There is no time or place more favorable to the working out of our salvation than just where we find ourselves, for where we are, that is in our own thought, is the only place where God is available as our Saviour. We may persuade ourselves that it would be easier to be good in some other environment or with different associations, but these are not the arguments of truth, for if we look the question squarely and honestly in the face, we shall see that no moment is better adapted than the present in which to abstain from evil. To postpone it until tomorrow, to wait for a more convenient season or opportunity, is to acknowledge the claims of evil, and make them more difficult to overcome with each passing moment. In the midst of our greatest difficulties, in our darkest experiences, in the seeming presence of worldliness and sensualism, is the place to begin to know God, and the powerlessness of so-called evil to separate us from Him.

Jesus prayed, not that his followers be taken out of the world, but that they be kept from its evil, and Christian Scientists do not have to leave their home or friends or occupation, or their place and duty in the world's affairs, in order to be true to their ideal. They do not have to be ascetics before they can render acceptable service to God. It is not demanded of us that we shut ourselves in a "closet," or shun the society of congenial friends, or that we cultivate a sense of narrowness, self-satisfied intolerance, in order to make the most progress spiritually of which we are capable. We are taught that the tares and wheat are to be separated by progress (see Science and Health, p. 72), not plucked up by the roots regardless of the preparedness of human thought for such growth and development.

It is a misapprehension of Christian Science to suppose that it demands self-denial of the relatively good and enjoyable things in human experience because there is any virtue in that denial. Love of all things material naturally lessens with the apprehension of spiritual good, but without this spiritual advancement self-denial is apt to be in the nature of penance, rather than as the leaving behind of a thing outgrown. We must consider things from the relative as well as from the absolute standpoint, otherwise we are liable to become overzealous in voicing the mere letter of Christian Science, and repel rather than attract those whom we might otherwise bless.

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August 10, 1912

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