"That they all may be one."

It was in the twilight of his earthly ministry, when, as John tells us, Jesus knew his hour was now come, that he drew his nearest followers close about him in an upper room, for a last heart-to-heart talk with them. In the simple but sublime appeal to God and man which closed his loving counsels, he seemed to anticipate the distractions and divisions which so soon appeared among them, and which have dishonored all subsequent Christian history, and in the earnestness of his great heart he prayed for their unity in love, that they might be one even as he and the Father were one. That this solicitous hope embraced the Christian believers of every age is apparent, for he said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word," and therefore his appeal rebukes the religious estrangements and separations of the twentieth century no less surely than it did those of the first.

There are many indications that this rebuke is being felt more keenly to-day than in the past. The unseemliness and disadvantage of sectarianism are impressing broad-minded men of all classes, and especially business men, who have learned full well that success imperatively demands centralization, and who are prepared to estimate rightly the seriousness of what has been termed "the waste of church rivalry and competition." Yet more significant, how-ever, is the protest of the native Christians in mission fields, who have long since discovered that, with the gospel of Christ, missionaries have brought them a lot of conflicting and confusing opinions about that gospel, and they are insisting that the denominational differences and disagreements which have so greatly impeded the advance of Christianity elsewhere shall not be perpetuated in their midst. In Japan this insistence has expressed itself in a firm demand for a United Church of Christ which shall embody all Christian believers; and having taken hold of the situation with the vigor and self-sufficiency which has characterized their conduct of other affairs, matters are rapidly moving toward a consummation which will convey a merited rebuke to the Christian people of the West, whatever it may ultimately signify to the advancement of Christianity in the East.

Health Scientifically Sought
November 18, 1905

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