When he [Jesus] was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Matthew 27:12

He answered not a word.
The venomed sneers
And passion-flamed invective echoed round
The sullen gray Praetorium, with the sound
Of evil's seven thunders, and with jeers
Half-muttered, half-suppressed, exultantly
Ravening, impatient for the captured prey.
Then—sudden stillness.
Did the court obey The mandate of his silent majesty—
Or did it poise to rend the frail defense
With brutish scorn? His purpose it forgot:
To treasure wisdom's pearls and cast them not
In muddied paths of blind malevolence.
And so he made no answer.
Was there none
To see the myriad advocates of good
Leap to his aid, replying as he stood
Unmoved? Lips muted, thought could still outrun
The swiftest calumny. The living Word,
Declared in silence, spurned the perjury
Of twisted thought. Love's calm epitome
(Father, forgive them!) testified unheard
By hatred's counsel. Angel legions, borne
On wings of justice, compassed with clear light
The silent prisoner, whose transcending sight
Foresaw the victory of Easter morn.

Lord, when Thy wisdom's "Peace, be still," ordains
My tongue to silence, let me span with power,
Through thought's pure dialectic, evil's hour
Of seeming turbulence. So may the strains
Of Love's great song of peace and victory
Touch with assurance my attunèd ear;
So may Thy waiting majesty appear,
My sight be stayed on changeless harmony.

E. Lyndon Fairweather

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November 10, 1956

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