THE MOUNTAIN AND THE MUSTARD SEED

The use of exaggeration for emphasis or rhetorical effect is very common to imaginative writers. It is a figure of speech in which, as Macaulay has said, we may make a statement that is not literally true, without any thought or possibility of deceiving any one. These forms of expression are very familiar, and as generally understood they may be said to be unobjectionable; nevertheless, they who think that Christ Jesus was aiming at such rhetorical effect when he made declarations of truth which to material sense may seem not only impossible but ridiculous, as for instance when he said: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove," sadly fail to apprehend his teaching as understood in Christian Science.

In the light of Christian Science, this statement of the Master, together with many kindred ones, is seen to be a simple declaration of the truth and wholly free from hyperbole. It expresses nothing more or less than the provable sovereignty of spiritual truth, and it needs no advocate or apologist. Those who accept the proposition that matter and its conditions, disease and death, are real, the manifestation of the divine will and activity, and then assert their belief in the miracles of Christ Jesus, fail to realize the inconsistency of their position, and in fact unconsciously precipitate chaos so far as is possible. The miracles of Jesus can never be clearly understood save as one apprehends and is loyal to his teachings; and it is in its maintenance and demonstration of this assertion that the vantage of Christian Science inheres.

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Editorial
SPIRITUALITY
April 1, 1911
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