St. Paul declares the matter to be urgent. we must redeem the time, 'because the days are evil.'

For us also the days are evil, and the outlook is ominous. Not without cause do we fear that the cruel waters of war may again break out and submerge the whole world, that civilization may go down in a sea of blood and fire. The appeal has often been made to speed the work because men die in darkness at our sides without a hope to cheer the tomb, but today it is a question not of the perdition of individual souls, but of the perdition of the whole world. A shaken civilization is striving desperately to get on its feet again, striving desperately to build some bulkward behind which security and peace may be found. We are building against time. Now or never must the work be done. So the call is exceedingly urgent in proportion as the crisis is imminent. The days are evil but they are big with fate, and they cry aloud to every true man to be up and doing, to cast his whole weight on the side of peace and goodwill, to 'redeem the time' and make every minute tell, even to the uttermost, for God and for humanity.

We must now turn from the inward to the outward world. We cannot adore the sovereign Will without longing to see it everywhere triumphant; and we cannot be touched with the spirit of Universal Love without desiring to redeem the world from the evils which beset it. The prayer 'thy kingdom come' expresses this pervasive desire of Christianity, the desire which has prompted all missionary zeal and been the inspiration of all philanthropic effort. In the world without, no less than in ourselves, we must wrestle with principalities and powers, and help to establish the reign of justice, mercy, and holiness among men.

In entering the world's arena to join in the great struggle of good against evil we are entering a glorious world-wide fellowship. Those who will be pronounced worthy in the grand togetherness are of every kindred tongue, and nation; and, however lowly may be our lot, however modest and obscure our testimony, we clasp brotherly hands with them whenever we help the least among mankind to choose the better way. We cannot give a cup of cold water to a child in the spirit of Christ, and fail of our reward. And our reward is fellowship with Christ; no, in the words of the Apostle, we are 'laborers together with God,' and are accepted by Him as lowly instruments in working out His infinite designs. Oh! the humbling and exalting power of such a faith. That we may not be altogether unworthy of it, we must take up the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.

It is the armor of God because Jesus Christ, the God-man, was clothed in it, and in it defeated the foe. The Lord Jesus, all love and beauty, was the most hopeless target against which demon ever shot an arrow; and as the mind of Christ dwells in us and the spotlessness of His life is attained by us we also become the despair of hell.

The day to which all things are moving is the day of Jesus Christ. Some of us may see that day afar off, but we all can lay to heart, as, indeed, we must, this immutable certainty, that to Him all creation and history are moving. He must judge the nations; He must judge His Church; He must judge our hearts. He is the goal of all progress; He is the crown of all life. In looking for that day we are one with all saints. They died in the faith of it. The radiance about their lives was there simply because on the summit of hope they caught the reflection of Christ's coming glory. Their very deeds were made pure by His far-flashing splendor. Their sorrows held forward outstretched hands to the light of Christ's face. In pity for the world they prayed and toiled for its renewal in godliness and in peace; and they subdued kingdoms and worked into shape by effort righteousness, and obtained promises and stopped the mouths of lions, because their hearts were cheered by voices of the morning. And in the impotence of all earthly language to express the future they prayed for and believed in and were content to know that the day was to be Christ's day. They knew Him; they were sure of His Kingdom, and it was enough for faith.

Once more: how often the spirit of exploration is wanting. We do not treat the life of religion as an adventure, a quest in which we are to discover as much of Divine truth as we can. Yet the hints His Spirit gives are prophecies of clearer revelation to come. If last year He showed us new glimpses of Himself, this year He can show us yet more, but only if we seek and want to find. The shining of the light on the Damascus road became to St. Paul a heavenly goad urging and impelling him to prove the richness of a Savior's love. All his life was a quest and a search, and every day brought him its assurance that his quest was not in vain. We miss so much, because we will not explore the riches of God.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha