“Put Up Thy Sword”
by Mary Baker Eddy
While Jesus’ life was full of Love, and a demonstration of Love, it appeared hate to the carnal mind, or mortal thought, of his time. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
This action of Jesus was stimulated by the same Love that closed—to the senses—that wondrous life, and that summed up its demonstration in the command, “Put up thy sword.” The very conflict his Truth brought, in accomplishing its purpose of Love, meant, all the way through, “Put up thy sword;” but the sword must have been drawn before it could be returned into the scabbard.
My students need to search the Scriptures and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” to understand the personal Jesus’ labor in the flesh for their salvation: they need to do this even to understand my works, their motives, aims, and tendency.
The attitude of mortal mind in being healed morally, is the same as its attitude physically. The Christian Scientist cannot heal the sick, and take error along with Truth, either in the recognition or approbation of it. This would prevent the possibility of destroying the tares: they must be separated from the wheat before they can be burned, and Jesus foretold the harvest hour and the final destruction of error through this very process,—the sifting and the fire. The tendency of mortal mind is to go from one extreme to another: Truth comes into the intermediate space, saying, “I wound to heal; I punish to reform; I do it all in love; my peace I leave with thee: not as the world giveth, give I unto thee. Arise, let us go hence; let us depart from the material sense of God’s ways and means, and gain a spiritual understanding of them.”
But let us not seek to climb up some other way, as we shall do if we take the end for the beginning or start from wrong motives. Christian Science demands order and truth. To abide by these we must first understand the Principle and object of our work, and be clear that it is Love, peace, and good will toward men. Then we shall demonstrate the Principle in the way of His appointment, and not according to the infantile conception of our way; as when a child in sleep walks on the summit of the roof of the house because he is a somnambulist, and thinks he is where he is not, and would fall immediately if he knew where he was and what he was doing.
My students are at the beginning of their demonstration; they have a long warfare with error in themselves and in others to finish, and they must at this stage use the sword of Spirit.
They cannot in the beginning take the attitude, nor adopt the words, that Jesus used at the end of his demonstration.
If you would follow in his footsteps, you must not try to gather the harvest while the corn is in the blade, nor yet when it is in the ear; a wise spiritual discernment must be used in your application of his words and inference from his acts, to guide your own state of combat with error. There remaineth, it is true, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; but we must first have done our work, and entered into our rest, as the Scriptures give example.