The old religion crumbled and fell, beaten in thought, in morals, in life, in death. And by and by the only name for it was paganism, the religion of the back-country village, of the out-of-the-way places. Christ had conquered. “Dic tropoeum passionis, dic triumphalem Crucem”, sang Prudentius—“Sing the trophy of the Passion; sing the all-triumphant Cross.” The ancients thought that God repeated the whole history of the universe over and over again, like a cinema show. Some of them thought the kingdoms rise and fall by pure chance. No, said Prudentius, God planned; God developed the history of mankind; he made Rome for his own purposes, for Christ.
What is the explanation of it? We who live in a rational universe, where real results come from real causes, must ask what is the power that has carried the Christian Church to victory over that great old religion. And there is another question: is this story going to be repeated? What is there about Shiva, Kali, or Shri Krishna that essentially differentiates them from the gods of Greece and Rome and Egypt? Tradition, legend, philosophy—point by point, we find the same thing; and we find the same Christian Church, with the same ideals, facing the same conflict. What will be the result? The result will be the same. We have seen in China, in the last two decades, how the Christian Church is true to its traditions; how men can die for Jesus Christ. In the Greek Church—a suffering Church—on the round sacramental wafer there is a cross, and in the four corners there are the eight letters, IE, XE, NI, KA, “Jesus Christ conquers.” That is the story of the Christian Church in the Roman Empire. That is the story which, please God, we shall see again in India. “Jesus Christ conquers.”