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Clouds Dispelled
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


         In recent times religious people have to a large extent turned away from the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, especially where prophecy is concerned. Here be it said, however, that while Christian Scientists endeavor to gain a meaning above the literal, if by this is meant the material, they endeavor to lose sight of nothing which is of importance in reaching that overcoming which the Bible insists upon, and which Christian Science shows to be possible. At the present time, when there can be no question whatever respecting the identification of world conditions with those foretold by Christ Jesus and given in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew's gospel, we are almost tempted to accept the statements found therein in the most literal way, whereas there is every reason why we should lift thought above all mortal discords, and grasp the spiritual reality which is inseparable from all of our Master's teachings and demonstrations.

         It is deeply interesting as well as helpful to note what the great Teacher has to say about the passing of error and the appearing to human consciousness of God's kingdom on earth, and so we read of "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." This passage corresponds to several others, both in the Old Testament and in the New, and we find the idea repeated in the first chapter of Revelation, where we read, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him." On page 547 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says: "The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained." At one time it was believed by many sincere Christians that Jesus would return to earth, and would be seen coming through the clouds in the midst of the greatest of human struggles. Christian Science, however, reveals the fact that Christ as God's idea has never been absent from the earth, for he himself said to his disciples at the close of his earthly ministry, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

         To the Christian Scientist, as an individual, the coming of the Christ has usually been when the clouds of mortal sense hung very heavy and seemed to shut out the light of Truth and Love, but through the demonstration of divine Science the ever presence of God and His Christ and the divine all-power dispelled these clouds and brought healing, even as in the earthly ministry of Christ Jesus; nor would the one who was healed deny that this coming was "with power and great glory."

         When thought rises from personal and individual experience to the great world problems of the present hour, and when we look with no uncertain hope for the coming of the Christ, as foretold by our Master, we can see many of the signs which he gave. In the sixteenth chapter of Mark we find a direct command to his followers to preach the gospel "to every creature" in all the world. This is followed by the statement, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." We are then told that the Master departed from his followers, rose above the plane of mortal belief, and yet we read that when they gave out the truth which he taught he was "working with them, and confirming the word with signs following."

         The student of Christian Science will readily admit that the uncovering of error makes it appear more terrible, perhaps, than ever before, and yet much less so to the one who has made eternal Truth his refuge, for all the time there is the assurance, which gains weight with each day's experience, that though heaven and earth pass away, the words of Christ Jesus will never pass away. Commenting upon this promise Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 99): "The winds of time sweep clean the centuries, but they can never bear into oblivion his words. They still live, and to-morrow speak louder than to-day. . . . The grandeur of the word, the power of Truth, is again casting out evils and healing the sick; and it is whispered, 'This is Science.'" Shall we for a moment lose heart because the war clouds seem very dark? We are told that the Christ-idea will come "in the clouds of heaven;" and whatever the arguments of mortal mind, however fierce its aggressiveness, these are as nothing before the power and glory which accompany the coming to human consciousness of the divine presence.

         In Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians we find this same thought expressed; and although it has usually been interpreted in a somewhat material way, its truer sense is purely spiritual. The apostle's words banish error and replace it with the immortal hope. They tell of the joyful state of those who believed they had died; also of those who had not passed through such an experience, and yet it meant for both a rising above earth and earthliness, a rising above the clouds of mortal sense; and Christian Science makes it clear that the work of each day and hour should mean this and no less. Well may we ponder ofttimes the apostle's closing words, "And so shall we ever be with the Lord;" doing at all times the will of wisdom, and rejoicing evermore therein.

 

"Clouds Dispelled" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, March 2, 1918
 

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