Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 345

       Though with patience He stands waiting,
         With exactness grinds He all.

   Though the divine rebuke is effectual to the pulling
down of sin's strongholds, it may stir the human heart to
resist Truth, before this heart becomes obediently receptive
of the heavenly discipline.  If the Christian Scientist
recognize the mingled sternness and gentleness which
permeate justice and Love, he will not scorn the timely reproof,
but will so absorb it that this warning will be within
him a spring, welling up into unceasing spiritual rise and
progress.  Patience and obedience win the golden scholarship
of experimental tuition.
   The kindly shepherd of the East carries his lambs in his
arms to the sheepcot, but the older sheep pass into the fold
under his compelling rod.  He who sees the door and turns
away from it, is guilty, while innocence strayeth yearningly.
   There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection
and an unbroken friendship.  We love our friends,
but ofttimes we lose them in proportion to our affection.
The sacrifices made for others are not infrequently met by

RET 81

envy, ingratitude, and enmity, which smite the heart and
threaten to paralyze its beneficence.  The unavailing tear
is shed both for the living and the dead.
   Nothing except sin, in the students themselves, can
separate them from me.  Therefore we should guard
thought and action, keeping them in accord with Christ,
and our friendship will surely continue.
   The letter of the law of God, separated from its spirit,
tends to demoralize mortals, and must be corrected by a
diviner sense of liberty and light.  The spirit of Truth extinguishes
false thinking, feeling, and acting; and falsity
must thus decay, ere spiritual sense, affectional consciousness,
and genuine goodness become so apparent as to be
well understood.
   After the supreme advent of Truth in the heart, there
comes an overwhelming sense of error's vacuity, of the
blunders which arise from wrong apprehension.  The enlightened
heart loathes error, and casts it aside; or else
that heart is consciously untrue to the light, faithless to
itself and to others, and so sinks into deeper darkness.
Said Jesus: "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how
great is that darkness!" and Shakespeare puts this pious
counsel into a father's mouth: -

       This above all:  To thine own self be true;
       And it must follow, as the night the day,
       Thou canst not then be false to any man.

   A realization of the shifting scenes of human happiness,
and of the frailty of mortal anticipations, - such as first
led me to the feet of Christian Science, - seems to be requisite
at every stage of advancement.  Though our first lessons

RET 82

are changed, modified, broadened, yet their core is
constantly renewed; as the law of the chord remains
unchanged, whether we are dealing with a simple Latour
exercise or with the vast Wagner Trilogy.
   A general rule is, that my students should not allow their
movements to be controlled by other students, even if they
are teachers and practitioners of the same blessed faith.
The exception to this rule should be very rare.
   The widest power and strongest growth have always
been attained by those loyal students who rest on divine
Principle for guidance, not on themselves; and who locate
permanently in one section, and adhere to the orderly
methods herein delineated.
   At this period my students should locate in large cities,

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