Fidelity | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Fidelity

From Miscellaneous Writings by


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         If people would confine their talk to subjects that are

3     profitable, that which St. John informs us took place

         once in heaven, would happen very frequently on earth,

         — silence for the space of half an hour.

6     Experience is victor, never the vanquished; and out

         of defeat comes the secret of victory. That to-morrow

         starts from to-day and is one day beyond it, robes the

9     future with hope’s rainbow hues.

         In the battle of life, good is made more industrious

         and persistent because of the supposed activity of evil.

12    The elbowing of the crowd plants our feet more firmly.

         In the mental collisions of mortals and the strain of in-

         tellectual wrestlings, moral tension is tested, and, if it

15    yields not, grows stronger. The past admonishes us:

         with finger grim and cold it points to every mortal mistake;

         or smiling saith, “Thou hast been faithful over a few

18    things.”

         Art thou a child, and hast added one furrow to the

         brow of care? Art thou a husband, and hast pierced

21    the heart venturing its all of happiness to thy keeping?

         Art thou a wife, and hast bowed the o’erburdened head

         of thy husband? Hast thou a friend, and forgettest to be

24    grateful? Remember, that for all this thou alone canst

         and must atone. Carelessly or remorselessly thou mayest

         have sent along the ocean of events a wave that will some

27    time flood thy memory, surge dolefully at the door of con-

         science, and pour forth the unavailing tear.

         Change and the grave may part us; the wisdom that

30    might have blessed the past may come too late. One


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1     backward step, one relinquishment of right in an evil

         hour, one faithless tarrying, has torn the laurel from many

3     a brow and repose from many a heart. Good is never

         the reward of evil, and vice versa.

         There is no excellence without labor; and the time to

6     work, is now. Only by persistent, unremitting, straight-

         forward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the

         left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which

9     cometh from God, can you win and wear the crown of the

         faithful.

         That law-school is not at fault which sends forth a

12    barrister who never brings out a brief. Why? Because

         he followed agriculture instead of litigation, forsook

         Blackstone for gray stone, dug into soils instead of delv-

15    ing into suits, raised potatoes instead of pleas, and drew

         up logs instead of leases. He has not been faithful over

         a few things.

18    Is a musician made by his teacher? He makes him-

         self a musician by practising what he was taught. The

         conscientious are successful. They follow faithfully;

21    through evil or through good report, they work on to the

         achievement of good; by patience, they inherit the prom-

         ise. Be active, and, however slow, thy success is sure:

24    toil is triumph; and — thou hast been faithful over a few

         things.

         The lives of great men and women are miracles of pa-

27    tience and perseverance. Every luminary in the constel-

         lation of human greatness, like the stars, comes out in

         the darkness to shine with the reflected light of God.

30    Material philosophy, human ethics, scholastic theology,

         and physics have not sufficiently enlightened mankind.

         Human wrong, sickness, sin, and death still appear in


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1     mortal belief, and they never bring out the right action

         of mind or body. When will the whole human race have

3     one God, — an undivided affection that leaves the unreal

         material basis of things, for the spiritual foundation and

         superstructure that is real, right, and eternal?

6     First purify thought, then put thought into words,

         and words into deeds; and after much slipping and

         clambering, you will go up the scale of Science to the

9     second rule, and be made ruler over many things. Fidelity

         finds its reward and its strength in exalted purpose. Seek-

         ing is not sufficient whereby to arrive at the results of

12    Science: you must strive; and the glory of the strife

         comes of honesty and humility.

         Do human hopes deceive? is joy a trembler? Then,

15    weary pilgrim, unloose the latchet of thy sandals; for the

         place whereon thou standest is sacred. By that, you may

         know you are parting with a material sense of life and

18    happiness to win the spiritual sense of good. O learn to

         lose with God! and you find Life eternal: you gain all.

         To doubt this is implicit treason to divine decree.

21    The parable of “the ten virgins” serves to illustrate

         the evil of inaction and delay. This parable is drawn

         from the sad history of Vesta, — a little girl of eight

24    years, who takes the most solemn vow of celibacy for thirty

         years, and is subject to terrible torture if the lamp she

         tends is not replenished with oil day and night, so that the

27    flame never expires. The moral of the parable is pointed,

         and the diction purely Oriental.

         We learn from this parable that neither the cares of

30    this world nor the so-called pleasures or pains of mate-

         rial sense are adequate to plead for the neglect of spiritual

         light, that must be tended to keep aglow the flame of


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1     devotion whereby to enter into the joy of divine Science

         demonstrated.

3     The foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps: their

         way was material; thus they were in doubt and dark-

         ness. They heeded not their sloth, their fading warmth

6     of action; hence the steady decline of spiritual light,

         until, the midnight gloom upon them, they must borrow

         the better-tended lamps of the faithful. By entering

9     the guest-chamber of Truth, and beholding the bridal

         of Life and Love, they would be wedded to a higher

         understanding of God. Each moment’s fair expect-

12    ancy was to behold the bridegroom, the One “altogether

         lovely.”

         It was midnight: darkness profound brooded over

15    earth’s lazy sleepers. With no oil in their lamps, no

         spiritual illumination to look upon him whom they had

         pierced, they heard the shout, “The bridegroom cometh!”

18    But how could they behold him? Hear that human

         cry: “Oh, lend us your oil! our lamps have gone out,

         — no light! earth’s fables flee, and heaven is afar

21    off.”

         The door is shut. The wise virgins had no oil to spare,

         and they said to the foolish, “Go to them that sell, and

24    buy for yourselves.” Seek Truth, and pursue it. It should

         cost you something: you are willing to pay for error

         and receive nothing in return; but if you pay the price of

27    Truth, you shall receive all.

         “The children of this world are in their generation

         wiser than the children of light;” they watch the market,

30    acquaint themselves with the etiquette of the exchange,

         and are ready for the next move. How much more should

         we be faithful over the few things of Spirit, that are able


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1     to make us wise unto salvation! Let us watch and pray

         that we enter not into the temptation of ease in sin; and

3     let us not forget that others before us have laid upon the

         altar all that we have to sacrifice, and have passed to

         their reward. Too soon we cannot turn from disease

6     in the body to find disease in the mortal mind, and its cure,

         in working for God. Thought must be made better, and

         human life more fruitful, for the divine energy to move

9     it onward and upward.

         Warmed by the sunshine of Truth, watered by the

         heavenly dews of Love, the fruits of Christian Science

12    spring upward, and away from the sordid soil of self and

         matter. Are we clearing the gardens of thought by up-

         rooting the noxious weeds of passion, malice, envy, and

15    strife? Are we picking away the cold, hard pebbles of

         selfishness, uncovering the secrets of sin and burnishing

         anew the hidden gems of Love, that their pure perfection

18    shall appear? Are we feeling the vernal freshness and

         sunshine of enlightened faith?

         The weeds of mortal mind are not always destroyed

21    by the first uprooting; they reappear, like devastating

         witch-grass, to choke the coming clover. O stupid gar-

         dener ! watch their reappearing, and tear them away from

24    their native soil, until no seedling be left to propagate —

         and rot.

         Among the manifold soft chimes that will fill the haunted

27    chambers of memory, this is the sweetest: “Thou hast

         been faithful !”




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