The Law of God Applied to Human Affairs
Louise Knight Wheatley Cook, C.S.B., of Kansas City, Missouri
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Mrs. Louise Knight Wheatley Cook, C.S.B., of Kansas City, Missouri, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science: The Law of God Applied to Human Affairs," last night, under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul Streets.
The lecturer was introduced by Ralph B. Scholfield, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
I am glad to welcome you here this evening on behalf of the members of this church. The title of the lecture which we are to hear is "Christian Science: The Law of God Applied to Human Affairs."
In my early experience of Christian Science I discovered two facts which still stand out most clearly in my memory. The first of these was that Christian Scientists, having comprehended that God, Love or Spirit is infinite and omnipotent, hold fast to that fact and accept it without reservation or compromise.
The second fact that I discovered was that the logic of Christian Science is irrefutable, and that it is thoroughly satisfying even though it does not always agree with the testimony of the five senses. The more I studied these two points the more I understood that Christian Science is actually opening our vision to the law of God, and making this law available to all who obey it. As a result of this study I was healed of much sickness, guided in my work and found an ever-present help in time of trouble. I learned too that God's law is not merely a passive regulation, such as a statute written in a book, but rather a divine energy or operative force producing now and forever health, life and good.
Our lecturer this evening will tell us more of this great law of God and its application to human affairs; and I have much pleasure in introducing to you Mrs. Louise Knight Wheatley Cook of Kansas City, Missouri, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Many centuries ago, a man stood in the midst of Mars' hill and gave to the people of his time a reason for the hope that was in him. From Paul's day to this, it has always been accounted a joyous privilege to speak in behalf of what one knows to be true. Faith, or blind belief, may be shaken: but when one has actually felt the healing and transforming touch of Christian Science he no longer says merely, "I believe." He says, "I know. I know that my redeemer liveth,'" because that saving and redeeming power has already been made manifest in his own individual experience.
There are doubtless many here tonight who could tell of the blessings which have come into their lives through Christian Science. I am glad that they are here. But I am equally glad to feel that there are some others also who may, as yet, know very little about it. In fact, I hope there are some with us who are attending a Christian Science lecture for the first time. If there be but one such present, to that one I speak, well knowing what this brief hour may mean to him if his thought be open and receptive to the truth of Christian Science.
In these strange, difficult days of the world's unrest, is it not entirely worthwhile to know of a system of thinking which is not only a religion, but an exact science, capable of demonstration? Christian Science challenges fear, failure, doubt, distress of any kind by affording a practical and workable understanding of the changeless law of God. Let us have done with negative thinking. The world for too long has been looking at the wrong side of the ledger. One may hold a penny so close to his eyes that he can see nothing beyond it. And there is so much "beyond," of beauty and happiness and success! There is a way out of every human difficulty, no matter how hopeless it may appear to be, a right way, a quiet way, a way which will bless all concerned, the sort of way of which the prophet once wrote. "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace."
In quoting from Isaiah I am reminded to say what doubtless most of you already know, that Christian Science derives its sanction from the Bible. Our textbook is named, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and it was written by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and its only Leader. One of the religious tenets of Christian Science, to which all members of the church subscribe, reads as follows, in Science and Health (p. 497): "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." That ought to silence the thought that Christian Scientists do not read the Bible, as has been said. On the contrary, they read and study it daily. To them it is still the Book of books, and no book can ever supersede it.
It was when studying this book that Mrs. Eddy's own healing came about. After reading some passages from Matthew's Gospel, and applying them to her own case, she was able to heal herself of an injury caused by an accident, pronounced fatal by the physician. She literally "rose and walked," to the astonishment of all beholders. But this was not enough. She must help other sufferers also to find their freedom. So she spent three years in studying the Bible and searching for the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, proving it over and over again, until at last she was ready to embody the results of her investigations in the book just mentioned.
And then? - I often think of those early days, when there was just one Christian Scientist on earth, when Mrs. Eddy stood alone with God, triumphant over "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," untouched by the gibes and jeers of those who did not understand. Her first happy confidence that the world would rejoice to know of her discovery, and hasten to accept it, was found to be misplaced. The churches coldly closed their doors upon it, - and her. The press laughed at it. Materia medica fought it. Some of her early followers were even fined and imprisoned, and her own life was threatened. But, undaunted, she pressed on, animated by one supreme, unswerving purpose, to restore to Christianity its lost element of healing.
We love Mrs. Eddy, but we do not worship her. And why should we not love her? Have you ever seen her birthplace, or pictures of it? It is just a typical New England farmhouse of the better sort, quite away from the beaten road, with only grass-grown wagon-tracks leading past the door. Not many travelers, it would seem, were wont to pass that way. Yet in the interval between that time and this, millions of feet, figuratively speaking, tired, weary feet, have worn a pathway to her door. Today the church she founded, The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, has an edifice capable of seating five thousand persons, while its many branches extend not only throughout this country, but to foreign lands as well. When something of this sort happens, when from so humble and unostentatious a beginning, a Cause can steadily grow for seventy years, and can continue to grow, in the face of all opposition, it is time for every intelligent person to ask himself, Why? There must be a reason.
This book which I hold in my hand is the reason. Jesus said, "My words shall not pass away," and they have not. How well his early followers understood them is proved by the fact that for three hundred years after he left the earth, they healed the sick and raised the dead. The secular historian, Josephus, mentions this as a fact, and it was evidently regarded as a perfectly natural and inevitable part of their religion. After a while, however, various disintegrating elements crept in, as it grew and became "popular," until finally the primitive purity of those early teachings was lost. Gradually the healing element fell into disuse. Then came that period in the world's history rightly called the Dark Ages and in these centuries of dense materiality the pure words of Jesus, the Christ, were largely forgotten. It would almost seem that they were gone forever, but there they lay, unseen, yet still vibrant and untouched, just waiting until human hearts should once more be ready to receive them. And then - a woman came, and they are now in such form that they can never again be lost.
Some very good and conscientious persons, however, may hesitate to read this book, Science and Health, because they have been told that it denies the divinity of Christ. That is not true. We do not deny the divinity of the Christ, and we love and revere Jesus even more than do some others, for we believe in keeping all of his commands, and not just a part. When he told those who believed on him to "preach the gospel" and "heal the sick" we believe that he meant just what he said. The churches preach the gospel, yes. But when asked why they do not heal the sick the reply often is, because they feel that this command was intended only for his immediate disciples, and for the age in which he lived. If so, why did he say, "These signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"? "Them" that believe. He did not say "you" who believe. He knew that anyone, at any time, in any age, who really understood his sayings could make them provable and practical, just as he did. God would not be God, were this otherwise. God would not be Love, the faithful, tender, and true, were He to make relief from pain and misery possible only to a few favored ones, two thousand years ago, and then - never again. That would impugn our sense of even human justice. Man is made free today, as in Jesus' time, from any erroneous condition which may present itself - whether it be the healing of a sick body, a sick mind, a sick business, or a sinsick, homesick, heartsick human being.
All the works of our Master were founded upon a spiritual law which is as applicable now as it was then, for real law, God's law, does not change with the passing of the centuries. Let us suppose that I am holding something in my hand - let us say, a pencil. If I drop this pencil it will go down. No one expects to see it go up. That is because we all believe in something we call "gravitation." Although the views of physical scientists regarding this have undergone some changes of late, it existed as a so-called law in Jesus' time, and in the time of Moses, in fact, since the beginning of time, although not so generally understood. But the only law which Jesus acknowledged was true spiritual law, God's law. This real law was the basis of his many mighty works which he confidently promised would be repeated and even greater works than his, when this changeless law of God should become more universally accepted, and utilized. "God is no respecter of persons" and neither is the law of gravitation. If I drop this pencil, it immediately goes down. If anyone drops a pencil, it immediately goes down. And may I add, it requires no assistance from us! One does not have to push the pencil. He has only to release it. That is a point most important to remember, for the trouble with most of us is that we will not seem to "let go" of those false beliefs and theories which are so directly responsible for our difficulties. There is a law of God just as ready to operate, and just as instantly available as is the so-called law of gravitation, but if we continue to cling to our troubles, still holding them fast in clenched, frightened fingers, how can we expect this law of God to operate in our behalf?
Perhaps we have held these troubles for so long now that we hardly know how to let them go. They have become so largely "a part of ourselves," as the saying is, that everyone who sees us, immediately sees these troubles also, firmly attached to us, and that does not help us to shake them off! So we keep on holding them, looking at them, talking about them, thinking about them, dreaming about them, worrying about them, turning them over and over, upside and down, inside and out, backwards and forwards, round and round, until we get so weary and worn out that we say we simply cannot stand it any longer!
I know. I understand. I used to do that, too. Most of us have, I think, but I feel sure that nobody ever held on to them any tighter than I did. The whole world has been doing it for ages. Perhaps that may have been just what the man with the withered hand had been doing, as far back as Jesus' time. He had evidently been holding to something so long in consciousness that his hand had actually grown stiff. Perhaps he had forgotten how to give. When we open our fingers, like this, we not only scatter our joyous beneficence but are also at the same moment in a position to receive. Or, it may be, since, the man was by trade a mason, as the Bible commentators mention, and had been accustomed to earn his living through the use of his hands, he may have been just "paralyzed with fear," as the saying is, at the prospect of becoming a helpless mendicant. Of course, we do not actually know what may have been the so-called cause of his trouble, but it is evident that Jesus discerned it at once. After rebuking the ecclesiastical bigotry of those standing by, who would willingly have trapped and condemned him on a doctrinal technicality, he said to the poor sufferer, "Stretch forth thy hand.' He obeyed, and the law of God immediately took possession. It became "whole as the other.'" There is enough of this same healing Truth, of God, right here in this room, now, at this moment, to heal any difficulty which anyone present may feel that he possesses. But he must do his part.
The first essential is to get a right understanding of God. This is important, because everyone has either a limited or mistaken concept of Deity. There is no such thing as a really godless person. One may say that he is so, and fully believe that he is, but in the last analysis - is he? While it is true that he may refuse to believe in the generally accepted concept of God, as taught by the churches, yet is it not equally true that he does believe in the existence of some superhuman power greater than himself, over which he has no control? Perhaps he calls it "the great First Cause," and if so we agree with him, for Christian Science declares God to be the one and only cause, the first, the last, the All-in-all. If questioned further, he will probably admit that he did not create himself, and in this we also concur, since God is the creator of all that really exists. He may also acknowledge that no human being is able to change the planets in their courses, interrupt the ceaseless ebb and flow of the ocean's tide, nor prevent the perpetual recurrence of springtime. Before such proofs of an intelligence which does govern and control all this, the so-called godless man must bow in silent acquiescence. He may call it "nature" and "law," but we call it God.
The Christian Science textbook (p. 587) defines God as "the great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence." To this God we turn rejoicingly, knowing that He is not far off, in some vague, distant heaven, shrouded in mystery and dogma, but here and near, tender, loving, merciful, compassionate, bestowing "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
That which is called a Christian Science treatment is the law of God applied to any particular case. It releases, or "saves," us from all that is unlike God, thereby establishing our salvation, not deferred to some future time and to some so-called future world, but immediately, here and now. It includes a grateful acknowledgment of the good already received, a denial of whatever erroneous belief may be presenting itself for correction, and the establishing in consciousness of the great spiritual fact that since God and man are inseparable as Principle and idea, man can see only what God sees, and can know only what God knows, and that God's knowledge does not include such dark dream-shadows as sin, sickness, and death. It declares that there is but one consciousness, the God-consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, the Christ-consciousness, - and that, in reality, is your consciousness, and mine, for there is no other. Into this purified consciousness nothing can enter "that defileth, . . . or maketh a lie," and a Christian Science treatment proves, or "demonstrates" this, by casting out any claim of error to presence and power. It is the coming of the Christ.
"But," someone may be thinking, "that does not sound very reasonable to me. We all know that we are living in the midst of trouble. We see it on every side. Do you just close your eyes to everything that is wrong, and deny that it exists?"
We deny that it exists as a reality, but we do not deny that it seems very real to frightened human sense, and so our work, our prayer, or process of salvation, our treatment, is to correct that frightened human sense through a better understanding of God, and of man's relationship to Him, to that Love which knows no evil. "Now, right there!" says our friend, the previous speaker, "you seem to be contradicting yourself. You say that God does not know evil?" No. "Nor sickness?" No. "Nor sin?" No, indeed. "Then how can He heal what He does not know? How can He heal my rheumatism, for instance, if He does not know that I have any? I should not think that even God could do that!"
I shall answer that question by a metaphor. Suppose the sun could speak. It might say, "What is darkness? I never saw any. What is night? I never saw night. I do not know anything about it." That is true. The sun never saw night, does not know anything about night, and yet it destroys it every twenty-four hours. Light never knows darkness, can never know darkness, for where light is there is no darkness. The sun does not have to know about darkness in order to destroy it. It has only to shine. The instant the sun comes, darkness vanishes. Darkness is not a real entity, it is just the absence of light. It has no power of resistance, it cannot fight back, because it is nothing at any time but the absence of something else. The only thing it can ever do is just to disappear. So it is with sickness, sin, sorrow, poverty, fear, suffering, - that rheumatism, for instance. When the sunlight of Truth is brought to bear upon them, Truth destroys them by reason of its own Allness, filling all space, and consequently leaving no place nor opportunity for evil of any sort.
"But," someone else may be thinking, - perhaps the one who is here for the first time, - "I wish I knew just how it works. You say that there is a law of God operating in my behalf, available at any time, if I will do my part. Now, just what is this law of God, and how does it work?" That is all fully explained in Science and Health; but to answer briefly here I will say that it "works" from the basis of a perfect God, a perfect man, and a perfect universe, as recorded in the Bible, in the first chapter of Genesis. This chapter, as you know, contains the account of creation, and from it as a premise we draw our conclusions as accurately as a mathematician demonstrates his problem in geometry. Since God made all that was made, and since God is Spirit, as the Bible declares, it follows that His creation must have been, and is, spiritual. All was finished. It was perfect and complete, and then God "rested" from His work.
Christian Science maintains that nothing has changed, nothing will ever change this forever fact of a perfect, complete, spiritual creation. It still remains just as it was "in the beginning." Later on, however, we are told that a mist "went up" "from the earth" - and then the trouble started. For a mist, as we all know, has a way of making everything look different. In a mist, one is confused. He does not see clearly any more. If any of our English friends are present, they could relate many amusing stories of the odd things which often happen during a proverbial London fog; how even the most ordinary and familiar objects sometimes assume such new and distorted shapes that one has been known to lose himself almost at his very door. If, at this moment, one of those dense fogs should settle over this room, the same thing would happen. The room would seem filled with confused outlines where the furniture had been, and we might, gradually, lose sight even of each other. After a while, we will say, the fog, or mist, lifts, and drifts away. Here we would all be, absolutely untouched, just as we were before. The fog had changed nothing. It had just obscured our vision, for the time being. That was all. Sin, disease, and death do not change man, any more than the fog, or mist, changes the furniture. A Christian Science treatment only disperses the misconception of man by demonstrating his untouched perfection. It reveals him as he really is, not as he seems to be.
Of course at this point a clear distinction must be made between man, in God's image and likeness, and the poor, suffering race of Adam. Christian Science does not claim perfection for anything mortal or material. Far from it. It only says that where false material sense sees its own misconceptions, its own mistaken views of man, true consciousness, God-governed, sees the beauty and harmony and wholeness and completeness of the real, spiritual man. This does not mean, however, that there are two kinds of men. No. Just one, the one God made. Just one table, both before the fog and after it. Not two tables here at all. Never two tables. Just this one table, and our misconception of it. No matter how thick the mist may have been, or how long it may have lasted; there has never been but one table. We just failed to see it clearly. That was all.
Obedience to Jesus Brought Instant Healing
There was once a man who lay in the "mist" for thirty-eight years, waiting to be healed. It was at the Pool of Bethesda, a very long time ago. One happy day, Jesus, our dear, loving Master, came that way, and stopped to question him. The man explained that he could not move by himself, and there was no one to carry him into the pool, that he might be healed. Jesus spent no time in arguing. He quickly saw what was wrong. "Rise," he said, "take up thy bed, and walk." And it was done.
Perhaps, in this instance, the mist may have been the man's belief in the power of the water in the pool to make him well, just as some today believe in the curative properties of certain material remedies. Perhaps he was just enveloped in a cloud of self-pity, because of his inability to reach the pool by himself. Or perhaps, a certain bitterness was rankling in his heart because no one seemed to make any effort to assist him. But Truth does not compel us to wait for somebody, somewhere, to do something before we can be healed. That is not God's way. The exact nature of the mist, we do not know, but the pure, spiritual vision of the Master saw through it in an instant. There was not even any period of so-called convalescence. Did you ever think of that? No waiting for weak and unused muscles to regain their strength. The mist had so completely vanished that not even the memory of it remained. Although for thirty and eight years he had believed that he could not move, he was able, at the Christ-command, not only to rise, but to pick up his bed, and walk away with it! Are we not glad and thankful that this same law of God exists today!
The dictionaries define "law" as "a rule of action made by a power capable of enforcing it." Law, then, is not law at all, unless there is power back of it. For instance, suppose some children playing on the sidewalk should decide among themselves that anyone passing by who might happen to step on a crack in the pavement would have to pay them a penny. Would that be law? Of course not. They might ask for their penny, and some good-natured pedestrian might toss them one, in remembrance of his own boyhood days, but could they compel him to do so? But how about the traffic policeman? There he stands, in the midst of what seems to be a hopeless tangle of vehicles, and gives his orders. And do the drivers obey him? They certainly do! He controls the situation, not by reason of any power resident in himself, but because he represents the majesty of the law. Disobedience to that white-gloved hand, as it goes up or down, may lead to most unpleasant consequences, and they all know it.
In like manner does a Christian Science treatment operate. It speaks with authority, for back of it is the whole of omnipotence. This treatment, this saving law of God, specifically applied, carries with it its own irresistible impulsion. The trouble is that mortals sometimes believe something to be law which is not law at all, but merely a man-made and a man-projected theory. Still, if one believes in a false law, he may suffer from its effects just as much as if it really were a law, not realizing that he has a right to rebel against it. To return a moment to our illustration: if the children playing on the sidewalk should happen to find someone perhaps newly arrived in our country, who could not yet speak our language, and so did not understand what was going on, they might extort from him the coveted penny. But he would only be paying tribute to his own ignorance. So it is with us, sometimes. We obey a false law, not by reason of any power inherent in the law itself, but because we do not know any better.
Oh, those pennies which we pay, day after day, and year after year, under the mistaken conviction that we must! Thousands, millions, are toiling along life's road today, bearing burdens more crushing than any ever laid upon the shoulders of a helpless people by a relentless Pharaoh. To cite just one example - and we all know of many others. There is a so-called law named "heredity," claiming that certain characteristics (usually undesirable ones), may be transmitted from one generation to another. Most of the world accepts this as law, and yet was there ever anything more cruel and unjust, that a little child should be compelled to suffer for another's sin or mistake? It is inhuman and repellent, and yet the very ones who love that child the best are usually the first to fasten about his neck this yoke of bondage.
Christian Science challenges all such conclusions. It says (Science and Health, p. 227), "Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right." Because someone, somewhere, thirty or sixty or a hundred years ago was addicted to drink, or was a business failure, or had a bad temper or a poor digestion, do we have to have them, too? No. God's law is a law of Love, and of justice. It says that mortals can pay no penalty except for their own wrongdoing, and that even that penalty ceases as soon as the sin ceases. It says that there can be no dangerous inheritances, since God is the Father and Mother of all. It says that the real man is never overcome by fear, overwhelmed by impending disaster. He never was in bondage to any unrighteous condition. He never had a handicap, physical or mental. In true consciousness, your consciousness, there is never any belief of weakness, pain, deformity, abnormality. True consciousness admits no insurmountable obstacle, no irreparable loss, no unforgivable wrong, no implacable hatred, no unconquerable sin, no incurable disease.
Perhaps some have come here tonight who have been struggling with a problem which is not physical, but financial. And it may be that the general situation does not seem to be responding as it should, considering how long and how earnestly the prayer to God for freedom has been carried on. It may be that someone is discouraged. He feels that no matter how hard he tries, nothing seems to move. Perhaps he is thinking, "I wonder if I shall find out tonight what is the matter?" Perhaps. May I help you to analyze the way you are handling this seemingly stubborn difficulty, your treatment, your prayer - for they both mean the same thing. It sometimes happens that in one's mental work on a claim of this kind he, all unconsciously, may have been including in that prayer the definite way in which he would like to see it answered. In his natural eagerness to see it "work out" he may have forgotten, just for the moment, that prayer which outlines its answer is not prayer at all, as Christian Science understands it. It may be that he has practically been saying, "It does look so right for me to have this! Dear God, won't you help me to get it?" How do we always know what is best for us? Misguided human sense is so easily deceived! A chair may look like something quite different during the mist. Perhaps many of us can recall some time in our past experience when we were asking for something which, at the moment, looked so very fair and pleasant, so obviously right for us to have, that we could not understand why God, in His great wisdom, did not give it to us. But God, in His great wisdom, did not. For some time after that we possibly went about in quite a rebellious and unhappy state of mind, because, for some unexplained reason, our prayers had not been answered.
Someone once wrote of mortal man, "So weak is he, so ignorant and blind, that did not God sometimes withhold petitions which we ask, we should be ruined at our own request!" God will not let us be ruined at our own request. He loves us too much for that.
We cannot force a demonstration. God's law works easily, quietly, naturally. It is like the so-called law of nature, in accord with which, without effort, the ice-bound brook melts its fetters, and ripples onward toward the sea, leafless boughs hang out fresh garlands of loveliness, fruits mature, golden grains ripen. How it rests one to remember this! No more sense of hurry, worry, and impatience, no nervous strain and tension. We are now convinced that if this thing for which we long is really in accord with what is best for all concerned, - not just for us, - and if it is in accord with God's law, and is right for us to have, we can safely trust Him to give it to us. In fact, there is no power on earth to keep it back. All we now need to do is to step aside, with our preconceived personal opinions, and "let" God's will be done in our behalf, instead of getting all tired out trying to "make" it be done. It will be done when we have ceased listening to our own frightened heartbeats to hear the soft flutter of angelic wings, bringing God's answer to His child.
It has been the experience of many Christian Scientists that some of the very best gifts which divine Love has ever sent to them have come without long and strenuous effort on their part. In fact, usually without any conscious effort at all. Mrs. Eddy once wrote (Science and Health, p. 4), "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds." When a Christian Scientist is busy living this prayer, by helping others, and by trying each day to be more loving and pure and consecrated and selfless, some very interesting things often happen, some unexpected and unprecedented things in connection with his own personal affairs, and he often finds that his own problem has solved itself when - so to speak - he was not looking! In fact, so quietly and naturally did the answer come, that he hardly knew it was there at all until he saw it shining out in his experience, a thing of joy and beauty.
God is so good! What is it which ever keeps any of us from demonstrating more of this goodness in our own individual experience? It is our failure to lift our heads above the mist, and remember who we are - the man who has dominion over all things. No matter how hopeless any outward situation may seem to be, keep on singing your songs in the night, and trusting God. Never admit defeat. Never admit failure. There are no failures in God's universe. You are not a failure, nor have been a failure, nor are going to be a failure. That is not the truth about you. You are the child of God, free to walk the heavenly way, unhampered - and unafraid.
Market reports may fill humanity with grief, business may disintegrate, human enterprises fail, established precedents come to naught, thrones totter, governments change hands overnight, but the true Christian Scientist is at peace. For he knows that
"behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above His own."
Conflicting interests may rage between men and nations, and threaten to engulf the world once more into darkness and despair, but above "the tumult and the shouting" the light of Truth, like some clear star, shines on - and on.
Just one more word. Do you remember how the disciples once rowed all night, but "the wind was contrary," and they did not get anywhere? And how their little boat kept tossing, tossing on the waves, and he was not there, and they did not know where he was, and everything seemed to be going wrong? Perhaps that describes the way some of us have felt during this past year, when we rowed and rowed, and could not seem to make any progress. There was always that "contrary wind," and the harder we tried, the more it seemed to blow us back. But, listen! "In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea." "The fourth watch." Do you know what time that was? "The fourth watch" was the hour just before dawn, the proverbial "darkest hour." When the night was darkest, and their hope almost gone, the dear Christ came.
Truth is still with us, to give us strength and courage to keep on, and to bring us safely into the haven where we would be. Awake to reality! It is all here, every blessing from the hand of infinite Love, - happiness, success, abundance, completeness, freedom, health, home, heaven, every good and perfect gift, - all ours. All here. Now. Just waiting. We have only to see it.
"I ask no heaven-dropping manna, Lord,
No special dispensation from the skies;
Already wonders compass me around,
Already heaven all about me lies.
Open my eyes!"
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 8, 1937.]