A student of Christian Science remarked recently that too many beginners overlook the important fact that Christian Science is primarily and essentially the Science of Being, and strive to make it instead the Science of getting. Inasmuch as Christian Science is founded upon the teachings and demonstrations of Christ Jesus, it is well to remember his words, "It is more blessed to give than to receive,"—a statement which has ofttimes helped to stem the rising tides of the world's selfishness and self-seeking. A more vital question than is either getting or giving, in their ordinary sense, is that of being and becoming. Paul warned Timothy against the belief "that gain is godliness," and added, "But godliness with contentment is great gain." In this last statement we have a hint as to how the Science of Being is to be attained. With godliness, or Godlikeness, we necessarily have all things and abound, and we learn what it means to trust "in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."

In Christian Science we have learned to know God as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, intelligence,—the All of being, the all-knowing, all-possessing Mind. We also learn that all we really are and possess is what we reflect of infinite Being. When Paul counseled those who were rich to lay "up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come," he unquestionably referred to being, not getting. He had proved in many and varied experiences the supreme value of being, in some measure at least, what God means every man to be. In the direst dangers, whether from angry foes or raging elements, he was calm and assured, conscious of man's immortality,—so assured that he could say to his companions in peril, in the face of impending shipwreck, "Be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you."

Although the ship was lost, Paul carried with him that which was indeed of more value than silver or gold—that which he was; and he proved at once what this means, by shaking off the viper which stung him, receiving no harm; and immediately afterwards by healing many sick people on the island where they were cast. The gratitude of those who were healed was then expressed in supplying the needs of the shipwrecked men and in bestowing "many honors" upon Paul and his companions. It is easy to see that even on the ordinary plane of experience the one whose mentality is rightly developed takes precedence, in every emergency, over the mere possessor of material riches, thus proving that what one is, is of vastly more account than what he has.

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December 28, 1907

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