The Standard Uplifted

When Moses was arranging the orderly encampment and the marching of the children of Israel, his rule was, "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard." When contests took place with enemies, the warrior was guided by the sight of the standard to which he belonged. Isaiah took a picture from these old days when he spoke metaphysically concerning the Lord and said: "He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head.... According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies.... When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Those who know of the work of Christian Science recognize that the true standard has been set up, ascribing righteousness and all power to God, requiring man to reveal righteousness,—and nothing else can it be called than the standard of Principle.

Concerning Principle, the message of God through Moses was, "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence." In considering recompense let us remember the law which was given to the Israelites regarding theft: "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." There is no requirement here for the condoning of evil so that error may continue undestroyed, and the righteous suffer because of the guilty. Scripture teaching is clear that the righteous man must hold to the standard of righteousness for himself, and he is not required to lower the standard to suit the convenience of those who are in the wrong. We are advised to speak gently about those who perpetrated atrocities in the late war; some have said that a Christian spirit should be shown in condoning their iniquity. But at the present time pillage experts still hold the loot they gathered from devastated lands, and burglar efficients are in possession of the precious things of the houses they entered. Machines of value are at work for those who took them by theft; trade secrets, processes, patents, and special tools are in the hands of those who stole them. Circulars in glorification of war were at one time published which boastfully listed the plunder acquired. Can we forget the records of gratuitous cruelty,—the horrors of prison camps where mental indignities and torture to flesh and blood, starvation and forced toil, were used to break the spirit of man; and the children, eyeless and handless, who trusted and enemy that offered a loaded pencil? The deep sea holds the witness of many murders of those who on their legitimate and peaceful errands went down to the sea in ships; and of other infractions of God's commands, an earnest woman, who crossed the ocean to minister to the victims of invasion, speaks compassionately thus: "It isn't just the fact of illegitimacy. It's the awful bitterness and hatred that is behind such scenes. I look at the poor babies who are so helpless and pathetic, and I think I have never seen anything more shocking; but, oh, the poor mothers! That any human being has been forced into such a hideous struggle is what is so hard to bear."

Attention has been called to the fact that by 1912 more than seven hundred books on war were published in Germany, and Dr. Isaac J. Lansing declares that later events which horrified the civilized world "had been forecast and were foretold by them with the utmost audacity." These publications indicated how thought had been gravitating in the direction of war; and yet with all the trust in evil that was encouraged, the long matured plans ended in failure. The people, disappointed in their expectations, now declare that they have "solemnly renounced the rule of violence between nations." If they are hoping that evil deeds shall now be condoned, how will this come up to the standard of righteousness? Is it well to say, Peace, when peace is not the fact? Job says for the individual regarding Principle, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace." This requirement must be true for nations as well as individuals.

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

In the Path of Righteousness
March 15, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.