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the same. They take different forms according to the position of the soul. But who has really one has all. If a man can really trust God, then he can obey him. If he can really obey, then he can believe. If he can love his brother as himself, he can love God. If he can love God, then he can love his brother.- Dr. J. F. Clarke (Common Sense in Religion, pp. 281, ff.).
The world's great altar stairs
The Christian Church,- as old as the centuries and as young as the future.- Bulwer-Lytton.
Mcre of truth and more of might,
Sir John Bowring. In an Appendix, post, will be narrated one or two wellauthenticated cases of death-bed transfiguration, not attributable to any physiological derangement; suggesting that, at least figuratively,
The discord that involveth
Some startling change of key
Anon. (Youth's Companion, Feb. 22, 1883). Cases where there seem to be gleamings from another world, and the spirit's dissolving tenement, like the dungeon of Chillon, is momentarily lit up
Dim with a dull imprisoned ray,
Lord George Gordon Byron.
John Milton. CHAPTER XXXIII.
What Three Views concerning Christ's ejecting Traders from
the Temple; and What generally as to his Self-assertion or Aggression ?
(1) THAT there was a miraculous feat, as described, Matt. xxi., Mark xi., Luke xix., John ii.; "due,” as St. Jerome says, " to the starry light which shone from his eyes, and to the divine majesty which beamed from his features.”
(2) That such success of one not very muscular man against à rough crowd was not miraculous, but simply due to the weakness, product of a guilty conscience, on the one side, and the grandeur of a supreme enthusiasm on the other. Dr. Geikie says that “all were under a spell for the moment. It was an act such as Matthias or Judas Maccabæus might have done ; and, prophet-like as it was, in such a place, and in such a cause, its unique heroism secured its triumph. Dr. J. F. Clarke imagines * that “Jesus entered the Court of the Gentiles, accompanied by the great multitude, who had formed a triumphal procession around him. Indignation seized him when he saw the place of worship for the nations of the world treated with such contempt by the priesthood, who ought to have welcomed the Gentiles to the worship of the one true God. The divine anger of the prophet of old seized him; and, like as ancient seers spoke to the sight of men by outward actions, he took a whip and drove from the court these traffickers.”
(3) That the legend is a traditional exaggeration of the circumstance that Jesus administered a rebuke to some one of the desecrators, who thereupon confessed conviction of error, and forthwith abandoned the business. Accordingly, that Jesus invariably, exemplified his own precepts upon non-aggression; that in this, as well as in the rebuke administered to the hypocritical Pharisees, he “must be cruel only to be kind.”
*In The Legend of Thomas, called Didymus.
There is a tradition that this was the view of Benjamin Franklin, But the tradition is hardly so well authenticated as his aphorism, “Christianity commands us to pass by injuries; policy, to let them pass by us.” But as to just when and to what extent meekness is policy, there is a great contrariety of opinion.
Those who bear misfortunes over-meekly
And it stings you for your pains:
And it soft as silk remains.
Use 'em kindly, they rebel ;
Aaron Hill. There is a nearly equal diversity of opinion as to the reasons for the peculiar entry into the city just before the ejection of the traders.
Apparently, this triumphal entry was a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm confined within narrow limits. It may be that Jesus hoped that these limits would extend until they should comprise an effective majority of the population of the city, and that so, perhaps without a struggle, the hierarchy would be overthrown and his own kingdom set up in its place. It may be he had spoken of these things with them so frequently that he allowed himself to think that his disciples were completely disabused of their materialistic notions of his Messiahship; but, from all that we can glean concerning them, we may be sure that they were not. Already they imagined themselves sitting on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus is made to promise them this honor in one of the worst distortions of the New Testament tradition. It was their triumph quite as much as his own that they were celebrating as they spread their garments in his way.- John W. Chadwick (The Man Jesus, p. 167).
The record of another instance of self-assertion savors more especially of dignity. Standing arraigned before the malignant, bigoted priests, Jesus gives them a rational answer, courteous, but not cringing. Some poor, pompous fool, “dressed in a little brief authority,”. imperiously hisses out, “Is that the way you answer a high priest?” and strikes him. Jesus makes no movement to repel the violence, but, fixing his clear and brave, but sad and sweetly pitying eye full and square and immovable upon the leering features of the loathsome upstart, replies, “If I have answered in any wrong way, show wherein.” Jesus pauses for an answer. Everybody's attention is concentrated on the wincing, contemptible bully. In that long moment of silent suspense culminates the defeat of the ashamed assailant. Jesus clinches the lesson to the selfmade culprit — yea, to the whole crowd of abashed claquers with, “If there was nothing wrong in my answer, why did you strike me, sir?”* This, uttered with a countenance more in sorrow than in anger, thenceforth in all the remaining years of that man's life was an ever present monitor that would not down. Too happy he if his heat-oppressed brain had, in its retrospect, the poor warder of one little memory,—that, instant upon the reproof, the parting glance of Jesus at the rash wretch was one of tender forgiveness.
In dealing with a dolt, everybody - Jesus 'not excepted must be justified in speaking incisively. Call it "showing spirit,” if you please. Euphemisms would be wasted. “I love clamor," said Edmund Burke, “when there is an abuse. The alarm-bell disturbs the inhabitants, but saves them from being burnt in their beds." Of course, if it is a case where neither mild nor sharp words can avail, the only alternative is silence. Accordingly, the deportment of Jesus in the next two scenes cannot be called inconsistent therewith. Luke says f the company then arose, took Jesus before. Pilate, and charged him with having declared himself an anointed king [christon basilea). Pilate asked him, “ Art thou king of the Jews?”. Jesus answered, “Thou sayest.” Pilate, finding no fault in him, and ascertaining he was a Galilean, and consequently of Herod's jurisdiction, sent him to Herod, who happened then to be stopping at Jerusalem. Herod had long wished to see Jesus: he hoped to see some sign [sēmeion] achieved by him. Herod questioned him in many words, but Jesus answered him nothing. The priests stood there vehemently accusing him. Herod with his soldiers set him at naught, mocked him, arrayed him in gorgeous apparel, and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate finally succumbed to the clamor for crucifixion.
The proper discrimination -the right generalization to be deduced from the whole record of Christ's life
appears to be well summed up in Dr. Alexandre R. Vinet's aphorism: “Duty does not consist in suffering everything, but in suffering everything for duty.. Sometimes, indeed, it is our duty not to suffer.' It is a trite proverb that“He who puts up with insult invites injury”; or, as Auguste Préault says, “To pardon an old injury is to invite a new one,' sometimes. Confucius asks,
* John xviii., 23.
† Luke xxiii.
“If doing what ought to be done be made the first business, and success a secondary consideration, is not this the way to exalt virtue?” And Mary Lyon used to say,
“ There is nothing in the universe that I fear, but that I shall not know my duty, or shall fail to do it.” Dr. J. F. Clarke says:
When resistance can do no good, when we have uttered our protest and it is ineffectual, then it is often more dignified to bear evil in silence. Then our silence is perhaps the loudest protest. Jesus was patient in this way before the Jewish Sanhedrim, and his silence troubled them more than if he had spoken. “Why do not you answer?” said the high priest. “Do not you hear what these men accuse you of?" Still he stood silent. Imagine the scene. All his enemies are around him; he is helpless in their midst. They bring witnesses to prove him guilty of death. He hears all the charges and makes no reply. His mind is far away. His work is done.
He sees not the haggard, stern faces of his enemies, not the base looks of the witnesses. He sees, perhaps, his own Galilean lake sleeping in its beauty among the hills; he sees the scenes of his childhood where he first met God in the solitude and serenity of nature. He sees the place where he knew first the greatness of his mission. Calm, strong, indifferent to what was passing around him, he stood in the silence of his own thoughts. What they chose to accuse him of, how they meant to bring him to his cross, was nothing to him now. He had passed beyond all that, and so he was silent. “As a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” But even that silence was not the passive, meek, unresisting patience which we commonly attribute to Jesus. It was the golden silence which speaks louder than words. It told them that he knew that his fate was already sealed, and that they had already determined that he should die.
Why go through the form of a defence ? This is nothing to me : this is your affair.
True patience is not passive, but active. It is holding on. It is to be not weary in well doing, though there seems to be no success. It is not to draw back or give up, but to persevere, whether men bear or whether they forbear. It is to use an old word and a good one, though somewhat passed by — longanimity, which is the sister of magnanimity. Magnanimity is greatness of soul which aims at vast and noble ends, rising above all things base and mean. Longanimity is the persevering purpose which keeps to its idea, without rest and without haste, not making a pause nor leaving a void. The purpose is so strong that it is not disturbed by difficulty, nor terrified by danger, nor chilled by neglect. It holds on. That is the meaning of patience.- Common Sense in Religion, pp. 394-396.
Men who their duties know,
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
Sir William Jones.
rend the chain.