Motive power is the force that impels action. Mary Baker Eddy links it with will in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where, on page 597, she defines "will" in part thus: "The motive-power of error; mortal belief; animal power. The might and wisdom of God." If one's motives are inspired by God, the one Mind, they express His will, and they lead on to the accomplishment of good works. If they derive from self-interest, they express human will, and they lead to destructive action and empty despair. Consequently it is vastly important that we demonstrate God's power to silence mortal motives whenever they appear, that we bring to a dead stop through Science the evil that would claim to motivate actions and make men appear to be less than God's image.

Mrs. Eddy gives the basis for demonstrating true motive power as the only activating force when she writes (ibid., p. 490), "Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as the motive-powers of man." Working from this basis, one brings his motives into accord with the divine will, and he is enabled to prove that his right motives can be neither obstructed nor discredited, since they are inseparable from God. With this basis in thought one can also prove that any evil claiming to operate through mortals has no motive power; hence no impelling desire to destroy, no design for negative action, no ability to act, to execute, to carry out wicked determinations. Eliphaz the Temanite must have glimpsed the provableness of the fact that real motive power belongs to God, for he said (Job 5:12), "He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise."

When Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, the evil that seemed to possess him was stopped in its tracks, so to speak. The Christ was manifested in his experience as a powerful, illuminating animus that robbed evil of its motive power. Paul could no longer act from a false basis. He was impelled to give up human will, "the motive-power of error," and yield to the will of God, embodied in His Christ. So complete was the change which took place in Paul's thinking that his subsequent contribution to the establishment of a Christian society was inestimable. He could say later (Acts 24: 16), "Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men."

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July 4, 1953

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