THE MASTER BUILDER.
The Master had many warm, devoted friends. Great
crowds thronged him wherever he went. He was so popular,
even in Jerusalem, the city dominated by his enemies, that it
is said that the authorities dared not arrest him by day because
they feared the people. His trial was had at night, and the
condemnation secured in the early morning before the pilgrims
in the city were aware of what was going on.
This popularity of the Master was not a merely superficial
and ephemeral popularity. It is true that many thronged
him because of his ministrations of healing; others, fascinated
by his simple eloquence; others drawn by mere curiosity; still
others by a more or less definite faith that he was the Messiah
and the hope that they might share in his triumph when he
brought in the anticipated kingdom. But there were pro-
founder reasons for his popularity than these.
The twelve, who became his constant companions, and the
Seventy, whom he sent out, two by two, to carry the message
of his Gospel in the region beyond Jordan, were devotedly at-
tached to him. The nature of their devotion is indicated by
the fact that, when he went up to Jerusalem, the city of his
enemies, whose purpose to put him to death was well under-
stood both by the Master and his companions, they followed
him thither, one of them speaking for all when he said, "Let us
also go, that we may die with him." And this devotion to his
person was by no means confined to these few special friends.
It was widespread, deep, and abiding. His power to create
enthusiasm, and an enduring enthusiasm, unparalleled in the
history of the world. Confucius lived and taught for forty-
seven years; Siddhartha, the supposed founder of Buddhism,
if we may trust the legendary stories of his life, for forty years;
Mohammed carried on his work as a religious ruler and re-
former for twenty-three years; Moses, the lawgiver of Israel,