- Marriage - 56
When our great Teacher came to him for baptism,
John was astounded. Reading his thoughts, Jesus added: "Suffer it to be
so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." Jesus'
concessions (in certain cases) to material methods were for the advancement of
Marriage is the legal and moral provision for
generation among human kind. Until the spiritual creation is discerned intact,
is apprehended and understood, and His kingdom is come as in the vision of the
Apocalypse, - where the corporeal sense of creation was cast out, and its
spiritual sense was revealed from heaven, - marriage will continue, subject to
such moral regulations as will secure increasing virtue.
Infidelity to the marriage covenant is the
social scourge of all races, "the pestilence that walketh in darkness, .
. . the destruction that wasteth at noonday." The commandment, "Thou
shalt not commit adultery," is no less imperative than the one,
"Thou shalt not kill."
Chastity is the cement of civilization and
progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one
cannot attain the Science of Life.
Union of the masculine and feminine qualities
constitutes completeness. The masculine mind reaches a higher tone through
certain elements of the feminine, while the feminine mind gains courage and
strength through masculine qualities. These different elements conjoin
naturally with each other, and their true harmony is in spiritual oneness.
Both sexes should be loving, pure, tender, and strong. The attraction between
native qualities will be perpetual only as it is pure and true, bringing sweet
seasons of renewal like the returning spring.
Beauty, wealth, or fame is incompetent to meet
the demands of the affections, and should never weigh against the better
claims of intellect, goodness, and virtue. Happiness is spiritual, born of
Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires
all mankind to share it.
Human affection is not poured forth vainly,
even though it meet no return. Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying,
and elevating it. The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of
affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties
serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling
heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings
Marriage is unblest or blest, according to the
disappointments it involves or the hopes it fulfils. To happify existence by
constant intercourse with those adapted to elevate it, should be the motive of
society. Unity of spirit gives new pinions to joy, or else joy's drooping
wings trail in dust.
and discord 58
Ill-arranged notes produce discord. Tones of
the human mind may be different, but they should be concordant in order to
blend properly. Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity, - these
constituents of thought, mingling, constitute individually and collectively
true happiness, strength, and permanence.
There is moral freedom in Soul. Never contract
the horizon of a worthy outlook by the selfish exaction of all another's time
and thoughts. With additional joys, benevolence should grow more diffusive.
The narrowness and jealousy, which would confine a wife or a husband forever
within four walls, will not promote the sweet interchange of confidence and
love; but on the other hand, a wandering desire for incessant amusement
outside the home circle is a poor augury for the happiness of wedlock. Home is
the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the
boundary, of the affections.
Said the peasant bride to her lover: "Two
eat no more together than they eat separately." This is a hint that a
wife ought not to court vulgar extravagance or stupid ease, because another
supplies her wants. Wealth may obviate the necessity for toil or the chance
for ill-nature in the marriage relation, but nothing can abolish the cares of
"She that is married careth . . . how she
may please her husband," says the Bible; and this is the pleasantest
thing to do. Matrimony should never be entered into without a full recognition
of its enduring obligations on both sides. There should be the most tender
solicitude for each other's happiness, and mutual attention and approbation
should wait on all the years of married life.
Mutual compromises will often maintain a
compact which might otherwise become unbearable. Man should not be required to
participate in all the annoyances and cares of domestic economy, nor should
woman be expected to understand political economy. Fulfilling the different
demands of their united spheres, their sympathies should blend in sweet
confidence and cheer, each partner sustaining the other, - thus hallowing the
union of interests and affections, in which the heart finds peace and home.
Tender words and unselfish care in what
promotes the welfare and happiness of your wife will prove more salutary in
prolonging her health and smiles than stolid indifference or jealousy.
Husbands, hear this and remember how slight a word or deed may renew the old
After marriage, it is too late to grumble over
incompatibility of disposition. A mutual understanding should exist before
this union and continue ever after, for deception is fatal to happiness.
The nuptial vow should never be annulled, so
long as its moral obligations are kept intact; but the frequency of divorce
shows that the sacredness of this relationship is losing its influence, and
that fatal mistakes are undermining its foundations. Separation never should
take place, and it never would, if both husband and wife were genuine
Christian Scientists. Science inevitably lifts one's being higher in the scale
of harmony and happiness.
Kindred tastes, motives, and aspirations are
necessary to the formation of a happy and permanent companionship. The
beautiful in character is also the good, welding indissolubly the links of
affection. A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the
mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal.
Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties.
From the logic of events we learn that
selfishness and impurity alone are fleeting, and that wisdom will ultimately
put asunder what she hath not joined together.
for affections 60
Marriage should improve the human species,
becoming a barrier against vice, a protection to woman, strength to man, and a
centre for the affections. This, however, in a majority of cases, is not its
present tendency, and why? Because the education of the higher nature is
neglected, and other considerations, - passion, frivolous amusements, personal
adornment, display, and pride, - occupy thought.
An ill-attuned ear calls discord harmony, not
appreciating concord. So physical sense, not discerning the true happiness of
being, places it on a false basis. Science will correct the discord, and teach
us life's sweeter harmonies.
Soul has infinite resources with which to bless
mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure
in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the
cravings of immortal man. We cannot circumscribe happiness within the limits
of personal sense. The senses confer no real enjoyment.
of good 61
The good in human affections must have
ascendency over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will
never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our
progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition. Every valley of sin
must be exalted, and every mountain of selfishness be brought low, that the
highway of our God may be prepared in Science. The offspring of
heavenly-minded parents inherit more intellect, better balanced minds, and
If some fortuitous circumstance places
promising children in the arms of gross parents, often these beautiful
children early droop and die, like tropical flowers born amid Alpine snows. If
perchance they live to become parents in their turn, they may reproduce in
their own helpless little ones the grosser traits of their ancestors. What
hope of happiness, what noble ambition, can inspire the child who inherits
propensities that must either be overcome or reduce him to a loathsome wreck?
Is not the propagation of the human species a
greater responsibility, a more solemn charge, than the culture of your garden
or the raising of stock to increase your flocks and herds? Nothing unworthy of
perpetuity should be transmitted to children.
The formation of mortals must greatly improve
to advance mankind. The scientific morale
of marriage is spiritual unity. If the propagation of a higher human species
is requisite to reach this goal, then its material conditions can only be
permitted for the purpose of generating. The foetus must be kept mentally pure
and the period of gestation have the sanctity of virginity.
The entire education of children should be such
as to form habits of obedience to the moral and spiritual law, with which the
child can meet and master the belief in so-called physical laws, a belief
which breeds disease.
If parents create in their babes a desire for
incessant amusement, to be always fed, rocked, tossed, or talked to, those
parents should not, in after years, complain of their children's fretfulness
or frivolity, which the parents themselves have occasioned. Taking less
"thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink";
less thought "for your body what ye shall put on," will do much more
for the health of the rising generation than you dream. Children should be
allowed to remain children in knowledge, and should become men and women only
through growth in the understanding of man's higher nature.
We must not attribute more and more
intelligence to matter, but less and less, if we would be wise and healthy.
The divine Mind, which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human
body, even as it clothes the lily; but let no mortal interfere with God's
government by thrusting in the laws of erring, human concepts.
law of Soul 62
The higher nature of man is not governed by the
lower; if it were, the order of wisdom would be reversed. Our false views of
life hide eternal harmony, and produce the ills of which we complain. Because
mortals believe in material laws and reject the Science of Mind, this does not
make materiality first and the superior law of Soul last. You would never
think that flannel was better for warding off pulmonary disease than the
controlling Mind, if you understood the Science of being.
In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The
beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like
that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material
conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and
ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.
rights of woman 63
Civil law establishes very unfair differences
between the rights of the two sexes. Christian Science furnishes no precedent
for such injustice, and civilization mitigates it in some measure. Still, it
is a marvel why usage should accord woman less rights than does either
Christian Science or civilization.
Our laws are not impartial, to say the least,
in their discrimination as to the person, property, and parental claims of the
two sexes. If the elective franchise for women will remedy the evil without
encouraging difficulties of greater magnitude, let us hope it will be granted.
A feasible as well as rational means of improvement at present is the
elevation of society in general and the achievement of a nobler race for
legislation, - a race having higher aims and motives.
If a dissolute husband deserts his wife,
certainly the wronged, and perchance impoverished, woman should be allowed to
collect her own wages, enter into business agreements, hold real estate,
deposit funds, and own her children free from interference.
Want of uniform justice is a crying evil caused
by the selfishness and inhumanity of man. Our forefathers exercised their
faith in the direction taught by the Apostle James, when he said: "Pure
religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the
fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from
Pride, envy, or jealousy seems on most
occasions to be the master of ceremonies, ruling out primitive Christianity.
When a man lends a helping hand to some noble woman, struggling alone with
adversity, his wife should not say, "It is never well to interfere with
your neighbor's business." A wife is sometimes debarred by a covetous
domestic tyrant from giving the ready aid her sympathy and charity would
Marriage should signify a union of hearts.
Furthermore, the time cometh of which Jesus spake, when he declared that in
the resurrection there should be no more marrying nor giving in marriage, but
man would be as the angels. Then shall Soul rejoice in its own, in which
passion has no part. Then white-robed purity will unite in one person
masculine wisdom and feminine love, spiritual understanding and perpetual
Until it is learned that God is the Father of
all, marriage will continue. Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which
might lead to a worse state of society than now exists. Honesty and virtue
ensure the stability of the marriage covenant. Spirit will ultimately claim
its own, - all that really is, - and the voices of physical sense will be
of Christ 65
Experience should be the school of virtue, and
human happiness should proceed from man's highest nature. May Christ, Truth,
be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to
human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual and eternal existence may
If the foundations of human affection are
consistent with progress, they will be strong and enduring. Divorces should
warn the age of some fundamental error in the marriage state. The union of the
sexes suffers fearful discord. To gain Christian Science and its harmony, life
should be more metaphysically regarded.
The broadcast powers of evil so conspicuous
to-day show themselves in the materialism and sensualism of the age,
struggling against the advancing spiritual era. Beholding the world's lack of
Christianity and the powerlessness of vows to make home happy, the human mind
will at length demand a higher affection.
and reform 65
There will ensue a fermentation over this as
over many other reforms, until we get at last the clear straining of truth,
and impurity and error are left among the lees. The fermentation even of
fluids is not pleasant. An unsettled, transitional stage is never desirable on
its own account. Matrimony, which was once a fixed fact among us, must lose
its present slippery footing, and man must find permanence and peace in a more
The mental chemicalization, which has brought
conjugal infidelity to the surface, will assuredly throw off this evil, and
marriage will become purer when the scum is gone.
Thou art right, immortal Shakespeare, great
poet of humanity:
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material
staff, - a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this
in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great
tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God's care. Spiritual
development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but
when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have
no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of
divine goodness and love.
Amidst gratitude for conjugal felicity, it is
well to remember how fleeting are human joys. Amidst conjugal infelicity, it
is well to hope, pray, and wait patiently on divine wisdom to point out the
Husbands and wives should never separate if
there is no Christian demand for it. It is better to await the logic of events
than for a wife precipitately to leave her husband or for a husband to leave
his wife. If one is better than the other, as must always be the case, the
other pre-eminently needs good company. Socrates considered patience salutary
under such circumstances, making his Xantippe a discipline for his philosophy.
Sorrow has its reward. It never leaves us where
it found us. The furnace separates the gold from the dross that the precious
metal may be graven with the image of God. The cup our Father hath given,
shall we not drink it and learn the lessons He teaches?
the storm 67
When the ocean is stirred by a storm, then the
clouds lower, the wind shrieks through the tightened shrouds, and the waves
lift themselves into mountains. We ask the helmsman: "Do you know your
course? Can you steer safely amid the storm?" He answers bravely, but
even the dauntless seaman is not sure of his safety; nautical science is not
equal to the Science of Mind. Yet, acting up to his highest understanding,
firm at the post of duty, the mariner works on and awaits the issue. Thus
should we deport ourselves on the seething ocean of sorrow. Hoping and
working, one should stick to the wreck, until an irresistible propulsion
precipitates his doom or sunshine gladdens the troubled sea.
The notion that animal natures can possibly
give force to character is too absurd for consideration, when we remember that
through spiritual ascendency our Lord and Master healed the sick, raised the
dead, and commanded even the winds and waves to obey him. Grace and Truth are
potent beyond all other means and methods.
The lack of spiritual power in the limited
demonstration of popular Christianity does not put to silence the labor of
centuries. Spiritual, not corporeal, consciousness is needed. Man delivered
from sin, disease, and death presents the true likeness or spiritual ideal.
true religion 67
Systems of religion and medicine treat of
physical pains and pleasures, but Jesus rebuked the suffering from any such
cause or effect. The epoch approaches when the understanding of the truth of
being will be the basis of true religion. At present mortals progress slowly
for fear of being thought ridiculous. They are slaves to fashion, pride, and
sense. Sometime we shall learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created
men and women in Science. We ought to weary of the fleeting and false and to
cherish nothing which hinders our highest selfhood.
Jealousy is the grave of affection. The
presence of mistrust, where confidence is due, withers the flowers of Eden and
scatters love's petals to decay. Be not in haste to take the vow "until
death do us part." Consider its obligations, its responsibilities, its
relations to your growth and to your influence on other lives.
and agamogenesis 68
I never knew more than one individual who
believed in agamogenesis; she was unmarried, a lovely character, was suffering
from incipient insanity, and a Christian Scientist cured her. I have named her
case to individuals, when casting my bread upon the waters, and it may have
caused the good to ponder and the evil to hatch their silly innuendoes and
lies, since salutary causes sometimes incur these effects. The perpetuation of
the floral species by bud or cell-division is evident, but I discredit the
belief that agamogenesis applies to the human species.
creation intact 68
Christian Science presents unfoldment, not
accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an
impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe. Proportionately as
human generation ceases, the unbroken links of eternal, harmonious being will
be spiritually discerned; and man, not of the earth earthly but coexistent
with God, will appear. The scientific fact that man and the universe are
evolved from Spirit, and so are spiritual, is as fixed in divine Science as is
the proof that mortals gain the sense of health only as they lose the sense of
sin and disease. Mortals can never understand God's creation while believing
that man is a creator. God's children already created will be cognized only as
man finds the truth of being. Thus it is that the real, ideal man appears in
proportion as the false and material disappears. No longer to marry or to be
"given in marriage" neither closes man's continuity nor his sense of
increasing number in God's infinite plan. Spiritually to understand that there
is but one creator, God, unfolds all creation, confirms the Scriptures, brings
the sweet assurance of no parting, no pain, and of man deathless and perfect
If Christian Scientists educate their own
offspring spiritually, they can educate others spiritually and not conflict
with the scientific sense of God's creation. Some day the child will ask his
parent: "Do you keep the First Commandment? Do you have one God and
creator, or is man a creator?" If the father replies, "God creates
man through man," the child may ask, "Do you teach that Spirit
creates materially, or do you declare that Spirit is infinite, therefore
matter is out of the question?" Jesus said, "The children of this
world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted
worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither
marry, nor are given in marriage."