Charles F. (Charles Force) Deems.

Who was Jesus? online

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new wine in old bottles. Examples might be produced from all
the ages and all the sects. Men battle heroically for the liberty
which they will not grant others.

The history of the world is divided into two parts, and the line
is the life of Jesus. Before him there was not the animating

spirit of progress. Humanity went forward, but
Jesus, the (livid- . x „ , . . P , . . ,

inglineof historv. lt weilt * orwarcl m a rut - After him it began to
spread itself in all directions. But still men en-
deavored to hand it down from generation to generation in old
skins that would burst and spill the wine. Hence the delay of
Christianity in taking the world. The intention of Jesus was to
establish a religion which should have no binding forms, no pre-
scribed temple-service, no priesthood, nothing of the old, but be
new, and in spirit, and reside in the hearts of men ; and this we
find frequently set forth in his teachings. It was the flinging
away of the old bottles which has made modern times so progres-
sive. It is the powerful influence of Jesus which helps men to
do broad, great, good things, even if it be objected that they are
not old things.

It was such conduct as this, and such teaching, that brought
against him the wrath of scribe and Pharisee, of priest and Levite.
Old Bottles or If he had been content to put his "new wine"
Death, into their "old bottles," they would have been

ready for the arrangement. But so great was his spirit, and so far-
seeing his indescribably clear intellect, that lie never for a moment
yielded to denominationalism and sectarianism. He knew what
the result would be. He knew that he had not come into the
world merely to reform the Jewish Church. He had come to
emancipate and regenerate the ages, and to save the world. Ho
flung the glove down to " the Church " then existing, and the re-
sult was that he was finally murdered. Any pure man who at



tempts to follow Jesus in this particular may expect some simi-
lar fate. Old bottles are generally considered more valuable
than new wine, by sectarians. " The Old Bottles or Death ! " U
the alternative of their battle-cry. Jesus preferred to die and
trust his new wine to the coming: generations.







So far from striving to allay the dislike engendered by his dis
regard of the ceremonials and traditions of the Jews, Jesus soon
makes an attack upon Pharisaism in its stronghold, namely, the
punctilious observance of the Sabbath.

The Passover* drew near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem to

celebrate it. Within the city, and near the Sheep-gate, there was a

jeiwaiom. House-of- P°°lj called in the Syro-Clialdee, which was the

outpouring. John v. vernacular of Jesus, Baith-IIisdaw, or Bethesda,

1-47. . . .

that is, Ilouse-of-Outjiour/nr/, the precise location
of which it is probably now impossible to indicate. For a long-
time Bethesda was supposed to be identical with a large excava-
tion near St. Stephen's Gate, the immense depth of which, sev
enty-tive feet, makes this most improbable; it is now believed to
be a fosse which guarded the northern side of the fortress of An-
tonia. The most probable site is, as Dr. Robinson {Researches, i.

* This Passover commenced on Wed-
nesday, the 9th of April. That this
festival is here meant, is evident not
only from the whole context and con-
nected history, but from a variety of
other considerations, which cannot here

be specified for want of space. The
absence of the definite article ("a
feast," verse 1) is no proof against this
view, for where John refers to any other
feast, he expressly mentions its appro-
priate name (John vii. 2 ; x. 22).



501 ? 5DS) lias shown, tlie "Fountain of the Virgin," in the Yalley
of Kedron, a short distance above the Pool of Siloam, with
which it has subterranean connection, as perhaps also with the
fountain under the Great Mosqne. Around this pool were built
five porches, which gave shelter to the invalids who came to

o j,i


enjoy the benefits supposed to be conferred by the medicinal pro-
perties of this water. It was the popular belief of the Jews that
at certain seasons an angel went dowD into this water and stirred
it. and whoever thereupon firel stepped into the pool was made
whole. - Great numbers, therefore, of chronic cases of blindness,

* Thn 4th verse of chapter v. of John
reads thus : " For an angel weni down

:ii a i '" into the i I, -w\

troubled the water : whosoever then
Brst after the troubling of the w iter
stepped in, w.-is made whole of what-
soever di tease he had " It is ;i con-
troverted passage, bul thi
authority Beems to on to I ill

Bui Dr Boward Cros-
by, who is 1 't'iiy, is of the

Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 20 of 77)