An Easter Disciple

Arthur Benton Sanford
An Easter Disciple - The
Chronicle of Quintus, the Roman

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Title: An Easter Disciple
Author: Arthur Benton Sanford
Release Date: June 21, 2004 [eBook #12671]
Language: English
Character set encoding: US-ASCII
E-text prepared by Al Haines

The Chronicle of Quintus, the Roman Knight


An Opening Word
I. A Roman Quest
II. In Solomon's Porch
III. Christ Himself the Witness to Immortality
IV. Cicero or Christ?
V. The Vision of the Risen Christ
VI. Christ's Witnesses at Rome

Many voices had been speaking of eternal life, before the days of the
Son of man. Especially pronounced had been the teachings of the
Egyptians that there is another world. In their Acadian hymns the
Chaldaeans had dimly foretold a future life. The belief of the Parsees,
as expressed in their Zend-Avesta, had included a place of darkness for
the evil soul and a reward for the good in the realm of light. The
Hindus had declared, in their Rig-Veda, their beautiful conception of
the immortality of the soul, and had written of a future "imperishable
world, where there is eternal light and glory." The Grecian and Roman
mythologies had voiced their hope of blessedness for the shades of the
departed. Everywhere serious men had been asking as to the
experiences beyond the grave. It was as if the Eastern world had
become a vast parliament chamber, wherein the nations were
proclaiming their different doctrines as to a future life.
In the midst of these varying and uncertain voices, Christ spoke his
authoritative message. There was no wavering in his tone. What the
Oriental philosophers were guessing, he revealed; what the Hebrew
prophets had foreshadowed in their holy writings, he unfolded in full
light. The ancient Vedic hymns, the oracles of Greece, the Egyptian
_Book of the Dead_, anticipating by two thousand years the Hebrew
exodus--all these are naught compared with the words of that inspired
Teacher who spoke in Palestine.
In addition, Christ was himself the vital evidence of the resurrection

which he taught. Against the assaults of doubt his unique teachings are
buttressed forevermore by his own return from the land of silence. In a
short week after his words to Martha at Bethany he had become,
through his own rare experience, the resurrection and the life. Not the
dead Buddha, nor the departed Zoroaster, nor the vanished Pythagoras
ever came back through the opened door of the sepulcher, wearing the
grave clothes of those who sleep. Human fancy had never dreamed of
such a rapturous denouement for faiths other than Christianity. The
resurrection of the Lord is the crowning narrative with which the
Gospels close. It is a risen Christ who repairs the wastage of human
decay and death. A voice above all those from Ind or Persia or the Nile
speaks henceforth in Judaea and the world concerning immortality. The
superlative Easter argument is the risen Christ himself.

"If one might only have a guide to the truth."--Seneca.
On Scopus, the high mountain north of Jerusalem, the Roman camp
was pitched, that last autumn in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. A
few years further on, if the warriors of the Emperor Tiberius could then
have foreseen the future, Titus was to quarter his famous legions on
that vantage point; and from its elevation he was to hurl himself as a
resistless battering ram against the Holy City. But, on this autumn day,
when these chronicles begin, no blare of trumpets was summoning the
Roman soldiery to arms; only the feet of the camp sentinels, as they
walked their appointed rounds, broke the quiet of the sunlit afternoon.
That lithesome, cultivated, serious-minded young knight, Quintus
Cornelius Benignus, is standing on the height which overlooks the
great metropolis. He is the son of Marcus Cornelius Magnus, that
Roman noble who is the intimate associate of the reigning Caesar, and
who has been a luxurious resident on the Palatine Hill since his
distinguished proconsulship in Africa.
* * * * *
NOTE.--It is not from any time-marked Hebrew roll that this story of
Quintus is now taken. He was of Roman blood, and his record is, rather,
to be found in the Latin literature of his time. Well it is when some new
leaf is discovered
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