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Attaining Joy
EMMA HARRIS JAMISON


         The other night I lifted the curtain for a moment and looked back over some of the past scenes in my life, which were indeed very dark, for I seemed in those past days (long before I knew what Christian Science was) to be called upon to pass through many deep waters until at length I cried out in my anguish: —

I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead.

         Then Science came into my life with one great burst of Light, and things changed, and in thinking of the change, the thought came to me, Had I been able in those days to lift the curtain and get even a glimpse of the happiness that was in store for me, could I have seen the outward manifestation of peace and quietness of this happiness in my home and life, and have also known that I would someday be the happy possessor of the Pearl of Great Price (the Truth) and what an uplifting and holy influence it would have, not only on me as an individual, but on the home itself, would not mine eyes have beamed with joy, even amidst the sorrow of those days? should not I have been encouraged to press on, and how eagerly and gladly would I have waded through those stormy years, — my one desire being to reach the period and place of that quietness and peace that I knew was awaiting me?

         And now whilst we bid the senses be still, let us lift the curtain for one brief moment, and peer into the distant future, and as we gaze we remember those sweet words of him who said, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see," and as we listen eagerly we hear again a voice speak, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him;" and then comes our Mother's [Mary Baker Eddy's] words, "The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — has immortality, sinlessness, and everlasting bliss" (Science and Health [1902 edition], p. 304), and feeling convinced of the surety of these promises, with what a sense of joy should we all tread the path as it lies before us.

         To those who have just come into the understanding of this beautiful Truth as taught in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," I would say, Do not be discouraged, even though the path for the time being is very steep, and the way dark, and many errors rise up at the beginning of your career to be destroyed and wiped out of consciousness, but get down to the work joyously, for we all know that just as soon as we overcome one form of error, another rises up to be destroyed, and this will continue until every phase of error is totally wiped out of our consciousness. The Psalmist said: "In thy Light shall we see Light," and Jesus later shows us how to destroy this darkness, when he teaches, "I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life."

         I remember that when I first came into this Truth, for months and months, I worked on without even a ray of light as to the joy that was promised us until I almost began to despair of ever reaching the heights where I could stand and drink in and taste the joy of this Truth, for it seemed to me it was nothing but struggling, struggling all the time, and I used to wonder at Paul, and think, how could he ever advise us to "glory in tribulation," for that was really more than I could understand. But things have changed somewhat since those days of groaning and travailing in pain, and, thanks be to God, I have received a taste of this promised joy, and know that if we do our work well, and are in earnest, we too, like Paul, shall yet joy in tribulation, for in these very trials that confront us, we learn to straighten ourselves up, get out our sword of Truth, put on the breastplate of Righteousness, and get down to hard fighting; and if we are in earnest the error will be wiped out of our consciousness. But we must not lose sight of the fact that we must fight. We cannot give a blow here and a blow there, but we too, must make "deadly thrusts" at our enemy, the errors of mortal mind, and destroy them, and then and only then, at this destruction, do we gain the sense of joy. And what an added sense of joy have we in the consciousness that we have fought a good fight and gained the victory.

         I cannot close this article without availing myself of the opportunity of publicly acknowledging my love to our dear Mother who has taught us this blessed Truth, and my earnest desire is that I may be found worthy to be included in her large family of children.

 

"Attaining Joy" by Emma Harris Jamison
Christian Science Sentinel, April 10, 1902
 

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