Golden Text: Lamentations 3:34-36, The Message
Stomping down hard on luckless prisoners, refusing justice to victims in the court of High God, tampering with evidence—the Master does not approve of such things.
Acts 16: 16-26, English Standard Version
As [Paul and Silas] were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
From 21st Century Science and Health
Suppose a mental case to be on trial, as cases are tried in court. A man is charged with having committed liver disease. The patient feels ill, ruminates, and the trial commences. Physical Sensation is the plaintiff. Human Being is the defendant. False Belief is the attorney for Physical Sensation. Human Mortal Minds, Materia Medica, Anatomy, Psychotherapy, Physiology, Hypnotism, Envy, Greed and Ingratitude, constitute the jury. The court-room is filled with curious spectators, and Judge Medicine is on the bench.
The evidence for the prosecution being called for, a witness testifies thus:—
I represent Health-laws. I was present on certain nights when the prisoner, or patient, took care of a sick friend. Although I am in charge of human affairs, I was personally abused on those occasions. I was told to remain silent until called for at this trial, when I would be allowed to testify in the case. In spite of my rules to the contrary, the prisoner cared for the sick friend every night in the week. When the sick friend was thirsty, the prisoner gave him a drink. During all this time the prisoner still performed his own responsibilities, causing him to eat at irregular intervals, sometimes going to sleep immediately after an unhealthy dinner. His liver could not take the abuse and I considered it criminal, inasmuch as this offence is deemed punishable with death. Therefore I arrested Human Being in behalf of the state, Fleshly Body, and cast him into prison.
At the time of the arrest the prisoner summoned Physiology, Materia Medica, and Alternative Medicine to prevent his punishment. The struggle on their part was long. Materia Medica held out the longest, but at length all these assistants resigned to me, Health-laws, and I succeeded in getting Human Being into close confinement until I should release him.
The next witness testifies:—
I am Nerve, the State Commissioner for Human Being. I am intimately acquainted with the plaintiff, Physical Sensation and know him to be truthful and upright, whereas Human Being, the prisoner at the bar, is capable of falsehood. I was witness to the crime of liver disease. I knew the prisoner would commit it, for I convey messages from my residence in matter, alias brain, to body.
Another witness is called for by the Court of Error and says:—
I am Mortality, Governor of the Province of Body, in which Human Being resides. In this province there is a statute regarding disease—namely, that he on whose person disease is found shall be treated as a criminal and punished with death.
Mark 13: 5-13
5-8 Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.
9-10 “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth. The Message has to be preached all across the world.
11 “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.
12-13 “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me.
“Stay with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.
Lamentations 3: 55-60
“I called out your name, O God, called from the bottom of the pit. You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears! Get me out of here! Save me!’ You came close when I called out.
You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’ 58-60 “You took my side, Master; you brought me back alive! God, you saw the wrongs heaped on me. Give me my day in court!
From 21st Century Science and Health
The Judge asks, is it possible for man to become diseased and merit punishment because he did a good deed for his neighbor? Governor Mortality replies in the affirmative.
Judge Medicine then proceeds to pronounce the solemn sentence of death on the prisoner. Because he has loved his neighbor as himself, Human Being has been guilty of benevolence in the first degree, and this led him into the commission of the second crime, liver disease, which physical laws condemn as homicide.
Ah! But Christ, Truth, the spirit of Life and the friend of Human Being, can open wide those prison doors and set the captive free. Swift on the wings of divine Love, there comes an appeal: “Delay the execution; the prisoner is not guilty.” Consternation fills the prison-yard. Some exclaim, “It is contrary to law and justice.” Others say, “The law of Christ supersedes our laws; let us follow Christ.”
James 2: 1-13
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
From 21st Century Science and Health
After much debate and opposition, permission is obtained for a trial in the Court of Spirit, where Christian Science is allowed to appear as counsel for the unfortunate prisoner. Witnesses, judges, and jurors, who were at the previous Court of Error, are now summoned to appear before the bar of Justice and eternal Truth.
Then Christian Science proved the witness, Nerve, to be a perjurer. Instead of being a ruler in the Province of Body, in which Human Being was reported to reside, Nerve was an insubordinate citizen, putting in false claims although calling them official or authorized, and bearing false witness against man and woman.
The Supreme Bench decides in favor of intelligence, that no law outside of divine Mind can punish or reward Human Being. Your personal jurors in the Court of Error are myths. Your attorney, False Belief, is an impostor, persuading Human Minds to return a verdict contrary to law and gospel. The plaintiff, Physical Sensation, is recorded in our Book of books as a liar.
The Jury of Spiritual Perceptions agreed at once upon a verdict, and there resounded throughout the vast audience-chamber of Spirit the cry, Not guilty. Then the prisoner rose up regenerated, strong, and free. We noticed, as he shook hands with his counselor, Christian Science, that all jaundice and debility has disappeared. His form was erect and commanding, his countenance beaming with health and happiness.
 Rom. 13:10
 Matt. 7:12