Christian Science: The Law of Life Abundant

 

Judge Frederick C. Hill, C.S., of Los Angeles, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The subjoined lecture entitled, "Christian Science: The Law of Life Abundant," was delivered in various Churches of Christ. Scientist, of Chicago and vicinity during the past two years by Judge Frederick C. Hill, C.S., of Los Angeles, California; member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. The lecture is reprinted from a previous issue of the Leader.

 

A survey of human affairs will impress the thinking individual that sickness and suffering, all of the misery incident to sin and depravity, are not in conformity with the doctrine of salvation affirmed by Christ Jesus, the prophet of Galilee, who centuries ago taught a simple doctrine of repentance and an acceptance of the fact that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Many religious organizations teach various theories of salvation and many differing views of the kingdom of heaven. It may be somewhat confusing to accept the old-time admonition to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" in order to experience the salvation which he taught. Now to those who are seeking salvation and who observe the radically differing opinions and practices of those who profess to be his followers, it is quite natural for such ones to ask, "What am I to believe?"

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." It should be the endeavor of every individual to promote and to preserve his highest understanding of life. To this end mankind has established various codes of human laws and has declared that every individual shall be secure in his person and in the preservation of his property. It will be admitted that individuals may possess much earthly goods and may be quite secure under the terms of the human sense of the law of the land, and not be demonstrating "the way, the truth, and the life," referred to by Christ Jesus. The question for us to consider is, Does Christian Science show us the way to a higher sense of life abundant?

 

Pointing the Way

About the middle of the nineteenth century human thought was active in endeavoring to break many of the limitations which seemed to be the handicap to material progress. The electric telegraph and the telephone were the immediate results. Earlier in the century it was conceived that a submarine cable might be constructed and two continents connected thereby. In 1866 this became an established fact; Europe and America were linked by the first submarine cable.

 

The Discoverer and Founder

In the year 1866 Mary Baker Eddy, a kind, intelligent New England woman, made the discovery of the divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love. She observed that just in proportion as she understood and interpreted the law of man's being to the daily affairs of her human experience her thought was elevated and transformed, and that this transformation was expressed in the enjoyment of a better sense of health, happiness, and contentment.

Because of her love for humanity she desired to share her discovery, and in 1875 she published her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." In 1879 she organized a church, "a church designed to commemorate the words and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Manual, p, 17). In 1908 she established an international daily newspaper which, from the standpoint of clean journalism, is regarded by many as the highest standard in the newspaper world.

Between the age of fifty-four and eighty-seven years Mrs. Eddy gave to the world a great book, a great church, and a great newspaper. I am sure you will readily agree that these major achievements are sufficient evidence to sustain our claim that Mrs. Eddy was a great benefactor to humanity.

In her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she says (p. 268): "In the material world, thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought's swift pinions been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry. Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect."

Referring to her revelation she says (ibid. p. 107), "In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science." She had discovered the law which Christ Jesus taught and practiced - the law which he applied in healing disease, the law which gave sight to the blind, the law which loosed the dumb tongue, the law which cleansed the lepers, the law which raised Lazarus and others from the dead. He knew the law of God, but he left no writings nor definite rules with his followers.

Mrs. Eddy's discovery and her writings have given to mankind a definite system whereby they may prove in Christian Science the truth of Jesus' saying, "I am the way."

 

Divine Law Operative

Law is generally recognized and defined as a governing rule of conduct or action, prescribed and enforced by a supreme governing authority.

The law of God is applicable to every human experience. In fact, your understanding, recognition, and the declaration that God's law operates is a Christian Science treatment that will bring healing to you. Christ Jesus secured right results in all of his practice. Hence, we may rightly conclude that he knew the law, the right way, and he applied the law with definite and right results.

In her writings Mrs. Eddy has reminded her readers (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 232): "The right way wins the right of way, even the way of Truth and Love whereby all our debts are paid, mankind blessed, and God glorified." The right way, then, from the teaching of Christian Science is to do as Christ Jesus did - apply the divine law of Life, Truth, and Love in every phase of human experience.

The question may arise, "Does God's law operate now?" To illustrate: Niagara Falls, one of the beautiful sights of nature, is admired by thousands who observe its majesty and grandeur. Thousands of tons of water, obedient to the so-called law of gravitation, have for an estimated period of twenty-five thousand years been falling one hundred and fifty feet into the Niagara Gorge. At certain intervals in the past no water has flowed over the precipice - ice jams and severe cold have intervened. The cataract has been stilled. Has gravitation abated at this spot? Has it become frozen and inactive from the ice and cold? A very convincing answer might be had by dropping at that same spot a block of ice over the precipice; it would at once respond to the force called gravity and it would be drawn to the gorge below. The force has not abated in the least. The ice jam and other conditions prevent the observation of its operation.

So long as the ice jam remains secure from the penetrating warmth of the sun's light and heat, so long will this so-called force of nature seem to be in abeyance at the gorge. The darkness of the night will not remove the obstruction. It requires the direct rays of the sun to melt the ice. With the melting, a small stream courses toward the falls. It increases in size and in due time the jam is gone. Tons of water are again falling as usual. The physical senses are cognizant of the effects, but the so-called law or force has not been altered or changed in the least.

It only requires the warm and direct rays of the sun upon the obstruction to melt and remove it and to make the so-called force, or law of gravitation, apparent. In the same way the fundamental law of God is ever operative and applicable to every human experience even though to the frightened human senses it may seem to be inactive and obscure. The result, however, is but the obstruction which, expressed through fear, dishonesty, hate, envy, and so forth, obscures the continuous operation of the law from the vision of mankind. The discernment of one ray of truth is the beginning of the transformation which most effectively allows the law to operate in your case and dissolves and removes every obstacle which seems to hamper and to impede your progress.

Mrs. Eddy reveals, in her textbook, this spiritual law of God as the law of Life, and its healing effects manifest on the human body thus (Science and Health, p. 162): "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. It changes the secretions, expels humors, dissolves tumors, relaxes rigid muscles, restores carious bones to soundness. The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind."

 

Service to Mankind

It is fundamental that the law of Life cannot include therein a law of sin, sickness, and death. These conditions are abnormal, unreal, and have no power to bind mankind to sickness and distress, because God did not make them; hence, they are not included in His law.

When abnormal and unreal conditions are presented to you, you have the right and the capacity to invoke God's law in defense of your inalienable right to be healthy and happy. A noted surgeon once said, "Many a person has looked up at the surgeon's knife, and has declared, 'I am God's child,' and has been healed." The reason for the healings is not a mystery; it is a fact simply stated. "I am God's child," is the truth about man. It is a treatment that excludes any so-called power in sickness and death. You can make the statement, "I am God's child," and every time you make it, you are disputing the testimony of the material senses. The fear which has held you so tightly is beginning to relax, and your body begins to respond and to resume its normal conditions.

In this connection Christian Science is rendering to humanity an important service in the destruction of fear made manifest in innumerable ways, and by establishing in consciousness a positive knowledge that the material body manifests only what mortal mind believes. You do not have to be afraid of climate and of catching cold. You do not need to have fear of food, nor of the effects of overwork. If you do not enjoy eight or more hours of sleep, you can know that you do not live by sleep alone. These unnatural and unreal fears are the erroneous beliefs of the human mind and are inflicted upon mortals, not through the operation of any law, but in opposition thereto.

Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." He came not to acknowledge any so-called law of sin, sickness, and death, but to destroy all evil through the understanding of God's law.

 

Mortal Existence - An Enigma

In her textbook, Mrs. Eddy says (ibid p. 70): "Mortal existence is an enigma. Every day is a mystery. The testimony of the corporeal senses cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive, but the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth." Humanity is ignorantly struggling with this enigma. The question raised by Job, "If a man die, shall he live again?" has not been answered to the satisfaction of the masses by material science, material medicine, or scholastic theology.

Christ Jesus announced to sinning and suffering humanity, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." His statement is the declaration of a fundamental law of abundant life and is a constructive answer to the question, "Are sin, disease, and death real?" (Christian Science Quarterly Lesson-Sermon subject.)

Perhaps no statement of the doctrine of Christian Science is less understood and arouses more opposition than the announcement that sin, disease, and death are unreal. There is nothing that will help you more in your struggle with the enigma of existence than a discernment of their unreality and an active and a constant effort to banish them from your consciousness as any part of your fundamental being.

 

Truth Universal

There is a truth about everyone and a truth regarding everything. You may not discern that truth or we may not fully agree as to what that truth is. Our ignorance of it, or our failure to agree, does not in the least change the truth as to individuals or things. Through the application of this truth every mortal who is tired of his sinful career has the right and the capacity to stop sinning and to give proof of his reformation by acts of righteousness and rectitude. He can be healed of sin by his refusal to be a sinner. If his motive is right and his thought is transformed, the evidence of his reformation will be apparent. Solomon's experience in human affairs impelled him to write, "For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he."

In the account of the "Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind" (Science and Health, p. 116), it is very plainly brought to the attention of the student that the "First Degree" is "depravity," which includes all of the evil beliefs of the physical senses evidenced through  mortal  mind. Passions and appetites, fear, hatred, sin, sickness, disease, death, are the unrealities which are not included in, and are no part of, the law of Truth, hence, in the "Second Degree," these evil beliefs disappear, and the moral status is reached, which is expressed in humanity, honesty, faith, hope, meekness, temperance. The final transformation is reached in the "Third   Degree," when spiritual understanding is attained and reality is revealed and expressed in wisdom, purity, love, health, holiness. Thus it is observed that the carnal mind has not increased in wisdom and in spiritual understanding, but wisdom and spiritual understanding supplant and decrease the beliefs of this so-called mind, until it disappears.

In the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy says (ibid., p. 116), "In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God's image appears." In this stage of progress spiritual understanding supplants mortal, human beliefs. Spirit is discerned to be God, and spiritual man as His image is the real man, expressing spiritual power, love, health, and holiness.

 

Supreme Power

There is one supreme cause or power recognized by many millions of people, regardless of creed. There are many names for this supreme cause, but the one most universally accepted by Christendom is the term "God."

Mrs. Eddy has used certain names for God which she has set forth in her textbook, that we may get clearer and better views of Him. She writes (p. 465): "Question. - What is God?  Answer. - God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love."

She clearly discerned that since God exists separate and apart from matter He has no connection with or knowledge of matter; His creation necessarily must partake of His nature and character. It must be spiritual and not material. She saw that man, including the universe, must partake of His spiritual nature, hence, is expressed as His divine idea, and not as a material, dying accumulation of matter. This acceptance rejects all the so-called beliefs of sin, sickness, envy, hate, malice, lust, and death as attached to matter, and establishes the scientific fact that, as God is Mind, all of His ideas are held firmly and securely together in unity by His law. Thus she has given to us the revelation of God as divine Principle, whose law of good operates continually and supremely, and is available in the affairs of men. This spiritual law, uniting all right ideas firmly and indissolubly with God, divine Mind, was evidenced by Jesus' saying, "Before Abraham was, I am," and "I and my Father are one."

Christian Science affirms that God is Truth, Life, and Love, and these terms express "the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity" (ibid., p. 465). Hence, the recognition of God as Truth affirms the whole law of that which is true regarding anything. The recognition of God as Life allows to operate within consciousness the law of life, activity, reality, and at once destroys that which claims to be a law of death. This law of life becomes the law of destruction, elimination, and annihilation of everything in human consciousness that is not good, hence not of God. How glorious and gratifying to perceive that God is infinite Love, and that all of His ideas exist now and forever, here and hereafter, at the standpoint of that law which annihilates hate, envy, malice, jealousy,  revenge, self-pity, self-will, self-justification. A recognition of "the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity" allows to operate the divine law of Love. It answers for mankind the question put to Jesus by the lawyer, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And it brings strongly into view the fact that eternal life is not a state of future attainment, but is a present discernible reality, and is gained through loving God supremely, "and thy neighbour as thyself."

Thus it is seen that God and His ideas are coexistent, and man is ever in touch with God's tender care and compassion, subject only to His law of immutable right and justice. Because God is revealed to be Love, man is revealed also to be the reflection of Love. Hence, in all his ways, man does acknowledge Him and is at peace. In the true sense he comprehends and relies on God as his "Father-Mother." This view of God, man, and the universe, annihilates the old accepted theory that all existence is at the mercy of chance or fate, and that God's creation is a great mass of destructible stuff hurled out into space and allowed to drift on toward destruction and without restraint.

You may ask, "Have we any proof outside of Christian Science for reliance on God?" From the earliest dawn of history, through the dark ages, and through the Christian era, we have abundant evidences.

 

The Ancient Patriarchs

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are outstanding examples of reverence, faith, love, and devotion to the one God. It was absolute faith in God that prompted Abraham to be obedient to the command, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." It was reliance upon God's sustaining power that caused him, at seventy-five years of age, to go down into the land of Canaan, there to face famine, and from thence to go farther into Egypt, into the land of Pharaoh.

Mrs. Eddy defines "Christ" (ibid., p. 583) as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Abraham glimpsed the Christ. The divine law of Truth operated in his life as the law of harmony. He evidenced this by his dealings with Lot, and his determination that there should be no contention between them because they were brethren. He exemplified that right ideas have a right place and are never in a state of conflict, except with evil.

We further note (ibid., p. 579) that Abraham illustrates "fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being, . . . the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding." Because of his faith in the divine good, Abraham was obedient to the voice of God; he turned away from the belief of life, substance, and intelligence in matter to the eternal Principle of being, and he received his inheritance. It may be noted that he received a just and a sufficient reward as expressed in material possessions; for the record is, "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."

Even when he was called upon to offer up his only son, the son of promise, he was obedient, steadfastly knowing that God would show him the way. As he journeyed up the way toward the place of sacrifice, his thought must have ascended, his spiritual understanding must have increased; he must have discerned something of the truth that it was not the son, but a mortal material sense which he must sacrifice on the altar and which had to be consumed by that fire which purifies and elevates mankind.

Abraham's confidence in God, in the saving Principle of being, enabled him to resist the arguments of the corporeal senses. Abraham's fidelity and obedience to the will of God earned for him the commendation of the angel of the Lord, "For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." Then it was that he discovered the way to take the human footsteps to consummate his burnt offering for a sacrifice. As he "lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold . . . a ram" was there provided instead of his son.

To Jacob there came a glimpse of the Christ, Truth, when he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." He was in need of help, and when the light of Truth and Love dawned upon him, with the understanding of Spirit, he struggled with materiality; he prevailed and his name was changed. He became Israel, the father of the children of Israel. When the children of Israel turned from the true light and served other gods, they separated themselves from the divine idea. God's law of good and His law of life abundant no longer supported them in their material beliefs, for they no longer relied upon nor allowed His law to operate. In Egypt a gleam of the spiritual idea, the Christ, Truth, inspired Moses, and he led the Israelites to turn from their bondage and follow him back to the promised land.

Moses relied, not upon armor, nor material weapons and physical strength, in guiding God's chosen people through the Red Sea and the wilderness into the promised land. He relied implicitly on God, the divine, guiding Principle, and the success of his undertaking was assured. The earthly record of Moses closes at one hundred and twenty years, with this testimony, which should challenge our attention: "His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Thus the lives of the prophets and ancient Christians are full of illuminating instances pointing the way out of the wilderness of material beliefs, doubts, and uncertainties, into the promised land.

 

Our Universe

Much interest is manifest today by our material scientists regarding the "expanding universe." They are engaged in seeking to penetrate the vast expanse called space. They seek to determine the composition and the position of other bodies with reference to our planet. They assume to measure incomprehensible distances in light years to determine how long it has 'taken the light of bodies, far removed in space, to reach the earth.

They have reduced masses of matter to atoms. Atoms have been divided into electrons, and now electrons have been bombarded and blasted - almost away. The material scientist tells us that all matter-substance is the same, made up of electrons identical in character but arranged in differing forms. They photograph that which they call "star dust" by means of the great telescopes, and they assure us that the substance of this "dust," millions of light years from our planet, is identical with the turf beneath our feet They assert, as a fact, that the universe is expanding and is being recreated. How do they arrive at their conclusions? How do they make their measurements? In all of their research they are dealing with light. They never once give heed to, or are concerned with, darkness. To them and their work, darkness does not exist. These conclusions are belief; based upon the so-called laws of material science.

As the material scientist is now seeking to investigate, define, and explain his sense of an "expanding universe," so years ago Mrs. Eddy discerned the real character of creation

to be spiritual, and wrote (Science and Health, p. 507), "Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source." Also (ibid., p. 209), "Mind, supreme over all its formations and governing them all, is the central sun of its own systems of ideas, the life and light of all its own vast creation; and man is tributary to divine Mind." Hence, is it not apparent that substance, the basis of the universe, was revealed to Mrs. Eddy in its true light and character; and is it not true that this understanding must be gained by the student of Christian Science, and must be the foundation for his practice and healing work? She declares (ibid., p. 468): "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." She not only reveals the nature and character of substance; she also reveals the nature and character of its counterfeit, matter, as "mortal error," and "the unreal and temporal." How very true, then, that man embraced in the one infinite Mind and reflecting all the activities of that Mind is healthy, happy, and complete. How logical and true it is that mortal error being untrue and temporal, and having no law to support its claim to reality, is destroyed through the recognition of true substance.

An instance or physical healing known to me may be helpful in this connection. A deeply religious woman became afflicted with a rheumatic disorder which left her an invalid. Medical means had failed her, and for many years she was confined to her bed. A relative, a member of the same religious faith, had been healed in Christian Science and presented it to her.

The usual arguments followed. How could God heal her if He did not know she was sick? How could it be argued that her affliction was unreal? How could she be healed without some form of material treatment? She was a Bible student, and in her years of invalidism had read and studied the Bible with other religious works. Her first interest in Christian Science came through reading "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy," by Sibyl Wilbur. Many erroneous opinions were removed. However, she could not see why a woman should write a "Key to the Scriptures," so she read "Unity of Good," by Mrs. Eddy. Finally, she turned to Science and Health, and accepted it as a "Key to the Scriptures." There she found her every argument answered. She accepted God in His nature as infinite Mind, Life, Truth, Love, Principle. Hence, her invalidism was but an erroneous belief expressed through her material body. She had an abiding faith that she would be healed. In due time she discovered the spiritual fact that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Her healing developed and progressed as an understanding of spiritual reality and substance unfolded in her thinking. She left her bed for a wheel chair and later left the chair and walked. Thus her abiding faith was realized in her healing. This affliction and invalidism never returned, and she spent many useful years in the study and practice of Christian Science.

 

The Business World

The question is asked many times, "Can I apply Christian Science to my business affairs?" The simplest answer is to ask yourself another question, "Why not?" You have experienced physical healing. You have applied Christian Science as the law of God in many ways and have found healing and relief. You have had moments of clear vision that "now I am the child of God," so why not apply the same law in all your ways? You have a right to be engaged in a good business and to enjoy the returns therefrom.

It is necessary, as a first essential, to determine what is business. Is business the barter and exchange of matter? If so, then it is subject to the beliefs and so-called laws of mortal error which say you can be a failure in business, or that you can lose your business to your competitor.

An insight into your business may be gathered from Jesus' inquiry of his parents, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" His business was that of his Father. Your business is to be about the demonstration of the things of Spirit, and your sure reward in such a course is vouched for by Solomon, "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings."

You may argue that money is an essential to business success, and that you lack an adequate supply to properly carry on your business or professional activity. You are afraid of your creditors. You are afraid of the bank. You are afraid of your competitors; hence, in due time, the legitimate channels of your business are closed through fear, and Job's experience, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me," becomes your experience.

It is clear that fear, worry, uncertainty - the turbulent boiling in mortal consciousness - will clog the legitimate channels of trade and will hamper business success. It is also true that the consistent endeavor to discern and demonstrate the spiritual reality will clear the channels of trade and keep them open for harmonious results. By correct spiritual thinking you are about your Father's business.

It is accepted in the business world that money is essential to commercial success. What is money? It is not the intrinsic value of the coin, but what it represents. That sense of value sustains business. Money signifies power, but money as power does not constitute business. All of the coin or bullion in the world, confined in vaults, will never promote business success. Power must be applied intelligently and specifically at a right time and in a right place and manner. Hence, when we comprehend power intelligently and specifically applied at a right time, a right place, and in a right undertaking, we have the mortal mind analysis of business.

God, Mind, is omnipotent, all power. Mind is omniscience, all knowledge, truth, intelligence. God, Mind, is omnipresence, fills all place, all space, and so forth. Hence, as you demonstrate the presence of divine Mind, you have at your command, at all times, and in all places, all of the resources of infinite power, truth, knowledge, and intelligence. This clears the way of all erroneous deposits and your sense of business is definitely established upon a spiritual basis, and it will be harmoniously expressed in a right form.

Let us assume that many times daily you become conscious of the fact that your business is a good one; that you are relying upon the power, truth, knowledge, and intelligence of infinite Mind, and that you express these attributes in your business now. Can it be assumed for a moment that such right thinking will not allow the law of harmonious action to operate? The recognition of the fact that there is a spiritual law, sustaining and supporting every right idea, is a treatment in itself. Hence, if you would express and enjoy the fruits of good business, make a continual practice of being about your Father's business. It will pay you increasingly large dividends.

But you may argue: "I haven't time to do all this. I have to wait on trade. I am at the bank all day. I am an instructor in the public schools." And so the arguments and the excuses continue. Surely you can be as alert and as active mentally as the boy and his sister at school. It was noted that on the playground, when this boy stepped to the bat, he audibly declared something. Inquiry as to what he had said brought forth the information from the physical director that it was some foolish religious creed that he muttered. Upon ascertaining just what he said, it was learned that he declared each time, "God is my strength." The director reluctantly admitted that this boy was the best player in the school. The little sister, likewise, when called upon to stand before her teacher and her class to recite, stood silently for a moment, and then intelligently recited her portion of the daily lesson. The teacher of this child did not designate her action as the declaration of some "foolish religious creed," but advised that she always follow the same course. The child affirmed, "God is my intelligence." This teacher, commenting on these children, said, "They are from a Christian Science home, and they make their religion work." This boy and girl were at the head of their classes, and in organized play were recognized as superior in that school. Can there be any doubt as to why they were at the head of classes, or superior at play? They allowed the law to operate. They relied upon it for right results. They were familiar with God and His law through the religious teaching in a Christian Science Sunday School, and through daily consecrated living at home. The success of their undertaking was assured, for it was entirely embraced within the law which they declared and upon which they relied.

It will be helpful in your business affairs to heed the advice of Solomon: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

 

Proving Life Abundant

If you will make a careful analysis of your thinking you will soon become convinced that the major portion of your time is occupied with that which has to do with the preservation of material living, such as a magnificent home, prosperous business or profession, sufficient income - in fact, that which appeals to or gratifies the desire of the physical senses - and you may ask, will Christian Science help me to secure these material things?

Let there be no misunderstanding: Christian Science will enable you to understand Life, spirituality, and to prove this spiritual discernment. Its first demand upon you is, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," and then whatever is necessary to your well-being will "be added unto you." Then it must appear that to set out to demonstrate an extravagant home, a prosperous business, a large income, an automobile, or a gushing oil well, merely because you want them from the standpoint of material possessions, invites defeat at the outset.

The recognition that divine Principle embraces man as God's idea will carry with it that which is necessary for your well-being at all times and in every place. God and His ideas are never separated. Now, just as you understand God as Life and demonstrate that His Life is your life, that understanding of infinite Life will support you in the time of most imminent danger. I am sure a personal experience may be helpful in amplifying at this point.

Some years ago, before I became a Christian Scientist, I was asked to introduce a Christian Science lecturer.  He spoke at length upon God as Life, Truth, and Love, and said that if man at all times knew God as infinite Life that knowledge would destroy death. I thought about this statement and began to accept it as a fact. Later I traveled one hundred and fifty miles to hear the same lecturer. In the course of that lecture he said, in substance. There is one infinite Life; that Life is God; His life is your life, and there is no death. At that time I could not accept, or follow, all which he presented. But the logic of his explanation of God as the one infinite Life impressed my thought to the degree that I recognized the truth of his statements, and since then, many times in my experience, I have had occasion to prove that God is infinite Life. I recall one instance of such proof.

While en route by bus from one lecture engagement to fill another, we encountered a tornado. The bus was directly in the path of the storm. I was sitting immediately behind the driver and I observed a large brick school building lifted from its foundation and hurled directly in our course. I felt the bus lifted from the highway. In that moment of human need the realization that there was one infinite Life, God, and that His life was my life, preserved me, and I was saved from the destructive elements of that tornado. Three hours later I regained consciousness in a hospital. I was uninjured and went on my way as usual and fulfilled my engagement. There is not the slightest doubt regarding the cause of my preservation. My understanding and demonstration was not such as to prevent the tornado, nor to save all of the others in the bus, but it was sufficient to save me at that time and under those circumstances. God was a "present help" in time of need.

Many instances might be cited in the work of Jesus, to amplify his proof of life abundant in his earthly experience. In all of his ministry he met and solved the daily problems before him by the same unfailing rule, whether it applied to supplying wine for a feast, multiplying the loaves and fishes, or raising the widow's son and Lazarus from the dead.

In the raising of Lazarus from the dead, Jesus' command to take away the stone was met by the assertion that "he hath been dead four days," implying that the dissolution of the body had already begun and therefore he could not be raised.

The precise manner by which Jesus raised Lazarus is not recorded. However, the fact is stated that he prayed the Father, and Lazarus came forth from the grave. Is it not logical, then, to conclude that Jesus knew how to pray and that he raised Lazarus through prayer?

Throughout his entire ministry Jesus was preparing himself for his final victory over death. He healed the sick, raised the widow's son and the daughter of Jairus. These marvelous works were accomplished instantly. Lazarus had lain in the grave four days, yet the same prayer raised him as it had raised others.

Jesus was going up the hill toward Calvary, preparing himself for his victory over death and the grave which would soon be before him. The raising of Lazarus was one of the last public acts before the crucifixion of Jesus. And I believe we are justified in concluding that his overcoming of the mortal mind belief of life in the body in the raising of the body of Lazarus, after it had been in the grave four days, was an inspiration and a proof to him that the Father would hear his prayer in his final demonstration of life eternal.

To the Christian Scientist, Jesus is the Way-shower, and we are endeavoring to follow in his footsteps. Just when we shall gain the same understanding and do all of the works that he did, cannot be stated; however, man lives in the same universe and under the same skies as did Jesus. Man lives and has his being by reason of the same spiritual laws of God, and these laws are for his use now the same as they have always been. Salvation and life abundant are to be had just where you are today.

The light of spiritual understanding which came to John that "now are we the sons of God," can come to us through Christian Science, and we can, now and here, begin to experience the harmony stated by Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 598): "One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown."

 

[Published in The Chicago Leader, Feb. 23, 1940.]

 

 

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