One Solitary Life

The following is “One Solitary Life,” attributed to James Francis as part of a sermon that he delivered on July 11, 1926:

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.

“He then became an itinerant preacher for three years. He was a defender of unpopular causes. He counted among his friends the poor and the weak. He associated with outcasts and lawbreakers. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house..

“He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled more than 200 miles from his place of birth. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

“He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.

“He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on Earth.

“When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

“Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress..

“All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, all these together have not affected the life of man on this Earth as much as that One Solitary Life.”

If He has affected life so much, then why are we not following His teachings more?


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