A number of years ago, soon after our dear Leader had established her home at Pleasant View, some of her students and their students obtained the privilege of having a pond made on her grounds, wishing thereby to give her a little pleasure and to tell her by this token of their love and gratitude for Christian Science. No sooner was the tiny lake completed than each of the contributors received an autograph copy of the pamphlet "Pond and Purpose," which she had written in acknowledgment of this gift from her grateful followers; and again they were made her debtors for a deep and wonderful spiritual lesson. This brochure was afterwards published in "Miscellaneous Writings," and has brought illumination and healing to thousands who have studied it. Here as elsewhere, Mrs. Eddy starts with the symbol, in this case water, and quickly lifts thought to its spiritual significance. She presents the idea of baptism as metaphysically regarded, beginning with the baptism of repentance, then the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and finally points her students to that glorious consummation of Christianity, the baptism of Spirit, in which materiality disappears.

Those who have studied "Pond and Purpose" with a deep desire for the Christliness which Christian Science inculcates and demands, know it to be both inspired and inspiring. It answers fully all questions which may come to the inquirer as to the Christian Science idea of baptism, and this it does without discussing in any way the opinions entertained by others. The "baptism of the Holy Ghost," as here unfolded and stated, is marvelous in its incisiveness and inclusiveness. It shows beyond all question what must take place, what does take place, when one begins to lay hold upon divine Truth. After telling of the purifying influence of Truth, Mrs. Eddy says, "Through the accession of spirituality, God, the divine Principle of Christian Science, literally governs the aims, ambition, and acts of the Scientist. The Divine ruling gives prudence and energy; it banishes forever all envy, rivalry, evil thinking, evil speaking and acting; and mortal mind thus purged, obtains peace and power outside of itself" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 204).

Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;" but it may be asked what baptism is here meant. John baptized with water, a symbol of moral purification, but he said that the Christ would baptize "with the Holy Ghost and with fire." We are told in the Gospels that Christ Jesus did not baptize any with water, although he himself submitted to the baptism of John; but that was before the Holy Ghost descended upon him. It is true that his students continued to use the symbol, but it should be remembered that their converts, whether Jews or Gentiles, were giving up an elaborate ritual, and the simple rite of water baptism doubtless helped to bridge the gulf between ritualistic forms and the worship of God "in spirit and in truth;" although then, as now, the real baptism, that which makes one a Christian, is "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," and it is again distinguished to-day, as at the dawn of Christianity, by the healing of the sick as well as the reformation of the sinful. He who receives this spiritual baptism not only "shall be saved," but is saved. He has the witness of the Spirit,—annulling the false claims and downward tendencies of materiality. To him there are no longer two powers, good and evil, striving for the mastery, for, as he is ever reminded in Christian Science, there is but one power and that God, good; and "one Lord, one faith, one baptism,"—that of Spirit.

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February 1, 1908

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