Our Divine Inheritance

 

Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, California

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 Los Angeles, Cal., a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture on Christian Science last evening under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul streets.

The lecturer was introduced by John Randall Dunn, First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:

We welcome you tonight to a lecture on Christian Science by a member of the Board of Lectureship of this Church. The gentleman who will address us was, some years ago, a practicing physician, but gladly forsook materia medica when Christian Science led him to the feet of earth's Master-Physician, that great healer of disease - Jesus of Nazareth.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, speaks lovingly always of those noble, self-sacrificing men and women of the medical profession who are striving, according to their highest light, to alleviate the sufferings of earth. In one place in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she says, "Great respect is due the motives and philanthropy of the higher class of physicians. We know that if they understood the Science of Mind-healing, and were in possession of the enlarged power it confers to benefit the race physically and spiritually, they would rejoice with us." (Page

121).

Let me now introduce to you Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, Cal., who will speak on the subject, "Our Divine Inheritance."

The lecturer spoke as follows:

 

Christian Science is a religion of demonstration, - of works. It is the law of God, and it was in explanation of this law that Christ Jesus taught, and by the application of this Science that he healed the sick and the sinning. Either this work was according to divine law or it was not. It was either lawful or lawless. As a matter of record, he stated in various forms that his work was according to God's law. He said that he came to do the will of his Father and the will of God is divine law.

Christian Science then is not the name of a religious sect, but a statement of the divine law by which the Master Christian wrought his works. Statements about this divine law are to be found in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, but for centuries it had been almost entirely lost sight of. The reason for this is very clearly stated by Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians wherein he says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

It might be asked how it could be possible that earnest men who lived and labored in the Christian ministry during all these years should have overlooked this great Science, and that it should have remained for a gentle New England woman to have discovered it and its rule of operation. It can only be said that had some one else possessed or grown to the spiritual discernment which Paul says is the requirement, such a one would, without doubt, have made the discovery. The healing and blessings which Christian Scientists experience through the study of this truth fill them with gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. As they gain a better understanding of what she has written they realize in increasing measure the magnitude of her accomplishment. They recognize the purity of thought, the deep spirituality, the faith and devotion, which she possessed, and which were essential to the discovery of Christian Science.

After the first glimpse of Truth had come to her consciousness Mrs. Eddy tells us of herself on page 25, of her book, "Retrospection and Introspection", - "the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and demonstration and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing, - in a word, Christian Science."

Some years later, and after further spiritual growth and unfoldment, she gave to the world what she considered her most important work, the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

The church which Mrs. Eddy founded she named the Church of Christ, Scientist; the eternal law of God which she discovered she named Christian Science, and the textbook containing the statement of this law she named "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

 

The Effect of Understanding

Through the study of Christian Science not only is the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures unfolded, but this unfoldment supports the contention of Christian Science that the understanding of divine law destroys the effect of the so-called material laws which have resulted in sickness and discord. The effect of the understanding of divine law is always to heal and to save, and it is a well recognized fact that thousands and thousands have been healed of sickness and sin through the study of this Science. Indeed a large majority of those who have accepted Christian Science were led to it because through its ministration they were healed after other methods failed.

There are no doubt some, who like myself, did not come to Christian Science to be healed of sickness, but who like myself, have since had ample proofs of the efficacy of the application of those rules which Mrs. Eddy has laid down in her textbook.

In my own case, when still a medical student, I wondered that the medical profession, admitting as it does that there is a certain mental factor in disease, never made much effort to know more of it. It is true that medical colleges taught, and still teach, what is called suggestive therapeutics, yet they little realize the effect of human thinking on the body, and the average physician fails to see that his dubious shake of the head, his audibly expressed fears for his patient, together with his silent thought of fear of an unfavorable outcome, are much more potent than the little dose of cheerful suggestion which he generally administers after he has carried out his material measures, and which are statements that he, himself, very seldom believes.

From the moment I started to practice medicine until I stopped the practice, some nine years later, this mental factor in disease was the subject of constant investigation. By the time I had practiced four years, I had reached the conviction that disease is entirely mental, and I began to search for the best method of mental healing. I read various books and treatises and compared them, and among them was the Christian Science textbook. At first I was unable to distinguish between them but finally the teaching of Christian Science began to stand out distinctly from the rest and I saw that it differed from the others in that it was not suggestive or psychological practice but the statement of divine law. John declares that he that perceives a certain spiritual fact "hath the witness in himself"; that is, he has the consciousness and proof of its truth and needs no further evidence. Together with thousands of others, I have the witness in myself, the consciousness of the truth of Christian Science, and the proof in "signs following."

But this consciousness did not come all at once, for it was five years from the time when I first glimpsed the truth of Christian Science until I arrived at the point where I could give up the practice of medicine. This was due in part to the fact that the exigencies of a busy practice made non-medical study an impossibility for considerable periods of time, and in part to the fact that I did not at once attain the courage necessary to give up a work with which I was familiar and in which I had become well established, for a method of healing with which I had had at that time no personal experience. It is only fair to say that never have I had greater evidence of the guidance and care of divine Love than in this experience of changing from medical practice to the practice of divine healing as taught in Christian Science.

 

Man in the Image of God

Now Christian Science teaches that man is the manifestation of his Maker. The Bible in the passage declaring that God made man in His image, after His likeness, is stating an inevitable conclusion. God could not make man unlike Himself, and man must express the divine nature and character. The product is always like the source from which it proceeds. The effect is always according to the law which caused it. God's covenant with Abraham wherein he said, "Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee," was simply Abraham's recognition of the fact that since it is the nature of God to bless and to multiply, He must therefore bless and provide for His children. It is evident that as the nature of God is unfolded to us, we shall at the same time see that His qualities and characteristics are bestowed upon us; that they constitute our divine inheritance, and that our increasing recognition of them is in furtherance of that later covenant wherein it is said that God's laws will be put in our hearts and written in our minds.

Let us then consider the nature of God, remembering as we do so that we as children of God, inherit all that God has of health and strength, peace and joy, and an abundance of all that constitutes God's being.

The various terms which are applied to Deity are descriptive or expressive of certain qualities of the infinite Being. They help us to understand the divine nature. When there came to the consciousness of some seeker after Truth an added understanding of the nature of God what could be more natural than to call God by that term which best expressed that nature?

Let us discuss some of these terms which have been applied to God and see what we may learn through them of the divine nature. The first term for God to which I would direct your attention is one that is peculiar to Christian Science, - one that Mrs. Eddy has given us in the Christian Science textbook. It is the word Principle as a name for God. This term expresses something of the thought of the word creator, but is a better and a more comprehensive term. A great many people seem to believe that the creator created a perfect universe and then launched it forth to operate by itself, and that man in God's absence fell from his perfect state. The word Principle as applied to God enables us to see not only that God is creator, but that His creation never for a moment becomes separated from Him, and hence never ceases to express His perfection. The word principle, as it is used in our speech about material things expresses the thought of fundamental law. When we say that anything is governed, brought forth, or operated according to a certain principle, we understand that we are speaking of fundamental law, which we believe cannot be changed, and which is continuously in operation.

Now man and the universe are acknowledged to have been brought forth according to God's law, - that is, through the operation of divine Principle, and having been brought forth as the expression of divine Principle they continue to be expressed only because the divine law, the law of divine Principle, continues in operation. Divine Principle then is that from which all proceeds and through whose continued operation it exists. Man can never cease to be the direct effect of his divine creative Principle, and for this reason he cannot avoid inheriting, - not only in the future but now, - the fullness of his divine Principle, Love.

Another term for God which it will be helpful to consider is the word Mind. God includes all wisdom, infinite intelligence. He is divine Mind. Mind is that which knows.   Surely then God is Mind, for is not God the omniscient, all-knowing One?  Mrs. Eddy says on page 114 of Science and Health, "In Science, Mind is one, including noumenon and phenomena, God and His thoughts." Noumenon means cause, and phenomena is effect. It is evident that with divine Mind the cause, thought is the effect, and is one with Mind.

The expression of the thoughts or ideas of divine Mind, the knowing of divine Mind, constitutes man and the universe. James says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth," and Scriptural imagery states that "God spake, and it was done," which is only another way of saying that the manifestations of divine Mind's ideas constitute creation. It is evident that an idea has no ability to do anything of itself but that it is at all times simply the expression of the Mind that knows it. Since man is the continued manifestation of infinite Mind, he has no quality underived from God. On the contrary, he inherits and expresses all the qualities and characteristics of the Mind from which he proceeds.

 

Man Spiritual, Not Material

Now Mind is Spirit, and Spirit speaks to us of God as apart from matter, as the opposite of it. The Bible teaches that God is Spirit; Jesus said it, and it is recognized generally, yet if we accept this fact we must admit that it follows that the offspring of Spirit must be spiritual and not material. Our divine inheritance is found in spiritual perfection and spiritual joys, which are permanent and substantial. The real man, the manifestation of Spirit, is as Jesus said, born of the Spirit, and not of the flesh.

As ideas of infinite Mind we express the health, the strength, and the deathlessness of infinite Life. Do you think that infinite Life could lose its perfect consciousness of existence, - that it could become sick or old or decrepit? Since God is Life, man's divine inheritance is a perfect understanding of spiritual existence, free from sickness and forever manifesting the power and vigor of his eternal Principle.

The most satisfying term for God is Love. One of the most beautiful things about Jesus' ministry is his teaching of the fact that God is Love, but how shall we define Love? Man has defined his highest human sense of love as that quality which causes one to appreciate, delight in, and crave the presence of its object, and to promote the welfare of that object. Infinite Love appreciates and delights in its perfect man and promotes his welfare. Divine Love is infinite peace and harmony and goodness. Every desirable thing is included in divine Love. The word Love as used in the Old Testament has in it the thought of approval or appreciation. The Old Testament pictures God as saying, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.'' That is, Jacob have I approved, but Esau have I disapproved. Love is that name for God which speaks to us of every right quality, of all that is approved. When Moses desired to see God face to face, the thought which came to him from God was, '"I will make all my goodness pass before thee." That is, seeing good is seeing God.

When we examine the various terms which men have used to express their unfolding understanding of God, we find that in these terms there is pictured nothing material, but a God who is infinite Spirit expressing Himself in thoughts; a God who is divine Mind, whose idea, man, is inseparable from Him, a God who is Love, who gives all good to His children. Jesus pictured not only man's inseparability from God but the completeness of our divine inheritance.

 

What Becomes of Matter?

 If it be true that God's creation is spiritual, we shall have to dispose of the so-called creations of matter. Christian Science teaches that the material creation is but a manifestation of belief that are the opposite of, or counterfeits of divine law. Mrs. Eddy has denominated all that is not of the divine Mind, not of Spirit, not of Truth, as mortal mind, but, she points out that mortal mind is only a name which she has given to beliefs which are really not mind, because divine Mind is omnipresent and there is no place for a mind opposed to God. The Bible uses, the term "carnal mind," or "mind of the flesh," to express this same thought, and insists that this so-called mind is enmity against God. John says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." It is certain that if this world is not of the Father it is not real, not genuine, and it has no Truth in it. John's statement that "the whole world lieth in wickedness," is translated in the Revised Version, "and the whole world lieth in the evil one," and shows clearly that John understood that the material world was entirely apart from God, good. John continues his statement that "the whole world lieth in the evil one" by saying, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true." Since God's spiritual man is within "him that is true," it follows that the "evil one" and its man is untrue.

Now this teaching of the unreality of matter is the teaching of Jesus and his disciples, deduced from their understanding of God, but if we must have evidence from so-called material science there is much that is available.

The trend of modern material investigation is to recognize matter as less and less substantial. It is maintained by some of the greatest, material thinkers of today that all we know of the material universe is what the physical senses tell us, and that what we believe about it may not be true at all. Further than this, it is maintained that the things which we see about us are simply the apparent manifestations of energy or thought.   Scientific deduction declares matter simply the effect of unseen law or thought. The material laws or beliefs, of which mortals and the material universe are the supposed manifestations, are what is named in Christian Science "mortal mind."

It is not maintained by Christian Scientists that the material beliefs about man and the universe do not seem real to the human consciousness, but experience has shown that they appear less and less real as we become more and more spiritual in our thinking.

 

Fallacies of Mortal Mind

The legacy, the inheritance, which the material man gets from mortal mind is the very opposite of the real and spiritual man's divine inheritance. By virtue of his material origin he expresses the qualities and characteristics of that origin. He is therefore from his very birth doomed to sin, sickness, and death, and his natural consciousness being opposite to divine Love, is one of fear. The material sense of health is presumed to carry within it the constant possibility of sickness, so that physicians have been known to tell people that when they felt unusually well they should be examined from time to time because they were probably sick and not aware of it. Then, too, the material man is supposed to inherit a material consciousness which is made up of good and bad human qualities, - the general mental characteristics of mortal man. In a more particular way, he is said to inherit from his parents and ancestors qualities of thought peculiar to them. Because men fail to recognize that material man is simply a mental manifestation and that his body is but a manifestation of thought, it is claimed that he originates in a single protoplasmic cell, and that all the characteristics and peculiarities not only of his parents put of his ancestors are transmitted by this one little cell. It is admitted that such a transmission seems impossible yet material reasoning, believing man to be the product of matter, sees no other way to account for it. The so-called material man is the product, the off-spring, of the combined thought of his parents, and for this reason he manifests not only their physical characteristics, but their mental peculiarities. His supposed hereditary qualities, although transmitted to him from his parents, become his own as he becomes more and more independent in his thinking, and as this fact is recognized in Christian Science, hereditary qualities and characteristics of an  undesirable nature are as readily destroyed as those acquired by habit or association.

Mortal mind discloses its unreality, its lack of goodness and Truth, not only in material man, but in everything; everywhere this unreality is evident. Storms and tornadoes, frost and blight, scourge and famine, death and destruction, are further evidences of mortal mind's enmity against God.

Mortals may escape these things for a period; their material sense of health may for a time fail to show its sinister side, but sooner or later this wrong material sense will claim its own, and mortal mind's native consciousness of error will be manifested in some sickness or trouble. For centuries men have been striving to heal sickness and to calm their fears by using material means. Such efforts have only resulted in apparently checking some forms of disease in some degree while others have been augmented, so that the total of disease is as great or greater than ever. Since the whole material manifestation is a mental one, it is obvious, that whatever of result is obtained is brought about by the human belief attending the process. Wholesale compulsory vaccination in the Philippines was followed by an epidemic of smallpox which was fatal to thousands, and this result followed because the natives' attitude toward vaccination was one of superstitious fear, since they believed that it would harm them. Whatever of protection seems to come from any material measure lies in the belief in its efficacy and not in the thing itself.

 

Salvation from Human Beliefs

It seems evident that the material man needs to be saved from himself and from his human legacy of sin, sickness and death. The failure to find relief from the human sense of suffering through material means causes human thought to turn to the divine Mind for help. It is fortunate that the so-called human mind can yield to the divine ideal when through sickness and suffering it comes to recognize that in no other way can it escape from itself. The recognition of the real man and of his perfect Principle destroys the belief in sickness and leaves in its place a better concept of health and holiness.

This unfolding in human thought of the consciousness of man's oneness with God is described in various terms throughout the entire Bible. To Abraham it came as Melchisedec, the King of righteousness, and the King of peace, of whom the writer of the book of Hebrews says that he was "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God." The consciousness of Truth came in some measure to Moses, to David, and to the prophets, and is described by them in varying terms. Jesus was endowed with this Christ consciousness without measure, and taught his followers how to appropriate it. Its growth is spoken of by Jesus and others as the new birth. It is also spoken of as the kingdom of heaven and its leavening power in human thought in the statement by the Master that "the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." The possibility of its great development is told in the parable of the mustard seed. Jesus spoke of it as the Bread of Life, and as the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, which is to abide with us forever, and more frequently than all as the Christ.

On page 583 of our textbook, Mrs. Eddy defines the Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.'' When we see the distinction between the fleshly Jesus, and the divine manifestation of God which came so fully to his flesh, we are enabled to see how this same Christ comes to our flesh to destroy all that is unlike God.

The way in which the divine Mind operates to heal and to save is described by Mrs. Eddy on page 251 of "Science and Health:" "the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death."

There has never been and there can never be more than one way by which we may be saved. This way is through the coming of the Christ to human consciousness. This is the way by which we appropriate our divine inheritance, and destroy the legacy of sin, sickness, and mortality, which we have of the world. Down through the ages this understanding of the Christ has come in varying degrees to those who turned from materiality and who undertook to "enter in."

 

Spiritual Inheritance

We have discussed at some length our divine inheritance, and the counterfeit claim of human heredity. There are many instances throughout the Bible where the offspring of spiritually minded parents were endowed with unusual spiritual receptivity. In the case of the two sons of Abraham, Ishmael was born "after the flesh," that is, he was the product of Abraham's thought during the time when he believed mortal man to be a creator, whereas Isaac was born after Sarah and he had made further progress in spiritual understanding and Isaac inherited this clearer spiritual understanding.

This spiritual  inheritance from spiritually-minded parents is to be found manifested in Samson and in Samuel, and later on in John the Baptist, of whose parents Luke says that "they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." In the process of their spiritual growth a babe was born to them, who naturally manifested the deep spirituality of his parents. But a short time later Jesus was born of a virgin, of Mary, the cousin of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. It was Mary's purity and her realization of the fatherhood of God which enabled her to be the mother of Jesus. Mrs. Eddy says on page 29 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," - "The illumination of Mary's spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men." She also says, "The Science of creation, so conspicuous in the birth of Jesus, inspired his wisest and least understood sayings, and was the basis of his marvellous demonstrations" (Science and Health, pages 539 and 540). Further she says, on page 30 of Science and Health, that he "was endowed with the Christ, the divine Spirit, without measure." This understanding of God enabled him to heal the sick and to raise the dead and finally to triumph over death for himself.                           

 

The Doctrine of Atonement

Out of this final demonstration of God's power there has been built up a mistaken "doctrine of atonement," a belief that God in His displeasure needed to be conciliated and that rather than destroy all his children, he caused the one whom he loved best to be sacrificed, and that Jesus in this manner atoned for our sins. As one’s understanding of divine Love enlarges, such a doctrine is seen to be divinely unnatural. Mrs. Eddy pointed out that it is mortal man who needs to become reconciled to God, and not God to mortal man. Atonement means to reconcile, and hence to bring to a condition of atonement or unity with God. The religious worship of Jesus' time was filled with various forms of animal sacrifices. The people believed that only through sacrifice could they come into a right relationship with God. Then, as now, men did not readily give up the religious beliefs which had been handed down to them for centuries. It is but natural, therefore, that the New Testament should constantly point out that Jesus' demonstration was a new and better form of sacrifice, involving as it did the destruction of sin and sickness, through the blood (the life) of Christ. Jesus' entire earthly experience was one of atonement, of reconciliation of man to God through the destruction of sin, sickness and death. As Mrs. Eddy has said on page 44 of Science and Health, "He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate."  Sin crucified Jesus, but the Christ consciousness, the Son of God, raised him up. The efficacy of the atonement, therefore, is in the divine accomplishment, and not in the effort of sin to destroy.

Jesus' teaching and the proofs of its truth in the demonstration of its power over all material conditions, including the grave, are his rich legacy to us. Lacking so spiritual an origin, we have not yet accomplished as great signs as he did, but as the Christ leavens our thought we shall at some time reach that degree of spirituality which he manifested. In the meantime, each victory over error won through the application of the Truth represents growth in the right direction.

 

Proof Through Application

Having then in some degree laid hold on the fact of the real man's perfection, we must prove its truth by applying it. The application of Christian Science is generally spoken of as Christian Science treatment. It is not a formula, but a question of right thinking. When there comes a discordant condition into human thought, we are to turn from it, realizing that because it is discordant, it is not of God. Then we go to the source of all being, to the divine Principle, Love, and recognize that the real man, the only man there is, is the image of Love, the perfect idea of Mind. The more insistent the pain or the discord, the more vehemently must we deny its reality, and hold to the spiritual fact of man's perfection, his freedom from the particular disease or terror which we desire to destroy. As often as the material error intrudes itself upon human consciousness, we are to argue for the spiritual fact, until the human thought yields and we appropriate our spiritual inheritance of health and harmony. This realization of God's perfection and power in overcoming the difficulties which beset us is true prayer. It includes gratitude for the blessings already received, and sincere desire to understand God more fully. Such prayer is answered, for it replaces beliefs of sickness and sin with the consciousness of health and holiness.

Mrs. Eddy's discovery that all disease is but a mental manifestation led her to recognize that any discordant thought might be a factor in producing it. The most casual observer knows that anger, grief, and other emotions frequently produce profound changes in the functions of the body. As the Christian Scientist learns more about his true being in the divine Mind, he is enabled to analyze human thinking that before had been unintelligible to him, and he frequently finds that certain unrecognized mental characteristics or discordant conditions are most potent factors in the production of disease. Not only is Christian Science the right remedy for disease, but the Christian Scientist's intelligent uncovering of the thoughts which produce it, makes the physician's material diagnosis seem like a childish fancy.

Both Jesus and John made frequent statements about destroying fear. Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," and it was he who defined the kingdom of heaven as a state of consciousness, when he said that the "kingdom of God is within you." Fear not, for it is Love's good pleasure to give you the consciousness of good. John said, "God is Love"; and "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." As ideas of divine Love we cannot become separated from Love, and where Love is, there is trust and confidence in good, which leaves no room for fear.

 

Thoughts to Be Destroyed

In addition to the fear in human thought which needs destruction, there are thoughts of hatred and envy and ingratitude and the like. These disturbances are sick states of thought and often tend to produce sick states of body. They have no more reality than fear, for God never made them, but they must be cast out as unreal, and this is done only by insisting that the real man is the idea of divine Mind and expresses only good.

Nearly every one admits that the great trouble with most business is fear; a fear engendered by the belief that the possession of money is life. Now God is Life, and the only real success or safety there is, is in the realization of our right relationship to God. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you," said Jesus. Many are suffering from disappointment, from sorrow and grief. God never made these wrong conditions and they are healed by denying their reality and insisting on spiritual peace and joy as the facts of existence. It may be difficult to assert that one is filled with joy when one seems to be consumed with sorrow, nevertheless, by doing it the healing comes. One does not assert that he is peaceful and harmonious because he is conscious of it, but because he wants to realize it. Every discordant condition is to be destroyed by refusing to accept it as real, and by insisting on the harmony that is rightfully ours as the children of God.

Now the purpose of Christian Science is not simply to heal disease but rather to bring about the kingdom of heaven, the reign of harmony, through the destruction of all thought that is unlike God. We all apparently manifest different combinations of mortal mind qualities. As has been previously pointed out, these qualities and characteristics come to us in large part as a human legacy, for mortals are the offspring of their progenitors' thought, the product of mortal mind. Other qualities are taken on through association and environment. It is evident that no person is to be condemned for peculiarities of thought which have come to him through no fault of his own, but which are just his human inheritance. If we will turn the searchlight of Truth within ourselves we shall find perhaps not quite the same assortment of human frailties, but qualities no more to be desired. When someone's selfishness, or anger, or greed, brings a disturbing thought to us, we may be sure that it has found an answering chord in us, and that we need healing as well as our neighbor.     

Then, too, we are apt to go about viewing the efforts of others with suspicion and mistrust, imputing to them motives of selfishness and ambition, yet these thoughts which we entertain are the manifestations of jealousy and fear. These two evils, jealousy and fear, are expressions of the belief that what someone else has or does, will take away from me what I have, or what I can do. This is a lie about the spiritual fact that God gives all good to each of His children. We should recognize the unreality of these wrong thoughts and destroy them. Those who are journeying with us on the way to heaven are trying just as hard as we are to discard their errors. Why make their journey and ours harder by insisting that their errors are real, or by allowing our own errors to so fill our thought as to hinder our neighbors' reflection of divine Love from reaching us? When unkind thoughts toward others come to us, let us destroy them and in so doing, we shall make their burdens less and our own lives more harmonious. If we could be rid of all wrong and unkind thinking, what a joyous world this would be.

 

The Value of Love

Throughout the New Testament the fact is taught that "he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love." So our rightful consciousness is the consciousness of love, and all our suspicions, and criticisms, and ingratitude are but the lies of material sense, which should no longer deceive us. It is divine Love that destroys the hateful things in human thought; that brings joy into our lives; that heals us from sickness, and that saves us from sin. Love is our rightful inheritance, for the Son of God in your consciousness and in mine, is the child of divine Love. Paul says (I quote from the Revised Version) - "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but I have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind: love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil, rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things; believeth all things; hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth."  "But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

Let us labor to appropriate the fullness of our divine inheritance of Love, proving each day by our love toward others that we are progressing in this line. On page 247 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," Mrs. Eddy says, in speaking of what we all recognize as her gigantic accomplishment, "The little that I have accomplished has all been done through love, - self-forgetful, patient, unfaltering tenderness." She recognized that there is no real accomplishment unless it be a manifestation of the Love which is God, which is always self-forgetful, patient, and unfalteringly tender, healing our sicknesses, destroying our sins, and gently leading us into the kingdom of heaven.

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 1923.]

 

 

HOME PAGE                INDEX OF LECTURES