Christian Science: The Truth About God and Man
Margaret Murney Glenn, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Miss Margaret Murney Glenn, C. S. B., of Boston, Massachusetts, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science:
The Truth about God and Man," last evening, under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul Streets.
The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Gordon V. Comer, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
Because I know from experience how very helpful a Christian Science lecture can be to one who is eager to progress in his understanding of this subject, I am very happy on behalf of The Mother Church to have this opportunity to welcome you all tonight.
Never was there a time when a greater need was apparent for knowing more of the truth about God and man than there is at present. With a world in travail and in such great need for the light of truth to guide it out of seeming darkness, Christian Scientists love to turn to the promise voiced by Christ Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28), and to look therein for the truth that is so much needed.
In the light of Christian Science teaching, we believe that Christ Jesus meant by these words for us to come unto his manner of right thinking, or to bring our thinking into obedience to divine Principle, and, if we do, we shall find rest or spiritual peace, and with it a solution to every problem, individual, national, or international.
Naturally, we are eager to present the Christian Science point of view to interested listeners, and in this lecture entitled "Christian Science: The Truth about God and Man," we are sure that much comfort and help will come to you from pondering the thoughts presented by the lecturer.
Our speaker is well known to a Boston audience. She has served as Second Reader in this church and for many years has lectured in this country and abroad as a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church. In this latter capacity she will speak to us tonight.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you Miss Margaret Murney Glenn of this city.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Each one looks out upon the universe, upon his environment, his experiences, and world events from the standpoint of that state or stage of consciousness which constitutes his individuality. Thus it is that events bear a different import to each one of us. He whose state of consciousness is loving will see all things from the standpoint of love and the difficulties of human existence will tend to make him even more loving, whereas he who is selfish or limited will judge the same events from the standpoint of limitation and will find in them cause for becoming more selfish. As all history, religion, and philosophy are presented to us through the viewpoint of some person, it is essential that we take cognizance of the state of consciousness which that individual expresses in order to judge the accuracy and truthfulness of his presentation. Only that state of consciousness which knows Truth is able to see and express things as they are. Here Pilate's question presents itself: "What is truth?" To this question the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gives many cogent answers and among them are the following: "God" is Truth;" "The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration, - by healing both disease and sin;" "Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 312, Pref. viii, 473). If we accept these answers as true it follows that the only state of consciousness fitted to enlighten us and lead us onward must know God and His manifestation, the Christ, and must be able to prove the power of Truth, of God and His Christ, in the destruction of the unhappy, sick, and sinful conditions of humanity.
I feel sure that you all will want to know whether Mary Baker Eddy possessed such a state of consciousness, for everything which I am about to tell you, in fact all which can truly be said on this subject of Christian Science, is based on her presentation of it. Her life proved to be a very difficult one, for she was separated from those she loved most, including her child, and she finally reached the place where lack, loneliness, and ill health seemed to be her lot. This, however, did not embitter her, but turned her more to God for solace and support. During all of her trials she was ever ready to express the tenderest solicitude, compassion, and helpfulness to those about her, for hers was always a mother's heart.
For many years Mrs. Eddy sought a mental cause for all physical effects. When she heard that healings were being effected by mental means she investigated them and received physical relief from such mental treatments. The explanations as to how these healings were accomplished proved most unsatisfactory to her, as such supposed healings were the result of mental manipulation or mesmerism, whereas Mrs. Eddy was even then ascribing all cause to God.
When Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science as the law of God which restores to us our God-bestowed freedom, health, and purity, she wrote, "I had learned that thought must be spiritualized, in order to apprehend Spirit. It must become honest, unselfish, and pure, in order to have the least understanding of God in divine Science. . . . Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 38).
All will admit that mesmerism requires no spiritualization of thought for it is the action of the human will, which is often manifested in selfishness, cruelty, revenge, hatred, and envy, the very opposite of spirituality. Christian Science does not designate as a healing power that which produces physical relief only, leaving the patient's mentality encumbered with the domination of human will-power. As this will is opposed to the divine will, which is God's law of good, it therefore contains all the elements and possibilities of disease, discord, and evil. Christian Science not only brings the physical relief, destroys the disease, but it spiritualizes and enlightens the consciousness of the patient, making him better morally, mentally, and spiritually. It was a spiritualized state of consciousness which enabled Mrs. Eddy to discover Christian Science, - a state of consciousness which she attained only after all earthly joy, comfort, supply, and harmony seemed to have been taken from her, and she had been forced to turn away from materiality to God, and to Him only, for her healing, happiness, and supply. It is good to know that He restored all these things to her through Christian Science, His law of Love.
Although Mrs. Eddy was an exceptionally well-read and well-educated woman she based the presentation of her discovery on no other doctrine, philosophy, or rule than that which is found in the Bible. It was the Bible which made clear to her how Truth had healed her and others. It was her only textbook and it has become a textbook for every Christian Scientist. If you have never understood the Bible, if it has seemed contradictory, mysterious, unillumined, and inexplicable to you, as it did to me, may I ask you to read "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy? For you will find the Bible to be what she claims for it when she says, "The Bible is the learned man's masterpiece, the ignorant man's dictionary, the wise man's directory" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 363). Should a question arise in the thought of anyone present as to why the character and career of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science are dwelt upon at such length he would find his answer in Mrs. Eddy's words, "Christian Science is my only ideal; and the individual and his ideal can never be severed. If either is misunderstood or maligned, it eclipses the other with the shadow cast by this error" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 105).
My own experience along this line may be of benefit to others, so I would like to share it with you. When I first became interested in Christian Science I was very grateful for its wonderful logic, the understanding of God and man which it gave me, and for the joy, strength, and power which it revealed to me as my heritage, but I believed that I was not the slightest bit interested in the author of its textbook, a book which was opening up new fields of thought to me. In fact, I regret to admit, I preferred not to hear about her. At that time I was a student of music, and one day I could not help contrasting my vital interest in the great composers - their characters, difficulties, and accomplishments, as well as my gratitude for all they had given us - with my resistance and ingratitude to Mrs. Eddy. I awoke to the unpleasant fact that, my attitude toward her was not only ungrateful, unjust, and unloving, but also dishonest; for although I was willing to accept, all that she, through struggle, prayer, love, and sacrifice had given me, nevertheless I was unwilling to acknowledge her as the bearer of this great gift of God to me. This discovery was so astonishing to me that I scrutinized my thought closely to see if I would treat any other person in the world in that manner, and to this I could honestly say "No." Thus I was led to the conclusion that this ingratitude and dishonesty were not my natural thinking, but that I had accepted the resistance and hatred of the world, of materiality or the carnal mind, to the spirituality, love, nobility, intelligence, Science, and Godlikeness which that great benefactress of mankind represented. So, if you are feeling as I formerly did on this subject, you too can reject such petty, unworthy thoughts, for they are not yours. You will find, as I did, that to be just, loving, and grateful toward Mrs. Eddy as toward others will make way for greater freedom, more noticeable progress, and even for healings which may seem to have been delayed.
Christian Science enables us to know God and man, His image. Unlike other so-called sciences, of which it has been said that where they end faith begins, this Science lifts faith to understanding, unites reason and revelation, and weds religion to Science.
Jesus emphasized the fact that through knowing we would gain freedom and life eternal. He said: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," also, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." It is quite evident that Jesus expected us to know what he knew, for he expected us to do the works that he did and these works are impossible of accomplishment without the knowledge or understanding which he had. And what did Jesus know? Jesus said that he knew God, that he knew from whence he came and whither he was going, that he knew the will of God, that he knew he was in God, that he was the Son of God, and that he was one with God. Are not these all truths which we, too, should know? It was through knowing that Jesus healed, for did he not say at the tomb of Lazarus, "I knew that thou hearest me always"? This is the way the Christian Scientist prays, by knowing the ever-presence, all-power, and omniaction of God, divine Love, eternal Life, immutable Truth. But his knowing does not stop there, for he knows himself also as he is known of God. And how does God know man? Why, as His beloved child, as the manifestation of His being, His power, His intelligence, as the representative of Mind, not matter; as the expression of Soul, not as the victim of sin; as the reflection of harmonious Love, not as a suffering, sick mortal; as the unchanging idea of changeless Principle, not as touched by the mutations of time, disturbed by the cruelties and buffetings of conflicting temperaments. Christian Science enables one actually to know these facts, this truth. Knowing can never be influenced or disturbed by appearances contrary to the truth it knows. Knowing man as God knows him delivers us from false theories about man which would belittle, harm, fetter, disease, or distress us. John, in speaking of this prayer of knowing, says: "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." When we know ourselves as we are known of Him we can no longer believe man to be lacking in any good thing. God gives all good. Let us know man as the recipient of this good.
The many shifting theories and philosophies, changing medical practices, discoveries along the lines of natural science would keep us discarding old theories and beliefs which we regarded as true, and this is not conducive to real knowing. But when these material theories begin to fetter us, make us sick and sinful, we no longer feel comfortable in materialism and we are willing to flee from it and rise to our true spiritual nature through knowing God and man, as revealed by Christian Science. When you are seemingly at the end of your rope materially, you may know that you are ready for a flight heavenward or into harmony. In Deuteronomy we read, "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him." Perhaps you know how the eagle builds her nest with the sticks pointing upward, and how she covers these with soft, materials for the comfort of her young. But when it is time for the eaglets to fly she strips the covering from the sticks, and the young no longer find comfort in the nest but are forced to fly. Then the mother eagle flies under them, and they can rest on her wings until they have gained strength through the exercise of their own ability. So divine Love stirs up our nest of material beliefs until we are no longer comfortable in false theories and "scientific guessing," but we are forced to make use of our wings of understanding and take our flight into Truth. No matter what beliefs of fear, self-depreciation, hatred, ignorance, and envy, pain or disease, attempt to make us falter in our flight, we have the wings of ever-present Love to support us and bear us onward and upward in our knowing of that Truth which makes us free.
Perfection is the starting-point and goal of Christian Science. Though the human mind has always claimed that perfection is impossible of attainment, yet this mind has never ceased to struggle towards and for perfection. This desire for perfection is born of God's demand as expressed by Jesus, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." This demand of God must have its correlative fulfillment in the fact that ye be perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect, for God, who is intelligent Mind, could not and would not demand that which is impossible of fulfillment or which is nonexistent. In fact, this demand is an indication or evidence that perfection in man exists as a reality, which can be understood and demonstrated. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 259), Mrs. Eddy states, "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, - perfect God and perfect man, - as the basis of thought and demonstration." Unless perfection is the basis of thought and reasoning, such thought and reasoning cannot lay claim to being scientific, for without perfection there can be no exactness, and without exactness, scientific deduction and proof are impossible. Because Christian Science reveals perfection and its laws this does not mean that Christian Scientists are perfect. Far from it. But it does mean that each one who understands this Science to a degree has the Principle and rule of perfection with which to solve the problems, eliminate the imperfections, overcome the sin, sickness, and sorrow with which each human being has to deal.
Where does perfection or heaven exist? - for all will admit that it cannot be seen, or heard, or felt by the material senses. But it can be thought; in other words, you can be conscious of perfection, so it must exist in consciousness or Mind.
Christian Science shows clearly that unless we start with perfect God and perfect man as the basis of our thinking, we cannot hope to experience perfection. It is plain that if one thinks of his source as imperfect, faulty, sick or sinful, he will find himself subject to these imperfections, for, of course, he can never go higher than his source or creator. If mortality were man's basis or source, he would never rise higher than mortality, limitation, death. But if perfection is his source, likewise will his ultimate be perfection.
Mrs. Eddy states (Science and Health, p. 353): "Perfection underlies reality. Without perfection, nothing is wholly real. All things will continue to disappear, until perfection appears and reality is reached." The thought will undoubtedly present itself to some of you: if, then, perfection is the real, I must be very unreal, for I am mortal, mutable and imperfect. Christian Science teaches that you are not any of those things, and it offers you the rule whereby you can prove your reality, your perfection, as the spiritual image and likeness of God; for it brings the reality of perfection to us, even when we seem to be in a state of unreality.
We have seen what reality is, namely, a state of perfection, harmony, health, love, intelligence and eternality, and now let us consider for a moment the nature of unreality. If we are deluded by false report, false appearances, false reasoning or ignorance, into believing in the reality of an untruth, we call this state of thought an illusion. It is really a state of mesmerism, or, as Mesmer himself named it - animal magnetism. This name for any deceiving or deceived state of consciousness is very illuminating, for an illusion would claim to magnetize or hold one's thought away from Truth, which is God, and anything which is opposed to God, Spirit, must be material or animal in character.
There are those calling themselves mesmerists or hypnotists who claim to be able to produce states of consciousness wherein the unreal is seen and felt as though it were the real. This, however, is but a small part of what is designated as animal magnetism. False education along physical lines may teach us that if we drink water at one time it is good for us, and at another time it has certain injurious effects. And we may even go so far as to believe that we see and feel these effects, unless the truth that man is governed by divine Mind or intelligence, instead of by water, releases us from the belief in this animal
magnetism or illusion. Or we may have been taught that God sends suffering as a punishment for our sins, or to chastise us. This false theory believed may produce to our deceived senses the suffering which it prognosticates, until the truth that our loving Father, God, blesses man with health, holiness, and everlasting joy saves us from this unreality, or animal magnetism. Some may even accept the suggestion that their lives and their business affairs are outlined, planned, and limited by the belief of chance or by the conjunction of the planets, and no matter how difficult or terrible the situation may be they believe that this destiny is inescapable. This form of delusion, or animal magnetism, known as astrology, would overthrow God's good and loving outline, His plan for His beloved child, man, and because it is imperfect it is unreal. Another form of this animal magnetism is the theory that we inherit from our parents their limitations, diseases, deformity, fears, and even their experiences. There is nothing perfect, self-sustaining, or harmonious in this belief, so it must be unreal, and can be proved so by accepting the truth that man is as perfect as his Father which is in heaven. The very generally accepted belief that it is possible for man to be governed by the sense of fear, envy, greed, or hatred, and that he is the medium for disease, has all the elements of unreality. God's expression, man, is never a medium for anything, since he is the very manifestation, or idea, of Mind, and nothing could separate or come between God and His idea. This truth, understood and demonstrated, proves the opposite theory to be a state of delusion, or mesmerism. One might go on enumerating states of false mortal consciousness which would claim to attract thought away from the one God, who is perfect, and from His manifestation, the perfect man.
Truth comes to us wherever we may be, wherever we may be thinking, and releases us from our bondage to unreality. It is like the good Samaritan. You will remember, the priest saw the man who had fallen among the thieves and he passed by on the other side. The Levite was at the place, and looked at him, and he, too, passed by on the other side. But the Samaritan came where he was and loved him, and this love bound up his wounds, provided for his care and comfort.
The manifestation of Truth, God, which comes to each individual right where he is, right where he is thinking, is the Christ. Mrs. Eddy defines Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). This Christ, Truth, comes to the human mind and is expressed through improved beliefs. To illustrate: - if someone were deluded into believing that a boulder obstructed his path you would not try to remove the boulder in attempting to release him from this delusion, but through reason you would convince him of the truth that no boulder was there. He might admit after a little that the boulder could be removed and then that it was disappearing, but you would persist in telling him that you saw the truth and that no boulder was there. He might make the further admission that the boulder had disappeared, but until he saw the truth that there never had been a boulder in his way he would not be wholly free from that state of delusion. The truth which you were telling him would, however, reach his consciousness and would be expressed through improved beliefs, first, that the boulder could be removed; second, that it was disappearing; then that it had disappeared, and finally that it had never existed. In just this manner divine Truth, or the fact of man's perfection as God's image, reaches the human consciousness, through improved beliefs, and if a mortal believes himself to be sick he will find himself first admitting the possibility of improvement, then that he has improved and finally that he is all right. Mrs. Eddy says, "An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science" (Science and Health, p. 296). If a small boy has been in the habit of cheating at his lessons, copying from the other children or getting someone to do his work for him, and the thought comes to him that he does not want to continue in such dishonesty, this thought is the manifestation of God, of good, the Christ coming to his consciousness. If he listens to this thought and obeys it, he will manifest an improved belief with regard to honesty. Even in such simple ways it is proved that the Christ, Truth, is with us always, "a divine influence ever present in human consciousness," as Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, Pref., p. xi). In fact, what we are inclined to call conscience is really the manifestation of God, divine Love, to our consciousness, tenderly guiding us, showing us our true and lovely nature as the sons and daughters of God, thus destroying for us the bondage of limitation, fear, sin, and disease.
This Truth dwells among us as more intelligent, truthful concepts of God and man, as healthy, harmonious, loving, intelligent thinking. Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 184), "The Word will be made flesh and dwell among mortals, only when man reflects God in body as well as in mind." God who is good, Love, Life, and Mind is right here, loving man and blessing him with His own harmonious, tender, strong, intelligent nature. These glorious facts of being are not only revealed as the ideal Truth to our understanding, but they have their coincident manifestation in an harmonious, loving, healthy, pure, human state of affairs. We are not separated from perfection, for the manifestation of God comes to as where we are, healing us of sickness and sin. This, then, is a dual appearing - and until all materiality is destroyed, the Word, the idea or expression of God, will continue to appear dually. To our spiritual understanding it will come as the perfect concept of God and man, and to our human senses it will appear through improved beliefs with regard to health, happiness, supply, harmony, and freedom. Mrs. Eddy expresses this thought clearly when she says (Science and Health, p. 442): "When Christ changes a belief of sin or of sickness into a better belief, then belief melts into spiritual understanding, and sin, disease, and death disappear. Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material, transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually."
A Christian Science treatment consists of the acknowledgment of this divine manifestation of God as the only presence and power right where, in belief, there seems to be fear, disease, hatred, or sin. This acknowledgment of perfection as the only reality and presence eliminates from the human mind its belief in a power apart from God, good, and this mind begins to admit the possibility of good. Then it yields to the truth that God and man are perfect.
The sense of limitation which seems to prevail with all mortals results from the accepted theory that man and the universe consist of matter. Is there any form of matter of which you can think as being unlimited or perfect? We quite readily accept the fact that intelligence, talents, opportunities, sight, hearing, ability belong to us individually, but supply seems to be something outside of ourselves which we by our strenuous efforts have to earn. We have to make our living, we say, and then we go ahead and make our living miserable by worry, fear, envy, competition, simply because we believe living to be a material thing, subject to fluctuation, material changing conditions. Then after we have made or earned our living we are afraid to use it for fear we will use it up.
If you will admit with me that matter is a belief of limitation, then you will also admit that an attempt to accumulate matter is an attempt to accumulate limitation. Why do we want supply? Generally speaking it is in order to provide ourselves with home, education, food, clothing, opportunities, necessities, comforts, joys, and sometimes luxuries. God, who is Love, could not do other than sustain the object of His love, which is man. It is Love's prerogative to supply its creation with all that constitutes the loveliness, the joy, the wisdom, the opportunities of Life. It is Love's nature to feed us with satisfying, strengthening, encouraging, harmonious thoughts. It is Love's loving which gives us the shelter, safety, comfort, and tender understanding which home typifies. This is not impractical idealism; this is the most practical and effective truth; but in order to experience its practicality you have to lay claim to it and utilize it. If someone had a million dollars in the bank and knew it not, this supply would do him no good. If he knew it and did not utilize it, he would derive no benefit from it. And how can we utilize these spiritual facts revealed by Christian Science? By thinking them, knowing them, keeping our consciousness filled with them. Then there will be no opportunity in our consciousness, or experience, for lack, disease, fear, or sorrow.
In Christian Science, demand and supply are one, for God always demands that which He supplies, and He always supplies that which He demands. If the demand is made on you to express more love, courage, patience, intelligence, or supply, this is but evidence that you are enabled through spiritual understanding to manifest the supply; for, as Mrs. Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 451, "Under the deific law . . . supply invariably meets demand." These demands are made first on our thinking, in other words we must become conscious of them, and the supply is always ideas. In fact, no such thing as a wholly material need exists. This may seem incredible to some of you, but let me illustrate. If you are in debt, you may think that your need is for a merely, material medium, namely, money; but if you had all the money in the world you would not pay that debt unless you were prompted to do so by a sense of honor, of justice, of honesty, or love. So what you owe another is to love him, and if you love him you will pay your debt. If you were in debt, and had no money but realized that what you owe is purely mental and spiritual, you would lay claim to the presence of infinite Love and utilize it. In other words, you would know that it is but loving, just and honest that your creditor have what belongs to him and that God enabled you to do what is honest, loving, and just.
This truth will have its manifestation in a better human belief, namely, in the belief that you are able to pay your debts, and then through the means wherewith to pay them. Fundamentally it is never money we lack. It is love, fearlessness, confidence, spirituality, and this lack can always be overcome by the counter claim to abundance of love, ability, trust and intelligence, which are yours as the manifestation of God. Because supply is wholly spiritual and mental, the more you use it the more you have of it. For instance, the more you use love the more love you have to use. The more intelligence you use the more intelligence you have to use. You can never use up your spiritual supply of honesty, love, justice and intelligence. This ever-increasing supply of spiritual qualities has its coincident manifestation to the human senses in increased assurance of the ability to do right, and this in turn is externalized in the means with which to do right. For whatever is entertained in thought has its externalization. If you find yourself owing anybody anything, this is an indication that you must love more. Fear, envy, injustice never paid a debt. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," our Master taught us to pray. The only way to forgive those who owe us love, justice, kindness and understanding is to love. Christian Science shows that it is an essential part of love to recognize that we are beloved as well as that we are loving. If we believe that we are being hated, envied, slandered, we are denying our neighbors' oneness with God, who is divine Love, and supposing man to be an instrument of evil, instead of the image of God. When we recognize in our neighbor the manifestation of God, not only do we destroy the seeming evil which is holding him in bondage, but we free ourselves from the supposition that man can be hated, envied, feared. Thus do we love our enemies, by destroying our own belief in the evil which seems to be using them.
What makes an employer disagreeable, unkind, unjust? Why, the thoughts which he is permitting to use him. What makes a competitor hateful, envious, dishonest? These very qualities which he permits to govern him. Why is a mother or father dominating, unreasonable, or unkind? Because of his or her mentality. How can a child be disloyal and thoughtless? Because these thoughts are claiming to be his. Then we do not need to get away from people, but from the thoughts that are using them. If someone were throwing stones at us, we would not try to get rid of the stones but of the thoughts which would cause him to throw the stones. If those around us are being used by thoughts which are unlike Love, we do not need to get rid of the persons but of the thoughts; and the only way this can be done is to recognize and claim the all-presence of God, good, and the fact that He eternally and uninterruptedly governs His manifestation, man, for, as Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 427), "Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual."
True mother-love has given many a mortal a hint as to the wonderful nature of God's divine Love for His children, for true mother-love is unselfish, understanding, seeks not her own, is generous, comforting, tender, true. True mother-love does not love in order to be loved in return, but because its very nature demands that it pour out love unstintingly. The source of such love must be God, who is the Mother as well as the Father of man and the universe. The definition of Mother given in the Christian Science textbook, (p. 592) is as follows: "God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love." That human mother-love which has fear for its child, which tries to possess it, be proud of it, hold on to it, dominate it, is not mother-love at all, but mere selfishness. One of the most wonderful examples of this fearless mother-love was that given by the Shunamite woman. You all know the story of how her son, her only child, stricken with some malady, was brought in from the field where he had been with his father and the reapers. She took him on her lap and held him there until noon, when he died. What a temptation to a mother to let in fear, grief, self-pity, despair, and hopelessness, but this mother listened not to these temptations but to that perfect love which "casteth out fear." Perfect mother-love sees man as the child of our Father, God, as the image of divine Life, which cannot be sick and die. With this perfect love in her heart she answered all inquiries regarding her son with the true statement about God's child, that all was well. Then she went directly to Elisha, the man of God, to one who knew the perfect nature of God and man, and to him only did she indicate her need of help. Without him and his understanding of God's law she would not return to her home where she had left the child in Elisha's room. Even as with Elijah so with Elisha the word of God in his mouth was the truth, and with the truth he set the lad free from that enemy, or culmination of all fears, called death. What ineffable mother-love, to see perfection, continuity, harmony, and life, the very presence of God, right where the material senses were claiming that Life was not, and to declare, "All is well!" It is only love which can pierce the shadows of imperfection, fear, disease, hatred, and envy, proclaim all is well, and then prove it. It is this love that Christian Science teaches, and which enables the Christian Scientist to say in the face of sickness, "I am well, because God made me so;" to say in the presence of seeming lack, "I have all that it is necessary for me to have, for my divine Father-Mother, Love, bestows all good on His child," to feel midst distress and discord the presence of divine Mind ever harmonious. How wonderful that Principle, and not a fluctuating temperamental state of thought, is our divine Mother! How glorious that divine Life, Truth, and Love mother us eternally with the comfort, assurance, harmony, and joy of perfection! As long as the father and mother of a child remain harmonious, loving, united, rich, intelligent, and pure, the happiness, home, abundance, and comfort of the child are assured. We are all children of just such a Father-Mother God, and Christian Science reveals this fact to us, giving us the assurance of perfect peace, freedom, health, intelligence, and joy as the reality of our being.
The state of consciousness which recognizes man as the child of the perfect Father-Mother is called in the Bible the city of God; or, as Ezekiel says, "The name of the city . . . shall be, The Lord is there." There can be no age for this state of consciousness, for the Lord, divine Truth, which is ageless and eternal, is there. No decrepitude can enter this city, for divine Life, eternal energies, unbounded expectations, unending promise of good, are there. No parasitic beliefs of dependence on others, of fear, of lack, of decadence, are present in this consciousness, or city, for the self-existent I AM sustains in harmony the joy, abundance, strength, and ability of man. Is it any wonder that Zechariah says that "the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof"? Would not everyone in this audience be a boy or girl if he or she were conscious of being surrounded by Love, supported always by the infinite abundance of Mind, sheltered or housed forever in the consciousness of omnipotence, free to express intelligence, joy, and health eternally? Indeed he would. This state of consciousness, this city of perfection, Christian Science reveals to each one of us as our true individuality, as the perfect man who is like His perfect Father, divine Mind. Christian Science brings this state of consciousness, this truth, this gift of God, to each one of you here. Will you not accept it, utilize it, and thus prove its worth?