One of the most genial of our poets, Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote from the basis of true Christianity, once spoke of his "great task of happiness." He was burdened throughout most of his life with chronic ill-health, and yet from accounts which we have of his life, he was able to retain a degree of happiness and to express it to others. This was a true Christian achievement.

The old-fashioned long-faced Christianity of Puritan days has lost its hold, and an enlightened and joyous attitude appears in the Christian of today. The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America states that men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Without the promised reward and certainty of happiness, nothing in human life would be worth while. The end of all law, commandment, and Christian requirements, the very reason for obedience to them, is the assurance that we shall attain permanent happiness. Happiness, then, is the goal of all Christian endeavor. This goal has been named "heaven," and on page 587 of the Glossary in the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy describes heaven as "harmony," or in other words, as happiness.

The teaching of orthodox theology usually is that personal goodness is, in this world, the goal of Christianity. This has resulted, in many cases, in a self-satisfaction at the attaining of personal goodness which has amounted to a deplorable and unattractive self-righteousness. Our Master pointed out the danger of this attitude of mind when someone called him "Good Master." His answer was (Matt. 19:17), "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

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June 23, 1951

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