How often we are tempted, when thinking over events which are past or still proceeding, to make use of the words, "It would have been better if we had done this, or that," instead of what we actually did do; and much valuable time is thus spent in ineffectual speculation as to what would have happened if we had done what we did not do. In the days when we believed that right effects were the result of actions prompted by that which had its origin in our own finite minds, there might possibly have been urged good reasons for encouraging such rumination as a mental exercise, but to the Christian Scientist, whose earnest endeavor is to progress in the understanding of the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, there is a much more instructive and valuable lesson to be learned from experiences which have seemed to be wholly or partially discordant, than that gained from speculation on results which we think might have appeared under a different set of conditions which were not present.

If we would reap the greatest benefit from our various human experiences, we must use our understanding of divine Principle to the fullest extent in order to interpret each experience in the light of its full spiritual import. For example, if a trusted friend has been found to have acted fraudulently toward us, and perhaps also vilified us in excusing his fault to others, we have not completed our demonstration over this incident when our work has resulted in repentance by our friend for the wrong done, and in full human reparation by him, and when our forgiveness has been extended to him. These human footsteps are absolutely necessary; we have been "tilling the ground," but we should not be content to leave the incident at this stage, nor to learn from it only human wisdom; we should look for, and reap, the fruit of our labor.

In the 1st Psalm we are told: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 60) our Leader has said that "every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief. Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality." Let us pause for a moment and consider, What is the knowledge possessed by Mind in respect to such an incident? Is it of error? Is it of fraud? "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity," the Scriptures tell us. Is it in the punishment of fraud, in the destruction of evil that God engages? is it for the annihilation of that which is a negation, that which is "nothing, no thing, mind, nor power" (Science and Health, p. 330), that the activity of omnipotent Mind is exerted? Is it not, rather, "that the works of God should be made manifest"? Is it not that divine Principle, Truth, and Love, in whose presence evil is self-destroyed, may be revealed to men?

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October 30, 1909

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