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Christ. His personality was a divine humanity,
the very essence of Christianity. Christ ever
taught that to be perfect it is absolutely neces-
sary to seek the notice and aim at the approval
of a perfect being. This is the one lesson of
the Sermon on the JMount. Only by viewing
himself in the light of the Incarnation and what
it implies can man come to a deeper conception
of his own nature and capacity.

The freedom of the human spirit through
union with God was taught by Christ. This
Luther proclaimed from the house top and
helped to make an epoch in the world, deep-
ening and dignifying the whole sense of per-
sonality in man. Freedom of opinion is one
condition of a vigorous intellect. The funda-
mental principle of the Reformation was the



TJie Pozver of Personality. 17

right of the people to the truth, the whole truth,
and access for themselves to its fountain head
in the Bible. The stress laid on truth in the
Bible is specially favorable to the mental life of
man. Christianity by its appeal to the intellec-
tual in man frees him from the control of the
sensual that dwarfs his growth.

Because the greatest power in shaping human Ther^reat

d, . 1 ,. r^\ • , 1 maji not only

estmy is man himself, Christ became a man -^

•^ lives but lifts,

and so became the Saviour of the race. "The
onl}^ soul in history that has appreciated the
worth of man is Jesus Chris't." This he did
by becoming man, and a perfect man. He made
faith in goodness easy to other men. Such a
personality is as streams of water in a desert
place. "Behold, there is life whithersoever the
river cometh." London is far better governed
with its more than four millions than it former-
ly was with only one million. Because Chris-
tianity develops the higher personality, it is the
religion of progress. A great man not only
lives but lifts. Christ's lifting power is his
measure.

No people ever yet possessed a worthy con- Proper views

„ , • . r , M £j_ ' 1. ' • of man come

ception of man until after it was in possession -^

■wilh riffht

of a worthy conception of God. Christ's human- ^Vw* of GoJ.
2



i8 The Pozvcr of Personality.

ity must neither be destroyed nor darkened if
we are to have a worthy conception of God, as
God must have a perfect vehicle through which
to make known his ethical perfections. Reason,
will, love, the constituent elements of personal-
ity, must be at their best. Christ's hold on the
world is due to his power to impress men with
his perfect personality, his self-renunciation,
courage, superiority to death, forgiveness of en-
emies, all culminating in their expression through
his sacrificial death and resurrection. Man's
true greatness, on the other hand, consists in
his power of apprehending and appropriating
Christ's perfect personality. Human develop-
ment is along the line of reception, organic as-
similation, and expansion. Progress is possible
only along the line of apprehending Christ and
his teaching. Nay, I might say of apprehend-
ing Christ, for what is his teaching but him-
self ? He is the good Samaritan. He is the true
Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.
He is the very bread of life. His personality
is more than his doctrines, institutions, sacra-
ments, for he is all in all. "And as he is, so
are we in the world." Sin could never be the
same again after the sinless humanitv of Christ.



crown.



The Power of Personality. 19

We have beheld his glory, and of his fullness
have all we received, and grace for grace.

Alan's triple crown is reason, dominion, im- Man's triple
mortality. Are not these they by which he can
be inspired of God and work together with God ?
Says Kidd in his "Social Evolution," "The two
new forces which made their advent with man
were his reason and the capacity for acting
under its influence in concert with his fellow-
men in society." What gives man dominion is
the capacity to be filled with God. "As the
earth was fluid and plastic in the hands of the
Creator, so it has ever been to as much of God's
attributes as we bring to it." Who dare say
how much of Christ's power over nature, how
many of his wonderful works, were due to the
perfection of his human nature? How marvel-
ous man's power for good when he lets God use
him to the utmost — his brain, his heart, his will !
Alas, too, the power for evil of one who owns
Satan as his master! The good man's memor}^
capitalizes his past for the profit of his future.
His memory is the capitalization of the best of
his past, not the worst as with the bad man.
It is this best that is in him which gives him
power of acting in concert with his fellow-men



20



The Pozvcr of Personality.



Our Hall of
Fume.



Coordination
of powers.



in society. It is the perfect type which finds
its ready place side by side with another per-
fect type to make the perfect printed page. It
is the perfect citizen whom we must look to in
making the perfect state. Because Christianity
develops the higher personality it is the reli-
gion of progress. Christianity shows her great
Hall of Fame in the calendar of the saints given
in the Epistle to the Hebrews. These are the
mighty spirits that have helped to make our
world in which our young men shall see visions
and our old men shall dream dreams, when the
possibility of inspiration is seen to belong not
to the few but to the race. It is the men who
have looked into the face of their Lord who
have spoken the words of true progress to their
own and to other generations. The more per-
fect the individual the greater his faith in hu-
manity, and the greater his power in bringing
to realization his hopes for the race.

The power of individual initiative, which is
conceded to be the notable characteristic of the
Anglo-Saxon race, is due to the coordination of
his powers and the sufficiency of impulse prompt-
ing his activities. Courage and moderation, the
knowing how to endure and to refrain, these



The Pozvcr of Personality. 21

marked the most perfect man who ever lived on
the earth. These give unity, stabiUty, power to
personality. Many men are weak because they
are conscious of a double nature — two persons
striving within, as it were, for dominion. All
depends on who conquers. Dr. Jekyll or Mr.
Hyde. Sometimes one seems conscious of a
pluri-personality like the man who called his
name "Legion," for he seemed possessed of
many devils. Such cases of pluri-personality
may be found among our criminal classes to-
day whose antecedents have been profoundly
immoral. This is the breeding ground of an-
archists, the men and women who are physical
and intellectual degenerates, whose disordered
personalities are objects alike of pity and of
terror. Hardly less dangerous to society are
the men who call evil good and good evil, who
lack fixed standards of right, to whom policy is
more than principle, who shout "Hosanna"' on
Thursday, and ''Crucify him" on Friday. The
strength and unity of Washington's great per-
sonality nowhere appeared so strikingly as dur-
ing the Federal Convention for the adoption of
the Constitution, when language was suggested
that was al>horrent to his sense of right. Ris-



22 The Pozvcr of Personality.

ing in his place, he gravely said : "It is too prob-
able that no plan we propose will be adopted.
Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sus-
tained. If, to please the people, we offer what
we ourselves disapprove, how can we defend
our work? Let us raise a standard to which
the wise and honest can repair ; the event is in
the hand of God." Such men make nations and
rule the centuries.

Personality only can be inspired. The great-
er the personality the greater the capacity to be
inspired. Where the sense of law or duty is
siipreme man can become the mouthpiece of God.
Only person- Without this, his vcry personality cannot endure
aiuy can be ^^^ mighty prcssure of the divine presence. Alan

inspired.

no more needs God to be at his best, to have the
inspiration of the Almighty that giveth under-
standing, than God needs man as his organ of
manifestation. Freedom of the will is the very
nerve of personality, as the human sense of guilt
is the awful guardian of our personal identity.
We might have made another choice. What we
did choose becomes part of our very self. If it
be wrong, it separates us from God. Our per-
sonality stands in antagonism to his.

Says Fisher: "Belief in the personality of God



The Pozvcr of Personality. 23

and belief in the personality of man stand or fall

together. A glance at the history of religion

would suggest that these two beliefs are for

some reason inseparable. Where faith in the Belief m the

personality of God is weak, or is altogether ^''''^°*'" '^^ °J

Co J and man

wanting, the perception which men have of their inseparable.
own personality is found to be, in an equal de-
gree, indistinct. The feeling of individuality is
dormant. The soul indolently ascribes to itself
a merely phenomenal being. It conceives of
itself as appearing for a moment, like a wavelet
on the ocean, to vanish again in the all-ingulf-
ing essence whence it emerged. Recent philo-
so]:ihical theories which substitute matter, or an
'Unknowable,' for the self-conscious Deity, like-
wise dissipate the personality of man as or-
dinarily conceived. If they deny that God is a
Spirit, they deny with equal emphasis that man
is a spirit. The pantheistic and atheistic schemes
are in this respect consistent in their logic.
Out of man's perception of his own personal
attributes arises the belief in a personal God."
A noble human personality ever reveals some-
what of God. We not only live in him, we also
Ik'WI in liim.

If man's personality is but the shadow of



24 The Pozvcr of Personality.

God's, what must man yet become in realizing
God's thought in him? Nothing can be fully
known save in the light of its end. To know
what we are, we need to know what we shall be.
Aristotle well defined "the nature of a thing"
as "what a thing is when its becoming is com-
pleted." The real nature of man will be known
when his becoming has reached the stage of
completion, when his continual participation in
God has made him divine, a very son of God.
What man is is best understood by that completion
of his nature when Christ appeared in the world,
realizing the true life of man, and therefore rep-
resenting man in his relation to God as a son
of God. Only in Christianity is the Holy Spirit
revealed as personal. In him was life, and the
life was the light of men. Christ is the culmi-
nation of the divine self-manifestation and self-
impartation to the world. To know man is to
know how much of God he can manifest. But
he manifests only as he apprehends. It was only
as it pleased God to manifest his son in Paul
that he could preach him among the Gentiles.
But how wonderful a manifestation, no less by
the apostle than in him.

Heat shows us what may be done in trans-



The Power of Personality. 25

forming and adding new power to iron or other F.xaiuuionof

111* matter by

substance by its presence untu the dull iron ^^.^.^^
changes its color and glows with a beauty and
power unknown before, and capable of impart-
ing that subtle fire which has become part of
itself. "A piece of water without heat is solid
and brittle ; gently warmed, it flows ; further heat-
ed, it mounts to the sky." So there may come
a transforming power which lifts a human per-
sonality up to the very throne of God. When
William Blake, the poet-painter, was asked if
he saw the rising sun, he answered: "No! No!
I see a heavenly host, and I hear them chanting,
Holy I holy ! holy Lord God Almighty, heaven
and earth are full of thy glory!" This is the
measure of man's capacity, when he can endure
as seeing Him who is invisible, and when light
itself is but the garment of God. Such a soul
was Savonarola, who transformed the Floren-
tine republic from moral debauchery to a theoc-
racy, and amid the wildest enthusiasm had
Christ proclaimed "King of Florence." Sacred
songs superseded ribald ballads in the streets,
and the carnival of depravity gave place to fes-
tivals of religious chastity. Man is a "yonder-
sided being embodying the hereafter," and so



26 The Power of Personality.

brings things to pass here. His progress is pos-
sible because he is capable of being dominated
by great thinkers until he himself becomes a
great thinker. It was unto as many as received
Christ that he gave power to become the sons of
God.

Now the great revolution wrought in the
thinking and in the living of the first century
of the Christian era and since is directly trace-
able to three commanding personalities : John
the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
One was wholly human, but filled with the Holy
Spirit from his mother's womb ; the other was
a divine-human being, the God-man, whose per-
fect humanity possessed without measure the
Holy Spirit, whose masterpiece it was; and the
third was wholly divine, the Spirit of God, but
also called the Spirit of Christ, because so sig-
nally dwelling in Christ and made known
through the wonderful personality of Christ.
The power of personality in John the Baptist
and in Jesus the Christ helps to make more real
the mighty personality of the Holy Spirit. It
shows a willingness on our part to let Christ's
estimate stand when we weigh John the Bap-
tist in so great scales and in such company.



The Pozvcr of Personality. 27

Alas! that the reputations of every other cen-
tury as well as the nineteenth can be quoted to
show its barbarism. Men have already forgot-
ten the names of the contemporaries of the six
greatest men in history up to the trial of Jesus,
but sacred history will ever preserve for us those
six: Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Isaiah, and
John the Baptist. In the estimate of Christ,
the greatest personality in the history of the
world, and hence the most capable of properly
judging great men, "among them that are born
of women there hath not risen a greater than
John the Baptist." This fixes his place among
the six mighty men of God who helped to form
and fashion a mob into a nation and to rule and
inspire and save God's peculiar people, in whom
all the nations of the earth were to be blessed.
There is something so ennobling about Christ's
estimate of that broken column, that young life
of thirty-three, as character is put above achieve-
ment, and the fulfillment of God's plans shown
I0 be the measure of human greatness, for "be-
yond God's design no man's destiny or success
can extend."

The personality of John the Baptist owed johntheBap.
nothing to the ordinary conditions to which men ^"'-



28 The Power of Personality.

attribute success in life. He was no reed shaken
by the wind, the people's idol because the peo-
ple's echo. He owed nothing of rank to the
accident of birth, as no royal blood required
that he be clothed in soft raiment or live deli-
cately in kings' courts. His was an imperial
manhood, and his royal trappings were those
of fidelity to truth, which inspired in him the
courage before which kings quailed. What man
ever stirred the nation in all its history as did
this only son of saintly parents, who were filled
with the Holy Ghost no less than was their child
who was to bear a name selected for him in
heaven, where his name is even better known to-
day than it is on earth? It was not alone that
his ministry synchronized with the Sabbatic
year, when the people with enforced leisure
turned aside to see this new flaming bush in the
Vv^ilderness, to hear, after four hundred years of
silence, another prophet, the Elias that was to
come, despite his camel's-hair raiment and leath-
ern girdle and desert fare, who was worthy to
take his stand by royal Isaiah himself whose
message had foretold him as no other prophet
had ever been foretold. It was not his shrill,
dervish-like voice, as if conscious that his mis-



The Pozvcr of Personality. 29

sion as a herald was after all but that of a voice
crying in the wilderness, "Repent ye; for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand," that so affected
the people as he bade them, "Make ye ready the
way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
What multitudes were those who flocked to hear
the most stirring message in their national his-
tory and asked. What then must we do ? "There
went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea and
all the region round about Jordan," as well as
from distant Galilee. Publicans were there and
rude soldiers who asked that question, and went
home from their baptism resolved to extort no
more unjust taxes, to exact nothing wrongfully,
to no longer use their armed strength in deeds
of willful violence, and even to be content with
their wages. Proud Pharisees were there who
learned that it was a vain boast to regard Abra-
ham as their father when God could from these
stones raise up children to Abraham. It was
not what a man's father w^as, but what he was,
that counted now, when "the ax is laid unto the
root of the trees ; and every tree that bringeth
not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into
the fire." Sadducees were there who claimed
not to believe in any future life, neither in angel



30 The Power of Personality.

nor spirit, to hear John suddenly ask them, "Ye
offspring of vipers, who hath warned you to
flee from the wrath to come?" "But we do not
beUeve in any wrath to come," they would reply.
The unheeding voice simply cried as if it were
the day of judgment, "Flee from the wrath to
come." There are times when thunderbolts are
logical. False views are not argued up, and they
cannot be argued down. Negations are not ar-
guments, and are not to be met with arguments."
"Preach the preaching that I bid thee," kept
Jonah's feet straight and his head steady and his
courage true, and all Nineveh believed God ; and
put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them
even unto the least. Had Jonah stopped! to
argue the first time any one questioned his mes-
sage, he would never have gotten to the public
square, much less have pierced the palace gates.
John the Baptist, the mightiest herald whom
God ever sent, never forgot that like Gabriel he
stood in the presence of the Most High God.
Men might question his message. That was
their responsibility. His duty was to proclaim
it as the very spokesman of Jehovah.

John the Baptist was so great that he was far
more concerned to proclaim his message from



The Power of Personality. 31

God than to know what men thought of it. The man lost

. /// the mes-

Keeping himself out of sight, he was a mere ^^^^
voice, the vehicle of the Spirit. The foothill did
not seek to hide the mountain. He was too
manly to be willing to be esteemed for what he
was not or did not have. So profoundly was
the national mind impressed that he could have
proclaimed himself anything and men would
have believed him. When priests and Levitcs
were sent from the very temple to ask him,
"Who art thou?" he confessed and denied not,
saying, "I am not the Christ." "What then?
Art thou Elijah ?" 'T am not." "Art thou the
Prophet that Moses declared should come?"
"No." "Who art thou? What sayest thou of
thyself? that we may give answer to them that
sent us." "I am the voice of one crying in the
wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord,
as said Isaiah the prophet." The messengers of
the Pharisees asked, "Why baptizest thou then,
if thou art not the Christ, neither Elijah nor the
prophet?" "I baptize with water: in the midst
of you standeth one whom ye know not, even
he that cometh after me, the latchet of whose
shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall bap-
tize you with the TToly Ghost and with fire."



32 The Pozvcr of Personality.

Not even Christ himself had the ear of the na-
tion more that his heroic and humble forerun-
ner, who as the friend of the bridegroom could
rejoice greatly because of the bridegroom's
voice, saying, "He must increase, but I must de-
crease." "Suffer it now, for thus it becometh
us to fulfill all righteousness," said Jesus to the
only one worthy to baptize him ; and the work of
John was no less approved than the character of
Jesus, as John beheld the dove-like movement
O'f the Spirit of God as it abode upon him, while
the voice from heaven proclaimed, "This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The
mightier personality than John the Baptist had
now appeared to whom John pointed his dis-
ciples, saying: "Behold the Lamb of God that
taketh away the sin of the world. He that sent
me to baptize with water said unto me. Upon
whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descend-
ing and abiding upon him, the same is he that
baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen
and borne witness that this is the Son of God."
Mighty in his self-effacement, the great prophet
of God, found his joy fulfilled in Christ's suc-
cess as the people now began to turn to the Mes-
siah. As for himself, the great-souled prophet



The Power of Personality. 33

said, "A man can receive nothing, except it have
been given him from heaven." The servant's
destiny was the Father's will. Man is immortal
till his work is done. John had seen his own
chief disciples now become the disciples of Christ,
and was glad.

John was too great not to rebuke sin in high
places. An adulterous king who beheaded him
believed in after years that Jesus was John the
Baptist risen from the dead. Herod could only Bang dead
explain the greater personality by reason of the Johnstui
less. John must indeed have risen from the
dead to do such works as could be wrought only
by one whose very abode was the supernatural.
But He alone could baptize with the Holy Ghost
who ever dwelt in God and God in him. Ncr w^as
the wonderful personality of John the Baptist to
be circumcised in its influence either to his life-
time or to his own country. Twenty-five years at
least after his death we find in far-off Asia Minor
those who had knowledge of no other baptism
than the baptism of John. John writing his gos-
pel at Ephesus, \vhere were still disciples of John
the Baptist, needed to tell afresh the story of the
man who was sent from God whose name was
John. "He was a burning and so a shining

3



34 The Power of Personality.

light ; and ye were willing for a season to re-
joice in his light." He came for a witness to
bear witness of the light, that all might be-
lieve through him. He was not the light, but
came that he might bear witness of the light.
That was the true Light which lighteth every
man that cometh into the world. It was from
that source that John the Baptist derived his re-
flected light which shone as a morning star,
burning and shining, until the light mingled
with the radiance of the Sun of righteousness.
But the friend of the Bridegroom will be a
foremost guest at the marriage supper when the
Bride hath made herself ready. The universe
of intelligences will then know his rank with
God and men.

But wonderful as was the personality of John
the Baptist, and in a most remarkable degree
filled with the Holy Spirit, yet it was a human
personality, and so imperfect. As to Elijah, so
to his successor, "the Elias that was to come,"
Discouraged there Came times of weak faith when some
an tej> ess. j-g^ggyj-ing still Small voicc or loving, sympa-
thetic message was necessary. Satan is ever
watchful for exhausted nerves, famished for
lack of rest and food or some escape from foul



The Power of Personality. 35

prison air. John hopes against hope. Will not
Christ soon begin to baptize with the Holy
Ghost and with fire? With his fan in his hand
will he not now thoroughly cleanse the thresh-
ing floor, and begin to gather his wheat into the
gamer while he burns up the chaff with un-
quenchable fire? How hard for Moses or Elijah
or Isaiah or John to learn that he that believeth
shall not make haste ! It was the perfect calm-
ness of Christ that showed his perfect faith and
reveals him as the one perfect personality. Not
for one instant did Christ falter, despite even
John's anxious question, ''Art thou he that
should come, or look we for another?" Doubt-
less the faltering faith of his own disciples at the
last was a yet severer trial, but he himself never
faltered. It was not alone that he had faith in
the Father; he never lost faith in men. When
the Roman consul Varro was utterly defeated
by Hannibal at the battle of Cannae, his fellow-
consul slain and eighty of the senators . of Rome
with him, and his army almost wholly cut to
pieces, and the prestige of Roman arms was so
dimmed that her allies turned from her as if she ThenobUst


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