Christian Science: The Gospel of Healing

 

Clarence C. Eaton

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science bears close resemblance to a sermon, and if I were to select a text of Scripture as a basis for an address of this character, I could not well select a more interesting or a more important one than that of Jesus' commission to his disciples, that their preaching should be with respect to the kingdom of God the immediate presence of the power of good, and to be accompanied by the healing of the sick, the cleansing of the leper, the raising of the dead, the casting out of devils. The tenth chapter of Matthew's gospel is entirely devoted to the Master's instructions and admonitions in this respect, and the closing chapter of the same gospel adds to this specific commission the more general and universal one, namely, that his followers should teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever he had commanded them to do, thus plainly making it a Christian's duty to heal the sick and remove evils as well as preach the gospel.

The command of the Master is in substance an epitome of true Christian faith, doctrine, and practice. Moreover it is obvious that such a faith and practice can only rest secure on a firm foundation, to wit: the undeniable existence of one omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God a God who constitutes and embraces all true being and whose presence and supremacy consciously inspire, protect, and govern as an immutable and unalterable law, every part and portion of the vast universe of ideas which He has created or revealed.

 

The Allness of God Inspires Love

Christian Science meets the requirement of preaching the absoluteness and the allness of God, good, by works or demonstration, rather than by words or arguments. It does not announce a new, strange, or irrational concept of God, but unfolds and declares a correct comprehension and a true and just understanding of His being, qualities, and law. To broaden the average individual's concept of God, there has been introduced into the teaching of Christian Science synonyms of God other than those ordinarily used, the terms Mind, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love; intelligence and substance are also employed as synonyms to aid further the student in his comprehension of God, as well as to indicate His nature, attributes, and qualities. These terms when rightly understood and applied in conjunction with the broadest and most profound concept which it is possible for us to grasp of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, serve to turn thought away from a circumscribed, limited, or humanized sense of Deity and direct it toward that impersonal, infinite, supreme, and absolute intelligence, consciousness, presence, and power designated as God.

When we include every attribute of goodness, justice, mercy, compassion, and tenderness which we would naturally associate with the term Father as applied to God, and at the same time exclude from our thought all sense of injustice, hatred, anger, vengeance, and changeableness, we are able to obtain and enjoy a more righteous and true sense of God as the one infinite, All.

A concept of God answering to this inspires love for and reverence of Him. Moreover, it quickens within us a spiritual consciousness, recuperative and redemptive in its operation, that will act as a silent power to lift us above the false and illegitimate beliefs of mortality, obliterate the undesirable moral or physical effects which these beliefs may have produced, and provide an adequate defense against the influence and action of all that is unlike God, good.

One infinitely good God and one infinitely perfect universe, including man, is what Christian Science declares and teaches. And it holds that it is just as important that we have a correct understanding regarding a perfect man as the manifestation of God, as it is that we have a true knowledge of a perfect God as the creator of man. If one or the other or both are excluded from our religious teaching and practice, then is our faith likely to be dead and our hope indeed vain.

To account for the absence of a more general belief in a religion embodying such postulates, we must ascertain how far and wide men have strayed on these questions, and what has led the world into the confusion and trouble in which it is involved. All that we find in Biblical history associated with the Jehovistic or humanized concept of Deity, we also find incorporated in the man-made doctrines of modern Christianity. It has resorted to the practice of clothing the divine with a human vesture. Failing to separate the true from the false, it delineates God as an anthropomorphic being liable to wrath and vengeance, capricious, changeable; and implants in the hearts of men fear and hatred, rather than reverence and love of God.

Theology teaches that the men and women we behold on earth today are all that now remains of what was originally spiritual man. Almost universally the belief prevails that man, the crowning triumph of God's creation, has degenerated to the level of a beast indeed, it is even declared that he is little else than a mere speck of dust on the desert of the universe.

 

The Two Records

Evidently this conception of man has obtained by reason of the confusion of the two separate and distinct accounts of the creation which appear in the Bible. A careful study of these records discloses the fact that they differ in many important respects, insomuch that the student is forced to recognize that in premise and conclusion they are positively antipodal, and cannot possibly be harmonized upon a single point. Thus the Scriptures under consideration indicate that in the day when God (Elohim) "created man in his own image," the Lord God is supposed to have "formed man of the dust of the ground" and made a woman out of a bone.

Though briefly stated, the first chapter of Genesis contains a complete record of the spiritual and true creation, a record pronounced by most authorities on Biblical questions as absolutely scientific in all respects. Therein we read that God created man in His image and likeness, gave him dominion over the earth and whatever moveth thereon, provided for the constant care and maintenance of His creation; and the record states, moreover, that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

The teaching of Christian Science places especial emphasis upon this record as authentic and true, and declares that it forms the basis of all true existence. God being admittedly supreme and unchanging good, Christian Science argues that as He is the only cause, His creation in effect must ever continue to be representative of the divine character, of which it can only be a correct and legitimate expression so long as it remains perfect. The Bible fortunately does not teach that provision was made necessary or possible for the change, contamination, failure, or termination of the perfect handiwork of God, and we note that the reading does not involve God's image in any discord or imperfection whatever.

In the second and subsequent chapters of Genesis our attention is directed to a record in marked contrast to the one just referred to. This account states that the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, but not in the image or likeness of anything in particular, nor was there accorded to him dominion over anything. Later this man appears to have acquired the name of Adam. Then it is said that out of the ground the Lord God caused the products natural thereto to grow and also formed the beasts of the field of the same material, namely the ground. Continuing, we note that in order to provide a suitable companion and helpmeet for the man, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and, acting in the capacity of a surgeon, he removed a rib from Adam's side and immediately transformed it into a woman, to the delight of the man.

What might be designated as a brief honeymoon is followed by temptation, disobedience, fear, shame, and condemnation, accompanied by punishment imposed by the Lord God upon this man and his wife. And this is followed by the remarkable experience of their existence, culminating in sorrow and suffering for the woman and the repudiation and decree of annihilation pronounced upon the man. The language which the Lord God is supposed to have addressed to the latter is, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

 

The Dust Man

Manifestly, this is an attempt to account for the origin of a material man, as well as the story of the dismal failure and ending thereof. The extraordinary inconsistencies which have been introduced in this record are in themselves sufficient to warrant us in regarding it as an allegory. By a strange process of perversion and substitution it is observed that the chronicle of the Adamic creation or dust type of man, has almost wholly superseded in our lives that of the spiritual or God-made man. Indeed, the incidents narrated have formed the basis of a multitude of religious beliefs or systems. Modern Christianity or scholastic theology is based wholly upon the belief in the verity of this history, and it has accordingly devised what it regards as an efficacious plan whereby this mortal or dust man is to be restored, rejuvenated, and transformed into a spiritual being, regardless of the teaching of the Bible to the effect that mortality must be destroyed in order that immortality may be brought to light. Jesus declared that "the flesh profiteth nothing," and Paul declared that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."

Speaking in a general way, nothing at present embodied in the teaching of scholastic theology provides for the healing of the sick. Ignoring the command of Jesus to heal by spiritual means, theology leaves this question entirely to the medical profession.

In this connection it is interesting and instructive to note that theology and materia medica have a common ground of meeting, and it is that of the verity of the matter man. Strangely enough, neither seems to appreciate the predicament in which both are thereby placed. The absurdity of the situation under consideration is heightened when regarded from the standpoint of the last analysis of mankind which both of these so-called humanitarian agencies accept. Naturalists tell us that the molecule of life with which this dust man is supposed to be generously provided, is composed of six elements, namely: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur. The only one whom materialists agree is competent to deal with the changes in the composition and constitution of this molecule and determine its status, is known as a chemist. In the dilemma of sickness, then, theology and materia medica submit the man whom they would save or heal to the analytical processes of the chemist, and both agree they must abide by his dictum in determining the issues of life.

 

The Materialist's Dilemma

Failing to distinguish the real from the unreal and to discern the spiritual or true man, we find both theology and materia medica strenuously endeavoring to save or heal the soul or body of a being whom the chemist avers is constituted wholly of water and "inorganic salts," in the ratio of eighty-five per cent of the one and fifteen per cent of the other. And hence it is either a hopeless condition of congestion or inflammation, disarrangement or contamination of this water and salts, that compels the doctor or theologian to agree that a dust man or a bone woman must submit to an ignominious death, and take chances in the unknown and indefinite future of being eternally saved or perpetually lost!

Obviously, if sinning, mortal man is a composite of water and salts, theology's plan of salvation is doomed to failure. Of the practice of materia medica we need only reiterate that it has long been considered experimental, and this we fully appreciate when the difficulties which confront the physician are realized.

 

Ill-advised Criticism

The criticism is sometimes made that certain reported cases of healing are unauthentic because Scientists are not physicians and hence are incapable of diagnosing diseases and determining the actual malady from which the patient has recovered. This criticism is ill-advised, since the chief source of the physician's embarrassment lies in the uncertainty of this diagnosis, and he is further baffled by the fact that the process for successfully extracting pain or disease from a compound of water and salts has not yet been discovered.

The dust man is the the world's veritable sin and disease-burdened man, its criminal, its outlaw, and yet its prospective saint. This is the man whom well-meaning men would save or heal, remand to the whipping-post, incarcerate in dungeons, send to the scaffold! Who is the sinner? What needs salvation? What becomes sick? What is being scourged and spit upon? What is fit only for "treason, stratagems and spoils"? What is this vagabond; this "monster with hideous mien"? Whom does the court or executioner address thus: "And may the Lord have mercy on your soul"? Finally, what is crucified or murdered and what dies? Physician, clergyman, lawyer, judge, coroner the peers and vassals of mortality solemnly answer upon oath and according to the best of their knowledge and belief: "It is a compound of eighty-five per cent water and fifteen per cent inorganic salts"!

In the light of the chemist's analysis we are really spared the pains of engaging in a controversy over the question of the reality or the unreality of matter. The more advanced philosophers agree that everything now in evidence and commonly called matter is but thought embodied or externalized something which we ourselves have constructed more or less imperfectly. Matter, when left to the tender mercies of its "next friends," theology and materia medica, takes its place in the open grave of all mortality, "uncoffined and unknelled," with this simple though expressive epitaph to mark its last resting-place: "Dust [nothingness] thou art, and unto dust [nothingness] shalt thou return"!

 

Trusting Christian Science

As the knowledge of the faulty and inadequate service rendered mankind by materia medica is becoming more wide-spread, need we longer wonder why some people prefer to entrust themselves and their children to the practitioners of Christian Science instead of physicians? And shall the rights and privileges of individuals to exercise their choice in this direction be denied or abridged? Is it, indeed, a menace to the peace and welfare of the world that Christian Scientists, through inaudible rather than audible prayer, have healed thousands upon thousands of hopelessly sick people and restored the inebriate and the mentally deranged?

And yet, in the face of such philanthropy as this, we of the enlightened twentieth century witness the extraordinary spectacle of the representatives of certain medical schools, in a land whose constitution and government pledges and guarantees its subjects religious freedom, seeking to influence and intimidate legislatures and courts to enact and adjudge it unlawful for you or me to avail ourselves of that prayer of understanding and faith which we are promised shall "save the sick"!

Because the nature of God is so little understood, mankind believes that He gives or withholds as His judgment or pleasure may dictate. Hence there has been instituted the custom of petitioning, supplicating, beseeching Deity to bestow various favors upon the suppliant, and this is called prayer. Christian Scientists are willing to take Jesus at his word and not tease God for what is needful, for the Master said: "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." Possibly this is why Christian Scientists have been denominated a prayerless people. Perhaps this criticism can best be answered by the thousands who have confessed that while they were trying to live in consonance with the requisites of theology, their prayers were never answered.

They now witness that they never knew how to pray until they read and studied the chapter on Prayer written by Mrs. Eddy and given first place in the text-book of Christian Science. Christian Scientists recognize that associated with every prayer or sincere desire for the manifestation of God's presence and power there should be positive faith, conviction, and knowledge that the prayer is consistent with our relation to God. Such an attitude merits and provides for an answer to prayer in accordance with the Scripture: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them;" also, "And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." Jesus evidently taught that the nature of prayer should be confirmative rather than supplicative, and accordingly we believe that a comprehensive realization of God's allness and the great truth that His law is everywhere and at this very moment operating to destroy the discordant conditions of human experience, is the correct basis of prayer.

For those who honestly disbelieve in and discredit the works of a scientific Christianity we can afford to entertain much charity. It should be remembered that the world of today has had little training and instruction along the line of a faith that is not dead, and hence scarcely any opportunity of knowing and judging from works and fruits what true religion is. Immersed in the mesmerism of false theology it seems unable as yet to recognize and comprehend the naturalness of the works of truth and righteousness. For those who are thus entangled and hence not familiar with the signs which "shall follow them that believe," we patiently hope and wait, even though their ignorance is without excuse. But Christian Science in exemplifying the religion of Christ Jesus is confronted by the darkness which cannot comprehend the light.

 

A Divine Sovereign

It has been argued and urged that each and all of us are included and involved in the Adamic or material belief of man. Christian Science protests that we are subjects of a divine sovereign and that mortality affects us only to the extent that we ignorantly or intentionally believe in and submit to its theories and practices. Material sense has long imposed its tyrannical beliefs, customs, and laws upon the world and intimidated nations with its plan of mutual murder and subsistence. In example and precept its substitution of the moral for the spiritual man has been indiscriminately foisted upon succeeding generations for many ages, and the suffering, misery, and desolation which have followed in its wake are ample proof of the iniquity of that practice and responsible for the decline of spirituality and the consequent presence of a wide-spread hatred of good. But a righteous revolt has come which shall shake mortality to its very foundation and utterly destroy it.

This reformation accomplished, we shall behold the real man, the divine offspring or spiritual idea, who is more than a statesman, patriot, or priest; more than a chemist, an astronomer, a mathematician or musician; more than a servant, merchant or mechanic, a physician, lawyer, philosopher, teacher, or poet. He is the image, likeness, reflection of the All-good and is endowed by his creator with inalienable and unalterable dominion over earth and sky. In his kingdom are no vassals, no peers; no strikes, no lockouts, no bars of condemnation, no courts of appeal. There is naught to condemn, to appeal to or from, since infinite good is supreme! The healing of the sick or cleansing of thought by means of the truth or spiritual understanding is as possible of accomplishment today as at any time in the world's history. Ministering to the sufferings of mankind is the most legitimate evidence and expression of true Christianity of which we can possibly conceive, and is inevitable because it is in fulfilment of prophecy.

The Christian Scientist does not see in his patient what the physician or chemist sees in mortal man, therefore he makes no attempt to heal water and salts. To the Scientist sickness is a mental presentation, a defective state of thought a mental picture in the consciousness of the patient. God, who made everything good and without whom, as St. John says, "was not any thing made that was made," is not the author of such thought disturbances as produce sickness and they are wholly unknown to Him; hence their source is illegitimate in all respects. It has been discovered that God's law rightly understood will antidote every phase of error or discord which might take possession of the human mind. Indeed Christian Science has repeatedly demonstrated this grand verity, and has established the great truth that all that is necessary for the expulsion of sin and disease from human experience and for the accomplishment of humanity's complete liberation or evangelization, is here and now.

 

The Higher Law of Mind

Christian Science proves that the false material laws which by common belief and consent operate through fear, ignorance, and superstition to incapacitate mortals and cause invalidism, are rendered null and void by the higher law of Mind. The individual knowledge of this and its application metaphysically effect the eradication of the discordant conditions which may be held in thought or externalized on the body. There is nothing mysterious or miraculous about this modus operandi, since an infinite and irrevocable law provides for reconstruction, restoration, recovery, or redemption in accordance with the supreme wisdom and power of the Principle which established the law.

In this connection it may be said that the changes wrought in consciousness and which result in the healing of the sick, according to the practice of Christian Science, are in no sense due to the use of hypnotism or suggestive therapeutics. The latter is in a class by itself and is a remnant of the condemned necromancy or occult practices of the past which the critics and enemies of Jesus failed to convict him of when they were testifying falsely against him. The domination of a submissive mentality or consciousness by an imperative one is recognized as a dangerous practice, the maximum of results therefrom being evil rather than good. Moreover, the practice is unchristian, because contrary to the teaching of Jesus, who denounced and repudiated such healing methods as equivalent to casting out devils by the prince of devils.

When directing attention to that portion of Jesus' command which relates to the raising of the dead, many who believe in its literal application might desire that we shall go to the cemetery and conduct a series of experiments. But, according to the materialists, all that we ever place in a cemetery is the water and "inorganic salts" which the human body is said to be composed of! Would you think it profitable to labor merely for the resuscitation of that? But what of the loved ones with whom we associated and who have passed from our presence, where are they? They were never more or less than consciousness, and Christian Science teaches, as does common sense, that consciousness never found a resting-place beneath six feet of earth! Through its release from a measure of sense-bondage, consciousness must instantly experience in a degree something of the true resurrection the ascension of thought to perceive the immortality of life. Scripture refers to death as an enemy, not a friend. Jesus gave it no place, and met and conquered it because he regarded it as a phase of error, the outcome of materiality. In the truest sense what is meant by death is characterized by Paul as carnal-mindedness. "To be carnally minded is death." This he said of the nature of that mind or consciousness which is grossly material the sum total of all carnality or that which is exactly opposed to spirituality. He also said, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." This agrees with Jesus' concept of life, for he said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

 

Eternal Life

Spiritual-mindedness or understanding, then, Jesus considered as synonymous of eternal life, and he came to impart this understanding to others, in order, as he said, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Thus if a knowledge or understanding of God, good, constitutes eternal life, then surely the absence of this true knowledge might well be designated as death.

The Mind, consciousness, or intelligence which enabled him to do the works that he did, Jesus characterized as God, or the Father. Paul urged that we should have the Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus." Hence it is that Christian Science speaks to a slumbering sense with the view of illuminating it or educating it out of itself resurrecting it, as it were and says: "Awake thou that sleepest, ... and Christ shall give thee light;" and, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." We may well spend every moment in rejoicing that through Christian Science we have learned something at least of the eternal verity of life and the unreality of death.

In Jesus' time diseases and afflictions were commonly regarded as due to the presence of evil, frequently spoken of as evil spirits or devils; hence the command to cast these out. His ministry disclosed the fact of the intimate association of evil or devil with all manner of discords, and we note that he overcame it and cast it out and released the afflicted ones. On certain occasions evil seemed to recognize in him its master and with fear and trembling it shrank from his very presence.

Contrary to the teaching and practice of Christ Jesus, we find, as some one has said, the "whole superstructure of modern Christianity built upon the belief in a definite evil being who brought about the fall of man." If, then, the existence of modern Christianity is contingent upon the belief in evil or devil as a verity, a power, logically the destruction of evil would mean the demolition of modern Christianity. Then, pray, how shall we reconcile the teaching of the latter with what the Master said and did, since he is supposed to have founded true Christianity? Scripture says, "The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil," and also "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

 

Evil Exposed

Christ Jesus' analysis of evil or devil discloses the fact that he perceived that it was not real, for he characterized it as a falsity and without the shadow of truth. Jesus stripped the disguise from evil or devil and exposed it as a lie from the beginning, and taught that it must be cast out. The conclusion is inevitable that the phenomena of evil are to be accounted for by the presence in human consciousness of the belief in and fear of it, and it finds expression only in the utterances and deeds of those enslaved by it. Thus, so long as evil as a lie can successfully deceive us, it will use us as a tool and make us its victims. Exposed as a lie, it falls a coward at our feet.

The remarkable and improved changes wrought in the temperament, character, and deeds of men by Christian Science are the direct result of the casting out of evils or devils. This evidence of our obedience to the Master's command is attracting more attention today, perhaps, than physical healing. The latter is merely an incidental experience on the way to the ultimate of reformation and transformation. The most precious gifts of Christian Science are to be designated as peace, joy, contentment, satisfaction experiences and conditions which are essential and which can become ours only through the casting out of evils and the acquirement of enlarged spiritual understanding. By a proper application of scientific and demonstrable knowledge of spiritual truth, errors in belief which throng one's consciousness are cast out, dissolved and dissipated, as naturally, scientifically, and inevitably as light destroys darkness. Usually the first errors to yield in one's mentality are those which have found expression in physical infirmities, but this is not the goal which Christian Science urges us to seek. We should strive for and win a consciousness thoroughly purged of evil, and so we press forward, as Mrs. Eddy has so aptly put it, "until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory" (Science and Health, p. 323).

 

Jesus' Healing Method

In criticism of Jesus his enemies said, "He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" Others said: "These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" It has been said of Christian Science that it is of the devil. God forbid that any one should believe that evil or the devil has healed blindness, tuberculosis, tumors, cancers, paralysis, and myriads of other so-called incurable diseases! And yet hundreds of authentic cases of just such healing as this stand to the credit of the practice of Christian Science. Christ Jesus practised on the same type of man that practitioners of other systems did, and he healed his patients of both sin and disease by one and the same metaphysical process the operation of the knowledge of Truth. His analysis of causation radically differed from the materialists. He was concerned neither about what a man's body was composed of, nor about the nature or character of his disease. Respiration, temperature, coated tongue, the pulse beat, etc., did not mean anything to him. He never asked about the food a man had been eating or drinking, or even the air he had been breathing: indeed, he said, "Take no thought for the body." All this we can understand, if we will. If Jesus ever accepted the chemist's analysis of a man's body, he naturally would have accepted the same authority's analysis of the food which the man consumed. Then good, ordinary common sense would have assured him that the commonplace act of adding the water and "inorganic salts," said to be contained in food, to the same elements found in the human body, could not possibly cause indigestion.

Observing students have not allowed the fact to escape their attention, that Jesus did take cognizance of the thoughts and deeds of men. He noted that primarily it was evil thinking which defiled men. We read that on one occasion he said: "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. ... those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man." His analysis disclosed causation as mental rather than physical, hence he healed the people by the power of his understanding, and he enlightened them, quickened their comprehension and stimulated mental energy and activity. He took advantage of the simplicity of the faith of his hearers and leavened it with understanding, so that it could remove mountains of error. He was a recognized authority upon all questions, and he astonished every one with his learning and wisdom and the patience and love which he displayed when dealing with their ignorance and misery. It was conceded that he "went about doing good."

Jesus taught men how to pray, and showed them how by right thinking and good behavior they could rid themselves of evil desires, habits, effects, and influences. Moreover, he insisted that they should be actuated by the same Mind or consciousness which possessed and impelled him, and which he designated as his Father and their Father, so that they would be enabled to do for others exactly as he had done for them. Jesus disclaimed credit for the great works which were wrought through him, for he modestly said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." "But the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."

 

Jesus' Promises Fulfilled

For sixteen centuries mental therapeutics as instituted by the Master remained dormant, but in these latter days Christian Science represents the restoration and reestablishment of its practice. Less than fifty years ago only one person on earth realized what Christian Science in this respect means to the world. Today many thousands are vividly conscious that it is wholly due to its teaching and practice that they are alive and able to say they are well and happy.

If in less than half a century, much of which time was necessarily spent in overcoming the prejudices of mortals and dealing with the many problems incident to the formative period of all earthly undertakings; if during these trying years of the reestablishment of a religious practice which had been entirely neglected and in disuse for upward of sixteen hundred years; if notwithstanding the almost universal and persistent practice of ignoring God as the healer of the sick and seeking material means for relief and healing, no matter how utterly inadequate or futile, if in the face of all this Christian Science has adequately proved equal to the task of releasing from the bonds of sin, suffering, and disease hundreds of thousands of people, then we are surely justified in saying there has come to the realization of this people the fulfilment of Jesus' prophecy: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father." "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

 

The Aim of Christian Science

In the ministry of Christian Science the endeavor is to exemplify all that is possible for the human to comprehend and express of true charity, even that concept of genuine charity which Paul has so comprehensively embodied in the thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians. The benefactions of Christian Science extend to all classes, without distinction as to nationality, rank, or caste; and included in the scope of its teaching and practice the investigator will find a remedy for every undesirable condition to which mankind are subjected. In association, fellowship, and conduct Christian Science urges men to a strict observance of the golden rule, and that new commandment which the Master gave and which forms the basis of true brotherhood: "That ye love one another; as I have loved you."

The promises of Christian Science are to be found in the Scriptures, as well as in the literature especially devoted to its teaching and practice. As these promises must all be fulfilled, the mission of Christian Science will not be completed until the "earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

 

Christian Science not an Experiment

Christian Science can no longer be considered an experiment, and while among the skeptics and unbelieving there are those who appear to be expecting its early demise and a stampeding of its adherents, observing ones behold it steadily moving onward and adding daily to its standard "such as would be saved." This is because it is not founded upon human personality, but rather upon Principle, which assures its permanence. It is recognized that the impersonal spiritual realization which gave Christian Science to the world is still here, teaching and admonishing us in all truth and righteousness; and naught can destroy, remove, or succeed it.

The world is wholly incapable of conceiving of the scope and character of the task committed to Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Even those whose lives have been touched and transformed by the healing influence of her love and work, confess their inability to comprehend its significance. Certain it is that her life of spiritual devoutness, self-sacrifice, and sweet simplicity; her loving loyalty to God, the purity of her thought and purpose, and her consecrated faithfulness to the exalted ministry to which she was providentially called, has culminated in a movement which has as its ultimate the release of the human mind from its iniquitous bondage to sin and disease and the abolition of the despotic tyranny of false belief. Blessings of this nature cannot well be confined to a single race or generation, but must extend to all nations and all times.

Thank God, the mission of Mary Baker Eddy has not been in vain! There is a vast multitude of people in this generation who momentarily give thanks that it was through her discernment, courage, and unswerving fidelity that their tears have been dried and their pain banished. Nor is that all; for not half can ever be told. She has made clear and plain the way whereby all are to be redeemed according to the plan and purpose of an infinitely good God and through the salvation of the indwelling Christ. If ever a people had occasion to hold in loving and tender memory the life of a noble, just, pure, and upright woman, it has it now. I am sure that all who are conscious of this will agree that to her there is due the full significance of these words of the great apostle: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

 

[Delivered April 20, 1911, at The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts and published in The Christian Science Journal, June 1911.]

 

 

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