The golden rule is theoretically approved by many people who act as if the wording of it were, Do unto others as they do unto you. They meet an unkind remark with one less kind, a sharp word with a cutting rejoinder. They resent insults, criticize conduct of which they disapprove, judge without much consideration, and condemn on superficial evidence, although all this comes pretty near being simple "tooth for a tooth" morality. As long as men gage their conduct by the treatment they receive, the Master's words, so far as they are concerned, remain unheeded.

To many his demand that we overcome evil with good seems to call for the surrender of legitimate self-esteem, dignity, fairness, yes, even manhood. To be kind in return for unkindness, or loving in return for hate, seems not only the meekest but the weakest way. Only a knave, they argue, or a coward would allow an insult to go unheeded, unresented and unrebuked, and some have felt justified in refusing the gospel on account of what they believe to be its requirement,—an unmanly, unworthy, shiftless morality. True, some brighter intellects have penetrated deep enough to recognize the ennobling influence of self-control on character, that power results to him who has learned to govern himself, to resist self-assertion and self-pity; but the teachings of Christian Science alone bring out the scientific value of the Master's wonderful statements of the eternal law.

Not to encourage arrogance or to condone injustice, not to put a premium on insults or to allow cruelty to go unrebuked, but to state the law, and reveal the glorious working of the power of good, Jesus said, "Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray [affirm the truth] for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Not so much to demand unquestioning submission to unwarranted mandates, but to give loving and wise instruction, may we regard his words, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." They seem uttered in explanation of the basic statement, "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

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August 17, 1912

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