Christian Science: God's Law of Unfolding Good
Paul A. Harsch, C.S.B., of Toledo, Ohio
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Christian Science has been defined by its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, in one of her published writings as "the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony" (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1). Therefore in giving Christian Science to the world its Discoverer revealed the law-manifesting, law-unfolding nature of good.
It is the purpose of this lecture to present Christian Science as God's law of unfolding good, to show that this law has existed and unfolded eternally as it always must; to support, by argument and illustration the declaration that it can operate in no way opposed to its own nature, that is, beneficently; and to indicate how simply and logically it unfolds in consciousness when its presence and power are recognized, thereby establishing a right sense of health, happiness, and prosperity.
A further purpose of this lecture is to emphasize the only possible conclusion which can be deduced from the foregoing; namely, that man's urgent necessity is to acknowledge this good law and accept its guidance, in order that he may enjoy the freedom, perfection, and dominion which flow from obedience to it. Thus, this lecture will point out, through recognition of and obedience to this law of good, that men become increasingly conscious of the eternal fact that here and now they are the "sons of God," spiritual, not material, children of the author of all good, subject to His law alone, protected and led by His outstretched arm.
New Interpretation of Divine Law
Divine law has often been woefully misinterpreted to man. Sad indeed have been his aimless wanderings when thus misled. Happily, a correct interpretation has been found. Christian Science reveals God's law of good and interprets it scientifically, enabling men to use it in their every thought and deed. Christian Science teaches that there is no other law. It declares in effect that unless law is good using the word in its highest sense it is not law at all. Then why, it may be asked, and very properly, do men accept as law that which produces or results in the opposite of good loss, suffering, discord, death? Perhaps because they have not sufficiently understood the nature of spiritual law nor recognized the unreality and impotence of material law. This answer is equivalent to the statement that the law of Spirit, of infinite good, has not begun to unfold consciously in their experience. It is of course perfectly obvious that no other unfolding can take place, for God's creation being finished, all good is already established. Men only become conscious of this fact through unfoldment or development.
Using Love as a synonym for God at one point in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (page 454), Mrs. Eddy speaks of Him as the one who "inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." These meaningful words, as used in this sentence, indicate the order in which this "law of good" frequently unfolds in the consciousness of men. First in the list as given by Mrs. Eddy is inspiration inspiration so simple and natural that any child may catch the vision. Next she lists illumination, the diffusion of this light through the human consciousness. Afterward she mentions designation, the definite and clear marking of the divine way. And she concludes with leadership; that is, the constant direction of that infinite Mind which ever governs its inspired and illumined children.
Any discussion of these qualities of Spirit should be prefaced by the statement that in the consciousness responding to the awakening fires of inspiration, that response often, if not always, manifests itself first as desire, desire for good. Such desire may at once be deep and sincere, or, perhaps, at the beginning, only a partially defined longing. It may grow out of intense spiritual yearning, or it may appear only when dependence upon material sources of health, support, or supply have completely failed. Let us examine these conscience-awakening conditions.
The New Birth
Recall a significant narrative which has stirred the imagination of men for centuries. It is night. Darkness has settled deeply upon the crowded hilltops of an ancient city. Through silent and almost deserted streets a lone pedestrian strides, his face concealed by a heavy garment, close-wrapped about him. He reaches a house on one of the windswept hills, and enters. A small group of men is already there, and the stranger joins them. They are listening to one whose confident words bespeak authority. Presently, the newcomer, deeply impressed by what he hears, enthusiastically declares to the speaker, "Rabbi, thou are a teacher come from God." Instantly comes the reply, and with all the deep discernment of him who "spake as never man spake," "Ye must be born again." Born again? Impossible! What words are these?
Noting the bewilderment of his guest, the Master seeks an illustration to clarify his meaning. He finds an apt and telling one at hand. Listening perhaps for a moment to the shrilling of the wind outside, he says, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." How simple, after all. The desire for good, for the regeneration of Spirit, comes not as earthly things come and go, not in accordance with so-called material laws of conception, birth, growth, decay and death, but as naturally as the wind, for the things of the Spirit are not born of the flesh. To be born again is to begin again, to start anew. It is to discard the knowledge gained from a false physical basis and to proceed from the new standpoint of Spirit and its creation alone.
Man's Unchangeable Nature
What, think you, brought Nicodemus out on that stormy night to inquire of the Master the way of life? One thing alone. His desire for good, his response to the demand of his real self. The fact was that the real man, the man of God's creating, was now appearing, the "ruler of the Jews" fast disappearing. The natural leaning of Nicodemus toward good, his yearning desire for it, proved his true nature to be good, proved him to be a child of good, God. This was the truth about him. This is the truth about every man, Christian Science declares, and in the case of every man this truth must, and eventually does, manifest itself in precisely the same way in a definite turning to good. This is in accordance with law, divine law, which cannot be altered or changed.
For proof of this statement, look at the grass beneath our feet. Consider also the fields "white already to harvest." The wheat, the corn, the barley, and oats are sown side by side in the same field, given the same culture and care, while the same moisture and warmth attend their growth, yet each yields fruit after his own kind. The character of each remains unchanged. That this law operates unfailingly in the natural world is indisputable, it symbolizes or images forth the fact, far deeper in its import, that in the universe of Spirit, man is the unchanging and unchangeable child of good, God.
Let it be restated at once with the utmost frankness that Christian Science teaches there is in reality no other man: that there are not two men, one good, one bad, one spiritual, the other material, strangely commingled and yet distinct; that there is not one perfect, indestructible, eternal man, unseen to the human eyes, whose immortality will be made manifest in some future happy state, while still another man, subject to sin, disease, and death, seems to be the real man to the physical senses. It teaches that the Adam, or carnal, man is not a creation of Spirit; therefore he is not the real man, the image and likeness of God. The rebirth demanded by Jesus is the awakening of the human consciousness to the fact that the real man is spiritual, perfect, already established in Mind: the realization that there is but this one man, a man already in possession of his full birthright of freedom, perfection, and dominion.
Such realization can be defined in no other way than a rebirth. It has its inception when the light of inspiration breaks through the shadows false beliefs of and about material man. Presently this light so illumines consciousness that the new birth goes on with fewer and less disturbing interruptions. When or how consciousness shall so completely change that spiritual man made in the image and likeness of God will completely displace the dream-man, is of less importance than that the new birth shall go on steadily and without interruption until the change is completed.
The Dawning of a New Day
Tolstoy says, for example of anyone who is seemingly sick or evil or low in thought that he can by no means be considered a child of good does not disprove the fact, for notwithstanding the seeming, the false appearance, man's real nature is still unalterably good. This real nature must and does manifest itself sooner or later in the experience of everyone. Sometimes this true selfhood seems so smothered by materiality. fear, appetite, or other false belief that the vital flame may appear to be extinct. There may be perhaps some individual here present even now declaring, "If God is Spirit there can be nothing Godlike about me, for I am wholly material." But wait a moment, my friend, you who are admitting this falsity about yourself. Let us analyze your statement.
Consider first the most obvious thing about yourself, namely, that you are present here in person. There must have been some impelling power that brought you. What was it? It was the same yearning desire for the things of Spirit that moved Nicodemus. The statement that you are wholly material is not the fact about you. You do desire good, even though that desire may not have taken a definite form in your thought. Consciously or otherwise you hoped that that desire would be fed and nourished by what you might hear about God and His good law. It is this hope, shared in some degree by all the others, that makes this gathering unique. All came, not to be entertained, but to hear about God, good; hoping that he might be explained to them in a new light; longing to learn exactly what St. John meant when he declared, "Now are we the sons of God;" filled with expectant confidence and looking for news of that land of which Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: . . . I go to prepare a place for you."
Perhaps you already feel this hope glowing warmly within you. If so, the mortal mind mist of false thinking, which has clouded your consciousness, is lifting, with the result that you are less certain of your materiality than you were a moment ago. This is the beginning of your rebirth, this is the first stirring of the waters of mortal mind. You are now becoming conscious of the unchanging and unchangeable fact about yourself, the fact that the real self is a divine idea, an inseparable part of God's perfect creation.
This is the simple and natural manner of good's unfolding. It is in exact accordance with the law of infinite Love, which thus establishes in consciousness the great truth of being, namely, that all men are children of good's own creating, inalienable children of God. You are now on the threshold of a larger understanding of that law whose operation you are beginning to feel.
Let us examine briefly this law which shone so clearly through every act and word of the "stranger of Galilee." To Nicodemus Jesus explained that every material or physical law beginning with that of human conception and birth must be surrendered for the real. His declaration in that memorable interview firmly supports the position that the whole concept of material man from birth onward is merely a belief resulting from mortals' acceptance of and reliance upon false or mistaken laws.
We speak of the law of gravitation and marvel at it. We consider the physical universe and stand in awe at the precision and perfection of the laws which seem to govern it. Yet far more precise and perfect is the law of God, good, which governs every act of our lives and assures our well-being. We see the rivers flowing to the sea, the clouds scudding before the driving wind, the ice forming on the pond before the wintry blast. We accept these signs and symbols with little consideration of their import, yet only by looking back of and beyond them can we get glimpses of the great underlying, over-lying, and encompassing law of infinite good, ceaseless in its operation, changeless in its goodness, tireless in its activity. Human laws and divine law must not be confused. To do so is to lose sight of the great spiritual fact of perfection, for the law of divine Mind is always good, doing good, being good. It is ever establishing itself, good, more securely and more definitely in consciousness.
Turn with me for a moment to observe the operation of this ever intelligent and unfolding law of good. In a far-away land an invading army surrounds a walled town. The defenses are feeble, the danger great. But one man at least with a knowledge of the protecting law of good is sojourning in that town. His servant, terrified, appeals for help. "Fear not," is the comforting response, "for they that be with us art more than they that be with them." Then, to awaken his servant, the master 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."
Other centuries beyond, one reared in the palace of a king, but who for many years had sought an understanding of the "law of good" in the greater freedom of the desert, stood watching an amazing sight, a fire in the wilderness; saw a bush burning and yet not consumed; heard a voice saying, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." Long years preceding these events, a bondwoman and her child had been cast out from their home into the desert. Their water was exhausted. They were without food and about to perish. Suddenly, when all hope seemed fled, an angel vision came. The mother was divinely led to see a well of living water where a moment before only the trackless waste of the desert seemed to be. Water meant life. They were saved and the child became the father of a great nation.
Elisha at Dothan, Moses in the wastes of Midian, Hagar and her son cast out from the tents of Abraham each in his own experience tells the same story. The testimony of the physical senses in each case was reversed by the spiritual reality. The ever unfolding law of good had wrought so marvelously in the consciousness of each that the fetters of false belief were unloosed not only for themselves but for untold thousands. Stepping forth, freed from the imprisoning walls of false mortal belief, the limiting lies of the flesh, they manifested their God-given dominion, and through their demonstration paved the way for countless fellow mortals.
Forty years of patient preparation in the desert and the complete renunciation of all material means and methods, had fitted Moses for the vision of reality which came to him on his great day in the desert. Then and there was Israel's deliverance begun. And what of Hagar and her experience? Only when resentment, dependence upon her former master, and fear for her son had faded from her thought, was her high hope for the future for herself and this son confirmed. The eyes of each were opened only when dependence upon material conditions and persons had completely vanished. And of Elisha it may be said that he dwelt largely in the realm of Spirit. Thus he was so definitely conscious of the presence and protecting power of the encompassing arms of good that he was safe under all circumstances. At times, as we have seen, this conscious sense of the presence and power of good was imparted to others. In the incidents mentioned, all had passed from the land of shadows, doubts, and fears which at first seemed so real to them, into the joyous consciousness that God's law, the law of good, was operating then and there to protect, preserve, and deliver. Thus they could say with Isaiah, we who have "walked in darkness have seen a great light." Their ears had heard a word behind them, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it."
Modern Application of Divine Law
If there be one who objects to these experiences of days long past as unsatisfactory modern-day evidence, I would then ask that one instead to glance at the experience of a man who sat not long ago at the bedside of a sufferer whom he had been called to help. As he endeavored to catch a vision of the real, as had those ancient ones, the human agony of another, which it seemed unavoidable for him to witness, appeared very real. Yet this Christian Science practitioner, for such he was, knew through experience that the story told him by his physical senses was unreal. He knew that the truth about the sufferer must be found through another channel.
Steadfastly, he closed his eyes to the struggle, his ears to the tumult, his consciousness to all else than good, God and His perfect law. Next he recalled certain well-loved Bible incidents of healing. These quieted his own thought, restored his soul, as the Psalmist expresses it. One of these long-ago incidents became very real to him as he pondered over it. He almost seemed to be one of a group of fishermen tossing in a tiny boat on a stormy sea. Now, while in retrospect he was centuries away, his thought about the sufferer began to clear and enlarge. Again he pictured himself in that frail boat, and presently it seemed that one came walking towards him on the waves, quiet, calm, serene. Slowly the serene one passed and where he trod the troubled waters rested. Then there came an echo of words spoken long ago, "Be of good cheer; It Is I: be not afraid." Long after the vision of the man of Galilee had faded away, the confidence inspired in the consciousness of the practitioner by his recollection of this proof of the power of Spirit remained. By daybreak the sufferer rested, in another day was well, and reality had again replaced the false dream of life and intelligence in matter.
Do you find any similarity between the experience of Moses as he stood before the burning bush in Midian and that of the modern man to whom there came the realization of a presence and power so real, so vital, so actual, here and now, that it rescued one drawing near to death? You cannot fail to do so. In each case there had come through divine revelation a vision of the fact that the spiritual law of unfolding good was in operation then and there; that it had never ceased in its activity; that this activity healed, restored, preserved, and uplifted. This is the great truth of being. It is the unfailing presence of the eternal, ever operative Christ-Principle, the law of infinite good forever unfolding in human consciousness.
A Priceless Boon
We are certain and our position today is that no boon has ever been offered to tempest-tossed mankind since Jesus walked the hills and valley of Judea and the waves of Galilee that can remotely compare with the priceless gift of Christian Science, the re-giving of this Christ-Principle to the world; the modern revealment of the ever-presence of the Christ-light with its resulting illumination of the consciousness of all mankind.
But now you ask, if this be true, what is it that seemingly deters so many individuals from recognizing its presence and following the pathway illumined by its glow? Jesus once answered that query. He said that men love "darkness rather than light," and again, "Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light." There is your answer, though admittedly it raises another question equally pertinent. I will anticipate your asking it by stating it myself. What manner of man is it who thus loves the darkness, hates the light, and resists the unfoldment of good? Has this question ever been satisfactorily answered? Yes, Jesus answered it in the same conversation. He said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
But now I think I hear you say, Have you not merely completed a circle and come back to your starting point? Are you not about to add the words with which you began, "Ye must be born again?" Yes, and no, my friend. A circle perhaps but a much larger one than you yet realize, a circle beginning to take on the nature of infinity. With the aid of the lens of Spirit your vision of unfolding good has been enlarged. It has already expanded measurably beyond, at least some of, the conforming and restricting beliefs you formerly held concerning human birth and death. You have abandoned the old viewpoint, nor can you by any possible means return to it. There is no holding to the unreal the belief in the genuineness and permanence of the Adam-man. You have undergone a definite change, and your future experience must be different as a result. Your old surroundings are being discarded. A new stage in your growth is at hand. This is the laying off of the old man, the carnal man, referred to by St. Paul.
The New Birth
The practical side of this new birth is illustrated by the following: one healed by Christian Science of a so-called incurable disease writing of that experience said, "As the truth entered my consciousness my whole body, tense and rigid, relaxed, the expression of my face changed so completely my friends scarcely recognized me; a terrifying physical condition of years' standing disappeared almost at once; joy replaced my constant terror and gloom, and happiness and hope filled and still fills every moment."
This is the new birth. It begins when the individual turns toward this Christ-light, learns to love it, and desires to be guided by it. The unborn babe is no more unconscious of the material conditions surrounding him than is the grown man of his spiritual selfhood while he remains in the darkness of mortal belief. There can be no conscious spiritual being until the Christ light has penetrated the dark and obscure places of mortal mind. Recognition and acceptance of this light was the first step in the rebirth demanded of Nicodemus by Jesus. St. Paul not only made the same demands upon his hearers but explains in the eighth chapter of Romans how this rebirth is brought about. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," he says, frees from "the law of sin and death." To "live after the flesh" is to cling to the belief of material man. To become "heirs of God," reborn children of Spirit, we need only accept and follow the light discovered by Mary Baker Eddy and given by her to the world as Christian Science.
A Great Discovery
A simple recital of that discovery will rejoice your heart as it already has that of countless thousands. Like Moses, who for forty steadfast years sought a fuller knowledge of God before his day of revelation in the desert, so another seeker for spiritual enlightenment, Mrs. Eddy, had spent almost an equal number of years in a tireless search. Disappointed, misunderstood, neglected by family and friends, she toiled on alone and bravely through those weary years. One day the light streamed in, but with such startling brilliance it left her bewildered. Presently her vision cleared. The revelation took on a definite and tangible form, and at once she began generously to pass it on to others.
The deep import to mankind of her discovery, its radiant message of joy, the rich promise it held forth of redemption from sin, sickness, disease, and death, led her to believe that the world would quickly accept it. But many years of tireless effort were demanded of her before she had an audience of notable size. Her struggles, her sorrows, her disappointments, repeated betrayal by trusted students, even persecution by those who had been healed by her, constitute a poignant chapter in the history of this great character. Yet faithfully she persevered, and surmounting every obstacle finally won a glorious victory. At the beginning of the twentieth century. she found her discovery unquestionably and securely established in the hearts and the consciousness of men.
Only a brief 40 years before in her experience the last enemy itself had seemed at hand. All material means had been exhausted. Submission to the so-called "will of God" appeared inevitable. And what was that "will of God?" "Death," of course, those about her answered. But wait a moment. Had not one said, centuries before, to another under like conditions, "Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk," and had not the one so addressed obeyed? Was not the "will of God" then, the very opposite of death? And was not that good "will of God" the fact now and always? Why not? Perhaps if she were equally obedient to the divine command, she too would walk again. Glorious thought! Then instantly the light broke. The clouds of doubt and fear melted. Consciousness was illumined. Like the obedient one of Nazareth, she arose, and was well.
The inspiration of divine Love had brought the light. Courage to obey had flowed from spiritual illumination. The Bible narratives she loved had designated the way, and led by the law of unfolding good, the victory had been gained. How simple it all seems now in the telling! Inspiration, illumination, designation and the leadership of Love. Later in her experience, Mary Baker Eddy defined the operation of the Christ-law of unfolding good in human consciousness in exactly this order an arrangement which has been followed in this lecture.
Compare Mrs. Eddy's early experience with that of Abraham, when he too became dissatisfied with the religion of those with whom he had lived and worshiped. Idolatry must have seemed at times to choke the very channels of his thinking. Yet his consciousness, like hers, open to inspiration, caught an angel vision. Perceiving it, he followed it so joyously and obediently that in due season he received this promise, "All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it." His only limitation was his capacity to see. That he saw largely and realized much, history has proved. This vision is denied to none. All may follow the example of Abraham. All may drink at the fountain of inspiration which quenched our Leader's thirst. Back to the Scriptures all may go with a divinely born determination to find a living God.
Thus divinely inspired and directed, all may trace through the Bible records the constantly ascending and enlarging thought of Deity, until its logical development and high expression is found in the life and work of the master Christian. Enheartened by this review of unfolding good, all may reassure themselves with the thought that such goodness could not have ceased to respond to the law hitherto governing it at the ascension of Jesus. Then, still inspired as was Abraham and as was Mrs. Eddy, by their love of, and desire for, ever more light, they will wait patiently, mentally alert, for the unfolding in consciousness of the divine idea. Thus, all will, in due season, come to see that Christian Science is but the fuller unfoldment and grand fruition of the law of good which Abraham envisioned so long ago.
Fruits of Unfoldment
The instant availability of this law and its dependability is shown by the following. Two Christian Scientists, whom I knew, were members of a prospecting party; working in a mountainous and heavily wooded but drought-stricken country, through no carelessness or neglect of their own, they found themselves on a certain day completely surrounded by a raging forest fire. Consternation ruled for a time, but presently, by common consent, all turned to the more experienced of the Scientists for guidance. The thought of this one, always alert, waiting now as ever patiently and confidently for Love to direct, was prepared for the seeming emergency. Quickly the group was placed in the center of the contracting circle of fire. Then an opening in the wall of flame appeared. To the alert one now in command, the very hand of God seemed directing as this avenue of escape unfolded. With no hesitation this one led the way through the veritable canyon of fire to a spot of temporary safety beyond.
Three times was this experience repeated, three times all in the party obeyed, and all were saved all but one, who in the very last dash failed to respond to the call "forward" and was lost. What a vivid picture on the screen of human experience was this! How clearly it illustrates the orderly sequence of unfolding good! To one at least, and through that one to others had come this inspiring vision: namely, that under all circumstances safety is the birthright of the spiritual man, God's man, the only real man. It is this sort of clear seeing that protects the material concept of man until even that false concept is left behind and the real man alone remains.
Passing Through the Needle's Eye
The method whereby at least some of these false concepts of and about material man are left behind is illustrated by the following. A friend of mine, an earnest Bible student, who traveled much in Eastern lands, had long been puzzled by the oft-quoted words of Jesus, "It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Could this be literally true? he had often pondered. Jesus, he thought, never placed a stumbling-block in the pathway of any man. His every statement was but to encourage. Yet the seeming riddle remained unsolved.
One day on his travels he found himself walking along the wall of an ancient city a wall built perhaps by that famous queen who journeyed far to see the glories of Solomon. Presently he was struck by the sight of an unusual opening in that wall. A gate, yet hardly that either. Suddenly he recalled the needle's eye. Could this be the answer to his long questioning? The opening he saw was so narrow at its base men could pass through only in single file, but swelling gently on either side as it rose at a height of six feet its width had increased sufficiently to permit the passing of a body as bulky as that of a camel.
Above, the opening closed in a graceful arch, a veritable needle's eye, and its shape and size was such that only a completely unburdened beast could enter. The camel which would pass through that gate must first kneel and be unloaded; then, loosed from all its trappings, its merchandise of every sort, it might freely pass.
How simple Jesus' illustration seemed now. One burdened with self-importance, with a belief in the power of materiality, loaded with the "things" of the flesh, must lay every false sense of this sort aside; every load of fear, doubt, and anxiety must be abandoned. Freed from reliance upon conditions, but not until then, he may enter through the gate into the city, into that state of consciousness where he recognizes himself to be the child of infinite good, the man of God's creating.
Each may apply this illustration to himself, for are not all "rich" in the Master's meaning, who cling to any sort of material beliefs? Riches is a comparative word. To one it may mean material treasure, to another some comparatively trifling thing, though too highly regarded, to still another, a long cherished grudge, a belief of hatred or resentment towards some one, or jealousy of another, and sometimes fear constitutes an even greater burden. When these are cast aside, the gate, though narrow, is adequate, and passing into the very presence of good, the leadership of divine Love is established,
Such leadership is perhaps not recognized at once by the corporeal senses. It is, nevertheless, clear, definite, tangible, to one whose spiritual sense has been opened by the vision of unfolding good. This was true in the experience of those in the forest fire. It has been true throughout the ages. "Certainly I will be with thee," was the promise made by God to Moses at the burning bush. Entrusted with an almost superhuman task, Moses trembled at the dangers ahead. Though inspired, illumined, and cheered by the vision he had just witnessed, one thing yet remained. That was now assured him. The presence of good was to be constant. Confronted with overwhelming problems and bitter disappointments, his people starving, dying of thirst, rebellious, worshiping the god of Mammon, the golden calf, under the very thunders of Sinai, still Moses never lost his sense of God's presence. The words that sang and rang in his consciousness were these, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."
Steadfast Light of Spirit
Jesus, too, dwelt thus consciously with God he was in constant communion with God. St. John in a dramatic recital sets forth the fruits of such communion and quotes the very words of Jesus revealing the method of this fruitbearing. Jesus had healed a man, who for thirty-eight years had been a chronic invalid. Many of the bystanders, hostile to Jesus, protested this healing. In the ensuing discussion Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he (the Father) doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." "What he seeth the Father do"! This was the secret. Spiritual inspiration had opened his vision so fully to the operation of divine law that he too was enabled to do the works of the Father. He saw, as all men must see, that to gain this vision is the necessity of all. "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The bitter toll exacted from individuals and nations, who having failed to see, or seeing have refused to follow, the light of divine inspiration becomes ever more appalling. Though empires rise and fall, though civilizations ebb and flow, one fact remains: the light of Spirit alone is steadfast. It is the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. It ever leads the way. This is the emancipating vision. Without it the people perish. With its presence, seen and recognized, they prosper. To follow the pathway of unfolding good, as revealed in Christian Science, is to have glimpsed this vision.
"Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" demanded Paul of King Agrippa in his superb defense. And so I ask of you, why should it be thought incredible that God's infinite goodness should and ever does thus unfold in the consciousness His children, His idea? His law of Life must ever destroy disease and death; His law of all-intelligent Mind must ever replace falsity, superstition, and ignorance; His law of Love must ever remove discord, doubt, fear; and His law of Truth inevitably tears the mask from the brow of false mortal mind with its lies of failure, incompetence, and lack of confidence in good. God reigns. His law of good is established. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
[Delivered a number of years earlier and "reprinted at the request of many readers" in The Brooklyn (New York) Daily Eagle, Aug. 20, 1938.]