Fallen Leaves

There is nothing that seems more appealing than the issue of a futile heroism, the vain outcome of royally true, self-sacrificing endeavor. When earnest effort is put forth, life expended and a brave hope maintained, only to find utter defeat at last, —then all hearts are touched, and we unite in saying, "How pitiful !" This situation results whenever wellintentioned people fail to distinguish between that which is of men and that which is of God, between the transiency of mortal beliefs and the eternality of divine ideas.

We are living in a time when practically all religious people recognize the inadequacy and assured failure of many longhonored forms of Christian faith. They see that, not having developed into spiritual understanding, its past puttings-forth have withered away, and become simply relics which merit respect but that have no further value. Remembering that the truth can never grow old and decadent, those who are wise are undisturbed by the rustle of these fallen leaves; they are thinking ever upon Life's new appearings, and the consequent more beautiful tomorrow. They know that whatever passes has never had more than a temporal value, and they are proving the truth of Mrs. Eddy's saying that "willingness . . . to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea," and "helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony" (Science and Health, pp. 323, 324).

There are not a few, however, who make the mistake of attaching a permanent worth to a temporal form, and who waste their energy in heroic efforts to save that which were better lost, because the day of its usefulness has ended. They are trying to resuscitate and to revivify concepts or expressions of Christian aspiration which have had a relative life and brought a return of relative good, but which are now fallen because they are dead and dry, and which therefore should be simply gathered up and burned, because a larger, more vital unfolding of Truth has presented itself.

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Among the Churches
November 14, 1914

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