Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (3)
Frank H. Leonard, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, a lecture on Christian Science was given on Sunday evening and repeated on Monday evening, at Brattle Hall in both instances, when Frank H. Leonard, C.S.B. of the Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston gave a thoughtful and lucid presentation of Christian Science doctrine. The speaker was introduced by John Ellis Sedman, First Reader of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of this city, who spoke as follows.
Mr. Sedman's Remarks
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Just previous to his performance of one of the most remarkable of the so-called miracles, our Master said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always * * *."
As Christians, we are convinced that when Jesus was on earth God did answer his prayers, and that wherever Jesus went, the sorrowful were comforted, the sinful were reformed, and the sick were healed.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. * * * * For my yoke is easy and by burden is light." In those days it was not a life-long calamity for a man to find himself afflicted with a physical defect or disease which was beyond the reach of medicine or surgery; for the withered hand was restored whole, the blind eyes were opened, and even that most dreaded of all diseases — leprosy — was healed.
We have been taught to believe in a glorious past when God dwelt among men; and we have been taught to believe in a happy future when God shall again dwell with His people, care for them, and supply all their needs. But we have been taught that God's help is not available now, that it is useless for us to turn to God for help when we are sick and in pain, sorrowing and in despair.
Now Christian Science brings to the men and women of this period a far brighter promise than that. Christian Science teaches that God is with His people today just as He was in the past, and just as He will be in the future. Christian Science teaches that today, the honest, righteous man who puts his trust in God, and is guided by Him in his business will be rewarded with prosperity, as Job was rewarded for his honesty and his reliance on God. Christian Science teaches that God comforts sorrow, destroys every form of sin, and heals every kind of disease now, just as He did in Jesus' time.
Mr. Leonard, who is to address you this evening, is one who has put his trust in God in times of extreme need and proved that God is an available help; and he has a message which you will find full of hope, instruction, and encouragement. Mr. Leonard is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston; and he is therefore in a position to speak on the subject of Christian Science in an authoritative way. I take great pleasure in presenting to you Mr. Frank H. Leonard.
Mr. Leonard's Address
Upon being introduced to the audience, Mr. Leonard spoke as follows.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, of which I have the honor of being a member, has been organized and instituted, under the direction of Mrs. Eddy, for the purpose of affording those really desirous of knowing what Christian Science is, and what it teaches and does for mankind, an opportunity to get this knowledge through an authorized channel.
The work of this board is supremely educational, and is accomplishing the uplifting of mankind to a plane of thought whereon it finds it possible to accept God as being Infinite Good, without making any reservation, either as to Himself or His creation.
Many people approach the study of Christian Science, or demonstrable Christianity, with a feeling that, while it may do and has done much for some of their friends, it cannot do so for them because they lack any faith in it. For the benefit of the skeptical, I am going to tell you how absolutely without faith or even knowledge I was, when I first went for a Christian Science treatment; how absurd it seemed to me, and what it did for me, regardless of all this.
I was born with an incurable organic disease, according to the physicians, and up to the time when Christian Science was presented to me had never known a day of freedom from pain or suffering. I had taken medicine by the quart, the allopathic way, and by the attenuated hundredth part of a drop, the homeopathic way, and then alternated the two ways, and that was eclectic, and the conclusion of the physicians was that dissolution was at hand.
At this point in my experience I was told a new way of treating disease was being used with wonderful results! That people calling themselves Christian Scientists were saying that God's Word had not lost its power to destroy sin, disease and death. It was suggested, as everything else had failed, that I try this new way, as it might benefit me.
I had tried everything else and was willing to try this, so went for my first Christian Science treatment without the slightest idea as to what was going to be done to me. When I reached the home of the practitioner who had been recommended to me, I was compelled to wait some time because of the many ahead of me. When my turn came I was ushered into a small room and asked to be seated in a chair as far removed from the one in which the practitioner sat as the size of the room would permit.
The first question asked was, "What seems to be the matter with you?" I felt it was adding insult to injury to ask me what seemed to be the matter with me, and I told the practitioner, who was a woman, the physicians said I had an incurable disease, telling her what name they had given it. She talked to me for a few moments, and then said. "I will treat you." Then she seemed to go to sleep for about fifteen minutes. She closed her eyes and commenced rocking gently back and forth in her chair.
The belief that she could do me any good while we were sitting at opposite ends of the room began to strike me as being too funny for anything, and at last I was compelled to stuff my handkerchief in my mouth to avoid the discourtesy of laughing in her face. After a while she woke up, and said, "I will see you tomorrow at the same time." I thought she would not — I had no intention of ever going back there. I asked her how much I owed her, and she told me, and as I paid her I thought it was the easiest dollar I had ever been separated from. Then I went home; I went to my room, and there on the shelf was the tonic the family physician told me it was as much as my life was worth to go without. I fully intended to take some of it, but didn't do it.
My every night was filled with the most awful mental pictures, pictures which we call dreams, that it is possible to conceive of, and it had become necessary to give me a sleeping potion in order to put me to sleep because I dreaded these so. When I went to bed that night I intended to take my sleeping potion, but I didn't, and then the first thing I knew I was opening my eyes, and found it was broad daylight! I found that I had slept the whole night through without one of those dreadful pictures, and had awakened with a feeling of refreshment, of strength, of hope and joy that I had never known before. The longest hours I ever spent were between my awakening and the time set for my going back to that little room. I continued to go there for three months, and then, upon his request to be permitted to do so, our family physician made an examination of me, and said I was as perfect a physical specimen as he had ever examined. This was in 1885, and from that day to this, Christian Science, as revealed to the world through Mrs. Eddy, has met every diseased condition that has presented itself to me; has destroyed it and left me free.
I was not born in Missouri, but I might as well have been, from my nature, because I have always been one of the kind that would not believe anything until I had absolute proof that it was true. The Truth has been very good to me all these years, because, as a Christian Science practitioner, I have been brought face to face continually with the wonderful healing work that has been brought out by the use of this Truth as Mrs. Eddy has given it to us. I have seen cancers, tumors, locomotor ataxia, drunkenness and immorality destroyed, and men and women made whole morally and physically just by the touch of divine Love as understood and demonstrated in Christian Science. For this reason, and for the reason that I am convinced, as the result of my study, that Christian Science is transcendentally and practically the highest apprehension of Good the human consciousness can conceive of, I am a Christian Scientist today, and thank God His way has again been revealed to human consciousness, and that I have, been here to receive its benefits.
I have heard it said that Christian Scientists do not use the Bible; that all we use is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mrs. Eddy. No statement could be more untrue, because the disclosure of the spirit of the Word, which maketh alive, comes only as the result of the continuous study of the Bible with the aid of the Christian Science text-book. Almost every denomination has its Bible-helps, prepared for the use of the lay members in the church, by those presumed to have the knowledge of what lesson the Scriptures have for mankind, in such a manner that Bible study may be intelligently indulged in.
Well, my friends, that is what the Christian Science text-book is — it is our Bible help; it is the book that we study our Bible with; it is the book that has rent the veil of mystery from top to bottom, revealing the spiritual import of the Scriptures, opening to us the Holy of Holies, wherein it is revealed to us that God is no longer an unknown God; no longer a God to be ignorantly worshipped, but a God to be loved; a God who is a Father to his children; a God who never turns from his children; a Father more fonder, more considerate, more compassionate, more loving, than human consciousness can even begin to grasp.
You have doubtless heard people say, in speaking of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the text-book of Christian Science written by Mrs. Eddy, "I have read that book from cover to cover and nobody on earth can make any sense out of it." Hand a text-book of algebra to a child! Tell him to read it through from cover to cover without any previous instruction as to how to read it, and then, when he has finished it, ask his opinion of it. What will he say? Naturally enough, he will say, "I have read it from cover to cover and nobody on earth can make any sense out of it." Then you say to him, "Take that text-book and go to someone who is a student of algebra and let him tell you what it means." He follows your advice, and the result is that what appeared like a meaningless jumble to him, becomes an avenue through which he is enabled to work out problems that he never could work out before. Is that what people do when they want to know about Christian Science? No; generally speaking, it is not. They find somebody that doesn't know anything about it, and ask him what it means, and they only learn what the other fellow doesn't know that he doesn't know, and it becomes a self-evident case of the blind leading the blind, with the inevitable result they both fall into the ditch. And this is the kind of investigation that precedes alleged criticism of Christian Science.
One allegation made is that Christian Science denies God and the Christ. In refutation of this statement I desire to say that God is referred to over 1,200 times and Jesus the Christ over 800 times in the Christian Science text-book, an average of over three times to every page thereof, and every reference to either God or Christ brings out a more exalted thought about them than the world has ever known. If you will get a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mrs. Eddy, and read her definition of God on page 587, and of Christ on page 583 thereof, you will never again question the exalted position accorded them in the teachings of Christian Science.
Christian Scientists continually repeat the statement, Man is one with God. This statement has been used as a foundation for discourses wherein it has been said Christian Science is but a re-dressing of the Brahmanistic and Buddhistic philosophies wherein it is taught man reaches the most ecstatic state of existence when he forgets that he ever has lived, and is absorbed into Deity. The teachings of Christian Science absolutely overthrow any such idea, and intelligently instruct us to know that man is one with God, as the idea is one with the mind that conceives it — no part of the mind whatever, but inseparable from it — and so it is with man, God's idea about himself: God's image and likeness! He is inseparable from God, the Mind, the Creator which conceives him, but in no sense is he any part of God, and in no sense is his individuality ever lost, but is as eternal as the Creator who created him.
Probably nothing has been more misunderstood by people than the statement made by Christian Scientists that sin, disease and death are not real — in fact, are nothing but a false belief! When this statement is understood it stands out in bold relief as honoring God by recognizing in deed, as well as word, His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; as Good, wherein there is neither elemental evil nor a consentive passivity which seems to recognize evil and permit its existence. Christian Science gives us but one standard of measurement, and that standard is God! Whenever, therefore, anything presents itself to a Christian Scientist, he immediately measures it by the standard of perfection which God is, and if it fails to measure up to that standard, it is known to be un-Godlike; and if un-Godlike, not eternal; and if not eternal, not real.
How do we know that sin, disease and death are not Godlike; how do we know that sin, disease and death have nothing to do with God; never did have, and never will? Jesus told us so, and very plainly, too. He said he came, doing the will of the Father. He also said he came, not to destroy, but to fulfil, and immediately he went to work to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, cast out evil and raise the dead with the Word of God. Do you think Jesus knew what he was doing? Do you think he told the truth when he said that he came not to destroy, but to fulfil? If you do believe he told the truth, then you are forced to admit that it was nothing that he destroyed when he cast those things out, for not otherwise can the truth of his statement that he came not to destroy but to fulfil, be upheld.
More than that, do you remember the man who was ill that he spoke to, and said, ''Satan hath bound thee"? Do you suppose he meant that in just that one instance Satan had bound the man just because he was bad, and that in another instance God would do the binding because a man was good? Do you think the statement Jesus made indicates an agreement or partnership between God and Satan, God making some ill, because they are good, and Satan making some ill, because they are bad? Of course you don't believe anything of the kind.
Then, remember that other man who lay sick of the palsy, to whom Jesus said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee"; and the man took up his bed and walked. Again, he said, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." Do you believe it? Do you believe that statement? Oh, what a call that is to us to follow in the footsteps of our Master; how it says to you and to me, The time is now when ye shall do the works that he did; when ye shall take the Word of God and heal the sick; shall cleanse the leper; shall cast out evil, and shall raise the dead in the name of God.
We shall have every one of these things to do, either here or hereafter, in the self-same way that Jesus did them, whether we want to or not, because there is no Way whereby we may enter the Kingdom save through him. If he is the Way, and the only Way, then you and I can only reach that Kingdom of God which is within us by doing what he did, and as he did, to the accomplishment of our individual salvation, in the manner Jesus indicated.
We all know the works of healing from sickness and raising the dead Jesus accomplished with God's Word, as well as the sin he overcame with it, and we also know that he said, "He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to my Father." Do you believe this statement? Do you believe in him? Then why don't you do the works he did so as to be prepared to do the greater works of his promise?
We have been taught for ages that the time for miracles, so called, has gone by; that he only did the healing of the sick that the Jews, who were a stiff-necked people, might be convinced that he was the Messiah. Are there no stiff-necked people on earth today who need to be convinced that he is the Messiah?
Where, in the Bible, do we find the permission given to anyone to separate any part of this promise from the rest of it? Whence comes the authority to say that God's Word may still be used to destroy sin and save sinners, but it can't be used to destroy sickness and save the sick?
Does it not come dangerously near to being sacrilege to deny the right and duty of man to be obedient to the whole of this virtual command, and so, practically, deny that Jesus told the truth? Don't you see where the trouble lies?
Look back to the time of the Emperor Constantine, when he assumed to be the head of the church of Christ on earth. He found the sick being brought to the churches so that the elders might heal them. He began to clothe the simple faith in form, ceremony and ritual! He clothed himself in gorgeous robes, and finally succeeded in so pleasing the eyes and ears of the people that they clothed the Spirit of the Word in the grave clothes of the letter, and the ability to heal was lost. Don't you see from that time to this mankind has been trying to excuse itself for its unbelief, because it has not been obedient to the Wayshower by and through whom we must reach the Kingdom of God?
Let us all go back beyond Constantine to Christ. Let us forget that Constantine ever existed, and let us take that simple, plain, sweet, altogether lovely religion that Jesus preached; let us take that Word into our homes, into our business, into our everyday lives, until we know what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then we shall find we can pray the prayer of the righteous man, which ascendeth unto the throne, and which accomplisheth much. Then we shall find the Truth of that statement, "Ask whatsoever ye will in my name, believing, and that shall ye surely receive," there being no one who can fail to receive, who turns to God with the same absolute confidence and trust with which our Wayshower turned to Him.
Now, what about this belief of sin, disease and death being real? You know a universal belief is not any more a foundation for fact than it would be if the belief were confined to one person. To illustrate what I mean by this, I am going to call your attention to the time of Columbus. You remember that he was treated with scorn and contempt and cast into prison because he stood up before the wise men of his time (and I want to say this to you that every generation thinks its wise men are the wisest men that ever were wise, and the people four hundred years ago thought just that), and said, Every one of your scientific deductions, every one of your scientific theses, every one of your scientific experiments to prove that this earth is flat do not amount to anything at all, because the earth is a sphere. Who was right? Columbus was right of course, and the wise men were all wrong. What effect did the universal false belief have on the shape of the earth? None; the earth kept on being a sphere just the same. What effect did the false belief have on the people who believed it to be true? So long as the people believed the false belief to be true, they were held within the narrow confines of that belief, and stayed on that little speck of the earth's surface because they feared that if they sailed to a certain point, they would fall off the edge of the earth on to that something or nothing on which Atlas did or didn't stand when he did or didn't hold up the earth.
In our own times we look back and pity the ignorance which thought it was wisdom, and are positive, just as the contemporaries of Columbus were, that there is absolutely no question but what our wise men are the wisest men that ever were wise, and yet it is within the living memory of many in this audience when our wise men were filling the newspapers and periodicals with attacks, warning an unsuspecting public to keep their money in their pockets, and not let it be drawn away from them by the tricksters and sharpers who said it was possible for a man to talk into one end of a wire and have a man at the other end, hundreds of miles away, hear what was said and catch the intonation of the voice so as to be able to tell who was talking to him.
Who was right? Graham and Bell were right, and our wise men were no wiser than Columbus' wise men. What effect did the false belief have on the people? So long as they believed it to be impossible to control the vibrations sufficiently to reproduce the voice they were held within the narrow confines of the letter-post and the telegraph for their intercommunication, whereas, when that false belief was broken, it was possible within five minutes to talk from Boston to Omaha, to transact business in five minutes that used to take five weeks or sometimes months to transact. Those who have deemed themselves wise in religious matters have held the world for two hundred and forty thousand years in the grip of the belief that God either directly or indirectly is responsible for sin, disease and death, and until we break that false belief, until we turn away from it and do as Ezekiel implored us to do when he said, "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die," we shall continue to sin, we shall continue to be sick and continue to die.
God, as a supposed creator of good and evil, of Life and death, sin and disease, is not the God we Christian Scientists know, nor is He the God of the inspired Scriptures, which teach us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, without variableness or shadow of turning. C. S. stands for common sense, and it means common sense because it is my sense, and your sense; it is a sense that belongs to all of us; and Christian Scientists have nothing that is not yours; and Christian Scientists are simply using what the non-Christian Scientists are letting lie dormant in their thought, to be awakened sometime.
Now, if God is changeless, how could he give life and then give death? When life was existent what would become of death, and when death was existent what would become of life? If God created them, they must both be as eternal as their creator. How can they both exist eternally when one manifests the absence of the other, as certainly as light annihilates darkness?
Our Bible tells us that death is the wages of sin. Do you believe it? The Bible does not say that in one case death is the wages of sin and that in another case death is the wages of goodness. It makes the unqualified statement that the wages of sin is death. Then if God created death, He must have created sin. You cannot escape this conclusion by saying that He only permits sin; for to permit it He must know it; and how can He know it when the Scriptures tell us that God is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon iniquity?
If God is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon iniquity, if he created death, and death is the wages of sin, then it logically follows that God created sin; and as everything He created is good, it further follows, logically, that sin is not evil, but is good, an argument that cannot for an instant be sustained; and our hearts are filled with joy when we know, as Christian Science teaches us, that God neither sees nor knows sin.
Life is creative and death destructive, so that God, the only and primal Creator, must be life, and not death, and therefore death, measured by the standard of perfection which God is, is not real, but is the suppositional absence of or belief in the negation of Life. Then where shall we look for the origin of the belief in sin and death except in the mortal consciousness? The mortal consciousness is to be put off with the old man and his deeds; as it is put off and is superseded by immortal consciousness, man shall cease to know sin and death and manifest eternal Life, being perfect even as his "Father which is in heaven is perfect."
The question naturally presents itself at this point, "Where did mortal consciousness come from?" My answer is that I don't know where it came from, but I do know it didn't come from God, because it manifests discord. Is there anyone in the audience who knows where the belief that the world is a flat surface originated? Is anyone still sticking to the belief that it is a flat surface, just because he doesn't know the name and address of the man who started that foolish belief? Of course not! It has been proven to be a sphere, and Jesus, the Christ, proved to the world, by his words and works, that sin. disease and death are no part of God's creation, and that His children do not live, nor move, nor have their being therein.
The universal belief about death is that it is either the gateway to Heaven or the entrance down below. This belief should lead us logically to destroy the innocent infant in order to insure its gaining the kingdom, and the action of the natives of India in casting their babes into the river Ganges was based on sound logic and good reason; but the belief that death is ever a friend is fallacious.
Death is an enemy. Christ proved its unreality, and overcame it in accordance with the law of God, thus indicating ultimate freedom from death for all mankind. Do you think this a statement impossible of acceptance? It is not an original one, by any means, and is simply a reiteration of what Paul said. Paul didn't say you can go on overcoming all things until it comes to death, and that you are a helpless victim when that presents itself. He said the last enemy to be destroyed is death, and in his letter to Timothy he wrote, "Christ Jesus hath abolished death and brought life and immortality to light." Do you believe Paul knew what he was writing? Do you believe the statements to be true? We, as Christian Scientists, accept them without modification or qualification, because they are so absolutely in accord with what our Master did and said. No! Christian Scientists have not yet reached the point where they have overcome the universal belief in death. nor have they yet reached the point where they heal every case brought to them, but like the prodigal son of Bible story, we have started on our journey back to our Father's home; we are tired of living in a country far away from Him; we are tired of feeding on the husks of words that, no matter how beautiful they may be, fail to bring us any proof of their truth; and we shall reach that haven of rest, and find peace, comfort and joy in his sheltering love.
We do know, however, when the infallible Principle of Christian Science is followed absolutely, man shall solve all life's problems correctly, and realize in full the meaning of the saying, "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward men." Someone will say at this point, If what you say is true, what are you going to do with the Biblical promise, "Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth?" I am not going to change a word of the Bible in order to explain this to you, but I am going to call your attention to something you all know, namely, that the Bible which we read is a translation into English from the original tongues, made by seventy men, at the command of King James, of England. I am going to tell you, however, that they found nothing in the original manuscript which gave them any right or authority to translate this passage in any such way. The word "chasteneth" is taken from the Greek root "paideuein," which is the foundation of the English word "pedagogue," or "instructor"; and the word "paideuein" means "to instruct" or "direct," and it does not mean anything else, and when that passage is rendered into English as it is written in the original Bible, it doesn't read, "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth," but "Whom the Lord loveth he instructeth"; and it becomes another proof of the Christian Science teaching as to the abnormal nature of sin, which Christ destroyed in conformity with the law which God manifested through him.
In order that there may be sin, there must be temptation; and in order that there may be temptation there must be sin, and they both must proceed from the same source. Is this source God or mankind? If it be God, we are lost! If it is mankind, we are saved. Let this question be answered for us by James and John. James writes, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
John writes, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." Dare we, dare we in the face of James' statement that "lust" is the origin of sin, and John's, that "whosoever is born of God * * * cannot sin because he is born of God," ever again associate the name or nature of God with sin in any manner whatsoever?
Paul says, "There is no respect of persons with God." Do you believe that? Most of you will say to yourselves, Oh, yes. Let us see if you do. As long as we believe sin, disease and death to be real, just so long we believe that God, either directly or indirectly, is responsible for them. As you look around you and see one man afflicted (I say it advisedly) with millions of money, another with the direst of poverty, another with perfect health, another with ill health, another with joy unspeakable, and another with misery and woe and despair, if you are one of those who are having to meet the poverty, the despair or the ill health, can you, right down in the bottom of your heart, say you believe God is no respecter of persons?
Some one near to us is stricken with a mortal illness, and we get down on our knees and pray that the illness may be taken from him that the person may live. If it is from God, it is good; and why do you pray they shall be relieved from it, if it is good? If you believe God sent the sickness, and yet get down on your knees and pray that it be removed that the afflicted person may live, hasn't the physician who is attending him, if he believes God sent the disease, just as much right to pray to God, at the same time, that the illness may continue in order that he may live?
Mankind says God is immutable and changeless, but hundreds and millions of times every day it is praying the immutable and changeless God to change, change, change, until mankind is conceiving God as being the very centre and circumference of eternal change. As long as we believe God to be responsible for all things, and yet get down on our knees and pray that He may forget His immutability, and take away what we don't want and give us what we think we do want, isn't it true that, if our prayer were suddenly granted, we would be scared beyond recall?
Is it logically possible for us to have very much faith in prayer so long as we are held in the bondage of this belief in a changeable God? Oh, if we would only take into our consciousness, for one single instant, that changeless Love, that changeless religion that Jesus, the Christ, preached to us, there would be no doubt, no fear, and we would go to God in prayer with the serene confidence, the implicit faith, that He who heareth in secret shall reward us openly, which the Master taught us to be our birthright and heritage.
This is what Christian Science is asking you to do; this is what Christian Science is laying before you; this the table that is prepared before you in the presence of your enemies; this the bread which cometh down from Heaven; this the water of eternal life — it is yours, it is mine. Let us accept the feast that God has put before us; let us recognize the Comforter, the Wayshower, again in our midst; the Comforter he promised he would send when he said it was expedient that he went to his Father. Then there will be no more broken hearts, there will be no more sorrow, no more tears, no more separation, no more sickness, no more suffering, and no more sin, for we shall have entered into the realization that this is the day of the Lord, and with that realization there will come to us peace, that peace which God has promised us; the peace which may be found only in that straight and narrow Way wherein our Master leads us into the Kingdom of God, which is within.
The revelation of Christian Science came to Mrs. Eddy as the result of a life-time spent in continuous search and desire for the Spirit of the Word and the things of God. Mrs Eddy, in her chosen vocation as a religious reformer, occupies a position unique in the history of the world, for she stands alone as the advocate of unqualified faith in God, unswerving trust in His goodness, and unquestioning obedience to all His commands. This calls on her for such meekness, humility, and self-sacrifice that she never could live such a life were it not for the protecting care of a real, livable, demonstrable religion, wherein she finds immunity from the pangs and agonies suffered by those who turn away from the old concept of God and manifest realization of His presence.
Ever since 1866, Mrs. Eddy's life has been devoted to the revelation of the way of salvation to mankind with such singleness of purpose, that mankind is awakening to know her work is inspired, and that Christian Science is the Spirit of the Word Jesus portrayed. Christian Scientists do not worship Mrs. Eddy, nor do they in any sense of the word deify her in their thought. The whole teaching of Christian Science leads us to put self under foot; to have no way and no will save God's way and God's will; and Mrs. Eddy says to the world, and to her followers, "Follow me only so far us I follow Christ"; and in her Christly following she has been the instrument whereby the feet of hundreds of thousands have been planted upon the rock of demonstrably proved Truth of God's promises, and against that rock, in the words of the old, familiar hymn, "the gates of hell shall not prevail." We do love our Leader, but with a love that has nothing personal in it; and we give her only the allegiance and devotion to which her tireless labor in mankind's behalf entitles her.
I told you what Christian Science did for me physically. I am going to tell you more. I had heard, in going to the church with which my mother was affiliated, and in which she was an ardent worker, that just the other side of the valley of the shadow of death there was that beautiful New Jerusalem, the city with its golden streets and its pearly gates, wherein I was told there was no more suffering, no more sorrow; but, strange as it may seem, I did not want to go to Heaven if I had to die to get there, for, with the story of the New Jerusalem I also heard the story of the other place, which is down, and not up, and was told that nearly all who passed through the valley went down, and not up. The degree of uncertainty was too great to be attractive, and so there had grown up in my thought, as a young man and boy, a terror and a horror of God. I heard that all things were the manifestation of His Infinite Wisdom, and the terror grew and grew in my thought, as I pictured Him as located on some great throne, far above me, ready and willing to crush the very existence out of me at any instant, until I had reached the point where I loathed the name of God.
Then Christian Science came to me and told me mentally and audibly that God is Love! That there is nothing of God in these things! That He has nothing to do with them, and it took away my disease and my suffering! It took away my horror and my loathing for God. Christian Science came to me and gave me God, and when I tell you that, I am telling you the story of countless thousands spread all over this globe. Is it any wonder that we love the one who has been so selfless and so faithful in her work that, through it, God has come to us and salvation been brought within our apprehension? We are obedient to her every teaching, gladly, willingly, joyfully, because it is through her continued teaching, for over forty years, that God reigns and may not be overcome, that the mystery of the Way of salvation has been removed, and the glory of God again been made apparent to mankind.
Mankind's existence is one hideous nightmare of fear, and nothing is done by mankind unless consciously or unconsciously it is governed by an underlying substratum of fear. Mankind fears accident, fears sickness, fears old age; fears if it has any money it will lose it, and fears if it hasn't any money it never will have, and there is your poverty; fears it will die if it eats, and sure it will die if it doesn't eat; fears what it calls the devil; fears God, and fears death with the utter hopelessness and helplessness of abject slavery.
There is an old Arabian fable, antedating the Christian era by hundreds of years, which bears very pertinently on the question of fear. It relates that two spectres were met, going into a city, by a man who stopped them and asked their names. One of them said. "My name is Cholera," and the other said. "My name is Fear." He asked them why they were going into the city, and Cholera said, "I am going in to kill one man," and Fear said, "I will kill all the rest." As we read in history the story of the black plague in London, we learn that thousands died at the time, not because they had the plague, but because of their fear of it.
There is no advancement, no hope for man in fear of this kind, and we may escape it by being obedient to our Bible, and seeking first the Kingdom of God that is within us, knowing that it is true that we live, move and have our being in God, who is Love. Herein lies our freedom, for our Bible teaches us that there is no fear in Love, for "perfect Love casteth out fear."
If God put drugs on the earth to preserve and save the life of mankind, why did Jesus, who came doing the will of the Father, fail to use them in the healing which he accomplished? Jesus never used anything for the healing of mankind from disease other than the Word of God, and that never failed.
Ah! I hear some one say, but he did use material remedies when he put clay and spittle on the blind man's eyes. I am going to talk to you about this case, for when understood, it is one of the most wonderful lessons in the whole Bible. Do you believe that Jesus thought, when he put the clay on the man's eyes, that it would restore his sight? If you do believe that, then you believe that here was an instance in which Jesus failed to foreknow what would happen, for we know that the clay failed to accomplish anything. Did the blind man see while the clay was on the eyes? No! Not until, in obedience to the command of Jesus, he went to the Pool of Siloam, which, being interpreted, means "sent." and washed off the clay, did the blind man see.
And thus Jesus taught us that, as we cast aside all material remedies, no matter how simple, and go in the way of his appointing, blindly though it may be at first, our obedience shall open the eyes that see not, and we shall behold the glory of God and His son, the living Christ. Now, do any of you think this a far-fetched explanation of that story? Don't you know this is one of the few places in the Bible where not only the word, but its meaning is given? "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam," which means "sent," was the command of Jesus, and the man obeyed, and when he had washed he saw. We know it wasn't the clay! We know it wasn't the water that healed him, but that it was his obedience to the Word of God, as it came to him through Jesus, that made him whole.
Instantly our thought goes back to the story of Naaman, the leper, who came to Elisha to be healed. The prophet sent out word to him, telling him to go and wash in the waters of the river Jordan. He was wroth, and said, "The waters of my own country are better than the waters of Jordan." He wanted it done his way, but he was prevailed upon to be obedient to the word of God, as it came to him through the prophet, and he went and bathed in the river Jordan, and came forth every whit whole. When you and I are willing to be obedient, as they were obedient, then there will be nothing that we cannot take to the foot of the cross, and leave it there, coming away free and untrammeled, praising God for His wonderful goodness.
Before I close my lecture, let me say this to those desirous of knowing God, as Spirit, Principle, Mind; do not be satisfied with any one's else statement as to what Christian Science teaches about it, but go to the fountain head and get knowledge, pure and unadulterated, by a careful, prayerful study of your Bible, with the aid of the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to Scriptures," every line of which carries healing to its readers, because it is the result of Mrs. Eddy's having proved that God healeth all our diseases, and is "Love."
My friends, Christian Science is the demonstration of that great, tender, compassionate Love which Jesus Christ manifested to the world, not only in his word, but in his demonstration of its wonderful power. We want you to know that Christian Science is the revelation to mankind today that only as we live the religion of Love, making its demonstration that of doing unto others as we would be done by, are we showing any conception of that religion, pure and undefiled, which the Bible commands us to demonstrate.
Love brings no evil; Love brings no suffering to man; and the understanding of Love, as it is demonstrated in Christian Science, enables man to reach out to his brother with a tenderness, a sweetness, a sense of consideration the world knows not of until it is given to it through Christian Science.
Christian Science is the manifestation of that Love that respects no person, that knows no relationship save the universal brotherhood, bringing to mankind the satisfied consciousness that it is really, demonstrably proved, that God is Love. In this consciousness of demonstrable religion, Christian Scientists have their satisfaction, their joy, their sense of harmony that can never be disturbed, and their consciousness of Love that stretches out into the universe, including all in its omniscience, turning us, weary and heavy laden, to Calvary and the cross, where we are freed from its weight and its shadow in fulfilment of the promise of Him whose word never faileth. There we find surcease for our pain, our sorrow and tears, in spiritual regeneration, emerging gently out of self and away from the world, flesh and evil, into that everlasting peace which God giveth his beloved children, and toward which Mrs. Eddy, God's revelator to this age, is leading us.
We ask you to investigate, not Christian Scientists, but Christian Science, and see how absolutely it reveals the Godly standard, wherein what blesses one blesses all. Every promise shall be fulfilled, and the grand work of Christ, as exemplified in Christian Science, be universally accepted. Then shall His "will be done in earth as it is in Heaven"; then shall we realize that His "is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever," seeing the full fruition of Love, having no other gods than "Our Father which art in Heaven," who is Life, Truth and Love everlasting.
[Delivered April 12, 1908, at Brattle Hall, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Tribune, April 18, 1908.]