It is very questionable whether the votaries of pleasure or those who devote themselves to the task of acquiring material possessions have in reality any well-defined goal toward which they press. The first named would hardly be willing to admit that the pursuit of pleasure was the end and aim of their existence, nor the others that riches constituted the highest good toward which all are supposed to aspire, yet these apparently occupy their entire time and thought. It is surely worth while for every one who thinks deeply to ask himself whether he has a definite goal in view, and if so what it is. The great Galilean Teacher, that profoundest of thinkers, said, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

It is interesting to note the connection between these words of the Master and the events recorded in the same chapter, where the evangelist tells of the feeding of the four thousand in the wilderness, then of the healing of a blind man, and next of the preparation of the disciples for the vital struggle between truth and error which Jesus saw to be inevitable. Then we find the solemn requirement that his followers must be willing to give up everything, as he did,—even their lives,—in order to advance the cause of Truth. All leads up to the essential point, namely, that these things which are to be given up, even "the whole world," are of no value in the face of what Truth has to offer. Their possession is not the true goal of existence, and there can be no question that Jesus understood what constitutes this goal and the way to reach it.

Christ Jesus did not hesitate to say that spiritual perfection is the only goal worthy of man's divinely bestowed capabilities and possibilities. Regardless of the cost to himself, the Master devoted his entire time to the task of helping the helpless, in mortal belief, to reach it; and so he healed the blind, the sick, the sorrowful, the sinful, while to his every follower he said, "Be ye therefore perfect." Later, we find Paul pressing toward this mark, striving to attain even to "the resurrection of the dead," and he urges it upon all Christians to "walk by the same rule" and "mind the same thing."

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December 21, 1907

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