Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (1)
Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of Spokane, Washington
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
There was a time when a lecture on Christian Science was a novelty to Cambridge residents, but that period has long since passed. Today it is entirely in accord with custom for these meetings to be held. First Church of Christ, Scientist, of this city, which is a branch of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, stands sponsor for two or more of these gatherings each year — two being given in Cambridge and usually others in surrounding places. And it is no uncommon thing for an audience of 1,000 or more to gather for the purpose of listening to the presentation of the subject by a speaker who is consecrated to his work and who can give accurate and authoritative information on the subject which is annually interesting more and more people — and, it can be said, to their great advantage physically, mentally and spiritually.
It was one of these periodic occasions which occurred on Sunday, when Dr. Walton Hubbard, a man from the Pacific Coast, spoke to an audience which filled most of the seats in Scenic Temple, and for a little more than an hour the speaker was listened to with close attention. He was introduced by Giles Milton Smith, first reader of the local Christian Science Church, who said:
Out of the present world struggle, out of the mental chaos of Armageddon, rises an earnest cry to God. An ever increasing desire to really know God, or, to put it more clearly, to know the real God, wells up in the heart of mankind. Christian Science satisfies this desire. It furnishes the key which unlocks the Scriptures. By its means the Bible, to which so many thousands turn in these times for help and comfort, has become illumined, its promises vitalized, and its truth shown to be demonstrable. David wrote in the 91st psalm these words of comfort: "He shall call upon me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him." This promise is to you and me today.
The lecture this afternoon is an authoritative statement on Christian Science by one who spent many years in the study of medicine before he saw and experienced the beneficial effects of Christian Science. He is now a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. It is my privilege to introduce to you Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of Spokane, Washington.
There has never been a time in human history when men have not yearned for some sure way to be rid of those conditions of body and mind which have destroyed their happiness, or kept them from the full enjoyment of life and peace. They have turned from one material method to another in the vain search for physical relief, too often to be told that there was no further hope. They have found it impossible to escape in any great degree from sorrow or worry, discord or despair, until they have come to believe that these conditions must in large measure be endured. More and more through this failure to be rid of their sicknesses and woes have men been turning away from materiality and groping for something more satisfying to meet their needs. They have often prayed to God for healing when in sickness or distress, but only occasionally did the healing come, and then it was thought that God had set aside the existing order of things for the one occasion and as a special mark of favor. It has only been since the advent of Christian Science that primitive Christian healing has been restored to the world, and we are learning through the understanding of the Principle of Christian Science and the application of its rules that we may confidently expect healing in every case, and that there is a spiritual law sufficient for every material condition.
How Discovery Was Made
Christian Science was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, a woman of unusual spirituality and of a deep religious sense. She was a consistent and tireless analytical student, and through years marked by sickness and trials her deep religious sense led her to strive to see and to understand the divine Principle in every benefit which she received. This persistent search for Truth was rewarded by the discovery of the divine laws of God, which she named Christian Science.
For three years following her discovery Mrs. Eddy devoted all of her time to a deep study of the Scriptures, seeking a solution of this problem. These are her own words (Science and Health, p. 109): "I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power."
To have discovered God's law of healing as taught and practiced by Jesus and his followers meant that Mrs. Eddy must have approached the Scriptures with such a thought of God as Love that she saw it was impossible for God to do less than to provide all good for His children, and such a consciousness of God as Truth that she knew God's truth was revealed.
Mrs. Eddy's study of the Scriptures revealed the fact that the entire Bible record teaches conclusively that a right understanding of God has always brought dominion over all material conditions, and that when the knowledge of Truth has been correctly applied it has always been attended by healing and regeneration. The Scriptures abound in evidence that to understand God brings healing. Especially is the New Testament replete with the statements of the liberty that comes through "a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal" (Science and Health, Pref., p. vii).
The fact that healing and the knowledge of Truth by which we are to get it has been passed over as not meant for this time or for all mankind, has been due to no fault of the Bible in presenting it, but to our attitude of thought in approaching it. Because we had been educated to believe that physical healing must be brought about by material means, we had not deemed it possible that God had provided spiritual healing from sickness and every form of error, so we unconsciously studied the Bible with the view of substantiating our preconceived notions about what it ought to teach.
We are led through the study of Christian Science to try to stop viewing man as sick and sinning, and to accept the fact of his righteousness and dominion, which is insisted upon throughout the Bible, and to undertake to manifest this dominion over all things.
No Healing in Drugs
To most of us the body, with its many forms of sickness and error, seems to need most immediate attention, — first, because it has such a vast number of sicknesses, to which it lays claim; and second, because the history of material means for the alleviation of these troubles shows them to have been almost a complete failure. I say almost a complete failure, because the latest remedy and the latest method, the ones that have replaced last year's remedy and last year's method, have not as yet been proven useless; but the history of the past hundreds of years will repeat itself, and next year's material means will replace what will then be this year's failures.
Some years ago a new and supposedly wonderful remedy was advocated for the treatment of pneumonia, and the medical journals were full of the records of the almost instantaneous cures which had come about through its use. As a practicing physician I prescribed this remedy at the first opportunity that presented itself, but with no result. I have since come to see that the remedy worked just so long as it had some enthusiastic optimists believing in its efficacy, but failed to work as soon as it became generally used by a generally pessimistic profession; a profession grown pessimistic through its continual history of drug failure. This drug, in spite of the marvelous cures accredited to it for several years, has long since gone the way of dismal failure of those that preceded it.
Another famous remedy that came into almost immediate prominence within the last year or two, and which has been lauded as an absolute specific for certain disorders, is now being condemned by some of its former supporters as doing no good and much damage. It has been remarkable both for the claims made for its efficiency and the charges made for its administration. It was a brilliant success so long as people believed in its efficacy, but it is now fast becoming a dull failure.
Other Material Methods Fail
Surgical and other material forms of treatment are in this same process of change. It has only been a very few years since searing of parts of the body with a red-hot iron was advocated as good treatment, though we would condemn this now as barbarous, and the day will surely come, and is not far distant, when the wholesale removal of the tonsils and the injections of the many kinds of animal serums will be considered quite as barbarous; for just so long as we cling to materiality, today's apparent success will be tomorrow's failure.
Vaccination has remained in a position of supposed efficacy for a longer period than anything of which I know. We can most of us remember when to be able to show a good scar meant a lifetime of protection. But the years of its supposed usefulness are constantly shortening, until now it is maintained that it only protects for a few years, with an ever increasing coterie within the ranks of the medical profession maintaining that it does not protect at all.
Again and again in toxic conditions and in immunity from contagion, the Christian Scientist is proving that spiritual understanding gives the protection of which Jesus spoke when he said to those who believe, "If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them."
Medical and surgical methods are changing with such rapidity that among the profession the idea of yearly examinations has at times been agitated, the thought being that if it could be shown that a physician was not conversant with the very latest method, he should not be allowed to practice, — though this is admitting that what was good practice a few years ago is not good practice today.
I am not criticizing the doctor, — he does the best he can with the poor weapons which have been given him — I am sympathizing with him, because just when he thinks he has it, he finds he has not.
Disease is Mental
In practicing medicine I soon found that there was a certain mental element in every case, and as it was obvious that this element could not be reached by any material means, I began to try to estimate just how large a factor it was in every case that came to me. At first I thought some cases were quite largely physical, and others quite largely mental, but as time went on and through practice my observation of the mental side of the question became more keen, I saw that many types of sickness were wholly mental, and finally, came to see that they were all entirely so.
This did not mean that I was a Christian Scientist when I had arrived at this point, — far from it! I decided that since I had to deal with so large a mental question, which the medical profession either wholly or almost wholly ignored, I would study mental healing from every standpoint from which it had been presented, with the idea that I would find in all literature on the subject the presentation of the same principle, and so would have a broader view of the question than any single writer, and with this knowledge would be able to heal. Accordingly, I studied everything I could find, from mental therapeutics to Christian Science, and as I studied I saw that all were alike except one, and that one was Christian Science.
Christian Science the Remedy
Christian Science was the only one that had so large a grasp of the allness of God as to refuse to dishonor Him, by admitting that anything that He had made was imperfect or could become imperfect, was sick when He created it, or had within it any God-given quality that could allow it to become sick. It was the only one in which there was no compromise with matter, and which dared to deny the material world, the flesh, and the devil, because they were contrary to His creative perfection: the only one that dared to deny the actual existence of anything unlike God, and therefore the only one that offered assurance of healing after human hope and human will and human reason had failed.
Do you suppose that when I saw all this I accepted Christian Science? No! Instead, for two years I read everything I could find against it (and it was at a time when there was much criticism), in the hope of convincing myself that it was not true, for I saw that the spirituality of Christian Science would not mix with my profession, and I did not want to give up the practice of medicine, But the more I read against it, the more I became convinced of its truth, and here I am. It does heal, and it does save, just as it did in Jesus' time. We need to know something about God, however, in order to appropriate the healing, and throughout the entire teaching of Christian Science the necessity for spiritual understanding in order that we may know God's law is constantly insisted upon.
A study of the lives of the most prominent characters in the Bible reveals the fact that their closeness to God was the result of their deep and constant meditation of Him, and that a knowledge of God has always been essential to the demonstration of His power over material conditions. We are prone to think that Abraham and Moses, Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist and Jesus, were arbitrarily chosen of God to fulfill a particular mission with no reference to their acquired spiritual understanding, and that their ability to demonstrate God's power was a special gift bestowed upon them for the occasion. It is true that they were chosen of God for the work which they did, but in exactly the same way that great and good men in our own time have been chosen of God, through the consciousness and manifestation of those qualities which enabled them to do that which needed to be done.
On page 488 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy has pointed out that the verb believe as used in the Bible has the significance of understanding, and she further explains that "the Scriptures often appear in our common version to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding."
Throughout the entire teaching of the gospels both Jesus and his disciples constantly asserted that salvation was to come as a result of believing, — as a result of having faith in God. Paul says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." We are constantly enjoined in the Scriptures to believe and to have faith, but we have accepted these words in the sense of their most shallow meaning, and have thought that all that was required of us was to tacitly believe and we should receive all that Christianity has to offer.
The Greek words for believe and faith are from the same Greek root, a word which means "conviction of truth." And to be convinced of truth means to know, to understand truth. Our dictionaries give this deeper meaning as the one to be used in a religious sense, but our everyday use of the word believe in the sense of giving credence to, and of the word faith in something of the same sense as the word hope, tends to obscure the larger meaning of the words.
Blind Belief Insufficient
In the 11th chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, the writer after defining faith as "the evidence of things not seen," gives an example of how the word is to be used when he says, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God." Now it would manifestly be impossible for us to perceive "that the worlds were framed by the word of God" through anything less than spiritual understanding.
In the third chapter of Acts, Peter, in his sermon on the healing of the lame man, describes his method by saying. "And his [Christ Jesus'] name through faith in his name hath made this man strong." Here the statement is made that healing came about through faith, spiritual understanding of the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the word name as used in the Scriptures had a deeper significance than it has in our modern times. The idea of a name in the Hebrew language and the Hebrew mind was not merely that of a sound by which an object might be designated, but that of a significant term which should really indicate its quality or nature; so that Peter's statement meant that the manifestation of Jesus' nature, the Christ, or God's perfect man, which he had revealed to them, and which they understood, had made this man whole. The Master said in his prayer to his Father, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world;" and what did the Master do but to manifest God's nature to the men that God had given him out of the world? Again and again it is pointed out in the New Testament that faith in his name, that is, understanding of his nature, is what heals and saves in every instance.
Christian Science is giving us this enlarged understanding of the nature of God, which is essential if we are to appropriate in greater and greater measure the infinite blessings which infinite Love has in store for us.
[In undertaking to know something of the nature of God, we are all agreed in admitting that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; that is, all-powerful, ever present, and all knowing. We are all agreed in admitting His infinite perfection and presence and power; yet after making these statements the religious thought of the world quite generally contradicts them by admitting that sickness and other forms of imperfection are either sent of God or permitted by Him, as though divine Mind had any imperfection to send or could permit it without becoming responsible for it.]
The Bible speaks of God as Spirit, as Life, as Truth, and as Love. It also speaks of Him as the creator, that from which all proceeds. This thought is expressed in Christian Science by the use of the word Principle for God, since Principle is that from which all proceeds and by which it exists.
Mrs. Eddy has also given us the term Father-Mother, by which there is brought to consciousness the completeness of the creator, the motherhood as well as the fatherhood of God, and also a larger thought of God as Love. When we think of God the Father, our thought of Him is limited by our earthly sense of fatherhood, which, no matter how complete, is still lacking in the fullness of those qualities of love and tenderness which the mother thought expresses. The word Spirit is used in the Bible, and the word which is translated Almighty God, both had something of this same thought of motherhood; but this thought has been completely lost to us in the translation.
No matter by what term we may think of God, whether it be as infinite Life or infinite Principle, or infinite Mind, a logical deduction as to the nature of man and the creation will always bring us to the same point, — that of the eternal perfection of all that God has made, and the unreality of sickness and all that is contrary to His divine nature.
The only way we can fail to arrive at this conclusion is by simply saying God is God, — making no effort to understand His nature, — and insisting that the sickness and sin which we see about us are in some way according to His infinite perfection and holiness.
God's Qualities Manifest
God as infinite Life cannot be made manifest in death nor can infinite Life be made manifest in sickness, for sickness ultimates in death, and so in a relative sense is partial death. Infinite Life can only be made manifest in infinite eternal health.
God is Mind
God as infinite Truth cannot be made manifest in sickness, for every truth is in absolute, harmonious accord with every other truth, just as one mathematical truth is in harmony with every other mathematical truth, and infinite Truth can tolerate no inharmony, even though it calls itself sickness and claims to be truth.
God as infinite Love cannot do less for His children than to manifest that Love and supply them with infinite good, and infinite good does not include sickness. What earthly father as a manifestation of his love for his child would bring sickness upon it, or allow it to have sickness if he could prevent it? "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
When we consider God as Principle, that from which all proceeds, we find it impossible to conceive of both sickness and health proceeding from this one infinite Principle; and yet there is no other source from which anything could come, for, as John declares, "without him was not anything made that was made."
When we consider God as Mind we arrive at the same conclusion, for the manifestation of Mind is thought, and the thoughts of infinite Mind are not sick thoughts, but perfect and healthful and holy.
We all of us accept the statement that God is wisdom, but it is better to say that God is Mind, because wisdom is never anything but the expression of Mind. If we admit infinite wisdom, we must admit that it is the emanation of an infinite Mind.
Let us illustrate the divine Mind by using the ordinary conception of a human mind as an example. You say your friend has a fine mind. You say you know this because he has a lot of fine ideas which he expresses. You have never seen his mind, but you have known the expression of his mind 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 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.
Now we have evidence of infinite wisdom in the universe, and the evidence of infinite wisdom predicates an infinite Mind. The infinite Mind is filled with an infinite number of ideas or thoughts which constitute its wisdom. These ideas, because they are ideas, cannot be separated from the Mind which contains them, and it is the activity, the reflection, the manifestation of these ideas which constitute man and the universe.
Mind's Ideas Are Perfect
As God's ideas we exist in Him, — perfect, spiritual and immortal, — and because we exist in Him the Scriptures declare that, "in him we live, and move, and have our being."
There is a further quality of an idea that it might be well to consider. An idea has no ability to do anything or to be anything other than just the idea of the mind in which it exists. It cannot change itself or become more or less or different than that mind intended it should be, for it has no volition of its own, and must of necessity express exactly the qualities of the mind whose idea it is. Man is the perfect idea of God, and as an idea of God he has no volition of his own. He cannot he sick or choose to do evil, for if he could change from being God's perfect idea he would be greater than God, because he would have spoiled the infinite design, frustrated the divine purpose. Now infinite Mind is infinite Spirit and infinite Life. In expressing the perfection of infinite Mind, man expresses infinite Life and infinite Spirit, and as an expression of infinite Life man must be eternal, while as an expression of infinite Spirit man must be spiritual and not material. Man, then, as God's idea, God's image and likeness, has all the qualities of God, and not a single quality which is not of God; therefore he is healthful and holy; spiritual, immortal, perfect.
Mortal Ideas Unreal
Such a conclusion as this leaves no room for a mortal, material, sick, and sinful man, yet we have the problem of materiality with its sicknesses and woes to deal with as a false belief to be eradicated.
Nothing seems more real to the human mind than does matter, though the most eminent physicists of the present day are quite at one in saying that it is impossible to prove that there is such a thing as matter. They say that matter is a function of something outside itself, the expression of energy; and this is just another way of saying that matter is an expression of thought. Christian Science agrees with them in saying that matter is an expression of thought, but points out that matter is an expression not of right thought but of wrong thought; that all right thought, God's thought, real thought, must partake of God's nature, and is therefore spiritual, not material, and is expressed in spiritual things, not material things. The whole material universe with all its sin, sickness, and death, is just the sense of the opposite, — the sense of the absence of that which God made.
Mortal Unreality Illustrated
Suppose a man had never had his sight, and sight came to him while he was in a dark room. He would not know that he had his sight, nor would he know that he was in the dark, for it is impossible for one to gain a sense of darkness without first being conscious of light. But let him be taken into the light and he would see. Then when he was returned to the darkness he would sense it as darkness, — the absence of light. So it is impossible for there to be a sense of darkness except as there is first a consciousness of light. This is equally true of strength and weakness. It is just as impossible for there to come a sense of weakness, except as there is first a consciousness of strength. If there had never been a consciousness of strength as part of what God created, there would never have been a sense of weakness.
So the moment when God said, "Let there be light," which is equivalent to saying, "Let there be strength, and let there be health, and let there be holiness," was the first moment wherein there could have come a sense of darkness, and weakness, and sickness, and sin. For every good and perfect thing which God has made, there has in like manner come a sense of its absence, — an opposite, a lie, without reality or substance.
When God said, "Let us make man in our image, after out likeness," so that man was made in His likeness, spiritual and perfect and immortal, there came a sense of the absence of that spiritual and perfect and immortal man; and the sense of the absence of a spiritual and perfect and immortal man would be a material and imperfect and mortal man; that is, a mortal mind and a mortal, material body called man.
The New Testament calls this material or mortal mind the "carnal mind," or mind of the flesh. We are distinctly told that this carnal mind and its manifestation, carnal body, "is enmity against God," that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom;" that "they that are in the flesh cannot please God." So it is plain that God did not make the mortal body, for his own thought, His own ideas, cannot be at enmity with Him.
Thought Expressed on Body
Now this material body cannot do anything of itself, but is simply the expression of the conscious or unconscious thought of the mortal, human mind. Investigation proves that all sickness is mental, that is, it is sick thought made manifest on the body; and when we are well it is well thought which is made manifest on the body. Every function, every action, every condition of the body, is the expression of what we are consciously or unconsciously thinking from one moment to the next.
If a man were hungry and food which was placed before him had something about it that was exceedingly unappetizing, it would apparently be his stomach which protested, because the thought which he entertained about the food would be made manifest on his body; but what would his stomach know about the food? Absolutely nothing! If he believed that the food was all right, this thought would be made manifest in proper activity of the stomach; and if he had eaten food believing it to be all right and had then discovered that it was all wrong, his changed thought would be made manifest in changed function — in nausea, indigestion, and so forth.
In like manner, to believe that cold or wet could harm us would be just as disastrous to the lungs or the throat as to believe that unappetizing food could make the stomach sick.
It is not necessary to know each particular mortal belief, or so-called law, in order that we may appropriate the sicknesses and troubles they stand for, because we have accepted the false belief that man is subject to all manner of diseases, the nature of which he is unaware, and this belief insists that we may have any sort of trouble to which flesh has claimed to be heir.
Right Thought Brings Health
As we see that both sin and sickness are simply manifestations of mortal thought, thoughts of imperfection, we also see that by putting the thought of the perfection of God and all that God has made in place of this wrong thought, we shall rule out the wrong thought; and with no wrong thought there can be no wrong manifestation. The Bible makes this identical statement, when it says, "Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and . . . put on the new man. which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
To those who are just beginning the study of Christian Science the nothingness of the material man is the most difficult proposition to accept. The logic of the argument of the infinite perfection of Mind, God, and the spiritual creation, seems clear to most of us, but the equally logical and correlated argument of the nothingness and unreality of the material creation causes us more trouble. This point will become clearer as our spiritual perception enlarges, for in the proportion that the spiritual creation becomes real to us, the material loses its reality.
I have often been asked the question, if this mortal, material body is not of God, if it isn't so — what am I going to do about it? what am I going to think about it?
Well, don't try to get rid of it all at once. Be content for today to get rid of the very worst things you know about it, — those things that are so obviously unlike God, so contrary to the thought of His perfection, that you can detect, no matter how small your understanding, that they are not His making, and hence have never been made. As you deny their reality and assert what you know to be God's perfection, these conditions will disappear; and though you will still have a material body to deal with, it will be a better body, made better and stronger through the application of God's law of health.
It is the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new, through the application of the teachings of Christian Science, that constitutes the healing. The thoughts of sickness and sin are ruled out of human consciousness by the understanding and declaration of the perfection of that which God has made.
Deception of Counterfeit
There are those who feel that it is almost a sacrilege to dispose of material man as just the counterfeit of the spiritual, perfect man. This material man is so wonderfully made, they say, how can it be possible that God did not make him? They feel that it is dishonoring God to disown the material man as His product.
Material man does seem to be wonderfully made, but you will remember that in the many "better baby" shows that have been prevalent about the country, though the best and most perfect babies are entered, it is sometimes impossible to find one that is 100 per cent perfect. If material man is the creation of God, it is not honoring God very much to have to admit that more than 95 per cent of His creation could be vastly improved upon in the very beginning.
Others maintain that God made man perfect, and gave him his own free will to do good or evil, but man chose to do evil, and the evil brought sickness and other troubles upon him; or that man unknowingly transgressed God's laws, but that God is in no way responsible, because had man chosen to do right all would have been well.
Suppose an architect put up a building and it fell down; would that be the fault of the building? It would only fall because it was so constructed that it could fall. Obviously, if God made man so he could fall, and he fell, it would be God's fault, not man's.
Righteousness is Liberty
It should be stated also, that those who hold to the belief that God made man free to do either good or evil are holding a belief that is directly contrary to Jesus' teaching. He said: "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." "I can of mine own self do nothing." "Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." The Master everywhere taught that to do God's will constituted freedom; for he told those who believed on him that if they continued in his word its truth would make them free; and that whosoever committed sin was in bondage to sin. It has ever been bondage to be sick and sinful, and to stop being sick and sinful is to enter into "the glorious liberty of the children of God."
When the Master first appeared in the synagogue, he announced his mission by appropriation to himself that passage from the 61st chapter of Isaiah, which reads, "The spirit of God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." He who continually maintained that he could only do God's will and not his own, came proclaiming liberty. Man was never given his free will to do right or wrong, for it has always been liberty to do good and bondage to do evil.
There are those who mistakenly maintain that Christian Science denies the divinity of the Christ. The divinity of the Christ is an unassailable fact which is accepted and taught from cover to cover of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy; but if we are to accept the teaching of the Bible on the subject of Christ, we shall have to admit that the Christ had been manifested in some degree at various times both before and since the full and perfect manifestation of the Christ which Jesus presented.
Isaiah had some consciousness of the Christ when he said, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me," for if he had not, Jesus could not have appropriated his exact words in stating his mission as the Christ. Abraham saw the Christ in some measure when he became conscious of the "King of righteousness," of whom the Bible says that he had "neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God." And we are told that Moses and the children of Israel were conscious of the Christ, for the Bible says, they "did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ." On page 333 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "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," — a fact which may be verified by careful study of the Scriptures.
It is certain that Jesus' followers knew they were manifesting the Christ in some degree or Paul would not have said to the Corinthians, "We have the mind of Christ;" nor would he have enjoined the Philippians to let that Mind be in them "which was also in Christ Jesus." In addition to this Paul says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." If we are joint heirs with Christ we shall certainly manifest in some measure the Mind of Christ, which Jesus manifested so fully in healing sickness and destroying sin.
Our thought of gratitude to the Master for all that he has done for us in showing us "the way," grows greater day by day as our growth in understanding enables us to see more clearly the full significance to us of his life and work. This gratitude can never be fully expressed, except as it is continually expressed.
It is but natural that we should feel a sense of deep gratitude to Mrs. Eddy also, because it is through her teaching that we are experiencing that which the Master taught, but which we had not appropriated. Those who have not experienced the blessings which Christian Science brings cannot understand the expressions of gratitude toward Mrs. Eddy, and sometimes object to them. Gratitude is the opposite of selfishness, and what we give to one does not take from another. There is room in the thought of the Christian Scientist for the expression of gratitude wherever gratitude is due.
The Prayer That Heals
The Christian Scientist prays without ceasing. He is not given to praying audibly; because he is not praying to man, but to God, who hears him in secret but rewards him openly.
Mrs. Eddy says, "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer" (Science and Health, p. 4). Our idea of goodness needs to be enlarged to include all good qualities. It should include health and success as well as holiness. If God's help is not available in everything, how are we to know how much He may be relied upon in anything? If God will not save us from a sick body or a sick business, how can we be sure that He will save us from sin? Men are proving daily that Christian Science may be successfully applied to every human activity, to every human problem. It enables the business man to be a blessing to the entire community which he serves, and he in turn is blessed with a freedom from worry and a consciousness of peace and success. Christian Science has brought many prosperous business conditions where before there had been business failures, just as it has in so many instances brought healthful conditions of the body where before there had been medical failures.
To get an understanding of divine Love requires nothing but the belief that the infinite Principle may be understood and a desire to understand it. He who with an honest motive makes an effort to know the letter of Christian Science, will receive the Spirit, and there is no human difficulty which divine Love cannot heal.
[Delivered June 2, 1918, at Scenic Temple under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Tribune, June 8, 1918. The bracketed paragraph was contained in an account of the same lecture published in The New Rochelle (New York) Pioneer, Oct. 27, 1917, which published the lecture "in full".]