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Exaltation
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


        It is deeply interesting to trace in the Scriptures the awakening of mortals to a recognition of the greatness and goodness of God, and the expressed desire to exalt His holy name. It is noticeable in this connection that the one who gains this larger sense of the divine nature drops the mortal characteristic of self-importance and expresses the humility which the wise man tells us leads to honor, riches, and life. Isaiah declares that God dwells with the one whose spirit is contrite and humble, or, as a Christian Scientist would say, with the one who has emptied his thought of self. On the other hand we read much concerning the downfall of those who seek to exalt themselves, as did Nebuchadnezzar, who was brought down to the level of the beasts, and this because his mind was “hardened in pride.” Far different from this is Mrs. Eddy’s characterization of “Mind’s infinite ideas,” of which she says (Science and Health, p. 514), “In humility they climb the heights of holiness.”

         When we come to the teachings of Christ Jesus we find this: “Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” We also find that self-exaltation is as likely to be a characteristic of cities or nations as of individuals, yet in reality righteousness alone “exalteth a nation.” The city of Capernaum was at one time a place of much importance, and it was honored by Jesus’ ministry of healing and teaching, as we read in the different gospels. In spite of this, however, the judgment of Truth upon it is given in these words: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” It is said that even the site of the city is a matter of uncertainty, and from its fate we may gather the lesson that only godlikeness can truly exalt an individual, a city, or a nation.

         In pursuing this theme we shall find much enlightenment in studying Paul’s words respecting Christ Jesus, in the second chapter of his epistle to the Philippians. Here the apostle exhorts us to have the Mind “which was also in Christ Jesus.” Then he goes on to say that although Jesus “thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” because of his perfect likeness to the Father, yet he “made himself of no reputation,” and “humbled himself.” He did not disown as brethren those who were in bondage to the beliefs of sin and sickness, but was to them as a man among men, so that he was called “a friend of publicans and sinners.” Christ Jesus did not need to exalt himself; God saw to that, as He always does in the case of His every faithful child. Paul tells us that because the Master did not shrink from any humiliation, God hath “highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” Of old the psalmist said of the one who makes God his refuge, “I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”

         God may be trusted to give each one the place in His kingdom for which he is fitted, and even in our silent prayers as Christian Scientists we shall do well to remember the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. We cannot too highly exalt our heavenly Father or too clearly realize the greatness of His reflection, the perfect man, all the while remembering the divine requirement “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”

         Our revered Leader says (Science and Health, p. 8), “We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.” It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord,” or to insist upon our likeness to the All-good, if we are not demonstrating this in purity, spirituality, unselfishness, and other Christly qualities. At a glimpse of the Christ-power and perfection Peter prayed, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord,” but it was he who counseled us to be “clothed with humility,” and who said, “Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

 

"Exaltation" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, January 8, 1916
 

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