Does the sun shine because flowers greet it, or is it not rather that flowers bloom because the sun causes them to unfold? Mortal thought would reverse the facts of being; it bids us wait until divine qualities appear, that then we may love those who manifest them. Shall we ever see reality in that way? A subtle error lurks under the suggestion that we must not try to love where we have not seen something lovely, which is like forbidding us to carry a light into any dark place. How shall we ever see anything lovely until the reflection of divine Love in us opens the way? The psalmist says, "In thy light shall we see light."

In looking back over past experiences, we may find that this plausible error has darkened much of our way, but as we have gained in knowledge, and in one instance after another have seen earth's righteousnesses to be but "filthy rags," we have repeatedly discovered that the human heart is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Where then could we find that which was so admirable that we might rightfully love it? Our Leader bids us beware lest we be "overwhelmed by a sense of odiousness of sin" (Science and Health, p. 366), but this false sense has too frequently obtruded at the very time when we were struggling to find and to see only God's perfect man. We know that in order to cast out error we must displace it with truth and love, but how could this love be available if we were to exercise it only where we first found something lovely to bring it into expression?

Jesus smote this error into nothingness when he said, "Love your enemies, ... For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?" Truly indeed, to love only such as love us would present no help in this our extremity; but to love our enemies opens the door to divine realities. The very thing which we imagined difficult of attainment, if not impossible, is found to be simple and natural, when reduced to practice, for this love is divinely natural to all men when not barred out by the mistakes of human reason; and the Master's command, "Love your enemies," proves a perfect panacea for ungodliness.

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August 14, 1909

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