It is related of Napoleon that once when some one offered "circumstances" as an excuse for failure, he arrogantly replied, "Circumstances! I make circumstances!" The sad sequel to his long–continued bravado is familiar to all. Such is always the tragic end of human will, not always so dramatic in its final desolation, but always desolate, always defeated.

And is man, necessarily a creature of circumstances? Only so far as he essays "to fight the beast with the beast," to defeat the malignity of impersonal error with the weapon of human will–power; only while he persists in his efforts to climb the ladder of a selfish ambition, which always rests on the treacherous quicksands of popularity; only so long as he expects darkness to dispel darkness, hate to destroy hate, discord to scatter discord.

Man learns through Christian Science that the measure of his dominion is the measure of his spiritual altitude. He must be "lifted up" before he can know the absolute nothingness of the threatening circumstances,—of material environments, with their sham conflict of jangling discords.

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There is no Refuge in Obscurity
February 12, 1903

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