CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
ELLA W. HOAG, CSD
Now fear and unbelief have rarely been placed by the world at large in the category of sins. Indeed, they have been considered so innocent in their nature that mankind has almost invariably presented excuses for them whenever and wherever they have appeared, and more often than not has claimed that they are quite unblameworthy; indeed, it has argued that men have a right to indulge them. Even though in late years eyes have been slowly opening to see that these elements almost always result in suffering of some sort, in discord and disaster, even then men have accepted them as impossible of avoidance and as necessary accompaniments to all human existence.
This has been especially the case with fear. This arch deceiver has gone on holding the world in bondage through the beliefs that fear is unavoidable and unconquerable; that the one expressing it is not responsible for its presence; that because of all this there is nothing sinful in its nature. As a result men have been its victims and have submitted to its demands much oftener than they have resisted them. The apparent hopelessness of the situation has plunged them into acceptance of fear's outrageous claims until the "fire and brimstone" have seemed almost at hand. Then the sufferer has cried out for relief. And where can freedom from fear and its attendant torture be found except in the understanding of God's infinite goodness?
It was the same John who prophesied that fear would have part in "the lake which burneth" who definitely pointed the way out of all fear when he declared: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." That fear primarily results from doubt of God's infinite goodness may readily be seen. In the degree that the truth of the infinitude of divine Love is grasped fear begins to lose its terror.
Fear and unbelief are therefore very closely related; they may almost be said to depend completely on each other. Take away unbelief and there could be no possible reason left for fear. And Christian Science has come to show the way out of all unbelief and therefore reveals the method whereby all fear will ultimately and certainly be eliminated.
Now most Christian Scientists will say that in the degree that they have faith in God as infinite, divine Love, in like proportion they find their fears disappearing. They will even go further and admit that all they need to do to overcome all fear is to gain an ever increasing belief in, or understanding of divine Love. If, however, they are asked why, knowing this, their faith ever falters, why fear ever claims still to hold sway then they are too apt to hesitate and say that they themselves cannot answer these "why's."
And yet the answer is not so far to seek! May it not be in the simple admission that it is because they allow their demonstration of Truth to falter? that they stop, at least temporarily, to question, rather than to press steadily on in the proving of the unreality of both fear and unbelief?
Christian Science reverses the ordinary human estimate of fear by insisting that fear can be avoided; that it can be conquered; that the one expressing it is responsible for his acceptance or indulgence of it. Consequently it must always be in some degree a sin for the Christian Scientist to submit to fear's control. Christian Science also indicates most clearly that such submission is generally based on the sin of unbelief on the acceptance of another power and presence and creator than the one infinite God, who is all good, all Love!
At the same time that Christian Science reveals the sinful nature of both fear and unbelief, it also creates hope in the human heart. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 240) Mrs. Eddy accentuates this when she writes, "The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope."
There is therefore no question but that the way out of all fear and unbelief is to allow Christian Science to show us their unreal because untrue nature. Then if we will but press patiently on in the proving of this by clinging steadfastly to the opposite truth that divine Love is the only cause and creator, the only presence and power, until Truth triumphs in each individual instance, we cannot fail to find both fear and unbelief disappearing in ever greater measure.
We doubt because we have not proved what we believe to be true. If we will use our belief in Truth until it becomes faith, and our faith in Truth until it becomes understanding, we shall always find Truth triumphant; for in just the degree we do this, disease and sin will be overcome by Truth; and each success will strengthen us to go forward, until all fear and unbelief shall be swallowed up in infinite Truth and Love.
Christian Science Sentinel, August 13, 1927
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