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The Sin Which Doth Beset Us (12 of 18)
The Greatest Texts of the Bible
Clarence Edward Macartney
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth
so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us.
The sea is like sapphire, the sky cloudless and of the
deepest blue. The air is soft and the sunshine warm.
In the distance are the graceful brown columns of a
Greek temple. Along the highway running from the
temple to the stadium are busts and tablets where are
inscribed the names of the winners in the Olympian and
Isthmian games in past years. Along the race course
rise, tier upon tier, the marble seats of the stadium,
crowded today with visitors from all parts of the
Greek world who have come for the annual celebration
of the games.
Presently there is the sharp, clear, commanding note
of the herald's trumpet. A hush comes over the
expectant throng. From out of their training booths
come the racers, trained to the moment, not an ounce
of superfluous flesh sagging from their splendidly
molded bodies, bronzed by the Peloponesian sunlight.
At another blast from the trumpet they take their
place on the starting line, every muscle tense and
set. Among the thousands who line the course not a
word, not even a whisper, is heard. Suddenly there
rings out the third blast on the trumpet, and the
racers are off like an arrow, straining for the
distant goal. Save for a loincloth, they are naked.
For months they have trained for this race, abstaining
from strong drink and rich foods and the pleasures of
the world. The ambition of each racer's life is to
have his name inscribed on one of those memorial
tablets and to have the laurel crown of victory placed
upon his brow. As they flash down the course, their
friends on the marble seats, who happen to be from
that part of Greece from which a particular runner
comes, shout their encouragement to them.
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