Heredity

Have you ever seen a crowd pressing wildly down a narrow street? You hear hoarse, meaningless cries and the rush of feet, and some, unapprised of the reason for the excitement, are borne before the tumult like foam on the incoming wave. One protests. You see him gesture and appeal to the people, but he is urged onward by the brute force of the movement of the unintelligent mob, and must go whither he would not. Such is the picture of the force of heredity as some would conceive it. Each man is the apex of an ever-widening, wedge-shaped mob; behind him parents twain, and grandparents twice twain; their grandparents in turn four times four, and so on, till the numbered ancestry would make small and ridiculous the largest army ever assembled. And that one poor man at the apex of the wedge is pushed through life (so they say) protesting against the force, demanding to be guided by intelligence, but helpless, because what he is supposedly exists in and through and from that mob of related human beings. From them he is supposed to inherit "diseases, and accomplishments, and sins." Yea, from that compact wedge of fleshliness is supposed to originate his life; and its continuance is to be in like manner in the characteristics and predilections of future lives which will find him one of their ancestors.

Is it any wonder, then, that at some time every man is likely to find himself searching after a way to be "born again," even though like Nicodemus he come to Jesus by night? What is the cry of the heart? Is it not a prayer for direct connection with Mind, for immediate government by intelligence; in a word, to know the Father? Of Life temporal,—to be born of a woman,—it is said, how few the days, how full of trouble! But life eternal is what? Recognition of God as the source and continuity of real being, and self-recognition in the likeness of God rather than "in the likeness of sinful flesh;" for thus spake one who proved his Sonship with the Father: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Why did he include himself? Is it not that we must gain some sense of Sonship first if we are to understand the Fatherhood of God? "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

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Salvation
January 7, 1905
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