Alliance with Good

Among much sound advice given by Joshua to the tribes of Israel, perhaps none is more cogent than that which is found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the book which bears his name. Exhorting his followers, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord," he added an admonition which has become a common saying: "If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve." Then he placed before them the alternatives of serving the old gods of their fathers or the gods of the Amorites, closing his discourse with the explicit assertion, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Obviously, Joshua entertained no doubt as to the course he should pursue. This son of Moses' faithful minister and friend apparently never hesitated as to what his duty was. He struggled with no temptation to follow false gods; for had not there been revealed to him the great fact of the one God, the creator of the universe, infinite Life, in whom inheres all goodness? Joshua did not fail to ally himself with good, in the assurance that in such a course lay duty and true prosperity.

The problem of choosing whom and what one will serve is constantly with mankind. Confronted continuously with the claims of the physical senses, always presenting their demands,—sometimes in alluring and enticing form,—one is in "the valley of decision" until he, like Joshua, establishes the unwavering purpose to serve good, whatsoever may befall. This decision made, his course is simplified to the extent that now his necessity is, not to choose whether or not he will follow good, but rather to determine along which of several courses good lies. Speaking of the conflicting forces which seem to battle for control, Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 19), "Between the centripectal and centrifugal mental forces of material and spiritual gravitations, we go into or we go out of materialism or sin, and choose our course and its results." And she adds this pertinent question: "Which, then, shall be our choice,—the sinful, material, and perishable, or the spiritual, joy-giving, and eternal?"

If one were carefully to survey the results of his human experience in the choice of good and evil, there could be no doubt as to his conclusion; for it is invariably true that good never follows evil. While there may appear to be a gain of something substantial and valuable through dishonest or unworthy means, yet in the balancing of accounts it follows that good results only from pursuing of a course that allies one with the infinite good, which is God. Learning that in God, who is infinite and all, inheres all good, mortals awaken to the necessity of gaining that understanding which enables them to establish an alliance with good in order to become its immediate and lasting beneficiary. The question confronting every one, then, is this: How can I become so related to God, good, as to live in the consciousness of His power and presence,—that is, of the all-presence of good? And this is precisely the question which Christian Science is answering for all who earnestly study its letter and partake of its spirit.

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December 9, 1922

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