Christian Scientists accept with joy Mrs. Eddy's statement of absolute truth: "Man in Science is neither young nor old. He has neither birth nor death" (Science and Health, p. 244); and they endeavor to make this fact operative in daily experience. It is noticeable that they seize with legitimate expectation upon the possibility that as the years of this mortal consciousness increase they will still retain their freshness and vigor, and expand only in the direction of wider spheres of usefulness and activity.

This is all very beautiful and true, but under these conditions it is only fair to expect that the same privileges may be extended in the opposite way, and that if man is not to grow old, he is likewise not to remain young in the limited sense of being considered foolish, inexperienced, and undeveloped, and incapable on that account of doing good work for the cause. Many ponder thoughtfully over the stories of little Samuel, who abode in the temple, and to whom a special revelation of God came; over Joshua, the young student of Moses; over the prophetic utterance of Isaiah, "A little child shall lead them;" over Paul's loving admonition to Timothy, "Let no man despise thy youth," and more especially over our Master's own words concerning children, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven;" but what would they say in practical experience to the youth or maiden who presumed to differ from them on any metaphysical point, or who dared to evince a profounder acquaintance with the meaning of a given statement than they themselves had given it? The human mind is wholly paradoxical from start to finish, and it is quite possible to be wise at eighteen and frivolous at eighty-two. "The thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts," says the poet; but who is ready to admit this?

The practise of older folk, parents perchance, who sit in ponderous judgment upon the young, is a very primitive error of mortal mind, and these elders sometimes fail to realize that the recognition of man's spiritual selfhood often awakens very early in consciousness, and that when this occurs, it is as much the Mind and power of Christ as if it came at a later period. To be advised to be contented, docile, and meek does not in any way satisfy the infinite immortal cravings to work, to understand, to be independent, individual, trustworthy, and to take due share in bringing the redemptive mission of good to mankind. Few know how bewildering, how stultifying to spiritual growth is a repressive, depreciative attitude on the part of one's elders, nor with what a leaden weight the prescriptive opinions of maturer age crush down upon the earnest young heart, so full of earnestness and vigor, so eager to overflow with spontaneous love and life, so capable, if older people would only see aright, of reflecting and demonstrating them both speedily and well.

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March 1, 1913

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