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[The Universalist Leader]

Those people who crowded about Jesus on the hills of Galilee, or by the sea, or in the village street, and listened to the words of grace and truth which fell from his lips, did not come to hear learned or abstract utterances of fine philosophy; they came with the burden of their day's work and their tears. Sickness and death, selfishness and lust, passion and prejudice, love and hate, all played their discords or their harmonies in those little neighborhoods. It was to such as felt all these influences, and more, that Jesus spoke. The ecstasy of sweet human devotion and the despair of moral defeat were there. Women with broken hearts, men with lives embittered by the struggle for existence, mingled with the rest.

And what these people took away with them was what the scholar misses, unless he is more human than he is scholarly. What those common people took away with them was something they could use each day in their own lives. This man who stood in their midst spoke their vernacular, spoke their moral and spiritual vernacular. They understood him. He was one of them. At Jerusalme the high priest spoke with authority, but out here in the open, where only the soul of the word presides over men, this comrade speaks with an authority which is greater than that of priests or kings. It is the authority of life, of the soul of their souls who listen.

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May 30, 1914

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