In praising God for His manifold blessings to the children of men, the psalmist sounded the key-note of awakened spiritual understanding when he sang, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handy-work." Jesus seems to have been governed continually by the one ever-present desire to glorify his Father in heaven. His thought, like the needle of a mariner's compass, turned instinctively away from self-interest and pointed to the recognition of God's omnipotence as the objective point of spiritual attainment. When tempted in the wilderness to use his mental power to make bread out of stones, Jesus refused, saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." When, however, at the marriage of Cana, he saw an opportunity to glorify God, he did not hesitate to turn the water into wine. Again, when Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

As Jesus drew the line at using spiritual power for personal ends and applied himself exclusively to the demonstration of God's likeness in man, so must his followers do. Every experienced practitioner of Christian Science does not fail to find that it is only in the proportion that he dedicates his mental work to the glory of God, that his efforts bear fruit in permanent healing. Mrs. Eddy writes, "If man should say of the power to be perfect which he possesses, 'I am the power,' he would trespass upon divine Science, yield to material sense, and lose his power" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 184). Therefore, in order that a Christian Science practitioner's power for good may continue to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue all manner of evil upon it, he must in all his demonstrations keep the spiritual goal in view, thus obeying the divine mandate, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Bearing in mind the fact that man's extremity is always God's opportunity, we are led to the conclusion that progress in Christian Science may be manifested in two ways, the one negative and the other positive. The negative is described by our Leader as "a stricken state of human consciousness wherein mortals gain severe views of themselves" (Ibid., p. 203). This mental state seems to be the vestibule in which the mortal learns to let go of his belief in his own self-sufficiency, and is thus prepared to acknowledge that of himself he can do nothing. The positive gain comes as a natural consequence of humility; self-righteousness having been cleansed away by the furnace of suffering, divine Love finds its way through the mental transparency thus formed and expresses itself through man in God's likeness.

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August 19, 1911

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