Control, not Excess

In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 353) Mrs. Eddy writes, "Human concepts run in extremes; they are like the action of sickness, which is either an excess of action or not action enough; they are fallible; they are neither standards nor models." These words apply also to the human extremes of self-righteousness and self-condemnation, which masquerade as pleasant, or else depressing. Hypocrisy is the veil cast over unrecognized sin, and Jesus rebuked it in these words: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."

Christian Science points away from excess to spiritual control. It quickens spiritual sense through the gain of spiritual understanding. Then what are called temperamental traits, self-indulgence, excess in work or play, laxity in ways sanctioned or not sanctioned by human codes, are unmasked as contradictions of man's Godlike nature.

Mere human codes justify their own low level, and so long as human self-justification is entertained there is little opening for spiritual emancipation. Humanity consents to the stigma of imperfection, limitation, failure, and sometimes allows these impostors to pose as virtues. Therefore, before divine control can take the place of error and excess, one must have reached the point in his experience where he desires this control, resolves to co-operate with it, and admits that it is possible to achieve it. Putting aside pride and fear, he must be willing to place himself under the protection of God's beneficent and universal power. God is supreme and infinite, and His likeness has no foe.

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September 5, 1936

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