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calls itself Christianity cannot be legitimately entitled to the name, for we find the most antithetical and contradictory systems laying claim to the same designation. One sect, for example, tells us that God loves all men, and wishes them to be saved; another says that, with a few exceptions, He hates them all, and has determined they shall be damned. One sect says that the disciple of Christ is bound to set an example of good conduct; another says that it does not in the least matter whether his conduct be good, bad, or indifferent. This diversity in so-called Christian sects has existed from the very first. St John found it necessary to exhort his readers to exercise a thoughtful discrimination. “Believe not every spirit,” he said, “but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Iniquities have been perpetrated by professed Christians, and even in the sacred name of Christ Himself—iniquities as grievous and abominable as ever disgraced the most benighted paganism. And the antagonists of Christianity often take advantage of these enormities, and urge them as arguments why a right-minded man must refuse to call himself a Christian. “To so many evils has religion persuaded men,” startle us if we were to hear them now for the first time; but as it is, they have little or no effect. We have heard them so often that we think we must understand them, and therefore we never attempt to analyse or fathom their significance. Take, for example, such sentences as these : “ Labour not for the meat which perisheth.” “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

I propose to speak to you this Lent about some of the defects of modern Christianity. I want you to contrast the Christianity of Christ with the Christianity of Christendom, Christianity as it is with Christianity as it should be, Christianity as it is frequently misrepresented and misunderstood with Christianity as it is described in the words of its divine Founder.

It is manifest, of course, that everything which

calls itself Christianity cannot be legitimately entitled to the name, for we find the most antithetical and contradictory systems laying claim to the same designation. One sect, for example, tells us that God loves all men, and wishes them to be saved ; another says that, with a few exceptions, He hates them all, and has determined they shall be damned. One sect says that the disciple of Christ is bound to set an example of good conduct; another says that it does not in the least matter whether his conduct be good, bad, or indifferent. This diversity in so-called Christian sects has existed from the very first. St John found it necessary to exhort his readers to exercise a thoughtful discrimination. “Believe not every spirit,” he said, “but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” .

Iniquities have been perpetrated by professed Christians, and even in the sacred name of Christ Himself—iniquities as grievous and abominable as ever disgraced the most benighted paganism. And the antagonists of Christianity often take advantage of these enormities, and urge them as arguments why a right-minded man must refuse to call himself a Christian. To so many evils has religion persuaded men,"

exclaimed Lucretius and the old opponents of religion. “To so many evils has Christianity persuaded men,” say the modern opponents of Christianity. This is a rhetorical device of which Swinburne has been fond of availing himself. But I was pleased to notice the other day—I daresay you noticed it too—in his sonnet, published in the newspapers, upon the persecution of the Jews, he rightly distinguishes the Christianity of Christ from the Christianity of Christendom. He does Jesus the justice to exculpate Him from the crimes which His professed followers have committed. He closes the sonnet with the following apostrophe :

- Face loved of little children long ago!

Head hated of the priests and rulers then !
Say, was not this Thy passion to foreknow,
In Thy death's hour, the works of Christian men ?”

I do not intend, however, now to dwell upon flagrant and atrocious violations of Christian principle. I wish to criticise rather, respectable, mediocre Christianity. I wish to speak of that kind of Christian (so called) who seems as innocent of doing anything very bad as he is of doing anything very good. By the expression “ defects of modern Christianity," I do not mean, of course, to imply that all the defects to which

I shall allude characterise, in their extremest form, all modern Christianity. God forbid! I only mean to say that they are characteristic of large classes of men and women who are wont to call themselves Christians. Friedrich von Logau once said—“The Lutherans, the Papists, the Calvinists, are extant and flourishing, but where is Christianity ?” There was this much truth in the sarcasm, that if we compare the members of these, or any other denominations, with the standard of excellence set up by Christ, we shall be compelled to acknowledge that some fall sadly short of that standard, and that others bear to it not the remotest resemblance. To-day I wish to call your attention to a very common, but a very fatal, misconception as to what Christianity really is. The misconception I refer to consists in regarding Christ's religion as a creed to be believed rather than a life to be lived. Christianity, of course, like every other religious system, does imply and require the acceptance of a creed. But it implies and requires infinitely more. Of two men who believe, or believe that they believe, identically the same creed, one may be a Christian and the other a pagan. And yet the Christian life is often represented as consisting simply in the

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