Christian Science Reveals the Brotherhood of Man

 

Clayton Bion Craig, C.S.B., of Cincinnati, Ohio

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Nature of Creation

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1-3). These words of the Apostle John, Jesus' beloved disciple, are in complete agreement with the spiritual account of creation given in the first chapter of Genesis. This chapter concludes, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). This opening chapter of the Bible is a record of spiritual creation. The heavens and the earth, animal and human life, are all declared to be the creative act of God. Man was not evolved, he was created pure and holy, because all that God made was pronounced very good.

This true concept of creation, when spiritually discerned, dispels from human thought the false, material concept of creation. A mortal, material sense of creation is depicted in the second account of creation, which begins in the second chapter of Genesis. Here man and the universe are presented as made from dust by the Lord God. Here human reasoning, starting with a false concept of God, personalized and humanly circumscribed, ends with a false concept of creation.

As we study the Old Testament we can trace the history of the children of Israel in their awakening from the Adam-dream to a more spiritual viewpoint of man and the universe. Here and there the clear vision and spiritual insight of prophets and seers pierces the darkness of material sense and illumines the path.

 

Jesus Reveals True Creation

The coming of the Christ, the promised Messiah, in such a form as mankind could understand was foretold by Moses and the prophets. In the fullness of time this Messiah appeared in the form of Christ Jesus. Because of Mary's spiritual conception of him, Jesus clearly understood that God, Spirit, is the Father of man; hence he perceived the entirely spiritual nature of true creation. His clear discernment that God's law is the only law of nature, since all nature is in reality spiritual and divine, enabled him to annul the so-called laws of the material sense of creation, which appeared in the Adam-dream.

This Christ-consciousness, or consciousness of the spiritual reality of being, enabled Jesus instantaneously to heal the sick, to cleanse the human consciousness from sin, to raise the dead, to walk over the troubled waters, to still the tempest, to feed the hungry multitude, to comfort the sorrowing - in short, to dispel every error which material sense presented to him. He knew Spirit, God, to be the source of all reality. Therefore, he knew that man and the universe as the product of God must be wholly spiritual. Man, the image of God, must be Godlike. Since God is Spirit, man must therefore be wholly spiritual. The light which the Christ brings to human consciousness dispels the material and personal sense of creation.

 

Mission of Moses

God revealed Himself to Moses, for the first time, as the divine lawgiver. Moses must have clearly perceived God, whose guidance he willingly followed and lovingly obeyed, to have been infinitely good and the source of all law. Under the direction of the great "I AM," Moses led the Hebrews to do by nature the things contained in the law, until God finally revealed to them from Mount Sinai the law of the Ten Commandments. Jesus later summarized them in the two great commandments, love for God and love for man. Obedience to these commandments Moses saw would bring the liberation which the enslaved Israelites so earnestly desired. Their need was for freedom from the beliefs of the enslaving senses. This alone could bring them freedom from the personal domination of their Egyptian taskmasters.

Having led them by precept and example into sight of the promised land of freedom, peace, and harmony, Moses left them. Perhaps he perceived that each must enter this promised land or Holy City by himself. The way to the promised land is the way of spiritual understanding, which comes to each individually, as his consciousness is prepared to receive it. Each must mount for himself the Horeb height of spiritual understanding where God is revealed and where His man and His universe of spiritual reality are clearly perceived.

 

Bondage Results From Ignorance of God

When the children of Israel were deprived of Moses' inspired leadership, they reverted to some of the false education which they received in Egypt. They gradually turned from the God of Moses to a tribal Jehovah, to a God of wrath who returns evil for evil. For centuries the mass of the people walked in the darkness of ignorance and superstition because they did not know the God of Moses. Their blind belief in God, as a personalized Deity, to be feared and worshiped from afar, bringing blessing and cursing upon His children, was far from the great I AM, the source of all good, with whom Moses communed on the mount.

 

Mission of Christ Jesus

But in the fullness of time one came whose clear vision of the true idea of God dispelled the darkness of belief. The darkness could not remain in the presence of his spiritual illumination. Truly the people who walked in darkness saw a great light. Sin, disease, and death disappeared when human consciousness was touched by the Christ-presence, as understood and exemplified by Christ Jesus.

He overcame the world, the belief that creation is material. Jesus understood so clearly the great truth that God is Spirit that he recognized only the true creation, man and the universe, as wholly spiritual. Because he saw the perfection of infinite Spirit, or God, he could see the perfection of His glorious creation, man and the universe.

Like Moses, Jesus saw God as the source of all law and government. He beheld man and the universe as the effect of God. He understood and fully demonstrated God, the source of all being, to be the only Father of man. He proved this in his own experience, demonstrating the spiritual nature of his being in its fullness. His realization of man's essential unity with God, the Father, enabled him to heal and to bless all who turned to him for healing.

 

The Heavenly Kingdom

Few understood the Messianic teaching or truly perceived the Christ, the true idea of God and man, which Jesus so clearly perceived and exemplified. Like the children of Israel, who looked for the promised land as a material locality, flowing with milk and honey, so most of those who sought the Master looked for the Messiah to appear as a temporal ruler, or earthly king, who would lead them against their Roman conquerors and establish a mighty temporal kingdom. When it appeared certain that this was not the mission of Jesus, many turned away or joined his persecutors.

Jesus made plain that his kingdom was not a worldly kingdom. It was a heavenly kingdom, a divine state of consciousness, a Christ-illumined human consciousness. He defined this kingdom, when he replied to the question as to when the kingdom of God should come, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20,21).

The Master clearly indicated that the achievement of this heavenly state of consciousness, whose manifestation finds expression in a harmonious human experience, stems from an understanding of and obedience to the law of God. You will recall that to the query of the lawyer, "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 22:36-39).

Jesus was not advocating love for all of the unlovely traits and errors of human thought, but love for God and man in His likeness. Jesus knew man to be the son of God, spiritual and perfect. He saw man as the image of the divine Love which is God. He knew man only as he is depicted in the first record of spiritual creation, and recognized the material sense of man and creation as but a counterfeit of God's creation. Jesus exposed the falsity of this mortal sense of personalized error when he called it a liar and the father of lies.

 

Knowledge of the Truth the Basis of Christian Demonstration

When Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32), he gave us the basic rule for proving the divine Principle of his life practice. Spiritually to understand God and man in His image is to be free from the errors of material sense. To know God is to love Him and to love His creation. We cannot prove the divine Principle of being while holding to the fear and superstitious beliefs which result from false education.

Few of the followers of the Master understood in the least his teaching and the method of its practice. Those who did understand him could do the works of healing which he did. Human consciousness darkened by superstitious teachings relative to God could not grasp the true idea presented by Jesus. Ecclesiastical despotism and false human systems, which held the masses in ignorance and fear, could not grasp the truth he revealed, and so plotted his destruction.

 

The Comforter Promised

Before he permitted the carnal mind to attempt the destruction of his personality, Jesus foretold to his disciples the coming of the Comforter, "the Spirit of truth," which would lead human thought into all truth. Here was his prophecy that after his resurrection, the Christ, Truth, should come again in such a form as humanity could recognize. This second coming of the Christ, "the Spirit of truth," the Comforter, would recall to human consciousness all that Jesus had taught and would make plain the Christ, Truth, which he revealed.

 

The Way to the Kingdom

Jesus clearly saw that he must withdraw if his disciples were to grasp the spiritual meaning of his teaching. They must cease to lean upon his personality and seek for themselves the illumination of the Christ and realize something of the kingdom within. Each must gain for himself the understanding of God's nature and of man's divine sonship. Jesus foresaw that each can achieve the heavenly kingdom within only through individual discernment of the Christ-idea. After the Master's ascension, his final demonstration of man's complete spiritual unity with the Father, this spiritual enlightenment came to the apostles in that individual illumination of the Pentecostal experience.

 

Persistence of False Belief

Although the followers of Christ Jesus continued with the healing works for nearly three centuries after their Master's ascension, fear, superstition, ignorance, and ecclesiastical despotism, based upon a false sense of God and of His Christ, continued to hold mankind in bondage and to hinder the full demonstration of the pure Christianity inaugurated by Jesus.

A thousand years of darkened human thought were followed by an age of fresh enlightenment, historically referred to as the Reformation and the Renaissance. Human thought began once more to reach out toward the light of spiritual understanding. A reexamination of the teachings and the works of Christ Jesus began to stir the thought of humanity. As the Master's works had aroused antagonism, the exposure of false teachings led to religious persecutions. At the dawn of the seventeenth century, a courageous band of seekers after the light set sail across the stormy Atlantic, searching for freedom to worship God according to their light. Plymouth Colony began the settlement of New England, the birthplace of a new religious freedom. Religious freedom, the keynote of this new movement, brought a wider concept of freedom, and inevitably led to the founding of a new nation, dedicated to the idea of freedom.

 

The Discovery of Christian Science

It was in this cradle of liberty that Mary Baker Eddy discovered and founded Christian Science. Schooled from early childhood in the New England tradition, in which daily Bible study was a part of every family life, Mrs. Eddy had long been a seeker after religious truth. Her Bible study had shown her clearly that spiritual healing was an essential result of Christian understanding.

God had shown Moses the sign of spiritual healing, as a proof that he was led of God to become the liberator of his enslaved people. The sign of spiritual healing was the proof offered by Jesus of his Messianic mission. So it was the sign of spiritual healing which led Mrs. Eddy to the discovery of Christian Science. As her spiritual healing from a supposedly fatal injury, after all material aids had failed, led to her discovery of Christian Science, so the sign of spiritual healing has continued to characterize the growth and unfoldment of the religious movement which Mrs. Eddy founded. These are the proofs of Immanuel or God with us, even as they were in the days of Christianity's beginning. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," page 34, Mrs. Eddy writes, "If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend?"

 

The Christian Science Textbook

Christian Science has come to this age through "a little book," the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," which Mrs. Eddy first gave to the world in 1875. This textbook contains a full revelation of the nature of God, of man and the universe as created by God, and of the Christ through which these ideas become appreciable to human understanding. The rules for the application of these spiritual truths to human difficulties also are set forth clearly.

The little book which Mrs. Eddy has given to us is illumining the Bible record for countless thousands. It is making plain to human thought the Christ, Truth - the true idea of God and man - so fully revealed by Christ Jesus. It is bringing to mankind "the Spirit of truth" as promised by the Master and so bringing to men the comfort and spiritual understanding of divine Truth and Love. It is bringing to a sick and suffering humanity healing for its pain and its diseases. It is bringing to the sinful human thought the cleansing and purifying light of truth. It is bringing to the lonely and the sorrowing heart the realization of man's oneness with the Father and a certain sense of the ever-present Christ. Through the unity and reality of being which Christian Science makes plain, countless thousands are receiving the comfort which the Christ, Truth, understood and practiced can bring. This understanding of being is the basis of prayer; it is "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man" which "availeth much" (James 5:16).

Human thought has come far in its journey from the darkness of material belief to the promised land of spiritual understanding, the kingdom of heaven within. Since the date of the publication of the first edition of Science and Health, in 1875, humanity has experienced greater liberation of thought and greater freedom from material limitations than the human mentality could have possibly envisioned. The activity of the Christ, Truth, as revealed in Christian Science is bringing to humanity liberation from its fears, superstitions, greed, lust, dishonesty, and the myriad claims of the carnal mind.

 

Some Basic Teachings of Christian Science

Christian Science reveals God as divine Principle, the source of all law and government. Truly God is the only cause and creator, and His laws must therefore be spiritual laws governing spiritual man and the spiritual universe in perfect harmony, and maintaining the perpetual peace and eternal harmony of man's being.

Love for God and man in His image and likeness is the very basis of Christian Science healing. Obedience to this law of God is basic in demonstrating the teachings of Christian Science. In answer to the question, "How would you define Christian Science?" Mrs. Eddy writes, "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony" (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1). To demonstrate the teachings of Christian Science, one must live in willing obedience to this heavenly law and its divine Principle of being. Such obedience frees human consciousness of the results of human will and the belief that man is a personal mind in a matter body, having a will of its own that can act contrary to the will of God.

 

Humility

The recognition that divine Principle forever governs its own reflection, man and the universe, is the basis of true humility. The spirit of humility says to God, "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). Such humility, willingness to listen for and to obey the behests of God, freedom from self-will and all taint of self-righteousness, because it knows there is no selfhood apart from God, is essential in Christian Science demonstration. Jesus referred to this spiritual quality of thought in the Lord's Prayer, when he said, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Humility is the steppingstone to the unfoldment of good in human affairs. Where God's will controls, where Principle alone governs, only harmonious being can be expressed,

 

Gratitude

Gratitude is a mainspring in our demonstration of Immanuel, or God with us. It is not unusual at the beginning of one's study and unfoldment in Christian Science to be grateful first for the healings, for the health of mind and body and the material comforts, which even a little understanding of God's law brings us. But as our spiritual understanding unfolds, there comes the clear realization that divine Love has indeed met our every human need.

We cease to pray or to petition for things. We pray for growth in understanding that we may follow in the Master's footsteps and evidence more of man's eternal likeness to God. Human action ceases to be mere human doing, but becomes the reflection or expression of divine being. Then gratitude unfolds and we become grateful to God for being All, for being Life, Truth, and Love, the changeless and eternal Principle of being. Consciousness of our oneness with God brings an abiding consciousness of well-being, of health and harmony, of our at-one-ment with the Father. Here gratitude becomes a superb appreciation of true being, God and man forever one and inseparable as divine Principle and its reflection.

 

Christian Science Reveals God's Motherhood

As Jesus revealed and proved the universal fatherhood of God, so Christian Science reveals the universal motherhood of God. The divine Principle of being is revealed as both Father-Mother, the one divine cause and creator of all that really exists. Man forever one with God is found to be the perfect offspring of a perfect creator, to be the child of God.

In the spiritual understanding of the divine nature of man and his essential unity with his Father-Mother God, the individual man or woman finds his freedom from the claims of evil which attach themselves to the human sense of personality. Sin and disease, in whatever guise they present themselves to human sense, are found to be no part of man in God's image. With this spiritual viewpoint, we cease to identify these claims of the carnal mind with man. Denied any place in thought, they cease to have manifestation as human experience.

Spiritual sense dispels the illusion of the so-called material senses. The change in viewpoint from material sense to spiritual sense results in what we humanly call healing. It is materiality yielding to spirituality in human thought and experience. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy tells us, "The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind" (p. 162). It is the divine Mind that changes human thinking from the basis of material belief to the basis of spiritual understanding. Thus truth brings harmony into human view, whether we apply it individually or collectively to human problems.

As we begin to see man as the spiritual idea, the reflection of God, we see him individually and collectively to be the son of God. Mrs. Eddy expresses it thus in her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 164): "As the Wisemen grew in the understanding of Christ, the spiritual idea, it grew in favor with them. Thus it will continue, as it shall become understood, until man be found in the actual likeness of his Maker. Their highest human concept of the man Jesus, that portrayed him as the only Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and Truth, will become so magnified to human sense, by means of the lens of Science, as to reveal man collectively, as individually, to be the son of God."

To see this more clearly, let us compare man, as divine reflection, to light as the reflection of the sun. When we look out we see light as reflection, composed of countless individual rays, each a perfect reflection of light. All of the rays taken together constitute the full reflection of light. However, in seeing light we are not conscious of the individual rays, and so we do not say that we see lights, but rather that we see light. When we see man as divine reflection, we see him as the reflection or expression of God, whether we see him individually or collectively.

As light coexists with and is inseparable from the source of its being and must be exactly like its origin in quality and character, so man, individually and collectively, is forever coexistent with and inseparable from God, the source of all being. Man has coexisted with God forever. That coexistence constitutes man's true identity; it identifies him with God.

The essential unity of all good, when fully understood and demonstrated in the affairs of mankind, would necessarily insure freedom from every enslaving claim of evil. It would insure the perfect peace and harmony which mankind so longingly seeks. Man forever one with God, and governed by this divine Principle of his being, is forever one with all of God's ideas. All of God's ideas being one in origin are forever one with each other. But far from being absorbed in a collective whole, the individuality of each and every son and daughter of God is preserved intact.

On the basis of his clear perception of man as the son of God, the reflection of divine Principle, Jesus met and mastered all of the claims of the carnal mind. Since man in his true selfhood is wholly spiritual and can manifest only the qualities and attributes of God, so must he be collectively. To discern man individually and collectively to be God's image or reflection is the basis upon which mankind must demonstrate the universal brotherhood of man. The whole family of man must be seen to be the manifestation of the one perfect Father-Mother, God. God and man must be understood as the "one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love" (Science and Health, p. 577).

 

The Solution of Mankind's Problems

As in the time of Moses and of the Master, the problems of freedom, security, peace, health, and well-being, although in somewhat varied form, are still the individual and collective problems demanding solution. A bewildered humanity is looking to human leadership and to human systems and governments to bring about the solution to these problems. The answers can never be found through mere human effort or through material regulations.

Only through the Christ, the true idea of God and His reflection, man, can humanity gain its freedom from the fear, the greed, the lack, the hatred, the revenge, and the lusts of the carnal mind, which still hold mankind in bondage. The law of Love, the divine Principle, is the only liberator that can bring salvation individually and collectively to humankind. Freedom from the claim of evil is the freedom for which mankind longs. It is the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

 

Security

True security is to be found only in the knowledge of man's oneness with the divine Principle of his being. Man forever one with God is always safe in Love's protective care. In this essential unity with God lies the security for which men and nations are seeking today. Security is but the evidence of man's oneness with his heavenly Father-Mother. Security therefore can never result from human planning, material armaments, or material accumulations, but in the unfoldment to human consciousness of the true idea of God and of man in His image and likeness.

The peace of God and God's bountiful provision for His children are already established. They need only to be revealed to human consciousness through the saving activity of the Christ, bringing to human comprehension the spiritual discernment of divine being. To dwell in the conscious understanding of this truth is to demonstrate a true sense of security, individually and collectively. Consciously dwelling within the kingdom of God, men are safe from every claim of evil.

 

Peace

The true concept of God, demonstrated, will bring that peace of God for which men long. "The peace of God which passeth all understanding" comes only with spiritual understanding. Representatives of the nations in conference assembled vainly endeavor to get minds many to unite, in order to formulate a just and lasting peace. Christian Science reveals God to be the one infinite Mind. The understanding that God is the only Mind and the acceptance of that Mind for guidance will reveal the fallacy of the claim of minds many in conflict.

We do not need to strive humanly to make conflicting human viewpoints coincide; we only need to have one God, one Mind, in order to have one viewpoint. Only the perfection and harmony of being can be seen and acknowledged from the viewpoint of the divine Mind. The realization that there is but one Mind begins to unfold God's plan of salvation for His people. In the words of Science and Health, "With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science" (pp. 469, 470).

 

Man as Divine Reflection

The whole family of man, the full reflection of God, can no more be divided into groups, nations, races, sects, colors, and the other divisions of the carnal mind, than can individual man be divided into organic parts. Man as God's image or likeness is the reflection of the one divine consciousness. He is never physical, but is the reflection of the qualities and attributes of God. In character, he is wholly Godlike. This truth understood frees men from the fears and false claims which attach themselves to the belief that man is material personality. Reflecting the one Mind, God's ideas dwell together in perfect unity, in perfect harmony. They are not and cannot be divided, for there is no being apart from God.

The true idea of God, when understood, destroys the claims of error, even as Jesus insisted that "the truth shall make you free." Error cannot survive the searchlight of Truth. Obedience to the Master's command to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourself will bring into manifestation health, peace, and security.

 

The Divine Plan

Today we hear much of human planning. Cities and states are developing their master plans for intelligent growth and expansion to their respective areas. Statesmen are devoting thought to social and economic planning for human welfare. Christian Science is revealing to the receptive thought the plan of divine Principle for man and the universe. In the Father's plan there are health and harmony, there are peace and true security, there are success and prosperity for every right endeavor; there are love and inspiration to govern, guide, and illumine each unfolding footstep. In the spiritual illumination of the ever-present Christ, human consciousness loses its fears, its doubts, its personal sense of evil. God's creation, perfect and complete, is revealed in all its grandeur, its beauty, and its perfection. Man is found to be the beloved offspring of a loving Father-Mother; and his only heritage is good.

 

Christian Science Demonstration

Christian Science brings to human sense the light of Truth and Love, whose full effulgence reveals the glories of the divine creation ever at hand, ever available. The resources of Soul are ever present to bless and to heal mankind. Our part is to avail ourselves of those resources of Soul, the qualities of good, whose reflection constitutes our real nature and to translate them into daily life practice. We must live love and so practically obey the Master's injunction to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourself. We must live peace, we must live joy, we must live the divine qualities, the expression of which constitutes our true selfhood. Then we practice the Christ, Truth, and demonstrate this Science of the Christ. Each day makes its demands upon us for progressive demonstration of the Science of being. Not profession, but Christian demonstration, is mankind's great need.

As the spiritual understanding of this Christianly scientific sense of being unfolds in human consciousness, mankind will progressively demonstrate its freedom from all that is unlike God in nature and character. The law of God, discerned by Moses, demonstrated by Christ Jesus, and fully revealed by Christian Science, is destined to become the only law to men. God's government established in the beginning will be revealed to be the one universal government. Governing Himself, God truly governs His own reflection, man and the universe, in perfect harmony.

The Commandments of Moses, the commandments of Jesus, the revelation of God's law in Christian Science, are the only practical basis for unity and peace among men and nations. As they are obeyed God's kingdom will be established on earth and man be seen in all the grandeur of his true selfhood to be indeed the son of God. In the words of our textbook, "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, - whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed" (Science and Health, p. 340).

 

 [Delivered "Tuesday evening" in the Murat Theater, under the auspices of Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, and published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, May ?, 1948.]

 

 

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