What is of most worth to the world, things or thoughts, material possessions or spiritually developed men? Christian Science answers this question both speedily and practically. Indeed the world itself has answered the question by enshrining in its memory the names of those who have brought truth to men from the unseen realm of Spirit; whereas the colossal monuments built by those who had merely great possessions, in many cases arouse wonder but not remembrance. What, then, shall one do to serve best his generation? An invention may be superseded, a book may be forgotten, a fortune may disappear, taking to itself wings like the eagle and passing beyond all touch of the outreaching hands. A man need not mourn, then, because he cannot serve men as inventor or author or possessor of wealth. He may serve in every place and time by being a true man, for there is no service so good to one's day and generation as that of developing and expressing the integrity of manhood and womanhood. The true method of philanthropy may be illustrated in a parable.

Once there was a rich man who had great estates. At one time his land had been traversed by a clear-flowing brook which was fed from a spring whose water never had failed. Through long neglect, however, the channel became choked, and the waters were diverted and made to overflow, so that now they spread out and made a large area of swampy land. Once the villagers living near to the great estate had been able to find pure water to drink from the brook, but when it ceased to flow they had to dig wells, and so were supplied. Then there came a hot summer when the water in the wells sank so low that nobody could have as much water to drink as he craved, and the people grew languid and the children cried out because of thirst. Then the rich man roused himself and went among them speaking comfort. He sent grapes from his hothouse to refresh the parched lips. He even procured from the markets oranges and other fruits which had been imported from far lands, though the cost to him was great. Because of this expense and trouble he felt that he was doing a great service to the people; but the fruit was soon gone, and the people were sorrier than before, because they missed it.

March 27, 1909

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