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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 1, 1922)
VOL. 22, NO. 4
Address by William Jennings Bryan at Point
Breeze Presbyterian Church, Fifth and Penn
Avonuos, Pittsburg, Pa., Sunday Evening,
March 12th, 1922. This address, Which was
broadcasted by Radio Telephone Station K. D.
K. A., was heard by an Invisible audience of ap
proximately two hundred thousand people in
Canada, Cuba and throughout tho United States.)
. To All of My Audience, Visible and Invisible,
It Is a wlord experience the first of the kind
I have had to hurl my words through space
and address an unnumbered throng, though only
a few thousands of the many millions within the
radius of my voice hear what I am saying. It
would seem impossible, if we did not know it to
bo true, that tho air should bo filled with sounds
inaudible to all excopt those who arc supplied
with receivers attuned to tho radio phone at
tached to this pulpit. And of all the myriads
of sounds that mlnglo in tho air only those can
bo heard for which tho instrument is arranged.
It suggests a thought that carries a moral les
son with it; namely, that the spiritual world
surrounds us and is equally near to all, but
spiritual things, being spiritually discerned, are
revealed only to those whoso hearts are "in tune
with tho Infinite." It is our own fault if we do
not see tho manifestations of God'3 power; it is
our own fault If wo do not hear tho "choir in
visible." Before I know that this address would be car
ried throughout tho country by radio I selected
as my subject tho word ALL. It would seem
to be especially appropriate as I address the
largest audience to which I have over spoken
and, therefore, comes nearer than ever before
to addressing all of my countrymen.
Tho Bible is unliko other books in that it
never wears out No matter how often we read
It some now truth is likely to spring out at us
from its pages whenever the Book is opened, or
some old truth will impress us as it never has
before. It is so with tho word which I ask you to
.consider tonight. During recent years it has stood
cut from the Bible text as if printed in larger
type. It is a little word one of the smallest
in the language and yet it is the most com
prehensive of words. Christ used the word "all"
many times and when we consider tho connec
tion in which Ho used it wo see that no word of
limited application could take its place. In
Matthew (chapt. 22: vor. 35) we aro told that
a lawyer, tempting Christ, asked Him, "Master,
Which is the great commandment in the law?"
It is. the business of lawyers to ask questions and
sometimes they try to entrap witnesses. In this
case the lawyer not only failed, but gave Christ
an opportunity to launch upon Ihe world a truth
of 'infinite importance. Taking the command
ments which relate to man's duty to God He
compressed them into one and pro-claimed as
the first and great commandment, "Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with- all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Luke
adds "and with all thy strength." Here Christ
uses the word "all" four times what less could
He have said? The history of Christianity would
have been entirely different if Christ had said
"With nearly all of thy heart, or with some of
thy soul, or with a part of thy mind." ALL is
tho only word that describes the need of man to
day as it did the need of man nineteen centuries
ago. A wholo-hearted, a whole-souled, a whole
minded belief in God and love of God is not too
much it cannot be less if love of God is to
dominate every impulse and energy of our life
If the heart, the soul, and the mind are not
full of love of God there is a vacuum that some
thing else will fill. Hence there would bo con
stant antagonism and conflict between love of
God and tho something else that Bhared man's
affections, enthusiasm and thought.
Again, if the heart, the soul, and mind are
not full of love of God they cannot overflow
And -Oif what use is one to his fellows if his
heart does not overflow? The spring overflows
in that respect it differs from the stagnant
pool. The pool receives but gives forth nothing
the spring gives and asks nothing in return
Why is a spring a soring? Simply because it
comes from a source higher than itself. A stae
riarit pool is the most repulsive thing in tho
world, except a life that is built upon that nlan
A spring is the most inspiring thing in tho world
excopt a life that is like a spring '
. Christ brings tho frail human being into liv
ing contact with God, so that the life become
! the conduit through which the goodness of God
. flows out to tho wdrld.
Have you thought how much depends upon
a belief in God? It is the-basis of all the con
trolling influences of life. Unless one believes
in God he crfnnot have the consciousness of God s
presence in the life the most comforting as
surance that the Christian has.
Unless one believes in God ho cannot have a
sense of responsibility to God for thought nnd
word and deed. Have you considered, what
would become of the world if, in a day, every
thought of God could bo erased from the mind,
and heart? Civilization Would be impossible,
for civilization rests upon man's sense of re
sponsibility. It is in this respect that man dif
fers from the brutes below him. They have
power without a sense of responsibility; man has
responsibility commensurate with his power. .
Unless one believes in God he will not pray.
Ho must not only beliovo in a God, but in a
personal God. A God scattered throughout the
universe cannot bo addressed in prayer. Qne
must believe in the personal God, a God who
is real enough to hear and willing to answer
prayer, or he will not pray. Have yo,u thought
What would become of society if, in a moment,
the thought of prayer was forever banished from
the hearts of men, so that no voice would be
ra'sed to God in thanksgiving, no appeal made
for God's guidance and no heart opened to dlvino
suggestion? We sometimes fall even though we
seek guidance and desire to obey. What could
be expected if we wore indifferent to God's ex
istence and to God's will?
Unless one believes in God he will not believe
in a future life with its rewards and punish
ments. If there be no God, death ends all; then,
if one can conceal his wickedness during his
life he need have no concern about a hereafter.
Have you thought how the elimination of a belief
in a hereafter would lessen the restraints that
hold men to the path of rectitude in hours of
temptation? Man is weak'enough even when he
is fortified by a sense of responsibility and a be
lief in the hereafter; what could be expected of
him if a belief in annihilation became universal?
Unless one believes in God he is not 'likely
to be concerned about brotherhood. We trace
kinship with our brothers through the common
Father of us all. Have you thought what would
result if all thought of brotherhood were"ban
ished? There aro but two attitudes that one can
assume when he deals with his fellow-men. One
is the attitude of brother, in which ho is re
srained by tho sense of kinship and regulated
in h's action by the ties of blood. The other
is the attitude of brute: he devours with the
savage longing of the beast.
I need hardly add that without a belief in
God there can be no belief in the Bible as the
Word of God. Have you thought what it would
mean to eliminate the Bible? It has done more
for our civilization than all other books com
bined; the Bible ideals increasingly control civil
ization. , Without a belief in God there can be no belief
in the Son of God and Saviour of the world.
Have you thought what would follow if it were
possible to take out of the world all that Christ
means to it and leave the world entirely to other
influences? Christ is the great fact in history
He is tho growing figure of all time. The hope
o.f the world depends upon the application of
His moral code to life.
To love God, therefore, with heart and mind
and soul is to lay the foundation upon which
the life of the individual, the life of the nation
and the life of civilization can be built. Thd
second "commandment is like unto it- "Thou
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jli Pi6 concluding verses of the last chapter
of Matthew we find Christ's claim to power uni
versal and perpetual. No one before Him or
since has put forth any such claim. Tn this
passage Christ again used the ward "all" four
times. He says, "All power is given unto me
n heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost; teaching them to observe all things what
soever I have commanded you; and lo, I am
with you always, even unto the end of tho
world " Here we have a gospel for every hu
man being, a code of morals that is to endure
for all time and a philosophy of life that fits
nto every human need; and back of these ' s
"all power in heaven and in earth." Here acain
no word less comprehensive would have been
sufficient. If Christ had claimed some power
He could not have been the Son God. It ill'
had claimed all power either in heaven or in
earth, but not In both He could not have been
what Ho represented Himself to be. He muJJ
have all power and all power in heaven am ?h
earth. His gospel must bo sufficient for a 1-
not nearly all, but all. If any wore beyond I he"
reach of His call He would not be thTsavio ?
that the world needs. And so with tho dura
tion of His sovereignty. No limitation
permitted. If there were a time af?lCan, b
His word would fail a day in the f utnrn , Which
which His power could not reach, Hi wnn 0nd
be the final word in religion. ould nt
Possibly at this time the third of n,jn
of "all's" is the one that needs to be emnh
today. His disciples wero instructed tn.6!
all the things that He had commanded ?
we have some, even in the pulpit whn y
egotistic enough to assume to selnr are
Christ's teachings that which they think JSP
to be taught. They feel about Christ as a 3?
up poet in Great Britain felt about ShaL " ed
-"He wrote many good things Abut of coir?
ho had his limitations." Soino of the mSt?'
talk today as if Christ had m&ny good C rs
but lacked the wisdomof today and thornf '
needed modernists of superior learninc tn S
from His teachings such as dre appronrKto I
the present day. If Christ was tho 'nil J
Teachers" and spake "as no man spake " b Z
competent to decide what should be taueht 12
He instructed His followers to teach AIL
He had commanded. a;
The ninth "all' to which I call your attention
is found in the concluding verses of the eleventh
chapter of Matthew. "Come unto me. all ve
that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you an
learn of Mo; for I am meek and lowly in heart
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For Mv
yoke is easy and My burden is light." A3 Christ
commissioned His disciples to carry His message
to ALL the wSrld, so He offered salvation to all
Every heart that ever beat has been in searcli of
peace; all have sought relief from the burdens
of life. Christ is the Christ, is the Prince of
sPeace to all who will accept Him and Ho will
give us strength to bear all the burdens that
fall to the lot of man. His yoke is tho only
yoke that is easy His burden the only burden
that is light.
The yoke is an emblem of service, but serv
ice is the price o.f life as it is the price of hap-
piness. It is difficult to find a steer over six
years old that has- not. a yoke mark upon its
neck. The five-year-old steer that has not
learned to wear the yoke is ready for the butch
er's block. As soonas it is full grown it is fat
tened for killing; if it lives beyqnd that time it
is a burden to its owner.
An oJd fable presents this fact. Two oxen
came in from work one evening and one cf them
said to the other, "I am tired of working. Why
this daily toil?" The next day the lazv ox lay
around the barn yard while the contented one
went out as usual to his task. At night tho lazy
ox said to the industrious o,ne, "Did the mas
ter say anything ajjout me' today?" "No." re
plied the other. "Then," said the lazy ox. "I
will not go out tomorrow." The second even
ing the lazy ox inquired again, "Did the master
say anything about me today?" "Not directly,"
said the industrious ox. - "What did lie say?"
asked the first. "Well," said the other, "while
he did not directly mention you, he remarked
that he had to make a trip to the slaughter
house next morning."
We cannot escape a yoke. The question is
not, "Yoke or no yoke," but "Whose yoke?"
A child wears the parental yoke and sometimes
it seems irksome; it did to tho prodigal son. He
had doubtless looked ahead for some time, wait
ing for his majority when he could throw off
tho yoke of obedience, and be his own master.
Finally, the day came and he demanded his
portion. The father, no longer able to safe
guard his son, gave him his share and the boy
started out, to enjoy himself. He had friends,
of a kind, in abundance. Those who waste their
substance in riotous living are not lonesome.
There are always boon companions who are
quick to learn when there is an entertainment
fund available and they are loyal to the spend
thrift so long as he has money to spend. Their
constancy is equal to that of the brewer's friend
of whom the story tells. The brewer described
his customer in his lament at the grave: "To
whom shall I compare our 'friend? To a star?
No; the star is far away, while he was ovr near.
To the sun? No; we see the sun only in the
day time, we saw him day and night. To the
moon? No; tho moon is full only once a month,
he was full every day."
When the prodigal's money was gone his
friends went also. He had to go to work ana
he was not fit for a high-grade of work after his
dissipation. He had to take what he could Una
and finally came to himself when he was a
swine-herd, satisfying his hunger with harks, in
his solitude he had time to do some thinking.
Then came tho moment of repentance, "i w'il
arise and go to my father." He would have been
glad to wear-again the parental yoke, hut 111 nw
humility he. was not willing to ask that. A ser
vant's yoke was better than tho "personal nu-
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