"He that saith he abideth in Him ought
himself also to walk even as He walked."
EDWARD NORMAN, editor Of the
Raymond DAILY NEWS, sat in his office
room Monday morning and faced a new
world of action. He had made his pledge
in good faith to do everything after
asking "What would Jesus do?" and, as he
supposed, with his eyes open to all the
possible results. But as the regular
life of the paper started on another
week's rush and whirl of activity, he
confronted it with a degree of
hesitation and a feeling nearly akin to
He had come down to the office very
early, and for a few minutes was by
himself. He sat at his desk in a growing
thoughtfulness that finally became a
desire which he knew was as great as it
was unusual. He had yet to learn, with
all the others in that little company
pledged to do the Christlike thing, that
the Spirit of Life was moving in power
through his own life as never before. He
rose and shut his door, and then did
what he had not done for years. He
kneeled down by his desk and prayed for
the Divine Presence and wisdom to direct
He rose with the day before him,
and his promise distinct and clear in
his mind. "Now for action," he seemed to
say. But he would be led by events as
fast as they came on.
He opened his door and began the
routine of the office work. The managing
editor had just come in and was at his
desk in the adjoining room. One of the
reporters there was pounding out
something on a typewriter. Edward Norman
began to write an editorial. The DAILY
NEWS was an evening paper, and Norman
usually completed his leading editorial
before nine o'clock.
He had been writing for fifteen
minutes when the managing editor called
"Here's this press report of
yesterday's prize fight at the Resort.
It will make up three columns and a
half. I suppose it all goes in?"
Norman was one of those newspaper
men who keep an eye on every detail of
the paper. The managing editor always
consulted his chief in matters of both
small and large importance. Sometimes,
as in this case, it was merely a nominal
"Yes -- No. Let me see it."
He took the type-written matter
just as it came from the telegraph
editor and ran over it carefully. Then
he laid the sheets down on his desk and
did some very hard thinking.
"We won't run this today," he said
The managing editor was standing in
the doorway between the two rooms. He
was astounded at his chief's remark, and
thought he had perhaps misunderstood
"What did you say?"
"Leave it out. We won't use it."
"But " The managing editor was
simply dumbfounded. He stared at Norman
as if the man was out of his mind.
"I don't think, Clark, that it
ought to be printed, and that's the end
of it," said Norman, looking up from his
Clark seldom had any words with the
chief. His word had always been law in
the office and he had seldom been known
to change his mind. The circumstances
now, however, seemed to be so
extraordinary that Clark could not help
"Do you mean that the paper is to
go to press without a word of the prize
fight in it?"
"Yes. That's what I mean."
"But it's unheard of. All the other
papers will print it. What will our
subscribers say? Why, it is simply--"
Clark paused, unable to find words to
say what he thought.
Norman looked at Clark
thoughtfully. The managing editor was a
member of a church of a different
denomination from that of Norman's. The
two men had never talked together on
religious matters although they had been
associated on the paper for several
"Come in here a minute, Clark, and
shut the door," said Norman.
Clark came in and the two men faced
each other alone. Norman did not speak
for a minute. Then he said abruptly:
"Clark, if Christ was editor of a
daily paper, do you honestly think He
would print three columns and a half of
prize fight in it?"
"No, I don't suppose He would."
"Well, that's my only reason for
shutting this account out of the NEWS. I
have decided not to do a thing in
connection with the paper for a whole
year that I honestly believe Jesus would
Clark could not have looked more
amazed if the chief had suddenly gone
crazy. In fact, he did think something
was wrong, though Mr. Norman was one of
the last men in the world, in his
judgment, to lose his mind.
"What effect will that have on the
paper?" he finally managed to ask in a
"What do you think?" asked Norman
with a keen glance.
"I think it will simply ruin the
paper," replied Clark promptly. He was
gathering up his bewildered senses, and
began to remonstrate, "Why, it isn't
feasible to run a paper nowadays on any
such basis. It's too ideal. The world
isn't ready for it. You can't make it
pay. Just as sure as you live, if you
shut out this prize fight report you
will lose hundreds of subscribers. It
doesn't take a prophet to see that. The
very best people in town are eager to
read it. They know it has taken place,
and when they get the paper this evening
they will expect half a page at least.
Surely, you can't afford to disregard
the wishes of the public to such an
extent. It will be a great mistake if
you do, in my opinion."
Norman sat silent a minute. Then he
spoke gently but firmly.
"Clark, what in your honest opinion
is the right standard for determining
conduct? Is the only right standard for
every one, the probable action of Jesus
Christ? Would you say that the highest,
best law for a man to live by was
contained in asking the question, What
would Jesus do?' And then doing it
regardless of results? In other words,
do you think men everywhere ought to
follow Jesus' example as closely as they
can in their daily lives?" Clark turned
red, and moved uneasily in his chair
before he answered the editor's
"Why -- yes -- I suppose if you put
it on the ground of what men ought to do
there is no other standard of conduct.
But the question is, What is feasible?
Is it possible to make it pay? To
succeed in the newspaper business we
have got to conform to custom and the
recognized methods of society. We can't
do as we would in an ideal world."
"Do you mean that we can't run the
paper strictly on Christian principles
and make it succeed?"
"Yes, that's just what I mean. It
can't be done. We'll go bankrupt in
Norman did not reply at once. He
was very thoughtful.
"We shall have occasion to talk
this over again, Clark. Meanwhile I
think we ought to understand each other
frankly. I have pledged myself for a
year to do everything connected with the
paper after answering the question,
What would Jesus do?' as honestly as
possible. I shall continue to do this in
the belief that not only can we succeed
but that we can succeed better than we
Clark rose. "The report does not go
"It does not. There is plenty of
good material to take its place, and you
know what it is."
Clark hesitated. "Are you going to
say anything about the absence of the
"No, let the paper go to press as
if there had been no such thing as a
prize fight yesterday."
Clark walked out of the room to his
own desk feeling as if the bottom had
dropped out of everything. He was
astonished, bewildered, excited and
considerably angered. His great respect
for Norman checked his rising
indignation and disgust, but with it all
was a feeling of growing wonder at the
sudden change of motive which had
entered the office of the DAILY NEWS and
threatened, as he firmly believed, to
Before noon every reporter,
pressman and employee on the DAILY NEWS
was informed of the remarkable fact that
the paper was going to press without a
word in it about the famous prize fight
of Sunday. The reporters were simply
astonished beyond measure at the
announcement of the fact. Every one in
the stereotyping and composing rooms had
something to say about the unheard of
omission. Two or three times during the
day when Mr. Norman had occasion to
visit the composing rooms the men
stopped their work or glanced around
their cases looking at him curiously. He
knew that he was being observed, but
said nothing and did not appear to note
There had been several minor
changes in the paper, suggested by the
editor, but nothing marked. He was
waiting and thinking deeply.
He felt as if he needed time and
considerable opportunity for the
exercise of his best judgment in several
matters before he answered his ever
present question in the right way. It
was not because there were not a great
many things in the life of the paper
that were contrary to the spirit of
Christ that he did not act at once, but
because he was yet honestly in doubt
concerning what action Jesus would take.
When the DAILY NEWS came out that
evening it carried to its subscribers a
The presence of the report of the
prize fight could not have produced
anything equal to the effect of its
omission. Hundreds of men in the hotels
and stores down town, as well as regular
subscribers, eagerly opened the paper
and searched it through for the account
of the great fight; not finding it, they
rushed to the NEWS stands and bought
other papers. Even the newsboys had not
a understood the fact of omission. One
of them was calling out "DAILY NEWS!
Full 'count great prize fight 't Resort.
A man on the corner of the avenue
close by the NEWS office bought the
paper, looked over its front page
hurriedly and then angrily called the
"Here, boy! What's the matter with
your paper? There's no prize fight here!
What do you mean by selling old papers?"
"Old papers nuthin'!" replied the
boy indignantly. "Dat's today's paper.
What's de matter wid you?"
"But there is no account of the
prize fight here! Look!"
The man handed back the paper and
the boy glanced at k hurriedly. Then he
whistled, while a bewildered look crept
over his face. Seeing another boy
running by with papers he called out
"Say, Sam, le'me see your pile." A hasty
examination revealed the remarkable fact
that all the copies of the NEWS were
silent on the subject of the prize
"Here, give me another paper!"
shouted the customer; "one with the
prize fight account."
He received it and walked off,
while the two boys remained comparing
notes and lost in wonder at the result.
"Sump'n slipped a cog in the Newsy,
sure," said the first boy. But he
couldn't tell why, and ran over to the
NEWS office to find out.
There were several other boys at
the delivery room and they were all
excited and disgusted. The amount of
slangy remonstrance hurled at the clerk
back of the long counter would have
driven any one else to despair.
He was used to more or less of it
all the time, and consequently hardened
to it. Mr. Norman was just coming
downstairs on his way home, and he
paused as he went by the door of the
delivery room and looked in.
"What's the matter here, George?"
he asked the clerk as he noted the
"The boys say they can't sell any
copies of the NEWS tonight because the
prize fight isn't in it," replied
George, looking curiously at the editor
as so many of the employees had done
during the day. Mr. Norman hesitated a
moment, then walked into the room and
confronted the boys.
"How many papers are there here?
Boys, count them out, and I'll buy them
There was a combined stare and a
wild counting of papers on the part of
"Give them their money, George, and
if any of the other boys come in with
the same complaint buy their unsold
copies. Is that fair?" he asked the boys
who were smitten into unusual silence by
the unheard of action on the part of the
"Fair! Well, I should--But will you
keep this up? Will dis be a continual
performance for the benefit of de
Mr. Norman smiled slightly but he
did not think it was necessary to answer
He walked out of the office and
went home. On the way he could not avoid
that constant query, "Would Jesus have
done it?" It was not so much with
reference to this last transaction as to
the entire motive that had urged him on
since he had made the promise.
The newsboys were necessarily
sufferers through the action he had
taken. Why should they lose money by it?
They were not to blame. He was a rich
man and could afford to put a little
brightness into their lives if he chose
to do it. He believed, as he went on his
way home, that Jesus would have done
either what he did or something similar
in order to be free from any possible
feeling of injustice.
He was not deciding these questions
for any one else but for his own
conduct. He was not in a position to
dogmatize, and he felt that he could
answer only with his own judgment and
conscience as to his interpretation of
his Master's probable action. The
falling off in sales of the paper he had
in a measure foreseen. But he was yet to
realize the full extent of the loss to
the paper, if such a policy should be