A Basis for Justice (Summary)
Alaister G. Smith, C.S.B., of San Francisco, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Without an honest desire to learn the true nature of justice there can be no real freedom, Alaister G. Smith, C.S.B., of San Francisco said in a lecture.
"Freedom is only possible in companionship with a justice based on the spiritual understanding of God and man," he declared.
A Christian Science teacher and practitioner, Mr. Smith is on extensive tour as a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship.
Opening his lecture entitled "A Basis for Justice," Mr. Smith said:
"Most of us, perhaps, would agree that few words in our vocabulary have greater ability to stir menís hearts than freedom and justice. But today we hear all the time about people demanding freedom and justice. And the relationship of these two poses a problem.
"Some of these demands are made by people who sincerely want the greatest good for the greatest number. Others are making purely self-seeking demands ó in the name of freedom and justice, but really only concerned with getting their own way.
"So one great need of the day is for the intelligent discernment to sift out honest demands directed toward renewal from self-interested demands directed toward destruction. Only with this discernment can we know which to support and which to resist."
Mr. Smith added that intelligent restraint is a second great need in this respect.
Commenting on the words of Daniel Webster, "Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint," the lecturer said that this doesnít mean that we donít have to fight back against injustice.
"Webster fought many such battles," he declared. "So did another New Englander of his day ó Mary Baker Eddy, the Discover and Founder of Christian Science. She well knew there's often a reluctance to challenge injustice."
Mr. Smith noted that she counseled for law and support of righteous governments.
"Youíll find The Christian Science Monitor, the daily newspaper founded by Mrs. Eddy, in the forefront of those uncovering evil and supporting justice," he said.
It takes moral and spiritual discipline to fight this battle successfully, he said, adding:
"But Iím convinced we can do this. And Iím also convinced that Christian Science offers some highly relevant guidelines."
The lecturer cited a number of examples to show what happens when spiritually scientific truths concerning God and man are applied through prayer to inequitable situations.
One concerned a lawyer who found himself involved in a complicated court case.
"My friend," he said, "first assured himself of the morality and justice of his case . . . Then through scientific prayer he placed the outcome wholly in Godís hands. As a result, the restraint of changeless and perfect law, of Godís spiritual law, brought to bear on human law, provided justice. The moral and spiritual appeal was upheld."
Mr. Smith asserted that recognition of God as the "source and enforcer of all true law" will eventually bring an end to every form of injustice.
"This recognition, as it is gained by men everywhere, will ensure freedom with justice for individuals, for societies, and for nations."
To carry on the struggle for freedom and justice we also need the spiritual insights into manís nature which are brought out in the words and works of Christ Jesus, he said.
Speaking of manís right to freedom with justice, Mr. Smith quoted from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy: "Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free."
In closing he said, "Iíve tried to show you in this lecture how individuals have been blessed by applying spiritually scientific insights to their present needs for freedom and justice. These insights reveal God as Mind, the divine Principle, Love, and man as the wholly spiritual idea of God endowed with all Christly qualities."