"He opened not his mouth"

One of the great lessons of the Bible is contained in the simple statement made concerning Jesus as he stood accused before his persecutors preceding his crucifixion. Mark's Gospel records (15:3). "He answered nothing." Of this occasion Mary Baker Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 48): "Judas had the world's weapons. Jesus had not one of them, and chose not the world's means of defence. 'He opened not his mouth.' " The lesson for all humanity is (John 18:11), "Put up thy sword." How many times daily do we draw it, in the flare of resentment, the resistance of human will, the whining of self-justification, the rebellion of pride. The world's weapons of defense, all of them! Yet the real man needs no defense, and there is no other man. No persecution of material sense can touch the man of God's creating any more than it touched the Christ, represented by Jesus. So why not begin the conquering of personal sense, which is all that ever argues for self-defense. Accusations, condemnation criticism, or recriminations are never directed towards man, who is the son of God, and cannot be registered on the consciousness of that one who is seeing himself and his brother man as in reality the sons of God, ideas of Mind.

It is surprising how quickly "a soft answer turneth away wrath" (Prov. 15:1), and what a glow of satisfaction the use of such spiritual weapons as love and calmness in the face of temptation brings to the alert one. That individual who is truly master, under God, of his own thinking is protected from every false and erroneous influence calling itself the thought or action of another. The greatest peace known to earth is found in the dominion which comes from knowing evil as wholly impersonal, nothing. This dominion is found through self-abnegation—the willingness to relinquish a material sense of selfhood for one's spiritual identity. Speaking of such relinquishment, as manifested by Jesus, Mrs. Eddy writes in "No and Yes" (p. 36), "It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death."

How quickly do the pictures of a wounded and persecuted self fade into oblivion when we have learned the secret of this spiritual retreat to a higher selfhood. How poised, serene, and lovingly compassionate becomes our viewpoint in the security of this retreat. There ceases to be anything to forgive in thought purified of self-love, and we long to comfort even those who may have sought to injure us.

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The Real Body
March 16, 1946

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