Signs of the Times

[From an article by Bernard Iddings Bell, in the Atlantic Monthly, Boston, Massachusetts]

Man is a child, searching for something of truth; brave and beautiful, it may be, and to be respected, but tragic and pathetic too. His life is a search for reality, for a love which cannot be satisfied by earthly things, or even by human affection. There is a meaning to things somewhere. There is Some One who can love and whom to know and to love is life. There is a Being behind and within and beyond the little that we see and feel. He alone can satisfy a man's hungry heart. He it is who is Truth. He is the center of all spiritual reality. To find Him enough. To have all else and to miss Him is to find all else but dust and ashes. The search for Him is what life is for. To know God, who passes knowledge, that is to find one's self. . . . That God is all, and that man has as his chief end to know Him and to enjoy Him forever, is not superstition. It is religion. No baser coin can take its place in the high commerce of men. . . .

Through the ages God has revealed with ever increasing clearness that only those who love their fellow human beings can approach the glowing heart of God. "For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" The prophet of old said that one must do justly and love mercy before he can walk humbly with his God; and that to do these three things is the whole duty of man. And Jesus Christ says that we shall love God with all our heart and soul and strength and mind, with all our power of loving, and that this will involve loving our neighbor as ourselves. You must love God and be loved of Him to have life mean anything, says the church, and the experience of the ages gives agreement; and, in order to be acceptable with and by God, you must love men and women and little children. That was ever the message of Jesus, who by his incarnation has made God comprehensible and lovable.

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July 3, 1926

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