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Christian Science Testimony
BELIEFS OF OLD AGE REJECTED


         The writer is impelled to express deep gratitude for the illumination which the teachings of Christian Science have shed upon that human experience called old age, revealing the reassuring verity that "Life and its faculties are not measured by calendars," as Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 246), and that "decrepitude is not according to law" (ibid., p. 245). It is not the burden of years which manifests itself in wrinkles, gray hair, bowed form, and impaired faculties. Not years, but the acceptance of the belief that mortal experiences are real is what bows the form, dims the eye, furrows the cheek and brow. Mortal sense grows weary of its environment, its disappointments and woes, its perplexities, bereavements, and failures, its endless struggle for the things that perish in the using.

         Not long ago a disease manifested itself. Symptoms generally believed to indicate grave conditions in one of advanced years were much in evidence. For several days there was a persistent mental argument that the final culmination of old age was at hand, very real and inescapable, the natural finale of accumulated years. Though met, rather haltingly at first, with denial and affirmation, the argument thrust itself to the front over and over again, especially in the "night watches": "You may as well give up, and acknowledge to yourself that you are old — the years of your pilgrimage finished. Why struggle? You have lived many years. Even your children are gray-haired, and are themselves grandparents. You have done your work. Much of it has been useless — mistaken. Your early dreams, high hopes, and aspirations have not been realized. You are tired, worn with the endless struggle. It will be better beyond! Let go, and go on!" The argument became so bold and aggressive that, quite suddenly, its malicious character was clearly recognized and handled on that ground. The mental argument and the physical manifestation vanished together.

         Old age has often been called beautiful, but this is a mistake. Many who have reached that stage of experience are beautiful — not, however, on account of, but in spite of, years — because of heavenly lessons learned, of victories over self achieved, because they have risen

". . . on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things."

Old age can never be beautiful; for it would deny God, Life, and "beauty is a thing of life" (Science and Health, p. 247).

         Is not the common acceptance with advancing years of that worldly wisdom which dulls enthusiasm, dwarfs hope, and regards with disdain of superior prudence the spontaneous, confident joyousness of that heart of the child, without which one cannot see the kingdom of God — is not this acceptance largely responsible for the generally manifested beliefs of age? Christian Science reverses all this, and shows that added years should mean only added good.

Harriet M. Morris
Rantoul, Illinois

 

"Testimonies of Healing"
Christian Science Sentinel, March 26, 1927
 

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