There are many theological writers these days who undertake to explain the acknowledged injustice of material law, as the expression of a divine order, by dwelling upon the largeness and scope of God's intent. Said a cultured Christian man recently, "The elemental powers expressed in lightning, earthquake, flood, etc., are beneficial and necessary to man in his collective capacity. They cause loss to the few, but bring safety, health, and happiness to the many. No one is to blame for these disasters, and no power exists which can prevent them."

Such a conviction respecting the divine order might be consistently entertained by those who think of the Deity as subject to human limitations and incapable of devising an order of expression which would bring justice and joy to all and suffering and sorrow to none, but for those who declare that God is infinite in wisdom and power to believe that His government is such a makeshift of good and evil is certainly an astonishing incongruity, and this belief presents the greatest possible contrast to the teaching of Christian Science as expressed by Mrs. Eddy in "Unity of Good" (p. 52), where she points out that the destructive elements, poisons, rabid beasts, etc., spring from the falsehood of evil. Those who think of these things as manifestations of divine law would be authorized to stand in the presence of a catastrophe like that of Messina and exclaim, "Behold the works of God!"

This thought of the unimportance of the individual interest, its entire subordination to racial development, appears again in the denial of personal immortality, the assertion that "men perish to the end that man may survive," and it is with respect to this logical outcome of the belief of life in matter that Tennyson so pathetically voices the human protest against unfeeling "nature" in the LV, Canto of "In Memoriam." Depressing though it be, this conclusion must find acceptance with every materialist who has the courage of his convictions; but when one turns to the divine idealism of Christ Jesus, he is impressed with the fact that the Master linked the destiny of man to the destiny of God, whose thoughtful and unfailing interest in the welfare and happiness of His every child is revealed in the Master's words, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? ... Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows." He represented God as "the everlasting Father," a phrase which involves the safety and continuity of man no less than the safety and continuity of God. He identified his every follower's future with his own. "Because I live," said he, "ye shall live also;" and in multiplied statements he assured them that instead of being the unimportant incidents of a fleeting day they were the children of the eternal.

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March 12, 1910

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