Habits, And Their Cure

From the Christian Science Sentinel, May 1887, by

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter xiv., will be found the cure for all forms of habit: “And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.”

Let us reason together, and see in what way this verse will dissolve the slavery and loose the chains of oppression, which, with a seeming Pharaoh-power, have held us in bondage, until we find ourselves in the midst of a sea of error, tossed by the angry waves of appetite, until we long for a Moses to emancipate us from our sinking condition, and honestly desire to separate from the husky vanities of this world. When we have, like the Prodigal Son, “come to ourselves,” and can say, “I will arise and go to my Father,” then we have come to the first step in our lesson. It is the fourth watch, the morning watch, the dawning of the Truth, the breaking-through of the Light, after the long, dark night of error.

It is here that the full meaning of the verse dawns upon us, and we see with a clearer vision the lesson our Master taught us by walking on the sea. What a lesson is here! so grand, so simple, so true, so full of hope to the wanderer, when he has seen the Star in the East, and has departed from King Herod, and will let it lead him on (as it did the Wise Men), higher, higher up in the ascending firmament of Truth, multiplying his pure thoughts, as Life and Love give birth to nobler aims, until Truth has lifted him up above, and he has forever put under foot whatever would drag him down and engulf him in its angry vortex of sin and bondage. This is the lesson our Master teaches us by walking on the sea, and how vividly he shows us that dominion is man’s birthright, and not subjection.

The great secret of success, in triumphing over habits of all kinds, is to understand their nothingness; in that way we show our superiority over them. If the temperance people of today would all work on this line, it would terminate in better results than by addressing alcohol as King Alcohol, forever telling what a power he is, and what a terrible grip he has in our land. Once come to the understanding that he has no power, and like Goliath, he is easily overthrown. St. John tells us, that “God created all that was made, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” In Genesis we find that all of God’s creations were pronounced good. Now the writer of this article fails to see the good in intoxicating liquor, and consequently feels justified in here denying that God was the author of it. The Bible tells us, “the same fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter water,” that we cannot “gather figs from thorns.” So God cannot be the author of both good and evil; for “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Now, how vividly comes to us the fact of sin’s nothingness, and it should be treated as such. Go forth to meet it with the sling of Christian Science. With a well-directed missile of Truth your giant (?) is laid low, and overthrown forever. Go through the whole category of habits, and destroy them all.

The voice of Truth is calling you today, as it did Lazarus more than eighteen-hundred years ago, to come forth. Jesus said: “Loose him, and let him go.” Come out of your grave, roll away the stone from your narrow sepulchre, strip off the error that bound you hand and foot, and put on the seamless garment of Truth. You have worn, long enough, the material fig-leaf covering, and you are no better satisfied with it now than were the Adam and Eve of old; for the same answer will come back today, to the question “Where art thou?” as then,—”I was afraid, and I hid myself.” Rather say with Paul: “Neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God.” Let us then put on the seamless garment, and look ever to the light, and not let the world and its influence eclipse the Light of Truth. Let us choose the straight and narrow way that leads to everlasting life, where we shall join in the songs of the blessed.

When we’ve been there ten-thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

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