The Moral Basis of Democracy: Sunday Morning Talks to Students and Graduates

By Arthur Twining Hadley | Go to book overview

THE WORD OF THE LORD'S PATIENCE
1915

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

WHEN Mr. Great-heart, in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, was guiding his party along the troublesome road to the Celestial City, they found an old gentleman, obviously a pilgrim, lying asleep under a tree. They awoke him, in order to have the pleasure and profit of his company; but his first impulse was to treat them all as enemies. When at length he was persuaded that they were pilgrims like himself, he told them that his name was Honest and that he came from the town of Stupidity. "Your town," said Mr. Great-heart, "is worse than the city of Destruction itself."

"Evil is wrought by want of thought, as well as by want of heart." This is recognized by all of us as a matter of worldly wisdom. We are not equally ready to recognize it as an integral part of Christian teaching. We should not be surprised to find this reference to the town of Stupidity in the works of a pagan moralist or philosopher; but most of us receive a distinct shock when we read it in Pilgrim's

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