honor to those who are giving themselves to break down the injustices of a cruel and unchristian caste, all honor to the noble men and women who are working to rescue millions from the woeful inheritance of centuries, as well as to save them from the dominion of the sin which is common to man.
Others may honor Kings and Queens and Princes who have had their greatness thrust upon them, but we will stand with those who accentuate their reverence for lives consecrated to the good of humanity, who are afflicted with the sorrows of God’s poor, and oppressed with their burdens, and whose prayers and songs are God save the people, Their lives may not be chronicled in the pages which tell of those who lived to make others serve them, but they are shining names upon God’s Book of Life, and in the day of the coronation of the nobility which God sees and records, their names will stand out like radiant stars in the heavens. One of such was JAMES POWELL, whose life was a grand sacrifice of undeviating love for those whose necessities made him feel that he was debtor to them, until he gave them the price of his life which Christ had redeemed.
Subordinating himself to this consecration with incessant desire, he has left his example which may well be inspiration and strength to all who are working and praying for those who have been trodden under the feet of the strong, and he has left his influence for tens of thousands.
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