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Conservatism and Progress
HELEN W. BANNON


         Professor Hinton's book, "The Fourth Dimension," reads more like a satire than a scientific treatise. In discussing the dimensions of space, illustrated by geometrical symbols, the author begins with the point, — a mere speck, incapable of movement. Then two hypothetical creatures are successively introduced, one able to move forward and backward on a straight line from which it can never deviate; the other capable, besides, of movements to the right hand or to the left. It can also trace an angle, a square, or a circle, always, however, keeping to the horizontal. These two resemble each other in being satisfied with existing conditions and unable to conceive of any other. "'I am monarch of all I survey,' and outside me there is nothing!" Such is their conviction. The next being that comes on the scene is no longer confined to a dead level. He has scaled the perpendicular and risen to higher planes. He can follow the outline of a cube and move in all directions. New possibilities have opened up to him; he has reached the fourth dimension.

         Now these dimensions have nothing to do with Christian Science, of which Mrs. Eddy says, "It is the infinite calculus defining the line, plane, space, and fourth dimension of Spirit" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 22); but they serve to illustrate certain conditions of the human mind frequently met with. Through the illumination of divine Science we apprehend them as differing states of consciousness. "In my Father's house are many mansions," said Christ Jesus to his disciples; and he added, "I go to prepare a place for you." And this place will be determined for each individual in the degree of his spiritual attainment. It means watchfulness, prayer, and sacrifice; it may even be the giving up of beliefs once held sacred by tradition and from association. To some this process is as painful as the plucking out of an eye or the cutting off of hand or foot. Others, unused to thinking for themselves, resent being disturbed, and are satisfied with the stereotyped and conventional.

         The great Teacher, by his preaching and mighty works, sought to rouse the Jews of his day from their blindness; but he was generally misunderstood and scoffed at, and, as we read in the epistle to the Hebrews, his followers "were made a gazingstock." "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life," was his sad admission; and he wept because of their density.

         Mrs. Eddy, as the first Christian Scientist, could speak from experience, and she wrote on page 97 of Science and Health, "Earth has no repayment for the persecutions which attend a new step in Christianity;" she also tells us on page 343 that "without this cross-bearing, one might not be able to say with the apostle, 'None of these things move me.'" After her recovery, through the Christ-cure, from an accident pronounced fatal by her doctors, her earnest prayer was that she might also be allowed to impart to her fellow men this same truth which had healed her; and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," was written to awaken them from the delusive dreams of sense, from the inertia of materialism. Signs are not wanting that the world is more ready now than it ever has been for this great awakening. The "stream of tendency" is ever onward and upward; mankind have progressed, and they are no longer earthbound, but, steering their aircraft, — those symbols of still greater powers to come, — they have defied the law of gravity and soared far above the clouds.

         Christ Jesus saw in prophetic vision a time of great tribulation coming like a snare upon the whole earth, and compared it to the days of Noah, when all flesh was corrupt, but the ark, with all inside it, was borne upon the flood, till it rested safely on the highest mountains. Now that this time of trouble and desolation seems to have come, the world of today, as foretold, is asleep, immersed in material interests and pursuits; but to those keeping watch these words of our Master are encouraging: "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

         The signs that Christ, Truth, is coming near to humanity are everywhere. Is not the gospel of the kingdom, the glad tidings, preached the whole world over? The angel, with foot planted on sea and land, is holding in his hand "the little book," and saying, "Take it, and eat it up;" in other words, read it, assimilate it, digest it. The ark of Christian Science is afloat, and all who seek its shelter will ride triumphantly the sea of error, and be landed on celestial heights.

 

"Conservatism and Progress" by Helen W. Bannon
Christian Science Sentinel, December 15, 1917
 

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