Christian Science: A Reason for Hope

 

John Sidney Braithwaite, C.S.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

I have entitled this lecture "Christian Science: A Reason for Hope" because it seems to me that to-day the Scriptural injunction to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you is sounding to our ears more insistently than ever before. The sick and the sorrowing, weary of the husks of materialism, are turning to the spiritually minded and asking for a reason for hope. Our soldiers and sailors returning from their labors in many fields, eager to forget the waste, the privations, and the horrors of the battle field, ask us for a reason for hope. And what have we to give them? Are we going to be satisfied with the mere attempt to minister to their material needs? Do they not demand of us something more than that? Christian Science is with us to-day as a reason for our highest hope, and my endeavor in this lecture will be to set that reason clearly before you.

 

The First Step

It has been said that the first step in an investigation is to ask the right questions, and I am going to assume that no one here is actuated by any other motives than the desire to receive clear answers to right questions. With your permission I propose to formulate for myself those questions that appear to present themselves most naturally in the minds of thinking people on the subject of Christian Science and then to endeavor to answer them with what lucidity I am able to command.

The first question that presents itself is, "Is Christian Science simple and easy to understand, or does it require a highly educated intellect or particular kind of brain to grasp its teaching?"

Christian Science is as simple as Christianity itself, and of Christianity, it was said by its first Teacher, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

The fact is that if Christianity had required the highly trained intellect as the soil in which it could best flourish, it would never have availed the great mass of mankind, from whom such training is definitely excluded either through lack of time or means. How would it have been possible for the Galilean fishermen, a primitive and uninstructed class, to forsake their means of livelihood for a bundle of theories or intellectual subtleties? Of course, we know it did not require any such soil as the highly trained intellect, but we find, nevertheless, that while the message of the gospel has been no respecter of persons, it has made its strongest appeal to a certain type of mind the lovers of simplicity and humble-minded.

And similarly, with Christian Science, of which it would be true to say that it would not be either Christian or Science were it not profoundly simple, and I would remind those who are disposed to insist that anything entitled to be called Science must be beyond the reach of the average man, of Professor Tait's words, that Science is that which "aims at giving us a common-sense view of the world we live in."

 

A Rediscovered Art

You will naturally ask, "In what sense is it claimed that Christian Science is a new discovery in this age?" Well, of course, Truth is eternal and can never be new, but on the other hand its revelations are continually renewed, and the spiritually minded may be said to live in a veritable atmosphere of discovery. The first Teacher of Christianity laid down the healing ministry as an integral part of his message and although it was for some time practiced in the early Christian churches, the old-time exponents of the Master's teaching early lost sight of its essential significance, and at last surrendered it entirely to the more material systems. In the latter part of the last century Christian Science appeared to challenge this sad neglect and supported its right to do so with many remarkable and well-authenticated cases of healing. Because of these modern miracles all eyes were turned toward the gentle and unassuming figure of a New England woman, who in announcing her discovery of the Science of Christianity challenged the Christian world to accept the reasonableness of her conclusions. This woman was Mary Baker Eddy.

Mrs. Eddy's contention was that while lying at death's door she had been suddenly restored to perfect health without the aid of any material remedy or appliance. She maintained unswervingly that while the agency in this healing was purely Christlike, still it had a scientific explanation. But just as in the case of all great discoveries, years of patient research have been needed before they could be elucidated and presented to the world in scientific form, so in the case of Mrs. Eddy's healing she was not able immediately to lay before the world its scientific explanation. This is her own account, of what happened (Science and Health, p. 109):

"For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration."

 

Discoverer's Experience

Mrs. Eddy was so unprejudiced herself that she believed that her wonderful discovery would meet with immediate universal acceptance. So free was she from egotistical notions of self-advertisement or ambition that she supposed it natural that the Christian churches would gratefully acknowledge the restoration of the lost art of Christian healing, just as one who had lost a priceless gem from his diadem would welcome its return. She was, however, quickly brought face to face with the fact that even her own church which she loved most was not ready for an interpretation of the Scriptures which differed from that which years of theological teaching had made acceptable to its members. Mrs. Eddy met the attacks which were made upon her in a spirit of true charity and forgiveness while her conviction that for the work in hand she was commissioned by God gave her the strength and courage to wait patiently for His sanction in all that she did. The constant demands on her as Leader of a rapidly growing movement caused her to yearn for the freedom to step aside from this the position and let some one else take her place. But it seemed as if there was no one but her fitted for this great responsibility or equal to so heavy a burden. She therefore remained faithful at her post until her ninetieth year, when, in a way that she neither sought nor feared, she passed from our sight. That the task intrusted to her had been faithfully completed, is best proved by the fact that since her departure the growth of the movement and the volume of its healing work, so far from suffering diminution, have exceeded all expectations.

 

A Better Hope

What then is the nature of the hope which Christian Science brings to the darkened outlook from which so many suffer? My first clear impression on reading the textbook for the first time was that with this book and the Bible to guide him a man might not only be his own parson and his own doctor, but that he would be better able to look after his own spiritual and physical welfare than anybody else could do for him. And a closer acquaintance with the whole subject has proved to me that such is indeed the case.

In Christian Science it is literally a case of working out your own salvation, with a very definite hope of success in so doing, because you are working with an explanation of the Scriptures that opens up for you the right way to think on all important questions to do with life and God and man, and not wandering in a kind of fog of guessing or blind belief. In a poem entitled "The Two Voices," Tennyson gives us a realistic example of the kind of conversation that goes on in many people's minds. In this instance it is the poet's own mind, and it looks as if his whole outlook on life is to be determined by the argument to which he finally gives his assent.

The first voice suggests to him.

 

"Thou art so full of misery

Were it not better not to be?"

 

and supports this morbid suggestion with all kinds of subtle arguments as to the ultimate desolation and decay attendant upon all human aspirations.

Just as it seems that the poet's resistance to these suggestions is beginning to flag, a second voice presents itself and urges him to be of better cheer, giving as the reason for this the existence of "a hidden hope." On this advice the poet's waning faith warms once more into a hopeful assurance of the reality and permanence of the good and true, and the poem ends with these words:

 

"I marvell'd how the mind was brought

To anchor by one gloomy thought;

And wherefore rather I made choice

To commune with that barren voice,

Than him that said 'Rejoice! Rejoice!'"

 

Weighing Probabilities

Now this kind of weighing up of probabilities goes on all the time with most of us, and the Bible says that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Some listen to one voice and some to another, and whereas those who see in the present, wonderful opportunities of proving the power of love, and willingness to serve, to overcome every obstacle, we see others who are seemingly brought to anchor by the gloomy thoughts which they feel powerless to resist or even argue against. To both kinds the message of Christian Science may prove an angel unawares, for the simple reason that it teaches how to analyze the actual character and bona fides of all kinds of thoughts as they address us, and, mind you, we alone are responsible for the thoughts that we entertain.

Christian Science teaches that your whole outlook on life, whether gloomy or bright, sad or joyous, healthy or unhealthy, turns on what you believe about God. There are those who hold it to be the highest form of reverence to attribute to God entire responsibility for all the discordant things that are going on in the world, the war, famine, disease, and so on. These things they often hold to be evidence of God's displeasure with His erring creation, just as in the seventeenth century it was customary to describe the chalk mark on the doors of infected houses as "God's mark."

I think people who feel this way about God are bound to feel unhappy. And yet such people would very likely admit that God must be the supreme intelligence of the universe, only they would say that His justice and mercy are things at present beyond our comprehension, and so the best that one can do is to "rest and expatiate in a life to come." Here Christian Science draws attention to the one thing lacking and supplies it, that is, a present right understanding of God's essential nature and man's relation to Him. The first Teacher of Christianity said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." We shall not therefore find life eternal by pleading that the things of God are beyond our comprehension.

 

Spiritual Government

What has Christian Science to tell us about God? In the study of Christian Science we find law to be the very essence of God's nature, and that is why the term Principle is so often used for God, because Principle is that which underlies and maintains all true law. Christian Science teaches that in reality all true law is contained in and manifest through that trinity of good, Life, Truth, and Love; and that the domain in which this law operates and to which mortals must turn in order to realize its benevolent activity, is expressed in the words Mind, Spirit, and Soul. Thus we have in Christian Science seven synonymous terms the right understanding of which will help the human mind to apprehend and draw near to God: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. This variety of terms is the greatest possible help to the seeker after the truth for it does not confine his thoughts about God within the limits of corporeal personality, but allows them to extend on all sides, like the branches of a tree which has been moved into the open and is no longer confined within walls or cramped for lack of space.

 

As the idea of God as divine Principle, eternally unchangeable and wholly impartial, dawns upon his thought, the seeker will begin to experience a sense of emancipation from his old limiting habits of thought, for he is awakening to an impersonal sense of omnipresent law. We must never lose sight of the fact that lawlessness in human affairs has always been responsible for the greatest tyranny and cruelty, and this illustrates the fact that every manifestation of evil is evidence of the absence or negation of law. Conversely, we have the Psalmist's spiritual insight reassuring us with the promise: "Great peace have they that love thy law; and nothing shall offend them." Reformers, those who worship God in spirit and in truth, find wonderful power and freedom from limitation when impelled to some new and forward step in the cause of freedom. They seem to become imbued with the fact upon which Christian Science insists, that in the spiritual reality there is no limitation, and all things are governed by a law that is wholly good. Let us begin now to think of this Spirit, not as something abstract or shadowy, but as the imperishable substance of all real being. First, however, we must know how to deal with the testimony presented in opposition to this idea the evidence of the five senses to the effect that the basis of all substance and life is matter.

 

Stuff of Dreams

Is it, then, necessary to investigate the evidence of the five senses? Well, this is the very thing that scientific thinkers have been engaged on for so long past, but it is not, even in the light of modern research, possible to say for matter more than this that it is of itself nothing definite, but only seems to be the substance, life, and intelligence of everything.

Professor Fiske has laid down the proposition in these words: "All the qualities of matter are what the mind makes them, and have no existence as such apart from the mind." A statement such as this should be, perhaps, supported, by illustration, but I do not see how it would be possible to cover the ground this way without taking up too much time. But let us take one very sample illustration. That fur coat which, if you are fortunate enough to possess one, you put on on a cold day. You say my coat has warmed me or has kept me warm. But what about the wax model in the shop window on which you first saw it? Was that affected one degree either way by the coat? No; so it must be your thought about the coat and its effect upon your body which has kept you warm. Separated from the thought, both the coat and the body would be cold and inanimate, and so it must be thought and not the overcoat that warms the body and keeps it warm. Illustrations, all pointing to the fact that matter is just what mortal mind, or the mind of the senses, thinks of it and nothing else, and that the five senses are in a constant state of self-deception regarding it, might be multiplied almost indefinitely, but this one instance will suffice to illustrate the proposition in a general way.

And so it is easy to understand the dilemma of the Chinese philosopher who dreamed one night that he was a butterfly, and on awaking to find himself a man, exclaimed, "And now I know not whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man." Today, as the result of centuries of experience, humanity does perhaps feel a little more sure about the reality of the spiritual unseen and of man's true destiny, but whenever we revert in thought to matter as the basis of life, substance, and intelligence, then the Chinaman's doubts concerning the reality of his being are liable to become ours too.

 

How to Correct Mistakes

Does Christian Science then teach that we can immediately stop eating and drinking and being clothed materially? By no means; but it does teach that in order to find out true spiritual selfhood we must correct, as fast as it is practical to do so, every mistaken material thought about life and substance. We can only correct mistakes when we see them as mistakes, and Christian Science teaches that the remedy, for all the ills that flesh is heir to is to be found in the truth, lived and practiced. In making proof of this to the best of our ability and step by step, we begin to feel a wonderful confidence and joy in the fact that here at least is the pathway of true Science. In finding the truth regarding any given set of conditions, the starting point in Christian Science is that there is only one creator, God the one Mind. All things real are therefore thoughts or ideas emanating from this Mind, and inasmuch as the Mind which is God must be perfect, His ideas cannot be less than perfect. Mistaken notions cannot alter this fact but the fact itself dispels the mistaken notion. Napoleon once said to one of his ministers: "Do you know what I admire most in the world? The powerlessness of material force. In the long run, the sword is conquered by an idea."

Napoleon in this instance may have only meant to convey that human thinking was superior to human force, and so it often is, but Christian Science teaches that those thoughts only are endowed with true power that attribute to the divine Mind, God, all power, all substance, all intelligence, all life. It is not strange, when you come to think of it, that such thoughts as these should always have accomplished wonders, because being an impartation of the one infinite Mind, or Spirit, which created the universe and keeps it going, they must reflect the Life and Truth and Love of which according to the Scriptures that Spirit is composed. Herein lies their irresistible power. Needless to say, this divine power has been always in the world, but it has remained for Christian Science to present it in a form by which men may avail themselves of it now, systematically and scientifically, and thus receive, as it were, the needed authority to give the lie to evil, to heal disease in every form, and so correct the mistaken thoughts which are responsible for all the trouble. It is upon the right thinking that is being done now that the salvation of the world from all its unhappiness and diseases depends.

 

Christian Warfare

It is a noticeable thing that whereas a mistake is in itself a passive, inert, mindless thing, it is quite otherwise with the maker of a mistake. He is generally in the attitude of trying to shield it or in some other way to justify it. Look at the lengths to which the human mind once committed to materialism has gone. It has broken all the commandments in order to establish its mistaken sense about matter, matter's claim to be substance, its supposed power to enrich and to make great or to destroy. Today we have the vision of the nations

 

"groping on their way,

Stumbling and falling in disastrous night.

Yet hoping ever for the perfect day."

 

The suffering involved in the present war would seem well nigh unendurable to some people, were it not for this hope, the hope that in the crumbling away of materialism there will come the promised dawn of the Christ-idea in human consciousness. And so, even now, we tread more lightly in the prospect of a better sense of peace, of freedom, and of perfection than the world has yet enjoyed. But we have had to learn to be willing to fight this war, to make the sacrifice of those things that we have come to regard as ours by right, and even to surrender for the time being our reluctance to being involved in methods of material violence. These latter are the outward evidences of a condition of thought which the Master himself said was not to be feared. We must never lose sight of this fact, however, that it is the active, alert spiritual thinking of soldier and civilian alike that will finally expose the fallibility of mere human will seeking its own ends and the futility of all misdirected efficiency. This is the Christian warfare so vividly described by St. Paul. Another illustration of this warfare is found in the Old Testament where Jacob is recorded as having wrestled with a man till break of day. Science and Health explains that Jacob was really wrestling with error and that he was "struggling with a moral sense of life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter with its false pleasures and pains" (p. 308). And you will remember that he did not give up the struggle until he had received a blessing from it. This opponent, who in Jacob's case was called a man, has been allegorically depicted by a modern writer as endowed with power to assume different forms at will, one moment appearing as a dragon and the next as a farmyard duck. This illustrates the different forms that error may assume in our struggle for freedom. But Christian Science shows that evil has no more basic reality when it appears as some malicious or diabolical thought or action than when it takes the form of some apparently harmless, domestic, or commonplace habit. We must be very watchful, however, to avoid either self-complacency or self-condemnation, which can only weaken the spiritual armament.

 

"The Day Breaketh"

Is this the key to the whole question of the healing in Christian Science? Yes, it is the victory over self that wins the day in every case, and Christian Science teaches that the way in which this victory is won is not by force or human will, but by persistent and consecrated effort to lift one's thoughts above the fog of material sense until the unreality of matter and all its claims to power dawns upon the thought, and God, good, is seen as the only power. Even when it seems almost impossible, through pressure of circumstances, to realize the unreality of matter, one may yet reject its claims and cling steadfastly to the fact of God's allness while waiting for proof of the power of good over evil. It is then that "the day breaketh" for the wrestler, and it is then that angels, or spiritual thoughts, come and minister to him. Paul's advice to us to think constantly of the things that are true, honest, just, pure, of good report, is not merely kind encouragement. It has behind it his scientific understanding that these things accompany the true idea and are the very substance of the things we hope for. As we accustom ourselves to dwell on these things we are really shutting out thoughts of the body and material desires and admitting the healing Christ into our consciousness. This point of view finds no place in those human systems that are based on material premises variously described as materia medica, hypnotism, suggestive therapeutics, spiritualism, or theosophy, and that is why Christian Science has nothing in common with them. Christian Science does not teach that mortals can be made perfect, but, on the contrary, that perfection appears in our lives in proportion as thought awakens from its dream of mortality. "I shall be satisfied," said the Psalmist, "when I awake with thy likeness."

 

The Way-Shower

Since the time when Paul gave utterance to that poignant cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" and found the answer in this own words, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord," the world's hope has centered on Jesus. Even though his life and mission have been but imperfectly understood and their practical value dissipated by personal idolatry, this hope has never been completely extinguished. Christ Jesus means more to the world to-day than ever before in human history, and Christian Science explains him better. His remedy for Adam, the material type of manhood whose substance is matter, was the Christ, or spiritual type of manhood whose substance is Mind, God. In his own life and example he exemplified perfectly this spiritual type, proving its dominion over every form of material belief. He healed all kinds of disease, raised the dead, removed every sense of material limitation attached to supply, substance, time, and space. But you need to be watchful here lest that old thought of deified personality comes stealing in to drug you and put you to sleep. A right understanding of his works and words will give you the key to all your troubles, but misunderstood, they can avail you little. He said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me," and it still is so.

 

Right Discrimination

Do you not see that Jesus was the first to teach mankind how to discriminate between life as defined by the five senses and Life spiritually discerned? "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," he told Nicodemus. He first laid down for mankind which one of these two propositions was the truth about life. His whole life and example were in demonstration of the fact that man exists to express Mind and not matter. His atonement was his proof of man's at-one-ment with Mind, "I and my Father are one," not God watching from afar, but the divine Mind and idea, present, inseparable, harmonious, eternal now. As the good shepherd he presents to us the right idea of brotherhood. Although the authorized version represents him as saying, "There shall be one fold, and one shepherd," the actual words in the original are: There shall be one flock and one shepherd; in other words, all God's children will recognize and follow the Christ the true model of manhood. As the vine, he is the stem from which all our faith is derived. As the door, his example is the only entry into Life, Truth and Love. Evil presented itself to him boasting, threatening, appealing, fawning, lying, arguing. He saw through it every time. He was never once deceived. Is not that alone a wonderful thing to contemplate never to have been taken in? And he said that we might share his Christ-power, profit by what he taught, and do as he did. But have we? No; for the simple reason that we have not really tried to think as he thought but instead have idolized his personality. We have not condemned sense testimony so long as the world did not call it sin, but on the contrary we have hugged it close. Did he ever do that? He always rebuked it and rejected it. Even on the cross he refused the narcotic thrust in front of him with the suggestion that he might gain relief that way. In all circumstances he refused to know evil in any form. The question is how may we learn to do the same and escape from the sufferings that material sense testimony has brought us. Well, here is some advice from the Bible on this very point. Every man that hath this hope in him (Christ Jesus) purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

And now let me read you this passage from Science and Health (page 242): "There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality to have no other consciousness of life than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses." Here, surely, is the true explanation of those two much misunderstood terms, prayer and fasting. Prayer not a selfish request, but the dwelling in the consciousness of good: and fasting, not food rations, but self-abnegation and the proof of man's superiority to all material sense testimony.

 

The Desolate House

In his impressive lament over Jerusalem, which in those days exemplified the sum total of material pride and sensuality, the Master concluded with the words, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." The desolate house that structure of nonsense erected by the five senses is being seen at its real worth as a home.

It is not very difficult to point out the many fallacies and hopeless inconsistencies of material existence, and this is being continually done by writers who have the skill and the courage to undertake the task; but as a rule they leave the reader about where they found him, with perhaps an added sense of the hopelessness of it all.

Are we to be content with these fallacies and inconsistencies, and while laughing at them try to make the best of them? I used to think, until Christian Science showed me otherwise, that this was the only thing one could do. My idea of making the best of the conditions that we see, resolved itself into an effort to help on the work of the hospitals, and for some time I took an active part in the management of two hospitals, one very large one in London and one very small one in the country; and this work proved in many ways a blessing to me which I shall never regret. But I am free to confess to you that when I saw in Christian Science the truth about the healing method of our Lord, and the scientific character of the hope that accompanied it, and contrasted this with the purely material system of doctoring in vogue today, a system which relies wholly on drugs and surgery, and leaves the moral and spiritual aspect of life out of its calculations, I could no longer feel satisfied that helping on this work was the best I could do for myself or for my neighbor.

 

Scientific Reform

However much we may hear of the advances made in surgical skill and ingenuity during the war, I noticed in a recent interview the claim that surgery and medicine have been reborn in the period, we must also reflect that had the teachings of the Master been received more into men's hearts in place of the lip service of the past, the need for all this would never have arisen. The periodical agitations for a department of health, etc., would be well enough, if the institution of such a department had for its main object the education of the people out of unclean and insanitary practices, which are generally the result of ignorance or sloth. One can readily see that all efforts directed toward a cleaner, healthier outlook must act directly on the welfare of the whole community. But if these efforts are to take the form of subjecting the community to the rigid requirements formulated by the adherents of a certain favored system of medicine, whose methods have always been more experimental than scientific, is it not probable that, the price paid for any improvements so gained will be a still deeper materialism, and will not the body, fettered by every kind of restriction, be more than ever the master of the man? It is so easy to invent panaceas, to turn men into germ carriers and put spectacles on children, but as this process goes on these words, "Take no thought for your life," "Consider the lilies of the field," "Behold the fowls of the air," "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" seem to become so faint that men laugh to think that anyone could talk of applying such ideas to modern conditions. Oh, let us wake up! Those never were transcendental ideas, but always the most practical advice ever given to men. How can we let our selves be put to sleep by materialism in this way? One well known writer says, "I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?"

Christian Science is waking men and women everywhere to the true meaning of freedom. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

This is not a time to loosen our grasp on the truth, but rather to get a clearer understanding of Principle, through the active demonstration of its reforming and healing power. The Christian Scientist does not resist social or hygienic reform, he helps it on; but he also knows that any reform that does not have as its main desideratum the growth, expansion, and freedom of individual character can never succeed. That is why Christian Science is the greatest movement for reform that is in the world today. Its organization exists solely in order that this healing truth may reach all mankind and bless them, and not in order that it may have a great roll of members.

 

Spreading the Message

Those who join this organization are those who, perceiving the significance of the message, see also the importance of doing their share in the spread of it. Apart from that, the organization offers to its members no advantages which the public may not freely enjoy. The church services, its reading rooms, and its lectures are open free to all seekers after the truth. Church membership is not the thing that is going to save mankind, but a pure religion, the religion of Christ Jesus unfettered by creed or dogma, a religion which depends for its establishment on earth on the good which its followers are able to demonstrate as the result of its teaching.

Some years before Science and Health was written, Henry D. Thoreau wrote these words, "When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact of his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis."

This prophecy is find its fulfillment in Christian Science. That fact of the imagination the kingdom of God has been reduced by one woman to be a fact of her understanding, for she has set forth its demonstrable Science in a book, and from that time on the number of those who have established their lives on that basis has gone on year by year in continually increasing ratio.

This book is the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to which all may have access either by purchase or by borrowing it at one of the many Christian Science reading rooms. There are many well-authenticated cases of healing of all kind of disease as the result of studying this book, often when the only motive for doing so was despair of finding a remedy elsewhere.

 

Saved by Hope

There is no religion so full of hope in the present as Christian Science, and Paul says, "We are saved by hope." I have tried to show in this lecture something of what that hope is, and how that by its clear and logical statement of the nothingness and insubstantiality of matter and the allness of the Mind that is God, Christian Science is giving to the world the only teaching that can really save it from the wreck of materialism.

You have learned today something of the method by which Christian Science is unraveling the tangle which has resulted from a blind acceptance of sense testimony, and how it is revealing to man his real freedom; and you have perhaps gained some new light on the fact that Christ Jesus, the Way-shower for all time and for all mankind, exemplified this method in his own life and works. We are now able to see what the denial of material sense testimony as he denied, it, and obedience to the voice of Principle as he obeyed it, will mean for us. It will mean doing the works that he did and thus sharing in some measure the deep joy of his experiences.

It is probable that I have not dealt with all the questions that some would have liked to ask me, but to those who still have questions unanswered I say as Philip said to Nathanael, the questioner, "Come and see" in other words, take our textbook and study it for yourselves.

 

[Delivered at The Lyceum Theater of Ithaca, New York, May 29, 1919, and published in The Ithaca Daily News, May 31, 1919.]

 

 

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