Patriotism

Say what we may, patriotism can never be defined in terms of matter. It often seems, indeed, as if the less there is to boast of in a material way, the deeper and truer is the love of one's country. This, of course, proves true the teachings of Christian Science that reality is always spiritual; and in spite of mortal dullness this great fact has finally to be reckoned with in all human affairs. In the one hundred and thirty-seventh psalm is a wonderful picture of some Israelites who had been carried away captive to Babylon; and we read that as they sat down beside one of the rivers there, possibly for a brief respite from a toilsome journey, they wept when they remembered Zion. We are also told that their captors required of them a song,—a song of their native land,—and mournfully they asked themselves, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Then this follows: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning ... if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."

To-day it is very easy for us to moralize and say that if these people had always been inspired by true devotion to their own country and the uplifted ideals which it really represented, they could never have been carried away captive to a foreign land; but if we say this, or think it for a moment, we may well ask to what extent we ourselves measure up to the ideals of true patriotism. In Christian Science we love to think of ourselves as citizens of the New Jerusalem, which on page 592 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is thus defined: "Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony." The student of Christian Science—wherever he may be called upon to serve at this hour, whether on the battle line or far from it—can never afford to forget the spiritual ideal which is the only permanent thing in the history of men and nations. To-day as never before we are reminded that the greatness of the United States of America is due absolutely to the spiritual ideal of civil and religious liberty which was so dear to the pioneers of this country, and which made them count the sacrifice of material things less than nothing, only so the ideal could be preserved and expressed in the history of the nation.

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Among the Churches
October 12, 1918
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