The Good Use of Human Affection

The hallucination that human affection must be sensualism plays havoc with human lives. The teaching and practice of Christian Science afford no excuse for so disastrous a mistake, but inculcate transformation and purification of the human affections. In human experience affection makes its appearance as a transitional quality. When it is governed by a good purpose it gains in constancy. Mrs. Eddy has much good to say of human affection in her writings, and lays special stress upon the motive as the important factor. To refer to only one of many passages which might be cited, she states in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 268), "If the motives of human affection are right, the affections are enduring and achieving." Mrs. Eddy, as her friends will attest, expressed affection herself and justly expected it of others. On page 318 of "Miscellaneous Writings" she says: "I have a large affection, not alone for my students, but for thy students,—for students of the second generation. I cannot but love some of those devoted students better than some of mine who are less lovable or Christly. This natural affection for goodness must go on ad libitum until the third and fourth and final generation of those who love God and keep His commandments." Affection, in the words of the dictionary, is "a settled good will, fondness, love;" no one can speak a kind word or maintain a friendship without having some affection. Little children love their toys, particularly the girls their dollies and the boys their blocks and trains of cars. This natural affection is an object lesson for grown people, and by such lessons reaching the matured heart it can mentally retrace its steps into the joy of perpetual childhood instead of advancing into the serious habits of old age.

Thousands of people have learned to smile and laugh through the joy of Christian Science and have learned not to be afraid of human affection, but to appreciate its good use. Many timid people have shrunk from expressing human affection or making friends for fear they would be misunderstood, but Christian Science gives the courage and power by which fear is wiped away and one can be naturally frank and honest. "Honi soit qui mal y pense" is the motto of England's ancient Order of the Garter. "Shame on him who thinks evil" is as true to-day as it was at the founding of that order.

The lust of the senses is a world evil which goes to nothingness before the love of God. Justice, in order to be properly applied, needs the corrective of affection. Suppression and oppression have never yet been known to heal. Thinking evil and outlining it for others may help to perpetuate the seeming power of evil and make it a mental god. The sin god of lust creates fear of affection and love and destroys friendship. A boastful lust for supposed intelligence is a form of sensualism, as it is a love of self-knowledge and is contentious with animal courage; but the inoffensiveness of true intelligence, the wisdom coming from God, is the Christ-compassion which gives human affection its rightful part to play. The good Samaritan proved this; Christian Science healers are proving this to-day.

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February 22, 1919

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