Sunday, May 16, 2010

the perpetual question...

"Reminiscences of Dr. Channing" by Elizabeth Peabody from "The Unitarian Review and Religious Magazine," 1877:

"Whether the individual consciousness of Jesus dated back of his human birth into God, as other men's did not, was, as he once said to me (when I endeavored to draw him into conversation upon the Arian and Humanitarian controversy), not so interesting a question with him as what was the community of Jesus' nature with the men of his own day and of our day. He found this in the moral sentiment and life; in whose more spiritual light the intellectual abstractions of trinity, atonement, unconditional election, reprobation, etc., constituting the written creeds of the churches, — seemed to him transient figments of the brain. That oneness of Jesus and the Father, which he affirmed to Philip, Dr. Charming interpreted as a spiritual union, such as he had enjoined on his disciples with each other, and with himself; and for which he prayed at the Last Supper. The practical question with him was, how to expand the narrowness, warm the coldness, cast out the selfishness of human hearts, and realize in life the unity of spiritual brotherhood amidst all the antagonisms of human intercourse, as Jesus had done; and as he had more than intimated that all men could do, and in process of their life would do. How was this assimilation to Jesus to be effected, was his perpetual question."

Have a blessed Sabbath

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