True Philosophy And Communion

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2      It is related of Justin Martyr that, hearing of a Pythag-
         orean professor of ethics, he expressed the wish to be-
         come one of his disciples. “Very well,” the teacher
5      replied; “but have you studied music, astronomy, and
         geometry, and do you think it possible for you to under-
         stand aught of that which leads to bliss, without hav-
         ing mastered the sciences that disengage the soul from
         objects of sense, so rendering it a fit habitation for
10    the intelligences?” On Justin’s confessing that he had
         not studied those branches, he was dismissed by the

         Alas for such a material science of life! Of what
         avail would geometry be to a poor sinner struggling with
15    temptation, or to a man with the smallpox?

         Ancient and modern philosophies are spoiled by lack
         of Science. They would place Soul wholly inside of body,
         intelligence in matter; and from error of premise would
         seek a correct conclusion. Such philosophy can never
20    demonstrate the Science of Life,—the Science which
         Paul understood when he spoke of willingness “to be
         absent from the body, and present with the Lord.” Such
         philosophy is far from the rules of the mighty Nazarene
         Prophet. His words, living in our hearts, were these:
25    “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as
         a little child, shall in no wise enter therein.” Not through
         astronomy did he point out the way to heaven and the
         reign of harmony.

         We need the spirit of St. Paul, when he stood on Mars’
30    hill at Athens, bringing Christianity for the first time

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1      into Europe. The Spirit bestows spiritual gifts, God’s
         presence and providence. St. Paul stood where Socrates
         had stood four hundred years before, defending himself
         against the charge of atheism; in the place where De-
5      mosthenes had pleaded for freedom in immortal strains
         of eloquence.

         We need the spirit of the pious Polycarp, who, when
         the proconsul said to him, “I will set the beasts upon
         you, unless you yield your religion,” replied: “Let them
10    come; I cannot change from good to bad.” Then they
         bound him to the stake, set fire to the fagots, and his
         pure and strong faith rose higher through the baptism
         of flame.

         Methinks the infidel was blind who said, “Christianity
15    is fit only for women and weak men;” but even infidels
         may disagree. Bonaparte declared, “Ever since the
         reign of Christianity began the loftiest intellects have had
         a practical faith in God.” Daniel Webster said, “My
         heart has always assured and reassured me that Chris-
20    tianity must be a divine reality.”

         To turn the popular indignation against an advanced
         form of religion, the pagan slanderers affirmed that
         Christians took their infants to a place of worship in
         order to offer them in sacrifice,—a baptism not of
25    water but of blood, thus distorting or misapprehending
         the purpose of Christian sacraments. Christians met
         in midnight feasts in the early days, and talked of the
         crucified Saviour; thence arose the rumor that it was
         a part of Christian worship to kill and eat a human
30    being.

         Really, Christianity turned men away from the thought
         of fleshly sacrifice, and directed them to spiritual attain-

Page 346

1      ments. Life, not death, was and is the very centre of
         its faith. Christian Science carries this thought even
         higher, and insists on the demonstration of moral and
         spiritual healing as eminent proof that God is understood
5      and illustrated.

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Love is the liberator.