The Easement of Knowing

In days long ago, before the practical brotherly kindness of the international postal service had been thought of, the immigrant to a new land was very completely separated from his relatives and acquaintances. When an occasional letter came through the friendly hands of some ship captain, or in the custody of a traveler, the recipient could well understand the proverb which says, "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." The value of good news is in the ease of mind it brings, because human thought seems to be exercised too much upon solicitude, and perturbed imagination chooses ever to build upon fear, ill luck, and possible disaster. A particular truth gives mental rest for the single occasion, however. The letter of good news from afar will not cause worriment itself to cease. For the healing of anxious thought, the truth Christ Jesus exemplified is the remedy. "Learn of me," he said, "and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

Concerning the unlearned in truth it may be said that their ignorance of desirable truth makes for them the same result as if truth were absent and unavailable. An example often referred to is as good an illustration of this as could be given. A sea captain changed his course to approach what seemed to be a ship in distress. On its deck were men perishing of thirst, and when their help came nigh enough, the faint cry which they raised was for water. The hearty reply was: Dip it up; you are sailing in the mouth of the Amazon. The very familiarity of this tale may make it helpful to us as we see that ignorance alone caused suffering in this case. The ship's company did not know that thirst was unnecessary, and they fainted for lack of the good which was theirs to take. Likewise in regard to spiritual sustenance and legitimate joy of heart, our Leader reminds us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 304): "It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness."

What Mrs. Eddy says elsewhere in the textbook concerning an erroneous dispatch was illustrated by an occurrence. Two members of a legislative body were of the same name, and on the occasion of the sudden death of one of them the news came to the daughter of the other, who believed that her father had gone from her, and fell down in a faint. She awakened to find that her mental suffering was without actual cause, being due to a false belief entertained. Christian Science comforts us on all occasions by assurance based on the truth. Speaking of the grief of one believing a blundering dispatch Mrs. Eddy says that the suffering was merely the result of the belief, and continues (Science and Health, p. 386): "Thus it is with all sorrow, sickness, and death. You will learn at length that there is no cause for grief, and divine wisdom will then be understood. Error, not Truth, produces all the suffering on earth."

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The Immutability of Principle
June 7, 1919

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