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F there is one grand trumpet-call that inspires the Wom
en's Christian Temperance Union, it is these words : Thy kingdom come. They are the very foundationstone of all its work; they sum up all the magnificent achievement of the white-ribbon army; they tell us of the hope to which we are looking; they are the very angel-song that we already hear while we toil on earth.
It is for no less cause than this that the white ribbon gleams upon the breasts of the women of America and of all the other lands associated with them. It is for no smaller aim that we gather in conventions than to look to the time that is coming on apace, the time that gleams before us, the time toward which we are pressing, when the Lord's kingdom shall so come that His will shall be done on earth as it is done in the glories of eternity. And yet, that which seemed burnt into my soul when, with outstretched hands, I asked God to fill them with His truth, that which seems to come to me more clearly day by day, is that only through the dark valley of suffering, only through the paths of sacrifice, only through the valley of humiliation, only passing under the shadow of the cross, can we reach the triumph of victory. We see it 'way down the ages; we read it in the pages of history; the soldiers in the long, forced marches, in the dark nights spent in the trenches, the traveler in the snowy mountains, day and night fearful of the heights that must be reached, these hear not the note of victory. They only know the suffering, but they trust on, because they know that victory shall come.
And those that walk along this way to-day, who have taken this great cause to their hearts; those who have gone out after faltering feet along the highways and the byways of the world; those faces that are furrowed with the lines of care; those cheeks that have been stained so often with the warm tears that trickled down as they saw how fruitless seemed their efforts,—they are waiting for the day that shall soon burst upon
their vision when this cause, that seems so small, so weak, shall yet be victorious.
In this great, new land of a larger hope, the wider you throw open the saloon door, the wider you throw open the gates to all of wretchedness and pauperism, to all of crime and misery, to all of degradation and the terrible load of wretchedness that is pressing out the life of the old world; the more you scatter, even in this young land that seems as yet so fair and bright, the death germ of that which shall yet bring misery and destruction.
The question in every land and city is, “What would Jesus Christ say if He walked our streets to-night? What would Jesus Christ say if He went down the great avenues and into the heart of the city where the saloon light holds its lurid sway? What would Jesus Christ say if He went into the back parts of those cities and towns and walked the pavements and saw all the products of what we are pleased to call our modern civilization ? This is what the temperance cause would fain face. We want to have the world as Jesus Christ would have it. We want to clear that from our midst which is in open enmity to His kingdom. We want to make our streets such that Jesus Christ could pass along them and bless us as He went.
Does it come home to you sometimes that on us rests the burden of all that sin? Does it come home to us when we sit by our firesides? Does it come home to us when we gather around our tables? Does it come home to us when our little ones are near us? Does it come home to us when we, so sheltered and so glad, hear the pattering of the outcast feet beyond? Does it come home to us that every saloon to-night that drags young lives down to shame and misery is an added burden on our load? Oh, if not, of what use is our boasted Christianity? We want no velvet-lined-pew religion. We want that Christianity that treads the streets, that hand that lifts the fallen, that heart that beats with the great heart of humanity, and this alone is Christ's Christian ity,—the Christianity that knows no separation between the religious and the secular; the Christianity that draws no line between Sunday and week-day, because every day is a holy day for Him; the Christianity that goes from its knees to the polling booth, and casts its vote as the most sacred thing en trusted to human hands; the Christianity that takes its poli tics into the light of the Eternal, and, praying for guidance on that great gift of the ballot, seeks only the world's best good, apart from party politics or partisan feelings, and ir casting that little white paper, is able to ask God's blessing on that act.
Only when we understand such Christianity as that wil our lands be lifted up from the mire of degradation into which they have fallen. Only then will strong hands close the saloon doors. Only then shall we be able to look upor our streets swept clean, upon protected homes, upon guided lives, upon sheltered men and women. Only then shall we fee it safe to send our children out into this great world, because we shall know that the mother and the father heart of all the nations is protecting them for their best good. Only ther shall we understand that all lives are sacred in God's sight.
THE TWO ARMIES.
E A. HUGHES.
HEN Freedom, years ago, was born,
And this fair land from bondage shorn,
Each strives the other to restrain,
Comes forth her destiny to share,