Christian Science: The Religion of Spiritual Light

 

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, lectured Monday evening at Cadle Tabernacle on "Christian Science: The Religion of Spiritual Light," under auspices of Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Judge Greene is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. The lecture follows substantially as it was given:

 

The desire for light is universal. According to the record of the book of Genesis, God's first edict is "Let there be light." In the unfoldment of that spiritual light as provided by Deity, creation is made manifest to the seeing eye, as is indicated in the following statement from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science (p. 504): "Genesis 1. 5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. All questions as to the divine creation being both spiritual and material are answered in this passage, for though solar beams are not yet included in the record of creation, still there is light. This light is not from the sun nor from volcanic flames, but it is the revelation of Truth and of spiritual ideas. This also shows that there is no place where God's light is not seen, since Truth, Life, and Love fill immensity and are ever-present. Was not this a revelation instead of a creation?"

Thus, in clear, confident, courageous words, the student and thinker is invited to see creation as spiritual and not material. This is the spiritual light that pervades the teachings of Christian Science, lifting thought from its limited confines of materialism to the boundless expanse of spiritual being. The woes and burdens of mankind are the result of erroneous thinking, engendered and imposed by the false assumptions that real creation is material. In following this light of spiritual interpretations of the Bible text the mental journey leads to the salvation or dominion decreed in the first chapter of Genesis.

The voice of Jesus of Nazareth, identifying himself as the Christ or "the divine manifestation of God" (Science and Health, p. 583), the Master Christian, comes crying down the centuries: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Again this voice is heard to say, "Ye are the light of the world," thus clothing his disciples with the same quality of thought as his own. Again the great Teacher said to those that believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This, with other similar references with which Bible readers are familiar, indicates that spiritual light and truth are in a way synonymous. Perhaps all will agree that mankind, then, is really seeking to know what is true about everything.

There have been inspired messengers along the way of the centuries, poets, philosophers, preachers, statesmen, authors, and simple laymen, who have given glimpses of the truth to the world and have thereby greatly blessed mankind.

 

The Discoverer of Christian Science

It remained, however, for Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, to give to the world through Christian Science the full light of the truth which Jesus revealed, showing divine Science to be the Comforter promised by Jesus that is to lead into all truth. From her earliest years there were intimations of spiritual-mindedness in Mrs. Eddy. She thought more deeply than the average young person, and had experiences that indicated a real and intelligent interest in knowing about Deity. Her younger life was somewhat burdened with ill health, so that her thought naturally sought a healing truth. Her search for permanent health was not successful until she found through her own study and effort how to apply the truth as Jesus taught and applied it in his ministry. In a moment of spiritual enlightenment, she saw that Jesus' healing words and works were for all time, and not just for a brief so-called miraculous period while he personally walked among men. She saw that this spiritual light or truth concerning which he spoke, was and is the eternal light of Truth, and is to be had and enjoyed by all who understand. What is more natural than to see such a trend in his words, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do"? In claiming this perpetual presence and power of God for the healing of the sick, Mrs. Eddy   immediately experienced great physical relief from a severe condition. Then, as she persevered in her study and application, there came greater returns in health and in understanding, and presently she was aware that she had found something that the world greatly needed.

Her first efforts to spread the light of her revelation were along the line of healing others of disease. As she was successful in making the application of the truth, she then began to write concerning her discovery. In her own textbook she speaks modestly of her first writings, and says that they were "the first steps of a child in the newly discovered world of Spirit" (Science and Health, Pref., p. viii). It is not strange that her first effort to interpret so radical a teaching as was Jesus, should have been poorly received by mankind. Had not the Christian world generally held that Jesus was God, or else so much a part of God as to make his works impossible to other than himself? In the light of her own healing, Mrs. Eddy made a devoted and intelligent study of the Bible, especially with reference to healing, and then in an application of spiritual power as she found it revealed in the Bible she was able to heal many others. Thus there came to her the conviction that she had made a discovery concerning the power of God, that could be taught to men, and with this in mind, she wrote and gave to the world her most comprehensive book.

 

The Textbook

This book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," called also the textbook of Christian Science, was published first in 1875. It has, like every widely read book, been issued in many editions, and it has had its share of criticism and opposition from many sources, but is today read and respected by thousands who do not call themselves Christian Scientists. It is interesting to note that some statements and theories of the textbook which were considered fantastical or ridiculous fifty years ago are today more generally accepted as true. One such is, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter" (Science and Health, p. 468), which was widely ridiculed and scoffed at in the early years, but today reliable physical scientists are admitting that matter has no reality, even if their conclusions are based on different reasoning from Mrs. Eddy's.

Another question that once provoked much opposition from the theologians is that Jesus is not God, which Mrs. Eddy quickly perceived in her effort to apply Jesus' teachings. Today many enlightened ministers and laymen of the Christian churches recognize and teach that Jesus was not God; and some of them even agree that his human career may be emulated by men.

This textbook of Christian Science is studied by Christian Scientists in connection with the Bible, and enables students to apply the teachings of the Bible in a practical way in healing the sick and in solving other problems of mankind. The teaching of Christian Science is, in effect, that all truth is spiritual truth, and that the Bible cannot be understood or properly interpreted and applied in everyday living except through spiritual interpretation. The Christian Science textbook sets forth the truth of being, and thus provides a practical method whereby mankind may read, understand, and apply the religion taught and demonstrated by Jesus and illustrated in the lives of the ancient prophets.

 

God

The teaching of Christian Science concerning God is perhaps more easily understood than some other of its teachings. Christian Science assumes, in accordance with the inspired word of the Bible, that God is the creator of all that really exists. It teaches, according to the gospel of John, that "All things were made by him [God]; and without him was not any thing made that was made." In accordance with various passages of the Bible, Christian Science defines God as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love.

One distinction between the orthodox concept of God and that of Christian Science is, that while the former accepts both good and evil as emanating from God, Christian Science shows that since God is good - infinite good - He could not create nor permit nor be conscious of anything but good - but that which is the result of His own creation. God being Mind or Spirit, all that is created by Him must be like Him, and is therefore mental or spiritual. The human thought has been so prone to think in terms of matter that it at first rebels at the thought of an entire spiritual creation, and consoles itself in its material theories by citing the beauties and glories of matter. But if we continue to bear in thought that God is Mind, Spirit, we shall be compelled, by reason of spiritual light, to behold a spiritual creation, perfect, harmonious, and unrelated to matter. The correct concept of God is forever leading mankind out of material weaknesses and difficulties into the glorious freedom promised by the Master to those disciples who would continue in his word.

 

Man

Our chief concern in arriving at some proper understanding of Christian Science is to learn what place man has in this God-created universe. We are agreeably surprised to find a new and perfect man that is created in God's image and likeness and therefore partakes of the qualities and attributes of God. It is indeed surprising to get a vision of man so different from the man of our material consideration, who is constantly afflicted with material ills and who is destined always for death. Christian Science reveals a free man, a whole man, an immortal man - indeed the man mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, to whom God gave and gives dominion over all things.

 

Healing

It is often the experience of sick persons to be healed in listening to the explanation of what Christian Science is. Jesus said that a knowledge of the truth would make us free.  Christian Science teaches that it is one's understanding and acceptance of the truth that brings the healing. Let us assume that a sick person comes to a Christian Scientist for healing. The Christian Scientist tells him that God is good, is the author and creator of all; and therefore there is no cause or power that could have produced the erroneous and discordant condition which he claims. The patient may protest and point to a manifestation of irritation or infection. The practitioner directs his attention to the Scriptures, and shows him how Jesus never recognized or accepted disease as real, but denied its power, and always called on the patient to arise and claim his health. For instance, when the man sick of the palsy and helpless was let down through the roof and placed before him, Jesus first corrected this sick man's thought by telling him that his sins were forgiven. Then he said to the invalid, "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house." Immediately the man arose and did as he was told. Surely, if Jesus had believed in the reality or existence of disease in this man, he would never have called on him to do such a vain thing as to get up and walk. The point is, that Jesus did not believe in the reality of disease - he saw no disease. He saw God's perfect man, and awakened the thought of the patient, who obediently made the effort to walk, and found himself free. This is undoubtedly what was in Mrs. Eddy's mind, when she wrote in the textbook (Science and Health, p. 476): "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." This incident of healing by Jesus illustrates the importance of gaining a "correct view of man."

In Christian Science treatment we may begin by denying any reality in the so-called symptoms manifested by the patient, or that there is in reality any disease. All of this, of course, is founded upon the statements in Christian Science, that "Man is not matter; . . . man is spiritual and perfect; . . . that which has not a single quality underived from Deity" (Science and Health, p. 476). This line of argument or thinking would naturally be continued until the worker has realized the truth which destroys the patient's fear of disease, or his belief in disease. When we have erased from thought the false belief of sickness we begin mentally to acquire the "correct view of man," by declaring or thinking just what man is as God's image and likeness. Man is active, alert, awake. Man is strong, vigorous, well. Man is whole, perfect, immortal. Of course, there is no limit to the goodness of God, and we may pursue this line of reasoning regarding man's health and perfection, until this "correct view of man" becomes a reality in our thought. As the positive thought of the worker, enlightened by spiritual understanding, is addressed to the patient's thought, it is awakened, aroused, and he begins to see the possibility of the sickness being unreal, and the possibility of man's health and happiness. Then he becomes willing to make an effort to be well, to walk, to be active, to claim his health through the power of God, and in proportion as he truly understands and claims his strength and healing it will be made manifest. The manner of treatment is set forth in the textbook in these words (Science and Health, p. 259): "The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow - thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying."

In her writings Mrs. Eddy has not attempted to put into words the form of a treatment, but has expressly provided that there shall be no formula for healing. Treatment or the healing prayer must be with each one "an absolute faith that all things are possible to God - a spiritual understanding of Him" (Science and Health, p. 1). Naturally no special words are necessary. It is the truth that heals, according to Jesus' words, and Christian Science marshals its arguments on the evidence afforded by the Bible, and rests its case in confidence that the healing verdict is assured.

As we read and study the healings performed by Jesus we see that he was always so filled with the consciousness of God's power, and so devoid of any sense of power on his own part, but so expectant always to see made manifest the power and perfection of God, that his treatments were immediately effective. An instance of this is seen in the record of his healing the ten lepers. These lepers called out to Jesus and asked for help. His answer was, "Go shew yourselves unto the priests." This is significant as under the Mosiac law, when a leper was cleansed he must go to the priest and show himself and offer a sacrifice. These lepers were obedient and started for the priest, and the record says, "as they went, they were cleansed." Any sick person may have a great lesson out of this incident. As you come to the Christ or Truth for healing, you need to come with such faith in God - in the power of Truth - that you will go away as the lepers, realizing and claiming that the real man is well, and has never been sick, and truly as you go you will be cleansed.

There is an interesting incident of healing by holding to the "correct view of man" recorded in the book of Genesis concerning Jacob and Esau. Jacob had cheated Esau and there was enmity between them. Jacob left the country, and returning years afterward to the land of his fathers, and knowing that he would see Esau, he evidently repented of his evil intent toward his brother, and also corrected any wrong belief in his own thought regarding Esau. After a night of prayer and mental wrestling, he saw Esau coming toward him and with a force of four hundred men. When they met, their meeting was most friendly and brotherly, and Jacob showed the character of his thinking by saying to Esau, "For therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me."

The healing work accomplished through the ministry of the apostle Paul is especially interesting to adherents of Christian Science, because he was not a follower of the man Jesus, but became a Christian after Jesus' earthly ministry had been concluded. On his way to Damascus, as recorded in that incident well known to all Bible readers, Paul had a vision of great spiritual significance that convinced him that his course in persecuting the followers of Jesus was wrong. As a result of this vision, he came into contact with one of Jesus' followers, who brought to Paul spiritual light that healed him of temporary blindness, and started him on his great career as a preacher and healer.

Inasmuch as Paul had not followed Jesus personally, it was undoubtedly easier for him than for some others to understand that Jesus' healing work was not personal, but was accomplished through his understanding of the Christ or Truth or "divine manifestation of God" (Science and Health, p. 583). Paul's healing work covered a wide range and showed always great confidence, absolute fearlessness, and abundant faith. His own personal deliverance from the enmity and hatred of the orthodox Jews was a constant portrayal of the power of God made manifest in human affairs. His delivery from the jail at midnight and from the shipwreck are proofs of his absolute reliance upon divine power, because the attendant human conditions and circumstances of these occasions did not offer much if any hope for his safety. There were the two outstanding healings of the man, a cripple from birth, and of the young man Eutychus who fell out of the upper loft and was killed. There were others referred to in the book of Acts, showing that Paul probably healed wherever there was a need. If such an argument were needed to convince even the most skeptical concerning the possibility of the spiritual healing of disease, Paul's experience should be sufficient. His healing work was undoubtedly successful because he saw and understood that the healing done by Jesus was by reason of his knowledge of God's power and of God's perfect creation. Paul understood that this same infinite power is ever available for healing and salvation when understood and relied upon.

Christian Science teaching and practice is enabling its followers to emulate in some degree the healing ministry of the early Christians. The healing incidents recorded in the book of Acts are illuminating and inspiring to those who are endeavoring to be obedient to Jesus' command to heal the sick, as a part of their Christian ministry.

 

Causes of Sickness

Inasmuch as Christian Science teaches the perfection of all creation, the inquiry is often made, "How can man then be sick?" God's man cannot be sick; and when we realize this fact, we shall not be sick. In dealing with the seeming imperfections and discords of our human experience we recognize mankind's acquaintance with a so-called mortal mind, or carnal mind as Paul calls it, which he says "is enmity against God." This mortal mind includes all false beliefs with reference to man as material, and as existing in a so-called material world. Under the influence of this mortal or carnal mind we recognize a mortal or material man in belief; and it is this false belief about the real man that needs to be overcome in healing. In the second chapter of Genesis, reference is made to a mist that went up from the earth. It would seem that this same mist or cloud is constantly coming up from the earth to hide the true view of God and man, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.

Some time ago I had an office in a tall building in Chicago a mile or more from the Exposition or Fair ground. From my windows I had a splendid view of the varicolored buildings in the grounds, and it was a scene of great beauty and novelty and much enjoyed by me and my callers. On a few damp days, however, I observed that a mist came up from the earth or up from the lake, and entirely obscured my view of the Fair. Had a stranger been in my office on those days and I had pointed toward the grounds and told him that there were many beautiful buildings just off there, he might very honestly have doubted my statements, for none could be seen. Having often seen them, I was perfectly certain of their presence and would have relied upon my faith to any extent. In our human experience the seeming mists of earth, such as fear, doubt, envy, jealousy, pride, ignorance, hatred, deceit, and such like seem to come before our view and to shut out the vision of the real man - the spiritual, perfect man. In fact, we may sometimes believe in our doubt and despair that God does not exist as the omnipotent, good God. It is in some such phases of wrong thinking that individuals find themselves under the burden of sin, disease, and discord of all kinds. Then Christian Science is always available to lift their thought to a view of the perfect and to the possibility of claiming that perfection for the real spiritual self of each of us. On the misty days in Chicago I always watched with interest to see how quickly when the wind blew, the mist that clouded my view was obliterated.  A poet has written (Hymnal, No. 142):

 

"Blow, winds of God, awake and blow

The mists of earth away.

Shine out, O light divine, and show

How wide and far we stray."

 

When the sick present themselves to the Christian Scientist for healing, the worker finds the suffering to be the result of some false belief entertained and accredited as true. It is then the worker's privilege and opportunity to wisely, tactfully, lovingly allay the fear of the patient by exposing the falsity and powerlessness of the false belief. He can at the same time increase and strengthen the patient's faith by helping him to see that there cannot really exist side by side an evil and a good creation, but that the good is the only real and the whole of creation.

Incidents in Joseph's experience indicate how he was seemingly the victim of evil intentions in others, first in being sold by his brethren because of envy and jealousy, and then, when a slave in Potiphar's home, being accused and thrown into prison as a result of covetousness. Joseph was able, however, to see through the mists, and evidently without fear or remorse or discouragement held to his faith in God as his deliverer. Subsequent events proved how wisely he had believed and how richly God does reward the ever faithful.

In the healing of Naaman, the noted Syrian general, of leprosy as recorded in the fifth chapter of II Kings, there is evidence that the prophet Elisha saw that Naaman's difficulty was the result of some phase of pride, because the prophet, in treating him, subjected him to what must have been to Naaman great humiliation. In the first place, the prophet didn't even allow Naaman to see him. His great retinue and show of wealth and power were ignored by the prophet, and he sent word by a messenger that Naaman was to go and dip seven times in the river Jordan. Naaman was indignant at first, but finally better counsel prevailed, and he humbly dipped in this, to him, inferior river. The reward, as stated by the writer, would indicate just how Naaman was changed mentally. He had humbled himself even as a child, and the record says, "his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." It is probable that there are many all around us suffering from various difficulties whose need can be met when they are ready with humility to acknowledge God in all their ways.

The Master Christian, when asked who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven, set a child in their midst and said, unless ye "become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven," and, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." How much all of us need to know the lessons of faith and humility as exemplified in the child! All of us are probably familiar with instances in our own experience where we have seen the evil effects of anger, hatred, fear, et cetera made manifest immediately. When one is suddenly fearful or angry, his countenance frequently changes, and he is pale or flushed, showing the influence of wrong thought on the action of the heart. It does not take any unusual wisdom to conclude that the thought of fear or anger may just as easily affect some other action of the material system and cause inflammation or disease. The teaching of Christian Science that counteracts the mental causes of human ills is found in the statement of the textbook (Science and Health, p. 207): "There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause." How the fears and doubts and anxieties of mankind would be lessened, and how disease would disappear from our experience if we would only believe this! I wonder if there would not be almost unanimous consent to this teaching if each of us would only pause and consider. Surely, every reasoning mind agrees that there is the omnipotent God and that He is good, also that omnipotent God is omniscient, knowing all. It is not difficult, then, to see that there is just this one cause, and that is the all-knowing, all-powerful Deity. If we, then, will so regulate our thinking, and ascribe all power and volition to God, good, we shall cease fearing, and shall deny the seeming evil in every situation and search for the good. Was not something like this Paul's thought when he wrote, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"?

We frequently hear testimonies of healing through Christian Science where men are expressing their gratitude for the results of an unhappy situation that forced them to change their thinking and to turn to God. Some years ago I lectured in a large Federal prison, and after the lecture met a man and his son who were serving a term of years there. They had been well-to-do bankers in their home state, but in their effort to make more money had violated the postal laws and were convicted for this offense, and had lost all of their property. The older man, in talking to me said very humbly, and I believe sincerely, that though they felt keenly the disgrace that they had brought on themselves and family, still if going on in their old way had meant not to have known God as He is revealed in Christian Science, and as they had learned to know Him in the prison, then they considered their prison experience a great blessing for which they were duly grateful.

There is an interesting incident of healing related in the ninth chapter of John's gospel where Jesus healed a man born blind. Looking for some material cause for the blindness, the disciples asked Jesus whether the blindness was caused by the sin of the man or of his parents. Jesus surprised them by saying, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents." How truly Jesus saw in this case that there is no cause for evil, because evil is always unreal. Seeing evil as not real, and seeing the perfect man of God's creation, Jesus lifted this man's vision above the mist of darkness, and he had sight.

 

Christian Science and Business

Christian Science enables mankind to see how God's omnipotence is available in the solving of other problems besides those of disease. Difficulties may arise in the business world that overwhelm men and cause them to turn to new sources for help and guidance. Under such conditions Christian Science help is effective. Business has been transacted for the most part as though it were just an opportunity to make and accumulate money; and often business men have not been careful to be fair and honest in their dealing with their fellowmen. With such a selfish concept of business generally accepted by the public, large accumulations of money have been made by oppression, trickery, and downright dishonesty; and the beneficiaries of such methods have sometimes been acclaimed as substantial business men. However, a new day has dawned in business; and more people are recognizing that being in business affords opportunity to serve, to give. When we truly realize the truth about man and his relationship to God, we shall see how business properly conducted must be unselfish and designed to serve.

Jesus announced his attitude toward God in the statement that of himself he could do nothing, but that the Father doeth the work. It is not strange, then, that everything that he did resulted in blessing to himself and to mankind. Such must be the law of God; John the Baptist testified that "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." Christian Science accepts this teaching as true, and teaches that men should expect good from God always, and only good, and that they must be active and energetic in employing His good gifts for the benefit of all with whom they come in contact.

Mrs. Eddy writes (Pulpit and Press, p. 3), "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love." What an inspiring thought to take with us in our daily task! Knowing that our intelligence, sagacity, discernment, and ability are from God should rout all fear and doubt, and should enable us to act with such poise and confidence that the world will see that we have something to give, and will be reaching out for our service. Jesus, the Way-shower, said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me," and, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." Surely, this is good teaching for us in our daily lives. We should claim and believe that God's creation is under the government of divine Principle, and that each of His ideas is wisely and intelligently guided; then we shall know that not one of us can or will infringe upon another's right or welfare. Such teaching might be objected to by some as expressing idealism or perfection. But is not perfection exactly what the world should be striving for? Jesus so taught. He said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." All through the ages of civilization, the intelligent and high-minded have admired and honored poets, authors, and philosophers, who have written or taught that which approaches the ideal. But the humble Nazarene, the mighty uncrowned prince of all ages, has gone far beyond any other teacher. He has taught and advocated perfection, and has proved before the gaze of men that his theories are practical and demonstrable. No other leader of men has been so great or so successful, and none other so inspiring or so worthy of emulation. He taught that man is the holy, perfect son of God, and that he must manifest the Father's perfection. With this teaching as a basis, he healed the sick, he fed the hungry, he stilled the storm, he provided tax money, he overcame death. What more could be asked of him? What more can we as businessmen desire to be or do than this?

What is business after all, but feeding, clothing, housing, healing, transporting, entertaining, educating, and blessing men and women? Are you a builder? In your business you would need to give safety, honesty, comfort, permanence. Such qualities may be symbolized in wood, brick, mortar, and other material, but the successful builder will not neglect the spiritual qualities that make his business a blessing to all. A builder who would knowingly put faulty construction in a house, thus reducing its safety and permanence, is not a blessing to mankind, and could not rightly be called a good or successful businessman. His conduct is outside the realm of giving or service, and therefore contrary to Jesus' injunction to love your neighbor as yourself. Are you engaged in the business of transportation? You may wish to give speed, economy, and comfort, but you need just as certainly to give safety and sureness. The workman or the proprietor who carelessly or dishonestly allows deficient construction in a high-powered, fast-moving vehicle may have the misfortune of seeing such a vehicle give way under strain and take human life as his toll of poor business. Scarcely a day goes by without our reading of some crash of machinery causing loss of life or property; and due in too many instances to failure in an observance of the Golden Rule. Man-made laws are attempting to correct some phases of faulty construction with fair results. The great need is that each individual shall realize his part in the scheme of the universe and live well that part. Frequently men are too much immersed in material theories, and need the light of Truth to make their vision clearer and to enable them to see thoughts as real. On this subject the Christian Science textbook has this illuminating sentence (Science and Health, p. 123): "Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas."

When the young man makes his initial contact with the business world, conditions may seem to be hard, material, even selfish, until he is able mentally to adjust himself. Instructed in Christian Science he will bear in mind that his business is to serve, to give, to be useful. He will strive to realize that he is the reflection of intelligence, and that he can see things in their true light. He will doubtless look for that quality of the business which can be emphasized as being most useful to its patrons and try in the same effort to make that activity advantageous to the business, thus proving what is claimed in Christian Science "that whatever blesses one blesses all" (Science and Health, p. 206). Christian Science will teach the young men and all men, that when they are able to put their business efforts on such a plane as this, they may reasonably expect success. If men put into their business honesty, industry, unselfishness, intelligence, and faith it will naturally succeed, in accordance with the law of the Bible, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

In this connection I am reminded of the experience of a young businessman, a Christian Scientist, highly educated and trained, who was employed as assistant to the president of an important business organization. In a reorganization of the business a new president appeared, who told the young man that the post of assistant was abolished and that he might have work as a truck driver if he liked. Naturally he did not like it, but he thought that perhaps he needed this lesson in humility, and he accepted the new work. He used his intelligence and his former experience, and presently saw many improvements that could be made in that branch of the service, which he recommended to the president. At the end of the year he was restored to his former position at an increased salary, and has since had his duties enlarged and his salary further advanced, due he thinks to his having given his best possible service in his humble capacity.

 

Christian Science and Government

There is another phase of business where Christian Science can be of much assistance if properly applied, and that is in the business of government. As it is properly understood that all business is activity of mankind designed to give and to serve, so the purpose of all government should be to give and to serve. The modern trend in government seems to be recognizing more and more that the purpose of true government is essentially to serve mankind. Governments have undertaken in recent years many stupendous tasks in the effort to alleviate suffering and poverty and to promote general business activity. Analyzing the elements of government, it is easy to see that it should give order, safety, honesty, incentive, hope, peace, love, and such like qualities. We should recognize that the government is really, as the Bible says, on God's shoulders. The functions and activities of government are constantly tending toward paternalism. Whether this is proper or not is not up for discussion now, but since this condition is more and more general in modern government, there is all the more reason why the administration of the governmental powers should be honest, impersonal, and without prejudice or favoritism; such is the law of Principle, and effort along such lines would be a practical step toward putting the government on God's shoulders. Christian Science is teaching and advocating the perfect in all human activities, and as men are inspired and influenced thereby more of them will be found acknowledging God in their lives and seeking to be serviceable to their fellowmen. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science has in a far-seeing discernment made pronouncement along this line that deserves our most serious consideration concerning inherited rights and privileges in all human relations. She says (Science and Health, p. 141): "All revelation (such is the popular thought!) must come from the schools and along the line of scholarly and ecclesiastical descent, as kings are crowned from a royal dynasty. In healing the sick and sinning, Jesus elaborated the fact that the healing effect followed the understanding of the divine Principle and of the Christ-spirit which governed the corporeal Jesus. For this Principle there is no dynasty, no ecclesiastical monopoly. Its only crowned head is immortal sovereignty. Its only priest is the spiritualized man. The Bible declares that all believers are made kings and priests unto God." When this discernment of true ancestry and true heritage and true being becomes more commonly known to mankind, we shall indeed have the dawning of a new day and a new hope in human affairs.

Christian Science enables each individual to see that he has something to give to the government, regardless of the person or party which may be in authority. Loyalty to whatever is in accord with Principle can be given. Praise for honest and high-minded endeavor is possible. Support of that which is just, merciful, and necessary will not be withheld by a real Christian Scientist. There are indications that many selfish theories of living, governing, and transacting business are giving way to plans that include the universal good. More men of vision for their fellows are coming into view. The old order of selfishness and oppression is not popular today. Again may we point with gratitude to a statement of Mrs. Eddy's along these lines that indicates how deeply and how helpfully she surveyed the possibilities of improved human conduct. These are her words of true love and fellowship (Science and Health, p. 239); "Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and we get clearer views of Principle. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity." Surely the program of Christian Science makes its appeal to every thoughtful person. Men do desire the well-being of their fellowmen.

All men would like to see poverty banished from the world. Surely no one should be in want of any good. The Bible tells us that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Certainly it is not right that men should be slaves or beggars or invalids.

Jesus announced that the kingdom of God is come. What are we doing individually or as a nation in promoting the coming of the kingdom of God? On which side are we working? Have we cast our lot with the darkness and despair of materialism or do we recognize at least faint beams of a new day's dawning? There is need for us each day to take some time to think on God and man's true relationship to God. As we consistently and constantly and intelligently seek God, we shall see more of His light and maybe come to realize with John that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Mrs. Eddy has clearly spoken her conclusions along this line in these words with which I conclude (No and Yes, p. 80): "The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else."

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, date unknown.]

 

 

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