Christian Science: Its Awakening and Healing Mission
Ella H. Hay, C.S. of Indianapolis, Indiana
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecture was delivered in the Church edifice at East Fifth Street and Country Club Road under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Tucson, Arizona.
The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Arnold T. Smith who made the following brief introduction:
To those weary wanderers who are groping about in the darkness of material beliefs, such as sickness, sorrow, limitation and discouragement, seeking to find some remedy or way out of their particular dilemmas, First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Tucson, extends a welcome to this lecture on Christian Science entitled: "Christian Science: Its Awakening and Healing Mission."
What could be more comforting than these words spoken by Jesus on the Galilean shore? "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Also, the first words we read in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, are these: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings."
As God is no respecter of persons this wonderful Truth is the heritage of each and every one of you here and now.
In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Our lecturer this evening is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is my happy privilege to present Ella H. Hay.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows;
A poorly dressed man appeared at a Christian Science lecture in a small town one evening and took a seat in the front row. As the speaker opened the discussion the man leaned forward cupping his hands over his ears in an effort to hear. About midway in the lecture he leaned back comfortably, continuing however in an attitude of rapt attention. After the lecture he stated to a few who sat near him that he had been attracted to the hall by the word free on the lecture advertising board. The prospect of an hour in a warm, well-lighted room had been inviting. During the course of the lecture his hearing, which had long been impaired, was restored.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 233), "The utterance of truth is designed to rebuke and destroy error." Also (ibid., p. 323), "When the sick or the sinning awake to realize their need of what they have not, they will be receptive of divine Science, which gravitates towards Soul and away from material sense, removes thought from the body, and elevates even mortal mind to the contemplation of something better than disease or sin," The truth expounded in the lecture had awakened the man, had touched his receptive thought, and he was healed. My friends, Christian Science healing is as simple as that. Christian Science lectures, church services, Sunday Schools, and other activities of the movement are designed to waken the sick, the sinner, the fearful and apathetic, the weary and lonely from the dream of life in matter to the glorious unfoldment of man's true nature as the image of God. Healings through Christian Science related in the periodicals or at Wednesday testimony meetings have the purpose of illustrating the simplicity and efficacy of Christian Science as an awakening and restorative agency.
Receptivity and Expectancy Essential
Some individuals accept Truth more readily than others; however, anyone who loves to be good and do good can easily assimilate enough of Truth to be healed. Humility, childlikeness, spiritual desire, and expectancy of good enhance receptivity to the Christ, or Truth, which need only be welcomed into human consciousness in order to experience health, happiness, peace, and abundance.
Enlarged receptivity to good is a worthy aim. The student of Christian Science approaches the daily study of the Bible Lesson-Sermon, church services, and lectures expecting to receive something, and he receives in proportion to his expectancy, faithfulness, and receptivity. A rich father sent for his children to come and share with him of his wealth of gold and jewels. From north, south, east, and west they came, carrying baskets, some small, some medium-sized, and some large. The father filled them all. Then those who had small baskets complained because their brothers had received more than they. Said the father, "My children, I gave you all you could bear."
The perfection of God and man is the basis of thought and demonstration in Christian Science. Here, as in all conclusions, the Bible is our authority. Hear the summary of the record of creation given in the first chapter of Genesis, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." The Bible from which I quote is the King James Version used commonly in Protestant churches and studied daily by Christian Scientists in connection with the Christian Science textbook. God saw everything, and it was good. Does not this fact preclude the possibility of sin, disease, despair, loneliness, limitation as God-created and real? Denial of all discord incidental to material selfhood opens thought to receive the Christ, Truth, with its healing and regeneration. It was said of the first Christmas Day that there was no room in the inn. We make room for the Christ, Truth, in our consciousness by rejecting sense testimony with its boasts of life, substance, and intelligence in matter, expressed in sin, disease, and death, and by demonstrating divine Principle through right thinking and living and service to God and our fellow man.
Healing of Disease an Essential Element of Christianity
The healing of physical disease is an essential element of Christianity. Christ Jesus admonished his followers: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. . . . Heal the sick." His way is the way of salvation for all mankind through doing the works that he did.
The pursuit of health is common to mankind. Centuries ago the prophet cried (Jer. 8:22), "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" Jeremiah was not decrying lack of medicine. Balm (balsam), a healing oil commonly used in the East, was to be found in abundance in Gilead, a mountainous province of Palestine. There were physicians also, humanitarian workers laboring to alleviate suffering as do physicians today. Yet health was not restored. Physical means had failed. Then as now spiritual awakening was the need.
Christian Science replies to the pertinent questions of Jeremiah. First, there is a balm, a restorative agency which brings the true comfort of healing. This balm is Christian Science. Second, there is a physician, the Christ, the spirit of Truth, which displaces fear, pain, and sorrow in human consciousness with healthy spiritual concepts of life, substance, and intelligence, thus restoring harmony.
Why has not health been restored? The answer is simple. Health has not been restored because it has been sought where it cannot be found, namely in matter. To look for health in matter is as foolish and effort wasting as to search for orange blossoms in the icelands of Alaska. Health is wholly spiritual and is established through the operation of divine Principle, Love. Health is a whole or holy state of consciousness in which sin and disease have no place.
Recognition of True Selfhood Essential in Healing
Healings accomplished through Christian Science make a distinctive and impressive record both in quantity and quality. What is the method of these healings? How are fear, sin, sickness, and limitations overcome through spiritual means?
Recognition of our true selfhood as children of God is essential in healing. In order to know man as he really is and recognize our true selfhood, we must understand God. In defining God Mrs. Eddy makes use of such terms as Mind, Love, Spirit, Principle, Soul, and Truth, all of which are stated or implied in the Bible. Prayerful contemplation of these terms and of the divine attributes enlarged our concept of God as Father-Mother, tenderly cherishing and sustaining His spiritual creation. The various synonyms for God given by Mrs. Eddy are meant to convey the breadth, majesty, amplitude, and perfection of the infinite. One who makes a consecrated study of these terms through use of the Concordances to Mrs. Eddy's writings is likely to exclaim, "How perfect and all-inclusive is our God!"
Man is idea, the image of God; he expresses divine qualities. He is ageless, diseaseless, inexpendable, companioned, satisfied, joyous, free. He is conscious of divine power as always available, ever operating in his behalf, establishing harmony and immortality through divine law. The man we are describing is the real man, the only man, the true selfhood of you and of me. What a wonderful thing God has done to make us as we really are, joyous, satisfied, rich, free, strong, and whole!
What appears to be a mortal selfhood is mortal mind's concept of itself. It is not reality but mortality, which is put off while immortality is put on. We cease to be mortal in proportion to the putting on of spiritual, immortal concepts.
Have you ever lived or vacationed where the rain barrel held a supply of soft water tor extra use? The barrel was filled during a rain from a spout running down from the eaves trough. However dirty the water was before a rain, it was fresh and clear afterward. The coming in of the fresh and clean water put out the old and unclean. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 201): "The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis." True selfhood is seen proportionably as truth is welcomed into consciousness with its flood-tides of love.
Fear Overcome Through Christian Science
Man's inherent perfection as the child of God is the basis from which the Christian Scientist argues against sense testimony in healing disease. He insists that man is the beloved of the Father, that he dwells in Love's eternal mansion, cared for, watched over, supplied. Christ Jesus said (Matt 10:29, 31): "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
The Bible states that no plague shall come nigh our dwelling. Why then should we fear? Says the apostle (II Tim. 1:7), "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Christian Scientists claim immunity from fear on the grounds that God made all and made it good, hence there is nothing to fear. Man is not, cannot be afraid. Since all is good, there is nothing to fear, no element capable of inciting fear, and no fear. Mrs. Eddy writes of fear (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 61): " 'You are the cause of all sickness; but you are a self-constituted falsity, ‒ you are darkness, nothingness. You are without "hope, and without God in the world." You do not exist, and have no right to exist, for "perfect Love casteth out fear." ' " Science is performing a great service to humanity in teaching how to overcome fear and annul its seeming effects.
So important did Mrs. Eddy consider the overcoming of fear in healing disease that she counseled (Science and Health, pp. 411, 412); "Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger. Watch the result of this simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed."
Christian Science Healing Illustrated
To illustrate the healing of disease in Christian Science let us consider the experience of a student who was instantaneously healed of pneumonia through spiritual means alone. The condition was serious, with indications of a long struggle. Constant effort to lift thought above suffering to spiritual light and healing was eventually rewarded in remembrance of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
Anyone not familiar with this chapter of Scripture may well make mental note and consider the perusal of it as worth-while homework. And those who have read the chapter or portions of it many times will find it challenging. Contemplation of what she recalled of the chapter served to waken the student and open her thought for the healing. The chapter begins with the familiar verse (Hebr. 11:1), "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
"I have been afraid," said the student, "and fear is the outgrowth of a false sense of substance and intelligence. My prayers have brought to thought this chapter as an angel message to strengthen faith and overcome fear and disease."
Quietly she reviewed in thought the experiences of a few of the many Scriptural characters mentioned in this glorious account of the accomplishments through faith of spiritually-minded men of the Old Testament. Enoch, through faith, walked with God and was translated so that he did not see death. By faith Noah prepared an ark and saved his house; by faith Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt; through faith they passed through the Red Sea on dry land. Through faith the walls of Jericho fell after having been compassed seven days. For a considerable length of time the student contemplated the experiences of these men and of characters of the New Testament as well. She reasoned that faith had sustained Daniel in the lions' den, and that she was facing a lion of disease, and that through faith and spiritual understanding she would remain unhurt.
A statement from the textbook challenged her thought (p. 393): "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man."
"Suffering and weakness are unlike God," reasoned the student.
Then came another challenge, "You are rising in thought, but how about the body?"
" 'Mortal mind and body are one,' said the student aloud, using Mrs. Eddy's words on page 177 of the textbook. "I am rising in conscious thought above fear and disease, and the body must rise also. I have a right to be about my Father's business, which at this time is making a comfortable home for my family." Meeting the last challenge was an important step in dissolving the fear, and the student arose. Within an hour every vestige of the disease had disappeared, and she was preparing a meal for the family.
How was this healing accomplished? The answer is in the words of the textbook (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." The first element of the healing prayer in the experiences just related is seen to be faith. The student had strengthened her faith through contemplation of Scriptural references and statements of truth from the Christian Science textbook. A measure of spiritual understanding, which Mrs. Eddy names as the second element of healing prayer, was evidenced in the student's clear reasoning, separation of the real from the unreal, and in the rejection of fear. Unselfed love, the third element in healing prayer, was manifested in her desire to be about her Father's business. Faith, spiritual understanding, and unselfed love are evidences of the Christ-consciousness.
The Christ Wakens the Sick and the Sinner
It is important to understand the Christ and to recognize Jesus, who so fully manifested the Christ, as the Way-shower. Christ is the ideal of God. Spiritual concepts, pure and enlightening, emanating from divine Mind, are evidences of the Christ-consciousness. Spiritual ideals, entertained and demonstrated, are absolute evidence of the power and presence of God to hold constantly such ideals is to individualize infinite power, which heals the sick.
The Christ is manifest in good thoughts, words, and deeds, which draw mankind away from beliefs of life, substance, and intelligence in matter, and which forward the recognition of man's unity with God. Mrs. Eddy defines the Christ as (ibid., p. 583), "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." She also states (ibid., p 316), "Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle which gives man dominion over all the earth."
To depart from evil is the teaching of Christ Jesus, and it is the teaching of Christian Science. Strict morality is the standard of Christian Science. The ability of the Christian Scientist to heal is proportionate to his genuine goodness, his spiritual understanding, and unselfed service to God and his fellow man. Like the prodigal son in the pearl of parables, men can instantly turn from sin and recognize their selfhood, thus coming back to the Father. The prodigal thought of himself as a mortal, with a mind of his own, whereas God is Mind. The prodigal's request for the portion of goods that belonged to him was evidence of a limited sense, a belief in the substantiality of matter, for man has not a portion but all the good gifts of the Father. His false sense of substance led on the downward path until he companioned with the swinish elements of human thought. But the Christ was present, for "he came to himself" (Luke 15:17). He wakened to see the folly of sin and beliefs of pleasure in matter, and he returned to his father. Love is always waiting for the return of the prodigal. The forgiveness of sin is synonymous with the forsaking of sin. One of the Tenets of The Mother Church reads (Science and Health, p. 497): "We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts."
Christian Science Overcomes Limitation
A limited sense of supply is disease. From this disease mankind needs awakening. Limitation grows out of the belief that matter is real and substantial, whereas Spirit is the only substance. Through the lens of spiritual understanding we see abundance. Absorbed in material selfhood our sense of supply is limited. Denial of material selfhood opens the eyes to affluence. Through the understanding and practice of Christian Science we see sufficiency here and now, right at the point of need. This religion is eminently practical.
A child reared in poverty eventually became the servant of a man of great wealth. Later he learned that his employer was his own father and that he was heir to the estate. What had prevented his enjoyment of the wealth all the time? Ignorance. Ignorance of our real selfhood delays the demonstration of affluence. Man was not made to be limited. He was created in God's likeness and given dominion. Man, made in God's image, is conscious of the abundance of good. Use of Godlike qualities in daily experience inevitably results in an adequate sense of supply, including ability to use wisely what is at hand. It is important to be grateful for the supply we see now and to use it with thrift and judgment. However, limitation need not be accepted and should not be accepted as natural or right, since God's law is the law of affluence.
Man is rich in happiness, health, joy, companionship, home, peace. Spiritual riches, man's heritage, must be claimed. There is a story of a man who lived a meager existence on his acres under which later were found diamond mines. Let us write checks on the bank of good will, spending freely of brotherly Love, absolute faith, and unselfed services, all the while drawing deep draughts of spiritual understanding from the well of salvation. This is the way of freedom from limitation.
Christian Science Reveals the Naturalness of Good
Christian Science shows that it is natural to be well and happy. Mrs. Eddy writes (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 200), "It was the consummate naturalness of Truth in the mind of Jesus, that made his healing easy and instantaneous." As natural as for a bird to fly or for light to destroy darkness is it for all to be happy. Joy is spiritual, the companion of strength, health, and plenty. Joy is not dependent on material acquisition nor upon person, place, or thing. It is not the sport of circumstance. It is the gift of God.
One may think he would be happy if certain circumstances changed. In reality circumstances are the result of joy and not the cause. Healthy, happy concepts growing out of close communion with the Father and demonstration of divine Principle show forth in joyous experiences. A child skipping along happily was asked, "What makes you so happy?" Replied the little one, "Does something have to make you happy?"
Christian Science says to the blind: "It is natural for man to see. Sight is not in matter but is a faculty of Mind. Sight is in reality spiritual discernment, not a function of the visual organism. The child of God discerns good and hence has good sight." Said the Master (Matt. 5:8), "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." They shall see good. They shall have good sight. To the deaf this religion speaks confidently and encouragingly, saying: "Hear the word of God. Spiritual understanding is hearing, and this is your birthright. God, Mind, imparts understanding, uplifts thought, and leads the way to health and freedom." Separation of the real from the unreal, acceptance of the former and rejection of the latter, is good hearing.
Health, harmony, joy, abundance, success ‒ these good gifts are the natural heritage of man. Man, the child of God, is fully aware of his heritage. He is not a weak, vacillating mortal, but is conscious of happiness, harmony, and success.
Regeneration Through Change In Basis of Thought
A chapter in the textbook entitled "Glossary" is devoted to definitions of key Scriptural terms as well as to some words of common usage. Study of these definitions helps immeasurably in understanding the true meaning of the Bible.
A word in the Glossary worth considering is oil. It was healing oil for which the prophet cried (Jer. 8:22), "Is there no balm in Gilead?" See how oil in its spiritual meaning is indeed a balm, a healing agency, comforting, regenerating, and bringing health and cure.
Oil is a valuable commodity. Many a threatened breakdown in the machinery of factory, household appliance, or transportation facility has been averted by timely use of oil. Oil as defined in the textbook is (p. 592), "Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration." How often would squeakings and creakings in the operations of the home, school, factory, office, and national and world governments be silenced by the use of oil as defined in Christian Science!
Oil is mentioned frequently in the Bible. The first mention is in Genesis when Jacob, at Bethel, built an altar of the stones that had been his pillow and over the altar poured oil. Jacob had lain on a pillow of stones. The experience was a hard one. But evidence of the Christ-consciousness appeared as angels ascending and descending on what is known as Jacob's ladder. Step by step in spiritual ascension rose the thought of the patriarch; the angel messages came down where his thought was telling him that God, the good he strove for, was not in physicality nor limited to a tribe or locality but was ever-present Spirit. Thoughts going up from purified consciousness and angel messages coming down ‒ perfect circulation! Jacob summarized his message from on high in the words (Gen. 28:16), "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not."
Study of the word oil as used in the Bible and in Mrs. Eddy's writings is profitable in changing the basis of thought from the material to the spiritual. Let us examine the elements of oil given in the definition. First is consecration. Mrs. Eddy states (Science and Health, p. 428), "We should consecrate existence, not 'to the unknown God' whom we 'ignorantly worship,' but to the eternal builder, the everlasting Father, to the Life which mortal sense cannot impair nor mortal belief destroy." St. Paul pointed out the need of knowing God. Speaking to the group in Athens he said (Acts 17:23); "As I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Then he explained the spiritual nature of God and of man living and moving in Him. We should consecrate existence to knowing God and demonstrating divine Principle in alertness, intelligent action, purity, uprightness, and brotherly love.
Through consecration to good is divine Principle demonstrated among men and nations. Security lies in consecration to spiritual ideals. Security rests not in the atom bomb nor the hydrogen bomb, but in the balm of Gilead. Thought is opening wide to an era of greater spirituality. In this glorious renaissance Christian Science leads the way. We need not be dismayed at the inflation of error expressed in strife among nations, sensuality, and fear. Rather let us await calmly and cheerfully the certainty of the triumph of good and of peace on earth, good will to men.
Charity, the second element of oil, is beautifully illustrated in the Scriptural story of the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, where he was carried daily to ask alms. It is related that he looked on Peter and John, expecting to receive something of them. Note, he had expectancy! Receptivity also was evident! True, he expected silver and gold, but how readily he accepted the gift of healing when Peter said (Acts 3:6), "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." The man's thought was roused by Peter's words; truth was accepted and healing acknowledged. He not only was physically healed but was a better man. How do we know? Because, according to the account, he (Acts 3:8) "entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." Again referring to the Glossary we find temple defined in part (Science and Health, p. 595), "the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love." Was not giving thanks and entering the temple evidence of a better basis of thought?
The Christian Scientist dispenses true charity. He mentally meets discordant conditions within his experience with the thought (Acts 3:6), "Such as I have give I thee." In other words, he insists mentally that error in whatever form presented is unlike God, therefore unreal. He does not intrude on another's thought, but faithfully clears his own, rejecting evil and claiming the supremacy of good.
The greatest charity is the absolute conviction that in his real selfhood our fellow man is the child of God.
Gentleness is the third element of oil. "Thy gentleness hath made me great" (II Sam. 22:36), says Scripture. Mrs. Eddy is often referred to as a "New England gentlewoman." Seldom is so comprehensive a characterization made in so few words. She was gentle and great. In one of her messages to The Mother Church she suggests as a motto for every Christian Scientist (Message (or 1902, p. 14),
"Great not like Caesar, stained with blood,
But only great as I am good."
We must understand and appreciate Mrs. Eddy in order to understand her teachings. She was born in New England in a period when the trend of thought was largely along spiritual and idealistic lines. Mrs. Eddy was a recognized writer from her early years. Among her well-known contemporaries were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Brunson Alcott, Henry Thoreau, Abraham Lincoln, and John Greenleaf Whittier, and other idealists and spiritually-minded thinkers. About 1868 Mrs. Eddy healed Mr. Whittier with one visit, at his home in Amesbury, of incipient pulmonary consumption (Pulpit and Press, p. 54:28-30). She was brought up in a Puritan household in an atmosphere of refinement and culture, where religion was commonly the subject of conversation and clergymen frequent guests.
From early childhood she was a thinker and investigator. She was always ready to help the weak and downtrodden and strove to alleviate suffering wherever it appeared. When a little girl she comforted the farm animals when they seemed distressed, and she was prone to give her own warm scarves and mittens to schoolmates less warmly clad than she was. After becoming a widow at an early age she chose a limited income rather than sell the slaves that had been owned by her husband before his death. One of her biographers states that Mrs. Eddy was "unwilling to accept for herself the price of a human life" (The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Sibyl Wilbur, p. 40).
Mrs. Eddy was well fitted by background and unusual spirituality to be the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and its beloved Leader. The immediate factor leading to her discovery was her own healing, through spiritual light thrown on the Scriptures, of an injury pronounced fatal by the attending physician. However, she had long sought to know God's law of healing, and she was convinced that this law was available to all. She states (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24), "During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon."
For nearly a half-century after her discovery this consecrated and unselfed Christian woman devoted time and effort to giving Christian Science to the world so that all might feel the touch of Christ, or Truth, and be awakened and healed. A thorough study of her life and teachings convinces one beyond doubt that she was anointed and appointed of God for the great work of revealing the rule of Christian healing to this age.
In some instances before her discovery of Christian Science she healed herself and others through her prayers. After her discovery her healings were comparable to those of Christ Jesus and his early followers. On Boston Common, a public park in the city, she once passed a cripple who had used a wheel chair for a number of years. As she passed by and noticed his condition she spoke to him, telling him he was God's perfect child. After talking with her he felt better and looked for her to come again. Several days later she passed that way once more and stopped to speak to him. This time he was healed. He had been so crippled that he could not brush a fly from his face, but with the healing he regained full use of his hands and became a fine penman. He was no longer dependent, but able to earn his own living. (A Child's Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Ella H. Hay, p. 75.) Here was true charity such as Peter and John dispensed at the gate of the temple, given from the generous heart of that gentle woman, Mary Baker Eddy, who has given the world the great gift of Christian Science. In the words of the Scripture (Prov. 31:31), "Let her own works praise her in the gates."
Prayer is characterized by Mrs. Eddy as follows (Science and Health, p. 4); "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer." The chapter on prayer in the textbook from which this quotation is taken is an enlightening and original exposition of the subject in which the author lifts the concept of prayer above mere petition to an unknown God, to the recognition of man's unity with the Father, and letting His will be done.
Spiritual inspiration, the last-named element of oil, a natural outgrowth of the preceding elements, heals the sick and regenerates the sinner.
The dream of sentient matter obstructs satisfaction. But why dream? How important that the world waken from dreams of sensuality, limitation, and fear, and witness the advent of true peace on earth. Overcoming fear and strife in one's own thought is worth-while contribution to world peace.
"If each one his own doorstep swept,
The whole village would be nicely kept."
The shepherds visioned world peace and attending satisfaction. They discerned the angel message, "On earth peace, good will toward men." Through watching and following they contributed to universal peace as did the Wisemen who followed the light so far as they apprehended it.
When as the shepherds watched their flocks by night we watch our thoughts, reject error, and entertain the Christ in our consciousness, we waken to the health and satisfaction which come from knowing God and recognizing true selfhood. Rousing mankind to the acceptance of Truth, Christian Science fulfills its awakening and healing mission.
Shall I not watch,
As shepherds watched and saw the star,
And following found the Child?
Yea, I will watch!
Shall I not sing,
As angels sang, of peace on earth,
Of love, a strain to pierce the gloom
Of sin and pain, of fear and death,
To claim the reign of peace in ever heart,
Each morn a Christmas morn?
Yea, I will sing!
[Published in The South Tucson (Arizona) Gazette, April 2, 1954.]