Soldiers and Service

In the quiet hours of the night a sleeper awoke and saw hanging on the opposite wall the picture of a son who was at that time "somewhere in France." The light from a new street lamp shed a soft glow over and around the picture so that it could clearly be seen even in the shadowed room, and as the mother's thought infolded him with a desire always to see him in the true light, she questioned herself as to what really constitutes a soldier.

Ordinarily we think of a soldier as one enlisted in military service, engaged in fighting other men of differing viewpoints, the conquest of whom might not always be for good. Such concept of a soldier is limited to personality, and viewed from a scientific standpoint constitutes by no means the requirements of a whole soldier; for a whole soldier needs a complete mental frame as well as a physical one,—a frame of mind reflecting love for one's fellow beings, and the understanding of Truth which enables one to condemn not the erring mortal but to free him from the evil handling him. The true soldier must be fearless, watchful, and obedient; he must put away self-love and self-will, and must be ready at all times to answer to the call of a higher authority.

Do we need to go away to find the battle field? What and where is the enemy? Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 8), "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception?" Our greatest enemy is the belief that evil is real. To make evil unreal, then, is our warfare; and the battle field is in the human consciousness. The first command of the Most High to His followers in this warfare is, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." To rise at this command, to acknowledge that Life, Truth, and Love are all, and are ever present, is to take up arms against the belief in evil; to resist every temptation to believe in the reality of sin, sickness, and death; for all these are opposed to God. Daily to overcome any suggestion to think, say, or act other than good, is true warfare, the only warfare there is, and it is not finished in one battle or in one day, but requires untiring vigil, and sometimes meets temporarily with but a degree of success. There may be some stumbling, some falling, but with the vision fixed on divine Principle the warrior will rise with renewed strength to obey the First Commandment, and this obedience will in the end win, will know God and the perfect man.

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"Now is the day"
March 1, 1919

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