There is, perhaps, no quality more necessary to successful endeavor than courage. Everyone knows that it takes courage to be true under trying circumstances; to press on under all sorts of difficulties; to "hold the fort" until all enemies are vanquished; to win the battle whatever the apparent odds against one. No one questions that it takes courage to persevere in each true activity until every hindrance is removed, every obstruction is thrown down, every obstacle is overcome; to press steadily forward, whatever the seeming discouragement, whatever the tendency to falter and faint by the way, until right is established. Many a battle has been gained by the revival of courage where the fight had seemed almost lost; renewed effort was thereby made possible because hope was restored, and the triumph of good resulted.

         Men have always looked upon such courage as this with great admiration, and few if any thinkers but have desired to possess and exercise it. They have, however, often sought for it in the wrong direction because they have considered it physical, whereas the entire nature of true courage is always moral. That which is sometimes called courage, but is not based on a desire to see good triumph, will fail when it is most needed; it invariably runs before danger and would rather be accounted a coward than to stand, under difficulties, for that which is right; it is the very counterpart of fear, and partaking of such a nature it is but "a reed shaken with the wind," on which no dependence can be placed, — on which no one would be tempted to rely for an instant.

         In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 514) Mrs. Eddy says, "Moral courage is 'the lion of the tribe of Juda,' the king of the mental realm." And then she adds: "Free and fearless it roams in the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in 'green pastures, . . . beside the still waters.'" The Bible also teaches that it is only the courageous who can be calm and untroubled in the midst of stress, and who may always be conscious of God's presence to deliver them from all evil. The Psalmist sang, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart."

         Christian Science shows how to attain this sublime, dauntless courage, which can never fail, but which presses steadily forward until victory is won in every instance, since it explains that we — even as did Paul — can do all things through Christ, Truth, who strengtheneth us. After all, what is it that inspires true courage but the understanding that one has the God-given ability to accomplish what he undertakes? Even were one in a wilderness, if he knew the way out he would not be afraid. So whatever the difficulties which may confront the Scientist, he knows he can always be courageous, since the path is invariably made plain in Christian Science. He also understands what Mrs. Eddy indicates in Science and Health (p. 417), — that his strength is in proportion to his courage.

         Then if, as the sons of God, we will work from Jesus' standpoint, — that "the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise," — we shall be able to prove that moral courage is really ours; that we are indeed at-one with "the king of the mental realm." Now, while this is clear and simple, which one of us today but needs to be assured and reassured that this courage is always his?

         When Isaiah wrote, "They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage," he touched upon a point which we who are striving to stand true to Christian Science and its teachings should never forget. Are we, therefore, always careful to value and cherish properly every effort that our fellow-Scientist may be making to do his work faithfully and well, even though the results may not seem fully pleasing to us? Are we ready with the word of appreciation and encouragement? Are we ready with the thought, word, or deed which will help our brother to go patiently forward in spite of the false arguments of discouragement and fear and inability which, perhaps all unknown to us, are assailing him?

         Every demonstration of Truth over error, however small, is of real value in winning the salvation of the world. No one can be left out. It is important to all that every one of us shall succeed in proving God's allness and the nothingness of every supposititious claim to an opposite. Then should we not lovingly stand ready with our songs of courage and hope, that no brother shall faint for lack of them? The demand for courage is made upon every one of us equally. Let us all, therefore, cling constantly to the blessed assurance that our beloved Leader has given us in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 191), where she says, "Immortal courage fills the human breast and lights the living way of Life."


"Courage" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, September 20, 1924

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