[Rev. Edwin Alfred Rumball in Christian Register.]

When the new vision is born, it nearly always comes in swaddling clothes. It is a question whether many Methodists today would have joined Methodism in John Wesley's day: they are a different type. It may even be a question whether many Unitarians of today would have joined the movement in those early days of social ostracism, when negations were more frequent in our gospel than they are today. And, had we been of those in Galilee, would we have guessed that this man of visionary nature, this uncompromising preacher who made such rash statements, who seemed to be continually talking such an impractical message,—would we have guessed that he was worthy of our giving up all for his cause? Some of us would, perhaps, but most of us would not. We would surely have been of those who said. Can anything good come out of Galilee? What can the son of a carpenter teach us? Then would it not have been asking a great deal of us to have invited us to join so lowly a group of men? They were nearly all working men. They were all so ignorant, and doubtless not as attractive to associate with as some other classes; it would have seemed very much easier to have "come to Jesus by night," and followed him from afar; we should not have felt the compulsion to join his ranks. Would we have guessed that this was the one we came to seek?

Then there is a sadder side to all this. Would we have dreamed what our indifference to his gospel was going to mean? Would we have guessed that our indifference to the position which he was asking us to take, our prudence over such unessential elements as some of his rash statements, our blindness to the vision of his soul,—would we have guessed that all this was a silent urging to the crowd which cried, "Crucify him"? Had we been of those in Galilee, we might have taken the side unconsciously of those who think that by killing they can do God service.

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March 16, 1912

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