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were almost always rewarded with imprisonment or exile or some other form of punishment. Several names will readily occur to you as illustrative of this—such as Cleisthenes, Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Cimon, and Pericles. You may remember, too, the well-known couplet,

“Seven cities quarrelled over Homer dead,

Through which the living Homer begged his bread.” While he was alive people thought his effusions amply repaid by a beggar's crust; but when he was dead they fought for the honour of calling him fellow-townsman. If this is not historically true in regard to Homer, it may nevertheless be regarded as a figurative biography of the world's greatest men. Their greatness was rarely recognised till long after they were gone; or if it were recognised, it elicited envy rather than admiration, punishment rather than reward. The nearer men have approached to the lofty ideal of manliness described in our text, the more loyal they have been in their devotion to right and to truth, the more, generally speaking, have they been called upon to suffer. “A noble nature,” observes Goethe, “ can only attract the noble.” We may even go further, and say, a noble nature repels, and excites the animosity of, the ignoble. It may seem cynical to assert that the majority of mankind have always had degraded conceptions of human duty; but it is demonstrably true, proved by the fact that real nobility of character has almost invariably cost a man very, very dear. Unflinching devotion to right and truth has led to ignominy and persecution, to the loss of pleasure, property, freedom, life. It is scarcely a poetical exaggeration when James Russell Lowell speaks of

“Truth for ever on the scaffold, wrong for ever on the throne.”

The world—that is to say, the ignoble many as opposed to the noble few—the world approves of doing right up to a certain point, up to the point of expediency; but there it stops. To go beyond this, to be honest when honesty is not the best policy, it considers a sign of lunacy. Even to-day, in civilised and Christian England, a tradesman whose code of morals is that which is technically called commercial, will not respect an apprentice who refuses to tell a useful lie; he will despise and dismiss him. Similarly, the man or woman who persistently discouraged scandal would most probably be regarded as a bore.—The world, again, approves of seeking after truth up to a certain point; it has no objection to the investigation of nature so far as such a

pursuit is likely to increase capital or to raise rate of profit. But that is all. It despises facts which cannot be turned to pecuniary account. It never seeks after truth in the moral or religious sphere, and it hates all who do. It believes that it knows everything worth knowing, everything necessary for its present and future salvation. It dislikes being disturbed with new ideas. There has been no prophet, nor apostle, nor philosopher, nor reformer whom it has not execrated, against whom it has not howled out the accusation which the Ephesians brought against St Paul, that the world was being turned by him upside down. The very truisms of one age were often regarded in the preceding generation as impious blasphemies, justly punished by fines and imprisonment, by torture and death :

“For all the past of time reveals,

A bridal dawn of thunder-peals,

Whenever thought hath wedded fact.” Let me recall to your minds one or two familiar illustrations. Anaxagoras, after the early Greek philosophers had long groped in vain for a First Cause, saw and said that the origin of all things must be ultimately traced to Intelligence. This his countrymen could not tolerate; it was too novel, too absurd. Private judgment must be punished

when it wandered far from the truth; so he was banished from Greece, and had a narrow escape of death. Socrates, whose conceptions of Deity were too lofty to tally with the childish orthodoxy of his contemporaries,—Socrates, who was brave enough to express the memorable utterance, “I will venture to be true to my conviction, though all the world oppose it,”—Socrates, the purest, wisest, noblest of men, was accused, forsooth, of being an atheist and of corrupting the young, and was despatched with a cup of hemlock. Galileo, for saying that the earth moved, was tortured into perjury. The world, I am sorry to say, was in this instance represented by a section of the Christian Church. Giordano Bruno, one of the subtlest thinkers of the middle ages, suggested the hypothesis that our world was not the only abode of life in the universe; and for this he was burnt at the stake; “ for the maintenance of the Holy Church, and

1 After preaching this sermon, I was favoured with an indignant and anonymous note, to the effect that “every student of history” was aware that Galileo was not tortured. Every student of history is doubtless aware that Galileo was not put upon the rack. But to say that the pressure which was brought to bear upon him, and which ended in his recantation, did not cause him torture, is to say that there is no such thing as mental suffering.

the rights and liberties of the same.” Think, too, of the thousands and tens of thousands of less celebrated martyrs, who have proved the beauty of truth and the divinity of right by the eloquent testimony of anguish; who, because they refused to be false to their convictions, had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment; who were stoned, or sawn asunder, or slain with the sword; who dwelt in deserts and in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth; being destitute, afflicted, tormented. Lastly and chiefly, call to remembrance how the world treated Christ. In Him the ideal of manhood was completely realised; on Him, therefore, the world inflicted its most cruel vengeance, and against Him it directed its vilest blasphemies. You know His character: I need not describe it. Pure, unselfish, noble as was His own life, He was full of tenderness and helpful sympathy for the sinful and fallen and debased. Yet He was almost universally hated. He was hated by the Pharisees because He had shown the worthlessness of their broad phylacteries and long prayers and orthodox platitudes, the worse than worthlessness of their lying, canting hypocrisy. He was hated in the end by the common people, when they found that,

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