Christian Science is derided and maligned by two classes...


Christian Science is derided and maligned by two classes of persons,—those who for ulterior motives knowingly and willfully misrepresent it, and those who in their misguided zeal believe that they are rendering a service to God and to mankind in so doing. Unquestionably, most ministers who deliver sermons on Christian Science belong to the latter class. Being so convinced of the correctness of their own version of the Bible, they are unable to conceive of a possibility of the correctness of any other interpretation. Zeal is a very commendable virtue, but misguided zeal often causes much temporary harm to innocent persons and much later regret and humble repenting on the part of the overzealous one. Saul in his zeal to live "after the most straitest sect" of his religion, breathed out "threatenings and slaughter" against the early Christians. Later with deep regret for his overzealous acts, he became with much humility one of these same despised Christians. Some ministers of the gospel who have been vitriolic in their denunciation of Christian Science, have later, when the "light from heaven" has come to them "in the way," become sincere adherents of the religion they have maligned. Jesus, in speaking to his disciples about those who were overzealous in their religious beliefs, said: "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service," and then he gave the reason for their false zeal: "And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."

Jesus spent many hours teaching his disciples of God and of himself. By precept and example he demonstrated what the life of a Christian should be. He healed the sick, reclaimed the sinner, comforted the sorrowing, and left specific commands for his followers to do likewise. He bade them "cast out devils," "heal the sick." He not only commanded his followers to do the works which he had done, but he left the comforting assurance, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;" and that others might know whether his professed followers were indeed true followers, he left a definite standared by which they might be judged: "By their fruits ye shall know them."

God is Love, and one can know God only as he makes love the dominating influence of his every thought and act, only as he learns to love as Jesus loved. Resentment, jealousy, prejudice, arrogance, pride, and vainglory had no place in Jesus' life. Patience, meekness, tenderness, compassion, humility, and love are the qualities which he manifested. To his overzealous defender he said, "Put up thy sword," and for his tormentors he prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His work was a constructive work. He did not attempt to tear down and destroy, but taught and practiced a religion which was at all times healing and regenerating; and by this religion he established health where before there had been sickness and disease, purity where sin and evil had reigned, joy and happiness where sorrow and sadness had held sway. Jesus' words and deeds manifested a true understanding of God.

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The Leaves of the Tree
July 24, 1920

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