Christian Science: The Science of Blessedness

 

Evelyn F. Heywood, C.S.B., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

World peace will be more nearly attained as it is recognized that peace has its source in spiritual understanding of God and man, rather than in statesmen, human events, or conditions, Evelyn F. Heywood, C.S.B., of London, England, said in a Christian Science lecture in Boston today.

Miss Heywood spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. Massachusetts. On nationwide tour as a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, she spoke on "Christian Science: The Science of Blessedness." Referring to challenging world conditions, she said: "Our right, our ability, to know that the kingdom of heaven is within us, that Truth is available to heal, to comfort, to strengthen, to deliver now as in Jesus' time, this is the message which Christian Science has brought to the world."

The lecturer was introduced by James Harry McReynolds, C.S.B., First Reader of The Mother Church.

 

Spiritual Law of Healing Revealed

Miss Heywood spoke substantially as follows;

In the Bible we find these words: "The people which sat in darkness saw great light" (Matt. 4:16). Countless numbers who were in the darkness of sickness, of sorrow, or of sin have seen this great light and have understood the promise of the Bible. The spiritual law of healing, of salvation, no less available than it was centuries ago, is being revealed today in the all-power and presence of divine Love.

Jesus of Nazareth came telling men that God was their Father. Words of blessing, of comfort, were continually on his lips. He proved what he said by healing and delivering humanity from every ill. The prophecy of the coming of the Messiah was fulfilled: "The people which sat in darkness saw great light."

Today through the teachings of Christian Science, this same "great light" has reappeared, and men have risen up, free. They have learned that with the understanding of the fatherhood of God comes the understanding of divine sonship. They have found the oneness of God and man. Today in the letter and spirit of Christian Science, these words of Jesus have been realized: "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).

In this great light men are finding that the Christ-promises are true for them. That which had seemed abstract and remote is made clear. Our right, our ability, to know that the kingdom of heaven is within us, that Truth is available to heal, to comfort, to strengthen, to deliver now as in Jesus' time, this is the message which Christian Science has brought to the world.

In the first sentence of the Preface to the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," its author, Mary Baker Eddy, writes (p. vii): "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." The nature of these blessings, and man's inalienable right to them, is what we are going to consider during the hour of this lecture.

The relationship of God and His Christ, Mind and idea, Father and son, is seen in the light of Truth to be a state of blessedness. And Christian Science unfolds to us how this can be understood and made practical: how that which afflicts, condemns, destroys, is replaced with the blessedness of salvation. To understand God, to understand man, His likeness, to perceive this man equipped with divine power, is what has been revealed.

 

Divine Love Is the Only Power

Perceiving and then responding to this spiritual call, we find new courage and strength springing up within us. We see ourselves no longer handicapped, penalized, insecure, but sons of God, sure of His care, entitled to health and freedom, to happiness and peace. This was the way exemplified by Jesus, who, amidst every trial, every seeming temptation of material sense, knew himself beloved of the Father; this must be our way. In the consciousness of the oneness and allness of God, it is seen that evil is unreal, without cause or authority. In this great light, darkness disappears.

The spiritual prophets of the Old Testament gave no promise of immediate salvation. Isaiah saw a future when "none shall make them afraid;" but Jesus came telling men, "Nothing shall by any means hurt you." From him they learned that in the Science of blessedness which he taught and lived, there is nothing to fear because there is no other power but divine Love.

It was Christ Jesus' mission to make men not only aware of God as Father, but to awaken them to their ability to express divine sonship, healing sickness and destroying sin. He knew himself to be the beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased; and in this consciousness of blessedness he maintained his serenity, his love for his fellow man; he conquered evil. But this was not all. He taught the infinite nature of good. He knew that this message was universal, he declared himself to be "the light of the world:" he told his followers that this was their function also. He spoke, he lived, from the standpoint of eternity.

The first public utterance of Jesus was the promise of deliverance; his first public acts were healing the sick. He proved what he taught, and so men knew his words were true. In the measure of their receptivity they were healed and enlightened.

That today and every day may be big with blessings, we must have God-reliance. How is this achieved?' By knowing God as Love and ourselves as His likeness. We then turn immediately and naturally to Him, assured of all blessedness. In the consciousness of His presence, endowed with His power, we find we are infinitely sustained. Great were the blessings promised, and then fulfilled, in the history of the children of Israel, when they hearkened to the Word of God. They were led out of bondage, they walked unharmed through the Red Sea, they were fed in the wilderness, and continually delivered from their enemies. Yet they were not immune from suffering and defeat, because of their indulgence in, their fear of evil. Only with the coming of the Christ, or Truth, to human consciousness, are we aware of a divine presence, which, dependent on no person or condition, is ours because of our unchallengeable relationship with God.

 

The Consciousness of Sonship

Jesus, then, taught his disciples that they were not merely the recipients, they were the heirs of blessedness. The assurance of blessings was continually expressed, made manifest in his deeds. We learn in the light of Christian Science that all ill-health, discord, every phase of evil, is the result of ignorance. The beliefs of a selfhood apart from God rob men of their birthright. He who has found that the sustaining infinite belongs to him would be foolish indeed if he did not lean on it and rejoice. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy-writes (p. 151), "The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness." In the consciousness of sonship we discern the ability and willingness of divine Love to maintain a relationship which is the basis of creation.

In Christian Science it is seen that identification belongs to Spirit; that in fact that only is truly maintained which is of God. In this recognition, human qualities, aims, and ambition take on more and more of the divine nature. Weaknesses, disabilities, handicaps, which before seemed obstacles to progress and destroyers of happiness, yield to spiritual sense. We see why it was Jesus could say, "I do always those things that please him." The Mind of God knows its own idea and is known of it. To identify ourselves with mortality, with any phase of discord, is in that moment to deny our sonship. Christian Science teaches us how to deal with all that is a denial of true spiritual selfhood, and in the same way that the mathematician deals with error. He eliminates it by putting the correct statement in its place.

 

Jesus Replaced Discord with Salvation

How different was Jesus' interpretation of human events to that of others. How swift he was to see salvation and blessedness in the place of discord and disease. During long years a blind man had been sitting by the roadside, and those coming or going had so accepted him. It was thus that he had accepted himself. And always there must have been hung over him and over his parents, inexorably bound up with his affliction, a sense of penalty, a grievous feeling of wrong, which none knew how to remove. "Who did sin, this man, or his parents," Jesus was asked by his disciples, "that he was born blind?" And Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:2,3). The Master saw not sin, but "the works of God" in its place; not condemnation, but blessedness. It is in this great light that the darkness of reproach, of affliction, that what we read in Proverbs as "the curse causeless," is removed. That which God maintains is revealed. We know why it was that the man was able to declare with the triumph of liberation, "Whereas I was blind, now I see." Reasoning from none but a spiritual premise, believing in no mortal penalties, having faith in no fearful anticipations, we shall reassure ourselves with the words from the Bible, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it" (Prov. 10:22).

The writer of the Apocalypse was enabled to see the elimination of the error which would stand between men and their consciousness of blessedness. John saw "the accuser of our brethren . . . cast down, which accused them before our God day and night" (Rev. 12:10). In the Science of blessedness there can be no accuser, no concept of God, before whom day and night accusations are made. The way of the Christ is never the way of condemnation. Yet in human experience how swift men are to accuse each other; distrust and suspicion among men and nations are encouraged, exploited, emphasized. Unchecked and often unrecognized, whether among friends or enemies, the accuser plays his part. And in the significant words of the Bible, these accusations go on before our God which might be interpreted before what mortals hold as their highest sense of good.

In this false concept of God as a God of condemnation, does self-righteousness seek to justify itself; and, no less, does self-condemnation sit in darkness. May we see the accuser forever cast down, and in its place, eternal blessedness the works of God made manifest.

How definite is the promise of Isaiah, how wise and comforting continually to remind ourselves of it: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord" (Isa. 54:17).

In the Science of Christianity we see that invulnerable, invincible, is the consciousness which knows its blessedness to be, not at the mercy of mortal conditions, but maintained of God. He who perceives that his thoughts are the sole factors in his destiny, that what he thinks is what he is, knows where alone overcoming takes place. Are the thoughts which we entertain from the divine Mind or from mortal mind? Are we leaning on some material prop or on the sustaining infinite? It is for each one to decide where his reliance is. Do not let us shelve our responsibility to be Godlike; do not let us doubt our ability to be what we have the right to be, beloved of the Father. Doubt of the divine promises, personal feeling, the mesmerism of fear, all these would present penalties for us in the place of blessings. Yet the "I" of spiritual being is the only selfhood which each one can truly call his own, which can never be taken from him, which is obeying the Christ-command to call no man his Father but God.

 

The 'I' of Spiritual Selfhood

The "I" of Spirit, with which Jesus wholly identified himself, was the selfhood which he lifted up for all men as the only ideal. To those who accept him as the way, it should be their model, their companion and their guide. In its acknowledgment and application is to be found the all-power which he expressed and left as our inheritance. The falsities and contradictions of personal selfhood fall away when the individual learns to know the "I" of spiritual selfhood. As he lives with, understands, exercises it, in the divine right of sonship, it brings increasingly the consciousness of the presence of the Christ in human affairs.

It was towards the end of the nineteenth century that an event occurred which was to have the effect of transforming and redeeming the lives of millions of men and women. What was believed to be a fatal accident had befallen one who was later to be known as Mary Baker Eddy. She asked for her Bible and read the account of one of the healing works of Jesus. As she did so, the story suddenly took on a new meaning. The result was her complete and immediate recovery.

From childhood this woman had prayed to God, had read her Bible. She had always earnestly believed, and in times of emergency had even proved, that, there is a divine healing presence. But now she knew she had found the divine law of health which belongs not to time but to eternity.

To mortal sense what had happened was a miracle, and yet, how simply, how naturally had the light dispelled the darkness, had health and strength been restored. From henceforth she was to have no other purpose than to bring to humanity the great discovery she had made.

In her autobiography, "Retrospection and Introspection," Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 28): "It became evident that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace." And she continues: "I had learned that Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could. How it was done, the spiritual Science of Mind must reveal. It was a mystery to me then, but I have since understood it."

She set herself to achieve this understanding. It came as she studied the Bible in the light of her awakened faith and in prayerful communion with God. Many were healed by her in those early days, even before her textbook was published, the book, in which numberless thousands were to find the solution to their problems and the answer to their questions: "What is God?" "What is man?"

Let us consider how stupendous was the meaning of this discovery. In these words Mary Baker Eddy has defined Christian Science: "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1).

 

Christian Science Brings Great Light

That the law of God, the law of good, may be interpreted and demonstrated, is the purpose of all healing and teaching, of all that is written and said in the authentic name of Christian Science. The Mother Church in Boston and its many branches in all parts of the world, together with the activities of the movement, are evidence of how great was the need, how mighty was the response.

William Dana Orcutt, who was closely associated with Mrs. Eddy for many years in the publication of her books, has written in his volume "Mary Baker Eddy and Her Books" (p. 188): "I have seen the demand for the textbook develop from thousands into millions. I have witnessed Mrs. Eddy's message spread over the face of the earth."

To how many in the darkness of suffering, of hopelessness, of unbelief, great light has come. As a result, branch churches of The Mother Church have sprung up everywhere in towns and cities. In distant outposts, in many languages, amongst many nations, have the Bible and the Christian Science textbook brought men and women together because the power of Truth is made manifest in spiritual understanding, in healing and redemption.

The Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, the foreign Heralds of Christian Science, and then a great international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, were established by Mary Baker Eddy. What was the purpose of this daily newspaper? In her own words, it was "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353). This object is being gained. The blessing of healing has come to many as they have read the metaphysical article which each copy contains: while all over the world thoughtful men and women of different creeds, opinions, and nationalities turn to The Christian Science Monitor and quote from it in grateful recognition of its high purpose and accomplishment.

Those who have come to call themselves Christian Scientists, who have proved in their lives its healing and saving power, who have learned in some measure to interpret and demonstrate it, feel an ever-increasing gratitude for all that Mrs. Eddy has given to the world, not only in her writings and work in founding and guiding the Cause of Truth, but in her example of devotion, of wisdom, of unselfed love for God and man. Increasingly they recognize the profound meaning of and value to humanity of her example, in turning them from person to Principle, even while expressing the greatest tenderness and compassion for humanity's needs.

 

Jesus Pointed Way to Blessedness

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus set forth the way of blessedness. He showed that blessedness pertains, not as the result of passive acquiescence, but of active participation. He who is blessed is so as the result of his own qualities of thought which find their inevitable reward. Blessedness is not therefore a favor bestowed from without, unexpected, uncorrelated, fortuitous, but is that which is impelled, inspired, guerdoned from within. Blessedness is a state of consciousness, and it belongs to man. He who has learned to know himself as beloved of the Father is spiritually equipped to meet any danger or difficulty armored with wisdom and love. Beacon lights, strongholds, watchtowers, in our relations to each other and to the world in which we live, are the Beatitudes. We find that they illumine and inspire for us every situation in which the divine qualities are needed to guide and protect us on our way. They show us not only specific attitudes of thought, but the intrinsic nature of the Christ. It is from the standpoint of blessedness that Jesus taught his followers to know themselves and to regard their fellow man. As Truth shows us that the works of God can be made manifest in us, whatever may be the opposite claim of material sense, we, like the man born blind, rise up, leaving behind the penalties, the afflictions, the reproaches. We, knowing we are blessed, can bless others. In this consciousness the poor in spirit learn that the kingdom of heaven is theirs; in this consciousness the mourner is comforted. In this consciousness meekness is endowed with authority, with the might which inherits the earth.

 

The Way to Spiritual Peace

Men hunger and thirst after the things of the world, unaware of the inward treasures of Spirit. In the consciousness of blessedness all that makes for restlessness and discontent, for rivalry and envy, is stilled, and the search after righteousness is assured. This is the way of health, of satisfaction, and of spiritual peace. This also is the way of mercy. Confronted with the mercilessness of sword and stave, he who knew himself the beloved of the Father replied to the threat of human despotism, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53)

Blessedness comes to the pure in heart because they discern spiritual values; they see God. In the midst of aggression, or the threat of it, we can still be makers of peace and so earn the blessed name of the children of God. Not a group of statesmen, not friends nor enemies, not events, not conditions, not the human evidence of power nor of weakness, are our arbiters. Peace is not at the mercy of anything invented or evolved, menacing, challenging mankind. Our peace is the Christ-gift to humanity.

Men often feel indignant, distressed, when they are persecuted for righteousness sake. Nevertheless, Jesus said that in this experience we are blessed, that at such times we should rejoice. Is it not because by these means we learn that our happiness cannot be taken from us by another, that blessedness, positively and divinely maintained, is never at the mercy of mortal mind?

 

We Must Understand God

"Let us choose to us judgment; let us know among ourselves what is good," said Job (34:4). To know what is good, we must understand God, Mind, Principle, Life, Love, and we must know man as the idea, the representative, of Him. Throughout the centuries men have desired to know what is good, to know God; but mostly, even though prayerfully and consecratedly, they have sought to know Him from the standpoint of a mortal and through human reasoning. Arguing from the premise that evil has reality and is power, believing that the universe is God-created, and yet that men are unable in this world to escape from sorrow, they have sought to understand and then obey the will of God. They have believed in His responsibility, or at least His permission, for the ills of humanity, even while they have endeavored to find material means to escape from or to mitigate them.

Many have found such a concept of Deity impossible; have felt that it was not to be reconciled with justice and mercy, still less with omnipotent Love. The "I" which Jesus manifested, humanly, divinely, which came forth from the Father and went to the Father, the divine nature of man expressed in exalted purpose, in unselfed love, in that which heals and saves, is the "I" with which Christian Science calls men and women to identify themselves. This is the "I" whom Jesus beheld, and beholding, wrought the works of God, separating from those who came to him that which penalizes and condemns.

Of what avail were it to see the nothingness of this mortal selfhood, if in its place we did not find the real man? Of what avail to behold that evil is a lie and powerless, if we were not to learn that divine Love is all-presence and all-power? Of what avail were Jesus' crucifixion and his resurrection, if they did not reveal the forever at-one-ment, the triumphant immortality of man?

The capacity, the inspiration, yes, and the command to know, to prove what he did, this is what he left with his followers. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," he said to them (Matt. 5:48). He made no proviso for any lower standard. He offered, pointed out, no other way than the one he had chosen, under divine Mind's direction.

 

Textbook Solves Problem of Doubt

"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," declares John (1:12). Through the centuries, men must have read these words and wondered how they might receive the Christ and so believe. Not as the result of human reasoning, not by means of intellectual processes, not in blind faith, is the power to lay hold of divine sonship achieved. John assuredly knew that it meant more than the acknowledgement, the acceptance, of the fatherhood of God. A natural reverence and homage, an instinctive sense of God as the Supreme Being, will enable men to adhere to and carry out some form of religion. But to receive Him in such a way that with it comes the consciousness of spiritual power, of spiritual unity with Him, this is a relationship wherein each must be able to play a vital part. On this subject, Mrs. Eddy has written (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 182), " 'As many as received him;' that is, as many as perceive man's actual existence in and of his divine Principle, receive the Truth of existence."

I know an individual who, after many years of struggle to understand God and to find Him in the Bible, in religions, in philosophy, in life, decided that to know or understand God, if indeed such a Being existed, was wholly beyond the reach and ability of human comprehension. If God was the creator of man, and the universe, why was so much utterly at variance with justice, with wisdom, with mercy? Human experience appeared in numberless ways a denial of the Biblical promises, of the portrait of a God of love, contained in its pages. He longed to find the comfort and peace which he saw religion brought into other men's lives, but their willingness to accept blindly what he regarded as full of contradictions and inconsistencies continued to baffle and perplex him. Then all at once as he sat in the darkness of unbelief, behold great light! The Christian Science textbook came into his possession. He understood for the first time what had been the mission of Christ Jesus. He saw that evil was not something to be accounted for, explained. It was illusion, the counterfeit of good; it was ignorance, which only the knowledge of God as All could dissipate. It was a lie, a negative, without source or origin, without cause or effect except in the realm of belief.

In this light of spiritual reason and revelation, he knew God as Father-Mother; he knew himself as son. He saw and began to prove in his own experience that sin and sickness are engendered not as the result of the breaking of laws and their attendant penalties, not because of misfortune, susceptibility, or liability, but because men have believed that evil is power and have not known, often not desired, because the real meaning of good was hidden from them, how to prove its nothingness. In the light of Truth's allness, the negative, causeless nature of evil was plain. He saw now why it was that Jesus had told his followers not to be afraid. Everywhere around them there seemed so much to cause fear, and yet their Master had rebuked them because of their little faith. In the consciousness of the presence of divine Love, fear could have no place. He saw that not to be afraid is to enter into the consciousness of that power which is all-power; is to be aware of that which is the very law of man's being and his relationship with God.

 

Oneness with God Casts Out Fear

A conversation with another Christian Scientist in the early days of this revelation of Truth was to leave a deep impression on him, emphasizing how revolutionary is the change of standpoint when men learn for the first time that they are not any longer looking at the universe with confusion and uncertainty, when, though as yet, however imperfectly and with so much to demonstrate, they know that they have found the way. As the talk developed, these words were said to him, spoken with great sincerity and conviction: "Never be afraid of anything; there is never anything anywhere to be afraid of." As he heard those words, he knew that they were true. He saw that they were the test of all faith in God, good. Fear could only come as the result of giving power to that which is but a denial of power. He saw that fearlessness comes not with the courageous resolve to face danger, but with that consciousness of oneness with God which knows that there is nothing to fear. This is the truth which the Christ reveals, made evident in practice by Jesus. Christian Science had already taught him that in the light of Truth evil is a negation, a lie. Now it called upon him, in his recognition of himself as the son of God, so to think and live that he could prove it true. With the absolute logic of spiritual understanding Mrs. Eddy writes in the Christian Science textbook (p. 249), "Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is the only power." This is the rock upon which spiritual conviction is built and against which the arguments of fear cannot prevail.

"As many as received him, to them gave he power." Do not let anyone think that for him there can be no receptivity; that because of the great darkness, for him no light can penetrate. How many have thought this before Christian Science has come to tell them otherwise! How many have accepted the verdict, for themselves or others, incurable, incorrigible, unredeemable! How many have resigned themselves to some physical disability, some wrong trait of character, some tendency to ill fortune, which hung over them like a shadow! Yet the Christ, the divine nature, the eternal Truth blotting out of every "curse causeless," as the Bible truly labels it, every claim of evil, is here the immediate, ever-present power to work the works of God.

Christian Science teaches men that prayer is the way whereby they find and dwell in the consciousness of that which spells all-blessedness. Receptivity is the open door to answered prayer. Mrs. Eddy writes (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 359), "To ask wisdom of God, is the beginning of wisdom." We become spiritually aware that to ask health, joy, right achievement of God is the beginning and the continuing unfoldment of these blessings, for their source and continuance are in Him. The power to become sons of God is reached only through prayer. It is in prayer that men become aware of themselves as endowed with the right to reach out to God and to find Him. To show his followers how to establish, how to maintain, their relationship with God, was the mission of Christ Jesus.

Through the teachings of Christian Science, prayer is understood to be the interpretation and demonstration of the law of God, the law of blessedness. He who knew himself to be the beloved Son, in whom all power and judgment are vested, did not cease to commune continually with God. He who declared that he could of his own self do nothing, and who affirmed his oneness with the Father, will always be our example. We see why it is that those who lean on the sustaining infinite find their days big with blessings. This is the result of prayer. In the understanding of this reliance, receptivity is increased, the exercise of power, the consciousness of sonship, is demonstrated. So it is that the real and permanent are seen to be within our range.

If, as the result of prayer, men learn to speak, to act, to live as directed of God, words and deeds will no longer need to be repented of, corrected, condemned. By spiritual communion is wisdom gained, is love preserved. By these means is mortal testimony refuted and mortal selfhood eliminated. Thoughts of blessedness are thoughts of healing. They bring to the disease of mortal mind, whether it be sickness or sin, hatred or revenge, the "Peace, be still," of the Christ. In this great light of spiritual knowing, we perceive that in fact there is not anything anywhere to be afraid of; we are conscious amidst the prophecies and threats of human happenings that the divine presence, is omnipresence. In the illumination which comes with prayer, we find the way of blessedness which we know to be our way; we find divine Science, undeviating, impregnable, eternal, forever unfolding because it dwells with and emanates from God.

I know a young woman who had for some time suffered from a form of rheumatism which would attack her suddenly with severe pain, making it impossible for her to move. Two doctors had declared the trouble to be incurable, advising her that it would become more and more frequent, and that she must be prepared to be resigned to a life of invalidism. It was during one of these attacks that she remembered a friend who had been healed through Christian Science. As soon as she could, she got in touch with her and asked about Christian Science. As a result, and full of hope, she was given the textbook. She began reading the first chapter in the book, entitled "Prayer." Immediately she knew she had found the truth. She read and reread the same chapter until she had learned the meaning of how to pray. On the second page of the chapter she found these words, which she continued to return to because of the inspiration she gained from studying them. It was to them she attributed her healing: "Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?" For the first time in her life she found she could accept God as divine reality. She had accepted and believed unquestioningly in the power of evil, of sickness, disappointment, but here at last was revealed to her the all-power of God, good. The sense of bounty, of blessedness, which came to her with this realization was to change her whole life. She is today a public practitioner of Christian Science, with her name listed in The Christian Science Journal.

 

We Must Obey Rules of Christianity

Let us learn not to long, not to plead for, but in our consciousness of the ability to receive, claim that which is ours "power to become the sons of God."

We know that in the solving of mathematical problems it is necessary to be obedient to certain rules. They can neither be forgotten nor ignored, neither is there anything for which they can be substituted. Obedience to these is indeed the sole guarantee of success. The rules of Christianity are likewise essential. Without obeying them, blessedness does not function.

When Mrs. Eddy learned, in her own words already quoted, that "Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 28), she had discovered the major rule which governs all spiritual healing. When she knew that there is only one power in the universe and that power is Love, she had discovered the Science of blessedness. Today the world needs, more than all else, the consciousness of divine power guiding and directing it out of ignorance and conflict into the knowledge of that blessedness whereby the accuser is cast down and the promise fulfilled, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ" (Rev. 12:10).

Jesus overcame the world, and he left his example in word, in action, in healing, in compassion, in prayer; always as son in communion with the Father. "Fidelity to his precepts and practice is the only passport to his power," writes Mrs. Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 270). Because of the spiritual illumination of these precepts, this practice, the power he exercised is once more available in men's lives.

Let those of us who have sat in darkness, to whom this great light is now revealed, not delay to rise up and go forward that we may aid in bringing it to others. Let us raise our eyes to see how grand, how noble, are the tasks we are called upon to undertake. Every resolute uplifted thought, every pure desire, maintained in the face of resistance and denial, is bringing assurance and strength to mankind; is interpreting, demonstrating Principle in the affairs of men.

 

Spiritual Conviction Brings Victory

It is not primarily our reasoning with error which brings our victory over it. Victory is ours as the result of our own pure spiritual conviction that evil is not true, that it is not power, and that the spiritual idea can neither be diverted nor prevented in its eternal self-expression, in its identification with the Christ, with that which is the exemplification of man's unity with God.

We see why it is, in the light of spiritual understanding, in the consciousness of God's all-power, that fear ceases to torment, the battle is no longer waged; learning to lean on the sustaining infinite, men are blessed.

Spiritual vision, steadfastness of purpose, bring to light the destiny of man. In the fulfillment of this divine destiny the individual learns to know himself and others as the offspring of Spirit, not matter. He understands how it was that Jesus could pass through angry crowds and remain untouched: how enmity and betrayal could not prevent his work. He sees that whosoever knows and dwells with the divine facts of being must be unmoved by what is only illusion.

"Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world," said Christ Jesus. The means of overcoming, the power, the wisdom, the love whereby we may prevail, these have been revealed to us in Christian Science. What wonder that in the light of this knowledge of how to interpret, to demonstrate, the divine Principle, we today, can be of good cheer. May these words, written by her whom Christian Scientists love to think and speak of as their Leader, bring comfort, encouragement, conviction, yes, and spiritual impetus to you who listen to them:

"Divine presence, breathe Thou Thy blessing on every heart in this house. Speak out, O soul! This is the new-born of Spirit, this is His redeemed; this, His beloved. May the kingdom of God within you, with you alway, reascending, bear you outward, upward, heavenward" (Pulpit and Press, p. 10).

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 12, 1953.]

 

 

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