Divine Comfort

Doubt was absent from the thought of the psalmist when he wrote, "Thou shalt ... comfort me on every side." Whatever the trouble might seem to be, the comfort of the God of Israel was ever at hand to compensate, console, soothe, cheer, and revive. To those living under the present-day dispensation of Christian Science, it is nothing less than wonderful to think that in those far-off days the love of God was so understood by some as to be practically available for them.

As the Scriptures show, this availability of the goodness of God became a very real thing to some of the prophets, as the truth about the Christ, Truth, crystallized in their thought. It was Isaiah who addressed the people in the words: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned;" and, again: "The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek ... to comfort all that mourn." The voice was the same as that which afterwards spoke more authoritatively through the Master, Jesus the Christ himself, saying, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."

Every utterance which testified to the fact that God could, and actually did, comfort mankind implied a definite understanding of God's nature, and the presence of certain spiritual qualities in the individual comforted. The words of Jesus, when he comforted his disciples, as it is recorded in the fourteenth chapter of John's gospel, are noteworthy in this respect. "If ye love me, keep my commandments," he said. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth." The keeping of his commandments was precedent to the coming of the Comforter to them,—the Comforter who was "even the Spirit of truth." After Christ Jesus had passed from their midst, great spiritual illumination came to the early church at Pentecost. It was "the Spirit of truth," which in fuller measure descended upon them. Comforted and strengthened thereby, the apostles set about establishing the Christian religion in the lands whereto they were led.

Now, "the Spirit of truth" never entirely left the world at any period in its history. Even in the darkest times since the days of the early Christian church, there have been evidences of its presence. It could not be otherwise, since God is ever present as the divine Principle of the universe. Often, however, the lamp of truth seemed to burn very low indeed. To remedy this a great discovery had to be made, a discovery not contradictory to the revelation of God as given by Jesus the Christ, but confirmatory of it; and, moreover, progressive in its nature. Christ Jesus brought to the early church "the Spirit of truth" in rich measure; but it was only when Christian Science was discovered that it was revealed to men what, exactly, was meant by "another Comforter," which would "abide with you for ever." How is this? Because Christian Science reveals the Science of "the Spirit of truth," the Science of spiritual being, and sets forth the spiritual law through which spiritual being is made manifest. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 55): "In the words of St. John: 'He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.' This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science."

How, then, does Christian Science comfort; and who are those whom its comfort reaches? First of all, Christian Science brings to mankind a perfectly clear and truthful message as to the nature of God. It is absolutely necessary that men should know the truth about God, if they would be divinely comforted. Christian Science reveals God to be Love,—infinite, unlimited, impartial, immortal Love. Christian Science does not qualify that statement in the slightest degree. But, as yet, how faintly has its meaning been realized by men! Still, to begin to know that God is infinite Love, and, consequently, infinitely good, is a great comfort in itself; for does it not tend to awaken mankind to the mesmerism of material sense, or evil, with all its unloveliness? Referring to the greatness and goodness of God, Mrs. Eddy writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 124): "For 'who is so great a God as our God!' unchangeable, all-wise, all-just, all-merciful; the ever-loving, ever-living Life, Truth, Love: comforting such as mourn, opening the prison doors to the captive, marking the unwinged bird, pitying with more than a father's pity; healing the sick, cleansing the leper, raising the dead, saving sinners." In these words our beloved Leader gives a vivid picture of the ineffable love of God, portraying its efficacy in cleansing, saving, pitying, protecting, comforting, and healing.

Who shall receive these blessings? It must be obvious that it is not God who limits the bestowal of them upon any one. He who is not being healed and comforted must look within himself for the explanation. There is some fault to be remedied; some unlovely false thinking to be rectified; some phase of material egotism to be overcome. "No one can change the law of Christian metaphysics, the law of right thinking, nor in any wise alter its effects," Mrs. Eddy has written in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 41). "It is a forever fact that the meek and lowly in heart are blessed and comforted by divine Love. If the proud are lonely and uncomforted, it is because they have thoughts adverse to the law of love." The secret of divine comfort, then, is to be found in the knowledge of good, and in humility. Humility is the master key which opens wide the doors into the kingdom of heaven, wherein dwells the comfort of freedom from sin, evidenced in harmony, peace, joy, and health.

Duncan Sinclair.

"Practice not profession"
June 24, 1922

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