A Daring Deed

There is a rugged mass of red rock on the New England coast which serves to mark a great crisis in the history of thought. It seems to be a projection of that vast adamantine center of things which the later geologies failed either to carve or cover up, and it is so hard and so well buttressed as to have remained quite indifferent to the assaults of the sea during perchance ten thousand centuries. Here, as we are told, with her feet firmly planted upon that which remaineth ever the people of God, and with her eyes lifted above the seemingly boundless expanse of turbulent mortal thought, nearly a half century ago a woman took a stand for Truth which was past all compare in its daring, and which was destined to become an event of immeasurable significance to human life.

There is nothing which to human sense develops more inertia than religious prejudices. Sometimes they get a hold upon conviction which seems unbreakable, in which event the apparent immobility of the obstruction they present to spiritual advance is fully apprehended by those only who are championing some progressive reform. In a very considerate but very uncompromising way, which spoke volumes for the scientific thoughtfulness with which she had proved the impregnability of her own position, Mrs. Eddy rebuked a host of these long entrenched and highly honored creedal views about God and man, the reality of material substance and of evil, and the consequent naturalness and authority of the so-called laws of disease, decay, and death. She had keen mental vision, the capacity to cope with the deeper dialectics; but her rarest equipment was her spiritual intuition, "the sword of the Spirit," and with it she smote the unworthiness of these man-made beliefs "hip and thigh." When one compasses the facts of the situation, the disparity humanly speaking of the contending forces, the ingenuous presumption of her venture seems wonderful.

"Such is the structure of the moral world," as Sir Henry Jones has said, "that something of the authority and splendor of the absolute belongs to every deed rightly done;" and this was never more clearly proved than in the outcome of Mrs. Eddy's David-like daring. Progress is a perennial revolt against an existing order. Many protests may be heard, but to achieve anything for good they must voice a spiritual verity. Her dauntless heroism would have challenged the world's admiration in any event, but it would have availed nothing had it not been the expression of loyalty to a demonstrable proposition. Nothing can truly "arrive" for men that is not of God, eternal Truth, and only as we have the daring of faith, this abandon of fealty to the noblest that we know; only as we are willing, as the Master taught, to give up all things for the truth, can we companion with it and contribute to its triumph. "Dare to be a Daniel" is a call to very much more than a sentimental attitude. It means the glad assumption of any seeming hazard, and in this the measure of its efficiency is determined. It was the pitifully manifest lack of this quality which led the Master gently to upbraid his disciples with those memorable words, "O ye of little faith!"

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Words that Heal
December 12, 1914

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