Christian Science: A Present Redemption

 

The Rev. William P. McKenzie, C.S.B., of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The large audience which filled Scenic Temple Sunday afternoon listened attentively to Rev. William P. McKenzie, while he discussed salient points in the teaching of Christian Science, and showed that the Scriptures, as well as present day experiences, prove that God is a God of love.

In introducing Mr. McKenzie, George Leonard McNeill, first reader of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Cambridge, spoke briefly of Mrs. Eddy's unselfish labors for mankind and of the progress of the movement she established. Mr. McNeill said:

Nearly forty-five years ago the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, experienced the healing of the Christ-truth, when to human sense she had received fatal injuries.

This, with other experiences she had had, convinced her that there was a Principle underlying this healing, and she at once devoted herself to the search for this Principle and the method of defining it, so that all mankind might share in its blessings.

Finally, after three years of faithful and prayerful study of the Scriptures, she was successful, and wrote the text-book of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

At first she had but a handful of followers. It was difficult to find those who would listen to her teachings, but those teachings contained the truth and the truth cannot be suppressed.

She continued in the teaching and healing work, and, notwithstanding such opposition, treachery and obstacles as would have discouraged anyone less positive of having a divine message to deliver to the world, she succeeded in 1879 in establishing what is now known as the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Boston. After the establishment of this Church she continued to direct the progress of the movement and witnessed the Cause firmly established, churches organized all over the world and many thousands of people accepting and demonstrating for themselves and others the correctness of her teachings.

Twelve years ago a Branch of the Mother Church was established in this city, by a few faithful followers of the Leader of the movement. This Branch, like others scattered all over our country and in other lands, has grown and prospered. Its members have received many rich blessings and are desirous that all may know of this teaching and practice which has brought them salvation from sickness and sin and encourages them to strive for the attainment of the high ideal which it places before them.

We are grateful for the privilege of providing the lecture which has brought you here this afternoon, and on behalf of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Cambridge, I bid you welcome and take pleasure in introducing to you our lecturer, a gentleman well known to many of you. This gentleman is a member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church. He was one of the organizers of our Branch Church and its first reader for several years. He has continued to be a resident of our city and will address you as his friends and neighbors the Rev. William P. McKenzie, C.S.B.

 

Mr. McKenzie's Address

Rev. William P. McKenzie said:

The Dean of a school of law, on meeting once a pupil of his who practiced in a neighboring metropolis, asked him if the lawyers in that great city were prosperous. "They are indeed prosperous," he replied. "Then are they happy?" continued the Dean, but the man questioned had to pause for a reply, and at length said that they were not happy; and the comment of the teacher of law was this: "Then their ideals must be wrong, for it is wrong ideals that lead to unhappiness."

People casually think of an ideal as a conception beyond realization. The poet speaks of

 

"The ideal beauty

Which the creative faculty of mind

Fashions and follows in a thousand shapes

More lovely than the real."

 

Nevertheless it is the ideal which becomes the real. From the finished work of the artist we see what his mental image was like. So from the life of a man we may discern his plan or vision regarding life. Life should be

 

"Built of furtherance and pursuing,

Not of spent deeds, but of doing."

 

If then the harmony which we call happiness does not appear in a man's life the tendency thereof must be in a wrong direction and this erring tendency may be corrected so that motive and movement shall be in the right direction. In Christianity there has been expressed the true ideal for man to pursue, and perhaps this ideal of doing is best expressed in the words of Jesus when he said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner." The Son then is an active expression of obedience to the Father, and by virtue of that obedience a revelator of the character of the Father, and being also a mediator reveals to men what man is as the child of God.

 

The Ideal Brought Into Expression

Here then is the right ideal for life, to make its activities obedient to the one Mind. When man has that clarified understanding of God which glows into love so secure that with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, and with all his mind he loves the Lord his God, then the flow of living is radiant with obedience, as in a sunlit stream light flows with its very current. The expression of this ideal is health, harmony, good will, happiness; and as a consequence of such conditions, the life becomes one of ministry like his who "came not to be ministered unto but to minister." This ideal has been brought into expression already in more human lives than can very well be numbered through the demonstrable teaching of Christian Science. Tens of thousands have learned of that mental activity which in its very nature is happiness, and because of their example other thousands are being induced to "seek peace and pursue it." It is the privilege of the messenger to tell you how Christian Science provides a present redemption from "the ills that flesh is heir to," as well as from enslaving evil habits, the oppression of fear, the tyranny of custom, the cruelty of doubt, and whatever else there may be which prevents men from enjoying the "glorious liberty of the children of God."

The liberation or redemption of man implies that he is enabled to pass through the door of hope into enjoyment of that which he hoped for. Through enlightened faith the things hoped for become substantial, and the joy that was visioned becomes present experience.

Thus the burden of the past is removed. By many the individual life has been looked upon as if it were the resultant only of lives past. Some theologians conceive of the transgression of a primal human being as controlling still the lives of the latest born of men. Biologists find in contemporary man a combination of the errors as well as the good points of defunct ancestors. The historian thinks of him as a miniature of national characteristics, showing the effects of race experiences, migrations and wars. The philosopher rises to a conception of something universal in man whereby all men are kin. The Christian should understand that man is not governed by events in the past, but by truth which expresses power and law in the present; for the message of Christianity is that man may be governed by God's law now, that he may be guided by the Christ-mind now, that he may know the quality of eternal life now. The man who dwells in sickness, despair or sorrow, believing that the irrevocable past governs him, may find health, peace and gladness by recognition of his direct government by law, and his life may become the resultant of the causation expressed by that law.

 

Christian Science Unfolds Causation

Where men have inherited their religious beliefs there is found opinionative, or theoretical Christianity; but the basis of happiness in this life is practical and individually earned Christianity independent of tradition, having for its keynote demonstration and spiritual understanding. Christian Science teaches men through reason and revelation. Reason replaces opinion since it leads back always to cause. Revelation replaces dogma because it always brings "light." When man walks in light understanding the law which governs him and obeying it, he is at peace.

What is meant by law as a governing power? The discovery of law is really the unfolding of causation to human consciousness. In early days men had theories regarding the stellar universe which were not in accord with the facts of causation; but when at last the regular and consistent action of the governing power was comprehended, these modes of action they named laws. No one would now say that the law of gravitation was operative in the days of its discoverer, but the days for the action of that law are over. Astronomical science demands perpetuity for its facts and eternal action for its laws.

In like manner Christian Scientists maintain that the causation and law revealed by Christ Jesus to his immediate pupils and adherents is perpetually operative. In other words they declare (and prove) that healing may be done today as in the early days of the Christian era. Their position is opposed sometimes, and the formula for denial is in the words so frequently used by orthodoxy "The day of miracles is over." It is not denied by orthodox believers that the miracles or wonderful works of Jesus took place. It is not denied that Peter and John healed the cripple at the temple gate, nor that Paul healed the lame man at Lystra, nor that in both instances the people considered the healing to be evidence of the power of Deity. The demonstrations of Philip are not denied, nor the spiritual power of Stephen and Barnabas. It is admitted that the apostles accomplished marvels in healing the sick while under the tuition of Jesus, and that after his departure they and others continued to do such works as he had done. Why then is it assumed that at any time these works should cease?

 

Is Healing Miraculous or Scientific?

In common usage the word miraculous is often a synonym for supernatural. In early stages of thought men accepted the belief that there could be interferences in human affairs from supernatural agencies. The gods might control and exercise caprice, or even demons might be active. But when monotheism was accepted, a sense of one governing power dawned upon human thought. To this all-governing power Jesus gave the name Father, and he interpreted the character of God as Father by the works which he did in his name.

He was careful to indicate to his disciples that it was the Father in him which was doing the works, and that they could rely upon God in like manner. Telling them of future trials and persecutions he bade them have no anxiety in preparing a defense, saying, "In that hour it shall be given you what ye shall speak, for it is not ye that speak but the spirit of your Father that is in you." When he said; "The works that I do shall ye do also" was he not indicating that he had taught them the action of law which they could understand and obey? What if the people thought of the operation of law in healing the sick as miraculous? The event was marvelous to them because they did not comprehend its cause. A traveler among the Esquimaux who could make fire by means of ice would be looked upon by them with wonder. His method would be simple enough; he would shape the ice to the form of a lens, as in a burning glass, and focus the sun's rays on a piece of moss, till at the focal point the heat concentrated would show in smoldering fire. To him the process would be no marvel, although he would require to be acquainted with the law before he could utilize the law. But the operation would seem supernatural to those who had no conception of either law or true causation.

No one should deny that the cures of disease wrought by Jesus exhibited causation, and so were scientific. There was power which was efficient to produce these results of healing. This power existed then at the standpoint of causation. Christian Science declares that all the power which then existed does now exist at the standpoint of causation, and by effects already made manifest, it is proving this.

Causation is itself invisible, but effects show its nature. The healing wrought by Jesus was so kindly, so blessed, that men glorified God the unseen cause. Today men are beholding results which can come only from a source divine and loving, and are becoming acquainted with the true God thereby. The healing of the sick through Christian Science is accomplished by the law and potency understood by Jesus, and it has this test, and sign, that those healed by its ministry find their lives glorified with love for God; and the inner gladness is reflected in universal kindliness.

 

How Shall Man Have Access to God?

Because of His very character and being, God is our salvation. He is the actual saving, healing and redeeming power. He is "the just God Thy Saviour." The demonstrations and teachings of Jesus who "called us by his own glory and virtue" were brought to us that our "faith and hope might be in God."

In conversation with the Jews, Jesus said, "He that is of God heareth God's words." The meaning becomes vivid in another translation: "Whoever is attracted by God listens to the thoughts of God." A New Testament writer, speaking of one of the heroes of old described him as "a man subject to like passions as we are," yet he accomplished wonders by his faith. Would not anyone like to be lifted to the plane of the hero he admires so as to comprehend his method of producing results? Worship of saints and heroes presupposes a separation of man from man as if some had preference in access to Principle. But "God is no respecter of persons." He is rather the one source of good, "that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." Christian Science introduces a man into the comradeship of the noble and upright men of all times. It shows him that the saints of God and the heroes of the faith are his own people if he is willing to accept the same law, obey the same power, love the same ideal. So far as the divine nature is concerned we have access always, everywhere, to God. The lost man is the one who has forgotten God not one whom God has forgotten. We have access to divine law, we "listen to the thoughts of God," only by obedience. Of this obedience and its results there are notable examples. We value the writings of the Old and New Testaments because we have therein the story of men and women who solved life's problems aright because, to a degree, they understood God's law, and had faith in its operation.

 

The Bible as Literature

It is generally agreed that the English Bible has been the strongest formative influence in establishing the English language. Those who have been masters of style have been students of the Scriptures. Even as literature the reading of the Scriptures should appeal to men. Here we have historical record and the philosophy of history. We have epic and dramatic poem. We have teaching in all its forms, by sermon, by conversation, by parable and allegory and illustrative story. We have the foresight of prophets who so fully understood the action of law that they could predict the fate of nations; and the insight of seers who understood "the deep things of God" and knew the right relationship of man to God. We have epistolary correspondence, didactic essay, friendly admonition, and quaint proverb. We have the uplifting of human aspiration in prayer, the tenderest lyrics and most inspiring hymns or Psalms to be found anywhere. And we have this coherent value in the writings, that from Genesis to Revelation we may follow the golden thread of consistent truth, the revelation of the divine fact to human consciousness.

 

Value of the Scriptures

The value of the Scriptures to us is in that golden thread of revelation sometimes obscured by human misconceptions, but never lost. What is this truth, or revelation? It is the true conception of God's character and being as it became gradually unfolded to man.

In the earliest times the promise came to Abraham that he should bring blessings to the nations of mankind. To him Deity was "The most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth." Abraham had once "served other gods," but when he came to understand how man may be taught, guided, and helped by the unseen presence, he became "the friend of God," and through his experience blessed all believers with the knowledge that God Almighty is man's friend. "This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good," Mrs. Eddy says. (Science and Health, p. 579.)

When his mission as deliverer of his nation dawned upon Moses, he sought to know by name the power which inspired him, so as to be able to answer the questions of the people. The response was "I am what I am," and by the self-existent God he was guided to proclaim Him to the children of Israel as "The Ever-Living God of your forefathers."

Thus when the moral law was given, the people understood that it had its basis in eternal Being. It was not to them, therefore, a mere code of ethics for a particular time devised by a wise philosopher, but the rules which must govern life in all times so that men may be in harmony with real being. Furthermore, this conception of the Ever-Living, the eternal God, lifted thought from the confusion of beliefs in many changing deities "Whom their deluded votaries believed could die, be murdered, or dethroned." After his life's work was ended and proofs in abundance had been given of the way in which God works with men for their redemption, Moses put these words of definition in his song, "A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

If we follow the growing conception of the goodness of God as brought out in the experiences of the patriarchs and in the lives of the prophets, of Elijah and Elisha, of Isaiah and Daniel, we find at last the promised Messiah unfolding the truth regarding the one God through works of healing. Thus we learn to understand the goodness of this one power, ever-enduring, ever-active, ever-available for the need of man.

The hold which the Bible had upon generations gone, was undoubtedly due to the fact that with only partial understanding of its meaning, men nevertheless found it profitable for instruction, and discipline in righteousness. At the same time there were many who longed for a clearer understanding. Reverend Isaiah Hatch Shipman, who was Pastor of an independent chutch at Lisbon, N. H., was a student of the Bible, well known in his district. When he died at the age of seventy-two, it was noticed that the Bible which he had been accustomed to study had upon its fly leaf this statement, "Oh for a key to unlock these Scriptures."

If a key should be found to open the door into an understanding of the Scriptures, it is evident that faith in their verity would be superseded by knowledge of their truth. When faith is demanded regarding events believed to be miraculous, and esteemed supernatural, there may only be the acquiescence of credulity. But when faith rises to understanding through the teaching of Christian Science, which has for its text-book the long desired "Key to the Scriptures," we then may know how the events took place and be able to prove that they illustrate ever-present causation. The operation of law in the past is interpreted to us by the operation of law in the present. We find that the action of the redeeming power is not temporary, supernatural, nor capricious, but regular, natural, and lawful. That is, we find the Jehovah of the prophets, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," to be our God today, available and kind, ready to help and heal.

 

The Discovery of Christian Science Through Interpretation of the Scriptures

The initiation of Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science was an experience of healing, the story of which is now familiar to the world. When at the point of death as the result of an accident, she obeyed an impulse and opened the New Testament at the place where the healing of a paralytic by Christ Jesus is recorded. Vividly the question came to her mind, Why is not that healing power now available? And with the realization that the power and love of God could not change, came an assurance that God's saving power must also be forever available. Then came the act of faith whereby that which was hoped for became substance, and the evidence of unseen law became manifest. She rose up and presented herself to her attendants, declaring that she was healed. At a later date reviewing this experience she says, "It was the living, palpitating presence of the Christ that healed the sick." (Science and Health, p. 351.)

Instances of healing are not rare in Christian history, for uplifted faith and spiritual insight have brought men close to God in all times. But as when Luther healed Melancthon, or John Wesley had the experiences he records in his diary, the explanation was personal. The results were supposed to be answers to personal petitions, as if the wheels of the universe would pause, and the prearrangements of God be changed at the call of a human voice. In these cases God was viewed as the cause of the disease from which He gave release. Better faith had the Psalmist who conceived of a divine Power who, not causeth, but "healeth all thy diseases"; or the Apostle who having seen evidences of divine action said, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick." Jesus defined this prayer of understanding when he said, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24.) We see then that prayer and the answer to prayer are combined in the uplifted faith which realizes in one concept both what God is as love, and what Love does. It is the understanding of the truth of being for God and also for man.

The Discoverer of Christian Science recognized that her experience of healing was due to the fundamental law whereby healing had been done by Jesus and his disciples, and she determined to find out the meaning and application of that law, so that it might be available for others. She sought for the desired explanation in the Scriptures, and this was the proper source to turn to. Take the Gospels for example; what do we find recorded there? Is it not works of healing? The Acts of the Apostles were acts of healing. In the records of the Law, and in the testimony of the Prophets we are told of healing. Were we to abstract healing from our Scriptures their value as revelation of God to man would be diminished inconceivably. It was natural then that one who had had an experience of healing should turn to a series of writings which tell about healing in order to find an explanation of that healing. In this respect Mrs. Eddy was equipped as an interpreter better than any commentator who had preceded her. Previous writers on the Bible went to it as to an arsenal to find weapons of defence, and of offence, for the support of their accepted opinions. Hence the hundreds of theories regarding the teaching of the Bible, and the numerous denominations founded in variant opinions. If an understanding of truth is supported by the demonstration which corresponds to the truth, then in all conditions it will prove to be the same truth; whereas unsupported opinions may vary with ever veering beliefs. She started with the demonstration, and discovered the truth which explained the demonstration to be the same truth to which the prophets of old, the disciples of Jesus and the Master himself bare witness. (Science and Health, 126:22.)

 

The Founding of Christian Science

After she had become satisfied as to her discovery, the next step which Mrs. Eddy had to take was in verification thereof. Could she prove it to others? So she began her ministry of healing, and we can imagine her gratitude when the sick were healed, and the incurable brought to useful life again. Then came a wider problem. Could the understanding be imparted to others? This had to be worked out by teaching, so she began to guide and instruct pupils, and they, too, were able to prove the discovery scientific because they learned to heal the sick. Some failed to understand the universality of Christian practice, and instead of working for the kingdom of God, attempted to build up puny kingdoms of their own where their own will should be law; but such did not abide in the movement, showing that they never really understood Mrs. Eddy's teaching. Nine years the Leader of the movement spent in study of the Scriptures, verification of Christian Science by demonstration thereof, and in teaching others before the time came when a text-book might be issued, and the teaching made public to the world. In 1875 "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" appeared, and at once its teaching was proved to be scientific and practical by students who not only learned of healing for themselves, but were able to prove to others that healing, the lost element of Christianity, had become again available.

The founding of Christian Science has involved the building up of a vast educational system. A world-wide Church through its many branches offers religious teaching at its services. By means of a Bible lesson interpreted into the method for practise of the truth by the Christian Science textbook, consistent instruction is given. Then at the mid-week testimony meeting the results of the teaching in Christianizing human lives become known, as grateful people tell of their redemption from disease and despair. Reaching to the far corners of the earth the postal service carries the periodicals of the movement, so that their teaching and testimony may enlighten all who are looking for consolation and hope, and gladness. To the monthly Journal, and the weekly Sentinel, there has been added the daily Monitor, which is interpreting the fundamental unity of man under the rule of God, the one Mind, by discovering to its readers the "better part" in the world's activities, and interpreting good will among men. From the platform, and through the press also, the truth regarding Christian Science is being constantly declared, and it was the Leader of the movement who appointed lecturers and Publication Committees; who also originated and named the various periodicals, and through the Church Manual provided for the organization and work of The Mother Church with its branch churches and societies. If any would make comparison with her work, Mrs. Eddy may well declare herself to be like Paul, "in labors more abundant," since her work in founding Christian Science is the greatest, measured by service, that has been accomplished in our time.

 

Why is the Proof of Healing so Necessary?

Healing was the original proof of Christianity. Jesus said "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10: 37-38.) If the founder of Christianity could speak thus, the same thing might be said of Christianity itself that by means of similar works evidence of divine action would be given. Jesus unquestionably indicated that these works should continue. They were to be done by his disciples, and to be among the signs which should follow "them that believe."

History indicates that healing did continue in the church for possibly three hundred years as the proof of divine love for man. In the dark centuries the church tried to support its prestige by fear, by exercising a power to hurt. Today, however, there are everywhere signs of better motive; and yet when it comes to act, the effort in most cases is rather to alleviate suffering than to eliminate the errors which cause discord. Churches endeavor to lessen sin, prisons to restrain some crimes, and hospitals to minister to some who are diseased. But what is wanted is the cure of sickness, redemption from sin, and understanding of right conduct.

Christian Science is fundamental. It does not prune the branches of the evil tree, but lays the axe to its very roots. Therefore the healing work whereby it proves divine causation, is not mere superficial exchange of ease for disease, or the giving of temporary comfort in place of distress. It means a new vision of causation, a new conception of God. The strongholds of error, built up by the imaginings and inventions of man, by thoughts proceeding from a wrong basis, are cast down by healing. The ground is cleared, as it were, for life's rebuilding, and where there is honesty in the patient the work of character building begins, with the end always in view of "subduing every thought to the discipline of the Messiah." (2d Corinthians 10:5.)

Furthermore, the proof of healing, that there is present redemption for man, reaches the very ones ready for improvement. Jesus indicated that those satisfied with things as they are, had spiritual desire deadened within them. In the parable of the supper he showed how inanely men make excuses for refusing the kingdom of God. But "the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind," were ready for the invitation, made so by suffering. They knew that they needed a change for the better.

 

Healing is the Beginning of Redemption

We have already said that healing is the important proof to man that God is Love. Said the Psalmist, "I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." This proof appeared occasionally before the advent of the Messiah, but in the life and work of Christ Jesus this proof was established scientifically. He proved by his works what God is, and by visible effects illustrated the action of divine law. Critics and skeptics have denied these works, saying that the story of them grew up as myths, accumulated about the character of the hero. But Christian Science has come to re-establish by proof the truth given by the founder of Christianity; and today there are multitudes of men who have learned to love God because the fact that "He first loved us" has become known to them through healing.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance of healing the sick as fundamental in Christian Science, but critics mistake who consider this the ultimate of our work. In medical practice healing of the sick may be the end sought. In Christian Science practice it is the beginning of work and the end in view is complete redemption of the man. A man is released by healing from the control of speculative health-theories and hygienic superstitions which kept him in dread; but he may still be enslaved by wrong ideals, continuing for instance to cherish desire for revenge upon an enemy, and from that also he must be redeemed, else the wrong mode of thinking will bring upon him new complications of suffering. Usual methods of healing look for both symptoms and causation in the body. Christian Science considers the symptoms manifested upon the body to be indicative of misdirected or erring thought.

Many a man dwells in torment because he is resisting evil rather than overcoming it. To insult he offers retaliation, to hatred bitterness, and so the condition of thought active with him is irritant and venomous. When he learns to overcome evil with good, he opposes good-will to malice, kindness to insult, friendship to hatred, and so dwells in peace and happiness. He is a man redeemed from the power of a false theory, and initiated into the joys of the kingdom of heaven.

Fear also has torment, and multitudes are enslaved by fear until redemption is found through perfected love. Jealousy is fear of losing the personal preference of some friend. Envy is fear of not having access to the good which someone else possesses. Hatred is fear that someone may deprive us of good or do us injury. We hate what we fear and we fear what we hate. The consequent condition is hell, no less. From such depths of despair men described as "having no hope and without God in the world" have been rescued. But first the fundamental truth that God is Love had to be proved to them by experience of healing. Then they became willing to accept divine Love as causation and to allow their lives to express that causation. They were redeemed from jealousy and envy, on learning that they could not lose any legitimate good since God, not human personality, was the source of good. They felt so safe in the protection of love that they feared no one, and hated no one, but could love even enemies, not because the enemies had become love-worthy, but because the diviner sense of life made love spontaneous. When love depends upon conditions it is merely personal preference, but when it flows from the divine source, outward conditions do not affect its character or continuance. Loving is living, for thus is divine Life expressed.

 

The Ideal Realized in Universal Love

When will men listen to the gentle voice of one who brought healing to the sick, and thus proved his understanding of God's law of salvation? Christ Jesus set aside what had been said by them of old times as to rendering evil for evil, announcing the method of the redeemed life instead, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. This is overcoming evil with good, and when the evil is thus overcome, good will abide with men. The world's ideal is based on a material sense of life and good and must therefore be the reverse of the Christ ideal. Inspired by selfishness men seek to control others and enslave them, to utilize their labors, and subtract from them their good. Christ Jesus taught that men inspired by good-will could minister to others rather than coerce them into servitude and deprivation, and so be useful to them and add to their good. His life illustrated the true brotherhood of man, wherein love working through gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, humility and righteousness, enables men to work in God's service upbuilding humanity, uplifting the fallen, restoring the erring, establishing justice and fair dealing among men. In the beatitudes he revealed the basis for happiness, and the sermon on the mount was amplification so that any thoughtful man might know how to apply to his own case the law of blessedness, and become meek, merciful, humble, peaceful and pure. "The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Practical Christianity needs no support from a visible ruler and armed force; instead of a king there is law, and instead of soldiers, proofs of healing as evidence that law is love. Instead of a visible church with parade and show, is the unseen church coming as light comes, expressing itself among men as a consciousness of God and an understanding of his love.

 

"Then shall the reign of Mind commence on earth,

And starting fresh, as from a second birth,

Man in the sunshine of the world's new spring,

Shall walk transparent like some holy thing."

 

[Delivered April 2, 1911, at Scenic Temple under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Tribune, April 8, 1911.]

 

 

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