The Teaching of Jesus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Teaching of Jesus.

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CONCERNING CARE

      “My spirit on Thy care,
      Blest Saviour, I recline;
    Thou wilt not leave me in despair,
      For Thou art Love Divine.

      In Thee I place my trust,
      On Thee I calmly rest;
    I know Thee good, I know Thee just,
      And count Thy choice the best.

      Whate’er events betide,
      Thy will they all perform;
    Safe in Thy breast my head I hide,
      Nor fear the coming storm.

      Let good or ill befall,
      It must be good for me,
    Secure of having Thee in all,
      Of having all in Thee.” 
                H.F.  LYTH.

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XII

CONCERNING CARE

Be not anxious for your life ... nor yet for your body.... Be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? ...  Be not anxious for the morrow.”—­MATT. vi. 25, 31, 34.

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Take no thought for your life” is the more familiar rendering of the Authorized Version.  And if the words conveyed the same meaning to us to-day as they did to all English-speaking people in the year 1611, there would have been no need for a change.  A great student of words, the late Archbishop Trench, tells us that “thought” was then constantly used as equivalent to anxiety or solicitous care; and he gives three illustrations of this use of the word from writers of the Elizabethan age.  Thus Bacon writes:  “Harris, an alderman in London, was put in trouble, and died with thought and anxiety before his business came to an end.”  Again, in one of the Somer’s Tracts, we read, “Queen Katharine Parr died of thought”; and in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “Take thought and die for Caesar,” where “to take thought” is to take a matter so seriously to heart that death ensues.[46] In 1611, therefore, the old translation did accurately reproduce Christ’s thought.  To-day, however, it is altogether inadequate, and sometimes, it is to be feared, positively misleading.  For neither in this chapter nor anywhere in Christ’s teaching is there one word against what we call forethought, and they who would find in the words of Jesus any encouragement to thriftlessness are but misrepresenting Him and deceiving themselves.  Every man, who is not either a rogue or a fool, must take thought for the morrow; at least, if he does not, some one must for him, or the morrow will avenge itself upon him without mercy.  What our Lord forbids is not prudent foresight, but worry:  “Be ye not anxious!” The word which Christ uses ((Greek:  merimnate)) is a very suggestive one; it describes the state of mind of one who is drawn in different

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The Teaching of Jesus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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