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Vainglory
MARY BAKER EDDY

Comparisons are odorous. — SHAKESPEARE

         Through all human history, the vital outcomes of Truth have suffered temporary shame and loss from individual conceit, cowardice, or dishonesty. The bird whose right wing flutters to soar, while the left beats its way downward, falls to the earth. Both wings must be plumed for rarefied atmospheres and upward flight.

         Mankind must gravitate from sense to Soul, and human affairs should be governed by Spirit, intelligent good. The antipode of Spirit, which we name matter, or nonintelligent evil, is no real aid to being. The predisposing and exciting cause of all defeat and victory under the sun, rests on this scientific basis: that action, in obedience to God, spiritualizes man's motives and methods, and crowns them with success; while disobedience to this divine Principle materializes human modes and consciousness, and defeats them.

         Two personal queries give point to human action: Who shall be greatest? and, Who shall be best? Earthly glory is vain; but not vain enough to attempt pointing the way to heaven, the harmony of being. The imaginary victories of rivalry and hypocrisy are defeats. The Holy One saith, "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river." He is unfit for Truth, and the demonstration of divine power, who departs from Mind to matter, and from Truth to error, in pursuit of better means for healing the sick and casting out error.

         The Christian Scientist keeps straight to the course. His whole inquiry and demonstration lie in the line of Truth; hence he suffers no shipwreck in a starless night on the shoals of vainglory. His medicine is Mind — the omnipotent and ever-present good. His "help is from the Lord," who heals body and mind, head and heart; changing the affections, enlightening the misguided senses, and curing alike the sin and the mortal sinner. God's preparations for the sick are potions of His own qualities. His therapeutics are antidotes for the ailments of mortal mind and body. Then let us not adulterate His preparations for the sick with material means.

         From lack of moral strength empires fall. Right alone is irresistible, permanent, eternal. Remember that human pride forfeits spiritual power, and either vacillating good or self-assertive error dies of its own elements. Through patience we must possess the sense of Truth; and Truth is used to waiting. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."

         By using falsehood to regain his liberty, Galileo virtually lost it. He cannot escape from barriers who commits his moral sense to a dungeon. Hear the Master on this subject: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

         Lives there a man who can better define ethics, better elucidate the Principle of being, than he who "spake as never man spake," and whose precepts and example have a perpetual freshness in relation to human events?

         Who is it that understands, unmistakably, a fraction of the actual Science of Mind-healing?

         It is he who has fairly proven his knowledge on a Christian, mental, scientific basis; who has made his choice between matter and Mind, and proven the divine Mind to be the only physician. These are self-evident propositions: That man can only be Christianized through Mind; that without Mind the body is without action; that Science is a law of divine Mind. The conclusion follows that the correct Mind-healing is the proper means of Christianity, and is Science.

         Christian Science may be sold in the shambles. Many are bidding for it, — but are not willing to pay the price. Error is vending itself on trust, well knowing the willingness of mortals to buy error at par value. The Revelator beheld the opening of this silent mental seal, and heard the great Red Dragon whispering that "no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

         We are in the Valley of Decision. Then, let us take the side of him who "overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves," — of such as barter integrity and peace for money and fame. What artist would question the skill of the masters in sculpture, music, or painting? Shall we depart from the example of the Master in Christian Science, Jesus of Nazareth, — than whom mankind hath no higher ideal? He who demonstrated his power over sin, disease, and death, is the master Metaphysician.

         To seek or employ other means than those the Master used in demonstrating Life scientifically, is to lose the priceless knowledge of his Principle and practice. He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Gain a pure Christianity; for that is requisite for healing the sick. Then you will need no other aid, and will have full faith in his prophecy, "And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd;" but, the Word must abide in us, if we would obtain that promise. We cannot depart from his holy example, — we cannot leave Christ for the schools which crucify him, and yet follow him in healing. Fidelity to his precepts and practice is the only passport to his power; and the pathway of goodness and greatness runs through the modes and methods of God.

         "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

 

Excerpted from Miscellaneous Writings
by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 267-270

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