"Remember Lot's wife"

The question often presents itself to the earnest student of the Bible,—Why did not more of the people accept and adhere to the teachings of Christ Jesus? It would seem that his ministry left nothing unprovided for, since it was at once the culmination and fulfilment of prophecy,—an epitome of all the good achieved or hoped for by the Hebrew nation. The good which he revealed and demonstrated was not negative or privative; its rule was ever, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God [good],... and all these things shall be added unto you." The sufficient answer to this question is found in the fact that people felt there was something to be given up, and this made them pause. It has been said that "fear is the attraction of mortals to earthiest earth." Thus when Lot and his family were fleeing from the doomed city of Sodom, although literally driven out by smoke and flame, they yet feared to trust the divine guidance which had brought them out of deadly peril. The wife longingly looked back upon the scene of their luxury and false pleasures—and perished.

That this tragic experience is of special significance to Christian Scientists is very clear from the Master's warning concerning the time "when the Son of man is revealed." He spoke to his disciples of the days before the flood, the gayety, the revelry, the absorption in materiality, then the destruction of this false sense of life. He also reminded them of the destruction of Sodom under similar conditions, and said, "Remember Lot's wife." In our efforts to escape from materiality with its false sense of pleasure and pain, of life and substance, we need to bend all our energies to the task of reaching a place of safety,—"the secret place of the most High,"—not merely resting content with greater ease in material belief, as such a condition of thought invariably tends toward retrogression, and may even lead those who indulge it to look backward, perchance to the evils which were once given up.

How often did the Master counsel those who essayed to be his followers, to count the cost before they started out; and yet in all his warnings there is no hint that would favor hesitation. He was daily demonstrating the allness of spiritual being and the nothingness of that which seemed real to mortal sense, therefore he knew what glorious posibilities lay in the free choice of the spiritual, and that even the seeming deprivations which accompany this choice are "not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." So said St. Paul, who had proved the truth for himself; who actually gloried in his trials and said, "I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." No hint here of looking back to the fleeting joys and false pleasures of the senses! Here was one who had proved what Christian Science to-day insists upon; namely, that joy and not woe, fruition not failure are the guerdon of those who faithfully follow Christ, Truth.

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Christian Science Reading for the Blind
March 31, 1906

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