by Rev. G. A. Kratzer
Except in so far as it prevents fear and worry, — which is much, if actually accomplished, — it does not do very much good to blindly trust our mortal affairs to God, on the supposition that He orders them and will take care of them. God does not order mortal affairs; for mortal affairs are only a mistaken sense of things. God and His work, and all affairs that He orders, are immortal. God, being immortal, does not make or order anything mortal.
Suppose one had problems in mathematics to work, and should say: “Well, I will trust the principle of mathematics to work out these problems.” It is true, that such problems can only be worked out by the principle of mathematics; yet the person desiring the solution of a problem has something to do in the matter. He must understand mathematics, and apply that understanding, in order to solve his problem; or he must have his problems solved by someone else who understands mathematics, and will apply that understanding for him.
Likewise, in order to overcome ills, a man must understand God and consciously apply his understanding in order to overcome these ills; or he must have them overcome for him by someone else who understands God, and will apply that understanding in his behalf, else the ills will not be overcome. No amount of blind trust will remove them; neither will they be removed by prayers or petitions to a supposed God, who is supposed to have established these ills, waiting for someone to pray to Him before He will remove them. There is no such God.
Christian Science teaches us how to understand God; and how to apply our understanding to the present overcoming of sin, disease, discord, and poverty; and, sometime, either in this or some future stage of growth, our increased understanding of God will enable us to permanently overcome our sense of materiality and death.
The fact that men use the laws of mathematics for the solution of many problems shows that they are entirely sure that the correct application of these laws will bring correct and useful results, and they evidence their trust in these laws by learning them and using them intelligently; not by relying on them while yet remaining in ignorance of them.
The trust in God which is effectual in results, requires not only a thorough comprehension and detailed knowledge of the laws of God, but a practically available knowledge of them. To illustrate: Before a boy can learn the multiplication table to any purpose, such expressions as: “Three times four equals twelve,” “Five times six equals thirty,” and so on, must be illustrated to him, so that he clearly understands their meaning. Then he must commit to memory these expressions arranged in tables. This requires much close application, much concentration of thought, and much repetition and drill on his part; but even after he has mastered the tables so that he can recite them glibly, he still lacks a knowledge of them that can be put to much practical use. For instance, suppose the boy is given a problem, to multiply 465 by 23. When he is confronted by the demand that he multiply five by three, he may not know the result, except as he has learned it by rote in the table; so he must go through a process, as follows: “Three times one are three, three times two are six, etc.,” until he reaches “three times five are fifteen.” By this process, he is able to reach the truth he seeks; but he has not yet acquired independent knowledge of it.
Suppose that, at the point where the boy knows his addition, subtraction and multiplication tables by rote, he is sent to the market to buy six oranges at three cents each, and with a quarter of a dollar to pay for them; and suppose the clerk who makes the change is inclined to be dishonest, and gives the boy four cents in change, instead of seven. The boy, not being familiar with the mathematical reasoning involved, is likely to be confused by the situation. He indistinctly perceives that he has not been given enough change, and yet his knowledge of the facts is not instant and ready–on-demand. He timidly suggests to the clerk that he has not been given the right change, and the clerk, assuming a bold air, replies: “Yes, your change is all right.” “But, but — ”, ventures the boy. “Run along, I tell you; your change is all right,” blusters the clerk, and, not being sufficiently sure of his ground to make a stand, the boy goes away defrauded. If the boy had acquired an independent and instantaneous command of the problem, then, when the clerk undertook to cheat him, a look of surprise would instantly and automatically have come into his face, and that, in all probability, would have shown the clerk that his purpose to defraud was useless, and he would have said: “Oh, excuse me, I did not give you the right change.” But if the clerk had tried to hold his ground, with what absolute and positive assurance would the boy have claimed his right! He would have stood for his due until he got it. An instantly available knowledge of the truth would have protected him against the imposition.
So, too, when we have learned what the laws of God are, and then have so thoroughly drilled them into our consciousness by meditation, declaration, and application, that, when any suggestion from within or without contrary to those laws rises in our experience, we are instantly and automatically surprised that there should be even a presumption that any thought or circumstance could successfully assert or carry through anything in thought or experience contrary to the laws of God, then we are protected against suffering and loss, as we never can be by any degree of knowledge less thoroughly assimilated in consciousness.
It is therefore often useful for a person to declare and endeavor to realize, many times per day, that love, joy, peace, and confidence in good are laws of God, and therefore of our being; that whenever we tolerate fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, or grief, we are breaking the law, and living a lie: that harmony, health, strength, action, life, express the laws of God, and that whenever we tolerate, without protest, thoughts or feelings of sickness, pain, weakness, inaction, or death, we are breaking the law, and living a lie. He who thus drills right thoughts into his consciousness, until they are brought into the very forefront of thought, and so cannot be forgotten when they are needed, and who orders his course in accordance with divine law, will be subject to very little suffering, either mental or physical, and to very little loss in any way.