Address Before The Christian Scientist Association Of The Massachusetts Metaphysical College, In 1893 – Obedience

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         My Beloved Students:—This question, ever nearest
         to my heart, is to-day uppermost: Are we filling the
         measures of life’s music aright, emphasizing its grand
         strains, swelling the harmony of being with tones whence
15    come glad echoes? As crescendo and diminuendo accent
         music, so the varied strains of human chords express
         life’s loss or gain,—loss of the pleasures and pains and
         pride of life: gain of its sweet concord, the courage of
         honest convictions, and final obedience to spiritual law.
20    The ultimate of scientific research and attainment in
         divine Science is not an argument: it is not merely say-
         ing, but doing, the Word—demonstrating Truth—even
         as the fruits of watchfulness, prayer, struggles, tears, and

25    Obeying the divine Principle which you profess to un-
         derstand and love, demonstrates Truth. Never absent
         from your post, never off guard, never ill-humored, never
         unready to work for God,—is obedience; being “faith-
         ful over a few things.” If in one instance obedience be
30    lacking, you lose the scientific rule and its reward: namely,

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1      to be made “ruler over many things.” A progressive
         life is the reality of Life that unfolds its immortal Prin-

         The student of Christian Science must first separate the
5      tares from the wheat; discern between the thought,
         motive, and act superinduced by the wrong motive or
         the true—the God-given intent and volition—arrest
         the former, and obey the latter. This will place him on
         the safe side of practice. We always know where to look
10    for the real Scientist, and always find him there. I agree
         with Rev. Dr. Talmage, that “there are wit, humor, and
         enduring vivacity among God’s people.”

         Obedience is the offspring of Love; and Love is the
         Principle of unity, the basis of all right thinking and
15    acting; it fulfils the law. We see eye to eye and know as we
         are known, reciprocate kindness and work wisely, in
         proportion as we love.

         It is difficult for me to carry out a divine commission
         while participating in the movements, or modus operandi,
20    of other folks. To point out every step to a student and
         then watch that each step be taken, consumes time,—
         and experiments ofttimes are costly. According to my
         calendar, God’s time and mortals’ differ. The neo-
         phyte is inclined to be too fast or too slow: he works
25    somewhat in the dark; and, sometimes out of season,
         he would replenish his lamp at the midnight hour and
         borrow oil of the more provident watcher. God is the
         fountain of light, and He illumines one’s way when one
         is obedient. The disobedient make their moves before
30    God makes His, or make them too late to follow Him.
         Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow
         under every circumstance.

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1      Human will must be subjugated. We cannot obey
         both God, good, and evil,—in other words, the ma-
         terial senses, false suggestions, self-will, selfish motives,
         and human policy. We shall have no faith in evil
5      when faith finds a resting-place and scientific under-
         standing guides man. Honesty in every condition,
         under every circumstance, is the indispensable rule of
         obedience. To obey the principle of mathematics ninety-
         nine times in one hundred and then allow one numeral
10    to make incorrect your entire problem, is neither Science
         nor obedience.

         However keenly the human affections yearn to for-
         give a mistake, and pass a friend over it smoothly, one’s
         sympathy can neither atone for error, advance individual
15    growth, nor change this immutable decree of Love: “Keep
         My commandments.” The guerdon of meritorious
         faith or trustworthiness rests on being willing to work
         alone with God and for Him,—willing to suffer patiently
         for error until all error is destroyed and His rod and His
20    staff comfort you.

         Self-ignorance, self-will, self-righteousness, lust, covet-
         ousness, envy, revenge, are foes to grace, peace, and
         progress; they must be met manfully and overcome,
         or they will uproot all happiness. Be of good cheer;
25    the warfare with one’s self is grand; it gives one plenty
         of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with
         you,—and obedience crowns persistent effort with
         everlasting victory. Every attempt of evil to harm good
         is futile, and ends in the fiery punishment of the
30    evil-doer.

         Jesus said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth
         defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth,

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1      this defileth a man.” If malicious suggestions whisper
         evil through the mind’s tympanum, this were no apology
         for acting evilly. We are responsible for our thoughts and
         acts; and instead of aiding other people’s devices by
5      obeying them,—and then whining over misfortune,—
         rise and overthrow both. If a criminal coax the unwary
         man to commit a crime, our laws punish the dupe as ac-
         cessory to the fact. Each individual is responsible for

10    Evil is impotent to turn the righteous man from his
         uprightness. The nature of the individual, more stub-
         born than the circumstance, will always be found argu-
         ing for itself,—its habits, tastes, and indulgences. This
         material nature strives to tip the beam against the spir-
15    itual nature; for the flesh strives against Spirit,—against
         whatever or whoever opposes evil,—and weighs mightily
         in the scale against man’s high destiny. This conclusion
         is not an argument either for pessimism or for optimism,
         but is a plea for free moral agency,—full exemption
20    from all necessity to obey a power that should be and is
         found powerless in Christian Science.

         Insubordination to the law of Love even in the least,
         or strict obedience thereto, tests and discriminates be-
         tween the real and the unreal Scientist. Justice, a
25    prominent statute in the divine law, demands of all
         trespassers upon the sparse individual rights which one
         justly reserves to one’s self,—Would you consent that
         others should tear up your landmarks, manipulate your
         students, nullify or reverse your rules, countermand
30    your orders, steal your possessions, and escape the
         penalty therefor? No! “Therefore all things what-
         soever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even

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1      so to them.” The professors of Christian Science must
         take off their shoes at our altars; they must unclasp
         the material sense of things at the very threshold of
         Christian Science: they must obey implicitly each and
5      every injunction of the divine Principle of life’s long
         problem, or repeat their work in tears. In the words
         of St. Paul, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield your-
         selves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye
         obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
10    righteousness?”

         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
15    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, and come more
         sweetly to our ear than sound of vintage bells to villagers
         on the Rhine.

20    I recommend that this Association hereafter meet tri-
         ennially; many of its members reside a long distance from
         Massachusetts, and they are members of The Mother
         Church who would love to be with you on Sunday, and
         once in three years is perhaps as often as they can afford
25    to be away from their own fields of labor.

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Love is the liberator.