The futile effort of the human mind to find truth where it is not, is graphically depicted in one of Lowell's essays, where he says, "All men who know not where to look for truth, save in the narrow well of self, will find their own image at the bottom, and mistake it for what they are seeking." Because it cannot penetrate the domain of reality, the effort of material sense must ever be to find truth in matter, good in evil, and life in death. Under the domination of corporeal sense, the poor mortal continues to grope in the dark, until suffering compels him to look beyond the confines of mortal knowledge for that first faint glimpse of spiritual light which appeared to the Magi of old. If left to follow his own native instincts, he would drift farther and farther away from a consciousness of the unseen facts of being, and would try to console himself with that false consciousness that is ever learning without attaining to a knowledge of spiritual truth. Unable to discern the thoughts of God, he would look at his own finite, human concepts and call them real and God-created. Reasoning from material and finite standpoints, he would insist upon comparing material thoughts with divine ideas, in his vain effort to bring God and His perfect creation down to the level of human perception and comprehension. He would delve into his own storehouse of sense testimony and knowledge for the definition of every new word or expression used to convey an accurate idea of the unseen truth. The result would necessarily be a human misconception of the true idea. This is as far as material sense can go in its search for the truth, and here it must learn to receive divine correction and to surrender its material concepts for spiritual understanding.

Thousands upon thousands of earnest Christian people are reading and studying the Bible in a search for that bread of Life which comes from the heaven of spiritual perception and understanding, without being able to find it. Why this failure, after years of faithful search and Christian profession of faith in Christ as the Saviour of mankind? Simply because they have been seeking the truth where it could not be found, and through the medium of material sense,—the acknowledged channel for all that is finite, evil, and perishable, but of naught that is infinite, good, or enduring; because they have not reached the point where sense testimony has been corrected and reason properly directed into spiritual channels; because they have tried to believe in a God who is Spirit while also believing the evidence of five senses which positively deny the power and presence of Spirit. Unconsciously they have relied upon these senses to define the nature of something of which they know absolutely nothing. When reading the accounts of Jesus' mighty works of healing, they have allowed material sense to tell them that these were simply miracles, inexplicable to this age, and that it is unreasonable to think of their ever being repeated for the benefit of suffering humanity. Like Moses of old, they have put the veil of matter over their faces when reading and attempting to explain the sacred Word of God, which has encouraged the education of the material senses rather than the cultivation of spiritual sense. The divine order has thus been reversed, in belief, and matter has been looked upon as the only natural and available remedy in time of need.

Not until the advent of Christian Science was this veil of material belief taken away, and the power of Spirit made practically available in the healing of disease. Thousands of the world's best people are daily turning away from the veiled theology of the past, and are looking deeply into the Science of being, not for a merely intellectual concept of God and man, but for the divine idea, the image and likeness of Spirit. They are learning the lesson of humility, whereby they can come into practical possession of "the unsearchable riches of Christ,"—Truth. They are learning the more practical import of self-abnegation, by which they can leave all for Christ and enter into constant, conscious companionship with good. They are learning to become "rich toward God," which enables them to appreciate the sentiment once expressed by Henry Ward Beecher. "In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up that makes us rich." In living for humanity they are learning to lose self,—learning to become scientifically altruistic.

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November 17, 1906

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