Christian Science: The Union of Reason and Revelation

 

Lucia C. Coulson, C.S., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

I have taken for the subject of this lecture, Christian Science, the Union of Reason and Revelation. It is a surprise to many people to be told that reason is a factor in the study of true religion, but on the first page of the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy these words occur, "The time for thinkers has come," and it is certain that people are thinking to-day as they never thought before. Even physical science which previously dealt entirely with matter and material phenomena is recognizing mind more and more, although it does not make the distinction so clearly drawn by Christian Science between the divine Mind and the so-called human mind.

The following interesting statement was made a short time ago by Professor J. A. Fleming of the University of London. "The physical universe is a thought rather than a thing, and thought implies and necessitates a thinker." Physical science, therefore, is gradually approaching the standpoint of Christian Science: namely, that all is Mind, and that Mind alone creates, governs, originates; that all cause is mental and therefore effect is mental, and amenable to Mind; that the universe itself is a "thought rather than a thing." Let us see where this will lead us and what it will bestow upon us. It leads us to discover wherein lies the mastery of circumstances and conditions. It bestows on us the power to heal and prevent disease. It frees us from the limitations with which the belief in matter and material thinking has bound us, and from which we have not known how to escape. Perhaps it is this helplessness, this inability of mankind to overcome or avoid calamity, that makes the heaviest burden. There is no one so happy that he would not like to be able to protect and so ensure that happiness.

Now this helplessness is due to the belief that man is matter, that his troubles are material, and that he has no control over them. Once take the position that all is Mind, that the universe and all it includes is the product of Mind, and immediately the remedy appears. For if a thought is the cause of the trouble, then a change of thought can alter it. If a thought causes this or that condition, then an opposite thought will change the condition. Now we have all been given the power to think, and we all already believe that we can or should control our thoughts. Therefore, if everything is in the first instance a thing of thought, and we can all think, how much control should we have, now much dominion over this earth? And what is the nature of this dominion? It is evident, reasoning from this standpoint, that Mind controls and governs all, and man, the outcome of Mind, possesses this dominion. Remember the gift of dominion was recorded many thousands of years ago in a book we have most of us been taught to revere. Let me read you verses twenty-six to twenty-eight of the first chapter of Genesis: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. . . . And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion."

Did it ever occur to you that these are not mere words, but practical provable truth? I remember reading that when I first began the study of Christian Science, and as I read, the general concept of man flashed before me: man at the mercy of change, of circumstance, of disease, of loss; man happy to-day, and crushed tomorrow; pitifully weak, and unable to protect himself. Then I turned to this book, Science and Health, which I had been told was a Key to the Scriptures, and there I read (p. 517): "Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is lord of the belief in earth and heaven, himself subordinate alone to his Maker." I read on until I began to see how it was possible to prove this dominion to be true, now. I could never tell you what a flood of light and liberty filled my heart as I read — what possibilities opened out to me — what a promise Christian Science set before me. And it has kept its promise! My friends, what is true for one is true for all, and we can all begin now to prove, gradually, and step by step, this dominion in our experience. We must gain it first in our thinking, and then necessarily in our experience, for experience is the fruit of thinking.

Now it is easy enough to see that some things are the result of thought — war, for instance. But when we come to more particular instances, such as disease, poverty, an epidemic, and so on, people are apt to say, "Do you mean to tell me these are mental and the result of wrong thinking?" Christian Science replies that they are, and that they can be healed by spiritual thinking.

Why should it be thought strange that a man's thinking should affect his physical body, either to injure or to benefit it? Take the effect of fear alone, and notice the change it can produce in the physical body. It affects the muscles and nerves so that trembling sets in. It violently alters the action of the blood so that the face becomes white, and if there is sufficient fear, it will cause a man to faint. Now look at the results of a thought or emotion in these cases, and consider the widespread, almost universal, fear at the time of an epidemic. Almost everyone is afraid that he will catch the disease. Everyone (unless he be a Christian Scientist) believes that he may catch it. Many think of it with dread, and shudder at the list of those who succumb to it. It is this fear which is contagious, and which is overcome by the understanding of Christian Science. I shall have more to say on this subject later.

The effect of hatred is less easily seen and understood; but, as a matter of fact, hatred is a deadly poison, which hurts the hater more than the hated, and it is coming to be so regarded by students of physiology. The same is true of every other form of evil thinking or unhappy morbid thinking; jealousy, worry, depression, and so on.

At this point someone may say: "You tell me these thoughts produce sickness and opposite thoughts cure: but how am I to think these opposite thoughts? I have neither the strength nor the understanding to do so." That is true, for those uninstructed in Christian Science, and such a confession of weakness is the first step to the recognition of the remedy. For these thoughts which make us sick and sinful are the thoughts of mortals, and they must be exchanged for higher and truer thoughts, the thoughts of God.

The first step, then, is to find out what God is, and what His thoughts are like. The sentence with which we started gives an indication of the great fact which Mrs. Eddy discovered, for it states that "the universe is a thought rather than a thing."

What must be the Cause or Creator of the universe which is a thought, an idea? The only possible answer, and the one which Christian Science gives, is that this Creator, the first great Cause, is Mind, infinite Mind, for ideas can only come forth from Mind, infinite Mind. That signifies perfection; for whatever is infinite could not contain an element of destruction. Evil is self-destructive. Its nature is to destroy, to adulterate, to lie. We have evidences of this at every hand. Therefore evil could not enter the Mind that is infinite or eternal, and so it is the perfect thoughts of this perfect Mind that we need to obtain and entertain, in order to counteract and to heal the effects of wrong thinking. Following this out to its logical conclusion, we find that we are in a world of ideas, a thought universe. This universe is perfect and God-created; but our concept of it is not right, is not perfect, and we shall find that our concept is corrected and transformed by the simple method of replacing wrong thoughts with right thoughts, thoughts which reflect divine Mind. Here then is the way — to learn to ally ourselves with God's thoughts. When we do that, we ally ourselves with infinite power; we enlist divine power on our behalf.

Now to do this, we must learn something of the nature of this power. What is the nature or character of infinite and omnipotent Mind? This is where the wedding of Science to Christianity takes place. That which the heart of man craves is found to be in accord with reason. It has been said that the infinite must be without an element of discord or destruction, must be wholly creative, therefore entirely harmonious, forever bringing forth and preserving; must therefore be that of which John conceived when he said that God is Love. Divine Love alone admits of no flaw, no friction. Intelligence or power divorced from love can manifest all that is worst, most bestial, most brutal; but find all power to be also love, and immediately its universe can be conceived of only as perfect and as altogether lovely.

How could there be an atom of suffering, of sin, or sickness permitted by the omnipotence which is altogether Love? Even humanly our concept of love stands for bliss. What is the will of Love for the beloved? Always that which the beloved desires. Now, every one of you in your true being has come forth from that infinite Love, and is the loved of Love. I don't care who you are, what your character or your race or your present limitations may be: each one of you is the beloved, and the will of the divine Love for you is all that is happiest, sweetest, most blissful, all that makes for fullness, usefulness, dominion, heaven — indeed, your heart's desire!

Go into a beech wood at the magic moment of spring. Look at the moss under your feet, the exquisite vivid green of each budding leaf: see the tender beauty of the violet, the bluebell, the anemone — each tiny petal perfectly formed, each color perfectly matched! These are only the promise of heavenly beauties; but what thoughts do they stand for, of what are they the symbols? Think what qualities of tenderness and innocence, of gayety and care for every smallest detail must be comprised in the Mind which is God, and clothing as He does the lilies of the field, will He not clothe and tend and beautify and glorify you, His highest ideas?

My friends, this concept of God will do much for you. It will change and sweeten and transform your experience. It will take away your fear. Has your experience been a hard one? Does your existence seem dreary and barren? Ask yourself what concept of God you are entertaining. There are those whose concept of God is that of a Being to be dreaded, one who sits in judgment, and deals out punishment and calamity to all offenders. There are many whose concept of God is that of a schoolmaster, stern and just — a God of penalties, righteous penalties, so-called, who says, "You have sinned and you must suffer." And there are some to whom God is both Father and Mother, whose idea of God is the highest, tenderest Love it is possible to conceive of or imagine, a God who lives only to bless and cannot curse, who lives only to heal and could not send or permit or know suffering, who lives only to bestow heaven, and would not know how to afflict. To this God we come and say, "We are sad, we are sick, we are weary, we are wicked"; and our God makes answer, "It is none of it real, it is none of it true! It is all blotted out in the presence of infinite, universal, unquenchable Love which corrects and cancels every mistake; for Love has only love to bestow." Let this God, the only true God, rule your experience.

I spoke of the wedding of Science to Christianity in our thought when we discern the nature of infinite Mind to be Love. Consequently, when we perceive that Love and intelligence are in reality indivisible, there comes the true marriage of the male and female qualities of Mind, the "divinely united spiritual consciousness," as Science and Health puts it (p. 577).

Now the highest, purest concept of Love which human experience presents is generally conceded to be that of a mother for her child; and so in order to turn our thoughts to the understanding of the Love that is God, Christian Science has given us yet another and gentler name by which to address Deity, for it speaks of God as Mother.

When this thought of the Motherhood of God unfolds to us we come to see that there is no happening too small, no desire too slight, to confide to Love's tender keeping. The little ones are Her especial care. We realize that all the comforts of home, the consolations of friendship, the fulfilment of harmless desires, the innocent joys that go to make up happy human living are the will of Love for us now. They are the direct working out of this blessed concept of God. They are the human working out or approximation of the infinite bliss with which Love satisfies its own, caring equally for every smallest detail, blessing equally the infinitesimal with the infinite. Every one of you is included in the Father-Mother's perfect plan. Every one of you is needed and indispensable therein, and Truth will show you how to appropriate this blessedness.

Now it is a fact that whatever concept of God we cherish, consciously or unconsciously, shapes and governs our models of thought and conduct; and so as we gain this concept of God as Mother we shall become gentler and kinder in our thoughts and words and deeds; in proportion, then, as this idea of God unfolds in human consciousness, the whole world will become a gentler, warmer-hearted, happier dwelling place.

I spoke just now of Love's perfect universe which is altogether lovely. Right here mortals seem to be faced with a universe which is the direct opposite, which contradicts the divine facts. What are we to do with it? Has it ever struck you that this is the very problem which is presented to us in the first and second chapters of Genesis? First, there is the account of the divine fact of perfect God and perfect man, whose universe is very good, and then comes the account of a man made of dust who immediately fell into a deep sleep. It would seem as if that sleep is still going on. In that sleep came the introduction of a dual consciousness, the knowledge of good and evil, in which evil seemed as real and natural as good. This dual consciousness is really a kingdom divided against itself, for good and evil are opposites, and it is the mingling of good and evil thoughts, with the latter much in the preponderance, that causes the friction of human existence.

In the infinite Mind, whose name is Love, there can be, as we saw, no friction by reason of its infinity. To God there is no dual consciousness. There is but one Mind, one will, one consciousness, one manner of thinking — right thinking.

Friction is caused by the rubbing or pulling of particles in two opposite directions. It is defined in the dictionary as the resistance to a body from the surface on which it moves. The problem of the theory of perpetual motion can only be solved by the elimination of friction, and physical scientists tell us that by the elimination of all friction, the deterioration and decease of the human body could be prevented. So far this has been found to be impossible, because this friction has been thought of as material both in cause and effect. Christian Science makes it clear that as we leave the dual consciousness and declare for the one Mind which is good only and Love always, as we learn to think God's good thoughts only, in that ratio friction ceases and harmony is restored. At this point I want to say to you that this is not simply a theory. It is the most practical and provable fact that has ever been presented to you. Therein lies its whole value, and for that reason we know it to be the truth. That which is true can always be proved. That which is false can never be. You may try forever and in vain to prove twice two is five. It is not five, and when subject to proof its falsity is exposed. You may believe that twice two is five quite easily; but you cannot prove it. Any child, on the other hand, can prove twice two is four, because that is the truth.

Now Christian Science states that the power of the divine Mind to heal all human ills, the power of right thinking to change and destroy the effects of wrong thinking, has been proved time and time again in this age by healing the sick. It is this restoration of the healing works of primitive Christianity which is the hall-mark of Christian Science, so to speak. In her Church Manual (p. 17) Mrs. Eddy writes that the Christian Science church is "designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." She also says on page 92 of the same book that "each member of this Church shall strive to demonstrate by his or her practice, that Christian Science heals the sick quickly and wholly, thus proving this Science to be all that we claim for it." Now, when a sick person is made well, the ultimate object of Christian Science healing is not thereby attained. On the contrary, the work is only just begun. For the object of Christian Science is to regenerate human consciousness, to change the dual consciousness of good and evil to the consciousness of good's allness; to educate it out of matter into Spirit, and so to end the Adam-dream. This regeneration, however, starts with the healing of physical sickness, for the very good reason that a sick body indicates a sick mind.

Since, then, the healing works are all important in Christian Science, let us consider at some length how they take place. And first and foremost, let us consider the example of the one who first proved the power of Truth to heal in all its perfection — Jesus the Christ. Let us see what he has to teach us with regard to its method and what were the means he employed. There has been such a tendency on the part of mankind to regard his works as miracles relegated to his time, alone, that people hardly considered what he himself said on this subject. In the first place, he stated that anyone who believed in him and his teaching could do the same works he did, and greater.

Then with regard to the method, he said that it was his Father who did the healing, but that the patient needed receptivity, faith, to enable him to receive. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he does the works." "According to your faith be it unto you."

Then, again, and this is an important point for the practitioner — in instance after instance we are told that before he healed anyone, he was moved with compassion. Many of his patients were sinners, many lepers; but no matter how great the physical or moral deformity, Jesus was moved with compassion. As he passed by, the multitudes were healed. Men told each other with bated breath that "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." And the sick were healed. What was it that healed them? Was it his person or the shadow of his person falling on them? We in this age are too enlightened for such superstition. It was what Jesus knew, what Jesus saw in the place of sick humanity, that healed.

Let me read you here a passage from Science and Health which no one who desires to heal the sick can study too carefully: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick" (Science and Health, pp. 476, 477). So in the place of the poor, weeping, sinning woman, in the place of the unclean, trembling leper, Jesus saw the beloved, the pure idea "only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Now, he said that we should do the works he did. It was his clear vision, his tender compassion, his reflection of divine intelligence, that revealed the Christ, and it is for each one of us to-day to "put on Christ." Then, as we pass through the streets of our great cities and the sick and the sorrowful meet us in the press, being "moved with compassion," we shall find time to pray, not on bended knee, but by lifting up our thoughts to heaven, by declaring again and yet again that the perfect Mind has created perfect man, for from the standpoint of Christian Science we have to look through and beyond the mist of sense-testimony and discern the spiritual idea of man emanating from divine Mind. Then shall we echo the words of the poet:

 

O God of mountains, stars, and boundless spaces,  

O God of freedom and of joyous hearts,     

When Thy face looketh forth from all men’s faces,

There will be room enough in crowded marts!        

Brood Thou around me, and the noise is o’er,         

Thy universe my closet with shut door.

 

— George Macdonald.

 

Once again we find in the Gospels that it was Jesus' custom to go apart, alone, into some quiet spot, the desert or the mountain, and there spend hours, yes, nights in prayer to God, communing with Spirit, wrestling no doubt with the world's fear and unbelief. "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place;" and, "He went up into a mountain apart to pray."

From the mental heights gained in such midnight hours, Jesus would descend to perform his mightiest works. The same method is needed by us to-day. We need to go apart to work and pray and spend hours of quiet preparation in communion with Spirit; and often the way is through the desert to the mountain. If Jesus could not do without such preparation, we certainly cannot afford to! The world does not want this, it presses upon us as of old. It urges that we should be normal and sociable; it offers us a good time. It was the same with Jesus. The multitudes thronged him, we read, but he "withdrew himself." Even in the desert he was not free from the temptation of the carnal mind. "He was tempted in all points like as we are," the record reads. Now, temptation is that which comes to us as consciousness, that which for the moment seems desirable. The adversary tempted Jesus with the call of the flesh. "Command that these stones be made bread." But Jesus obeyed the Christ. Then the evil one brought him to the pinnacle of the temple, and Jesus climbed to the very top, hearing the whisper to cast himself down and convince them by the spectacular, but, standing at the very pinnacle of temptation, Jesus obeyed the Christ. Finally, the carnal mind offered him all the glories of wealth and fame, in other words "a good time." "All these things will I give thee" — but once again Jesus obeyed the Christ; and with that tremendous rebuke, "Get thee hence, Satan," the tempter fled before him.

My friends, if we would heal the sick to-day, it is for us to obey the Christ, to deny sense-testimony, to silence the whisper of the serpent, urging as of old the dual consciousness of good and evil; to refuse and dismiss these suggestions, to eject and reject them; to refuse to think any but God's good thoughts. Note that the temptation in the Garden of Eden came in the form of an argument. "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" The woman replied that the dual consciousness — the knowledge of good and evil — meant death. Then came the denial of the truth. "Ye shalt not surely die." So to-day, temptation comes in the form of an argument. "Has Truth said that evil is unreal and God is all? How absurd! Sickness is real. You can feel it and see it. Don't shut your eyes to the testimony of your senses." Here is where we need to be strong and overthrow the false arguments with the arguments of Truth. For truly, sin and sickness are arguments, nothing more and nothing less, and we can therefore dispose of them as such. We can turn on them with, "Get thee behind me, Satan," and denying them specifically, go on to the affirmations of good's is-ness and good's allness. Then if we are faithful, the evidence before our senses will change and conform to the facts of being. Let no one think that Christian Science can be gained without effort. The warfare with the testimony of the senses needs as much patience and persistence, and even heroism, as any other warfare. Instantaneous healing is the ideal of Christian Science, but it may take much earnest, persistent effort to reach the consciousness of Truth which heals instantaneously. In every case, however, the healing is a corrective process. It is the replacing of false beliefs with true ideas.

Sometimes the belief which needs correcting is just the conviction that God has sent disease for some good purpose, and that it is vain to strive against His will. Then the simple fact that it is not of God nor the will of God will heal the case. I know a Christian Science practitioner who, on revisiting her native city, saw a woman so bowed together that her head almost touched her knees. She recognized her as someone whom she had known formerly as an erect young girl. The practitioner stopped and asked if she had tried physicians, and the woman replied that she had tried many in vain. The practitioner said to her, "Try still another." But the woman answered it was useless; that she believed God had sent her this trial for her good, and that it was His will. "That was not what Jesus said of the woman who had been bound 'lo, these eighteen years,'" said the practitioner. "Who was it that he said had bound her?" "Satan," replied the woman, and a light broke over her face. "Yes," was the answer. "And may it not be that same Satan, or evil, which has bound you?" The woman's whole expression changed, and then and there the Christian Scientist spoke to her of the ever-present Christ, Truth, which has come to this age as the Comforter, and which through the teachings of Christian Science is loosing them that are bound. "It can loose you too," she said. "Lift yourself up." And the woman lifted herself up and stood erect. As she listened to the explanation of the Christian Scientist her whole thought had changed. The binding belief in a punishing God who had sent this thing to chasten her yielded, and her thought was lifted up to hope and faith to respond to the clear, uplifted consciousness of the practitioner, and then, behold, her body straightened also!

Now, farther back, I referred to the possible overcoming of an epidemic, and I should like to say something about that here. Take an epidemic of influenza. A Christian Scientist protects himself from the contagion of fear, before its results appear on his body, as he also heals those who come to him for healing from it by knowing that God, good, being omnipresent, there is only one good to catch; that in the whole of infinite Mind, there is no evil influence or influenza, and that, to quote Science and Health (Pref. p. xi), the "divine influence ever present in human consciousness" is superior to every other influence, and this divine influence is itself a law of destruction to every other so-called evil influence.

Let us now take a case of drunkenness, or any other false appetite of the carnal mind. The Christian Scientist, turning away from the evidence of the senses, maintains the fact that God made man complete and satisfied; that this craving is only the perverted longing for the wine of inspiration, the joys of Spirit; and holding to this view of man, he declares, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

And what if we are confronted with a case of lack? Does Christian Science offer a solution for this also? Most assuredly it does. Lack arises from the belief that supply is material, and therefore limited and finite. Christian Science declares that divine Mind is the source of all supply and therefore supply is infinite, and consists of ideas, right ideas. What we know constitutes our wealth; for if we know more than others on any subject, they want what we know, and will give us the necessary exchange. We see, then, that true commerce consists in the exchange of ideas; and how can we obtain valuable ideas? From one source only, from infinite intelligence, which never withholds anything, but will bestow them upon us for the asking — not for half-hearted asking, however; not for a mere desultory request. We must be earnest and persistent in our desire, in our efforts. Sometimes we need to importune the divine Mind. Mrs. Eddy has written (Christ and Christmas, p. 15):

 

"What the Beloved knew and taught,

Science repeats,

Through understanding, dearly sought,

With fierce heart-beats."

 

Have you sought in this manner?

I have said that divine Mind never withholds, and our object is not to beseech God to give that which He refuses. God has already given all. The object of our importuning is to clear away the mist that obscures our view, and to reach the understanding of what is already ours as the expression of God's being.

This is prayer — not the beseeching of God to be good, but the fervent desire to understand how good He is. Let me hasten to add, however, that we do use both petition and affirmation, even as Jesus did in the model prayer he left us, known as the Lord's Prayer. At the same time, in treatment the Christian Scientist uses constant affirmation, because his object is not to make a sick mortal well, but to perceive God's man coming forth from infinite Mind, in the likeness of that Mind, as the Bible itself declares.

Sometimes people will come to me and say, "I don't know how to pray in Christian Science, I don't know the scientific way." To such inquirers I always say, "Pray in whatever way helps you to gain the presence of God." He is "no respecter of persons" or of forms. God does not care what words you use. He regards only the motive and the desire. Prayer should not be a laborious effort to climb up to God. We do not have to go anywhere to find God. God is Mind, and Mind is omnipresence; that means that there is only one good presence everywhere, here, now, within and without. Since Mind is omnipresence, all-presence, you cannot get away form it, or outside of it, and so you are forever enfolded in this God-presence. Evil, therefore, is never present.

Prayer, then, should start with the affirmation, "I and my Father are one," and from the standpoint of that oneness should seek to gain more of the Mind of Christ. Through such prayer we become conscious that all good is ours to claim or to appropriate, and so we taste, in all its sweetness and completeness, the will of Love for the beloved.

How we have feared the will of Love! How we have dreaded the "one altogether lovely"! Even as we have reversed the whole order of heaven, the dual consciousness inevitably reverses and perverts the divine facts. The picture of a punishing God, seated in the sky, dealing out judgment, has driven you men and women into atheism. What is the truth of the matter? What are the qualities that reign in heaven? They are the exact opposite of those that the human mind has chosen as rulers. The sword and the sceptre are the symbols of rulership to us even to-day. Kings and governors are surrounded by armed men and mounted police. The Revelator chose a lamb as the symbol of that which reigns in heaven, and he saw a woman — the feminine qualities of Mind which belong equally to all men and all women — as that which wears the crown.

In Science and Health (p. 36) we read, "Justice is the handmaid of mercy." In other words, mercy is on the throne and justice does her bidding. The greatest human rulers have shown this same quality of mercy. The story of Lincoln and the young sentry is so well known, it scarcely bears repeating, and yet we do not tire of it. A sentry was found sleeping at his post and was condemned to be shot at dawn. The death-warrant was brought to Lincoln to sign, and he asked for the facts. He found that the boy had done a heavy march and then volunteered for duty to relieve a sick friend. He was found asleep at his post, and it was a critical place, and his general refused to spare him. The penalty for such an offense was death. Lincoln ordered them to bring the young man in. Then, speaking to him like a father, he said, "I'm going to trust you and send you back to your regiment." Thus Lincoln, the Great-hearted, made "justice the handmaid of mercy;" but no one has ever called Lincoln weak.

It is weakness which refuses to go against tradition. It is weakness which flares up as soon as what it names its dignity is slighted; weakness that resists and rushes into war; weakness that wants to revenge itself upon its enemies in the guise of justice. It takes strength, the strength of a hero, the strength of the Galilean, to turn the other cheek, to remain unmoved when insulted, to forgo redress, to love those whom we call our personal or our national enemies. There are few men strong enough to do this, even to-day. So, many centuries ago, in the Sermon on the Mount, these same qualities were named as the remedy for human ills by the Nazarene; and yet all through the ages they have been ignored and set aside as impossible and impracticable. Yet they are the only true practical solution because they are in accord with Truth, with the divine facts of being. Let anyone practice loving his enemies, and as soon as he has succeeded, he will find that in loving them, he loses them — there are no enemies left. Does hating them or fighting them ever get rid of them? If you go to war and conquer them, does that lessen the enmity on either side? It only increases it, and the day will come, and is coming, when the Sermon on the Mount will be seen to be the practical solution of war, when humanity will cease worshiping force and finesse, and will learn to exalt the qualities that reign in heaven; the Mother-Love, the gentleness and innocence of the Lamb.

These qualities were manifested in a remarkable degree by Mary Baker Eddy, as were also those of energy and intelligence. It is supremely true of her that she was a great thinker. The Discoverer of the Science of Christianity could be nothing less. It is not easy to be a pioneer in any direction, however limited the scope; but to be a pioneer in the realm of spiritual Science, and to be at the same time a woman, demanded nothing less than heroism. Essentially womanly she was, with a natural shrinking from publicity, and yet on fire with a message which she could not choose but utter, which overcame all natural reluctance and forced her into the arena of mental conflict. From that conflict she emerged unharmed, because she was able to prove and to demonstrate that the divine Principle she preached was all she stated it to be — "equal to every emergency" (Science and health, p. 406). I would ask you, if I may, to consider for a few minutes the wonder of this woman's life. From birth she had been delicate, and at the age of forty-five she was a frail invalid, overcome by the least exertion. At that age she made her great discovery, and it changed her from an invalid to a woman of marvelous energy and endurance. When over fifty, she brought out her first great work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." At the same time she was healing cases of so-called chronic and incurable disease of every description. She was teaching classes and organizing her students into bands to go out into all the world and heal the sick. Every kind of calumny, at that time, pursued her, lawsuits were brought against her; but she went on her way, undisturbed and unafraid; and finally she undertook the greatest and most arduous task of all, the founding of the Christian Science church, The Mother Church, with all its activities. No woman had ever founded a church before, far less had any woman been the inspired leader of a scientific and religious movement. In achieving this, she lifted all womanhood forever. It was her purpose that the church should endure, and that it should be the protection of her followers. Its constitution was framed by her and embodied in the Church Manual. Its periodicals were also each one of them founded and started by her, and in the midst of her labors she found time to write for them constantly. Meanwhile she was bringing out other books and organizing the Board of Lectureship. At the age of eighty-seven she moved her home from Concord, New Hampshire, to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and founded a great daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. She alone conceived the idea of this paper, gave the order for its inception, and contrary to the advice of many of her students, insisted on its speedy publication. She directed, counseled, defended, and governed the great movement she herself founded. No one could take her place, though she tried hard to find someone capable of so doing. No one knew enough to do so, no one else was willing to make the sacrifice that was required, and so this "toiler tireless" went on to the last week of her life on earth, laboring and achieving. She was always seeking for new ways to protect and promote the healing truth she had discovered. One who knew her well and saw her constantly said to me of her, "She was always thinking, thinking." To the last moment, her desk was the headquarters of the movement, and her authority was unchallenged, because in all she did she turned to God alone for guidance, and listened for His voice.

I submit to you that her life was one of continuous achievement, and that she has left this inspiring example to her followers.

In summing up then, we find Christian Science to be the union of reason and revelation. It satisfies both the intellect and the affections; it reconciles science and religion; it shows cause and effect to be mental, and thus gives us the key to dominion; but above all, it shows us that we must learn to love, and in loving find ourselves to be the beloved. Such love is greater than mere human affection. To like one and dislike another is personal sense. Love is that which includes all in its embrace, in whose light every object is transfigured. Let us labor to obtain this vision, in the words of the beloved disciple, "Let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

 

 

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