Let no one be deceived—if the devil would tempt the Saviour Himself, will he not tempt you? Satan’s service is alluring—it begins in pleasure and ends in sorrow—“the dead are there!” Christ’s service begins in duty and ends in delight—“Blessed is the man who endureth temptation.” The devil’s path is like a forest road at eventide; it grows darker and darker until all is lost in the blackness of the night. Christ’s path leads from darkness into light.
“He is risen!” What inspiration in these words! Nature proclaims a life beyond the grave, but Christ proves it by His resurrection. Nature gives circumstantial evidence that would seem conclusive; but Christ is the living witness whose testimony establishes beyond controversy that the mortal can put on immortality. He comforts those who mourn; He dispels the gloom by making death but a narrow, star-lit strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunion of to-morrow. Christ not only gives us assurance of immortality but He adds the promise of His return. As He ascended in like manner will He come again.
“And, lo, he goeth before you into Galilee.” Yes, He is still going on before—still leading, and His leadership will continue until time shall be no more.
The growth of Christianity from its beginning on the banks of the Jordan, until to-day, when its converts are baptized in every part of the world, is so graphically described by Dr. Charles Edward Jefferson, in his book entitled “Things Fundamental,” that I take the liberty of giving the following extracts:
“Christ in history! There is a fact—face it. According to the New Testament, Jesus walked along the shores of a little sea known as the Sea of Galilee. And there He called Peter and Andrew and James and John and several others to be His followers, and they left all and followed Him. After they had followed Him they revered Him, and later on adored and worshipped Him. He left them on their faces, each man saying, ‘My Lord and my God!’ All that is in the New Testament.
“But put the New Testament away. Time passes; history widens; an unseen Presence walks up and down the shores of a larger sea, the sea called the Mediterranean—and this unseen Presence calls men to follow Him ...—another twelve—and these all followed Him and cast themselves at His feet, saying, in the words of the earlier twelve, ‘My Lord and my God!’
“Time passes; history advances; humanity lives its life around the circle of a larger sea—the Atlantic Ocean. An unseen Presence walks up and down the shores calling men to follow Him .... —another twelve—and these leave all and follow Him. We find them on their faces, each one saying, ‘My Lord and my God!’
“Time passes; history is widening; humanity is building its civilization around a still wider sea—we call it the Pacific Ocean. An unknown Presence moves up and down the shores