Christian Science: The Science of Health and Salvation

 

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

 

Clayton Bion Craig, C.S.B., of Cincinnati, lectured on "Christian Science; The Science of Health and Salvation," Tuesday evening in the Murat Theatre, under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist. Mr. Craig is a member of the Board of Lectureship in Boston, Mass. The lecturer was introduced by William L. Phillips. His lecture follows substantially as it was given:

 

For centuries mankind has been seeking the remedy for human difficulties. Its thinkers, its philosophers, its theologians, and its natural scientists have been searching in the realm of materiality for the corrective to every human problem. Despite the earnest efforts of men, the "El Dorado," the sovereign panacea for which they have been searching to bring health and salvation to humankind, has not been found, nor can it be found in the realm of materiality.

 

Spiritual Healing Recorded in the Bible

By way of contrast to this diligent search for health and salvation, let us read from the Bible the following statement according to the Gospel of Matthew: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them" (Matthew 4:23,24). "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" (Matthew 10:1).

Thus the Gospel record clearly indicates that he who dated a new era not only healed all manner of human ills, but successfully taught others how to do likewise. The Master's remedy was not the result of scholarly research or laboratory experimentation. Rather was it the outcome of prayerful communion with and the spiritual reflection of the divine Principle of all true being which he called, "Our Father which art in heaven" (Matthew 6:9).

Note that in this first line of the Lord's Prayer, the Master did not say "My Father" but "Our Father," a clear indication that the divine relationship existing between God and man was not only true for himself, but for all mankind. The fact that at one time the seventy whom he sent forth (Luke 10), as well as the twelve, were able in some measure to repeat Jesus' healing works is proof that a divine Principle underlies his words and works. Having a divine Principle, Christian healing was not peculiar to the Master; it could be taught and demonstrated by all who could recognize its basic Principle and the method of its application to human needs.

The Old Testament record contains many accounts of healings accomplished by Moses, Elisha, and Elijah, as well as records of the truth glimpsed by these spiritual seers and the prophets. Their clear glimpse of truth enabled them to foresee and to prophesy the coming of that individual human expression of the divine who would be known as the Messiah, or messenger of truth. This promised Messiah would make plain to human thought the full revelation and expression of the Christ, or the true idea of God and man. The fullness of this Christ, Truth, found its expression in the life and works of the Master.

The Gospels are filled with accounts of the healing of sin, disease, and death, of human want and woe, accomplished by Jesus during his brief yet complete ministry of healing and teaching. But the Bible record does not stop with the Master's words and works, for in the Gospels and in the book of "The Acts of the Apostles," are accounts of the healing accomplished by the apostles, and their disciples, as well as the healings of sin, disease, and death, accomplished by Paul, who was not with Jesus during the three years of his public ministry.

The light of truth, or the spiritual understanding of the Christ-idea, came to the eleven on the day of Pentecost. It came to Paul when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. The Christ, the true idea of God and man, must have been sufficiently discerned by those early disciples to enable them to preach with understanding its revealed truth and in some measure to show forth with healing signs the redeeming power of Christ.

 

Healing an Essential Part Early Christian Practice

Nor was this spiritual understanding of the Master's teaching with signs following confined to the Bible narratives, for the writings of the early Christian historians record that the spiritual, or Christian healing of sin, disease, and death was an accepted part of the daily experience of the following of the Master for at least the first three centuries of the Christian era.

It is heartening to find a Christian writer in the mid-second century rejecting the use of material remedies and appealing for complete reliance upon the power of God in times of physical distress. Tatian, the Assyrian, was one of the courageous band of early Christians who went out to preach the new doctrine in the face of scorn, indifference, and active persecution. In his work entitled "Address to the Greeks," Tatian exposes various pagan practices and then writes: "But medicine and everything included in it is an invention of the same kind. If any one is healed by matter, through trusting to it, much more will he be healed by having recourse to the power of God. . . . For what reason do you not approach the more powerful Lord, but rather seek to cure yourself, like the dog with grass, or the stag with a viper, or the hog with river-crabs, or the lion with apes? . . . Yield to the power of the Logos!" (Ante-Nicene Series, Vol. II, p. 73, Edition of 1908).

 

Disappearance of Healing From the Church After 300 A.D.

During the latter part of the third century A.D., theological disputations over the Master's teaching began to occur within the ranks of the early Christians. Theological discussions and arguments over dogma began to displace the spiritual understanding of the Christ, Truth, with its signs following which characterize Jesus' teaching and practice and that of his true followers. "When in 313 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine freed the Christian church from the persecutions under which it had steadily grown, the popularity of the new religion increased. Many, who lacked the spiritual understanding of the true idea upon which Christianity was based, joined the Christian ranks. Human opinions and disputations began to divide the ranks of the church membership.

These divisions increased so that in 325 A.D. Constantine called the church leaders together at Nicaea with instructions to reach an agreement upon the teachings of the church. At this Council was formulated the Nicene Creed, which gradually replaced the Sermon on the Mount and the Master's vital teachings, as the basic teaching of the church. With its acceptance by the members of the church, the healing signs which had followed the spiritual understanding of Jesus' teaching and practice largely disappeared from the church for over fifteen hundred years.

The record of the Master's teaching and healing, however was preserved in the New Testament records, and during these centuries the Bible was translated by Christian churchmen into more and more languages. With the invention of printing, it became available for all who wished to read it, instead of to just the favored few who had access to the manuscript copies belonging to the church. With the growth of public school education, which was an American innovation, the Bible became available to everyone.

Because of the claim of scholasticism that the works of Jesus and his disciples belonged to a special divine dispensation confined to the Master and his chosen few, its preaching without the healing signs following, completely obscured the vitality of the Bible teachings. Even in this land founded in great part by those who braved the rigors of its New England climate in their search for religious freedom, the Bible, although found in nearly every American home, gradually became a closed book. Its spiritual meaning was lost, because of the accepted belief that the healing works were personal to Jesus instead of being based on divine Principle.

 

The Discovery of Christian Science

It was divinely natural that during the intellectual and spiritual renaissance which appeared in New England in the latter half of the nineteenth century, that a fresh revelation of the teaching and practice of Jesus should be received. The thought of the time was intellectually and spiritually prepared for it. This revelation of the Christ, Truth, based upon divine Principle, came to a cultured New England gentlewoman following her healing through prayer. She had fallen on the ice and sustained an injury which her physician had declared fatal, but through the prayerful reading of how Jesus healed the palsied man, as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew, she grasped its spiritual import and was instantly healed.

This woman, Mary Baker Eddy, had from childhood been a devoted Bible student; also she had a keen intellectual interest in moral philosophy and in Hebrew and Latin, which she studied under the tutelage of her brilliant older brother, Albert Baker. The Baker home at Bow, New Hampshire was frequently visited by men, prominent in the affairs of that locality and of the state. The parents had a vital interest in all of the affairs of the day which was shared by the children. Mary Baker, the youngest of the six children, stimulated by the intellectual atmosphere of the home, eagerly sought as a young woman to further her education by every means possible. She had as fine an education as it was possible for a woman to attain in her time. Her interest in cultural and intellectual progress and in world events continued throughout her lifetime.

The spiritual healing which she experienced at Lynn in 1866, after many years of semi-invalidism during which she had investigated and resorted to nearly every system of physical healing known and practiced in her day, led her to devote all of her time and energies to prayerful study of the Bible to discover the scientific basis of the Master's healing works. Her own healing, which had followed her spiritual realization of God's allness and ever-presence, revealed to her the present possibility of spiritual or Christian healing through prayer alone without any material assistance.

As she searched the Scriptures she began to see clearly what she had long suspected, namely, that the healing works of Jesus were not miraculous but were the natural result of the operating of spiritual truth leavening human consciousness. She also perceived that these healing works did not belong to a special dispensation, that they were not a peculiar gift to the Master and a few chosen disciples, but that they were based upon a divine Principle which was ever present and therefore ever demonstrable when its Science was understood.

 

Christian Healing Restored

Gradually, as she pondered the Bible record in the light of this awakening spiritual discernment, the true idea of God and of man dawned upon her eager thought. She began to see the practical import of this Christ-idea, or revelation of Truth to human consciousness, and the method of its application through prayer alone to the overcoming of all phases of human discord. She began to test the truth she understood and to apply it in the healing of others wherever she found thought receptive. She found that as she had been healed and brought back from the very gateway of death, so the spiritual realization of God's allness and ever-presence enabled her to heal and to help others. She submitted this truth to the severest tests and proved its healing and redeeming efficacy in countless cases.

Like the Master, she found the healing power of divine Love, with its practical demonstration of love for God and man, to be sufficient to heal both functional and organic disease, including the healing of tuberculosis and cancer in their severest forms. She found it sufficient to transform the mentality of the sinner, dispelling the illusion of pleasure in material sensuousness and bringing to light the true idea of man, the expression of God, or good. She found it sufficient to lift the dying above the fear of or the desire for death, and so to restore them to their rightful expression of life as fruitful and constructive right activity.

 

The Christian Science Textbook

As this Science of true Christianity, this knowledge of God and of man, became clearer and clearer to her, Mrs. Eddy saw that this was indeed the Science which revealed the true meaning of the Master's teaching and life practice, and so she named it Christian Science. After she had established by demonstration the truth of her revelation, she incorporated its teaching and the rules for its practice in book form and in 1875 published the first edition of the Christian Science textbook, which she called "Science and Health." During the next thirty years of her life, besides establishing the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and its many world-embracing activities, carrying forward her ministry of healing and teaching, she was constantly revising "Science and Health," clarifying its teaching as fresh unfoldment enlarged her vision of the revelation. Later she renamed it "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," for truly it elucidates and makes plain to human understanding the true spiritual import of the Bible record.

The Bible and Science and Health are the textbooks of the Christian Scientist. From a prayerful study of these two precious and truly inspired books one can gain the understanding of the Christ, Truth, which today, as of old, is healing and saving humanity from the mesmerism of material sense together with its sin, disease, and death.

These textbooks may be read or obtained at any of the Christian Science Reading Rooms which are maintained by The Mother Church and each of its branches. A convenient form for the daily study of these books and of Christian Science is provided in the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, the subjects of which were provided by the Founder of Christian Science. The consistent and careful daily study of the Bible Lesson for the week will do more for the student's growth and his ability to demonstrate the truth revealed in Christian Science than any other one thing. It is his guide to health and holiness. It truly gives him his daily bread, the spiritual food so necessary to sustain and to carry forward his individual demonstration of health and salvation in Christian Science.

 

Unity of God and Man the Basis of Christian Science

What is the basis of this Science, or knowledge of truth, which underlay the Master's teaching and practice? Christian Science reveals the fact that the underlying basis of the spiritual healings accomplished by the Master was his clear understanding and realization of the true idea of God, of man's true selfhood as God's expression, and of the essential unity, or at-one-ment of God and His reflection, man.

That which Jesus proved in every instance was that God and man are forever one and inseparable as divine cause and its effect, as Spirit or divine Mind, and its forever manifestation. In Science and Health, page 361, we read, "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."

It is evident from the Scriptural record that Jesus clearly recognized that man is not God, but the son of God, or God's image or expression. When the rich young ruler addressed him as "Good Master," Jesus corrected his thought in these words, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 10:18). In these words it is evident that Jesus clearly saw that God is not man, and that man is not God, but that God is the parent, or divine cause, of which man is the offspring, or divine effect. Jesus never claimed to be God, and in this case as always he turned thought away from his human personality to the contemplation of God, the source of all.

 

Jesus and the Christ

Christ Jesus always referred to his true selfhood, the individual reflection of God, as the Son of God. At other times he referred to his human selfhood as the Son of man. This distinction between his true spiritual nature or the Christ, and his humanhood as Mary's son, through which the Christ-idea was revealed and demonstrated so that men could understand and perceive it, is made clear in Christian Science. Christ is the spiritual idea of divine sonship which Jesus understood and exemplified. Jesus was the human person, or son of Mary, whose clear perception of the fatherhood of God enabled her to bring forth her son without a human father. Thus Jesus became the visible Messiah or divine messenger revealing the Christ, the true idea of God and man, to human consciousness through precept and demonstration.

Through the Christ, Jesus showed others how to demonstrate man's inseparable relationship to God, though he could not work out their salvation for them. He showed them the way, but each must needs work out his own salvation through the understanding of this truly divine Science of being.

In his resurrection Christ Jesus proved the indestructibility of the divine relationship of God and man, the forever continuity of Life and its expression. In his ascension he completed his mission as the Way-shower, when his spiritualized consciousness lifted him above material belief and the materially-minded saw him no more.

 

Nature of God

What is the nature of God? In the Glossary of Science and Health, page 687, we are given this comprehensive definition of God, the inspiration for which is clearly to be found in the Bible: "God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence." As we begin to accept this true concept of God, and honestly strive to obey the First Commandment in the light of this definition and to apply it in our every thought and deed, we can put into practice the teaching of Christian Science and prove its divine Principle to be God.

We cannot cling steadfastly to the fact of God's allness and, at the same time, hold to the outgrown belief in the reality of evil. Because God is All-in-all, Christian Science exposes the falsity of the claims of evil. It reveals as true only God and His ideas. Where Love is all, there is no hate nor fear; where divine Mind is all, there is no ignorance of human belief; where Spirit is all, there is no material sense of being; where Truth is all, there is no error, no evil; where Soul is all, there is no personal sense of self; where Life is all, there is no death; where Principle is all, and governing all, there is no material law which can operate through chance or accident. In the light of this truth, or Science of being, fear, ignorance, and sin, which Science and Health tells us are the "procuring cause and foundation of all sickness" (p. 411), lose their foothold in human thought, and give place to Christian healing.

 

God Understood Dispels Fear of Evil

Christian Science gives us that understanding of the allness and ever-presence of God as divine Love which lifts human consciousness above all sense of fear and anxiety; it gives us that understanding of the allness and ever-presence of God as divine Mind whose infinite intelligence dispels the claims of ignorance parading in the vestments of human knowledge which are gained from the testimony of an illusory material sense; it gives us that understanding of the allness and ever-presence of God as Soul, which reveals man's individual completeness as Soul's immaculate expression, wholly satisfied with all good. The pains of material sense begin to disappear as human consciousness yields to the Christ-idea and relinquishes its false sense of pleasure or satisfaction in matter, and finds the joy and fulfillment of every right desire in the understanding of God which Soul imparts.

The understanding of the infinity of ever-present Love, which is God, lifts human thought above the fear of evil, or the belief that evil is as real as God, and often more powerful. Christian Science reveals the allness of God, or good, and the consequent unreality or nothingness of evil. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 571), "Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you." The Christian Scientist learns that his protection from every phase of evil's false claim consists in so clearly realizing the allness of God, the ever-presence of good, that he sees clearly the absolute nothingness of evil and all its spurious claims to reality.

Since God is All-in-all, evil is neither person, place, nor thing. It is nothing, nothing. The Christian Scientist does not ignore evil, he handles it, just as Moses did when, at God's command, he grappled with the serpent until it became a staff upon which to lean. Human consciousness thus filled with the consciousness of good is freed from fear and anxiety. If the fear of impending evil has resulted in disease, business stagnation, loneliness, or some other human form, these effects of fear disappear from human experience as thought is freed from its fearful sense by the ever-presence of divine Love.

 

Correlation Between Mental State and Bodily Conditions

The correlation between certain idiosyncrasies of human thought and its emotional states, and most bodily diseases is being widely recognized today by the rapidly developing school of psychosomatic medicine. The term psychosomatic is derived from two Greek words meaning mind and body. Observation of thousands of cases of bodily suffering over the past few years has led the followers of this new school of medical thought to conclude that most cases of disease and physical suffering experienced by mankind today have the origin in such human emotions as fear, anxiety, tension, anger, hate, lust, greed, dishonesty, self-will, and kindred states of thought. Some of these investigators have gone so far as to conclude that certain dispositional traits invite accident and broken bones.

The remedy of this new school of medicine for such mental states lies in a combination of psychoanalysis to probe the error, coupled with mental suggestion and hypnosis. It substitutes the domination of one human will over another human will for the material remedies and surgery of the older school of medicine.

The fields of psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine are beginning to recognize that which was clearly recognized by Jesus, for he frequently concluded his healing of a patient by adding the admonition to "Go, and sin no more." Paul recognized this fact when he called this negative sense of mind the carnal mind, which he said must be replaced by spiritual-mindedness, if death is to be overcome. Christian Science clearly recognizes that all human suffering, all discordant human conditions, have their basis in this so-called carnal or mortal mind.

The difference between psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, on the one hand, and the system of Christian or spiritual healing practiced by Jesus, on the other hand, lies in the fact that these human systems employ suggestion or human will, which is the carnal or mortal mind. They analyze the errors of the human mentality to discover what is wrong with it and then seek with this same sense of mind to correct its errors; in other words, to correct with human will power or suggestion the errors which this same human will has produced.

 

Christian Healing the Result of Spiritual Regeneration

Christian or spiritual healing involves that spiritual transformation of human consciousness which lifts human thought above the claims of mortal mind into the consciousness of the one divine Mind which is God. It exchanges the belief of mind in matter with its false sense of human will for the Mind of Christ, and the will of God. It exchanges material basis of human thought and action for the divine, the spiritual basis. Thus it puts off the false sense of God and man for the true idea of God and man in His image and likeness, as divine Mind and its harmonious manifestation.

Christian or spiritual healing is always accompanied by the spiritual transformation of individual character, for it makes one Godlike. It is not concerned with curing sick matter, but in the healing of fear and sin. When the false sense of self which lies at the very basis of fear, of evil, and of all sinful sense is exchanged for the true idea of self, Mind's perfect reflection, the harmonious sense of being is manifest as health and present harmony, and death itself, the wages of sin, is overcome. Christian Science reveals the only true health to be holiness. It reveals the beauty of holiness, the present harmony, wholeness, and perfection of God and man, forever one and inseparable as divine Mind and its idea.

 

Ulcers Healed

The method of Christian Science healing of sin and disease was clearly illustrated in the case of a young woman who sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner for what had been diagnosed by a physician as stomach ulcers. Various medical treatments had been tried, including diet and medication, and these having no helpful effect, she had been advised that surgery was her only recourse.

At this point she sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner. She explained that at one time she had been interested in Christian Science, but had given up its study after her marriage because of her husband's antagonism towards it. In the course of their conversation the practitioner asked the question, "What is disturbing you?"

Somewhat startled, the women said, "I really don't believe that this has anything to do with the painful discomfort of my stomach, but I can't stand my mother-in-law, who came to live in my home a short time before this condition first appeared. I resent her presence in my home and all that she does."

After ascertaining that she was ready to rely completely upon God for her healing, the practitioner asked her to procure a copy of the Christian Science Quarterly and begin each day with the study of the weekly Bible Lesson; and also to study and apply Paul's beautiful definition of love given in the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians to her thought regarding her mother-in-law. The practitioner then took up the case in accordance with the teaching of Christian Science. Within a week the report came of freedom from pain and in ten days when she returned to see the practitioner, the woman told of her complete healing.

No mention was made of the offending relative and so the practitioner discreetly inquired as to how she was getting along with her mother-in-law. "Oh," she replied, "my feeling towards her has completely changed. I am seeing so much of good there that I am beginning truly to love her and to enjoy having her in our home."

The recognition of the allness of divine Love and its ever-present reflection not only brought about a right adjustment in human relationship, but it also restored to the human sense of body its normal state of harmony. This clearly indicates that health is not a condition of matter, but a quality of thought, a state of consciousness.

 

Sin Overcome Through Spiritual Understanding

Dominion over greed, lust, false appetites, and the myriad claims of sin, or sensuality, is never gained by looking to matter or mortal mind for joy and happiness. It is gained by turning completely away from false material sense, and seeking true joy and happiness in Spirit, and by understanding man's true nature as God's expression - complete, happy, harmonious, and free. It is to be found in unselfed love, never in self-seeking and selfish indulgences.

It is to be found in the expression of that love which gives all and asks nothing in return. We must turn completely away from the false human sense of love, which is always more concerned with being loved than with being the reflection of the Love which is God. We must be more concerned with the true idea of giving than we are with material getting.

The true idea of giving is found in the spiritual understanding of man's completeness, endowed by divine Love with every Godlike grace and attribute. God has given man His own nature. We cannot add to this gift of God. We can only spiritually discern and understand it. Such spiritual perception is our only real gift to others. Peter had a clear sense of this true idea of giving when he said to the lame man at the gate of the temple, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6). And the man arose, walking and leaping and praising God. Peter gave of his understanding of man as God's complete and perfect expression. It was not one human possessing good giving to another human whom he believed to lack, but it was the discernment of Love's impartiality bestowing upon all alike the wholeness and completeness of divine being.

In the spiritual understanding of this divine completeness of God and man is found the remedy for sin. The material senses and their selfish indulgences can never satisfy the needs of man, nor confer true joy or happiness. These are spiritual qualities of God which man reflects as God's complete expression. Be sure you include them in your concept of man - in your concept of your true selfhood and that of all others. See man always as the blessed child of God, never as a miserable sinner.

Christian Science is the only religion which acknowledges as reality only God and His idea, or reflection, and which consequently repudiates as unreal evil and all its false claims. Christian Science reveals evil to be the product of the human ignorance of God, which the right understanding of Him dispels even as the understanding of mathematical truth dispels mathematical error, and light dispels darkness. Mrs. Eddy tells us that Christian Science heals sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process, which means the understanding of the allness of God and His manifestation and the consequent nothingness of evil and its seeming expression. We are learning to handle the claims of disease and suffering scientifically; we must learn to handle the claim of sin just as scientifically. False theology sees man as a sinner and condemns him to punishment; Christian Science separates sin from man and destroys its false claims through prayerful application of the truth about God and man.

True, the claim of sin must be detected and seen for what it claims to be, it must be acknowledged to be sin, and the human sense, seeking salvation or freedom from the false sense of pleasure in matter, must be willing to relinquish it. Human will must be willing to yield to God's will, which always blesses man. But the claim is never met through condemning the person as a sinner; rather is it met through seeing man as the blessed child of God and relegating the sinful sense to its realm of nothingness. Not condemnation, but salvation, is the need of the sinner. Christian Science instructs us clearly how to rise above all material sensuousness and sin, and with the pure consciousness of spiritual truth to experience all that is good. Its unfoldment of good has but one requirement: willingness to relinquish all evil, all error. Sound morals are essential to Christian healing. It requires that one be the expression of good and avoid all appearance of evil.

 

Salvation the Result of Individual Reformation

True salvation from or dominion over sin, as over disease, must be achieved through individual effort to reform one's thinking by exchanging the errors of sense for the ideas of Soul. Each must work out his own salvation through growth in spiritual understanding. Although we can help each other along the way, and this is the province of the Christian Science practitioner, in the last analysis each must prove his God-given dominion for himself. If one is making an honest effort to bring his every thought into conformity with the Christ-idea and sincerely desires the healing he seeks, God will answer such prayer and healthful reformation will  be achieved. God's man will appear and the sinful mortal sense will begin to disappear. This spiritual rebirth as Mrs. Eddy tells us in the article entitled "The New Birth," beginning on page 15 of "Miscellaneous Writings," is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love."

Each must follow the footsteps of Jesus in the process of resurrection and spiritual ascension above the claims of materiality. Thus do we put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new. The old man must be put off, the false material sense must be exchanged for the true idea of man's being.

 

Putting Off the Old Man

Ever since human thought accepted the Adam-dream of life, truth, intelligence, and substance in matter, as the truth about man, the human has been vainly striving to improve his status. Our various medical systems have been vainly striving to improve its health, to perfect it bodily. Our scholastic systems have been striving to elevate it through education and to give it culture, to perfect it mentally. Our ecclesiastical systems have been striving to save it from sin and sensuality, to perfect it morally. With all of this human effort to perfect the mortal sense of man little progress, if any has been made, for one cannot graft perfection on that whose very nature is imperfection. The nature of this Adam sense of man is a mixture of good and evil; and so it must ever continue to be.

How then is human consciousness to rid itself of this claim of man as mortal, as sinning, sick, and dying? Paul showed us clearly what we must do when he wrote to the Ephesians: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).

We must cease our endeavor to improve, to make over, to renovate the mortal sense of man, the old man with his deeds; and through the revelation of the Christ-idea accept as real only the spiritual sense of man, of whom we read in 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him" (Gen. 1:26,27).

Christian Science reveals this true man as God's image and likeness, which we must accept as the only reality concerning man, if we would follow in the Master's footsteps and prove that, as John tells us, "now are we the sons of God" (I John 8:2).

Because this true idea of man coexists with God, is forever one with God in the Science of being, he exists now at the standpoint of perfection or renovation, for he is already perfect with the Lord, his God, his only Father and Mother.

 

Now Is the Day of Salvation

It is God's nature to be good; it is man's nature to be Godlike, to be the manifestation of good. Are you proving, demonstrating this truth of being? Spiritually to discern and to acknowledge this truth of all being, therefore the truth of your being, is to experience it now. You do not need to wait for death before you begin to demonstrate it. Not death, but the understanding of Life, divine being, is the gateway to heaven. Christian Science is the key that opens the gates here and now. Are you utilizing this key and proving more of your heavenly harmony day by day? You should be, for, as Paul tells us, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). Now is the time to accept the complete and perfect sense of man as God's, Spirit's, reflection. Now is the time, the only time, for each of us to acknowledge our true being, forever one with God.

Now is the time to demonstrate through spiritual understanding this Science of health and salvation, this truth about God and man revealed by Christian Science. The truth, the Science of being, is fully revealed; ours is the joy of demonstration. In the words of Science and Health, page 98, "Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening grasp of creeds, the demonstration of Christian Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science. It is imperious throughout all ages as Christ's revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, which remains inviolate for every man to understand and to practice."

 

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, October 11, 1946.]

 

 

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