It was a gathering of Christian ministers and their familiars, who were holding an evening service on the beach. The sea and sky formed an illimitable blend amid the tinted shadows of the gloaming, and in their presence the subject of thought, "How shall the divine nearness be more fully realized?" seemed most fitting.

Many interesting words were spoken, especially by one who emphasized the thought that since God is Love, we realize His nearness as we know more and exhibit more of love, become more gentle, more joyous, more compassionate. Another dwelt upon the thought that our sense of the divine presence must deepen as we realize His causal relation to every human experience, that His hand is to be seen in sickness as in health, in sorrow as in joy, in defeat as in triumph, in the earthquake as in the quiet dawn, in the cyclone as in the gentle shower, in death as in life. Then there came a pause, and when others were lovingly invited to speak, a Christian Scientist, who had been listening thoughtfully at a little distance, drew near and said:

"Friends, the protest which is being heard all round the world against the thought that God can be responsible for any law or order which would be pronounced unjust, unqualifiedly wrong, by the moral sense of mankind, voices my deepest conviction, and from the logic of this protest my most inspiring realizations of the divine nearness have come. If we cannot know that He who, as Amos declares, has made yonder "seven stars and Orion," is not only infinitely wise, but infinitely good, then we certainly cannot attach any value to that light which, as St. John affirms, 'lighteth every man that cometh into the world.'

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August 19, 1911

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