[Rev. R. J. Campbell, M.A., in Christian Commonwealth.]

Where Jesus differed from his critics was when he maintained that no kingdom was worth having which did not imply in every man simplicity and humility of heart, and a willingness to find one's true joy in the service of the whole. He wanted individual men to stop thinking of themselves apart from human society or from God, and to see instead that they had no life worth calling their own until it was given freely and fully in the service of the common good. Even today that teaching is ahead of human perceptions, although we are beginning to see that it is true, and that nothing less than this will ever break our chains and set us free from all the ills of life. Jesus managed to live it himself. From first to last his career moved along that line, and when it closed in death it was only because those who killed him could not understand his greatness. They would not kill him today, perhaps; but do not imagine that they would understand him much better than the Jews and Romans of nineteen hundred years ago. Few would believe, to begin with, that he was really sincere. If he undertook a public ministry, as he did then, we would begin to question his motives; we would pick holes in his character; would laugh at him, call him a visionary, a rogue, or a fool. If the force of his personality made it impossible to ignore him, we would begin to get angry. If he pointed out with unerring finger the unrealities and inconsistencies of our ideals and practices, as he did with the Pharisees, we would plot and scheme to get rid of him or discredit him in the eye of the public. Try to imagine a perfectly unselfish, high-souled being, with a clear vision of the wrongs and sufferings of the time, and the will to right them, and you have Jesus. Thank God, we have had a fair number of people who have caught the spirit of Jesus, but never one, as far as we know, who was so utterly lost and absorbed in the good of mankind that he might be said to have no life but the whole. Yet such was Jesus, if we are to believe what tradition says of him. A life like that conjoined to the driving force of a transcendent personality, was sure to produce an explosion. It would do so even now.

[New York Observer.]

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February 24, 1912

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