Christly Healing In This Age
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
William Henry Alton, C.S.B., of
"Welcome to this Christian
Science lecture at the
"I wonder if each one of you realizes just how much the world needs you? It needs you desperately – not only to make this planet a better place by solving your own problems, but because you can do so much individually to heal the differences between men and nations. But you may say, 'Why me?' Because the solution to any problem is basically individual. And because true healing must take place individually before it can encompass the whole world.
"Here to tell you how to be
better spiritual thinkers, and therefore more effective doers in working for
peace, is Arnold H. Exo of
"His subject today is "Christly Healing in This Age." It is with pleasure that we welcome Mr. Exo."
Mr. Exo spoke substantially as follows:
Thank you, Mr. Alton.
I suppose most of you here this afternoon are well aware of the turmoil and ferment going on in the world today,
Mr. U Thant, Secretary General of the United Nations, said recently: "If there is no peace in the world today, it is because there is no peace in the minds of men." Why is there so little peace in the minds of men? It's because millions of men all over the world want their share of earth's bounty.
In the last one hundred years of the industrial revolution much of the burden of producing mankind's wants has been lifted from the backs of men and given to machines, the machines made possible by the industrial revolution itself. Now, in the ultimate cycle of that industrial revolution comes the climax – the climax symbolized by the electronic computer, and it its child, automation.
And now men want and should rightfully have their share of the great abundance made possible by the mechanical wonders of this age.
That's what's behind the wars and struggles going on all over the world today. Behind the upheaval is the urge of millions of men wanting food, wanting a decent house to live in, wanting an education for their children. And what's more important, wanting to be considered as men, to be clothed with dignity. Men want to be considered as human beings, and not as a commodity to be bartered for and exploited.
The Christ the Way to Equality
It's this surge for the equality of share, and dignity of being, that is at the bottom of the unrest in the world today. But riot, and commotion, and anarchy, and fighting, and killing are not the answer as hundreds of wars have proven.
Nearly two thousand years ago Christ Jesus pointed out the way. Describing his mission he said, as recorded in the book of John in the Bible; "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John ).
Today this Christ, Truth, is still guiding mankind – guiding mankind whenever men are willing to listen for and follow God's guidance. This guidance of God, this Christ, Truth, flowing from God – therefore always present, always available no matter where you are, or what you might be doing, or what the need is – this Christ, this Truth from God is always available to satisfy the yearnings of men.
The Christ – once presented to humanity in the life of Jesus, and now appearing as the Science of Christ – guides men out of the desert of their barren hopes just as it did centuries ago when it guided the Israelites out of the land of bondage and into the land of promise.
Mary Baker Eddy, who as most of you no doubt know is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free" (p.227). And then Mrs. Eddy goes on to show what men must do in order to demonstrate their God-given freedom. She writes: "Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being."
"Accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free!" – this is the message of Christian Science to humanity today, to humanity confused, befuddled, and not knowing which way to turn. Turn to God – turn to God and find the freedom man deserves as the son of God, as the spiritual image and likeness of God, in whom God reveals His freedom.
Christian Science will show you how. Today Christian Science stands at the leading edge of Christendom, showing mankind what God is, so that any man of whatever nation, of whatever race, can demonstrate man's God-given freedom, and demonstrate man's God-given stature, and walk in the Christly way and leave behind that desert of unsatisfied longings. The truth of God, the understanding of God, that's what the world needs. And in order to have that freedom men must turn unreservedly to God, turn unreservedly to God in their consciousness, as Mr. Alton indicated in his introductory remarks. Let the understanding of God fill your consciousness. Let it replace the fears, and hates, and envies, all of which lead mankind further and further into that barren desert of unsatisfied hopes.
Listen to God's Christly message. Follow in the Way, and it will lead you as it has thousands. Two statements by Christ Jesus show what I mean. The Master said, "The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me" (John ). And, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Now what is Jesus saying here? In effect Jesus said that the words which he heard and which he spoke to those who would listen, these words were inspired by God Himself. And furthermore that these words from God, whenever they are listened to and accepted in human consciousness, guide human footsteps into freedom, into demonstration of life harmonious.
Now what is the point of what Jesus said? Well, first of all that he had divine authority –"The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
And what is this Word? "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
There, ladies and gentlemen, there is the key to serving mankind. It is to know God.
The Word Linked to Deed
Mrs. Eddy has the highest Scriptural authority – words inspired by God, and voiced and demonstrated by Christ Jesus – when she writes; "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, – yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death"(Science and Health p. 332).
Words linked to deeds. Truth linked to healing, the divine message from God healing the sick and casting out evils – that is what the Christ is. Jesus, the Master Christian, said so and proved that it was so. Christian Science says so and proves that it is so.
Jesus said (John ): "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" – w-o-r-k-s. The Word, W-o-r-d, came from the Father, and "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" – w-o-r-k-s.
See how Jesus healed. See how Jesus linked the Word of God with the healing of God. That's what the whole Christ is – God's message of Truth linked to healing. Or as Mrs. Eddy puts it in one of her poems (Poems, p. 75):
Thou the Christ, and not the creed;
Thou the Truth in thought and deed."
It was this Christly message of truth from God which enabled Jesus to do his wonderful works. And he taught his followers how to do these works, and they did the works. They carried on with their Master's healing works. They understood God. They understood God's love and God's power. Their thoughts were receptive to God's guidance, and they healed.
But gradually those early Christian healers began to dwell more and more on the message aspect of the Christ and less and less on the healing aspect – that is putting the message of God's love and power into practical use less and less. More and more they talked about the love and power of God, and less and less they put that power and love into practice. They got away from the whole Christ. They got away from "the Truth in thought and deed."
The letter of God's message remained; but the whole Christ – the message linked to the works of healing – sank into obscurity. The works were no longer done. And gradually mankind's awareness of Christly healing became dormant. You see, it wasn't used. When you do not use the Christ, the Truth of God, you lose it.
Those early Christians went along for about three centuries demonstrating the whole Christ. And then it lay dormant for about fifteen centuries until one day in 1866 Mary Baker Eddy caught her first glimpse of the stupendous fact that God's Christly message of Truth is still available, is still alive, ready and able to heal. She saw that the Word of God was still linked to healing; that the Word of God is just as vital as when the whole Christ –
God's reflected love and power – healed men in the beginning centuries of the Christian era.
The Comforter – God's Christly message – again linked with healing, just as Jesus promised it would be! Here in the Bible, in the Gospel of John is what Jesus promised. He said; "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me"(John ).
This promised Comforter, this
Spirit of God, this Christ, which "proceedeth
from the Father," and harmonizes the affairs of men, unfolded in Mary
Baker Eddy's thought just as fast as she was able to understand it and put it
into practice. She got that first glimpse after an accident when there seemed
little hope that she would survive. The healing came on a Sunday morning,
You know, ladies and gentlemen, this lecture was particularly designed for newcomers to Christian Science – people who perhaps have never had any contact with Christian Science. And so, if there are pauses, people who are newcomers to Christian Science can sort of catch up and keep abreast of what I am talking about here. Now of course if an airplane happens to fly over while I am pausing, why that's fine – we can give them a loving thought too.
Well, I was saying, that first
glimpse which came to Mrs. Eddy, came three days after an accident which a
doctor said might prove fatal. That healing came on Sunday morning,
In the remaining nearly forty-five years of her human existence, this glimpse continued to unfold. More and more she understood the magnitude and power of God. And she saw that that magnitude, and power, and love of God was revealed to mankind in God's message, the Christ.
Mrs. Eddy demonstrated every step of the unfoldment of the healing Christ, Truth, which came to her. She healed hundreds of people of all sorts of ills. And as a result of those almost forty-five years of unswerving devotion to God and to mankind – as the result of that noble life, Mrs. Eddy left the full and final statement of Christian Science in her authorized writings. She left, also, a church. The Church of Christ, Scientist – a church which today has hundreds of branches all over the world; a church which is especially designed and equipped to protect and to carry to all mankind that which Mrs. Eddy discovered – the promised Comforter.
Mary Baker Eddy didn't make Christian Science. She discovered it. And she never once wavered in her conviction that Christly healing in this age is the natural operation of God's law of love; and therefore is never a miracle, but always the operation of the power and love of God in the affairs of men.
Christian Science is of the same lineage as the Christ, as the inspired healing Word of God which flows throughout the whole Bible, beginning with the very first chapter of the book of Genesis, and flowing all the way through the Bible, all the way through the New Testament, all the way through the Book of Revelation.
In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes; "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God" (p. 271).
Now how do we know that Christian Science is of this chain of "Christ's Christianity?" By its works, by its healing and redeeming mankind just as Christ Jesus healed and redeemed mankind. And how was that? Through spiritual means alone.
Christian Science stands on its record. Over the past ninety years literally thousands and thousands of persons – many of them given up to die – have been healed in Christian Science.
Someone might say, "Well, I know a Christian Scientist who wasn't healed in Christian Science." I know some myself. But are you going to throw away your mathematics book because some people don't always get the right answers, and get them quickly? Did Christ Jesus go back to carpentering when some of those he taught to heal didn't do a good job?
Hundreds and hundreds of carefully
verified accounts of Christian Science healing are recorded in the weekly,
monthly, and quarterly Christian Science periodicals. You can read these periodicals
for yourself in any Christian Science Reading Room. And a free copy of the
weekly Christian Science periodical, the "Christian Science
Sentinel," which regularly includes accounts of healing, will be offered
to you as you leave. Those in the radio audience may get a free copy by writing
to "Christian Science,
Spiritual healing in Christian Science consists of much more than finding comfort in matter, or having an abundance of material things. Christly healing, to be permanent, must have behind it at least some spiritual understanding of God – an understanding brought to mankind by God's message to humanity, the Christ.
Did you ever get a thorn or splinter in your finger and it wouldn't come out? What happened? Well, Mother Nature made sort of a wall around it with callus and you were no longer bothered.
Now in Christ's Christianity we cannot "wall off" ignorance of God and expect to live comfortably ever afterwards. "Thou wilt bind the stubborn will, Wound the callous breast."
These are words by Mrs. Eddy in one of her poems (Poems p.l4), and they are the dictum of Christian Science. To put it in Bible terms, our robes must be washed clean of ignorance of God. What does that mean? Well, it means that our consciousness must be purified if we expect to maintain a harmonious existence. Envy, and hate, and fear, and prejudice, and wrong beliefs about God and our fellowman – these are the thorns and splinters which have got to go if we expect to be healed by God's Christ, Truth, and stay healed.
How the Christ Heals
When, through the Christ, the human consciousness is purged of its uncleanness, of its impurities, of its fearful thoughts, limited thoughts, envious thoughts, hateful thoughts, domineering thoughts, revengeful thoughts, and ignorance of God, then the out-croppings of human consciousness – human bodies, and human lives begin to take on a refurbished look. The bodies of men, and the surroundings of men, begin to take on a look of cleanness, of liveliness, of purity, of peace, of a glow of spiritual well being. This is the result of the Christly understanding of God in human consciousness – the activity in the minds of men of the whole Christ – the Word of God linked to the healing of God, the love and power of God made manifest in human lives.
But this healing action of the Christ doesn't stop with just a house cleaning and refurbishing. If the human being is willing to take in more and more of God's message of Truth, a remodeling of the human body and of the whole range of human existence begins to appear – here a little, and there a little. And in no time at all that little grows. There begins to shine through more and more than ever before the radiant man of God's creating, the image and likeness of God.
That's the way the Christ, Truth, works – not more matter, not better matter, but removing the dark, ugly thoughts and letting come forward a little more of your divinely, God-created selfhood. Mrs. Eddy puts it this way; "Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew" (Science and Health p. 425).
Correcting false beliefs about God with the truth of God is the only way to heal sick bodies, to heal sick minds, to heal sick businesses, to heal sick behavior. And it is through this same Christ, Truth, that poverty can be wiped out. And the only way that the causes of wars can be wiped out before the wars get started.
The truth that God is the only power and that His great love can never be hidden, this is the Truth: this is the Christ which is linked to healing – linked to healing the ills of the individual, and linked to healing the woes of the world, healing the unsolved social and economic ills which are at the bottom of the ferment and unrest in the world today. The minds of men must be purged of their false beliefs about God, purged by the spiritual understanding of God brought to mankind by the Science of Christ.
Armies and navies, planes and missiles, peacemaking and peacekeeping organizations – all are necessary, all are helpful. They are much needed these days. But none of them, singly or in combination, will ever bring real peace, permanent peace, until the hearts of men are filled with the understanding of God and of God's love for men.
How does God's Christ, Truth, the
spiritual understanding of God, and God's love for men – how does this
understanding help the copper miner in
How did Jesus walk in the way of God? How did he walk in the way of God when he went about to heal the social and economic ills of mankind? Just as he went about healing any human or economic problem.
Prayer that Meets Human Needs
Jesus answered all calls for help by God's message of Truth. This message, as Jesus demonstrated, always succeeds. The Truth always succeeds because the Truth wipes out the lies about God – lies made manifest in human lives as destitution of thought, and consequently as destitution of being; as enslavement of thought, and consequently as enslavement of being; as sick thoughts, and consequently, as sick bodies.
It made no difference to the Master whether the call for help came from one leper or from ten lepers, from a few thirsty guests at a wedding reception, or from a hungry multitude in a desert. Jesus knew that God's Christly message which brings healing takes no account of numbers, no account of conditions, but that God can meet all legitimate human needs.
And notice, I said legitimate human needs. Just mere human wishing isn't enough. There must be within one's thought a yearning for, and a response to the Truth. When Jesus was faced with five thousand hungry mouths to feed, and only a few loaves and fishes on hand, what did he do? He gave thanks. He didn't complain to God about the little. He gave thanks for what he already had. He knew that God would supply the rest, and the five thousand were fed.
The kind of prayer which Christ Jesus prayed that day when he gave thanks to God and fed the five thousand has no boundary of geography or of time. Mary Baker Eddy, in Science and Health, makes this statement – she says; "The 'still, small voice' of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, 'as when a lion roareth.' It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear" (p. 559).
Your prayers, my prayers, can span continent and ocean and reach the earth's remotest bound. Why? Because the Truth always flows from God who is everywhere. That's why your prayers and mine can help that copper miner in Peru, can reach the starving, can reach the poor, the sick, the enslaved wherever they are.
Christ Jesus gave us a model prayer – a model prayer which touches the social revolution of this coming century, and will help make that revolution a revolution of peace and justice, and not a revolution of bloodshed and injustice.
Christian Scientists, as do all Christians and all mankind, have this model prayer of the Master's. This prayer by the Master not only shows the nature of God, but it shows also – and this is important – that spiritual understanding is needed in order to reach the sick thought, whether it be one's own or another's.
As given in the Gospel of Matthew,
the Lord's Prayer starts out; "Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name" (Matt. 6:9). Doesn't that magnificent statement
inspire thought to behold the majesty and supremacy of God in earth as well as
in heaven? That's what the Master saw. He prayed; "Thy kingdom come. Thy
will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. ). Doesn't that mean that God's will is done
not only right where we are, but where our fellowman is – that fellowman for
whom we are praying, be he in
Not only are our present needs supplied, but our debts – symbolic of past mistakes – are forgiven when we are forgiving. In the realm of God's supremacy these past mistakes cannot continue to penalize us when we're willing to listen, and to let go of self-righteousness, and revenge, and resentment, and criticism.
The will of God includes wiping out the penalties of poverty. Poverty isn't God's will. It's God's will that all men shall have a full measure of God's harmony. Therefore, there can be no place where God's harmony is not. That's why God's "will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," not only provides for our present needs, forgives our past mistakes; but when human will is replaced by God's will, then never again will we stumble into temptation, never again will we stumble over the block of human will.
Christian Science in Today's World
In such prayer Christian Scientists – with all Christians wherever they are – stand in the front line of those promoting human progress in this age. We Christian Scientists do not live in "ivory towers." We stand with all men of goodwill, of whatever faith, demonstrating through prayer that God's Christ, Truth, brings blessings to anyone who is willing to receive this Truth in his understanding – the truth which guides humans to take that human action which in peaceful ways brings God's will "in earth, as it is in heaven."
It's afternoon here in
There are thousands in our unseen radio audience today because about seventy years ago Marconi discovered how to use electromagnetic waves for wireless communication. Today radio, and television, and radar all draw on Marconi's discovery.
Did you ever stop to think that these electromagnetic waves which are carrying my voice all over the world existed before Marconi's time? – millions and millions of years before Marconi's time? Theoretically, it could have been possible for Jesus' Sermon on the Mount to have been heard and seen throughout the whole world because the laws underlying radio and television existed then. And so did they exist thirty-five centuries ago on that day when Moses gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments,
Well, why didn't people then have television? Why didn't they have radio sets? Because they were not ready to accept what was already there – ideas ready and waiting to make their lives better lives. How many of the thousands who heard Moses that day were willing to accept the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God? Not many. Not many were willing to accept the First Commandment of the Ten, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). Oh, they were a little enthusiastic at first. But that didn't last very long. They soon lost the enthusiasm because they were so deeply entrenched in believing in many gods – gods of good luck, and gods of bad luck, gods of sickness, and gods of health, gods of war, and gods of peace. Most of those who heard Moses went right on believing as they always had believed. They couldn't accept the fact that there is only one infinite, supreme God, all-powerful, all intelligent, all-loving.
How many of the thousands who stood in the crowd that day and heard Jesus' Sermon on the Mount were willing to accept God's message of salvation which Jesus explained? Not many. Why? For much the same reason that it took hundreds and hundreds, yes thousands of years, for men to grasp the nature of electromagnetic waves and put those waves to work.
How many of you who are hearing my voice today are willing to accept Jesus' own teachings – that the Christ-power he taught and demonstrated is for all ages, and that includes this one? Are you willing to accept this fact? Jesus said of the Christ which he demonstrated; "Before Abraham was, I am" (John ). The message and power of God's Christ, Truth, was available to mankind in Noah's time, in Abraham's time, in Jacob's time, in Moses' time. It's available today.
Where do you stand? Are you like most of those who heard Jesus and went away scoffing, went away scoffing at what Jesus said – that there is one all-powerful God, and that that all-powerful God is without beginning and end, always ready to heal you if you're willing to be healed in God's way, through prayer?
The whole Christ – God's message of healing backed up by deeds of healing – that message is just as much here today to heal you and to bless you and all mankind as when it healed and blessed mankind in Jesus' day. It took Marconi to put to practical use the electromagnetic waves which he discovered. And it took Mary Baker Eddy, through her discovery of Christian Science, to bring back to human understanding and human use the Christ-healing after it had remained buried for centuries, buried in the dust of unbelief.
This Christ, Truth has always been. It always will be. Forever it will meet your needs and my needs in the degree that we open up our thought and let in the Christ, Truth.
This Christ, Truth, the ever-present manifestation of God's love and power, will lift the social revolution of this coming century out of strife into the realm of peace, into the realm of the spiritual understanding that men's equality and opportunity are God-bestowed and therefore cannot come with strife, or riot, or bloodshed. That which God gives is not for one man to take from another because that which God gives, God sustains. All men are freeborn.
All men can be and are free to be Godlike, free to be loving, free to be whole, free to be useful, free to be joyous – free never to lack any good. It's in the hearts and minds of men that slavery starts – slavery to the false gods, slavery to the god of sickness, if there could be such a god. But sickness is not a god.
Nor does lack have any power. Sickness and lack are false beliefs about the one supreme God, good.
It's in the consciousness of every individual man, woman, and child that the ever-present Christ, in his second coming as the Comforter, or Christian Science, speaks the seedling message of freedom, the message of God's presence and power. And it is only in the hearts of men that this seedling message can grow, grow and bear fruit in healing.
This is the whole Christ in action. This is the Word of God's Truth linked in healing to the results of that Word of God. Not man made tyrannies, not wars, not strife, not mass emotional appeal – none of these can bring freedom. Only the "still, small voice" of God's Truth can do that. Only God's Christly message received in the human consciousness, in the hearts of individual men and women, can bring equality of opportunity and equality of share.
This is the prayer which Christian Science has for the century ahead. This is the prayer which goes beyond words. This is the message which is backed up by healing – healing the worldwide social ills, healing the worldwide collective ills of mankind as well as the individual ills of all men. This is Christly healing in this age, and this is Christly healing for all ages.
Every member of the Christian Science church, whoever and wherever in the world he may be, is required to pray each and every day this prayer to God: " 'Thy Kingdom come' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" (Church Manual, p. 41)
Thank you and good afternoon.