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The Sky-scrapers
B. Carradine.
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Stature Thought To Be Great, Compared With True Greatness.

TITLE: The Sky-scrapers

I obtained some lessons from observing the sky-scrapers in New York City.

As they rise from a height of twenty to forty stories, it is marvellous how the other buildings in the neighborhood shrink into insignificance.

Tenements that were six and seven stories high were considered gigantic a few years ago, but now in the vicinity and presence of the lofty modern structures look as pigmies would appear standing in a group of giants. Of course they were great when there was nothing greater around, but when something really large and lofty came on the scene, how little these formerly imposing houses now seem.

With the parable in brick, iron and stone before us, I had at once the explanation why some pastors and evangelists are regarded as great in certain remote districts and sections of the country. The people are immovably convinced that these men are big, and that there are none in pulpit and on platform that are greater.

The explanation is that they themselves never saw greater men. There are immeasurably superior thinkers, reasoners and speakers, but not having beheld them in their village and settlement, they are to that community as though they were not, had never been, and could never be.

It is really amusing to behold these same overestimated individuals at a great camp, or in a General Conference, where real pulpit giants are present. The several story building finds itself in company with a number of forty-story intellects; men whose heads touch the sky, whose minds, souls and lives are full of great purposes, mighty activities and tremendous achievements. We stand amazed at their loftiness of character; the upper floors of thought; every mental room full, and the elevators going all the time. The cottage is in the presence of a neighborhood of skyscrapers! My, how little some of us look at such a time! And how small some of us feel!

Then how glad such individuals are to be overlooked on such occasions. Not one, in spite of his fame in Persimmonville, would dare to cross swords with one of the polemical giants of the great ecclesiastical gathering.

A brim or goggle-eye perch is a whale among minnows, but is itself less than a sardine when thrown among whales. And so the pulpit wonder of Raccoon Hollow, and OPossum Bend is simply nowhere in the crowded camp meetings of two hundred pastors and preachers; or at a mighty assembly where the greatest thinkers, writers and speakers of Christendom have been drawn from all the nations.

The overrated brother is all the more content to be unnoticed, and not called on to preach at the camp or conference, inasmuch as the sermons on which he got his fame in Persimmonville and Goose Pond P. O. were taken from some of the leading preachers and evangelists at different camp grounds. In fact he took five from one evangelist at a single camp ground. Alas, Master, it was borrowed!

So it was with a smile I contemplated the five and six-story buildings in New York City and noticed how small they appeared in the midst of the Skyscraper District. They used to look big, but now seem to be shrinking in on themselves in the presence of the really great and colossal in architecture.

And the smile deepens when we see the same thing reproduced in life, and observe how the self-inflated, and the self-overvalued shrink and fade when thrown in the company of those who tower far above them intellectually and spiritually.

Just so we have seen the Moon put on a sickly smile and take a back seat in the West, when the Sun, from whom it borrowed all its light, appeared in its strength and majesty on the platform in the East.

Living Illustrations By B. Carradine.

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