The Bible is full of promises of the protection of the righteous man by God. The history of mankind, nevertheless, from the earliest recorded time down to to-day, is the story of a belief in, or at any rate of fear of, the dominion of good by evil. The professing Christian world is desirous of nothing so much as this protection. Yet the fact remains that it is just this protection that the average man is doubtful of receiving. So strong, indeed, is his doubt, that he has formulated his distrust in a series of sayings which commonly begin with the words, "It does not pay," and end with an expression of one of the virtues, such as "to be good" or "to tell the truth." Now if any one is going to define payment as a mere sensuous return for obedience to Principle, the reasoning of the world is likely to prove extremely accurate. "It is quite as impossible," Mrs. Eddy writes on page 36 of Science and Health, "for sinners to receive their full punishment this side of the grave as for the world to bestow on the righteous their full reward." If, that is to say, a man is going to weigh the kingdom of heaven against the two talents of silver and two changes of raiment Gehazi received for his lie, he had probably better avoid the truth, but if he will be satisfied with "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" as payment, then he may possibly change his mind, and come to grasp the meaning of another of those sayings of the wise men who wrote the Bible, to the effect that "because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

What all this very simply means, though the world seems to have some difficulty in grasping it, is that you cannot separate cause and effect, or divine Principle from its reflection. There is nothing whatever haphazard in the proceeding. It is a purely scientific process in which "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Strict adherence to Principle brings, and must bring every time, a harmonious result. But an apparent obedience to Principle, with the intent of receiving a material reward, is not following Principle at all. It is, after the manner of Gehazi, following the chariot of Naaman, and, verily, those who attempt it will have their reward,—first, the silver and the raiment, but afterwards, the leprosy. For, as Paul told the foolish Galatians, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

It is this reaping, whether of the wheat or of the tares, from which no one can escape. The skeptic is incredulous, the Gallio goes his way all unconcerned, even the earnest believer is filled with doubts. But this is because the world in general persists in divorcing Science from religion, and so comes, full of doubts, to the, to it, mystery of the miracle, and thus forfeits the privilege of comprehending the miracle as the supremely natural expression of divine law. But this so-called miracle is itself nothing but the demonstration of the omnipotence of Principle, is a man's protection against the myriad claims of supposititious evil, and of his ability to master matter through an understanding of its unreality. When Jesus fed the multitudes in the wilderness, he proved two things. First, that matter had no objective reality, but was simply the subjective condition of the human mind, and, second, that this human mind was itself only a counterfeit of divine Mind, a lie about Principle.

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"Literature and languages"
October 23, 1920

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