Christian Science: Its Secret Prayer and Open Reward
George Channing, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Among the admonitions of Christ Jesus which the Science of Christianity, or Christian Science, is enabling his followers to understand correctly and obey effectively is the following from the Gospel of Matthew (6:6): "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
This, let it be said at once, was not a prohibition against praying out loud, but it was a disapproval of showy words and materialistic motives. For, in commending to his followers the privacy of prayer, Christ Jesus had already warned them not to pray as do the hypocrites who love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners praying in order to be seen and perhaps applauded by the public. He had said of such: "They have their reward." The applause, he might have said, is all they are going to get.
You and I, eager for a sense of complete living and desirous of being sound ourselves and contributing to soundness and blessedness everywhere, will gladly forego the applause of the materially minded, and conform to the requirements whereby God's open rewards appear in our lives - rewards such as health, activity, freedom from limitation, deliverance from the bondage of sin and from the fear of death, and ultimately from death itself.
To conform to these requirements we must understand them. We must know our Father. We must be aware of the nature of the "closet," and of the operation of "the door," and we must recognize the rewards as they flow bountifully and satisfyingly from our Father to us.
In seeking aid in the understanding of these things we can consult no better than the textbook of scientific Christianity, or Christian Science. This textbook is called "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It was written by Mary Baker Eddy who blessed mankind immeasurably by her discovery of this Science and by her writing of this book which explains it.
In the book Mrs. Eddy says (p. 15): "The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love."
In this statement the phrase "sanctuary of Spirit" means the sacred dwelling place of God, for the word Spirit is a synonym for God. There are six other synonyms in Mrs. Eddy's comprehensive definition of God, derived basically from the Bible. They are: Mind, Principle, Soul, Life, Truth, and Love. Each of the seven, the definition indicates, must be understood as described by four adjectives, incorporeal, divine, supreme and infinite.
In the sanctuary of incorporeal, divine, supreme, and infinite Spirit no matter can dwell, for Spirit is the opposite of matter and its infinite presence excludes the presence of matter. By correct definition, matter is the supposed absence of Spirit. How do we enter into the sanctuary of Spirit? By partaking of the nature of Spirit, by recognizing in truth that there is no other nature in us.
Spirit being Mind, that which is in the sanctuary of Spirit necessarily partakes of the nature of Mind or Spirit, and indeed of the nature of all the five other synonyms for God. For God, being infinite, is the only creator, and that which is in His sanctuary could not exist unless created by Him. What does infinite Mind create? Infinite Mind creates infinite ideas, each and all expressing Mind's nature. These ideas are individual, because the Mind, or Soul, or Principle, Life, Truth, Love, which knows them, is individual. In speaking of ideas Mrs. Eddy says, (Science & Health, p. 280:7) "Mind creates and multiplies them, and the product must be mental." That truth accounts for you and me from the spiritual standpoint and for all individuality. Further, these ideas are spiritual, because, as just stated, the divine Mind which knows them is also divine Spirit.
Reflecting divine Mind they are conscious of themselves and of their Maker. Acutely responsive to good but not to evil, they manifest Mind's awareness of all beauty and loveliness in the permanent or spiritual sense thereof, because Soul is the author of the beauty that is spiritual. Being a synonym for God, Soul is Spirit, in whose sanctuary the ideas of God dwell.
These ideas, including the real, spiritual selfhood of ourselves and everyone, are perfectly right, or righteous, precisely defined and unblemished in their Godlike nature, because Principle forms and defines them, and Principle is another synonym for the divine creator, or the divine Spirit in whose sanctuary they live.
God's ideas, moreover, are alive forever, because Life, a synonym for God, is their source. They are unchanging and also completely loving, because divine Truth and Love, two other synonyms for God, made them in the image and likeness of Truth and Love, which means the image and likeness of the divine Spirit whose sanctuary is their abode.
To enter into the sanctuary of Spirit, then, is to find that one is already in it. It is to find that one is like God, and this, in a word, means to find that one is man. For the Bible tells us (Gen: -28) that God made man in the image and likeness of his Maker. It informs us too that He gave man dominion, meaning that man, in his likeness to his Maker, includes in his consciousness of that likeness, or, in other words, his reflection of his divine source, all the ideas that God conceives.
Why does this entering into the sanctuary of Spirit yield to the description of being secret? It is secret from matter or material beliefs. It is totally the true state of consciousness of which matter knows nothing. Not only is knowledge of it denied to matter, but matter, being the complete antithesis of Spirit, is incapable of knowing it.
Why are we admonished to "shut the door"? Because suggestions related to belief in the reality of matter must be kept out of thought. Such suggestions are what Christian Science calls sinful sense, the belief in another God or mind opposed to the one divine Spirit. The Bible, in the first of the Ten Commandments, you will recall, forbids such belief and indicates in the Second Commandment that it is sin. If such suggestions do enter into thought in any degree of acceptance, they violate the sanctuary of Spirit indicating that the door is not shut but open to sinful sense, and the entering into the sanctuary has been no entering at all. This means, of course, that the prime requirement for receiving the Father's open reward has not been complied with.
Is it possible to comply with that requirement intelligently and practically? Thousands of followers of Christ Jesus, instructed by Christian Science, are today giving to that question an unqualified answer in the affirmative. They are daily and continually improving their ability to bring thought into line with the fact that divine Spirit is the Mind of man and therefore man knows only Spirit and its ideas. They are learning better and better the meaning of the fact that man sees, feels, hears, tastes and smells in consciousness and not in matter which is unconscious. As they realize that the only true consciousness is in divine Mind, they are seeing the sick healed, the frustrated unthwarted, the deceived enlightened, the dying begin to live. They are comprehending and proving in advancing degree the meaning of such statements of Mrs. Eddy's as the following (Science and Health, p. 171): "Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology, to learn how much of a man he is."
That quotation not only indicates that joyous results prove the intelligence of one who obeys the Master Christian's admonition to "enter into the closet and shut the door," but it also gives the answer as to how to do it. Wonderful recognition of God's healthy, unlimited, upright, pure, and free man here and now comes, says the quotation, "through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ,
Truth . . ."
Discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality is, then, the way of healing, the way of restoration to the true, spiritual status of man in which God made man. It is to be noted that Mrs. Eddy identified this way with the Christ described in the Scriptures as the restorer and also self-designated in the Scriptures as "the way."
What is meant by discerning the spiritual opposite of materiality? Christian Science teaches that whatever appears to be inharmonious and discordant, decaying or capable of decaying, diseased, dying or dead, is essentially material. Matter is mortal mind made manifest. And mortal mind is a deceiving and deceived supposition that a mind exists other than the one Mind, God. It is a self-mesmerized mesmerizer. It alone sees its own hypnotic dream in which infinite, lovely, permanent, and healthful ideas of divine Mind are never seen or known. Nothing ever sees mortal mind and mortal mind never sees anything real.
Mortal mind is the finite, lifeless, soulless, mindless opposite of God, a dreamer dreaming of itself. Both dreamer and dream are, of course, illusions. Mrs. Eddy has described their supposititious relationship as follows: (Christian Healing, p. 11:3) "A dream calleth itself a dreamer, but when the dream has passed, man is seen wholly apart from the dream." Since mortal mind is the supposititious opposite of God or Mind, the notions it forms supposititiously in its dream are the very opposite of the true ideas that divine and perfect Mind evolves. These notions formed in mortal mind are seen by mortal mind as matter, but from first to last matter is as mental (falsely mental) as the false mind whose false notions it manifests.
Whenever a discordant condition seems to the mind of a mortal to be present, Christian Science requires that it be reversed, that is, seen in its falsely mental aspect, not as substance matter, and replaced with the spiritually true idea. Thus reversed, the discordant condition is corrected by true Mind. The false notion may itself help arouse thought to apprehend the spiritual idea because the false notion is the exact opposite of the spiritual idea, and never truly satisfies. In this way, enslavement points to freedom; freedom is the exact oppose of enslavement, and freedom is the right idea divine Mind conceives and makes manifest. In this way, disease viewed in the light of Science, points to health; health is the exact opposite of disease, and health, or wholeness, is the idea divine Mind conceives and makes manifest. In this way, stagnation points to unfoldment; unfoldment is the exact opposite of stagnation, and unfoldment, not stagnation, is the manifest expression of the divine Mind. Formed originally in divine Mind, these spiritual ideas are reflected by the individual who realizes the fact that the divine Mind is the Mind of man. Thus they become manifest to the individual and to all who observe the effect upon him. Since a false notion, opposite to a spiritual idea, cannot dwell where the spiritual idea is, the false notion and its manifestation disappear as the spiritual idea and its manifestation appear.
This is the coming of the Christ, the divine idea of God which dispels the illusion of mortal mind that there is or can be a notion opposing the Christ.
The divine idea, the offspring or son of God, has an active mission to perform. It is to destroy false notions. It does this by exposing specifically the falsity of the notion which disputes the Christ in any instance. When that notion is shown to be false it is simultaneously shown to be non-existent; for only that which is true exists. That is what is meant by "discerning the spiritual opposite of materiality," and that is why it is referred to as "the way through Christ." It is the method by which Christ Jesus accomplished his healing and saving works and the method to which he referred as capable of producing greater works when the divine Comforter would come to men and show them how the greater works are produced.
Jesus was the human man. Christ was his spiritual nature. The Christ was the Son of God, his Father, although Jesus partook of human experience through being born of the virgin Mary. Accordingly Christ Jesus could be seen by humanity while he fulfilled his mission of making the Christ manifest and becoming the example for all mankind.
As the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus was indestructible. This he proved before human eyes. The great significance of that proof is that it established the fact for you and me that in the degree we too permit the Christ, the spiritual idea of God, to be expressed as our consciousness, we too are indestructible - we know and prove our indestructibility.
If it is possible to comply mentally with the requirement to shut the door of the closet, it is possible to comply practically with it. Although Christian Science is metaphysics, it is not abstract. It does indeed demand the lifting of thought above the sense of material living so that the spiritual ideas of God may be seen, felt and understood, but it does not leave human experience unimproved by the beneficent power of God. Indeed the evidence of God's healing power, as presented by Christ Jesus and by Christian Science, appears as consciousness transforming human experience. Mrs. Eddy emphasizes this often in her textbook. For instance on page 209 she defines spiritual sense as "a conscious, constant capacity to understand God," then remarks that spiritual sense "shows the superiority of faith by works over faith in words," and continues with this arresting statement: "Its ideas are expressed only in 'new tongues;' and these are interpreted by the translation of the spiritual original into the language which human thought can comprehend." Herein lies the practicality of Christian Science.
Fear underlies all mortal thought, and divine Life, controlling and governing as divine Love, wipes fear out. Mortal thought believes in and looks for the end. Immortal thought cannot conceive of ending; and it never ends. Man never ends because he is the embodiment of immortal thought. Christ Jesus, our example, living God's love, proved Life to be eternal. He made complete and final demonstration over death, which the Bible calls the last enemy. By that momentous act he established the fact that the Life of man is forever - forever because Life is God, God forever expressing Himself, and defining that expression as man.
The moment an individual attains the recognition of imperishable Life, accompanied by the realization that he expresses that Life, that moment, for that individual, fear is gone. This is not bravado saying haughtily, "Let death come, I don't mind dying. I'm not afraid." Rather it is intelligence perceiving that death does not come. It is spiritual self-knowledge, knowing that the true selfhood of man is in eternity, forever embodying God's spiritual ideas, forever beyond the reach of termination or anything that threatens in any degree to lead to termination.
Since all disease, all inactivity, all weakness, all defeat, all that is untalented and incompetent flourish supposititiously in the atmosphere of fear, the wiping out of fear,
thoroughly and spiritually accomplished, stifles all evil to extinction.
Disease does not belong to man. It belongs to mortal mind. It is an incident in mortal mind's dream of existence. Disease is not experienced by man. It is really experienced by mortal mind. Hence the answer to the prayer offered in the secret closet with the door shut comes in the awakening to the fact that the divine Mind and not mortal mind is the Mind of man. Mortal mind is no mind, no thing. Although mortal mind may seem to have been adopted by the individual as his mind, his utter separateness from it can be proved simultaneously with the proof of the fact that man's Mind is divine.
How can the divine Mind be proved to be man's Mind? Any individual can prove it for himself by consecrating thought to the correct understanding of God, divine Mind, the infinite, perfect Mind or creator of all that exists. By understanding the qualities or ideas of such a God, or Mind, he can learn to know himself as reflecting this Mind. Spiritual ideas are always present. These ideas are always present in your consciousness and mine and in the consciousness of every individual. They can be recognized in some degree by anyone who is making a sincere effort to understand God aright. Recognized, they should be accepted as real and more and more vividly apprehended until they become fully manifest in human experience. The human mind appears to control the human body so that when the human mind yields to the divine, the body is harmonious, at ease, and not diseased.
Are these spiritual ideas in the human mind? They seem to be to the human consciousness, because they may be apprehended by you and me, but they are actually in divine Mind and in the degree that they are apprehended and practiced, they characterize you and me as the sons and daughters of God. Through this spiritual sense in your consciousness and mine, comes the Christ, the spiritual offspring of God, actively magnifying it, healing progressively specific discords of mortal thought until mortal thought, or the human mind, is crowded into its native nothingness. When this is completely accomplished in the sanctuary of Spirit man discovers, as Mrs. Eddy has gloriously stated it in words previously quoted in this lecture, that he has reopened "with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed," and he finds "himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is."
Mortal mind, appearing to be the mind of a human being, does not change its mortal or illusive nature. Neither does it partake of or mix with spiritual ideas which you and I are able to apprehend. Mortal notions and spiritual ideas merely seem to grow side by side as the "tares and the wheat" which Christ Jesus said would be rightly separated only at the time of harvest, at the moment of understanding what is of God and what of mammon.
How did Mrs. Eddy discover this marvelous Science of Christianity? She did it by consecration, by devoting herself humbly and religiously to that purpose. When she was a little girl of six years, her thought was so full of confidence in God's presence that she is credited with having calmed an insane man of whom others were frightened. There were other instances in her experience showing the power of thought devoted singly to the effort to align itself with the activity and purposes of God.
Mrs. Eddy came of a deeply religious family. She was born Mary Baker in 1821 in Bow, New Hampshire, the daughter of a rigorously religious father and of a compassionately Christian mother. Her mother, by conduct and admonition, cultivated the child's thought in the love of God. Her grandmother, who lived also in the house, kept the child instructed and informed on significant incidents recorded in the Bible and on their spiritual meaning as she saw it through her devout eyes.
Mary Baker grew up with the single objective of understanding God and His power and the rule by which Christ Jesus demonstrated that power for the release of mankind from restrictions upon that which is good. Progressively she met and mastered difficulties which seemed overwhelming as they came upon her but which proved powerless to stop her in her onward march toward her consecrated purpose. Among the difficulties was the unwillingness of other Christians to believe that God's power could be apprehended and made manifest exactly as Christ Jesus had invoked it and had promised that his followers would invoke it, even in greater measure, through the Comforter that would come.
In her early schooling Mrs. Eddy
had learned easily and had later read a great number of instructive books. She
added to this in many ways, including the tutoring given her by her brilliant
brother, Albert, a young attorney in the office of Franklin Pierce who was to
become President of the
Through years of frailty and illness Mrs. Eddy had sought various cures, believing in some of them for a time but discarding them through necessity. They did not truly benefit her, and none proved even remotely akin to the healing power Christ Jesus employed, to the finding of which her life was definitely dedicated.
She found it through what was
termed an unfortunately painful and serious accident. But the results were glorious.
The year was 1866. She had fallen on some ice in the city of
She later explained that she had been reading the account of Christ Jesus' healing of the man sick of the palsy (Matt. 9) when suddenly the culmination of her years of effort focused upon a clear revelation of Christ Jesus' method. She applied it at once to herself, and was healed. She had found the "pearl of great price."
But the price of the pearl, as she was to find, had not yet been fully paid. Her struggles for ordinary subsistence and shelter were well-nigh incredible while for three years she devoted herself to the application of her discovery to determine for a certainty that it was indeed the method of healing prayer practiced by the Master Christian. Results established the fact that it was.
Despite continued opposition she sought to teach it to others while practicing it herself. There was enough success to assure the onward march toward her selfless goal. That goal was to make this method available to honest-hearted men and women, eager to know God aright and thereby to feel the restorative presence of His Christ in time of every need.
Although clergymen did not accept her discovery, nevertheless, God did raise up a few friends for her, just enough at the right time, even among the clergy. Her own pastor had appreciated and befriended her, but her own Congregational Church, while it never lost regard for her, nor she for it, could find no way to adopt her discovery. She had wished, but had received no encouragement, to give it to all Christian denominations as her contribution to the high achievement of Christianity in its helpfulness to mankind. There were other friends than a few clergymen, but the way remained rugged. Many friends lost the vision and became opponents, but new and more discerning ones appeared when needed.
She had published some early writings on her discovery, in one instance an essay called the "Science of Man." Then in 1875 she triumphed over heartbreaking disappointments and issued the first copy of Science and Health. Revised by her time and again, it has passed through many editions until it became the current one used throughout the world by her followers. In it her discovery is labeled for all time as Christian Science and this divine Science is the promised Comforter. Her marriage to one of her followers, Asa G. Eddy, brought for a time needed comfort. Mr. Eddy was among the first public practitioners of his wife's discovery, a successful one, and a most considerate husband. However, even this human support was to disappear shortly from her experience in the passing on of Mr. Eddy.
Buffeted as Mrs. Eddy had been and
was, she knew that her discovery would be buffeted too. Accordingly she was led
to seek means of uniting Christian Scientists for the protection of each
Christian Scientist in his right and privilege to practice his religion. Out of
this necessity and also that of providing methods of public worship and of
dissemination of information to those desiring it, The Mother Church was born.
Its location then and now is indicated by its name, The First Church of Christ,
Scientist, in Boston,
To establish divine authority in The Mother Church and its branches, Mrs. Eddy, in accordance with God's guidance which came to her, wrote the Manual of The Mother Church. This Manual is acknowledged as one of the most admirable compendiums of law and order ever produced.
Under this Manual the affairs of The Mother Church are administered by The Christian Science Board of Directors, a self-perpetuating board of five persons who are Christian Scientists obligated to promote and extend the religion of Christian Science in accord with Mrs. Eddy's unfolding purpose.
This Board is required by the Manual to see that the various offices Mrs. Eddy established are properly filled and the duties properly discharged. This includes the supervision and approval of policy and content of The Christian Science Monitor, an international dally newspaper, now well known and respected in practically all quarters of the globe. This newspaper was founded by Mrs. Eddy in 1908 for the purpose of aiding its readers to understand world problems, so that prayerful thought might be given to their solution, through spiritual light in individual consciousness. The Monitor is progressively fulfilling its mission, as are the other periodicals established by Mrs. Eddy - the monthly Christian Science Journal, the weekly Christian Science Sentinel, the monthly and quarterly Herald of Christian Science, published in many languages, and the Christian Science Quarterly containing the weekly Lesson-Sermons studied by Christian Scientists throughout the world, and read each Sunday in all Christian Science Churches.
As one body of Christian Scientists, loyal to their God-appointed Leader, members of The Mother Church and of its branches are, each in the degree of his own progress, marching forward in their ability through prayer to alleviate suffering and prove the inability of mortal mind to prevent any child of God from knowing his divine Father and consciously dwelling in His kingdom.
In establishing her church organization, Mrs. Eddy provided for many unique activities. In addition to the Sunday services, at which two Readers alternately read passages from the King James Version of the Bible and from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," constituting the weekly Lesson-Sermons, she made provision for a marvelously conceived Wednesday evening testimony meeting. I say "marvelously conceived" because it meets a fundamental need. Extraordinary blessings are not normally accepted in silence by the recipient. There must be some voicing of the heart's bestirred gratitude.
At the Wednesday meeting, any member of the congregation has the privilege of rising voluntarily and acknowledging publicly some evidence or evidences of God's healing power which Christian Science has brought into his experience. Such testimonies are not casual. They are from the deep chambers of the heart. They are the outpourings of that joy which accompanies a glimpse of God and His bountiful beneficence - that joy which leaves little choice for the individual thus blessed but to cry with the certainty of Job (19:25) "I know that my redeemer liveth."
Such testimony presents unmistakable proof. No hypothesis, theory or law of any material science or philosophy, rests on any sounder basis, nor even on a basis so sound. It is, in the sonorous words of the Bible (Ps. 42:7) as when "Deep calleth unto deep." It is the individual's comforting awareness and acknowledgment of man's oneness with his Maker.
Release from fear, from sickness, from the restriction, constriction and limitation accompanying the sinful error of appraising man as separate from his Maker puts such testimony beyond dispute. No doubting Thomas can impair the face of the record that whereas I was sick, now I am well; whereas, I was in bondage, now I am free. To the individual whose proof of God's care has put him beyond the reach of doubt the great message of Christ Jesus' triumphant mission is at last factualized, that whereas he was crucified, he is alive forevermore.
Many in this audience have undoubtedly had such proof in their experience. Many have undoubtedly testified to it. I know a man who tried in his faltering way to keep his thought aligned with the fact that all true thought comes from God. Nevertheless, he had an accident. His automobile was struck by another and he himself was severely injured. Bones were fractured and internal organs thrown out of adjustment. In accord with the rules of public emergency, officials took him to a hospital. Being a Christian Scientist the man did his best to lift thought into that spiritual realm of divine Mind where man truly dwells and where no accidents can occur.
Even the simple effort to do this was rewarded. The man kept his assured sense of the truth that if no accidents occur in the real universe, no results of accidents can appear. He was seeking the secret place of prayer under circumstances in which any voicing of that fact would have been highly unwise. He maintained cordial human relations with all who came near, but in "the secret closet" he was endeavoring to "shut the door." He must have succeeded in some degree. In a little over a week he was again on his way, driving a new car across the continent. When he was released from the hospital to continue his journey, he was somewhat startled to have one of the physicians say to him as he departed: "You probably noticed you were not medicated. The man who maintains the right state of mind can be trusted to find healing. You were sized up as a man who could be trusted for that. It you had not done it, you would have been medicated. I am glad we did not have to medicate you."
The man does not know whether the physician knew he was a Christian Scientist or not. But he does know that the physician was sincere, and he knows also that his God has restored him yet again, that whereas he was bruised and broken, now he is whole. The open reward of secret prayer is present and established.
Much of the significance in the admonition to pray in the closet with the door shut so that the divine Father who sees in secret may give his open reward lies in the fact that the prayer is prayed by an individual. All salvation is individual. Each of us must know and demonstrate for himself his unity with his divine Principle. Each must bring his own thought into line with the infinite and perfect source of thought so that erroneous and sinful notions regarding the nature of thought may disappear with their manifestations.
This is a demand which must be obeyed. But it is no irksome task. It is an inescapable but happy activity for each of us. It protects our dignity as individuals, our immunity from interference from anything outside ourselves, and it establishes the right and privilege of each of us to have all the resources, necessary for the complete unfoldment of the individuality of each. No one can have so many resources, so much substance in his life, as to deprive someone else of something he needs.
If we understand even in a degree the great message of Christianity and of Christian Science we shall not be tempted to believe either that we can deprive others of anything or be deprived ourselves.
As this marvelous truth dawns on individual thought and its releasing effect is illustrated in the life of each one, it will enlighten whole groups and nations so that the tensions of the world, the fears that deceive men and nations into murderous strife will lessen and ultimately disappear. "Jealousy is cruel as the grave," says the writer of Proverbs. (Song of Solomon 8:6) Yet the cruelty of jealousy, vicious as it is, is subject to erasure from experience. This is accomplished by removing the false notion that the door of spiritual opportunity can be closed. That door cannot be closed even by oneself, for that which would seem to close it is but false belief, which is subject to the healing power of the Christ. Accordingly the remedy for jealousy is simply to know, each for himself, that he has all the resources he needs from God, the one Mind, which cares for each of its ideas.
Whatever is real, whatever is substantial, must be of God, for God is the only creator. Since God is divine Mind and divine Mind is substantial, the spiritual ideas of Mind are substantial. Hence Mrs. Eddy declares (Misc. 307:1): "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.''
The right answer to our problems, emphasized, realized, and practiced by you and me, is the demonstration of love - the love which is the manifestation of divine Love, God. We do not mean a sentimental love. Love is intelligent, spiritual understanding.
Oh, let us love more and more. Let us have done with the notion that evil is in man. Man is not evil, subject to destruction, any more than is God. Evil is not man. It is mortal mind. If it seems to be adopted by others or by us as the mind of man, let us vigorously break that sense of adoption. Let us destroy belief in evil without the slightest destructive intent against anyone. How is this done? By clarifying our concept of man, by recognizing and realizing that consciousness reflects divine Principle. But no one can do this for himself without doing it for others. My concept of man is faulty if my brother does not appear to me to be as much the son of God as I am.
Herein is love, the ineffable love that heals and saves. It lifts the burden of guilt from one as it lightens the load of others. By it the evil which mortal sense would attach to another or to me is nullified in its effects. By it wisdom is supplied whereby evil is rendered powerless and relegated to its nothingness.
Love is the way known to God, secret from the world. It is in the spirit of love that we pray, apart from matter, at one with God. Love is the way to understand God, the Father, who, seeing in secret, bestows his open reward. It is the way of Christ's Christianity and of divine Science, the Comforter which Christ Jesus predicted would come to his followers.
[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, Jan. 28, 1954.]