Planting the Seed

From the Christian Science Sentinel, March 23, 1918, by

The world war makes the question of planting the seed more pressing than usual. What shall the harvest be? Evidently, according to the nature of the seed, the quality of soil, and the application of labor. God must preside over the planting and watering of His vineyard that the fruit of substance and gladness may ripen within it. Humanity must prepare the soil of its consciousness with plow and harrow to receive the seed, and there must be laborers. Jesus once said as he viewed the fainting multitude, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” The complaint of the hour in agricultural lands repeats the statement that the laborers are few, for the war activities have called many of them away from the fields, and the time has arrived when the Lord of the harvest must be besought to supply the need.

Christian Scientists realize that there must be a spiritual preparation of men and nations before the artificial scarcity produced by hate and fear can be wiped out. Spiritual planting reverses the material procedure of agriculture. It requires gathering before sowing, receiving from God before dispensing to others. Therefore, in placing the whole problem of successful harvesting into metaphysics, the first requirement is seen to be receptivity on the part of human consciousness to the eternal, spiritual facts of being. With reference to agriculture, one of these facts is expressed in the Scriptural statement that God created “every plant of the field before it was in the earth.” Interpreting this text on page 520 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes: “Here is the emphatic declaration that God creates all through Mind, not through matter,—that the plant grows, not because of seed or soil, but because growth is the eternal mandate of Mind.” The real plant partakes of the nature of its creator, God, the divine Mind, and is idea, not matter. Therefore a wide prospect of usefulness to mankind opens before the farmer-metaphysician who will learn to gather, sow, and harvest mentally in accordance with the law of divine Mind before placing the seed in the earth. Thus agriculture may be delivered from the false beliefs of mortal mind which subject the plant to destruction by frost or drought, by pest or mildew.

The world may be reluctant to admit that planting the seed must be done with spiritual understanding in order to be safe from the assaults of evil mental manipulation, but this lesson must be learned along with many others during the world turmoil. The whole problem reduces itself to the question of causation. Is God Mind or matter? Christian Science has long since settled this question for all clear thinkers. Mind creates and controls the universe including “every plant of the field.” Then it is impossible to safeguard God’s plant while pretending to ignore God Himself. It is true that human belief, calling for material food, requires that the seed shall be planted in the earth. Mrs. Eddy writes on page 183 of Science and Health: “Can the agriculturist, according to belief, produce a crop without sowing the seed and awaiting its germination according to the laws of nature? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin, or error, first caused the condemnation of man to till the ground, and indicate that obedience to God will remove this necessity.”

Obedience to God brings fruition. It causes the grass to grow in meekness; it brings forth the savory herb, the nourishing grain, the fruit tree with blossom of beauty and refreshing fruitage. There will be no lack of vegetation when the agriculturist knows that God is Mind, and Mind the only creator, and that the product of Mind is ideas which, manifested as plants, are not subject to decay, but are perennial, with unfailing times of renewal and joyous upspringing.

Christian Scientists at this season are under special orders to plant the right seed in the right way and to watch over it night and day, for while men slept a ruthless enemy “came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way,”—and now the tares are appearing and need to be burned. Years before the hurling of bombs and grenades and the shooting of shrapnel and torpedoes, the sowing of mental tares began through a mental malpractice, whose purpose it was to uncover national weaknesses in order to exploit them, thus reversing the modus operandi of Christian Science practice, which uncovers error in order to heal. The sowing of discord among allies, of class wars within nations, of apathy, discouragement, of peace without repentance, leaving the malpractitioners to suppose they can gain full control of the world’s activities,—these are some of the tares which the farmer-metaphysician must now gather and burn because they were sowed “while men slept.”

But what of the coming harvest? Christian Scientists, by watching, may prevent any attempted mental interference with God’s plan. They may prevent the sowing of further tares; protect the blade, the ear, and the full grain in the ear; the Lord of the harvest will answer the prayer of spiritual understanding for laborers, and throughout the impending changes in human belief, famine and want can be checked by metaphysical planting of the seed of righteousness. Mrs. Eddy’s wonderful prophecy as found on page 125 of Science and Health remains to cheer the faithful right thinker: “The seasons will come and go with changes of time and tide, cold and heat, latitude and longitude. The agriculturist will find that these changes cannot affect his crops. ‘As a vesture shalt Thou change them and they shall be changed.’ … and the florist will find his flower before its seed.”

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