IS there a man of whom you never think because you do not see him with your eyes or hear him with your ears? If there be such a man, is he physical and mortal, subject to change and decay like all material nature, whether organic or inorganic; or is he akin to Mind, and therefore spiritual and immortal? If man were nothing but breathing dust, despair and wisdom would be synonyms, all moral codes and ideals would be foolish and baseless fantasies, all moral government a myth and a tyranny. But if we predicate man's immortal being as self-conscious intelligence, the offspring of eternal Mind, then despair becomes a shadow which has fled, and joy, faith, and hope unveil their steadfast constellations.
The real man is not merely a highly developed animal, but a being of unlike origin and destiny. He can no longer be looked upon askance as the foolish fable of dreaming sages, for a higher sense of his nature and powers is dawning like a broadening sunrise in human consciousness. No longer may mankind doubt God's power and goodness, or rebel against the supreme rule as tyrannous, capricious, or malign; no longer can incredulous sense substitute chance and discord for the infinite harmony. This century, as did the first, has furnished proofs that the God who made man is wisdom, and He is also Love. More than this, the present age has been blessed with a fuller revelation of God, and of man's infinite possibilities as His likeness, than has any preceding period. Christian Science has opened up the Scriptures so that the light of Truth makes luminous the words and works of Christ Jesus, and shows that what he did and taught others to do, is the true ideal for all men. It answers with no uncertainty the psalmist's query, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" It accepts without any reservation his related statement, "Thou hast... crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands."
At times, man's apparent insignificance may pain and bewilder one. To finite sense he may seem like a tiny insect trying to crawl to the summit of a pyramid, or like the feeble flare of a candle in the presence of the majestic light of the sun. Reflection, however, ought speedily to assure us that what Milton terms "bulk without spirit, vast," can afford no standard of measurement for man's true stature, for though his capacities and powers are obscured by material belief, even human intelligence gives evidence of the possession of a factor which no microscope can detect, and to which what we call nature becomes a vassal, and opens up all her secrets. At its behest the ocean receives the thought-conveying cables to its mysterious deeps, the mountains yield their long-hoarded treasures, the elements assume new forms and appearances when summoned to retorts and crucibles, while the heavens furnish their forceful winds and the flaming lightnings serve as instant messengers. Shakespeare's Puck might justly contemplate the numberless follies of humankind and exclaim, "What fools these mortals be!" yet if he were a real being rather than the mere product of the poet's imagination, lie would be compelled to confess that his aerial flights were transcendently surpassed by human wit and will. The material universe can show nothing which is comparable to man as we know him, even though "it doth not yet appear" what man really is.
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