Its Correct View of God and Man Brings Healing
Harry B. MacRae, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
My friends, have you ever had the experience of having some disturbing question cleared up for you so suddenly and easily that you exclaimed, "Oh! I see"? Truly you had seen. The answer had appeared the instant your mental vision had clarified, the moment you had gained the correct view of the question. The purpose of this lecture is to help you in a practical and provable way to see how the correct view of God and man, that Christian Science gives us, heals the sick, redeems the sinner, and solves the problems of human experience.
Things Added Through Seeking God First
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, had an unwavering and demonstrable faith in God. It sprang from her brilliantly clear spiritual understanding of Him. Her discovery of Christian Science is essentially the revelation of the true nature of God, as divine Principle, and of man's oneness with Him, as His perfect idea. She defines Christian Science (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1) "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."
We accept in its literal as well as spiritual meaning the divine directive and the promise of attaining all good, given us by Jesus in these inspiring words (Matt. 6:33): "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
It is in the healing of disease and all other human ills through knowing the unreality of matter and the infinitude of God, Spirit, that Christian Science radically departs from scholastic theology, which offers only redemption from sin and leaves sickness to material remedies. Christian Science demonstrates and makes plain that true healing, in conformity with the Master's teachings, rests upon the spiritual understanding of God, as Father-Mother, as All-in-all, and of man as His perfect expression. It shows how this true knowledge of God brings to light the unreality of disease as well as sin, and thus destroys everything unlike God.
Spiritual Understanding of God Essential
These are the things added that
Jesus said would come through seeking first the
I should like to go a little further with this thought and tell you a little more comprehensively of the priceless value of understanding one's real selfhood from the spiritual standpoint. For the sake of brevity I shall deal with only three synonyms to illustrate how all seven can be used in the solution of any problem that may seem to confront us.
View of God as Mind
In Christian Science, we know God as divine Mind and man as idea, or the perfect expression of Mind. Briefly stated in the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 336): "Mind is the I am, or infinity." This divine Ego, or God, is infinite individuality and is reflected by man. You and I, then, in our true being, express this one Mind, God; in reality it is the only Mind we have. We express the power, presence, and law of Mind, not through Mind's division, but through our perfect reflection of Mind. There can never be any diminishing of Mind's completeness and allness, nor any lessening of man's expression of it. The sun remains intact, undimmed, and complete, though giving freely to all of its light, its expression; so Mind, God, being All, without depletion expresses within Himself His perfect idea, man and the universe. Thus our perfection, as God's idea, remains forever as perfect as the Mind that we express. Our true being, therefore, can never lapse into a state of lack or deterioration at any time. The understanding of this supplies us with the ever-present ability to dispel every illusion of mortal sense, appearing as lack of strength, lack of supply, lack of joy, lack of health, and the like, and then human consciousness perceives more clearly the unlimited good of God, that appears in our human experience as wisdom, abundance, health, and happiness.
View of God as Soul
Similarly, and yet with the infinite variety of God's manifestation, we reflect God, or Soul. Our spiritual identity, our true selfhood, expresses the purity, beauty, harmony, individuality, and immortality of Soul. In our individualized expression of Soul, God - that is, in our true being, as Soul's perfect idea, man - we embody all right ideas. This spiritual embodiment is the body of the real spiritual man. Spiritually understanding that, by reflection, man embodies the qualities of Soul, makes it possible for us to express them in ways of humanly needed good, such as greater immunity from sinful beliefs, less and less, susceptibility to the beliefs of sickness and disease, and fuller manifestation of supply.
View of God as Life
Christ Jesus taught and proved through healing and especially through his resurrection and ascension, that as God's idea, man must express divine Life. Life, God, being eternally true, His opposite, death, is untrue, and the conditions that appear to lead to death are unreal and nonexistent. Then, through the understanding of ever-existent Life, God, we can know that, in reality, our true being can never be diseased, deteriorate, grow old, or die. In holding fast to this indisputable fact, we demonstrate it in our daily lives. This accounts for the high degree of health among working students of Christian Science, as well as for the oft-noted fact that the belief of age is usually less evident with them; also that many of the beliefs associated with death, such as fear, sorrow, and separation, are being completely dispelled.
All Synonyms Provide Clear Views of God
In something of the same manner in which we have considered these three synonyms of God - Mind, Soul, and Life - we can find healing views of God and man in the other four synonyms - Spirit, Truth, Principle, Love. A consistent, thorough, consecrated study of them as presented in Science and Health will give you a present, provable, healing understanding, not alone of God, but of your true being, His idea. And this will help you to dispel fear, discouragement, despair, as well as all other errors that may seem to assail you, and will give you, instead, the confidence, right expectancy, and moral courage that make for a joyous, harmonious, abundant life.
Only One Right View
We are confronted, as you all know, with what appear to be two entirely opposed views of man: the spiritual and the material. Since God, Spirit, and matter are opposites, both of these views cannot be correct. One must be real and the other unreal; one true, the other false. Christian Science fully accepts and demonstrates the correctness of Christ Jesus' view of man as spiritual and perfect, and just as radically rejects the erroneous view of man as material and imperfect. The Master surely must have known that we could attain this goal, or he would not have given us the authoritative command (Matt. 5:48), "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He knew that the Christ-consciousness that we reflect could so clearly behold man's true, perfect, spiritual selfhood, that the unreal mortal - "the old man" mentioned by the Apostle Paul - could be "put off," that is, put out of consciousness.
Beneficial Effects of Putting Off the Old Man
As we put off this old man of limited mortal thinking, there is a liberation in thought. This first appears as a bettering of our individual human experience and has its effect upon the well-being of humanity in general. This betterment can be observed in the improvement of the standard of living that we are witnessing in our present day. The era in which we live is even referred to as the "age of science," or "the scientific age." But the remarkable development of human betterment in this twentieth century that has seemed to be the outcome of advanced and enlightened human thinking has been accompanied by a phenomenon of infinitely greater importance: a spiritual renascence, or rebirth, or what might be called a redemption from material thinking. In reality, it is the disappearing of the mortal and the appearing of that, alone, which is real, the spiritual: the expression of divine Mind, God.
Unreality of Matter and Reality of Spirit Revealed
Mrs. Eddy was the first one since the time of Christ Jesus to be able to interpret and explain these two totally opposed views: the spiritual and the material. In the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she writes (p. 268): "In the material world, thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought's swift pinions been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry. Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect." Even physical scientists are discovering and admitting greater accord of the truly scientific and the truly spiritual concepts of the universe. A famous physicist, Dr. Elwin Schrodinger, in his book "What Is Life?" makes this significant statement: "We cannot expect that the laws of physics . . . suffice straightaway to explain the behaviour of living matter. . . . We must be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing in it. Or are we to term it a nonphysical, not to say superphysical law?"
Here a famous physicist seems to infer that we must be prepared to find that life is not in matter and physical law, but in a law above the physical. He is, as are many other physical scientists, glimpsing what Christian Science declared and gave to the world nearly ninety years ago: the spiritual fact that the law of Life, God, the only law there is, must be and is spiritual and that not only is there no law of matter, but actually there is no matter, since all is Spirit. Christian Science makes clear that the account in the first chapter of Genesis of man created in the image and likeness of God is the Science and truth of the divine creation. It is the only true view of creation. It establishes as true the spiritual concept of man, the perfect, spiritual man, our real identity.
Healing View of Man
You may ask of what practical value to us now is this absolute view of our true nature. Christian Science enables us to know that it is not an unattainable and impractical ideal but a demonstrable fact. Jesus proved this and declared that we could also, if we but believed - that is, understood - the Christ, Truth, that he exemplified. So we are finding that understandingly holding to this spiritually perfect concept of our true being gives us the ability in ever greater degree to follow the footsteps of the Master. It is this scientifically right concept, or correct view of man, our real selfhood, that is the essence of all healing in Christian Science.
And, my friends, here is a convincing instance of such healing. A friend of mine has a little son who was afflicted from birth with crossed eyes, impaired sight, and generally retarded development.
She is a Christian Scientist and so, from the first, had sought healing for him through her own and others' prayers, or treatments, but with very little visible result. Then one night she attended a Christian Science lecture in a nearby city, not taking her son with her. The impressive truths that she heard greatly inspired and spiritually uplifted her thought without much conscious effort on her part. She found herself seeing everything from a much higher standpoint. However, she was not aware of having any specific thought about her son. It just seemed that she had a more open spiritual vision that permitted her to view life in a fresh, new light. A short time after her return home she had occasion to look at her son's eyes. Picture her joy and gratitude when she found that they were perfectly normal. But this was not all. A little later, on observing him, she discovered that he could walk, a thing he had not previously been able to do. The child was completely healed. His intellectual and physical development is in all respects normal. A convincing proof, you'll agree, that when, from the standpoint of Mind, God, we gain a clear view of man as His idea, we are instantly able to demonstrate the healing efficacy of divine power. How beautifully and accurately the following verse of Mrs. Eddy's illustrated poem entitled "Christ and Christmas" describes the divine mode of such healings:
"For Christian Science brings to view
The great, I Am, -
Omniscient power, - gleaming through
Mind, mother, man."
Timelessness of Truth Discovered
Truth is timeless. The Discoverer and Founder herself showed how clearly she knew its timelessness when she referred to its being as old as God. (See Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 24.) She taught the divine Principle of it to be God, as Jesus proved in his works. It is obvious, then, that what we are blessed with today in Christian Science is the same Christ, Truth, that the Master demonstrated throughout his entire healing and redemptive ministry. Then for a period of about sixteen hundred years this healing power of the Christ seemed almost dormant. In 1866 Mrs. Eddy discovered that it had never been absent for a moment though for centuries obscured by lack of spiritual perception. Her discovery has given us a fresh healing viewpoint as well as the "new tongue" of Spirit with which to express it. Of this new language she writes (Science and Health, p. 117), "God is Spirit; therefore the language of Spirit must be, and is, spiritual."
Spiritually Ascendant View Responsible for Discovery
When Mrs. Eddy, after reading in the Bible about Jesus' healing of the palsied man, relinquished all faith in matter and material laws and gained a clearer view of God's allness and ever-presence, she was healed of the effects of what at first appeared to be a fatal accident. Her instantaneous restoration to health amazed the solicitous friends who momentarily feared her passing. Nor was she, at that time, fully aware of just how she had been healed. However, that it was through divine power, she never once doubted. Subsequently she spontaneously achieved the spiritual ascendancy that culminated in such a comprehensive and profound understanding of the Science of this healing that she could write "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science. The buoyancy, freedom, and spontaneity of her thought that brought to fruition this momentous accomplishment and her recognition of the importance of the correct standpoint are eloquently described in these words of hers in Science and Health (p. 262):
"Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for 'where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' "
Works Reflect Spiritual View of Divine Love, God
The divine Love that she so constantly reflected can be seen as the sole impulsion and omnipresent, infinite power that vitalized her glorious deeds. The authorized biographies of this inspired woman, available in all Christian Science Reading Rooms, give well-authenticated accounts of these deeds. They clearly portray a long and active devotion to the well-being of her fellow men. She lived and exemplified the spirit of the Scriptural charge (James ): "Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."
Clear Light from the Bible
All students of Christian Science are obedient to the counsel and example of Mrs. Eddy in their faithfulness to the teachings of the Holy Bible.
The Bible, and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" are, to the devout student of Christian Science, inseparable companions. In private study as well as in public ministrations, they are used by Christian Scientists together. Mrs. Eddy ordained them pastor of her Church (Church Manual, p. 58). Through her clear spiritual discernment, she found, revealed in the Bible, the power of the Christ that heals.
Once, when asked if the Bible, read and practiced, would heal as effectively as Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy plainly showed that when the spiritual elevation of thought that Christian Science gives one is attained the demonstration of Truth can be made through the Bible, because one will then have the spiritual sense of it that is necessary to heal. But she also made it clear that Christian Science, the Christ Science, or "new tongue," became requisite because uninspired knowledge of the Bible had not imparted power to heal.
Today, countless healings are occurring through the spiritual light that Christian Science throws on Scriptural passages. The healing efficacy of the Bible, alone, was impressively demonstrated in the following experience of which I have firsthand knowledge. As you will note, the Bible reading was supported by the prayers of a Christian Science practitioner.
Liberating Power of the Bible Convincingly Proved
The wife of a man about to be
tried in Federal Court for participation in a
The trial was held, and that night it was rumored that the jury, eleven to one, was about to return a verdict of guilty. About , the wife frantically telephoned the practitioner and told him of this development in the situation. He assured her that error was powerless in the face of Truth. Then he asked her to get the Bible that she would find in her hotel room and unfalteringly to study the ninety-first Psalm, to read it and ponder it over and over, and he assured her that he would continue with his metaphysical work. About six in the morning she again telephoned him. She was almost overcome with joy as she related that they had telephoned her from the courtroom that the jury had just given their verdict of acquittal and that her husband was free. The Word of the Bible, understood through the obedience of the wife and the help of the practitioner, had given such a clear, correct view of man that complete protection from injustice for the innocent husband had been gained in the face of what had appeared as insurmountable obstacles.
When the prophet declared with fervor to God (Hab. ), "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity," he set forth a divine fact that is the basis of all true healing. If God cannot behold evil, He did not create it. Then it is not true and does not exist. Our spiritual understanding of this frees us from the disastrous effects of the false belief in its reality. Jesus demonstrated this throughout his ministry. He demonstrated the Christ, Truth. When, through our understanding of Christian Science, we come to know what Christ is and that the same Christ, Truth that Jesus proved in his healings is forever our Christ here and now, we learn that we are able to heal, according to the degree of our understanding, as he did. This definition of Christ in Science and Health (p. 583) plainly shows us why, for it reads: "Christ. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." The great spirituality and purity surrounding Jesus' birth enabled him to understand the Christ, the divine idea of God, more clearly than anyone else, yet his whole mission was to help everyone of us to understand God as he did so that we could emulate his works. Mrs. Eddy simply states his purpose and its accomplishment in these arresting words (Science and Health, p 25): "Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration, that we may understand how this divine Principle heals the sick, casts out error, and triumphs over death."
The Healing Christ
His healing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda was clear evidence of his perfect understanding that this man's thirty-eight years of belief in the reality of affliction could not prevent his immediate restoration to radiant health. He spoke with the authority of the Christ, and the healing was instantaneous. When the Jews questioned his right to heal on the Sabbath, he plainly showed them his authority in this remarkable statement (John ): "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." It was not the human Jesus that healed, but his spiritual individuality, the Christ, that reflected Immanuel, or "God with us." Jesus was consciously one with the Christ, and thus through him the Christ was revealed. Through this Christ-consciousness, Jesus could see perfection where imperfection seemed to be. This was his healing method, and it can be ours too as his words reveal. He said (John ), "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." You and I can successfully follow this method in the manner described in the textbook of Christian Science (Science and Health, pp. 476, 477): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." Anyone who has even a little understanding of this Christ Science can, to some extent, gain "this correct view of man" and through it heal the sick.
A Full Salvation†
Christian Science offers and enables its followers to demonstrate a full salvation. By "full" we mean a complete salvation, not alone from sin but just as surely from disease, frustration, sorrow, fear, and death. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts ), means much more than merely to acknowledge the Master and be redeemed from sin alone, although this is the general religious meaning of it. Christian Science gives it a higher meaning. It teaches that because God does not know error of any sort, He is not the creator of it, and since He is the creator of all that exists, error, regardless of its name or nature, is not true: that real salvation involves the destruction of error through the spiritual revelation that so uplifts consciousness that we are able to see the nothingness of all error and so be freed from the dire effects of believing in its reality.
We can prove only what is already true. Even the so-called physical sciences freely admit this. If two plus two equals four was not already a fact, it could not be proved. Then if man isn't already saved, salvation could not be demonstrated. Christian Science plainly shows that the real man, God's perfect idea, created in His image and likeness, is already perfect and, therefore, is already saved. His perfection, being eternally true, can be proved. This understanding of man's present perfection makes it possible for us to destroy the false mortal beliefs of sin and disease, to overcome fear, and daily to demonstrate more of our perfection. Does not this give greater significance to these words of the Apostle John (I John ): "Perfect love casteth out fear: . . . He that feareth is not made perfect in love"? Surely this inspired declaration points the way, through divine Principle, Love, to a full salvation.
True Prayer Heals
Demonstration more than definition explains prayer in Christian Science. No mere words can make prayer fully comprehensible. But demonstrating its power in healing the sick and reforming the sinner removes all doubt as to what prayer is and what it does. Prayer to God, Christian Science makes clear, is not for its effect upon God, but upon the one who prays. God does not do more, nor give more, proportionately as He is sought or unsought in prayer. It is not beseeching Him to do something for us but acknowledging that He has already done all, that constitutes prayer. The humble, fervent, silent, mental acknowledgment of God's allness and goodness, as well as of His omnipresence and omnipotence, makes His presence and His power evident in our human experience. We see its effects in its supplying of our human needs: the healing of sickness, the purifying of our thought, the enhancement of our abilities, and the provision of abundant living.
Prayer does not bring into existence more good but discovers or uncovers to our prayer-enlightened thought more of God's power and goodness that has forever existed. God is Love, as the Bible tells us. He is infinite and is infinitely expressed through man, His idea. Then to express divine Love, we must live love. As Mrs. Eddy beautifully expresses it in her book "No and Yes" (p. 39), "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection." She continues: "Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power."
True prayer is a spiritually mental activity, whether it is audible or inaudible. It is spiritual understanding that constantly and consciously maintains our awareness of the ever-presence and all-power of God. This spiritually right mental attitude that affirms the reality of good and the unreality of error is the Christian Scientist's obedience to the Apostle Paul's exhortation to "Pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). Does not this answer the thought sometimes expressed that Christian Scientists do not pray?
Christian Science Treatment
Prayer and treatment, in Christian Science, are synonymous. They are simply and comprehensively explained in two wonderfully powerful chapters in Science and Health, titled "Prayer" and "Christian Science Practice." If you will prayerfully study these chapters and gain the spiritual sense of them, you will be able to give an effective Christian Science treatment. At the beginning of each of these chapters is a quotation from Christ Jesus' words emphasizing that to have our prayers answered, we must believe, that is, spiritually understand. Heading the chapter on "Prayer" are these words of the Master's from Mark (): "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Introducing the chapter on "Christian Science Practice," also from Mark (, 18) are his words:
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shalt they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." In Christian Science, treatment is the understanding prayer that affirms God's allness and goodness, the perfection of His idea, man; denies the reality of all error; and, thus, heals the sick and meets every human need. My friends, a Christian Science treatment is acceptable to any one who sincerely believes in prayer as a means of availing ourselves of Godís power.
Let me tell you how a friend of mine proved this in a most impressive way. He was a devout Christian and thoroughly believed in prayer to God. However, he looked upon prayer more in the conventional light of a plea to God for withheld blessings than as an understanding acknowledgement of His ever-presence that heals the sick. Then he found himself faced with a most serious situation: he was fast losing his hearing. In his extremity, he turned to surgery. The discouraging result of this was the almost complete loss of his hearing. The doctors, in whose hands he placed himself, after doing their best regretfully informed him that nothing more could be done because essential parts of the ear were beyond recovery. In his despair and as a last resort, he looked to Christian Science and asked an authorized Christian Science practitioner for treatment. The practitioner, in his work, declared and acknowledged the ever-presence of divine Mind, God, and the perfection of His idea, man. He worked to know more clearly the true nature of ears, as defined in the textbook in these words (Science and Health, p. 585): "Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses, but spiritual understanding." He emphatically denied the false testimony of the mortal senses that there was, or could ever be, any loss of the divinely bestowed faculties of man. He affirmed the allness of Spirit, God, and the consequent nothingness of matter. He declared and held to the fact that the same Christ, Truth, that Jesus utilized, was the only power, presence, and law of this treatment. Work along this line was continued until the healing was brought about and his hearing restored.
This remarkable demonstration of the efficacy of Christian Science treatment, depending solely upon the spiritually understood power and presence of God, greatly impressed him. He gratefully concluded that here was the highest form of true prayer. Subsequently, he devoted more and more of his time to the study of Christian Science and learned how to continue to place his whole reliance upon it for meeting all his needs. Today he is happily and thankfully going forward as an active member of a Christian Science church.
Healing View of God, Man, and the Universe Attainable by All
During this hour we have touched on some of the important points in the teachings of Christian Science. You have God-bestowed ability spiritually to understand them, and when you do, they will give you the correct standpoint of all true existence. Your whole life will unfold on a higher, healthier, and happier basis. The Science of true being will be yours to answer the perplexing questions of existence, to solve the simple and difficult problems of your everyday human round of activities, to give you more radiant health that accompanies a clear view of, and fresh confidence in, the unbroken continuity of Life that is God. Your Christianity will be something more than a religious philosophy; it will be the way of Life given by Christ Jesus and proved demonstrable today, through Christian Science, in redeeming from sin, healing every disease, and supplying every normal need that you can possibly have. Remember, my friends, these are not far-off blessings that you may possibly gain in some dim, distant future; they can be yours today, through this fresh standpoint that, surely, is now attainable by each one of you. "When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis," declares Science and Health (p. 322), "we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle." This is the healing view of God and man, your true being that is yours to accept today.
[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, Nov. 11, 1954.]