The Test of Progress

It was Jesus' clear concept of God as divine Love that enabled him to heal the sick, reform the sinner, and raise the dead, and that set the standard of progress for all time. He proved divine Love to be the dissolvent of every fear, the ever present supply for each day's needs, the adjuster of every mortal discord. The progress of each succeeding age has been measured by its understanding of this Love and its demonstration of higher ideals in human living.

The deep significance of this term, Love, for God, as given in the words and works of the great Way-shower and his apostles, is illumined with the light of spiritual understanding in the pages of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. The study of God as Love, as there revealed, makes clear to Christian Scientists the effects of the practical application of the law of Love in their daily thoughts, words, and deeds; and by its fruit each one can judge of his own spiritual progress. Of this Mrs. Eddy writes in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 181): "Progress is spiritual. Progress is the maturing conception of divine Love; it demonstrates the scientific, sinless life of man and mortal's painless departure from matter to Spirit, not through death, but through the true idea of Life,—and Life not in matter but in Mind." This is the standard by which mortals can ascertain their progress.

The joyous task of applying this test to all human relationships brings some illuminating discoveries to the seeker for Truth. He finds himself constantly correcting the false concepts of man which may have crept into thought regarding his friends. He displaces sensitiveness, distrust, fear of loss, and jealousy with unselfishness, confidence, the desire to share, and the realization that nothing can separate God's ideas. He lays down a false concept of Love for the true, and finds a freedom and joy in companionship such as he has never before experienced. He finds that his sympathies are becoming more Christlike, his joys more spiritual, his judgments more righteous; that his thoughts are blessing all those with whom he comes in contact. In all his relations Christly tolerance, born of an understanding of the nothingness of the seeming power which error claims to wield over mortals, and of a dawning vision of the real man, incapable of sin, disease, and death, forms his judgments of his brother and of himself.

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Joy in Temptation
March 20, 1926

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