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been periods in the history of the world when the only avenue to that which an ambitious person might desire was through the Church. All worldly motives conspired to turn him, at least in appearance, away from the world. There have been other times when the ideal of chivalry was the dominant one; and he who wished to be great, to be famous, to rank high in the opinion of his fellow-men, must become a knight or a warrior. What is it to-day that most men care for? In this country, at any rate,— and it is coming to be more and more true in Europe, the one great thing that people long for and seem to care for, and which seems to promise the most, is, of course, money. I said this is coming in Europe. It has not come yet, because there is still a mnant, in England and in France, and other parts of Europe, of the old days of chivalry, when nobility meant something, and when to belong to an old and honorable family was the one greatest thing that a man could boast. In these conditions, to belong to the nobility or to come under the shadow of the nobility, to become associated or allied with it in some way, means more than money; and money by comparison is regarded as vulgar and poor. But in this country, where we have no nobility, where we say that one man is just as good as another,- though we do not believe it,—in this country the one great thing that seems to promise most, to give a man position and power and all the things that he desires, is money. So, when a young man is looking round for a place in the world, the one thing which is uppermost in his mind is the opportunity, the promise, in that place for getting rich: how much money is there in it? The position may be a poor one, may have some servile aspects about it at first; but is there an opportunity to rise, to get near the firm, to perhaps get into the firm? Is it a business that will reward one who faithfully devotes himself to it with a large amount of money? This is the great motive.
You know my position in regard to this; and I do not need to stop long to repeat it. I do not believe there can be any too much wealth in the world. I do not believe that men
can ever have too much wealth, or can create too much wealth, provided they master it, and put it beneath their feet, and make it minister to their manhood. But, when we put it as the dominant motive of our lives, it is one of the poorest, meanest, most selfish, least worthy motives that we can conceive.
There is another thing that men desire. They desire power. From the time when the boy likes to be strong and admires an athlete up to the time when the man looks out over the world and sees higher and higher manifestations of force, there is in all an honest admiration for power; and many a man who is immensely wealthy, if you could analyze his real feeling, cares not so much for the money itself as for the power that is in it. He loves to organize those farreaching combinations, and to show himself a king in his particular financial realm. So many a man who is looked upon as simply a money-getter is really ambitious for power. And here, again, it is well : power is a magnificent thing, if magnificently used; but it means either selfishness, cruelty, despotism, or it means service. If you seek it for the one end, you will become mean and undeveloped in your manner; but, if you seek it for the other, you may be among the grandest of your kind.
Then there is still another motive that leads men to seek for their place; and that is ambition, the desire for fame. I remember once seeing a little boy highly excited over the fact that his name was actually in print. It was only among the arrivals at a summer hotel, but it did not matter, here was the first touch of fame. Here was something that other people would read. They would see his name in print; and this is something that appeals to and touches us all. We love to be of reputation, we love to have our names and our doings in the mouths our fellows. If we can get a repu. tation that reaches beyond our town, over the State, and be yond the State limits, or across the sea, there is a swell and impulse of pride and satisfaction in having attained this reputation in the minds of men. And here, again, if one wishes
to be known merely as a feeder to his vanity, it is a very small and poor concern indeed. But, if one wishes to use this as a power for spreading over the world an influence that shall teach, that shall enlighten, that shall lift mankind, then indeed he may forget himself in view of this help; and he may become noble, unselfish, grand in the type of his manhood here as well as in other directions.
But let us go one step further, and find the highest motive of all. The grandest men of the world have not been those who have desired power, they have not been those actuated by a desire for fame. Take one illustration, the supreme one of all. For we, all the more because we believe he was a man, the outcome of humanity, its blossom, its glory,— we all the more can afford to pay our reverent regard to the grandest soul of the world, the Nazarene. He had nowhere to lay his head, he sought not money, he never desired power; and, when some of his disciples came to him, anxious for places in his kingdom, he said: You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. The princes of this world desire power, that they may exercise their lordship over their fellow men; but it is not to be so in this kingdom that I wish to establish. He that is great among you must be of service, and great only in his service. You are not to lord it over others: you are not to call yourselves father or rabbi, for you are all the children of one Father in heaven.
I think perhaps the grandest thing ever said about a human soul is that which was said of Jesus concerning this. other matter that I have referred to," he made himself of no reputation." There was no anxiety on his part to be known by other people, no anxiety to have any saying of his written down, no hint anywhere of a desire to be lifted up above his fellow-men. And, if we are to hope that the dreams of the world may come true, those dreams which are in so many hearts to-day, that the world is to rise to the highest level of human civilization, we must expect more and more to find men who shall be willing to work under the impulse of the highest ideals.
It is said constantly,—and here is the point I wish to have clearly in mind, — by those who do not believe in the highest possibilities of civilization, You cannot get people to work or to devote themselves to a cause except on the basis of the lower motives. It is said by those who oppose civil service, – you will pardon me for being enough of a politician to refer to that by way of illustration - That is a high and fine dream that certain reformers cherish; but, if you expect men to work for a party or a cause, you must pay them for their work. I do not believe it. If the dreams that we cherish of the highest civilization are ever to be realized, we must find men who are willing to work, even if they do not get paid in cash for it. We must find men willing to work without regard to the power that men exercise over others. We must tind men willing to devote themselves without desiring anything in the way of fame. We must find men, like Jesus, who make themselves of no reputation. And they are being found every day by the hundred and by the thousand. There are any number of men -- let me say it, for I am proud of the truth -in Boston to-day who are willing to give a large part of their best services without compensation, and who are giving it,- men who are turning away from opportunities to make money, that they may serve public and noble causes. There are men who are not working for power, who are not working for selfish ambition, men who are working for humanity. And more and more, as the love of humanity grows, will this type of men come to the front, till by and by they are going to hold the destinies of this old planet in their hands; and we shall have a type of civilization finer than any for which we have dared to hope.
One point more must I refer to. You might think, perhaps, from what I have said that I should advise you to be very humble and to take a small place. Men are anxious for a large place; but the fault I have to find with most men – pardon me for using that word “fault”- is that they do not seek for places that are large enough. I find a man who is willing to have a place that is not big enough to hold him
and his conscience at the same time. He is willing to go into a place and leave his conscience outside: there is no opportunity in there for his moral and spiritual nature. I have heard a great many persons in my life say that it was very fine-spun as a theory, but that it would not work in practice; that, if you are going into business, you must fight with business methods, that business and religion are two things, and should be kept as much apart as religion and politics. The more religion you mix with a certain kind of politics, the worse it will be for the politics, I know; and, if a certain type of religion be mixed with business, it will be worse for the business. But a man cannot afford to go into a business that is not large enough for the free play of his moral nature, for all that is highest and best in him as a In other words, in seeking for a place, do not be content or long engaged in any business that would better not be done. Do not be content with being engaged in any business the general outcome of which is an injury to the world. Get a place large enough for your conscience.
Then get a place large enough for some degree of your intellectual life. Only a little while ago I referred to this in a sermon; and so I will not extend what I have to say touching it beyond narrow limits; but a man cannot be a complete man unless he cultivates to some extent the intellectual side of his nature. I know men with an intellectual taste and love for literature who deliberately, for the sake of the commercial advantage, go into an office where they know that it has got to be stifled. It seems to me that a man ought to find a place large enough for the expansion of his thought, so that he can live an intellectual life within certain limits.
And then find a place large enough for your affectional nature, for your generous impulses, that bring you into touch with your fellow-men, and make you feel that you are a part of a world-wide humanity.
And then, above all things, find a place large enough for your soul, large enough to lead into the divine life, so that