"It doth not yet appear"

In the celebrated third chapter of his first epistle, St. John expresses a satisfying assurance respecting the acknowledged unknown, in view of his certainty respecting the known. The consciousness of demonstrable truth had become for him, as it should become for all, a refuge from every stress and tumult of doubt. As the finite addresses itself to the infinite, "the greater the sphere of knowledge the greater the contrast with the unknown," and therefore we can but say with St. Paul, "Now we know in part." The meanings of "I don't know" may, however, be quite antipodal. For the unbeliever the assertion often signifies that hopeless uncertainty of agnosticism, which is capable of boasting of its ignorance of life's greatest problems. For Christian faith, on the other hand, it is but the recognition of that immature experience which counsels reserve of judgment. The governing law may be clearly apprehended both in itself and in its relation to a given problem, but the facts necessary to its application are not yet at command.

It is clear that if we are to grow into the "fulness of the stature of Christ," there are some things which cannot be known until the end of the process, and that meanwhile rest and content must come through the realization that the known law covers the unknown facts; that all is under the government of God, and that with enlarged spiritual understanding we shall come to know "even as we are known."

Christian Science declares the knowableness of all truth, and that, so far as it is apprehended, truth is demonstrable. It also declares that error is unintelligible; "an enigma" (Science and Health, pp. 70, 124), and therefore it is excluded from right thought, is unknowable to Mind. The problem of evil is not solved by trying to know all about it, but by unknowing all its asserted factors, and this is achieved through the awakening to Truth. The recognition of error for what it is, conduces to its destruction (Science and Health, p.252), but the materialist's endeavor to know it for what it is not, subjects him to the greater disadvantage. When we can scientifically say, "I know not," of error, unto its uttermost, we shall have effected that entire escape from error which is coincident with the realization of Truth's perfect sovereignty in us.

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"What is man?"
March 10, 1906

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