The Revelation of the Omnipotence of Good
Herbert W. Beck, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Herbert W. Beck, C.S.B., lectured on "Christian Science: The Revelation of The Omnipotence of Good." in the Church edifice Monday evening under the auspices of Third Church of Christ, Scientist. The speaker was introduced by Miss Lucy C. Allen.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
God is divine Love, infinite good. Christian Science reveals to us that good is the only power, the only action; and it gives life to all its ideas. God is good, not merely as a quality or an attribute, but as good itself. Hence, good is God. Seen in this light, good is the true antidote for evil and its mesmeric pretensions. Love true, spiritual good, and you worship God. Expect good, for God, good, is ever present. Give to Him all of your allegiance, all of your thought, all of your expectancy. Then you will be able to demonstrate that good is the only real power in the universe.
Do you believe in good and love it? Did you ever exclaim in wonder at good which came to you as the result of prayer? Have you ever heard grateful people singing, "I love to tell the story"? Fundamentally each and every one of us loves good. Unfortunately, however, some have not yet learned that good is omnipotent.
This understanding is attainable, because in Nahum we have these encouraging words: "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble: and he knoweth them that trust in him."
It is well for you to believe in and love good, to understand that your real self lives in and under the law of good. There is truly no other place to live, because God, good, is ever present. Human experience would tend to disprove this statement, but human testimony is unreliable. How can the ever-changing human mind disprove an eternal fact?
Christian Science reveals good as God; and because good is God, Spirit, it is not cognizable by the five physical senses or by the so-called human mind which controls these senses. Therefore we must look beyond them and beyond matter, which is all that they cognize, to find and experience good. Where shall we look for good? Just where good is, and that is where God is. In contrast with physical sense is true spiritual consciousness, and to this consciousness good is discernible and knowable.
However, in human experience good must be sought, found, and demonstrated. There are great, spiritual facts pertaining to man; but as long as we believe that man is physical, these spiritual facts are hidden to us. Through the study of Christian Science these truths or facts are revealed, and we are able to prove that they are available now and always. But here is a call to active Christian living, for we cannot drift and dream when we should awake and claim what we are as God's image, always spiritual, never material.
Good will come to those who strive for good; meaning, good will come to those who awaken to the presence of God and demonstrate in their lives that good is the only real power. True prayer is thus spoken of by our Master: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Prayer for good is not asking for something which man, God's image, does not have; but it is the awakening of human consciousness to what man now possesses. Prayer for good will open the supposedly closed door to God's love. Truly there is no closed door to good and its power. No evil, no condition, no experience in sin or disease, can shut the door to good, because good is omnipresent in true consciousness.
As we spiritually understand that God, omnipotent good, is the only real power in the universe, is all-knowing, all-wise, and is always present and active in expressing goodness, we see that man, the likeness of God, good, has all that God gives and thus is always safe in the omnipotence of good. And the wonder revealed in this statement is that it is demonstrable and is being proved every day by thousands upon thousands of Christian Scientists.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states very clearly the following (p. 332): "Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." And at another place (p. 473) Mrs. Eddy further clarifies this point, stating: "Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ."
The distinction between the Christ and Jesus is one of enlightenment. The Christ is eternal, while Jesus was born of Mary's pure spiritual concept that God is the Father of man. Jesus was subject to weariness, hunger, loneliness at times, to suffering, and to doubt. The Christ has always dwelt in the presence of God untouched by evil. Because of the advantage of his birth, Jesus was able to make use of, to approximate the Christ, to have a spiritual association with the divine, and so become Christ Jesus, our Master. Christian Science does not take any honor or proper recognition from our Master, but explains his life, his character, his works, so that we can more intelligently follow him. The same Christ is present to bless us as it did Jesus, to lift us out of physical sense to the realization that man is perfect, the expression of God, good. The Christ, the truth about man, enables us to express good, to be good, to stay good, because all that God creates is good.
How glorious is man! How wonderful to be just like God! Have you ever paused to consider the glory of your real self, the likeness of the wonderful, the only God? Such contemplation shows the material sense of man to be a travesty of the spiritual reality. Man is not a mixture of real selfhood and of something else entirely contradictory to that selfhood. He is not spiritual and material at the same time, but he is his real self, which is always kept as God's image, This is all there is to him, the infinite expression of God. There is only one kind of man, the one of God's creating. There is only one God, omnipotent good, and one man, who is spiritual and perfect.
In The Christian Science Journal for August, 1912, in an article entitled "No Evil Power" there is a quotation from Mrs. Eddy, as follows: "Did you but know the sublimity of your hope; the infinite capacity of your being; the grandeur of your outlook, you would let error kill itself. Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has." Think of it, "the infinite capacity of your being; the grandeur of your outlook"! How we may pause before this vista man, our real selfhood, the expressed image of good, altogether perfect, with no mar or even the possibility of blemish always like God.
Christian Science reveals that God is good and that good is God. The power of good is the power of God ever blessing its spiritual creation. Good is always within its own omnipresent realm of spiritual consciousness, the divine Mind, keeping dominion over all, blessing all.
God is always expressing Himself in goodness, and as we know God to be infinite Love we find that Love is ceaselessly loving; otherwise it would not be Love. Good is ever active, ever loving. We need not do anything to bring good into action, for it is already omniaction. Our work as students of Christian Science is to make use of these fundamental facts or truths. Music, arithmetic, engineering, and the arts have basic rules or facts always in operation in their own realms, but useless unless put into practice.
Christian Science gives us a definite, demonstrable understanding of the divine Principle of good by which we solve the problems of human experience and overcome evil with good, the omnipotence of God. This omnipotence is the power of good, the activity of Love. As we realize and demonstrate more and more the allness of good, we prove how easy and simple it is to be loving, to express good to others.
We are Christian Scientists only as we utilize the law of good, express harmony, reform the sinner, and heal the sick. If we are not practicing these truths in some degree, then we are not Christian Scientists. A person was once heard to say that he was a wonderful musician, but, admitted upon questioning that he played no musical instrument, did not sing, compose music, or conduct an orchestra. In spite of his negative answers, he still inconsistently insisted that he was a wonderful musician.
In the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, Mrs. Eddy, its author, writes (p. 92); "Healing the sick and the sinner with Truth demonstrates what we affirm of Christian Science, and nothing can substitute this demonstration. I recommend that each member of this Church shall strive to demonstrate by his or her practice, that Christian Science heals the sick quickly and wholly, thus proving this Science to be all that we claim for it."
This recommendation of Mrs. Eddy that each member of The Mother Church should prove by his demonstration the truth of Christian Science, is one which should be given very careful consideration. Those who understand any of the truths of Christian Science should demonstrate that Truth, divine Love, always gives, and we should accept what Love gives and express it to others.
A Christian Science lecture is not an entertainment, but an opportunity to learn more of God's law so that one may put the new understanding and inspiration into practice. If this is not done, then the lecture has not fulfilled its mission.
Before modern education touched one of our Indian tribes, the elders would send the boys out on the prairies or into the forest for a part of their education. At evening the elders would question the lads as to what they had learned. In this self-education they were instructed to listen, not just hear; to look, not just see. Thus should be our mental attitude at a Christian Science lecture, one of looking for the inspiration and of listening for the "still small voice" of Truth.
Christian Science is of no value to us unless it is used, unless its revelation of the omnipotence of good is demonstrated in overcoming evil of any type. Spiritual thoughts are beautiful, but they must not be allowed to become daydreams or wishful thinking; rather they should be put to work to demonstrate the power of good over error. The practice of Christian Science involves forgetting self in lifting the unreal load of sin, sickness, or death from the shoulders of someone else.
Always honor what you know of Christian Science. Do not accept the suggestion that you do not understand sufficiently the divine Principle to make your demonstrations. Any understanding of the truth is of more power than all error combined, because error has no power to withstand the intelligent application of what is true to human problems. No density of darkness has ever put out a candlelight. Your realization that good is omnipotent has back of it the might of Truth.
In the First World War I met an old friend in one of our base hospitals. He had been cited for bravery by more than a dozen nations in leading his troops far beyond their objective and holding the gain until the lines were consolidated. He said: "I did that with my small understanding of Christian Science. If I had had a better understanding of God's law, what would I not have done?" At the end of the engagement he was shot under the left shoulder blade and the ball and socket at the shoulder were shattered. The surgeons stated that the bones would knit solid but that there would be no rotation. When I met him, he had about a one-half rotation, and six months later he had the full rotation of the arm at the shoulder. He did his own work and made the demonstration of restoring the ball and socket at the left shoulder with what he called his small understanding of Christian Science. Truly the words of Isaiah were revealed to him, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." There is naught to withstand the omnipotence of good.
The consideration of the word "Principle as a synonym for God is of great help in the healing work of Christian Science. Through understanding the governing Principle of all creation, good is revealed to us as the only power with no change in its character or operation, and it is also made plain to us that man is always like God, always His image; so held by unvarying Principle. Thus the divine image, man, is never more nor less than the likeness of God.
With this understanding of the control of Principle, we do not try to heal man, nor to make a sick mortal perfect; but rather we realize the impossibility of the real man experiencing any sickness. According to Principle a condition is real and good, or it does not exist it is, or it is not. Man is like God, never unlike Him. Man can never be out of heaven, for it is the only home he can know, the only place he can be. This truth is based upon the omnipresence, the allness of God, good. The real man is your true selfhood, perfect in every way. When this truth is scientifically known, there will be no attempt to heal the image of God, but the need will be seen to destroy the erroneous suggestion which insists that man is sick. In healing sickness, no reality, no true substance, no life or intelligence is destroyed; it is the false belief that man is imperfect and subject to the conditions of that belief which is cast out of consciousness.
In our healing work we do not start with the acknowledgment of sickness to obtain health, but we begin with health, with harmony, the natural, spiritual status of man, to prove it true. By so doing one does not struggle to make matter spiritual, or evil good; he awakens to the fact that in truth man is spiritual and good in every way. There is no separation between God and man, no lost condition of good for man to regain.
It would appear at times that we become mesmerized by the suggestion that we are in distress, and then we work ever so hard to be rid of a condition which in reality we do not and cannot possess. All that is necessary is to became conscious of our real selfhood and live it in demonstration. There is in reality no sick man, for man, God's image, is always well.
As we see that man reflects God, we see that man expresses good only. Our Master, Christ Jesus, perceived the expression of the omnipotence of good, and the qualities which he knew he possessed he recognized as present in others. It is evident that he saw the creation of God expressed in man. It is possible for all to do likewise.
It is well to maintain that the real man can have only good, and as we understand this truth and hold to it, we shall not accept any evil condition as true or even as temporarily touching man and then endeavor to overcome it. John the Baptist gives us an illuminating statement: "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." Because we can receive only good, only love, from heaven, it is evident that the only condition that man can have is good. Man cannot have, cannot receive, sin, sickness, or any other untoward condition from the governing Principle, good. In other words, man can have only what God gives, can have only harmony. Mrs. Eddy in her textbook gives us a powerful corroborative statement (p. 539): "God could never impart an element of evil, and man possesses nothing which he has not derived from God." Man has all that God gives, and as God is good, then good is the gift of infinite Love to man.
Some years ago there was living on
Does not this true story illustrate the beauty and power of daily demonstrations of the nature of man as the child of God? The demonstration of the omnipotence and activity of good leads us to the heights of grandeur, the vision of loveliness. In so living men will be led to look beyond our little acts of kindness to the great Giver of all good.
Christian Science teaches us to be well-balanced Christians, enables us to understand and hold our vision of God's allness and of man's perfection. On the mountaintop of inspiration we see the vision of the omnipotence of good, but we grow the crops of demonstration in the valleys. The Master had his glorious experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, but the sick were waiting and were healed after he had descended from the mountain. We progress step by step, demonstration by demonstration. This is not done by having our heads in roseate clouds, dreaming of the allness of good, but with feet well planted on the ground of endeavor. Our religion makes us first healthy, normal individuals, full of compassion and good works; it enables us to be good neighbors, good citizens, to be successful in rightful undertakings, before we attain the full realization of the kingdom of heaven within.
The inhabitants of the world have tried for centuries to be Christians without having an understanding of divine Science to support their efforts. On the other hand, there should not be the endeavor to be scientific without being Christian. We need to be Christianly scientific, as well as scientifically Christian. Christianity and true Science can never be separated, for they are identical.
Good is always giving spiritual ideas to man, while evil claims to present its allurements for our recognition. Which is worthy of acceptance? The first always blesses us with good; the second causes us to experience sin, sickness, and death. In the silent cinema we are first placed in almost total darkness before the picture is projected upon the silver screen. The picture is made of lights and shadows; there is no reality to it, no man, woman, child, or building just lights and shadows. Yet we are uplifted or debased; we laugh or we weep over the sense of reality that we put into those lights and shadows. Consequently we must observe carefully the lights and shadows which mortal mind would project upon the screen of our consciousness, reject the false, and let our living reflect God's glory.
We express wisdom if we look for and expect the presence of good. One of the first Christian Science lecturers appointed by Mrs. Eddy was at one time being commiserated by a student who claimed to know all about the evil which the other had to meet in his pioneer lecture work the hatred of Truth, the malice and envy that attended his efforts. The lecturer stopped the person by saying; "Yes, I have a great deal to meet; I have to meet Almighty God every moment." And because of this manner of knowing, he was a valiant soldier of Christ. We too must meet good every moment.
There is no law of punishment to be inflicted upon one when he accepts or speaks the truth to another. There is only one true law the law of good. We were not punished when we learned the simple rules of arithmetic or when we spoke of or put those rules to use. We need not be superstitious about evil and give it power, for power belongs to God alone. Mortal mind would condemn us to evil, to sin, to disease, to all types of distress, but there is no law of condemnation, for God, the only creator, never made such a law; evil because of its inherent nature condemns itself to failure, to destruction.
Disobedience to divine law is sin and always brings its own punishment; while obedience to divine law brings peace, joy, and well-being. Much evil is presented to mankind in the name of good, which, if indulged, turns upon its victim. Sin is accepted only because of its false promises, and one must be alert to evil, and its claims should be vigorously exposed and destroyed. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to destroy the mesmerism of these false promises and cast them from us as having no attraction.
The children of
Where do we place ourselves mentally? In matter or in Mind? It is well to ponder what we think God to be, whether He is infinite Mind or a humanly circumscribed being subject to human frailties and changeableness. It is well also to consider what we think of ourselves. Are we physical, or are we spiritual, primarily and eternally the image of God?
The value of considering ourselves as God's image, of rightly placing ourselves in the realm of protective good, may be illustrated by the experience of a woman who with her husband called upon a Christian Scientist and asked many questions about Christian Science its value, its practicality, what one could expect from it. The couple returned to their home on the farm. A few days later the woman started a fire with the aid of kerosene. When the resultant blaze was over she was to physical appearance badly burned on the face and neck. The husband had no one to send for help and the nearest neighbor was miles away. He did what he could humanly, which was practically nothing. About midnight the woman ceased her moans and said "I do not understand all that the Christian Scientist said but some of it I do. He said that a Christian Scientist understands that he is under God's law, that God protects him and gives him good, that man is the image of God and has what God gives. From now on I am a Christian Scientist and I take the good which God gives."
Afterward in describing, the experience, the husband said that as he sat by his wife's bedside he was conscious of the subsidence of the blisters and disappearance of the wounds, and knew that his wife was sleeping peacefully. He said: "It was like a windowpane, one minute soiled, the next moment washed clean. It was as if the hand of God swept lightly over my wife's face." And then he told of how later, when the dawn came, he sank on his knees in tearful gratitude, for he knew that a new day had dawned for both of them.
Two days later this radiantly happy couple called upon the Christian Scientist and told of the demonstration. There were a number of places more than two inches in diameter that had new skin, not tender, only not yet tanned by the sun. Did not this woman consciously place herself within the omniaction of good and have her freedom? Did she not prove the omnipotence of good?
In our work to purify our thinking it is wise to turn towards and accept spirituality. Wrong physical conditions are due to wrong thinking; therefore we must not endeavor to heal the effect but to correct its cause. It is better to purify water at its fountainhead than at its point of use.
If one were in a swamp and climbed out onto firm ground, the swamp would not go with him; its nature would keep it back. Even so, as we climb out of the bog of material belief onto the firm ground of spiritual understanding, sin, sickness, evil cannot go with us, for the inherent nature or falsity of all error keeps it from going into God's presence. If one steps out of darkness into the light, the darkness cannot follow, and it is powerless to stop progress.
It is sometimes asked, How can my thinking bring a disease which I never thought of, or of which I had not even heard? We do not have to think of or fear a specific disease to have it. If we believe we live in matter, then the door is open for all the errors inherent in such a belief. The understanding of Christian Science gives one a spiritual basis of thought and closes the door to all suggestion of evil. Therefore, if our lives are controlled by physical thinking, we should not be surprised at conditions which are presented. On the other hand, however, if our thoughts have an upward trend, are spiritual, our acts the demonstration of the power of God, then our collective surroundings will be harmonious and this environment of good will bring to us glories and joys unknown, unthought of before. Let our inspiration be always new, acknowledging the fact that the only real environment man can have is good, and thus expose and reject the falsehood which would insist that man lives in matter instead of in the kingdom of good.
Mary Baker Eddy realized the omnipotence of good. She was a deeply religious woman, and when she was lying at the portals of death, the Bible was the book to which she naturally turned for comfort. Reading it with an exalted expectancy, she received her healing from an injury. This healing was a miracle to her friends, but the revealed power responsible for the healing was to Mrs. Eddy a discovery which has since placed her in the forefront of the emancipators of mankind.
From childhood Mrs. Eddy had sought to know God, to be influenced only by good, by love, and her prayers prepared her for the great gift through which she was to bless mankind. She was ready, when in her extremity, the angel, the message of good, touched her consciousness, and in later years she stepped forth glorified as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the greatest religious Leader since the advent of our Master.
After her healing, one thought was paramount with Mrs. Eddy to know how she was healed and to be able to heal others. With no human help to encourage her, but much done to defeat her purpose, one marvels at her courage. When one studies her life and writings, one realizes that she knew that she was not alone but within the loving guidance and protection of God. As a consequence she went with joy the way which lay before her.
The world, content in its sleep in matter, did not wish for and only reluctantly accepted what she had to offer the understanding of divine Principle, through which good can be demonstrated, experienced, lived. Oh, the wonder of this discovery, and the glory of the life which made the discovery possible!
The human race can pay its debt to
God and to Christ Jesus in just one way, and that is to follow the leadership
of Mrs. Eddy as she follows the Christ. Her life was always a gentle, loving
one, yet strong in guidance, fearless in rebuking evil, ever a wakeful shepherd
folding her flock in the night of trials or feeding them upon the hills of
The great gift which Mrs. Eddy gave to us is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Truly, this textbook of Christian Science is the key to the Scriptures, unlocking the sacred pages so that we can understand and be able to demonstrate the truth about God and man. Next to the Bible, Science and Health is the greatest book ever presented to the world for its help and salvation.
Well may we thank God for our Master, for his life of sacrifice in showing the way to the demonstration of the power of Life over death, and for Mrs. Eddy, whose discovery gave us the understanding of the Comforter so that we also may with assurance demonstrate the always available omnipotent power of good, the only true power in the universe.
Today we face many problems, have sacrificed, but we shall be called to make greater sacrifices of material self and sense of physical ease, in order to purchase security from paganism in its present attack upon Christianity We must be worthy of freedom from evil, and we shall attain that blessing as we put on "the robes of righteousness" and live our prayer "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Ultimate good will come from all this sacrifice if it turns us more wholeheartedly to God not only during the conflict but also when peace is declared.
The world through its suffering is turning back to God for His guidance and protection, because mortal mind has made a dismal failure of its attempt to run the affairs of men. Christian Science is at hand to lead the nations to an understanding of Christianity so that the Golden Rule will not be scoffed at as impractical but will be found to be very practical, and loving one's neighbor as oneself the wise thing to do.
Prayer lifts our thought to the
realization of God's presence and protection. The Bible relates many instances
of the help God gives in destroying enemy attack when the Hebrew children
turned to Him for protection. Why, one prophet alone with God saved a city,
captured a vast army, fed them, and sent them home to their king. And the
account states, "So the bands of
A day of prayer was set aside for
a nation, and we remember
Mrs. Eddy placed prayer very high in her experience. She prayed three times a day that God's kingdom come on earth, that good be found and lived by mankind.
True prayer is a spiritual awakening which puts us in rapport with the divine. True prayer lifts our lives into the presence of good, so that we dwell in the spiritual realm of the real, unhampered by evil, freed and lifted above the unreal to the experience belonging to God's children, the spiritual image and likeness of good. Prayer is the demonstration of God's allness and man's perfection. Prayer gives to each individual the needed strength and wisdom to meet his daily problem.
Christian Science is a healing, sustaining power for the young man in our armed forces, in whatever branch he may be. Many new problems are before him for solution; a new adjustment was necessary, for he was suddenly cut from his old ties. Quite naturally he reaches out for something to hold to, searching for a living force which will comfort him and carry him through safely.
Our young men are fighting for right, for the recognition and acceptance of good on the part of the peace-loving people in every nation. And because our men are so engaged, they are on God's side, and being on His side they are aligned with true power. Thus they become better soldiers, acting with courage, wisdom, and insight.
Our soldiers need certain military training to do their part in crushing paganism, but they also need spiritual understanding, which makes them conscious of the supremacy and presence of God. His love does not withdraw itself from them because they must fight to defend the freedom of men under a righteous government.
God is knowable, and as He is approached, assurance grows that the promises contained in the ninety-first Psalm are demonstrable. It is found that there is a secret place in good, hidden from evil; that the wings of mercy are a protection, and that fear whether by day or night does not march with those who have faith in God. Fear cannot touch the thought of a soldier, sailor, or marine who keeps company with the Christ, who keeps well within the presence of God's deliverance.
And those of us at home let us know these truths about our armed forces. In this way we help them with our prayers.
There is no localized kingdom of heaven, for good is omnipresent and always available to be used advantageously. Good is closer than one's breath, nearer than wrong thinking, for God, good, and the real man are one in being God, the Father, and the son, His image and likeness.
When we become Christian Scientists in deed and in truth, the glory of the Lord shall rise upon us and we shall express the kind, tender, loving, but omnipotent power of good which is "a rod of iron" to all evil. Let us awake to our true sonship and express the glory of the begotten of the Father.
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."