“Are you faithful? Do you love?”
From the March 23, 1918 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
by John Randall Dunn
We are, without doubt, living in one of the most momentous periods in human history. Unquestionably the earth is witnessing the inevitable upheaval predicted by Christ Jesus. Referring to this gigantic fermentation Mrs. Eddy wrote years ago in the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 96): “This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace.” Then a little farther along we read: “During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.”
This significant statement would seem to emphasize two important thoughts for the earnest student of Christian Science: first, that it is his province and his privilege to aid in shortening the period of violent chemicalization—in other words, to “hold crime in check” and “aid in the ejection of error;” and second, that he shall not be dismayed nor overwhelmed by the seeming awfulness of the situation, but “cheerfully await” the sure triumph of good and right. Many seekers after Truth, not recognizing that this great stir throughout its whole system is a favorable symptom in the world’s recovery, are yielding not a little to the argument of dismay, and, what is still more unfortunate, to a mental turning away from the problem which, were such action universal, would leave our sick, chemicalizing world-patient without a practitioner.
Every conscientious worker in the vineyard of Christian Science knows that when he has declared the truth for a sufferer and the patient immediately appears to grow worse instead of better, this is no time for him to desert the sick one and say: “I cannot account for this upheaval. Evidently this is not a case for Christian Science.” And yet this seems to be attitude of some workers in the movement to-day. The argument of mere sentimental loyalty to a country apparently blinds many otherwise clear students and causes them to lose sight of the marvelous metaphysical aspects of this great world problem, thus making them inactive, negligible factors in its solution; nay worse: it causes them to become positive obstacles to the speedy working out of the problem in truth.
This is no time for the student of Christian Science to classify himself as democrat or republican, as a disapprover of the administration, or as an upholder and justifier of our nation’s enemies. The hour has struck when, if we would “hold crime in check,” we must realize that we are trying to be Christian Scientists, or metaphysicians; we must see and cope with this great international crisis metaphysically.
Let us suppose that a neighbor impelled by a vicious motive has unchained a savage dog, and that the beast has run amuck in the neighborhood, injuring several children. As good citizens we would without doubt first demand the capture and the tying up of the animal. If such demand were refused, we would take every legitimate common sense step to remove the menace. If the municipal government took the matter in hand and used every resource at its command to cope with the dangerous situation, we would support such government. But has the Christian Scientists’ work stopped here? What about the neighbor, whose victimization by error led to the unchaining of the dog? Has the neighbor been healed? Will the neighborhood be quite safe until he is healed? May not another fierce animal be unloosed unless the evil motive which brought about the first disaster is overcome and wiped out?
Now the coming to earth in this age of that “Spirit of truth” spoken of by Jesus, is without doubt throwing into a mighty ferment nations as well as individuals. As a well-known hymn reads:—
The advocates of error,
Foresee the glorious morn,
And hear in shrinking terror,
The watchword of reform.
For the coming of truth means the coming of justice, the advent of freedom; and the advent of freedom means the death knell of autocracy, tyranny, and the oppression of the many by the few. Autocracy and all that it stands for, being therefore uncovered, brought to the surface, and ripe for destruction, knowing that it hath but a short time, has unloosed in our midst the infuriated and lawless beasts of war. This nation, in concert with its aggrieved neighbors, naturally is taking every possible step to arrest and chain the beasts. Our Leader has stated as part of her political faith that she believes in supporting a righteous government; and a government actuated by more righteous motives than this would be difficult to find. But when a Christian Scientist, being a loyal citizen, has done his material “bit” in the necessary business of restraining the militaristic evil—or aiding in “the ejection of error”—is his work ended? Has he healed the case? Far from it! There is still the victim neighbor needing his love and compassion and his earnest metaphysical work; and nothing short of metaphysics, or clear spiritual thinking, can save the race.
Equally as important, therefore, as the sending of material troops to deal with the war menace, is the daily sending into the distressed human consciousness of hosts of exalted thoughts, of declarations of the all-power of Love and of the operation and might of divine law. The Christian Scientist then has mapped out for him a high and holy task: first, in supporting a righteous government he shall do his share in maintaining law and order; second, he shall do his part in making the world safe for democracy by metaphysically healing the argument of autocracy; and third, he shall go at his work joyfully, undismayed and unafraid, cheerfully awaiting “the certainty of ultimate perfection.”
It is possible for each and every one of us during these troublous days to remain undisturbed and to recall often the Master’s promise respecting this very time, “There shall not an hair of your head perish.” Let us also cling to such splendid statements as these, which our Leader has given us for the healing of the nations (Miscellany, pp. 278, 279): “The government of divine Love is supreme. Love rules the universe, and its edict hath gone forth: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ and ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Let us have the molecule of faith that removes mountains,—faith armed with the understanding of Love, as in divine Science, where right reigneth.” “God is Father, infinite, and this great truth, when understood in its divine metaphysics, will establish the brotherhood of man, end wars, and demonstrate ‘on earth peace, good will toward men.’ “
Christian Scientists, we who have been privileged to touch the hem of the garment of the reappearing Christ, with us to-day rests the task of healing stricken humanity. To us to-day again resounds our Leader’s ringing question, as found on page 238 of her “Miscellaneous Writings”: “Are you faithful? Do you love?”