Christian Science: The Liberator of Mankind

 

John Randall Dunn, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

John Randall Dunn, C. S. B., of Boston, Mass., member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., delivered a Christian Science lecture entitled "Christian Science: The Liberator of Mankind" last Saturday evening at the Murat theater, Indianapolis. The lecture was given under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Mayor L. Ert Slack introduced the speaker. Mr. Dunn also spoke Monday noon at B. F. Keith's theater under the auspices of First Church, Indianapolis. The Saturday lecture follows:

 

The widespread interest in the subject of Christian Science, in this and other lands, is traceable directly to the fact that enslaved mortals are finding in its spiritual teaching that liberator graphically pictured by Isaiah as sent "to preach good tidings unto the meek; . . . to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." The attempts of some misinformed critics to prove that Christian Science is not this liberator, that the sick are not healed, the sinning reformed, nor the sorrowing comforted thru its ministrations, are of course of little moment in the presence of an ever-increasing host of witnesses testifying to the fact that whereas they were bound physically, mentally, or morally, now they are experiencing through the teachings of Christian Science a greater measure of health, freedom, and happiness than they have ever known.

In the past few years it has been my great privilege to attend Christian Science services, and talk with students of Christian Science in many lands—in Great Britain, Continental Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Orient, the West Indies, Alaska, and in hundreds of places in the United States and Canada; and if a stenographic report could have been taken of all the testimonies of healing and regeneration I have heard, it would make a record filling volumes.

 

Gamaliel's Advice

What would those who fancy themselves opposed to this spiritual teaching have its students do? Would they ask the man who states, and whose family corroborates his statement, that he has been freed from the torments of alcoholism, to go back to his appetite and his bondage? Would they bid the infidel who through Christian Science has become a believer in and lover of the Bible, discard that holy volume, and tread again his cheerless, godless road? Would they bring back the pain and anguish which in the cases of thousands of men and women and little children have been banished by the touch of this healing evangel? Surely this is no time to oppose the coming to saddened humanity of a spiritual message the certain effect of which is the uplift and comfort of mankind. It might be recommended therefore, to those who feel called upon to ridicule and revile the Christian Scientists, that perhaps the safest and most Christian attitude for them to assume is to be found in Gamaliel's sound advice to the would-be persecutors of the Apostles as recorded in the fifth chapter of Acts: "And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught; but if it be of God, ye can not overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

 

The Coming of the Liberator

There is not a people on the face of the earth that is not yearning for the comfort and healing and joy that follow in the wake of this spiritual teaching. In many countries that one visits today, one senses a feeling akin to dismay over the increasing discord, unrest, and turmoil. What does it all mean? Christian Science answers, in the words of Christ Jesus, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." The Master plainly foresaw that an upheaval, a bringing to the surface of the hidden errors of the carnal mind, would accompany the appearance of that promised "spirit of Truth" which was to redeem and save mankind. In fact, Christian Science is explaining the present world-wide fermentation, and bidding mortals to see therein evidence that "the night is far spent, the day is at hand." And should it seem surprising that it was the gentle voice of a woman that was appointed to bring this message, assuring the saddened and fearing children of men with all the tenderness of the mother-thought, that God is indeed able to care for His creation, to heal and to save? We have only to remember the pure Jewish maiden, whose uplifted sense beheld, and brought into demonstration, the fatherhood of God; the repentance and gratitude of the Magdalen; the faithfulness of the women "last at the cross and first at the sepulchre;" and likewise the fidelity and devotion of the woman thought through all the centuries to that which points to faith and purity - we have only to remember these, should the human mind find it difficult to accept the fact that Truth has spoken to this age through a woman.

 

Prejudice Against Mrs. Eddy

I regret to confess the fact that before I knew anything about Christian Science, before I had read a line of its authorized literature, or attempted to prove by demonstration its truth or its error, I was one of the now rapidly decreasing number of persons who seem to take special delight in making flippant and unchristian remarks about Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and in laughing at the movement in general. I was quite sure that Christian Scientists worshiped Mrs. Eddy and that her system of healing was only willpower or the human mind over matter. In fact, my fund of information as to what Christian Science does not teach, reminds me of the immigrant applying for admission to this country, who was asked if he were familiar with the Constitution of the United States. He replied: "Indeed I am. I learned to sing it when I was a baby!"

 

Christian Science Not Suggestion

But when at last I read the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and when I had attended a few services, I found that which no impartial investigator could fail to discover: that Christian Scientists worship the supreme and only God and entertain for the revered Leader of their movement only sentiments of affection and deep gratitude. I found, instead of a system of material philosophy, dealing with the action of willpower and suggestion, the purest Christian metaphysics, based upon a spiritual sense of the Scriptures. Well may we rejoice that Mrs. Eddy, during her search after Truth, had investigated so-called magnetic healing, and mind-cure based upon hypnotic control, and found such systems not only devoid of spirituality, but positively iniquitous; and even a casual glance through the pages of the textbook should convince any fair-minded person that Christian Science is as far from hypnotism and suggestion as is Christ from Belial.

 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

As to that revered gentle woman, through whose spiritual vision the simple healing truths of the Bible are today made available for those who sit in darkness, I need say only this: Her character needs no defense; by her fruits shall she be known. Go with me, for example, to a certain home I know of in far-off Australia. Let the husband and father tell of his beautiful redemption through Mrs. Eddy's teachings. He had scarcely known a sober moment for over thirty years, during which time he consumed, on an average, one bottle of whisky a day. Let him tell of that wonderful moment when someone induced him to read Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and how, after reading not more than fifty pages, he found himself freed from the curse of alcoholism. Let him then tell of his homecoming after his healing. It seems that he and his wife, although living under the same roof, had not spoken to each other for three years. But when he returned to his home with God in his heart and a song on his lips, his wife met him and they embraced tenderly, beginning there and then a new life together. Then try to convince that man and woman that the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science was a fraud! They will tell you with eyes dimmed with tears of gratitude that they know that the woman who penned the words that brought such healing to their home must have walked and talked with God!

 

No Short-Cut to Christian Science

Loyal students of Christian Science, therefore, have no desire, to study a miscellaneous assortment of books purporting to make Christian Science clearer and the text-book easier to comprehend, knowing that in the Scriptures, in Science and Health, in the Church Manual, and in Mrs. Eddy's shorter writings they have not the will-o'-the-wisps of human opinions, but the divinely inspired statement of provable spiritual law. Mortals are invariably seeking so-called "short-cuts" to wisdom, to success and well-being, only to find in the end that they have chosen the longer road. There is no short-cut to genuine Christian Science. This Science can not be more clearly stated than it is in the latest edition of Science and Health, which under God's guidance Mrs. Eddy had revised in 1907. There is no organization in the Christian Science movement unquestionably bearing the signet of genuine Christian Science, as discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, except the beloved Mother church in Boston, which she established, and which, with its more than two thousand healthy branches throughout the world, is going majestically onward, unmoved by the buffeting of counterfeits, unharmed by the storms of hate and ignorance, bearing to all mankind its message of healing and salvation.

 

Present-Day Salvation

Christian Scientists know that Mrs. Eddy did not originate Christian Science; she discovered it - in other words, brought it to light. The balm of Gilead which she has revealed for the healing of the nations is not of her creating, nor is it a restatement of ancient or modern material philosophy. It is the simple, unadulterated message of salvation from sin, disease, and death taught by the Master and His apostles and the prophets who preceded them. I once asked a woman seeking help in Christian Science if she understood the meaning of the word "salvation." "Indeed I do," was her response. "I was saved when I was eighteen." "From what were you saved?" I ventured to inquire. "Why, I was saved," she explained. "You know Jesus died to save me." "To save you from what?" I persisted. "Have you been saved from sin all these years?" "No," she admitted honestly, "I can not say that I have." "Have you been saved from sickness?" "No," she replied sadly. "I have been a terrible sufferer for years." "Did your salvation include deliverance from heartache, from fear, from worry, from poverty?" "No," she said, "I suppose my salvation was reserved entirely for the future life."

 

Jesus' Definite Instruction

It is not strange, this seemingly universal misunderstanding among professing Christians regarding the teaching of Jesus upon this vital point?   In the tenth chapter of Matthew we find these definite instructions given by the Master to His students: "Go . . . to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses . . . for the workman is worthy of his meat." "The kingdom of heaven is at hand!" In the Christian Science textbook we read that heaven is harmony. Therefore the message of the Savior, which indeed is "good tidings of great joy" to the bound and afflicted of earth, is that harmony, deliverance, and salvation from sickness, sin, and discord are at hand, and are to be realized in the proportion that mankind lifts its thought from the material and lays holds on the spiritual facts of being.

 

Definition of Hell

At this point someone may say, "If you believe that heaven is harmony, or a divine state of mind (Science and Health p. 291) then I suppose that Christian Scientists do not believe in hell." Unfortunately most of them do, and they are trying hard to get out of it. Let us read the Christianly scientific definition of hell (Science and Health, p. 588): "Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which worketh abomination or maketh a lie." Now most of us find ourselves in one or more of the conditions of thought just described, and the insistent yearning of all mankind is for deliverance, for harmony, for heaven. How is this to be attained? By will power?  By forcing ourselves to think thoughts of health, rather than thoughts of sickness? By no means. Would a teacher say to a class in school, "Children, clench your fists, close your teeth hard, use all the determination and willpower at your command, and say 'Five times five must equal twenty-five?'" Never. A teacher imparts to his class the truth about arithmetic, and that truth quietly enters the pupils' thought and gently displaces the ignorance which before held sway. Willpower has absolutely nothing to do with it. Nor can willpower or suggestion or any action of the carnal mind carry us from hell to heaven, from discord to harmony. The remedy lies in the simple rule left by the Master: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Salvation, then, is a matter of knowing the truth about God and the Son of God, and as Jesus says in another place, when you know the truth, the truth shall make you free.

Let no one think, however, that the working out of one's salvation through knowing the truth is always along a path of flowers. Spiritual unfoldment, like a child's material education, involves wrestlings with self-will, battlings with discouragement, and even the encountering of temporary defeats, until the human is brought into subjection to the divine. But in our spiritual education we have the comforting assurance that it is not human will but God that worketh in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

 

Basis of Christian Science

Let us now consider the basis of Christian Science; let us find the truth about God and man which it reveals - that truth which is destined to liberate the race. Science and Health in a few words sums up the remarkable discovery of the truth of being. We read (p. 269) "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect principle and idea - perfect God and perfect man - as the basis of thought and demonstration."  Someone may inquire, "How can the statement be made that man is perfect?" "Certainly this material, sick, sinning, dying, mortal is anything but perfect."   Christian Science agrees promptly with this statement, but does weak, suffering mortality constitute God's man? The first chapter of Genesis states plainly that the man of God's creating is made in the image and after the likeness of his creator. If God is, then the perfect man of His creating, to be like his Maker, must be mental, spiritual. Therefore this material, sinning, imperfect mortal is not God's man at all. The Apostle Paul makes this clear in his famous statement in Romans, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God."

 

Illogical Doctrine

For centuries have mortals refused to reason about the facts of creation, as stated in Genesis. Blindly have they accented the illogical doctrine that a spiritual cause could produce a material effect; that a God who is Spirit could create His unlikeness, a material man, and that this man was quite good and harmonious until a woman was fashioned from one of his ribs and shortly thereafter trouble began! In other words, this good, spiritual mortality fell into sin, and became bad or fallen mortality; as if mortality, signifying that which is fleshly and dying, could ever be good or spiritual!

 

"Let Us Reason Together"

What wonderful service has Mrs. Eddy rendered theology here. She calls on mankind, in the words of Isaiah, to "come . . . and let us reason together" about the great facts of being. First, she avers with faultless logic, that a God who is Spirit could not create a man the opposite of Himself. Can light beget darkness? Certainly not. Nor can Spirit beget that which is unlike Spirit. Next, Mrs. Eddy calls attention to the fact that nothing ever happened to that spiritual creation which God pronounced very good. In the second chapter of Genesis we read that a mist went up from the earth, and with the coming of a mist seemed to appear mortality, or a man made from dust. But does a mist destroy anything? No, it only hides. So God's perfect creation must be as beautiful and intact as when the morning stars sang together. It has only been hidden from mortal gaze by the mist, or mesmerism, if you will, of material sense - by ignorance of the true God. And from this ignorance, this mistaken view, and not from a loving Father, comes this mortal, sinning sense of existence, this sense of a fallen, depraved man, the opposite of God's image and likeness. Therefore with boldness, but that boldness born of unassailable logic and proof, does the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science state that there is in truth but one creator and one creation, one God, one man, and that man spiritual and harmonious now. On this basis, and this alone, can the sick be healed, the sorrowing comforted, and the sinning reformed.

 

Is Man Both Spiritual and Material?

"But," may interpose someone. "I certainly seem to be material. Why is it not correct to say that man is both spiritual and material?"

Let this question be answered by a simple illustration, although all material similes necessarily have their limitations. But this may help one to see why Christian Science insists that there are not two men, one spiritual and one material, but one alone - the spiritual harmonious man of God's creating. And it is the clinging to the spiritual fact of being, and resisting and repudiating the material seeming, that enables the scientific Christian to banish the mist of sickness and sin.

 

Legend of the Lost Prince

Now for the illustration: The story is told of a young prince, who, when a very small child, became separated from his nurse, and wandered into some woods where roamed a gypsy band. The gypsies carried the little fellow away with them, and brought him up as one of their own. Living in the great out-of-doors with his cantors, before many years he became nearly as swarthy and browned as the gypsies. He wore gypsy clothes, spoke the gypsy tongue, and was given a gypsy name. To all intents and purposes, there was a gypsy. He certainly looked like one and thought he was one. When he arrived at manhood's estate, the gypsy band again roved to the woods near the palace and a dear friend of the king who had never ceased looking for the prince, saw him, and in spite of the gypsy appearance recognized him immediately. Knowing something of the gypsy tongue he said to the young man, "Do you know who you are?" The other regarded him with a puzzled look, "Do I know who I am?" he answered, "of course I do." And he gave a gypsy name. "Ah," said the friend, "but that is not your real name. For the truth about you is that you are the son of our king!" The young man shook his head. "You are mistaken," said he. "I am not the king's son. I am a gypsy." "I know you seem to be," said the friend, "but the fact is, you are not."

"If what you say is true," replied the other, "there must be two of me - this gypsy here, and the son of the king - I don't know where he is."

"No," persisted the friend, "there is only one of you, and I am telling you about that one. That one is the son of our king."

Then said the young man, and he confidently expected that this question would settle the matter, "If I really am this son of the king, where did the gypsy come from?"

The friend replied that he would discuss the question of the gypsy no further, for he was not a gypsy; in fact, the only place a gypsy seemed to exist was in his ignorance, his misconception as to his origin; for all the time he had been the son of the king.

 

Victims of Ignorance

And how like the experience of mortals has this been! Victimized by ignorance of the true God and the true man, the true Father and the true son, mortals have accented this material Adam-view of creation. They speak the tongue and think the thoughts of materiality. They adopt the customs of the race of Adam in expecting and experiencing sin, sickness, trouble, limitation, imperfection, old age, and death. And when the Science of Christianity, the spiritual truth taught by Jesus, which is the best friend mankind ever had, proclaims the fact that man is spiritual, the image of Spirit and the son of the King, the average mortal looks at his mortality, accepts as truth that which he sees with his eyes and hears with his ears, and says dubiously, "How can I believe it? Don't I know that I am material?"

 

Basing Creation Upon Matter Instead of Spirit

The impossibility of working from two standpoints, one spiritual and the other material, was illustrated in the following experience: A man of my acquaintance was literally going to pieces with drink. He tried different cures, but all to no avail. Finally a friend asked me if I would try to "use my religion on him," as he expressed it. I knew nothing about Christian Science at the time, but was a member of a Christian church. I might say that my understanding of creation began with the second chapter of Genesis, rather than the first - with the Adam-man, rather than the spiritual image and likeness of God of the first chapter. It was not long before I had an opportunity to "use my religion." The man in question was just recovering from a prolonged period of intoxication, and I sought an interview with him. Telling him that I and his other friends were earnestly desirous of helping him, I launched forth into a stinging indictment of his evil ways." I graphically pictured his weakness, his submission to appetite and its consequent degradation. My thought was first to convince him how bad he was, and then to bid him with God's help rise above his sin. But I had proved a bungling comforter. I had so convinced him that the truth about him was that he was a degraded, weak, son of Adam, and not that he was a spiritual son of the King, with dominion over all the earth, that I was informed later that the poor fellow was not sober for two weeks after I had finished "using my religion." I respectfully submit that there was something radically wrong with that treatment. And I believe every thinking person can see where the error lay; I made Adam, materiality, my starting point, and saw it as the truth, rather than God's spiritual creation.

 

Healing Follows Correct View

Let me, by way of contrast, draw another picture. A man victimized by the appetite for liquor, drugs, or tobacco, seeks out a Christian Science practitioner. In the course of his work the Scientist may find it necessary to utter a strong and awakening rebuke, but he realizes that he is rebuking evil, and not man. Should one see a beautiful butterfly caught in a spider's web, would one say: "Look at that wretched butterfly?" Certainly not. The condemnation or rebuke would be for the spider and its web, not for the butterfly. Now the Christian Scientist, basing his argument on the goodness of God and man's eternal likeness to his Maker, proceeds to thank the Father that His image must be undefiled, pure, and harmonious, now and forever. He, therefore, is not striving to change man, but to reveal man; and as he refuses to be mesmerized by the gypsy-appearance, and clings to man's present dominion and satisfaction as the son of the King, in that proportion will that which is called healing take place.

 

The Problem of Intemperance

Let us consider for a moment the problem of intemperance. Mrs. Eddy was a staunch prohibitionist. Loyal Christian Scientists unite with clean minded citizens in upholding the cause of temperance in every land. What would be thought of a man or woman professing to be a Christian Scientist, and therefore a believer in law, deliberately violating a nation's laws, or attempting to undermine them? Such a picture is unthinkable. But there will be no need for prohibition laws when every citizen is a Christian Scientist. Why? The Christian Scientist does not indulge in intoxicants for the simple reason that he has learned that there is no real pleasure or satisfaction in such indulgences. Many turn to so-called stimulants because they crave a feeling of well-being, supposed to follow in the wake of strong drink. The Christian Scientist has found a more excellent method. He strives to partake of the wine of inspiration, rather than the wine of fermentation, and through the knowing of that love “divinely near" (Poems, p. 6) eternally satisfying, strengthening, and upholding man, he gains a sense of peace and satisfaction and well-being never experienced before.

Christian Science, therefore, is not engaged in taking joy from mortals, it is in the glorious business of giving to mankind real joy and lasting satisfaction - that joy which the Master said no man should take from us.

 

An Instance of Healing

A man sadly victimized by the drug and liquor habit once sought out a Christian Science practitioner. He told the Scientist of his unhappy plight, of his degradation, and the loss of money, friends, and self-respect, and then said, "In fact, there is only one person in all the world who thinks that there is any good in me, and that is my little three-year old child: but of course," he added sorrowfully, "she does not know any better!" Then said the practitioner, "If that is the case, your little girl is the only one in all your world who has caught a glimpse of the real you; for in God's sight, the man of His creating, your real spiritual selfhood, is just as good, just as beautiful, just as undented as that child says he is." And I want to report that this revolutionary message so startled the material dreamer, and so clearly revealed man's real spiritual status, from that very day he found his tormenting desires gone, never to return: and he realized with joy that his little girl was not deceived after all, and that in truth God's man is pure and free.

 

Business Problems

Someone may ask. "In what way could the understanding of Christian Science aid in the solution of a business problem?" And the answer is, that the basic rule of scientific being, wherewith one is able to silence sin and eradicate disease, operates in the so-called business realm as surely as in the mental or bodily realm. The Christian should feel as free to rely on a spiritual method for the healing of a sick business as for the healing of a sick body. In fact, the Master-metaphysician overcame a sense of lack of supply as readily as a lack of strength or health.

 

True Busy-ness

At the age of twelve, Christ Jesus announced that he was about his Father's business, and what a marvelously successful business man he became! The primary meaning of the word business is "the state of being busy or action"; and the Master exemplified his busy-ness in every thought, word, and deed. Recognizing God, Spirit, as his Father, and the son as the image or reflection of the Father, he laid down these fundamental rules for all righteous activity: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do." And again, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Thus Christ Jesus showed that man's true activity or busy-ness was not the selfish pursuit of material gain, but the reflection or expression of omni-active intelligence and good.

 

Man Not a Burden Bearer

Business men and women who are students of Christian Science will tell you that marvelous solutions of vexing problems come about when they glimpse these truths, and realize, even in small measures, that man is not an independent mental machine, burdened and perplexed, but the very manifestation or reflection of the all-wise intelligence, which is God Himself. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work!" The next time you find yourself confronted with a veritable stone wall, and know not what move to make, think of this wonderful rule and strive to apply it. It is not the Father's will that you should spend sleepless nights and anguished days in the effort to devise a method of escape from this calamity, or a remedy for that problem. "My Father worketh hitherto!" The one infinite Mind, governing the whole universe, is working, eternally working, and His plan for the least of His ideas is harmony, peace, and heavenly sustaining.   Mankind's need is to lift thought above the mist of the human seeming, refuse to be dismayed, and commence the glorious work of reflecting the all-knowing, all-governing intelligence. In one of her shorter writings (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 306) Mrs. Eddy states "God gives you His spiritual ideas and in turn, they give you daily supplies." Therefore the man or woman who realizes that the primal need is to gain spiritual ideas, rather than money, is on the highway leading to a successful working-out of his problem.

 

Hagar's Need

Take, for example, the case of Hagar, Sarah's bondmaid, whom Abraham cast out. At first reading of this Old Testament narrative it would appear that Hagar's need was food and drink; and yet it developed that all she needed was a spiritual idea. It would be recalled that the unhappy woman took her child and wandered out in the wilderness, where it seemed that starvation would surely overtake her. Soon, the record states, the water in her bottle was spent, and she cast the child under some shrubs where she could not see it, and hopelessly resigned herself to her seemingly hopeless fate. There seemed no way out. Ah, but there was a way, and such a simple way! We read that an angel - a spiritual idea - whispered to her thought, "Fear not!" And then it is recorded that God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. The well had apparently been there all the time, but she, like so many of earth's blinded ones, had closed her thought and her heart to the angel-messages which ever point outward and upward, and which ever find a way.   Is it not true that a man blinded by self-pity, immersed in the argument of lack, and mesmerized by fear and the limitations of sense-testimony, can look straight at an avenue of escape and not see it? Is not the need of the business Hagars of today a more spiritual view, a higher sense of things, which will banish fear and limitation and open the doors of thought for the reception of right, saving ideas? Do you not know men and women who spend valuable moments bewailing the fact, Hagar-like, that there is nothing but ruin ahead, and that there is no possible way out. To one looking through Hagar's spectacles, a splendid business opportunity, or other solution of the problem, might come right up to him and yet be unseen.

 

Removing Error's Placards

I recall a man who came to see me some years ago - a very doleful individual he was. He settled himself into a chair with a sigh, and asked me whether or not I thought Christian Science could help him in his business. I replied I was certain it could, provided he would let it do so. Then I asked him what the trouble was. "Trouble!" he exclaimed gloomily; nothing but trouble! I can't get anything to do. If I do try a position somewhere I can't seem to hold it. And as for selling a man something - do you know," he ended solemnly, "I can't sell a man anything if he wants it" I looked at the doleful picture before me and said that I could quite understand that. The other demanded to know what I meant by that. "Why, my brother," I said, "you seem to have suspended from your neck a big placard, on which is written as plain as day; ‘I am a poor, forlorn, unlucky son of Adam! nobody loves me!’ and you are wondering what is the matter with your business. Now Christian Science will remove that placard. It will write first in your heart and then on your forehead, something like this: I am the son of the King! I have been given dominion over evil, domination over fear, dominion over lack. I love my brother man, and that brother man loves me!" We did not see the placard immediately removed, but little by little the truth banished the mist, and what splendid heartening experiences that man had when he began to be about his Father's business - when he put under foot the gypsy-limitations, and stepped forth into the sunshine of spiritual understanding.

 

The Father's Business

If one is meeting one of the world's legitimate needs; if he is selling good goods, honest goods honestly, relying on truth rather than on suggestion and modern high pressure methods for making the sales; if he is directing an honest business, honestly, lovingly mindful of the welfare of his humblest employee; if justice and co-operation are displacing selfish greed and tyrannical methods; if on the other hand, he is an employee and realizes that in rendering faithful cheery service to his employer he is really working for principle - then truly may he know that he is about his Father's business, and that governing him and protecting him is the law of immutable good and harmony. Only so long as one bears the gypsy-label of the Adam-man in his heart, can he be robbed of his joy and activity and supply. Note the freedom, the success, the absence of burden with the business man or woman who says each morning, "I am the child of the King! Dear Father, what are the orders for the day? Here I am. Use me!

 

Prayer That Heals the Sick

"This is a beautiful theory," says someone, "and it might help a sinful man, or one worried with business problems.  But what about a sick man - a man really sick?" Go to any Wednesday evening meeting of the hundreds of Christian Science churches spread throughout the civilized world, and hear there testimonies and experiences of those who have been healed of practically every known disease through this spiritual teaching. You will find that these people have taken the Apostle at his word when he said:  "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." But the prayer which has healed them has not been a blind petitioning to a God who supposedly afflicts His children. Rather has it been based upon such an understanding as the friend had who knew that the prince was not a gypsy. To refer to this simile again, suppose the prince had said to the friend, "Won't you pray for me, that I may be healed of this gypsy-sense?" Could one picture the friend then addressing the Almighty and imploring Him to remove the gypsy? Such a prayer indeed would be asking amiss. That friend clings to the facts - communes, if you will, with the truth as to the prince's being, and refusing to be swayed by sense-testimony, eventually dispels the other's ignorance. And what would be the first sign of an awakening with the prince? Would it not be an expression of joy and gratitude on meeting his parents and learning his real status? So the prayer that dispels the mesmerism of sickness, of pain, of helplessness, must not begin with such a phrase as, “O God, who hast seen fit to visit this child with affliction;” rather must it be a song of thanksgiving that a loving Father hath already done all things well, and that His law never causes disease, but annihilates it. Did not Jesus preface his mighty work at the tomb of Lazarus with these words, “Father, I thank thee?” Gratitude, therefore, is not only a very pleasing quality to possess, but is the precious forerunner and certain symbol of an awakening from the Adam-dream of discord and distress.

 

An Instance of Healing

A woman suffering from what the physicians called tuberculosis and particularly harassed with the wretched cough, turned to a Christian Science practitioner for help. Faithfully did the Scientist strive to awaken a sense of gratitude in the patient, but all to no avail. The patient was a gypsy, and knew that she was a gypsy, and that settled it. What was there to be grateful for in that? Finally one night, when the poor woman was about worn out with the cough, the light broke in upon her thought and she said aloud: "Now I know what I can thank God for! I can at least thank Him that I know that He never made a cough or laws of disease! I can thank Him I am learning that this is only a dream and is not happening in His beautiful Kingdom. I can thank Him for that!" After this, an even more violent spell of coughing seemed to overtake her. Calmly she addressed the error: "I refuse to be dismayed, and I refuse to fight you any longer, I am thanking God that you aren't happening!" Soon like a babe, she dropped off into a sweet sleep, and from that moment began the liberation. Within a short space of time she was whole. A miracle? No, the morning light of gratitude broke into the dark chamber of ignorance, and she awoke to find herself not a diseased mortal, but the joyous, free child of the King.

 

There Is No Defeat

"And yet," says someone, "Christian Scientists have passed away. What do you say about that?" The Christian Scientist admits with regret but not discouragement, his failure to measure up to the Christ-ideal in all cases. He is, however, tremendously grateful for the progress already made; and he refuses to admit that those who have passed from sight clinging to the glorious facts of being have gone down to defeat. They must be nearer the complete sense of dominion over evil by reason of each step Spiritward taken here; while those seemingly left behind experience a comforting and peace the world can not comprehend, in the realization that God's children are not separated, no matter what sense testimony argues, and that the loving Father-Mother of all and His glorious family of undying ideas, are now rejoicing in an eternity of bliss together. More and more are Christian Scientists learning to look the so-called "last enemy" in the face and be undismayed thereby. Again and again is it being conquered, and more and more is its sting being removed. "Behold," said the Master, "I give unto you power over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you." And our beloved Leader has given us a wonderful correlative statement in a letter which she wrote to a student, which was quoted in The Christian Science Journal of August, 1912, "Did you but know the sublimity of your hope; the infinite capacity of your being; the grandeur of your outlook, you would let error kill itself. Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has." Here then is the clarion call to all students of Christian Science to take their stand with God, everlasting Life, and refuse to admit into their mental homes the terrorizing suggestions of the Adam-dream. Refuse to be stampeded. Refuse to be dismayed. Refuse to give evil life. Rejoice that we are learning that suggestion and all evil are just being brought to the surface by Truth, to be relegated to their native nothingness.

 

"Awake, Thou That Sleepest"

Someone may say: "But I have been striving so long, and yet do not seem able to gain this spiritual view." Yes, some persons do seem to be heavier sleepers than others, and so require more time to be awakened; but this should furnish no excuse for self-condemnation or discouragement. As a child, whenever I was ill and had a fever, even though such experiences were years apart I would have this nightmare; I would seem to be picked up by a mighty hand and carried out over the sea, farther and farther from the shore, never knowing at what moment I would be dropped into the depths. The picture was so terrifying that invariably I would cry aloud in my sleep. This would bring my mother speedily to my side; and then, right through the awful dream pictures and long before they faded from thought, I would hear my mother's voice saying, "Why, little son, I am here - mother is right here! Everything is all right; see, it was only a dream!" And oh, such a wave of gratitude would sweep over me. And while the waking was not always speedily accomplished, there was, nevertheless, the blessed dawning sense that the unhappy vision was not true and that the mother was right there. And now to you and to me in the midst of our Adam-dream of sickness, of heartaches, of fear, of limitation, and of ignorance sounds the voice of the Father-Mother God, saying gently, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Thou art my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. All is good! Awake, thou that sleepest!" What if the awakening does seem slow? Thank God we have heard that materiality with its ill and woes does not constitute the truth of being; and are we being truly grateful for that? It is well to realize that gratitude is the sure symptom of an awakening; but ingratitude, impatience, and discouragement can mean only a prolonged slumber.

 

Conclusion

To earth's material dreamers, to the dream troubled nations, Christian Science, the liberator of all mankind, echoes this clarion call of Scripture: "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city . . . Shake thyself from the dust; . . . Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion . . . Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem" . . . "for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

 

[Published in the Marion County Mail, Indianapolis, Indiana, date unknown.]

 

 

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