For all Christian believers the Bethlehem story must ever retain its sweet and incomparable charm. The rehearsal of its familiar incidents prompts one instinctively to bless the eyes that saw its star, the ears that, heard its song. The Messianic coming has ever been thought of and referred to in Christian literature as heaven's incomparable gift to humanity, and as such, a false and inadequate sense of this coming could but prove a supreme disadvantage and misfortune. Human experience abundantly establishes the fact that the ill attending a false and ignoble sense is always measured by the height and glory of that which it misrepresents and wrongs, and the sad significance of this law is seen in the relation which, in all the centuries, an imperfect and inadequate concept of the Christ-coming has had to Christian life and history.

All Christian people recognize the appearing of the Bethlehem star as the symbol of the manifestation of God for the redemption of mankind from sin, disease, and death. If, however, the coming of the Christ to humanity be associated in thought with this wondrous event alone, a necessarily universal experience becomes restricted thereby, and humanity is robbed of the most practical and significant sense of the Christmas revelation. Jesus taught that his life and works were the expression and outcome of his Father's presence and activity, and no less clearly and specifically did he teach that his life and works were to be repeated in every believer; that he was the Wayshower, his life a model which was to find duplication in the instance of each and all of his "brethren," and that the fact of "God manifest in the flesh" was thus to be made continuous and all inclusive, in fulfilment of the prophetic declaration that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

That this was more or less clearly perceived by many in the early Christian Church, as it is understood to-day in Christian Science, is abundantly evidenced, not only in the corroborative healing works which were done by the disciples, but also in their specific declarations. Speaking to those who have received the Christ, Paul says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." To the Galatians he writes, "Christ liveth in me;" to the Colossians he speaks of Christ as "our life," while to the Philippians he identifies himself with Christ so far as to say, "For me to live is Christ." All of these significant statements are perfectly intelligible when we come to understand in Christian Science that the Christmust come to the consciousness of every believer; that the Prince of Peace is the true concept of God, whose appearing inaugurates in each individual the unfolding in consciousness of the divine ideas. Speaking of her own experience, our Leader writes, "The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually, and apparently through divine power. When a new spiritual idea is borne to earth, the prophetic Scripture of Isaiah is renewedly fulfilled: 'Unto us a child is born, ... and his name shall be called Wonderful' " (Science and Health, p. 109).

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December 22, 1906

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