The Crucifixion of Philip Strong
by Charles M. Sheldon
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"In the first place, it was a most astonishing crowd of people. Several of the church-members were present, but they were in the minority. They[sic] mill-men swarmed in and took possession. It is not exactly correct to say that they lounged on the easy-cushioned pews of the Calvary Church, for there was not room enough to lounge, but they filled up the sanctuary and seemed to enjoy the comfortable luxury of it.

"The subject of the evening was Wealth, and the President of the Trades Assembly of Milton made a statement of the view which working-men in general have of wealth as related to labor of hand or brain. He stated what to his mind was the reason for the discontent of so many at the sight of great numbers of rich men in times of suffering, or sickness, or lack of work. 'Why, just look at the condition of things here and in every large city all over the world,' he said. 'Men are suffering from the lack of common necessaries while men of means with money in the bank continue to live just as luxuriously and spend just as much as they ever did for things not needful for happiness. It has been in the power of men of wealth in Milton to prevent almost if not all of the suffering here last winter and spring. It has been in their power to see that the tenements were better built and arranged for health and decency. It has been in their power to do a thousand things that money and money alone can do, and I believe they will be held to account for not doing some of those things!'

"At this point some one in the gallery shouted out, 'Hang the aristocrats!' Instantly Rev. Mr. Strong rose and stepped to the front of the platform. Raising his long, sinewy arm and stretching out his open hand in appeal, he said, while the great audience was perfectly quiet, 'I will not allow any such disturbance at this meeting. We are here, not to denounce people, but to find the truth. Let every fair-minded man bear that in mind.'

"The preacher sat down, and the audience cheered. Then before the President of the Assembly could go on, a man rose in the body of the house and asked if he might say a word.

"Mr. Strong said he might if he would be brief. The man then proceeded to give a list of people, who, he said, were becoming criminals because they couldn't get work. After he had spoken a minute Rev. Mr. Strong asked him to come to the point and show what bearing his facts had on the subject of the evening. The man seemed to become confused, and finally his friends or the people near him pulled him down, and the President of the Trades Assembly resumed the discussion, closing with the statement that never in the history of the country had there been so much money in the banks and so little of it in the pockets of the people; and when that was a fact something was wrong; and it was for the men who owned the money to right that wrong, for it lay in their power, not with the poor man.

"He was followed by a very clear and intensely interesting talk by Rev. Mr. Strong on the Christian teaching concerning the wealth of the world. Several times he was interrupted by applause, once with hisses, several times with questions. He was hissed when he spoke of the great selfishness of labor unions and trades organizations in their attempts to dictate to other men in the matter of work. With this one exception, in which the reverend gentleman spoke with his usual frankness, the audience cheered his presentation of the subject, and was evidently in perfect sympathy with his views. Short extracts from his talk will show the drift of his entire belief on this subject:

"'Every dollar that a man has should be spent to the glory of God.

"'The teaching of Christianity about wealth is the same as about anything else; it all belongs to God, and should be used by the man as God would use it in the man's place.

"'It is a great mistake which many people make, church-members among the rest, that the money they get is their own to do with as they please. Men have no right to use anything as they please unless God pleases so too.

"'The accumulation of vast sums of money by individuals or classes of men has always been a bad thing for society. A few very rich men and a great number of very poor men is what gave the world the French Revolution and the guillotine.

"'There are certain conditions true of society at certain times when it is the Christian duty of the rich to use every cent they possess to relieve the need of society. Such a condition faces us to-day.

"'The foolish and unnecessary expenditures of society on its trivial pleasures at a time when men and women are out of work and children are crying for food is a cruel and unchristian waste of opportunity.

"'If Christ were here to-day I believe he would tell the rich men of Milton that every cent they have belongs to Almighty God, and they are only trustees of his property.

"'This is the only true use of wealth: that the man who has it recognize its power and privilege to make others happy, not provide himself luxury.

"'The church that thinks more of fine architecture and paid choirs than of opening its doors to the people that they may hear the gospel, is a church that is mortgaged for all it is worth to the devil, who will foreclose at the first opportunity.

"'The first duty of every man who has money is to ask himself, What would Christ have me do with it? The second duty is to go and do it, after hearing the answer.

"'If the money owned by church-members were all spent to the glory of God there would be fewer hundred-thousand-dollar churches built and more model tenements.

"'If Christ had been a millionaire he would have used his money to build up character in other people, rather than build a magnificent brown-stone palace for himself. But we cannot imagine Christ as a millionaire.

"'It is just as true now as when Paul said it nearly twenty centuries ago: "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil;" it is the curse of our civilization, the greatest god of the human race to-day.

"'Our civilization is only partly Christian. For Christian civilization means more comforts; ours means more wants.

"'If a man's pocket-book is not converted with his soul the man will not get into heaven with it.

"'There are certain things that money alone can secure; but among those things it cannot buy is character.

"'All wealth, from the Christian standpoint, is in the nature of trust funds, to be so used as the administrator, God, shall direct. No man owns the money for himself. The gold is God's, the silver is God's! That is the plain and repeated teaching of the Bible.

"'It is not wrong for a man to make money. It is wrong for him to use it selfishly or foolishly.

"'The consecrated wealth of the men of Milton could provide work for every idle man in town. The Christian use of the wealth of the world would make impossible the cry for bread.

"'Most of the evils of our present condition flow out of the love of money. The almighty dollar is the God of Protestant America.

"'If men loved men as eagerly as they love money the millennium would be just around the corner.

"'Wealth is a curse unless the owner of it blesses the world with it.

"'If any man hath the world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

"'Christian Socialism teaches a man to bear other people's burdens. The very first principle of Christian Socialism is unselfishness.

"'We shall never see a better condition of affairs in this country until the men of wealth realize their responsibility and privilege.

"'Christ never said anything against the poor. He did speak some tremendous warnings in the face of the selfish rich.

"'The only safe thing for a man of wealth to do is to ask himself, What would Christ do with my money if he had it?

"'Everything a man has is God's. On that profound principle the whole of human life should rest. We are not our own; we have been bought with a price.'

"It would be impossible to describe the effect of the Rev. Mr. Strong's talk upon the audience. Once the applause was so long continued that it was a full minute before he could go on. When he finally closed with a tremendous appeal to the wealth of Milton to use its power for the good of the place, for the tearing down and remodeling of the tenements, for the solution of the problem of no work for thousands of desperate men, the audience rose to its feet and cheered again and again.

"At the close of the meeting the minister was surrounded by a crowd of men, and an after meeting was held, at which steps were taken to form a committee composed of prominent church people and labor leaders to work, if possible, together toward a common end.

"It was rumored yesterday that several of the leading-members of Calvary Church are very much dissatisfied with the way things have been going during these Sunday-evening meetings, and are likely to withdraw if they continue. They say that Mr. Strong's utterances are socialistic and tend to inflame the minds of the people to acts of violence. Since the attack on Mr. Winter nearly every mill-owner in town goes armed and takes extra precautions. Mr. Strong was much pleased with the result of the Sunday-night meetings and said they had done much to bridge the gulf between the church and the people. He refused to credit the talk about disaffection in Calvary Church."

In another column of this same paper were five separate accounts of the desperate condition of affairs in the town. The midnight hold-up attacks were growing in frequency and in boldness. Along with all the rest, the sickness in the tenement district had assumed the nature of an epidemic of fever, clearly caused by the lack of sanitary regulations, imperfect drainage, and crowding of families. Clearly the condition of matters was growing serious.

At this time the minsters[sic] of different churches in Milton held a meeting to determine on a course of action that would relieve some of the distress. Various plans were submitted. Some proposed districting the town to ascertain the number of needly[sic] families. Others proposed a union of benevolent offerings to be given the poor. Another group suggested something else. To Philip's mind not one of the plans submitted went to the root of the matter. He was not popular with the other ministers. Most of them thought he was sensational. However, he made a plea for his own plan, which was radical and as he believed went to the real heart of the subject. He proposed that every church in town, regardless of its denomination, give itself in its pastor and members to the practical solution of the social troubles by personal contact with the suffering and sickness in the district; that the churches all throw open their doors every day in the week, weekdays as well as Sundays, for the discussion and agitation of the whole matter; that the country and the State be petitioned to take speedy action toward providing necessary labor for the unemployed; and that the churches cut down all unnecessary expenses of paid choirs, do away with pew rents, urge wealthy members to consecrate their riches to the solving of the problem, and in every way, by personal sacrifice and common union, let the churches of Milton as a unit work and pray and sacrifice to make themselves felt as a real power on the side of the people in their present great need. It was Christian America, but Philip's plan was not adopted. It was discussed with some warmth, but declared to be visionary, impracticable, unnecessary, not for the church to undertake, beyond its function, etc. Philip was disappointed, but he kept his temper.

"Well, brethren," he said, "what can we do to help the solution of these questions? Is the church of America to have no share in the greatest problem of human life that agitates the world to-day? Is it not true that the people in this town regard the Church as an insignificant organization, unable to help at the very point of human crisis, and the preachers as a lot weak, impractical men, with no knowledge of the real state of affairs? Are we not divided over our denominational differences when we ought to be united in one common work for the saving of the whole man? I do not have any faith in the plan proposed to give our benevolence or to district the town and visit the poor. All those things are well enough in their place. But matters are in such shape here now and all over the country that we must do something larger than that. We must do as Christ would do if He were here. What would He do? Would He give anything less than His whole life to it? Would He not give Himself? The Church as an institution is facing the greatest opportunity it ever saw. If we do not seize it on the largest possible scale we shall miserably fail of doing our duty."

When the meeting adjourned Philip was aware he had simply put himself out of touch with the majority present. They did not, they could not, look upon the Church as he did. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter and propose a plan of action at the next meeting in two weeks. And Philip went home almost bitterly smiling at the little bulwark which Milton churches proposed to rear against the tide of poverty and crime and drunkenness and political demagogy and wealthy selfishness. To his mind it was a house of paper cards in the face of a tornado.

Saturday night he was out calling a little while, but he came home early. It was the first Sunday of the month on the morrow, and he had not fully prepared his sermon. He was behind with it. As he came in, his wife met him with a look of news on her face.

"Guess who is here?" she said in a whisper.

"The Brother Man," replied Philip, quickly.

"Yes, but you never can guess what has happened. He is in there with William. And the Brother Man—Philip, it seems like a chapter out of a novel—the Brother Man has discovered that William is his only son, who cursed his father and deserted him when he gave away his property. They are in there together. I could not keep the Brother Man out."

Philip and Sarah stepped to the door of the little room, which was open, and looked in.

The Brother Man was kneeling at the side of the bed praying, and his son was listening, with one hand tight-clasped in his father's, and the tears rolling over his pale face.


When the Brother Man had finished his prayer he rose, and stooping over his son he kissed him. Then he turned about and faced Philip and Sarah, who almost felt guilty of intrusion in looking at such a scene. But the Brother Man wore a radiant look. To Philip's surprise he was not excited. The same ineffable peace breathed from his entire person. To that peace was now added a fathomless joy.

"Yes," he said very simply, "I have found my son which was lost. God is good to me. He is good to all His children. He is the All-Father. He is Love."

"Did you know your son was here?" Philip asked.

"No, I found him here. You have saved his life. That was doing as He would."

"It was very little we could do," said Philip, with a sigh. He had seen so much trouble and suffering that day that his soul was sick within him. Yet he welcomed this event in his home. It seemed like a little brightness of heaven on earth.

The sick man was too feeble to talk much. The tears and the hand-clasp with his father told the story of his reconciliation, of the bursting out of the old love, which had not been extinguished, only smothered for a time. Philip thought best that he should not become excited with the meeting, and in a little while drew the Brother Man out into the other room.

By this time it was nearly ten o'clock. The old man stood hesitating in a curious fashion when Philip asked him to be seated. And again, as before, he asked if he could find a place to stay over night.

"You haven't room to take me in," he said when Philip urged his welcome upon him.

"Oh, yes, we have. We'll fix a place for you somewhere. Sit right down, Brother Man."

The old man at once accepted the invitation and sat down. Not a trace of anxiety or hesitation remained. The peacefulness of his demeanor was restful to the weary Philip.

"How long has your son," Philip was going to say, "been away from home?" Then he thought it might offend the old man, or that possibly he might not wish to talk about it. But he quietly replied:

"I have not seen him for years. He was my youngest son. We quarreled. All that is past. He did not know that to give up all that one has was the will of God. Now he knows. When he is well we will go away together—yes, together." He spread out his palms in his favorite gesture, with plentiful content in his face and voice.

Philip was on the point of asking his strange guest to tell something of his history, but his great weariness and the knowledge of the strength needed for his Sunday work checked the questions that rose for answer. Mrs. Strong also came in and insisted that he should get the rest he so much needed. She arranged a sleeping-place on the lounge for the Brother Man, who, after once more looking in upon his son and assuring himself that he was resting, finally lay down with a look of great content upon his beautiful face.

In the morning Philip almost expected to find that his visitor had mysteriously disappeared, as on the other occasions. And he would not have been so very much surprised if he had vanished, taking with him in some strange fashion his newly discovered son. But it was that son who now kept him there; and in the simplest fashion he stayed on, nursing the sick man, who recovered very slowly. A month passed by after the Brother Man had first found the lost at Philip's house, and he was still a guest there. Within that month great events crowded in upon the experience of Mr. Strong. To tell them all would be to write another story. Sometimes into men's lives, under certain conditions of society, or of men's own mental and spiritual relation to certain causes of action, time, as reckoned by days or weeks, cuts no figure. A man can live an eternity in a month. He feels it. It was so with Philip Strong. We have spoken of the rapidity of his habit in deciding questions of right or expediency. The same habit of mind caused a possibility in him of condensed experience. In a few days he reached the conclusion of a year's thought. That month, while the Brother Man was peacefully watching by the side of the patient, and relieving Mrs. Strong and a neighbor who had helped before he came, Philip fought some tremendous battles with himself, with his thought of the church, and with the world about. It is necessary to understand something of this in order to understand something of the meaning of his last Sunday in Milton—a Sunday that marked an era in the place, from which the people almost reckoned time itself.

As spring had blossomed into summer and summer ripened into autumn, every one had predicted better times. But the predictions did not bring them. The suffering and sickness and helplessness of the tenement district grew every day more desperate. To Philip it seemed like the ulcer of Milton. All the surface remedies proposed and adopted by the city council and the churches and the benevolent societies had not touched the problem. The mills were going on part time. Thousands of men yet lingered in the place hoping to get work. Even if the mills had been running as usual that would not have diminished one particle of the sin and vice and drunkenness that saturated the place. And as Philip studied the matter with brain and soul he came to a conclusion regarding the duty of the church. He did not pretend to go beyond that, but as the weeks went by and fall came on and another winter stared the people coldly in the face, he knew that he must speak out what burned in him.

He had been a year in Milton now. Every month of that year had impressed him with the deep and apparently hopeless chasm that yawned between the working world and the church. There was no point of contact. One was suspicious, the other was indifferent. Something was radically wrong, and something radically positive and Christian must be done to right the condition that faced the churches of Milton. That was in his soul as he went his way like one of the old prophets, imbued with the love of God as he saw it in the heart of Christ. With infinite longing he yearned to bring the church to a sense of her great power and opportunity. So matters had finally drawn to a point in the month of November. The Brother Man had come in October. The sick man recovered slowly. Philip and his wife found room for the father and son, and shared with them what comforts they had. It should be said that after moving out of the parsonage into his house in the tenement district, Philip had more than given the extra thousand dollars the church insisted on paying him. The demands on him were so urgent, the perfect impossibility of providing men with work and so relieving them had been such a bar to giving help in that direction, that out of sheer necessity, as it seemed to him, Philip had given fully half of the thousand dollars reserved for his own salary. His entire expenses were reduced to the smallest possible amount. Everything above that went where it was absolutely needed. He was literally sharing what he had with the people who did not have anything. It seemed to him that he could not consistently do anything less in view of what he had preached and intended to preach.

One evening in the middle of the month he was invited to a social gathering at the house of Mr. Winter. The mill-owner had of late been experiencing a revolution of thought. His attitude toward Philip had grown more and more friendly. Philip welcomed the rich man's change of feeling toward him with an honest joy at the thought that the time might come when he would see his privilege and power, and use both to the glory of Christ's kingdom. He had more than once helped Philip lately with sums of money for the relief of destitute cases, and a feeling of mutual confidence was growing up between the men.

Philip went to the gathering with the feeling that a change of surroundings would do him good. Mrs. Strong, who for some reason was detained at home, urged him to go, thinking the social evening spent in bright and luxurious surroundings would be a rest to him from his incessant labors in the depressing atmosphere of poverty and disease.

It was a gathering of personal friends of Mr. Winter, including some of the church people. The moment that Philip stepped into the spacious hall and caught a glimpse of the furnishings of the rooms beyond, the contrast between all the comfort and brightness of this house and the last place he had visited in the tenement district smote him with a sense of pain. He drove it back and blamed himself with an inward reproach that he was growing narrow and could think of only one idea.

He could not remember just what brought up the subject, but some one during the evening, which was passed in conversation and music, mentioned the rumor going about of increased disturbance in the lower part of the town, and carelessly wanted to know if the paper did not exaggerate the facts. Some one turned to Philip and asked him about it as the one best informed. He had been talking with an intelligent lawyer who had been reading a popular book which Philip had also reviewed for a magazine. He was thoroughly enjoying the talk, and for the time being the human problem which had so long wearied his heart and mind was forgotten.

He was roused out of this to answer the question concerning the real condition of affairs in the lower part of the town. Instantly his mind sprang back to that which absorbed it in reality more than anything else. Before he knew it he had not only answered the particular question, but had gone on to describe the picture of desperate life in the tenement district. The buzz of conversation in the other rooms gradually ceased. The group about the minister grew, as others became aware that something unusual was going on in that particular room. He unconsciously grew eloquent and his handsome face lighted up with the fires that raged deep in him at the thought of diseased and depraved humanity. He did not know how long he talked. He knew there was a great hush when he had ended. Then before any one could change the stream of thought some young woman in the music-room who had not known what was going on began to sing to a new instrumental variation "Home, Sweet Home." Coming as it did after Philip's vivid description of the tenements, it seemed like a sob of despair or a mocking hypocrisy. He drew back into one of the smaller rooms and began to look over some art prints on a table. As he stood there, again blaming himself for his impetuous breach of society etiquette in almost preaching on such an occasion, Mr. Winter came in and said:

"It does not seem possible that such a state of affairs exists as you describe, Mr. Strong. Are you sure you do not exaggerate?"

"Exaggerate! Mr. Winter, you have pardoned my little sermon here to-night, I know. It was forced on me. But——" He choked, and then with an energy that was all the stronger for being repressed, he said, turning full toward the mill-owner, "Mr. Winter, will you go with me and look at things for yourself? In the name of Christ will you see what humanity is sinning and suffering not more than a mile from this home of yours?"

Mr. Winter hesitated and then said: "Yes, I'll go. When?"

"Say to-morrow night. Come down to my house early and we will start from there."

Mr. Winter agreed, and when Philip went home he glowed with hope. If once he could get people to know for themselves it seemed to him the rest of his desire for needed co-operation would follow.

When Mr. Winter came down the next evening, Philip asked him to come in and wait a few minutes, as he was detained in his study-room by a caller. The mill-owner sat down and visited with Mrs. Strong a little while. Finally she was called into the other room and Mr. Winter was left alone. The door into the sick man's room was partly open, and he could not help hearing the conversation between the Brother Man and his son. Something that was said made him curious, and when Philip came down he asked him a question concerning his strange boarder.

"Come in and see him," said Philip.

He brought Mr. Winter into the little room and introduced him to the patient. He was able to sit up now. At mention of Mr. Winter's name he flushed and trembled. It then occurred to Philip for the first time that it was the mill-owner that his assailant that night had intended to waylay and rob. For a second he was very much embarrassed. Then he recovered himself, and after a few quiet words with Brother Man he and Mr. Winter went out of the room to start on their night visit through the tenements.


As they were going out of the house the patient called Philip back. He went in again and the man said, "Mr. Strong, I wish you would tell Mr. Winter all about it."

"Would you feel easier?" Philip asked gently.


"All right; I'll tell him—don't worry. Brother Man, take good care of him. I shall not be back until late." He kissed his wife and joined Mr. Winter, and together they made the round of the district.

As they were going through the court near by the place where Philip had been attacked, he told the mill-owner the story. It affected him greatly; but as they went on through the tenements the sights that met him there wiped out the recollection of everything else.

It was all familiar to Philip; but it always looked to him just as terrible. The heartache for humanity was just as deep in him at sight of suffering and injustice as if it was the first instead of the hundredth time he had ever seen them. But to the mill-owner the whole thing came like a revelation. He had not dreamed of such a condition possible.

"How many people are there in our church that know anything about this plague spot from personal knowledge, Mr. Winter?" Philip asked after they had been out about two hours.

"I don't know. Very few, I presume."

"And yet they ought to know about it. How else shall all this sin and misery be done away?"

"I suppose the law could do something," replied Mr. Winter, feebly.

"The law!" Philip said the two words and then stopped. They stumbled over a heap of refuse thrown out into the doorway of a miserable structure. "Oh, what this place needs is not law and ordinances and statutes so much as live, loving Christian men and women who will give themselves and a large part of their means to cleanse the souls and bodies and houses of this wretched district. We have reached a crisis in Milton when Christians must give themselves to humanity! Mr. Winter, I am going to tell Calvary Church so next Sunday."

Mr. Winter was silent. They had come out of the district and were walking along together toward the upper part of the city. The houses kept growing larger and better. Finally they came up to the avenue where the churches were situated—a broad, clean, well-paved street with magnificent elms and elegant houses on either side and the seven large, beautiful church-buildings with their spires pointing upward, almost all of them visible from where the two men stood. They paused there a moment. The contrast, the physical contrast was overwhelming to Philip, and to Mr. Winter, coming from the unusual sights of the lower town, it must have come with a new meaning.

A door in one of the houses near opened. A group of people passed in. The glimpse caught by the two men was a glimpse of bright, flower-decorated rooms, beautiful dresses, glittering jewels, and a table heaped with luxuries of food. It was the Paradise of Society, the display of its ease, its soft enjoyment of pretty things, its careless indifference to humanity's pain in the lower town. The group of new-comers went in, a strain of music and the echo of a dancing laugh floated out into the street, and then the door closed.

The two men went on. Philip had his own reason for accompanying the other home, and Mr. Winter was secretly glad of his presence, for he was timid at night alone in Milton. He broke a long silence by saying:

"Mr. Strong, if you preach to the people to leave such pleasure as that we have just glanced at to view or suffer such things as are found in the tenements, you must expect opposition. I doubt if they will understand your meaning. I know they will not do any such thing. It is asking too much."

"And yet the Lord Jesus Christ 'although He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be rich.' Mr. Winter, what this town needs is that kind of Christianity—the kind that will give up the physical pleasures of life to show the love of Christ to perishing men. I believe it is just as true now as when Christ lived, that unless they are willing to renounce all that they have they cannot be his disciples."

"Do you mean literally, Mr. Strong?" asked the rich man after a little.

"Yes, literally, sometimes. I believe the awful condition of things and souls we have witnessed to-night will not be any better until many, many of the professing Christians in this town and in Calvary Church are willing to leave, actually to leave their beautiful homes and spend the money they now spend in luxuries for the good of the weak and poor and sinful."

"Do you think Christ would preach that if he was in Milton?"

"I do. It has been burned into me that He would. I believe He would say to the members of Calvary Church, 'If any man love houses and money and society and power and position more than Me, he cannot be My disciple. If any man renounceth not all that he hath he cannot be My disciple.' And then he would test the entire church by its willingness to renounce all these physical things. And if He found the members willing, if He found that they loved Him more than the money or the power, He might not demand a literal giving up. But he would say to them, 'Take My money and My power, for it is all Mine, and use them for the building up of my kingdom.' He would not then perhaps command them to leave literally their beautiful surroundings. But, then, in some cases, I believe He would. Oh, yes!—sacrifice! sacrifice! What does the Church in America in this age of the world know about it? How much do church-members give of themselves nowadays to the Master? That is what we need—self, the souls of men and women, the living sacrifices for these lost children down yonder! Oh, God!—to think of what Christ gave up! And then to think of how little His Church is doing to obey His last command to go and disciple the nations!"

Philip strode through the night almost forgetful of his companion. By this time they had reached Mr. Winter's house. Very little was said by the mill-owner. A few brief words of good-night, and Philip started for home. He went back through the avenue on which the churches stood. When he reached Calvary Church he went up on the steps, and obeying an instant impulse he kneeled down on the upper step and prayed. Great sobs shook him. They were sobs without tears—sobs that were articulate here and there with groans of anguish and desire. He prayed for his loved church, for the wretched beings in the hell of torment, without God and without hope in the world, for the spirit of Christ to come again into the heart of the church and teach it the meaning and extent of sacrifice.

When he finally arose and came down the steps it was very late. The night was cold, but he did not feel it. He went home. He was utterly exhausted. He felt as if the burden of the place was wearing him out and crushing him into the earth. He wondered if he was beginning to know ever so little what a tremendous invitation that was: "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." All! The weary, sinful souls in Milton were more than he could carry. He shrank back before the amazing spectacle of the mighty Burden-Bearer of the sin of all the world, and fell down at his feet and breathed out the words, "My Lord and my God!" before he sank into a heavy sleep.

When the eventful Sunday came he faced the usual immense concourse. He did not come out of the little room until the last moment. When he finally appeared his face bore marks of tears. At last they had flowed as a relief to his burden, and he gave the people his message with a courage and a peace and a love born of direct communion with the Spirit of Truth.

As he went on, people began to listen in amazement. He had begun by giving them a statement of facts concerning the sinful, needy, desperate condition of life in the place. He then rapidly sketched the contrast between the surroundings of the Christian and the non-Christian people, between the working-men and the church-members. He stated what was the fact in regard to the unemployed and the vicious and the ignorant and the suffering. And then with his heart flinging itself out among the people, he spoke the words which aroused the most intense astonishment:

"Disciples of Jesus," he exclaimed, "the time has come when our Master demands of us some token of our discipleship greater than the giving of a little money or the giving of a little work and time to the salvation of the great problem of modern society and of our own city. The time has come when we must give ourselves. The time has come when we must renounce, if it is best, if Christ asks it, the things we have so long counted dear, the money, the luxury, the houses, and go down into the tenement district to live there and work there with the people. I do not wish to be misunderstood here. I do not believe our modern civilization is an absurdity. I do not believe Christ if he were here to-day would demand of us foolish things. But this I do believe He would require—ourselves. We must give ourselves in some way that will mean real, genuine, downright and decided self-sacrifice. If Christ were here He would say to some of you, as He said to the young man, 'Sell all you have and give to the poor, and come, follow me.' And if you were unwilling to do it He would say you could not be His disciples. The test of discipleship is the same now as then; the price is no less on account of the lapse of two thousand years. Eternal life is something which has only one price, and that is the same always.

"What less can we do than give ourselves and all we have to the salvation of souls in this city? Have we not enjoyed our pleasant things long enough? What less would Christ demand of the church to-day than the giving up of its unnecessary luxuries, the consecration of every dollar to His glory and the throwing of ourselves on the altar of His service? Members of Calvary Church, I solemnly believe the time has come when it is our duty to go into the tenement district and redeem it by the power of personal sacrifice and personal presence. Nothing less will answer. To accomplish this great task, to bring back to God this great part of His kingdom, I believe we ought to spend our time, our money, ourselves. It is a sin for us to live at our pleasant ease, in enjoyment of all good things, while men and women and children by the thousand are dying, body and soul, before our very eyes in need of the blessings of Christian civilization in our power to share with them. We cannot say it is not our business. We cannot excuse ourselves on the plea of our own business. This is our first business, to love God and man with all our might. This problem before us calls for all our Christian discipleship. Every heart in this church should cry out this day, 'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' And each soul must follow the commands that he honestly hears. Out of the depths of the black abyss of human want and sin and despair and anguish and rebellion in this place and over the world rings in my ear a cry for help that by the grace of God I truly believe cannot be answered by the Church of Christ on earth until the members of that Church are willing in great numbers to give all their money and all their time and all their homes and all their luxuries and all their accomplishments and all their artistic tastes and all themselves to satisfy the needs of the generation as it looks for the heart of the bleeding Christ in the members of the Church of Christ. Yea, truly, except a man is willing to renounce all that he hath, he cannot be His disciple. Does Christ ask any member of Calvary Church to renounce all and go down into the tenement district to live Christ there? Yes, all.

"My beloved, if Christ speaks so to you to-day, listen and obey. Service! Self! That is what He wants. And if He asks for all, when all is needed, what then? Can we sing that hymn with any Christian honesty of heart unless we interpret it literally?—

"'Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were an offering far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all!'"

It would partly describe the effect of this sermon on Calvary Church to say what was a fact that when Philip ended and then kneeled down by the side of the desk to pray, the silence was painful and the intense feeling provoked by his remarkable statements was felt in the appearance of the audience as it remained seated after the benediction. But the final result was yet to show itself; that result was not visible in the Sunday audience.

The next day Philip was unexpectedly summoned out of Milton to the parish of his old college chum. His old friend was thought to be dying. He had sent for Philip. Philip, whose affection for him was second only to that which he gave his wife, went at once. His friend was almost gone. He rallied when Philip came, and then for two weeks his life swung back and forth between this world and the next. Philip stayed on and so was gone one Sunday from his pulpit in Milton. Then the week following, as Alfred gradually came back from the shore of that other world, Philip, assured that he would live, returned home.

During that ten days' absence serious events had taken place in Calvary Church. Philip reached home on Wednesday. He at once went to the house and greeted his wife and the Brother Man, and William, who was now sitting up in the large room.

He had not been home more than an hour when the greatest dizziness came over him. He sat up so much with his chum that he was entirely worn out. He went upstairs to lie down on his couch in his small study. He instantly fell asleep and dreamed that he was standing on the platform of Calvary Church, preaching. It was the first Sunday of a month. He thought he said something the people did not like. Suddenly a man in the audience raised a revolver and fired at him. At once, from over the house, people aimed revolvers at him and began to fire. The noise was terrible, and in the midst of it he awoke to feel to his amazement that his wife was kneeling at the side of his couch, sobbing with a heartache that was terrible to him; he was instantly wide awake and her dear head clasped in his arms. And when he prayed her to tell him the matter, she sobbed out the news to him which her faithful, loving heart had concealed from him while he was at the bedside of his friend. And even when the news of what the church had done in his absence had come to him fully through her broken recital of it, he did not realize it until she placed in his hands the letter which the church had voted to be written, asking him to resign his pastorate of Calvary Church. Even then he fingered the envelope in an absent way, and for an instant his eyes left the bowed form of his wife and looked out beyond the sheds over to the tenements. Then he opened the letter and read it.


Philip read the letter through without lifting his eyes from the paper or making any comment. It was as follows:

PHILIP STRONG, Calvary Church, Milton:

As clerk of the church I am instructed to inform you of the action of the church at a regularly called meeting last Monday night. At that meeting it was voted by a majority present that you be asked to resign the pastorate of Calvary Church for the following reasons:

1. There is a very widespread discontent on the part of the church-membership on account of the use of the church for Sunday evening discussions of social, political, and economic questions, and the introduction into the pulpit of persons whose character and standing are known to be hostile to the church and its teachings.

2. The business men of the church, almost without exception, are agreed, and so expressed themselves at the meeting, that the sermon of Sunday before last was exceedingly dangerous in its tone, and liable to lead to the gravest results in acts of lawlessness and anarchy on the part of people who are already inflamed to deeds of violence against property and wealth. Such preaching, in the opinion of the majority of pew-owners and supporters of Calvary Church, cannot be allowed, or the church will inevitably lose its standing in society.

3. It is the fixed determination of a majority of the oldest and most influential members of Calvary Church to withdraw from the organization all support under the present condition of affairs. The trustees announced that the pledges for church support had already fallen off very largely, and last Sunday less than half the regular amount was received. This was ascribed to the sermon of the first of the month.

4. The vacation of the parsonage and the removal of the minister into the region of the tenement district has created an intense feeling on the part of a large number of families who have for years been firm supporters and friends of the church. They feel that the action was altogether uncalled for, and they think it has been the means of disrupting the church and throwing matters into confusion, besides placing the church in an unfavorable light with the other churches and the community at large.

5. It was the opinion of a majority of the members present that while much of the spirit exhibited by yourself was highly commendable, yet in view of all the facts it would be expedient for the pastoral relation to be severed. The continuance of that relation seemed to promise only added disturbance and increased antagonism in the church. It was the wellnigh unanimous verdict that your plans and methods might succeed to your better satisfaction with a constituency made up of non-church people, and that possibly your own inclinations would lead you to take the step which the church has thought wisest and best for all concerned.

It is my painful duty as the clerk of Calvary Church to write thus plainly the action of the church and the specific reasons for that action. A council will be called to review our proceedings and advise with reference to the same.

In behalf of the church, ———— —————, Clerk.

Philip finished the letter and lifted his eyes again. And again he looked out through the window across the sheds to the roofs of the tenements. From where he sat he could also see, across the city, up on the rising ground, the spire of Calvary Church. It rose distinct and cold against the gray December sky. The air was clear and frosty, the ground was covered with snow, and the roofs of the tenements showed black and white patches where the thinner snow had melted. He was silent so long that his wife became frightened.

"Philip! Philip!" she cried, as she threw her arms about his neck and drew his head down nearer. "They have broken your heart! They have killed you! There is no love in the world any more!"

"No! No!" he cried suddenly. "You must not say that! You make me doubt. There is the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. But, oh, for the Church! the Church which he loved and for which he gave himself!"

"But it is not the Church of Christ that has done this thing."

"Nevertheless it is the Church in the world," he replied. "Tell me, Sarah, how this was kept so secret from me."

"You forget. You were so entirely absorbed in the care of Alfred; and then the church meeting was held with closed doors. Even the papers did not know the whole truth at once. I kept it from you as long as I could! Oh! It was cruel, so cruel."

"Little woman," spoke Philip, very gently and calmly, "this is a blow to me. I did not think the church would do it. I hoped——" he paused and his voice trembled for a brief moment, then grew quiet again. "I hoped I was gradually overcoming opposition. It seems I was mistaken. It seems I did not know the feeling in the church."

He looked out of the window again and was silent. Then he asked, "Are they all against me? Was there no one to stand up for me?" The question came with a faint smile that was far more heart-breaking to his wife than a flood of tears. She burst into a sob.

"Yes, you have friends. Mr. Winter fought for you—and others."

"Mr. Winter!—my old enemy! That was good. And there were others?"

"Yes, quite a number. But nearly all the influential members were against you. Philip, you have been blind to all this."

"Do you think so?" he asked simply. "Maybe that is so. I have not thought of people so much as of the work which needed to be done. I have tried to do as my Master would have me. But I have lacked wisdom, or tact, or something."

"No, it is not that. Do you want to know what I think?" His wife fondly stroked the hair back from his forehead, as she sat on the couch by him.

"Yes, little woman, tell me." To his eyes his wife never seemed so beautiful or dear as now. He knew that they were one in this their hour of trouble.

"Well, I have learned to believe since you came to Milton that if Jesus Christ were to live on the earth in this century and become the pastor of almost any large and wealthy and influential church and preach as He would have to, the church would treat Him just as Calvary Church has treated you. The world would crucify Jesus Christ again even after two thousand years of historical Christianity."

Philip did not speak. He looked out again toward the tenements. The winter day was drawing to its close. The church spire still stood out sharp cut against the sky. Finally he turned to his wife, and almost with a groan he uttered the words: "Sarah, I do not to like to believe it. The world is full of the love of Christ. It is not the same world as Calvary saw."

"No. But by what test are nominal Christians and church-members tried to-day? Is not the church in America and England a church in which the scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, are just as certainly found as they were in the old Jewish church? And would not that element crucify Christ again if He spoke as plainly now as then?"

Again Philip looked out of the window. His whole nature was shaken to its foundation. Repeatedly he drove back the thought of the church's possible action in the face of the Christ of this century. As often it returned and his soul cried out in anguish at the suggestion of the truth. Even with the letter of Calvary Church before him he was slow to believe that the Church as a whole or in a majority of cases would reject the Master.

"I have made mistakes. I have been lacking in tact. I have needlessly offended the people," he said to his wife, yielding almost for the first time to a great fear and distrust of himself. For the letter asking his resignation had shaken him as once he thought impossible. "I have tried to preach and act as Christ would, but I have failed to interpret him aright. Is it not so, Sarah?"

His wife was reluctant to speak. But her true heart made answer: "No, Philip, you have interpreted Him so faithfully. You may have made mistakes; all ministers do; but I honestly believe you have preached as Christ would preach against the great selfishness and hypocrisy of this century. The same thing would have happened to him."

They talked a little longer, and then Philip said: "Let us go down and see the Brother Man. Somehow I feel like talking with him."

So they went downstairs and into the room where the invalid was sitting with the old man. William was able to walk about now, and had been saying that he wanted to hear Philip preach as soon as he could get to church.

"Well, Brother Man," said Philip, with something like his old heartiness of manner, "have you heard the news? Othello's occupation's gone."

The Brother Man seemed to know all about it. Whether he had heard of it through some of the church people or not, Mrs. Strong did not know. He looked at Mr. Strong calmly. There was a loving sympathy in his voice, but no trace of compassion or wonder. Evidently he had not been talking of the subject to any one.

"I knew it would happen," he said. "You have offended the rulers."

"What would you do, Brother Man, in my place? Would you resign?" Philip thought back to the time when the Brother Man had asked him why he did not resign.

"Don't they ask you to?"


"Do you think it is the wish of the whole church?"

"No, there are some who want me to stay."

"How do you feel about it?" The Brother Man put the question almost timidly. Philip replied without hesitation:

"There is only one thing for me to do. It would be impossible for me to remain after what has been done."

The Brother Man nodded his head as if in approval. He did not seem disturbed in the least. His demeanor was the most perfect expression of peace that Philip ever saw.

"We shall have to leave Milton, Brother Man," said Philip, thinking that possibly he did not understand the meaning of the resignation..

"Yes, we will go away together. Together." The Brother Man looked at his son and smiled.

"Mr. Strong," said William, "we cannot be a burden on you another day. I am able to get out now, and I will find work somewhere and provide for my father and myself. It is terrible to me to think how long we have been living on your slender means." And William gave the minister a look of gratitude that made his heart warm again.

"My brother, we will see to that all right. You have been more than welcome. Just what I shall do, I don't know, but I am sure the way will be made clear in time, aren't you, Brother Man?"

"Yes, the road to heaven is always clear," he said, almost singing the words.

"We shall have to leave this house, Brother Man," said Sarah, feeling with Philip that he did not grasp the meaning of the event.

"Yes, in the Father's house there are many mansions," replied the Brother Man. Then as Mr. and Mrs. Strong sat there in the gathering gloom the old man said suddenly, "Let us pray together about it."

He kneeled down and offered the most remarkable prayer that they had ever heard. It seemed to them that, however the old man's mind might be affected, the part of him that touched God in the communion of audible prayer was absolutely free from any weakness or disease. It was a prayer that laid its healing balm on the soul of Philip and soothed his trouble into peace. When the old man finished, Philip felt almost cheerful again. He went out and helped his wife a few minutes in some work about the kitchen. And after supper he was just getting ready to go out to inquire after a sick family near by, when there was a knock at the door.

It was a messenger boy with a telegram. Philip opened it almost mechanically and carrying it to the light read:

"Alfred died at four P. M. Can you come?"

For a second he did not realize the news. Then as it rushed upon him he staggered and would have fallen if the table had not been so close. A faintness and a pain seized him and for a minute he thought he was falling. Then he pulled himself together and called his wife, who was in the kitchen. She came in at once, noticing the peculiar tone of his voice.

"Alfred is dead!" He was saying the words quietly as he held out the telegram.

"Dead! And you left him getting better! How dreadful!"

"Do you think so? He is at rest. I must go up there at once; they expect me." He still spoke quietly, stilling the tumult of his heart's anguish for his wife's sake. This man, his old college chum, was very dear to him. The news was terrible to him.

Nevertheless, he made his preparations to go back to his friend's home. It is what either would have done in the event of the other's death. And so he was gone from Milton until after the funeral, and did not return until Saturday. In those three days of absence Milton was stirred by events that grew out of the action of the church.


In the first place the minority in the church held a meeting and voted to ask Philip to remain, pledging him their hearty support in all his plans and methods. The evening paper, in its report of this meeting, made the most of the personal remarks that were made, and served up the whole affair in sensational items that were eagerly read by every one in Milton.

But the most important gathering of Philip's friends was that of the mill-men. They met in the hall where he had so often spoken, and being crowded out of that by the great numbers, they finally secured the use of the court house. This was crowded with an excited assembly, and in the course of very many short speeches in which the action of the church was severely condemned, a resolution was offered and adopted asking Mr. Strong to remain in Milton and organize an association or something of a similar order for the purpose of sociological study and agitation, pledging whatever financial support could be obtained from the working-people. This also was caught up and magnified in the paper, and the town was still roused to excitement by all these reports when Philip returned home late Saturday afternoon, almost reeling with exhaustion, and his heart torn with the separation from his old chum.

However, he tried to conceal his weariness from Sarah, and partly succeeded. After supper he went up to his study to prepare for the Sunday. He had fully made up his mind what he would do, and he wanted to do it in a manner that would cast no reproach on his ministry, which he respected with sensitive reverence.

He shut the door and began his preparation by walking up and down, as his custom was, thinking out the details of the service, his sermon, the exact wording of certain phrases he wished to make.

He had been walking thus back and forth half a dozen times when he felt the same acute pain in his side that had seized him when he fainted in church at the evening service. It passed away and he resumed his work, thinking it was only a passing disorder. But before he could turn again in his walk he felt a dizziness that whirled everything in the room about him. He clutched at a chair and was conscious of having missed it, and then he fell forward in such a way that he lay partly on the couch and on the floor, and was unconscious.

How long he had been in this condition he did not know when he came to himself. He was thankful, when he did recover sufficiently to crawl to his feet and sit down on the couch, that Sarah had not seen him. He managed to get over to his desk and begin to write something as he heard her coming upstairs. He did not intend to deceive her. His thought was that he would not unnecessarily alarm her. He was very tired. It did not need much urging to persuade him to get to bed. And so, without saying anything of his second fainting attack, he went downstairs and was soon sleeping very heavily.

He awoke Sunday morning feeling strangely calm and refreshed. The morning prayer with the Brother Man came like a benediction to them all. Sarah, who had feared for him, owing to the severe strain he had been enduring, felt relieved as she saw how he appeared. They all prepared to go to church, the Brother Man and William going out for the first time since the attack.

We have mentioned Philip's custom of coming into his pulpit from the little room at the side door of the platform. This morning he went in at the side door of the church after parting with Sarah and the others. He let Brother Man and William go on ahead a little, and then drawing his wife to him he stooped and kissed her. He turned at the top of the short flight of steps leading up to the side entrance and saw her still standing in the same place. Then she went around from the little court to the front of the church, and went in with the great crowd already beginning to stream toward Calvary Church.

No one ever saw so many people in Calvary Church before. Men sat on the platform and even in the deep window-seats. The spaces under the large galleries by the walls were filled mostly with men standing there. The house was crowded long before the hour of service. There were many beating, excited hearts in that audience. More than one member felt a shame at the action which had been taken, and might have wished it recalled. With the great number of working-men and young people in the church there was only one feeling; it was a feeling of love for Philip and of sorrow for what had been done. The fact that he had been away from the city, that he had not talked over the matter with any one, owing to his absence, the uncertainty as to how he would receive the whole thing, what he would say on this first Sunday after the letter had been written—this attracted a certain number of persons who never go inside a church except for some extraordinary occasion or in hopes of a sensation. So the audience that memorable day had some cruel people present—people who narrowly watch the faces of mourners at funerals to see what ravages grief has made on the countenance.

The organist played his prelude through and was about to stop, when he saw from the glass that hung over the keys that Mr. Strong had not yet appeared. He began again at a certain measure, repeating it, and played very slowly. By this time the church was entirely filled. There was an air of expectant waiting as the organ again ceased, and still Philip did not come out. A great fear came over Mrs. Strong. She had half risen from her seat near the platform to go up and open the study door, when it opened and Philip came out.

Whatever his struggle had been in that little room the closest observer could not detect any trace of tears or sorrow or shame or humiliation. He was pale, but that was common; otherwise his face wore a firm, noble, peaceful look. As he gazed over the congregation it fell under the fascination of his glances. The first words that he spoke in the service were strong and clear. Never had the people seen so much to admire in his appearance, and when, after the opening exercises and the regular order of service, he rose and came out at one side of the desk to speak, as his custom was, the people were for the time under the magic sway of his personality, that never stood out so commanding and loving and true-hearted as then.

He began to speak very quietly and simply, as his fashion was, of the fact that he had been asked to resign his pastorate of Calvary Church. He made the statement clearly, with no halting or hesitation or sentiment of tone or gesture. Then, after saying that there was only one course open to him under the circumstances, he went on to speak, as he said he ought to speak, in defense of his interpretation of Christ and His teaching.

"Members of Calvary Church, I call you to bear witness to-day, that I have tried to preach to you Christ and Him crucified. I have doubtless made mistakes; we all make them. I have offended the rich men and the property-owners in Milton. I could not help it; I was obliged to do so in order to speak as I this moment solemnly believe my Lord would speak. I have aroused opposition because I asked men into the church and upon this platform who do not call themselves Christians, for the purpose of knowing their reasons for antagonism to the church we love. But the time has come, O my brothers, when the Church must welcome to its counsels, in these matters that affect the world's greatest good, all men who have at heart the fulfilment[sic] of the Christ's teachings.

"But the cause which more than any other has led to the action of this church has been, I am fully aware, my demand that the church-members of this city should leave their possessions and go and live with the poor, wretched, sinful, hopeless people in the lower town, sharing in wise ways with them of the good things of the world. But why do I speak of all this in defense of my action or my preaching?"

Suddenly Philip seemed to feel a revulsion of attitude toward the whole of what he had been saying. It was as if there had instantly swept over him the knowledge that he could never make the people before him understand either his motive or his Christ. His speech so far had been quiet, unimpassioned, deliberate. His whole manner now underwent a swift change. People in the galleries noticed it, and men leaned out far over the railing, and more than one closed his hands tight in emotion at the sight and hearing of the tall figure on the platform.

For the intense love of the people that Philip felt had surged into him uncontrollably. It swept away all other things. He no longer sought to justify his ways; he seemed bent on revealing to men the mighty love of Christ for them and the world. His lip trembled, his voice shook with the yearning of his soul for the people, and his frame quivered with longing.

"Yes," he said, "I love you, people of Milton, beloved members of this church. I would have opened my arms to every child of humanity here and shown him, if I could, the boundless love of his heavenly Father! But oh, ye would not! And yet the love of Christ! What a wonderful thing it is! How much He wished us to enjoy of peace and hope and fellowship and service! Yes, service—that is what the world needs to-day; service that is willing to give all—all to Him who gave all to save us! O Christ, Master, teach us to do Thy will. Make us servants to the poor and sinful and hopeless. Make Thy Church on earth more like Thyself!"

Those nearest Philip saw him suddenly raise his handkerchief to his lips, and then, when he took it away, it was stained with blood. But the people did not see that. And then, and then—a remarkable thing took place.

On the rear wall of Calvary Church there had been painted, when the church was built, a Latin cross. This cross had been the source of almost endless dispute among the church-members. Some said it was inartistic; others said it was in keeping with the name of the church, and had a right place there as part of its inner adornment. Once the dispute had grown so large and serious that the church had voted as to its removal or retention on the wall. A small majority had voted to leave it there, and there it remained. It was perfectly white, on a panel of thin wood, and stood out very conspicuously above the rear of the platform. It was not directly behind the desk, but several feet at one side.

Philip had never made any allusion in his sermons to this feature of Calvary Church's architecture. People had wondered sometimes that with his imaginative, poetical temperament he never had done so, especially once when a sermon on the crucifixion had thrilled the people wonderfully. It might have been his extreme sensitiveness, his shrinking from anything like cheap sensation.

But now he stepped back—it was not far—and turning partly around, with one long arm extended toward the cross as if in imagination, he saw the Christ upon it, he exclaimed, "'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!' Yes—

"'In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round——'"

His voice suddenly ceased, he threw his arms up, and as he turned a little forward toward the congregation he was seen to reel and stagger back against the wall. For one intense tremendous second of time he stood there with the whole church smitten into a pitying, horrified, startled, motionless crowd of blanched staring faces, as his tall, dark figure towered up with outstretched arms, almost covering the very outlines of the cross, and then he sank down at its foot.

A groan went up from the audience. Several men sprang up the platform steps. Mrs. Strong was the first person to reach her husband. Two or three helped to bear him to the front of the platform. Sarah kneeled down by him. She put her head against his breast. Then she raised her face and said calmly, "He is dead."

The Brother Man was kneeling on the other side. "No," he said with an indescribable gesture and untranslatable inflection, "he is not dead. He is living in the eternal mansions of glory with his Lord!"

But the news was borne from lip to lip, "He is dead!" And that is the way men speak of the body. And they were right. The body of Philip was dead. And the Brother Man was right also. For Philip himself was alive in glory, and as they bore the tabernacle of his flesh out of Calvary Church that day, that was all they bore. His soul was out of the reach of humanity's selfishness and humanity's sorrow.

They said that when the funeral of Philip Strong's body was held in Milton, rugged, unfeeling men were seen to cry like children in the streets. A great procession, largely made up of the poor and sinful, followed him to his wintry grave. They lingered long about the spot. Finally, every one withdrew except Sarah, who refused to be led away by her friends, and William and the Brother Man. They stood looking down into the grave.

"He was very young to die so soon," at last Sarah said, with a calmness that was more terrible than bursts of grief.

"So was Christ," replied Brother Man, simply.

"But, oh, Philip, Philip, my beloved, they killed him!" she cried; and at last, for she had not wept yet, great tears rolled down into the grave, and uncontrollable anguish seized her. Brother Man did not attempt to console or interrupt. He knew she was in the arms of God. After a long time he said: "Yes, they crucified him. But he is with his Lord now. Let us be glad for him. Let us leave him with the Eternal Peace."

. . . . . . . .

When the snow had melted from the hillside and the first arbutus was beginning to bud and even blossom, one day some men came out to the grave and put up a plain stone at the head. After the men had done this work they went away. One of them lingered. He was the wealthy mill-owner. He stood with his hat in his hand and his head bent down, his eyes resting on the words carved into the stone. They were these:


"In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round——"

Mr. Winter looked at the incomplete line and then, as he turned away and walked slowly back down into Milton he said, "Yes, it is better so. We must finish the rest for him."

Ah, Philip Strong! The sacrifice was not in vain! The Resurrection is not far from the Crucifixion.

. . . . . . . .

Near to its close rolls up the century; And still the Church of Christ upon the earth Which marks the Christmas of His lowly birth, Contains the selfish Scribe and Pharisee. O Christ of God, exchanging gain for loss, Would men still nail thee to the self-same cross?

It is the Christendom of Time, and still Wealth and the love of it hold potent sway; The heart of man is stubborn to obey, The Church has yet to do the Master's will. O Christ of God, we bow our souls to thee; Hasten the dawning of Thy Church to be way!


[Transcriber's note: typographic errors in the original are noted within square brackets.]

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