Christian Science:

The Revelation of Manís Inalienable Rights

 

Judge Frederick C. Hill, C.S., of Clinton, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Evanston, Illinois, in the church edifice, Chicago Avenue and Grove Street, Monday evening, January 10, by Judge Frederick C. Hill, C.S., of Clinton, Illinois, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The lecturer was introduced by James N. Hatch, First Reader, as follows:

Friends, your presence here this evening in such large numbers is evidence of the ever increasing interest in Christian Science, and on behalf of this church I bid you a most cordial welcome.

One of the activities of the Christian Science Church for spreading the glad tidings of "Peace on earth, good will toward men," is the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

These glad tidings are being sent out into a world torn with dissension and burdened with grief. Yet, a world which is today earnestly seeking a truer fellowship among men. For today, more probably than at any time in history, are nations and people really seeking to find a way to carry out the injunction of the Master, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." But in this endeavor men are beset by fear and distrust, by misunderstanding and caution.

Christian Science through its churches, its publications and its lectures, is reiterating the Bible admonition, "Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace." In First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, are these encouraging words: "The peace of Love is published and the sword of Spirit is drawn; nor will it be sheathed till Truth shall reign triumphant over all the earth. Truth, Life, and Love are formidable wherever thought, felt, spoken or written - in the pulpit, in the court room, by the wayside or in our homes. They are the victors never to be vanquished."

We have as our guest this evening a member of the Board of Lectureship, qualified through long experience to bring you good tidings. It gives me great pleasure therefore to present to you, Judge Frederick C. Hill of Clinton, Illinois, who will now address you."

The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: The Revelation of Man's Inalienable Rights." Judge Hill spoke substantially as follows:

 

There is a substantial conviction in the thoughts of normal individuals that it is right to be healthy and to be happy; and human endeavor is very largely directed toward the attainment of these desirable ends.

The basic foundation upon which government rests, is the fact that mankind is endowed with the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These fundamentals have been designated and named, "Man's Inalienable Rights"; and civil law has decreed that the enjoyment of these rights shall not be limited, abridged, nor denied, without "due process of law."

A survey of the conditions surrounding mankind will disclose the fact that many individuals are sick and unhappy; others are struggling with poverty and lack; large numbers are not enjoying liberty of mind nor body. It will be discovered that great masses are not successfully engaged in the pursuit of happiness. The amazing fact is the discovery that these individuals have not been deprived of their natural, sacred rights through "due process of law." These distressing penalties are self-imposed through erroneous thinking; and they have utterly failed to discover that obedience to the fundamental order of right thinking will establish and insure the enjoyment of these rights.

 

An Illustration

No doubt it has been observed that many people are continually looking for and expecting to find the unpleasant things in human experience. Being accustomed to finding these conditions, the obstacles seem apparently insurmountable, and these individuals conclude that there is no available remedy, hence they endure them. Some months ago I was a passenger on a railway train enroute to a large city. As we approached the terminal station the train very suddenly and unexpectedly stopped. Upon investigation it was discovered that a large truck was disabled directly in front of our train and was standing across the track. After some little time the passengers alighted from the train and began to examine the truck. The majority of them formulated opinions as to the best method to be employed in its removal; and they were quite willing to give these opinions and their advice to those engaged in the task of its removal. After all the time spent in examining the truck, and discussing the methods of removal, you may be assured that the obstacle was still there. At this time a little newsboy with a large bundle of evening papers appeared. As he approached the truck one of the men observing his interest in it said: "Well, I suppose you can tell us just how to remove this truck." He smiled, and at once replied, "Let me think a minute. May be I can tell you how to move it." The man looked at him in amazement and replied: "Think. What does your thinking have to do with removing that big truck?" The little newsboy had observed that the motor within the truck was silent. He turned his attention away from the obstacle and began to look about. While thus engaged he discovered a large switch engine on an adjacent track about three hundred yards away. In an instant he exclaimed: "Yes, I can tell you how to move it. Back that big engine up to the rear of the truck and hook on those two big chains, and she will pull the truck out of your way in a jiffy." His recommendation was adopted; the engine and chains were attached to the truck, and in ten minutes we were on our way into the terminal station.

The engine was there. It had been there all the time. Not one individual had looked away from the truck; and consequently no one had discovered the remedy at hand. Did the thinking of that little newsboy have any thing to do with the removal of the truck? Had it not been for the thinking of some individual the truck would have been on the track at this very moment, Hence, there is but one reply, - the thinking of that little boy was the prime factor in removing that obstacle.

There are many distressing human experiences impeding progress and preventing the enjoyment of man's natural rights, just as the truck impeded the normal progress of the train into the terminal station. Just as the truck could be removed through right thinking, so it has been discovered that all through the ages there has been, and now is, an efficient and effectual remedy for every human need. To this age, that remedy has been restored and presented through the revelation of Christian Science as the unfoldment of the basic laws of life, liberty and happiness.

 

The Bible - The Textbook

I am quite sure it will be agreed that if Christian Science is a revelation, then, of necessity, it must have its foundation grounded and established in Bible authority. Hence, as a requisite to the understanding and practice of Christian Science, it must be recognized and accepted that its teaching's are based fundamentally upon the Bible; and that the King James Version of the New and of the Old Testaments is recognized and used in all Christian Science services. Through the study of this version of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy received her inspired revelation. She gave to the world her discovery, and founded and established the Christian Science movement.

There are many intelligent people who have never investigated the subject of Christian Science; and at times one hears this expression: "Christian Scientists talk a great deal about a Discoverer and Founder. Who is that Discoverer? What was discovered? What was founded?"

The answer to all of these queries is simple. An intelligent, devout, Christian woman, Mary Baker Eddy, is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Early in childhood she became deeply religious and was an efficient and progressive student of the Bible. Through an earnest study and research of the Scriptures she proved that perfect trust and confidence in God's laws are followed by fixed and absolute results. She furthermore proved that God governs His universe, including man, through infinite intelligence; and that infinite intelligence constitutes and embraces absolute law. She likewise proved that absolute law is immutable, (unchangeable), and that it can be understood and intelligently applied; and when understood and accordingly applied, absolute law sets aside and nullifies the false beliefs oft designated and termed, "natural" or "human" law.

During her investigation and research, an injury caused by an accident led her to apply these absolute, immutable laws to her then apparently helpless condition; and through her understanding and the intelligent application of these laws she was healed. Through this experience she had proved for herself that God's laws are immutable, available and operative. She discovered the "Divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love," (Science and Health, p, 107) and she named that discovery Christian Science.

After her discovery and healing she wrote and published a book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and designated this book the "Christian Science Text Book." Many people believe that Christian Scientists regard this book as the Bible, and that they substitute it for the Bible. This belief is unfounded and untrue. The Christian Science textbook is not the Bible nor a substitute for it. It is merely that which its name implies: A "Key," a spiritual interpretation of God's unchangeable laws set forth in the Bible.

In due time this New England Woman established a church; - "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts"; and throughout the world there have been established many legitimate and authorized branches of this church.

Christian Scientists love this Christian woman and they are deeply grateful for the years of loyal devotion given by her in establishing this cause. As a testimony of their loyalty, devotion and gratitude, they are striving to preserve, protect, and make available, her discovery. They are striving to apply it to the needs of humanity. And they are earnestly striving to live up to her high standard of a genuine Christian Scientist thus defined: - "Christian Scientists abide by the laws of God and the laws of the land; and, following the command of the Master, they go into all the world, preaching the gospel and healing the sick." (Miscellany, p. 128) "Moreover, they love their enemies, even those that hate them. This we all must do to be Christian Scientists in spirit and in truth," (Pulpit and Press, p. 21.)

 

Christian Healing - Its Authority

In the investigation of Christian Science it will be discovered that its mission is not merely to relieve physical discomfort and heal disease, but that its ultimate purpose is the elimination and destruction, (forgiveness), of all sin.

Some of our religious friends have raised the objection that we make entirely too much out of the healing element.

We frankly admit that we make a great deal out of the healing element. However, it should be clearly understood that we are not establishing a monopoly nor seeking to limit or confine the practice of Christian healing within the ranks of one single religious denomination. The field is a large one, and we are content to let Christian Science be judged by the joy, happiness, and intrinsic good that it brings into human experience through the healing of the sick and the reforming of the sinner.

The element of Christian healing seems to have been very largely eliminated from the thoughts of Christian people generally, and consequently has gradually disappeared as an essential, vital activity of the Christian churches of today.

To, "Reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing," (Manual, p. 17) was the prime motive in the establishment of the Christian Science movement by Mary Baker Eddy.

Some time ago, a friendly physician said some very kind and helpful things regarding his observation of this movement and its mission. He related the circumstances of a visit to a distant city; and of his attendance at a Sunday morning service in one of the Christian Science churches of that city. He frankly admitted a deep interest and enjoyment in the services, and said that it bore evidences of a genuine, consecrated Christian service. He then said, "However, I want to give your people just a little free advice. You confine your efforts to preaching the gospel; keep your hands entirely off that healing element. Leave that part to the physician and surgeon; he will attend to that and it will relieve you of a vast amount of responsibility."

The comments of this physician were made after due reflection and were expressions of his good faith. We deeply appreciate the recognition that our services have a place in the work of evangelizing the world, and the frank admission that they are Christian in character. It is plain to be seen that he entertained a very limited vision of the mission of the Christian religion; and that he had made the common mistake made by many good Christian people. His assertions would indicate that the entire mission of the Christian religion was, as he put it, "'preaching the gospel." His understanding of that assertion might be described as the taking of a text from the Bible and proclaiming from some public place a theological discourse or oration on that text. That was the full meaning of his understanding of "preaching the gospel." Now, many people entertain the same limited understanding. This narrow vision of the mission of the Christian religion will be gloriously illuminated by reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; also the Acts of the Apostles.

A systematic study of the Bible will reveal that Jesus and his disciples devoted very little time to that kind of preaching. It will become apparent to the thoughtful student that the major portion of their ministry was devoted to the healing of the sick; establishing comfort and good cheer among those who were sorrowful and distressed; and furthermore, to uplifting the sinner and restoring the dead to life.

It will be observed that Christ Jesus left a positive command or commission to be observed by his disciples, (students) and followers; He said. "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15.) And again: "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven, is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matthew 10:7-8)

It is universally recognized that every positive fact is based and founded upon an absolute principle. Jesus announced a positive fact when he said: "And these signs shall follow." (Mark 16:17.) The sick shall be healed, the deaf shall hear, the blind shall see, the lame shall walk, and devils or demons shall be cast out. Why these signs? These signs enumerated by him as recorded in the gospels are the absolute and affirmative evidence that the gospel preached and practiced by him is established and grounded upon divine Principle. Hence, when understood and intelligently applied that principle is evidenced through the operation of immutable (unchangeable) law.

 

Christian Science Healing - Foundation

At this time our attention should be directed to the basis or foundation upon which Christian Science healing rests. I submit the following statement of fact from the chapter on "Prayer," the first chapter in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, - a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." (S&H p. 1:1-4).

Accepting the facts herein stated as a foundation there is but one conclusion; viz., Christian Science healing is based upon divine Principle. It is the evidence of immutable law. Hence, the "signs following."

It would be quite reasonable to assume that some individuals will take issue with the statement of fact heretofore made; and that they will conclude that such statement is not supported by daily observation and experience. In support of the issue thus raised they may cite as evidence that some Christian Scientists are sick; others are struggling with sorrow, poverty and adverse conditions. They may point to some who have made failures in business transactions, and to instances of those who have passed through the human experience of death. The issue very promptly raises these questions: - "Why these conditions? Why have these individuals not been healed?"

In replying to the queries it would seem quite sufficient merely to call attention to the fact that we have not asserted that all human discord, embracing sin, sickness, poverty, failures, and death have been eliminated from human consciousness nor from human experience. Furthermore it is not asserted nor claimed by enlightened Christian Scientists that at this time we have scaled the heights of proof and demonstration that exclude all of the evidences of failure. The principle remains just the same. These evidences of failure do not in the least change nor affect the principle; they do not in the least nullify the operation of the law of healing. These evidences are affirmative proof that in some way the rinciple has not been completely understood, and consequently the immutable laws of good have not been fully and completely applied.

 

Amplification

At this time let me present an experience amplifying the point under consideration. Some years ago a problem in advanced algebra was submitted for solution. It appeared quite simple and in due time the necessary steps were taken to solve it. There was a firm conviction that a final result would be reached in a short time. But after several hours of hard labor the problem remained unsolved. The hours accumulated into days, weeks and months. After more than four months of hard, earnest work the problem was unsolved.†† Apparently every rule and mathematical law had been applied. The conclusion was reached that this problem would not yield to the usual mathematical procedure and could not be solved. It was proposed to enter this conclusion at the foot of the manuscript containing the evidence of the four months labor and submit all as the best proof in justification of the conclusion reached.

However, before taking that step, and upon reflection it was discovered that every remedy had not been exhausted. A systematic and orderly review of the steps and stages necessary to its solution had not been made. This was an arduous and laborious task, but as there seemed no other course to follow, in due time it was done.

This review revealed the fact that early in the solution in attempting to apply a very simple mathematical law the statement was made, five times naught equals five. There was the cause of the failure. Five times naught was not five. It never was five: and it never will be five. Naught is the sign or symbol representing nothing; and I submit this fact: - "Five times nothing is nothing." That fact can never be changed.

The success in solving that problem was dependent upon knowing the mathematical principle involved and strict obedience to it. Obedience was paramount; and without it all efforts were futile and resulted in failure. There was nothing wrong with the mathematical principle. It was full and complete. It was operative; and as a fact, remains for every one to know, understand and apply. There was nothing wrong with the principle nor with the operation of its law. The failure was due to the erroneous conclusion that "nothing" could have a value, and to the assignment of a value to it. Through the failure to observe and follow the mathematical principle a self-imposed penalty of working four months erroneously had been experienced.

The remedy was simple. It was the mental correction of that erroneous conclusion that five times nothing equals five, and substituting the fact that five times nothing equals nothing. The instant that mental correction was made, the foundation had been established for the correct and effective operation of the mathematical law, and in thirty minutes thereafter the problem was solved correctly, and it was a closed incident.

 

Divine Principle

An intelligent reading of the gospels mentioned previously will disclose the irrefutable fact that nineteen centuries ago, Christ Jesus and his disciples healed the sick, forgave sin, and raised the dead. These acts were performed through the knowledge of that which was true. I submit this fact: That which was true nineteen centuries ago is true today. It has not changed in the least; and it will never change. Why? Because that truth known and practiced by Jesus and his followers is based upon divine Principle. It remains for all mankind to know and to practice; and obedience to Principle will exemplify in human experiences the truth of Jesus' saying: - "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

It is well to remember that, often, ignorantly and unconsciously, the human mind assigns to "nothing" a value. It believes that there is some reality in sin, sickness and death. It draws conclusions that evil is a cause and a creator; and that there is some realm or dominion over which evil is the supreme, constituted authority. These conclusions are erroneous; they are not true. Evil is not sustained nor supported by any principle, hence, it is untrue. It is no thing, hence, it is nothing. It has no value. It is "naught."

There may be many who have been earnestly striving for many months or years to experience healing. Doubt and discouragement may assail such ones; and failure may seem impending. Jesus' words, "the truth shall make you free," is the expression of a fact applicable in the twentieth century to every human need. The orderly review of the essential steps in the mathematical illustration was necessary to a final solution of that problem. In solving the perplexing problems incident to human existence it is wise to make a careful review of our progress. Such a course, at times, may seem laborious and distasteful; it will reveal the irrefutable fact that obedience to Principle is the essential requisite in Christian healing.

The immutable law of healing is being intelligently applied when the student of Christian Science is heeding the advice of the Discoverer and Founder: - "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." (Science and Health, p. 261)

 

Nature of God - Kingdom of Heaven

In the enjoyment of man's inalienable rights there is normally included the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Christian Science is a continuous, conscientious and intelligent effort to know, to understand and to obey the true God. Hence, Christian Science is worship. It is a constant endeavor to visualize the kingdom of heaven.

There has long been a common and an accepted belief that God is a magnified man. He is sometimes represented as an ancient patriarch; and His kingdom is regarded as a material place or habitation protected by massive walls and golden gates, signifying that it is necessary to pass through the experience of death before entering His presence or His kingdom. Christian Scientists do not accept this material belief regarding God or His kingdom. Christian Science teaches that God is infinite, divine "Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love." (Science and Health, p. 465)

It is not our purpose to enter into a lengthy discussion of the nature and character of God. An honest reading and study of the Christian Science textbook before mentioned will prove illuminating and inspiring to any one seeking a clearer vision of God. Let us briefly consider God from the viewpoint of Mind.

 

God Is Mind - Man Is Image

When it is understood that God is infinite, divine Mind, it will become plainly apparent that, as such, He is the author and the source of intelligence, law, and order. Therefore His creation must express His attributes. He must be sought and found through the avenue of Mind and not in matter.

The Scriptural account of man's creation is that he was brought forth in the image and likeness of God. As God is Mind, and man His image and likeness, the real man, of necessity must be a mental, a thinking or a spiritual man; and not a material, structural man of bones and tissue. The Bible affirms that man lives and has his being in God. Hence, if God is infinite Mind, and man has his being in God, it must follow as a necessary conclusion that man exists as idea in Mind; and that he can and does express the attributes of that Mind. This fact accounts for man's ability to think and to perform mental action. The table, pedestal or desk does not think. Why? The basic nature of these is material and structural. They do not think; they merely evidence the attributes of matter. Man, however, can and does think. He reflects the infinite activities of Mind. This fact is affirmative evidence that as God is Mind, so the real man is mental: - His image and likeness.

 

The Carnal Mind

As there is a growing tendency toward the conclusion that the human mind is an expression or evidence of God, so it is quite necessary that the student of Christian Science should clearly distinguish between the carnal mind, and the infinite, divine Mind, - God. Paul has made the distinction quite clear. In his epistle to the Romans he says: "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject unto the law of God neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7) This declaration excludes any possible relationship between God and the "carnal" mind. Again he said: "Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

There are many persons who believe that the entire activity of the Christian Science movement is to heal a sick or a deformed human body.

Such a belief is farthest from the fact. The real mission of Christian Science is to bring about the transformation of the carnal mind. And Christian Science practitioners and students can be successful in promoting Christian healing only as they adhere strictly to St. Paul's injunction. As they are successful in this transformation, healing of bodily infirmities follows in the natural order of events. It must be plainly apparent that the kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of Mind; and that we enter and enjoy this kingdom through transforming and healing the erroneous beliefs of the carnal mind.

 

Nature of Prayer

In our premise, we assumed that it is natural and normal for mankind to enjoy life, liberty and happiness. We have just observed that there is much yet to do before the full and complete redemption of mankind will become a vital reality. There must, therefore, be some rational and available means whereby this full and complete redemption shall be experienced. Sincere prayer is the way.

It is needful and helpful to understand that Christian Scientists pray. The old belief that they are a "prayerless" class of people is not founded upon facts. They pray earnestly, continually and understandingly; and their prayers are rich blessings and advantages to suffering humanity. Their understanding of the nature and function of prayer may differ from the opinions entertained by other Christian people. They do not believe that prayer is a pronouncement of words, nor the repetition of a formula; neither, do they believe that it is necessary to petition God to change His plan or purpose. They know that God is the author of perfection and completeness; that His work is done and is perfect and complete. They understand that it is the function of mankind to know and to understand this perfection, hence, to the Christian Scientist prayer is not a saying, it is a knowing and a doing. A very simple and helpful definition of prayer is thus stated: "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer." (Science and Health, p. 4)

The question may arise, "How dues this understanding of prayer bring healing to a sick individual?" The answer is simple. As the "habitual struggle to be always good" is born in human consciousness, and as that individual struggles to know, to be and to do only that which is his highest understanding of good, there comes the time, when, as Paul says,

the carnal mind is "transformed." And as this transformation progresses step by step, it is expressed in a reformed, a healed condition of the human body; for the human body is the creature, the product of the carnal mind. The diseased conditions expressed on the human body are the evidences of the diseased beliefs of the carnal mind. These diseased conditions are healed through the transformation of these carnal beliefs. And these healings are the evidence that Mind, Spirit, is supreme over matter.

 

Conclusion

The facts, the logic and the arguments advanced may not be accepted by all. Some may ask: "Do you believe that erroneous thinking produces disease, and that right thinking heals?" There is no room for doubt nor argument. The fact remains as stated. Through the process of right thinking, hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands of reputable people from every country of the civilized world are gladly testifying to the healing of the body through the transformation and regeneration as taught and applied in Christian Science.

The real purpose of this lecture is to emphasize the fact that God is; and that man lives and has his being through the intelligent operation of law and order.

In concluding I leave with you this absolute fact; the sum total of all that I have said: "Obedience to law is liberty." Its application is simple. In proportion as every individual habitually struggles to know and to understand God and to be obedient to His laws, that struggle and that obedience will bring into human experience the highest degree of human liberty. It will heal the sick and will reform the sinner. It will promote a full understanding of man's inalienable rights and enable every one who will follow obediently to enjoy the highest degree of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It will bring into human consciousness, as a vital living reality, the kingdom of heaven, so profoundly expressed in the following poem:

 

City of God

There came to me once as I pondered,

A vision of beauty and light;

I saw with the eye of the spirit

The city that has no night.

 

There sorrow and sin do not enter,

But only reflections of love;

All darkness and shadows are banished,

For God is the light thereof.

 

It is not a place in the distance

One must pass through death to win,

But a state of harmonious being -

"The Kingdom of heaven within.

 

There earth with its cares and confusions

Is seen to have passed away;

While Spirit omnipotent reigneth,

In everlasting day."'

(Sentinel, Vol. 22, p. 809)

 

[From a Chicago area newspaper clipping, location and date unknown.]

 

 

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