Whatever in human experience runs counter to opinion commonly held arouses opposition. This not infrequently is manifested as prejudice and bigotry, which find expression in divers forms of persecution. Such conditions have been peculiarly frequent in the fields of invention and religion. The bitterness engendered against certain innovations in the conduct of human affairs occasioned by the introduction of some new machine, device, or appliance, great as it has been, has scarcely been comparable with the intensity of the opposition aroused against unfamiliar and novel teachings in religion. Persecution, even to the death, has been common in the annals of religious history; and many wars have been waged between partisans of religious beliefs apparently irreconcilable. Religious persecution and wars waged in the name of religion form one of the blackest pages in human history.

Under the marginal heading, "Martyrs inevitable," Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 37): "History is full of records of suffering. 'The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.' Mortals try in vain to slay Truth with the steel or the stake, but error falls only before the sword of Spirit. Martyrs are the human links which connect one stage with another in the history of religion." Yet despite all this contention, none can successfully assert that the cause of Christ had been advanced in the slightest degree by indulgence in strife and the shedding of human blood. Not through war and conflict, but by hearing the "still small voice" and heeding it, does the cause of human salvation progress.

Demonstration versus Riddance
September 22, 1923

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