Christian Science:

The Revelation of Godís Nature and Omnipresence

 

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

 

Adair Hickman, C.S.B., of New York City, lectured on "Christian Science: The Revelation of God's Nature and Omnipresence" Monday night at Cadle Tabernacle under the auspices of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Mr. Hickman, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., was introduced by Lewis F. Malcolm. His lecture follows, substantially as it was given:

 

One of the most urgent questions throughout all Christendom today is: What must we do to refute the insidious and misleading suggestions, so widely prevalent, that Christianity may yet prove unavailable to meet the great human need, or indeed has already failed ?

In the first place, Christians themselves must be fully convinced that Christianity as Jesus taught and practiced it is the Science of Mind, because it is the complete and exact knowledge of God. Therefore it has never failed - it cannot fail. The main purpose of this lecture is to show that, by its very nature and law, there can be no possibility that Christianity in its primitive purity and practice can ever fail to fulfill its God-ordained mission. The certainty of this, the great prophet Isaiah foretold centuries ago, in these symbolic words: "As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and, returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Christian Science has come to this age in fulfillment of this promise. The truth which is to enlighten, feed, and sustain mankind has gone forth from infinite Mind and cannot return void. Many years, ago, Mary Baker Eddy foresaw and courageously declared in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 342), "The hour has struck when proof and demonstration, instead of opinion and dogma, are summoned to the support of Christianity."

This is the obvious demand upon all Christendom today, namely, proof and demonstration. Christian Science teaches (Science and Health, p. 323) that "good is not understood until demonstrated." It therefore demands of its students practical proofs of God's ever-presence and allness. Through the application of His spiritual law as revealed in this Science, its students are learning how practically to overcome the limitations and discordant conditions of mortal existence.

In the earliest years of her great discovery Mrs. Eddy drafted a constitution for the first Christian Scientist Association. In that constitution she gave this carefully formulated statement of scientific Christianity, which is found in the Historical and Biographical Papers, compiled by Clifford P. Smith, Series I (p. 17): "A Divine principle and given rule applicable to every condition of man, and constituting the Divine plan of his salvation from sin, sickness, and death, exist in the order of Eternal life, Truth, and Love, . . . Jesus-demonstrated for man's example and his redemption, this holy principle of Divine Science; . . . clearly showing by this Divine understanding and proof, the indivisibility of Science and Christianity."

It is this divine "indivisibility," this oneness of Science and Christianity, that must be the revitalizing element of religious faith in this hour of atheistic and materialistic challenge to the Christ ideal. For centuries it was the general conviction in public thought that religion and Science were wholly incompatible. The acceptance of one precluded the possibility of the acceptance and teaching of the other. It was believed, and taught in some instances, that religion was an emotional experience in which faith was based largely upon an unknown God. Many who reasoned logically upon all other subjects seemed unable to go beyond blind faith in God, and accepted as real all that claimed to be unlike good, namely, sin, sickness, and death. These errors were believed to be known to God, and therefore were thought to exist as realities.

Mrs. Eddy was deeply impressed by the necessity to bring back to the Christian church an understanding of the primal order of the first great cause, thus establishing the divine nature of Science as constituting the exact knowledge of God, who is the one infinite cause. She discovered and. proved that Science and Christianity are identical in actual demonstration. She saw and declared in her textbook (p. 4), "We reach the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine nature."

This brings us to the all-important question, What is this nature? Each one, at some time in his individual experience, must ask himself this question. In other words, how do we define God to our own consciousness? Does our concept of God bring us a sense of His nearness? Do we love or fear Him? Does His law seem available to meet our everyday needs? When we declare God's omnipotence, do we really mean that God, good, is All-in-all?

Christian Science is based firmly on the Scriptural declarations of God's nature. In the light of this Science we see that Moses virtually declared God as Mind when he was inspired with the revelation that God is the great I AM, or infinite divine consciousness.†† We also see that the First Commandment, to acknowledge and serve the one and only God, attests the infinitude and, therefore, the ever-presence of God. Centuries later Christ Jesus said, "There is none good but one, that is, God." He revealed and demonstrated the divine nature in the oneness and allness of good. Still more definite was his declaration that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." This assures us that all truth, or exact knowledge, must consist in the knowledge of God, and is spiritual. A grasp of this basic fact enables us to lift our concept of Science above matter or speculative hypotheses into Spirit, or Truth, and to demonstrate the uninterrupted operation of divine law.

Mrs. Eddy reached the conclusion, through revelation, that all Scriptural revealments and records of God's nature proved Him to be divine Principle. This led finally to the unalterable conclusion that spiritual causation is the law governing all that actually exists. She wrote in her textbook (p. 275): "To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, - and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong, to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love."

Why is it of such vital importance for us to understand the divine nature as Mind? Because this understanding enables us to gain a clear comprehension of what true consciousness is. It shows us how to differentiate between the false beliefs or suggestions of the carnal, mortal mind, so called, and the true ideas and facts emanating from the divine Mind. In this way Christian Science proves to us that true consciousness is the reflection or expression of the divine nature, the expression of the one infinite Mind.

Consciousness is defined briefly by Webster as "knowledge of one's own existence." Christian Science shows man's real existence to be spiritually mental, and the understanding of this fact is true self-knowledge. Until this fundamental truth is perceived in Science, it is not possible for one to realize his real, indestructible identity.

 

Proving Man's Identity

Since the great primal cause is Mind, the only begotten of that cause is idea. When once it is seen and acknowledged that the divine nature is infinite Mind, it follows that man's existence is wholly representative of that nature - that he is mental, not physical. But how is this to be realized and made practical in the midst of our human experience? Only in the way the Master taught and proved to his followers. By adhering faithfully to the divine realities of being, Jesus overcame all the erroneous claims of the carnal mind, or physical sense of existence, and demonstrated man's perfection and true sonship with God. He became the Saviour of mankind by first saving himself from the false beliefs of material sense, sin, disease, and death. This demonstration of the Science or truth of being shows that the spiritual fact about anything is the redemptive power. All that ever will or can save us from the inverted or perverted images and illusions of the carnal mind is the spiritual fact or truth. This Science does not teach us to spiritualize matter; on the contrary, it reveals the allness of Spirit, Mind, and therefore the unreality of matter. It teaches that mortal mind and matter are one and the same thing. In this way it shows us the process by which, through righteous or right thinking we give up the false or sensuous concept and realize more and more of those divine realities wherein "all things are become new." Science and Health tells us on page 425: "Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew." Is not this what Jesus meant when he said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"? This rebirth, this reformation, Christian Science makes possible by showing the true nature of Spirit as Mind. Those who believe that they are controlled, afflicted, and governed by a discordant physical body have the open door to health and freedom if they will but avail themselves of the scientific method which Christian Science reveals - the practice of correcting material belief with spiritual understanding.†††† .

As with the body, so with all material concepts - such as food, clothing, environment,†† employment, supply. We must learn to discern the specific spiritual facts underlying each. "Metaphysics . . . exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul" (Science and Health, p. 269). This correct, scientific process of reasoning brings out increased harmony in all human affairs. It does not improve matter; it uncovers the falsity of matter's claims and annuls them. The improvement manifested in human experience is always the result of understanding the allness of Spirit, Mind, and the unreal nature of matter. Since man is the image and likeness of God, he reflects Mind's imperishable substance, boundless resources, ceaseless activity, and unchangeable law of good.

It is the Christ, Truth, as demonstrated by Jesus, that reveals the line of demarcation between false belief - the testimony of material sense - and spiritual reality. The divine consciousness that operated as the Mind of Christ Jesus is available to us all through Christian Science. This Science shows us how to claim our unity with the one Mind, and to reject as unreal the false beliefs of the carnal mind, such as hatred, fear, envy, jealousy, revenge, sin, sickness, and death. Obviously these beliefs belong not to the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, but to the mind which, Paul, tells us, "is enmity against God" and must be put off. It is cause for deep gratitude that here and now divine Mind's ideas have only to be recognized and utilized as Jesus understood and utilized them, to accomplish the same works that he accomplished. Our great Exemplar, Christ Jesus, Mrs. Eddy tells us in her work "No and Yes" (p. 31), "cast out evils, mediating between what is and is not, until a perfect consciousness is attained." Can we not see with what certainty this statement verifies Paul's declaration in his letter to Timothy, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"? Why was he the sole mediator? Christian Science has revealed that it was because he, and he alone, recognized and demonstrated the fundamental law of man's relationship to God. This eternal unity of the divine relationship between God and man can never be realized by mere outward worship or ritualistic observance. Divine Science teaches that this realization is gained only as we "live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160). This, Mrs. Eddy declared, "is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science."

The activity of Mind's true ideas in human consciousness can overcome every material illusion of falsely educated belief. They are adequate to meet every demand made upon them in human experience. .

When we realize our true, spiritual selfhood, coexistent with divine Mind, we perceive that man must have by reflection all that divine Mind has, knows, or is. Otherwise man would not be the true image and likeness. He would be a false witness, or God's unlikeness. But because he is the representation of Mind, he reflects divineintelligence,uninterrupted activity, abundance, and security. Just in proportion as this true state of consciousness is gained, it finds outward expression in conditions which reveal and attest the operation of Mind's all-governing law of good. There can be no lack, no limitation, no confusion or uncertainty, no inequity or inefficiency in a consciousness which recognizes, as Paul did, that "in him we live, and move, and have our being."

 

Spirit the Only Real Substance

Since all substance is of God, Spirit, God's spiritual ideas alone are substantial. This fundamental fact understood and maintained will overcome the erroneous suggestions of insufficiency, dearth, or diminution of supply, and will bring to light ample provision for every human need. Quail and manna appeared to the wilderness wanderers to satisfy their human hunger; loaves and fishes were provided for the multitudes who followed Jesus to learn more of his words and works. The same spiritual law of supply and demand is operative today. It is available to those whose faith has become firm through spiritual understanding gained in the Science of Christ, or Christian Science. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Divine promises are kept. Truth is eternally true. Love is ever present and infinitely operative.

A lady who had been studying Christian Science but a short time called upon a practitioner for help in what seemed to her to be an acute financial problem. She was a teacher by profession, but had been unemployed for a long time, with the exception of instructing a few private pupils. She was about to be evicted from her apartment because of her inability to pay the rent. In addition to this, her furniture was to be attached for debts overdue. The practitioner knew from many proofs which he had had that the solution of every seeming problem lies in the understanding of God's nature and man's relationship to Him. He therefore turned the thought of his patient away from the problem to the spiritual reality of her being. He spoke of man's birthright and spiritual heritage of dominion, and the ability which all may gain in Christian Science to realize God's provision for His children. Through the practitioner's work or silent prayer, which followed, the patient caught a glimpse of her true selfhood. A change began immediately to take place in her consciousness, as was proved by what was related when she called for the second interview. She said that upon returning to her home she began searching her thought. Suddenly she became aware that certain vices, which she had indulged for years, were morbid desires; they could not be natural to the child of God's creating, to the true self which she had glimpsed during the first visit to the practitioner. In addition to this, she then acknowledged that for many years she had depended upon intoxicants and tobacco; but on the day following her awakening she found she had lost all desire for both. Neither drink nor tobacco had any appeal. The craving had ceased. This purification of consciousness brought a great moral awakening which resulted in a sincere desire to be and express only good. Notwithstanding that this experience took place after all school contracts for the year had been closed, within two weeks she received a telegram from a well-known college, stating that a vacancy had occurred and offering her immediate employment on its teaching staff.

 

Impersonal Nature of Evil

Sin as well as sickness is healed in Christian Science, through the clear realization of the allness of God, good, the understanding of the divine nature, and the real man's unity with his creator. The Master gave an everlasting precedent for our example. He pronounced Satan - the sum total of evil's claim - a liar, and the father or creator of lies, but of lies only. There is no record that the Master ever condemned a person. The Magdalene, the woman taken in adultery, even Judas, he did not condemn; but for the lie of evil which claimed to be personified in them, he had no mercy. He destroyed it, proved it to be without a cause, hence impotent in effect. He exposed it as a false statement about God's creation. This lie he reversed and annulled through his complete knowledge of Truth, and set free the individual from evil's assumed control.

Christian Science follows this same method of impersonalizing evil. It shows that until it is impersonalized it cannot be overcome or proved unreal. In this it differs from all other systems, which believe evil to be personal, real, and powerful. Evil should be denied all actuality in the fact of God's omnipotent goodness. Its whole claim is exposed and proved fraudulent when the unreality of matter is seen in Christian Science.This Science never condones evil, nor does it ever ignore its false claim to being active, real, intelligent, and powerful. This groundless claim it denies utterly by giving evil no selfhood. It teaches the eternal truth that divine Mind creates and governs all, hence the allness of good. This shows that any belief in evil is a false belief, ignorance of truth, or mere superstition. Divine Science teaches that it is not the fear of doing wrong that reforms and saves. It is the love of doing right that redeems. The moment one sees that he has been serving, loving, or fearing, only a false belief, he inevitably discards the counterfeit for the true. Redemption of consciousness is purely a question of learning what is real and actual, in order to discard a deceptive counterfeit.

The divine logic of God's goodness and allness appeals to reason, because it is demonstrable. Gradually, the healing current of Truth quickens the sentiments of love, gratitude, rectitude, and man in God's likeness begins to appear, as the misrepresentation,†† or Adam-concept of man, recedes and finally vanishes from human experience.

This Science shows that any belief of existence apart from God, Spirit, is wholly mythological and deceptive. It teaches that such a false sense of existence consists of dream substance only. Scientifically viewed, this daydream of existence, based upon the theory that matter is substantial, is as unreal as the night dreams which we experience. When the sleeper awakens in the night from a dream of suffering or pleasure, the whole experience vanishes. Just so when spiritual understanding wakens us from the material sense of life and its falsities, mankind is liberated from all self-imposed woes and limitations.

 

Prayer

Christian Science makes very clear what is meant by righteous prayer - the prayer which James assured us "availeth much." Science and Health teaches (p. 206):

"Willpower is capable of all evil. It can never heal the sick, for it is the prayer of the unrighteous; while the exercise of the sentiments - hope, faith, love - is the prayer of the righteous. This prayer, governed by Science instead of the senses, heals the sick." It heals sin likewise, and all the woes that beset mortal existence.

Self-will urges, my will be done - not Thy will - the human, not the divine. It may be seen by this that the basic error, from which all wrongs proceed, is the wrong of acknowledging more than the one Mind, one God. Here, we learn, is the first idolatry. Most people today would be very much surprised and perhaps wholly incredulous to be told that they were idolatrous. Idolatry is generally interpreted to mean bowing down to graven images. But since God is Mind, Spirit, and since God is one and omnipotent, then to love, fear, or recognize as real and potent any other mind or any other substance or law, must mean a departure from faith in the one God, and lead to many forms of idolatry and superstition. It means praying or appealing to the false gods of sense.

One phase of modern idolatry is, bowing down to ever changing material health laws. The belief that one can live in total ignorance of what constitutes health - the wholeness and harmony of being - and, when assailed by discordant conditions, depend upon material theories for protection and healing, is to trust in the mythological god of matter. This claim, that matter can be both cause and cure of disease, is infidelity to the allness and oneness of Mind, God. Idolatrous beliefs claiming to be sins, various forms of disease, of poverty, sorrow, or failure cannot exist as facts, and condition us; and in the presence of Truth understood and affirmed, this fact is demonstrated, and the erroneous conditions disappear.

Mrs. Eddy dwelt constantly on 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 beliefs which hold humanity in bondage to -the flesh - free in the dominion of spiritualized consciousness.

That universal prayer taught us by the great Teacher, Healer, and Exemplar, Christ Jesus, closes with these words: "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." These are divinely definite words. They place all power and government with God. In these times of changing concepts as to government, the exalting of the superman sense of sovereignty, the vainglory of human will rulership, Christian nations need more and more fervently, more clear-sightedly than ever, to ponder this prayer which the Founder of our faith left us.

We cannot always know how the answer to prayer will be made manifest, but we do know through the teachings of Christian Science that righteous prayer is always answered; we know that "the government shall be upon his shoulder;" in other words, we have learned that the divine Mind governs every idea. That which claims to be unprincipled government cannot endure in the light of this scientific knowledge which ultimately will rend asunder every bond claiming to restrict and enslave the human race.

The prayer of the ancient prophets for the consolation of Israel, which they believed would come through the Messiah, was answered in the advent of Christ Jesus. He came in accord with prophecy to prove man's unity with the divine nature, and to reveal his spiritual sonship, or Christ. Later, when his earthly mission was drawing to a close, he promised his followers that he would pray the Father that He would send another Comforter, who would abide with them forever, even the Spirit of truth. This prayer, too, was answered. Later John foresaw, in his vision of the Apocalypse, what was to follow upon the coming of that Comforter, the incorporeal Christ, or Truth, which would reveal complete spiritual harmony.

Mrs. Eddy's constant prayer was that she might know God, understand and demonstrate the divine nature, which transcends all material sense evidence. This prayer, too, was answered, in her discovery that the promised Comforter is divine Science. This second and final coming in Christian Science is the advent of the incorporeal Christ, the Spirit of truth which the Master promised would come and guide into all truth, and abide forever.

For many years a prayer has been going forth daily from thousands of earnest students of Christian Science seeking to demonstrate Truth and Love. This prayer is known as the "Daily Prayer" from the Manual of The Mother Church by Mrs. Eddy (p. 41) and is as follows: "'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" Christian Scientists realize that as this prayer is understood and demonstrated in individual consciousness the affections of mankind will be enriched to the extent that they will understand and be governed by the divine law of universal good. In this connection the words of Isaiah are pertinent: "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us."

 

 

Demonstration

Demonstration is a word continually used in Christian Science, for the reason that scientific Christianity consists in the demonstration of the divine nature. It is the primitive Christianity of works, of "signs following" in proof of the correctness of its teaching. This word was used by Paul in his letter to the Christian workers in Corinth: "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Mrs. Eddy defined "demonstration" (Science and Health, p. 34) as "Immanuel, or God with us" - proof of the divine power working in human experience.

To demonstrate the divine nature as Life means overcoming all the appearances of anything opposed to eternal, omnipresent Life. Hence it must include the complete destruction of disease, of all fleshly corruption, and that in which they finally result - death.

The impulsion of the Master's healing ministrations may be definitely discerned from his own statements. "I am come," he declared, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Life is God. The Master stated plainly, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." This shows that we enter upon eternal life through the knowledge of God. Consciousness of this fact of divine being constitutes the only real life. Christian Science urges and encourages us to maintain the spiritual consciousness that, since God is Life, life is unchangeable and ever present. By individually knowing these great truths we aid in overcoming the general denial of Life by the world. For that reason Christian Scientists speak of those who have departed as having passed on, rather than having died. Each time that we individually prove the unreality of any claim or appeal of the mortal sense of existence, manifested as sin or disease, we are helping ourselves and others to reach the ultimate certainty that death is an illusion, like any other false belief; and it is "swallowed up" in the realization of omnipresent Life. By degrees we learn how divinely natural, rather than miraculous, such proofs are.

That the divine power is available today, when invoked by the effectual, fervent prayer of spiritual understanding, the following incident will prove. Some years ago a great wrong was committed against a friend of mine, by one who exercised a dominating influence over a member of her family. Although this friend had been studying Christian Science for some time, and had received a healing of a discordant physical condition of long standing, she was not willing to apply its teachings to this problem. At first, she allowed the belief of injustice to magnify itself in her thought to the extent that she was completely controlled by what she regarded as righteous indignation. This became a mingling of hatred and revenge and continued to govern her for a long period of time. Finally, this discordant thinking manifested itself outwardly in a diseased condition of her face. Its appearance had become so unsightly that my friend could not dine in public, and she was asked to give up her room in a hotel, because her presence there was objectionable to the guests. It was not until the disease assumed these alarming proportions, and was pronounced incurable, that she began to awaken to the fact that this affliction was self-imposed. It was then that she saw the necessity for a radical change in her thinking. She realized clearly, through the work of a practitioner, that she must be willing to apply the truth she had learned in Christian Science to this problem, and impersonalize the error by separating it from the individual through whom it had seemed to come. She must be willing to see him as the child of God, not as the personification of evil. Having at last awakened to the true nature of the error, she began applying the truth step by step. Many victories over self were required, however, before the evidence of the disease began to yield.

As it became more and more evident to her that "love is the fulfilling of the law," as she humbly and honestly applied that law, by yielding every vestige of hatred and self-pity, this so-called incurable disease, this challenge to life itself, was completely overcome. This healing of cancer occurred many years ago. My friend is today a practitioner of Christian Science; actively applying this law of Life and Love in helping to liberate her fellow men.

Thus the divine nature as ever-present Life was demonstrated today just as in Bible times. Such an event, might still be called a miracle by those uninstructed in the unceasing operation of God's power, but in scientific Christianity it is recognized as a demonstration; it is the sign following the fact that the application of spiritual law has been understandingly and faithfully made.

The necessity for demonstration was clearly perceived by the disciple John when he said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

 

Divine Nature as Love

To demonstrate the divine nature as Love must surely mean the complete reversal and obliteration in human consciousness of all that is opposed to Love. Hate, envy, covetousness - in short, all the evils prohibited by the moral code for loving our neighbor as ourselves - must disappear in the strong logic of divine Love's allness, which includes our true selfhood and that of all men.

Referring to a certain student in one of our large cities, someone remarked that she was not "very loving." "But," he added, "she is a wonderful metaphysician." When we stop to consider that divine Love is the Principle of Christian Science, and the demonstration of it is the only indication we have of our spiritual perception or understanding, we readily see that there can be no genuinely effective Christian metaphysical achievement apart from Love. Without Love, there can be no spiritual understanding.

Many beautiful instances of selfless love are recorded in Mrs. Eddy's long ministry of healing. One such healing, comparable to those recorded in the New Testament, was that of a young man about nineteen years of age who lived in Boston, Massachusetts. He had been deaf and dumb from birth. He had sought relief by medical means, and had also been in an institution for the deaf and dumb. His mother finally took him to Mrs. Eddy, and he was quickly and completely healed. Afterwards, this young man became an active member of the Church of Christ, Scientist. (Historical and Biographical Papers, by Clifford P. Smith, Series II, p. 53.)

On another occasion, Mrs. Eddy's deep understanding of divine Love was shown when her attention was called to a man who was sitting on the sidewalk of a street in Lynn, Massachusetts. This man was so crippled that his knees touched his chin. Mrs. Eddy went to him, and leaning over so that her face was close to his, she said, "God loves you," and went on without waiting. It is recorded that almost immediately the man arose and walked. His healing was witnessed by a Christian Scientist whose home was near by. She has related that the healed man "rushed to her house to inquire about the lady" - to use his words - the "angel" who had healed him" (ibid., p. 48).

Another of Mrs. Eddy's healings was that of a deformed or crippled man who lived in Boston. This man was in such a helpless condition that he had even to be fed; his arms and legs were useless. Every day when the weather permitted, he was taken in a wheel chair to the park called Boston Common, and left, apparently alone, for an hour or two. One day, Mrs. Eddy saw him there in his wheel chair. She went to him, and talked with him; she spoke to him of the Christ, and told him the truth of his being, that man is God's perfect child. He felt that he had been benefited by her words; and looked for her, day after day, as he lay there alone in the park. Finally she came again, and spoke to him in the same loving manner. After this visit, the man was completely healed. Later, he became active in his own business and was able to earn his own living. This healing was related by his niece, and was published in the Christian Science Sentinel of July 18, 1908.

Are not these healings comparable to the act of mercy and love, recorded of Peter and John, who healed the lame man on the temple steps?

That Mrs. Eddy was the Discoverer, Revelator, and Founder of Christian Science is well established in public thought today, but her broad demonstration of this divine healing Principle is not so widely known to the general public. Through her understanding of God's spiritual law, she was instrumental in healing numerous cases of so-called incurable diseases - in from one to three interviews. Among the many forms of diseases which she healed were pneumonia, insanity, dropsy, heart disease, cancer, deformity, hernia, consumption, deafness, dumbness, and blindness.

From this it will be seen that the Discoverer of Christian Science fully demonstrated its divine healing Principle; and for that reason she could speak with authority based upon irrefutable proof, when she finally gave her discovery to the world in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

The utilization of Love's ideas helps to free us from the limited sense of person. We learn to think and feel more universally, and so reflect the Love which is all-inclusive. In working for the good of all, we solve our own individual problems, and demonstrate divine Love's unity. As one deep thinker among advanced physicists has said, "It is in losing his own self-interest that a man can realize the presence within him of God, and in so doing escape from a world of shadows and illusions" (J. S. Haldane, M.D., LL.D., Hibbert Journal, London, 1923).

Did not the Master say, "The kingdom of God is within you"? And John tells us that "God is love." The concept of a world that does not reflect Love is indeed a world of shadows and illusions. This beautiful testimony is only one of many signs that the recognition of the realism of Spirit is taking place today in the field of research known as natural science. To understand Love means to see and to demonstrate divine reality.

 

The Leaven of Truth

The holy activity of Truth in human consciousness the Discoverer of Christian Science likened to the yeast which the woman in the Master's parable "hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Mrs. Eddy interpreted the three measures of meal as representing the three main systems of human thought - science, theology, and medicine (Science and Health, p. 118). Since the discovery of Christian Science, great changes have taken place in each of these important branches of research, and practice.

In theology, we have only to note the radical change that has come over the public thought concerning the theories of predestination and everlasting punishment beyond the grave, to realize the liberating influence that has been at work.

In medicine, numerous instances might be cited to show the changed attitude of advanced medical research toward the cause and treatment of certain diseases. Speaking to a medical society, the late Dr. Richard C. Cabot, distinguished Boston physician, said: "The body has super wisdom which is biased in favor of life, rather than death. And it is a force that doesn't make many wrong diagnoses. What is this powerful force?" he asked. "It is God," he replied. "The healing power on which all of us depend in order to be here today." This eminent physician declared that God supplies ninety percent of the healing power. A writer commenting on this opinion says, "If God is the force which supplies the healing power, there is no room for any other healing force, since God is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent." "But," he asserts, "it is an occasion for gratitude when medical men demonstrate the perception to accord even ninety percent of the healing power to God."

The mental cause of a high percentage of known maladies is now recognized. Some years ago, at a conference of representative American physicians, it was reported by one distinguished member that in sixty-six per cent of the medical cases which entered Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment, "emotional factors were directly related to the illness, and in fifty-five per cent they were the major cause."

This marks a step toward the recognition of what has long since been proved in Christian Science; namely, that all disease is caused mentally through false belief, hence it is unreal, and no part of man's actual experience. It must certainly be dealt with, however, and never ignored. In dealing with the false claim of disease, this Science maintains that the only cure for a false belief is a strong potion of truth. No drug can reach and eradicate a false belief. Such beliefs as fear of hereditary disease, hatred, envy, revenge can be overcome only by the truth which shows their unreality, and in this way supplants them in the patient's thought. Divine Science always goes to the root of the matter. This is illustrated in the textbook by Mrs. Eddy's explanation of the Master's parable (pp. 399, 400). He asked, " 'How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?' In other words: How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? When disease is once destroyed in this so-called mind, the fear of disease is gone, and therefore the disease is thoroughly cured." And the interpretation fellows: "Mortal mind is 'the strong man,' which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be removed. This error conquered, we can despoil 'the strong man' of his goods, - namely, of sin and disease."

 

Miracles

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 those 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.

Miracle is defined by Webster as "an event or effect in the physical world beyond or out of the ordinary course of things, deviating from the known laws of nature, or transcending our knowledge of these laws."

Through her practice of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy proved that what seems miraculous to human sense seems so only because the operation of spiritual law is not cognized, nor can be, by material sense. She found and afterwards stated in her textbook (pp. 134,135) that "a miracle fulfills God's law, but does not violate that law. . . . The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law.'' She perceived that it was in no wise supernatural, but, in reality, "divinely natural," "a phenomenon of Science" (p. 591), and that it served to make God's law appreciable to human experience.

Here the Discoverer of divine Science has made clear that the sacred works so long known as miracles are not wrought merely in the name of Christ. But - far more deeply significant - she shows that such works are accomplished only through the recognition and understanding of the very character and nature of Christ, the spiritual idea of Truth born of God, which reveals man's coexistence with Him.

 

Safety and Salvation

From a material standpoint, the world today seems to be filled with violence. Many predict that a deluge of retrogressive ideologies, both religious and political, will sweep away our civilization, and all the most sacred landmarks and symbols of Christian faith.

From a spiritual standpoint, however, this threatening deluge is seen as the breaking up of material beliefs. Refuge from this flood of error, this turmoil, confusion, and upheaval, is found now, as in Noah's time, in the safety of the ark. You will recall that Noah was warned of God to prepare an ark to the saving of his house. "Ark" is defined in part in Science and Health (p. 581) as "Safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter. . . . Science showing that the spiritual realities of all things are created by Him [God] and exist forever." This is the ark which today is building in men's consciousness, and in which they must take refuge, and in which alone can be found safety and security. The revealed truth that "all things are created by Him and exist forever" assures us that the real universe and man are forever intact. No deluge of error or cloud of atheistic belief can ever again obscure them or their divine Principle.

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Christian Science shows that the material concept of heaven and earth must be exchanged for the true, or spiritual concept, in accordance with Jesus' words. The Master's words were and are the truth of Spirit. They express the verity of Mind's ideas, the forever reality of God's reflection. Because of this they are immortal; they will never pass away.

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. And it is interesting at this point to note that the root meaning of the principal words "to save," in the Old Testament, is to be broad, spacious; salvation means enlargement, complete redemption. (See, Hastings' Bible Dictionary.) In Christian Science it broadens into deliverance for all mankind from sin, disease, and death through the teachings of the Comforter, the Christ.

In the light of this final revelation of Truth, this Spirit of truth - or truth of Spirit - which is leading this age onward and upward into the realm of infinite knowledge, we see that in reality there can be no retrogression, there can be no lapse into the darkness and superstition of a material concept of man and the universe. Rather must the world go forward to the highest concept of Science, or Truth, into the might and majesty of Mind's more infinite unfoldments - to the divine Science, which, in the words of its Discoverer (No and Yes, p. 13), "takes hold of eternity, voices the infinite, and governs the universe."

The eternality of Truth is clearly set forth in these lines of the well-known hymn (Christian Science Hymnal. No. 337):

 

"Theories, which thousands cherish,

Pass like clouds that sweep the sky;

Creeds and dogmas all may perish;

Truth Herself can never die.

"Worldlings blindly may refuse Her,

Close their eyes and call it night;

Learned scoffers may abuse Her,

But they cannot quench Her light.

"Thrones may totter, empires crumble,

All their glories cease to be;

While She, Christlike, crowns the humble,

And from bondage sets them free."

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis,Indiana, Oct. 25, 1940.]

 

 

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