Addresses by the right reverend Phillips Brooks eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Addresses by the right reverend Phillips Brooks.
to relieve its poverty, to lighten its darkness, to lift up the cloud that is upon hearts, to turn it into a great, I will not say psalm-singing city, but God-serving, God-abiding city, to touch all the difficult problems of how society and government ought to be organized then with a power with which they should yield their difficulty and open gradually.  The light to measure would be clear enough, if only the spirit is there.  Give me five hundred men, nay, give me one hundred men of the spirit that I know to-day in three men that I well understand, and I will answer for it that the city shall be saved.  And you, my friend, are one of the five hundred—­you are one of the one hundred.

“Oh, but,” you say, “is not this slavery over again?  You have talked about freedom, and here I am once more a slave.  I had about got free from the bondage of my fellow-men, and here I am right in the midst of it again.  What has become of my personality, of my independence, if I am to live thus?” Ay, you have got to learn what every noblest man has always learned, that no man becomes independent of his fellow-men excepting in serving his fellow-men.  You have got to learn that Christianity comes to us not simply as a luxury but as a force, and no man who values Christianity simply as a luxury which he possesses really gets the Christianity which he tries to value.  Only when Christianity is a force, only when I seek independence of men in serving men, do I cease to be a slave to their whims.  I must dress as they think I ought to dress; I must walk in the streets as they think I ought to walk; I must do business just after their fashion; I must accept their standards; but when Christ has taken possession of me and I am a total man, I am more or less independent of these men.  Shall I care about their little whims and oddities?  Shall I care about how they criticise the outside of my life?  Shall I peer into their faces as I meet them in the street, to see whether they approve of me or not?  And yet am I not their servant?  There is nothing now I will not do to serve them, there is nothing now I will not do to save them.  If the cross comes, I welcome the cross, and look upon it with joy, if, by my death upon the cross in any way, I may echo the salvation of my Lord and save them.  Independent of them?  Surely.  And yet their servant?  Perfectly.  Was ever man so independent in Jerusalem as Jesus was?  What cared He for the sneer of the Pharisee, for the learned scorn of the Sadducee, for the taunt of the people and the little boys that had been taught to jeer at Him as He went down the street, and yet the very servant of all their life?  He says there are two kinds of men—­they who sit upon a throne and eat, and they who serve.  “I am among you as he that serveth.”  Oh, seek independence.  Insist upon independence.  Insist that you will not be the slave of the poor, petty standards of your fellow-men.  But insist upon it only in the way in which it can be insisted

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Addresses by the right reverend Phillips Brooks from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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