Chapter Forty-two | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter Forty-two

From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by

The Tares and the Wheat

Why did Mrs. Eddy make the following statement at another time? “I know what is coming. I dare not tell you what I know; you are young yet; and now is the time to experiment. You will know some day.”

Mrs. Eddy recognized that, if she unfolded to the students all that she knew about the inward nature of mortal belief, before they had developed the spiritual actuality, they would feel as if they had had their very foundations knocked out from under them, with nothing left to cling to. The right action of spiritual growth is to fill in the space with Truth, as fast as error is extracted, but not to do it prematurely, so as to leave a vacuum. Old theology tears down, without giving man anything constructive to take its place.

Even the Master recommended that we let both the wheat and tares grow until the harvest. But, here arises the question, would his doctrine be scientific, if it recommended man to permit evil to flourish side by side with good? Could the Master have meant evil, when referring to the tares? If not, what do the tares represent? Must they not represent human good, or those phases of the human which seem good, and which man is not ready to put off, until spiritual growth has brought him to the place where he can discern between the products of the divine Mind and mortal belief. Mrs. Eddy perceived, that many of the things that her students held to as good, had their origin in the human mind and hence, were tares. Notwithstanding, she did not dare tell the students, because they had not matured spiritually to the point where it would have been a safe thing to do. She knew that, when the harvest came, which was the point of spiritual perception, where the student is able to differentiate between the things of the flesh and the things of the Spirit, the true separation would be made. It is legitimate in Christian Science, yea, even necessary, for the student to work with human good so-called, under the belief that it is spiritual, until growth brings the ability to make the right cleavage.

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