Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 64

nor obedience.
   However keenly the human affections yearn to forgive
a mistake, and pass a friend over it smoothly, one's
sympathy can neither atone for error, advance individual
growth, nor change this immutable decree of Love: "Keep
My commandments."  The guerdon of meritorious
faith or trustworthiness rests on being willing to work
alone with God and for Him, - willing to suffer patiently
for error until all error is destroyed and His rod and His
staff comfort you.
   Self-ignorance, self-will, self-righteousness, lust, covetousness,
envy, revenge, are foes to grace, peace, and
progress; they must be met manfully and overcome,
or they will uproot all happiness.  Be of good cheer;
the warfare with one's self is grand; it gives one plenty
of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with
you, - and obedience crowns persistent effort with
everlasting victory.  Every attempt of evil to harm good
is futile, and ends in the fiery punishment of the
   Jesus said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth
defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth,

MISC 119

this defileth a man."  If malicious suggestions whisper
evil through the mind's tympanum, this were no apology
for acting evilly.  We are responsible for our thoughts and
acts; and instead of aiding other people's devices by
obeying them, - and then whining over misfortune, -
rise and overthrow both.  If a criminal coax the unwary
man to commit a crime, our laws punish the dupe as accessory
to the fact.  Each individual is responsible for
   Evil is impotent to turn the righteous man from his
uprightness.  The nature of the individual, more stubborn
than the circumstance, will always be found arguing
for itself, - its habits, tastes, and indulgences.  This
material nature strives to tip the beam against the spiritual
nature; for the flesh strives against Spirit, - against
whatever or whoever opposes evil, - and weighs mightily
in the scale against man's high destiny.  This conclusion
is not an argument either for pessimism or for optimism,
but is a plea for free moral agency, - full exemption
from all necessity to obey a power that should be and is
found powerless in Christian Science.
   Insubordination to the law of Love even in the least,
or strict obedience thereto, tests and discriminates between
the real and the unreal Scientist.  Justice, a
prominent statute in the divine law, demands of all
trespassers upon the sparse individual rights which one
justly reserves to one's self, - Would you consent that
others should tear up your landmarks, manipulate your
students, nullify or reverse your rules, countermand
your orders, steal your possessions, and escape the
penalty therefor?  No!  "Therefore all things whatsoever
ye would that men should do to you, do ye even

MISC 120

so to them."  The professors of Christian Science must
take off their shoes at our altars; they must unclasp
the material sense of things at the very threshold of
Christian Science:  they must obey implicitly each and
every injunction of the divine Principle of life's long
problem, or repeat their work in tears.  In the words
of St. Paul, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye
obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
   Beloved students, loyal laborers are ye that have wrought
valiantly, and achieved great guerdons in the vineyard
of our Lord; but a mighty victory is yet to be won, a
great freedom for the race; and Christian success is
under arms, - with armor on, not laid down.  Let us

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
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