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"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you,"...

From the August 1914 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"WHEN the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you," Mrs. Eddy writes on page 495 of Science and Health, "cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness [the perfect man] to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not." Doubt and fear are the tools most skilfully plied by the one evil, but if we are quick to recognize them for what they are, their points are dulled and their efforts to disturb the harmony which is the birthright of God's children are nullified. Perhaps it is the beginner in Christian Science who is thus assailed, or it may be one who has proved the love and goodness of the all-Father again and again: these subtle emissaries of the one evil are ever on the alert. "Why is my healing delayed?" the sufferer asks. "I have done all that was required of me, and still am not healed." If we hold fast to the unchangeable fact that with God there is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning," therefore this Science which is of God has the same fixed quality, at least one point is clear. The Principle of Christian Science, God Himself, is infallible. Then the reason for failure lies in our application of the Principle.

It is related in the gospel of Luke that a certain ruler sought out the Master to ask of him how he might obtain the boon of eternal life. It would seem from the text that he was what is commonly termed a moral man—he had kept the commandments from his youth up, he protested. But the great Teacher, who knew the thoughts of men, said to him, "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." This requirement was the touchstone which revealed the weak spot in the ruler's otherwise irreproachable presentment. Moral? Unquestionably so; but we read that "when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich." The love of money weighed heavier in the balance than did his desire for eternal life, and so he turned away from that which would have secured to him treasure "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."

The lesson conveyed by this incident is of wide application. There are many other things than a desire to hold on to worldly possessions which may keep a man out of the kingdom, things he might perhaps be quite as reluctant to part with even if he knew they were barring his progress toward health and happiness. "Who can understand his errors?" was David's humble acknowledgment, and then came the earnest appeal, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults." No one need feel ashamed to offer this prayer. Rich or poor, practitioner or patient, we must not shrink from the test which will determine our worthiness to receive the answer to our prayer which we crave. We must put ourselves right with God if we would share in His bounty.

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