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The Extra Beatitude

The Extra Beatitude

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY MERTON STACHER RICE





"Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have be-
lieved."— JoTin 20. 29.
BY MERTON STACHER RICE





"Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have be-
lieved."— JoTin 20. 29.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/21/2014

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THE EXTRA BEATITUDEBY MERTO STACHER RICE"Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have be-lieved."— JoTin 20. 29.Among the all too few things which were leftus from the pen of an unusually interesting Eng-lish preacher who was called to die while youthwaB yet making promise in him, was a small book of but few chapters, and titled "The BlessedLife." The preacher's name was Ainsworth, andhis book, which I treasure greatly, is a study of the Beatitudes of our Lord, the remarkable open-ing paragraph of His great sermon. I countthe little book the best interpretation of thosebeatitudes I know anything about. The conten-tion in the series of studies is, that the very firstnote of Christ's preaching declares that the citi-zens of His Kingdom will possess real happi-ness. Let me quote just a sentence. "Christcould not possibly have begun with any otherword ( than happiness ) . He did not merely wishto gain the world's ear, He came to solve theworld's problem ; and that problem is always inits final analysis related to the question of hap-piness." That is a very vital fact for the preacherto realize. The world wants to be happy, and245246 DUST AD DEBTIYthe desire is perfectly proper, even though folksdo play the fool of tenest and most pitifully intheir mistaken pursuit of it We all believe inhappiness. Jesus does not cross that fact. Thereal need of the world is not that the quest forhappiness should be abandoned, but that it berightly and safely directed.
 
I am not divulging pastoral secrets to youwhen I declare that the overwhelming percent-age of all the troubles I have ever been aaked forsome counsel in, have been those which arosefrom an absolutely false leadership in the pursuitof what had seemingly promised some happiness;A young man, whose case made headline newsfor all our papers several years ago, was finallyparoled from the penitentiary to my care. Whenwe sat down together to talk over life as it pre-sented itself in temptation to a man, he told meof the first steps that had led him away fromthe life of simple, confident, Christian privilegein which he had been raised, and it was of thefalse fascination in pursuit of what he thoughtwas happiness. A young woman who took withutter abandonment of appreciation, all thebeauty of a lovely Christian home, and tossed itin wretched neglect until she was fiercely awak-ened by the gaunt fact that it was all gone, toldme when I asked her to let me know how sucha life could ever have found a place in her atten-tion at all, that it began at the very same place asTHE EXTRA BEATITUDE 247the young man had said. They were on tiiewrong trail for happiness.Doctor Ainsworth tells in his book of a mosttragic picture he saw somewhere. It was of thelast rough slope of a mountain leading to theclose edge of a great precipice. At the foot of the precipice was a graveyard. The slope waspacked with a dense crowd of men and women.Some were in evening dress and some in garbof toil. Some were in tatters and rags. Onething was common among them, they were allstruggling to gain a foothold on the highestpoint. All were gazing upward with eager faces,where the filmy, beckoning, mocking . figure of Pleasure floated just out of reach. The picturewas called "The Pursuit of Happiness,'' and inthat grim, ghastly, sunless canvas the artist had
 
not painted one happy face. ot a smile, not aflicker of gladness ; nothing but fear, and selfish-ness, and pain, and jealousy, and hatred, shoneon the faces of those*whose hearts were set in afalse pursuit of happiness. I have just seen thepicture myself in living figure. It is no newdisclosure to any preacher. But I have just nowbeen pushing a hard way through much wreck and ruin which false endeavor for happiness haswrought, and I have had to hear the searchingpleas of those who have honestly begged for onemore chance at life, having discovered that thecommon route to pleasure is a blind-alley leading248 DUST AD DESTIYnowhere; and I have determined now to try tosay a word to folks of the eternal funda-mentals of happiness which Jesus Christ hasdeclared.In looking about among these finely expressedbeatitudes of my Lord's earliest teaching, greatand good and comprehensive and far-reachingthat they all are, I was made to think that Hewould certainly put somewhere, farther along inHis teachings, an even yet more mature beatitudethan any He would dare announce at the veryopening of His ministry. And I was not disap-pointed in my expectation, for I found it right atthe very end of His work, after His resurrec-tion, just about the last thing He waa to sayto His disciples, after He had submitted Himself for an examination to the suspicious Thomas,and actually shown him the demanded creden-tials which He bore. His torn palms and spear-rent side, and had seen Thomas convinced ; thenHe said this great word, which carries the con-fident message of happiness still triumphantabove all the world could bring, a word which Ishall call the extra beatitude, "Thomas, becausethou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessedare they who have not seen and yet have be-lieved."

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