A Saner Sense

To grow more spiritually wise is to grow more discriminating, more scientific in our thought, and one of the most fundamentally corrective and broadly illuminating contributions made by Christian Science to the truth seeker is its new and provably true definition of nature, of God's universe, and of life.

A very large body of Christian believers include in their thought of the natural world that which is regarded as of God, and yet which is condemned by their moral sense, and which as they aver is to be escaped from through faith in Christ, plus the experience of death. They even identify themselves with that which is unspiritual, unlike God, so that their thought of the first step in the ascent of the Christian life, viz., conviction of sin, is to be thoroughly ashamed of one's self. Surely the admixture of good and evil so generally consented to as legitimate if not necessary, never assumed a more grotesque figure. Even the Greek philosophers were the more consistent, in that they frankly declared the unideality of their gods, whose envyings, immortalities, and strifes not only supply the background and explanation of what has been named "the romance of mythology," but explain by way of sufficient reason all the contradictions, contentions, and tragedies of the world life which was subject to them and in which they were wont to take a very active part. This renders the splendid ethics of an Aurelius and an Epictetus the more remarkable, and their loyalty thereto the more heroic and wonderful.

Today the fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" which comes to its ripening in the asserted Christian theology that stands for the divinity of the material order, lacks some of the pagan virtues, since it dishonors the ideal to which its representatives professedly adhere. Nothing can be more discreditable or self-stultifying than to believe that God, the infinite good, maintains and, by consent if not by purpose, is responsible for a world order which is instantly pronounced upon by the moral sense of the believer, and which, as asserted, must be gotten away from through the further divine provision of death in order to reach the ideal life.

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Lecture in The Mother Church
January 22, 1916

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