Cleansing from Secret Faults

         The teachings of Christ Jesus invariably point to the necessity of gaining freedom from bondage to sin both in order to manifest sound health and also to win salvation. Recognizing that all causation is mental and spiritual, he urged upon his hearers the paramount necessity of freeing one's self from every type of sinful belief and wrong desire. To drop away from the forms of sinful living which were outwardly manifest was not enough: the cleansing must be from within, and it must be thorough. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" he exclaimed, "for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess." And he followed with the stern admonition to cleanse that which is within the platter in order that the outside may be clean also.

         Definite and complete instructions for those seeking to gain a larger spiritual concept through mental cleansing are set forth and elucidated in the Christian Science textbook in a way that makes the method perfectly plain. In speaking of those who pray for the outward effect, Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 8): "Their prayers are indexes which do not correspond with their character. They hold secret fellowship with sin, and such externals are spoken of by Jesus as 'like unto whited sepulchres . . . full . . . of all uncleanness.'" Thus clearly did our Leader supplement Jesus' injunctions.

         To be effective, then, cleansing must be from within. We must turn upon our mentalities the white light of spiritual Truth if we would make sure of the quality of our thoughts. Willingness to do this indicates an honest desire for purity and spirituality. Unwillingness to face the situation arises from a desire to hold to secret faults, either for love of sinful so-called pleasures or for fear of the consequences in giving them up. Either condition should be healed, else spiritual progress will be impeded. In a sentence just before the above quotation from the textbook, our Leader has touched upon this situation and hinted its remedy. "We never need to despair of an honest heart," she says; "but there is little hope for those who come only spasmodically face to face with their wickedness and then seek to hide it."

         Honesty is a step toward reformation and an important one, but it is not sufficient. Honesty must be accompanied with the earnest desire to surrender all unlike God's likeness, to be cleansed of every sinful thought. Secret faults, the little foibles and sinful secrets which we cherish, must be brought out into the open and destroyed, else they will lie in ambush to thwart our best intentions. This process makes necessary complete surrender, the relinquishing of every phase of belief which emanates from the claim of a selfhood apart from God. The notion that a mortal is of himself something, that life inheres in material body, that the claims of the flesh are real, these are secret faults, which must be destroyed in order that the real man may stand revealed.

         Practitioners of Christian Science not infrequently encounter the type of mentality that would hold to some specific belief in the mistaken conviction that out of it will come some phase of good, either sensuous pleasure or material profit. Such conditions definitely retard spiritual progress. Whatever unlike God is held to as real is a stumblingblock to him who would win salvation. Not partial but full surrender of falsity, whatever its name or whatever its claim, is the invariable price of close communion with God. Is not the reward of such experience the abiding sense of the ever-presence of infinite Love, which is omnipotent and available? Is not such a state of consciousness a sufficient compensation for the seeming loss of any material belief, however precious it may seem to be? The Pharisaical type of thought is little inclined either to admit its error or to surrender its false baggage. Yet surrender there must be if one would abide in the realm of perpetual love.

         To make the outside of the platter clean seems to many the only necessity. Am I not presenting a fair and harmonious appearance to the public? is the question mortals would ask; but it is learned in Christian Science that since causation is mental and spiritual, moral cleanliness demands that the cleansing be from within outward; then nothing will remain concealed which is unlike good. The wise seeker for relief from the beliefs of disease, whatever its specific manifestation, will petition divine Love for the desire to relinquish all unlike good, for release from every type of retarding thought. This is the receptive thought, most prepared to behold the perfect man, God's creation. Is not this mental attitude wholly in accord with the First Commandment? How can we have but one God and obey Him if we hold to be real and worthy that which is unlike God?

         The situation is not illogical; neither is it an impossible one. Seeking first the kingdom of God will solve the problem, if such seeking be pure in desire, and honest. On page 510 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: "How much more should we seek to apprehend the spiritual ideas of God, than to dwell on the objects of sense! To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual." Here is a guide to every earnest seeker in his journey from matter to Spirit.


"Cleansing from Secret Faults" by Albert F. Gilmore, CSB
The Christian Science Journal, October, 1925

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