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Originally published in the June 14, 1919 issue of The Christian Science Monitor
In one of those many wonderful sentences in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” which pierce completely the materiality of human thought, and penetrate the deep things of Principle, Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 248, “One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful.” In the same spirit of intuition, Isaiah, in a passage perfectly rendered by the King James' translators, declared, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publislieth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” True knowledge, then, is comprehended in an understanding of Principle, which may be summed up in the two words, “God reigneth!” True friendship is comprised in a common realization of what this means, and its cement is an equality of demonstration. Both are equally beautiful, for they are instinct with the beauty of holiness. It was of such an ideal of friendship, surely, that the Hebrew poet wrote, in his, to us, curious, figurative way: “Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions."
Something of what all this means metaphysically may be gained by referring to the two sentences, in Science and Health, immediately previous to the one already quoted, “Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object.” Now the Bible declares that “God is love,” and on page 275of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy, with a logic absolutely irrefragable, insists, “The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.” Loveliness, then, is the reflection of Love, of Principle. So that beauty is not physical, is not enthroned in the sensuous grace of the form of Antinous or in the face of Helen, the mesmeric charm of which launched, in pursuit, a thousand ships. It is the manifestation of Emmanuel, or God with us, to which Paul referred when he wrote, “God was manifest in the flesh.” And herein lies, for those with ears to hear, and eyes to see, the secret of art which Mrs. Eddy strove to unveil to a perverse generation in “Christ and Christmas,” in a way the logic of which must be plain to the humanist metaphysician, though he be blinded to its spiritual force. For friendship is true art.
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