Never was there a time when so many prayers for protection ascended from so many loving hearts; prayers that are worded in many strange tongues but with one common purpose, and directed to one common Father who understands them all even before they are uttered. Never, too, was there greater need to pray understandingly and scientifically that protection may be assured for those in peril. The nature of evil is always to destroy, never to protect. Its purpose is to impede, to harm, to damage, to injure, that destruction may follow. In nature all creatures seek protection through their natural endowments. The strength of the lion, the speed of the deer, the invisibility of the hare, are qualities of protection to each of them. Mortal man, endowed with discernment above the beasts of the field, relies upon human intellect to direct him in his search for protection. He has evolved and invented processes and devices to protect him from the dangers which threaten the beast. He has protected himself from the extremes of heat and cold, from hunger, fire, flood, and tempest. He has harnessed the lightning, made the wind do his bidding, and has in many ways annihilated time and space. The dynamo, the aeroplane, and the telephone are as commonplace to him as eating and drinking are to the creatures of forest and plain.

In their search for protection and advancement men have, however, allowed intellect to outstrip intelligence. They have readily seen the need of protection from physical evils but have ignored those powers of darkness that are none the less pernicious because unseen. Through zeal to overcome the forces of nature they have neglected to cultivate an acquaintance with the forces of Spirit and disregarded the one and only power that will protect a man from the creations of his own intellect, which when misdirected bring destruction upon him. The knowledge of matter has enabled men to invent many marvelous things, but it has not protected them from the dangers of their own inventions.

The chemicals, the explosives, the fire, the gas, which in this war have been hatred's instruments of destruction, are inventions of mortal man's fertile brain, and in times of peace they have contributed to his material development. War has not changed their nature. They are no worse and no better than before they became the horrible servants of war; but their use has emphasized the teachings of Christian Science that God is always good, and that the inventions which may be employed in one form for utilities and in another for destruction do not lift mankind closer to God or save from evil. Mrs. Eddy expresses this pointedly when she tells us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 196), "Man has 'sought out many inventions," but he has not yet found it true that knowledge can save him from the dire effects of knowledge."

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Hymns and Healing
July 20, 1918

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