THE SECOND COMING
who have suffered in this war, either from wounds of the body or wounds of the
soul, it has sometimes seemed that the Christ of the Christian world has turned
His back and gone away, perhaps to some other star where His teaching could be
understood and His law of love become a real influence in the lives and hearts
But the Christ who died to teach men how to live has not left the
world in this its hour of trial.
He is the same Christ of love and compassion; and whoever attempts
to put in His place a Christ of hate and pitilessness, blasphemes His sacred
name, and will one day pay the awful penalty of that blasphemy.
I have seen face to face the Christ who walked the world in Galilee.
Are you startled, you Christians who hope to see Christ when you die? Why
should I not see Him? Have I not served, in life and in death? Am I not serving
now, to the best of my individual power? Yes, I have seen the Christ.
Look for Him to come again “in the clouds of
heaven with power and great glory,” though He may not walk the earth again in
material form. What need is there for Him to walk the earth now in a mortal
body, when more and more men and women are opening their spiritual sight, so
that they can see Him while still held in their robes of flesh?
I have told you of the Beautiful Being on the battlefields, and now
I want to tell you of the Christ on the Battlefields.
He was never afraid of pain, that son of Light, who showed the way
of pain to the shrinking souls of men. The cross of Christ is a living thing,
and its power will be felt more and more as the tired world recovers itself
after its baptism of blood.
When the half-gods go the gods arrive. When Mars, the half-god, the
war-god, is sent back to his place, the god of love and pity can make Himself
seen in the hearts of men and women.
They are wise who hope for the Christian faith
a renaissance of life. It had grown old and indifferent. Thinking itself saved,
it had forgotten to save the world. Feeling itself secure, it let its security
be surprised by Mars, the war-god.
Many a soul in its last hour of agony has seen the Christ; many a
soul in France, in Belgium, in Poland, and on the war-rocked sea has recognized
the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Many a mother has seen in true vision her dying son held up by the
Christ. Catholic, Protestant, “free-thinker,” they all have called on the Son of
Mary to comfort their sons in the last dread moment and beyond.
From the shrieking hell in Belgium I yesterday saw a man, a common
soldier, go straight from death into the high place beyond even astral turmoil,
because in dying he called on the Christ of his mother’s faith to take him away
from strife to the heaven of peace above the world. Many have gone that way
since this trial by fire began, but more have remained below. Few have faith
enough for the great flight.
Whatever religion you work with, let it include
the Christ and the cross of Christ! What other comfort is there for the soul
that feels its pain and feels the awful sum of the world’s pain at this
time? Philosophy is good, I have called myself a philosopher; but love is the
highest reach of philosophy, and Christ is the highest reach of love.
They talk of a new religion, as if the love of Christ were an old
and worn-out love. The love of Christ is reborn whenever a soul in a flash of
illumination beholds that mystery in his heart.
Worship the Christ in your own heart, for He is there. Worship Him
in the heart of your friend, for He is there. Worship Him in the heart of your
enemy, for He is also there. Then slay if you can, when you know whom you
seek to slay.
A new spirit has entered the hearts of the soldiers. They fight on,
but they have been told in dreams that they fight their brethren.
Murderers on the high seas, pirates under the eagle, they too are
your brothers. “Forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Conquer them,
because you must; but do not forget that they are your brothers.
The Christ who hovers over the battlefields
carries no flag. He is the first of the neutrals, because he loves all, even the
pirates under the eagle and the murderers on the high seas. The Roman soldiers
on Golgotha were not execrated by Him.
When He took upon himself the limitations of the flesh, He
understood limitation by transcending it. We can never understand any limitation
until we transcend it.
Who should know better than He the agony of torn flesh and broken
bones and mangled nerves? Can the wounded soldiers teach Him anything? Can the
betrayed world give Him advice in settling with its Judas? “That thou doest, do
The betrayer of the world has hanged himself already in his excess
of zeal. When his effigy was burned in Rome, do not think that he did not feel
the fire. He felt it. The supreme War Lord has had one moment of sanity.
Yesterday I saw his demon go snarling along the battle line. He did not snarl
when I met him first, now many months ago.
If I could only make you understand that I
speak of facts, not fancies! I have seen what I describe, as clearly as you see
the table before you, or the pencil in your hand. When I say that I have talked
with demons, I mean that I have talked with demons. When I say that I have seen
the Christ, I mean that I have seen the Christ. I am not weaving romances, nor
have I come back from my journey among the stars to compete with the spinners of
tales. I write to reveal what otherwise would be unrevealed, to show to the
world the causes lest the world go wrong with the effects. I want to help even
the race that all other races, including its ally the Turk, now execrate.
Only the charity of Christ is wide enough to cover this
world-betrayal. And I tell you the betrayers were egged on, inspired and
themselves betrayed by the personal forces of evil, in their supreme
effort to put back the clock of civilization.
But the Christ cast out devils and raised the dead. Can He not cast
out these devils behind the purpose of war? Can He not raise the dead to the
region of peace in the end? Can He not raise you to the level of His