"Onward, Christian soldiers"!

Without doubt, one of the most amazing orders ever given to a body of men and women, from the human point of view, was that which fell from the lips of Moses when the Israelites found themselves at the Red Sea, hotly pursued by the hosts of Pharaoh. Escape on all sides was apparently cut off: forward they certainly could not go, backward they could not turn; and yet Moses, at the bidding of divine intelligence, commanded them to "go forward"! Was there ever a command seemingly so impossible to obey? One can almost hear the derisive laughter of the harassed company as they surveyed their desperate situation and then contemplated the sure destruction that would follow if Moses' order were obeyed. Was ever a leader so devoid of common sense? some may have shouted; and others may have asked, Why follow such a leader? Possibly some may have promptly withdrawn from the company, announcing that they could progress better if not encumbered by the "organization." Indeed, they may have felt quite sure that they had "outgrown organization," only to find, when separated from the host of Israel and left to the devices of their own feeble human wills, that they had wandered straight back into the camp of the Egyptians. But what of those who obediently followed their great leader? Before their very eyes was the seemingly insurmountable barrier removed; and through the sea, on dry land, triumphantly marched Israel.

Earth's actors change, but the great drama of human existence is apparently ever the same. To-day, as in Moses' time, one finds mankind sighing beneath the lash of its taskmasters. The modern Israelite is not commanded to make bricks without straw, but is confronted with the equally difficult task of bringing out health, harmony, and satisfaction with the working tools and materials of human theories, material health laws, and purely material concepts of man and the universe. And what is the result? the kingdom of heaven, harmony, ushered into the hearts and experiences of men and nations? Mankind knows full well the sorrowful answer. Material sense, earth's relentless taskmaster, in its ignorance of Spirit still causes mortals "to serve with rigour," and to-day, as of yore, still makes "their lives bitter with hard bondage."

But, as in the earlier drama, a deliverer and Leader has appeared; and a multitude has followed Mrs. Eddy's Godgiven revelation of Truth, and come out, in large measure, from the bondage of sickness and false appetite, lack and sin and sorrow. Banded together in a great Christian army, the followers of Mary Baker Eddy have started toward the promised land of complete triumph over all materiality, sin, and death, under the banner of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Is the way to this promised land strewn with roses and lined with cheering throngs? Do the soldiers of this great twentieth-century exodus hear from the bystander and onlooker, even though he call himself a fellow Christian, shouts of encouragement and approval? Usually quite the contrary. Thousands of years have intervened since the plains of Egypt shook with the tread of Israel's marching feet, but the carnal mind is still the carnal mind. He who forsakes the old order, turns from the commonly accepted material methods of doctoring, thinking, and living, and seeks a higher and more spiritual modus, to-day, as before, meets with mockery, ridicule, and venom. And so it is that again and again modern Israel, the great Church of Christ, Scientist, may find itself at Red seas, or in waterless deserts, or confronted with or pursued by ruthless enemies; but the watchword is ever the same: "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." And as they move forward in unity, in gratitude, and in consecration, the waves of opposition part before them, their enemies are discomfited, the manna of heavenly sustaining appears, and waters of fresh inspiration gush along the path.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

April 28, 1928

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.