We understand that any such thing as Gospel truth requires the human fact of Jesus without whom we dissolve everything else into the myth of an ancient sacramental Mystery cult. Jesus is the one indissoluble fact that makes for an abiding faith. Yet that same fact accepted – in faith – does not count for history apart from our belief in it, does not provide proof. It is simply the faith of the Christian mind.
In Rod of Jesse I have assumed the canons of history as we generally understand history today. In this perspective we must see Jesus without his halo and refusing to perform for us and our generation a Sign, as once before he refused when asked to do so. I have assumed a man who cannot be distinguished from other men unless by some quality of genius or high intellect and spirit that is evident – as for instance we do seem to see in an Einstein, a Michaelangelo, a Tolstoy, or in the portraits of Washington.
The significance of Christ is in our deep and inward identification with him, whether this is to be achieved by partaking of the Sacrament – a primitive method – or simply by taking the Gospel to heart. So understood and so taken, Christ presents the very Idea of the Kingdom of God. And this ideal may be called a vision of Truth: the ‘Kingdom’ is this way because the ‘world’ is this way. Nevertheless, from this same sacred vision we cannot precipitate facts just as we cannot cause the stars to fall upon us like ripe figs or falling stones. Faith is anchored in its vision: as it were, the contemplation of an Ideal Realm which is out of reach, and in inwardness, self-consciousness and in the Self.