[Written Especially for Young People]

Sophistication or Sincerity?

CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS always rejoice that they have an unvarying Principle by which to order aright the affairs of daily life. During his educational period, however, the youthful student is assailed on all sides by various theories and philosophies, with which "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." He is fortified by his daily study of the Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly to challenge these arguments, and he finds by making use of the Concodances to the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, which are at his disposal at any Christian Science Reading Room, that he can have logical and practical enlightenment on any subject.

The suggestion may come that his constant practice of this Science will make him too unlike his fellows. When he does not accede to the customs and habits of those with whom he is associated, he may even be accused of being "goody-goody" or "unsophisticated." Let us analyze this. The dictionary definition of "sophisticated" which our young friends would probably choose in this respect is "worldly-wise." The Sophists were a class of teachers in ancient Greece who were skilled in adroit and specious reasoning, leading to display and insincerity. Hence this word really means superficiality or artificiality, something that is deluding, misleading—quite the reverse of anything the Christian Scientist wishes to express; so let him not for a moment envy or bow down to nonchalant sophistication.

What the young student doubtless does desire is that poise which will enable him to meet any situation with assurance, unmoved by circumstance or opinion. The supreme example of this power is given in the brief history of our Master, as recorded in the four Gospels. Was he not wise when, in the presence of the Pharisees and those who would belittle his mission and find accusation to destroy him, he "knew their thoughts" and answered them accordingly in an exact and dignified manner? It is also recorded that he "knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." What a marvelous thing to have so bright an inward light of Truth that it penetrates to all the dark corners of human hypocrisy! By what means did Jesus always have this light with him? Surely the answer is in his own words: "The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

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May 2, 1931

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