To Always Know

In the twelfth chapter of Acts we find an excellent illustration of the contrast between an understanding of the power of absolute Truth and ignorance of it. Herod had put Peter in prison and bound him with chains, but during the night an angel came and delivered him. On page 581 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy defines angels as "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality." God's thoughts are true thoughts, and Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, ... ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Peter knew the truth so positively that mortal belief, represented by prison walls and clanking chains, gave way to the spiritual sense of being until the apostle at length was free. We are told that the chains fell from Peter's hands, the prison gates opened, and he walked out. We also read that when Peter came to himself he knew of a surety that God had sent His angel to deliver him out of the hands of Herod. The knowledge of absolute Truth, God, also implies the experience which proves His omnipotence. Merely to know the letter and never to apply it in dispelling the sense of wrong is like knowing that two times two equals four and never using it to solve a problem.

We further read that Peter went to the home of Mary, the mother of John. Rhoda came to the door, and when she heard Peter's voice she hastened to tell her friends that Peter was at the door. The company had been praying all night, and Peter in answer to prayer was knocking at Mary's gate, yet they could not believe it. They thought Rhoda was mad, and when they saw Peter they were astonished. How different was the mortal sense of that little company from Peter's spiritual sense; how different in comfort and power. The mortal sense of his friends was manifested in fear, doubt, and discouragement. Peter's spiritual thought opened prison doors and unfastened chains, so that even while in the flesh he realized the freedom of Soul. If the little company had only known of a surety that God had sent His angel to deliver him from evil, that God's thoughts are the only power, and that His power was to be manifested to all of them that night, how different the night would have been. It would have been a night of joy and gladness.

Sometime ago a student in Christian Science was working on a problem. On a Tuesday evening she felt that the demonstration had not been made. She thought that her understanding of Science was so limited that she had failed completely to overcome the wrong in question. She too had joined the company at Mary's home. The following Friday, when word came to her that the problem had been met far beyond her most sanguine expectation, she, like the company at Mary's home, was astonished. Then she asked, "Why did I not seen the manifestation of Truth Tuesday? It was just as true on Tuesday as it is now." Again she asked, "Why do I not always know the truth about the problem in spite of the manifestations of error?" When the answer to her prayer did not come in the way she expected, she began to doubt and became discouraged. How unhappy she was from Tuesday until Friday, when she should have been rejoicing and resting assured in the comforting thought that God was keeping watch over His own.

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May 3, 1919

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