Christian Science: The Way of Life Harmonious

 

Richard Knox Lee, C.S.B., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Civilization based squarely on a practical spiritual understanding of God and man must replace today's obsolete materialism, Richard Knox Lee, C.S.B., of London, said in a lecture in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, last night.

Christian Science," Mr. Lee declared, "reveals that the miracles in both the Old and New Testaments were demonstrations of an ever-operative spiritual law, and they reveal man's God-given dominion over matter and its elements. That God's spiritual law is available for use in human affairs today, Christian Science declares and proves."

Mr. Lee is a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship. His lecture, which was given under the auspices of The Mother Church, was entitled "Christian Science: The Way of Life Harmonious." He was introduced by Mrs. Ruth Lund, C.S., Second Reader of The Mother Church.

 

Jesus Opened New Civilization

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Most people believe in civilization; it has brought advancement in social culture. Discovery and invention have achieved much in the fields of material science. They have broken down so many limitations that people have gained a wonderful sense of freedom in many directions. But this same inventive genius has also been used for criminal purposes, and we find people with brilliant mentalities confined to prison cells. This shows that civilization, as we know it, is not the remedy for crime. Wars and rumors of war, with their attendant misery and devastation, indicate that "man's inhumanity to man" has not been cured by civilization. What then is the remedy?

My friends, the remedy lies in a better consciousness of life than can be found in materiality. It is the Mind of Christ. Our sense of civilization must be evangelized. Christ Jesus introduced the highest civilization in his presentation of Christianity, and he set up a standard of healing by which he never lost a case. When John the Baptist questioned if he was the promised Messiah, Jesus answered by recounting his healing works. He said quite simply, "The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised" (Luke 7:22). That brief reply pointed to a new civilization, based on the Science of Christianity, the effect of which is to abolish crime, establish a firm foundation for peace, and make: healing and moral culture inseparable.

It is unquestionable that the Saviour had a knowledge of ultimate Truth which was altogether incomparable in its range, its power, and its exactitude. This knowledge enabled him to speak with authority.

Christian Science speaks with the authority of revelation when it declares God to be divine Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. These seven names are synonymous, but combine as one. There are other names for God, of course, but these are the cardinal terms which best convey the true idea of God, and each is applicable to and in a degree descriptive of the others. These names indicate God's nature, essence, perfection, and wholeness, and they define Him according to His several offices.

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, we read, "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, - that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle" (Science and Health, p. 275).

In defining God as divine Principle, Christian Science shows that He is the supreme author and Father of the universe, including man; that He is the only lawmaker, unchanging and unerring. Principle is no respecter of persons and can be learned only through its ideas, through goodness and love. Principle governs man; it has absolute rules and requires our devotion and obedience. The right application of its rules corrects human mistakes just as the application of the rules of music corrects false tones. If the world would be rid of injustice, calamity, and disorder, we must know God better as divine Principle.

Christian Science affirms that God is Mind, which, when understood as one infinite, divine intelligence, supplies the answer to all our problems. All good thoughts proceed from divine Mind. Wisdom, perception, discernment, and judgment are faculties of Mind, impartially bestowed upon man. As we adopt and use them, they counteract ignorance, imperception, and false judgment. St. Paul bade men express the Mind which is God when he said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). That is to say, let us have the same ideas which he had, the same serene outlook, the same ability to subdue matter; let us have no belief in minds many, no friction or cross-purposes. The activity of divine Mind is all the activity there is: hence no experience is real that Mind does not evolve, govern, and control.

 

Government of Mind Demonstrated

To illustrate the positive control of Mind in daily life and the negative, unreal nature of discordant conditions, let me relate an experience I had one summer's day. After a long walk by the sea, I decided to have a swim. Plunging into the water, I made for a point on the far side of an estuary. When I was about midway, the water became much colder, my leg muscles contracted, and I was seized with cramp. The situation was desperate, but in spite of panic and pain, and the effort to keep afloat, I struggled to realize Mind's presence and control. Jesus, you remember, proved the buoyancy and control of confidence, intelligence, and other sustaining qualities included in Mind to the extent that he could walk on the water. Peter was similarly upheld until he accepted the weighty beliefs of doubt and fear, and, like Peter, I was sinking. Then as a strong, saving hand came our Leader's words, "Mind that governs the universe, governs every action of the body as directly as it moves a planet and controls the muscles of the arm" (The People's Idea of God. p. 8) To these blessed words I clung and soon regained confidence. The pain gradually subsided, my muscles relaxed, and all was well again. Reassured, I swam on, gratefully acknowledging Mind's government and control.

All that we truly are or ever can be is the work of the one divine intelligence. So you see that the evils which constitute our suppositional selfhood have nothing to do with our spiritual identity, which is the actual reality of our being.

Because Jesus knew this, knew that there is but one divine Mind of which man is the perfect expression, he was enabled to heal the Gadarene demoniac, that unfortunate mortal possessed by the false belief in minds many, and evil ones at that.

All negative qualities, such as envy, fear, jealousy, strife, depression, and the like, pertain solely to the so-called mortal or carnal mind, which St. Paul tells us must be put off. Mrs. Eddy writes: "The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis" (Science and Health, p. 201).

The Master taught that God is Spirit, and that He must be worshiped spiritually. Spirit is infinite, pervading all space; it uplifts, invigorates, and strengthens; it is the source of supply and imparts understanding, joy, tenderness, energy. Spirit is the only real attraction; it is the preserver of our true selfhood and unites understanding to eternal harmony. Since God is Spirit and man is His likeness, as Moses declared him to be, then man is wholly spiritual, not material. Mortals believe in a world of matter, inhabited by countless personalities, animals, and things, whereas Christian Science reveals the universe as spiritual, peopled with spiritual ideas. It teaches that as we adopt the spiritual and individual sense of things, this transforms the material and personal. Spirit never becomes matter, even as substance never becomes shadow, and as we cease to depend upon matter and learn to depend upon Spirit, we become ever more healthy and free.

Another name for God is Soul. God speaks through the prophet Isaiah in these words: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth" (42:1). Christian Science teaches that "if it were possible for the real senses of man to be injured, Soul could reproduce them in all their perfection" (Science and Health, p. 488). Soul therefore gives us the spiritual sense of all things. It is sinless, not to be found in the body. Soul has endless means by which to bless mankind. It bestows purity, irradiant spiritual beauty, and must ever be hallowed in individual consciousness.

 

We Live Because God Is Life

We read in the book of Deuteronomy that God "is thy life, and the length of thy days" (30:20). God revealed Himself to Moses as the great "I am," and Mrs. Eddy says, "Life is the everlasting I am, the Being who was and is and shall be, whom nothing can erase" (Science and Health, p. 290). Consequently, "Eternity; not time expresses the thought of Life" (ibid., p. 468). It has not a single element of discord or decay.

The recognition of God as immortal Life heightens our expectancy of good and frees us from the fear of death. Now you know that you live, that you are definitely aware of being. There must be a cause for this awareness of being. This cause is God. You live, because God is Life. You are, because Life is. Life and goodness are one. We only really live as we reflect God's goodness. Every kind thought, every gracious act, every loving sacrifice for the good of others, means just so much deathless life for us, here and now. The more good we do and express, the more permanent becomes our sense of Life.

Jesus demonstrated the ageless, boundless, and eternal nature of Life and showed that it is in no way dependent upon matter or the body. Life knows nothing of the supposed existence in matter, which is the dream, of the carnal mind and embraces all the ills and limitations to which flesh is heir. We sometimes hear it said by those weary and heavy laden, "Oh, I'm sick and tired of life!" What a false statement this is! No one could be tired of real Life. Maybe they are tired of their false concept of Life, tired of the troubles and tribulations proceeding from the carnal mind, "which St. Paul emphatically declares is death. "For to be carnally minded," he said, "is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).

Again we learn from Moses that the perfect God is "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deut. 32:4). Truth is positive, unalterable; it is ever joyful and triumphant. Truth is universally available to expose the lie of materiality, to uncover it as nothing and thus destroy the errors of human experience. Truth demands receptivity, comprehension, and fidelity. It overcomes resistance, deception, dishonesty, and disease. The knowledge of Truth brings freedom and happiness; it shows what must be done to attain success. Hence the importance of our being guided by the leadings of Truth, which lift us to that holy consciousness where health and harmony are already established. In fact, if we would have Christ reign in us, so that we can heal ourselves and others as Jesus demanded of his followers, we must let Christian Science cast out all evil, and we must think in accordance with Truth.

The Apostle John says that "God is love." Love is our Father-Mother God, inspiring, guiding, and protecting the children of His care. Love illumines the universe and opens the windows of thought to the light of faith, chastity, and constancy. Love unifies and satisfies: it promotes fellowship, increases hospitality, and finds its own in another's good. Man's genuine selfhood reflects Love in gentleness, mercy, patience, in tender compassion and loving-kindness. Love chastens pride and casts out envy and hate.

Love can never be known through the physical senses and has nothing to do with emotion, passion, or sensuality. Without it, life is cold, rigid, devoid of idealism and true humanitarianism. Those who love God must necessarily love man. Love separates all error from its idea of man. It looks for the good everywhere and finds it, knowing only the good as real. How much we need to reflect love in our homes, in business, and in every other sphere of activity! The world sighs for Love, which, says our Leader, is "the heart and soul of Christian Science" (Science and Health, p. 113).

Thus it can be seen that Christian Scientists do not believe that God is localized, in a far-off heaven, or that He is a physical person or thing, because all that is finite is subject to discord, change, and decay - the very opposite of that which the inspired Word declares God to be.

 

‘Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear’

The only remedy for fear that is humanly known, is expressed in these words of the Apostle John: "There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18).

Love of the spiritually perfect casts out fear and all else that is mentally erroneous, and to the human senses improves the materially imperfect. Relative to this, let me tell you of a woman I know, who was in the last stage of cancer. Surgery was useless, and the doctors were expecting her death. Although this woman had seen others healed in Christian Science while living with a family of Christian Scientists, she had always resisted its teachings and resented its presence. Now in her fear and dire distress she turned to it wholeheartedly. She asked for a Christian Science practitioner, who, perceiving her receptivity, consented to help her. Treatment was taken up, and in a clear realization of the ever-presence of perfect Love, and man, Love's perfect reflection, the patient was healed instantly. Resistance was broken down. Resentment, fear, and other diseased elements of thought vanished, together with their ill effects. The patient eagerly purchased a copy of Science and Health, studied it, and is happy and well today.

It may interest some of you to know that this healing was verified by a medical doctor who was familiar with the patient's condition both before and after the healing look place.

With God, divine Love, all things are possible. Be sure, my friends, that you are with God in expressing no element contrary to the divine nature, and you cannot fail to heal or to be healed. Our mental attitude towards ourselves and others reacts upon ourselves, for what we sow we shall surely reap, whether it be good or bad. No one can cherish enmity, resentment, injustice, condemnation, and suchlike qualities without defiling his own consciousness and experiencing the effects of such erroneous thinking. Loving thought, free of discord and unkind criticism, holding itself incapable of defilement, embracing all mankind in its beauty and warmth, is the atmosphere of paradise - the consciousness which God bestows - and it is this which heals and saves.

In her book "Pulpit and Press," page 21, Mrs. Eddy writes: "Christian Scientists, their children and grandchildren to the latest generations, inevitably love one another with that love wherewith Christ loved us; a love unselfish, unambitious, impartial, universal, - that loves only because it is Love. Moreover, they love their enemies, even those that hate them. This we all must do to be Christian Scientists in spirit and in truth. I long, and live, to see this love demonstrated. I am seeking and praying for it to inhabit my own heart and to be made manifest in my life. Who will unite with me in this pure purpose, and faithfully struggle till it be accomplished?"

Let us not forget that perfect love is love of the perfect. To love the perfect is to love as Jesus did: to behold in Science the perfect man; to see God's likeness in one and all; to heal, happify, harmonize, and thus do our part in establishing the reign of divine grace and peace on earth.

Throughout Jesus' earthly mission he taught that the works he wrought were not the result of a gift or power specially vested in himself, but were the effect of his understanding of the ever-presence, all-power, and goodness of God. He taught that throughout all time men have enjoyed the same relationship to God as did he; that by understanding and obeying the divine Principle, called God, his followers would be enabled to accomplish the works he did. Hence his saying, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

Jesus saw the bondage of temporal mortal existence. Although he entered this dream of mortality, he never dreamed the dream. He proclaimed, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18:37). And to those who believed on him he gave this encouraging assurance: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32).

 

Jesus Revealed Man’s Immortality

The Master thought God's thoughts, which he received and expressed spontaneously. He knew there was no separation between the divine Mind and its ideas. All his thoughts and acts were subject to the Christ - to the divine consciousness with which he was endowed. His life conformed in every detail to the truth about the Son of God. He declared, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), that is, one in nature, not in any material or personal sense: indeed he had no earthly father with whom to be at one. In this spiritual at-one-ment he showed forth the grandeur and glory of divine sonship, which heals spontaneously and covers every human need.

Christian Science explains "Jesus" and "Christ." Born of Mary, Jesus was the best man that ever walked this earth. His pure humanity, spiritual understanding, and self-immolation, set the standard for Christianity and revealed man's immortality. He thus became the Way-shower, whose example Christian Scientists humbly strive to emulate, that is, they strive to think as he thought, to heal as he healed, and to love impartially and universally.

Born of God, Christ is the godliness, the divine nature which animated Jesus and which gives the ability to subdue matter and to overcome sickness, sin, and death. Christian Science teaches that "Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus" (Science and Health, p. 333). Christ is the ideal Truth, universally available, operating in human experience as salvation and healing.

Although Jesus' understanding of the Christ was complete, he could explain it only partially to his disciples and in parables to the multitudes, for he well knew the world was not ready for the full revelation. He did not, in fact, profess to tell the whole truth although he demonstrated it to the full.

He plainly said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). He described this promised Comforter as "the Spirit of truth" which "will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). That is to say. there would be no truth remaining sealed or hidden, because the promised Comforter would bring the complete or final revelation. To show that the personal Jesus was not that Comforter, he said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you" (John 16.7).

Nearly ninety years ago the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was near the confines of death. She had fallen and injured herself so seriously that the attending physician considered her case incurable, and friends had gathered in her home to await her decease.

Opening her Bible, she pondered the healing, by Jesus, of a palsied man. As she read, she glimpsed the law of Life harmonious underlying that wonderful event, and in this recognition of God's presence and power she too arose, dressed herself, and to use her own words, "ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 24). In this experience Mrs. Eddy had touched the hem of the garment of Christ, glimpsed the Science of divine metaphysical healing, which because of its compassionate, helpful, and spiritual nature she afterwards named Christian Science.

For many years previous to her great discovery Mrs. Eddy had been searching along the line of mental causation, trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause. She had explored many avenues. She had studied the Bible diligently and was particularly interested in the many instances of healing recorded within its pages. She wondered why  such demonstrations of spiritual power had scarcely ever been repeated since the close of the third century. Her sudden recovery from sickness acted as a sign, pointing the way to true healing as moral and spiritual, and caused her to set to work to establish the positive rule or metaphysical system by which to keep herself well and to make others so.

For three years Mrs. Eddy prayerfully studied the Scriptures. Her inspired thought pierced the gloom of uninspired and dogmatic interpretations and through the searching analysis of concise logic and spiritual understanding found the Word of God in its healing sincerity and simplicity, lost so long to a sick world.

 

Mrs. Eddy Gave Key to Scriptures

It was in the latter part of the year 1866 that Mrs. Eddy gained through Scriptural research and practical demonstration "the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24). She asserts that she was but "a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 115), for Mrs. Eddy not only discovered Christian Science, but heralded her great message to the world in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," whereby all may learn the spiritual import of the Bible made luminous with the "key," and grow daily in the understanding and demonstration of the way of Life harmonious.

The commonly accepted belief that the teachings of the Bible are theoretical rather than practical, and that a simple profession of faith constitutes membership in Christ's church, is not in consonance with Christian Science, which literally accepts the Apostle James' words, "Faith without works is dead." It is unwise to cherish a mere faith in Christian Science.  Because Christian Science is Science it needs to be understood, and indeed must be understood, at least in part, before it can be demonstrated in part. Emotional ecstasy and a blind stoical faith are to be avoided; they are reeds "shaken with the wind" (Matt. 11:7).

No one can realize how truly inspiring and healing is the Bible until he studies it in the light of Christian Science. Thus considered, what before seemed dull and meaningless becomes alive, with vital instruction applicable to every phase of human experience. We find that the Bible opens the door to true wisdom, that it contains the recipe for all healing and entirely satisfies our immortal cravings. Christian Science further reveals that the miracles recounted in both the Old and New Testaments were demonstrations of an ever-operative spiritual law, and they reveal man's God-given dominion over matter and its elements. That God's spiritual law is available for use in human affairs today Christian Science declares and proves.

This is why Christian Scientists, everywhere, are deeply indebted to Mrs. Eddy for her discovery, but they do not worship her, as some people suppose. They are profoundly grateful to Jesus, through whose divinely inspired life work Mrs. Eddy perceived the healing Christ, but they are most thankful to God, the Giver of all good, whom they strive to worship in spirit and in truth.

Mrs. Eddy never paused to consider self, but unselfishly strove to demonstrate the practical worth of her discovery. In the manner of Jesus' appointing, this noble gentlewoman healed many cases of inveterate disease, reclaimed sinners, and taught her students to do likewise. She established this, The Mother Church in Boston; formulated its rules of government in the Church Manual; made provision for branch churches, Sunday schools, and Christian Science Reading Rooms; and founded all the Christian Science periodicals. Her purpose in establishing these activities was to help mankind discern and prove the fact that God is good; that He is, as she says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 151), "our Father and our Mother, our Minister and the great Physician." Her main desire was so to think and live that God's "way may be known upon earth, [His] saving health among all nations" (Ps. 67:2).

 

What Christian Science Is Doing

We have but to look to the achievements of the great movement born of Mrs. Eddy's ceaseless labors to witness the fulfillment in good measure of her cherished desire. To students of Christian Science in every land she says, "Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ" (Message for 1901, p.. 34).

St. Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans, "All things work together for good to them that love God." A good effect must be the outcome of a good cause, and Christian Science urges our intelligent allegiance to God, the great First Cause, that good effects may be constant in our lives. This is why uncounted thousands of people who have been delivered from the depths of despair, from lack, suffering, and depravity, gratefully testify to the healing efficacy and regenerating power of Christian Science. Anyone who cares to hear such testimonies may do so at the Wednesday testimony meetings held in all Christian Science churches.

A visitor to these testimony meetings will hear that the demonstrable knowledge of God, as revealed in Christian Science, has improved individuals morally and physically; has made them truer friends and better citizens; that it has brought them enduring happiness and an increasing control over outward circumstances. He will hear that Christian Science has enabled them to banish fear, grief, pain, temper, and to overcome many other destructive emotions and besetments of evil. He will hear of happy solutions to the problems of unemployment, of business, supply, and human relationship. He will hear that people have been healed of functional and organic diseases, many of which had been pronounced incurable by medical doctors; all this will he hear, because these people have come to know God aright and in increasing measure are demonstrating their unity with Him in spirit and truth. You see, my friends, it is essential to apprehend God aright, for in this way only can we know ourselves for what we have always been, the sons and daughters of God, and the earth become "full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9).

The conflict in the world today is not primarily between different nations or groups of nations, but is between immortal Mind and mortal mind, the infinite and true idea of Life as against the finite and false conception of being. When immortal Mind is understood to be the Mind of all, there will be no occasion or possibility for conflict. Having the same Father-Mother, God, and dwelling in the unity of good, we shall prove ourselves one universal brotherhood.

No doubt you are familiar with the conflicting accounts of creation in the Bible. In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God created man in His own image, after His own likeness. Man then is a spiritual being, wholly good, possessing dominion over the earth. In the second chapter, however, we find the allegorical account of creation in which another kind of man, mankind, was formed of the dust of the ground. This material man was not made in God's likeness, mark you, neither was he created good, nor had he dominion. The Scriptures inform us that he fell into a deep sleep, during which sin, strife, and death appeared, and from that time until this the Adam dream has still seemed to be going on.

 

Matter Proved to Be False Concept

Christian Science shows that the dreamer and the dream are merely the carnal mind's false concept of the spiritual, perfect, and upright man. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes glimpsed this, for he writes, "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (7:29) - the many inventions of evil. In spite of evidence to the contrary, the Preacher was able to declare with absolute certainty this great truth about man. My friends, God has made man to represent Himself, and Truth's two-edged sword is cutting away the ignorant, fraudulent, and malicious beliefs, which claim to hide this glorious fact.

"Well," say some of you, "if Spirit is All-in-all, what about these bodies of ours? Can that which seems to us solid substance be only such stuff as dreams are made of, unreality, emotionless, nothingness?" Jesus defined spirit and matter thus: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John fi:63).

The X ray and the radio have greatly modified popular belief as to the solidity and substantiality of matter. Under the lens of the microscope matter is seen to be composed of dust, molecules, and in its final analysis of electrical energy, imperceptible to the physical senses.

That eminent physicist Sir James Jeans said: "In general, the universe seems to be nearer a great thought than to a great machine." This being so, we must conclude that the starting point of matter is not material but mental, that, everything from a star to a blade of grass, from a human body to a microbe, is merely the visible manifestation of thought.

Many years previously Mrs. Eddy had made this point perfectly clear when she wrote, "Nothing appears to the physical senses but their own subjective state of thought" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 105). Everything in the world around us that appears as matter is merely the carnal mind's false material concept of the spiritual universe and spiritual man. Christian Science does not teach that there is no real universe and that the body is nothing; it shows that the world does indeed exist and the body too, but not as they appear to our five physical senses. In our textbook we find this encouraging statement: "The conceptions of mortal, erring thought must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal. Through many generations human beliefs will be attaining diviner conceptions, and the immortal and perfect model of God's creation will finally be seen as the only true conception of being" (Science and Health, p. 260).

All the trouble in the world comes of giving, in belief, existence to the nonexistent, for the belief in evil is all the evil there is. Healing and salvation are possible because evil has never been an entity. Jesus declared that evil was a murderer, a liar and the father of its effects, abiding not in the truth "because there is no truth in him" (John 8:44).

Christian Science teaches that "metaphysics is above physics"; it "resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul" (Science and Health, p. 269). This explains how Jesus was able to feed the multitudes, still the tempest, walk on the water, and to pass through closed doors. By spiritual means he overcame time and space when he instantaneously transported himself and his disciples across the lake. This scientific method healed the sick who were absent as readily as those present, for Christ Jesus knew, as Christian Science teaches, that space is no obstacle to the infinite, omnipresent Mind.

My friends, if you and I would improve our outward circumstances and gain dominion, we must improve our subjects and objects of thought. If we have a firm inward hold on truth, health, and happiness, we can impart these qualities to other people, for we can give only what we consciously possess.

Most people believe that they are in this world without their consent, that having been born they must surely die. My friends, this is not true; don't you believe it! Man is not a suicide, born to die; he is the offspring of Spirit, not of the flesh; subject neither to birth, accident, maturity, nor decay. Man, made in the likeness of God, expresses true spiritual consciousness; he is the forever reflection of goodness; and he is full of joy in being God's witness, God's evidence, as "perfect as the Father" (Science and Health, p. 325).

 

Prayer Brings Spiritual Healing

All spiritual healing in Christian Science is due to prayer. A healing prayer must be carried beyond mere petition for God's blessings and favor, into the realm of realization, where the eternal truth of man's perfection is demonstrated. This truth at once relegates evil to the place where it belongs - outside of true consciousness and back to oblivion. To illustrate: In the twentieth chapter of Acts, St. Luke relates the incident of the young man Eutychus, who, while Paul was long preaching, fell from a window in the upper chamber and was taken up dead. Paul did not accept this false evidence of the senses as an indisputable fact, but, as the Bible states, he went down and fell on him, and embracing him said, "Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him." Then continuing his speech till break of day, he departed. "And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted."

To think that the act of falling on the youth and embracing him physically had anything to do with his resurrection is inconceivable to the Christian Scientist, for he knows that Paul fell mightily on the beliefs of apathy, accident, and death; that he denied, denounced, and destroyed these negative conditions as being no part of God or of His spiritual, perfect man. The Christian Scientist knows that Paul mentally embraced the true idea of man, unfallen, upright, and whole; then handling the surrounding anxious thought, he exclaimed, "Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him" - that is, not in matter, but in Spirit, God, in whom "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Thus turning their thoughts from death unto life and explaining the truth of man's harmonious, immortal being until the realization of this truth dawned upon them, he departed, confident that all was well. And they found the young man alive, and were greatly comforted.

Jesus practiced the Christ-cure; he never prescribed drugs, nor did he advocate hygiene or surgery. Yet he opened the eyes of the blind, caused the deaf to hear, restored the withered hand, and made whole the outcast leper and the maimed. He raised Lazarus from the dead, and by his own resurrection proved the negative and fleeting nature of sin, disease, and death, and the positive, eternal substance of chastity, health, and life. This is a practical age, and because Christian Science is destroying false appetites, vice, and sin, as well as healing all manner of disease without resort to will power, hypnotism, or any material means, its spread has been phenomenal.

Christian Science teaches that "the fear of disease and the love of sin are the sources of man's enslavement" (Science and Health, p. 373). As we learn not to fear disease or to love sin they diminish and disappear. The real man, and there is none other, cannot be enslaved; he is spiritually awake and aware. He is the embodiment of right ideas; he embodies by reflection all those lovely qualities by which we know God's presence. His body, true identity, is spiritual consciousness. Reflecting the divine order, it is never out of order. But the counterfeit human person, claiming to identify man and woman materially, may well be likened to a thermometer, which indicates the heat or cold surrounding it. Just so the human body expresses joy or sorrow, health or sickness, according to the thoughts embracing it. The body is a useful instrument, not to be neglected, but improved by more spiritual thinking and living. St. Paul has said, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1).

 

God’s Plan of Salvation Revealed

What joyous relief is ours when we realize that health is in the Father's keeping and that as we are clothed in our right mind we reflect health continually! There is no mental or physical discord that is not amenable to the power of the Christ-cure, and this irrefutable fact opens wide the door of hope to discouraged mortals.

Nobody could have been more discouraged, fearful, or diseased than I when Christian Science found me during the First World War. It transformed my life. It healed me of organic heart disease, consumption, and sunstroke. I had had a long period of the best medical treatment and most kindly attention; but it was not until these failed to benefit me and all hope of recovery was gone, that I turned in prayer to God that I might not die, but live to do His will. Such prayer, my friends, is answered. I was completely healed by Christian Science in a remarkably short time, the physical transformation resulting from the renewing of the mind. The fact that I was restored to soundness was later confirmed by an army medical board. On that occasion when the doctors were about to examine me, one of them turned to me and said, "Well, young man, what is the matter with you?" I replied, "Nothing, sir, so far as I know." "Then what is all this written on your medical history sheet?" I answered, "That was my condition, but I don't think you will find it so now!" After a thorough overhauling, they proceeded to write "Nil" against all the symptoms from which I had suffered, and said, "You are a very fortunate young fellow; there will be no more pension for you." I did not mind about the pension; I had found the pearl of great price - the way of life harmonious. I left that room rejoicing, thanking God for His goodness to the sons of men, thanking Christ Jesus, the Way-shower out of the ills of the flesh, and with heartfelt gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy for her leadership in the way. Since that time Christian Science has kept me well. It has brought great happiness, peace, and a sense of supply that discordant world conditions can never take away.

Christian Science illumines the Scriptures, revealing God's plan of salvation for all mankind. It helps us to pray aright, to live in conformity with the glorious affirmation of the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes. Such living is unceasing prayer, which unfolds the rights of man and removes only the wrongs, that we may find heaven - life harmonious - here, with its freedom and greatness.

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 5, 1954.]

 

 

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