Christian Science: The Revelation of the Healing Christ
Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
There is nothing of so great importance to us as to know God and our relationship to Him, for this understanding frees us from the bondage of sickness and sin and brings us into what Paul calls "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). It is my purpose to discuss with you the subject of the healing Christ as revealed in Christian Science, for it is the Christ-consciousness in us that brings about this freedom.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has defined the Christ, on page 583 of her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Through the prayerful study of Christian Science, with a sincere desire for spiritual growth, the Christ comes to us, develops in us, and constitutes our salvation.
The Discoverer and Founder
As a preface to our discussion I should like to tell something about the Discoverer of Christian Science, for by so doing we may be better able to appreciate what she has written.
Every advanced idea, every unfoldment
of Truth, has come to the world through the avenue of some human intelligence. Whoever has discovered or presented truth has
done so only because his fundamental qualities, molded by environment and
education, have made such a one a suitable channel for the presentation of a
particular idea. It was not Shakespeare,
the poet, but
Mrs. Eddy was peculiarly fitted not only for the discovery of Christian Science, but for its presentation and explanation. It was natural and inevitable that she should write the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." From early childhood she manifested a deeply religious nature. She was a tireless student and investigator. In addition to these qualities she was possessed of an ability as a writer, so that from girlhood she was a contributor both in poetry and prose to representative New England publications. Those who are familiar with Mrs. Eddy's work marvel at the immense capacity for independent thinking and research which she manifested. She tells us that she always felt impelled to hunt for the law of healing. In her book "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 24) she says, "During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon."
The gratitude which Christian Scientists express toward Mrs. Eddy is often a source of surprise and sometimes of criticism to those who have not experienced the blessings which Christian Science confers on those who study and apply it. The student of Christian Science finds that in studying what Mrs. Eddy has written, there is continued spiritual unfoldment, so that the longer he studies the greater becomes his appreciation of her. As Truth is progressively revealed in his consciousness, it becomes habitual for him to look for corroboration or clarification of the unfoldment that comes to him, by turning to what she has said, either in her textbook or other writings, and he never fails to find it.
Having discovered God's law of healing for herself, and realizing its importance to sick and sinning humanity, she persisted, in the midst of almost unbelievable hindrances and persecutions, in giving it to the world.
For myself, I can say that no amount of gratitude that I may express toward her can ever be sufficient payment for the spiritual blessings which she has conferred upon me.
In considering the healing Christ, as it is revealed in Christian Science, we need to define what the word "Christ" means. The words "Messiah" and "Christ" are identical in meaning. They both mean "anointed." The word "Messiah" occurs many times in the original language of the Old Testament, but except for two instances in the book of Daniel, it is invariably translated "anointed" in our English version. In First and Second Samuel, there are a number of references to the "Lord's anointed" or the "anointed of the Lord." These references could have been translated "the Lord's Messiah" or "the Messiah of the Lord."
Now just as we have today certain rites that are carried out as an evidence that an individual has had power conferred upon him, so in that day a priest or a king was anointed with oil, typifying that the power of God had thus been conferred upon him. So the word "anointed" came to mean "clothed with God's power." Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David when through spiritual discernment he chose him in preference to all the other sons of Jesse.
Mrs. Eddy points out on page 333 of her textbook that "Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love."
Christ, the Son of God
Coming now to the New Testament, we find that in the four Gospels the word "Christ" carries with it the specific thought of sonship with God. Peter said to Jesus (Matt. ), "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," and the high priest said to him (Matt. 26:63), "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus replied to this question as to whether he had been thus "anointed" by saying (Matt. 26:64), "Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Here was Jesus' definite statement that the "anointed," the one to whom the consciousness of sonship with God had come, would manifest the power and presence of God.
Now while Jesus demonstrated his sonship with God by manifesting this power, he taught his disciples the Christ, Truth, as far as they were able to apprehend it, and he charged them to do the works that he had done, as evidence of their understanding. This they did, even to raising the dead.
John, who was so close to Jesus and who knew Jesus' teaching so well, tells us in his first epistle that "now are we the sons of God" (I John 3:2), and Paul in his epistle to the Galatians (Gal. 4:6) says that "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
In the book of Acts and in the epistles, the word "Christ" and the name "Jesus" are constantly used together, as Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus - that is, Jesus anointed or anointed Jesus. The New Testament states in various places that there were false prophets, false teachers, and false Christs at that time. It would therefore be necessary to identify the true Christ by using Jesus' name in connection with the anointing which he taught.
Mrs. Eddy's statement on page 333 of the textbook is especially enlightening. She says: "The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. Jesus was a human name, which belonged to him in common with other Hebrew boys and men, for it is identical with the name Joshua, the renowned Hebrew leader. On the other hand, Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God's spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment."
One of the evidences that the words "Jesus" and "Christ" are commonly believed to be synonymous is the signs that are frequently seen, announcing that "Jesus Saves"; whereas it is the Christ that saves, as exemplified by Jesus.
Primitive Christian Healing Restored
Mrs. Eddy has undertaken to change the present-day concept of the Christ, in which Jesus and Christ are synonymous, and to restore the concept which Jesus presented, in which the Christ is what she has defined it to be, "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583).
The fact that thousands have been healed through the anointing that has come to them, in which they have realized in some degree that they are sons of God, is evidence that her contention is correct, and that the Church of Christ, Scientist, does indeed do what the Church Manual states it was intended to do, "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (p. 17).
Now the healing is brought about by the acceptance of Spirit and all that is spiritual and eternal as real and the rejection of matter and all that pertains to it as unreal. Mrs. Eddy declares on page 369 of her textbook: "In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master. He enters into a diviner sense of the facts, and comprehends the theology of Jesus as demonstrated in healing the sick, raising the dead, and walking over the wave. All these deeds manifested Jesus' control over the belief that matter is substance, that it can be the arbiter of life or the constructor of any form of existence."
There Is No Matter
The present status of so-called scientific belief is that the atom, which was presumed to be the smallest division of matter, is composed of particles of electrical energy, circulating about a central nucleus. Thus it is apparent that the old concept of matter has been discarded, and while the phenomena of what is called matter are still evident, matter as substance, even to the physicist, has largely disappeared.
A famous physicist wrote an article which appeared in a leading magazine some time ago, in which he pointed out that what he called "critical thought" was making "matter more and more a fluid fact, and mind more and more substantial." Christian Science declares that the material body is simply the grosser substratum of the human mind - that is, that the body is a part of mortal human consciousness. It is that part of human consciousness which we believe carries us about and identifies us, but all the time it is altogether mental.
The healings that occur in Christian Science offer definite evidence that the body is mental. Let me cite such a healing. A man came to a practitioner at one time with a growth on his lip. Christian Science treatment was given, and in the course of a week or ten days this growth fell off. The man was healed. The realization that the child of God, expressing only God's qualities, could not have, and therefore did not have, an abnormal growth brought about the healing.
Now it should be evident that this constructive spiritual thinking did not have to enter what we call the human mind and then direct this so-called mind to order a matter body to do something or to quit something; rather, it entered his consciousness and destroyed the erroneous belief right there.
Organic Disease Healed
Since the body is altogether mental, it makes no difference whether the erroneous belief is functional or what is called organic. They are both healed by one and the same process, but to those who know nothing of Christian Science, the healing of organic disease seems more difficult.
A practicing physician, curious about Christian Science, asked for some instances of healing. The healings recounted were of so-called organic disease. One of them was that of a woman with a difficulty that had been diagnosed by half a dozen physicians in a large city as tuberculosis of the pituitary body, which is a gland situated on the underside of the brain. Under Christian Science treatment she was soon healed, and although many years have elapsed, she has never had a recurrence of the trouble. But the physician would not accept the healing as proof, because he said he would not place any credence in the diagnosis of the specialists who made it. Other healings were declined for the same reason. Finally, he was told of a woman who had a very large goiter. This completely disappeared in two days under Christian Science treatment. He immediately said, "I'll take that one!" He explained that he accepted it because anyone could tell what it was, and he had never known of such a condition disappearing spontaneously, so it must have been Christian Science that healed it.
Every instance of physical healing, either functional or organic, brought about by Christian Science treatment is evidence not only that Christian Science heals, but that it is not matter that is healed, but an erroneous belief calling itself matter.
The Christ-Consciousness Heals
Having digressed somewhat to offer evidence that there is no matter - to point out that what is called matter is not substance, but only a belief - let us consider how the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, comes to human consciousness and blesses it, freeing it from sickness and sin.
In many cases, a sufferer, finding no relief through the use of material means and having heard of Christian Science, turns to it, perhaps skeptically, for healing. Ofttimes the healing is immediate, and with little or no understanding on the part of the patient the healing comes about. Such healings bear out Mrs. Eddy's statement on page 449 of Science and Health, where she says, "A grain of Christian Science does wonders for mortals, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Christian Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing."
If we are to get the blessings which Christian Science offers, we must get more of it, and not be satisfied with just a smattering of it. We must undertake to become increasingly conscious that we are "sons of God."
In order to become increasingly conscious of God, we should dwell upon His nature and character. An analysis of the various names by which God has been called is helpful in bringing about this result. On page 465 of her textbook Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy has defined God as "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." Here are seven synonyms for God, each one of which expresses qualities and characteristics not so readily apparent in any other term. Let us consider some of them, beginning with infinite Mind.
It is generally admitted that God is all-knowing; hence, He is infinite Mind. In order that we may better understand the operation, the activity, of infinite Mind, let us illustrate by using the ordinary conception of the human mind as an example. You say your friend has a fine mind. You say you know this because he has many fine ideas which he expresses. You have never seen his mind, but you have known the expression of it in ideas. If he never moved a muscle, never spoke a word, you would rightly conclude that there was no mind there. So a mind to be called a mind must be filled with ideas, and an idea by virtue of being an idea must be expressed. It is impossible to conceive of a mind filled with ideas, yet unexpressed; for a mind with no expression is not a mind but a blank. How do you know that a rock has no mind and no ideas? Why, simply because it has no expression, for where there are ideas there is expression. The infinite Mind, therefore, is filled with an infinitude of ideas or thoughts, which must be expressed; and the activity, the expression, the manifestation of these ideas constitutes man and the universe. As God's ideas we exist in Him, and because we exist in Him the Scriptures declare that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
There is a further quality of an idea which we should consider. An idea has no ability to do anything or to be anything except as the idea of the mind in which it exists. It cannot change itself and so become more or less, or different, than mind intended it should be, because it has no volition of its own and must of necessity express exactly what mind causes it to express. So the ideas in divine Mind must of necessity express exactly what Mind intends they should express. Now the real man is, as we have shown, the perfect idea of infinite Mind and has only divine volition. He has, therefore, no ability to choose to do evil or to be sick, nor can he ever become separated from the Mind which contains him. Man, then, God's idea, God's image and likeness, has all the qualities of God and not a single quality that is not of Him. He is, therefore, healthful and holy, perfect, spiritual, and immortal.
God Is Man's Soul
Soul is a term for God which Mrs. Eddy has given us which, when understood, will help us to understand our relationship to Him. Ordinary religious belief declares that man is material, but that he possesses a soul, a divine implanting, which lives after the death of the body. According to commonly accepted religious belief, man's soul sees, hears, feels, and carries on all the activities of his spiritual being - the activities that were, prior to the belief called death, carried on by a mortal material mind and its accompanying material body. Now just as Christian Science shows plainly that the real man does not have a little mind of his own, but that he expresses and reflects the one Mind which is God, so Christian Science shows that the real man does not possess a little soul of his own, but that he possesses and reflects the one Soul, which is Spirit. In your true selfhood, you are the forever expression of the perception, the comprehension, the intelligence, the activities of Soul, which is God.
Divine Love Essential
Love, as a term for God, speaks to us from the standpoint of the manifestation of God's infinite goodness. All of Love's ideas express this goodness. In consciously undertaking to manifest God's goodness, we are expressing divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy has said: "The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, - pulseless, cold, inanimate" (Science and Health, p. 113). Note that the word "Love" is spelled with a capital. It is not a human sense of love, but divine Love that is meant, and this Love must be expressed by us humanly if we are to demonstrate health and harmony in our own lives and the lives of others. In her book "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" Mrs. Eddy, in modestly speaking of her great accomplishment, says (p. 247), "The little that I have accomplished has all been done through love, - self-forgetful, patient, unfaltering tenderness." Here the word "love" is not capitalized. It is the manifestation of that Love which is God, which is necessarily tender, patient, and forgetful of self.
It is therefore important that we too be ever conscious, ever insistent, that we are expressing that Love which is God, through the spiritual anointing that has come to us.
The only way our human deficiencies can be bettered is by a consistent effort to be ever conscious that we are expressing the qualities and attributes of Love. The love, fidelity, honesty, joy, and other spiritual qualities that go to make up the complete expression of divine Love are much higher and better than their material counterfeits, for they have no sense of self in them.
Mortal Man's Inventions
The Bible declares that "God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Eccl. ). One of the most generally accepted of such inventions is the germ theory. The people are taught to believe in germs and to expect to be attacked by them.
In the beginning, investigators searching for contagion in matter, but never in thought, never in the fear that is at the root of it, concluded it was produced by microscopic forms of life. These microscopic forms of life are mostly vegetable, and there are not as many kinds or varieties as there are diseases that are believed to be caused by them. In other words, there are not enough varieties to go around. For many years, bacteriologists hunted in vain for the missing germs. One would have thought that the failure to find them might cast some doubt on the germ theory itself, but that did not prove to be the case. No suitable germ being found, another invention was brought out. It is what is called a virus. What is a virus? It is something, or nothing, which is said to be present in connection with the diseased condition. It cannot be seen by the highest powered microscope. No materialist knows what it is. Still, it is believed in and feared. Christian Science can name it, describe it, and locate it in human consciousness. It is fear.
Love Destroys Fear
The one constant factor in the entire belief about germs is fear, and fear is readily destroyed by the consciousness of divine Love's presence. Certainly there can be no fear where Love is, and Love is everywhere.
The infinitesimal forms of life which are to be found in God's creation are not harmful. On the contrary, they are an essential part of the infinite manifestation of good. In the atmosphere of divine Love, there is no lurking evil, and no germs or virus to transmit evil to the anointed of God. Let us endeavor to accept more of the Christ, more of the anointing, to the end that our fears may be destroyed by the certainty of the presence of infinite good.
An interesting incident which illustrates
the immunity from contagion which Christian Science brings occurred during the
First World War. There was a very severe
epidemic of influenza at that time.
Another fear that is destroyed by divine Love is that of being allergic to certain foods and other substances. What is termed hay fever is one of these fears. I remember a man who had suffered from this belief at certain seasons for many years. Christian Science had been offered to him many times and declined, but finally he decided to try it. The difficulty left him immediately, but before the healing was fixed in his thought, he saw one of his friends manifesting the same symptoms, and the suggestion was too much for him; so he had to have another treatment to complete the healing.
Many years later he said he had never had a recurrence of this trouble. It is fear that makes us allergic, and divine Love casts out fear.
Man Is Governed by God
A belief that has developed in human thought is that of too little or too great glandular activity, a belief that man is governed by his glands.
God governs man. The spiritual man expresses Soul. His functions and actions are neither deficient nor excessive. They are perfect. Moreover, all his functions operate in perfect harmony one with another, for they are governed by the one Mind, and they are the expressions of the one Soul.
What about the vitamin fallacy? The material food that mortals eat contains all that is necessary to sustain them. The animals need no vitamin pills to add to the natural food they eat, and neither does man. Daniel, as related in the first chapter of the book in the Bible bearing his name, refusing to defile himself by eating the food provided by the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar, proved that because of his closeness to God, pulse and water sustained him better than could the king's meat. On page 442 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "Christ, Truth, gives mortals temporary food and clothing until the material transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually."
The present practice of teaching, and in other ways publicizing the minute details of various disease beliefs, increases the fear of them. This fear can be eliminated only by divine Love - by entertaining the Christ, the Son of God, in consciousness.
Man's life is not dependent on a heart muscle or on the blood supply to it. God is Life hence God is man's Life. We gain life eternal as we understand divine Love and accept the anointing which enables us to realize that we are "sons of God."
John declares (I John 3:9) that "whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." One might paraphrase this statement by saying that he that if born of God cannot commit sickness. He cannot manifest abnormal growths. He cannot waste away, or break down, or become consumed. His functions cannot become impaired for the creative power that brought him forth remains in God, and he cannot manifest error of any kind because he is born of God.
Divine Love's Abundance
The fear of lack is often one of our biggest problems. In a world of complex relations, it is sometimes difficult to find and to be engaged in just the right activity or to demonstrate a right sense of supply. Here the understanding of man's true status as revealed in Christian Science brings harmony and healing. He who is undertaking to manifest the Christ, the Son of God, expresses the qualities of good. He manifests intelligence, alertness, courtesy, kindliness, cooperation, tactfulness, and resourcefulness; in short, all the qualities of Love. He strives to give as much as possible, in order that he may deserve all and more than he receives. As God's child, he is never out of work, never inactive, always about his Father's business, always blessing others. He does not search for a position just so he may receive a salary; rather, the place he looks for is the one in which he can be of greatest service and where the light that is in him can shine forth most effectively.
Vigorous work is sometimes necessary to reverse the insistent claim of lack. A man once wrote and said: "Business has been bad. For failure to make payments, I will lose the truck which is essential to my ability to make a living. I have no money to buy food. My wife and children are about to be turned out into the street. There seems to be no hope." The reply was: "You say that you are losing your truck, that you have no money for food, and that your family is being turned out into the street; nevertheless, the fact remains that you are the child of God, and that you lack nothing. You cannot lose anything connected with your rightful activity. Divine Love feeds and clothes you and properly cares for you and shelters you. Divine Love never fails."
Weeks later he wrote, saying that none of the evils he had been fearing had befallen him. His business had suddenly turned for the better, and he was able to buy food and to pay his rent and to do those things that were needed. What a wonderful thing to substitute the abundance of divine Love for the terrifying fear of lack!
Love, Is Expressed In Loveableness
The various unlovely traits of character which we entertain as mortals are all expressions of fear, and they are destroyed by divine Love. What a wise provision Mrs. Eddy made in stressing the healing of disease in all that she wrote! The problems that come to us and from which we consciously suffer are sufficient incentive to keep us studying and applying Christian Science and offer time in which these errors of character may be healed, for we are apt to recognize them belatedly and often to give them up quite reluctantly. Being opposed to divine Love, they are expressions of fear.
Instances could be related where individuals who had been addicted to fits of ill-temper discovered that the study of Christian Science had healed them and their lives were thus made happier both for themselves and for others. Much of this leavening going on in human consciousness is so gradual that the one whose thought is being spiritualized is not conscious of the destruction of any specific error of character, but friends and associates often marvel at the change.
Sometimes the healing of sin is quickly accomplished. Let me relate such a case. A mother appealed to Christian Science for help. She said her young son was causing her much anguish; she said further that he seemed to be headed straight for the penitentiary. He was expelled from every school he entered, and seemed altogether unmanageable. She asked that work be done for him. She was just turning to Christian Science. Soon she wrote that a miracle had occurred. The boy had now become an honor pupil in school and an obedient and good boy at home. Thus, with absent treatment at a great distance, this healing of sin came about.
The Christ of God in Us
We should recognize that the anointing that is going on in us is not some superficial thing which is superimposed on our human thinking. I am sure that we are all convinced that Jesus' consciousness of the Christ was with him at all times and not just when he mentally or audibly declared it. So our realization of sonship with God is continually with us. It grows, and develops, and makes its impress upon all our thoughts and actions.
It is the spirit of Christian Science that is needed. Our Leader has said on page 113, line 3, of her textbook, "The letter of Christian Science plentifully reaches humanity today, but its spirit comes only in small degrees." Let us remember that divine Principle is Love, and that just declaring some human opinion to be "according to Principle" does not make it so. It must partake of the quality of Principle. If it is not kindly and generous, humble and grateful, we may be sure it is not according to Principle, no matter how much we may declare it to be. John says, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (I John ). Christian Scientists are a happy and joyous people because of the daily and hourly evidence of the presence and power of the healing Christ. This anointing is the light that is in us, which destroys the darkness of sickness and sin. It is the consciousness of sonship with God, which enables us to claim and to receive our divine inheritance of Love's goodness. We can increase our consciousness of the Christ only by the daily study of Christian Science, and by applying the unfoldment that comes to us to the problems of the day. In this way we shall grow in grace, "till," in the words of St. Paul (Eph 4:13), "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, Nov. 5, 1948.]