Arguments of Spirit

IN studying the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, a single sentence is often found to contain all that is needed for high and fruitful meditation, and the consequent solution of an immediate problem. The more of Truth apprehended and put into practice by the student, the better fortified is he against future onslaughts of error, whether the attack seems to come from without or from within, and whether it assumes a violent or an insidious aspect. There are numberless sentences in our textbook which can be studied and analyzed scientifically, so that their meaning becomes part of one's spiritual armament, and available instantly for guidance and protection in time of need. Phrases so understood and assimilated are not to be confused with mere formulas or repetitions of phrases, which our Leader has characterized in Science and Health (p. 367) as "stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love."

In seeking the best means to comfort and encourage those we desire to help, a spirit of unselfed love, earnestly manifested, will and does command the proper words to convey our understanding of Truth. And what richer treasure house of accurately expressed scientific thoughts can be found than the Christian Science textbook? Preeminent among such healing expressions we have the "scientific statement of being," on page 468. Child and adult, the learned and the unlearned, — all may avail themselves of the truth contained in that short paragraph, often with apparently miraculous results. A right understanding of this statement may be likened to the "firmament," which Mrs. Eddy defines as "spiritual understanding; the scientific line of demarcation between Truth and error, between Spirit and so-called matter" (Science and Health, p. 586), because it separates absolutely and scientifically between the true and the false, the real and the unreal. Prayerfully used, it becomes a resolvent of doubts, "the scientific line of demarcation between Truth and error;" for if we reject everything in thought and experience that does not align itself with this statement, and hold fast to that which is in harmony with it, we have a spiritual residuum which is the truth, and the truth alone, and which cannot fail to bless and heal.

On page 454 of our textbook appears a sentence that has been much quoted, and, one feels sure, earnestly meditated upon by many a student in that secret communion with God, good, which is scientific prayer. Here Mrs. Eddy writes, "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." The word "inspire" is defined in the dictionary as to "breathe into;" also to "imbue with ideas." Surely, Mind imbues its own creation with only right ideas, though error would have us accept as true the allegory of Jehovah breathing into the nostrils of Adam the "breath of life"! Thus wisdom awakens the heart, impelling higher motives and desires. To illumine means to give light. Further meanings are "intellectual light," "inspiration," — an amplification of the first thought. So the awakened consciousness perceives more clearly the way of Life, on which is shed the ray of spiritual enlightenment. "Designate" has the meaning "point out," "name." Here divine direction along the chosen path, already illuminated, — according to the Father's will, "in earth, as it is in heaven," — seems indicated by our quotation. Thus, Love first fills with the desire to seek higher things, then makes plain the ascending way of thought, — designates its direction, and classifies its type and modes. Lastly, Love leads the way, — goes before, in its character of ever-presence; so that the way never can become obscure to one who ceases not to regard and to follow the leading light.

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March 10, 1923

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