Christian Science: The Saving Law of Love

 

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., lectured on "Christian Science: The Saving Law of Love" in the Cadle Tabernacle Thursday evening. This was Mr. Dunn's second appearance in the city this year as he delivered a lecture at the Murat, April 3. Mr. Dunn is a member of The Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. He was introduced by Richard O. Shimer. The lecture was given under the auspices of the five churches of Christ Scientist in Indianapolis and follows in full:

 

What would you say if someone were to tell you that there are fundamental spiritual laws and rules whereby one may solve problems of sickness, sin, sorrow, lack, and the many other human discords common to mortals, just as surely as there is a rule and principle governing arithmetic? Would you say it is too good to be true, and refuse to listen to those who tell you that they have proved, at least in some measure, that it is true?

 

Opposition to Progress

Every forward step in the history of mankind, every unfoldment of intelligence, every overcoming of limitation, has had to ford the streams of human incredulity and press onward through the quagmire of stubborn, self-satisfied, unreasoning thinking. When news reached a certain section of the country that Robert Fulton had perfected a boat which would run by steam, a chorus of derisive laughter is said to have greeted the announcement. "It won't work," said the incredulous, placidly and finally.  "But it has worked! It actually has moved in the water," was the report. "Then it won't move far," persisted the others. "But it has traveled a certain number of miles!" "Well," - and this to settle the whole matter - "no one will ever ride on it anyway!" How like the reception of the message which Mary Baker Eddy has given the world! When, in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she announced to the human family that she had discovered that the healings wrought by Christ Jesus, the prophets, and the early Christians were not special miracles vouchsafed to certain saints, but were the result of the operation of a mighty spiritual law, and that this law was as available to mortals today as centuries ago for the healing and salvation of the race, behold the storm of unreasoning objection, and ridicule! First, say the objectors, Christian Science never did heal anyone of anything; to which tens of thousands of witnesses promptly reply, "But it healed me!" "Then there was nothing much the matter with you," is the self-satisfied retort; "and besides, you probably would have recovered anyway." If further evidence is offered in rebuttal, the final fling of the skeptical thought is apt to be a shrug of the shoulders and a flippant dismissal of the whole question with the statement that "of course Christian Science or mental suggestion may be good for certain nervous disorders."

 

Christian Science Not Suggestion

Now let it be said at the outset that Christian Science healing is not the result of mental suggestion. In her search after Truth, Mrs. Eddy had experiences with mental suggestion, magnetic healing, etc., which convinced her that this was not the Christ-method of healing. If anyone questions this statement or believes that there is to be found in the pure teaching of Christian Science a single trace of the workings of the carnal mind, let him search the pages of the Christian Science textbook. The unbiased seeker for Truth is certain to find in this textbook only the crystal-clear metaphysics of Christ Jesus and the spiritual sense of the Scriptures.

 

Material Sense Can Not Grasp the Spiritual

It is really not surprising that the materially-minded, the self-satisfied intellectuals, and those unaccustomed to think in terms of Christ Jesus’ Christianity should not be able to understand either Christian Science or its Discoverer. It will be recalled that the Apostle Paul, centuries ago, made these significant statements: "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? . . . But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Thus it will be seen that spiritual teachings have ever been stumblingblocks and foolishness to the carnal mind, and this same carnal mind has consequently never been able rightly to appraise the worth or the work of the spiritual seers of its day.

 

Unfair Biographies

There have been possibly more varying views of and conflicting opinions about Mary Baker Eddy than about any religious leader since the days of the Master. Of late, some biographies have appeared which, to say the least, present the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science in an unlovely light, and Christian Scientists have been harshly criticized for raising protests against what they consider to be caricatures rather than portraits of their spiritually-minded Leader. Last year, an English newspaper carried a report that a famous authority on neurology and brain diseases at the University of Paris had just published a book in which the professor sets out to prove, from the standpoint of the modern psychiatrist, that every act and every word of Christ Jesus was the result of a sick brain! Could any fair-minded person object to a Christian's refusal to indorse this book or recommend it to a budding student of Christianity? Could he object to a Christian's maintaining that such a book was evidence in itself that the writer had absolutely failed to understand Christ Jesus or his teachings and was himself manifesting the mental unsoundness which he was trying to attribute to the Master?

 

A Life-Sized Portrait

Because of her uncompromising stand against evil and the carnal mind, Mrs. Eddy's life and motives again and again were misunderstood and deliberately perverted by those who received a merited rebuke from her, or by those outside her fold who could not and would not grasp the glory and wonder of her mission. Christian Scientists are rejoicing in the recent publication of a Life of Mrs. Eddy by the Rev. Dr. Lyman P. Powell, an Episcopal clergyman, whose breadth of thought and love of fair play has enabled him to present what he has been pleased to call a "Life Size Portrait" of this great Christian woman. It would be well if every sincere seeker after Truth would make it his business to peruse this just and wholesome appraisal of Mrs. Eddy's great life-work. When one has read just the chapter on Prayer, with which the Christian Science textbook opens, one knows beyond a peradventure that these words were not penned by other than a God-loving, Christ-loving, Christian woman.

 

Daily Study of Bible and Textbook

Well may we rejoice that mankind does not have to face the troublous days of this disturbed period in the world's history without the comfort, the hope, and the sustaining of this wonderful Christian Science textbook. It is making the Bible a living and practical manual of life for tens of thousands of people. For instance, before the advent of this textbook, which is indeed, as its title indicates, a "Key to the Scriptures," it is extremely doubtful if many practical business men and women would religiously devote precious moments each morning to the reading of the Bible, and searching its sacred pages for inspiration and guidance for the day. And yet this is happening in the homes of thousands of Christian Scientists today. The student soon finds that one reason for the appearance of many of his problems, and also for his inability to find a speedy solution thereof, has been that he has not been having systematic, daily, spiritual nutriment. While an individual tabernacles in the flesh, and among mortals, he would not attempt to carry on without his daily meat and drink. How much more important, therefore, is that mental, spiritual food, which supplies one with right ideas, with courage, with perspicacity, and wisdom wherewith to face and deal with the problems of the day, and with that love and faith which alone can cope with the fear and hate of the world! So if one is ready to give Christian Science a fair trial, let him procure a copy of the Christian Science textbook either at a Christian Science Reading Room or at a public library, purchase a copy of the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, and then each morning, before starting the day's work, let him read and study his Bible and textbook in the light of these wonderful Bible Lessons. If time cannot be found for this important spiritual meal early in the day, many go during the noon hour to the Christian Science Reading Rooms and there claim their blessed period of quiet and refreshment. After one has tasted the strengthening and inpouring of good and practical inspiration which inevitably follow the partaking of spiritual food and drink, one will no more contemplate facing the day's work without such nutriment than he would think of setting forth on a cold morning without the warmth and protection of material clothing and food.     

 

Deliverance at Hand

Now let us suppose that the newcomer to this Science has opened before him his Bible, the textbook Science and Health, and his Christian Science Quarterly. Let us say that the subject of the lesson of the week is "Love," and that this verse from the Song of Solomon appears therein: "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." Then he turns to this verse in Isaiah: "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us." Then in Science and Health (p. 381) he reads: "God is the lawmaker, but He is not the author of barbarous codes. . . . Let us banish sickness as an outlaw, and abide by the rule of perpetual harmony - God's law." What does this mean? Exactly what is says. It means that if the rent is due, and you seem to know not where it is coming from; if problems loom before you as insurmountable as towering peaks, with no visible road of ascent; if a material physician has just told you that there is no hope for you in medicine - yes, if such problems and even worse confront you, still there is a law of God, of Spirit, whereby you may be rescued and whereby the many problems of human experience can be solved.

 

The Saving Law of Love

In defining God, Mrs. Eddy has used seven mighty synonyms, the most glorious in all language. She writes in the textbook (p. 466), "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." Man, God's noblest work, is declared to be the reflection, the expression, the idea of this infinite Being, held in the deathless law of Love. Let us, for the purpose of defining this law, consider two of these synonyms just quoted - Principle and Love. Can one think of Principle without envisaging law? Or of Love, without glimpsing that which is infinite good, the Father and Mother of the universe, eternally giving, giving, giving to His creation? Many poets and writers have linked love and law. Says one: "All's love yet all's law" and the spiritually minded Whittier sang about

 

"The mystery dimly understood,

That love of God is love of good.

"And law and goodness, love and force,

Are wedded fast beyond divorce."

 

So Mrs. Eddy has defined Christian Science (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1), "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."

 

How Do You Know There Is Such a Law?

Someone may say, It is a beautiful theory, but how do you know there is any such law? And the answer is, By demonstration, by proof. However, as one can not "tune in" on a certain radio program without first adjusting the dial to the prescribed wave length, mortals must learn that "tuning in" on the divine law involves first of all some measure of Christianization of thinking. Let it never be forgotten that a mentality which has learned little of Christian virtues, such as humility, love, and honesty, may have at first not a little difficulty with its own "static," and consequently may miss much of the divine harmony. Here is a business man, let us suppose, who is sadly in need of the operation of divine law, and asks for help in Christian Science. Apparently he fails to receive it. An earnest inventory of thought is taken and it is found that there is dishonesty, greed, and selfishness operating in consciousness. Small wonder, then, that his "mental radio" has been unable to connect with that current of Truth and Love which will meet his human need. Here again is an individual in need of physical healing, having Christian Science treatment, but apparently not responding thereto. Prayerful searching of thought reveals great pride of intellect, self-sufficiency, and lack of receptivity to spiritual Truth. Is it to be wondered at, therefore, that the spiritual message of the lowly Nazarene finds little response in such a material "receiving set"? Many students of Christian Science will tell you of healings which came speedily to them when their hearts were made ready for the blessings.

 

Intellectualism Versus Spirituality

Now some of the so-called modern intellectuals may challenge the Christian Scientist's assertion that there is a God "who healeth all our diseases." In fact, it is reported that some university professors these days boast of being able speedily to eradicate from their pupils' thought all notions about God and religion. But is this either alarming or new? Two thousand years ago we find David saying, "wherefore should the heathen say, "Where is their God?" But he concludes in another place, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Yes, certainly the carnal mind's most foolish and outrageous assertion is that there is a creation, but no creator; there is effect, but no cause; there is life, but no Principle; law but no spiritual law. Mrs. Eddy, with flawless logic, asserts that causation is spiritual, and all effect, therefore, is in reality spiritual. It is interesting to find many of the great thinkers of the day proclaiming as if the idea were original with them, that we live in a universe of thought, and that matter has really not the substantiality we have been attributing to it; whereas, Mrs. Eddy as far back as 1875 enunciated this truth, and through healings of sin, sickness, and all manner of discord proved it to be true. She writes in Science and Health, (p. 277): "The realm of the real is Spirit. The unlikeness of Spirit is matter, and the opposite of the real is not divine - it is human concept. Matter is an error of statement. This error in the premise leads to errors in the conclusion in every statement into which it enters. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is immortal, for matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous."

 

Materiality a Mistaken Concept

What a wonderful statement! What hope it unfolds for the sick and sorrowing and burdened. For if this material sense of things is shown, in its final analysis, to be mental, an error of statement, a lawless mental picture projected on the canvas of objectified thought, the possibility of fighting and controlling it through a higher law of Mind, or Spirit, becomes immediately apparent. Here someone may say; "But I have a disease that is in my body. I can see it and feel it. Do you mean to say that I don't see it or feel it?" No, Science does not say that, for the human mind most assuredly sees and feels that which it objectifies and makes real; but that which is seen and felt is a human concept, a mental picture, a mistaken sense. Suppose one has a lantern slide which depicts a burlesque or caricature of himself, and this slide is placed in a stereoptican machine, from whence it is thrown upon a canvas or screen. There is a picture to be sure; but is it a faithful or lawful likeness of the original? Just because one sees it, does it make the caricature real and true? How do you correct it? Is anything done to the screen upon which the picture is thrown? No, the process is very simple, involving only a substitution of a slide conveying the real likeness.

 

Tuning in on God's Law

Now, Christian Science is calling on stricken and fearing humanity to change its concepts - its sad, limited, unhappy mental pictures - not through human willpower, but through the reflection of divine law. And when consciousness is "tuned in" on the spiritual facts of being, and lifted above the din and discord of material sense, the law of God, of good, Mind, and Spirit, is given an opportunity to heal and bless and to annul that which has masqueraded as law.

 

God's Law Halts Injustice

Let us here consider a few examples of the operation in human affairs of this law of God, this "rule of perpetual harmony." A man who was the executor of a certain estate was being sued by some seemingly powerful interests for recovery of a large sum of money alleged by the plaintiffs to be due them. The action was an outrageous one, unjust and unwarranted, but the men responsible therefore were, in the eyes of the world, financially powerful and able to carry on a long and expensive legal battle, if need be, to win the day. The defendant in the suit was a young student of Christian Science, but seemed quite overwhelmed by the Goliath-like proportions of his enemies. One day, as he was going to the court, his wife, an earnest Scientist, said to him, "What are you thinking today?" He replied that there was only one thing to think, and that was that his enemies were bent upon his destruction. "Why," said the wife; "you are not reflecting God's law. God's law halts injustice, nullifies greed and hate, and opens the way for the operation of harmonious activity." The husband promised that he would strive for this spiritual view, and set forth with his hand in the Father's, praying for faith and courage. This passage from Scripture kept coming to him again and again, and he pondered it prayerfully: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." This is not just a combination of happy words, he thought, but a statement of law - God's law of right activity. That afternoon, while at his attorney's office, who should enter but his so-called enemies offering to settle the matter out of court! Truly, as the Good Book says, "The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword." The law of good, of divine justice, going forth into human consciousness had said, "Peace, be still!" to the storm of hate, greed, and injustice, and there was a great calm.

 

God's Law Applied to Unemployment

Again: a man who had been unable to find congenial or profitable work - in fact, to get any position at all - was awakened through Christian Science to the need of applying the law of good and Principle to the problem. Practically at every turn he was confronted with the argument that there were more applicants than jobs; that times were hard; no new men were being taken on, etc. etc. He returned to his wife, also a student of Christian Science, in desperation, saying: "It's no use trying any further. I simply can not get a thing!" His use of the word "get" here arrested his wife's attention. “Isn't that your trouble,” she said; “thinking only of getting something? Why not try the business of giving?” “What can I give?” returned the husband. “Well, the first thing is to want to give, to serve. If divine Mind, divine Love, is eternally giving to His creation, man's business must be to reflect this giving. Why don't you ask the heavenly Father to use you in His service; to let you give, by reflection, of His goodness to His children?” The husband promised that he would strive to think along this line. The following day, taking a bus down town he overheard a woman, evidently a stranger, asking some directions from the conductor. Seeing that she had a rather heavy piece of hand luggage, our friend asked if he might not be of service and escort her to her destination. The offer was gratefully accepted and as they left the bus the woman said, "Is not this asking a great deal of a busy man?" The other laughingly replied that he was not busy; and that his wife had recommended that he try giving rather than getting today, and that this was his first opportunity to put this into practice. The woman then asked him the nature of his work. When he told her she exclaimed: "How remarkable! I have been looking for just such a man for months!" And this was the beginning of a wholesome and profitable business venture.

 

Law of Love Seen in Giving

Another instance of the operation of the law of good and Love was in the following case: a woman needing to rent one of her rooms placed an advertisement in a newspaper and then asked a practitioner for Christian Science treatment in the matter. Morning and evening for two weeks she would call up the practitioner and say fretfully: "I haven't rented the room yet! I must rent it for I must get some money!" Finally, the Scientist said to her, "Will you be willing to think and talk less of getting money, and dwell more on what you have to give?" "Give!" wailed the woman; "what have I to give?" "Why, a sense of home. Someone must need just such a home as you have to give; and someone must need the mothering and care that you could give. Let us know that divine Love, the infinite Giver, will open the way for you to give. This is the law of Love." The woman promised to pray along this line. Within a short time a young man appeared at her door, stating that he had had her advertisement in his pocket for two weeks but had only then felt the impulse to follow it up. When he saw the room and the woman and learned that she was a Christian Scientist, he exclaimed:  "What an answer to prayer! I have just been knowing that my Father would lead me to a home with a Christian Scientist, who might be able to give me a mother's care!" Why had the woman not received her answer before? She had been radiocasting on the wave length of fear, of getting, not giving; and consequently the law of Love was not given an opportunity to operate.

 

Jesus the Greatest Political Economist

More and more the thinkers of the time are recognizing that the day is past when men and nations can hope to succeed or even endure if their concept of life is selfishness, greed, and getting. More and more do we hear in business circles of service, and more and more do wise executives recognize that their employees are not serfs but coworkers in the great work of serving the brother man and humanity. The need of the world today is more right thinking along this line - thinking according to Principle, thinking as Christ Jesus thought - reflecting the law of universal love. The greatest political economist of all time was the Teacher of Nazareth. The world, therefore, need seek no further than his teachings for the ideal form of government or the solution of present-day problems. Questions of depression, overproduction, unemployment, greed, fear, gambling, misery, and so on are handled in an understanding of God and man's relation to Him. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," is the inflexible rule of the great Teacher, and he straightway adds with the finality of one who knows, "All these things [supply, right relationships, harmonious activity] shall be added unto you." The Master did not condemn money, but rebuked the love of it and fear of lack of it. He never counseled the overthrow of law and order in the government of men and nations; he overthrew greed and hate and material, limited sense; he substituted a spirit of service for self-seeking and a sense of boundless supply for all of God's children. That his precepts are workable and adapted to the present-day world situation can be demonstrated by any sincere student of his teachings. At this very moment a business man can change his concept of business from a selfish seeking for material good to the understanding that all busy-ness is necessarily meeting the brother's need and operating to bless and help all connected therewith. In a word, business is the activity of universal good. This point gained, the employer of labor strives to realize that those under him are actually his coworkers. Their interests are his interests. He cannot prosper unless they prosper. He may expect obedience and cooperation from the subordinate only as he himself is governed by justice, love, and Principle.

 

The Present Great Upheaval

Over sixty years ago the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, discerning with marvelous prophetic eye the great upheaval and overturning which ever follows the coming of spiritual Truth to the human consciousness, wrote these significant words (Science and Health, p. 96): "On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears." Christian Scientists may well ponder the admonition which she gives to her followers at the bottom of this same page of the textbook, "During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection." The business man who is a Christian Scientist will therefore realize that he has a double duty in these days, that not only of knowing the healing, redemptive Truth for himself and his affairs but for the whole human family. He can recognize no times of depression. When such an argument confronts him, he must realize more than ever that man is the expression or reflection of his Maker, and that expression is ever the cure for depression. There can be no depression in connection with the Father's business, which eternally must be the expression of Himself, of Love and good and Truth and Principle.

 

Maintaining Law and Order

Let us daily, therefore, "maintain law and order," knowing that the law of God, and this law only, is eternally operating in human affairs. Let us remember that it is our privilege and duty to "cheerfully," not fearfully, "await," not despair of, the "certainty," not probability, "of ultimate perfection." Christian Science refuses to sanction the world-wide wail of the pessimist that civilization is doomed; with faith and spiritual inspiration he knows that the darkest hour precedes the dawn, and that ere long there will burst upon the human consciousness a recognition of good, of Principle, of brotherhood, the like of which the world has never seen. As wrote Robert Browning:

 

"Unanswered yet?

Faith can not be unanswered.

Her feet are firmly planted on the rock;

Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted

Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.

She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer

And cries, 'It shall be done sometime, somewhere.'"

 

The Law of God Applied to Sickness

"But how is one to apply this law of God to a case of sickness?" may be asked. One of the first lessons given by a wise mother to her child is that of manners. The carnal mind is natively ungrateful. Over and over again a mother may say to the babe just learning to talk, "Say thank you, dear." Finally, grudgingly may come the semblance of an expression of thanks; and without this early drilling the child might grow into a thankless, selfish creature not far removed from the animal. When one takes his first steps in the understanding of Christian Science he must learn something of his "manners" toward God. How ungrateful, how thankless have mortals ever been toward their heavenly Father! Days go by with no expression of gratitude for rest, strength, and sustaining; for the ability to think, to enjoy, to laugh, to work; for the warmth of sunshine, for the song of birds - days with not one "Thank you, Father"! And then it is wondered why problems are not solved, health is not restored, and bounty not received from the ever-giving Love! Again, it is the question of a failure to tune in on the law of boundless good. A record of the healings that have been accomplished through Christian Science when thought has been opened to God's law through praise and thanksgiving would literally fill volumes.

 

Learning to Express Gratitude

But how can one express gratitude or joyousness when one is in pain or is incapacitated by disease or weakness? Suppose one for years has been victimized by unscrupulous persons passing counterfeit coins. Knowing not the feeling nor the ring of the true metal, one has seemingly been at the mercy of the counterfeiters, accepting unwittingly that which was worthless. One day a friend comes to the rescue, saying: "Your need is to know better the genuine coins, their weight, their ring, their 'feel.' This understanding will enable you to detect, and consequently to reject, the spurious." Should not the drawing of this understanding of the real, the genuine, usher in a sense of joy, of gratitude, of confidence and faith in one's ability to master the problem? Would not the discovery and consequent quick rejection of the counterfeit produce spontaneously a sense of joy, of gratification? In a certain court a case was in process of hearing, when it became necessary to secure the evidence of two experts as to the age of a piece of antique furniture. When the two had testified, the evidence of one of the experts was accepted over the other, as it appears he had made a life study of the genuine antique originals, whereas the other had devoted most of this time to an extensive examination of counterfeits! 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, and inharmonious mental picture as counterfeit, unreal. Now the word "grateful" is defined by a dictionary as, "Having a due sense of benefits received." When one therefore learns in Science to separate the real from the unreal, the genuine from the counterfeit, a due sense of the marvelous benefits accruing therefrom is bound to follow and cause the heart to well up with joyousness.

 

Thank God, I Am Free

Can one always gain this sense of gratitude easily? Not always. Many times one must fight for one's joy as for one's health. An illustration of this may be found in the following incident: A Christian Scientist and her two small sons went to a summer resort where a ministerial conference was in session. A few days after their arrival one of the lads apparently developed a serious case of blood poisoning. It happened at the time when the newspapers of the country were filled with bulletins about a prominent personage similarly afflicted, and the mental atmosphere was charged with fear. When it became known at the resort that no medical aid was being resorted to and that this innocent child was being treated by Christian Science, the indignation of many of the guests knew no bounds. Finally, a committee of five ministers was organized to wait upon the mother and demand that the child have medical treatment. The mother listened to them politely, and then said: "I thank you for this visit for I am sure it was prompted by your love for little children, and I know that you good men are devoting your lives to teaching people to draw close to God, and that God is a very present help in trouble. Now, I am in trouble and I have placed my child in my heavenly Father's tender care. Surely you have not come to tell me that God will fail me, have you?" One by one the ministers left, without a word; but the following day the mother noticed that several of the minister's wives wanted to do some loving service for her. Ah, how quickly does love work! The mother called for Christian Science treatment for the child, but day after day the situation with the child seemed more grave. Finally, he asked to be taken to a Christian Science lecture, where the speaker dwelt at some length on the absolute necessity of gaining some measure of gratitude if one would experience the healing power of divine Love.  On leaving, the lad said: "Mother, that's the trouble! We aren't grateful enough!" When they returned to their rooms the child demanded that they sing hymns. This they did for two days; and each night just before he dropped off to sleep the mother heard him saying over and over to himself: "Thank God, I am free! Thank God, I am free!" The third morning the mother was summoned speedily to his bedside. A marvelous thing had happened; as if a surgeon's knife had made an incision, a place had been opened from which the poisonous matter was pouring forth, and the lad was free and absolutely whole within an incredibly short space of time. Like Jehoshaphat of old, the Truth had made him to rejoice over his enemies and prove the actuality, the power, and presence of God's law of harmonious being.

 

The Law Applied to False Appetites

And how this understanding of man's real, spiritual sonship is carrying countless mortals through the maze of sin and sensuality and anchoring thought in the peaceful haven of spiritual sense! Christian Science shows mankind the sweetness, the desirability, the worth-while-ness of the spiritual conception of being, as contrasted with the fleeting, uncertain, unsatisfying mesmerism of the carnal mind. Christian Science does not need to thunder, "Thou shalt not be a drunkard!" Rather with its gentle voice whisper to thought, "Man has no real satisfaction in false appetites: therefore your real selfhood is not craving drink, or tobacco, or so-called sensual pleasure. Your real selfhood, the image of the divine, is free, satisfied, harmonious now!" A man who confessed to attending many so-called "wild parties" made the statement recently that practically all of his friends who partook immoderately of liquor did so because they were so desperately unhappy. Another person, a newspaper reporter, having made the rounds of certain questionable night clubs, said, "How strange that one never hears genuine laughter there!" No, this is not strange, for care-free, innocent laughter, and real joy and satisfaction belong to the realm of spiritual sense, not to the carnal, fleshly mind. Christian Science, with infinite compassion and tenderness, bids mankind to turn from the husks of material lawlessness and sensualism, and find the joy and peace and genuine satisfaction which belong to man as a child of the King. It should be evident to all that there would be no difficulty in maintaining law and order in this land, if every citizen were a genuine Christian Scientist.

 

Overcoming of Death

Occasionally one hears the statement, "Christian Science without doubt is a beautiful religion, but some persons under this treatment have passed away, whereas under medicine or surgery they undoubtedly would have been healed." Such charge is as debatable as it is unjust. When one considers the number of cases entrusted to a Christian Science practitioner which have first been pronounced hopeless by the medical profession, the percentage of cures wrought through Christian Science is unusually high. A thousand persons may pass away under medical care; and yet rarely does one hear of a doctor being summoned before a coroner's jury to explain the decease of a patient. Mrs. Eddy writes in the textbook (p. 254): "During the sensual ages, absolute Christian Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly today, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual." The demonstration over the "last enemy" is therefore being made by hundreds and thousands of students of Christian Science in the proportion that they are learning, as the apostle says, to "die daily"; in other words, to abandon and reject daily some fetter or argument of materialism, and to see exemplified in consciousness some ray of the resurrection - the spiritualization of thinking.

 

Those Who Have Gone From Our Sight

Who would take from those Christian soldiers who have gone from our sight the joy and the strength of their trust in their Father who is Life Himself? Who would take from those seemingly left behind the comforting and sustaining which Christian Science has brought to them in the seeming valley of the shadow? Through the understanding of Christian Science mortals are truly learning that there is no death; that what seems to be death is but another phase of this Adam-dream of life in matter, and that in reality man's true consciousness is undying.

 

Jesus Abolished Death

So the Christian Scientist learning that God is infinite Life, and that man is the infinite expression of that Life, rejoices that the real man has never suffered defeat; and that if we steadfastly abide in the truth of being we shall be lifted above the sense of separation or heartache, and can begin to taste the peace which passes all understanding. Christians need to be reminded many times that their great Master, according to the Scripture, abolished death; and if he abolished it, it can not longer exist for his followers. When confronted with the argument of the so-called "last enemy," therefore, a vigorous rejoicing that the Master has abolished death would go a great way towards banishing the terror and fear surrounding this experience. Every Christian Science practitioner can tell you of cases where people have been brought back seemingly from the brink of the grave, by the joyous recognition of God's glorious law of deathless life. If such mighty works are being done even when Christian Scientists are just taking their first footsteps in Christian healing, what glorious things may we look forward to with a broader and fuller understanding of divine Principle! How filled with gratitude should be our days that we are privileged to take part in this great demonstration of ushering in the kingdom of heaven on earth!

 

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

 

 

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