Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (April 23, 1905)
THE SUNDAY OREGONTAf PORTLiftD, APRIL"' 23, 1905.
Easter Sermon by Pastor Charles Wagner
AUTHOR OF "THE SIMPLE LIFE" TAKES FOR HIS
TEXT, "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE'1
I am. the resurrection and the life; be that
belleveth in me. though he were dead, yet
Ghallhe live. And whosoever llveth and be
lleveth in me shall never die. St. John,
THIS is Eaeter day, a. royal day, a
day when a ray of divine light
pierces through the shadow of the
grave. Xet us gather around the Prince
of Life, who has said: "I am the way,
the truth and the life"; ''I am the. res
urrection and the life," and may we
learn from him the deep meaning of the
passover, the secret of unperistiable
Man has been endowed, together -with
life, with the desire of living and the
duty of living. But at. the same time
as life strengthens within him, urges
him onward and sustains him, death
looms up in front of him. There is
nothing more tragical than the meeting
between man and death. Man has the
feeling of being on the earth -by -a right
that has come from above; he longs to
become something more, to grow, to.
increase 1n himself that which is only
just beginning. He draws the sap from
everything around him; he derives
knowledge from the sources of all
things; he widens his domain. Death
says to man, "You are not." It cuts
off his stores, it tarnishes sources, and,
under his very eyes, digs the abyss of
oblivion and says to him: "Prom that
you sprung, to-that you will return."
Ever since mankind has existed, life
has struggled with death. It must be
said that death has great advantage on
its side, and that its demonstrations are
Imbued with a character of brutality
and evidence that fills us with horror.
By disease, by steel, by Are, it attacks
and overcomes us. When the remains
of our poor life are on the ground at
its feet, it crushes them, tramples upon
them, discomposes them and disperses
them, 'just as the persecutors and ex
ecutioners threw the ashes of the mar
tyrs to the four winds. What reply can
be made to such demonstrations of our
nothingness? What mouth will open
before that widely yawning granite
mouth of the sepulchre that crushes all
that is living? For a long time man
kind remained silent before death and
allowed it to have the last word. Man
is too small to speak before the mon
ster. But an ally slowly rose from the
6hadow In which our Ignorance had
concealed him, and that ally is God.
Prom the day when man received in
his conscience the testimony and reve
lation of the one who is at the heart
of all things, death had a spectator
and a judge. Man, doubtless, did not
yet believe in life, in spite of death, but
he felt, when dying, that on his grave
there remained something else besides
death, his old enemy. He had the feel
ing that some, one saw him die, watched
over his last throes, received his last
elgh, and he departed more peacefully,
knowing that God was there. With
the possession of that faith, man made
another step forward, by the grace of
his great ally. He saw death itself en
veloped in the eternal will, and could
say, when he closed his eyes for the last
time: "Lord, let thy will be done; I go
to sleep in thy arms and put all things
in thy care, O thou guardian who never
sleeps." Arrived at that stage. It could
be said truly that the human soul had
found a fortress from whence It could
brave death. With timidity at first, then
with greater and greater strength, the
assurance that we do not wholly die;
that God received us; that he would
draw us out of that night and awaken
us from that sleep became manifest
among the believers of the old alliance,
and ended by attaining radiant faith
in eternal life, such as it is triumphant
ly proclaimed In the Gospel. The Gos
pel can be truly called the religion of
life. Since then, faith in life, under va
rious forms, has never completely died
out. It has only had ups and downs.
It Is of the greatest interest to all of
us to ascertain the causes that increase
or diminish our faith in life.
It must be acknowledged that. If the
strong belief in after-life has sometimes
seemed to become eclipsed, this Is, In
the first place, due to the abuse that
has been made of It. Every one knows
that it has had Its exploiters. Shame
ful speculations on the mines of be-yond-the-grave
have thrown discredit
on all that appertains to it. When some
who are skeptics at heart sell heaven,
and when others try to purchase It;
when the hope of future reward or the
fear of punishment replaces in the
heart the love of God and of men, it
must not be wondered at that the edi
fice should become wormeaten and
cracked on all sides.
The coarse materialism of certain be
liefs, their "form that is too Intimately
bound up with Intellectual conceptions
that have vanished, are frequently the
means of compromising faith Itself. I
hasten to say that, In this Instance, we
must distinguish carefully between un
healthy superstitions and the simple
and childish representations of eternal
hope. The most childish hope is worth
more and Is nearer to reality than Is
the apparently reasonable negation. In
the main, any form In which -man
clothes his faith is as fragile as him
self, and there is not much difference
between what we call the most spirit
ual religion and that of the humble and
of the young. The value of either can
only be measured by their sincerity and
by the goodness of the Father, who
alone knows how to appreciate them.
This said, we must be very careful not
to confuse faith with what we use to
clothe it in, if we wish to avoid falling
into the fanaticism that despises the
faith of others, and if we wish to retain
our convictions in the midst of the
changes of thought and of human
Another cause for the decrease of
eternal hope is the weariness of living
that takes hold of many of our con
temporaries. Life to them is only a
burden; they bear with it as with a
suffering. How can we ardently hope
for and desire the continuation of that
which wearies us or fills us with horror?
"Our only wish. In that case, 'is that it
should end speedily and forever, and
that an eternal dreamless sleep should
compensate us for the nightmare of
life. There are some men to whom you
would vainly give the power of awak
ning the dead, for they would reply
to you: "Let them sleep; it Is far bet
What does this prove, if it is not that
such living beings suffer from the rad
ical disease that consists in being on
bad terms with the source Xrom which
life has sprung? Their ill-directed be-'
lief, their longing for oblivion, is a
proof of the artificial, abnormal life
that we life. Such a life disgusts one
with life, and it deserves to disappear.
All these reasons for the weakening
of eternal hope are not to be compared
In Importance with that which results
from the lowering of our moral life,
from the fall of our inner level. Faith
has an obscure basis, which it cannot
develop. Purity of life, simplicity of
heart, a certain atmosphere and a cer
tain light are necessary to it. What
we are and the way In which we live is
reflected. In what we believe. -
Do you believe in eternal life? Tou
answer, "Yes," and you even speak of
it In words that show that you are ac
quainted with such questions. It Is the
least of all things, my brethren. To
proclaim that we believe In eternal
life, to assert it firmly, to support our
assertions by the writings of Holy
Scripture, is an excellent beginning;
but It may be very dangerous. Dan
gerous? Why? Because It is always
a bad thing to be satisfied with mere
words, and to imagine that we possess
what Is really wanting in us. It Is"
dangerous to others also. Nothing is
so harmful to faith in eternal life In
the public mind as a man who has no
other proofs, except words, to show
that he believes in it. It Is thereby
concluded that it is only a formality
of no consequence, like so many others.
You say that you believe In eternal
life. Perhaps it was necessary that you
should say so. I would have preferred
that it should be seen without your
assertion; but, in any case, when you
have said it, your actions should con
firm It. I must acknowledge that this
argument is too often missing. What a
blow to faith in immortality is the in
ferior realism of most of those who
profess to believe In It! What are we
most occupied with? Let us look at
the question frankly, we must not fear
to make certain of the strength and
authenticity of that which has to sup
port the whole edifice. What are we
most occupied with? Among our con
temporaries, who are the most eager to
secure wealth, enjoyment, unjust priv
ileges, puerile distinctions; who manI-4
fest the smallest, the narrowest mind?
Materialists? Atheists? No. It is even
a. matter of astonishment to find that
many among them live as though they
had a soul. The Christians, on the con
trary, live like the remainder of the
world, and, if many of them are dis
tinguished from the Others, it is by
their love of perishable goods, by their
skill in procuring them, by their anxi
ety to defend them. Do you really be
lieve that the cultivation of comfort,
the pride of class, the Pharisaical spirit
are the steps by which we rise from
the dust to the stars and by which the
deliverance from death Is accomplished,
little by little?
There is a manner of living that is a
denial of eternal life. We are steeped
in it. In the midst of the difficulties of
these times, that Js the greatest diffi
culty of all. .When the sense of the
eternal is lost, the spring that is need
ed to organize mortal life becomes loos
ened. To live his life, man needs a
horizon. It is needful that, from the
black furrow over which he bends In
his work, he should be able to raise his
eyes to the heights from which help
comes to him. As soon as the opening
on to .the infinite is closed, and men
become thje prisoners of their passions,
their appetites, their vanities or their
formulas, the symptoms of asphyxia
are apparent In all domains. Action
loses its energy, religion becomes petri
fied, poetry vanishes, art Is lowered,
We need to learn the true, life, that of
which Christ has said: "I am the life."
That Is the higher life. In each one of
us there are two parts, that of God and
that of death. To attain the eternal 'we
must learn to live In God's part. This
is not usually the case. We delight in
the ephemeral, in vain surfaces; we call
self what is only the Inferior self. We
install ourselves in the mediocre, among
base things, In all that is evil and nar
row. We barricade ourselves in selfish
ness, In sensuality, in our own justice,
and we strenuously defend what we call
our dignity and our possessions, "and
which are but a halter round our neck
or a chain about our feet. Thus man
works for death. He becomes its pur
veyor, he cultivates what must perish.
To live the higher life, we must begin
by renouncing that self. We must
learn to look upon as a deliverer death
that suppresses it What would become
of the world without the perpetual puri
fication, by death? If all the old evil,
all the old hates, all the slough of hu
man pollution had never been swept
away or ventilated or submerged; if
we were allowed to be Infamous, hypo
critical, murderers, fanatics; liars, and
to remain so always; avaricious, and to
everlastingly retain our treasure; tyr
annical, and to eternally oppress our
victims; earth would become hell; no
other would be needed. But we have
death, death,- which like fire, purifies
and consumes all impurity, sorts all
things, and in its. crucible separates
that which is eternal from that which
lasts but a day. Under that guise,
whatever pain it may Inflict upon us,
we should love death, as we love any
bitter, but beneficial, remedy.
Christ has not said: "I will give
again life to whoever believes in me,"
but "He who believes in me will not
die"; and he himself did not look upon
eternal life as a kind of posthumous
reward he speaks of It as of a conquest
to seize hold of now, at the present
i moment, and that nothing can take
I away from us. We do not hear him
say: "I once possessed life when I was
with the Father, and this life will be
given back to me when certain mysteri
ous events have been accomplished in
- - - BANdtvEMT HIS .
j the pe-viLa ggrgpr
my person." But such as he was, living
a human life, he calls himself the res
urrection and the- life, thus asserting
the unbreakable link, the absolute con
tinuity between what we are and what
we will be. If we add to this dec
laration that in which Christ said:
"Abide in me, and I will abide In- you"
and many others, that establish the
fact of a higher life, imperishable and
divine, that Is possible In us from to
day henceforth, we- are led to under
stand that eternal life, is not preserved
for us in some far-off star, after the
lapse of a long space of time or after
ajpng annihilation, but that we begin
to live right now. God In" us, that Is
the beginning of eternal life, and Its
accomplishment Is that he should live
Jn. us more and more. We belong to
him In this visible existence and under
these known shapes; we will remain
his In the invisible existence and under
the shapes that are unknown to us.
Our fathers said, when one of them
died: ""He has gone to God." But as
God is everywhere, and that It is in
him that we have life and our being,
to go to God Is not to make a long
journey, since he is closer to us than
our own selves. If man knew how
near God is, he would be delivered
forever from the dread, the fear, the
shuddering aversion that he has of the
final darkness, and he would say with
perfect rejoicing In the destruction of
his physical being: O Death, where Is
thy sting. O Grave, where Is thy vic
tory?" Eternal life, in the gospel, Is
more the object of an experience than
a belief. Under this guise, the energy
it Infuses into action Is greater than
that which Is Imparted by the strong
est hope. Its consoling power is also
It Is In God that we have life. In
him also we remain united to those )
whom we have lost. One and all. we I
are In the hands of God, and. it be-r '
comes possible to us to believe, not only
in a next meeting, but in something
of which the most joyful reunion Is
only the weak image. Our eyes, our
ears, all. our organs of intercourse are
only imperfect means by which we
manage to establish between ourselves
and those we Jove a connection .that is
always relative. Separation always
exists, Dispersion, parting, division,
such is the lot of temporal life. We
aspire to union, without ever attain
ing it. But then we will be one, as
God will be one with us, and all in all.
It will -be the accomplishment of that
holy and sublime desire of union that
nothing that is mortal can assuage, and
that man carries In his very being, like
a divine stranger filled with regret for
his mother country.
My brethren, these days In which we
live are overwhelmed by the conscious
ness of their emptiness. It seems that
the very greatness of their works, by
crushing them down, increases the ex
tent of our shipwreck. Like vanishing
races, we only engender for death. The
courage of hope departs from us. Death
looms up everlastingly before our eyes.
Mo3t of us believe that it Is the alpha
and omega, that to It belongs the king
dom, the power and the glory. Weaned
from the vivifying source that comes
down from the. Immortal summits, we
fall on the wayside, as Ishmael, the son
of Hagar, the Egyptian, fell In the desert-
When will the angel of God show
us the hidden spring, close to us, that
no one suspects?
Thou who hath trodden the. dust and
lived through our nights, thou wio
hath laid with us In the gnv.e so tbt
it should be less gloomy, mild victim
of Calvary, Man of Sorrows, Unspeak
able Greatness that our souls perceive
through the form of religious symbols,
Eternal Living One! Come and speak
to us words of life. Sound the reveille
from our torpor and our weariness,
makes us hear it In our prisons and our
graves, and may all that Is divine in
us start up and rise in a holy Insurrec
tion against death and Its conspira
tors, for life and all Its covenants.
(Copyright, 1905, by McClure, Phillips
Let's keep the windows open to the
East, be worthy, and some time we shall
te William CSheppabd
" A H A L. t
PLACE WHERE SAMMY 5MALL
By the Rev. William C. Sheppard, rector of
St. Luke's Church, Vancouver, "Wash.
Ever heard of Bloody Joe
Northwest terror years ago?
Long of hair an' blc of frame.
Hot of blood an' sure of aim;
Git a grudge agin a soul.
Bore throuch him a bullet hole.
parson come to town.
in a long, white gown;
Held his meetln's in a hall
'Bove the place whar Sammy Small' '
Sold the boys his liquid fire,
'Xough to make one a "live wire."
Joe tex nex' day, with a sneer,
"Don't want no sky-pllotn here";
Also sez I'd best not tell
(The last word, bowe'er. was "helrV
An resolved he'd drive from town .
That thar priest In his -white gown. -
,Wa-hool" ehouted Joe one day,
' Parson's comln. try ther say,
T'morrer's Sunday, an he'll preach'
(Then Joe give another ucreech):
"Goln ter meetia with my gun-
out, boys; ye'll eec some fun.'
"Don't intend to kill him, though."
To his cronies muttered Joe;
" 'Taint wuth while to lay him flat
I like bigger game 'n that.
Jest to skcer him that enough;
Make him ncamper that's the stuff."
Sunday come. 'Twao Easter, when
Hope light up the hearts of men.
Songs, an flowers, an bunneta 'gay
Make of it a right smart day:
But in that th&r camp df vice -
Easier didn't cut much Ice.
Sunday come. The preacher stood
On the platform, rough an' rude
Stood thar In his long white gown
Tryin' to convart the town.
Nlgb a bunderd tras on hand
Fer the fun that Joe had pla'nned.
middle of the speech -
Joe with warlike screech.
bis gua on higt
Easter Message From Archbishop Christie
"THAT CHRIST ROSE FROM THE DEAD IS AN
UNASSAILABLE, HISTORICAL FACT."
ARCHBISHOP ALEXANDER CHRISTIE.
ASTER is a Christian festival, com
memorating the resurrection of
Cnrist from the dead. In the econ
omy of Christianity, the ract of Christ's
resurrection holds the essential place
which St. Paul assigns It in his preach
ing to the Gentiles. "If Christ be not
risen again, then Is our preaching vain,
and your faith Is also vain." According
to the explicit declarations of the same
apostle, belief in the resurrection is an
integral and indispensable portion of
tho Christian creed. "For if thou con
fess with tny mouth the Lord Jesus,
and believe in thy heart that God hath
raised him .up from the dead, thou
shalt be saved."
The opponents of revealed religion
have practically accepted St. Paul's es
timate of the Importance of the resur
rection In the edifice of Christian faith,
for, while they are nOt unanimous as to
the manner of attack, they are gener
ally agreed, that this. basic truth must
be gotten rid of. And In this they are
not unreasonable. The denial of the
resurrection of JesuB- Christ involves
the total rejection of Christianity. From
the time of the apostles, down to our
own day, all preachers of Christianity
have built upon the resurrection; and
Christ, himself. Implicitly appealed to
It, as the Incomparable "work" which
would forever vindicate his character
and his claims. "Destroy this temple,
and in three days I will raise it up."
His enemies understood the Import of
his prophetic words, for St. Mark tells
us that "the chief priests and Phari
sees came together to Pilate saying:
Sir. we have remembered that that so
ducer said, while ho was yet alive:
'After three days I will rise again." "
That Christ literally fulfilled his own
prophecy, and rose again from the dead
"on the third day" is an unassailable.
Mi E BOYS Kir LWUCD FIRE'" fSSt
nl 8jlii2cf ' -jMkttH Now. the preacher when he eome J Jn.
R i'R ' m Fetched CrtMiAx fcom heme; j J IM
n mHlrS Pterin' the mighty love II M M'y M' jl
1 fHJHtjli S "Bang!" Oft went the gun. The cross- A f Jiff 1
tBjBHyBjLsMMLILILILMiQi 3 How It seemed ter writhe and lessl t &1 pra s-v.
nPrHmHPPH v M Then It dropped, laid on the floor S-i?T
jjP Jm " tEI 3 Uko a wreck along th shore; Ji'1?vy' Yl
jr fm aaS w Fer Joe'8 an ranm lead a!! .!Sv!
Bp M jfljB , , jl Struck, ye aee, the thorn-crowned' head. NW.
f t .-5 :2' fCfcBil i If Thar was silence fer a space iJ&ffiwffi' -tfS j
$ I ' 1 BLC: ' 2 White ' a spook the preacher's face. MVfV i Pf?, f p "Sv
;JH . fit- xi'tlfy. Jl But he atood ud like a man 2ai8teJ fj?
, - ' "4jf If (Wouldn't blamed him if he'd ranj. flEf -ffi '
- Hf f : V;fjjML jl Looked down at the crucifix, IBtfSTB Mmr Vfi '
HK f HBK y H Layln thar, a heap of stick. Sr '
IB 'ff B Then he looked at Bloody Joe. Hjm W
' iM i K PMiB 3 vnia was tromblIn t0s ter Ve: iKiS n ftfV slif 1
V fR' f -A- HlHis I Looked him right arjuar' In tn eye rcB9tM BL. iY '
JB ' I'l iaBillV ff "With both hands a-rateed on high; Colv BtefcrM '
1 ' BlK C Pumped his lungs plum full and roared, vLy JE''
H Hp. ? "Tou have shot the blessed Lord!" JF v
iH - IB" iP 'I i Jo turned purty quick and skipped. -K&ljy Hf
(- "H 141 yot a blarsted word be lipped; e WtfM 0 ) VW
I - pPi" -5 d W An tbe Dreacher went rtsnt back Rrf? I eXfr
I&'UISG A LONC Wjnl S ' Shumed once again his pack. - VM. f JA yMJJ
JJgsS2" He'd made every man hla friend. jgs
r. X " '? ' '"' " That fame day the parson put
. .: i. v' ... .- , I ,sS55ir3SlB. -KSiifci m. Down the valley to Joe's hut: . ; ' . , ,
if fife&t iWmWM. 11 Ate with him otegga andbam. ; PM,S1"
historical fact. The risen Christ ap
peared many times, in many places and
to many witnesses. Those who beheld
him were not credulous enthusiasts, the
easy victims of fraud or hallucination
tbey were, on the contrary, honest.
God-fearing men, possessed of those
qualifications which render any witness
worthy of respect and confidence. The
conduct of Thomas typified the attl
tudo of all those who, with hopeless
sorrow, mourned his cruel death. "Ex
cept I shall see in his hands the print
of the nails, and put my fingers Into
the place of the nails; and put my
hands into his side, I will not believe."
The testimony of his fellow apostles
did' not shake the Incredulity of
Thomas. It was only when Thomas be
held his risen Savior with his own eyes
and had examined his wounds with his
own hands, that he professed his faith
in the simple declaration: "My Lord and
It la the reality of Christ's resurrection
which makes Easter Sunday a day of joy
and consolation. The ignominy of the
crucifixion was effaced In the glory of the
resurrection, and He who had taken the
form of a servant, appears on Easter
morn la the unequaled splendor of the
King of Kings. During His public min
istry. He had made singular claims. He
had preached extraordinary doctrines. He
had claimed unlimited sway over the
minds and hearts of men; He made him
self the sole worthy object of man's faith
and love. To Justify His demands, He
produced His Divine .credentials, and His
triumph over death was the final proof
that He was, in truth, the Son of God,
the Teacher of Heavenly Doctrine, the
Saviour of a fallen world.
Looking back upon that eventful morn
ing and the significance of Its unparalelled
event, we can gain strength for our con
UUK.E.S . O HUR.
Wa sminc TO Csj
Now fer three whole years in all
Come the preacher to tha hall.
Others follered, an today
Stands a church acrost the way.
Such the changes that Time deals.
Bloody Joe within-It-kneels. -
vlctlon that Christianity Is more than
worldly wisdom that Jesus Christ was
, more than man. The world may refuse
to accept the angel's message: "He is
'. risun, He is .not here," but unbelief can
not shatter conclusive evidence and In
credulity, cannot Invalidate the claim of
the Risen Christ The Church of Christ
Is the unanswerable argument for the
(resurrection, and 19 centuries o.f Christian
ity have not been built upon a myth.
If we seek a lesson on this great festival
of the Christian year, let us find ex
pression in that consoling, strengthening
hope, which Saint Paul held out to the
Christians of his own day: "For it thou
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and believe in thy heart that God hath
raised Him up from the dead, thou shalt
Archbishop of Oregon City.
Another day comes peeping o'er old Hood's
Its crimson flush the victory o'er might
again bespeaks.. -'Tls
Easter morn, and sweet the Springtime
With last faint breath of lilac blooms, comes
floating through the trees.
j The clover 'blossoms waken, and on the ten
I der grass
j The shadows of the nen-bern leaves, forever
! changing, pass.
I Far up above in the cloudless Wte an ear r
"While at my feet the Vutterevps. with un-
shine all a-brlmming!
The -church bells distant chiming is borne
! upon the air.
j Each tone a song of praise te thee, each
note a note of prayer,
t Thro" city streets, by forest, mountain, rush-
' All nature, dear Redeemer, with thy spirit
The red blood of the rose, the Miles.' fra
Proclaim throughout the unrverae thy vic
tory over death.
For Christ, our Lord, mett gloriously again
today has risen.
And we of earth arise ami pray; death is no
mere a prison.
STELLA SI. LEGRAND.
Portland, Or.. April 28. 1003.
"Why Seek Ye the Living Among tb
The sepulchres arc everywhere.
And men sit by them in despair
Lamenting: "We had hoped had hbpedl
Vainly with evil have we eoped;
"We hoped for peaae, there came i sword;
Good-will, and still there grows discord;
The snow with human slaughter's red;
Passion is regnant; God is dead."
But by each sepulchre, this morn.
Hope's Angel cries, the Eastern Nora,
"Why seek the living here? Look wherr
Man's doing answers man'sdespalr."
For he Is risen; from the grave.
The primal cell, the Stone-Age cave,
He has ascended; and 'mid strlfo
Goes like a god to endless life.
Resourceful English Parson.
Sydney (N. S. W.) Bulletin.
The Imported parson Is sometimes
man. One of that .ort. stationed in Viu.,
was out one day chasing his flock (he
had to ride on an average about 25 miles
per "sheep"), and found an old sawyer,
stretched out on the bunk In . is hut.
mad with i.'urnigis. When the parson
poked his head Inside the doorway and
Inquired If he could help, the old chap
swore at him for two minutes without re-
I peatlng himself. Then the man of God
tendered a tract? No; a brandy flask!
That old sawyer's opinion of bush par-
- sons is now modified.