Most students of the Bible are familiar with the warning words quoted from the Psalms, in the third chapter of Paul's epistle to the Hebrews: "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." The writer of this epistle draws some wonderful lessons from the early experiences of his race, when they were slowly emerging from the mental bondage which had come with them from Egypt. He sought to show the people of his own time that their lessons were the same as those of their forefathers,—that their worst enemies were not any outward trials or privations, but "the deceitfulness of sin," and "an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." It may be safely said that the problems of Christian Scientists are the same as those to whom the warning was addressed, for to the infinite Mind it is always "today;" yes, and our problems are always the problems of today.

In the last analysis, the sin of the Hebrew people in Moses' time, and also in the time of Christ Jesus, was that they gave the material priority over the spiritual. What, then, is to be said of all the nations who have lived since that time and of those who are here today? Those who turn away from the spiritual to the material, harden their hearts against the appeal of divine Love, and of such it was said in the olden time that "they should not enter into my [God's] rest." We know how applicable this is to every one of us, for there is no rest or peace to be found in the pursuit of materiality. It matters little whether it be pursuit of pleasure or the effort to escape from the sufferings of mortal belief by material means, there is ever the same unsatisfied longing, until we are ready to pause, to hear God's voice, and begin to prove at each step of the way that not a single need is forgotten or unprovided for,—whether it be health, strength, guidance, or daily bread,—since, to quote our revered Leader's words, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Science and Health, p. 494).

Without doubt the children of Israel had some trials and privations in their wilderness journey, as mortals have today, but they had the glorious symbols of the divine presence,—the pillar of cloud and of fire,—and we have no less, for the Christ-presence is with us as in the time of Christ Jesus, healing us of all sickness and sin, if only we listen for God's voice and harden not our hearts. When the Israelites listened for the divine voice, their thirst was quenched by the stream which flowed from the rock and their hunger was satisfied by the manna which fell from the sky. Their sin was that they so often failed to hear or heed. And what is ours? We have not even the excuse of not knowing that as God is Spirit His help must be spiritual and reach us through the channels of spiritual sense.

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January 22, 1910

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