Essentials and Non-essentials

You cannot tell what mankind believe by what they say. Macaulay writes: "Man is so inconsistent a creature that it is impossible to reason from his belief to his conduct or from one part of his belief to another." Fortunately, we are not left entirely at the mercy of unreliable surface indications, otherwise we would never be able to estimate true worth, and character would be only what hypocrisy or fraud chose to expose to view. The mortal deceives himself most of all. He imposes upon himself more often than upon others. The average mortal shrinks from self-examination and imitates the silly bird which imagines itself safely hidden when its head is in the sand.

The inclination to substitute appearances for genuine worth is no less a temptation to the Christian Scientist than it is to others, but deception is practised with much less success in this field than in any other, for the one reason that Christian Science is a religion of doing, not of pretending. Here the individual is impartially estimated by results. "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit." "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit." Now the fruits of Christian Science living are the destruction of the false belief of evil, the improvement of one's self, the revelation in consciousness of the perfect man. These are the essentials of Christian Science, the results for which we strive. By our success in this work we shall be judged, and not by what mortal mind would wish to present to the world in place of results.

Our text-book, Science and Health, clearly states our objects, motives, and aims; on page 450, Mrs. Eddy says, "The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death." That is the important thing to remember always. These are the essentials of Christian Science living, the vital part, without which all the outward show, the protestation, the wordy self-exploitation, are pitiable shams. Anything which would divert us from our real work, anything which would prevent us from healing the sick and reforming the sinner,—this is surely the obtrusion of evil.

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"A grain of mustard seed"
August 11, 1906

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