Long Life

In the book of Job we read, "If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him [God]; ... thine age shall be clearer than the noonday." Mortals have always associated the thought of decrepitude, disease, suffering, and decay with old age; and death, it has been assumed, is the most welcome form of relief. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes drew a mournful picture of the "evil days" which come to man when all is dark, when the body is feeble, when the faculties have nearly faded, just before he goes to his "long home." And there is a correlative passage in Shakespeare's description of the "seven ages," where the mortal drifts helplessly into the "last scene of all," into "second childishness, ... sans everything."

What is outlined in the above passages is the general belief which mankind holds with regard to mortal man. It is true that philosophers have sought to soften the picture by describing old age in a less repulsive way, with a pleasant retrospect and a joyous hope of better things to come, "like a Stradivarius," as one described it, "whose tone has become so sweet that its value has increased a hundredfold and it seems almost to have a soul." But they leave everything to be desired; they never even intimate that possibly the basis upon which the fear of old age is built is entirely wrong. It is only when we turn to Christian Science that we see this.

The Chrysalis
May 16, 1914

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