The Ninety-first Psalm

There is perhaps no part of the Bible more familiar to the Christian Scientist than the ninety-first Psalm. It may be said to be the Scientist's favorite Psalm, and indeed his favorite Scripture selection. He has read and re-read it most likely more than any other portion of the Bible. He draws from it much help, much consolation, much spiritual food. He reads in it the story of life, of health, of peace. Each reading is a refreshment, a solace, and a benediction. It is not a merely perfunctory reading, not a laborious task, but a recreation,—a re-creation in the true sense of that term. It creates within the earnest reader a new sense of God, of Life, of man, and of all that pertains to existence,—past, present, and future. But in reading it do we always grasp and hold to its very first declaration? Do we note that there is, at the very outset, a condition,—a peremptory and unyielding condition? Unless we do so, we read it in vain.

What is the condition? "He that dwelleth." To dwell is the primary requirement. This dwelling is the imperative condition precedent to the results to be obtained. If he so dwell the consequences follow as naturally, nay, as necessarily, as the growing of grass follows the warmth and nurture of rain and sunshine. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." The dwelling is equally imperative with the abiding. Not more so, not less so. Both are indispensable in establishing such a relation with the most High that the blessings and benefits will certainly result. What are the blessings and benefits? Explicitly and beautifully are they set forth. Deliverance from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence,—that is the first. And what is it to be delivered from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence? The fowler is sin, and all noisome pestilences are the result of sin, either in ourselves or the sins, so to speak, of the world. If one were delivered from the snare of sin,—the fowler,—he would indeed be in the secret place of the most High. He would be saved. He would be redeemed. He would be resurrected. He would have passed through every condition and requirement necessary to his full freedom as a child of God. Then what a mighty, what an infinite result has been accomplished through obedience to this precedent condition of our beloved Psalm.

A Fair Minded Editor.
December 26, 1903

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