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"Day of Judgment"
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GEORGE V. HAMILTON


         I think many earnest Christian seekers after Truth have been much troubled as to the meaning of this "Day of Judgment" so often spoken of in the Scriptures, and so generally misunderstood. I can say that in my childhood it was a constant terror to me, and the more I heard of it and thought about it, the deeper became my fear. So much so, that while still a mere child, I desired death in preference to the Day of Judgment; just as appears to have been the case in Russia at the recent expected return of the Leonid meteors, when, according to reports in the English papers, thousands of Russian peasants were paralyzed by fear and despair lest "that day" of horror should be at hand to destroy them and their children.

         The dark shadow of these early thoughts remained with me more or less through life, until I began to gain some understanding of Rev. Mary Baker Eddy's writings.

         I found at page 187, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that this day was called the "judgment day of Wisdom," which "comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error."

         Here was Light indeed! A marvelous change and removal of the cruel bondage of misconception.

         Discerning the meaning put upon "judgment" in Science and Health, I wrote to one whom I knew to be a deep Greek scholar and student of the Scriptures — Mr. Ferrar Fenton, whose beautiful translation of the New Testament into current English is well known and appreciated in this country — asking him if the Greek word krisis, which I knew stood for "judgment" in these cases, could properly mean "understanding."

         The following is an extract from his reply, which I have his kind permission to use in any way which is likely to help others to a better understanding of the true meaning of the Word of divine Love: —

         "Now, as to your question upon the word krisis, you ask, can it mean 'understanding'? Yes; in the sense of 'discriminating' — 'coming to understand after examining an event,' that is, 'arriving at a correct issue.' The radical or root meaning is to 'pick out' or 'separate' the best from a mass of things — hence to understand accurately what a thing is. The popular idea of the Day of Judgment is that of the period of damnation; which idea is a survival of the brute Roman paganism, that to inflict misery was the chief object and pleasure of power; as, in fact, was the habitual practice of the Romans; and hence, as God was the supreme Power, they, after a half Christianizing, thought His glory was best displayed by the infliction of misery; so arose the perversion of the word krisis, or 'correct understanding.'

         "The Scriptural doctrine of power shown in beneficence was lost; and even John and Paul, the great exponents of that doctrine, were made by translators and commentators to seem as if teaching the devil worship of the Roman Amphitheatre, and the burial rites of their generals when slain in battle. Upon these occasions it was the custom to torture and murder thousands of captives over the grave where the commander's ashes were buried, 'to comfort his spirit' in the infernal or subterranean land, by satiating his desire for revenge upon those who had offended his spirit by resisting it, and slaying his body. The survival of this pagan idea has corrupted popular theology, as I read it."

         This clear and scholarly explanation opens up much that was difficult to understand, and coincides beautifully with the wonderful interpretation of God's Word which Science and Health affords to all who care to seek in its pages for the true understanding of Life and Love.

         The "radical or root" meaning given by Mr. Ferrar Fenton for the word krisis, illustrates perfectly Jesus' parables about the net let down into the sea (Matthew, 13:47-50), and the "separation" of the sheep from the goats (Matthew, 25:31-46) at the Day of Judgment, when spiritual understanding shall have enabled each one to clear his consciousness of every evil thought, and to destroy all that is unlike God.

         This will indeed be that "perfect day of understanding" referred to at page 387, Science and Health — no longer to be feared, but welcomed in accordance with Jesus' words: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke, 21:28).

 

"'Day of Judgment'"
by
Lieutenant-Colonel George V. Hamilton
The Christian Science Journal, February, 1900
 

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