"The Unity of the Faith"

The second Annual Meeting of The General Association of Teachers is another milestone passed in the forward march of Christian Science, and the spirit which characterized it, no less than the number of those in attendance, gave proof of the good already accomplished by this agency. If one who attended these meetings were asked why he had come so far in order to do so, his reply would perchance be, in substance, that he might gain a higher sense of the service of Truth, of the best means for promoting the welfare of our Cause. Another might say that his prime object was to gain such an understanding of unity in thought and uniformity in method as will most quickly and effectively bring this healing truth within the reach of all mankind.

From the history of many of the past religious movements of the world we can see how they were hindered by the narrow or selfish views of many of their adherents,—views which were not intentionally wrong, surely, but which, none the less, wrought irreparable injury to the cause they represented. Even at this comparatively early stage in the history of the Christian Science movement, it is admitted by all fair-minded people who are acquainted with it, that our Leader's understanding of divine Principle and her steady insistence that all merely personal opinions must bow to its supremely wise and loving demands,—that these have already accomplished wonders in establishing a large measure of unity and solidarity in our ranks. We should forget, however, that, even when we have reached altitudes far above the plane where Truth first appeared to us, our prayer must still be that of the Master: "Not my will, but thine be done."

From the gospel narratives we learn how difficult it was for even the great Teacher to impress upon his followers the need of self-abnegation. Their material beliefs and personal opinions were adhered to with all the obstinacy which characterizes mortal mind, but under the unerring guidance of Christ, Truth, self was at length lost in divine Love, mortality "swallowed up in life." In one of Paul's epistles he tells of a dispute with Peter, occasioned by a difference of opinion, when he "withstood him to his face." Later, we find Peter eulogizing Paul's wisdom and referring to him as "our beloved brother Paul." The same blessed unity of purpose and action will be realized by all Christian Scientists when, like St. Paul, they can say, "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." This unity has been the dream of saints and sages throughout all Christian history, but its attainment has been the despair of the sects, so far as outward results are concerned. It remains, therefore, for Christian Scientists to prove to the world the possibility of its realization, since Divine Science reveals it to be an eternal fact, established in Mind before the morning stars sang together. Jesus prayed, "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us."

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November 5, 1904

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