Active Service

It is difficult to realize, without actual experience, what a wonderful assistance Christian Science is to the individual who is called upon to become a soldier and in support of a righteous government to fight for the cause of democracy and freedom. In the writer's own experience Christian Science has been the basis of many helpful experiences, every one of which has made the allness of Truth more real to him and taught him more humbly and patiently to wait on God. Even on the battlefields, where to mortal sense there seemed so little evidence of good, a thought turned toward God has changed the whole aspect of affairs, and made even the wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose. These experiences have sometimes brought forcibly to mind our Leader's words in Miscellany (p. 290), "Divine Love is never so near as when all earthly joys seem most afar." No one who prayerfully gone into battle can ever doubt for a moment that divine Love is with him, even on the battlefield. Nearer, dearer, and more real to a man than at any other time, the word of God is carried clearly to the one who follows the voice of Truth and allows God to direct his action.

The question sometimes occurs, What does the army mean to a Christian Scientist? When war was loosed on the world in 1914 there were many of us who shrank from the experience, supposing that it would lie outside the ken of a Christian Scientist, who from the very nature of his profession might be considered exempt from war. We stood where our Leader had stood when she wrote of "the metaphysical mystery of error" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 223), "I was saying all the time, 'Come not thou into the secret'—but at length took up the research according to God's command." We strove to accept the situation and to handle its subtleties with the power of scientific prayer. Sometimes we have failed, sometimes succeeded, but whether by failure or success, as judged humanly, the lesson is being learned and the truth pressed firmly home that what appears as a world problem is in reality an individual experience common to all conditions of men, and one which no individual can conscientiously object to enter upon. It must be remembered that our weapons are spiritual and "mighty through God."

The fighting in the trenches is perhaps the least part of the real conflict, which is being waged in the human mind; but it behooves every Christian Scientist whose duty takes him to the firing line, to bear clearly in mind the place he really takes in battle and to whom his allegiance is wholly due. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas it never occurred to him to call upon the civil or military authorities for protection. His thoughts turned at once, as they had always done, to God, and he said, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" This then is the army in which the Christian Scientist must enlist, and to which he must look for his real aid. These spiritual intuitions, or angels, in response to prayer array themselves in the battle front of consciousness and also form a rearguard against the subtle errors which would strike unseen. "For the Lord will go before you," says the Scripture, "and the God of Israel will be your rereward." When consciousness is flooded with these angel legions, there is nothing for the Christian Scientist to fear. We are told in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 566) that Michael "leads the hosts of heaven," and that his characteristic is "spiritual strength." When we consciously realize this presence of spiritual strength, every intuition is under its leadership and above every scientifically and safely through and above every suggestion of mortal mind.

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The Prayer that Heals
March 23, 1918

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