Christian Science: A Light on the Path
John Sidney Braithwaite, C.S., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
It can hardly be denied that if, in the midst of the many cares and anxieties with which we are beset, we are able to give one hour to the consideration of certain spiritual facts, that hour will have been well spent.
It is indeed doubtful whether any real peace or satisfaction can come to us, until the understanding of the facts regarding life has superseded our ordinary opinions about it, and facts are scientific things. Do you want to be in possession of facts for the better government of your life and to gain some freedom from the trammels of false opinions? Then which way are you to turn? To Science, as you believe it to be? Or to Religion. as you think it is?
This is the dilemma that has confronted many people in all ages, for until recently the scientific and religious systems of the day have always been regarded as so irreconcilable in their point of view as to make the pursuit of both simultaneously a practical impossibility. In recent years, however, the tendency has been for the paths to converge, and this may be due to the fact that the words Christian Science have now been before the world, welded together, for over 50 years, and have stood the test of every kind of onslaught and attempt to break them asunder.
Christian Science and Its Discoverer
This is, perhaps, the best evidence we can have, that the term "Christian Science" was not a mere catch phrase, but that it was the title deliberately affixed to it by the discoverer and founder of this teaching. Mary Baker Eddy, after years of scriptural research, combined with abundant proof of its healing and spiritualizing effect. In her little book, "No and Yes" (p. 10), she writes: "The two largest words in the vocabulary of thought are 'Christian' and 'Science,'" showing that she was well aware of the significance attaching to the title under which her teaching was henceforth to be known. It was, perhaps, natural that anyone who dared to take up such a revolutionary standpoint as this, would meet with misrepresentation, and every detail of Mrs. Eddy's life and character has been subjected to a cross-fire of criticism and calumny, which criticism has, however, only rebounded upon the heads of the critics, for the facts regarding the life and character of Mary Baker Eddy will bear the closest scrutiny. By nature, intensely spiritual in her leanings; by her own industry, better educated than most young women of her day and extraordinarily well read; by experience, brought face to face with the stubborn hardships of existence, ill-health and domestic sorrows, it would seem that there were abundant reasons why she should have been chosen as the channel through which this message should reach the world. There is no doubt whatever that she regarded herself as the recipient of a new revelation of truth, and that she shouldered the responsibility implied in this idea with the deepest humility and sincerity of purpose. "I was a scribe under orders" (Misc. Writings, p. 311), she writes of herself, and this attitude of being "under orders" is characteristic. Throughout her long career, which was changed from a life of invalidism and apparent uselessness to one of abounding health and usefulness, she continued faithful in her obedience to the divine guidance, and pledged to the service of humanity. I suppose that there are literally hundreds of thousands in the world today who are bearing witness to the value of the work she accomplished, who owe everything that they enjoy in the way of spiritual understanding of the Scriptures, their very health and well-being to her teaching, and I count it a privilege to take my own stand in the ranks with such as these.
Suppose you were groping your way in the dark through a dense forest, trying to find your way home, very uncertain of the path, the lantern which you were carrying having suddenly flickered and gone out. And suppose that just as you were beginning to be very weary and bruised through constant falls and collisions with unseen obstacles, someone passed by and put into your hands an electric torch. Would not the way instantly become clear to you, falls and collisions would be avoided, and it would be possible to keep your undivided attention on the path. You would still have to find your own way home, but you would certainly feel grateful to the one who, by giving you the torch, had made it so much easier to do.
And this is what Mrs. Eddy has done for those, whose outlook on life has been darkened by the failure of their religious beliefs to afford them guidance at the critical moment, whose reliance on the evidence of the senses has led them hopelessly astray, and who are worn out and discouraged, as the result of the seemingly inescapable laws of sin and disease. Her teachings have released them from those supposed laws, and they are able to say with the Psalmist, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
The Challenge of Materialism
The boast of materialism, that it occupies the whole field of common sense, had never been fairly faced until Christian Science appeared to do it, and the moment this happened, materialism, like the giant Goliath, was doomed. What do we mean by materialism? Well, in dictionary language, it is the doctrine that matter is the only substance, and that matter and its motions constitute the universe.
What argument does Christian Science advance against this doctrine? The argument of Christian idealism, namely, that all reality is in the nature of thought and that the universe is a manifestation of the Mind which is God, and that its motions are the evidence of a law which is spiritual, and not material.
Starting from the premise that what seems real and substantial to the five senses is in fact only as real as thought makes it, no more and no less, Christian Science places the test of all reality in thought and thought alone, holding that that only is real and eternal which God knows or creates. To quote the Christian Science text book ("Science and Health," p. 286) "God's thoughts are perfect and eternal, are substance and Life. Material and temporal thoughts are human, involving error, and since God, Spirit, is the only cause, they lack a divine cause. The temporal and material are not then creations of Spirit. They are but counterfeits of the spiritual and eternal."
It is therefore in the realm of thought that we must learn to distinguish between that which is fading and mortal and that which is perfect and eternal, and always to choose the latter. The great teacher of Christianity concerned himself almost entirely with the thoughts of men, for he well understood that thought always precedes action. In his injunction to his disciples to provide themselves with "bags which wax not old" he was clearly pointing to the kind of ideal or thought-model that they needed — a thought-model derived from the eternal Mind, God, and not from the so-called mind of the senses.
I believe that there is a great longing in the world today for a better understanding of spiritual things, coupled with a belief that the remedy for many, if not all, ills lies that way, but it seems as if the way had been barred either by the hopeless scepticism of materiality or else by those who for their own ends exploit spiritual teaching and thus offend honest people. The one safeguard, however, seems to be that strange questioning propensity which begins in our childhood and which is never entirely quelled either by false teaching or adversity, and one may adapt the old proverb so as to read "while there are questions, there is hope."
If you take Job as an example of the most complete picture of human adversity and misery and see how he responded to the advice to "Curse God and die." He wouldn't listen to it; but instead there springs up such a crop of questions as: "What is man? Why labour I in vain? Whence cometh wisdom, and where is the place of understanding?" There is hope in all these questions, and in the end we hear him say, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee." He has the answers, and is satisfied.
The View of the Average Man
But his may have been an extreme case, so let us take the case of the average man, whose outfit of opinions — some of them hereditary, some educated, and some just acquired habits of thought — has let him down badly in the very hour of his need. Pessimism is arguing with him that it is no use trying, he must fear this and fear that — that there is no escape. He has tried to put a brave face on things, but financial burdens and health laws seem all against him, and the outlook is uncommonly dismal. At this point Christian Science is brought to his notice quite unexpectedly, perhaps through the healing of a friend.
He has learned that his friend's healing was brought about by Christian Science, and at once he is assailed by certain considerations of doubt chiefly concerned with false impressions of what Christian Science is, partly his own and partly what he has gained from others. There also array themselves before him a number of things which he believes that he would have to give up if he turned to Christian Science, and one may assume that for the first time in his life he is beginning to feel the nature of the fetters which bind him. They all plead for self.
As for religion, he cannot reconcile it with common sense. He is unable to believe that God could become a man and dwell among men, or that, if He had a son, He could subject him to terrible ill-treatment as a means of expiating the sins of the world. Admittedly, he is vague on these questions, but although he does perhaps believe in God, he cannot think of Him as one thinks of a human personality and so, as religion seems to demand of him that he should so think, he has given up thinking of it at all. Science, also, is something that he has considered to be equally beyond his ken. And yet now that he hears of Christian Science, the need to get his own thoughts about God more clearly defined is become urgent. It is to the average man, therefore, that these explanations are addressed.
Not Dogma, But Honesty
Now, Religion and Science are most irreconcilable when they are most dogmatic, for dogma is a veritable Pandora box of misunderstandings, and if these two methods of approach to reality are ever to find favour with the average man, by appealing to his reason and conscience, as they must in order that the prophecy "they shall all know me (God) from the least of them to the greatest of them" may be fulfilled, it is essential that there should be absolute honesty and an avoidance of dogma on both sides. We find a splendid example of such honesty, on the one hand, in the frank admission of Professor Poynting in his address before the British Association: "We must confess," he said, "that physical laws have greatly fallen off in dignity. We can only now assign to them the humble rank of mere descriptions, often erroneous, of similarities which we believe we have observed."
No lesser degree of honesty and humility must be looked for on the part of the Idealist. He must not lay down the law either, and if it is the part of the Physicist to prove by his methods the unreliable and lawless character of the testimony of the senses, it should surely be the part of the Idealist to restore the kingdom to Israel, by proving in his life that he has the understanding of the only true and eternal law-giver, the divine Principle, or infinite Mind, God. If he turns to Christian Science, he will gain this understanding and he will find there that Religion and Science are become reconciled and intelligible to all, for as St. Paul says "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
A Clear Working Thought-Model
Another distinguished physicist, Professor J. Arthur Thomson, has summed up the object of scientific research as being the construction of "a perfectly clear working thought-model." This is a very interesting statement, for whereas dogma necessarily tends to limit freedom of thought, a thought-model tends in the other direction and acts as a mental stimulus. For instance, the ship-builder who accepts the dogma that ships are always built of wood gets left behind by the man who, taking for his thought-model rules which govern floating objects, perceives that other materials besides wood can be used in the construction of ships.
Professor Thomson's summing up also provides us with an excellent answer to the criticism sometimes launched at Christian Science that, whatever else it may be, it is not scientific. For if Christian Science offers to us a clear working thought-model, as it undoubtedly does, it is — on Professor Thomson's showing — essentially scientific. We all know a model as that to which the artist turns in order to study his impressions regarding his subject, and therefore a thought-model must be that to which one turns mentally to gain right ideas concerning life, God and man.
But the habit of thinking in accord with the testimony of the senses has resulted in a thought-model which includes all the beliefs of good and evil, and this is called, in Christian Science, mortal mind. The hopelessness of this material thought-model forced from St. Paul the cry "When I would do good, evil is present with me." This thought-model is, however, found in Christian Science to be far from clear. Indeed it is entirely lacking in any true perception of understanding of Life. It is a standing illustration of the words from the Book of Proverbs: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The Founder of Christianity perceiving the frailty of this material thought-model said: — "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away."
Jesus knew that the spiritual thought-model, to which he lived, was come as a new revelation to mankind, and that while their material beliefs would, one by one, break up and disappear, his words were to stand forever as the evidence of the divine Principle, or infinite Mind, God.
The Fearless Nazarene
Now, the consciousness of this divine Principle, or infinite Mind, has always been reaching mankind through some measure of revelation or science, and this is the saving vision. It was this that enabled the Nazarene Prophet fearlessly to face the ritualism and superstition of his time, and it was this that gave him authority over these materialistic beliefs. It was this that enabled him to prove to men that they were the victims of self-deception and that God, whom he visualized as a loving Father, did not send disease, death, famine, want, tempest, or any other discordant thing. He summed up all law in the one word — Love, and proved that this Love, with its accompanying Truth and Life, was sufficient to triumph over every manifestation of evil, and cast out fear in all its forms. You find his own estimate of his mission in such passages as: —
"I am come that they might have life."
"To this end was I born . . . . that I should bear witness unto the truth."
"I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love."
The whole of his teaching and life seems to have been devoted to the application of these qualities — Life, Truth and Love — to the thought processes of mankind, and they were then, and still are, found to be potent to dissolve the false point of view — the point of view of the material senses.
In those three words Life, Truth and Love, is presented the Mind which is God, and in a way which far transcends any corporeal sense of deity. Life being the true consciousness of existence: Truth being the true consciousness of facts or spiritual ideas: and Love being the true consciousness of the harmony which broods over all with infinite tenderness and care.
The Thought-Model of Jesus
If you study the Sermon on the Mount carefully, you will find that Jesus tells us very little directly about the nature of God, as one would do if he were describing the nature of a person or a building, or a picture, but he tells us a great deal about the state of mind which is necessary for us to have if we would gain an understanding of God and the immunity from evil, which accompanies such understanding. He emphasized the necessity of such qualities as humility, purity, mercy, sincerity, courage, obedience, kindness, cheerfulness, faith, justice, and so forth. These things were to him the way in which the spiritual facts, Life, Truth and Love, find their expression in man.
They were his working thought-model, and you will notice that into this thought-model enters not a single vestige of material sense testimony.
Now, when a man desires to become proficient in some occupation, accountancy for instance, he finds that he achieves right results and gains power in proportion as he advances in his knowledge of the ascertained facts. To Jesus of Nazareth all human occupations were entirely secondary to the one paramount claim on us all — that of living one's life on consistently true lines. This was what he meant by being about "his Father's business." As he advanced in his understanding of the perfect Principle of being, so he advanced in power until the time came when, having mastered all the claims of matter, he was able to say, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." And this power which was given to him did not find its expression in an aggressive or dominating personality, but in a wonderful meekness and gentleness.
It has been argued that these are transcendental ideas peculiar to a divine personality, and that, being outside the range of everyday human experience, they are of little practical value. This is the false argument that has always tried to hold spiritual teaching at arm's length, and Christian Science is in the world today to bring home to us the essentially practical nature of the Master's thoughts about God, and to prove that the thought-model with which he equipped himself is available for us today, as much as it ever was.
Did he not say to his disciples "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." This was his remedy for the imperfect, discordant human thought-model. He showed that an active faith in and love for the perfect Principle of being, the source of all true harmony, was the remedy for every human ill.
Jesus' Rejection of Matter
Some people seem to think that when Jesus declared that "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," he meant that although one might be desirous of thinking spiritually yet sooner or later the flesh, or material thinking, would be too strong for you, and that, therefore, a certain number of lapses were inevitable. That is exactly what he did not say. No, he was again contrasting the relative value of Spirit and matter, as he often did, and he was saying that Spirit, or divine Principle, is ever available to men, while the flesh or material belief is always unstable, always profiting nothing. It is for you to choose.
His nights of prayer, his constant healing work were to him the one sure way of keeping clear his own perception of the allness and ever presence and omnipotence of the divine Principle, his Father. "I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day," he declared, "the night cometh, when no man can work." To him the day was the light of spiritual understanding, by which alone can anything be accomplished. In the besetting night of materialism, he saw such mental darkness as made all real work impossible.
The so-called laws of matter, expressed as limitation and disease, appeared before him only to disappear instantly, shown up, exposed, utterly discredited. What is called matter was less real to him than it is even to the Physicists of the present day, who believe it to be a sort of theoretical trinity composed of ether, electricity and energy. To him it was less even than a theory. Entirely devoid of intelligence or substance, it appeared only as a mental obsession, the false argument of limitation, imperfection and discord.
We read in "Science and Health" (p. 305): "A discontented, discordant mortal is no more a man than discord is music." What is a discontented, discordant mortal, then? It is the witness of materialism, the evidence of a consciousness enslaved by the belief that matter has life, substance and intelligence in itself, and that therefore there is no escape from its bondage. The fetters of this belief fall before a faith that is enlightened by the understanding of the truth.
Holding to the True Idea
If you watch a musician tuning a stringed instrument, you will notice that he does not accept the evidence of the ear on the subject of the desired note. He is looking beyond the sound given out by the string to a note that he has in his mind. He is really correcting the evidence presented to the ear with that mental note. When the sound given forth by the string harmonizes with the mental note, the work is done.
To Jesus the human mind and body were very much what the string of the instrument and the sound it produces are to the musician. The true man he knew to be a perfect idea, secure in the keeping of infinite Mind, always harmonious. The evidence of the human mind and body no more deceived him into accepting a lesser standard for God's creation, than the string deceives the musician into accepting a wrong note. He insisted on the real man — the perfect "image and likeness" of God, and, indeed, he never saw man as anything else. Could the musician tune his string, if he did not know the note? Can you heal a sick man, if you do not know what man is? The attempt to heal a man by treating him simply as a thing of brain, blood, bones, etc., and leaving his mental condition entirely out of the question, is now condemned by many doctors; but for the most part they still proceed on the assumption that the mental condition of the patient is the outcome of his physical condition, and their efforts are aimed chiefly at doctoring the latter.
I remember an old Dutch print which I came across once, wherein was depicted a sick man lying in his bed, with a number of medicine bottles at hand and at the foot of the bed was a taunting figure, with cloven hoof and barbed tail, from whose lips came the words "How well I have deceived him."
This might have been a representation of this so-called mortal mind, first enslaving the thoughts of mankind with wrong desires and false opinions, and then enslaving their bodies by making them think that the only way of escape is through matter. Another shackle is added to their chains when the attempt is made by means of hypnotic power to induce the sufferer to exchange his present belief for another belief, whether calling itself good or evil, of this same mortal mind.
Christian Science has no sympathy with any such methods. Indeed, it denounces all forms of mental domination whether practiced in the name of healing, or otherwise.
Christian Science teaches, in line with the Scriptures, that what is needed is not the attempt by human means to make the body well, but that this human mind, with its materialistic tendencies, should be laid off, as St. Paul says. For true healing we must turn unreservedly to the divine Mind, and thus awake from the mesmeric sleep of materialism to find the truth about man — as the spiritual idea of this divine Mind. An honest effort in this direction is always accompanied by healing, for it is in the divine Mind that we find the truth which makes free both mind and body. It is through the teachings and example of the man Jesus that we learn the truth about the divine Mind. "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me," he said to his disciples, "or else believe me for the very works' sake."
Christianity and Faith-healing
People sometimes speak slightingly of faith-healing, but surely all healing is faith-healing. Is it not always "According to your faith" whether you are swallowing the mixture "as before," sitting in a mud bath, or having your body pummelled? It may not always be your own individual faith in the process, so much as your belief in other people's faith in it, but according to your faith it will ultimately be. Christian Science teaches that the understanding of God's true nature and its corollary, the truth about man, supplies the only right kind of faith which necessarily and naturally expels the sick, discordant or sinning point of view. And this is the Christ way by which a man may prove for himself the reality of God's love, its strengthening, protecting, healing influence here and now, and be enabled to say as David said, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me: Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."
It is sometimes said, however, that if you are going to deny matter and its supposed laws, you knock the bottom out of existence and live in a world of dreams by yourself, like the dog who dropped the bone to pick up its shadow reflected in the stream. But you must remember that when the dog dropped the bone, he lost the shadow too; whereas when a man begins to let go of his material beliefs and to make the perfect Principle and idea, the Master's thought-model, his, experience shows that he invariably finds himself benefited physically, morally and spiritually, and with a much stronger grasp on reality and substance than he ever had before.
If the teachings of Christian Science seem startling to some orthodox Christians of the present day, it must be because they have lost sight of the startling nature of the Christ teaching at its very inception. John the Baptist saw it as the axe "laid unto the root of the trees" felling to earth the false material systems and superstitions of mankind. Jesus said that he came not to bring peace on earth — but a sword. We need not remember that this startling teaching, fanned into a consuming flame by the resurrection of the great teacher of Life, redated human history. The dawn of the Christian era marks the commencement of a new purpose among men to dethrone materialism: not to try and make it good, but to make an end of it on the basis of Christ, "the wisdom of God and the power of God," as St. Paul says.
The True Foundation
What was it that Jesus established his Church on? Could it possibly have been a mortal or material concept of life or manhood? Some have thought so, but Christian Science teaches that the rock, the immovable fact, upon which he founded his Church, was not the material personality of Peter, but the spiritual idea to which Peter gave utterance, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God." In that moment of illumination Peter saw the divine Mind and His Christ, the perfect or true model of manhood, revealed to mortals in the man Jesus, and he had his beloved Master's assurance that it was not flesh and blood, the material senses, which had revealed this to him, but the Father which is in heaven. Against this idea, "the gates of hell," the arguments of matter, could never prevail. From henceforth this was to be the true basis for all scientific thought and demonstration, and this is the foundation upon which the Christian Science movement stands today.
We know that Jesus left no written records of his teaching. His scientific method was different from that, it was written in the lives of his followers. His action in writing on the ground, as recorded in the gospel of St. John, may have served to point a lesson on the emptiness of mere familiarity with the written word — the letter without its spirit. Carlyle once said in a lecture: — "Actions only will be found to have been preserved when writers are forgotten. Actions will not be destroyed, their influence must live for ever." It is easy for some to talk and it is easy for some to write, but what is needed is the doing — the actual overcoming of material belief with the spiritual fact, of evil with good — and if the way to that sometimes seems difficult, is not its accomplishment worth while?
Let me read a passage from "Science and Health" (p. 473): —
"Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. He proved what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity. Jesus proved the Principle, which heals the sick and casts out error, to be divine."
Can it be said that any less proof is required of his followers today?
The call to us all today is to throw off our allegiance to the false material thought-model, to shake ourselves from the dust of materialism, and put on the beautiful garments of scientific thinking and doing.
The Battleground and the Armament
A man's consciousness is for him the battleground of the spiritual and the material, the real and the unreal, the true and the false, and it is there that these issues will be fought out, now or hereafter. There are two essential things which everyone needs for the successful demonstration of Christian Science. One is persistence, and the other quietness. With regard to quietness, this is needed to offset the false claim of activity, which urges in a multiplicity of ways that not to be materially active is to be convicted of sloth, indolence, waste of time, etc. Whether his occupation is carried on in silence and alone or whether it takes him into the busiest haunts of men, a Christian Scientist holds as his most treasured possession that inward quietness which comes from his understanding of the truth. "Be still, and know that I am God," wrote the Psalmist. The Master understood it better than all, and said that he gave his peace unto his followers. Paul writes, "Study to be quiet," as though this attitude can only be achieved by study, and we find in Mrs. Eddy's beautiful hymn the words, "I will listen for Thy voice, lest my footsteps stray," — (Misc. Writings, p. 398), conveying the same message, and the reason for it. Only in the quiet attitude of listening can the behests of Principle, the vision of the perfect thought-model, ever come to us.
Persistence is needed for meeting and overthrowing the arguments of discouragement, which, in one form or another, turn up to bar the way to right endeavor.
Jesus gave two parables which serve to illustrate this point, the parable of the importunate widow and the unjust judge, and that of the man who goes to knock up his friend and ask for bread in the middle of the night. In both these cases, we see that it was the refusal to accept the arguments of discouragement that won the day. It was not the appeal for justice which carried the day with the impatient Judge — but the woman's importunity; no consideration of friendship got the man out of his bed, but the perpetual racket on the door convinced him that his friend could not be discouraged, and so he got up and gave him the bread. In other words, mortal mind must give way and let God's will be done, if we are sufficiently honest and persistent in our demands that it shall do so.
Benjamin Franklin tells the story of a neighbor of his, who, in buying an axe of a smith, desired to have the whole of its surface as bright as the edge. The smith consented to grind it bright for him, if he would turn the wheel: he started in to do so, but the process proved the be very laborious, and from time to time the man would stop to ask how it was getting on. At last, he said he would take it as it was. "Turn on," said the smith, "we shall have it bright soon; as yet it is only speckled." "Yes," says the man, "but I think I like a speckled axe best."
People sometimes approach Christian Science as if it was something which you just acquiesced in, bracing and optimistic in its teaching, but not calling for any special application on their part, and then when they find out that it involves, as Science must to be worthy of the name, patient, persistent, prayerful effort on their part, they decide that they like "the speckled axe" best. The first teacher of Christian Science put it this way, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." We might encourage each other more than we do in this direction.
What Christian Science Does Not Mean
The average man has now before him certain points for his consideration which we may perhaps sum up as follows: —
Christian Science does not mean that you give up anything — except wrong thinking, and, naturally, the sooner that this is done the better for you. It does not mean that you indulge in a vague kind of optimism and declare that everything is all right, when you really believe it is not. It does not mean that you must load yourself up with a number of very dry books, or that you must accept a lot of teaching which you neither understand nor believe. And it does not mean that if you are ill, you simply don't do anything that ordinary sensible people would do. Neither does it teach that the repetition of certain formulas will act as a charm and make you well, or that one human mind can impart true health to another, for God, the divine Mind, is the only healer.
— And What It Does
And now to sum up what it actually does teach: —
Christian Science teaches that the greatest physician and greatest scientist who ever walked on earth was Jesus the Christ. That the only safe thing for anyone to do is to apply himself wholeheartedly to the study of his life and works. The Christian Science text book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, is the most complete commentary on the Bible and the Master's life and works that has ever been written. The proof of this is that it again places within the reach of every one of us the spiritual thought-model which made that life and those works possible. The mere study of this book has healed all kinds of sin and disease, in thousands of well attested cases.
A great many people have found that Christian Science has given them such an understanding of the Scriptures as they had never dreamed to be within their reach. And it is a fact that this understanding brings with it such a sense of the goodness and love and omnipotence of the divine Principle, God, as to release the student from the bad mental and physical habits — not laws — which bind him, and greatly to enhance his fitness for service in the cause of humanity. He learns moreover that prayer is the effectual fervent mental effort which he is able to make through this new found understanding, to establish in his own consciousness the perfect thought-model in the place of the false and imperfect one. And to this end, the Christ, or divine idea which Jesus revealed, is forever standing at the door of his consciousness knocking, and he opens this door whenever he turns away from self and sense testimony to Principle, God.
The world needs the healing ministry of Christian Science today more than ever, because this healing is the evidence sought in vain among material phenomena, the evidence of Immanuel or "God with us." "Let us," therefore, in the words of the Christian Science text book ("Science and Health," p. 249) "accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence."
And as we turn our footsteps in this direction, Christian Science will be found to be a veritable light on the path.