Rev. Washington Gladden spoke last evening from the fifth chapter of the first epistle of John. His text was from the first and fourth verses: "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world."
The assertion that belief in the kingly character of Christ brings victory over the world seems, at first sight, hard to believe. The problem is a practical one and it concerns every man. Among men of different interests and pursuits different idols are worshipped as all-powerful. At different times cotton, or coal, or sugar has been called king, and at all times among business men money has been held the highest power. Scientists believe knowledge to be the greatest ruling power. Yet no one of these powers can be truly called king of mankind. Money, that is representative of all material good, indeed secures obedience from all men. It is essential, too, as a factor in our every-day life. But, far from spreading a spirit of concord among its subjects, it arouses strife and discord among them.
The cunning that prompts the actions of the politician and the business man, while it is eagerly striven for by many, brings with it contention. Many pursue knowledge, but the enlightenment of the intellect does little to secure the happiness of men. Science tries in vain to solve these problems of life upon which our happiness is dependent. Science must look to a higher power in order to solve them.
We see that none of these powers can be a true king of mankind. Yet Christ, whose life and death are the incarnation of love, represents the only power that can abide. Other interests can secure ephemeral power, but they can not bring permanent peace and stability.
It is our duty to realize that the power of the kingdom of God is a present power and not one that is to come at the day of judgment. God's dominion is growing stronger day by day and is gaining power over the world. He who accepts Christ and the love that Christ's life symbolizes, partakes of this victory over the mind, and gains the only true happiness.