One of the very evident signs of the times, from the religious standpoint, is the daring with which the most sacred topics are discussed in the light of modern conditions. There is certainly no cause to regret this free consideration of what are rightly regarded as vital questions, if mankind is thereby advanced and higher ideals attained. A prominent preacher recently said,

         "Sensible people all agree that this world is a state of imperfection . . . . The man for whom the future is dark is not sure of God. The man for whom the future is bright believes that God is Love. There is a constant struggle going on in the world, in which it appears that selfishness is the ruler. But is this the real truth? Christ, the acme of love, died for us on the cross at Calvary. Is that the real end of love? Was love, as Christ lived it, weaker or stronger than hate? Was Calvary a defeat or a victory? That is the fundamental question of all religion. What does God think? On which side does He stand?"

         Few would deny that the question, "Was Calvary a defeat or a victory?" is indeed a fundamental one, and each individual must answer it in the light of his own experience before he can determine how much of a Christian he is. The preacher quoted points to present human conditions as evidence that the power of Truth and Love, which enabled Jesus to triumph on Calvary, is not yet dominant in the world, and we may well ask why this should be, when so many profess to be his followers. What did Christ Jesus represent, wherein did his teaching differ from generally accepted beliefs and opinions? A careful study of the Gospels reveals the fact that in spite of constant efforts to connect his teaching with some phase of human belief, he steadily refused to be thus entangled, and only dealt with the vexed questions of human rights and wrongs by bringing thereto the demands of divine Principle, the power which inspired his deathless words and works. He stood for the righteousness which can never be realized by aught less than the clear recognition of God as Spirit and man as spiritual, of God as the only Mind and of good as the only power; and in so doing he challenged no less the opinions of scholastic theology than the blindness of admitted materialism. It was because he boldly claimed to heal the sick and the sinful by "the finger of God" that he was relentlessly pursued by mortal malice until his enemies thought they had crushed out his teaching by the tragedy of Calvary. But the spiritual light which shone upon the deep gloom of that hour could not be quenched, and even in the darkest depths of human misery it has illumined the steep and narrow path which leads from sense to Soul. All through the centuries that light has shone, though faintly at times to human sense. Bowring voices a universal sentiment when he says,

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time.

         In Christian Science this light shines forth as the risen sun, illumining past, present, and future with the radiance of Spirit. In that wonderful chapter, "Atonement and Eucharist" (Science and Health, p. 18), Mrs. Eddy traces the footsteps of the great Teacher, as he passed over the world's highway, healing and blessing all who sought his aid, and finally proving by his cross and resurrection the immortality of Life and Love. In one trenchant statement she uncovers the animus of the crucifixion, when she says, "The determination to hold Spirit in the grasp of matter is the persecutor of Truth and Love" (Science and Health, p. 28). She further shows the utter futility of this determination, either in his experience or in that of any faithful follower.

         The "victory" of Calvary, as thus revealed, inspires us to make it our victory over every phase of evil at every step of the journey. When called to minister to the sick and the hopeless, we may say with assurance, "Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith" (Science and Health, p. 45). The perpetuation of the Christ-teaching is thus assured, and the healing of the individual of sin and sickness by this means is the surest omen of the healing of all the ills which afflict the race.

         Jesus not only taught that God is Love, he proved it by overcoming sin, disease, and death, even when mortal sense most strenuously denied it. The glory of Christian Science lies in the fact that by its teachings we, too, are enabled to prove for ourselves that God is Love, and that in divine Love there can be no defeat, but always victory.


Editorial by Annie M. Knott, CSD
The Christian Science Journal, April, 1906

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