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Church? Because deep in their hearts they
recognise that the cross stands for brotherhood,
for helpfulness, for a real Gospel to the poor,
while they believe that those who bear the name
of Jesus have forgotten the message that He
spoke. A } T oung student from Oxford, a resi-
dent of Mansfield House in East London, with
thrilling and pathetic earnestness said not long
ago, "Some of us have sworn that we will take
no rest until these terrible conditions are done
away." Such utterances have been heard
before. That splendid enthusiasm will wear
itself out, and that young man, if he persists,
will sink into an untimely grave. He may live
to the age of his Master, but he will hang upon
his cross long before the work is completed.
The cry of humanity is bitter and terrible.
" The cry of the children " rings in the ears of
those who heap up gold. Into this confusion
rises the clear, sweet voice of Him who hung
upon the cross : " Inasmuch as ye did it unto
one of the least of these My brethren, ye did
it unto Me."

80 The Voice of the Cross.

Poverty is not nearly so common as sorrow.
Many suffer hunger; all sooner or later feel
sorrow. Who can speak wisely of the disap-
pointments that embitter? of the losses that
make us wonder if there is love anywhere ? of
the disease that consumes those who are dearer
to us than our lives ? Who can tell what death
— that strangest of mysteries in a world of life
— means? Death obtrudes his hideous face
into all happy associations, until sometimes it
seems as if the sunlight were only a mockery
and the very air poison. The work of Christ
complete ! He who came to bind up the broken-
hearted — His work complete ! Why, it seems
as if it had hardly begun. The Apostle said :
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil
the law of Christ." Enter into each other's
life. Be helpful. Let those who have joy
minister to those who are without it. From
that cross I seem to hear a voice which comes
straight to us, saying: "Thou shalt love one
another as I have loved you." That means,
you should enter into one another's life and
bear one another's burdens, as I have entered
into your life and borne your burdens. Over
against sorrow and suffering the Master has
put Fatherhood and immortality. " Our light
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight
of glory." " Blessed are they that mourn, for
they shall be comforted." Ring out the mes-

The Voice of the Cross. 81

sage wherever hearts are breaking and eyes are
filled with tears ! All things are in the Father's
hands; not one is utterly alone; no life
is without purpose, and all tilings are moving

The desolation of poverty and sorrow are as
nothing when compared with the desolation of
sin. The same selfishness that nailed Jesus to
the cross still stalks through the earth. The
same forces of evil are at work now as of old.
In the morning multitudes go out pure as the
light — in the evening they return beaten down,
defeated, despairing. There is poverty because
men choose evil rather than good. There is
sorrow because men forget to love one another.
Our Master had one mission above all others —
by service and sacrifice to bring men from the
sway of sin and sorrow into the life and love of
God. His life was given to humanity. Study
His career, and see if you can get anything out
of it except ceaseless effort to destroy poverty,
to break the clouds of sorrow, to find the secret
places in which lurk the powers which work
evil among men. All for man, and nothing for
Himself. To that His followers are called.
Wherever His story goes, there also goes the
mute appeal that men should be as He was. Oh,
what a world this would be if competition could
go out, and co-operation come in and prevail !
How much of sorrow would go if all would help
one another, and never in any way hinder ; if


82 The Voice of the Cross.

all would work together to overcome sin and
destroy evil ! I seem to hear a voice calling to
you and to me, saying : " You believe in Me ?
then follow Me. You believe in the cross ?
then live the life of the cross. You believe in
the love of God ? the love of God can manifest
itself only in the love of man." Let us dare to
be singular ! dare to go against traditions and
theories ! dare to do anything that is not wrong,
if thereby we may help a little to do away
with poverty, and cause rifts in the clouds
through which the light of God's love may
shine into the broken hearts of brother men.
Into the midst of controversies concerning the
mysteries of time and eternity ; into the midst
of competitions among the churches ; into the
midst of those who use wealth as if there were
no judgment; close beside those who are
ungenerous and unkind, that living cross moves,
with the streaming hands and the pierced side,
and everywhere sound with thrilling pathos the
words — " As thou hast sent Me into the world,
even so send I them into the world."

The voice of the cross reaches to all men.
It entreats us to fight against every usage or
custom which is at variance with love. It
summons us to war against every theory which
confuses a man with a thing. It insists that
all shall have the opportunity of growing into
the Divine likeness. It would have us go into
business houses with a scourge of small cords,

The Voice of the Cross. 83

and drive out those who pay wages which
necessitate starvation or sin. It summons the
faithful to enter churches which make discrimi-
nations based on wealth, and lift high the
Gospel which cannot be bought with a price.
It calls us to be brothers ; to put our hearts at
the disposal of those whose hearts are broken,
and, in some way and at any cost, to find all
who are without God and without hope, and
then to be willing even to die that they may be
brought to the Father's house and the Father's

Many other messages come from that cross.
It asks, " Can you question the final outcome
of the conflict between evil and good? Can
you doubt that what has been begun at so great
cost will be surely completed ? " You are at
sea in the midst of the wild, black night. Not
a star is visible. The rush and roar of the
waters is in your ears. The desolate, awful
ocean is around, and blackness of darkness
above and beneath. Thus do we sometimes
picture the world in which we live — evil with-
out, evil within, evil behind, and an abyss
before us ! But that is not a true picture.
Nature is not heartless. The elemental forces
are beneficent. All things work for good.
When despondency concerning the final victory
comes, the cross seems to move nearer, the very
wounds in the hands and feet, and the spear-
print in the side, to find voices which ask, Can

84 The Voice of the Cross.

you believe that the work which the Saviour
began can be defeated ? The call of the cross
is to holiness, to service and sacrifice, to faith
in the final triumph of good : it calls all who
bear the Christian name to realise that they are
in fellowship with the Son of God in saving the
world. The cross utters its voice in our ears.
It seems to say : " You are blest with all that
you need ; you have friends and love : I bring
to you the greatest of all possible privileges.
Power will cease, wealth will go, friendships
must end ; I offer to you fellowship with me in
the work of bringing all men iuto actual brother-
hood, and into the realisation, not only of
Fatherhood, but of immortality." Two voices
sound from that living cross which has moved
down the ages and stands by our sides to-day.
One speaks to those who have taken the Chris-
tian name, saying : i( Eise to your privilege ! the
servant is to be as his Lord ! my work is your
work ! where I went you are to go ! what I did
you are to do ! those who were dear to me
should be dear to you ; the more you have the
more you should give ! the more nearly perfect
you make your life the richer will be its achieve-
ment for God and humanity ! " Are we heeding
that voice ?

Yet once more that cross moves closer, and
yet more intensely and eagerly He who hangs
upon it seems to speak to us, and the burden
of His words is : "I bring to you that which is

The Voice of the Cross. 85

highest and best for time and eternity ; I bring
to you the assurance that there is no grief and
no sorrow that is not always in the Father's
sight and may not be turned into blessing. I
bring to you a power by which evil thoughts
and tendencies may be destroyed. I bring to
you whose memories are full of sad and bad
recollections the assurance that no life can have
been so wicked, no past so foul, no strength so
far gone, as to cut off from the love of God and
His willingness to save." Are you willing to
hear that voice and to respond to its invitation ?



11 And He said unto all, If any man would come after Me, let
him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

Luke ix. 23.

Our subject is suggested by a chapter in " The
Imitation of Christ," entitled « The Eoyal Way
of the Holy Cross." To what does the cross
call ? Other symbols may be misunderstood —
the cross never. The doctrine of the atonement
has been the subject of controversy from the
earliest Christian times; the doctrine of the
cross is too clear for controversy. The noblest
Being who ever walked this earth esteemed it
His highest privilege to suffer and die that men
might be saved — to themselves, to their fellow-
men, and to God. The cross stands for self-
sacrifice. Self-denial and self-sacrifice are not
the same. The cross speaks of self-sacrifice for
love; of a Being who disappeared in the work
which He came to do ; who thought little of
Himself and much of others. There may be
denial of self for selfish ends. The athlete
denies Ins passions in order that his ambition
in other directions may be realised. The
gambler denies himself drink that his head may

90 The Way of the Cross.

"be clear and his will resolute. Self-denial may-
be partial; it may be stoical — for no higher
purpose than that pain may be avoided ; but
self-sacrifice can never be incomplete. It is a
whole offering. He who sacrifices himself gives
body and soul, faculty and possession, in the
interests of love. What it means for the
Christian has been put into clear and positive
terms. " The Life is the light of men." What
Christ was, that the cross means for us ; the Royal
Way of the Holy Cross is made plain in Him.
His coming into the human condition, enduring
misunderstanding and sorrow ; His submission
to poverty and pain ; His refusal to use Divine
power for selfish ends; His physical anguish,
and at last His death, all show that He had no
thought for self. Study the Four Gospels ; do
you find one place in which He sought comfort
or enjoyed luxury? He lived for others, and
died for their salvation.

Note another fact. The Master did not bring
into the world something new. The way of
the cross has always been the only way to
happiness, usefulness, and victory. The law
of sacrifice is as old as the creation. The Lamb
was slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus did not reveal a new order of life, but
brought into prominence that which had been
in the nature of things and the nature of God
from eternity. Assertion of self and of indi-
vidual rights ends in division and conflict;

The Wat of the Cross. 91

effacement of self and of individual rights ends
in harmony and peace. The difference between
self-sacrifice as taught by Christ and self-denial
as taught by the philosophers is that with
them self-denial looks toward no end outside
the individual ; while with him self-sacrifice is
the inevitable expression of love.

The way of the cross is the ivay of love. There
can be no cross without love, and no love
without its cross. Love enters into the con-
dition of its object. It goes where its object
is. Love alwa} r s bears burdens and carries
sorrows. It did so long before the crucifixion.
The mother watches night and day, enters
into the conditions of her child, because she
is the mother. It is the same between
friends. One thinks of another, goes out of
his way to do him a favour, not because he is
entreated, but because something within impels
him. You must enter into the condition of
your friend and carry him upon your heart.
Every David weeps for his Jonathan.

In patriotism the same principle holds.
Patriots love their country, and for it, there-
fore, are willing to die. ~No Emperor can
compel the allegiance of the heart. Force
arouses hate ; love inspires heroism. And so it
happens that many, after the most careful con-
sideration, enter upon courses which they know
must end in loss, perhaps in death, because their
country calls.

92 The Wat of the Cross.

Our Master gives this principle its supreme
illustration. To Him there is no nation but the
world, and no family but that of the heavenly
Father. In His sight all men are brethren.
He puts Himself at the service of humanity as
a mother puts herself at the service of her child.
Multiply by infinity the mother who watches all
night with a poor, sick, crying baby, and you
have the love which throbs in the heart of God.
Mother-love and Divine love are the same in
kind; they differ only in degree. "Whosoever
loveth is born of God." No man who hates his
child can love God ; by loving his child he will
be helped to love God ; by sacrificing for those
nearest we are taught to sacrifice for those who
are farthest. Through the home friendship has
a meaning, and through loyalty to home and
friendship the relations of the individual to the
race and the whole human family are understood
and appreciated. According to the perfection
of love there must be suffering. He who loves
most may suffer most. If your child is in pain,
you are hurt. If your friend is in agony, you
cannot sleep at night. If you see men with the
eyes of Christ, you will feel toward them with
His heart. Those children who have no one to
teach them, whose training is in the street;
those women who struggle day and night to earn
the barest pittance ; those men who grind the
faces of the poor, will be a burden upon your
heart, as they are upon the Master's, because all

The Way of the Ceoss. 93

are children of our Father, God. Larger love
carries larger possibilities of suffering. If a
man could grow so that his love could embrace
all who live, there would be no limit to what that
person might suffer, because his love would
embrace the miseries of all men. It is not sur-
prising that Christ died ! Who could feel the
world's sorrow and sin, and live ? It breaks our
hearts to carry one man's burdens. A young
man lost his reason, and afterward recovered.
Speaking of the experience, his father said, " It
almost killed us." That sorrow for one child
was the reverse side of those parents' love. If
Christ felt for all men as a mother feels for her
child, the cross was inevitable. As men become
like Christ they enter into human sorrow and
sin, and cannot rest until they have done some-
thing toward making better conditions. Self-
sacrifice is the necessary expression of the life
of love. The most beautiful nature loves most.
The way of the cross is the only way to real
usefulness. He is not helpful who lives for
himself. A selfish man is like a furnace which
radiates no heat. He serves his fellow-men no
more than a mass of ice warms a garden. The
sun shines for all the mountains and meadows,
and the good man lives for all his fellow-men.
Appreciation and sympathy are impossible at
arm's length, and equally impossible where all
thought is of self. Take the problem of
poverty. How may the poor be helped ? Cer-

94 The Way of the Cross.

tainly not by the rich staying in their homes
and coldly giving money. The easiest way to
get the tramp from the door may be the worst
for him. He who sits in his palace and reads
pious lectures to the poor on the sin of shift-
lessness will be hated, because the instinct of
the man who is turned away will feel that he
is given a stone instead of bread. But let the
rich and learned go among those who need,
study their condition, insist on getting the
facts and finding out their causes, and he will
be reverenced as a son of God. There was
never a truer word spoken than this by the
Dean of Toynbee Hall : " What the poor need
is not your money — it is you." It is possible
to give money without love, but no man who
loves can stop with giving money ; he must also
give himself.

There is sorrow in the world. Who shall
measure it ? " Every heart knoweth its own
bitterness." How may we comfort one another
in sorrow ? Only by entering into the condi-
tion of those who suffer. A widowed mother
lost her only child ; to her life seemed mockery,
the idea of God irony. She was told, as she
wept over her loved one, " You ought to say,
' Thy will be done.' " Like a tigress she turned
on her adviser and said, " Could you ? " The
advice was good, but there was no love behind
it. One went to her afterwards and said, " Do
not blame yourself if you feel rebellious ; your

The Wat of the Cross. 95

loss God knows, and He will not blame you for
your grief and despair." She turned to that
man as to one divinely sent. Because he was
" a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief "
the world listens to Jesus and heeds His words
as they fall like music upon ears that have been
hardened by the formalism and professionalism
of those without hearts.

Great problems are waiting to be solved;
social revolution is threatened in all lands ;
class rises against class ; red-handed anarchy
stalks through many capitals ; kings sit uneasy
on their thrones; and capitalists tremble with
all their wealth. Who shall bring in the better
order ? Those who, having risen toward Christ's
altitude, are able to see men and feel toward
them as He did ; who bear the sorrows of the
outcasts, and who will not be comforted while
any hearts are breaking. The way of usefulness
in this world leads by the cross. If we would
relieve the poor, we must love them. If we
would put our shoulder under the burdens which
others are carrying, their sorrows must be actu-
ally ours. If the enmities which exist among
individuals and classes are ever to cease, those
who have wealth and faculty must give them-
selves to the service of humanity. If the blessed
evangel of dying love is to penetrate all lands,
Christians must be willing even to die that their
fellow-men may enter into the life of the
children of God.

96 The Way of the Cross.

The way of the cross is the id ay to happiness.
Happiness is coveted by all and possessed by
few. The poor imagine that they will be happy
when they are rich ; those in obscurity, when
they occupy great places ; those who are
thwarted, when their dreams are realised ; those
who are limited, when their limitations are
removed. We insist that we must be happy in
our way, and lose everything. The only way to
happiness is the way of self-sacrifice. He who
seeks much for himself will be for ever disap-
pointed. The child can never reach the stars.
Few can be rich, and none can keep their riches
long. The wealthy cannot buy health with
money ; no golden wall rises so high that it will
not be scaled by death. Greatness and happi-
ness are not twins. The king is anxious upon
his throne, and " the President pays dearly for
his White House." * Responsibility brings
anxiety, and anxiety is the enemy of happiness.
Where work wears out one, worry wears out
thousands. There is less happiness among the
great than among the humble, among the rich
than among the poor. " But if these limita-
tions could only be removed ! " "If I did not
have to work so hard ! " " If I could be my
best self ! " " If I could have that for which I
know I am fitted ! " Ah, greatness of gift always
implies greatness of responsibility ; if one limita-
tion goes, another comes ; that which seems to
* Emerson : Essay on Compensation.

The Way op the Cross. 97

give freedom only increases slavery. Almost all
men, like birds, beat themselves against their
cages, longing to get into some different world,
to soar beneath some more splendid skies, ignor-
ant of the abysses in that larger world and of
the storms which sweep those skies. Of the
Master it was said, " Who for the joy that was
set before Him endured the cross." The cross
preceded the joy, as the mountain climb is
before the vision of the earth and sky. The
Stoic said, " The way to be happy is to cease to
desire or aspire " ; in other words, Deny your-
self. Christ's message is, " The way to be
happy is the way of the cross. Sacrifice your-
self. Make all you possibly can ; give every
faculty its fullest development ; be as beautiful,
as cultured, as wise as circumstances will permit,
not that you may be happy, but that } t ou may
use powers, faculties, gifts, as I have used mine
— for humanity. In that way, and that alone,
lies happiness." " Then happiness is impossi-
ble ? " No ! happiness is a reality. Every one
who does a righteous act finds in that act satis-
faction and a measure of joy. If it were
possible to put together on one side of a great
platform all the missionaries who have gone to
the foreign field and on the other side all the
men whose fortunes have reached a half -million
or more, which group do you think would show
the happier faces? A mother is sick with a
terrible disease. The other members of the

98 The Wat of the Cross.

family give up society., comfort, rest, and watch
day and night with their loved one. At last she
closes her eyes and goes home, and they say ;
" Oh, it is such a blessing that we were able to
watch with her during her last hours ! " I once
looked from a college platform where a young
man was delivering his Commencement oration,
and saw his mother before him drinking in every
word he spoke, devouring him with the love in
her eyes. She had sacrificed that that son
might be educated. When at last the Com-
mencement came, and he stood before an
applauding audience, the leader of his class, she
hid herself in the crowd and wept for joy — the
happiest person in all the room. Travel, luxury,
society, millions of money, could not give a
thousandth part of the pleasure that thrilled
that mother's heart as through her tears she
thanked God that her prayers were answered.
Happiness is the flower of right. If you are
not happy when you are right, you would be
unutterably miserable with the consciousness of
being wrong. All the joy which does not fade
is that which grows from self-sacrifice.

Once more we get back to our Master. He
walked this Royal Way of the Holy Cross
whether He did things great or small. He
became the world's Saviour by His sacrifice. He
lost Himself that men might be saved. He never
asked for success, friendship, power, apprecia-
tion, anything but the privilege of serving

The Way of the Cross. 99

humanity. Life on earth or in heaven would
have been hell if the privilege of sacrifice had
been taken away. To human eyes when He
died there was not the slightest evidence that
He had been anything but a failure. He was
not only willing to sacrifice, but willing to fail.
Many would choose suffering if they could be
sure of triumph in the end, but the outlook
before Him was not only death but failure.

Because theology put its emphasis upon the
sacrifice on Calvary, do not make the mistake of
thinking that the cross is only for those who can
do great things. All who truly serve their
fellow-men are partners in all that Calvary
symbolises. We see the quaking earth and the
shrouded heavens, and forget that every hour
that Jesus lived had its own limitation, and
that every moment was a succession of crucifix-
ions. The cross moves into the daily life of
every man. Before him open two paths : one
leads to wealth and power, the other to obscurity
and suffering. The first is a way of ease, self-
indulgence, uselessness ; the other of struggle,
conflict, and blessing.

Sickness and limitation shut many in narrow
places. "I am no longer of use to; any one."
" I am only in the way." " I cannot under-
stand how such beautiful and useful persons can
die while I am left, nothing but a hindrance."
When ambition is sacrificed, and the most made
of what we have ; when those who are limited

100 The "Wat of the Cross.

are willing to be small, if God can fill a small
place with them ; when those who are sick are
willing that God should use them as a means

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