This seems to be an age when "the materialistic Thomas" is yet in evidence upon every plane of life. "To this dull and doubting disciple" Jesus still remains "a fleshly reality." "Nothing but a display of matter" can "make existence real to Thomas" (Science and Health, p. 317). There are abundant proofs, however, of a vast and steadily increasing spiritual current which is accomplishing innumerable rescues on every side.—from the perilous rocks and reefs and from the slimy abysses of mortal thought many a human bark has been brought by it into a safe and serene haven. The devil-fishes of materialism seem to be lurking for their prey almost everywhere in the waters of modern life, but the Christ is walking the wave, to cheer and to save.

Mythological beliefs in the reality of matter are still surviving deities in the thoughts of men. Jupiter yet thunders, Vulcan yet stirs his fires, and Charon is yet busily steering his well-laden boat into the dreaded darkness of the Styx; but the rainbows of faith and joy with their celestial promises are spanning the skies, and by those who will listen the tender and loving voice of the Christ is being heard more and more distinctly above the tumult. The reign of the old materialistic gods is drawing to its close. They have lingered long, and men have suffered in despairing anguish under their cruel domination, but while these sufferings have not yet passed, and may not pass altogether for years to come, the voice of the Christ is heard in our hearts, and the dawn of a brighter day, a nobler sense, is at hand.

In this fatted land of ours, materialism seems to be in its death-throes. Mortals have been madly reveling in materialistic triumphs and excesses. The wine has mounted to their heads, and their veins are still flushed with its intoxicating madness; but the revel is ending, and reflection must follow. Indeed the debauch is already over for the more thoughtful. They have found that the search for selfish enjoyments is sure to prove an adventure into a parching desert, where only the thorny cactus grows and where the hot winds shrivel and devour. Already they have discerned that in the realms of selfishness the fancied pleasures are insidious pains and their brightest palaces too often are but hopeless prisons. They have discerned that in the seductive realms of selfish and sensual enjoyment youth speedily totters into a disgraced decay.

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September 15, 1906

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