Law and Power Invisible
Edward A. Kimball
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
One man is troubled because he cannot have faith in God. He regards Christian Science as a mere vague, intangible, impalpable theory. There is nothing in sight. Nothing he can comprehend, touch, taste, hear, or use. When it comes to something you cannot rub on him or stick on him he thinks nothing is being done.
We, who are in trouble, must learn our way out, and get out in consequence of what we know, and can do, or accomplish in our own behalf. Moreover, Christian Science comes to tell you that you can do it. That you can learn and gain dominion. And it comes to tell you that you can gain nothing by getting sick and dying.
Now take what we regard as material dependence. Consider what the world calls materialism for a moment and the point I urge is this: If you will contemplate all that is called matter or the material universe, you will come to the conclusion that something made it, that it all exists at the standpoint of effect. Something has produced it. Something has been the animating creator of it all. What was it? Was it the creator of the universe? Go to the materialist and he will tell you that what lies back of the material universe, including man, is atomic substance, atomic dust. Then he will tell you that dust existence is altogether a matter of theory, that it cannot possibly be observed by any power that man has. Then when he has told you this, he has given the only possible basis for materialistic philosophy, namely an invisible, impenetrable, theoretical, atomic substance which does not exist.
This is one thing that everybody in this room has got to know. Please excuse me. It matters not whether you want to or not. It matters not whether you are interested in what I am saying or not. It matters not if you think it is of no consequence to you; the fact is, that not one person in this audience or upon earth ever can reach heaven until he learns what I am going to say in the next two or three minutes. It is this: If the origin and source and foundation of human life is atomic substance, if it is in any way produced by atomic aggregation, then every man is doomed to utter annihilation in death. If the atomic theory of creation, or the matter theory of creation, is correct, every man and woman in this room is doomed to extinction. Now why? Because as a matter of science, as a matter of natural philosophy, as an irresistible postulate, this is true, — that no phenomenon can possibly rise superior to its noumenon; no effect can rise superior to its cause, and if you are caused primarily by atomic substance, you will return to it absolutely. This is what the Bible means when it speaks about dust to dust. There is not a shred of possible hope for the race in this theory. Every man is doomed, not to eternal hell, but to speedy extinction, if it be true. Then the man who today works side by side with that philosophy is absolutely sure to sicken and die; and if his philosophy is correct, he will be extinct. The very law of matter, the very law of materialism, demands the disintegration, the disorganization, the decay, and the decomposition of every one of its phenomena, and every man will go down under it unless he is rescued by something competent to do it. Speaking in this behalf, I come to declare unto you that Christian Science, alone, promises to do it. Not all the theory and all the philosophy of science so-called of all times includes the slightest intimation that you may ever in any way overcome it.
Moreover, here is another thing that you have got to learn. We have been fascinated more or less by the modern theory of evolution. That means that a theoretical basis or initiative can evolve itself into a state of superiority, and that is impossible. It is amazing that a man so studied, so profound, if he might so be called, as was Mr. Darwin, did not know enough to know that no fountain can rise higher than its source, no effect can be superior to its impulsion, none. It is impossible for nothing to evolve itself into something, for non-intelligence to become intelligence. You might as well expect a barrel of lime to evolve itself into an angel with wings, sky blue eyes, and a harp, as to expect atomic dust to evolve itself into intelligent man.
Christian Science declares that the creator of the universe, including man, is Mind. It declares that all that is Principle, formation, origin, basis, causation, impulsion, is the infinite Mind — Mind that does not need to be evolved; Mind that does not need to be improved, and that does not need to improve its offspring; Mind which is self existent, which changes not; Mind which is forever perfect in type; Mind that is its own self-sufficiency, its own law, its own government. At this point is where the parting comes, and the question presents itself to every man. Am I to be governed by the carnal mind, which means death, or am I to be governed by the infinite Mind, which was in Christ? "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
There are certain important things for man to consider. One is law. Without law, you have no manifested existence. Law means the enforcement of power, and without power you have no manifested existence; and yet I want to call your attention to the fact that both power and law are invisible. You cannot see either one. You may rely upon law and power, and yet none of you ever saw one of them. None of you was ever able to see or feel or touch either law or power. You have seen power exhibited in action, in concrete form, but you never saw anything but the concrete manifestation of either power or law. Then do you not recognize that you are always depending upon something that is invisible as far as the senses go? What is relied upon in Christian Science practice? It is law and power. And the law and power in Christian Science practice exhibit themselves in concrete form. I have known a person with an invisible and inaccessible tumor; I have known that person to resort to all means known to the medical profession; I have known everything that is called material skill and material power to be invoked and have known that person to go on day by day along a tragic course toward the end; and then I have known that person to be delivered of that tumor in thirty-six hours, because of Christian Science treatment. Think you that it was done without power? Don't you suppose there was some power manifested in such an exhibition? The concrete exhibition was of power. Do you murmur because this power is invisible? Do you murmur because the modus operandi was not in sight? Do you? Why, my friends, you would be in perpetual murmuring if you did, because you never yet saw an act which presented visibly the power which induced it, never. The work that is being done in and through Christian Science, because of invisible power and law, exceeds that which is being accomplished by other means. There is nothing known by way of impulsion, by way of initiative, that is accomplishing what Christian Science is doing to-day. Moreover, let me say to you that the world at large knows very little about it.
There is another important thing that everybody has got to know. I will put it more agreeably — that everybody may know, and that as soon as he does know it he will find himself a happier man. It is this, upon the subject of law, — that all that means primary law, all that means divine law, all that means divine provision for you, means for you life, it means health for you, it means harmony, it means the overcoming of evil. It means dominion over all that would beset you, and torment or molest you or hurt you. There is no law against you. If you mourn, if you have been cast down because of disease, know this: there positively is no law against you; and moreover, know this still further that you are entitled to enforce the law of your own life; you are entitled to enforce the law of your own health, of your own prosperity. You can do it. You can learn to do it. It is within the confines, within the divine provision concerning your very life, your daily needs. Be not afraid. You may be a law unto yourself, a law to your recovery from disease, a law to your business, a law of harmony to your welfare and your own household, and all things of your life, because God gave man dominion and you are entitled to it. In this very hour, you are entitled to be a law of recovery to your own self.
In Woods' Museum were three little men weighing from forty to fifty pounds. A man weighing one hundred and fifty pounds would climb up on the shoulders of a man weighing two hundred pounds and one of the little men would clasp his arms about the legs of the two hundred pound man and raise them both. How and why? He simply was a law unto himself, that is all. I saw him do it; he positively did do it. He did not weigh over forty or fifty pounds and was made of skin and bones. He did it because of a human belief of law controlled in this direction.
There was a party of men. One agreed that he would wake up at four minutes after five the next morning, and he did it. The next morning that he would wake up at twenty-seven minutes after six, and he did it. The next morning at eighteen minutes after eight, which was an hour after his ordinary waking hour, and he did it. You have heard of Blind Tom. He would listen to a piece of music and then go to the piano and play it. He is called phenomenal, but instead of his being abnormal, compared with him, we are abnormal. You have heard of phenomenal lightning calculators, even little boys, who could with spontaneity give you an instant answer to a long problem. They are more normal than we are. Every one ought to be able to do it. Why cannot we? It is a mere matter of belief. These are a few of the instances showing the capacity of what we call the human mind to be a law unto itself. Why is it that some business men never fail, or if they fail, they always come out on top? Because they become a law to the belief of their own success. Because they put into the scale of being that which is efficacious.
Let us follow it up and consider this one thing in Christian Science — that the creator of man created with him and for him the law of his own continuation and sufficiency, the law of his dominion, the law of his control of circumstances and conditions, the law of his felicity and the law concerning all that means his life and all that means his environment; did all fundamentally in order that man might be perfect, unhampered, unobstructed, and unhindered; and made all so available that man is enabled to be a law unto himself. There is not one here that may not be a law unto his life, and if I had not learned this years ago, I would have died time and again.
Of what consequence is it to you for you to know or even believe or hope that you may be a law of life, and control, and welfare to yourself? Simply this: if you knew that you had control, you would never again be afraid of anything in the world and when for that reason you lost all fear, you would lose all that means hell, because fear is all there is to hell, devil, disease and pain. There is too much of it, and the reason that we are in hell in belief, according to this sense of insistent mental aberration, is simply because we have been discouraged by the philosophy of doom and submission to sickness and to the law of sin and death. Then, what service is Christ to the man thus involved? Christ abolished, does abolish, is the abolition of, is the extinction of, the spurious, abominable thing called the law of sin and death.
Only two or three times in my lectures have I attempted to speak of the law of heredity. I did it one night recently and I have heard since of at least three people who were then healed of hereditary diseases, and I was asked in particular to speak of it again. There is nothing more mischievous to-day than that miserable thing which declares itself over and over, asserting that men inherit diseases, evil propensities, and that these are irresistibly and naturally carried on from parent to child, et cetera. Nothing is more discouraging to the patient than to be told, or know, or hear the supposition that he is sick because of hereditary contamination. Christian Science comes to explode that outrage and to undo it and to end all fear about it. There is positively no such law. All the so-called procurement of disease and taint by what is called hereditary disease is utterly false and illegitimate and may be avoided and may be overcome, every bit of it. The person who says he has hereditary rheumatism does not need to be treated for rheumatism at all. You might treat that man for rheumatism for a century and you could not possibly cure him. I have known people to be cured in five or ten minutes, many of them, of hereditary diseases which they had had from ten to forty years and the whole thing was done by abolition, by the extinction of that law or supposed law. It is not law at all, not in the realm of law, but in the realm of universal human belief and fear which operate as law, spurious and false. You, who may have been cast down by the thought that you are under such a doom, may take heart. To-night, indeed in this very hour, at this very moment, by this very word, by reason of the law and power which are a law of extermination and elimination to every false thing, you are emancipated, you are now relieved. You are no longer under the distress of the supposed hereditary law of doom.
It is a fact that consumption, blindness, the worst forms of Bright's disease, epilepsy, locomotor ataxia, leprosy, and so on, all have been healed. What was done? Nothing much — nothing more than cancellation by extermination of a spurious condition; that was all, and that will go on being done until in the course of time, this race will be redeemed from sickness. Take a man who has a tongue. It is always breaking out. He is disagreeable to everybody. He will tell you that he inherited it from his great-great-grandfather. What are you going to do about it? You cannot go and fight it out with his grandfather. He puts plasters on himself and takes mud baths with no effect. The only thing that will transform the man in one minute is to relieve him from the blight of hereditary law. Most drunkards are healed by and because of the abolition of that so-called law.
Here is a distinctive proposition in Christian Science. Christ, doing the will of God according to the divine purpose, in the fulfilment of the law, healed the sick without failure, healed the multitude of all manner of diseases, and he did it spontaneously. He healed the sick in the only right way. Take these propositions and they can be proved: "God is the healer of all thy diseases." That means that that which is God is equal to the healing of them all, and Jesus Christ demonstrated that. He did it in the only right way to do it, and everybody on earth, pretty much, is trying to get well some other way, and they keep on trying and trying and dying at the rate of fifty millions every year. One would almost think that they would try some other way, wouldn't one?
Is this a race that is essentially and irretrievably doomed, or not? Have you any inherent or continued right to exist, and exist in a state of health and self-containment and sufficiency? Are you under the stress of tragedy and disaster, or not? Is there hope, or not? Are you in the grasp of unavoidable doom, or not? It is an important question and the answer has always been that you are the child of fate; that you are a bubble on the sea of capricious existence; that you are liable to be stricken and die at any time.
The answer of Christian Science is, No, you are not doomed. You may learn to live, you may learn to exercise dominion over all the earth. But you will never learn until you learn the right way, and what is the right way? The right way is that which employs the supreme power of the universe, a power that is equal to the overcoming of every semblance of power, — one that is equal to every emergency, — that can silence every opposition and every thing that rises to pretend even to be something.
The supreme power of the universe offers the only right way. Where is it? It is where you are; any time and every time. And to what extent is it available to you? It is always all that is needed. Stop being afraid and you will win. What is it that will break down the great mischief maker of humanity? It is the power that abolishes fear. Fear is the chief curse and torment of this race. How much mental dominion have you? Precious little. How much ought you to have? Unlimited dominion. That is the difference between Blind Tom and me. He can do something I cannot and he is more natural than I. The difference between the little man and what we ought to be is that we have not yet risen to the supersensible perception or attainment of the possibility of our own mind.
The only creator of the universe by law, by design, and purpose, decreed that you were and should be entitled first to life, then to health, then to activity, then to attainment, to joy, to heaven upon earth, to dominion over everything that might oppose you; that you are entitled to felicity, to control; and that you are not to gain it by miraculous and mysterious interposition, but because you have the right yourself to exercise all by way of control. Now try it.
Did you ever move a mountain? We have not done this, but we have done what is equivalent to moving a mountain by being a law according to the case. There are people in this room, possibly a hundred, who have moved mountains, figuratively speaking, who have done things that absolutely were as miraculous as that, and they have done it by that which was inherent, natural with them. I do not mean by reason of any power and merit of their own, but by reason of the demonstration of power, the manifestation of it. There is not one here who may not to-day or to-night go from this building without fear, having lost it upon the assumption of hope. There is no limit put to your hope. It is a spurious illegitimate law that may be abolished. When it is abolished, you spontaneously recover from the law of trouble.
Every person in this room is entitled to spontaneous recovery, not because of some tremendous upheaval or reconstructive process, but because of law. Be not afraid. It makes no difference what the matter is. Keep at it. You are bound to win. It may not be speedily. You may not give up, you might say, the phantom of trouble at once. The belief with me was that much interposed. Some people are healed quickly, some are not. I was of the latter class. If I had been healed quickly I might have given up Christian Science without further study.
I have known people to be discouraged even to death. Be not afraid. When evil besets you turn at once. Resist the fear. Do not give up. Do not yield. You are entitled to win and you will win, for all that means power and law, all that means dominion, all that means life and health — all are yours. All the law is on your side.
[Delivered at Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago, March, 1908. This is the thirteenth of 18 lectures featured in the book Lectures and Articles on Christian Science by Edward A. Kimball.]