In His Steps eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about In His Steps.

Donald Marsh looked surprised, then relieved.  Then he spoke sadly but with great conviction:  “Maxwell, you and I belong to a class of professional men who have always avoided the duties of citizenship.  We have lived in a little world of literature and scholarly seclusion, doing work we have enjoyed and shrinking from the disagreeable duties that belong to the life of the citizen.  I confess with shame that I have purposely avoided the responsibility that I owe to this city personally.  I understand that our city officials are a corrupt, unprincipled set of men, controlled in large part by the whiskey element and thoroughly selfish so far as the affairs of city government are concerned.  Yet all these years I, with nearly every teacher in the college, have been satisfied to let other men run the municipality and have lived in a little world of my own, out of touch and sympathy with the real world of the people.  ‘What would Jesus do?’ I have even tried to avoid an honest answer.  I can no longer do so.  My plain duty is to take a personal part in this coming election, go to the primaries, throw the weight of my influence, whatever it is, toward the nomination and election of good men, and plunge into the very depths of the entire horrible whirlpool of deceit, bribery, political trickery and saloonism as it exists in Raymond today.  I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon any time than do this.  I dread it because I hate the touch of the whole matter.  I would give almost any thing to be able to say, ‘I do not believe Jesus would do anything of the sort.’  But I am more and more persuaded that He would.  This is where the suffering comes for me.  It would not hurt me half so much to lose my position or my home.  I loathe the contact with this municipal problem.  I would so much prefer to remain quietly in my scholastic life with my classes in Ethics and Philosophy.  But the call has come to me so plainly that I cannot escape.  ’Donald Marsh, follow me.  Do your duty as a citizen of Raymond at the point where your citizenship will cost you something.  Help to cleanse this municipal stable, even if you do have to soil your aristocratic feelings a little.’  Maxwell, this is my cross, I must take it up or deny my Lord.”

“You have spoken for me also,” replied Maxwell with a sad smile.  “Why should I, simply because I am a minister, shelter myself behind my refined, sensitive feelings, and like a coward refuse to touch, except in a sermon possibly, the duty of citizenship?  I am unused to the ways of the political life of the city.  I have never taken an active part in any nomination of good men.  There are hundreds of ministers like me.  As a class we do not practice in the municipal life the duties and privileges we preach from the pulpit.  ’What would Jesus do?’ I am now at a point where, like you, I am driven to answer the question one way.  My duty is plain.  I must suffer.  All my parish work, all my little trials or self-sacrifices

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In His Steps from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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