In Article VIII, Sect. 3, of the Church Manual we read: "He who dated the Christian era is the Ensample in Christian Science." In his first epistle St. Peter also speaks of Christ as "leaving us an example," or, as the Greek word means, a model, a writing, copy. These statements surely imply that Christ Jesus was the perfect pattern for all mankind for all time, perfect in the sense that a certain number is perfect and cannot be added to. This being true, what then did Jesus mean when he spoke the words so often quoted: "The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do"? A new light seemed to fall on the whole passage while studying it one day, which the writer ventures to give.

The Master's words were spoken, as we know, just after he and his disciples had celebrated the Jewish passover together for the last time. They followed the answer to Philip's request, "Lord, show us the Father." Jesus answered: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ... the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Then comes the great promise: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." It was as though he had said: "In expressing truth, love, power, life, goodness, I have manifested the Father and so have done the works which ye have seen me do; believe too that ye are of the Father, and ye shall do likewise." In connection with this we remember his answer to the father of the epileptic boy, who cried: "If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." Jesus answered: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

But the Master's earthly life was not yet over, and he adds: "And greater works than these shall he do." Jesus had, in fact, his "last enemy" yet to overcome; he had yet to prove by demonstration his own words, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," and he had yet to "ascend," i.e., to become so spiritualized as to be above all material conditions and finally to pass entirely beyond human ken. These then surely were the "greater works" to which Jesus referred and which he promised that his own followers should also do before they reached the goal of their high calling. Jesus, moreover, gives us the reason why all this should be possible to man; it was "because I go unto my Father." It was he who taught that God is Spirit, and this same Spirit he taught men to call "Our Father."

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September 21, 1912

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