"Who shall ascend?"

"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" asked the Psalmist. Answering his own question, he tells us it is "he that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully." Here, then, are the requirements before we can attain, and retain, that spiritual height whereby we discern man's unity with God.

The hill of the Lord is, indeed, an exalted state of consciousness,—a mental altitude where vision is unobstructed by material sense. Even to attain to this height momentarily brings an unspeakable blessing; as our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 14), "Become conscious for a single moment that life and intelligence are purely spiritual,—neither in nor of matter,—and the body will then utter no complaints." It is, therefore, the realization that Life, God, is "neither in nor of matter" that raises thought to "the hill of the Lord;" and to ascend it, one must have "clean hands, and a pure heart." His grasp of God as divine Principle must be unalloyed with false doctrines; his heart, which Mrs. Eddy defines as "mortal feelings, motives, affections, joys, and sorrows" (Science and Health, p. 587), must be purified; and his material sense of man must be replaced by spiritual understanding.

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To ascend thus "the hill of the Lord" is a glorious thing. But, having ascended, who then "shall stand in his holy place?" Who shall be able to remain there? Only he who answers to God's demand for "absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire" (Science and Health, p. 3); a state of consciousness which it may seem hard for us to realize, yet a goal which is ever before humanity, and to which men become more and more eager to attain as the pure joys of Soul, which are theirs with each ascent, awaken them to dissatisfaction with the counterfeit pleasures of material sense.

But, say some, how are we to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts? How are we to grasp the truth in its purity, and learn to love it rather than the falsehood of impure belief? The rest of David's answer points the way; for this is found possible in proportion as one is found "who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. For long generations mortals have imagined vain things. They have set for themselves false standards; have bowed down to their own belief in them; have appointed themselves to teach others these human doctrines; and have attempted to put God and heaven a long way off. But it is not necessary to believe these falsehoods. The truth given to us over nineteen hundred years ago by Christ Jesus, but seemingly understood by comparatively few of his followers, stands again revealed to this age through the life and writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. All who will may commence the study and practice of her teaching, and gain for themselves the "signs following," which prove it to be of God. Through the application of Christian Science we can begin at once to retrace our false steps, to reverse the testimony of material sense, and be willing to learn of God. This state of consciousness attained, we are ready to commence the ascent of "the hill of the Lord;" and through it we find the pathway of righteousness,—right thinking and living,—which leads to salvation from false education, enabling us to stand fast forever "in his holy place."

"Thou shalt not covet"
September 29, 1923

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