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[38] has had a providential mission assigned it, and is fulfilling that mission, and working its sweet way into hearts, and homes, and churches, and governments, and the thrill of the divine faith in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and in the assurance that life and death God's mercy underlies, is being felt, and is bearing fruit in all the land. It has broadened the thought of God and of human destiny with the process of the suns. It is the only faith that sets forth a divine government that really governs and triumphantly succeeds. A faith that was once despised and held in disrepute even fifty years ago is welcomed to-day by so many hopeful and loving hearts. And this is the story our church is telling to the Christian world:—

Once in a golden hour I cast to earth a seed,
Up there came a flower, the people said a weed;
To and fro they went throa my garden bower,
And muttering discontent, cursed me and my flower.
Then it grew so tall, it wore a crown of light,
And thieves from over the wall stole the seed at night.
They carried it far and wide by every town and tower,
Till the people cried, “Splendid is the flower!”
Read my little fable,—he who runs may read,
Most can grow the flowers now, for all have got the seed.

And we, you who have wrought in this church are so glad now that in such abundant measure we have been planting the seeds and others are plucking the flowers.

And now, friends, as you look back over the fifty years of the history of this church in this city, what forms you might summon of those who have worked here and loved and sacrificed. What a throng gathers here to-night! Fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, little children whom you laid away with the flowers, pastors whose lips were touched with divine fire. If you will, they may be a part of this gathering, and join in this service, and lend added meaning to this semi-centennial celebration.


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