As New Year's day draws nigh, the traditional time for "making another start" in all good endeavor, not a few of us will be visited by the remembrances of many a good plan and undertaking earnestly entered upon in the past which has seemingly come to naught, and though we may be ready and glad to reenlist for the cause of this and that winsome ideal, we are likely to do so with more misgiving and less joy than becomes a time of good decision, and for the reason that past defeats are permitted to augur the repetition of such experience, the unhappy outcome of former undertakings are allowed to count as lessening the likelihood of overcoming in the tomorrow-trials of our faith and strength. In other words, there is a practical denial of the possibility of a really new beginning, because the bias and momentum of old failures are facts with which we think we have got to reckon. This is undoubtedly the perspective with which many a reconsecration to right doing is made. Though professed Christians, we may have forgotten that the coming of light means the annihilation of darkness; that in the dawning of truth a wholly new day is indeed begun. Though having ears, we may not have heard the word of the Lord as spoken by the prophet Isaiah, saying, "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind."

Christian Science comes to awaken human sense to the eternal truth that the unideal has no reality or power; that there is no inevitable hold-over of habit, disposition, tendency, etc., to defeat our ends, under the rule of natural law, no sword of Damocles leaping forth from the darkening clouds of the past to descend upon the head of him who, dwelling "in the secret place of the most High," is ambitious for the best. It comes to center thought ever upon the first enunciation of revealed truth, "In the beginning God"! to inculcate in us the habit of making and having no beginnings apart from God, and thus to save our aspirations and consecrations from the blight of past failures' recall. He who begins ever with God, and he alone, has a fair start and a fair chance. The promise, "No evil shall come nigh," guards well his work and way; it is his bulwark and defense against every claim of weakness and incapacity. It whispers ever, "The Lord is thy strength and thy salvation," and "the former [things] shall not be remembered."

When we declare that God is infinite Spirit, we aver that neither He nor His manifestations are subject to the limitations of material sense. This concept, so foreign to finite experience, so removed from everything mundane and material, grows more and more startlingly significant as one thinks upon it, and when in the exalted spirit of the poet we dare to say "I know [and will know] no life divided, O Lord of life, from Thee," the possibility of escape from the past, from every fetter of failure, and of the realization of every hoped-for achievement in good, is now and forever at hand, and the stumbling and defeats of mortal history need not and will not "come into mind." The heart of the gospel of Christian Science is found in our Lord's teaching that we may and must know God, divine Truth, and that however great or small it may be, in every choice, circumstance, and decision we are to seek first (in every beginning) Truth's kingdom and Truth's righteousness. But the knowing of Truth means the unknowing of error, exemption from every phase and claim of material sense, the entire severance of its handicapping hold upon our thought. It thus means the freedom of the sons of God.

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December 30, 1911

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