In His Steps eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about In His Steps.

Chapter Nineteen

[Letter from Rev. Calvin Bruce, D.D., of the Nazareth Avenue Church, Chicago, to Rev. Philip A. Caxton, D.D., New York City.]

“My Dear Caxton: 

“It is late Sunday night, but I am so intensely awake and so overflowing with what I have seen and heard that I feel driven to write you now some account of the situation in Raymond as I have been studying it, and as it has apparently come to a climax today.  So this is my only excuse for writing so extended a letter at this time.

“You remember Henry Maxwell in the Seminary.  I think you said the last time I visited you in New York that you had not seen him since we graduated.  He was a refined, scholarly fellow, you remember, and when he was called to the First Church of Raymond within a year after leaving the Seminary, I said to my wife, ’Raymond has made a good choice.  Maxwell will satisfy them as a sermonizer.’  He has been here eleven years, and I understand that up to a year ago he had gone on in the regular course of the ministry, giving good satisfaction and drawing good congregations.  His church was counted the largest and wealthiest church in Raymond.  All the best people attended it, and most of them belonged.  The quartet choir was famous for its music, especially for its soprano, Miss Winslow, of whom I shall have more to say; and, on the whole, as I understand the facts, Maxwell was in a comfortable berth, with a very good salary, pleasant surroundings, a not very exacting parish of refined, rich, respectable people—­such a church and parish as nearly all the young men of the seminary in our time looked forward to as very desirable.

“But a year ago today Maxwell came into his church on Sunday morning, and at the close of the service made the astounding proposition that the members of his church volunteer for a year not to do anything without first asking the question, ’What would Jesus do?’ and, after answering it, to do what in their honest judgment He would do, regardless of what the result might be to them.

“The effect of this proposition, as it has been met and obeyed by a number of members of the church, has been so remarkable that, as you know, the attention of the whole country has been directed to the movement.  I call it a ‘movement’ because from the action taken today, it seems probable that what has been tried here will reach out into the other churches and cause a revolution in methods, but more especially in a new definition of Christian discipleship.

“In the first place, Maxwell tells me he was astonished at the response to his proposition.  Some of the most prominent members in the church made the promise to do as Jesus would.  Among them were Edward Norman, editor of the daily news, which has made such a sensation in the newspaper world; Milton Wright, one of the leading merchants in Raymond; Alexander Powers, whose action in the matter of the

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In His Steps from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.