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Moral Courage

The Forum is dedicated to each week's lesson, and may be used to post questions, comments, and constructive replies that strive to uncover the inspired meaning of the text. The Bulletin Board is for gratitude for Christian Science and the Church, as well as timely excerpts from the Bible, the works of Mrs. Eddy, and the early workers that help and encourage. We are very grateful for all posts that conform to these guidelines, but will edit or remove anything that the Practitioners feel is not in complete accord with pure Christian Science or in any way disrespectful of it.

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    “There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage. Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing.” (SH 28.)

    Concerning moral courage, Samuel Smiles wrote:

    “Character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well-governed State they are its best motive power; for it is moral qualities in the main which rule the world. Even in war, Napoleon
    said the moral is to the physical as ten to one. The strength, the industry, and the civilisation of nations -— all depend upon individual character; and the very foundations of civil security rest upon it. Laws and institutions are but its outgrowth . . . .

    “The man of character] must also be a temperate man, and exercise the virtue of self-denial, than which nothing is so much calculated to give strength to the character. John Sterling says truly, that ‘the worst education which teaches self denial, is better than the best which teaches everything else, and not that.’ The Romans rightly employed the same word (virtue) to designate courage, which is in a physical sense what the other is in a moral; the highest virtue of all being victory over ourselves.” (Emphases added.)


    “Intrepid, self-oblivious Protestants in a higher sense than ever before, let us meet and defeat the claims of sense and sin, regardless of the bans or clans pouring in their fire upon us; and white-winged charity, brooding over all, shall cover with her feathers the veriest sinner.”
    (MW 172:6.)


    Thank you so much for this post! Mrs. Eddy’s discourse on Character in 1893 is worth revisiting. It gives a humbling analysis of what this word means, from which all can learn. She commences the sermon with this from the Bible “Be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.” 1 Kings ii. 2.
    The whole discourse can be read here: https://articles.plainfieldcs.com/mary-baker-eddy/character/

    It says Christian Science exists for more than healing : There is nothing on earth so valuable as Character. You will notice that no adjective is prefixed to this word, character; thus, I do not say Christian character, for the evident reason that there can be no character which is not Christian. Here in this world and in all worlds swinging in space, nothing is so grand, so Godlike as character. Certainly the trend of thought on this one point is moving in the right direction. Christian Science extends its hand in friendly greeting and welcomes this advance step onward and upward. This is what Christian Science exists for, — to promote every worthy and spiritual effort, to attain unto a higher realization of what character surely is. What is called the Christian Science healing is not the “end-all-and-be-all,” of Christian Science teaching. It is simply a means towards an end. That end is the production of better lives, or in other words, the promotion of character.

    There is certainly much much more for our lives in this talk than what that word is generally accepted to mean.


    Thank you for these posts.

    “…thus, I do not say Christian character, for the evident reason that there can be no character which is not Christian.”

    Love this quote–much food for thought here! And timely as those on the current world stage struggle to put their best face forward. Mrs. Eddy’s discourse on Character serves as a treatment in support of “men of character” exercising their moral courage and therefore being the “conscience of society”. Thank you for the reminder that temperance, self-denial, and humility ultimately prepare the way to “Be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man.” 1 Kings ii. 2.

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Love is the liberator.