The Pupil and Moral Courage

To acquaint a child with the great characters of the Bible whose examples have inspired men and women through the centuries is a real privilege. Children today are exposed to varying influences of mortal thought, and they need to learn to discern readily between right and wrong and to be able to stand with courage for what they know to be right. To this end, the examples of moral and spiritual strength which have been handed down to us through the Scriptures are indispensable.

"Moral courage is 'the lion of the tribe of Juda,' the king of the mental realm,' writes Mary Baker Eddy in the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 514). Continuing, she says: "Free and fearless it roams in the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in 'green pastures, . . . beside the still waters.'" To maintain a righteous position amidst criticism, doubt, and opposition and to carry through to achievement require the freedom of thought and action which comes of moral courage. When leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage Moses, an outstanding type of moral courage, at times stood practically alone in his allegiance to God. Yet he demonstrated such moral and spiritual freedom that when the great work was finished, his physical and mental strength were unimpaired, although he had reached the age of one hundred and twenty years.

Another example of moral courage which appeals mightily to boys and girls is that of King Hezekiah, who, according to the account in the eighteenth chapter of II Kings, began his reign at the age of twentyfive by abolishing the public practice of idolatry, exterminating the "high places," and breaking the images of the idolaters. The twentyninth chapter of II Chronicles tells of his cleansing and repairing the temple and restoring the temple worship. Then, further evidencing the courage of his convictions, he sent a proclamation throughout Israel and Judah, calling upon the people to come to the temple and observe the Passover, a practice which had long since been discontinued. As the couriers passed through the cities, opponents "laughed them to scorn, and mocked them" (II Chron. 30:10). Nevertheless, many responded, and the Passover was kept with prayer and praise and thanksgiving.

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June 16, 1956

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