Christian Science Reveals the City of
George W. Martin. C.S.B. of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The true and only way to real security is available now; and is set forth in the revelation of spiritual truth contained in the Scriptures, said George W. Martin, C.S.B., of Melbourne, in a Christian Science lecture in Boston last night.
Speaking in The Mother Church, The
First Church of Christ, Scientist, in
Mr. Martin's subject was
''Christian Science Reveals the City of
"A verse from the familiar hymn by Samuel Johnson reads,
'In vain the surge's angry shock,
In vain the drifting sands;
Unharmed upon the eternal Rock,
The heavenly city stands.'
(Hymn 37, Christian Science Hymnal)
"Today Christian Science
offers to peoples of every 'age and clime' the way of freedom from the 'surge's
angry shock' of aggression and tyranny on the one hand and the 'drifting sands' of frustration and resignation
on the other. And so in this hour may
we listen with open mind to the lecturer who will tell us how we may
obtain the peace and security to be found in this 'City of
"It is a pleasure to
introduce our lecturer, George W. Martin, of
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
From every corner of the earth, from the people of every nation without exception, there comes a heart-rending cry for a place of refuge. This universal appeal for a sanctuary from the storm is an acknowledgment that the material concept of security has proved a complete failure; that in worldly possessions and material prosperity there is no rest, no lasting peace, no permanent joy, no real satisfaction. It is generally conceded that security should be the right of every individual. If we turn to the Scriptures we find that real security has been provided for everyone. Note these encouraging words: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee" (Isa. 26:3). Not in matter is this perfect peace to be found. The condition, which is inseparable from the promise, clearly shows that all who are constant in their efforts to permanently abide in the "secret place of the most High" will surely find that security so widely sought and that freedom from fear so greatly needed.
It is imperative to realize that this holy city wherein evil is unknown cannot be comprehended through material sense testimony. This mortal sense being the avenue through which mankind experiences evil, including sickness, dominion over all that would enslave and destroy an entry into the consciousness wherein such evil thoughts have no place can be gained only through spiritual understanding. That moment in the life of any individual when he or she determines to accept only the evidence of spiritual sense and to entirely repudiate and reject the evidence seen or felt through the material senses, that moment is one of the greatest in his or her experience. All who take this stand for righteousness are following the steps of the most Christly and also the most practical man the world has known, for Christ Jesus on no occasion accepted the evidence of the physical sense as testifying to the truth of being. In foretelling the coming of the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah (11:3) stresses this fact in very plain words. He writes, "He [the Messiah] shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears." Are not the sight of the eyes and the hearing of the ears merely the evidence of the physical senses? Our Master refused to bow down to or to be bound by this false sense testimony. Looking through the lens of spiritual understanding, he saw abundance where others saw limitation, and five thousand people were fed; he saw health and harmony when others were conscious of pain and disease, and the sick were healed; he saw life where others could see only death and, halting a funeral procession, Jesus restored to a widowed mother her only son. "One with God is," indeed, "a majority," on all occasions.
Answer to World's Cry for Peace
The Master's practical life and
the vision of
When we are ready to relinquish
the temporal for the eternal, we shall be uplifted to that spiritual altitude
of thought from which is visible divine Love's manifestation of eternal
harmony, described by St. John as the city which "lieth foursquare."'
This city of
Solid Foundation Essential
A philosopher of ancient
The city described in the Revelation of St. John has four definite sides. These sides are defined in Science and Health (p. 575) as "the Word, Christ, Christianity, and divine Science." A simple interpretation of the four terms may be given as:
The Word: Truth declaring itself through spiritual inspiration.
Christ: The impersonal expression of the presence and power of God through the divine nature.
Christianity: The mode or system of living the Christ-spirit in daily experience.
Divine Science: The wedding of the Word, or divine declaration, to all human thought and action through demonstration (see The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 153).
These four sides of our city of refuge are worthy of deep consideration, for when understood they protect from that which would hurt or destroy. Let us look at these four sides for a moment or two:
The Word. − In his second epistle to Timothy (,17) Paul writes; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." That which is mortal or material in men does not seek spiritual inspiration, nor does it take kindly to reproof or instruction in righteousness. The carnal always opposes the spiritual. Nevertheless, instruction in righteousness, in right thinking, right living, and right doing must precede any satisfactory and lasting change in human affairs. Each day students of Christian Science fervently pray: ". . . may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 41) The Word of God has withstood the shock of centuries, and it will survive all evil efforts to discredit and destroy it. "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth," wrote the prophet Isaiah, as he glimpsed the destruction of materiality. But he also saw that "the word of our God shall stand for ever." We have not fathomed the full depths of the knowledge of God contained in the Bible, but spiritual inspiration will continue to unlock its treasures. Spiritual inspiration interprets this side of the holy city.
The Four Walls of Salvation
Christ is the second side of the city we are considering. In the ratio of one's understanding of the impersonal Christ does he clothe himself with the divine nature, and in that degree is he able to demonstrate spiritual power. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health (p. 316), we find these words: "Christ illustrates that blending with God, . . . which gives man dominion. . . ." A dictionary defines the word "blend" as, "mix so as to become inseparable and indistinguishable: become one: pass imperceptibly into each other." As we put on more of the divine nature, we shall become firmly implanted in the living, deathless Christ. Thus will each individual recognize himself as God's very image, and with this recognition will unfold all that is required to demonstrate the divine capacity,
Christianity as a demonstrable life is the only solution to the world's problems and therefore to pressing individual questions. To accomplish its holy purpose Christianity must be whole, without even one chink or crevice through which envy, fear, self, hate, pain, sin, sickness, or any evil thought may enter. Christianity is Christ-like not only in so far as it preaches the Word, but rather as it repeats the works of the Master. True Christianity makes men so conscious of God's omnipotence and their oneness with their Father-Mother God that they love all with whom they come in contact. This healing love scatters unchristian fears and infuses into life's actions the spirit of the Christ.
The fourth and final side of the city is divine Science, which is destined to unite "all periods in the design of God" (Science and Health, p. 271). God's revelation to Mary Baker Eddy of the Science of Christianity, brings to the present age a demonstrable understanding of the teachings of the Master, and weaves the period in which we are living into the all-inclusive design of the infinite Mind. Students of Christian Science, through the spiritual interpretation of the Word as given in their textbook, Science and Health, and their persistent faithful effort to merge their human activities into a fruitful Christly experience are proving, through demonstration, that Christ's Christianity is efficacious today. Thus are they reinforcing their four walls of salvation, "here a little, there a little."
Man Is Expression of Perfect Cause
Human reasoning naturally plays an important part in the development of the race. But human reasoning of itself, even if based on goodness, is insufficient to apprehend this refuge from the ills "which flesh is heir to," When imbued with an impelling desire to rise above the fog of ignorance into the realm of spiritual understanding, reason can indeed bring great blessings to mankind. When rightly directed it leads thought away from the material into the vestibule of Soul, where God is revealed. Before the divine qualities are able to find expression, human reasoning requires to be humbled, purified, and exalted through spiritual revelation. It must be based on the understanding of the true facts of spiritual existence, namely, that God being the all and only cause, man, His spiritual idea, is the perfect expression of a perfect cause. Man's harmonious existence, therefore, is ever maintained by that perfect cause. Mrs. Eddy, in referring to her search for and discovery of Christian Science, writes in her textbook (p. 110), "The Scriptures were illumined; reason and revelation were reconciled, and afterwards the truth of Christian Science was demonstrated." If you have struggled seemingly in vain to overcome a condition of lack, pain, or disease, maybe you have been endeavoring to overcome the error through human reasoning which, of itself, is incapable of demonstrating spiritual healing. To quote Mrs. Eddy's statement in "Miscellaneous Writings'' (p. 352) "There is not sufficient spiritual power in the human thought to heal the sick or the sinful." The reconciliation of the human and the divine, of reason and revelation, results in a purified consciousness. This purification of thought dispels the erroneous belief from consciousness and frees the body of disease. As we put on more of the divine nature, human reasoning will decrease and spiritual revelation increase, until we rise to that spiritual altitude where man's perfection is never challenged.
When we reach this spiritual
altitude we shall not say, "I am sick," for the inhabitant of God's
city of eternal harmony is spiritual man − your individual real selfhood.
This man, God's very image, is not material. Christian Science declares man is
infinite consciousness individualized. Consciousness is not comprised of
matter. Therefore in this city of
Material Existence Is False Picture
Unintelligent matter cannot declare the presence of accident, pain, sickness. It is mortal mind or the carnal mind which voices these erroneous claims. And the mortal mind in each individual urges acceptance of the claim as it hangs on the wall of consciousness its own pictures of inharmony. The Master's life was free of disease, lack, accident, because there was no mortal mind in him to respond to its own suggestions. When you are conscious of possessing that Mind which was in Christ Jesus and which gave him his authority, there will be nothing within you upon which the aggressive suggestions of mortal mind can feed, and your life will be a visible expression of that peace which passeth understanding. In God's kingdom there is neither too much nor too little. Therefore, His children are not conscious of limitation, nor do they need to hoard, for the all-seeing supplies their every need every moment. Material existence, with its contradiction of abundance here and lack there, is but a false mental picture of God's orderly government and His loving care for His creation. In feeding the multitude, Christ Jesus demonstrated that abundance is everywhere to those who possess spiritual perception. Spiritual man, being one with God, must of necessity be one with good in all its fullness. God gave man dominion. This rather neglected gift of divine Love, recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, is the birthright of every individual in this audience. God's wisdom is your wisdom, Spirit's substance is your substance, and whatever substance and wisdom you require to give effect to your nobler ideals are at hand every moment. Christian Science teaches that as men identify themselves with infinity they will find release from the shackles of limited knowledge, limited capacity, limited supply, and limited health. True consciousness, the Christ-consciousness, knows no limitation. Man, being the infinite expression of the all-inclusive, all-knowing Mind, knows exactly what he requires to know at the very moment this knowledge is essential to his progress.
Enemies are unknown to those who
reside within this city of eternal peace. Each inhabitant is the image and likeness
of divine Love, whose holy presence glows within the heart of each idea. Mrs.
Eddy, in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 8), asks this very pertinent
question: "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and
then look upon the object of your own conception?" If anyone is conscious
of having an enemy, he is no longer an inhabitant of the royal city, for that
which defileth or maketh a lie cannot find lodgment in the consciousness of any
idea residing within the four walls of the city of
Has it ever occurred to you that the things we are liable to have taken from us in this human experience are those which follow immediately the word "my," such as, my health, my money, my work, my sight, my child, my life. Martin Luther is reputed to have said: "I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands that I still possess." The moment a man personalizes anything, he takes possession of it and creates in his own thought a sense of limitation. Then he fears that the form, place, or thing he has personalized may be taken from him, and he executes many human plans to protect himself from a possible loss which is of his own creating. Personalizing good merely limits goodness. It never increases the good we may do. Personalizing evil, including sickness, only makes the false claim seem so much stronger and more difficult to overcome. Personal sense is of the devil. It inculcates greed, hate, lust, pride, self-justification, domination, and a host of other errors. Personal sense builds around the one who entertains its suggestions a superstructure of materialism which hides the individual's pure spiritual selfhood in a maze of contradictions of good and evil, success and failure, kindness and cruelty. For its own selfish end it would destroy the very foundation of the Hebrew Decalogue upon which civilized society bases its highest concept of government. Personal sense puts self up, others down, and thus sweeps aside the impersonal Golden Rule. Christian Science teaches that personal sense can be overcome by a more faithful adherence to the First Commandment, a more generous interpretation of the Golden Rule, and total obedience to divine Principle. Love, in its highest and purest sense, must be impersonal, seeking its own in the good of others. True service also has no thought of personal gain. Freedom from this earth weight, personal sense, permits thought to rise into the presence of divine Love where self-interest vanishes and boundaries disappear in the realization of universal brotherhood. The world will indeed be a much happier place when the word "our" replaces the selfish "me" and "mine."
Prayer Affirms God's Omnipotence
It is through scientific impersonal prayer that those who are seeking God's city of harmony maintain their freedom from disease and their dominion over fear. They are learning to be instant in prayer, to pray diligently, intelligently, affirmatively. In a brief sentence, the Christian Science textbook (p. 32) reveals the method adopted by Christ Jesus. We read, "Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views." Withdrawal from the material senses − this is the prayer which lifts us to that state of consciousness so at one with God and His harmonious government that any seeming discord fades out of thought and, in consequence, out of human experience, as the Father's loving care for His child unfolds in its completeness. This clear vision of ever-present perfection maintained by ever-operative spiritual law can never be gained so long as our prayers are petitions to have this or that changed. Prayer is a purifying of our own thought that we may better see what God is and what He has already done. True prayer is looking through the microscope of perfection into the real and eternal. And when we look deep into realism what do we find? We find the beauty of holiness; we find a universe peopled with spiritual ideas, all obedient to infinite Love under the government of Principle, with no error to overcome, no contest to wage. Was it not by looking beyond the material that Christ Jesus accomplished his remarkable works? In John () the Master informs us that the Son can do only "what he seeth the Father do." By looking deep into realism you will witness the works of God in all their majesty. As God's reflection you will see what God sees, and God sees only perfection, and you will do what God would have you do. Scientific impersonal prayer affirms God's omnipotence and in deep humility says, "Not my will, but thine, be done."
On more than one occasion Christ Jesus made it very clear that a profession of faith or even of understanding is not sufficient to attain eternal life; that doing is living. It is recorded in Luke's Gospel () that a lawyer approached the Master with a question which is near the heart of every individual. The question put to Jesus was: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" To ascertain his questioner's state of consciousness, Jesus asked him if he had studied the Mosaic law and also what he had derived from it. The lawyer replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Jesus commended the reply and then spoke six words of great importance not only to the enquirer of that day, but to all humanity today. These words are, "This do and thou shalt live." This brief sentence hints that action reaches the heart of divinity more quickly than speech. Action, in obedience to divine Mind's direction, is the only road to eternal life. Such action commences with faith and leads through understanding to an impersonal love, deep, broad, and all-inclusive. Action in response to Love's entreaty liberates from that which incapacitates thought. True living is Life in action, and as God is Life, man's real life, your real life, is the evidence of God, Mind, in action.
Mrs. Eddy Sought Spiritual Facts of Being
All thinking people are conscious of and grateful for the God-inspired pioneers who, with profound faith, faced unforeseeable dangers and hardships in order that we should have the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of conscience. We owe a debt of deep gratitude to those brave hearts. Their faithfulness illumined the pathway along which we have traveled in our individual search for the understanding of Christ, and we owe to them the same sincere and courageous action as we play our part in preserving this precious freedom. They put something of their very being into their search for God. Without this self-abnegation, all human effort dies unfulfilled. Whatever obstacles hindered their desire to know more of God were thrust aside by these heroic disciples, and with complete confidence in divine guidance they stepped into the unknown, seeking and finding. Such a disciple was Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. From childhood she took a decided interest in the deeper things of life − the spiritual − and her mother cultivated the child's natural love of God. Quietly and unobtrusively she continued her inspired search for the spiritual facts of being. The long quest finally came to an end when, alone with the Christ, Mrs. Eddy rose out of the valley of death and ascended the rugged pathway up the mount of revelation. When the summit was reached, she was ready, and into her consciousness quietly stole the dawn of the spiritual reality of all being. Standing where no thought has rested since the days of our Master, Mrs. Eddy discovered the lost chord of Truth, the Principle of heavenly harmony so evident in the healing work of Christ Jesus. Thus came Christian Science to this age.
Abraham has been called the friend of God, because God frequently revealed Himself to the prophet and also because he was prepared to sacrifice everything for his understanding of God. May we not in like manner humbly speak of the close friendship which must have existed between God and Mary Baker Eddy for her to have received from infinite Mind the deep secrets of God's allness? Like Abraham, Mrs. Eddy, placing her earthly all at the service of God, listened eagerly for divine Mind's unfoldment of her life mission. What came to her listening ear is to be found in Science and Health and her other writings.
No one reveals his innermost
thoughts to an acquaintance, nor does God reveal Himself to casual callers.
Anyone who feels he has not received that clear revelation of God's omnipotence
which outshines sin, pain, disease, and death will do well to search his heart
and ascertain if he has been merely a casual caller. If so, the remedy is
clear. For three years after her discovery Mrs. Eddy confined her reading and
study to the Word of God. This deep communion with God developed that close
friendship until the profound secret of His allness and the way by which men
may rise out of the belief that they are mortal to their true spiritual
selfhood were clearly, fully, and finally set out for all to apprehend and
demonstrate in that spiritually scientific textbook, "Science and Health
with Key to the
Scriptures." Without intimate friendship with God, the Christian Science
textbook could never have been written; for it came not from human thought.
Professor George Palmer of
It is of interest to recall that the Bible was a British gift to humanity, while Science and Health is an American contribution. These two textbooks, like the nations from which they sprang, are complementary one to the other and are thus used by Christian Scientists. Both textbooks are not only winning their way into the heart of humanity, but more than ever are shaping the course of actions as yet invisible to material sense. As a well-known poet writes:
". . . behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above His own."
God is still omnipotent and His government absolute. The Mosaic law has lost none of its significance merely because the earth has revolved round the sun thousands of times. The First Commandment, "Thou shall have no other gods before me," was written for all time. The Old Testament clearly reveals that the penalty for forgetting God is trouble, individual, national, and international trouble. And the Scriptures are as positive in their declaration that the real source of peace, prosperity, and security lies in obedience to the laws of God.
Obedience to spiritual law, consecration of thought and action, and the cultivation of an unselfed purpose is the highway to the city of our God. Should you be troubled with the suggestion that you shall never be an active inhabitant of this city, reject and eject any such effort of mortal mind to rob you of your birthright. Each divine idea has immortal attributes which Christian Science brings to light, as Mrs. Eddy declares (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 1), "by removing the dust that dims them." This dust of materiality which has hidden your real selfhood with its God-bestowed abilities disappears as self dissolves in the realization of oneness with your Father-Mother God. This realization may not come with your first effort to rise out of darkness. But it assuredly will come to all who persevere, for every law of God is operating in behalf of those striving to gain the demonstrable knowledge of life eternal possessed by Christ Jesus.
A heaven-encircled life may seem a faraway, distant possibility. St. John's Revelation, however, supports the Christian Science declaration that it is a possible present experience, to be enjoyed in the ratio that the human self yields to the divine, in the surrender of everything in our thinking which is tainted with materiality and, when in obedience to divine Love, we live God's commandments in daily life. So doing we shall have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city, which is not a place reached after surrendering to "the last enemy" − death − but is a state of consciousness to be gained here and now.
"This is indeed a foretaste
of absolute Christian Science." So writes the Founder of this demonstrable
religion, and she continues (Science, and Health, p. 573); "Take heart,
dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in
some way. There will be no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away. When
you read this, remember Jesus' words: 'The
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 5, 1950.]