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that. You make your phylacteries broad (the little receptacle in which a Scripture text is enclosed, a sort of charm or amulet which was worn on the forehead or arm). You are careful about this. You are careful that the worship of the temple, the ritual, should be perfect, that the outside of the cup and platter is polished and white and clean. What is the trouble, then? There is no love, no high, pure, noble purpose in the heart; and God, who is spirit, the God of all the world, cares nothing for your rituals, your sacrifices, your charms, your amulets, your public service. He looks into the heart. It is the true-hearted who find God. And, henceforth, it is understood that it is the pure in heart who see God. It is the peacemaker, it is the man who is loving, who is a helper, it is the one who is noble and true, who is the real worshipper from that time on.
A third thing Jesus attempted in the line of that, but pushing that so much farther as to make it a perfectly distinct idea by itself. Jesus, for the first time in the history of the world, in so conspicuous and emphatic a way, teaches the doctrine of the right relation to our fellow-men as the pathway, and the only pathway, to God; the right relation to our fellow-men, the only way to find God. You remember he says: if thou bringest thy gift to the altar and there rememberest that thy brother has aught against thee,- that is, that there is something out in your human relations,- do not think you can offer it acceptably or that it is worth while for you to stay. Leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come, and the way is open to God. In magnificence of ritual, in grandeur of sacrifice, in munificence of display, nothing is of any avail so long as you are out of right relations to your fellow-men.
Do you not see the profound, universal, spiritual character of this teaching? If God be the universal spirit, then we do not approach him by a journey to other places. We may not get any nearer to him by burning an animal on an altar, by going through any sort of service whatever. But if I culti
vate in my own heart and manifest in my own life the noble, sweet, tender, humane qualities that we call divine, then I become like God; and, by becoming like him, I approach him, get near to him, come into right relation to him, and that is the only possible way of coming into right relation with such a being.
Here, then, you see, for the first time in the history of the world, any such spiritual insight as this which lifts what we call poor mortality up to a level with the divine. Here is the bond, in this sacred thought, that links those two great commandments, love to God and love to man, together, and makes them one.
In the next place, Jesus teaches the universality of the fatherhood of God and the correlated truth, the brotherhood of man. I told you something last Sunday in regard to the difficulty with which men grasp this great idea that Jesus taught, that the one God, who is spirit, is everywhere, and that this idea carries with it the idea of the universal brotherhood of humanity. This is a commonplace with us, as are the inventions and discoveries of the last hundred years. In order to appreciate what they mean, we need to go back of their introduction. Go back to the time in the history of the world which was only a little before the time of Jesus, and ever since except as his influence has come to permeate the world, and you come to a time when it had never occurred to men to think of one universal God. It never occurred to the ordinary thinkers of the world that their god cared anything about the worship of other people. Other people had no part nor right in their worship. The only way by which they could enter into it was by adoption into the tribe, through the fiction of their being one family. The god was the god of our tribe, of our family, not of any other people on the face of the earth. Not only that: he did not wish to be. He did not care for the worship of other people: he was in a condition of enmity towards other nations. But Jesus lifts this great doctrine into the heavens, so that it might be seen of all
men, this doctrine of the fatherhood of God, which carries
with it the idea of universal brotherhood. But we are not yet civilized enough to gain more than a little glimpse of what this universal brotherhood means. It means, along with the outlook, the hope that Jesus assumed, but did not try to prove as true: it means that it makes very little difference whether people are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, what their condition of life in this world may be, so long as they are cultivating this inner life that shall fit them for the grandeur of their coming destiny. Do you not see what release it was for those in bonds, what hope for the downtrodden, for the outcast, for the poor? It was the proclamation of world-wide religious emancipation.
Then, in the next place, I wish to speak of Jesus' ideal of a kingdom. The only word with which he started out was the proclamation that a certain kingdom, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, was at hand. I wish you frankly to understand that the best scholars of the world are not at one in their opinions as to whether Jesus really expected the marvellous second coming of himself in the clouds and the establishment of his kingdom by miracle, or whether this circle of ideas which was common in the Jewish mind at that time was attributed to him by the writers after his death. This is a question upon which scholarship is divided. I am inclined to believe that he did accept those ideas. I see nothing whatever derogatory to him in that supposition. If a man to-day should announce such ideas, we should say that he was either unintelligent or insane. But, when Jesus announced them, there was no conception of any natural order of the world to be suspended or interfered with. It was the common belief of the age that God ruled the world after this miraculous and arbitrary fashion ; and it was as easy for an intelligent, cultivated Jew of that day to believe that God might by miracle cleave the heavens and come down suddenly and reconstruct the order of the world and establish a divine kingdom as it was to believe in the sunrise, the dew, or the rain. It is nothing, then, against the intellectual acuteness or the
suppose that he literally It makes no difference to The point is what he pro
intellectual power of Jesus to believed in this second coming. me whether he believed it or not. claimed concerning the nature of this kingdom, as to who were to be citizens of it, as to the conditions of that citizenship. He proclaimed what every high, grand, hopeful man always believes, the coming of a divine kingdom, an ideal, grander, finer condition of the world, no matter whether suddenly out of the heavens or whether gradually by growth through the ages.
The only point I wish to direct your attention to as something new in the history of the world was that he did not make any creed a condition of citizenship in it. He did not write over the gate any shibboleth of words, Christian or pagan. He did not demand any sacrifice, any ritual, any special form of religious service. He did not demand that one should be a member of this organization or that. He said nothing about those things that his followers ignorantly or perversely have substituted for what he did say. He opened the gate of this coming kingdom, and said that the only condition of entering it was goodness,- nothing else. In this kingdom, the ordinary ideas of the world were to be reversed. He said: The princes of the Gentiles exercise lordship, and those that are great are the masters; but it shall not be so among you. He that is great among you shall be the servant, and he who serves most nobly shall be greatest of all. For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; not to be served, but to serve; not to have others give unto him, but to give himself for others.
That is the ideal which Jesus made so plain, so clear, as the one dominant thought of his great coming kingdom, no matter how it was coming, no matter when. Centre your thought right here. In this kingdom of God, goodness shall gain admission and service shall make great. Is there any finer, higher, nobler ideal than that for regenerating humanity that any science, any philosophy, has to offer?
And this leads me to the last point I wish to make, carry
ing this one a little farther. Jesus was not, in the ordinary sense of that word, an intellectual teacher or guide. He framed no system of philosophy. He taught the world nothing about science. He hinted nothing as to the true nature of the universe, the origin of the earth, the origin of man. He had no new-found theories by which to solve the political riddles of the world. He professed no preference for monarchy or republicanism. He had no new patent way of readjusting social inequalities. He did not even preach the freeing of slaves. He did not attempt to reorganize the industrial world. What did he do, then? Suppose towards the month of March, people, forgetting the natural coming of spring, should call a convention and outline means and methods by which to force its coming,-methods by which to dispose of the still unmelted snow, casting it, perhaps, into the sea; methods by which the little rootlets of the grasses might be kindled into life again, and led to send up their tiny shoots of green; artificial methods by which the sap should be started in the trees, by which they should induce them to push out their tiny buds with the promise of leafage and summer fruit,—and, while they were engaged in these artificial methods of doing it, behold! the old, eternal, divine sun shining in the heavens, and before his presence the snows retreat and sink away, the brooklets run dancing and singing down the hillsides, the tiny grass-blades creep up, the sap starts in the trees, the buds creep forth, the leaves unfold. While the philosophizing and speculating are going on, as Lowell says, with one great gush of blossoms June storms the world, and summer is here. Why? Because the sun has been shining.
Jesus did not attempt any unnatural, artificial methods of getting rid of the evils of the world. But he set in the heavens to shine forever the great, glowing, luminous doctrine of love, saying love is everything. Not by any means that he would intend to cast slight upon the intellectual problems of the world or their intellectual solution. But they are of no avail unless love dominates human life. And