The nature of the individual, more stubborn than the circumstance, will always be found arguing for itself,--its habits, tastes, and indulgences. This material nature strives to tip the beam against the spiritual nature; for the flesh strives against Spirit,--against whatever or whoever opposes evil,--and weighs mightily in the scale against man's high destiny.
A higher manhood is manifest, and never lost, in that individual who finds the highest joy,--therefore no pleasure in loathsome habits or in sin, and no necessity for disease and death. Whatever promotes statuesque being, health, and holiness does not degrade man's personality. Sin, sickness, appetites, and passions, constitute no part of man, but obscure man.
Christian Science teaches: Owe no man; be temperate; abstain from alcohol and tobacco; be honest, just, and pure; cast out evil and heal the sick; in short, Do unto others as ye would have others do to you.
The advancing stages of Christian Science are gained through growth, not accretion; idleness is the foe of progress. And scientific growth manifests no weakness, no emasculation, no illusive vision, no dreamy absentness, no insubordination to the laws that be, no loss nor lack of what constitutes true manhood.
Teach the children early self-government, and teach them nothing that is wrong. If they see their father with a cigarette in his mouth--suggest to them that the habit of smoking is not nice, and that nothing but a loathsome worm naturally chews tobacco. Likewise soberly inform them that "Battle-Axe Plug" takes off men's heads; or, leaving these on, that it takes from their bodies a sweet something which belongs to nature,--namely, pure odors.
To energize wholesome spiritual warfare, to rebuke vainglory, to offset boastful emptiness, to crown patient toil, and rejoice in the spirit and power of Christian Science, we must ourselves be true. There is but one way of doing good, and that is to do it! There is but one way of being good, and that is to be good!
Art thou still unacquainted with thyself? Then be introduced to this self. "Know thyself!" as said the classic Grecian motto. Note well the falsity of this mortal self! Behold its vileness, and remember this poverty-stricken "stranger that is within thy gates." Cleanse every stain from this wanderer's soiled garments, wipe the dust from his feet and the tears from his eyes, that you may behold the real man, the fellow-saint of a holy household. There should be no blot on the escutcheon of our Christliness when we offer our gift upon the altar.
Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.
S&H 406:19-20 (to 2nd .)
Resist evil--error of every sort--and it will flee from you. Error is opposed to Life.
Though the divine rebuke is effectual to the pulling down of sin's strongholds, it may stir the human heart to resist Truth, before this heart becomes obediently receptive of the heavenly discipline. If the Christian Scientist recognize the mingled sternness and gentleness which permeate justice and Love, he will not scorn the timely reproof, but will so absorb it that this warning will be within him a spring, welling up into unceasing spiritual rise and progress. Patience and obedience win the golden scholarship of experimental tuition.
God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection --an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.
The pleasures--more than the pains--of sense, retard regeneration; for pain compels human consciousness to escape from sense into the immortality and harmony of Soul.
Ignorance is only blest by reason of its nothingness; for seeing the need of somethingness in its stead, blesses mortals. Ignorance was the first condition of sin in the allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Their mental state is not desirable, neither is a knowledge of sin and its consequences, repentance, ^per se^; but, admitting the existence of both, mortals must hasten through the second to the third stage,--the knowledge of good; for without this the valuable sequence of knowledge would be lacking,--even the power to escape from the false claims of sin. To understand good, one must discern the nothingness of evil, and consecrate one's life anew.
Mortals may climb the smooth glaciers, leap the dark fissures, scale the treacherous ice, and stand on the summit of Mont Blanc; but they can never turn back what Deity knoweth, nor escape from identification with what dwelleth in the eternal Mind.
Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.
To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.