Truth's Authority

Nothing was more marked in the life of the Master, or more astonishing to those about him, than his attitude of command. In the native freedom and fearlessness with which he was wont to face every opposing force, he restaged the story of David and Goliath, took the part of the shepherd boy, and with the word of Truth overthrew, not a single son of Anak, but all the aggregated hosts of evil; so that at the close of the day of Love's world-triumph he could say of his mighty undertaking, "It is finished." Well might both his enemies and his friends marvel as they looked upon this blend of meekness and might, when they saw one whom they knew as "the carpenter's son," exercising an authority which they had thought of as belonging to God alone.

Although we better understand the Master's divine nature, and the naturalness of his achievement, this marvel still remains for us when we remember that the regal sovereignty of Truth was not only the constant theme of his discourse, the crowning fact of his demonstration, but that he unequivocally conferred his authority upon whosoever might become his true disciple—upon you and me, if we merit this name! Surely no namable thing could express a farther removal from the average Christian's expectation and sense of privilege than this fact; and yet it is the design and destiny of Christian Science not only to reimpress this wonder upon human thought, but to make it appear again in human history. "I give unto you power ... over all the power of the enemy." This is the entirely adequate equipment of authority supplied to every true Christian believer, and this the tremendous use of it which is demanded of him.

But what is authority? We may have rightly thought of it as the privilege of the exercise of power, but how varied its sources in human belief, how conflicting the results in human experience. Every command of world history that has not had the approval of those commanded, has been of the nature of an autocratic imposition, and yet we can readily understand that in many instances this may be the lesser of two evils. In the case of the immature and the unresponsible, the vicious and the depraved, parental or communal authority rightly imposes the rule of a higher sense irrespective of their will. Among the normal, however, the only legitimate authority, aside from that conferred by the free choice of the people upon their representatives, is the authority of the demonstrable apprehension of Truth.

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Paschal Lessons
April 17, 1915

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