IN the fourteenth chapter of Ezekiel we find these words: "Son of man, these men have . . . put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face." The prophet then darkly pictures the result of this act. This metaphor vividly portrays the status of the human mind in its attitude toward Truth. It may be asked, What is its iniquity? Simply the belief in something other than God, another creator, having power, authority, substance, and that other something which it names matter,— this is the stumbling-block.
Christian Science points distinctly to the fact that the true modus of living is mental, spiritual, and from within, but mortal man through ages of false education is prone to reverse this order. He lives either altogether or for the most part from without. His gaze is outward. Nothing is real to him but what he sees, hears, feels, tastes, or smells with the five senses. Matter is supposed to feed, clothe, and shelter him. It must furnish him with pleasure and satisfaction. It must contribute largely to his taste for beauty and harmony. It constitutes his wealth. It is his treasure-house of supply. In his ignorance of the allness of Mind and its manifestation, of good and its perfect effect, he thus sets up the stumbling-block of iniquitous material belief, and in its dark shadow knows not at what he stumbles.
But no matter what the seeming may be, Truth is the only real thing to the human consciousness at all times, and some ray of its light is sure to find entrance. The verdict of the wise man, "All is vanity," begins sooner or later to creep into the heart of every dweller in materiality; and as the mortal awakens somewhat, he begins to realize that the world and "the things that are in the world" cry "Peace, peace; when there is no peace." Then Christ, Truth, whispers: "The kingdom of God is within you;" "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." At this point Christian Science comes and boldly declares that the stumbling-block is but a substanceless shadow, cast by a lie about God, and that by the scientific process of correcting the lie, the shadow will grow less and less, until it finally disappears; that when mortals fully awake to the truth of being they find there is no stumbling-block, not even a shadow of one.