Looking ahead, one may see the mountain's top a long time before he sees the mountain, and though it may seem near and easily accessible, the experienced climber knows full well of the tortuous and ofttimes stony trail which must be gone over step by step before he can gain the summit. The question, therefore, of one's knowledge of the way up its slopes has everything to do with the success of his climb. If it has been opened up and well located, and if every now and then it affords a stimulating glimpse of the sunlit goal ahead, one can get on cheerily and not mind it, though there be some rugged places to pass over, and though occasionally he may seem to be going down instead of up. He knows that he is getting on, all the time, regardless of the seeming slant of the path, and that there is absolutely no question about his rejoicing in the crest's far vision if he keeps on going.

All these things serve to illustrate the fact that true Christian living is not an unprogressive passing through the years, but a day-by-day ascent to a higher altitude of perception and efficiency. It is not a contented entertainment of the hope of ultimately reaching spiritual exaltation, but the steady increase of that ability to deny self and heal the sick which the Master named as the genuine tests of true discipleship. The lack of spiritual advance is and always has been the bane of Christian profession, and we do well to remember that as in mountain climbing, so in life's supreme enterprise, the courage and confidence without which we make little if any progress, depend largely upon the definiteness of one's knowledge of the summit ahead, and his familiarity with the trail, and Christian Scientists have many and peculiar occasions for thankfulness in that they have been led to see the glorious goal to be attained, namely, perfect and sovereign manhood, and that they have been so carefully instructed respecting the course which Christ Jesus pursued and which he directed his would-be followers to take.

Nothing more surely and more continuously helps one to be, than an impelling conviction of what, with God's help, he may be, and the practical significance of Mrs. Eddy's teaching inheres in this, that in it the Christ is lifted up and so related to human thought that the following of the Way-shower's footsteps and the doing of his works is removed from the plane of longed-for events to the plane of presentday experience. To have proved, even in modest terms, that our Lord's healing consciousness of Truth is a present possibility, is to have gained an abiding inspiration, and practically to have solved life's problem. In an important sense, he who has set his face resolutely toward the mountain's top, and who has been made sure that the trail thereto is negotiable, has already overcome. In the midst of his humiliation to mortal sense, and far removed, as yet, apparently, from his exaltation, Christ Jesus could look Pilate calmly in the face and with a courage that was no less intelligent than sublime, assert his true kingship.

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August 10, 1912

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