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."

"Literature and languages"
October 23, 1920

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