The "great white throne"
In his letters to Timothy, the Apostle Paul exhorted the followers of Christ to pray for "all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
Mary Baker Eddy also exhorted her church (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 14): "Pray for the prosperity of our country, and for her victory under arms; that justice, mercy, and peace continue to characterize her government, and that they shall rule all nations. Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His righteousness." In this same message, Mrs. Eddy included a prayer and blessing for the brave men in our country's armed forces.
Obedient Christian Scientists have prayed thus for many years, and have learned that righteous prayer not only achieves victory and blessings, but purifies the thought of the one who prays, freeing it from destructive criticism and resentful thinking. It also opens one's eyes to opportunities for service that otherwise might not have been seen.
The following incident, which occurred some years ago, will serve to illustrate this point. The then President of the United States had accepted an invitation to deliver the address at the unveiling of a monument on one of the battlefields of the American Revolution. A few days before the event, a federal agent discovered a plot to assassinate the President as soon as he should rise on the platform to address those present. The agent hastened back to Washington with his report, but he stopped off between trains to seek out two Christian Science practitioners who resided in that state. He asked these practitioners to pray for the President's safety, which they most gladly agreed to do. For some years they had daily prayed as our Leader had requested in her message, but this was a call for special prayer.
The proper authorities took the human steps necessary to ensure against trouble, and all went well.
During the four hours that the President was in their state, the two practitioners devoted the entire time to prayer. While they were praying a strange thing happened: they both became almost overwhelmed by a sense of crushing burden, so heavy and cruel that it seemed as if no human being could endure it.
Said one to the other, "Can it be that this is the load our Presidents have to bear?" Then they both prayed to lift that load. These words from Isaiah came to them: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?"
A new light dawned for them upon the vision of St. John, where the Revelator tells of "a great white throne" in heaven, and of the One who sat upon it. These two practitioners saw and understood, as never before, the absolute supremacy of God's government and the oneness and allness of the divine Mind. They saw clearly that there are not thrones many—just one; also, that there are not rulers many—only One. In the same reality of being there are not minds many, hating and being hated, hypnotizing and being hypnotized, because the one divine Mind includes and governs all. This one Mind is the essence of intelligence and wisdom; therefore these divine qualities are forever reflected by man in the likeness of his Maker.
Man has no power, intelligence, or wisdom underived from God, but this one inexhaustible divine supply is his without limit, because man is the very expression and emanation of the source of all good. Moreover, they awakened to the idolatry of seeing person in the place of divine Principle. All authority is in God. To think otherwise is to think destructively instead of constructively concerning our government.
They saw that the responsibility of government and supply is with God, not man, and that man's part in government is the joyous, obedient reflecting of the one divine Mind. As these two practitioners prayed in this way, the sense of burden began to lift until nothing was left of it, and in place thereof was a great consciousness of freedom, of absolute safety, peace, and harmony.
Two days later they found in the morning newspaper the account of an interview given to the press by the President's secretary. The secretary told of how the President had enjoyed his time away, and had returned in excellent health and spirits, and he closed with these words: "The President says that while on this trip he felt the lifting of a crushing mental load which descended upon him when he took the oath of office, and from which he had experienced no relief until now." It is not difficult to imagine the overflowing gratitude to God, and the humility and joy with which those Christian Scientists read of that interview; nor is it difficult to understand that this was a lesson never to be forgotten.
Every true Christian knows that there is a forever "firmament," or firm, uncompromising line of separation between good and evil. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Moral values must be kept straight and clear until all belief in a power apart from God, good, is wiped out by divine Science. But we must observe the Christ-rule in the destruction of evil. This rule scientifically impersonalizes evil, and then destroys it. This action of the Christ-consciousness heals and saves. Cruel and destructive action is not Science, is not the Christ-way, and does not proceed from God.
The Christ Science that uncovers error as impersonal and unreal destroys it. If we personalize error, we give it, in belief, an agent with which to strike back. The whole world has now learned a lesson in the awful error of appeasement. We have tasted and now know the deadly nature of the mental narcotic of apathy, and we want no more of it; but our testing times are not yet over, and we cannot afford to lessen our watch and our prayers. The sword of the righteous can halt the sword of aggression, but it cannot destroy the wicked motives back of aggressive warfare—only the Christ, Truth, can do that.
The signing of peace terms after this global war is ended may be the preface to a period in which varying views of government, both occult and visible, may strive to control the formation of the new world order, but we need have no fear of the outcome. Power is an attribute of God, good, not of evil, and we can foresee and forestall the claims of evil.
The model for a true and universal democracy has already been revealed by divine Love. On pages 246 and 247 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" Mrs. Eddy writes: "The Magna Charta of Christian Science means much, multum in parvo,—all-in-one and one-in-all. It stands for the inalienable, universal rights of men. Essentially democratic, its government is administered by the common consent of the governed, wherein and whereby man governed by his creator is self-governed. The church is the mouthpiece of Christian Science,—its law and gospel are according to Christ Jesus; its rules are health, holiness, and immortality,—equal rights and privileges, equality of the sexes, rotation in office." In this great charter Mrs. Eddy shows the church in its correct relationship to government. "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it."
As the thunders of the dictators die away into oblivion, the spiritual leadership of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, will shine as the sun pointing the way—the only way—through individual understanding and demonstration of the teachings of Christ Jesus. The revelation of this great Leader, and holy messenger of God, gives the kingdom and the power and the glory back to God.