God's Gifts

"An act of Providence" is a phrase frequently found in legal documents when reference is made to earthquakes, epidemics, and disasters of a nature not attributable to human invention. The expression, taken in connection with such circumstances, implies that God sends upon His children, on some occasions at least, disease, death, and destruction. But before accepting this assertion at its face value, as telling the truth about the nature and character of God and of His gifts, it were well to find what the Scriptures have to say on the subject.

The Psalmist assures us that peace is the result of loving God's law; while Paul, who in his various writings has much to say that is both inspiring and helpful concerning the nature of God's gifts, may be said to sum up his teachings on the question in his terse declaration in the sixth chapter of Romans: "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." After declaring God to be the source of every good and perfect gift, James would not have referred to "the Father of lights" as being without "variableness" or "shadow of turning" had he believed God responsible for such destructive evils as earthquakes and epidemics.

When correcting their false beliefs concerning Deity and explaining the true nature of God's gifts and how they are attained, Jesus always encouraged his followers to ask God for what they needed, with full confidence that He would give them everything that was good. He said, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" After which he concluded his remarks by exhorting, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." In other words, God's gifts are spiritual, and are attained by obeying the spiritual law of loving one's neighbor as one's self. For, as Mrs. Eddy, she whose constant study of the Scriptures led her to perceive their true spiritual import, explains in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 140): "The Jewish tribal Jehovah was a man-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human changeableness. The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death."

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Unity and Cooperation
September 6, 1924

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