September 10, 2014
Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
¶ Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
Gen 19:1-7, 15-22, 24-26
And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
¶ But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
¶ And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
¶ And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
¶ But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Cor 6:1, 2
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ps 90:1, 2, 4
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. … For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
II Pet 3:8 beloved
beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
SCIENCE AND HEALTH:
The history of error is a dream-narrative. The dream has no reality, no intelligence, no mind; therefore the dreamer and dream are one, for neither is true nor real.
As the crude footprints of the past disappear from the dissolving paths of the present, we shall better understand the Science which governs these changes, and shall plant our feet on firmer ground.
All forms of error support the false conclusions that there is more than one Life; that material history is as real and living as spiritual history; that mortal error is as conclusively mental as immortal Truth; and that there are two separate, antagonistic entities and beings, two powers, — namely, Spirit and matter, — resulting in a third person (mortal man) who carries out the delusions of sin, sickness, and death.
If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is effaced or rectified.
God is the Life, or intelligence, which forms and preserves the individuality and identity of animals as well as of men. God cannot become finite, and be limited within material bounds. Spirit cannot become matter, nor can Spirit be developed through its opposite. Of what avail is it to investigate what is miscalled material life, which ends, even as it begins, in nameless nothingness? The true sense of being and its eternal perfection should appear now, even as it will hereafter.
Error of thought is reflected in error of action. The continual contemplation of existence as material and corporeal — as beginning and ending, and with birth, decay, and dissolution as its component stages — hides the true and spiritual Life, and causes our standard to trail in the dust. If Life has any starting-point whatsoever, then the great I am is a myth. If Life is God, as the Scriptures imply, then Life is not embryonic, it is infinite.
The true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material history but in spiritual development. Inspired thought relinquishes a material, sensual, and mortal theory of the universe, and adopts the spiritual and immortal.
It is this spiritual perception of Scripture, which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come! . . . and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Christian Science separates error from truth, and breathes through the sacred pages the spiritual sense of life, substance, and intelligence. In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony.
The caterpillar, transformed into a beautiful insect, is no longer a worm, nor does the insect return to fraternize with or control the worm. Such a backward transformation is impossible in Science. Darkness and light, infancy and manhood, sickness and health, are opposites, — different beliefs, which never blend.
In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.
We must forsake the foundation of material systems, however time-honored, if we would gain the Christ as our only Saviour.
Human birth, growth, maturity, and decay are as the grass springing from the soil with beautiful green blades, afterwards to wither and return to its native nothingness. This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being, but finally disappears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found to be the real man.
The inverted images presented by the senses, the deflections of matter as opposed to the Science of spiritual reflection, are all unlike Spirit, God. In the illusion of life that is here to-day and gone to-morrow, man would be wholly mortal, were it not that Love, the divine Principle that obtains in divine Science, destroys all error and brings immortality to light.
If man was once perfect but has now lost his perfection, then mortals have never beheld in man the reflex image of God. The lost image is no image. The true likeness cannot be lost in divine reflection. Understanding this, Jesus said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
The successive appearing of God’s ideas is represented as taking place on so many evenings and mornings, — words which indicate, in the absence of solar time, spiritually clearer views of Him, views which are not implied by material darkness and dawn. Here we have the explanation of another passage of Scripture, that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence.
There is neither growth, maturity, nor decay in Soul. These changes are the mutations of material sense, the varying clouds of mortal belief, which hide the truth of being.
The various contradictions of the Science of Mind by the material senses do not change the unseen Truth, which remains forever intact.
Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.
Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action. Mind is the same Life, Love, and wisdom “yesterday, and to-day, and forever.”
Asking God to be God is a vain repetition. God is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever;” and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province.
Truth is God’s remedy for error of every kind, and Truth destroys only what is untrue. Hence the fact that, to-day, as yesterday, Christ casts out evils and heals the sick.
“Now,” cried the apostle, “is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science. To break this earthly spell, mortals must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists and governs the universe harmoniously.
“Work out your own salvation,” is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God worketh with you. “Occupy till I come!” Wait for your reward, and “be not weary in well doing.” If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race.
Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal.
“One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” (II Peter iii. 8.)
One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown.