On Possessing the Land

The history of the adventurous years of struggle in the wilderness through which the children of Israel passed in their journey out of bondage into the liberty of the freeborn, contains many lessons that have come down to present generations, full of meaning to those having eyes to see and ears to hear. One of the lessons which the history of those progressive years in the wilderness reveals is that whenever the journey was undertaken with high emprise and lofty ideals, with full faith in God and unswerving confidence in His leadership and protecting presence, the wanderers went forward prosperously, witnessing the destruction and disappearance of whatever opposing forces presented themselves, whether the adversary took upon itself the name of Red Sea, famine, armed hosts, or idols and false gods. whenever, following in the way that Truth led them, obedient and willing, they pressed fearlessly forward with eyes upon the Lord, they invariably found themselves in possession of the land of milk and honey, of peace and plenty, where bondage ceased as the true man stood forth, manifesting his real relationship with God. In describing her experience in founding the Christian Science movement, Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 226), "I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged."

Is there not in the experience of our Leader a parallel to the history of the children of Israel? And is there not a verisimilitude in the experience of every person who undertakes to work his way out of the mazes of material existence into the light of day,—the radiance of Spirit? Yet to work his way out is the inevitable problem of every mortal, whether he will or no; for, since salvation is the destiny of all men, it is to be won by each for himself, and on the same basis. Christian Scientists are profoundly grateful for the unfoldment of man's infinite possibilities, and for learning the means whereby possession of man's rightful inheritance is gained. Having, as our Leader teaches, imbibed the spirit of Christ's teaching, there follows an equal necessity for gaining an understanding of the rule and method whereby mankind can come into the promised land of the infinity of good, which is provided for all those who overcome,—that is, for all who demonstrate the superiority of Spirit over matter's claims to life and reality.

In his exhortation to the Christians at Corinth, Paul described the mental attitude of those who received not the grace of God in vain, "as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." The Apostle to the Gentiles here touches upon, even though he does not explain, a situation of great import to every traveler along the road to spirituality. To possess all things, it is learned in Christian Science, is to gain an understanding of the infinite abundance which God has already bestowed upon all His children,—a bounty, be it said, adequate to meet every need throughout all eternity. On the contrary, does not "having nothing" epitomize the worthlessness of all materiality when weighed in the balance with Spirit, the infinite substance, which our Leader has so aptly described as that which is "incapable of discord and decay" (Science and Health, p. 468)? Obviously, "having nothing," as the term was used by Paul, connotes a spiritual understanding of true substance, Spirit, which of necessity forecasts knowledge of the unreality and utter nothingness of its counterfeit, matter.

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July 1, 1922

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