|C. E. Prescott, Brookline, Mass.
No sane, unselfish normal human being ever commits suicide. It is the act of an unbalanced mind. The cause is often physical illness which impairs the mental balance. Sometimes it is simply cowardice and a desire to shirk the natural consequences of evil doing.
In every and in all events it is a thoroughly disorderly action. Doctors would do well to talk about suicide as an insanity: the tendency can be prescribed for. There are remedies in the Materia Medica which help to restore balance and a realization of the essential evil of the tendency can be pointed out, and an impression made very often, where the thought of suicide is recognized.
If we believe in Divine Providence we are forced to believe in an orderly place or scheme of life, creation, and destiny. It is a reasonable belief, that we are here in the world at liberty to choose between what we know to be good or evil; the eventual summing up of our choice makes the standard of our lives and constitutes character.
Evidently we are meant to stay in this world until our self-made movie-reel is completed with all our operations of life clearly defined, and the memory of our motions written under each picture, our own captions self-willed and self-evident the picture we will see in the next world when our spirit bodies are completed and we have left this earth-born body: our own personal movie which is our “Book of Life.” In Bible times a book was always a reel a parchment wound around a large or small handle, according to the size and importance of the subject.
The more we study the working of this world, the more of order and design we discover: and those things which are done in direct opposition to law and order come of evil and cause evil.
We all are conscious of power for good, and power for evil which comes to us and sometimes causes us to choose one urge and sometimes the other. Experience has taught us the satisfaction of choosing the better way when we are definitely conscious of choosing, and to see the natural results of our own free choice. We can all reverse our reel of life and look back at vivid pictures and see where we were wrong and if we are absolutely honest with ourselves, we will realize that there was a direct suggestion (or small-still voice of conscience) at the time, to help us make the better choice and we from selfishness or unbelief, or deliberately wishing to misbehave, made the worst choice.
In studying the natural sequence of events in this world, we quite naturally conclude, that the next world must also be a place of law and order, where we receive the merited results of our behaviour. If we try to shirk responsibilities and the lawful results of our actions here, by suicide, it is reasonable and just to realize that we do not get away from the real outcome of our actions by unlawfully projecting our unfinished selves into the next world. In fact, if we believe in a just God, we are forced to realize that we must accept there the results we have refused to accept here: we get away from nothing, and must work out our salvation there, surrounded by those in the same condition as ourselves.
The sin of suicide, its essential selfishness, and its absolute worthlessness must be taught in every home to make a real impression on the young people of today. It is just the outcome of the great spirit of lawlessness, caused by loose home teaching and by the great crime of wholesale murder as taught by the Great War!.
The idea of killing, when too lazy, too stupid, and too selfish to work out the right way in the orderly intelligent way is a kind of greed the greed of gain unearned gain which in the end is dust and ashes not gain but waste a throwing away of the possibilities of good use in this world to begin in the next world on work we should have finished here; disorderly conduct!.
Our children should be made aware of the Divine Providence in all our relations with God and neighbor; that there is good use in every one of our contacts in this world; if only we will look for the reason in all things prayerfully, we will be astounded at what we find. When we look back at the sequence of events in our own lives, we find law and order and a reason for all our so- called “happenings” we have “reaped that which we have sown.” No matter how vehemently we wish to blame conditions we in all honesty must admit that we have always made our conditions and chosen the fruit of our tree of life whether it is bitter or sweet, useful and plentiful, or selfish, shrivelled and ugly, scant, and of no interest to self or neighbor.
If every person who considers the great, cowardly sin of suicide, would look facts squarely in the face he would see that he is not escaping anything but is going to continue to receive the natural results of his actions in the next world. The results which he ought to face and has earned here, he should continue in this world to fight and to meet the temptations and evil spirits and he should leave for the next world, only after he has accomplished all which Divine Providence has planned for each individual in his own separate sphere which is an integral part of the great whole of mankind.
Where any individual shirks doing his whole best part, God must in his Divine mercy, come to the rescue and fill in, in some useful way, the work left undone by the slacker. Most people say, when such work has been done “wasnt that lucky?” when the happening was not, or never is “Luck,” but is the manifestation of Divine Providence working through some human being who was able to receive the suggestion of some wider use than had come to him before. No one should even feel self-righteous or “good” in himself, for it is not self, but the spirit of God working in those who are willing to receive the inspiration, in influx from the spirit of Life and Love, use and unselfishness, the God of this world and Heaven.