The idea of independence is unquestionably dear to all men, so much so that all are eager to claim what it implies, without perhaps considering that they will of necessity be forced to prove their right to its possession. Webster's definition of independence reads in part as "exemption from reliance on, or control by others." In the American Declaration of Independence, adopted in 1776, we find the statement that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These statements are surely well worth considering, but the student of Christian Science instinctively turns to his textbook for the real meaning of everything, and as this is gained a forward step is taken. On page 200 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says, "Life is, always has been, and ever will be independent of matter; for Life is God, and man is the idea of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not subject to decay and dust."

It is often assumed in an easy sort of way that the rich man is more independent than his poorer brother, but a single glance will readily show the fallacy of such a belief. Let us assume that two men, one rich, the other poor, find themselves on a desert island, or anywhere remote from the advantages of civilization,—which of the two would be most likely to prove his independence, if we assume that the man without wealth had learned how to use his head and hands and that the other had not? This is only to regard the case from a material viewpoint; but even so, there is no denying that the really independent man is he who has mastered difficulties of every sort and become, say for example, an expert, well equipped engineer or one possessed of mechanical skill in any direction. It of course goes without saying that in addition to his technical knowledge he should have a well balanced character, for thus he would not only be able to make the most of his own opportunities, but would aid other men in bringing out their individual possibilities in every direction.

These lines from a song in one of Tennyson's Idylls are deeply significant:—

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September 21, 1918

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