Recent events have, for many, given the word "defense" an unusual importance, tinged perhaps with anxiety and apprehension. But when we as Christian Scientists inquire into its real meaning we find that since God is good and God is All, and man is His veritable image, there is, in reality, nothing against which man needs to be defended. We discern, too, that realization of this spiritual fact constitutes, in human experience, impregnable defense against supposed evil of any kind. We see that the real man is never in danger and never fears. It is only the false belief about man that is accompanied by fear, the belief that man is at the mercy of matter, and that he lives in a material and dangerous world. If we accept the false belief, we feel the fear also.

It is obvious that complete protection against believing what is false is found in the knowledge of what is true. The Bible records that Moses appointed cities of refuge to which those hard pressed by danger might flee and find safety. We too have a refuge, when the false claims of sin, disease, and death seem to press upon us, where we may unfailingly find security and peace. This refuge is not material, nor in some distant place; it is here, now and forever, the divine consciousness, the knowledge of God, the kingdom of heaven within. This place of spiritual understanding is unassailable. We learn to turn to it with certainty and joy for refuge from every discord of human sense, and we never seek its sanctuary in vain.

Since our safety lies in knowing God and His idea as infinite and all-inclusive, it is apparent that the only enemy is false belief, and the only danger is in accepting false belief as true. The belief that man is separate from God, Mind, and can therefore be identified with that which is unlike Him, with mortal mind, is the basic falsehood. Jesus never identified himself with mortal mind. "The 'man of sorrows' knew that the man of joys, his spiritual self, or Christ, was the Son of God; and that the mortal mind, not the immortal Mind, suffered," Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 84). If mortal mind suffers, shall we condemn ourselves to suffer with it? Divine knowing nullifies the belief of a human person, of a man partly spiritual and partly material, for divine knowing demonstrates man's oneness with God and identifies him as Mind's infinite idea.

The Rod of God
September 19, 1942

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