Christian Science: The Science of Salvation (1)
Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., a member of the board of lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, delivered a lecture on "Christian Science; The Science of Salvation," in Emerson Hall, Harvard University, Friday evening, March 5th. Professor Hering spoke under the auspices of the Christian Science Society of Harvard, and was introduced by its president, Arthur Kay Felker.
"The speaker this evening," said Mr. Felker, "was brought up in the family of a famous physician, and he received both a general and technical education. He lectured for eight years on electrical engineering in Johns Hopkins University. While teaching there, he was attracted to Christian Science by the healing of his wife. Three years of the most thorough and careful investigation convinced him that Christian Science was a science and better than anything else he knew. He resigned his position and has since telling others of the benefits of this Science."
Professor Hering said:
In addressing an intelligent audience upon the subject of "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: THE SCIENCE OF SALVATION," it is well, first of all, to reach a mutual understanding as to the meaning of the terms. Science means exact, systematized, and demonstrable knowledge of facts, laws and causes. while according to Smith's Bible Dictionary salvation means "deliverance from temporal evils and earthly destruction," in other words deliverance from evil. Hence "THE SCIENCE OF SALVATION" means in substance that demonstrable knowledge which affords deliverance from evil.
Salvation to be Worked Out
St. Paul admonishes us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. This Scriptural command means far more than the common belief that salvation is assured by simply having belief or faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Such saving faith is vitally necessary, but it is only the beginning of our salvation — its spiritual basis.
Then must follow the working out of our deliverance from evil, our separation from sin, from the bondage of this world, from limitation, failure, sickness, disease, death.
"Saving faith," the recognition that Christ Jesus is the Son of God and that he brought salvation to all mankind, includes not only the glad acceptance of what Jesus was and did, but of what he said we can and must do. He said. "I am the way, the truth and the life," and he also said "He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also."
What did his disciples, his immediate followers, learn from these and similar sayings of the Master? Their saving faith in Jesus as the Son of God enabled them to put into practice his commands to "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." They literally followed his example and did the works which he was doing, and which he commanded them to do. Their faith grew into an understanding of the Principle and law taught and demonstrated by Jesus, and they had thereby begun to work out their salvation from sin, disease and death. This same teaching and demonstration is available to all today, and our Christian duty as twentieth century disciples is to apply his rules and get his results, as was done in his day and for three hundred years after.
Working out our own salvation means to secure the mastery over the ills of this world, to destroy them by the demonstrable knowledge of God received through Christ Jesus and to establish harmony, health, happiness in everyday life. Hence our salvation is not fully worked out until we have dominion over all discord and everything that causes it. This necessarily includes dominion over matter and its laws, to which we are in such bondage, dominion over evil and its sensation, sin and sorrow, dominion even over death and its terrors. It means to attain to perfect harmonious living, to bring about God's kingdom on earth.
Unless we work out our salvation, we will not gain the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, as we are commanded.
Salvation Gained by Spiritual Growth
Few men would presume to say or think that they are ready for heaven, fitted to enter the presence of God; and we can never reach spiritual existence, the kingdom of heaven, until we are prepared for it by overcoming materiality, all evil. This overcoming is a growth, the gradual unfolding of spiritual sense in the human consciousness until we attain to the full stature of manhood in Christ Jesus.
Jesus said repeatedly, "The kingdom of heaven is within you," that is, not a place but a state of mind. Can this state of mind be reached by death, as so many are taught to believe, or must it not rather be gained by spiritual growth, education and enlightenment?
If it were more generally understood what salvation is, and if people would start to work it out now, instead of believing that they can die into it or be saved by mere belief or faith, there would be far more harmony on earth today.
The world is not willing to do what is necessary to attain harmony. It has been taught that "saving faith" is all that is necessary and we have not known the way to work out our salvation here.
However strong a school-boy's faith may be in his teacher, and however firm his belief that the teacher has solved and can solve any problem, the pupil will not gain the mastery of the subject without actually working it out and so gaining the understanding for himself.
If mere faith or belief in Jesus is all that is necessary for salvation, why are so many promises in Revelation made to "him that overcometh," and especially:
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son"? (Rev. 21:7.)
It is apparent that it would be much easier simply to believe something and receive salvation therefor than to work out our salvation by earnest and long continued effort.
Essentials of a Saving Power
What are the essentials or requirements of a power that is to free humanity from its misery? Obviously it must be a power that is able to reveal the cause of this misery and then to destroy that supposed cause. It must be a power that will destroy evil, all sin and sickness. It must be able to make mankind honest, just, kind, intelligent. This means that it must not only supply the Principle and rules for right living, but it must make it possible for men to know and to put into practice these rules and to overcome the opposing power or influence that hinders man's effort to progress. It must deliver man from all evil and bring him into the consciousness of good through spiritual understanding.
It is our aim to show that Christian Science is the Science of salvation in and through Christ; that it reveals the Principle of being and awakens that spiritual understanding which enables us to work out our own salvation practically and effectively; that it discloses the cause and occasion of discordant conditions here on earth, the nature of the bondage that holds us to evil; that it reveals the absolute truth of being, the truth about God and His universe, including man, and the modus operandi by which we can proceed to free ourselves from evil and attain true manhood and womanhood, in "the liberty of the sons of God."
Salvation Through Mind
In working out our salvation we must first see that salvation or deliverance from evil is a mental process, takes place in mind; that it is a transformation through Mind and that it is both ethical and philosophical.
The Bible declares that "to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
All will admit that evil is primarily mental; that evil aims, and purposes, all misjudgment, hatred, envy, jealousy, are mental, and that the correction of these mental conditions must be mental, through education and experience, the awakening and establishment of right thought. Bad habit is mental, hence its correction is mental even though physical punishment be used. If we are suffering from a mistake, we must first detect the mistake and then correct it. This is a mental process. All will concede too that Truth is mental, so also is good, intelligence, law, and its operation; that the correction or destruction of evil with good is mental; — repentance, reformation and regeneration are mental — therefore the healing of sin is mental.
If law is mental, the supposed law of disease must be mental. Therefore such wrong law can be altered, corrected and repealed by the law of Truth and right, the law of God. A law that results in discord, disfigurement, disease, cannot be a law of right or good, hence cannot be a law of God. Such a law therefore has no inherent power and no Principle, it is indeed no law but only a false claim of law.
We are all familiar with the physical effects of fear, anger and other strong emotions. Such effects having a mental cause obviously can be healed mentally and Christian Science teaches that all disease, whatever its name or nature, has a menial origin and is a mental phenomenon, an experience of the mortal, material, human mind, which is healed by the divine Mind.
Object to Giving Up Matter
This leads to the troublesome question, What shall we do with matter? The world has always resisted strongly the idealistic teaching of the supremacy of Spirit over matter, which is taught everywhere in the Bible; and one of the leading objections to the Bible today is this, that many of its statements are visionary and impractical; in fact, the endeavor has been made to discredit Bible records of spiritual demonstration and to explain them materially, or flatly deny their reliability.
In "Retrospection and Introspection" Mrs. Eddy says:
"During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effect 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."
The importance of the mental factor, the power of mind in human affairs, is being more and more generally conceded and the day is hastening on when the truth of Mrs. Eddy's statement will be recognized.
The world hesitates to admit that matter is only a mental phenomenon because such admission refutes matter's fundamental claim to be substance and life. Especially is mortal thought disinclined to consider that the divine Mind and its ideas alone are real and that human phenomena are merely projected human concepts, because this means that a large part of what the human mind has believed to be true must be classed as false.
The Tenacity of This False Belief
Abraham Lincoln voiced a distinct characteristic of human sense when he said, "You can fool some of the people all the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time," and we may be thankful for this fact, but there seems to be a very dominating tendency among mortals to believe what is not true, and to be quite willing to believe it.
We all recall with what determination the people held to their belief that the earth was flat and stationary and how enraged they were when Galileo tried to show them the truth. The carnal mind clings very obstinately to old notions. It loves darkness rather then light, evil rather than good, matter rather than Mind, and the thought of spiritual reality is foolishness unto it. Hence the people resist the giving up of their belief in the testimony of material sense even though it can be easily shown them that they are constantly being deceived thereby.
Although the fact is so apparent, no reason can be given for this indisposition to accept the teachings of Christian Science that this material existence is simply a false concept and not an actuality of being. When, however, that teaching is accepted we begin to obtain a true view of some of
"The wonders of eternal Mind,
Where sense is lost in sight."
From time immemorial there have been some who were ready to perceive and to accept new truths, and through these, the prophets, poets, inventors, discoverers and reformers of the ages, the world has been making slow but steady progress.
Regarding Material Causation
Christian Science teaches that matter and material existence are phenomena of mortal mind, a concept of existence obtained through the physical senses, a misapprehension of reality held by human consciousness when uninstructed by Science, an appearance instead of an actuality. It is simply an imitation or counterfeit.
Now it is not the appearance but only the original that has power, intelligence and substance. The manifestation of growth, action or being in matter is but a material concept of spiritual facts.
The objects, action and power expressed in a "moving picture" are not in the picture and we do not associate them with the picture but with the original which the picture reproduces. Similarly, life, growth, action, power, substance, law, et cetera, are not in matter, physical existence or the material consciousness; but in divine Mind, the only cause and Principle of being, and should be so thought of.
When we recognize God as the only Mind, the only cause, Truth is reflected in consciousness and existence is harmonious. When we believe causation to be material or in mortal mind, we put our trust and dependence in a shadow, a false belief, and existence so-called, is discordant, liable to disease, disaster, death. In order to work out our salvation we therefore need to understand causation.
Consciousness is Existence
Consciousness is existence. But what is consciousness? What is existence? Our conscious existence is obviously what we are conscious of. Of our real existence we may not be conscious. Everything that we know or see or believe, all our thoughts, acts, or experiences go to make up our universe, our sense of existence, our consciousness.
We have all noted the mental development of a child from the first sense of mere existence up through the various stages of experience and education to mature consciousness. At first his universe is limited, but finally it comes to include all that a highly civilized man can know.
As we gain our concept of existence largely through the physical senses, it is very important that we be able to weigh and sift their testimony. We all know how deceptive these senses are. The distant house is not actually small because it seems to be so, neither does the sun move because it appears to move. So also hearing, taste, touch and smell are all fallible. In fact, the impressions received by the senses and recorded mentally require explanation and rectification to make them coherent and intelligible.
Furthermore, we do not perceive truth through these senses. Not seeing the solar system rightly with our eyes, how can we see the truth of the solar system save through the understanding, which judges not according to the appearance. How do we see the truth of the multiplication table? Surely not with our eyes, but through knowledge of mathematics, that is, mentally, or through understanding.
These senses bring to our consciousness only impressions, from which we form a concept of things. If therefore the testimony of the physical senses is so unreliable and unsatisfactory it is apparent that the consciousness gained through these senses, cannot be true and reliable.
Matter a Sense-Impression
One of the world's foremost physical scientists once said, as he laid his hand on a table, "The only evidence we have of the existence of this table is the impression it makes upon us through force of some kind." The most advanced physicists and philosophers admit substantially that matter is only objectified sense-impression. The physical scientists have made radical changes in their theories regarding matter and they now practically unite in declaring that matter is a form of energy and that the atom is an aggregation of force-centers called ions.
It is therefore conceded that matter is not the indestructible substance it has been believed to be, but is the way substance appears to the physical sense. Material objects may be defined as objectified mental impressions, and since material sense is unreliable and untrue, these impressions are a seeming only, that is counterfeits of reality. What is the true nature of substance, or what is back of these appearances, material sense does not and cannot determine. Only a sense that can perceive truth and reality can declare this. A mortal's universe is a projection of the concept of existence which he has obtained through his five senses and through the educational influences of his childhood and youth.
If we can see existence as mental instead of physical, we have taken a great step onward. The next step is to learn what is true and real and thus correct our impressions and obtain a truer consciousness of existence.
Sense Impression Corrected
If we would acquire a correct knowledge of astronomy we must be willing to leave the viewpoint of the earth, to admit that the appearance does not convey the truth, and then to secure a new viewpoint from which the true relations of the celestial bodies may be considered. In other words, we must mentally leave earth, and see its true relation to the sun and planets. A pupil who is not willing to make this departure cannot understand the solar system. So also in divine metaphysics, we must be willing to leave the material concept of things and take a standpoint outside of matter from which we can see the true nature and relation of things. Just so long as we insist that material sense is the true sense, so long we shall be deceived and remain in bondage.
We therefore need to understand first that our consciousness is our sense of existence, of being; that objects and things are projected mental images, the product of material sense, a mental concept.
To correct this false concept, we need to know the truth of being. We need to understand the real existence which lies back of this material appearance. To correct an error we must recognize the truth which it falsifies. We cannot work out our salvation, until we know that we are in error, and know the truth that shall set us free. The science of salvation must therefore include the saving Truth, the Principle of all reality, and its application.
The reason that philosophers and psychologists do not make any practical application of their reasoning regarding the mental nature of matter is, that they do not know what the absolute Truth is, what reality is, what is behind the material sense testimony. They cling to matter because they have nothing to put in its place.
The Mortal Body is Mental
Through Christian Science we are beginning to understand that the mortal body is mental; that it is an embodiment of conscious and unconscious mentality, the developed mortal thought of selfhood, the externalization of a personal sense of physical being. This explains why it is so responsive to thought.
The prevailing belief that life is in matter, in a mere sense-impression, accounts for the ills of the flesh. Is it any wonder that the body gives out under the strain put upon it so long as we declare that our life depends upon it, upon a false concept that cannot even sustain itself? Think of the responsibility, the burden, we place upon it, making it not alone our dependence in normal living, but also the scapegoat of all excesses! Is it any wonder it does not "make good?"
We take an advanced step when we see that the body is mental instead of physical and that we do not live in a matter-body but in consciousness.
Bodily conditions are relieved in so far as we realize that God, the infinite divine Principle, is our Life.
Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (Page 14), "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well. Sorrow is turned into joy when the body is controlled by spiritual Life, Truth and Love."
How important then to know what reality is, so that we can know what is true and what is not true, and that consciousness may express obedience to Paul's injunction (Romans 12: 1, 2), "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The Need of Awakening
Is it not essential for us to know who and what we are, where we are and what we live in? If there is anything about us that is not true and real, do we not need to know it? Do we not want to be undeceived?
The demand of this hour is that we awake. "Awake," cries St. Paul, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Again he says "Awake to righteousness and sin not."
And how shall we awake? By replacing false sense with truth — the divine idea. Indifference, lethargy, indolence, apathy, all these are mesmeric mental states and we need to become de-mesmerized. To work out our salvation we must first wake up, and the science of salvation must include the Principle and method for so doing.
What is Mind?
We have thus far considered what salvation is, our great need of it, what the science of salvation must include and be able to do; we have seen that the process of salvation is a mental one and therefore must be pursued and practised mentally. We have also seen that the activities of human life are all mental, that even matter and material existence are mental; that the state of our existence is determined by our mental condition, our sense of things, and that it is this human sense which needs to be enlightened.
Now that we have everything on a mental plane, it is important to know what real Mind is. The ordinary human concept of mind is that which thinks, feels or wills, the intellect, or the activity of brain. Christian Science reveals the fact that Mind is divine Principle, the infinite Life, Truth, Love, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, the all-inclusive, eternal, unchanging, all-wise being, the only cause and creator.
This is a very different Mind from that which is supposed to result from the action of the gray matter called brain.
Christian Science makes it clear that material existence is not the manifestation of this divine Mind, but the phenomenon of the counterfeit, called mortal mind.
It is this false concept of existence that does all the wrong thinking; that believes in sin, disease and death; that claims there is life and intelligence in matter.
The Need of Differentiation
What a difference between this so-called mind, and the infinitely good, intelligent, loving, divine Mind! And how important for us to clearly distinguish, and constantly differentiate between the divine Mind and its manifestation, and the mortal human mind and its beliefs. As Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health. Page 82):
"In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one."
Since God is Mind, this Mind is good, and its effects must always be good, never evil. As real thinking is the activity of the divine Mind, the only real thoughts or ideas are good. Therefore everything that is evil, pertains to evil or results in evil is not Mind nor included in Mind, hence is not real. Human thought, will power, hypnotism. mental suggestion or magnetism are all capable of evil, and hence are not Mind or the activity of Mind, are not of God, and so are not good but essentially and entirely evil.
The difference between the method of healing through mental suggestion, or hypnotism, and that of the divine Mind, the Christ healing, must be clearly seen.
When the effort is made to heal by suggestion, the operator endeavors by means of hypnotism to make the patient believe that he is not sick. He attempts to change the belief but the cause of disease remains and in time manifests itself even in worse forms. The patient is no better off, he has not risen in the scale of being, he has no more manhood, or moral courage, and does not know any more about God and His Christ than before.
How is it possible for anyone to believe as has been said, that Christ Jesus healed through hypnotism, when hypnotism is the dominating activity of the carnal mind and the Bible declares "the carnal mind is enmity against God?" How could Jesus as the Son of God use a power that is opposed to God? He said "Of mine own self I can do nothing. The Father in me he doeth the works."
It may be needless to say that the teachings of Christian Science are in no wise the same as those of the Emmanuel Church Movement. The projectors of that movement themselves have emphatically declared this.
Christian Science Healing
The true Christian Scientist reflects the divine Mind, stands on the basis of God, man and the universe as Spirit and spiritual, as Love and its manifestation, as Mind and its ideas — perfect and harmonious. Hence he understands the unreality of matter and evil and knows that man is not sick but that the patient is simply suffering from a false mesmeric belief. From that standpoint he proceeds to correct the errors of belief with the Truth of being and thus establishes harmony on a spiritual, scientific basis.
The patient is not improved merely physically, but morally and spiritually as well, because the divine Mind, God, has reached his consciousness. His belief in matter, sin and disease is lessened and the understanding and love of God, of His Christ, and of the Bible is greatly increased. He has begun to let that mind be in him which was also in Christ Jesus, the "sound mind" which St. Paul declared God has given us.
Correction Fundamental, Not Superficial
Through Truth, the Christian Scientist overcomes error, whether in the form of sin or disease. He recognizes what is wrong and proceeds to correct it. This correction results in harmony of mind and body.
Hypnotism or mental suggestion would persuade the sufferer that he is all right, that he does not suffer, etc., without recognizing or knowing how to correct the error in thought which produces the outward trouble.
Such a mistaken method can never bring about radical improvement in wrong conditions of business or body, for its only effect is temporarily to mesmerize those concerned into accepting one belief for another. The attempt to destroy false belief in any other way than by means of Truth does not heal and is dangerous.
In true Christian Science healing divine Truth corrects error, good overcomes evil, Love destroys hate. It is divine law superseding and neutralizing false material law and its effects. It is the awakening of thought to the perception of what is right and real, and so establishing harmony and peace. It is the appearing of the Christ, the divine, in consciousness, a right knowing of the true God and His Son, and of the power of His might.
Thus it is seen that it is not the human mind that does the healing, but divine Truth which is brought to bear upon the case by reflection. Truth is reflected by knowing. The human mind reflects Truth by knowing Truth, knowing God aright.
This is a cardinal point in Christian Science healing, that it is God, divine Mind that does the healing and not human thought. In Christian Science healing the human sense serves only as a vehicle for Truth. It is the Truth alone that effects results.
"The work to be performed is ours,
The strength is all His own."
The Christian Science practitioner has no personal wish or desire other than to have the divine Mind govern, to have Truth and Love prevail, that evil, disease, false law and all that is opposed to God may be rendered powerless.
Two-Fold Process in Healing
Another cardinal point in Christian Science healing is that it works from the standpoint of the unreality of matter and evil and thus proves the allness and supremacy of God. It includes the knowing and affirmation of Truth; the recognition and denial of error.
Some people do not understand why it is necessary to deny matter. The reason is simply this, that the belief in the reality of matter seems so strongly established in human consciousness through heredity, environment and education that the mere acknowledgment or declaration of the allness of God does not always beget the conviction of the unreality of matter; and the specific denial of matter aids in destroying or lessening this claim in the human consciousness.
When matter is denied on the basis of Spirit's allness, such denial does not mean annihilation of the individual man, but it makes the veil of the flesh thinner, so that Spirit may illumine all things with that divine light, which reveals harmony in place of discord, health in place of sickness, holiness in place of sin, success in place of failure, love in place of hate. Instead of destroying our body and material existence, the knowing of spiritual reality and of the nothingness of matter, makes the body well, the present life harmonious.
There could be no sin, sickness, disaster nor death were it not for the belief in the reality of matter, neither could there be any hypnotism nor necromancy of any kind. The perception of the unreality of matter means the realization of the nothingness of the foundation of these discordant phases of mortal belief and their consequent destruction.
All true being is beautiful and immortal and it is thus perceived by spiritual sense. Mrs. Eddy writes: "When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man." (Science and Health, p. 264.)
Cause of Sickness and Sin
Sickness is the result of mesmerism, illusion. The human thought listens to the arguments of mortal mind instead of refusing to believe them, — hence its ills. The sick are asleep in the mesmerism of material sense and need to be awakened to man's true existence as God's child. Christian Science shows us the way to do this.
The question is often asked why do we suffer for things that we know nothing about? To this it may be answered that generally accepted beliefs bring about phenomena which individuals are not responsible for, yet the individual will have such conditions to meet and overcome because of his mental identification with this mesmeric state, the belief in matter and in evil.
So also sin and all evil are mesmeric illusion. Sin is indulged in because the sinner believes that there is some good or pleasure in it, some advantage to be gained by indulgence. This belief in evil's reality and the pleasure it promises is its only strength, and when Christian Science reaches the thought to the sinner and convinces him that sin confers no pleasure and is but an illusion, and that indulgence in it results only in suffering and bondage, the foundation of his belief is broken and through the Christ love he awakens to a new life and is healed. If God is the infinite all, is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient good, as the Bible teaches, evil can have neither power nor existence.
The question is often asked by investigator and student: If God is infinite Mind and his expression the only reality, how do you account for mortal mind and its phenomena?
The difficulty with this question is its lack of logic. The inquirer starts with the premise that all reality is in God, the infinite good, hence that there can be no real evil, — then he admits the existence of something outside of infinity which the premise shows cannot exist, and tries to account for its existence. This is like wanting to know why the earth is flat, why the sun moves, or why two times two make five. Should we not first make sure that there is some truth in the question before asking or answering it?
If we ask, why does the sun move? why does a long, straight street become narrower at the farther end? why does mortal mind exist? the answer in each case must be "it does not."
It is folly to try to account for the existence of a thing that does not exist. If the question is put, why does the sun seem to move, or how shall we explain the claim of evil, of all mortal seeming, an entirely different proposition is presented. and we can answer simply that there is no gain in quarreling with appearances; we have simply to judge and to choose between the claims of mortal mind and the facts of divine Mind.
The question, Why did evil seem to begin, virtually admits its falsity and that origin is only a belief.
Ask yourself frankly: Can a thing that does not exist ever have a beginning except as a belief?
Mankind's mistake lies in not being willing to admit material sense to be wrong, as witness the criminal persecution of Galileo for discovering the earth to be round, and of Copernicus for discovering that the earth moves, and of many other brave reformers who have dared to take a stand which was opposed to the accepted theories of the world.
Further, what is it that asks these questions about the existence of mortal mind? Does Truth, does the infinite intelligence, the only real, ask questions about unreality, its utter unlikeness? Obviously not, for in the consciousness of Truth no error can exist. It is mortal, mind itself that does this: hence whenever such questions are asked we can always be helped by knowing how Truth would answer them. We shall then be safe.
We are not helped by trying to account for mortal mind, by pondering over its origin, its phenomena, wondering why we are in this belief and how we got here. Contemplating an error does not correct the error. Truth alone corrects it, and our work is to awake to the truth of being, become disillusioned, by distinguishing between reality and unreality, and opening thought to that only which is real and true and good.
Jesus said of evil simply, "It is a liar and the father of it," and he proceeded to solve the problem of evil in the only way it can be solved, viz., by denying and destroying it.
Mrs. Eddy Loved and Honored
It is not to be wondered at, indeed it is inevitable, that Christian Scientists should love Mrs. Eddy for having brought to the world this Science of Salvation, the true knowledge of God and man, the spiritual understanding of the Holy Scriptures which enables them to know themselves and to demonstrate that "saving faith" which alone leads to heaven.
We love her not only for the revelation of the demonstrable Christ Truth, which is contained in her wonderful book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and her other writings, but for her consecration and devotion in continuing to lead the great religious movement she has inaugurated. She has remained steadfastly at her post of duty and continued to instruct, guide, advise, admonish her followers and to lead on her great Cause in its stately progress.
Those of us who have known her personally and who have had the great privilege of being under her supervision realize in some degree what an extraordinary woman she is.
Her spirituality, her love to God and her desire to be obedient only to Him, and to follow the example of the Master — these characteristics make her the great Leader that she is.
Mrs. Eddy's Preparedness of Mission
That Mrs. Eddy became the discoverer of Christian Science is unquestionably explained by the fact that she was so earnest and faithful in her truth-seeing, and so responsive to the overbrooding touch of divine Love that she was found fitted to become the channel of this great revelation.
Important discoveries in the world's development have always been made, not by accident and not by miraculous intervention, but by those who were morally and mentally equipped therefor, and whose aspiration made it possible for them to perceive the truth.
The belief that a personal God, personally selected Mrs. Eddy and dictated this revelation to her is simply absurd. It was Mrs. Eddy's mental alertness, spiritual attainment and earnest truth-seeking which made it possible for her to discern the spiritual idea and establish the stately goings of the Christian Science movement.
Mrs. Eddy did not simply state her discovery to the world; she first demonstrated it and then offered it as a demonstrable Science for all mankind to profit by. This Science overcomes evil, by giving a true knowledge of God and His Christ, it enables all humanity to work out their own salvation and reach that pure consciousness which Jesus called the "kingdom of heaven."
"Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-meat with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love." (Science and Health, p. 46.)
The stone of material sense has been rolled away and the possible at-one-ment with Truth and Love has been demonstrated. The truth about God and man and the universe has been revealed to the human understanding, and the healing Christ is at our door.
No longer need we be deceived by physical sense testimony, for the possibility of practically differentiating between what is real and what is unreal has been bestowed upon humanity. We may now know the truth of being! No matter what our condition, circumstance or situation, we can prove what is true and escape deception.
A measure of this true understanding has already been attained, and by entering into the closet and closing the door of material sense, — by thinking rightly about God and his reflection, realizing the spiritual fact and denying matter and all evil, we can purify consciousness, obtain clearer and safer views, experience greater freedom and harmony, better health, improved morals, and a final overcoming of all evil.
Should we not pray earnestly for this spiritual understanding? Is there anything else worth striving for? Will anything aid us more effectively to work out our salvation?
How glorious to know that we do not have to remain under the bondage of matter! That we can experience the liberty of the Sons of God now! We know that "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth," that He is a good God, a wise God, a loving God, a just God whom we can all know and love and obey.
In closing let me read to you Mrs. Eddy's scientific statement of being, which epitomizes the Science of Salvation.
'"There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal: matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."
[Delivered March 5, 1909, at Emerson Hall, Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the auspices of the Christian Science Society of Harvard University, and published in The Cambridge Chronicle, March 20, 1909.]