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THE KAISER'S SERMON, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
THE KAISER'S SERMON
HIS MAILED-FIST HARANGUE. The following is tbo notorious sermon preached by the Kaiser on his royal yacht in 19C0, and in view of his Belgian atrccitie.s it is of interest at present: '•lt is a most impressive picture that our text to-day brings uetbro our souls. Israel wanders through tho desert from tho Red Sea to Mount Sinai. But suddenly tho heathen Amalokites stop them and want to prevent -their advance, and a battle ensnos. Joshua leads the young men of Israel to tho right, tho sword* elaish together, .and a hot and bloody struggle starts in tho volley of llephidim. But see, while! tho fight is going on, the pious men of God —Moses, Aaron, and II ur—go to the top of tho hill. They lift up their bunds to Heaven; they pray. Down in tho valley the lighting hosts- at the top of tho mountain the praying men. This is the holy battlo picture of our text. Who doc 3 not understand' to-day what it toils us? Again a heathenish Am&lekite has ttirrod in distant Asia with great power and much cunning. By burning and murder it is sought to prevent the entrance of European trade and European genius, the triumphal' march of Christian morals and Christian faith. Again tho command of God has been issued : " Choose out men, and go out and tight with Amaiek." A hot and bloody struggle has begun. Many of our brothers already stand under lire, many are on their way to tho enemy's coasts, and you have seen them, the thousands who, at the call, "Volunteers to tho fore, who will bo the guardian of the Empire?" now assembled to fight with flying colors. But you who remain at home, who are bound by other «icred duties, say, do you not hear God's call, which ho makes to you, and which he says to you : "Go up on the mountain; raise up thy hands to Heaven?" Tbo prayer of the just can do much if it bo earnest-. "Thus let it be. Yonder far away tho hosts of fighters ; hero at home the hosts of praying men. May this be. the holy battle picture of our days. May this peaceful morning hour remind us—may it remind us of the sacred duty of intercession, the eaeml power of intercession. The sacred duty of intercession! Certainly it in an enthusiastic moment when it ship with young men on board weighs anchor. Did you not see the warriors' eyes Hash? Did von not hear their many-voiced hurrahs? But when tho native shares vanish, when ono enters the glowing heat of the Red Sea, or the heavy waters of tho ocean, how easily brightness and enthusiasm grow weary. Certainly it is a sublime moment when, after a long voyage, in the distance j tho straight lines of the German forts can be seen, and the black, white, and red flags of the German colony become visible, and comrades in arms stand on the shore | waiting to giro a hearty reception. But tho long marches in the burning sun, the long nights of bivouac in tho rain, flow easily gaiety and strength vanish. Certainly it is a longed-for moment when at last the drums beat to tho charge and the bugles are blown to advance when' a command is given—"Forward, at tho enemy." But when among the roar of the guns and tho Hashing of tho shells comrades fall to right and left, and hostile batteries still refuse to yield, how easily at such a moment the bravest hearts besyin to tremble. "Christian, in order that our brother over yonder may remain gay ever, in tho greatest distress, faithful even in tho most painful duty, courageous in the greatest danger, they want something more than , ammunition and sharp weapons, mora even than the youthful eourago and tbo fiery enthusiasm. They want a blessing fiom above, otherwis? they cannot win and remain'victorious. And the heavenly world opens only to prayer Prayer is tho golden key to the treasury of Gad. He who has It also has the promise that to him who asks shall bo given. Or shall we remain idle? Woe to us if we aro idle while they are carrying on a hard and bloody pieee of work ; woe to us if we only look on curiously at the struggle. This would be Cain's spirit, with the cruel words : "Am I bit brother's keeper?" This would be unfaithfulness towards our brave brothers who are staking their lives. Never. Wo will mobilise not only battalions of warriors, but also a holy forco of praying men. Yes. How much there i 3 to ask for our brothers going into the field. They arc to be the strong arm that punishes assassins. They are to be the mailed fist which strikes in amongst them. They aro to stand up with the sword in their hands for our most sacred possessions. So we shall accompany them with our prayers out on to the heaving waves, on their marches, into the roar of battle, and into tho peace/illness of the hospitals; shall pray to God that they shall stand at their posts like men, that they may fight their battle courageously and heroically, they may bear their wounds bravely and calmly, that God may give those who die under lire a blessed end—the reward of faithfulness; in short, that Ho may make tho warriors heroes and the heroes victors, and then bring them home to the land of their fathers with the laurels round their pugarees and the medals on their breasts. "' Or do we, perhaps, not believe in the sacred power or intercession? Well, then, what does our text say—'And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed.' Hie earnest prayers of Moses made the swords of tho enemy blunt. They pushed themselves like a wedgo between the enemy's lines, made them waver, and brought victory to the flying banners of Israel. Should not our prayers be able to do what tho prayers ot Moses did? God has not taken back one syllable of His promise; heartfelt prayer'can still to-day cast down tho dragon banner into the dust ami plant the banner of the Cross on the walls. And Muses does not stand alone with his intercession. Look yonder'. There on the heights of Sodom stand Abraham, interceding before his God, and with his prayers ho prays Lot out of the burning city. And should not our prayers succee"d in praying our fighting comrades out of the lire of the battles? Look yonder! There in Jerusalem lies tho young Christian community on its knees. Their leader, their father, hes imprisoned in a dungeon, and, see! with their prayers they summon the angel of God into the prison, and ho leads out Feter unharmed. And our prayers—should they not have tho power even to-day to hurst the doors ot tho oppressed prisoners and tho persecuted, and to place an at their side? Yes, the God of old lives still, the Great Ally rules still. Tho holy God who cannot lettin and acts of violence triumph, will can-y on His holy cause against an unholy people; tho Almighty God, who can shatter the strongest walls as though they were spiders' webs, and whn can disperso the greatest crowds like heaps of sand—the merciful, faithful God, whose fatherly heart looßs after the welfare of His children, who hears every sigh, and who sympathises with every distress. Pious prayers open His fatherly hands, and they are filled with blessing. Earnest prayer opens His fatherly heart, and it is full of love. Yes, trao continuous prayer fetches the living God down from Heaven, and places Him among us. And if God is for us, who shall be against us?"
'Hie Kaiser continued his sermon in similar strain, concluding thus: " Almighty God, dear Heavenly Father, Thou Lord of Hosts and Ruler of Battles, we raise, praying, our hands to Thee. On Thy hoarfc wei lay the thousands of brothers in amis whom Thou Thyself hast called to battle. Protect with Thy Almighty protection the breasts of our sons. Lead our men to victory. On Thy heart we lay the wounded and sick. Bo Thou their comfort and their strength, and heal their wounds which they receive for King and Fatherland. On Thy heart we lay all those whom Thou hast ordained to die on the field of battle. Stand by them in their last struggle, and give them everlasting peace. On Thy hean we lay our people. Preserve, sanctify, increase tho enthusiasm with which we are all imbued. Lord, oar God, we trust in Thee. Lead Thou us in battle. We boast, Lord, that Thou wilt help us, and in Thy name we unroll the banner. Lord, wo will not leave Thee; then wilt Thou bless us. Amen."
THE KAISER'S SERMON, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
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