The Mission of Christian Science
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
There was quite a large attendance last evening, at the Hawaiian Opera House, at the first of the two lectures on Christian Science to be given by Francis J. Fluno, M.D., C.S.D. Dr. Fluno is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass. The two lectures he is giving, the second of which will be given next Sunday afternoon, are given under the auspices of the Christian Science Association of Honolulu.
Dr. Fluno was introduced to the audience by Mrs. Ranney Scott in a very graceful little introductory speech.
"It is with deep regret," she said, "that I have to announce that Judge Dole, whom it was advertised would introduce the speaker of the evening, is not here. We had confidently expected him, but he is unable on account of sickness to be present. It therefore devolves upon me to present Dr. Fluno, and it is with very great pleasure that on behalf of the Christian Scientist Association of Honolulu I present him. He will seek to clear up some of the misunderstandings that exist in regard to Christian Science."
Dr. Fluno is tall, and dignified in carriage and bearing. He wears a long white beard that gives him a somewhat patriarchal appearance. His lecture was carefully written out, and he adhered very closely to his manuscript. The following is a substantial outline of his address:
By way of introduction let me say it is not our province, desire or purpose to teach Christian Science in this lecture. Christian Science is the Science of being, and necessarily includes all there is of being, and is an education in itself; an education that is infinite, unlimited and inexhaustible; and not only takes months, but years and ages, and finally, eternity itself, to know, understand and comprehend it.
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 the sense testimony, i. e., it is the converse of the evidence of the senses, and is therefore just the opposite of most people's line of thought, or way of thinking, and must of necessity take time to turn from thinking one way to thinking just the opposite way.
We may give you some little idea of what it is and what it teaches; make some statements as to what it is and what it is not, and tell you in what way and by what means you may obtain it for yourself.
If you were going to take up the study of mathematics you would not want a book as a text-book that did not teach mathematics, but taught something like it; 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 teach it correctly.
The Christian Science Text-book
Likewise, to begin the study of Christian Science you will need its text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker G. Eddy, and also other works of this author and 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 Christian Science at all. The text-book 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.
Author of Text-book
The author, of rare intellectual ability, deeply religious nature, high educational attainment, and a life experience which tended toward weaning her from early hopes and ambitions, was being fitted for a masterwork, a priceless contribution to the age in which she lived.
Mrs. Eddy, of celebrated English and Scotch descent, is a native of New Hampshire, and in the vicinity of Concord her family for many generations has lived, honored and respected by all.
Mrs. Eddy is now living in Concord, in her modest quiet home, loved and esteemed by the citizens, her kinsfolk and friends.
And I rejoice and am grateful to say that it has been my privilege to receive personal instruction from her, and confirmation, as it were, of the teachings of our text-book, "Science and Health."
I shall talk to you this evening upon "The Mission of Christian Science."
Christian Science has not for its primal object or feature the healing of the sick, as many suppose. While the healing of the sick is a feature of Christian Science, yet it is a very small one.
Christian Science is the Science of being and bears on its wings the healing of all ills that mortal sense can conceive of. It has for its mission to the world, all the real actual good that the world today knows how to ask for.
Christian Science comes to the world as it came of old, "not as the thief comes to rob and to plunder, but that ye might have life and that ye might have it more abundantly."
Christian Science has for its mission to the world, not poverty, but wealth; not want, but plenty.
"Divine Science, the Science of being, Christian Science, does not admit of a demand without a supply. Wherever there is a demand there is a supply." Remember, this is not a material, limited or mortal law; but it is scientific and eternal law; and the mission of Christian Science is to bring this to the world so that all may see and understand, and be able to demonstrate these glorious facts for themselves.
Christian Science has as its mission to the world, not ignorance, but knowledge; not a mere belief, but a deep and sound and convincing understanding; an understanding that is fraught with demonstration.
It has for its mission to the world not indolence, laziness, slackness nor sloth; but work, energy, thrift accomplishment and advancement. No one can be a Christian Scientist and be lazy.
Christian Science has for its mission everything that is elevating in its tendency and uplifting in its character. It is not a one-sided religion, nor a religion of one thought only; being based on divine Principle, it reaches out and takes in all that is good and pure and purifying. It cleanses from all filth of body and mind.
Christian Science has for its mission not only the correcting of the evils and wrongs, the sickness and the sins in the world today, but it has also for its mission the purifying and elevating of all that is called good and right and beneficial in the world. Christian Scientists are not found to be a lawless and lawbreaking society of people, but on the other hand they uplift the standard of morality, law and order.
Christian Science has for its mission to raise the standard of health in the world. For not only the sick are healed and raised to health, but the healthful learn what true health is; learn that it is not of matter but of mind; learn that it is not of man but of God; learn that it is not of the body but of the spirit; learn that health is not a physical law or a law of the physical, but an eternal spiritual scientific law, that is as unchangeable as the eternal God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Christian Science does not come as an iconoclast; it does not come breaking images and giving nothing in return, it does not come tearing down churches and breaking up societies; it has for its mission not to tear down but to build up; not to separate but to unite.
Christian Science gives the Bible to the world as it never had it before. It has restored the Bible to thousands of families and tens of thousands of individuals who had long ago laid it on the shelf in discouragement, because they could not understand it.
But in the light of divine Science as taught in its text-book, Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, the Bible is illuminated, is no longer a sealed book, but is a wide-open book, a book upon whose sacred pages Christian Scientists find, as adherents of Truth, how "to take the Scriptures as their guide to eternal Life."
Christian Scientists have also been accused of being a prayerless people, but Christian Scientists, while they are not found on their fleshly knees in long verbal prayers to a personal deity, are learning more and more how to pray always, and in every thing give thanks, how to pray with that sincere heart's desire to know him "whom to know aright is life eternal."
Christian Scientists are not street paraders, and public square ranters, tent shouters or camp-meeting zealots, they will always be found at the proper time in their own proper and private place of worship, carrying on their mode of worship in their own most quiet and private yet public manner. Christian Scientists buy property and build churches, and seldom if ever go in debt. When they buy property for a church edifice they pay as they go, so when the church edifice is completed it is ready to be dedicated free of debt.
Christian Science brings to the world one Principle, one Mind, one God and Father, and that must of necessity establish harmony, peace and brotherly love; and this must be the Millennium. Christian Science must of necessity separate between the true and the false, and nothing but science can do it.
The physicians little know when they denounce Christian Science that they are rejecting the very thing they need to heal their sick, where medicines fail, for medicines must fail, since every thing mortal and material has failure written on it. And right here it is but just to ask, do Christian Scientists ever fail? Yes, they do sometimes fail, and if they fail at all they fail too frequently. But Christian Science itself can never fail. It is founded on the rock of self-existent, self-evident demonstrable and undying Life, Truth, and Love, and therefore can never fail.
Christian Science will stand unmoved and unchanged when the eons of time shall have rolled into oblivion. When yonder sun shall have set never to rise any more, divine Science, the light of the world, will shine in its splendor, dispelling the darkness, with a brilliancy all its own.
The Science of being brings to the world the answer to that prayer Christians so long have prayed. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
[Published in The Hawaiian Gazette of Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, Dec. 31, 1907. At the head of the lecture was the statement "From Saturday's Advertiser". The title assigned by this site to this summary was taken from the body of the lecture.]