"Be ye stedfast"

There came recently to the writer, together with a deep sense of gratitude for the spiritual growth of a friend through very trying circumstances, a realization of how great, in human experience, is the need of faithfulness on the part of each individual. This friend had quietly and steadfastly held her ground through shock after shock, in situations which to human sense would seem almost unendurable. Because she was rooted and grounded in the conviction that Christian Science is the truth, and that it must triumph in the downfall of all the error which seemed to be so fiercely attempting to destroy her peace of mind and rob her of all comfort in life, she came through unscathed, a finer, nobler woman than before, presenting to all who knew her the proof that divine Love had been equal to her every emergency. To one of her friends, at least, the remembrence of this experience has been an inspiration along the pathway of endeavor.

While it is undeniably true that the problem of salvation is wrought out alone with God in the individual consciousness, and while no true Christian Scientist would add to the burden of a fellow worker by condemning him if he had been overborne by the temptation to recede from his highest standard of work in an hour of great mental or physical stress, yet this receding, this concession to the belief in a power apart from God, necessarily places the burden of proof more insistently upon every other Christian Scientist in the community,—nay, even in the world. On the other hand, the steadfastness of one brave heart in some trying hour bears an unceasing weight of influence for encouragement and hope to his struggling neighbor, even as Christ's clarion note of divine reassurance rings down the ages with its promise of fulfillment. "Be of good cheer," said he whose faith and understanding had vanquished every earthly torment; "I have overcome the world." He labored, not for his own personal comfort, nor for his own glory, but that he might impress the omnipotence and goodness of God upon the darkened thought of a material age, — that through his great love for mankind he might reflect the glory of that divine Love which is the savior and redeemer of the world. On that momentous night in Gethsemane one mighty longing dominated his thought: "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth...that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

Could such absolute self-abnegation go unrewarded or fail of its divine fruition? Then let us too feel the necessity of the spiritual obligation on us through our very awakening to the truth in Christian Science, and even if we seem to lose sight of the inevitable loss to ourselves which must follow our yielding to the stress of discouragement and failure, let us pause even a moment longer to realize that our standing in hour may bring a priceless encouragement to others in need is great,—perhaps far greater than ours. With this thought of love and consecration to sustain us, let us hold out our cup of cold water, the inspiration of our purest effort, in blessing and example.

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February 23, 1918

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