Obedience

Possibly a scrap of my experience in the study of Christian Science may be helpful to some one who, like myself, has been seeking for a religion that will satisfy, therefore I give briefly a few thoughts, hoping that good may be done. After many years of unrest in two different churches, the Methodist and Swedenborgian, which for a time gave me a measure of comfort, I was led to read the text-book of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," loaned to my wife by a neighbor, in the fall of 1896. Before reading to the close of the first chapter, I could exclaim, "I have found the Christ," and the more I read, the more deeply convinced I became that a long search for light had been rewarded. Every day a new ray of light pierced the cloud of material beliefs, and I pressed on, "charmed to confess the voice divine." Three years service in the Civil War had taught me that a soldier's first duty to his country was loyalty, next obedience; and I at once decided that as a Christian Science soldier loyalty and obedience on my part were necessary. Loyalty to our dear Leader, and unwavering obedience to all her orders and directions were seen to be necessary in order that the battle be won. I determined that I would do my best to be a worthy soldier and never doubt the wisdom of our general or question her motive in a single instance. It was enough for me to hear the orders from time to time, and my duty to obey. By obedience I do not mean a slavish, sullen submission to a command, but a cheerful, loving, and willing compliance with every order and rule set forth in our Leader's works. Our patient, gentle, loving Mother neither asks nor desires that any of her children should take one step that she has not taken. When alone, with none but God to sustain, she trod the thorny pathway from "sense to soul," many times "with bleeding footsteps." There is but one rule by which we can solve the great problem of life, this rule is given us in our text-book. It is for each of us to decide whether we shall apply this rule—in other words, obey, or continue to grope our way making blunders, while our dear Leader wishes and counsels obedience. She does not wish us to worship her personality, but follow where she leads. To the extent that I have been obedient, I have been blessed with understanding, and have been able to demonstrate over many errors in myself and others. We show our love of the Truth only by obedience, for a loving child is always an obedient child by obedience on my part, so far as I had understood what was required of me, the love of smoking left me entirely, after thirty years of indulgence, and for two years I have been free from that evil.

Through obedience I have learned to love my fellow-man more; see less of his seeming wrongs and more of his real nature. Through obedience I have been enabled to accomplish more work at my desk. Through obedience I have in a great degree overcome impatience, and more than all I have learned that God is Love, and I can love Him more fervently. In obeying our Leader and Teacher we are not following a personality, but a Principle. We do not love Mrs. Eddy as a personality, but as God's messenger to us; for many, like myself, have never had the pleasure of seeing her face, yet we all know that she loves us, and why should not we love her? If we do love her we shall be glad to obey, and go on from height to height in understanding.

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Fear Illustrated
September 14, 1899
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