“It is not enough to turn warm skin against the cosmic night.”


“I receive not testimony from man” means, in part, that no matter how technically correct mortal man can be about Christ, it is still a witness that is too far off the Subject of its testimony to be accepted as evidential in the sight of God. “Faith without works is dead.” It’s the difference between the witness of mind and the witness of Mind. Whenever our commitment to Christ becomes too pat, too comfortable, too static, too verbal, then we have wavered; and then our testimony becomes a kind of self-congratulatory perjury.

The history of religion is cyclical: light followed by darkness, light followed by darkness, and so forth. The light is the light of spiritual liberty and the darkness is the darkness of ecclesiasticism. The light at the beginning of each new cycle of renewal is the light of a strong reformer receiving fresh, first-fire revelation from the throne of God, fire that rekindles the smoldering wicks in the hearts of humanity (Isaiah 42:3), banishing darkness, liberating a night-bound world as God once again broods over the darkness with the cry, “Let there be Light!” But we cannot hide such light under a bushel. As my inspired godmother wrote in an unpublished poem: after we have had firsthand, intimate experience with that first fire, “It is not enough to turn warm skin against the cosmic night.”

Experiencing God’s fire in a secondhand way is not enough – in fact, it is darkness. Mrs. Eddy carried a mighty torch and did everything she could do to pass it on to us unextinguished, to keep the waters of ecclesiasticism from quenching its flame.

“In reply to John’s inquiry, ‘Art thou he that should come,’ Jesus returned an affirmative reply, recounting his works instead of referring to his doctrine, confident that this exhibition of the divine power to heal would fully answer the question.” SH 131:30 – 132:4.

These works – more than words – are the “greater witness than that of John,” the witness that we ourselves are called to bear, moment by moment, day and night: the works that Jesus worked through Christ, and even greater works, in unwavering at-one-ment with the Father.

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