Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by G.R.S. Mead, , at sacred-texts.com
O Light of God, adorable! we worship Thee, that Thou may’st pour Thy light into our minds!
READER, if you have read so far, you may have journeyed with me or have been taken by some other way; but if you have come so far upon the road, then it seems--to me at least--as though we had journeyed together to some region of light. We have for some short hours been privileged to enjoy converse with those who loved and love the Master. With their words still ringing in our ears, with the life of their love still tingling in our veins, how can we venture to speak ill of them? "Come unto Me, ye weary!" In such a light of love, how shall we find the heart to condemn, because they went out unto Him with all their being? Reading their words and looking upon their lives, I, for my part, see the brand "Heresy," writ so large upon their horizon for many, disappearing into the dim distance, and instead behold the figure of the Master standing with hands of blessing outstretched above their heads. I do not know why this side of earliest Christianity has been allowed to be forgotten. Doubtless there was a purpose served by its withdrawal; but to-day, at the
beginning of the twentieth century, in the greater freedom and wider tolerance we now enjoy, may not the veil again be lifted? The old forms need not return--though surely some of them have enough of beauty! But the old power is there, waiting and watching, ready to clothe itself in new forms, forms more lovely still, if we will but turn to Him who wields the power, as He really is, and not as we limit Him by our sectarian creeds.
How long must it be before we learn that there are as many ways to worship God as there are men on earth? Yet each man still declares: My way is best; mine is the only way. Or if he does not say it, he thinks it. These things, it is true, transcend our reason; religion is the something in us greater than our reason, and being greater it gives greater satisfaction. To save ourselves we must lose ourselves; though not irrationally, if reason is transcended. If it be true that we have lived for many lives before, in ways how many must we not have worshipped God or failed to do so? How often have we condemned the way we praised before! Intolerant in one faith, equally intolerant in another, condemning our past selves
What, then, think ye of Christ? Must He not be a Master of religion, wise beyond our highest ideals of wisdom? Does He condemn His worshippers because their ways are diverse; does He condemn those who worship His Brethren, who also have taught the Way? As to the rest, what need of any too great precision? Who knows with the intellect enough to decide on all these high subjects
for his fellows? Let each follow the Light as he sees it--there is enough for all; so that at last we may see "all things turned into light--sweet, joyous light." These, then, are all my words, except to add, with an ancient Coptic scribe, "O Lord, have mercy on the soul of the sinner who wrote this!"