The effect of courage

Originally published in the 1918 pamphlet titled “Courage”

Never, perhaps, in the history of the world has there been a greater demand upon moral courage than at the present day. In the midst of peaceable avocations the call has come to many in almost every part of the world to prepare to do battle with the forces of arrogance, self-righteousness, and pride; and to respond calmly, even exultantly, as many have done, requires a serene courage begotten of a knowledge of fundamental Principle.

As courage is necessary in the fight for right, it is indispensable in the utterance of truth. Mary Baker Eddy knew this as few have known it. Her life was a long and victorious battle with the forces of evil, fought in an age when materialism might be said to be reaching its zenith. Here experience was, therefore, of the ripest, and her words convey the wisdom of that experience. “It requires courage,” Mrs. Eddy wrote, “to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion” (Science and Health, p. 97).

Courage increases as fear diminishes. Fear paralyzes effort in the exact proportion in which the human mind entertains it. Fear, if unchecked, binds a man as completely as if he were tied with cables of steel. It robs him of the power of initiative, making him liable to every danger, and at the same time causing him to become a positive burden to all with whom he may be associated. Everybody knows this, for there is not a single human being who has not experienced the effects of fear upon himself and observed its action on others. Similarly, everybody knows the effect of moral courage. It is literally life to a man. It is the comrade of strength and endurance. It is necessary to all valiant effort directed by the consciousness of right against the false beliefs of men in the reality and power of evil.

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