The Spirit Quickeneth

The psalmist said, "Quicken us, and we will call upon thy name." Human consciousness apprehends man's relationship to God, Spirit, in the degree of its quickening through spiritual understanding. As men awaken from the belief that there is life, substance, and intelligence in matter, they begin to recognize Spirit, God, as the only Life, substance, and intelligence. This constitutes the quickening. Thus, in effect, spake Jesus when he said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." He made plain the distinction between spiritual understanding and fleshly belief; that is, between the understanding of Spirit as All-in-all and the false belief that there is life and action apart from Spirit; yet, strange to say, many of his professed followers fail to see this distinction, or to apply the truth which it expresses to the problems of human experience. More than this, they refuse to accept Mrs. Eddy's teaching, which insists upon the quickening or life-giving power of Spirit and spiritual law as something wholly separate from matter or mortal belief. She says, "Jesus reasoned on this subject practically, and controlled sickness, sin, and death on the basis of his spirituality" (Science and Health, p. 356).

To know Spirit is to unknow matter. Strictly speaking, it is not possible to know matter. Mortals may believe in the existence of matter, but they cannot know that it exists, for its existence cannot be proved. In other words, matter is not susceptible of analysis. That which is not susceptible of analysis cannot, in any true sense, be known. If a thing cannot be known, it cannot be understood; hence the futility of attempting to understand matter, or the flesh. Such an attempt "profiteth nothing."

History fully proves the superlative wisdom of what Jesus taught. Every effort of human wisdom or mortal philosophy to prove the existence of matter has failed, has profited nothing. The most convincing evidence in support of Jesus teaching is furnished by the physical scientists themselves in their conclusion that matter cannot be analyzed as particles of electricity. The supposititious electron has eluded the grasp of the physical senses even when aided by the most powerful microscopic lenses. Therefore the only fair deduction, so far as physical research is concerned, is that matter cannot be traced to any tangible origin, and hence that it has no origin. It is plain that any desire for aid or relief, whether of a spiritual or of a physical nature, through reliance on matter, is misplaced desire; hence if desire, sincere desire, is prayer, it is evident that depending upon matter we are praying amiss. Such prayer, however earnestly or honestly uttered, "profiteth nothing."

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Belief Yielding to Knowledge
March 28, 1914

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