Divine Good Will

In some of the doctrinal statements made in past days regarding God's dealing with men, it used to be given out that some men are to suffer disadvantage throughout all eternity, and this "according to the good pleasure of his will." It is difficult for the people under such instruction not to think of God's will as arbitrary and capricious; whereas if one speaks of God as acting according to the benevolence of His will, there comes a glow of answering love to God and a sense of safety. Human wills are many and urge human action into diverse ways. Divine will is one and good; hence its government leads only into the way of good.

It should be easy to accept the divine will and obey it, but mortals do not find it so. Men are troubled by their wantings and their vauntings, by secret covetings and clamorous desires for they know not what; hence the command of the Decalogue, "Thou shalt not covet ... any thing that is thy neighbour's." The basis of anarchy and frequently of revolution is desire for the possessions of the neighbor. Indeed the proclamations of some agitators might be: We covet all that is our neighbor's. It is as if they said of the neighbor: We wish to destroy his church, his government, and his peace of mind, to destroy the very law and order under which he is wont to live his life and accomplish usefulness and service. But revolution does not cease once it has begun. The agitator who overthrew the erstwhile ruler finds his own seat of power overthrown, and then to him is done in turn just what he did to others. The confusions of the world have been due to mortal minds trying to work out the good pleasure of their wills. Mrs. Eddy says of this in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 208): "Mortals have only to submit to the law of God, come into sympathy with it, and to let His will be done. This unbroken motion of the law of divine Love gives, to the and heavy-laden, rest. But who is willing to do His will or to let it be done? Mortals obey their own wills, and so disobey the divine order."

Wherever there has been the peace of order, wherever there is a country truly prosperous, there will be found men who regard honor and truth and righteousness, because they have some sense of the government of Principle and so obey the benevolence of the divine purpose. Does it involve sacrifice to be obedient? Men seem to think so. A woman was once asked: How did you know when a child if a thing was wrong? and her quick reply was: Because I wanted to do it. The problem, then, is to change the desire within so that in the achievement which is made in accordance with the right desire, there may be a joy adequate for a full satisfaction. Mrs. Eddy speaks of the satisfactory form of resurrection when the seeker after God reaches the point of knowing and doing the divine will. Of this she says (Miscellany, p. 258): "To the woman at the sepulchre, bowed in strong affection's anguish, one word, 'Mary,' broke the gloom with Christ'sall-conquering love. Then came her resurrection and task of glory, to know and to do God's will,—in the words of St. Paul: 'Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.'"

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September 6, 1919

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