There is nothing truer respecting human progress than this, that "things do not accomplish themselves." Every good that mankind has gained, every advance and betterment of life, has resulted from somebody's hard work and self-sacrifice. Our simple, every-day comforts and utilities, no less than the luxuries of our more elaborate living and of travel, all tell the story of struggle in mines and mills and work-rooms, where, directly or indirectly, thousands perchance have made their contribution to our possession of the things which we have enjoyed, mayhap without a thought.

And what is true of these things is yet more true of those spiritual gifts which contribute to the satisfaction and growth of our better selves. All the way from that gentle mother-love which watches over its cradle, to that divine affection which triumphs on its Calvary, the attainment of good for men means, and has ever meant, vicarious effort, a choosing not of the thing that is the one most easily done, but of the thing that most needs to be done; and true Christian Scientists are learning thus to make their choice of the highest good, though it involve the severest and most continuous labor. More than this, they are rejoicing that they can and do thus choose. They are being healed of one of earth's most contagious and baneful ills, namely, laziness, the disposition to consider personal preference and peace when their highest privilege and destiny call them to personal sacrifice and perennial struggle. They are remembering him who said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me;" and they are seeking to emulate the example of her who saw before her "the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness," but who unswervingly and unhesitatingly "pressed on through faith in God" (Science and Health, p. 226); who, in that supreme moment, as in the long years of her struggle, has sought not comfort, but spiritual consummations; not ease, but the end of evil for herself and for all humanity.

Men are indebted to divine Love for both the possibility and the means of overcoming, but only earnest and continuous personal effort will enable them to profit by the grace divine, and the stimulus to this effort is found, as nowhere else, in Christian Science.

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April 13, 1907

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