HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
There are two open secrets of true courage to which I would call attention as I close this message, and one of them is self-forgetfulness. Just as the open secret of all happiness is never to think of happiness at all but to forget it and do our duty quietly and take the long road that leads through Galilee, so the open secret of all courage is to forget there is such a thing as courage in the gladness and the glow of an ideal.
When David fought with the lion and the bear, he never thought of the lion and the bear. He only remembered that he was a shepherd and that his duty was to guard the sheep. So doing his duty in brave forgetfulness, courage came to him like a bird upon the wing and sang its morning music in his heart.
When Captain John Brown, that fine American hero, was asked why others were conquered by his regiment, “Well,” he replied, after a moment’s thought, “I suppose it is because they lacked a cause.” They had nothing to fight for that was worth a stroke, and having nothing to fight for or to die for, it followed “as the night the day” that they were ineffectual in battle.
The most timid creature will face tremendous odds when danger threatens its defenceless offspring. The Roman slave-girl will throw herself to martyrdom when she is animated by the faith of Christ. The woman, in her self-forgetful love for the infant that she has nursed at her bosom, will dare to starve and even dare to die. That is why love is such a nurse of courage, and that is where love is different from passion. For passion is selfish and seeks its own delight and will ruin another if it is only gratified. But love is unselfish and seeketh not her own and hopeth all things and believeth all things, and like John Brown’s regiment is always ready because for the battle it never lacks a cause.
Desdemona, in a play of Shakespeare, is
A maiden never bold
Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion
Blushed at herself yet standing at Othello’s side, Desdemona confronts her father and her world, and she confronts them because she loves Othello so.
Love for her fledgeling makes the wild bird brave. And now comes Christ, and by His life and death writes that word love upon the gate of heaven. And so He has made it possible for thousands, who otherwise would have faltered in the shadow, to pluck up heart again and play the man and to be strong and of good courage by the way.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …