Christian Science:

The Science of the Unity of God and His Creation

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

 

In the 32d chapter of Genesis there is a story told of the patriarch Jacob, of whom it is recorded that "there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." (Gen. 32:24) It will be noticed from the context immediately preceding this statement that "Jacob was left alone." (Gen. 32:24) Evidently, therefore, there was no mortal man with Jacob who could wrestle with him, since he was left alone. Upon careful examination it will be found that this narrative is a record of the struggle in Jacob's thought, between the mortal or false sense of existence, and the immortal sense, or the better understanding of God and of the spiritual man. The story indicates that Jacob refused to give up the struggle to grasp the better understanding of God and of the spiritual man, until the mortal sense, with its fear and ignorance, had been subdued, and the revelation of God's nature and of man as God's likeness had become a reality and a blessing to him. When this climax had been reached, when this understanding of God and of spiritual power had overcome to some extend the false or mortal sense, Jacob then declared, without any hesitation, "I have seen God face to face." (Gen. 32:30) A close study of this story also shows that as a result of his better understanding of God, Jacob had likewise realized more of the truth about himself. He had realized that his name or his nature was no longer Jacob, "a supplanter," but Israel, "a prince of God." Indeed, a close study of many of the narratives in this Scriptures will show that whenever some spiritually minded man or woman had recognized something of God's true nature, it is almost invariably recorded that they immediately gained a better or more spiritual sense of themselves and of existence. In the same manner, whenever they perceived the truth of the spiritual fact about themselves, or about anyone or anything, they then declared that these facts had to some extent revealed to them God's true nature.

In the first chapter of Genesis when the revelator had perceived somewhat of God's true nature, he then discerned the divine facts about God's creation. He also realized that God's work is forever complete and that His nature is forever expressed. In fact, what Jacob, as a result of his better understanding of God, had realized with regard to himself, the revelator, in the first chapter of Genesis, realized with regard to the whole creation. While Jacob had been enabled to reject the mortal or temporal sense of himself, and had perceived somewhat of this true or spiritual selfhood, the revelator in Genesis, because of his understanding of God, had rejected the mortal or false sense of all things and had perceived the spiritual fact about everything. In both cases the understanding of God's nature had not only revealed divine facts to them, but the realization of these divine facts had enabled them to know more of God. Speaking of the climax of the revelator's vision in the first and second chapters of Genesis, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science has written in her textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty and glory of infinite Love fill all space." (Science and Health, p. 520) Noah in like manner, through his better knowledge of God, was enabled to understand and to prove the indestructible nature of true existence. It is recorded that when Abraham was ninety and nine years old the Lord appeared unto him, that is, Abraham gained a better understanding of God and of His ever presence. Immediately, it is also recorded, Abraham realized that his name or nature was no longer Abram, or "a lofty father," but Abraham, or "father of a multitude." In fact, when Abraham knew more of the truth about himself, and as he gained a better sense of himself as God's likeness and not a mortal, he immediately realized more of God's true nature. Just so a close study of the Bible shows that whenever the truth about God was revealed to anyone, whether it was to Moses or one of the prophets or to whomsoever it might be revealed, this vision was immediately manifested in a better understanding of God's creation or of spiritual reality. Likewise whenever some great thinker gained a better sense of God's creation as being spiritual and not material, he always declared in substance that he had recognized something which had revealed God to him. Eventually Christ Jesus enunciated this fact more clearly than anyone had ever dared to do when he declared to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9) By this "me" it is evident that Jesus did not mean his material corporeality, which he described as "flesh and bones;" indeed he had rebuked Thomas for his inability to look beyond this "flesh and bones." He clearly meant the divine nature which he had been manifesting and which revealed God to man. John, as a result of his understanding of God, saw the false mortal sense of existence pass away entirely and he beheld the new heaven and the new earth, that is, he understood God's creation or spiritual reality. This spiritual reality he describes as the New Jerusalem. Of this New Jerusalem John writes, "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God." (Rev. 21:3) In fact John's understanding of God enabled him to grasp the spiritual reality, and when John had perceived the spiritual facts of being which reveal God, he declared that "God himself shall be with them."

 

God as Revealed in Christian Science

Nothing has plagued and punished humanity more than its inability to understand, or mentally to lay hold on, God and not to be able to prove in its time of need that "He is a God at hand and not a God afar off." This inability to understand God's true nature and His availability has culminated in the popular belief that God is inaccessible to mortals and that He is a humanly personal being with human qualities and passions, who governs the universe according to material law. To these mistaken notions of God can be traced much of the disaster, disease, discord and dismay which seem to play to large a part in human experience. During the ages many spiritually minded men and women have arisen who have understood to some extent God's true nature and also the nature of true existence and its inseparability from God. These revelators have unceasingly labored to impress on human thought the spiritual facts of God and of creation. Inevitably, however, humanity has insisted upon injecting into these revelations, its own poor, limited and personal views of God. In our age, Mary Baker Eddy has grasped so clearly what Jesus meant when he declared that "God is Spirit" (John 4:24, Revised Version), and what John meant when he declared that "God is Love" (I John 4:16), that she has been enabled not only to discover the absolute truth about God and about God's creation, but she has also been enabled to present the truth to human thought as a practical working Science, whereby men can be delivered from sin and disease, and from trouble of every kind. It may be stated here that Mrs. Eddy's discovery of God's true nature and of His availability does not deviate one hair's breadth from what is recorded in the Scriptures. It is evident, however, that because men are today more ready to receive the truth of being, she has been enabled to state the facts clearly, where in ages past it was possible only to indicate them. What then is Mrs. Eddy's discovery which enunciates so clearly that it can be demonstrated, this great fact recorded throughout the Scriptures, viz., that a knowledge of God necessarily involves a knowledge of true existence or of the spiritual reality, and that the comprehension of any spiritual fact, or the discernment of anything that is true, necessarily reveals God to men?

Mrs. Eddy's great discovery is that God is divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love; also that divine Principle or God can only be understood through the idea which expresses Him, or through true existence, which is always included in Principle and which can never in any way be separated from Principle. Mrs. Eddy has likewise revealed to humanity that since God is Principle, true existence must be constituted of divine ideas or thoughts, that is of spiritual individualities, and not of material beliefs and objects. Her discovery of the complete unity of God and His creation, or of the unity of divine Principle and its idea, is stated by Mrs. Eddy in a sentence which will one day be recognized as one of the most stupendous statements ever made. This statement is as follows: "Principle and its idea is one and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe." (Science and Health, p. 465) Christian Science, then, teaches that God's creation or true existence cannot be considered as apart from God any more than numbers can be considered apart from the fundamental truth of mathematics, or notes can be considered apart from the fundamentals of music. Neither can God be considered as separate from His expression or His creation, spiritual reality. The sooner humanity recognizes that God is divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, and that true existence is therefore expressed in divine thoughts or ideas which reveal Principle, or God, and which can never be considered apart from Principle, the sooner humanity will deliver itself from the great calamity of the ages: that is, from the pernicious human belief that the real man and the real universe were ever separated from God either in nature, in quality, in being, or in any way. Since God's ideas or true existence reveal God, it is evident that that which reveals God can never be considered as apart from God. The understanding of these facts enables one to grasp more clearly the deep significance of Jesus' teaching to his disciples just before his crucifixion, when he tried to show them the complete unity of Being that Being is one, inseparable and indivisible. On that occasion he stated to them the inseparable nature of God and the true man in these words: "That they all may be one: as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. . . . And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17:21-23). The understanding of these facts also enables one to comprehend in some measure what the apostle meant when he wrote to the Philippians: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in form of God, though it not robbery to be equal with God." (Phil. 2:5,6).

 

Relationship of God and His Creation

Christian Science therefore teaches that there is one infinite, indivisible Being, God, who is noumenon and phenomenon, cause and effect, Principle including its idea or its creation. Does this mean then, someone asks, that man is God? Not at all. Christian Science specifically teaches that man is never God. It does teach, however, that the spiritual man is included in God and reflects God, or as the apostle states, "in Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28). Consequently when a man understands God, he must understand the spiritual man and spiritual creation, and as he discerns God's creation, he must understand God's nature to some extent: just as surely as when a man understands the fundamentals of mathematics he begins to comprehend numbers, and when he gains a knowledge of numbers he is understanding the fundamental law of mathematics. Then let humanity recognize that God is the infinite One, who cannot be included in anyone's thought because He is infinite, and who therefore cannot ever be known as a whole, but who can be understood intelligently through the ideas which express Him, or through spiritual realities. Humanity will then give up its impractical, superstitious thinking about God, and will understand Him as ever operative, ever available, divine Principle, forever delivering the sons of men from their mortality and from evil and illusion of every kind. It will then be seen quite naturally that God includes all in Himself, that He is the one divine Mind or Principle including in Himself His own ideas or true existence; also that a knowledge of Him constitutes a knowledge of true existence or of spiritual reality, just as surely as an understanding of spiritual reality reveals God to men. Of what advantage, then, someone asks, are these facts to humanity? Every thinking person will admit that the only hope humanity can have of salvation is through a better knowledge of God, a closer acquaintance with Him, a more certain understanding of His nature. If there is anything to be found anywhere that is good and true, and that can deliver humanity from evil, it must emanate from God and must be in its very nature an expression of Him. Consequently a better knowledge of God would include a firmer grasp of whatever could save mankind from its troubles, or of whatever constitutes salvation.

 

The Christian Scientist knows, therefore, that when he mentally lays hold on a divine fact, i.e., on the truth about anyone or anything, he is laying hold on that which reveals God, and God is becoming available to him. The Christian Scientist consequently has infallible, unchangeable, irresistible, demonstrable, divine Principle for his God: the Being who never varies and never fails, and who is ever available through the understanding of spiritual realities or through correct thinking. Suppose then that any of us were suffering from some disease and needing help. Would not the knowledge of God's availability as divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, improve our condition: and would not the understanding of our true spiritual selfhood, or of man in God's likeness, reveal God to us, and so constitute the mental condition which would deliver us, and which is described in the Scriptures as "Immanuel" or "God with us?"

 

Nature of Mortal Existence

Let me remind you that both the Scriptures and Christian Science teach that mortality, or mortal existence, is but a false, fleeting, temporal sense of existence. Every mortal condition therefore is but a mortally mental condition, and this is becoming so patent to the thinking individual, that it hardly seems necessary any longer to argue it or even to attempt to explain it. Jesus once described mortals in these words, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44) The word devil in the Hebrew means "a malicious accuser." Evil is the malicious accuser that God is not all, and mortal existence is the accusation of suggestion that there can be a creation unlike God's creation or unlike spiritual being. As God is all, evil is therefore a liar, and as God's creation or spiritual existence is the only real creation, mortal existence must be a lie. Christian Science therefore accepts fully Jesus' description of evil, or the carnal mind, as a liar, and of evil's suppositional creation, mortal existence, as its lie. The individual who thinks for a moment will see in certain superficial ways, that mortal existence is mortally mental, and if he continues his thinking coherently he will soon be forced to the conclusion that material conditions are wholly mental and mental in a wrong way. Let us suppose that one likes sea bathing, and the other does not. To one the experience will be pleasure, while to the other it may be pain. But it is the same experience and varies simply because of their different thoughts about it. Suppose they decide to have a certain kind of food for dinner, and that one likes it and the other does not. They eat the same food, but it produces a different effect on each of them, showing that this experience, too, is wholly mental. Years ago aeroplanes were unknown; today we have them because someone thought of how they could be made. The result is that because of this thinking we have aeroplanes in our world. At one time tall buildings were unknown until someone realized that they could be built, and because of this thinking we have tall buildings. Some member of a household gets a popular disease, and the other members of the family get afraid or think that it is contagious: because of this wrong thinking the disease expresses itself also on their bodies. A railroad engineer fails to do something that he should have done, and because of his wrong thinking, we have in human experience what we call an accident. Some ruler of a nation becomes ambitious and decides to go to war to satisfy his ambitions. Because of his thinking the whole face of the earth is changed. These are a few superficial observations which first strike one, and which can be multiplied indefinitely. Slowly but surely, however, humanity is beginning to recognize that the whole of mortality is based on mortal thinking. It is likewise being recognized to some extent that all the hell there is, is included in mortal thinking and its results, mortal experience. Mortal thought, or the false testimony of the five physical senses, reasons falsely about all things. For instance, mortal thought reasons thus: "Man is God's likeness. Well, man is a mortal, therefore God must be a glorified mortal." Christian Science says, "Not so. God is divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, and since man is God's likeness, then man must be the likeness of Principle, of Life, of Truth and of Love." This latter statement remains true whatever the physical senses declare. Christian Science therefore recognizes that a mortal is always a mortally mental being, or that he is a false sense of man, who is God's idea. Let us remember then that when we are dealing with a mortal we are always dealing with a mortally mental or a false mental condition. When we are dealing with a sick mortal, we are dealing with a still more mortally mental or a still more falsely mental condition. Therefore let the person who seems to be sick remember that what he is really dealing with is the carnal mind's lie that there is a mortal man who is unlike God and who can be afflicted by so-called disease; or let him remember that he is dealing with a wrong mental condition which is not of God, but is the result of the false testimony of the physical senses. All of his troubles, therefore, come from the fact that he is entertaining a wrong sense of himself, and of existence, and this is undoubtedly why Jesus preached that the truth would make him free.

 

God's Creation Alone Real

Christian Science does not teach that there are two creations, one spiritual and the other material. It teaches that there is but one creation, and this creation is God's expression or emanation, and is therefore wholly spiritual. It further teaches that this creation is not composed of material organisms which are constantly being changed by the action of other organisms, but that it is composed of God's thoughts or divine ideas, each forever specific, individual, and unchangeable in its nature. Mortality, Christian Science says, is a false sense of being, and is therefore no more creation than four plus four equals nine is mathematics, no matter how many people believe it to be so. Human existence, as we know it, however, is not to be wiped out, but the mortal or false sense of existence is to be replaced more and more by the true sense of being or by spiritual understanding: that is, by the Mind of Christ or through knowing God and His creation aright. Then in proportion as the mortal false sense disappears will the dream of mortality disappear and spiritual being, or God's creation, will be found to be the only reality. Every student of the Scriptures will recognize at once that this is the way of salvation promised throughout the Bible. Paul explains this putting off of the mortal and the attaining of immortality, in a most striking way, in I Corinthians 15:50, 53-56: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." Jesus clearly told men that the kingdom of God is within us, and Christian Scientists know that the kingdom of God is the attainment of spiritual reality, through spiritual understanding. It starts here and now with small beginnings through which a man, because of his better knowledge of God and of spiritual things, is enabled to put off some of his sins, some of his diseases, some of his fears, and worries. Eventually we must all reach this point where the delusion of the mortal has become so thin and powerless that "in a moment," as Paul declares, it passes away and we know even as also we are known of God.

Suppose one should enter a long room, dimly lighted, with a beautiful picture hanging at the far end. As one entered the room the picture would be indistinct in every detail. Let us compare this indistinct sense to material existence and let us compare the picture itself to spiritual reality. The picture might be of a pastoral scene and yet in the distance and in the dim light, it might look as though it were a sea with battleships, or like anything else. Evidently therefore the first false sense of the picture would have no relationship at all to the picture itself, but being a false sense would be nothing but just nonsense. As one approached closer to the picture and obtained a better sense of it, this would not mean that the first false sense of it had been improved. It would rather mean that the false sense had disappeared to some extent because a better sense had been obtained. Just so, as we understand spiritual being, the false sense of existence or mortality is not really improved, although it seems to be, but mortality, or a false sense of creation, is disappearing before a better understanding of immortality. This process of the disappearing of the mortal, before the eternal fact of the immortal, must continue, until mortality is put off entirely and we all awake to find our lives "hid with Christ in God," or we awake to find that the true man is, and forever has been, perfect, immortal and indestructible. To carry the illustration even further it is only necessary to remember that when the visitor to the room had reached the picture so that he could see it distinctly, he would not really appreciate it, even then, unless he was instructed in the subject of art, i.e., unless his thinking about art was right. In the same way when a man realized that true existence is immortal, spiritual and indestructible, and that it is constituted of God's ideas, he cannot even then appreciate and demonstrate this fact until he understands how to utilize his perception of spiritual reality. Mrs. Eddy has therefore taught humanity that, whatever one's physical senses or one's material senses may testify, if even they declare that material existence and its plagues seem very real, still there is only one creation, and that one is spiritual reality, or God's creation. Mrs. Eddy has in fact taught that mortality is but the false material sense of existence and is the result of cycles of material thinking. This false sense of creation has no more to do with God's creation than the mistaken sense of that picture had to do with the picture itself; it is but a false sense and therefore something which seems to be real to mortal sense or to false mortal thinking, but which has no abiding reality. This recognition of the temporal nature of mortality enables one to grasp the wonderful significance of Jesus' definition of evil, or of the so-called carnal mind, as a liar, and of material existence, its offspring, as a lie.

 

Nature of Disease

Mortals have regarded disease not as a false mental condition, but as a material condition. In dealing with disease therefore they have not got at the root of the trouble, for they have only dealt with superficial effects. Then they have tried to heal these superficial effects with material remedies, when material existence in itself is but a falsity. The net result has been that they have been trying to "cast out devils through Beelzebub the prince of devils," and in such systems God has no place, for they are wholly material. Naturally, mortals have not got rid of their diseases through these processes, but are constantly manufacturing diseases for themselves. Neither is the situation improved when mortals cease from trying to heal disease with matter and try to heal it with the action of the human or carnal mind. As this so-called mind causes disease, it is evident that it cannot heal it. We are living in a wold which sometimes seems to be full of trouble, of hate and fear, of greed and envy, of calamity and accident, of woe and pestilence, of class division and national division, of scourges and epidemics. Do you feel that the Christian Scientist is not doing his share to lessen humanity's burden because he deals with these things, not as divine realities, but as mortal illusions proceeding from the one evil, the so-called carnal mind, and because he deals with them through God, divine Mind or Principle? If the Christian Scientist believed these things to be realities and therefore proceeding from God, he could not deal with them through God, for if God decrees them then they are irresistible. The Christian Scientist knows, however, that they are the result of ignorant human thought or sin, and that a proper understanding of God and of spiritual reality will deliver from these things.

 

The Practical Application of Christian Science

Now then, let us return to the person who is ill, who needs help and who expects to get this help through God. He has realized that a mortal body is but a false sense of body and that a diseased body is a still more false sense. He now knows that what he is really dealing with is the so-called carnal mind, or with false material thinking. He therefore turns away from this false sense or wrong thinking, and he begins to think spiritually. He really begins to pray or to know the truth, that is to know God. He realizes that there is but one God or creator, infinite, invariable, divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, the only Being, the one presence and power, the one and only Mind. As he gains this true sense of God, he will naturally realize that man, God's likeness, must be like God, i.e., he must be like Mind, he must be like Spirit, he must be like divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, he must be like good. He also recognizes that the man who is like God cannot be evil he must be good; that the man who is like Spirit cannot be material he must be spiritual; that the man who is like Truth cannot know error he must know Truth; that the man who is like Life cannot partake of death, because he is forever one with infinite Life. As this individual recognizes these divine facts about the true man, he is entertaining thoughts or ideas which reveal God to him, and he can truly say in some measure even as Jacob did, "I have seen God face to face." He has gained some understanding of God through a right sense of God's idea or likeness, man, revealing and expressing God.

Now compare this individual's thinking with what it was before. He has left behind the false sense of the picture, or he has given up his false sense of being, and he is beholding the true man, the spiritual man God's own likeness, who reveals God's nature to him. He has ceased thinking materially, or he has ceased being the servant of sin and of material sense, and he has put on somewhat of the Mind of Christ. He has entertained thoughts which are expressions of the one and only Mind, God. His mentality is now governed to some extent by these thoughts which reveal God, and consequently he can say that he is being governed by God. His mentality indeed is governed by the divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, and he can truly say in the words of Jesus, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (John 5:17) He can also say, "It is the Father that doeth the works," because his at-one-ment with God, as a result of spiritual understanding, will dissipate his material thinking. It will likewise dissipate the disease, which is but the result of that thinking. Then truly God has healed him. This mental process must go on in the experience of each of us, until we eventually overcome not only the sense of a discordant body, but even the sense of a material body at all. Then shall we know that it is our privilege to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect. In fact the only thing that ever is true about us, is man in God's likeness, spiritual, perfect and eternal.

 

God Heals Through Man

Mary Baker Eddy teaches, in every line of her writings, that God heals the sick through man, because she knew that God is all and does all. True existence is forever governed by God, divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love. It is inseparable from Principle and when you understand God or Principle you naturally gain the understanding of true existence. Also, as you grasp spiritual reality you are grasping something which reveals God to you and makes God and His presence, power and law available to you. It was through this simple process that Jesus accomplished all that he did. It is through this process that you and I will accomplish all that we will ever accomplish that is of any value to humanity. To know God is to become like Him, for to know God is to come somewhat out of the dream of mortality and to be governed by the Mind which is God's. As a man is governed by the divine Mind, God, his thoughts are an agency through which the divine Mind, to some extent, manifests or expresses Himself; but it is always God, divine Mind or Principle who is manifesting Himself, and it is therefore always God who operates to heal the sick through spiritual understanding. The Christian Scientist does not claim to heal the sick of himself. He claims that as he entertains spiritual thoughts or as he knows something that is divinely true he is knowing something which reveals God, and because of his spiritual understanding, God, the divine Mind, will manifest Himself to help and to heal humanity. The way therefore to avail ourselves of God's presence and power, of His infinite tenderness and compassion, of His irresistible law and dominion over evil, is to know the truth about God, about ourselves, about others and about all that exists. This understanding of God and of spiritual reality is the most practical, the most scientific, the most available and the most potential factor on earth or in heaven. Before this understanding the human beliefs called sin, disease, poverty, catastrophe and even death itself must disappear.

 

Christ Jesus' Way the Only Way

The salvation taught by Christ Jesus is not an impractical theory, the God of Christ Jesus is not an indefinite abstraction, the healing of Christ Jesus was not a temporary expedient nor an abrogation of divine law, and the raising of the dead by Christ Jesus was not a fantastic performance. He recognized a God who was ever-present presence, omnipotent power, and omniscient Mind. Through his understanding of God he healed the sick, he raised the dead, he fed the multitudes, he stilled the tempest, he walked on the water, he cast out sin of every kind, and he made clear that these were all accomplished through the same method. In just the same way the Christian Scientist is today accomplishing similar things, in some small degree, and he is accomplishing them through a closer acquaintance with God, through a better understanding of Him. He is no longer afraid to enter into the Holy of Holies and to claim that God is his god, now and forever; that God is his only Physician; that God governs his business, protects him from evil of every kind, and that his knowledge of God involves a better sense of existence; also that his understanding and appreciation of spiritual being involves a closer union with God. The Christian Scientist in his everyday life is beginning to let divine facts about God and about existence govern his thinking. He is also refusing to let human beliefs do so. Because of his better knowledge of God, he is gaining a better sense of existence here and now. He is faintly discerning God's creation in which man is spiritual and perfect, and in which sin, disease and death have no place. He knows that his theology is right because he finds that as he gains this better sense of God, of God's man, and of God's creation, sin, disease, and even death, play less part in his life. Because of such thinking he has seen the sinner cease from sinning, he has seen the drunkard freed from his drunkenness, he has seen the drug fiend triumph over his false cravings. In the presence of such thinking he has seen the pain-racked sufferer freed from his pain, he has seen the insane man restored, he has seen the bitterest poverty fade away, and he has seen the most difficult human problems straightened out. Above all he has seen the love of good, the desire to be good and the ability to be good develop in the thoughts of many of his fellow-men. As a result of these things he has been enabled to say in some measure, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou has heard me, and I knew that Thou hearest me always." (John 11:41,42) It is this overcoming of the mortal in the thought of an individual which constitutes real salvation. Mortal existence is but an aggregation of mortals' beliefs, and this aggregation must be saved from its troubles through the salvation of the individual.

 

Availability of Truth

Christian Science is therefore teaching men to look away from materiality and to look to divine realities. It is teaching them to let the right understanding of God, and of the universe, claim their thought and attention. This right understanding of God, of man, and of the universe, means also the right idea of health, of holiness, of peace, of happiness, and of all that expresses and reveals God. Is it not perfectly clear to everyone that such a thinker must be more spiritual and that he must be less of a mortal? He must therefore have more dominion over mortality. He must be less sickly and he must be more healthy, he must be less subject to mortal laws of chance and accident and more under the divine law of infinite good. This individual is beginning to know God aright, and before this knowledge of God his mortality is disappearing, and his immortality of his understanding of true being is appearing; to human sense, therefore, he seems to be becoming more God-like or more like God. The understanding which he gains of God and God's man is not only available for delivering him from evil, but is also available for meeting and destroying every phase of evil and thus for delivering his fellowmen. It does not matter whether the wrong condition with which he has to deal is a false sense about himself or about his fellow-man, for the truth he knows about God and about man will meet and destroy every phase of evil, and thus will prove that God is, and that He does deliver from evil.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

My friends, what say you of an individual who, by her acquaintance with God, could, in a little over half a century, change humanity's thinking on almost every point; an individual who could so clearly demonstrate God's presence and power that millions of men and women have been brought to a practical, provable knowledge of God? Look back half a century and see what has happened to the world's theological beliefs, what has happened to the world's medical beliefs and to its faith in material drugs, and what has happened to the world's belief in matter as substance, which is now rapidly giving place to the better belief that all material conditions are but relative conditions. No thinker has caused a greater change in human thought than has Mary Baker Eddy. She has not accomplished this, however, through material methods which the world would call intellectual or brilliant, but she has accomplished it through her acquaintance with God, through her spiritual thinking and living. Her object was never to control or to dominate humanity. It was ever to lead humanity into an understanding of God which would enable every man and woman to rely on God alone for all that is necessary to his well-being. It might be truly said of Mrs. Eddy that she loved humanity, and humanity is now learning to love her and her life. The teachings of this simple, cultured New England woman have been the means of saving, healing and redeeming millions of mortals, and the fruit of her work has only just begun to appear. Christian Scientists love and respect Mrs. Eddy because she has taught them to know God aright, and she has enabled them to understand and to appreciate Christ Jesus more than they ever thought possible. She has also made the Bible a book which they value beyond words.

 

The Science of Being

If humanity would but listen to the simple Christ-like teachings of this unique woman it would be blest beyond its highest hopes, for the understanding of these teachings would reveal God to men. It would reveal the divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, the one and only God, manifesting Himself to the sons of men through spiritual thoughts about God and about His creation. If you would be free from sin, from pain, from poverty, from worry, from trouble of any kind, there is but one way to be free, and the way is to understand the Science of Being, and to become acquainted with God. Do not try to project your thought to some far-off being, but begin to think quietly, naturally and intelligently about ever-present divine Principle, Life, Truth and Love, and about His ideas, man and the universe. As you gain a better sense of man and of all things, of health, of holiness, of happiness and of all that constitutes existence, remember that this better sense, or this more spiritual thinking, is revealing God to you. Then you will indeed be finding the kingdom of God within you, and this is the only place you can ever find it. The man or woman who gains this vision of spiritual things longs to help and to heal his fellow-man, and the purpose and desire of his life might well be expressed in these well-known lines quoted by Mrs. Eddy in her book, "Retrospection and Introspection," p. 95:

 

"Ask God to give thee skill

In comfort's art:

That thou may'st consecrated be

And set apart

Unto a life of sympathy.

For heavy is the weight of ill

In every heart;

And comforters are needed much

Of Christlike touch."

 

[1923]

 

 

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