Christian Science: Its Healing Message to a World in Need
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
Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis, opened the 1936-37 lecture season here Monday night with a lecture by Richard J. Davis, C.S., of Chicago.
Mr. Davis spoke on "Christian Science: Its Healing Message to a World in Need." He is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., and was introduced by Ray S. Trent. Mr. Davis was heard here last April in the final lecture of the season. His Monday night lecture was given substantially as follows:
It is probable that every man or woman in this audience, if questioned, would admit that the last few years have brought great changes in his way of thinking, his manner of living, and his attitude on many subjects. He could tell you of deep and difficult experiences, or adjustments, and situations which he never dreamed would be his. In practically all civilized countries, people have been called upon to face unusual problems and are still confronted with great difficulties.
To the thoughtful observer what appears at first glance as an economic, industrial, and social revolution is basically not that at all. Consciously or unconsciously, the fact is being driven home to all of us that we are taking part in and witnessing the greatest moral and spiritual revolution of all times. This does not mean that humanity is abandoning or forsaking morals, or a moral position, although if judged merely by surface evidence, this might appear to be the case. As a matter of fact, what is really taking place is a quickened sense of moral and social responsibility. This great change means the forsaking of traditions of thought and conduct which are bad. It means the discarding of dishonest and ignoble ideals of business and government. It means the abandonment of false class and social distinctions. It means, in short, the abolition of selfishness in human thinking. The immediate manifestation may appear to be a great mental disturbance, but the ultimate result is far beyond our present ability to foresee and comprehend.
Morals are defined in the dictionary as that which pertains to right or wrong conduct and the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Morals and moral conduct have in the minds of most people usually been associated with religion, although an effort is being made today to divorce or separate the two. It is clear that this would be impossible, for standards of right and wrong conduct are and should be the very foundation of true religion. It is not dogma and creed which are the basis of religious faith, but an active moral sense, an ability to know what is right and good and a willingness to live by it. True religion stands upon the upright moral and ethical conduct of its followers and upon its spiritual benefits to them, and its efficacy should be so judged.
Standards of right and wrong, of moral and ethical conduct, are not confined, of course, wholly within the borders of religion or church organization. Indeed, the ability to perceive and distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, can be the very foundation of a happily ordered human society. Therefore, in these days of mental upheaval, Christian Science declares that we should not be disturbed nor alarmed, but, on the contrary, grateful that a spiritual awakening is taking place in human consciousness, that there is a quickened perception of right and a desire to do it and - what is most important - the ability to see evil for what it is, and to get rid of it.
In their search for spiritual light, thousands of people today have found the consciousness of good, the kingdom of heaven, through their study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, undoubtedly, next to the Bible, the most widely circulated and discussed book in the world. Nearly all these individuals were led to take up the study of Christian Science in times of dire physical, financial, or moral need. The very fact that Science and Health has provoked such widespread discussion and argument is evidence that there is something in the book that is stirring human thought. Christian Scientists do not feel that it is necessary to defend their textbook. It stands on its own fruitage and accomplishment, the honest and grateful testimony of intelligent men and women, the world over, who have been lifted out of disease, sin, and countless other difficulties, through the power and operation of spiritual law, as revealed in that book.
The Discoverer and Discovery of Christian Science
Human nature, curiously enough, often leads people to base their estimate of Christian Science and its Discoverer on what they have gleaned from sermons or books which are unfriendly and incorrect in statement. And yet, if you wished to really know about the teachings of the Methodist or Baptist church, would you not attend the services of those churches and accept an honest statement from those competent to give it? Christian Science asks no fairer treatment than this.
Since Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science there has been an increasing multitude of people, in all parts of the earth, who gratefully acknowledge that they owe their health, happiness, supply, and regenerated lives to the consecration and devotion of that great woman. Today the world is beginning to accord to her the place she deserves as the greatest spiritual leader of the age. And many people, not Christian Scientists, recognize the influence and evidence of her spiritual teaching on human consciousness. A tree is known by its fruit, and the fruitage of Mrs. Eddy's life is already seen in what is comparatively a short time, in the great humanitarian movement of which she is the sole Founder and Leader. Her teachings lead this movement today, and will continue to lead it, through the centuries, because her character, ideals, and her teachings are expressed in her writings, and to these writings every devoted Christian Scientist turns for the inspiration and guidance which will carry him forward toward greater spiritual achievement.
In 1866, Mary Baker Eddy proclaimed to an almost wholly unbelieving world that there was a Science or demonstrable understanding of Mind, a Science of thinking. She asserted that there was a law of divine Spirit back of this Science. She declared also that if men would study that law and understand it, they would find that it could be successfully applied throughout the entire range of human experience, and she based these statements on her own success in healing many cases of disease and other difficulties. Through reason, logic, and spiritual revelation she arrived at the conclusion that Mind, self-existent and eternal Mind, was the primary cause of all true being or existence. She perceived also that if the cause or Principle of all being was Mind, so, logically, the effect of Mind would be mental. In other words, infinite Mind or divine cause would express or reveal itself only in a universe of ideas, a thought universe. Hence, she enunciated that tremendous statement of pure metaphysics (Science and Health, p. 468), "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." Realizing that a basic spiritual cause could produce or reveal only a spiritual effect or creation, she saw that the whole world or universe of sense or matter, with all its discords, sin, and death, was not the reality of existence, but a false illusive state of consciousness, which the light of Truth would dissipate. Mrs. Eddy took no halfway position. She perceived clearly the allness of Spirit, Mind, and the consequent nothingness or unreality of evil or matter, and there she stood. And there Christian Science stands today, challenging the honest investigation of any thoughtful person.
Christian Science, starting on the premise that all is Mind and its manifestation, declares that man exists spiritually and eternally as idea in the infinite Mind. It clears up the mystery and confusion surrounding the origin of man, and satisfactorily explains the two conflicting accounts of creation in the Bible. Spiritually interpreted, and at the same time coinciding with reason, it states that the only real creation must be the spiritual, the one described in the first chapter of Genesis, where man is declared to be the exact and perfect image of God. God being Spirit, man is spiritual, the likeness of infinite Spirit. God being Mind, man is the image or reflection of infinite Mind. God being Life, man is forever conscious of Life. God being Truth, man is the expression or embodiment of all true being.
We all of us admit that we can think. We know that we are in possession of that wonderful and divine faculty, the power to think. This should be and is the indication to us of man's divinely mental origin and identity as idea. Divine consciousness is primal. Without consciousness and the power to think we have no proof whatever of existence.
Since man, then, is fundamentally mental, does it not seem strange that scholars and material scientists should have devoted so much time and energy in the endeavor to trace the origin of man and life all ways in matter? Why do they not look and search for a spiritual and mental cause?
One needs only to read a few books and articles by physicists and other thinkers of the day to see the confused wanderings of these worthy men in a matter maze. They never seem to find the way out. Like a will-o'-the-wisp, it is always just a little ahead of them, and it always will be as long as they continue to base their search on a matter-premise.
One man, a great physicist, conceives of the universe as a great machine. But he thinks of it as a material machine, which will eventually be destroyed. What is there to inspire one in that? If he revealed the wonders of infinite Mind and its lawful government of the universe, then he would be setting forth a concept that would uplift and encourage the race. And this is exactly what Christian Science offers to a needy world.
Material scientists will tell you that all there is to man is electrical energy, that you and I and the rest of the world are nothing but a lot of electric sparks. Do you like that? Do you like to think of yourself as nothing more than a group of electrons? Where does the nobility of man, his character and accomplishment, show forth in such a concept of the universe? Do you not see how absurd and futile such reasoning is? And it is futile because God, or Mind, is wholly ignored as the basic factor in existence. How ridiculous to reason that the genius of Shakespeare, the music of Beethoven, or the art of Raphael derived their source or sprang from electrical energy! Truly, the wisdom of this world is found to be foolishness with God. There is some encouragement, however, in the fact that recently a few able men, physicists and electrical inventors, have, in some measure, reasoned themselves out of false theories and begun to recognize that, beyond and above all their material delving and investigation, one fact remains - untouched and undisturbed - namely, that Mind is, that Mind exists as the primary and, to them, unexplained basic cause of creation.
There has always seemed to be resistance to our teaching that matter is unreal. Well, my friends, an eminent scholar, not a Christian Scientist, describes matter as "holes in the ether." If this be true, the man who insists so positively that he has and wants a matter body and a material existence is virtually contending for a body made up of "holes in the ether." Now, how substantial is that?
Personally, I prefer to think of man as Mrs. Eddy so wonderfully describes him in Science and Health (p. 258) as "the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis." Such a concept is certainly more inspiring, yes, and more actually tangible, than a man made up of holes in the ether, or of electrons.
Throughout the ages mankind has persistently ignored the spiritual and mental factors in man's true being. Much attention has been directed to a matter body, keeping it well, making it comfortable, feeding and dressing it, and especially, giving it a good time. Therefore, when Christian Science explains man's true entity as mental - that is, as idea in Mind - it may seem at first hard to dissociate ourselves from matter. For so long we have thought of man as material and in a body, a soul in a body, a mind in matter or in a brain, and yet the only correct way to think of man is as idea, as mental, not material, as God's spiritual idea. Do not be afraid to assert and claim your spiritual identity. Man is spiritual, not material. In line with this Mrs. Eddy has written in her textbook (p. 369), "In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master."
The fact that you can think is deduced from the fact that you think, because the divine Mind is enabling you to think. When this truth is once grasped, it opens up the infinite resources of Mind that lie at hand for man as God's image or reflection. If man is, as Christian Science declares, "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas" (Science and Health, p. 475), there is no limit or restriction placed upon his reflection of divine intelligence. His unity with Mind endows him with the ability to reflect divine originality and perpetual spontaneity. God's man is not a slave to false mental manipulation, but possesses divine power to think and act rightly. The understanding of Christian Science gives us inherent power to think things through, and determines the origin, source, and acceptance of every thought. In so doing we perceive how, through divine Mind, we can gain the only true victory over sin, disease, and death, and how, through the action and operation of spiritual thinking, what appears as healing takes place. We all know that sin has to be thought before it can express itself in sinful action. So, too, disease, fear, and every evil and afflictive condition is traceable to a wrong mental state entertained. This wrong mental state Christian Science terms false belief. The divine Mind, therefore, expressed as right thinking always operates to dispel darkness or the error of false belief. This is what is taking place today. The operation and potency of Mind is making itself felt in every activity of human belief. Before the pure light of divine intelligence, the darkness of error is fleeing away.
Sixty years ago Mrs. Eddy stood alone, proclaiming that Divine Mind was primary cause and the sole factor in spiritual healing, the basis on which Christ Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. Today the best physicians are awakening to the mental element in sickness, although by putting everything on a material basis they are by no means able to cope with it, since disease can only be permanently healed by spiritually removing the mental cause.
Some of the reputable doctors in the world today are studying constantly the part that fear and destructive emotions play in producing disease, and several have openly and honestly commended Christian Science for its teaching on this subject. Not long ago Dr. George W. Crile of Cleveland, speaking before the American College of Surgeons, said: "The emotions, worry, fear, hate, and jealousy, affect every cell in the body; some organs are stimulated, all are disturbed, waste products are increased, foundations of certain characteristic diseases are laid."
Now, Paul, centuries ago in his Epistle to the Romans, recognized the effect of evil thought on the body, and, what is more important, gave the remedy when he said, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." In other words, he indicated that material-mindedness is the foundation of all sickness, while spiritual-mindedness is the cure, and not only the cure, but an ever-operative preventive. For years Christian Science has declared that every diseased condition is the result of incorrect thinking, that is, thoughts of fear, doubt, anxiety, irritation, and so on, and that what appears as a specific disease is not really a material state but the externalization of wrong thinking, perhaps unconsciously cherished or held to by the individual. How clear it is, then, that the cause of disease being mental, its cure also must and can be found only in the mental or spiritual realm. Christian Science shows us therefore that we are not dealing with a material physical manifestation at all, but wholly with certain mental states calling themselves material. As has been said, some clear-sighted doctors have begun to see the destructive nature of evil thoughts or emotions on the body, but they do not understand how to bring about a cure, because evil thoughts seem as real to them as good ones. In view of the fact that disease and every inharmonious condition appear because human beings are cherishing or holding on to some incorrect thought or emotion, how imperative it becomes for every one of us to turn the searchlight into our mental homes!
Let us therefore consider for a moment some of these destructive emotions and their effects, and let us see how they may be eliminated by Christian Science. Fear, of course, is the most basic erroneous mental state common to men. And why are men afraid? Primarily because, instead of understanding and believing in the oneness and allness of God or good, they are believing in the existence of an evil power. They believe that evil exists as an entity, and of course suffer the result of their accepted delusion. If fear expresses itself in rigidity or tension in the human body, if it can quicken or impede the circulation, or produce other physical effects, think, my friends, what can happen to your body this instant as the consciousness of Love's allness and omnipresence replaces the delusive state of apprehension, anxiety, worry, or terror. There is but one way to get rid of fear, and that is through the perception and realization that God is, as Christian Science teaches, All-in-all.
Wrong thoughts are, in a certain sense, secretive, or perhaps it may be said that they secrete themselves, so that they remain hidden and almost unrecognized. If, therefore, any one of us is secreting hate, envy, or a deep resentment or irritation, it should not be surprising if these poisonous thoughts express themselves in some forms of bodily secretions. And we cannot afford to delay for one moment the removal from our mental home of such harmful and destructive guests, for there is not a person on earth that can escape the good or evil result of his own thought.
Consider the quality of dishonesty, and dishonesty is clearly the offspring of fear. How it tries to conceal itself so that one may not recognize its presence! The tendency to be slightly evasive, indirect, or deceptive, what are these thoughts but repressive, paralyzing emotions that should never be permitted mental houseroom, that they may express themselves in some repressed or contracted manifestation on our human bodies. The dishonest businessman may for a time seem to be prospering, but he cannot escape the result of his devious and deceptive thinking. The only thing that will save him is, first of all, the recognition of those unwholesome qualities, and secondly, their replacement with thoughts of frankness, fairness, and love.
Some people have a tendency, and they often call it natural, to brood. There is nothing natural about it, for God never ordained that His child should be under an evil law of mental repression. Man, being the consciousness of infinite good, is spontaneously joyous and free. He is under no compulsion to repress emotions. He cannot harbor dark, morbid, or unhappy thoughts, for such thoughts are no part of his true selfhood, and he possesses divinely the power to eliminate and expel every tendency to hold on to resentful or sensitive attitudes. If one is brooding, is he not repressing and holding within himself destructive emotions which ought to be immediately removed? Christian Science enables us first to see the undesirability of such a habit and then gives us the spiritual light and courage to talk over some point that needs discussion and clarification with another, or, better still, to see how trivial and unimportant mortal thinking is, and, on that basis, to dismiss it with finality.
In altering one's mental habits, it is not always necessary that others be informed of that which has been our failing, but there is certainly the demand that we face the thoughts which have made a claim upon us, and courageously see their false origin, and eliminate them. While we accord to the medical profession the very highest motives, it is clear that medicine, serums, or surgery will not remove hatred qualities and must be mentally eliminated; and, most important of all, Christian Science makes it clear that they must be replaced with love, kindness, and generosity.
Have you ever noticed that one of the characteristics of the so-called atheist or agnostic is a kind of futilism? The man without God almost inevitably looks on the world with a depressing hopelessness, a kind of what's-the-use attitude. Christian Science revealing, as it does, man's indissoluble and infrangible relationship to God, gives him an anchor for his faith and a reason for the hope within him. The Godlike man, or man of God's creating, is always hopeful, joyous, and buoyant. The godless man, on the other hand, is hopeless, discouraged, and afraid. He carries with him an atmosphere of pessimism. There are many people in that state of mind today, but the very hopelessness of materialism is carrying them toward the light, if they but knew it.
The agnostic or atheistic state of mind not only produces pessimism and discouragement but it also begets fatalism, a belief that all things are decided for us in advance, are predetermined. What is the use, they say, of trying to do anything of ourselves? Fatalism, with its unhappy outlook on existence, has recently reappeared under the name of determinism. We find natural scientists and psychologists using this term, to describe a theory that everything, our human lives, our health, all material existence in fact, is determined by causes over which we have no control or volition. Christian Science is directly opposed to such thinking and declares that the only determining law is the divine Principle of the universe. It asserts that all causation being spiritual, every effect, emanating from that infinite and self-existent cause, is divinely and spiritually determined. It asserts the forever rightness of all things - causation being right and perfect, so must be the effect. Christian Science enables us to face this false materialistic philosophy with the understanding that the loving law of God has predetermined for us every right and good thing, success, capability, happiness, health, and peace. All of this and more is our eternal heritage. In her book "No and Yes" (p. 46) Mrs. Eddy has written, "Man has a noble destiny; and the full-orbed significance of this destiny has dawned on the sick-bound and sin-enslaved."
It is possible that someone may be thinking: This lecturer says that the determining, governing Principle of all things is good, and therefore capable of producing only a beneficent result. If that is the case, why am I in such difficulties? Indeed, why is the whole world today in such turmoil and distress?
This is a perfectly logical question, but in reply let me ask, to what extent have most of us given any real thought or attention to basic spiritual thought? What effort has the average human being made to grasp or understand the spiritual cause of all things and apply the law thereof? Very little. How can it be expected, then, that spiritual law and its operation will be apparent to us while we spend our entire time in the ignorance and darkness of materiality? Who will deny that the need of today is a readiness, a willingness, and, most of all, a sincere desire for Spirit? Sincere desire for good is the key that will unlock the door and reveal the laws and universe of God's creation. Mrs. Eddy has written in her textbook (p. 492), "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence," and again in the same book (p. 170) she states, "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress."
To lift ourselves and the entire world out of its troubles, it would take us far in the right direction if each one of us would daily declare: From now on, there is just one thing important to me - a right understanding of God and the spiritual cause of all existence. I am not going to let one doubt, one fear, one skeptical suggestion deter me or hold me back in my search for God.
The man without God, without a real understanding of what God is, and of man's eternal relationship to his creator, is like a forlorn ship sailing an uncharted sea - a ship without a compass, a guide, or a destination. In order to be rightly directed, the sailor must box his compass, and chart his movements by the sun. Without it, he is never certain of his direction. So today, without an active moral sense, without some slight perception of fundamental Truth and faith in spiritual law, men and nations find themselves adrift, engulfed in a dark and hopeless sea of discouragement and despair.
Instead of trying to substantiate the facts in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, we find critics today endeavoring to explain them away. They have tried to prove, quite unsuccessfully, that he never lived, and they have particularly tried to disapprove his so-called miracles. The effort is understandable, since the whole life of Christ Jesus, all that he said and accomplished, is at variance with ordinary materialistic reasoning, and can only be explained spiritually and metaphysically. People thinking solely in terms of matter and acknowledging only a material sense of existence would inevitably be perplexed, confused, and even alarmed at the human evidence of a spiritual law, something for which material reasoning could not account. Christian Science reveals that Jesus possessed exact and correct understanding of God and man. Exact knowledge is of course scientific knowledge - knowledge that has back of it divine power and law. This exact knowledge was also true knowledge or complete understanding of the truth. It was what he knew, the truth or divine understanding, that made him the Saviour or Christ, and he declared that knowledge of that same Truth would give every man freedom. Christian Science declares that in a knowledge of the Christ, the race has right at hand that which will free us morally, physically, economically, and financially and bring the kingdom or consciousness of heaven within reach of every man.
Paul, in his letters to Timothy, touched on what is probably the most disturbing belief in modern civilization, when he wrote, "The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." What a multitude of people could rise and tell us today of experiences where the difficulties arising from the love of money, its presence, or its absence, have pierced them through with many sorrows. But it is to be noted that it is not money in itself, but the love of it and the materiality attached to it that bring our trouble. When properly understood, Christian Science greatly alters our ideas about money, its value, its purpose, and its use. In fact, the more we know of true spiritual substance the less emphasis we place on the false concept of it. The continuing crises over money in the last few years should teach humanity that there is something basically wrong in the world's attitude about it, and that something must occur that will lift thought above dollars, pounds, or francs, into an appreciation of true values.
It is the longing and desire for an easy and a pleasant time, which mortals believe money can bring them, that causes many of the heartaches and the tragedies of life, most of them not on the surface. In the background of many families there will be found the shadow of unhappiness which the possession of too much money or the lack of it brings, as well as the quarrels, the disputes, and inharmony arising from a false sense of what constitutes true substance.
I was once told by a banker who had much to do with the handling of wills and trusts that back of that work in every bank lay hundreds of cases of discords, feuds, and hatreds between families, relatives, and former friends, and he, knowing the effect of wrong thinking on people's lives and their bodies, commented on the sad physical results and disease which spring from these inharmonies - all emanating from the love of money.
One of the very first things that the study of Christian Science does, is to stimulate a hunger and thirst after spirituality. It makes men industrious in the search for the ideas of good, and of course when an individual finds himself happily industrious he also discovers that indolence or ease in matter is not what he wants, but rather that activity which means the unfoldment or accomplishment of righteousness. Christian Science teaches us to value money, not for the ease or luxuries that it might bring, but rather for the good that may be accomplished by putting it into circulation. Properly translated, it can truly become the currency of Love.
The mesmerism of material accumulation in worldly riches and the false gratification in their possession fade away when we perceive that the only things that bring abiding peace and satisfaction are the substantial ideas of Spirit. Matter in all its manifestations perishes and slips away from us, but God's ideas are permanent. They abide with us forever. Indeed, they constitute our true being.
There is nothing in the teaching of Christian Science that makes a virtue of poverty. It is just as incorrect to be materially poor as to be materially rich. Both states of mind - and they are states of mind - are wrong, and both must be changed. An intense belief in the lack of material things is just as mortally mental as the intense belief in the possession of large quantities of them. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that so-called rich people are not necessarily material and worldly because they have financial means. On the other hand, it is evident that a so-called poor person may be extremely worldly if he is holding in thought an ungratified desire for material possessions, a longing for a life of ease in matter and the envy and jealousy that accompanies such a mental state.
In the light of Christian Science, the world's values as to what constitute happiness, success, and prosperity are incorrect. We are beginning to see that a million right thoughts in consciousness are a far more substantial, tangible, and happifying fortune than a million dollars in a bank. No stock market crash nor bank failure can take away this fortune from a man nor reduce his perpetual income of good. We see that the most valuable bonds are the bonds of peace and perfectness, and that the real bank is the treasury of divine consciousness. There the spiritual resources of Mind constitute a permanent reserve that will never be exhausted.
There are not many of us but have experienced loss of money or property in some form or other and possibly it has seemed like a hard and bitter experience. But as Mrs. Eddy so beautifully reminds us in Science and Health (p. 574), "The circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares." This angel, or divine blessing, is expressing itself today in an increased appreciation of real spiritual values and in a change of ideals. We, as individuals, cannot and should not want to escape this purifying process which is leading us to see mankind's great need. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" So, are we not gaining a great blessing when we perceive that personal losses have been exchanged for spiritual gains? We are learning the futility of leaning on bank accounts, incomes and salaries, and learning rather to lean on the sustaining love of good which never fails.
Spiritual understanding shows us how we may live from the standpoint of infinity, how to think from the standpoint of infinity. Lifting thought to that spiritual altitude, is there such a thing as panic or fear in the infinite universe of good? Infinite Love is certainly not going into bankruptcy, nor is infinite Spirit having a depression or in economic turmoil. If we lift our thinking to the hills of spiritual revelation from whence truly cometh our help, what do we see and recognize? Infinity declaring and uttering its divine glory, in harmony and order expressing itself in affluence and abundance! How could there be lack in infinity - the infinity of divine substance which never fails nor falls short.
Spiritual understanding makes those who have it cities set on hills; and with it comes a responsibility to think from that elevated and illumined standpoint that will operate as light for the whole world. One should ask himself: Am I thinking from that grander outlook of infinity? Is my thought of such a character, so big and expansive as to include and benefit the whole race? Is my thinking taking cognizance of the important and far-reaching changes taking place, and helping to adjust the confusion? Or is it revolving around just a human sense of my body, or perhaps my home, my family, or the narrow confines of my own community? These are things to be thought on. An individual is only as big and as great as this thinking. And all that constitutes true selfhood is thought. The real man is the embodiment of all right ideas. If he includes the universe in his thought, what kind of universe is it? Surely only a right universe, a universe operating harmoniously and according to the mandate of divine Mind; a universe that has never heard of conflict, discord, or turmoil; a universe in which there could not be a single element of strife, competition, or struggle; a universe that is declaring and evidencing the order and dominion of God's law.
Today, through Christian Science, we have that demonstrable knowledge which, if used, can save, redeem, and steady a world in chaos and great fear. The realization of Love's omniaction and omnipresence enables us to think with such steadiness and poise, to so clarify our consciousness of fear and alarm, to lift our thought so beyond the disturbed world-picture, as to forestall and offset every threat of error or evil thinking.
These are very much the days of prophets, but it is to be observed that not many are prophets of good. All through the Bible runs the injunction to beware of false prophets, of those who prophesy lies, who foretell evil instead of good. It is clear that from the standpoint of an infinitely good creator, there can be but one thing to prophesy, and this is the forever unfolding purpose of divine Mind and its inevitably good intention for all its ideas. Astrological prognostications and horoscopes can never be accepted by Christian Science, because they have no basis in Truth. The universe of Mind and its ideas is rotating forever according to the mandate of Mind, is forever governed by the beneficent law of Mind, and therefore does not come within the realm of astrological belief, and is untouched and unaffected by any superstitious thought.
As we survey the world today, the view we get is so complex, so confused, and so changeable, that the tendency might be, if we look at things as they seem to be, to judge by appearances and not righteous judgment, to look for cause where cause does not exist, and sometimes to ignore completely and fail to observe some wonderful and fine thing that is taking place in the midst of what seems to be turmoil. Metaphysics, rising above the testimony of the senses, knows what is really taking place. Right where disorder, despotism, and autocracy appear to be, the scientific thinker is establishing the consciousness of peace and freedom. A right idea is always the law, the presence of omnipotence and Truth to the whole of false belief, just as, metaphorically speaking, the small smooth stone of David was the law of destruction to Goliath, the huge mass of matter or evil. Thinking rightly, Christian Scientists are able to see good, see progress, see right government, where disturbed thought sees only disaster and calamity. The Bible says, "Be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."
The price of freedom in any country, however, is eternal alertness on the part of its individual citizens. Right thinking will never permit anyone to believe that any form of dictatorship, benevolent or otherwise, is right, or nearer right, than a democracy that springs from the ability of man to speak and act for himself. Every man should and must learn to think for himself, even if he has not yet done so, and the only true government must be self-government. Human beings, individually and collectively, who are not thinking for themselves, wish to be told what to do.
History shows that the tendency to follow blindly human leadership instead of Principle almost invariably leads people astray. Mrs. Eddy in her great wisdom taught the members of her church to follow her only so far as she followed Christ. In other words, she humbly wanted the spirit of Christ to lead us, and she constantly turned the thought of Christian Scientists away from person to Principle.
The most outstanding expression of government today is the general swing of thought to intense nationalism. It cannot, however, be the intention of divine Love, the Father of all being, to produce separation or to forestall unity of thought and action among the peoples of earth at a time when such action is so essential. There is no spiritual or scientific basis for the division of God's children into hundreds of races, nations, and languages, and in the United States, made up as it is of representatives of all countries, we are demonstrating what may be demonstrated everywhere: that the people of many nations and tongues can dwell together in peace and unity as one great human family or nation. Because we have one God, have we not all one common parentage? As Paul declared to the Athenians, "God that made the world and all things therein, . . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." While respecting all that is good and fine in every nation, it must be seen that nationalism as we see it today is a glorification of a false and material origin of man, a glorification, and even a worship, of racial, national, and class distinction. Nationalism is a kind of pride, just as it appears sometimes in individuals, who exalt themselves in pride of family, and invariably are looking at others with contempt and scorn.
Like individuals, all nations must become aware of their faults and shortcomings. Only in this way can we grow and develop that spiritual and moral strength essential to national progress. All countries have had unpleasant experiences in relations with others, but this does not mean that they should isolate themselves and withdraw right and proper cooperation with other nations. Understanding is all that is necessary to a right sense of unity, and lack of understanding is all that can prevent it.
No two people would hate or dislike each other if somewhere in thought there was not an element of fear. Fear is the archenemy back of all repulsions and misunderstandings. It is fear that makes nations compete, contend, strive, hate, and envy one another, always fear. But it may well be asked: Has Mind in its infinite wisdom and love provided for a cruel and frightful contest and struggle among its ideas? Does infinity know anything about national divisions, racial discriminations, or class distinctions? Does the harmony of infinite being know any of these things? To all of these, Truth declares: "I never knew you: depart from me, ye [false beliefs] that work iniquity."
We cannot establish a better type of government in America or elsewhere, if its basis be material. Real government exists and is to be found only in an understanding of the All-God. Mrs. Eddy has written in her textbook (Science and Health, p. 425), “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered;” constructs a better industrial, economic, and financial plan; all of this, when faith in matter has been conquered. The basis of healing is not an anxious contemplation of a struggling fearful world, but a looking away from matter, matter body, matter government, matter possessions. It is the establishment of that divine consciousness, the kingdom of heaven. In that kingdom or consciousness of God, we find perfect and peaceful government, freedom, and joyfulness of action - all right relationships and cooperation of God's ideas, infinite abundance, contentment, and self-completeness.