The measure of compassion entertained by one is commensurate with his comprehension of this Christly quality which Jesus so perfectly expressed in his contact with sinning, suffering, inharmonious humanity. No characteristic of the Master is more prominent than this wonderful connecting link between the divine and the human. If we were asked which of the varied qualities of divine Love will accomplish most, we might answer, Compassion. Sympathy is associated with compassion in the thought of mortals, but they are not interchangeable terms. In the history of the experience and ministry of Jesus the Christ, compassion is presented as the Godlike attribute to be exercised in humanity's behalf.
In our everyday dealings with our fellow men, whatever savors of compassion helps to harmonize these relationships. The requirements of divine Love in every situatin include consideration for others. A beautiful sense of humility companions the quality of love designated compassion; and the gentle Nazarene exemplified this. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 (p. 18) Mrs. Eddy writes, "Jesus was compassionate, true, faithful to rebuke, ready to forgive," so showing that compassionate treatment withholds not the merited rebuke to error, but handles it to its exclusion; and this eventuates in complete forgiveness.
The compelling animus of Mind is shown in the healing of the two blind men who cried out from the wayside asking that they might receive their sight. First, Jesus "had compassion" on them; then he "touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him." The desire for wholeness on the part of the men to be healed was no small factor in this divinely natural restoration. The yearning for spiritual discernment of the real man, perfect and unlimited, "conformed to the image of his Son," is to-day satisfied by attaining the understanding of the Christ, Truth, through the teachings of Christian Science, wherein we see Principle and idea, God and man, as cause and effect.
To what a marked degree did the Christlike attributes dwell with our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science! It was her compassionate love for her fellow men that led her to endure, with untold fortitude, the pioneering that resulted in the greatest renaissance of spiritual activity the world has witnessed in many centuries. This Christly affection of hers is confirmed in the following remarks of a retiring President of The Mother Church (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 39): "My thoughts revert to a former occasion, when it was my pleasant duty to preside at an annual meeting when our Pastor Emeritus, Mrs. Eddy, was present. We remember her graciousness and dignity. We recall the harmonious tones of her gentle voice. Our hearts were thrilled by her compassion, and the memory lives with us." What an inspiring example of Christian womanhood was our Leader!
Every student of Christian Science has an innate longing to answer the call, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Many there are who respond in the spirit of consecration, and act, love, and serve compassionately! For all such the words of a well-loved hymn fittingly speak:
"Oh, in thy light, be mine to go,
Illuming all my way of woe!
And give me ever on the road
To trace thy footsteps, Son of God!"