Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 7.djvu/97
Herod had often earnestly wished to see Jesus Christ. The reputation which so many miracles had given Him excited the curiosity of this prince, and he did not doubt but that a man who commanded all nature, might strike some wonderful blow to escape from the persecution of His enemies. But the Son of God, who had not been sparing of His prodigies for the salvation of others, spared them for Himself, and would not say a single word about His own safety. He considered Herod and his people as profane persons, with whom He thought it improper to hold any intercourse, and He preferred rather to pass for a fool than to satisfy the false wisdom of the world. As His kingdom was not of this world, as He said to Pilate, it was not at the court that He designed to establish Himself. He knew too well that His doctrine could not be
libertine spirits which compose them? They worship Him externally, but internally how do they regard His maxims? What idea have they of His humility, of His poverty, of His sufferings? Is not virtue either unknown or despised? It is not a rash zeal which induces me to speak in this manner; it is what you too often witness, Christians; it is what you perhaps feel in yourselves; and a little reflection upon the manners of the court will convince you that there is nothing that I say which is not confirmed by a thousand examples, and that you yourselves are sometimes unhappy accomplices in these crimes.