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.

The example of our revered Leader before the world is one of true Christian forbearance and kindliness. Her teachings, so revolutionary to the accepted beliefs in religion and medicine of half a century ago, so at variance with the creed and dogma of the so-called orthodox religions, raised a storm of opposition which developed into something approximating religious persecution. Yet in the midst of the storm which raged about her, she went prayerfully forward, under divine guidance, to establish the healing Christ, Truth, which had been revealed to her. It is probable that Christian Science, because of its opposition to generally accepted theories, has been more bitterly attacked than has any other religious teaching in modern times. But in the last decade there has been a marked change, so great that many fellow-religionists have come to look on Christian Science with kindliness and toleration. A long step has been taken toward accepting Christian Science on the basis of an established and progressive religious denomination.

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Demonstration versus Riddance
September 22, 1923

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