Address Before The Christian Scientist Association Of The Massachusetts Metaphysical College, In 1893 – Obedience | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

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

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          SUBJECT:

          “Obedience”

          My Beloved Students: — This question, ever nearest

12    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

18    pride of life: gain of its sweet concord, the courage of

          honest convictions, and final obedience to spiritual law.

          The ultimate of scientific research and attainment in

21    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

24    triumph.

          Obeying the divine Principle which you profess to un-

          derstand and love, demonstrates Truth. Never absent

27    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-

          ciple.

3      The student of Christian Science must first separate the

          tares from the wheat; discern between the thought,

6      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

9      the safe side of practice. We always know where to look

          for the real Scientist, and always find him there. I agree

          with Rev. Dr. Talmage, that “there are wit, humor, and

12    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.

18    It is difficult for me to carry out a divine commission

          while participating in the movements, or modus operandi,

          of other folks. To point out every step to a student and

21    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-

24    phyte is inclined to be too fast or too slow: he works

          somewhat in the dark; and, sometimes out of season,

          he would replenish his lamp at the midnight hour and

27    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-

3      terial senses, false suggestions, self-will, selfish motives,

          and human policy. We shall have no faith in evil

          when faith finds a resting-place and scientific under-

6      standing guides man. Honesty in every condition,

          under every circumstance, is the indispensable rule of

          obedience. To obey the principle of mathematics ninety-

9      nine times in one hundred and then allow one numeral

          to make incorrect your entire problem, is neither Science

          nor obedience.

12    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

18    alone with God and for Him, — willing to suffer patiently

          for error until all error is destroyed and His rod and His

          staff comfort you.

21    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,

24    or they will uproot all happiness. Be of good cheer;

          the warfare with one’s self is grand; it gives one plenty

          of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with

27    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

3      for acting evilly. We are responsible for our thoughts and

          acts; and instead of aiding other people’s devices by

          obeying them, — and then whining over misfortune, —

6      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

9      himself.

          Evil is impotent to turn the righteous man from his

          uprightness. The nature of the individual, more stub-

12    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

18    is not an argument either for pessimism or for optimism,

          but is a plea for free moral agency, — full exemption

          from all necessity to obey a power that should be and is

21    found powerless in Christian Science.

          Insubordination to the law of Love even in the least,

          or strict obedience thereto, tests and discriminates be-

24    tween the real and the unreal Scientist. Justice, a

          prominent statute in the divine law, demands of all

          trespassers upon the sparse individual rights which one

27    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

3      the material sense of things at the very threshold of

          Christian Science: they must obey implicitly each and

          every injunction of the divine Principle of life’s long

6      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

9      obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto

          righteousness?”

          Beloved students, loyal laborers are ye that have wrought

12    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

18    sweetly to our ear than sound of vintage bells to villagers

          on the Rhine.

          I recommend that this Association hereafter meet tri-

21    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

24    once in three years is perhaps as often as they can afford

          to be away from their own fields of labor.




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