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

page 221

and physics have not sufficiently enlightened mankind.
Human wrong, sickness, sin, and death still appear in

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mortal belief, and they never bring out the right action
of mind or body.  When will the whole human race have
one God, - an undivided affection that leaves the unreal
material basis of things, for the spiritual foundation and
superstructure that is real, right, and eternal?
   First purify thought, then put thought into words,
and words into deeds; and after much slipping and
clambering, you will go up the scale of Science to the
second rule, and be made ruler over many things.  Fidelity
finds its reward and its strength in exalted purpose.  Seeking
is not sufficient whereby to arrive at the results of
Science:  you must strive; and the glory of the strife
comes of honesty and humility.
   Do human hopes deceive? is joy a trembler?  Then,
weary pilgrim, unloose the latchet of thy sandals; for the
place whereon thou standest is sacred.  By that, you may
know you are parting with a material sense of life and
happiness to win the spiritual sense of good.  O learn to
lose with God! and you find Life eternal:  you gain all.
To doubt this is implicit treason to divine decree.
   The parable of "the ten virgins" serves to illustrate
the evil of inaction and delay.  This parable is drawn
from the sad history of Vesta, - a little girl of eight
years, who takes the most solemn vow of celibacy for thirty
years, and is subject to terrible torture if the lamp she
tends is not replenished with oil day and night, so that the
flame never expires.  The moral of the parable is pointed,
and the diction purely Oriental.
   We learn from this parable that neither the cares of
this world nor the so-called pleasures or pains of material
sense are adequate to plead for the neglect of spiritual
light, that must be tended to keep aglow the flame of

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devotion whereby to enter into the joy of divine Science
   The foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps:  their
way was material; thus they were in doubt and
darkness.  They heeded not their sloth, their fading warmth
of action; hence the steady decline of spiritual light,
until, the midnight gloom upon them, they must borrow
the better-tended lamps of the faithful.  By entering
the guest-chamber of Truth, and beholding the bridal
of Life and Love, they would be wedded to a higher
understanding of God.  Each moment's fair expectancy
was to behold the bridegroom, the One "altogether
   It was midnight:  darkness profound brooded over
earth's lazy sleepers.  With no oil in their lamps, no
spiritual illumination to look upon him whom they had
pierced, they heard the shout, "The bridegroom cometh!"
But how could they behold him?  Hear that human
cry: "Oh, lend us your oil! our lamps have gone out,
- no light! earth's fables flee, and heaven is afar
   The door is shut.  The wise virgins had no oil to spare,
and they said to the foolish, "Go to them that sell, and
buy for yourselves."  Seek Truth, and pursue it.  It should
cost you something:  you are willing to pay for error
and receive nothing in return; but if you pay the price of
Truth, you shall receive all.
   "The children of this world are in their generation
wiser than the children of light;" they watch the market,
acquaint themselves with the etiquette of the exchange,
and are ready for the next move.  How much more should
we be faithful over the few things of Spirit, that are able

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to make us wise unto salvation!  Let us watch and pray

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