Christian Science: or Deliverance from Evil (2)
The Rev. William P. McKenzie, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Hope is an inborn characteristic of man. Proverbial philosophy declares, "While there is life there's hope," and philosophy in story tells us that hope was found even in Pandora's box, whence came the thousand ills to which flesh is heir. Both proverb and myth correctly present this human characteristic. Nothing seems to destroy the perennial hope of man. Leaf and bloom may perish in the savage cold of winter, but from roots undestroyed life appears again and again at every opportunity of springtime. Whence this unfailing expectancy of good whereby man triumphs over his sorrows? Does it not come from his intuitive conviction that there is a final and complete deliverance from evil?
Through the marvelous workings of that divine energy which "shapes our ends," howsoever unpatterned and uncouth our designs may be, and “in the fullness of the time," salvation has come nearer to men than they are ready to believe. Christian Science has come to give, and is giving, substance to the good which we have hoped for. Its proofs furnish evidence of an unseen power which effects deliverance from sickness, both physical and moral. Its teachings enable men to overcome evil with good in their thought-life, until living righteously becomes normal and natural, and unrighteousness becomes distasteful. The very name, Christian Science, answers to man's intuitive expectation that his hope for deliverance from evil can be realized in harmony with Christianity and in accord with Science.
It will be granted that the spirit of true Christianity constitutes the best moral influence the world has ever known. Students of history able to discern reasons for the rise and the wane of empires have uniformly acknowledged the beauty and permanency of Christian ethics. Human fame and power passes over the stage of the world from obscurity into transient glitter, and then into oblivion; but like an unextinguished light remains the truth Christ Jesus established. Christian Science shows us how to make this truth available as power and cause. It reveals the potency of Christian thinking, and unfolds the spiritual teaching of the Bible whereby thought may be rightly directed.
Christian Science has for its textbook, or instruction manual, a book first published in 1875 by Mary Baker G. Eddy, and entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The author is now known to the world as the woman who has given to this age the true idea of God, and as the philosopher and thinker who has revolutionized the sense of Christianity from theoretical to practical, so that the medieval belief of Christianity as a scheme for a future world salvation is changing to the primitive conception of Christianity as a means for revealing to men on earth the goodness of God in healing and salvation.
Her own experience of healing occurred in 1866, and she has described in her writings how from the gates of death she was brought to life again by the present power of the healing Christ. She had been a Bible student all her life, and for three years after this experience she gave her entire time to such further study of the Bible as enabled her to trace the action of spiritual law according to which the miracles of healing were wrought. Her desire was to discover the Science of the Christ-healing, so that the spiritual illumination which had quickened her own life might be made universal.
In her book there are over eight hundred citations from Scripture, hence we may see that her exploration of the Bible in seeking the foundation for Christian Science was thorough; but it is to the students of its pages that the significance of the title, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is made apparent; for they find from this textbook an inspiration for earnest and practical study of the Bible. In commercial circles it is granted that greatly increased sales of Bibles may be credited to the influence of Christian Science. In the public services of the movement the Holy Scriptures are given a place such as "the book of the law of Moses" had in the days of the return from captivity in Babylon under Nehemiah, when readers were appointed who caused the people to understand the law. The record says: "So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."
Those relieved from pain and anguish of body and mind have as much reason for rejoicing as those delivered from Babylonian exile, and they follow like methods. Instead of the promulgation of hypothetical opinions by preaching, the Readers in more than a thousand Christian Science churches and societies endeavor to make clear to the listeners from Sunday to Sunday the practical meaning of both familiar and unfamiliar Scripture passages. The Reader from the Bible reads distinctly and intelligently, and then the spiritual teaching of the Bible is elucidated by correlative passages read from the Christian Science textbook, so that the listeners understand the reading; and the value of this unique Lesson-Sermon is found in its fruits, for the sick are healed at the services, troubled hearts find peace, and inspiration is gained for honesty, good will, and integrity.
Christian Science, though founded upon the Bible, does not come to establish a new sect, even if some who adhere to sects may say so. A sect is something cut off or divided from some main body, but Christianity, being a method for displacing evil and establishing good in the lives of men, is not in itself divided. As the robe which Christ Jesus wore was seamless, "woven from the top throughout," so that the soldiers thought it ill to tear it into sections, so Christianity, depending upon the proof of healing instead of argument, is a complete and coherent system or Science. In pure Science you can have no variety of teaching; though in the work of pupils you may observe approximate or perfect demonstration of the rules laid down. And so it is in Christianity. It is ever one, a perfect Science based upon perfect Principle, because God is that Principle. When it is understood, the prophecy of Jesus will be fulfilled, "And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
One designation for Christ Jesus which has prevailed in the Christian church to this day is the term Master. Strong objection is made to this term by those who think a man must relinquish legitimate freedom if he acknowledges one who is "the Master." But this is a groundless fear, for we are to deal with Science rather than personality. Historically we may find cases of personal and despotic control of chiefs, governors, lords, princes, monarchs, whose servants were slaves; but where truth is concerned, the master is one who best comprehends the details of the science and is most skillful in applying its laws; and his followers are disciples or learners.
Christ Jesus is the Master we acknowledge in Christian Science, because he gained the mastery in truth, being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," because he knew spiritual law and understood its application in healing and saving men, and because he is guiding us into similar mastery and understanding of truth. Let us be careful to see the real meaning of the phrase, "the truth shall make you free." Jesus said: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The truth that really makes free is known only through discipleship, which you will admit is something more than loyalty to a doctrine or membership in a sect. It means an understanding of the words, "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." The secret of the greatness of Christ Jesus was his spiritual understanding, whereby he knew how to do the best service to mankind. We know how his message was one of hope, and his work was deliverance. Here is the record: "Jesus then went through all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, as well as curing every kind of disease and infirmity among the people" (Ferrar Fenton translation).
How shall we measure greatness? Does it belong to those who control, or to those who release? Is it for the captain who wins the battle for one country against another, or for the "Captain" of our salvation who conquers sin for us, and opens a way for our escape from suffering? Is it nobler to hurt or to heal - to attempt to overcome evil with evil, or to overcome evil with good? There can be but one answer: the warrior may be great in his day, but the saint belongs to the ages. And of all who have gone about doing good, relieving the sorrowful and liberating the oppressed, we acknowledge as Master the messenger of God who applied to himself the prophecy of Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised [or oppressed] , to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
What is Christian Science doing? It is again establishing that healing and saving method or Science of which Christ Jesus was the Master; it teaches the practice of that Christianity whereof he, the Messiah, was the founder, whose coming the prophets foretold for centuries, whose power apostles and evangelists witnessed. This reappearance of active Christianity is known by the "signs following," - the same signs or proofs that were characteristic of the first appearance of Christianity.
The question presented to every man is really this: To what do you give power, evil or good? Christian Scientists, by virtue of their experience, are confirmed optimists, but theirs is not the optimism of indolence, nor is it from a false theory which would say, "The evil is only the unripe good." They know what the power of good to overcome evil is, for they have seen it operative.
They have seen healing accomplished where human love and human skill had given up hope. They have seen apparently incurable bad habits changed with such a change in life as yearly takes place in the earth when the barren cold yields to the beneficent warmth of spring. They have seen bitterness and cynicism and cruelty melt away, and kindness and joy and gentle courtesy take their place. They have seen such changes in their own lives brought about by the healing rays of the "Sun of righteousness" that they bless the agency whereby their eyes were opened to its light; and therefore they honor the bravery and fidelity of the woman who faced the world's opposition and harsh misrepresentation when she elucidated the higher sense of God as the Savior of man which by her own healing she had learned. They find that their faithful application of the teachings of Christian Science to all the problems of life has brought so many solutions and proofs of the power of good to overcome evil, that they can foresee the ultimate triumph of good; and "forgetting those things which are behind," they press forward in the direction of that goal.
Our fellow beings approach the problems of life from many sides, giving emphasis to a variety of supposed powers. These are various forms of fatalism, according to which men allow themselves to believe that both good and evil are equivalently foreordained, one being as inevitable as the other.
There are some thinkers who name the power which decides all thought and action for them heredity. Their doctrine of heredity leaves a very narrow limit of action for the individual. The minds of some dead people constitute fate for the living man. In this view there is no comprehension of universal Mind as a present intelligence with whom man may learn to commune, and in obedience to whom he may find life eternal. Christ Jesus set forth the serene truth which he knew from his oneness with that universal and ever present Mind or God, of whom he spoke when he said, "My Father, and your Father." Little was known then of the material sciences which since that time have become so arrogant. Yet as the tall lighthouse once established holds forth its fixed gleam night by night, unaltered by the inconstant winds, the tidal changes, or the rage of the waves, so while human theories ebb and flow do the teachings of Jesus remain constant as a guide for men amid stormy eras of unbelief or the darkness of superstition or materialism. Regarding heredity he said: "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."
Could there be a simpler solution for the problem of existence than recognition of the true origin of life? By this recognition a man is able to eliminate from expression whatever is not found in the original. Whatever is "conceived in sin and ‘shapen in iniquity'" (Science and Health, p. 540), must be separated from the thought and life of man when he acknowledges God as Father. To this man you cannot argue that he must indulge cruelty because his great-grandfather was brutal; nor be a drunkard because his grandfather was; nor endure scrofula because his father had the disease. He counts himself immune from these inheritances of the flesh because he names his fatherhood in God. With regard to the vexed question of heredity, we can surely say: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." If in fellowship with the Son of God you learn your own sonship, you will recognize your individual freedom as a child of God governed directly by Mind, and find absolute deliverance from the supposed power of evil transmitted as disease or sin from human ancestors.
There are others who make fate more nigh at hand to men in believing that their surroundings decide what they shall do and be. Better philosophers use a term which is suggestive in declaring that "self-activity" is superior to both heredity and environment. Art is full of the pathos of longing for that superiority. The hope of perfection is ever before it, and its efforts at expression promise the ideal. Even philosophy brings to us Utopian dreams or statements of beautiful possibilities. But how are they to be realized? Here comes the answer of Christian Science. It gives substance to the hope. Science and Health shows the effects of its teaching in changed lives.
Once men may have had to try Christian Science experimentally, but now it is not so, any more than one can be said to experiment with mathematics. You have to learn and obey in mathematics, and your results are certain; they have been established in countless cases. So with Christian Science; the results of obeying divine Principle are evident in innumerable cases of lives saved from environing discords. There is a great army of those who have come out of bondage to invalidism. Many have been delivered from the hospitals where the insane are cared for. Prisoners in penitentiaries have found that even there they could be healed and redeemed. Those locked into the jail of despair by the diagnosis that they had a fatal and incurable disease, have been liberated and enabled to participate again in life's activities. Unhappy homes have become what homes should be. Through the teaching of Christian Science hope appears for the despairing, relief comes to the overburdened, and freedom is found for the oppressed, because they learn their eternal relationship to Mind, and recognize their adoption as sons with God for their Father.
We have said that Christian Scientists are optimists because they hope for good, and reasons have been given for discarding theories which are fatalistic or pessimistic. But we do not rest in hope; we must rise to faith. It is through faith or understanding that all overcoming is accomplished. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
Christian Science revives that faith in good which in ancient days was so potent. It shows how to obey with scientific certainty the direction of Paul: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." But in this its method of establishing by demonstration the reality of good, it meets the criticism of those who believe in the reality and permanency and power of evil. In Jesus' day people likewise believed in the reality of evil, and supposed that there was an adversary to good, a personal devil. Christ Jesus characterized this devil of his contemporaries as a murderer and false witness. "There is no truth in him," he said; "when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
The apostle John, interpreting the mission of Christ Jesus, declares, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." Christ was revealed to disintegrate the whole fabric of lies, to unweave the reticulated complexities of deceit, to erase from human minds their false beliefs in sickness and sin, and thus emancipate mankind from a deceived condition into the "glorious liberty of the children of God." All Christians, therefore, should be enlisted to become victors over every phase of evil. With good they can overcome and annihilate evil, making it disappear from thought even as before the truth a lie melts into nothing. But this good is not merely a sentiment, a feeling, or a belief. When we speak of good in a scientific sense it is the manifestation and proving of an eternal Principle.
Christian Science maintains that the eternal Principle underlying all reality is God. Does anyone naturally conceive of this Principle, or cause, as being manifested in any condition which is admittedly adverse to good? Can a condition entitled "a murderer from the beginning," or "a liar, and the father of it," be expressive of God's nature or be the agent of God's will? We must be careful, then, about accepting philosophies which make evil the agent of good, or give evil an equivalent existence with Deity. Some of these philosophies convey the idea that the divine plan for man is that his life should be a murderous struggle for existence, wherein success is the survival of those fittest for such a struggle. But success of that sort would be only the temporary predominance of the least scrupulous man. It might mean concession to the temptation of the "father" of lies, declaring, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Woe must befall those who call evil good, and good evil, in this way, for with pain and toil they will have to regain the ability to discern what good really is.
But some teachers who are selfless and sincere argue that moral evil and physical pain are not only realities, but beneficent realities. Observing how a good deed shines in a naughty world, they seem to think that the good deed owes its luster to the surrounding wickedness rather than to its own character. They infer that the patience of the bedridden invalid is the product of his pain, and that the moral courage of the world's reformers is due to the wickedness they opposed. But it is his vision of God that inspires the saint to be meek and the reformer to be fearless, and in that vision physical pain and moral evil have no part.
The beauty of the vision of God was given to us in Christ Jesus, who said: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." I never heard it argued that his goodness and power to bless had any other source than the Father-God with whom he was one. He was recognized as the expressed image of God's character, but who would say that the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the envy of the priests, the treachery of a disciple, were agencies in forming the Christly nature? Why, then, will men argue for the beneficent reality of evil? If evil works good, then its agents are our benefactors; and why should the most active doers of evil be restrained from their beneficent activity by our prisons? If physical pain is believed to be the teacher of fortitude, why do those who so affirm build hospitals, or permit attempts to heal pain?
The philosophy which declares for beneficent evil is inconsistent, and perhaps it has arisen because of the failure of Christians to prove Christianity. To-day "signs following" are not considered essential except by Christian Scientists. Today there are named many incurable diseases. This would imply that there are evils which good cannot overcome. Disasters which bring ruin to some men and are due to lack of integrity in others, are broadly described as acts of Providence. When man contemplates evil as expressing power, and good unproved, he tries to satisfy himself that this is in line with the inscrutable plan of God, and that the rampant evil is somehow a schoolmaster for our virtue.
The philosophy of contrast is also urged. How are we to value honesty if thieves do not help us; how appreciate truth if no liars abound; how be grateful for the ease of health if it be not offset by disease? This leads too far, if the action of error is in any way conceived of as having place in the plan of God; because it would include in that plan all the workers of iniquity. If lying lips were ordained to teach us to value truth, they could not then be "an abomination to the Lord." If it is only by meeting offenses that we grow in grace, then blessed is the man by whom the offense cometh, - blessed be Ahab and Jezebel; blessed be Absalom; blessed be Herod and Judas! But this we do not believe. When we say, "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord," we mean one "that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace."
It ought to be universally clear to human comprehension that evil in belief constitutes a condition of perverseness or reversal from which conversion must be gained, before what is true and normal can be known at all, or man be apparent as the likeness of God. Christ Jesus represents the Son of God. Judas presents the reversal of true manhood or integrity, and in that condition of mind misrepresents both man and God. It ought to be clear, also, that the process of overcoming evil with good is not merely a struggle with adverse environment, it is a contest also with wrong habits of thinking. The kingdom of heaven must first be established within. Godliness or goodness must displace ungodliness or godlessness.
Here we are confronted with a condition which seems to be a concomitant part of man's history, which theologians discuss under the name of sin. Some teachers claim this to be the great activity of the present life, and some believe its disastrous effects to be eternal. But if we scientifically examine the claims of sin, we see how they can be overcome and annulled as they were by the Master, who "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
The first axiom regarding man in Scripture is that he was made in the image and after the likeness of God. Jesus reminded his disciples of what this implied, saying, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." What then is sin? It is any theory, belief, motive, thought, or action which misrepresents the likeness of God. Per contra, what is righteousness but right action, correct conduct, truthful thinking, whereby man expresses as God's image "the beauty of holiness." To say that two plus two equals five misrepresents the relation of numbers; it is in mathematics an error or sin; but does it not vanish, being overcome by the truth, when the relationship is truly expressed?
We have the right to expect of men that they express God's likeness. Is it not true that the faith and trust of every normal child asks this of us? The child expects truthfulness, relies upon kindness, trusts goodness, has faith in love; and in regard to childhood the sin of adults is in deceiving that trust and being false to that faith. Scientifically anything is sinful which mars the image and likeness of God in man. A man sins against himself who becomes degraded through drunkenness, but he also sins against his friends and family in disappointing their expectation as regards manhood. Why is defalcation and graft so severely condemned? Not only because the breach of trust disappoints our expectation regarding the one man who is untrue, but because it poisons us with suspicion of others, makes us doubtful regarding all men. On the other hand, why is it that a true man helps us and gives us joy and hope? He lifts up again the fallen ideal of man; he restores our trust in manhood; he expresses God's likeness and reassures us of good. They who robbed widows' houses and for a pretense made long prayers, were severely warned by Jesus, who saw their deceptive hypocrisy to be worse sin than the unethical conduct of the publicans and sinners, who were openly wrongdoers. The acknowledged wrongdoer may be nearer to that discovery of the effects of sin which will make him begin to overcome it, than the hypocritical sinner who calls his evil good and justifies himself in error.
Christian Science deals successfully with sin as with sickness, healing both conditions of distress, overcoming moral evil with spiritual good. Men fall into sin because they seek for good from a wrong basis. Christian Science shows that what is good comes from God primarily, and that men need not hurt nor destroy other men in order to find good. It reveals the fact that good comes according to inflexible Principle changeless from age to age, ever providing blessedness for the pure, the honest, the chaste, the truthful, the loving. Under its tuition a man perceives why he must earn, not steal; why he must be chaste, avoid anger and hate, speak the truth regarding his neighbor, and rejoice in the welfare and prosperity of others. He then gives more than literal obedience to the commandments. He understands why they were given, and by his nature he more and more expresses God's likeness. So peace abides with him and his joy endures.
Should there remain any misconception regarding the possible permanency of sin and error, consider the petition used universally by Christians to express their desire for divine guidance. The Master framed it first for the disciples, who said to him: "Teach us to pray." When communing with Spirit, we say to the heavenly Father, "Lead us not into temptation [where all other leadership than thine takes us]; but deliver us from evil." Some commentators read the petition as if they thought it customary for us to be scathed by temptation at the hands of God, and this were a prayer for special exemption from the regular process. But there is good sense in the words of James: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." If God were tempted with evil, or had any consciousness of evil, how could we expect from God deliverance from it? If evil constituted part of the divine consciousness, we should have to learn evil in knowing God. Jesus taught that to know the true God was life and peace. If this be so, - and we may not doubt the one who best proved his teachings,- then we are delivered from evil, and find it to be neither actual nor real in proportion as we follow the guidance of Spirit. This the psalmist understood when he said: "Thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness."
We pray therefore to God who is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," for deliverance from evil; to God who "is light," in whom "is no darkness at all;" to God who is Love, in whom no cruelty can be. In proportion, then, as we gain clarification of thought so as to be led by God, and no longer misled by malice-breeding fears, by theories undivine or ambitions devilish, we shall be delivered from believing in evil either as cause or effect.
Christian Science teaches that the eternal Principle underlying all reality is good; hence all forms of evil are transient and false conceptions, dwelling only in human consciousness because of recognition, yet having no real being.
When we say that good constitutes all reality, this is quite different from any theory which says, "All is good," and then tries to associate evil with reality by calling it the minister of good, so that the all of sense, a conglomerate of good and evil, may be named good. Nor is the theory either Christian or scientific which flippantly says, "There is no evil," without any examination of the claims of evil or contest with them; for this also makes men become the servants of evil in the name of good. When one scientifically declares, "Good is all," he must face the arrogant and importunate claims of evil and overcome them. He must scientifically explore the ramifications of false believing and of false teaching whereby godlessness is rooted in the minds of men, and must uproot every plant that the heavenly Father hath not planted. He must be Christian enough in the process to return good for evil, blessing for cursing, to meet reviling with patience, and contumely with meekness, for thus did the Master prove the reality and potency of good.
To prove the reality of good requires the exercise of faith, does it not? Think of the unfaltering faith exhibited by the Founder of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy! What is faith? Is it a cloudy sense of believing and accepting what our particular circle considers worthy of credence? Or is it reliance upon God? Faith is not credence merely; it is not only expectancy, but the certainty which grows out of understanding. The man of faith is sure. The faith which accounts for all Christian triumphs has advanced beyond mere belief and become certainty regarding the unseen, the assured understanding of eternal truth and right, an unfaltering confidence in the victory of good.
Is not the world weary of its disquieting doubts, weary of its fears, weary of unbelief? A senator whose custom it was to question men and women of wide experience and proved ability, regarding their belief in immortality, found that they were more deeply interested in this than all other subjects put together. Said one: "I would rather be sure that when a man dies he will live again with his conscious identity, than to have all the wealth of the United States, or to occupy any position of honor or power the world could possibly give." This is what many men would say; but they are not sure of God, in whom we live; they hold theories regarding the resurrection of the Son of God and so do not know "the power of his resurrection;” and they are uncertain regarding man, deriving him from dust rather than Mind, and so are insecure regarding immortality. How reassuring and comforting, then, is the message of Christian Science, coming to restore to men true faith in God, faith in the risen Christ, faith in enduring life.
The effect of that faith which says to divine Love, “Lead us," and which thereby finds deliverance from evil, must express itself in peace on earth and good will to men. Faith makes the request, “Reclothe us in our rightful mind," and the answer is manifest in "the beauty of holiness." The universal practical effect of Christian Science is to revive the faith and quicken the understanding of mankind, but it goes farther in also quickening that kind of love whereby man expresses to his neighbor the likeness of God. While the commandments are held to be sacred and binding, emphasis is laid on that last one of our Master's directions for blessed living, when he said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." Since Christ Jesus healed the sick and cast out evils, so of his followers must it be said that the works he did they do also.
When Mrs. Eddy associated her students for organized effort, she recognized this purpose and organized a church "designed to commemorate the words and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Manual, p. 17). How gloriously this church has continued its mission under the wise guidance of the Leader, named by the modest title of Pastor Emeritus, whose love inspires the humblest workers with courage, and whose wisdom has averted again and again such mistakes as brought confusion into the primitive church. May we not pray for the continuance and increase of this healing ministry, in order that the demonstration of love may provide eventually a platform upon which all Christians shall stand. If Christ Jesus healed the sick, if he cured sin, if he comforted the distressed, if he destroyed the works of evil, then all his disciples may likewise prove divine love to mankind by following that example. "This is my commandment," he said, "that ye love one another, as I have loved you." We believe this duty of love to be universal. We expect that the health-giving influence of scientific Christianity will reach all mankind.
We have not spoken of the rapid progress of the movement. This is a matter of history. We have merely referred to the multitudes already healed. You may learn of these cases in the testimony meetings, or from the pages of our periodicals. But something remains to be said about the Leader of the Christian Science movement, since it is above all things important to know her aright, and to understand her mission and service to mankind. Let nothing prevent you from understanding that among the benefactors of the race, Mrs. Eddy is the best friend you have. Her selfless consecration enabled her to discern divine Science, and her love for humanity impelled her to demonstrate it in healing the sick, and to teach it. The textbook, Science and Health, teaches, the universal truth, but her other writings make us acquainted with the author, who has taught by example as much as by precept how to overcome evil and establish good.
Despite the fact that earth's best blessing is the inspiration given by a holy life, in ancient Jerusalem they stoned the prophets, and also in later times men have assailed with brute unreason those who exemplified good. Perhaps you have heard some misrepresentation regarding the Leader of this religious movement; if so, what of her patience for the past forty years, during which she has shown her love and good will to those who have misunderstood and opposed her? I do not know of one bitter word spoken in resentment against persecutors, and anyone can understand that only the rule of that same Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," enables a human being not to revile again when reviled, but to do good to those who hate. If to the unthankful and hostile she is consistently kind, then where the flow of good will is unobstructed it becomes to the appreciative an inspiration as they see the beauty of Christian character unfolded.
The purpose of love is to make its object lovable. Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, expresses this sense of love universally, with the evident desire that all mankind may be taught to express man's true nature in the likeness of God, who is Love. Those who know her best, know the trustworthiness of her motives, the integrity of her aims, and the tireless industry of her life. When others become awake to influences by which they have been blessed, they will appreciate and love the one who has been the patient servant and friend of man, and will "arise up, and call her blessed."