The enormous power of personal influence and of devoted leadership has been most marked. In the throng of strong men that lead in all this activity there are two men that by common consent stand out big in the group. Young men they are, both of them, not yet in the full prime of their powers. One has a genius for organization probably never surpassed, if equalled, by military general, or Jesuit chief, or modern captain of industry. The other has mental grasp, keenness of thought, and power of persuasive speech not surpassed by any, if equalled. Both are marked by a singularly deep, tender spirituality, a rare gift of leadership, a poise of judgment, and a devotion to the Church's great mission as true and steady as the polar star.
Around these two young men has grouped up in no small measure this later missionary activity. And it is probably quite within the mark to say that no stronger, abler men can be found in any of the great activities of life to-day in either of these two great English-speaking peoples. It is surely significant that the modern missionary movement rallies around such giants.
It is worthy of special note, too, that the body of men to whom is entrusted the administration of this vast network of foreign service, the foreign-board members and secretaries of the Church, have developed such remarkable power and skill. No body of men has problems more intricate and exacting and difficult. And no body of men in any sphere of activity has shown greater diplomacy and astuteness, hard sound sense, and untiring devotion.
Some good friends are sometimes disposed to be critical of methods and management. They think the affair could be conducted better in some details which they think important. Well, it would be surprising if it were not so. The same criticisms are made of every governmental and great industrial enterprise. Everything human seems to make progress by correcting and improving. But the thing for you and me to keep a critically keen eye upon is this: that no such detail be allowed to affect by so much as a hair's weight the steadfast ardor of our support.
No strong man in the thick of the great driving purpose of his life is turned aside or stopped by the biting or buzzing of a few insects. If even they can't be brushed aside, let them buzz and bite, but don't let the great passion of a life be affected by them. Indeed, they will be clean forgot, even while they are remembered, by the man who has been caught and swept by the fire of his Master's passion for a world.