| print this
"If any man
would come after me, let him deny himself and take up
his cross daily and follow me."
MAXWELL paced his study back and forth. It was Wednesday
and he had started to think out the subject of his evening
service which fell upon that night. Out of one of his study
windows he could see the tall chimney of the railroad shops.
The top of the evangelist's tent just showed over the buildings
around the Rectangle. He looked out of his window every
time he turned in his walk. After a while he sat down at
his desk and drew a large piece of paper toward him. After
thinking several moments he wrote in large letters the following:
NUMBER OF THINGS THAT JESUS WOULD
PROBABLY DO IN THIS PARISH
in a simple, plain manner, without needless luxury on
the one hand or undue asceticism on the other.
fearlessly to the hypocrites in the church, no matter
what their social importance or wealth.
in some practical form His sympathy and love for the
common people as well as for the well-to-do, educated,
refined people who make up the majority of the parish.
Himself with the great causes of humanity in some personal
way that would call for self-denial and suffering.
against the saloon in Raymond.
known as a friend and companion of the sinful people
in the Rectangle.
up the summer trip to Europe this year. (I have been
abroad twice and cannot claim any special need of rest.
I am well, and could forego this pleasure, using the
money for some one who needs a vacation more than I
do. There are probably plenty of such people in the
He was conscious, with a humility that was once a stranger
to him, that his outline of Jesus' probable action was painfully
lacking in depth and power, but he was seeking carefully
for concrete shapes into which he might cast his thought
of Jesus' conduct. Nearly every point he had put down, meant,
for him, a complete overturning of the custom and habit
of years in the ministry. In spite of that, he still searched
deeper for sources of the Christ-like spirit. He did not
attempt to write any more, but sat at his desk absorbed
in his effort to catch more and more the spirit of Jesus
in his own life. He had forgotten the particular subject
for his prayer meeting with which he had begun his morning
He was so absorbed over his thought that he did not hear
the bell ring; he was roused by the servant who announced
a caller. He had sent up his name, Mr. Gray.
Maxwell stepped to the head of the stairs and asked Gray
to come up. So Gray came up and stated the reason for his
want your help, Mr. Maxwell. Of course you have heard what
a wonderful meeting we had Monday night and last night.
Miss Winslow has done more with her voice than I could do,
and the tent won't hold the people."
heard of that. It is the first time the people there have
heard her. It is no wonder they are attracted."
has been a wonderful revelation to us, and a most encouraging
event in our work. But I came to ask if you could not come
down tonight and preach. I am suffering from a severe cold.
I do not dare trust my voice again. I know it is asking
a good deal from such a busy man. But, if you can't come,
say so frankly, and I'll try somewhere else."
sorry, but it's my regular prayer meeting night," began
Henry Maxwell. Then he flushed and added, "I shall
be able to arrange it in some way so as to come down. You
can count on me."
Gray thanked him earnestly and rose to go.
you stay a minute, Gray, and let us have a prayer together?"
said Gray simply.
So the two men kneeled together in the study. Henry Maxwell
prayed like a child. Gray was touched to tears as he knelt
there. There was something almost pitiful in the way this
man who had lived his ministerial life in such a narrow
limit of exercise now begged for wisdom and strength to
speak a message to the people in the Rectangle.
Gray rose and held out his hand. "God bless you, Mr.
Maxwell. I'm sure the Spirit will give you power tonight."
Henry Maxwell made no answer. He did not even trust himself
to say that he hoped so. But he thought of his promise and
it brought him a certain peace that was refreshing to his
heart and mind alike.
So that is how it came about that when the First Church
audience came into the lecture room that evening it met
with another surprise. There was an unusually large number
present. The prayer meetings ever since that remarkable
Sunday morning had been attended as never before in the
history of the First Church. Mr. Maxwell came at once to
feel that I am called to go down to the Rectangle tonight,
and I will leave it with you to say whether you will go
on with this meeting here. I think perhaps the best plan
would be for a few volunteers to go down to the Rectangle
with me prepared to help in the after-meeting, if necessary,
and the rest to remain here and pray that the Spirit power
may go with us."
So half a dozen of the men went with the pastor, and the
rest of the audience stayed in the lecture room. Maxwell
could not escape the thought as he left the room that probably
in his entire church membership there might not be found
a score of disciples who were capable of doing work that
would successfully lead needy, sinful men into the knowledge
of Christ. The thought did not linger in his mind to vex
him as he went his way, but it was simply a part of his
whole new conception of the meaning of Christian discipleship.
When he and his little company of volunteers reached the
Rectangle, the tent was already crowded. They had difficulty
in getting to the platform. Rachel was there with Virginia
and Jasper Chase who had come instead of the Doctor tonight.
When the meeting began with a song in which Rachel sang
the solo and the people were asked to join in the chorus,
not a foot of standing room was left in the tent. The night
was mild and the sides of the tent were up and a great border
of faces stretched around, looking in and forming part of
the audience. After the singing, and a prayer by one of
the city pastors who was present, Gray stated the reason
for his inability to speak, and in his simple manner turned
the service over to "Brother Maxwell of the First Church."
de bloke?" asked a hoarse voice near the outside of
Fust Church parson. We've got de whole high-tone swell outfit
you say Fust Church? I know him. My landlord's got a front
pew up there," said another voice, and there was a
laugh, for the speaker was a saloon keeper.
out de life line 'cross de dark wave!" began a drunken
man near by, singing in such an unconscious imitation of
a local traveling singer's nasal tone that roars of laughter
and jeers of approval rose around him. The people in the
tent turned in the direction of the disturbance. There were
shouts of "Put him out!" "Give the Fust Church
a chance!" "Song! Song! Give us another song!"
Henry Maxwell stood up, and a great wave of actual terror
went over him. This was not like preaching to the well-
dressed, respectable, good-mannered people up on the boulevard.
He began to speak, but the confusion increased. Gray went
down into the crowd, but did not seem able to quiet it.
Maxwell raised his arm and his voice. The crowd in the tent
began to pay some attention, but the noise on the outside
increased. In a few minutes the audience was beyond his
control. He turned to Rachel with a sad smile.
something, Miss Winslow. They will listen to you,"
he said, and then sat down and covered his face with his
It was Rachel's opportunity, and she was fully equal to
it. Virginia was at the organ and Rachel asked her to play
a few notes of the hymn.
I follow on,
Guided by Thee,
Seeing not yet the hand
That leadeth me.
Hushed be my heart and still
Fear I no farther ill,
Only to meet Thy will,
My will shall be."
Rachel had not sung the first line before the people in
the tent were all turned toward her, hushed and reverent.
Before she had finished the verse the Rectangle was subdued
and tamed. It lay like some wild beast at her feet, and
she sang it into harmlessness. Ah! What were the flippant,
perfumed, critical audiences in concert halls compared with
this dirty, drunken, impure, besotted mass of humanity that
trembled and wept and grew strangely, sadly thoughtful under
the touch of this divine ministry of this beautiful young
woman! Mr. Maxwell, as he raised his head and saw the transformed
mob, had a glimpse of something that Jesus would probably
do with a voice like Rachel Winslow's. Jasper Chase sat
with his eyes on the singer, and his greatest longing as
an ambitious author was swallowed up in his thought of what
Rachel Winslow's love might sometimes mean to him. And over
in the shadow outside stood the last person any one might
have expected to see at a gospel tent service -- Rollin
Page, who, jostled on every side by rough men and women
who stared at the swell in fine clothes, seemed careless
of his surroundings and at the same time evidently swayed
by the power that Rachel possessed. He had just come over
from the club. Neither Rachel nor Virginia saw him that
The song was over. Maxwell rose again. This time he felt
calmer. What would Jesus do? He spoke as he thought once
he never could speak. Who were these people? They were immortal
souls. What was Christianity? A calling of sinners, not
the righteous, to repentance. How would Jesus speak? What
would He say? He could not tell all that His message would
include, but he felt sure of a part of it. And in that certainty
he spoke on. Never before had he felt "compassion for
the multitude." What had the multitude been to him
during his ten years in the First Church but a vague, dangerous,
dirty, troublesome factor in society, outside of the church
and of his reach, an element that caused him occasionally
an unpleasant twinge of conscience, a factor in Raymond
that was talked about at associations as the "masses,"
in papers written by the brethren in attempts to show why
the "masses" were not being reached. But tonight
as he faced the masses he asked himself whether, after all,
this was not just about such a multitude as Jesus faced
oftenest, and he felt the genuine emotion of love for a
crowd which is one of the best indications a preacher ever
has that he is living close to the heart of the world's
eternal Life. It is easy to love an individual sinner, especially
if he is personally picturesque or interesting. To love
a multitude of sinners is distinctively a Christ-like quality.
When the meeting closed, there was no special interest shown.
No one stayed to the after-meeting. The people rapidly melted
away from the tent, and the saloons, which had been experiencing
a dull season while the meetings progressed, again drove
a thriving trade. The Rectangle, as if to make up for lost
time, started in with vigor on its usual night debauch.
Maxwell and his little party, including Virginia, Rachel
and Jasper Chase, walked down past the row of saloons and
dens until they reached the corner where the cars passed.
is a terrible spot," said the minister as he stood
waiting for their car. "I never realized that Raymond
had such a festering sore. It does not seem possible that
this is a city full of Christian disciples."
you think any one can ever remove this great curse of drink?"
asked Jasper Chase.
have thought lately as never before of what Christian people
might do to remove the curse of the saloon. Why don't we
all act together against it? Why don't the Christian pastors
and the church members of Raymond move as one man against
the traffic? What would Jesus do? Would He keep silent?
Would He vote to license these causes of crime and death?"
He was talking to himself more than to the others. He remembered
that he had always voted for license, and so had nearly
all his church members. What would Jesus do? Could he answer
that question? Would the Master preach and act against the
saloon if He lived today? How would He preach and act? Suppose
it was not popular to preach against license? Suppose the
Christian people thought it was all that could be done to
license the evil and so get revenue from the necessary sin?
Or suppose the church members themselves owned the property
where the saloons stood--what then? He knew that those were
the facts in Raymond. What would Jesus do?
He went up into his study the next morning with that question
only partly answered. He thought of it all day. He was still
thinking of it and reaching certain real conclusions when
the EVENING NEWS came. His wife brought it up and sat down
a few minutes while he read to her.
The EVENING NEWS was at present the most sensational paper
in Raymond. That is to say, it was being edited in such
a remarkable fashion that its subscribers had never been
so excited over a newspaper before. First they had noticed
the absence of the prize fight, and gradually it began to
dawn upon them that the NEWS no longer printed accounts
of crime with detailed descriptions, or scandals in private
life. Then they noticed that the advertisements of liquor
and tobacco were dropped, together with certain others of
a questionable character. The discontinuance of the Sunday
paper caused the greatest comment of all, and now the character
of the editorials was creating the greatest excitement.
A quotation from the Monday paper of this week will show
what Edward Norman was doing to keep his promise. The editorial
MORAL SIDE OF POLITICAL
The editor of the News has always advocated the principles
of the great political party at present in power, and
has heretofore discussed all political questions from
the standpoint of expediency, or of belief in the party
as opposed to other political organizations. Hereafter,
to be perfectly honest with all our readers, the editor
will present and discuss all political questions from
the standpoint of right and wrong. In other words, the
first question asked in this office about any political
question will not be, "Is it in the interests of
our party?" or, "Is it according to the principles
laid down by our party in its platform?" but the
question first asked will be, "Is this measure in
accordance with the spirit and teachings of Jesus as the
author of the greatest standard of life known to men?"
That is, to be perfectly plain, the moral side of every
political question will be considered its most important
side, and the ground will be distinctly taken that nations
as well as individuals are under the same law to do all
things to the glory of God as the first rule of action.
The same principle will be observed in this office toward
candidates for places of responsibility and trust in the
republic. Regardless of party politics the editor of the
News will do all in his power to bring the best men into
power, and will not knowingly help to support for office
any candidate who is unworthy, no matter how much he may
be endorsed by the party. The first question asked about
the man and about the measures will be, "Is he the
right man for the place?" "Is he a good man
with ability?" "Is the measure right?"
There had been more of this, but we have quoted enough to
show the character of the editorial. Hundreds of men in
Raymond had read it and rubbed their eyes in amazement.
A good many of them had promptly written to the NEWS, telling
the editor to stop their paper. The paper still came out,
however, and was eagerly read all over the city. At the
end of a week Edward Norman knew very well that he was fast
losing a large number of subscribers. He faced the conditions
calmly, although Clark, the managing editor, grimly anticipated
ultimate bankruptcy, especially since Monday's editorial.
Tonight, as Maxwell read to his wife, he could see in almost
every column evidences of Norman's conscientious obedience
to his promise. There was an absence of slangy, sensational
scare heads. The reading matter under the head lines was
in perfect keeping with them. He noticed in two columns
that the reporters' name appeared signed at the bottom.
And there was a distinct advance in the dignity and style
of their contributions.
Norman is beginning to get his reporters to sign their work.
He has talked with me about that. It is a good thing. It
fixes responsibility for items where it belongs and raises
the standard of work done. A good thing all around for the
public and the writers."
Maxwell suddenly paused. His wife looked up from some work
she was doing. He was reading something with the utmost
interest. "Listen to this, Mary," he said, after
a moment while his lip trembled:
This morning Alexander Powers, Superintendent of the L.
and T. R. R. shops in this city, handed in his resignation
to the road, and gave as his reason the fact that certain
proofs had fallen into his hands of the violation of the
Interstate Commerce Law, and also of the state law which
has recently been framed to prevent and punish railroad
pooling for the benefit of certain favored shippers. Mr.
Powers states in his resignation that he can no longer consistently
withhold the information he possesses against the road.
He will be a witness against it. He has placed his evidence
against the company in the hands of the Commission and it
is now for them to take action upon it.
The News wishes to express itself on this action of Mr.
Powers. In the first place he has nothing to gain by it.
He has lost a very valuable place voluntarily, when by keeping
silent he might have retained it. In the second place, we
believe his action ought to receive the approval of all
thoughtful, honest citizens who believe in seeing law obeyed
and lawbreakers brought to justice. In a case like this,
where evidence against a railroad company is generally understood
to be almost impossible to obtain, it is the general belief
that the officers of the road are often in possession of
criminating facts but do not consider it to be any of their
business to inform the authorities that the law is being
defied. The entire result of this evasion of responsibility
on the part of those who are responsible is demoralizing
to every young man connected with the road. The editor of
the News recalls the statement made by a prominent railroad
official in this city a little while ago, that nearly every
clerk in a certain department of the road understood that
large sums of money were made by shrewd violations of the
Interstate Commerce Law, was ready to admire the shrewdness
with which it was done, and declared that they would all
do the same thing if they were high enough in railroad circles
to attempt it.*
It is not necessary to say that such a condition of business
is destructive to all the nobler and higher standards of
conduct, and no young man can live in such an atmosphere
of unpunished dishonesty and lawlessness without wrecking
In our judgment, Mr. Powers did the only thing that a Christian
man could do. He has rendered brave and useful service to
the state and the general public. It is not always an easy
matter to determine the relations that exist between the
individual citizen and his fixed duty to the public. In
this case there is no doubt in our minds that the step which
Mr. Powers has taken commends itself to every man who believes
in law and its enforcement. There are times when the individual
must act for the people in ways that will mean sacrifice
and loss to him of the gravest character. Mr. Powers will
be misunderstood and misrepresented, but there is no question
that his course will be approved by every citizen who wishes
to see the greatest corporation as well as the weakest individual
subject to the same law. Mr. Powers has done all that a
loyal, patriotic citizen could do. It now remains for the
Commission to act upon his evidence which, we understand,
is overwhelming proof of the lawlessness of the L. and T.
Let the law be enforced, no matter who the persons may be
who have been guilty.
* This was actually said in one of the General Offices
of a great Western railroad, to the author's knowledge.