Christian Science: The Revelation of Christ
John W. Doorly, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Christian Science is exact and scientific in its teaching about God and about Christ, and it declares unswervingly that their true nature can and should be understood practically and intelligently here and now, and indeed that to attain any measure of real health and salvation we must first follow the injunction to "acquaint now thyself with him [God], and be at peace."
God and His Law
The questions therefore arise: How are we to acquaint ourselves with God? How are we to know that our view of Him is the correct one? To both these questions Christ Jesus, whose teachings all Christians acknowledge as absolute and final, has given direct answers, and Christian Science has proved these answers to be practical, religious, and scientific facts to be used in daily life. To the first question, How are we to acquaint ourselves with God? Christ Jesus replied, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." In fact he stated that the Father must be known through the Son, and through the Son only. To the second question as to how we were to decide when we had known God aright, his reply is, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was raised from what seemed likely to be her death-bed through her study of the Scriptures. She had grasped from them somewhat of the true nature of God, and had also perceived that Christ Jesus was not using some specially bestowed power when he performed his marvelous and convincing works, but that through his exact and comprehensive knowledge of God he was simply utilizing the ever-present divine law, which might be unknown to those who were ignorant of the Father's true nature, but which was ever available to all who understood God aright. This divine law had formerly been utilized to some extent by Abraham, by Moses, by the prophets, and later by Christ Jesus and his followers, and it is this law that Paul describes as the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," which he declared had made him "free from the law of sin and death."
Christian Science then accepts the fact that there is an ever-present divine law which, if understood and used, will with scientific certainty make men free from the supposed law of sin and death. It is certain, however, that to appreciate this divine law we must understand the nature of God, the divine lawmaker, the one cause.
True Nature of God
How then are we going to understand the nature of God? It is evident that we can never understand God upon a human basis, for according to the testimony of our physical senses we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell God; and indeed if we relied wholly upon our five physical senses we would never know that God exists. Christian Science therefore declares that God must be understood spiritually or mentally, and that to know Him aright we must depend upon spiritual understanding. It also declares that it is the habit of relying on our five physical senses for information as to what God is that has hidden the true God from us and has caused us to worship a man-made sense of God. Therefore to understand God aright Christian Science relies on divine reason and revelation.
What then does Christian Science say about God, basing its conclusions on reason or correct thinking and revelation? It states that God, to be all-power, all-presence, and all-knowledge, as the Scriptures declare, must be the infinite One, for it is quite evident that if God were not the infinite One there would be another presence, another power, and some other knowledge. Thus Christian Science teaches that God is the infinite One, the only cause and the one creator.
Since God is the infinite One, He can never be included in anything, but He Himself includes all being in Himself. Consequently Christian Science says that no man can ever include God in his thought, for to do so he would have to be greater than God; but it says that this infinite One can be understood through thoughts or ideas which reveal His divine nature. So we perceive that it is impossible to outline God or the infinite One, in our thought, but it is possible to understand the nature of God; and this is what St. John meant when he stated that "no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
For instance, if you or I should appreciate the fact that God is Spirit, as the Scriptures declare, this would in no way mean that we had included the whole of God in our thought, but it would mean that we had entertained one correct thought or idea about God which revealed His true nature; and so whenever we think truly about God we are only beholding thoughts or ideas which reveal His nature, and we are in no way including the infinite One in our thought, for this would be impossible. In fact Christian Science realizes that it would be just as idolatrous to try to outline God in our thought or to form a mental concept of some great personality and call it Deity, as it would be to make an image of wood or stone from that mental concept and call that Deity; for false views of God, whether they be mental images or material images, are equally idolatrous. When humanity appreciates the great fact that God is the infinite One, it will cease speculating about the personality of God, but will begin to understand His nature, and it will then strive intelligently to be godlike.
God as Principle
Christian Science teaches us to think of God as Principle, and uses this word Principle to show that God is the fundamental and invariable source or cause; that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It has sometimes been objected that this word Principle makes God seem distant or cold, but Christian Scientists have found that the knowledge of God as infinite divine Principle, who changeth not, is the rock upon which the waves of error dash themselves in vain. Many Christian Scientists under great stress of sin and disease have gratefully recognized the nearness and dearness of God as ever-available Principle, who cannot fail to heal and to save, and whose divine law is ever operating on behalf of those who will understand and use it.
Christian Scientists who have learned to know God as Principle are never found trying to change God through their prayers, but are rather found trying to draw nearer to Him through understanding His divine nature and conforming their thoughts and daily lives to the unchangeable nature of this infinite Principle.
Christian Science teaches likewise that God is Mind, or, as Jesus declared, Spirit; and to be intelligent, God must be Mind. As He is also the infinite One, therefore Christian Science recognizes that Mind is one, and that Mind is creator. This truth forever obliterates the idolatrous human belief that there can be minds many, or that matter, the opposite of Mind, can be a creator.
To sum up, therefore, Christian Science teaches that God is the infinite One, indivisible, and not included in anything but including all true being in Himself; that He is divine Principle, and that He is also infinite Mind, or Spirit. These are all conclusions which are not only taught by the Scriptures, but, what is equally important, they can be proved in daily life in the same way that Christ Jesus proved them, by anyone who is willing to understand these conclusions and to govern his life by them.
Having gained a correct sense of God, we are now in a position to know what Christ, His expression, must be; for even if Christ Jesus had not revealed to mankind that God and His Christ were "one," - that is, one in quality, - it would be evident that the infinite creator, or divine Principle, could only create that which is infinitely like Himself.† Christian Science therefore recognizes that the Christ must forever be the emanation or expression of the infinite One, and that he must always be one in quality and essence with the Father; that he was, therefore, "before Abraham was," and that he never began and could never end.
Attitude toward Jesus
It is sometimes erroneously stated that Christian Scientists do not appreciate Christ Jesus as other religionists do; but is this statement true? Do not Christian Scientists appreciate Christ Jesus and his teachings so fully that they rely on them unreservedly, not only for their own health and happiness, and indeed their very lives, but, what is even more important to them, for the health and happiness of their loved ones? Other religionists who claim that we do not appreciate Christ Jesus, because we have a more practical sense of his life-teachings, should remember that they are not willing to do these things.
It is true that Christian Scientists do not believe that the human Jesus of Nazareth was God, but they know that the spiritual man, or Christ, was the manifestation of God, and is indeed Immanuel, or "God with us." They also understand that this real man, or Christ, was not the material personality of Jesus, which he himself declared must go away, but that his true Christliness was the Mind or consciousness which was in Christ Jesus, and that this consciousness was his spiritual reality, which, he stated, was forever present, although unseen by the physical senses.
Is it not evident that the material body of Jesus could not still the tempest when he was asleep in the boat, but that his awakened consciousness stilled it at once? And so in some cases of healing it is recorded that Jesus was far distant from the people he healed, clearly proving that it was not his bodily presence, but his consciousness, or what he knew of God and of true being, that healed those cases.
There is no body of people on earth who recognize more the importance of Christ Jesus as the Saviour of humanity, or who accept his divine Sonship more clearly, or who are more humbly and gratefully conscious of the loving, unparalleled, and selfless sacrifice of Christ Jesus, than are Christian Scientists, and they are trying to prove this, not so much by saying "Lord, Lord," which mere verbal expression means nothing, but by doing the will of the Father "which is in heaven."
St. Paul declares, "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more;" and can it be said that Christian Scientists do not recognize Christ Jesus fully, because they follow Paul's injunction and understand that the very Christ, the manifestation of God, must be wholly spiritual or mental, and not material? It is the understanding that it was Jesus' mentality, or his knowledge of God and of true being, which enabled him to be Jesus the Christ, that has now enabled Christian Scientists to accomplish in some measure his works.
Salvation Through Christ
Mankind, from its personal point of view, has insisted on regarding the material personality of Jesus as its Saviour, rather than his spiritual individuality, forgetting that Christ Jesus himself perceived this erroneous condition so clearly that he told his followers that if his human personality went not away the Comforter, or spiritual truth, his divine reality, would not come to them, i.e., would not be understood by them. He saw that his followers were relying on his human personality and not on his Christliness, or his spiritual individuality. As a matter of fact, the Holy Ghost, or consciousness of spiritual being, did not come to his followers until the human personality of Jesus had disappeared before his full recognition of his divine Sonship.
On one occasion, when someone more than usually personal addressed Jesus as "good Master," Christ Jesus rebuked him with the remark, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." He recognized that his questioner was regarding only his human personality, and not his divine reality, or spiritual selfhood, which alone was good, or godlike. Jesus understood more clearly than anyone has ever done the nothingness of human personality and the all-importance of spiritual individuality, and he spent his life trying to turn the thoughts of men away from the human to the divine, both with regard to himself and to everything else.
Upon careful examination it will be found that all the woes and discords of existence are based upon human ignorance of God and of His Christ, or on divergent views upon these subjects. Does any one suppose, for instance, that war would be possible between nations or individuals who understood the teachings of Christ Jesus so that they could prove them as he did? It would be utterly impossible. Therefore, it is all important that we should lay aside every wrong preconceived notion about Christ, and gain the one true and therefore scientific sense of him which the Scriptures teach, and which can be proved, for this understanding alone can unite all humanity in one universal brotherhood. This understanding of Christ will bring to pass Samuel Longfellow's words:
From hand to hand the greeting flows,
From eye to eye the signals run,
From heart to heart the bright hope glows;
The seekers of the Light are one.
One in the freedom of the truth,
One in the joy of paths untrod,
One in the heart's perennial youth,
One in the larger thought of God.
True Nature of Christ
Both Christian Science and the Scriptures teach that the Christ is the full and perfect expression of God, that is, of infinite divine Mind or Spirit; and to be the full and perfect expression Christ must include all that is true, for if he did not include all that is true then Christ would not be the full expression of God.
Christian Science therefore
accepts the fact, which the Scriptures teach and which is essentially logical,
that Christ must include the truth or the spiritual reality, not only of Christ
Jesus but of everybody and of everything.
Christian Science thus teaches that the truth or spiritual reality of you and of me and of all things is included in the Christ; and it further states that this spiritual reality of Christ Jesus and of all things is what constitutes God's creation, spiritual and perfect, or is that which God has made and which He declared to be "very good," and consequently that the spiritual reality of Christ Jesus, of you, of me, and of all that exists, is what constitutes the Christ.
Mrs. Eddy illustrates Christ in her writings by a simile, using the sun as a symbol to explain God and His Christ. She says, "If we say that the sun stands for God, then all his rays collectively stand for Christ, and each separate ray for men and women" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 344). The Christ, therefore, is that which manifests or expresses God, and this must necessarily be what God has created.
What then has God created? Since God is infinite Mind, or Spirit, it is evident He could only create that which is the likeness of Mind, or that which is mental and spiritual; and as infinite Mind is that which eternally knows, therefore Mind's creation must be that which always expresses knowledge, or must be conscious existence. Also it is quite clear that infinite Mind, or Spirit, could not create its opposite, finite material things, but that it could only create its likeness, spiritual thoughts or ideas, and that each of these ideas must be eternal in its individuality and perfection, for "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it." Thus God's only creations must be spiritual thoughts or ideas, each one perfect and eternal, and forever conscious of existence; and this consciousness of true being, or this true conscious being, is what we in a human way call spiritual understanding, or right knowing.
The Christ, therefore, is that which God has created, and consists of infinite spiritual ideas, each perfect and eternal, and forever conscious of God and of true being; and this true and conscious being, or this consciousness of true being, is spiritual understanding or right thinking.
Jesus the Christ
Christian Science thus teaches that it was his spiritual understanding, or the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, that constituted him Jesus the Christ, and also that spiritual understanding is what always constitutes the Christ.
Is it not perfectly clear that every man's individuality or spiritual reality must be what he knows that is true about God and about all being, or is his spiritual understanding?
Does any one object to the statement that the Christ, the expression of God, - that is, of infinite Spirit, or Mind, - must be wholly mental or spiritual, and must therefore be spiritual understanding or true conscious being? Of course if humanity insists on regarding God as a glorified human being, it will naturally desire a glorified mortal for its Saviour, and it will remain in the same condition as Thomas, looking for the Christ in matter instead of in Spirit, or Mind; but that is not what the Scriptures teach, nor can it ever help any one to attain the knowledge of God or of true salvation.
When humanity understands that God is infinite Mind or intelligence, it will naturally perceive that it was his spiritual understanding, or the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, that made him the true likeness of God, and it will then be willing to go a step farther and see that spiritual understanding is always the likeness of God, i.e., of infinite divine Mind, and is therefore always the Christ. Such understanding is, however, as we have seen, really the consciousness of true being, or is true and conscious being, the spiritual reality of Christ Jesus, of you, of me, and of all that God has made; and this is the Christ which is revealed throughout the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, the man of God's creating, the spiritual man, including the spiritual realities of all things. This appearing to human consciousness of true being, is the forever coming of Christ, with power to heal the sick, reform the sinner, and comfort the sorrowing. This healing and saving power of Christ is clearly defined by Mrs. Eddy when she states that Christ is "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583).
Revelation of Christ
It is Christ which is revealed in the first chapter of Genesis as God's image and likeness, the spiritual man, infinitely good and having dominion over all things. It was his perception of Christ, or of spiritual being, which impelled Abraham to leave the false gods of his fathers and to go out to seek a higher sense of God and a more spiritual sense of being. It was this Christ which he later beheld as Melchisedec, "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God," and to whom he gave obeisance.
It was the understanding of Christ revealing the divine nature which enabled Jacob to perceive that the truth of his being was always "Israel," a prince of God, and not a mortal; and it was the vision of Christ at the burning bush and on Mount Sinai which enabled Moses to guide the Israelites through many trials and to give them a fuller understanding of God and a true sense of His law. It was Christ who appeared to Job and revealed to him the allness of spiritual being and the nothingness and nakedness of material existence; and it was his perception of this Christ or spiritual man which eventually delivered him from his afflictions.
It was the Christ, or the true sense of being, which enabled the prophets to foretell the eventual appearing of that man who would prove that the spiritual man was the real man, and that the material man was merely the mistaken human concept of man, and who could declare, "Destroy this temple," speaking of his material body, "and in three days I will raise it up," that is, will prove that the spiritual or true man is the real man, indestructible and eternal. It was also the vision of the Christ, or spiritual man, which enabled the Virgin to perceive the divine fact that God alone is the Father of man, and that the true man was not born of a material father and mother, but forever coexisted with God; and this understanding of Christ enabled her to bring forth the man Christ Jesus.
It was the complete understanding and attainment of the Christ which later enabled Jesus of Nazareth to admonish, "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven," and which also enabled him to prove to perfection his eternal unity with the Father. It was this Christ which St. John perceived, and which he so wonderfully describes in Revelation as the holy city, new Jerusalem, the spiritual fact of being, in which he states that there is no temple or material body. It is of this Christ appearing to the spiritually-minded throughout all ages, as they have risen above the mortal sense of being, that the Scriptures are a progressive record.
It is the revelation and demonstration of Christ which in our day has enabled the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science to perceive that the true man is wholly spiritual, for God is both the Father and the Mother of man, since the Scriptures declare, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them;" and certainly God must have been both Father and Mother to create man in His image, both male and female. Finally, it is the revelation by Christian Science of the fact that Christ is the spiritual reality of all being, or is all that God has made, which has today healed and reformed a mighty multitude. Is it not wonderful that Mrs. Eddy, perceiving these things, should write that "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages" (Science and Health, p. 271).
If therefore spiritual understanding, or the consciousness of true being, is really true conscious being, or is the Christ, the expression or creation of God, then the understanding of true being must express the nature and quality of God and of God only, - that is, it must express infinite power and infinite intelligence. Therefore spiritual understanding, or the Christ, since it must express infinite power and intelligence, can have no difficulty in destroying sin, disease, and death, which are not of God, and which consequently can have in reality neither power nor intelligence. How then, it may be asked, does the understanding of God and of true being make free from sin, disease, and death, and indeed from all mortality?
Mortal Existence Defined
Christian Science explains, as the Scriptures also do, that all we need to be made free from is the so-called carnal mind and its effect, mortality; and that all sin, disease, and death are but effects of the mistaken belief that there can be a so-called carnal mind opposed to the one infinite Mind, God. These phenomena, - sin, disease, death, and all mortality, - being the effects of a false belief about a so-called mind, must necessarily be mortally or mistakenly mental, or are in fact a false sense.
This false sense, mortality, seems very real to mortals, trained to believe in it and to think wholly according to the testimony of the mistaken physical senses; but Christ Jesus dismissed mortality from his calculations with the statement that "the flesh profiteth nothing."
Mrs. Eddy in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," dealing with the problem of material existence, answers the question "What is matter?" in a way that will one day be recognized as supremely scientific and sublimely Christian. She declares (p. 310) that "matter is made up of supposititious mortal mind-force."
It is interesting to note that even physical scientists from their material viewpoint are slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that what we call matter or material existence is but a kind of force, and later they will see that this force which is supposed to constitute material existence is but the suppositional activity of the so-called carnal mind.
Is it so difficult to perceive that the knowledge of true being or of immortality, which is divinely mental and expresses infinite power and intelligence, can have no difficulty in overcoming mortality, which is mortally or mistakenly mental, and which has neither power nor intelligence? This was the way of salvation pointed out by Paul when he stated that "to be carnally minded" - that is, to believe in the carnal mind and its effect, material existence - "is death; but to be spiritually minded" - that is, to understand one God, infinite Spirit, and His creation, spiritual being - "is life and peace."
Now let us take a practical example of this in human experience. I have known many people who would admit that anger had caused a headache, that a shock or fear had caused disease of various kinds, and even that excessive worry had caused bad physical conditions by poisoning the system; that is, they admit that a bad mental condition will produce a bad effect. Now tell these people that a knowledge of God and of true being, or a right mental condition, will remove these physical troubles and will remove them with certainty, and they usually refuse to believe it. In fact, they will admit that evil thinking can have an evil effect, but they cannot admit that right thinking, or spiritual understanding, which is the expression of God, and is the very Christ, and is therefore Mind, or "God with us," can have any power or influence at all either to produce a good effect or to remove an evil one. Yet we call ourselves a Christian people.
Suppose again that some one has a disease through what is called the law of heredity, that is, because his father or mother or some forebear had the same disease. What is the use of performing a surgical operation to remove that disease? Will not the law of heredity, which originally produced that disease, continue to produce it again and again, until that false law is destroyed by the spiritual understanding that God is the only creator? Also, in the case of heredity, all must admit that the trouble is in the mortal mind, since according to medical theories it is claimed that the material body is entirely altered every seven years, and therefore certainly could not contain an inherited complaint in a person over seven years old, unless it was in the person's mentality.
Basis of Healing
Christian Science in its healing differs wholly from every material curative system, in that it deals primarily with the carnal mind, the supposed cause of all evil, instead of dealing only with its effects, sin, disease, and death. Christian Science recognizes the practicality of Jesus' question, "How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" The strong man is, of course, the carnal mind, the mist, or ignorant false sense that mortal existence, or a false sense of being, is real. Christian Science deals with its harmful effects by first destroying the belief in the so-called carnal mind itself, through the spiritual understanding that there is and can be but one infinite Mind, God, who is all-presence and all-power.
Material curative systems deal wholly with material effects, and thus they never get to the root of the trouble, although they seem to relieve one belief of the carnal mind, called disease, by another belief of this so-called mind, named material medicine.
This is, however, of no permanent benefit to mankind, because it does nothing to destroy the belief in the source of all evil, i.e., in the carnal mind itself, but rather strengthens it; and although this may relieve a mortal temporarily from suffering, it can be of no real benefit to him, and may indeed help him to continue sinning. Can anyone believe that a material drug which would relieve a sinner from his disease and permit him to continue in his sin is God's way of healing?
Christian Science, on the other hand, would begin by healing the man of his sin, i.e., of his wrong thinking, of the carnal mind, or of his ignorance of God, and thus of the disease, its effect, and this would be of some permanent value to him. It would do this wholly through understanding God. The healing of Christ Jesus, or spiritual healing, is the same as true salvation, because it always relieves mankind from the belief that there is any power opposed to the one infinite Mind, God.
Healing Power of Understanding
In the presence of spiritual understanding - that is, the consciousness of true being, or of Christ - sin, disease, death, and discord of every kind lose their reality and disappear, because they are seen as falsities, having no reality, although claiming to be real according to the testimony of the five physical senses. In fact they lose their reality in the only place where they ever seemed to have any reality, that is, in the carnal mind, in human experience, or in wrong thinking, just as the belief that two and two are five loses its reality before the understanding that two and two are four.
The perfect consciousness of true
being, or of spiritual being, is not attained at once by mortals, but as day by
day the fact becomes manifest to us that there can be but one creator, the
divine Mind, perfect and eternal, and one creation, the ideas or thoughts of
that Mind, also perfect and eternal, and we accept this fact and make it the
governing motive of our daily lives, then the discords of human sense will
begin little by little to lose their supposed reality in our thought, and first
one and then another of our sins and sicknesses will disappear from our
thought, from our experience, and from our bodies. As this fact of spiritual
being and man's eternal unity with God becomes more and more real to us, then shall
we be accomplishing what
This ceaseless striving to live above the mortal and to perceive the Life divine, is steadfast communion with God, and is therefore true prayer. This is manifest in its results, for it heals the sick and saves the sinner as nothing else can. When, therefore, someone comes to a Christian Scientist to be freed from either sin or disease, the Christian Scientist at that moment begins to realize the spiritual fact that there is in reality but one cause and one effect, and that the only man there ever can be is the man of God's creating, the spiritual man, who dwells forever in the bosom of the Father, or in the consciousness of divine reality, who is spiritual and perfect, and who knows it. The Christian Scientist continues to realize God's infinite power and presence and the true man's eternal perfection in God, in spite of whatever material sense may say as to man's unlikeness to God.
The Christian Scientist realizes that since God is Mind, the way of salvation must be through true godlikeness, that is, through right thinking or spiritual understanding, or through the consciousness of true being. He is thus availing himself of the truth about his fellowman, or of God's law; and that which heals, therefore, is the divine law, which operates through spiritual understanding or right mental activity. This law would operate equally well for anyone who was willing to avail himself of it, to understand it, and to be governed by it. The Christian Scientist's prayer is in fact his spiritual understanding of what God has done, - that is, of spiritual being or true being, or of God's Christ, - and this prayer is the true prayer of faith, or of spiritual understanding.
Christ Jesus undoubtedly revealed Christ to humanity, but the great question today is, whether humanity is content, like the nine lepers, when it has felt the healing touch of the Christ, only to go and show itself to the priest, that is, only to adopt a religious belief; or whether, like the one leper, humanity is willing to turn back from religious creeds and to cast the mortal down at the feet of the Christ, the spiritual man, and thus to glorify God, and to be not only cleansed like the nine from physical beliefs, but to be healed like the one from the belief in mortality also. Christian Science healing is in no way associated with the action of the human mind, either as mesmerism or hypnotism, suggestive therapeutics, or any other healing method based on the action of the human or mortal mind, but is purely the result of letting that Mind be in us "which was also in Christ Jesus," i.e., of understanding God and His creation aright. Therefore Christian Science healing and reformation is in the highest sense the healing of Christ.
The practicality of Jesus' work and its applicability to every human condition at once becomes apparent when we perceive that his mission was a constant effort to reveal to mankind the Science of spiritual being, that is, the truth about himself and about everything. Indeed, he himself described the full purpose of his mission when he declared to Pilate, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." He lived and practiced this Science of spiritual being consistently in order that he might be able to demonstrate it for us, and thus show us how this Science, or exact knowledge of true being, might be used to free the mortal from his mistaken sense of life and existence.
The motive of Christ Jesus' life was his desire not only to save himself, through this divine way of knowing the truth, but it was to bring salvation to others, and this same motive has been particularly manifested in the life of Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Revelation of Christian Science
It is this understanding of true being, of the infinite reality of spiritual being, which Mrs. Eddy discovered, and which years of struggle to live above the mortal had revealed to her. She discovered the Science of spiritual being, or of Christ, because she was the one in this age who was pure enough in thought to perceive it, and because, like all other reformers who had discerned the Christ, she was willing to give up the material and finite sense of being and to follow that revelation which led her into the light of spiritual being. Mrs. Eddy's many years of suffering and the vicissitudes of her mortal life, combined with her intense longing to know God, all fitted her for this revelation which has done so much to bless mankind and which has already saved a vast multitude from sin, from disease, and even from death.
After her discovery of Christian Science Mrs. Eddy spent three years studying the Scriptures, and as the true nature of God and His Christ was revealed to her, she saw that she too must prove this revelation by healing the sick and the sinning. She therefore turned her attention to this work, in which she healed all manner of sin and disease. As she herself relates in her book "Unity of Good" (p. 7): "When I have most clearly seen and most sensibly felt that the infinite recognizes no sin, this has not separated me from God, but has so bound me to Him as to enable me instantaneously to heal a cancer which had eaten its way to the jugular vein. In the same spiritual condition I have been able to replace dislocated joints and raise the dying to speedy health. People are now living who can bear witness to these cures."
Mrs. Eddy Stood Alone
Mrs. Eddy then wrote her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," giving to the world her discovery in a clear and concise manner and turning all her followers to the daily study of the Scriptures. This textbook is not only in no way a substitute for the Bible, but it is safe to say that no book has ever been written that has caused a deeper or more consecrated study of the Scriptures than has this book.
At first Mrs. Eddy stood alone in this mighty work of letting men know of her discovery, but later spiritually-minded men and women, whose longings had not been satisfied by creed or dogma, began to see the logic of her teaching, to study it, and to receive from it the benefits which knowing God aright must ever bring. Today this mighty multitude confesses itself beholden to the teachings of Christian Science about God and about His Christ for their health, their holiness, and their peace of mind; and they feel sure that in time, when the teachings of Christian Science are understood, all men will accord to Mrs. Eddy her rightful place as a consecrated, Christlike woman, who has described herself (Science and Health, Pref., p. ix) as "a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ."
Christian Scientists are grateful beyond measure to Jesus the Christ for his unique example and lifework, and they recognize in him the Saviour of mankind because of his knowledge of God and of true being; and they know that only as they gain spiritual understanding and live above the mortal will they too be attaining the Mind of Christ, and become fellow-heirs with him.
In conclusion may I draw your attention to Mrs. Eddy's wonderful description of the Christ as given in one of her poems (Poems, p. 75):
Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the power of the Word?
'Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.
Sinner, it calls you, - "Come to this fountain,
Cleanse the foul senses within;
'Tis the Spirit that makes pure,
That exalts thee, and will cure
All thy sorrow and sickness and sin."
[Published in 1917 in a pamphlet by The Christian Science Publishing Society.]