Signs of the Times

[From the Times, Los Angeles, California]

Christ [Jesus] came to earth to teach men how to live the more abundant life and to teach them to find satisfaction in the work and pleasure and opportunity of the present, Dr. Willsie Martin, pastor of the Wilshire Methodist Church, told his congregation in his sermon on "Joyous Living." He said that through the centuries too great emphasis has been placed on suffering as the means for attaining the goal of true spiritual perfection and happiness. In the teaching of Christ [Jesus], he declared, there was no indication that man is expected to inflict suffering on himself to purify his soul. "Rather," he declared, "he teaches us to live to-day to find heaven here and now." When this is fully appreciated and the true teachings of Christ [Jesus] understood, a mighty spiritual revival will follow, Dr. Martin asserted; for, he said, it will reveal to man the loveliness and glory of the spiritual. "Let us pause and take stock of the mission of Christ [Jesus]," said Dr. Martin. "He said he came to help us to live—to live the more abundant life. We all are seeking for the life that satisfies. Some do not know just what sort of life that is. They are just blindly, instinctively groping. That is why there is so much pathos in the picture of human society—men going up blind alleys for happiness, only to find disappointment. Jesus said man's life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses. If we study intimately and sympathetically the life of Christ [Jesus] we come to feel that the chief quality of his life was a wonderful kind of joy that gave to him charm, loveliness, and power. His life emphasizes that we are to live to-day to find heaven here and now; to find satisfaction in work and pleasure and the opportunity of the present hour."

[From an article by G. Beesley Austin, in the United Churchman, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada]

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October 6, 1928

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