From the time of Moses until now, humanity has ever been seeking to avoid the evil consequences of sin and to escape calamity. The book of Leviticus is full of minute details concerning the precautions necessary to prevent disease by the cleansing and purification of both person and dwelling whenever contagious maladies overtook the people. Jesus so far recognized this order of things as to command the ten lepers whom he healed to show themselves to the priests, in compliance with the law of Moses; yet it is significant that to the one who returned to give thanks, a Samaritan, he said, "Go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." It may have seemed to the Jews that Jesus sometimes disregarded the Levitical law, but there is no evidence that he was ever careless or indifferent concerning the welfare of those about him. His obedience to law and his observation of certain ceremonies were marked. His mission was to offer to all the surest way to escape from harm, namely, by putting entire dependence upon God.

Despite the many adherents of Christian Science, most of whom testify to having been healed through divine help from some kind of disease, and often after all medical help had failed, honest doubt concerning the advisability of placing their entire dependence upon spiritual healing keeps many others from accepting its teachings. This makes it apparent that the one prevailing thought today is the avoidance of danger. Consciously or unconsciously a large proportion of our time is spent in the endeavor to prevent calamities, and it is of course entirely right to protect ourselves from unnecessary hazard. Carelessness and neglect are never warrantable, and Christian Science teaches this most emphatically, but the great question at issue is, What constitutes true safety, the highest good?

The ascetic who perched himself upon a column and remained there many years, in order to insure purity and abstinence from temptation, may have accomplished his object, but he failed to benefit mankind. Christ Jesus pursued no such selfish course, but rather one that to human sense was fraught with danger. He fearlessly faced the mobs, the persecution and ridicule of his enemies, that he might insure the safety of his brother men.

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December 25, 1909

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