Three Centuries

To be of enduring value, the celebration of the Pilgrim Tercentenary needs to be based on the true idea expressing divine Principle. Activity in accord with Principle is the reality of the pilgrim, whether of the time of Abraham or of the period of the Mayflower. This activity must always be, first of all, the acceptance of God, divine intelligence, as the one Supreme Being, causing, guiding, and sustaining all true existence. In that this activity requires no human intermediaries between man and God, it is genuinely democratic, since democracy, in its highest sense, must be the free dependence of man on Principle. Because the Mayflower Pilgrims sought freedom to rely together on Principle, rather than merely on persons, they were, so far as they comprehended what this freedom is, essentially democratic. Thus they went to work from the first to establish a democracy in America. Really to celebrate the achievement of the Pilgrims is, therefore, to prove to-day the unfolding permanence of spiritual democracy.

The idea which the Pilgrims faintly discerned has, of course, unfolded throughout the centuries. This eternal idea Mrs. Eddy fully discovered and clearly stated to the world as idea expressing infinite Mind, quite apart from any suppositions of materiality. Not merely for the specific work of the Pilgrims but for all the true Puritan activity, Mrs. Eddy had a sincere respect. As she says in "No and Yes" (p. 46), "The author's ancestors were among the first settlers of New Hampshire. They reared there the Puritan standard of undefiled religion. As dutiful descendants of Puritans, let us lift their standard higher, rejoicing, as Paul did, that we are free born." The consideration of spiritual history, which is the constant unfoldment of infinite divine consciousness, is always what is important, rather than any suppositionally material sense of things.

Among the Churches
September 4, 1920

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