Christian Science, Bringer of Peace

 

Harry B. MacRae, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Introduction

Noon lecture delivered in Ritz theatre, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thursday, July 26, 1951, under auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Tulsa. The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Leslie Brooks, who said:

Friends, First Church of Christ, Scientist, of this city welcomes you to hear a lecture on Christian Science.

When Saul agreed to let David meet Goliath he wanted David to put on the heavy metal armor, the same as Goliath was wearing. There is a better way today, too, of meeting the error giant of the moment, than by merely using the same type armor or weapons he uses.

Our lecturer, Harry B. MacRae of Dallas, Texas, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, will tell us about this better way. His subject is Christian Science, Bringer of Peace. Mr. MacRae.

 

The Lecture

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Can you think of anything more glorious than to be called the children of God? Would you like to know one way in which to become worthy of that title? Then, let me present it to you in the strong, revealing words of Christ Jesus (Matt. 5:9), "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Tonight we are going to consider the immense value and significance to ourselves and to our world today of being true peacemakers, and how the way is provided through Christian Science for us to attain this most desirable status.

Peace is not merely the absence of the discordant and superficial; it is the presence of the harmonious and fundamental. It is not negative; it is positive. Though to human sense it appears so, it is not objective; it is subjective. It is not passive; it is active. It is not, in reality, a human or material phenomenon; it is a spiritual fact. It cannot be experienced without if it is not cherished within. Emerson discerned something of this when he said:

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles." Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, beheld the spiritual basis of peace when she wrote (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 279): "God is the divine Mind. Hence the sequence: Had all peoples one Mind, peace would reign."

The way of peace was made clear by Christ Jesus. He well knew that the true peace of Christ did not consist of the material manifestations the world called peace. He knew the temporary, ephemeral, and transitory nature of peace which "the world giveth," and he marked it as unreal. So, in speaking to his followers of his approaching departure, he gave to them and to all mankind, for all time, this tender and glorious message (John 14:27): "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you."

The peace which Christ Jesus gave is spiritual. Being an attribute of divine Mind and, therefore, by reflection, an attribute of Mind's perfect idea, man, it is inseparable from our true being. It is not something to be obtained from without, but to be revealed as inherent in the consciousness of each one of us. It accompanies poise, spiritual calm, health, and harmony. Moreover it bears witness to the availability, the impartiality, the universality of divine Love.

How compassionately, how convincingly, how practically, Christ Jesus proved to the people of his times the tremendous value and importance of spiritual peace, and how essential it is for normal, safe, happy, and healthful living. Through precept and example, he accomplished this holy task in spite of his hearer's meager understanding of the nature of true peace.

How dramatically, and yet how simply and tenderly, he comforted and protected his fearful disciples in their little ship on the storm-tossed Galilean sea through his clear, spiritual understanding of the power of spiritual peace as a quality of God. With what authority and might came forth his immortal words (Mark 4:39): "Peace, be still." The Master's spiritual sense of peace must have been far above any worldly sense of peace. His awareness of his true being vividly revealed to him the spiritual reality that man, including the universe, expresses the all-embracing, all-pervading, infinite presence of the one divine Mind, God, alone; that the belief of a destructive storm could not be included in this perfect expression of harmony. The false, mortal belief, appearing as a storm, was dispelled through his clear realization of this divine fact of God's omnipresence and omnipotence. The storm ceased, and the calm and harmony of a peaceful sea prevailed.

It would be most unusual if there were not to be found in this audience many who have had remarkable proofs of such protective power of the Christ, Truth, through their understanding of Christian Science. Thoroughly verified testimonies in the Christian Science periodicals have told of men at sea who have experienced divine protection through their understanding of God's ever-presence gained in Christian Science. Others have told of similar protection that was theirs during fierce battles of World War II. One testimony related the miraculous escape of a group of campers from a forest fire which had completely surrounded them. It is because Christian Scientists are thus constantly and consistently proving the presence and availability of the same Christ, Truth, which Jesus demonstrated, that what are called his "miracles" are to them illustrations, evidences, and assurances of the impartiality of divine Love's provision of protective and healing power for all mankind throughout all time. This understanding of the availability of divine power to all is awakening and reassuring the world.

Surely, today, as of old, this Christly power is bringing to grateful and rejoicing multitudes the spiritual peace that destroys sin and heals the sick. Christian Science is showing its way to be an open way. When you turn to this way with unselfed love, humility, and childlike openness of thought, you may rightly expect to experience the healing, liberation, and protection which it provides without measure.

 

Christly Peace

The spiritual, inner sense of peace that our awareness of the presence of the Christ, Truth, brings cannot be adequately defined or described in mere human terms, nor can it fully appear to mere human sense. It is tangible to our spiritual sense and is seen to be healing and redemptive in its effect when the Christ-light, gained in Christian Science, reveals to us our true spiritual selfhood as the perfect idea of divine Principle, Love. In this perfect concept of man we find that there can be no fear, no disease, no destructive environment such as storms, no destructive elements such as atomic radiation, and no dearth of supply. It is this perfect spiritual man, we learn in Christian Science, which Christ Jesus beheld as God's own likeness; and it was this correct view of man that healed the sick, the sorrowing, the suffering, and the dying who came to him. It is this correct view of ourselves and of our fellow man as children of God that enables us to heal the sick and to restore the sinner in this present time. The Master's teachings, as presented in the clear spiritual light of Christian Science, give us an understanding of the Christ by which we can behold the perfect spiritual man where the false mortal concept of man appears to the five illusive mortal senses. Just as it was with Jesus, so with us; the right spiritual concept of man is the appearance of the Christ, Truth, to our so-called human consciousness. To state it another way: it is the spiritual awakening that makes plain that there is but one all-present God, reflected by man in his true spiritual selfhood, ever at one with divine Love.

It is love, the reflection of divine Love, God, that makes apprehensible and demonstrable this divine revelation. No one was more aware of this than Mrs. Eddy, who knew and proved the peace and joy and healing that Love brings. She once voiced this in these comforting and inspiring words (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 133): "Love makes all burdens light, it giveth a peace that passeth understanding, and with 'signs following.' As to the peace, it is unutterable; as to 'signs,' behold the sick who are healed, the sorrowful who are made hopeful, and the sinful and ignorant who have become 'wise unto salvation.' "

This "unutterable" peace, this "peace that passeth understanding," thus voiced by Mrs. Eddy, was unmistakably exemplified in her own experience when she discovered Christian Science in February, 1866. She relates (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24) that her physician rejoiced in her immediate recovery from the serious effects of an accident which neither surgery nor medicine could reach. The only explanation she was able to give him at that time was that it was a miracle brought about by divine Spirit, God. Later, when she had learned more of what had really taken place, she found that this "miracle" was in perfect scientific accord with divine law.

The preparatory background for what had seemed a marvelous discovery was her deeply devout life that began with the early religious education she received from her Puritan parents. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she tenderly refers to this early experience as follows (p. 359): "In childhood, she often listened with joy to these words, falling from the lips of her saintly mother, 'God is able to raise you up from sickness;' and she pondered the meaning of that Scripture she so often quotes: 'And these signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.' "

The Scriptures always held a most important place in Mrs. Eddy's experience. She found the mental and physical peace she had sought throughout her entire lifetime in the clear revelation of the spiritual meaning of the Bible that came to her at the time of her healing. This awakened her to discern clearly what had held her in long years of invalidism. She found that it was early training, through misinterpretation of the Word, that had been the underlying cause of her suffering and bondage. All this, she recalls, she had endured before the right interpretation brought the dawn of Truth to her understanding. In her own words (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 169): "With the understanding of Scripture-meanings, had come physical rejuvenation. The uplifting of spirit was the upbuilding of the body." Small wonder she lovingly, though emphatically, declares that all the divine Science she preached she found within the Bible pages.

The true concept of God as incorporeal or bodiless, as infinite, and as All-in-all came to her with spiritual clarity. She saw that spiritual sense alone could comprehend, understand, and know Him; that matter or material sense is totally incapable of gaining any true conception of divine Mind. Jesus expressed this in referring to his human selfhood (John 5:31): "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."

To Mrs. Eddy, it was the discovery of Christian Science that was of first importance; her own place in history, not merely as a famous person, but as the Discoverer of Christian Science, she considered important, but secondary. However, this should not be understood to mean that the Discoverer and discovery can ever be separated, for they are inseparable; nor that it is not paramount to our success in gaining a demonstrable understanding of Christian Science that we ever give full honor and credit to Mrs. Eddy as its Discoverer and Founder.

She herself clearly saw that a person's life history was of little moment unless it illustrated the ethics of Truth (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 21). In speaking of comparatively meager biographical information in the Scriptures regarding our great Master, she wrote (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 22): "His spiritual noumenon and phenomenon silenced portraiture." In much the same way it can be said that Mrs. Eddy's great spiritual stature as the revelator of the Christ, Truth, to this and future ages overshadows her personal history, interesting, beautiful, inspiring, and important as that is.

 

Peace That Comes with True Restoration

Jesus' work among men appeared as a work of restoration; though, in fact, it was a work of revelation of true being. What unspeakable peace must have come to those who became beneficiaries of his mission of healing and restoration through his inspired spiritual understanding and love of his Father-Mother God and for mankind. So clearly did he know the restorative power of divine Love that sight was restored, withered arms and paralyzed limbs were restored, health was restored, even life was restored; moreover joy was restored, purity was restored, yes, and above all, peace of mind was restored. The truest peace, the greatest peace, in reality the only absolute peace, is peace of mind. When this is apprehended and attained, it means that the reflected good from God, upon which it is established, has been identified with our true being and as our true being. This is true restoration in the highest spiritual interpretation of it.

One of the great stories of restoration in the Bible is that of Nehemiah's restoration of Jerusalem the city of his "fathers' sepulchres" whose walls and gates had been destroyed by the conquerors and whose people were in "great affliction and reproach." Briefly outlined, this story begins with Nehemiah's telling the Persian King Artaxerxes, whom he served as a cupbearer, of his sorrow over the ruined state of his beloved Jerusalem and his asking the king for permission to go and to rebuild it. The king willingly gave his consent and aid. Nehemiah, on arriving at the capital, made a journey around it by night and viewed the ruined walls. He then intimated to the people his intention of rebuilding the walls and solicited their active aid, which was enthusiastically given. Hearing of this rebuilding activity, the neighboring tribes of Gentiles were highly displeased. Three of their representatives Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem resorted to deceptive methods to stop the building. They could neither circumvent nor intimidate Nehemiah, whose reliance upon God was unshakable. He held resolutely on his course and had his workmen continuously alerted and prepared by carrying a weapon in one hand while they worked with the other. Under these conditions, with continuous prayer to God, the wall was completed in a very short time.

Now, I should like you to consider with me some of the immortal lessons that are to be found in this stirring drama of antiquity. When Nehemiah discovered that his people, "the remnant of the captivity," were in trouble, evidently his first thought, according to the Biblical account, was to do something to help them. He must have had a great sense of compassion for them. He realized that they were in dire affliction and that the beloved city of his "fathers' sepulchres" was in such a ruined and neglected condition that it was a reproach to his people. Two important qualities characterized his thinking and his attitude: first, love for his people, for his fellow man, shown in his compassionate desire to free them from their afflictions; and second, a keen sense of true respect for his nation a sense of true patriotism, we might say that was strengthened because of his inspired purpose to help restore his people to their rightful high status from which they had fallen.

 

Respect and Compassion Bring True Peace

Can it not be said that Nehemiah's attitude typifies that which should be ours? First, we should have tender compassion for those who seem to suffer, such as the Master, Christ Jesus, had for all who came to him. Without this Christian charity, loving-kindness, brotherly love, and consideration, we are lacking in the necessary and essential humanity of Jesus, through which is evidenced the Christ-power which uplifts, comforts, and heals the sick. Then and this is the true Christianly scientific standpoint we must recognize that anything less than perfection is a "reproach" to man, the real man of God's creating, the perfect idea, man, who forever expresses the perfection of his divine Principle, Love. Understanding of the Godlikeness of others, as ideas of divine Mind, gives the genuine peace of true self-respect.

It is evident that Nehemiah's utter dependence upon God, shown in his constant prayers to Him for guidance, protection, and strength, unfolded and brought to light these inherently natural qualities of his true selfhood.

 

Prayer the First Step in the Way of Peace

The very first step in Nehemiah's method or way of restoration was to pray to "the God of heaven;" he prayed that he might have the courage to tell King Artaxerxes of his great desire to rebuild Jerusalem. Having done this, he did not hesitate to accept the answer to his prayer: the courage to proceed with his right intention to seek the king's help.

Our first step yes, our first and last step in all that we do should be to pray: to lift thought spiritually to discern and to know our oneness with the creative, governing, divine Principle of our being, God. The spiritual sense, thus gained, gives us the clarity of spiritual vision to discard the wrong course and to follow the right course to separate the unreal from the real, the tares from the wheat, under all circumstances. It is this intuitive spiritual discernment that makes plain the way of peace and the ability to put it into practice.

 

Peace-Giving Action

Having gained the commission from the king to go to his people to help them restore Jerusalem, Nehemiah did not hesitate to put into action a definite method or plan that unfolded to him as he went forward with this immense project.

Action inspired, loving, well-ordered action characterizes the practice of Christian Science. Like Nehemiah, we must be prompt to accept and follow the inspired guidance that is revealed to us when we work to know that we express God, the one omniactive divine Mind. In our work of restoration, or what appears as restoration, of destruction wrought by disease, sin, accidents, or lack, our action cannot be effective if it is taken from the erroneous standpoint that these afflictive things are real and that our utilization of the power of God makes them unreal. It must be spiritually understood that, in reality, they have no existence, and never have had any. We can do this only by knowing the omnipresence of divine Love, God, and our inseparability from Him. Our treatment in Christian Science must be not merely the declaration about Truth, God; it must in effect and in fact express Truth. When Christ Jesus declared and knew the truth about the palsied man and others whom he healed, his knowing was not about Truth; it was Truth, God. He identified himself with God and declared (John 10:30), "I and my Father are one." From this scientific standpoint it can be seen that what Jesus, manifesting the Christ, said and did was as God doing it, hence his marvelous works. Likewise, our healing work in Christian Science can and must be done from this same standpoint of oneness with our Father-Mother God. The textbook describes this oneness or inseparability from God in these words (Science and Health, p. 336): "God, the divine Principle of man, and man in God's likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal. . . . God and man are not the same, but in the order of divine Science, God and man coexist and are eternal."

Restoration through Christian Science progressively improves human experience. The changes which it brings richly compensate any sense of loss. We shall find that all sense of loss or belief in it will be removed if we continue faithfully our work of identifying ourselves as the perfect spiritual idea, man, the expression of divine Mind, God, inseparably at one with Him. This is understanding the true nature of substance as Spirit, God, which cannot be lost. Inevitably and coincidentally with our right work, there can and should appear higher and better manifestations of good, right here and now, with the accompanying sense of true peace that comes with every demonstration of Truth.

The prophet Joel with clear spiritual vision beheld the true restoration as well as the satisfaction and peace that would appear to those who forsook materiality and belief in a corporeal God for understanding faith in the one true God. In words of great beauty and promise he declared (Joel 2: 21-26): "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. . . . For he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain. . . . And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. . . . And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied."

How this present-day world needs to know the certainty and eternality of God's infinitude and ever-presence, the understanding of which supplies whatever man can possibly need! When our prayers are the true, affirmative prayers of acknowledgment of the omnipresence of infinite, divine Love, God, when they acknowledge that God's perfect and complete expression of Himself is His perfect idea, man, and the universe, we shall find in this understanding the fulfillment of Isaiah's words that God's "salvation is gone forth" (Isa. 51:5). Then, too, will his declaration of prophetic reality be proved true that (Isa. 51:6) "the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment." Also the truth of the Psalmist's words will be seen that (Ps. 46:6) "he uttered his voice, the earth melted." As we become spiritually aware of the nothingness of matter and so-called material forces we shall become conscious of manifestations of supply, better health, longevity, as well as enduring happiness and greater peace. This is not a promise to be fulfilled in some uncertain future, but a present and available actuality. Proof of this is seen in the experiences of countless numbers of those who are today the beneficiaries of this peace-giving Science in all parts of the world.

One of many such proofs that I might relate is that of an intimate friend of mine. What he experienced is possible to everyone here tonight. Early in his marriage he and his wife had accumulated what would be considered a very comfortable income. It was acquired through industry, economy, and what they thought were wise investments.

Then the disastrous financial crash and economic depression came. Their investments were practically wiped out, and they found themselves left with very little, according to human standards. After the first shock of disappointment and fear, during which they worked diligently in Christian Science to understand that real supply is not material but spiritual, they took stock of their resources and prayed for spiritual guidance and vision to discern the right direction in which to go. This inspired rule in Science and Health (p. 1) was and continues to be an unfailing guide to them: "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." With gratitude, patience, and courage, born of complete confidence in divine Love's provision, they determined to place their desires entirely in God's care that they might be "moulded and exalted" before being outwardly expressed in definite steps. What resulted could not be better expressed than in this Scriptural promise (Isa. 48:17): "I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."

An inspiring and joyous realization came to them that their most valuable and usable wealth, their only true substance, was Spirit, God. A certainty of their inseparability from Him filled their consciousness and supported and comforted them even beyond the limits of what they consciously understood of this divine fact. These words from the Scriptures best express it (Isa. 45:5): "I girded thee, though thou hast not known me." They were led to go forward in a way upon which mere human economy would have frowned.

They promptly and confidently and gratefully invested much of their remaining material resources in greater preparation for higher spiritual progress. Never was there a wavering in their course nor a doubt of the rightness of its direction. Occasional arguments of mortal mind were presented to them similar in many respects to those which plagued Nehemiah in his work of restoring Jerusalem. These arguments were always silenced through the spiritual understanding that they were unreal utterances of a nonexistent mortal mind, to which they could say, as the Master did to the aggressive arguments of error that presented themselves to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matt. 16:23).

Now while the identical material possessions that had seemed lost, such as certain securities, never again appeared, my friends saw clearly that the loss of mere material things was not loss at all. They saw that all that even temporarily seemed lost was sufficient spiritual understanding clearly to discern and to prove that their true identity or selfhood, the expression of divine Spirit, the only substance, included and actually was their supply; that they could never be separated from their spiritual identity and, therefore, they could never be separated from their only true supply. With the clarifying of their spiritual sense, their true being, as God's idea, man, became more real and, therefore, more substantial to them. Now there began to unfold in their lives a new era of prosperity and peace that has never ceased, but, rather, has increased and become progressively clearer. There has shown forth to them the definite proof that divine Principle, Love, truly restores through the revelation of true substance, Spirit, "the years" eaten by the "locust."

I need not add that the needed human manifestation of more abundant living has continued to appear with the ever-clearing discernment of Life as Spirit, God. Plentiful supply for the meeting of every human need has continued to appear, whether it seemed to be a mental, physical, or financial need. It has become more and more apparent to them that the only true substance is spiritual and that it is just as clearly tangible to spiritual sense as is so-called material substance to the material senses. Thus that true peace came to them that is the divinely natural sequence of the spiritual understanding, gained in Christian Science, that God's law of perfect adjustment maintains the indestructible balance of true need and supply by revealing them as one and wholly in divine Mind.

 

Peace: the True Understanding of God and Man

The way of world peace, of universal peace, must be and is the way of individual peace. In fact, world peace in its true interpretation is but the worldwide appearing of the peace of the individual members of society who together make up the world. Viewed from the standpoint of erroneous belief in a material man and a material universe, apart from God, the present or even ultimate attainment of peace would seem to be an impossibility. When, however, we gain a clearer spiritual concept of existence from the standpoint of the understanding of perfect God and perfect man and perfect universe, which Christian Science gives us, we can foresee the possibility, even the inevitability, of attaining it. From this standpoint of observation, we find that the scientific and correct concept of God gives us at the same time a clearer understanding of man. When God and man are more universally understood from the standpoint of Christian Science, peace will inevitably appear, because the belief of many minds is therein replaced with the true knowledge of the one Mind, God, and His infinite manifestation.

God's self-existence is clearly seen when He is understood as divine Principle, as Mind, as Life, as Truth, as Spirit, and as Soul. His self-existence makes certain the eternal existence of man as His perfect spiritual idea, His perfect expression. It should not be difficult to see, then, that our peace, the true peace of man, must appear or be consciously perceived and demonstrated as we find our permanency and eternal existence to be the fact of our true being as the idea of God. God's eternal self-existence establishes the eternal existence, the immortality, of man, His full expression. As Science and Health states it (p. 81), "Man in the likeness of God as revealed in Science cannot help being immortal."

When we understand man to be immortal, here and now, it enables us to accept the fact that our spiritual selfhood, our only real self, must and will continue to exist eternally as the likeness of our everlasting Father-Mother, God. Therefore there can be no element of deterioration, waste, or destruction in our true being; otherwise our existence would end in complete obliteration an utter impossibility for God's idea for anything real. Can we not see, then, that our wholeness, our health, our well-being, and our safety are not dependent upon frail mortal premises but upon the divine fact that we are at one with infinite, divine Mind, God? With our wholeness, or health, seen or spiritually comprehended as an eternal divine fact, perfect peace must be ours, individually, and it must contribute substantially to the appearing of the universal expression of peace among men. As the Scriptures beautifully declare (Isa. 26:3), "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee."

Numerous are the promises of peace from God to His children that find beautiful expression in the Scriptures, but none is more comforting and reassuring than those voiced by the prophet Isaiah. In many beautiful prophecies, salvation is specifically assured. "My salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished" (Isa. 51:6) is one such message the prophet gives to his people. It is for us today as well. It is for all mankind for all time. The Apostle Mark emphatically tells us that Christian healing is ". . . a condition of salvation, that extends to all ages and throughout all Christendom" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 192). The only condition of salvation which he gives is that we believe, that is, spiritually understand and accept, the truths which the Master voiced. Here are his words, familiar to all of you, recording Christ Jesus' charge to his disciples and to all of us (Mark 16:16-18): "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. . . . And these signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

In "Unity of Good" (p. 59) Mrs. Eddy writes, "Salvation is as eternal as God." Then she tells us that the Master came to save men from the illusions, not the realities, of sin, sickness, and death, in fact, from everything unlike God and God's man. Christian Science makes it very easy to see that this true salvation could not be from something which God created, for then it would be operating in direct opposition to God, the only creator of all that exists. Hence it becomes clear that salvation is the harmony, wholeness, health, peace, and all good that will continue to appear as the Christ-consciousness makes plain the real nature of man as the perfect idea of his perfect Father-Mother God. If you view it from the mere human standpoint, salvation appears to be the saving or the redeeming of man from sin and from evil, but when scientifically seen from the only true standpoint of divine Mind, God, salvation is the eternally established and ever-appearing truth of perfect God, perfect man, and perfect universe.

No peace can equal or even approach that which is ours instantly and eternally when our salvation appears in the coming to consciousness of Christ, Truth, and in the consequent revelation of man's perfection as the idea of God which finds its proof in the healing of sickness, the redeeming of sinners, and the raising of the dead.

What inexpressible peace comes to one when he finds complete and permanent release from some condition that appears to threaten his life. Such is often the situation when one is healed in Christian Science. One of countless such healings that could be related is that of an acquaintance of mine, some of whose own words I shall give you as he gave them in a testimony in the Christian Science Sentinel (December 24, 1949).

It was the healing of what was then called "quick consumption." "My father," he said, "had passed on with this disease when I was six years old, and it was thought that I had inherited the disease and would not reach maturity." He continues, "When I was in the last stages of the disease, and about all hope was given up, a friend who had recently begun the study of Christian Science lovingly recommended that I try this Science as a last resort."

Then he relates that a practitioner was called who assured him that God did not make him sick and that Christian Science could heal him. He said: "My thought changed from that of death to the thought of life and getting well, and healing began at once. That evening I sat up to the table with a group of friends and partook of a hearty meal with great relish. For weeks previous I could hardly eat anything and was growing weaker every day." He continued, "In three months I gained more than forty pounds and was completely healed."

The great inner peace that came to him through this rejuvenation he described in these words: "Everybody and everything looked better to me than ever before, and I was learning to love my neighbor as myself. It was Godlike love which I was learning to express, the 'perfect love' that 'casteth out fear,' as the Scripture says."

 

Peace Not "Earthy"

Christ Jesus well knew there could be no peace "on earth," that is, in material beliefs; so he firmly announced his purpose to destroy the contrary claim of evil and said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword" (Matt. 10:34). To all earthiness faith in matter and material substance he brought a "sword," complete destruction! The sword of Christ is still here, for in the midst of this present period of world uncertainty, of aggression of godless ideologies, and of what seems to be a precarious state of world peace, can be recognized the dissolution of material beliefs which occurs before their nothingness appears; and rising above this seeming absence of a thoroughly stable mere human world-peace can be detected the stronger desires of mankind for true spiritual peace.

 

What We Can Do

Since a durable peace and a righteous government of the nations of the world must be established upon spiritual foundations, you may ask, "What may we, as those who accept as true and demonstrable the teachings of Christian Science, do to help bring about these desirable and vitally necessary conditions?" There are many things that we may do, many things that from time to time will be brought to light through right desire and clear thinking in other words, through praying aright. As our solid, unshakable basis for all our right efforts, we should spiritually understand and fully acknowledge, and put more and more into practice, the two great commandments, to have only one God and to love our neighbor as ourselves, and thus demonstrate more clearly to mankind the eternal fact that all men have one God, one Mind, one Life.

Then, lest we "leave the other undone," we should do everything we can as good citizens of our country and of the world to support all right efforts of our own government in cooperation with those of other nations to promote and establish permanent peace. We should never permit ourselves to think or voice the aggressive suggestion that permanent world peace is beyond our present attainment. We should work to see the spiritual fact that all war is an illusion of mortal mind. Then we shall use the most effective means of preventing its periodic recurrence in human experience by seeing the nothingness of this illusion. Finally, it should be our constant high purpose to reflect spiritually more of Truth, which uncovers and destroys evil and reveals that Soul-born peace which the Master promised. Then may we magnify it in our hearts by ever being a witness to it and prevent strife and promote peace in our own as well as in national and international affairs by following daily Mrs. Eddy's example as described simply, beautifully, and powerfully in her own words (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 220): "Each day I pray: 'God bless my enemies; make them Thy friends; give them to know the joy and the peace of love.' "

 

[Published in The West Tulsa (Oklahoma) News, July 26, 1951.]

 

 

HOME PAGE INDEX OF LECTURES