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The Science of Universal Relationships


HERE are ten great religions in the world, and of these the three greatest are said to

be the religion of Buddha, the religion of Mohammed and the religion of Jesus. With the exception of Christianity, every great religion in the world is a national religion; or to express it more accurately, a religion which exists within certain well defined geographical limits; Christianity is the only universal religion which has leaped all geographical limitations and national boundaries. There is only one world-religion. Christianity is the only religion with a world-program in practical operation.

In this chapter we purpose addressing ourselves to the question : "In what respect is Christianity different from every other religion ?” This question, if propounded to the average orthodox Christian, or to "the man on the street," would be answered in the phraseology of Nicodemus: “We know that Thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do the miracles which Thou doest, except God be with him.” In other words the main argument for the divine character of Christianity, in the popular mind, rests on the supernatural character of the author of Christianity, as confirmed by the miracles which He wrought and the mighty deeds which He performed.

But a miracle is not the strongest argument, or ground for an argument, which Christianity has to present. Miracles were not peculiar to the life of Jesus. Miracles were wrought by the prophets who came before Jesus and also by the apostles who lived after Jesus had ascended. Furthermore, there is no miracle in the New Testament for which you cannot find a counterpart in the Old Testament. Jesus fed the multitude, but Israel was fed with manna for forty years. Jesus cleansed the leper, but Naaman, the Syrian general, was cleansed through the instructions of the prophet. Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, but Elisha multiplied the oil. Jesus raised the dead, but Elijah raised the widow's son ; Jesus was transfigured, but so also was Moses; Jesus was translated, but Elijah was swept by a whirlwind into heaven. Miracles were not peculiar to the life of Jesus nor confined in Holy Writ to that particular department of Scriptural literature known as the New Testament.

While it is true that to Nicodemus belongs the credit for having presented the first philosophical statement concerning the supernatural origin of Christianity, yet it is a rather remarkable fact that the argument of Nicodemus did not appear to please or satisfy the Great Teacher to whom it was originally addressed. Nicodemus had framed his words in order to confer a compliment, but Jesus returned the compliment with an expression of surprise that “a

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