True Labor without Self-Righteousness

In the eighteenth chapter of Luke we read the parable of two men praying. The human mind in condemning the different conditions of self-righteousness as claimed by the Pharisee often is inclined to overlook the most salient feature here expressed, "or even as this publican," although by his vivid judgment Jesus clearly made it the most important. Comparison is always breaking the second commandment. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," that is, see spiritual idea as all there is to neighbor. When alluding to this parable Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 448), "Blindness and self-righteousness cling fast to iniquity." It is not unusual in a group of people when discussing some action of another's to think as the Pharisee, perhaps in a more modern manner, as thus: "I may have my faults but thank God such or such (naming a specific error) is not one of them." Now Paul puts this all very clearly in the first three verses of the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans. It is as though he said, "If you believe in the reality of these things—in the reality of life, substance, and intelligence in matter, then you are on the same plane of thought or judgment as those who do these things." Then in the eleventh verse of the same chapter, in his peculiar, concise way he writes, "For there is no respect of persons with God." Spiritual idea is alone worthy of the recognition of divine Mind. Close study of these writings of Paul reveals that the self-righteousness of his time is the self-righteousness of to-day and will continue to be the self-righteousness of all ages until the world changes its wrong concept of God and man to the right concept, namely, divine Principle and idea.

In Isaiah we read, "Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." We grasp the full meaning of this prophecy only as we understand what Mrs. Eddy says on page 468 of Science and Health: "The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit." Here she plainly states that the compound idea is spiritual; therefore the entirety of this compound idea must be spiritual.

When, therefore, the world understands labor as spiritual idea, the labor problem will be healed. Labor is the activity of the divine Mind expressed by man. This activity is always harmonious, joyous, perpetual, and successful. In the infinity of this activity there are no opposing forces which the material senses recognize as discord, discontent, dishonesty, or injustice. These errors form the foundation of a belief in a world of imperfections and inequalities, which is always the lie about the spiritual universe governed by divine Love. As Mrs. Eddy says, "Love is impartial and universal in its adaption and bestowals" (Science and Health, p. 13). A sense of inequality is the error of comparison under another name. These errors never enter the government of infinite wisdom and justice; to do so they would have to pass over the touchstone of Truth, which means instant destruction to error. In the vineyard of divine Mind spiritual ideas are, in the picturesque words of the psalmist, "the cattle upon a thousand hills," which represent the unlimited arena in which to labor. On these hills the pastures are the fruits of the Spirit, expressed in love, meekness, loving-kindness, tolerance, joy, happiness, and unselfishness; and the utilization of these qualities is true labor, which brings us into the highest peak of activity—the Horeb heights.

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The First Commandment
January 22, 1921

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