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policy because he had “tried baith,” and a greater One foretold the bad taste of those who are “neither cold nor hot.” The case is pertinent also of the little girl who had a quick temper, that made daily trouble for everybody about her. She was advised to ask God to remove her fault, and she straightway prayed: "O God, cure my impatience and bad temper. Amen." She thought that was the end of her sin. But we do not always—whether old or young-win a decisive victory in one battle, and when an hour afterward she became angry once more, and found her old foe was back again, she looked up impatiently and said: "O God, I asked you to make me a good girl, and why didn't you do it?" More reasonable was the young boy who prayed: "O God, make me a good boy; and if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.” Perhaps the Heavenly Father does not need that encouragement, but some earthly fathers do, for example that father who said to his pastor : “Parson, I don't see why my boys aren't better boys. I make 'em get down and pray every night, and if they won't get down I knock 'em down; and yet they ain't good.”
I have exploded this bunch of stories at this time to arouse in you all memories of your own childhood and thoughts of your own children that will surround you all like an atmosphere while I talk, that even when I am not suggesting home protection, you may be planning to safeguard imperiled childhood. In one of the largest cities that ever voted “No License,” some portions of these talks, delivered on the Sunday before the “No License” election to nine hundred voters, of whom one-third were against me at the start, won that third, and so provided the three hundred majority with which we won, though only a small part of the lecture was on the drink evil, because all the while those fathers and brothers were thinking of
the boys and girls as related to their voting on the election day at hand.
Another reason for this flood of child stories is that they create an atmosphere favorable for study of the circles of love, in which all social problems are seen in their relation to that boy and girl of yours. For their sakes we must solve all these problems, from home protection to
The Circles of Love The illustration which I have just used and shall use all through these talks, is borrowed from the pebble dropped in the placid lake, around which the rippling circles form, larger and larger, until the outermost circle reaches the uttermost shore. So God puts around usand it is one of the most ingenious devices that the allknowing God ever invented-ever-enlarging circles of love, to broaden us out that we may at last be able to obey that seemingly impracticable command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”-neighbor meaning in the Bible sense not alone the man across the street but the man across the world.
How Love to Man is Developed First of all, God puts around us the family circle to broaden our self-love into something nobler though kindred to it, for a family is in some sense one's larger self.
Then the deaths and births, the sorrows and joys of other families living near our own broaden us out into the neighborhood circle, which is larger but somewhat kindred to the family life. This adds to family cares, neighborhood perplexities, but we become larger-hearted in our individuality because of this sociality.
The next circle of city patriotism also brings added tears to one who really has the spirit of Christ and feels
the difference between what the city ought to be and what it is; but city patriotism broadens our hearts.
So also does the next of the circles of love, State patriotism, in spite of added anxieties because fraud and graft and commercialism so often use the State to work injustice and unrighteousness.
Outside the circle of State patriotism is the deepest and strongest of all the circles of love, save the love of God and of home, the circle of national patriotism.
But love for man should not stop with patriotism, in that narrow spirit that made Richelieu say:
"Beyond the map of France my heart can travel not.”
There is a patriotism of hate, the world should have learned long since, the patriotism of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were all too proud of their own country, but hated everybody else, and have been hated by everybody else.
Cobden's statesmanship took such account of the interests of other nations as well as his own that he was called “An international man." A better word would be uninational. There are few "humanitarians” in that large sense, but surely He who was the embodiment of perfect manhood was to the fullest extent “a citizen of the world.” In Him the circles of love ceased not until they reached the uttermost shores of humankind. “God loved the world," and God-like, Christ-like man will likewise love
This brings us to that most manly, most Christian of all the circles of love, the circle of human brotherhood. No man is a man in the deepest sense of that term who comes short of that pagan Roman's saying, “I am a man, and nothing pertaining to man is foreign to me."
Back of all these circles is the great heart of God, whose pulsations move the power wheels of all forms of
human and humane love. "God is Love, and he that abideth in love, abideth in God and God abideth in him. We love because He first loved us. And this commandment have we from Him that he who loveth God love his brother also.” (John 4: 16, 19, 21).
Law Must Rest Upon Love Civil law, by the very meaning of the word, has to do only with the relation of citizens to each other; of man to man. Government has no right to put any civil compulsion upon man's relations to God, as is done in the union of Church and State. But we do not always remember that even a “civil law," so-called, is unconstitutional under the second great article of the world's constitution if it is not in accord with the command to love all men, which outlaws all class and race discrimination.
Such is God's wonderful plan, in the natural arrangements of society, for developing out of individual selfishness a world-wide altruism. Only a few have achieved it, but great progress has been made since it was considered almost a duty to hate and fight all foreigners.
It is a reasonable goal to pursue, as the supreme objective of Christianity, that nations shall obey the second great Commandment and love their neighbor nations as themselves.
In these circles of love sociology unfolds naturally, each social problem beginning in its own circle. For example (not to name them all): In the family circle we naturally begin the study of purity and marriage (which, of course, brings up consideration of the disturbing abnormalities of divorce and polygamy and prostitution). And in the family circle also Sabbath observance and education should make a strong start.
THE CIRCLES OF HUMAN LOVE?
inside the heart of God with the problems of sociology
as they begin in the various circles. In the neighborhood circle the most distinctive social problems are: religion, charity and education.
In the city circle we begin the study of loyalty to law (as the alternative of lawlessness), justice, prohibition, municipalism and recreation, including such abuses as pugilism and gambling.
In the State circle we study, among other subjects, labor, ballot reform, civil service, and penology.
2 We hope that the "circles of love" may prove so natural an outline for a philosophy of the whole of life, now so much needed by those who are confused by the present unrest of the world, that many will join us in fitting all new facts into that comprehensive outline. As there is a "natural theology," which needs to be supplemented by revealed theology, so these circles of love present a natural sociology, which we have sought' to infuse with Christian sociology.