"The sustaining infinite"

In the Preface to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, is the introductory passage (p. vii), "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." Perhaps there are no words in this wonderful book that have a greater meaning than those contained in this passage. The dictionary gives us the following definitions for the word "sustain": to support; to keep from falling, to maintain, or support with the needs of life; to relieve. To those who feel the very props of their material foundations slipping from under them, and who are reaching out for something bigger, better, are not these words fraught with a meaning that will fill their hearts with rejoicing? Even before we prove these words by actual demonstration, we know them to be true, for are they not correlative to the assurance which we find in the Bible, "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms"?

What has ever been offered to us, along material lines, that has sustained us infinitely? One by one we have seen the props pulled from beneath our foundations just at a time when we thought them most secure. One by one the theories of materia medica and theology have burst before our eyes, like a bubble when it strikes the air. So do all things that have a material instead of a spiritual basis meet their destruction, because they cannot have a sustenance that will uphold them under any and all condition. There is only one sustaining influence—God; and what a feeling of confidence and security infolds us when we begin to realize this great truism. God, the loving Father and Mother of us all; God, our refuge and our shield, our All-in-all. Do we need to look elsewhere for sustenance? Can we find it elsewhere? No; for those who have learned to know who is supporting, upholding, assisting man, who have proved by demonstration that God, and He only, can be relied upon, be the circumstance what it may, have also learned and proved that there is nothing in the material realm, so called, that can sustain one infinitely.

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