The Pattern Seen in the Mount

From a block of dry hard wood the Swiss wood carver, with a patience prompted by his great love for the work, fashions a likeness that is almost perfect of some favorite hero or object,—perchance his well-beloved William Tell after the figure of a stalwart mountaineer, or it may be a graceful chamois, a noble St. Bernard dog, or a wreath of his national flower, the snow-grown edelweiss from the heights of his native mountains. Whatever the subject may be, in the beginning his sturdy strokes cut away large chips and the block rapidly assumes the shape of the model. As the work advances, however, and the finer details of structure are entered upon, progress becomes slower and slower, the strokes lighter and lighter, the tools more and more delicate, until perhaps hours are spent bringing out some feature so minute as to be scarcely perceptible to the casual observer, yet quite necessary if the likeness is adequately to represent the model. Now the results of this artist's labors and the degree of his success depend upon the selection of a proper model his ability to produce a true likeness of that model, and the devotion and patience with which he applies himself to the task. The true artist sees mentally the exact image of his subject, and his work is to bring this out by removing from the block, piece by piece, bit by bit, all that hides it, until the perfect figure stands revealed.

Every human being is an artist engaged in reproducing a model of some sort, worthy or unworthy, high or low, good or bad, which he holds in consciousness; and, as in the case of the wood carver, his success depends upon both his selection of the right model and its reproduction with the utmost fidelity to detail. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 248), "We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives."

The Christian Scientist selects as his model the pattern seen in the mount, the Christ-idea beheld by Moses and exemplified and demonstrated in its fullness in the teaching and deeds of the greatest of all artists, the master workman, the patient and lowly Nazarene. With this perfect model before him, the earnest worker sets about its revelation by removing from consciousness whatever misrepresents the Christ-image. If his labor be assiduous, and performed with patience and humility, the work goes forward rapidly, being manifested in purified thoughts and unselfishness, and expressed in good deeds and loving ministrations. The grosser material beliefs in the form of bad habits, appetites, and passions, are the first to fall away under the compelling strokes of Truth. Dishonesty, envy, hatred, malice, and all their evil train give way to temperance, honesty, affection, meekness, faith, and hope, as the perfection of the Christ-image is approached.

February 23, 1918

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