In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 one of the qualities of church membership of which Mrs. Eddy made particular mention was steadfastness. In the opening paragraph of the Message she says, "With no special effort to achieve this result, our church communicants constantly increase in number, unity, steadfastness." The word "steadfast" is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning fast in place; and among definitions generally accepted are the following: firm, constant, unswerving, resolute, steady, true, loyal. These are all qualities which every sincere student of Christian Science desires to manifest at all times.

It is commendable that Christian Scientists should wish to be steadfast; but only by striving for it can this quality be gained. Of its importance too much cannot be said. It should be an essential quality of all church members, if Christian Science is to accomplish its great mission of world salvation. The Master was ever steadfast. Never did he swerve from the path of righteousness, notwithstanding the temptations to turn aside and the seemingly insurmountable obstructions which appeared in his way. The Apostle Paul in writing to the churches of Galatia urged upon them the necessity of being firm and constant, and enjoined them, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Paul, while urging the necessity of steadfastness, has at the same time clearly indicated what the consequences will be if this quality is lacking,—namely, entanglement "with the yoke of bondage." In her Message to The Mother Church for 1901 (p. 2) Mrs. Eddy says: "What Jesus' disciples of old experienced, his followers of to-day will prove, namely, that a departure from the direct line in Christ costs a return under difficulties; darkness, doubt, and unrequited toil will beset all their returning footsteps. Only a firm foundation in Truth can give a fearless wing and a sure reward." Error in some form or other is continually being presented to the human consciousness; and students of Christian Science must learn how effectually to deal with it. Our dear Leader's teaching on this point is clear: error must first be recognized as such, as the supposititious opposite of Truth, and then be handled as nothing.

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March 29, 1924

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