The second commandment is the subject of much study on the part of Christian Scientists who cannot accept any Scriptural teaching "in the oldness of the letter," to quote St. Paul. The first commandment raises no question, admits of none! It is an unequivocal demand for allegiance to the one God, the one Mind. The second commandment, however, seems to present some difficulty in that the term "the Lord thy God" appears in this as in some of the other commandments.

It is therefore asked by some students of Christian Science whether the same authority is represented by this term as that which is expressed by the word God. To this it may be answered that the term "Lord God" seems to convey a somewhat humanized sense of Deity, a dimmed concept of the perfect Lawgiver; but no mortal belief can lessen the moral obligation to obey the ten commandments, for it is the same authority which is expressed in the second as in the first, whatever be the human concept of the one who demands our obedience. It may be said that our obedience to divine law will be in proportion to our intelligent understanding of the Lawgiver. Christ Jesus said that he came to fulfil the law, not to destroy it, and he did this in healing the sick and reforming the sinful by one and the same method, and in following his example, as taught in Christian Science, we learn that God's law annihilates evil as light dispels darkness.

The second commandment has been to a large extent ignored by modern religionists, on the ground that it related specifically to the poor heathen who "bow down to wood and stone." There has, however, been a growing tendency, outside of Christian Science, to find in it authority for belief in hereditary disease, and this without taking account of the conditioning statement that the penalty rests only upon those who "hate" the Lawgiver, and which stops short of God's gracious promise of "showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Here, as in all other things, we have but to grasp the spiritual fact, and then we realize the truth of that life-giving promise in Revelation, "There shall be no more curse."

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July 27, 1912

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