Christian Science:

The Availability and Supremacy of Divine Power

 

Thomas E. Hurley, C.S.B. of Louisville, Kentucky

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

Thomas E. Hurley, C.S.B., lectured on "Christian Science: "The Availability and Supremacy of Divine Power" Monday evening at Cadle Tabernacle under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Mr. Hurley, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., was introduced by Omar C. Woods. His lecture follows, substantially as it was given:

 

Today, as perhaps never before, men, women, and children are being challenged to use their God-given ability to think. For only through clear, right thinking - yes, spiritual thinking, if you will - can we possibly meet and solve the problems that are claiming to confront humanity. For every problem demanding solution, whether it be the belief of a world upheaval, war and destruction, or one of sin, disease, and lack claiming presence in individual human experience, is the result, the outward manifestation, of wrong thinking, of the material thinking referred to by Paul when he said, "To be carnally minded is death." And in the same statement he gives the antidote for this carnal-mindedness and its effects: "But to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Yes, my friends, spiritual thinking, which has its source in God, divine Mind, expresses His omnipotent power and heals and saves mankind.

In her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and the Leader of its movement, writes (p. 131), "The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power." And today mankind is sadly in need of this heartening assurance, for world events of recent years have left many sincere Christian people confused and blindly groping, asking why God permits such things as tyranny and aggression, war and destruction, sin, disease, and death, if He is, and if He is omnipotent. Failing to arrive at a reasonable answer, many have had their faith in God sadly shaken, while some have taken the position that these things could not happen if there really is a God, and have become atheists. Others have endeavored to gain some comfort from the fallacious and wholly unsatisfactory reasoning that this is God's method of chastening men and making them better.

 

Evil a Powerless Dream

Here Christian Science comes to the rescue with its demonstrable teaching that God is, that He is omnipotent good, divine Love. That He does not send evil either to afflict or to chasten, and that He does not permit evil to exist, to be active, or to have power. Of course, this is quite contrary to what seems to be going on around us; but would it not be a glorious thing, would you not shout for joy, if you were to awaken and find this to be merely a bad dream, and the sickness, sin, or lack claiming presence in your individual experience also to be merely a bad dream?

Well, my friends, you can start shouting for joy right now, for all of these things exist only as a bad dream, a mesmeric state of human consciousness, from which you and I can awaken and from which we can be delivered. For Christian Science reveals to us the Christ, the true idea of God, which today as in Jesus' time breaks this mesmerism of mortal belief, awakens men to righteousness, or right thinking, and sets them free. The Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus" cannot be mesmerized; and as we let this Mind be in us, as we reflect it, false mesmeric beliefs are wiped out of individual human consciousness, and we come to know as God knows. We become conscious as He is conscious; and He is not conscious of tyranny, aggression, sin, sickness, death, war, and destruction, nor of man as their hopeless victim. In Genesis we read, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." It is still very good, my friends, and God is still seeing it as very good.

 

God Is Principle

Now let us see why this must be so, in spite of the evidence of the material senses to the contrary. In order to do this we must start with God. God is, and we must recognize this basic fact. The atheist may deny God, but he really is only refusing to accept the concepts of God that have been presented to him. For he must admit, everyone must admit, that there is a great First Cause, that there is a supreme, governing Principle, whose laws govern the universe, including individual man.

If this were not so, even the so-called material universe would have crashed into chaos and destruction long ago. The orderly movement of the earth on its axis and its annual pilgrimage around the sun, together with the movements and relationships of the stars and planets, must convince any thinking person that back of this there is a supreme, governing Principle, which must be intelligent, wholly free from any destructive element, hence entirely good. Christian Science reveals this infinite intelligent Principle to be God, divine Mind, Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Soul, and the only cause or creator.

Let us consider a little further what it is that tells us God is, and what it is that denies His presence and power. Certainly we cannot rely on material sense to tell us about God, for the five physical senses take no cognizance of Him whatsoever. As John states in his first epistle, "No man hath seen God at any time." No, the material senses do not even admit that He exists, and the only conclusion to be derived from them is that there is no God. This denial of God is enough to prove the falsity of material sense and its evidence, for, as we have seen, mere human reason tells us there must be a God - a First Cause and a governing Principle.

Since we cannot learn of God from the five physical senses, how can we know Him, how can we know that He is, and ascertain His nature? Through spiritual sense, my friends, which Mrs. Eddy defines as "a conscious, constant capacity to understand God" (Science and Health, p. 209), and it is present in some measure in each individual human consciousness. It is there to be cultivated and increased through study and prayer. And it is through this spiritual sense alone, not the human intellect, that we discern the true nature of God and man.

 

Christ, the True Idea of God

Since one's concept of God is dependent on spiritual sense, his concept becomes clearer as this increases. This accounts for the various concepts of God set forth in the Bible. Here we can follow the unfoldment of the true idea of God to the human consciousness. In the beginning of the Old Testament, except for the first chapter of Genesis, we find a very material concept of God as an exalted human being, employing good and evil, loving and hating.

Gradually human thought becomes more enlightened and the concept of God becomes less material, until Habakkuk states the great truth, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." Finally, the clouds of materialism that have been slowly breaking up, disappear, and the full radiance of the perfect concept unfolds in the consciousness of Christ Jesus, the most spiritually-minded man the world has ever known. Through his spiritual origin, Jesus was endowed beyond all others with spiritual sense, and was able to present the highest concept of God - the true idea of God as Spirit, wholly devoid of any material or human element, as the loving Father, whose law for His son is eternal life, perfect health, unlimited usefulness, abundance, peace - infinite good.

 

Jesus Demonstrated the Christ

The understanding of the Christ, the true idea of God, endowed the man Jesus with divine power. He proved for all time the supremacy of this power, for through his spiritual understanding he nullified every claim of a power apart from God. He destroyed the so-called power of sin, sickness, disease, and death by regenerating the sinner, healing the sick, the lame, the blind, and raising the dead through spiritual means alone.

In like manner, he nullified the belief of physical force manifested as a raging storm. He proved material laws to be powerless when he overcame the so-called law of gravity by walking on the water. And what so-called material power or force could possibly transport a boat loaded with men across a body of water "immediately," as Jesus did when he stepped into the boat in the Galilean Sea! Yes, my friends, whenever the Christ is gladly received, it silences the storm of error claiming presence in individual human consciousness and we find ourselves immediately on the other side - on the side of Truth, conscious of health, harmony, peace, supply, of the progressive unfoldment of good.

The Master's highest demonstration of divine power was when he submitted to the crucifixion, allowing mortal mind to use its every claim to power to destroy his life, and proving all of these claims powerless. For Jesus allowed mortals to try to kill him, to do so to their satisfaction, and to place his body in a sealed grave. Yet he never submitted to death, never was separated from the human state of consciousness until his ascension, but in this state of consciousness he overcame every claim of error to power to harm man through his understanding of his true selfhood, the Christ.

 

Healing Proof of the Christ

The manifestation of divine power in the healing of sin, sickness, death, and the like, has always been proof of the presence of the Christ. Jesus himself relied on these demonstrations to prove to John the Baptist that he represented the Christ. When John sent to him asking, "Art thou he that should come;" that is, was Jesus the Messiah? the Master replied, "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." In short, Jesus knew that John would recognize these healings, these manifestations of spiritual power, as proofs of the Christ, or Saviour. They are today proofs of the Christ, Truth, coming to the human consciousness to heal and save. And today these same manifestations of spiritual power are proving that Christian Science is revealing the Christ to men, healing them of all types of sin and disease, of deafness, blindness, and unhappiness - yes, and even of death.

As John's messengers returned to him and told him of the evidence they had seen of the Christ, so, my friends, I can tell you of what I have seen and experienced of the healing Christ. And I trust that you will be convinced, as John was, that this same Christ, Truth, is today present to heal you, if you will but avail yourselves of it, if you will but reach out and touch the hem of its garment.

For I, myself, have been healed of deafness, healed after the best specialist I could find had pronounced me hopelessly deaf. Then I was willing to put aside my prejudice, which was really only my ignorance, and to turn to Christian Science for healing. And I was healed, my friends, gloriously healed, soon after I had asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment and begun the study of Science and Health. At first I did not understand much of what I read; but I did the best that I could, studied several hours a day, and relied absolutely on God. And this effort, together with the prayers or treatments of the practitioner, brought about this healing that caused my friend, the specialist, to say, "What in the world did you do?"

At the same time that I was healed, a boy of my acquaintance was healed through Christian Science of a shortened leg, one leg having been some two or three inches shorter than the other from birth. I have also witnessed the healing of tuberculosis of the eyes that had almost reached the stage of blindness. The extreme pain vanished after the first visit to the practitioner's office, and in less than three weeks the healing was complete. I have met several who have been healed of complete blindness. In fact, I could devote the entire hour at my disposal, and several more, to telling you of healings I have experienced and witnessed. My friends, John accepted such healings as proof of the Christ; surely, you can do likewise.

Someone may be thinking at this point, I do not question this evidence, but how am I to touch the hem of Christ's garment, how am I to avail myself of this healing power? In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul writes, "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Paul was not speaking of mere blind belief in God, for you will recall that he upbraided the men of Athens for having an altar "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD," saying to them, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."

 

The Discoverer and Founder

How, then, can one gain this spiritual understanding of God which is so requisite? The Bible is the primary source of this understanding, but it must be spiritually interpreted. People, good people, have read the Bible for centuries without understanding the spiritual truths it contains, and so have failed to experience the "signs following." For many years Mary Baker Eddy was such a one. She had long been an invalid and had investigated all types of healing methods in her search for health. As they failed, she turned more and more to God.

Then in 1866 she had a fall on the ice and was put to bed under a physician's pronouncement that she had but a short time to live. At this critical point, it was natural for Mrs. Eddy to turn to her Bible. She opened it to the account of Jesus' healing of the palsied man, and the spiritual meaning of this demonstration of God's power so flooded her consciousness that she immediately arose, dressed herself, and joined her startled friends.

The years of trials, suffering, disappointments, and invalidism had caused Mrs. Eddy so to turn from matter to Spirit, God, that her spiritualized thought was able to receive the wonderful revelation of Truth that now gradually unfolded to her. The Scriptures were illumined, and for three years Mrs. Eddy devoted her entire time and thought to their study, writing down the spiritual truths as they were revealed to her.

But she was not doing this merely for herself. She was motivated by a great love for mankind as well as by a great love for God, and so she wanted to make this healing and saving Christ, Truth, available to suffering humanity. She thoroughly tested her discovery, proving it many times by healing hopeless cases, even those who had been pronounced dying by their physicians. She spent nine years preparing the statement of this Science, and proving it with "signs following," before she published it as her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Nothing will ever be added to it or taken from it, for Christian Science is the final revelation of Truth referred to as the Comforter by Jesus, and by John metaphorically as "a little book open" - available to all to understand.

Mrs. Eddy understood and demonstrated the availability and supremacy of divine power beyond anyone since the time of Jesus. She knew that her discovery was the Science Jesus taught and practiced, and that all who understood it would likewise be able to demonstrate the omnipotence of Spirit in proportion to their understanding. She also foresaw the necessity of establishing a means of maintaining her revelation in its purity, and of bringing it to those hungering and thirsting after righteousness - the right thinking that would heal and save them. So she founded a church for this purpose, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and provided for all of its activities.

Indeed, Mrs. Eddy was a great woman, a great revelator, a great demonstrator of the power of God, for only the power of God could have sustained her and established her work, which is truly the fulfillment of prophecy. Christian Scientists do not worship her, but they love her. They honor and revere her, not only for what she has done, but also for what she is enabling them to do. For Mrs. Eddy, and no other, has restored to present-day Christianity the spiritual understanding of the omnipresence and supremacy of Spirit, God, and His Christ, which heals the sick, the sinner, the poverty-stricken, the failure, and raises the dead. This is her priceless gift to men, and more and more they will bless her for it.

 

The True Nature of God

The Scriptures define God as Spirit, Truth, Life, and Love. Through divine revelation, Mrs. Eddy has given us three other terms for Deity: Principle, Mind, and Soul, all of which are clearly implied in the Bible. These seven terms are synonymous, all referring to one absolute God. They are highly important, because through them we are able to understand His nature. Thus by the term Principle we know God as cause, including and governing its every effect; by Mind, we know Him as infinite intelligence the source of all ideas; by Spirit, we know Him as infinite, indivisible substance; by Soul, we know Him as sinless divine consciousness; by Life, we know Him as the source of all being, harmonious and immortal; by Truth, we know Him as immutable and absolute; and by Love, we know Him as the source of all blessedness, constantly blessing His infinite ideas by holding them at the standpoint of perfection.

All will admit that the great First Cause, the governing Principle of the universe, the one God, must be intelligent; and what can be intelligent, what can know, but Mind? Most people believe that God knows all, and so is infinitely intelligent. But infinite intelligence necessitates an infinite Mind, and infinite Mind can be possessed by nothing but itself. Hence God does not have a mind, but is Mind. As we read on page 469 of Science and Health; "Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind - called devil or evil - is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality." This, my friends, is the basis on which we demonstrate the availability and supremacy of divine power - the allness of divine Mind and the nothingness of whatever does not emanate from or reflect Him.

 

True Power

Divine Mind, God, is omnipotent, hence all real power is mental, that is, spiritually mental. The human intellect has perceived the mental nature of power, but has attributed it to the human mind, not the divine, and so has failed to understand its true nature. Power is defined by Webster as the "exerted ability to act or produce an effect." This ability is humanly regarded as being mental, physical, or moral; and yet, even from a human standpoint, this ability is lost in the degree mind is taken away.

When I went to school, the old axiom, "Knowledge is power," was to be found on many schoolroom walls. This, of course, referred to human knowledge, to the counterfeit, but it hinted at a great truth. For true knowledge, or the spiritual understanding of reality, of God and His universe, is power. In fact, it is the only power. This understanding is true intelligence, which is defined in Science and Health (p. 469) as follows: "Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle, - Life, Truth, and Love, - named God." Infinite Mind, God, possesses all intelligence, all power, and this power is wholly good. It is creative, constructive, protective; but to evil destructive.

Now the Scriptures declare man to be the image and likeness of God, and an image and likeness is the perfect reflection of its original. So individual man reflects this infinite Mind and its infinite intelligence; he individually reflects the infinite power of God. He is an individual spiritual consciousness, having God-given ability to know as God knows, to draw on and use divine intelligence without limit.

This spiritual man, this image of God, having complete dominion is your true selfhood and mine, my friends. This is the truth about us; and as we change our thinking, as we put off this mortal dream, this concept of man as material, physical, lacking in dominion, the victim of sin, sickness, death, of all of mortal mind's vicious beliefs, and know man as God knows him, we put on the new man, this image of God, having complete dominion, subject only to his Maker.

This spiritualization of thought, replacing false beliefs with spiritual ideas, is the one and only means of salvation. We shall never die into heaven or into the image of God. Our work is to prove that "now are we the sons of God" - the likeness of God - and as such always have been and always will be in heaven. We work out our own salvation individually by putting off the carnal mind, material sense or material thinking, and by replacing this with divine intelligence, with spiritual sense. As Paul writes, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

In Christian Science, we learn how to use divine power and thereby prove what is true here and now. When a spiritual fact is proved, its opposite or counterfeit is disproved and reduced to nothing. And it is never disproved until it is reduced to nothing. All that is true is of God and is good, and we can be grateful for this because truth is unchangeable. If the beliefs of sin, sickness, lack and so on were true, it would be impossible to change them by any means. But because they are untrue, they can be proved so and rendered powerless.

In Christian Science, the sick are healed, not by admitting that man is sick and then trying to heal him, but by proving that man as God's idea is not sick, cannot be sick, and never has been sick. When this truth is realized or established in individual human consciousness, the belief that man is sick is seen to be a lie, and this lie goes out before the truth. A lie is only the absence of truth, and this absence has no more power to resist truth than darkness has to resist light. Light dispels darkness, and in like manner, Truth is omnipotent to destroy error, Life to destroy disease and death, Love to destroy hate and fear, and so on. For error - disease and death, hate and fear - is merely the supposititious absence of Truth, Life, and Love.

 

God Is Omnipresence

The terms omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence apply to God, and a correct understanding of them is essential. God, being infinite, must be and is omnipresence, and as such He is not only always present, but all presence, all that is present, thus excluding all else. So divine Mind and its ideas are not only every present, but all that is present; thus excluding any possibility of other minds, of other thoughts or ideas. In like manner, the omnipresence of Spirit excludes matter, that of Love excludes hate and fear, that of Life excludes disease and death, and so on.

 

God Is Omniscience

God is omniscience, and this term must also be given a broader meaning. For God is not only all-knowing, He also constitutes all Science - He is all that really can be known. Being the infinite and only Mind, He is all that knows, knows all, and is all that is known, for there can be nothing beyond infinity. Now Mind knows its infinite ideas, which are spiritual and good, and these ideas reflect this divine consciousness.

Since God does not know evil, man cannot know evil; since God does not know the claims of error, man cannot, for man reflects God's knowing. So we see that in reality only God's knowing is present and expressed; consequently there can be no such thing as wrong or evil thinking. We destroy the claim of evil thinking by understanding this fact, by realizing that there is in reality no mind in which it can originate or exist and no man to express it. Right where it would claim to be, right there in reality is man in God's likeness, knowing as He knows. Wrong thinking is merely the suppositional absence of God's knowing. And how much power has an absence? We must never be guilty of fearing the claim of wrong thinking or malpractice, but we must realize its nothingness.

 

 

God Is Omnipotence

Divine omnipotence is not only all-powerful, but also all power, all that is power. "There is no power apart from God," writes Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health. p. 228). "Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God." We do not give omnipotence to God when we admit another power, be it good or evil. Only by realizing that all power belongs to God can we avail ourselves of this divine power and demonstrate its supremacy.

This is why radical reliance on God is so vitally important to the demonstration of Christian Science. This is why we cannot mix Christian Science treatment with the use of drugs or any material remedy. The moment we use anything material as a remedial agent, we give power to something apart from God, and we are no longer working on the basis of the omnipotence and supremacy of Spirit. In short, we are not using Christian Science. "The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built," we read in the textbook (p. 138). Yes, and it is the foundation on which we must likewise build, for Jesus is our great Exemplar.

We are constantly being tempted to admit a power apart from God, and the mere fact that we do not use drugs does not mean we are not yielding to this temptation. Exercise, diet, sun baths, manipulation, and so on, often tempt the unwary student to admit a power apart from God, and so to depart from the Christian Science basis of radical reliance on Him.

Furthermore, reliance on God merely to a certain point is not the radical reliance that brings healing. In fact, this wavering thought often interferes with the demonstration of Christian Science. James says of it: "He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

When this wavering thought is put out and a radical stand taken for Truth, healing often results. A case that came to my attention some time ago illustrates this point. A woman had been suffering from periodic sick headaches for years and turned to Christian Science for help. While she experienced other healings, this particular trouble failed to yield. She had treatment from several practitioners at different times for a period of two or three years without obtaining her healing, and she became greatly discouraged.

Finally she went to a practitioner who uncovered the error that had obstructed the demonstration. It seemed that while this woman had called for Christian Science treatment when the headache came on, she always did so with the mental reservation that if the trouble was not met by noon of the third day, she would take a pill which she believed would give her relief. Now a mental reservation is no part of radical reliance, and so the headache always continued to the appointed time. She would take the pill, get temporary relief, but in a few weeks the headache would return, each time a little worse than before.

The practitioner refused to take the case unless she would throw away her pills and stand radically for Truth all the way. After some thought, she agreed to this. The headache continued as usual until noon of the third day and seemed to rise to its zenith at that time. But the patient stood fast, and within an hour the headache had disappeared never to recur.

And how much are we allowing the beliefs of tyranny and aggression, of war and destruction, to cause us to admit a power apart from God? Yet these claims of error to power are no more real than its claims to power as disease, lack, unemployment, and so on. In short, we cannot admit error's claims to power as tyranny and aggression, war and destruction without limiting our ability to destroy its claims to power as sin, disease, lack, and unemployment. We must be alert to deny error's claims to power in whatever guise they appear.

 

Protection from Tyranny and Aggression

The spiritual understanding that has power to heal beliefs of cancer, tuberculosis, blindness, deafness, lameness, and so on, has like power to destroy the beliefs of tyranny, aggression, war, and destruction. I dare say some of you are thinking, If this is so, why do not Christian Scientists stop the war? Well, my friends, if all people were thinking from the standpoint of Christian Science, I can assure you there would be no war, for the Golden Rule is fundamental in its teaching and practice. But there is nothing in Christian Science that prevents one from reaping the reward of wrong thinking as long as he continues to allow wrong thinking to claim presence in his consciousness.

To remove the penalty, the belief of wrong thinking that claims to produce it must first be removed from individual human consciousness and replaced with right or spiritual thinking. In brief, the redemption of individual human consciousness is fundamental not only to the solution of problems claiming presence in individual experience, but also to the solution of the greater problems of collective experience, such as war and aggression.

The student of Christian Science must first heal himself of the beliefs of tyranny, aggression, greed, hatred, and other destructive thoughts, for he cannot indulge the beliefs of error and at the same time realize his protection from them. When the student so sees the nothingness and powerlessness of these false beliefs as to wipe them out of his own consciousness, he is thoroughly protected from them. And in doing this, he is also helping his brother. For whenever we prove the falsity of a claim of error for ourselves, we make it that much easier for our brother to see its nothingness.

This is especially so when the error seems to be controlling our brother. But mortals will continue to suffer as long as they continue to argue for and indulge carnal mindedness or material thinking. For their own good they must be forced to turn from matter to Spirit, from evil to good, from the unreal to the real, for only by so turning will they ever work out their salvation. Mrs. Eddy foresaw this, and on page 96 and 97 of her textbook she writes: "This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. . . . During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection."

The only way to destroy the belief of disease is to remove from individual human consciousness the wrong thinking that claims to be causing the disease. This is accomplished by replacing false beliefs with spiritual ideas. In like manner, the only way to rid mankind of war is to remove the erroneous thinking that claims to cause war, and this can only be done by correcting and spiritualizing individual human consciousness.

We know that the Christ, Truth, is operating in general and individual human consciousness, bringing to the surface and destroying the errors claiming presence therein. Men are thinking more clearly today than ever before. They are seeking for something to prevent a recurrence of the present holocaust. And the more they seek, the more they will be convinced that the human mind and material methods offer no solution, and will turn to God for a way out. When they reach this point, they will gladly receive the Christ - the Christ that is here, as we have seen.

In the meantime, those on the side of right - of Truth, Life, and Love - will always be led and may take the right human action to defeat and render powerless the claims of evil - of the anti-Christ - to power and domination. And today there is no question as to which is the side of right, for righteous government guarantees and protects the rights of man; it does not enslave him. Christian Science proclaims man's freedom from slavery, mental or physical, proclaims universal freedom and reveals the way to attain it. Therefore, Christian Scientists support all who today are defending human rights against aggression, oppression and tyranny. In Science and Health (p. 224) we read: "Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, 'Slavery is abolished.' The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love."

 

Prayer

We have seen that the spiritual understanding of God as Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, and of man as His image and likeness, is the truth that makes free - the truth that destroys every erroneous belief claiming presence in individual human consciousness. But this understanding must be utilized or exerted. Jesus said that to be free we must know this truth.

There is an important difference between knowing about the truth and actually knowing it. It is the difference between knowing about God and knowing as God knows. It is not how much we know about God that heal and saves; it is how much we are reflecting God's knowing. We have seen that the real man, God's image, knows exactly as God knows, and thus manifests the omnipotent power of God. And as we know as God knows, here and now, we are bringing out this real selfhood, this true individuality; and we reflect this divine power in like measure.

This knowing is true prayer or treatment, and it wipes out or heals the belief of sin, sickness, disease, death, old age, lack, inharmony of every kind. But in order to establish this divine knowing in individual human consciousness, a certain amount of process is required until one reaches the state of spiritual growth where he can heal instantaneously without it. The process is one of affirmation and denial, the affirmation of the spiritual fact for the case, and the denial of the material sense evidence. Prayer, or treatment, should always be preponderantly affirmative. We use the denials, but we should never allow them to clutter up the treatment. Through this affirmation of truth and denial of error we become convinced of the truth we are affirming, we realize it - we really know it and it becomes real to us. The spiritual idea replaces the false belief claiming presence in individual human consciousness; and we have healing. We have exerted our spiritual understanding, we have drawn on divine power, to destroy the claims of error.

This treatment is not, however, merely a matter of using the right affirmation or proper denial. In short, it is not just a mental process, it is a spiritually mental one. Our affirmations and denials are powerful in proportion to our spiritual-mindedness - the spirit of Truth and Love we reflect. As Mrs. Eddy so clearly puts it (ibid, p. 418), "By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you

entertain, you will heal the sick."

As we have seen, man in God's image perfectly reflects His omnipotence. And as we strive to show forth the real man in our living, as we bring out this true selfhood here and now, we shall in like measure demonstrate the availability and supremacy of divine power. We might say that our demonstration of divine power and salvation go hand in hand.

Every time a false belief is replaced with a spiritual idea in individual human consciousness, the supremacy of Truth is demonstrated and another step has been taken in the working out of our salvation. For in the Glossary of Science and Health (p. 593) we find "salvation" defined as "Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed."

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, Jan. 23, 1942.]

 

 

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