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Government by Truth
WILLIAM P. McKENZIE, CSB


         From a green hill high above a harbor one can watch the vessels come through its intricate entrance. The observer will see only placid surface and a ship following the winding course till its berth is gained and the anchor falls. He does not know of the reefs and shoals, nor of the rips and currents that change with ebbing and flowing tides. The ship comes safely in as if with perfect confidence, because the pilot who guides has exact knowledge. The truth regarding the safe channel is known to him, and he knows the landmarks and the meaning of the buoys that both warn and guide.

         One can imagine the caution of the early navigator entering unknown harbors, but recording in the ship's log his soundings and discoveries. These items later navigators will utilize and add to, and with explorations continued, as use of the harbor makes necessary, finally a chart may be drawn. Then to guide the sailor in the night, lighthouses will be built until, by day or by night, the ships may safely come and go and the passengers and crew have confidence regarding their course.

         Prophets and lawgivers were as navigators who had to discover a safe course. Heathenism is a condition of mesmerism wherein the lie rules and the truth of being is veiled. Flesh and its desires, needs, and luxuries, its lusts and cruelties, is so predominant that Spirit is made to seem evanescent and unreal. When a prophet, inspired by the spirit of Truth, proclaims the way of righteousness to a sinful people, they look on him as a disturber of their peace; but he is really as a discoverer of true peace and safety amid danger. Age after age have such prophets arisen, who for the conditions of their time have disclosed the way of right, and pointed out the harm and deception of wrong. As the log of a navigator may be preserved to be found useful to many, so the vision of a true prophet endures as a record of the discovery of truth in the domain of life.

         Ships are wrecked again and again on the same reef, and nations likewise perish by repetition of the same form of mesmerism. Mesmerism, in brief, is that action of the human mind whereby the lie is made to appear as the truth. The Bible as a whole is the proclamation of truth which disentangles men from their false beliefs and clarifies their minds so that they will not be as the heathen who trust in lies, but will know fact and reality, truth and life, and put their trust in God.

         We like to think of the statesman as one whose greatness depends upon his probity and honor. His appeal to a nation rests upon confidence in the desire for righteousness on the part of the citizens. The real statesman knows that "righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." His opposite is the timeserving politician who seeks not greatness but mere personal or party advantage. The appeal of the politician is not to steadfast righteousness, but to vanity, pride, lust, envy, hatred, revenge. Working upon these undestroyed errors a liar can sway men and nations at times, and affect them with such illusion and delusion as will wreck millions of lives. Of course, those who are weak through vanity, self-will, and pride of material advantage are not men of Principle; they have not the strength and stability of goodness, the enduring substance of truth and righteousness. The remedy for the weakness and helplessness which believes a lie and becomes its victim in distress, hunger, suffering, and loss, is, of course, knowledge of scientific truth, along with the desire to accept its government.

         The Bible, in its denunciations of heathen rites and practices which connect themselves with lust and drunkenness in such a way that there is stupefaction to righteousness, scorn of morality, and pride that revolts against Principle, unveils the hidden evil of mesmerism. The Bible also sets forth the requirements of Principle and the blessings that immediately and continuously follow obedience and the acceptance of the government of Truth. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 24) we read: "Acquaintance with the original texts, and willingness to give up human beliefs (established by hierarchies, and instigated sometimes by the worst passions of men), open the way for Christian Science to be understood, and make the Bible the chart of life, where the buoys and healing currents of Truth are pointed out."

         How does the truth in the Bible govern men? Certainly not along the lines of the mortal mind theory of government, which so generally means arbitrary control. Putting the question another way we might ask, How does the signpost at a meeting of the ways govern a traveler? He is seeking the road that will bring him to his destination. Here may be four roads, or half a dozen, to choose from, and the road he wants is only one. Manifestly, it is truth he wants to know, and when it is found he obeys its government without question; that is, he obeys in act the silent guidance of the finger post by taking the right way. It is in like manner that the word of an honest man governs. With him it is Yea and Nay, and further asseveration or denial is needless.

         True government is after all really right guidance. Force and injustice and the exploitation of the masses may constitute the ideal of the tyrant. His desire is to have power, to exert compulsion from without, and to imprison, punish, or kill anyone who expresses will or desire contrary to his caprices. But when truth governs, the compelling power is within; there is understanding and enlightenment so that the actions of those who obey are harmonious and not conflicting. It is like traveler after traveler finding the right way, or stately ships moving safely amid dangers into their desired haven.

         The government of God, Truth, then, means real freedom because divine law guides into the right way, because the truth regarding life means health, righteousness, honor, happiness, fidelity, and consequent deliverance from disease, dishonor, distrust, unhappiness, and infidelity. Our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, says (Science and Health, p. 225): "Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free. You may know when first Truth leads by the fewness and faithfulness of its followers. Thus it is that the march of time bears onward freedom's banner."

 

"Government by Truth" by William P. McKenzie, CSB
The Christian Science Journal, February, 1919
 

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