Constructing and Reconstructing

TO one desiring to build an edifice successfully, first must come the planning and thought building. The cost, a place upon which to erect the structure, the materials to be used, and solidity of foundation,—all must be considered before a step toward building can be taken. To make firm and secure against time and storm, a building must have a solid foundation. If the site to be used is level and free from false growth, the work of erection can begin at once. If it be heaped full of debris or overgrown with brushwood and noxious weeds, or perhaps obstructed with a badly settled, crumbling building of the past upon it, then the work of construction is delayed by the labor of first preparing the ground. For the new structure one wants good material that has lasting qualities and looks well. With care he inspects all the different parts. It is important that the heating, lighting, and plumbing systems should be placed to the best advantage.

As the building of material houses requires system, painstaking care, and perseverance, so does our building in Christian Science. Most of us come to Science in a mental state which is a mixture of inherited beliefs, mortal laws, and human reasonings, constituting an abode where inharmony may be found. We are likely to find in these mental abodes lights that are dim and unsteady; the expected radiation of sympathy and love sometimes weakens, and instead there is found the heat of hatred, and criticism even of those most loved. Desires often are impure and roiled by unfiltered teachings, and the doors are found open for the entrance of gossip, ingratitude, and contagion. The foundation of such a home is sure to be weak and oft crumbling away. Personal ambition, fear, pain, false appetites, frequently abide in the mentality built in such a haphazard manner by evil environments and traditions.

When coming to Christian Science, sick, weak, discouraged, financially disabled, or grief-stricken, what can one expect to find? Can one find refuge from these enemies to happiness? Did not Jesus say, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"? also, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you"? Here is drink from the "living waters" and rest in "green pastures" as described to us in the Scriptures. Then with praise and gratitude we begin our work of reconstruction, which must mean tearing down false theories and sense testimony, and putting in their places scientific understanding and demonstration. The foundation must be the one Paul tells us of in I Corinthians: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." With this Christ-example as a guide, only perfection can be expected in the finished work.

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The Meaning of Christian Science
December 6, 1919

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