The question, Who shall be the greatest? that is, who shall occupy the important official positions in civil and religious societies, is in the minds of worldly, ambitious mortals today as much as in the years of long ago. A selfish desire to hold the reins of government or to fill some exalted official station was effectively rebuked when Jesus called a little child to him and said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." In other words, unless one turn from his belief in the controlling power of evil to holiness, enter unselfishly upon the duties to which he is called, and render service void of ostentation and vainglory, his efforts will not meet the demands of Love nor can he claim the reward which comes as a result of obedience to the law of righteousness.

To realize the kingdom of heaven consciously is a mental state to which all devoutly hope at some time to attain, and the growth and development tending thereto are made possible on the condition named by the Master. Mortal man, untutored and undisciplined by moral and spiritual influences, finds human will, selfish ambition, pride, etc., controlling factors in consciousness, but when heavenly ways are contemplated and the things of Spirit sought after, he is reminded that in order to bring himself into harmony with God and His creation, and thereby realize physical, moral, and mental freedom, he must turn the current of his thought from the material to the spiritual. He must not be conformed to this world, to human opinions and theories, but through the understanding of the infinitude of good and the nothingness of material sense, his mind must be renewed, spiritualized, and egotism, self-will, self-righteousness must be rebuked with meekness and the other graces of Love. His thought must be changed from the pursuit of evil to the contemplation of good—he must become as a little child.

In Science and Health we read: "Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right" (p. 236), and we find that the lessons learned from children are impressive and inspiring. Their declarations, though simple, are so powerful and convincing that one dare not question them. A little girl of five years, who always listened with delight to the reading of Bible stories, heard from her little non-Scientist friends terrifying stories about dogs, and soon thereafter, when alone in the dark, fear came upon her. She told her father of her fear, and then said that God had talked to her and that she was no longer afraid. In view of the many incidents of this kind which may be recalled, it is not a question of wonderment that Jesus said of little children, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven;" also, "In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

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August 31, 1912

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