A Citizen's Duty to the State

A common experience in every man's life is circuit jury service. No doubt it is often the case with others, as with the writer, that when the constable serves the notice there is a feeling of rebellion and resentment against courts, judges and juries as well, and one is disposed to ask, How can the time be spared and the financial sacrifice made? Notwithstanding, such arguments on the side of self are useless, for the summons must be obeyed. Here is where the Christian Scientist must do his first mental work; in fact, such work throughout the week's service is with self wholly. The fundamental duty of the courts of the land is to "render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," and this without sentiment or dissimulation. Our Leader in her writings has many times admonished us that, under present environments and for time to come, Cæsar's laws must be obeyed; therefore, she gives us this axiom to work from: "Reason is the most active human faculty" (Science and Health, p. 327).

When one has reached the great panel room, where all the jurors are assembled, he will find many men of many minds, yet as a general thing the open mind prevails for the business at hand, as the malcontents are generally weeded out by the judge during the excuse period. Here again one can hold his proper mental poise, but the real activity begins when the panel is drawn. The undeniable law of right is at once opposed by the so-called law of wrong; but the lines of decision, when one is rightly equipped, are plainly distinctive, sharply drawn, and later can be followed with confidence in deciding on the evidence in a case.

There are many pitfalls laid for the juryman by the examining lawyers, and sometimes rather unexpectedly. The writer remembers one instance when the defense, in challenging, uncovered an experience in an accident of former years and tried to make it appear as being in direct opposition to a fair judgment in the case to be tried. The tilt was spirited and to the point. As I realized it was a test, I held my ground from a Christian Science standpoint, unvoiced, and was finally sustained by the judge on appeal from the counsel examining.

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Awakened Thought
March 28, 1914

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