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"Be ye thankful"
ELLA W. HOAG, CSD


        No one in the world today responds to Paul's exhortation, "Be ye thankful," more readily than does he who has experienced some measure of the marvelous blessings which accrue to the beneficiary of Christian Science. Were he asked to recount the specific reasons for his gratitude, his tongue might even be temporarily mute before the great demand thus made upon it. He is willing to recognize with Daniel that it is not because of any righteousness which he has done, but because of God's great mercies that His wonderful goodness has thus been manifest; and he all the more adoringly thanks God with his whole heart.

         It is not strange that the first thought of gratitude of one thus benefited should be thanksgiving for Christian Science itself; and yet were one to attempt to tell just why this is so, he might again be silent before the greatness of the opportunity. When blessings seem large and many, it is difficult to say just where to begin in the telling of them. The one benefited simply feels that this Science has opened to him the very gates of heaven. Such is almost invariably the experience of the one to whom the clear teaching and beneficent ministrations of Christian Science have commenced to appear with their healing, regenerative power!

         When the almost overwhelming light of Christian Science first dawns, one can scarcely find words to express the gratitude awakened. It comes telling us that we may know and demonstrate the way out of all evil; that all sin and sickness and death, all sorrow and separation, all lack and limitation, may be proved unreal. Herein is offered the most marvelous possibilities. It seems as though it should be both easy and natural to turn squarely around from paths previously traversed towards evil, start in the opposite direction towards good, and continue to walk there.

         Instead of walking towards destruction and death in all things, one would imagine he could readily reverse his steps and walk continually towards that which is always constructive, towards eternal life itself. How natural to walk in the way which brings health, happiness, and holiness, affluence and intelligence! And how surely gratitude would accompany each step of the way! Thus he reasons to himself, and he imagines nothing can ever tempt him to turn aside from this joyous way, wherein he is to experience not only the bliss of uninterrupted good for himself, but also the added joy of administering it to others as he starts rejoicingly along this pathway.

         And what claims to occur? Sooner or later difficulties seem to present themselves; doubts and fears assail; discouragements appear to multiply; gratitude wanes. The one striving to walk the path which Christian Science marks out is tempted to wonder why everything seems so changed. Where has his first enthusiasm fled to? Why do his victories seem so few? Has he mistaken the path after all? Most certainly not! Instead, these very experiences are the sure proofs that he is walking in the right direction.

         As Mrs. Eddy has written in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 559), "Murmur not over Truth, if you find its digestion bitter;" and later she adds, "Do not be surprised nor discontented because you must share the hemlock cup and eat the bitter herbs." These difficulties, these doubts, these fears, — they are simply the "hemlock cup" and the "bitter herbs;" they are the testing places on the way out of sense into Soul. These are some of the experiences for which we must become intelligently grateful. "Be ye thankful" must be the song on our march, encouraging us to go perpetually forward.

         Perhaps the most difficult lesson we must learn in the demonstration of Christian Science is this lesson of constant thanksgiving, — to continue to be thankful, whatever the discouragement and apparent discord, however frequently they may claim to present themselves. This is the test of our faith at all times. To be able to thank God that we are having these opportunities — however formidable they may seem — to prove the power of Spirit over matter, of good over evil, of Love over hate, of health over sickness, of faith over fear: this is to know that we are walking in the pathway of Life, that Life which knows no death.

         Such thanksgiving as this will always insure victory over every belief in evil, and will make all our days glad thanksgiving days

 

"'Be ye thankful'" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, November 22, 1924
 

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