Christian Science: The Science of Mind-Healing
Frank T. Hord, C.S., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The Science of Mind-Healing" was the subject of the lecture given
in Third Church of Christ, Scientist, North Sherman Blvd., Thursday evening, to
a capacity audience, by Frank T. Hord, C.S. of
Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Hord, who is a member of
the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ,
I have come to you tonight to share with you simple and understandable truths of the Science of Mind-healing that will enable you to live the abundance, joy, harmony, and security that your loving Father-Mother God has provided for you. This healing power was demonstrated by our great Master, Christ Jesus, who said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John ).
The desire for healing has held the interest of mankind throughout the centuries. The verb "to heal" may be defined as "to restore to original purity and integrity; to free from guilt; to restore from evil; to make hale, sound, or whole." The healing of national conflicts, the healing of disputes between capital and labor, the healing of sin, disease, and death, is the task of this generation.
Harmonious living, health, happiness, and freedom are the cherished desires of humanity, but they have seemed the most elusive and difficult conditions to attain. Time, money, and effort have been spent in trying to gain them through material ways and means; however, the daily press and radio still inform us of the world's seeming frustration, discouragement, and desperation. Christian Science sums up the cause of all this trouble as ignorance of God, the divine Principle of man, and states that a correct understanding of God and of men's scientific relation to Him will cure every ill in human experience.
This system of Mind-healing rests on the spiritual understanding of the nature and essence of God's being, His love, tenderness, and sustaining care for His creation.
Christian Science Mind-healing is founded on the inspired Word of the Bible. It is the spiritual understanding and demonstration that God is Mind, one infinite, all-inclusive, divine consciousness, and that man is created in His image and likeness, wholly mental and spiritual.
The spiritual understanding that God is good, omnipotent and omnipresent, forever dispels the illusion that there can be another power called evil, or the carnal mind, to deny and oppose the might of infinite Spirit.
The healing of physical disease is only a part of Christian Science; it is only the bugle-call to arouse thought to the higher mission and purpose of the Christ-power to destroy the sins of the world. The destruction of sin aids in the healing of disease and death. This healing ministry is impartial and universal.
There are some of you here to whom Christian Science is now being introduced for the first time. If you would like to demonstrate this healing power for yourselves, may I ask that you approach it from the basis of the allness and oneness of divine Mind. Mind expresses itself through spiritual ideas which manifest its intelligent, loving nature. The Science of Mind-healing always deals with ideas, never with things. It heals through one's exercise of spiritual thinking, through knowing the truth.
Scientific, righteous, loving thoughts, or right ideas, find expression in right activity and aid in the demonstration of health, joy, prosperity, peace, and all harmonious conditions. Sinful, unloving thoughts are manifested in disease, poverty, unhappiness, and death. To exercise the power of spiritualized, scientific thought is to rise in the strength of Truth, utilize one's God-given authority, speak the Word with conviction, and heal the sick.
The question is sometimes asked, "How do Christian Scientists pray?" They pray after the manner of Jesus; they affirm the omnipresence of one infinite, supreme God, and man in His image and likeness. In the sacred sanctuary of Spirit, man's at-one-ment with Life, Truth, and Love is understood. Christian Scientists pray to reflect the divine nature, and to live the spirit of the Christ in their daily affairs. Their prayer is not so much petition as it is realization - the realization of God's presence and power - and deep gratitude for the truth that divine Love is governing man and the universe in perfect harmony. This prayer of faith is based on the demonstrable law of God. Christian Science is the law of God, and Christian Science prayer is the law of God applied to human needs. This true idea of prayer purifies, spiritualizes, and teaches one to love unselfishly and universally because it is based on the conviction of divine Love's infinite provision for its entire creation.
Righteous prayer demands a great sacrifice of all that is selfish, sinful, and impure. It demands the purification and spiritualization of thoughts and motives. It calls for relinquishment of the most cherished beliefs about a personal sense of self, its origin, nature, habits, abilities, and disabilities. It forces one to accept his divine birthright as the child of God, free, healthful, and harmonious. This transforming prayer heals through the regeneration of the human consciousness, whereby the human yields to the divine.
Everyone can avail himself of this Christly way of prayer and receive its healing benefits.
Spiritual Understanding of God Heals
Mrs. Eddy writes, "When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick" (Science and Health, p. 345).
During this hour let us all turn absolutely to the contemplation of the allness of God, to the perfection and grandeur of infinite Being, to the realization of the ever-presence of divine Love. In so doing we shall experience such elevation and spiritualization of thought that the fetters of fear, pain, and lack will fall away as did the chains from the feet of the disciple Peter when he walked from the prison a free man.
The perfection of God and man is the basic reasoning point of Christian Science. God is defined in Science and Health as "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465). The seven synonymous terms employed in this definition refer to one absolute God. They "express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity" (Science and Health, p. 465).
As one gains, step by step, an understanding of the spiritual meaning of these terms, he finds the nature and presence of God gradually dawning upon his thought and being manifested in his daily experience.
One sometimes hears the phrase, "Clarify your idea." Let us clarify our idea about God; let us forsake all hazy beliefs about the divine Principle of our being.
Bible students are familiar with the Master's statement, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Of this we are certain, that everyone is interested in life, that is, in living harmoniously and eternally. There is but one way to live harmoniously and eternally, and that is to understand God.
The understanding that God is Life, eternal, ever-present, self-existent Being, will be manifested in your experience as health, vigor, continuity, progress, and immortality, and likewise on the body.
The knowledge that God is Mind, one infinite all-knowing consciousness, unfolds as intelligence, wisdom, alertness, power, presence, and love. As you reflect these qualities, or ideas, you will become more alert in your business transactions, more accurate, progressive, and acute. Problems which had previously seemed so stubborn will yield to your enlightened thought because you are identifying yourself with the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, one omnipresent intelligence.
God is Principle, the primal cause and origin of all being. The scientific idea of Principle, manifesting itself as law, order, justice, and love, will make you law-abiding, honest, just, and loving.
God is Truth, the intelligence of divine Mind and the substance of Spirit. This right idea of Truth is expressed as verity, actuality, and integrity. It is manifested in your experience as trustworthiness, honesty, and dependability.
God is Spirit, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient Being. This infinite idea of Spirit, expressed as joy, energy, and spontaneity, will free you from human bondage and limitations. Your consciousness will become more universal. You will experience the abundance of indestructible substance.
God is Soul, the creative, operative cause of all sinless, changeless, perfect being. This true idea of Soul is expressed in substance, freedom, satisfaction, harmony, beauty, and completeness. It was Jesus' understanding that Soul and its qualities were forever manifested through man that healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, and the blind to see. The scientific action of the divine law of Soul destroys the false beliefs of personal sense and brings health, freedom, and salvation to mankind.
The understanding that God is Love, whose nature is to bless, is manifested as purity, tenderness, peace, blessedness, and all the Godlike qualities of Love. Love is the heart and soul of Christian Science.
Love is attractive and attracts love. As you express unselfed love you will never be lonely or alone. You will be living in the abundant affluence of divine Love.
The spiritual understanding of the omnipresence of divine Love is the primal law of Mind-healing. Mrs. Eddy assures us in her "Miscellaneous Writings": "What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the 'Peace, be still' to all human fears, to suffering of every sort" (p. 307).
Patient Reached Through Divine Love
A Christian Science practitioner was called to a little boy about four years old who had been attending the Christian Science Sunday School. He was suffering from congestion or croup. The little fellow said to the practitioner when she arrived, "God loves me." As she sat quietly by his side she confirmed his statement, "Yes, dear, God is Love, and God loves you, and God loves me; yes, God loves." Her consciousness was so filled with the tender love of God for His child that the spiritual illumination was wonderful. The gentle presence of the Christ was so powerful that the physical discord was removed at once. The child was instantaneously healed.
Do you ever stop to ponder this great fact: "God loves me"? God loves you because you are His blessed child, the expression of His own perfect being. You manifest all of His divine qualities, and therefore you are the expression of infinite perfection and immortal wisdom.
It was this divine idea of sonship, the Science of the unity and oneness of God and man, that was revealed to Jesus. It enabled him to declare, "I and my Father are one" (John ), and was the basis of his mighty works. The perfect man, beheld by Jesus, is here now as your own real selfhood. The recognition and acceptance of this great truth will heal you today.
Christian Science makes a decided distinction between man, the real man, your divine selfhood, and so-called man, the offspring of the sinning race of Adam, a sick, sinful, and fearful mortal.
The consciousness of the real man is spiritual, perfect, pure, wholly free from carnal desires, jealousy, criticism, envy, human will, and fear. Man is the compound idea of God, including all spiritual ideas, spiritual ideas of Life, Truth, and Love, and is governed by laws of harmony, health, and holiness.
What is called mortal mind, or a material body, is made up of erring mental forces: ignorance, fear, sin, sickness, and death. It is the misconception of the real man. Since there is but one Mind and its infinite manifestation, what is called mortal mind and its activity must be a myth, unreal and untrue.
We read in Science and Health (Pref., p. xi): "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or 'God with us,' - a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,
To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty them that are bruised."
Let me tell you of the experience of a woman of my acquaintance. A doctor had examined her and told her that an immediate operation was necessary for the removal of an abnormal growth in the large intestine. However she refused to have the operation or any other form of medical aid and asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment.
Christian Science treatment, it was explained to the patient, is communion with God; it is inseparable from prayer. It is the realization of God's presence and power and man's unity with Life, Truth, and Love. The treatment after this manner was taken up for the patient. Turning away from the belief of a material woman, dependent upon the functioning of various organs for the maintenance of her life, to the all-power and all-presence of Life, Truth, and Love as the reality of her being, the practitioner sensed the belief of a discordant home as the leading error to be overcome.
Being familiar with Paul's admonition to express kindness, mercy, humility, and love, the practitioner saw clearly that these qualities of divine Love were as perfect as the Mind conceiving them. Nothing could be added to or taken from them, and they could not be changed in any way. Because man was the obedient expression of divine Principle, there could be no lawlessness operating as rebellion, irritation, inflammation, or evil disposition in man or in his sense of home or center of affections. The patient was asked to pray to express Christlike qualities of tenderness, love, and compassion.
One week later the growth passed from the patient, and she was completely healed. There was no period of convalescence. The healing was accompanied in the home by a yielding of irritability, rebellion, self-will, and unkindness to the touch of divine Love. One member of the family, who had been so opposed, turned to Christian Science and was healed of a physical ailment of eight years duration. The maid also received a physical healing through the help of a practitioner. Both took up the daily study of the Christian Science Lesson-Sermon.
When one has experienced the
healing beneficence of Christian Science treatment and has seen the walls of
God has been revealing Himself, His nature, essence, and qualities, to the inspired and exalted consciousness of man throughout the ages. The accounts of these revelations constitute the written Word of the Bible.
We today are the heirs of the ages.
We have inherited the glorious legacy of these spiritual impartations. The
continuity of unfolding Truth is omnipresent. These great truths of the Bible,
based on the eternal laws of divine Principle, are as vital and operative today
as when our Master taught the beatitudes of Being from
The question is sometimes asked, Do Christian Scientists study the Bible? The answer is, Yes. They love the Bible and study it daily and hourly. Christian Scientists turn to the inspired Word of the Bible for healing and consider it their sufficient guide to eternal Life. It is the King James Version of the Bible that they use, and it is read in Christian Science churches in English-speaking countries. I recommend that, if you are not a student of the Bible, you begin at once to study its inspired pages in conjunction with "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. You will find healing, happiness, and salvation.
The Old Testament abounds in hopeful prophecies of the coming of the Messiah, a Saviour that would deliver mankind from all ills of the flesh. In the fullness of time the spiritual idea of the fatherhood of God was perceived by a virgin named Mary. A son was born unto her, and she called his name Jesus, the name meaning Joshua, or Saviour.
Jesus and Christ
Christian Science makes a distinction
between the human Jesus and the divine idea, or Christ. Mrs. Eddy defines Jesus
as, "The highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and
destroying error and bringing to light man's immortality" (Science and
Health, p. 589). Christ she defines as, "The divine manifestation of God,
which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health,
p. 583). The definition of Christ is in two parts, what Christ is and what Christ
does. The Christ is understood to be the spiritual animus which transformed the
life of the Magdalene; the loving compassion which said to the man at the pool of
The efficacy of the healing Christ is present today to be discerned and demonstrated through Christian Science. It is the Christ, the power of Mind, that does the healing.
When one comes to Christian Science for healing, he may think that he needs release from a physical condition, an ailment of the heart, lungs, legs, or spine; but that is delusion. He really needs to have his divine sonship as the spiritual child of God recognized.
Christlike affirmation of man's oneness with the Father heals discordant moral conditions at the same time that it removes physical inharmony.
This may be illustrated by the
healing of a soldier. In 1942, while I was serving as Chaplain with an infantry division training in
Then I saw the real fact about the
situation: that God is All-in-all, therefore that
divine Love was the governing authority in that office. In Love's government
there was no irritation, no unreasonable demanding.
Monday morning, two days later, he called me and said; "The most wonderful
thing has happened. I left
Not only was the poison ivy healed, but the office situation was completely changed. After the war my friend told me that the happiest days of his life had been those serving with that colonel.
Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
For healings such as this, our
thought naturally turns in gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and
Founder of Christian Science. This gentle
Therefore it was natural that in
her hour of greatest need she should turn to God for aid. In 1866 she suffered
a fall on the icy streets of
Following her healing, through consecrated study of the Bible, which was her only textbook, the revelation of the power that had healed her came to her as spiritual Science, based upon definite, positive rules that could be applied without variation to any phase of human experience. Mrs. Eddy named her discovery Christian Science and founded the Christian Science movement on the Christ-power that was discerned by Peter to be the foundation of the Christian church.
In order that one may fully appreciate the Science of Mind-healing, this Science of the Christ, he must be aware of the fact that it is a revelation, an impartation from God to man, and not a system of the human mind formulated by a mortal. Such a revelation can come only to one who has that innate longing to bless, the selfless love that reflects divine Love's ever-presence.
In 1875 Mary Baker Eddy published Science and Health, the most revolutionary book of all times. The religious and scientific world was aroused by the thought-provoking and illuminating spiritual facts set forth in this precious volume. Thousands have been healed merely through reading and studying this book.
In order to protect and perpetuate her discovery, Mrs. Eddy found it necessary (in her words) "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" (Church Manual, p. 17). This church is fulfilling its mission of healing. At every service some form of healing takes place. A portion of the Wednesday meeting is set aside for the giving of testimonies of Christian Science healing and for expressions of gratitude.
Value of Sunday School Evident
The teachings of Christian Science have spread to the four corners of the earth through Mrs. Eddy's writings, through the various Christian Science periodicals, the Reading Rooms, church services, Christian Science lectures, and the Christian Science Sunday School.
I am most grateful for the Christian Science Sunday School. Through instruction in the Sunday School I learned at an early age to turn to Christian Science to meet my every need.
After graduation from college I
was traveling with my father in the
One day, upon returning to our hotel room, I found my father seriously ill. He was delirious and in great pain. His face was flushed with a high fever. After putting him to bed I turned to the list of Christian Science practitioners in The Christian Science Journal, only to find none listed for that small island.
This was the first time in my experience that I had found myself seemingly alone in the face of a critical emergency. I turned in prayer to the Bible and Science and Health, as I had been taught to do in the Sunday School. I worked far into the night, declaring the truth about God and man, knowing that this alone was true about my father, and declaring the unreality of what the false testimony of the material senses claimed about him. When we awoke the following morning, my father was well; the pain had subsided, the discoloration was gone, and he was in his right mind.
Every word of Truth the children in our Sunday Schools have ever heard operates as a divine influence ever-present in human consciousness; it heals, guides, and protects them.
Love for God and Man Heals
The true incentive in Christian Science healing is the love for God and man. Christian Science practice is based on the allness and oneness of Mind and its idea, perfect cause and perfect effect. This fundamental understanding is a law of annihilation to everything unlike itself. All sin, disease, and death disappear into their native nothingness before this irresistible power of the Christ. To practice this healing Science, one must be moral, honest, unselfish; he must strive to live at the standard of the truth he speaks. With a fervent desire to heal and bless he will find infinite ways to practice Christian Science.
A Christian Science treatment is a definite, positive, scientific affirmation of truth, and a definite, positive, scientific denial of error. This method of declaring the truth and denying evil heals all disorder, ignorance, fear, strife, and disease. We read in Science and Health, "The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin" (p. 411). Thus we see that what is called sickness is not a state of diseased matter. It is the illusion called fear, ignorance, or sin manifested as the discord. This is why we do not require material medicines to heal. We need to rid ourselves of the fear, ignorance, or sin.
You would not give a child a drug when he cries out in his sleep because of a bad dream; no, you would awaken him, and tell him the dream is unreal, that there are no wild animals in the room. Even so Christian Science says there is no disease in the body; the illusion is a dream. The fear is unreal; the ignorance is unreal; the sin is unreal; because God never made them! By saying sin is unreal we do not mean it to be ignored. We must be aware of sin as a belief and then overcome the belief.
What is fear? Fear is the fundamental foe of mankind. It is an unintelligent, false belief that doubts God's presence and power and believes in the power and activity of evil. It is an illusion, an aggressive suggestion that one is separated from good or that he is about to be deprived of life, health, family, business, and all that is necessary for his well-being.
In the midst of seeming fear we can declare the ever-presence of Mind and the power of Truth, knowing that this erroneous circumstance is unreal. It is not true; God never made it; and we do not fear it. The destruction of fear is one of the important rules in Christian Science, and it relieves the symptoms of every disease. We all love the angel message of Isaiah, the prophet, who realized the power and presence of Love and heard the voice of God saying, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (41:10).
Salvation Is the Overcoming of Evil
The teaching of Christian Science that evil is unreal differs at no point from the emphatic teaching of Christ Jesus. He called evil a liar and said that its father, the devil, was a liar. He taught that it was lustful and wicked and that there was no truth in it.
During World War II, I was stationed
for five months at the
In II Chronicles we are told that
the children of
Jehoshaphat did not pray,
"If, when the sword cometh upon us," but, "If, when evil cometh
upon us, as the sword." As I pondered these words I saw clearly that all
there was to evil was a belief in a power apart from God, and that the belief
claimed to counterfeit the divine Mind in every phase of existence. I saw the
specific way that evil claimed to be operating at that moment in the
The solution of every discordant problem is to lay the ax of Truth at the very roots of the tree of evil, thereby causing every branch, or phase, of evil - the sword, judgment, pestilence, and famine - to wither away.
Christian Science handles the belief in evil with the understanding of Spirit. Matter does not exist in the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of Spirit. Evil is not real. It has no power. It cannot be personalized as person, place, or thing, but it is a false belief, a mirage of the so-called material senses.
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote to a friend: "Did you but know the sublimity of your hope; the infinite capacity of your being; the grandeur of your outlook, you would let error kill itself. Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has" (The Christian Science Journal, August, 1912).
The understanding of the sublime nature of God includes the understanding that man, the blessed child of God, is not a miserable sinner. It is only a limited sense of God and a sinful sense of man that causes man to appear as a miserable sinner. The sinful beliefs about man have never touched the real selfhood of anyone. Man, the image and likeness of God, has always existed at the standpoint of perfection. Daily Christian Scientists demonstrate salvation by proving the supremacy of Life, Truth, and Love and the unreality of sin, disease, and death. This is the true idea of salvation by which all regeneration, reformation, and healing take place.
The Bible teaches throughout its inspired pages that there is one God, infinite, supreme, and perfect; that man, the image and likeness of this perfect creator, reflects His power, presence, and perfection; that God is good, and that man expresses this goodness, therefore good is All-in-all.
But the belief in duality - two powers, both good and evil - has resulted in all the evil in the world. The belief that God is good and man is evil has caused a seeming separation between God and man.
The purpose of this lecture has been to show that the Science of being is perfect and intact, that God and man are held in the perfect law of unity and oneness. God and man coexist and are inseparable as cause and effect, Mind and idea, Father and son. All healing is based on this divine oneness, and all error disappears before it.
Beholding the end of all evil and sinful beliefs, the Revelator writes, "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night" (12:10).
The Christ, Truth, is the divine power that is putting to silence all chaos and confusion and bringing peace and salvation to the world today.
Christian Science heals quickly and wholly. It heals you and it heals me when we turn unreservedly to God, the divine Principle of being.
The Psalmist sang: "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. . . . He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Ps. 107:1,20).
The mighty Word of God is the impersonal Christ, whose healing power is ever-present and irresistible. It is the reign of righteousness within you.
[Published in The Milwaukee County News, November 1, 1951.]