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Martha, Religion in Service.

Martha, Religion in Service.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D.

"and MARTHA SERVED." — JOHN, XII. 2.
BY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D.

"and MARTHA SERVED." — JOHN, XII. 2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 13, 2014
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02/13/2014

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Martha, Religion in Service.
BY CHARLES F. DEEMS, D.D., LL.D. "and MARTHA SERVED." — JOHN, XII. 2. A FORTNIGHT ago we spoke of Mary and of Religion in Beauty. To-day we speak of Martha and of Religion in Service. Mary and Martha were the sisters of Lazarus, and all three were friends of Jesus. Jesus loved women and women loved Jesus. Between all grand men and good women there is a reciproc-ity of admiration and affection. When Jesus became acquainted with this charming family circle we have no means of knowing ; but they are brought to us three times in the history of our Lord very distinctly, and a two-volume novel could not make us bet-
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ter acquainted with their characters. Between the two sisters there is a contrast, but it is a contrast which exists between two excellent characters. It is not fair to depreciate either. Each had her womanly foibles, and I call them "womanly" not in disparagement but in miti-gation. Speaking generally, the faults of men are the faults of pride, and the faults of women are the faults of vanity. Vanity is weak, but Pride is wicked. In an honest and critical study of character we need not conceal faults ; they are not vices. They are superficial, not radical. We can never bring humanity to be saintly until we can all agree to be willing to allow that saints, male and female, are human. And so, in speakmg of these two holy women and treat-ing them as human beings I must not be sus-pected of any lack of reverence for the holiness of their character, seeing that our dear Lord and Saviour made them to be of the number of His intimate friends.
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The first opening of the door of their house by the hand of the Evangelist shows us a most natural and beautiful domestic scene. It is in Luke's tenth chapter. Jesus had come into the house tired with travel and preaching. His reception by the sis-ters shows the difference in their temperaments. Mary sat at His feet, listening lovingly to His words. Mary was receptive. But Martha went bustling about the house, preparing many things, intent upon giving Jesus something of a festal reception as He came from His tiresome journey. At last her industry passed over into worry. She became cumbered about much serving. And then she became a little fretful. And she went from the kitchen to the sitting-room and broke in upon the party with the half-playful, half-petulant speech addressed to Mary through Jesus, " Dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone ? Bid her therefore that
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