Spirit's Plumbline

         Amos writes, "Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me;" and then he goes on to say: "Behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. ... Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel." This was a wonderful promise that God gave to His people through His prophet, — a promise which all may rejoice in, and yet which most mortals are prone to cry out against. This vision of Amos speaks so plainly of the exactitude of God, that it brings one quickly to realize the unchangeable, immutable nature of Deity and of His invincible law.

         Now, this exactness, this scientific, invariable perfection of God, is the hope of the sinner, the comfort of the sorrowing, the joy of the saint. Were our Father in heaven less than the unalterable, perfect One, where would there be any stability, anything on which we could rely? Where would there be any possibility of security or trust? When one seems to be in the depths of woe, because matter and its beliefs appear real and tormenting, God then may seem very far away; and the very enormity of the sense of evil argues for its own reality, for its own continuance. As one turns to God at such a time, — unless one clearly understands the infinitude of His exactitude, — error will attempt to present this very quality as a reason for hopelessness. Mortal belief will argue: How can you ever hope to get close to God when He is so changeless, so perfect? He is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever," and is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity. His law is inviolable. He can have nothing in His sight which is less than absolutely good. Then how can He have anything to do with you who have fallen into such evil? Without the light of Christian Science, how hopeless seems the plight of such a one!

         With the coming of the Comforter, — divine Science, — the glad assurance has been unfolded that this very unalterable, exact nature of God is the greatest cause for joy we have, the greatest reason for our constant expectation of deliverance from evil. Mrs. Eddy writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 364), "Christian Science refutes everything that is not a postulate of the divine Principle, God;" and then she goes on to say of Christian Science, "It is God's right hand grasping the universe;" and yet further, "It stands on this Scriptural platform: that He made all that was made, and it is good, reflects the divine Mind, is governed by it."

         Here is the secret of all salvation, that in God's Science — which reveals His allness — is to be found His plumbline. This is the exact means whereby every thought, every word, every act, must be tested and adjusted. Whatever is not to be found in divine Science must be relinquished, until nothing is left which does not measure up to God's perfections. How wonderful that in this age we have been given this perfect Science, which includes all true knowledge, and to which we may always look for the exact truth!

         Our Leader inevitably turns us to Christian Science to find the truth, always pointing out to us the necessity of looking to see what Christian Science teaches in regard to everything. What Science states is the plumbline by which we are to test all questions. If any thought or statement is not in accordance with scientific Christianity, then we may always know we are not at-one with divine Principle in our thinking; and our living will soon show that we have departed from the straight line of Spirit.

         Now, it is all very well for us to congratulate ourselves on the possession of God's exact Science; it is all very well for us to talk much of the letter of this Science, declaring its statements with great gusto; it is all very well to say: In Science things are thus and so; but it is quite another matter to prove these statements to be the truth. To do this requires the willingness and humility necessary to persevere unfalteringly in the working out of every problem according to the rule involved. Nothing but exactness in using the plumbline will be sufficient to work out any problem to a successful issue. Any deviation from obedience to the rule will bring error into the result. Each thought and word and deed must measure true to Spirit's plumbline, or the work will not be correctly done. No slipshod work will be accepted; no least divergence from the law can be permitted. In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 233) our Leader writes: "What think you of a scientist in mathematics who finds fault with the exactness of the rule because unwilling to work hard enough to practise it? The perfection of the rule of Christian Science is what constitutes its utility."

         Jesus always used the plumbline of Spirit. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 476) Mrs. Eddy tells us: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." He looked into Science to see what Science revealed, and then refused to acknowledge or admit anything else as real. Spirit was always to him the only Life, substance, and Mind.

         To human belief, however, this continual use of Spirit's plumbline may appear too exacting a demand to be obeyed. Material sense is always crying out for an easier way; is always insisting that various methods may be devised for avoiding the insistent demands of divine Principle for perfection. Nevertheless, as it has been poetically expressed: —

"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet
         they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience He stands waiting,
         with exactness grinds He all."

         Then none may escape! But oh, the joy of knowing this! Christian Scientists, all over the world, are singing songs of thanksgiving that only perfection can abide in the presence of our perfect, infinite God! Herein is deliverance from every form of evil, freedom from every claim of fear, the healing of all sorrow and sickness and sin!

         We read in Isaiah, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." And all this is to be accomplished through finding "in Science" the truth about all things. Looking perpetually into Science, finding therein the truth and the truth alone, refusing to countenance aught else either in thought, in word, or in deed, we shall prove it possible to obey the plumbline command of our Master, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." This possibility — yes, this necessity — is our glad hope! This is our glorious assurance!


"Spirit's Plumbline" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
The Christian Science Journal, April, 1923

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