One of the distinctive features of the Christian Science movement, and one which has perhaps done a great deal to attract the attention of the world, is the spirit of wholesome optimism which the adherents of this religion radiate. With students who are but just beginning the study of this Science, those who may have just been released from the bondage of some form of sickness or sin, the sense of freedom sometimes amounts to an enthusiasm which is not always well advised, but as the student progresses and is daily called upon to apply and prove the divine Principle of Christian Science, this excess of enthusiasm becomes tempered with consecration to the effort in hand; and it is at this point that true optimism begins.

Joys and gratitude for release from intolerable conditions are wholesome and proper attitudes of thought, but the proving for oneself of the divine Principle of harmony in the handling and right solution of the perplexities of human existence which daily confront us, is the real foundation of that quiet confidence noted in Christian Scientists. This confidence in turn begets confidence, and this is why genuine Christian Scientists are genuine optimists—they are able to prove the reason for the faith that is within them.

One of the definitions of the word "optimism" given in the Standard dictionary is: "The doctrine that the universe, being the work of an infinitely perfect being, is the best possible universe." From this premise of an "infinitely perfect" creator, the infinite Spirit whom the English-speaking races unite in calling God, we deduce an infinitely perfect creation. And as we understand that this creator is infinite Spirit, so we also deduce that His infinitely perfect creation, the universe including man, is spiritual; or, as it is most clearly stated by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, "There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected" (p. 502). To those who from this premise are daily proving the allness of infinite good, God, there is sound basis in their reason for optimism, for to them "joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat" (Science and Health, p. 298).

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August 24, 1912

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