"Lest ye enter into temptation"

It is sometimes a trying experience to the young and enthusiastic adherents of Christian Science, and ofttimes to those who have been longer grounded in the faith, to find that they are not exempt from trials and temptations, and that constant vigilance is needed to keep in the straight and narrow way which is the direct road to the kingdom and the Father's house of "many mansions." It is not until they look back and measure the growth in understanding of Him whom to know aright is eternal life, to which they have attained through these very trials and temptations, rightly met and overcome, that they begin to appreciate why it is, as Mrs. Eddy explains on page 22 of Science and Health, that "Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified."

Mrs. Eddy gives additional emphasis to this statement in the paragraph which follows, where she points out that the goal for which we have set out "is not reached through paths of flowers nor by pinning one's faith without works to another's vicarious effort." So long as things go pleasantly with us, we are too apt to drift with the current of worldly pride and pleasure, putting ourselves though all unwittingly in the way of temptation, until perchance we are brought up with a sharp shock of trial and suffering to a sense of how far and wide we have strayed. Just as the fine gold must pass through the fiery furnace to be cleansed from its dross and impurity, just as the wise gardener prunes away the dead wood with a seemingly ruthless hand that new growth with flower and fruitage may take its place, so the children of the kingdom must, if need be through temptation and trial, be freed from everything that is unlike good, that they may shine as bright jewels among "them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name."

We are not, then, to look upon these seemingly grievous experiences with impatience and rebellion, but rather gain through them the lessons by which we are drawn nearer to Truth and away from all material dependences, all that would hinder obedience to the commandment which is the summing up of all law: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The nearer we keep to divine Love, are governed by the one Mind in all that we think, say, and do, the fewer lessons we shall have to learn in the bitter school of experience. But if, when these temptations and trials beset us, we see them for what they are, simply the penalties of error, through the experience of which we are to be tried and purified, and turn with unshaken confidence to our Father-Mother God, secure in the ever-presence and all-power before which all error must finally succumb, then we shall find deliverance. And we shall know that the needed lesson has been learned if, looking back upon these experiences, we can say, I am a better man or a better woman because of them. Then we may be sure that our feet have touched the ascending path; that out of the depths of doubt and discouragement we have risen to higher and better things, the joy and peace which come from right living and which alone endure.

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Repose and the Larger View
July 11, 1914

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