Receive Christianity as given to raise you in the scale...

Receive Christianity as given to raise you in the scale of spiritual being. Expect from it no good any farther than it gives strength and worth to your characters. Think not, as some seem to think, that Christ has a higher gift than purity to bestow, even pardon to the sinner. He does bring pardon. But once separate the idea of pardon from purity; once imagine that forgiveness is possible to him who does not forsake sin; once make it an exemption from outward punishment and not the admission of the reformed mind to favor and communion with God; and the doctrine of pardon becomes your peril, and a system so teaching it is fraught with evil. Expect no good from Christ any farther than you are exalted by his character and teaching. Expect nothing from his cross unless a power comes from it strengthening you to "bear his cross," to "drink his cup," with his own unconquerable love. This is its highest influence. Look not abroad for the blessings of Christ. His reign and chief blessings are within you. The human soul is his kingdom. There he gains his victories, there rears his temples, there lavishes his treasures. His noblest monument is a mind redeemed from iniquity, brought back and devoted to God, forming itself after the perfection of the Saviour, great through its power to suffer for truth, lovely through its meek and gentle virtues. No other monument does Christ desire; for this will endure and increase in splendor when earthly thrones shall have fallen, and even when the present order of the outward universe shall have accomplished its work and shall have passed away.—William E. Channing.

June 21, 1900

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