Christian Science: Its Redemptive
Richard J. Davis, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
As one contemplates the world today, with nations and individuals alike in what appears humanly as a hopeless state of confusion and fear, it is becoming more and more evident that something transcending material help is needed to alleviate the suffering of mankind. In the wake of a destructive physical struggle are desolate and ruined cities, yes, and ruined lives – millions of homeless, starving people, the unhappy citizens of many nations.
The experiences of the last few years have deeply touched us all. Many have had to rise above sorrow and separation, and perhaps now, after much suffering, are perceiving the utter hopelessness of materiality. Perhaps at length mankind is learning that what humanity most desires – peace, freedom, and happiness – will never be found in materialistic thinking or living.
It is encouraging then to recall the promise of Christ Jesus given shortly before his ascension: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John -18).
In poetic language, Isaiah also
beautifully describes the activity of the Comforter in its mission of salvation
and redemption (Isa. 52:7,9): "How beautiful upon the mountains are the
feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth
good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God
reigneth! . . . Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of
It is my privilege, therefore, to set forth the fact that in the discovery and revelation of Christian Science, the promises of the Bible, of Christ Jesus, and of John the Revelator are now being fulfilled.
The Comforter or Christ
For the benefit of those who may be attending a Christian Science lecture for the first time and who possibly are not too well acquainted with its teaching, may I explain that the Comforter, as we understand it, is the impersonal Christ – the spiritual and scientific knowledge of God, of man, and of man's eternal and inseparable relationship to God. The Comforter is the revelation of scientific being or existence. It is the divine Science or truth of being. The Christ, or Comforter, has always existed as the spiritual idea of God. Down through the ages it has always been active in human consciousness, transforming the nature of those prepared to receive it. The Comforter is ever present, revealing to you and to me God's spiritual nature, and therefore the nature of man as God's image or reflection.
The Comforter or Christ is not a philosophical concept. It is not abstract, but reaches you and me right where we seem at present to be. It always touches humanity, and therefore is instantly available to save from sickness and sin, yes, and from death. Indeed, the Christ, when fully demonstrated, is the law of abolition to the belief of death. It is the way of individual redemption. In the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, its author, gives us this definition of the Christ (p. 583): "Christ. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error."
Jesus, immeasurably endowed with the Christ, did not make merely beautiful statements of Truth. His understanding of divine metaphysics was practical, and because of this the sick were healed, the dream of death was shattered, and substance was proved immeasurable. Jesus' attitude was invariably humane and tender, thereby revealing the divine nature of the Christ. In Christian Science we understand that every great metaphysical truth, in order to fulfill its purpose as an expression of the Christ, must be intelligently, and I may say, lovingly related to humanity. Herein we find the coincidence of the divine with the human.
Purpose of Christian Science
Because the teachings of Christian Science, when correctly applied, result in physical healing, it is sometimes assumed that this is its main purpose. Thousands of people have received their first introduction to Christian Science by way of physical healing, but at the same time it should be pointed out that the regenerative aspect of its teaching is paramount in importance. Christian Science is not just another system of therapeutics. It should not be regarded as a healing cult or a school of mental medicine. Christian Science is not a mental medicine chest nor a human system of mental therapy. Healing is incidental to the practice of our religion. Spiritual redemption and healing go hand in hand. Indeed, healing is the natural outcome of living the teachings of Christian Science. It makes men and women better in thought and therefore in health.
Replying to the question, "Is healing the sick the whole of Science?" Mrs. Eddy says in her book, "Rudimental Divine Science," page 2:23-2 next page: "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 emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and this task; sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick."
There may be some in this audience who are seeking freedom from physical affliction, and it is wholly in accordance with the law of God that this freedom should be demonstrated. It is well, however, for anyone searching for health and relief from sickness to ask himself these questions: "What am I seeking?" and, "What should I desire above all else? Is it spiritual unfoldment and growth? Is it the understanding and demonstration of my spiritual selfhood and oneness with God, or is my thought set merely on being relieved of physical discomfort? What is really most important to me? What is my greatest need?"
Your answers to these questions may have an important bearing upon your healing and spiritual growth. The true Christian Science practitioner always approaches healing from the standpoint of redemption. Christian Science healing is wholly mental and spiritual – spiritually mental. Every Christian Science treatment is regenerative. Speaking of this, Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 375), "The genuine Christian Scientist is adding to his patient's mental and moral power, and is increasing his patient's spirituality while restoring him physically through divine Love." Just as did Jesus, Christian Science demands something of those who turn to it for help, and that something is spiritual reformation.
As Jesus, lifted the burden of disease and set the sinner free, he said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," and, "Go, and sin no more," clear evidence that the spiritual consciousness of the Christ was touching sinful and material belief. He who has rightly been termed the Saviour of mankind clearly understood the part that evil and material thinking play in their effect upon the human body, and because of this he constantly emphasized spiritual and moral regeneration. His Sermon on the Mount is in effect a complete lesson in character redemption. It calls for the appropriation and reflection of spiritual qualities as set forth in the Beatitudes and the elimination of hate, lust, hypocrisy, and other material concepts which he exposed in parables and other striking examples. Referring to the redemptive mission of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy says on page 150 of Science and Health, "Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, – to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world."
Naturalness of Divine Law
Christian Science removes healing from the realm of the miraculous and declares that it is the natural evidence of God's ever-presence and omnipotence. It lifts the concept of God from the realm of the mystical and supernatural and reveals the consummate naturalness of spiritual law. In that light, therefore, we see that it is perfectly natural for man to be well, perfectly natural to be good, perfectly natural to be happy, perfectly natural to be free, perfectly natural to live, and most unnatural to be sick, to sin, or to die. Jesus and his disciples understood this naturalness of divine law and demonstrated it, but they also understood that the power to heal was not personal. They knew that it was the impersonal Christ that healed, as indicated in the Master's own words, "I can of mine own self do nothing." It was though he had said, "It is not I that do it, but my Father that worketh in me." Peter, also expressed the same thought, following the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple which is called "Beautiful," when he said (Acts 3): "Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus. . . . And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Spiritual healing is never an expression of personality nor the result thereof. It is the evidence of "Immanuel, or 'God with us,' " the active manifestation of God's presence.
While Christ Jesus understood and demonstrated man's inseparability from God, he never referred to himself as God, but as the Son of God. Even this statement, however, infuriated the Jews. Yet in true humility he declared (John ), "Verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." And again he declared his spiritual selfhood not as God, but as the reflection or manifestation of God. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5).
Christian Science, the Fulfillment of Prophecy
Although Jesus appeared in fulfillment of prophecy, he was rejected and scorned by most of the people of his time. Even today humanity does not understand and has not fully accepted the teachings of Jesus. Understanding this resistance and refusal to accept the Christ which he revealed and exemplified, Jesus said, "Blessed is he, Whosoever shall not be offended in me." The same may be said today: Blessed is he who recognizes in Mary Baker Eddy the Revelator of Truth to this age and accords her the place she deserves in prophecy. It is clear that any misconception or misrepresentation of the Revelator of Christian Science would necessarily express itself in a misconception of the revelation itself. Christian Scientists believe that Mrs. Eddy is the anointed one in this age, because she was the only one on earth ready to receive that anointing. Her religious background, the character of her mother and other members of her family, and her deep yearning to know God, even in her early life, were all contributing factors preparing her for the ultimate unfoldment of the Christ-idea of being. Mrs. Eddy unmistakably fulfilled the Apocalyptic promise. John, the Revelator, with spiritual vision, perceived the indivisible oneness and infinitude of God. He also foretold and foresaw that God must have human representation by woman, who would, through spiritual vision, make plain to humanity the motherhood of divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy received, proved, and imparted this great fact, the fatherhood and the motherhood of God. She also revealed the oneness of God and the true concept of man as the compound idea of Mind, including all right ideas. The Christian world has been waiting through centuries for the fulfillment of John's prophecy. This prophecy is today fulfilled in the appearing of the Christ or Comforter which may be rightly termed the Redeemer of human consciousness.
God and Man
The First Commandment of the Decalogue, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," underlies the entire teaching of Christian Science. Referring to this, the textbook of Christian Science states on page 275, "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, – that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle."
Christian Science also defines God as Soul, incorporeal and infinite, as Life, eternal and all-harmonious, as Mind, the intelligent, self-existent cause, as Truth, the substance of all reality, as Love, the divine Principle of the universe, expressed only in that which is good.
All these synonymous terms coincide, expressing as they do God's infinite nature and being. In Christian Science we see that God is not something to be believed, but known, and known only through spiritual sense. Indeed, it is impossible for the so-called physical senses to convey any true concept of divinity. So, until one has an intelligent and satisfactory concept of God, he obviously has no correct idea of himself, as God's exact image and likeness.
Man's true being, therefore, is not corporeal but incorporeal, not physical but mental, not material but spiritual. Since God is infinite Mind, man is the incorporeal reflection or expression of that Mind. Since God is Life and infinite, man is the incorporeal, eternal manifestation of Life. Since God is Love, individual man is the incorporeal individual consciousness of infinite Love. Since God is divine Principle, man, His image, reflects and fulfills only the will and purpose of Principle. Through scientific reasoning we see that God is evidenced and revealed only in His expression, man, in that which reflects and unfolds Love, Spirit, Mind, and Life. As the ray of light expresses and reflects the sun, so God is seen or reflected in His spiritual image, man. Referring to this, Mrs. Eddy says on page 250 of Science and Health, "Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God."
Christian Science declares that God is the only Ego or I AM, and that man is the reflection of this one and only Ego. When therefore one perceives and knows that he possesses no Ego apart from God, he has indeed found his true spiritual selfhood or identity, as the individual, incorporeal expression of God's being.
This, of course, is a most important step in individual redemption. For it is only as we understand that our true identity is spiritual and mental that we are able to reject and deny intelligently a concept of ourselves and others as personal and material. Indeed, the only true self-denial is a denial not only of ourselves, but of others, as material and personal.
The True Atonement
Down through the centuries, incorrect religious teaching more than any other one thing has obstructed and hindered the progress of the race, and has concealed man's spiritual freedom. Incorrect concepts of God and man are largely responsible for our difficulties, and only clear, scientific thinking will ever liberate us. Mary Baker Eddy realized that the fundamental error in the doctrines largely accepted by Christendom was the teaching regarding what is known as the atonement. Because of its importance, one can well understand why she devoted a whole chapter in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and one of the Lesson-Sermons twice each year to the subject.
In Christian Science we see that Jesus' entire life, every incident, every experience, was the actual exemplification of true atonement or at-one-ment, the eternal unity that exists between God and man, not between just Jesus and God, but man and God. False theology separates God and man. Christian Science unites them or rather shows that God and man are forever united. Christian Science declares that man, as the divine idea of Mind, never leaves Mind, but reflects and expresses the substance of Mind. A thought or an idea cannot wander or stray from the mind in which it has its being. So, in Christian Science, we see that man as the divine idea is forever inseparable from the Mind in which he exists and has his being. Mrs. Eddy says, "The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice" (Science and Health, p. 202). In other words, we must learn to practice or live our unity or at-one-ment with God.
To understand that God is infinite Life and that man is the very evidence and expression of unending Life is basic to a practical exemplification of the atonement, man's forever at-one-ment with Life. When we are spiritually conscious of one infinite Life and know that man is the eternal manifestation of that Life, this is to exemplify the true atonement. Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, therefore, were a practical evidence that man, being idea and therefore spiritual, could not be killed nor could he die, because Life and Life's idea are one and therefore eternal. As Mrs. Eddy declares in Science and Health on page 51, "He knew that matter had no life and that real Life is God; therefore he could no more be separated from his spiritual Life than God could be extinguished."
When Jesus healed the repentant Magdalen with the compassionate declaration, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," what was taking place? The Mind that was in Christ Jesus was establishing the forever fact that man, being ever one with good, was unfallen, upright, and pure, the sinless expression of God. This healing demonstrated the atonement or at-one-ment to be a scientific fact not only to Mary Magdalene, but to every one of us. His eternal unity or at-one-ment with good precludes the possibility that the man of God's creating can be governed or controlled by sin or any evil impulse. Because man is the forever reflection and expression of infinite good, he does possess sovereign power, as Mrs. Eddy says in her book, "Pulpit and Press," page 3:7-9, to think and act rightly, and nothing can dispossess him of this heritage and trespass on Love. The Magdalen's deep desire for reformation opened the door of her thought to the healing Christ.
When the Master healed the paralytic, he demonstrated not only that sin does not exist as actual cause for disease, but also that man is never separated for an instant from the omniaction and omnipresence of God, that man's at-one-ment with God is actually expressed in perfect action. The atonement therefore is not something to be believed, but lived – lived in every incident of our daily experience. When, for instance, one finds himself stirred by resentment or anger, a correct understanding of true being enables him to establish and maintain the fact that there is just one infinite Love, and that all men have and reflect that Love.
Since all men are expressions of the one Love which is God, they must be and are forever united in Love.
What Is Christian Science Healing?
Because in healing we are concerned solely with erroneous states of thinking, prayer – or what is termed treatment in Christian Science – does not seek to make a sick man well or a diseased body whole. What appears as a healing is really a human demonstration or evidence that man in his true and only being is now perfect, upright, and free. We do not treat matter or disease on the assumption that it exists as a reality. It is obvious that any approach from that basis would be entirely incorrect. If disease actually exists, is it not clear that neither Christian Science nor any other form of treatment could heal it? If disease is real, it exists as fact. If it is true, there is nothing to be done about it; but Christian Science places disease, sin, and all evil where they belong – in the realm of false belief or mortal mind. It declares that mortal mind is a suppositional state of consciousness, the dream or illusion that life and existence are material instead of spiritual. Mortal mind is the Adam-dream, the false testimony of corporeal sense. So in healing, it is necessary to see that mortal mind, or this delusive state of consciousness, is hypnotic; that it mesmerically imposes its false beliefs upon anyone who fails to understand that its suggestions are not true. As a matter of fact, we see in Christian Science that we are continuously either accepting in consciousness that which is true, or we are being hypnotized.
Following his healing of the man who was blind and dumb, Jesus asked, "How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" Mrs. Eddy points out that the so-called strong man to which Jesus referred was mortal mind, the basic error which must be recognized as false belief, a lie, without cause, substance, or law. When the mesmeric nature of mortal mind is understood, and one has also perceived his spiritual selfhood, he no longer fears the suggestions of mortal mind.
If you say, "I have a cold," "I am afraid," "I have a serious disease," you are letting mortal mind, the strong man, bind you. Whenever you say, "I am ill," what is happening? You are letting mortal mind or false belief mesmerize you and do your thinking and speaking.
In Christian Science we do not work from two bases, but from one alone, the truth of being; and the truth is that man exists now and always as the incorporeal expression of perfect Mind. I realize that it takes understanding and courage to reject the suggestion of corporeality and to refuse to let mortal suggestion speak for you and say, "I am sick," "I am depressed," or, "I am afraid," but, as a matter of fact, what is the real "I" that you and I are? In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy says (p. 281), "The Ego-man is the reflection of the Ego-God." Then all that you and I are, is the individual reflection or expression of the one and only Ego, and on that basis we must declare, "I am perfectly well because I am the reflection and unfoldment of omnipresent Soul; I am the expression of perfect being or Spirit."
When something seems to go wrong with the human body, one is apt to say or think at once: What is the matter with my stomach? What is the matter with my head, my heart, or my nerves? as if the cause of the trouble could be found in the nerves, the stomach, or the heart. One learns in Christian Science to say, "What is the matter with my thinking?" for there is the seat or cause of all discordant conditions.
Modern doctors and psychiatrists are more and more emphasizing the part that evil, negative, and depressive thinking plays in sickness and its effects upon the body, but they naturally cannot permanently remove from consciousness the mortally mental concepts, which they definitely accept as real.
In Christian Science one is shown not only how to analyze and recognize mortal thought, but also how to replace it through the reflection and unfoldment of spiritual ideas, that have their origin in divine Mind.
Few people probably realize that one of the definitions of the word "secretion" is a secreting or concealing, hence secret thoughts. Some doctors say that the glands express or respond to the thoughts of the individual. On this point a well-known physician said some years ago, "The human being thinks he hates or resists intellectually, but we doctors know that we hate with the organs of our bodies." It is plain that you cannot cut out hate with a surgeon s knife, nor can you amputate fear. So, my friends, if any one of you is cherishing a secret resentment or hurt, hatred of years' standing, or a deep-rooted sorrow or disappointment, I beg of you to bring these hidden thoughts out into the light. Let the realization of Love's infinitude dissolve these shadows of personal sense. Disappointment, frustration, and other unhappy human experiences are none of them as important as the joy and spiritual peace that come in the showing forth of our true spiritual selfhood. Christian Science enables us to look beyond the sinful, unkind evidence of material sense, and behold man in his true nobility as the son of God. In rising above these beliefs of hate and resentment you are able to say with Job, "I know that my redeemer liveth," because the Christ is redeeming you from belief in the reality of hate and you no longer see evil as personal but as a denial of God's allness.
Redemption from Personal Sense
A human being usually thinks of himself as a separate material entity. Believing that he has a personal, private mind, he almost inevitably has self-interests and self-opinions. He is concerned largely with thought about his body, his health, his success, and perhaps about a personal career. He expresses personal sense and thinks in terms of person. All the discords, divisions, and inharmonies of mankind are products of personal sense and the belief of many minds. A sensitive person is always one who has a strong belief of a personal ego and feels keenly the reactions of other so-called egos to his. His thoughts revolve around persons, his ego as opposed to other egos. Christ Jesus constantly kept before him the realization that his selfhood or ego was the reflection of the one I AM, and therefore that God alone was the source of his spiritual power and understanding. Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, many times strongly rebuked the tendency of some of her followers to worship and deify her personality, and in her writings she constantly turns thought away from person to Principle. As we learn to dwell quietly and peacefully on the allness of God and His infinite, perfect manifestation, we see that in that consciousness of infinite harmony, there cannot be a lot of personal egos acting and reacting inharmoniously, one upon another, but only the peaceful and right relationship of love's ideas. Christian Science declares that all is Love and Love's ideas. Then the way by which our thinking may be redeemed from personal sense and personality is to see and know man constantly as the expression of Love – to see not only oneself in that spiritual light, but all men. It is certainly true that as long as we are entertaining an erroneous concept of ourselves, or anyone else, we cannot demonstrate our own perfection.
When Moses set before the children of Israel the ninth commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour," he said, in effect, You shall not see or know your neighbor in any way but as the expression of Love's being. This same commandment could also be put even more concisely – "Do not criticize." Criticism is one of the besetting sins of the human race, and it is one of the means by which supposititious evil or animal magnetism in its many forms is kept before us as reality. Criticism is one of the subtle methods by which one is often deceived, and it may explain in many cases why there is not more and quicker healing. Generally speaking, to criticize means to judge, to censure, to find fault. If criticism really consisted in checking one's own concepts, in weighing one's own attitude and reactions as to what appears in one's own consciousness, then it could and would be spiritually helpful, but how often does criticism take on that constructive character? A critical person has a personal sense of other people's conduct, their faults, and their failings. Whether he is conscious of it or not, he is enlarging evil or a false sense of things in his own mentality.
In Christian Science we are taught how to care for the question of "motes and beams." Is it not evident that the false witness against our neighbor is every concept of him that is not spiritual? How often we hear something like this: Oh, he is all right, but – or, she is a nice enough woman, but – and then the critic proceeds to ascribe to his neighbor qualities that certainly do not belong to man as the manifestation of God.
In the allegory of Genesis, we are told that Cain, a specific illustration of personal sense, aroused to hate and jealousy by the spiritual qualities manifested by his brother, killed Abel. The Bible further relates that the Lord said unto Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" and Cain replied, "I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" Through the study of Christian Science, we begin to see that spiritually we are always our brother's keeper, in that it is always our duty to hold or keep before us in consciousness the right concept of our brother and to behold, as did Jesus, the perfect man, instead of the mortally mental picture of personal sense.
Redemption from Hate and War
Today more than ever the world picture is demanding that men and women should learn to be Christlike in their thinking, and not permit themselves to be drawn into the mental miasma of hate and moral madness. Christian Scientists have no sympathy with the materialistic philosophy and ideology of Communism. They do, however, love the people of all nations, and know that human beings everywhere are hungering for peace and freedom.
We cannot afford under any circumstance to take in the aggressive suggestion that we live in a world of enemies. As Christians and metaphysicians we cannot accept any such belief. It is certainly more in line with what we are taught, to know that we have no enemies, than it is to fight what we believe to be an enemy. In "Miscellaneous Writings," page 8, our Leader writes: "Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation? Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception?" No country is our enemy unless we see it as such and believe it to be so. We are hearing constantly of the Iron Curtain. Now, what is this, but the expression of the projected fears and resultant hates, which the false claim of mortal mind would erect to separate nation from nation and man from man? It is your privilege and opportunity at this time to wipe out, through spiritual thinking, the false claim of division and separation – two worlds. Man is not separated from God, neither is man separated from man.
Let us lift these iron curtains by being the reflection of the presence and activity of divine Love. Let us know, as the Christian Science textbook puts it, page 571, "The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity." It is clear, that to say war is inevitable in five, ten, or fifteen years is equivalent to saying that evil is inevitable and inescapable, and thinking Christian Scientists cannot possibly take such a position or agree with any such evil prophecy. It is therefore the duty of every right thinker to deny these suggestions, and thereby destroy the great fear that war is inevitable. The only encouraging aspect about the present state of mortal thinking is that the utter hopelessness of the world outlook is compelling thousands to look toward Spirit as the only possible way of deliverance.
One world, one universe, with one government, and that by divine Principle, can and will be the law of dissolution to every false philosophy of government. In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 225): "Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free." Then is it not clearly our duty to maintain spiritually the facts of being so steadfastly that all countries will emerge into the freedom that their people are obviously seeking and entitled to have, freedom from ignorance, freedom from poverty, freedom from superstition, from fear and industrial slavery?
Christian Science gives us the understanding which, if demonstrated, can prevent war. Now in demonstrating the universal peace which humanity so needs today, we begin with ourselves. The first step toward the demonstration over war is taken when we as individuals reflect and manifest more love toward each other in our homes, in our churches, and in the business life, less criticism and a more positive effort to see perfection instead of imperfection in our brothers. Love, divine Love, as our textbook says, is the universal solvent, and we can maintain that Love as the only presence, until Love appears as the only intelligence and Mind of man, of every man.
Where is war? Well, to the extent that you and I believe it and take it in, it is in us, in our own thought. The only place one can have war is within himself, and, what is more important, the only place we can have peace is within our own consciousness. Right now, let us make our own peace treaty. It makes no difference if the entire human race appears to be in conflict and discord. There can be no war for you nor me, unless we take it in. This does not mean that we are pacifists. On the contrary, Christian Science demands a courageous and forceful attitude toward every aggressor on the rights of mankind. Our national freedom and the liberty of all peace-loving people must be defended. At this present state of human understanding, wisdom requires the footsteps that will successfully meet and overcome any attempt of mortal belief, through any form of dictatorship, to dominate and control the human race. But if your consciousness is filled with Love, if you are the individual consciousness of Love, that in itself is the surest defense against the fear and destructiveness of the atomic bomb or any other form of material warfare. To quote a well-known passage from Mrs. Eddy's book, "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 210): "Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited."
The Bible declares, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." This spiritual peace truly does surpass the understanding of mortal mind, because it is based in the scientific knowing that rises above the entire picture of mortal discord, and serenely rests in the realization that there is just one being, God's infinite, universal being, all-inclusive, all-harmonious, and eternal.
[Nov. 10, 1949.]