The writer who said, "Consistency is a paste jewel that only cheap men cherish," turned a neat counterphrase on a well-known saying, but he did so at the expense of a truism, a truism which has been expressed endlessly, but never more powerfully than in Paul's "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Hebr. 13:8). This word consistency may seem to have contradictory connotations, but in its truly scientific sense it means being right and going ahead accordingly. Happily the Christian Scientist can know too much to waste time and effort on what Ralph Waldo Emerson called "a foolish consistency." As a disciple of the Master he can increasingly shape his demonstration of Christ into that sameness, that undeviating practice of the truth he proclaims.
This spiritual radicalism became to Isaiah a voice behind him saying (30:21), "This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." Immutability is a quality properly attributable to God, but the deific changelessness is not a static condition. The undeviating goodness of God as expressed in His works, man including the universe, must also be an infinite variation, and endless newness which testifies not to fixity, but to the ceaseless motion of Mind. The returning spring means not only revival but origination. Divine origination is the crying need of individuals and movements. Consistently growth comes not out of death, but out of the spontaneity of Life, God.
The great inconsistency of the ages has been the attributing of the finite to the infinite. Brahmanism holds that the world of matter is unreal, illusion, yet that Brahma or Deity made it; hence that the only escape from the illusory external world is absorption in Deity. Such impersonalization would inevitably bring about obliteration, and such impersonality, if attainable, would be oblivion.