Jesus once said to his disciples, "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven." What, then, did Peter lack when he stepped out upon the troubled waves of the Sea of Galilee that he failed to walk upon the water? Why, after his impulsive declaration, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death," did he fail so ingloriously in the hour of trial? How different from Peter's behavior at the trial of Jesus was his conduct a few weeks later, when he stood up in the presence of the multitude and spoke the word of God with boldness. Surely some wonderful knowledge had been revealed to him which had transformed the cowering craven into a fearless champion of his Master's cause! With characteristic enthusiasm, Paul declares, in his epistle to the Philippians, that he counted all things as nothing when compared to the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." In several instances he uses the Greek word epignosis, which, according to the best authority, should be rendered exact knowledge. In Colossians we read, "So that their hearts may be comforted, being closely united in love and in all the wealth of the full assurance of the understanding in order to an exact knowledge of the secret of God; in which are stored all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Wilson's Translation)

The only science worthy of the name is exact knowledge capable of demonstration. It therefore appears that Paul pointed the Colossians to the Science of God, or divine Science. The remark of Jesus to the lawyers, "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered," makes it clear that the Hebrew prophets, poets, and teachers knew something of this "secret of God." Was it not the perfect law which David declared "more to be desired than much fine gold," and in the 1st Psalm to be the delight of the godly man, on which he meditates "day and night"? which Solomon declares to be the "fountain of life"? We catch faint echoes of this healing truth from remotest antiquity, and it was the mission of Jesus to restore to the world the "key of David." He committed the healing truth to his disciples, who prized it above all things; but again those who would make merchandise of the sacred things of God took it away and hid it in a mountain of rubbish. For two thousand years learned doctors have added to this mountain of theological disputations and vain sophistries, bringing us down to the nineteenth century. They then solemnly sent forth the dictum that, in the light of modern science, there probably never was a key, or, if a key ever existed, the world had progressed beyond the necessity for its use. Thus the "wise and prudent" ruthlessly shut the door of hope in the faces of those to whom Jesus brought the "good tidings"—the poor, the sick, the broken-hearted, and the captive.

But there was one whose deep sense of the dire needs of humanity caused her to disregard the learned ignorance and worldly wisdom that seemed to obstruct her way, and she bravely set forth in search of the lost key. Success was the reward of her faith and zeal. Listen to the gracious words in which she announces the fact to a waiting world: "Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal. Spiritual understanding unfolds Mind,—Life, Truth, and Love,—and demonstrates the divine sense, giving the spiritual proof of the universe in Christian Science. This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light" (Science and Health, p. 505). No doctor of divinity would have dared write those words, and yet few great philosophers or theologians would have the courage to dispute them. Spirituality is attainable by the humblest seeker, but it is rarely if ever attained through the intensely intellectual regime of the modern university. It is true now as in the days of Christ Jesus, that the wise and prudent" fail through their laborious researches to find the way of Life, though the simple-hearted through suffering and prayer may be led up to the very gate of paradise. Let us magnify and adore the holy name of God. who has restored to us again the "key of knowledge," by means of which we may know and demonstrate the secret of Life, Truth, and Love!

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 22, 1908

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.