OUR SURROUNDINGS

In thinking over the spurious laws by which we have believed ourselves to be governed, one is surprised to see how much is conceded to one's surroundings, how many times they are made the scapegoat for the troubles, difficulties, tastes, and habits of the human family. Health and wealth are often made to bow down to this belief; as the saying goes, "One man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, another with a wooden ladle." The study of Mrs. Eddy's writings soon makes it clear, however, that environment is not in material surroundings, but in mental conditions.

In the scientific elucidation of the Scriptures, we may find the solution for all difficulties that beset human beings in working out their salvation. Let us take, for instance, the experience of Paul and Silas in prison, their feet made fast in the stocks. Their surroundings were anything but pleasant, but they did not grieve or worry about it. When things seemed darkest—at midnight—they prayed, realized the allness of God, and sang praises to Him. These declarations of the presence and power of God were heard by the others, who were also in prison and bound by material thoughts, "and suddenly," the narrative says, "there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken." The belief in matter was surely shaken to its very foundation. The prison, or that which held them prisoners, was found to have nothing to support it; therefore its nothingness was exposed and its powerlessness shown, the prison doors were opened, their bands were loosed and they were freed from bondage.

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