The desire of the human race to have dominion over all the earth is very pronounced in our own day. In this connection the term "earth" may well be used in its broadest sense, as including also the sea and the air, as well as the associated concepts of time and space. Within comparatively few years the last blank spaces on the map have begun to be rapidly filled in, the loftiest mountain-peaks to be scaled, the greatest ocean depths to be fathomed, and the once mysterious forest areas to be finally explored. The aspiring desire of mankind to conquer the air is being fulfilled, that desire which has pursued the ages from the semimythological Icarus down to our own time. There seems to be a general consensus of opinion that material obstacles must no longer be permitted to impede the progress of mankind toward freedom and power, or to limit legitimate capacities. Materialism and so-called material laws must not be conceded the right of riding roughshod over man's mental and spiritual requirements.

Coincident with the conquest of "the earth," with the apparent reduction of time and space by means of fast trains, fast steamships, and flying machines, there is observable also a keen desire to improve political, social, and economic conditions. This is the age of the acknowledgment of the rights of woman; of a growing love of beauty in city and country; of prison reform and of the proper protection of dumb animals. It is an age which demands an improved newspaper, better roads and better homes as consistent with the eternal fitness of man's dominion over all the earth. Such conquests and reforms, whether already completed or merely anticipated, repose upon desire, and in so far as they tend to break down the limitations which the human consciousness tries to place upon man's capabilities for good, they proceed from right desire. The overcoming of material obstacles in order to establish man's mental and spiritual ascendency is according to law,—the law of right desire. It is in agreement with the prayer of righteousness or right thinking which makes for the revelation of the kingdom of heaven on earth. In the chapter on Prayer in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy makes the statement that "desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be molded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds (p. 1).

Christian Science teaches how this "trusting God with our desires" is to be accomplished, how to bring them into consonance with His will, how to measure them by His standard. Thus Christian Science points out the law of right desire, the method of true prayer which does not remain fruitless, but leads to the demonstration of God's omnipotence over every material obstacle. Christ Jesus gave profoundly metaphysical advice concerning prayer when he said: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." He points out that desire lies at the basis of prayer and that prayer is more than a mere supplication. He who prays cannot simply address a request to the Almighty and expect an answer, without himself doing his duty; and his duty is first of all to desire. If he prays in a perfunctory manner, what right has he to expect that he will receive? Moreover, he must believe that he receives, he must know and understand the possibility of that good thing which he desires, it must be a metaphysical reality to him. He must apply the law of right desire which will produce the right result, namely, that conquest over so-called material error which leads to mental and spiritual victory.

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February 4, 1911

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