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Christ Comes To Texas
by [?]

“But I thought your second coming would be in power and glory, and all the righteous would rise up into the atmosphere to meet you and show you a soft spot to ‘light. Dr. Seasholes says so, and if he doesn’t know, who does?”

“I attended the discussion by the Dallas Pastors’ Association,” he said wearily. “They permitted me to sweep out the room and stand down in the hall. It may appear incredible; but there are just a few things that the Dallas Pastors’ Association doesn’t know. Of course you couldn’t make those gentlemen believe it; but it is a lamentable fact. The world is young; it must run its course. Our Heavenly Father did not create it as the Chinese make crackers–just to hear it pop. Not until its power to produce and nourish life is exhausted will the end be. Your poet, Campbell, was a true prophet. The sun itself must die, and not until that mighty source of light and heat becomes a flickering lamp, will those fateful words be spoken. ‘Time was, but time shall be no more.’ I am not come as yet to judge the world, but to mingle once again with the sons of men, and observe how they keep my laws.”

An expression of unutterable sadness stole into his face and he sat a long time silent.

“I have suffered and sacrificed much for this people,” he said at length, as though speaking to himself, “and it has borne so little fruit. The world misunderstood me. The church planted by toil and nurtured with my blood has split up into hundreds of warring factions, despite my warning that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Nor has it stood–the Temple of Zion is a ruin, the habitation of sanctified owls and theological bats. The army of Israel is striving in its camp, tribe against tribe, or wandering desolate in the desert while the legions of Lucifer overrun the land. Here and there, among the simple poor, I find traces of the truths I taught–here and there a heart that is a holy temple in which abide Faith, Hope and Charity; but the shepherds do not keep my sheep.”

He leaned his head upon his hands and wept, while the editor shifted uneasily in his chair and strove in vain to think of something appropriate to say. During his reportorial career he had interviewed Satan and the arch-angel Gabriel. He had even inserted the journalistic pump into Gov. Culberson and Dr. Cranfill without being overwhelmed by their transcendent greatness; but this was different. The city hall clock chimed ten, the hour when the saloons set out the mock-turtle soup and potato salad, the bull-beef and sour beans as lagniappe to the heavy-laden schooner. The editor remembered that Christ first came eating and drinking, sat with publicans and sinners and was denounced therefore as a wine-bibber and a glutton by the Prohibitionists and other Miss Nancys of Palestine. Still he hesitated. He wanted to do the elegant, but was afraid of making a bad impression. A glance at the dry and moldy crust determined him. He tapped the visitor on the shoulder and said:

“Let’s go and get some grub.”

“I wouldn’t worry about the world if I were you,” I continued, as he led the way to the elevator. “It is really not worth while. If the devil wants it, I’d let him have it. I can think of no greater punishment you could inflict upon him than to make him a present of it. It were equivalent to England giving Canada to the United States for meddling in the Venezuelan matter. Perhaps you know your business best, but I have lived the longest. I used to think that perhaps the world would pay the salvage for saving it; but that was before I moved to Waco. I tell you frankly that if I had your job in the New Jerusalem I’d nurse it and let Bob Ingersoll, Doc Talmage and the rest of the noisy blatherskites scrap it out here to suit themselves.”