Christian Science: The Vision of Christ Jesus

 

The Rev. Andrew J. Graham, C. S. B.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The Reason Why

The subject to be elucidated is, "Christian Science: The Vision of Christ Jesus." A lecture on Christian Science brings together people who hope and, I trust, expect to learn about God; how his goodness is available to heal sickness, forgive sin, and relieve sorrow. This was the Savior's mission on earth, and Christian Science continues that work. It is not only desired, but expected, that each truth seeker in the audience be inquiring at this time on what authority the statement is made that Christian Science, as operating among men to-day, is the realization of the vision of Christ Jesus. The answer is simple and entire. A tree is known by its fruit. The destruction of sin and sickness which the Savior accomplished and which he foresaw and foretold would swallow up death in victory, is being done thorough Christian Science in this generation. That which claims to be able to bless man, and can sustain the claim through demonstration, is worthy of full acceptation.

Christian Science not only teaches, but demonstrates divine aid, thereby adhering strictly to the declaration of Scripture: "I will shew thee my faith by my works." Many thousands of written testimonials of healing and regeneration, covering the last fifty years, are preserved and accessible; each Wednesday evening in all Christian Science meetings are heard the living voices of grateful men and women testifying to the power of Christian Science to heal and to save; throughout the world, beyond broad waters and behind lofty mountains, in great cities and quiet hamlets, by the domestic fireside and in trench and hospital, men and women, confident and calm, joyous and active, are found declaring that through Christian Science they have come to know, and in some measure have been able increasingly to demonstrate, that God is a sure remedy for every ill, here and now. When one finds the correct answer to a problem in mathematics he is certain the rule by which he works is true. So when through the application of the Principle of Christian Science one sees the destruction of disease and mental perversity, he knows that the rule of healing as taught by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, is true. The test set up by Jesus the Christ is this: "By their fruits ye shall know them." This is the initial reply to the earnest inquirer who asks on what authority it is declared that Christian Science is the fulfillment of the vision of Christ Jesus.

 

The Vision

What is this vision? Jesus the Christ was pure in heart and therefore was a seer; he saw God, good. Only purity can see purity, and purity can see only purity. The root meaning of vision is "sight, faculty of seeing." The new edition of Webster gives the first main definition as, "Act of seeing external objects; actual sight; perception." In meaning, vision is closely allied to the Greek verbs "to see" and "to know," which indicates that really to see a thing is to know it. This is the nature of the vision of Christ Jesus. It has no connection with mysticism; it is supremely natural; it is not a dream, but a reality; not a promise for the future, but a present possession. There are other derivative meanings given to the word "vision," such as the approaching shadow of events. Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets foretold coming events, things afar off. Christ Jesus saw real events, the kingdom of heaven at hand. On that Sabbath day in the synagogue at Nazareth, when he stood up to read the Scriptures, there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias, and he found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18, 19). He sat down, and as the people wondered at his gracious manner he said to them: "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." And soon it began to be fulfilled in their eyes also, for ''in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil * * * And Jesus rebuked him, saying, hold thy peace, and come out of him. And * * * he came out of him, * * * and hurt him not." From thence Jesus went directly into a house and healed Simon's mother-in-law. And the same day "when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him," and he healed them.

On page 313 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes: "Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause." Again, on page 476 of the same book, she writes: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." The vision of Christ Jesus, therefore, was not to him a deferred fact; it was seen and known as present. It was not some "far-off divine event," it was nigh, even at the door. His Father was more real to him than the hills that stand round about Jerusalem. The consciousness of the Father's loving power was ever with him. Through it he dominated sickness, sin, and death absolutely. Whatever sufferings fell to his lot, from the hands of sinful men, were permitted by his free consent. He said, "I lay down my life, * * * no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself" (John 10:17, 18). All power was given unto him. He ruled the raging of the sea and the tempest of mortal mind; at once there was a great calm on the waters, and the sin-tossed, suffering man clothed in his right mind sat at Jesus' feet. Was it not a glorious vision which Jesus the Christ beheld? What penitent sinner was left unrelieved, what weary invalid unhealed, what broken heart uncomforted?

 

The Vision Extended

The workable knowledge of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God was not confined to the consciousness of Jesus the Christ. He left witnesses of himself, empowered to extend and to manifest the works of healing and regeneration which he had done. For a long time after Jesus had vanished from sight, the divine command, "Heal the sick, * * * raise the dead," was obeyed and fulfilled. Like "trailing clouds of glory," the faith and works of the primitive Christians were as a light shining in heathen darkness. Witness the Bible testimony recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, that first book written on Christian church history, and without doubt the most reliable. In the third chapter we read: "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk * * * and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." This was in 33 A.D. In the ninth chapter we read: "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and * * * said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, * * * hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith." That was in A.D. 35. In the same chapter we read: "And there he found a certain man named Æneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. And Peter said unto him, Æneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise and make thy bed. And he arose immediately." This was in A.D. 37. In chapter 14 we read "And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: the same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked." This was in A.D. 45. In the twentieth chapter we read: "And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him." This was in A.D. 60, Between A.D. 54 and not later than 110, all that part of the New Testament following the Acts of the Apostles, was written. These books, whose authors were Paul, Peter, James, John, and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, abound in expressions of the same confidence and victory displayed in the Acts of the Apostles.

Thus we have the vision of Christ Jesus extended beyond the date of his ascension to at least A.D. 96 by credible witnesses who chronologically overlapped each other. Furthermore, by A.D. 100, perhaps earlier, the catacombs near Rome, those subterranean burial places for the primitive Christians, began to appear. As the bodies of believers were placed in these rock-hewn resting places, symbols and descriptions expressive of active faith and wonderful works were cut in the stone. In course of time it is likely that more than a million bodies were received in these catacombs. The Christian records in stone were correspondingly numerous, and many of them are accessible to students. Burials in the catacombs continued for three hundred years. Even further; when the catacombs were still in their infancy sub-apostolic believers began writing down, in Greek, records of the wonderful works still wrought among men, through the power of Christ, Truth. If one would read this testimony, let him consult the translation of the writings of Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen, whose lives covered the years from A.D. 114 to A.D. 254. Thus can he see for himself that the earnest followers of Christ Jesus were repeating his wonderful works in casting out evil, healing the sick, and raising the dead. This is what is meant by the vision extended. Historically considered, the chain of testimony has no missing link.

 

The Gathering Clouds

About A.D. 300 "shades of the prison house began to close" upon the glories of early Christianity. Worldly minds like Elymas sought the Christly power from base motives; their desire was never realized. Rome ruled the then known world, and when the emperor became a convert to the Christian church, practically the whole empire soon after passed under the waters of ecclesiastical baptism and nominally became Christian. Mere material baptism of itself has never placed a man in vital relation to God nor given him a glint of the Christ vision. I pause for a moment. I have too many loving friends in the different churches to permit myself to wound or estrange them by harsh reference to anything they hold dear. Tenderly, but with profound conviction, I declare the subtlest danger that can ever beset a follower of the Christ is submitting to material sacraments without corresponding spirituality. This species of idolatry dimmed the light of the early church. The ardent faith of the Christians which had thriven under merciless persecutions was caught in the insidious snare of formalism. As light began to wane, its vision vanished, and it sunk approximately to the world's level, where it seemed to sleep for a thousand years, while every phase of sin and tyranny was practiced in its name. These centuries constitute what may properly be called the Dark Ages. A theoretical system of salvation had thrust itself between God and the individual man. "And it was night."

 

The Re-Dawn

In 1366 A.D., John Wycliffe, called the Morning Star of the Reformation, was at the zenith of his influence. An article in the Encyclopedia Britannica which gathers up the thought of many scholars, says: "He (John Wycliffe) may at least claim to have discovered the secret of the immediate dependence of the individual Christian upon God, a relation that needs no mediation of any priest, and to which the very sacraments of the Church, however desirable, are not essentially necessary." This spirit of the Reformation began to do away with serfdom and feudalism and to emphasize the right of the individual. It broke somewhat the bondage in which the human mind had been held, and thought thus released became active in many directions. The printing press appeared, the Bible was translated into languages understood by the people, the catacombs with their valuable early Christian records were thrown open. In Florence and Venice painting, sculpture, architecture, and metal work displayed themselves in wondrous forms and colors; Spain and Scandinavia sailed distant seas in quest of new worlds; while England, Ireland, Scotland, and Bohemia were stirred by a more vital sense of religion. The renaissance of thought known as the Rise of Learning quickened also the spiritual faculties so that the ecclesiastical body which opposed the Reformation hastened missionaries to India and the new world. Among most European Protestants, missionary bands and Bible societies were active. Wherever British merchantmen sailed the seas there were earnest efforts to carry the blessings of Christianity.

Christian Scientists are not unmindful of, but recognize, the value of this Reformation movement in human history, which prepared mankind for the reception again of the unmutilated gospel. They acknowledge that the Reformation stood for activity in the right direction, but was not radical enough to remove all the misconceptions about God with which the Dark Ages had beclouded thought. If man is to be freed from the burden of sin, sickness, and death, he must find such freedom through a God who neither creates nor sustains these evils. Christian Scientists know no god but the good God. God is revealed more clearly through the teachings of Christian Science than through any other religious instruction, and the real Christian understanding which Jesus possessed becomes possible, at least in some degree, to every one through the study of Christian Science, which proves that Christian Science is the genuine Christ-understanding, or Christian knowing. The Reformation movement did not free itself entirely from the false teaching of the Dark Ages. To some extent it still sees God as through a "smoked glass." Doctrinally it holds to mental positions which involve the belief that God creates and sustains sin, sickness, and death, while practically it teaches that the man who is sorry for his sin may always be forgiven, but the sick man who is sorry for his sickness can hardly ever be healed. This contradictory attitude of thought was never entertained by Jesus. The fact is that so far as specified cases in the New Testament are concerned, he healed sickness much more frequently than sin. This is the prominent feature in the ministry of Jesus the Christ which the Reformation movement did not recover. This work remained to be accomplished by a movement more spiritual in its perception, more comprehensive in its understanding of the gospel.

In the year 1866 Mary Baker Eddy, whom medical skill had failed to relieve of a serious physical trouble, was instantaneously healed through reading the Scriptures. Christian Scientists know that with her healing began the modern fulfillment of Jesus' promise: "When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." Instead of taking her physical healing and losing herself in the throng of the unthankful, her gratitude to God and compassion for suffering humanity led her to investigate and to meditate. On page 109 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes: "For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule." This rule she discovered, stated, elucidated, and demonstrated, over and over again, in healing the sick, thus reinstating the most practical feature of primitive Christianity. All of Mrs. Eddy's writings bear, directly or indirectly, on healing; but in the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," there is a chapter entitled "Christian Science Practice," which will abundantly explain to any earnest reader what this teaching is. To deny that Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Principle of divine healing and that by it her students are healing the sick and the sinful, would be to close one's eyes to the most far-reaching fact of modern times. This thing was not done in a corner. It is seen and known of all men who have eyes to see and ears to hear. We may well call it the renaissance, or re-birth, of the vision of Christ Jesus. The discovery and demonstration of Christian Science might justify its beneficiaries to-day in repeating Simeon's joyful exclamation: "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people."

 

Personal Testimony

Nor can I be silent at this time concerning that love of God which guided me into the land of Christian Science, where mental bondage is broken and freedom reigns. "I was sick, and * * * in prison, and ye came unto me." I myself verily believed that I ought to say and to do many things contrary to what I thought Christian Science was. To that end frequently from a Christian pulpit I assailed the name of Mrs. Eddy and vehemently denounced what I thought her teaching to be. Up to the hour of my healing, which was instantaneous. I had not read one line of authorized Christian Science literature, but had assembled in my library many volumes and pamphlets adverse thereto. In August, 1911, while in a hopeless physical condition, I requested and received a treatment in Christian Science. A part of the treatment was a recommendation that I read "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mrs. Eddy. This I at first refused to do, but between noon and one o'clock on that day, while reading the first few lines in the chapter on prayer, I found myself suddenly released from physical ills and mental distress. The matchless worth of that release no mortal words can ever express. A new heaven and a new earth began to appear in my thought, and the precious truth of healing, widening and deepening in my human consciousness, as brooklets widen and deepen into rivers, has enabled me to see more clearly and to work more intelligently toward the realization of that vision which Christ Jesus saw.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

A Christian Scientist does not give his testimony to exploit himself, but to express gratitude for the great things divine Love has done for him. The psalmist expresses this desire in the words: "I have not concealed thy loving-kindness * * * from the great congregation." I have alluded to my own healing out of the deepest gratitude to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. I had hated her without a cause. I had ascribed to her base motives, and I had conceded to her no acknowledgment of good. I opened the book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and read on page 1: "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." My heart was moved. I said to myself, Only one who has lived near to God could write thus. With that honest recognition of justice to Mrs. Eddy, the healing came. About six months afterwards I began a careful study of her life. From various sources I found an illuminating mass of unquestionable testimony to her worth. In studying the records of the courts to which Mrs, Eddy appealed in order to protect her writings and maintain the truth of Christian Science unadulterated, there was revealed corroborative evidence of her unselfed love for humanity. This candid investigation clarified my thought and deepened my conviction already formed that Mrs. Eddy was the most remarkable woman since the birth of Christianity. Her patience in suffering, unswerving pursuit of truth, common sense view of human life, loftiness of ideals, knowledge of affairs, mastery of details, simplicity in daily life, resistance to popular applause, comprehensiveness of thought, tenacity of noble purpose, appreciation of the beautiful, compassion toward mankind, and devotion to God were some of the qualities which fitted and enabled her to rescue a crippled Christianity from the feeble grasp of a sleeping world and to restore to it the lost power of physical healing. It is rapidly coming to pass in all the world that the great service to humanity which this woman wrought is being told as a memorial of her.

 

God — Divine Principle

The facts which preceded and accompanied Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science have been touched upon and are in the nature of history. To understand the Science itself, however, it is necessary to go deeper than the history of Christian Science, however wonderful, and endeavor to gain a clearer thought as to the nature of God. A right understanding of God brings freedom and peace to those afflicted with pain and guilt. The world needs to be redeemed, and you know better than anyone else knows that you, as an individual, need to be released from the bondage of sin and disease. Many in this audience have received the benediction of healing through Christian Science. This fact should keep us grateful, humble, obedient and active. There are others here who know not this wonderful truth, who are groping in the darkness of sin and disease, longing for a Saviour. To these weary ones the Christ, Truth, is ever saying: "Them also must I bring, * * * and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." The promise and its fulfillment are for to-day. Healing and regeneration are for this moment, for God is here now. Why is God here now, and what is God? Christian Science answers these questions. On page 465 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." God is all the life, mind, intelligence, truth, love, there ever is anywhere. These qualities manifested by men and women are the reflection, expression, of God, as the Scripture saith: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." The word "finite" means that which is confined within limits, as to time, place, quality, or activity. Infinite means the very opposite. God is infinite. Because God is everywhere all the time He cannot exclusively be anywhere at any time. Because God is infinite He cannot for an instant be away from us, for there is no other place for Him to be. We cannot be separated from God, even though we try, because He is always everywhere.

 

Jesus

It is well at this time to reflect somewhat on the meaning of the words Christ and Jesus. The teaching of Christian Science is clear as opposed to that confused thought held by many people concerning him known as Christ Jesus. Christian Scientists learn to speak and love to speak very gently and considerately on religious matters. They earnestly seek to avoid that wounding of others' sensibilities which had been so rife in the past. One of the results of the old theological systems was to lead men to the belief that Christ Jesus was God. Jesus himself explicitly denied that he was God in the words: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God." Mrs. Eddy says on page 332 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Jesus was the son of a virgin. He was appointed to speak God's word and to appear to mortals in such a form of humanity as they could understand as well as perceive." Jesus was not God. This is proved by the fact that he was tempted and suffered. If a man, what then, the difference between him and us? It may be answered that he was able not to transgress God's law at any point; we are able, at the present stage of our growth, not to transgress at some points. God is just as near to us as he was to Jesus, but Jesus was spiritually awake and knew God was at hand: we are asleep and know it not. This is the difference between the man Jesus and ourselves, a difference which through the leading of Christian Science should grow less and less.

Jesus' mission was to show us by teaching and example how to attain to the fullness of truth. To accomplish this he came to men on the plane on which they lived and thought, and spoke to them in a language which they understood. By way of illustration, we know that the mechanic, in utilizing electric current, sometimes is compelled to reduce it to correspond with receiving capacity. In like manner, truth was taught by Jesus, who said; "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Through Jesus the activity of Christ, Truth, appeared to men in gracious words and loving, healing works. So complete did his realization of divine power become that Jesus the Christ boldly declared: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." When Jesus had demonstrated over the temporal at ever point, all material needs and suffering dropped away from him forever. This completed victory over matter and so-called material laws is known in Christian parlance as the ascension. His ascension was not an isolated experience in his career, but a process which began with his birth at Bethlehem and reached perfection on that day when the disciples saw him vanish from mortal sight. Jesus was our elder brother, marking the way. He journeyed toward and attained to the goal of freedom from matter; so may we do the same.

 

The Christ

Jesus became the model for us all because he was always actuated and guided by Christ, Truth. The suppositious distance which deism puts between God and man is filled and ever has been filled by the unceasing activity of Christ, Truth. Mrs. Eddy says on page 332 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" The active love of the eternal Father is over all His works, and this love is the Christ. Christ is not a competitor of God, but an emanation from God and an impartation from God. Every manifestation of good in human peace, joy, health, and harmony is the Christ. Christ is the mediatorial path to God. Christ Jesus himself says, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Mrs. Eddy named her discovery Christian Science. Science means something that is known. Christian Science means Christian knowing — knowing God and His universe as Jesus the Christ knew them. Christ, Truth, is the alpha and omega of Christian Science. When this truth enters man's consciousness he begins to realize his at-one-meut with God. Accepting and applying this Christ-truth in his daily life is what made Jesus the supremely good man. On page 497 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says: "We solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus." Christian Scientists adore the Christ: they reverence Jesus.

 

The Bible

Christ Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Of course he alluded to the Jewish Scriptures, for the New Testament was written at a later date. However, I am certain you will all agree that we may rightfully include the New Testament, for the latter is simply the fulfillment of the former. For twenty-five years before her healing Mrs. Eddy had been a devout student of the Bible. She was instantaneously healed while reading in the Bible. She saw as no other person had seen in this or any other age since the early Christian period, that because the Scriptures are spiritual they are for that very reason practical, and she has magnified the teachings of the Scriptures in all her works as no other writer of modern times has done. In six hundred pages of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the literal quotations from the Bible aggregate twenty-three solid pages. All the spiritual wisdom and understanding which came to her was from the unfolding of Bible truth. Many books have been written on the Bible. The greater part of them are called commentaries, a title fittingly applied, for they are comments on the Bible rather than elucidations of it. Mrs. Eddy's writings open the Scriptures from the inside out. On page 547 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," we read: "The Scriptures are very sacred, Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually. * * * It is this spiritual perception of Scripture, which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith."

 

Christian Science Healing

What is Christian Science healing? It is the overcoming of disease by the same method which Jesus employed, that is, by understanding and utilizing the infinite power of God, who, according to the psalmist, healeth all our infirmities. The results in Christian Science healing differ from those brought about by other methods in that they are moral as well as physical, and are far more complete, satisfactory, and enduring. Jesus never employed nor recommended the use of matter in any form to cure disease. It is not easy to see how a physician can be a follower of Jesus and yet in his profession adopt a remedy exactly the opposite of that which Jesus, by his acts authorized. This is no insidious arraignment of the medical profession. This is not an assertion that medical doctors cannot be Christians. It does not impugn their sincerity and noble purpose. It simply asserts what they themselves sometimes vehemently declare, that they do not follow Jesus' method of healing. Christian Scientists abide by the fact written in the Bible that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." In one of her books ("Miscellaneous Writings," p. 96) Mrs. Eddy says of Christian Science healing: "It is not one mind acting upon another mind; it is not the transference of human images of thought to other minds; * * * it is not of the flesh. * * * It is not one mortal thought transmitted to another's thought from the human mind that holds within itself all evil." "It is Christ come to destroy the power of the flesh; it is Truth over error." This definition of Christian Science healing is a partial exposition of Jesus' words: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." If one desires a fuller explanation he must study Christian Science, and learn how evil is explained and overcome metaphysically.

 

Workers with God

When by means of Christian Science treatment the individual is conscious of coming freedom, he must himself begin and continue mental activity; he must be a worker with God. Christian Science healing puts one in the ranks of the first-born; a great blessing has brought with it a great responsibility. Freely he has received, and no great progress toward final peace is possible unless one's gratitude manifests itself in sincere endeavor to live the truth he has seen. Christian Science does not relieve one from the stern necessity of observing exactly the Ten Commandments. and conforming one's life to the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount. The Christian Scientist must grow in grace, and this growth comes through the channels of mental activity supplied by the Bible, the Christian Science text-book, Mrs. Eddy's other writings, and the opportunities for work in The Mother Church and branch churches.

 

Safe Under His Feathers

Consciously working with God, one need never be afraid. The Christian Scientist, does not, claim that he is immune from all sin and sickness; he still wrestles with error, but "not as one that beateth the air." What he claims is that whereas he used to struggle in the dark, he now works in the dawn. He has aspired to freedom and has attained such a measure of it, and he sees some of the truth about God with such absolute clearness, that many of his troubles are gone forever, and he rests in calm conviction that victory over all discord is reachable. He does not demand that the seed he planted yesterday shall be in full blossom or fruitage to-day. He knows that if he attends to his part the process of spiritual unfoldment will bring to him increased good day by day. A man awakening to the truth of Christian Science is somewhat like to a sailor cast upon an angry ocean with fog so heavy he can see but a few feet away. In reaching out his hand he lays hold on a rope, which must be firmly fastened somewhere, for it keeps him from sinking. The waters are still surging around him, and the fog is so dense that he can discern but five feet of the rope. He does not cast it away because he cannot see the remaining ninety-five feet. He knows that the portion of the rope which is hidden from view is as real as the part which is already in his hand. The Christian Scientist knows that when failure stared at him on every hand, and all other so-called remedies brought no relief, Christian Science saved him. He has learned the universal applicability and absolute reliability of spiritual truth. Divine Love offers no variety of remedies. The same Principle which heals a headache also purifies the leper and raises the dead. Through understanding of this Principle the Christian Scientist helps to realize to-day the vision of Christ Jesus in destroying sickness and sin. He begins to see with some clearness that because God is good and has all power, therefore evil has no power, that sin, sickness, and death have only a pretense of power which is accorded to them by the spiritually uneducated state, the frightened, human mind. He learns that this human mind, with its fears and fearful imaginations, passes to nothingness as the Mind "which was in Christ Jesus" gains the ascendancy. He knows that each step toward health and peace taken by one man or by the race, has to start in the individual consciousness, and that madness, whether the madness of a selfish man in this audience or the world's madness of a world's wicked war, must give place to Him of whom it is written: "He must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet" (Revised Version).

Standing fast in the right, right must prevail. We shall be safe under His feathers — the warmth and gentleness and protection of divine Love will save with an everlasting salvation. Therefore he who has learned even a little of Christian Science is able to look with a measure of confident calmness not only upon the dis-ease of the individual who asks healing for himself, but also upon the unutterable woes of a world war. He knows that Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb, not because he had any doubt as to Lazarus' safety, but because of the perverted thought of those who stood around. Christian Science teaches us to have pitiful patience and loving compassion for all who are suffering, either through ignorance or sin. It calls to-day to all who are imprisoned by material thought: "Come forth!" And they are coming out of great tribulations, in vast numbers, into the land of Christian Science, wherein and whereby are appearing those works of healing and regeneration which constitute the realization again on earth of the vision of Christ Jesus. Friends: I want you all to be comforted with the same comfort wherewith I myself have been comforted. To that end and with no desire but loving-kindness, I ask you to "think on these things."

 

[Given Oct. 28, 1923, at the Village Corporation Rooms in the Barnett Building on Ashford Avenue in Ardsley, New York, under the auspices of the Christian Science Society of Dobbs Ferry, and published in The Dobbs Ferry Register, Nov. 2, 1923.]

 

 

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