Speaking Plainly

Some who come to Christian Science seem to think that in accepting its teachings they will thereby be placed upon a sort of Aladdin's carpet which will carry them into the kingdom of heaven without effort on their part. Such a conclusion is not in accord with the teachings of Christ Jesus, nor is it borne out by the experience of Mrs. Eddy. Those who know the story of her years of trial and endeavor recognize it was out of her own experience that our Leader wrote of Jesus of Nazareth, "He did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals,—to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility;" and again, "The God-inspired walk calmly on though it be with bleeding footprints, and in the hereafter they will reap what they now sow" (Science and Health, pp. 18, 41).

To those who have carefully studied our Master's sayings, it is quite apparent that he did not hold out a promise of a royal road to those who should merely accept his teachings. On the contrary he coupled his promises with conditions which must be fulfilled by his followers before they could claim the promise; in other words, they must earn the coveted "Well done." An instance of this is given in the eighth chapter of John's gospel, where it is written that he said to those Jews which believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." According to this saying his disciples were to continue in the word of the Master—to follow his precepts and example; thus only could they know the truth which would make them free.

Jesus understood that in reality man in the image and likeness of God, divine Mind, knows the truth and is free; but it was to the human sense that he was appealing, and he spoke relatively because it was necessary for him to speak within the limits of human comprehension in order to be understood, and because it was necessary for each one of his hearers to work out his own salvation. So too in Mrs. Eddy's sayings the condition and the promise are coupled just as Jesus coupled them. For instance, on page 144 of Science and Health she writes, "When the Science of being is universally understood, every man will be his own physician, and Truth will be the universal panacea." This is not a bare promise; the condition is present and it is to be fulfilled before the promise becomes operative. Our Leader knew when she wrote these words that in reality "the Science of being is universally understood," and that Truth is indeed "the universal panacea," but she also knew that this is as yet only partially apparent to the human consciousness. Therefore, since she was endeavoring to lead this consciousness out of itself into the realization of absolute Truth, it was as necessary for her to speak in the language of this consciousness as it was for Jesus to "suffer it to be so now" in order that all righteousness might be fulfilled.

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"What seest thou?"
November 4, 1916

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