CONSUMING FIRE

Sitting by the fire recently, looking over some American magazines, a portrait in the center of an advertisement of what purported to be a "Life of Mrs. Eddy" suddenly caught my attention. At once I said, "That is not Mrs. Eddy; and to say so is a lie." With the words I tore the page from the magazine and cast it into the fire, where it was instantly reduced to ashes. It did not require articles in our Christian Science periodicals to tell me the portrait was spurious, though naturally these had the effect of strengthening my conviction. Later, analyzing my action, which had been spontaneous and practically instantaneous, a spiritual lesson unfolded itself. Whence came my positive knowledge that the portrait was counterfeit? Because it had been my privilege on more than one occasion to behold the beloved face of our revered Leader. Knowing the true, I therefore could not be deceived by a substitute. Whence came the sudden movement to cast into the fire this lie concerning our Leader? Because the magazines were destined for a club of British working men, and I did not wish them to gain a false impression of the features of her who is God's messenger to this age and future generations.

Then came the thought: Suppose every one who saw this advertisement acted in the same way, how quickly all record of the falsehood would vanish from the earth. It came out of nothing; it would disappear in nothingness. Naturally there followed the sequence: Why not be as positive in position, as certain in understanding, and as vigorous in action over every false claim which presents itself purporting to be the truth? We have seen the truth of creation set forth in our text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, and therefore have before us the perfect model. Why should we allow ourselves to be mesmerized into accepting the false testimony of the senses? Physical ills, household inharmonies, financial inabilities, apparently limited opportunities, met with the same assurance of understanding, cast into the fire of Truth and consumed in the flames of Christian Science, would vanish as surely and quickly as did the page of the magazine cast into my open grate.

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KNOWLEDGE VS. BELIEF
December 28, 1907
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