About one hundred and fifty years after Christ, Ptolemy, the Egyptian astronomer, promulgated ideas concerning the universe which had been held in a measure by Plato and Aristotle. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy was held by the human race until the close of the fifteenth century. According thereto the earth was the center of the universe, the heavenly bodies revolving round it at a uniform rate and in regular circles, thus making the greater tributary to the lesser. In 1530 A.D. Copernicus, a German astronomer, corrected the old-time error, and mapped out the heavens scientifically. He taught that the sun was the center of the solar system, and perfectly at rest; that the earth and the planets moved in ellipses round the sun. His theory had been vaguely held by Pythagoras, but it required the courage of Copernicus to formulate the correct view of the universe. Kepler, Galileo, and Newton corroborated the Copernican view, and it is the theory accepted to-day concerning our solar system. Copernicus re-established the connection of the planetary system with the sun, like lost children restored to their father, and thereafter our earth has been held—in human belief—fast to the solar control by chains of resistless power, even while swinging in space ninety million miles distant from the sun. The stellar universe, according to the Copernican system, is in perfect sympathy and rhythmic harmony with the "central stillness." The lesser is, therefore, now truly tributary to the greater. The laws of weight, gravitation, and solar attraction and influence are thus preserved, according to human belief, making life and action possible, not only upon our planet, but upon other heavenly bodies as well.

Galileo suffered at the hands of the Inquisition for upholding the idea of the movement of our earth in space. His famous whisper, "E pur si muove," has become historic. Jesus suffered martyrdom for declaring that the world moves Godward, and Mrs. Eddy has encountered human prejudice because she holds to this view. Like all truly great leaders of thought, Mrs. Eddy has corrected old-time error while following the footsteps of Christ Jesus, of whom she says, "The material senses' reversal of the Science of Soul was practically exposed nineteen hundred years ago by the demonstrations of Jesus" (Science and Health, p. 122). Something of the beauty and bravery of Mrs. Eddy's thought becomes apparent as she pleads for our acceptance of the theories Jesus brought into life,—our absolute dependence upon an attraction to the Father-Mother God; that we shine on as the quenchless reflection of all-controlling Principle, perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect; subject in truth only to divine law and government. "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy" (Science and Health, p. 476). Recognizing "a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration" (Ibid., p. 259), we are thus enabled to reverse in thought the error so long seeming to control ourselves and others, and so to help the race Godward.

June 29, 1907

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