From one end of the Bible to the other no quarter is...

The Christian Science Monitor

From one end of the Bible to the other no quarter is given to fear. The song of Deborah and Barak scorches with its irony the tribes which, in the hour of the struggle with Sisera, were too pacific to venture their lives for the Lord, for Principle. There was Reuben, crouching amidst its ash heaps; Gad, fancying itself safe beyond Jordan, and Dan, even safer in its ships; whilst Asher took refuge by its landing places. Very different was it with Ephraim and Manasseh, with Benjamin and Issachar, with Zebulun and Naphtali, tribes which, practically without arms, threw themselves whole-heartedly into the battle, and "jeoparded their lives unto the death." So wrote the first of the early prophets, the historians of the people; and centuries later the last of the disciples, substituting pure metaphor for the metaphor of history, drove home the same lesson, even more incisively: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

What the beloved disciple thinks of cowards is clear from the company he makes them keep. What Mrs. Eddy thinks of them may be read on page 115 of Science and Health, "Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death;" these, she explains, are the unrealities of physical existence, the depravity of mortal mind, the brothers and sisters of fear. Now any person who compares the list of Mrs. Eddy with the list of John will see that they have one marked feature in common. This is the animality of sensuality. Fear, says John, is lust; fear, says Mrs. Eddy, is passion. "Perfect love," writes John, "casteth out fear;" on page 180 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes, "Instead of furnishing thought with fear, they should try to correct this turbulent element of mortal mind by the influence of divine Love which casteth out fear."

The metaphysical problem is a peculiarly easy one to solve. Fear is the incarnation of materiality; therefore fear is death: love is the full expression of Spirit; therefore love is the antithesis of fear, it is life. The real battle of life, then, is not a struggle for human existence, in the words of the proverb, "to keep the wolf from the door." It is the battle for supremacy between matter and Spirit; and on the issue of that battle depends, as the writer of Revelation points out, the tremendous question as to whether the second death is, or is not, to have any terror for the individual. A man, in other words, will and must fear in exact proportion to his materiality. Jesus slept in the boat during the storm, for the reason that he was utterly devoid of fear, or, in other words, because he had realized the complete powerlessness of matter. And it was this knowledge of the nothingness of matter that enabled him to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and finally to triumph over death on the cross so completely as to retain his own sense of life in the tomb, and to rise, as he had promised, from what to every one else was the dead.

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September 7, 1918

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