Popular concepts of Deity keep pace with the moral and spiritual progress of the race. Cruel and barbarous tribes visualize and worship crude material images, while humane and refined natures cherish diviner, more ideal concepts of a Supreme Being. The true leaders of mankind have ever been seers and prophets, individuals whose purity, sincerity, and unselfish motives enabled them to draw near to the living God and gain some adequate appreciation of spiritual reality.

The understanding of Deity unfolded to the inspired leaders of the Hebrew people according to the measure of their spiritual discernment or capacity to apprehend the divine nature, until the revelation of truth culminated in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Then, after the early Christians had realized for a brief spell the spiritual quickening which followed their Master's demonstration of the truth of being, the tide of spirituality gradually receded until concepts of Deity well-nigh as materialistic as those prevalent in heathen lands darkened the thought of Christendom. Following this period of apostasy a reaction set in, and the religious world was once more baptized with a spirit of faith and moral earnestness. Influenced by modern scientific opinion, estimates of Deity came to embrace law, order, and justice, until at length the anthropomorphic ideal expanded into the vision of God as a loving Father. Even this view, however, fell far short of the standard of Immanuel set by the Way-shower, Christ Jesus. Comforting and uplifting as was the thought of God as merciful and compassionate, the practice growing out of the theology of that period lacked the spiritual unction which made possible the mighty works of the early Christian church.

Spiritual truth is generally revealed in unexpected ways and under circumstances which prevent its discernment by the wise and prudent thought of this world. It was only natural, therefore, that the demonstration exemplified centuries ago by Jesus the Christ should have been reinstated, not through the accredited channels of ecclesiasticism, but through the consecrated endeavor of a devout woman reared amid an environment molded by the spirit of religious and political freedom. Turning unreservedly to God and relying on His power to heal in a time of urgent need, Mrs. Eddy caught a glimpse of man's oneness with his creator. As childlike faith grew to spiritual understanding, the vision of God as Principle and man as the idea or reflection of Principle dawned on her consciousness.

Our Lectures
July 27, 1918

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