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"Armor on"
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


         A great deal is said in the Bible about armor. In the Old Testament much is said of the armor which was worn by the warriors in many lands, but it is noteworthy that from the standpoint of Truth it was of no account. In the familiar story of David and Goliath we are told that David refused to put on the armor which Saul offered him, and although the giant was fully equipped in this way he went down at a word, — the word of the young shepherd lad who declared the omnipotence of the one Mind, and who flung at error's representative a stone from the brook. In the epistle to the Romans Paul gives this sage counsel: "Let us put on the armour of light." The Christian Scientist would not question for a moment that with this armor on, one would be invulnerable, no matter what form the invading error might assume, whether disease or sin. Even the poisoned shafts of malice which aim to destroy life would fall harmless at the feet of one who was thus protected.

         At the present time when so much is being said about the cessation of hostilities, that is, the kind of warfare to be found on the world's battlefields, there may come a tendency to put off our spiritual armor, quite forgetful of the fact that the real warfare must go on until nothing hostile to Truth and Love is to be found anywhere. This does not mean that we are to have no realization of peace; indeed, if our warfare is of the right sort we shall experience unceasingly "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." At the very hour when our Master stood alone, as it were, in defending the truth which he had taught and demonstrated, with the world of sense opposing him at every turn and his followers at that hour seemingly uncertain in their loyalty, he was yet able to say, "My peace I give unto you." He was teaching his followers then and after his resurrection how to watch and pray, how to take unto themselves the weapons of which Paul speaks in his epistle to the Ephesians, and to be prepared at any moment to use the shield of faith, "wherewith," he said, "ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

         On page 120 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says: "Beloved students, loyal laborers are ye that have wrought valiantly, and achieved great guerdons in the vineyard of our Lord; but a mighty victory is yet to be won, a great freedom for the race; and Christian success is under arms, — with armor on, not laid down. Let us rejoice, however, that the clarion call of peace will at length be heard above the din of battle." We must not forget that, as Paul says to the Ephesians, we need to be constantly on guard "against spiritual wickedness in high places," against the subtle and tenacious forms of error which would invade even our spiritual understanding and whisper doubt when there should be full assurance of the omnipotence of Truth and Love. This is also presented in John's apocalyptic vision as "war in heaven," but when aggressive error would invade the spiritual realm its own destruction is assured, so that there is no place found for it any longer.

         It need hardly be said that we should be well acquainted with our spiritual armor and should know its value. We read that in the olden time candidates for the honor of knighthood prepared themselves by prayer and fasting, and watched beside their armor all night long before they were admitted to this order. The symbolism of this experience will be readily understood by the student of Christian Science, and it should never be forgotten that prayer and fasting are needed at every stage of our human experience until faithfulness crowns every effort with victory. A well-known hymn begins with this rousing call: —

Gird thy heav'nly armor on,
      Wear it ever night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one:
      Watch and pray.

At the close of the Preface to "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. xii) Mrs. Eddy directs thought to "the privileged armaments of peace;" then she says: "With armor on, I continue the march, command and countermand; meantime interluding with loving thought this afterpiece of battle. Supported, cheered, I take my pen and pruning-hook, to 'learn war no more,' and with strong wing to lift my readers above the smoke of conflict into light and liberty."

 

"'Armor on'" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, November 30, 1918
 

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