A man may think he can choose his own standard of living, as to right or wrong doing, with some popular virtues to balance certain vices deemed necessary adjuncts of mortal existence; yet this can never satisfy any one, for the simple reason that an inflexible standard always has existed and always will, and Christ Jesus stated it in unequivocal terms when he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Lest any one should think this demand severe and impossible of attainment, we should as quickly as possible realize that this requirement comes from the infinite Love that knows all good to be possible to man as God's likeness, and we should also see that nothing short of perfection can ever satisfy man's real nature with its infinite capabilities and possibilities. Here it may be said that the working out of the humblest problems of daily experience, with the demand for perfection ever held in view, would make of the toiler a thinker, of the artisan an artist, and all men coworkers with God.

To the Christian Scientist there is but one standard for health and right living, and it includes the mental, moral, and spiritual qualities which alone truly represent manhood. Any system which ignores this fact must fail to meet the needs of humanity, for these can never be supplied by any attempt to establish physical health on a material basis, with the promise that moral uprightness will result therefrom. Both reason and revelation point to the fact that man is both primarily and ultimately a spiritual being, and until this is understood and made the basis of all healing work and moral reformation, no system of cure can be truly scientific or successful. It is not enough that an attempt be made to link together health and morals on a merely physical basis, as, for instance, by warning people of the penalties which will follow the violation of moral law, or by seeking to enforce material "health laws" so called. No one can deny that mortals are law-breakers, for all human history supports this statement. It is only when God is known as infinite good, as unchanging divine Principle, and man is understood to be His idea, that obedience to God's law becomes possible and permanent.

Our revered Leader says: "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: 'For in Him we live, and move, and have our being'" (Science and Health, p. 361). When this is understood and held constantly before thought, one can say with the psalmist, "I delight to do thy will, O my God." Again, we are told that none should glory in wisdom, in riches, or in might, but that man should glory in knowing and understanding God, and in reflecting the divine activity which is thus set forth in the prophecy of Jeremiah: "I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

June 14, 1913

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.