"Behold, what manner of love"

Throughout the world, in every Sunday service in Christian Science churches, the following words of John, the beloved disciple, are read: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." Could we but listen to this statement on each occasion as though we were hearing it for the first time, what a wonderful perception we might gain of the allness of divine Love! The infinite love of God has always existed and is ever available to all. It is only the mist of materialism which appears to shut out the realization of it.

In every age, however, there have been those who were able in a measure to perceive this great fact and, consequently, to rise higher in spiritual consciousness. Thus we read of Abraham's beholding, perhaps faintly, "what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us," and feeling impelled to seek a higher sense of existence. As he progressed, a truer understanding of Love was unfolded to him, until ultimately he was accepted as the father of those who worshiped the one God. Did not the Saviour, Christ Jesus, refer to a woman he had healed as "being a daughter of Abraham"? From a merely human point of view, Abraham stands as a great patriarch, one especially endowed spiritually; but that view reduces him to the position of an honourable historical character, without acknowledgment of the omnipotent Love which brought about his exaltation; and it deprives him of his rightful place in religious history. Of Abraham, however, our revered Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p.579), "This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding."

To-day there are a vast number who are feeling the unsettled conditions of human thought even as did Abraham. The marvelous love of God is shed abroad as never before, piercing the mists of materialism to such an extent that many are feeling its mightly influence and, like Abraham of old, have arrived at a stage of mental unrest. They feel impelled to seek "a city which hath foundations." Divine Love has made a wonderful provision for such searchers in the Wednesday evening testimony meetings of Christian Science churches. When Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, having found the "inexhaustible divine Love" (marginal note, ibid., p. 494), she realized that it was sufficient for all human needs; and she was thereby inspired to found and establish such a form of organization as would enable every individual to hear, test, and prove for himself the fact that "now are we the sons of God." The Church services, the form of church government, the periodicals, and all the other activities of the Christian Science movement are gifts of divine Love to this age through our Leader. To the midweek meeting come many who have heard little or nothing about the truth. They come, as do also the sick, the discouraged, the sinful, the heavy-laden, to hear the wonderful truth that the love of God is applicable to their everyday needs. God's loving help and support are waiting to be understood and used. "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."

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December 14, 1929

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