The Truth About God and Man Which Produces Peace
Gavin W. Allan, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Delivered in Convention Hall,
It is my privilege on behalf of
First Church of Christ, Scientist,
"As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life," This is the first tenet of our Church, and is found to be a mighty weapon in this present world-wide turmoil. This promise or rule can be applied to each and every experience of daily living, and is the remedy for all fear.
Aggressive mental suggestion has come forth in final combat, determined to rule or ruin; but Isaiah tells us the government shall be upon the shoulders of the right idea, or Prince of Peace, as expressed in Christian Science; and this idea shall prevail against the dragon, or world resistance to the Truth.
Hypnotic human will or belief of intelligence apart from God, may seem to dictate for a season, but John the Revelator foresaw that it would prove its inability of defying immortal Mind, or interfering with the harmony of man; for man is spiritually free; a reflector of all that is beautiful, good, pure, and fine in character, not in bondage to conceit, falsehood, or barbarism; he is complete and satisfied.
We have with us this evening a
guest who is amply qualified to tell you of these truths about God and man. May
I present Gavin W. Allan, C.S.B., of
Peace is a subject in which everyone
is interested. It is one of those subjects about which many people say much,
but, unfortunately, do little. Most persons think of peace as a cessation of
hostilities between nations, as an absence of war. Peace may have, however, a
more intimate signification. Peace, like charity, begins at home. There may be,
for example, individual peace, peace of mind. In this connection
Is such a peace a human need today? Ask anyone. You will be told that, because discord in some form seems to have come into the experience of everyone, peace is unquestionably a human need. Every human being has a problem, and the person with a problem on his hands is the one to whom Christian Science makes its appeal. The person with a problem is looking for something which will help him to solve it, and the more pressing the need, the greater his effort to find a remedy.
If, as I have said, we all have problems, and if we admit our helplessness to solve our problems by human methods alone, then there is a place in human affairs for an understanding that shall be equal to the human need.
The student of Christian Science is convinced that the Principle by which any human problem can be solved has been revealed through Christian Science. So, whatever the discord may be, he devotes himself to the gaining of a better understanding of God through a diligent study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and so doing he finds his way out of the tangle of his troubles just as fast and as far as he obeys the truth he sees.
The omnipotence and omnipresence of God, understood, is the remedy for every human discord; and to the one who is struggling with any phase of error Christian Science offers relief, and healing, and peace.
But let us go back a bit. We were speaking of the evils which seem to invade human experience. Where do they come from? What is their source? Where do they originate?
Origin of Evil
Let me illustrate. Suppose, for example, that a friend rushed into your house some night and besought your protection and help. You saw that he was flushed and trembling and evidently fearing some pursuer who was not in sight; and upon inquiry as to what was his trouble, he told you that he had been chased by a ghost up in the park. Now, what was his trouble, and what will set it right?
If you know there is no such thing as a ghost, you will be in a position not only to detect his trouble but to help him. You will see that his plight arose from supposition. True, he may have seen some reflected moonlight or a newspaper, but he is not afraid of either of these. He supposed it to be something else. Then he believed that that something had life to chase him, intelligence to follow him, and power to harm him, or he would not have run. Then he became afraid and ran, and at the time you saw him he was manifesting some of fear's effects, which might have resulted in sickness, or even death.
In this story we have an illustration of the whole process of evil's supposed inception and development. First, a supposition: a supposition that there is something beside God and His good creation. Second, a belief: a belief that that something has life and intelligence. Third, a fear: a fear that it can harm us. Fourth, the effects of that fear.
Now, before we go any farther I should like to ask, How would you heal this friend of yours? He is evidently quite disturbed. How would you pacify him or heal him? Would you go about it this way? Would you wipe away his perspiration, paint his face a normal color, and attempt by some mechanical means to adjust the beating of his heart? Would that heal him? Remember his disease is not perspiration or palpitation. It is a belief in and fear of ghosts. No, that treatment will not heal him. But if, through your knowledge of the truth about ghosts, your desire to help your friend, and his desire and willingness to be helped, you assist him to see and accept that which is true, he will be freed not only from the false belief, but from the effects also.
Another question. How long will it take to heal him? The very moment your friend really accepts the truth about the event he will be healed. Just so it is with the healing of sickness. It can disappear as readily as darkness before light. When under the light of Truth one sees the folly, the unreality of his false belief, turns from it, and wholeheartedly accepts in its place that which is eternally true, he can be free. I have known it to occur. I know a number of people who have been healed within a few minutes, even after the disease had been pronounced incurable.
It is true that in many instances healings have been slow, due possibly to a lack of receptivity on the part of the patient, or a lack of understanding on the part of the practitioner. Such failure should not be attributed to Christian Science. It is due to our lack of spirituality, of spiritual growth. Every delayed healing, however, urges us to press on; for as our textbook points out (p. 368), "When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error." However meager may be our present perception of the great truths about God and man, does not this statement urge us to press diligently on?
"The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death" (Science and Health, p. 450). Mrs. Eddy does not say the Christian Science practitioner. She says, "the Christian Scientist." Every Christian Scientist "has enlisted to lessen evil." How can this be done? In only one way: through a knowledge of the absolute truth about God and man. You remember in the illustration we used a few moments ago you were able to help your friend through your knowledge of the truth about ghosts, your knowledge of their unreality. So you will be able to help your fellowmen to overcome their fears of disease through an understanding of the absolute truth about man, an understanding of the unreality of disease, in a word, an understanding of Christian Science.
You see there may be a vast difference between what men appear to be, and what man really is. Appearances are deceptive. Let me illustrate. Suppose that you were out for a stroll with a group of children, and came to a pond out of which slanted a straight stick, partly in and partly out of the water, and the children exclaimed: "Oh, look at the stick. See how it is bent just at the top of the water!" And you say, "Yes. It appears to be bent." "Appears to be," they say; "don't you see that it is bent?" "Yes," you say; "it appears to be; but I have been studying a science which deals with just such an occurrence, and I know that the apparent bend is not in the stick." That is to say, you reach your conclusion not from the appearance, but from the standpoint of the science you have been studying; and you could stand before that stick with all its apparent bend, and say, "I know you are a straight stick." In other words, you saw the straightness of the stick, not in the appearance, but in the natural science that related to the situation.
Now you and I are going to judge men in either of these two ways: either from appearance, whereby we may conclude that they are material beings, discordant, diseased, and mortal, or from the standpoint of the Science which relates to man, the first Scriptural statement of which is, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
You do not doubt that Jesus knew this, knew that man is the very image of God. Was it not through just such knowing, such righteous knowing, that his healing work was done? Hear this statement from our textbook (pp. 476, 477): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick."
Health, happiness, and peace are normal conditions for man; and because this is true they can be brought into the experience of each one of us. Someone has said, "All the water in the world cannot sink a boat unless it gets inside the boat." So all the evil in the world cannot sink a person unless it gets inside his mind. In this connection how pertinent is Mrs. Eddy's admonition (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p.210): "Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited."
You may have heard it said regarding some difficult experience, whether it was an illness against which the person had been contending, or an inharmonious environment which had been wearing on his sensibilities, "This is God's will, and I must resign myself to it." How did it ever come about that distressing situations were attributed to the will of God? Was it because that which is difficult to endure is supposed to be good for one? As a child said about some medicine he was told to take, "This must be awfully good for me, it tastes so bad." Or, was it because that which could not be satisfactorily explained, was attributed to God?
In this age Mary Baker Eddy has revealed God's will clearly. Let us review briefly her experience. Those of you who are acquainted with the events which attended the beginning of the Christian Science movement may recall that on the evening of Thursday, February 1, 1866, Mrs. Eddy was on her way, with a group of friends, to a Good Templars' meeting in Lynn, Massachusetts; that she fell upon the icy street and was severely injured; that the doctor who was called by her friends found her injuries to be internal and of a serious nature; and that she was removed to her home the following day, though in a very critical condition.
On Sunday she called for her Bible and began reading the account of the healing, by Jesus, of the palsied man, and as she read she had a great spiritual experience - the
realization then and there of the presence and power of God. In that moment all pain vanished. She rose from her bed, dressed, and walked into the parlor where her clergyman and a few friends were waiting. In that moment, Mrs. Eddy did more than experience a relief from physical suffering. She received a revelation of God and His will for which she had been fitting herself for many years.
During a number of years previous to this time Mrs. Eddy had been at times quite ill, and had tried in various ways to recover her health, but when she found herself in a condition which "neither medicine nor surgery could reach" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24), she turned to the Bible to study the healings of our Master. There was the record of Jesus' healing "all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people," and the question doubtless arose in her mind. In thus healing the sick, was Jesus acting in defiance of, or in accordance with, God's law? She thought this question through to its logical conclusion, and has given us the answer in our textbook. This is it (p. 168): "Because man-made systems insist that man becomes sick and useless, suffers and dies, all in consonance with the laws of God, are we to believe it? Are we to believe an authority which denies God's spiritual command relating to perfection, - an authority which Jesus proved to be false? He did the will of the Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called material law, but in accordance with God's law, the law of Mind."
When the truth about God and His will dawned upon Mrs. Eddy, it revealed the infinite goodness and love of God, and dispelled any false belief that God was the producer of sickness, or that it was any part of His plan. It revealed also that evil of every kind is not of God, and is therefore destructible, unreal. Mrs. Eddy then accepted the spiritual fact about herself that she was well; and the result was, as she tells us in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 24), "I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed."
Mrs. Eddy then began to put her new-found understanding of God to the test. One of her earliest demonstrations was the healing of a boy of what was called a bone felon. Shortly thereafter she healed a young man of fever, and a little later a woman who had not walked for sixteen years. If you would like to read about these you will find them in "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy" by Sibyl Wilbur. She proved that health and peace are natural and normal conditions for man.
God's will concerning man is not, then, something terrible from which we should shrink, but something glorious toward which we should aspire. To one who is equipped with an understanding of God and man as revealed to the world today through Christian Science, "Thy will be done" becomes no longer a sigh of resignation, but a challenge to anything and everything which would attempt to preclude its realization. The Christian Scientist therefore joyously prays daily, as outlined in the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 41),
" 'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!"
But to return to the subject of "peace." We human beings do not live unto ourselves. We live with others, in families, in communities, in nations; and in such groups peace is a requisite. So much so indeed that our Master left this definite command, "Have peace one with another." Paul in his letter to the Romans referred more than once to the duty of the individual to maintain peace with his fellow men. I quote from Moffatt's translation (Romans ), "Be at peace with all men, if possible, so far as that depends on you." Also (Romans ), "Peace then, and the building up of each other, these are what we must aim at." Both Paul and our Master have told us definitely that social peace is one of the responsibilities of the individual. Not only must we strive for peace of mind for ourselves, but there is much we can do to bring about peace in our environment wherever that may be.
In the past warmakers have been praised and honored for their defense of home and fatherland, but it is the peacemakers more than the warmakers who defend the community or the country. Peacemakers strike at the very root of the discord and destroy it in its inception. Were we all to follow our Leader's example, what a power for peace we should be! Hear this quotation from one of her books (Miscellany, p. 220): "Each day I pray for the pacification of all national difficulties, for the brotherhood of man, for the end of idolatry and infidelity, and for the growth and establishment of Christian religion - Christ's Christianity."
Religion is not confined to the family, the community, or even the nation, it overleaps them all. Even nationalism is not humanity's ultimate vision. The concern of religion is not with nationalism, it is with humanity. It goes beyond race, creed, or boundaries. Its domain is the world of humanity's needs.
In our relationship with each other today, what a need there is for vision - vision of what is eternally true. That alone can save us from belief in the discordant and untrue. The writer of the Proverbs warns us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." "Perish" means "break up" or "go to pieces," like a doll that has been left out in the rain overnight and has become undone. The pieces are all there, but they have lost cohesion. The only thing that really unites people is an understanding of God. As Mrs. Eddy has pointed out in our textbook (p. 340), "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man;" etc. Only a spiritual understanding of the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God can truly bring men to live and work together as they should. To illustrate. The nearer the spokes of a wheel get to the hub, the closer they get to each other. So in life the closer individuals get to God, the closer they get to each other. This is "the tie that binds," spiritual understanding.
In human relations, strange as it may seem, the way to peace is frequently by warfare, true warfare, warfare with evil, warfare with self. In this connection Mrs. Eddy has written (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 118), "Be of good cheer; the warfare with one's self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with you, - and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory."
Jesus said, "A man's foes shall be they of his own household." This does not mean that his foes shall be the other members of his family, but that his foes may be found in his own mental home, in his own mentality. In other words, his enemies are wrong thoughts, false beliefs, evil suggestions. Because his enemy is not a person, but evil itself, the only place he can handle it successfully is where it appears to present itself - in his own thinking. Now we see what Mrs. Eddy meant in the passage we quoted a few moments ago, "The warfare with one's self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment." Indeed it will give us so much to do we shall have no time to condemn others.
The "Rule for Motives and Acts" (Church Manual, p. 40), which is read in all Christian Science churches once a month, urges us to resist the temptation to judge erroneously, to criticize destructively. But this does not imply that we should stop criticizing. To criticize means to estimate, to choose, to separate. So criticism rightly exercised is a good thing. It is essential to progress. Indeed you might as well ask a man to stop thinking as to stop criticizing, because every idea that comes into the realm of consciousness must and does pass before the judgment seat of the human mind. Our Master instructed us to "judge not according to the appearance," but to "judge righteous judgment"; and the difference between what might be called destructive criticism and constructive criticism lies largely in the motive behind it. While what is called destructive criticism separates the evil from the good, it dismisses the good and remembers the evil. It stresses the fault. It dwells upon the failure. It is always personal. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, is impersonal. It points to a fault only that it may be remedied. It rejoices in the correction of anything wrong. It judges by pointing out a better way. It, too, separates the evil from the good, dismisses the evil and remembers and exalts the good. This is the judgment Christian Science is urging us to exercise every moment of every day, in order that evil be ruled out, not only from our doings, but from our thoughts of men, of ourselves or of our fellowmen. You see Christian Science not only holds before us a standard, but it is showing its students how to reach it.
We human beings have been educated to believe that good and evil are personal; that good belongs to some persons, and evil to others. So a few individuals are thought of as little less than gods, and others as something akin to devils. But Christian Science is showing us that the good qualities we see in our friends do not originate with them, but are reflected by them. They come from the source of all good, God. Likewise, the evil qualities which seem to be manifested by some are not created by them. Such persons are simply allowing themselves to be temporarily controlled by what Paul called "the carnal mind." When we awaken to see the impersonal nature of good and evil, we shall recognize the futility of fighting each other in order to destroy an impersonal evil.
Every human being must deal with the belief that evil is present in human consciousness, and he must deal with it either from the basis that it is true or that it is false. Many people deal with evil as something that is real and true. The Christian Scientist has chosen to deal with evil as something God did not make, hence neither real nor true. Let us see how our Master dealt with it. Was it the purpose of Jesus' mission to support the claim of evil's reality, or to deny it? To make something of it, or to make nothing of it? Did not his every act tend to prove that man is designed to be free from every phase of evil?
But someone may say, Did not our Master say quite definitely that he "came not to send peace, but a sword?" Yes, as our textbook points out (p. 19), "His teaching set households at variance, and brought to material beliefs not peace, but a sword." Jesus statement shows the conflict between materiality and spirituality which every one of us must face. His teachings were revolutionary.
This reminds me of a story told by a well-known writer. Two young sisters were having an argument about which was the last book of the Bible, and one was heard to exclaim, "Barbara, I tell you the Bible does not end in Timothy; it ends in Revolutions." And I am sure you will admit that history confirms the fact thus unwittingly stated. Yes, the teachings of our Master are revolutionary. They demand a complete transformation of our mental outlook. Paul puts it thus, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
But to continue our discussion of the necessity of peace between individuals. Our word "family" is derived from a Latin word meaning "servant." May not this imply that a true sense of "home" rests upon mutual obligations, and their fulfillment through love? In dealing with errors which claim to disturb our homes, the utmost tact may be found necessary. Tact does not imply, as many people believe, deceit or flattery. Webster defines "tact" as "sensitive mental perception; nice discernment of the best course of action under given conditions; esp., ability to deal with others without giving offense." We shall best succeed in helping others to correct faults of disposition if we regard the error impersonally, that is, if we do not attach it to the person, but recognize it as a falsity which is claiming power to express itself through someone. Then we may be able to show the individual the utter powerlessness of the temptation, and his God-given power to resist and overthrow it.
Thus our "sensitive mental perception," which is an outgrowth of our understanding of Christian Science, will enable us to "deal with others without giving offense." In other words, we shall prove our God-given ability to promote harmony and peace in our own homes. In such endeavors to assist our friends in overcoming faults of disposition, or mental or physical distresses, how pertinent are the words of A. E. Hamilton which our Leader has quoted with approbation in "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 95):
"Ask God to give thee skill
In comfort's art:
That thou may'st consecrated be
And set apart
Unto a life of sympathy.
For heavy is the weight of ill
In every heart;
And comforters are needed much
Of Christlike touch."
The interest of the individual should, however, extend to an even wider circle - the nation. However distant he may be from his country's capital he may be informed these days by newspaper or radio not only of national but of world events. Today the thoughts of the individual encompass the world. Too seldom do we recognize that world affairs are only an expression of humanity's thoughts. Whether the world is passing through what is called a crisis, or is for the time at peace, these conditions are but an expression of the mentality of human beings. If today every human being in the world were to go to sleep for a week, there would be a complete cessation of international complications, notwithstanding the fact that not a single thing has been altered except that men's thoughts had been stilled. War is a state of mind. The world's state is a mental state, with a mental cause, and requiring a mental remedy.
If you were asked today, What are the causes of war? you would not likely say, guns, planes, and bombs. Rather would you say fear, greed, pride, jealousy, or hatred. These are mental qualities. So the question comes home to each one of us: Am I in any way contributing to the cause of war? Am I guilty of war? The answer to that question is, If I am expressing such qualities, I am in that measure contributing to the cause of war. In this connection a newspaper correspondent has said: "Before I thought of this I could complacently blame someone else, and feel that I could not possibly be held responsible for what they did, but now I must set about putting my own house in order, - a task that will give me no spare time. . . . Guns, battleships, airplanes and shells could cause no war if there were no war-thoughts in existence." But while such thoughts continue to exist there may be wars, with sticks and stones, even though all other weapons had been destroyed. Would it not, then, be a great contribution to the cause of world peace were you and I to begin right now to eliminate from our minds all war-producing thoughts? This is not only within our power, but it is one of the most practical contributions we are privileged to make.
Because there are boundary lines
between countries they need not necessarily bristle with bayonets, or be lined
with fortifications. The North American continent has proved this. Between the
Disputes over boundary lines, especially between farms, have been frequent in newly settled districts. This reminds me of such a dispute between two farmers some years ago. It had been a source of bitterness and loss to both of them for years. Finally one of the farmers decided that he would obey Jesus' admonition as recorded in Matthew 5:41, "Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." And further he determined that he would no longer continue to harbor any ill will toward his neighbor. The next day they chanced to meet at the line fence, and the neighbor again demanded that the fence be moved. "Where do you think the fence should be?" said the farmer. "Well," said the neighbor, "it is two feet on my land at this end, and one foot at the other, and I am going to move it." "All right," said the first, "while you are at it, move it four feet toward me at this end, and two feet at the other." That is, he told his neighbor to take twice the amount of land he demanded. The fence has not been moved, but the bitterness and the loss were ended.
Peace between nations means vastly more than a cessation of hostilities, a reduction, or even a complete absence of armament. Peace is a mental attitude. Its companions are frequently security and good will. With a feeling of security at home, and good will among neighboring nations, there will be no need for fortified borders.
Emphasizing good will, Jesus said: "If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Or, as Dr. Torrey has translated the last sentence, "Be therefore all-including (in your good will) even as your heavenly Father includes all."
This recalls a conversation heard
some years ago. Someone asked, "Could all the people in the world get into
the state of
In order to maintain an attitude of good will toward a neighboring country we should ever be on the alert to detect and dismiss any temptation to harbor national prejudice. On this point Mr. H. G. Wells is quoted as having said: "I am convinced myself that there is no more evil thing in this present world than race prejudice, none at all. I write deliberately, - it is the worst single thing in life now. It justifies and holds together more baseness, cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world."
Now there may be a vast difference between good will in theory and good will in practice, or between good will in general and good will in particular. This was the subject Jesus touched upon in his talk with the lawyer as recorded in the tenth chapter of Luke. You remember Jesus told him a story, and chose, perhaps deliberately, a Samaritan as the hero of the narrative, "for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." The lawyer was driven by logic to admit that his racial enemy was the only one of the three to show neighborliness. That is, the lawyer admitted this as a general proposition, but when Jesus told him, "Go, and do thou likewise," we hope his good will was equal to the occasion. You see Jesus landed squarely upon the lawyer's inherited prejudice. He could admit without even mentioning the Samaritan that "he that shewed mercy" was neighborly, but could he go out and act in that neighborly fashion toward a Samaritan? That was another question, and we hope he measured up to the standard set by the Samaritan.
Inherited prejudices and racial animosities must be overcome. These mental heirlooms and intellectual antiques humanity has been harboring and exulting over must be cast aside; and there is nothing but an improved knowledge of God, faithfully adhered to and practiced, that can effectually accomplish this. Were humanity to awaken to the truth about God and man as it is being revealed through Christian Science, the false and foolish notions of inherited enmity between races and nations would fall away as an outworn cloak. Hear this statement from our textbook (p. 340): "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, - whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."
There is the remedy - spiritual understanding. Repeating the words I have quoted is not sufficient. The spirit of this message must be understood and put into practice in our daily lives. If we are to prove that intelligence is the master of prejudice, that Love is the master of hate in international affairs, we must be willing to take up one by one the many phases of the problems which confront us, acquaint ourselves intelligently with humanity's needs, and then help not only to declare, but patiently to prove, the efficacy of Love day by day to adjust all human relations.
Many people take the peace movement too easily. They think they are for peace simply because they are against war. But almost everyone is against war. Even ardent militarists avow that they are against war. Peace is not a condition the world is going to fall into. It is a positive achievement which we must want so much that we shall be willing to pay the cost, and the cost will be high.
For instance, would you be willing to have the largest business in the world wiped out? Today there are a number of very large industrial organizations in the world. You know some of them. There may be a branch of one of them in your vicinity. Such organizations are meeting the material needs of the people. They give employment to many. You would not like to see one of them close its doors, and I do not blame you. But the war business is today the largest business in the world. Are you prepared to have it wiped out? Yes, peace will cost much. Are you prepared to pay it? If not, you will pay the cost of war, which is much, much higher.
Disputes between nations can be settled peaceably. This has been done many times. If we attempt to settle them by an offensive war we may not succeed. Such wars have settled few disputes. In most cases settlement has been effected after the fighting had ceased, by a few men around a table. Why not, then, have the round table first?
Would you know the antidote for war? Here it is in our textbook (p.467): "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established."
In every country in the world "the man in the street" wants peace. You and I want peace. We want peace in order that civilization may continue and come to full flower. War would arrest if not destroy it. We want peace in order that democracy may expand. War is one of its enemies. It is true that democratic government has not reached perfection. No system of government can be any better than the people who devise and enforce it. As men grow in their understanding of true government, that understanding will be reflected in their government of themselves, their communities, and their nations. Again, we want peace in order that scientific Christianity may extend its sway until "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
Christianity as it is being revealed through Christian Science is today uniting the peoples of the earth as no other system has ever done. It is revealing to people of every nation the truth about God and man, and this is giving them a common understanding of how to solve the various problems which may arise, whether such problems are personal, social, or national. When the nations of the world envision and accept the brotherhood of man under the government of God, we shall have peace.
"Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that."
So today we continue to pray in the words of our Leader's poem (Poems, p. 6):
"Brood o'er us with Thy shelt'ring wing,
'Neath which our spirits blend
Like brother birds, that soar and sing,
And on the same branch bend.
The arrow that doth wound the dove
Darts not from those who watch and love.
"Thou to whose power our hope we give,
Free us from human strife,
Fed by Thy love divine we live,
For Love alone is Life;
And life most sweet, as heart to heart
Speaks kindly when we meet and part."
[From a Tulsa, Oklahoma newspaper clipping, date unknown.]