Trust in Principle

The books of the world are full of aphorisms about doing right, but not many of these aphorisms take it for granted that, if there is such a thing as Principle, doing right is the veriest self-preservation, and doing wrong the most practical form of suicide. An excellent example of the failure to understand this is to be found in, of all books, "A Priest to Temple." There Herbert writes, "Do well and right, and let the world sink." Now if Herbert had meant by the world the flesh and the devil, had he understood something of the unreality of matter as unfolded in the pages of the New Testament, there would have been considerable wisdom and much foresight in his saying. As it was, Herbert was as sure of the personality of the devil as Archbishop Dunstan, and as convinced of the reality of matter as Francis of Assisi. The fact is that until the world realizes that the devil is just mortal mind, it will be in no position to as much as smile at Dunstan for the effort to take him by the nose, as the chronicler assures us he did, with, of all things, a red-hot pincers, whilst, as long as it believes in the reality of matter, it has no excuse for taking exception to the Franciscan doctrine of "my brother the ass." Therefore, will it continue to fear evil, and to proclaim the reality of matter, instead of insisting upon the infinity of good.

The only way, in plain English, in which it is possible to let the world sink with any scientific expection of fulfilling the Christian exhortation to overcome it, is by realizing its material nothingness, in the light of an understanding of its spiritual reality. The great scholars may quarrel, that is to say, over the structure of the Book of Job and its exegetical meaning, but unless the Book of Job is explaining to mankind the supposititious nature of the universe, and the consequent domination of Spirit, even in a universe of concepts derived from mortal mind, it degenerates into a mere human work of art, and is divorced from any metaphysical message for the enlightenment of the race. But take the Book of Job metaphysically; let the reader once grasp the fact that when the writer made Job say, "Yet in my flesh shall I see God," he intended nothing so foolish as that the carnal minded animal, named Job, should appear clothed in the flesh in the realm of Spirit, but rather just what Christ Jesus demonstrated when he raised Lazarus and healed the centurion's servant, and the extreme practicality of the Gospel becomes instantly apparent. Then the world may begin to see how it was that Canute, believing in this reality of matter, in vain ordered the tides to retreat from his throne, whereas the writer of Job, convinced of the dependence fo the supposition of the counterfeit upon the existence of the reality, could say, of the stars in their courses, that it was Principle which brings forth Mazzaroth in his season, and guides Arcturus with his sons.

It is precisely because of this that Truth, as the Roman saw, must always conquer. Therefore, the only power that any one needs, in any circumstance, is reliance upon the only power there is, Truth. Canute, to do him justice, up to a point understood this, and staged his seashore drama for the specific discomfiture of the materiality of his courtiers. But he had not, of course, begun to dream of the Science of Christianity, and would not have known how to set about the simplest of demonstrations. He would, without a question, have reinforced his faith with all the arguments and expedients which would have defeated the end he had in view, by proving that he did not absolutely rely on Truth. Yet any appeal to anything less than Truth is, in itself, a sign of weakness. In every attempted demonstration, it is as Mrs. Eddy says of healing, on page 167 of Science and Health: "The scientific government of the body must be attained through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, timid conservatism is absolutely inadmissible. Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized."

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The Law-Abiding Citizen
April 9, 1921

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