"Why seek ye the living among the dead?"

THE mistake of the disciples as they made their way to the sepulchre to find their Lord, is the mistake of all who are looking to materiality for the solution of life's problem.—for health, for satisfaction, for rest of mind. They are peering into the abode of death for that which is to be found only in Life. The Son of God is not where the schools and the senses have declared him to be, and the rebuking query is again heard, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?"

To human sense error utilizes every possible means for the entertainment of the Christ-idea, it would bury the undying truth of Spirit beneath the fallacies of material testimony, and to this end every phase of the belief of life in matter has distinctly contributed. This belief has been entertained by the great body of educated people in the past, and it is to be noted that whether it be the pronounced unbeliever who thinks of the latent possibilities of protoplasm as in themselves explanatory of all organic life, or the pronounced Christian who thinks of matter as a necessary and God-appointed means for the divine manifestation,—in either case matter is regarded as a real and integral part of nature, and into its pulseless precincts both are therefore led to look for even the highest manifestation of Life. Neverless it is interesting to remember that neither of these two phases of thought can make consistent and satisfactory use of this material stuff to which both have so tenaciously clung. The idea of dead matter is now practically ruled out of the physicist's thought. Even his idea of life no longer consents to material entombment. Materialistic theology, on the other hand, having fallen into the error of accepting the testimony of the physical senses while still holding to the divine supremacy, is led to the inevitable conclusion that matter is a providential provision, a tool, on which Mind is dependent for its effectiveness. As one thinks of this declaration, he can but wonder how God made matter itself if His creative activity and manifestation were conditioned upon its use. Must God, who is infinite Life, make a dead thing, matter, so as to have it to use in making a live thing, man? And if God's self-manifestation was not limited before He made matter, how could He become in any sense dependent upon matter after He had made it? This whole theological contention that God made something so unlike himself as to be dead and inert in order that He might use it in making that which is described as His image and likeness,—how unworthy it seems of the consideration it has so long received at the hands of Christian thought, and how manifest that such a god is man-made !

Pictures of The Mother Church
April 21, 1906

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