The Messiah

In many of the large cities in the United States the well-known oratorio called "The Messiah" is given each year about Christmas time. At the close of 1918 it was given in Boston by the Handel and Haydn Society, and the announcement was made that it was exactly one hundred years since it was first heard in this city. It was hardly necessary to remind the large audience assembled in Symphony Hall, close to The Mother Church, that for many reasons the oratorio would have a deeper, grander appeal than ever before, a promise which was fully realized by those who were privileged to listen. For a moment it was almost startling to find that the opening music was not that of the overture, but instead the "Star Spangled Banner." In an instant the great audience was on its feet and joined the chorus in singing rapturously its patriotic strains. One Christian Scientist who was present looked up at the flag itself through a mist of tears, and gave thanks that wherever it waved, on land or sea, it carried some message of the Messiah, inspiring the world anew with holier ideals of justice and right, and the dawn of a brotherhood which would prove no mere dream, but a glad awakening to the glorious things which God hath prepared.

The opening solo of the oratorio which begins, "Comfort ye my people, saith your God," had truly a deeper meaning than ever before, especially the passage, "Make straight in the desert a highway for our God." It was very clear that real comfort comes to men and nations only as they follow obediently the straight way of Truth, which ever leads out of the barren deserts of mortal belief. How good it is to assure ourselves that "every valley shall be exalted," not alone a few of them, but every one, and that the crooked ways and things shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. To the student of Christian Science the words, "I will shake all nations," had a most profound meaning, in view of recent events, and whatever the future may hold for us of further shakings, we cannot forget that thus alone is the way prepared for the coming of the Messiah with all that this implies.

To those of us who greatly love the Hebrew people because their fathers were so long the sole custodians of spiritual truth, it was good to listen to the beautiful aria, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: shout, O daughter of Jerusalem," and it is true that many of these people have already begun to rejoice greatly because the Messiah has come to them in Christian Science, not only with a promise of healing, but with the healing itself, which is for all men and nations whose eyes are opened to behold the ever presence of God and His Christ,—infinite Mind, and Mind's glorious idea. On page 482 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says: "Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah,—the divine idea of God outside the flesh;" and when this ever present Christ is understood in Christian Science, we can readily assent to Paul's statement to the Colossians: "There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

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January 11, 1919

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