Anatomically considered, the design of the material senses is to warn mortals of the approach of danger by the pain they feel and occasion; but as this sense disappears it foresees the impending doom and foretells the pain. Man’s refuge is in spirituality, “under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The cross is the central emblem of human history. Without it there is neither temptation nor glory. When Jesus turned and said, “Who hath touched me?” he must have felt the influence of the woman’s thought; for it is written that he felt that “virtue had gone out of him.” His pure consciousness was discriminating, and rendered this infallible verdict; but he neither held her error by affinity nor by infirmity, for it was detected and dismissed.
This gospel of suffering brought life and bliss. This is earth’s Bethel in stone,—its pillow, supporting the ladder which reaches heaven.
Suffering was the confirmation of Paul’s faith. Through “a thorn in the flesh” he learned that spiritual grace was sufficient for him.
Peter rejoiced that he was found worthy to suffer for Christ; because to suffer with him is to reign with him.
Sorrow is the harbinger of joy. Mortal throes of anguish forward the birth of immortal being; but divine Science wipes away all tears.
The only conscious existence in the flesh is error of some sort,—sin, pain, death,—a false sense of life and happiness. Mortals, if at ease in so-called existence, are in their native element of error, and must become dis-eased, dis-quieted, before error is annihilated.
Jesus walked with bleeding feet the thorny earth-road, treading “the winepress alone.” His persecutors said mockingly, “Save thyself, and come down from the cross.” This was the very thing he was doing, coming down from the cross, saving himself after the manner that he had taught, by the law of Spirit’s supremacy; and this was done through what is humanly called agony.
Even the ice-bound hypocrite melts in fervent heat, before he apprehends Christ as “the way.” The Master’s sublime triumph over all mortal mentality was immortality’s goal. He was too wise not to be willing to test the full compass of human woe, being “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Thus the absolute unreality of sin, sickness, and death was revealed,—a revelation that beams on mortal sense as the midnight sun shines over the Polar Sea.
If there is no reality in evil, why did the Messiah come to the world, and from what evils was it his purpose to save humankind? How, indeed, is he a Saviour, if the evils from which he saves are nonentities?
Jesus came to earth; but the Christ (that is, the divine idea of the divine Principle which made heaven and earth) was never absent from the earth and heaven; hence the phraseology of Jesus, who spoke of the Christ as one who came down from heaven, yet as “the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John iii. 13.) By this we understand Christ to be the divine idea brought to the flesh in the son of Mary.