Christian Science: Its Constructive Mission

 

George Channing, C.S.B., of San Francisco, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

When Christ Jesus declared "I am not come to destroy but to fulfil" (Matt. 6:17) he stated as emphatically as words could state the constructive purpose of his ministry. Not to tear down, but to build up; not to belittle, but to exalt; not to weaken, but to make strong; not to stifle, but to make free - that was the object of his activity and the object he expected all Christians to pursue. Destruction was no weapon of his, and destruction never has played a part in the achievement of the goals he set for his followers.

True, he destroyed sickness and he wiped out sin, and he overcame death, as was predicted of him. But he did these things as one dissipates a dream by awakening the dreamer, as one exposes an illusion by ripping from it its mask of claimed reality. Anything real is subject to recognition and to revelation. It is not subject to destruction. But anything unreal is subject to exposure of its unreality. Such exposure Jesus achieved in the pursuit of his constructive mission.

The prophets of the Old Testament had predicted the coming of Jesus. They had, in varied language, made plain the insight into reality he would possess, the saving grace which would accompany this insight, the understanding he would entertain of man's unity with God, and the proof he would present of the power of such understanding to expose the nothingness of all that is not like God and therefore not in the category of that which is good and real.

The prophets of the Old Testament, not too well honored in their time, were now receiving lip service from those among whom Jesus lived. There was professed jealousy for the prophets. Perhaps Jesus, in his greatness, would obscure and even erase the high status of the prophets. But Jesus gave assurance that he too honored the seers who had preceded him and that he had not come to displace or belittle them, but to fulfill the predictions they had made of the coming of the Christ.

In this same way the Science of Christianity, or Christian Science, is come in this age to exalt Christ Jesus and to fulfill his promises to men, not to obscure or overshadow his status. The Science of Christianity, or Christian Science, revealed in 1866 by God to an astonishingly spiritually minded woman, Mary Baker Eddy, is the Comforter Christ Jesus predicted. As such, it is fulfilling the tremendous spiritual promise of Christianity. It is accomplishing what Christ Jesus, himself, assigned to it to do. It is leading into all truth, as he said the Comforter would; and, in doing so, is repeating the Master Christian's assurance to men: "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." It is making the method of Christ Jesus scientifically plain for all to practice.

 

A Larger Life

Since every right rule is right in all its meaning, not in just a part of it, fulfillment, not destruction, unfoldment, not frustration, wholeness, not impairment, is what Christian Science brings to men. Scientifically recognizing that the perfection of the creator is assurance enough of the perfection of His creation, Christian Science enables each individual progressively to know himself as God made man. This means, of course, a larger and larger sense of life, not a smaller and smaller sense, for those who, as the Revelator puts it, "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14). It means the present proof of whole life, not part life, for anyone who rises to the realization that God is his Maker. It means no sense of deprivation, of disease, of inharmony for those who realize man's completeness as the perfect expression of God. It means consciousness of arrival where the prophet glimpsed man in his true state of exalted spiritual understanding, that spiritual state wherein "they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord" (Isa. 11:9).

This Lord, who is God, is infinite, self-conscious good. The word "God" itself is the word "good", having dropped the double vowel through etymological processes and capitalized the initial letter "G". Thus understood, the statement that all men are seeking God will encounter no dispute. It is equivalent to saying that all men are seeking that which is good, seeking, as it is so often loosely expressed, the good things of life. Unfortunately, men are often mistaken in their appraisal of that which is good. They accept the imperfect so-called human mind's sense of good and are thus led to direct energy toward feeding false appetites, toward accumulation and possession of things  temporal, things which have spurious existence and therefore fade away when depended upon, leaving a tragic sense of defeat, desolation, disease, frustration, death. It is proper indeed to possess an abundance of what meets one's needs in daily experience, but these things must be seen as the result of one's seeking the right sense of substance in God, not as the result of seeking to possess matter. The sense of good in matter is the human mind's error and Mrs. Eddy designated it as error, because its goodness is belied by the disaster in which it ultimates. The belief, for instance, that license is the acme of freedom is belied by the restriction and imprisonment it brings. The belief that material pleasure is good is belied by the material pain and disease into which it expands. Knowing that humanity desires what is really good, Mrs. Eddy, with love in her heart, sought to clarify good, to divest the human concept of its error and, in so doing, to find the concept of good which is right, eternal, trustworthy and fadeless.

Only the divine could measure up to that standard, and it was the divine concept which Mrs. Eddy found simultaneously with her recognition of divinity itself, divinity or God, the source of the good which humanity, knowingly or unknowingly, desires.

 

Evil Replaced by Good

Born and trained in a household which recognized all that is good as coming from God, Mrs. Eddy, when 45 years old, reached a point where she was direfully in need of a sense of good to replace a sense of ebbing life. Injured by a fall on an icy sidewalk in Lynn, Massachusetts, she called for her Bible in the quietude of the sick room and challenged the opinion that her injuries were fatal. She read of Jesus' healing of the palsied man, and in her unfolding spiritual understanding she found the reward for her years of search for good that is devoid of error. It was Jesus' understanding of the divine source of good as the one source of all that exists that enabled him to dissipate that palsied man's sense of palsy. The spiritual fact, which Jesus realized, replaced the sense of evil with a sense of good and was witnessed at once by conformity of the man's experience with the sense of good or the truth of being. In other words, the man was whole, well, feeling good, healed. So was Mrs. Eddy also. She was healed as she read and used what God revealed to her as the meaning of the passage she read.

That healing unfolded and defined for Mrs. Eddy the concept of good that is without error. Since error is imperfection and is entertained only in supposition by imperfect mentality, any concept, to be devoid of error, must be the concept of Mind that is perfect. Since any concept devoid of error is good, the source of such a concept is God. God is, then, perfect Mind. Since perfect Mind is infinite Mind, it is the only Mind, the only conceiving, or creating, power. Hence the only creation, man and the universe, consists of the concepts, ideas, pure qualities, of divine Mind, God. Here, then, is the standard for appraising good. Good, to be good, must conform to the source of good; it must be the pure concept of perfect Mind, God. Therefore good exists mentally. Coming only from perfect Mind, it can include no sense of matter, no sense of finiteness. It is spiritual, not material. Hence Spirit is another name for God, or Mind, for that which is purely spiritual must have its origin in pure Spirit.

Gratefully and humbly Mrs. Eddy pursued this revelation. She reached, as it were, for that state of consciousness which includes only the concepts of God, the ideas which divine and infinite good conceives and the qualities which are its attributes. As she progressively approached success in this effort she discovered that the consciousness aligned with the source of all good sees and knows the good which God creates and lives above material sense and corrects it. Yes, and such consciousness feels good too, not through any touch of matter, but through the tangibility of spiritual sense of the things of Spirit. Hence, Soul, the source of spiritual feeling, is another name for God. It is the origin of that which exalts and uplifts divinely, including all art, form, color, beauty and harmony, in the spiritual or Soul-full concept thereof.

 

Good Is Lawful

All that is good is good by virtue of law, - the law that the perfect creator must create perfectly. The concepts of God must be the image and likeness of God. They must be not one whit more nor one whit less than perfect. They proceed from the infinite governor of all and are under His government. Hence another name for God is Principle - divine, conscious Principle, changeless and immortal, permitting no deviation from perfection.

Good is eternal. It cannot be terminated. It lives in the divine source of all things, God. The source of all that lives is basic Life, eternal and divine. Hence Life is another name for God.

So also is Truth. For the concept of good that is devoid of error is the true concept, and the source of the true concept is fundamental Truth. Hence, Truth is the sixth name for God.

And the seventh name is Love. For the infinite source of all true or spiritual concepts holds its concepts or ideas immune from harm, always at the standpoint of perfection where injury or decay cannot set in. Under such protection these ideas know their Maker as Love, and they express Love forever.

That which is good, or real, can be recognized, then, by its conforming to God, by its conforming to Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love, the seven major synonyms for the divine creator used by Mrs. Eddy under divine guidance to throw light unerringly on the nature of good.

That which is conscious of good is God. Hence, when one is recognizing spiritual good in his consciousness, he is, to that extent, knowing as God knows. He is proving the unity of man with divine Mind. He is employing spiritual truth to displace progressively the imperfect so-called human mind with the true Mind of man. He is utilizing the power which purges the so-called human mind of all error. That power is the Christ. It is the conscious sense of good, the spiritual idea of truth which comes from God. Mrs. Eddy describes the Christ in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 332) as "incorporeal, spiritual, - yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death".

 

Only Illusions Destroyed

Such dispelling is the only destruction. The coming of the true sense of good, or the spiritual idea of Truth, to human thought corrects and cleanses human thought. It exposes the fraudulent nature of the belief that there exists a so-called human mind which can conceive in terms of injuring as well as of helping, of attacking as well as of befriending, of confusing as well as of clarifying, of hating as well as of loving. It shows that there is not really any injuring or ability to injure, any attacking or ability to attack, any confusing or ability to confuse, any hating or ability to hate. The right sense of good, or the spiritual idea of Truth, does this work in any individual's consciousness whenever prayerfully put to use. By its activity it presents a larger and larger concept of man. It builds up one's concept of man as the child of God. It makes use of, and thus magnifies in human consciousness, wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health and holiness, to the exclusion of folly or foolishness, impurity, lack of understanding, powerlessness, hate, disease and impairment. It enables one to become conscious of the fact that Life and being are purely spiritual; and to become conscious of that fact is to pray truly.

Christ Jesus proved the power of the true spiritual idea to save men from illusions. The Christ is the spiritual idea of God. Jesus was endowed with the Christ beyond measure. It was the spiritual idea's occupancy of his consciousness that enabled him to demonstrate the perfect man. He illustrated the displacement of the sense of impairment, and therefore of the evidence of impairment, by the realization of the exclusive presence in individual consciousness of the sense of wholeness or holiness. He proved that the sense of disease, and therefore the evidence of disease, yields to the sense of health, or wholeness, which belongs to the spiritual idea. He showed that when the sense of love, expressing divine Love, is reflected in consciousness, hatred and the evidence of hatred are crowded out of thought and rendered powerless in effect. He was the clearest human concept of man because he lived in the realization that the Mind of man is God. He demonstrated the Christ because he was endowed with the spiritual idea which excludes belief in materiality and dispels the illusions of the senses. An essential characteristic of the Christ is activity. The Christ is always doing something, always available for the salvation of men from false beliefs which claim to present the spurious threat of immediate impairment and impending destruction to one and all.

 

Man Important to God

In the eyes of God man is big enough, important enough and worthy enough to be the expression of God. Consequently the activity of the Christ in dispelling finite, belittling illusions from human thought is the activity of building up. It reveals man as possessing perfect ability, dignity and capacity. That is one of the reasons why Christ Jesus said he had come to fulfill - to show men the present high destiny of man and to enable anyone, who so desires, to achieve self-recognition as God's unlimited expression. That, too, is a reason why Mrs. Eddy makes clear the fact that (Science and Health p. 128): "The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His government of the universe", and then adds: "From this it follows that business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity." Thus Mrs. Eddy proclaims the constructive activity of the Comforter, even in daily experience. And in further elucidation of this constructive activity she proceeds to say that the human mind can tap resources of greater endurance, of greater elasticity, and escape progressively from its limitations, if it is imbued with spiritual understanding.

From what has been said here it ought to be clear that the secret of constructive spiritual power in any individual lies in his forsaking all for the Christ. That was the secret in Christ Jesus; that was the secret in Mrs. Eddy. It will be the secret of power in anyone of us who recognizes Christ Jesus as his example, and the Comforter, or Christian Science, as his instructor in the spiritual method of Jesus. Forsaking all for the Christ does not mean forsaking usefulness, industry, or the discharging of one's responsibilities. It means heightening usefulness, industry and the discharging of responsibilities, through cultivating the right concept, of these qualities in divine Mind and practicing them. Every act, every aspect of existence, is basically mental. If it is falsely conceived it is materially mental and therefore a phantom, an illusion, without substance. If it is divinely conceived it is spiritually mental, and therefore a fact, a reality, full of substance. Every concept is manifest. The manifestation is the evidence of its presence. The manifestation of a false concept is obviously as illusory and unreal as the concept itself. The manifestation of a true concept is real and substantial. Hence all effort should be focused upon entertaining right, or spiritual, concepts. The manifestation in human experience of a spiritual concept is neither to be sought nor defined by men. It appears inevitably in the form of God's outlining. That is what is meant by the Master Christian's admonition (Matt. 6:33): "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you". It is what Mrs. Eddy meant when she wrote (Miscellaneous Writings p. 307): "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies". With no other purpose than knowing God and entertaining spiritual ideas, true concepts, within the entire scope of consciousness, men will find the exalted status of man, reflecting the unlimited ability, activity, art, achievement, beauty and holiness that God bestows and makes manifest. It is a building up, never a tearing down. It is an unveiling of unimpaired man, never an obscuration of any aspect of man's perfection as God made him.

 

Idols Must Disappear

Anything less than single dependence on God is idolatry. It is having a false god, and having a false god is what induces, in supposition, the dream of death. Depending on something other than God is a dream in itself. For the only source of substance, spiritual understanding, right ideas, is perfect Mind, God. To look elsewhere for them is to violate the First Commandment. It is to accept as God, as mind, as a source of concepts or ideas, something other than the one divine Mind. It is to entertain and depend upon notions dreamt up by false mind, mortal sense. It is therefore, to have an idol, that is, falsely to put something in the place of God, upon whom alone man and the universe depends; and idols, by God's law, must disappear. But the manifestation of Truth does not disappear from the Mind which outlines it. Hence the man who entertains spiritual ideas, the man who knows Mind as the conceiver of spiritual ideas, experiences no disappearance of his substance, his Life, his intelligence. After speaking of the folly of being enslaved by human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, Mrs. Eddy adds (Science and Health p. 226): "Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself." The beloved disciple writes earnestly (I John 5:21): "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."

Never a herald of despair, but of assurance and progress, Mrs. Eddy nevertheless asks without hesitation (Science and Health p. 266): "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank?" Knowing that deceived human sense will answer yes, she warns: "Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love." To the comforting assurance in the last few words she adds: "When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Friends will betray and enemies will slander, until the lesson is sufficient to exalt you; for man's 'extremity is God's opportunity.' " Her own experience, she said, had included this prophecy and its blessings. Such is God's way, she indicated, of teaching mortals to lay down fleshliness and gain spirituality - the way of self-abnegation, the way of universal Love.

What Mrs. Eddy has said here is subject to meaningful expansion into every detail of experience. You and I must dwell consciously in spiritual understanding, true substance, which flows from God, divine Mind, and therefore depends upon Him in whom trust cannot be misplaced. If, however, mortal sense is adopted as one's mind, mortal sense will be found to be depending on a physical body to express its so-called life; and, since that on which it depends is not God, mortal sense will lose its idol. Mortal sense will be found to be depending on finite values for security, on material persons for love, and since neither finite values nor material persons are God, mortal sense will experience their disappearance. But this loss, this death, will be exposed as illusion in the degree that immortal sense is cultivated; for immortal sense displaces the sense mortal. Everything that dies in material sense lives on and forever in the opposite spiritual sense thereof. The idols men worship revert to dust; the God that man reveres, and in whom man lives is eternal; and the universe, including man which God conceives, knows Life that is deathless and Love without a flaw.

 

What it Means to Love

What does it mean to love? It means to entertain the right concept of God and man, and to apply the right concept of man to one's self and to everyone else. To love one's neighbor is to let the right concept of man crowd from one's thought all notions about one's neighbor not entertained by divine Mind. Love is not a sentimental thing, based in human emotion, and fearful lest love shall cease and the object of love disappear. Love is divine. It is God. Man, entertaining spiritual ideas or qualities is the expression of divine Love. He exists at the standpoint of expressing Love. Hence, in being himself, he loves God, himself, and his brother. In Love he discharges all duty. In Love he lives. In Love he is aware of the true brotherhood of man. Understanding man's true nature, one does not attack persons or demolish things. One identifies himself with true concepts or right ideas, and he lets true concepts banish false notions and their illusory manifestation. He is in the activity of constructing, never in the non-progressive idleness that appears deceptively as the activity of wrecking. He is enlarging borders and acquainting himself with reality.

Embodying this constructive spiritual truth in her consciousness, Mrs. Eddy could not have prevented, even if she wished to, the constructive fruitage of her spiritual status. She was building, building, building without ceasing. As soon as she had verified her discovery as the promised Comforter, the building up of those who accepted it and her followed. Those who proved worthy grew into men and women capable of proving the Comforter's healing power as well as of shouldering the weight of a universal church organization. Many were called, but those with hearts and minds purged for the work remained to do it. The church began to rise in human consciousness, and the manifestation began to appear in the world. The beginnings were small, but the full realization has become world-wide. As her church was built, so was the Christian Science Board of Directors, both as an institution and as a group of five consecrated Christian Scientists, God-directed in the administration of The Mother Church in its relationship to all that she built into it - the remarkable Church Manual containing laws and rules of church government and providing for branches by which The Mother Church could be and is being expanded throughout the globe; The Christian Science Publishing Society, issuing the religious periodicals and also one of the world's great newspapers, The Christian Science Monitor; The Board of Lectureship, whose members carry the spoken message of the religion of the Christ wherever The Mother Church or one of its branches calls one of them; The Committee on Publication, correcting misrepresentation and misapprehension of the religion; The Christian Science Board of Education providing instruction by which selected Christian Scientists are equipped to teach classes in the religion and, through their teaching, equip in turn public practitioners of the healing work. Many other evidences of the constructive power of spiritual truth have appeared in the wake of Mrs. Eddy's understanding of God. Many are continuing to appear as the fruitage of leaving all for Christ, as practiced by her followers.

 

Healing Is Constructive

The constructive mission of Christian Science is vividly apparent in the realm of healing. The promise is made (Science and Health p. 425): "Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered." Men and women with depleted bodies, defective senses, limited activity, have seen and felt this construction go on and have remained to glorify God by following where Mrs. Eddy's revelation leads - following into the happy consciousness of health, spiritual achievement, dominion over the universe of God's ideas, accompanied by power to expose and dissipate the illusion that there is a force abroad endowed with ability to destroy.

Testimonies by individuals of the power of Christian Science to reconstruct their bodies and their lives are now so numerous as to be uncounted. Every issue of The Christian Science Journal and The Christian Science Sentinel contains a section filled with such testimonies, each one of which has been thoroughly verified insofar as it is possible to do so. A little while ago I served as editor of these periodicals and I was continuously impressed by the scope of these testimonies covering the healing of about every disease ever heard of by men and a few never heard of before. I was also impressed by the volume of them, coming in continuous stream from responsible, respected men and women the world over, to be filed away by the hundreds, each to await a day when it can in its turn be published. These healings include cancer, tuberculosis, blood pressure high and low, broken bones, broken homes, bankruptcy, and a host of other phantoms of mortal mind which had disappeared as mortal mind had been made to disappear by the enthroning of divine Mind.

In each of these testimonies two notable achievements were expressed or implied as preceding the healing for which gratitude was being recorded. There was first a rising in thought to God above the sense of living in matter and second, there was a consequent removal of fear. As for the first, there had to be a realization in some degree that matter is the manifestation of ungodlike thought, restricted, limited and finite, and since sickness and distress appear only in matter, the healing of lifted thought, specifically exposed was the stripping of matter and disease of their mask of claimed reality. To the glory of God, Christian Science is instructing man in the employment of spiritual truth, which is above matter and its diseases, and is not confined in them. When one's thought is outside the confines of matter he is himself outside of them, beyond the touch of disease and discord. In the interlaced deceptions of mortal dreaming, fear sees and feels matter and its constrictions, while, on the other hand, matter begets fear. The removal of fear is the removal of disease. But fear is not removed by bravado. It is removed by exposure of the unreality of the thing feared, by awakening to the consciousness of unrestricted being. Is it any wonder, then, that these testimonies of healing which come to the Christian Science periodicals for publication all testify to the removal of fear by the removal through spiritual sense, of some specific belief in the reality of matter?

 

Fear Removed

Is it not recognizable that a great factor in the efficacy of Christ Jesus' healing was his removal of fear? When Jesus told the nobleman who appealed for help to prevent the death of his son (John 4:46) "Thy son liveth," is it not evident in the narrative that the nobleman was relieved of fear? The Scripture says: "And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way." He believed the word. He went lightheartedly home, persuaded by he knew not what. But, in the light of Christian Science, you and I know it was by the effect upon him of Jesus' knowledge of the unreality of matter exposing the fact that sickness had no dwelling place in the consciousness of Jesus or of the nobleman or of his son. Certainly the false concept of man the nobleman had been entertaining was changed by the power of Truth employed by Christ Jesus. From a sense of man as weak-kneed before the suggestions of sickness that could prove fatal, man was built up in the nobleman's thought to alignment with the spiritual concept of strength and dignity in wholeness, or health. And this is what the nobleman saw in consciousness as he journeyed home and as he approached his destination to be met by a servant with the glad news that his beloved son was alive, made well by the Christ.

The false concept of man is hypnotic. Indeed all falsehood, when believed in, is hypnotic, for it lodges in thought, deceptively seeming to be active in a sleeping consciousness. But the thing to be remembered in Christian Science is that the false thought and the sleeping consciousness are one. Removal of one is the removal of the other. False thought, being hypnotic, cannot lodge in consciousness except by consent of that in which it lodges. False consciousness is mortal man, consenting to mortal thought. But you are not mortal man. You can prove that fact by simply entertaining immortal thought. Immortal thoughts constitute spiritual man. By employing immortal thought you wipe out the false sense which presents you as mortal man. You prove your Mind to be divine, your Principle to be Love. The awakening has now come, and both the dreamer and the dream, mortal mind and mortal man, have vanished.

Your progress and mine in keeping mortal mind thoughts out and divine Mind's ideas in, is in our improving ability to recognize finite thought and reject it. This recognition is simultaneous with our ability to identify ourselves with spiritual ideas whereby each of us becomes aware of his individual spiritual selfhood expressing the one individual God. In such progress nothing can stop us, unless we consent. But we can never consent to be stopped in the ceaseless unfoldment of spiritual selfhood so long as divine Mind is enthroned in us. Let not the subtle suggestions of error identify us with the sinner aligned with sin - the belief that man has a mind which doubts, hates, dies. Doubting, hating, dying are concepts of mortal mind and, indulged, they dethrone divine Mind. They bear witness to mortal mind in the manner of the dream bearing witness to the dreamer. But understanding, loving, and living, bear witness to divine Mind. Identified by these qualities, man is as God made him, having the Mind which is in Christ. He is the man you and I are in Spirit, in fact. He is man immune to destruction, man in line with the constructive, eternal unfoldment that God decrees for His creation. He is witness to the reality of God's kingdom on earth, by his manifestation of health, spiritual achievement, spiritual power and love.

 

Christian Science Builds Us Up

To unveil this truth, to make plain this reality, where the mists of mortal sense seem to obscure it, is the constructive mission of Christian Science. Building up each one of us to alignment with true selfhood as the concept of divine Mind, the son of the divine Father, it is accomplishing its mission. It is destroying destruction, imparting the understanding which renders unto destruction its nothingness, which renders unto the jealousies and brutalities of mortal sense their powerlessness in the realm of reality. It is tightening the bonds which render mortality impotent. It is enabling each one of us to ascend high in the understanding of perfect selfhood through utilization of the spiritual talents God supplies. As St. Paul said of Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:8): "When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." And as Paul further explains: "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." In other words, man never changes. He is always the spiritual idea of God, the perfect conception of divine Mind, which also never changes. Jesus illustrated that fact. He permitted mortal sense to appear to be with him, as it has appeared to be with us. He did it that he might be our Exemplar, that he might show us that the appearance of descending into mortality or ascending into immortality never affects the man we truly are. "He that descended is the same also that ascended . . . "And the dissipation and evaporation of contrary mortal notion is in our power to realize. Christian Science is present to build us up to the recognition of our identification with true, immortal selfhood. It is present to bind all bondage, to bring us safely into the demonstration of the God-given righteousness, power and freedom of man.

To this fact I testify. Lost in the meshes of human contradictions, removed as a boy from adult guidance, I nevertheless found my feeble way through simple desire to know the divine Principle of Life. With activity interrupted by a summons to service in World War I, I returned at the close of my service to an unclear outlook, unanchored activity. Here the happy loved one in whose behalf Christian Science had been definitely employed for the healing of sickness during my absence, persuaded me to seek true understanding of the divine Principle I had already been seeking. The understanding was available through the assistance of a public practitioner of this religion. Glimpses of what identifies me as God's child flickered into my consciousness. "You must know your identity, your individuality," said the practitioner. So I read what Mrs. Eddy had said on the subject and began, in a beginner's way, to feel that Mrs. Eddy wanted me to know something to the effect that I am identified by my expressing divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, in the individual way God has assigned to me to do it. I have come to know, in some degree, that the qualities of true Mind, divine Principle, individualized, identify man and, while my progress is small, I have the inner satisfaction of better self-knowledge, coupled with assurance that this self-knowledge, in the process of enlargement by conscious effort, is proof against defeat in the spiritual purpose of expressing divine Life eternally. This effort, far from completed, has been sufficient to relieve me of all effects of gall bladder trouble, and it has, not so long ago, delivered me from any aftermath of an accident in which bones had been broken. It has unfolded guidance progressively into rewarding activity until, in God's time, I find myself happily and humbly doing, at God's call, what little my present progress enables me to do to help Mary Baker Eddy, the chosen of God, make plain the constructive mission of the Comforter.

This is my testimony, capable of being given even in larger measure by anyone who desires to know God and to feel God's love, as Christian Science reveals Him and it.

Truly, my friends, there is no destruction. Truly, there is eternal building. And you are the temple of Truth, the embodiment of Principle, that God has built, and out of His inexhaustible selfhood, is building forever.

 

[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, Jan. 6, 1955.]

 

 

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