German Emperor's Sermon
( Originally Published 1902 )
AT the time of the siege of Pekin, the versatile German Emperor, who was spending the Sabbath on his royal yacht, preached a sermon on prayer for the army and navy, selecting as his text the 11th verse of the 7th chapter of Exodus. The sermon was so remarkable that I quote a paragraph or two of it : " The prayer of the just man is mighty when it is sincere. Thus let it be 1 Away in the distant land the warrior hosts, here at home the hosts of supplicants. May that be the holy battle of our time." The Emperor then went on to point out how easily the soldier may lose his strength and cheerfulness under the trials of war—the long marches under the blazing sun, the long nights under the pelting rain ; how even the most valiant may quail when, amid the thunder of cannon and the bursting of shell, his comrades fall on every side. Continuing, he said: " Fellow Christians, in order that our brethren may remain of good cheer under the worst privations, faithful when their duty is most difficult, unwavering when the danger is the greatest, they need something more than ammunition and edged weapons ; more even than youthful courage and the fire of enthusiasm. They need the blessing from above. They need living strength and victorious might from above. Without these they cannot win or keep the victory. And this heavenly world is accessible to prayer alone. Prayer is the golden key to the treasury of our God. But whoso has this key has also the promise, ` Ask and ye shall receive.' "
At the close of the sermon the Emperor offered this prayer : " Almighty God, dear Heavenly Father, O thou Lord of Hosts and Ruler of Battles, we raise our hands to Thee in prayer. To Thy goodness we commend the thou-sands of our brothers in arms. Shield Thou the lives of our sons with Thy omnipotent protection. Lead Thou our soldiers to a mighty victory. To Thy goodness we commend the wounded and the sick. Be Thou their consolation and their strength. Heal Thou their wounds. To Thy goodness we commend our people. Maintain and sanctify and strengthen the exaltation that now in-spires us. O Lord our God, we go forth relying on Thy help. In Thy name we raise our standards. O Lord, we will not let Thee go until Thou bless us. Amen." He then offered the Lord's Prayer, and the service was concluded with the benediction.
The Kaiser's faith reminds us of Washington and of Lincoln, of Albert and of Victoria, of his grandfather, William I., and of his father, Frederick III. When the young Emperor first took the throne, on the death of his father, he seemed to be impetuous, rash, rather poorly balanced in word and conduct ; but either he has changed or public opinion misjudged him, for he is proving himself to be one of the most brilliant, brave and devout rulers of the world. The splendid German Empire comes into a beautiful bloom in William II. and in his sermon and prayer.