According to St. Mark, Jesus gave the reason for this command to watch in these words, "For ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." Elsewhere Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you alway," and if Christ be thus ever-present how can we watch for his coming? The very placing of these texts in juxtaposition at once shows us that this "master of the house" is neither material nor personal, but rather Truth, the Comforter, the "I am;" that Truth, although ever-present, yet "cometh" (is revealed) to the individual thought in the measure that thought is prepared to receive it.

Watching, then, must be a continuous state of resistance to all evil, and loving welcome to all that is good. In the even of rest and security, we watch that peace may not give place to the mists of indolence. In the midnight of wrestling with a sense of bodily or mental suffering, we watch against discouragement and faith's denial. At the cockcrowing, when some new hope startles with its jubilant call old habits of sleep and dreams, we watch against pride and self-complacency. In the glowing morning of "revelation and progress" (Science and Health, p. 591) we watch against the seductive notes of ease, the myriad claims of animal magnetism. Our Lord cometh! omnipresent good penetrates gradually the human consciousness and seeks to bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

The need to see in a neighbor only the divine image, brought a few days ago the thought that our Lord might come suddenly in that neighbor's demonstration over the besetting sin, and unless the watch were maintained, one might be still sleepily holding him to it in thought, and so be guilty of malpractice! This consideration revealed another opportunity for watching, for as the above thought struck home, this flashed forth: "But I shall never be able at all times to keep clear of the sense of such a conspicuous moral claim." Lack of trust and humility, induced by the arch-enemy, fear, had now to be routed. Into that "city of God," man's perfect consciousness, "there shall in no wise enter ... any thing that defileth;" and hence it is indeed our duty to "stand porter at the door of thought" (Science and Health, p. 392). Little daily concessions to wrong habits, indolence, idle comment, audible or silent criticism, are so many "little foxes, that spoil the vines" while the grapes are yet tender, while thought is but learning to free itself from its mortal fetters.

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April 24, 1909

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