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The Beginning of Sorrows

"From lack of moral strength empires fall" (Mis 268:27). Why did the egocentric demigods and dictators of the world cheer when a person of despicable character was elected to the highest office of a free republic? Because: they knew their own. They knew that they no longer had to creep in the dark to invade that country: they could pass through in broad daylight since the people had become so dull that they were blind to pretentious immorality. In sorrow, Jesus would say of them, 'Forgive them for they know not what they do.' Our shepherd leader made great demands on his disciples to vigilantly watch with him as he fought the greatest temptations of this world. After Jesus' best students repeatedly failed, falling asleep to his pleas to watch, the dreadful conclusion stung their ears, "Sleep on now . . . the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Mark 14:41). Today, the plea for formidable moral courage is repeated, but now to a universal audience. Shall we answer the call, or shall we desert our post when our freedom depends upon it? When the innocent and those hungering and thirsting after righteousness are herded together and thrust out of their homes and countries, will you say, 'Good riddance,' leaving conscience in the ditch and walking away, or will you take up the sword? Beware lest you fall into temptation and miss the opportunity to defend, cherish, and bless one another with the power of intelligent grace. Malice destroys freedom of expression and distorts one's mind to shambles. Watch, lest ye be overcome with passion, guilt, and shame! Watch, and you will not be led astray.

Truthful leaders sacrifice their egos for the advancement of spiritual good. Reflecting divine light, they guide nations by faith, by conscience, and by intuition, and they make laws in conformity with the First Commandment. Those who would attempt to lead by deception are nothing more than talking serpents. Their charade may seem promising as they delight our fondest hopes, but "if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch" (Matt 15:14). "Through all human history, the vital outcomes of Truth have suffered temporary shame and loss from individual conceit, cowardice, or dishonesty" (Mis 267:16). Evil will congratulate itself and seek to amplify its voice in order to drown out truth, but it is useful to consider that evil laid claim to both lie and liar before material history was even considered. Therefore, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World," the risen Christ, and the furnace fires of Armageddon were all foreseen long before their visible manifestations appeared (Rev 13:8). Why do we savor a falsehood that was found out before the world was? In the early stages, an enticing temptation seems to have only incidental significance and seems to be worth the risk of disobedience, but later, when it dictates the whole of mortal thought, it seems to be an indomitable monster. There is no innate power in a mistake and no gestation period for evil to fester: our fears alone provide the fertile ground. Armageddon is nothing more than the climax and destruction of spurious dreams.

Once we believe in a power opposed to good, Christ's corrective process cannot be retracted: Christ will continue to rebuke us and to love us unconditionally until sin is self-seen and abandoned. The final act of vengeance will conclude in God's own way with the total destruction of satanic thought and the raising of His two witnesses that have been left for dead "in the street of the great city" (Rev 11:8). Christ and Christian Science will rise again with power that sin cannot resist. There is no enemy outside of the lust that resides within one's own thoughts, and it is the capacity to think these thoughts that must and will be expunged.

Our Savior, Christ, never left. Leaning on the sustaining infinite, we are safe on the altar where all evil beliefs are burned up. If we are asleep to Christ or neglect to enact His word, we will suffer. "In those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them" (Rev 9:6). Mary Baker Eddy once told her pupils, "Now Truth hammers error. If you hold to error you get the hammering."1

The demand for a higher humanity has been smoldering throughout mortal history. That demand is ignited, and the flame of Truth will not be put out. "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:21). Jesus bade his disciples, "Watch with me." So watch, not as fools but as the elect children of God, as the evidence of God's being!

Prophetic Corroboration


Earth will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter, seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms), will continue unto the end, - until the final spiritualization of all things. "The darkest hour precedes the dawn."

This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth. (SH 96:7)

When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; . . . Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. . . . For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. . . . And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. . . . For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. . . . And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:9-11, 15, 17, 22, 25-28)

The Glue that Holds Empires Together
"We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love" (SH 15:18). Those with formidable moral courage will not hide themselves away for personal safety; they will bring their strength to a place to ensure its safety. Likewise, they will not go to a place because of what it can offer them; they will go because of what they can offer it. "Arise, let us go hence" (John 14:31).

1 Divinity Course and General Collectanea, p. 267

George Denninger ©

George Denninger ©

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