Seeing and Acknowledging

In the second epistle of Peter we are admonished to gain the spiritual qualities expressed in virtue, faith, knowledge, and brotherly love, and the apostle adds, "He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off." From the spiritual viewpoint material sense is simply blindness to reality, and this is illustrated in a wonderful way in the third chapter of Mark. Here we are told that when Jesus went into the synagogue a man was there who had a withered hand, and the Pharisees who were present, and who themselves would not even attempt to heal the man, were watching eagerly to find some cause of condemnation against Jesus if he healed the man on the Sabbath day.

From the text it is apparent that Jesus was aware of their cruel and condemning thoughts, but this did not hinder him in his holy work of proving God's all-power and the real man's likeness to God. Addressing himself to the afflicted mortal, he bade him "Stand forth." He then proceeded to remove the apparent obstacle of mortal belief as manifested through the Pharisees who were present, for his audible argument was undoubtedly addressed to them. He said, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" They make no response to this far-reaching inquiry, and then the text goes on to say that he "looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts." Another translation makes this passage read, "for the blindness of their hearts," but this is of less consequence than the result, which is always the important thing to the student of Christian Science; for in Jesus' words and works we find both assurance and enlightenment. When he said to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand," the man at once obeyed, and the text reads, "His hand was restored whole as the other."

At this point we may recall with profit Mrs. Eddy's words on page 260 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality." So long as we accept the material evidence, whether willingly or unwillingly, we fail to see the spiritual evidence, which to the spiritual sense is never absent, namely, God expressed in His idea, man, in His own image and likeness.

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The Good Use of Human Affection
February 22, 1919

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