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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1922)
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but Ho oxplains to ua how we-can do so, namely
by '"forgiving thorn.
Forgiveness is the best proof of love. More
than any other virtue it distinguishes Christ's
toaohings from tho toaohings of men As long as
lono, cherishes resontmont, ho cannot love ox even
"Reference has been made yto the teachings of
Confucius; they are Ih marked contrast with the
teachings of Christ on many points. -When one
of his Tollowors asked him his opinion of the
doctrine of rewarding evil with good ho replied:
"'If you reward evil with good, with what will
you reward good?" And then ho announced tho
rule of 'Roward evil with Justice and reward
,gl Witti good."
""ghr'sj understood human na'turo better than
0O"ucius did, Ho understood it well enough to
know that a heart which has hatred' or resent
ment in it cannot understand what justice is.
Tho heart must first be purged of illwill and
k then filled with love before, it can hold the scales
pi- 'justice. " -
One cannot obey tho command, "Thou shalt
)$&ffy nehkor as thysolf," until rio'oboys the
fltp&md great commandment, "Thou" 'shalt love
. the ford thy God witn ?Sll thy heart, and with
tfall thy soul, and with all 'thy mirfd.";".
.;?' WB CAy CONTROL OUR LOVE
Christ's injunction to love ono!s enemies
tgaches, by implication, a very important 'doc
trine, that 'love is under man's control.
.The decision rests in that indefinable person
ality which we call man's will. It loves or
hates. At its command tho bodily agents help
.or 'harm. ' ,fc
It love were" beyond control, man would not be
commanded to direct it either ttfward Qod or to
ward one's fellows. Love can bo extended.s with
held, or withdrawn, according to that Imperious
Pyw that miles-within .man's .being. .
.This truth has a very practioal application at:
this time when men, and oven women, by to ex
cuse sin by 'saying, "I am not to blamq; ,1 cTould
not control my love." i , . y
Man can love Gpd; he can love: bis neighbors:
ho- can love even Ills enemies. 'If ho can love
hhrepemies, he oUght to be able to love his wife-
& ?p.,.tLof,iholure ? so-called , 'Wl-mates0
and 'affinities." ..Christ warns 'against" the be
ginnings of evil. - i
ItJs S0-,11 tno serpent that bids one eat of
the forbidden fruit, no"" matter, in what orchard
it grows. x Christ's advice- Is. plain,. Hi wisdom
' .The Great Teacher left nothing unsaid or un
done; everything that the. world-.needs tfor Its
1 "mral welfare is found in Christ's teachings and
, in Christ's teachings alone. : ".
THE WORLD'S GREATEST ItfOBAL
By WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
feBLE TEXTLESSON .FOR; NOVEMBER. 19 '
.And, behold,1 a -woman In thecity, which was n.
?&n won. SV knv that Jesus gaf at melriS
oiStmSSt. f ' brou&ht an alabaster box Sf
Aha Jtoo'dat his feet behind htm weenlnc- nn'fl
began to, wash his feet with tears and illd 'm52
; thton'wltfc the hairs' of hor hoX inWlJiJa lSs "
feet, and anointed them with ointment ' "
Now when tho PlmrIaeoVwhich hod hidden xlm
IBtSL ft , h 9&o Within himself saying t IB.
,,Wl .? l werea ProDhet, wbuld have known who
i;nno,?tsleKrsi0nfnman thto Is tSllSg
, . And. Jesus answering said unto him Simon t
There was a certain creditor "which had two
ofhcflhy n0 WOd ',,Ve hu?arct WcoTAaVhS
Simon answerdd an6 said. I sunnoqA thnf un
?' ttwu siyiht me no water for my 7eSt'bSt.
thf Xc !fis$is fftifcir08t: $&$ sspsy
Jtfy head with oil thou didst not anoint: bit this
"WwiSJi 5th a"ointed .my feet with' oYntinentX
Wherefore I say, unto thee, Her. sins, wTiicli are
?na-ny, are forgiven; for sho lbved much- hiit
Wlvom.lIttlQ Is forgiventlfo same Iov?th litti?
And he said uTrto hexfthy srHi!ytetn?,
In our weekly studyof events in Christ's life
wo now come, to a lesion of surpassing- beauty'
although it deals with sin and the sinner.
rt exhibits one of the wonderful attributes of
tho Saviour; namely, His ability to. separate the
sinner from his sin and to love the former while
hating the latter.
Christ, in the second year of His ministry,
sat at meat in a Pharisee's house- when "a
woman in tho city" Luke describes her s'mply
as a "sinner" came to Jesus with an alabaster
cruse of ointment. Lot mo quote the descrip
tion of the scene which wo And in Luke's Gospel:
"And stood at his feet behind him weeping,
and began to wash his feet with tears, and did
wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed
his foot, and anointed them with the ointment.
"Now when the Pharisee which had bidden
him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This
man, if ho were a prophet, would have known
who and what manner of woman this is thai
touchoth h'ni; for she is a sinner."
The Pharisee felt offended that such a woman
a sinner should come into his house, and it
raised suspicion as to Christ's power that Ho
seemed not to perceive the kind of woman that
Just like a Pharisee; it was-one of his school
that Christ used to draw a contrast between the
imitation prayer and the real prayer. It was a
Phar:pee who prided himself upon his own su
periority qndthanked God that ho was not as
,How could a woman like this have the cour
age to comeHnto a hpuse like his? And how
could one who claimed to be a prophet allow
such a woman to wash his feet with her tears
and wipe them with the hairs of her head and
.even kiss his feet and anoint them with' oint
AN UNEQUALED REBUKE
K Of (all the rebukes in history, and" literature
few, if any, equal tho one' administered to this
Pharisee, by Jesus. -
r "Simon, I have somewliat to say unto thee,"
said tho guest to His host.
"Master, say on," replied the Pharisee.
Then Christ put a question to him; if qne
debtor owed five hundred pence and another -fifty
and both were forgiven, which would love; he
'lender most? '
Simon, the Pharisee, did not seem to be great
ly impressed by the problem; he did not answer
very heartily; thpre was even an air of flippancy
in his reply.- "I suppose," ho did not care to '
announce any positive decision in so trivial a
case hut he "supposed" that the one to whom
tho creditor forgave most would love most
Then Christ turned to the woman, but speak
ing to S.mon, said what might seem even rude
where politeness is estimated more highly than
"Seesjt thou this woman? I entered intV thine
house, thou gavest me no Water for my feet; but
she hath washed my fet with tearS, and wiped
them with the. hairs of her head. -
.,, . 7i ,- "w "00' l tuia woman
since tiie time I camo in hath not ceased to kiss
., "My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but
ment "man anonted my feet with oint-
' "J MODERN PHARISEES
, How the eyes of Jesus must.have pierced the
"ttSSfff nV1 aS 3e -held np before him he
1 devotion of the woman and contrasted her at
tentions with the indifference of the Pharisee
Before saying to the- woman, "Thy sins' aro for '
given," He informed Simon tW &? SB"whch
T mW we qrgiynt and then hV kjpi ed
the rule that He had forced Simon to admit to
bejus, "For shQ loved much." mii,to
And we must not trvorlookiAtho jmilosonhv
' umb?ied in e concluding cile of the Ve?se
JlittleS. Here we have Jesus, who came tn t -the
propitiation tor man's sins, announdng the
possessionof all power to forg ve and th noVn
pleteness. pt that forgiveness ' COm"
We have Pharisees today who think themselvp
?S fst?-wh0 dJaw thG cloaks abou ZmTol
fear they may be contaminated by a sinner
,STh5ejlct the idea that man ever feH or can
fall. They-profess to believe that man has hi
improving throughout the ages and tw
need's no Saviour. - Having no nlSl fteP?i01!e
KPJy.for a fall, the recognno'need f
' 41 JTv? 1S Vie PhIl0SPhy of those who todav
feel themselves superior to all who cohfess thff
sins and see in Christ their Saviour.
MAN'S NATURAL TENDENCY
There is no subject upon which the Bible in
more explicit than the subject of s n. Philin
Mauro, In a recent book, declares that tii rfiwF
is the most hated book ever Alished Ld hi
explains this hatred on tho ground that tho Bible
is tho only book that .does not flatter man it
holds up before him a life-like picture of him
self and declares hjm to bo wicked and in need
of a Saviour, This is a subject which every hu
man' being should study and upon which every
one should have an opinion because it is a sub
ject whiclfconcerns every one.
Is man's natural tendency downward or up
ward? Who, if he examines himself and under
stands others, can dbubt that it is downward'
That invisible, intangible, eternal thing that wo
call life is in a constant struggle with the influ
ences that would destroy the body.
From birth it is a fight against disease and
lurking danger. Sometimes the spark of He is
extinguished as the babe enters life; sometimes
it Is-put out in infancy or youth; sometimes the
battlrcontinues until maturity is reached; some
times all of life's foes are kept at- bay until old
age 9wers the body's vitality and makes i the
prey of some disease which would have been
impotent when the pulse was full and the' resist
ing power at its maximum.
frEED OF A SPIRITUAL' FORCE
But there is never a day when life can make
a treaty of peace with hidden enemies or sus
pend its vigilante. Finally,' either without no
tice or at the end of a siege of sickness, the sur
render is announced and man drops back into
the dust from which heflprang.
Drummond has used this gravitation toward
' the grave to illustrate the necessity for a lift
ing power. Just as the body needs life to keep
it from yielding to an unrelenting force that
pulls it downward toward the' earth, so man
needs a spiritual force from above to keep him
from the grossest transgressions.
Look at the victims of sin.
One mantis an athlete in frame, a scholar in
training, and a saint in hopes and ideals; ho
falls a victim to the appetite for drink. Watch
him as he drops, out of church and then out of
business, and then out of society and then into
the grave. The fnother who rejoiced at his birth
and dreamed of great achievements in his youth
- sighs between her tears and feels relieved when
the tragedy is ended. )'
Take one who has just as good a gtart, but
who walks the road of immdrality; his rotting
flesh will at last disgrace a tomb. ! One cannot
be born upon a plane so high but he can fall to
the lowest .depths of degradation
THE SUPREME FALSE GOD
And so with the gambler; he can become so
diseased as to be indifferent t"d God's law of re
wards which limits one's1 collections to his earn
ings and measures his earnings fcy! the service
which he renders.
But the god p drink, the god of passion, and
-the god of chance are only three1 of the many
.false gods which men worship,
There is the god of. ease that those worship
who think only of having a gpojl time; the god
of intellect that those worship who .put? the brain
above the heart and the reason 'above faith; the
travel god that those worship 4whd yield to the
wanderlust until the ordinary experiences, of life
become uninteresting to. them; :thegod of fame
that those worship who are willing to exchange '
everything for fleeting applause; the god of
fashion that those, worship who put social dis
tinction above -solid service to 'society; and the
god of gold whose devotees find their hearts
shriveling and their sympathies contracting be
cause of their. worship of money.
All of those false gods. have their wprshippers
and all are but masks for, jbje one' supreme false
god self. ' v
The worship of self is he fundamental sin,
back and degrading. If may not lead One to the
violation of statute laws; it may simply make
.him as worthless to society as the brute more
"worthless because he consumes; while the brute
may yield its body to man' for food.
AN AWE-INSPIRING THOUGHT
- Until one is brought; uinder conviction, ho
does not understand his need for forgiveness, but
let Him once see the carnal heart as it really is
and he can understand how far man has fallen
and how helpless man is without a power from
above to lift his load of guilt and lead him on
the upward, way. '
Bible scholars have pointed out as evidence of
the fall of man" that the human being is the only
creature that does not live up tb it? possibilities.
The horse, the cow, the sheep, the ho"g all
animals, domestic and wiid--livo upon the high
est plane possible for them. There are no de
linquents no degenerates among the brutes
"only man is vile." '
Tlje difference between the value of the high-0
est and the lowest of any given species is not
great, -but consider the Infinitude orspace that
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