Denney, J. – The Way Everlasting

The Way Everlasting

by James Denney, D.D.

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever HODDER AND STOUGHTON New York and London 1911

Summary of The Way Everlasting

The Way Everlasting is several different topics relating to the “Way” of Christianity.




CONTENTS of The Way Everlasting

1 Elemental Religion
2 Man’s Claims in Religion and God’s Response
3 Knowledge, Not Mystery, the Basis of Religion
4 The Exile’s Prayer
5 The Happiness of the Christian Era
6 Learning From the Enemy
7 Creation
8 The Great Charter
9 The Ideal Church
10 A Chosen Generation



11 Loyalty to the Saints
12 Degrees of Reality in Revelation and Religion
13 The Superlative Way
14 The Rich Man’s Need of the Poor
15 Immortality
16 Wrong Roads to the Kingdom
17 The Leaves of the Sadducees
18 Walking in the Light
19 Moral Impossibilities
20 The Deadliness of Slander
21 The One Right Thing to do
22 Rival Paths to Perfection
23 A Good Work
24 Propitiation
25 The Voice of Jesus
26 Authors Biography



Excerpt 1 – Chapter 9 THE IDEAL CHURCH

“And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles’ teaching and in the fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and the prayers.” – Act 2:42

There are two ways in which the New Testament exhibits to us the ideal of the Church. One is doctrinal, and is illustrated in the epistle to the Ephesians. There the Church is set forth as the end of all the ways of God – the body of Christ which is filled with his fullness – the new humanity in which all the enmities and divisions of the old are transcended – the glorious bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. The other is historical, and is illustrated in this passage of Acts. Here we see the Church, as Luke saw it in his mind’s eye, in the days of its splendid prime, when the memory of Jesus was vivid and the gift of the Spirit new. Beginnings may not always be perfect, but there is always something inspiring about them, and something authoritative as well. To a Romanist, the doctrine of the Church is in a very real sense the only doctrine of Christianity; if he is right about this, he cannot be wrong about anything else. Protestants give the Church a very different place both in their thoughts and their faith; but as we all, in point of fact, have some relation to the Church, it is well that we should realize its significance in the New Testament.

This passage presents us with four notes of the true Church as they impressed an early disciple, and I shall say a few words in explanation and enforcement of each.

1. They continued stedfastly in the teaching of the Apostles – rather, they waited assiduously upon their teaching. Some connexion with the Apostles is necessary if the Church is to be true to its ideal, for the Church is Christ’s Church, and the Apostles are the ultimate witnesses to Christ. A society which repudiated the teaching of the Apostles would not be the Christian Church nor entitled to the Christian name. Sometimes the connexion with the Apostles, apart from which a Church cannot be Christian, is supposed to be secured by what is called the apostolic succession of the ministry. The Apostles, it is asserted, ordained men to continue their office in the Church, and they in turn ordained others in an unbroken line reaching to our own time. It is this official continuation of the ministry on which the apostolic and therefore the Christian character of the Church depends. About this there are two things to be said. The first is, that there is not a Christian minister in the world, from the Bishop of “Rome up or down, who can prove that he himself stands in any such unbroken succession. And the second is, that even if it could be proved, it would be quite irrelevant as a mark of the true Church. Such an external, legal, formal continuity, even if it existed, could guarantee nothing spiritual, and it is on spiritual consanguinity with the Apostles and their testimony to Jesus that everything depends. A historical succession, could it be really traced, would have something imposing for the imagination; it would not be without interest for the intelligence: but to conscience it could never mean anything at all. The connexion with the Apostles which marks the Church as Christian is not to be sought in any external continuity of church officers, but in fidelity to apostolic teaching. Wherever such fidelity is found we have the primary note of the apostolic Christian Church.



What then, we naturally ask, did the Apostles teach? A little further on in this book their enemies describe them as unlearned and ignorant men; but they took knowledge of them, we are told, that they had been with Jesus. This gives us the answer to our question. They had been with Jesus; they knew Jesus better than anybody else did; they never wearied telling about Him, and the Church never wearied hearing. That is what is meant by, “They continued stedfastly in the teaching of the Apostles”; it means they could never hear enough about Jesus. Our authorized version renders the words, “They continued stedfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine”; but that is both too narrow in itself, and to the ordinary reader suggests something false. No doubt the Apostles had doctrine even in the current sense: they had facts and interpretations of facts which constituted their Gospel, and apart from which they could not have borne their testimony to Jesus at all. St. Paul tells us what these were at the very beginning – the primary truths of the Gospel in which He and the Twelve had always been at one. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures – He was buried – the third day He rose from the dead according to the Scriptures.” But though this was no doubt accepted by all the disciples, something wider is meant here. The teaching of the Apostles would include their whole testimony to Jesus, and we have) every reason to believe that it is truly represented in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This is the primitive deposit of the apostolic testimony. We must remember in particular that it contained not only doctrines in the narrower sense of the word, but the revelation of a new life to which Christians were called. “Go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Everything that is covered by the name of Jesus, the whole appeal made to men by His words and life and death, is included in the teaching of the Apostles to which the early Church was devoted. And it is the mark of the true Church always that it remains devoted to this teaching, and can never hear too much of the life and death, of the love and will, of its Lord.

There are plenty of people, of course, outside the Church who have a sincere contempt for sermons. There are plenty of people inside who would like, as they put it, to enlarge the field of interest, and to hear the minister of the Church on all sorts of literary, economical, or political questions. There are even people who disparage preaching on the plea of devotion: we do not go to church to hear sermons, they say, but to worship God. The mouths of all these people would be shut in a church waiting assiduously on the teaching of the Apostles, always eager to hear more about Jesus. Preaching is much more likely to fail, even in interest, from want of concentration than from want of range. There are plenty of people to talk politics and literature, and not too many to bear witness to Jesus who will yet extend His sceptre over every field. If the sermon in church is what it ought to be – if it is not an exhibition of the preacher but of Jesus – there should be nothing in it even conceivably in contrast with worship, but the very reverse. What can be more truly described as worship than hearing the word of God as it ought to be heard, hearing it with penitence, with j contrition, with faith, with self-consecration, with vows of new obedience? If this is not worship in spirit and in truth, what is? We may sorrowfully confess that in all our churches there is too little worship, that adoration is rare, that while singing is enjoyed the sacrifice of praise is hardly conceived, and the ardour and concentration of prayer strangely unfamiliar, but we will not mend these deficiencies by thrusting into the background the testimony to Jesus. Such a testimony is the only inspiration to worship in the Christian sense of the term, and it is the primary mark of the true Church that it gathers round this testimony and is unreservedly loyal to it.



2. The second mark of the Church in its early beauty was that they continued stedfastly in the fellowship. Fellowship is a word that has now been practically appropriated to religious uses, which means, unhappily, that it has lost any distinct significance for the ordinary reader. But its meaning here is tolerably plain. (Strictly it signifies joint participation, or mutual giving and receiving, and it refers to the peculiar conditions of life in that early society as they are described in the opening chapters of Acts. “They were together”; ‘‘they had all things common”; “no one said that any of the things he possessed was his own”; “there was no one in want among them”; “distribution was made to every one according as he had need.” The Church was a family in which the new law of love was actually kept – so the historian puts it – even in regard to the outward necessities of life. This, and not something intangible or merely spiritual is in his mind when he says, “They continued stedfastly in the fellowship”. And this, we must not forget, is a note of the ideal Church.

We need not be astonished that it has been criticized. Students of the New Testament have sometimes thought that Luke both exaggerated the teaching of Jesus about riches and poverty – being a lover of voluntary poverty himself – and that he exaggerates in these passages the extent to which community of goods existed or was approved in the early Church. So far as it was produced, too, in a moment of enthusiasm, they find it comparatively easy to disparage it. It meant no great sacrifice, they suggest, in a community in which practically every one was poor – with a climate in which the body could be satisfied with one garment, and with one meal a day – in a civilization which was not dependent like ours on accumulation of wealth – and above all, in a world which might at any moment come to an end. Further, it was a failure. Even the presence of Jesus could not secure “the fellowship” of the Twelve from the inevitable risks: Judas the treasurer was a thief and pilfered the paltry funds of the society. The fellowship of the primitive Church was responsible for Ananias and Sapphira. It was responsible for the poverty of the Jerusalem Christians which made them a burden on the Gentile Churches in Galatia and Asia, in Macedonia and Achaia. The saints sank under it into paupers, and as Paul discovered at last, into ungrateful paupers. What they ought to have been taught was that independence is as much a part of the Christian ideal as charity, and that it is short-sighted policy which forgets this.

In speaking of “the fellowship” of these early believers as a mark of the ideal Church, I am not careful to answer the advocatus diaboli who urges such arguments against it. The problem of poverty is not so simple – certainly it is not so simple with us – nor is the solution of it so easy, as the early Christians supposed. But the instinct which impelled them in dealing with it was genuinely Christian, and apart from that instinct we shall never be able to deal with it at all. We must not disparage on any ground whatever the first bona fide attempt to make human brotherhood real. There is no true Church where the effort to do this has ceased. “Let brotherly love continue.” “Love the brotherhood.” “Be kindly affectioned one to another in brotherly love.” “Remember the poor.” The more things we have in common, material as well as spiritual, the more we realize the ideal of a Christian Church. Within the Church, there ought not to be such a thing as neglected and unsuccoured poverty, and so far as I can judge there is not much. The Church does not neglect its poor members, and perhaps those who complain that it neglects the poor in general – that is, neglects to help them in their poverty – forget how difficult it is to help those who refuse to have any relation with others except that of holding out their hand. The people who are here said to have continued stedfastly in the fellowship were all alike members in a society where personal relations of every kind were intimate, and it was this which made “the fellowship,” such as it was, possible. It was one feature in a society where, thanks to the influence of Jesus, many were willing to say. All that is mine is yours; but it cannot be reproduced, even with its drawbacks, in a society where the only cry is. All that is yours is mine. Do not let us forget that with all its drawbacks it was an inspiration of love, and that though love needs wisdom to guide it, without love – active, sacrificing, positive love – there is no Church at all.

3. The next note of the Church is of another kind, yet closely connected with this. “They continued stedfastly in the breaking of the bread.” To break bread means in the Bible to eat, or to take food; but it came to be appropriated very early to the sacred meal in which Christians declared the Lord’s death. It is synonymous, for all practical purposes, with the Lord’s Supper; and it is another mark of the ideal Church, as Luke apprehended it, that the Lord’s Supper has a central place in its worship.

The history of the Supper, or perhaps it should be said of the sacraments in general, is the most heartbreaking and discreditable chapter in the whole story of Christianity. Those who call themselves Catholic Christians no doubt give the sacraments a great place in their religion. But the doctrine of the sacraments, in its so-called Catholic form, is a mere defiance to the mind of man – a mixture of religious materialism, of superstition, of magic, of impossible metaphysics, with no indubitable result but that of the enslavement of the Church to the priesthood. It is not wonderful that in repelling, as they are bound to repel, a system of ideas and practices which is not only thoroughly unchristian but thoroughly irrational, Protestants should sometimes have been tempted to lose patience with the whole subject round which it has been constructed. Some have dispensed with sacraments; some have proposed to suspend them for a generation or two till the superstition which has grown about them has died down; and many, to say the least, are embarrassed. Baptism is supported by sentimental as much as by Christian convictions. In “Catholic” churches the number of communicants as compared with the whole number of church people is very small, and among Protestants there are many to whom the Communion Sunday is rather a day of misgiving than of peculiar joy. The popular apprehension of the sacraments has shrunk, in fact, in many cases, to something purely negative. The ordinary church member does not believe that baptism regenerates, and he does not believe in a real presence of Christ in the bread and wine. It would be renouncing the very faculties God has given him to believe such things; it would be renouncing all that he means by faith in God Himself. And however he may be embarrassed by the sacraments, he finds it quite impossible to depart from this position.



Excerpt 2 – Chapter 11 LOYALTY TO THE SAINTS

“If I had said, I will speak thus; Behold, I had dealt treacherously with the generation of thy children.”- Psa 73:15

THE Old Testament does not often speak of children of God, yet no one would have any difficulty in understanding to whom the Psalmist here refers. In the Book of Deuteronomy the Israelites generally are described by this title: “ye are children to Jehovah your God; ye shall not follow any heathen custom”. But even in ancient times it had become plain that they were not all Israel that were of Israel; within the wide circle of the nation there was a narrower circle of those who really were what it was called to be. It is this narrower circle, the true people of God, who are here described as the generation of His children. A similar expression is found in the twenty-fourth Psalm. The Psalmist asks: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, and who shall stand in His holy place?” “He that hath clean hands,” he answers, “and a pure heart: who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, and hath not sworn deceitfully.” Such he assures of the blessing of God, and then proceeds: “This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O God of Jacob”. In other words, this is the generation of God’s children. Substantially also, in the last half of the Book of Isaiah, it is this Israel within Israel which is meant by the Servant of the Lord. In spite of apostasy and all its painful consequences, there ever remains in Israel a seed to serve God, a spiritual succession of men and women true to Him. They have a character of their own; they have hopes and convictions peculiar to themselves; they form a party and an interest distinct from everything else in the world.

This was not only true when the Psalms were written; it is true to-day. At this moment, there is such a thing in the world as the generation of God’s children, the spiritual successors of those to whom the Psalmist refers; they inherit the same hopes, and represent the same ideals and beliefs. It is a great matter to recognize this. For one thing, it is an important part of our moral security to have our place among God’s children. They alone are perpetuated from age to age: the cause with which they are identified is the only one against which time does not prevail. For another, it is a great test of the soundness of our judgment in spiritual things when we find ourselves in agreement with them. “I love,” says one of the fathers of the Scottish Church, “I love to walk in the steps of the flock”; that is, I love to find myself at one with the generation of God’s children. The individual cannot but have misgivings if he feels inclined to set his own wavering judgment, his own unstable faith, his own brief and limited experience, against the age-long experience and the immemorial convictions of the people of God. It is one of God’s warnings that he is on a wrong track when he finds himself at variance with them. To dissent from them is somehow or other to be disloyal to them. “If I say, I will speak thus” – that is, I will indulge in sceptical, unbelieving, God-disowning thoughts and words- “behold, I shall be a traitor to the generation of thy children”.



The one mark of the children of God which never varies is that they believe in Him. From generation to generation they perpetuate the sublime tradition of faith. In various modes, through all sorts of discouragement, they look unceasingly to Him, believing that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him. The Old Testament does not contain any doctrines, and this faith is the whole of its religion. It is the element in the life of our race which ennobles it and makes it great. It is that which has inspired every kind of virtue – patience, self-denial, self-sacrifice, superiority to the senses and to the world in which they live. Could there be a more fatal symptom of a bad heart than that one should be a traitor to those who represent this great cause upon the earth? Could there be a surer sign that a way of feeling, thinking, speaking, or acting was wrong than this, that it separated a man from those who in all ages had stood for God and for faith in Him?

It will enable us to appreciate this more truly if we consider some of the ways in which faith in God is manifested, and in which we may prove untrue to it.

1. Faith in God implies faith in His government of the world. This is the particular aspect of faith with which the Psalmist is here concerned. No doubt it belongs to the nature of faith that it should be tried; if there were not appearances against it, it would not be faith; it would be sight. The contrary appearances are what challenges faith and puts it to the proof, and it is in asserting itself against them that faith shows its genuineness and strength. It is manifest that the Psalmist had had more than enough to try his faith in the Divine government. When he looked abroad upon the earth, it was as though God had abandoned it, or rather as though there were no God at all. He saw all power and prosperity in the hands of the wicked, and he saw this power and prosperity generate in them an arrogant and godless confidence which language almost fails to describe. “They scoff, and in wickedness utter oppression: they speak loftily. They have set their mouth in the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth . . . and they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” It is the reign of atheism at once practical and theoretical – not confined to the disregard of God’s will in action, but advancing impiously to flout the very idea that He knows or cares for what is done on earth. When such a situation lasts long, it undoubtedly brings with it the temptation to doubt the government of God. Even believing men like the Psalmist find sceptical thoughts rising involuntarily in their minds. What is the use of trying to be good? What profit is it to serve God? It gains nothing. It exempts from nothing. “Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Goodness is a mere futility which in the life of the world does not count at all. Such is the hot, impatient, despairing speech which bursts from this good man’s lips as he looks round him on the moral confusions of earth, and the seeming absence of God. But all of a sudden it is checked. The “behold” in the text reveals how he was startled by the thought which flashed into his mind. What, it was suggested to him, does the indulgence of this sceptical temper mean? It means that I am betraying the cause for which the children of God have fought the good fight from generation to generation, that I am deserting the forlorn hope of the good to side with the enemies of God and man. God forbid! Be my soul with the saints, and shall my mind cherish thoughts, shall my lips speak words, that are disloyal to their faith, their hopes, their sacrifices? To choose your creed is to choose your company, and the feeling that such scepticism would range him in base opposition to the Israel of God is the first thing which rallies the Psalmist again to assert his faith.

Surely the lesson of this is plain. The things that tried the Psalmist’s faith have not yet vanished from the world. Those who can form any conception of what is involved in the government of the Armenians and the Macedonians by the Turks – those who followed through weary years the indescribable barbarities perpetrated systematically by a so-called Christian government on the Congo – those who realize what is involved in the position and influence of the liquor trade in this country – those who see how human beings are dehumanized alike by the excessive wealth and the extreme poverty which our civilization seems to engender: all these may well be tempted to wonder whether God does govern the world, or whether He cares at all for what happens here. But let no one think that the trials of faith are arguments for unbelief. No: they are trumpet calls for witnesses for God; for soldiers, for martyrs, for men and women who will fight God’s battle against all odds, and though they die fighting die assured of victory at last All the hope of the world lies in them, not in the cynical or sceptical who say, How doth God know?

Excerpt 3 – Chapter 14 THE RICH MAN’S NEED OF THE POOR

“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day; and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate.” – Luk 16:19

MANY of the words of Jesus are best understood when least explained. They are true in the immediate impression they make upon the mind of a child, and if we could only become as little children and recover it, this is the only truth they are intended to convey. The story of the rich man and Lazarus – the evangelist does not call it a parable – is a case in point. In the minds of many grown-up readers it raises only irrelevant questions – questions which it does not raise for the simple, and which it is not intended to answer. In what condition does the soul survive this life? Is its condition fixed at or by death? Is there a further probation for those who have failed here, or who have never had a chance? Is the departed soul shut up in itself, in absolute loneliness, or can it communicate with God or with other spirits in that world or in this? I do not say these are not natural questions, but they are not questions with which Jesus is here directly concerned, and to seek answers for them here is precarious.

When we survey the Gospel according to Luke as a whole, we see that one of the main interests of the evangelist is in the teaching of Jesus about riches and poverty. This was so characteristic of our Lord and so emphatic that no one telling the story of His Life could possibly miss it, yet Luke has preserved a good deal which the other evangelists have overlooked. It is he alone who tells us that Jesus opened His ministry at Nazareth by applying to Himself the text, “He hath sent Me to preach glad tidings to the poor;” he alone who gives the first beatitude in the simple form, “Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God,” and who adds as its counterpart, “Woe to you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation”; it is he alone who has the story of the rich man, who said to himself, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry”; and to whom God said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee”. And finally, it is he alone who has the story of the unjust steward who shrewdly used his master’s money to buy friends for himself who would give him the shelter of their roofs when he lost his place. The moral of this shady story is daringly put by our Lord Himself: “And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it shall fail they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles”. As if He had said, “You are going to lose your place too, like the unjust steward: be as sensible as he was. Spend your vile money in buying friends – you will need them – who can bear witness to you and welcome you as you pass from this world to the other.” It is a daring moral, not to be legally interpreted or applied, but with living power in it for those who are willing to take it as it is meant. Of course there will always be those who think they can refute it. “The Pharisees,” we read in v. 14, “who were lovers of money, derided him.” They scoffed at the idea of a man investing in charity with the dividend in his mind which he would draw in the world to come. It is always easy to misrepresent when you do not want to understand; and the story of the rich man and Lazarus is the answer of Jesus to those who scoffed at the moral He drew from the unjust steward. It is the story of a man who forgot to invest in charity till it was too late. It consists of a visible scene, a scene behind the veil, and an appendix. It is worth while to look steadily at each, and then to summarize the teaching of the whole.



1. First there is the visible situation in Luk 16:19-21. The rich man’s life is pictured before our eyes with all its indulgence and ostentation: he was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. There are lives like this, and people who can afford them. There is nothing they cannot buy – yachts, motor-cars, champagne, pictures, new and old books; no wish need be, and no wish is ungratified. There is no needless exaggeration in the picture, and not a touch of animosity or of class feeling. It is not said that the rich man made his money unjustly, still less that he coined it out of the sweat of Lazarus; his way of living is exhibited – that is all. Then side by side with him we have the picture of Lazarus. It is given more fully, and of course more sympathetically, but quite as impartially. It is a statement of facts and nothing more. Lazarus was a beggar man, whose body was covered with ulcers, and he lay at the rich man’s gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from his table. What is meant by the dogs coming and licking his sores is not quite plain. Perhaps the suggestion is that even the offensive animals that roam the streets of eastern towns were kinder to the poor wretch than his fellow men or his rich neighbour; but perhaps it is meant as the last touch of aggravation to his misery: these unclean beasts rasped his sores and he had not the strength to keep them at a distance. How desperately the poor man needed a friend! Yes, but not so desperately as the rich. What an opportunity, Jesus would have us understand, the rich man had to make Lazarus his friend – to buy his friendship with some of his miserable money. How much his friendship would have been worth to him in the future! But no such thing happened. The rich man was there in his purple and fine linen; the beggar was there in his rags and sores; and that is the whole story.

Perhaps under the influence of political economy we pity a little the rich man as well as the poor. Wesley tells us somewhere in his Journal that he met a man who proved to his own satisfaction that every one who could afford it ought to wear purple and fine linen and to fare sumptuously every day; and that by doing so he would do more good to the poor than if he fed the hungry and clothed the naked. Even if we have not an unsolved doubt that there may be something in this, we have a lurking sympathy with the rich man saying to himself, “This is endless. Relieve one and you bring ten. This man is a product of social conditions for which society is responsible, not I; society should put him in a hospital and keep him out of sight; and if the hospital were put on the rates, I should not refuse to contribute my share.” But the very point of the story is that Jesus takes no account of possible explanations or excuses. He deals only with facts. There is a poor man, destitute and in misery, at a rich man’s gate, and nothing is done. Is that all?

2. No, in Luk 16:22-26 Jesus goes on to unveil the invisible situation. In the world into which Lazarus and the rich man are alike ushered by death, the parts are reversed. It is now Lazarus who feasts. He reclines on Abraham’s bosom at the heavenly banquet, as John did on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper. It is the highest conceivable honour and felicity for a Jew. But the rich man is in hell, in an agony of thirst, tormented in flame. And there is something more terrible still. We are not told in the earlier part of the story whether the rich man had seen Lazarus at his door, but he saw him now afar off. He saw him, and would fain have had him as a friend. But it was too late. He had his chance of making Lazarus his friend while he lay at his gate, but he did not take it then, and it would never come back. There is something inexpressibly awful in the words, Son, remember. This lost soul, too, is a son of Abraham: he might have been where Lazarus is; nay, he ought to have been there. To understand why he is not, it is only necessary to recall the past. It is the very misery of hell to remember the lost opportunities of life, the chances that were given but not taken of winning the heaven for which men are made. Inexpressibly awful, too, is the finality implied in the words: “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed.” The scene in the invisible world represents God’s judgment on the earlier one, and against that judgment there is no appeal. This is to all eternity God’s verdict on such things. The rich man may have thought little or nothing about Lazarus while they were both on earth, or he may have excused himself from doing anything for him by the kind of sophistries with which we have sometimes excused ourselves; but in neglecting to make Lazarus his friend he decided his own destiny forever.



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