It is always a mistake to conclude that your neighbor...

Methodist Times

It is always a mistake to conclude that your neighbor is a fool because he differs from you. If there is a type of mind which is turning towards Christian Science, it is the type of mind which is seeking truth as truth—that is to say, regardless of personal or preconceived views or prejudices. There never was a man who seemingly was a more earnest seeker after truth than Lucian: and yet when Lucian was brought face to face with the phenomenon of Christianity, he turned away, and apparently refused to examine it because all his prejudices were offended by it. What type of mind was it, he seems to have reflected, that, rejecting the philosophies of Plato, of Aristotle, or of Epicurus, could be led captive by the rhapsodies of a mystical Syrian carpenter? As a matter of fact, however, the Christian Science movement is being recruited from all sorts and conditions of men on every continent. If you met them socially, I am afraid the only characteristics by which you could recognize them would be their unfailing calmness and cheerfulness: if you met them officially, you would find them cultivated and intelligent, doing their duties in the world to the satisfaction of all connected with them. Finally, it is quite true, and nothing to be ashamed of, that Christian Science "makes no embarrassing appeal to the intellect," and indeed "the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."

The Christian churches have numbered amidst their members many men of immense erudition, but if intellect had been the dominant force in the world, paganism would have had little to fear from Christianity. The earliest founders of Christianity were a handful of despised Galilean fishermen. The ignorance of the primitive Church was the gravamen of the great attack of Celsus. But a fisherman raised Dorcas from the dead, and a fisherman and a tentmaker between them wrote the greater part of the New Testament. The fact is that the pagan world had outgrown paganism. The disreputable gods of Rome and Greece had fallen into disrepute. The Christian missionaries preached as they journeyed a mystery more satisfying than the mysteries of Eleusis, "the mystery of godliness;" a sacrifice more ennobling than the doves of Diana, the "living sacrifice" of their bodies; they pictured an arena where men fought not with beasts or as gladiators, but with sin, and a stadium where they raced not for the wild olive of Olympus or the withered parsley of the Isthmus, but "for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." But they preached all this, "not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

September 12, 1908
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