Christian Science: The Science of Christ-Healing

 

Colin Rucker Eddison, C.S., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Colin Rucker Eddison, C.S., of London, England, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, delivered a lecture on Christian Science entitled "Christian Science: The Science of Christ-Healing," Monday evening, October 19, 1936, under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, in the church edifice, Elm Hill Avenue and Rowland Street, Roxbury District.

The lecturer was introduced by Mrs. Clara M. Smith, C.S., Second Reader, who said:

Friends:

Second Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, extends to each of you a hearty and loving welcome to the lecture entitled, "Christian Science: The Science of Christ-Healing."

Cruden's Bible Concordance defines church as, "a body of worshippers of God." The lack of understanding scientifically what God is, accounts for the many church denominations and methods of worship.

Scriptural records prove that God has ever provided channels through which to reveal Himself. A few of the notable ones were Noah, Moses, David and Jesus. In our age He revealed Himself to Mary Baker Eddy, who, through divine inspiration was enabled to write the revelation for all to read and understand, in her book entitled, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

On page 108 of this book Mrs. Eddy writes of the revelation: "According to St. Paul, it was 'the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.' "

The Bible and this little book have been my daily companions for thirty-five years, and they are teaching me the scientific facts about God and man, giving me unspeakable peace, joy, health, prosperity.

Our lecturer is well prepared to tell us, according to the teachings of Christian Science, what God is and what He does for man. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you Mr. Colin Rucker Eddison, of London, England, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. Massachusetts.

Mr. Eddison.

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

It is recorded in the Gospel of John that Christ Jesus declared, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Life eternal, that abundant life which Jesus said that he came to give, implies more than mere existence. It includes health, freedom, happiness all that makes life worth having. "This is life eternal," the Master said not shall be; and what mankind needs, what we all long for, is present salvation from the problems and perplexities that beset us, from sin and sorrow, from sickness and from lack. Christian Science teaches and proves that such deliverance is possible here and now through a right understanding of God, as Jesus indicated.

When on his missionary journey he came to Athens, the Apostle Paul found an altar dedicated "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD," and was able to assure the Athenians, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has written (p. 596): "Paganism and agnosticism may define Deity as 'the great unknowable;' but Christian Science brings God much nearer to man, and makes Him better known as the All-in-all, forever near."

What, then, is the nature of God, the God whom Paul preached to the Athenians, and whom Christian Science brings much nearer to man?

Christian Scientists turn naturally to the Bible to learn about God, for no body of people holds the Bible in greater reverence. It was in the Bible that Mrs. Eddy discerned the truths she afterwards set out in the Christian Science textbook, and her followers find that the Bible grows more and more important to them in their daily lives as they study its pages in the light thrown upon them by Christian Science.

Throughout the Old Testament may be discerned, in the writings and experiences of the Hebrew race, a gradually developing concept of the nature of God; a concept sometimes overlaid with primitive notions of a God of battles, swayed by human passions such as revenge or favoritism; at other times more spiritual and universal in its meaning. Thus we may trace in the Old Testament the thought of God as infinite, as omnipotent, as all-knowing and eternal, the intelligent source and cause of everything that exists.

It is, however, in the New Testament, more especially, of course, in the life and work of Christ Jesus, that we find the clearest, the most convincing explanation and demonstration of what God is. Sitting by the well-side at Sychar, Jesus said plainly to the woman of Samaria, "God is a Spirit." And the supreme revelation of God's nature made by our Master, in his teaching, in his works of healing, in his whole life of patient self-sacrifice, was that God is Love.

As a result of her deep and persistent study of the Scriptures and of her spiritual inspiration Mrs. Eddy was able to answer the question "What is God?" in the Christian Science textbook as follows: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (Science and Health, p. 465). This, then, is the God whom Christian Science enables us to know and understand, and to find "forever near," because, being infinite, He is ever present.

 

Jesus and Christ

The way in which Christian Science enables us to know God is by helping us to understand more intelligently the life and work of Christ Jesus. Jesus once asked his disciples a momentous question. There were current among his contemporaries many different views and theories about him. Some people thought he was John the Baptist, others thought he was Elijah, or one of the prophets risen again. Jesus rejected all such fantastic speculations and said to his disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." That Jesus approved this answer and regarded it as important is shown by his reply, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

What, then, is the meaning of this title "Christ"? Christian Science explains that there is a distinction between "Jesus" and "Christ:" the term "Christ" is not merely a synonym for "Jesus." The human Jesus was the best and greatest man that ever lived. His example remains forever as the standard for Christian living. He is the Way-shower, in whose footsteps Christian Scientists endeavor humbly to follow. It is impossible to exaggerate the debt which the world owes to the Founder of Christianity. He went about doing good he healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead. He imposed upon his followers that great command to love one another, a command which provides the ultimate and only possible solution for all social, industrial, and international problems. By his victory on the cross and his resurrection he proved that life is spiritual and eternal.

What was it that enabled him to do all this? Christian Science teaches that it was the Christ, Truth, which Jesus understood in fullest measure. Jesus, as Mrs. Eddy has pointed out, is a human name which the Master shared with others of his race; Christ, on the other hand, is a divine title which refers to the spirituality expressed throughout his life and teaching. In Science and Health (p. 583) may be found this definition of Christ: "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." That which is manifest is clear, plainly understood. It was, then, the Master's clear apprehension of what God is that entitled him to be called "Christ Jesus," and that healed and saved those who turned to him for help.

His demonstration of the unity of God and man, of divine Mind and its spiritual idea, made Christ Jesus the Saviour of mankind. Christian Scientists feel unbounded gratitude to him for his life of absolute unselfishness, for all he taught and wrought, for his steadfast adherence to Truth and his supreme example of self-sacrifice in the crucifixion. They do not believe that Jesus came to earth, faced the attacks of bigotry and envy, and suffered on the cross to appease an angry deity, and so win pardon for sinful mortals. Such a doctrine cannot be true if God is Love, as the Bible declares Him to be. Christian Science shows us that we must "work out your own salvation" by following in the footsteps of Christ Jesus. We can do this as we learn to know what Jesus knew, and to put that knowledge, as it is gained little by little, into practice in our daily lives. That is the "way of salvation" the only way.

It was upon his healing work that Jesus relied to substantiate the truth of what he taught and to confirm Peter's acknowledgment of him as the Christ. And today it is by its healing and regenerating work that Christian Science confirms and substantiates its teachings, and its claim to reveal to this age the Christ, Truth, which made Jesus the Messiah.

 

The Will of God

It is said of Jesus in the epistle to the Hebrews, "Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God," a statement confirmed by many of our Lord's own sayings. His works illustrate and demonstrate the will of God. When with a word Jesus stilled the storm which seemed to threaten the disciples' safety, he proved that the terrible destructive forces of nature are contrary to the will of God. When he fed the multitudes with resources impossibly small from a material standpoint, he proved that material limitation is not in conformity with God's will. He showed by healing the sick that disease and infirmity are not the will of God. By raising the dead he proved that death is not in accordance with the will of God. What did these works of Jesus prove God's will for man to be? Surely the opposite of the conditions which he destroyed: peace and safety, not distress and danger; the affluence of spiritual substance, the freedom and vitality of health, life in all its full abundance. He brought these positive realities into men's experience through his knowledge of the Christ.

This leads to another point for consideration. Can that which is contrary to the will of God have any real existence? Since God is infinite Mind, the only cause and creator, the sole source of existence, only that which is in accordance with His will can be real. Christian Science holds that sin, disease, disaster, lack, sorrow, are unreal because they are incompatible with the nature of God, who is infinite Life, Truth, and Love. Indeed Christian Science goes further and declares that neither matter nor evil has any real existence, since God is infinite Spirit and is infinitely good. That such a conclusion has Scriptural authority is clear. Our Master said. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh that is, matter, profiteth nothing." When he healed a woman who is described as having been bowed together for eighteen years, he said that Satan, the devil, had bound her and elsewhere he said of the devil, or evil, that "he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." That which has no truth in it cannot be real. Christian Science therefore teaches that evil and all its manifestations are untrue, unreal; and the destruction by Christ Jesus of sin, disease, death all manifestations of evil confirms that conclusion.

How are we to explain the apparent reality of evil, of sin, disease, cruelty, and so on? What seems to be true but is not true is a misconception, a false belief. Misconceptions about anything are removed when they are corrected by acquaintance with the true facts. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." That from which truth sets free is not truth but error, not real but unreal. The Christian Scientist is not so much concerned to wonder where the false belief, the illusion, of sin and disease came from, as to prove their illusory nature by reforming character and healing sickness.

 

Christian Science Discovered

Did the Christ disappear beyond the reach of human recognition when Jesus rose above men's sight in his ascension? Christ is Truth and therefore is eternal, ever present, always available to be understood. "Throughout all generations," we read in the Christian Science textbook (p. 333), "both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea the reflection of God has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth." Just as the great characters of the Old Testament caught glimpses of the truth about God and man, so also since the beginning of the Christian era men of deep spiritual insight have also perceived something of that same truth, and this perception has enabled them to bring help, comfort, and spiritual progress to the world. Such reformers as John Wyclif, John Huss, Martin Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, and undoubtedly many others of whom the world never heard, have perceived much of the true nature of God and seen it manifested in their lives.

Then in the year 1866 the Christ was revealed, as never before since the time of Jesus, to Mary Baker Eddy, who after half a lifetime of devotion to the things of Spirit, was indeed "prepared to receive Christ, Truth." In her autobiography, "Retrospection and Introspection," and elsewhere in her writings, she has recorded how, after sustaining a severe accident, she was lying in a seriously injured condition and turned to the Bible for help and consolation. She there read the story of the healing of the man sick of the palsy, with the result that she was able to rise from her bed and join her friends in a room near by, where they were waiting for her to pass away. Mrs. Eddy's turning to God in this extremity proved the present operation of that same divine law that was demonstrated in the healing work of Christ Jesus. God had been made manifest to her; the Christ had come to her consciousness and it restored her to health. She records a conversation at this time with a friend as follows: "A dear old lady asked me, 'How is it that you are restored to us? Has Christ come again on earth?' 'Christ never left.' I replied: 'Christ is Truth, and Truth is always here the impersonal Saviour' " (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 180).

Mrs. Eddy was not content to leave the matter there. She realized that she must share her discovery with the world. Thanks to her unselfish work, the Science of Christ has been stated in clear and unmistakable language in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and in Mrs. Eddy's other writings. Anyone who cares to study those works in conjunction with the Bible may learn the truth about God and man and so find that divine Love is manifest in human experience today in the healing of sickness and sin, just as it was in the first days of the Christian era.

Mrs. Eddy was alone responsible for the discovery of Christian Science and for its establishment. She organized The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, founded its periodicals, guided its early footsteps, and safely protected its future growth and development by providing it with its Rules and By-Laws in the Church Manual.

There is little wonder that the vast number of people who have found health and happiness through the teachings of Christian Science, who have above all found God, a divine Principle on whom they can rely for guidance and protection both in the small and great things of life, are unreservedly grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her work. They recognize that only one who lived close to God, and who expressed throughout her life that purity and nobility of character which come only from unswerving obedience to divine Principle, could have made such blessings available to themselves and to all mankind. In the words of King Lemuel in the book of Proverbs, "Let her own works praise her in the gates."

 

Repentance and Healing

We read in the first chapter of Genesis that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." It follows, then, that as we discover the true nature of God we discover also the true nature of man. To express the absolute unity of God and man, His image, Christian Science uses the term "reflection." It teaches us that man reflects, and therefore expresses, the intelligence, resourcefulness, and poise of Mind, the freedom of Spirit, the gentleness and kindliness of Love, the strength and unwaning vigor of Life. Just as he abandons old false beliefs about God, so the Christian Scientist abandons wrong concepts of man, and strives to identify himself and others always with the spiritual reflection of his Maker.

The thought of man as expressing the perfection of God, which at first may seem new and strange, speedily grows natural. As the true idea of God and man becomes established in consciousness, healing takes place. This change in thought need not be complete before it can help us. As soon as it begins to come about it brings better health in the widest sense of that word. Every day it is being proved that men and women who have been suffering from illness or unhappiness, from the ravages of selfishness, from a sense of inability to cope with the tasks before them, are finding in Christian Science health of body, health of mind, health in their business, health in their relations with their fellowmen. Mrs. Eddy beautifully expresses this in her poem, "Christ and Christmas" (p. 53):

"Forever present, bounteous, free,

Christ comes in gloom;

And aye, with grace towards you and me,

For health makes room."

 

In fact, the understanding of the truth about God and man brings the kingdom of heaven on earth.

It must not be thought that the salvation which Christian Science offers is salvation only from physical difficulties and discomforts. Indeed, some of the most far-reaching and beneficent work which Christian Science accomplishes lies in the healing of faults of character, in the destruction of sin. Jesus said, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." There is more in repentance than mere regret. The Greek word translated "repent" means "change your thought." Sorrow for sin is essential: sin will never be abandoned so long as it is not regretted, deeply and sincerely. Regret alone, however, will never destroy sin, for regret does not expose sin's unreality. Unreal it must be, since it is inconsistent with the infinite goodness of God.

Repentance must be more than regret it must be complete change of thought. As soon as the sinner begins to understand the perfection of God, and His reflection man, he sees that his indulgence in sin means that he has been believing in something that is unreal. When he fully grasps the unreality of the sin that is besetting him he is freed from its thralldom. But salvation from sinful beliefs is not won except by absolute honesty. To say sin is unreal and willfully to indulge it is dishonest, and can only prolong the belief in separation from God and the consequent suffering inseparable from sin until it is abandoned. Conversely, freedom from sin is only fully gained when the unreality of sin is understood.

That repentance is essential to the destruction of sin is generally agreed. We have not thought, perhaps, that we must also repent of sickness and disease if we are to be free from them. Yet repentance, or change of thought, in connection with physical difficulties, in fact in connection with all difficulties, is the only way to their solution.

Let us consider this more in detail. Suppose, for instance, someone suffering from a so-called hereditary disease turns to Christian Science in search of help. He begins to learn that God is the only creator of man, as Jesus recognized when he said to his disciples, "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." The sufferer realizes that, in truth, God is his only ancestor. Then his beliefs about his so-called inheritance begin to alter. He sees that since God is his Father his inheritance is one of good not of evil; that as the son of God man can express only that which is sound and pure and Godlike. Instead of thinking of his seeming material inheritance of sickness, he declares, with the Psalmist, "yea, I have a goodly heritage." The fear engendered by a false material belief of heredity is broken, and the sufferer finds himself free.

 

Fear Eliminated

I said, "The fear is broken." One of the greatest blessings wrought by the repentance or change of thinking which Christ, Truth, brings to us, is freedom from fear. Fear is the great enslaver of mortals. It is proverbial that it is not the evils in human experience themselves that are our worst tormentors, but our fear of them. Christian Science shows us that fear lies at the root of all disease, and it gives us that understanding of divine Love which destroys fear.

If fear were eliminated from human consciousness, not only would the main factor in disease be destroyed, but the solution of all social, industrial, and international difficulties would speedily be reached. It is fear, in one or other of its many forms, which underlies industrial upheavals and is the source of international tension and of war. There is only one thing which will finally and fully solve such problems, and that is the understanding that God is Love. "Perfect love," John said, "casteth out fear." Nothing else can or will. As men learn to know that God is Love, and that man is Love's reflection or expression, their fears begin to abate. They begin to realize that infinite Love could not do less than provide all that is necessary for the life and happiness of its children. Then, as fear lessens, thoughts of envy, resentment, competition and rivalry cease to predominate. Peace of mind and a sense of security take their place. Christian Scientists are proving this to be true in their individual experience, within the range of their own daily lives in their homes, in business, in their several communities. As this individual experience gathers force and it is doing so daily it must have its effect in the wider sphere of national and international affairs, until the universal brotherhood of man becomes an accomplished fact. Meanwhile, to think lovingly and truly that is, to think from the standpoint of divine Principle about the world's problems is a contribution to their solution which we all can, and should, and eventually must make.

In these days of financial and industrial difficulties it is natural to ask whether Christian Science can help the business man or woman. It can and does, just as it helps in sickness. As it becomes understood that God is Mind and that man reflects that Mind, it is found that there are infinite resources on which we can draw for intelligence, wisdom, perspicacity, and business acumen. As God is acknowledged to be the only power it is found that He governs all things, and governs them well.

 

God the Only Cause

Since God is infinite, omnipotent, He is the one primal cause of all things, and the understanding of this fact is very helpful in many ways. If God is the only cause, there can be no real effect except from God, Spirit, Principle. You cannot have an effect from that which is not cause. When our thought about causation begins to turn from a material to a spiritual basis a great change comes into our experience. We begin to challenge the validity of any cause or reason for unpleasant or unhappy occurrences. Our attitude, for instance, to accidents changes. I will give you an example, again from the experience of an acquaintance of mine. A large roll of paper weighing some 150 pounds fell from a height across his foot and crushed it, inflicting a severe injury. He battled with the difficulty for two days without relief and then had recourse to a Christian Science practitioner. When the practitioner arrived my friend could not put his foot to the ground. They spent an hour together and during that time spoke much of God as the only cause. It was clearly seen that if God, good, is the only cause, the accident which was certainly not a good thing, could not be a cause, and could not therefore have any effect; that it was a false belief claiming unlawfully to be causative. At the end of the hour my friend walked freely with the practitioner to the door, in a day or two he was back at work, and in a short time there was no trace whatever of the accident.

Now similar reasoning is valid in all cases of sickness or disease whatever seems to be the cause has in reality no power in it. God being the only cause, there can be no effect but that which comes from God, and whatever seems to be existent but comes not from God is causeless is unreal and untrue, and can be proved to be so. It may be helpful to the Christian Scientist to know what is believed to be the cause of any difficulty with which he confronted, but only in order that he may bring to bear upon its false claims his intelligent understanding of the truth stated in the Christian Science textbook (p. 262): "Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms."

 

Christian Science Treatment

Such, then, are some of the effects in human experience of the Christ, Truth, as it becomes understood through the study of Christian Science. Thus is the "divine manifestation of God" coming to the flesh in our day, and so changing thought from ignorance and false belief to the true understanding of God and man, that the dark shadows of sickness, sin, fear, doubt, and sorrow yield to the reality of man in the image and likeness of God.

Let me emphasize one point here. The change of thought that is brought about by Christian Science and which results in healing, has nothing in common with hypnotism or autosuggestion. It is not the result of mental control exercised by the practitioner over the patient, nor of self-mesmerism on the part of one who uses his understanding of Christian Science to help himself. The change of thought comes about just as the change from ignorance or mistaken belief to knowledge and understanding of the true facts comes about in connection with any other subject. As a knowledge of the science of numbers corrects mistakes in computation, and eliminates their effects, so the Science of Christ corrects mistaken conceptions about God and man, and eliminates their effects from our experience. When a Christian Scientist undertakes to give a treatment to himself, or to anyone else, he endeavors to realize that there is only one God, one Mind, one Life, Truth, Love, and that man reflects that one God. He declares, thankfully, that man is governed by no laws save the laws of divine Principle, and that those laws are operative everywhere, and are always available to destroy the beliefs of any existence separate from God. He realizes the power and presence of divine Love in all its infinite perfection, and Love's tender care for every one of its ideas. Furthermore, he denies the reality of all that is unlike God.

The best treatment is that which reflects most faithfully the one God that has in it most of that "mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus." Just as the Master's knowledge of the Christ was potent to free those sufferers who came to him for help, so does that same Christ, Truth, enable us to help our fellowman in the degree that we understand it and are faithful to it. This is in accordance with our Master's own words, "He that believeth on me" that is, he that understands what Jesus was, he that shares Peter's perception that it was the Christ that enabled Jesus to heal the sick "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shal1 he do also." It is the Christ, Truth, that heals in Christian Science treatment.

 

True Prayer

There is a subject which Christian Scientists regard as deeply important and that subject is Prayer.

The first chapter of the Christian Science textbook is entitled "Prayer," and it contains a clear and inspiring explanation of what true prayer is. A study of this chapter shows how inevitably one's concept of prayer changes as one's concept of God changes. So long as we think of God as capable of human feelings and passions, as one who sends or withholds punishment according to His pleasure, it is natural that we should regard prayer as a means of persuading the Almighty to interfere on our behalf when we are in trouble, or to change His intentions towards us. A very different attitude to prayer comes to us as we lose that false concept of God and begin to understand Him aright as infinite Principle, divine omnipresent Love, the one Mind, Truth, who "saw every thing that he had made, and, behold it was very good." Does God need to be changed, who is by His very nature infinite good, and can know no evil, sickness, or sorrow? Does man, His image and likeness, the reflection of His infinite perfection, require alteration or improvement? The answer must be, "No." What does need to be changed is the false material concept about God and man. This change is the object of prayer. Prayer might, in fact, be described as the means whereby repentance is made permanent it is the method whereby our altered ideas about God become natural and continuous, and are applied to the problems which confront us. Mrs. Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook, in the first chapter on Prayer, to which I referred (p. 2), "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it."

We are not brought into harmony with the Science of being merely by asking that this may be done, but rather by an intelligent recognition and affirmation of the true facts about God's creation. In reality, man can experience nothing which is not in accordance with the goodness of God. Therefore, when a Christian Scientist seems to be faced with conditions such as unhappiness, depression, loss, sickness, or the like, he knows that he is dealing, not with stubborn realities, but with the false suggestions of the carnal mind which Paul defines as "enmity against God." He meets and masters such false suggestions by the positive mental declaration of the truth of being, of the perfection of God and man, God's spiritual idea. Such an affirmative attitude of mind makes his players effective and triumphant.

Indeed, Christian Science shows that it is possible to gain so clear a sense of the perfection of God's creation, and of man's unity with God, that thought naturally and spontaneously rejects as unreal everything that is unlike God. That is true prayer, and though we may not immediately reach or sustain such an attitude of thought, it is an ideal which is attainable, and to attain to it fully would be unceasing prayer. We can at least begin to exercise such prayer now. Good results are bound to follow. Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 261). "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionately to their occupancy of your thoughts."

Two examples of the prayer of affirmation and its results occur to me one from the Old Testament, one from the New. Both are familiar, but their example and inspiration are forever fresh. The first is the story of the Shunammite woman, found in the second book of Kings. When her little son lay dead, and the Shunammite hastened to Elisha for help, we do not read that the mother uttered any plea to God to restore her child, but she answered all questions as to her trouble with that valiant declaration of the truth, "It is well." We know the sequel, for her child was given back to her alive. The second example is that of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus' prayer was: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou nearest me always;" and with supreme confidence in the omnipotence of Life he called Lazarus forth from the tomb where he had lain four days. And Lazarus came forth.

There are three qualities that play an essential part in the prayer of spiritual understanding as taught in Christian Science. They are faith, gratitude, and unselfishness. It is not blind faith that we need, but a reasoned and intelligent conviction of the power of scientific right thinking to destroy the false beliefs of material existence. True gratitude recognizes thankfully the infinite goodness of God even before prayer is answered: that was the gratitude Jesus expressed at the tomb of Lazarus. Unselfishness is a part of all true prayer, a selflessness such as our Master expressed in that wonderful prayer of tenderness and love for his disciples, recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John's Gospel. Jesus said. "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." The object of prayer is not merely to find relief from some particular difficulty or suffering, but to demonstrate the universal power of divine Love to meet human needs. In her work "No and Yes" (p. 39), Mrs. Eddy writes, "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love and to include all mankind in one affection." As faith, gratitude, and unselfishness come to characterize our prayers, they will grow nearer to those of Christ Jesus, whose prayers are described in Science and Health (p. 12) as "deep and conscientious protests of Truth, of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love."

We read in the book of Revelation, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The Christ, Truth is knocking today at the portal of human hearts and minds in the teachings of Christian Science. Shall we not open the door of consciousness and welcome in the Christ, the ''divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error," as Mrs. Eddy has defined it (Science and Health p. 583)? It was this Christ, Truth, which gave Jesus power to bring Christianity to the world, with all its blessings of health, freedom, happiness, and peace. Throughout the years since the days of the Master, glimpses of Truth have been caught by men and women of spiritual perception. Then, in due time, owing to her life of preparation, and to her deeply spiritual character Mary Baker Eddy discovered this same Truth in its full majesty in the pages of the Holy Bible. She embodies her discovery and its application to human needs in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and in her other writings. A study of the Bible in the light of Mrs. Eddy's works brings Christ to the human understanding; it teaches us that God is Spirit, Mind, Life, Truth, and Love; it shows us man reflecting the perfection of his creator. Thus our concept of ourselves and of our fellowman is spiritualized and purified through repentance, or change of thought, and through prayer. In this way and by these means, Christian Science offers to all mankind health of mind and health of body, peace, freedom, strength, happiness salvation. In the words of our Leader, Mary-Baker Eddy, in her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 154); "Abide in His [God's] word, and it shall abide in you: and the healing Christ will again be made manifest in the flesh understood and glorified."

 

[From a newspaper clipping dated Oct. 24, 1936.]

 

 

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