Christian Science: Its Revelation of the Healing Christ

 

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

 

Delivered in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Sunday afternoon, September 25, 1949, under the auspices of Sand Springs Christian Science Society.

 

Introduction

The lecturer was introduced by Carl J. Francis, who said:

Friends: It is indeed a privilege and pleasure to welcome you here today to hear a Christian Science Lecture entitled, "Christian Science: Its Revelation of The Healing Christ," by Harry B. MacRae. Mr. MacRae is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

When one acknowledges the glorious fact of one mind and realizes his relation thereto, he relies with absolute confidence upon God's power to heal. He knows that the one infinite divine Mind, God, is All; that the divine law of life is in full and complete operation; that nothing unlike God exists in the reality of being; and because he knows the truth, he does not doubt success or fear failure.

Mr. MacRae:

 

The Lecture

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

In our day even as in yesterdays we hear the bewildered and fearful cry of many sufferers, "Oh, why am I not healed?" echoing the ancient plaint of the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites (Jer. 8:15, 22): "We looked for . . . health, and behold trouble! . . . Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?"

Why this unsatisfied cry of humanity for release from the bonds of disease, the heaviness of sorrow, and the distress of poverty? Why has mankind's search for this healing "balm" then and now been largely unsuccessful, as the prevalence of present-day afflictions indicates?

 

Healing a Certainty

An answer to these questions, to be worthy of acceptance, must include the evidence of its practicability. Statements unsupported by proofs, theories separated from practice, words without works, have never provided a satisfying answer, "Faith without works is dead," said the Apostle James (James 2:26).

Supporting its positive answer with proofs of healing and redemption for those who accept it, Christian Science declares and proves there is a "balm in Gilead." There is restoration of health, happiness, and peace of mind for all who seek it through the Christ, Truth, as revealed in this teaching. This "balm" is not something new; it is as old as God, as eternal as Truth, as infinite as Life, as all-embracing as Love; it is the healing and redemptive power of the Christ, made available and practical to a hungering world through the discovery of Christian Science. The proof of this divine Principle of healing is within reach of anyone who without bias or prejudice sincerely seeks it. Both sincere study and obedience to the divine rules of this Science are the prime requisites.

 

Christ Jesus, the Exemplar

In presenting this practical and demonstrable system of healing and redemption to this age, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, did not deviate in the least from the teachings and practice of Christ Jesus. She admonished her followers to follow her only to the extent that she followed Christ. The Master's answer to the question, "Is there no balm in Gilead?" was unequivocal; there was no misunderstanding of it. His deeds as well as his words answered it decidedly in the affirmative; his healings proved it. His entire healing ministry comprised the answer.

That he knew that this true healing power was available not only to himself in his day, but to everyone in all time who believed on him, is shown unmistakably in his words, "These signs shall follow them that believe." He sent forth his twelve disciples on their healing mission with these words (Matt. 10:8); "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." He made it clear that the ability to do the works that he did was within the reach of everyone who believed on him, in other words, who understood spiritually the Christ, Truth, which he demonstrated. How significant that Mrs. Eddy selected these very words of Jesus to be the legend on the golden seal that appears as a protective trademark on "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and Mrs. Eddy's other published writings and on publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society.

 

Spiritual Awakening Necessary

Christian Science is revealing to multitudes in this modern day that the spiritual awakening which it brings to the human consciousness dispels the illusions of sickness and sin so that healing appears. With divine naturalness it makes clear that this awakening is the recognition of the presence of the Christ, the divine idea of God, and the availability of this idea to guide, protect, and sustain us under all circumstances. The textbook refers to this change in human consciousness in these enlightening words (Science and Health, p. 230): "This awakening is the forever coming of Christ, the advanced appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick." The healings brought about through this awakening are conclusive proofs to those who are seeking the Christ through Christian Science that the same Christ, Truth, which Jesus demonstrated in his healing works, is here, now and always; that this Christ makes available and demonstrable the presence, power, and law of God, just as it did for Jesus two thousand years ago. As Mrs. Eddy tells us, "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God" (Science and Health, p. 271).

 

Christ and Jesus Explained

The eternal Christ, Truth, did not begin with the appearance of the human Jesus, nor did it end or disappear with the ascension. This Christ, the spiritual selfhood of Jesus, which is likewise made manifest in the real selfhood of each of us, continues to exist today and will exist eternally as the spiritual means whereby God becomes knowable and demonstrable to us. This spiritual knowledge and demonstration replace doctrine and dogma, which have no place in the Science of being.

Through spiritual consciousness, God is seen as Father-Mother, from whom man can never be separated. Everything needful and necessary to our happiness and well-being we find practicably manifested through our spiritual understanding of this divine relationship in which God and man are one, though distinct as cause and effect, Father and son. Through the enlightened thought which Christian Science makes possible, we find that Christ reveals our true nature as the sons of God. It is this understanding of the Christ that explains Jesus' motive and purpose in his inspiring prayer that our oneness with our Father-Mother God be revealed.

Could there be a clearer exposition of this relationship of God, man, Christ, and the universe than in these words of Jesus which John gives us (John 17:11): "And now I am no more in the world, . . . and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are"? Earlier in this same Gospel of St. John, the Master promised that the spirit of Truth would appear as the Comforter to those who kept his commandments. He said that with the appearing of this Comforter we would know that he was one with his Father and that we, too, were one with him and he with us.

 

Christian Science the Comforter

This Comforter, this spirit of Truth, which reveals our oneness with God, has appeared to this age as Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy was divinely assured of this fact. She stated it thus (Science and Health, p. 55): "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science." She proved it in the marvelous healings that she performed through her understanding that she was one with God through Christ. Here is the authority for our unwavering stand against everything unlike God. The eternal truth of our oneness with God, good, so clearly voiced by Jesus, constitutes the law of obliteration to every untoward circumstance or condition that can possibly confront us. Through intelligent application of this law we find that disease and sin of every sort can be put out of our experience.

It is the revelation of this same Christ, Truth, by which Jesus performed his marvelous works, that is enabling students of Christian Science through clear spiritual thinking to heal every malady and to destroy every form of error for which mortal mind claims existence.

 

Christian Science Treatment

The realizations of truth about God and man, which are sometimes designated Christian Science treatments, are prayers which reveal God and His goodness to us through the Christ. It is the Christ, the spirit of Truth, and not merely the words or the letter of truth, which brings to light our wholeness or health.

Let me here give a typical example of the method of Christian Science treatment given in the very words of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 390, 391), and then I shall tell you of a remarkable healing that followed the application of such a treatment: "When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the material senses with divine Science. . . . 'Agree to disagree' with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, consumption, or smallpox. . . . Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, 'Thou art whole!' "

 

A Remarkable Healing

Many years ago a lady of my acquaintance was in the last stages of tuberculosis. Here was a disease in an acute stage, beyond the help of any human or material remedy. Aid was sought in Christian Science as a last resort, and work was then taken up by a Christian Science practitioner. This work was done from the standpoint of the consciousness of the allness and perfection of divine Mind, God, and His idea, man. It was reasoned spiritually that the material symptoms, terrifying as they seemed to be, in reality meant nothing. They were but the false testimony of the five mortal senses, which never tell the truth about man, the perfect idea of God. What appeared so vividly, aggressively, and frighteningly to these senses had to be recognized in the light of Truth as dark images of mortal thought. They had to be seen as having no reality in God nor in His idea, man and the universe. This false plea of mortal mind was overthrown or cast out of consciousness under the continued faithful metaphysical work of the practitioner, work that declared the allness of God, good, and revealed the nothingness of the evil malady.

As confidence in good arose and more enlightenment came, the suffering one was enabled to obey the healing injunction in Science and Health (p. 390): "Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit." Steady progress was made, though not without much faithful effort; even discouragement raised its head at times. Finally, Christ's dictum, "Thou art whole," came as a voice within the liberated consciousness of the grateful one, and the complete and permanent healing appeared. Today, many years later, this lady is a healthy, strong, vigorous worker in the public practice of Christian Science.

 

Divinity of Christ

It is sometimes said by the uninformed that Christian Scientists do not believe in the divinity of the Christ. This false assumption is the result of failure to distinguish between Jesus, the great Nazarene, the human man who introduced Christianity to the world, and Christ, the spiritual selfhood of Jesus, the divine idea of God, which comes to heal and redeem. We not only believe in the eternal fact that Christ is divine, but we can prove it to be true through our understanding of Christian Science. We prove it daily in drawing upon the power of God through the Christ, Truth, to solve the problems that confront us. We also know that Jesus was the human man who, more than any other, presented Christ, the divine idea. He did this in healing the sick and sinning and in overcoming death. He knew that this same Christ, Truth, was the Christ which would be revealed to us, today, with the same healing results.

 

Understanding, Not Blind Belief

It was through his understanding of his Father-Mother God that Jesus derived his healing power. It is through understanding, and not through blind belief, that we obey his command to heal the sick. It is only through understanding, spiritual understanding, that we gain our true salvation.

Such understanding is the reflection of the one Mind, God. It is having that Mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus. It is through spiritual understanding, which is the only true thinking or knowing, that we are saved from the sin and sickness and error that seem to come into our experience as the result of wrong thinking. This wrong thinking is not true thinking, but merely false belief. True salvation, then, is gaining that consciousness of harmony, or heaven, to which the Master referred when he told us that the kingdom of heaven is within us. It is present, here and now, waiting only to be discerned by knowing that we have that Mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus. It is the coming, the appearing, of Christ, Truth, in individual human consciousness and its redemptive power manifested in healing as well as in the liberation from sin, that constitutes true salvation.

 

Jesus Exemplified Oneness

Now the so-called human sense of existence is fraught with many uncertainties, perplexing questions, and difficult problems. You will also agree, I am confident, that they have a very direct effect upon our happiness, health, prosperity, and peace of mind. If, in our attempts to be free from this mortal, material sense of things, we find ourselves trying to work it all out from the standpoint of a human, personal sense of selfhood, we very surely shall fail.

Christian Science, making clear the Christ-method, gives us the right premise from which to proceed in liberating ourselves. It is the standpoint from which Jesus looked out upon everything. He declared it when he said, "I and my Father are one." He yielded the human sense, represented by the human Jesus, to the divine sense, the Christ. This was not the human self ascending to the divine state. Rather was it his true divine self, at one with his Father-Mother God, appearing more and more clearly, and the consequent gradual disappearance of the material sense of self. Jesus' demonstration of the Christ, his spiritual self, is beautifully described in this short sentence in Science and Health (p. 25): "The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus."

 

Mortal Concept Yields to the Divine

Christian Scientists acknowledge Jesus as their Way-shower. In his healing ministry, his crucifixion, and his ascension, Christ Jesus was constantly replacing the materially personal concept of existence with the spiritual concept. Jesus said to his students, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). By this last statement he meant that he was daily departing from a material sense of being and doing, and was abiding more and more in the conscious sense of union with his Father, which enabled him to go through every experience without harm to himself. But more than this, his example so clearly illustrated the sustaining, liberating, and healing power of divinity, when understood by humanity, that all mankind has been the beneficiary of his example throughout the centuries since he walked with men in Galilee. That he was sustained by God throughout his experience few Christians would question. But that it was not a supernatural act of God, done exclusively for Jesus, is not so readily understood. Christian Scientists, however, have acquired such a spiritually enlightened concept of these experiences of the Master that they know and are proving that these acts, far from being supernatural, were divinely natural and were proofs that divinity brings to humanity such a clear understanding of the Christ-healing that no circumstance, condition, or situation can prevent man from expressing his true selfhood in wholeness or health.

 

Man's Oneness with God

Without exception, Christian religious teachings have always referred to God as a good God. How anomalous, then, to accept Him at the same time as a God of wrath, as a God who gives life and takes it away through death, as a God who creates good but at the same time knows and must therefore be the creator of evil. Christian Science presents the divinely logical fact that because God is good, is All, and is One, He cannot at the same time be a God of evil. "The Scriptures plainly declare," Mrs. Eddy tells us (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 93), "the allness and oneness of God to be the premises of Truth, and that God is good: in Him dwelleth no evil."

This Science of oneness reveals and demonstrates the unity of God and man, Principle and idea. When this divine relationship is understood and practiced, conflict and contest, affliction and friction, disappear. The United Nations and other world organizations are struggling from a human standpoint to weld together the interests of differing national groups. True unity will be attained when man's oneness with God and his fellowman, as Christian Science reveals it, is better and more widely understood. In an analogy to one of the world's greatest documents of freedom, the English Magna Charta, Mrs. Eddy makes clear the importance of understanding the unity of God and His idea, man. She writes (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 246, 247): "The Magna Charta of Christian Science means much, multum in parvo, - all-in-one and one-in-all. It stands for the inalienable, universal rights of men."

To think in terms of reality, we must reflect the one Mind, God; we must know that He is the only Mind, the only intelligence. Thus we obey the First Commandment. Our understanding and reflection of God as divine Mind is the measure of our obedience to this commandment. Just to the degree that we understand God do we demonstrate the one Mind in our experience. As we become more spiritually-minded, we become more Godlike.

Only by rising above materiality can this be seen and demonstrated. "Darkness and doubt encompass thought, so long as it bases creation on materiality," the textbook (Science and Health, p. 551) declares. "From a material standpoint, 'Canst thou by searching find out God?' " The answer must be No.

Even material scientists, who have spent their entire lives in the study of matter and material forces, are admitting that creation cannot be based upon materiality, although they still try to reconcile matter and Spirit. The very fact, however, that they admit that spiritual power is responsible for the existence of the universe is significant.

Recently, Dr. Robert A. Millikan, Nobel Prize winner and retired president of the California Institute of Technology, gave his views at a meeting of the American Physical Society. He held that "a purely materialistic philosophy is . . . the height of unintelligence." Some of the country's leading physicists heard him say that "wise men in all ages have seen enough to at least make them reverent."

The understanding of God is a continuously unfolding revelation, because He is infinite. This revelation can have neither beginning nor ending; it cannot be finite or limited; but it is now within our reach through spiritual understanding. The beloved Apostle John scientifically answered the question, "What is God?" in his immortal words (I John 4:8, "God is love." This transcendent definition of God explains the basis on which Christ Jesus' ministry of healing and redemption was based. It is on this basis that proofs of his teachings are made today in Christian Science. Christian Scientists do not claim to have reached the fullness of Christian Science in demonstration. We do know, however, that as a result of its discovery and of our growing understanding of it, we are living more abundant lives, are manifesting more health, are overcoming sin, and are proving the presence and availability of true supply to meet every human need.

To John's perfect and complete definition of God, it is possible to add various views of the nature and essence of God by means of other defining terms. Prophets, seers, and apostles in Bible days threw clearer light on God's nature through inspired statements that came to them. In this present day the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science by means of certain synonymous terms has given an all-embracing definition of God. No more comprehensive definition of Deity could be given. It reads (Science and Health, p. 465), "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love."

 

God, Expressed, Is Healing

The question might be asked: In what ways does a clear definition of God prove helpful to us in our so-called human experience? It might be answered that it is essential in gaining a more correct and spiritual concept of God and, therefore, of His idea, man, including the universe. I think we can all agree that the nature of cause is expressed by its effect. Christian Science teaches that God is expressed through His ideas. It teaches that when we understand God clearly and spiritually through His thoughts and ideas, we avail ourselves of His power, presence, and law in healing the sick and saving the sinner. Understanding that God is Mind gives us a clearer view of Him as the only source of intelligence and wisdom. In proportion as we discern this, we become aware that life and intelligence cannot be outside of Mind, God; therefore there can be no intelligence or life in matter. Removing the misconception that matter has any power whatever makes it possible for us to apprehend more clearly that the facts of being are comprised in the ideas of the divine Mind, God, and so are eternal, spiritual. Sickness and sin are then seen to be mortal beliefs, the products of a suppositional mentality, called mortal mind. Thus the unreality of these beliefs is established, and the recognition of their nothingness appears in what we call healing. This is an illustration of the practical value of knowing God as Mind. Christian Science teaches that the so-called material creation is a counterfeit of the true. "Matter," says Science and Health (p. 279), "is neither created by Mind nor for the manifestation and support of Mind."

The declaration and acknowledgment that God is Spirit and is All must involve the abandonment of matter as a reality. The more clearly God is seen as Spirit, the freer we become from the inhibiting so-called laws of matter. Our divinely established sinlessness, purity, and immortality become more apparent with our ever-clearing concept of God as Soul.

 

The Science of Healing Revealed

Although the initial glimpse of the practicability and availability of God's healing power was so clear that Mrs. Eddy immediately gained her own healing and found health and freedom, the full understanding of the Science of this healing did not come to her immediately. For a period of three years following her discovery she largely withdrew from social contacts and gave her entire time and effort to searching the Scriptures for a positive rule. Her own words in Science and Health clearly and beautifully describe what she was seeking and how she found it. She wrote (p. 109), "I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration."

The result of her withdrawal and search was the discovery of Christian Science, the reducing of it to a system and the writing of Science and Health. Mrs. Eddy's only source of inspiration and her only authority and aid in the unfoldment of the divine facts of being was the divine Mind, God. The Bible alone was her textbook. Upon its inspired Word she relied exclusively. Convincing evidence of the divine origin of Christian Science has been the healing and redemption that have followed its right use through more than eighty years.

 

Founding Events

Because she knew its author to be God, Mrs. Eddy was not, to use her own expression (Miscellany, p. 115), "super-modest" in her estimate of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science, which she published in 1875. One of her many positive statements of its value to humanity is this one in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 372): "The fact remains, that the textbook of Christian Science is transforming the universe." Following the publishing of this book, the establishment of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1879, marked the beginning of the fulfillment of its purpose "to commemorate the words and works of our master" (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 17). Today the world is beginning to recognize that this Church with its many activities is truly reinstating the pure Christianity which the Master taught and practiced and is restoring its healing element, which had seemed lost for so many centuries.

 

Spiritual Rebirth

It was what Jesus knew of the divine facts of true existence that made him the Christ, what he knew of his Father-Mother God and of his oneness with Him. He taught that this true knowledge of man's divinity as the perfect expression of perfect Mind, God, was available to everyone. He knew and taught that as the Christ, Truth, dawns in the consciousness of each of us, our redemption from the so-called laws of mortal mind, or the carnal mind, would be progressively experienced; that this new birth is a present possibility for each one of us, here and now. Whenever suffering awakens us to the unreality of error or Truth makes clear its nothingness, we are reborn of Spirit. Referring to this, our Leader tells us in Science and Health (p. 548), "This is the new birth going on hourly, by which men may entertain angels, the true ideas of God, the spiritual sense of being."

 

The Discoverer's Preparation

The full significance of this "new birth" has been made clear to this age by the discovery of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy is its Discoverer and Founder. It was her healing from an accident, an extremity that threatened her mortal existence, which was the immediate cause of Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science. Her discovery was the culmination of her life search for Truth. She writes in Science and Health (p. 107), "God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing."

When in 1866 her discovery was made that the power, presence, and law of God was available and applicable here and now for the healing of disease and the meeting of every human need, she promptly recognized and stated the source of this "heavenly conviction" that had come to her. Using the words of the Apostle Paul, she said that it (Science and Health, p. 108) "was 'the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.' "

Each of her accomplishments fits in perfectly as an integral part of her whole work as Founder of the Cause that is revolutionizing world thinking. All of the authorized activities and functions of The Mother Church and its branches, which Mrs. Eddy from time to time brought into being, are governed by the Church Manual, which includes the Rules and By-Laws of the Church government. The Christian Science Board of Directors, which Mrs. Eddy established, sees that the provisions of the Manual are carried out according to her written wishes.

 

Many Activities Established

Many of you here tonight will recognize in one or more of these important activities the means through which your attention first was called to Christian Science and through which its healing power first became available to you. What higher, more spiritual views of God and man have been gained from the Lesson-Sermon; what comfort has come to you at either the Sunday or Wednesday evening church service; what haven have you found in the Reading Rooms; what healing messages have appeared before you as you opened the pages of The Christian Science Journal, the Sentinel, or the Herald! How true a picture of the affairs of your fellowman in your country and in the world has been given you from the accurate journalistic reports in that great international daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor! Perhaps it has been your privilege to have had class instruction under an authorized Christian Science teacher. Perhaps in your youth you attended the Christian Science Sunday School, where a spiritual understanding was early gained of the Ten Commandments, of the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation by Mary Baker Eddy, of the Sermon on the Mount, and of the Lesson-Sermons published in the Christian Science Quarterly.

Lectures delivered by The Christian Science Board of Lectureship have given authentic healing facts concerning our Leader and the teachings of Christian Science. The Christian Science Committees on Publication throughout the world are courageously and lovingly protecting the public from impositions and incorrect statements concerning Mrs. Eddy and Christian Science.

Perhaps from a clearer view of Mary Baker Eddy and her works you may share the feeling expressed by Mark Twain: "Christian Science is humanity's boon. . . . She [Mrs. Eddy] has organized and made available a healing principle that for two thousand years has never been employed except as the merest kind of guesswork. She is the benefactor of the age" (Clara Clemens in her biography "My Husband Gabrilowitsch," quoting her father, Mark Twain).

How unreservedly Mrs. Eddy depended upon the Bible for inspiration is seen in the following statement, which she made when telling of the writing of the textbook (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 114): "I consulted no other authors and read no other book but the Bible for about three years."

 

The Bible

Christian Scientists love the Bible and accept it as the authority for their teachings. Many prominent religious teachers have made public acknowledgment through the years that there are no more diligent or consecrated students of the Bible than Christian Scientists. Their study is not prompted nor sustained by any superstitious impulse; it is not pursued merely as a duty. They study the Bible because they find therein inspired directions for right living and a guide to immortality and because they find that the daily study of it in the spiritual light of Christian Science heals sickness and enables them to live a more abundant life.

The most highly prized and most dearly held possessions of a Christian Scientist are the textbook, which its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, aptly and appropriately named "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and the Bible. Because of its scientific approach to the Scriptures, Christian Science does not rely upon personal opinions for the interpretation of the Bible. A physical scientist does not apply the physical laws pertaining to his physical science through personal opinion or emotional impulse but according to the science itself; in other words, he seeks the truth about it. Likewise, the Christian Scientist reveals the law of God as set forth in the Bible through the Science of God's law or divine Science. Christ Jesus perfectly demonstrated this Science or Truth, and Mrs. Eddy correctly designated it Christ Science or Christian Science.

From this standpoint of the teachings of Christian Science the inspired truth of the Bible appears in its unblemished purity. Proof that it is the true interpretation lies not in mere human argument but in reason and in demonstration. Hence Christian Scientists, while granting to everyone the right to his own opinion or interpretation of the Bible, never for a moment question the correctness of the revelation of its truths as they have found them in Christian Science. Their confidence and assurance are impregnably fortified by undeniable proofs: the healing of sickness, the redemption of sinners, and the abundant and endlessly appearing supply of good that come into their experience as the result of their scientific obedience to the Word of God.

Once, in answering a public misrepresentation of Christian Scientists as a "prayerless" people, Mrs. Eddy referred to two verses of Scripture as voicing her thought of prayer (Matt. 6: 5,6): "When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. . . . But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

 

The Prayer of Soul

True prayer does not consist merely of the words that utter it. Something above mere words constitutes prayer. Christ Jesus taught his disciples only one prayer in words - the Lord's Prayer; but by thought and deeds his whole life was a limitless example of ceaseless prayer, not only for his disciples but for all mankind throughout all time.

How does prayer benefit, bless, and heal us? That may be the question on the lips of multitudes, even as they are uttering their prayers. That this question is correctly answered in the teachings of Christian Science is verified by the continued success of its healing mission among men. Let us consider the answer which Christian Science gives. Although it is the Lord's Prayer, the "prayer of Soul," that is here considered specifically, what is said applies equally to all true prayer.

 

How to Use the Lord's Prayer

Mrs. Eddy calls the Lord's Prayer (Science and Health, p. 14) "the prayer of Soul, not of material sense," and she also refers to it as the "prayer which covers all human needs" (p. 16). In the paragraph in Science and Health just preceding the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation, she writes (p. 16), "Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord's Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick."

In order to reach the spiritual consciousness and unselfed desire for good so plainly demanded by this prayer of prayers, we must turn thought away from whatever would dull our spiritual sense. It follows, then, that we must reverse whatever the five material senses tell us if we would find healing and redemption through prayer. But how can this be accomplished? Surely not by means of these same senses. They tell us nothing real about our true spiritual selfhood. It must be through a change of concept from the material to the spiritual.

Mrs. Eddy gives us this spiritual sense of the Lord's Prayer in Science and Health (p. 16). When we say, "Our Father which art in heaven," do we rightly strive for the true concept of ourselves as the idea, the reflection of divine Mind as expressed in the words of the textbook, "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious"? When we glorify His name with our words, "Hallowed be Thy name," do we identify ourselves with Him who is One and is All by seeing Him spiritually as "Adorable One"? Do we allow the human material sense of petitioning for good in the future to dim the divine sense of the ever-presence of God and His universe when we pray, "Thy kingdom come"? Or do we accept without reservation the eternal fact expressed in the spiritually interpreting words of Science and Health, "Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present," and thus know divine Love and its full expression to be present now and always?

Our Master's prayer throughout appears in more of its inherent, native, spiritual brilliance through the understanding of it which Christian Science has given us. It will be seen that its petitions for bestowals of more good are, in their true spiritual light, declarations and acknowledgments of the unlimited presence and availability of that good now.

Thus to pray aright, we must find that for God's will to be done here "in earth" as "in heaven," we must know spiritually through God-given ability that there is no power but good, God, here and now and always; that He is omnipotent, now. When such true concept of prayer is obtained through the spiritual enlightenment gained in Christian Science, it will be found that there is no problem or difficulty, whether physical, financial, or emotional, but will yield.

A student once found herself in such an extreme sense of suffering that she seemed unable to lift her thought above it. It seemed that pain engulfed her very being. Then it was that she began to go over the Lord's Prayer, the "prayer of Soul," in something of the manner just recounted. By the time she had reached the conclusion of the prayer, she suddenly was aware that she was completely free from suffering.

This marvelous, sudden, and complete liberation left her with such a sense of joy, strength, and spiritual purification that to her the reign of harmony, the kingdom of heaven, within became a demonstrable fact. With rejoicing and gratitude she was able to go through an active day of important duties in complete freedom. Thus she had seen the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah's assurance (Isa. 58:9. ''Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am."

 

Conclusion

This revelation of the healing Christ is now made clear through Christian Science. It is surely within the reach of each of you. To those of you who accept it and who begin the demonstration of it in your daily lives, it can be said in our Leader's words (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 151): "Glorious things are spoken of you in His Word. Ye are a chosen people, whose God is - what? Even All. May mercy and truth go before you: may the lamp of your life continually be full of oil, and you be wedded to the spiritual idea, Christ; then will you heal, and teach, and preach, on the ascending scale of everlasting Life and Love."

 

[Published in The West Tulsa (Oklahoma) News, Sept. 29, 1949.]

 

 

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