On Hoeing Your Own Row

One of the first things which a man learns in Christian Science, if he is wise enough, is that he has his own work to do, and that no one can do it for him. Then, if he really understands, he sets out to learn how to do it, and to do it, not perfunctorily, but with all the strength that is in him. He may as well do it joyously, for in the end he will have to do it, and if he does not do it joyously, it will be a certain proof that he does not realize what life is. Life, indeed, must be to him one of two things: either it will prove a desert of wasted opportunities, which never can return, or it will be a tide taken at the flood, and leading on to victory. And any man who has carefully read the gospels, in the light of Christian Science, knows that this victory is a victory over the human self, established in a demonstrated understanding of man as the image and likeness of God, Principle. "The Christian martyrs," Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 388 of Science and Health, "were prophets of Christian Science. Through the uplifting and consecrating power of divine Truth, they obtained a victory over the corporeal senses, a victory which Science alone can explain." They hoed their own row.

Now the word martyr really means witness, and it would be a good thing if more people would remember this, and give up looking at it purely as victim. There is no necessity for a witness to be a victim; there is, indeed, every reason why he should not. A knowledge of Truth, Principle, should bring to a man occasion for victory along the whole line, and not part of it: "If ye continue in my word," Christ Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, "then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The price of this freedom, be it however observed, is not a mere spasmodic realization of Principle, but a continuous demonstration of it, for it is quite impossible to continue in a knowledge of anything without giving proof of that knowledge. Paul was never tired of insisting on this. "Continuing," he wrote to the church in Rome, "instant in prayer." In just the same way, Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 360 of Science and Health: "Either Spirit or matter is your model. If you try to have two models, then you practically have none. Like a pendulum in a clock, you will be thrown back and forth, striking the ribs of matter and swinging between the real and the unreal."

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Accepting the Solution
November 6, 1920
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