Christian Science: Its Message of God-Given Freedom

 

Inman H. Douglass, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Individual spiritual growth is the way to freedom, Inman H. Douglass, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas, told a large audience in Boston last night.

True freedom, he said, is a gift of God, available everywhere, for all people and all time.

Mr. Douglass described healings through wholly spiritual means of tuberculosis, heart trouble, and other problems in his lecture on the subject "Christian Science: Its Message of God-Given Freedom."

A member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was introduced by Mrs. Josephine Carver, C.S., Second Reader of The Mother Church.

 

"If Ye Continue in My Word . . ."

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Never before has the struggle for freedom so dominated people's thoughts and lives as it does today. We see evidence of it on all sides. Whole continents are in turmoil because oppressed people are demanding their freedom. New nations are winning their independence.

On the national scene, much freedom has been won; much remains to be won. Women have been emancipated, politically, economically, socially.

People are experiencing greater liberation due to technological progress: better working conditions, more time and labor-saving devices, rising national productivity, improved living standards.

Underlying the struggle for social, economic, and political liberty an even more vigorous fight for freedom is being waged. It is the relentless determination of the individual himself to find release from moral, mental, and physical bondage. Yes, deep in the heart of everyone the spirit of freedom is at work struggling to find expression. How encouraging this is! Free individuals make a free world. But what makes a free individual?

Where does the spirit of freedom come from? How can we better understand it? How can we lay hold of it more securely and more abundantly? These are all pressing and urgent questions. Christian Science supplies answers to these questions. Christian Science can do this fully, not through some magic formula, but by revealing to every honest and sincere seeker the understanding of God and man that makes free.

The Scriptures and Christian Science give us all we need to know concerning true freedom. Christ Jesus clearly defined freedom and told us exactly how to gain it when he said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31,32). Who has not thrilled over this rousing and liberating statement of the Master's! Then, from that militant defender of freedom, the Apostle Paul, we have this inspiring statement: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (II Cor. 3:17).

 

 

Bible Reveals God as Infinite Good

Freedom, then, is a gift of God found in divine Truth; it is everywhere; it is all the time. Everyone can have all the liberation he needs at any moment. For freedom is not parceled out to certain privileged persons or classes, to certain favored nations, to certain material places, or only at certain times. Daniel found it in the lions' den; the three Hebrew boys found it in the fiery furnace. Peter found it in prison while shackled between two guards. Christ Jesus found it on the cross and in the tomb. You and I can find freedom wherever we are if we look for it in spiritual consciousness. For fundamentally it is a divine state of thought. But to possess and experience the liberty of the sons of God, one must understand God, its source. One must also gain an understanding of man's true spiritual nature as God's likeness. In this way he can find liberation from whatever holds him in bondage.    

In his letter to the Ephesians (4:5,6) Paul said there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Here is the essential teaching of the Bible that there is but one God.

Now what do we mean when we say there is but one God? One God means not one of a series, one of many, but one alone, without an opposite or equal. The Bible tells us that God is infinite. There can be but one infinite, because infinite means without limit of any kind. Nothing can exist outside of or in addition to infinite God.

By its very nature the infinite is everywhere, all-inclusive, all-pervading, the only real being. It is plain that God must be Spirit, not confined within material dimensions or a physical body. Matter cannot be infinite.  Spirit is ever-present, all-powerful, supreme. Infinite Spirit includes freedom, with no element of limitation or bondage.

Now here's another point: The Bible consistently names God as good. It says of Him (Hab. 1:13), "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." Good is the essential nature of God. Not just certain aspects of God are good, but every aspect of Him is good. The Psalmist sang (Ps. 107:1): "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good." Our God being infinite good, all real presence is good, all real power is good, all true cause and effect are good. Good is supreme, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. That is the nature of God because God is all-encompassing Love.

 

God Creates Man in His Own Image

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, drew from the Bible her marvelously illuminating definition of God. It is found in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Let me read it to you (p. 587:5-8): "The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul;  Spirit; Life;  Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."

To think of God as subject to human weakness or frailty is to regard Him as less than all-knowing, all-seeing, all-hearing Soul. God could not be subject to material forces and laws, because He is omnipotent Sprit, the only cause and creator, the only real substance. God could not be conscious of matter, error, evil, because He is the one perfect Mind, the infinite intelligence that is good alone. God is not capable of feeling hate, envy, jealousy, because He is all-merciful good, changeless, perfect Love. In spite of human views to the contrary, God does not send nor actually even permit disease, suffering, death, because He is infinite Life, perfect and eternal.

It would be impossible for God to be God, and remain so, and at the same time create something directly opposite to His perfect nature. What God creates certainly corresponds with what God is.

In the divine creation God as omniactive Mind, is continuously expressing Himself. What is God doing? Everything that is really being done. Divine Mind creates, expresses, and maintains spiritual ideas without interruption. Man, as God's idea, continuously expresses all that divine Mind is. God is all-seeing, all-hearing Soul. Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 331:16), "Everything in God's universe expresses Him." Christ Jesus, more than any other, recognized himself and all that he did to be the work of God. He said (John 14:10), "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Paul likewise saw this when he said (Phil. 2:13), "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

 

Jesus Showed the Way to Freedom

The Scriptures tell us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore the real man, your true selfhood and mine, must be the exact image of divine Truth, of infinite Spirit, of perfect Love. Since God is Truth, man must express the truth of God; since God is Spirit, man must be altogether spiritual, not physical, not in or of a matter body. And since God is Love, man must possess and express at every moment only good, not evil. Who can be in bondage of any kind if he expresses all of the marvelously liberating qualities which constitute his being as the likeness of God? Do you know, my friends, this is exactly the truth of your real being as the son of God! Man is free because God is free. What a glorious heritage! Why, it is the answer to every problem which confronts mankind today - physical, financial, domestic, national, or international.

What encouragement and strength we can take then from the Master's ringing promise that I quoted a while ago, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"! Again and again Christ Jesus illustrated how we can avail ourselves of our God-given freedom. He emphasized in many ways the fact that we find our freedom through turning away from material ways of thinking and living to the spiritual understanding of Life. Often he did this by parables and similitudes. One of the most impressive of these is the parable of the Prodigal Son.

You remember the story. It's in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. Of course, the most remarkable part of this young man's experience was his awakening from his wanderings from the freedom of his father's house. He finally "came to himself," the parable tells us. That is really all any of us need to do to find freedom - just wake up to man's true nature, his real being as the son of God, to the good which God constantly imparts to all of His children. The Prodigal's heritage of good was available to him all the time, even while it appeared to be lost - lost only to his blindness to it. For a while ambition, greed, selfishness, sensuality, seemed to cloud his vision. Believing he could do better on his own, he demanded his portion of his father's goods. His father agreed and let him go on his way.

But what did the Prodigal find in his quest for a freer way of life in materialism? Nothing but empty husks fed to the swine. Nothing but servitude, lack, want, misery, and suffering. He found precisely the opposite of what he was looking for. That is exactly what happens when people look to materialism for satisfaction, peace, happiness, abundance, health, for freedom. But no one needs to tarry any longer in the hopeless morass of materialism. We can awaken just as the Prodigal finally did. How wonderful must have been that moment of awakening when the Prodigal saw his mistake and opened his eyes to the truth. Why you can almost hear him saying: "What am I thinking? What am I doing here? I am going home!"

What a liberating lesson this parable holds for all of us today. And how grateful, how encouraged we can be that we, too, can awaken from the dream of existence as material and return to our home of life in Spirit, God, to our house of spiritual consciousness, the

kingdom of heaven, where the Father says to each one of us, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (Luke 15:31).

How often we wander away from our liberty as the sons of God when we allow fear, pride, or ambition to blind us to the good that God has already given man. I knew a young man who in his early twenties had become very resentful and embittered because his parents were unable to give him a college education. He had had to leave high school in order to support his mother and father due to his father's prolonged illness.

As time went on, however, he attended evening classes in high school and college and attained a good education. But he had allowed a deep-seated resentment to take root in his thought which continued even after he married and established his own home. He was unable to make much headway in his work - promotions failed to materialize, his income always seemed less than his outgo. But he was making an earnest effort to understand God through the study of Christian Science.

 

All Evil Is an Illusion of the Senses

One day as he was pondering the thought of man's true origin as a spiritual idea, it became clear to him that truly, as the son of God, he had never been lacking in anything. He saw that man's only real Parent is his Father-Mother God, as explained in Christian Science. This enabled him to lift his thought above his clouded sense of man's true spiritual origin, to place both his human parents and himself, as children of God, in the kingdom of heaven, at home with their Father-Mother God. He saw that in reality he had never had a parent who was unable to supply his every need. He saw that by looking all those years so futilely to a mortal for his life estate, he had been looking away from his God-given heritage of freedom - which, like the Prodigal's, was ever at hand. His attitude toward his parents completely changed.

The resentment and lack of appreciation of them vanished instantly. The tenderest, most precious relationship existed from then on between this young man and his parents. And he began to progress in his work. His income increased; he was happy, and he was free from self-depreciation, sensitiveness, and pride.

As he awakened from this false sense of himself, and began to identify himself with the spiritual forces of Love, in humility, gratitude, forgiveness, he returned to his native freedom of God's beloved son.

My friends, this true story illustrates how the utter nothingness of all evil can be proved. Where did the evil go that seemed so real to this young man? It went nowhere -the same place all ignorance goes when understanding is established in consciousness.

Another name Mrs. Eddy gives to evil is illusion. Illusion is simply a hypnotic state of   material mindedness - something that seems to be but is not.

Does it seem incredible to say that all evil, sin, disease, death - even matter itself - is simply the illusion of the five material senses? Let us think about this now.

If everything that God made is good, and he made all that was made, and He is the only cause and creator - which the Bible emphatically teaches - then the only classification left for evil and matter is that of an illusion. Spirit and matter, good and evil, are direct opposites. Both cannot be true. One is false; the other is fact. Which one is false? Evil is false because good is true. God is All; evil is nothing. Now matter is not the product of Spirit; it is the supposed opposite of Spirit. Spirit makes everything out of its own substance; so everything is actually spiritual. Therefore, matter is neither cause nor effect; it is simply a misconception of reality.

 

Thoughts from God Bless Man

But what makes, evil seem so real? The Bible and Christian Science make plain that the so-called material senses present the wrong concept of existence, while the true concept is understood only through spiritual perception. Christ Jesus said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).                 ,

God, Spirit, gives man the senses of Soul, with which he spiritually perceives the truth. Referring to the impossibility of seeing God through the material senses, John said (John 1:18), "No man hath seen God at any time."

Now how do we know God through spiritual sense? Why, the way we know justice, wisdom, love, faith, mercy, conscience, purity, humility, and so on.

It is these and many other divine qualities of thought, which we know through spiritual sense, that make you and me free. One is really free when his consciousness is filled with freedom-giving thoughts and ideas from the one perfect divine Mind. A freedom-giving thought from this Mind is the germ of individual and universal freedom. Freedom-giving thoughts from this perfect Mind include no element of matter, sin, fear, self-will, limitation. Therefore, there is nothing in God's thoughts to man which can possibly produce a condition in man that enslaves him, or causes him to enslave, or even desire to enslave another.

A thought from divine Love is uncontaminated by selfishness because it is good and seeks only to reflect good. It is complete within itself as the reflection of all-embracing Love. Thoughts from God are exempt from every evil purpose, from the despotism, oppression, and tyranny of ignorance, greed, and domination, because their sole purpose is to bless and preserve man, never to enslave him. Because every thought from God to man expresses Principle's sovereignty, man has perfect self-knowledge, unerring self-government, and intelligent self-expression. So, God imparts to each individual the spiritual thoughts and ideas that comprise the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

 

Everyone Is Searching for Truth

You see, there are not two kinds of freedom, one spiritual, the other material. There's just one - spiritual. And it is this spiritual freedom to which we must look for human liberation. How sad it is to see someone sick at heart, frustrated, looking desperately for freedom from trouble in drugs, manipulation of the body, resort to liquor, sensuality, and so on!

What lies at the root of this will-o'-the-wisp search for release from trouble? Why, nothing but the lying assertions of the material senses telling everyone he is the hopelessly enslaved victim of a matter body, and the only way out of its sufferings, disappointments, and inevitable doom is to put the material senses to sleep in some way.

But do you know what this search for relief really signifies? Why, it means that everyone is really searching for Truth, God. Looking to matter and material ways and means is nothing but a misdirected search for good. False education has produced it. Human thought simply needs to be re-educated along spiritual lines in order to find true and enduring freedom from all evil.

How blessed we are to have the way pointed out so clearly through the great liberating spiritual truths contained in the Bible and Science and Health!

Paul said that spiritual-mindedness is the way out. He said (Rom. 8:6), "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." One translation of "carnally minded" is, the "mind of the flesh"; and of "spiritually minded" is, the "mind of the Spirit." In other words, from infinite Spirit, the one and only real Mind, come all the elements of liberty.

The lying material senses falsely claim to present opposite thoughts which, like darkness, would seem to obscure for a while the real status of man. When we accept these lying suggestions as real, we are permitting ignorance to take the place of intelligence. We are believing a lie. Without doubt the strongest, most potent, and most accurate definition of the material senses was this statement from Jesus when he said of the devil (John 8:44), "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

 

Voice of Truth Speaks to Man

If we hold on to the lie we are like a dreamer trying to prolong his dream. And if we make no effort to turn from the dream and wake up, we go on dreaming until we find the dream so empty, so full of nothing, that we begin looking for something better. Then we become receptive to the truth.

How important it is for us not to hold on to the dream! Why should we try to prolong it? We should not be like a little girl I knew one time who liked to sleep late in the morning. She was half awakened by her mother's call to an early breakfast. "Oh, mother," she said, "let me go back to sleep just a little while longer so I can finish my dream."

The moment you challenge the discordant claims of the material senses and begin to assert your divine rights as the child of God - awake, free, whole, harmonious, in full possession of your God-given dominion over evil - the very moment you do this, do you know what happens? These lying senses begin to give up their claims - just as a liar does when he is caught in his lie. When a lie is found out and thoroughly exposed, the liar has nothing to talk about, and he usually stops asserting the lie.

Let me tell you of a healing in Christian Science which came about through this line of prayerful thinking. One night a Christian Scientist was suddenly stricken with what appeared to be a heart attack. In extreme pain and fear, she called out to members of the family, who rushed to her room. She asked that a Christian Science practitioner be telephoned for help through prayer.

The practitioner listened and then said: "You go back and tell her that divine Love is right there, all around her. Explain to her that the voice of Truth is telling her emphatically that she is God's image and likeness, right now. Tell her not to believe anything that the voice of Truth is not saying; that she is free now; that her Life is not in a matter body because God is her Life; and therefore she is not subject to a physical muscular organ called a heart. Tell her to challenge the material senses fearlessly and courageously, and I will help her immediately through prayer."

And then he said: "Tell her that error is nothing but a deceiver that needs to be faced squarely with the truth of man's God-given being. Tell her to laugh the material senses to scorn."

 

What Is Prayer in Christian Science?

When the patient was given the practitioner's message she was at first shocked at the thought of laughing at a time like this. But as she thought about it she knew that the practitioner meant for her to take a fearless and joyous stand for man's perfection as God's idea. Her first efforts were indeed feeble. But the laughs grew stronger and stronger until she was really laughing genuinely at evil. She saw its utter nothingness!

And do you know, the dream was broken! Her fear was completely destroyed by the understanding of divine Love's ever-presence. There was no recuperation. She was well - right then and there - and she lived for many years after that!

Now this is not to imply that prayer in Christian Science consists of merely laughing off human problems. Far from it. But it does illustrate the firm stand we must take for man's perfection and God-given freedom when we pray in Christian Science.

Prayer in Christian Science is the knowing of the truth that makes free. Such prayer means understanding the allness of God, the changeless perfection of man, and the consequent unreality of evil. This prayer is pure spiritual communion with the perfect Mind that is God. Thought which is able to commune with perfect Mind in this way must be overflowing with humility, purity, childlike love and expectancy of good. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God," said Jesus (Matt. 5:8). What a powerful expression of spiritual truth and love is such a faith-lighted prayer! Prayer is always answered when it is sufficiently spiritual.

Now, obviously, one who prays this way does not arrive at that ability merely through an intellectual process, as one learns the rules of engineering and thus becomes an engineer. To learn to understand and to practice the prayer that heals disease and destroys sin involves much more. It means the re-education of one's thought and the reformation - the re-formation - of his affections and motives. He recognizes that only as his heart expresses the things of God, divine Love, can he demonstrate the spiritual power that heals. This doubtless is why Jesus so consistently linked prayer to the heart instead of the head.

 

True Prayer Lifts Human Thought

Mrs. Eddy says in her book "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany'' (p. 270:24 only), "What we love determines what we are." Isn't that a soul-searching thought! And how perfectly it agrees with the saying of the Master, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:21), and with the words of the author of Proverbs where he says of a man (Prov. 23:7), "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Obviously, the real purpose of true prayer is not to bring God down to the level of human discord; to expect perfect divine Principle to become aware of mortal mistakes in order to correct those mistakes. But it is to lift erring, sinning, suffering human thinking out of itself into the joyous recognition and acceptance of the spiritual truth that man is "free born."

How does one pray this way in Christian Science?

Prayer, of course, is entirely individual because it goes on only within individual consciousness. So, no two individuals pray alike, just as no two singers sing alike, even

though they may be singing the same song at the same time.

But let me give you an example of how one Christian Science practitioner prayed in healing a case of tuberculosis. During World War II he was called to the home of a young woman suffering with this disease. Her husband was in the Navy. He had been away on sea duty for three years. The mother and their three year old daughter were living in a small cottage alone. Months would pass without word from the husband due to the secrecy of his work.

Loneliness, fear, anxiety for his safety, along with a growing sense of insecurity for her young daughter and herself were eating away the young wife's sense of home, companionship, health, and happiness. She had been interested in Christian Science for some time but was not an active student. Medical knowledge gained through her work as a dentist's assistant, together with a recent X-ray examination, increased her fear of what she faced.

 

Divine Law Is an Irresistible Force

As the practitioner sat by her bedside praying silently, it became clear to him how her acceptance of these aggressive suggestions had reproduced themselves as a diseased condition in her body. He recognized that such thoughts were absolutely untrue, unreal, because they were not of God, the one and only source of man's perfect being. So he denied these suggestions emphatically, as Christian Science teaches one to do. He denied not only what these lying senses were saying; he denied that the material senses themselves had any real existence. He denied that the indestructible spiritual substance of man could be eaten away, the home of man disrupted, the love and courage of man invaded by fear or anxiety.

Then he turned his thought gratefully and confidently to the fact of man's perfect selfhood as Love's expression. Firmly and vigorously he declared that God constitutes, conditions, and governs man, holds him forever intact, free, whole, upright, and perfect. As he held to these spiritual truths, he realized that this spiritual understanding was acting right then and there, as light dispels darkness, to banish fear, so-called medical laws, and all the other erroneous material beliefs claiming to govern the thinking of the patient. He affirmed that the irresistible force of divine law was establishing health, freedom, and harmony.

At the first visit the healing began to take place. Within a few weeks she was completely free from the disease. Today she is an active worker in a Christian Science church and is a happy wife and mother.

Now someone may be thinking: Well, if God is All and man is His perfect image and likeness, and if evil is unreal, why should I have to pray? Can't I just acknowledge the truth and let it go at that? Why should I have to deny evil if it is already unreal? Well, suppose a student took the same attitude toward the steps required to demonstrate mathematics. "Here it all is in my textbook," he might say. "It is already true. What have I got to do about it?" But if he is getting the wrong answers, he obviously is believing in mathematical mistakes. He would need to eliminate the mistakes, to correct them with mathematical truth.

Just so it is with the student of Christian Science. His need is to lay off every false belief and practice which claims to separate him from God and make his life miserable. As long as there remains in his consciousness a single vestige of the lie that he is a mortal, the student of Christian Science needs to deny evil and affirm truth.

 

Christian Science Reveals Comforter

In other words, friends, individual spiritual growth is the way to freedom. This glorious theme of individual spiritual liberation runs like a golden thread throughout the teachings and works of the Master, Christ Jesus.

Jesus was born of Mary, but his spiritual-mindedness came from God. This spiritual consciousness was the Christ. It was the consciousness of eternal divine Truth - the Truth that makes men free. With this God-derived consciousness Jesus healed every case of sickness and suffering presented to him. With it, he disproved, annulled completely, every limiting law of matter. He freed himself from the grave after the crucifixion. Finally, through what is known as the ascension, he destroyed even the belief that man is mortal - living in a physical body - all with the Mind of Christ.

What a debt of gratitude the world owes to Christ Jesus! With utter self-sacrifice and ineffable love, he illustrated for others the lessons of spiritual progress and demonstration, the possibilities of man's God-given individuality in the likeness of God, and the way of salvation for all mankind.

The Mind which was in Christ Jesus no one could reasonably doubt was the Mind, or consciousness, that is God; the Mind that expresses itself through the Christ which proclaims (John 14:6) "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

According to Paul, the Mind which Jesus expressed is the real Mind of everyone, for he said (Phil. 2-5), "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

How sorely the world needs the leadership of the Christ today - the true idea of man's divine rights and freedom. This is the way of salvation. As men gain this consciousness of Truth through individual spiritual growth, it will become apparent that God, divine Principle, is the source of all real law and government.

As the Christ-idea continues to unfold in individual human consciousness, mankind will experience increasing evidence of the divine fact that under God's perfect government there is no room for conflicting social, civil, religious, or racial interests, no clashing  of spiritual  and physical elements and forces, no opposing good and evil minds, no distrusting or warring nations. Every man in the universal family of divine Love possesses the God-given right to be right and do right, but not the right to be wrong or do wrong.

The divine basis for all human rights is clearly and courageously proclaimed by Mrs. Eddy when she writes in Science and Health (p. 340:23), "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, - whatever

is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."

What thrilling words these are! They show the radiant vision of mankind's emancipation that Mrs. Eddy gained from the Bible and especially from the career of Jesus. It was revealed to her that the liberating Christ is always present. She caught Jesus' vision that liberty is vastly more than just a human condition. She saw that basically freedom is spiritual and divine - the God-ordained native condition of man in the likeness of Spirit. She realized that from this divine fact stem all human freedoms - political, moral, mental, and physical.

Mrs. Eddy considered Christian Science to be the revelation of the Comforter promised by Christ Jesus. Foretelling this reappearing of the Christ, Truth, Jesus said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth. . . . But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:16, 17, 26). On page 55 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy quotes Jesus' words and adds, "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science."

 

Mrs. Eddy Shared Discovery with All

Even as a young girl Mary Baker felt intuitively the truth of man's divinely established freedom. When examined for membership in the Congregational church, she disagreed sharply with the prevalent theological doctrine of predestination and everlasting punishment. The early and constantly abiding conviction that God is Love characterized her entire life, and in 1866 led to her discovery of the laws of Love and their scientific action in freeing the sick and suffering and releasing the sinner. She named her discovery Christian Science.

And so it was that the complete Science of Christianity was revealed to her - the divine laws and rules of Truth and their application to healing and the solving of human problems of every sort. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 162:16-25): "Working out the rules of Science in practice, the author has restored health in cases of both acute and chronic disease in their severest forms. Secretions have been changed, the structure has been renewed, shortened limbs have been elongated, ankylosed joints have been made supple, and carious bones have been restored to healthy conditions. I have restored what is called the lost substance of lungs, and healthy organizations have been established where disease was organic."

Mrs. Eddy's work as a spiritual healer was surpassed only by that of Christ Jesus.

To share her discovery with all mankind she set forth her revelation in the book that is known today as the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

It became clear to her listening thought that in order to accomplish this mission she must found a church - a church devoted to furthering the spiritual growth of the individual and to carrying the gospel of Life, Truth, and Love to people everywhere.

So, in the spring of 1879, at a meeting of a small group of her students, it was voted, "To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 17).

In eighty years that little church has grown into an institution of world-wide proportions - The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. It now has over 3200 branches located throughout the civilized world.

 

 

Lesson-Sermons Give Daily Bread

The purpose of this church to nourish the spiritual growth of the individual is illustrated by the Lesson-Sermons, which form the basis of the Sunday services. These Lesson-Sermons, consisting of citations from the Bible and Science and Health on a given subject, are also studied individually by active Christian Scientists each day. These Lesson-Sermons are entirely unique in the world of religion. By furnishing daily spiritual nourishment to the individual, they constitute a practical answer to Christ Jesus' prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread."

The feeding of hungry hearts in this way with the water of Life and the bread of Truth is counteracting weakness, confusion, hopelessness, and darkness - the spiritual poverty so prevalent today. Realizing this, students of Christian Science turn daily with zest and gratitude to their divinely prepared feast of spiritual ideas. What a contribution to human freedom Mrs. Eddy has made, through her discovery of the Science of Christ, Truth, and the establishment of her worldwide Church!

Today is a day of promise for all mankind. The means of salvation are at hand. The Science of Truth is revealed. The call of the Christ brings its joyful invitation of freedom

and salvation to every one of us. In the words of a much-loved hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal (Hymn 412):

O dreamer, leave thy dreams for joyful waking,

O captive, rise and sing, for thou art free;

The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking,

Unloosing bonds of all captivity.

He comes to bless thee on his wings of healing;

To banish pain, and wipe all tears away;

He comes anew, to humble hearts revealing

The mounting footsteps of the upward way.

He comes to give thee joy for desolation,

Beauty for ashes of the vanished years;

For every tear to bring full compensation,

To give thee confidence for all thy fears.

He comes to call the dumb to joyful singing;

The deaf to hear; the blinded eyes to see;

The glorious tidings of salvation bringing.

O captive, rise, thy Saviour comes to thee.

 

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 3, 1960.]

 

 

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