THE EASTER KNOWING

Nothing is more wonderful in life, nothing more prophetic of the fruition of the highest hopes of the race, than the cry of triumph which, in the midst of human tragedy, is often heard denying apparent defeat. It is the response of faith and aspiration to an Easter vision, it is the voice of Job heard in the hour of the abandonment of every earthly hope, saying, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." In the utter darkness of his desolation and bereavement he saw the golden radiance of the Easter dawn, and he knew, as he could know nothing else, that freedom's day was at hand.

The credibility of the reported victory of Truth in the life of Christ Jesus, his successful assertion of man's native and eternal sovereignty over sin, sickness, and death, has ever supplied a quiet anchorage for troubled hearts. Even questions respecting the reliability of the statements regarding him and his life, the chances of their enlargement and distortion at the hands of repeaters and copyists, etc.,—all these things have failed in the past, as they fail to-day, to disturb the belief of the world in the verity of the essential features of our Lord's life, and in the inspiring fact of his resurrection from the grave. Even the most destructive skepticism does not deny that such a person as Jesus lived, and that as a Jew he must have inherited all the distinctive characteristics and impulses of his race, and no one can question, moreover, that this marvel of spiritual teaching, this glorious ideal of life and life's possibilities, presents such contrasts and contradictions to the anticipations and ruling prejudice of the time and people whence it sprang, that to account for it otherwise than as explained in the Gospels calls for a far venture of credulity than that of the Christian believer. It is not conceivable that the ideal concept of spiritual being and life, indissolubly associated with the appearing of Jesus, could have sprung up full formed from a human soil which was characterized by gross materialism of thought, refined exclusiveness of racial caste; the most colossal and self-satisfied religious bigotry, and the most pitiful narrowness that history has ever disclosed. It must be conceded, therefore, that if he was not what he professed to be he was either self-deceived or an unconscionable hypocrite. Hence the skeptic would have us believe that the sermon on the Mount was the teaching of an innocent enthusiast or a purposeful deceiver!

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Editorial
THE STUDY OF THE SCRIPTURES
April 18, 1908
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