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Government by Divine Principle

From the September 26, 1936 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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Throughout the Bible, both the Old and the New Testament, the theme of God's omnipotence is repeated again and again. The Jehovah of the Hebrews is the Almighty One. The God revealed by Christ Jesus as infinite Spirit is also the omnipotent Ruler of the universe.

Christian Science likewise proclaims God's allness, His omnipotence and omnipresence. He is the only power and the only presence. Accordingly, we may logically conclude that His law governs the universe, the universe of His creating; and God's law is God's will. Hence the government of the universe is the law of God, the rule of divine Principle, the manifestation of God's will. And this government must, because of its divine source, be just, righteous, infallible, and continuous. Such is God's government of His universe, the universe of spiritual and perfect ideas. This is the situation in the realm of reality, God's kingdom, the only universe.

But the question arises, How shall this spiritual truth become practical in the governments of men, in the nations of earth? Christian Science gives a complete and practical answer to this query. Christian Science states that man is governed by God. Now, righteous government for the individual is experienced just in proportion to one's conformity to divine law. The real man, God's likeness, is always governed righteously, for God is his governor. Mortals are governed righteously in so far as they conform to this divine rule, that is, in proportion to their demonstration of divine qualities in their daily living. He who seeks and gains the sense of God's presence, the presence of the perfect qualities of God, and expresses those qualities in his thoughts and acts, is bringing God's government into practical demonstration. He is demonstrating the way of Life; and he knows that when he conforms to divine law he is rightly and righteously governed. Such an individual, of a necessity, thus becomes the best type of citizen, known for his integrity, kindness, justice, and general uprightness. By his own demonstration is he aiding in establishing God's government, not alone for his own country, but for the whole world.

Now, a nation consists of individuals regarded collectively; and its government, if it be a democracy, is the expression of the will of its people, operating according to the rules of suffrage agreed upon. And the national mental status depends upon the mental quality of its constituent members. Its ideals are their ideals. Its type of government will be the expression of the people's concept of government. And the voice of the people, as the traditional axiom proclaims, can be the voice of God only so far as the will of God finds expression through the citizens of the country individually. How plain, then, that reform and the establishment of righteous government become a problem for each individual. Hence government by divine Principle, which is the only just, the only righteous, the only lasting government, must be the goal sought by every worthy citizen.

Whenever the issues of government are before the public, and especially when the rulers of a country are to be chosen, how great is the necessity for every citizen to look for divine guidance! Especially does this duty fall upon Christian Scientists, to whom has been revealed the type and form of righteous government. And, furthermore, Christian Scientists have learned the practical means of establishing that government in the affairs of men. They are aware that "the government shall be upon his shoulder," and that there will be no stability in government until God's rule is established "in earth, as it is in heaven."

First of all the steps in this process of Christian duty is the establishing of a full faith that God does govern, and that His righteous government may be made a practical demonstration in present needs. If we examine the faithful followers of God in older days, we find many impressive examples. Sang the Psalmist, "O let the nations be glad and sing for joy." Why? Because "thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth." Such assurance becomes a strong factor in establishing God's righteous government.

A first obligation, then, which the Christian Scientist recognizes, is to gain some concept of true government. Then follows the desire to make this manifest in human affairs. Examination of issues at stake in the light of spiritual illumination reveals those nearest divine Principle. This enables one to determine which are nearest right, that is, which most nearly conform to divine Principle. This determined, he is informed how to act, and will act in conformity with his convictions as to what is nearest right under the circumstances. This process excludes mere personal aims, ambitions, and opinions. It denies control either from animosity or because of mere personal attachment (see The Mother Church Manual, Art. VIII, Sect. 1). It eliminates all self-seeking. Good for the individual is good for all. Mrs. Eddy states the case perfectly on page 206 of Science and Health: "In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes,—Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply." And through righteous prayer, this scientific unity which exists eternally between God and man may be made practical in our human affairs to bless and prosper all. By its means, righteous government, the government of divine Principle, may be established.

In a statement which appeared in a Boston newspaper, Mrs. Eddy expressed her view that all who have the right of suffrage should exercise that right, and that each should determine for himself the party or candidate worthy of his support. In reply to the query, " 'What are your politics?' " she said, "I have none, in reality, other than to help support a righteous government; to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 276). And by righteous government, does not Mrs. Eddy mean that government duly chosen and nearest divine Principle, that which conforms most closely to the divine commands? Manifestly, then, determination of the right course to pursue in selecting party and candidates requires, first, that one satisfy oneself as to the party which best represents God's government, which most nearly conforms to that "wisdom, economy, and brotherly love" which our Leader enjoins upon all Christian Scientists in the conduct of their affairs (Manual, Art. XXIV, Sect. 5). And surely, affairs of government of one's country are of the greatest concern to every citizen. Christian Scientists are especially blessed in the knowledge of God, of His law, and of the means whereby this law may be made operative in the selection and support of a righteous government. That God's will be done "in earth, as it is in heaven" is within the range of practical demonstration.

Copyright, 1936, by The Christian Science Publishing Society. One, Norway Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Entered at Boston post office as second-class matter. Acceptance for malling at a special rate of postage provided for in section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917, authorized on July 11, 1918.

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