Henry Drummond.

A life for a life, and other addresses online

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BR 85 .D78 1897
Drummond^ Henry, 1851-1897
A life for a life, and other



The Quiet Hour Series*

iZmOf cloih, eacb 25 ceats.

^i UU for a Life, and other Addresses. By Prof. Henry
Drummond. With a Tribute by D. L. Moody, and a Portrait.

Peace, Perfect Peace. A Portion for the Sorrowing. By
Rev. F. B. Meyer, B.A.

Money: Thoughts for God's Stewards. By Rev.

Andrew Murray.
Jestts Himself, By Rev. Andrew Murray.
Love Made Perfect. By Rev. Andrew Murray. With


The Ivory Palaces of the King. By Rev. J. Wilbur
Chapman, D.D. With Portrait.

Chriit Reflected in Creation. By D. C. McMillan.

How the Inner Light Failed. A Study of the Atrophy
of the Spiritual Sense. To which is added "How the
Inner Light Grows." By Newell Dwight Hillis.

The Man Who Wanted to Help. By Rev. J. G. K.

McClure, D.D., author of " Possibilities."

Young Men in History. By Rev. F. W. Gunsaulus,

St. Paul: An Autobiography. Transcribed by tht
Deaconness, a servant of the Qiureh.

Faith Building. By Rev. Wm. P. Merrill, D.D.

The Dearest Psalm, and The Modd Prayer. By Henry

Ostrom, D.D.

The Life Beyond. By Mrs. Alfred Gatty. An Allegory,
adapted by M. A. T.

Mountain Topj with Jesus. By Rev. Theodore L.
Cuyler, D.D.

The Hidden Years of Nazareth. By Rev. G. CampbeW


Where He Is. By Cleland B. McAfee.
Environment. By Rev. J. G. K. McClure.
Nutsliell Musings. By Amos R. Wells.

Fleming H* Revcll G3mpAny

New York: ig8 Fifth Ave. Chicago: 63 Wa^ng»fN«t

Toronto : 154 Yonge St.


A Life for a Life

And Other Addresses

Prof. Henry Drummond

F.R.S.E., F.G.S.


D. L. Moody

New York Chicago Toronto

Fleming H. Revcll Company

Copyright, 1897,
Fleming H. Revell Company



A Teibtjtb, by D. L. Moody . 7

I. A LiFB FOB A Life ... 13

II. Lessons fbom The Angblus . 43

III. THE Ideal Hash • • • • 04


It sometimes happens that a man,
in giving to the world the truths that
have most influenced his life, uncon-
sciously writes the truest kind of a
character sketch. This was so in the
case of Henry Drummond, and no
words of mine can better describe
his life or character than those in
which he has presented to us, " The
Greatest Thing in the World." Some
men take an occasional journey into
the thirteenth of 1 Corinthians, but
Henry Drummond was a man who
lived there constantly, appropriating

A Tribute

its blessings and exemplifying its
teachings. As you read what he
terms the analysis of love, you find
that all its ingredients were inter-
woven into his daily life, making him
one of the most lovable men I have
ever known. Was it courtesy you
looked for, he was a perfect gentle-
man. Was it kindness, he was al-
ways preferring another. Was it
humility, he was simple and not
courting favor. It could be said of
him truthfully, as it was said of the
early apostles, " that men took knowl-
edge of him, that he had been with

Nor was this love and kindness
only shown to those who were close
friends. His face was an index to
his inner life. It was genial and
kind, and made him, like his Master,
a favorite with children. He could
be the profound philosopher or the

By D. L. Moody

learned theologian, but I know that
he preferred to be the simple friend
of children and youth. Never have
I known a man who, in my opinion,
lived nearer the Master or sought to
do His will more fully.

I well remember our first meeting
in Edinburgh twenty-four years ago.
He was still a divinity student in the
university, but he generously gave
himself to aiding me in every possi-
ble way. There was nothing that
he would not undertake to do to
help spread the evangelistic work
among his friends in the university,
and, later on, he began special meet-
ings for young men in various towns
in Great Britain. The friendship
then begun has been strengthened
ever since, not only by his lovable
nature, but by the great blessing
God has used him to be in my own


A Tribute

Never have I heard Henry Drura-
mond utter one unkind or harsh word
of criticism against any one. He
was a man who was filled with love
to his fellow men, because he knew
by experience something of the love
of Christ. He was one of the easiest
men with whom to work, for he
thought more of the common object
than of aught else.

The news of his death has brought
a sense of the deepest loss to all his
friends in every part of the world.
He was a man greatly beloved, and
my own feelings are akin to those of
David on the death of Jonathan.
But although the life on earth is
ended, God has called His servant
higher to a sphere of greater useful-
ness. And when at last we meet
again before our Lord and Master
Jesus Christ, whom we both loved
and served together in years gone,


By D. L. Moody

we shall no longer "see through a
glass darkly ; but then face to face ; "
and things which we could not see
alike here below we shall fully know
in the light of His countenance, who
brought our lives together and blessed
them with a mutual lore.

D. L. Moody.

The following addresses were de-
livered at the Students' Conference
in Northfield, 1893. They are now
issued in permanent form for the
first time.



The report to the Italian govern-
ment describing a great shipwreck
said, " A large ship was seen coming
close to shore last night ; we endeav-
ored to give every assistance through
the speaking trumpet, nevertheless
four hundred and one bodies were
washed ashore this morning." That
shows the futility of attempting to
save men by speech. It isn't the
whole truth, but it is a part of the
truth. In saving men it is very


A Life for a Life

often a life for a life ; you have to
give your life to the men whom you
ire trying to better. About the
least Christian act a man can do for
his brother-man is to talk about
Christianity; the case is of a man
laying down his life as Christ laid
down His life. Don't misunderstand
me. I have an idea that some of
you don't understand me: it is my
fault, and I will tell you why. Be-
cause for the last three or four years
of my life I have had very little to
do with the ninety and nine: I have
been after the one sheep that was
lost, and I have got into the way of
talking to that one and trying to
make things plain to him. In most
cases he has been a man who wouldn't
accept the Bible to start with, and I
have had to translate the Bible into
words which he would accept, and
therefore some of you don't recognize


A Life for a Life

the old truth in the language of
the street. If you want to get
hold of an agnostic, or a man who
doesn't start off by standing on the
common ground with you of believ-
ing the Bible, let me ask you to try
to translate what you have to say
into the simplest words, into words
which will not be in every case the
words in which you ordinarily clothe
your thought. Now while it is no
more cant to talk about religion in
the language of the Bible than it is
cant to talk about Science in the
words of Science — for religion has
technical terms just as much as
science has — yet it will be useful to
the man who calls all that cant, and
it will prove an exceedingly valuable
discipline for oneself to take an old
text that has been lingering in one's
mind from childhood and say, " What
does this really mean in nineteenth

A Life for a Life

century speech?" You will find
that an effort to go to the bottom of
that text will give you a new grasp
of it, and, that in so doing you have
learned an exceedingly valuable les-
son, that it doesn't matter into what
phrase or words truth is put, so long
as it is true.

I had an egg for breakfast this
morning, and I saw that it was an
egg ; there it was, shell and all. God
made that egg. I had an egg for
dinner to-day, but it was in the pud-
ding, and it didn't look in the least
like an egg^ but it did me just as
much good as the egg which I had
for breakfast and which I saw with
my eyes. You get a ray of truth
through a book, or a man, or a pic-
ture, or a tree, or the sky ; it doesn't
matter the form of it if it does you
good, if it inspires you and draws
you near to God. Don't be suspi-


A Life for a Life

cious of it if it is God's truth, even
if its form changes.

In talking to a man, — if you are
to win him in that way, — talk in the
man's own language if you can. But
I was going to say more particularly
that one has to do a great deal more to
display and live out his Christianity
than merely to talk to people about
religion. Have you ever tried to get
at the real secret of what Christian-
ity is ? It isn't picking out a man
here, and a man there and having them
made fit to go to Heaven; Christ
came into this world, as He himself
said, to found a society. Have you
ever thought of that conception of
Christianity ? For hundreds of years
that conception of Christianity has
been utterly lost sight of ; it is only
lately that men are getting back to
see the great Christian doctrine of
the kingdom of God. The great

2 17

A Life for a Life

phrase that was never off Christ's
lips was the "kingdom of God." It
is by far the commonest phrase in
his teaching. Have you ever given
a month of your life to finding out
what Christ meant by the kingdom of
God ? Every day as we have prayed,
" Thy kingdom come," has our Chris-
tian consciousness taken in the tre-
mendous sweep of that prayer and
seen how it covers the length and
breadth of this great world and every
interest of human life ? Christ was
continually asking people to join his
kingdom, and in order to get them to
join it and to make no mistake about
its meaning, he was continually tell-
ing them what it was : the kingdom
of Heaven is like unto this, the king-
dom of Heaven is like unto that ; if
there is one thing more common in
Christ's teaching than another, it is
his e;xplanation of what the kingdom


A Life for a Life

of God is, and what the subjects of
that kingdom are to busy themselves
in doing. Now the kingdom of God
is a society of the best men, working
for the best ends, with the highest
motives, according to the best prin-
ciples. The kingdom of God was to
give them observation. Christ lik-
ened the kingdom of God to leaven,
and one cannot get a better under-
standing of the meaning of this
phrase than by taking His own met-
aphor. Christ saw that the world
was sunken and that it had to be
raised. Leaven comes from the same
word as lever does, that which lifts
or raises, and Christ founded a So-
ciety of men for the purpose of rais-
ing the world. The kingdom of God
is like leaven. When you put leaven
into a vessel with the thing which is to
be leavened, it does not affect the out-
ward form ; and when leaven comes

A Life for a Life

into a society, or into a church, or
into a movement, or into a country,
it« first purpose is not to affect the
outward form, but to lift the external
form by changing the inward spirit
of it. The kingdom of Heaven is
like leaven: it is to raise men by the
contact of one life with another.
Did you ever put a little leaven un-
der a microscope? If you did you
found that it was a plant, perhaps
six one-thousandths of an inch in di-
ameter, with an amazing power of
propagation ; and that leaven simply
by being in contact with the dough
has the effect of lifting by means of
the life that is in it ; and the Chris-
tian man, simpl}^ by virtue of the
life that is in him, — not by attempt-
ing much in the way of forcing it
upon others, — but by his own spon-
taneous nature can so work upon
men that they cannot but feel that


A Life for a Life

he has been with Jesus. When they
look through him and perceiv© the
fragrance of his spirit and the Christ-
likeness of his life, they remember
Christ, — they are reminded of Christ
by him ; and a longing comes over
them to live like that, and breathe
that air and have that calm, that
meekness and that beauty of charac-
ter; and by that unconscious influ-
ence going out as a contagious power,
men are won to Christ, and by these
men the world is raised. But that is
not all.

The world is not only sunken;
the world is rotten. Those of you
who know life even an inch below
the surface know that even in
this Christian country, in our great
cities the world is rotten. Have
you ever thought of the sin of the
world? Think of the sin in your
own being; think that the man

A Life for a Life

in the next house to you has the
same amount of sin in him, and that
all the people in your street are like
that. Multiply that by all the streets
in your city, that city by all the cities
in your country, go around the world
and add to that all the sin that is in
all the streets in all the cities in the
world, and you conjure up a ghastly
spectre before which your imagina-
tion quails, and that is only a single
glimpse of the sin of the world. But
it can be taken away, it can be taken
away : " Behold the Lamb of God
who taketh away the sin of the
world." How does he do it? On
the cross by forgiving the sin of the
world; that is one part of it, and
through you and through me and
through the subjects of his kingdom.
Christ said that the followers of Him
are the salt of the earth and it is
that salt that helps to take away the

A Life for a Life

rottenness of the world. God takes
away the guilt of it, and you help
him to remove it by being the salt in
iiie society in which you live. Salt
is that which keeps things from be-
coming rotten. You put salt upon
meat and salt upon fish to prevent
them from becoming rotten, and it is
the Christian men and women in the
city and in the country who prevent
them from becoming absolutely rot-
ten. Christianity is the great anti-
septic of society, and if you take the
Christianity out of New York, out of
Chicago, out of Berlin, or out of
Paris, those cities must gO to pieces.
In a few generations they would go
to pieces even physically by the mere
accumulation of their rottenness.
Now we are to be the salt of New
York and of Chicago and of all the
great cities of America, and it is our
business to make and to keep these


A Life for a Life

cities sweet, not only to sweep away
the rottenness, but to prevent the
new generation that is growing up
from becoming rotten. The work of
salt is preventative as well as cura-
tive. We do not half enough em-
phasize the preventative side of
Christian activity; we do not half
enough emphasize the making of
Christian environment, in which the
Christ life shall be possible even in
the slums of our great cities. That
man is doing the work of Christ who
is cleansing these places by building
new houses, by giving pure air and
pure water, by giving good schools,
and by in any way bringing sweetness
and light and purity to keep young
lives from succumbing to the in-
fluences which surround them.

That is not all. The world which
you and I have to help to lift up is
not only the world of the poor, but


A Life for a Life

we have to lift up our whole country.
One thing that strikes a stranger
very much in coming to this country
is this: He comes to a city like
Boston, and he finds the merchants
of that city with their heads buried
in. their ledgers, while a few Irish-
men carry on the city government.
I do not object to an Irishman, but it
is matter in the wrong place when a
company of Irishmen regulate the
affairs of the city of Boston. There-
fore, if you are subjects of the king-
dom of God, you must work to reform
the world and reform your country
and reform Boston and Chicago,
and above all reform New York.
You have been taught in school
of your duties as citizens, but you
are taught in this book very plainly
your duties as Christian citizens.
It is your duty to make these cit-
ies, and it is possible for you to do it.


A Life for a Life

These cities are making the people
that live in them, and unless they
set examples of righteousness and
honor, the people will not be right-
eous and honorable. In this coun-
try there is not only little honesty
and honor in municipal life, but there
is little belief in its possibility. In
England I have never known of a
member of a government or of a mu-
nicipality, or of a city accepting a
bribe. When I have told that to
some in America, they have received
it with incredulity, because the very
conception of a pure government, and
of honorable city and municipal
authorities has been almost lost by
the nation. It is your business to
restore the integrity and the righteous-
ness in the high places of this land,
and let the people see examples
which will be helpful to them in their
Christian life. I cannot speak too


A Life for a Life

strongly about that, because I know
that it can be done. We have had
rotten municipal government, and
the Christian men of the place have
taken it up, and have said, " we are
determined that this shall not be,'*
and in the old city they have put
man after man into the municipal
chairs simply because they were
Christian men, and because they
would deal with the people right-
eously and carry out a program of
Christianity for the city, and that can
be done here.

Let me tell you what happened to
fhe work of some University men in
tue city of London. They went to
a district in the East End, a God-
forsaken, sunken place, entirely oc-
cupied for miles by working people.
They took a little house and became
settlers in that poor district. They
gave themselves no airs of superior


A Life for a Life

ity ; they didn't tell the people they
had come to do them good; they
went in there and made friends with
the people. The leaven went in
among the dough, and the salt went
in beside that which was corrupting.
The very place where the salt should
not be is beside the salt ; it ought to
be scattered over the meat and rubbed
well into it. Well, these men went
to live there, and they were in no
great hurry. They waited several
months and came to know quite a
number of the working people ; they
came to understand one another.
These men had studied cities, and
they knew about city government,
and about city life, and about educa-
tion, and about cleansing, and about
purity. One day there came a great
labor war, and the workingmen put
their heads together and said, " Those
young men up there have good heads.

A Life for a Life

let's go and talk it over with them.**
So they did, and in a few moments
those young men were the arbiters
of the strike. By a single word of
theirs, three or four thousand men
could be kept at work, that is three
or four thousand people could be
kept out of want. One of these
young men after a time was elected
to a Board, and in a few months was
the head of that Board, and could
sway that district. The other edged
his way to the School-board, and soon
was head of the School-board. These
men did not claim to be superior;
they were elected kings of the com-
mon people, because the people felt
their kingship. By and by there
came a time when a member of Par-
liament was to be chosen, and these
people put in one of these young
men. And so they have taken pos-
session of that city in the name of


A Life for a Life

Jesus Christ, and they are gradually
working and lifting and salting. It
is not to be done in a day, — " first the
blade, then the ear, then the full corn
in the ear." It is giving them ob-
servation, but the kingdom is coming
in that way, and the sin of that
place is being taken away by the
work of these men.

Christians are the only agents God
has for carrying out His purposes.
Think of that ! He could himself
with a single breath cleanse the
whole of New York or the whole of
London, but he does not do it. We
are members of His body, and it is
by the members of His body that He
carries on His work, and we all have
a different piece of that work to do.
Some of us are limbs and must use
our fingers, and some of us are only
a little bit of a little finger, and
others are brains. God is in every-


A Life for a Life

one, and all are essential to the com-
ing of His kingdom.

Now that conception of Christian-
ity as a kingdom is beginning to go
throughout Christendom at this hour.
Every age has emphasized its pecu-
liar side of Christianity, and the side
that is just now being emphasized
above all others is that social side,
that large conception of what Christ
came to do, how He came to save
men, as it were, in the bulk, — by the
city and by the country — and the
movements that are going on just
now in society, in education, in sani-
tation, in University Extension, in
philanthropy, are all working to-
gether for good in that direction;
and let us who believe in the salva-
tion of the individual soul as the
supreme thing not startle away the
supreme thing. Let us not shut our
eyes to the Christianity pf Christ, to


A Life for a Life

His great conception of the kingdom
of God.

There are two functions discharged
by every living being, and by every
plant: one is the struggle for its own
life, — the function of nutrition; the
other is the struggle for the life of
others, — the function of reproduc-
tion. All the activities of life may
be classed under one or the other of
these two heads, and all the activi-
ties of the Christian may be classed
under one or the other of these two
heads, the function of nutrition and
the function of reproduction. You
go from a Conference fairly well fed ;
the individual life has been attended
to, now what is to become of this un-
less it is to go out in different ways
for the helping of this universal
movement for the bringing of the
world to Christ. I know that many
of you are puzzled to know in what

A Life for a Life

direction you can start to help Christ,
to help this world. Let me simply
say this to you in that connection :
Once I came to crossroads in the old
life, and did not know in which di-
rection God wanted me to help to
hasten His kingdom. I started to
read the Book to find out what the
ideal life was, and I found that the
only thing worth doing in the world
was to do the will of God ; whether
that was done in the pulpit or in the
slums, whether it was done in the
college or class-room or on the street
did not matter at all. " My meat and
my drink," Christ said, " is to do the
will of him that sent me," and if you
make up your mind that you are go-
ing to do the will of God above
everything else, it matters little in
what direction you work. There are
more posts waiting for men than
there are men waiting for posts
3 33

A Life for a Life

Christ needs men in every commun-
ity and in every land ; it matters lit-
tle whether we go to foreign lands or
stay at home, as long as we are sure
that we are where God puts us. I
am not jealous of the great mission-
ary movement which has swept this
country and which has also swept
ours. In my own college at least
one third of the men are going to
the foreign mission field. I am not
jealous of that movement, I rejoice
in it, but I should like also to plead
for my country and for your country.
Men say, "How am I to know
whether I am to go there or to stay
at home ? " Let me give you one or
two points on the subject.

The first thing of course is, Pray.
I need not enlarge upon that. The
only reason that a man should speak
at all is because he says things that
are not being said. The second

A Life for a Life

thing is, Think. Think over all tlie
different lines of work and think
over all your own qualifications. If
you want to go to the missionary
field, think over the different kinds
of missionary fields. There are some
kinds of missionary fields which do
not need you at all, and there may
be others for which you are just the
right man. It is a mistake to imagine
that missionary work is all the same.
The man who is going to the mis-
sionary field had better not go to his
field unequipped with a knowledge
of the people and the country. A
third thing is, Take the advice of
wise friends, but do not regard their
decision as final ; no other man can
plan your life for you. Let me say
also in that connection, do not im-
agine that the most disagreeable of
two or three alternatives that may
be before you is necessarily the will

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Online LibraryHenry DrummondA life for a life, and other addresses → online text (page 1 of 3)