"My peace"

In the midst of a conflict such as the turmoil and tragedy of human history have never known before, a clangor of arms that would drown all other voices, yes, even the angelic song that ushered in the Christian era, one is led to think upon the Master's seemingly paradoxical teaching as to peace. To his many disciples he said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword;" and yet in his last long heart to heart talk with the twelve he said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you."

Manifestly his qualified repetition, "my peace," was made advisedly, and conveys a deep significance. Christian Science has made it demonstrably intelligible that the peace of God is not a state of content in and with materiality, it is not sequent, the fruitage of longed-for earthly conditions, but causal, superior to earthly conditions, because it means conscious at-one-ment with spiritual law. To the peace of sense torpidity, into which the tired are tempted to lapse, there comes Truth's arousing call, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." In the Master this Christ-consciousness was continuous, and its peace enabled him to maintain a perfect poise in the presence of every assault of pharisaical prejudice and hatred. He was not unaware of the tumult and suffering on the fighting line, but though "tempted like as we are," human anxieties and fears were not permitted to pass his threshold. Well, therefore, did he say, "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you." His peace was not the peace of the world, it was the peace of spiritual understanding.

Jesus sent his disciples forth charged with that vital, incisive, uncompromising word of Truth which proves in its effects that "there is no peace ... to the wicked." To lawlessness, divine law is indeed a flaming sword, and yet of every one who goes forth bearing this sword, it was said of old, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." Thus in the eighth century before Christ did the prophet express the secret of practical Christian Science. The sought-for peace of mortal-mindedness is that state of deadness to spiritual things concerning which Mrs. Eddy has said that to "become educated to gratification in personal pleasure and trained in treacherous peace ... is the great and only danger in the path that winds upward" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 9). The sufferings and sorrows of human experience, yes, even of this dreadful war, will make for progress if they but awaken mankind to the fact that civilization cannot advance, and world peace cannot be assured, in so far as diplomacy and international politics stand for subtle selfishness and indifference to right. When nations are altogether frank and fair with each other, honesty will count just the same for them that it does for individuals; meantime the lesson that peace in unrighteousness is impossible, must be learned by nations as well as men, though it be through the suffering of pangs unspeakable.

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Among the Churches
March 13, 1915

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