Signs of the Times

[Pat McCormick, in the St. Martin's Review, London, England]

Christ [Jesus] took a child and put it on his knee before those young men full of ambitions and desire for attainment, and said: There, you cannot begin to know what I am talking about till you become like this child, until you can say "Father" to God and mean it; until you can surrender your will to His and seek to do His will and not your own. They must have been astonished too. It sounds impossible, doesn't it? Yes, I think it is, but only till we have tried it; but why? Because religion with so many of us is just an adjunct, an extra, a thing perhaps for Sundays; or we are not whole-hearted; we get on quite well without it; we don't want to burn our boats; we play with it, and in consequence it . . . has no effect upon our lives. Would it surprise you if I said that in this we are not scientific? Yet I go to a scientist to illustrate this truth. Listen to what the great Huxley, the friend of Darwin in the last century, said. "Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner, the great truth which is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the will of God. Sit down before the fact as a little child, be prepared to give up any preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I resolved at all costs to do this." This is not a parson, but a scientist speaking; yet no parson could put it better. If, as he says, the search for truth demands complete surrender of preconceptions, or formulated ideas, of human standards, it is not surprising that Christ [Jesus] should say the same of the search for God. And we Christians have got to learn it. This was the secret of our Lord's own life. As Professor Water-house said, . . . "Jesus looked at everything from one point of view; he was a man of one great idea; that was God—Jesus looked at everything as he knew God would look at it." This is the scientific point of view for the followers of Jesus. To sit down before life and conduct as a little child and ask, . . . What does God want me to do?

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March 18, 1933
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