Christian Ethics

Among Christians, instances are not infrequent of self-examination to ascertain if one's conduct in certain events has been governed by the moral law, even though the statutory law would appear to have been satisfied with a somewhat lower standard. The Sermon on the Mount has furnished mankind with a code for guidance in behavior calling for the demonstration of a high degree of selflessness, abnegation, and loving consideration for one's fellow-men, even his so-called enemies. To love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength," to do precisely as one would be done by, to love one's neighbor as one's self, to give his cloak to him who sues for his coat,—these demands can be satisfied only through the constant effort to express the Christ, only by adopting the ideal of divine Love as one's guide and mentor. Yet, to conform exactly to these high demands, to depart no jot or tittle from their fulfillment, is the task set before Christian Scientists by our revered Leader, not once but repeatedly. On page 7 of "No and Yes" Mrs. Eddy says: "Every loving sacrifice for the good of others is known to God, and the wrath of man cannot hide it from Him. God has appointed for Christian Scientists high tasks, and will not release them from the strict performance of each one of them."

The exalted ideals of accomplishment which Mrs. Eddy held as possible for each student of Christian Science inspire and stimulate all who seek spiritual truth with a desire to express in their earthly experience the closest possible approach to the perfect man in his relation to divine Principle. One's spiritual growth in Christian Science naturally brings him into ever closer union with the Church of Christ, Scientist, the true Church, and enhances his usefulness to the Cause which has for its mission the redemption of mankind. In all the activities resulting from one's relations as a church member, as a practitioner, as a teacher, as an officer of a branch church,—in any capacity whatsoever to which God may have called him as a worker in His vineyard,—are there not always entailed the duty and necessity to live up to the highest demands of true Christian ethics? The obedient worker on no occasion and under no circumstances desires to depart from this criterion.

When human laws prescribe high standards of conduct, may we not justifiably anticipate even higher standards from those imbued with the desire, as true Christians, to fulfill in the utmost detail the demands of Spirit? For example, it has often been held by legal authority that the relationship between physician and patient, between lawyer and client, and between a testator and his spiritual adviser is so personal and intimate, so confidential, as to call for special protection by statute to prevent the exercise of undue influence over a person seeking medical, legal, or spiritual aid, as the case might be. Likewise, Mrs. Eddy in her great wisdom foresaw the necessity of protecting the unique relationship between a Christian Science practitioner and his patient, and promulgated a By-law meet the need, Article VIII, Section 22, of the Church Manual.

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Continuity of Existence
January 6, 1923

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