Christian Science: God's Law Revealed in Spiritual Healing

 

Richard J. Davis, C.S. of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

It is probable that if human life had unfolded for us a complete measure of happiness, peace, success, prosperity, and health, if we had known the gratification of every desire and ambition, and if human existence had proved altogether satisfactory, we might not have felt the incentive which has brought us together tonight. But such indeed is not the case. The prophet Jeremiah well described the situation of most people when he said, "We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!" And then he voiced what is also the cry of humanity today, confronted as it is with every conceivable difficulty and problem requiring healing: "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"

To those of earth, bound with sickness, oppressed with sin, fearful with poverty, or weighed down by unhappiness, Christian Science brings the joyous message that there is balm in Gilead – that there is a healing answer for humanity's ills. If this balm were nothing more than an optimistic statement of good cheer, it certainly would not heal the hurt of mankind nor prove a real physician, and there would be little reason for a hope within us. For seventy years or more, however, the divine Principle of spiritual healing, discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, has been successfully applied to alleviate and destroy every conceivable ill that "flesh is heir to." It is proving its usefulness and availability for an ever-increasing body of people. It is its healing work which sets Christian Science apart from other churches or denominations, and it is the healing fruitage of Christian Science which makes it worthy of your thoughtful attention tonight.

As one comes to understand more about this healing, however, it is realized that the healing activity of this Science of the Christ is far broader in its application than has usually been supposed, for it touches not only sick bodies, but sick hearts as well. Character, family relationships, business, education, and government come within the range of its healing and redemptive function, since, as Mrs. Eddy expressed it in her book, "Rudimental Divine Science" (p. 2): "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness." The fundamental purpose of healing, therefore, is not to make human beings more comfortable in materiality by disposing of their physical and financial ailments, but to bring about, as the spirit of the Christ must always do, the healing of sin and the entire regeneration of the human race.

From the very inception of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy perceived that true spiritual healing could be brought about more widely only as men and women became spiritually minded, as they approximated in a measure the mind or consciousness of Christ Jesus. She saw that it was what the Master Christian knew or understood of divine law that enabled him to do the works which he performed, and from the beginning of her great work for mankind, she constantly emphasized to her followers the necessity for growth in Christian character, as a living exemplification of the purity, honesty, compassion, and love which made the life of Jesus forever outstanding and his healing mission gloriously successful.

 

 

 

Mrs. Eddy's Character

Those who knew Mrs. Eddy best will tell you that she was always a consistent and humble follower of Christ, that she endeavored to conform her life and thinking to the pattern shown on the mount, and that the healings, many of them instantaneous, by which she personally demonstrated the Principle of Christian Science, were wrought as a result of her great spiritual vision and her inspired understanding of God and man. Mrs. Eddy was a humanitarian in the very highest sense of that word. She loved mankind – peoples of every race and creed – including even those who persecuted her. She had a sympathetic understanding of the frailty of human nature, realized and felt that it needed to be lovingly strengthened and compassionately sustained. She saw that the greatest sinner was the greatest victim, the one most imposed upon and handled by false concepts of what constitutes happiness. Therefore, the great purpose of her life, exemplified in her own living, was to uplift and heal humanity.

Today she occupies a unique position as the greatest religious teacher and reformer of this age. She is revered, honored, and loved by many thousands who have been healed and regenerated through her discovery. If one is honestly seeking healing in Christian Science, a natural prelude to that healing is a sympathetic understanding and loving appreciation of its Discoverer and Founder.

 

What Jesus Understood

It is clear, therefore, that Christian Science is eminently Christian, because it radiates and exemplifies the whole and undivided spirit of the Christ. What was this spirit of the Christ which Jesus manifested and which was expressed in his mighty works? First of all, it must have been a correct concept or understanding of God, of what God really is, and of what man is. Jesus understood that God was not a manlike Deity, a divine entity somewhere in space, but rather the self-existent, spiritual and perfect cause or creator of the universe, and the teaching of Christian Science conforms to this definition, declaring God to be the one infinite divine Mind, or intelligent Principle of all being. In the Christian Science textbook (p. 587) Mrs. Eddy has defined God to be: "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."

The God that Jesus knew and the God of Christian Science is absolutely perfect. The premise and basis of true spiritual healing is perfection. Christ Jesus understood that since God or Mind is the intelligent and perfect cause, man, His image or spiritual expression, must also be perfect and intelligent, since a divine spiritual cause must inevitably express itself in an equally spiritual and perfect effect. Man, therefore, is understood in Christian Science to be the full and complete likeness of infinite Mind, infinite Spirit, Life, and Love. Jesus clearly referred to this perfection of man when he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

That spiritual understanding of the perfection of all things which Jesus possessed, and which made him the Christ, was the Saviour of mankind then and is today. Mary of Magdala stooped down; that is, she looked for a personal Saviour, whom she feared and believed had been taken away. But today the saving, spiritual idea is here, the palpitating presence of divine Love. No longer need it be said, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." Nor is the Christ, Truth, buried in a sepulcher of materialism. The spiritual idea of God and His man is omnipresent, unconfined and unrestricted in its divine unfoldment and accomplishment.

When Jesus declared his forever unity with God in the words "I and my Father are one," he declared it not only for himself but for all men. He asserted a spiritual fact – that God and man, Mind and its idea, could never by any possibility be separated.

Christ Jesus achieved a complete understanding and demonstration of absolute love, divine Love. We, too, shall eventually attain this understanding, not through any hyper-metaphysical attitude which ignores human conditions as they seem to be and attempts to describe Love in terms of intellect, but rather through that genuine spiritual perception and those humane and compassionate impulses which warm the heart of mankind and give evidence of Love in something more than beautiful thoughts. In recognition of this necessity Mrs. Eddy has written in her textbook (p. 25), "The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus."

 

Sole Reliance on God

It is sometimes objected to Christian Science that its teachings are narrow, especially in relation to the method or rules by which healing is to be accomplished. This, in a certain sense, is perfectly true, because, being a Science, it is based upon demonstrable rule and understanding, which in order to be proved must be correctly applied. Jesus, who realized the tendency of mortals to look for easy, short-cut approaches, declared that the way which leadeth to eternal life is straight and narrow. Scientific thinking is always narrow in the sense that it must be exactly and definitely applied. The science of mathematics is extremely narrow, and no correct chemical result would ever be attained without proper adherence to the rules laid down in chemistry. I speak of this because it is only proper to point out both the right and wrong way to bring about healing. Christian Science healing rests, as did that of Jesus, on sole and undivided reliance upon spiritual power. It attributes all power to God, and no power whatever to evil or disease. It is well for anyone seeking help and healing in Christian Science to search earnestly his own heart and to ascertain just where his reliance and dependence are placed. For success in healing we cannot look both to Spirit and matter. James, recognizing this temptation, said, "He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed," and he added, "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." Christian Scientists would not for one moment question the right of anyone to seek healing by whatever method his conscience dictates, but it is obvious that if one desires healing from God, God should be accorded the faith and radical reliance which is His due. Jesus pointed out the fallacy of trying to serve two masters. There is no evidence that God made medicine any more than that He brought about disease, and materia medica, hygiene, and other human healing systems cannot properly be combined with Christian Science even if the attempt is made to do this.

 

Christian Science Treatment, or Prayer

Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead, not merely because he believed in God and had a deep faith that in some mysterious way Spirit would bring about miracles, but because he scientifically knew that the law of God is always operating and is instantaneously available. Christian Science treatment, or prayer, no matter how simply it may be expressed, is never mere belief in God. It is always knowing – knowing the Truth – which brings the desired result. Spiritual conviction and scientific knowing are the God-qualities which make every healing prayer, or treatment, effective. When we know the ever-presence, the omnipotence of divine Love, then in the words of the Bible we can truly say, "I know that my redeemer liveth."

In healing the sick or disposing of any other afflictive condition, the prayer, or treatment of Christian Science, is not an attempt to destroy or displace realities. For, logically, if disease and every other unpleasant and evil situation is real, a fixity, by what conceivable mental process could it be destroyed? Whatever is true remains true, has permanent entity. But Christian Science simply dissipates false beliefs – always beliefs. Through the perception of Truth we are saving ourselves and others from evil beliefs, delusions, about what is and really exists. We are not saved from the world, but from an evil belief about the world, and what is going on in what seems to be our world. Christian Science treatment is simply establishing as truth what is, and always has been, the perfection of God's infinite Being.

 

Gratitude and Healing

Since spiritual or right thinking is the basis of all healing in Christian Science, there are inevitably certain qualities of thought, or if you like, states of mind, conducive to quick and satisfactory results, and one of these is gratitude. Gratitude often acts as a preliminary to healing. It is that right mental expectancy which precedes the human evidence of spiritual presence and law. Gratitude is an open door to spiritual receptivity. It brings the light of inspiration and revelation. What an example we have of this in Jesus of Nazareth when, standing before the tomb of Lazarus, he declared, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always"! And again, when feeding the multitudes, he gave thanks for supply which was not yet manifested. May we not do the same? When trouble, affliction, and suffering bear in upon our thought, they would try to obscure every visible evidence of divine Love's presence and operation. At such a time, to count one's blessings quickens and awakens the realization that God is here and now available, and minimizes the suggestions with which one is contending. Gratitude is a conscious recognition of the divine power and presence. Gratitude is the handmaid of faith. It is the positive and joyous perception that God is, that right is, and carries with it the certain expectancy of divine evidence. When a man is ungrateful is it not possible that there may be lodging in his thought, qualities of doubt and disbelief? Conviction that "the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" never springs in the unthankful heart.

A year or so ago, in the home of a family whom I know, the father lay seriously ill with pneumonia. All night the other members of the family had worked and prayed to dispel the sense-dream, but apparently without result. As they gathered at the breakfast table, depressed and fearful, one of them said: "Now we have been working earnestly in Christian Science and we have prayed in the way we have been taught. Let us now rejoice, and let us sit here for a moment and give thanks to God for all the blessings that are ours, for we know that we have many." As if the Christ had spoken, a change for the better immediately took place with the suffering father, and before evening he was downstairs and perfectly normal.

 

The Healing of Prejudice

Let us consider for a moment the quality of thinking we call prejudice. How it closes the doors to unrecognized blessings, shutting one out from a beautiful healing manifestation! What is prejudice? Is it not prejudgment – judgment rendered on a subject before the facts are fully understood? Prejudgment of Christian Science inevitably results in prejudice. It is safe to say that nine out of ten people who entertain a false concept of Christian Science have permitted themselves to prejudge it. That is, they have accepted beliefs or concepts as to its teachings, without so much as looking into its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the only authoritative statement on the subject. What estimate of me do you think an intelligent professor of mathematics would have, if I were to contest with him on certain mathematical points, if I were to scoff at his ideas and endeavor to prove his statements incorrect, when I had not even examined, much less studied, a book on the subject under discussion? What would be your estimate of me? I have a feeling that you would consider me extremely ignorant and ridiculous, no matter how great my own claims to intellectual and mental superiority might be. Now, my friends, that is exactly the position in which people place themselves, when they undertake to tell the world what Christian Science teaches, though their acquaintance with this Science has been limited only to antagonistic books on the subject or to a brief perusal of our literature.

Prejudgment of our brother is judgment of his life, his motives and conduct, without adequate acquaintance with all the facts that govern. Who of us wants to be judged on that basis? Christian Science enables us to subdue the impulse to prejudge a situation when it arises, to stop and say to ourselves: "Now see here, what do I really know about this case? Do I really know all the facts? Am I fully cognizant of this man's thought, his life, and his motives? And am I worthy of judging this man and his acts?" If we followed this course, few of us would or could go very far in the unworthy business of prejudging.

The Master, recognizing how very frequent is the tendency to criticize and prejudge, and understanding how these habits must be corrected in order to heal oneself and others, had much to say about judging and condemning. Christian Science teaches us that in order to be every whit whole we must be just and fair and, above all, compassionate. Is not righteous judgment that merciful estimate of man and all humanity which recognizes the frailty of human nature and its weaknesses? Is it not a recognition of the unseen struggles of the human heart, its wrestlings, its perplexity and despair? And does not righteous judgment separate all evil and sin from man and see evil's impersonal nature and absolute nothingness? Jesus' great love did not permit him to ignore evil and sin, but it did enable him to impersonalize it, separate it from man, and thereby to judge righteously. This same method of thinking enables us, particularly when we have been misjudged, misused, or vilified, to lift our thought above the disturbing elements of personality, and maintain a spiritual poise and peace that passeth human understanding. Prejudgment is only the judgment of ignorance and therefore does not harm, unless we permit it to do so. It cannot disturb the serenity of him who knows that Principle governs all men.

The understanding and love which looks for the good and denies the evil in one's fellowman, leads us eventually to the place where, like Christ Jesus, we are conscious of perfection instead of imperfection. A man may be quite exemplary in conduct, and yet if sin or evil in his neighbor appears as very real, if his neighbor be regarded as unworthy, as wicked and damned, can it be said that he himself is blameless? A mote, yes, a beam, has lodged in his own eye, an imperfect point of view about his neighbor. Often, as we go about, the mesmerism of mortal mind tries to force its evil pictures upon us. Yet think, my friends, what a healing privilege is ours, when the lame, the sick, the sorrowful, and the sinning come to us for help, to silently and prayerfully declare, "Hail, son of God! Hail, the perfect child of a perfect Father!"

 

Love Knows No Enemies

It is possible that there may be someone in this audience who believes that he is suffering or has suffered because of enemies. One of the blessed things which Christian Science does is to free us from our enemies, or correctly speaking, to heal us of our belief in enemies. We have usually thought of enemies as persons, external or apart from ourselves. But Jesus said that a man's foes were those of his own household, meaning his mental household or consciousness. Is it not true that you have to think of an enemy and mentally visualize him before you can have one? In order to have enemies one must necessarily entertain a belief in haters. One must accept hate and malice as reality into his own consciousness. Mrs. Eddy, in her inspired article, "Love Your Enemies" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 8), asks: "Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation? . . . Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles, defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should reflect."

At the very time when mortal thinking was declaring that Christ Jesus was the victim of hate and malice we find him saying, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." This was the conscious refusal on his part to believe in the reality of enemies. Detaching and separating evil from his concept of God and man, Jesus held without wavering to the perfection of Being. His illumined spiritual sense saw no enemies and knew none. Then may not we, in like manner, refuse to entertain enemy concepts, hostile contending mental pictures, pictures of men capable of hating or injuring, of men endowed with the motive or power to do wrong?

If there remains in thought the mental picture of an evil man, our vision of perfection is marred. Since Jesus saw perfection, so must we. Enemies and the fear of enemies disappear in the face of that consciousness which knows only the infinity of Love.

 

Truth No Respecter of Persons

A question that frequently arises and is often voiced by young students or beginners is this: "Since Christian Science is a science, and actually the Science of infinite Mind, how can I be expected to demonstrate it with my little understanding? I must study it for many years before I can prove it. I have such a slight grasp of the subject. In fact, I know I am not good enough to heal myself or anyone else." This lying suggestion would, if it could, thwart and retard the progress of every seeker for spiritual light. If accepted, it would keep everyone in a state of perpetual denial of his understanding of the Christ and his ability to demonstrate it. How would anyone ever learn to sing, if fear and self-depreciation prevented his uttering a note or expressing a tone? Children in school are always encouraged to use their unfolding understanding of numbers, and having demonstrated some measure of success in a simple way they confidently move on to higher accomplishment in mathematics. Christian Science shows us, too, that it is not any personal power that heals, but always the impersonal Christ, Truth, no matter how simply expressed. Spiritual understanding is no respecter of persons. It does not concern itself with family, background, environment, education or the lack of it. Spiritual understanding is the open fount that cries, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Spiritual understanding, when claimed, may be demonstrated by the humblest or most mighty of men. No matter where one may be, right there, where the understanding of God and man find him, there does it begin to operate and express itself in healing.

While on a recent lecture tour in England, I met and talked with a young man who had just left prison on parole. The experience he told me I have verified. During the war he sustained an injury from shrapnel. This developed into a running wound which in many years had never healed, but gradually grew worse. A year or two ago he was committed to prison. The physical condition had become so bad by that time that the doctors declared his leg would have to be amputated. At this point in his experience, Christian Science was brought to his attention and he was given a copy of Science and Health. His acceptance of the truth was so immediate and eager that in four days the wound was healed and he was discharged from the prison hospital as a patient, but continued to remain in the ward as a prison employee. He was healed solely through the reading of Science and Health. Shortly after this, a mother came to the hospital to see her son, also a prisoner, and who was seriously ill with spinal meningitis. This beginner in Christian Science interested her in the subject and within a week or two healed her son. In the same ward he found an elderly man suffering with a poisoned condition of the appendix, and immediately healed him. All of this, including his own moral redemption and physical healing, took place within ten months. Now, my friends, in the face of such an experience as this, who would say that there are times, places, or conditions under which the law of divine Love will not operate? Who is there so unworthy, so much a sinner, that he may not immediately begin to prove and demonstrate his divine sonship through the utilization of what he knows of Christian Science? "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ." From the moment that good, purity, and honesty begin to function in consciousness and to govern, at that very moment spiritual salvation has become operative.

 

God Must Come First in Our Thinking

The business of being good, of understanding and reflecting good, is the only business there really is. This is truly being about our Father's business, and the woman in the home may be just as active in this occupation as the man in his office. Sometimes a mother or housewife may say: "Oh, I wish I had more time for study in Christian Science. I should like to be a practitioner and heal and help the sinning and suffering, but my housework and my duties to my family take so much of my time and thought." My friends, is not this just what Martha said to Jesus many centuries ago? The fact is, the practice of Christian Science is the utilization and practice of right thinking, no matter who we are, or where we may be, and no matter what our human duties may be.

No matter how busy we seem to be humanly and physically – and the carnal mind has a great way of trying to convince us that we are oh, so very busy in matter – for those who would progress spiritually, God must come first. Like Mary in the Bible, we must choose the better part, spiritual understanding, and put that before all else. Busy men and women may say: "Yes, but how am I going to do this? Where in my active life can I find the time for study and spiritual reflection?" If any of you who are familiar with ships, particularly battleships, were to come on board very early in the morning, you would find the sailors busy scrubbing the decks, polishing the brass work, and making all things ready for the day. In other words, you would find them using the early hours clearing the decks and preparing the ship for action. Now if there is any one thing that will help the housewife or the business man toward the attainment of a more harmonious day, it is taking time, early in the morning, like the sailors, to clear our mental decks for action, and to pour the oil of inspiration and gladness into thought, before starting on the human tasks, which we may be called upon to undertake. If you will make it a definite habit to begin your day with a half hour or an hour of thoughtful study of the Bible and Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook, if you will realize your inseparable unity with God, knowing that because every act of your being is governed by the divine Principle of the universe, you cannot be led into anything that is wrong nor kept out of anything that is right, then you will find that each day will be a day of progress and achievement, and you will have taken some important steps forward in the attainment of the practical application of scientific thinking in your daily life.

 

Self Examination

When we become interested in Christian Science sufficiently to be students and to really apply what we know, it is discovered that nothing either good or bad happens to us or to those about us, merely by chance, but that there is always some mental cause. This, of course, sets us to work on the study of mental causation, particularly as it applies to one's own thinking. Self-examination is a necessary step in healing, and Mrs. Eddy has indicated this very definitely in Science and Health (p. 462), where she writes: "Anatomy, when conceived of spiritually, is mental self-knowledge, and consists in the dissection of thoughts to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. . . . This branch of study is indispensable to the excision of error. The anatomy of Christian Science teaches when and how to probe the self-inflicted wounds of selfishness, malice, envy, and hate."

This introspective study sometimes results in discoveries so astonishing and shocking that the student may possibly be a bit discouraged and depressed, unless he sees that the error, which has come to light in his own thinking, has appeared only to disappear into its native nothingness, because he is no longer attaching it to himself, nor permitting it to use him. A lady once told me – and she was a very fine person too – that she was quite amazed and disturbed to find that she had all her life believed in, and depended very much on, the power of money and really loved it. Another, a man with whom I am acquainted, discovered that he had an inordinate appetite for food, and that he loved the material pleasures of the table. Many unworthy beliefs come to the surface when one is really desirous of dispensing with them, and all of this has a direct bearing on healing and spiritual progress. We find in Christian Science that this kind of house cleaning is vastly helpful. When I was a boy we used to have an attic, into which went all useless and antiquated furniture, worn-out clothing, old shoes, and a hundred memories of bygone days, musty and dusty, and of no real value except to keep alive a vanished past. There they lay until the time arrived to clean and tidy up the attic, and that was indeed an occasion.

By using Christian Science in our mental housekeeping, we can do away with the attics entirely. As we get rid of all the old outgrown concepts and musty abandoned beliefs of the past, there will be nothing useless to store away. Indeed our "regular clean-up week" must be a continuous performance. We must sweep out all the dark corners of fear, destroy the spiders of envy and resentment, and brush out their entangling webs. We must wash and clean our mental windowpanes, so that, in a disturbed and unhappy world, spiritual light, expressed in cheerful and joyous thoughts, may shine through to bless all mankind.

 

Listening

The ability to listen is something which every right thinker should cultivate, because unless one listens how can he be sure that he is receiving or hearing the ideas or thoughts of divine Mind, whose loving function is to liberate and heal? Attentiveness, alertness, and receptivity are some of the qualities that characterize a good listener, and we all know that sometimes human beings regarded as great talkers are not such good listeners. In fact, it is sometimes said, "Why, he hears only the sound of his own voice." It is also true that the thoughts of the great talker seldom have the weight and value of the thoughts of the good listener. Mrs. Eddy has written in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 339), "If people would confine their talk to subjects that are profitable, that which St. John informs us took place once in heaven, would happen very frequently on earth, – silence for the space of half an hour."

Christian Science, therefore, teaches us the value of silence and of quiet meditation, and every student recognizes the necessity of taking time each day to listen for the voice of God, to shut the door on the clamor and confusion of mortal thinking and to commune with infinite Spirit, thereby letting the ideas of Spirit utter themselves in our consciousness. Every spiritual leader and teacher mentioned in the Bible was a good listener, and there are frequent references to the times when Christ Jesus went into the wilderness to pray, meditate, and listen. Several times each day, Mrs. Eddy was accustomed to retire from contact with other people and silently commune with God, always seeking further spiritual light and inspiration. Recognizing the need that everyone has for these times of quiet thought and study, she established the Christian Science Reading Rooms which are conducted by all the churches in every part of the civilized world. Silence is a rule in these rooms, and there one may see, particularly in the busy hours of the day, many people reading, praying, and listening. In the turmoil and discord which often seem to surround us it is not always easy to find that mental quiet which brings the realization of Love's ever-presence. Only as the testimony of the material senses is shut out can the voice of God be heard.

During the war, in the front line trenches, it was the custom to establish "listening posts," special points where a keen and alert soldier, equipped with certain mechanical devices, was stationed to watch and detect, through listening, the approach or activity of the enemy. We should all of us establish listening posts, so that we may be not only receptive and attentive to the unfoldment of Mind's ideas, but also that we may detect the presence or approach of the enemy, the false beliefs of disease, fear, and sin which would take us prisoner.

 

Christian Science Heals Incompetence

In Christian Science the human equation is never ignored. Indeed, the absolute Truth, the divine facts of Being, may always be applied to what appears in human conditions. When we realize that man, being the likeness of God, Mind, is the reflection of infinite wisdom, intelligence, and perspicacity, this understanding should make us do the wisest human thing, and take the most intelligent human footsteps. If he made no actual efforts to secure his orders, no salesman would prove very successful, however earnest he might be in his study of Christian Science. The application of right thinking expresses itself in alertness, keenness, spontaneity, and other mental qualities which will greatly aid any man in business.

Poverty is really the expression of impoverished thinking, whereas true wealth is abundant thinking. Even in a human way, we say of a clever and capable man, "He is a man of ideas," meaning that he is a success, because he is so alert, so expressive of intelligent and progressive business concepts. A man with ideas can never lack, because he possesses enriching thoughts. And, of course, when the divinely mental nature of God's man is recognized and claimed, we see that there is no one who is not a "man of ideas," since ideas or thoughts constitute his entire entity or being, as the infinite idea forever developing and unfolding more of the might and glory of infinite Mind.

What we call a job is really the opportunity which is given man to express right ideas, and the more ideas he expresses the more competent he is in the job. It is one thing to secure a job or position, and quite another to demonstrate the competence or ability to fill it. Now incompetence is a belief that capable constructive ideas are lacking in our mental make-up, yet this is not true of God's man. Christian Science enables us to eliminate the beliefs of inaccuracy, carelessness, indolence, or apathy, and replace them with qualities of industry, exactness, and accuracy, and we have to be humble enough to see that sometimes our great need is more demonstrated ability. We can be grateful, however, that ability is not something which is unequally divided among God's children, but that, being infinite, there is no limit to its expression and evidence, and that it belongs to all of us right now, in unlimited measure. There is no law of partiality in God's universe.

Centuries ago people had their business problems, and one of the early Christians is said to have written, "A righteous man thinketh that which is righteous, and whilst he does so, and walketh uprightly, he shall have the Lord in heaven favorable unto him in all his business." To have the law of God favorable to us in our business life is something greatly to be desired, but obviously it cannot be achieved until men see the need and value of eliminating from business practice qualities and habits of thinking that are unlike God.

 

What Blesses One Blesses All

A year or so ago, in a western city, a gentleman whom I met told me the following experience. He had a typewriter business which had declined to the point of not being much of a business at all. My friend, in his discouragement, turned to Christian Science for help. He went to a practitioner, related all the details of his failing enterprise, and ended by asking the practitioner to work in Christian Science so that the business could be sold. "The business isn't any good, and I want to get rid of it." "Oh, that's it," said the practitioner. "The business is no good, and because it is no good you want Christian Science to help you load it off on someone else? Now, do you suppose that is the way Christian Science works? Do you suppose the law of God is going to operate in helping you to dump a business, which you say is no good, off on your brother man? Do you think that is honest practice?" "Well," said the man, "I hadn't thought of it in that light." "No," replied the practitioner, "but that is what you were trying to do, and of course Christian Science treatment does not operate in that way. It has got to bless both him who buys and him who sells. Now suppose you go back and make your business worth selling. Suppose you put into it all the love, energy, and capability that you can, and we will know together that God is governing it. Then let us see how things work out." The man began to put the right mental qualities into his business, his fear disappeared, the orders began to come in, and in a short time he had a successful business, which of course he did not sell.

 

Business Practice Needs Healing

The experiences of the last few years have uncovered startling weaknesses in the structure and conduct of our national business life, and the time has come for men to recognize that industry, banking, or any other branch of business, no matter how great and impressive may be its appearance, simply cannot stand if it be not founded on the basis of Principle, if it has not the qualities of honesty, justice, and love in its foundation. Someone may ask, "What have honesty, justice, and love to do with business?" Just this: all business is thought expressed. You cannot have a business without thought or mind. Honesty, justice, and love are mental qualities, and they have the constituents that make for stability, permanence, and harmony; whereas dishonesty, injustice, self-interest, or hate, if they are the mental qualities motivating business, hold within themselves the seeds of their own inevitable failure and decay.

The understanding of Christian Science reveals that the root cause of all dishonesty, greed, and unscrupulous competition is always fear, and fear is ignorance of God and of man's eternal and right relationship to Him. When the nature of God is perceived as the infinite All, when it is seen that infinite substance, infinite opportunity, and infinite Love are the unescapable and inevitable heritage of man, of each and every man, then it becomes clear how causeless and needless is the fearful and frantic struggle to gain money, place, or success, at the expense of someone else who seems to be in the way. There is enough of Life, enough of substance, enough of Love, enough of good for all, for God is All-in-all – more than any finite sense has ever imagined Him to be.

 

Healing of the Nations

In these days, when the nations of earth seem to be in such a state of confusion and upheaval, when we find radical and sometimes impractical concepts of government being advanced, no one can deny that what might be called the body politic is in as great need of healing as the body we call human. We are hearing many theories of government propounded, and witnessing, and taking part, in some novel experiments; but true government, as we understand it in Christian Science, is not a theory and is not dependent on experiments. The government of God is a divine fact, and is always and forever established. The need of humanity today is expressed in the words of the Psalmist: "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations." If every ruler, every person, entrusted with government, yes, every citizen, knew this, and placed the responsibility for government where it belongs, with the one God, and knew that God is governing His universe, including man, harmoniously, this thinking would inevitably make for universal peace on earth.

The world picture, as it appears to the human senses, would try to make us believe that we are living in a modern Babel – a confused and discordant clamor of many minds, many tongues, races, and divergent concepts of government. But is this true? Christian Science declares that there is just one Mind, and that that one Mind is the mind of man, of all mankind. If this be so, can it be true that there is a different mind operating in England from that in America? Is the Mind that governs Germany different from the one that governs France?

What we call government is of course basically mental. A human government or nation is the expression of the aggregate thought of the people. It is no better and no worse than their thinking makes it. Government, therefore, has its beginning in the consciousness of the individual citizen, and Christian Science shows us that the law of healing is brought to bear upon what we call government, as we heal ourselves and correct our own thinking on this subject. In line with this Mrs. Eddy has written in her textbook (Science and Health, p. 106): "God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love." How clear it is that if everyone rightly controlled and governed his own thinking, and made himself responsible for the discipline of his own thoughts, no external police force or regulation would be required. Correct self-government on the part of all men, individually, would then inevitably express itself, in the most ideal concept of government for the mass.

The kind of government that all right-minded people desire and long for, the world over, is one embodying the elements of justice, honesty, and morality – a government that wisely and lovingly considers the interests of all, and accords equality of opportunity to every man. This ideal of government must be perceived and maintained in thought, before it can be realized, attained, and externalized in visible form.

It is the privilege of a thinker, and God has endowed every one of us with that precious power to think, never to use thought unworthily. It is therefore the duty of a good citizen never to think thoughts which will do less than contribute to the good of the whole nation. This means that we should never give hospitality to thoughts of fear, panic, or dishonesty; thoughts expressing social injustice, lawlessness, or civic indifference.

The way of healing is the way of one Mind, one God, one government. Christian Science points this out, as the only solution to the discord and confusion of the nations. If the civilization of today is to be saved, then each one of us must think from the standpoint of one God and the unification of nations, which Mrs. Eddy so wonderfully outlines in Science and Health.

The revered Leader of Christian Science was a sincere follower of peace, and in her reflection of the motherhood and fatherhood of God she tenderly loved and considered all peoples of the earth, regardless of race or creed. She recognized that in Christian Science she had given to the world a spiritual teaching which, if followed, would heal individuals and nations alike, and banish war and hate forever from the earth.

In an article she wrote for the Boston Globe entitled, "How Strife may be Stilled" (Miscellany, p. 278), she says: "The First Commandment in the Hebrew Decalogue – 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me' – obeyed, is sufficient to still all strife. God is the divine Mind. Hence the sequence: Had all peoples one Mind, peace would reign.

"God is Father, infinite, and this great truth, when understood in its divine metaphysics, will establish the brotherhood of man, end wars, and demonstrate 'On earth peace, good will toward men.' "

 

 

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