"Give me a man"

There is a cartoon by Blake in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which is remarkable both for the artist and the metaphysician. It portrays the scene of combat between David and Goliath as recorded in the seventeenth chapter of I Samuel. As in all of Blake's work, there is an element of the grotesque and much that is fantastic in the picture, and yet the idealism presented is illuminating and in a degree prophetic, at any rate to the Christian Scientist. In the foreground stands the huge and repulsive figure of Goliath, who has almost the aspect of the giant of fairy tales. In one hand he grasps a mighty staff, while the other is apparently extended in fury. Beside him stands his shield bearer, the great shield embossed with the figure of a serpent. Behind him are the tents of his fellow warriors; while on the opposite side of the picture are the Israelitish soldiers. Midway between these two groups stands a slight and almost girlish figure, wrapped in a mantle, and holding a shepherd's crook. This is David. What is most interesting and arresting in the picture is the artist's representation of David as seeming not to see his opponent Goliath at all. Though looking towards him, he is gazing right through him, as it were, and the calm and poise of his posture are magnificent. There is still another feature which arrests thought and hints a prophecy. The face of David is as the face of a woman, young and fair, and yet withal mature in many respects.

The words on page 268 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" come at once to thought: "In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth to battle with Goliath." How truly the heroic Leader of Christian Science stood against the Goliath of materiality when she alone—one woman alone—sent forth her battle cry (ibid., p. 468): "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all"!

Looking again at the picture, one feels that Goliath is in the act of hurling his challenge at the armies of Israel: "Give me a man, that we may fight together." There is a profound lesson to be learned in pondering these words and the reply they drew from David. Let us, therefore, consider them more closely. As of old, the demand of Goliath, or animal magnetism, is always and to each one of us, "Give me a man, that we may fight together": in other words, give me personal conflict, based on the sense of personality, or personal sense. That is the only way in which Goliath can attack or overcome us. He needs a target at which he can aim; and the conflict, if it should come, requires of us only that we remove the target, eliminate the false sense of self, the belief in a self apart from God. That is the only thing Goliath can touch. He did not say, Give me God's idea, give me God's man, because he is impotent before God's idea. He could not cognize it, and could not know how to fight it. But his cry was, Give me a man, in the sense of a mortal.

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A Clear Title
November 30, 1935

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