The Teaching of Jesus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 201 pages of information about The Teaching of Jesus.

(1) Let us pray when we enter into our Gethsemane; for every life has its Gethsemane.  Some there are who have not yet entered it; they are young, and their way thus far has teen among the roses and lilies of life.  But for them, too, the path leads to Gethsemane, and some day they also will lie prostrate in an agony, under the darkening olive trees.  And some there are to whom life seems but one long Gethsemane.  In that dread agony God help us to pray!  Nay, what else then can a man do but, as Browning says, catch at God’s skirts and pray?  But that he can do.  Death may build its dividing walls great and high, such as our feet can never scale; it cannot roof them over and shut us out from God.  We remember how it was with Enoch Arden, stranded on an isle, “the loneliest in a lonely sea":—­

                “Had not his poor heart
    Spoken with That, which being everywhere
    Lets none, who speaks with Him, seem all alone,
    Surely the man had died of solitude.”

Were it not for the doors opened in heaven what should man that is born of a woman do?  But when in our Gethsemane we offer up “prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears,” it is after Christ’s manner that we must pray.  I said just now that there are some to whom life seems one long Gethsemane.  Can it be because hitherto they have only prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me”?  Not until with Christ we bow our heads and say, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt,” will the iron gates unfold and the shadows of the Garden lie behind us.

(2) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.”  And if there be some to whom my last word had little or no meaning, here, at least, Christ speaks to all.  And this time I have nothing of my own to add by way of comment; but I copy out this passage from Charles Kingsley’s Yeast, for every young man who reads these words to lay to heart:  “I am no saint,” says Colonel Bracebridge, “and God only knows how much less of one I may become; but mark my words—­if you are ever tempted by passion, and vanity, and fine ladies, to form liaisons, as the Jezebels call them, snares, and nets and labyrinths of blind ditches, to keep you down through life, stumbling and grovelling, hating yourself and hating the chain to which you cling—­in that hour pray—­pray as if the devil had you by the throat—­to Almighty God, to help you out of that cursed slough!  There is nothing else for it!—­pray, I tell you!”

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“She, who kept a tender Christian hope,
Haunting a holy text, and still to that
Returning, as the bird returns, at night,
‘Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,’
Said, ‘Love, forgive him:’  but he did not speak;
And silenced by that silence lay the wife,
Remembering her dear Lord who died for all,
And musing on the little lives of men,
And how they mar this little by their feuds.” 


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The Teaching of Jesus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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