Important Note (September, 2012) - I have submitted an essay to a competition on the foundations of physical reality. It explains how matter and fields are just two different ways that space vibrates. It is very simple and obvious once understood, has profound consequences for humanity, our sense of self in the universe knowing that we vibrate with everything around us. Please read it, rate it, and I will reply to all comments. Thanks, Geoff haselhurst (11th Sept. 2012)

Site Introduction (2012): Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) there is an obvious solution.
Simply unite Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) with Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) and describe reality from only one substance existing, as Leibniz wrote;
'Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another'.
Given we all experience many minds and many material things, but always in one common Space, we are thus required to describe physical reality in terms of Space. We then find there is only one solution, a Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) where the electron is a spherical standing wave. See Wave Diagrams.
In hindsight the error was obvious, to try and describe an interconnected reality with discrete 'particles', which then required forces / fields to connect them in space and time. This was always just a mathematical solution which never explained how matter was connected across the universe.

I realise that there are a lot of 'crackpot' theories about truth and reality on the internet, but it is easy to show that the Wave Structure of Matter is the correct solution as it deduces the laws of Nature (the fundamentals of Physics & Philosophy) perfectly (there are no opinions). While the Wave Structure of Matter is obvious once known, to begin it will seem strange simply because it takes time for our minds to adjust to new knowledge.

For those who are religious / spiritual, I think Albert Einstein expresses the enlightened view of God. He writes 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.' This harmony arises from a Wave Structure of Matter in Space (we are all interconnected in this space that we all commonly experience). This unity of reality (God, Brahman, Tao, Spirit, Energy, Light, Vibration) is central to all major world religions, thus their common moral foundation of 'Do unto others as to thyself' as the other is part of the self.

Please help our world (human society / life on earth) by sharing this knowledge.
Clearly our world is in great trouble due to human overpopulation and the resultant destruction of Nature, climate change and the pollution of air, land and water. The best solution to these problems is to found our societies on truth and reality rather than past myths and customs (which invariably cause harm).
We are listed as one of the Top Philosophy Websites on the Internet with around 600,000 page views each week, and rank in the top 20 in Google for many academic search terms - so we just need a bit of help to get in the top five. Given the Censorship in Physics / Philosophy of Science Journals (founded on the standard model / particle physics) the internet is clearly the best way to get new knowledge visible to the world.
A world now in great need of wisdom from truth and reality.
Sincerely,
Geoff Haselhurst - Karene Howie - Full Introduction - Email - Nice Letters - Share this Knowledge

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (George Orwell)
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mohandas Gandhi)
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke)
Hell is Truth Seen Too Late. (Thomas Hobbes)

Christianity / Jesus Christ
History & Beliefs of Christian Religion. Life & Death of Jesus Christ

The Kingdom (of Heaven) is inside you and it is outside you
Split a piece of wood, and I am there
Lift up the stone and there you will find me
(The Gospel of Thomas)

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
(Luke 14:11)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)


Introduction to Christianity

By number of adherents, Christianity is the major world religion of today.

Christianity 2 billion
Roman Catholicism: 1.1 billion
Protestantism: 360 million
Eastern Orthodoxy: 220 million
Anglican: 84 million
Other Christians: 280 million
(Source of statistics: adherents.com, updated 2005)

Christianity / Jesus Christ: RembrantChristianity is a religion based on the life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. Although Christians are monotheistic, the one God is thought, by most Christians, to exist in three divine persons, called the Trinity. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and the Messiah of the Jews as prophesied in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible). According to other traditions, however, Jesus is thought to be a human Messiah that instructs his followers to worship God alone. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity)

I am not a Christian, but find the history and stories of Christianity (particularly the life of Jesus Christ) very colorful and interesting. The following information on Christian religion is from the Catholic Encyclopedia, which I have edited. Although it is supposedly an 'encyclopedic' entry, the writing is subjective and prejudiced in parts. Nevertheless, it is still a good source of quotes from the Old and New Testaments and outlines the history and beliefs of Christianity and Jesus Christ. Religion has been a strong influence upon art over many centuries. I have included a few of my favorite religious paintings from the Renaissance as well.

Sincerely,
Karene Howie


Etymology of Christ / Jesus

Jesus Christ by  CorregioThe word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messias, means "anointed." According to the Old Law, priests (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 4:3), kings (I Kings 10:1; 24:7), and prophets (Isaias 61:1) were supposed to be anointed for their respective offices; now, the Christ, or the Messias, combined this threefold dignity in His Person.

The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning "Jehovah is salvation." The Greek name is connected with verb iasthai, to heal; it is therefore, not surprising that some of the Greek Fathers allied the word Jesus with same root (Eusebius, "Dem. Ev.", IV; cf. Acts 9:34; 10:38).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm

Rembrandt - AscensionOrigin of Christianity

Christianity is the name given to that definite system of religious belief and practice which was taught by Jesus Christ in the country of Palestine, during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius, and was promulgated, after its Founder's death, for the acceptance of the whole world, by certain chosen men among His followers. According to the accepted chronology, these began their mission on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 29, which day is regarded, accordingly, as the birthday of the Christian Church.

In order the better to appreciate the meaning of this event, we must first consider the religious influences and tendencies previously at work in the minds of men, both Jews and Gentiles, which prepared the way for the spread of Christianity amongst them.

The whole history of the Jews as detailed in the Old Testament is seen, when read in the light of other events, to be a clear though gradual preparation for the preaching of Christianity. In that nation alone, the great truths of the existence and unity of God, His providential ruling of His creatures and their responsibility towards Him, were preserved unimpaired amidst general corruption.

The ancient world was given to Pantheism and creature-worship; Israel only, not because of its "monotheistic instinct" (Renan), but because of the periodic interposition of God through His prophets, resisted in the main the general tendency to idolatry. Besides maintaining those pure conceptions of Deity, the prophets from time to time, and with ever increasing distinctness until we come to the direct and personal testimony of the Baptist, foreshadowed a fuller and more universal revelation — a time when, and a Man through Whom, God should bless all the nations of the earth. We need not here trace the Messianic predictions in detail; their clearness and cogency are such that St. Augustine does not hesitate to say (Retract., I, xiii, 3):

What we now call the Christian religion existed amongst the ancients, and was from the beginning of the human race, until Christ Himself came in the flesh; from which time the already existing true religion began to be styled Christian. (St Augustine).

We may trace in the world at large, apart from the Jewish people, a similar though less direct preparation. Whether due ultimately to the Old Testament predictions or to the fragments of the original revelation handed down amongst the Gentile, a certain vague expectation of the coming of a great conqueror seems to have existed in the East and to a certain extent in the Roman worlds, in the midst of which the new religion had its birth. But a much more marked predisposition to Christianity may be noticed in certain prominent features of the Roman religion after the downfall of the republic. The old gods of Latium had long ceased to reign.

In their stead Greek philosophy occupied the minds of the cultured, whilst the populace were attracted by a variety of strange cults imported from Egypt and the East. Whatever their corruption, these new religions, concentrating worship on a single prominent deity, were monotheistic in effect. Moreover, many of them were characterized by rites of expiation and sacrifice, which familiarized men's minds with the idea of a mediatorial religion. They combined to destroy the notion of a nation cultus, and to separate the service of the Deity from the service of the State. Finally, as a contributory cause to the diffusion of Christianity, we must not fail to mention the widespread Pax Romana, resulting from the union of the civilized races under one strong central government.

Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio - The Baptism of Jesus ChristChristianity is developed from Judaism in the sense that it embodies the Divine revelation contained in the latter creed, somewhat as a finished painting embodies the original rough sketch. The same hand was employed in the production of both religions, and by type and promise and prophecy the Old Dispensation points clearly to the New. But type, and promise, and prophecy as clearly indicate that the New will be something very different from the Old. A fuller revelation, a more perfect morality, a wider distribution was to mark the Kingdom of the Messias.

"The end [or object] of the Law is Christ", says St. Paul (Rom., x, 4), meaning that the Law was given to the Jews to excite their faith in the Christ to come. "Wherefore", he says again (Gal., iii, 24), "the law was our pedagogue unto Christ", leading the Jews to Christianity as the slave brought his charges to the school door. Christ reproached the Jews for not reading their Scriptures aright. "For if you believed Moses, you would perhaps believe me also; for he wrote of me" (John, v, 46). And St. Augustine sums the whole matter up in the striking words:

"In the Old Testament, the New lies hidden; in the New, the Old is made manifest" (St. Augustine, De catechiz. rud., iv, 8).

The Christianity, then, which the Apostles preached on the day of Pentecost was entirely distinct from Judaism, especially as understood by the Jews of the time; it was a new religion, new in its Founder, new in much of its creed, new in its attitude towards both God and man, new in the spirit of its moral code.

"The Law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John, i, 17).

St. Paul, as was to be expected, is our clearest witness on this point. "If any man be in Christ", he says, "he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are new" (II Cor., v, 17). How new Christianity was, the Jews themselves showed by putting its Author to death and persecuting His adherents. We may notice that the Church very early found it necessary to emphasize her distinctness from Judaism by abandoning the essentially Jewish rites of circumcision, Temple-worship, and observance of the Sabbath.

Judaism is not the only religious system that has been requisitioned by rationalistic writers to account for the appearance of Christianity. Points of similarity between the teaching of Christ and His Apostles and the great religions of the East have been taken to indicated a derivation of the latter system from the earlier, and the elaborate eschatology of the Egyptian religion has been quoted to account for certain Christian dogmas about the future life. It were a long and not very profitable task to state and refute these various theories in detail. Underlying all of them is the rationalistic postulate which denies the fact and even the possibility of Divine intervention in the evolution of religion.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03712a.htm


Main Beliefs of Christianity

Christianity / Jesus Christ: VelazquezThe central belief of Christianity is that by faith in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, individuals are saved from death - both spiritual and physical - by redemption from their sins (i.e. faults, misdeeds, disobedience, rebellion against God). Through God's grace, by faith and repentance, men and women are reconciled to God through forgiveness and by sanctification or theosis to return to their place with God in Heaven.

The emphasis on God giving his son, or the Son (who is God) coming down to earth for the sake of humanity, is an essential difference between Christianity and most other religions, where the emphasis is instead placed solely on humans working for salvation.

The most uniform and broadly accepted tradition of doctrine, with the longest continuous representation, repeatedly reaffirmed by official Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant definitions (although not without dissent) asserts that specific beliefs are essential to Christianity, including but not limited to:

God is a Trinity, the single eternal being existing in three persons: Father, Son (Divine Logos, incarnated as Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit.

Jesus is both fully God and fully human, two "natures" in one person.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, bore in her womb and gave birth to the Son of God (who is, himself, likewise God), who although eternally existent was formed in her womb by the Spirit of God. From her humanity he received in his person a human intellect and will, and all else that a child would naturally receive from its mother.

Christian Religion / Jesus Christ: RembrantJesus is the Messiah hoped for by the Jews, the heir to the throne of David. He reigns at the right hand of the Father with all authority and power forevermore. He is the hope of all mankind, their advocate and judge. Until he returns at the end of the world, the Church has the authority and obligation to preach the Gospel and to gather new disciples.

Jesus was innocent of any sin. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers are forgiven of sins and reconciled to God.

Jesus will return personally, and bodily, to judge all mankind and receive the faithful to himself, so they will live forever in the intimate presence of God.

Some Christians, particularly in the West, refer to the Bible as the "Word of God." Other Christians, particularly in the East, believe that Jesus alone is the Word of God, and see Scripture as an authoritative book, inspired by God but written by men. As a result of these differing views, many Christians disagree to varying degrees about how accurate the Bible is and how it should be interpreted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity


The Teaching of Christ

Jesus Christ by BelliniTaking Christ's own dogmatic and moral teaching, we may divide it into (a) what He did not reveal but only reaffirmed, (b) what He drew from obscurity, and (c) what He added to the sum total of belief and practice.

(a) Christ reaffirmed, purified, and confirmed the Jewish theology, both moral and dogmatic. He asserted the spiritual nature of the Godhead (John, i, 18; iv, 24), and insisted on the importance of worshipping Him in spirit, i.e. with more than merely external rites. And he exacted the same right dispositions of heart in the whole of God's service, showing how both guilt and merit depend on the will and intention (Matt., v, 28; xv, 18).

He recalled the original unity and indissolubility of the marriage-tie. He brought into prominence the immortality, and hence the transcendent importance, of the human soul (Matt., xvi, 26), as against the heresy of the Sadducees and the worldliness of the Jews in general. In all these points He fulfilled the Law by showing its real and full significance.

(b) Taking the great central precept of the Old Dispensation — the love of God — He pointed out all its implications and made clear that the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, so imperfectly grasped under the law of fear, was the immediate source of the doctrine of the brotherhood of men. He never tired of dwelling on the loving kindness and the tender providence of His Father, and He insisted equally on the duty of loving all men, summing up the whole of His ethical teaching in the observance of the law of love (Matt., v, 43; xxii, 40).

This universal charity He designed to be the mark of His true followers (John, xiii, 45), and in it, therefore, we must see the genuine Christian spirit, so distinct from everything that had hitherto been seen on earth that the precept which inspired it He called "new" (John, xiii, 34).

Christ's clear and definite teaching, moreover, about the life to come, the final judgment resulting in an eternity of happiness or misery, the strict responsibility which attaches to the smallest human actions, is in great contrast to the current Jewish eschatology. By substituting eternal sanctions for earthly rewards and punishments, He raised and ennobled the motives for the practice of virtue, and set before human ambition an object wholly worthy of the adopted sons of God, the extension of their Father's Kingdom in their own souls and in the souls of others.

Christianity: Michelangelo 'The Creation of Man'(c) Among the doctrines added by Christ to the Jewish faith, the chief, of course, are those concerning Himself, including the central dogma of the whole Christian system, the Incarnation of God the Son. In regard to Himself, Christ made two claims, though not with equal insistence.

He asserted that He was the Messias of Jews, the expected of the nations, Whose mission it was to undo the effects of the Fall and to reconcile man with God; and He claimed to be Himself God, equal to, and one with, the Father. In support of this double claim, He pointed to the fulfillment of the prophecies, and He worked many miracles.
Most modern rationalists (Harnack, Wellhausen, and others) acknowledge that Christ from the beginning of His preaching knew Himself as the Messias, and accepted the various titles which belong in the Scripture to that personage — Son of David, Son of Man (Dan., vii, 13), the Christ (see John, xiv, 24; Matt., xvi, 16; Mark, xiv, 61, 62). In one passage (a very significant one), He applies the name to Himself;

"But this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John, xvii, 3).

Christ took up the burden of the preaching of His precursor and proclaimed the advent of the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, a conception already familiar in the Old Testament [Ps. cxliv (A. V., cxlv), 11-13], but furnished with a wider and more varied content in the words of Christ.

It may be taken to mean, according to the context, the Messianic Kingdom in its true spiritual sense, i.e. the Church of God which Christ came to found, wherein to store up and perpetuate the benefits of the Incarnation (cf. The parables of the wheat and the tares, the dragnet, and the wedding feast), or the reign of God in the heart that submits to His sovereignty (Luke, xxvi, 21), or the abode of the blessed (Matt., v, 20 etc.).

It was the main topic of His preaching, which was occupied in showing what dispositions of mind and heart and will, were necessary for entrance into "the Kingdom", what, in other words, was the Christian ideal. Regarded as the Church, He preached the Kingdom to the multitude in parables only, reserving fuller explanations to private intercourse with His Apostles (Acts, i, 3).

The Last Supper by Leonardo da VinciThe last great dogma which we learn from the life, preaching, and death of Christ is the doctrine of Redemption. "For the Son of Man also came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many" (Mark, x, 45).
The sacrificial character of His death is clearly stated at the Last Supper;

"This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins" (Matt., xxvi, 28).

And He ordained the perpetuation of that Sacrifice by His Disciples in the words;

"Do this in commemoration of me" (Luke, xxii, 19).

On the moral teachings of Christ. Duty was the principal motive in the Old Dispensation; in the New this was sublimated into love. Men were taught to serve not on account of the penal ties attached to non-service, but on principles of generosity. "What things are pleasing to Him, these do I always" (John, viii, 29), and by action even more than by word Christ taught the lesson of voluntary self-sacrifice. Never till His time were the Evangelical counsels — voluntary poverty, perpetual chastity, and entire obedience — preached or practised.

From no previous moral code, however, exalted, could the Beatitudes have been evolved. Meekness and humility were unknown as virtues to the heathen, and despised by the Jew. Christ made them the ground-work of the whole moral edifice. To realize what new thing Christ's ethical teaching brought into the world and put within the grasp of everyone, we have only to think of the great host of the Christian saints. For they are the true disciples of the Cross, those who imbibed and expressed His spirit best, who had the courage to test the truth of that Divine paradox which forms the substance of Christ's moral message;

" He that shall wish to save his soul shall lose it, but he that shall lose his soul on my account shall find it" (Matt., xvi, 25; cf. Mark, viii, 35; Luke, ix, 24; xvii, 33; John, xii, 25).

That was the course He Himself adopted — the way of the Cross — and His disciples were not above their Master. Self-conquest as a preliminary to conquering the world of God — that was the lesson taught by Christ's life, and still more by His passion and death.

The Teaching of the Apostles

Jesus' apostles were the main witnesses of his life, teaching and resurrection from the dead. They are believed by most Christians to have written some of the New Testament's Gospels and Epistles.

Christianity / Jesus Christ: BelliniDoes the Christianity presented to us in the rest of the writings of the New Testament differ from that described in the Gospels? And if so, is the difference one of kind or one of degree? Christianity was never meant to be fully set forth in the Gospels, where it is presented mainly in action.

"I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now", said Christ in His last discourse. "But when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will teach you all truth . . . and the things that are to come he shall show you" (John, xvi, 12, 13).

We may presume that Christ Himself told them these many things when "He showed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God" (Acts, i, 3), and that they were rendered permanent in the minds of the Apostles by the indwelling of the Spirit of Truth after Pentecost.

Accordingly, we must expect to find in their teaching a more formal, more theoretic, and more dogmatic exposition of Christianity than in the drama of Christ's life. But what we have no right to expect, and what rationalists always do expect, is to find the whole of Christianity in its written records. Christ nowhere prescribed writing as a means of promulgating His gospel. It was comparatively late in the Apostolic Age, and apparently in obedience to no preconceived plan, that the sacred books began to appear.

The main heads of the Apostolic preaching, as far as we can gather from the records, vary with the character of the audiences they addressed. To the Jews they dwelt upon the marvelous fulfillment of the prophesies in Christ, showing that, in spite of the manner of His life and death, He was actually the Messias, and that their redemption from sin had really been accomplished by His sacrifice on the Cross. This was the burden of St. Peter's discourses (Acts, ii and iii) and those of St. Stephen and all who addressed the Jews in their synagogues (cf. Acts, xxvi, 22-23).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03712a.htm


The Character of Jesus Christ

Christianity / Jesus Christ: CorregioThe surpassing eminence of the character of Jesus has been acknowledged by men of the most varied type:

Kant testifies to His ideal perfection;
Hegel sees in Him the union of the human and the Divine;
Spinoza speaks of Him as the truest symbol of heavenly wisdom;
the beauty and grandeur of His life overawe Voltaire;
Napoleon I, at St. Helena, felt convinced that "Between him [Jesus] and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison" (Montholon, "Récit de la Captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon").
Rousseau testifies: "If the life and death of Socrates are those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus are those of a god."
Strauss acknowledges: "He is the highest object we can possibly imagine with respect to religion, the being without whose presence in the mind perfect piety is impossible".
To Renan "The Christ of the Gospels is the most beautiful incarnation of God in the most beautiful of forms. His beauty is eternal; his reign will never end."
John Stuart Mill spoke of Jesus as "a man charged with a special, express, and unique commission from God to lead mankind to truth and virtue".

These views by show the impression made on the most different classes of men by the history of Christ.

Jesus in Relation to Men

In His relation to men Jesus manifested certain qualities which were perceived by all, being subject to the light of reason; but other qualities were reserved for those who viewed Him in the light of faith. Both deserve a brief study.

(1) In the Light of Reason

It is true that at first sight the conduct of Jesus is so many-sided that His character seems to elude all description. Command and sympathy, power and charm, authority and affection, cheerfulness and gravity, are the some of the qualities that make the analysis impossible. No wonder then the various investigators have arrived at entirely different conclusion at the study of Jesus. Some call Him a fanatic, others make Him a socialist, others again an anarchist, while many call Him a dreamer, a mystic, an Essene.

(a) Strength

Considering the life of Jesus in the light of reason, His strength, His poise, and His grace are His most characteristic qualities. His strength shows itself in His manner of life, His decision, His authority. In His rugged, nomadic, homeless life there is no room for weakness or sentimentality. Indecision is rejected by Jesus on several occasions;

"No man can serve two masters"; "He that is not with me, is against me"; Seek first the kingdom of God"

These are some of the statements expressing Christ's attitude to indecision of will. Of Himself He said: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me"; "I seek not my own will, but the will of him that sent me." The authority of the Master does not allow its power to be questioned; He calls to men in their boats, in their tax-booths, on their homes, "Follow me", and they look up into His face and obey.

St. Mathew testifies, "The multitude ...glorified God that gave such power to men"; St. Mark adds, "the kingdom of God comes to power"; St. Luke says, "Thou hast given him power over all flesh"; the Book of the Acts reads, "God anointed him...with power"; St. Paul too is impressed with "the power of our Lord Jesus". In His teaching Jesus does not argue, or prove, or threaten, like the Phrarisees, but He speaks like one having authority. Nowhere is Jesus merely a long-faced ascetic or a joyous comrade, we find Him everywhere to be leader of men.

(b) Poise

Christianity / Jesus Christ: RembrandtIt may be said that the strength of Christ's character gives rise to another quality which we may call poise. Reason is like the sails of the boat, the will is its rudder, and the feelings are the waves thrown upon either side of the ship as it passes through the waters. The will-power of Jesus is strong enough to keep a perfect equilibrium between His feelings and His reason; His body is the perfect instrument in the performance of His duty; His emotions are wholly subservient to the Will of His Father; it is the call of complying with His higher duties that prevents His austerity from becoming excessive. There is therefore a perfect balance or equilibrium in Jesus between the life of His body, of His mind, and of His emotions.

This poise in the character of Jesus produces a simplicity which pervades every one of His actions. The life of Jesus flow quietly onward in accordance with the call of duty, in spite of pleasure or pain, honour or ignominy. Another trait in Jesus which may be considered as flowing from the poise of His character is His unalterable peace, a peace which may be ruffled but cannot be destroyed either by His inward feelings or outward encounters.

(c) Grace

Even saints are at times bad neighbours; we may like them, but sometimes we like them only at a distance. The character of Christ carries with it the trait of grace, doing away with all harshness and want of amiability. Grace is the unconstrained expression of the self-forgetting and kindly mind. It is a beautiful way of doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, therefore opens all hearts to its possessor.

Sympathy is the widst channel through which grace flows, and the abundance of the stream testifies to the reserve of grace. Now Jesus sympathizes with all classes, with the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the happy and the sad; He moves with the same sense of familiarity among all classes of society.

For the self-righteous Pharisees He has only the words, "Woe to you, hypocrites"; he disciples, "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Jesus treats the publicans as His friends; He encourages the most tentative beginnings of moral growth. He chooses common fishermen for the corner stones of His kingdom, and by His kindliness trains them to become the light of the world and the salt of the earth; He bends down to St. Peter whose character was a heap of sand rather than a solid "foundation, but He graciously forms Peter into the rock upon which to build his Church. After two of the Apostles had fallen, Jesus was gracious to both, though He saved only one, while the other destroyed himself.

Women in need are not excluded from the general graciousness of Jesus; He receives the homage of the sinful woman, He consoles the sorrowing sisters Martha and Mary, He cures the mother-in -law of St. Peter and restores the health of numerous other women of Galilee, He has words of sympathy for the women of Jerusalem who bewailed His sufferings, He was subject to His mother till He reached man's estate, and when dying on the Cross commanded her to the care of His beloved disciple.

(2) In the Light of Faith

In the light of faith the life of Jesus is an uninterrupted series of acts of love for man. It was love that impelled the Son of God to take on human nature, though He did so with the full consent of His Father;

"For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son" (John, iii, 16).

Christianity, Jeus on the Cross: Peter Paul RubensFor thirty years Jesus shows His love by a life of poverty, labour, and hardship in the fulfillment of the duties of a common trademan. When His public ministry began, He simply spent Himself for the good of His neighbour, "doing good, and healing" (Acts, x, 38).
He shows a boundless compassion for all the infirmities of the body; He uses His miraculous power to heal the sick, to free the possessed, to resuscitate the dead.
The moral weaknesses of man move His heart still more effectively; the woman at Jacob's well, Mathew the publican, Mary Magdalen the public sinner, Zacheus the unjust administrator, are only a few instances of sinners who received encouragement from the lips of Jesus.
He is ready with forgiveness for all; the parable of the Prodigal Son illustrates His love for the sinner. His bitterest enemies are not excluded from the manifestations of His love; even while He is being crucified He prays for their pardon.

" Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you" (Matt., xi, 28)

"Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John, xv, 13)

Fulfilling the unconscious prophecy of the godless high-priest, "It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people" (John, xi, 50), He freely meets His sufferings which He could have easily avoided (Matt., xxvi, 53), undergoes the greatest insults and ignominies, passes through the most severe bodily pains, and sheds His blood for men "unto remission of sins" (Matt., xxvi, 28). But the love of Jesus embraced not only the spiritual welfare of men, it extended also to their temporal happiness: "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt., vi, 33).

B. Jesus in Relation to God

Prescinding from the theological discussions which are usually treated in the theses "De Verbo Incarnato", we may consider the relations of Jesus to God under the headings of His sanctity and His Divinity.

(1) Sanctity of Jesus

From a negative point of view, the sanctity of Jesus consists in His unspotted sinlessness. He can defy His enemies by asking, "Which of you shall convince me of sin?" (John, viii, 46). His enemies charge Him with being a Samaritan, and having a devil (John, viii, 48), with being a sinner (John, ix, 24), a blasphemer (Matt., xxvi, 65), a violator of the Sabbath (John, ix, 16), a malefactor (John, xviii, 30), a disturber of the peace (Luke, xxiii, 5), a seducer (Matt., xxvii, 63).

But Pilate finds and declares Jesus innocent, and, when pressed by the enemies of Jesus to condemn Him, he washes his hands and exclaims before the assembled people, "I am innocent of the blood of this just man" (Matt., xxvii, 24). The Jewish authorities practically admit that they cannot prove any wrong against Jesus; they only insist, "We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God" (John, xix, 7). The final charge urged against Christ by His bitterest enemies was His claim to be the Son of God.

The positive side of the sanctity of Jesus is well attested by His constant zeal in the service of God. At the age of twelve He asks His mother, "Did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?". He urges on His hearers the true adoration in spirit and in truth (John, iv, 23) required by His Father. Repeatedly He declares His entire dependence on His Father (John, v, 20, 30; etc.); He always thanks His Father for His bounties (Matt., xi, 25; etc.), and in brief behaves throughout as only a most loving son can behave towards his beloved father. During His Passion one of His most intense sorrows is His feeling of abandonment by His Father (Mark, xv, 34), and at the point of death He joyfully surrenders His Soul into the hands of His Father (Luke, xxiii, 46).

(2) Divinity of Jesus

Christianity: Michelangelo (The Creation of Man)Did Jesus teach that He is God? He certainly claimed to be the Messias (John, iv, 26), to fulfill the Messianic descriptions of the Old Testament (Matt., xi, 3-5; Luke, vii, 22-23; iv, 18-21), to be denoted by the current Messianic names, "king of israel" (Luke, xix, 38; etc), "Son of David" (Matt., ix, 27; etc)

Moreover, Jesus claims to be greater than Abraham (John, viii, 53, 56), than Moses (Matt., xix, 8-9), than Solomon and Jonas (Matt., xii, 41-42); He habitually claims to be sent by God (John, v, 36, 37, 43; etc), calls God His Father (Luke, ii, 49; etc), and He willingly accepts the titles "Master" and "Lord" (John, xiii, 13, 14). He forgives sin in answer to the observation that God alone can forgive sin (Mark, ii, 7, 10; Luke, v, 21, 24; etc).

He acts as the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt., xii, 8; etc), and tells St. Peter that as "Son" He is free from the duty of paying temple-tribute (Matt., xvii, 24, 25). From the beginning of His ministry he allows Nathanael to call Him "Son of God" (John, i, 49); the Apostles (Matt., xiv, 33) and Martha (John, xi, 27) give Him the same title. Twice He approves of Peter who calls Him "the Christ, the Son of God" (John, vi, 70), "Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt., xvi, 16). Four distinct times does He proclaim Himself the Son of God; to the man born blind (John, x, 30, 36); before the two assemblies of the Jewish Sanhedrin on the night before His death (Matt., xxvi, 63-64; Mark, xiv, 61-62; Luke, xxii, 70).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08382a.htm


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