The question What is life? is as old as the race itself, and from the world's standpoint it is no nearer solution today than it was when first propounded. The complexity of modern living has only served to accentuate the intensity of a query which has never received, and can never receive, a satisfactory answer from any form of material philosophy. Yet men are still relying on the microscope and the test tube in their hopeless quest, all unmindful of the Scriptural question, "Canst thou by searching [in matter] find out God?" True, most Christians have agreed substantially with the Westminster catechism in its declaration, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever," but there is a radical difference as to what constitutes the glorifying of God, and all thinkers will admit that a mere emotional outpouring of praise to God is far from satisfying. This is because men have for so long failed to see that existence in the flesh is not life, for, as Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 244), "If we were to derive all our conceptions of man from what is seen between the cradle and the grave, happiness and goodness would have no abiding-place in man, and the worms would rob him of the flesh."

If God is the Father of all, then His children should represent that fatherhood, and this is surely a sufficient reason for the being of all the sons and daughters of God. In line with this statement Jesus said, "Because I [the Christ] live, ye shall live also." Jesus constantly tried to turn men away from a material to a spiritual view of life, not only by his own method of living, but by such declarations as "The flesh profiteth nothing," "The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment." His example and precepts should forever settle the question as to whether mere animal existence, which rests in absolute dependence upon food and drink and is subject to every passing whim of so-called nature, is the truth of being. If the material body is man, then indeed would all mankind be justified in echoing the despairing complaint of Job when he temporarily went down before that false belief and lamented the day that he was born; and this disorted sense of life is what the Preacher had in mind when he voiced that pessimistic cry, "All is vanity."

How, then, shall man glorify God? The Bible makes it clear that it is by doing those things which God would have him do. Glorifying God neither begins nor ends with lip service, as this method of praise is only an incident; neither is it comprehended in a superficially perfunctory observance of the ten commandments or the rules of some church. In order to glorify or serve God aright, His laws must be incorporated into our daily lives, not merely as a code of moral ethics, but as Paul says, in "demonstration of the Spirit and of power." There is a vast difference between a religionist and a Christian, though, despite the triteness of this saying. It seems to be forgotten, not infrequently, that Jesus himself left a definite rule by which his followers should be judged, in such unequivocal statements as "These signs shall follow them that believe;" "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." As to the nature of these works, one has only to turn to the pages of the New Testament to find a detailed account of the wonderful healing which was such an essential part of his ministry. These works were not essential, however, in the sense that they constituted the whole, or even the greater part, of his mission to men, but in the sense that they were the inevitable consequence of his teaching, just as darkness must disappear in the presence of light.

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May 3, 1913

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