Faith in Good

ONE of the most remarkable lessons given by the great Teacher was that in which he told his disciples that they should be ready to forgive a brother even though he repeated the trespass seven times in a day, the only condition imposed being repentance on the part of the offender. According to Matthew, he added, in answer to a question from Peter, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." We need not wonder that the disciples said, "Increase our faith;" for they must have seen that without a wonderful enlargement of their faith in good it would be impossible to carry out his instructions. His answer to their prayer for more faith shows clearly that he did not expect them to bow in helpless submission before any form of evil, for Luke tells us that he responded, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."

As we study the teachings and demonstrations of Christ Jesus in the light of Christian Science, we see that we must apply our understanding of divine Principle not only to the healing of sickness, but to all the other varied problems of human experience, as in the case cited. Here was an instance in which evil was supposed to assume the reality and persistency of good, to re-appear after it had seemed to be disposed of, so that we could easily imagine the aggrieved brother saying like Jonah, I do well to be angry." It might seem that the offence would be repeated forever, that it might outlast the power of forgiveness, if we had not learned from the Christ-teaching that evil, whether manifested as sin or sickness, is destructible, while good is indestructible because it is continuously supported by God, the divine Principle of all reality. The vital lesson for each of us is the need of increased faith in the power of good, for our problems are practically the same, whether we are striving to overcome sickness or sin. In both cases our need is to have an ever-lessening sense of evil and an ever-enlarging sense of good. If we fail in gaining this, we are not working according to the Master's commands, nor according to the rules found in our text-book, Science and Health, by the observance of which obedience is ever rewarded with success; namely, the disappearance of evil.

It is encouraging to know that every effort on our part to put into practice our understanding of Truth and Love in the overcoming of error has a wonderful influence upon our spiritual unfoldment. Even seeming failure only compels us to apply the truth more persistently, and to see that our methods are not slipshod but truly scientific. We thus gain strength in the assurance that God reigns, that His kingdom is here and now, and that we have but to know this when a sense of sickness or "trespass" would intrude upon its divine harmony. In the prophecy of Micah, God calls upon the mountains to prove His faithfulness to His people in every emergency, and in the beautiful Hebrew metaphor the mountains answer for Him: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

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Another New Pamphlet
July 28, 1906

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