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Editorial
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


        The persistence of the human mind in clinging to false theories is worthy of a better cause, and is doubtless due in large part to the timidity which is an outgrowth of these very theories. Shakespeare but expresses a universal sentiment when he says that a dread of the unknown "makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of." The sense of evil's reality has been so prevalent in mortal belief that the possibility of good as the guerdon of fearless research has failed to inspire humanity to the extent of risking the loss of the imperfect in a quest for the ideal. It is this mental condition which induces so many to contend for the reality of matter and its supposed laws even after the claims of Spirit and spiritual law have been brought to their attention by Christian Science. Like the navigators of an early day, they choose to creep along, close to the dreaded rocks and reefs of materiality, rather than strike out boldly upon the waters of truth, and, guided by the compass of divine Science, to seek and find the realm of Spirit where is perpetual harmony.

         It is argued by some who admit the great blessings which have come to mankind through Mrs. Eddy's discovery of the Science of Christianity, that there is no need to go the length of denying materiality altogether, that it is surely enough to admit that matter is subordinate to Spirit; and they contend that this position has the support of a well-nigh universal human opinion. They also offer, in support of their belief in matter, certain passages from the Bible and Science and Health which, they think, favor the supposition that man is both material and spiritual. To this it may be replied that it would hardly be possible to discuss any human belief without giving it a recognition as such, even while showing its fallacy, and only thus is the belief in matter, or the flesh, dealt with in the teachings of the Master, or in our textbook. We must never lose sight of the fact that if we admit the reality of matter we must also admit the reality of its supposed laws and phenomena, and this is what Christ Jesus never did. His invariable standard was Spirit and spiritual law, while his words and deeds gave a constant denial to the truth of any other, and this standard is exclusive of any belief in materiality. Paul's utterance on this subject is surely final He says, "They that are in the flesh [matter] cannot please God." It is incongruous to suppose that God would put us into the flesh, or materiality, and then refuse to be pleased with us for being in it. He said of Christ Jesus, who always denied materiality, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." If any should contend that though he was spiritual yet we are material, Paul gives answer, "Ye are not in the flesh [matter], but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

         To every contention for the belief that man is both material and spiritual, we may ask, What have been the fruits of such belief? Have not its invariable concomitants been sin, disease, and death, and does not all the evidence go to prove that we cannot admit the reality of both matter and Spirit, for if we hold to the one we "despise the other"? Further, if man were material he certainly would require material remedies; this the consistent materialist would admit, while denying the efficacy of the spiritual remedy. No professed follower of Christ Jesus can, however, consistently take such a position, since the Master eschewed the use of material remedies, a use which would surely have been lawful and necessary had he believed man to be material as well as spiritual. The fact that he did not use them is a convincing argument for Christian Scientists, and they are striving to obey his command, "Follow me."

         It is generally believed by Christian people that someday we shall be wholly spiritual, that is, when we get to heaven, and that we shall then be immune from all evil. If, therefore, the realization of spiritual conditions can bring such good to us, why not seek that realization now? Does Christ, Truth, forbid it? Do the teachings and example of the Master ever encourage delay in taking the unequivocal position, here and now, that as God is Spirit, man is of necessity spiritual? They do not; and we have no excuse for indecision since the teaching of Christian Science shows so clearly the folly of half-hearted allegiance to Spirit. If we admit that man is spiritual it is imperative that we leave forever the domain of material belief, even though this launch us as lonely mariners on the great deep, with night around us; — the glorious skies telling us of those who, like ourselves, have wrestled with error and overcome it through Truth, and who shine "as the stars for ever and ever."

         To human sense it may sometimes seem that we shall never reach the goal of Spirit, but we may well think upon the bold navigator who sought the shores of the new world, and who heeded neither the fears nor the murmurings of those who had started with him, — whose only answer to every question was, "Sail on!" Our Leader has told us that our Father is at the helm, and what more can we ask? Let us rejoice that we have left behind us the belief in a material universe and man, and that even now we are realizing a harmony before unknown. The day of Spirit is breaking, and soon there will be revealed the fair land toward which we have toiled.

 

Editorial by Annie M. Knott, CSD
The Christian Science Journal, November, 1905
 

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