SEPTEMBER 4, 1939
HYDE PARK, Sunday—For some time I have been wanting to tell you about various things I have been reading, and this fairly quiet day is a good opportunity.
Perhaps you subscribe to the "Protestant Digest." It is not just a Protestant magazine, but it does try to awaken those of us who happen to be Protestants to a realization of our responsibilities and interests in the world. I found it interesting. It is always stimulating to realize that if you belong to a certain religious faith there is a responsibility to make sure your thinking is constantly progressive, and that you are a living force, not a static one.
Then I have just finished a book called "In High Places," by William Brown Meloney. I had seen a number of criticisms of this book, but I only glanced at them because I knew I was going to read it and wanted to keep my own mind clear of what other people might think or feel about it.
It is to me a very interesting book, I think a great book, although I am not sure I have as yet got everything out of it which may come to me as I go over it in my own mind. I finished it at one o'clock this morning, and lay awake a long time looking up at the stars and wondering what it was that would give its chief character "The Power," such an influence over the people immediately around him and the great mass of people who followed him.
Why should one diseased brain create a personality so powerful and compelling? Was it that he lacked fear? He did not love, but he did not fear until he began to long for one understanding look. Then he met one human being who had conquered fear in himself, albeit in a way that "The Power" could not understand, because it was through spiritual strength and suffering, not through cruelty and the exercise of force over others.
There is no answer in this book to the question which innumerable people must ask themselves: "Why should such things be?" But there is inspiration in the character of two doctors, the standard of the one who never thought of revenge, and of the other who did not even think of doubting his colleague's integrity.
The quotation at the beginning of this book is from Ephesians, VI, 12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Yes, that is what we wrestle against. The doctor who died and apparently lost, really won. We must believe in our daily lives, for otherwise we cannot carry on the battle with "spiritual wickedness in high places."