Christ Made Manifest in the Modern World
Francis Lyster Jandron, C.S.B., of Detroit, Michigan
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
I. Christ Ever New
Christ is not old-fashioned. Christ is as new as this morning's sunrise. Christianity is not old-fashioned. It is as fresh as the dew on the grass. Christ and Christianity are as old as goodness, yet like goodness they never grow old. They have their place in the modern world, and there never will be anything which can take their place. The modern world knows no substitute for goodness, any more than it knows any substitute for life. Without Christ there can be no goodness, just as without a standard of coinage there can be no dependable money. Christ is the pattern of goodness, the manifestation of God. Christianity is its application. As a matter of fact, Christ is all that holds the world together. Without Christ and Christianity the world would completely lapse into chaos. To become more progressive, more prosperous, and more peaceful, the world needs more of Christ and of Christianity, not less. We shall never outgrow our need of Christ.
Christian Science brings Christ into the modern world. Christian Science reveals Christ, not as a faraway personality nor as a philosophical abstraction, but as God made manifest to humanity in spiritual abundance. Christ is not hidden in theological mysteries; he lives in practical proofs of divine goodness in human affairs. Through Christian Science you and I can live Christianity successfully. Christian Science teaches that Christianity neither began nor ended with Jesus, its glorified exponent. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has made this plain in a few simple words in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." There she says (p. 271), "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God."
Christian Scientists adore Jesus the Christ. They reverently acknowledge him to be the Son of God. In him they recognize the Way-shower for all mankind, the Exemplar of man's spiritual perfection. From him they learn that Christliness was not His unique personal possession, for it is the reflection of the divine Spirit, God. It is ours to share in the measure that we share Jesus' willingness to surrender materiality. In other words, Christian Science teaches that as you become animated by the divine Spirit which animated Jesus your own real nature comes into view. In reality you too are the son of God, no matter what you may have thought about yourself and no matter what you may be thinking now. No matter how far your human experience may seem to have led you away from the Christ-ideal, you can through Christian Science bring Christ into your own sin-filled, sickness-filled, poverty-filled or hate-filled world. God is always able to manifest Himself to you. You might be a castaway on a desert island; you might be crushed by some unforseen disaster; you might even seem to he swept away from the path of rectitude by some hypnotic influence: in the very wilderness in which you find yourself, God is still able to manifest Himself to you. This manifestation of God to the human consciousness is the coming of the Christ.
Christ will always appear to you in a form which you can understand and use. That is because God is omnipotent as well as omnipresent good. There can be no barrier to prevent Him from making Himself manifest to you. God reveals Himself through a spiritual, scientific understanding of His divine nature, which Christian Science unfolds. Lift your thought from dumb acquiescence in evil to joyful expectation of good; from reliance on self to unselfed trust in God's allness, and you will meet Christ. Your problem will then begin to solve itself. Cause is never separate from its effect, nor God from His manifestation. Mrs. Eddy has said of Jesus (Science and Health, p. 332) that he appeared to mortals "in such a form of humanity as they could understand as well as perceive." So it is today. Appearing centuries ago in the form of the human Jesus to the humble shepherds, the receptive Wisemen, and the lowly disciples, the same Christ comes today through Christian Science to all prepared to receive it. Jesus' life was dedicated to proving that every human problem can be solved when it is brought into the light of omnipotent and omnipresent Truth, God. When viewed in that light, all that is evil and discordant is seen to be an unreal shadow, an illusion.
Christian Science defines God as divine Principle, and man as His immortal reflection. Whenever you acknowledge that God is divine Principle and that you are His immortal reflection — and this is a purely mental act of which everyone is capable — then Christ has begun to reign in your consciousness. In the degree that you lay hold of this truth about God and man evil will disappear from your experience. Sickness, sin, sorrow, want, stagnation have no place in God's creation. Wiseman or shepherd, child or adult, beginner or advanced student, you have but to cling to this A B C of Christian Science to prove for yourself that to you too, at the very crossroads of human experience where you are standing today, God makes Himself manifest in such a form as you can "understand as well as perceive." Through Christian Science your human problem can be solved. Christ comes into your own world.
Christian Science is not a human invention. It is exactly what its name indicates, provable scientific knowledge of Christ. It is raising mortals, resurrecting them, if you will, out of their deformed, despairing, dying estimate of themselves.
It is giving them glimpses of man's real relationship to God. You have only to get a glimpse of what Christian Science teaches about God, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, and His infinite goodness, to feel very much happier about man than you have ever felt before. With that first glimpse, which is all you need for a beginning, you are actually being born again. You are being born out of and away from your beliefs in a man-conceived, self-made, death-destined existence. You are being born into spiritual understanding of your true being, through this awakening to the scientific definition of God's nature. Without a scientific definition of God, you will never know God. You will have a man-made God, and you will fail to recognize the God-made man.
Jesus declared of his divine Christ-selfhood, "Before Abraham was, I am." Heredity cannot blight man's real being, which is as old as God Himself, because it coexists with God. All that Jesus had he derived from God, the source of all good. His ability to love, to pray, to heal, and to save came from God. That is equally true of you also, to the extent that you understand why it is true, and use it. Jesus proved that God makes Himself manifest in such a form as mortals can understand and perceive. Christian Science shows that Jesus' teachings, far from being obsolete or not adapted to modern needs, actually afford the solution of every human need. Far from being a personal possession of a long-ago Jesus and unattainable today, the ever-new Christ is ours through Christian Science to use and to apply triumphantly.
II. Mrs. Eddy and Her Church
On the wall of the Congregational Church at Tilton, New Hampshire, a tablet records that Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was for thirty-seven years a member of that church. Mrs. Eddy on more than one occasion in her later years expressed gratitude for her early church upbringing, as well as for the good accomplished by Christian churches everywhere. Christian Scientists gratefully acknowledge that we owe to the Christian churches the preservation of the Bible and the patient efforts of centuries to spread the knowledge of the Scriptures, and to make them accessible to all. The Bible binds the Christian Science church with other Christian churches in a common purpose. The Bible has made Christ the living inspiration and companion of many in every generation since the early days of the Christian era. From its pages earnest lovers of good have gained courage to follow in the footsteps of their Lord and Master, strength to drink of his cup, and divine assurance that they too might ultimately share his resurrection.
Mrs. Eddy is the Founder of a great religious movement. In less than three quarters of a century Christian Science has encircled the globe. The Christian Science church has not supplanted the established evangelical churches. Its work began where the work of other denominations had come to a halt. Mrs. Eddy turned her back on the barren fields of scholastic theology. She reinstated practical, primitive Christianity. Through her church she has shared with mankind her immortal discovery of the Science of Christ. In Christian Science, doctrines and divisions give place to the unity of spiritual understanding, which tests and proves itself by its power to heal. When Mrs. Eddy discovered that God is the divine Principle of all real being, and that evil is demonstrably unreal, she brought Christ into the modern world. In Christian Science Mrs. Eddy has revealed to humanity the foundation on which Jesus' works of healing and salvation are based. Jesus' declaration, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner," finds its fulfillment in Mrs. Eddy's teachings. Christian Science repeats the proofs of healing performed by the early Christians. It proclaims the Science which underlies Christian healing. It reveals Christ to mortals in a form which they can "understand as well as perceive." Christian Science proves that Christ appears to mankind not merely as a personal Saviour but as the ever-present fact of being, as powerful to help us today as when Jesus himself with divine compassion, "healed them that had need of healing."
Mrs. Eddy's church was the natural outcome of her discovery of Christian Science, just as her discovery of Christian Science was the natural outcome of her study of the Scriptures and of her close communion with God and His Christ. Only on the altar-steps of our own Christliness can we mount to a higher understanding of God. Mrs. Eddy had seen high human hopes soar and fall. Through it all she loved God steadfastly; and finally, in 1866, through a spiritual healing which at the time seemed miraculous, she found herself on the threshold of the discovery which has already in many directions revolutionized human thought, and broadened the base of human achievement. The revelation which came to her is the "still small voice" which makes itself heard when human will is silenced and earthly ties are loosened. It was revealed to Mrs. Eddy that God, infinite unchanging good, operates as a present fact, with all the might and logic of divine Principle, to destroy everything unlike itself. She recognized that God is divine Principle, and she saw that sin, sickness, and death itself cannot endure, cannot even exist, in the presence of spiritual understand of God's nature. Evil is seen to be unreal, and it disappears, in the measure that God's allness is understood. With Mrs. Eddy's discovery Christ comes newborn into the modern world.
Mrs. Eddy devoted her life to Christian Science with complete unselfishness. She applied her discovery to the salvation of men and women from the woes of sin, sickness, and sense. There are still among us today some who were eyewitnesses of her marvelous healing work. Many others have left written testimony of healings which Mrs. Eddy performed. Today Mrs. Eddy's church, through its manifold activities, is carrying on its mission of healing and strengthening all who selflessly seek its shelter. The Mother Church in Boston and its branch churches and societies all over the world have enabled thousands to find healing from sin and sickness. The varied activities of the Christian Science church reach every aspect of human thought and action, to leave them better than it found them. Christian Science has never harmed anyone. The published periodicals of the Christian Science church carry to humanity day by day new proofs and renewed assurance of the presence of the healing Christ. The thousands who have been healed by Christian Science do not need to be told why Christian Scientists are grateful to Mrs. Eddy.
III. Mind, Man, and Machine
Christian Science teaches that God is Mind. Since God is Mind, it follows that He is the only Mind. He is infinite intelligence. His creation reflects Him. That is to say, God's creation is wholly spiritual, never material. It is governed by God. It is a creation which consists of ideas, pure, perfect, and eternal. This is not hard to understand when we stop to consider that the First Cause must of necessity be Spirit. Matter could not possibly originate itself, and Spirit's creations must resemble their author in substance and character. To learn how or where a false, material view of creation originated, is of less importance than to understand how it is to be overcome. And to overcome this false sense, with all its attendant mortality and discord, is the work of Christian Science. Christ Jesus proved that it could be overcome. He raised himself step by step above the persecutions of material sense through his spiritual understanding of man's God-given nature. He acknowledged no other cause, no other creator, no other fatherhood, than God. He refused to concede power to anything or to any condition which was not in harmony with an infinitely perfect cause.
Knowing God, Jesus knew man. Understanding God's nature, he understood that man's nature must reflect the divine nature. He understood that nothing which is unlike God can in reality attach itself to man, or express itself through man. He separated the real, the Godlike, from the false, the ungodlike. He did it for himself and he did it for others. Those whom he taught and healed received these glimpses of their true nature in varying measure. For example, the New Testament tells us of one occasion when Jesus healed ten lepers. The healing Christ appeared to these men in such a form as they could understand and perceive. All ten were healed physically and redeemed socially. One of them let a little more of his spiritual nature shine through the mists of mortality than did the others, for he returned to Jesus and expressed gratitude for his healing. By that simple act he gained a stronger hold on eternal life than he had before. It should be remembered that gratitude is always a powerful factor in lifting us above a sick, discordant picture of ourself. Even in the darkest hours, gratitude lightens the gloom. It opens the windows of consciousness to receive more of the Christ-light.
The inward voice which bids us distinguish right from wrong we often speak of as the voice of conscience. We all have the ability, and we should all have the desire, to place ourselves on the right side, on the Godlike side, of every situation in which we find ourselves. In no other way can we expect to overcome evil with good, sickness with health, or want with abundance. Sometimes we may be tempted to question the promptings of conscience, or to disregard them. We need to remember that only by learning to distinguish right from wrong can we recognize Christ. Christian Science teaches us to develop this power of right judgment through a growing understanding of God as divine Principle. Wrong education, false habits of thought, and especially aggressive mental suggestion, may dull this voice of conscience, but they can never wholly silence it. Even hardened wrongdoers may catch its echoes and writhe in pangs of fear and remorse. Through Christian Science human thought patterns itself more and more after the divine model, and the inward silent monitor gradually becomes a compelling force. To understand God strengthens every right inclination; it exposes and sifts out wrong inclinations and purposes. It renders us immune to evil, seen or unseen. In Christian Science we learn that to be on the side of evil is to be cut off from the protection of God. The first step away from evil is a very easy one to take, for it is simply to desire good in an unselfish way. Every step toward good is a step toward God. Every step toward God is a step toward overcoming evil, and toward freedom from the suffering which inevitably comes from indulging evil, fearing it, or ignoring it. Christian Science delivers us from our own ignorance and wickedness, and from the ignorance and wickedness of others.
We often talk of the machine age in which we live. Sometimes we may wonder whether the machines which surround us are not making us mere cogs in a complicated structure which we are powerless to control. God's man never surrenders his individuality. It is comforting to remember that no machine can ever be powerful enough or intricate enough to stop a single Christlike thought. Neither man-made contrivances nor organized evil can ever prevent the healing Christ from becoming manifest to us in such a form as we can understand as well as perceive, even though we seem to be in the house of bondage. Machines of steel, political machines, and machines of subtle propaganda and suggestion can never take from man his rightful place, nor obstruct his progress Godward. They cannot condemn him to do a single unprincipled act, nor use him to harm his fellow-men. Christ saves us in the modern world.
IV. "Forgive Us Our Debts"
A Christian Scientist does not try to overcome evil by forgetting it or ignoring it. He does not need to. Christian Science teaches him how to overcome evil scientifically and destroy it completely. The Christian Scientist learns how to cast evil out of this consciousness, to heal its supposed scars, and to forgive the evil-doer. Wrong is never lessened by forgetting it or ignoring it. Just as long as it appears to us to be real, to have a past, present, or future, just so long will it be capable of harming us. When a specific belief in evil is examined in the light of the Christ, it disappears from our lives. its unlikeness to God, to spiritual reality, has been recognized. When your belief in the reality of an evil disappears, its seeming effects on your body, your pocketbook, or your home, will also disappear. When evil loses its power to deceive you, it loses its power to harm you. Our discordant experiences begin in thought before they express themselves in physical results. This is true whether we accept evil impressions consciously or ignorantly. Evil will cease to appear in the proportion that our thoughts become illumined by Christ. Evil has no mind to think and no power to act.
To pray aright is to forgive. A Christian Scientist learns that to be free from evil he must free himself from the belief that man can in reality do wrong or suffer wrong. Good intentions and promises unfulfilled do not suffice to pay a debt. Justice insists that our obligations must be carried out and our creditors paid. In just the same way, God's law demands that evil must be scientifically canceled and forgiven. It is not enough to let it lie dormant in consciousness. It must be seen to be neither offense, offender nor victim. This scientific forgiveness is accomplished through prayer. Prayer in Christian Science is no arrow shot at a venture. It is not a plea for material benefits or personal favors. It is more than merely hoping or demanding that the divine power may miraculously intervene. Scientific prayer is a spiritual understanding that God, Spirit, is the only cause, and that He sustains man in every right endeavor. It includes the willingness to be purified of all within ourselves which obstructs our obedience to God's demands. Within God's allness no wrong purpose, no ignorant apathy, no misguided endeavor, can have place or power. When our path seems to be obstructed by wrong or apathy or willfulness — our own or someone's else — let us be prompt and ready to test our position by scientific prayer. Let us be sure that we are harboring neither selfish desires nor a fear that evil can operate through us or against us. Only in the purity of the Christ-light can it be proved that evil is an illusion.
Honesty is a sure defense against dishonesty, when based on spiritual understanding. It ceases then to be merely a personal, privately owned attribute. It is seen to be the power of God made manifest in such a form as mortals can understand and perceive. Scientific honesty finds joy in paying just debts, and in satisfying human obligations. It does much more than that. It brings out of hiding dishonest motives, subtle schemes, sinister conspiracies. It strips them of power. It brings them into the light of the Christ, where they may be seen and judged for what they actually are, and not for what they may have falsely seemed to be. Whatever there is in you which is Christlike — and honesty accompanies all that is Christlike — is enforced by the power of omnipotence. It reflects the divine power which corrects every erroneous condition opposing or conflicting with a Christlike purpose. He whose thinking has been purified by Christian Science seeks to express honesty in his dealings with his fellow-men. He need then no longer fear to be victimized by the dishonesty of others. Honesty not only pays debts but it collects just debts. This is because divine forgiveness cancels the fear that shortcomings or shortages could ever subtract from the completeness of man as God sees him. The son of God is not a helpless mark for evil to shoot at. Honesty is no passive quality, at the mercy of imposition and trickery. It is open-eyed, vigilant, and alert. All that belongs to God, or has its source in God, is active and effective in resisting evil.
Christian Scientists pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Debt, debtor, and creditor cease to be stumbling blocks to harmony as the perfection of God's creation becomes for us a more firmly established conviction; Love illumines, honesty supports, and spiritual understanding executes the divine purpose. Love, honesty, and understanding may be gained by all who are willing to use them. Wherever God is, there they are. Take your debts into this Christ-light. Examine yourself, and through prayer and reformation cancel whatever there is in your thought and conduct which accepts, or believes in, or permits unbalanced accounts. Be as willing to check extravagance as you are to escape from limitation. Above all, do to others as you would have them do to you. Doing this faithfully you will find the way to pay your debts and all that is rightfully due you will be made up to you in God's own loving way. Debts of nations as well as of individuals can be paid when it is learned that obedience to God's law of honesty impoverishes no one and blesses all. Justice, not selfishness, extravagance, not craftiness, countersigns every check drawn on the bank of divine Love.
Your biggest debt is to meet God's demand that you shall see yourself and your neighbor as God's own children, forever free from sin, sickness, and limitation. Christian Science is a religion of doing and overcoming. Christian Science insists that nothing is too good to be true. It refuses to justify evil; it never admits that evil is incurable. A Christian Scientist should not shrink from the struggle with evil which accompanies his earnest efforts to obey God's law, Through these very struggles, he is being led out of the harsh wilderness of fear and human will, and into paths of beauty and peace. Beauty belongs to God's children. It belongs to their countenances, to their homes and to their relations with others. It is not merely skin-deep: it is not dependent on material luxuries or physical embellishments; it is not at the mercy of envy or decay. It is the fine flower of Christlike thinking; it is Christ in the modern world. As we learn to forgive scientifically, we shall come into a fuller understanding of these words of Mrs. Eddy's (Science and Health, p. 246): "Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness. Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight."
V. Christian Science Healing
In Mrs. Eddy's illustrated poem, "Christ and Christmas," there is an illustration which depicts very clearly how healing is accomplished in Christian Science. The picture is accompanied by these lines (pp. 27, 29):
"Forever present, bounteous, free,
Christ, comes in gloom;
And aye, with grace towards you and me,
For health makes room."
It portrays the healer standing within the Christ-light, earnestly realizing that the healing Christ is actually present. Standing in that light, the healer is able to draw the sick within the healing rays, and even a bystander shares to some extent in the spiritual illumination. A Christian Scientist cannot heal sickness by believing that sickness is real, that God sends it or permits it. To believe that sickness is real is mental darkness. The Christ-light is not the privileged possession of a few, for it is the very light of all light, "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." To realize this truth is prayer which heals. Such prayer fearlessly affirms man's unity with God, and denies reality to whatever error may seem to cloud the patient's consciousness. It requires no aid from material remedies or from medical diagnosis. Its results prove that it is scientific. The patient's thought is released from fear, and, meekly receptive, he becomes responsive to the loving affirmations of his spiritual nature. With this awakening of consciousness, sickness disappears. It is healed because it never was real, and because its unreality was exposed through Christian Science. Actually it never was more than an aggressive suggestion which obsessed the patient's thought and cast its shadow upon his body.
Speaking of Jesus' triumphant achievements, Mrs. Eddy has said (Science and Health, p. 54): "The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced." So also can it be said of the coming of Christian Science into the modern world. Christian Science has profoundly influenced the thought even of those who ignorantly oppose it. Our hospitals today are brighter and more cheerful than they were when Science and Health was first given to the world in 1875. Our medical physicians are more concerned with the mental states of their patients than they were then. Today fewer diseases are said to be incurable. Sickness and death are less often spoken of as God-sent. There is less damnation and gloom in funeral sermons. You may explain these changes as you will, but you cannot deny that they are changes for the better; and that they are tendencies which point in the direction of Christian Science and not away from its teachings. The faithful Christian Scientists who, often unrecognized, have stood and worked by the light of the Christ, as Christian Science reveals it, have not labored in vain. Little by little their own light has grown brighter and they have become more successful healers. Through their faithful affirmations of truth, and their spiritual understanding, the world has steadily grown in the past seventy years to a stronger expectation of good. Through Christian Science, Christ touches the thought of the entire world. Little by little humanity is awaking. The clamor of evil in the world need not deceive a Christian Scientist who has himself experienced Christ's healing power. A Christian Scientist does not worry; he prays. Why worry, when you can pray?
When Jesus healed the centurion's servant at a distance, he proved that space is not an obstacle to healing. Christian Science strongly emphasizes this. The truth about man can never be prevented by distance from reaching his consciousness in such a form as he can understand and respond to. Space, after all, is only a conventional, man-made belief — as much man-made as the punctuation mark which separates two printed sentences. Man can never be separated from the real facts of his being, nor from the recognition of them. Christian Science healing is not accomplished by thought waves or hypnotic suggestion. It is the truth about man intelligently affirmed and held to. The sick are being healed every day through Christian Science even when they seem to be a long distance away from their healers. This great reform in the practice of healing is a blessing to the human race.
Christian Science has proved its power to heal all kinds of human ailments, physical, moral and financial. Christian Science healing is the natural result of scientific mental action. When healing has been long delayed, and it seems that your patience is being tested almost beyond endurance, then is the time to ask, Am I standing in the Christ-light? The truth about man is that today, at this very hour, he is spiritual, not material. He is governed by God, good, not by false theories of sin and diseases. In the proportion that the individual human consciousness becomes responsive to these profound facts of being, sin and disease are seen as illusions, and they are healed. They disappear because their unreality has been exposed. You may give your assent to this on a general way, as a child gives its assent to the multiplication table before it has learned to apply and to prove it. That is not enough. Intellectual assent or consent does not take the place of spiritual understanding. Human thinking, based on the conventional logic of material action and reaction, cause and effect, lacks the power to heal. It is Christ which heals.
When your thought is clouded by fear, you are shutting out the Christ-light. Discouragement, hate, wrong desire, self-condemnation, self-pity, self-justification, love of ease in matter — these shut out the light. You must not stand under dark clouds like these when you are seeking the healing warmth of the Christ-rays. If you are sincerely seeking to be healed by Christ, you must be willing to part from them, even at the cost of many a stirring struggle with self. Take your stand boldly and patiently for Godlikeness, and strive meekly to express it. You have nothing to lose. Do not let fear or superstition argue that you may have to wait until you have reached perfection before receiving the healing which you seek. If that were required, most Christian Scientists would still be waiting for their first healing in Christian Science. Right desire is the first step, sincerity the second, along the path which leads you into the Christ-light. Once your feet are planted in that path, your healing will come as surely as morning overtakes the night. Stand in the Christ-light fearlessly. The newborn babe, in spite of its ignorance, its helplessness, its poverty, finds itself surrounded by a mother's love. So does the Christ illumine your steps in Christian Science with wisdom, protection, and comfort from on high. Not through human theories and beliefs, but through divine Love, inexhaustible and just at hand, Christ comes into the modern world with healing for you.
VI. There Is No Matter
To bring Christ into your own world, into your own conscious experience, there are some mental windows which you must open. Obedience, watchfulness, and self-forgetfulness are three which will let in much light. With these windows open, you will have far less to fear from matter and its supposed laws and action. In reality there is no matter. Matter is thinking which has gone wrong. It is imperfect, incorrect thinking. It is ignorant, and sometimes willfully ignorant, thinking. Do not be discouraged because there seems to be such a lot of it all around you everywhere. Open your mental windows wider; turn your gaze upward. The Christ will pour in its rays, awaking you to more harmonious thoughts and actions. When you give up your faith in matter, you will lose nothing which makes for harmonious living, true happiness, or enduring wealth. Matter, whatever form it may seem to take, testifies to nothing but the false belief that life has a beginning and will have an ending. In reality, man's destiny is a much higher one than that. Man's destiny is to bear eternal witness to health, holiness, and immortality.
Strengthen your hold on life by loving more. If a fellow church worker has spoken ill of you, forgive the mistake and save yourself from being harmed by it by loving your brother a little more than before. Though the friend whom you trusted has wronged you, you are still God's child, and you cannot be separated from good. Protect yourself and uplift your brother by remembering that he too is still God's child. Go on loving him a little more than before. When one whom you have helped returns your kindness with ingratitude, remember that you can lose nothing by acting in a Christ-like way, and go on loving him. You may have heard that one who received many benefits through Christian Science has turned away and is following other paths. Only divine Love can bring him back; you can keep the window of your love open toward him, so that he may reach out to you if ever there is need. Whenever you find that some chilly wind of fear, hate, doubt, or self-love has blown the window of your love shut, be quick to open it and let in the sunlight again. That is holy living and it is healthy living. Living in the Christ-light makes you strong and enlarges your dominion. When you are loving unselfishly, you are learning to love wisely.
Do not be afraid to declare: "Matter is unreal." Say it often. Never mind the arguments of the physical senses and intellectual knowledge, which seem to be contradicting you. Don't be disturbed by the odds against you. Say it hopefully: "Matter is an illusion." Say it with courage. When you begin to experience the effects of this Christlike attitude of dominion, you will find yourself going a step farther. You will say with increasing confidence: "Matter is a deceiver." And as, through faithful study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," you come to understand more fully the unshakable soundness of your scientific declaration, you will find yourself declaring with a spiritual understanding which heals: "There is no matter." Only by freeing yourself from the tyranny of matter can you bring Christ into your world. Never mind if it seems to take a long time and your steps are slow and faltering. Do not be discouraged by occasional failures or mistakes. Keep the window of unselfishness open, and you will be in no danger of falling into mental darkness. Freedom will come to you step by step as you gain glimpses of your spiritual and imperishable identity. Matter, after all. is only a feeble apology for the fear that man can be separated from God, who is his Life. All false knowledge based on matter must finally be transformed and must disappear, for sooner or later Christ must inevitably inspire all human thought and action. As our faith in matter lessens, matter itself will disappear. There is no matter. Matter never really existed anywhere except in thought, in thought ignorant of God. Man is not built around a bony skeleton. He is an idea of God, the perfect likeness of his creator.
In the midst of a world harassed by evils, torn by strife, tormented by suggestive propaganda, Christian Science makes its appeal: "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" There is need of Christlike thinking in the modem world. Nothing but good can come to individuals, and to nations, from Christlike thinking. And, thanks to Christian Science, there is in the world today more Christlike thinking, more scientific thinking, than there ever was before enslaving beliefs are being challenged and tested. Hidden wickedness in private and in public life is coming to the light of day. The eyes of mortals are opening to a clearer view of the baselessness of evil. The sooner we learn to let the Christ-ideal govern our conduct, the sooner we shall be free from the persecutions of evil. Through Christian Science we can prove that good can never come from evil, and that evil can never triumph over good. The voice of conscience is making itself heard in the world more clearly, in spite of the din of thwarted human will and mad ambition.
Test for yourself the effects of Christian Science on your health, your business, and your home. Bring Christ into your own world. Dare to have faith in the triumph of good. Dare to live by that faith. Do it with sincerity. You will never lose by doing it. When you seem to be hard-pressed, angels will come to your aid. You will draw strength, wisdom, and comfort from the inexhaustible resources of infinite Love. In the face of temptations to believe that you are sick, sinful, poor, forgotten, or unloved, you will soar to heights of spiritual intuition, and your trust in good will command healing and salvation. John Robinson's prophetic message to the Pilgrim Fathers is true today: "When Christ reigns, and not till then, will the world have rest" (see The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 183). It is a grand privilege to behold the coming of the Christ through Christian Science into the modern world. The events in the world of thought which began to unfold with Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science in 1866 are of surpassing significance. Mrs. Eddy's work is hastening the fulfillment of the prayer of every Christian: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
[Delivered May 19, 1938, at Second Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, and published in The Brooklyn (New York) Daily Eagle, May 21, 1938.]