Christian Science: Its Revelation of the True Church (Extract)
Colin Rucker Eddison, C.S.B., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
My object today is to consider the true import of the word "church" as understood in Christian Science, more especially the foundation on which the church rests and how it brings us, as we come to understand it aright, health and happiness, comfort and security, freedom, unity, peace.
When Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, established the Church of Christ, Scientist, she did something more than add yet another to the many Christian sects or denominations.
The church is fundamentally a spiritual concept. In the Christian Science textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 583), Mrs. Eddy has defined "Church" as follows: "The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle." That is the first part of the definition, and it continues: "The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick." Thus we learn that the spiritual idea of Church "the structure of Truth and Love," as it is recognized and accepted, finds human expression in the healing of the sick and in the salvation of men and women from their besetting ills, both private and social.
As we recognize the universal presence of "the structure of Truth and Love" a spiritual awakening takes place in consciousness, and church organizations inevitably grow to vigor and usefulness.
The spiritual concept of Church is with us everywhere, no matter what the material circumstances seem to be, and in that spiritual structure there is always a refuge from harm. That fact has been found true over and over again by Christian Scientists. Whether it be in time of sickness or sorrow, of upheaval and danger, whether it be on land, in the air, or beneath the waters of the sea, the Christ, Truth, gives us a solid foundation on which to stand, calm and secure in the assurance of God's presence and power.
Airmen, soldiers, sailors, civilians, have found that their understanding of God's love and care and of man's eternal unity with his heavenly Father has brought them strength and deliverance.
In these times, what once seemed to be the normal current of existence has, for most men and women, been rudely interrupted. They have been forced to adopt new activities, to enter new surroundings, to change their entire mode of living. There can be few who amid such worldwide upheaval do not sometimes ask themselves, "What of the future?" I well remember how at a time when the future seemed to me dark and dubious, a lifelong friend wrote in a letter, "Remember, you can only be where Mind can use you for Mind's purposes." Perhaps that is all we need to know about the future or the present, and surely it is enough. For there is safety, and complete well-being and satisfaction in the fulfillment of God's purpose for His children — the purpose of Life and Love.
The Church, "the structure of Truth and Love," is no private monopoly of a chosen few: it belongs to all who discern and accept it. It is the inheritance of anyone who learns to know God aright.