Christian Science vs. Finite Sense
Francis J. Fluno, M.D., C.S.D.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Christian Science is the Science of being, and necessarily includes all there is of being. It is an education in itself; an education that is infinite, unlimited, and inexhaustible; that takes not only months, but years, ages, yes, eternity itself, to know, understand, and comprehend. It takes time even to begin to comprehend, or begin the study, as it were, of such a subject; for since Christian Science is the Science of being, it necessarily is the reverse of sense testimony, i.e., it is the converse of the senses, and is therefore just the opposite of most people's line of thought or way of thinking; and it must of necessity take time to turn from thinking one way to thinking just the opposite way.
The Christian Science Textbook
If you were going to take up the study of mathematics you would not want a textbook that did not teach mathematics; you would want the science of numbers itself, if you could get it, and nothing short of it. Or, if you wished to study music, you would not apply to a teacher who taught by ear, but one who would teach from principle, and hence would teach it correctly. Likewise, to begin the study of Christian Science you will need its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, and also the other works by this author and the publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston, Mass. These books and publications, together with the Bible, are the only ones that Christian Scientists recognize as authority on the subject, or as teaching Christian Science at all. The textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is a library in itself; it educates, enlightens, and refines all who come in contact with it.
The author, Mrs. Eddy, was fitted
by rare intellectual ability, deeply religious nature, high educational
attainment, and a life experience which tended toward weaning her from earthly
hopes and ambitions for a master-work, a priceless contribution to the age in
which she lived. She was of English and Scotch descent, a native of
Christian Science vs. Finite Sense
Finite sense has all things material and nothing spiritual. Christian Science has all things spiritual and nothing material, and this is why some of its leading statements seem so absurd and far-fetched to the finite sense; but this should not seem so inconsistent and foolish when we remember that the Bible teaches that "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other." As Christian Science counsels its adherents, Paul also writes, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh;" and again, "If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Christian Science teaches most emphatically that if we are led of the Spirit, we are not under the material law, – not under the law of matter, the law of the physical, but under the divine law; and the more closely we walk in the Spirit, the further are we removed from the mortal law. Hence, living according to Christian Science, we are becoming more and more freed from the bondage of the senses; more and more liberated from the things of sense that tend to keep us forever in bondage.
Finite sense judges all things from the standpoint of appearances, while Christian Science judges all things from the standpoint of Principle, God. Jesus said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." And Isaiah, in his prophecy of the coming Prince of Peace, said, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth."
No judgment springing from or based upon sense testimony can be reliable or trustworthy, and hence it cannot be a righteous judgment. Appearances have no Principle, no standard, no basis in fact, and hence ought not to be taken in evidence. And since, according to Jesus' teachings, the sense testimony, the testimony of appearances, is not right, because not righteous, then surely it is not right for any one, and especially not right for followers of Christ, to take it in evidence.
Jesus' Judgment Not According to Appearances
Jesus did not judge according to appearances when he met the man who had been blind from his birth. His disciples were inclined to judge from that standpoint, for they asked, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents," and then he proceeded to heal him. When he met the man with the withered hand, he did not stop to consult the sense testimony, to give it any rights or honor it with any power; but he commanded that the hand be stretched forth, and it was stretched forth, and was restored whole, like as the other. At the tomb of Lazarus he did not credit the evidence of the senses, which said, "He has been dead too long;" but, quite contrary to anything the senses had to say, he commanded Lazarus to come forth, and he came forth and was restored to his family and friends.
The Master did not judge according to the finite sense of life, the life that ends in death, but according to eternal Life, the Life which knows no death, the Life that never dies and which triumphs over death. And the man who came foaming and frothing from the tombs, who was so exceeding fierce that no man could bind him or control him, at the rebuke of Truth was brought to the feet of the Christ, a willing and obedient disciple. Jesus did not judge after the sight of his eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of his ears. He did not condemn the sick to their sickness, the diseased to their diseases, nor the sinner to his sins, but with righteousness he judged both the sick and the sinner; he rebuked the sickness and the sin, and set the afflicted free. He did not judge sinners according to their sins, but pronounced a righteous judgment upon them.
Thus Christian Science, which judges not according to appearance, but judges righteous judgment, comes to rescue just such heavily laden ones; it takes their load of ills away, and they find themselves free, both mentally and physically. They are made healthy, strong, and well, so that even the physical sense (so called) will, does, and must acknowledge their restoration from weakness to strength, from sickness to health, from a living death to a living life. According to the sense testimony how many hopeless invalids are today eking out a miserable existence in a living death, under the ever-increasing load of sympathy and fear that is constantly being laid upon them in thought, in look, and in word – "Poor thing, how ill you are." And this load is often made the heavier by the very comforting remark, "The Lord is afflicting you for some good purpose." Christian Science comes to relieve them of this terrible load, and to show them that their affliction is not of God; that it is not necessary either to their spiritual, moral, or physical welfare, nor yet to help them on to heaven; but that as soon as they turn to the Lord with all their heart, their sins, though they be many, will all be forgiven, their sicknesses will disappear, their burdens roll away, and they will be well indeed.
The mission of Christian Science is not primarily the healing of the sick only. Neither should it be considered merely as one of the many methods of healing the sick. Christian Science comes to heal the world of all error. It heals of sin as well as of sickness. It heals of ignorance; every one who comes in contact with its teaching, of necessity advances in education and refinement. It heals of poverty – a scourge that starts with individuals, spreads through families, lays waste communities, and finally devastates whole nations. Christian Science teaches that no one need be in poverty or want; that poverty should no longer be considered a Christian virtue. He who is the source and supply of all being is a bountiful giver. No one needs to, or should, ask sparingly when he comes to that fountain whose very nature it is to give. "I must have all things, and abound, while God is God to me." Christian Science comes to heal the world of all evil, of all wrong; for no evil and no wrong is found in the kingdom of God; and His kingdom is to come, and His will is to be done, "in earth, as it is in heaven," even as we have prayed so long. Really His kingdom is here already, and the door is wide open. "Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."
There are scores of cases where men have been healed of the tobacco habit, of drunkenness, of infidelity, of atheism, of agnosticism, of profanity and brutality to wife and family. Christian Science heals not only physically, but morally, mentally, and spiritually. It heals financially, understandingly, scientifically, educationally, and substantially. Far from being narrowing and belittling in its tendencies, Christian Science is broadening and enlarging. It elevates, purifies, and exalts mankind. It is in the highest degree a liberating and ennobling religion. Christian Science covers the whole ground; answers all questions and solves all problems; it turns the search-light on all physical phenomena, all materialistic beliefs, hypotheses, speculations, conjectures, and dogmas.
Not Spiritualism or Mental Suggestion
Christian Science comes to all who believe there are spirits many, to reveal the scientific fact that God is Spirit; and since there is but one God, there is therefore but one Spirit. There are not spirits many, or spirits at all; neither are there parts of Spirit; for God is one, undivided and indivisible, and man and the universe, representing and expressing the divine Principle or Spirit, are spiritual, but not Spirit.
Christian Science reveals the fact that there is no spirit in matter or body, and hence no spirit to depart from the body; therefore embodied spirits and disembodied spirits, departed spirits and spirits returned, are mere mortal beliefs, without principle or reality. They have no more existence than the gods of mythology. Christian Science, the Science of Life, turns the searchlight on spiritualism, mesmerism, mental suggestion, hypnotism, and animal magnetism, etc., and proves them to be of the earth, earthy; shows them to be finite sense vagaries which will not stand the test of eternity, and consequently cannot stand the test of Christian Science.
Many suppose that the teaching and
practice of Christian Science is the concentration of the human mind; but that
is as far from the teaching and practice of Christian Science as darkness is
from daylight. Christian Science teaches that there is one Mind only, and this
Mind is God. Christian Science does not teach the holding of thoughts to the
end that we may bring about that which we might wish for. For instance, that if
you wanted a trip to
Christian Science, like the science of numbers, does not teach what to do. It teaches what is true, and then there is nothing else to do. Mesmerism has no more to do with Christian Science than with the science of numbers. Fancy a person attempting to teach or practise mathematics by mental suggestion or hypnotism. Likewise no true Christian Scientist ever uses any magnetic or hypnotic influence in his teaching or practice of Christian Science. Mesmerism and animal magnetism teach that there are minds many, and their action is the stronger mind controlling the weaker mind; while Christian Science teaches but one Mind, and that Mind, God. The so-called mortal or finite mind is but the negative of divine Mind; hence is no mind at all. This finite or false mind is the mind in which all mesmerism, hypnotism, and magnetism have their origin, and where they abound; they never reach that divine Mind where no evil is or is known.
Christian Science educates men out of the superstitious belief that God punishes in the earthquake and belches forth His vengeance from the mouth of the volcano; that He glares in the lightning, roars in the thunder, or rages in the storm. It teaches that in the great scientific fact of being none of these things are found; and that they will vanish away under the advancing steps of the understanding of Truth that has come to the world today.
God and His Man
Christian Science teaches the scientific and eternal relation of God and man, but man and the universe of God's creating has never been seen by finite eyes; Science alone can reveal the man of God, and the universe that God has made. The so-called material man and universe, far from being spiritual, were never made by Spirit, God, and are only of mortal mind creation, which mortal mind itself is false, the mere negative of being, as darkness is the negative of light. In Christian Science man does not start as a pure negative, as some aver; neither is there negation or error found in him at all, for if error is found in the premise it will also be found in the conclusion; and a negative man would be the direct opposite of man, hence would be no man at all. Search the world over, if you will, on the finite plane and from the physical standpoint, to find man, and you will fail to find him.
Man, in Christian Science, is a perfect expression of his pure and perfect Principle, God, and is as perfect now as he ever was or ever will be; and is as perfect as God, his Maker, who is perfection itself. Christian Science admits of no error, either in premise or conclusion, in cause or effect, in Principle or expression.
Christian Science lays the axe at the root of the tree, and "every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up." It speaks from the eternal Principle of all things, and deals with eternal facts. That which is not an eternal fact, that which will not be a fact through all eternity, is not a fact today; for in the Science of Life a fact must forever remain a fact; it will be true through all eternity. Christian Science plunges beneath the surface of things, and brings out the eternal, the enduring, the spiritual and true. It breaks down the false, the seeming, the temporal and finite with the eternal fact. It destroys sickness and sin with the understanding that God is all, and in Him is no sickness, no sin, nothing that defileth or maketh a lie.
How many thousands are today sleeping in the silent tomb, having been sentenced to death by physicians and friends? Appearances were against them; conditions seemed to make death the inevitable. And how many have by Christian Science treatment been plucked like brands from the burning, who are today living witnesses of the power of Truth over error, monumental evidences of the power of Life to destroy death?
We do not wish to be understood as finding fault or picking flaws with the physicians. For the most part they are an earnest, honest, self-sacrificing band of workers, who are doing all in their power, all they know how to do, and studying all the time to find in what way and by what means they can do more to help suffering humanity and relieve their fellowmen. Christian Scientists, if they are honest and conscientious, have enough to do without minding other people's business or finding fault with other people's affairs.
Manner of Living
Right here it may be fitting to say a word along the line of Christian Science life and practice. Do Christian Scientists live absolute Christian Science? No, they do not. Absolute Christian Science means the perfection of being. It means that perfect state of being in which man is as perfect as the "Father in heaven is perfect," it means the absolute harmony of heaven; and Christian Scientists have not, and do not pretend to have, reached that point in living or in demonstration. They still live in houses, ride in street cars, wear clothing, and eat food. They put on overcoats and wear wraps when it is cold, sit by the fire to get warm, and do many other things for their comfort. They use common sense and reason in all things, for Christian Science will not bear any one out in doing unreasonable things. They do not leap from the pinnacle of the temple, or attempt to make bread out of stones, or do any other unnecessary or uncalled-for thing, to suit any deceiving or deceptive temptation that comes to talk them into it. Christian Scientists have not yet grown into the fulness of the stature of the Son of God; they are growing in the knowledge of the truth and the life of Christ. They need help, and not criticism; as they need to help and not to criticize others.
Christian Scientists are studying Love itself, and as a consequence are learning how to love better and in a better way than they ever knew how to love before. They give up material comforts and enjoyments only as they outgrow them; and they outgrow these things through the study, understanding, and knowledge of the truth as it was in Christ Jesus. They do not use drug remedies, because they have found by experience and study that they are not a real benefit; that they can do better for themselves and others, in times of sickness, with the understanding that Mind governs the body and that sickness is not a fact of being. If sickness, disease, and sin were facts of being, then they could not be destroyed or eliminated. Even God Himself could not destroy these things if they were real.
Christian Scientists as a rule do not talk of their ills; their conversation does not turn to sickness and suffering and all the evils of the day. They talk about that which interests them more, and which they find more elevating and helpful for themselves and others; namely, health, happiness, and peace. And this, not because of any rule or by-law, but because these are the only things they find worth talking about.
Christian Science a Benefit to All
Christian Science does not come to criticize any one thing more than another. It comes alike to all, to each and every one; the rich and the poor, the high and the low. It comes to the physician as well as to the Christian Scientist; to every one and every thing, for every one is taking sense testimony more or less for the fact; he is judging more or less according to appearances, rather than righteous judgment.
The warfare which Christian Science wages is not with people; its warfare is with mortal sense. It is Christian Science versus finite sense. It is Truth against error, Life against death, Love against hate, good against evil, right against wrong. It is Principle opposed to appearances: it is the true ruling out the false, the correct ruling out the incorrect. It is the true survival of the fittest, because it is the highest ruling out the lowest. Christian Science brings nothing but good will to man, for it comes correcting the world of its wrongs. It heralds nothing but "on earth peace, good will toward men." It does not come giving nothing for something, but something for nothing. It gives all there is, in exchange for all there is not. It gives the true in exchange for the false; it gives the abiding and eternal in exchange for the fleeting and finite. It gives eternal Life in exchange for mortal life; the Life that is for the life that is not. It gives understanding for belief; it gives demonstrable truth for hypotheses and suppositions; it gives the Science of being for a mere speculation and belief of being. It gives knowledge for doubt and dogma; it gives practice for preaching.
Christian Science comes to lead men into the understanding of the one great Principle, – Life, Truth, and Love, – which unites all in one grand union, where laborer and capitalist are working together; where one man is not protecting himself against another, but each one is laboring to protect the other. Christian Science alone can solve the problem of capital and labor and bring out the correct answer, for it comes to liberate the representatives of both from the thraldom of their own unhappy condition.
Christian Science is the Science of Life, and must be based upon perfect, eternal Principle; it must be the expression of eternal, immutable divine law, it must embrace, include, and comprehend the whole of being for the Science of being must include all that is. Christian Science deals with nothing but facts, facts which are logical deductions from the one self-evident, self-existent Principle; it must have its existence within itself, for there could be nothing greater than itself to give it existence.
God and His Creation Perfect
Divine Principle, God, is, and is self-existent and eternal; as primal as infinity and as lasting as eternity. As there can be nothing greater than itself to create it, there can be nothing greater than itself to destroy it. It therefore always was, and always will be, and its creations must be like unto itself; they must be as perfect as itself, as primal as itself, and as enduring as itself. There never was a time when God, Spirit, divine Principle, was not and was not perfect, and there never was a time when God's creation was not and was not perfect. And as there never will be a time when God will not be and be perfect, so there never will be a time when His creation will not be and be perfect. From this it follows that since God is now and is perfect, therefore His creation is now and is perfect, and His creation can never be any more perfect than it is at the present moment. We should not strive to make ourselves perfect, but to know ourselves perfect. Man cannot "add one cubit to his stature" or "make one hair white or black." We must take God's side of the question, look at everything from His point of observation, and soon we shall see all things in their true, harmonious condition, without spot or blemish.
Christian Science bases its fabric upon divine Principle, self-existent Life, Truth, and Love, while finite sense bases its every fabric upon the evidence of the senses. Christian Science finds God to be divine Spirit, and hence finds creation to be spiritual and not material, while finite sense finds a material or finite creation and necessarily posits a materially and finitely disposed God. Christian Science finds man the image and likeness of God; while finite sense finds God the image and likeness of mortal man. Christian Science says man was never seen by finite eyes; while finite sense sees man only with finite eyes.
Christian Science finds the spiritual man to be the real, genuine, and true man, and the material or mortal man (so called) to be but a mere belief; while finite sense finds the material or mortal man to be the real, genuine, and true, and finds the spiritual man only in belief, i.e., it believes there may be a spiritual man, but thinks it knows there is a mortal and material man. Christian Science says the spiritual universe is true, while finite sense says the material universe is true; but both cannot be true, for they are opposites, and Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Christian Science takes divine Principle as the basis of all things; while finite sense takes the evidence of the senses as the basis of all things. Finite sense believes there is a God, but has no positive proof; while Christian Science proves positively and undeniably that God is, and hence does not need to believe – it knows. Finite sense limits all things; bases all its arguments and deduces all its conclusions from the testimony of the senses. It says the sun rises and sets; that the moon travels from east to west. It says that sound is in the bell and color is in the object. It says that hearing is in the physical ear and sight is in the physical eye, and sensation is in a physical nerve. It says mind is in matter; that the brain thinks and the heart loves.
Mind you, we are not talking about people, we are talking about finite sense; and this should appeal to Christian Scientists as much as any one else. Christian Science comes, educating mankind, and thus lifting them up out of this deception. When we stop to consider for a moment, we know that the brain cannot think any more than the heart can love; and we know that the heart cannot love any more than the lungs or the liver, or any other organ of the body. If the brain could think, it would never cease to think. If it were endowed with power from on high to think, then, because of the unchanging nature of God, that thinking power could never be withdrawn. If it had the power of thought within itself, then it would think on and forever.
Christian Science shows that Mind is not in matter, is not in the brain; that it is not in the body at all. Christian Science shows that Mind is God, divine Principle, the great omniscience of being; that instead of Mind being in us, we are in Mind. The so-called mind, which is supposed to exist in the brain, is not Mind, but a mere negation of Mind; the opposite of the divine Mind, which opposite mind is no mind at all, for the Mind that is God, the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Mind, could have no opposite. If God is All-in-all, then how could He have an opposite? Could there be any more than all? From this it follows that heaven is not a locality or place, but a state or condition of harmony which finite sense knows nothing of and can know nothing of, for finite sense knows nothing but discord.
Here again finite sense and Christian Science take most positive issue. Finite sense knows nothing but inharmony, while Christian Science knows nothing but harmony. Finite sense cannot live where harmony is, any more than mortal man can look upon the face of God and live. The moment God, absolute good, is seen, that moment mortal sense begins to die.
The Science of being could not see an error in being, any more than the science of numbers could see an error in mathematics, or any more than the sun could see darkness or heat could feel cold. There is no such thing as a mathematical error, for an error in a mathematical solution would not be mathematical. Likewise there is no such thing as a scientific error in the Science of Life, for an error in the solution of a scientific problem would not be scientific. Consequently there is no error in science, and Christian Science is absolutely free from error. Like the science of numbers it deals with nothing but perfection – absolute correctness. No one can find fault with the Science of man's being, when he understands it, any more than he can find fault with the science of numbers when he understands that.
Falsity of Finite Sense
Every theory beginning with the evidence of the senses, begins wrong, because sense testimony is not reliable. All sense testimonies are simply limitations that have no principle to support them, no foundation in fact; they are vagaries and deceptions that ever lead into wrong conclusions and superstitious dogmas.
Sense testimony tells us that the earth is flat and that the sun passes around it. Not many centuries ago this testimony was taken in evidence; it was universally conceded to be a fact and was taught in all the schools of that day. When that grand old astronomer, Galileo (to whom the world owes so much, for so many mathematical and geometrical propositions brought to light), came and said, "The earth moves and the sun stands still," they hooted him off the streets, and called him crazy, a crank, and an ignoramus; they said he was a dangerous man to have at large, teaching the young such silly inconsistencies. They put him in prison, and abused him, and would have hanged him had he not recanted. Yet what would be thought of the ignoramus who should come teaching in accordance with the evidence of those same senses such theories as they were teaching then, and should offer his services in our public schools today?
Is it not plain how ignorant are all those who hope to reach the truth by relying on sense testimony respecting a material earth and a physical creation? Who will dare to say that future generations will not laugh at us and call us ignorant for thinking that man was made of dust?
If we interpret the Bible literally, we are held in gross ignorance and the most bigoted superstition. Take, for instance, the fifth verse of the 104th Psalm: "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever." Taking this in its finite, literal sense, as our fathers did, what wonder that they thought Galileo an impostor? For to this sense his theory flatly contradicted the Bible, as well as ran counter to all common sense and reason. The earth, as they saw it, stood still; it was established on foundations that could not be moved forever, even as the Bible teaches, in its literal sense.
But as we now see how false the literal rendering is in this text, may it not be found, as Christian Science discloses, that the literal rendering of the second chapter of Genesis is equally absurd, foolish, and inconsistent, when it teaches that "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man [that was made out of dust] became a living soul"?
Christian Science shows conclusively that man was not made as is related in the second chapter of Genesis, but according to the first chapter, where it is stated that man was made in the image and likeness of God. It shows that the second account of the origin of man, as rendered in the second chapter of Genesis, is merely an allegory, giving the sense testimony of the manner of creation, which is just the opposite of the scientific and true. For the sense testimony must always be opposed to the scientific, because one is belief, the other is understanding; one is speculation, the other scientific truth; one judges from appearances, the other from Principle. The sense testimony is the limited and finite; the scientific testimony is the unlimited and infinite; one is false, the other is true.
But does the Bible, therefore, teach falsely? No, it teaches the truth; it teaches the truth of the true, and it also teaches the truth concerning the false. It gives the scientific account of creation, and it gives also the finite sense account of creation; one is the true, the other is the false. Every theory starting from the evidence of the senses starts wrong.
Man and Protoplasm
Evolution, or the Darwinian
theory, that even many of our learned men have embraced, starts with man – man
as the senses behold him, and tries to reach his origin; but every theory of an
origin calls for another origin, and they never can find what the last origin
This is just what Christian Science teaches – that man, the true man, the image and likeness of God, is an idea of the infinite Mind, expressing all the properties and qualities of divine Principle, – perfect peace, perfect happiness, perfect health, and a perfect and immortal life in a blessed state of harmony, where sickness never enters and sorrow never comes; that we do not need to die to attain this, but it is for us here and now, and can be arrived at each day, each hour, by putting off the old man with his deeds, and putting on the new man, which is Christ the Lord.
This perfect state of man in Science is an accomplished fact, for whatever is to be, with God is already accomplished. Whatever is to be true of man and the universe any time throughout eternity, is true today. Nothing can be true that will not stand the test of eternity. That which will not stand the test of eternity never was true, never will be true, and is not true today. It is only finite sense that says man is mortal and material today, but after death he will be spiritual. All that really is, of man and the universe, will live forever, always did live; was always spiritual, never was material, and is not now; while all that will not live forever, never in reality did live, is not of God, and therefore is not at all. God and the spiritual creation is all that really is, while the material creation in reality is not.
For ages past men have taught the coming of the end of the world, i.e., that this material world or universe would come to an end; that this physical universe, which finite sense says is a reality, in some unknowable, incomprehensible, and really impossible way would be swept out of existence and become an unreality. I say impossible way, because if it were a reality how could it become an unreality? How could something become nothing? Christian Science reveals the fact that this physical universe, so called, this world of finite sense, is unreal, and hence will come to an end as we grow in the understanding of its nothingness. This material universe will one day be rolled up like a scroll; that is, be numbered among the things that were once thought to be true, but are now found to be false. Christ Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Everything in the material universe is dependent upon failure. Every business pursuit lives upon failure, flourishes best upon failure. Ask yourself how long the boot and shoe business would continue and what it would amount to, if boots and shoes did not wear out. If clothing did not wear out, what would the great wool, cotton, silk, and linen industries amount to? What would the law profession amount to and who would study it if the so-called brotherhood of man were not a failure? What would the medical profession amount to if physical health were not a failure? And last, but not least, what would the undertaking business amount to if mortal or finite life were not a failure?
The basic law of mathematics is just as fixed before we have solved a given problem as it is after we have solved it; we only brush away our own misunderstandings and misconceptions. Likewise the problem of our own being is just as perfect before our solution as it is afterwards; hence man is just as perfect now as he ever will be. He only needs to be scientifically understood.
Jesus said, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Divine Science is the key to the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever you find true now, according to divine Science, will be found true in heaven, and will be found to be true through all eternity. Likewise, whatsoever you find on earth not to be true, according to divine Science, will not be found in heaven; in heaven it will be false, and will be false through all eternity. Whatever you bind to yourself on earth as being true, according to Christian Science, will be bound to you in heaven; and whatsoever you find to be false, according to Christian Science, will be loosed from you in the kingdom of God.
Christian Science has come to the world, and is educating mankind out of the teachings of finite sense; out of the bondage of limitations that hedge us round on every side, where the false sense, or physical beliefs, alone are holding us in ignorance, superstition, and fear. It is finite sense alone that is holding us in ignorance of our God-given rights, keeping us in the dark as to what is waiting for us and might be had for the taking. Lucy Larcom says,
I cannot in the valley stay;
The great horizons stretch away;
The very cliffs that wall me round
Are ladders into higher ground.
Physical sense makes men slaves to their own beliefs and just to the extent that men are governed by the sense testimony, to that extent are they in bondage to their own false beliefs, – slaves to their own slavery and serfs to their own serfdom, so much engrossed with their own belief that they were made to till the soil, that they cannot look up to read the scroll just over their heads, which would give them a bountiful store and free them from their toil; too much occupied with the thought that they are poor, to find that they are rich; too much impressed with their own belief of want and famine to find themselves in the land of plenty. They cannot hear the blessed import of the invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." So heavily laden are they with the weary load of their own condemnation and despair, they cannot hear the angels sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
A glorious gift is come "down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." It is the gift of God that has come to lift mankind out of the slums of ignorance, debauchery, misery, and sin, "into the glorious liberty of the children of God." It will not only heal the sick of their present ills, cleanse the sinner of his present sins, and rid the world of its present load of misery and despair, but it will correct the world of such things as sickness and disease; correct the world of sin, of war, of murder, of bloodshed, of famine, of want, of pestilence, of sorrow, pain, and death. It is "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." It is the veritable Christ that has come "the second time without sin unto salvation."
Christian Science a Revelation
Christian Science has come to the world, and has come through revelation to the one who was fitted to receive it and to give it to a waiting people. As time goes on, and the glorious truths expressed in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science, are better understood and more fully appreciated and more generally demonstrated, then will the world begin to comprehend and realize how great a book is this book; how great a work is this work; and how glorious a cause is this cause which has come to give deliverance to a benighted world.
Then will it be seen what the author of this book has done for the world. Then will those who stand by her now, be justified for their fidelity to her, for obedience to her behests and fulfilment of her slightest wishes. Then would those who now misjudge and misrepresent this movement and its Leader be glad if they could lay their tributes at her feet, and hear words of gentle and kind forgiveness from one who has sought for all mankind the greatest good, the highest and the best that a world could possibly desire – deliverance from its ills.
When we, her students, know and appreciate in part the much that has been done for us, is it any wonder that we love her and revere her, and do what we can to aid in the great work that she has established? Could we show our gratitude to her in any better way than by obeying her requests? Jesus said to his disciples, his students: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." And he also said, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another." The behests of our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, have been no more arduous and no less loving, and as kindly desirous of good will to all, indeed Christian Science comes, as the Christ came of old, with nothing but love in its message.
And now, if this Science takes aught from you, it returns four fold instead! If it takes disease from you, it gives you health; for error, it gives Truth; for hate, it gives Love; for death, it gives Life; for evil, it gives good; for time, it gives eternity; for mortality, it gives immortality; for matter, it gives Mind. If, by taking matter and mortality away from you, we have taken your Lord away, and you know not where we have laid him, then turn as did Mary; turn from looking down into the tomb of material sense, and see Jesus, standing in his risen state, in Spirit and in Truth, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, and follow him in his transition state, where Truth and Life and Love lead up to the summit of material sense overlooking all below, – a victor over sin, sickness, sorrow, pain, and death, because felt and feared no more. Then will the golden beams of Truth's eternal sunrise guide you ever toward the morning land of harmony and rest, in Love's bright haven home. Then in your progress no effort will be needed, but in transports of joy and on wings of delight will you rise to the realms of the real; through eternity's day, in the Science of Life, to dwell in the home of the soul.
In that home of the soul no terrors can come,
Neither weariness, sorrow, nor care;
The love-light of glory has banished the gloom,
For Christ, the good Shepherd, is there.
[Published by The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1911.]