"The axe is laid unto the root"

In heralding the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah, John the Baptist cried (Matt. 3:10), "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Christ Jesus reiterated this teaching throughout his ministry, stating that every plant which his Father had not planted would be rooted up; also that he who did not abide in the Christ, Truth, would, as a severed branch, wither and be cast into the fire.

Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, refers with some variations no less than ten times to the quotation which heads this article. In her book "Miscellaneous Writings" she writes (p. 37): "Christian Science lays the axe at the root of the tree. Its antidote for all ills is God the perfect Mind, which corrects mortal thought, whence cometh all evil. God can and does destroy the thought that leads to moral or physical death. Intemperance, impurity, sin of every sort, is destroyed by Truth."

Why, one may ask, is so much stress laid on the necessity of attacking evil at its very roots? Why not destroy it only as it is manifested in our daily lives as discord of all kinds? Simply because we learn from experience that nipping off the twigs of error's tree is not enough. Pruning a tree tends to make it grow. Likewise, merely making one's sense of life in matter comfortable and easy by pruning off what is bothersome increases the belief in the reality of matter.

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"An house not made with hands"
August 3, 1946

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