Extracts from Letters

A writer sends these words, after a vivid description of one of the most terrific battles on the western front in France: "One never knows how near he is to God or how near God is to him until he goes through or experiences what I have just experienced in this battle. You certainly know what God's love and care is if you never before knew it in your life, for you have come face to face with Him. Only my slight knowledge of Christian Science enables me to know that God's love protects me through all this."

"The war has presented to many Christian Scientists of German birth or parentage a seemingly difficult problem. The inborn love of fatherland, so peculiarly characteristic of the German people, producing its instant sympathy for everything German, has presented a strong temptation either to forget Principle or to attempt the impossible; that is, to make Principle conform to human opinion and impulses. ... The writer's father was a Hungarian and his mother a German. His childhood was permeated with the ideals of Germany, which left their impression of great admiration and love for all which was supposed to belong to that nation. When war was declared, however, his understanding of Truth asserted itself, and an analysis of events according to Christian Science compelled his allegiance to the Allied cause as based upon Principle. When our own country was forced into the conflict, the President's declaration of the fundamental issues involved confirmed the writer's previous conclusion.

"He was able to bring home forcibly, through personal experience, the illusion which blinds so many Germans to the real causes back of the present situation. During his boyhood his mother's desire to revisit her early home and relatives and revel in her visions of what she thought the fatherland to be, resulted in a trip to Germany by the whole family. The writer has a distinct recollection of the mother's eagerness and joy in anticipating the realization of her dreams. Her illusions were, however, quickly dispelled, and thirty days in Germany were more than sufficient for the melting away, in the presence of actualities, of the ardent enthusiasm created by her previous expectations. She found the existing conditions entirely different from those of her dreams, and she soon longed again for the sense of freedom and liberty, and for the privileges and opportunities that make the United States of America so dear to its citizens. No one was readier than she for a quick return to the home of her adoption, and at no time since, in the more than thirty years intervening, has there ever been the wish or the desire on the mother's part to return to Germany, notwithstanding that it is still the home of some of her near relatives."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Leader and Leadership
January 11, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.