Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (2)
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
The lecture in full follows:
Had some great material legacy been given to you and you had learned under what conditions you might appropriate it, I am sure that you would feel a great sense of happiness and expectancy. And you would be willing and eager to do all that is necessary in order that you might quickly receive that which you believed would prove so great a blessing.
There is a gift which divine Love has given you. It is greater by far than all the treasure in the storehouses of the world. It gives to you what money cannot buy, for not only does it feed and clothe you, but it brings you bodily health and peace and joy such as you have never known. This wonderful gift is the understanding and power which comes to you when you recognize your true relationship to God, and which when applied to human conditions brings health and harmony.
Divine Law Available
The explanation of God's law and its availability to all mankind was taught and demonstrated by Jesus the Christ, but for many centuries it has been maintained that the major portion of the reward for Christian living is to come at some future time, as if one has unlimited and immediately available funds in the bank but has been made to believe by his friends that the rules of the bank are such that he cannot use the money for many years to come. Christian Science furnishes the rule by which the power that Jesus used in accomplishing his wondrous works is made immediately available, and because its beneficent power can make over and bless every phase of our material existence it is the most important subject that can come to our consideration. The wisdom of this world has failed not only to heal from discord and sin but to heal from disease. And it will continue to fail in its treatment of disease until it is recognized that sickness is sick thought expressed on the body, and that sick thought is cast out through spiritual understanding. The wonder is that the fact that disease is mental has been hidden from the world for so long, and that human thought can continue to cling to material remedies in spite of their very apparent record of failure. That the patient must have faith in the physician in order to get results is quite generally admitted. Notwithstanding this admission, the human mind is so material in its thinking that it ignores the mental aspect of disease and continues its futile search in the material. In his daily practice the physician comes in contact with symptoms and conditions that cannot be accounted for materially. The moment one assumes that these are mental manifestations and looks for confirmation of this assumption he finds it on every hand.
During the time that I was studying medicine and before I actually engaged in the practice, the statement was made to me on several occasions and by different persons that any effect which followed the use of medicine was not material but mental. The idea seemed quite impossible to me at the time, still when things occurred that were of such a nature that they could not be accounted for on any material basis I remembered what had seen said and finally I began to see that some things at least were mental. This investigation went on and finally resulted in the conviction that all disease is mental and that any result which has ever been obtained has come about as a mental manifestation. Where before I saw nothing but material conditions I could now see the mental factor everywhere. In my own experience I have seen a person who suffered from a condition for which I prescribed at various times, fail to receive any relief from one sort of tablet while the administration of a tablet containing just half the quantity of the drug but with a different color and taste was always followed by most marked results. It has been my experience that those people who believed that it took strong medicine to cure them were much more apt to be quickly benefited if the medicine through its disgusting taste impressed them as being very strong.
On the other hand I remember one person who thought he was unusually susceptible to the supposed action of drugs. No matter how minute the quantity of drug which was given him his illness was immediately very greatly increased, yet he insisted that he must have medicine. Powders that had no more medicinal action than chalk would produce this aggravation as well as medicine, so it was evident that this too was mental.
Material Methods Fail
Anyone who goes back into the history of material medicine is impressed by the fact that for practically every diseased condition there has been a continual succession of drugs, one following the other; and it is always claimed for the last one, with the greatest enthusiasm and positiveness that it certainly does heal the disease, and in support of this contention there may be offered the records of many cases that have been cured. Human thought is not much given to retrospection along this line. If it were it would remember that all the drugs that have followed each other in the treatment of disease, and have been successively discarded, have had the same glowing record when they were first used. The reason for this is that it is not the drug but the belief in it which accomplishes the healing. Those who discover and bring forth a remedy are strong in their belief that it will cure, because the remedy is the outcome of a definite conviction as to how the disease should be treated; so they obtain marked results, while those who prescribe the same drug later on have no such conviction, and because of their previous experience may be even mildly skeptical. This state of thought brings about failure.
Because the new remedy with its short-lived record of success always takes the place of the old with its final record of failure, these successive changes are announced in the name of progress. The extent of the failure is seen in the fact that every material thing, vegetable, mineral, and animal, which imagination conceived to have a medicinal action has been tried. The ignorance of the medical methods of a hundred years ago is laughed at by the men who seriously believe that extracts from calves and pigs can make them better men.
Now the history of every material method, including surgery, is the same as that of drugs. The results which come are according to the belief which is entertained about them. One has only to glance through the medical journals to see that physicians themselves are condemning many of the operations and methods which the world at large has been taught to believe would heal them. Almost every one can recall operations and methods which were quite the rage a few years ago but are seldom heard of today, and it is perfectly safe to predict that the surgical procedures which seem successful today will be discarded for others tomorrow.
The casual observer may be made to believe that these operations were reasonably successful and were only abandoned because other and better operative methods had been discovered. Investigation will show, however, that the operation was most successful during its early history, and that something detrimental — some disturbing after effect — appeared with greater and greater frequency until the method was abandoned for another so new that it had not had time to acquire a record of failure.
Christian Science Logical
In what has been said there is no disposition to criticize the medical profession or to minimize whatever of good it may be accomplishing, but it is no kindness to them to refrain from stating the truth. The greatest blessing that can come to both the doctor and the world is to learn why it is that no material method is of permanent avail and that it is God who not only "forgiveth all thine iniquities" but "who healeth all thy diseases."
In my search for the best mental means with which to heal the mental conditions which produced disease, Christian Science came in for its share of investigation. It was the one method which I thought I did not want because it would not mix with any of my material thinking, but it was the only method l could accept because it was the only one which maintained the logic of its reasoning. When human thought is filled with fear and belief in disease, no human statement to the contrary will suffice, and the thought which heals must be so evidently the divine idea, that it comes to human consciousness as the very voice of God to destroy and dispel the error. Such a system is Christian Science and it only asks to be known by its fruits.
Its Discoverer and Founder
It is essential in undertaking the study of Christian Science that one should know something of the one to whom it was revealed, and some of the factors which led to its discovery. The revelation came to Mrs. Eddy because the particular qualities of thought which she possessed made it inevitable. She was always of a deeply religious nature. In her secular studies the trend of her thought is shown in the fact that her favorite studies were natural philosophy, logic, and moral science, together with Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. There was in all that she did a persistence that is very striking. A study of her life shows that every material thing which might have brought some sense of satisfaction and peace crumbled to ashes within her grasp, yet she never faltered nor lost faith that God would show her the way out if she persisted with sufficient diligence. She investigated every material system of healing and finally decided that all causation must be mental, yet it required twenty years of effort before she really understood that all causation was Mind, God, and a number of years more before it had unfolded with sufficient clarity to be given to the world. So Christian Science came as a result of patient, unfaltering effort to know God's law, and to the one who possessed the qualities of thought which made its revelation humanly possible.
Because the study of Christian Science has enabled us to know the power and love of God and to recognize and appreciate much more fully what the Master did for us in his demonstration of this power and love, we are grateful to Mrs. Eddy for having made it possible. There is no human gift that can compare to the gift of spiritual understanding, for it brings joy into every phase of living. Those who have not felt its beneficence cannot understand why Christian Scientists express so great appreciation of Mrs. Eddy, because they cannot conceive of the greatness of the gift, while those who knew something of the richness of it wonder that so often we forget to be grateful.
It is the common experience of those who study Christian Science that there comes to them a much larger, clearer understanding of God than they had before. In her writings Mrs. Eddy quite properly and with Biblical precedent uses a number of terms for the Supreme Being each one of which expresses some particular quality of the divine Principle. It is interesting and helpful in studying what she has written to stop and consider just why a particular term for God is used in any given sentence. It will invariably be found that the word chosen not only explains her meaning better than any other, but that by its use one's understanding of Life, or Spirit, or of whatever synonym for God has been used, is increased, and one is conscious of spiritual growth.
In discussing the nature of God let us begin with the fact that God is Mind, because by recognizing this we are enabled to see more clearly the inseparable relationship which exists between God and man, and to see that because of this relationship man manifests the qualities of God, of Mind, and nothing else.
It is generally admitted that there is a Supreme Being and that he is omnipotent and omniscient. To say that God is omniscient, all-knowing, is stating that God is infinite Mind, for Mind alone knows, understands. When Daniel said, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his," and when Paul said, "To God only wise, be glory," they both admitted infinite Mind which alone possesses infinite wisdom and makes it manifest.
Divine Mind and Divine Idea
In order that we may better understand the operation, the activity, of 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 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, 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 infinite number of ideas or thoughts, which must be expressed, and the activity, the expression, the manifestation of these ideas constitutes man and the universe. God's ideas express Him in countless spiritual forms. As God's ideas we exist in Him and because we exist in Him the Scriptures so declare that "in him we live, and move, and have our being."
There is a further quality of an idea which it will be necessary for us to 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 intends it should express. For example: If you have a thought of love for your neighbor, this idea cannot get away from you and change itself into a thought of hate. The ideas in 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.
What are these qualities which man as the idea of infinite Mind must manifest? The various terms for God define His nature, and every synonym is used because it expresses some quality of Deity which was not so readily apparent in any other term. Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Principle, Father, Mother, are but other terms for Mind, each expressing its own peculiar character yet readily interchangeable with any other term, so that it is just as correct to say that man is the idea of Life or of Love as to say that he is the idea of Mind.
Life, Truth, and Love are the three terms that together express Mind most completely, and man who is Mind's idea expresses Life in perfect, healthful, immortal existence, expresses Truth in his manifestation of spiritual being, which alone is real and true, and expresses Love in the infinite manifestation of the goodness of God.
Unreality of Matter
Because it is true that man is the idea of infinite Mind he cannot be material, and this material body will have to be accounted for in some other way. Matter seems very real to the human mind, yet the deepest material thinkers maintain that matter has no existence in and of itself. They say that it is simply a manifestation of law. Our education has been such that we have accepted any material object such as iron, or wood, or stone, to be very real and substantial and having this reality and substantiality within itself. It can readily be seen that the seeming substantiality of a piece of iron is not within the iron, for if the material laws of cohesion and attraction which bind the atoms and molecules together, the law of gravitation which gives the iron weight and the various other laws which go to make up its material appearing were removed the iron would vanish into nothingness. So these material thinkers see and admit that matter is simply a manifestation of material thought, but they go on with a line of thought which maintains that these material laws proceed from the Infinite Being.
Now Christian Science agrees with them in admitting that matter is simply an expression of thought but denies absolutely that this thought is of God. On the contrary it maintains that the material man and the material universe are expressions of belief that are counterfeits of the true ideas. On page 60 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy has said that "every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief." All the beliefs which are termed material laws, the beliefs known as sin, sickness, and death, the belief in a material man and a material universe are counterfeits of the spiritual creation. These various beliefs are not of God because they are contrary to His nature. The material man manifests sin, sickness, and materiality, which are the direct opposites of those qualities of health, holiness, and spirituality, which the real and spiritual man must inevitably manifest as the image and likeness of God. The material man is therefore but a counterfeit, an expression of material belief and not of that truth which is God.
It is not maintained that we have been able fully to demonstrate that matter is unreal, but thousands have been able to annul what are thought to be unchanging material laws through the recognition of the law of Spirit. Now to break and annul any of the laws of matter through the application of spiritual law, proves that they can all be overcome when we understand God's law more fully. For the present we apply our understanding of the law of Love to those material conditions of sickness and sin which trouble us most and which we most clearly see are no part of God's creation.
Out of Matter into Spirit
In beginning the study of Christian Science one need not trouble about the doctrine of the unreality of matter. The vital thing is to learn more about God. As our spiritual understanding increases, one after another of our material beliefs is seen to be false, and healthful material conditions and harmonious mental conditions are brought about through our righteous thinking, and we are encouraged to press on till we shall have completely demonstrated the unreality of matter.
We get rid of the belief in the reality of matter only by degrees, but the destruction of any single diseased condition by mentally unseeing it is proof that disease is mental, and falsely mental. If it were not it could not be changed by correct thinking. Every physical healing resulting from Christian Science treatment is evidence not only that disease is mental but that matter itself is but an expression of material thought. Entirely apart from the conclusions deduced from Christian Science there is ample evidence that disease is mental. There are many authenticated instances of persons who have been instantaneously freed from long established infirmities through some sudden mental shock such as fire or lightning. A mental shock could not destroy disease unless the disease were in human consciousness to be destroyed. Many peculiarities about disease which are readily explainable from a mental standpoint are accounted for materially through the most fantastic flights of speculation.
Material Beliefs Deceive
Since the advent of the germ theory of disease there has been a constant effort to include as many diseases as possible in this category. The very fact that the previous conviction of the cause of a disease could be so readily discarded for the belief that germs were the offenders shows how hesitant the world should be in accepting any conclusion along this line.
Some investigators became convinced that certain microscopic forms of vegetable life which they found present in disease were the cause of it. They conducted experiments which to them seemed to prove conclusively that this was true. The foundation of their theory was that each disease was produced by a different germ; that is that the pneumococcus produced pneumonia, the tubercle bacillus tuberculosis and so on. A few of these germs were such common everyday sort of vegetables that they were present no matter what the disease and so they did not count very much, but there were a dozen or so that were sufficiently select to be accounted the cause of as many diseases. Unfortunately there are many diseases that seem contagious or infectious, but there are not enough varieties of germs to go around. No suitable germ has been found for many of the diseases which are presumed to be caused by them, and this failure is often accounted for by maintaining that these microscopic growths are so small that the most powerful microscope fails to reveal them — a most accommodating theory. To add to the confusion it is now asserted that the pneumococcus which was presumed to cause pneumonia is not the only germ which produces it but that there are several others. And these germs are found in as great numbers in the mouth of a healthy person as in that of a sick one, so that it would seem to the unprofessional observer that it might just as well be argued that the healthy persons' health is due to germs as to maintain that the sick person's sickness is caused by it, since the same germs are present both in sickness and health.
Moreover, the germ theory could only be established by maintaining that there is just one particular germ for each disease, causing its peculiar train of symptoms, for in no other way could the individual characteristics of the disease be accounted for. But once having established the belief that germs produce disease and finding repeatedly that the right one was not present, it was necessary to maintain that some other germ was the offender, in spite of the fact that this offers the basis for disproving the whole germ theory, because it is an admission of the exact opposite of the foundation on which it rests.
Now many physicians are beginning to recognize the difficulty in which they find themselves; the confusion and contradiction of it all. They are beginning to state that it is probable that germs do not cause disease after all, because one after another of the most fundamental conclusions about them are being shaken.
The things that seemed amply proved a few years ago are now proving to be false. Thousands of cattle, comprising choice herds of milch cows, have been destroyed because bacteriologists "knew" that they had tuberculosis and were giving it to humanity, yet now they "know" that cows never caused a single case of human tuberculosis. And anyone who responded to tuberculin as a test for tuberculosis was branded as having it, although now it is found that 95 per cent. of well people respond to this test, and the healthier they are the more vigorously do they respond.
The more recent history of disease — the apparent control of some contagious condition on the one hand and the uncontrollable epidemic on the other — is baffling to the materialist but an open book to anyone who has some degree of spiritual understanding.
Results of Wrong Thinking
All the varied beliefs in disease may be likened to a river of material thought. At one time it was a wide and shallow stream spread out over a great breadth of materiality, for there were many supposed causes and conditions regarding it. An ineffectual effort was made to stop its flow entirely by a dam composed of all the material curative measures in use. A constant effort was made to stop the leaks and repair the breaks which the beliefs in sickness made in the dam, with whatever was believed would best serve, whether it was medicine, or climate, or diet, or some other so-called curative measure. The total amount of sick beliefs that were going over the dam was not lessened at all, but they did not often break through very violently in any one place. As time went on the beliefs changed: the river become narrow and deep. Its source — the beliefs in disease — had not grown less, but the channel of thought through which it flowed was narrowed down so that it covered less ground, because the many and varied beliefs regarding the cause of disease had in most instances given way to the belief in germs. The dam still obstructs the flow of the stream and the beliefs in disease break through as before. The belief in germs breaks through perhaps in the form of diphtheria, but there is a material on hand which will stop this difficulty. Then perhaps the germs break through in typhoid, but here too there is material which at this time is believed in with sufficient confidence to stop the flow. But finally the belief in germs breaks through as influenza or pneumonia, where there is no material belief which is sufficiently strong to stop it and it flows until it is down to its normal level.
It is inevitable that just so long as the world builds up its belief in disease that disease will be manifested. It may delude itself into thinking it is making progress by apparently checking some one disease, but the total manifestation is not lessened in the least.
The only way to be rid of disease is to stop it at its source. The beliefs from which it proceeded must be replaced by spiritual understanding. Then shall we see in place of this stream of sickness and death the river of Life which John saw. "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Not material medicine but the leaves of the tree of Life, which proceeds from the throne of God, has God provided for our healing.
The Bible Revealed
Because Christian Science is the statement of the divine laws of Life, Truth and Love, which Jesus taught and demonstrated so many centuries ago, the spiritual understanding gained through its study unfolds the Scriptures in a most marvelous way.
Language has developed down through the ages so that we now have terms which were not in use in Bible times and which are particularly helpful in teaching spiritual facts. One of these is the word mind. When the Old Testament was written, there seems to have been no such word in use and where this word is found in our King James Version the original is invariably some word like "breath," or "mouth," or "heart."
In the New Testament, written hundreds of years later, the words which are translated mind are from a great variety of words none of which seem to have the exact meaning which we give to it.
John's Understanding of Truth
The Apostle John had an unusually clear understanding of the Master's teaching. We find that he begins his Gospel with a statement of the fundamentals of Christian Science, and although the word mind is not used, his argument is that all that is real is a manifestation of thought. He says. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This term "the Word" is from the Greek Logos, which means (1) an idea or concept, and (2) the expression of that idea. Now no idea could have existence apart from mind, so that John's statement coincides exactly with Mrs. Eddy's statement that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health, p. 468)
Moreover John specifically denies that matter is of God when he says that without the Logos "was not any thing made that was made." This word "made" is used hundreds of times in the New Testament and never in the sense of "to make" or "to create" but means a present activity; that is, to come, or, to come to pass. The divine manifestation is then simply the expression of spiritual ideas and must of necessity be altogether spiritual. Isaiah corroborates this conclusion by saying, "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: . . . The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of God shall stand for ever." Not flesh, but God's spiritual idea, the word, is real and endures. And the Master while maintaining that the kingdom of God is within you — that heaven is a state of consciousness — also maintained that flesh and blood could not enter. So then spiritual consciousness excludes matter.
It is quite frequently maintained that Christian Science denies the divinity of Christ, although this is absolutely contrary to the fact. Consistent with its teaching that God is Mind and that man is God's perfect idea, it maintains that the Christ is "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). John defines the Christ in the statement, "the Word was made flesh." The "Word" — that is the divine idea — "was made flesh," — not create flesh, for this word "made" is never used in that sense, — but come to the flesh. Christian Scientists heartily agree with this thought; they gratefully acknowledge that Jesus manifested the Christ, the divine idea, revealing in his words and works the true nature of God and man. We can all manifest in some degree the divine idea which Jesus manifested, for "of his fulness have all we received." To the degree that we really understand God do we demonstrate the Christ in our daily living, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy, "The works that I do, shall (ye) do also." Through patient faithful effort we shall eventually come "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
The slightest amount of spiritual understanding put into practice brings forth abundant results, and faith as a grain of mustard seed is sufficient to remove mountains of error.
Two very noticeable things about students of Christian Science are their daily study of the Bible and the frequency with which they pray. Most of those who are seen reading the Bible on the railroad trains or in other places are Christian Scientists, and they are reading not "to be seen of men" but because its pages have become illumined to them through the study of Christian Science, and they allow nothing to deprive them of their reading.
Many times in a day a student of Christian Science finds opportunity and necessity for prayer. If, as has been maintained, Christian Science is consistent with the teaching of the Master, it will be found not only that the prayer of the Christian Scientist conforms logically with its teaching but is absolutely in accordance with the instructions of the Master. He gave to his disciples a prayer, and in addition very definite instruction about praying for those things which they desired. The Lord's Prayer understood heals the sick. When we realize that there is no other kingdom — that is, that God rules over all and that sin and disease have no power — then the prayer, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory," will heal the sick, not because we simply say these words but because we say them and understand that they are true.
In the Gospel according to Mark the Master says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." The Revised Version puts it, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." The attitude of the revisers has been to make changes only when the previous translation was manifestly wrong, so we should be able to accept this latter translation as correct, especially when we consider the fact that it is a method of prayer which was probably not familiar to those who made the translation, and no doubt many people who are numbered among the followers of Christ would scarcely understand how they could consistently offer such a prayer. To the Christian Scientist it is the definite confirmation of his method of prayer. We have previously brought out the fact that God is Mind and that man is the perfect idea of Mind, manifesting all the qualities of Life and Truth and of Love. When, therefore, there comes to human consciousness a thought of sickness and we desire to be conscious of health, we declare in the words of the Master that we "have received" health because it is the spiritual fact that God's child is always well, and we find that the Master's promise, "and ye shall have it," is fulfilled to the degree we have understood.
The reasoning of Christian Science brings divine Love close to human experience. The recognition that God is Mind and that man is His perfect idea is the basis for Christian Science healing. When we measure our thoughts by this divine standard and undertake as far as possible to entertain only that thought which we know to be of God, the thought which has made us sick or unhappy is eliminated.
The Effectiveness of Truth
The belief that one kind of disease or abnormal condition of the body is harder to heal than another is not the fact, and this erroneous thought should be denied. No wrong physical condition can be manifested for an instant except as it is the expression of wrong thinking, and right thinking eliminates one wrong thought as readily as another. Every claim of illness or sin or of discord which comes to Christian Science for healing is not a task to be done but one more welcome opportunity to prove again that Christian Science heals. "Progress is the law of God," Mrs. Eddy has said, and it is impossible to study God's law without making progress. Like the child with his daily lessons, we may not be conscious that we know more today than we did yesterday, yet with added understanding we should approach the problem with confidence today, which yesterday seemed not to yield.
As a result of much experience in Christian Science I do not hesitate to say that a physical diagnosis of disease is not only unnecessary but may be harmful. It is sometimes proposed on the ground that it will enable the Christian Scientist to know just what conditions to deny. What is needed is the recognition and declaration of man's perfection as the divine idea, and whatever is contrary thereto should be denied. We do not need to know more about disease but more about God. A famous physician has said that in his diagnoses he has been wrong half the time. What is the use of denying beliefs from which the patient has never suffered? The thought that an uncovered medical belief can frustrate divine Truth is giving to materiality a power it does not have. We need to know that Truth declared heals not only that which is seen but that which is unseen. One to whom a healing comes slowly and by degrees is heard to say. "I wonder what is holding me?" If you have been made to believe that there is something holding you, that is all that is necessary to retard your progress. On the Western plains a saddle horse is trained to believe that when the reins are thrown on the ground that it is tied to that spot. It is prevented from moving only because it believes that there is something holding it. We need to see that there is nothing holding us but divine Love, and nothing to prevent the healing.
Our Divine Inheritance
The real man is Mind's idea and inherits divine intelligence and perfect form and function. It is believed that man inherits both good and bad physical qualities from his parents. Every physical condition is thought manifested, so then the inheritance is not in the physical manifestation but in the thought which produces it. It must be apparent that the truth can as readily replace a belief which came from one's parents as one coming from any other source. Heredity is not a law, but a belief, and the application of the law of divine inheritance, perfect God and perfect man, not only destroys distressing hereditary conditions, but improves and transforms every other inherited quality and characteristic.
Climate has no power to harm or to help. Rheumatic sufferers leave some locality, believing it to be detrimental, while others suffering from the same difficulty come to this same spot for its beneficial effects. The effect which sometimes follows a change of climate is brought about by the changed thought. All that is needed to get rid of the belief that climate can injure one is to become conscious of the atmosphere of Spirit.
One after another of the material beliefs which have bound us are annulled through the application of spiritual law, and we are learning that food, or water, or cold, or heat, or dampness, or dust, or contact with our brother man, never had any power to harm us, for the divine idea comes in contact with nothing but that which is harmonious and healthful and manifests only the goodness of God. The divine Principle corrects inharmonious and unsuccessful business conditions, and sorrow and disappointment are removed by the law of Love.
Each inharmonious condition which is overcome through spiritual understanding increases one's consciousness of joy and harmony. Envy, jealousy, malice, and every form of sin, are destructive of peace and happiness. We shall not have appropriated the divine blessing fully until we have overcome sin as well as sickness. Every effort towards spirituality and away from that which is material brings a rich reward. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
[Delivered at "the auditorium" on June 5, 1921, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Mount Vernon, New York, and published in The Daily Argus of Mount Vernon, June 6, 1921. The same lecture was delivered Oct. 2, 1920, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Wilmette, Illinois, and published in The Lake Shore News, Oct. 8, 1920, and this copy of the lecture supplied a few words that were missing (owing to typographical omission) or difficult to read. Neither newspaper gave the title of the lecture; both, as was not infrequently the custom around this particular time, simply stated that they were publishing a lecture on Christian Science. Advertising around this time proves not to be helpful in finding the names of lectures, as it also frequently omitted the lecture title and once again simply announced that there would be a lecture on Christian Science.]