Inspiring Motives

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy gives encouragement to all mankind in saying (p. 326): "The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should. You have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science, and nothing but wrong intention can hinder your advancement." Occasionally during the centuries there have appeared those whose motives were so pure, so selfless, that their lives became epoch-making. In their day and generation because they were not understood they were persecuted, and sometimes they won a martyr's crown. The service of such exalted lives is to uplift the ideals of humanity. When the history of those who were the best of men is introduced into human thought, the leaven of their example makes many men desire to be at least good. Christianity has been engaged in its battle with evil for ages, but as time moves on its strength increases, due to the swelling number of those becoming amenable to the influence of right motives. The old world is passing away far faster than the unthoughtful may believe, and all things are becoming new in a way incomprehensible to some of the worldly wise. Peter spoke of the dissolving of the elements at "the coming of the day of God." But with assurance he said, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

The motives usually furnished to children or explained to them as desirable draw their phrasing from memories of the older people connected with the struggle for existence; hence the commendation of thrift, of saving, of looking out for number one, and the warning against easy benevolence, too much charity, as well as extravagance and wastefulness. These admonitions connect themselves with love of life, but our Master said that a man had actually to hate his own life,—in other words, he had to esteem his personal sense of comfort in life as ever so much less important than his discipleship. When only the truly right motives prevail, those who feel them have no great cognizance of the flesh and its desires and fears. In their life activity they become inspired and inspiring because of their recognition of Principle, and their reward comes to them from God first, not from men primarily; though the old proverb may have to be changed through the prophet receiving honor from his own country and love from his own brethren.

Christian Science is changing many things in the world. Its emphasis is upon life, whereas the world is engrossed with things, and has not as yet accepted the statement of Christ Jesus that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." When a man gets life itself right, then the things will be added; when he can love God first, then blessings are assured; when he can obey the Science of Soul, then love for God becomes concurrent with love for his neighbor, because with one Soul governing there is no place for envy, hate, jealousy, fear, murder, or poisonous scheming, nor any need of continuing the so-called struggle for existence wherein those who contend most bitterly to deprive others of good are supposed to be the fittest to survive. Mrs. Eddy reminds us in Miscellany (p. 181) that "the Puritans possessed the motive of true religion, which, demonstrated on the Golden Rule, would have solved ere this the problem of religious liberty and human rights. It is 'a consummation devoutly to be wished' that all nations shall speedily learn and practise the intermediate line of justice between the classes and masses of mankind, and thus exemplify in all things the universal equity of Christianity."

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August 2, 1919

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