Mastering Adverse Circumstances

In explaining the methods through which error claims to work, a Christian Science practitioner once told how, some years before, when he was a prospector, he was one day out alone on the veldt in South Africa and came suddenly upon a troop of baboons. As a rule these animals are of a retiring nature, but on this occasion a large male became aggressive and advanced, threatening violence. The man also advanced, and the baboon's gestures and ugly grimaces grew more menacing as the distance separating the antagonists lessened. The baboon kept up his game of bluff until the last moment, but when almost within striking distance he turned and fled precipitately into the bush. Had the man acted any differently he would, in all likelihood, have experienced some difficulty.

Some of the ways of the ape tribe are curiously similar to the methods of mortal mind generally, both being in their nature mere cleverness or animal cunning instead of intelligence, and the above illustration clearly indicates that it is not wise to try to avoid crossing swords with evil or to attempt to defend one's self from the attacks of error in a half-hearted manner. Such an attitude places one at a disadvantage at the outset and is likely to prolong conflict. It is true we all desire peace, but the only peace worth having is a righteous peace; hence when error presents itself, the quickest and only way to a solution of our problem is to observe our revered Leader's advice in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 419), "Meet every adverse circumstance as its master." It is clearly shown in war that sound tactics require the assumption of the initiative at the earliest possible moment, and what is equally important, the retention of the initiative. Christian Science practice calls for the same modus operandi.

It will be noted that just as the man did not go into the bush to seek encounters with wild animals but dealt simply with the beast that sought to molest him, Christian Scientists do not go out into the byways looking for trouble, but handle those phases of error which Truth uncovers. In regard to these specific problems, however, we can never make our declarations of truth and denials of error too vehement and emphatic, and it is necessary to beware the crafty suggestion that it is wrong, when error seems obstinate, to contend for Truth persistently and insistently, "because this would be using will power." So long as the student's effort is directed toward the attainment of the realization of the supremacy of Spirit over matter, Life over death, Love over hate, Truth over falsehood, divine law over human will, good over evil, he need never have any fear on this score, and his spiritually minded protestations will lead to the rending of the veil of the flesh and the revelation of the perfection and infinity of God's spiritual universe, wherein no error can even claim to exist.

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The Father Doeth the Works
August 30, 1919

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