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THE UPLIFTED IDEAL

From the September 1904 issue of The Christian Science Journal


JESUS left behind him to bless mankind an ideal, not an organization. While he prophesied that eventually there should be one fold and one Shepherd, he did not refer to enclosing walls within which the sheep were to be herded, for the word translated "fold" finds a better rendering if translated "flock." The meaning, then, becomes plain, that the followers of Christ are to come into agreement through obedience to the one Shepherd, so that in them shall operate the same Mind that is in him. This ultimate of one flock requires in each individual such changes of thought, or uplift of desire and affection as will make "all that now divides us pass away and disappear;" and the process is described by Jesus when he said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

Can we be satisfied with the usual materialistic interpretation of this saying, that the raising of the body of Jesus from the earth is all that is implied when hatred of the idea which he lived to present caused his persecutors to fasten that body to the cross? If that were all, why should he have taught his followers that there was a sign of discipleship to be made evident in them before all men: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another"? If the uplifting of his body only was meant, why should he give the "new commandment" bidding them to love one another, and emphasizing it with the carefully descriptive words, as I have loved you, that ye love one another? Surely the inference is plain that the uplifting in human thought of the idea which he presented was to draw the hearts of men.

Not by a monument reared nor by a great city founded, not by a kingdom of this world nor by a church of this world, could the idea be presented; so Jesus followed none of the ways of human greatness, but that way of meekness which gave rest of soul: and thus he left in the hearts of men a living seed, which, though buried for centuries beneath superstitious reverence and pious misunderstanding, is now in Christian Science sending forth "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." The appearing of the blade is attested by the signs which to-day follow them that believe; and the promise of the harvest is suggested by the forming of character to-day such as the direct and personal discipline of Jesus produced in his disciples; but what the harvest will be when the truth enriches all from the least to the greatest, who can imagine? This we know, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is:" we shall be uplifted into unity with God, and comprehend man as the idea of God forever dwelling in the bosom of the Father.

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