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Reexperience Jonah: the Cup of Sorrowful Effort

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Announcements Forums Soul – August 12th, 2018 Reexperience Jonah: the Cup of Sorrowful Effort

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    “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” (Jonah 1:1-3)

    From the “Notes of the Field” column of June 1894 issue of the Christian Science Journal: on the dangers of embracing sense after experiencing Soul:

    Dear Journal:— I cannot help but see how graphically yon described my own experience in the article relating to the prophet Jonah. It seems to me to be my literal experience. About three years ago Christian Science was first introduced to my notice, with the result that I obtained a copy of “Science and Health,” and through studying it was healed, and was enabled to heal others; but as seems often to be the case when Truth is first brought to those who do not understand it, I was treated by many of my former associates with coldness and scorn, and often by ridicule and contempt. From this experience arose the Jonah thought, which brought with it, as usual, a very sharp lesson. It is often the case that when a raw recruit is placed in the front of battle fear produces a panic, and he turns and flees as he supposes for safety, only, most often, to find himself captured by the enemy.

    I went to New York and “paid my fare” to Liverpool, and for a time I was fairly self-mesmerized into the belief of a false security. Both the Bible and “Science and Health” were snugly stowed away, and I dreamed the hours away until one morning I stood on the Alexandria dock at Liverpool, which appeared to my blind sense to be of very solid and substantial masonry. I fancied that I had had a pleasant voyage, but alas! it was only a delusion. I have since learned that I was only thrown overboard. I was on the ocean of mortal belief, with all its accompanying wreckage and disaster.

    “What is this? Everything seems dark and dismal. My limbs seem to be fettered with heavy weights. The earth, with her bars, is about me. I have fled to matter for refuge. I am looking for pleasure and satisfaction in the senses,— the things of the flesh. I have loosed my hold on Divine Principle, God, and have fallen. I must be stunned by the fall for I feel no sensation of pain. I have sold my birthright for less than a mess of pottage.”

    Then I begin to awaken to my true position, and as I awake, remorse claims me for its own, and I am consumed with the fires of a mental hell.

    I was apparently bound with iron manacles so that I could not turn my face toward the Holy City. I wished the mountains and the hills to fall upon me and hide my shame. But divine Love will force mortals to accept its mandate, and it was so with me. I said, “My Father’s servants have bread enough and to spare;” and while I was yet a long way off, He sent His servant to meet me. I am back where I started from, and am striving for the mind which says, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”— E. P.

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Love is the liberator.