"We test our lives by thine." Many times these words of Whittier's hymn had been sung; but why on this occasion only had they set afire a train of thought which opened up a whole vista of questions? Here was a sacred declaration. It had been preceded by others: "We own thy sway; we hear thy call." Do we? The question went right home. What did it mean? Was this the result of a conviction, never before realized so clearly, that there had been only a very imperfect awakening from false beliefs; and that indeed the task which remained to be done in the upheaval and destruction of error and the demonstration of Spirit as supreme in the affections was greater than we had dreamed of? The congregation had sung the words very heartily. It was evident that the declarations were at least the sincere desire of all who took part; there was the glow of uplifted thought in the vision of the Master's beautiful life and in the privilege of trying to measure up to his perfect standard.

But to one present there was a sense of discontent, of asserted unrest. Was it the healthy dissatisfaction which recognizes that unless there is distinct progress in the Christian life there is something like retrogression? Or was it that the "test" was too severe? Yet what meant "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"? And how can one surrounded by a thousand things that are seemingly against him attain to that? If, as we read in Science and Health, Truth imparts its "own peace and permanence" (p. 516), then a sense of disquiet and fear must mean that there is a lack of clear apprehension of Truth, some ignorance of the power of divine law, the attributes of which make for daily growth in righteousness, and for those demonstrations of the power of divine Love which the Master constantly exemplified. This being so, then it was quite time to enter upon some self-examination, not in the way of morbid introspection, from which Christian Science has delivered us, but to search out on what basis of belief one was resting, and to ascertain whether there had not been some error in working out the problems that we all must solve some time or other.

Just at that moment, while the words of the familiar hymn were still ringing in the ears, there flashed across the memory the thought of "quiet resting places." What relation had this to the test set before us in the Master's life? Who had talked about "quiet resting places"? One with wonderfully prophetic vision that had beheld the coming of a king who should reign in righteousness, who with divine compassion should bring the kingdom of heaven down to earth, and so uplift and purify the thought of mankind regarding God and His creation that no longer would it be dominated by a haunting sense of the persistence and reality of evil. It was this old prophet who, with intense spiritual intuition, had pictured that the effect of this righteousness would be quietness and assurance, and that God's people "shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."

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December 21, 1912

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