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BT 301 . S642 1917 
Sperow, Everett H. 

The silent Nazarene 


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L&N 21 1918 







By the Author of “The Rose of Sharon ’ 



Copyright, 1917, by Everett H. Sperow 

All Rights Reserved 

Made in the United States of America 

The Gorham Press, Boston, U. S. A. 













What He Was—Our Vindicator—The Quiet 
Life in Nazareth—At the Age of Twelve—The 
Baptism—The Temptation—They Followed 
Him—They Eyed Him—The Prayer. 



The New Teaching — Legion—Compassion on 
the Multitude. 



Why Miraclef—The Paralytic—The Leper — 

The Womans Touch—The Centurions Faith 
—The Nobleman s Faith—The Syrophcenician 
Woman—“And He Healed Many”—The 
New Birth—The Living Water—The Sinful 
Woman Forgiven. 



The Break with the Pharisees—The Great Con¬ 
fession—The Transfiguration—The Epileptic — 

The Entrance of the King—The Great Con¬ 
solation—The Passover. 






Gethsemane—The Betrayal — Judas—The San¬ 
hedrin—The Denial—Christ Before Pilate — 
The Crucifixion. 


They Bar His Tomb—The Resurrection—The 








The only creed that’s worth the name, 
Must grow from out the need; 

A fire from God—a sacred flame — 

The life of Christ indeed . 

T HE object of this little work is not to 
set forth a life of Christ; nor yet to dis¬ 
cuss doctrine; nor even attempt any critical 
analysis either textual or otherwise: but its 
simple aim is to make emphatic what Christ 
was as the all important factor in determining 
the value of what he said and did. Christ 
was more than anything he ever said or did, 
just as the Creator is more than the product 
of His creation, however important that prod¬ 
uct may be. The miracles apart from Christ 
would be dim and shadowy, but associated 
with him they are both reasonable and natu¬ 
ral : by this is meant they are what would be 


The Silent Nazarene 

expected from one who had such a grip upon 
the centre of infinite possibilities, 'and are 
natural out of such a supreme faith to work 
out possibilities. No one can read Matt. 
11: 27 without saying, Here is a person that 
makes extraordinary claims for himself. But 
when we turn to the gospels we find the per¬ 
son making these claims living in harmony 
with them. He goes at his work as one fully ac¬ 
quainted with God—he claims that he finds 
no break between his character and that of 
the being of God himself. This gives him a 
place to himself and distinguishes him from 
the rest of mortals. He lives first before 
he says; what he lives is but an expression of 
what he is. He lived it first among the few, 
but now it is gone even into the most obscure 
places of the earth, and has as a silent leaven 
modified the lives of men of every rank and 
description in some way: even if they are not 
Christians they are yet under the rule and 
influence of Christianity whether they will or 
not, and too the heathen nations recognize 
that there is something extraordinary about 
those nations that have to do with this Man of 
Nazareth. Jesus said: “No man knoweth 
the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any 
man the Father save the Son, and he to whom- 

How He Came Forth 11 

soever the Son will reveal him.” He held 
common knowledge with the Father. He was 
on easy, familiar terms with God. Also “He 
knew what was in man.” So knowing both 
God and man he translates or interprets God 
to man in terms of the human with which we 
are acquainted. That is, he reveals the Father 
to those who get the value of the life of the 
Christ himself. The conceptions of the great¬ 
ness of Christ’s teachings are in proportion 
to the greatness of conception of what Christ 
himself is. As Beecher somewhere says, 
“Whenever I think of the Father apart from 
Jesus Christ he becomes a distant glow. He 
is too great and too vast. I cannot grasp him. 
All I know of the Father I see in Jesus. He 
is God for me.” How many others with 
Beecher must make a like confession. Hence 
Christ has made good his claim in Matt. 
ii : 27. It has the ring of genuineness and of 
truth to it, both when we view the New Testa¬ 
ment records and when we look at the world 
in the throbbing heart of which is the life of 

Yes, he was placed here as a man, with 
the ordinary means of a man so far as the 
world could see. He meets situations and cir¬ 
cumstances, masters them and towers above 


The Silent Nazarene 

them. He makes all things serve him well. 
Even the madness of men cannot deprive him 
of his lordly might. He is supreme on every 
occasion. He wraps bold presumption and 
daring in defeat at his feet. His enemies 
who have sought to thrust themselves upon 
him must retire in defeat, saying “Never man 
spake like this man.” What Jesus was si¬ 
lently defeated all opposition. Even when 
his persecutors broke his body, they only broke 
the vessel to let the great soul out into the 
world. Yes, Christ walked on through the 
grave to take the world. 

Our Vindicator 

Humanity has had the shroud of lone¬ 
liness drawn over it because of the un¬ 
equalness of the struggle that the best within 
has had in asserting itself. And, lo, how it 
must fall back seemingly worsted; yes, from 
the wonted point of view as having lost out 
while the merciless floodtide of the grossness 
and viciousness of sin rolls over it. Even its 
groans cannot be heard as it goes down be¬ 
neath the relentless floodtide. Is all lost in 
this bleakness of scathing, prowling death? 
There comes a sigh, even from out the loath- 

How He Came Forth 


some mass of corruption, yes, it is a plainer 
whisper, now it is a faint speech—indeed 
a voice speaking plainly, “I know that my vin¬ 
dicator liveth.” This lonely humanity has 
all the while been feeling that its vindicator 
has been working too—helping and as¬ 
sisting the good in the conquest, not wait¬ 
ing for the “last day,” but in the now having 
placed the true, the good, and the faithful 
higher in the scale of the ascendency and so 
nearer its final triumph for the last day when 
it shall stand forth in its achieved victory in 
pure white fully vindicated. Humanity looks 
out of its dark struggle at the opening of the 
door through which its only ray of light and 
hope comes, and, lo, there the great white 
Christ stands—humanity fully vindicated 
right before their eyes. Why should God 
give such a vision to mortals? Look again 
at the white Christ and see. Because of his 
love he has thus opened his heart to mortals 
—God so loved the world that they of the 
earth might see and know that in the stainless 
Christ all flesh can find a vindicator—even 
one who will set matters right for them—a 
goel, one who can walk in earth and who can 
touch our struggle on every side and come off 
stainless, a great high Priest who can be 


The Silent Nazarene 

touched with our infirmity and yet without 
sin. We do not want such a one lifted into 
the high heavens for there is enough of white¬ 
ness there, but we need him right down in the 
heart of our suffering. A voice from the past 
comes up through the centuries, even from 
the shores of the beautiful sea of Galilee,— 
“Right there you will find him for he is in 
your midst as he that serveth. He is not satis¬ 
fied to escape stainless from the struggle, 
but has chosen rather to go down into the heat 
of the struggle and remain there to assist the 
worsted in their crying needs. He came not 
to be ministered unto but to minister. 

If so be that Christ has come we long to 
know how he came naturally into our order 
to minister. We long to see him in the bosom 
of the home, giving those sacred relations the 
flower of his life. How about those thirty 
quiet years in the bosom of the peace of the 
home at Nazareth when he is known by his 
countrymen as the carpenter? Those sacred 
glimpses are withheld from our eyes. But 
at the age of twelve there comes forth a flash 
of divine consciousness out of those years of 
silence. Then too he left the trace of filial 
obedience which when conceived in the heart 
of the home places it without a peer in the 

How He Came Forth 


earth. When he came forth from that home 
he did smite the enemy on every side. He 
went direct into the heat of conflict, and by 
his righteous life made evil to roll back upon 
itself while he busied himself relieving men 
from their suffering. Even at the very outset 
men put him in a distinct, unique place— 
and that place is right in the heart of their 
needs. When his presence calls them—the 
fisherman, the publican, and the distinguished 
citizen of Cana leave all and follow him. 
There is something about him they cannot 
explain, but they know that they have need 
of him. It takes some time to sift out the 
real need but they turn not from following 

The Quiet Life in Nazareth 

“If Jesus Christ is a man — 

And only a man—I say 
That of all mankind I cleave to him, 
And to him will I cleave alway . 

“If Jesus Christ is a God — 

And the only God—I swear 
I will follow him through heaven and hell, 
The earth, the sea, the air A 


The Silent Nazarene 


In a basin-like depression among the foot¬ 
hills of Lower Galilee nestles the quiet, un¬ 
pretentious town of Nazareth. A few hills 
separate it from the highway of nations 
through which the flower of civilizations 
poured the bulk of their trade and the choice 
of their armies. The centuries bring nothing 
of greatness out of this hill-bound town of 
Galilee. But bound in by those hills it is 
passed and repassed by the caravans of the 
merchants who are “clothed in purple and 
fine linen and who fare sumptuously every 
day,” and by the armies of valiant men who 
give battle upon the great plains—in passing 
to and from world conquests. This village 
peacefully sleeps back of Gentile pressed Gal¬ 
ilee as civilizations come forth and shine in 
resplendent fairness, each in its turn dominat¬ 
ing the world. The nations clearly mark and 
define the borders of Galilee round about. 
Did they threaten to sever her from the rest 
of Israel by appropriating to themselves this 
great highway through the heart of the plain 
of Megiddo? The prowess of nations concen¬ 
trate the flower of their strength in these 
plains. Here they fought more than twenty 
battles to decide the world championship. 
Many nations looked with covetous eyes upon 

How He Came Forth 


this plain which held the key of world domin¬ 
ion. But all this while Jehovah was mind¬ 
ful of their intents and set bounds to their 
fierce rage that they might not in their stolid, 
sordid greed separate his people altogether. 
They might pass this way and even pitch their 
tents among his people but beyond this the 
Lord of hosts would not suffer them to go. 

Did Nazareth sleep as the God of battles 
was watching over with a jealous eye? Cer¬ 
tainly she put forth her hand and took some 
toll out of the wealth of the nations as the 
long trains laden with exceeding costly treas¬ 
ures passed by so near her door. And too 
she had her synagogue. Surely she must find 
some one of wealth who because of his afflu¬ 
ence is schooled in the niceties of the Jewish 
civilization to speak for her. And lo, and 
behold, one of her sons comes forth to make 
her the astounding centre of the world civili¬ 
zation for all time to come. But he is a car¬ 
penter. You gasp! Thirty years move si¬ 
lently over the head of this carpenter too, and 
he has lived within the narrow limits of this 
quiet village with all the things after which 
the Gentiles seek roaring and thundering by 
just outside of its gates. This carpenter be¬ 
ing about thirty years of age, begins to preach. 

18 The Silent Nazarene 

His teachings at once reverse the old order 
of things and men are astonished beyond meas¬ 
ure with the “new doctrine.” His method of 
teaching too is so different from that of the 
scribes—he teaches out of a consciousness of 
a oneness with God and not from the compli¬ 
cated footnotes of the precise fathers. 

He naturally comes to his home to teach 
when he is about to begin his ministry. He 
enters the synagogue upon the Sabbath where 
his fellow countrymen are assembled for in¬ 
struction in the things of the law of Moses and 
of the prophets. He stands up to read. They 
do not take exception to his conduct, but 
hand him the book of Isaiah. He opens the 
book and reads from the place where it was 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 

Because he anointed me to preach good tid¬ 
ings to the poor: 

He hath sent me to proclaim release to the 

And recovering of sight to the blind, 

To set at liberty them that are bruised, 

To proclaim the acceptable year of the 

Closing the book, he gives it back to the 

How He Came Forth 


attendant and sits down: and the eyes of all 
in the synagogue are fastened on him. Then 
he begins to say to them, “To-day is this scrip¬ 
ture fulfilled in your ears.” As he speaks 
to them they are filled with astonishment at 
the words of grace that proceed out of his 
mouth. Some do not wish to acknowledge 
what the force of the words have borne in 
upon them. Their pride is offended, saying, 
“Is not this Joseph’s son?” Others would put 
it stronger, saying, “Is not this the carpenter, 
the son of Mary, the brother of James, and 
Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his 
sisters here with us?” They know all about 
this man—every member of his immediate 
family is known to them, and they know his 
former occupation too. But they have heard 
of the great works of healing at Capernaum. 
He forestalls them, saying, “Doubtless ye will 
say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thy¬ 
self: Whatsoever we have heard done at Ca¬ 
pernaum, do also in thine own country.” They 
are telling him that is the very thing they 
expect of him. “No man seeks to be great 
and refuses to let it be known.” At this the 
young Teacher speaks very decidedly, saying, 
“Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accept¬ 
able in his own country.” They are filled with 


The Silent Nazarene 

wrath which added to their offended pride 
cause them to cast him out of the city and 
lead him forth to the brow of the hill upon 
which their city stood that they might throw 
him down headlong. “But he passing 
through the midst of them went his way.” 

This life came forth not to be withered by 
the blight of jealousy, pride, and vanity, but 
to shine in spite of it. He breathed into the 
heart of humanity the spirit 6f loving service 
that would surely and ultimately displace this 
bold monster that is stalking mid the rights 
of men and is responsible for so many ills 
and heart-cryings. Jesus made the human 
divine and the divine human, both to shine in 
human needs—Immanuel. 

At the Age of Twelve 

Many boys played upon the hills about 
Nazareth in sight of Mt. Carmel where the 
sturdy, thorough-going old prophet put to 
death the false prophets of Baal, and reestab¬ 
lished the worship of Jehovah in Israel. The 
lads of this village could play upon these foot¬ 
hills, and look directly upon the great road 
passing the foot of Carmel, leading from the 
plain of Sharon into the plain of Megiddo, 

How He Came Forth 


where the armies of Egypt and Philistia came 
up, through which the caravans of Midian 
poured. And from the same spot they could 
see directly the ever present highway that led 
by Jenin from Galilee into the hills of Sa¬ 
maria, where the pilgrims thronged every 
year on their way to the temple to attend the 
great feast. These lads could also gaze upon 
the naked heights of Gilboa where the beau¬ 
tiful Jonathan was slain and where Saul in 
the grip of giant despair fell upon his own 
sword. How many of them thought upon the 
beautiful words of David’s great elegy over 
Jonathan and Saul? How many could see 
naught but brazen barrenness of naked heights 
frowning and staring in the face of the fertile 
plains? Youths played and slept, worn out 
and tired from play in the very arms of these 
stirring memories. If any were stirred it was 
only like the flash that flares to die. Can this 
be the correct statement of the fact? 

Once there was an extraordinary child that 
played on these hills in whose mind the splen¬ 
did associations of these sacred places mingle 
and cluster, kindling the great flame in his 
holy imagination that would burn iout the 
very dross of sinful pollution of the world. 
He too sleeps like all other boys playing about 


The Silent Nazarene 

those hills—but sleeps to dream of the glories 
God has shown unto his people in leading 
them. This boy when tired of play could 
turn his face to Carmel and see Johovah vin¬ 
dicated—it were as though a living picture 
was ever before him of God’s sturdy prophet 
and the powerless priests of Baal. The eye 
of this youth could discern the fashion of this 
world—with Carmel on the one side and the 
highway of the Pilgrims to the temple on the 
other, with the Gentiles cutting their broad 
way through the heart of the plains even across 
the pathway of the Pilgrims, with their long 
caravans ladened with merchandise or with 
the ruthless sweeping march of their armies 
—their mad rush wrecking, crushing and 
plundering, sparing none but grinding all be¬ 
neath the trampling heel of their greed. He 
too would lift his eyes to the barren frowning 
heights of Gilboa and see how “the mighty 
had fallen” before the foes of Israel because 
of disobedience to Jehovah’s commands. 
Here “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, 
and in favor with God and man.” 

The sun has just risen over Gilead’s heights 
and has sent his flood of light down across the 
great valley of Jezreel whose beauty of un¬ 
folding light is like a waving stream flowing 

How He Came Forth 


into the deep trenchlike valley of the Jordan. 
This morning light so suggestive of Jehovah’s 
deliverance of the souls of his people from 
darkness is lighting up the whole plain of 
Megiddo, and at the southeast corner there is 
a long continuous throng of Pilgrims press¬ 
ing down upon the hills of Samaria. The boy 
Jesus is now at the age of twelve and he is in 
that throng. How often had he stood upon the 
hills about Nazareth and longed to go with 
that long moving throng, the van of which was 
dimming out of his sight among the hills 
through which they found their course to the 
temple. Now he is in that throng. With what 
rich anticipations he had looked forward to 
this year. It had been the joy of his thought 
as he searched the law and the prophets and 
meditated upon the cardinal points on which 
hang all the law and the prophets—all moral 
and spiritual integrity of man. He had now 
joined the happy throng that was moving to 
the house of his Father. He had not stood 
upon those hills alone but was reading the 
significance of the world in the presence of 
his Father, as the world of trade broadly 
sweeps over the great plain into the plains of 
the West as well as the counter stream from 
West to East coursing into the Pride of the 


The Silent Nazarene 

Jordan, and the pilgrim throng cross the cor¬ 
ner of the plain to quickly vanish among the 
hills that lead up through the valleys of Sa¬ 
maria to the altogether barren table-land of 
Judea. He is now with his parents in that 
Pilgrim throng going up to the feast enriched 
by the world-vision he has gotten from those 
hills about Nazareth in the presence of his 

How the heart leaps as he comes within 
sight of Bethel and with an eye full of the con¬ 
suming fire of godliness he sees Jacob in the 
midst of his vision. He is now upon the bor¬ 
derland of Judea and his eye is everywhere 
busy. Mighty thoughts crowd his mind as 
he gets glimpses of sacred places and his feet 
press the hills that are round about Jerusalem. 
How he loves them, and each hill he ascends 
brings him nearer his Father’s house which 
is best of all. As he goes up to the house of 
the Lord all the sacredness of the centuries 
is heightened and made grand in him for he is 
conscious that he is the Son of God. His 
eye penetrates the meaning of it all. He 
held the God center and the man center and 
with that observation so augmented he looked 
through from one centre to the other and saw 
things in their proper perspective even as his 

How He Came Forth 


Father had purposed them. Yet he was re¬ 
garded only as boy of twelve going with his 
parents up to temple as was the custom. His 
parents have come to the temple and go about 
their sacred duties. The boy Jesus is in his 
Father’s house. He had long looked forward 
to this time when he should have the privilege 
of standing within the sacred courts of his 
Father’s house—it was the burning purpose 
of his heart. 

The days are fulfilled—Mary and Joseph 
have made an end of their solemn duties and 
are facing about towards Galilee. The boy 
Jesus tarries behind at Jerusalem, but the par¬ 
ents know it not, for they supposed him to be 
in the company. They go a day’s journey, and 
as he does not appear they seek for him among 
their kinsfolk and acquaintance. They fail 
to find him and turn back to Jerusalem seek¬ 
ing for him. After three days they find him 
in the temple sitting in the midst of the doc¬ 
tors, both hearing them, and asking them 

A glance at this scene is worth while. The 
Galilean lad with face lit up with a radiance 
of godliness listening to and talking with the 
learned doctors—a peasant boy asking and an¬ 
swering questions with the astute Rabbis about 

2 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

the law. These lawyers are amazed and as¬ 
tonished beyond measure. They had exer¬ 
cised themselves in the matters of the law as 
the barren wastes of rocky semi-arid Judea 
bound them in round about. They could talk 
eloquently in the face of the silent rocks, but 
what is their learning and eloquence when 
they face this youth of Nazareth whose eye 
was accustomed to sweep the great plains upon 
which battles and commerce vied, and whose 
mind daily was fed by meditation upon the 
law and the prophets; whose eye could see the 
mighty way of God’s disposing of men, armies 
and nations—penetrating the heart of human 
conflict and struggle? This boy who was ever 
at the heart of life and viewing all struggle 
in the light of his Father’s presence put to si¬ 
lence the learned who were thinking about 
what the fathers said about the details of some 
line of conduct. But this youth saw the human 
ever in presence of the divine, and always suf¬ 
ficient for every need. “And all that heard 
him were amazed at his understanding and 
his answers.” They knew that his results were 
correct, but with what marvelous power he 
clothes his words—he teaches with authority. 
But here the curtain falls. Something just 
comes in to break off that conversation be- 

How He Came Forth 


tween the Galilean peasant boy and the 
learned doctors—his parents find him, for his 
hour is not yet come. 

That search too yields its experience—a bit 
of history is here also. A day’s journey out 
of the city require at the best the most of a day 
to retrace the steps taken. Human are they 
of this little company who set their sorrowful 
faces toward Jerusalem in search of their lost 
boy. Would it be strange that even Mary 
the mother of Jesus should be exercised about 
her missing child? She has seen him wrapt in 
meditation for hours. What if some hurt had 
befallen him when lost to himself and his sur¬ 
roundings in a deep meditative frame of mind? 
Is it not natural for a mother to imagine all 
sorts of things that might befall the child 
whose life to her is more than her own life? 
The very rocks would seem to weep when that 
mother would scan them with anxious eye 
thinking that she just must see her boy. How 
they search their lodgings within the city, in¬ 
quiring diligently of this one and that one who 
might chance their way whether they had seen 
a boy who was seeking his kinsfolks. When 
they can find no trace that mother’s anxieties 
become very exacting. Weary and exhausted 
both physically and mentally they turn their 


The Silent Nazarene 

steps to the temple. Perhaps the officials 
there can help them find a trace of the missing 
boy though the crowd is great and they can 
hardly hope for any such thing. They come 
to a group of eager listeners. These are 
grouped about the learned doctors who have 
the chief authority in the Sanhedrin. As 
they press closer in order to speak with these 
about their missing boy, they are astonished. 
That mother sees her son as the centre about 
which all this crowd of listeners is grouped. 
She can not help saying, “Child, why hast 
thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and 
I sought thee sorrowing.” She has told him 
all. Was it a rebuke? Had she not said over 
and over in her mind when searching for him? 
Is it not strange for our child to thus deal with 
us? So she told him that they sought him 

The mother spoke to that boy as mothers 
are accustomed to do. But is the reply of this 
lad who is in the midst of the doctors, both 
hearing them, and asking them questions, as 
reply of a son to his mother, having failed in 
his obligation to his parent? Here is his an¬ 
swer without apology or plea for pardon for 
having wronged his parent. Is it not rather 
a gentle rebuke to the over anxious, sorrow- 

How He Came Forth 


ing parent? “How is it that ye sought me? 
Knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s 
house.” He speaks as though they have al¬ 
ready had sufficient data to know where to 
find him. If they failed to recognize it, it 
was due to their slowness of heart. It were as 
though he were saying to his mother—“How 
is it that ye sought me sorrowing? Knew ye 
not that I must be in my Father’s house? 
Where else could I be? I must be about my 
Father’s business. Have ye not always found 
me exercised in the things of my Father? 
Why should you ever have had any question 
where to find me?” 

They understood not the saying he spake 
unto them. He does not seek an argument 
with them. He knows that he must be mis¬ 
understood as price to pay for being what he 
is. So he goes down with them, and they 
came to Nazareth: “and he was subject unto 

The age of twelve is on one side of this un¬ 
fathomable depths of the silence of the life of 
Jesus of Nazareth while the age of thirty is 
the shoreline on the other over which the full¬ 
ness of his life overflows covering all Judea 
and Galilee, spreading to the uttermost parts 
of the earth, and filling the heaven of heavens 


The Silent Nazarene 

—such are the breadth and the height of his 
life which is eternally at floodtide. But he is 
to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor 
with God and man, and just live in these eight¬ 
een years of silence. He learns the carpenter 
trade, and as he is the eldest son he must pro¬ 
vide for his mother, sisters, and younger broth¬ 
ers when Joseph is no longer spared to the 
home. He must busy himself with the rou¬ 
tine of that humble home all these years. 
After the weary hours of toil to keep that fam¬ 
ily together he goes up from that obscure 
home to the hill-top about his village to look 
upon the great plain, and the caravans of the 
merchants; he gazes upon the long moving 
train of merchants as the shadows lengthen, 
even till the dusk and the twilight are swal- 
owed up into the deep darkness. Then mid 
the deep darkness he goes to his secluded place 
of prayer, and there meditates and prays the 
whole night. In the early morning watch he 
searches the scripture, and when the press of 
toil is on he thinks upon these things even as 
he works at his trade. He is no recluse, but 
is noted throughout his village among his fel¬ 
low-countrymen for the skill of his craftsman¬ 
ship. Even when he set forth to teach he as¬ 
tonished his fellow countrymen with “the 

How He Came Forth 31 

words of grace that proceeded out of his 
mouth” so that they begin to say among them¬ 
selves—“Is not this the carpenter?” They 
knew of his skill as a craftsman during these 
silent years but knew not the greater work he 
was doing in the way of preparation for his 
ministry when his hour should fully come. If 
we could have a record of these silent years 
we should have a book full of the glowing 
events of human interests. We find his con¬ 
duct during these silent years written all 
through his teachings. Parables like those of 
the good Samaritan, and the Slighted Invita¬ 
tion throw no little light upon the manner of 
conduct of this man during these silent years. 
If these years could be read they would put to 
shame our vanity and striving after greatness, 
comfort and fame. He by no means regarded 
it as least to be exercised about the little things 
of life. Note well the saneness of his teachings. 
The common and mediocre were ever of great 
interest to Jesus of Nazareth. In this sim¬ 
ple spirit his parables are framed, the color¬ 
ing of goodly illustrations are from the house¬ 
hold. Jesus loved the home, and gave thirty 
of his best years to beautify and to bestow the 
first place upon earth upon the home. 

But how about the deportment of the 

3 2 

The Silent Nazarene 

mother of that home after the temple affair? 
We are told that “his mother kept all these 
sayings in her heart.” She opens the door and 
gives us a glimpse at the marriage feast at 
Cana at the very beginning of his ministry. 
She wishes the household to be relieved of em¬ 
barrassment and whispers to Jesus—“They 
have no wine.” She expects him to help out 
the embarrassing situation. She thereby 
shows her accustomed way of turning to him 
when perplexities arose in the home. She did 
not noise it about among the people that she 
had a remarkable son. She knew it would 
all work itself out. She has been pondering 
these things in her heart even ever since the 
aged Simeon in the temple took the babe up 
in his arms and blessed him in such a strange 
manner. She still has a picture of her boy 
at twelve among the learned doctors in the 
temple. He has been at the feast many times 
since he has grown into mature manhood but 
has never entered into any discussion with the 
learned lawyers. She ponders this also in 
her heart that such a remarkable man should 
so restrain himself (and should refrain) 
from learned discussions—this is as marvel¬ 
ous as the youth of twelve talking with the 
doctors. But when Mary intimates at the 

How He Came Forth 


marriage feast that they have no wine he gives 
her a clue to his remarkable silence, saying, 
“Mine hour is not yet come.” Jesus knew 
when the time had fully come, when the fruit 
was fully ripe in maturity, when the best pro¬ 
duct could be given. In all this wonderful 
reserve out of which came forth the grandest 
product of the centuries the wisdom of those 
silent years can be read. God’s hand shapes, 
and Tesus knew that what was fashioned was 

J V, 

the best, then why not wait for that product? 

The Baptism 

H ow the people throng even the thick jun¬ 
gle of the pride of the Jordan? The wild 
beast can no longer find cover there. Throng¬ 
ing multitudes press through the reeds shaken 
by the winds to see what? One like unto the 
shaking reeds? or one clothed in soft raiment? 
There stands the object of their press—even 
at the very water’s edge. A sturdy preacher 
clothed in camel’s hair, with a leathern girdle 
about his loins, preaching in a fearless man¬ 
ner to the thronging multitudes. The pierc¬ 
ing eye of the preacher looks upon the scribes 
and Pharisees coming up through those dense 
jungles to the water’s edge—even edging about 


The Silent Nazarene 

as best they can so as not to touch the common 
man but get next to the preacher if possible, 
and fixing his eye on them and in his imagina¬ 
tion seeing the grass and thistle of the dry and 
parched moorlands of Judea on fire and the 
vipers and scorpions fleeing from their holes 
before the spreading sea of fire, in all his 
strength he lifts up his voice and cries out to 
them: “Ye offsprings of vipers, who hath 
warned you to flee the wrath to come?” 

Who is this that dares to warn men with 
such fiery language? As the multitudes are 
left questioning among themselves who this 
might be the fiery preacher vanishes within 
the wilderness to eat his scanty fare of locust 
and wild honey and meditate on God and the 
preacher’s divine mission. After his medita¬ 
tion he girds up his loins with his leathern 
girdle and comes forth to preach more fiercely 
than ever—denouncing the sinful without re¬ 
gard to rank or station in life. But yet they 
throng him, and the multitudes become greater 
than ever. “And as the people were in great 
expectation, and all men reasoned in their 
hearts concerning John, whether haply he 
were the Christ,” one of their leaders ventures 
to put the question to the fiery preacher, say¬ 
ing, “Who art thou?” He answers, “I am not 

How He Came Forth 


the Christ.” “But the officials at Jerusalem 
must know who thou art, fiery preacher.” So 
they continue to ask, saying, “What then? Art 
thou Elijah?” He answers, “I am not.” 
“Art thou Jeremiah?” He answers, “No.” 
Now they are at their wits’ end, and they must 
know, “Who art thou? that we may give 
an answer to them that sent us. What 
sayest thou of thyself?” This provokes 
the fiery preacher to answer. He will make 
a full end now. He tells them that he 
is a voice crying in the wilderness. Pre¬ 
pare and make ready for the coming of God’s 
annointed. God himself will iron out all the 
uneven and crooked places in the earth. He 
will smooth things up and make straight paths 
—justice and righteousness shall cover the 
earth as the waters cover the sea, for God’s 
Anointed is come and his zeal will perform it. 
So the preacher cries out, saying: 

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 
Make ye ready the way of the Lord, 

Make his paths straight. 

Every valley shall be filled, 

And every mountain and hill shall be 
brought low; 

And the crooked shall become straight, 

36 The Silent Nazarene 

And the rough places smooth; 

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 

After expounding this scripture the great 
preacher proceeds, saying, “I indeed baptize 
you with water; but there cometh he that is 
mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I 
not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you in 
the Holy Spirit and in fire: whose fan is in 
his hand, thoroughly to cleanse his threshing- 
floor, and to gather the wheat into his garner; 
but the chaff he will burn up with unquench¬ 
able fire.” The preacher furthermore tells 
them that the ax is already laid at the root of 
the tree. There must be a clearing of the 
thick jungle—the snarled scrub-tree must be 
cut away. So is the judgment of God already 
set to making complete work of cleaning out 
the snarled trees of the jungle that cumber the 
men of that generation. Such forceful preach¬ 
ing causes men to pause and think. So great 
multitudes came to be baptized of him. 

He is busy baptizing for the remission of 
sins but is likewise careful to impress them 
with the fact that there comes after him one 
the latchet of whose shoes he is not worthy to 
stoop down to unloose, who will baptize with 
the Holy Spirit and with fire. His very coun- 

How He Came Forth 


tenance flashes fire as he surveys that multi¬ 
tude with piercing eye. He goes beneath the 
surface of the appearance of things and be¬ 
holds the state of things as very black indeed. 
So unprepared are they for the new order 
which they are about to enter. The preacher 
cries aloud and spares not, “Bring forth fruits 
worthy of repentance, and begin not to say 
within yourselves, We have Abraham to our 
father.” But here is a pause. The preacher 
fixes his eye upon the centre of that multitude 
out of which is coming a young man about 
thirty years of age. 

The preacher is but six months his elder. 
As he approaches the Baptist the Pharisees are 
whispering among themselves, for their eyes 
are in every place that they might catch some¬ 
thing, saying, “There goes the preacher’s cou¬ 
sin from Nazareth.” But what of it? The 
Baptist is acting so strangely. He is actually 
bowing before this man. This young man 
from Nazareth is asking to be baptized of 
him. The sturdy preacher who has been fear¬ 
less in face of the multitudes is starting back. 
Listen! He is actually saying to this young 
man what he has been saying to the multitudes 
concerning his own unworthiness to that of 
the one who is preferred before him, for he 

The Silent Nazarene 

was before him—even the Lord’s Anointed. 
So John would hinder him, saying, “I have 
need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou 
to me?” The young man from Nazareth in¬ 
sists that it be so, saying, “Suffer it now: for 
thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteous¬ 
ness.” Then John suffers it to be so. What 
an expression of astonishment passes over the 
faces of those in that multitude at the strange 
conduct of the fierce preacher! 

The young man from Nazareth who has 
received deference from the Baptist asks for 
no special privilege in the manner of his 
being baptized. He steps into the muddy 
Jordan as do they who are being baptized for 
the remission of sins. Though he is conscious 
of his sinlessness yet asks that he be baptized 
as it is needful to fulfill all righteousness. 
Did he say it takes a righteous man to get 
under the burden of the sin of the unright¬ 
eous? Must he be subject to the same temp¬ 
tations as they who are stained with sin and 
still be pure? If so he can show the way out. 
Heaven sends stainless lives among the needs 
of men to help them out of their sins. So 
Jesus asks that no exception be made for him. 
He will be exempt from none of the things 
other men are subjected to. He will receive 

How He Came Forth 


his baptism and go through the sufferings and 
trials that his struggle brings. But all that 
the Pharisees and others of the multitude saw 
was that a young man from Nazareth went 
down into the muddy waters of the Jordan to 
be baptized by the stern preacher who made 
exception of no man till this man came, and 
that though the preacher protested when re¬ 
quested by this young man to baptize him, yet 
when the young man insists and says it is neces¬ 
sary to do so to fulfill all righteousness the in¬ 
vincible preacher is conquered by the irresisti¬ 
ble word of his mouth. But the inner con¬ 
sciousness of Jesus was to bring in a new order. 

It was so. When Jesus was baptized while 
he was praying—even as he was coming up 
out of the water—“the heaven was opened, and 
the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as 
a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of 
heaven, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I 
am well pleased.’ ” Did Jesus only see the 
Spirit descending upon him in the bodily 
£orm, as a dove? or, did John the Baptist see 
too? or, was it even given the multitude to see 
this strange manifestation of Heaven’s ap¬ 
proval of him who is announced as “My be¬ 
loved Son?” However this may be the face 
of things are changed. The heavens remain 


The Silent Nazarene 

open and the Dove of God abides upon the 
brow of man. Heaven approves of the way 
this man is walking through the earth, and 
there has gone down through the ages a deep 
consciousness of a oneness with Heaven which 
alone has come through this one man. Why 
announce the atonement at this baptism? All 
earth bears witness that he made a significant 
mark there. For that matter earth was at 
one with Heaven in him even in the silence 
and seclusion of Nazareth. 

He faces the wilderness being driven by the 
Spirit. But he has cast a marvelous change 
about the > preacher of righteousness. The 
bold proclaimer of judgment speaks on this 
wise: “Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh 
away the sin of the world! This is he of 
whom I said, after me cometh a man who is 
become before me: for he was before me.” 
But now he is lost sight of in the wilderness, 
and the great preacher of judgment announces 
that the old order must give place to the new 
—“He must increase, but I must decrease.” 

The Temptation 

This glimpse of the Christ is caught up into 
silence. The lone desert; the deep solitude; 

How He Came Forth 


the absence of human voice—naught but 
the howl of a hungry brute, the satisfac¬ 
tion of whose hunger is the end of its ex¬ 
istence, breaks in upon the silence about 
the struggling Christ, who is defeating and 
rising above that about which the savage brute 
made its fierce and weird cry. Not in the 
rapture of an Eden’s gorgeous rose-meshes 
where the soft light fell among the thick clus¬ 
tered bowers, but mid the barrenness and un¬ 
couthness of starved nature, with the horrid 
scream of the ferocious beasts piercing the 
death-stillness, the man of sorrows whose 
countenance was marred as no other man re¬ 
mains without food for forty days and forty 
nights, facing the awfulness of a sin-deluged 
world, banishing every specter that came 
wrapt in an Eden of subtle fancy. 

Jesus in the midst of human conflict and 
trial! The purest and the meekest of man¬ 
kind driven by the Spirit into the face of the 
storm of human conflict with sin! The stain¬ 
less and flawless within was forced into the 
white heat of human passions. Sin has raged 
long, and its devouring flame has spread 
scorching all. Not one has escaped though 
some have been delivered with a mere singe 
yet there is the mark and trace of sin. What! 


The Silent Nazarene 

is this stainless man who has a consciousness 
within that there is no break between himself 
and Heaven to be rushed into the wings of 
this unconquerable flame? The winds of 
earth-born sense are stout, fierce, and persist¬ 
ent in lashing the flame all about him. They 
half conceal their hidden roar and bring their 
fires through the most subtle and seemingly 
natural way. This pure man knows what sin 
is no matter under what guise it slinks in. He 
has a foil for every approach. 

He tarries before the face of God for forty 
days and nights in meditation and prayer. Sin 
tries hard to climb into his motive and imagin¬ 
ation but he foils it at every turn. “And 
when he had fasted for forty days and forty 
nights, he afterward hungered.” Satan 
seizes this as his opportunity to invade his 
sacred character and soil it with the stain of 
sin with all mortal kind that has gone before. 
But this man whose countenance is marred as 
no other and whose flesh is emaciated—even 
his vitality reduced to the breaking tension, 
does not place his hand upon his breast, say¬ 
ing within himself, “Soul, thou hast remained 
spotless and pure all this while, and hast much 
merit laid up to thy credit, so now take a little 
of the liberty that rightly is coming to thee.” 

How He Came Forth 


On such a compromise all humanity is lost. 
But the Christ stands in the midst of the stony 
wastes impregnable. 

He fights and prays for forty days without 
food. His frame is well-nigh wasted away. 
The very blood begins to leave the veins. The 
countenance is marred—no flush remains upon 
the cheek. A man of sorrows and acquainted 
with griefs with scarcely sufficient strength left 
to lift his head, gazes upon the barren stones 
in his meditation. The Tempter believes his 
chance has come at last so he subtlely dis¬ 
guises himself and makes the best of things at 
hand, saying, “Thou art the Son of God, how 
easy it would be to change these stone into 
bread and satisfy the ravishing hunger that is 
wasting thy body, and thus save thy life.” 

As soon as it appears Christ recognizes it. 
(But what harm can it be for a starving man 
to make bread and eat it when it is within his 
power to do so—even at his word? So has the 
world argued, and so have men lost sight of 
the golden quest of life. The clamor for 
bread as a necessity has superceded and 
crowded out the real and chief design of life 
—moral and spiritual conquest in and with 
God. It bolts in as a necessity and when it 
has forced its entrance it fixes its roots in a 


The Silent Nazarene 

firm grip, and lo, and behold, they are the all- 
devouring roots of greed so firmly fixed that 
they sap every appearance of vitality that 
would yield a healthy growth of character. 
So men gorge themselves with things of this 
world, and crowd out the spirit’s finer need. 
Hence the warning and the exhortation of the 
apostle—“If Christ is in you, the body is dead 
because of sin; but the spirit is life because 
of righteousness.”) 

Will this man turn either to the right or to 
the left? Sin reigns in the mortal body and 
all that turn that way is death. If the spirit 
is chained about and mastered by the body it 
is dead also. Spirit must have absolute mas¬ 
tery if it is to become the Spirit in likeness and 
nature. The body must be fed only to serve 
the spirit in its needs. In God’s order it has 
no right to make demands upon the spirit to 
fulfill its cravings and lusts. It can in nowise 
cause the spirit to halt in its quest and subor¬ 
dinate its activities in creating bread even for 
the most stinging hunger pangs. The body 
must suffer discomfort till it is completely 
brought under the leading of the spirit which 
is directed by the Holy Spirit of God. Out 
of this conflict emerges the pure white Christ 
who answers Satan’s suggestion and challenge, 

How He Came Forth 



“Why ask for the power of the Spirit of 
God to turn these stone to bread? Why be 
over-anxious? Why seek to bring things to 
pass prematurely by permitting the carnal 
clamor to displace the spiritual needs? My 
Father knows that I have need of all these 
things and will make ample provision for the 
same if I am faithful in the things that con¬ 
cern the kingdom. Has not the greed of men 
always sought to prostitute the God-given 
things of the spirit in their mad rush for 
bread? Here they have lost their spiritual 
freshness mid the wastes of death. It is so 
with men—everything is bent to the greed of 
gain. I must rise above and master these 
things no matter how exacting ravishing hun¬ 
ger becomes in lack of bread. From the ac¬ 
customed carnel point of view this would seem 
an act altogether justifiable but when I lift up 
mine eyes unto my Father I see it the mon¬ 
ster devouring this humanity. “Man shall 
not live by bread alone, but by every word that 
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Satan, 
I shall live after this manner of life if it re¬ 
quires the very last cell of my body to do so.” 

“Well,” says Satan, “thou sayest that man 
shall live by every word that proceedeth out 

4 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

of the mouth of God. I too accept that state¬ 
ment of the truth. Spiritual things must be 
experienced in order to know them. The 
word of God must be tested as thou goest in 
life. Here is an opportunity to test the word, 
and at the same time show to the rulers of the 
Jews that of a truth thou art the Messiah. 
From this pinnacle of the temple in the midst 
of the holy city cast thyself down into the 
throng in the court, for it is written, 

‘He shall give his angels charge concerning 
thee; and, 

On their hands they shall bear thee up, 

Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a 

“Test out this word, for thou hast said a 
man must live by it, and what a man must 
live by must surely stand the test. Surely 
thou wilt not hesitate to prove out what thou 
sayest. Thou art so holy and good that God 
will not suffer any harm to befall thee. Then 
too thou wouldst have the rulers of this na¬ 
tion accept thee as their Messiah.” 

But here also the Master foils the Tempter, 
saying, “Subtle Tempter, thou wouldst have 
me enter the ranks of sinning humanity by 

How He Came Forth 


falling into this grave error of testing God’s 
word in this outward physical way where all 
is lost. This wicked and adulterous genera¬ 
tion seeketh a sign—their lust for the miracu¬ 
lous is a raging mania—they would see the 
power of the Messiah of God demonstrated in 
some ‘strange thing,’ ;Some miraculous dis¬ 
play out of the heavens. This is their great 
sin. Here is where they lose out. Satan, 
thou wouldst in this subtle appeal wrest re¬ 
demption from humanity by submerging me 
beneath the awful deluge of sin with all the 
rest of the forlorn and wasted race. Arch¬ 
deceiver of the race, I will live by faith and 
spiritual companionship of my Father. 
Thereby all flesh must be justified in the sight 
of God. Here is a foil. It is God’s word 
too, and I quote it in its proper relation to 
the truth it was designed to set forth. “Thou 
shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God.” 
But as for thee, Prince of Devils, thou know- 
est perfectly well that thou hast taken the 
sweetest promise of divine protection out of 
its proper setting of truth and hast thrown it 
into the distorted lusts of men for the curious. 
Thou hast deliberately, maliciously, and will¬ 
fully misused a most precious portion of sa¬ 
cred scripture. Thou didst use it so to further 

48 The Silent Nazarene 

thine own infernal purpose.” 

“Satan, hast thou an answer for the invinci¬ 
ble Christ even here?” This monster of pre¬ 
sumption dares even to bolt in after two such 
decisive defeats. This time he takes him unto 
an exceeding high mountain, and shows him 
all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory 
of them. Here he speaks unto him after this 
wise, saying: 

“Great Son of God, thou hast merited much, 
and is it not for thee as God’s chosen—even 
His Messiah to rule the world? The whole 
will lay at thy feet at thy word. Thou hast 
often gone to the mountain to pray and coun¬ 
sel with God. From this mountain see all 
the kingdoms of the world with all their 
wealth and glory! I will make thee first. 
Thou shalt have no peer in all the earth. All 
kings and mighty of the earth shall call thee 
Lord and King. ‘All these things will I give 
thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’ 
I am the ‘Prince of this world,’ as thou thy¬ 
self wilt acknowledge. How many even less 
worthy than thou art ruling in gorgeous splen¬ 
dor. All at my behest.” 

Is the fate of lost humanity trembling in 
the balances at subtle words like these? And 
here too all things are in the hands of one 

How He Came Forth 


man. Humanity’s whole case rests with him. 
What if he should make a misstep? Upon 
that failure the fate of all humanity would 
be sealed. But, lo, the Man with whom we 
have to deal in this matter is the only one of 
the race—he is always sure, he never sidesteps. 
Standing breathless at this awful moment hu¬ 
manity can well wait his utterance. It is alto¬ 
gether decisive. Here it is, “Get thee hence, 
Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship 
the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou 

He sees the lie and thrusts it from him. 
The pure white truth of God’s word is his 
guiding star. The gorgeous apparel of the 
palace could not conceal from the searching 
eye of the pure white Christ the hidden sting 
that blighted the world—he saw death in vain 
pride, and the soul impoverished in the exub¬ 
erance of things of the world. The miracu¬ 
lous could not hide the lurid light of perverted 
motive. Hunger’s pangs could not stifle and 
thwart the spirit’s finer needs. Nature’s bar¬ 
renness, sin’s foulness—all clamoring about 
a pure and spotless soul but had no power to 
stain him. Spotless he came into the desert 
from the baptismal stream; flawless he abode 
there; stainless he came forth to take away the 


The Silent Nazarene 

sin of the world. 

Edens bowers may seem fair, 

Life of Christ is fairer still, 

For no serpent lingers there — 

All is God the Father s will. 

Christ has caught upon his lips 
Sweetest music of the years; 

Strains of peaceful Olivet 
Rise from out our mortal fears . 

The scene with a back-ground of rough ex¬ 
posed rocks, at the ragged edges of which the 
snarled and twisted, struggling, starved scrub 
life fought for its place; with long stretches 
of thistle and dead grass whose monotony is 
broken by an aged thorn-bush with its creep¬ 
ing vine here and there, formed the Eden in 
which the God-Man achieved. “Get thee 
hence, Satan:” was said for all time to come. 
The lines are drawn clear and distinct. There 
was no compromise that possibly the other 
might be right if circumstances were different. 
The Devil leaves him. The temptations are 
thrust wholly aside. These marks are clearly 
seen in all his subsequent life. The victorious 
champion stands in the very frown of the deso- 

How He Came Forth 


lation of starved wasted nature. Angels come 
and minister to him, while the wild beasts go 
quietly to their lairs. This Man teaches us to 
go forward in trust, knowing that in due sea¬ 
son God provides for both spiritual and phy¬ 
sical needs if we faint not. 

Of the victory—What? God sanctions the 
laws of subsistence, and that for the achieving 
of the higher ends. But he never sanctions 
greed. “Man shall not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God.” In regard to Divine protec¬ 
tion we are to count on that, but there must 
be no uncalled for exposure of one’s life to dan¬ 
ger in order to make a premature and gross test 
of God’s love and care. His great love and ten¬ 
der care we are to take for granted and move 
accordingly about our duties of life in a sa¬ 
cred trust undisturbed by preying doubts and 
fears. Do not be anxious to test His presence 
but take that as the basis of your life without 
question, “Thou shalt not make trial of the 
Lord thy God.” So to lord it over your fel¬ 
low will never meet God’s approval. It is 
not in accord with God’s law and order. He 
who would rule best is he who serves best. 
Jesus in giving his final verdict to the Tempter 
says, “Thou shalt not worship the vain lust 


The Silent Nazarene 

of this world/’ but “thou shalt worship the 
Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” 
Is he that so serves his God any other than he 
that serves his fellowman? He is our flawless 
Champion who near the close of his earthly 
life makes clear to his fellows on this wise, 
saying, “I am in your midst as he that serves.” 
The same said, “My meat is to do the will of 
him that sent me,” when referring to his work 
of guiding the sinful woman of Sychar into 
the ways of life. He forges the one chain of 
service—brother to brother in the love of the 

They Followed Him 

Was this not so with men from the very 
first? He goes from the wilderness of Temp¬ 
tation into the thronged and busy regions about 
the sea of Galilee. What! does he not retire 
into the wilderness and emerge from it from 
time to time with burning messages? What 
manner of conduct is this for a prophet? He 
is going to live in the nervous throng of hu¬ 
manity—have a house in Capernaum by the 
sea where the trade of all the lands centre, 
and not among the quiet hills of Nazareth. 
His dwelling is to be by the beautiful blue 
waters of Galilee abounding with fish. But 

How He Came Forth 


even in these fruitful waters the fishermen 
have toiled all night and have taken nothing. 

Though at times the sea was slow to give 
of its abundance of fish, and freakish storms 
arose upon the waters, driving the persistent 
waves against the fragile fishing crafts, ham¬ 
mering them as though to forbid any further 
pursuit after the teeming life that swarm 
its depths, yet this sea was like a great nest 
fledging out a sturdy, persistent, persevering, 
patient, and conquering life. Here men could 
toil all night and take nothing, yet the dawn 
would find them with unabating energies at 
their tasks, and too these men could forego 
the breaking of their fast that they might con¬ 
tinue to wrestle with the waves and the sea 
for the prize they sought. In the heat of the 
day the breeze from the lake, met by the upper 
breeze from the great sea, refreshed their 
feverish brows. So these fishermen were 
giants in physical strength and enduring cour¬ 
age. They knew what price they must pay 
for that which they sought. It was by this 
sea that the young Teacher of Nazareth 
walked. Was it accident that he settled by the 
shore of Galilee, and resorted thither to teach 
the multitudes? 

It is a beautiful morning. The sun has 


The Silent Nazarene 

risen upon the high eastern hills that overlook 
the lake. The dews have not yet left the ter¬ 
raced gardens upon which Hermon smiles. 
The Man of Nazareth walks by the sea whose 
waters are washing the roots of the palm-tree. 
There is a multitude upon the shore. Mer¬ 
chants from afar with their attendants, fisher¬ 
men going to and coming from their work 
(some coming away empty and others have 
taken a “great draught”), people who have 
come out of the city and from the region 
round about to hear the young Teacher, for all 
men seek him, make up the multitude by the 
sea of Galilee that morning. A goodly num¬ 
ber of merchants who are passing up from 
Taricheae, where the fish are cured, to visit 
the market at Capernaum, on seeing the multi¬ 
tude are curious to know what it is all about, 
turn aside to listen to the young Nazarene. 
So a great portion of that multitude is com¬ 
posed of those who seek those things “after 
which the Gentiles seek.” It is difficult to 
get a standing place on even the edge of the 
shore for those of the multitude are crowding 
each other as they were wont to do. The fish¬ 
ermen’s boats are empty as the fishermen have 
gone out to wash their nets. The young Jew 
from Nazareth enters one of those boats. Did 

How He Came Forth 


it happen to be so? It was Simon’s. Had 
Simon met up with this young Jew before? 
Andrew had been with John the Baptist by the 
Jordan, when that hardy preacher of right¬ 
eousness pointed out this young Nazarene as 
“The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin 
of the world.” Andrew follows this man of 
Nazareth as he comes up from the solitary 
wilderness of Temptation by the place at the 
Jordan where John was baptizing. Andrew 
was accompanied by a young man who was 
also one of John’s disciples. Jesus turned, 
and beheld them following, and saith unto 
them, “What seek ye?” And they said unto 
him, “Rabbi (which is to say, being inter¬ 
preted, Teacher), where abidest thou?” He 
said unto them, “Come, and ye shall see.” 
They accept the generous invitation given. 
The first thing Andrew does is to go out after 
his own brother Simon. Finding him he says 
to him, “We have found the Messiah (which 
is, being interpreted, the Christ). Simon has 
always been enthusiastic upon the subject of 
the coming of the Messiah. How many 
hours did they toil and take nothing that 
Simon’s countenance would light up with a 
lively discussion on the coming Messiah. 
There is John preaching it too. The heart of 


The Silent Nazarene 

Andrew burns all the while, for he can not 
express himself in glowing verities as Simon 
can. However he goes off and joins John. 
He is an exceptionally good listener. Now 
having found the Messiah he does the big 
thing for Simon (more than Simon ever did 
for Andrew in all his glowing discourses on 
the coming Messiah) ; he brings him to Jesus. 
So the new Teacher enters Simon’s boat. (Had 
not this young Nazarene observed this sturdy 
fisherman many times as he passed along that 
way on the shore? Now Simon is washing 
his net, for it has gathered a great deal of filth 
during the long night of fruitless toil.) The 
young Jew asks Simon “to put out a little from 
the land.” He sat down and taught the mul¬ 
titudes out of the boat. A plain fisherman’s 
boat was his pulpit, and hearts of plain fisher¬ 
men were receiving his words. Simon has 
left off washing his nets, and is listening 
quietly and attentively to the words of wis¬ 
dom that fall from the lips of the Teacher. 
All this has been bubbling up in Simon’s soul, 
and yet how strangely the words of the 
preacher sound. He seems not to be as ready 
as he thought for them. The speaker is paus¬ 
ing. It is time to begin fishing? but how 
strangely Simon acts? He would rather lis- 

How He Came Forth 


ten to these words though he can not under¬ 
stand just how and what. (For this Teacher 
has been speaking so differently from what 
they were accustomed to hear from the scribes 
of the Pharisees.) But now this Teacher who 
has been speaking so earnestly about life, lov¬ 
ing-kindness and God the Father, says unto 
Simon, “Put out into the deep, and let down 
your nets for a draught.” A look of surprise 
comes over the face of Simon. He is puzzled 
for many reasons. He can do nothing other 
than comply with the bidding of the Teacher, 
though he must in keeping with his nature 
offer a slight protest, saying, “Master, we 
toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy 
word I will let down the net.” Having done 
as they were bidden, they enclose a great mul¬ 
titude of fishes; and their nets are breaking. 
And they beckon to their partners in the other 
boat, that they should come and help them. 
They fill both boats till they begin to sink. 
Simon Peter is overwhelmed. He is not ready 
to stand in the presence of one who can work 
after this fashion. He has always been rather 
too self-confident. He falls down at Jesus’s 
knees, saying, “Depart from me; for I am a 
sinful man, O Lord.” James and John, the 
sons of Zebedee, who have come out of the 


The Silent Nazarene 

other boat to assist in hauling in the breaking 
nets with the great multitude of fishes, are 
standing nearby with Andrew, being greatly 
amazed at these things. But the Teacher is 
not through teaching yet. He is giving them 
a great object lesson. So Jesus, looking di¬ 
rectly into the perplexed countenance of 
Simon, who is kneeling at his feet, says unto 
him, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt 
catch men.” The other three fishermen knew 
that these words as well as this object lesson 
were meant for them likewise. So bringing 
their boats to land they left all, and followed 

The little company is headed for the higher 
ground of Galilee. They pass out of the great 
road into Galilee by Capernaum. Climbing 
the higher ground, the olives and figs become 
more and more numerous, while the palm- 
trees with their shade are left far behind by 
the blue sea, and the little company is moving 
in a more bracing and cooler atmosphere. 
They are going toward Cana. A wedding is 
on hand, and Jesus has an invitation. He will 
take his newly found friends with him. As 
these four fishermen walk along side of the 
carpenter from Nazareth, but whom they 
know only as Master, they are deeply en- 

How He Came Forth 


grossed in what he is saying. As they go they 
meet up with Philip, who is from Bethsaida, 
of the city of Andrew and Peter. These old 
friends at once fall into a lively conversation. 
They tell Philip they have found the Messiah 
relating the whole story of the draught of 
fishes, and insist that he too join them. Though 
Jesus is busy as the little company is about 
to set forth upon their journey again, he calls 
to Philip, saying, “Follow me.” So Philip 
becomes one of the Company over the hills of 

Philip is thinking of his friend Nathanael, 
for they are bound by the closest ties of friend¬ 
ship. He would like to have Nathanael in 
that company too. So as they approach Cana 
Philip withdraws from the company, which 
has halted for a rest, and goes forth to seek his 
friend. He finds him in deep meditation 
resting beneath a fig-tree. He relates the 
story of the multitude of fishes as told him by 
Andrew and Peter. Nathanael is a good lis¬ 
tener, but he does not believe all he hears, and 
he too is acquainted with the enthusiastic 
Simon Peter. So he must make a good allow¬ 
ance for the story of the fishes as told by Simon 
to his friend Philip. But Philip urges him to 
join that company, saying, “We have found 

6 o 

The Silent Nazar ene 

him, of whom Moses in the law, and the 
prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of 
Joseph.” The name of Nazareth adds 
nothing to the force of Philip’s invitation. It 
rather detracts, throwing the whole matter in 
a rather unfavorable light. Even Nathanael 
is a little agitated when Philip intimates that 
the Messiah has come out of Nazareth. He, 
Nathanael, knows all about Nazareth, having 
lived all his life in Cana. To a resident of 
Cana the name Nazareth does not sound good. 
Out of his piqued pride he answers Philip, 
saying, “Can any good thing come out of Naz¬ 
areth?” Is Philip’s ardor chilled at this 
thrust? He looks into the face of Nathanael, 
which wears a more satisfied look after giving 
vent to his feelings, and says calmly,“Come and 
see.” This is too much for Nathanael. 
Philip has him. As they go from the shade 
of the fig-tree the silence is unbroken. They 
are now passing up over the hill and coming 
in sight of the little party that is resting. The 
young leader, who is looking that way, sees 
Nathanael coming with Philip, remarks to the 
little group, saying, “Behold, an Israelite in 
whom there is no guile.” Was Philip deep 
down in his soul wishing the Teacher had not 
said this? (For they were come within hear- 

How He Came Forth 61 


ing distance.) Philip is keenly aware that 
Nathanael is averse to flattery. It is even so— 
Nathanael must question the compliment from 
this stranger? Or, is he surprised at the 
frankness with which the Nazarene spoke it? 
However this may be, he says unto him, 
“Whence knowest thou me?” Has he thrown 
the stranger into confusion so that he is at a 
loss to answer? There is no hesitancy. The 
Teacher is ready with the reply, saying, “Be¬ 
fore Philip called thee, when thou wast under 
the fig-tree, I saw thee.” (This is not a speech 
of one seeking to work himself into the good 
graces of another. He has committed himself 
too far for that.) With a glance into that 
frank face Nathanael confesses reverently, 
saying, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou 
art King of Israel.” The skeptic, now 
changed to believer, lives in the supreme faith 
of his Master. Jesus anounces to him the un¬ 
limited possibilities of the faith he is entering, 
saying, “Because I said unto thee, I saw thee 
underneath the fig tree, believest thou? thou 
shalt see greater things than these.” Nathan¬ 
ael does not need any formal invitation. He 
simply falls in line, and loses himself in the 
spirit of the Master. 

The little company files out of the hills into 

6 2 

The Silent Nazarene 

the deep valley which forms the shoreline 
round the great blue lake of Gennesaret. They 
have been bathed in the refreshing breeze 
of the hills of Galilee and are now come into 
the tropical heat of the valley of the lake re¬ 
gion. Capernaum is on the northwest corner 
of the lake. Here the great road leading from 
East to West is daily thronged with mer¬ 
chants—a fit place also for publicans to sit at 
the receipt of custom. This Man of Naz¬ 
areth passes up and down that road with his 
little group of followers. He goes in and out 
from his home in Capernaum. How often at 
the close of day he saw the despised publicans 
in his place ready to collect toll from those 
who passed by. “How much?” and it was 
always enough that the giver gave it grudg¬ 
ingly. How the fishermen dislike the publi¬ 
can, even after toiling all night in fruitless 
labor, on entering the city to their homes they 
must be annoyed by these publicans. Then, 
too, these toll gatherers were all too numer¬ 
ous. Could not a Jew get at a better occupa¬ 
tion? These publicans were despised by fish¬ 
ermen and merchants—sellers and traders of 
every rank and description. The Jews called 
them dogs of sinners and the Gentiles regard 
them as troublesome meddlers. But here is a 

How He Came Forth 


Jew who has recently come to reside at Caper¬ 
naum who has no such aversion for this class 
even. He has passed and repassed a receipt 
of custom of a rather distinguished looking 
publican. He always has a kind word for the 
toll-gatherer too. The publican in like man¬ 
ner is attracted to him. One day as he passed 
by and saw this man, Levi, the son of Alphaeus, 
sitting at the place of toll, he says unto him, 
“Follow me.” And he forsook all, and rose 
up and followed him. Did the fishermen do 
more when they had a like invitation from 
this young Teacher? This Man has a strange 
way of measuring hearts. 

More publicans would like to have gotten 
into that little company whose leader mani¬ 
fested such an interest in them. “Many fol¬ 
lowed him.” He comes to his house. Does 
he close the door on them? He throws it open 
wide and invites them all in to eat meat with 
him. This is a strange thing for a teacher, or 
prophet to do. He will ruin his good name. 
The thing is swiftly told the scribes and Phari¬ 
sees, who have not seen this disgraceful thing 
with their very eyes. Good Abraham is look¬ 
ing on with such dire disgust. He had about 
made up his mind to join this Teacher himself. 
But this settles the question forever so far as 

6 4 

The Silent Nazarene 

he is concerned. He has seen sufficient to con¬ 
vince himself in regard to the matter. With 
his holy conscience smitten he goes and pub¬ 
lishes the matter as widely as possible. He 
does so toawith a sigh. How sorry he is that 
it is so, and he is obliged to tell it—but never¬ 
theless it is the awful fact. It must be reck¬ 
oned with. He is eager to enlighten the dis¬ 
ciples as to the seriousness of this conduct of 
their Master, saying, “How is it that he eateth 
and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” 
The disciples tell the Master, which is the 
thing the Pharisee wished them to do. The 
Master is ready with his answer. He will 
take the Pharisee at his suggestion that these 
publicans are the chief of sinners. But it is 
just for such as these he has come. So he an¬ 
swers their question which was designed to 
call him to account for his conduct, saying, 
“They that are whole have no need of a physi¬ 
cian, but they that are sick: I came not to call 
the righteous, but sinners” 

That ends the matter upon that question so 
far as the disciples are concerned. However, 
it is but the beginning^ of the festering hurt in 
the heart of the jealous, envious Pharisee, who 
stumbles on in his blind piety. 

How He Came Forth 


They Eyed Him 

John the Baptist is leading the austere, as¬ 
cetic life, teaching his disciples this manner of 
living. He is instilling into his followers the 
necessity of fasting often. The fasts also were 
scrupulously observed by the Pharisees. When 
John at the Jordan pointed out this man of 
Nazareth as “The Lamb of God, that taketh 
away the sin of the world!” the disciples of 
the preacher of righteousness set their eye on 
him. They hear him say to their master 
when he requests baptism that it must be done 
to fulfill all righteousness. Their master has 
pointed him out as the one greater than the 
Baptist himself. Therefore they are vigi¬ 
lantly observing his conduct especially in re¬ 
gard to the austere, ascetic life. They are 
careful to fast oft, and likewise are the disci¬ 
ples of the Pharisees very scrupulous in this 
matter of fasting, but the disciples of Jesus not 
only ignore the fast but feast with publicans 
and sinners. This, therefore, not only be¬ 
comes a source of annoyance but a matter of 
grave concern. So the disciples of John and 
those of the Pharisees get together, and send a 
delegation to the Teacher. These come to 
Jesus and say unto him, “The disciples of 


The Silent Nazarene 

John fast often, and make supplications; like¬ 
wise also the disciples of the Pharisees; but 
thine eat and drink.” 

Jesus is in no wise disturbed by this advice 
put in form of a request for information, even 
though John’s disciples were among those con¬ 
cerned who so busied themselves, but answers 
with deliberation not merely their question 
about which they were so much exercised, but 
firmly tells them that the old order is at an 
end and that the new order has already come 
in—inferring that both the disciples of John 
and of the Pharisees are of the old while his 
disciples are children of the new, saying, “Can 
ye make the sons of the bride chamber fast, 
while the bridegroom is with them? But the 
days will come: and when the bridegroom will 
be taken away from them, then will they fast 
in those days.” It were as though he cast his 
eye over the great future which his vision 
penetrated through and through, saying, “Let 
these sons of the bridechamber rejoice while 
the bridegroom is with them, but in the very 
nature of things the time will speedily come 
when they will be called upon to deny them¬ 
selves for sake of the bridegroom and that 
for which he stands. The things for which I 
stand will bring pressure from both sides— 

How He Came Forth 


the over-scrupulous and religious will despise 
me and the things I teach, while on the other 
hand the world will have no part in me for I 
am not of the world. A new order comes in 
with me. I make no attempt to graft it upon 
the old order. Neither the over-charged 
conscience of the Pharisees, nor yet the ever 
too light conscience of the world, can find 
place in this new order.” No man rendeth 
a piece from a new garment and putteth it 
upon an old garment; else he will rend the 
new, and also the piece from the new will not 
agree with the old. And no man putteth new 
wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine 
will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, 
and the skins will perish. But new wine must 
be put into fresh wine-skins.” The new cloth 
to the old garment will make the rent worse, 
the new piece will be wasted, and so new wine 
in old wine-skins will burst the skins and the 
wine will spill. The things that I teach are al¬ 
together reasonable. They do not violate the 
sense of order at all. They do not go about 
to destroy the things of the past, neither do 
they attempt to compromise with them. In 
my order men fast not out of a sense of 
wrought up piety, for it was no matter to them 
whether they are or are not seen of men, but 


The Silent Nazarene 

they fast because of their loyalty to me, and 
the truth of which I bear witness, for it must 
meet up with opposition from every side. My 
disciples must deny themselves that the truth 
might live, and must strive always to keep in 
the path of loving service even as they see me 
do. I have come to do the will of my Father, 
and I must drink from whatever cup I encoun¬ 
ter in my course; and so must my disciples as 
they follow me in joy and pain, in feasting and 
fasting, in triumphs and persecutions.” 

These are strange words for the disciples of 
John to hear. They return to their master and 
he thinks upon these things greatly perplexed. 
He goes forward despite the baffling diffi¬ 
culties that cross his mind. Doubts begin to 
shade into his path. Herod has outraged 
every sense of right in taking his own brother 
Philip’s wife to himself to wife. The great 
preacher of righteousness severely rebukes that 
ruler for this sinful act. This enrages Herod- 
ias for whose sake Herod lays hold on John, 
and bound him, and put him in prison. There 
are increasing strange reports coming to John 
in prison about the conduct of the Teacher 
upon whom he had set his hopes. These 
things cut him to the heart. Indeed, has he 
been mistaken all along? Do they not sound 

How He Came Forth 

6 9 

strange to this austere preacher as being sur¬ 
charged with the things of the world? Can 
doubt disturb the mind of that bold preacher 
even though incarcerated in a dungeon cell? 
Such could not be said of the children of the 
new order after the bridegroom had been taken 
away from them, though they suffered in fast¬ 
ings, persecutions, and prison often. (But 
John is of the old order, and as he himself de¬ 
clared his kind must decrease while the other 
must increase.) At any rate he is troubled 
for he sends two of his disciples to interview 
this one whom he had pointed out by the Jor¬ 
dan as being the hope of the world. They 
have a direct charge from the Baptist to ask 
Jesus the question that is directly pressing on 
his mind, namely, “Art thou he that cometh, 
or look we for another?” 

When these men from John arrive they can 
not gain audience with him at once, but must 
stand by and look on for awhile, for Jesus is 
busy. He is curing many of divers diseases, 
plagues, and evil spirits; opening the eyes of 
the blind, loosening the tongues of the dumb 
so that they speak plainly, patiently heeding 
the petitions of the poor and worsted—pour¬ 
ing out loving words of mercy and kindness, 
filling crushed hearts with hope and consola- 


The Silent Nazarene 

tion. All the while these men from John were 
looking upon these things. They have hardly 
the heart to ask this Leader and Teacher the 
question for which they are sent. But upon 
reflection they recalled how they had seen this 
very man eating with publicans and sinners, 
and how could they return to their leader shut 
up in prison with an acknowledgment that 
they had failed to obey his words. With 
what misgivings they begin to edge their way 
through that ever growing and crushing 
crowd to ask the busy Teacher their question 
which was wrapt about in the clouds of doubt? 
How they wish they had never been commis¬ 
sioned to do such an act. But now it is done, 
for one of them has put the question to the 
Master, who, though busily engaged, has fixed' 
his eye upon these two men who were making 
their way so persistently through that crowd 
and jam. Jesus does not hesitate at such a 
question even though it comes directly from 
John but answers, saying, “Go and tell John 
the things which ye hear and see: the blind 
receive their sight, and the lame walk, the 
lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the 
dead are raised up, and the poor have good 
tidings preached to them. And blessed is he, 
whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling 

How He Came Forth 


in me.” 

The Prayer 

The moments of silence in the life of Christ 
are moments in which reserve forces face the 
world in irresistible energy. They are the 
golden nuggets for him who seeks their worth. 
They are always beneath the surface. They 
disclose their power to the humble searcher 
w T ho counts no pain, who sees no obstruction; 
but in a simple, plain spirit seeks the treasures 
that bring him life. Be careful, lest in nois¬ 
ing it about you let this secret slip. Let it tell 
in a consistent way lest you drift from the 
source and lose yourself in the noise, confu¬ 
sion, and perplexity of the floodtide. In 
silence Christ prays. In silence you must 
pray and not proclaim it upon the housetop 
lest you lose it in some base motive. Influ¬ 
ence must go forth as the rays of the sun and 
not as the howling winter blast. In the 
former life thrives and grows; in the latter 
life fades, withers and dies. In the silence 
of Jesus Christ man grows; in the ostentation 
of the Pharisee he dies. 

Ere the silent dawn creeps over the rugged 
hills; ere the soft light touches the busy 
streams; while the blackness of the darkness 


The Silent Nazarene 

hovers over the peaceful sleepers: Jesus steals 
from the midst of his slumbering disciples. 
He hurries over the dark rock-ribbed hills, 
crosses the sluggish streams, climbs the moun¬ 
tain to his favored nook. There he prays. 
Not an echo to disturb him except now and 
then the yelp of a hungry jackal or the scream 
of the lone hyena in search of food. 

Jesus too is in search of meat. Last evening’s 
sun went down upon the scene of a busy day. 
The restless multitudes thronged the Master 
from early morn to late at eve. Did they 
weary him? Did he seek this mountain fastness 
as a cover to rest his exhausted frame? Why 
not enjoy the sweet slumber with his disciples? 
Why plod his weary steps to this mountain 
spot and continue the whole night in prayer? 
Sleep indeed rests the weary body. But all 
day there has been a clamor rising above the 
tumult of voices. It is like the lashing of the 
waves in the midst of many waters. Seem¬ 
ingly it is drowning all else in its confusion. 
The Master knows what it is. It is the crav¬ 
ing appetite for the miraculous—love of intox¬ 
ication in thoughts in that which is past under¬ 
standing. A clamor for the shell that holds 
the kernel, and not a longing for the life that 
germinates within the grain. He was not to 

How He Came Forth 


strive to satisfy this perverted appetite of man 
by showing some sign from heaven, though 
this would win for him the popular, so the 
clamor said. He was to feed the inner life 
and let the miraculous incidently flow out 
of it. His meat was to do the will of the 
Father, not to stop the clamoring of the multi¬ 
tude with some paralyzing sign from heaven. 
He had much to talk with the Father about. 
These prayers are unrecorded. He told no 
man about them. But from his life the world 
has gleaned their import. 

The disciples caught a glimpse that early 
morning. They awake and find the Master 
absent. The people with their sick are al¬ 
ready beginning to ask for him. The dark¬ 
ness has not yet withdrawn its sable shades. 
The disciples turn their faces toward the 
mountain, seeking him. As they approach 
they get a glimpse of a form kneeling with 
face turned toward heaven as the receding 
darkness unveils and the mellow dawn falls 
over and about that figure, gradually bringing 
the calm heaven-endowed countenance to the 
light of the services of another day of blessing. 
The disciples tell him, saying, “All men are 
seeking thee.” He is not seeking out some 
clever, cunning device by which he might be- 


The Silent Nazarene 

witch the multitudes. He did the works of 
God and the multitudes sought his face. They 
were astonished beyond measure at his teach¬ 
ing, for he taught them not as the scribes, but 
as one having authority. The multitudes 
knew nothing of those whole nights in prayer. 
The darkness hid him. It were as though 
he prayed not at all so far as the spectacular 
effect of that act was concerned. Any intru¬ 
sion of that kind would have robbed the hum¬ 
ble man of Nazareth of the sweetness and 
power he so greatly enjoyed. There are 
things too sacred for the eyes of the multitudes 
and prayer is one of them. 

The disciples got but a glimpse that early 
morn. But they did not yet understand why 
all men were seeking him. Could they have 
gone below the surface and have seen the real 
significance of that hour? What? Christ in 
connection with the secret of power. This is 
why all men are seeking him in spite of them¬ 
selves. He is at the source of power. All 
things are in his hands. Seeming impossibili¬ 
ties roll away like a mountain of clouds, leav¬ 
ing a clear sky and a brilliant sunlight. They 
came to him from every quarter. How could 
it be otherwise? They must seek him for his 
authority though they clamor for a sign. Now 

How He Came Forth 


these very disciples wanted their Master to 
win the popular favor and thought it strange 
that he should not take advantage of oppor¬ 
tunities for winning the people when they 
came to him. He moves before them misun¬ 
derstood. Even though the disciples got this 
glimpse of him they could not understand the 
perplexing situation. Who would not have 
fairly leaped at such opportunities as came to 
him? Yet he disregards them all, and leaves 
opportunity after opportunity slip from him, 
even he is actually incurring the hatred and 
the malice of the Pharisee. This is of all 
ways the strangest to walk to the throne. What 
king has ever acquired power after this fash¬ 
ion? Yet the people throng him. Why? 

The white Christ was in that mountain lone¬ 
liness, getting at men’s most urgent needs. He 
was talking with the Father about them that 
he might teach men to be kings and great ones 
too. He was to walk the path before them 
and they were to follow. Men need these 
silent hours with God as well as the busy 
hours with men. This is the whole truth that 
the white Christ is making emphatic among 
men. Men must needs tarry long with God 
if they would not lose the proper proportion 
of things. They must be busied with men lest 


The Silent Nazarene 

they lose their rewards, as opportunities are 
fleeting. He sought rest and peace in the 
Father’s counsels. Here was his source and 
man was his opportunity. He could not af¬ 
ford to permit either to displace the other. 
This man of men lived in the breathing pres¬ 
ence of the Father, and he saw the whole world 
in need of his counsels too. This praying, 
serving man proved by living that His coun¬ 
sels could be sought by turning the hearts in 
prayer and by setting the face towards the 
great Helper. That this was needful Christ 
made plain, taking without a question what his 
great apostle said, “He is not far from each 
one of us: for in him we live and move, and 
have our being.” This man of men could 
run counter to all the ways of men and yet 
mark out the way of true success. 

He must see his disciples looking into his 
face with a look of disappointment. Yet he 
keeps his course. It takes many days for the 
disciples to get even a hint of the vision of 
the praying, living Christ. When the com¬ 
mon people are falling away, and many of his 
disciples are turning back from following him, 
do the chosen few find only one way to answer 
his question—“Will ye also go away?” This 
answer is given by their spokesman, Simon 

How He Came Forth 


Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast 
the words of eternal life.” This is the esti¬ 
mate that these men are placing upon their 
teacher and Master. Here is a flashlight out 
of the hearts of his disciples that reveal what 
the Christ was to them and what in turn his 
prayers signify. All that he said, and all that 
he did, and all that went out in his silent influ¬ 
ence, were grandly summed up in what he was. 
This man’s prayers were as unselfish as his 
life. Never man prayed like this man; never 
man spake like this man; never man wrought 
as this man—it was all in a life of service for 







I N the midst of action and life we get a 
glimpse of the new teaching of Jesus. It 
all harmoniously blends in him. His action, 
his teaching, his life—all speak one great lan¬ 
guage of power. It is all conceived, born and 
imparted in a serene atmosphere of power. 
Like the soft light of dawn it silently com¬ 
prehends and unveils each secluded nook in 
an unaffected way; and like the mighty and 
fierce tempest it sweeps all clean, or leaves the 
burden of the dead against the rocky ledge 
where life is choked and quenched and in the 
silence of the steady moving years this dead 
must mix with the elements, feed the life it 
sought to quench. Is not this God’s hand? 
That which threatens real defeat only dares 
to halt; yes, to place a splendid pause till it 
can get below the fibrous roots that freshen 
the tender blade that yellowed beneath its bur¬ 
den. Powers that make for death are trans¬ 
ferred into powers that make for life. The 
mighty slaves of sin have died and are resur- 



The Silent Nazarene 

rected as powerful and efficient forces for 
righteousness. They die in the oldness of 
death and rise in the newness of life. These 
very passions that once did surge and plunge 
the soul into almost hopeless ruin are staid 
before the life of Christ—his righteousness 
and justice sweep them against the dark peaks 
of malign jealousy, prejudice, and even vicious 
lust. They heap upon each other till tension 
gives, then they sink—rather face about as 
forces in the hand of God for righteousness. 
They are transformed by the working of the 
Divine Power into the regenerating forces of 
the world. By the power of Jesus Christ men 
become as good as they were bad. Out of evil 
good has come forth. This is true in more 
ways than one. The leaven of Christ destroys 
not the powerful but mellows down, modifies, 
changes the functions, yes, converts them into 
powers for good. But upon those that are 
innocent and unstained He is like the life- 
giving sunlight, dispelling all forms of death 
that oppose. Jesus gave authority to His new 
teaching by ingraining and transforming truth 
into and through life. In his being truth and 
life are one and the same. And so he taught 
men with authority. 

The mustard seed a man took and cast in 

How He Gave Authority to New Teaching 83 

his garden. That man heard no sound. Did 
he see? He saw the tiny blade lift its puny 
tip above the surface of the ground. Some¬ 
how this tiny birth has burst its prison cell 
without the hint of a groan or sigh. It found 
life when bars closed about it. Silently it did 
creep and rise—each to draw a larger current 
of life from things that seemed to chain it 
down till it found its prison den one vast store¬ 
house to feed life’s growing and increasing 
energies. Then too it lifts its head into an¬ 
other world with more food as it higher grows 
and branches spread embracing more of life’s 
current—the atmosphere and the prison house 
are blending in sustaining the product of 
earth and sky. There is abundance to meet 
the needs at every stage of enlarging life. Lo, 
now the birds have lodged mid the branches 
of this goodly herb. “So the kingdom,” says 
Christ, “must grow against great odds. The 
seeds sown may seem very insignificant in 
midst of such opposition. But my life shall 
lay hold upon those opposing forces and con¬ 
vert them into mighty energies for the King¬ 
dom. I shall ingrain and transform truth into 
and through life. I shall bring life out of 
death. In the world, ye shall have great 
tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have over- 

84 The Silent Nazarene 

come the world.” 

So the life of the Kingdom is begotten mid 
the prison-cells of man’s selfish greed but 
surely it must burst the crust beneath which it 
is born and feed upon the heart’s affection 
struggling there and climb into the life of 
God/ A slow climb but it shall spread and 
embrace all the earth. Is it strange that fev¬ 
erish souls should seek a lodging place mid the 
branches of such a life? Life’s contagion is 
set up. Life of man begets life within the life 
of God and what power can stop this irresisti¬ 
ble growth? 

Yes, the leaven is hid in three measures of 
meal. It grows to leaven the whole lump. It 
can not stop with the branches of the mustard- 
tree, but it must silently grow as long as hu¬ 
man hearts are yet untouched and as long as 
there is any part of the heart of the individual 
unleavened. It is truth—life-giving truth, 
and must leaven where it goes. But remember 
one thing—it must be “hid” in the meal or 
the leaven will not take hold of the particles, 
lose itself, and grow in and through them till 
the whole lump is leavened. Men seem im¬ 
patient and dissatisfied with this hidden way. 
Can you marvel that they fail who seek an¬ 
other way? There is no other way than the 

How He Gave Authority to New Teaching 85 

life-source of truth, and that life-source is 
God. The Life of God must be hidden in the 
life of the heart of man and of men if the 
teaching is to be NEW breathing authority 
everywhere. So did the Nazarene give au¬ 
thority to all that he said. This caused those 
who beheld his wonderful conduct to be 
amazed, insomuch that they questioned among 
themselves, saying, “What is this? a new 
teaching! with authority he commandeth even 
the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 


How the wild lunatic raves! No man can 
bind him. In his mad fury he snaps the 
chains asunder and breaks the fetters in 
pieces. Naked he raves in the tombs and 
roves the mountains. And always day and 
night these solitary, desolate places resound 
with unearthly, weird, demoniacal screams as 
he is cutting himself with stones. No man 
had strength to tame him. When Jesus 
comes out of the boat he is met by this fierce 
man out of the tombs. The wild stare is in his 
eyes as he bursts forth from the midst of the 
tombs. But seeing Jesus from afar, he runs 
and worships him, crying out with a loud 


The Silent Nazarene 

voice, saying, “What have I to do with thee, 
Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I 
adjure thee by God, torment me not.” What 
strange thing is this? This one whom no man 
could tame running to Jesus and worshipping 
him? Ah, the Master has said, “Come forth, 
thou unclean spirit, out of the man.” The 
real fact was there—sin, its dread, its tor¬ 
ment. To obey the demons know they must. 
They clamor as though with noise they would 
evade the issue. The Master asks him, “What 
is your name?” And he saith unto him, “My 
name is Legion; for we are many.” 

Even devils are reduced to extremity by the 
authority of the words of his mouth. They 
know they must go out of the man. They beg 
that their power be not destroyed altogether. 
So they make the poor fellow plead in behalf 
of these familiar spirits with whom he had 
dwelt for such a length of time that the 
Teacher would not send them away out of the 
country. But the devils must go and there is 
a great herd of swine feeding on the mountain. 
And there were they who kept the herd. So 
the devils would seize the opportunity. So 
they besought him, saying, “Send us into the 
swine that we may enter into them.” He gave 
them leave. “And the unclean spirits came 

How He Gave Authority to New Teaching 87 

out, and entered into the swine: and the 
herd rushed down the steep into the sea, 
in number, about two thousand; and they 
were drowned in the sea.” 

They that fed the swine fled and told it in 
the city and the country. The madness and 
frenzy of this wild, raging maniac was the 
talk throughout the Decapolis and the regions 
round about. As the citizens came forth in 
multitudes they that kept the herd and saw 
it declared unto them how it befell the man 
that was possessed with demons, and concern¬ 
ing the swine. They are amazed beyond 
measure as they look upon him who aforetime 
raged in unabating madness clothed, and in 
his right mind sitting at the feet of Jesus. 
They were afraid, and began to beseech him 
to depart out of their borders. 

But what of him who had been possessed 
with demons? The Master is complying with 
their requests. He is entering into the boat. 
But there is he that had been possessed with 
demons beseeching him that he might be with 
him. What a laudable desire? Surely the 
Nazarene is craving companionship of those 
who love him. But listen! This is strange 
from the lips of Jesus. “Go to thy house—” 
But then we will hear him through. “Go to 


The Silent Nazarene 

thy house unto thy friends, and tell them how 
great things the Lord hath done for thee, and 
how he had mercy on thee.” What could 
give authority to the words of the mouth of 
this man but that change that had come into 
his life? He went his way, and began to pub¬ 
lish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had 
done for him, and all men marveled. Truth 
and life here had no break but were one and 
the same and the new teaching had authority 
so that all men marveled. 

Compassion on the Multitude 

Jesus goes apart with his disciples. He 
seeks a solitary place. He seeks rest 
and quiet. Can even a desert place insure 
him the needed rest? See the people 
running from every quarter. Yes, they saw 
the Master and his disciples take boat to cross 
the lake, “and they ran together there on foot 
from all the cities, and outwent them.” Be¬ 
hold a multitude in a desert place, but the 
great Christ is there, and where he is wells 
of refreshment break forth and streams 
abound, and the thirsty lands bring forth their 
increase a hundredfold. The multitudes are 

How He Gave Authority to New Teaching 89 

The multitudes to Christ have fled — 
The weary, thirsty, hungry, tried; 

The multitudes by Christ are fed, 

No lone deserted soul has died. 

“And he came forth and saw a great multi¬ 
tude, and he had compassion on them, because 
they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and 
he began to teach them many things.” Men 
running to and fro—they knew not why. They 
sought but dread confusion fell about them. 
They were lost not only to each other—but 
each was lost to himself. Christ with mind 
clear and masterful saw the conflicting, surg¬ 
ing passions, the emptiness of life and the 
craving of souls in the heart of the multitudes, 
and “he had compassion on them.” Having 
thrown open the doors of sympathy he entered 
the lives and saw their lack—their crying 
needs, “and taught them many things.” As 
he taught them he fed them upon the bread 
of his life and their soul hunger was satisfied. 
Should it be counted strange that he should 
say, “The words that I have spoken unto you 
are spirit, and are life?” Should we not ex¬ 
pect to hear something like this from a fol¬ 
lower of his, “Thou hast the words of eternal 


The Silent Nazarene 

He saw the languid and famishing—souls 
that were hungry out of burning needs, even 
those on the brink of despair out of ravishing 
sighing—sighing for relief and help which 
none could bring, not even within the power 
of most intimate friends and companions to 
succor. Even in desert places they sought 
him for needed relief. Those writhing in 
pain and disappointment lay hold upon his 
great heart. Those baffled, worsted, de¬ 
feated catch his penetrating eye. Those sore 
distressed in sickness and bereavement draw 
near to the great physician whose sympathy 
leaps forth to rescue them from despair in that 
last hard struggle of the cleaving hope and 
the despondent heart. The hopeless and the 
hardened touched by the soft breezes of quick¬ 
ening grace breathe again. For them the 
great compassion of Christ is an open foun¬ 
tain. At last all can find a place in one great 
heart. Sympathy flows forth as the placid 
streams with healing in the waters thereof. 
These healing streams of sympathy are life 
unto the multitude. 

The heart depressed beneath the burden of 
sin’s oppressive weight finds Christ to lift the 
burden. Lo, lift up your eyes and look upon 
the desert place, for Christ is there. Then 

How He Gave Authority to New Teaching 91 

you can see the meaning of the multitudes that 
flock those desert sands. Jesus looks upon the 
multitudes—sees the vieing of flaming pas¬ 
sions, lashing and being lashed. But what of 
the hearts in which these raging passions are 
madly surging? Will not the frail bark be 
wrecked in the storms that rise out of the 
whirlpool of the deep? Whence are these 
raging forces? Are they not from out the 
mighty deep of life that buoys up the frail 
bark they are rending asunder? The eye of 
Christ sees, the mind of Christ knows, and the 
heart of Christ pleads. He sees passions mak¬ 
ing havoc of men, and tells them he is there to 
help them out of their dismay. It is as though 
his life silently but emphatically speaks, say¬ 
ing, “I see your dismay and anxiety. You are 
like sheep without a shepherd. You run 
through and through each other. You know 
not where or why. I am here not only that 
the shadow of apprehension, dismay and fear 
may withdraw from you, but to remove the 
cause—to show you the way and help you out 
of sin. T am the good shepherd: the good 
shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. 
I am come that ye may have life, and may 
have it abundantly. As the Father has life 
in himself, so has he given the Son to have 


The Silent Nazarene 

life in himself.’ As the Father serves so 
doth the Son serve, as the Father helps so doth 
the Son deliver, as the Father saves so doth 
the Son redeem. ‘For the Father loveth the 
Son, and showeth him all things that he him¬ 
self doeth.’ ” 

Then do we ask why this multitude about 
him in a desert place? Christ walks the 
earth with men and knows what they must 
have. He meets their needs and helps them 
out of sin. He breaks the bread of life and 
feeds the multitudes. Can any question the 
authority of the new teaching of this Teacher 
of Nazareth? 





. ! 



He who can clothe the leafless plant 
In leafy foliage green, 

Can clothe my soul, don't say—He can't, 
Though all is yet unseen . 

His smile I see, his hand I grasp, 

And walk with Christ to see — 

Where God's hand works the first, the last, 
And fills eternity. 

I T seems to be popular and fashionable, as 
well as scholarly, to slur over and omit al¬ 
together what is called the miraculous. 
Nevertheless it is like our blood coursing 
through all the arteries and veins of our lives. 
Science tells us the blood carries the digested 
food-particles to replace the worn-out tissues. 
There the food particle is tissue. How? It 
wears out, and is thrown off; yes, and is re¬ 
placed with digested food from blood 
corpuscle again. Are they the same that 
placed the tissue here before? It works. 


9 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

That’s true. We know that. But the cause? 
The how? If we being earthly cannot dis¬ 
cern these things that are earthly, how are 
we going to explain those things that are 
heavenly? The earthly and the heavenly are 
not the same; neither is the flesh and the 
spirit the same. The analogy that holds good 
in one does not necessarily hold good in the 
other. We know something about material 
things, and we know something about spirit¬ 
ual things. We can hardly say we are better 
acquainted with things spiritual than with 
things material. To be frank we must con¬ 
fess greater ignorance in regard to things 
spiritual out of the very nature of the case. 
If we could stand where God stands and be 
clothed in his powers we could understand 
both equally well. But then where would 
mortal man come in? We at once hold the 
key to create. All would be creators. If 
there would be any flesh and blood to analyze 
you could tell exactly the how. Then all 
miracle would be natural as we understand 
and use the word now. It would all be 
within our comprehension. 

But now since we do not know much about 
possibilities it may be well and wise always to 
leave a large place open for the unknown pos- 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 97 

sibilities which would be perfectly natural if 
we were behind the scene where we could 

Now Christ moved in this unknown and un¬ 
explored world of possibilities. And he made 
no great bluster about it either. What he did 
do is this—he sought to help men to find them¬ 
selves. He found men not living anywhere up 
to their privileges spiritually and morally, and 
as a consequence of this failure and neglect 
they were forfeiting a large part of the possi¬ 
bilities the Creator had designed for them. 
The Master well said of the fig tree that with¬ 
ered at his command: “Have faith in God. 
Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall say 
unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and 
cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his 
heart, but shall believe that what he saith 
cometh to pass; he shall have it.” This he 
said because he was living where he could 
verify it. 

Of course the first and last product of faith 
is moral and spiritual excellence. Apart from 
this nothing can be brought to pass. So Jesus 
himself is the miracle with which we have 
constantly to do. What he was makes his 
miracles natural. “Apart from me ye can 
do nothing.” A supreme faith always accom- 

9 8 

The Silent Nazarene 

panies what he says and does. Where else 
has faith shown such a wonderful miracle 
among mortals? “He hath done all things 
well.” “Never man spake like this man.” 
“What manner of man is this?” Never man 
was like this man; “insomuch that Pilate mar¬ 

The Paralytic 

Let the deep darkness of the night guard 
the praying Christ, and let the rosy blushes 
of the dawn conceal themselves back of the 
black curtain before the threshold of the break 
of day while the Master sifts the pressing 
human cry. Let no irreverent tongue break in 
upon those solemn thoughts. The Son of God 
is counseling with the Father. What beastly 
forms are endeavoring to spring upon him— 
they call themselves human needs. But Christ 
sees the creeping tiger and the crouching lion 
—knows the tiger ere he leaps upon and the 
lion ere he crushes the frame and bids them 
desist their madness and know him as the rul¬ 
ing Lord. Greed must not assume the form 
of need and ask the Lord to lend it his sup¬ 
port; it must divest itself of its fair form and 
stand out as loathsome greed. Neither can 
the flighty thoughts of men entangled in the 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 99 

meshes of the cravings for the marvelous en¬ 
slave the mind of this quiet man. He is mas¬ 
ter and holds dominion free; proves himself 
Lord at every turn. 

As the breaking light climbs the steps of 
the eastern sky the Christ is ready for every 
crying need—ready to unclothe it of its dis¬ 
torted form and show how God will meet 
the humblest need if truly need it be. 

Day after day Capernaum has witnessed 
stirring scenes. The busy Teacher is making 
his home there. He has now gone through 
that press and throng into the house. A stream 
of human forms move along the street—each 
impatient at the one who moves before. They 
clamor to get to his side. The bolder and 
stronger are fighting the timid and weaker 
aside. Now they crush in at the door. They 
discern not the image of the beast with which 
the conquering Christ has fought and thrust 
aside the night just passed. Their thirst 
is insatiable to see some strange thing—some 
wonder-awing thing to blur their senses. Who 
can have the privilege of packing the door¬ 
way? They must let no opportunity slip in 
their curiosity seeking. Ah, that sea of up¬ 
turned faces that cannot get near—each cran¬ 
ing the neck as though they hoped to see him 


The Silent Nazarene 

in spite of the walls of the house. How few 
will see though the rush is mad! How few 
of the few will see the glory there! 

On the edge of that surging crowd four men 
are carrying a pallet upon which a helpless 
man is lying. Will the crowd be generous 
enough to divide so as to permit these men 
with their sick to pass to the door? Is there 
not one generous enough to push aside, saying, 
Give these men room to pass with their sick? 
It seems that one has dared to do this thing, 
but how that big fellow bolts into the vacant 
place! Men are too eager to see to yield a 
place to the suffering need that is pressing. 
These men can’t get even near the door. So 
they divert their course rather than jam into 
that crushing, trampling humanity. They go 
to the stairway at the side of the house and 
carry their sick to the roof. Tearing up the 
roof, they let down the bed whereon the sick 
of the palsy lay. And Jesus, seeing their faith, 
saith unto the sick of the palsy, “Son, thy sins 
are forgiven.” This is not what those faith¬ 
ful men expected either. But they are silent 
in their disappointment. But what of the 
crowd? “Son, they sins are forgiven thee”— 
the murmur falls like some thick sound upon 
hidden waters. The scribes are outdone and 

How He Found Faith in the Earth ioi 

overcome in their consternation. They breathe 
great heavy sighs from their heaving chests. 
Jesus knew their thoughts. He knew what 
they were looking for. They had gone far 
afield. He casts his piercing eye upon them 
and says, “Why reason these things in your 
hearts? Which is easier to say to the sick of 
the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, 
Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But 
that ye may know that the Son of man hath 
authority on earth to forgive sins (he saith 
to the sick of the palsy) I say unto thee, 
Arise, take up they bed, and go unto thy 

Is there a shuffling of feet as those deep¬ 
breathing Pharisees have crowded too near 
the Master in the press, and that man who 
had been chained about with the palsy arose 
and stood upon his feet and took up his bed 
to go to his home? There is no need to ask 
the thronging crowd to make a way for this 
healed man to pass. They do that instinc¬ 
tively. Or, are they dazed by what they have 
seen? Or, is their lust satisfied? Nothing 
can be heard for the time being on every 
side save expressions like these: “We never 
saw it on this fashion”; and “We have seen 
strange things to-day.” 


The Silent Nazarene 

There Jesus stood—a calm master of him¬ 
self. He knew what was in man, and how dif¬ 
ficult it was to displace gross misconception 
with truth. He scans the centuries while they 
in their bewildering amazement are saying, 
“We never saw it on this fashion,” and he sees 
the marvel they are astonishel at vanishing in 
face of the truth he has just set before them. 
They never saw it on that fashion; they did 
see strange things. But they spoke far better 
than they knew. They of course referred to 
the healing of the body. Had they any grasp 
of the masterly work performed? Jesus heals 
the suffering of the body and it is good; he 
breathes his loving spirit into the heart of man 
that pain may be eased and suffering relieved, 
and we call it blessed; but first and all impor¬ 
tant he “forgives sin” and cures the heart— 
makes the immoral leper clean. 

Here is the summum struggle of the race— 
to cut free from the biting, smarting sense of 
sin. The Master clearly showed the way by 
living. But as he looks over the writhing, 
worsted humanity, hear him say, “Not all 
men can receive this saying.” They must be 
helped. So he cuts the shackles loose and 
leads them on the way. Here he differs from 
all other teachers in that he could live stain- 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 103 

less in each man’s case. He discovered the 
need of that crowd at Capernaum as well as 
that of the palsied man. He discovered and 
came to help. 

This Teacher claims the power to cure men 
from sin as Son of man. When he frees the 
man from his physical infirmities, the multi¬ 
tudes saw it, and were afraid, and glorified 
God, who had given such authority unto men, 
but Jesusproclaimed that the highest privilege 
of his authority was to set at liberty them that 
are bound with sin. His great work was to 
make men righteous. This was the full test of 
his power—to put the individual in right re¬ 
lation with God and his fellow. 

The Lep er 

It was so with the temple: “there was 
neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron 
heard in the house, while it was in building.” 
Majestic silence has ever enriched the con¬ 
templative within the sacred courts of the 
Lord. No mortal lifts the veil and looks 
upon the Holy of Holies save he who with cov¬ 
ered head waits in the awful stillness of un¬ 
broken silence and knows the Lord that he is 
Jehovah. No robber unveils this. No 

104 The Silent Nazarene 

amount of daring lets a man behind the veil. 
Silently but surely the power behind the veil 
draws the humble worshippers from all parts 
of the land to the court of the temple with 
their sacrifices and their prayers. 

Has the silence of the night lifted the shad¬ 
ows? Has any ear heard shrieks or groans? 
The pure, majestic, achieving soul of Christ 
is breaking the clutching shackles of human 
weakness, and is rising above the crushing tide 
of tendencies that submerge the human race 
without exception in sin. 

Are the clamoring voices of men striving 
to force an entrance into this silent Holy of 
Holies of Christ? Truly they are drawn to 
him because they are mystified by that some¬ 
thing that certain have found. They think 
to thrust themselves upon him and win this 
something for themselves. But behold they 
are unable to break in. Their defeat fills 
them with indignation. This erects stouter 

But look, that crowd is breaking. What is 
this strange thing? A leper who is forbidden 
by law to draw near, but must stand afar off 
and lift up his hands and cry, “Unclean! un¬ 
clean!” is kneeling before the Master, praying, 
“If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 105 

The face of Jesus is all compassion and he 
touches him. What? Touch a leper? Set 
aside the ceremonial law? Who is this man 
who dares break with such a stringent past? 
Listen, he speaks, “I will; be thou made 
clean.” Straightway the leprosy departs from 
him, and his skin is renewed as though it were 
the flesh of a young child. He is clean. Does 
this Teacher set aside the ceremonial past so 
as to show men how radical he could act? 
Hear: “Go show thyself to the priest, and of¬ 
fer for thy cleansing the things that Moses 
commanded, for a testimony unto them.” 

This leper was drawn by the power that 
baffled those that stood by. The leper had 
need of this power and felt it. He knew that 
it could heal him and would do so, if ap¬ 
proached by one who knew his own crying 
need. But it was simply to the confusion of 
the multitude—this very power which was 
the healing of the leper. He, the unclean 
outcast, knelt and touched the Holy of Holies 
in healing power. Upon the great pillars of 
faith the enlarging chambers of his soul rested, 
purged of all its loathing sin. Listen! the phy¬ 
sician and Teacher is giving a charge to the 
healed man: “See thou say nothing to any 


106 The Silent Nazarene 

But he who had beeh a leper was not the 
Master. He had not yet caught the true secret. 
He went forth and began to publish it much, 
and to spread abroad the matter, insomuch that 
Jesus could no more openly enter a city, but 
was without in desert places. He noised it 
about rather than let it work out in masterful 
silent power. Could not men see for them¬ 
selves the marvelous cure that had been 
wrought upon him? But this over-anxious 
desire to publish it must thrust it upon them. 
In turn these restless multitudes persist in 
clamoring their way to the secret of power. 
But no such way leads there. It only puts 
them to greater confusion and perlexity. 
u What manner of man is this?” They were 
bent on finding out by use of violent methods. 
They could not get it through them that the 
leper’s way—kneeling at the feet of Jesus in 
prayer, was the way and the only way to the 
secret of that sacred power. 

They came to him from every quarter. 
They sought him in many desert places. Their 
stormy efforts were as barren as the deserts 
themselves. Has not the great sun made its 
round in silent triumph, and yet how much 
life is wasted mid the clamoring tempest? 
And is not the earth wherein the life-giving 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 107 

sunbeams rest too often the burnglass that 
scorches that self-same life with death? So 
there are many barren and desert spots even 
where Jesus passes in his lowliness and holi¬ 
ness, and many waste places remain where he 
is present. 

The Woman s Touch 

It is given to the most wretched, the most 
destitute, the most hopeless, and the most 
helpless to find this silent way to the secret of 
power. Not even did the disciples under¬ 
stand it. They cannot see how any touch can 
differ from any other touch in the press and 

But see how they press and throng him. It 
is literally a jam. To make way is next to im¬ 
possible. Can any hope to edge through that 
crowd? There is a lone woman who scarcely 
has sufficient strength to drag herself along 
and physicians have pronounced her hopeless, 
yet she is edging her way through that jam 
and press. This woman has had an issue of 
blood twelve years, and has suffered many 
things of many physicians, and is nothing bet¬ 
tered, but rather has grown worse. See! she 
is patiently making her way through that 
wedging press. These cannot bar her from 


The Silent Nazarene 

her great physician. She does not clamor for 
them to stand back. She does not lament and 
tell her mournful tale of woes that a path 
might be made for her through that press and 
throng. But poor, weak woman! she patiently 
and silently struggles for every little opening 
given her in that pressing jam till she finds 
herself directly behind her Physician. There 
has been no shout—“stand back,” and now 
there is no cry for mercy. She sees the Master 
busy teaching. But she knows that to touch 
even his garment will suffice. She touches the 
very border. Poor soul! she is satisfied with the 
lightest fringe. She knows she has found the 
proper way of approach. Heaven will meet 
the condition though she but touch the border 
of his garment. Ah, she touches. Straight¬ 
way the fountain of her blood is dried up, and 
she feels in her body that she is healed of her 

The Master turns. Why, because none but 
that healed woman knew the difference be¬ 
tween a touch of faith and that of the acci¬ 
dental press and jam. “Who touched my gar¬ 
ments?” The disciples are indignant at such 
a needless question when they press him on 
every side. Peter becomes their spokesman, 
saying, “Master, the multitudes press thee and 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 109 

crush thee, and sayest thou, Who touched 
me?’ ” But the Master looked round about to 
see her that had done this thing, saying, “Some 
one did touch me; for I perceived that power 
had gone forth from me.” - 

Then the trembling creature came forth. 
She dared to tell it all. There will be no sor¬ 
did motive of making it a show. Falling at 
his feet in the presence of all the people, she 
told for what cause she had touched him and 
how she was healed immediately. It was only 
to convince and prove the genuineness of a 
working faith. She even explained her mo¬ 
tive the best she could. Ere she touched the 
border of his garment she said within herself 
on this wise: “If I but touch his garments, I 
shall be made whole.” 

After she had made an end of telling him 
the whole truth, Jesus said unto her, “Daugh¬ 
ter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in 
peace, and be whole of thy plague.” 

The Centurion s Faith 

Faith must give another glow—a radiant 
hue. It was to be cast in the soul of centurion 
this time. Faith is like the rare gem that 
lends itself to the delicate touches of the light. 


The Silent Nazarene 

Lo, it shines best where the light must strug¬ 
gle to disclose its hidden beauty. The cen¬ 
turies were preparing the heart of the Jew a 
receptacle for the supreme faith of Christ 
to find response. But what were the cen¬ 
turies doing for the dog of Gentile in this 
matter? Jesus here brings forth a living pic¬ 
ture of what was being done by the great good 
God to give his supreme revelation to even 
these despised ones. 

As he comes down out of that mountain of 
prayer the lepers—the outcasts of society, fling 
themselves at the feet of him who dares to 
enter even their retreats. The lepers are 
cleansed, the eyes of the blind are open, the 
ears of the deaf are unstopped, the sick are 
made whole of divers plagues, and release is 
proclaimed to the captives as Jesus of Naza¬ 
reth went about doing good. Somehow as the 
thronging multitude is moving toward Caper¬ 
naum it is purer than when it met this Teacher 
at the foot of the mountain of prayer. Not 
Jews alone notice this strange transformation 
that is daily going on before their eyes, but 
the Gentiles are observing too. And shall 
we say these very Gentiles are reading deeper 
than are the Jews? 

But look well to it, that moving throng has 

How He Found Faith in the Earth ill 

halted. What is taking place? The Master 
is looking very earnest into the faces of two 
men who are standing before him. Who are 
they? They are Jewish elders stroking their 
long beards. They are talking to him about 
a centurion whose servant that is dear unto 
him that is grievously tormented with the 
palsy. They are speaking in a confidential 
tone on this wise: “No, Teacher, we are 
aware that this is a centurion—a Gentile that 
is sending us to request this thing of thee. We 
also fully appreciate that it is not in keeping 
with our customs to request that Jewish favors 
be bestowed upon Gentiles, but this man is 
worthy for whom we ask this. He takes an 
interest in our religion. Yes, he loves our na¬ 
tion and has built us a synagogue. Now he 
has sent us to say to thee, ‘Lord, my servant 
lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously 
tormented.’ He requested us to come to thee 
and lay his cause before thee. Of course if 
he were a Jew he would have come to thee 
himself and would have made his request di¬ 
rectly to thee as he might desire.” 

The Master went with them, saying, “I will 
go and heal him.” As he is now not far from 
the house, the centurion who had his eyes set 
in the direction the elders had gone forth, got 

I 12 

The Silent Nazarene 

a glimpse of Him in the midst of the throng 
and press, and rose up quickly to go and meet 
him. Yes, he sees the Jewish elders in the 
van of the throng. They were leading the 
throng with an air of importance because of 
this thing that they had done, for it was 
through their good offices that the Teacher 
recognized the plea of this centurion at all. 
The feet of the elders are very light as they 
feel an exhilarating satisfaction going through 
their every tissue. 

But the Roman halts as though a second 
thought has taken hold of him. He is turning 
and speaking to some Jewish friends at his 
side. What is he saying to them? They are 
too far away to let the throng hear the words. 
But, lo, these men are running towards the 
crowd while the centurion is turning back to 
his house. What has taken place in that Rom¬ 
an’s mind? Is he disgusted at the vanity of 
the elders? Has he lost faith, and dispatched 
these friends to inform the Teacher that it is 
useless to come further? 

Now the friends of the centurion are before 
the Master. Listen! they are saying unto him: 
“Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not 
worthy that thou shouldest come under my 
roof: wherefore neither thought I myself 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 113 

worthy to come unto thee: but say the word 
and my servant shall be healed. For I also 
am a man set under authority, having under 
myself soldiers; and I say to this one, Go, and 
he goeth; and to another, Come, and he 
cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he 
doeth it.” 

There is a look of amazement on the face of 
the great Teacher. Have the multitudes ever 
witnessed such a look before? Has he not 
performed marvelous things before their eyes? 
Certainly this is out of the ordinary for this 
Teacher to marvel. All is silent as the great 
Master looks into the faces of these men who 
have brought these words from the centurion. 
The eye of Christ penetrates that thronging 
multitude and searches the worshipping heart 
of that centurion. Then turning to the pas¬ 
sionate, unsettled multitude that followed him, 
he says, “I have not found so great faith, no, 
not in Israel.” It were as though he said: 

“I have been searching the hearts of Israel 
for a glimpse of such a precious faith but I 
have been unable to find any near the sim¬ 
plicity and beauty of this centurion’s faith. I 
have been obliged to go out of the borders of 
Israel to find this high degree of working 
faith. Ye prize yourselves in being children 

The Silent Nazarene 


uf special privilege. Ye make yourselves be¬ 
lieve that the Gentiles are excluded from these 
privileges by God. But I say unto you, ‘That 
many shall come from the east and the west, 
and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons 
of the kingdom shall be cast forth 
into outer darkness: there shall be the 
weeping and the gnashing of teeth.’ And 
this thing shall not be for any arbitrary 
reason either. This centurion by reason of his 
high degree of faith shall naturally take his 
place with Abraham. This man is being jus¬ 
tified by faith even as it was with Abraham, 
and therefore takes a seat in the kingdom 
even by Abraham, which ye forfeit because 
of the unbelief of the hardness of your 

Jesus pauses as he turns his eyes toward 
the house, and penetrating that miracle-mon- 
gering crowd sees the honest, sincere worship¬ 
ping heart, and the heart of Jesus is knit with 
the heart of the centurion, and opening his 
lips he speaks directly to the centurion, for 
he had drawn nigh unto the house, saying, 
“Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it 
done unto thee.” 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 115 

The Nobleman s Faith 

In what awkward ways the heart makes its 
attempts at faith? It is hard to draw the line 
between sight and faith. Often a man will 
insist that his faith is pure when it is three- 
fourths sight. But Jesus who has his fan in 
his hand is ever sifting the chaff from the 
wheat; yes, he sifts for the finest of the wheat 
after the first separation is made from the 
coarser chaff. This sifting process is the more 
difficult for it is hard to discern heavenly 
things. But Jesus moves in faith clear and 

He is coming out of Judea into Galilee. He 
has been to his first Passover since beginning 
his ministry. The people had their eyes fixed 
upon him down there at the feast. Many be¬ 
lieved on his name, beholding the signs that 
he did. But Jesus did not trust himself unto 
them, for that he knew all men. He saw the 
mistaken direction of their faith. They be¬ 
lieved because they beheld the signs. Faith 
was sight with them. Different ones were try¬ 
ing to tell him what these “believing Jews” 
expected of him. The disciples themselves 
were very anxious to inform him of the nature 
of what these adherents were looking for in 

ii 6 The Silent Nazarene 

order that they might not be disappointed in 
their expectations, and that he might leave no 
opportunity slip in winning disciples. As these 
were whispering such things among them¬ 
selves with a degree of confiding, his great 
lonely heart was full of pity for those who 
thought themselves so nearly after his heart. 
They did not need to explain conditions unto 
Him for “he himself knew what was in man.” 

With this deep insight he goes into Galilee 
—everywhere meeting a throng. When at 
the very doors grossness is bolting in. The 
Galileans throng him. They have seen all 
the wonders that have made disciples at Jeru¬ 
salem, for they also went unto the feast. They 
insist that he do mighty works in Galilee as 
he did at Jerusalem. They are thronging him, 
asking for a sign. He has made his way as 
far as Cana. 

They come from Capernaum to Cana seek¬ 
ing signs. There comes out of Capernaum an 
officer of the king—even one of Herod’s of¬ 
ficers. This nobleman has something weigh¬ 
ing upon his mind and heart. He draws as 
near the Master as possible mid the jamming 
crowd. With anxious countenance he looks 
into the face of the busy Teacher. The eye of 
Christ has seen all the while but he does not 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 117 

pause in the midst of his teaching for he knows 
full well the nature of the atmosphere in 
which he is moving. This nobleman is anx¬ 
ious to speak with the Healer but cannot bring 
himself to break the laws of propriety and 
thrust in upon him to ask favors while he is 
busy. But how can he tarry longer? His son 
is at the point of death. Why would it not 
suffice to touch his garments? Why not kneel 
before the Teacher as did the leper and con¬ 
fess to the Master what he believes he can do 
if he wills? The Master pauses and looks 
upon him as distress is marking itself upon 
his countenance more gravely every minute. 
The pause is but an instant and the impatient 
nobleman breaks in with a flood of supplica¬ 
tion. He presses upon the Master the neces¬ 
sity of coming down to Capernaum at once 
and healing his son lest he die. Of course if 
he dies all is over. It must be done at once 
to save the life of his boy. In his excitement 
he has forgotten propriety. 

The Teacher in masterful calmness speaks, 
saying, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye 
will no wise believe.” The nobleman did not 
expect this rebuff. Now a pleading excite¬ 
ment of over-anxiety lays hold of him as he 
vehemently insists, saying, “Sir, come down 

118 The Silent Nazarene 

ere my child die.” This nobleman would im¬ 
press the Teacher with the necessity of making 
haste—no time to discuss the relations of be¬ 
lief to signs. It would have been well if he 
could have spoken after the manner of the 
centurian,“Lord, speak the word and my child 
shall live,” instead of being jeopardized by 
the awful fear lest there would not be suf¬ 
ficient haste to save his child. Jesus will lead 
this nobleman into that higher faith into which 
the centurian leaps and seizes the reward. 
This man could not reach his home till the 
morrow though he turn back at once. Jesus 
speaks on this wise: “Go thy way; thy son 
liveth.” This was as though he said: “Thou 
art acting on the assumption that faith and 
sight have something in common, and that 
sight may exist, without faith, but faith never 
without sight. But I say, Go without sight, 
Go thy way; thy son liveth.” Jesus remains 
at Cana while that nobleman with his train of 
servants which he had to bring Jesus down 
departs for Capernaum. Somehow he is fac¬ 
ing Capernaum in a new faith—everything is 
new. The morning is beginning to break, and 
the crimson hues of light are making the rosy 
morning blush. There coming up the steep 
slopes towards the valley of the Sea of Galilee, 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 119 

he gets a glimpse of a little company. As 
they draw nearer he recognizes his own ser¬ 
vants. Does a cold chill of apprehension that 
something worse has befallen his child since 
he left come over him? Not at all—his faith 
is clear and complacent, he knows all is right. 
He believed the word of Jesus. His servants 
are eager to tell him that his son lived. He 
quietly inquires of them the hour. They an¬ 
swer, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever 
left him.” As the little company moves on in 
silence the nobleman in deep meditation rever¬ 
ently mutters, “It was at that hour the Teacher 
said, Thy son liveth.” 

As he enters the house and relates the story, 
the mother looks upon her boy restored to 
health and then upon her husband upon whom 
faith had wrought such wonderful transforma¬ 
tion, and believes. Yes, the whole house be¬ 
lieves. What? That a prophet is able to say 
the word in Cana among the hills of Galilee 
so that the sick is restored to health in Caper¬ 
naum by the sea? 

But what of the Teacher’s faith? Some¬ 
how the supreme faith this Teacher manifested 
was as though he walked in sight. He al¬ 
ways brought forth results. In spite of all this 
he would insist that these outward manifesta- 


The Silent Nazarene 

tions which the people called results were not 
“the good part that could not be taken away.” 
The large as well as the important part was 
hidden from sight. Faith only could achieve 
in this larger realm. So he must bid the noble¬ 
man walk by faith over the hills of Galilee 
even from Cana to Capernaum. As the noble¬ 
man walks in faith he walks with God and 
achieves—grips the secret of faith which had 
its spring in the Teacher. 

The Syrophcenician Woman 

As Teacher goes forward the opposition be¬ 
comes more persistent and stubborn. Truly 
he is finding faith in the earth—much fertile 
and good ground to receive the seed he is sow¬ 
ing, but the edge of vanity and jealousy is be¬ 
ing whetted more keen. Eyes that really hate 
are fixed upon his good deeds of service. He 
cuts through the shell and lays bare the hurt 
that is festering beneath a goodly appearance. 
The Pharisees are placing their treacherous 
snares everywhere. Jesus knows it all. Yet 
his kindness to men does not abate, though the • 
rising storm to crush him beats in persistently 
from every side. 

He withdraws into the borders of Tyre and 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 121 

Sidon. There he seeks rest. He goes into an 
obscure house seeking cover from the storm 
that has been so mad about him. But he has 
no rest there. Here comes this one begging 
to be healed; there is that unfortunate crea¬ 
ture imploring aid. He goes out into the open. 
He may as well stand in the midst of the 
rushing stream of humanity—men want to see 
the face of Christ even in these foreign bor¬ 

But he is for the Jews only—of course he is. 
What then is that Greek woman about in fol¬ 
lowing him? She is actually crying for mercy. 
The Teacher is paying no attention to her cry 
either. She goes persistently on and gets 
rather boisterous in her cry, saying, “Have 
mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my 
daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.” 
But he is silent—he answers her not a word. 
How can this man who went about doing good 
so ignore the cry of this distracted woman? 
The disciples are vexed at this altogether im¬ 
proper action on the part of this dog of a 
Gentile, and besought him, saying, “Send her 
away; for she crieth after us.” He answers 
and says, “Yes, I was not sent but unto the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Does she 
see that she is disgusting the disciples, and is 


The Silent Nazarene 

not winning the approval of the Teacher? 
She hears what the Teacher has said to the 
disgusted disciples and crushes herself through 
the edging crowd, and came, and worshipped 
him, saying, “Lord, help me.” Her impru¬ 
dence calls rebuke from the Teacher upon 
whom she has thrust herself? Why did he 
not send her away at the suggestion of the out¬ 
raged disciples? Why cruelly thrust through 
her fervent appeal? Listen! is this from the 
lips of the Teacher who spake words of sym¬ 
pathy and hope as never man spake? “It is 
not meet to take the children’s bread and cast 
it to the dogs.” But what of that creature? 
Does she resent this unwarranted thrust? She 
is conscious that she is a Gentile, and does not 
have to have it reinforced by a phrase of con¬ 
tempt to cause her to realize her position. Is 
there something in the manner of his voice 
that kills the spirit of resentment, or is she so 
overwhelmed with grief that she does not sense 
it? Hear—she speaks, “Yea (that’s so), Lord; 
even the dogs under the table eat of the chil¬ 
dren’s crumbs.” We will question the wisdom 
of the procedure of this Teacher no further. 
He answered and said unto her, “O woman, 
great is thy faith: be it done unto thee even as 
thou wilt.” 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 123 

This woman was where she could will and 
have her desire. And her daughter was healed 
from that hour. 

“And He Healed Many” 

This man of Nazareth walks forward in the 
earth taking for granted that all things must 
bend to the wishes of the fullgrown man. Of 
course this man must be fullgrown, and a man 
must walk with Jesus to be fullgrown. We 
find this Man teaching as never man taught 
before—the source of his teaching is centered 
in God while the object of his instruction is 
centered in the needs of man—his brother. 
He is negligent of his own needs. It is as 
though he had none that should call for con¬ 
sideration. At times he did try to find rest 
but upon how many occasions did he forsake 
his rest and come into the throng to help men 
on to life. Never man did as this man—he 
was no recluse, no ascetic—but what of sacri¬ 
fice? That was everywhere. Things that the 
earth called good were constantly thrust be¬ 
hind him. They must go as shadows as he 
wades into the suffering needs of men. Yes, 
he heals many of divers diseases. He does not 
stop here. He takes the dead by the hand 


The Silent Nazarene 

and says, “Arise.” Yes, as one would call a 
friend from his morning rest he calls the dead 
to life again. It is so when men laugh him to 
scorn because he speaks of death as men do 
of sleep, he goes on unwavering in his course, 
takes the dead by the hand and calls it back 
into life as gently as a mother calls her sleep¬ 
ing child to its play. Who is this man? We 
must read what we can of his life and let that 
suffice, for the power with which he is ac¬ 
quainted is always at hand and is always effi¬ 
cient. He needs only to exercise faith in this 
power and things are done. He seeks to con¬ 
vince men that such power is even at their 
doors. He tells them that with an almost in¬ 
conceivable amount of faith they could uproot 
a mountain and hurl it into the sea. A word 
would do this he says. Have faith in God and 
all things are at your command. But we must 
not forget that he who taught and acted on this 
principle said likewise, “An evil and an adul¬ 
terous generation seeketh after a sign”; and 
that he also said of himself, “My meat is to 
do the will of him that sent me.” So the great 
mark of consistency is found everywhere in 

Now he has come out of the borders of Tyre 
and Sidon to the sea of Galilee into the midst 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 125 

of the Decapolis. Yes, he is in the midst of the 
cities again, and there is a howling multitude. 
They all are eager to see. To see what! Just 
what men of every generation clamor for—to 
see “some strange thing.” How they tire of 
the mediocre and commonplace. Yet life is 
staked deep in things of common kind. Here 
the restless multitude is surging again—their 
fickle demands pressing upon the overwrought 

Many also bring their sick to be healed. 
Here is a deaf mute. What can he expect? 
Jesus cannot get an answer from this man as 
to what he would have him do and thereby 
determine his faith. This man of God de¬ 
pends not upon lips to tell needs and show 
faith. He knows “what is in man,” and he is 
at home with the needs of men. So this 
tongue-tied, deaf man does not even need 
to nod his head to tell what he believes 
can be done. But Jesus takes him aside pri¬ 
vately from the fickle multitude that was cu¬ 
rious to see “some sign,” and he put his fingers 
into his ears and touched his tongue; and look¬ 
ing up to heaven he sighed and said unto him, 
“Be opened.” 

Why aside privately? Could he not have 
been healed with a word mid the multitude? 


The Silent Nazarene 

Is not this what the friends of the dumb man 
expected? His ears were opened; the bond of 
his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. But 
something else happened. The Healer charged 
this loosed tongue to hold the secret—“tell no 
man.” But the more he charged him so much 
the more he published it. Yes, when he re¬ 
turns to the multitude speaking plainly every 
one must ask him a question to hear how he 
speaks. Do you hear them exclaim, “It was 
never so seen in Israel.” They were as¬ 
tonished beyond measure, saying, “He hath 
done all things well; he maketh even the deaf 
to hear and the dumb to speak.” They could 
test this miracle on the spot, and examine it by 
the word of mouth—handle and touch it 
everywhere. So the Teacher lays the charge, 
“Except ye see signs ye will not believe.” 

The New Birth 

The prophet said of the coming righteous 
ruler—the Branch of the stock of Jesse, “He 
shall draw his breath in the fear of the Lord.” 
He gives him a place of unique distinction 
above all the rulers of the earth. The atmos¬ 
phere in which the rulers of the earth draw 
their breath is charged with self-interests— 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 127 

they judge after the sight of the eye and the 
hearing of the ear. But it is not so with this 
king. “He shall not judge after the sight of 
the eyes, neither decide after the hearing of the 
ears; but with righteousness.” 

Marked are the traces in physical life of 
the atmosphere in which they draw their 
breath. They are as the breath they breathe. 
They live, move and have their being in 
that which they breathe. They change 
with it, and we say, They become accli¬ 
mated. When they give up drawing their 
breath in the atmosphere they become like the 
inanimate nature out of which their breath 
came. Some of the elements of their decom¬ 
posing forms become through the changing 
processes of nature the atmosphere to feed 
the physical life anew. Constantly a new or¬ 
der is born out of an old order, but still it is 
physical—still it is densely ingrained in sel¬ 
fishness—each seed is yielding seed after its 
kind. They feed and help each other in spite 
of self-promotion. Nature forces them to die 
—to give their lives to others—a law born 
out of necessity. This is the law to which the 
brute must yield. Must man share in the 
same? He must draw his breath in two atmos¬ 
pheres—the physical and the spiritual. 


The Silent Nazarene 

Man opens his eyes in a material world, 
and he has his ears open to catch the sounds 
from every direction. He may doubt every¬ 
thing else, and he may thrust himself along 
and exist in spite of everything else, but one 
thing he knows—he knows the body must be 
fed. He may gather his living as the savage 
by plundering the weaker, or he may steal, or 
he may get it dishonestly by invading the 
rights of his fellow, or he may be in the 
struggle honestly for that which he knows he 
must have. This to both eye and ear is the 
very important thing—“A man must live.” 

Now the spiritual side in its manifold pos¬ 
sibilities is in need of training and develop¬ 
ment to enable it to swing out into the larger 
range of the universe. But here at the very 
threshold it is endangered of being bound 
hand and foot in the physical struggle for ex¬ 
istence which develops into greed. Instead 
of the spirit enlarging and rising out of the 
physical it is saturated and surcharged with 
it. This renders the rulers incapable of ren¬ 
dering righteous judgment, they are largely 
biased by their own interests—they are as the 
atmosphere in which they draw their breath. 

What moral and spiritual excellence must 
there be to lift above these things? It must 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 129 

be none other than this, that one must draw his 
breath in the spiritual rather than the phy¬ 
sical atmosphere. The spiritual atmosphere 
must proceed forth from the God-centre—He 
must draw his breath in the fear of the Lord. 
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his 
waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.” 
It is no longer a matter of nature driving and 
forcing on out of its laws of necessity that 
death may force the rightful claim of others, 
but it is a matter of moral and spiritual 
achievement in which the motives of unselfish¬ 
ness rule and make possible the life that is 
achieving in giving up all in enriching life 
about it. Such requires the new birth—the 
birth from above out of the higher spiritual 
order: “Ye must be born again.” 

What then is the advantage? Here the 
rights of others are not only tolerated, and 
jealousy safeguarded, but the servant’s own 
life is lost sight of in interest of the life all 
about. It is no longer bold necessity driving 
one to give up for sake of the other but it is 
love sweetening and strengthening life every¬ 
where. Brutes no longer devour one another 
for a subsistence but men live for one another, 
and all work together in the supreme love of 
God for the perfecting of the plan of crea- 

130 The Silent Nazarene 


Now there was a man of the Pharisees, 
named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the 
same came to Jesus by night, and said to him, 
“Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come 
from God; for no man can do these signs that 
thou doest, except God be with him.” 

Now this was the way exactly the common 
people were measuring Jesus, namely, by the 
miracles he was performing. Marveling at 
the signs that he did, the common people at 
once took him to be the Messiah, and set them¬ 
selves to make him their king; but the same 
excited jealousy in the breasts of the Pharisees. 
But this time we have a Pharisee coming to 
Jesus and it meant much for this man, being 
a ruler of the Jews, to take such a step. He 
had seen these signs wrought and his heart 
was burning within him to have a private in¬ 
terview with the Teacher. 

The night is quiet, and why arouse any 
needless prejudice in a matter of this kind? 
The foolhardy and the unwise flaunt what they 
can do in the face of bias and prejudice. So 
this man comes at night to have a quiet, un¬ 
disturbed interview with the great Teacher. 

Jesus is not talking to the unlearned and 
the man of common affairs this time; but he is 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 131 

conversing with one who should, if any, un¬ 
derstand the great things that pertain to the 
religion of the Jews. However, this ruler did 
did not introduce himself, happily for his 
position and standing in Israel. He was tak¬ 
ing the same standard of measurement as the 
common people. 

At the suggestion of the learned ruler that 
the signs that the Teacher did were unmistak¬ 
able marks of his divine origin, Jesus an¬ 
swered and said unto him: 

“Then, Nicodemus, thou hast proof of what 
I am, and whence I came?” 

“Yea, Teacher, I have good evidence—I 
have seen the miracles thou hast wrought, and 
I am convinced that no man can do these signs 
except God be with him.” 

“This then is proof conclusive that the king¬ 
dom of God is come?” 

“Yea, Rabbi, all men believe that Messiah 
has come.” 

But Jesus answered and said: “Verily, 
verily, I say unto you, except a man be born 
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 

There are two or three deep furrows in his 
forehead as Nicodemus looks into the calm, 
benign face of the Christ as the pale light of 
the moon is but half revealing the delicate 


The Silent Nazarene 

tender pity that is expressing itself from his 
deep searching eyes. Do the lips of the Christ 
quiver, or do they remain fixed while his eyes 
in the spell of that pale moonlight pierce and 
speak, “Are they hard words, Nicodemus?” 

What questions have been beaten out at 
white heat from the forge of the inquiring soul 
under the spell of the mystical? The lips of 
this ruler of the Jews part, and the question 
that is forged under the glow of the mystical 
spell, he somehow attempts to excuse in a 
childish inquiry, saying, “How can a man be 
born when he is old? can he enter a second 
time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” 

Jesus answers on this wise: “Is it possible 
that thou canst only think in terms of the flesh 
and the material? The flesh profiteth noth¬ 
ing. The Spirit maketh alive. Verily, verily, 
I say unto thee, except a man be born of the 
Spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 

At this Nicodemus looked upon the Christ 
in silent amazement. He was not prepared to 
speak for what a trifling distance was the un¬ 
derstanding of this ruler of the Jews removed 
from that of the common people? He was 
measuring the Teacher with the same measure 
as that of the fickle multitude. The Teacher 
looked upon this ruler mystified to silence. 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 133 

and said: “That which is born of the flesh 
is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is 
spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye 
must be born anew. The wind bloweth where 
it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, 
but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither 
it goeth: so is every one that is born of the 
Spirit. Thou knowest that it is done—the 
marks are proof positive.” 

Nicodemus is perplexed beyond measure, 
for somehow he feels the ground sliding from 
under his feet—even that ground upon which 
the Jewish thought of the Messiah had built 
so strongly. All the Jews’ ambitions and hopes 
were freighted upon this one hope. Now he 
discovered this man to whom he bound this 
hope looking into something vague and un¬ 
certain—apart from the cherished hope upon 
which the Jew had staked his all. So with 
lips apart Nicodemus continues to look into 
the face of the great Teacher, but as he looks 
his lips steal an expression from his over¬ 
charged soul. 

“How can these things be?” 

Jesus knew all the while what was going 
forward in this ruler’s soul of souls, and an¬ 
swered and said unto him, “Art thou the 
teacher of Israel, and understandest not these 


The Silent Nazarene 

things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We 
speak that which we know, and bear witness 
of that which we have seen; and ye receive 
not our witness. If I told you earthly things 
and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I 
tell you heavenly things?” 

Nicodemus bows his head in deep contem¬ 
plation as though he said, “I don’t understand 
but I will follow thee.” So it was when the 
rulers of the Jews were assembled in Council 
to condemn the Teacher and plan his destruc¬ 
tion that Nicodemus saith unto them, “Doth 
our law judge a man, except it first hear from 
himself and know what he doeth?” This 
brought down the storm upon the head of 
Nicodemus, for they answered him, saying, 
“Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and see 
that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” And 
John who gives us this glimpse of the great 
Teacher and this lone pupil on that certain 
night gives us this glimpse also: “And 
there came also Nicodemus, he who at first 
came to him at night, bringing a mixture of 
myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in 
linen cloths with the spices.” 

The silent miracle was at work—the new 
birth was on in spite of the fact that the cher- 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 135 
ished hope of Israel was shattered. 

The Living Water 

These two are inseparably linked together 
—God and immortality. This has been the 
miracle working spirit among men. It mat¬ 
ters little how men of scientific bias endeavor 
to explain the teachings of Jesus as being pri¬ 
marily confined to this earthly life, there al¬ 
ways has been, and there is, and there always 
will be a large majority among Christians 
who insist with Paul: “If in this life only we 
have hope in Christ, we are of all men most 
miserable (pitiable).” However, this may 
be interpreted, this one thing is certain, the 
apostle had insistent reference to the resur¬ 
rection and the hope in the future life for the 
individual. Not the immortality and triumph 
of the good, though that is tacitly assumed. 
It is certainly individual immortality that is 
aimed at—Eternal life and enjoyment of the 
Kingdom of God for all who have “fought 
the good fight” and have “kept the faith.” 

Men will ever interpret such words as these 
from Jesus: “Because I live, ye shall live 
also,” not as referring to a redeemed and 
purged social order, but as a declaration of in- 


The Silent Nazarene 

dividual immortality when death has stripped 
the last vestige of material being from off the 
soul of the believer. It shall be an immortal¬ 
ity of divine companionship—the life of the 
believer is inseparably bound up in the life of 
the great Friend and Redeemer. And as 
this Redeemer is God for us, it is the most 
natural conclusion in the world to say: “Be¬ 
cause God lives we shall live also.” Do not 
the gospels breathe out this spirit everywhere? 
The parables have reference to this great up¬ 
lifting hope that raises humanity’s drooping 
head; so is the irresistible undercurrent of the 
miracles or works of Jesus (for all the works 
of Jesus are miracles, for when have works 
transformed the heart of humanity as these 
works have done?) ; and his direct teachings 
(without parable and without works) always 
leave the spirit aglow that this is so. Men 
may have taken the teachings of Paul to erect 
their precise definitions in theology, but it 
cannot be said that from these precise man¬ 
made phrases and absolute categorical defini¬ 
tions they have drawn their inspiration of 
eternal life. Sanely considering it on the 
other hand—the works, the parables, the direct 
teachings, and the life of Jesus Christ on 
earth have the great climax in the risen Lord 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 137 

—a voice that cannot be hushed. Earth may 
hold the empty tomb but heaven received the 
risen Lord. The believer remembers that 
Jesus of Nazareth said, “I go to prepare a 
place for you,” and that believer knows that 
the risen Lord has gone that way to fulfill the 
promise, and sets his face steadfastly in the 
direction his Lord has gone. The burden of 
proof is with the opposition if they will have 
it otherwise. 

Why all these words? Because men have 
been unwilling to grasp immortality in its en¬ 
tirety. Not that they fail to live the whole of 
immortality at once, that is out of the question, 
but that they have been confused as to its be¬ 
ginning—many thought the grave was to be 
the beginning; yes, and many think the same 
to-day; while others hold—eat, drink, and be 
merry here, and if there is anything hereafter— 
“all well and good,” and if not you have this 
much enjoyment out of your existence at any 
rate. This latter class miss the mark en¬ 
tirely. Such would not justify even an exist¬ 
ence. It is sheer selfishness to make enjoy¬ 
ment an end in itself as this class would fain 
do. Existence is justified only in living for 
others, and immortality awakens in the breast 
just in so far as life is lost in the welfare of 


The Silent Nazarene 

the neighbor. The two voices must not be 
confused. Gross selfishness says, “Get out of 
life all you can for yourself:” while the seed 
out of which immortality bursts forth is every¬ 
where exclaiming, “Put into life all you can 
for others.” So the embryo of immortality is 
service, and this is certainly what Jesus taught, 
“He that loseth his life for my sake shall find 
it.” Equally true is it that self-seeking is 
the sepulchre of death, “He that findeth his 
life shall lose it.” Here it is all put succinctly. 
The man who seeks to get out of life all he 
can for self and who fears to trust too much 
to a future life lest he leave some enjoyment 
slip here on earth, loses himself in eternal 
death; while the man who lives by the great 
principles of Christ in denying self and taking 
up his cross forgets himself into eternal life. 
This is not merely a great name to endure to 
the end of time in the memory of men, for 
that too is hollow deceiving, but the fact of a 
personal life of development out of the great 
principles of love and service in an eternity 
beginning with the first unfolding of life— 
this unbroken development of the personal life 
of the individual is the immortality that is 

As a reaction to the doctrine that we must 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 139 

wait till the grave gives up its dead to begin 
immortality, and also to escape the monstrous 
idea that we are to get all the enjoyment out 
of this life possible, as a bird in the hand is 
worth two in the bush, men have laid undue 
emphasis upon service to our fellows here. 
Yes, they tell us to go ahead and do the right 
thing by our fellows here as the future is back 
of the veil and we do not know very much 
about it at any rate. It’s a matter of very 
little concern to us, and Christ did not place 
much emphasis upon it either. Is this so? 
Is this voice a true interpretation of Christ? 
Does it voice the highest that is in the heart 
of man? The answer in each case comes with 
an emphatic “No.” Personal immortality is 
the important thing just as the personal exist¬ 
ence of the Eternal God is the important 
thing. Then the man who is voicing our age 
throws up his hands and exclaims with great 
indignation, “Selfishness!—then you make the 
motive for immortality selfish, and personal 
salvation is a selfish affair.” 

Let the charge this voice has brought be 
searched out. It is a selfish affair if you are 
trying to be saved alone regardless of the good 
that should come by your having lived to your 
fellows. But if what we see here among men is 

140 The Silent Nazarene 

a glimpse of the perfect type that is in heaven, 
then it is no selfish idea if we wish to grow out 
of limitations and imperfections to be clothed 
upon with larger capacity for doing good. 
We are told by him who attained the highest 
moral and spiritual achievements the earth has 
ever witnessed that “God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son that who¬ 
soever believeth on him should not perish, 
but have eternal life.” 

Now the motive that prompts Heaven to 
serve and save is love. Love does not need 
an imperfect world in the sense that it is sin¬ 
ful to do service. Many in these days speak 
as though the whole of service is the patching 
up of disabled machinery. The machinery 
needs repair, that is true, but it needs to be 
repaired that the grain might be better pro¬ 
duced and garnered. Therefore, the highest 
achievements, and that for which we are so 
busy in bringing about the proper conditions 
for bodily comfort and development is moral 
and spiritual excellence. Jesus Christ says, 
Take the Father’s perfection as the goal to¬ 
ward which to strive. 

If we are to be perfect even as our Father 
who is in heaven is perfect, it should not be 
surprising when we hear Jesus saying such 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 141 

things as these: “Whosoever liveth and be- 
lieveth in me shall never die”; “He that be- 
lieveth on me hath everlasting life”; “Because 
I live, ye shall live also”; “Whosoever drink- 
eth of the water that I shall give him shall 
never thirst; but the water that I shall give 
him shall be in him a well of water springing 
up into everlasting life.” The grave does not 
even arrest this great process of life. It is 
but the bursting of the crude shell, and life 
cuts loose from its many limitations, springs 
up into its larger activities—a living in and 
because of Christ, putting on more and more 
of the nature of God. 

He who grasps this conception here prays 
fervently and reverently, Thy will be done in 
earth as it is in heaven. God’s will being 
done here does not exclude its being done in 
heaven, but makes emphatic the burning de¬ 
sire of the child of God that earth be brought 
into closer relation and a deeper harmony 
with heaven. He who prays fervently, “Thy 
kingdom come,” does not exclude individual 
or personal immortality, but shares in the 
great beneficent nature of God who wills that 
all peoples of the earth have part in the high¬ 
est possible good and blessedness. They who 
utter this prayer are moved by the great mo- 


The Silent Nazarene 

tive that moves the heart of God, for God so 
loved the world. This is participating in 
God’s great nature, entering into his beneficent 
plan, and achieving along with his Almighty 

"Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the 
ineffable Name? 

Builder and maker, thou, of houses not 
made with hands! 

What, have fear of change from thee who art 
ever the same? 

Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that 
thy power expands? 

Th ere shall never be one lost good! What 
was, shall live as before; 

The evil is null, is naught, is silence imply- 
ing sound; 

What was good shall be good, with, for evil, 
so much good more; 

On earth the broken arcs; in heaven, the 
perfect round.” 

Shall we then say that the grave shall sun¬ 
der such relations, or even arrest this com¬ 
panionable working together? Shall the Al¬ 
mighty go on and cast aside those with whom 
he has wrought and take on new till he sees 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 143 

fit to be done with them? Wherein then 
shall the plan of creation be effected? Shall 
he discard and cast aside all types till he gets 
a type to suit him? Why not then have created 
a perfect type in the beginning? Can he take 
the imperfect type and bring it into perfec¬ 
tion if that type desires that such should be, 
and that God’s will be done in the achieving? 
Is not the desire of the child like unto that of 
the Father? And where is the power in 
heaven, earth or hell that can separate the 
yearnings of the heart of the child for the 
Father from the loving kindness and the ten¬ 
der mercies of the great heart of the Almighty 
Father for the child? “For I am persuaded, 
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, 
nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor 
any other creature, shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God, which is in Christ 
Jesus our Lord.” 

Righteousness shall cover the earth as the 
waters cover the seas, and then how much 
more grandly shall developing souls burst the 
crude shell and enter upon the eternal inherit¬ 
ance, as servants of the Most High; yea, as 
sons of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with 
Christ. The redeemed and purged social or- 


The Silent Nazarene 

der upon the earth will not exclude individual 
immortality, and was never taught by Christ 
and his disciples that it would. But on the 
other hand the definite teachings on which 
the hope of individual immortality is based, 
have broadened the horizon, deepened the 
zenith, and have made men heroic in circum¬ 
stances that otherwise would have crushed 
them. To minimize this uplifting hope will 
be to make men move in a dead line in the 
earth, however pure and noble the idea may 
be thought to be by doing so. What grander 
purpose can there be than a glowing desire to 
have all men everywhere to lift up their heads 
above the dead-weight of materialism and 
share in this most blessed of hopes? Without 
it men become gross as the material with 
which they work, and though noble their ef¬ 
forts might seem to be the force is spent in 
patching up machinery to have it fall to pieces 
in their hands. The Master has warned us of 
this sort, saying, “Labor not for the meat that 
perisheth.” Then too with the fulcrum of 
immortality to lift the faith of men we have 
something to console when “The silver chord 
is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the 
pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel 
broken at the cistern, and the dust returneth 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 145 

to the earth as it was,” for we are persuaded 
that the spirit of our friend “returneth unto 
God who gave it.” 

Jesus leaves Judea, and departs for Galilee, 
and he must needs pass through Samaria. 
And he came to Sychar, a city of Samaria, 
near to the parcel of ground Jacob gave to his 
son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. He 
sat by the well as his disciples departed into 
the city to buy bread. As he sat there a wo¬ 
man came out of the city to draw water. That 
woman saw him this lone Jew but made as 
though she saw him not. This Jew, however, 
is searching out her heart, and saith unto her, 

“Give me to drink.” 

The woman, starting back, saith unto him, 
“How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh 
drink of me who am a Samaritan?” 

“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who 
it is that saith to thee, ‘Give me to drink,’ thou 
wouldst have asked of him, and he would have 
given thee living water.” 

The woman saith unto him, “Sir, thou hast 
nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: 
whence then hast thou that living water?” 

The eye of the great Teacher penetrated and 
searched deep into the secrets of the soul 


The Silent Nazarene 

that was drawing within itself. The woman 
would ask another question as though subtly 
to conceal the importance she attached to the 

“Art thou greater than our father Jacob, 
who gave us the well, and drank thereof him¬ 
self, and his sons and his cattle?” But help¬ 
less creature! she had only opened the way 
for this Jew whose eye was searching her out. 

The Jew answered, saying, “Every one that 
drinketh of this water shall thirst again. The 
water of this well gives only temporary sat¬ 
isfaction; thirst becomes as burning as ever, 
and if the man who drinketh here is lost in 
the desert he will die of thirst. 

“Whosoever drinketh of the water that I 
shall give him shall never thirst; but the water 
that I shall give him shall become in him a 
well of water springing up unto eternal life.” 

Doth she still evade as though she discerned 
not in the least the meaning of what he said? 

“Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not 
(had she made an end of speaking here it had 
been well, but she must add further only to 
her confusion), neither come all the way 
hither to draw.” 

The great Master has pressed the motive of 
her heart to a thirsting desire, and now must 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 147 

uncover and lay bare the heart, showing her 
“all she ever did.” 

“Go, call thy husband, and come hither.” 

Can she find any subtle way of evading this 
request? She cast her eyes down and in spite 
of herself made the bold confession, for the 
searching eye and the pressing question of this 
Jew had stung her to the quick: “I have no 

She didn’t mean to tell him that she only 
sought to escape that scrutinizing search. But 
the Teacher had uncovered the secret—laid 
open the wound to the garish light which she 
had fought so hard to keep him from accom¬ 

“Thou saidst well, I have no husband: for 
thou hast had five husbands; and he whom 
thou now hast is not thy husband; this hast 
thou said truly.” 

It is as though the Teacher said even in lan¬ 
guage more expressive than the spoken word, 
“Thou hast made as though thou couldst not 
sense the meaning of what I was speaking to 
thee concerning ‘the living water,’ but in thine 
every word to conceal thou didst lay bare thy 
need of the diving water.’ ” 

The thing is so. But it is too plain for the 
woman’s comfort. Again she must confess 


The Silent Nazarene 

as the truth presses, “Sir, I perceive that thou 
art a prophet.” Had she stopped with this 
admission she had done well. But such was 
not to be. The gaze of the eyes of the revealer 
of hearts was burning into her soul. She can¬ 
not look into his marvelous clear eye but must 
cast her eyes to Mt. Gerizan, for she would 
fain turn that terrible searching eye from her 
heart to this place of Samaritan worship. 
How she cried in her soul that he might spare 
her as that eye was searching out the secrets, 
and laying bare things just as they were. How 
could she dare let him go further? So she 
ventures a word to turn him from the privacy 
of her soul to the general customs of her re¬ 
ligion, saying, “Our fathers worshipped in 
this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is 
the place where men ought to worship.” 

But, woman, you have spoken again to your 
confusion. This is no ordinary Jew, nor even a 
Jewish prophet with whom you are speaking. 
You understand far better than you wish to 
admit by the manner of your speaking. Your 
passing remark that either Jew or Samaritan 
is wrong as each is insistent upon his own pe¬ 
culiar place of worship as the only right and 
proper place is to cover you with greater con¬ 
fusion because of your subtle pretensions to 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 149 

conceal the fact that you have recognized the 
truth. Did you hope to sidetrack this teacher 
—to divert him from the matter in hand by 
raising a question concerning the customs of 
these peoples who had been antagonistic 
from remote times? Listen! the Teacher takes 
up the remark. 

“Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, 
when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusa¬ 
lem shall ye worship the Father. Ye wor¬ 
ship that which ye know not: we worship that 
which we know; for salvation is from the 

This Teacher has started out in a way alto¬ 
gether new—the place of worship of the Fa¬ 
ther would not be either in Mt. Gerizan, or 
in Jerusalem. In this statement alone he is a 
strange teacher for he has now swung back 
into line with the strictest of Jews: “Ye wor¬ 
ship that which ye know not: we worship that 
which we know; for salvation is from the 
Jews.” Has the expectation of the Samaritan 
woman been met by the Jew? Have we 
reached the despair of the Gentile in this 
Teacher also? But he has not made an end 
of speaking yet. Let us hear. 

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the 
true worshippers shall worship the Father in 

150 The Silent Nazarene 

spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek 
to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit: and 
they that worship him must worship him in 
spirit and truth. It cannot be otherwise. It 
is a matter of the heart, woman, and not of 
either ‘this mountain,’ or Jerusalem.” 

Is she saying in the holy of holies of her 
soul, “Yea, he is hitting straight at me again— 
I have had five husbands, and the man with 
whom I am living at present is not my hus¬ 
band. The heart must be true if the spirit is 
to worship the Father. So here the well of 
water springs up unto eternal life. But, oh! 
my heart-” 

Why didn’t she tear herself away from him? 
He was reading her life and she was reading 
out of the same book. She must stand and 
leave him read. 

It is so—she forgets all about filling her 
water-jar, and is led to ask question after 
question to her own confusion. He has gone 
to the seat of her sinful life, and now launch¬ 
ing out into the deep of spiritual mysteries 
he is telling her what is essential to be a true 
worshipper. It all resolves itself into what 
he told Nicodemus—“Ye must be born 
anew.” This woman knows that it all comes 
to what her heart is. Will she ask a needless 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 151 

question? or will she ask a question to verify 
what she already is convinced to be true? 

“I know that Messiah cometh (he that is 
called Christ) : when he is come, he will de¬ 
clare unto us all things.” 

This declarative question is a feeler of the 
way. Somehow she wishes to have her con¬ 
viction reinforced by words direct from the 
Teacher. Hardly daring to put a question for 
a matter so plain she hopes that a suggestion 
or hint will suffice. 

Jesus saith unto her, “I that speak unto thee 
am he.” 

Upon this came his disciples and they mar¬ 
veled that he was speaking with the woman; 
yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why 
speakest thou with her? So the woman left 
her water-pot, and went away into the city, 
and saith to the people, “Come, see a man, who 
told me all things that ever I did: can this be 
the Christ?” 

How is Jesus regarding this conversation 
with the woman? His disciples urge him to 
eat, for the journey has been long and trying. 
But he saith unto them, “I have meat to eat 
that ye know not.” 

The disciples are standing together in 


The Silent Nazarene 

couples with their heads together quietly dis¬ 
cussing the matter, saying, “Hath any man 
brought him aught to eat?” Has Simon Peter 
offered him bread and invited him to eat in 
behalf of the other disciples who were mar¬ 
veling at the strange conduct of the Teacher? 
But Simon is not to be lightly refused. He 
must prevail upon the Teacher till the Mas¬ 
ter must explain that he has meat to suf¬ 
fice already. Simon is silenced and the dis¬ 
ciples are perplexed beyond measure. The 
Master answers their perplexities, saying: 

“My meat is to do the will of him that sent 
me, and to accomplish his work. Say not ye, 
There are yet four months, and then cometh 
the harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up 
your eyes and look on the fields, that they are 
white already unto harvest. He that reapeth 
receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto eter¬ 
nal life; that he that soweth and he that reap¬ 
eth may rejoice together. For herein is the 
saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 
I sent you to reap that whereon ye have not 
labored: others have labored, and ye are en¬ 
tered into their labor.” 

As he caused the woman to find her soul by 
referring to the well of water from which she 
had come to draw, so he was helping the dis- 

Hozv He Found Faith in the Earth 153 

ciples to find the soul of their work from the 
loaf of bread they had offered him to eat. 

Thereupon the Samaritans came out of the - 
city and besought him to abide with them, and 
he abode there two days. This is the voice of 
the many who believed as they addressed the 
woman, saying, 

“Now we believe, not because of thy speak¬ 
ing : for we have heard for ourselves, and know 
that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” 

Is Simon Peter whispering into the ear of 
Andrew, saying, “This is the last place in the 
world one would expect to hear anything like 
this, is it not?” 

“Verily it is so, Simon, and there are no 
Pharisees to hear it either,” suggests Andrew. 

“Well, I don’t quite understand the Master 
these last few days,” gasped Simon. 

Were they standing too near that woman 
who was puzzled over the fact of the invasion 
of the privacy of her life? , 

“Men, why question ye concerning this 
Teacher? He told me all that I ever did. 
When I asked for that living water, he told 
me that the worship of God depends alone 
upon a true heart; yea, that God and immor¬ 
tality of the spirit are inseparable—out of the 
true heart a well of water springeth up unto 


The Silent Nazarene 

life eternal because God is a Spirit.” 

The golden thread running through the 
dialogue of the Teacher with this lone Samar¬ 
itan woman as well as that with the disciples 
upon their arrival from the city at the well is 
that the whole purpose of God consists of life. 
His works are eternal because He himself is 
eternal. As we are sharers in his work with 
reference to his eternal purpose and plan, we 
are partakers with him of eternal life. To do 
His will and achieve with him is to become 
like him—sharing his nature and life. He 
who said, “My meat is to do the will of Him 
that sent me, and to accomplish his work,” 
said this also, “I and my Father are one,” and 
the same authority declared, saying, “For 
whosoever shall do the will of my Father who 
is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and 
mother.” His kinsman are they who achieve 
with him in the eternal purpose and plan of 
the Father. Why? “I am the vine, ye are the 
branches: He that abideth in me, and I in 
him, the same beareth much fruit.” Then 
how natural is his earnest prayer to the Father, 
“That they may all be one; even as thou, 
Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also 
may be in us.” 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 155 

“Whosoever drinketh of the water that I 
shall give him shall never thirst; but the water 
that I shall give him shall become in him a 
well of water springing up unto eternal life.” 
Another way of saying that the activities and 
processes of life shall not be arrested at the 
grave, but rather the limitations being thrown 
off shall achieve in the unbounded freedom of 
the Father. 

The Sinful Woman Forgiven 

If we have no direct evidence that Nicode- 
mus became an out and out disciple of the 
great Teacher, and have no direct language 
from the Samaritan woman that she ever re¬ 
ceived the living water, we have without read¬ 
ing between the lines the example of a woman 
who was a sinner experiencing the forgive¬ 
ness of sins. Here is the master miracle per¬ 
formed and yet men regard it so little. It 
takes men so very long to find out that achieve¬ 
ment in the excellence of character is the chief 
end and goal of life. This grand product is 
drawn out of the promiscuous mixture of life 
in its alloy by the magic power of love. Men 
are constantly mistaking the alloy for the gen¬ 
uine currency and consequently love is smoth- 

156 The Silent Nazarene 

ered out by what is cheap and gross. Jesus 
has made the line distinct so that there need 
be no mistake provided one wishes to find out 
what is enduring that undue importance be 
not attached to that which is passing. The 
greed of the Rich Fool covers him with confu¬ 
sion and death—“So is he that layeth up treas¬ 
ure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 

Loving service is the radiant glow of eter¬ 
nal life while self-indulgence and greed dark¬ 
ens in the sombre gray of death. The acts 
and teachings of Jesus were golden shafts of 
the light of eternal life. In Him love bursts 
forth into life everlasting. It is a well-spring 
producing eternal life in others, and others in 
turn are the lovers to renew the life in the 
soul that loves, and so it is ever perpetually re¬ 
newing itself in vigor, energy, and fullness in 
the completion of life—eternity is needed for 
the maturing of the fruitage of love. It is 
completed unselfishness that loses and finds 
itself in the abundant life. 

Personal immortality is the highest idea of 
unselfishness—we would live forever that we 
might live for others, that life might have its 
full fruitage. Blessed are those who “love 
much.” Is this not the heart of God? “God 
so loved the world that he gave his only be- 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 157 

gotten Son.” Because He loved God lost 
himself. His loving life rescued the prey out 
of the jaws of death and in its glow “brought 
life and immortality to light.” So the acts and 
teachings of Jesus can be explained in no other 
way than love working out eternal life. 

Did I hear a citizen of Capernaum say, 
“Who can but love the prophet of Nazareth? 
Why, he’s doing good and helping men every¬ 

“Yes,” exclaims a Pharisee, “he’s a likely 
person but then he is not careful enough how 
he goes around with sinners.” 

Now Simon the Pharisee steps up, and with 
an intensive gesture says, “That’s all very true 
-—he’s not careful how he touches sinners, but 
I like him.” 

Well, Jesus gets an invitation to the home of 
Simon the Pharisee, and as they are sitting at 
meat a woman of the city, who is a sinner, 
comes in and standing behind at his feet, 
weeping, began to wet his feet with her tears, 
and wipe them with the hairs of her head, and 
she kissed his feet, and she broke over them 
the alabaster cruse of ointment which she 
had brought with her and anointed them. 

A dark frown broods over the brow of 

i 5 8 

The Silent Nazarene 

Simon as he looks upon this thing. He is say¬ 
ing within himself, “This man, if he were a 
prophet, would have perceived who and what 
manner of woman this is that toucheth him, 
that she is a sinner.” 

Was Simon not aware of the conduct of the 
Teacher before he bade him to his house, to 
share the hospitality of his board? Or has he 
felt his hospitality outraged by the conduct of 
the Teacher as he sat at his table? Even the 
feelings at times suppress and hide and strive 
to conceal the real motives mid the shadows of 
subtle pretensions of generosity. 

But Jesus, answering these dark question¬ 
ings going forward within the soul of Simon, 
said unto him, “Simon, I have somewhat to 
say unto thee.” 

Now Simon is at the supreme effort of sub¬ 
tle devising to conceal—he is at the end of 
his string. He must make it appear that noth¬ 
ing extraordinary has taken place within him¬ 
self, and that he is ready to learn in eagerness 
what the Teacher has to say. He requests 
him to proceed. 

“Teacher, say on.” 

“A certain man had two debtors: the one 
owed him five hundred shillings, and the other 
fifty. When they had not wherewith to pay, 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 159 

he forgave them both. Which of them there¬ 
fore will love him most?” 

Simon is now creeping within himself, but 
there is but one respectable thing to do and 
that is to answer him—and to answer him 
properly as common sense would instruct. 
Yet he is a trifle reluctant after he had begun 
to make answer. 

“He, I suppose to whom he forgave most.” 

The Teacher is full of self-possession and 
his is the opportunity to drive home the truth. 
He will rip off the bark that the palpitating 
heart of the Pharisee might be laid bare and 
exposed. Fixing the searching eye intently 
upon the eye of Simon he said, “Thou hast 
rightly judged.” 

Turning to the woman the great Teacher 
said unto the Pharisee— 

“Here is the application of the parable. 
Seest thou this woman? I entered into thy 
house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: 
but she has wetted my feet with her tears, and 
wiped them with her hair. Thou gavest me 
no kiss: but she, since the time I came in, hath 
not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil 
thou didst not anoint: but she hath anointed 
my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say 
unto thee, Her sins which are many, are for- 

i6o The Silent Nazarene 

given; for she loved much: but to whom little 
is forgiven, the same loveth little.” 

He is turning his eye from Simon as he is 
uttering this last phrase in which he points 
out Simon as the other debtor that loves little. 
In his rebuke he is saying to the Pharisee, 
Thy frown bars thee ever from sharing the 
blessedness this woman shares this day. 

Now his concern is the woman as he looks 
with deep compassion upon her, saying, “Thy 
sins are forgiven.” 

This is but to intensify the feelings of dis¬ 
approval that is rankling in the hearts of those 
who sat at meat. Hard knots are filling the 
throats and they are beginning to say within 
themselves, ‘‘How far will this man go?” 
“Who is this that even forgiveth sins?” 

But the hands of Jesus are lifted in bene¬ 
diction as he is saying unto the despised wo¬ 
man, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” 

He performed no physical miracle of heal¬ 
ing upon this woman, and this woman had not 
come for such. Jesus tells us why she came 
and anointed his feet, “For she loved much.” 
She loved the good and pure, but how prone 
she was to do the evil. She was chained about, 
helpless. She would do better but evil was 
present with her and so powerful. She saw 

How He Found Faith in the Earth 161 

how wonderful kind and good this prophet 
was. She was convinced that he could lift 
her burden, relieve her of sin and strengthen 
her to begin life all anew. She could not tell 
him what was wrong in her life and how much 
she loved the good and the pure, and how she 
longed for his help and assistance. She can 
do better than telling—she can act it all out. 
So it comes to pass as has been related simply 
because love burns through the dross of sin, 
unites the heart with God, and buds into 
life eternal. We hear the Master say, “Thy 
faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” 





P HARISEE, why cast an eye of suspicion 
upon the work and life of the Nazarene? 
Do you regard it as not genuine that you con¬ 
stantly impute to him perverted, dark motives 
as prompting all his gracious works? You 
say this Man works through the Prince of 
devils—Beelzebub. You say he is not of God 
or he would not dare work on the Sabbath. 
What gracious act of loving service can pro¬ 
fane the Sabbath? You violently charge him 
with blasphemy because he declares his right 
to so work, “My Father worketh hitherto and 
I work.” The Lord has put the matter up to 
you, “Ye hypocrites, doth not each one of you 
on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from 
the stall, and lead him away to watering? 
And ought not this woman, being a daughter 
of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these 
eighteen years, to have been loosed from this 
bond on the day of the Sabbath?” The sub¬ 
lime truth, “The Sabbath was made for man 
and not man for the Sabbath.” The Christ 



The Silent Nazarene 

made this truth living and concrete in his life 
so that all might see it and profit by it. “The 
Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath.” 
Pharisee, why charge this Man with profan¬ 
ing the Sabbath who finds it at the very root 
of human need? You strain your treacherous 
eye to entrap him. Can you find anything 
save your own dark charges? Is not the mul¬ 
titude seeking him even in desert places? The 
people would make him king. They are de¬ 
serting you on every side. Strict religious 
formalists—slaves of a hopelessly compli¬ 
cated tradition, you know that this man is at 
the heart of life and you are losing ground day 
by day. You see him among the urgent needs 
of men. How these needs cry out to him? 
H ow busy he is ministering! He is sought 
on every side. Ah, your mad jealousy is ris¬ 
ing as you see these things. You question 
among yourselves how you can make away 
with him. Hear the warning the Master 
gives concerning you: 

“Do not ye after their works; for they say, 
and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and 
grievous to be borne, and they lay them on 
men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not 
move them with one of their fingers.” The 
great Teacher has placed the charge at your 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 167 

door. This is why men forsake you and seek 
His new teaching of authority. Yours is arti¬ 
ficial ground while His is truth—the ground in 
which life has sent down and fixed its roots. 
You have nothing to wage your warfare with 
save treachery and jealousy. So you say 
there are dark motives at the seat of all this 
grand achievement of this humble man. So 
you plot underhand, secret, and devilish 
methods for seizing him and making way with 
him. Brazen boldness! crush rather than let 
the superior live. The Master warns against 
your secret leaven which gathers all the filth 
and dregs from hidden, dark, poisonous, 
deadly sources—“Take heed and beware of 
the leaven of the Pharisees.” Your sin stalks 
into his most sacred and forbidden courts. 
You have your religion on parade and your 
aim is to impress the people with the spectacu¬ 
lar and show them how much better you are 
than they. “Woe unto you scribes and Phari¬ 
sees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses 
and for a pretence make long prayers: there¬ 
fore ye shall receive greater damnation.” You 
despise the publican, and shun with horror 
and revolting disdain the wretched harlot. 
Hear the Man of Nazareth speak: “Verily I 
say unto you, that the publicans and the har- 


The Silent Nazarene 

lots go into the Kingdom of God before you.” 
You do your works to be seen of men—make 
broad your phylacteries; love the uppermost 
rooms at the feasts and chiefest seats in the 
synagogues; love to be greeted in the market¬ 
places and be called by all men “Rabbi, Rabbi; 
yes, your very prayers are made to be seen of 
men, for you stand in the conspicuous places 
of the market and even thank God in a very 
distinct voice that you are not like other men. 

Reserve must give when tension is too great 
and the time has fully come. Terrible facts 
must stare mortals in the face with all their 
ghastliness. Scathing condemnation and bit¬ 
ing rebuke from the lips of the Nazarene who 
everywhere spoke loving words of hope and 
good cheer. “Woe unto you, scribes and 
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the out¬ 
side of the cup and of the platter, but within 
they are full from extortion and excess.” He 
dares repeat the charge—“Woe unto you, 
Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are 
like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly 
appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead 
men’s bones, and all uncleanness. Even so ye 
also appear righteous unto men, but inwardly 
ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” And 
this also, “Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 169 
how shall ye escape the judgment of hell.” 

The Great Confession 

Jesus goes up and down the land faithfully 
teaching and living the love of God. His 
pathway glows with service. The people 
come to him from every quarter. The multi¬ 
tudes throng him daily. They attempt to 
make him their king. He hides himself from 
their greed and perverted desires. 

But the Pharisees are acting out an entirely 
different drama They are moved against him 
with ceremonial prejudice because he permits 
his disciples to eat with “unwashen hands,” 
with religious bigotry and pride because “He 
is the friend of publicans and sinners,” with 
jealousy and envy because “all men hang on 
him listening.” Therefore they seek to kill 
him. They are planning that they might take 
him secretly because they fear the people. He 
goes up out of the borders of Israel into the 
parts of Caesarea Philippi. 

Here in this alien region he asks his disci¬ 
ples, saying, “Who do men say I am?” After 
listening to several opinions the disciples had 
caught from the people he asked them, “But 
who say ye that I am?” Peter is now the 

170 The Silent Nazarene 

spokesman. “Thou art the Christ.” Jesus 
answered and said unto him, “Blessed art 
thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood 
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father 
who is in heaven.” 

“From that time began Jesus to show unto 
his disciples that he must go unto Jerusalem, 
and suffer many things of the elders and chief 
priests and scribes, and be killed.” The rec¬ 
ords state, “He spake the saying openly.” It 
is as though he said: 

“My disciples, you share the popular no¬ 
tion of making me a king. Have I lived so 
long a time with you serving the lone worsted 
outcasts in the by-ways and hedges and yet 
you share with the people the gross perverted 
ideas. All who follow in the paths in which 
I am serving men shall bear the image of 
kings. I am carrying out that image day by 
day. I am establishing the kingdom in your 
midst. You call it losing but in this seeming 
defeat I am achieving nobler and grander than 
ever earth has witnessed. “The Son of man 
must suffer many things, and be rejected of 
the elders and the chief priests, and be killed, 
and after three days rise again.” 

Peter at once begins to rebuke him, saying, 
“Be it far from thee, Lord: this .shall never be 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 171 

done unto thee.” Jesus had vanquished this 
same Tempter before in the Wilderness of 
Temptation. How subtle the cunning—he 
comes in the garb of a disciple seeking to be¬ 
friend his Master. But Jesus knows the sub¬ 
tle Tempter and strips him of all his guile. 
He turns and says unto Peter, “Get thee be¬ 
hind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block 
unto me; for thou mindest not the things of 
God, but the things of men.” It is as though 
he said: 

“Must I too follow the multitudes down the 
broad way of death? Or should as many as 
it is given follow me into the narrow way of 
life through the straight gate? Be it far from 
me to go the way of ease. I am drinking the 
bitter cup and I must drain it to the bitter 
dregs. This is the way of God. This is ful¬ 
filling his purpose, hence my mission, “My 
meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and 
to finish his work.” 

Thus Jesus enters the shadow of the cross 
and the disciples follow him, though they un¬ 
derstood him not, as he faces about to go to 
Jerusalem from Caesarea Philippi. Jesus is 
undisturbed, but the chosen few are full of 
dark apprehensions. They are as helpless 
fledglings. They hear the flutter of wings 


The Silent Nazarene 

mid the darkness, but they can not tell whether 
they be the wings of mother bird or of some 
alien bird of prey. They stay close to the 
Master as these dark shadows of growing ap¬ 
prehensions are falling all about them. He 
takes three of them to the mountain that they 
might get a glimpse of the likeness of his resur¬ 

The Transfiguration 

After six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and 
John, and bringeth them into a high moun¬ 
tain apart. Yes, he takes the chosen three 
with him apart from the rest even of the disci¬ 
ples. He had been wont to frequent the 
mountain retreat alone for prayer but this 
time he wished to have the select three with 
him. As he prays his face shines as the sun, 
and his garments become white as the light. 
“And behold, there appeared unto them 
Moses and Elijah talking with him.” The 
disciples are filled with the ecstasy of joy. In 
the thrill of their ecstatic condition Peter be¬ 
comes the spokesman, saying, “Lord, it is good 
for us to be here!” As one beside himself be¬ 
cause of the exuberance of joy he suggested, 
“If thou wilt, I will make here three taber- 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 173 

nacles; one for thee, one for Moses, and one 
for Elijah.” Luke says: “Now, Peter and 
they that were with him were heavy with 
sleep: but when they were fully awake, they 
saw his glory, and the two men that stood with 
him.” Overawed by the marvelous vision 
Peter made the suggestion of the three taber¬ 
nacles, “not knowing what he said.” But 
even as Peter is speaking the heavenly visitors 
are parting from the Man of Nazareth. And 
ere that disciple had made an end of speaking, 
“There came a cloud and overshadowed them: 
and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 
“This is my Son, my chosen: hear ye Him.” 
The disciples fall on their faces, and are sore 
afraid. Jesus comes and touches them, say¬ 
ing, “Arise, and be not afraid.” Lifting up 
their eyes they saw no one save the lone Man 
of Nazareth whom they had seen so often com¬ 
ing from his mountain retreat of prayer and 
entering the thronging multitudes to teach. 
But they will never forget the vision which 
this Man of Nazareth permitted them to be¬ 
hold of him as he was in prayer. He did con¬ 
stantly behold the heavenly but “their eyes 
were holden.” 

The disciples got a glimpse of the inner life 

174 The Silent Nazarene 

of Jesus, and it is this that caused his path to 
glow radiant with service. A glimpse of the 
pure white Christ and a glimpse of his way 
is exceeding strange to earthly eyes. The 
heavenly coincides with the highest good that 
abounds in earth. His way is heavenward 
and homeward—the way of the highest good. 
So as he comes down from the mountain Jesus 
commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to 
no man, until the Son of man be risen from 
the dead. The disciples were confused and 
perplexed, “And they kept the saying, ques¬ 
tioning among themselves what the rising 
again from the dead should mean.” To con¬ 
ceal their perplexity they would ask him about 
the coming of Elijah, for somehow they be¬ 
lieved that his reference to the “rising from 
the dead” had to do with the completion of 
his work as Messiah. Death is suggestive of 
suffering preceding. He told them all about 
that before he caused them to see this vision. 
Now after this vision he is telling them that 
the Son of man must rise from the dead. They 
must hold the secret till then. They must 
have some recourse, for Peter was rebuked 
when he undertook to assure him that no suf¬ 
fering could overtake him like unto that which 
he referred to while at Caesarea Philippi. So 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 175 

they suggest, “How is it that the scribes say 
that Elijah must first come?” With but few 
words he convinces them that Elijah indeed 
has come in the person of John the Baptist. 
But now they are come to the multitude and 
here things are different. 

The Epileptic 

From the silence of the mountain of this 
heavenly vision they move down into the val¬ 
ley at the foot of the mountain into the noise 
and the tumult of an excited multitude. There 
comes a man to him, kneeling before him, say¬ 
ing, “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is 
an epileptic, and suffereth grievously; for oft- 
times he falleth into the fire and oft-times into 
the water.” The epileptic is frothing and 
foaming before the disciples who remained at 
the foot of the mountain. These disciples are 
at their wits’ end as they have tried every way 
to relieve the suffering epileptic. The father 
has looked with great anxiety which turns to 
suspicion as their efforts prove vain and of no 
effect. Now that father is pleading with the 
Master, saying, “I brought him to thy disci¬ 
ples, and they could not cure him.” The 
Master is prompt to answer this heart cry— 


The Silent Nazarene 

“Bring hither thy son.” As he is coming the 
demon dashed him down and tare him griev¬ 
ously. As he fell on the ground and wal¬ 
lowed foaming even Jesus seemed perplexed, 
and asked his father, “How long time is it 
since this hath come unto him?” as though the 
duration of the sickness would limit the power 
even of Jesus. The distracted father, believ¬ 
ing himself up against it here at the last resort, 
declares, “From a child.” He then describes 
anew the terrible condition of his boy and ends 
by saying, “But if thou canst do anything, have 
compassion on us, and help us.” There is a 
grave look on the face of the Master as he 
gazes into the face of that father, saying, “ Tf 
thou canst!’—even this kind fills the tombs of 
the earth. Heaven knows no such. ‘All 
things are possible to him that believeth.’ ” 
The distracted father braces up under the 
stinging rebuke so gently turned back upon 
him by this man who had been in prayer in the 
mountain, and cries out of the stress of his soul, 
“I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” The 
Master, seeing the multitude running to¬ 
gether, rebuked the unclean spirit, saying unto 
him, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command 
thee, come out of him, and enter no more into 
him.” And having cried out, and torn him 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 177 

much, he came out: and the boy became as 
dead.” The multitudes are always ready with 
an opinion. Most of them shout aloud—“He 
is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand, 
and raised him up, and gave him back to his 
father. “And they were all astonished at the 
majesty of God.” 

Now the baffled disciples who had re¬ 
mained at the foot of the mountain came to 
Jesus apart, and said, “Why could we not cast 
it out?” And he said unto them, “This kind 
can come out by nothing, save by prayer.” 


The Entrance of the King 

As morning dews upon the tender blade so 
are the prayers of Christ upon the soul. In 
silence they collect. Have you touched the 
blade mid the fevered heat of day? It is ten¬ 
der, yes, very much so. Yet it has not the 
sparkle of dew upon it. The sun is lowering; 
the twilight is gathering; the light is fading 
mid myriads of glimmerings; the darkness is 
falling all about. Touch the blade, and it 
has the gentle moisture of the dews upon it. 
Even in the pale light of the moon the grass 
is greening mid freshness of dews. Were it 
not for the night where would we find the gen- 

178 The Silent Nazarene 

tie dews that sparkle beneath the radiance of 
the morning sun, and wear a freshness in the 
tender life till close of day when dews again 
freshen the larger forms in which life has 
shaped in spreading growth? 

How often in silence did Christ wait and 
gather the sweetness of heaven to his soul. The 
gentle dew-drops of refreshing hope and love 
came about his life we know not where and 
how. Yes, he stood forth as a living witness 
of the freshness of this power day by day. 
But at no time were they sweeter than when 
his earthly sun began to creep slowly down 
upon the horizon, and when the twilight of 
that great earthly life was gathering fast, yes, 
when the light of popular flattery and favor 
were fading even from the common people, 
when the darkness of the cross and Calvary 
and, the grave was heavily vailing all—ah, 
then the dews were gathering, the immaculate, 
the consummate sweetness of that great rich 
life in one tenderness of love and meekness; 
yes, suffering showed the goodliest vein of all, 
and death could not eclipse that life but only 
made it possible for the gentle and refresh¬ 
ing sparkle beneath the radiance of the heav¬ 
enly sun of the resurrection morning. Where 
have richer dews collected? What has ex- 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 179 

celled the hope in the resurrected Christ and 
forever the living Redeemer? Ah, is the 
blade withered? See how the dews unfold it. 
Is the heart sunken and destitute? See how 
the resurrected and living Christ can make it 
alive, rejuvenescent in an expanding hope. 

Again were it not for the night how could 
we have such splendid dews collecting? Even 
in such nights mid the darkness brothers have 
plunged their swords to the very hilts into the 
breasts of their very best friends—even those 
who meant them nothing but well. Did they 
not so with Christ, the ablest and best friend 
man ever had? Yet of these same nights came 
the pure dews of sacred love. Here the very 
bosom of the Father is uncovered and unre¬ 
strained love leaps forth to wrest the bloody 
knife from the hands of cruel men—even the 
knife they are plunging each into the heart of 
his fellow; yes, this very knife God in Christ 
directs into his own heart and pours out his 
blood in profusion as a testimony unto them 
—even as a witness that mad man would 
plunge the gory knife into the breast of his 
very best friend in the blackest night of his 
insane, unwarrantable passion. 

The life of Christ passed through the nooks 
of silence, the only way Heaven has to 

180 The Silent Nazarene 

speak. Such alone is consistent with Heaven’s 
nature. Did not the Still Small Voice so 
whisper in the soul? Did not that voice echo 
in the same consistency the revelation of the 
great God that spoke through all the nooks 
of human experience till Christ himself came 
to speak of it with authority? Not by lifting 
it out of this relation but by placing it more 
truly in its natural relation, and interpreting 
it more plainly there. In other words he 
showed men how God meant them to live. 
Everything material must subserve this pur¬ 
pose. Christ quietly lived this before men; 
yes, he lived it as he knew it from God. In 
life he finds its setting. In life he makes it 
speak. The life of man and God he made to 
blend. Then how plainly the voice of God is 
brought to man. Man hears it for himself. 
It is the Father’s voice to the children making 
it clear to them that they belong to him in 
the higher order and therefore should not be 
slaves to the lower order; that is, he is down 
with and among them to show them the way 
out—and not merely to show them, but to lead 
them—to go with them the whole distance— 
and further not merely to lead them but to 
deliver them—to lift them up into his bosom 
where they might breathe and live in him. 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 181 
He saves them. 

This is what Jesus lived and taught each 
day in spite of the people misinterpreting 
him. His life was spent each day seemingly 
lost in misinterpretation, and even willful mis¬ 
representation. The dews collect at night¬ 
fall as Christ gathers in prayer within the 
silent covering of the darkness the reinvigorat¬ 
ing power for the duties and trials of the en¬ 
suing day. He knows that he is right and the 
clamoring multitudes are erring and deceived. 
They would make him king by force. 

The disciples found a colt tied at the door 
without in the open street; and they loose him, 
and bring him to Jesus, and cast upon him 
their garments; and he sat upon him. Meek 
and lowly this king of the hearts of men rides 
upon an ass. A great multitude that had come 
to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was 
coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the 
palm trees and went forth to meet him. And 
most part of the multitude spread their gar¬ 
ments in the way; and others cut branches 
from the trees and spread them in the way. 
And they that went before and they that fol¬ 
lowed, cried, “Hosanna; Blessed is he that 
cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed is 
the kingdom that cometh, the kingdom of our 


The Silent Nazarene 

father David: Hosanna in the highest.” Even 
the whole multitude of the disciples began to 
rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for 
all the mighty works which they had seen; 
saying, “Blessed is the king that cometh in the 
name of the Lord: peace in heaven and glory 
in the highest.” The Pharisees rave within 
themselves and some of them from out the 
multitude call unto him, “Teacher, rebuke 
thy disciples.” But the Master holds the key 
of power. He will answer his enemies 
directly. “I tell you that, if these should hold 
their peace, the stones will cry out.” It is as 
though he said— “Things are right where cre¬ 
ation must speak. If its creatures and spokes¬ 
men do not testify to the truth, the very stones 
will cry out. Your mad jealousy can not stop 
this voice. You can not provoke them to si¬ 
lence longer. They must cry out even though 
they understand not what they cry. They in¬ 
deed hail me as king coming into my capitol 
to exalt this nation above the ends of the earth 
that this people might have the glory of 
swaying the sceptre over men—that men 
might bend their necks beneath their yoke.” 

As the multitude and the disciples were un¬ 
stinting in their praise the heart of this great 
king was sad—even mellow with pity and 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 183 

compassion as he drew nigh the city and wept 
over it, saying, “If thou hadst known in this 
day, even thou, the things which belong unto 
thy peace! but now they are hid from thine 
eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, 
when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about 
thee, and compass thee round and keep thee 
in on every side, and shall dash thee to the 
ground, and thy children within thee; and 
they shall not leave in thee one stone upon 
another; because thou knowest not the time of 
thy visitation.” 

The Great Consolation 

The eve of the passover is come. The lit¬ 
tle group is gathered in the upper chamber. 
They saw that unusual sorrow marked the 
brow of the Master. The Master sees their 
hearts overstrained with anxiety. They were 
looking for things in an entirely different di¬ 
rection in spite of his teaching and life which 
had been wholly consistent. His conduct 
and actions are exceedingly strange to them. 
He, conscious of his oneness with God, lay 
aside his outer garment, girds himself with a 
towel and begins to wash his disciples’ feet. 
Peter’s protest is vehement, and can you won- 


The Silent Nazarene 

der. Why John the Baptist declared that he 
himself was unworthy to stoop down and un¬ 
latch this man’s shoes. Now this very man is 
washing the disciple’s feet. He did this not 
to raise a sensation in his favor. He knew that 
he had all authority in heaven and on earth. 
Why then should he need a sensation? Then 
why perform this lowly service—even the 
work of a slave? 

The peerless Master will speak for himself. 
“You call me Master and Lord: and you say 
well; for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and 
Master, have washed your feet; you ought to 
wash one another’s feet. Have I ever strained 
an effort to impress you with my importance? 
Have I ever assumed any strained relation to 
impress you with my lordly dignity? Have 
I ever cut myself off from you to cast a strange, 
bewildering, mystic cloud about you? Are 
these ideas not dominating the earth, men 
striving to lord it over their fellows? Royalty 
has used them to domineer and enslave the 
subjects; religious impostors have used them 
to wing their fame. “But I am among you 
as he that serveth.” I and my Father are one. 
He showeth me all things that He himself 
doeth. Therefore I always do what things I 
have seen him do. You have seen me wash 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 185 

your feet. I see the Holy Spirit of the Father 
doing as humble service in the midst of this 
broken humanity. I am his Son. It is my 
joy to do his work; yes, it is my meat to do 
the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his 
work. You know him as your God. You 
reverence and worship him. Lo, He is in 
your midst as he that serveth.” The words 
that he spake were so different from those 
they were accustomed to hear from the lips of 
the scribes of the Pharisees, their teachers, 
that they sounded strange in their ears. The 
Master understood it all and set about to com¬ 
fort their hearts, saying, 

“I see your hearts are troubled. You can 
not understand me. You have fixed your 
mind too steadily upon my mortal body. You 
have been willing to concentrate and stake 
your all upon this visible manifestation. That 
is the reason you can not understand the way, 
Thomas. And for the very same reason you 
can not see the Father, Philip. Yes, you do 
not see Me. I would make this truth plain to 
you, but sorrow hath filled your hearts. You 
are sadly disappointed. You are at the brink 
of believing all is lost. The very fact that 
my body is here, that I am in the flesh, would 
help you understand if you would lift up your 


The Silent Nazarene 

eyes and see Me. Indeed my body must be 
broken and taken away that you may under¬ 
stand. Then the Comforter which you can 
not see now will bring all things to your re¬ 
membrance. ‘He will teach you all things.’ 
He dwelleth with you even in your midst at 
this present hour. Your minds must be lifted 
out of the earthly by removing the earthly, 
even my mortal form. When this is come to 
pass you will see the great Spirit of God min¬ 
istering in lowly service even as you have seen 
me do in the body. This Teacher and Guide 
will never leave you but will educate you into 
life eternal. Those born of God know not 
how—but they know that they have passed 
from death unto life. 

“Surely I have lived, acted, and told you 
that such is the nature of God. I simply ask 
you if you would be my disciples to learn of 
me and go and do likewise. All this I have 
spoken about has no artificial undergirding. 
It is no make-believe fountain head. By gen¬ 
uinely loving one another is the only way to 
find the seat of life—the pure spring out of 
which gushes the infinite love of God which is 
eternal life. If you love me, keep my com¬ 
mandments. They will do you good. They 
will bring you into life. 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 187 

“Now you are troubled, perplexed and 
overstrained. If you obey my voice and do 
as I have done then it will be well with you. 
For I go to prepare a place for you—even a 
place in my Father’s house, yes, among the 
mansions of my Father. I will come again 
and receive you unto myself that where I am 
there you may be also. But make good the 
time left you. Know that you are perfectly 
safe and secure in God, and that you shall so 
be in eternity, only you shall then better know 
it, and all life shall be given in larger meas¬ 
ures. Grow as though the evil about you were 
not, for it shall not come nigh you, for you 
have put your trust in me. No harm shall 
befall you, for the Lord shall be your secret 
pavilion and dwelling-place forever. He 
shall hide you beneath His wings, and shall 
keep you secure, though troublers are many 
on every side. He will feed you with his own 
life. He has sent me to tell you just such 
things as these. Let not your heart be trou¬ 
bled, neither let it be afraid. 

“You are just on the brink of eternity. If 
your eyes could see you would be surprised to 
know how near your Father’s house you are. 
You think you are far away. This is a delu¬ 
sion, a deception. How many sons returning 

18 8 

The Silent Nazarene 

home mid midnight darkness have been be¬ 
wildered, lost, even at the father’s door. If 
they could see, their confusion would not be 
at all. Now you can not see. You are dis¬ 
turbed, confused. Yet you believe in me. 
You have reposed confidence in me even up to 
this hour. I tell you the truth. You are very 
near the Father’s house where there are many 
mansions. You must lay aside your mortal 
body just as I laid aside my garment at the 
supper to wash your feet, and ye are there. 
Even now in this life you must regard the 
body as dead, as a garment laid aside, that the 
spiritual activities may have greater freedom 
to achieve, and that you may lose yourselves 
in lowly paths of service. Herein is my Fa¬ 
ther glorified that you bear much fruit. The 
glory of my Father is exceedingly bright in 
the mansions above. His glory there differs 
in no way from his glory here—that you bear 
much fruit—except in larger measures. When 
you have laid aside the mortal all these things 
will be plain. Where I am there you will be 
also. Have faith in God and see.” 

The Passover 

Fast falls the eventide, the darkness deep- 


How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 189 

ens, and Christ is with his little flock in the 
upper chamber. It is a lingering of the great 
soul of Christ over the few anxious, suspect¬ 
ing souls who had their all wrapt up in him. 
They knew their Master held the secret but 
were confused as to the meaning he wished to 
convey to them. His words seem plain but 
they were not so to them before all that terrible 
suffering and death. They were entering the 
dark heavy cloud that was, to shroud all in the 
black night of disappointment. Christ saw 
this anxiety resting upon them and their hearts 
in great uneasiness. It is like when the storm 
is brewing and the beasts of the field huddle 
and tremble with fear. A mournful unquiet¬ 
ness pervades everything. In the impending 
storm we get a glimpse of what Jesus saw and 
knew even while the spiritual darkness preg¬ 
nant with apprehension falls about the dis¬ 
quieted disciples, threatening to separate them 
sharply from their Master. Wells of sym¬ 
pathy opened in his great soul, and irresistable 
streams went forth charged with love and af¬ 
fection and emptied themselves into the 
gloom-pressed hearts of the disappointed, per¬ 
plexed and sorrowing disciples. A solemn si¬ 
lence reigns. Jesus knows there is but one 
way to save the situation—to inspire faith and 


The Silent Nazarene 

hope. The earthly undergirding truly must 
be cut asunder. Rather the earthly scaffold¬ 
ing must be torn away, else all would stop with 
the earthly, the visible—all would be swal¬ 
lowed up in mortality. He has come to recon¬ 
cile them to God, to make them one with the 
Father even as he is one with the Father—to 
make known to them that they are sons of 

He sought to make this all plain to them 
that evening. But they had been cradled in 
other ideas. They were accustomed to think 
otherwise. It were as though all circum¬ 
stances were conspiring together, smiting 
them with blindness so that they knew not 
whither to turn. What if they could have 
been unrobed of mortality that evening? But 
God had another and better way, though they 
could not hear their Lord. (Have not words 
that were plain afterwards puzzled and be¬ 
wildered the best of us before an impending 
calamity?) It was a steady growth through 
mortality and a sure climb into immortality 
where each step is fixed with a clearer and 
larger vision. So the Master told them, say¬ 

“What I do thou knowest not now; but thou 
shalt understand hereafter. Do not mistake 

How He Entered the Shadow of the Cross 191 

the primer for the final reader. Is it not but 
the threshold to the world of knowledge? 
The promise is ever—Thou shalt understand 

But now the hour is come, and he is sat 
down with the disciples. He had sought 
every available way to make it all plain to 
them. As he looks upon the passover meal 
spread before them there is a suggestion that 
there remains a possible way of showing unto 
them the great truth that is so baffling to them. 
At this he said unto them, “With desire I have 
desired to eat this passover with you before 
I suffer: for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, 
until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 
How was he to eat and not eat the passover 
with them at that hour? (Perplexing para¬ 
dox to disrobe the truth of words by words 
that it might stand out naked and plain.) 

So the Evangelist Luke writes: “And he 
took bread, and when he had given thanks, he 
brake it, and gave to them, saying, ‘This is my 
body which is given for you: this do in re¬ 
membrance of me. And the cup in like man¬ 
ner after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new 
covenant in my blood, even that which is 
poured out for you.’ ” 

So he spake on that side of the cross but 


The Silent Nazarene 

they understood him not. Even at this solemn 
hour, after all the teaching and example, 
“there arose also a contention among them, 
which of them was accounted to be the great¬ 
est.” The Master speaks sadly rebuking, 
warning and pleading, saying, “Simon, Simon, 
behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might 
sift you as wheat: but I made supplication for 
thee that thy faith fail not; and do thou, when 
once thou hast turned again, establish thy 

All this came to pass before he entered 



T HE Man of sorrows acquainted with bit¬ 
ter griefs is in the midst of the group of 
perplexed disciples passing through the streets 
of the city, which are muffled in the thick si¬ 
lence of midnight. They cross over the brook 
Kidron, “where was a garden, into which he 
entered himself and his discipes.” When he 
comes unto a place that is called Gethsemane, 
he saith unto his disciples, “Sit ye here, while 
I go yonder and pray.” 

The silence will not permit a leaf to rustle. 
The very brook itself muffles its murmurs. 
The wild beasts too seem to know it is time 
to be quiet—there is not a howl or scream to 
be heard. Creation could well afford to stop 
its clamor and plunge itself in one deep silent 
pause this awful hour—this blackest hour 
when the fierce madness and fury of men born 
of envy and jealousy is striving to crush the 
stainless Man who is suffering with and for 
man. Yet was not the mellow dawn born out 
of the womb of the first great morning for 



The Silent Nazarene 

man? The hour is darkest just before the 
breaking streaks of light stretch out of the 
eastern sky and point to the position of the 
mid-day sun. Has the grim darkness settled 
upon man’s black night of misery and strug¬ 
gle? Is the foulest treachery of man to be 
played upon the best friend man ever had? 
What miserable contradictions in our night 
of sombre madness? 

H ow did Jesus see this? Let his conduct, 
actions and prayers speak for him. What a 
battle is on hand! How dare Creation 
breathe! He taketh Peter, James and John 
and went apart and began to be sorrowful and 
sore troubled. These three disciples ought 
best to understand him, for how oft did he 
take them apart alone with him ere this? He 
saith unto them, “My soul is exceeding sor¬ 
rowful, even unto death: abide ye here, and 
watch with me.” He is parted from them a 
stone’s cast. He kneels and prays, saying, 
“Abba, Father, all things are possible unto 
thee, if it be possible, let this cup pass away 
from me!” Heaven and earth turn in breath¬ 
less silence to this garden—even to this spot 
where the Man of sorrow is wrestling in an 
agony as he prays more earnestly and his sweat 
becomes as it were great drops of blood falling 

How He Took Up His Cross 197 

to the ground. An awful pause! Earth is 
ascending; heaven is bending: wills are blend¬ 
ing—“Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou 
wilt.” “And there appeared unto him an 
angel from heaven strengthening him.” Re¬ 
demption is wrought; man is lifted into the 
life of God without a stain. He has acquired 
dominion in and over the earth. The will of 
God is being done in earth as it is in heaven. 
Things are shaped about in harmony with 
the design of creation. This is the sinless 
man, the peerless conqueror who lived sanely 
in the earth, achieved and wrought even as the 
Father willed. 

He comes to the three who were to watch 
with him and finds them sleeping for sorrow, 
and he saith unto Peter, “What, could ye not 
watch with me one hour?” They are in a 
semi-conscious condition—a stupor bearing 
down heavy upon them. He warns them, 
saying, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not 
into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak.” Again a second time 
he goes and prays saying, “My Father, if this 
cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will 
be done.” He came again and found his dis¬ 
ciples sleeping, “for their eyes were heavy.” 
He left them and went away, and prayed a 


The Silent Nazarene 

third time using the same words again. His 
single aim is—the will of the Father. All 
else is subordinate. He comes unto the disci¬ 
ples and saith unto them, “Sleep on now, and 
take your rest: behold the hour is at hand, and 
the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of 

His reserve had the strength of the lion 
without its beastliness; and his entire spirit 
had the meekness and gentleness of the lamb 
without its dumbness. He stood at the centre 
of power. This Man of Gethsemane’s dark 
hour is the peerless champion of the race. 
He is the lion of the tribe of Judah; and the 
scepter shall never depart out of his hand: 
he is the Lamb of God that taketh away the 
sin of the world, and over him sin shall never 
have dominion, as the holiness of his nature 
shall utterly consume it before his face. He 
draws his breath in the fear of the Lord and 
the breath of his lips slay the wicked. 

The heel of the traitor is on the sacred spot. 
Jesus must arouse the disciples out of their 
sorrowing stupor. “Arise, let us be going: be¬ 
hold, he is at hand that betrayeth me.” 

i 9 9 

How He Took Up His Cross 

The Betrayal 

The midnight darkness! Majestic sweet¬ 
ness rests upon the Saviour’s brow. He re¬ 
signs all into the Father’s hands—to be done 
after God’s way regardless of the cost in¬ 
volved. His single aim is the will of God be 
done. Carve it out of the rough facts of earth, 
by giving his life to engrave the Father’s im¬ 
age and likeness therein. His meat was to 
carry God’s will out to entire completion. 
The dews of innocence gather upon the mild¬ 
ness and meekness of his spirit mid the silence. 
He comes from prayer and calls to his disci¬ 
ples, saying, “Arise, let us be going: behold, 
he is at hand that betrayeth me.” It is as 
though he were saying, “Come, let us be going 
lest he betray me even upon this most sacred 
spot. He knows well where I pray.” 

It is so. Judas is on the very spot Christ 
counts most sacred and dear. He is at the 
head of a band armed with swords and staves, 
from the chief priests and elders of the people. 
Mid the thick darkness he comes to Jesus, and 
says, “Hail, Rabbi”; and kissed him. And 
the Master says unto him, “Judas, betrayest 
thou the Son of man with a kiss? Do that 
for which thou art come.” At this the band 


The Silent Nazarene 

of soldiers, and officers from the chief priests 
and the Pharisees, come with lanterns and 
torches and weapons—even lining up before 
him and his disciples. Jesus stands forth be¬ 
tween the disciples and the soldier band, say¬ 
ing, “Whom seek ye?” They answer him, 
“Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus says to them, “I 
am he.” As he said it they went backward 
and fell to the ground. Again, therefore, he 
asks them, “Whom seek ye?” And they re¬ 
ply, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answers, “I 
told you that I am he; if therefore ye seek me, 
let these go their way: that the word might be 
fulfilled which he spake, “Of those whom thou 
hast given me I lost not one.” 

Then they come and lay hands on Jesus, and 
took him. When the soldiers were about to 
lead him away they that were with him said. 
“Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” Even 
before the question was finished Simon Peter 
having a sword, drew it, and struck the high 
priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. 
Jesus answers and says, “Suffer ye them thus 
far. Put up again thy sword into its place: 
for all they that take the sword shall perish 
with the sword.” Then touching the ear 
heals the high priest’s servant, and turning and 
looking upon Peter says, “Thinkest thou that 

How He Took Up His Cross 201 

I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even 
now send me more than twelve legions of an¬ 
gels?” Then as though he would make plain 
to the disciple who was so ready to defend 
him by sheer force why he assumed this atti¬ 
tude so strange to humankind he says, “The 
cup which the Father hath given me, shall I 
not drink it? How then should the scripture 
be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” 

The disciples shrink back as the soldiers 
gather more closely about him, and Jesus says 
unto the chief priests, and captains of the tem¬ 
ple, and elders, that were come against him, 
“Are ye come out as against a robber with 
swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in 
the temple teaching, and ye took me not.” 

What an hour! The thick darkness; the 
traitor’s kiss; the armed soldiers taking a 
.meek, unarmed man who meant nobody hurt 
but who meant everybody well, and whose life 
was made up of actions, deeds and words that 
flowed rich with love and helpfulness to all 

There is a certain young man lying abed 
a-dreaming. He hears a tumult in the street. 
He rushes to the window to stare upon a whis¬ 
pering mob. Yes, they are coming from the 
sacred garden where his Master is wont to 


The Silent Nazarene 

pray. He seizes a piece of linen cloth and 
throws it about his naked body, and rushes out 
into the night of the street. He follows the 
sneaking crowd that seems to hunt the very 
sides of the walls for the cover even of their 
shadows in the dim light of the lanterns. He 
follows but does not permit himself to be 
seen. Foes, friends and the Christ—all there, 
but the impulsive Peter follows afar off. The 
young man with the linen cloth about his body 
has not learned the caution of even the impul¬ 
sive Peter and loses track of himself in the ex¬ 
citement of the hour. He so completely for¬ 
gets himself that he edges his way into that 
very mob. Some of the young men of the 
crowd seeing that he is none of theirs lay hold 
on his linen. This brings him to a sense of his 
peril. He leaves the linen cloth in the hands 
of the cruel men who were leading away his 
Lord, and fled naked. 

This band—the tool of the chief priests and 
Pharisees with Judas at its head! Why staves 
and weapons to capture Jesus of Nazareth, if 
capture it could be called (it was rather a 
taking) ? How it pierced through his true 
and loving soul. “Are ye come out, as 
against a robber, with swords and staves? 
When I was daily with you in the temple, ye 

How He Took Up His Cross 203 

stretched not forth your hands against me: 
but this is your hour, and the power of dark¬ 

By his silence and reserve he proves his 
kingship over their crass, daring might. He 
rises majestic over the crude display of force. 
He raves at nothing. He is free from the 
the cramping grip of jealousy. He is envi¬ 
ous of no man’s prosperity and popularity. 
All things were in his hand, and he was deeply 
conscious of his power even when he placed 
himself at the disposal of brute force and be¬ 
came a prey to the heartless jealousy of vicious 
men. Brute force thrusts him on. Yet how 
powerless is this receding physical force before 
the persistent spreading love of Christ? Even 
in that brief season of his passion, when all 
seemed defeat, he proves himself supreme at 
every turn. 


What! a disciple of Christ to join a murder 
band? Why should that dastardly band 
choose one from the chosen few of the sacred 
bosom of Christ to plunge the hidden dagger 
of malignant treachery into his great soul? 

“Judas, didst thou hate thy Lord? Was it 
thy whole desire to see him murdered? Why, 


The Silent Nazarene 

cringing, sneak into his most sacred place for 
prayer? and press thy deceitful lips upon his 

He knew well the spot Christ counted most 
sacred and dear—yes, he who betrayed him, 
knew the place, for Jesus oft-times resorted 
thither with his disciples—even there Judas 
dares tread and betrays his Lord for thirty 
pieces of silver. He who dipped his hand in 
the dish with his Master and heard his Lord 
say, “The Son of man goeth even as it is writ¬ 
ten of him: but woe unto that man through 
whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were 
it for that man if he had not been born,” now 
in that dark solitary garden where Christ has 
agonized till his sweat became as it were great 
drops of blood falling to the ground, comes 
stealthily to pierce his soul through with the 
unkindest cut of all—the emblem of friend¬ 
ship—the kiss, but “a traitor’s kiss.” It cut 
to the quick. How dare it be used in foul 
mockery, irreverence and treachery? The 
rebuke of the Master is mildly given as the 
brazen traitor presses the deceitful kiss as 
Jesus stands in his sacred place of prayer, 
“Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a 
kiss?” “Traitor, how durst thou use this em¬ 
blem of loving friendship in violation to ev- 

How He Took Up His Cross 205 

erything sacred—outraging honor? Indeed, 
is there nothing too sacred to be trampled un¬ 
der foot?” 

“Why wait! Expect him free and hold thy 
blood money to boot? What queer inconsist¬ 
ency! How canst thou throw thy victim into 
the jaws of the wild beasts and expect him to 
escape? Were things ever done after this 
fashion? Dost thou look to miraculous in¬ 
tervention to deliver him that thou mightest 
enjoy thy blood money? Then God would 
need intervene in behalf of mortals tricked for 
gold at all times to ease the smarting remorse 
of thieves. No, thy deed is done. The de¬ 
spair and anguish of thy soul, hot with raging 
passion, must send forth shrieks and screams 
like the bewildered, starving, solitary hyena. 

See that traitor rage and tear; ah, he knows 
not where to find relief. He is like a beast 
that has himself full of deadly poison from 
the pangs of which he can in nowise find re¬ 
lief. He must roar, rave and scream, then he 
must lie quiet and let the piercing pains sting 
him to the very death. So this man is at the 
point of exasperation—with all brute pain and 
all soul stress at a breaking tension. 

“Judas, this is a full measure of interest to 
pay for thy thirty pieces—yes, sin is not satis- 

20 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

fied with the interest, but demands the princi¬ 
pal—all without reserve. Rush into the pres¬ 
ence of the chief priests and elders, with thy 
thirty pieces of silver, crazed man. Thou 
seest that thy victim is sure of death now.” 

Hear that wretched creature ejaculate from 
out the smarting remorse of his overwrought 
and crushed soul. What dismal refuse is 
smothering that soul? And yet in the last 
death throes he must lift out the truth that 
must stare all ages to come in the face—a bare¬ 
faced fact which no falsehood can cover: “I 
have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent 
blood.” Ah, what comfort and consolation 
do they have to offer him? How do they an¬ 
swer him? 

“Judas, didst thou think thyself a good fel¬ 
low with these men? Hast thou won their 
favor and respect? Ah, they throw it all in 
your teeth. ‘What is that to us? see thou to 
it.’ Judas, thou findest neither respect nor 
sympathy there. They have used thee and 
that is all they want with thee. The blood 
money is thine affair.” 

But the maddened traitor would not have it 
so. And he cast down the pieces of silver 
into the sanctuary—even before the religious 
murderers, and departs. Then, insane with 

How He Took Up His Cross 207 

hot despair and remorse, he rushes out and 
hangs himself. From a tree over a steep place 
falling headlong, he burst asunder in the 
midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 

The disposal of the thirty pieces of silver 
he has put up to the religious murderers. The 
chief priests take up the pieces of money, and 
declare, “It is not lawful to put them into the 
treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 
Wretched, deluded mortals, how long will you 
besmirch yourselves with gory sin, and then 
strive to shift it from your heads by some triv¬ 
ial act? They take counsel, and buy with the 
thirty pieces the potter’s field into which the 
crushed and broken form of the traitor has 
fallen, to bury strangers in, and there the 
traitor was buried also. 

Traitor, thy thirty pieces of silver only pur¬ 
chased thee a grave for thy unsightly form 
among the wandering poorest of the poor of 
earth. What an awful price to pay with eyes 
blinded with the lust of money. So must sin 
pull its ruin in upon itself; and the lust of 
money must make its own hell to set a million 
hells on fire—to blight, wreck and consume 
a world prone to covetousness. 


The Silent Nazarene 

The Sanhedrin 

What would the life of Christ be without 
the silent pauses—pauses that make his life so 
consistent and plain to those who long to know 
the way of life. Such grand pauses set off 
each sentence of his great life—make each 
emphatic and pregnant with meaning. Who 
could read that life without them? Truly 
they are written in terms of the human but 
their meanings extend into the eternities. 
Yes, they dim to mortal vision as they further 
recede into the limitless and endless eternity. 
Then that which is dimmest melts into the 
unseen, and is lost in the all-comprehensive 
only to be found as the eager searcher loses 
himself in the quest. He is in the way of 
Christ and to him it is given to get a glimpse 
behind the veil which is forbidden to the im¬ 
pure heart and unclean eye. These silent 
pauses mark off that infinite life so that its 
simplicity can be read with an increasing in¬ 
terest as the liver grows deeper into the secret 
depths. Simple but profound in whatever 
place it touches and interprets. It is the sim¬ 
plest of the simple, and yet the profoundest 
of the profound. What child cannot love its 
simplicity? What sage can fathom its hot- 

How He Took Up His Cross 209 

tomless depths? It embraces earth; it com¬ 
prehends heaven. It speaks the language of 
heaven in terms of that of earth. It blends 
earth and heaven in one harmonious whole— 
speaking a language all can know who live 
simply and humbly. This is the life of the 
man who said: “I thank thee, Father, Lord 
of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid 
these things from the wise and the prudent, 
and hast revealed them unto babes.” 

Lo, see that quiet isle in the midst of that 
swift rushing stream. The turbulent waters 
are rushing heedlessly together till they reach 
the slope of the isle, then they foam, divide 
and swiftly clamor by on either side. Then 
the noisy waters rush into one another, leaving 
a misty void at the foot of the isle beneath the 
struggle of the wrestling giants as they inter¬ 
lock their forces and rush on heedless as be¬ 
fore. The quiet isle lifts itself in majestic 
stillness above the floodtide. The sunlight 
rests upon its peaceful bosom; the morning 
mists arise and mingle with the ever-present 
spray. Still mid even’s dews the spray is 
there. Undisturbed, a modest plant lifts its 
head above the surface of the isle. It grows 
as the waters surge and rage. In silence un¬ 
broken its growth reaches a more perfect ma- 


The Silent Nazarene 

turity. The season passes; the remnant of 
the fruit is gleaned; but still the savage waters 
clamor and wrestle. 

From the likeness we see in this isle we catch 
a glimpse of the Christ. 

O for a sight into the life divine, 

Which Christ did live majestic here; 

1 While fretful mortals writhe and pine, 
Though Christ saw naught in earth to fear. 

Yes, for a sight into that great complacent life 
—that peaceful and undisturbed life that rose 
sublimely majestic over and above the flood- 
tide of the ages. How restfully he rises out 
of and above the stormy passions of men. Yes, 
he rises stainless out of that floodtide where 
the God-blessed law of human subsistence are 
changed into beastly greed; and where the 
God-sanctioned laws of self-assertion are 
transformed into cramping jealousy, and bane¬ 
ful envy; where the evil eye rests with treach¬ 
ery upon the good successes of others. How 
Christ was proof against all this. He stood 
silently elegant while these were clashing and 
dashing themselves to pieces in surf and foam. 
In this he is like the majestic isle that, though 
it is placed in the midst of the fury, is proof 

How He Took Up His Cross 211 

against the floodtide. He rises over this flood- 
tide of clashing death and nourishes in his 
bosom the finest product Heaven and Earth 
could give—the beautiful life of the God- 

Did not the life of humanity, freighted with 
fears, anxieties, and emulations, rush on heed¬ 
less in boisterous clamor till it came to the 
visible form of Christ, an isle of majestic 
quiet? Here these plunging, forging forces 
find the mortal in reserve. Something strange 
is in this mad fight that is on so hotly. Here 
this stream is arrested, broken in foam of its 
own confusion, divided. Then it madly rushes 
on as heedless as before. The mortal eye 
could glance no further than the form of the 
isle that arrested its mad rush. There this 
stream divides:—a part in implacable hatred 
and malice:—a part clamoring for mortal 
honor and splendor; yes, the Pharisee jealous 
of the merits of Christ; the people seeking to 
make him their king; the disciples rushing for 
the chief places in the great earthly kingdom 
which they believe is about to be set up. Not 
even one disciple had the spirit of Christ; 
John, the beloved not excepted, for did he not 
ask for himself the very chiefest place? They 
are all befogged in the mists of their own con- 


The Silent Nazarene 

fusion, and rush about the quiet, complacent 

Not a stir of emotion, not a quiver of the 
lips, the Christ in deep complacency stands be¬ 
fore the Sanhedrin. The popular floods surge 
high about him. Now they are dividing, 
rushing by heedless of the majestic Christ they 
are passing—a part flows with the resistless 
current of Phariseeism,—while a part lags and 
flags with the disappointed, dejected disciples. 
How very few are they who tarry with him; 
but even they are lost, confused in what they 
know not. The great complacent Christ 
stands majestic there, though the floods are 
noisily and angrily lashing all about. The 
most beautiful, the most delicate of Heaven’s 
flowers is unfolding in that quiet, undisturbed 
bosom. It is the divine life that is calmly 
lifting itself in silent growth from the rough¬ 
est and crudest of earth into the finest and pur¬ 
est of heaven. What noble fruitage matures 
from out the life of Christ in earth. Ah, it 
is blending and losing its all in the life of 
God. This was the life of the Christ of God 
whose meat was to do the will of the Father, 
and who was in the midst of the earth as one 
who serves. What a wonderful monument to 
be erected in the midst of the rush of the ages. 

How He Took Up His Cross 213 

A monument to the best that is in man, and to 
the power of God’s love to lift and ennoble 
and set it on high. What figure can express 
this life? And whereunto shall we liken it? 
This life fulfills the purpose of creation. It 
is the blazing torch of heaven by which all 
failures are seen and judged, as well as the 
Source from which all help and good come. 
Hear the ancient Simeon speak: “Behold, this 
child is set for the falling and the rising of 
many in Israel.” He also called him “A light 
for the unveiling of the Gentiles.” 

What loneliness hangs its shadowy curtains 
all about an isle in the midst of a mad rushing 
stream. What sublime loneliness throws it¬ 
self about the unfolding life in the bosom of 
the isle. What awful and exceedingly grand 
loneliness in the lofty heights of the rugged, 
overhanging cliffs, in the dark and awful 
silence of which some lone growth is strug¬ 
gling to send down and grip its spreading 
roots. As Christ rises in the midst of the 
stream of the ages, towering above in moral 
and spiritual achievements, what loneliness 
falls about his great expanding, loving soul. 
He saw his disciples disappointed and sor¬ 
rowing. He sought to lay hold upon their 
hearts with his great sympathy and interpret 


The Silent Nazarene 

to them his way. What he would say in re¬ 
gard to it would seem to deepen their sorrow, 
at least the apprehension of something, they 
knew not what. They could not understand 
him. He was misunderstood and misinter¬ 
preted by all. His jealous enemies viciously 
and harshly misinterpreted him. But how 
painful the misunderstanding of the disciples? 
How could the tense stress and tension be re¬ 
moved? How he longed to give security in 
his great undisturbed life to those he saw so 
sorely dismayed. Truly he was seeing the 
shepherd smitten and the sheep scattered. His 
great lonely soul was before the Sanhedrin, 
composed of men who bore him deadly hatred, 
without a friend understanding him in any 
way whatever. Completely misunderstood by 
friends and foes, he enters the valley of the 
shadow of death without a fear of the evil that 
was besetting him on every side at its utmost 
concentration and its consummate daring. He 
relied upon the rod and the staff of Jehovah; 
yea, his all was caught up and identified with 
the will of the Father. There could be no 
defeat or failure here. All was perfectly se¬ 
cure. Even death must yield him the palm of 
victory. How he longed to make his disci¬ 
ples understand all this. Would that they 

How He Took Up His Cross 215 

could find and live the secret he lived. But 
how is it? One of these very ones not only 
misunderstood him but actually wilfully de¬ 
nies him. 

Yes, at this moment of severest test a disci-, 
pie who had sworn to be faithful even unto 
death, flatly denies him at a maiden’s question. 
Yet that very denial was a powerful witness 
of the greatness of the Christ. Peter, even in 
his denial, testifies of the saving power of the 
Lord Jesus. A look from the faithful, tried 
countenance of Christ melts the rash over¬ 
confident disciple’s heart to tears. It saves 
him. Those very tears are changed to heroic 
power as that heart goes with Christ from 
sorrow to sorrow and shares in the full 
flower of the resurrected life. Can the 
apostle Peter not speak for himself? 
“This Jesus hath God raised up whereof 
we all are witnesses.” Time but intensifies 
the witness of this man, even that flat denial 
from his lips. All must witness for Jesus. 
The power of Jesus is most beautifully seen 
in safeguarding and saving the unfaithful. 
“All are witnesses,” not merely the disciples 
but the whole great world of imperfection and 

This is not all. Jesus causes his enemies to 

2 i 6 The Silent Nazarene 

witness for him, even where his disciples wit¬ 
ness not. God in Christ truly makes the wrath 
of man to praise him. They seek witnesses 
against him and find them not. They must 
conjure up something. They seek false wit¬ 
nesses. But even this fails them, for what the 
false witnesses bring is of no avail for the end 
in view. They construed his words in regard 
to the temple to suit themselves. Yet they 
signified nothing in way of accusation. They 
seek an answer from him. He is silent. There 
is no need of answer. Now they begin to play 
the coward, and try to take advantage of the 
stronghold by sordid motives. They see that 
silence is his strength and that the truth is on 
his side. So they are forced to do desperate 
things. They seek to break his silence. Would 
he dare to own himself as the Son of God at 
this moment? It would mean certain death. 
They knew not the man who stood before 
them. When fear demands silence it is time 
to speak. “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the 
Blessed?” Jesus does not conceal the truth in 
his answer. He speaks it out frankly and 
plainly. Yes, it is strikingly plain and distinct. 

“ T am.’ And ‘ye say that I am.’ By your 
very actions ye show that ye are convinced 
that this is so. Now do ye think I should fear 

How He Took Up His Cross 217 

to speak upon this matter even though I know 
ye will use it as a pretext for putting me to 
death? More than this ‘ye shall see the Son 
of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and 
coming on the clouds of heaven.’ I shall have 
complete sway and jurisdiction over the earth, 
and ye shall be judged by my counsels.” 

The reserved, complacent Christ saw their 
sordid weak hearts. He was fully conscious 
of the base motives they sought to move upon. 
They rend their garments and act in the most 
distressed manner. Yea, Christ the master of 
the situation saw the results. He saw beneath 
the foul mockery, willing to play upon the 
base motive of fear if only an end could be 
reached. It was an unfair attack upon the 
great citadel, and only meant the complete 
confusion of all who assailed the mighty bul¬ 
wark. Jesus for that matter could just as well 
say what he was in the presence of the high 
priest as in the seclusion of Caesarea Philippi. 
He was just as much in the presence of the 
Father here as there. He had the truth on 
his side just as much here as there. The great 
undisturbed mind of Christ knew when to 
speak and when to withhold. He knew when 
speech was demanded and when it was useless 
mockery. Could there be stronger witnesses 

2 l8 

The Silent Nazarene 

for Christ than these men who viciously sought 
to condemn him, but who unintentionally and 
unconsciously lifted the beauty of that life be¬ 
fore the eyes of men of all succeeding ages? 
They meant to crush him, but they lifted him 
to fuller view. So all the enemies of Christ 
may seek to conceal and even erase, blot out 
that life from the eyes of men but they shall 
surely lift it to a broader and clearer vision of 
humanity. They cause things to conspire to¬ 
gether that the brilliancy of the genuineness of 
the Christ comes forth and dims not but in¬ 
tensifies with the ages. 

Truly do you not hear even these witnessing 
positively of his transcendent mission and 
greatness? Hear what the high priest says:— 
“That it is expedient that one man should die 
for the people.” Was it an echo? If so, from 

“O high priest art thou sitting in the halls 
of truth? Is it strange that thou shouldst catch 
a faint trace of that which is reverberating 
through the great chambers of truth that are 
laid in the heart of the universe? Is not the 
universe converging about this one great truth 
this very moment? Yes, it is so very near the 
surface of things that the very rocks are almost 
ready to cry it out.” 

How He Took Up His Cross 219 

If earth can see but one silent moment, it 
is but a hint of what is back of it in the heav¬ 
ens. What then if earth can get a glimpse of 
one perfect life? Should this life go down in 
silence before the clamor of the imperfect 
ones? This life is a glimpse of heaven; yea, 
as much of heaven as could be pressed in a 
mortal span. Out of the silence in which it 
went down the world’s regenerating forces 
rise, as did the creative forces out of God’s 
great self to make the worlds and place them 
in their order. We are a new creation in 
Christ; for the former things are passed away, 
but not till they could die to give the newer 
birth. So when the old creation holds its fair¬ 
est flower, it dies in giving sweetness to the 
coming fair, and leaves a fairer land which 
blooms in greater freshness as the fair ones 
die to yield their sweetness to the living fair; 
as each doth know a fairer stage from each as 
all approach the life complete that gave them 
birth. Did not Christ, the fairest flower of 
creation die to show by proof that it is so? 
His mortal form broken dies, and his great life 
bursts forth and fills the world with heaven’s 
very life. This is the life of the man who 
said:—“Verily, verily, I say unto you, except 
a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, 


The Silent Nazarene 

it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth 
much fruit.” 

The D enial 

What a tempestuous disciple! so full of 
emotion. Always ready with an answer for 
whatever comes. Just as ready with advice 
unasked for—for superior as for inferior. He 
withstands his Lord to the face insisting that 
his Master must be mistaken as he himself can¬ 
not be in error. Let us see how he falls all 
over himself as he comes to the real test. 

How positive he is that he will remain true 
to his Lord in every crisis and under every 
circumstance. But not far removed from 
even the very beginning of the gracious min¬ 
istry treachery is casting its shadow over the 
grand work of the Christ. Yes, at the very 
height of his activities restlessness steals its 
way even among his disciples. Some of his fol¬ 
lowers have turned back from walking with 
him. Of course the fickle crowd is falling 
away since he has refused to let them take him 
and make him king with the hope of subject¬ 
ing and enslaving the earth. This is to be ex¬ 
pected. But when his sincere followers begin 
to turn back it is uncertain as to where it 
would end. Christ put his test question to his 


How He Took Up His Cross 221 

disciples for he knew that they also were par¬ 
takers of human nature; and so being they 
were sharing in the doubts and ambitions so 
characteristic of our race. So he addressed 
the chosen few, saying: 

“Ye see that men are falling away from fol¬ 
lowing after me. My ways do not meet their 
approval. Even some that were very sincere 
have turned aside. Would ye also go away?” 

Quick as a flash is that impulsive disciple 
with an answer. “Lord, to whom shall we 
go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” 

“Truly, Peter, hast thou flashed upon a 
glimpse back of the veil?” 

But the shadows are growing; they lengthen 
and stretch themselves over and across the life 
of Christ as he is facing his western sun—his 
declining sun so far as his earthly life is con¬ 
cerned. Man’s dark treachery is malignly 
plotting to crush out his life. The Master 
distinctly points out to his chosen few that the 
shepherd shall be smitten and the sheep scat¬ 
tered. Yes, he told them, saying: 

“All ye shall be offended because of me 
this night.” 

In what hot haste is Simon Peter to reply. 
Pie is very sure of himself. He is vehement 
in his language. 


The Silent Nazarene 

“Though all men shall be offended because 
of thee, yet will I never be offended.” 

But the fact of the matter is that his Lord 
knows Simon far better than Simon knows his 
own self, and his Lord says, 

“Verily I say unto thee, that this night, 
before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me 

Ah, this is irritating to the rash and over¬ 
confident disciple and spokesman. Indeed he 
spoke what he thought. He assumed it all to 
be truth, and was very much agitated that it 
should provoke a question within his Master. 
So he would make it very strong with vehem¬ 
ent words. 

“Though I should die with thee, yet will I 
not deny thee.” 

So we are told “Likewise said all the dis¬ 

“O disciple, thou art defying all reason. 
Wilt thou impulsively rush on as if no warn¬ 
ing had been given? How long is it neces¬ 
sary to find out that blindly blundering and 
rushing up against things, is not mastery?” 

“At the betrayal thou art just roused out of 
thy sleep; slash off the ear of one of the gang 
that is about to take thy Lord. Art thou 
dreaming, or but half awake? Hast thou been 

How He Took Up His Cross 223 

so long a time with thy Lord, and hast not 
learned better than this? Is it possible that 
thy Lord must rebuke thee, and bid thee put 
up thy sword into its place, when thou hast 
stood so very near him for three years? Did 
he not take thee with him to the Mount of 
Transfiguration? and did he not choose thee as 
one of the three to go with him for prayer in 
this very garden? Where is all this education 
at any rate? Is it possible to breathe in the 
very presence of Christ and miss the spirit of 
his life so completely? Now we see the force 
of the words of the Blessed Master to the 
doubting Thomas: “Blessed are they that have 
not seen, and yet have believed.” Is it that the 
mortal is so much in thy way? But lo, what 
strange thing is taking place? What un¬ 
looked for spirit has come over thee? Is it not 
so contrary to thy past? Why follow this Mas¬ 
ter to whom thou hast sworn allegiance afar 
off? Hast thou forgotten thy pledge already? 
Or didst thou not understand thyself when 
thou rashly didst swear to stand with him even 
unto death? Ah, Simon Peter, thou art very 
much human too; and art heir to much human 
weakness, yes, and hast very much to learn and 
profit thereby.” 

This early cool morn, see Simon Peter 


The Silent Nazar ene 

slowly drawing nearer the high priest’s house. 
The stealthy band with their prisoner is within 
the porch, except a few who are hanging 
around the outside. As he draws gradually 
nearer is he wondering how he is to get by 
these, that he might see what is taking place 
within? His head seems bowed, as though in 
deep meditation. Perhaps he is thinking how 
he slashed off that ear in the garden, and how 
his Master touched it and healed it, and yet 
let them lead him captive to the high priest. 
Maybe they have him spotted now, and are 
on the lookout for him. He must exercise 
great caution or they will capture and try him, 
if for no other reason than for wounding a 
man, and perhaps impute to him the intention 
of murder. As his mind is all befuddled, in 
some way he edges by these who are whisper¬ 
ing together on the outside. Just as he gets 
through he lifts his eyes and sees the whisper¬ 
ing danger through which he has just squeezed 
himself. A shudder goes through his body. 
Maybe it’s all about himself. He feels cool 
at any rate and draws near the fire to warm 
his shaking frame. Whether a nervous chill 
or a chill from the natural cold without he 
was busy with thought. The warm fire is wel¬ 
come to the trembling body, but his senses are 

How He Took Up His Cross 225 

certainly bewitched and in a muddle. That 
little maiden who draws near to the fire and 
asks him whether he was not with Jesus, adds 
to his confusion and perplexity. He had 
enough of trouble as it was without being dis¬ 
turbed by a maiden, and especially one who 
wanted him to commit himself right in the 
presence of those who held his Lord as a pris¬ 
oner. Perhaps if he could have whispered it 
to her apart from them he might have done 
so. He is not exactly a coward, but somehow 
he has lost his grip. He, therefore, replies— 
“I don’t know what thou art talking about. 
I don’t understand thee; what thou sayest.” 
He did not mean to say that. 

“But Simon, thou hast proven unfaithful, 
and untrue. Thou hast lied only to make thy 
condition more baffling. Thou art vexed that 
they don’t leave thee alone at that. How can 
a man’s sins leave him alone? Dost thou think 
that such an answer will satisfy those who wish 
to pry into thy whereabouts? and shield thee 
from further annoyance and unpleasantness of 
assault? Why go out into the porch? Dost thou 
hope to run away from and escape the sting? 
Ah, it follows thee there in hot pace. Thou 
canst not help but be seen. Yes, seen by an¬ 
other maiden, and she too knows what she is 

22 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

talking about. She makes it her business to 
tell those who are standing by who thou art.” 

“This fellow was also with Jesus of Naz¬ 
areth.” She could not help but talk about 
the important event that was taking place. She 
wished to tell all she knew about it too. That 
was perfectly natural. Can Simon Peter keep 
his reserve and remain silent? Is not his 
Lord passing through the tests with wonderful 
reserve? The information is not addressed to 
Simon, but somehow he thinks it is meant for 
him, and he chafes under it. Ah, he denies 
again with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 

“Simon, thy sin is driving thee to close cor¬ 
ners. Its demands are growing harsher, and 
thou art sinking deeper. Thy sin of unfaith¬ 
fulness is burning thee blacker. It will hunt 
thee down. If thou returnest back into the 
presence of thy Master it will press thee ex¬ 
ceedingly hard there. But there only thou 
canst be saved.” 

But that maiden has not spoken in vain. 
Thy vehement protest has only roused suspi¬ 
cion with those that are standing by. They 
see that thou art too anxious to escape this 
charge. They become restless in their curios¬ 
ity to press the matter. How much time will 
they allow elapse? Just now see one gradu- 

How He Took Up His Cross 227 

ally drawing nearer. He seems to have some¬ 
thing to say. Hear, his curiosity gets the bet¬ 
ter of him. 

“Surely thou also art one of them; for thy 
speech maketh thee known.” “It is useless 
to deny it. Thy very speech giveth thee away. 
Thou art a Galilean. There is no mistake 
about that. Every evidence shows that thou 
art. Yes, we saw thee in the garden with him; 

Simon Peter breaks in, cursing and swear¬ 
ing, saying, “I know not this man of whom ye 
speak.” Then there was a terrible moment 
of awful silence and immediately the cock 
crew. Just then the Master who had been si¬ 
lent all the while turns and looks on that un¬ 
faithful disciple. He speaks not a word; but 
that look crowds that disciple’s mind with 
overwhelming thoughts, and melts that heart 
so that if it were capable it would flow rivers 
of tears. Yes, he would pour the whole heart 
out in sobs of bitter weeping. “And he went 
out and wept bitterly.” 

But so much anguish must be pent up and 
retained, to tear the very sinews out; to wrap 
the soul in remorse, and the body in excruciat¬ 
ing pain. Both must suffer together. Both 
must grow together out of the old life into 


The Silent Nazarene 

the new, where pains, misgivings, and remorse 
even must fade away, as the soul grips itself 
and lives in the higher life of Christ. Yes, 
when the Apostle Peter could live in the ten¬ 
derness, and loving innocence of that look of 
his Master he could truly say, “I live,” or 
rather with the Apostle Paul, “Christ liveth 
in me.” Ah, in very truth, whenever our look 
claims those who are unfaithful to us, with¬ 
out any reason for their being so on our part, 
we are getting the spirit of the Master; we 
are saving men with Christ. Christ liveth in 

We are like Peter, we know such a little 
about ourselves that we must run up against 
many things in our overconfidence before we 
find our own inability to cope with things as 
they are, and our need of a stronger arm to 
rely upon; yes, a stronger mind on which to 
shift burdens too heavy and complex for us. 
It takes much stumbling to find that God is 
our burden-bearer. The load must be next 
thing to impossible to carry—it must be at 
the breaking down and crushing point, if we 
will let him have it and dispose of it for us. 
It took many rough hard rebuffs for the quick 
impulsive Peter to find that the quiet, inno¬ 
cent look of his Master alone could save him. 

How He Took Up His Cross 229 

It was a look so full of pity and compassion 
that he remembers it all now. How he had 
been living with Christ and the manner of 
life Christ lived. He recalls vividly how 
his Master warned him of his weakness, and 
how he heedlessly rushed on in his rash way 
till he had showed himself in this last des¬ 
perate extremity of unfaithfulness. Was it 
not time for the look of Christ to bring him 
back? Yet it was in due season—the proper 

Ah, God always steps in at the proper mo¬ 
ment. He withholds the arm of Abraham 
when he has the point of the knife at his son’s 
heart. Just when a man’s sin is about to do 
its last deadly work the love of Christ smites 
the glaring lance into shivering splinters. 
Man finds himself, and lays his soul as is hon¬ 
orable and right at the feet of this Knight 
of the ages. This man of silent greatness de¬ 
livers after a wonderful fashion. A look 
from him can save a man. Can save a man 
who, when he seeks relief from pressure, gen¬ 
erally choses a way open to his own confu¬ 
sion. He trusts in the “horses and horsemen 
of Egypt” only to be trodden down by them. 
Yes, he is lost in his own bewilderment. The 
pure, the serene, the masterful look of Christ 


The Silent Nazarene 

alone can bring him back to himself. 

Christ Before Pilate 

Lo, how many stretches of mortal existence 
there are in spite of our frailty. We live in 
spite of our faults and mistakes; yes, mistakes 
that are too often blind blundering. When 
we have passed we often wonder how we have 
passed the impassable breach, and yet are 
safe. To human eye this becomes a mystery. 
But the vivid flashes from the hidden depths 
somehow make our pathway sure, so we are 
willing to move on though we know that we 
are capable of making many blunders—stum¬ 
bling into many dangers that beset our path¬ 
way. If the soul is set on avoiding these hid¬ 
den snares by placing reliance upon these 
prompt and persistent flashes out of the hid¬ 
den depths; yes, if the pilgrim seeks this guid¬ 
ance diligently, he will pass unhurt. Some¬ 
thing tells us right from wrong in no uncer¬ 
tain terms. 

But what if this gentle though sure guide 
is ignored? Then conscience either becomes 
a scourge, or it is silenced beneath the ruins 
of an immortal soul. How often scourged 
like galley slave we are forced to do the 

How He Took Up His Cross 231 

right. We remember the wrong as long 
as the smarting sting is there. Then 
straightway we forget and commit as grave 
errors as before with the sting intensified a 
hundredfold. It becomes a marvel how so 
many of us pass and live. God warns; we 
forget. Some eyes are open; others are delib¬ 
erately closed. These latter stumble into their 
own ruin. So Pilate, like a Galley slave, was 
scourged into his own hell. 

Does not the clamoring voice bewitch you 
that it holds the power—performs the work? 
Is not the fright too often at the report and 
not at the bullet stroke of death? The ex¬ 
plosive force may send the bullet on, but first 
the quiet touch must give it leave. The rip¬ 
ping thunder clash may fall like splintering 
sounds all about the storm-shrouded dale, but 
ere this is heard the vivid piercing lightnings 
have done their work. 

The clamoring crowd is like a seething mass 
that finds its vent at every fissure that may 
break within its prison walls; the weakest 
points must yield to its infuriate haste. The 
thunderous noise confuse, dethrone men from 
their reason, and they plunge into the lava 
stream of death. Alas for Pilate, who suf¬ 
fered the clamoring voice of the multitude to 

232 The Silent Nazarene 

bewitch his senses and plunge him into the 
ignoble deed that brought him ruin. Well 
might he ask, “Art thou a king?” of the meek, 
self-possessed Christ who stands before him. 
Pilate was caught in the muddle of the clamor. 
But this man in a strange power that grew in¬ 
tense with his silence was master. When his 
answer came it was a kingly one. Its ring 
set at naught the clamor and made the hands 
of Pilate weak. *‘Thou sayest it” made Pilate 
prisoner in the question he had asked. And 
Jesus still must speak to this man’s utter 

“Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end 
have I been born, and to this end am I come 
into the world, that I should bear witness 
unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth 
heareth my voice.” 

How Pilate’s confusion waxes bewildering. 
He is at a loss to know how to help himself. 
He can only resort to a question again; yes, a 
question to plunge him into deeper perplexity. 
He asks, “What is truth?” and nervously 
rushes out without an answer, saying to the 
Jews, “I find no crime in him.” The strain 
of indecision became more tense and chained 
his mind within its hold; the great silent king 
with irresistible power on one side, and the 

How He Took Up His Cross 233 

clamoring multitude with their crushing pres¬ 
sure on the other. “Answerest thou nothing? 
behold how many things they accuse thee of.” 
Ah, but there in unbroken silence the Christ 
stands. He knows that the so-called accusa¬ 
tions in themselves have no weight at all. To 
reply to them would be useless folly; yes, 
sheer madness. Such would unarm him of 
his mastery. Christ stands there with master¬ 
ful reserve. Pilate marvels. Well might he 
marvel. The kingly might of the silent man 
dethrones the governor so that as a perplexed 
beast he sought every manner of escape. The 
fear of the multitude fell upon him like a 
stinging scourge, and the mastery of the silent 
king impelled him he knew not where. 

Now at the feast he was accustomed to re¬ 
lease unto them one prisoner whom they asked 
of him. There was one Barabbas who was ly¬ 
ing bound with them that had made insurrec¬ 
tion, men who in the insurrection had com¬ 
mitted murder. “Now the chief priests and 
the elders persuaded the multitudes that they 
should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.” 
But Pilate wishes to anticipate the wishes of 
the multitudes that he might the more gain 
their favor. So he goes out to them, saying, 
“Whom will ye that I release unto you? Ba- 


The Silent Nazarene 

rabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” How 
high the clamor goes. It is like the crest of the 
floodtide, and its roaring clamor like the floods 
of many waters. So disorderly and irresisti¬ 
ble are they. The governor makes as though he 
does not understand the multitudes, and in his 
mad endeavor to get from them that which he 
hopes to receive, he repeats his question, elimi¬ 
nating the names that had thrown the multi¬ 
tudes into such a mad frenzy (as he supposed). 
“Which of the two will ye that I release unto 
you?” They shout back, “Barabbas.” But 
the governor ignores them and makes as 
though he does not hear. “Will ye that I re¬ 
lease unto you the king of the Jews?” Now 
all their fury is thrown into their vehement an¬ 
swer. They will make it strong and clear to 
him this time. The governor cannot mistake 
it again. It is like the pounding of the waters 
upon the tide-lashed rock-ribbed sides of the 
narrow sound. He must hear it because of its 
massive weight if for no other reason. “Away 
with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 
Not this man, but Barabbas.” Then the dis¬ 
tracted governor asks as though he would 
cover his confusion with further confusion, 
saying, “What then shall I do with Jesus who 
is called Christ?” “Ah, Pilate, thou hast ig- 

How He Took Up His Cross 235 

nored the first part of their reply so that they 
can drive the sting deeper into thy smarting 
soul. Again thou art asking that raving mul¬ 
titude what to do.” They roar him back the 
answer with hoarse throats, heaping distract¬ 
ing confusion upon his already insane and 
wrecked judgment. Yes, they are like the 
crashing floods that break and overflow his 
soul, and in their raging bluster sweep away in 
ruins his better self. The shouts, “Crucify 
him, crucify him,” are overwhelming this 
victim of the fickle mob. Pilate seeking to 
stop its fury again asks that mad mob a ques¬ 
tion—asks to reason with them, saying, “Why, 
what evil hath he done?” The cry of the 
fierce multitude is but intensified—hoarse 
throats shrieking out: “Let him be crucified.” 
There was no let up but the cry became ex¬ 
ceeding fierce so that no man could tame it 
down with reason as Pilate sought to do. It 
had all gotten beyond him. 

And while Pilate is sitting on the judgment 
seat his wife sends a message unto him. As 
he reads it darkness crowds his brow and his 
restless countenance betokens a disquieted soul. 
She has written to her already distracted hus¬ 
band, saying, “Have nothing to do with that 
righteous man: for I have suffered many 


The Silent Nazarene 

things this day in a dream because of him.” 
Everything points to the righteousness of this 
kingly man but the multitudes without are 
clamoring with hoarse voices the one thing, 
“Let him be crucified.” “So when Pilate saw 
that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a 
tumult was arising, he took water, and washed 
his hands before the multitude, saying, I am 
innocent of the blood of this man; see ye to 
it.” And all the people answer, waxing ex¬ 
ceedingly bold on seeing the governor weaken 
—relaxing his grip upon the silent kingly man 
between him and that furious multitude. “His 
blood be on us, and on our children.” He re¬ 
leases to them Barabbas and gives Jesus over 
to them to be scourged. 

Does it befit a ruler to do a childish act? 
Can Pilate wash his hands clean of the inno¬ 
cent blood? His distorted countenance be¬ 
tokens an outraged writhing soul. His acts 
carve out a living picture of a slave. What to 
scourge a man in hope that he might get the 
consent of the mob to set him free? “Pilate, 
why try to humble that silent man to make 
him tenfold more thy king? The crown of 
thorns, the purple robe will but distract thy 
already enslaved senses, and show more grand¬ 
ly the silent Master who made thee marvel. 

How He Took Up His Cross 237 

Each trifling deed when thou canst stand on 
neither side will make thee more a slave.” 

“Now you stand, O bonded slave of the 
throne. You are bound about with regal 
shackles. The people seize the manacles and 
clutch them about your hands. You move to¬ 
ward that multitude, suffer the innocent, un¬ 
resenting man to be mocked, jeered at in the 
most humiliating way. Now he is crowned 
with thorns; now arrayed in purple robe; now 
struck with the hand, and smitten with the 
reed: Yes, even he is spit upon. But unkind- 
est of all, see these vile mockers bow the knee, 
and in derision cry out, “Hail, king of the 
Jews,” striking his head with the reed they had 
placed in his hand as a mock sceptre. Now, 
Pilate, you come forth to this crowd wild with 
the fury of hate to whom you have been giving 
just enough of his blood to make their mad¬ 
ness rave from an unsatiate thirst—you come 
forth to say to that mob. “Behold I bring him 
forth to you, that ye may know, that I find no 
fault in him.” Pilate, can you continually 
kindle and feed the fire and expect it stop 
burning? The lowly man is at your side— 
how? Honored with royal diadem and regal 
splendor? Alas he wears a crown of thorns 
and a mock robe of purple. You call out to 


The Silent Nazarene 

that grimy, thirsty mob, “Behold the man,” 
and then expect him free? Does the savage 
beast leave off devouring his prey because 
he has mangled and torn it? Will his gaze 
upon it satisfy him? Does it not rather in¬ 
crease his thirst for the blood of his victim? 
Yes, humanity not merely encages the soul in 
beastly prisons, when deadly passions rage, 
but makes the soul its slave to lift the beastly 
passions to tenfold greater shame. Pilate, 
you dare not throw your victim into beastly 
jaws and hope to rescue him by so doing. And 
so too it is vain for you to walk into the fire, 
and hope to avoid it at the same instant. 

Do you hear out of that multitude’s clamor, 
something that will break the tension of your 
way? Listen, “By our law he ought to die, be¬ 
cause he made himself the Son of God.” Pi¬ 
late, will you still insist that the silent kingly 
man answer the clamor of the raving multi¬ 
tude as you are trying to do? Is your confu¬ 
sion insufficient still? Why threaten him be¬ 
cause of his silence? How dare you say, 
“Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou 
not that I have power to crucify thee, and 
power to release thee?” But listen, Pilate, 
the silence is broken. “Thou couldst have no 
power at all against me, except it was given 

How He Took Up His Cross 239 
thee from above!” 

Did Pilate believe him? Then why did he 
try to “release him from that very hour”? Is 
it strange after all this that he should have 
believed it, being spoken by this kingly man? 
How could he have stood before such a life, 
and not have had the power of the words that 
proceeded out of its silence masterly enforced 
and borne in upon him? Yes, the life of Christ 
clinched what he said. His words were pow¬ 
erful because he was so much greater than 
his words. His very life spoke more elo¬ 
quently than words could convey. What he 
was convinced Pilate that this was so. He 
needs no other evidence. He tries to free 
Jesus. But what of this howling multitude? 
Pilate has committed himself to them. How 
can he extricate himself? They have drawn 
him into the subtle meshes of their web. He 
is their victim rather than the silent man of 

When the multitude see the governor 
straining every nerve to release the silent pris¬ 
oner they shout up to him, saying, “If thou re¬ 
lease this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend: 
every one that maketh himself a king speaketh 
against Caesar.” Pilate has the life whipped out 
of him as he hears these crued words fiercely 


The Silent Nazarene 

hurled at him. His unavailing energies flag— 
exhausted he is on the point of total collapse^ 
and brings Jesus out, and sits down upon the 
judgment-seat at a place called the Pave¬ 
ment, but in Hebrew Gabbatha. Why does 
Pilate continue to counsel with that mob? Is 
he not deep enough in confusion and perplex¬ 
ity? He does not know what he is doing. He 
is exasperated because of indecision. But 
what mania has taken hold of him? What 
possesses him to come before that crowd again, 
and say, “Behold, your king?” Does he ex¬ 
pect to work himself into their graces because 
of this saying? or is he mocking them? Have 
not things here of late taken too serious a turn 
for Pilate to mock at the expense of this si¬ 
lent kingly man before him? Where are his 
senses? Did that dream of his wife give him 
the nightmare too? “Poor slave of thy own 
ambition and fears! The people have made 
them into a scourge for thy lacerated and 
bleeding soul. They are scourging thee with¬ 
out mercy. They cry out with deafening 
clamor: “Away with him, away with him, 
crucify him!” “Pilate, poor wretch thou art, 
wilt thou come at them again with a question 
in thy last extremity?” “Shall I crucify your 
king?” “What answer didst thou expect, 

How He Took Up His Cross 241 

worsted mortal?” The chief priests are ready 
with an answer for thee, Pilate.” “We have 
no king but Caesar.” (Here these religious 
murderers are very loyal for it is both con¬ 
venient and needful in obtaining the sentence 
of murder upon the silent Man of Nazareth.) 
At this the multitude backed up the chief 
priests with their harassing clamor: “Crucify 
him, crucify him. Away with him, away with 
him, crucify him—let him be crucified.” 

This would-be ruler is as helpless as a babe, 
but unlike a babe his soul is withered, cowed, 
and scourged into fiery despair by the lash¬ 
ings of his better self, and crushed by the ir¬ 
resistible power of the truth as it stood before 
him in the person of the silent prisoner on 
trial. Ah, but such is the irony of things that 
Pilate was on trial before the face of Christ; 
yes, the face of the truth—he was weighed in 
the balances and found wanting. He could 
not stand the test. The pressure was too great 
for him. He vields to the clamor of the mul- 


titude which he sought to appease and satisfy 
from the very first—dragging the silent man 
into it with a vain endeavor to set him free. 
But what he did was to constantly commit 
himself to it without drawing the silent, self- 
possessed man into the vortex of the whirlpool. 


The Silent Nazarene 

Pilate lost his grip, but the masterful spirit 
never failed the humble Man of Galilee. The 
record says: 

“Therefore he delivered him unto them to 
be crucified.” 

The Crucifixion 

Life speaks in one great silent language. 
Yet its speech is most wonderfully powerful 
and emphatic. It speaks what it is. To him 
that lives this speech is clear and its notes 
grow clearer as he presses further on in his 
quest; yes, a quest that finds itself simply by 
living. It makes disclosures in no other way. 
Does not the tender plantlet sprout in silence? 
Is not the language of the tender sprout the 
eloquent speech of silent growth from day 
to day? It is all so simple and natural that 
when men avail themselves of this secret of 
nature they grow and live also. 

But, hush! there comes a sound. What can 
it be? It comes from out the life that grew in 
silence as the seasons passed—a limb is broken 
from the sturdy tree. Could that which grew 
in silence all these years be snapped, and 
broken in a niche of time? The fractured 
fibers tearing cell from cell, brings a crash- 

How He Took Up His Cross 243 

ing sound from out this splendid peace. Is 
not the growth from the tender sprout to the 
deep colored, luscious ripe fruit without a 
break? Why this infraction—this break be¬ 
tween the sprout and the fruit immature? Is 
the break death? Is the life to go blasted 
and fruitless? The body that life gives in si¬ 
lent growth must yield a groan when death in¬ 
trudes upon the order that imparts it life. 
But life itself shall take another form till 
death shall frown it to the earth again. Such 
is the life of earth where change and decay 
mark things everywhere. When death is van¬ 
quished this frown shall be removed from the 
brow of mortal things, and all shall, as sym- 
boled in the death of earthly things, die to each 
other that the life of each may unfold trans¬ 
parently beautiful in the life of the other, 
when all that is achieved and done is for the 
good of the life of the other; yes, all is lost in 
giving sweetness to life on every side. This is 
the life of Heaven. A life which Christ re¬ 
vealed in resplendent fairness. What he was 
in living conduct spoke this language even 
more powerful than his words. His life was 
the full flower of what he said. What he said 
but points you to his life to see for yourself 
whether these things be so. He who said: 


The Silent Nazarene 

“I am among you as one who serves,” lost him¬ 
self so completely in serving that he walks 
straight into the jaws of death. This Man 
said: “Greater love hath no man than this, 
that a may lay down his life for his friends.” 
This Man who said this waded through in¬ 
gratitude of even his friends to do this very 
thing, that is to lay down his life for them. 
This Man who said: “Love thy neighbor as 
thyself,” actually after having suffered insult 
after insult from those who hated and despised 
him without a cause, prays for them when they 
are putting him to death. He who said: “Love 
ye one another,” not only stoops to wash his 
disciples’ feet, but when utterly forsaken by 
them in his extremest need, when loneliness 
shrouded his soul as the thick darkness, and 
the foul throats of treacherous men were like 
sepulchres gaping with death all about him, he 
resented not their desertion but with a heart 
full of love prays the Father to keep them 
from the evil one. Yes, even when facing this 
thick darkness he prays this prayer, knowing 
the frailty of those for whom he prayed, his 
heart welling with sympathy for them and his 
consuming desire being that they be kept 
against the fiery trials that beset them mid this 
midnight gloom. This is the Man who an- 

How He Took Up His Cross 245 

nounced the law that he lived, “he that loseth 
his life shall find it.” This is the law of 
heaven translated into that of earth by the life 
of Jesus. Is not the life of Jesus found ev¬ 
erywhere? And wherever it is found there is 
happiness and peace; yes, life in its consum¬ 
mate sweetness, and death must yield its all 
in the perfecting of this sweetness. Thus we 
find his death the great prototype in earth of 
that which is perfect in heaven. We know it 
so because Christ in life proved it so. When 
we go his way we find it so. 

As we look into the great mirror of nature 
we behold a likeness to the great spirit life. 
The child unconsciously grows to greater stat¬ 
ure. But lo, we stop for need of strength to 
take a further step. What is it? Here life 
unclothes far greater secrets than we saw in 
silent growth of plants; here, virtues sweeten 
before our eyes. How they grow and mature 
is the secret life itself must prove. How 
often life is called to halt by death, even in 
the midst of exceeding freshness and fairness. 
How often the most promising life goes down 
into the silence of the grave before those of far 
less promise. The frail form sighs. But 
what of all this sweetness that gathered in this 
life? Could the body part with such fairness 


The Silent Nazarene 

without a sigh? That broken temple racked 
with pain must go with groans to the lower or¬ 
der and yield the fair life to larger measures 
than it could give. This is the hope that 
Christ has given, for he himself has gone this 
way. In the full flower of his life he was cut 
down. It is no hopeless'way to him. It was 
the only gateway to hope. He tells his disci¬ 
ples so. Yes, he tells them so when he is 
standing at the very gateway itself. “If I go 
not away, the Comforter will not come unto 
you; but if I depart, I will send him unto 
you.” It were as though he said, “If I die, 
my life will fill the world; if I put off my mor¬ 
tal body the Spirit of God shall take the hearts 
of men; the life of my Father shall be every¬ 
where present comforting and imparting life 
in abundance for He is living and serving in 
your midst as ye see me live and serve.” 

What sage can enter the secret of the life of 
Christ in its preparing stages? The how it 
grew is still with God. The record tells us, 
“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and 
in favor with God and man.” He lives in 
meekness, but there issues from his life a 
power before which all that would oppose 
grows pale, shrivels and recedes. That which 
bends toward his life obtains a greater fresh- 

How He Took Up His Cross 247 

ness which defeats the grossness that would 
mar its life. What a revelation? What a 
magnificent life in all its unfolding? There 
is not a tinge to mar its symmetry, and perfec¬ 
tion. Lo, there is a rustle on the leaf? What, 
Nature dare not leave a storm break here upon 
the serene sky of human perfection? Well 
might it be so, that Nature might chain and 
interlock her wrestling forces. But the thing 
that works the ruin has laid its hand upon 
humanity’s vesture. It will rend it from the 
top to the bottom, though it can not touch the 
perfection within. So Christ must bow his 
head and give up the ghost. Thus far can hu¬ 
man madness rave, but there it stops while the 
stainless Christ moves on. 

What a concourse of people. How they 
press in upon each other. The whole attention 
seems riveted upon some one in the very 
midst. Those on the edges are now running 
here and there as if seeking to find some open¬ 
ing that they might set their eyes upon what 
is going forward in the heart of that moving 
tumult. It is headed in one general direction. 
Now you can just get a glimpse of some 
women as the wedging line breaks a little. 
Ah, see these women are weeping. See that 


The Silent Nazarene 

one who is leaning upon the shoulder of a 
splendid young man. Splendid in more ways 
than one. He seems to have special favor 
with the tumultuous mob that makes up the 
centre of that moving train. At the same time 
he shows special care for that weeping woman 
whose heart no doubt is in the midst of that 
mob. See, her very attitude so indicates. 
Ah, now that very centre breaks. There is 
great excitement. Behold, a young man has 
fallen prostrate beneath his load. What con¬ 
fusion. That weeping woman is about to fall 
and embrace that exhausted young man when 
a soldiers forbids her interference. This 
must be their prisoner who has fallen faint to 
the earth. Yes, he has fallen beneath a tree 
they have compelled him to bear. Have they 
been trying to flag his life out in this way? 
Then why do they not let him die on the spot? 
for see, they have seized upon another fellow 
who chanced to be handy and compel him help 
bear the tree. Surely they have given their 
victim torment enough already. But no, they 
close up the line as closely massed as before, 
and press on toward Golgotha’s ghastly frown. 
Again through the break in that petulant tu¬ 
mult you get a glimpse of that mother, for 
mother she is, for hear (for you can hear even 

How He Took Up His Cross 249 

though you can not see). Yes, see too, for the 
mob centre breaks again. See that young man 
beneath his heavy load turn and address the 
women who follow with bitter weeping. Let 
us listen to what he has to say. 

“Daughters of Jesusalem, weep not for me, 
but weep for yourselves, and for your chil¬ 
dren. For, behold, the days are coming, in the 
which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, 
and the wombs that never bare, and the paps 
which never give suck. Then shall they be¬ 
gin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to 
the hills, Cover us. For if they do these 
things in a green tree, what shall be done in 
the dry?” 

Who is the man who dare utter such things? 
See the mockers scorn and jeer. But what 
wonderful self-control; what marvelous self- 
possession this man has over all emotional out¬ 
bursts. He is perfectly composed and calm, 
though his face shows marks of intense suf¬ 
fering. His countenance is marred as no 
other man’s. Yet as they buffet him and in¬ 
sult him, he plods on with his crushing bur¬ 
den; yes, he bears the cross without a murmur 
to the place of the skull. As he trudges up 
that ghastly hill with his straining load his 
body exhausted must yield a sigh. Ah, this 


The Silent Nazarene 

but a hint of the painful tragedy that is tak¬ 
ing place within. With all this stress and 
suffering pent within, the Christ lays down his 
cumbersome burden on' Calvary. He laid 
down his physical burden to prepare to lay 
down his spirit’s at the same place and the 
same hour. Yes, here is where all mortals 
who follow Christ can drop their burdens and 
go free. 

Now that crowd stops and for a moment 
there is silence. Yes, stinging silence that is 
broken by the sound of the bar that is digging 
up the earth and cleaving the rock. They 
are making three holes in which to set three 
crosses. Ah, nearby the one in the middle 
there stands that young man whose counte¬ 
nance is marred as no other man. His coun¬ 
tenance is exceedingly sad. He glances at the 
woman who is leaning upon a young man’s 
shoulder and then casts an eye at the young 
man who is supporting the grief-stricken wo¬ 
man as if to say, “Thou knowest what I mean. 
There is not a look of vagueness upon the 
young man’s face to whom the sad look is ad¬ 
dressed. It is even so, the young man with 
auburn hair falling over his shoulders returns 
the meaning look to that sad countenance 
from which men hid their faces as though 

How He Took Up His Cross 251 
he were saying: 

“I know what thou meanest, for thou hast 
fulfilled the law and the prophets, and thou 
regardest as not the least of the law this, 
‘Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy 
days may be long upon the land which the 
Lord thy God giveth thee.’ This is the first 
commandment with promise, and too thou hast 
said, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth.’ Mas¬ 
ter, I see now why thou didst pass the severe 
condemnation upon that which was said to be 
Corban—a thing given to God or the temple 
when the gift rightly belongs to the support of 
the needy parent. My Lord, I see it all at a 
glance now. I was very near thy heart at 
the supper and at many other times, but now 
thy mother whose heart is pierced through 
with a sword is leaning upon me and I know. 
Thou hast built the home about the sacredness 
of mother—intertwining filial affection and 
her pure, unfailing love, so making the home 

It is now about nine o’clock in the morn¬ 
ing and they are at the place of crucifixion. 
The physical energies of the young prisoner 
standing by the middle cross are so far spent 
that he seems on the verge of a collapse. They 
could not suffer this to be so. They must 

252 The Silent Nazarene 

strain his physical strength so he succumbs not 
till they have inflicted the last item of suffer¬ 
ing their minds are capable of conjuring up. 
They must offer him wine to stimulate, and 
add myrrh to the wine so as to enhance its 
effect in bracing and warming the system. 
But he would have none of it. He knew 
there was sufficient strength left to endure all 
the suffering meted out to him by the cruel 
torturers. They must come to the end of their 
string—reach their limit and then have noth¬ 
ing more that they can do. But he must have 
a clear, unclouded mind to drink the cup 
the Father had given him. He would not 
“cheapen his righteousness by making it safe” 
by calling on Divine help, and surely he would 
not accept relief from stimulants which have 
covered multitudes of mortals with irretriev¬ 
able ruin. 

But now they are turning his face away 
from even looking upon his mother. They 
strip him of his clothing, and the soldiers lay 
him on the ground, and thrust the cross-beam 
beneath his shoulders. Do they hesitate? 
The crown of thorns has fallen from his brow 
hot with the fever of physical agony and soul 
anguish. Ah, they have bruised him and they 
must pause to look upon him whom they have 

How He Took Up His Cross 253 

bruised. That look but maddens their rage. 
Look, they replace the crown of thorns. But 
listen. Ah, what is it? What, the ring of a 
hammer on a nail? Yes, many rings fill the 
heavy, choking air as they forge the spikes 
through the palms of his hands at the extrem¬ 
ities of the cross-beam. 

But be quiet! Hear! What spell has 
come over that watching people? Is the air 
too heavy to bear the sounds that they stand 
mute? Ah, there arises from the midst of 
that ringing and clanging of hammers and 
nails, utterances laden with the sweetness of a 
great soul; yes, sweetness that surpasses that 
of the incense of the evening sacrifice. These 
words come from the lips of him who is being 
cruelly spiked to the beam of the (middle 
cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know 
not what they do.” Did high priest ever 
bring a grander oblation to the altar than this 
High Priest? What high priest has entered 
back of the veil as he, and offered once for all, 
his all in the Holy of Holies of humanity’s 
temple? The incense of this oblation is an 
odor of sweet smell filling humanity’s temple. 
It melts the vilest sinner’s heart to repentance 
and worshipful love. It lifts above the foul¬ 
ness of resenting snarl, and leads the sinner 


The Silent Nazarene 

face to face with the love of God. This love 
either melts the stony heart, or lets him rave 
as a dumb brute—slave to all that he con¬ 

But now the ring of the hammers cease. 
Why? Have they left off—are they repenting 
of their dastardly work at hearing such a 
prayer? See, the chief priests, and among 
them many eminent Jews, are crowding close 
to the victim. They have heard his prayer. 
But their ears are heavy and they are quar¬ 
reling bitterly among themselves. Pilate has 
commanded that a superscription of the ac¬ 
cusation of the victim be set up over his head. 
It was written in Hebrew, and in Latin, and 
in Greek, so that all who passed, no matter 
from what quarter they be, could see and read. 
These demagogues had a tight tussle with 
Pilate this morning before coming to this 
place. They were insistent on the governor, 
saying, “Write not, The King of the Jews; 
but, that he said, I am the King of the Jews.” 
But they have played with Pilate too long. 
For once he will have his way. He answers 
them once for all, saying, “What I have writ¬ 
ten I have written.” Now these leaders are 
at variance among themselves, for they are up 
against it. The soldiers are raising the cross- 

How He Took Up His Cross 255 

beam with the victim spiked fast through his 
hands at the extremities, and securely fixing 
it to the upright pole which is already planted. 
As he is being placed astride the wooden-peg 
of the upright pole again the hammers ring, 
for they are spiking his feet fast to that crude 
pole. Now the superscription must be set up 
as Pilate has commanded. “Ruthless mur¬ 
derers, you cannot always have your way. 
You must give in here and rave. You cannot 
even shun this. You must see and hear peo¬ 
ple from every quarter read it as they pass this 
way. The governor would have it in the three 
great languages so that no one would miss it. 
This is the first measure that is being turned 
back to you. The inevitable has its way.” 

But now the soldiers have him securely 
spiked to the cross, the crown of thorns is on 
his head, and the superscription written 
plainly in Hebrew, and in Latin, and in Greek 
is set up over his head. These soldiers hav¬ 
ing performed their work turn to their lawful 
booty as Roman soldiers. They take his gar¬ 
ments and make four parts, to every soldier 
a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was 
without seam, woven from the top throughout. 
They say therefore to one another, “Let us not 
rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” 


The Silent Nazarene 

“Soldier, you would not spoil a goodly gar¬ 
ment. You would rather that your comrade 
have it if you yourself can not have it entire. 
So in this way it will do some one good. You 
are sensible in your rigid economy. But the 
world that absorbs your interests and accrues 
you good is confined to the garments the pris¬ 
oner wore. But here we must leave you and 
turn to the suffering prisoner.” 

There are standing by the cross his mother, 
and his mother’s sister, and Mary Magdalene. 
These women are grouped there with faces 
full of the bitter anguish of their hard pressed, 
suffering souls. Anguish is fiercely tearing 
at the heart of the victim spiked to the cross. 
He forgets the crown of thorns and the blood 
trickling from his brow as he casts his eyes 
down and surveys the motley crowd at the foot 
of the cross. They are going here and there: 
priest, Levite, scribe and lawyer, as well as 
soldier, man of affairs, and those who have no 
affairs but stand and gaze—all are mingling 
and intermingling. But the eye of Jesus 
rests upon one humble woman weeping at the 
foot of the cross, and turning his eyes to the 
young man with auburn hair upon whom this 
anguish-smitten woman is leaning for support 
he says unto his mother, “Woman, behold, thy 

How He Took Up His Cross 257 

son!” Bringing his eyes to rest upon his 
mother again, he addresses his beloved disci¬ 
ple saying, “Behold, thy mother!” It were 
as though he was saying unto John: “My be¬ 
loved disciple, see my mother weeping bitterly 
there. Her heart is breaking beneath the 
stress of this hour—a sword is piercing 
through her soul. Thou knowest how care¬ 
fully I provided for her, and in what tender 
regard I always held her. I made her a 
home. Now take her into thine own home, 
and treat her as thine own mother for my 
sake.” (Great Christ, we thank thee for this 
glimpse of tender human love; where Divine 
love can meet the human without a taint of 

How beautifully the heart of that disciple 
responds to that which forms the border-land 
of earth to the spotless white soul of heaven. 
“And from that hour the disciple took her 
unto his own home.” “A loving trust, John, 
the one that Jesus the Nazarene regarded so 
dear to him while he spent those thirty quiet 
years making sacred manual toil by his own 
hands and spreading his godly benediction of 
love over the home all those years. What a 
peculiar privilege to stand so near the heart 
of Christ as that.” 


The Silent Nazarene 

But nothing can hush the mockers’ taunts. 
He must bear the torture as they pass by and 
wag the heads, saying, “Thou that destroyest 
the temple, and buildest it in three days, save 
thyself: if thou art the Son of God come down 
from the cross.” The chief priests wish to 
press home to him what the rabble has been 
saying in giving him such a timely challenge. 
His position is both awkward and hopeless and 
the boastful words he had spoken before he 
came into this hour are as foolish babbling. 
They must make him feel it. So they back 
up the rabble saying, “He saved others; him¬ 
self he can not save.” Did these Jewish teach¬ 
ers mean to point out to that noisy rabble the 
cardinal fact of the life of this Nazarene? 
Hardly so, for hear! they continue, and their 
thought as well as their words must fall down 
even with that of the rabble—“He is the king 
of Israel; let him now come down from the 
cross, and we will believe on him. He trust- 
eth on God; let him deliver him now, if he 
desireth him: for he said, I am the son of 
God.” So they of the rabble passing by wag¬ 
ging their heads join the rulers repeating the 
challenge, “Let him save himself, if this is the 
Christ of God, his chosen.” It is “Physician, 
heal thyself.” (Had not Jesus told the disci- 

How He Took Up His Cross 259 

pies it would be so?) Now these mockers 
cast it in his teeth when his body is at a high 
pitch of fever and pain. He bears it all and 
replies not to their harrowing taunts. The 
brazen soldiers mock, offering him sour wine, 
saying, “If thou art the King of the Jews, save 
thyself.” Would even this Roman dare med¬ 
dle, saying, “Didst I not hear thee make thy 
boasts what thou wouldst do when thou wert 
before the high priest this morning? Thou 
didst say something about coming on the 
clouds of heaven. Now, then, thou hast a 
chance to make good, if thou canst do it.” 
Why should a soldier blurt out such things? 
What does a Roman know about the signifi¬ 
cance of being the King of the Jews? Poor, 
mocking wretch, he wanted to be in the push, 
and thought it smart to jeer with the rest. He 
is an all right fellow with the gang and must 
show that he is a “good fellow.” Yes, he 
heard the chief priests and the scribes sar¬ 
castically remark, “Let Christ, the King of 
Israel, descend from the cross.” But listen; 
he that hangs on the middle cross is mocked 
even by the one on the left cross. This is a 
thief who rails on him this time. He has a 
little more reason for his conduct than has the 
motley crowd at the foot of the cross, though 

26 o 

The Silent Nazarene 

it is purely selfish, “Art not thou the Christ? 
save thyself and us.” Poor, wretched, dying 
thief, thou hast failed to catch the secret of 
the spirit of the life of “the Christ” that saves. 
J esus still is silent—not one resenting word es¬ 
capes his lips. He is master even now when 
a vile wretch who is about to enter eternity 
as a just recompense for his deeds turns his 
railing voice on him without a cause, except 
it be that he hears others mocking, and thinks 
he may as well have it out on somebody in 
ending his miserable existence. 

Have all turned mockers—priests, scribes 
and Pharisees, rulers, soldiers, common peo¬ 
ple, and even thief? No, be attentive, there 
comes a scathing rebuke from the one who 
hangs on the right-hand cross to the one who 
vilely mocks from the cross on the left. A 
thief speaks this time also, not only in fiery 
denunciation and biting rebuke in face of such 
unwarranted vileness, but in a humble rever¬ 
ential spirit he lifts his prayer out of his burn¬ 
ing needs to the One hanging upon the middle 
cross. See—he turns his head and addresses 
his fellow in like condemnation, saying, “Dost 
thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the 
same condemnation? And we indeed justly; 
for we receive the due reward of our deeds: 

How He Took Up His Cross 261 

but this man hath done nothing amiss.” It 
were as though he were saying, “I am aston¬ 
ished at thee joining this band of mockers 
against him who is innocent—even daring to 
do so at this critical moment. Dost thou not 
fear God since thou art hanging on that cross 
justly? What right hast thou to ask to be 
delivered from paying thy penalty?” At 
this the thief hanging upon the right-hand 
cross turns his face to the One crowned with 
thorns and held in vile derision, and lifts up 
his voice in a meek, petitioning spirit, saying, 

“Jesus, remember me when thou comest in 


thy kingdom.” (Had all others given up 
hope that all was lost? certainly this thief 
had not. No matter what others thought 
this thief who keenly feels his own urgent 
needs knows him as Lord and Saviour even 
though nailed to the cross and physically 
as helpless as the petitioning thief himself. 
Even his disciples may go their way saying, 
“We trusted that it had been he which should 
have redeemed Israel.” (“But we were mis¬ 
taken.”) Such despondent sighing was not 
the kind that could bind this thief in hope¬ 
less helplessness. But this thief in his ex- 
tremest need knows that this is He who would 
redeem the soul. If he did not believe this, 


The Silent Nazarene 

his petition would be meaningless, since he is 
at the very brink of death, and he neither asks 
nor expects to be delivered from physical death 
either at that very hour.) Is the petitioner 
disappointed? Does the One on the middle 
cross to whom the petition is directed still keep 
his lips sealed in silence? Was it not so all 
through that jeering mockery? But was such 
the case with the Nazarene when he walked 
through the avenues of service ministering to 
the needs of men? Will he be consistent with 
his conduct then? Will he break his silence? 
Here the needs of a wretched lost man is ap¬ 
pealing, and Christ opens his lips to meet those 
needs. He towers above the agony of pain of 
soul stress to give consolation to a soul that 
has appealed in its extremest need. At last 
one soul found the way the Christ was going, 
and that soul met up with him before the 
very door of death, and a thief too at that. 
Ah, the words are very tender and mellow 
with hope, “Verily I say unto thee, to-day 
shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” How it 
lifted the burden from off that soul, and 
poured into the wounds of that violated con¬ 
science the healing oil of peace and consola¬ 

Now it was about three o’clock in afternoon 

How He Took Up His Cross 263 

and darkness came over the whole land and 
continued until six o’clock. 

Had this Man of sorrows and afflicted with 
griefs forgotten the hard demands of his 
agony? He may rise above excruciating pain 
to think of the good and comfort of others; 
but surely the body must succumb in time to 
such exacting pressure. The soul may rise 
above its crushing and stress in saving others, 
but when the crashing avalanche moves on 
even that soul too must be covered until the 
crushing mass has ground and chiseled its 
way over its groaning heart. Pressure with¬ 
out and stress within are at work upon the 
great soul of Christ, as death is drawing its 
ugly scowl over the face of things. Ah, the 
shadow moves before it as the shadow before 
the moving cloud. Physical agony intense; 
fiendish cries of mockers fall upon his suffer¬ 
ing soul; insulting jeers from those very men 
whom he sought to lead into the way of life. 
Ingratitude as a ravishing beast bore down 
heavily upon his soul, as he saw himself not 
only forsaken but actually derided by those 
upon whom he had poured blessings as re¬ 
freshing showers. The curtains of loneliness 
rolled down thick and heavy. It seemed as 
though the very heavens are closing in upon 


The Silent Nazarene 

him as a great prison-cell of brass. Nothing 
was there to relieve the tension. Out of the 
depths of such sublime loneliness he cries 
with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama 
sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me.” 

Is it posible that everything must crush in 
upon such a soul, so full of innocence and love. 
Is the Universe conspiring together in one 
sweep of accumulated power to blot it out? 
All desertion and suffering is as naught if he 
can keep his mind unclouded, fixed upon the 
mind of Heaven, but when the body is ema¬ 
ciated and the spirit is so completely crushed 
down with that which the bodily thrusts in 
upon it without mercy or sparing, filling it 
hot with anguish, the sufferer is forced to 
reckon with these things. Physical strength 
after the natural order must give. It forces 
its demands. 

He opens his quivering lips. He has en¬ 
dured and suffered this stinging, breaking an¬ 
guish for a long while and now it forces ut¬ 
terance. He didn’t intend to let it pass his 
lips, either—but it is not a complaint, some¬ 
how it has forced itself out, “I thirst.” (This 
is so with all the crucified. He suffers thirst 
as he was flesh and suffered all the while. He 

How He Took Up His Cross 265 

told us this to make sure we understood.) 
H as that soldier who has mocked any pity 
now? Ah, he runs, dips a sponge in sour 
wine, places it on the end of a reed and lifts 
it to the lips of the suffering Man. When he 
tastes the sour wine he says, “It is finished.” 
“My work is finished and all the suffering that 
is portioned therewith.” 

Now the thick veiled cloud begins to with¬ 
draw its shadow from his soul. The whole 
burden is shifted. His work is completed. 
It all rests with God. “Father, into thy hands 
I commend my spirit”; and saying this he 
gives up the ghost. 

The veil of the temple is rent in two from 
the top to the bottom—the Holy Place and the 
Holy of Holies become one great Holy Place 
for this great High Priest has entered back of 
the veil once for all and has sprinkled his own 
blood upon the mercy-seat—rending the veil 
in twain. 

The sun covers his face as with sackcloth. 
In the midst of the darkness the earth sends 
forth a shudder that shakes the insolent crea¬ 
tures of her lap as though to say—Were it not 
for the love of him who prayed for them who 
were spiking him to the tree, she would swal¬ 
low them up into the depth of her bowels that 


The Silent Nazarene 

they might never more mar her fair forms and 
cover her with revolting shame and ignominy. 
The blood of this Man rests mid thick dark¬ 
ness upon the heads of the mockers. 

In the midst of this awful frown of Nature, 
do you hear even the centurion who is over 
that band of mocking soldiers who did the 
crucifying, say (All are consenting with him), 
“Certainly this was a righteous man.” That 
centurion and they that were with him watch¬ 
ing Jesus must make it even more emphatic 
mid the tremors of the chiding, outraged 
earth, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.” 






“And all the multitudes that came together 
to this sight, when they beheld the things that 
were done, returned smiting their breasts, and 
all his acquaintance, and the women that fol¬ 
lowed with him from Galilee, stood afar off, 
seeing these things.” 

J ESUS the Nazarene has died. Some 
hearts are bleeding and open as the deep 
silence stretches itself across the brow of mor¬ 
tal things. The women linger still about the 
cross. There two men go with bowed heads, 
talking with each other. They are of the rul¬ 
ers. Others of the crowd are dispersing here 
and there—some with heads bowed and de¬ 
jected, and some wearing a proud scorn upon 
their countenance. These are saying some¬ 
thing about it being the Sabbath on the mor¬ 
row and it would not be lawful to let the 
bodies hang on the crosses. These, with 
scorning brows, are headed in the direction of 
the two men with dejected countenance. Those 



The Silent Nazarene 

two sorrowing men are wearing garments sim¬ 
ilar to those of them who are muttering un¬ 
der their breath about it being the Sabbath on 
the morrow. These men of sad countenance 
are Jewish officers—members of the Sanhe¬ 
drin. They are headed for Pilate’s palace. 
Nicodemus counsels with Joseph of Ari- 
mathaea, saying, “When you go in to ask 
Pilate for the body I will do what I can to as¬ 
sist you.” As these goodly men come into 
the presence of the governor and Joseph 
makes his request, Pilate marvels, saying, 
“Yes, if he be dead already?” Pilate calls in 
the centurion but he wishes to avoid leaving 
any hint that he doubts for a moment the 
veracity of this most noble Jewish ruler. He 
just wishes to ascertain how long a time he 
has been dead—whether it had been any great 
while. He is now convinced, and grants the 
corpse to Joseph. These two sad men depart, 
having secured their object. Scarcely are 
they gone when the others come to ask that 
the bodies should not remain on the cross upon 
the Sabbath (for the day of that Sabbath was 
a high day). They ask Pilate that their legs 
might be broken, and the bodies taken away. 

The watch at the cross stir as the soldiers 
from the governor arrive. A soldier lifts his 

How He Came Forth Again 271 

spear and touches the quivering flesh of the 
thief on the left of the middle cross. There 
is a sudden twitch, and a sigh comes from 
the fevered lips. Then with a brutal blow 
of the hammer he breaks the legs, and the vic¬ 
tim yields a groan and drops his head in death. 
Then they approach the thief on the right and 
break his legs; but merely a passing sigh es¬ 
capes as his spirit flees to Paradise to join his 
Lord, who is waiting to receive him there. 
When they come to the middle cross they see 
that he is dead already, and brake not his legs. 
Pilate could not believe his ears when told 
by Joseph that Jesus was already dead. And 
is it so that this soldier can not believe his 
eyes? He saw that he was dead already and 
brake not his legs; howbeit the soldier with 
a spear pierced his side, “and straightway 
there came out blood and water.” He is dead 
—of that the soldier is certain now, or did he 
do the thing out of sheer brutality? That is 
a question. But how about the blood and 
water that straightway came out of his pierced 
side? See if there be any sorrow like unto 
his sorrow? Did he not tell the chosen three 
in the garden, “My soul is exceeding sorrow¬ 
ful even unto death?” Could his heart be 
breaking under all these experiences which 


The Silent Nazarene 

call out more than human endurance, and his 
great heart not be broken so that he gave up 
the ghost? Surely he died of a broken heart 
and when the soldier pierced his side straight¬ 
way there came out blood and water. Not a 
bone of him is broken. They look on him 
whom they pierced. So the scripture is ful¬ 
filled. They must wonder what manner of 
man this is. 

But those who would not brave his rescue 
while alive, now take him from the cross. In 
spotless linen his body is wound, and borne 
by tender hands to the peaceful garden nearby, 
to the new hewn tomb in the rock; yes, a tomb 
in which man had never yet lain. Here they 
laid the body of this great Teacher in Israel 
to whom Nicodemus came by night to inquire 
the way of life. “Ah, Nicodemus, thou didst 
behold this blood-thirsty transaction on the 
part of thy comrades. How couldst thou help 
but seal it with an act showing thy disap¬ 
proval, if not disgust? What of the spices 
that thou didst bring as a token of the high 
regard in which thou didst hold this Nazarene 
teacher?” Ah, the sweet fragrance of the 
spices that are wound in the linen with the 
body is but a hint of the sweetness of the life 
that has gone into paradise. Yes, Mary’s ala- 

How He Came Forth Again 273 

baster cruse was but the breaking of a heart 
over full of love to pour it out in profusion 
upon the one whom she loved. Jesus then 
said, “She has wrought a good work. She has 
done this against the day of my burial.” Truly 
this day the heart of Jesus was broken, like 
the alabaster cruse to pour his love in profu¬ 
sion upon the world. This fragrance of the 
love of Christ bursts forth from his tomb, fill¬ 
ing the world with resplendent hope, even 
that from the full flower of the resurrection. 
But how little these knew of that this day. 
Is the Sun lowering as the forms as mute as 
statues are moving from the lonely garden? 
Joseph rolls a great stone to the mouth of the 
sepulchre, and departs. The faithful women 
are still sitting over against the sepulchre. 
They are noting carefully how everything is 
done. They have not paid their last tribute 
yet. The sun is casting its last gleams on 
yonder heights of hanging cliffs. It is time 
to withdraw, for the sinking sun ushers in 
the Sabbath. Yes, night rolls down her thick, 
black curtains, shrouding the scene of that 
day’s tragedy from the sight of mortal eye. 
From hence forth it must live in the imagina¬ 
tions of men; in some pale as a misty halo, in 
others acutely vivid. Yes, night shrouded the 


The Silent Nazarene 

deserted in exceeding quiet, that the weary, 
broken body of the Master might sleep and 
rest from its manifold labors, and the pressing, 
yes, crushing strain of this tragedy of trage¬ 
dies, for this body had to hold the suffering 
of the greatest soul that ever inhabited mortal 
flesh. No wonder it was racked and broken. 
How could it suffer with such a soul without 
bursting beneath the strain? Well could the 
night cover it with its sheltering wings that it 
might peacefully rest. The restless multitude 
seeking some sign could not crowd in here, 
and break this peaceful slumber; neither 
could those craving ambition disturb his 
quiet rest; no, not even those who sought the 
teacher could wake him from his pillow; ah, 
the disciples are full of fears and apprehen¬ 
sions but they can not wake him now and have 
him quiet them. Yes, now their hearts are 
overflowing with the floods of sorrows, but 
they must remember what he has said, for 
they can not walk to his couch and ask him for 
comfort now. Then, too, the jealousy of the 
treacherous Pharisee dare not snatch away any 
of his peaceful moments now; they can’t 
thrust themselves in upon him and break his 
slumber now; their wily devices can not en¬ 
trap him so that he needs to withdraw from 

How He Came Forth Again 275 

his native land. Ah, he sleeps unmolested 
right in the heart of it now. What can ex¬ 
ceed the sublime grandeur about the silent 
tomb of Christ as restful quiet wraps this 
lonely spot, where rests the broken frame of 
Christ from the mad fury that has just sub¬ 
sided by the closing of his eyes in the gentle 
sleep of death that none dare break. Yes, the 
hush of raving mortals is very quiet and still 
beneath the cover of that night when suns, 
moons and planets could well be veiled from 
the face of the earth. The earth could well 
drape her face in a deep veil both to hide her 
blushing forms from the rest of the universe, 
and to conceal her mourning countenance 
from the stare and the gaze of the shining 
worlds about her: what can atone for her rav¬ 
ing mortals; what can replace the purest that 
has been snatched from her bosom? 

But the rising sun must disperse her lin¬ 
gering, drooping clouds, for it must lay bare 
more of the folly of mortals that was heatedly 
concocting that very night. The chief priests 
and the Pharisees! are come together unto 
Pilate that Sabbath morning. For what? 
Can not their jealous ravings cease when they 
have crushed the life from out the body? But 
hear what these men say in petitioning the 

27 6 

The Silent Nazarene 

governor: “Sir, we remember that that de¬ 
ceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After 
three days I shall rise again.’ Command 
therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until 
the third day, lest his disciples come by night 
and steal him away, and say unto the people, 
‘He is risen from the dead’; so that the last 
error shall be worse than the first.” Dare 
Pilate, who had been so wrought up and en¬ 
slaved by this very voice the day before still 
continue to commit himself? Hear him 
speak for himself, “Ye have a watch; go your 
way, make it as sure as you can.” Was Pilate 
afraid he would be made ridiculous, should 
the body disappear out of its place, or did the 
fear of the multitude still lash him? 

But pray, how could these pious Jews ask 
for a watch upon the Sabbath day, and ap¬ 
proach a Roman at that to offer their plea? 
How could they violate what they had so scru¬ 
pulously guarded? Was not this very thing 
the chief charge brought against the Naza- 
rene? Was it not in this that they persistently 
tried to entrap him? “Inconsistent mortals, 
why wade through and trample under foot 
scruples whenever it suits and is convenient 
to do so? It more unclothes your mad jeal¬ 
ousy, and lays bare your real motive that mur- 

How He Came Forth Again 277 

dered this great Teacher who not only rose 
above you, but by his very life made your 
hollow formalism ineffective and caused it to 
lose its grip upon the hearts of men. In the 
death grapple you are doing desperate things. 
But your hold is lost and you are surely sink¬ 
ing, and that very fast, pulling your complex 
niceties into the grave with you. In your 
madness you have just made it possible for 
this Man’s power to take the world.” 

Lo, what is entering the gate? Do you see 
the Sun gleaming upon shields and lances? It 
is the guard to make sure the sepulchre. See 
those dignified Pharisees, whose haughty bear¬ 
ing is crying everywhere, “Touch me not; I 
am holier than thou.” See those demagogues 
violate the Sabbath even beyond the asking 
for a watch. They can’t trust the sealing of 
the rock to the soldier guard, but they must 
go and seal it with their own hands. Why is 
not the watch sufficient without a sealing of 
the rock in the mouth of the sepulchre? What 
friend would dare brave these Roman soldiers 
to steal the body away? “Ah, Pharisee, a rest¬ 
less suspicion is all over you. You can’t trust 
yourselves. You feel as if you are not done 
with this Man yet. You do not know how to 
put aside this dread that is overawing you. 

278 The Silent Nazarene 

You are constantly apprehending alarm. 
Something forces you to look for something 
to happen on the third day; something to take 
place that will make you ridiculous in the eyes 
of men. Folly, folly, unbridled folly, to seal 
the grave to keep Christ in. This Man has 
walked over all your follies up to this time and 
he will walk over this one also; yes, he will 
walk out of this grave sealed with mortal’s 
folly. How long will ye hold the instru¬ 
ments of death gleaming in the brightness of 
the sun in bold defiance to the hand of Heaven 
and to the decrees of right?” 

The Resurrection 

As Night rolls back her curtains upon that 
Sabbath in which the Prince of Glory slept to 
rest his weary broken frame, and it begins to 
dawn towards the first day of the week, new 
light breaks gently upon the world—Jesus 
comes forth from the grave. This Jesus has 
put all under his feet and now he wraps the 
shroud of death about the empty tomb. Yes, 
the earth must tremble as the hand of heaven 
cuts asunder the bars of death. Ah, a mighty 
quaking and a shudder runs through the 
earth as Heaven opens her door to let her angel 

How He Came Forth Again 279 

down to roll away the stone that mortal hands 
have sealed into the mouth of the tomb in 
which the frame of Christ had slept. Yes, 
Heaven’s messenger descends, rolls back the 
stone and sits upon it; as if to say, “The door 
of death is open, and open forever, for Heaven 
has placed immortality right over it. What 
mortal madness dare shut it, while Heaven’s 
messenger with shining countenance like 
lightning, and raiment as white as snow, 
stands guard over it. See the keepers who 
have stood guard over the sealed tomb, shake 
because of him. What a fear falls over them. 
It is as the pall of death itself. Ah, verily, 
they become as dead men. As the hand of 
Heaven is blinding their eyes that they might 
not look upon the spotless form of Christ, 
there is something exceedingly strange to mor¬ 
tals taking place within that tomb, Christ is 
rising from his rock-hewn couch as from the 
peaceful slumbers of the night. It is an early 
rising that morning, of all the earth’s the best. 
He places the linen clothes to themselves, and 
folds the napkin in its place; he makes his bed 
ere he leaves his chamber where sweet slum¬ 
ber has refreshed his wasted frame. By so 
doing he tells mortals not to dread this couch; 
but lay themselves down for peaceful rest till 

28 o 

The Silent Nazarene 

they awake in the eternal morning of immor¬ 
tality. Yes, Jesus walks out from the tomb as 
undisturbed as one who walks from his couch 
after peaceful slumbers. He is ready to greet 
his friends he meets that morning. 

But let us see. What of the guard? Heaven 
lifts the pall of fear which had made their 
bodies as rigid as though in death. They re¬ 
cover from their paralysis, and hasten to the 
city to tell the chief priests all the things that 
were done. Where is human folly now? 
Has it not been enough already? Have not 
mortals been entangled deeply enough in its 
meshes? But lo, they assemble, chief priests 
and elders. For what? To stifle this which 
they could not cut down with death? What 
madness? Yes, to try to make a hush with a 
lie? Inconsistent mortals, you are fanning 
the flame. Hear them as they whisper confi¬ 
dentially to the members of that guard: “Say 
ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him 
away while we slept. And if this come to the 
governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and 
secure you.” Is it possible that the chief 
priests and elders were so sure they could do 
anything they pleased with the Roman gover¬ 
nor? They know they have him, and they 
can ask anything of him, even the lives of un- 

28 i 

How He Came Forth Again 

faithful Roman soldiers. What would Caesar 
say about this if it came to his ears? But 
Pilate was unmanned and these Jewish offi¬ 
cers knew it. They knew they could tie his 
hand whenever they were pleased to do so. 
So they gave large money unto the soldier. 
These poor, blind wretches, puppets of the 
wily hands of crafty rulers, took the money, 
and did as they were taught; and this saying 
is commonly reported among the Jews until 
this day; and to this day, too, though these 
very Jews are scattered to the very corners of 
the earth, whilst this Man against whom they 
raised this lie is taking the world. 

The Waiting 

The darkness rests on Olive’s brow as 
though the peace of earth has knit its brows 
in one great solemn thought. Does this great 
peaceful spot now wear a scowl? Or are 
hearts clothed in deep reflection turning to 
this sacred place where Christ was wont to 
kneel in secret prayer? 

The restful Sabbath breaks? The innocent 
toiler from his plow may rest his weary frame, 
but ere last night’s setting sun hasted to dip 
itself in the great blue billows of the sea those 


The Silent Nazarene 

who lost their all must wait in grief as the 
great sun slowly climbs the heavens and there 
at zenith height it seems to stand and mock 
the hurried fears of anxious, restless mortals 
who constantly turn to see it in the west but 
painfully slow is its descent from its throne 
to the great surging billows of the deep. But 
sink he must though he may seem to press a 
lagging year within his daily path. 

Night hangs heavy about three faithful 
women’s hearts. The spices were made ready 
ere the sun went down on yesterday’s sad 
tragedy. Night’s veil lingered as if some 
giant drone now held his sluggish hand upon 
the curtain and refused to be roused from out 
his drowsy slumbers. 

At the end of the Sabbath as it begins to 
dawn toward the first day of the week; as the 
countless forms begin to creep from out the 
shadows, three faithful women turn toward 
a peaceful garden. They move as quietly as 
the light and darkness move across their wait¬ 
ing hearts. But now they speak, “Who shall 
roll us away the stone from the door of the 
sepulchre?” They turn into the garden as 
the sun is just rising from out the chambers 
of the night. “What, O Sun, to witness faith¬ 
ful women anointing the body of their sacred 

How He Came Forth Again 283 

dead?” Ah, faithful women, look. The 
stone is rolled away, though it is very great. 
You have prepared the spices. Heaven says, 
It is enough; your feeble strength may not be 
able to do more; nay, not even roll this stone 
away. Heaven requires this not of you. The 
hand of Heaven will unseal, and roll away the 
stone of your difficulty every time if you will 
but go forward and do what you can. But if 
you falter and lament the grave will remain 
sealed before your face. Enter the tomb, O 
Faithful, for there Heaven’s messenger awaits 

Lo, it is so. A young man in white now 
speaks: “Be not amazed. Ye seek Jesus, 
the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is 
risen; he is not here. Behold the place 
where they laid him.” The message was 
given to the women from the mouth of 
Heaven, now they were to go and bear it to 
the disciples. An angel bids mortal man to 
serve. “But go tell his disciples and Peter. 
He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall 
ye see him, as he said unto you.” But these 
messengers are mortal still. Well is it that 
Heaven leaves them so. They go out, and 
flee from the tomb; a trembling and astonish¬ 
ment had come upon them. They say noth- 


The Silent Nazarene 

ing to any one, for they were afraid. Did 
the message stop at the empty tomb? Had 
Heaven paralysed earth in seeking to give 
the message direct? Was all to stop at this 
gateway hopeless, though transcendent hope 
had entered through it into the world? 
Where mortal vision ends, did not Heaven 
forge the link that would make the chain com¬ 
plete? Did not God see its need, and put it 
in its proper place? He who trusts will be 
content to pass the mortal shadows till he sees 
the Christ who has passed that way. Let us 
see how Mary Magdalene saw the Christ, 
and how she quickly bore the message to others 
of mortal kind. 

The lingering Mary stands without the 
tomb and weeps. She stoops and looks within 
and sees the angel vision, but still an empty 
tomb to her. “Woman, why weepest thou?” 
is the question from angel lips within the 
empty vault. The heart is the mouth in giv¬ 
ing answer to this question. “Because they 
have taken away my Lord, and I know not 
where they have laid him.” But turn, Mary, 
a stranger is at your side—the gardener? 
Surely he can answer well the question you 
seek to know. Hear, he speaks: “Woman, 
why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” 


How He Came Forth Again 

“Mary, why not ask this questioner who he 
is? But no, your own question is too burning 
for that. You don’t care to know who the 
living might be that address you; you only 
care to know where the body of a dead friend 
is. You take it for granted that this is the 
gardener. There is no cowering weakness in 
the sadness that prevails, but majestic strength 
that seeks to claim its own. This Mary is not 
afraid to ask him to restore her sacred dead to 
its proper resting place: “Sir, if thou hast 
borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid 
him, and I will take him away.” But listen, 
this stranger simply says, “Mary,” and she 
turns herself, and says, “Rabboni.” By a 
single word-accent the riddle is solved, the 
question is answered, the mystery is unveiled; 
she knows her Lord. Her first impulse is to 
touch him, and worship him. Was it not he 
that had come to her when steeped in sin to 
meet her greatest needs, and now he pulls 
back the veil and lets her look upon the im¬ 
mortal, arrayed in its spotless purity. It is a 
precious glimpse; but hear! 

“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended 
unto my Father.” Is the mortal not to touch 
the immortal pure lest the mortal enter the 
immortal pure ere the message is borne to 


The Silent Nazarene 

others of mortal kind. The Same who bids 
Mary not touch him bids her go tell the dis¬ 
ciples. “But go unto my brethren, and say 
to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your 
Father; and to my God and your God.” It 
were as though he said: “Mary, this can’t 
stop with a touch, neither can it stay with the 
things of the flesh; the work is not done yet; 
yes, it must end in God. And God is a Spirit. 
Have I not been constantly leading you so? 
Spiritual things are not to be touched as you 
in the flesh are so prone to think. Would you 
understand this mystery, then first carry the 
message as best you can to my brethren who 
are mortal as you are, for otherwise you would 
not be able to bear the message to them.” And 
so the message goes when each has finished 
his work and ascends with Christ, and leaves 
the message with mortal kind still to tell. 

To tell her message, Mary speeds; 

Inspired by Christ who knew her needs. 

O what a lonely walk. Two walking to¬ 
gether and are sad. They have a common 
cause for sorrow. For listen, they are softly 
whispering to each other. Yes, they are ques¬ 
tioning together. Do you hear now and then 

How He Came Forth Again 287 

a troubled accent that betrays a very perplex¬ 
ing situation? Lo, now there is a stranger 
drawing near. They are too busily engaged 
in conversation to notice him. But now they 
stand still and look sad. This stranger speaks: 
“What manner of communications are these 
that ye have one with another, as ye walk?” 
Ah, they are amazed at such ignorance. Why, 
it is the talk of everybody. It is the topic of 
the day everywhere about Jerusalem. “Dost 
thou sojourn alone in Jerusalem, and knowest 
not the things which are come to pass there in 
these days?” “What things?” the stranger 
asks. Ah, these men are very earnest in this 
matter. “Certainly, if you would even have 
overheard any one you would have heard of 
“The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, 
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word 
before God and all the people; and how the 
chief priests and our rulers delivered him up 
to be condemned to death, and crucified him.” 
Yes, do these men falter here? Lo, now they 
wish to tell this stranger what interest they 
had in this sad tragedy. “But we hoped it 
was he who should redeem Israel.” “Yes, and 
certain women who were at the tomb early 
this morning say they saw a vision of angels 
who told them that he is risen. And certain 


The Silent Nazarene 

of them that were with us went to the tomb, 
and found it empty, his body being not there, 
just as the women had said, but him they saw 

At this point the stranger takes up the 
thread of the subject of the conversation and 
begins to unravel it from the tangled meshes 
of perplexities of both heart and reason. He 
addresses them sternly but kindly, even rebuk¬ 
ing them for their slowness of heart, saying, 
“O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe 
in all that the prophets have spoken! Be¬ 
hooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, 
and to enter into his glory?” The look of ex¬ 
pectancy marks the faces of these men as they 
look into the face of that stranger and listen 
to his wonderful words, expounding to them 
the mystery of the Christ. This stranger con¬ 
vinces them as he proceeds, beginning from 
Moses and from all the prophets, that he 
has the secret of interpretation of all the scrip¬ 
tures concerning the mystery of the Christ, 
who was to suffer all these things they had seen 
and about which they were troubled and sad, 
and naturally should enter into his glory as 
reported by the vision of angels to the women 
who were early at the tomb. 

As the stranger is expounding to them the 

How He Came Forth Again 289 

way of the Christ and they are amazed at his 
discerning insight as he talks with them in 
the way they draw nigh unto the village, 
whither they are going. Wrapt in thought 
they are standing before their door, but the 
stranger who is talking with them is moving 
on. But they can not leave this stranger go; 
he is so interesting and then it is near evening. 
So they constrain him, saying, “Abide with us; 
for it is toward evening, and the day is far 
spent.” He goes in to abide with them. What 
a welcome they give this stranger! They look 
forward to hear more good things of him that 
evening. His marvelous wisdom has set their 
cravings on edge. The evening meal is spread 
and what a feast of good things they will have 
in the fellowship together at that meal! When 
he is sat down with them to meat he takes the 
bread and blesses it; and breaking it gives to 
them. Their eyes are open, and they know 
him, and he vanishes out of their sight. What 
a dreadful silence falls all about that table. 
They are facing each other in amazement. 
But they are seeing the face of their risen 
Lord only. That awful spell of solemn si¬ 
lence! What can break it? Can they find 
words for utterance? They are speaking one 
to the other, “Was not our hearts burning 


The Silent Nazarene 

within us, while he spake to us in the way, 
while he opened to us the scriptures?” 

At that very hour they rise up and return to 
Jerusalem, where they find the disciples gath¬ 
ered together for strange reports are current 
this day. Here they find this little group wait¬ 
ing before God in prayer. They who have 
been slow of heart to believe in all the proph¬ 
ets have spoken concerning the sufferings of 
the Christ through which he must needs enter 
into his glory, are come to the waiting disci¬ 
ples with a message direct from the lips of the 
risen Lord himself. They rehearse the things 
that happened in the way, and how he was 
known to them in the breaking of the bread. 

But now the evening is fully come, and the 
doors are shut where the disciples are assem¬ 
bled, for fear of the Jews. They are waiting 
in awe because of the strange things that were 
told the inner circle during that first day of 
the week and at the falling of the shadows of 
eventide. As they wait on God in solemn 
silence Jesus stands in the midst of them, say¬ 
ing, “Peace be unto you.” When they heard 
this being mute with silence, he showed them 
his hands and his side. “The disciples there¬ 
fore were glad, when they saw the Lord.” It 
is a glad hour. Jesus lifts his hands to repeat 

How He Came Forth Again 291 

his benediction upon them, saying, “Peace be 
unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so 
send I you.” After joining the benediction 
and the commission, forging and welding all 
into one moving spirit of that little group, he 
breathes upon them, saying, “Receive ye the 
Holy Spirit.” 

But the record states this also, “But Thomas, 
one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not 
with them when Jesus came.” It is not strange 
that when the other disciples meet up with 
him that they should tell their message, “We 
have seen the Lord.” But Thomas has heard 
many such like reports here of late. He has 
given them no credence, and very little atten¬ 
tion. He is very positive in the stand he has 
taken regarding such tales that are being told 
even by men who ought to exercise more cau¬ 
tion in such matters. So he replies that his 
words might be final and they would not an¬ 
noy him further with such reports. “Except 
I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, 
and put my finger into the print of the nails, 
and put my hand into his side, I will not be¬ 

“Thomas, you are not satisfied with the 
words of your staunch, tried friends. You 
must investigate for yourself—you must han- 


The Silent Nazarene 

die and see. Will Heaven grant the demands 
of this peculiar set bias of your nature? It 
looks as though Heaven will refuse you—a 
whole week has passed, leaving you battling 
with your doubts as seriously as ever.” 

Upon the eighth day Heaven takes up the 
challenge. The disciples again are within 
the closed doors but Thomas is with them this 
time. But quiet is not reigning as was the 
case on the eve of eight days ago. There is a 
spirited talk on. Thomas is in a heated debate 
with the other disciples, “You say He showed 
you so much proof. Eight days have passed 
and things are as they were the day he died. 
Furthermore I expect the coming days to dif¬ 
fer in nowise from the eight days that have 
passed since the report was made current that 
He is risen from the dead, except that these 
tales will cease.” 

There is a hush. A familiar voice speaks 
in a familiar way, for Jesus is standing in the 
midst, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Was he 
present when Thomas made the challenge 
eight days ago? Flow is it that he has it so 
exact? “Reach hither thy finger, and see my 
hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it 
into my side: and be not faithless, but believ¬ 
ing.” Thomas answers in reverential awe: 

How He Came Forth Again 293 

“My Lord and my God.” Jesus speaks. He 
would not rebuke the disciple before him in 
worshipping reverence, he simply would have 
him understand the way of blessedness. “Be¬ 
cause thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; 
blessed are they that have not seen, and yet 
have believed.” 

Have all these testified that he is risen. Let 
us hear another witness—let Paul speak for 
himself: “For I delivered unto you first of 
all that which also I received: that Christ died 
for our sins according to the scriptures; and 
that he was buried; and that he hath been 
raised on the third day according to the scrip¬ 
tures; and that he appeared to Cephas; then 
to the twelve; then he appeared to above five 
hundred brethren at once, of whom the 
greater part remain until now, but some are 
fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; 
then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to 
a child untimely born, he appeared to me 
also.” | 

How did Paul see Jesus? He saw the risen 
and glorified Christ that changed him from 
a relentless and bitter persecutor of the church 
into the most faithful and zealous of the apos¬ 
tles. Even on his way to make havoc of the 
church, while he yet was breathing out threat- 


The Silent Nazarene 

ening slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, 
he saw the Lord against whom he was lifting 
his hand stained with the blood of the martyr 
Stephen. In whatever form he saw his Lord 
of this one thing the world knows, that from 
that very hour he became the most steadfast 
of all the apostles, and that through him Chris¬ 
tianity broke the narrow bounds of Judaism 
and spread as an irresistible leaven to leaven 
the whole world. Thus this man became the 
“Apostle to the Gentiles.” Through this man 
with a world vision all subsequent history of 
the church is changed, and this was the very 
man who sought to wipe the church from off 
the face of the earth before he saw his Lord. 
Where does he hinge all his extraordinary 
faith that is responsible for his unparalleled 
conduct? Let us hear him speak, for we will 
surely grant that he is authority in this matter. 
“For if the dead are not raised, neither hath 
Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been 
raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your 
sins.” He meets this irresistible logic by stat¬ 
ing what he knows to be fact. “But now hath 
Christ been raised from the dead.” Over this 
fact stern logic and faith clasp hands and the 
great Apostles shout: “The first fruits of them 
that are asleep.” This made him the invinci- 


How He Carrie Forth Again 

ble apostle that he was, and gave his message 
the authority that would brook no opposition 
—“Christ lives in me” seizes the prey out of 
the jaws of death. 

But there is the apostle who before his Mas¬ 
ter was crucified was so certain that he was 
ready to go to death with him, but denied with 
cursing and swearing when pressed and closely 
questioned as to his relation to the Galilean 
prisoner who was on trial before Caiaphas. 
It would be interesting to know something of 
him in this connection. Every one of that little 
band left the foot of the cross Friday afternoon 
with crushed ambitions and dejected hopes, 
and Peter was no exception mid these trying 
circumstances. But we are told that of the 
disciples Peter is second only to John, and that 
because the latter outran him, in arriving at 
the empty tomb on the morning of the third 
day. We are told that Peter is the first to 
boldly enter and investigate the empty tomb. 
It is Peter who stands up boldly on the day 
of Pentecost and preaches the living Christ 
so that as a result of that sermon there are 
three thousand souls added to them. But the 
most outstanding feature of all in the conduct 
of this man is that a strict, stringent, strong¬ 
headed Jew should utter words like these: 


The Silent Nazarene 

“Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter 
of persons: but in every nation he that feareth 
Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable 
to Him.” This is a long way to come for a 
disciple who would thrust from his Master a 
Syrophoenician mother who had come to 
plead in behalf of her demented daughter. 
And too this disciple boldly defends his con¬ 
duct for so acting toward Cornelius, a cen¬ 
turion of the Italian band at Caesarea, when 
called to give an account of himself to the 
apostles and brethren of the Jerusalem 
Church, saying, “And as I began to speak, the 
Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the 
beginning.” Read carefully the written word 
and see whether it did not take the risen Lord 
to do work like that with Simon Peter whom 
before upon the testimony of Jesus himself 
Satan was desiring to sift as wheat. 

The Shepherd has been smitten and the 
sheep have been scattered; but now the voices 
of these very men, who have rallied about an 
empty tomb cannot be silenced by raging per¬ 
secutions. What strange thing has come to 
pass that should cast such a spell over them 
that would not wear away; but grow firmer as 
the devouring, bloody sword entered with such 
havoc among them? Why should they catch 

How He Came Forth Again 297 

the spirit of the Master now and wade through 
blood for Him and that for which He stood 
alone when in earth; when before (even 
though with Him) they wish to call down 
fire to consume insolent Samaritans who re¬ 
fused to give them shelter? How changed? 
They are ready to die for Jew, Samaritan, 
Greek, and Roman, no matter how hot perse¬ 
cution waxes. They lay the head upon the 
block without a murmur except it be a whis¬ 
pered prayer for persecutors; they walk to 
the cross without offering the least opposition, 
but count it a glory to lay down their life for 
the Lord Jesus. The prayer of the martyr for 
the murderers who are staining their hands 
with the innocent blood—“Lord, lay not this 
sin to their charge,” surely marks a change 
in the course of all things. What new spirit 
has taken hold of these men that they should 
die in such a heroic—such a godlike manner? 
These men could fight with beasts, laugh at 
the fagot and flaming torch, because of their 

Why? What occurred on the morning of 
the third day after that great Teacher in Israel 
had been put to death? No art, or cunning, or 
wisdom can bury the witness to this great 
event, for it is living all about us. If you can 


The Silent Nazarene 

get a man big enough to blow out the life of 
the world, he might blow out this flame also. 
But until such a man is found this flame will 
spread regardless of all talks of the “isms.” If 
you can sweep the conscience of every soul 
bare you might sweep this out. But where is 
the man that can scour God out of this world 
in this manner? If that man is in this gener¬ 
ation let him come forth and try his hand. If 
he can make good he will stand forth; if not 
he must step back into the ranks of the rest of 
the foiled ones with their “isms.” Whatever 
we think of it, the question of the Almighty 
to Job is as timely and pertinent as ever: 
“Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty 
instruct Him?” Truth is truth, and to tear 
the soul out of it is to tear the soul out of the 
world. Can the product of all the ages be up¬ 
rooted? Can the heart be torn out of this gen¬ 
eration, for the heart is pulsating strong and 
very strong through the faith of the fathers 
who went the blood-stained way of the cross? 
The challenge of Gamaliel is still open to 
those who would contend against this way. 
“Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves 
what ye intend to do as touching these 
men. . . 

“And now I say unto you, refrain from these 

How He Came Forth Again 299 

men, and let them alone: for if this counsel 
or this work be of men, it will come to naught; 
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; 
lest haply ye be found even to fight against 
God.” Has the world seen Gamaliel’s judg¬ 
ment vindicated? 

The world will outgrow much; but it can¬ 
not outgrow its soul. Christ breathes his spirit 
of loving service and of unselfish devotion to 
the truth into man and man becomes a living 
soul—a new creature fashioning into the like¬ 
ness of the Son of God Himself. 

On Olive’s sunlit crown the little group is 
assembled and the Master is in the midst. 
There he renews the promise to them, saying, 
“Ye shall receive power, when the Holy 
Spirit is come upon you.” In the full beam 
of light out of the great promise he charges 
them with the great commission, saying, “Go 
ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, 
baptizing them into the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He 
closes the greatj charge with another great 
promise which is a radiant beam of white 
light—“Lo, I am with you always, even unto 
the end of the world.” He lifts his hands 
to pray his benediction upon them as he was 
wont to do, but this time he was received into a 

3 00 

The Silent Nazarene 

cloud out of their sight. 

They must walk by faith and not by sight. 
Faith must be as actual as sight if they are to 
plant this “new teaching” in the hearts of men. 
To have dynamic to do effectual work they 
must be in living unity with the Master they 
knew. As Paul interprets, saying, “I have 
been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer 
I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and that 
life which I now live in the flesh I live in 
faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself up for me.” 
Christ’s grip on the life of God wells up in 
the life of Paul. Christ is God living in Paul. 
Christ is all Paul knows of God. Christ by 
his supreme faith translates God into the 
heart of his disciple by living in the heart. 
Hence the creed, and the only creed “every 
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is 
Lord/' He is God for us. Even as the Teach¬ 
er has made plain to us that he is our Lord, 
saying, “Neither doth any man know the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever 
the Son willeth to reveal him.” 

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