Principle and Precedent

It can truly be said that the mortal or carnal mind knows nothing of either absolute Principle or precedent. This so-called mind does, however, claim to understand precedent and, to be agreeable with the capricious notion of this mind, it will be admitted that it follows precedent faithfully. In fact, there is nothing else for it to do but imitate with its shallow understanding of that term whenever it feels the pressure of Truth prodding it on. On page 6 of her sermon entitled "The People's Idea of God" Mrs. Eddy writes, "Periods and peoples are characterized by their highest or their lowest ideals, by their God and their devil."

Now Christian Science teaches that the man God created in His "own image and likeness" was "very good." If God is wholly good, then it must inevitably follow that man is likewise. Such a man as this could surely have no devil, but the galimatias of the serpent, alias mortal mind, gradually, according to the second account of creation given in the book of Genesis, gave man a devil to fear and worship. So it is that man finds himself trying to serve two masters. This is an undertaking never known to have been consummated; therefore a man may prefer to set Principle quietly and unblushingly aside and follow precedent. Thus in this marvelous day of enlightenment and toleration we read and hear of individuals summoned before judges and juries for having been loyal to their highest understanding of Principle, to explain why they have not bowed down to the popular devil of vaccination, for instance. In the olden days people wore amulets to protect them from evils and to ward off disease. Can it be possible that a scar on one's arm to-day is a protection to others as well as to one's self, making one immune from disease? Or are mortals still engrossed with the belief that God made them to be sick and sinning, but to foil His designs they must seek out a preventive?

"Seek, and ye shall find"
March 12, 1921

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