Christian Science: The Revelation of Truth Triumphant
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, Massachusetts, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled, "Christian Science: The Revelation of Truth Triumphant," last evening, under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice.
The lecturer was introduced by Miss Margaret Morrison, C.S., Second Reader in The Mother Church who said:
The Bible has given us a most noteworthy prayer in these words of the Psalmist: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
This prayer, always in her heart, was fulfilled for Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She, indeed, beheld wondrous things out of God's law and gave them to the world in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
The wondrous things which we may behold out of God's law are the spiritual realities or scientific facts of being. Truly to behold or apprehend these spiritual realities is to experience salvation. To apprehend the scientific fact that God is Mind, pure Mind untouched by taint of matter or evil; and that man and the universe is this Mind's expression of itself in perfect, spiritual ideas, is to be saved from the evils and struggles that arise from the false concept of God and His creation as a mixture of Spirit and matter, good and evil.
Understanding these scientific facts as revealed in Christian Science, lifts our lives into liberty, health, activity, and sufficiency of all good - into immortality. This understanding lifts our universe into the reality of one divine government, into the unity of brotherly love and ineffaceable peace.
The lecturer, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of this Church, will tell us of the triumphant power of this spiritual understanding in our daily living. As we listen, may this desire be fulfilled for each one of us in answered prayer: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
The Mother Church extends to you a most hearty welcome, and it is my pleasure to introduce to you John Randall Dunn of Boston, Massachusetts.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Do we not see on all sides evidences of the fact that human beings are ever striving to triumph over limitation, bondage, needless drudgery, unhappiness, and, last but not least, mental and physical disease? From the dawn of human history to this year of grace, we can trace the yearnings of mankind for deliverance from material discord, and the progress made toward such deliverance. Possibly the most notable contribution to the material betterment of the human family has come through the numerous inventions which have happily replaced many of the hardships and much of the hand-to-mouth existence of our forefathers. In fact, these days, as one seems to annihilate time and space in his motorcar, streamlined train, or airplane, as he snatches from the air through the wizardry of radio a message from the uttermost parts of the globe, heats his home by the turning of an electric switch, or produces a tasty and nourishing meal from a tin, he may be inclined to cast a pitying eye on the men and women of yesteryears to whom existence was just one long struggle. There may be such satisfaction with the purely material aspects of modern life and achievement, that, like Alexander the Great, he sighs for new worlds to conquer.
Now while there should be unbounded gratitude for and appreciation of these marvelous latter-day human inventions and material achievements, it might be well for one to pause and put a serious question to himself: Has mankind made equally great strides in the subjugation of fear, heartache, unhappiness, intemperance with its train of evils, greed, hate, lack, and all the etceteras of mortal discord and dis-ease? The great Teacher of Nazareth centuries ago put the question in these words: "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - his spiritual sense? Will the possession of a great bank account heal a heartache? Can one in an airplane flee from the torments of a guilty conscience? Can a house aglow with the wonder of electricity insure a mental home filled with the consciousness of health and harmony? After all, then, is not the overcoming of sin, hate, and fear, limitation, greed, and disease the most vital problem facing humanity today?
Modern medicine and surgery, aver their exponents, are constantly combating and attempting to master the various physical ills of mortals. Psychology, psychoanalysis, etc., are delving into the mental realm, and are striving to cope with the various behaviorisms and so-called fixations of the carnal mind. But is not the effort of materialism to heal materialism with materialism, quite like the familiar picture of the man attempting to lift himself by his own bootstraps? Sacred history records that Moses and Aaron, through faith and spiritual understanding, wrought many marvels in the sight of Pharaoh, and straightway the magicians of Egypt apparently duplicated their works by their mesmeric efforts. Finally, when Aaron cast down his rod and it became a serpent, and the magicians apparently did likewise with their rods, we read that Aaron's rod swallowed up the other rods. Here in the graphic word-imagery of the Old Testament is a pertinent prophecy of the ultimate swallowing up of all merely material methods and conceptions in an understanding of a power and Principle beyond and above matter.
Now the Man of Nazareth did his wonderful healing work and so-called miracles through no reliance whatsoever on material means and methods. Apparently he understood a power, a Principle, which varied not, which was wholly spiritual or apart from matter. He referred to this power, this Principle, as his Father who was in heaven - in other words, who was not material or visible to human eyes. From his statements and the various inferences of Holy Writ it can safely be concluded that this Father or Principle is first of all wholly good, is perfect, changeless Love, is the very essence of Life itself, and is infinitely intelligent, lawful, and law-creating. Turning to and relying upon this changeless good, spiritual law, Christ Jesus met and mastered every known problem which arises in human experience. Never has the world witnessed such healing. Why, it may be asked, in the face of this indisputable fact, has not mankind turned to Jesus' method all these centuries, and striven to approximate his extraordinary cures of sickness? The answer is probably twofold: first it is averred that the Master was a miracle worker, and second, that his mighty works were confined to the age in which he appeared.
Without fear of successful contradiction, I wish to make a seemingly bold statement: The most important unfoldment or discovery in the realm of religion since the days of the Nazarene has come to humanity in this age, and it has come from the pen of a Christian woman. Simply, but fearlessly, she takes issue with the centuries-old conception of the Master as a wonder worker, and reveals him as one who understood and demonstrated a perfect law and Principle of being. Calmly and unafraid, she turns her face from commonly accepted belief and dogma about Christ Jesus, and accepts him at his own appraisal - not as God, but as the Son of God, the Saviour, deliverer, and light of men, whose mission was to demonstrate how spiritual understanding and reliance upon divine Principle enables mankind now and forever to triumph over the flesh and every mortal discord. His Father in heaven is our Father; his ability to prove man's oneness with this spiritual power belongs to every believing heart in our day. Instantly the Master becomes a tender, understanding Elder Brother and Friend, a Teacher whose precepts, when followed, enable his students to solve problems of sin, sickness, lack, and the like, as did he. Without doubt, Mary Baker Eddy's revelation of the truth about Christ Jesus and his mission is the most necessary, the most vital and glorious message humanity has received, since the first or second century of the Christian era.
This revelation did not come to Mrs. Eddy in a flash of apocalyptic glory. Through all her human experience, a deep spiritual-mindedness was evident. She has written (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 31): "From my very childhood I was impelled, by a hunger and thirst after divine things, - a desire for something higher and better than matter, and apart from it, - to seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe. The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material." Not only did she find that the spiritualization of her thinking wrought a physical cure in her own experience, but shortly thereafter this uplifted consciousness was evidenced in extraordinary healing work for others.
It is not to be wondered at that this exhibition of spiritual power aroused the so-called "seven thunders" of evil. It did it in Jesus' day. When the skeptics and the materially-minded were confronted with some undeniable cure wrought by the Master, they dismissed it with the smug statement that undoubtedly Jesus healed by Beelzebub; in other words, the mighty work was probably the result of some mesmeric or magical operation of thought. The same vain objections were raised when Mrs. Eddy began her great work of healing and teaching. The critics charged that her spiritual system originated with a mesmerist or magnetic healer - as if Christ's Christianity, the opposite of mesmerism or suggestion, could originate in the carnal mind! To be sure, Mrs. Eddy once had an experience with a drugless or mesmeric healer, but her Christian students and followers know that this "pearl of great price" - Christian Science - came from God, and not from mortal man. At every step was this rare Christian woman assailed, maligned, misrepresented; but like her great Way-shower, she went her brave, lone, loving way, meekly telling her students to follow her "only so far as she [followed] Christ" (Message to The Mother Church of 1901, p. .34). She once wrote (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 11), "I would enjoy taking by the hand all who love me not, and saying to them. 'I love you, and would not knowingly harm you.' " Here we have the secret of Mrs. Eddy's wonderful life and work; here the reason that she was enabled to walk with us until her ninetieth year, and see established on a firm foundation the great healing Christian Science movement. Generations yet unborn will acclaim her great service to the human family, for she it was who rescued the vitalizing, healing message of Christ Jesus from the cobwebs of intellectual and dogmatic Christianity, and has made it practical and understandable for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
It would be difficult indeed to overstate the immense good that Science and Health, "the voice of Truth to this age" (p. 456), is bringing to mankind. Again and again sickness disappears and the answer to a problem appears when one opens its God-inspired pages. The last hundred pages are given over to statements of men and women who have been brought out of practically all forms of human bondage, simply through their own reading and study of the book, without other treatment. One may read here of the healing of rheumatism, hernia, spinal trouble, cataracts, astigmatism, fibroid tumor, valvular heart disease, cancer, and consumption; depraved appetites have been overcome; deaf ears have been unstopped, et cetera. When Jesus sent a message to John the Baptist about his healing work, he thus effectively answered John's inquiry: "Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?” Surely the righteous fruitage of Science and Health confirms the conviction of multitudes of Christian people that this precious volume has brought to humanity the Comforter promised by Jesus. Mrs. Eddy herself felt very definitely that the textbook was not the product of her own human intellect. She once wrote (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 114): "It was not myself, but the divine power of Truth and Love, infinitely above me, which dictated 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.' " Then she adds humbly, "I have been learning the higher meaning of this book since writing it."
In the first chapter of the textbook, thought is led to some very searching questions about true prayer. We read (p. 2), "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it." Then on the same page occur these significant statements: "God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection?"
In the effort, therefore, to bring one's thought into harmony with divine Love and good, one needs to realize, first of all, that the sickness or discord he would overcome, is not the product of a loving God. A young Christian Scientist was being taken to task by his grandmother, a stanch orthodox Christian of the old school, because he refused to believe that God was responsible for the ills of the flesh. "I know God sends sickness to me," said the grandmother: "for I should be a very spoiled child without my Father's correction." "When God sends you the sickness, what do you do?" inquired the grandson. "I call a doctor," was the prompt reply, "and ask him to give me some of the medicines which God has prepared
for our use." "But, grandmother," persisted the other, "if God sends you sickness to punish or correct you, how dare you call a doctor to undo God's work?" The venerable lady was silent a moment. "Well," she said quietly, "we won't discuss it any further!" Now the Christian Scientist, realizing that discord of every name and nature cannot be the outcome of a Cause infinitely harmonious, immediately brands such discord as illegitimate, unreal, and sees it as the product of fear and ignorance. Thus he is bringing his thinking into accord with his divine Principle; and through mighty affirmation and realization of the truth of being, his prayer heals the sick.
The question may be asked, "Then is the Scientist's prayer one of affirmation only?" If we pattern our prayers after the perfect model given us by the Master we must see that true Christian prayer must be both petition and affirmation. In the spiritual interpretation given in the textbook of the Lord's Prayer we find a petitioning for grace, understanding, love, and strength to resist temptation, and then a glorious affirmation of omnipotence and omnipresence. Mrs. Eddy, in these few inspirational words, graphically describes the healing prayer of Christian Science: "In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness" (Science and Health, p. 15). The alert student of Science, therefore, will be found praying for light and love and spiritual understanding, and denying in his thinking any lurking sense of hate, or resentment, or self-will, before addressing the thought of his patient. Christ Jesus warned his followers against the error of bringing a gift to the altar, while one harbored an unloving sense towards a brother; and Mrs. Eddy writes, pertinently (Science and Health, p. 448) "Fettered by sin yourself, it is difficult to free another from the fetters of disease." So the healing prayer must begin with a fervent desire, a longing on the part of the Scientist for more love, for honesty, clean hands and selflessness. Striving to clean up his own mental window pane his consciousness thus becomes what the textbook calls "a better transparency for Truth" (pg. 295). One needs always to remember that this system is Christian Science, and only the man or woman consistently striving to Christianize his thinking can hope to demonstrate its healing power.
What does the Christian Scientist affirm in his healing prayer? In Science and Health (p. 275) we read, "The starting-point in divine Science is that God, Spirit is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, - that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle." Man is the expression, the manifestation, the reflection of this infinitely good and loving intelligence. Affirming these glorious truths about God and man, the Scientist strives to gain that “correct view of man” which, the textbook states, heals the sick (Science and Health, p. 477). He realizes that that which material sense testimony calls man is no more God's conception of His child than the grotesque mask of a clown is the correct likeness of the man behind it. Man is more than flesh and bones and material organs. The prophet Isaiah says, "Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils.” In other words, Look away from this material, weak, sick, sinful sense of man, and find (the) man of God's creating, who is Love expressed, and good expressed, and the very expression of harmonious, painless, joyous Mind. Have you never said of a friend who has just done some intelligent thing: "What wisdom he manifested! What an expression of intelligence he is!" At that moment man, God's man, was appearing; yet in connection with this manifestation of intelligence you probably did not think of a material body or a human being. Have not we all heard some such statement as this, when someone has rendered a loving, unselfed bit of service, "What an expression of Love was that!" What is this but man, the real man, appearing? The Scientist therefore affirms that man, the expression of Love, cannot be afraid; the expression of Truth is not diseased; the expression of harmonious spiritual consciousness, or Soul, is not in pain, nor the victim of appetite. God's man is whole now, the perfect expression of harmonious, painless being, governed and sustained by the law of his divine Principle, Love. And the Christian Scientist, thus communing with and declaring the truth about God and His son, again and again sees that which is termed healing take place.
Here may arise a question as to the difference between a Christian Science treatment and the methods of suggestion and hypnotism. "Are they not similar?" someone may ask. Is not the well-known and oft-repeated Coue suggestion, "Every day and in every way I am getting better and better," really a Christian Science treatment? Most emphatically not! To illustrate: Could you imagine a teacher in school "suggesting" to his pupils that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points? Would he hypnotize the class into believing this truth, or get them to repeat the formula, that every day and in every way a straight line is becoming the shortest distance between two points? Simply and directly does the teacher teach the demonstrable truth, that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. There is no suggestion or mental manipulation about it. Now the scientifically Christian man or woman does not set out to heal a sick man. His task is to reveal the real man, made in God's image, who is not sick, discordant, or sinful. The material would-be healer starts from the premise that the picture before him of a sick or sinful man is real and true, but he will change this picture by a suggestion of health. And the last state of his patient may be worse than the first, for thought has just been tampered with by the carnal mind, and not regenerated, refreshed, and purified by health-giving, spiritual truth.
The Christian Scientist, therefore, while a healer, could also be described as a revealer. His is the joyous task of revealing to suffering humanity the truth about God and His harmonious universe, and thus annulling the multitudinous suggestions of the carnal mind, which ultimate in sin, pain, and wretchedness.
One of the primary and outstanding effects of a Christian Science treatment is the nullifying of fear. At the time of the widespread influenza epidemic some years ago, a prominent physician said, as quoted in a newspaper, "I only wish all our people had the remedy for fear which obviously our Christian Science friends have!" Had Mrs. Eddy given the human family nothing else but this wonderful paragraph in the Christian Science textbook dealing with the overcoming of fear, she would immeasurably have blessed the race. She writes (Science and Health, p. 411): "Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger. Watch the result of this simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed. The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness." Would it not seem that the suggestion of fear comes at mortals from every angle? Human beings are literally immersed in such suggestion. They are afraid of birth, and terrified at death. They are afraid to eat, and not to eat. They fear the loss of flesh, and the taking on of flesh. If they have wealth, they fear its loss; poverty, they fear its continuance and dire effects. Fear, fear, fear. And what does it mean? simply this: The man or woman who opens the door of his thinking to the suggestion of fear, at that moment is forgetting God and His harmonious, indestructible image. Be ready for this aggressive suggestion whenever or wherever it would rear its unlovely head. Recognize it as not a valid idea or thought proceeding from the Father-Mother Mind, but mortal-mind suggestion, which, to use Jesus' words, is a "liar, and the father of it.” So, as long as God, Truth, is not telling you that you are afraid, you recognize the argument of fear as not your real thought, but only mortal mind talking about itself. Says the Scripture, “There were they in great fear, where no fear was:” Truly we thank God that
"There's nothing to fear
Since God is here."
Fear is darkness, ignorance, which flees before the sunshine of Truth.
The inspired Leader of the Christian Science movement saw the need of alertness in the matter of handling and therefore annulling mortal-mind suggestion, when she was led to include in the Manual of The Mother Church this far-reaching By-Law: "It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion" (Art. VIII, Sect. 6). What a joyous thing is this defense to the working student! If one has some clothing of which he is particularly fond, or which is especially attractive, is it not a pleasure to array oneself in it? Should not the Scientist, therefore, rejoice in the privilege of putting on daily the shining armor of spiritual understanding, of realization of the reality, the omniaction and omnipresence of good and the utter unreality of the suggestion of evil? Against the armor, or righteous, loving thought, the shafts of aggressive suggestion are as impotent as hailstones against a mighty fortress.
As the Scientist is obedient to the By-Laws of The Mother Church in praying daily for himself and all mankind; as he defends himself and his brother-man against aggressive suggestion, in that degree is he becoming a "lively stone" in the great "structure of Truth and Love" (Science and Health, p. 583), which is the only true Church. Occasionally one hears a person calling himself a Christian Scientist state that he is deferring church membership because his understanding of the truth is not great. For this very reason he needs the inspiration, protection, and wholesome discipline to be found only in Mother Church and branch church membership. Was there ever a time when business men and women more needed an understanding of the true Church wherewith to defend themselves against the thousand and one suggestions which beset their paths today?
First there is the well-nigh universal suggestion that we are in, or emerging from, a worldwide depression, stagnation, unemployment, and lack. Here someone may intervene and say, "But this is not suggestion; this is a fact!" Is it? Is God the infinite, creative Mind? He is. Is He all-powerful good? He is. Is His creation the reflection, or expression, of Mind and good? It is. Then how could expression become depression? It could not.
Was God's kingdom ever depressed, His ideas inactive, His Truth stagnant? A thousand times, NO! Then what has been happening? Millions of mortals have been listening to the suggestions of fear, limitation, distrust, confusion - all products of ignorance of God. Throughout this trying ordeal, it has been generally conceded that the underlying difficulties were mental, not material. There have been no outstanding famines - mortal thinking has just suffered dislocation and distress because greed has seemed to dethrone Principle, fear has paralyzed right activity, and hate, distrust, and personal sense have obscured love and brotherhood. Spiritually-minded men and women, lifting their heads above the mist, and keeping thought fixed on spiritual facts, have come through these stormy days triumphant, or little touched. Some have seemed to sink at times beneath the waves of suggestion, only to rise higher, and eventually to find a sure footing on the rock of Science. Many will tell you of seemingly miraculous deliverances when apparently every avenue of escape seemed hopelessly closed. The same Mind which guided the children of Israel through the Red Sea has been inspiring, sustaining, and delivering those who have turned to Him today.
Does aggressive suggestion whisper to you that your position is precarious, your supply nearing an end? Let thought for a moment go back to an inspiring Old Testament narrative. It seems that the king of Syria had sent a great host of horsemen and chariots to take prisoner the prophet Elisha, and during the night had encamped about the city where Elisha dwelt, apparently making escape impossible. Then we read: "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them"! Then the prophet prayed: "Lord, . . . open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." What if the subtle suggestion of fear and lack seemingly hems you in on all sides! God is mightier than suggestion, Principle admits of no fear, and Love knows no lack. Pray that your eyes may be opened to know the glorious redeeming ideas which exist for you in "the teeming universe of Mind" (Science and Health, p. 513). Remember, your need is not primarily money, but right, intelligent, saving ideas. Strive to ally your thinking with the one Mind and open your thought to its angel-messages. There is a way out, an answer to every problem; to quote a familiar hymn, "God's promises are kept."
A husband and wife had long been in the throes of depression, lack, and unemployment, and in desperation sought out a Christian Science practitioner. Woefully they drew the picture of their unhappy plight, their discouragement, self condemnation, and inability to find any activity in the business world. The Scientist, discerning the need of lifting their thought and enabling them to gain the correct view of man and thus break the mesmerism, asked them to go home that night and begin thanking God that man, His idea, was not jobless, but eternally about the Father's business, reflecting intelligence, and good and harmonious activity. They were told to condemn fear, and suggestion, and limitation, but not their real selves, which were dear to their Father-Mother God. The pathetic looking couple promised, although somewhat doubtfully, to try to think along these lines, questioning just how much joy or real gratitude could be manifested by people in their circumstances. Some days later, a smiling wife reported to the practitioner. She said that her husband could not accompany her, as his "boss" could not spare him! Then she told the story: She said that, she and her husband went home after their talk with the Scientist, resolved to put his instructions to the test. Sleep was farthest from their thought. First one would say to the other, "Are you thanking God we have our job?" "Yes, are you?" Then a silence, which would be broken thus: "And if our job is to reflect Him, and we are striving to do it, then the rest is up to the Father, isn't it? He's got to care for us and sustain us!" She said they felt the most heavenly assurance that all was well; fear and condemnation had fled. There was no desire to sleep then, but rather to rejoice and thank God for His goodness. "And do you know," added the wife, "the very next day three different business houses wanted my husband!" Here is an interesting point: Why had he not been sought before? For the simple reason that the spiritual qualities which constitute the real man had not appeared before. That fearing, despairing, condemning consciousness was not man; but when the real selfhood, the reflection of Love and Principle and good, began to appear, there was the activity awaiting him.
A subtle suggestion coming to many business people and others these days is that indulgence in liquor, tobacco, or some particular phase of worldliness will enable one to be more successful in business, or popular with his fellows. He who builds thus builds on sand. Standing not with divine Principle, any success he may have is a will-o'-the-wisp, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Ask some successful Christian Scientist who "calls on the trade," as the saying is, and refuses liquor and tobacco. Again and again he finds that instead of ridicule, his stand for Principle begets respect, and enhances rather than destroys success. If the Scientist is flippantly dubbed "old-fashioned," he pleads guilty very happily, frankly preferring the wholesome and old-fashioned idea of a sweet womanhood untainted by the odor of tobacco, and of a manhood evidencing dominion over appetites and bondage. Does one see God's man, the real selfhood, in the consciousness which seems to require constant material stimulation - a cigarette to quiet nerves, or a drink to give strength? Is real manhood or womanhood seen in weakness, and constant submission to the relentless taskmaster, called material cravings? Thousands and thousands of Christian Scientists are gratefully testifying to the fact that they have found in the understanding of their spiritual selfhood a sense of freedom and quietness of mind and satisfaction never experienced in their liquor and tobacco days. They have learned to recognize the suggestion of pleasure or satisfaction in drugs, liquor, and tobacco, just for what it is - a suggestion of the carnal mind, and therefore unreal, nothingness. A little girl once heard a person very unlovingly denominating Christian Science as "just another 'ism.' " Quickly she retorted, "I should call Christian Science 'I-CAN-ISM'!" And back of this child's remark lies a vital truth: The man or woman dwelling in conscious unity with his divine source and Principle, the one Mind, is enabled to declare with conviction: "I can claim my dominion over the aggressive suggestions of the carnal mind! I can prove my oneness with the Father, and my real freedom and satisfaction, for ‘I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with [His] likeness.' "
Another suggestion of the carnal mind which seems to be working much mischief in human affairs today is the argument of discordant homes. Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health that separations in families would never take place "if both husband and wife were genuine Christian Scientists" (p. 59). Christian Science is showing mortals the difference between a pure, enduring human affection governed and protected by divine Love, and the mesmerism which is miscalled love. As a result, thousands of homes have been preserved unbroken. Mrs. Eddy gives this sound counsel to those confronted with the problem of domestic infelicity: "Hoping and working, one should stick to the wreck, until an irresistible propulsion precipitates his doom or sunshine gladdens the troubled sea" (Science and Health, p. 67). Clinging to the truth about God and His harmonious universe, knowing that there is in Truth but one Mind, and this Mind is Love, it should be possible for Christian Scientists to prove to the world in these troubled, restless days, that there can be such things as united, happy, Christian homes. But here again we need to be awake to the aggressive suggestions of the carnal mind, which would, if not detected and resisted, deceive the very elect. Can there be a prospect of enduring happiness in the home where the suggestion of liquor, tobacco, gambling, and incessant seeking after material amusement holds sway? After all, what is true home? What but Soul, spiritual consciousness, wherein is real and abiding joy, harmonious and loving relationships, and satisfying, peace-giving spiritual sense, the opposite of material sensation. Establish this sense of home in the human consciousness, and marital problems, loneliness, and discord would disappear.
Our triumph over the many phases of mental suggestion can be achieved only as we stand "porter at the door of thought," to use the words of the textbook (p. 392), and carefully scrutinize the mental guests applying for admission - admitting those coming from God, the Mind which is Love and Principle, and promptly rejecting the emissaries of the carnal mind, or aggressive suggestion. A bank teller can quickly detect a counterfeit silver dollar, not because he has studied counterfeit coins, but because he knows the ring and feel of the genuine. Christian Science is showing mankind how to become so familiar with God's real, harmonious creation that it will be enabled speedily to stamp every discordant, unloving, inharmonious mental picture as counterfeit, unreal. Then, as in the Master's experience, when he has steadfastly rejected evil suggestions, angels will come and minister unto us; thought will be exalted, clarified, poised. The textbook tells us that "the sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right" (p. 266). It is our sacred privilege this day so to guard our thinking, that heaven, harmony, may begin to dawn in our experience and bless us and the whole human family.
When we read in the press of dictatorships, we can pause for a moment to thank God that in truth there is one Governor of man and nations - the divine Mind. We can ask ourselves, "Is the belief of dictatorship, of tyranny or self-will, finding any lodgment in my thought? How much power and reality am I giving to it? Can I hope to aid in solving the world-problem, if I am not grappling with this error in my own thinking? If wars and rumors of wars are blazoned forth in the newspapers, we can pray as did Elisha, that all blinded eyes may be opened to the truth of Love, and the love of Truth, before which hate and distrust and greed and confusion must slink away as shadows of the night. A mighty pouring forth of unselfed love into consciousness is the only antidote for the insanity of war and hate. Why does error persist, why do many healings seem protracted? Because we do not honestly and fearlessly turn the light of Truth and Love into our hearts and uncover and destroy, among other errors, unlovely traits of thought and character and selfishness in general. Divine Love is the only hope of the race, the only possible savior. And how will it save? Through reflection in individual consciousness, through loving. Do you say you cannot gain this realization? Christian Science shows us that since God, Mind, is the great I AM, His child can say, I CAN. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," exclaimed the apostle. And Our Leader has given us this stirring declaration (Miscellany, p. 165): "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing."
If yesterday has spelled seeming defeat, triumph in the glorious now is possible. Says the good Book: "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me." Can the Christian soldier admit defeat, even if a fellow warrior seems to be gone from our sight? Not one iota of good has been lost, not a retrograde step be taken. That "partner of a glorious hope" whom our eyes do not see, strengthened and sustained by every word of Truth declared here, must have gone through the seeming "valley of the shadow" into an even greater spiritual light and activity. When the suggestion of separation, and anguish comes to overwhelm us, may we not quickly begin to thank God for the freer sense of the loved one who is unquestionably farther along the road to harmony? Grief is so often sheer selfishness! And would not the pilgrim who has gone beyond our vision rejoice to know that those seemingly left behind were fainting not, fighting the good fight of faith and quitting themselves like men?
For centuries has the Man of Nazareth been pictured as a man of sorrows; but was he not finally a man of joy and triumph? There is no note of sadness in his clarion call to those who acknowledge him as Way-shower, Saviour, and Friend: "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." And again: "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy . . . and your joy no man taketh from you." Has aggressive suggestion robbed us of this precious grace of the Spirit? Then be robbed no more. More abundant life and love and good is the heritage of everyone who turns from the carnal mind and sets his face towards the light of divine Truth. Joy is ours; claim it! Thank the Father that His joy cannot be taken from us. And in the beautiful words of one of our hymns, let us pray (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 88):
"Mighty Spirit, dwell with me:
I myself would mighty be,
Mighty, that I may prevail
Where unaided man must fail
Ever by triumphant hope
Pressing on and bearing up.
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, April 2, 1940.]