Then answered he me, and said, This is the condition of the battle which man that is born upon the earth shall fight; that, if he be overcome, he shall suffer as thou hast said: but if he get the victory, he shall receive the thing that I say.—2 ESDRAS vii. 57, 58.
One holy Church, one army strong,
One steadfast high intent,
One working band, one harvest-song,
One King omnipotent.
We listened to a man whom we felt to be, with all his heart and soul and strength, striving against whatever was mean and unmanly and unrighteous in our little world. It was not the cold clear voice of one giving advice and warning from serene heights to those who were struggling and sinning below, but the warm living voice of one who was fighting for us and by our sides, and calling on us to help him and ourselves and one another. And so, wearily and little by little, but surely and steadily on the whole, was brought home to the young boy, for the first time, the meaning of his life; that it was no fool’s or sluggard’s paradise into which he had wandered by chance, but a battle-field ordained from of old, where there are no spectators, but the youngest must take his side, and the stakes are life and death.