The faculty of hope is so common to the human race and...

The Christian Science Monitor

The faculty of hope is so common to the human race and has been so generally commended as one of humanity's saving graces, that it comes with a touch of surprise to find that this sentiment, as much as any other human concept, needs to be healed; or, more exactly, to be replaced with a scientific expectation, which performs its function without betrayal. In the realm of human belief, hope is doubtless better than despair; but the fact that the pendulum of human emotion perpetually swings between confidence and fear, expectancy and hopelessness, shows that the good hoped for is as material and illusive as is the evil that is feared, and therefore it must be that the foundation of all human conceptions is at fault.

That hope has a distinct office in human toward good is asserted throughout the Scriptures. In his great message to the Corinthians, Paul links it with faith and love; and Peter declares that one should "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." But it is in the words, "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts," which preface his advice, that he points to the foundation from which alone a man may attain and maintain steadfast hope and inspire others with it. It is in this conscious acknowledgment and understanding of God as All, that Mary Baker Eddy recognizes the basic strength of hope when she writes, on page 446 of Science and Health, "To understand God strengthens hope, enthrones faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus' word: 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.'"

The human mind has so stubbornly committed itself to the belief in a dual existence of matter and mind, that when a man is bidden to hope in God, he begins at once to ask if he is only to look forward to some future supersensible good in Spirit, and if he is not to hope for good in human affairs and things. Surely a man should hope for all the good there is, but he needs to know that good which admits the possibility of being turned into or supplanted by evil is not good; for what is really good is permanent, and for that reason, good must be spiritual. Materiality, being the opposite of Spirit, is therefore temporal and is not good, in the scientific sense, however convincingly it may, in some forms, bear the appearance of good.

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February 14, 1920

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