Christian Science and the Communal Life

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE has made itself conspicuous by its teaching that the only freedom-bringing fact in all the universe is demonstrable truth. Further, it affirms that "the truth," a knowledge of which gave Christ Jesus such beneficent authority and power, may be apprehended by spiritually aspiring men so that in conscious obedience to divine law they may do his works and thus solve their problems whether individual or communal. The failure of human philosophy and long-time, earnest effort to accomplish this end, together with the marked reserve of Christian believers in accepting the practicability of our Lord's teaching respecting the power of the ideal—all this has had immediately to do with that sense of the hopelessness of the tragedy of human experience which has oppressed thoughtful hearts in all the Christian past, and which is more openly expressed to-day, perhaps, than at any previous time.

One of the most distinctive teachings of the gospel is this, that spiritual truth is available for all and that when understood it is adequate to humanity's every need; hence pessimism can have no place in the thought of those who have really accepted it. Speaking of the redemptive scope of the monotheistic concept of Spirit for which she stood, Mrs. Eddy has said in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 340): "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry,—whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed." Elsewhere (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 144) she emphasizes the beneficent relation of true Christian Scientists to the communal welfare in affirming that "The Church, more than any other institution, at present is the cement of society, and it should be the bulwark of civil and religious liberty," and, (p. 155), "Forget self in laboring for mankind; then will you woo the weary wanderer to your door, win the pilgrim and stranger to your church, and find access to the heart of humanity."

The Sea
August 13, 1921

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