Spiritual Devoutness

THE world has so long associated the exercise of religious devotion with the "sad countenance" that a joyous appearance is often considered undevotional. Even the opponents of Christian Science credit its adherents with the possession of a cheerfulness not always to be found in the ranks of other denominations. From these two facts it will be seen how easy it is for the superficial, and ofttimes prejudiced, observer to make the mistake of thinking that Christian Science has no devotional element in it.

One who has traveled, even a little, will have observed the uniform devoutness of individuals who believe in widely differing creeds and religions. Such an one is apt to ask: What is the test of true devoutness? Is the sacrifice of a child under a Juggernaut car, or of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre, an instance of true religious devotion? "Wisdom is justified of her children," and, "By their fruits ye shall know them," are tests given by Jesus for his followers' use. The Hindu widow willingly sacrificing herself on the pyre is certainly vowing away for her religion something that she possesses; and this surrender is in keeping with the literal definition of religious devotion. But is it justified by its results: are its fruits good?

The Third Commandment
April 1, 1922

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