After identifying ourselves with the Cause of Christian Science, one of the many things that we have to learn is the significance of the question of giving, and that it is largely a question of education. Prior to taking the larger view of giving which is gained in Christian Science, many who were working along the old lines of thought were generous in a financial way to their charities and in support of their church; still the rank and file were actuated by the idea that in the perfunctory giving of a nominal sum they were fulfilling their duty in this respect, though the amount given in the majority of cases would not be sufficient to take away the means with which to indulge in some unnecessary so-called distraction or enjoyment.

The love of money, the desire for money, and the desires that are behind the desire for money, have been largely the cause of the suffering which mankind has experienced from time immemorial. This love of money St. Paul refers to as "the root of all evil." It would, if it could, break every commandment of the Decalogue, and mesmerizes humanity into the belief that the mere acquiring and holding of it is the chief aim and object of existence. It has assumed a value that would hide from mortals the real treasure which can be found only by seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. To advance and to perceive the kingdom of God our eyes must be opened to the fact that money is not real treasure.

The significance of true giving is much more than the subscription of a given amount of money; it is the thought of love of which this action is merely the expression. We know that in our human relationships we are willing to make sacrifices for the loved ones, sacrifices of affection and treasure. It was the action of unselfed love that called forth the commendation of Jesus on the occasion related in Mark's Gospel; when he sat in the temple, "over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing." The beauty and significance of this act of love, this entire reliance upon God as her source of supply, so impressed our Master that he called his disciples and said to them, "This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." It would be easy to see what called forth these remarks. We can see the different people as they passed by and cast in their donations, and discern the thought of which it was the expression. No doubt there were the ostentatious, who gave "that they may have glory of men;" the self-righteous, who felt how much more they were giving than their neighbors; the perfunctory givers, who gave a certain or uncertain amount because it was the custom to do so and something was expected of them, who complied with this custom only as regards the letter and not from a love of giving, who did not feel it necessary to give sufficient to deprive themselves of any indulgence. We find that each receives the reward in proportion to the thought that actuated the act. To quote St. Paul, "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly."

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September 15, 1906

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