"If the goodman ... had known"

The need for watchfulness against the entrance of error into our mental household is so self-evident to Christian metaphysicians as to have become axiomatic; for only by watching against these encroachments are we safeguarded against the efforts of evil to gain ascendancy by securing control of our thoughts. Christ Jesus, master of parable, in admonishing his disciples to watch for the coming of the Lord, uttered a most timely caution. "But know this," he exhorted them, "that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up."

How appealingly does Jesus in these words set forth the need for watchfulness in order to guard our thoughts against the acceptance of that which is false! If we admit the false, the evil, into consciousness, it becomes to us real; that is, we have accepted its claims to reality as true, and are, to the extent of our acceptance, its victim. Had we been on watch, carefully discriminating between good and evil, and shutting out all unlike good, the thief of our peace and happiness—erroneous belief, the archenemy of our spiritual progress—would never have gained admission to our mental home. The goodman of the parable, had he known how, could have guarded his mental gates so strongly that the theif of his peace could never have entered. How? By dwelling in the conscious presence of infinite Love. Did not the bard of Israel declare, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"? Surely, abiding in conscious realization of God's presence precludes the possibility of any false belief, of anything unlike good, passing the portals of our thought.

Effective watching is the examination of our own mental habits and the casting out, eliminating, of all unlike good. It is the watching within. This is what Mrs. Eddy has so convincingly set forth on pages 232 and 233 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany." On the latter page she states, "One should watch to know what his errors are; and if this watching destroys his peace in error, should one watch against such a result?" And she emphatically answers, "He should not." Thus definitely does our Leader rebuke the effort which would cause us to seek peace and harmony in wrong, in holding to that which is false and unreal. Our effectual watch should be against every phase of error, against receiving it into thought, and the holding to it after the character of its claims is once recognized. Right watchfulness, then, is that which examines all thoughts which present themselves at our mental gates, admitting only those which are genuine and true.

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Healing Disease and Sin
December 8, 1928

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