In many ways and by many incidents the Bible teaches...

The Christian Science Monitor

In many ways and by many incidents the Bible teaches us that if God is forsaken or left out of human calculations altogether, the people perish. In the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah, for instance, this lesson is paramount. Likewise in the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar. The latter is of more than usual interest at this hour. Babylon had evidently reached the zenith of her power and glory and, as the Bible record indicates, a well defined opportunity had come to Nebuchadnezzar to express his gratitude. But he spurned it. Overlooking the great city from the walks in his palace, he declared, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" His words, boastful enough in themselves, meant far more than is indicated on the surface, for they were evidently spoken with the intention of denying a most important fact, as recognized in Christian Science, namely, the power of accomplishment. Nebuchadnezzar's denial was complete, for, excepting himself, it included every one, even God. It was mortal belief, which cannot know God, good, and which was ready for self-destruction; that is to say, ready to revert to its original nothingness. The acknowledgment of God's omnipotence, or of good as All-in-all—the true basis for all understanding—having been forsaken by Nebuchadnezzar, his reason fled.

There is a close counterpart to this story of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity in the self-adulation and cruel egotism of Herod Agrippa I. He, too, allowed himself to be carried away by so-called mortal sense, until no good desire seemed left in him, no acknowledgment whatsoever of God, good, remained. His awful and sudden destruction as depicted in the twelfth chapter of Acts came upon him because he had forsaken God, good, willfully and completely.

December 20, 1919
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