It is quite evident that changes for the better in the world are to be wrought by the betterment of individual character. The unit in society has been termed the family, and it is considered as important to prevent the disintegration of the family, as it would be to prevent the individual bricks in a building from crumbling. Hence the laws formulated for the protection of the family in all ages; and the fact that in history we have many records of waning power, and even extinction, for nations that disregarded the basic truths which these laws were intended to safeguard. Sometimes the guild or association has been looked upon as the unit, and for the welfare of one guild measures have been adopted which were disadvantageous to others. When the viewpoint is selfish, the Golden Rule will be reversed, whether by a trade guild, or by the larger and more composite union called a nation.

When all is said, we recognize that we have to deal with men and women, and children too, separately and individually, and that the progress of reform must be worked out by bringing them one by one into sympathy with the law of Life illustrated by Christ Jesus. Where was the right method of dealing with the individual better interpreted in action than by that interview which Jesus had with the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well? Leaving the sin in her life to be condemned by herself, and appealing to her capacity to understand spiritual things, he opened out to her the truth regarding God and man just as earnestly as do they who seek "the applause of list'ning senates to command," yet his audience was at that time one individual, and she a woman with none too good a reputation. By the saving of that one woman, however, he saved all who have since been blessed by the truth promulgated to her. Thus we see how betterment for man as a whole comes by betterment of a man as an individual, and the change does not need to be in his circumstances so much as in his character.

Not Governed by Chance
November 5, 1904

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