Christian Science: The Religion of Courage

 

Judge Samuel W. Greene, C.S.B., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Judge Samuel W. Greene, C.S.B., of Chicago, Illinois, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, delivered a lecture on Christian Science under the auspices of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, Oakland, in the church edifice, 1500 Ninetieth Avenue, Oakland, Tuesday evening, March 24, 1942, at eight o'clock.

The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Mark C. Munson, a member of the church, who said:

Friends:

Most heartily do I welcome you to enjoy with us a lecture entitled "Christian Science: The Religion of Courage."

Kindly allow me to relate a most beautiful healing which came to our home while we were yet new in Christian Science.

The problem was a broken ankle, and the party involved was our young son. Not being satisfied with the result of the attending physician, we had an X-ray taken. The negative revealed the ends of the bones overlapping leaving the leg an inch and a half short, while the doctors had no positive remedy to offer.

A kind friend lovingly recommended that we employ Christian Science treatment, which we did at once, with the happy result of a complete healing.

Several months later, the same physician who had taken the X-ray asked to examine the boy's leg and was permitted to do so, after which he remarked, "It is remarkable how children will recuperate. When I took the X-ray picture, that leg was an inch and a half shorter than the other and I have just measured it three times and both legs are exactly the same length."

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude for the wonderful healing efficacy of Christian Science.

Our revered Leader and Benefactor, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has brought to us again the joyful tidings of "On Earth Peace, Good Will toward Men."

Therefore, in behalf of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, Oakland, permit me to present to you the speaker of the evening, Judge Samuel W. Greene, of Chicago, Illinois, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, who has the joy and pleasure of addressing you.

Judge Greene.

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

The greatest obstacle to health, happiness, and human welfare is fear. The most plaguing, insistent, tenacious, continuous human weakness is fear. Christian Science presents to the human thought the certain and perfect antidote for every fear. The truth about God and God's perfect manifestation, is ever the antithesis of fear, doubt, anxiety, unhappiness.

 

 

God

The scientific truth concerning God as revealed in Christian Science brings to human consciousness a wholesome and satisfying sense of Deity, the source of all creation, that tends at once to lessen and to limit the basis and cause of universal fear. It is as though, through the raging torrents and storms of the carnal or mortal mind, one's inner consciousness seems to hear the voice of God speaking, "Fear not, for I am God and there is none else."

Could any sense of Deity be more comforting, more encouraging, more sustaining in its assurance than the truth that God is infinite Love? What a multitude of fears melt into harmless nothingness in the comforting realization that the infinite source of being is Love! What assurances of health and life, security and wholeness are envisaged in the consciousness that God is Life! What rich blessings of peace, and courage, and confidence are poured into our experience in the understanding that God is Life!

How truly and how certainly are we lifted out of the finite realm of matter and materiality in the consciousness and understanding that God is Mind! With this understanding, we simply and naturally fall into the resolving of things into thoughts, and into the very definite realization that creation proceeding from Mind is not material but mental.

How strong, how active, how altogether infinite is that concept of God which comes in thinking about the words of Christ Jesus to the woman at the well in Samaria, "God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth!" How tremendously important to human welfare, to all human hope, improvement, and progress becomes this profound revelation that God is Spirit and must, therefore, be worshiped in spirit and in truth! How completely our whole human concept of creation is changed as we conceive of God, Spirit, being expressed in perfect spiritual creation!

What majesty, what might, what purity, what infinite wealth in the realization that God is Truth! In this marvelous concept of the infinite, how truly the dark visions, shadows, fears, doubts, are dispelled! How clear and how profitable seems the way as we consider our eternal harmony under the government of divine Truth!

What a wealth of being, of power, wholesomeness, of satisfying reality is found in the understanding that God is Soul! How far removed from any superstitious, or mysterious, or limited, or finite, or material concept of God is this conviction, and divinely inspired understanding, that God is Soul!

How certain, how sure, how orderly, how definitely correct is God's being and power defined as Principle! With great satisfaction the realm of accident, luck, chance, mishap, insecurity, and discord disappears in our quickened sense of God's unfailing law and government as divine Principle.

Thus does Christian Science reveal the nature and character of God as understandable, as available to make certain and practical the realization of "every good gift and every perfect gift," the realization of health, happiness, harmony, and every desirable condition of being.

God is defined in Christian Science by these seven synonyms: Life, Love, Truth, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.

 

 

 

Creation

Christian Science, through the teaching of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, is leading its students and followers into a new world, a new universe that is truly compatible with the account of creation as given in the first chapter of Genesis. Nothing could be more natural than to realize that God's creation is His expression, His manifestation, even His image and likeness. Surely no creation could be more satisfactory, even to our human sense, than this realization of creation as the expression, or manifestation of Love, Life, Truth, Soul, Mind, Spirit, Principle − creation of which it can be truly said, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Thus is creation visualized in the words of the textbook on page 504: "Was not this a revelation instead of a creation?"

 

Man

Of immediate concern and interest to everyone is the query, What is man, and what is man's relationship to God? In accord with this concept of creation as revelation, Christian Science points out that man is truly and certainly what the first chapter of Genesis teaches, − that is, created in the image and likeness of God. The answer to the inquiry then is, What is the image and likeness of Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle? Any true conclusion reached from such a foundation would very naturally and correctly reveal man to be idea, to be spiritual, to be whole, to be perfect, to be Godlike. Accordingly, one can easily understand why and how the Christian Science textbook says (p.475): "Man is spiritual and perfect. . . . Man is idea. . . . He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; . . . that which has not a single quality underived from Deity."

How poorly and how imperfectly human consciousness has discerned and understood what man really is! The pointed, explicit and vivid description of man in the first chapter of Genesis is in need of not one word to emphasize or to call attention to God's concept of man. Nothing could be added to God's image and likeness. No power could be added to God-given dominion, which is the promise of the first chapter of Genesis to man.

Also, it must be clear to all that nothing can be taken from man, God's image and likeness, else we would have the senseless proposition that something could be taken from God. Human eulogy has made various and vain efforts to exalt man's position, and all of them fall far short of this simple statement in the first chapter of Genesis: "So God created man in his own image." Only the Master himself has been able, in his description of man, to arrive at a full perfection of God's creation in the words, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

From this standpoint of spiritual creation, how futile, how ineffective, how poorly adequate has been the human effort to achieve in man's experience the perfection known to God!  Men have reached out for material possessions, fame, position, dominion, but how few in the annals of history have scaled the heights, surmounted the difficulties, and stood upon the spiritual eminence that is man's universal inheritance and God-given dominion! Jesus alone has walked the perfect way, has seen the perfect vision, has accomplished the perfect work, and he was qualified to describe his way. Truly man shall have missed the message and the mission of this marvelous character, Jesus of Nazareth, if he fails to observe in practical fashion these words: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Surely the time approaches when Christian Science will be more generally accepted as pointing the way to this present, possible, perfect attainment.

 

Healing

All of this concerning God, and man, and creation becomes of great importance in the consideration of healing as it is taught and practiced in Christian Science. The actual process of healing in Christian Science does not involve dealing with matter or the material body. It does not depend upon symptoms, diagnosis, and material conditions. Healing, then, is purely mental, spiritual, not material.

The sufferer or invalid may believe that his difficulty is caused by inflamed or infected matter, but the truth is that his difficulty comes from a wrong concept of what man is, and of what God is. In that realm where Mind, Spirit, Principle, Life governs, there can be no room for pain, imperfection, disease, disaster, death. The Christian Science textbook says (p. 468); "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." This fact of creation precludes the possibility of a material condition known as sickness, disease, suffering. As we understand the impossibility of matter being in the realm of divine Mind, we arrive at a state of consciousness that prevents our acceptance of any thought of sin, disease, or death. When the human mind no longer entertains the thought of sin, disease, and death, such conditions will cease to make demands, and we shall find ourselves free to accept and claim the perfection voiced by Christ Jesus when he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

The healing activity or procedure in Christian Science becomes, then, the prayer of realization, or affirmation, or demonstration. The type of prayer as used in Christian Science is typified approximately in the twenty-third Psalm and in the Lord's Prayer.  Prayer, then, in Christian Science is the expression of rejoicing, of gratitude, of confidence, of courage, of absolute faith in God. The textbook says (p. 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."

Every Bible reader is familiar with healing instances related in both the Old and the New Testament, which incidents clearly illustrate and typify the healing ministry and activity of Christian Science. In the twenty-first chapter of Genesis is related an interesting healing, illustrating how mental and spiritual is the process. Hagar, with her child, wandered in the wilderness, and apparently because of her disappointment and sorrow and resentment, lost her way and became somewhat fearful for the life of herself and the child. The healing result is related in these words: "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water." The rest of the story relates how the child and she were sustained, and of the promise that out of the lad would grow a great nation.

Also in II Kings is an interesting incident where the prophet, or man of God, was surrounded by a hostile military force come to take him prisoner. His young man, viewing the surrounding enemy, became greatly alarmed. The healing is portrayed in these words: "And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." The incident as further related tells how Elisha not only was not taken captive, but led the soldiers captive and then eventually restored them to their master without hurt or harm to anyone.

The invalid who comes with fear and trembling, recounting his pains, his symptoms, his weaknesses, needs only to have his eyes opened to see God's perfect handiwork − man in His image and likeness − that he may renounce, dispute, and deny the material conditions, and claim and realize the true nature of his being as spiritual, perfect man.

Considering these two outstanding incidents of healing as related in the Old Testament, the reader cannot but observe that the satisfactory answer to prayer in each case was found in the awakened consciousness of the seeker to realize or see that his relief lay in the omnipresent fact of God's presence, power, and harmony. In following this line of reasoning, bearing in mind the true concept of God, we are led to the conclusion that relief from any distressing human condition is found in the realization that God's way and God's plan is always the perfect way and plan, which when understood and acknowledged by man, reveals the presence and existence of health or freedom indicated by Christ Jesus in his oft-quoted statement, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The scientific process of healing, then, as taught and practiced in Christian Science (which system is the result of a study of healing in both Old and New Testament history), becomes largely, if not entirely, a procedure of seeking, knowing, and acknowledging what is really the fact of being in any particular situation.

In the twentieth chapter of II Chronicles is related an interesting human experience, the possible outcome of which indicated great suffering and loss and unhappiness in a war on the part of the children of Judah with much superior forces preparing for battle against them. In this extremity the king, being a faithful follower of God, called on his people to gather, in something like a national prayer meeting, to inquire of God what could be done in the face of impending danger and possible loss. The word of God was revealed to the prophet present at the meeting, and the simple message was: "Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle." This declared safety and deliverance through God was accepted joyfully; and immediately plans were made for thanksgiving and rejoicing instead of a war. Presently the enemy suffered dissension from within their ranks and were dispelled and destroyed without any effort being made on the part of Judah to fight. These ancients, depending on God, saw truly that no fight was needed on their part, and that indeed the battle was God's.

Christian Science, taking its lesson from this and other incidents, teaches that always the battle is God's, and man needs only to acknowledge God in all his ways. Man, being conscious of God's being, intelligently and omnipotently expressed, may always find himself safe and satisfied − even in the language of the Bible taken from this interesting incident, "Set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you."

In the first chapter of Genesis appears a very comprehensive and remarkable statement in these words: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Sensibly and naturally Christian Science adopts this simple and far-reaching statement as a basis for the discernment and acknowledgment of good, even perfection, in any and every real situation and condition. Obviously, this reasoning must make a distinction in all situations between the real and unreal. In connection with this quotation from Genesis and the resultant conclusion as taught in Christian Science, there is found in the Gospel of John a supporting statement in these words: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Surely every believer to the inspired Word of the Bible is ready to agree that God could not, and would not, be the author or creator of anything unlike Himself. Even in our human concept of accomplishments, such creations as pictures, buildings, poems, etc., are recognized as the product of certain masters. They are seen to be expressions of the talents, nature, and being of their creators. Much more, in considering the work of Deity, must the real always perfectly express the infinite creator.

The fact concerning the universe is that in God's creation, which is the real, there can be no imperfection, no discord, no decay. This becomes highly practical when one is asked in Christian Science to work for, pray for, or help the so-called sick. The Christian Science worker's first assumption is naturally that the man of God's creation cannot be an expression of aught but good. The suggestion or argument of discord, pain, imperfection, is belied by the understanding that all that God has made is very good, and that without Him has not anything been made. The Christian Science worker may use argument similar to what you have heard to persuade and to convince himself and the patient that normally, naturally, and scientifically man is perfect and cannot be otherwise. In addition to the audible persuasive statement or treatment, the worker will endeavor, by the suasion of thought, to lift the consciousness of the patient to that point in the thought of the master Christian, Christ Jesus, when he said, "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." There is no mystery, or secrecy, with the Christian Scientist concerning the so-called treatment, or work, or prayer. The efficacy of such treatment, or work, or prayer, is not due to any particular words in the mouth or thought of the worker, but depends mostly upon the recognition and acceptance by the practitioner and the patient of the divine presence and power through an awakened consciousness, or understanding on their part. The healing work in Christian Science is not based on any assumption that man really becomes sick and must be healed bodily through some omnipotent power; but sickness, so called, is recognized in Christian Science as a bodily manifestation produced solely by an erroneous mental condition on the part of the patient and on the part of those around him. The original erroneous belief in nearly every case is in the assumption that sickness is even possible. When man's consciousness refuses entirely to accept even the suggestion of imperfection as the work of God, sickness will cease to be a menace to mankind.

This process, known in Christian Science as prayer, or treatment, is apparently voiced by Paul in these words in his letter to the Romans: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." His meaning is obvious in saying, "Be not conformed to this world" − that is, to the beliefs of sin, disease, and death. Neither is it difficult to follow his meaning in the second part of the statement to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind," that one may prove in his experience the will of God. If there be any difficulty in healing, it may lie perhaps in the unwillingness or indifference of the patient in the question of being transformed and the lack of spiritual power and understanding on the part of the practitioner. The so-called mortal or carnal mind referred to by Paul as "enmity against God" is apathetic, indifferent to change, and perhaps rebellious concerning intelligent and persistent activity in the direction of reform. This is the same state of mind represented in the Master's time by the words imputed to the evil spirit in saying: "What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?" Many an invalid desires healing, and at the same time is unwilling to put forth the necessary mental effort to become aroused, awakened, moved, changed, reformed, that he may experience the "acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Surely this mental activity will be accepted as an entirely scientific procedure.

The astronomer calculates from known locations in astronomy where certain stars or celestial bodies should be, and then turns his telescope in that direction, and is rewarded by seeing the object of his search. His scientific accuracy in directing the position of the telescope has not moved the sought star, nor changed its location in any particular, and his scientific work has simply verified the accuracy of his mathematical calculations.

In spiritual or mental healing in Christian Science, the processes used to arouse the patient's thought have not in the slightest altered or changed the real man of God's creation, but the scientific mental procedure has awakened and aroused the patient to the point of seeing, accepting, and acknowledging the fact of God's creation in the perfect man. When the perfect man is seen, acknowledged, the sick man has disappeared. This healing thought is expressed in the Christian Science textbook in these words (pp. 476, 477): "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 Apostle Paul, in the third chapter of II Corinthians, pursues, or uses a similar argument based on his discerning, or perceiving the perfect. He speaks of the "vail" which has blinded the minds of men but is done away in Christ. And his summation of the mental process is in these words: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." This is quoted by a modern translator of the New Testament in this fitting and useful expression: "And all of us, reflecting the splendor of the Lord in our unveiled faces, are being changed into likeness to him, from one degree of splendor to another, for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

In the active experience of healing work in Christian Science, one quickly recognizes that the same procedure is not the rule in every case. One of the notable healings mentioned in the Old Testament provides an example of healing quite different from the mental argument that has been brought out in this lecture. The man Naaman, mentioned in the fifth chapter of II Kings, was a leper. Information was conveyed to him that a prophet in Israel could heal him if his services were sought. Obviously, Naaman was not a follower of the Hebrew religion, but went to this stranger, the prophet Elisha, to be healed. In the reading of this incident one sees that the prophet knew of his coming and had apparently decided on the method of treatment before the arrival of Naaman and his company of followers. In this case the prophet did not even see the patient, but sent his servant with a message to Naaman to go and wash seven times in the River Jordan, with the promise that he would be clean. At first Naaman was unhappy and unwilling to comply with the prophet's direction, perhaps on the theory that there were rivers in his own country that were cleaner and clearer and more buoyant than the River Jordan appeared to be, and he thought that if it were just a question of dipping in the river the waters of his own rivers would be more effective. However someone in his party saw and called to Naaman's attention, the reasonableness of the prophet's request and the necessity for obedience thereto. His humble acceptance and compliance with the prophet's conditions may indicate an entire change of thought on Naaman's part, which resulted in his healing. Certain it is that the prophet had in mind that Naaman must express a change of thought concerning self before he could be healed. His words to wash in the River Jordan, we may conclude, indicate that some action was to be taken by Naaman as an evidence of his faith in the word of the prophet, and his reliance upon the power of the prophet's God; and it may well denote an entire and joyful acceptance of the possibility of freedom from this loathsome disease through his obedience. His action in complying denoted riddance of his hardness and his self-will, and a childlike faith in the prophet's word. The record further relates that he was immediately cleansed, and there is much to be thought of in considering the language of the author, in telling of his healing, concerning Naaman's state of mind as told in these words: "His flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." This reference to the little child is perhaps an inkling of the childlike thought brought out in the Master's ministry that he who humbles himself, as a little child, "the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Christian Science in this spiritual interpretation, or version, of the Bible, brings out frequently the connection and relationship between the Old and the New Testament, thus affording the student an occasional glimpse of the continuity and scientific appearance and understanding of the divine presence and divine power through the ages of thought represented in the Holy Scriptures. (See Science and Health, p. 174:17-21)

One of the important features recognized and taught in Christian Science healing is the allness of God and His creation, and the nothingness of all evil, which is a term used to describe the unreal, or all that is unlike God. We can scarcely think or desire a more satisfying truth, or fact, than the allness of God and His creation. One could scarcely believe that any thinking Christian would dispute the proposition of God's allness, which is so often brought out in Scriptural passages; and yet the same Christians might and do dispute the teaching of Christian Science that there can be no sickness, no imperfection, no evil in God's universe, because such conditions are no part of God and, therefore, are impossible and unreal.

In the Preface to the Christian Science textbook is this expression (p. vii): "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings. . . . The time for thinkers has come." Surely the Christian thinker is ready to adopt as his theory of life the scientific fact of God's allness and the perfection of God's creation.

The writer of the second chapter of Genesis, in his effort to describe a material creation, prefaces his description of material creation by reference to a mist that went up from the earth. In Christian Science this mist is treated as mystification, or mistake, or misunderstanding, or the "vail" mentioned by Paul, or darkness. Every belief or suggestion of sickness, or accident, or discord, or sin, is but the appearance (as suggestion) of this mist which went up from the earth and which obviously did not come from God. We know in nature that a mist is dispelled by light, and the effort in Christian Science towards healing is always a search for and pursuit of light or truth, which obviously dispels or destroys the mist, and reveals God and His allness.

A further illustration as proof that healing as practiced by Jesus was a recognition of God's power as always present, rather than healing being a so-called miracle, or supernatural intervention of the Father, is to be found in the healing of Lazarus as related in the eleventh chapter of John's Gospel. The Master's prayer indicates his state of thought. "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." The further relation of the incident brings out Jesus' calling Lazarus to come forth, and the man was restored to life. Surely we must conclude that Jesus knew all the time that man's life is immortal and perfect as the gift of God, and the words of the prayer are but indications of his confidence that there is no death. It was this sureness and thorough understanding of spiritual, perfect manhood that enabled him to speak the awakening word that called Lazarus from the dream of death.

In Christian Science there are no set words or formulas for prayer or treatment. Indeed, the use of formulas is forbidden in the practice of healing. The inquirer, or the one seeking to use Christian Science, needs this basic truth and understanding of God's perfection, and man's consequent perfection as the image and likeness of God. As he is filled with this state of consciousness, and made sure through his understanding of the fact that he is the expression, and reflection, and image and likeness of God, he asserts his health, his activity, his well-being; and his faith being well grounded and founded, his healing is the result. This is in accord with Jesus' statement, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

One of the very vivid statements and promises of the Master, calculated to produce unfailing courage in man, is, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Obviously, this enemy is the mist already referred to, and the power promised by the Master is the light, or truth, that dispels and destroys the mist. In this, and in all arguments in Christian Science, we are quickly enabled to understand how Jesus could make with confidence the statements concerning the manifestation of God and His power with such perfect assurance. Surely that period of understanding is dawning in human consciousness when the truth so ably propounded by Jesus is to be accepted more generally by Christians everywhere. Surely the time approaches when men will seek the truth, will pursue the truth, will give all in an effort to have the truth, that the salvation promised by the Master may become a reality in our human experience. Surely the word of the prophet of old shall find its fruition in modern experience: "Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." Out of the multiplicity of human theories concerning freedom, dominion, and universal human welfare that are being propounded will come a definite and final inspired effort of humanity to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord until He be found, and until the rain of righteousness be upon us.

Christian Science is pointing the way. The textbook of Christian Science is leading human thought to an understanding and to a possession of the facts of divine creation, even to realization and acknowledgement of man's present perfection, and the possibility of a present acceptance of health, life, and happiness, even the possession of "every good gift, and every perfect gift," denoting an acknowledgment of God's perfection here and now.

The book of Revelation reveals John's perception of wonderful possibilities for man in this present state of being. From his mount of vision he perceived a new heaven and a new earth, and man as the blessed child of God, which is but a recognition of Jesus' promise, "The kingdom of God is within you." The Christian Science textbook says (p. 574), "This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility."

 

Business

From a material standpoint, human beings face the need for food, lodging, and necessities for everyday existence. To meet this need, men and women are ordinarily engaged in some kind of activity known as work or business. The desire for some such expression in life is well-nigh universal, and is often founded upon the thought of being serviceable and useful to others. This is a proper spiritual basis for scientific activity in the business world, and one so engaged will find much in the Bible and in the teaching of Christian Science that will be helpful in pointing him to success.

Jesus emphasizes the necessity of service in man's activity as well as the necessity of seeking that activity in the spiritual realm. He said: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Also he said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In this connection it is interesting to notice the statement of one of the Old Testament prophets, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Giving, seeking the kingdom of God, and bringing the tithes, are all of the same texture, or truth, and they voice the necessity of our rendering some service, providing some action and activity which will result in the pouring into our lives of great blessings.

In the Christian Science textbook, on page 595, among other definitions of "tithe" are these spiritual ones: "Contribution; . . . homage; gratitude." In considering the tithes that one may bring into God's storehouse, that is, that one needs to make active in his own consciousness, we may well bear in mind "contribution; . , . homage; gratitude," as well as other qualities set forth by Bible writers, such as, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; . . .think on these things." And again from II Peter, "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." How often we have seen instances in the lives and business experience of certain people where they have brought these and other tithes into the storehouse, and how truly the blessings have poured! Surely man will not neglect in business this opportunity, this necessity, this requirement, to bring the tithes into the storehouse. Such is the teaching of Christian Science.

In consideration of man's business possibilities we may well take a lesson from the life of the master Christian. It is generally believed that from twelve to thirty, or thereabouts, the Master followed the business of carpentry. At twelve his remark in the temple to his mother would indicate that whatever he did it must be about his "Father's business." The quiet eighteen years in the carpenter shop at Nazareth must have seen the production of many yokes and plows and carts and other useful implements of the farm and household. Through these eighteen years there was undoubtedly another side of the Master's business career. During the hours when he was fastening a yoke, or expertly completing a cart, he must have been mentally conscious of the perfection of creation, and this constant consciousness of God's perfect way must have been the dominating thought in all his work and life. At thirty, then, after these eighteen year of quiet, constant meditation upon the things of God's perfection, perhaps exemplified in his own human creations in beautiful workmanship, the Master was ready for the most glorious experience in helping men, and in pointing the way, that the world can ever know.

Within the grasp of every man connected with a right human business activity is the divine possibility of being about his Father's business, even as the Master was. He can be perfect in his honesty, just in his consideration of customers, harmonious in his dealings with competitors until the activity would not be competition but cooperation; he can be intelligently intent upon making the activity perfect, satisfactory, enduring in the constant vision of perfection enjoined by the Master; he can well go forward day after day and year after year with a quiet, confident expectancy that this earnest endeavor to be about his Father's business is qualifying him for teaching, healing, and saving his fellow man, until indeed he can realize in all of its fullness and glory the promise voiced by the Master himself, the expression of God's love and bounty toward His children, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."

 

Discoverer and Founder

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, having first been able to prove, in her own human experience the availability of God's law and God's power to solve human problems, enlarged and increased her study of the Bible, perceiving in the course of her study the need of spiritual interpretation and understanding of the Bible as directed even by the Master in the statement that God must be worshiped "in spirit and in truth." Her efforts to promote and make practical and effective a spiritual concept of Life were met naturally with great human opposition and hostility, for the method and the plan were radically opposed to the common teaching and experience of humanity. With almost incredible patience, faith, unselfishness, and persistence, Mrs. Eddy continued her efforts, and they were magnificently rewarded in world-wide recognition of a spiritual discovery, on her part, and a spiritual renaissance which has brought great comfort, healing, and blessing to multitudes.

Mrs. Eddy's plans and proposals for church activity and church maintenance may have seemed unusual or even impossible in the beginning as she turned thought toward infinite supply and divine direction rather than to the ordinary human plans of churches. The experience of the years has proved how wisely and well the foundations of the Christian Science movement were laid by its Discoverer and Founder. She perceived the need of human agencies for the spread of this gospel, and in due time established a Publishing Society that has been and continues to be a very wholesome activity in sending out this message of healing and truth through its various publications to all the civilized world. She founded a church, The Mother Church, from which has grown a great number of branch churches throughout the civilized world that are continually propounding and proving this spiritual power and activity for the benefit of all who are willing to hear and to heed. After the discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy devoted herself assiduously, energetically, with a wholly consecrated energy and effort, to the teaching and proving of this spiritual of truth. She gave her all to her discovery, and the result of her consecration and devotion are ample testimonies to the purity and perfection of her vision which enabled her to say (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 34): "Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ." Truly it may be said of this modern teacher, and Leader, and Founder, that she has been an instrument in bringing multitudes to the realization of the Psalmist's beautiful sentiment, "For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." Christian Scientists will be always grateful to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

 

Textbook

The Christian Science textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," was the outcome and outgrowth of Mrs. Eddy's effort to properly interpret the Bible, and to correctly define man's true relationship to God, and the procedure required to prove this relationship in health and happiness.

The textbook has had its baptism of fire, which continued for many years, at times violently, from pulpits, platforms, newspapers, magazines, and all manner of publications. That this marked hostility and oftentimes intemperate criticism have largely discontinued, is witness to the permanence and truth of this text. Having been based upon the study and interpretation of the Bible, it is not surprising, but very natural, that the textbook should be established as reliable and useful and worthy, and as a permanent record of a remarkable movement in the history of Christianity.

The unprejudiced student of the Christian Science textbook will find remarkable and yet understandable statements therein that he will recognize as having been impossible to be perceived except as the result of inspiration and divine revelation. The reading and study of this book will bring to any faithful student a concept of a higher life, of a richer inheritance, and of a nobler purpose and motive than he has before entertained, and will thereby generously promote his spirituality, his health, and his happiness.

 

Salvation

In a world of human beliefs, erroneously entertained and disastrously practiced, there is great need for the light, and truth, and power revealed in Christian Science. The world is familiar with many dire predictions that civilization and Christianity will be obliterated in the activity of the carnal hate and selfishness which is all around us. Christian Science reveals the counteracting influence and existence of that omnipotent and benevolent power that makes possible man's continued living and being on a new and better plane of understanding in accord with the infinite conception of infinite Mind, divine Love, which is particularly voiced by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science in these words from "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 82, 83): "This Mind, then, is not subject to growth, change, or diminution, but is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding men forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good."

 

[Published in The Oakland (California) Tribune, April 2, 1942.]

 

 

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