Christian Science: Its Healing Salvation
Anna E. Herzog, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Anna E. Herzog, C.S.B., of
Although the word "salvation" is not always the one employed, saving itself from error has been the chief aim of mankind. Through the ages earnest religious endeavor has been addressed to saving men from sin. Heroic medical efforts, through the centuries, have directed toward saving men from disease, death, suffering. All educational activity has aimed to save men from ignorance and the dire effects of ignorance. Thus in its different departments has mankind sought salvation.
We here, today, are considering Christian Science and its contribution toward the eventual solution of humanity's many problems. From what does it promise salvation? Christian Science, the Science of Christ's Christianity, does not hesitate to declare that it saves from sin, disease, and ignorance. And it states positively that it is to ignorance - ignorance of God - that all other evils are entirely due.
In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, "salvation" is defined as, "Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed" (p. 593). There the requirement, the condition of salvation, is that Life, Truth, and Love shall be understood and proved supreme. The result of proving the supremacy of Truth, Life, and Love in any consciousness will be sin, sickness, and death destroyed.
It is comforting to know that not only is salvation from sin possible and necessary but, as Mrs. Eddy has written in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 95), "Christian Science reveals the infinitude of divinity and the way of man's salvation from sickness and death, as wrought out by Jesus, who robbed the grave of victory and death of its sting." Thousands joyously testify that such is their experience, that through the understanding which Christian Science has brought them to Life, Love, and Truth, much disease, sin, and ignorance have been destroyed already and are being increasingly eliminated from their experience.
That being true, we need to know definitely the nature of Life, Truth, and Love. In Christian Science these words are understood to be synonymous for God, and the textbook referred to before adds other synonyms also. Thus God is there defined as "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465). Some of these words are used in the Bible as referring to God. Jesus said, "God is a Spirit," and John says, "God is love."
As God is Life and there is but one God, so there is but one Life and that infinite, perfect, eternal, harmonious, forever active. God is Soul, the one sinless, eternal consciousness, grace-filled and joyous. God is Mind, the one Mind, intelligence itself, its wisdom changeless and enduring. That one Mind contains every perfect, eternal idea and never one iota of evil, never one stupid, unlovely, or imperfect thought.
God is Principle, the basis, foundation, source, origin of reality, of all that is true. Principle is undeviating, immutable, invariable, permanent. Principle is impartial, universal, governing, and law-giving. What could be all that but God Himself! God is tender and compassionate Love, eternal, infinite Love. He is Truth, wise and enduring, exact and unchanging. He is Spirit, incorporeal, immaterial, all-pervading, and ever-present - Spirit which is invisible and intangible to human sense, but nevertheless true substance. Knowing God as Love, protecting and surrounding man; knowing Him as Mind, informing and inspiring man; knowing Him as Principle, governing man and the real universe with immutable, eternal law - that is the kind of knowing for which the Christian Scientist strives.
I knew a young boy who, on one occasion, clearly epitomized the teaching of Christian Science about God. He was asked by some rather derisive companions what they taught at the Christian Science Sunday School. Although speaking in the slang of his contemporaries there was, I am sure, no irreverence in his heart when he replied, "Why down there they teach that God is the whole thing!"
Next in importance to the question, What is God? is the one, What is man? The Psalmist asked it long ago: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" he said. The Bible defines man in the first chapter of Genesis as the image and likeness of God. In I John man is called the son of God. The image of a perfect original is also perfect. The son of a perfect Father is himself perfect. If we think of God as Mind we can think of the real man as idea. If we think of God as Love we can think of man as expression. When we think of God as Principle we can think of man as effect - the perfect effect of a perfect changeless cause. Thus Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has used as definitive of man the words already mentioned and others such as representative, manifestation, and reflection.
It is to be clearly understood that this accurate teaching insists that man is never God. In no way can the creation be the creator, the derivative the original, the effect the cause. But we must see and insist upon the unity which exists between God and man, His expression; we must likewise see and insist upon the perfection today of God and man. "By this I do not mean that mortals are the children of God, - far from it," Mrs. Eddy states in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany'' (p. 242). Thus Christian Science makes a very clear distinction between the real man who is God's spiritual idea, and the misconception of man which is a mortal.
This real man, who is actually the only kind of man there is, inherits from his only parents all the good of infinity. Nothing has taken goodness from the real man, or ever can. Man is, always has been, and always will be, the expression of intelligent goodness, boundless wisdom, unlimited health, harmony, and immortality. This true selfhood, or individuality, of each one of us is manifested through what is wise and good and holy. Man's true selfhood cannot be influenced, reached, restricted, or depleted by any error. It knows no past in matter, no disease, depression, loss, years, death, or other inharmony, but manifests spiritual identity and ageless eternity.
Let us constantly maintain the concept of our true selfhood, continually acknowledge our eternal sonship with God, and be willing to acknowledge the true selfhood of all others to be, also the expression of God, Mind. Unless this true understanding of man is put into practice and expressed in daily living, our living is not improved.
Realizing that man is not limited to a corporeal body but is the embodiment, the manifestation of God's qualities, we strive to express those qualities humanly. And so we begin to watch our thinking, and to admit only that which is Christlike. That means that loving patience and kindness are replacing irritation or temper, that helpfulness and friendliness are evidenced in our actions. The lovely qualities of self-forgetfulness, purity, orderliness, gratitude, and spontaneity belong to man and must find expression in our daily living.
As the real man possesses by reflection all the glorious qualities of Deity, it is good practice to consider some of these. Consider God's wisdom, activity, efficiency, accuracy. Love's fidelity, infinity, tenderness, holiness, and then remember that in our real being, in the real man God knows, we express the same glorious and everlasting qualities, the same uninterrupted and harmonious activity. Man, God's forever likeness, is sinless, matterless, diseaseless, and deathless.
This real man needs no salvation, no saving. He is perfect, safe, indestructible now. Because he reflects the Love that employs no evil, the Mind that knows no evil, the creator that makes no evil, he is himself beyond all need of healing, perfecting, saving. But what does seem desperately to need salvation is this dream mortal, the false concept of man so interestingly described in the second chapter of Genesis as having fallen into a "deep sleep." That so-called man is still sleeping, still dreaming of life in corporeality, of sensation in matter, of death, war, sorrow, destruction. In a word, he is believing in the reality of matter and evil and his sufferings are the penalty for that false belief.
The penalty for adding a column of figures wrongly is the wrong answer. The penalty for believing that there is another power than God, another kind of universe and man than the perfect, spiritual one He knows, is sickness, sin, and death. The penalty never comes from divine Love. The penalty comes from our ignorance of the nature of Love. It comes from a mistaken sense, and it ceases when the mistaken sense ceases. These are the errors from which humanity needs to be saved.
Christian Science Healing
In spite of the dream of a man apart from God, in which mankind has been sunk, glimpses of spirituality, glimpses of God and man's noble reality have been manifested with increasing clarity throughout the ages. Salvation for the race, as for the individual, is a progressive and gradual achievement. Instinctively men turn to a power outside themselves, and through prayer - communion with God - they reach the divine inspiration which gives them strength and peace. Prayer and its beneficent and liberating results are available to all men everywhere at any time. In the jangle of city streets or war-torn areas or in the quiet of a mountainside, wherever a spiritual impulse, and uplifted longing, touches a human consciousness, there is a prayer.
The Christian Scientist is often asked by a new student how to pray. The inquirer feels that his old way of praying was not very effective perhaps, and he has not yet learned a new way. He may be reassured. Any kind of prayer that brings God nearer will be a right prayer. One's concept of prayer is clarified as his concept of God grows.
When fully convinced that God knows only good and knows all good and sends it unceasingly and impartially to all His ideas, we cease to plead for more of good, but pray instead that our receptivity increase, that our spiritual discernment of what already exists shall be clarified, that the obscuring mists of materiality may be dispersed. God needs no changing. To believe that we can change His plans is childish and absurd. But human consciousness does need changing. It needs to turn to the light. It needs purifying and strengthening. It needs consecration and confidence and expectancy. It needs a clearer revelation of the divine nature. Through prayer our needs are met.
Christian Science treatment is prayer. It is prayer based upon the concept of God and man of which we have been speaking. The purpose of a Christian Science treatment is to heal false beliefs of sin, disease, and death. Mankind quite rightly recognizes the desirability of health. It spends much of its time hunting for cures and preventives. Fashions change in the search for health as in the search for beauty. Some of us recall panaceas that were once considered valuable but which today are forgotten.
It has been thoroughly proved that a right change of thought brings healing. Thus Christian Science treatment is concerned only with improving thought; and if the false belief back of disease or some other problem is successfully eliminated and the consciousness of Truth fills human thought, healing occurs. If an undesirable shadow is being cast by a tree, the only way to remove the shadow is to remove the tree. Thus if fear or hate, jealousy or other dispositional error invades thought, or if some medical or physiological belief is accepted as law, they are likely to produce sick or unhappy human effects, and the effects must be got rid of by getting rid of their antecedents.
Some of our medical friends are admitting that mental causes produce disease. A statement by Dr. Royal S. Copeland has been given wide newspaper publicity. He said, if quoted correctly: "We can never attain plenty, happiness, or health if our thinking is wrong." Another nationally known physician and surgeon has been widely quoted as saying: "The emotions worry, fear, hate, and jealousy affect every cell in the body. Some organs are stimulated, some inhibited . . . foundations of certain characteristics of human disease are laid."
Long before that statement was made Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 260), "A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts." A magazine article of a couple of years ago, by one eminent doctor, quotes another as saying "that the criterion for calling one disease
organic and another functional is artificial, and that the line between physical and mental is fictitious." With that statement Christian Science is in agreement. To quote from the textbook again (p, 293), "Matter and mortal mind are but different strata of human belief."
Thus the Christian Scientist, convinced of the mental nature of everything, sets about to correct thought, to dwell on the spiritually real and turn from the materially unreal. Healing results in the degree to which he is successful in this undertaking. Some of you are just investigating Science, many of you may never have thought of trying to give yourself or anyone else a treatment. Let me urge you to practice on yourselves! Do not delay longer to find out how engrossing and joyous is the mental effort to see our real selfhood as God sees it.
There have been innumerable cases of healing simply from reading the textbook, Science and Health. Those occurred because the necessary change of thought was thus accomplished. Then again, young and even older students occasionally require the help of more experienced workers. A Christian Science practitioner spends his time assisting others to work out their problems. He treats those only who request his assistance.
The earnest practitioner strives to guide his patient's thought from error to Truth, from defectiveness to perfection, from impairment to wholeness, from sin to holiness. The patient (and the patient is sometimes oneself) needs to free his thought from false beliefs. He needs to be demesmerized. We have taken a great step when we have reached the conclusion that every physical disorder is primarily mental, but there is a further step to be taken. It must be seen that because one divine Mind exists, there is in actuality no mental inharmony, no false belief.
Mortal mind, so called, classifies disease as serious and tenacious or less serious and more readily healed. These claims of a nonexistent lawgiver are no more real or powerful than other dreams. Let us reverse any suggestions that may be trying to terrify us with the glad realization that all disease, whatever it has been named, is equally unknown to God and to the real man.
Tenacity, persistence, continuity, development - all these are in truth characteristics of the divine Mind, and they cannot be qualities of that which is mere mesmerism and utterly unreal. In the truth of being it is health that is tenacious, good that is indestructible, dominion that is continuous, and harmony only that is developing.
Christian Science teaches that sickness is an illusion. It defines disease as a lie, a dream, as mesmerism, and a mistaken sense. Applying the spiritual facts of being to the lie that needs destroying, that is the joyous activity of a Christian Science treatment. Displacing the false belief in consciousness and replacing it with Truth, that is the function of a treatment.
Mortal mind has a decidedly morbid tendency. It usually believes the worst! It is inclined to insist that evil is more powerful than good. It would be destroyed if no one believed that to be true! It may expect mortals to catch disease if there is any around, but it never expects them to catch health. It fears a mortal law of heredity as usually bad, instead of claiming sonship with and inheritance from a divine Father-Mother God. What if instead of believing ourselves subject to all sorts of disagreeable and harmful things, we were to insist that we are predisposed to good and susceptible only to health? Before long we should find ourselves confident of good only!
You remember that Paul enjoins us to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Mentally keep yourselves separated from materiality, years, change, deterioration, and death. And, conversely, know your constant oneness with God, eternity, spirituality, changelessness, and immortality. No avenue or agency or law of error can reach the spiritual man. He is surrounded by the perfection of Spirit, immune to all illusions of discord and disease. The real man is not fearful of evil, expectant of disease, concerned with time, affected by disaster, anticipating accident or subject to anything less than omnipotence.
Spiritual activity in consciousness is needed to displace the lies of disease or sin or fear. I remember a case of healing which clearly illustrated that. A young woman, realizing that there was something wrong physically, went to a doctor and was told that she had a very large tumor. She turned to Christian Science for healing. What impressed the practitioner whom she employed was the spiritual activity which the young woman expressed.
She asked about spiritual things and studied Science and Health, and the Bible, and tried faithfully to practice what she was learning. The periods of extreme pain from which she suffered disappeared in a week or two. Then a day came when she felt that she could put her street clothes on. That, however, caused great discomfort. It was realized that there was still work to be done. After she and the practitioner had worked for some weeks more, she was completely normal in every way and resumed her usual life. You see, as the spiritual sense of true growth was demonstrated, the physical sense of abnormal growth was eliminated. That healing was many years ago. I saw that friend recently, and her years of health and activity reminded me of the healing of which I had known but had practically forgotten.
Falsities of long duration have no more power to intimidate you, to chain you to discord, than brief and sudden ones. Past time and material history cannot make that true which was never true to God. Time, itself a false concept, cannot provide error with resistance to Truth. Truth applied to a case of long standing is just as irresistible, just an invincible, just as effective, as when applied to a brand-new problem. Darkness was just as instantly dispelled when Tutankhamen's tomb was opened as when you lifted your window shade this morning. Where light shines, darkness cannot be, because it was never anything but the absence of light.
Certain diseases seem to be talked of and feared more than others. I recall the case of a woman who was, and is, a friend of mine. She became interested in Science twenty-odd years ago and was at that time suffering from some phase of heart trouble. She began to study Science. At the beginning she was extremely nervous and afraid of the word "heart"; she refrained from reading magazines for fear of seeing heart trouble mentioned. As she began to learn of God and man and their relation to each other, as confidence in good replaced fear - and fear is always belief in evil - she gradually lost all belief in heart trouble. Activity and hard work have filled the years since, and that woman is today the picture of health. She improved by understanding that a perfect God brought salvation from belief in a defective body.
Tonight, here in this auditorium, we could all so correct thought that needed healings would be realized. Let us expect that.
Nothing real could be changed or needs changing. But those who are not students of Christian Science are sometimes puzzled by its use of the world "reality." That which is God-made, eternal, spiritual, harmonious, is real; nothing else can be. Hence reality is mental. Where then is matter? Mrs. Eddy was consistent in her deductions. Having found God to be all power and good, she faced the indisputable fact that evil and matter must be unreal.
The declarations in "the scientific statement of being," on page 468 of Science and Health, which read: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all," do not sound so startling today to human thought as they no doubt did when written. Today the physicist has so demolished matter that there is little left that is not mental even from his point of view. Thus Sir Arthur S. Eddington, the well-known English scientist, in his "The Nature of the Physical World," says, "To put the conclusion crudely - the stuff of the world is mind-stuff.
Natural scientists do not attempt very definitely to define matter, but they seem to concede at present that all matter is composed of minute particles called protons, which are positively charged, and electrons, which are negatively charged. To quote Eddington again: "We have perhaps forgotten that there was a time when we wanted to be told what an electron is. The question was never answered." "Something unknown is doing we don't know what - that is what our theory amounts to."
He further says, "As for the external objects, remorselessly dissected by science, they are studied and measured but they are never known. Our pursuit of them has led from solid matter to molecules, from molecules to sparsely scattered electric charges, from electric charges to waves of probability. Whither next?" Another physicist pertinently remarks that "the electron theory explains everything but the electrons."
It would seem from these few quotations that the natural scientist has already arrived at some concord with the first sentence just quoted from the textbook: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter." Signs are not lacking that he is approaching the tremendous statement that follows, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation." Thus Sir James Jeans, another eminent physicist of today, says in his book, "The Mysterious Universe": "The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine." "This concept of the universe as a world of pure thought throws a new light on many of the situations we have encountered in our survey of modern physics." "If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must have been an act of thought."
To me these are thrilling statements, given by men whose lives have been spent in efforts to define matter, men who not through religion but through exploring the vast reaches of the astronomical universe and the invisible, theoretical nature of molecules and electrons, have arrived at their conclusions that all is mental. The Discoverer of Christian Science also teaches that all is mental, but her conclusions were not reached by exhaustive research in matter. Through spiritual inspiration, through prayer and revelation, she realized the impossibility of any reality but that of Spirit and Spirit's reflections.
Science and Health states (p. 469): "Mind is God. . . . There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite." Mortals do claim another mind; Paul called it the carnal mind, Mrs. Eddy named it mortal mind. Out of our belief in its reality come all our woes.
Christian Science has revealed the fact that all that really exists is spiritually mental. We always live, always shall live, in a thought world. This is either a supposititious world of confusion, effort, the senses, disease, sin, and death - an unreal world of mortal mind's conceptions externalized in experience – or, as untrue mortal concepts decrease because true divine concepts increase in our thought, it is the real world of Mind's ideas unfolding to us and reflected by us. We have no private mind, no original mind exclusively ours. We are either accepting and reiterating the so-called mortal mind's beliefs, or we are conscious of the one genuine, real, divine Mind and expressing its ideas. Our health, joy, harmony, service, and true success are dependent upon which kind of thinking predominates in our consciousness.
Because our concept of the material world exists only in what we accept as our own consciousness, we can change it. That is the way of salvation pointed out by Christian Science. It is a way of definite right thinking. We must think our way into health, goodness, peace, heaven. Mrs. Eddy's works are full of instructions for right thinking. In one place she says (Science and Health, p. 400), "By lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending persistently for truth, you destroy error."
A few years ago I had a little experience that illustrated that statement in a way that has since been helpful to me. We took a plane, on a dark rainy day, in one great city to fly to another country. At once the pilot went up through a huge white cloud into blinding sunshine and we rode above the thick whiteness all the way to our destination.
The darkness and gloom were not present to us, not known or experienced by us. When we reached the city to which we were going, the plane descended through the cloud and there too, in that country, it was dark and rainy. By lifting ourselves above darkness into the light which was always there we had removed the darkness from our experience, and until we voluntarily returned to it, it did not exist for us. To those who had remained where the darkness was, it had been gloomy all day.
All the way on that trip I was thinking of the statement just quoted about lifting thought above error and disease. We had done that physically in the plane, and the result was light. So if in our human experience we lift thinking deliberately, persistently, vigorously into the presence of divine Mind and its good and eternal realities, and if we resolutely hold it there and contend for the omnipotence of good, we shall find ourselves increasingly surrounded by the light and radiance of true being. Just as we found that the clouds had not destroyed the sunshine at all but had only hidden it to human sense, so we shall learn that the blinding mists of belief and illusion, apparent as sin, disease, and death, hide being and obscure God and man to human sense, but leave reality unchanged. Being, substance, identity, peace, and love are all permanent. They are untouched. They are indestructible. They are infinite and eternal. All the storms of illusion cannot injure or stop reality. All that is, forever is. All that lives, forever lives. Those are the great truths that the Christian Scientist is trying to see for himself and the world today, difficult as that seems.
Right Thinking for World Today
No Christian Scientist wants war, any more than any other civilized human being, but he recognizes that there are things even worse than war. He is willing to take any necessary human steps to defend democratic government, freedom to worship God, the right to develop individuality. He knows that none of that is possible under a pagan or totalitarian government.
The real Christian Scientist has been trained in the warfare of mental resistance to error in his own consciousness. He loves good more than self, victory over evil more than ease in matter. He is therefore not a pacifist or a defeatist, a dreamer or a dupe of propaganda. He stands for Principle and with that which is nearest Principle. He supports right and what is nearest right in human affairs. Whatever advances the salvation of the world is his to support.
Everyone here can be praying, knowing daily, that no such thing as subtlety, disloyalty, or evil mental manipulation can stupefy, delay, obstruct, separate, or confuse the thinking of the forces of righteousness. Let us know rather that the selflessness of right thinking, the free dominion of God-governed thinking, the alert, united, clear thinking that is the activity of Mind, is present, is acting and acting without delay. With the nearest right of earth's peoples, let us be very certain that guidance, wisdom, unity, and the protection of Principle do exist.
We cannot afford to be complacent or apathetic over present-day affairs, but we do know, and it is our constant business to know, that good is more powerful than all the claims of evil and that it will be proved so. Let us be sure of right's ultimate triumph and be sure, too, that that triumph need not be delayed! Evil is never person. It is impersonal belief opposing good. Mortals let themselves be agents for evil, representatives of evil, but the real man is never evil. Thus we fight evil in this world situation not as person but as a hideous, so-called force which is bent on opposing and destroying Christianity, individuality, and the understanding of God.
In times of emergency and stress the amazing timeliness, the agelessness, of the Bible is more apparent than ever. Thus today we find in it statements, parables and stories that are as applicable as though they were written for the occasion. How reassuring to our beloved boys and to ourselves are the following from Psalms: "Though an host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident." "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." "The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace."
Although written many hundreds of
years before our flying fortresses of today, how thrilling is Isaiah's verse as
we think of our airplane protectors: "As birds flying, so will the Lord of
The Christian Science soldier never for one minute believes that he can demonstrate more selfless heroism, more splendid service, than thousands of others have done and are doing. But knowing that God is omnipotence, that right is inevitably might, that no real good can be destroyed, that the claim of evil is never triumphant permanently and will be totally destroyed eventually, he goes forth with high courage and trust in God. Paul says, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." Obeying that in trust and activity, we can each one of us say, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory."
The Discoverer and Founder
For almost seventy years the
Christian Science textbook has been proclaiming to the world the unreality of
matter, the like unreality of evil, and the fact that we can attain the victory
over their apparent existence. That in the face of accepted belief, one
Mary Baker Eddy, member of a religious family and extremely spiritually-minded herself, pursued for years a ceaseless quest for Truth. She studied Jesus' healings, his life and words, and when, through application of that study she healed herself and others, she unreservedly gave her life and entire consecration to writing, teaching, and further investigation of the spiritual law she had discovered. She named that discovery Christian Science.
Jesus, the Founder of Christianity, and his faithful follower, the Founder of Christian Science, have both given us marvelous examples of the way spiritual progress, the renunciation of materiality, works out human salvation from limitation, sin, sickness, and death. From Jesus' first miracle to that unparalleled demonstration we call the ascension - that mental rising above matter to its utter annihilation in consciousness - his demonstrations of understanding progressively unfolded. The history of the Discoverer of Christian Science is also a wonderful illustration of progressive unfoldment of good as the result of knowing and serving God better. From the little group of early listeners to the great Extension of The Mother Church - what steady increase of vision!
Mrs. Eddy saw her Church established, her followers numbered by thousands, and their healings, through application of her teachings, by tens of thousands, and the reason for it all she concisely states on page ix of the Preface to the textbook, where, speaking of herself, she says: "To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ." It was this Christ, this eternal activity of good, that Jesus so clearly knew and so effectively utilized in his marvelous healing ministry. It is that same Christ, that same divine idea, which was recognized and applied by Mrs. Eddy and is here today for us to employ. Of it Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I [the Christ, Truth] am."
Mrs. Eddy's work as Discoverer might be said to be particularly recorded in Science and Health, and her work as Founder and Leader to be specifically embodied in the Church Manual. The Rules and By-Laws of that book provide for the many different activities of the Christian Science movement - church services, practitioners, teachers, Sunday schools, Reading Rooms, lectures, and many other means of service to community, individual, and world.
The inquirer about Christian Science - and we were all that once - can, in most towns of any size, find a free Christian Science Reading Room where he may study, buy, or borrow Mrs. Eddy's works and other authorized publications. These publications include the Christian Science periodicals, all of which were founded and their purpose outlined by Mrs. Eddy.
She defines "Church," in part, in the textbook (p. 583) as "the structure of Truth and Love." That true Church, that reality of Church in consciousness, is but symbolized and typified by the human organization. The more truly the members of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, are bringing out in their lives the Christ qualities, the more they are holding in thought the truth about man, the reality of abundance, the presence of Love, the more active, alert, prosperous, and loving will be their branch of The Mother Church, and the more its one object of healing sin and disease will be accomplished.
Almost the whole world is filled, just at present, with apprehension, vague or acute, as to business security or as to any business at all! In the absolute fact of being we know that man is God's expression. Then his one business is expressing God. God is the source of supply. Then supply is always adequate, always present, forever undiminished.
Someone may ask, What if those are the spiritual facts of being; how does that help me today to see my needs met? That is a legitimate question. That is just what Christian Science teaches - how to relate the facts of eternal reality to this troubled human experience. This is certain: no man in wartime or peacetime will long remain unemployed, unsupplied, fear-filled, or discouraged, if every minute he is expressing trust in God, integrity, industry, efficiency, and resourcefulness. If every minute he is knowing the presence in true being of abundance, provision, activity, and opportunity, he is expressing right initiative, reliability, intelligence, and helpfulness.
Those are Mind's qualities, and
held to and practiced they will bring all necessary good into experience. God's
ideas are man's supply, undiminished throughout eternity. Prosperity is a
steady realization of the limitlessness of good.
Today all engaged in business need particularly to guard against tension and strain. They are the results of apprehension and a sense of personal responsibility. Both result from the belief that we ourselves, aside from omnipotence, have to do something. Active but not rushed, trustworthy but not falsely responsible, "under the shadow of the Almighty" but not under pressure - that is the ideal. The need is never for more matter. The need is for more vision, more receptivity. In reality neither man's possessions nor services are unwanted, restricted, unprofitable. In reality his opportunity, desirability, honesty, intelligence, and capability are not lacking at all. As our realization of our mission as God's expression grows, as our knowledge of our own unlimited provision as a child of God grows, as our understanding of true affluence and limitlessness grows, we shall see progressive unfoldment of good in our affairs.
Salvation from business cares will come with this kind of thinking, in which the sense of service, supply and ambition will be spiritualized. Income will be seen to be mental, the income of active, spiritual ideas into consciousness. Such income is unaffected by shortage, years, inflation or deflation. There is no such thing as financial security. Security for man is in knowing his changeless relation to God. If all this sounds impracticable to you, try it.
When you find that it works you will realize how completely practical it is! To let Mind shine through us in intelligence, to let Love express itself through us in tenderness and kindness, to let Soul glow through us in joyous radiance, and to let Principle govern our lives, our words, with wisdom, law, and order, means demonstrating true service, right success, and serenity. It depends upon ourselves whether we are content to stay in a consciousness of meagerness and limitation or whether we shall rise to divine Mind's boundlessness. In reality, growth, increase, unfoldment, activity, and advancement are simply aspects of God, Life, appearing to consciousness.
This hour that we have spent together can open mental doors to all of us. God does not give sparingly to His children. We can draw gladly upon His infinite fount of ideas. In the words of Isaiah, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."
Although truly scientific thinking is clear and logical, embracing no emotionalism, mysticism, or transcendentalism, it is constantly lifting thinking out of matter up to Spirit. This spiritual progress, this healing salvation, will mean for all of us, for all that has been and is dearest to us, more radiant, constant unfolding good. An eternity, an infinity of good awaits our acceptance, our appreciation. It all is now. "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been," we read in Ecclesiastes.
Today is infinite and eternal Life as unfettered and boundless as we in our present spiritual development of consciousness permit it to be for us. We need not pray for more of good; we need only pray that we may accept, that we may lift our thinking into the grandeur of the free and the illimitable, into complete unity with divine Mind and our own true being and all the good of God. That is the ultimate, that is the object of our spiritual growth, that is salvation attained.
[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, Nov. 20, 1942.]