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First On the List

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Announcements Forums Soul – February 17th, 2019 First On the List

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    Of all the virtues symbolized by various beasts of the field in Mrs. Eddy’s key to Genesis, she lists moral courage as first and foremost in importance.

    So did Samuel Johnson, the great 18th-Century moralist and conversationalist; when his biographer, James Bowsell asked him to identify the greatest virtue, Johnson singled out courage, emphasizing that without courage, fitness to exercise the other virtues would be insufficient.

    So did Jane Austen’s inspiring quasi-autobiographical Pride and Prejudice character, Elizabeth Bennet, who said, “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

    So did Mrs. Eddy’s moral hero, abolitionist Charles Sumner:

    ‘Three things are necessary,’ said Charles Sumner, ‘first, backbone; second, backbone; third, backbone.'”

    “A good chance alone is nothing. Education is nothing without strong and vigorous resolution and stamina to make one accomplish something in the world. An encouraging start is nothing without backbone. A man who cannot stand erect, who wobbles first one way and then the other, who has no opinion of his own, or courage to think his own thought, is of very little use in this world. It is grit, it is perseverance, it is moral stamina and courage that govern the world.”


    Thank you for this great post. I find it almost unbelievable as I write this that I only learned the concept of “having a backbone” from the Plainfield Church! And this church helped me grow one and be conscious of the importance of having one–for how can we stand up to error otherwise and send it back to its native nothingness?


    Thanks for these posts.The Lesson citation from:403 : 14-23 supports this post:
    You command the situation if you understand that mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being. Mortal mind is constantly producing on mortal body the results of false opinions; and it will continue to do so, until mortal error is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of mortal illusion. The most Christian state is one of rectitude and spiritual understanding, and this is best adapted for healing the sick. (Emphasis added)

    From Webster’s 1828
    Rectitude:In morality, rightness of principle or practice; uprightness of mind; exact conformity to truth, or to the rules prescribed for moral conduct, either by divine or human laws. rectitude of mind is the disposition to act in conformity to any known standard of right, truth or justice;Perfect rectitude belongs only to the Supreme Being. The more nearly the rectitude of men approaches to the standard of the divine law, the more exalted and dignified is their character. Want of rectitude is not only sinful, but debasing.

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Love is the liberator.