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Billy Sunday's message can be summed up as follows: 'Quit your meanness, obey Jesus Christ, get to work.' (Prof. Charles
R. Erdman, of Princeton).
Christian belief centres in a person and not a doctrine. We do not draw our life from a catechism or a system of right thinking;
we take it as the gift of Christ. We have a large liberty of thought and conduct. So long as we are living with Christ, we have no infallible code of law or even of tradition fixing our conduct from hour to hour. But we have the enthusiasm of loving obedience
and the desire of Christ shaping our will as well as our behaviour.
This, in fact, is essential Christianity to live with Christ and learn His ways and to obey Him, because we have learned to love Him and not in expectation of reward. The life of Christianity is the life with Christ. It is the continuation of this twentieth century
of that discipleship which is the marked feature of the faith in the early days. We are still Christ's disciples, and still His invitation
is followed by His requirement: - 'If ye love Me, keep My commandments.' Love grows by this commandment keeping. It is the highest evidence of Christ's authority as well as of His character that He wins and holds willing obedience. The only way that
any of us can grow into the love of Christ is by the daily life with Him which finds expression in obedience. We learn to know
Him by obedience. We grow into capacity for His companionship by doing His will. We come to assurance of His rightful authority over us by yielding ourselves to the duty that we know. 'If any man willeth to do My will,' said Christ 'he shall know the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself.' There is no other way of verifying the claims of Christ or changing into the image of His character. These are lessons which we must learn in His companionship. To obey Christ is to enter the school of Christ. 'Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.' We shall not learn all at once, but little by little, the life with Christ will
reveal our life's true meaning and bring in the rest of heart He gives. It is the beginning, then, that counts and costs; The first
step of obedience is the difficult one for the proud heart of man. To obey Christ, to accept Him as the Master and Brother and Companion of our lives, and to adjust our lives to Him for the great opportunity and the great experience. Without that yielding
and companionship we are pressing forward to lonely and dangerous days.
The Spectator. August 1, 1917