Christian Science: A Religion of Right Thinking
Clarence W. Chadwick, C.S.B., of Omaha, Nebraska
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Approximately six hundred persons were present at the Glove theatre yesterday afternoon to attend the lecture on Christian Science, which was delivered in a convincing and forcible manner by Clarence W. Chadwick, C.S.B., of Omaha, Neb., whose specific topic was "Christian Science, a Religion of Right Thinking."
The afternoon's speaker, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, has achieved a country-wide reputation as a fascinating and inspiring speaker, and those who heard Mr. Chadwick yesterday were not slow to understand why he held his auditors so closely.
Fred W. Duesbury presided, and introducing Mr. Chadwick said:
In contrast to the materialism of the age, is the asking for truth and the asking for proofs of one's belief.
Two thousand years ago, there came one, who said, "ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." He proved his understanding of the truth by restoring sight to the blind, and healing the sick.
He taught of a God of love, who revealed himself to all who are of a contrite and humble spirit. So pure and unselfish were his life and works, that men deified and worshiped him as God.
In our own day and age appeared one whose spiritual purity enabled her to prove that, to use her own words, "The so-called miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an ever-operative divine Principle." Her instantaneous recovery when at the point of death led her to search for the truth of being. The result of that search, she named Christian Science, and gave it to the world in "Science and Health with the Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.
It affords me great pleasure to introduce Clarence W. Chadwick, C.S.B., of Omaha, Neb.
Mr. Chadwick said in full:
Christian Science is attracting worldwide attention. For more than half a century it has been winning its way into the consciousness of humanity. Countless thousands have accepted Mrs. Eddy's discovery as the revealed word of God to this age. And why? Because they have heard its message of "on earth peace, good will toward men," have felt its healing touch of Truth; have experienced the influence of the "quickening spirit" of divine Love, lifting thought to higher planes of thinking and living; and are supremely happy in having learned how to make practical application of the Master's teachings, thereby to work out their own salvation.
If there are any who are still inclined to ask, Has Christianity failed? let them study the effect of Christian Science upon the lives of those who have in sincerity accepted its inspired teachings; let them observe the marvelous transformation in health and morals of many with whom they are personally acquainted; let them note how selfishness and unkindness have given place to unselfishness and kindness; how the spirit of giving has taken possession of these people, even to the extent of surrendering all to follow Christ; let them observe their loyalty and patriotism in the hour of their country's need; and then let them say whether Christianity is a failure.
The Science of Christianity never fails; but humanity may fail to obey its precepts. Such failure on its part is due to wrong ideals and careless thinking. How to obey the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount is a problem not yet completely and satisfactorily solved in the minds of a large majority of Christian believers. If the divine revelation of Christian Science to this age can solve this vital problem, it will be because this Science can offer convincing proof to the world that it is nothing less than the right thinking of Christ Jesus put into practice.
It will be the purpose of this lecture to tell you something of the mission of this religion of right thinking as presented to the world in its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy.
Mrs. Eddy's vision of the Christ not only healed her of the effects of a so-called fatal accident, but enabled her to reach a purified mental height, where she could spiritually discern the deep things of God and give them to the world. Her whole earthly life from childhood was one continuous search after spiritual things. She forsook all to follow Christ, and behold the result — a discovery which is bringing untold blessings to the entire world.
Mrs Eddy named her discovery Christian Science. She was, to use her own words, "only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 115); consequently, she had no excuse to offer for inditing the pages of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The world owes a profound debt of gratitude to this noble woman for what is contained in this most unique book. Many thousands will testify that the Bible was a sealed book before Science and Health came to them.
Mrs. Eddy, as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, fought the good fight and bravely won her laurels. Her works, which have followed her, have proved her one of the greatest of religious leaders and teachers.
Mrs. Eddy's Discovery
It was in the year 1866 that Mrs. Eddy made the all-important discovery that "all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24).
By Mind she means not the carnal or mortal mind which "is enmity against God," but the one infinite, supreme, governing intelligence of the universe, eternal and unchangeable. This is the Mind that the great apostle referred to when he said: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." This is the Mind that Jesus employed to heal the sick and sinful, to still the tempest, and to raise the dead. he referred to it as "my Father, and your Father" — "my God, and your God." This Mind is the "us" mentioned in Genesis 1:26: "and God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
It is this clear-cut conception of Mind, as elucidated by Mrs. Eddy, that is changing the religious thought of the whole world. Not since the days of Jesus and his apostles has any religious denomination except that of Christian Science said to its followers; "There is one infinite, all-good Mind; and this Mind is God, or Spirit, who is 'of purer eyes than to behold evil.'" This Mind is omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience; infinite and indivisible; therefore never in nor of matter; never in a material body.
It seems almost needless to state, in presence of the widely acknowledged fact, that the reception by the world of this enlarged concept or right idea of Mind has already resulted in the healing of numerous cases of insanity; has restored incorrigibles; has resurrected the feeble-minded; has healed inveterate sin and abnormal temperamental traits, and conquered depraved appetites. It is safe to say that there is no disease known to the medical world which has not been healed through the understanding of God as divine Mind, as revealed in Christian Science.
Since there is one infinite God or intelligence, this God must be the first and only cause. To admit any other cause, then, would be equivalent to admitting more than one God, which would be breaking the first great commandment. And since God is infinite good, He could not cause anything unlike good. As the Scriptures plainly state it: "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."
If Christian people would accept and hold to this idea of infinite good, they would quickly and effectively dispose of the vexatious problem of evil. To understand that there is one infinite, spiritual cause makes the demonstration of Christian healing a present possibility. To believe in many causes absolutely incapacitates one for proving the omnipotence of good. To admit a real cause for evil would give evil a foundation in fact; would endow it with power and place mankind at its mercy. Because Christian Science is the gospel of good to the world, its mission is to implant in human consciousness the idea of one infinite, all-good cause, which never created evil nor suffered it to exist for some wise purpose, as one so often hears asserted.
Jesus was a man actuated by spiritual ideas. He was the perfect example of a right thinking man. The very basis of his wonderful healing works and his incomparable reasoning and logic was this fundamental idea of perfect, spiritual causation. And it must become our basis before we can follow in his mental footsteps. The contemplation of imperfect thought models never brings health, happiness, or holiness into human experience. Mere guessing as to the nature of God and his heavenly kingdom never enables one to define good or to overcome evil. Faith without works is little else than guessing — not knowing or understanding; and guessing was never known to usher anyone into the kingdom of heaven.
The Real Man
Inasmuch as it is becoming more and more evident that we are living in a thought world, wherein we can cognize nothing outside of the realm of thought; and since things in final analysis are really thoughts and thoughts are things, we should begin, as soon as possible, to cultivate a more metaphysical attitude of thought. There is nothing metaphysical in the belief that man is made of dust and returns to dust. But it does require a certain degree of spiritual enlightenment to know that man is spiritual, not mortal or material. Christian Science is supplying this enlightenment.
The real or spiritual man is mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, wherein we read: "God created man in his own image." The first thing needful on our part, then, is to acquire an accurate understanding of God in order to determine the nature of his image. Christian Science emphasizes the thought that God is infinite Spirit, and that His image or likeness must be just as spiritual, perfect, and harmonious as God Himself. The real man, then, must be and is wholly spiritual, never material. God being infinite Mind, spiritual man expresses or reflects the nature of this Mind in pure and holy thoughts.
Christian Science teaches us how to cease thinking evil, and as we learn to obey this teaching we become acquainted with the real man of God's creating, and this acquaintanceship reveals to us the secret of Christian healing.
Everlasting gratitude is due Mrs. Eddy for having explained to the world the true significance of the two diametrically opposite accounts of creation found in the first and second chapters of Genesis. Until she learned the meaning of God's thoughts or ideas, as distinguished from erring human thoughts, she could not make this explanation.
God's Thoughts Defined
God's thoughts are not the visionary imaginings of the erring human mind. "My thoughts are not your thoughts . . . . . . . saith the Lord." It must be conceded that Jesus' mode of thinking was on a higher plane than that of mortals. He was controlled by the one infinite Mind. Mortals are too often under the control of the so-called "carnal mind," embracing all that is termed evil, sinful, and depraved; all that is opposed to the nature of God, or good. When we learn to think as Jesus thought, we shall perceive the sharp distinction that he made between the human and the divine. We shall learn that God-like thoughts are endowed with life and power, and are unceasingly operative for good. As our Leader tells us on page nine of Rudimental Divine Science: "The spiritual power of a scientific, right thought, without a direct effort, an audible or even a mental argument, has often times healed inveterate diseases."
We shall also learn that mortal thoughts have neither life nor healing power, and that in due time all such thoughts will be destroyed in human consciousness, along with the so-called mind that conceives them. God's thoughts or ideas are the eternal facts of being; while mortal thoughts are so many mistakes of an erring counterfeit mind, so-called, which knows not God.
The ability to discern God's thoughts and to know that such thoughts are clothed with all law, power, and authority to annul every phase of wrong thinking, is what enabled Mrs. Eddy to explain to the world the modus operandi of Christian healing.
Mission of An Idea
Then is it not self-evident that humanity's greatest need is to grasp the thoughts or ideas of God? Need we wonder at the injunction of Scripture: "Acquaint now thyself with him [God], and be at peace"? If we cannot know the thoughts that God is eternally thinking, "thoughts of peace, and not of evil," how can we ever become intimately acquainted with Him? Should we feel thoroughly acquainted with some friend, none of whose thoughts were ever known to us?
It has well been said that "ideas are the great warriors of the world." They have fought and won its greatest battles. All the good and great things in human history have been achieved through the activity of some grand idea. A divine idea comes into human consciousness as the harbinger of justice and right. Because it is always clothed with divine authority and power, it has never been known to fail in the final accomplishment of its holy mission. The only sense of ability or power to accomplish anything worth while comes to us through some idea of God, not through any human thought. The ability to be and to do right is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God expressed through holy thought.
This, then, is the primary mission of Christian Science, to acquaint humanity with God through the medium of right ideas. Not through any human thought, belief, theory, or opinion can the approach to God be made. "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." In other words, the true idea of God alone can reveal the nature of the Father. Would anyone attempt to ascertain the nature of the sun except through the analysis of the rays of light which proceed from it? "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me," the Master declared. Could anything be more plainly stated?
Opposition to Spiritual Facts
Figuratively speaking, the Christ-idea never sailed upon a smooth sea. False, human nature opposes it at every step. This nature is naturally unprogressive and intolerant. There is nothing more distasteful to the evil one than spiritual facts; since facts are ideas which always reveal the truth concerning evil.
The only opponent of spiritual truth is the mortal or fleshly mind; the so-called good and evil mind of mortals. It would be inconsistent for this so-called mind not to oppose its concept of truth. This mind, laden with the traditions of men, strangled by malice, envy, and hatred, and torn with bitter contentions and strife, must experience a change of heart before surrendering its opposition to spirituality.
The untold sufferings of humanity prove that there is something wrong in the human order of things; and the sooner humanity looks within to discover what it is that would crucify the Christ-idea, the sooner will it awaken to know God aright, and prove by demonstration that He is not the author of evil.
Health and Disease
Christian Scientists are naturally a great deal more interested in the subject of health than in disease. They have found out that the right idea of health, when intelligently presented to humanity, is far more contagious than the thought of disease. They do not believe in falling sick and then having to become proficient in the human knowledge of disease before learning how to be well. They have learned that health is the normal condition of man in Christian Science, and that disease is a mistake of the erring human mind, to be corrected by a right understanding of health as an attribute of God.
They are fully convinced through the teaching and practice of Christian Science that the human knowledge of disease never has healed and never will heal anyone, but that a positive or demonstrable knowledge of the truth does enable one to overcome belief in disease. Why believe in the power and reality of disease when such belief can never bring surcease of suffering? Recourse to a higher state of consciousness is man's only remedy for disease or sin. And how shall this be attained? Only through the acceptance and adoption of some idea of truth, which transcends human knowledge.
Darkness, which is but the absence of light, is dispelled the moment the light is allowed to enter. Just so with disease; it also is dissipated the moment the right idea of health is allowed to dominate human consciousness. Whatever is corrective or reformatory must emanate from God. One human belief will not truly correct another. A lesser evil cannot do away with a greater one. No human mistake can correct another mistake. It is a mistake to believe in the actuality of anything which does not emanate from God. If sickness and suffering are of God, Jesus would not have healed them; nor could Christian Science heal them today, if they are a part of the divine consciousness. The right idea or conception of God reveals them as human mistakes or errors of mortal thinking; and only as the Christ-mind is put on and the carnal or mortal mind put off, can such mistakes be corrected or destroyed. In other words, Christ is the one and only Savior of mankind; and Mrs Eddy defines Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). Because Christian Scientists understand the divinity of the Christ, they are enabled to heal the sick and to reform the sinner.
No wonder Solomon said: "Get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Jesus did not advise us to acquire a human knowledge of disease, in order to heal disease. He did not counsel his followers to study medical works in order to cope intelligently with the ills of the flesh. He did not say to study what the world says about sin in order to avoid its experience. What did he say? This: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;" which is equivalent to saying, "Seek ye first the spiritual understanding of God and his right thoughts or ideas." Christian Science has come to open the door of consciousness to receive this understanding of God, and to apply it to the correction of every human mistake. Before Christian Science came, who of us really knew how to correct the belief of sickness or suffering? Did we not invariably magnify its seeming presence by voicing the belief to all with whom we came in contact? Did we not ally ourselves on the side of physical sense by admitting that we had the ailment, and that it actually belonged to us? And did we not often send for the trusted, family doctor, who invariably confirmed our fears? And what next? Why! this selfsame doctor went to work to prove, both to himself and to his patient, that the so-called ailment did not really belong to the patient after all. Had it been a part of reality he would have been obliged to keep it forever.
How do we deal with this subject in Christian Science? We agree to disagree with the very first intimation of disease in any form; recognizing such approach as the tempter, suggesting life and intelligence in matter, and a power apart from God. We strive to maintain a mental poise on the side of harmonious being by contending for the reality and supremacy of spiritual existence. We seldom voice error to anyone. This enables us to magnify good and to minimize evil; and by acknowledging God's omnipotence and omnipresence, we soon experience a normal state of mind and body. By working through the understanding instead of through blind belief, we lose our false sense of discord, and thought is uplifted and purified; we are that much nearer the kingdom of heaven.
Under all forms of material and erroneous mental treatment thought is left buried in the belief of life in matter — still in need of a Savior. When we learn in Christian Science that God's child never was and never can be sick; we have found our Savior, and have proved the practical worth of Biblical teaching.
What measure of true freedom do we all enjoy? It must be conceded that we cannot bring out in our lives anything above our highest concept of God. If this concept makes God out to be the author and sender of disease, it is perfectly consistent for us to have disease. We should not even want to get rid of it, if we honestly thought that God sent it. Christian Science makes it clear to us that we do not know the true meaning of freedom, until we learn how to conquer the ills for which a mistaken sense of God is directly responsible.
Man's birthright is entire freedom from bondage of every description. There is, therefore, a law operative to bring this about; and Christian Scientists are striving to live in conformity to this law, designated in Scripture as the "perfect law of liberty." They have not yet reached the goal of spiritual perfection, nor do they claim to have done so; but they are breaking up their fallow ground, making it ready for the seeds of the Father's planting, and they are profoundly grateful for His spiritual blessings already received.
We are in duty bound to take possession of what God gives alike to all His children. This is realized on the human plane by making active use of what we are already conscious of having. It is the good one does with one's wealth that makes one truly wealthy. The mere hoarding of material riches too often makes one a pauper instead of a prince in the sight of God. Belief in the multiplication table would never make a mathematician. The use or application of it would. Mere belief in God does not make a Christian. The application of God's power to overcome evil does make a Christian. Simply believing in Love neither makes us loving nor lovable, nor does it bestow upon us the right of possession of any of God's blessings; but love expressed in thought and action give us spiritual dominion, which is the only real freedom.
Quoting a poem from The Christian Science Journal (March, 1915) entitled "Freedom":
When I have bowed my every thought to Thine,
When I can see with inner light divine
That all Thou art is here and now and mine, —
Then I am free.
When I above all sin and passion rise,
And thought with Thee is raised unto the skies,
And trustingly my hand within Thine lies, —
Then I am free.
When I can see Thy will is best for me.
And joyfully resign my will to Thee,
And seek no love but Thine, — ah, tenderly, —
Then life will prove in deed
That I am free.
Christian Science Healing
The world today is deeply interested in the subject of healing. Suffering humanity is looking in every direction for cessation of pain. More and more frequently, and as a last resort, it turns to Christian Science; and through the open door of compassionate Love it finds its way into that haven of rest and peace which is above mortal ken.
The beneficent influence of Christian Science is far-reaching. "It blesses him who gives and him who takes." It is no respector of persons or ailments. It appeals to all classes of people, bidding them awaken from the daydream of life in matter. Those who listen to its message of "peace, good will toward men," experience moral and physical healing.
It is very plain to the student of Christian Science that the direct effects of wrong thinking upon the body, such as the indulgence of malice, anger, hatred, and revenge, cannot be healed either by drug or knife. The root of the trouble is not visible in any physical manifestation, but lies hidden in the dark recesses of mortal consciousness. In this consciousness must we grapple with every mortal belief and fear, and silence their self-assumed right to existence, before real or permanent healing can be accomplished. Only through excluding from consciousness all unhealthy and unwholesome thoughts do we make practical use of the ounce of prevention. Drugging the poor, innocent body to correct the effects of sinful thought is little else than trying to erase a shadow on the wall, without interfering with that which is responsible for the shadow.
Christian Science deals directly with the moral fault in the treatment of disease. If one is receptive to the true idea of God, ready and willing to be shown how to change his habits of thought, this idea will quickly supplant a multitude of erroneous theories and opinions and often bring immediate relief from the suffering.
The greatest reform movement on earth today is Christian Science healing, because it means the coming of Christ to individual, human consciousness. One who honestly approaches Christian Science, even as a remedy for some so-called physical ailment, will meet with the greatest surprise of his life. Selfishly believing that he would be satisfied with bodily healing, he is amazed to find himself face to face with infinite blessings immediately available. With the exuberance of newly kindled joy he is wont to exclaim: "It is too good to be true." But he very soon realizes that he is but awakening to the truth of his being, that the real man always was the natural recipient of all good.
It must, therefore, be seen that Christian Science healing is no impractical or theoretical vagary of the human mind. On the contrary, it means the transformation of the body by the renewing of the mind. It means the readjustment of mental concepts concerning every human condition. It is one's only passport to happiness and success. It means conformity to law and order, the ability to think and to do as God would have one think and do.
When brought face to face with the goodness and grandeur of infinite Mind, the thought of physical healing pales into insignificance. But as an essential in Christian development and progress, as a proof of awakening from a material to a spiritual sense, its importance cannot be over-estimated. Regardless of race or creed, one must experience and understand the Christ-healing before one is really started on the road to heaven. As Jesus plainly stated it: "If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt, the kingdom of God is come upon you." (Luke 11:20) Christ could not come to one without making known his healing presence. His coming is not figurative, not a mere theory to be accepted or rejected at will, but an actuality, — an inevitable, incontrovertible, demonstrable fact; an active, vitalizing prelude to all true spiritual attainment.
It is the mission of Christian Science to overcome faith in so-called material remedies, and to point humanity to the one perfect, ever present antidote of divine Love. Jesus prescribed one universal remedy for every human discord, whether in the form of sin or sickness. He said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This meant something more than to pay him a personal visit; else his words are a mockery to present day Christians, It means to gain an understanding of the Christ as the only Savior, and this is done only through a renewing of the mind or consciousness of mortals. A mind laden with images of sin and disease has not experienced the full coming of Christ. It may profess belief in God, but such belief fails to bring salvation or even surcease of suffering.
What is the great burden lifter of mankind? It is the spiritual understanding that man has no real life or existence apart from God. This understanding brings a sense of peace, joy, and health that surpasses all human knowledge. It softens the disposition, chastens the affections, silences false pride and self-will and mad ambition, comforts the sorrowing, quenches false appetites, and last but not least it does away with the evidence of disease. Thousands of witnesses in all parts of the world will testify under oath that Christian Science has healed them of so-called incurable diseases. There can be no intelligent denial of such testimony. The evidence is overwhelming that Christian healing is today an established fact in the world.
Even in this enlightened twentieth century the world is burdened with false teaching. There is much concerning health and disease which is misleading in the extreme. It is the province of Christian Science to correct such teaching by turning the thought of humanity to Christ Jesus as the sole authority on all subjects essential to human progress and happiness.
Who could accuse Jesus of ever establishing a clinic? He paid little attention to disease or its symptoms; but he constantly healed the sick by the spoken word, and he bade his followers do likewise. His ideals of life excluded all recognition of disease as an entity or reality. His mission was to prove all knowledge of such things to be a false knowledge, a knowledge of unrealities and nonentities. This was not and cannot be done through human argument or reasoning. It requires spiritual understanding to do this; and according to Scripture his understanding is a "knowledge of the body," or holy one.
What would be thought of a watchmaker who were to establish a school for the purpose of teaching and studying the subject of broken watches? Would not this be rather a futile way to acquire a knowledge of the construction of a perfect watch?
Would the musician who advocated a systematic study of discords ever succeed in bringing out a true sense of harmony to his pupils?
Would the moralist who spent the most of his time in delving into vice and wickedness, be enabled to impress his followers with a sense of purity and moral rectitude? Would not this negative research on his part tend to dim his perception of spirituality? It is the "pure in heart" who see God.
Has anyone ever heard of a school of mathematics where mistakes in calculation are specialized, to the exclusion of the rule of exactness which alone enables one to correct such mistakes?
What housewife would add to her skill in bread making who devoted her time and attention to analyzing and classifying different kinds of unpalatable bread?
Would a human parent be very liable to advise his child to make a special study of malice, envy, hatred, and revenge as necessary preliminary to understanding the nature ever present, divine Love?
Then why make an exception in the case of disease? Why insist that it alone among the errors of the human mind shall be feared, studied, investigated, diagnosed, discussed, and published broadcast in the attempt to find health, that which annihilates disease? Christian Science makes it very clear to the world that this is a very sure method of perpetuating disease and of eradicating one's true sense of health. It is an age-old method; but accompanied by fear, disease and suffering.
One of the first lessons of Christian Science teaches us to reverse this barbarous habit of thinking, talking, and heralding the symptoms of disease. There is nothing more enervating and demoralizing than to magnify in thought some phase of evil which one is striving to overcome. Can the popular theory of so-called disease germs ever be eradicated without ceasing to fear it, and without ceasing to hear, think, and talk about such subjects? Every professing Christian should know that the mental image of disease, next to that of sin, is one of his very worst enemies; and that it is the mission of the Christ, or true idea of God, to rid him of this enemy. He will then recognize Christian Science as his best friend, and become a staunch advocate of health and an opponent of disease. He will study, think and talk about the thing he wishes to experience, and not about its opposite.
There is a lesson for us all in the experience of the specialist, who often succumbs to the very disease of which he has made a specialty. Many of us know the effects of reading medical works.
Why should humanity be loath to hear the truth about the action of wrong thought and to take the necessary steps to correct it? Why should it be skeptical concerning the only possible means of protection from erroneous beliefs?
Protection is divine, not human. The law of right is the only law of protection. Only an ignorance of God could tempt one who is doing wrong to ask for protection in that wrongdoing. Truth does not protect error. Love does not protect hate. Right thought is no protection to wrong thought. But repentance, followed by obedience to God's law, enables one to "abide under the shadow of the Almighty." He alone who is thinking right and doing right is entitled to the protection of divine Love. Inhumanity to man is entirely due to a misunderstanding of God and man. Can such inhumanity be done away with without acquiring a correct idea or understanding of God? Indeed not! No more than could a mistake in computation be eliminated without a correct understanding of numeration. Whoever acquires the right idea of Love will be protected from the world's fear and hate. The study of a hundred volumes of expert human knowledge on the subject of disease would not protect one from the ravages of disease. A scientific knowledge of God is necessary to destroy disease. Whatever is inherently right, being a law unto itself, is its own protection. Right thinking is right practice. Wrong thinking is wrong or malpractice. The one needs no protection, the other could not have it if it would.
Christian Science practice, being the operation of God's law in human consciousness, is entitled to the protection which is being so generously accorded it throughout the civilized world.
Practitioner and Treatment
Students of Christian Science who have experienced healing and moral regeneration, who have made a thorough study of our Leader's works, and are loyal to her teachings, are in a position to prove to others their understanding of the Christ-healing. Through what is known as treatment, hundreds of persons throughout the world are daily being healed in Christian Science. Such treatment is not the erroneous influence of any form of mesmerism or hypnotism, of one human mind over another, but it is the activity of the Word of God in human consciousness. It is the mental approach or coming of the right idea of God. It is the prayer that knows instead of believes what constitutes the kingdom of God in man.
Many who are sufficiently purified in thought and manner of living to express the right idea of treatment, and who can devote their time to such work, are known as Christian Science practitioners. Their mission is not primarily to effect physical healing, but to bring to humanity a scientific understanding of God and His "saving health." This right idea of health acts as a spiritual leaven, purging out of human consciousness every erroneous or unholy thought.
There is nothing more sacred than treatment in Christian Science; and the practitioner who knows that of himself he can do nothing, but that it is through divine power alone that the healing works are wrought, is indeed a true follower of the Christ. The real work of the practitioner is to purify his own consciousness, so that it may become a transparency for Truth to shine through. He arrogates no power to himself. He indulges in no self-glorification. He judges no man. The practitioner is, therefore, no mental freak or prodigy: he is a practical, temperate, law-abiding citizen, and earns his modest wage through faithful, systematic work. He knows that to work is to "pray with the understanding;" and that the only service is a service of love. His God-corrected mentality, constantly radiating Truth and Love, is a boon to any community. As a right thinker his moral and spiritual censorship of world conditions is constantly sifting the chaff from the wheat. He is continually doing as he would be done by, and loving his neighbor as himself; in a word, minding his own business.
Along with all great subjects, Christian Science has its textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. This book is indeed a spiritual key to the Bible, and as such it has proved itself to be the Bible's best friend. It has opened up the hidden spiritual or metaphysical meaning of the Scriptures; has caused thousands of persons to reverence the "Book of books" as never before; to ponder and study its sacred pages from a pure sense of love for the truth; has greatly increased its sale and circulation; in fact has made the Bible an indispensable companion in numberless homes throughout all sections of the world.
Despite all opposition to what mortals imagine Christian Science to be, the demand for Mrs. Eddy's book is constantly increasing; and its inspired, healing message continues to bring joy and happiness into the lives of suffering humanity. Hear these words of one who has recently been healed: "I have been studying Christian Science for nearly a year. Need I say that I have just begun to live? I have burst the chrysalis of ignorance and doubt, of misunderstanding and fear, and am joyfully beholding the beauty, the wonder, and the depth of meaning of 'a new heaven and a new earth.' My whole plan of thought and action has been revolutionized. I have found health; but above and beyond that, I have found that 'peace . . . which passeth all understanding.'" Would anyone imbued with the love of Christ attempt to stay with misrepresentation or denunciation the silent influence of a book that will accomplish such wonderful results?
Science and Health is making its appeal to all humble-minded persons. Through a prayerful study of the book thousands are daily experiencing moral and physical healing and acquiring a demonstrable understanding of Truth. Little reason, then, why it should not appeal to all classes of people in their varied vocations. Some of the leading artists, actors, musicians, authors, professors, and scholars of the day will tell you that Science and Health is their daily companion and that they draw their inspiration from its sacred pages. Prominent business men, the world over, say the same thing. They will also declare that their application of the Principle of Christian Science has brought them their only success in business.
Broad-minded ministers, physicians, lawyers and editors, and many more of the world's best people are not only reading, they are studying the Christian Science textbook, some openly, others in the quiet of their homes. Thus the leaven of Truth is at work, sometimes in directions where least expected. The Christian Science churches are constantly increasing in number and in membership, and in this connection it is interesting to know that the only pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, is the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
Results certainly prove that the Christian Science textbook is a scientific presentation to the world of right ideas. These brave warriors of the mental realm will continue to "fight the good fight of faith," and to "lay hold on eternal life," until "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (Hab. 2:24).
Christian Scientists are earnestly striving to be loyal, patriotic citizens. They are in full sympathy with those high ideals which make for a true Christian democracy; and in the present great world struggle for the life, liberty, freedom, and justice of all nations, they are courageously doing their part in upholding these ideals, which are to usher in universally that "government of the people, by the people, for the people," which "shall not perish from the earth."
In the year 1842 Lincoln gave expression to another remarkable utterance when he said: "Happy day when — all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matters subjected — mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move, the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation!"
[Delivered June 8, 1919, at the Glove Theatre and published in The Morning Herald of Gloversville, New York, June 9, 1919. This lecture also was delivered March 17, 1918, at Chapel Hall, University of Oklahoma, and published in The Daily Transcript of Norman, Oklahoma, March 18, 1918. Minor typographical errors of omission and commission in the New York copy were corrected by recourse to the Oklahoma copy.]