Satisfaction through Utilization of Divine Power
Ella H. Hay, C.S., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Christ Jesus Tapped Divine Power
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Satisfaction! A pertinent and challenging subject for discussion! Universal longing for satisfaction and the pursuit of it fill many pages of human history. Books and articles relating to the subject written by thoughtful men and women of varying creeds and philosophies indicate that probably fewer now than in the past believe that satisfaction can be found in materiality. However, there is evidence that many still look everywhere except in the right direction for satisfaction. Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, shows that an honest, humble search to understand God, to obey His commands, and to discern the significance of the words and works of Christ Jesus, enables the seeker to utilize divine power in the details of experience and thus gain true satisfaction.
"What a satisfaction it would be to utilize divine power to save and heal as did Peter and Paul," remarked an earnest young man. The time is now when, like this young man, thinkers are placing spiritual attainments foremost in gaining satisfaction. How wise it is to do so!
How shall we learn to utilize divine power as did Christ Jesus, the disciples, and early Christians? Mrs. Eddy writes (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160), "To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science." This statement indicates that purified lives and positive, constructive concepts are requisite in gaining ability to utilize divine power.
In order to hold consciousness in relation to the divine we must understand God, and man made in God's likeness. Christian Science offers to the seeker a workable knowledge of God, showing Him to be divine Principle, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, and Truth. Traditional theological belief offers a far-off God, concerned largely with affairs of nature. This view of God is fading out, yet the concept of God as humanly circumscribed still lingers in the thought of many. This fact is evidenced in the accumulating effort of mankind to find physical healing through blind faith in God. Christian Science is based on spiritual understanding, not on belief in an unknown God.
Recently, while discussing the importance of enlightened prayer in solving problems of human experience, a Christian Scientist remarked to an inquiring friend, "I am learning through Christian Science to use prayer first, not last, when discord knocks at my door." Said the inquirer: "I wouldn't think of bothering God with my affairs. He is far too busy caring for the universe to take time for my troubles." Such thinking as is indicated in this remark is far from Christian Science.
God, Principle, Establishes Harmony
Christian Science teaches that God is changeless, divine Principle. He is always available, ever operating through spiritual law in behalf of His spiritual offspring, establishing harmony, immortality, purity, and peace. The principle of mathematics is never too busy to be used in solving a problem in numbers, whether small or large. The solution of a problem in numbers comes through understanding the rule and faithfully applying it. Likewise problems of daily experience are solved through understanding divine Principle, Love, and faithfully applying the rules of Christian Science.
The truth of Christian Science is demonstrable, and students of this religion in many parts of the world are demonstrating man's God-given ability to utilize divine power. Thus they gain true satisfaction.
The inspired word of the Bible is acknowledged by Christian Scientists as their guide in attaining present and eternal salvation from sin and from all discord. (The Bible we use is the King James Version, the version used by many Protestants in English-speaking countries.)
Christian Science accepts the standard of salvation set by Christ Jesus. Full salvation was his ideal. He did not reform the sinning and ignore the sick. It is clear that salvation meant to him being saved from sin, disease, death, fear, poverty, selfishness - all that would obstruct true satisfaction.
It is a mistake to believe that Jesus is God. He affirmed his unity with God and added that the Father was greater than he. Thereby he implied that man is one with God, but that God is greater than human personality. Through his lifework Jesus demonstrated the Christ, spoken of by Mrs. Eddy as the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy all error. His mission was twofold: first to heal and save the sick and sinning of his time; and second to establish through Christ, Truth, a firm basis for the utilization of divine power by men of all time. Christ, Truth, actuated the great works of healing and regeneration done by the Master. Christ, the true idea of God, likewise inspired patriarch, prophet, psalmist, and apostle. So abundantly did Jesus express and demonstrate the divine nature of Christ that he is known as Christ Jesus. He exemplified the utilization of divine power through his demonstration of Christlike qualities. The importance of following the leading of Christ, Truth, and of obeying the commands and following the example of Christ Jesus is emphasized by Christian Science.
Mrs. Eddy Healed From Study of Bible
Mrs. Eddy's love for the Bible and her faithful search for its spiritual meaning led to the discovery of Christian Science. She writes in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 110): "In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only textbook. The Scriptures were illumined; reason and revelation were reconciled, and afterwards the truth of Christian Science was demonstrated."
From her early years Mrs. Eddy was a student of Scripture. She tells of having been comforted, when ill, by her mother's assurance that God could heal her, and she frequently pondered the meaning of the Scriptural verse (Mark 16:18),† "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Spiritual inspiration gained from her study of the Bible led to her own remarkable healing from the result of a serious injury. This healing gave impetus to her long-accumulating interest in Christian healing and led to the discovery of Christian Science.
The Bible is generally conceded to be a great book. Those who study its sacred pages in the light of the revelation of Christian Science know how truly great it is. How satisfying it is to own a few really good books! What is a good book? When do we own a book? Certainly among the characteristics of a good book are good motive, good composition, good theme, and good effect on the majority of the readers. Moreover, a good book should stimulate thought and rouse the reader to more careful analysis of experience and to higher ideals and aims. The Bible meets these standards, and so does the Christian Science textbook.
A book becomes our own through digeston of its ideals and assimilation of the good it unfolds. To become owner of a book in the highest sense, we must approach it with an open mind and with honesty of purpose. Interest in poetry, literature, and history is not of first importance in owning the greatest of books, the Bible. Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 241), "Take away the spiritual signification of Scripture, and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice."
What can the Bible do for us if we study it in the light of the revelation of Christian Science? Will our health be restored? Will we be better neighbors and better citizens of our community, our country, our church, our world? Will we be happy and successful, pure and honest? Will we progressively attain true satisfaction through the utilization of divine power? We answer yes to these questions. Lives of earnest students of Christian Science bear witness to the correctness of our answer.
In order to utilize divine power we must understand God, accept Christ, Truth, and identify our real selfhood as idea, the expression of infinite Spirit, Soul.
What is God? We opened the discussion by clarifying the concept of God as understood in Christian Science. Let us repeat that God is divine Principle, Love, ever sustaining His spiritual creation through divine law. Human longing for satisfaction finds no answer in the concept of a variable god, unknown and unknowable.
The yearning to know God is universal. Philosophies reach out in many directions seeking to find Him. But when reasoning is based on belief instead of on understanding it fails to satisfy. We cannot base conclusions on the belief that matter holds the issues of life and death, pain and pleasure, freedom and bondage, and find true satisfaction. Can thinkers of a scientific age be satisfied with less than a scientific religion, in which God is understood to be divine Principle, demonstrable in the details of experience?
The Psalmist propounded a mighty question when he asked (Ps. 8:4), "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" A powerful statement from Genesis answers this question by stating that God made man in His image and likeness, wholly spiritual, not material. To this spiritual man God gave dominion. Man is idea, sinless, joyous, ageless, and free. He reflects Christ-like qualities. Manifesting Love, he is strong, gentle, patient and great; as idea of Principle, he is stable, unemotional, obedient to the Mind that made him; bearing witness to Truth, he is honorable, honest, truthful, and reliable.
Let us cease to identify man with sin, disease, death, apathy, failure, poverty, and fear. The real man manifests the affluence of Soul, the joy and energy of Life, and the beauty and peace of Truth.
The material selfhood which we appear to have is not man. It is not reality; it is mortality, and mortality is put off when spiritual and immortal concepts are put on. Mortal concepts are externalized. A woman who was irritated and disturbed noticed a distasteful-looking woman walking hurriedly toward her as she hastened down the aisle of a market. "What an unhappy, distressed looking woman," she thought. Suddenly she was face to face with the on-coming figure through impact with a mirror. She had been seeing herself. Possibly some of us might find help in overcoming character traits which delay satisfaction if we could see our own thoughts occasionally, as did this hurried, fretful woman.
Progress in utilization of divine power is marked when we learn to exchange material concepts and things for spiritual thoughts and replace the conceptions of corporeal sense with spiritual ideas. The process is not laborious. It is a simple and joyous effort to watch thinking and to keep thought filled with love and truth, consistently pouring truth into consciousness through the activity of Christ.
Christian Science Is Demonstrable
Is the home unhappy? Let us pray for spiritual discernment that we may see the real home, not a material structure built on sense testimony, but a spiritual idea built on the Rock, Christ. Let us move steadily from house to home, from confusion of thought to divine order, from false responsibility to spiritual cooperation, coincident with true concepts of God and man. Let us soberly and joyously entertain Christ, Truth and let Christ be present, directing every conversation and every detail of experience. Then will material desires be subordinated to spiritual riches. Honesty, obedience, justice, joy, and peace are the stability of the home, and the fruitage of spiritual seeking is abundance, happiness and true satisfaction.
The one who learns to exchange material beliefs for spiritual concepts sees himself and others as God's children, pure, strong, and free. His home is spiritualized thinking, always with him; his church is a spiritual structure complete, founded on the Rock, Christ. God's thoughts are his treasure, the activity of Christ in consciousness his business, truth his food, praise and salvation his garments, heaven his home, and the utilization of spiritual power his satisfaction.
"Why pray?" asked an inquirer. "The power that governs the universe will not change."
How true this remark is! It is also true that light floods a darkened room when the window shades are lifted. The sun has not changed, but our receptivity to its light and warmth has been enlarged.
Righteous prayer includes demonstration. Demonstration of the science of numbers calls for both rule and its application. So does the Science of Christianity. Make no mistake in the evaluation of Christian Science. It is a science, divine Science, based on unchangeable spiritual facts, on Christ, Truth. This is why it satisfies the seeker as nothing else can. Many who have long searched philosophies, psychology, and various types of mental so-called science, looking for satisfaction, have eventually found satisfying answers to their questions through Christian Science. This Science does not fall short of full and satisfying explanation of cause and effect and of consequent demonstration.
True prayer is the humble, honest recognition of the nature of God and man coupled with the sincere desire to live in accordance with the demands of God. True prayer is scientific. It stems from the honest, sincere effort to accept Christ and to entertain Christ, ever active in consciousness. Prayer includes willingness to understand the operations of error, to correct mistakes as promptly and conclusively as we correct mistakes in our bank balance. Prayer includes rejection of confusion, apathy, mental dullness, and aggressive suggestions of evil, and also a firm stand in the replacement of material fables with spiritual facts.
True Prayer Tests Each Thought
Mrs. Eddy speaks of desire being prayer. Both material and spiritual desires cannot occupy thought at the same time. The eye must be single and the ear attuned to divine leading. Let me illustrate this point with a fable. An ass said to his master one morning, "Shall I take the hay to market?" One ear heard the master say yes and the other ear heard no. "Perhaps you would like to have me haul the corn to the crib," said the animal. Again one ear heard yes and the other no. "Well," said the ass, "since you can't make up your mind, I might as well go to the meadow and roll in the soft grass." And he did.
Does one ear hear yes and the other no when we question whether we shall follow the scientific path in learning to utilize divine power and thus gain true satisfaction? Does one ear hear yes and the other no when we consider devoting time and effort in advancing the great work of Christian Science through church membership and consecrated work in the details of the movement? Do we hear only yes on the subject of radical reliance on Truth for healing, or is the plea of vitamins, hygiene, calories, and therapy heard with the other ear? We need to pray for the single ear and purity of purpose, and we need to walk the narrow way. The way is narrow but wide enough. It grows more beautiful as we advance in spiritual understanding and consequent demonstration.
True prayer includes challenging every thought that knocks at the door of consciousness and promptly giving to each thought the true or false test. Prayer makes us stalwart minutemen, ever ready to defy the foe and proclaim the Christ forever victor.†† True prayer lifts thought to the mount of revelation and transforms experience from sickness to health, from sin to purity, and from apathy and despair to true satisfaction.
Faithful use of our talents is evidence of progress in gaining true satisfaction. Mrs. Eddy writes (Miscellany, p. 195), "To do good to all because we love all, and to use in God's service the one talent that we all have, is our only means of adding to that talent and the best way to silence a deep discontent with our shortcomings." Jesus often taught by parables. His parable of the talents is familiar. It tells of a man who used his five talents and received five more, likewise of one who had three, while the one who had only one talent hid it for fear of losing it, and lose it he did. This parable points to the necessity of using the ability already discerned, in order to have more. When we realize that our talents are God-given, we find true satisfaction in their multiplication.
No Problem Beyond God's Control
Spiritual strength, discernment, and vision increase with the faithful use of the talents of joy, gratitude, courage, temperance, patience, and unselfed love. Spiritual strength matures into the absolute conviction that nothing is beyond the power of God. No problem is so great as to evade solution when divine Principle is recognized to be at the helm, and no problem too small to leave unchallenged by the one whose heart is set on gaining spiritual satisfaction through the utilization of divine power.
Few would have the temerity to say that anything is beyond God's power; yet men are not always practical in the application of divine Science in the details of experience. Let us follow faithfully the practical way marked out by him who through the abundant expression of Christ, Truth, fed the multitudes, walked on the water, healed the sick, and reformed the sinning. Nothing is impossible to God. Christ Jesus proved that nothing is impossible to man made in His likeness. This fact is demonstrable in human experience.
Enlightened faith growing out of consistent use of our talents includes the actual tasting of good. Says Scripture (Ps. 34:8), "O taste and see that the Lord is good." A Christian Science practitioner was talking with an apathetic student on the value of church membership and having part in the awaking and healing mission of Christian Science. During a moment of silence the practitioner took a candy bar from his desk and began to eat.
"How does the candy taste?" asked the .practitioner.
"I don't know, I haven't tasted it," replied the student.
"And you haven't really tasted Christian Science," returned the practitioner, "until you understand the healing and awaking mission of this religion and use your talents in forwarding the great movement."
The many activities of The Mother Church offer abundant opportunity for the use of our talents. These talents multiply when joyously and faithfully used. Their multiplication blesses mankind and brings satisfaction to the individual. There is real satisfaction in rousing the sick, the weary, the lonely, the apathetic, the sinning, and the fearful from beliefs of life, substance, and intelligence in matter to the recognition and demonstration of man's God-given ability to utilize divine power.
There is need to watch and pray for enlarged receptivity to good. How inadequate would be a cup to hold the water from the mighty Niagara Falls!
The parable of the prodigal son illustrates the need for enlarged receptivity. The younger son, searching for satisfaction in materiality, asked his father for a portion of the goods that fell to him. His concept of good was limited. Material concepts always are limited; limitation is the nature of matter. God gives not a portion, but all good to His children. The nature of divine Love is to give, and the nature of man, made in His likeness, is to be awake and accept. Reflection must necessarily receive the completeness of that which is reflected; and man is the reflection of God, infinite Spirit.
Life Expressed by Its Idea, Man
The prodigal son in the parable thought he would find good by leaving his home and father and going to a far country. There he spent all that he had, and in despair and poverty ate such food as swine were eating. Then he came to himself. Humbly he began to identify himself spiritually. Progress in spiritual identification marked his homeward journey. The ring, the kiss, the best robe, and the fatted calf, with which the father welcomed the returned prodigal, typified the abundance of good coincident with enlarged receptivity and spiritual identification.
The words of the father in the parable apply to both the elder son, who was envious and petulant because of the favor shown his brother, and to the younger son, who had learned a valuable lesson and returned. "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (Luke ). What a comfort are these words to one who has thought he must struggle to make a living for himself and his dear ones! What a refreshing draught to one who battles with beliefs of inability, lack of education, and what appears to be overwhelming competition! God is Life, hence one cannot properly be said to make a living. Man lives because God, divine Principle, eternally exists and is eternally expressed by idea, man. This statement is scientific and demonstrable. The fact that man has his living by spiritual inheritance does not encourage inertia or inactivity, nor does it lead the thinker to presume on the prerogative of God. Rather does the understanding of man's inherent completeness enlarge the capacities of the earnest, humble seeker and afford him opportunities for service hitherto undreamed of.
Jesus speaks a parable of a woman who had lost one of her ten pieces of silver. Searching diligently for that which was lost, she lit a candle, swept the house, and sought until she found it. This is an illustration of the value of clearing thought of false beliefs of life, substance, and intelligence in matter in order to enlarge receptivity to good.
The woman lit the candle and searched the house seeking for what she knew was there, although it seemed lost. Every inspired thought gained from the study of the Bible in the light of the revelation of Christian Science and from participation in the activities of the movement operates as a candle, the light of which reveals much materiality to be swept away before the treasure of spiritual receptivity is fully recognized as man's heritage.
Discord Challenged, Not Accepted
It is noteworthy in the above mentioned parable that when the treasure was found, the woman called her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science through spiritual devotion and the true concept of substance as spiritual, not material.† She found the treasure, spiritual healing, the lost element of Christianity. This she restored to humanity. She called the world to rejoice with her. Christian Science church services, Reading Rooms, lectures, periodicals - all the activities of The Mother Church - call mankind to rejoice with us in having found that which was lost, and to experience the satisfaction which accompanies the utilization of divine power.
One of the first lessons learned by the Christian Scientist in his effort to gain satisfaction through the utilization of divine power is to challenge discord instead of agreeing with it. His challenge is not a mere superficial, "All is well." It is the positive conviction, based on reason, revelation, and demonstration, that divine Mind governs.
Joshua urged the people of his day to forsake idolatry. His stirring words ring in the hearts of seekers today. He said (Josh. 24:15). "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Let us consecrate thought and act to the service of God, striving humbly to make progress in the utilization of divine power in the details of experience. Every forward step in purifying thought, word, and act enhances, not self-righteousness, but true satisfaction coincident with demonstrating man's unity with the Father, altogether righteous.
Joshua urged the people to seize the opportunity to choose between life and death, between blessing and cursing. At the door of consciousness stand true concepts of life and its joys and also beliefs of life, substance, and intelligence in matter. Assurance of the omnipotence of good and boasts of evil apparently vie with each other in gaining entrance into our thinking. Let us accept what is true, and practice the Science of Christianity. Let us advance beyond merely philosophical utterances and halfway demonstration of this great Science. Let us choose health, happiness, freedom, purity, and peace for ourselves and make progress in ending discords which beset our experience. Thus we help to leaven the thought of mankind.
So-Called Laws of Age Reversed
Let me illustrate the importance of right decisions in the healing of physical disease by telling you of the restoration of a woman nearing the century mark. The attending physician said she had a tired heart and could live only a few days. Her neighbor brought her a Christian Science Sentinel. One article in this periodical especially interested the woman. She read it three times. Then her daughter read it aloud.
Said the aroused woman, "I have decided to live and not die!" The decision was important. Other important decisions followed. A Christian Science practitioner was called upon to help sustain the woman in her forward steps. Together the woman and the practitioner reasoned thoughtfully and humbly that there was no need for fear, since God's law of harmony supersedes material so-called laws of advancing years, of birth and death in matter, and of over-action, inaction, and diseased action. Government by divine Principle was seen to be supreme and ever effective in promoting harmony, health, and, peace. Fear of death was replaced in consciousness with the assurance that God is the only Life and that the omnipotence and omnipresence of divine Love end fear and all human bondage. In ten days the woman was restored, caring for her apartment and shopping at a nearby market. Spiritual choosing had won a great victory and proved that divine power can be utilized now in healing the sick.
Mary Baker Eddy's life-work is an outstanding example of spiritual choosing. From childhood right decisions characterized her experience. She studied the Bible and prayed frequently, at one time praying several times a day, as had Daniel, and marking for each prayer on the woodshed door lest she forget. Even before her discovery of Christian Science her healings through prayer were noteworthy. After her discovery her healings performed were comparable to those recorded in Scripture. These healings are satisfying examples of the utilization of divine power in our time.
In song and sermon we are admonished to cast our burdens on God. How shall we do this? Certainly casting burdens aside does not mean hugging them more closely, discussing their size and weight or their duration. Negative beliefs such as self-pity and self-righteousness operate to enlarge burdens to human view. Self-will in casting off burdens seems to make them cling more tenaciously or to reappear in other forms. Through spiritual identification we learn to see that all human bondage is self-imposed, stemming from fear, ignorance, or sin. Spiritual understanding is the remedy.
A woman of outstanding accomplishment was asked how she did so much. She replied, "Long ago I made a contract with the Lord agreeing that I would do the work and He could do the worrying." Christian Science shows that actually God's work is done, and man expresses divine activity. When we understand Christian Science we approach tasks from the basis of the perfection of God and man and advance a step at a time to prove the government of divine Principle. We learn that we cannot overcome evil while indulging in it and we work consistently to purify thought and deed.
Much genuine satisfaction is derived by rejecting burdensome beliefs and putting first things first. A teacher of art took his class on a field trip to paint a sunset. After a quarter of an hour one pupil was still painting the shingles on a barn in the foreground. Admonished the teacher, "Don't let the shingles hide the sunset." Details of daily experience demand attention. But we need to watch lest the burden of details hide the beauty of holiness, the harmony of Soul, and the rhythm of Spirit. Mrs. Eddy writes (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 309), "He advances most in divine Science who meditates most on infinite spiritual substance and intelligence."
Spiritual power ensures safety. Like home, health, peace, and supply, safety is primarily a state of thought and not a matter of place or circumstances.† Christ Jesus was safe while walking on the water. Peter was not. Peter tried, but he was overcome by fear and began to sink. How graciously the Master helped the fearful apostle! As surely and graciously does Christ, Truth, help us to walk over waves of mortal belief expressed in sin, disease, despair, and limitation.
Let us be diligent in identifying our true selfhood with divine Principle, Love, and walk securely. We can utilize divine power in our own behalf and can also encourage and heal others. A great satisfaction it is to lay hold on spiritual riches and to share them with all mankind!
To be truly satisfied we must awaken to the demands of God. Said one: "I cannot take time for religious activity. The demands on my time are too great." God has demands on us. He is Life, the only Life. Dare we do less than give wholehearted allegiance to Him who is divine Principle, infinite Life, Truth, and Love?
Mrs. Eddy tells us that Deity was satisfied with His work. A student questioned: "How can God be satisfied with me? I am not satisfied with myself." Many desirable qualities appeared lacking in this student's' experience.
There was need to demonstrate a better sense of order, supply, stability, poise, and fruitful use of talents. Contemplating the subject further the student could see that God is not satisfied with a limited, discordant mortal, but with the true selfhood of each of us. Great joy accompanied this revelation, and noteworthy progress was made in gaining the true satisfaction which accompanies the utilization of divine power.
Unalterable Premise of Perfection
Lack of satisfaction is part of
the belief that life, substance, and intelligence are material. On this premise
are based all physical science, mental science, and philosophy. Human theories
are not enduring or satisfying because of the instability of the premise on
which they are based. The
Satisfaction is not attained through ignoring error but by overcoming it scientifically. Paul said (Eph. ), "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
To illustrate the overcoming of wickedness let me tell you of the healing of a child who, from infancy, had frequent attacks of self-will, so disturbing that he could not be taken from home with comfort. One day his sister, several years old, on coming home for lunch found the lad on the floor in an unlovely display of temper. "What is the matter with Tommy?" she asked, as if amazed at the picture which she had seen many times.
"Never mind, just ignore him," said the mother.
The girl's Sunday School teacher had emphasized in class the need of handling error through wrestling with it, as the apostle put it. She said, "Let us wrestle with this error and overcome it."
Together the mother and daughter quietly declared that God, being perfect is reflected in perfection. They insisted that self-will must yield to God's will. They claimed vigorously that the real home is heaven and cannot be invaded by error, since Christ Truth, is head and governor of the spiritually directed household. They identified the child spiritually, claiming for him true satisfaction, the heritage of the child of God.
While these two were working to gain a clear concept of God, man, home, heaven, peace, and satisfaction the child climbed to the sofa and slept. After lunch the sister patted his cheek gently and said, "Isn't he precious?"
Spiritual Discernment Bares Reality
The boy was healed. Never again was that home invaded with unlovely displays of self-will. Sin had long been ignored. Now it was challenged, wrestled with, and with the counterfeit replaced with the real. Sense testimony had been rejected and man recognized as obedient to the Mind that made him. The satisfying solution had come through the Science of Christianity. Philosophies and various types of mortal mind analysis had failed to help this situation. Divine Science brought healing. What an inspiring example this is of true satisfaction stemming from the utilization of divine power!
Nothing can be seen with closed eyes. Spiritual discernment opens the eyes to spiritual reality, to the glorious possibilities of government by divine Principle, Love. Spiritual discernment includes "seeing" the spiritual fact of what material sense declares to be real, through watching, working and praying, through joyous and faithful use of our talents and satisfaction in seeing our own talents and the talents evident in others increase and multiply.
The Bible gives glorious examples of spiritual discernment. Hagar, driven from her home with her child and only a bottle of water and some bread, was in despair. God heard the voice of the child, and Hagar saw a well of water in the desert. Lack disappears in the presence of spiritual discernment.
Early one morning Elisha's servant beheld horses and chariots of the enemy thronging the hills (II Kings 6). Elisha comforted his servant and prayed, not that the horses and chariots would appear and smite the enemy, not that the enemy be confused and retreat, but that the servant's eyes be opened. The prayer was answered.
Sick business, decrepitude, impairment, dim sight, and defective hearing - these fade before spiritual discernment of the true nature of God and man, through the demonstration of the Science of Christianity. The businessman who builds on truth rather than on changing mortal conditions identifies his business spiritually and is proportionably successful. Knowing that he is in reality about his Father's business he expresses acuteness, perspicacity, wisdom, and capability. He judges wisely, serves his fellowman faithfully, intelligently, and cheerfully, and succeeds triumphantly.
Love's Guidance Brings Peace
Progress in gaining satisfaction in the home, school, business, church, nation and world, demands spiritual seers, prophets. The concept of prophets generally accepted implies that a prophet is one who merely foretells coming events. Mrs. Eddy defines "prophet" (Science and Health, p. 593), "A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth."
Spiritual prophecy foretelling important events and their fulfillment has basis in Scripture. This points to the great fact that the spiritual, or true idea, often seems to support the symbol, appearing in human experience, until material sense gives place to the universal demonstration of divine Science.
Great indeed is the need for prophets, for those who consecrate thought and effort in rejecting sense testimony and demonstrating divine Principle. Moses saw the need. On one occasion he chose seventy elders of the people to help him. On these came the spirit of the Lord, and they prophesied. Two men, Eldad and Medad, who were among the seventy, prophesied in the camp. The irregularity was reported to Moses. He rebuked the condemnation of these two and said (Num. ). "Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them."
Let us all be prophets in the camp and have part in answering the prayer of our Master for laborers in the vineyard. Let us watch, work, and pray for spiritual discernment, confident that the day of universal acceptance of Christian Science is nearing. This religion will eventually be seen as the only way to attain true satisfaction.
Said the Psalmist (), "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." And in Mrs. Eddy's beautiful poem entitled†† "Satisfied," (Poems, p. 79) we find inspiration for consistent and joyous effort in attaining true satisfaction:
It matters not what be thy lot,
So Love doth guide;
For storm or shine, pure peace is thine,
And of these stones, or tyrants' thrones,
God able is
To raise up seed-in thought and deed -
To faithful His.
Aye, darkling sense, arise, go hence!
Our God is good.
False fears are foes - truth tatters those,
Love looseth thee, and lifteth me,
Ayont hate's thrall:
There life is light, and wisdom might
And God is All.
The centuries break, the earthbound wake,
Who doth His will - His likeness still -
[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, Dec. 11, 1958.]