WHEN Joshua stood before the congregations of Israel and uttered his stirring words, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell," he sent forth an admonition that Christians of to-day may well ponder with prayerful sincerity.
The children of Israel had left behind them the Egyptian gods, and had progressed by ascending steps beyond the aggressive foes manifesting themselves as Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Jebusites. According to the promises, the wicked nations, mightier and stronger than they, had been driven out before them. They had reached the promised land, the place in which they were free to serve God according to their highest understanding. But there was still a choice to be made; for the gods of the Amorites, in whose land they dwelt, presented a subtle temptation to them.
The story of Israel's mighty conquests under the inspired leadership of the valiant Joshua is a record thrilling enough in itself to be worthy of careful perusal. Considered in the light of Christian Science it affords many valuable lessons and examples. Like the Israelites of old we, too, have set out to reach the promised land—we have started on our journey from sense to Soul. In obedience to our Leader's words in the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 41) we pray each day, "Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" We turned away from the gods which were "on the other side of the flood" when we became earnest Christian Scientists. Each victory over sin, sickness, limitation—error of whatever nature—marks the destruction of some of the false claims that would obstruct our progress. But our prayer is to be rid of all sin —all error, every phase of material belief that would oppose itself to the supremacy of God. The command still is to smite and utterly destroy them.