Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, December 16, 1889, Page 4, Image 4

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    HUM
THE HESPERIAN.
bird catches the fattest worm, is certainly a drawback to the
modem educational system. The Action suggests three
remedies. Either the course of study should be made less
complete; or the age for entering college should be lowered;
or degrees should be given whenever the candidate can pass
the examination, thus giving the studious a chance to lessen
his time of service, A fourth way is also hinted at. The lat
c r years ol the college course should be devoted to specialist
iig, so that the college graduate docs not enter a profession
green hand but as a master ol his calling.
It is audacity that makes the world go. This is less true
in the world of literature than elsewhere, but yet it is the
shadow of audacity, boldness, that produces the greatest re
sults, even there. It requires considerable courage to lc
original. To commit heresy against a recognized opinion is
an undertaking from which nearly all shrink. Hut yet a "Dc
fense of Cain" has been written to prove that the first blood
shedder was guilty of murder in the second degree only.
Amclic Rives prayed for the devil, that he might ultimately
be forgiven and restored to divine favor, and now W, V.
Story, in a little poem entitled "A Roman Lawyer in Jerusa
lem: First Century," brings forward ,1 defense of Judas
Iscariot. Wc often wonder if it makes any difference what is
proved about these men who arc dead and gone. Caesar is
dead, what odds if he did desire a crown? Judas hanged
himself; docs itmakcany difference whethcrhc was conscience
stricken or only disappointed? Rut yet if one could think
that Mr, Story had any historical evidence for his assertions
ihcrc would be an added interest to the Utile pamphlet- he
has written. Re thai as it may, he has certainly woven the
argument he presents into a very clear, plausible and enter
taining story.
Marcus from Jerusalem, writes to his friend in Rome. He
has come to Jerusalem for rest and recreation. There he
makes the acquaintance of an old man, Lysias, the captain of
the guard to which Judas betrayed his master. Lysias, who
was a friend of Iscariot's, and who knew the man well, tells a
very different story from that commonly accepted. That Ly
sias is the sole survivor of all the actors in that dreadful time
is a weak point in the argument, but perhaps Lysias' cool,
honest, unbiased way of telling his story offsets this. Judas,
says his friend, was of an emotional nature, one who saw in
realities ideals, one of those often misguided souls that live
in an unreal world, happy, it may be in their dreaming, but
dazed, bewildered, and lost upon awaking. To such a man
the moic mysterious teachings of his Master came as clear
truths. There was for him no doubtful belief in the divinity
of his Lord. Rather, he wondered that it was not commonly
accepted. The divine light shining inthclifcand works.of
Christ was to him so apparent that he marveled others did
not sec it. From this it was but a step to wishing a lime
might come when that divinity should be universally recog
nized. Discontented with the slow march of days, weeks,
months, Judas took upon himself the task of creating favor
able circumstances. He went to the authorities and offered
to tell where the "man Christus" was to be found. He was
content to be looked upon as a traitor, was content to receive
blood-money, was content to have his deed made as public
and as black as possible, knowing that the instant human
power was raised against his Lord the divine nature would
reveal itself. While Lysias and his men performed their
duty, while they arrested their prisoiiei, Judas stood waiting,
listening for the rustle of angels' wings as they hastened to
delend their king. Rut what did he see? His living God,
bound like a criminal, led to prison, and, as he soon learned,
to death. All the torments of hell cannot be more fearful
than the agony of Judas at tins sight. Remorse (the deepest
anguish man can sutler) filled his heart. He knew he was
not mistaken as to the divinity or Christ, but he realized that
his ovcr-zcalousncss had placed him with the lowest of all
criminals. Was it any wonder that Lysias found him the
next exciting a lifeless corpse, hung in a cedar tree outside
the city gates?
Was he a villain lost to sense and shame?
Ay, so say John and Pclcr and the rest;
And yet and yet this udo that Lysias tells
Weighs with mc more, the mow 1 ponder it;
Forthtislputlt; Kllher Judas was,
As John afllrms, a villain and a thtcf,
A creature Wt to shame and base at heart
Or else, which is the view that Lyt Us takes,
He was a rash and visionary man,
Whoso faith was Arm, who had no thought of crime,
Hut whom a terrible mistake drove mad.
Call him a villain who for greed or gain,
For thirty silver pieces sold his Lord.
Docs not the hrlbo seem all too mean and small?
Ho held t,ho common purse, and were he thief,
Had dally power to steal.
Nan rIi tin hlsprcvlous lifeoracts, orwords.
Shows this consummate villain, that fall grown,
Dcaps all at once to sqcIi a height of crime,"
Or when accused of treachery he may let reply,
"1 a traitor? 1 hut gave over a disturber of the peace."
"Or he might say, 'You call this act a crime?
What crime was it to say 1 knew this man?
I said no ill of him. If crime there be,
Twas yours who doomed him unto death, not mine.'
A xlllaln was he? So Barrabas wasl
But did Nan-abas go and hang himself?
Peter, at least, was not so sensitive,
lie cursed and swore, denying that ho knew
Who the man Chrisms was; bat after all
He only wept he nexxr hanged himself.
However plausible may be the reasoning by xvhich Mr.
Story throws discredit on the accepted account of Judas 'crime,
it is certainly not just to say he xx-as innocent because he
hanged himself. If suicide x-crc necessary to the complete
establishment of guiltlessness, what tin increase there would
be in the price of rope.
CURRENT COMMENT.
In Scrihnef's Magazine not long since xvc read an article
on "How the Other Half Lix-c," that possesses much food
for reflection. To one who has befcn born in the pure air of
the Nebraska prairies and has never had the opportunity to
x-isit the centers of refinement and civilization in the East the
above mentioned article contains many statements that seem
xvcll nijjh incredible. But it xvould occupy too much time to
give any detailed description, so read the article for yourself
and form your oxvn inferences.
Wc arc pained to hear of the death of the president of
South Dakota university, Dr. Olcson, who lost his life in a
recent fire at Minneapolis. Under the management of Dr.
Olcson, South Dakota university made rapid advancement
and in his death suffers a giave misfortune. Although wc
xverc not personally acquainted with Dr. Oleson, yet we are
acquainted with several students of South Dakota university
and lrom these xvc have learned that he xvas a sincere Chris
tian, an accomplished scholar, and a perfect gentleman. We
extend sympathies to the students of our sister state.
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