Weak Things That Are Mighty

Paul said, "When I am weak, then am I strong." What he meant every Christian somewhat understands; for it is just as the human sense of power, that is, human pride, bravado, and self-sufficiency, is seen to be insufficient that faith awakens and a man lays hold of divine strength. The great apostle to the Gentiles trusted himself to God in such obedience that he found divine grace sufficient and could say, "For me to live is Christ." When in return for a good deed done he was himself stoned and his body dragged out of the city as dead, he could rise up alive and victorious over the brutality of the idolaters of Lystra.

The contest of the follower of Christ Jesus is with the worldly sense of power, with appetite, passion, luxury, hatred, and spiritual deadness; and after all he has but one way of working, even that way spoken of by John in his epistle, when he said, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." In this connection we can understand the words of Paul when he said, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." This is true of personal potencies as well as in regard to potentialities which we may speak of as thoughts which the humanly mighty affect to despise, concerning which Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 225): "A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon's mouth. Love is the liberator."

Clergymen once would argue for the institution of slavery as one recognized by Scripture, quoting for example, as Victor Hugo says: If a man smite his slave, ... he shall not be punished: for he is his money. They do not approve of slavery now, for right thoughts have conquered and the once mighty institution is now undefended. But another form of slavery has been prevalent. This too is weakening and tending to disappear. The temperance reform began to strengthen when men saw that to conquer their own self-indulgence was the only help that was worth while. The theory that every man lives to himself,—that is, for the gratification of his own appetites,—is being displaced by the Christian view that we are all members one of another; hence the man who governs himself rightly is blessing the whole body of mankind—as a matter of fact, both giving and receiving blessing. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 404): "The temperance reform, felt all over our land, results from metaphysical healing, which cuts down every treethat brings not forth good fruit. This conviction, that there is no real pleasure in sin, is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science."

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August 30, 1919

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