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was fermented or unfermented, forget that. Jesus went to the marriage feast, and he used the power God gave Him to fulfill the joy of that feast, and he went away without a word. Was he wasting his time? He only had three years in which to change the world. And he changed it. After nineteen hundred years this great Woolsey Hall is filled with men and women in obedience to that something that he put into this world nineteen hundred years ago. It may have been betrayed, it may have been denied; yet through it all it has survived with power in the earth, power enough to bring you from the ends of America into this hall tonight. I do not think he was wasting his time.
Some of you old men, did you ever get out of the sheltered place? Did you ever stand where I stood in the winter of '97 in the valley of the Yukon, with no church, no state, no home, eight months away from anywhere in the civilized world, 2500 miles away from the nearest telegraph station, and did you have a surge of temptation come into your life? If you did, amid the strain of a mining camp, what held you? Some pious platitude, or the memory of some day back there in the years that were gone when you seemed to feel that you walked with God, when you seemed conscious in yourself of fellowship with the Eternal, and said, "I will live like a man, I will keep faith, I will try and be worthy of the truth I know.” It may have been in your old home, it may have been in the old church, or out in the forest, at sunrise or sunset you got the quickening in your heart; and in the hour of darkness the memory of that time comes back and you resolve to keep the line steady. Jesus knew this man and woman would have strain in life; he could see the time when they might wonder whether their vows were worth while, and in that hour of strain and temptation the memory of that perfect morning at Cana would come back, when in the fulfilled joy, when in the boundless richness of fellowship, they pledged themselves to God the Father and the community to keep the faith of that vow which is the sanctity of the home. And so I found I could get pretty busy with joy just for joy's sake, and not kill it by trying to point some far off moral. Let joy itself be worth while, if it is clean and wholesome.
Then I asked myself, “Did Jesus care about bread?” Folks where I live care a whole lot about bread, it is one of the most insistent present facts. Did you ever talk to a bunch of hungry men, folks out of work, lank and lean, empty stomachs, feeling mean and hard and poor and whipped? Did you ever stand up in front of them and say, “Be good and you will be happy, say your prayers, read your Bible and go to church and everything will be lovely?” If you did, you are a liar and a hypocrite. I stood in front of that kind of men for nearly four years. The great labor drift of a republic passed under me for four years, men and boys from the ends of the earth, from all parts of this republic, the drift of a great city, the central railroad city of the world. I had to say to myself, 'If I am going to keep on the square and not be a liar, and ultimately a gibbering idiot, I have got to know that what I say has got the truth behind it.' Did Jesus care about bread? Some of us work very largely on the proposition that men do not live by bread alone. It is a glorious and true doctrine. But man does not live without bread either. Let us remember that as come together. I went back to the scripture and found that Jesus preached a great sermon one day to a multitude, a sermon so great that after nineteen hundred years we take little pieces of it and try to preach something like it as near
There has not been a layman nor a pastor nor a priest nor a cardinal nor a bishop nor an evangelist nor anybody else for nineteen hundred years who has had conceit enough to think that he could preach as good a sermon as the Master preached that day. Then when he got through with it the disciples came and said, “Master, this is a big crowd and there isn't anything to eat, pretty soon they will be hungry and there will be a riot here; let them depart." Jesus said, “No, they need not depart." Then what did he say? “You have just heard the greatest spiritual sermon in history. Forget about being hungry, be spiritually fed and be happy"? No, you don't get that stuff out of Jesus. He is real, vital at every turn of the road, square and honest with the whole life of the man. He used His divine power to make bread and fish in abundant quantity, knowing that when they got on the inside of that multitude they would then
as we can.
have good red blood coursing through their veins and they would feel as if they could live up to the principles that the Master had taught them in his sermon. I said, "Jesus seemed to care about bread and I can get busy on that proposition also," and I did.
What about social responsibility for individual sin? Now let us be careful here. I would not lift a hair's weight of the sense of personal responsibility for character and conduct from the shoulders of the poorest child of responsible age in any crowded tenement. Personal responsibility in character and conduct is fundamental in life and morals. But is there over and above that a social responsibility as well, for individual sin? Now let us find out. How much religion have you got? Have you got a good deal of that power that marks the boundary line between brutes and men? We are not here in Woolsey Hall in New Haven; we are back nineteen hundred years, in the temple in Jerusalem. Over there in that corner is the Galilean prophet and teacher with a group around him. Listen. Do you hear that sound, the rise and fall of many voices? It is a mob. I have heard it many times and it is not pleasant music. Yonder see them coming up into the temple. There are some of the great men of Jerusalem; there are some of the first men of the synagogue; there are some of the big business men of Jerusalem, and back of them the rabble with stones in their hands, hungry for blood as they have always been hungry for blood, even of their own people. In front of them is a shrinking woman. They press on down to where the Master talks. Then one of the chief priests, one of the best men in Jerusalem in his personal life, stands there and says, “This woman has been guilty of adultery. The evidence is ample, no question about it. The law of Moses says that such should be stoned; what do you say?" When the case of the woman taken in adultery was presented to Him, Jesus answers in the great social judgment of history for individual sin: “Let the man who is without sin among you cast the first stone." And the record has it that they went out from the greatest unto the least, leaving not one remaining. Then Jesus spoke to the woman, “Doth no man condemn thee”? “No man, Lord.” “Neither do I condemn
thee; go thou and sin no more.” No trifling, no excuses; but a definite demand for repentance and a clean life. Now what are you going to do with this instance? The Master looked on the temple floor and wrote on the sand while the accusation was being made. Why? I do not know why; but I believe that Jesus was touched at that moment with mortal shame for his sex. He knew that no woman had ever gone that road that some man was not equally guilty. In the great story of the human race, men have escaped through the ages and women have borne the burden. I think the Master felt a mortal shame that this daughter of Jerusalem should be accused by these men in safe position. Why did they go out? Because they were all guilty of that same sin? That would be a libel upon the men of Jerusalem. They were as guiltless of it as the men in this room. The record says they were convicted in their conscience. Convicted of what? Convicted of having power that they had not used, convicted of the fact that they controlled political conditions there through the Roman centurions and that they had left some open pitfalls for the daughters of Jerusalem; convicted of the fact that they carried on business there and paid less than a living wage, and made the conditions of poverty prey on the daughters of Jerusalem; therefore they turned and went away. I wonder if that is only for Jerusalem nineteen hundred years ago, or if it does not mean our New Haven and our Chicago and every other city in the republic. I would not decrease the sense of personal responsibility upon a single shoulder in the republic; but I would increase by ten tons weight the sense of social responsibility upon the strong and powerful and resourceful in every city in the land.
Did Jesus believe in democracy? I had to ask that question too. Folks vote badly, ignorantly, stupidly, vote for crooks and criminals. What about it? Cursed be these people who know not the law? How much better are we and our candidates than the Master was? The Master came as the fulfillment of five hundred -years of Messianic prophecy. He did the deeds of righteousness and lived a pure and spotless life, and his own people clamored at the gate, “Crucify Him.” When he was dying on the cross, did He say, “These
people are unworthy, these people are wicked, vicious and bad; I came to them and they would not receive Me, let the condemnation of truth run against them”? No. Jesus uttered the great word of hope behind democracy, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." And the great,
, blind, struggling mass of foreign folk, the betrayed tenement house population, through the fault of false leaders here and false leaders there, go wrong, not because they are vicious. They want righteousness, they want justice. They stumble blindly, seeking towards the light, because of false leadership, just as those men stumbled in the presence of the Master Himself, because of the false leadership of the synagogue and places of power.
What about a social gospel anyhow? Is it real? The Master drew one picture, the most perfect picture in all scripture, in all the story of that glorious life. It is the scene of the judgment day. Forget every word I have uttered if need be, but remember this one. Go back to your Bible and read the last of the 25th chapter of the gospěl according to St. Matthew, from the 31st to the last verse It is the scene of the judgment. “The Son of man shall come with His holy angels and there shall be gathered before Him all nations, and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” Jesus dared to talk in plain language that the people understood. He took the simple sayings of the market place to confound the learning of the Sanhedrin and synagogue. He took the ordinary experiences of the fireside to break the hard formalism of the rabbinical law. Why sheep? Why goats? Sheep because you read your Bible? I do not want to live any day without reading my Bible. Sheep because you pray? I do not want to live any day without prayer. Sheep because you go to church? I want to go to church and have the fellowship of Christian men and men in the common task. But there is not a word there of the Master's about any one of those things, nor about sacraments nor about observances. Why sheep? “I was hungry and ye fed me; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was naked and ye
I was a stranger and ye took me in; I was sick and in prison and ye came unto me." I can imagine