The one condition of thought from which the efficiency of the Christian worker imperatively demands he shall be free, is a state into which he is constantly tempted to fall, namely, discouragement. To many the world problem seems stupendous indeed when they think upon it, but having health and every comfort and perchance the luxuries of life, and being removed most of the time from any immediate touch with human wretchedness, they have little sense of the mortal struggle and suffering with which the settlement worker or the Christian Science practitioner is constantly brought face to face, and it is these latter who feel the need of that confidence and courage which a vast and rapidly increasing body of ministrants are gaining through Christian Science.

He who centers his attention upon the apparent rapidity with which evil impulses and tendencies are multiplied, and the seemingly slow growth of moral strength even under the most favorable circumstances, and who notices withal the steady down-pull of the belief in hereditary bias, and of the degrading atmosphere with which the many have been surrounded from their birth, is likely to be so impressed with the number of the disadvantages to which the seeds of truth are subjected, as to become a prey to doubt and discouragement. These are the beginnings of pessimism, and from the point of view of the Christian worker who believes that the handicaps to the growth of virtue are real, and who judges of the possibilities of divine grace by the slowness of his own spiritual advance, though his surroundings and educational influences have all been helpful, it is not surprising if a sense of the utter hopelessness of Christian effort to redeem mankind comes upon him, until the burden of his heart saps his energy and his efficiency is at an end.

Nevertheless, it must be conceded that the human conditions presented to the early disciples were not less discouraging to human sense than those with which we are familiar, and yet their note of joyous assurance was always clear and unfaltering. In the midst of unnumbered trials and with a resistance to overcome such as only a sensualistic paganism and an embittered pharisaism combined could offer, St. Paul's exultant voice is heard in a continuous pæan of praise, and to the Christian Scientist the explanation is clear. He had simply awakened to the allness of God, good, and the nothingness of the claims of evil,—he had come into the light of spiritual apprehension to which there is no darkness at all, and in his mental and moral regeneration the eternal fact was again proven, that the redemptive agencies of Spirit are not subject to the material modus; that the healing power of Truth is not amenable to the slow pace of physical evolution, and hence that a Pentecost may come, a nation may be born in a day.

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July 27, 1912

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