On Suicide - Rev. R. J. Campbell's Remarkable Sermon
This article was published in the Scrutineer and Berrima District Press, Wednesday 8 January 1908 and other newspapers. (The format in this particular paper does not match the scrapbook, although the words are identical). An article on the suicide of Mr and Mrs Good was published in The Advertiser (Adelaide), on Tuesday 31st December 1907
Rev. R. J. Campbell's Remarkable Sermon.
Rev. R. J. Campbell, in the course of a remarkable sermon at the City Temple on the subject of Christ feeding the multitude, in which he referred to a recent suicide in the Thames of an author and his artist wife, "who perished for want of bread," asked the congregation if they really believed the New Testament story in it's literal sense.
The men who told the story were Orientals and were not deceived in the least. They used it to illustrate the spiritual value of Jesus to the world. The feeding of the multitude was not the feeding of the body, but the feeding of the soul with the bread of life. It was a felicitous and beautiful symbol, but its beauty was destroyed and its teaching ruined when they sought to reduce it to the physical plane.
This statement evoked two or three cries of "No," and one member of the congregation indignantly exclaimed, "Certainly not."
Mr. Campbell: Very well, don't interrupt.
The preacher proceeded to state that the average representative of the Christian Church argued that it was physical food, and "Now." said Mr. Campbell, "see the pretty mess into which they have landed us today.
"If Jesus came to minister to us to day, and did not say who He was, do you think His own Church would receive him gladly? ("No.") It would not, I am perfectly sure. It would regard him as a dangerous revolutionary, engaged in upsetting order in the Church and State.
"He would expose the whole system and hollow sham of giving people good advice, or putting sticking-plaster on a running sore and calling it a cure, while we continue to profit by their material disadvantages."
Referring to the suicide of Mr. and Mrs. Good Mr. Campbell said they had chosen the end because the struggle to live was too much for them.
"Here are two people of refinement and culture," continued Mr. Campbell, "brought up in good circles, able to produce beautiful thought and things, and yet they perished. As they had lived, loved, and suffered together they thought they would die together and end it all. I suppose there are some people who would say these two poor things would go to hell. ("No.") I say, it cannot be very much worse than the hell they left. (Applause.) Who makes that hell I make it. You make it - not willingly, but thoughtlessly.
"If we had only known in time there is a man or woman in this congregation who we not have shared his or her last crust to see this couple from the end of which they heard. We are all sorry. Yet for every one of the cases we hear out there are 10,000 we are not heard of, and of which we never will hear."
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