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[281]

Christianity has another element that distinguishes it from all religions. It does not appeal to education; it does not appeal to caste; it does not appeal to culture and the disciplined mind,--in that century or in any other. To the poor the Gospel is preached. Christianity did not condescend to the lowest ignorance; it selected the lowest ignorance as the depositary of its trust. Some one has said, “Christianity is the highest wisdom condescending to the lowest ignorance.” That is an insufficient statement. Christ intrusted his gospel to the poor, to the common-sense of the race, to the instincts of human nature. He turned away from Sanhedrim and school; from Pharisee, who was observance, and Sadducee, who was sceptical inquiry,--and called to his side the unlearned; planted the seeds of his empire in the masses, no caste, no college, no “inside” clique of adepts, and no “outside” herd of dupes. Christ proclaimed spiritual equality and brotherhood.

You see in the Bible that the Saviour was considered a babbler, a disorganizer, a pestilent fellow, a stirrer-up of sedition. All the names that have been bestowed on men that ever came to turn the world upside down were heaped upon that leader of Christianity in the streets of Jerusalem. If he should come to-day into these streets, as he stood up in the corners of the streets of Jerusalem and arraigned the Church and State of his day, he would be denied and crucified exactly as he was in the streets of Jerusalem eighteen hundred years ago.

This is a most singular and unique characteristic of Christianity. It did not affect the schools; it did not ask the indorsement of the Academy of Plato; it went to the people; it trusted the human race. It said, “I am as immortal as man. I accept human nature, and the evidence of my divinity will be that every successive development of a fact of human nature will come ”

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