"Thou art the man"

To all who have accepted Science and Health as the "Key to the Scriptures" and pledged themselves to be loyal followers of the truth therein unveiled, the demand, "Physician, heal thyself," becomes a moral obligation. From the standpoint of mere belief the saving of a brother was considered a holier—if somewhat easier—task than one's own redemption. Precept often took precedence of practice, and religion became, often quite unconsciously, a cloak worn chiefly on Sundays with one's best clothes and largely apart from the counting-house, the factory, or the daily drudgery. Consequently, when that disturbing inward monitor rapped occasionally at our mental door, it was quieted by reference to an erring brother; a telling indictment from an "eloquent discourse" would be unctuously applied to brother So-and-so, and mentally bottled and labeled for his redemption at the earliest opportunity.

That to purify our own thought is the surest way to help our brother was not recognized, so intent is mortal mind upon exposing the mote in another's eye, seen—as we soon learn in Christian Science—through a vision blurred by the beam in our own. It is significant that the "mote" is a mere speck, the "beam" a sizeable bit of wood, so ready is the carnal mind, blind to its own larger delinquency, to exaggerate another's weakness. That persistent "Thou art the man" is so comfortably silenced by a righteous concern on our part regarding a brother, while possibly some good sister is with similar urbanity allotting that same human frailty to us.

When, however, after careful and prayerful study, we begin to realize the responsibility we assume in adopting Christian Science as the way to eternal life, we also realize that a drastic readjustment of "mine" and "thine" becomes imperative. Standing always before the jealous and merciless tribunal of mortal judgment, how incumbent it becomes for us to keep upon our mental threshold the watchful sentinels of vigilance, prayer, and humility. The critical element in human nature is ever on the alert; thus we need to utilize unceasingly the preventive power of this revealed truth, if we would avoid the forcible retort of Nathan to David when the latter so glibly pronounced judgment upon a supposedly defaulting neighbor. We need to see ourselves in the same light as we see others. The serpent, mortal mind, is cunning and tireless in laying snares for the self-righteous, the weary, or the discouraged.

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Mortal Dream
January 27, 1917

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