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JUDGE SEPTIMUS J. HANNA, CSD
This Scripture has no doubt both a literal and a figurative meaning. The literal relates to the material, the figurative to the spiritual. The even balance figuratively implies that spiritual equipoise which keeps the individual as it were in the middle of the scales of understanding and demonstration, so that he turns the weight neither too far beyond his present understanding of the divine nor too far on the side of the human; or so that he is not too short either in his measure of the absolute or in his measure of the relative.
If prematurely one should lose his balance on the side of the divine, he may become overwrought and self-deceived, or perhaps self-righteous, and so incapable of judging either himself or others righteously. If he should lose his balance on the side of the relative, or human, he may so far lose sight of the divine as to be equally unfit to judge himself or others rightly. Either condition may unfit the individual for the true spiritual vision. Had not Jacob's perception been well balanced; he could not have seen in his dream both the bottom and the top of the ladder which led to heaven, nor "the angels of God ascending and descending" thereon. An uneven balance might have so warped his power of vision that he believed he saw the top of the ladder and overlooked the intervening rungs; or else he might have seen only the lower rungs and stood aghast at the necessity for climbing to the top. His vision was manifestly clear enough so that he took in the full scope of the demonstration necessary to spiritual wholeness.
So it must be with all in the journey from sense to Spirit. The steps cannot be omitted. "Heaven is not won at a single bound." Mortality cannot be put off in a moment. He that attempts to climb up in a way not pointed out by the great Wayshower, becomes thereby, however unwittingly, "a thief and a robber;" and he may rob himself or steal from himself even more than he robs others or steals from them, for in the end he is the greatest sufferer.
The failure to keep the even balance leads to the state of mind depicted by Mrs. Eddy on page 552 of Science and Health: "Thought, loosened from a material basis but not yet instructed by Science, may become wild with freedom and so be self-contradictory." Such a sense of freedom is of course a form of self-deception which becomes hurtful, for like any other phase of error it must be destroyed by reaching through demonstration the true individual poise or balance.
The way out of mortal error into divine Truth implies a new birth. On page 15 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says: "The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love." As we read these cautionary but inspiring words, let us especially emphasize in our thought the "childlike trust and joyful adoption of good," for thus may we avoid the suffering which must inevitably come from a resisting or unwilling passage from fleshly sense to the spiritual birth.
It aids us greatly to hold our balance if we are always alert to the line of distinction which our Leader in all of her writings uniformly observed between the divine and the human, the spiritual and the material, or what has come to be a common phrasing in our literature, the absolute and the relative. If we are thus alert we cannot but see how wisely careful she was to follow an absolute declaration with its correlative, and vice versa. Observing this method, we shall avoid falling into the error she so tersely points out in the article "A Correction," republished from the Sentinel on page 217 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany": "The introduction of pure abstractions into Christian Science, without their correlatives, leaves the divine Principle of Christian Science unexplained, tends to confuse the mind of the reader, and ultimates in what Jesus denounced, namely, straining at gnats and swallowing camels."
Heeding this admonition and keeping this even balance, we maintain our integrity, give "a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and . . . hurt not the oil and the wine."
Christian Science Sentinel, July 22, 1916
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