Our revered Leader tells us that "martyrs are the human links which connect one stage with another in the history of religion" (Science and Health, p. 37). She also enlarges upon this thought, and says on page 134: "The word martyr, from the Greek, means witness; but those who testified for Truth were so often persecuted unto death, that at length the word martyr was narrowed in its significance and so has come always to mean one who suffers for his convictions." It may easily be seen how a false sense of martyrdom can be entertained; indeed, it has often been held in the past and present time, until the mere fact of suffering for one's opinions, whether these were right or wrong, has been regarded by many as martyrdom. From this mistaken view-point one would not, however, be a "witness" for Truth, and respecting such a mental state Mrs. Eddy says, "The selfish rôle of a martyr is the shift of a dishonest mind, nothing short of self-seeking" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 288). It is, however, the mission of Christian Science to separate the false from the true, and thus get rid of all counterfeits.

In the sixth chapter of Revelation we have a remarkable picture of the mental condition which is rightly named a martyr, as it depicts those slain for their testimony to the word of God. It is, however, well to note that their "souls" (sense) were "under the altar," not upon it or above it. In other words, they represented a belief that evil has power to make the good suffer and that the processes of divine justice were unduly delayed, a belief which Christian Science not only repudiates but proves untrue. The opening of the fifth seal in presenting this condition leads up to the higher state of consciousness typified by white robes. Even the noblest Christian martyrs needed the purification thus prefigured, for each and all who would enter the kingdom of God must yield up every vestige of belief in a power opposed to God: and this is where the crucial test comes.

October 26, 1912

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