Christian Science: The Way to True Peace
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., of Louisville, lectured on "Christian Science: The Way to True Peace," Tuesday evening in the Second Church of Christ, Scientist, under the auspices of the Second Church. The speaker was introduced by Richard K. Sommer.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
You and I - all mankind individually and collectively - desire peace, a true and lasting peace, peace in the world at large with our fellow men, peace in our homes, our businesses, our bodies, and, above all, peace of mind. The longing for such peace and the effort to attain it date from the beginning of human history. Men have fought for peace; they are willing today as in the past to fight for it and even to surrender their human sense of life to gain it. They have tried many different human ways and means to attain and maintain it. In fact, the best human thought has been given to it. And yet the greatest problem still facing us, individually and collectively, is how to bring about lasting peace, harmony, and well-being in our lives.
What is it that we are looking for in our search for true peace, my friends? What should peace mean to us? Surely it should mean enduring harmony between individuals and nations. Yes, and in one's own experience peace should mean health, happiness, joy, right activity, usefulness, success, supply, security, and so on. Few would argue against such a concept of peace, for men in general believe that these things and conditions are essential to their peace of mind, and so they seek to gain them expecting that this peace will result from their attainment. Since this seems to be a reasonable procedure, where is the difficulty? Why have not men thereby realized a greater measure of peace? The flaw, as Christian Science reveals, is that this reasoning is just the reverse of what is actually true, for harmony between individuals and nations, health, happiness, joy, abundance, and the like, do not produce peace of mind, but are the effects of peace of mind, or right thinking.
In brief, Christian Science not only teaches but conclusively proves that peace and harmony are not to be found in matter or in material conditions, since peace and harmony are primarily mental, that is, spiritually mental. Peace, Christian Science reveals, is a spiritually mental quality and not a material condition. And where should one look for a spiritual quality? One should look to Spirit, God, divine Mind, certainly not to matter. Looking to matter and its so-called conditions for peace might be likened to looking to the east for the beauties of the sunset. One would not see them, though they are right at hand to be enjoyed if he will but turn around. So, today, the great need is for men to turn to Spirit, God, for peace and harmony, instead of looking to matter for them.
This is not new doctrine. We find it clearly stated in one of the oldest books in the Bible. In Job we read, "Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." Here is an unequivocal statement that peace and good are to be brought into individual human experience by gaining an understanding of God. Paul says the same thing a little differently when he declares, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 506), "The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace." Here is the way to true peace - to gain an understanding of God, a spiritual apprehension of Him and of His creation, man, which is spiritual-mindedness.
So, "acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace." And how well are you acquainted with Him? If you were to be asked, "What is God?" could you give a clear definition of His nature? I wonder if your answer would be anything like that of a friend of mine who was just beginning to investigate Christian Science. He pondered the question for some time and then said: "You may think it strange, but I cannot answer your question. God has been just God to me.” My friend's concept of God is not an unusual one, though perhaps the more general tendency is to conceive of God as an exalted mortal, usually sitting on a throne in some far-off place called heaven - the exact opposite of inspired Biblical teaching. Thus there seemed to be many different concepts of God, but the fact remains that there can be but one which is right. How, then, can we gain the correct concept or understanding of God? Where is it to be found?
You will find it in the book that has long been the world's "best seller" - the Bible. Most Bible students recognize that the Scriptures have both a literal and a spiritual meaning. Taken literally, the Bible seems to contain many contradictions, but these are resolved when the spiritual meaning is grasped. For example, the Scriptures seem to include various concepts of God. In some instances, He is conceived of as a war lord, leading His people into battle; in others as an exalted human being, knowing both good and evil and liberally dispensing the latter. In other instances He is described as "of purer eyes than to behold evil," as "the God of peace," and also as Spirit, to be worshiped "in spirit and in truth."
Christian Science explains these seeming contradictions by revealing that they represent different stages in the development of the human concept of God. In the early history of the Hebrew people, the concept of God was grossly material, but as thought became more spiritualized, and was lifted above matter, a more spiritual idea of God gradually unfolded in individual human consciousness. This culminated in the advent of Christ Jesus, the most spiritually-minded man of all time, who clearly discerned and gave to mankind the highest concept of God - the true idea of God as Spirit, the Father or creator of all.
This explanation of these varying concepts of God is but one instance of the interpretation which Christian Science brings to the Bible. The sincere student finds that Science and Health is indeed a "Key to the Scriptures," for it unlocks the Bible, revealing the spiritual truths it contains, and making it a new book to him. When he applies this truth he finds that it is practical and effective, for it solves the problems, heals the diseases, and destroys the discords claiming presence in his life, his body, his home, his business, and his relationships. In short, he finds that the spiritual truth which the Bible contains, and which Christian Science explains and amplifies, brings him real peace - peace of mind. Is it remarkable, therefore, that next to the Bible, Science and Health has been a "best seller"? If you do not already possess a copy to accompany your Bible, may I recommend that you get one without further delay? You will find it an invaluable aid in your effort to find peace by gaining the true idea of God and man.
I wonder if anyone is thinking at this point, My concept of God satisfies me, and I have no intention of changing it. Let us hope not, for this would be the equivalent of assuming that one knows all that there is to know about God. We cannot acquaint ourselves better with Him without changing, or improving, our present concept of Him. And when we arrive at the full understanding of Him, we shall have perfect peace. Thus for one to seek peace, health, harmony, success, supply, and so on, with a determination not to change his concept of God, would be to invite failure at the outset. It should be our daily effort to change - to spiritualize - our concept of God, to understand Him better. And a prime requisite for this is humbly to recognize that we need this growth in spiritual understanding.
This humility, this teachableness, is essential to growth in grace, for without it thought is closed to the unfolding of the spiritual idea of God and man. Christ Jesus was the meekest, the most humble of men. In his humility, however, there was no weakness, no self-depreciation, no limitation. The Master expressed his true humility in such statements as, "I and my Father are one;" "I can of mine own self do nothing;" "All things that the Father hath are mine." Jesus' humility was the concomitant of his clear understanding of God and man in God's image and likeness, whereby man has all that God is by reflection. Yes, my friends, it requires true humility to gain a higher understanding of God, and conversely, the higher one's understanding, the humbler he becomes.
The concept of God that Mary Baker Eddy presented to the world when she published her textbook in 1875 seemed revolutionary at the time and met with bitter opposition and resistance. To many it still seems revolutionary and yet this definition of God includes nothing that is not either definitely stated or clearly implied in the Bible. What makes it appear revolutionary is that Mrs. Eddy, through her clear spiritual discernment, has been able to separate the true idea of God from the various conflicting beliefs that merely represented states and stages of the human concept of Him, and she has set forth this spiritual idea so clearly, concisely, and accurately that the enlightened human thought can grasp it, understand it, and demonstrate it.
We find this definition of God on page 465 of Science and Health: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." These seven terms are synonymous, as Mrs. Eddy brings out in the following paragraph, and she adds: "They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence and wholeness of Deity." Christian Scientists have only one God - "one absolute God." But God is no longer "just God" to us, as He was to my friend, for this definition of God enables us to acquaint ourselves intelligently with Him, to know Him as He really is.
For instance, to know God as infinite divine Mind enables us to understand that He is infinite intelligence, the source of all ideas; that He is omniscience; that He is all that knows, knows all, and is all that is known. To know Him as infinite Spirit enables us to understand that He is neither in nor of matter, for matter is the opposite of Spirit. Being infinite, all, Spirit can have no opposite, and from this standpoint Christian Science declares the unreality, the nothingness, of matter, and affirms the reality, the allness of Spirit.
The concept of God as Soul, the opposite of material, sinning sense, enables us to know Him as sinless, divine consciousness. By Principle we know Him as the only Father-Mother, the only source or creator of the universe, including man.
And what does it mean to know God as Life? It assures us of immortality. Since the one God is Life, there is but one Life - infinite, eternal, immortal, without beginning or end. Being the only Life, God is the Life of all that really exists. He is your Life and mine. Does it not bring comfort and assurance to your hearts to know that your Life is as eternal and indestructible as your God?
What do we perceive by knowing God as Truth? Truth is unchangeable fact or reality; hence whatever is unlike Truth is changeable, untrue, unreal, nothing. Truth is immortal, absolute; it includes no element of error, no element of destruction. It is omnipotent, for whatever would oppose it would necessarily be untrue, powerless. Since God is Truth, as the Bible declares, and since He is good, Truth must be good. Hence evil must be untrue, unreal. This is not only logical, it is also demonstrable.
To know God as infinite, divine Love enables us truly to love Him and His perfect, lovable creation, and thus to obey the two commandments on which, Jesus said, "hang all the law and the prophets," namely, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." For centuries sincere Christian people have been trying to love an unlovable concept of God, although John plainly states that "God is love." Even humanly we do not usually make an effort to know someone who seems unloving or unlovable, or someone of whom we are afraid. And the false concept of God as a Being to be feared, as the source of evil and dire punishment, has likewise discouraged many Christian people from wanting to know Him better. Yet James tells us, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." And the only way to get close to God is to know Him better, to know as He knows. If you have been taught to fear God, if you have regarded Him as a dispenser of evil, of punishment and affliction, a great sense of freedom and joy is in store for you as you come to know God as Christian Science declares Him. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy states (p. 140), "The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death." Who can fear such a God or hesitate to draw near to Him? Who can fail to love Him?
Perhaps someone is thinking, This is a wonderful concept of God, but how will knowing Him in this way help me, how will it bring peace to my discordant human experience? This is a fair question, my friend. To put it another way, is Christian Science just a beautiful theory, or does it really work, does it really heal, and if so, how? The fact that it heals is attested by thousands of authenticated testimonies of healings of all types of disease, sin, lack, discordant human relationships, business difficulties, and so on. Such testimonies, together with inspirational articles on Christian Science, are to be found in the Christian Science Sentinel and in The Christian Science Journal. Or you may hear such testimonies by attending the Wednesday evening testimony meeting of any Christian Science church. The healing power of Christian Science has also been attested by some of this country's leading physicians, who have admitted in published statements that there is no question but that it heals both organic and functional diseases. And best of all, you can prove for yourself that it heals, and nothing can be more convincing than this.
Let us see how the understanding of God gained through Christian Science operates to heal disease and restore harmony. In the first chapter of Genesis we read that God made man in His image and likeness. For centuries Christian people have assumed that a material, physical, human being is this image and likeness, and thus have made God manlike instead of making man Godlike. Mrs. Eddy reversed this procedure. She went directly to the inspired Word of the Bible to discover the true nature of God and, as we have seen, she found that the Scriptures definitely declare Him to be Spirit, Truth, Life, and Love, and that they clearly imply that He is Principle, Mind, and Soul. It was evident to her, as it must be to any thinking person, that a limited, material, imperfect human being, liable to sin, sickness, and death, could not possibly be the image and likeness of such a God. An image and likeness is the perfect reflection of its original, possessing its qualities and attributes, and nothing else. In brief, it is one with its original, for if it lacked anything possessed by its original, or if it possessed something its original lacked, it would cease by that much to be a perfect reflection or image. Mrs. Eddy therefore perceived that man really is one with God, not in the sense of being the same, for God is always cause and man is always effect, but in the sense of being at one, inseparable. On page 70 of Science and Health she states: "Man is never God, but spiritual man, made in God's likeness reflects God. In this scientific reflection the Ego and the Father are inseparable." How perfectly in accord is this with Jesus' statement, "I and my Father are one."
This understanding of man's oneness with God is the very basis of our demonstration of Christian Science, for it enables us to know what man really is, what he has, and what he does. Thus, at one with divine Mind, man is idea, an individual spiritual consciousness, knowing exactly as this Mind knows, conscious as God is conscious. He possesses and reflects all the qualities and ideas - the infinite intelligence, wisdom, understanding, ability, and so on - of this infinite Mind. As Mrs. Eddy puts it in "Unity of Good" (p. 24): “All consciousness is Mind; and Mind is God, - an infinite, and not a finite consciousness. This consciousness is reflected in individual consciousness, or man, whose source is infinite Mind. There is no really finite mind, no finite consciousness.” This spiritual fact strips all limitation from individual man. It destroys the false belief that he has a finite, limited mind of his own, capable of thinking good and evil or of believing that which is not true. It also destroys the false belief that individual man reflects God only partially, which would limit the image and likeness of the infinite. Finally, it establishes his completeness and perfection as the individual expression of infinite consciousness.
We must rid ourselves of the belief in a finite consciousness, for there is no such thing. Only as the individualized manifestation of infinite consciousness can we conceive of man as "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas," as he is defined in the textbook (p. 475). In the degree that one understands and claims individual man's true oneness with divine Mind and the unlimited understanding, intelligence, wisdom, ability, and so on, that this bestows on man, he brings these into his experience here and now, and the false claims of a limited understanding, intelligence, wisdom, and ability fade away. He becomes more competent, more reliable, more successful in his business. He finds that more and more he is able to appropriate and utilize the right idea for the occasion, and the result is more harmony and more peace in his daily affairs.
At one with infinite Spirit, individual man is a spiritually mental being; he is not material or physical. He is the complete reflection of Spirit, expressing its every quality and attribute. He is spiritually substantial, individually reflecting the infinite substance of Spirit. Hence his substance is never finite or limited; it cannot be added to or taken from. It cannot be exhausted or depleted, nor can it be broken, injured, or diseased. The understanding of man's present spiritual perfection, substantiality, and completeness destroys the erroneous belief that he is material, imperfect, incomplete, lacking in health, harmony, and right activity - and the result is perfect and permanent healing. For when these false beliefs are removed from individual human consciousness, they are removed from individual experience, since we can experience nothing of which we are not conscious.
Every belief of limitation stems from the belief in the reality of matter. Mrs. Eddy refers to sin, disease, and death as the effects of matter; so to rid ourselves of these evil effects, we must get rid of the basic error, the belief in matter. The determination to hold on to matter as being real and good is often the reason for a delayed healing in Christian Science. And what is one arguing for when he insists on the reality of matter? The Bible teaches that God is Spirit and that He is good. Since matter is the opposite of Spirit, which is real and good, matter must be unreal and evil. So there is no good matter. Furthermore, Spirit, God, being infinite, all, matter can be only a supposition - the suppositional absence of Spirit, of good, of true substance. The stronger one's belief in matter and the more he argues for it, the more likely he is to see this belief manifested in his experience as sin, sickness, failure, lack, or some other phase of discord; for his experience is thinking objectified or made manifest.
At one with Soul, man reflects the sinless, divine consciousness which is Soul. He is an individual spiritual consciousness, expressing or embodying all right ideas. This embodiment of spiritual ideas, this complete expression of Soul, is the only real body, the only real man. On page 280 of Science and Health we read, "Rightly understood, instead of possessing a sentient material form, man has a sensationless body; and God, the Soul of man and of all existence, being perpetual in His own individuality, harmony, and immortality, imparts and perpetuates these qualities in man, - through Mind, not matter." So we see that the real man does not possess nor dwell in a material body, is not dependent on it nor governed by it. Even as a human being, man's consciousness is not in a material body, but this so-called material body is a mental concept included in human consciousness. This is why the human body may be healed by correcting one's thinking. If this body were something separate and apart from mind, it could not be affected in one way or another by thought. But since one's so-called material body is merely his concept of himself, his thinking about himself, to improve this thinking through spiritualization of thought must necessarily improve his body. Consequently it is impossible for thought to be corrected without improving the body.
At one with divine Life, man is immortal, healthy, harmoniously active, vigorous, strong. He is coexistent and coeternal with his Maker, birthless, deathless, ageless, diseaseless, painless. He is wholly separate from the mortal dream of birth, growth, maturity, decay, and death. In reality, these false beliefs have never touched and cannot touch the harmony and immortality of his being. Their claim to do so is utterly false, no matter how real it may seem to human sense. And this false claim is wiped out by the realization of the truth of being, for, as the Master declared, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." By this statement Jesus classified every phase of evil that he overcame - sin, sickness, disease, death, insanity, lack, et cetera - as error, as a lie to be destroyed by Truth. If sickness were true, my friends, do you think that it would help or heal you to realize how sick you were? But since sickness is not true, the recognition of its falsity and the realization of the present perfection of man's being as the image of God will make you free. Many western cow ponies are educated to believe that they have been tied when the bridle reins are dropped over their heads onto the ground. Of course, they are not tied at all, they are perfectly free, but for all practical purposes they are securely held by this false belief. The sick are held in bondage in much the same way. Although sickness is not real, they have been thoroughly educated to believe that it is, and they are bound by this false belief. Now to be freed from this bondage they need only to be healed of the false belief, not of a disease, and the one remedy is the truth - the truth that they are free. Thus it is thinking that needs to be healed, not a sick material body, and this is accomplished by replacing wrong thoughts with right, or spiritual, ideas.
At one with Truth, man is wholly apart from error. He is conscious only of Truth - he is true consciousness. Christian Science teaches that error is merely the seeming absence of Truth - and the consciousness of nothing is no consciousness, or unconsciousness. So there really can be no consciousness of error and no error in consciousness. One is really conscious only to the extent that he knows Truth and its manifestation; the so-called consciousness of evil, matter, sin, disease, and death is but an illusion, a dream which vanishes into its "native nothingness" before the consciousness of Truth.
This consciousness of Truth, or true consciousness, is the Christ, the Saviour that destroys all claims of error to presence in individual human consciousness, healing sickness as well as sin, and overcoming death, thus bringing full salvation, complete freedom from every phase of evil. Every true or spiritual idea is a Christ-idea, and the unfoldment of these ideas in individual human consciousness is the coming of the Christ. These spiritual ideas replace the false beliefs of mortal mind, claiming presence in individual human consciousness, and when all error of belief has been thus replaced, only the consciousness of Truth, or true consciousness, the Christ, remains. This is the real and only man, your true selfhood and mine.
The Christ was demonstrated by the Master to such a degree that he completely identified himself with it, which resulted in his being known as Jesus the Christ, or Christ Jesus. His conscious realization of the truth was so vivid and so complete that it healed the sick and sinning and raised the dead instantaneously. And Jesus made it clear that the consciousness of Truth was not a special dispensation to him, but that all of his followers could likewise attain it and demonstrate it.
At one with divine Love, man possesses and expresses the qualities and attributes of Love alone. He is Love expressed as idea, manifesting the fearlessness, pure affection, kindness, tenderness, unselfishness, humility, and instantaneous forgiveness of Love. This representative of divine Love can only bless and be blessed; he cannot fear or be feared, nor can he hurt, hate, injure, destroy, or be unjust to his brother man. Individual man in every ease being perfectly at one with Love, all must exist in perfect unity and peace with each other. Thus the ideas of God, dwelling together in divine Love, exist in perfect amity; they minister to each other, bless each other, and cooperate with each other under the government of divine Principle.
"The Lord God omnipotent reigneth," the Scriptures declare, and today there is great need to realize the omnipotence and omnipresence of this divine government. Principle, divine Love, alone governs man, maintaining him eternally at the standpoint of perfection and peace. Only as we come to realize that all government is of God, that, even humanly speaking, government is good only to the extent that it is based on and reflects this divine Principle, will there be any permanent sense of "on earth peace, good will toward men." The government of divine Love is impartial. It blesses, protects, supplies, and directs impartially all of its ideas. It does not bless one to the injury or loss of another, but is absolutely just and fair. And in the degree that human government patterns the divine, permanent peace, prosperity, and security will be enjoyed by all mankind.
Every phase of discord is basically a belief in incompleteness, a belief in the absence or lack of good in some respect. Thus sickness is but a belief in the absence or lack of health; sin, a belief in the lack of purity and holiness; death, a belief in the absence of life; poverty, a belief in the absence of abundant supply, and so on. Since God is infinite good, and since man in His likeness has all that God has by reflection, all of these beliefs of incompleteness or lack are but phases of the belief that man has been separated from God, and so has lost his perfection. Hence every belief in lack is fundamentally a belief in loss. But we read in Science and Health (p. 302), "It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his."
The claim of loss can be traced back to the age-old belief of fallen man. But man has not fallen; he has never lost his perfection as God's image, for if man could fall from perfection for an instant, at that moment God would cease to be perfect, would cease to be God. A perfect creator cannot have an imperfect creation; a perfect Mind cannot have an imperfect idea. Man's perfection being essential to God's perfection, every claim that man is separated from God and consequently is lacking and incomplete, must be a lie. And this lie is destroyed by the realization of the spiritual fact of man's eternal oneness with God, for, as we have seen, man's oneness with God establishes his present and eternal perfection and completeness. Being complete, man is at peace - he is God's satisfied, healthy, happy, harmonious, and perfect idea. This is the way God makes, maintains, and knows His man, His son - your true selfhood and mine. In brief, this is the way that God is knowing you and me here and now.
This knowing as God knows constitutes true prayer or treatment in Christian Science. This is the prayer that brings peace to one's thought, health to one's body, harmony to one's home, and success to one's business, for it destroys the false beliefs of sin, sickness, disease, death, age, incompatible traits or qualities, lack, failure - in fact, every phase of discord. This divine knowing is established in individual human consciousness by bringing one's thought into adjustment with Principle, divine Mind, through replacing the false beliefs with spiritual ideas. This involves a certain amount of process until one reaches that stage of spiritual growth where he can heal instantaneously without it.
The process is quite simple. It is the silent, prayerful affirmation of the spiritual fact for the case, and the denial of the material sense evidence. This prayer should be preponderantly affirmative, for it is the affirmation of truth that brings the realization of it. When through this simple process we reach the point where we realize the spiritual fact, the false belief no longer has our acceptance or consent - it no longer has a believer - and so it vanishes into nothingness. Then we know as God knows, our thought is at one with divine Mind, and this is demonstration. The result, or sign following, is the perfect and permanent healing of the discord or disease claiming presence in one's experience. In this connection, it is helpful to remind oneself that the prayer - the adjusting of thought to Principle so that one knows as God knows - is the demonstration, and not the material manifestation. As Mrs. Eddy puts it (Science and Health, p. 16), "The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration."
The True Peacemaker
The Master said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for their's is the kingdom of heaven." In our search for true peace it is highly important that we gain a clear concept of what constitutes the true peacemaker. Christian Science does not teach its followers that the true peacemaker is a pacifist or an appeaser. Their Leader, Mrs. Eddy, was neither of these, as is clearly illustrated by her challenging statement in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 99): "Go, if you must, to the dungeon or the scaffold, but take not back the words of Truth. How many are there ready to suffer for a righteous cause, to stand a long siege, take the front rank, face the foe, and be in the battle every day?" Mrs. Eddy was not asking of her followers anything that she herself was not practicing, for her words were best illustrated by her own life. She endured hardships, calumny, and persecution to an extent seldom if ever experienced by a religious leader since the days of the early Christians, but she did not take back a single word of Truth. She was not only ready to suffer for a righteous cause, she actually did suffer for it far more than the world will ever know. She was in the battle every day for over forty-five years following her discovery of Christian Science, working valiantly in order that you and I and all mankind might be blessed by this healing and saving Christ, Truth. Mrs. Eddy only hinted at what she endured for our sakes when she said (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 249): "Millions may know that I am the Founder of Christian Science. I alone know what that means."
If the true peacemaker is neither a pacifist nor an appeaser, what is he? The real peacemaker removes or destroys the discords or evils that claim to disturb the peace, such as greed, hatred, mad ambition, lust for power, human domination, resentment, revenge, and the like. The claims of these phases of error to presence in individual human consciousness are destroyed only by the Christ, Truth, as we have seen; hence the Christ is the true peacemaker - "the Prince of Peace." As one's consciousness becomes flooded with this Christ, Truth, these false beliefs and their attendant discords are wiped out of consciousness and true peace is established in one's experience. Thus one becomes a true peacemaker here and now in the degree that he is bringing out the Christ, his true selfhood. Christ Jesus presented the most perfect human example of the true peacemaker, and through her clear spiritual discernment Mrs. Eddy was not only able to follow closely in his footsteps, but she also illumined the way so brightly through her writings that you and I may do likewise.
From our brief discussion, my friends, we have seen that true peace is primarily mental, not material, and that it is attained by gaining a correct understanding of God and of man's oneness with Him as image and likeness. We have seen that in reality man's peace follows naturally from his unity with God and the completeness this gives to him; that his peace is consequently as permanent as his God-given identity and individuality. And we have seen that the demonstration of peace in human experience is individual, dependent entirely on one's spiritual growth, never on material conditions or circumstances.
As Mrs. Eddy so beautifully puts it in one of her poems (Poems, p. 79):
"It matters not what be thy lot,
So Love doth guide;
For storm or shine, pure peace is thine,