Francis Greenwood Peabody.

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Mornings in the College Chapel



SHORT ADDRESSES TO YOUNG MEN ON
PERSONAL RELIGION BY FRANCIS GREENWOOD
PEABODY, PLUMMER PROFESSOR OF
CHRISTIAN MORALS IN HARVARD
UNIVERSITY



BOSTON AND NEW YORK

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

The Riverside Press, Cambridge




Copyright, 1896,

By FRANCIS G. PEABODY.

_All rights reserved._




TO

MY BELOVED AND REVERED COLLEAGUES

THE PREACHERS TO THE UNIVERSITY

AND TO THE SACRED MEMORY OF

PHILLIPS BROOKS

OF THE FIRST STAFF OF PREACHERS

WHO BEING DEAD YET SPEAKETH AMONG US

IN GRATEFUL RECOLLECTION OF

HAPPY ASSOCIATION IN THE SERVICE OF

CHRIST AND THE CHURCH




{v}

_In the conduct of morning prayers at Harvard University, the Preachers
to the University usually say a few plain words to interpret or enforce
the Bible lesson which has been read. The entire service is but
fifteen minutes long, so that this little address must occupy not more
than two or three minutes, and can at the best indicate only a single
wholesome thought with which a young man may begin his day. It has
been suggested to me that some of these informal and brief addresses,
if printed, may continue to be of interest to those who heard them, or
may perhaps be of use to other young people in like conditions of life;
and I have therefore tried to recall some of these mornings in the
College Chapel._

_It is now ten years since it was determined that religion in our
University should be regarded no longer as a part of College
discipline, but as a natural and rational opportunity offering itself
to the life of youth. It was a momentous transition, undertaken with
the profoundest sense of its seriousness and significance. It was an
act of faith, - of faith in religion and of faith in young men. The
University announced the belief that religion, rationally presented,
will always have for healthy-minded young men a commanding interest.
This faith has been abundantly justified. There has become familiar
among us, through the devotion of successive staffs of Preachers, a
clearer sense of the simplicity and reality of religion, which, for
many young men, has enriched the meaning of University life. No one
who has had the slightest part in administering such a work can sum up
its present issues without feeling on the one hand a deep sense of
personal insufficiency, and on the other hand a large and solemn hope._

_I have indicated such sources of suggestion for these addresses as I
noted at the time of their delivery, but it may well be that some such
indebtedness remains, against my will, unacknowledged._

CAMBRIDGE, October, 1896.




{vii}

CONTENTS

PAGE

I. THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
II. NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO, BUT TO MINISTER . . 4
III. THE TRANSMISSION OF POWER . . . . . . . . . . 7
IV. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
V. THE CENTURION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
VI. SPIRITUAL ATHLETICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
VII. THE RHYTHM OF LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
VIII. THAT OTHER DISCIPLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
IX. MORAL TIMIDITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
X. THE HEAVENLY VISION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
XI. THE BREAD AND WATER OF LIFE . . . . . . . . . 30
XII. THE RECOIL OF JUDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . 32
XIII. THE INCIDENTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
XIV. LEARNING AND LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
XV. FILLING LIFE FULL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
XVI. TAKING ONE'S SHARE OF HARDSHIPS . . . . . . . 44
XVII. CHRISTIAN UNITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
XVIII. THE PATIENCE OF FAITH . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
XIX. THE BOND-SERVANT AND THE SON . . . . . . . . . 52
XX. DYING TO LIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
XXI. CARRYING YOUR OWN CROSS . . . . . . . . . . . 56
XXII. THE POOR IN SPIRIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
XXIII. THE MOURNERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
XXIV. THE MEEK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
XXV. THE HUNGER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS . . . . . . . . . 64
XXVI. THE MERCIFUL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
XXVII. THE PURE IN HEART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
XXVIII. THE TWO BAPTISMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

{viii}

XXIX. THE WISE MEN AND THE SHEPHERDS . . . . . . . . 74
XXX. THE SONG OF THE ANGELS . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
XXXI. THE SECRET OF HEARTS REVEALED . . . . . . . . 78
XXXII. THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST . . . . . . . . . . 80
XXXIII. THE EVERLASTING ARMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
XXXIV. THE COMFORT OF THE TRUTH . . . . . . . . . . . 85
XXXV. THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT . . . . . . . . . . . 87
XXXVI. LIFE IS AN ARROW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
XXXVII. THE DECLINE OF ENTHUSIASM . . . . . . . . . . 90
XXXVIII. THE CROWN OF LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
XXXIX. THE HIDDEN MANNA AND THE WHITE STONE . . . . . 96
XL. THE MORNING STAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
XLI. LIVING AS DEAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
XLII. THE OPEN DOOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
XLIII. BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK . . . . 107
XLIV. HE THAT OVERCOMETH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
XLV. THE PRODIGALITY OF PROVIDENCE . . . . . . . . 113
XLVI. THE HARD LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
XLVII. THE THIN LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
XLVIII. THE CROWDED LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
XLIX. THE PATIENCE OF NATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
L. THE DISTRIBUTION OF TALENTS . . . . . . . . . 124
LI. THE LAW OF INCREASING RETURNS . . . . . . . . 127
LII. THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF WEALTH . . . . . . . 129
LIII. THE AVERAGE MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
LIV. THE OVERCOMING OF INSIGNIFICANCE . . . . . . . 133
LV. CAPACITY EXTIRPATED BY DISUSE . . . . . . . . 136
LVI. THE PARABLE OF THE VACUUM . . . . . . . . . . 138
LVII. CHRISTIANITY AND BUSINESS . . . . . . . . . . 140
LVIII. MAKING FRIENDS OF MAMMON . . . . . . . . . . . 143
LIX. COMING TO ONE'S SELF . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
LX. POPULARITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
LXI. TWO QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY . . . . . . . 151
LXII. AN UNRECORDED DAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
LXIII. THE ANSWER TO PRAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
LXIV. AN IMPOSSIBLE NEUTRALITY . . . . . . . . . . . 159

{ix}

LXV. THE FINISHED LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
LXVI. ATTAINING TO THE RESURRECTION . . . . . . . . 166
LXVII. SIMON OF CYRENE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
LXVIII. POWER AND TEMPTATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
LXIX. LOVING WITH THE MIND . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
LXX. AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER? . . . . . . . . . . 176
LXXI. PROFESSIONALISM AND PERSONALITY . . . . . . . 178
LXXII. THE CENTRAL SOLITUDE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
LXXIII. IF THOU KNEWEST THE GIFT OF GOD . . . . . . . 182
LXXIV. THE WEDDING GARMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
LXXV. THE ESCAPE FROM DESPONDENCY . . . . . . . . . 187
LXXVI. THE DIFFICULTIES OF UNBELIEF . . . . . . . . . 189
LXXVII. KNOWING GOD, AND BEING KNOWN OF HIM . . . . . 192
LXXVIII. FREEDOM IN THE TRUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
LXXIX. THE SOIL AND THE SEED . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
LXXX. THE LORD'S PRAYER: I. . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
LXXXI. THE LORD'S PRAYER: II. OUR FATHER . . . . . . 203
LXXXII. THE LORD'S PRAYER: III. FATHER AND SON . . . . 205
LXXXIII. THE LORD'S PRAYER: IV. HALLOWED BE THY NAME . 207
LXXXIV. THE LORD'S PRAYER: V. THY KINGDOM COME . . . . 209
LXXXV. THE LORD'S PRAYER: VI. THY WILL BE DONE . . . 211
LXXXVI. THE LORD'S PRAYER: VII. DAILY BREAD . . . . . 213
LXXXVII. THE LORD'S PRAYER: VIII. FORGIVENESS . . . . . 215
LXXXVIII. THE LORD'S PRAYER: IX. TEMPTATIONS . . . . . . 217
LXXXIX. SIMPLICITY TOWARD CHRIST . . . . . . . . . . . 219
XC. OPEN OUR EYES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
XCI. THE WORD MADE FLESH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224

LIST OF BIBLE PASSAGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227




{1}

Mornings in a College Chapel


I

THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES

_Hebrews_ xii. 1.

(FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE TERM)

No one can look for the first time into the faces of a congregation
like this without thinking, first of all, of the great multitude of
other lives whose love and sacrifice are represented here. Almost
every single life which enters our chapel is the focus of interest for
a whole domestic circle, whose prayers and anxieties, whose hopes and
ambitions, are turning toward this place from every region of this
land. Out from behind our congregation stands in the background a
cloud of witnesses in whose presence we meet. There are the fathers,
earning and saving, that the sons may have a {2} better chance than
they; there are the mothers with their prayers and sacrifices; there
are the rich parents, trembling lest wealth may be a snare to their
sons; and the humble homes with their daily deeds of self-denial for
the sake of the boys who come to us here. When we meet in this chapel
we are never alone. We are the centre of a great company of observant
hearts. And then, behind us all, there is the still larger fellowship
of the past, the historic traditions of the university, the men who
have adorned it, the inheritances into which we freely enter, the
witnesses of a long and honorable associated life.

Now this great company of witnesses does two things for us. On the one
hand, it brings responsibility. The apostle says in this passage,
"that apart from us they should not be made perfect." Every work of
the past is incomplete unless the present sustains it. We are
responsible for this rich tradition. We inherit the gift to use or to
mar. But, on the other hand, the cloud of witnesses is what
contributes courage. It sustains you to know that you represent so
much confidence and trust. It is strengthening to enter into this rich
inheritance. You do not have to begin things {3} here. You only have
to keep them moving. It is a great blessing to be taken up thus out of
solitude into the companionship of generous souls. Let us begin the
year soberly but bravely. Surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let
us lay aside every weight, and the sin which most easily besets us, and
let us run with patience the race that is immediately set before us in
the swiftly passing days of this college year.




{4}

II

"NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO, BUT TO MINISTER"

_Mark_ x. 35-45.

The disciples in this passage were looking at their faith to see what
they could get out of it. They wanted to be assured of a prize before
they took a risk. They came to Jesus saying: "We would that Thou
shouldest do for us whatever we ask." But Jesus bids them to consider
rather what they can do for their faith. "Whosoever," He says, "would
be first, is to be the servant for all, for even the Son of man comes
not to be ministered unto, but to minister." I suppose that when a man
faces a new year of college life, his first thought is of what it can
do for him. He has studied the college programme, asking himself:
"What can I get out of this?" and now he looks into the year, with all
its unknown chances, and asks of it: "O unknown year, what happiness
and friendship and instruction may I get from you? Will you not bring
to {5} pass what I desire? I would that thou shouldest do for me
whatever I ask." Then the spirit of Jesus Christ meets him here and
turns his question round: "What are you going to do for the college
during this coming year? Are you going to help us in our morals, in
our intellectual life, in our religion? Are you going to contribute to
the higher life of the university? For what do you come here, - to be
ministered unto, or to minister?"

Of course a man may answer that this is an impossible test; that there
is nothing that he can give to a great place like this, and everything
he can receive. But he little knows how the college from year to year
gets marked for good or evil by a class, or a group within a class, or
sometimes a few persons, as they pass in and out of our gates.
Sometimes a group of young men live for a few years among us and leave
behind them a positively malarial influence; and some times a few quiet
lives, simply and modestly lived among us, actually sweeten and purify
our climate for years together. And so in the quiet of our prayers we
give ourselves, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. {6}
Nowhere in the world is it more true that we are members one of
another, and that the whole vast institutional life is affected by each
slightest individual. Nowhere in this world is there a better chance
to purify the spirit and tone, either of work or of sport, and nowhere
can a man discover more immediately the happiness of being of use. The
recreation and the religion, the study and the play, of our associated
life, are waiting for the dedication of unassuming Christian men to a
life which offers itself, not to be ministered unto, but to minister.




{7}

III

THE TRANSMISSION OF POWER

_John_ xvii. 22.

This was the glory which Jesus Christ claimed for himself - to take the
glory of God and glorify with it the life of man. "The glory that thou
hast given me I have given them." It was not a glory of possession,
but a glory of transmission. It was not his capacity to receive which
glorified him, it was his capacity to give. In most of the great
pictures of the glorified Christ there is a halo of light encircling
and illuminating his face. That is the fictitious glory, the glory of
possession. In a few such paintings the light streams from the
Master's face to illuminate the other figures of the scene. That is
the real glory, the glory of transmission.

And such is the only glory in life. A man looks at learning or power
or refinement or wealth and says: "This is glory; this is success; this
is the pride of life." But there is really nothing glorious about
possession. It may be most inglorious and mean, - as {8} mean when the
possession is brains or power as when it is bonds or wheat. Indeed,
there is rarely much that is glorious or great about so slight or
evanescent a thing as a human life. The glory of it lies in its being
able to say, "The glory that thou hast given me I give to them." The
worth of life is in its transmissive capacity. In the wonderful system
of the telephone with its miracle of intercommunication there is, as
you know, at each instrument that little film of metal which we call
the transmitter, into which the message is delivered, and whose
vibrations are repeated scores of miles away. Each human life is a
transmitter. Take it away from its transmissive purpose, and what a
poor insignificant film a human life may be. But set it where it
belongs, in the great system where it has its part, and that
insignificant film is dignified with a new significance. It is as if
it said to its God: "The message which Thou givest me I give to them,"
and every word of God that is spoken into it is delivered through it to
the lives that are wearily waiting for the message as though it were
far away.




{9}

IV

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

_Matthew_ v. 16.

At the first reading there certainly seems to be something of
self-assertion and self-display about this passage, as if it said: "Let
your light so shine that people may see how much good you do." But, of
course, nothing could be farther than this from the spirit of Jesus.
Indeed, his meaning is the precise opposite of this. For he is
speaking not of a light which is to illuminate you, but of a light
which is to shine from you upon your works; so that they, and not you,
are seen, and the glory is given, not to you, but to God. Such a light
will hide you rather than exhibit you, as when one holds a lantern
before him on some dark road, so that while the bearer of the lantern
is in the darkness, the path before him is thrown into the light. The
passage, then, which seems to suggest a doctrine of self-display, is
really a teaching of self-effacement. Here is a railway-train
thundering along some evening {10} toward a broken bridge, and the
track-walker rushes toward it with his swinging lantern, as though he
had heard the great command, "Let your light shine before men;" and the
train comes to a stop and the passengers stream out and see the peril
that they have just escaped, and give thanks to their Father which is
in heaven. And this is the reward of the plain, unnoticed man as he
trudges home in the dark, - that he has done his duty well that night.
He has not been seen or praised; he has been in the shadow; but he has
been permitted to let his little light shine and save; and he too gives
thanks to his Father in heaven.

Here, again, is a lighthouse-keeper on the coast. The sailor in the
darkness cannot see the keeper, unless indeed the shadow of the keeper
obscures for a moment the light. What the sailor sees is the light;
and he thanks, not the keeper, but the power that put the light on that
dangerous rock. So the light-keeper tends his light in the dark, and a
very lonely and obscure life it is. No one mounts the rock to praise
him. The vessels pass in the night with never a word of cheer. But
the life of the keeper gets its dignity, not {11} because he shines,
but because his light guides other lives; and many a weary captain
greets that twinkling light across the sea, and seeing its good work
gives thanks to his Father which is in heaven.




{12}

V

THE CENTURION

_Matthew_ viii. 5-11.

One of the most interesting things to observe in the New Testament is
the series of persons who just come into sight for a moment through
their relation to the life of Jesus Christ, and are, as it were,
illuminated by that relationship, and then, as they pass out of the
light again, disappear into obscurity. They are like some
western-fronting window on which the slanting sun shines for a moment,
so that we see the reflection miles away. Then, with the same
suddenness, the angle of reflection changes, and the window grows dark
and insignificant once more. This centurion was such a person. Jesus
perhaps never met him before, and we never hear of him again, and yet,
in the single phrase, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in
Israel," Jesus stamps him with a special character and welcomes him
with a peculiar confidence. How is it that there is given to him this
abrupt {13} commendation? Why does Jesus say that he shows more faith
than Israel itself? It was, of course, because of the man's attitude
of mind. He comes to Jesus just as a soldier comes to his superior
officer. He has been disciplined to obedience, and that habit of
obedience to his own superiors is what gives him in his turn authority.
He obeys, and he expects to be obeyed. He is under authority, and so
he has authority over his own troops, and says to one soldier Go, and
to another Come, and they obey. Now Jesus sees in an instant that this
is just what he wants of his disciples. What discipline is to a
soldier, faith is to a Christian. A religious man is a man who is
under authority. He goes to his commander and gets orders for the day.
He does not pretend to know everything about his commander's plans. It
is not for him to arrange the great campaign. It is for him only to
obey in his own place, and to take his own part in the great design.
Perhaps in the little skirmish in which he is involved there may be
defeat, but perhaps that defeat is to count in the victory for the
larger plan. Thus the religious man does not serve on his own account.
He is in the hands of a general, who overlooks {14} the whole field.
And that sense of being under authority is what gives the religious man
authority in his turn. He is not the slave of his circumstances; he is
the master of them. He takes command of his own detachment of life,
because he has received command from the Master of all life. He says
to his passions, Go; and to his virtues, Come; and to his duty, Do
this; and the whole little company of his own ambitions and desires
fall into line behind him, because he is himself a man under authority.
That is a soldier's discipline, and that is a Christian's faith.




{15}

VI

SPIRITUAL ATHLETICS

1 _Timothy_ iv. 8.

There is this great man writing to his young friend, whom he calls "his
own son in the faith," and describing religion as a branch of
athletics. Bodily exercise, he says, profiteth somewhat. It is as if
an old man were writing to a young man today, and should begin by
saying: "Do not neglect your bodily health; take exercise daily; go to
the gymnasium." But spiritual exercise, this writer goes on, has this
superior quality, that it is good for both worlds, both for that which
now is, and that which is to come. Therefore, "exercise unto
godliness." "Take up those forms of spiritual athletics which develop
and discipline the soul. Keep your soul in training. Be sure that you
are in good spiritual condition, ready for the strain and effort which
life is sure to demand." We are often told in our day that the
athletic ideal is developed to excess, but the teaching of this passage
is just the opposite of {16} the modern warning. Paul tells this young
man that he has not begun to realize the full scope of the athletic
ideal. Is not this the real difficulty now? We have, it is true, come
to appreciate exercise so far as concerns the body, and any
healthy-minded young man to-day is almost ashamed of himself if he has
not a well developed body, the ready servant of an active will. We
have even begun to appreciate the analogy of body and mind, and to
perceive that the exercise and discipline of the mind, like that of the
body, reproduces its power. Much of the study which one does in his
education is done with precisely the same motive with which one pulls
his weights and swings his clubs; not primarily for the love of the
things studied, but for the discipline and intellectual athletics they
promote. And yet it remains true that a great many people fancy that
the soul can be left without exercise; that indeed it is a sort of
invalid, which needs to be sheltered from exposure and kept indoors in
a sort of limp, shut-in condition. There are young men in the college
world who seem to feel that the life of faith is too delicate to be
exposed to the sharp climate of the world of scholarship and {17} have
not begun to think of it as strengthened by exposure and fortified by
resistance.

Now the apostolic doctrine is this: "You do not grow strong in body or
in mind without discipline and exercise. The same athletic demand is
made on your soul." All through the writings of this vigorous,
masculine, robust adviser of young men, you find him taking the
athletic position. Now he is a boxer: "So fight I not as one that
beateth the air." Now he is a runner, looking not to the things that
are behind, but to the things before, and running, not in one sharp
dash, but, with patience, the race set before him. It is just as
athletic a performance, he thinks, to wrestle with the princes of the
darkness of this world, as to wrestle with a champion. It needs just
as rigorous a training to pull against circumstances as to pull against
time. It appears to him at least not unreasonable that the supreme
interest of an immortal soul should have from a man as much attention
and development as a man gives to his legs, or his muscle, or his wind.




{18}

VII

THE RHYTHM OF LIFE

_Matthew_ xiv. 23.

One of the most striking passages in modern literature is the paragraph
in Mr. Spencer's First Principles, in which he describes the rhythm of
motion. Motion, he says, though it seems to be continuous and steady,
is in fact pulsating, undulatory, rhythmic. There is everywhere
intermittent action and rest. The flag blown by the breeze floats out
in undulations; then the branches oscillate; then the trees begin to


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