CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
WILLIAM P. McKENZIE, CSB
Writing a commentary upon the ninety-first psalm, an honored principal of a theological college discussed the verse which says, "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling," somewhat as follows. He argued that a disease or a plague was no respecter of persons, that the Christian had no assurance of protection from either, that infection and pestilence were unavoidable; hence that the statement cannot be taken as having literal or practical application. Nevertheless, as it must be true in a way, the only way to understand its truth was to regard it as having application to the Messianic messenger.
Curiously enough, as if assuming the psalm to be Messianic, it was a verse from this particular psalm which was presented to Christ Jesus in the form of a temptation when he was urged to cast himself down from the temple pinnacle. Jesus refused to consider making this spectacular exhibition wherewith to impress the multitudes in the temple courts, and made answer to the temptation, "It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Now, the chapter heading of the psalm is against the commentary of the theologian, for the brief statement of its contents is: "The state of the godly, their safety, their habitation, their servants, their friend; with the effects of them all." Furthermore, the emphasis is laid on making God refuge and fortress and habitation, and it clearly follows, "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
Very well, then; what, in the time of human fear, should be the effort of one who believes the Bible? Must it not be to enter in and dwell "in the secret place of the most High," and there be protected with the quiet and safety that the nestling has under the mother bird's protecting wing, so that metaphysically he may understand the fact regarding over brooding Spirit, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler"? The materialist is without resource in times of trouble because the materialistic beliefs which engender discord have of course no assured remedy for it. Tentative and experimental material remedies do not reach to the evil wish in mortal mind which is father to the evil effects in experience. The wish that evil may befall true men and that the plague may come nigh those bravely standing for righteousness connects itself with evil's claim to despotic power and the rulership of the world. In a brief answer to a question regarding a mesmerist's public exhibition of his power, Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 48): "It is alleged that at one of his recent lectures in Boston Mr. Carpenter made a man drunk on water, and then informed his audience that he could produce the effect of alcohol, or of any drug, on the human system, through the action of mind alone. This honest declaration as to the animus of animal magnetism and the possible purpose to which it can be devoted, has, we trust, been made in season to open the eyes of the people to the hidden nature of some tragic events and sudden deaths at this period."
At this time when modern sorcery is meeting its exposure and, struggling to continue, seeks for victims to strike with terror by night or to wound with the arrow of mental suggestion by day, when pestilence is its argument in the darkness of ignorance, and when its science of destruction is wasting the world in the noonday of its pride, those who desire peace and safety must needs turn to God. But how shall we know God, men say; we have trusted teachers and guides, doctors and leaders and scribes, and they all tell us of the power and activity of evil, so that God seems far off and unavailable. The answer comes in that message of Jeremiah familiar to us as the words of a song:
If with all your hearts ye truly seek me,
The most clear and evident way for seeking after God is to investigate and understand that Science whereby God's healing power is being proven in the world. In every instance of healing there comes a glow of love for God and a joyful recognition of His goodness. Many a demonstration is made through the quiet realization of the truth of the words found in the psalm from which quotations have been made. That they have universal application is evident to those who through faith have already proved their truth. Mrs. Eddy is emphatic that "the Science of mental healing must be understood" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 175), and she continues: "There are false Christs that would 'deceive, if it were possible, the very elect,' by instituting matter and its methods in place of God, Mind. Their supposition is, that there are other minds than His; that one mind controls another; that one belief takes the place of another. But this ism of to-day has nothing to do with the Science of mental healing which acquaints us with God and reveals the one perfect Mind and His laws."
Christian Science Sentinel, October 19, 1918
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