Thankful Hearts

Close upon three hundred years have gone since the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving day. Cotton Mather writes: "The harvest which God thus gave to this pious people caused them to set aside another day for solemn Thanksgiving to the glorious Hearer of Prayers." Fiftythree years ago President Lincoln settled its annual observance as a recurring festival for the United States of America. In so doing he made a proclamation which agrees with what is in the hearts of good men the world around, namely, spontaneous joy and gratitude to God at the time of harvest. Paul in speaking to the people of Lystra—they who were fain to do sacrifice to him as Mercurius because of his healing a cripple "who never had walked,"—turned their thoughts to the unseen God, who, he said, "left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." This statement of Paul was in agreement with the psalmist's vision, "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord," and the words of the Preacher, "The profit of the earth is for all."

In the sowing and harvesting, in the dying of the wheat grain and its resurrection in green blade and ripened ear of wheat, there may seem to be no mystery to the mind Bœotian to whom has come no vision of what Mrs. Eddy brings out in Science and Health (p. 191): "By its own volition, not a blade of grass springs up, not a spray buds within the vale, not a leaf unfolds its fair outlines, not a flower starts from its cloistered cell." Here, however, is the deep wonder and marvel of continuous creation further unfolded by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p. 508): "The seed is in itself, only as the divine Mind is All and reproduces all—as Mind is the multiplier, and Mind's infinite idea, man and the universe, is the product. The only intelligence or substance of a thought, a seed, or a flower is God, the creator of it."

From this viewpoint to think at all is to be grateful. Every recognition of Mind brings with it a peace and tender joy because a sense of resource, of goodness and abundance, of rich inheritance and enduring life, accompanies the thought of God. This gratitude does not need any formal expression, for it is woven into the texture of living like threads of gold that make a rich tapestry gleam and glow. The heart grateful to God lives in continual happiness. "For 'who is so great a God as our God!' unchangeable, all-wise, all-just, all-merciful; the ever-loving, ever-living Life, Truth, Love: comforting such as mourn, opening the prison doors to the captive, marking the unwinged bird, pitying with more than a father's pity; healing the sick, cleansing the leper, raising the dead, saving sinners" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 124). It is not correct, then, to say that only one day in the year is dedicated to thanksgiving by those who recognize God as the giver of good.

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Be of Good Cheer
November 24, 1917

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