"So shine"

As a general proposition this is true, that an effect is greatly heightened if the means by which it is produced are undisclosed. The attention which would be directed to the mechanism, were it visible, is thereby centered on the phenomenon itself, and the impression received is correspondingly intensified. The non-appearance of the means has increased their effectiveness. This is illustrated in the unique impressiveness of the aurora borealis, that matchless marvel which thrills the more by virtue of its inscrutable disconnections.

The writer experienced a somewhat kindred feeling on first entering a church which was flooded with light from unseen sources. Thought of chandeliers, dynamos, coal burning, etc., no longer intruded itself upon the attention, and there was awakened an altogether new and gladdening sense of the wondrous beauty of the tender light in which all were bathed. Fixtures had yielded their place to the one absorbing fact, the glory of the unseen. He was thus led to realize that the Master's meaning might perhaps have been more fully conveyed if his celebrated saying had been translated to read, Let your light so shine before men that they may see, not you, but your good works, and glorify, not you, but your Father which is in heaven. This ideal is attained when the medium by which Love is reflected is made so unobtrusive, so perfect, that the light divine becomes the one absorbing thing; when we know, and through our unselfed thought lead others to perceive, that there is "no other reality ... than good, God and His reflection" (Science and Health, p. 242).

In his teaching the Master was not unmindful of the subtlety of the temptations to self-consideration which assault even the aspiring. Mortal sense is forever pushing itself into prominence, and how pleased it is when it finds that it has become an object of even trivial distinction. Personal vanity in this respect may be said to be a common possession. We have all loved to sit near the foot-lights, all tried to be noticeable as first, or fashionable, in many petty matters,—yes, even in our efforts to be humble and to do good. Jesus rebuked this weakness when he said, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them," and "when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and ... shut thy door."

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Among the Churches
February 20, 1915

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