In one of Jesus' parables we read: "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." For quite twelve months from the commencement of his study of Christian Science, the writer fought every step of the way; passages of Scripture would seem so shrouded in mystery that the feeling would come to give it all up. The verse above quoted was such a one, and an incident of recent date has brought him a much clearer understanding of its meaning.

A young man was sent to call on another with reference to a money affair, and on making his business known he was promptly shown the door and told not to call there again, which caused others who heard it to smile at the visitor's expense. Having learned something of the sermon on the mount, however, he "held his peace" and came away. A little resentment which tried hard to creep in was completely destroyed, and the visit did its work without any trouble whatever. The incident was almost forgotten, until some weeks afterward, when the young man was again passing that house. It was at a time when he was unable to realize fully that God was his strength; the day was cold and the roads were heavy with the passing winter, and there seemed nowhere that he could rest. At this moment he noticed he was close to the house, and the suggestion presented itself that had he not quarreled with its occupant he could have asked to rest there. He knew there had been no quarrel on his part, and instantly banishing the error, he stepped into the house. His former friend recognized him, and at once asked what was wanted, to which he replied that he would like to rest, and in response a welcome was given him to stay as long as he wanted to.

The one who called at the house made daily effort to serve God; the other served mammon. The writer drew from this incident the lesson that the passage above quoted was identical with the admonition to "love your enemies." Would the same result have followed had resentment been manifested instead of overcome, at the first visit? Would it have left the consciousness of good uppermost in the man's thoughts, had he been reviled again? No; and the seeming failure of the visit would have been complete, had the good done to another been withheld. He saw too that the "everlasting habitations" referred to in the parable meant much more than any material structure, and when the door was opened to him that cold day he realized that the goodness of God is indeed an everlasting shelter.

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February 4, 1911

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