The possibilities of reform, whether in the individual, the community, or the State, are always determined by the intensity and elevation of the ruling moral sense, the definiteness of the common apprehension of truth, and it is important that this be kept in mind, since otherwise the would-be reformer is impelled to that hasty action which is sure to end in discouragement, if not pessimism and defeat. In so far as we identify advance with organization and legislation, in so far we are subject to disappointment, as a result of that reaction which has been chronicled so frequently in the history of worthy undertakings. We may multiply our legislative enactments and perfect our reform organizations until they seem quite ideal, and yet without the awakening of a deep and definite moral sense it is all but as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. On the other hand history has often shown that, though organization be imperfect, and though there be not only lack of unanimity but division and strife among reform workers, where there is a great moral end in view, and a pervading conviction of its demands, the cause is steadily advanced.

In her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. III) Mrs. Eddy has emphasized this self-advancing power of truth, regardless of error's resistance, when she says, "Leaving the seed of Truth to its vitality, it propagates: the tares cannot hinder it," and the significance of this fact to the daily life of the alert Christian Scientist is unmeasured. The unreliability and unworthiness of mortal sense, its capacity seemingly to veil truth's sweet face and hinder its progress,—all this has been more fully disclosed, and he perceives with corresponding clearness that truth's self-propagating power is indeed the hope of humanity. He perceives, too, that simply to get spiritual concepts and ideals into thought means advance, and that if he can but have the grace to keep still and profit by opportunities to drop the good seed into awakening consciousness, and especially if he but live so consistent and winsome a life that his acquaintance will prove not a hindrance but a help to the growth of the seed, then things are bound to be improved day by day through his honest effort, though it be imperfect.

He thus attains to that quiet assurance which is the victor's poise, and his realization of the educational and healing work which is being accomplished through the spoken word of our public services, through the dissemination of Christian Science literature, the healing of the sick, and the better living of all worthy representatives of the movement, brings an ever-increasing expectation of good. No longer disturbed by doubt as to the success of the Cause, every day has become a Thanksgiving, he know God's "truth is marching on." This will ballast and broaden thought, and give him an alert and abiding interest in all genuine reform undertakings, so that he will always have a good, cheery word to say for and about them, even though, in view of other duties and obligations, it may not be possible for him to be personally identified with them.

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November 23, 1907

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