Christianity a battle, not a dream (1869).
A discourse at the thirteenth Sunday afternoon meeting, Horticultural Hall, Boston
, April 11, 1869.
To tell the truth, the subject is one not very familiar to my beaten path of thought, and I am present rather at the urgency of the Committee
to take a share in the discussion of the topics for which the doors were opened, than from any earnest wish of my own. But still I should be ashamed to say, after having lived thirty years of active life in a community stirred as ours has been, that I have not some suggestions to offer on a topic so vital as the one which I have named.
Every man who has lived thoughtfully in the midst of the great issues that have been struggling for attention and settlement; every man who has striven to rouse to action the elemental forces of society and civilization which ought to grapple with these problems,--must have had his thoughts turned often, constantly, to the nature of Christianity itself, and to the part which it ought to claim, to the place which it really occupies, amid the great elements which are to mould our future.
There is a great deal of talk about Christianity as the mere reflection of the morals and intellect of the passing age; as something which may be made to take any form, assume any principle, direct itself against any point, at the bidding of the spirit of its individual age. It is