"Owe no man"

Whence and why? These questions, Tantalus-like, are constantly tempting and eluding human endeavor. Human philosophy and science are mainly expositions of the efforts to find answers to these questions. It was the apparent futility of these efforts which led Pilate to ask of Christ Jesus, "What is truth?" And to-day, after nineteen centuries of added arduous human endeavor, the still more wearied modern Pilate repeats the timeworn query. Perhaps, after all these centuries of endeavor, in no direction is human philosophy more at a loss than in its efforts to trace "the relation between sense and understanding," or, in other words, how to bridge the apparently impassable gap between these two. One of the great modern authorities says frankly, "It is confessedly a hard matter to explain the relation between the two." Whence come our thoughts, and why? Those which may not be traced directly to sense perceptions—whence and why do they arise? Sometimes they seem to the poetical fancy like "butterfly suggestions," sometimes as legions from "aggressive Fancy working spells," while sometimes they come, as an eloquent orator depicts them, as "the soft sweet accent of an angel's whisper."

The philosopher unenlightened in Christian Science gives no satisfying answer; he loses himself and his hearers in hypotheses, theories, and conjectures. But an understanding of Christian Science enables the student to determine whether these unbidden and unheralded thoughts and fancies are only "wandering pollen," to quote Mrs. Eddy's words from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 235), or are indeed "spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect" (p. 581). It qualifies him to "try the spirits whether they are of God," and provides him with an infallible touchstone which will detect and expose the counterfeit suggestions, so that they may be separated from the true currency of spiritual thoughts, be discarded and destroyed. It makes clear to him, moreover, that all vague beliefs, vagrant opinions, and ignorant and evil suggestions are merely aimless gusts and currents in atmosphere of human beliefs and opinions collectively known as mortal mind; while true thoughts and spiritual intuitions come only from divine Mind, God, "the Father of lights," "that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not."

It is not only important that the student should be able to distinguish between suggestions and intuitions and between beliefs and thoughts; it is also vitally essential that he should be obedient to angelic intuitions, monitions, and inspirations whenever these come to him. He must, like Samuel, be wakeful and intent and ready to respond to the heavenly call, and he must also be like Paul, "not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." It is the alert and obedient who are conscious of being led "beside the still waters." Well indeed for him who is always ready to heed when, as Isaiah declares, "thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." He shall always be conscious, as the psalmist was, that "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

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Windows and Light
May 10, 1919

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