Children and Liberty

OF all words in the English language, the word "liberty" is one of the most abused and in this age is particularly abused in reference to children. In the name of liberty, children have been allowed to become tyrants in their own home circles, to be disobedient, lazy, and even insolent, and one naturally asks why this is so.

What is liberty? The Anglo-Saxon race is, of all peoples, the one to stand foremost for liberty of thought and action. The Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, are all documents drawn up at different periods of the world's history by those representing the Anglo-Saxon people, to preserve and promote liberty and at the same time to check license. What these documents have given to us is, liberty to all men to obey one common law for the common good, and not liberty to put aside the law to gratify the will or expediency of the moment. King John's idea of liberty, and later on, that of Charles Stuart and George III, was that the king might do whatever he chose, regardless of the right or wrong of his actions and in utter disregard of the wishes and rights of the people. Obviously such a state of affairs means slavery for all concerned, and the most abject slave of all is the tyrant himself, who, refusing obedience to law, becomes a slave to his own unrestrained desires and rushes headlong to destruction.

In the chapter entitled "Glossary" in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy gives the following metaphysical interpretation of children (p. 582): "Children. The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love. Sensual and mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation, whose better originals are God's thoughts, not in embryo, but in maturity; material suppositions of life, substance, and intelligence, opposed to the Science of being." From this interpretation we see that, while God's children are spiritual thoughts and representatives of Truth and Love, who already have the freedom bestowed upon all God's children, still we have in our human experience to meet and deal with the mortal mind beliefs of children, which Mrs. Eddy refers to as "Sensual mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation." Mortal mind, so called, is always wrong and is often devilish and cunning. Evil, whether it appears to speak through the child or through the adult, is always evil. Just as one would speak with authority to this so-called mortal mind with its belief of an adult, so should one speak with authority when it would use the child for disobedience, insolence, or impoliteness.

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"Thou art the man"
April 24, 1920

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