The rains that descended, the floods that came, and the winds that blew and beat upon the house of the wise man and upon the house of the foolish man, in the parable, were not responsible for the fall of the one any more than for the standing of the other, and there seems to be nothing in the teaching of the parable or in the life of Jesus to indicate that men should avoid rain, flood, and wind, or that they should seek to build their houses or live their lives in places sheltered from rough weather. Jesus prayed not that his followers should be taken out of the world, but that they should be kept from the evil. Moreover, the safety of the house lies not in its size, its beauty, its intrinsic strength of construction, nor in its stage of progress. The facts that determine whether or not it will endure, are its foundation or lack thereof, and the genuineness of the structure built thereon. The everlasting "rock of ages" alone can meet and repel all attacks, and all honest building founded thereon is safe. That which is built may be little or much, crude or ornate, in its first stages or approaching completion, yet will its foundation of rock insure its permanence. Sand has neither adhesion nor cohesion and is typical of that which possesses neither Mind nor Life. That which is built on it has no foundation, for we read that "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

It is not the panic that brings ruin to the business man, but the lack of preparedness for financial stress and emergency, the failure to have built upon sound economic principles. No temptation ever overthrew a man, for with the temptation is also made a way of escape. No machination of evil or of the mind that is enmity against God ever caused his downfall. Nothing but the failure to make use of the way of escape, failure to dwell in "the secret place of the most High," to "abide under the shadow of the Almighty," caused the yielding to the temptation of his own devices. Christian Scientists are never harmed by malpractice or by any manifestation of error or hatred, but by their own failure to heed our Leader's warning to keep their minds "so filled with Truth and Love that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them" (Sentinel, Oct. 6, 1906), failure to know that Science, the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, never fails, and that what may seem to be such a failure is always a lack of Science in the consciousness—a building upon the sand of mortal sense instead of upon the rock of spiritual sense.

And this emphasizes one of "these sayings" of Jesus which the wise man hears and does, and the foolish man hears and does not. When the adversary with whom we are told to agree quickly, meets the man who has been less than scientific in his methods of thought, who has been slack in his examination of his accounts with his brother as well as with Him whom we beseech to "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," who has trusted to sense testimony or has allowed himself to be lulled into a false sense of security by a loose declaration and belief that "everything will come out all right somehow,"—such a man is surprised and terrified by the appearance of the adversary, and so half acknowledges the validity of whatever claim is brought against him. Not having at hand the understanding of truth with which to refute the adversary's statement, he feels that the sand of false belief is shifting and slipping under him, and is led to make one concession after another, until, after being forced to pay to the uttermost farthing, he finds that he must begin life all over again.

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April 30, 1910

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