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he belief in loss and limitation seems today to be well-nigh universal. Many of us find ourselves mesmerized by this all-pervading atmosphere and are struggling to rise above its density to a clearer altitude, where spiritual perception, unbemurked by clouds of sense, will enable us to recognize the unreality and the falsity of this claim. “We have lost money,” says one friend; “Investments are so bad,” says another, and one hears this so frequently reiterated, that it needs something more than mere optimism to counteract the deleterious effect produced by this belief upon the human mind.

 Whether it be ourselves who are temporarily in bondage, or others, we must set to work to right the wrong, must face the situation fearlessly, knowing that poverty is as much a state of mental procurement as sickness or sin, and that it must be handled and overcome in the same way. Though the belief is different, the method for its destruction and removal is that which applies to all other false claims, viz., a right knowledge and understanding of divine Principle, which when demonstrated will restore normal conditions,—“will supplant error with Truth,—and silence discord with harmony” (Science and Health, p. 495). If we believe we have sustained a financial loss, have been deprived of our possessions, this belief must be superseded by spiritual understanding, which rightly applied will replace that which may seem to have vanished, but in reality has never been lost, for, as the Master said, “whosoever hath [spiritual understanding], to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” To see things as they are, and not as they seem to be, i.e., to know the truth, the reality about everything, and not judge by “appearances,” is what each of us has to do in connection with every problem that confronts us in daily experience.

“Man cannot be deprived or robbed of that which is lawfully his by inheritance.”

Dorothy Escombe

Our Leader tells us to “correct material belief by spiritual understanding” (Science and Health, p. 425); and again, on page 472, she says, “Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. It is that which seemeth to be and is not.” Therefore all discordant conditions result from ignorance of God, or else through fear or sin. If we regard our supply as being proportionate to bank deposits or dependent upon the fluctuations of the money market, the ups and downs of which serve as a barometer to measure our gains and losses and attendant joys or sorrows, we are indeed precariously situated. We are too prone to hold supply as being great or small according to the number of figures that represent our capital and (humanly viewed) source of income.

Our Leader tells us to “correct material belief by spiritual understanding” (Science and Health, p. 425); and again, on page 472, she says, “Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. It is that which seemeth to be and is not.” Therefore all discordant conditions result from ignorance of God, or else through fear or sin. If we regard our supply as being proportionate to bank deposits or dependent upon the fluctuations of the money market, the ups and downs of which serve as a barometer to measure our gains and losses and attendant joys or sorrows, we are indeed precariously situated. We are too prone to hold supply as being great or small according to the number of figures that represent our capital and (humanly viewed) source of income.

“To see things as they are, and not as they seem to be, i.e., to know the truth, the reality about everything, and not judge by “appearances,” is what each of us has to do in connection with every problem that confronts us in daily experience.”

A man of wealth whose name may be coupled with his millions, is sometimes spoken of as a man of substance, as one who has gained his ends and life’s object. Yet one who is chronicled as having had vast possessions, who had spent his life in amassing riches and sought to find happiness therefrom, having afterward become disillusioned, wrote as follows: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” He likewise perceived the poverty of mortal existence, and the folly of expecting to derive happiness as a sequel to material gain, and finally realized that nothing could be created which did not already exist, as expressed in the following words: “There is no new thing under the sun. . . . I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be fore ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: . . . That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”

The true record of creation, that which sets forth the spirituality of man and the universe, as given in the first chapter of Genesis, where all might and power is assigned to God, the only creator, and man as created in His image and likeness,—is given dominion, not made in subjection,—tells us that God beheld His work, “every thing that he had made,” and, “behold, it was very good.” God’s work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of the truth in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation. We may be perfectly sure that our harvest will be correspondingly great or small with our sowing, and if discordant conditions arise they will result as penalties for broken law, disobedience to divine law, and will be rectified only as we correct the wrong thoughts and substitute the right. From God we cannot receive anything but good, and we have only to think aright in order to receive an answer to our prayers and a solution to our problems.

God, the only creator, and His creation, spiritual, perfect, eternal, always has been, is now, and ever will be unchangeable, universal, intact; nothing can be added to that which God creates, and nothing can be taken from it, for God is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” “But,” says Paul, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,” and we find that the “natural man” does judge by appearances, the testimony of the material senses. Following a right understanding of God, which is gained by the study and application of the teachings of our text-book, we learn to “pray aright” and to solve our problems by demonstration of the actuality of being, the “signs following” bearing witness to our understanding of Principle. This necessitates implicit obedience to God’s will, conformity to His law, a clinging to the knowledge of that which is, and a firm denial of that which is not.

It has been said of Christian Scientists that they are a godless people, who do not pray and who think themselves sufficiently perfect without doing so. Such remarks only serve to show how little those who make them know about Christian Science and Christian Scientists, for were they to turn to the Christian Science text-book they would find the very first chapter devoted to the subject of prayer. It was the study of this chapter that, for the first time in her life, gave the writer a true understanding of what prayer really is and what it does for one. Though she had before doubted the efficacy of prayer, she has never done so since, and has learned, with many others, how through this right method it is possible to remove error in whatever form or disguise it may present itself,—whatever would obstruct and impede one’s progress and access to God.

Not only does the Christian Scientist pray, but his constant endeavor is to do so “without ceasing,” and in his newly acquired understanding the student finds how this may be rendered possible. The commonly accepted form of prayer is to request God to give the petitioners something which they desire and seem not to possess, or to remove something they have, even though they believe it to have been God-bestowed, as in the case of sickness and disease. In any case, it is to change some prevalent condition or circumstance. Referring to this habit of petitioning God, Mrs. Eddy says, “Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it. Goodness attains the demonstration of Truth” (Science and Health, p. 2). Right thinking about God and man is prayer, and the demonstration of the truth is the answer. By this method we approach God, commune with Him, and prove our unity—our at-one-ment with our Maker—by “signs following.”

“God is never separated from his manifestation. The knowledge and full realization of this fact—the unity of God and man—will destroy the seeming sense of separation imposed by false beliefs”

We are impecunious, or seem to be, so long as we retain the belief that we are, and are governed by fear of loss and deprivation. “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness,” to quote Paul again, and we must set to work to destroy this belief by the same mental method that we would employ to correct any other untrue belief relative to ourselves and others. We must know that we have “in heaven a better and enduring substance,” and realize God, Spirit, as the only source of our supply, the only substance, inexhaustible, infinite, which never diminishes or grows less. Following up this perception of substance and this true knowledge of God, we must see ourselves as God’s children, heirs to His kingdom and privileged possessors of all good. Man cannot be deprived or robbed of that which is lawfully his by inheritance. God’s kingdom is secure, safe, and intact, and we as His children, His spiritual ideas, eternally manifesting and reflecting Him, are ever receiving those good and perfect gifts that God is ever giving, and God is never separated from his manifestation. The knowledge and full realization of this fact—the unity of God and man—will destroy the seeming sense of separation imposed by false beliefs, which arise when we rivet our gaze to a material and finite sense of persons and things.

“That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past,” was the conclusion of “the Preacher.” We demonstrate this by reversing our erroneous thoughts, and thus we prove that divine Love meets our every need by the recognition of the fact that “that which hath been [God-bestowed] is now.” What we believe we have lost, be it wealth, health, or what not, never has been lost; therefore, scientifically speaking, it is not to be regained, for one cannot regain that which has never been lost. Says the apostle, “All things are yours; . . . and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”

God is our unchangeable source of supply, the giver of all good, and to lose sight of this fact, to swerve from our allegiance to Principle, necessitates later our paying the penalty. God’s children can never be deprived of anything that they originally had, and this understanding “restoreth my soul,”—gives back that which seems to have been lost,—and “prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” The spiritual sense of being, temporarily lost sight of, must be restored, for “God requireth that which is past.” When we rise above the murky atmosphere to the true conception of God, man, and the creation, to the realization of “that which is,” we shall destroy all false beliefs in the reality of that which is not,—prove the verity of these statements and that to God “all things are possible;” that He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” and that “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

(Originally published in the April, 1909 Christian Science Journal)

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