Christian Science: The Friend of Mankind
John Randall Dunn, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
A lecture on Christian Science was
given under the auspices of Christian Science Society of Northwestern
University in the auditorium of Fisk Hall,
The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: The Friend of Mankind." Mr. Dunn spoke substantially as follows:
It is my happy privilege to tell you of a friend that has been in your midst for some time. I refer to the Christian Science movement. Some of you may not have recognized this friend; in fact, you may even have fancied it an enemy, or something to be avoided. But the fact remains that the best friend, the most comforting message mankind has had since the days of the early Christians, has appeared in your time and mine, and is known as Christian Science.
Christian Science! Can one not immediately envisage the friendliness of a system that is uniting such opposites - so considered by humanity - as Christianity and science? Should not Christians instantly recognize as a friend that message which proclaims the teachings of Jesus to be scientific - in other words, based upon changeless law, and capable of proof? And what a friend to mankind is this Science of Christianity! Strange as this may sound to your ears, it comes with a message of helpfulness to Jew and Gentile, to doubter and religionist, to physician and minister. It comes not to curse, but to bless, and if in the process of blessing and healing mankind it seems to tear down, it is only that one may rebuild on surer foundations, a system of thinking and living far more beautiful and logical and satisfying than one has ever known before. The prophet Jeremiah foretold the appearing of this truth, in these words: "See, I have set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out and to pull down . . . to build and to plant."
In our family, we were dimly aware of the presence of this friend in our community; in fact, we saw in the town an unquestioned case of healing, yet our eminent ecclesiastical respectability hardly warranted more than a passing notice of this newcomer in religious circles. As a child I felt very strongly, after listening to the conversation of my elders, that the elect, the really best people of earth, were, like ourselves, homeopaths, Episcopalians and Republicans. So it was not until many years had passed, and the burden of suffering had lain heavily on a dear one that we sought the aid of this friend, and in one week's treatment in Christian Science the improvement was truly miraculous. From my earliest recollection, the sufferer in question had been a semi-invalid, subject to vicious attacks of stomach and intestinal trouble. Imagine my surprise on joining the family circle after an absence of a week, to see this erstwhile dyspeptic partake of a meal that in the past would have involved the speedy summoning of the physician. I looked on in alarm, and finally whispered to the one next to me that our invalid was evidently not himself mentally and should be stopped. She cautioned me to say nothing about it; that such scene had been enacted at each meal for the past week and without harmful results: that he was having Christian Science treatment, and that we should do nothing to break the spell! A "spell" this truly proved to be; a good spell, or to use the old English expression, the gospel - the good news of the kingdom of God, which has brought healing and comfort and strength to us all these years.
After witnessing this remarkable healing, I accepted gladly a copy of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. I was eager to know how this healing work was accomplished. I had not read more than two pages when I had to close the book and wipe from my eyes the tears of gratitude that had welled up. Here, truly, was that friend, that blessing, for which - perhaps unconsciously - I had been longing all my life, - an understanding of God, logical, simple, and provable. And right here another remarkable thing happened: all antagonism to Mrs. Eddy vanished. Another friend had appeared! Gone was the senseless and baseless opposition, gone the ridicule of a movement founded by a woman! In fact, it seemed quite natural that this new friend should have been introduced by gracious womanhood. When one reads Mrs. Eddy's Life by Sibyl Wilbur, and learns of the struggles and hardships and heartaches, as well as the glorious overcomings that attended the infant steps of the Christian Science movement, one readily sees why the discoverer of this Science had to be a woman. She must needs possess the instincts of the mother who clings to her child when all others forsake it; she must be imbued with the faith and fortitude and patience which are the inherent possessions of the spiritually-minded woman!
There probably has not been a more persistently misunderstood figure since the days of the Nazarene than the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. The opponents of her message have stopped at no calumny, no misrepresentation, in their effort to discredit her work and mission. But such tactics are not new. Let thought for a moment go back to that day when Christ Jesus healed the man who was blind from his birth. The skeptics of that day endeavored to disprove the whole remarkable circumstance of the healing. First they refused to believe that the man with sight restored was the one whom they had known as blind. When one objection after another fell by its own foolish weight, their final fling was as follows: "We know that God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow (Christ Jesus) we know not from whence he is." Intensely simple and logical is the healed man's response: "Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes"! And to the same skeptical carnal mind, nineteen hundred years later, thousands upon thousands of grateful Christian Scientists are saying, "Why herein is a marvelous thing: You say that the Science of Christianity and its Discoverer are frauds, and yet this teaching is opening spiritually and literally blind eyes, healing sickness, comforting sorrowing hearts, subduing sin and hate, and turning countless thousands to their Bibles, to an understanding of God and to a greater love for and obedience to Christ Jesus!"
A Few Facts About Mrs. Eddy
Let me give you here a few facts about the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. From early childhood she had been a seeker after Truth. She must have had a beautiful, spiritually-minded mother, for early was the little Mary taught to lean on the Heavenly Father's loving care and trust in His healing power. When she arrived at woman's estate, sorrow and misfortune and ill-health knocked loudly at her door, and forced her to turn from the saddening picture of material sense to the things of Spirit. The poems written by Mrs. Eddy in her childhood and young womanhood betray a deep spiritual sense and longing for light. Hence it is not surprising to find her searching for this light in every healing system abroad in her day. She studies homeopathy. She investigates magnetic healing. For a time, when her case seems to have improved under a mental treatment, she feels that she has found the "pearl of great price." Then comes a relapse, and the bubble breaks. Not until she turns to the Bible, the Bible of our fathers and her fathers, in an hour of great extremity, does she finally touch the hem of Christ's healing garment, and glimpse the truth for which she has been searching all her life.
Now without a doubt, through all the centuries Christian people have had experiences wherein they have witnessed faith-healings. We see them about us today. Remarkable cures, wrought through the ministrations of earnest Christian men and women, are reported in many cities. And to every sincere Christian, striving to obey the Master's command to heal the sick, Christian Scientists say, Blessings on you! But do not the healings accomplished through blind faith remind one of the musical selections rendered by those who "play by ear" and know nothing of the science of notes? The musician who plays "by ear" cannot impart his musical sense to another. He is not even sure of retaining a certain piece of music himself, because of his inability to grasp the science, or law, underlying all music. Now here was where Mary Baker Eddy proved such a friend to those struggling to catch and reproduce the healing harmonies of heaven. She had, without doubt, a remarkable healing through a deep religious experience. But she was not content to rest there. To use her words, "I must know the Science of this healing," (Science and Health, p. 109) and for three years she withdrew from society, and diligently searched the Scriptures for the law or rule underlying her healing, and the healing work of the Master. In the meantime, she was having extraordinary healing experiences with others. Of such healing she speaks in her writings very briefly and modestly, but it has been my privilege to hear from the lips of several persons whom she cured how truly remarkable was her healing work. And here she proved that the Science of Christianity is of God, and not of the carnal mind; for many of the mental so-called curative systems abroad in the land today frankly admit their inability to cope with aught but nervous and functional disorders. On the other hand, Christian Science has healed organic diseases as readily as it has banished hysterics, and authenticated testimonies to this fact abound.
Now this friend of mankind, this spiritual understanding of God and man, Mrs. Eddy has brought to us in her remarkable book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." What a unique title is this - one which links both science and health to the Bible! Many are surprised when they hear the announcement at the Christian Science Sunday services that "The Bible and the Christian Science textbook are our only preachers." (Quarterly, page 4). No personal preaching! they exclaim. Why should one go to church just to hear reading? And then, little by little, the wonder of this new church organization dawns upon one, and more than ever he sees in Mrs. Eddy's work the imprint of divine leading. Instead of one personal minister, every member of the congregation has, in Bible language, become a "priest unto God," and has been studying and working on the sermon during the week. For one of the first tasks and most joyous privileges of the student of Christian Science is to give daily attention to the Lesson-Sermons in the Christian Science Quarterly composed of Bible texts “and their correlative passages from the Christian Science textbook." (Quarterly, p. 4). This naturally involves mental activity, and consequently some mortals are not attracted at first to this form of service. The attitude of many church-goers, is reflected in a quaint story of the famous Robert Southey. He tells of the minister who met on the Sabbath a very hard-working man, a member of his congregation, and said to him, "I suppose Sunday is a blessed day of rest for you." "Aye," replied the other, "it is that! I comes to church, sits me down, lays my legs up, and thinks o' nothing!"
Now it may as well be stated here, and positively, that the Church of Christ, Scientist, is no place for the man or woman who refuses to think. In fact, among other reasons, one should attend Christian Science services to think and to give. What can the phrase "divine service" mean, but to ponder the deep things of God, to drink in the spiritual truth of being, and through prayer or righteous thinking serve and heal the brother-man? Such services become glorious opportunities for spiritual broadcasting, and fortunate is that community wherein a body of right-thinking Christians gathers each Sunday and Wednesday to radiocast into human consciousness the thoughts of God which will heal and bless and save! So every member of the congregation feels the importance of his work, and the necessity of his sharing in the reflecting, the spiritual broadcasting of the healing truths of the Lesson-Sermons at the Sunday services. He feels the importance of "tuning in" on the great wireless wave of thanksgiving that sweeps through human consciousness as the result of the mid-week testimony meetings.
The moment one begins the study of the opening chapter of the textbook, it becomes apparent that his thought of prayer must be revolutionized and this involves a mighty revolutionizing of his concept of God. To whom or what are we praying? To a God who is only a magnified human being, who needs to be argued with, pleaded with and reminded of His duty towards His creation? Have not the prayers of mortals these many centuries arisen to an unthinkable God? So right on the very first pages of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy challenges the religious thought of the world on the subject of prayer. Hear this remarkable and yet intensely sensible utterance: "Who would stand before a blackboard and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.'' (Science and Health, p. 3)
The Science of Christianity therefore starts with God, the Great First Cause, - divine Mind - infinite intelligence - which is infinitely good. According to the first chapter of Genesis, this good creator has created a good universe, and man, His noblest work, is declared to be the image and likeness of this perfect intelligence. Christ Jesus must have recognized this underlying law and Principle of being when he said, in the Sermon on the Mount, "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven, is perfect." Thus as a child begins his studies in numbers, having as a basis the perfect and changeless principle of arithmetic, so in the Science of Christianity we start with a perfect cause and effect, a perfect creator and perfect creation.
Someone may say, "I am quite willing to agree with you as to a perfect creator, but certainly you cannot look about you on the sin and sickness, discord, pests, convulsions of nature, and so on, and call this a perfect creation!" And here I am reminded of a statement attributed to a famous agnostic. “Had I been God,” he said, “I certainly would have formed a more harmonious world than this. For one thing,” he continued, “I should have made health contagious instead of disease!” Here indeed comes our new friend to the rescue. Christian Science shows us that the imperfections and contagions and sorrows of the human family are no part of the real spiritual creation; that the loving Father of all DID make health and good and joy the only reality, and the reason we are not realizing this fact, and beholding the good, perfect, and harmonious universe of God's creating, is that mortals, to use Paul's expression, are seeing through a glass, darkly.
Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of the first four chapters of Genesis is, without doubt, the most remarkable contribution to theology since the early Christian era. As someone has well said, "She has taken the sponge of her mighty logic and wiped the theological blackboard clean!" If God made everything good, she avers, then only that which is good is real. And evil seems to appear only as a mistake appears, because of ignorance and a false sense of things. It will be recalled that evil or discord has no record in the first chapter of Genesis. In fact, even the ability to sin does not appear until a mist, a material sense of things, seems to go up from the earth, and the Adam-dream begins. Thus at last, after these many weary centuries, is evil being unmasked and properly catalogued. No longer can it masquerade as the emanation of a loving God! No longer can the stroke of tragedy in a home claim connection with the tender Father-Mother of the universe! Never more can the heartaches, failures, sicknesses and deaths of mortals be said to bear the imprint of that Hand whose law is Love, and whose will is universal good!
Christian Science therefore classifies the discords of material sense as the transient, unreal pictures of the Adam-dream of existence, and shows mortals the blessed possibility of awakening therefrom. For be it remembered that one may awaken from a dream, a mistake, but never from a fact. It is interesting to find that in several instances, the word translated "Arise" in connection with the healing work of Christ Jesus, has, in the original, more the sense of "awake." And truly did the Master come to awaken mankind from this dream of materiality. In fact, we do not find that he petitioned God to heal the sick. Not once is it recorded that a healing was prefaced by his asking the Father to raise up the sick one if it was the divine will. His prayers, writes Mrs. Eddy, "were deep and conscientious protests of' Truth, of man's likeness to God, and of man's unity with Truth and Love." (Science and Health, page 12). We find the Master rebuking unclean spirits, commanding evil to be silent or to come out of a man, and bidding others to arise, or awaken. If we therefore would pray the healing prayer of Christ Jesus, we must first learn to rebuke or deny the discordant pictures drawn by the material senses and then cling to the simple spiritual fact of bring - to the fact of man's glorious harmony and freedom as the spiritual son of the King.
Let us here consider a few examples of the solving of problems of sin, sickness, and other discordant conditions through the righteous prayer of Christian Science. A man who was sadly victimized by the tobacco habit, sought out a Christian Science practioner. He announced that he "confined" himself to one hundred cigarettes a day but was fast becoming a mental and physical wreck. He admitted he felt that he must smoke every waking hour, and even arose once or twice in the night to gratify his craving for the weed. He told the practitioner frankly, however, that if Christian Science taught merely the use of the human will, he would not waste a moment with its treatment, for his power of resistance had completely gone. The practitioner explained that Christian Science treatment relies upon God-power and not human will-power. The man then asked for treatment. The practitioner gave him Science and Health to read, whilst he closed his eyes in silent prayer. To use the words of our textbook, "in the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings" he began to "deny sin and plead God's allness." (Science and Health, page 15). He realized that man, the real man, the image of Spirit, could not crave matter - could not find satisfaction in material sensation; that man was the expression of God, and as God is eternally satisfied with His perfect handiwork, so man must reflect this divine satisfaction now. "I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness." The practitioner pondered this glorious fact joyfully, confidently. In fact, this truth, which was indeed the healing Christ, so flooded his consciousness that he felt the work was done, and looked up and said to his patient, "You do not want to smoke now, do you?" A look of positive bewilderment spread over the other's features. His lips moved, as if trying to bring back a taste that had departed. "Why," he said, "do you know I haven't the slightest desire for the stuff?" And that was the very last of that dream. There was no gradual "tapering off," no nervous reaction. Had a miracle happened? Not at all! The truth of being had dispelled a false sense, a dream. That practitioner's communion with the facts about God and man instantly solved the problem.
During the war a Christian Scientist
A day or two after their arrival, the mother from the window saw the child run up to the old man, who was walking by the house, and slip her hand in his. Roughly he cast it from him, and commanded the child to "go into the house and stay there!" The following day, nothing daunted, the little one again approached him, with the same unhappy results. When on the third day the man repulsed the child even a little more cruelly, she came into the house sobbing as if her heart were breaking. The mother gathered the little one into her arms, and for a few moments had a great struggle with indignation. How could anyone be so heartless with a loving child? Soon, however, the great friend who is ever near, and to whom the Scientist finds himself speedily turning in times of stress - the spiritual understanding of God and man - this friend came to the rescue, and the mother said softly: "Baby, dear, you and mother have been seeing something that God does not see at all. We have been seeing what we think is a man who is unloving, when man is the very expression of Love itself! We must look away from this unhappy picture, dear, and see the man that God made; for God's man is loving and kind and beautiful!" The next day the mother found that some food on which she had counted for a meal, was exhausted. This, in war times, as all know, presented often a serious situation. She stood still in prayerful thought, knowing that in some way divine Love would meet her need, when in the door burst her little girl, her arms filled with fresh vegetables, and in a reverent voice the child said, "Mudder, the man God made gave me these!" Ah, here indeed was righteous prayer - the prayer, or realization which pierced the Adam-mist and revealed the real, sinless, spotless creation of a good God. That little child's reflection of divine Love had so transformed the unhappy man that when the Scientist and her family finally left the neighborhood, he wept over the loss of his little friend.
There is, and probably will continue to be an endless diversity of opinion as to the advantages or disadvantages of a League of Nations; but what might we expect to see when mankind awakens to the recognition of the fatherhood and motherhood of a God who is Love, and among all God's children a League of Loving Hearts? National as well as individual differences would fade like phantoms of the night. Greed and hate would fall for lack of a witness. This is not merely a philosopher's dream-theory. It is demonstrable law, and is being demonstrated in greater and greater fullness in tens of thousands of instances daily.
At this point someone may say, "I can see that this understanding of prayer might help a sinful man, but what does the average Christian Scientist know about a sick man?" He knows a great deal about him, and what is most important, he knows what is making him sick! Thanks to the Christian Science textbook, the metaphysician can put his finger instantly on the cause of every disease on earth. He does not search for the cause in matter, but straightway goes to the mental realm.
The greatest physician earth has ever known, Jesus of Nazareth, solved for all time the problem as to the cause of disease. A woman is brought to him suffering from a serious and disfiguring ailment. The Master does not indicate that the difficulty is the result of infection or contagion, of improper diet or unhealthy atmosphere. Nor for one moment does he allow the sufferer to feel that this is a visitation of God. Simply and directly he goes to the root of the trouble. He speaks of the patient as a woman "whom Satan hath bound." And briefly, what is Satan but sin, and fear, and ignorance? So we have sin-sick men, and fear-sick men, and ignorance-sick men. Should we not therefore call to our aid only those physicians, those helpers, who know something about prayer, and who know how to eradicate fear and ignorance and sin?
We find in the Old Testament many instances of spiritual healing. One of these, which stands apart as a beautiful cameo, is the raising of the son of the Shunammite woman. It will be recalled that Elisha had been an honored guest in her home, and that both she and her husband had perceived that the prophet was a "holy man of God." Therefore when her little son is brought to her one day very ill, and subsequently dies whilst she holds him, it apparently never occurs to her to resort to any material aid. She must get to the man of God immediately. And the remarkable thing is that she does not voice error - does not even tell her husband that the child has seemingly passed away. When he asks her why she is going to the man of God, she replies simply, "It shall be well." Elisha sees her coming in the distance, and sends his servant to inquire if it is well with them all, and well with the child. She answers resolutely, "It is well!" Oh the glorious recognition of the truth of being! How beautiful is the reward! For every Bible student knows how the combination of that mother's splendid faith and fidelity and the spiritual understanding of the prophet banished the picture of death and restored the child.
A Christian Science practitioner related the following experience: He said he had been called to see a little lad, three or four years of age, who, to the physical senses, seemed desperately ill. While a Christian Scientist never makes a material diagnosis of a case, anyone who had had any experience at all with sickness could tell that this was an extreme case of pneumonia. The mother, a faithful student of Christian Science, held the little unconscious figure in her arms, bravely smiling and declaring to the practitioner that she was knowing that all was well. Here indeed was a modern Shunammite. The practitioner joined her in her glorious prayer. Faithfully, patiently, they clung to the Father's hand, and audibly rehearsed the comforting promises of healing and protection in the Bible. Sometimes fear would seem to gain an entrance, only to be routed by the heaven sent consciousness that all was well with God's child. It was a case of "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." The testimony of the senses reported serious disease, injustice, and an unthinkable God, whilst the Christianly scientific understanding of being, declared Life to be deathless, the law of harmonious action to be operating, and a loving Father saying, "It is well with My child!" So they chose the evidence of spiritual sense, and thanked God that the pictures before them were too bad to be true. After possibly four or five hours, the breathing seemed to grow a little less troubled, and the practitioner felt that he could leave for another home where his ministrations were also needed. When fear would try to creep into his thought, he would turn speedily to his communion with the facts of being, and know that Truth was saying of man today as surely as it said centuries ago: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!'' And to this he would cling, knowing that if God was well pleased with His creation, that creation could not be diseased and agonized, but must be, in truth, harmonious and whole. It was late in the afternoon before he was able to return to his little patient. The door of the house was unlocked and he entered without announcement. Quietly he went to the room where the child had been. It was empty. For a fraction of a moment his heart sank. What had happened? He stood battling with this new terror when the door was flung open, and in came the child on his little velocipede, his face beaming - well and free! The practitioner folded the little fellow in his arms, while grateful tears filled his eyes. It was well with God's child; it always had been well!
Let a word be said here to those
whose conquest of evil and disease may not have been as speedily achieved as in
the case just cited. Are you thanking God daily that all is well with His
creation, or do you give way to frequent "whys" such as "Why am I not healed?" or
"Why do I have such a problem?" It is a significant fact that not one
"why" escapes the lips of the Shunammite mother. She is too busy
clinging to the spiritual facts of being, and knowing that all is well with
God's creation to ask the wherefore of that which she shortly is to prove sheer
illusion. It might be well here to point out that the little word
"why" needs only a slight alteration to make that very unlovely word
"whine"; in fact, when the student of Christian Science begins
whying, he is invariably whining, and the Good Book does not indicate that the
whining thought is that which gains admission to the
A woman once stated that she boarded a sleeping car on a night when the heat was very intense. The passengers gloomily predicted a sleepless night for all. The woman in question had been having a struggle with asthma, and her fear of the heat and smoke and dust seemed to throw her into a veritable panic. As she battled with a feeling of suffocation, the suggestion came that she could not possibly live until the morning. "Very well," she said, audibly "then I shall go praising God!" So she began with one of the beloved Psalms: "Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name." Again evil suggestion whispered, "You don't mean a word of it! You are only saying words!" "Very well," she replied again, "I shall just ‘say words’ then, and those words shall be praise to God!" So she continued, falteringly: "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases." Over and over the famous words of praise and comfort were whispered . . . suddenly she started and looked about her. It was morning! She had slept like a babe all night, and while those on the train, who dwelt in material sense-testimony, reported an awful journey, she, having entered into His courts, "the consciousness of Love" (Science and Health, page 578) with praise, found peace and rest. True prayer, true communion, therefore must be a hymn of thanksgiving, a veritable shout of praise, if it is to possess that spiritual power which will level error's Jericho-walls, dispel the mists of sense and reveal the glorious fact that “Now are we the sons of God.”
"But what of the man financially sick?" someone may ask. "What of the one out of work, or unhappily situated? Can this prayer of spiritual understanding solve such problems?" There are thousands of Christian Scientists who make definite answer, "We know it can, for we have proved it, again and again!" If one would heal a sick business, or solve a problem of supply, one must first discover what man's real business or purpose is. The first chapter of Genesis settles this question speedily when it states that "God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him." Man's work therefore is to image forth or reflect God, to express or reflect intelligence, law and Love. One of the red-letter moments in my human experience was on that happy day when this great friend of mankind, this Science of Christianity, brought to me the conviction that man was necessary to God. At first such a thought seemed almost blasphemous, especially to one whose religious training had always reminded him what a miserable sinner he was. But Mrs. Eddy's writings taught me that as the sun's rays are essential if light is to be expressed, number is necessary if one would know the principle of arithmetic, so the divine Mind must be known and expressed through His idea, man.
Let us suppose that one of the sun's rays was gifted with speech, and one day delivered itself as follows: "There are grave problems confronting me and I do not know how they will be met. Do you know that I must shine all day? For this I must have light and power, and how I am to obtain them I know not." Could one reply to the ray, he would say, without doubt, "Why, you are not intended to be a burden-bearer. Yours is not the work of generating light and heat and power. The sun does that. You are just in the reflecting business!" What burdens can roll from the shoulders of thousands of faithful business men and women when they awaken to the glorious fact that man in God's image must be in the "reflecting business." Now this does not involve a settling back and folding of the hands, and waiting for God to rain blessings on us. It means a rousing to the greatest mental activity one has ever known, ah, but an activity devoid of fear and burden, and joyous in service. It is such an activity as is indicated in Victor Hugo's beautiful lines:
“Be like the bird, who, halting in his flight
On limb too slight,
Feels it give way beneath him, and yet sings,
Knowing he hath wings!"
What a comforting realization may we all have this very moment as to our life-work. No one need leave this place today without a position, and a position that cannot be lost or taken away. This position is found in the glorious realization of man's oneness with the Father, in the fact that his eternal business is the reflection of good.
What glorious things are before the race when this Christianly scientific concept of man's true business is universally discerned and practiced! The Father's business will be seen to be the activity of good, and men and women will no longer regard their fellows as competitors, but co-workers in the Father's great plan. Again I state that this is not the vain imagining of impractical philosophers, but truth which has been demonstrated again and again. The Christian Scientist in business can tell you of strikes amicably settled, labor problems harmoniously and justly solved, selfishness, and hate, and domination healed both on the part of employer and employee, when these problems have all been taken to the great Head of the firm in earnest, understanding prayer. Such prayer declares with conviction that there is in truth only one Mind, and that all of God's children reflect this Mind, and all therefore are brethren. How can divisions, and greed, and misunderstandings continue, in the presence of such a wave of healing, Christian love?
Many may tell you pessimistically that the sacrifices of men and nations in the great war have been for naught. Let us refuse to believe it! The glorious lessons of selfless service, and man's dependence upon his brother, can never be lost! The whole world is the better for them, and nearer the great goal of universal fellowship. In an orchestra, one sees a beautiful example of what is called "team-work," and of the interdependence of the instruments. No one instrument can play a mighty symphony. It has its part, and an important part therein; but it is the collective contribution of all the players that goes to make the one great harmony. What if the instrument we are playing seems insignificant? The great horn next to us needs our lightest touch to enhance his beauty, while his deeper note enriches our tone.
What if the work in which you find yourself seems humdrum, wearisome, and unimportant? Stop listening to your own instrument. Lift your gaze to the great Leader, the divine Mind. Play for Him, and the brother beside you. Put your heart into it, and joy into it! If your work is making beds, make the very best beds of which you are capable. If you must go to a dingy office day after day, play a better tune to help the feeble and possibly flatting brother at your side. This is the love, the team-work that is destined to solve the great economic problems of the day. And the rule is, that if we are faithful over a few things we shall be made rulers over many. Then may we hear the "Well done, good and faithful servant, . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
What a beautiful invitation to the sons of men - to enter into the joy of divine Love! There are no barriers, no locked doors. Enter into the joy of the Lord! Go right into this spiritual consciousness and claim the joy that is yours as the child of the Highest! A great bank account of good awaits your draft. But if one has millions in a bank, does the money come to him without a demand? No, he must write out and sign a check which says, "Pay to the order of." It is such a lawful, righteous demand that it does not even say "Please!" Let us learn to make larger demands on this great treasure of good, and joy, and freedom. Claim it, thank God it is ours! This is the prayer, the communion, through which we enter heaven, harmony, and taste of salvation here and now.
You who have traveled at sea know how at night a "lookout" goes up to the "crow's-nest" on the forward mast, and as the ship's bells ring out the hours, he calls "All's well!" So on our journey, when the night is dark and the storms of fear and hate threaten to overwhelm us, let us not be dismayed! In Mrs. Eddy's beautiful words:
"And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
(Poems, p. 12).
Oh, let us welcome this friend, this spiritual understanding - the Christ, the Comforter promised by Jesus. Let us station this friend at the watchtower of consciousness, and then throughout the night and until the morning dawns, we shall hear the glad call: "All's well! Be not afraid! God is at the helm! All's well!"