All other revelations of God in humanity compared with (the resurrection of Christ Jesus) are as starlight which precedes the dawn. Not the vision of apostles alone, not the word of eye-witnesses on the great morning and during the “forty days;” but the consensus of Christendom for eighteen hundred years is cumulative evidence for the reappearings of Jesus (after the resurrection). The highest experiences and profoundest introversions of the purest and healthiest minds along this whole track of the centuries bring them into correspondency with the risen and glorified Saviour; not by open vision, but by signs and tokens quite as trustworthy.
When men have been turned from darkness to light, from the slavery of lust and sin to the joyous service of the living God; when the Divine Voice has come down upon the stormy seas of passion in the soul commanding audience, “still as night or summer’s noon-tide air;” when all its higher powers have been waked into life; faith, sympathy, disinterested love, tenderness towards God and towards everything that breathes; when the peace has come at last where storms and conflicts are no more; it has all been with the profoundest consciousness of a risen Saviour near at hand, with his assurance, “All power is given me both in heaven and upon the earth.” If the intuitions of the soul are to be appealed to, what are its shadowy gropings compared with these sun-bright beholdings of so many of the best and healthiest minds through a period of eighteen hundred years?
– Edmund Sears, “The Reappearings of Jesus,”
The Fourth Gospel; The Heart of Christ, 1872.
Sears, an American Unitarian parish minister,
wrote the words for the Christmas carol
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28: 16-20