When we hear the word loyalty, thoughts of virtue and stanchness of character come to us, and yet there are many kinds of loyalty. There may be loyalty among thieves, when they make an equal division of booty wrongfully obtained. On the other hand, there is the active Christian's loyalty to Truth and Love. Besides these mental conditions there are many degrees of allegiance to causes just and unjust. Still, on the whole the term is uplifting, and our admiration for the loyal standard-bearer never grows less. Said the Master to his apostles, "But whom say ye that I am?" Peter replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." This evidence of sterling loyalty met with the Master's instant approval, but the rebuke Peter received from Jesus soon after, "Thou art an offense unto me," was not given him with any lesser loyalty of motive because of its vehemence. These words, if taken literally, would seem to savor of anger or impatience; yet no Christian of any faith would think for a moment that Jesus meant otherwise than well to Peter. Since this devoted apostle did not retaliate, we are led to suppose that he took the reproof in the spirit with which it was given.

Loyalty is a term denoting our measure of conscience. Human beings are less material when they recognize in the perfect image of God their true selfhood. This concept effaces their love of direct reward or credit for right doing, and God's man stands out clearly in their reckonings. It is indeed a mortal trait all too common, to expect some definite reward for every loyal act; that a good turn rendered another must bring a like accommodation back to us, to even up the score. Just here Christian Science, with its wealth of inspiring thought, comes to our aid. We are taught that, like the good Samaritan, we must work with complete forgetfulness of self; we must bind up the wound with a hand of love, and not wholly from a sense of duty.

February 15, 1913

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