“I knew you would,” replied the Bishop quietly. “And I came in this evening to say that I shall be obliged to do the same thing with my charge.”
Dr. Bruce turned and walked up to his friend. They were both laboring under a repressed excitement.
“Is it necessary in your case?” asked Bruce.
“Yes. Let me state my reasons. Probably they are the same as yours. In fact, I am sure they are.” The Bishop paused a moment, then went on with increasing feeling:
“Calvin, you know how many years I have been doing the work of my position, and you know something of the responsibility and care of it. I do not mean to say that my life has been free from burden-bearing or sorrow. But I have certainly led what the poor and desperate of this sinful city would call a very comfortable, yes, a very luxurious life. I have had a beautiful house to live in, the most expensive food, clothing and physical pleasures. I have been able to go abroad at least a dozen times, and have enjoyed for years the beautiful companionship of art and letters and music and all the rest, of the very best. I have never known what it meant to be without money or its equivalent. And I have been unable to silence the question of late: ‘What have I suffered for the sake of Christ?’ Paul was told what great things he must suffer for the sake of his Lord. Maxwell’s position at Raymond is well taken when he insists that to walk in the steps of Christ means to suffer. Where has my suffering come in? The petty trials and annoyances of my clerical life are not worth mentioning as sorrows or sufferings. Compared with Paul or any of the Christian martyrs or early disciples I have lived a luxurious, sinful life, full of ease and pleasure. I cannot endure this any longer. I have that within me which of late rises in overwhelming condemnation of such a following of Jesus. I have not been walking in His steps. Under the present system of church and social life I see no escape from this condemnation except to give the most of my life personally to the actual physical and soul needs of the wretched people in the worst part of this city.”
The Bishop had risen now and walked over to the window. The street in front of the house was as light as day, and he looked out at the crowds passing, then turned and with a passionate utterance that showed how deep the volcanic fire in him burned, he exclaimed:
“Calvin, this is a terrible city in which we live! Its misery, its sin, its selfishness, appall my heart. And I have struggled for years with the sickening dread of the time when I should be forced to leave the pleasant luxury of my official position to put my life into contact with the modern paganism of this century. The awful condition of the girls in some great business places, the brutal selfishness of the insolent society fashion and wealth that ignores all the sorrow of the city, the fearful curse of the drink and gambling hell, the wail of the unemployed,