Dispossessing Error

Familiar to many is the story of the Spartan boy who had stolen a fox and concealed it beneath his tunic. It was related as greatly to the lad's credit, judged by the standard of the Spartans, that rather than betray himself he endured without a murmur the pain of being bitten by the fox.

The Stoic philosophy held that men should be impassive, unsubdued by pleasure, grief, or pain. It enabled its adherents to bear physical hardships with great fortitude. They cultivated a stolid indifference to sense-testimony, but were far from rising above it through spiritual understanding, as did the early Christians. Of the Christian martyrs Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 388): "Through the uplifting and consecrating power of divine Truth, they obtained a victory over the corporeal senses, a victory which Science alone can explain. Stolidity, which is a resisting state of mortal mind, suffers less, only because it knows less of material law." Christian Science explains the true overcoming by showing the unreality of evil conditions.

There is an instructive analogy between the situation of the Spartan boy and that of anyone who is entertaining an aggressive mental suggestion, some gnawing, persistent, false belief that preys upon him. Each has something which does not belong to him, and which should not be retained. The garment of false pride—of which the seamy side is shame—sometimes covers a condition which needs to be uncovered for its correction. The robe of self-righteousness is sometimes proudly worn by one who likes to think of himself as a secretly suffering martyr.

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Timely Action
April 28, 1934

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