Christian Science: Herald of Godís Allness

 

Adair Hickman, C.S.B., of New York, New York

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The Lecture

At this period of swift changes in the whole social order, we should − and naturally must, as Christians − turn unreservedly for guidance to the inspired Word, the revealed Truth, contained in the Holy Scriptures. It is imperative that we heed, more faithfully than ever before, Christ Jesus' command − for it was a command − to "search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Again he rebuked some, saying, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures."He gave every evidence that he himself was deeply versed in the Old Testament, the only Scripture there was at that time. And we know how reverently the messages of the great prophets were pondered by the faithful ones of Israel, and when obeyed, how the people were guided, protected, and blessed.

It is imperative, therefore, that Christians heed well the admonition of the Founder of Christianity, particularly at this time when the charge is being more and more aggressively made that Christianity is impractical or is failing at this crisis in human history. A great leader for the emancipation of an oppressed race, William Lloyd Garrison, once declared in substance: Take away the Bible, and our warfare with oppression, infidelity, intemperance, and impurity is removed.We have no authority to speak, and no courage to act. Those words declare the true warfare which must be unceasingly waged under the authority of divine command.

The profound significance to this very present hour of that beautiful event known as the transfiguration, as related by Matthew, and the deep and vital meaning of that sacred experience, is clearly and practically explained in Christian Science. What does the transfiguration really mean? It means "glorified" − Christ, Truth, glorified. Jesus, you will recall, had taken Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain, and there appeared unto them Elias and Moses, talking with Jesus. From the height of spiritual vision to which their Master's teaching and constant companionship had brought them, they envisaged this communion. They saw those two who had led and prophesied, and held the people to faith in the one true God, at the most important crisis in Israel's previous history. Those two were talking with the greatest of all leaders − the Prophet of Galilee. He was carried to the loftiest height of spiritual vision and was transfigured before them. The prophetic spirit was objectified to Jesus in the forms of the two most powerful representatives of the one God, in the thought of all Israel.

It was Moses who had heard, in the thunder of Sinai, the command, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." It was Elias who had appeared when a renegade king and his heathen wife had given state sanction to idolatry. The prophet came to do battle with this monstrous evil and to hold the people faithful to the one true God. In the Old Testament Elias was regarded as the harbinger of the day of the Lord; in the New, he is spoken of as the herald of God.

When the vision of Moses and Elias had vanished and Jesus was alone with his awed disciples, they questioned him about the prophecy which had existed for centuries concerning Elias. It was then that Jesus spoke those words, among the profoundest he ever uttered, "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." That was a far-reaching prophecy − as we shall see − reaching down to this very age in the religious history of the world.

Mary Baker Eddy realized that the spiritual interpretation of all Scripture is the vital interpretation. As she has said, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 207), "The spiritual reality is the scientific fact in all things." Such an interpretation makes the sacred records a living document, the very chart of life in any crisis in any age. "Take away the spiritual signification of Scripture," she declared, "and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice" (ibid., p. 241). Thus to her insight Elias was not merely a human prophet, he represented ''prophecy; spiritual evidence opposed to material sense;" and here follows a deeply significant part of her interpretation: "Christian Science, with which can be discerned the spiritual fact of whatever the material senses behold; the basis of immortality" (ibid; y. 585).

A palimpsest on vellum has recently been discovered, after it had lain fourteen hundred years in obscurity. By means of the searching ultra-violet ray, the very faint under-writing has been deciphered, it proves to be the complete text of the twenty-first chapter of the book of Acts, in the Palistinian-Syriac dialect.

This event seems beautifully symbolic of the light which Christian Science sheds on the sacred Scriptures throughout. Under the errors and changes of countless translations, below the many misconceptions and misrepresentations, which human theories have written over the primitive purity and prophetic meaning of the divine law, the searching ray of Christian Science has brought to light the full meaning and message of this compilation of revealed Truth, the Holy Scriptures. We see, then, how clear and far-reaching is Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of Elias. He shows forth as the ever-appearing spirit of Truth, as "Christian Science, with which can be discerned the spiritual fact of whatever the material senses behold."

Obviously, to become aware of the spiritual fact, or Truth, is the vital need of the human race today. This need is being practically supplied to the receptive thought through the understanding which Christian Science gives of the realism of Spirit and the unreality of matter or material sense. The fallacy called matter, which is the source of all mortal discord, sin, sickness, and death, disappears in proportion as the spiritual fact, or Truth, is scientifically discerned.

The root idea of prophecy is revelation, "spiritual evidence opposed to material sense," and so, in times of crisis, God's will has been revealed through the spirit of prophecy. The embodiment of Truth has appeared and reappeared to those with spiritual vision to recognize its authentic messengers.

Mrs. Eddy herself came as a messenger of the one God, the allness of Spirit. Through her scientific discovery of the truth of Spirit, that all Truth is Spirit or Mind, she disproved the entire claim that matter and material sense are actual, and set forth the divine law which reveals the perfection of being or allness of God, in which all that He has made is representative of Himself, wholly good and forever intact. The movement which she founded, led, and still leads through her inspired writings, attests the consistency and unconquerable fidelity with which she held to her divine revelation.

The Discoverer of this Science never minimized the struggle which must ensue when spiritual understanding, as the result of her interpretation of Scripture, became more widely diffused. She foresaw and wrote that there would be "greater mental opposition to the spiritual and scientific meaning of the Scriptures than there has ever been since the Christian era began" (Science and Health, p. 534). She prophesied still farther, however (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 363, 364), "I foresee and foresay that every advancing epoch of Truth will be characterized by a more spiritual apprehension of the Scriptures, that will show their marked consonance with the textbook of Christian Science Mind-healing, 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.' " The accuracy of this prediction is strikingly borne out to those who watch the trend of thought among advanced researchers in many fields of learning since these words were written over sixty years ago.

John the Baptist preceded the Messiah, as had been foretold. He heralded the coming of a greater messenger of Truth, Jesus of Nazareth, as he who "will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." John came declaring, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." He rallied the people to repent, to turn − for that is the significance of the word "repent" − to turn from the material sense of existence. He foretold that the activity of the Christ, Truth, would purge and destroy the false and preserve only the truth. This is the universal purge which must finally redeem the whole human race and which is at work today in human consciousness. Do we not hear the prophetic spirit calling in this time of crisis: Repent! Turn from idolatrous worship of material power, worldly aims, sensuous desires! Know that the kingdom of God is within you, in a consciousness of God's omnipresence, allness, and goodness.

The prophetic spirit calls to this age as divine Science, which is to reveal absolute Truth and restore to human consciousness the spiritual fact of all things through an exact, demonstrable knowledge of the oneness and allness of God, Spirit. Divine Science has come to restore the primitive purity and vitality of Christianity, healing sickness and destroying sin.

Even a slight knowledge of God as Spirit, or Truth, does wonders for mankind in their struggle with human difficulties, when this understanding is practically applied according to the teachings of Christian Science. The following experience is a clear and convincing proof of this. A friend of mine who turned, as a last resort to Christian Science for healing, had been a semi-invalid from childhood. Tuberculosis was thought to be hereditary in her family, her mother and several members having passed on with this malady. As she grew into young womanhood the symptoms of this disease became more and more pronounced, and resulted finally in extreme weakness and emaciation. Members of her family believed the end to be near, and inevitable. Indeed from a material standpoint there seemed little if any hope of her recovery.

She had been studying this Science for some time and had been healed of a discordant condition; nevertheless the chief difficulty seemed to grow worse until, one day, she fainted twice from weakness in an effort merely to walk across the room. As she regained consciousness the second time she reached for Science and Health and opened it to this statement (p. 390): "Life is self-sustained." Dwelling upon these words, she began to realize that if Life is consciousness and is self-existent, Life could not become unconscious or die; that whatever the seeming, she could not lose Life. With this realization the fear of death was abated and she felt stronger.

Turning again to the textbook, her eyes fell upon these words (p. 492): "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence." As the truth of this statement dawned upon her thought, she was able understandingly to reject the false evidence of material sense, and to accept and claim the spiritual evidence and law as the only truth or fact of her being. This acknowledgement resulted in instantaneous and complete healing. Strength she had never known surged through her entire being. Notwithstanding she had been unable to take but small quantities of food for over a year, her normal appetite returned immediately. She arose and prepared a large meal, and enjoyed it. She had felt the revitalizing energy of Spirit to such a degree that later, during the same day, she decided to cleanse and put her five-room apartment in order; after this she completed a large ironing which needed to be done.

That this healing has been permanent is proved by the fact that it occurred thirty years ago. My friend has been constantly active in the business world during the succeeding years, and has not only manifested excellent health, but recently, in speaking to me of this experience, she stated that she had never lost that sense of freedom and energy which came at the time of her healing; that she had not found it necessary to take as much rest as the average individual, and that she seldom experienced fatigue. She also pointed out that her clear realization and demonstration of the unreality of the claim of consumption liberated her family and her immediate relations from belief in and fear of this disease; none of them have manifested any evidence of this error since her own healing experience.

The confusion which gradually arose concerning man's origin and nature is seen in Christian Science as the "mist" or delusion of the serpentine suggestion that God, Mind, is not omnipotent; that another creative power exists, namely, evil, matter, and physical law.This radical divergence from faith in the oneness and allness of God, Spirit, Mind, Mrs. Eddy recognized as the root idolatry from which all others stem. She saw that salvation can come only through understanding fully and obeying faithfully the first and fundamental command or law, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Through false education the word "Spirit" has come to be regarded by many as representing that whichis intangible, impractical, or wholly beyond our present comprehension and availability. Christian Science has revealed the true and original meaning of the word by showing Spirit as synonymous with Truth or Mind, and therefore to be the only real substance or tangibility.

It became Mrs. Eddy's life purpose to establish the scientific interpretation and demonstration of the oneness and allness of God, in complete, logical acceptance of what that law demands. She found through her practice of the scientific law she had discovered, that the divine attributes revealed in Holy Scripture combine in oneness and completeness, so that the term "Principle" best conveys a demonstrable concept of Deity.†† In considering this, may I call your attention to a powerful passage here in the textbook, for it declares what we cannot ponder too deeply or too trustingly hold to at all times (p. 473) : "The God-principle is omnipresent and omnipotent. God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power." Here is a complete, scientific interpretation of divine oneness and allness.

 

God as Principle

Just what is meant by the God-principle as Christian Science uses this term? Its Discoverer tells us clearly in these words (No and Yes, p. 20): "When understood, Principle is found to be the only term that fully conveys the ideas of God, − one Mind, a perfect man, and divine Science." Can we not see that here we have a scientific law with which to demonstrate − make apparent to human consciousness − the ever-presence of God, Life, Truth, and Love? When understanding that the term "Principle" includes man and divine Science, the word no longer seems cold or abstract to us, for it helps us to grasp a sense of the completeness of God as one, and of our real identity as an essential of that oneness, and the law, or Science of that allness. In this allness of good we find the Christ, the ideal man, and the divine Science which reveals that likeness. We realize more and more of the divine ever-presence, and man's unity with that presence.

The word "reflection" is consistently used throughout the teachings of Christian Science in explaining man's relationship to God. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word in part as follows: "The mode, operation, or faculty by which mind has cognizance of itself and of its operations." "Webster defines it in part thus: "A reflected image, that which is produced by reflection." With what exactness this word interprets the Scripture, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;" and, "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Divine Mind was cognizant of its own operations as being wholly and veritably good. To know man as Mind's reflection is to know that man has not a single underived quality. In this realization we gain the strength of true humility − that humility which was so characteristic of Christ Jesus and crowned him with matchless success.

As we learn in this Science to claim our unity with God, we cease to grope, like Diogenes, in the mist and dimness of material theories, with a humanly contrived lantern made up of the elements of the material world, seeking to find an honest man, the real man. Instead, we go in the clear light of divinely scientific revelation to recognize more and more of the true man in God's likeness, His image or idea, everywhere present to spiritual vision and understanding. Christian Science shows that it was this true view of man which enabled Jesus to heal the sick. It is this same spiritual concept or view which is accomplishing the healing work today.

"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," was the divine purpose. And that purpose to make man in God's, Mind's, likeness is the continuing law governing all real progress. Only as man appears in God's likeness, embodying Godlike qualities − love, mercy, justice, wisdom, unvarying rectitude, and the like − is reality made manifest. All else is illusion, the mist or mythology of material sense.

When the ancient prophet asked, "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" it is evident that he perceived something of man's real nature, a selfhood different from the erring, imperfect, perishable, humanly begotten selfhood of physical sense. For generations there has been a ceaseless effort to reconcile this human selfhood, or Adam-concept of man, with omnipotent good. The effort has been to reconcile God to man by holding a more or less anthropomorphic and inconsistent concept of God, as a God of wrath, vengeance, and variableness, instead of seeking to elevate man by realizing more and more clearly that the Christ-ideal as demonstrated by Jesus is the real man of God's creating.

Through Christian Science we see that man comes to know himself only as he learns the true nature of God, learns to know the infinite divine Mind as Love. Since Love is the one Father or creator, "the only begotten" of that Father, and only that which is begotten of that Father, or creator, can be real. From this standpoint of absolute Truth we begin to perceive the fraudulent nature of all evil. In this realization we gradually "put off the old man with his deeds." We discard the material concept of man as false and put on the true concept of man's real nature and heritage as the son of God. This is done by recognizing, accepting, and identifying ourselves with the new man of whom the apostle speaks. This is clearly what Paul meant when he wrote, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

The false claim of a selfhood apart from God, Spirit, a selfhood capable of knowing evil as well as good, is the error from which proceed all the afflictions of mankind. Must we not see then how important it is to recognize this basic error of two minds and identify ourselves with the one God, one Mind, in order to demonstrate, image forth, or express our true, indestructible individuality? To be willing and able to give up this dream of a selfhood in matter − this claim that evil can be real in thought or experience, past or present − requires constant vigilance. However, this must continue until the warfare with material sense is fought and the victory won. It must continue until the unreal nature of all evil is seen and demonstrated. If we prove through scientific knowledge the unreality of the slightest claim of evil manifested as sin or disease, we have the evidence, in a degree, of the unreality of all evil. This should encourage us in our effort to put down all of evil's aggressive but groundless claims.

 

Righteous Prayer

Since prayer is our means of communion with God, since it is the agency by which all true healing, saving work is done in Christian Science, it is to be expected that the textbook of this Science would have much to say on so vital a subject; and it has indeed said much about it. One entire chapter of this book is devoted to prayer. This clear, convincing, comforting chapter alone has been the means of drawing hosts of unsatisfied suffering mortals to further study and acceptance of Christian Science. Throughout all of her writings the Discoverer of this Science has given illuminating passages on the way of gaining access to the divine presence, the "secret place of the most High."Perhaps one of the most dearly prized of such passages occurs in "No and Yes," where she writes (p. 39); "Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is."

To see "more clearly than we saw before" − should not this be the desire back of all prayer? Is not this what striving, suffering, sinning, drifting mortals long to do − see more clearly, think more truly, that they may act more surely and move more steadily along the way of righteousness and peace and brotherly love? Christian Science makes clear that prayer, to be effective, to be what is called answered prayer, must be something more than mere supplication. And what is more important still, prayer must not be the expression of outlined human will, which is never the prayer of the righteous.

An interesting anecdote is told by the great Asiatic ruler, Tamerlane, and his experience with so insignificant a little creature as an ant. When he was hiding from his enemies, among some ruins, he saw an ant carrying a grain of corn larger than itself, up a high wall. He counted the efforts it made to accomplish this feat − sixty-nine times the grain fell to the ground before it could reach its destination; and sixty-nine times the ant recovered it and mounted again on its route. The seventieth time the kernel was safely landed. The example of such endurance, patience, and persistence gave him courage, and he never forgot the lesson. In seeking to bring whatever we have gained of truth to a greater height of experience and attainment, may we not show the same unwearying persistence, the same steadfastness of purpose? Surely the reward is well worth the effort. And we must remember that we never climb alone. Every mounting thought or righteous desire helps to draw others upward in the path of progress, for it is a reflection of the one Mind's all-inclusive activity.

The paramount necessity for religion is to prove and to establish in human consciousness man's true, spiritual, God-governed identity; to claim for man his rightful estate of spiritual dominion intact and unassailable.

 

Demonstration

The necessity for demonstration was clearly perceived and stated by Christ Jesus when he said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." Demonstration consists in rendering absolute Truth in terms appreciable to human experience. Whatever seems to be the legitimate human need is found in Christian Science to be adequately supplied under Godís law of the equality of supply and demand. There are no "have nots" − individual or national − in the divine economy; and when the true source and substance of being is clearly understood, erroneous beliefs which lead to poverty in any direction are scientifically overcome. The bane of coveteousness will also be eradicated, root and branch. We see the infinitude of resource reflected all around us. The president of a large sulphur company recently declared, "Today we are actually creating resources from the air, sea, and the earth beneath our feet." He tells us that bromide from the sea has yielded a million-dollar profit a year, has employed many, and supplied what we all needed − anti-knock gasoline. Tons and tons of magnesium will soon be drawn from the Gulf of Mexico. By a new technique in prospecting, a million gallons of oil are yielding immense wealth. He summed up by stating that only within the last fifteen years the amount of wealth created and the new frontiers in material resources that have unfolded for us run into billions and billions of dollars.

If viewed simply as material substance and the result solely of human effort or skill, to be used only to meet material ends, all this will not, in the last analysis, prove to be wealth. But if we accept the Principle of one divine cause of all things real, we shall see that these resources are a manifestation of Mind's infinitude, representing or indicating true ideas of usefulness, productivity, affluence, intelligence, industry, and so on. And the more spiritually they are interpreted, the more righteously will they be used, and the more permanently will they endure. The frontiers of infinite resource can never be limited or exhausted when creation is understood and interpreted spiritually. The material misinterpretation is the source of all limitation, exhaustion, deprivation, and mistaken usage.

Christian Science shows that all this discovery and invention proceed from the activity of the spiritual idea in human consciousness. It is the spiritual leaven leavening the entire lump of material thinking, liberating the human mind from its self-imposed limitations and inhibitions.

At the time of the publication of her textbook on Christian Science its Discoverer stood alone before the world, facing the colossal claim of materialism in all of its accepted forms. And valiantly did she hold her ground and powerfully did she do battle, with precept and proof of this divine Principle − the oneness of Mind, God. Since then the trend of thought among the most eminent physicists has been toward the conclusion reached by her when she wrote her profound "scientific statement of being" (Science and Health, p. 468): "All is infinite Mind" and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all."

 

Why the Church of Christ, Scientist, was Organized and Founded

After her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy came to see that the task before her was twofold: to establish her revelation by the Master's method of demonstration or proof, and to promulgate and protect it by means of an organization. Since Science and religion are one, the presentation of Christian Science to the world through a church organization seemed imperative. This would make clear to public thought that Christian Science is not a mere philosophy or just another humanly evolved healing cult, many of which were springing up after the publication of Science and Health. The Discoverer of this Science knew and declared (Science and Health, p. 136) that "Jesus established his church and maintained his mission on a spiritual foundation of Christ-healing. He taught his followers that his religion had a divine Principle, that would cast out error and heal both the sick and the sinning." And she resolved to found a church "designed to commemorate the words and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Church Manual, p. 17).

It must be clearly borne in mind, however, that although marvels are performed by this Christ-method today in healing physical ills, the main purpose is to heal the claims of sin − to demonstrate that the Christ is to take away the sins of the world. This is the way of full salvation, the way shown by the Founder of Christianity, the way which won for him his highest title of Saviour. As the world's idea of salvation becomes more spiritual it will become more universal. Always, as the concept of the divine nature unfolds as Love, the thoughts, aims, and desires of humanity become broader, more universally inclusive. The principal words meaning "saved" in the Old Testament imply "broad, spacious, enlarged." In Christian Science it broadens into nothing less than an understanding of God's allness, which results in the overcoming of sin and disease, and their ultimate outcome, death. After the organization of The First Church, of Christ, Scientist, its Founder was led to write a Manual which should establish a permanent code of governing laws. These unfolded in her prayerful thought, waiting always upon divine guidance. They were enacted and applied as the needs of a great, constantly developing cause demanded. So adequate were they to fulfill their purpose that later when the organization of her church was assailed with unprecedented aggression, this Manual was victorious. Even in the courts of human law it was accounted impregnable, and Mrs. Eddy's genius for organization was commented upon by those of highest authority. She herself gave the glory to God, whose will and law she invariably sought and obeyed.

Jesus brought the revelation of Truth to the masses by his personal healing demonstrations and by his wayside teachings and by word of mouth. But in this age it must reach the multitudes and become universally known by means of the printed word. This, Mrs. Eddy realized, and so gave to the world her textbook of Christian Science and other of her writings. She also founded publications which should inculcate her spiritual message and help to evangelize the human self. She appointed a Board of Lectureship whose members were to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel," the glad tidings of God's oneness, allness, and omnipotent goodness. She formed a committee which should vigilantly guard the Cause against misrepresentation or misunderstanding of its healing practice or of its Leader. All this "to maintain the dignity and defense" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 148) of that Cause established to heal and to save in the way shown by the master Christian, Christ Jesus.

 

Miracles Explained

Until the advent of Christian Science, it had long been thought of the miracles − the most vital, the most significant part of Christian teaching − that we did not know and we could not know how they were done; that they took place ages ago by means of some past dispensation. Christian Science has proved this to be untrue by healing all manner of diseases and sin in His name, or through the understanding of the divine nature. Divine Science makes clear that these works were performed for the purpose of making manifest God's law, spiritual law, as the only law. This law, Christian Science shows, is eternally operative; it knows no bounds of time or place; it is no respecter of persons, of mere human philosophies, or the established prestige of ever-shifting material theories.

In the very early days of Mrs. Eddy's healing practice, when she was first bringing her discovery to the public by demonstrating its divine Principle, most people who had any knowledge at all of this Science looked upon it more as merely a system of cure without medicine rather than as a religion. Nevertheless, the healing which she wrought proved its moral and spiritual value. Many of those whom she cured physically showed also a marked change in conduct and a higher mental tone.

An instance of this is furnished by a farmer who had a most serious case of enteritis. The doctors could hold out no hope for his recovery. Mrs. Eddy healed him completely in less than an hour, and he took up his work again the next day. Afterwards the farmer's wife told Mrs. Eddy that a great change had come over his character. Among other good signs, his attitude toward his children had altered for the better, and the happy wife exclaimed, "Oh, how I thank you for restoring my husband to health, but more than all else I am grateful for what you have done for him morally and spiritually" (Historical Papers, by Clifford P. Smith, Series 11, p. 51).

The following authenticated circumstances will illustrate Mrs. Eddy's Christlike compassion and power to heal. When she was living in Lynn, Massachusetts, a teamster, passing her house one day, was thrown to the ground, and a heavily loaded wagon ran over him. One wheel crossed his body, badly crushing it. Men who carried the unconscious teamster into her house thought him dead, but one suggested seeing if Mrs. Eddy could do anything for him. Others were for having an inquest, as was required. The commotion attracted Mrs. Eddy's attention; she went down immediately and when the crushed body was brought to her she silently prayed beside it. In a few minutes, about half an hour according to some, the man became conscious, sat up, stood up, declared he was not hurt, went out to his wagon, mounted it, and drove away (ibid., pp. 50, 51). The practice of Christian Science has already given ample proof, which is constantly accruing, that this Science is no impractical visionary idealism.

 

 

A Promise Fulfilled

It is now generally known that Christian Scientists regard the advent of divine Science as the fulfillment of Jesus' promise given to his sorrowing disciples in that last hour before the crucifixion. He would not leave them comfortless, he told them; he would return, but how? Very definitely he said, as the spirit of Truth, which would guide into all truth; would call to remembrance all that he had told or taught; and abide forever. Had he not told them on the mount that "Elias truly (would) first come and restore all things"? The spirit of Truth we see appearing in all ages. Furthermore, he explained to his little band of disciples that if he did not leave them and go to the Father, the Comforter could not come.

In Christian Science this is held to mean that if he did not withdraw entirely as a personal messenger of Truth, and make manifest his essential unity with his divine Principle, Spirit, God, the impersonal, incorporeal Truth could not come to his followers in its completeness or in complete understanding. The Christ, the Son of God, would not be proved to them as being man's real identity. His final demonstration was to establish forever "the basis of immortality."

The Discoverer of Christian Science saw this Truth as the incorporeal Saviour, the universal Comforter, promised and foretold by Christ Jesus. Scientific Christianity demands that its followers demonstrate the truths which are professed, and practice this faith with the same purpose and method as those which inspired and guided the great healer and Saviour who founded Christianity. "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone," James wrote.

Christian Science interprets this to mean, Science without demonstration is not understood, and the operation of its divine law is not made manifest in human experience.Mrs. Eddy therefore founded her church upon the rock of Christ, Truth. She dwelt constantly upon the importance of spiritual understanding superseding a mere blind faith, however fervent that might be. Her authority was none other than Christ Jesus. "If ye continue in my word," he told his followers, "then are ye my disciples indeed," they must hold fast, continue, go forward, in the demonstration of his word, or teaching.

Then, and then only, would they know the truth, and be free − free from the idolatrous claims which hold humanity in bondage to the flesh, free in the dominion of spiritualized consciousness.

 

True Government

The carnal will claims to separate man wholly from God's government − from all knowledge or love of God − and then to rule mankind absolutely in God's stead. Whatever ideology the carnal mind may assume, it is the very antithesis of Christianity. In essence it is always atheism, paganism, as idolatrous as was the image-worship against which the ancient prophets constantly warned Israel.

From Lucifer, down through all history, those who lusted for world conquest have fallen in final defeat. There was one man, however, and one only, who justly and finally claimed complete conquest. "Be of good cheer," bade Jesus of Nazareth, "I have overcome the world." But did he mean to imply that the man Jesus, the humble Nazarene, who was about to suffer the cross, had been a world-conqueror? Never! He realized that it was because he, above all others, had recognized and obeyed God's rule, the absolute government of the one Mind, that he could make this claim. Surely the scene in "world history could not have been darker, more tragic, than at that time. Crucifixion awaited the Teacher and Founder of Christianity; mass ignorance prevailed everywhere, and the whole civilized world, as it was then known, was held in the iron hand of despotism of the grimmest type, and yet in that darkest hour Jesus could speak of his "joy," his "peace." He could bid his followers "be of good cheer" despite the certain tribulation which they would encounter. Could he have so assured them had he not known God as Love, a divine Principle at hand, not only to be adored, but understood and demonstrated? What was the world which Jesus claimed to have overcome? Something infinitely more vast than that coveted by vainglorious conquerors whose armed forces have marched and countermarched along the centuries.

Many years ago Mary Baker Eddy discovered that the world which Jesus meant was the entire world of sense − the whole material concept of the universe, of man and of all law. This led her to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth was the greatest Scientist that the world has ever known.

To Mrs. Eddy it was clearly revealed that it was through his scientific knowledge of the spiritual reality of all things that Jesus overcame the material claim at all points. It is only in the false material concept of the world that mortals have "great tribulation." This counterfeit creation is to be overcome for each one of us individually by the divinely scientific way which Jesus as the Wayshower demonstrated. The way of Christian Science is constructive in all of its methods. Through its teachings we learn not to accept the evidence presented by material sense, whatever it may be, but to look through it and find the spiritual fact.Each material appearance will then be seen as a distortion, a misconception, or a limited conception of something unchangeably good, desirable, inevitable, and wholly compatible with a good God.

This scientific method should be applied to all the issues confronting us today. The Discoverer of Christian Science has told us (Science and Health, p. 483) that after her sacred discovery she "affixed the name 'Science' to Christianity, the name 'error' to corporeal sense, and the name 'substance' to Mind. Science has called the world to battle over this issue and its demonstration, which heals the sick, destroys error, and reveals the universal harmony." This is the issue which includes all issues. This is the battle in which every single mortal is engaged today.

 

True Versus False Ego

We see evident at this period a menacing form of egotism which is expressing itself nationally, and can lead only to strife, division, and destructiveness, instead of the regeneration and unity which the world so greatly needs and for which it seems so blindly to grope. We must be strong in our resolve and unwearying in our effort to resist this mental aggressor. From the viewpoint of scientific Christianity, what is called totalitarianism today is but a perverted, distorted concept of the divine totality − oneness − the all-ruling Mind. It is a twisted, false egoism. In divine Science all true knowledge is based on the knowledge of God as the one eternal Ego, the one I AM, or universal consciousness, or Mind. "I am God and there is none beside Me," is the forever fact of existence. Do we not see how atheistic is the belief of a one-man ruler compelling the worship of a god known as the state? "Then shall ye return," the prophet foretold, "and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." By a return to the first great law of God's oneness and allness − all power, all presence, all knowledge or Science − we discern between true service or worship of God, and that which is not; in other words, we choose between Christianity and idolatry.

From the viewpoint of scientific Christianity, the effort to single out a race, segregate and establish it as a sole ruling group, is seen to be a strangely distorted concept of the eternal fact that in the realm of true creation, in the oneness of Mind's all-inclusive sphere, there can be no divisions − "neither Greek nor Jew, . . .Scythian, bond nor free," for all are one in spiritual being and identity − God and God's image and likeness, Mind and Mind's ideas. This is the "chosen generation" meant in the Scripture. It means the spiritually begotten of the one Father. It is the divine Principle by which alone we can attain the brotherhood of man.

As we lift our thought above the strife and tumult and turmoil of the world scene today, as we study the history of man through the ages in the light of divine Science, we see the constant fulfillment of prophecy and the irresistible ordered operation of spiritual law.

Scientifically viewed, the human democracy thus far evolved is but a faint reflection of the "new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven, for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." As individual demonstration of the ideal man governed by divine Mind increases, there will finally emerge the structure of earthly government foursquare on Principle, and constantly developing in justice, freedom, wisdom, and Love.

And now, my friends, I most deeply desire to leave with you these rallying, triumphant words from the most authentic history in all the world and for all the race: "The Lord he is God (good); there is none else beside him."

 

[Feb. 5, 1942.]

 

 

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