Christian Science: Its Textbook and Its Mission

 

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

 

Christian Science had brought to light the great fact that the Supreme Being was wholly and eternally good, and that He was the cause and creator - not of a part, but of all that truly exists, Adair Hickman, C.S.B., of New York City, declared in a lecture Tuesday night in the concert hall of the Winnipeg Auditorium.

Mr. Hickman is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. He was introduced by Mrs. Grace Galbreath, C.S., a member of the Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Inkster Boulevard, under the auspices of which the lecture was delivered, who spoke as follows:

Friends: The giving of a Christian Science Lecture always reminds me of a few lines from one of our Hymns, "Come to the feast of Love, come, ever knowing, Earth has no Sorrow but Love will remove."

It is to this feast of love, that I welcome you this evening, as guests of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Inkster Boulevard.

I first heard of Christian Science, over twenty years ago. At that time a relative was suffering from what the doctors diagnosed as cancer of the stomach. This gentleman was admitted to the hospital, but it was found he was beyond medical aid. We then got in touch with a Christian Science Practitioner and in a short time, he was perfectly healed.

Not long after that I purchased my first copy of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and through the study of this book I found health, joy, and great peace of mind.

The lecture this evening is entitled, "Christian Science: Its Textbook and Its Mission." I feel sure that we are all eager to know more about the textbook that makes man free from bondage of every nature.

It now gives me great pleasure to introduce the lecturer of the evening, Adair Hickman of New York City.

 

The Lecture

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

At this period the world is being offered more aggressively than ever before in modern history the false doctrines of atheism, pantheism, agnosticism, and a wholly material concept of man and the universe.

It is being urged in some quarters that there is no other God than that of human intellect and material force.

To all this active challenge of the carnal mind Christian Science offers proof by demonstration that the Christianity taught and lived by Christ Jesus is the one solution for the entire problem of mortal existence.

Nearly two thousand years ago the Founder of Christianity declared, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

His words show us clearly that to know more of life we must know more of God.

Followers of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy are convinced that her discovery of Christian Science has revealed to this age (. . . .) loving and true God made known to the world in the life and works of the Master, and demonstrated in the living faith of the apostles and the primitive Christian church.

Christian Science has brought to light the great fact that the Supreme Being is wholly and eternally good: that He is the cause and creator - not of a part, but of all that truly exists. Man, God's highest creation, is found to be co-existent and co-eternal with his Maker - the true image and likeness of God, as the Bible declares.

 

God's Laws Proved To Be Laws of Life

God's laws declared in the Bible are again revealed through Christian Science and proved to be the spiritually scientific rules, or laws, of Life, Truth, Love, made apparent to human experience in health, that health which is wholeness - in other words, complete harmony.

It will be seen that this revelation establishes the fact that good alone is real and powerful; that all truth is spiritual, never inherent in nor dependent on matter; and that Love is boundless and ever present. Christian Science has disclosed these fundamental truths to this age and demonstrated their divine Principle with mathematical certainty.

Here in our midst and throughout the world these truths are being applied by Christian Science students in overcoming the discords and limitations of mortal existence.

To those still worshiping an "unknown God" it brings the same message as that which the apostle uttered centuries ago: the God whom . . . . "ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."

The seven synonyms used by Mrs. Eddy in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 465) in defining God are: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. In contemplating these synonymous terms for God, we become aware that the Supreme Being is understandable, ever-present, and constantly available to man. And as this spiritual understanding of Him is gained, mysticism, superstition, and ignorance vanish.

In defining God to human consciousness more clearly and demonstrably, Christian Science has conferred upon humanity a blessing beyond its present comprehension; for, only as we know what God is, can we know what eternal Life means, and understand what man is.

To know what man is, to understand his origin, substance, and law of his being, is the great desire of mankind. It is cause for deep rejoicing that this "God of our fathers" has been revealed to us today as "a God at hand, . . . and not . . . afar off."

As the divine laws are understood and applied scientifically, God becomes known - that is, realized - as the same Mind, or Principle apprehended in some degree by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets.

The same God whom Christ Jesus declared to be his "Father," "your Father," "our Father" - the God whom he taught his disciples to understand in a great measure and to demonstrate as ever-present and all-powerful Life, Truth, Love.

It was to the extent that his followers grasped this spiritual understanding that they were enabled to heal the sick, to redeem the sinning, and even to raise the dead.

In this way they, too, gave proofs of the real man's unity with God, the Father, or divine Principle of all true being.

Should it not be clear to us, then, that by rendering God knowable and demonstrable today, Christian Science has indeed proved to be the Comforter, promised by the Master and sent of God - even "the Spirit of truth" which he foretold "will guide you into all truth?"

 

Conflict Is Between Two Concepts of Life

Notwithstanding that the desire of mankind has been, and always is, to rid themselves of mortal discord, and every material effort has been made by the human race to find good and harmony in matter and material methods, the erroneous premise which accepts material discord as real and its cause legitimate, has precluded such a possibility.

Mortals have not yet gained that freedom which the Master promised would come to those who continue in his word, or teaching.

They have not generally and fully accepted the spiritual truth which alone can free us from the hard conditions imposed by material beliefs, or the carnal mind.

Christian Science shows that the truths of being are, and must be, the exact opposite of material sense evidence. It declares that all such sense evidence, when misdirected, continually wars against Spirit, or Truth.

It demands that these so-called material senses yield to spiritual sense, which comes from the one infinite God, or Spirit. This means the inevitable and complete reversal of the fundamental error of the material concept of life. This is the real conflict taking place in the world today.

How is the individual to gain an understanding of his God-given dominion, his birthright, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis? Only by gaining a sense of conscious unity with, and clear understanding of, the nature of life and its source in divine Love.

The first Scriptural record states that God created man and the universe in His own likeness. This creation was beheld by, or known to, the divine Mind as "very good" - veritable, actual good. But the mist of a material myth arose and has claimed ever since to blot out the true creation from human view.

To the age-old question: Where did this mist come from? - in other words, where did evil originate - Christian Science answers by demonstrating its unreal nature. Since good is infinite and eternal, it must be Spirit, Mind.

Nothing opposed to it, therefore, can exist as an actuality. In defining creator as ". . . Mind; intelligence; the animating divine Principle of all that is real and good" (Science and Health, p. 583), Mrs. Eddy also states that God "could not create an atom or an element the opposite of Himself" - that is, unlike Mind.

This statement logically refutes the atomic theory of the universe. Since Mrs. Eddy wrote this, physicists have decided that the atom can be disintegrated.

This decision has led to a great change in their theories of the physical universe. The conclusion now reached by the most advanced thinkers in this field is, that the universe is made up of thought forces; that matter is not substantive.

This conclusion is a nearer approach to the understanding of Spirit as the only substance. Mrs. Eddy's prophetic words, recorded in her work, "No and Yes" (p. 16), regarding material mists, are: "The mists of matter - sin, sickness, and death - disappear in proportion as mortals approach Spirit, which is the reality of being."

It should be steadily borne in thought that matter exists only as a supposition. Therefore, scientifically it can be regarded as nothing but a supposititious fallacy.

Each time a healing results through the operation of spiritual law, as revealed in this Science, it is conclusively proved that this mist did not really come, and does not actually exist.

The recognition of man and the universe in terms of Spirit, or Mind, must be the only way by which true knowledge, stability, progress, and peace can be achieved for the human race.

To this end Christian Science is constantly leading burdened and suffering humanity to acquaint themselves intelligently with God as divine Mind.

This Mind, or God, is made known to men through the ideas which express or declare their divine origin. This Science emphasizes the paramount importance of heeding the Scriptural admonition to "know the Lord," to gain a clearer understanding of Mind as Principle, and of spiritual law as demonstrable, for only through such knowing can we overcome the discords of a material existence.

Because God is infinite, evil can have no cause; all of its suppositional activities can be nothing but illusion.

Mrs. Eddy brought to the attention of men many years ago the importance of this understanding of Principle. In her textbook, Science and Health (p. 170), we find this impressive statement: "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress."

 

Wrong Concept of God Is Corrected

Prior to her discovery of Christian Science, mortals generally entertained a personal, anthropomorphic concept of God, with all the limitations and inconsistencies such a misapprehension of the Supreme Being entails.

This human concept of God, however, has darkened Christianity for centuries, despite the fact that Christ Jesus, the Founder of Christianity and its great Exemplar, plainly declared "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Acceptance of the evidence of the material senses would make God, in some inexplicable way, the author of all mortal discord. This evidence would imply that God was cognizant of evil, even sending affliction, oftentimes as a means of man's final redemption.

With so erroneous a premise the human race could not arrive at the truth of being, or grasp life's real nature and governing law, or find liberation from sin, disease, and death.

If evils were sent by God, how could mortals expect to be healed of them? And yet, did not the Master continually heal disease in defiance of all supposed physical law, when he was avowedly about "his Father's business"?

Did he not point to these works as proof of his Messiahship? And did he not pronounce death an "enemy" to be overcome, not yielded to, and did he not give full proof of this? There are ample historical records, other than those contained in the Scriptures, that the early Christians also healed disease and raised to life those who, to mortal sense, had died. This understanding of spiritual power was manifested for nearly three centuries after the Master's ascension.

 

 

 

Hearts Freed From the Burden of Fear

Today this divinely scientific Christianity, again recorded through Christian Science, is lifting a great burden of fear and hopelessness from human hearts by dispelling the belief of Deity as afar off, always separated from man.

A false concept of God makes it impossible for mankind to gain a saving sense of the divine presence and his unity with it, this side of the grave.

One of the greatest needs today is the overcoming of fear. The increased means by which suggestions of uncertainty and alarm may be planted in the public thought through evil or misguided propaganda render it more imperative than ever before that we employ a sure method to protect our thought.

The menace of these propagandizing methods is recognized by many, but the scientific way to counteract fear and safeguard one's consciousness under all circumstances is not generally understood or accepted.

Jesus frequently commanded, "Be not afraid," and his command had the power of authority, for he understood scientifically that there can be no real cause for alarm, since God, good, is All; and he proved it. Merely to warn others not to be afraid is usually worse than futile.

We can allay our own fear and that of others with a knowledge of that Science which removes the cause of fear, by changing the basis of thought from matter to Spirit.

Christian Science offers humanity no empty optimism. The severity of the present conflict of ideologies in human experience and its real cause were clearly foreseen and foretold by Mrs. Eddy over half a century ago.

Nevertheless her faithful followers view world conditions today with faith and hope grounded on the understanding of God which her revelation has brought.

On page 233 of the textbook may be found this arresting admonition, accompanied by the one constructive way to meet the test: "Already the shadow of His right hand rests upon the hour. Ye who can discern the face of the sky, the sign material, - how much more should ye discern the sign mental, and compass the destruction of sin and sickness by overcoming the thoughts which produce them, and by understanding the spiritual idea, which corrects and destroys them."

Fear is the remote or immediate cause of almost every evil. Only perfect Love can cast it out. Christian Science teaches that perfect Love gives the understanding of Spirit which banishes all evil.

We must scientifically grasp this, however, and demonstrate it step by step, before we can gain a complete sense of security.

If each individual will cast fear out of his own consciousness in the way Christian Science teaches, he will find refuge from evil beliefs and he will help to liberate mankind from its self-imposed sufferings.  Divine Principle will then govern men.

 

Healing Power of Truth Made Known

Luke's Gospel tells that when the authority and power of Christ Jesus were being doubted by the people in his own town of Nazareth, Jesus reminded them of two accounts of spiritual healing recorded in the Old Testament.

One was that of the widow of Zarephath, to whom Elijah was sent, when a great famine was raging in the land. The prophet's spiritual understanding provided an abundance of food for her and her child.

The other account tells of a healing by Elisha of Naaman the leper. The latter account showed that when pride and self-will yielded to Truth, the so-called incurable disease vanished.

Jesus made clear to his hearers at Nazareth that there were many widows in Israel whose needs were as great, and there were many lepers, but they were not supplied and healed, because of their lack of receptivity to Truth.

When we think of the hosts of Bible students who have read the Scriptures for generations without gaining their spiritual import, we are constrained to admit that her nearness to God and her desire to know Him enabled Mrs. Eddy to grasp the law of the healing power of Truth.

In order clearly to understand this revelation one must also recognize and appreciate the place of its revelator, and rightly appraise her great achievement in discovering Christian Science and establishing the Cause.

Self-renunciation and love for God and man alone enabled her to open the way for this Science, which has reinstated primitive Christian healing. To the authenticity of this healing power thousands of liberated students today bear grateful testimony.

Only great love for God and man could have supplied Mrs. Eddy with the incentive, wisdom, and courage required to give this revelation to a world steeped in materialism and dogma.

 

Healing Works Prove God's Law of Love

Not until this Science had been tested in a broad and practical way did Mrs. Eddy offer the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." These healing works were irrefutable proof God's law of good had not lost any of its efficacy to heal since the time Jesus demonstrated it and taught his disciples how to apply it.

It was upon these proofs of spiritual power manifested in healing sin and disease that The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, was established.                       Christian Science is defined by its Discoverer (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1) as "the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."

This Science teaches that the entire solution of the problem of being is embraced in the understanding of this "law of God, the law of good."

It demonstrates this Principle and rule through the spiritual instruction set forth in its textbook, Science and Health.

Numerous instances could be cited where the understanding of God's law, even in a degree, has completely dispelled what appeared to be inveterate diseases.

One cannot gain even a slight understanding in this Science of man's Godlikeness without rejecting to some extent the false material sense of life and its attendant evils.

To the question, "How is it possible for one to be healed of a physical disease by simply reading a book?" the answer is, that the instant one becomes conscious, through the study of this book, of a single spiritual idea which presents a divine fact, this new idea produces a change in consciousness and results in a change in evidence, or physical symptoms, as the case may be.

For example, consider the idea that God is Love. This spiritual idea understood in  Christian Science means that Love is the only real cause or Mind, the only power or presence, the only law which dispels evil, fear, disease, and death.

Love is health-bestowing, joy-bringing.  Love heals and saves, for Love is Life eternal, that knows no death. This truth operating in consciousness obliterates fear or resentment, or any other false belief, consciously or unconsciously harbored.

As a result of the mental improvement, one finds himself liberated from the physical error whether it be chronic or acute.

Repetition of statements of Truth is not necessarily realization of Truth. The spiritual import of the word must be gained in order to experience healing.

It becomes plain that the whole process of spiritualizing one's consciousness is the putting off of the false concepts of "mortal mind," as Christian Science terms it, and putting on the Mind of Christ, as Paul admonishes.

Until instructed in divine Science individuals are usually not conscious of the fact that their educated belief in the reality of disease, fear, sin, lack is the cause of these evils. False education asserts that evil is as great as good and more powerful.

Acceptance even in a slight degree of the Allness of God, good, will work a change in human consciousness and heal what is called physical discord, thus proving that as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Christian Science further clarifies this point in these words (Science and Health, p. 213); "As a man spiritually understandeth, so is he in truth."

The healing truth in Christian Science dispels the illusions of the human mind, as naturally as light displaces darkness.

The naturalness of Truth further explains the healing of many individuals resulting from the study of the Christian Science textbook. In a chapter entitled "Fruitage" in this volume are found some of the testimonials of healing selected by its author, bearing witness to the healing efficacy of the reading and study of Science and Health.

More recently my mother was healed through the application of the truth gained from the study of the textbook alone. She had been an invalid for over twenty years, suffering from chronic nervous prostration and a stomach disorder.

During this period she was under constant medical treatment, but receiving only temporary relief she finally yielded to discouragement, then despair.

At this point one who had been healed through Christian Science prevailed upon her to read Science and Health. Beginning the study of the book with no faith in the power of God to heal, she read only a few pages a day. Nevertheless a gradual change began to take place in her consciousness.

One day while pondering a statement from Science and Health, the thought came to her that years of strict adherence to medical theories had only resulted in greater suffering, and that trusting matter to heal matter had been utterly futile.

She decided not to take another dose of medicine, but to trust to God alone for her health and life. Adhering to this conviction, and after further study, she was completely healed.

This healing was accomplished when she was in her seventieth year, and at the age of ninety there had been no return of these ailments.

 

Health Is Spiritual, Real and Ever Present

Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." My friends, can too high an estimate be placed upon this textbook of Christian Science, which reveals the divine Principle of Christian healing and furnishes a "Key" to the Scriptures through its spiritual interpretation of those sacred records of revealed truth and mankind's search after God?

Was there ever known in the history of the world another book, except the Holy Bible, capable of revealing God to man so clearly that disease and sin were healed through the study of it?

The answer is No! Therefore Christian Scientists earnestly invite the attention of the world to this impersonal Truth, this divine Comforter, revealed in the Christian Science textbook.

Jesus proved and taught the facts of being. These facts have always existed, though to mortal sense they had not been completely demonstrated until the time of his ascension.

He made a complete demonstration over all materiality, over every material concept claiming life or intelligence to exist in matter or apart from God.

Through Christ, Truth, as revealed in Christian Science, these facts are being proved today. Hence it should be clear that all Science must be divine.

Nothing can be demonstrated, or proved, that does not already exist in God as a divine reality. Health is a spiritual fact. Because it is of God it exists in the divine Mind, and is therefore definitely and scientifically available.

Man, God's reflection, already possesses it. Health is part of his birthright, and cannot be lost. Health cannot be in matter; it is not contingent upon or governed by material so-called law.

It has always existed as a spiritual reality. Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health (p. 120), "The material senses cannot bear reliable testimony on the subject of health."

Regardless of what one may believe his physical condition to be, he can here and now accept and prove this divine truth, namely, that health is spiritual, therefore real and ever present; that disease is mortal error, hence it is unreal, without presence, locality, or symptom. Therefore it has no power to destroy harmony or health.

 

Diseases Healed On Basis of Unreality

Time is not an element in this healing process, in which spiritual intelligence overcomes and destroys mortal illusion.

What the material senses claim one's condition to be has nothing to do with the real self.  Man's true spiritual individuality must assert itself in order to silence the false claims of the physical senses.

This Science uncovers the fraudulent beliefs of disease and heals them on the basis of their unreality. In like manner it overcomes the deceptive claims of sin, by showing that man is not the offspring of Adam, subject to sin, disease, and death. On the contrary, he is the son of God, reflecting and expressing His purity and completeness.

In the experience of spiritual healing, faith assuredly has an important part, but we learn from the textbook (p. 241) that "one's aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth the way to health and holiness.

"We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed; and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity."

Purity in Christian Science must always signify not only sound morals; it means also that one's thought must be cleansed of all material admixture of theory and practice. It means radical reliance upon Spirit, the one Mind, as the only substance.

Christianity as demonstrated by Christ Jesus unfolded the true nature and source of life nearly two thousand years ago. Mortals, not willing to accept his teachings in their entirety, have advanced slowly out of their bondage to material sense.

Today we can follow him intelligently through actual demonstration of the truths which this Science interprets practically, by revealing and utilizing the divine Principle of his works.

 

Application of Rule Brings Out Harmony

One beginning the study of mathematics starts with the knowledge that its principle is intact and perfect, that fact having already been established.

So in Christian Science, God, the divine Principle, having been proved to be Mind, Spirit, by the demonstrations of Jesus centuries ago, and in our present time by thousands of well authenticated cases of healing in Christian Science, one need only apply the rule as it is revealed to him in this Science to begin bringing out the complete harmony of his being.

At this point I should like to tell you of the healing of a friend of mine of epilepsy. This healing took place many years ago, when the patient had been given up by the attending physicians as incurable.

This illness manifested itself in early childhood, with attacks occurring several times daily. The medical diagnosis stated that if the child lived she would become insane as she grew older, and would never be able to care for herself.

The parents then turned to Christian Science for help, and in one treatment the child was completely and permanently healed.

Later she attended grade and high school. She was then able to complete her education by working her way through a university, where she received the degrees of B.A. and M.A.

Later she became a member of the faculty of one of the foremost colleges for women in the United States, as instructor in physics and higher mathematics.

This healing could not have taken place had the practitioner accepted as true the testimony of the material senses.

Turning away from this false evidence, this lie about God's child, to Spirit, he established the spiritual evidence and law governing God's image and likeness, and the disease quickly disappeared. Its claim was proved fraudulent.

In writing of Jesus' healing mission Mrs. Eddy said (Science and Health, p. 38), "Jesus mapped out the path for others. He unveiled the Christ, the spiritual idea of divine Love."

The Christ, this true idea of God, has always existed. Speaking as the Christ, Jesus declared, "Before Abraham was, I am." He was the Way-shower, who revealed to men the Son of God, man's spiritual sonship. Christian Science teaches us how to follow him, not by profession alone, but by demonstration - that is, by recognizing and establishing our relationship with the Father by healing sickness and sin as he did.

As one becomes conscious of the spiritual ideas that reveal God, and acknowledges his true selfhood to be in God's image and likeness, he expresses more and more of those qualities which give outward evidence in daily life of man's God-given nature.

In this understanding and expression of his higher nature, he will ultimately realize his complete God-given dominion. It is the Christ, Truth, that reveals man's unity with divine Love and heals every phase of discord in human experience.

 

Meaning of Prayer in Christian Science

Prayer in Christian Science is a ceaseless acknowledgment of God's allness and of man's unity with God, good, in which one learns to accept and utilize the good that is already his by divine reflection - that is, to apply his understanding of God's goodness to whatever appears to be a denial of that goodness by the material senses, until the false evidence yields to Truth, and harmony prevails.

We are assured by Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 4) that "the struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer." Every individual is constantly acknowledging either the power and reality of the beliefs of evil, fear, sin, disease, and death, or he is praying the prayer of the righteous, which is faith in and the affirmation of Truth. This proves to be the prayer which the Apostle James tells us "availeth much."

Prayer is the acknowledgment of the great truths of being which the ever-present facts of God express. These omnipresent spiritual ideas are ideas of health, holiness, harmony, courage, protection, supply - all that makes manifest some purpose of Life, Truth, and Love.

But in order to become habitually conscious of these essential qualities, the acknowledgment of God's presence must be unceasing. Paul tells us to "pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God . . . concerning you."   Giving thanks for every least idea that spiritual understanding reveals is a highly essential part of prayer in Christian Science.

No material evidence could have seemed more discouraging to mortal view than that which confronted Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. You may recall, however, that before awakening Lazarus from the dream of death, he said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me."

Mankind today sorely needs to accept the good which Christian Science reveals as ever present, and constantly to give thanks to God for His great goodness to the children of men.

Science and Health devotes an entire chapter to the subject of prayer, explaining its nature and how it is to be most sincerely and effectively used in Christian Science.

Many humble seekers after Truth have learned through studying this remarkable chapter to pray the prayer that is heard of God and "availeth much.'

Elsewhere Mrs. Eddy has said (No and Yes, 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."

The prophet Isaiah expresses the divine promise in these comforting words: "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

God has already provided all good for His creation, and mankind receives and possesses it through grateful acknowledgment of this fact. Let us remember that health already exists as a divine reality, and it is equally true that supply, opportunity, protection, and ability are ever present in Mind.

We possess and utilize these when we learn to recognize that they are spiritual facts, forever available. In the reflection and utilization of Love's bounty we find the answer to our prayers.

 

Knowledge of Divine Realities Is Needed

At a time when material foundations are being utterly shaken, when much that was believed to be secure and substantive is found, even by the so-called materialists themselves, to be wholly transient and insecure, Christian Science enables us to hold steadfastly to the divine realities of being, which are based upon the unshakable foundation of Spirit, or Mind, and its ever-present ideas.

The Scriptures point clearly to this very overturning, where, in Hebrews 12:27, the writer speaks of the "removing of those things that are shaken, . . . that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

In other words, the material concept must yield to the spiritual fact and disappear in order that the immutable facts of Spirit may be discerned by human thought.

Even material scientists are discerning this truth, as is shown by the statement in a work entitled "Philosophy and the Sciences," by the noted English physicist, J. S. Haldane. He declares, "The apparent evil and imperfection of the universe will no longer be interpreted as evil and imperfection, but as imperfect apprehension."

Basing their education upon the false testimony of material sense, many are accepting the suggestions of limited opportunity and unemployment. These individuals are unaware that their thought is being employed continually by an entirely erroneous process. Failing to recognize or to claim man's divine heritage, they fail to reflect divine Mind humanly in constructive activity, employment, and service. No one can continue to deny the presence of good and expect to experience the effects of good at the same time. Christian Science shows us how to express constructive activity by understanding clearly the nature and source of all good. In this way we learn to reflect Mind, the one substance, infinite intelligence and boundless source of all true activity. In this way we demonstrate by degrees suitable and permanent employment in ways of true service to our fellow men.

The Bible records many instances where spiritual understanding of God supplied  abundantly the human needs of those who turned to Him when, to material sense, they seemed to be confronted by deprivation and want.

The human mind does not possess sufficient understanding to discern or to utilize the abundance ever provided for man's use. The solution of the problem of supply and demand is found only in spiritual understanding, where ideas of abundance, protection, and guidance are ever available for man's use.

In spiritual understanding supply and demand are seen to be equal. "[God] spake, and it was done." The real demand being spiritual, it must be spiritually supplied.

In her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 307) Mrs. Eddy explains this truly scientific process: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn they give you daily supplies." An illustration of this occurred in the following experience.

A gentleman whom I know very well had held an executive post in a large organization for many years. This organization was finally dissolved, however, and he found himself without employment.

For several years every human effort was made by him to find gainful occupation, but without success. Because of the uncertainty, fear, and deprivation due to this, he became very ill. Finally, when his need was greatest, he turned to a Christian Science practitioner for help.

At the time he said little about his unemployment. Freedom from illness seemed then to be the paramount necessity.

The practitioner's understanding of Christian Science ministered so lovingly to the patient's thought that he was awakened to the reality of his being.

This awakening to Truth operated to heal him of the physical difficulty which claimed to be holding him in bondage. In addition to this, he found employment which not only compensated him generously, but provided a large opportunity for service to his fellowmen.

 

Points Way to Man's Legitimate Heritage

Christ Jesus enjoined his students to seek first "the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." Then, he promised, would be added the things which still seem necessary in human experience.

As mankind perceive and utilize the ideas which reveal the nature and nearness of God, they enter "the kingdom" which the Master said is "within you." This is man's legitimate heritage, the mental realm of spiritual dominion.

Mrs. Eddy lovingly and clearly pointed the way when she wrote (Science and Health, pp. 40-41): "In order to enter into the kingdom, the anchor of hope must be cast beyond the veil of matter into the Shekinah into which Jesus has passed before us. . . . Like our Master, we must depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being."

"The veil of matter" is the mist which claims to hide from mortal view that real universe of infinite good which divine Mind has created and which this Mind everlastingly maintains in unalterable perfection.

Many present-day demonstrations of Christian Science are comparable to those wrought by the prophets and the apostles, whose spiritual understanding made abundance manifest when faith in material ways and means had failed to supply the human need.

However, this spiritual understanding was not used as the means for acquiring mere material things. Nor could it ever be.

When we grasp the spiritually mental process by which such demonstrations were effected, ye realize that Christian Science applies the same spiritual law invoked in those earlier "works." It cannot, therefore, be used to promote a merely sensuous, material way of life.

When the reality of all things spiritual is recognized, and a sincere desire to demonstrate these real values is seen to be the actual need, then "the substance of things hoped for," or spiritual understanding, is gained.

This recognition, desire, and understanding can conquer any sense of lack - lack of opportunity, employment, or supply.

Christian Science reveals the mission of the Christ, Truth, to be forever the same both before and after what is called the Christian era. The words of the prophet Isaiah, defining this holy office, are as pertinent today in interpreting the mission of the Christ as they were at the time of their utterance.

Truth declared itself to the ancient prophet in these revealing words: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

This, my friends, is the continued mission of the Christ, Truth, in Christian Science.

The mission of this Science is to lead mankind to discern and claim their rightful heritage of God-given dominion. To do this, the material beliefs must be constantly overcome by the spiritual facts - Mind's true ideas.

As we begin to comprehend these facts we manifest more and more of the real man in God's image. Indeed, we learn that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" - in the realm of Mind. By degrees we prove that since man's entire being is conceived in the likeness of Mind, it is wholly mental and spiritual, and, therefore, expresses only perfection.

Science and Health (p. 316) tells us, "Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes and governs." The appearing of the Christ in individual consciousness heals the unbearable conditions of mortal belief and reveals the kingdom of heaven at hand.

Mrs. Eddy says, in "Rudimental Divine Science" (p. 2): "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science, it is only the bugle-call to thought and action in the higher range of infinite goodness." The distinct purpose of this Science is to heal the world of the cause of all human sufferings, namely, its sins.

After one has experienced the healing touch of Truth and Love and has seen afflictions disappear in the light of spiritual understanding, a desire is kindled to share with all mankind this knowledge of God's goodness.

Such has always been the mission of the Christ, and such is its mission today in Christian Science, namely, to bring to the world a realization of the ever-presence and availability of all good. Through the unfoldment in human consciousness of the spiritual idea comes a realization of the value to mankind of this healing Truth, which Christian Science makes plain; and a deep reverence and profound thankfulness is felt for that divine Science through which God has revealed Himself as infinite and eternal Love.

 

[Published in The Winnipeg Tribune, April 24, 1940. (. . . .) indicates text missing from the original.]

 

 

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