Excerpt from Jesus Christ the Truth-Teller: A Sermon Preached in Christ Church, Hartford, on the First Sunday After Trinity, June 4, 1893, Before the Graduating Class of Trinity College
He stood before the public of his day as a teacher whose honesty could not be impugned. The general belief was that here was a man who could be counted upon to tell the truth; and, enemies though they were, they did not venture to address Him otherwise than in harmony with this view of his character. Master, said they, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man, for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what thinkest thou?
What I want to accomplish this evening is to per suade you, young men, or at least some of you, that for us of these times there is no better wisdom than to do sincerely what those people did insincerely, namely, to take our hard questions of conduct to Jesus Christ, and to use our utmost endeavors to dis cover what He thinks about them, how He would meet them were he mixing in the social life ofour day, letting himself be spoken to in homely phrase by. Anybody whom He happened to meet, shutting his ears to no appeal, hospitable to every interrogation as it came. There is, to be sure, no lack of teachers; we are overwhelmed with the multitude of our counsellors, and yet in the face of it all something prompts the cry, Master, what thinkest thou?
But look, for a few moments, before we go any further, at these qualifications of a guide in matters moral and religious as Pharisee and Herodian define them for us in the text. They are these: (1) per sonal truthfulness, (2) adequate knowledge, (3) free dom from the bias that comes of fear. Thou art true, they said to Christ (recognizing his personal sincerity), and teachest the way of God in truth (recognizing his acquaintance with the facts), and regardest not the person of men (recognizing his entire freedom from timidity).
Now, setting aside all question as to the divinity of Christ and his right to rule our thoughts on the score of his having come down from heaven to do so, is it not a great thing of itself that we should have in Him one of whom even so much as this may honestly be said, that He is truthful, competent, and fearless.
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