Friday, December 24, 2004

In Hoc Anno Domini

For those who have never read it, The Wall Street Journal publishes an outstanding piece by the late Vermont Royster which should be made manditory reading in every school in America this time of year.

Unfortunately, it requires a paid subscription to the newspaper, and can be accessed here for those who have paid subscriptions. One would hope that one day the WSJ will include this in the excellent free Opinion Journal online that they also produce.

But to whet the appetite, below, an excerpt:

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar...

...There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's....
Gives one goosebumps. It's worth the subscription to read the whole thing.

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