Christian Scientists are not engaged in building up a material sense of existence, nor in governing their affairs according to material standards, but rather are they concerned in learning the spiritual meaning of all that pertains to their well-being. In this spiritualization of thought is naturally involved the outgrowing or abandoning of their former material views, and the transfer of their affections from the things of material sense to the things of Spirit. Much of what had formerly been considered as of prime importance, and worthy of human ambition and attainment, is giving place to a clearer apprehension of the spiritual realities of existence, and of what constitutes the true substance of happiness and enrichment. Neither earthly experience nor the teachings of Christ Jesus warrant the belief that the acquisition of worldly wealth is essential to prosperity, or that it ministers, in any true sense, to human need. Christian Scientists do not ignore or despise the utility of money as a medium of exchange, or as representing the quid pro quo of mental or manual labor, but they are awakening, however slowly, to the fact that the substance of all that mortals hope for is in spiritual and not material consciousness; therefore to become spiritually wealthy, to lay up "treasures in heaven." should be their chief care.

The "love of money" is defined in Scripture as the "root" from which springs all evil, a view which human experience corroborates and which should warn mankind against its mesmeric spell. The inordinate desire for gain becomes mere idolatry when one forgets that "the earth is the Lord's" and that good can be derived from God only. In the belief of mortals money is endowed with almost supreme power; but it is admitted that it can work evil as well as good, that it often works ruin and havoc upon one while enriching another; it cannot, therefore, proceed from the divine nature or government. In their passion for its possession many have been willing to barter the fairest things in their keeping,—their purity, justice, honesty, self-respect, brotherly love. If one lives for mere money-getting, the heartless hoarding of unearned millions through the deprivation of many will stand only for poverty, so far as those things are concerned which are worthiest in the sight of God, and whose accumulation brings their possessor nearer and nearer to the divine image.

December 22, 1906

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