The Waters of Meribah

The human mind has a habit of fluctuating between self-confidence and self-depreciation. The two extremes typify the strength and weakness of human nature, and are equally distant from an understanding of Principle. Principle itself has no concord with matter. It is divine Mind, and finds expression in all the ideas of this Mind. No one ever made this clearer, in its absolute and negative phases, than did Christ Jesus. He said, to his disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," but he also said, to the Jews, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." When the rich young man, conventionally and apparently harmlessly, addressed him as "Good Master," he sternly and incontinently repudiated the designation: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Yet a little later, at the feast of tabernacles, he cried to the people assembled within the precincts of the temple itself: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

It is scarcely to be wondered, therefore, that the Jews, that is to say the Judeans, materialistic and sensuous to their last fiber, and obsessed with the ideal of the Messiah as a second Joshua, should have been hopelessly unable to distinguish between the son of man, the son of the flesh, and the Son of God, or the Christ. Yet Christ Jesus had warned them, not only of the difference between Spirit and the flesh, but of the inseparability of Mind and its idea, God and the Christ. On the day when he had healed the paralytic man, he had told them, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise;" whilst, one winter time, at the feast of the dedication, he had roused them to fury by the six words, "I and my Father," really the Father, "are one." One, that is to say, as Mrs. Eddy points out on page 361 of Science and Health, "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being." The Jews, in other words, were making the very mistake, in their blind and unconscious effort to reduce the Messiah to flesh and blood, that Moses made, when the Lord stood before him on the rock in Horeb, and he, taking his rod struck the rock so that "the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also."

Now though Christendom has read this story for centuries, it had never taken the lesson unto itself, and, as a consequence, it is still striking the rock in its own name, and still finding itself excluded from the promised land. Moses had led the people out of Egypt. He had seen the might of Principle demonstrated as no man had ever seen it before. Yet when he turned to Principle, in the hour of temptation in Horeb, and Principle revealed to him how the rock should yield water, as Christ Jesus was one day to be shown in the wilderness that the stones could be turned to bread, the very number and wonder of the demonstrations which had been vouchsafed to him seem to have united in filling him with self-confidence, instead of confidence in Principle, and he yielded to the temptation as completely as Christ Jesus rejected it. "Hear now, ye rebels," he demanded of the people; "must we fetch you water out of this rock?"

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The Love That Is God
February 5, 1921

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