When I first undertook the study of Christian Science the most attractive feature of its teachings, as it seemed to me, was that it crowned "the power of Mind as the Messiah" (Science and Health, p. 116), and taught that according to the channels in which our thoughts flow, so do we map out our lives; that we are not the helpless victims of every evil wind that blows,—springing from nobody knows what and bound nobody knows where,—nor are we cast rudderless upon the seething sea of existence to float with the tide and finally to be engulfed in the maelstrom, but that being rests upon a divine Principle whose laws are perfectly demonstrable; and that Principle is Mind, and that everything that is, is the thought, or reflection, or expression of Mind, and is and of necessity must be as perfect as the Mind from which it emanates.

My early concept of God, gathered from the religious teaching I had received, was of a being of perfect purity and goodness, who sat serene in the heavens, who had all power and was infinitely good, and could give every good and perfect gift to His children—yet, in His "inscrutable wisdom" (so the phrase ran), chose to pour out direful want, hideous diseases, bitter sorrows and disappointments, injustice, violence, and death upon a suffering world that owed Him allegiance, and whose duty it was to say, "Thy will be done." What thinking man or woman can work among the poor, go down into the slums (where my activities led me for many years), get a practical knowledge of "How the Other Half Lives"—and pray that prayer with such a sense of its meaning, from an honest heart? I could not—and so I ceased to pray at all. I protested and rebelled! And what is all the organized charity, so called, in the world to-day but a protest against such a monstrous and illogical concept of God! With its lips society says, "Thy will be done," but in its heart of hearts it rebels and organizes to circumvent that will—as so understood.

January 23, 1909

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