Christian Science: The Voice in the Wilderness

 

Rev. Andrew J. Graham, 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

 

The subjoined lecture is republished at the request of readers of this paper. It was delivered by the Rev. Andrew J. Graham, C.S.B., of Boston, while a member of the Board of lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was first printed in this paper in June, 1936.

The lecture is entitled “Christian Science: The Voice in the Wilderness.”

 

The Statement

Mary Baker Eddy, on page 597 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” gives a common sense and metaphysical definition of the word wilderness. This definition is two-fold, thus conforming to the redemptive experience of man, as he passes from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom, from fear of condemnation to the joy of salvation. Here is the two-fold definition of the word “wilderness”: (1) “Loneliness; doubt; darkness.” This is the mortal mind definition. (2) “Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.” This is the Christian Science definition of the word.

In speaking to the subject: “Christian Science: The Voice in the Wilderness”, we are seeking to elucidate the fact that Christian Science through its authorized literature, and treatments, raises a voice of hope and confidence in all periods of mental darkness and depression, and expresses a voice of gratitude and love, when peace and harmony have come into one’s experience.

Perhaps it will be said that all Christian churches make the same claim, the reply to which is, that while other religious bodies promise the solution of problems after death, Christian Science says that these solutions may be found on this plane of existence — here and now. Let this be clearly understood, that Christian Science rests its claim entirely upon present demonstration. It neither asks nor expects any one to accept it on any other basis. It is known and justified by its fruits.

An almost innumerable throng of men and women throughout the world testify that Christian Science fulfills its promises; that in loneliness, doubt, darkness and depression it has given a hope when all other hopes were dead; that its unfolding of [spiritual truth has been the vestibule or pathway leading to the apprehension and understanding of infinite, ever-present Love. To this restless, hungry age Christian Science proves to be "the world's great altar stairs which wind through darkness up to God."

[At the very outset of this lecture permit me to say something about Christian Science treatment and Christian Science healing. Christian Science treatment and healing presuppose that some members of the human race have reached a comparatively clear understanding of the nature of God and man, and through that understanding are able to realize to some extent the omnipotency of God and therefore the impotency of evil. Mary Baker Eddy was the first member of the human family to receive Christian Science treatment and healing, under that specific name; and she was her own practitioner. Through many years of patient study of the Bible and trust in God she had attained to this understanding. In process of time through her writings and individual teaching, many students throughout the world gained sufficient understanding to begin to heal themselves and others. These men and women are known as practitioners. Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 477 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" that Jesus' "correct view of man healed the sick." Christian Science practitioners heal sickness and sin in proportion as their view of God and man is correct. This is equally true touching every phase of error. A discord in addition of numbers, discord in music, in the family, in business, is overcome, pari pasu, as one has the correct view of addition, of music, of the family, of business. Jesus' correct view of man healed the sick. What is your view of man? Do you believe that the man God made is a bundle of flesh with two opposing minds inside? If so, you can not heal anybody until you change your view. The man whom God made is in His image and likeness; he is spiritual not material. Now a treatment and healing in Christian Science consists in seeing and knowing the supremacy of Truth and therefore knowing the impotency of error. Healing in Christian Science brings with it an awakened sense of the domination over sin, sickness and death; and this dominion is the legacy which every child of God inherits from his heavenly Father.

[With this brief statement of healing in Christian Science we proceed to the consideration of the wilderness.

 

[Unrest

[The human mind is never at peace. It is always in quest of satisfaction, seeking rest and finding none. This is because mortal mind can not understand the saying of Jesus, "in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"; "my peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you." The Apostle Paul, understanding this situation, states the need for peace most clearly when he writes: "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain * * * waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of] our body.” The way-side flower perishing for lack of moisture, the helpless bird amid the wintry blasts, the beast of the forest seeking his meat from God, mortal man, sinning and sick, — these all are evidences that the whole creation is reaching out blindly for help. Like Frankenstein, it aspires to satisfaction and finds no way to attain unto it. Now the fundamental panacea for this unrest is to know God. In an early Christian century, the Roman aristocrat, Augustine, after trying all material pleasures, cried out thus to the God of peace: “Thou hast made me for Thyself, O God, and my soul can never find rest until it rests in Thee.”

In the first chapter of Genesis, man is recognized as being at one with God, made in His image and likeness, dwelling in peace and harmony. In the second chapter of Genesis, it is said: “There went up a mist from the earth.” This mist marked the beginning of the groaning creation.

In the early days of Moses and the Hebrew prophets, as preparation was going on for the establishment of the Jewish church, men communed with God as familiarly as man now converses with man. As time went on the mist of disobedience and self-righteousness rose and the Jewish church became a part of the groaning creation. In time began the dawning of a new era. In the days of Jesus and the apostles, while the Christian church was being realized, the presence of God was a reality to men, and peace and power were ever present, and were manifested in destroying sickness and sin. Again there went up a mist from the earth — the mist of human domination and materiality, and then the Christian church joined its groanings with those of its predecessor.

Again we say, the fundamental panacea for unrest is to know God. And now after fifteen hundred years of theological mist, darkening the human mind, comes Christian Science to this age, teaching men how to know God, by dispelling and destroying the veil of evil beliefs which obscure Him.

 

God

Christian Science is the realm of definite knowledge. Ecclesiastical theology is the realm of indefinite belief. Now, as we have indicated both in the Jewish and Christian churches, theology gradually came to teach that God is a mysterious Person, remaining unrevealed to a large extent, and incapable of being known clearly by men until after death. The Bible passage which says: “Clouds indeed and darkness are round about Him,” was taken to mean that God wraps Himself in an impenetrable cloak. All these texts in the Bible which seem to indicate that God cannot be clearly known and that He is shrouded in clouds and darkness deserve special attention: for in a sense they are all true, by which it is meant that God is indeed behind a veil; but that curtain of cloud and darkness is not made by God, rather it is the result of mortal-mind ignorance and sinful thought. In other words, the mist that seems to separate man from God [rises from the earth. It is not a curtain let down from heaven.

[Now to the sick and sinful and troubled, brooding over the thought of an unknowable God, Christian Science comes and says: Your sores and sickness and sins and broken hearts may be healed here and now. The veil which seems to shut one from God may be destroyed through the aid of healing, coming directly through Christian Science treatment, or through the reading of its text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The only Comforter in the universe is God, and Jesus Christ said: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent."

[The puzzle to the human mind had always been this: "Since God is infinitely great and man seems so small, how can man expect the Omnipotent One to take note of him? The psalmist voiced this when he exclaimed: "When I * * * consider the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him."

[For his comfort and encouragement man needs something concrete, individual. He needs something which he is capable of understanding, and this concreteness we find in the teaching of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy, in using the abstract noun, "good," in apposition with the word God, has bequeathed to mankind an illuminating thought. By it she enables us to make active and real a religious expression which had been to a large extent a dead letter for practically fifteen hundred years, namely, "to love God." The pulpit has preached that to love God is absolutely necessary to salvation and the pew has silently answered: "How can I love God unless I know Him? I can love a friend because I know him; this is concrete experience and I can understand it, but to love God without knowing Him appears to be impracticable." Now Christian Science individualizes God, good. St. James says: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." All absolutely good motives, aspirations, thoughts; all kind, gentle, loving words and deeds come from God. There is nothing in the whole universe which is loving, protecting, saving or compassionate but comes from God and centers in God. Any of these qualities manifested in men and women are positive proofs of the presence of God. Therefore, we repeat, that when Mrs. Eddy employs the word good in apposition with the word God, she causes us to see at once how simple and practical it is to recognize and to know God; and therefore to love Him. To love the manifestation of anything which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, is to love God. Hence, in the wilderness of darkness and fear wherein one feels that he is without God in the world, comes the voice of Christian Science, and through its treatment, its services, or the reading of its authorized literature, one is assured of the wonderful fact that he can know God here and now with as much certainty as he can know the truth of mathematics,] and knowing Him, can love Him.

 

Evil Never Beneficent

The only chance that evil has to succeed is by simulating good. Under this pretense of good for mankind old theology and material medica have been busy, for ages, in making pictures, the main feature of which has been the claim that good can be born out of evil. One of the Christian churches has a hymn beginning: “O! felix culpa.” “O! happy fault;” that is, I am so glad that I have sinned for by repenting of it I have learned how sweet forgiveness is. Out of wretched teaching like this come such apothegms as the following — “a young man must sow his wild oats.” Is that true? Must one be dishonest and hateful before knowing how to be honest and loving? Paul says: “Shall we do evil that good may come? * * * God forbid.”

Beginning with about the fourth century of the Christian era, the teaching that the only way or method by which man could securely attain to holiness was to withdraw himself from the rest of mankind, became prevalent; that is, he stood in fear of associating with others, and so there gradually appeared those abodes or retreats known as monasteries into which men betook themselves from their fellows, and this contrary to Jesus’ prayer in John XVII: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” [In connection with this picture of fear as a means of salvation there arose what are known in history as the Morality Plays, the main feature of which was to frighten men away from hell and frighten them into heaven. Within the past twenty-five years an attempt was made in the United States to revive the Morality Plays; and one recalls the rendition in various cities of a play known as "Everyman," with all its ghastly and horribly scenes. The age, however, had advanced too far in right thinking to encourage this sort of teaching. The appeal of that play was altogether to the element of fear.

[In the later middle ages some European artists were busy with the brush, painting, in various places, pictures known as the Dance of Death. In the old covered bridge, crossing the Swiss river at Lucerne, one finds nearly half a hundred such paintings, on the large triangular panels; and these represent the most notable of all the paintings known as the Dance of Death. Their purpose was to inspire fear in the thought of all who saw them. Beginning with infancy, passing through youth and manhood, and embracing every business and every profession of man, the panels represent various individuals busy and happy with the affairs of life, while near at hand, unseen by them, is peering the ghastly feature of a skeleton. These came to be regarded as a series of religious paintings, intended to lay a pall of fear over every human scene and to remind men constantly of the one enemy that all feared and to teach them that eventually he would become their master. The great movement known in history as the Reformation did away with the worst features] of this practice, and yet it survived in hymns, poems, sermons and funeral orations of the Reformation period; and these are still accompaniments of a great many services and sermons in modern orthodox churches. What inspiration, for instance, can one find in a hymn beginning on this wise:

 

Soon as the infant draws its breath,

At once spring up the seeds of death.

 

Or this:

 

There is a time we know not when,

A point we know not where,

That marks the destiny of men

To glory or despair.

 

One does not care to advertise some modern preachers by mentioning names, but they should cease from making these terrible word pictures and claiming them to be efficacious as means of spiritual growth.

Materia medica has also added its contribution to the element of fear exercised over mankind; but it may be said, and said truthfully, that the pictures drawn by materia medica in the dark ages were neither so numerous nor so fear-inspiring as those traced by theology. This is because the medical men in the middle ages while familiar with the outward form of man, had not yet acquired sufficient accurate knowledge of anatomy and physiology to enable them to paint the horrible pictures of so-called diseased organs of the body, which descriptions are found, too often, in magazines, papers, and charts of modern days.

A medical diagnosis of any so-called disease, given either verbally or in writing, is a mental picture which the frightened human mind, unaided, finds it impossible to cast out. It is little less than a crime against children and even older people to display to them the horrible condition of diseased organs of the body and then after a diagnosis declare that individuals are suffering from such diseases. This is a wilderness of fear from which many fail to emerge. Christian Science is practically the only church which is combating this evil today, and deserves the aid of all fathers and mothers who should know that the medical profession has no more right to frighten their children with pictures of disease than theology has to frighten them with pictures of ghosts. Fear has always preached the eternal damnation of a large part of the human race.

 

The Better Way

Christian Science teaches with logical and spiritual exactness that it is utterly impossible for anyone to be lost eternally; that nothing but error shall be cast as rubbish to the heap. This salvation has been the universal quest of mankind, and its realization is foreshadowed in the Old Testament where it is written, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea,” and in the New Testament by such passages as, “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” and, “he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”

Human language has endeavored to picture this state of salvation in many ways, and probably no picture is more beautiful than that given in the closing chapter of the Revelation of St. John the Divine, wherein the state of salvation is likened to a beautiful garden. Now let us for convenience do what is perfectly legitimate, suppose salvation to be represented by a beautiful garden, which all men at some time desire to enter, and which all men eventually will enter. Let us say there are two ways leading to this garden, one over a corduroy road, the other by a beautiful gravel walk. The corduroy road represents much suffering and much cleansing by the wayside before one enters the garden; the gravel walk is a direct and more beautiful way accompanied by less pain and sorrow. The children of Israel coming out of four hundred years’ bondage in Egypt marched up to the border of the promised land in the brief period of six days on what may be called the gravel walk and they might then, had it not been for their cowardliness, crossed at once over Jordan into the fatherland. Being disobedient, however, they turned back and wandered forty years in the wilderness over what we have designated as the corduroy road. Mary Baker Eddy in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” in speaking of release from discord, uses the expression, “suffering or Science.” Now Science stands for what I have called the gravel walk and suffering for the corduroy road. What specifically is meant by this expression, “suffering or Science”? This namely, that those who know something of Truth and earnestly seek to realize it in their daily living are taking the more direct and pleasant path, through Science, toward the garden of salvation, while those who see some of the Truth and are disobedient to it are walking in the path of suffering and following the same course that led the children of Israel, for forty years, through the wilderness. On page 167 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy writes: “Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence — our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.” Christian Science is exact. We may trust it absolutely. If today we add one per cent to our stock of love and obedience we shall experience so much the less suffering and so much the more joy. Always as we add to our stock of love and obedience we are thereby forsaking the corduroy road and gaining the gravel walk. Or as Mrs. Eddy so beautifully teaches, we are approaching and entering the wonderful garden of salvation through Science instead of through suffering; the wilderness gradually blossoms as the rose, and blossoms abundantly. This gravel walk is that “spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.” (Science and Health, page 597.)

 

Personality and Individuality

Who has not heard the phrase, striking personality? In the sense it is generally understood, personality is a deadly bane. It leads to hero worship of the baser sort; it is of the earth, earthy. Those who are acknowledged to have striking personalities are the same who dominate over other men and women, either through wealth, position, voice, eye, feature, attire, or some other physical manifestation. Such submission is nothing less than slavery. Sir William Hamilton speaks of it as the “sign of a feeble mind.” I would rather say that it produces a feeble mind, for many otherwise noble men and women have been drawn into this wilderness of drought and serpents through admiring or fearing and following personality. The basic law for the guidance of Christian Scientists in this matter is found on page 40 of the Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy: “Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science divine Love alone governs man.” Perhaps Mrs. Eddy has stressed none of her teachings more emphatically than when she warns against following personality. Personality is material and temporal; individuality is spiritual and eternal. Personality vaunteth itself, is puffed up, behaveth itself unseemly, seeketh always its own, is easily provoked, thinketh evil. Individuality “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” To admire excessively, personality ends in disaster. To love individuality means life and peace. The reflection of God, good, in men and women constitutes their individuality. Such men and women we love and in loving them we love God. What we Christian Scientists love in Mary Baker Eddy is her individuality, she manifested so much of good. Increasingly she strove to take her personality away from thought. The greatest reformation ever known in the realm of teaching was begun when Mrs. Eddy eliminated the personal preacher, and instituted the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” as the only preachers in the Christian Science congregations. Every Christian Scientist knows that Mrs. Eddy’s teaching leads from personality to the Christ, Truth; and that is the reason why we all love her and are safe in so loving.

 

Death

I am going to discuss here briefly a phase of error which is the greatest imposter of the whole brood of evils. It claims to hold all men in a fatal grip from which there is no escape. Mortal mind names this imposter death, and while men flee from it and seek to avoid it, yet they are apt admit and declare that finally they must submit and that death becomes the master of Life and the master of man. This is the supreme lie; because it is the greatest pretension that evil ever made. For after all death is nothing but a shadow. The Psalmist calls it the shadow of death. That is the shadow, the shade, the supposition, that is called death. That it is only a shadow is proved by the words of Christ Jesus: “He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” — shall never see death. When man awakens one hundred per cent to spiritual truth he can no more pass through the experience called dying than could God. To this wonderful fact St. Paul alludes in first Corinthians wherein he writes, “we shall not all sleep” — the literal translation of which is “we shall not all die.” Now Christian Science teaches that man has the right to be immune from this physical episode called death. The first effect of Christian Science treatment or enlightenment is to begin to destroy fear in human thought. As the Christian Science Truth unfolds to one he thinks more and more about Life and less and less about death. That is, death is dying daily in his consciousness. Let us here employ a simple illustration. Grant for the sake of brevity that there are five so-called causes, any one of which may produce death. Let us say these causes are tuberculosis, anger, liver trouble, drunkenness and cancer. Suppose now, as often happens, that a man is healed of tuberculosis, that means that one of the five causes of death is destroyed; in other words that twenty per cent of death is dead. Then let him be healed of the vicious habit of anger and another of the so-called causes is eliminated. That means that forty per cent of death is destroyed. This progressive destruction of death is what is taking place in the consciousness of each active, loving Christian Scientist; and on this place of existence he may destroy so much of the death thought that if the change called death does come he may have scarce any fear at all in connection with it and it may be as painless an operation as the laying off of a worn-out garment.

Who shall say how much of the death thought was destroyed by the Founder of Christian Science before she passed on? The testimony of those who long were closely associated with her show to what remarkable degree in the case of Mrs. Eddy Mind dominated, destroyed matter, so that with her, as in the case of St. Stephen, Spirit broke through the veil of flesh, proving the nothingness of death and the allness of Life.

 

The Impelling Cause

I would feel that I had neglected a privilege and a duty were I to close this lecture without some allusion to my own physical healing and to my mental release from the old theology, that is, the beginning of my release from the mortal mind wilderness. In 1872 I became a member of an orthodox church. The six years following were passed preparing for the ministry. Beginning in 1877 and for thirty-four years thereafter I preached and ministered in that church, standing sincerely and loyally by its doctrine, discipline and worship. As a clergyman I was bitterly and unreasonably opposed to Christian Science and frequently denounced both Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy, publicly and privately. During the three years prior to 1911 I suffered increasingly from indigestion, liver trouble and as diagnosed by one physician, chronic appendicitis. A so-called nervous breakdown ensued and a horrible never absent fear came on which filled my thought with distressing pictures day and night. At that time, being in Oxford, England, I was led to receive treatment in Christian Science, which resulted in instantaneous physical healing, and what proved a still greater relief, the destruction of the beliefs in old theology. Through the Truth of Christian Science I was in one moment, transformed from the poignant sense of fear and pain to a state of relief and peace. There was only one thing I could do and that was to follow the light which came to me as I sat in darkness and in the shadow of death. A few weeks before I was to take final leave of the church and the loving people to whom I had ministered for eleven years, I was suddenly awakened at midnight out of a sound sleep and in the darkness I seemed to see an interrogation point a mile high and it said to me: “What if it is all a mistake, and you awake to find you are giving up your long ministry, your ample salary, your church and your loving people for something that proves itself to be a lie?” My heart was so full of love and gratitude for my healing that I was not taken unaware. I instantly said to that midnight spectre: “I will answer you by applying Jesus’ rule, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’.”

Then I said to myself: “Do you love God as much as in other days?” Answer: “There is no comparison.” Question: “Do you love mankind as much as of yore?” Answer: “I did not seem to know universal love for mankind until my healing in Christian Science.” With that the midnight spectre vanished forever. Other trying problems have arisen but they have been uniformly destroyed through the spiritual law of Christian Science. For this beginning of the destruction of death and the little understanding of life that has come to me, I am ever grateful to our Leader. Mary Baker Eddy is not the savior of mankind, but she is leading us out of the wilderness of confusion back to that Savior.

 

The World-Wide Problem

No religious teacher can consistently remain silent concerning the universal social and business unrest prevailing throughout the world today. During the last fifty years distance and time have been destroyed to such an extent by inventions and discoveries, that the peoples of the earth are now one family for weal or for woe. A discordant nation in any quarter of the globe becomes a problem which all other nations must help to heal, or suffer inevitable consequences. The whole world at the present time is in just this condition. The great homicidal war in which the peoples of the earth, recently, have been engaged has thrown into view this illuminating fact that the nations of the earth can no longer dwell apart as separate entities. God is the one Father and all His children are included in His family. The loving recognition of this fundamental fact is the only solution for the world’s problem.

Some one people must be first in setting an unselfish example rising above the greed of territory and coin, patiently and irresistibly drawing to its own ideals the other nations of the earth. Opportunity is waiting at the door and we have good hope that the Anglo-Saxon nations, not-withstanding their internal difficulties, will prove to be the rallying point for a disunited world-wide family. This hope is the more radiant because among this people the modern Star of Bethlehem arose. Here Christian Scientists, clear in thought, patient in love and calm in endeavor are influencing and moulding the national thought. With unerring prophetic instinct Mary Baker Eddy has written concerning distressing times, in these words, “those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check.” (Science and Health, page 97.) Christian Science thought is doing this very thing today. The learners and doers of Christian Science, unlike their ancestors of the elder dispensation, when trouble comes, do not sit down by the waters of Babylon and weep, nor do they hang their harps upon the trees therein but singing and making melody in their hearts they look to the ever present Christ as they sing, in the words of our Leader:

 

I will listen for Thy voice,

Lest my footstep stray;

I will follow and rejoice

All the rugged way.

(Mary Baker Eddy, Poems, page 14.)

 

Why Halt Ye?

The pregnant thought of those who are suffering is not, “How can I learn more of God?” but “where can I find a path out of this wilderness of trouble?” Jesus did not condemn such desires: he was compassionate; so also is Christian Science; it begins by relieving men and women of their sense of human suffering. This initial help through Christian Science should be gratefully received and acknowledged. He that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over many things. There are multitudes of people who in times of great need have turned to Christian Science and found relief; then, either afraid or ashamed to acknowledge the Truth openly, they continue to drift along under the influence of old theology and material medica and find themselves making no progress with perhaps discordant conditions recurring. Why halt ye in the valley of decision? In Blackstone is a saying that “Mistress Common Law brooketh no bedfellow.” It is equally true of Christian Science. One cannot advance in Science and still hold to the old theology and material medicine. Christian Science is the truth about God and man. It is equal to the solution of every problem. As we study it and are obedient to it our capacity for receiving and understanding increases, and the confusion of thought and infirmity of body which have held us in the wilderness of loneliness, doubt, and darkness, gradually disappear and “spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.” (Science and Health, page 597.) To the Christian Science thought God is a reality everywhere all the time. No incident is too small to reveal His presence. Permit me to give an illustration. Late one afternoon as I was leaving my hotel to keep a lecture engagement in a New York suburb, I found there was not time for an evening meal, so on the way to the station I purchased a sandwich, eating as I proceeded to the station. When the sandwich was almost consumed, two friends confronted me whom I had never seen before — a man and a dog. The dog stopped and looked up into my face; and the man stopped also. Supposing the dog wanted the remaining morsel of sandwich, I gladly offered it to him. He did not take his eyes from my face, moving his nose over so that it touched the bread, but he would not take it into his mouth. After a moment his companion spoke up and said: “He will not take food from any hand but his master’s.” Under my breath I said: “Oh, I thank you.” And proceeding to the train I said to myself: “When will I learn to be as obedient to my Master, Christ, as that dog is to his master? If I would refuse to take food from any hand but my Master’s I would not be poisoned any more with sin and sickness.” And so through the obedience of this humble creature of our Father’s (for God made the real dog) I had learned a little more about Truth and I had progressed a little further out of the mortal mind wilderness into the Christian Science wilderness that is blossoming as the rose — and blossoming abundantly. You have listened to a lecture on Christian Science. If your thought has been at all responsive you are now a little more awake than before. You see something about God a little more clearly than before and perhaps are experiencing an increased sense of peace and courage. That means that some of your sick and sinful and troubled thoughts have been cast out and are replaced by the Christ thought or Christian Science thought.

This is the beginning of healing. Be not disobedient to the heavenly vision; follow it. It will prove to be the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, leading from Egypt to the promised land.

 

[Published in The Chicago Leader, Feb. 5, 1937. The main body of this text was taken from a partial newspaper page, from which the bottom was missing. A 1921 newspaper report has since been found which follows very closely most of the text in The Chicago Leader. At three points, where text was missing from the Chicago report of the lecture, it has been supplied from the earlier source and placed within brackets. The original fragmentary version of the lecture has been retired from the lecture index, but remains online.]

 

 

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