The life struggles and tragedy of the story of the Nazarene, together with the dreadful events attending the destruction of Jerusalem and the after bondage of its people, witness to the seriousness of the misjudgment of the Jews respecting the nature of the coming of him who was to redeem Israel. This is seen by Christian believers to-day, and yet for the most part we have all been perpetuating the same error in our thought of "the second coming" as an objective fact of a somewhat indefinite time and order, rather than an inner experience which is immediately possible. We may not have shared the expectation of those who have looked for a bodily reappearing of Christ Jesus, but we have failed to recognize the undelayed and continuous coming of the world's Lawgiver and Judge in the instant effect of moral choice upon character. We have failed to recognize the presence of the Christ, the activities of Truth, in every-day experience, and hence much which pertains to the present of spiritual unfoldment has been relegated to the future and thought of as altogether too intangible and uncertain to have any immediate bearing upon to-day's determinations, experiences, and joys.

The nature of Truth's administration of penalty and reward must have been deeply impressed upon the early Christian Church by the swift condemnation and punishment of Herod, of Judas, and of Ananias and Sapphira, as well as by the instantaneous healing which the Master and his disciples effected for those who sincerely responded to the inquiry, "Wilt thou be made whole?" But when fear began to be utilized as a means of securing and enforcing ecclesiastical authority, and the healing power of the Christian was no longer generally exercised, then came the rule of that crude sense of an after-death hell and heaven which has handicapped the religious thought of all the succeeding centuries. Now and then one of keener spiritual perception has attained to the realization that "in that soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire; that he who does a good deed is instantly ennobled, and he who does a mean deed is by the action itself contracted," but it remained for Christian Science to summon religious sense to appear before that court of adjudication which knows no adjournment and the judgments of which are immediately registered in the moral state of every individual. Says our Leader, "The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously" (Science and Health, p. 504). In this light of divine activity the reaction of every human choice or consent is at once disclosed and recorded; its judgment day has come, and in this eternal present every man is called "to appear before God," naked and alone.

It was well said by Mr. Pogson, in a late issue of the Sentinel, that "a mistake of the ages is the belief in 'ages,' the failure to see the 'nowness' of everything," and this mistake is recovered from only as we apprehend God as divine Principle, the "I am that I am" in whom man ever lives, moves, and has his being. All that we locate in the past or in the future finds its true value and appropriation only as it aids in the interpretation of consciousness and in the choice of good in that struggle of soul between the longing for Truth and the clinging to materiality which characterizes human experience. "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me." It is the final word of revelation. It speaks for that growing realization of the immediateness of Truth and of the relation of the individual life to Truth's activity which is the exalted and exalting gain of Christian Science. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

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September 7, 1907

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