Faith versus Fear

Many good Christian people have called attention to the numerous occasions where the command "Fear not" is found in the Bible, especially in connection with the teachings of Christ Jesus. At the very beginning of mortal history, after the spiritual creation was pronounced complete and perfect, we read the story, evidently allegorical, of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, and the fear which beset them when they were summoned to appear before divine Truth. Respecting this Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 532), "Fear was the first manifestation of the error of material sense. Thus error began and will end the dream of matter." Daily experience shows us that fear is inseparable from the belief of life, substance, and intelligence in matter, and, as the apostle tells us, "fear hath torment," though he immediately assures us that "perfect love casteth out fear." The Christian Scientist then addresses himself to the task of attaining to the spiritual condition indicated by St. John, which results not in fear but in fearlessness, a synonym for true heroism.

It is true that we are sometimes enjoined in the Scriptures to fear God and keep His commandments. This, however, does not mean that we should fear evil, but fear to do evil. Our revered Leader tells us that we must gain spiritual understanding in order to overcome the belief in matter and disease, and, this attained, she says, "You will never fear again except to offend God" (Science and Health, p. 425). The remedy for fear can never come from anywhere but from God, from the spiritual side, and as we study the Bible we find again and again inspiring assurances of divine Love, such as the one spoken to Isaac in an hour of need: "Fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee." This shows us that faith is the antidote for fear, and long ago Habakkuk declared that "the just shall live by his faith," a text cited by Paul on several occasions, and which brought to Luther a great awakening to the power of good to overcome evil.

February 7, 1914

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