"Am I my brother's keeper?"

After Cain had slain his brother Abel, there began immediately the settling of his account with God. Instantly he was faced with his deed, and the wrong he had committed was followed by an attempt on his part at self-protection and self-justification. When information was demanded of him as to his brother's whereabouts, he repudiated all knowledge of his brother and then asked the question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" intending thereby to imply that he was entirely without duty so far as his brother was concerned. We all know how quickly and unmistakably God made it plain to Cain that such a position was totally wrong. The measure which fell to him as the effect of his sin was so over-whelming that he cried out, "My punishment is greater than I can bear." Through all the ages since this question with its effort at self-justification was launched upon the human consciousness, it has been knocking at the door of thought. Some in their efforts at self-establishment, forgetting the experience of Cain, still seem to regard it as the legitimate response to every wrong they may perpetrate against another; but the larger portion of mankind is to-day awakening to see that the question has a different aspect and is reaching out to find what, in all sincerity and honesty, the answer should be.

The demonstration of Christ Jesus gave this answer to the world and he defined its method in the two commandments: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;" and again when he said, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Although Jesus' demonstration of obedience to these commands was a perfect one and so proved for all time that man's paramount necessity, as well as duty, is a perfect love for God and man, it was not until the revelation of Christian Science was given to the world that this demonstration was made completely possible to all men. Jesus himself said the world would not understand his teachings and his proof of them until the Comforter should come. In divine Science we find this Comforter, as Jesus promised, teaching all things and bringing all things which he has said to remembrance, thereby showing plainly the way of obedience to those teachings.

The world has long lain in darkness as to its duty to its brother, because it has failed to know its duty to God. It has failed to know its duty to God because the schools have proclaimed it irreverent to attempt to know God, even though in the book of Job it was declared thousands of years ago that men should acquaint themselves with Him and be at peace. The carnal mind has justified ignorance of God by insisting that God did not intend man to understand Him, and therefore it has taught that man should not undertake to search into the mysteries of such knowledge. Christian Science shows such teaching to be but darkness and unbelief. Could it be conceivable that a good God, who as John tells us is Love, would command man to obey Him and then withhold from man the understanding of Himself which must be preliminary step to the understanding of His laws? Under such circumstances how could there be obedience? On the contrary, to know God must be the necessary premise on which to base all conclusions relative to Him. One stands in awe before the magnitude of such possibility. Can one do better than to take the first step to such wonderful understanding in the way our beloved Leader tells us that she took it, namely, through contemplating God "first, as a loving Father and Mother" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 96)? Does not this immediately open the door to love for our brother? Beginning on page 469 of Science and Health we read, "With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science."

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May 10, 1919

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