"A wise idea"

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE teaches that the reality of good appears as the claims of evil are destroyed by the law of divine Love. This law thus affords a defense to spiritual qualities such as innocence, purity, righteousness, kindness, while evil and sin, which would prey upon good, are annihilated by spiritual law.

Through the study of the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, we learn how to apply the law of God. Under the marginal heading "The serpent harmless," Mrs. Eddy writes (ibid., p. 515), "The serpent of God's creating is neither subtle nor poisonous, but is a wise idea, charming in its adroitness, for Love's ideas are subject to the Mind which forms them,-the power which changeth the serpent into a staff." As related in Exodus, when "Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, ... as the Lord had commanded," and Aaron's rod swallowed the rods of the magicians, evil was shown to be a pretense of subtlety and mystery, posing as a complicated and overwhelming reality, only to fade into nothingness when confronted by an understanding of God's presence and power.

Referring to the earlier stage of Moses' experience, our Leader says (Science and Health, p. 321): "When, led by wisdom to cast down his rod, he saw it become a serpent. Moses fled before it; but wisdom bade him come back and handle the serpent, and then Moses' fear departed. In this incident was seen the actuality of Science. Matter was shown to be a belief only." Farther on in the same paragraph she says, "The illusion of Moses lost its power to alarm him, when he discovered that what he apparently saw was really but a phase of mortal belief." As in Moses' time, so today evil tries to make us afraid of the shapes it assumes, so that we shall examine it no further, but try to run or hide from it. Some feel that if only they can change their location or environment, all will be well. Others may believe that indifference to world conditions will bring peace, or that fear is eliminated by so-called material security. Those who have tried these ways have seen them fail, but those who, like Moses, obediently return to handle error have practical proof of security in divine Love's ever-presence.

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"Painless progress"
August 9, 1941

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