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Moral mercury

From the March 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The first barometers, which were available to individuals starting in the 17th century, used mercury. Though another type of barometer is more common today, mercury barometers are still in use in many places. The mercury in the vertical tube rises or falls depending on the atmospheric pressure around the instrument, and a variation in the mercury level can predict approaching weather systems. A rise in mercury often means an approach of clear or settled weather.  

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy uses this as a metaphor when she writes, “Man’s moral mercury, rising or falling, registers his healing ability and fitness to teach” (p. 449). In other words, the moral conduct of an individual directly correlates to his or her ability to heal (see also Science and Health 104:19–22). It may be helpful to note that prior to naming her discovery “Christian Science,” Mrs. Eddy initially called it “Moral Science” (see Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer, Amplified Edition, pp. 81–82). 

In a modern society that is increasingly suspicious of and often resistant to any talk of morality, it can be difficult to discuss such a vital issue. A lot of this resistance may come from the belief that morality is based on ever-changing human culture, and varying human perspectives resulting from many conflicting minds. However, Christian Science reveals basic morality as an emanation of eternal Truth, God, which cannot change. Therefore, morality, an expression of Truth, cannot change either. What is right moral conduct today was certainly right thousands of years ago and will continue to be. The truth underlying the Ten Commandments was true long before Moses ever set foot on Mount Sinai. This also holds for the eternal truths reflected in the Beatitudes, which Christ Jesus gave. The Bible is filled with timeless lessons on morality in the lives and teachings of prophets, apostles and, of course, Jesus.  

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