"Go in to possess the land."

THERE are few errors of human sense which are more general in their distribution, or more persistent in their hold, than is that of mental laziness, —the inertia which is averse to hard work, and which seems to be indigenous to all countries and climates, and all conditions of men. The spiritual overcoming to which men are called demands conscientious courage, the alertness and bravery of light, and to delay endeavor because of a false sense of hesitation or incapacity is to forget that God is our wisdom, our guide, and our sure support in every right undertaking.

The unhappy experience of some well-meaning people is illustrated in the story of the children of Israel. When the heads of the tribes, who had been sent by Moses to spy out the Promised Land, returned, all but two of them took counsel of fear and lethargy and opposed the plan to go up and occupy it, and forty years of wandering and of death in the desert measured the greatness of their folly, the far-reaching significance of their mistake. Later, their children were counseled to drive out the Hittites, the Jebusites, and every other enemy, that the abundance of the land might be theirs; but what a long time it took them, even as it takes us, to learn that error must first be cast out, if we would come to the peaceful enjoyment of our divine inheritance, the undisputed possession of man's every faculty, prerogative, and power. Here, as everywhere, the words of our Leader are a clarion call to a life that is always assertive for Truth and resistant to error. "Material beliefs which war against spiritual Truth; ... must be denied and cast out" (Science and Health, p. 130). The clear realization of this teaching of Christian Science is impelling many to-day to the assumption of an attitude of superiority to all evil which is quite new and wonderfully significant in results.

As the Israelites longed for the milk and honey which they were too timid and indifferent to go up and make their own, so do we long for the health, harmony, and happiness which pertain to the Canaan of redeemed human consciousness ; but to extirpate the errors of belief, of impulse, of appetite, and of habit, which have hitherto so largely monopolized its territory and resources, —this is an undertaking from which the torpid are ever tempted to shrink. Nevertheless this practical test of sincerity and of faith, as well as of pluck, every man must meet. There must be unswerving loyalty to the Christ ideal, there must be no truce with evil in any secret place of consciousness, no reserve in our consecration to God, and no cessation in our struggle for the possession of the riches of our inheritance in Christ. Thus living, we have "right to the tree of life," —to the freedom, health, and joy which fulfil the promise of an "hundredfold in this present life." If not thus living, what legitimate ground have we for claiming or expecting these blessings?

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Letters to our Leader
February 10, 1906

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