Are you sure?
This bookmark will be removed from all folders and any saved notes will be permanently removed.
[Translated from the German]
"Blessed are the poor in spirit"
The modern thinker often fails to find an interest in religious questions, as a result of having grown up with a strong prejudice against everything which cannot be cognized by the physical senses and grasped by the human intellect. His strongest argument against religion is that it requires blind faith. He is striving after mental freedom, and as a proof that religion imposes restrictions upon the mind, he quotes the Master's words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit."
Christian Science has completely refuted the argument that religion and reason are incompatible, and furthermore has proved that religion, in order to be religion at all, must be founded upon Truth, upon eternal, immutable law, the knowledge of which constitutes science, the only science there is or can be; for in the last analysis Truth and its laws alone, the facts of being, can be considered science or true knowledge. That Jesus in saying "Blessed are the poor in spirit" could not have meant that dulness and ignorance lead unto salvation, is clearly evidenced by the fact that he made the salvation of mankind dependent on knowledge of the truth. "Ye shall know the truth, he said, "and the truth shall make you free." Knowledge of the truth results in mental emancipation, and therefore is the exact opposite of ignorance and narrowness of mind. When Jesus spoke of the "poor in spirit," he cannot possibly have meant people whose thought was narrowly circumscribed.
Our current conception of the poor is of people who are destitute, who lack the necessities of life, and who, because they are conscious of this fact, accept alms in order to relieve their want; indeed, they consciously go where they believe they will be given what they need, and when they do not receive where they have knocked, they proceed until at length they find elsewhere that wherewith to satisfy their hunger. Therefore the "poor in spirit," in the sense Jesus used this term, may be assumed to be those who recognize or are conscious of their lack of things needful, things spiritual; that is, of an understanding of the truth, and who earnestly seek to receive that for which they are yearning. They are striving to attain to spiritual apprehension, and are quite unlike the Pharisee, who takes the position that he does not need to receive because he has knowledge, and who, instead of being desirous to learn, is incensed when others do not accept from him gratefully and reverntly what he thinks he is bestowing upon them as a favor. The "poor in spirit" are the meek, to whom Mrs. Eddy refers in Science and Health (p. 34) as those who have a "receptive thought."
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
Love's Sure Reward
"Blessed are the poor in spirit"
OLIVER M. CUNNINGHAM
Glory of Reflection
J. LILIAN VANDEVERE
FRANCES THOMPSON HILL
The fact that a clergyman would not allow a lecture on...
Judge Clifford P. Smith
Our critic says the doctrines of Christian Science "should...
Walter S. Cross
In the report of a lecture at Leigh on "Miracles," which...
"I will trust in thee"
A Peculiar People
John B. Willis
Annie M. Knott
with contributions from J. W. Norvell, Albert E. Barnard, O. C. Soots, Benjamin Eitlegeorge, George Shaw Cook, W. E. Kinney, James P. Eilenberger, Alex Berg, W. S. Raeder
A sense of deep gratitude prompts me to tell of the blessings...
Florence G. Peach
During November, 1902, while residing in a small town in...
C. V. McMannamy
I am deeply grateful for the many blessings that I have...
Katherine Lovelace Draper
To say I am thankful for the blessings which Christian Science...
Laura Hanks with contributions from Charles E. Hanks, Jr.
I herewith wish to give my thank-offerings for the help...
Mathilde Matthiesen Kullrich
I am deeply grateful for all that Christian Science has...
From Our Exchanges
with contributions from John Reid Shannon