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easily forget him, but his memory is better than ours, he never will forget us.
So Jesus inspires faith in God, speaking out of his own experience. As he speaks, God seems to come near. We know our Father, and there is no doubt, no uncertainty as to his being or character.
In the same way Jesus teaches us duty. His law of right is not a system of ethics, but it is all summed up in love. He who loves God and loves man fulfils the law. No one can go wrong permanently and always who loves God and loves man ; for his love will lead to right. Therefore, he tells of those who, in the day of judgment, will be found to be Christians without knowing it themselves, because they fed the hungry and clothed the naked. He teaches that it is not how much we do, but how we do it which is of consequence ; that goodness is in quality, not in quantity.
So Christ gives no uncertain sound as regards future life.
Death, Jesus says, is simply nothing. Only as we believe it something is it so to us. “ He who believeth in me does not die.” Faith carries us through death and we know nothing of it; we leave this world alive and we enter the other alive. So Jesus is the Life and Resurrection both; the Life because he inspires us with faith in all living truth, and thus fills the soul with life; and he is the Resurrection because the power which raises us up in this world and the next, which carries us above death and above the grave, above all power of change and loss,
of change and loss, is the same perfect trust in God and his love.
The resurrection of Jesus produced an immense conviction, not merely because it destroyed the fear of death, but because it showed that all life was moving up and on, and that God was on the side of all truth and goodness. What
seemed to fail was really succeeding ; what seemed to die was only entering into further life ; what seemed to go away was really coming nearer than before.
So clear, so full, so decided are the teachings of Christ. There is no doubt or hesitation when he speaks. But there is no dogmatism. When men could not understand him, Jesus preferred not to teach them. He wanted no blind submission, but an intelligent assent. He wished for no more belief in truth than they were able to put into life. His truth was to be appropriated by life, not by speculation.
It is the nature of Faith to communicate itself to those whose minds are open. It is seeing ourselves which helps others to see. It is impossible to counterfeit this. Hypocrisy, Enthusiasm, Dogmatism, Routine all try to counterfeit the clear utterance of faith ; but they never succeed.
A tone of genuine conviction cannot be imitated; the conviction must be there to give the tone.
Here is the real power of Christ and Christianity, a power which can never grow old, never die. The power of Christianity is not in the miracles which Jesus worked on outward nature. It is not in any mysterious, terrible or supernatural doctrines; these may awaken wonder, and move the imagination ; but they do not convince the reason or touch the heart. The power the undying power
- of Christianity is that it is everywhere a new revelation of the eternal truth and love of God; that it continually makes souls alive; that it continually renews itself in renewed souls. Therefore it can never grow old, any more than birth, marriage, death, love, can grow old. These have been in the world since the beginning, but they always come as new as at first. And Christianity, appealing ever to new hearts, reforming manners, curing sinners, saving
the lost, kindling the soul with faith, hope and love, is the one certain sound in the world, never vague, never confused. Theology is uncertain ; speculation is uncertain; creeds are uncertain; but Christianity is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.
ETHNIC AND CHRISTIAN VIEWS OF DIVINE INFLU.
“BY ONE SPIRIT, WE ARE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY."
much of our knowledge comes through the senses, it
knowledge comes through the senses. So large a part of our time is occupied with this outward world of sights and sounds, no wonder many think that this is all we have to do with. Nature, the outward universe, appeals to us through a thousand channels, calls on us by a thousand voices. Nature, glowing with beauty, overflowing with life, with enormous forces acting under grand laws, with its sublime mysteries and magnificent revelations, is not this the all? What is spirit, what is soul, but a higher development of matter ? What do we know of either, except what we see through forms of material organization ?
This is modern materialism, which does not deny spirit but maintains that all we know of it is what comes to us from without, through forms of matter. It is not wonderful that there should be materialists, since the world of matter presses on us all so perpetually ; acts on us so irresistibly; demands so much of our time, thought, and love; conveys to us so much of our knowledge ; bathes us in its beauty; excites us by its activities; enlarges the horizon of our thoughts ; and leads us on through the finite to the infinite, from things seen and temporal to things not seen
and eternal. That we can only ascend to God, Spirit, the Infinite and the Eternal, through forms of matter, by the law of evolution, is no unnatural opinion, and seems even hinted at by Milton's angel, who tells Adam that all things are created by God out of “one first matter.”
“Endued with various forms, various degrees
So, from the root,
Reason perceives, and Reason is her being." This seems to have been an anticipation by Milton of the doctrine of evolution, now so popular, by which all things, beginning in what we call matter, proceed upward by a continuous process into what we call spirit.
It is not curious, then, that multitudes of men should have been materalists; for matter impresses itself constantly and necessarily on all. But the really curious fact is that the great majority of mankind should have always been Spiritualists; believing in spirit more than in matter
in the infinite more than the finite ; believing not in evolution, but emanation ; accepting as the origin of the universe a dropping downward out of the infinite, into the finite, or a creation of the world by the Gods. The majority of mankind in all time, and among all races and all religions, have believed in direct inspirations from some higher