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THE BEAUTIES AND BOUNTIES OF NATURE

From the October 1906 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Many beginners in Christian Science, on hearing the statement that there is no matter and no material universe, find it hard to accept this teaching, not only because it requires them to deny the testimony of their senses and so-called "common sense," but because it appears to require them to believe that God is not the author of the beauties and bounties of nature, which has been one of their most cherished convictions. Respecting this position, there is a false view which must be given up, and there is a true view which lifts the beauties and harmonies of nature to a higher level of understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment.

A lady once said, "To me the physical world, or matter, is not apart from God, but made by God's natural laws. For example: this morning I can scrape frost from the window-pane and collect quite a bit of frost powder, which is something that can be seen, felt, and tasted. Nothing was put on the pane to make that frost. It was formed by the natural laws of God. To me, that is the way the physical world is made,—through God's laws."

In answer to this statement it may be said that this is exactly the view that the average religious person of the present time holds. It looks very plausible on the face; and if in the so-called material world we found nothing but the beautiful frostwork on the window-pane, blooming flowers, gentle breezes, peaceful seas, and healthy bodies, such a view would do very well. But if we accept the statement that God created matter and the material universe, and that so-called natural laws are laws of God, then we admit that matter and its asserted laws are the manifestation of God, and therefore real. If God made them, they must be real. We are then forced to admit that earthquakes, floods, storms, pestilences, diseases of the body, deformities, and all such evils are just as real as are bountiful harvests, beautiful frostwork, sunny days, flowers, health, and all other material things and conditions which seem to us good. These ill conditions are equally the product of matter and material law; and if God made matter, and established its order of manifestation, He is just as much the author of evil as He is of good. It is impossible to conceive that such diametric opposites as sickness and health, good and evil, sin and righteousness co-exist in Truth; and anything which is not true, God is not conscious of, does not create, and therefore it has no real being.

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