A STEADY HOLD ON TRUTH

Not infrequently we hear it said, "I have experienced some healing in Christian Science; I really believe in it and enjoy studying it, but I do not seem to get from it the complete satisfaction that some people do. One day I am on the mountain-top, but perhaps the very next day finds me struggling in the valley." For those who are honest and earnest in their desire for good, there is much to be gained from a careful study of the golden text of a recent Lesson-Sermon, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. . . . She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." Solomon, who chose wisdom as the greatest gift of God, certainly did not refer to the "wisdom of this world" which St. Paul declares to be "foolishness with God." His assurance of happiness is to the man who, having sought for it, finds divine wisdom and acquires the spiritual understanding which naturally accompanies it. There are many ready to bear witness that the understanding of God as revealed in Christian Science has indeed been to them "a tree of life,' the tree being "typical of man's divine Principle, which is equal to every emergency, offering full salvation from sin, sickness, and death" (Science and Health, p. 406).

If the truth is not to us this constant, steady glow, lighting the way through each and every experience, the fault must be in ourselves, for clearly the promise is to "every one." Perhaps we shall find the key-note of the situation in another verse of the chapter already quoted: "And happy is every one that retaineth her." Here light is thrown upon the practical meaning of the verse by a consideration of the derivation of the verb "retain," from the Latin words, re, back, and tenco, hold. From the same original source we have the noun "tenacity," and so we see that retain is a word which express in the strongest sense the act of keeping or holding on, clinging to with an effort. After finding and laying hold on the truth, there still remains for each one the work of retaining it, holding on when the suggestions of error seek to wrest it from us. On page 248 of Science and Health we read: "Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline anddeformity of matter models. To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way."

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FROM PERSONALITY TO PRINCIPLE
August 31, 1912
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