Christian Science: The Unfolding of Divine Law and Order

 

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

 

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, lectured last Sunday afternoon in the Irvington Masonic Temple, Johnson Avenue and East Washington street on "Christian Science: The Unfolding of Divine Law and Order." The lecture was given under the auspices of Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Mrs. Anna E. Kealing introduced the speaker. He spoke in substance as follows:

 

There is one primal cause. The nature and character of primal cause must be understood before an intelligent understanding of Christian Science can be gained. It may be defined as the highest degree of supreme, constituted authority which produces or contributes to definite and fixed results. This supreme authority is God, defined in Christian Science as divine Principle. It operates in accordance with immutable law, order and justice, and produces harmony.

The planetary and stellar systems illustrate the harmony which attends the operation of law. The Psalmist said: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork."

This divine Principle, God, or supreme authority operating through the human heart's natural desire for good, even when not clearly understood, establishes orderly procedure among peoples and nations and impels obedience to its demands.

It will be agreed that the majority of thinking people willingly and cheerfully submit to restraints and limitations of human experience in order that equal privileges may be secured to all.  This submission guarantees the enjoyment of life, liberty and happiness and is the very essence of good government. There is a minority, however, who refuse to conform to the established course of orderly procedure. They become defiant of law and order and for a time may seem to succeed in their lawlessness. Their enmity and their defiance of constituted authority is rebellion. In due time they pay the penalty prescribed by law for disobedience.

There is an incident in the history of one of the states in the United States of America illustrating the fact just stated.

Eleven individuals organized themselves into a body described as "a gang." They assumed: "We are the law." They recognized no constituted authority other than a deluded sense of their own power. At this time every member of that gang has paid, or is now paying the penalty prescribed for their delusion. They have been awakened from their dream of power and authority in evil and in self.

This is an extreme instance. It serves the purpose, however, of calling attention to the fact that there are many other individuals who entertain delusions just as serious. They too must awake from their delusions. They must recognize that God, divine Principle, is supreme authority; and they must render full obedience to His immutable laws before happiness and success can be achieved.

 

Source of Law

It is a significant fact that most all writers and commentors on law and legal procedure revert to the divine law as revealed in the scripture to discover the foundation for the civil and common laws of our times.

In a series of lectures written in 1765, Sir William Blackstone, an eminent writer and authority on law and procedure said: "The Creator has expressed Himself through the eternal immutable laws of good - to which the Creator Himself, in all His dispensations, conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover." "God is a creator of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; and man, his creature, should want no other prompter to inquire after and pursue the rule of right." "For he has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter, (happiness) can not be attained but by observing the former, (justice); and, if the former, (justice), be punctually obeyed it can not but induce the latter," (happiness). This eminent authority states very clearly in his writings that God's laws are made known to man through revelation and discovery, furthermore, that divine laws are full and complete in themselves, and sufficient, when discovered, to ensure man's complete happiness so long as he will, "pursue the rule of right."

 

Christian Science Divine Authority

In the light of the statements just quoted, it must be admitted that mankind is not the author or creator of basic, fundamental law. It is our duty to discover basic law and to translate its divine precepts into human forms and expressions so that it can be intelligently applied and thereby insure our inalienable right to enjoy happiness and success.

It is indeed quite imperative to clearly discern the nature of absolute law. And it will prove helpful to understand that there is a clear and a definite distinction between basic law, which expresses God's good government; and human codes, as well as the so-called mortal laws, which are supposed to produce human disease, discords and disaster.

In the consideration of Christian Science as unfolding divine law and order, it is reasonable to assume that the experiences of one individual is the more or less common experience of us all. Most of us have been perplexed and puzzled over the same questions and have stumbled over the same blocks.

Intelligence and good judgment demands authoritative information regarding any subject before forming opinions and conclusions. It will be in keeping with the demands of common sense and good taste for us to derive our information from unimpeachable sources where facts supplant opinions and distorted beliefs. Where may authoritative information regarding Christian Science be obtained?

That Mary Baker Eddy is the discoverer and founder of Christian Science is now generally accepted and conceded. Her teachings on that subject are contained in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and in her other published writings.

From time to time, well worn contentions of the past are revived relating to her discovery, her writings and the religious movement which she founded.

Substantially all of these issues have been settled in her favor by judicial decrees and accepted by common consent of most thinking people. Those who knew her and others who have studied and examined her writings testify to the genuineness of her claims. Perhaps no one has contributed more credible testimony in defense of her writings, than one, Dr. Lyman Pierson Powell, of New York City, who is not a Christian Scientist, but who is an author, a lecturer, and a former president of Hobart College wrote: "Christian Science as it is today is really its founder's creation. Where she got this idea, or where that, little matters. As a whole the system described in Science and Health is hers, and nothing that can ever happen will make it less than hers.''

There is ample reason and legitimate authority for us resorting to her writings in determining every controverted issue regarding this science.

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she says: "In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science" (Page 107).

Furthermore: In her book, "Rudimental Divine Science," she asks this question: "How would you define Christian Science?" She then answers the question thus: "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony" (Page 1.) 

Let me now call attention to this fact. Her declarations and definitions are squarely in line with statements of facts and conclusions so ably set forth in 1765 by the eminent Sir William Blackstone who wrote his commentaries on the laws of England one hundred years before Mrs. Eddy made her discovery of the "divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love." Their statements and logic agree in substance and in fact. They agree that the basic law is divine; God's law. They further agree that God's divine law is revealed through the scriptures and must be discovered therein; and they are in exact accord that divine law is sufficient under all circumstances and conditions to meet the human needs of mankind.   The learned Blackstone confined his investigations and writings to civil laws of men and nations, whereas, Mrs. Eddy, through her writings, has applied divine laws from a spiritual, or metaphysical basis unfolding the divine plan of perfection and harmony in all things.

 

The Creator. The Creation.

There must be an application of the fact that creation, as God's idea, is continually appearing, before Christian Science can be thoroughly understood as the immutable, divine laws of God. When so apprehended perfection and harmony will be observed as inseparably interwoven in every part thereof.

The scriptural account of creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis reveals a spiritual unfoldment, and closes with the signal and significant statement: "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold it was very good." (Genesis 1:31) Herein the basic truth is stated clearly and distinctly: That God made all, and made it very good. Since He made everything "very good," so it follows that "good" is the essence of every creative act because God is good. Hence, that which is not good was not created. And, as creation is finished, it follows that that which is not good never can be created. This vision of God's creation will appear to the earnest thinking and it will dispel the fear and mystification due to a material sense of things. In the fullness of time St. John's statement will become fully apparent: "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. "  (John 1:3.)

The glorious spiritual facts of creation are provable to the sincere and earnest follower of Christian Science.

 

The Modus

Can divine law be understood and applied? The answer is positive and direct, "Yes."  Its application is proven by individual demonstration. A few observations may serve as helpful way-marks to indicate the modus in the right direction.

God's completeness must be assumed and acknowledged as the standard of perfection at all times. He must be understood as divine Mind, or Spirit and must be regarded as the source of all that really exists. This recognition of God will liberate and will enlarge the individual's capacity to understand and express Mind.  The individual is thinking rightly to the extent that he holds his thoughts in line with the divine order. This right mental action is affirmative proof that the spiritual man is unfolding as the image of good in his consciousness.

I suspect that from the earliest dawn of time all mortals have been concerned and confused regarding the advent of sin and disease in the experiences of mankind. By applying the scriptural account in Genesis to this state of mind, the confusion should be dispelled. For we certainly will all agree that sin and disease are not states or stages of good; and not being "good," were never created. But how are they to be accounted for? The wisdom of Solomon has given us a rational key to the solution. He said: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7.)

There is an accepted rule, that like produces like. Now Solomon's statement will justify the conclusion that in the absence of restraining influences, sinful thoughts will result in overt sinful acts. His saying also established the fact that the material body of the man is not the offender, the culprit. The body is only the convenient avenue or channel for expressing the behests of the sinful and depraved mortal mind. Mortal mind is always the offender that deserves punishment.  A significant fact, worthy of our note at this time is, that our courts of justice meet out punishment to offenders only after the proof has shown affirmatively that a defendant has first formed a well defined intention to do wrong and has thereafter acted upon that intention.

 

An Illustration

An illustration at this point will help to fix the force of the argument that the material body of a man is the avenue or channel, and is not the culprit.

An efficient young boy, a page in a banking institution, was left in charge of a large sum of money. Assuring himself that no one was near him, and that the avenues of escape were favorably open, he advanced to the center of the cage, put forth his hand, and was in the act of taking a package of bank bills, when in a firm and decisive voice he affirmed: "I am not a thief." There was no action of protest from his body and without delay his hand was withdrawn and his arm assumed its normal position. That circumstance affords convincing proof that the mental action holds absolute control over the body. You may ask: "Was this young boy a Christian Scientist?" No. He had never heard of Christian Science. He did, however, hear "that still small voice" which told him he was honest. Furthermore, in the face of that temptation he was prompted to put into operation a well known Christian Science practice. He denied and reversed the error, (temptation), and affirmed and applied the truth, (that he was not a thief). Will it be assumed by any thinking person that when tempted to become what he was not, divine law did not intervene? The divine law of ever present good was operating then and there and it healed that young boy instantly from the dreadful disease of believing he was a thief. This instance serves to establish the fact that the basic nature of man is good.

 

Another Instance

The argument may be advanced that the young boy in the former narrative was not a Christian Scientist and that the incident proves nothing and is valueless. The contrary is the truth. It furnishes abundant proof in support of the Christian Science teaching that God's laws unfold the basic nature of His ideas. This unfolding constitutes healing and has come to many who have never heard of Christian Science as an organized religious activity. It furnishes further proof that the divine Principle operates independent of person, time or place.

Now let us consider another instance of one who did make a direct appeal to Christian Science, and who likewise was healed.

In 1911, as a part of a judicial duty, it became necessary for me to enter an order which in effect vacated and set aside a parole which had been granted to a young man, thereby sending him back to prison.

As a part of the formal procedure, he was asked: "Have you anything to say why this order should not be entered." His reply was, "No. I am a criminal and expect to remain one." I was impelled by the circumstances and surroundings to reply. "Sometime you may learn that you are not a criminal; and, 'that stone walls do not a prison make'." There was a moment of silence and reflection. He replied: "Write that down for me." The writing was made and with the slip of paper he went his way to prison.

The criminal career of that man was extensive. He served his sentence and was discharged. Thirteen years later I met him in a distant state. He was in another prison but he was no longer a criminal. He had been healed while in prison. Upon our meeting there was a new light in his eyes and with an exhibition of real gratitude and joy he drew forth from his prison garb the worn and mutilated paper given him in 1911, and also an army edition of the Christian Science Text Book by Mrs. Eddy, "This," said he, exhibiting the paper, "started me right." "And this," holding up the book, "did the rest. It showed me the way." He had been healed from the disease of being a criminal through reading the Christian Science Text Book. This man served his sentence and in the fullness of time was discharged from within the prison walls. The important release, however, was his liberation from the mental prison which had held him so long to the belief that he was a criminal. He is becoming a good and respected citizen, and is earnestly striving to reflect the attributes of a good man, God's man. "The laws of God, the laws of good," (Rudimental Divine Science) were operative in that material prison of stone and steel and liberated that man in mind and body.

Now compare the two instances. The circumstances are quite different. One was tempted to become a criminal and the other was sure he was one. The divine Principle, however, healed both and brought to them freedom and liberty through the unfolding of divine law and order.

 

Unwholesome Influences

The same application of Christian Science will assure freedom and liberty to the one who is sick as well as to the one who is in prison. In fact the individual who is sick is imprisoned and held by sick beliefs, and needs to be liberated. Sickness and disease are manifestations of sick or diseased thinking on the part of some one. Of course we do not want to be understood as saying that the sick one has deliberately been guilty of unwholesome thoughts. He may have been off his guard and may have been agreeing to the erroneous predictions and conclusions of others, thereby becoming an innocent victim of wrong thinking.

Let us consider a press dispatch from London which was published quite extensively in October, 1927. This dispatch appeared in substantially all of the large papers throughout the United States and Canada. It is as follows: "London. A return of the influenza wave which swept over England and other parts of Europe is prophesied for next year. The London county council predicts that there will be an epidemic next April, (1928), the maximum being reached in the thirteenth week of the year."

I am sure that you will all know that the proponents of this prediction were not Christian Scientists. If the members of the council had been Christian Scientists no prediction of the character would have been made.

It is charitable to assume that the proponents had no knowledge of the disastrous results following such a broadcast. But what about the prediction? The epidemic came as predicted. It came on schedule time; and it reached its maximum in the early part of April, 1928. In due time it disappeared as mysteriously as it came and left the usual toll of sorrow and tragedy in its wake. Why such results? The very word "influenza" strikes fear into the thoughts of thousands. This state of fear coupled with false belief superinduced and caused the epidemic.

A great mistake is made by assuming that thinking has little or nothing to do with producing results. The opposite is the truth. When human thought is sustained by right motives and guided into spiritual lines of thinking, thus reflecting divine Mind, Spirit, harmony is the inevitable result. Spiritual thinking is evidenced in better general conditions, and increased health and happiness are sure results.

It is gratifying to note that since the advent of Christian Science as an organized religious movement there is coming to the front a greater recognition of real values and a more persistent demand for right thinking. It is encouraging when such men as Dr. Stewart Paton, M.D., of New York City, will even hint at the value of right thinking in combating disease. I submit a paragraph from a lecture, as reported, delivered by him in Princeton University. He said: "The campaign to find out more about our minds and to apply the knowledge we already have is the only rational basis from which the fight against physical disease can be conducted successfully.  The fight against physical disease would have been far more effective had the members of the medical profession devoted more time and attention to the cultivation of the art of forming good mental habits and observing the essentials of clear thinking."

"Peace, prosperity and the progress of civilization are literally waiting for the physician to recognize not only that the sound body is essential for the sound mind but that to know and understand the organization of mind is the first step toward the securing a really sound body." (Reported in Harper's Magazine, January, 1924, page 165.)

I am sure all will agree that these sentiments are noble and inspiring and are evidence that divine law and order is unfolding in human consciousness. Another tangible evidence of this unfolding is found in the fact that within the past year war has been outlawed and abolished among nations through legal procedure and peace, prosperity and progress of civilization enhanced thereby through right thinking. This progress is the evidence that the "laws of God, the laws of good," are operating continually and drawing humanity up to higher levels of thought and action.

 

The Mental Model

In the consideration of one's occupation it will be noted that it consists very largely of constructing models or drawing pictures. The artist holds our attention fixed to the picture which he has produced with canvas, brush and paint. The canvas and the coloring are merely the mirror reflecting the picture. The picture is the mental image within the consciousness of the artist which is never seen by means of material vision.

Let us construct a mental picture of the railway locomotive of 1829. It looks crude, queer and freakish and strangely out of place beside the giant super-mogul, or beside the giant electric locomotive of today that whirls you over the mountain ranges at sixty miles an hour.  These mechanical devices represent the mental progress and development achieved during the last one hundred years. They express ideas in operation. These ideas are continually coming forth and expressing higher degrees of development and efficiency. They are destroying the beliefs of limitation, time and space. The mechanical device is the mental model expressed.  It comes forth through thought and it reaches no higher state of perfection than the standard of the mental model.

In the Christian Science Text Book, Mrs. Eddy has stressed this point. She says: "We are all sculptors working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your lifework, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models."

"To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives." (Science and Health, page 248.)

 

God's Law Applied in Business

Right thinking produces good models. These are essential for success in any business undertaking. No business can prosper or be a success unless the accomplishment of good is the ultimate aim.

The question is often asked: "Can a man take God into his business?" The question as asked often assumes a doubtful attitude on the part of the questioner and many times is accompanied by open denial. It is safe to assert the following as a sound rule: "If God is not reflected in a man's business, that business is not good business, since all goodness is the expression of God."

Have you ever considered just how much of your business is your own? Is your business a good one? If it measures up to the standard of perfection of good business, right thinking has made it such. Man is not the originator of mind nor action. God is divine Mind. Good business is right activity which reflects God, divine Mind. If these facts are apprehended it will completely solve the erroneous belief of competition.

There seems to be a well defined-belief in the commercial world that two individuals engaged in the same business venture and operating within range of each other are competitors. Their activities often engender envy and strife. These conditions are primarily due to the fact that the term "competitor" has been applied to a person as a rival. From the true standpoint of right business good ideas cannot be opposed one to the other. One cannot think of God's ideas opposing each other. Envy, strife and violence are not embraced within His nature and cannot be expressed by His children.

Now if good business is right activity which reflects God, divine Mind, and if it is man's business to rightly express divine action, then it follows as a necessary conclusion that instead of being competitors in the same business, all are co-operators in that business. Competition in business is not expressed by two individuals selling the same wares to the same customers. Competition is expressed in the changed conditions and demands of today over those of yesterday. The good businessman recognizes that tomorrow will make newer, higher and greater demands for efficient service than those of today and he will be ready to render efficient service. The real competitor is the law of progress, which demands the meeting and cooperation with the shifting and changing conditions of our times. A magazine writer has stated the point clearly as follows: "Longfellow's sturdy blacksmith hero probably kept a watchful eye on the other blacksmith down the road - his competitor. Competitor did you say? The real competitor was the automobile that put them both out of business."

Fifteen years ago in one of our large cities were two highly organized business enterprises each engaged in the manufacture of rival brands of intoxicating liquors. The volume of their business was very largely estimated and measured by the density and profusion of smoke arising from the tall stacks of the respective plants. They said to the public: "We are competitors." Today the plants are closed. No smoke issues from the tall stacks. Their output is "nil." The unfolding of higher and better ideals has found expression in the Eighteenth Amendment to the federal constitution of the United States. The purification of human thinking, the resulting higher ideals; in fact, the sovereign will and demand of the people is the competitor that closed these and other similar institutions.

What part, if any, has Christian Science in promoting "good business?" The answer to this question is found in the experience of thousands who are applying their understanding of the divine Principle of Christian Science in meeting the demands of competition as herein defined.

As the divine Principle of Christian Science heals sick bodies, transforms sinful mortals and promotes the general welfare and prosperity of humanity, so the same divine Principle heals the unwholesome beliefs of greed, dishonesty, uncertainty and apparent failure in business.

Some years ago a merchant noted a lessening in his commercial trade. It became very pronounced.  His trade decreased until his resources were affected and his credit became badly impaired. In due time he was forced to make an assignment for the benefit of his creditors. He was forced to relinquish and abandon his business. After some time through disappointment and discouragement, he began to use strong drink. He abandoned his wife and daughter and became a drunken wanderer.

Six years ago while seeking shelter from the storm and cold of a winter's afternoon, this man followed along with others into a lecture hall where a Christian Science lecture was being given. Under the influence of liquor he was soon asleep. During the course of the lecture the speaker held up a copy of the Christian Science Text Book, by Mrs. Eddy, and said: "The reading of this book has healed thousands of individuals and it will heal you." This man, apparently in a drunken stupor, heard those words. He awoke sober and inquired where he could get, "that book." He borrowed a copy from the local Christian Science Reading room, and read it many times. The results of that experience have been far reaching.

The drink of liquor taken by him on that Sunday afternoon before entering the lecture hall was the last one. He was healed of the disease known as drunkenness in that lecture, and since that time he has been an earnest and sincere student of Christian Science. He regained his former standing as a good man in the community. He regained and re-established his business. He is reunited with his wife and daughter and enjoys a happy home and a good business.

This incident with many others of like nature furnish a complete answer to the question: "What part, if any, has Christian Science in promoting good business'?"

 

Transformation and Healing

All of the circumstances and incidents related have a direct bearing on the subject of the unfolding of divine law and order. They bear positive proof that God's goodness and perfection is continually unfolding in human consciousness.

The healing of human ills through Christian Science furnishes the most convincing proof that the power of the same divine Mind which was so fully demonstrated by Christ Jesus has not lessened or abated in the least and is available here and now.

No thinking person will assume that Christian Scientists fail to recognize the commands or precepts of Jesus; or that the teachings of Mrs. Eddy supersede in the slightest degree his teachings or doctrines. I submit the following section from the Manual of The Mother Church to show that Mrs. Eddy had no such intention. The section is as follows:

"At a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, April 19, 1879, on motion of Mrs. Eddy, it was voted - To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." (Manual of The Mother Church, page 17.)

Every person before becoming a member of any Christian Science church or society, must subscribe to six religious tenets. The basis of the Christian Science faith is summed up in the last, or sixth tenet, as follows. "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just and pure." (Science and Health, page 497.)

Genuine Christian Scientists are striving to express the Christ spirit at all times. They are striving to emulate the healing works of Jesus. They are striving to get the same vision of the Christ that saved the human Jesus in the dark hours of his earthly career from the belief of death and the grave. They are confidently expecting in the fullness of time to be rewarded by having that wonderful vision expressed by Paul: "Till we come in the unity of faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of Man, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13.)

The realities and beauties of creation are continually unfolding to the Christian Scientist. The real man of God's creation, expressing His goodness is a fact - a reality. How many calendar years may elapse before mankind generally will appreciate and accept the fact that man partakes of the essence of God's goodness here and now cannot be definitely ascertained. One by one mortals catch glimpses of the unfolding of divine Principle and they become conscious of God's law and order operating here, now and everywhere.  Our American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, has expressed his vision thus:

 

"Oh, sometimes gleams upon our sight,

Thro' present wrong the eternal right;

And step by step, since time began,

We see the steady gain of man."

 

"That all of good the past hath had

Remains to make our own time glad.

Our common, daily life divine

And every land a Palestine."

 

"Thro' the harsh noises of our day,

A low sweet prelude finds its way;

Thro' clouds of doubt, and creeds of fear,

A light is breaking calm and clear."

 

"Henceforth my heart shall sigh no more

For olden times and holier shore;

God's love and blessing, then and there,

Are now and here and everywhere."

(Christian Science Hymnal.)

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail, of Indianapolis, Indiana, Dec. 6, 1929.]

 

 

HOME PAGE                INDEX OF LECTURES