Christian Science:

Its Fundamental Teachings and Practical Use

 

Jules Cern, C.S. of New York City, New York

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Effective prayer is the prayer of uncompromising acknowledgment of the allness of God, Jules Cern, C.S., of New York City, said last night in a Christian Science lecture in Boston.

The great appeal of Christian Science is that it is usable at all times and under all circumstances, Mr. Cern stated.

During the course of his lecture entitled "Christian Science: Its Fundamental Teachings and Practical Use," he described healings through spiritual means alone of blood poisoning, stomach trouble, and other everyday problems.

A member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was introduced by Miss Leslie Harris, C.S.B., Second Reader of The Mother Church.

 

Allness of Spirit Precludes Matter

Mr. Cern spoke substantially as follows:

There is a word in the theatrical profession which is used to define part of a stage setting.  The word is “practical.”  For example a living room scene may appear to have several doors.  Some of the doors may not be necessary for the entrance and exit of the performers, so these doors may be painted on the scenery.  They appear to be real doors, but they are unusable, or impractical.  However, at least one door of the set must be usable.  And this door, through which the performers may enter or exit, is called a practical door.  Being usable, it is practical.

The great appeal of Christian Science is that it is practical.  It is usable at all times, under all circumstances.  It is the open door to spiritual understanding of the truth about God, man, and the universe. Christian Science has no false doors, no unusable theories.  It harmonizes, heals, and prospers the experiences of everyone who uses its teachings correctly.  In order to use the teachings of Christian Science correctly, it is necessary to know what they are.  Therefore, let us consider some of the fundamental teachings of Christian Science.

If Christian Science could be summarized in just one sentence it very well could be:  God is All.  Christian Science is based upon the inspired Word of the King James version of the Bible.  The allness of God is repeatedly emphasized in the scriptures.  The Psalmist affirmed God’s allness in these words:  “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the utter most parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me” (Ps. 139:7-10).

Christian Science reveals that God is infinite Spirit, perfect Life, the only Mind, eternal Soul, pure Truth, omnipresent Love, omnipotent Principle.  Since God is All, then Spirit is All, Life is All, Mind is All, Soul is All, Truth is All, Love is All, Principle is All. 

God, Spirit, fills all space, all place.  This leaves no space, no place for an opposite of Spirit, called matter.  If there were one molecule of matter, God would be less than All.  But God, Spirit, is never less than All.  Hence matter, the very opposite of Spirit, is never more than nothing.  Matter would make the allness of Spirit implausible, but the allness of Spirit makes matter impossible.  The allness of Spirit does not include matter; it precludes matter.  That which never exists in the allness of Spirit never exists.  Consequently infinite Spirit does not coexist with matter.  Spirit exists instead of matter. 

 

Mrs. Eddy Opened Thought to God

That which appears to be matter is seen to be nothing; nothing but a false belief, a mental misconception, that there is something besides the allness of Spirit.  This does not wipe out man and the universe.  It merely wipes out a misconception, a false belief, of man and the universe.  The allness of Spirit, as we understand and realize it, spiritualizes our concept of man and the universe.  However, Christian Science does not spiritualize matter; it nothingizes matter.  It spiritualizes thought. 

Christian Science does not deny the existence of matter just to be different, but to be truthful, and thus to eliminate suffering from believing an untruth. 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, discerning the truth of God, man, and creation, was inspired to write, on page 26 of her book entitled, “Miscellaneous Writings”, the following: “God is All, in all.  What can be more than All?  Nothing: and this is just what I call matter, nothing.” 

Someone unacquainted with Christian Science might ask, “Where does Mrs. Eddy get the authority to call matter nothing?”  Let us see.

Before her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy like countless others, had faith in God.  In fact, she had great faith in God.  She went through many mental, physical and financial ordeals which put her faith to the severest possible test, but it never faltered.  Her faith in God’s care gave her superb courage.  However, faith alone seemed to be of little help in improving her welfare.  Then one day, in 1866, it appeared that she had sustained a fatal injury.  The attending physician predicted that she could not survive.

Mrs. Eddy, from early childhood, had been a devoted student of the Bible.  And, in what appeared to be a humanly hopeless predicament, she turned to the Scriptures to seek God’s help.  With self-abandoned humility, her thought opened wholeheartedly to God.  As she read the account of Jesus healing the man sick of the palsy, she was instantaneously and completely healed.  But even more important she discovered how and why her healing took place. 

Along with popular conceptions of God and man, Mrs. Eddy had previously regarded matter as part of God’s creation, and accepted a physical body as man’s identity.  But her healing took place when she mentally let go of that concept, and glimpsed the great fact of God’s allness and of man’s completely spiritual, incorporeal being. 

 

True Existence Is Not Physical

In the years following her healing, it became clear to Mrs. Eddy that true existence is not material, and that true identity is not physical.  She saw that what seems to be a physical condition is only a false belief that there is something unlike God, Spirit.  It became evident to Mrs. Eddy that God, infinite Spirit, does not dwell somewhere above matter, or in matter, around matter, or in addition to matter.  She beheld God, Spirit, as BEING ALL.  She realized that whatever appears to be matter in any form must be nothing but a false belief that God, Spirit, is not all. 

Accordingly to break the First Commandment means more than just making a god of matter; it means making a reality of matter. 

Mrs. Eddy noted that as her thought changed from matter to Spirit, from physicality to spirituality, from mortal-mindedness to the allness of divine Mind, then the bodily condition changed from discord to harmony.  Mrs. Eddy not only became convinced that a physical body expresses the quality of mortal thought, but, furthermore, she discovered that a physical body is mortal thought.  To be explicit, mortal thought is the thought that there is anything mortal.  The thought that there is a mortal body is all there is to there being a mortal body.  Since the mortal body is but the product, or belief of mortal thought then the body must reflect the quality of the thought believing it. 

Thus, Mrs. Eddy was guided to write in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, on page 282, “There is no inherent power in matter; for all that is material is a material, human, mortal thought, always governing itself erroneously.”  Mrs. Eddy uses the phrase “mortal thought” synonymously with “mortal mind”.  She makes it very plain, however, that mortal mind has no more reality, no more place in the allness of God, divine Mind, than does its belief, mortality.  In Science and Health, page 114, she tells us:  “Mortal mind is a solecism in language, and involves an improper use of the word mind.  As Mind is immortal, the phrase mortal mind implies something untrue and therefore unreal; and as the phrase is used in teaching Christian Science, it is meant to designate that which has no real existence.” 

 

Human Will Has No Place in Healing

How frequently Mrs. Eddy had read the Bible passage in the first chapter of Genesis (1:27) which reads, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him.”  Soon after her healing, Mrs. Eddy began to understand the true meaning of this profound statement.  No longer did she try to conceive the creations of God as something material.  She beheld spiritual creation, the only creation, instead of something material.  No longer did she regard God’s image as a mortal.  She beheld God’s image as being completely spiritual, immortal. 

Now one might ask, “If you declare that man is not a mortal, aren’t you denying the existence of every one of us?”  Not at all!  As previously indicated, the spiritualization of thought does not exterminate anyone’s identity or existence.  It liberates thought from a misconception of identity or existence.  When one denies the existence of  two and two as five, he is not denying the existence of two and two as four; he is only denying a lie, a false belief, a mental misconception of two and two.  He is not denying the entity, identity, or individuality of two and two, which is always four. 

Similarly when one denies the existence of himself or anyone else as a mortal, he is not denying his or anyone else’s entity, identity, or individuality, which is always spiritual.  He is only denying a lie, a false belief, a mental misconception of his or anyone else’s identity.  Because God, Spirit, is invariably All, identity is invariably spiritual, and therefore truly substantial.  Consequently man is not a mortal in a physical universe.  Man is not a mortal at all.  Man is immortal, wholly spiritual, in the universe of Spirit, the only universe there is. 

Mrs. Eddy perceived that when one stops believing that he or anyone else is a mortal, he stops hating, coveting, dominating, cheating, criticizing, envying, fearing, or idolizing a mortal.  When one stops thinking that he or anyone else is a mortal, he stops thinking that he or anyone else is a misplaced, displaced, abused, frustrated, depleted, sinful, sick, incurable, dying, or dead mortal.  When one stops thinking inharmoniously, he stops experiencing inharmony. 

It unfolded so clearly to Mrs. Eddy that suffering is never caused by God, divine Love, but by a false belief, a mental illusion that there is something besides God. 

She saw that God, divine Life, no more creates discordant life than the multiplication table creates discordant mathematics.  Mathematical discord comes only from a mental misconception of mathematical truth.  Similarly, she saw that human discord comes only from mental misconception of divine Truth. 

Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that human will has no place in the healing of human discord.  No one can will out of existence that which never had existence.  No one can will into being existence that which already is existence.  No one wills two and two to stop being five.  It never was five.  No one wills two and two to become four.  It always is four. 

In like manner, no one can will man to stop being a mortal.  He never was a mortal.  No one can will man to stop being a sick or sinful mortal.  He never was sick or sinful.  No one can will man into being spiritual and perfect.  He always is spiritual and perfect.  No one can will God into being All.  He never could be otherwise.  All that is needed to dispel a false belief is the truth; the humble and grateful acceptance of that which is, instead of that which may seem to be but couldn’t be. 

 

Churches Built Out of Gratitude

Through subsequent study of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy realized that if such an influx of spiritual understanding could come through humbly accepting the allness of Spirit (instead of what appears to be mortality) then what a blessing it would be to gain a clear understanding of this truth of being!  This she did, and the whole revelation of God’s allness and man’s likeness to Him literally poured into her receptive, unquestioning thought.  Thus, Christian Science came forth through divine perception, not through human reason. 

From the moment that Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, she prayed and worked to share it with the world.  Then followed the publication of the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy.  This great book contains the complete statement of Christian Science.  Many have been healed the first time they read from its pages.  It does not require other books to explain it or to enable one to practice what it teaches.  All that is required is a humble, teachable, approach to the revelation set forth in the book itself.  We do not attain the full blessings of Christian Science when we try to adapt its teachings to our point of view.  We attain them only when we adapt our point of view to it. 

That Mrs. Eddy discovered and founded a practical, usable religion is attested by the number of Christian Science churches and societies to be found throughout the civilized world.  They were built out of gratitude by those who have been helped and healed by Christian Science.  Those of you who are becoming newly acquainted with Christian Science will find a warm welcome in any Christian Science church or Reading Room. 

No alert student of Christian Science lets himself be deprived of the daily study of the inspired Word of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.  He takes the time, or makes the time, to devote part of each day to the unhurried, prayerful, humble study of Mrs. Eddy’s writings, from page to page, from cover to cover; not once or twice, but continuously.  When one strikes gold he does not stop at the first sign of it.  He keeps digging!

Occasionally one hears it said, “I wish I could do more studying, but I don’t have the time.”  What would you think of someone on a cross-country automobile trip, who pulled into a gas station and said, “Just give me one gallon of gas, I don’t time for any more!”  It sounds foolish, doesn’t it?  Dear friends, it is equally foolish to think of stopping only long enough for an insufficient amount of spiritual inspiration and spiritual ideas. 

 

Nothingness of Matter Demonstrated

Sometimes we may feel that we have no need to learn more about God.  Everything is going fine.  Christian Science does not deplore wholesome joy, prosperous activity, or good friendship.  It fosters happiness.  It is the Science of infinite good.  But Christian Science puts the source of all good where it belongs, wholly with God, Spirit.  It puts the concept of all good where it belongs, as being wholly spiritual.  Christian Science does not demonstrate good matter; it demonstrates God’s goodness and the nothingness of matter. 

One might like to ask:  “But why all the emphasis on the nothingness of matter?  All I’m interested in is getting rid of my troubles.”  When a fireman wants to get rid of smoke he goes after the cause of the smoke.  To get rid of troubles one has to eliminate the cause of the troubles.  The false belief that there is pleasant matter in the first place is the basis of the false belief that there is suffering matter in the second place.  The false belief that there is young matter in the first place is the basis of the false belief that there is old matter in the second place.  The false belief that there is healthy matter in the first place is the basis of the false belief that there is unhealthy matter in the second place.  The false belief that there is living matter in the first place is the basis of the false belief that there is dead matter in the second place.  

When matter is seen to be nothing but a false belief, a false mortal thought that there is something besides God, infinite Spirit, then matter is seen to be what it is: nothing; no power, no place, no one, no condition, no where. 

One might say, “All that sounds fine, but what good will it do me if I am sick and need to get well?”  That is a fair question, and it deserves a practical answer.  Let us take an actual case.

Some time ago a man walked into the office of a Christian Science practitioner, and had hardly settled in his chair when he began to exclaim: “I’m having severe stomach trouble, and it’s been going on for over a year.  Now don’t tell me that I’m not sick!  I heard a Christian Science lecture awhile back and he said there is no sick matter or well matter.  Now see here!”  He lifted his voice a bit higher: “I want you to know that I have a sick stomach and I want a well stomach!  Nobody can tell me I don’t have a sick stomach, when I can feel the pain all the time!” 

 

No Exceptions to Man’s Perfection

As the man paused and stared at the practitioner, all but daring him to say anything to the contrary, a wave of compassion swept the practitioner’s thought.  “My friend,” he began, “If you had a mathematical problem which you were unable to solve, would you go barging into the office of a mathematician and lay down the law to him as to how the problem should be solved?  Would you place a limit on how much of the teachings of mathematics you would accept?  Of course you wouldn’t! If your understanding had failed to meet the problem, you would become mathematically humble.  You would be completely willing to be shown the science of mathematics and how to apply it correctly.  You would even be willing to be shown where you had made your mistake.” 

The practitioner then asked him if he had tried to put into practice anything that the lecturer had said.  He replied that he had not.  The practitioner then recalled the story of Naaman, who needed to be healed of leprosy.  The Bible reveals that Naaman went to Elisha expecting that Elisha would heal him by ceremony and incantation.  Instead Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman with a simple admonition to wash in the waters of Jordan seven times.  The simplicity enraged Naaman, because Elisha’s method of helping him was not according to his preconceived ideas.  However, he was shown that what was required of him was humility and obedience, the willingness to relinquish human theories and human outlining.  When he obeyed Elisha’s simple direction, he was healed. 

Apparently the practitioner’s words found a responsive chord in the man’s thought, because his attitude changed almost immediately from one of defiance to something like that of an attentive child.  Human will, human opinion, self-justification, derisive criticism, and bitterness began to disappear from the man’s thought.  He glimpsed for the first time a great postulate of Christian Science, that there are no exceptions to God’s, Spirit’s, allness and perfection.  And consequently, there are no exceptions to man’s perfection as Spirit’s likeness.   This caused our friend to realize that he could be no exception to Spirit’s allness, or to man’s perfection. 

Thus, the man saw somewhat that his true identity, or spiritual selfhood, was his only identity, his only selfhood.  Spiritual identity does not exist in competition with mortal life or follow mortal death.  The spiritual identity of each one of us is the only identity one has.  The man had not been suffering from a physical condition, but from mistaken identity.  A physical body in any form, sick or well, old or young, dead or alive, was seen to be a mental denial of the allness of God, Spirit; a mental misconception of one’s true and only identity.

His consciousness, which had been so full of discordant, cantankerous, belligerent, human misconceptions of himself and of others was corrected.  When the harmony of divine Love displaces discord in one’s thought, discord vanishes from one’s experience.  In not much more time than it has taken to relate this case, that man walked out of the practitioner’s office completely healed.  Indeed, he had glimpsed the fundamental teachings of Christian Science, that God, Spirit, is absolutely All, and that man is absolutely spiritual, hence perfect.  Furthermore, he had experienced the practical use of these teachings and the cure of what had appeared to be a very serious physical condition. 

 

Disease Denied Because It Is Unreal

The practice of Christian Science does not disregard matter.  It involves a disbelief in matter.  Disease is but a phase of the belief that there is matter.  Christian Science does not deny disease merely because disease is undesirable, but because it is unreal.  Since it is not from God, good, therefore it must be unreal.  Let us emphasize that a physical body is but a mental misconception of one’s identity.  Consequently, disease is but a mental misconception of one’s condition.  Disease is as unreal as the physical body it is supposed to incapacitate.  Disease is never a physical condition, but always a mental misconception.  Since there is no such thing as an incurable misconception, there can be no such thing as an incurable disease.  There is, in fact, no such thing as disease. 

Writing on page 421 in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy declares:  “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and there is none beside Him.  There is no disease.”

In order to heal, Christian Science does not indulge in ambiguities.  It does NOT say:  Even though you appear to be a sick mortal, you are a well mortal.  It DOES say:  Even though you appear to be a sick mortal, you are not a mortal at all, sick or well.  You are the wholly spiritual inorganic, non-structural, harmonious, fearless, perfect image and likeness of divine Life.  This truth, has the effect of healing what appears to be a sick mortal.  Why?  Because the truth of being corrects by spiritualizing and harmonizing the human thought that believes there is a mortal, sick or well.  

Christian Science does NOT say: Even though you appear to be an old mortal, you are a young mortal.  It DOES say:  Even though you appear to be an old mortal, you are not a mortal at all, old or young.  You are a spiritual, ageless, useful, active, undepleted eternal expression of divine Life.  This truth has the effect of vitalizing and revitalizing that which appears to be an old mortal.  Why?  Because Truth spiritualizes and activates the thought believing there is a mortal, old or young. 

 

Healing Follows Acceptance of Truth

Christian Science does NOT say:  Even though you appear to be a poor mortal, you are a rich mortal.  It DOES say:  Even though you appear to be a poor mortal, you are not a mortal at all, rich or poor.   You are a spiritually limitless, perfectly situated, abundantly supplied, forever sustained, beloved idea of divine Love.  This truth has the effect of prospering what appears to be a poor mortal.  Why?  Because Truth spiritualizes and liberates the thought believing that there is a mortal, rich or poor.

Merely declaring these truths is not enough.  It is necessary to accept them, to be convinced of their truth.  To declare that man is the image and likeness of Spirit actually is the truth, but to think of a physical body as being that likewise is an untruth.  It is a verbal affirmation with a mental denial.  This does not demonstrate Christian Science.  It is like having your furnace going full blast on a frigid day- with all the windows wide open.  Your fuel may be top quality, but you are misusing it.  Mrs. Eddy writes on page 255 in Science and Health, the following:  “The human form, or physical finiteness, can not be made the basis of any true idea of the infinite Godhead.” 

The apostle Paul recognized that what appears to be a physical body is not the true identity of anyone.  He was inspired to write:  “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord . . . Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (II Cor. 5:8,16).

At this point one may ask, “If we are wholly spiritual, then how do you account for mortal existence?”  By exactly the same way in which one accounts for two and two is five.  It never is five!  There is no accounting for it!  It never exists even while it is believed to exist.  The false belief that two and two are five is all there is to its being five.  It never had a place in mathematics.  It is nothing but a deception about mathematical truth, a mental nonentity.

Accordingly, mortal existence cannot be accounted for. It never is existence. It never exists even while it is believed to exist. The false belief that existence is mortal is all there is to its appearance of being mortal. It never had a place in God’s creation. It is nothing but a deception about divine Truth, hence it is a mental nonentity.

 

Matter Is Mental Self-Deception

Writing in Science and Health on page 403, Mrs. Eddy tells us, “You command the situation if you understand that mortal existence is a state of self-deception and not the truth of being.”  To illustrate:  Many years ago there was a movie of Africa.  One of its objectives was the capture of monkeys to be brought back alive for the zoos.  The method of capture was very simple.  It was known that monkeys liked whole grains of uncooked rice; so the hunters took several coconuts, bored a hole in each one, and drained out the milk.  The next step was to place the coconuts at various places on the ground.  Attached to each coconut was a small rope, and the other end of each rope was tied securely to the nearest tree.  The final step was to pour some rice into the open hole of each coconut.  Then they left the area to the monkeys. 

When they returned the next morning, you may guess what the hunters found.  There was a monkey beside each coconut with his hand stuck inside the coconut.  The amazing part was that every monkey could have liberated himself, but each one had such a handful of rice, which he would not release, and he could not get his bulging fist back through the hole.  And yet, all that the monkeys needed to do to gain their freedom was to let go of the rice.  The rice certainly had no grip on them.  They were not trapped by a physical condition, but by their own mental self-deception. 

The lesson is obvious.  No one is ever in the grip of matter.  Matter is in the grip of the thought believing that there is matter.  Matter, then, is not a physical substance, but mental self-deception.  The only salvation from self-deception is self-enlightenment:  The awareness that God, Spirit, is All, and that all is spiritual, including man and the universe.

One does not need to be saved from being a mortal, but from believing that he is a mortal.  One does not need to be saved from other mortals, but from believing that there are other mortals.  One does not need to be saved from a material condition, but from believing that there is a material condition.  One does not need to be saved from anything but his own self-deception.  He needs to be saved from letting his own false beliefs make a monkey out of him.  True salvation is in the spiritual understanding of God, and of man as His spiritual reflection.  This leads to the mental relinquishment of all the grains of belief in something besides God. 

 

Christ Reveals True Identity of Everyone

The sole mission of Christ Jesus was to demonstrate the allness of God, Spirit, immortal Life; the likeness of man and the universe to Him; and the corresponding nothingness of anything unlike Him.  Jesus refused to let the adulation and idolatry of others make him believe that he was a mortal- even an exceptionally good mortal.  His rebuke was instant when someone addressed him as “Good Master”.  His reply was “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God”  (Matt. 19:17).  He would have no part of the suggestion that he or anyone else, was a mortal, good or bad. 

Jesus is the name which was given the human, false concept of his identity.  But the Christ constituted his spiritual, his only selfhood.  In fact, the only Christ reveals the true identity of everyone, as made in God’s image and likeness. This is what prompted Jesus to say, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”.  In other words; He that perceives that my identity is not a mortal called Jesus, but sees that my true identity is immortal, expressing God, Spirit, has perceived what God is - omnipresent Spirit. 

The mission of Jesus was not to demonstrate perfect and eternal matter, but perfect and eternal Life.  His true selfhood was never encased in mortal belief, or physicality.  The divine idea, or Christ, is the unblemished, unopposed, spiritual manifestation of divine Life.  The Christ is the truth, the divine manifestation of reality.  It reveals all that is real, the substance of all being.  It is never touched by mortality or rivaled by unreality.  The Christ reflects God’s allness.   It has no opposite, no persecutor.  Nothing of God’s creating is ever crucified. 

In one of her writings called “No and Yes”, on page 36, Mrs. Eddy writes: “The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, or good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being - holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real”.  Thus the divine revelation of Christian Science shows that there is in reality no human ordeal to go through, nor human ideal to live up to.  All that is, is spiritual.

Jesus did not pray that man should become spiritual and perfect.  His prayers were humble acknowledgments that man is always spiritual and perfect.   He never confused Truth with what appeared to be matter nor did he try to infuse Truth into what appeared to be matter.  The prayers of Jesus were uncompromising in their acceptance of Truth, the allness of Spirit, instead of what appeared to be matter.

Christian Science adheres to the pattern of prayer as practiced by Christ Jesus.  It does not petition God to heal matter.  Petitioning God to heal matter is the equivalent of believing that there is something besides God, Spirit, called matter.  The prayer that demonstrates the power of God is the prayer of uncompromising acknowledgment of the allness of God.  This is the prayer that results in the healing of disease and in harmonizing human experience.

True prayer is self-effacing humility before the allness of Spirit, the allness of divine Mind.  It is not a plea that God may be willing to save a mortal.  It is the grateful acknowledgment that, as Mrs. Eddy declares, “The only Spirit includes all identities.” (Science and Health, page 333)  Therefore, true identity is not a mortal in need of saving. 

 

Practical Use of Prayer Shown in Healing

The humble acceptance of the allness of Spirit demonstrates dominion over the belief that there is anything called matter.  The humble acceptance of the allness of divine Life demonstrates dominion over the belief that there is anything called mortal life.  The all-inclusive entity of divine Mind is unrivaled by a nonentity called mortal mind.

Let us consider an example of the practical use of prayer, as revealed in the fundamental teachings of Christian Science.  Some time ago, a man was suffering from what appeared to be a serious case of blood poisoning.  It had begun at a fingertip and had spread to the upper half of his body.  Inflammation, swelling, and huge lumps appeared in several places.  The man reached a state of delirium and weakness, requiring twenty-four hour nursing care.  A visitor declared that the man seemed beyond saving.  A Christian Science practitioner had been called on the case, and in his endeavor to see the truth about man more clearly, he turned to page 495 of Science and Health and read the following: “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea.  Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought”. 

It was comforting to note that Mrs. Eddy did not say, “When sickness or sin tempts you,” but she did say, “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you”.  He realized that he was not dealing with real sickness or sin, but with an illusion, an illusion that identity is mortal, sick, or sinful.  He saw more clearly that his duty as a Christian Science practitioner was not to sit in judgment on mortals.  It was not his province to determine how good or how bad mortals seem to be, or whether or not they desire to enjoy or suffer. His sole duty was to see man’s true and only identity as God’s perfect, wholly spiritual idea - instead of a mortal.  He must allow nothing but God’s likeness to abide in his thought, if he would dispel the false thought, or illusion, that man is unlike God. 

 

God, Love, Is All the Mind There Is

Refreshed with these inspired words of Mrs. Eddy, he affirmed the allness of God and the perfection of man substantially in these words:  Thank you, Father-Mother God, for being completely All.  Your allness is all that is here and everywhere.  You are all the Mind there is.  There never was a mortal mind to believe there was matter, or evil, in any form.  There is no mortal mind now, to be frightened or enlightened. The identity of Your beloved idea is completely spiritual.  He is not composed of matter, nor can he be decomposed by matter.  There is really nothing mortal to contaminate or liberate, to purify or rectify.  Your perfect idea never strayed from being Your perfect idea.  You are all Love and nothing unlovely or unloving ever happened.  All is divine Life.  Your perfect manifestation never went through a human origin, human ancestry, human history, or a human condition.  From the infinitesimal to the infinite, all is spiritual, all is pure, all is harmonious, all is perfect, now and forever.

Shortly after this steadfast affirmation of God’s allness, the man showed a definite turn toward recountenance, and in a short time he was able to resume his normal activities completely healed.

Indeed, Mary Baker Eddy knew what blessings were in store for everyone who accepted her clear view of God’s allness.  She summarized the fundamental teachings of Christian Science and its practical use in these inspired words to be found in her book “The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany” on page 357, where she writes:  “Spirit is infinite; therefore Spirit is all. ‘There is no matter’ is not only the axiom of true Christian Science but it is the only basis upon which this Science can be demonstrated.” 

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 25, 1957, under the headline, “Effective Prayer Accepts Allness and Perfection of God”. Also printed in the Largo [FL] Sentinel, Jan. 20, 1955.]

 

 

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