There is no word, in perhaps any language, which has been used with so loose a definition as love. This definition has been stretched between divinity and sensuality, with the result that the author of the Fourth Gospel, a man most careful of definitions, was driven to contrast two Greek words, in a famous passage, in order to make his meaning entirely clear, whilst Tyndale, breaking away from Wycliffe, substituted lovers for friends in his translation of Luke, "And ye schalbe betrayed of youre fathers and mothers, and youre bretheren, and kynsmen, and lovers, and some of you shall they put to deeth," only to be broken away from in turn, by Cranmer and the revisers, in a return to friends. The fact, of course, is that the use of the word, in the Johannine Epistles, as a synonym for God, cannot be made to tally with the significance given to it by the Greek and Latin poets and philosophers of the century in which the Epistles were written. It would seem, therefore, that their author must have deliberately impounded the word, and given a metaphysical intention to it, thus completely justifying one of the most far-reaching statements made by Mrs. Eddy, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where, on page 275, she says, "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,—that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle."
It is necessary for every student of Christian Science to get Mrs. Eddy's meaning in this passage entirely clear, for it is certain that until the fact that Love is a synonym for Principle or God is grasped in its metaphysical implication, it must be impossible to track the course of love, as an attribute of Principle, running through the entire manifestation of divine creation. It is futile to proclaim Love as the theoretical basis of all demonstration, and then not to manifest love in the practice of that demonstration. God, Elohim, is Love, the Father and Mother of all spiritual creation. But this creation must and can exist only in Principle, therefore God, Love, and Principle become synonymous each for the others. Now it is obvious that Love is not a finite form; in other words, that it cannot exist apart from Mind. Nor is it possible to conceive of God, Principle, as manifesting anything except supreme wisdom and intelligence; in other words, as anything but Mind. Consequently God, Love, Principle, and Mind become synonymous terms, the divine Father and Mother of all that actually exists.
God, then, being Love, can be reflected in nothing but love, and, as a consequence, nothing but love can be discernible in the spiritual universe. This is "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." This process of deduction is quite simple to the human mind. The trouble with that mind lies in its inability to realize its own nothingness, and to perceive that all that really exists of man is the reflection of divine Mind. Matter is entirely nonexistent. That is to say, what appears to be the human body is only a subjective condition of the human mind. The good qualities, consequently, which the human being manifests are really reflections of the divine Mind, and wherever manifested must be the Mind that was in Christ Jesus. The natural scientist has no difficulty in admitting the entire unreality of matter as a phenomenon. Where his difficulty arises is in the inability to separate the divine Mind from the human mind, and so to realize that every true manifestation of love radiates from Principle, and not from the human mind. This is what Paul meant when in writing his second letter to the Corinthians he declared, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."