Christian Science: Its Restorative Mission

 

Earl McCloud, C.S.B., of San Antonio, Texas

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Earl McCloud, C.S.B., of San Antonio, Texas, lectured on "Christian Science: Its Restorative Mission" Thursday night in the church edifice, Washington boulevard at 34th street. Mr. McCloud is a member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. The lecture was given under the auspices of Third Church of Christ, Scientist. The lecturer was introduced by Boyd G. Krouse. The lecture follows substantially as it was given:

 

Never has the world been more in need of a restorative agency than today. Material sense is shrieking that destruction is stalking the earth and bringing it to a state of devastation from which it will never recover.

Discouragement and desperation sit at the council tables of the nations, crying to them: "Where is your God?"

Those who consider themselves wise in this world's wisdom seek to answer this query with some philosophy or ism, forgetting that deeply significant prophecy of Isaiah concerning the coming of Christ Jesus of whom he said: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

In Luke's Gospel we are told that Jesus read aloud in the synagogue at Nazareth this prophecy, and acknowledged its application to himself and his work in these words:

"This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."

 

Works of Restoration

Later, in Mark's account, as Jesus is about to be separated from his disciples, he tells them of the works of restoration he is intrusting to them in these words: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. . . . And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following."

And these were the tests our Master set for those primitive Christians, the works of restoration they must do to prove themselves in truth his faithful followers.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the author of its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and its forever Leader, states as her purpose in the "Historical Sketch" in the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 17); "To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing."

Amidst all the present-day confusion of thought and action, what glorious peace and freedom are enjoyed by the Christian Scientist; who, with singleness of vision, clings to God, knowing that He, the only Cause and creator, is the Saviour of the world from its own false conclusions and fears!

It has been charged that Christianity has failed in these times of our greatest stress. The answer to this charge might very well be that it has not been sufficiently understood and practiced by those who assume to do the world's thinking for it.

 

Right Sense of Deity

How grateful all should be for the teachings of Christian Science, which have restored to the world a right sense of Deity! Not only a God afar off, but a God at hand - "Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet." A God who is everywhere present, everywhere all-powerful, everywhere all-knowing. A God who knows no evil, who sanctions it not; who says to the man of His creating: "You are free, whole, perfect, strong, intelligent, healthy, prosperous, progressive, and forever at peace with the brethren."

This God - the only God - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha; the God of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Malachi; the God taught and exemplified by Jesus and his disciples, is just as available today as He was centuries ago. Now, as then, He it is, as the Psalmist sang, "who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

Not a God of battles, not a God of disasters, floods, storms, and earthquakes, but that God who speaks today, as of yore, through the "still small voice" of Mind. The God who loves all mankind and who, relied upon, will lead all mankind in the ways of Love, and away from the ways of hatred, malice, revenge, envy, jealousy, and resentment. The God who is always available, always wise, always just, always on the side of that which is right and good.

The teachings of Christian Science have done great things for mankind by impressing human thinking with the facts that evil cannot be present when God, good, is never absent; that evil cannot be anything but powerless with God the only power; that evil is unintelligent with God possessing and expressing all intelligence. Bereft of place, might, and thought, what can evil be but a false supposition?

 

God Made All Good

This conclusion as to the unreality of evil and the consequent goodness and perfection of the universe of God's creating is strongly reinforced by various Bible passages. First of all, in Genesis we read: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Not only good, but very good. No mention of evil precedes this statement, because God had not created it.

Habakkuk confirms this view of creation in his prophecy when it says, in referring to God: "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity."

John, in his Gospel, tells us further that there is no creator save God, in these words: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." That is, evil was made neither by God nor by any supposed power.

To make assurance more and more sure, we find this statement in Ecclesiastes: "I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it."

What courage this should inspire: that error cannot be added to God's universe, detracting from its true nature; that sickness cannot force itself upon us to take away health; that poverty cannot intrude to deprive us of prosperity; that sin cannot beset us to rob us of purity; that sorrow's pall cannot shroud our joy with gloom; that war cannot bereave us of our peace!

Of this one and only Creator and His one and only creation the Bible has this to say: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

Dominion! That means control, doesn't it? But how runs the modern idea of man and of his status in the scheme of things? Mortal man, not God's man, believes that evil has dominion or control over him. And why? Mainly because of a false belief about man, not based upon the spiritual account of creation, as related in the first chapter of Genesis, and as exemplified in the healings of Jesus, but upon the materiality counterfeit account of creation given in the second and following chapters, in which man is supposed to have been made of the dust of the ground and to have become involved in all the errors of material sense.

 

True and False Creation

Christian Science has brought about a restoration of the right sense about man by calling attention to these widely differing descriptions of creation, and showing that they do not complement each other, but are evidently set down side by side in order to show the truth of the first and the consequent falsity of the second.

Mrs. Eddy devotes fifty-seven pages of her textbook to an exegesis or spiritual interpretation of these contrasting accounts of creation, because she realized the importance of starting from the right viewpoint in order to arrive at the correct conclusion in regard to man.

In their efforts to gain a right sense of what is meant by man as the image and likeness of God, Christian Scientists utilize Mrs. Eddy's term "reflection."

On page 515 of the textbook, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes: "Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God.

The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere." Try this some time, just as an experiment. It will help to fix this idea firmly in consciousness. See if it is possible for your reflection to look differently from you, or to act differently.

 

The Prodigal Son

Mortal man believes it to be possible to separate himself from God, and to take up an independent course of action; to think, and speak, and act for himself, without recourse to the divine Mind for inspiration or direction. He believes he can go his own way of materiality and ignominy if he so pleases! But, can he?

In the fifteenth chapter of Luke, Jesus tells about the prodigal son. In the light of what has just been said, let us look at this story, remembering that it is a parable, and not the story of a real person, although incidents similar in every way have been enacted over and over again.

Jesus drew a word picture of a well-to-do family, the younger son of which, longing to get away from restrictive discipline in the parental home and to follow his own devices, persuaded his father to let him have his inheritance, and took it with him into a far country where he wasted this accumulation upon false friends and in loose living. And there came a famine in that land - a depression, to use a more modern term.

He found himself in want and had to seek employment. (That has a familiar sound, hasn't it?) He could find work only of the lowest order, according to the thought of that time, tending swine. His false friends had disappeared, no man gave unto him, and he sought to satisfy his hunger with the scanty fare provided for the swine.

As with many another, when everything was at its lowest ebb, suddenly his thought began to clear. He saw himself and his foolish course of conduct in their true light. In other words, he began to reflect. He realized what he seemingly had given up in leaving his father's house, where all were cared for bountifully. He decided to return home on any terms his father would permit.

He started home; but his father saw him a long way off and ran and greeted him lovingly, and gave a feast in his honor, declaring: "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."

 

No Lost Substance

Now, remember this was a parable through which Jesus was teaching a lesson to his followers, which is a lesson for us, too. What is this lesson? Well, can substance, which is eternal, be lost? No, because God is substance. What, then, did the prodigal son waste? Nothing - in other words, just a false sense of substance, all that he had ever taken into a far country. Is there any place that is far from God, where a famine could arise? No, there is no such place. Is there a place where man, the real man, could be in want? No; where God is, and He is everywhere, there can be no lack.

"And he arose, and came to his father." Who is father? Love is Father. The prodigal rose higher mentally because of this trial through which he seemingly had passed. Did divine Love delay in recognition of this idea which seemingly had strayed? No. Love had never lost sight of His idea - never lost sight of him for an instant. Man is forever in divine Mind, forever reflected and held perfect, whole, harmonious, healthy, strong, and prosperous. Had the father ever failed in loving His idea? No. Love ever loves His reflection. "And Love is reflected in love"  (Science and Health, p. 17), our Loader says.

The father called for the best robe, a ring for his hand, shoes for his feet, and a feast as for the son and heir. Why? Had not this son taken his share of substance into a far country and wasted it in riotous living? Had he not fallen into degradation of the lowest type? No. In absolute truth, the real son, Love's idea, the reflected image of God, never had left his Father's house, never had strayed, never had sinned, never had squandered one iota of the divine substance which is the heritage of all God's children.

 

Not Even a Shadow

But what was this poor thing which went down into the depths? Had it substance, intelligence, reality, perfection, immortality, wisdom? No. It had none of these. It was unreal. It was not reflection. It was not even a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of the real son, who never had left the Father - who never can leave Him.

John tells us that Jesus, while he was at Jerusalem attending one of the Jewish feasts, said: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Our Master followed his own injunction, patiently searching the writings of Isaiah and the other prophets who had foretold his coming as the promised Messiah, and carrying to fulfillment all these prophecies. Of the years preceding his active ministry and of his labor of preparation there is scanty record following the episode, as recorded by Luke, of his being found in the temple by Joseph and Mary, at the age of twelve, questioning and answering the questions of the doctors of the law. You will remember the statement: "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."

Mary Baker Eddy was from early childhood a student of the Scriptures, a searcher for something better and higher than was afforded by the religious teachings of her day. Like Abraham, when he went out of Ur to the Chaldees, she "looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Linked with this study was her search for health and the means of attaining it. This led her to investigate the various schools of medicine, finding in them scant comfort and little relief. In the year 1866, she suffered a fall upon an icy street while living in Swampscott, Massachusetts, from the results of which she was not expected to recover. Her nearest friends gathered about her, but, looking for her imminent death, retired to a nearby room, leaving her to herself. Taking up her Bible, always near at hand, she opened to the ninth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, and read the account of the healing of the palsied man. In her extremity of human need, her study of this incident led to such a flood of light that she was instantly healed, and, a few moments thereafter, appeared, fully restored, among her friends in the adjoining room, much to their astonishment,

 

Tells of Her Healing

Mrs. Eddy says of this experience (Science and Health, p 108); "When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, - called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, - is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter; that this false sense evolves in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit."

Not content to profit alone through her discovery, our revered Leader unselfishly spent years in searching the Scriptures in her effort to discover the Principle back of her own restoration to health, in order that all the world might share in this great boon.

This spiritual exploration led, in 1875, to the publishing of the first edition of Science and Health, but not before she had thoroughly tested and proved its every text by healing all manner of disease and discord by the rules laid down therein.

This textbook has restored to countless thousands the Bible as the chart of life, a book of rules whereby to work out the problems of their human existence. So many of these had come to look upon this priceless volume simply as beautiful literature, or as the history of a race of people and a chronicle of their religious progress. Through its study in connection with Mrs. Eddy's writings they have come to see that here are practical teachings which can and will lead them out of many an Egypt and through many a Red Sea of evil.

 

New Light on Texts

Through this appreciation and study of the Scriptures, thousands have found the healing Truth in texts which had meant nothing at all to them before.

An acquaintance of mine, who had gone through a severe attack of influenza and who had been slow to respond to Christian Science treatment when it was asked for told her practitioner: "I wish my friends who are not Christian Scientists would quit coming to see me. They sit on the side of my bed and say: 'You poor dear! You look so bad. You must be suffering terribly. Oh, I've had other friends who have been months recovering from such an attack, and some haven't.' " You all know what she meant. And they call it sympathy.

She was told to see the passage from John's Gospel: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." It was pointed out that Jesus had had to protect himself mentally in this way against attacks which otherwise would have terminated his work before his mission had been accomplished. She went to work along this line, knowing that nobody could come to her save for a good purpose. Her "Job's comforters" quit coming (she said it was as if she "had slammed the door in their faces"); her Christian Science friends came, bringing nothing but good, tales of peace, joy, happiness, and the overcoming of all manner of evil. In less than a week she was up and about and fully recovered, though a physician, called in by a member of her family, had said unless she took medicine in some form she would be a cripple for life.

A friend, who was managing a store in a big organization, was making poor headway in his business because of theft. These stores were ranked by percentage of profit, not by volume of business. The shoplifters had taken away the profit and his store was rated the lowest of the many owned by the corporation. He was given this same text by a practitioner: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." He realized he and the company employing him were carrying on a branch of the Father's business.

That that business represented service to mankind, an opportunity to bring something of comfort and beauty into lives which otherwise might have little but that which was drab; that that business was entitled to a reasonable financial return; that that business could attract to it no employee or patron who would come to it for other than an honest purpose. He and his wife held to this thought courageously for a year.

 

Last Becomes First

Where do you suppose his store was ranked by then? Yes, it was in first place. The last had become first through the practical application of a Bible text first enunciated more than nineteen hundred years before, but just as true and effective today as when the master Christian first voiced it.

There are literally hundreds of such Bible texts which study will reveal to be useful at the present time. The study of the Christian Science Lesson-Sermon, made up of correlated passages from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, has placed helpful tools in the hands of many, many students who are using them to clear up problems of all sorts which came up in their everyday experience. And it has been said of Christian Scientists that they are a Bibleless people!

In this connection it might be said that there are those who assume to criticize Christian Science, forgetting that in order to be a real critic one should be well informed on the subject attacked. If the critic knows what he should know about Christian Science in order to discuss it, he cannot criticize it, because he has found it to be based solidly upon Scriptural teachings and susceptible of proof.

A stock accusation of uninformed critics is that Christian Scientists are a prayerless people. Can they justly be charged with such a shortcoming, when they have been taught to make of their living a constant prayer? When they, if they follow their Leader's teachings, strive to watch, work, and immolate self, to be loving, patient, meek, and doers of good deeds?

 

Value of Prayer

The Founder of Christian Science knew well the value of prayer, and devoted a whole chapter of the Christian Science textbook, the opening chapter, to setting forth her views on the subject. Many are the healings directly traceable to the reading of this chapter by seekers after religious enlightenment; healings of so-called incurable diseases, as well as of those things which are considered less serious.

These healings came about because readers of the chapter acquired a radically different estimate of prayer and its office, as affecting the attitude of man toward God; a restoration of the understanding of prayer as used by Jesus and his disciples, and by the early prophets. They realized that prayer should not be so petitionary as affirmative in its form; not asking God to remember to be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omniactive, but realizing that He already and at all times is all these. Not asking Him to change His plan in any particular, but seeking to bring all straying thoughts of the one praying into harmony with that plan.

A relative of mine was healed of cancer and heart disease many years ago through the enlightenment that came to her through earnest study of this chapter. Told by five of the most eminent physicians of her home city that she must be operated upon within two weeks if it were to do her any good at all, but with no promise of a permanent cure, she decided not to have the operation. She had lived for years in a terribly depressed mental atmosphere, grieving for the loved ones gone on and fearing the same fate.

 

Healed and Uplifted

Faced by this apparently hopeless situation, as viewed from the medical standpoint, she went to a neighbor, a Christian Scientist, at a time and in a community where there were few such, and obtained a copy of the textbook and other literature. She began reading with rapt interest. She found so much of an illuminating nature in Mrs. Eddy's teachings on prayer that it became difficult to go beyond that chapter. At the end of ten days study she discovered that for days she had been walking on air; a buoyant sense of well-being had replaced the former depressed and depressing state of mind. She discovered that the fear of death had given way to a realization of Life as God, that Life among whose attributes are health, strength, peace, joy, and harmony of being.

And all this by reading the textbook! The last chapter of Science and Health has page after page of testimonies of healings brought about by the reading of that book, these including all manner of diseases and other discords.

In other words, this person was instantly, completely, and finally healed of the two diseases which had enslaved her for years, and she could not recall the moment at which they had left her. For many years she has been a public practitioner of Christian Science, healing others of fears similar to those which had darkened her outlook for so long.

So we learn that prayer in Christian Science is the prayer of understanding, not of blind belief; of absolute conviction, and not of doubtful reliance. It is a prayer of expectancy, receptivity, and responsiveness.

A little girl, with whom I have been acquainted for years, had known from earliest childhood this concept of prayer. One day, at the age of six, she returned from school and sought out her mother to ask for help with a headache. Her mother wisely said to her: "Darling, you are a Christian Scientist. Know the truth for yourself." Having been trained to do her own praying, she replied: "All right, mother," and retired to the next room. Her mother heard her say: "I am God's perfect child. There is no error to touch me. Now God, I mean it." Immediately she called happily, "I'm all right, mother," and ran out to play with her sister.

How truly Jesus has said of the child-thought that the kingdom of heaven is made up of such readiness to accept and to act upon the right ideas so freely given to consciousness by the divine Mind! Children such as this one learn to talk with God, consciously and confidently, expectant of definite results. How precious the results of such training in later years! A boy or a girl with such a background seldom strays from the paths of right thinking and doing.

 

Attitude When Praying

What is your attitude of mind when praying? When you turn an electric light switch, you would be surprised indeed if the light failed to come on. When you turn a water faucet, you expect the water to flow at once. Your confidence is not based upon trust in the switch or the faucet, but in the power plant back of one, and the giant pumps and wells back of the other.

Are you this confident when you turn to God who is always present, ready to help? Or do you halt, halfway between confidence and doubt, and still expect something definite in the way of results?

When Jesus stirred the antagonism of the Pharisees by making such statements as "Before Abraham was, I am," he was not referring to his human personality, but to his spiritual selfhood or the Christ; the Christ which always has been and always will be, which is present here and now, operating in your affairs and mine.

Christian Science has restored to mankind today this sense of the ever-availability of the Christ, so necessary to the working out of the problems besetting us all. In all her writings, Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the fact that the Christ is that manifestation of God which heals, saves, restores, preserves: which operates in and through consciousness to do whatever seems to be needed to prove God's power and presence.

Early in the book of Genesis there is recorded an incident strangely reminiscent of what is going on in the world today. This story says that in that day all men spoke one language.  They conceived a plan to make brick and to build a tower which should reach unto heaven. It is told that this displeased the Lord, and so He confounded their speech that they might not understand one another. The result was that men left off building and were scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. In the Glossary of the textbook, as part of the definition of "Babel," we find this significant statement (Science and Health, p. 581): "The higher false knowledge builds on the basis of evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses, the more confusion ensues, and the more certain is the downfall of its structure."

 

Recognition of the Christ

In the sixteenth chapter of Matthew it is related that, when Jesus and his disciples came to Caesarea Philippi, he questioned them to ascertain if they had gained an understanding of his teaching and of his healing. We can picture them sitting by the side of a country road, perhaps under the shade of a fig tree, eating of its fruit, resting from their long walk from some other town of that district.

 He asked them first whom others thought he might be. Their reply was that he variously had been considered to be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. Hoping for real understanding, he asked them whom they thought him to be. The impulsive Simon replied for them all: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." This called down upon Simon a blessing from the grateful Jesus, who then named him Peter (from "petros," the Greek word for "stone"), and said, "Upon this rock I will build my church."

On pages 136 to 138 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy has described this incident and has pointed out that Jesus' plan was to found his society on the God-power, or Christ, which lay back of this recognition by Peter of the Messiah.

Bear with me on another excursion into the Scriptures, which links up with the tower of Babel and this incident as recorded in Matthew. Let us turn to the second chapter of Acts, which opens with this statement: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

The story goes on that suddenly it appeared that cloven tongues like as of fire sat upon each of the disciples, and they began to speak with other tongues. There were present men from all parts of the then known world, each speaking his own language, and yet each heard these Galileans speak in his own tongue of the wonderful works of God. Here we see the recognition of the Christ eventually brought about the healing of the confusion of tongues induced by the gross materialism of the time of Babel.

How grateful we should be today, knowing that the Christ which healed in Palestine of old, which manifested itself on the Pentecostal day, is now at work in the world - available to heal this present-day Babel, this confusion of thought and plan, which has the nations of the earth striving at cross-purposes. Right now, no matter how intense the struggles and discords of the world may seem to be, all mankind can be brought together by this power of the Christ to be once again "with one accord in one place." And what more satisfactory peace could be worked out than one based upon the inspiration of the Christ, Truth?

 

Healing Through Prayer

I have several times in this lecture referred to healings brought about through the application of Christian Science to human problems. I have given some instances of healing through treatment or prayer, illustrating, as Mrs. Eddy puts it on page 261 of the textbook, how "the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all errors, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin disease, and death."

Treatment in Christian Science is not for the purpose of changing anything that is real, or of seeking to influence God to alter His laws or verdicts in regard to anybody or anything, but it is a prayer available for all who are in pain, distress, discord, poverty, or sin that they have their mental eyes opened to see that none of these things are true. It is a prayer that we all may see only those things which God sees, those eternal, indestructible things, such as health, strength, peace, joy, prosperity, purity, sinlessness, and eternal life.

All that is or can be true about you and me is what God knows about us. How grateful we should be that He knows nothing but good about us! When God knows anything, He knows it not just for a time, but for all eternity. His thoughts, therefore, are laws which never change, but always operate the same. When your seeming problems are examined in the light of these laws, what can they do but vanish into nothingness?

A friend of my family had passed the traditional threescore and ten at least ten years, when Christian Science was brought to his attention. He had been suffering from heart disease for some months and had grown weaker each day. He told the daughter with whom he made his home that it was no use. He could not hold on any longer. He might just as well let go and die.

That day his granddaughter came home with two Christian Science Sentinels she had found in a distribution rack in a beauty shop. She gave them to her grandfather, who found in one of them an article written from the viewpoint of a musician. He had been a teacher of voice and a choir master, so this appealed to him.

When he had completed reading the two periodicals, he called his daughter to him and said: "I've changed my mind. I'm not going to die." He had understood enough of what he had read to see that God's law is the law of harmony and not of discord, that the belief of age and decreptitude is a false note so far as God's man is concerned. He had realized that a change of mind, or of thinking, was all that needed to take place to relieve him of the inharmonies from which he seemed to be suffering.

 

No Limit Upon Age

He was restored as Christian Science has restored many another sufferer from the delusion that God has set a limit upon man's life. He added more than ten years to his already long span. Just before leaving for the reunion of the Blue and the Gray at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a few years ago, he came to our office. Somebody asked him if he had not begun the study of Christian Science at the age of eighty-five. He replied: "It must have been before that. I began driving my car at eighty-five." That remark healed a woman in the office at the time. Not yet sixty, she had thought herself too old to learn to drive.

So we see that Christian Science has restored to men the right sense of God as ever-present, all-powerful Principle or Mind: the right sense of the Christ as not a human personality but, as Paul expresses it in Romans, "the power of God unto salvation"; the right sense of man as the perfect reflection or image of perfect God, who never fell and therefore does not have to be restored to his original perfection; the right sense of the Bible as the history of the development of the spiritual idea, chronicling the correct relationship between God, Christ, and man. It has cleared away the old beliefs in the reality of age, disease, poverty, sin, sickness, pain, sorrow, and death. It has wiped out the belief in the destructibility of substance and the consequent loss of supply.

Christian Scientists adopt Jesus' method of viewing these discordant conditions for the purpose of healing. Mrs. Eddy thus describes his method on pages 476 and 477 of the textbook: "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."

The marvelously restorative and corrective effects of this method have been proved in the experience of thousands of active Christian Scientists who daily are utilizing it in healing their own discords and those of others who come to them for help.

Surely it is of such as these that Isaiah spoke when he prophesied: "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: . . . And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, March 5, 1943.]

 

 

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