Five Wise Virgins — Five Foolish
From The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 7, No. 12, March 1890 by M. J. L.
Shortly after I began work in Christian Science, it came to me that the five wise virgins are the five Spiritual senses: intuition, hope, faith, understanding, and fruition. Science and Health, p. 206, 40th edition: “The five foolish virgins are material sense, or human belief,” —ignorance, fear, doubt, dread, and despair. Page 62: ” Spiritual sense is a conscious capacity to understand God.” Human belief is materialism — the opposite of the true Spiritualism.
The five foolish virgins are not only foolish, but ugly; and to take them up and master them is the work of the five wise ones. The foolish are vindictive in belief, and persistently clamorous for power and supremacy. They must be taken up one by one, and overcome.
“And the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out.” Materialism must go out, in the light of Science; and mortal mind, begging for oil, is told to go rather to “them that sell and buy for yourselves.”
True wisdom is expressed in this reply. The door must be closed upon them, the separation must take place for growth in grace to be progressive; for demonstration to yield happy returns.
Intuition is the finer quality of thought that continually sifts chaff from wheat; purifying, cleansing, perfecting; casting out every evil thought; adjusting and readjusting every good impulse, hence exalting, “good.”
Hope, strong and buoyant, “is the anchor of the soul, which entereth into that within the vail. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Heb. vi. 19, 20.
Faith, in its activity, is continually giving evidence of Life and Immortality beyond the grave; of perfect confidence in the Divine hand; of willingness to watch, labor, and wait, — knowing well the Lord is gracious, and will not forsake those who trust Him, — that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The works of faith are joy and peace, health and holiness. The blessing of the faithful is a crown of glory, won by triumphing over material sense.
Understanding is real development of intellectual power; mental freedom; capacity for enlarging and expanding. “The knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” This virgin, freed from intellectual bondage, is not only free in thought but holy in purpose. Her lamp, always trimmed and brightly burning, effectually banishes all darkness of mortal dread. Taking captivity captive, she discloses the riches of Eternal Mind; and establishes on firm foundations the “temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” and by Wisdom builded.
Fruition is the result of long-suffering, faithful practice of successful demonstration in overcoming material belief. It is the consequence of “well done”; the final triumph in Spiritual sense, or “oneness with the Father.” “Through spiritual sense only can man comprehend and love Deity.” (S. & H. p. 413.)
These wise virgins, faithful in watching and waiting for their bridegroom — “The pure consciousness that God, the Divine Principle, creates man as His own idea, and is the only creative power” (S. & H. p. 529), — are rewarded with: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.” . . “Unto you that fear (reverence) my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; and they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord.” Mel. iv. 2, 3.