The Bishop said that night while Rachel was singing that if the world of sinful, diseased, depraved, lost humanity could only have the gospel preached to it by consecrated prima donnas and professional tenors and altos and bassos, he believed it would hasten the coming of the Kingdom quicker than any other one force. “Why, oh why,” he cried in his heart as he listened, “has the world’s great treasure of song been so often held far from the poor because the personal possessor of voice or fingers, capable of stirring divinest melody, has so often regarded the gift as something with which to make money? Shall there be no martyrs among the gifted ones of the earth? Shall there be no giving of this great gift as well as of others?”
And Henry Maxwell, again as before, called up that other audience at the Rectangle with increasing longing for a larger spread of the new discipleship. What he had seen and heard at the Settlement burned into him deeper the belief that the problem of the city would be solved if the Christians in it should once follow Jesus as He gave commandment. But what of this great mass of humanity, neglected and sinful, the very kind of humanity the Savior came to save, with all its mistakes and narrowness, its wretchedness and loss of hope, above all its unqualified bitterness towards the church? That was what smote him deepest. Was the church then so far from the Master that the people no longer found Him in the church? Was it true that the church had lost its power over the very kind of humanity which in the early ages of Christianity it reached in the greatest numbers? How much was true in what the Socialist leader said about the uselessness of looking to the church for reform or redemption, because of the selfishness and seclusion and aristocracy of its members?