In the opening paragraphs of the chapter in Science and Health on "Christian Science Practice," Mrs. Eddy presents a plea for that spirit of brotherly kindness and compassion which St. Paul commended to the Ephesians when he said, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." It is a plea for Love's healing and uplifting hand-clasp with poor stumbling humanity. It is a call to gentle-heartedness, to the radiation of the comforting warmth of a scientific and sensible sympathy. More than this, it is a rebuke to that coldness and self-exclusiveness of caste consciousness which sunders all heart connections and thus brings about the most serious disability to the transmission of the healing impulses of Truth and Love. It is a protest against that predisposition to criticize and to condemn which has marred the Christian profession of all the centuries. It authorizes recognition of the fact that human conditions are to be eliminated not by the immediate and coercive imposition of the utmost demands of the ideal, but by a progressive elevation of thought, until that higher plane of consciousness is reached on which freedom is gained from the impulses and habits which beget disharmony and disease.

Here, as in unnumbered other places in the works of our Leader, we are reminded that the right apprehension of Christian Science in no way stifles human affections, but in all ways purifies and exalts them. It thus renders them more gladdening and helpful, because they are more worthy and more wisely directed. If we would heal and uplift men, we must maintain our fellowship with them in the bonds of that love which is symbolized by the "good shepherd," one who never drove, but always led. Christ Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up . . . will draw all men." Love is compelling in its requirements, but not compulsory in its methods. Those who are not willing to be led must necessarily be driven by the pain of sin's penalty; but Truth's sovereignty is expressed in the irresistible winsomeness of the ideal, the gentle wooings of love.

As disciples of Christ Jesus we go out into the world to meet and to lead into the light those whose habits and false beliefs may indeed be under the condemnation of Truth, and in the earnestness of our spirit of loyalty to Truth we are tempted to undertake to express, and thus in thought to administer, the judgements of Truth. We may be tempted to undertake to settle and determine for others not a few questions respecting which it were better far that they be "taught of God," in the progressive unfoldment of the truth in their own understanding. Instead of leading those who may be astray and suffering, into the paths of peace, we venture, like one of old, to lay a presumptuous hand upon the ark,—upon awakening consciousness,—thus essaying to do that which belongs to the prerogative of Truth, that which divine wisdom alone can accomplish. In such event our daring can but eventuate in discouraging defeat. Better far to show unfailing love and compassion toward those who seem to be in error, while pointing them to the Word of God and to our text-book, in the faithful study and following of which each will duly find his way.

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June 13, 1908

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