"Arise up quickly"

The story of Peter's release from prison, given in the twelfth chapter of Acts, is a very helpful study, should we seem to be accepting a suggestion of limitation of good. In this story we find error first of all proposing to Herod, who had not sufficient understanding to see the absurdity of the claim, that by killing some of the Christian leaders of the day he would put an end to the Christ-teaching. Peter, to human sense, was in jail in a very hopeless position, bound with chains and guarded with special care. How often we seem to be in a similar mental state, suffering from a sense of limitation, seemingly confined by our material surroundings or tied to old wrong habits, perhaps afraid to advance for fear of opposition from those around us! If some angelthought—Mrs. Eddy, on page 581 of the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," defines "angels," in part, as "God's thoughts passing to man"—comes to us and says, "Arise up quickly," have we not sometimes many reasons why, though we are anxious enough to rise, we are quite sure we cannot do so quickly? Error may argue that time is required; that we must be careful not to stir up error around us; and so on. Also it may say, Is there not very good reason to expect that if we rise quickly we may find it would have been much better to have risen slowly? Probably many of us have had such suggestions many times offered to us for acceptance.

We are told that Peter obeyed the angel and was therefore assisted to take the first step. Immediately he rose up, and the chains fell from his hands. He was not yet, however, completely free from a sense of limitaion, since he thought it a vision or dream; though we know from the record in Acts that he had, with other apostles, on a previous occasion been delivered from prison. How often we take the first step quickly, perhaps, but then think we have seen a vision! We wonder if Truth is true, and fail to go on to take the next step towards making the complete demonstration of freedom from whatever may seem to be our difficulty. We too often forget the prisons (mental suggestions) from which we have been delivered in the past. God's angels, however, always help us to complete our demonstration if we heed their command and do what we know we ought to do, paying no heed to error's suggestions.

The Eternal Now
July 18, 1925

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