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THAT WHICH ENDURES

From the January 1919 issue of The Christian Science Journal


One would scarcely attempt to surmise how well this country would have survived the processes of its birth and its many years of civic advancement, had there not been in the Federal Constitution of the United States the one all-important clause relating to religious liberty. Since a wise creator guides and governs man through his spiritual gifts and religious yearnings, and since progress implies growth into purer ideals and a higher order of citizenship, could the framers of our Constitution have bequeathed to us a greater boon? The declaration of the right to worship God without let or hindrance from any previously existent doctrine was at that time a divine leading far in advance of all previous history. Has not this single proclamation been the stabilizing motif which has given the American nation an individuality and prominence far exceeding the most sanguine dreams of statesmanship?

As evidence of the magnitude of this proclamation of human rights, let us remember that the vital clause, remarkably brief and simple in wording, was made a part of the very first amendment that was made to the Constitution. It reads as follows: "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." By divine right and to find its true place in history, our country could never have been other than religiously free, for God had put into the hearts of those early patriots a sacred desire forever to escape the encroachments of all ecclesiastical dictation. Thus it came about that an amendment to the Federal Constitution was made to insure this right to our people forever.

Mrs. Eddy has said (Pulpit and Press, p. 4): "Who lives in good, lives also in God,—lives in all Life, through all space. His is an individual kingdom, his diadem a crown of crowns. His existence is deathless, forever unfolding its eternal Principle." An "individual kingdom"! What heights of glory such a kingdom presents, with God as its eternal sponsor! The birth of a nation may fittingly date from the hour when the freedom to worship God leads all other rights accorded to its people. Can a nation whose laws are framed under divine guidance fail to achieve greatness?

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