Enthusiasm a Necessity

When Emerson in "Circles" declared, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," he stated a fact which all Christian Scientists may well ponder; for true it is that no great cause has ever been won, or has ever greatly prospered, without enthusiasm among its leaders and supporters. Firm conviction of the righteousness of a cause, and the inspiration that comes from the consciousness of right doing, engender the enthusiasm which spurs onward to the goal of a successful issue. The word "enthusiasm" has an interesting derivation. From two Greek words signifying, primarily, "to be inspired or possessed by the god," it has come to mean "inspiration, as if by a divine or superhuman power; lively manifestation of joy ..." (Webster). These definitions are of especial significance to Christian Scientists, who learn that, since man is God's true reflection, inspiration is divine influence in man, manifested in the expression of God's attributes: and Christian Scientists joyfully recognize that through inspiration from a divine source Mrs. Eddy discovered and revealed God as Principle, and its unchanging law; hence her unvarying enthusiasm.

The student of the Psalms can scarcely fail to feel the enthusiasm and spiritual joy of their writers. Where is to be found a better example of true inspiration than appears in such passages as these: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God;" "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, ... the city of the great King;" "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph;" "He is a great King over all the earth." Surely, there is nothing of doubt or uncertainty in these inspiring messages. Hear also the words of Isaiah: "I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song. ... Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Can one doubt the deep conviction of these prophets and seers, the result of spiritual inspiration, and their profound assurance that the Lord is a God at hand and not afar off, immanent and available to succor mankind, an ever present help; and was it not this unshakable certainty which found expression in these terms of joyful enthusiasm?

Our revered Leader caught the same glorious vision of God and His perfect universe to a degree that enabled her to go enthusiastically forward amid greatest difficulties, firm in her conviction of right. It is this same confidence and spiritual joy which is needed to carry on the work of healing the sick, lifting sinful humanity out of the depths of its material beliefs. However great the temptation to indulge the sense of heaviness and discouragement which seems constantly to strive to retard and nullify the works of God, the redemptive Christ is always at hand, available and potent to reduce such falsity to its primal condition of nothingness. Should not this fact reassure every one who grasps it, his enthusiasm being exactly proportionate to the degree of his understanding?

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June 3, 1922

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