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The Changing Viewpoint
In Paul's beautiful discourse on charity, or "love" as it is better rendered, he says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child; . . . but when I became a man, I put away childish things." In this he declares for the law of progress, in the light of which every stage of unfoldment has a value. A man is not to be condemned because, when he was a child, he thought and acted as a child, and yet there are some who make this mistake and who condemn others that are striving to take the advanced steps demanded by scientific progression, because these steps have not already been taken.
It is sometimes gratuitously assumed, when a change is made by some requirement relating to all the adherents of our Cause, that since a new order of things is introduced the former must have been wrong; but we are sure to learn, sooner or later, that this is a mistaken sense. In our advance as Christian Scientists we have been eager to avail ourselves of everything which seemed to offer help in our work, and in some instances these helps had much to commend them, but it was found later, that continued dependence upon them was not advantageous. It was Lincoln who said, "The foolish and the dead, alone, never change their opinions." Whenever we find it necessary to give up anything, or to change our methods for the sake of progress, it should be done with the knowledge that divine Principle never takes away any good thing unless it be to replace it with a better.
Surely there are many "stepping-stones . . . to higher things." These serve their day, and though we must needs leave them far behind, we can never condemn the things which have helped us onward. We thus think with tender tolerance of the plans, the pleasures, and the pains of our childhood days, for we remember that these experiences furnished a "nutriment of wisdom" in after years; nevertheless, when these lessons are learned we have no further need of their repetition. If our supreme desire is to advance the Cause of Truth and thus serve humanity, we shall certainly be divinely guided to what is nearest right in all the changing conditions of human experience. If one cannot at once demonstrate perfectly scientific conditions, especially where the interests and opinions of others are involved, he can always choose the least of two evils, and avoid all caviling over the seeming difficulties of the situation. The most truly scientific method is that which best meets the need of the hour, and it should be adopted with the assurance that Divine wisdom will reveal higher means when progress shall have prepared the way for them.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
Thanksgiving Service of The Mother Church
William B. Johnson
Thanksgiving Day Service at Concord, N. H.
with contributions from M. B. Eddy
GRACE DIETRICH GROESBECK.
The Ninety-first Psalm
E. HOWARD GILKEY.
Distinguishing Features of the Christian Science Church
EVELYN SYLVESTER KNOWLES.
FRANCES ELIZABETH WILLEY.
A Sermon in Stone
EUGENIE PAUL JEFFERSON.
Who Believes the Scriptures?
There is no emotion in a Christian Science treatment,...
A. V. Stewart
with contributions from A. F. Walch, J. Guy Haugh
Charity and Invalids.
Mary Baker Eddy
Appreciation of a By-law
Dora S. Innis, Mary Baker Eddy
Grateful Thanks to the Field
George H. Kinter
Letters to our Leader
with contributions from Olive Knight, Ellen E. Cross, Mary E. Pearson, Lida W. Fitzpatrick
I came to the study of Christian Science with a great...
Isabel Scott Hamilton with contributions from H. B. La Rue
To the many testimonies given in the Sentinel I should...
I wish to tell of the benefits I have received from...
We have had so much help in our family through Christian Science...
About a year and a half ago, Christian Science found...
John C. Douglas
To enumerate in a short article, the many blessings I...
C. B. Summers
I have just been reading a number of the Sentinel, which...
Eleanor S. Smith
It is now a little over two years since I came into some...
Blanche G. Munger
The thought has often come to me when I read Science...
A man must not choose his neighbor; he must take the...
with contributions from Stephen A. Chase