Christian Science: The Science of Mind and Its Ideas

 

John W. Doorly, C.S.B., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The Basis of Human Experience

Intelligent thinkers have long recognized that human experience is based entirely upon human thought, or as the writer in Proverbs states of a mortal, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Consequently. as humanity, or the aggregation of mortals, thinks, so is human existence. The existence which was composed of stagecoaches, boats that crossed the Atlantic in thirty days or more, different modes of agriculture and of dress, different methods of housing, and even of eating and drinking, this existence has changed into our present day existence simply because of a change in the thinking of mortals. In proportion as the belief in the power and permanence of the finite or material has yielded to the glimpses which great thinkers have had of the fact that true being is not limited to finity, the finite has ceased to bind such men and women, and the limitations of material sense have given place somewhat to the unbounded possibilities of infinity, or spiritual being. Communication by messenger, on foot or on horseback, has given place to the telephone and telegraph. What is called space is being annihilated rapidly by the aeroplene and wireless telegraph, and the limitations of agriculture are being broken by the motor tractor and other up-to-date methods. In fact, the whole trend of human experience is being rapidly changed, and perhaps more at the present time than at any other period. Ancient theories of class distinction and of the subservience of the many to the few are passing away before the recognition of the great fact that every man's interest is inextricably bound up with every other man's. The improvement in the living conditions of certain classes and their insistence on better housing and sanitary conditions are causing many diseases that were at one time epidemic to be almost unknown. Thus it is seen that even a change in ordinary human ideals is transforming every phase of human existence, and as this transformation is being brought about by a change of ideals it is consequently wholly the result of better thinking. Indeed it is becoming clearer and clearer that the whole of human experience is but the objectification of human or mortal thought, and as mortal thought has changed during the ages even the seasons have apparently changed. A man surely could not build a house, or even make one of the bricks of which the house is to be built, without first thinking it out. The more consideration, therefore, one gives to this subject of human existence, the more it will be recognized that what we call human existence is but the manifestation of the thinking of mortals. When a man recognizes this fact and likewise recognizes the immense amount of fear, of false thinking and talking about disease, also the mountains of malice, hate, and envy that occupy so large a part of the thinking of mortals, he will not be surprised at the many calamities that seem to beset mortal existence. He will also cease believing that God is responsible for these calamities, but he will appreciate that they are simply the effects of wrong mortal thought.

Now it is evident that the thinking of mortals is controlled almost entirely by what are known as the "prevailing systems." These systems which make up mortal existence and control mortal thinking are the prevailing systems of science, of theology, and of medicine. These are the three measures of human thought which direct and control mortal experience through wrong education.

It is therefore evident that as these three measures of mortal thought are leavened by progressive ideals or better thinking, so all human experience must change.

Christian Science likewise recognizes that the mortal body is but the expression of mortal thought, and that one individual's body differs from another individual's body in shape, in health or in any other condition, according as their respective bodies are formed or controlled by human beliefs or by high ideals. For instance, one individual has a certain kind of body because the belief prevails about him that he was born of certain parents who also had the same kind of body or because of the environment or material conditions in which he was born or reared: also because of the amount of fear or other wrong thinking that influenced his mentality. Job recognized the result of fear in human experience when he declared, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me," and the ordinary medical practitioner now admits that fear produces much disease. Christian Science not only recognizes these surface facts connected with mortal existence, but it goes right back to the root of the matter and brings to light the fact that the whole of mortal existence is based entirely on mortal thinking, and that the way out of mortal existence and its plagues of sense is to gain a divine standard from which one can reason or think rationally. By this persistent right thinking, or spiritual idealism, humanity can, little by little, change mortal thinking and consequently mortal existence, until it no longer sees "through a glass, darkly," but it recognizes that true existence is based wholly on God, and is therefore perfect even as the Father Himself is perfect.

 

Mortal Existence Explained by Christian Science

Let us then consider the origin and composition of this mortal existence which is the result of mortal thought: also let us consider the standard of true being through the understanding of which we can put off mortality by degrees. Naturally one starts first by endeavoring to put off the most evident inharmonies of mortality, such as petty sins, disease, fear, worry, accidents, and many other minor discords of mortal sense. Thus one will be enabled to go on to the overcoming of greater evils, until at last he will be enabled to overcome even death.

Christian Science deals with mortal existence as a wholly false sense of existence, and this false sense of being it declares arose in the mist, in the mystification, or mythology, of mortal thinking, as described in the second chapter of Genesis: "But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." Mortal thought, since it regarded God, the creator, as a great despot, subject to wrath, repentance, human changeableness, and possessing human qualities, consequently regarded creation or existence as finite, limited, and mortal. The systems of to-day have in some measure obtained the basis for their reasoning from this material reasoning. Mrs. Eddy has pointed this out with regard to one of these systems, when she writes on page 158 of her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "It is recorded that the profession of medicine originated in idolatry with pagan priests, who besought the gods to heal the sick and designated Apollo as 'the god of medicine.' He was supposed to have dictated the first prescription, according to the 'History of Four Thousand Years of Medicine.' It is here noticeable that Apollo was also regarded as the sender of diseases, 'the god of pestilence.' Hippocrates turned from image-gods to vegetable and mineral drugs for healing. This was deemed progress in medicine: but what we need is the truth which heals both mind and body." It will not take thinkers long to recognize that our present-day systems of theology and of science are likewise still strongly colored by materialistic theories. Indeed, it is evident that the farther humanity has traveled from its material thinking which had formerly bound it the more it has become ready to accept the idealism of Christ Jesus. It is this spiritual idealism of Christ Jesus which is impelling humanity to come somewhat out of material thinking and so out of mortal beliefs, and this process must go on until mortality, or the mist of material thinking is dispelled entirely.

If. then, mortal existence is based on wrong thinking, or on the wisdom of this world, that is, on a wrong sense of God and of existence, will not right thinking about God and about existence, or spiritual idealism, enable us to come out of this mythology of mortal existence, and to find our lives "hid with Christ in God," or to recognize true existence as perfect, immortal, and indestructible? The fact is that the world has not yet fully recognized the only standard from which it can judge all things rightly, and it will never have a solid basis or bedrock foundation for its science, its theology, or its medicine, and consequently for existence, until it gets back to the one and only cause or Principle, God. In our day we have seen so-called science change its very basis of reasoning many times. Theology has arrived at the place where it no longer attempts to explain logically its myriad inconsistencies, but it requires humanity to accept them blindfolded. The advocates of medicine themselves, in many cases, admit that drugs do not and cannot heal. Is it any wonder, then, that this material world of ours, which is based on thinking according to these systems, seems to have no stability, but is in a constant turmoil of theories, each struggling against the other? What, then, is the remedy for this mass of inconsistencies which we term mortal existence? Christian Science declares emphatically that the only remedy is the Science of Christ, the medicine of Truth, and the theology of Spirit, all expressing and explaining God's true nature, and true existence. In fact, the only remedy for mortal existence and its ills is to know God aright. What, then, is God?

 

Nature of God and True Existence

Christian Science declares that God is divine Principle. Christen Science uses this word Principle to express the fact that God is unchangeable, that God is the one and only cause, also that God exists in and of Himself, and is dependent on no other being. Mrs. Eddy has written: "When the term divine Principle is used to signify Deity it may seem distant or cold, until better apprehended. This Principle is Mind, substance, Life, Truth, Love. When understood, Principle is found to be the only term that fully conveys the ideas of God, one Mind, a perfect man, and divine Science" (No and Yes. p. 20). If we start, then, with one perfect, unchangeable Principle or cause, named God, we must consequently admit a creation or effect that always has been and always will be exactly like that cause. Christian Science therefore declares that the eternal facts of being, from which alone a man can logically reason, are perfect cause or Principle and perfect effect or existence. Surely this eternal perfection of being is what the Book of Common Prayer declares when it states, "As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be." To ascertain, then, the nature of true existence or the effect of the one cause, God, we must not reason from mortal existence but we must start by understanding God or Principle, the only cause.

Christian Science also teaches that God, divine Principle, is Life, Truth, and Love, and because God is infinite therefore He must be infinite Life, Truth, and Love. Consequently existence, or true being, must express infinite Life, infinite Truth, and infinite Love. But does this existence which we know as mortal existence express infinite Life, infinite Truth, and infinite Love? Not at all. What we call mortal existence, which we have already seen to be a false sense of existence based on wrong thinking or mythology, frequently expresses death, the opposite of infinite Life; it expresses much of error, the opposite of infinite Truth; and it expresses a great deal of hate and fear, the opposite of infinite Love. Consequently Christian Science, still adhering to its foundational basis of perfect Principle or cause and perfect effect, shows that mortal existence is not our existence, is not God's creation at all, that it is therefore not something to be desired, but something to be put put off. Christian Science also declares that mortality can and should be put off through a perfect understanding of and acquaintance with divine Principle, Life, Truth, and Love, and with the effect of that Principle, perfect and spiritual being. At this point I would like to ask a question. Who is the more Christian and the more scientific? The Christian Scientist who starts with the proposition of a perfect cause or Principle, God, and from this fact logically deduced what effect or existence must be, and then begins scientifically to prove this proposition, in daily life, or the man who draws his conclusions from mortal existence, and relies on his five physical senses for his information (which senses cannot even tell him that there is a God), and then accepts the conclusion that, although he believes in a perfect God or cause, he must admit that there is a very imperfect material existence which God must have made? I submit that the true Christian or the really scientific thinker can only answer that question in one way. Let us then begin to think in this way, that is, to get a better acquaintance with divine Principle or God, and with the expression of Principle, that is, with true being, and then we will be able to prove how this truly scientific divine thinking will lead us out of the superstitions of mortal belief and into the realities of existence.

 

Divine Mind and Its Ideas

Christian Science teaches that divine Principle Life, Truth, and Love to be intelligent, must be divine Mind; for if Principle were not Mind then it would be nonintelligent or mindless. Consequently divine Principle, Life, Truth, and Love, which is also divine Mind, must express itself in that which alone can express Mind, that is, in true thoughts or ideas. Also, each of these ideas must be individual, since God is infinite, and each idea must express Life, Truth, and Love. Thus Christian Science teaches that true existence, or God's creation, is composed of infinite ideas or divine thoughts, each individual, each perfect as the Principle which conceived it, and each forever expressing infinite Life, Truth, and Love. These divine ideas are the true spiritual individualities of you and of me and of all men, also of the cattle, the trees, the flowers, and of all that exists. For instance, Christian Science teaches that the true man, our spiritual identity or the real identity of any man, is a perfect spiritual idea, or is indeed God's thought, wholly spiritual or divinely mental, perfect, even as the Father Himself is perfect, and eternally one with infinite Life, Truth, and Love. It also teaches that this man forever coexisted with God and that he never began and will never end. On the other hand, mortal sense says that man is a material organism, subject to sin, to disease, and to death, that he is born materially and then dies. This mortal man is the man of whom Job spoke when he cursed the day that he was born. In the same way Christian Science teaches that whatever is worth having, whether it be health, holiness, or happiness, strength, wisdom, or substance, these must all exist in reality as divine ideas, because God, divine Principle, the only cause, is divine Mind and could only create ideas, or divine thoughts. Christian Science shows logically that the true man does not need a yard of health or a pound of health, but he possesses the right idea of health. Is a man less real because he is in reality divinely mental and exists as a divine idea or as one of God's individual thoughts, and because he obtains and retains his health, his holiness, his happiness, and all that is necessary to his well-being by way of divine ideas? Is not the mortal man anyhow a mortally mental being or a false mental condition, who believes that his health, holiness, or happiness come to him, not by way of indestructible divine ideas, but by way of illusory material conditions, which conditions are constantly at the mercy of myriad false human laws?

The fact that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health. p. 468), also that the manifestation of Mind or God is composed wholly of divine ideas, each individual and perfect, and that these ideas constitute true existence, is the scientific fact of being through which we utilize our divine Principle, God, and so come out of the mazes of mortal belief.

 

Practical Nature of Divine Ideas

The great question, then, is, How can we intelligently and practically use this Science of divine Mind and its ideas, and how we can apply this Science to human experience, so that humanity may be delivered from the myth of mortality, from the false sense of God, of man, and of the universe? Christian Science teaches that God, divine Mind, knows Himself: for being infinite and All-in-all, there is nothing outside of Himself to be known. God being Life, His thoughts or ideas about Himself are expressed as existence, and consequently real existence consists of God's thoughts about Himself. These thoughts or ideas being, like God, conscious, know themselves: and since they themselves are but expressions of divine Mind, God, they are really knowing the divine Mind which they express and reveal and from which they emanate. God being the infinite One, it is evident that God cannot be included in any man's thought, but must be understood through the ideas which express God. Even in the study of mathematics no man can include the principle of mathematics in his thought, but he understands that principle through the ideas which express it, that is. through five plus five equals ten, six plus six equals twelve, and so on. In the same way Christian Science recognizes that God, the infinite Principle Life, Truth, and Love can only be understood through the ideas of Life, Truth, and Love; that is, through spiritual identities, or through the spiritual reality of man, of the cattle, of the tree, the flower, of health, of holiness, and all that exists. This great fact is what John declares when he says, "No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." This only begotten Son is the full manifestation of divine Mind, including all right ideas, or all true being. Therefore, when one of God's ideas knows the truth about itself or about another idea, what is really happening is that this idea is reflecting and expressing the divine Mind, God; and that which is operating is always, therefore, God, divine Principle, or Mind, which operates through its ideas or through true being, with infinite power and intelligence. For instance, let any one of you begin to know the spiritual fact about another, that in reality he exists and always has existed as God's or Mind's true likeness, that is, as a divine idea, perfect as the Father Himself is perfect. Surely such knowing must have started with God, the one and only Mind. for if it had not, then there would be more than one Mind. Therefore what is really operating in such thinking is the divine Mind, God, expressing itself through one of its ideas, that is, through your individual thinking. Also what is being known is man, God's spiritual idea, also revealing and expressing the divine Mind, God. Consequently the whole process is really divine Mind or God being conscious of itself and expressing itself through its idea, man. The presence and power of such thinking, therefore, is the very presence and power of God, divine Mind.

 

Divine Mind Includes Its Ideas

When the apostle stated, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us," he was enunciating the great scientific fact that all love starts with and is included in God, and not in man. So also we may say, "Herein is Mind, not that we knew God, but that He knows us," for all right mental activity must start with and be included in the one divine Mind. Can we possibly think, a true thought or conceive a divine idea which God has not already conceived? If so, man would be the creator. Therefore we are sure that every true thought or right idea starts with God, divine Mind, and is indeed in and of divine Mind. Christ Jesus described this process, that is, the unity of Mind and its idea, in these words: "My Father worketh hitherto. and I work." In fact, since God or divine Mind is all, all right mental activity must express the very presence and power of the divine Mind. Thus all right mental activity that is, the true knowledge and perception of God's ideas or of true existence, revealing and expressing God is always Emmanuel, or God with us.

 

Divine Ideas Dispel Mortal Illusions

Is it very difficult, then, to see that the divine Mind, expressing itself with infinite power and presence through its thoughts or ideas that is, through true existence can have no difficulty in eliminating the carnal mind's false belief about those ideas or in overcoming mortal existence and its falsities? Mortal existence being utterly unlike God's ideas can give no true conception of those ideas except by reversal. The only way, then, that we can learn anything about God's ideas from mortal existence is by utterly reversing mortal belief, since it is the very opposite of true existence. The best way, however, to learn the truth about existence is to begin by understanding God or Principle, and from this basis reasoning practically as to what real existence must be. As every mortal condition is only a false sense of God's idea or of true existence, the understanding of the true man, or of God's idea, will deliver us from this false sense and consequently from mortality. As day by day one begins to know the truth about anyone, or about any object, he is allying himself with the divine Mind, God, and he is utilizing the divine Principle Life, Truth, and Love just as surely as a man utilizes the principle of mathematics when he knows that five times five equals twenty-five, and just as surely will his understanding of divine Principle deliver from mortality and its mistakes, as the principle of mathematics delivers from miscalculations. Mrs. Eddy has strikingly portrayed this process of salvation that is, of dispelling human beliefs by the understanding of divine ideas or true existence in these words: "Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas" (Science and Health, p. 123).

 

The Christian Scientist's Prayer

When, therefore, a Christian Scientist prays or gives a treatment, he utilizes the infinite presence and power of divine Principle or divine Mind, through cognizing some one of its ideas, and it is therefore the divine Principle, God, which operates through its idea to heal or to free the patient from a false mortal condition. Jesus said, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, (not that ye will receive them, but that ye receive them) and ye shall have them." In accordance with this admonition, Christian Science, in present day language, says, When you pray, know the actual facts of being, perfect cause or Principle, God, and perfect effect or existence, and this understanding will operate with infinite power to dispel a false mortal sense of existence, and you will find that as God's expression or idea you and all being have always existed perfect as the Father Himself is perfect. Jesus, understanding well that anything in the way of good which was accomplished could only be accomplished through divine Principle or God, also said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father," that is, because I have recourse to the Father or to divine Principle to do these works: and as the availability of Principle or God to all men is more universally understood because of Jesus' mission, even greater works will be accomplished. The Christian Scientist, then, to heal the sick, reform the sinner, or raise the dead, has recourse to the divine Principle, God, through the discernment of some spiritual idea or some divine thought which expresses and reveals God, divine Mind, and which is indeed God with us. A Christian Scientist in his prayer does not try to change or to influence God in any way, but he strives to understand and so to utilize the divine Principle, God, which always operates according to its own divine nature. Realizing this, Jesus said, "Father . . . I knew that thou hearest me always"; and the Christian Scientist knows that divine Mind, or Principle, always operates through the activity of its own thoughts, that is, through spiritual facts or divine ideas.

Suppose, then, an individual who needs help for some disease, comes to a Christian Scientist, the Christian Scientist will at once start to know that God is infinite, the only presence, and the only power, that God is divine Principle, the only cause; also that God is Life, Truth, and Love, and that God is divine Mind. The Christian Scientist will indeed fill his thought with the fact that Principle or divine Mind, God, is All-in-all. He will then strive to realize that man is the effect of this one and only cause, God, that man is a perfect idea of the divine Mind, and is forever governed and sustained by Principle; also that man must express the nature of infinite Life, of infinite Truth, and of infinite Love. The Christian Scientist, in fact, will totally disregard the testimony of his physical or human senses about man, but he will know the divine fact about man, that man is a divinely mental being, or that he is a perfect idea of the divine Mind, God, and that he forever lives, moves and has his being in that Mind. As the Christian Scientist realizes these divine facts, and of course to realize them he must live them continually in his daily life, he will be coming into communion with and utilizing the divine Mind or Principle, which is Life, Truth, and Love: and he will therefore be utilizing that which is infinite in power, in capacity, and in intelligence. In fact. he will be utilizing the one and only power, God, and therefore the only healer there is of disease or of sin.

Having established his basis of prayer or of divine communion, the Christian Scientist will then start from that exalted state or thought to know that because God is the only Mind, therefore there is no carnal mind to operate as a lie about God or as a lie about man, that there is no carnal mind to operate as a false law of disease or as a mortal mentality which could believe in disease. If he has reason to believe that the disease is caused by fear or by some sin or by a false medical law, such as contagion or the effect of weather conditions, he will also extend his denial to these false laws or to whatever appears to cause or influence the condition. By this process of denying the reality of evil in its every phase, the Christian Scientist is breaking up evil's claim to reality in the only place evil ever had any reality, that is, in mortal thought or in the carnal mind. The Christian Scientist will then realize that the truth he knows about God and about man's relationship to God is the divine law to that diseased condition, that it is the very presence and power of the divine Mind, God, and that it operates with infinite power and intelligence upon the so-called carnal mind, or upon mortal thought, and causes the carnal mind to relinquish its lie of disease. As the Christian Scientist is utilizing the ever-present divine Mind through his acquaintance with God's idea, the true man, naturally this Mind, being ever present, would know no limitation, but would operate anywhere.

This practical utilization and demonstration of divine Mind or Principle in human experience destroys evil of every kind, and banishes sin or the desire to sin from one's experience. It causes the drunkard to give up his mesmerized belief that there is any attraction in alcohol, and it frees the drug fiend from the hell of mortal belief which says that man, God's idea, can have false cravings and desires. This divine activity removes hate from the mentality of one who believes in hate, and it causes him to rejoice in divine Love. It also heals the sick as Jesus commanded, it cleanses the leper, and causes the lame man to leap with joy. Thus the Christian Scientist in his prayer is letting his conversation be "Yea, yea," and "Nay, nay," that is, he through his acquaintance with God's idea, man, realizes and utilizes the divine Principle, God, and he also rejects and casts out of human experience, or out of mortal thought, all that is unlike God. The Christian Scientist understands that words are only auxiliaries to express thought and that the important part of his prayer or treatment is his unchanging consciousness of God's allness and evil's nothingness. In fact, the important part of his treatment is his understanding of man, God's idea, revealing and expressing God. As Mrs. Eddy has written, "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy" (Science and Health, p. 476).

 

Attainment of Divine Ideas the True Bread and Wine

This right idea of God and of man held constantly in thought influences every event of our existence and slowly but surely brings us out of the mist of materialism and its consequent materiality. It utterly dissipates any material or mortal sense of God or of man, and this consistent right thinking is what Paul terms praying without ceasing. It is this divine fact, that God is Principle or divine Mind, and that true existence consists of perfect, indestructible ideas or expressions of that Mind, which the Scriptures record from beginning to end. This truly scientific understanding is the very bread and wine which Jesus gave to his disciples at his last supper with them. It has frequently been considered a lapse on the part of John that he makes little or no reference to the last supper as a material rite or ceremony instituted by Christ Jesus. As a matter of fact, John is the only disciple who has given to humanity the very bread and wine with which Jesus fed his followers before his crucifixion, and that bread and wine is the practical, demonstrable truth about God and about man and the absolute unity of God and man. On that wonderful occasion when Jesus was about to prove to the full the power of divine Mind as manifested through himself as God's idea, that is, through his own mentality or his own individual thinking, he explained to his followers the divine facts about God and man and the healing and saving power of that understanding. John alone seems to have grasped what Jesus meant, and he records the very words of Jesus on that occasion in those four wonderful chapters beginning at the fourteenth chapter of John with these words: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God believe also in me," that is, you believe in Principle, believe also in the idea of Principle. Jesus came to teach men that the truth about God and about man which he knew could alone save and heal them: and on this wonderful occasion he explained to them in so far as they were able to bear it, the spiritual facts of being. This was the true bread and wine.

 

Results of Knowing God Through His Ideas

Any man who begins to understand God as divine Principle, or Mind, and true existence as the perfect, indestructible ideas of that Mind, will find that the Bible is a new book to him. He will find that in this book is recorded the only real Science, the Science of absolute spiritual being, the only real healing method, the healing power of divine Mind as manifested through its thoughts or ideas, and the only real theology, the theology of divine Principle, in which God or Principle is understood to be the source and cause of all true being and material existence is seen to be a temporal falsity. It is this understanding of Principle and its idea which the psalmist describes in the ninety-first Psalm as dwelling "in the secret place of the most High," and I would draw your attention to the result of this understanding as recorded in the ninety-first Psalm: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels change over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread on the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." Let me call your attention to Mrs. Eddy's definition of angels, in connection with this Psalm (Science and Health, p. 581): "Angels. God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality." Angels, in fact, are divine ideas, or the consciousness of true existence coming to any individual. Therefore, whenever one perceives the truth about anything, that is, whenever he rejects the mortal sense of being and beholds the spiritual fact about himself or about any person or anything as divine idea governed by Principle, that individual is entertaining an angel, which reveals God; and this experience is consequently Emmanuel or God with us. Jesus himself used this word "angels" in this sense when he spoke of the angels of the little children: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you. That in heaven their angels (that is, their spiritual realities,) do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

 

Divine Science Humanity's Liberator

Humanity has before it today a remedy for all of its troubles, its labor troubles, its wars, its sins, its diseases, and even its belief in death, if it will but accept this revelation of divine Principle. It is for each individual to accept this Truth which is revealed in the idealism of Christ Jesus, and to govern his life by it, and so to eradicate from his experience all that is not based on divine Principle, God. There is no detail of human experience which is too trifling for the application of this understanding of Principle and its ideas, since every human experience is but a false sense of some divine reality. In fact, there is no remedy for any trouble, however trifling, but the operation of divine Principle. Through understanding that God is divine Principle, or Mind, which manifests itself through its ideas or through right mental activity, the Christian Scientist begins day by day, logically, practically, and scientifically, to cast out of his thought and experience all that is unlike God. He also finds that this understanding operates not only to overcome sin and disease but to protect him from sin and disease. Fear, accident, worry, poverty, and all abnormal conditions disappear from his life, and old things truly pass away and all things become new. He begins to gain his heaven here and now in better morals, better health, and better conditions of every kind. His resurrection from mortal beliefs starts just as soon as he begins to understand divine Principle, God, and in a little while he begins to help resurrect others from the mythology of mortality. Christ Jesus did not accomplish the raising of Lazarus or his own resurrection, as a result of his momentary prayer, but as the result of his lifelong struggle to resurrect his own thinking from a false sense of God and a false sense of being to the understanding that God is divine Principle or Mind, and that true being is forever spiritual or divinely mental and perfect.

 

Christian Science Unifies All Being

One of the greatest blessings that comes to a man through the understanding that God is divine Principle is that he begins to look to Principle for all good and he begins to see that persons can neither give him anything good nor take anything good away from him, since all good belongs to God. He therefore ceases from fearing or from exalting human personality, but he realizes that because they are God's ideas, all men must bless and support each other. He regards the carnal mind's lies that man is separated from God, that men are separated from each other, and that their interests are divided and opposed to each other, as mythology. He recognizes class distinctions, race distinctions, and other divisions and separations to be human beliefs which he must suffer to be so now, to some extent, until the light of Truth reveals the external fact of one infinite Being, God, in whom all live, move, and have their being. The man who understands these things at once becomes a reformer in the true sense, for he sees that it is only by reforming his own thinking and bringing it into accord with divine Principle that he can ever be about his Father's business, that is, expressing the very presence and power of divine Mind, which will enable him to deliver both himself and others from sin, from disease, and from death. It is, therefore, through divine Principle alone that men are going to be enabled to see and to prove the nothingness of every phase of evil and of so-called material law, and the allness of God, or good.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

A sadder, sweeter story was never told than the story of how this understanding of God as divine Principle, manifesting itself through divine realties or spiritual ideas, came to Mary Baker Eddy. Born of good New Hampshire stock, she partook of the great restlessness and desire for a deeper knowledge of God, which had for years been flooding that part of the world. Mrs. Eddy as a child had unusual experiences, and on several occasions heard a voice speaking to her, as men and women before her had done. Every attempt to find happiness in mortal experience failed her. When a young bride, she lost her first husband through death soon after she was married. Then her only child was taken away from her. Later her health broke down, and for many years she was a confirmed invalid. During all of these experiences, however, her great desire to know God continued to grow. Eventually when she lay on what seemed likely to be her deathbed. because of an accident, Mrs. Eddy read her Bible and was healed. She read the story of the healing of the palsied man, recorded in the ninth chapter of Matthew, and was immediately healed. She rose from her bed and went into the next room where her family and friends were waiting. They at first were so astonished that they imagined it was her ghost. If Mrs. Eddy's human experiences before she discovered Christian Science were disappointing, after her discovery of Christian Science they became bitter. As she studied her Bible and her understanding that God is divine Principle continued to develop, she met the bitterest persecution and misrepresentation. Her courage, however, never faltered. She only waited for God to point out the way, and then no matter what the opposition might be, she travelled that way. Little by little her teachings began to percolate through human thought, until to-day there is no system of science, of theology, or of medicine that has not felt and is not feeling to the very depths the effect of Mrs. Eddy's teaching. Mrs. Eddy not only discovered Christian Science, but she did an even more important thing, she established it in human thought on a truly scientific basis, and she founded a Church for the propagation of her discovery. In other words, she was the Discoverer, and Founder of Christian Science. Her Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and its by-laws are founded on the fact that God is divine Principle, through the understanding and demonstration of which men can be delivered from sin, from disease, and from death. As time goes on it becomes clearer and clearer that the waves of human reason, mad ambition, and gross materialism will beat in vain against this Church and its form of government. Indeed, the idealism of Christ Jesus, which is fully revealed to-day in Christian Science, must eventually govern all human experience; and in this Church all mankind will some day lose their sins, their diseases, their belief of separation from God and separation among themselves, their labour troubles, their wars, and even their belief in death.

Is it any wonder, then, that Christian Scientists who have found the vital, palpitating presence of Christ in Christian Science are deeply grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her courage, her selflessness, her wonderful perseverance under difficulties, and her unfaltering faith in God? But Christian Scientists do not worship Mrs. Eddy: they worship God, divine Principle, and rely on Him wholly for their health, their holiness, and their happiness. Too soon the world cannot awake to this fact and find that the Christian Scientist's heaven is no far-off dream, but is the practical demonstration of Christ Jesus' promise, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Day by day, as Christian Scientists, we find that sin and disease have less and less hold on us, and we find that God, Principle, divine Mind, is becoming more and more real to us through our acquaintance with and perception of God's ideas, divine realities, the truth about man, about the cattle, about the tree and the flower, about health, and happiness, and about all that exists. The practical demonstration of this idealism is explained by Mrs. Eddy in these words: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious as Life eternally is can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony" (Science and Health, p. 495).

 

[1929.]

 

 

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