CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
ARCHIE E. VAN OSTRAND, CSB
Many of the early Christians suffered martyrdom for their religion. They knew that to be known as followers of the lowly Nazarene was to take their lives in their hands. Their meetings were suppressed; their literature was condemned and destroyed. They were forbidden by the civil authorities to speak or teach in the name of Christ. Brave men and women in all ages have suffered for their convictions when these were contrary to popular belief. John the Baptist, Stephen the disciple, Savonarola the reformer, Galileo the astronomer, Luther the Protestant, Wycliffe the teacher and translator of the Scriptures into the English tongue, and thousands of others, knew the cost of opposing the dominant thought of their times.
It has required heroic self-sacrifice and devotion for men and women to stand for their convictions in each age; and while we are not called upon at this period to die for our religion, we are called upon to live by it and for it, and to demonstrate what it involves. It requires the highest type of courage to face the storms of error and to stand in the battle, day after day and year after year, against the misrepresentations of our foes, the cold disdain of some of our brethren of the older Christian denominations, and the misunderstanding of materially-minded people. Only the power of God and the consciousness of right doing can sustain one under such circumstances.
. . . It was the devotion of the Hebrews to the vision of Abraham that preserved their faith and kept it alive amidst the idolatry and persecution of surrounding enemies. It was the self-sacrifice and faithfulness of the early Christians to the teachings of the Master which preserved Christianity and handed it down to us in our beloved New Testament, and it will be our faithfulness and consecration to the revelation of Christian Science which will hand it down untarnished and unadulterated to those who will come after us. . . .
Christian Science Sentinel, June 19, 1926
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