Thoreau wrote, "Only that day dawns to which we are awake." Many of us may at times have groped blindly in the darkness, until some light appeared to give us instant confidence. But all have not yet found that the ignorance which would mislead thought and link it with fear can be dispelled as the Christ-idea dawns in consciousness, revealing the unchanging truth of eternal Life and Love. Yet this privilege is available to each one at this moment. However, as it is impossible for us to see the dawn without opening our eyes, so to gain our rightful inheritance as His beloved children we must awaken to the understanding of God's merciful kindness, and claim those blessings prepared for all who will acknowledge and seek Him.
The teaching of Christian Science shows us that the only real universe is spiritual, embracing joy, peace, abundance, and that all spiritual good is forever expressed through the creation or reflection of our Father-Mother God. This truth must become apparent to the human consciousness, which has accepted a false sense of the reality of discord, disease, sin, and woe.
Since the realization of the goodness and power of God grows clearer when eagerly sought, it may seem strange that there could arise any doubt or dismay to becloud our thought. But we find that the carnal mind, which claims presence and power, resists being dispossessed of its false authority. Daily the necessity arises of repudiating this so-called power, disguised as self-indulgence, malice, jealousy, hate, and fear, by overcoming every temptation to entertain its false suggestions. The sincere effort to replace wrong beliefs with God's ideas is always rewarded as divine Love becomes clearer and dearer to us, and our complete confidence is held steadily to the truth that nothing is real that is unlike Love.
In the Gospel of John we are told, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The master Christian knew that this light has always been shining, pure and resistless, and that any mist that arises to obscure it is an illusion which intelligent spiritual understanding will penetrate and destroy. In the midst of persecution, chilling repudiation of his wonderful teaching, and even crucifixion, Jesus was ever conscious of his dominion, rejoicing in it and rejecting any suggestion of evil. He denounced the false thinking which would envelop him or his followers, confident that it was no part of reality. The way in which he worked was so original that few understood enough of it to follow his example, and his revelation of true living and loving was temporarily lost.
The darkest hour is before the break of day; and so it was when mankind, steeped in materiality and superstition, was struggling under the ban of condemnation to sin, sickness, and death. Our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, who saw through this maze of wrong theories, and to whom the truth was clearly revealed, gave her discovery to the world. She writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 354), "The night of materiality is far spent, and with the dawn Truth will waken men spiritually to hear and to speak the new tongue."
Those who have searched for and gained in Christian Science a better understanding of God must be ready to obey Paul's admonition to the Ephesians: "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." When one has been aroused, through a glimpse of the Christ-idea, from the dream of satisfaction or discontent in matter, much purifying of selfish motives is still necessary to enable him to walk in the light. Discouragement may attempt to cloud his thinking. He may face a testing time when the way becomes dark and lonely, when he cannot go back to the old method of seeking help, and yet would be persuaded to think he does not know enough to go on.
The Bible story of Job's trials has been an inspiration to many. Job experienced an almost total reversal when all that he valued seemed to be swept away from him—health, family, and possessions. No consolation was afforded him through the sympathy of mortal mind, but when the true appreciation of God's unchanging goodness appeared to him he said, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee," and he was blessed with more than he had had before.
A student of Christian Science who had received much physical healing when the truth first dawned on her thought, went forward for several years with the harmonious, quick adjustment of many problems. As she looks back, she can see that she did not then realize the sacred privilege of letting the divine plan unfold for each day, but allowed the habit of materially outlining what she and others should do, to grow upon her thought and interfere with her spiritual advancement. When a trial came, as a prolonged case of fever, she admitted a deep feeling of self-condemnation. But the light of the Christ, Truth, shone through the fog of wrong thinking, clearer and brighter, until the illness disappeared. The truth of man's perfection, affirmed lovingly and clung to persistently, brought the conviction that the error was no part of her real self. This lesson taught the need of listening in quiet for the "still small voice" of Love to guide her steps.
The gloom and shadow cast by self-will or self-pity are no part of one's true selfhood. Testing times are times for rejoicing, as one is entering the promised land of Christian Science, the demands of which are exact, though gentle and just. Our Leader writes (ibid., p. 191): "As a material, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misapprehension of existence, the spiritual and divine Principle of man dawns upon human thought, and leads it to 'where the young child was,'—even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus the whole earth will be transformed by Truth on its pinions of light, chasing away the darkness of error."
The spiritual light comes as one expresses humility and compassion, and suppresses egotism. The solving of our problems is according to the honesty with which we vanquish the wrong theories of existence, and the sincerity we use in uprooting the weeds of error and replacing them with the sturdy plants of wisdom and love. The reward will be a clearer understanding and strength to resist any attempt of error to eclipse the new-found joy.
God created man perfect and unchanging, and as we realize this present perfection we are equipped to help others, who seek our ministrations, to gain health and freedom. A sacred trust is committed to us to follow our Leader as she obeyed the commands of Christ Jesus. His healing precepts spiritualized her thought, and she had such complete conviction that no claim of animal magnetism could make her falter, or doubt that health is a divine reality, a state of Mind, and that all evil is illusion.
In the moral chemicalization which is taking place in the world today, it may seem that in some instances legitimate government is being undermined by compulsory medical theories, and that human inventions are being used to destroy mankind. This is but the mist that would darken the dawn of Truth. We can rejoice that disasters can be avoided through undeviating adherence to the truths of Christian Science. Let us pray humbly and with expectancy, knowing that the new day has dawned. Let us with spiritual vision continue our emergence from the shadows of material sense.
"The Christ is here, all dreams of error
Unloosing bonds of all captivity."