Many people, when they first begin the study of Christian Science, find themselves in discordant circumstances and in surroundings which do not seem conducive to the study and practice of Science, and yet each one has to learn that he is but dwelling in his own state of consciousness, and that the change of circumstances must come from within and not from without. This at first seems "an hard saying," and often it is not until people are prepared to accept it, and to forego their sense of self-pity, that they are at all able to lose their sense of inharmony.

We can learn much through studying the latter part of the 16th chapter of Acts, wherein we may see how Paul and Silas overcame adverse surroundings and circumstances. Their difficulties had arisen from their healing work, and the charge against them was of teaching "customs which are not lawful," i.e., which violate the generally accepted beliefs of mortal mind. The multitude was against them; they were misjudged, were beaten and imprisoned and their feet thrust into stocks. Was not this to the full as terrible a plight as any of us are asked to face, and had they not as much right to yield to self-pity? But how did they meet this condition? By praying and singing praises, in such a way that the other prisoners heard them. No selfish prayer, no grumbling desire for freedom from surrounding conditions, whatever the cost to those about them, but a thankfulness which goes out to the consciousness of those around. It is this which will be found to shake to the very foundations our prisons, the "inharmonious beliefs" which "imprison themselves in what they create" (Science and Health, p. 251).

February 13, 1909

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