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The glory of life, - whence comes it, if not out of what is intensely loved, sought for, fought for, if need be, died for?
Our Revolution gave us immortal patriots. Slavery fired the lips of Whittier with impassioned verse, goaded John Brown to die with words not unlike those of Socrates, and inspired Lincoln to speak the divinest words ever uttered on this continent. Is the age of poetry dead? Have pulpits lost their power? Is there nothing that men care for supremely? Has our age lost that Promethean fire of intensity, source of exalted thought, inspired speech, heroic life? Who dares to enter a university city, and talk such folly? Not I, for one. Yet I will not deceive myself, nor you, nor ingenuous youth. The danger is terrible, not so much to the world as to the upper classes, to educated men.
Nil admirari is death, moral, spiritual, potential, death. For college men it is abdication. If they halt or stammer or play, other men in dead earnest will take the lead, and win the game, and wear the laurel. The most powerful speech in recent years in old Faneuil Hall in Boston came from the lips of John Burns, the great labor leader of London, a few months ago. The uplift of workingmen in England, their deep interest in honest municipal government and in labor reforms, these subjects made Burns an apostle of power as he spoke, red-hot with fervid devotion to a great cause.
Not in jealousy, but in noble emulation, Yale and Harvard and Columbia, and all the rest, must send their men into the contest for the leadership of the world, not merely with broad and solid foundation of knowledge, not merely with thorough special training in sociologic problems, but, more than all else, with a fiery enthusiasm of human sympathy. Never more than to-day did the world cry out for great leaders,— whence shall they come? From the ranks of the people, or from schools and colleges ? From the bench of hard toil or the desk of study?
God grant that both may unite in cordial cowork, in hearty mutual respect, in noble rivalry, that union may bring strength equal to the tremendous tasks, which are almost infinite, when men are conscious of the duties growing out of the brotherhood of man.
“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their gogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this ma wisdom, and these mighty works ? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is n mother called Mary ? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and J And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A pr is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. And I not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”—Matt. xiii. 54-58.
There is a touch of naturalness in these words that puts 1 authenticity beyond all doubt. It does more than authenticate record : it uncovers human nature. Jesus had been brought uj Nazareth, was the son of a carpenter there, had played as a chik its streets, was one of a family of children, had worked at his tr and at last had left the place, gone down into the region of Jordan, and received baptism at the hands of John. After a time returns in an entirely new character,-- a remarkable speaker in synagogue and a healer of diseases. The people were astonish “Whence this wisdom and these mighty works?” They do wonder at the wisdom or the works, but at the source of the They detected the wisdom, they appreciated the works; but much they - Hebrew-like - delighted in wise words on religion, and mu as they like all men were amazed by miracles, they threw be aside, and turned their wonder on the man. But the wonder was t much for them. They stumbled over it into incredulity, forgott wisdom, explained away the miracles, and lost the good of bot Had some gray-ben
they would have listened and believed and followed. But a prophet
Jesus himself was not surprised at their unbelief and unwillingness
The feeling of the people toward him sprang out of the gregarious instinct that lingers within us. We think gregariously, and do not easily conceive it possible for one of our number to think in any
A person is the last product of creation, and we have not yet become familiar with it. It is with difficulty that we make room in our thought for great men. If they appear, they must come from afar, from another herd than our own; and they are seldom understood.
But what a loss it was to these people of Nazareth that they could not believe in Jesus, who had come back to them with the clear marks of a prophet upon him! How little did they know of the thoughts that filled his mind, of those conceptions of God and man and society and duty and life and destiny which had become clear
to him,-- wrought into a unity and order which he called the king
This is what was set before the people of Nazareth; but they refused to believe it because it came from one of their own citizens. What a loss! The kingdom of God brought nigh and missed! But this was not all. They not only failed to see the beautiful world of truth that was opened before them,— making plain the past history of the nation and meeting the perplexities of their hearts,— but they failed of the practical benefits that would have come from such truths if they had accepted it. He did not many mighty work: there because of their unbelief.
Explain the miracles of Christ as you will, and it does not much matter how they are explained nor in which category, natural or supernatural, you put them. Draw the pen of criticism across half of them if you must, there remains this impregnable fact : that his life and deeds were what his principles required; truth and conduct were made one reality.
Why was not the Christ a Greek? or, rather, why did not Greece produce a Christ? Why was he a Hebrew ? The Greek was content to see truth apart from life. The Hebrew could not: it simply had no existence for him except as fact. This was the burden of the prophets, - that truth and fact were disjoined and should be united. Christ followed and embodied the genius of his nation, and turned his truth into reality. He was in a real world, and he made his life real: otherwise, he would not have been the Christ. It was thus that he knew he must die in sacrifice. Love was not a sentiment, but a way of living; and to live out his love would cost him his life, – this he knew. But the truth he saw with such clearness required more: it led him to turn every phase of it into some corresponding action. It was not truth to him until it was so used.
When shall we learn this, when give over our endless speculations on truth that ends in nothing, and pass into that higher realm of thought where truth becomes truth because it is made one with fact and conduct? There is nothing that we more need to keep in mind in the deliberations of this Convention than that
social truth brought to light must instantly be vested in some practical form. Hence the works and words of Christ. Of which was there the more, words or works? Never was there a word without a deed : never a deed but the word of eternal truth out of which it sprang, word and deed forming a perfect whole. Thus Christ correlated himself to the world in which he found himself, reflecting its order and course in his own life. The world is God's though: turned into reality : it is the will of God made fact. Christ is no dreamer gazing into the heavens, but the very incarnation of the Mind that thought the world, and so made it -- a simultaneous and indissoluble process.
The merciful deeds that went along with his words— so entangled in them that you cannot draw them out and leave the words are a part of the words, and with them formed his life. They are the Logos. If men could not receive his words, they could not share in his works. The divorce was not retributive,