Be they erudite or ignorant, good or bad, clever or commonplace, there is no diversity of opinion among men respecting the truth of Jesus' words when he said, "Blessed are the pure in heart;" the exaltation and the supreme desirability of such a consciousness admit of neither denial nor doubt. To many this ideal seems so far removed from the plane of human possibilities that they never think of it seriously as a goal for which they might well strive; they classify it rather as the unattainable heaven of happy dreams. To others, however, and in all times, the ideal life has proved an irresistible attraction, and in seeking to win it they have illumined the tales of human heroism with colors that can never fade.

Many explanations lie behind human failures in this field, and among them this, that men have centered their thought upon the phenomena of an ideal consciousness rather than upon the ideal consciousness itself; upon conduct rather than upon motive, upon appearances rather than upon the right thinking which would determine appearances. Consideration for one's place and profession, for the adjustment of one's speech and acts to a high standard of consistency or conventional requirement, is not without value. Regard for their church and family and social standing no doubt helps many to the attainment of a better ordered life, even personal pride may impel one to take his stand against grossness; but there is an inevitable tendency in all this toward cant and pretense, that superficiality of moral view and attainment which would be well named "manufactured propriety," and seeing this, we see that the only basis of a genuine life of freedom, joy, and usefulness is an ideal consciousness. "The corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity" (Science and Health, p. 241). It is that state to which Paul refers when declaring that the weapons of the Christian's warfare are mighty through God to the casting down of "imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." If we are not acquiring a purer thought and purpose, the effort to live a blameless life is an altogether hopeless undertaking.

In defining angels as "the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil" (Science and Health, p. 581), Mrs. Eddy has called attention to the protecting power of continuously clean thinking, the abiding right idea. It is this that disarms temptation and supplies the impenetrable armor which turns aside the shafts of evil. It is this that gives alertness to right impulse, freedom to the enthusiasm and spontaneity of our nobler nature, and it is this that begets susceptibility to those impressions of truth and goodness through which every budding of beauty and joy bursts into bloom.

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January 9, 1909

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