If one were to ask what is the greatest and most impressive object-lesson of the past, he would elicit but a single answer. The character and conquests of Christ Jesus constitute the most imposing fact presented to human thought, a fact which is now well-nigh universally recognized, and which has made an altogether incomparable appeal to the intelligence, the affection, and the imagination of mankind. This is witnessed to by the most splendid heroisms and sacrifices of the Christian centuries, their greatest literature, their grandest art, their noblest song. It is witnessed to by all the inspirations and overcomings which have made living sensibly worth while to men, and despite all the selfishness and materiality of his professed followers, the ignoble feuds, strifes, and cruelties which their creedal contentions have brought about, he who suffered and triumphed on Calvary is the world's greatest hero.

Respecting the significance of this personal and objective sense of Christ Jesus as the embodiment of the highest ideals of truth and love and as the appointed Saviour of men, Christian history speaks in unqualified terms; nevertheless, when through ignorance or superstition devotion to "the historic Jesus" serves to satisfy spiritual aspiration, when it leads men to forget the assured coming of the Christ to individual consciousness, so that the faith of the Nazarene may again be demonstrated; when Christian believers are absorbingly zealous to honor Christ Jesus in creed and function and song while ignoring his commands to heal the sick,—then the vital of our Lord's requirement has been sacrificed, and the rebuke is again heard, "These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

As understood in Christian Science, the supreme fact of the Christ-coming is its continuity. Christ Jesus was the Wayshower, that every man may become a waygoer. He said, "Greater works shall he do," thus indicating that all he did in the expression or manifestation of Truth was an earnest and index of what, in Love's plan and provision, humanity's achievement was to be; and to understand this is to divine the meaning, and enter into the fulfilment, of Christ Jesus' life-work. While Christian Science lovingly honors the man of Nazareth as "Christ's coming in the flesh" for the world's redemption, it lays its emphasis upon the importance of that individual realization to which Paul refers in his phrase, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." It teaches that to live the Christ-life is to fill out the concept of man which Christ Jesus defined; it is to place our feet in every footprint on the mount of his ascension; it is to perceive and express man's Christlikeness, in nature, in endowment, and in God-given dominion.

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September 26, 1908

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