The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 11, 1909, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner.
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THE COMMONER; Lincoln, Neb.
certainties, mental reservations, verbal quib
bling, or rhetorical evasions are to be found in
His recorded addresses. The topics of His dis
course stand out as clear . - the parts of a tree
in the morning sun. Ho Baw nothing "through
a glass darkly," but behold every truth "face
to .face," and knew it as a man knows the face
of one who loves him best.
His mind was quick In its operations; mem
ory nover straggled, reason never limped, and
perception never grow blind. He grasped sit
uations immediately, and intuitively knew the
wisdom of silence or of speech. He had the
Bkilled orator's ability to perceive and the tact
to take advantage of every passing thought in
tho minds of .his hearers, and fittingly to use
every occurrence coming under His observation
as He Bpokq. He was more gifted in satire
than Juvenal and wittier than Pope. There
can bo no keener insight than tho character of
Herod tho .Great than Jesus displayed in His
short utterance concerning him, "Go ye and tell
that fox," nor could there be any more grotes
quely ludicrous characterization of tho hypo
critical element among the Pharisees than His
words, "Ye blind guides which strain out a gnat
and swallow a1 camel." With these two in
stances of His wit may be mentioned His ex
aggerative utterance to self-appointed critics of
human frailty, "first cast out tho log from thine
own eyes, and then shalt thou see clearly to
pull tho splinter out of thy brother's eye." One
may almost hear the ripple of mirth, indeed
not the shout of laughter, which followed such
apt words; and these three instances prove
that Jesus had a keen sense of humor and did
not hesitate to employ it in even the most
solemn discourse.
The mind of Jesus was full of truth and in
stantaneous in action, so that no emergency
found Him unprepared to deal with it ade
quately and finally; and this mentality, together
with His sensibility, presence, and voice, quali
fied Him for mastery of great assemblages.
The basis of tho message of Jesus to His own
people and to all peoples, was the preciousness
of the soul. He never sought to prove its ex
istence any more than Ho sought to prove tho
existence of God or immortality. He assumed
these things to be cities. God as every
Father and immortality as every man's proper
hope furnished the beginning and the ending
of His estimate of a soul's worth; it was to
pearl of great price," worth not only mow
than many sparrows," but more than 'all the
world Of the originality of His other and
subordinate teachings, nothing need here be
said; but m the appraisal of the soul's true
The Commoner.
values, Jesus was a pioneer; and this revolu
tionary view of human worth gave His addresses
and conversations tho charms of newness and
breadth of view. The boldness, persistency, and
skill with which He presented His theme dem
onstrated His capacity for popular oratory and
for religious leadership.
Jesus, "best lover of every human soul,"
spoke not as the ascetic who scorns the follies
of men and despises their feebleness, misan
thropic denunciation never once taking tho place
of persuasive instruction. His defense of re
ligion compelled Him to denounce hypocrisy,
but even this was done with great sorrow of
heart and was immediately followed by His pa
thetic lamentation over Jerusalem. He spoke
as the compassionate friend of sinners and the
elder brother of saints. He exhibited in His
dealings with "the lower classes" the same con
siderate courtesy that He displayed when in
the company of those in the higher walks of
life; and this revolutionary democracy of spirit
raised Jesus to the highest rank among teach
ers, statesmen, and orators, His carpenter shop
to the sanctity of a shrine, and lowly Nazareth
to a higher rank than that of cultured Athens.
Jesus loved men regardless of the so-called acci
dents of birth and breeding, because they were
children of God whose will He delighted to do
and whose love He rejoiced to reveal. The
sincerity and sympathy of H1b love was never
brought into question, and there was no dis
parity between His convictions and utterances,
or contradictions between His precepts and
His diction was In keeping with the substance
and spirit of His message. It was simple. His
aim was to lift men at once out of their lethargy
of mind and littleness of thought. He sought
to stir all their powers of intellect, conscience,
affection, emotion, and will into healthy action,
to interest men and make them hopeful. When
anecdote would best accomplish this end, He
used that form of address rr.ther than abstract
discussion. He was never fearful of lowering
His dignity as an orator, His position as a
teacher, or His prestige as a public man, by
speaking so simply that even children could
understand what He meant. Indeed, He occa
sionally went so far as to use proverbs more
or less repulsive to fastidious ears,, in order
to vitalize His message, such things being said
for the benefit of those who heard, understood,
and needed them rather than for professors of
rhetoric and homiletics.
His diction was direct. He never indulged
in rhetorical circumlocution. He directed all
His words to the one purpose of immediately
reaching- the conscience and will. There was
the sharpness of the lightning;s revealing fiaBh
in everything He said. This is especially no
ticeable in some of His interrogatories, such as
the sweeping appeal, "What shall it profit a
man if he gain the whole world and lose his
own soul?"
His diction was also dramatic. He was not
an actor using artificial situations, carefully
rehearsed, for the purpose of creating a sensa
tion, either to enhance his reputation or to
draw a crowd; but the grim tragedies of life,
death, and the judgment thrilled His heaTt so
that He could not if He would have avoided
dramatic presentations of truth. The tragedy
of the rich fool, the story of the lost son, and
the picture of the last judgment, would alone
nave stamped Jesus as a great master of the
drama. He used the dramatic element of public
address in the hope of averting the greatest
of all tragedies, the loss of the soul.
, lf tdicwas Poetic. He loved the birds
In their flight and nesting; and the lilies in
their blooming; and He gave to His address the
song of the one and the fragrance and color
of the other. He possessed both the orator's
and the poet's imagination, and His chaste
imagery can not be surpassed for its beauty and
appropriateness. He wanted men to see the
beauty of truth as well as to experience Ita
power; and as for Himself, He could find God
in the sparrow's nest and discover the' provi-
fn?M0G0d,inflthe faH of a hair- " GoaoTed
for birds and flowers, and sent the wind the
rain and the lightning, would He not surely,
care for the priceless souls of His children?
h a i is diction was persuasive. This is
Snl?0' .oloquenco and the fairest meas
?hS Tan orat1or:s Powers. None realized better
than Jesus that men can not be driven like
yoked oxen into proper paths, that they must
bo persuaded and led if ihey go at all Sn
' v!iei lnBtr??n in the nature of that
kingdom which offers to man not meat nor
drink, pomp, nor power, but joy, peace S?J
righteousness, He used every l&Sff app"Sa
to fear and hope, reason and conscience, emo
tion and will, and His perorations usually took
the form of persuasive exhortations, such as
"come unto me' "follow mo," "take up thy
cross," and "what wilt thou that I should do
unto thee?" He had the orator's enthusiasm,
but He was not content with doing less th-ti
kindling the shekinah glory of obedience within
the soul.
Thus in opportunity, equipment, and message,
Jesus was pre-eminently fitted to make among
the world's masters of eloquence the supremo
efforts of persuasive discourse. The results of
His ministry, a ministry of education through
public address rather than through literature,
were, first, the establishment of a democratic
brotherhood which has become world-wide, sur
viving all the vicissitudes of national move
ments; second, a religion whose name is synony
mous with the highest prevailing type of civili
zation; third, a body of literature of which Ho
is the central theme and which His followers
regard as inspired; and last, a 'personal influ
ence outlasting His physical presence among
men, and which lifts life to its 'highest levels.
That His hold on men, whether as individuals
or in the multitude, was so great and remains
so, apart from His message and the manner of
its presentation, is to be ascribed to an entire
absence of self-seeking, especially- of that petty
selfishness which feeds its vanity upon popular
In the senate Mr. Bacon entered upon an
extended discussion of the proposed increases
over, the rates of the house bill in duties on
bacon and hams, lard, fresh beef, etc., and Mr.
Aldrich surprised the senate by withdrawing
the committee amendments, saying he believed
the house rates, although below those of tho
Dingley law rates, were protective to those in
dustries. This action provoked further discus
sion on the part of senators who favored higher
rates. Senator Rayner created considerable
amusement by a humorous description of what
Senator Aldrich had referred to as "the citadel
of protection," and Senator Smith of Michigan,
advocated a frea. tariff or a tariff for revenue
only. t v
Mr. Aldrich served notice that hereafter the
senate would hold night sessions in considera
tion of the tariff bill. Senator Lodge made a
speech and gave special attention to the cotton
schedule, but incidentally spoke of the general
policy of the republican party with reference to
the subject of tariff revision. He contended
that there had been no intention of revising the
tariff downward, butf that the purpose of tho
party had been merely so to revise tho tariff;
as to protect American manufacturers against
cheap foreign labor. He: declared that New
England factories were returning only small
dividends to the owners, and that there had
been an increase In commodities to the enlarged
volume of gold in the country rather than to tho
advantages accruing from the protective system.
He explained at length the process of merceri
zation in order to show that the protective rate
allowed for this process was not excessive.
Early in the day Senator Dolliver took excep
tion to a remark by Senator Aldrich. The Iowa
senator had offered an amendment to the cotton
schedule providing for ad valorem rather than
specific duties, whereupon Senator Aldrich made
Incidental reference to senators "who come hero
with 'importers' beliefs."
Senator Dolliver made sharp reply, but when
Senator Aldrich explained that he had not meant
any reflection business proceeded with order.
Later the senator from Iowa said reflections
upon his course had come from behind the doora
of the finance1 committee. This was in response
to a defense by Senator xoot of the board o
general appraisers, to which reference had been
made by Senator Dolliver.
Senator Cummins introduced his- income tax
amendment to the tariff bill. It provides for
a tax of two per cent on all incomes of individ
uals or corporations over $5,000 a year. A feat
ure is included which is intended to eliminate
double taxation by allowing a rebate to the In
dividual stockholder of a corporation whose div
idend assessments have "been paid through the
corporation itself.
Senator LaFollette addressed the senate on
tariff revision. The Associated Press says: By
numerous -quotations he maintained" that no
question could be raised as to the pledge of the
party for a revision downward and he declared
that before he should conclude his speech, ho
would demonstrate amply that on the whole
pending bill placed the duties above the rate
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