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Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell h.'09 delivered the fourth and lasts of the William Belden Noble lectures on the general subject "The Adventure of Life" in Sanders Theatre last evening.
Dr. Grenfell commenced his lecture by showing that throughout history all that has been worth while, has been accomplished by men imbued with the spirit of Christ. This is the spirit which sent Livingston to South Africa, Gilmore to China and Manchuria, and is responsible for the achievements of all such men, whose lives are heritages for all time. The Christian of Christ's life-time was a very human person, not remarkable for idealism or mysticism, but possessing, like Christ's disciples, all of man's natural weaknesses. What Christ made of them we all know, and in the same way can our lives be transformed through faith in him.
Persecution never injured Christianity but if anything helped its progress. Corruption first sprang up from within coincident with the growth of privilege, creeds, and social distinctions. Christianity was used to bolster up temporal as well as spiritual power in the formation of the papacy, and in so doing lost most of the true interpretation of Christ's teachings. On looking back over history we can see how much more clearly men now understand the following of his teachings than at that time, yet many are still entangled in the meshes of dogma and theology. If religion is going to try to solve the social questions of today, it must come down to the facts of life. Religious service can be carried on in a hundred different ways, and its rightful interpretation should be left to one's conscience. Modern life is essentially rational and men are judged by their achievements and not by catechisms, the only heathen being the selfish, for the test of Christianity is not what we have but what we do with what we have. There is little use in trying to reach an ultimate religious unity when we take into consideration the differences of environment, race and character between one man and another, and when all the latest theories show us that of all the different interpretations of the Strictures none can be considered final. Faith, however, is the true basis of religion, for it not only makes us see our opportunities for service but it causes us to make others see. Christ did not come into life to give us an emotional tradition but that we might have life more and more abundantly.
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