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A Trumpet Call

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By Marvin Obow Hobob D. D., But be thou partaker of the affliction of the gospel according to the power of God. — n. Tim. 1 : 8.
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  A TRUMPET CALL By Marvin Obow Hobob D. D., But be thou partaker of the affliction of the gospel according to the power of God. — n. Tim. 1 : 8. THERE are many who claim to be paxtakerB of the benefits of the goepel. They have indulged a hope, made a profeesiom of faith, and! joined the chiirch. They account it as a settled fact that their sins are forgiven, that they are accepted of God> and that they belong of right among his people. Moreover, they hope that in the world to come they shall be sharere in the great inheritance which is reserved for the children of God. But those who cherish this hope should bear in mind that the goepel has its afflictions as well as its benefits. There are burdens to be borne as well as comforts to be enjoyed. The kingdom of heaven has its warfare as well as its rewards. When Paul wrote this letter he was a prisoner. He knew how to wear a chain as well as how to sing a Psalm. He bore in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus while in his soul he rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. And now he counsels Timothy to be not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord,, nor of the Lord's prisoner who was writing him, but to take cheerfully his full share in gos- pel trials as well as in gospel triumphs. His aim was to nerve the soul of his younger brother to that self-denial, cross-bearing, for- titude, endurance, which constitute so large a part of the true Chris- tian life on earth. As though he had said, conceive not of this new life as a sunny lawn upon which to recline and be at ease, but rather as a scene of toil and burden-bearing and earnest work, calling for resolute- MARVI GROW HODGE wais born in Hard wick, Vt, February 20, 1822. He was converted and united with the Baptist church at the age of  seven- teen. Shortly after his conversion he felt strongly the conviction that his life should be devoted to the work of the Christian ministry. In prepara- tion for his chosen work he pursued academic studies at Derby, Vt., under the instruction of Heman Lincoln and Alvah Hovey, both of whom, in later yeans, became widely known in connection with their work at ewton Theo- logical Seminary. In June, 1843, he was ordained at East Charleston, Vt. He had pastorates at Colchester and Hinesburg, Vt., and at Stillwater, ew York, and in October, 1854, began a successful pastorate of six and a half years with the Hanson Place Church, Brooklyn, ew York. From June, 1861, to the spring of 1863 he served the church in Beaver Dam, Wis. For two yeare Dr. Hodge served as District Secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society for ew England. He returned to Wisconsin in 1865, and settled with the church at Janesville, remaining there for six years. After a short pastorate in ew York city, six years of service at ELalama- zoo, Mich., and two and a half years with the First Baptist Church of Mil- waukee, he returned to Janesville, and entered upon his second pastorate with that church, which continued over sixteen years, closing June 1, 1897. Though far beyond the age when most men retire from active public life, at the earnest request of the church at Beaver Dam he was induced to min- ister to that church a second time. This he continued to do for nearly three years, much to the pleasure and profit of all connected with the church. The character of the churches which Dr. Hodge has served, his long pastorates, and his frequent recalls to the same field, attest the power  and effectiveness of his preaching and pastoral work. Probably no minister in our denomination was better known or more universally beloved by the Baptists of Wisconsin than Dr. Hodge. The intellectual ability of Dr. Hodge has been recognized by several leading colleges. In 1849 he received the honorary degree of A. M. from the University of Vermont; also the same degree from the University of Rochester in 1854. In 1867 the University of Chicago conferred upon Kim the well-deserved degree of D. D. ot alone for his remarkably successful pastorates and unusually brilliant mental gifts was Dr. Hodge highly esteemed, but even much more for his rare quali- ties of heart and soul that have given the inspiration and aspiration to many a life. On the 26th of August, 1901, Dr. Hodge entered into his eternal rest. He being dead, yet speaketh. (894) A TBUMPET CALL. ' 396 B666; energy, determination^ seasoned with long-suffering and pa- tient endhiranee. The true Christian spirit does not shun these sterner things. It is not afraid of toil; it can brave dangers^ it can endure obloquy. It recognizes the af9ictions of the gospel ae a part of its heritage. It says : *'one of these things move me.^' It welcomes the yoke of Christ and expects to bear his burden. He who says : I must be served at all events'* and is not careful to be himself a servant, may well doubt his good estate in the sight of God'. The specific ^oken of the old man is selfishness, of the new man, unselfishness. Unregenerate men ask : Who will show us any good ?'* Eegenerate men ask: Lord, what wilt thou have us to do?'* The former study how to avoid! hardships, the latter how to bear them for the sake of Christ and his cause. He is not worthy to be called a Christian whose main prayer is: I pray thee have me excused.   The man who is expert at framing excuses gives but slender evi- dence of being a Christian. For what is it to be a Christian ? Is it not to be a follower of Christ? Andl what was Christ's method when burdens were to be borne ? Did he pray to be excused ? Did he not rather say : I have a baptism to be baptized with and how am I straitened until it be accomplished?'' Had Christ treated the aflBictions of the gospel as many do who claim to be his follow- ers, there had been no gospel to publish, for the gospel is the good news of accomplished redemption; the gospel is the story of that amazing love which was told out on the cross at Calvary; the gos- pel is the glad] tidings of the payment of our debt by the sufferings of our Eed^eemer; the gospel is the message of (Jod's grace written by the pierced hand of the Son of QoA in lines of anguish and in characters of blood. AflBiction's direst wave rolled- in full tide over the Holy One when he gave us life by his own death. When- ever, then, the temptation assails us to shirk a burden, to evade a cross, to decline a service, to spare ourselves a sacrifice, we do well to pause and first look unto Jesus. What burden did he shirk? What cross did he shun? What service to God or to a suffering world did he decline ? What sacrifice did he spare himself ? I see him, even when weary and worn, still going about doing good. I see him making a long journey to reach the smitten home 396 THE AMERICA BAPTIST PULPIT. in Bethany because death is there, and he only can restore to life. I hear him at the last l^issover speaking words of comfort to his weeping disciples after the deep shadow of the coming cross has fallen full across his path-. I follow him to the gardai, and see him ainong the olive trees prostrate upon the earth, as he being in an agony prays more earnestly. I see him arrested, even as a male- factor might be arrested, upon the accursed betrayal. I see him brought to trial before the bitterly prejudiced Jewish priest and before the heartless Boman governor. I see him scourged, cruci- fied, mocked, and derided. I stand and gaze as after a last and piercing cr}' he gives up the ghost in an awful death. And then I turn my eyes upon men who hope that death has brought them
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