The Availability of Divine Power

as Revealed by Christian Science

 

James Harry McReynolds, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Spiritual man lives at the standpoint of opportunity and God-inspired action, James Harry McReynolds of Dallas, Texas, Christian Science lecturer, told a Boston audience last night.

Recognition of this fact enables one to avail himself of divine power in all his affairs − including matters of health, employment, finances, and human relationships, the lecturer said. Since the real man has only divinely derived power, he is ''capable of doing with it only that which God inspires and impels him to do, namely, to express the Godlike qualities of Spirit, such as wisdom, enthusiasm, and strength,'' he stated.

Mr. McReynolds spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. He is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship. His subject was "The Availability of Divine Power as Revealed by Christian Science."

The lecturer was introduced by Georgina Tennant, C.S.B., Second Reader in The Mother Church, who said:

"It is a very real pleasure to welcome you all to hear this lecture on Christian Science. The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, has arranged this lecture in order that the simple truths of Christian Science may be set forth to bring fresh inspiration to those who are already students of this Science and to be informative to those who until now have known little or nothing of Christian Science.

"Christian Science is true knowledge − the knowledge or understanding of God. It tells mankind, as Jesus did, of the kingdom of God; of the present reign and power of good; of the impartiality and comfort of divine law; of the balm of Love's atmosphere and the universality of its healing.

"We can expect not only to be interested in this lecture, but to be wiser for having heard it and to see results in our experience from the change in our thinking.

"It is now my privilege to introduce to you your lecturer, James Harry McReynolds of Dallas, Texas, a member of the Board of Lectureship of this Church, whose lecture is entitled: 'The Availability of Divine Power as Revealed by Christian Science.' "

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

"Power," says the Psalmist, "belongeth unto God" (62:11). "What is this divine power?" is a logical question. A primary meaning of the word "power" is the "ability to act." Then power which comes from God could properly be defined as the ability to act with divine authority, with the might bestowed by divine intelligence. Divine power enables one to be good and to do good, to exercise dominion over the so-called power of evil by recognizing and demonstrating the supremacy of the good which comes from God.

In order to orient ourselves mentally so that we may proceed logically with our subject, "The Availability of Divine Power as Revealed by Christian Science," let us make a clear and concise statement of our premise. God is infinite and supreme; consequently it must follow that He is the only source or origin of substance and power. God being All-in-all, everything real reflects Him and manifests His divine power.

In Christian Science God is recognized and understood to be the great I AM, the creator and governor of the universe. He is the God referred to in the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father which art in heaven," whose name we hallow, whose kingdom is without limits, whose power is supreme and infinite and whose glory is forever.

Mary Baker Eddy has defined God so explicitly in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,'' that His name or nature is made clear to us. She writes (p. 465), "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." She further elucidates the nature of God when she writes in the same book (p. 332). "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.''

 

Power of God Blesses All Impartially

The power which comes from God is divine and wholly beneficent. It does not injure, penalize, or deprive one in blessing another. It is the very opposite of physical force or human will, which may be exerted for the purpose of accomplishing something either good or evil. The power of God is the power of divine Love, which "worketh no ill to his neighbour" (Rom. 13:10), and blesses all impartially. Christian Science magnifies this divine power to human apprehension, so that through its lens we see the supremacy of the power of Spirit and the consequent impotence of evil's claim to power. Because God is infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love, He is infinite good, and in the infinitude and all-inclusiveness of God's goodness there is no room for evil or evil effects.

It was Jesus' clear discernment of his sonship with God which enabled him to exercise divine authority and to utilize the power of God. He said "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," and, "What things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise'' (John 5:17,19). He recognized that of himself he could do nothing, but that whatever was possible to the Father was possible to him as the Son. In that remarkable declaration, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30), he expressed a humility and selflessness which conferred a power upon him that nothing else could.

Two of Jesus' statements which seem contradictory, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) and "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30) are satisfactorily explained by Christian Science. Jesus was not God, but the "Son of God," as he himself declared, and the Christ which he exemplified is "the divine manifestation of God" (Science and Health, p. 583), coexistent and coeternal with the Father, reflecting His power.

When led up into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, it was his Christliness which enabled Jesus to know that divine power and substance are ever-present and ever-available realities and that consequently the devil was only a pretender or false claimant to power.

In speaking of the Christ, the Apostle John said, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (1:12). From this it follows that if we accept Christ, believe on Christ, we are able to do the works that Jesus did, because we become "joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17) to the kingdom.

 

Christian Science Reveals the Way

It is a wholly natural and righteous desire to want to speak and act with divine authority, just as Jesus did, for he said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). In order to repeat those works of healing, we must learn how to avail ourselves of this spiritual power, and Christian Science reveals the way. It explains that man is not a creator nor an originator, but that he expresses Soul or Spirit in all its perfection and completeness. As God's reflection, man is spiritual, and is conscious of God's presence and power; he understands true substance and is aware of the unbroken relationship which exists between creative Mind and its idea, man.

As the Christ illumines human consciousness, mankind will see and accept the truth that the only man there is, is the man of God's creating and that the human concept of man is but the counterfeit of the real man. Spiritual man lives at the standpoint of opportunity and progress, and there is no opportunity in divine Principle for anything unprincipled or unlike God to exist or operate.

The Bible tells us that God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," and cannot "look on iniquity" (Hab. 1:13), and in Science and Health we read that "God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors" (p. 356). If God cannot behold and experience them, it should be evident that He could not make man capable of beholding or experiencing them. Mind, God, does not bestow a consciousness with which evil can be known. As we perceive that God is the only power and that man has no power or ability to act apart from that which God bestows, we shall see that man is as incapable of experiencing these evils as he is of creating them.

Since the man of God's creating has only divinely derived power, he cannot misuse or appropriate it for selfish ends, but is capable of doing with it only that which God inspires and impels him to do, namely, to express the Godlike qualities of Spirit, such as wisdom, enthusiasm, and strength. To quote again from Science and Health, "A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity'' (p. 128). The very fact that we catch glimpses of these practical truths and demonstrate them in a degree shows what is possible of attainment if we will seek continually to be guided and governed by divine power.

 

Power of Good Alone Can Succeed

Irrespective of evil's temporary accomplishments, the power of good alone can ultimately succeed. Through fear, timidity, and other forms of mesmerism we may have attributed power to evil, as well as to those who indulge in evil practices. But certainly it is time to awaken to the power of God's goodness and have faith in and respect for it. As we do this, we shall deflate evil's claim to power, which is already ripe for disintegration and destruction.

Physical force, even though capable of being harnessed for human use, is purely material and temporal. Ways have been and will continue to be found whereby one physical force can be utilized to nullify or offset another, but the Bible tells us that the eternal and changeless "Christ [is] the power of God" (I Cor. 1:24).

It was his understanding of the Christ which made Jesus capable of surmounting every obstacle that presented itself to him; even the stone was rolled away from the mouth of the sepulcher in which his body was entombed. When Jesus needed to be on the other side of the lake, he was there instantly. Mankind would have to take into account opposing forces, wind resistance and gravitation, but Jesus proved that to the divine Mind or God there is no distance, time, nor resistance. The divine Mind, being everywhere, is always present to meet our needs; consequently man is not limited by measurements of time or space. And you and I can utilize this truth to the extent that we understand the omnipresence of the divine Mind.

In healing the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:13), who was not in the immediate presence of Jesus, it was proved that divine power does not have to be transmitted from one place to another, but only needs to be recognized as everywhere available. It was also proved that divine power is instantaneous in action, and the same divine power is here today to meet and overcome any and every obstacle which may appear in humanity's path.

The good which proceeds from God is not only powerful, but attractive; in fact, it is the only real attraction. When you are tempted to believe that evil is attractive and powerful, stop and ask yourself, "What is this subtle mesmerism?" Evil frequently comes in the guise of good and would deceive one by making him believe that it is desirable and that he is missing something if he does not indulge in it. All the while compliance with evil invariably ends in unhappiness and disaster. Fear of the consequences has not brought mankind release from evil practices, but a knowledge of Christian Science enables one to discern and resist the allurements of evil and to find satisfaction and reward in right doing.

During the time of Jesus' ministry, Saul, who was later known as Paul, was not a Christian, and his zeal in persecuting Christians makes his subsequent conversion to Christianity and his ardent support of it all the more remarkable. The twelve apostles chosen by the Master had the great privilege of receiving his personal counsel and teaching, but Paul, according to the best accounts, never saw Jesus in the flesh and did not have the advantage of his spiritual guidance and instruction.

 

Paul's Conversion Teaches Lesson

Paul's conversion came about through the advent of the Holy Ghost, by which he understood the impersonal Christ. His subsequent proof that the application of the Christian truths taught by Jesus was not restricted to his immediate disciples is highly important. It enabled him to say, "For our gospel came not . . . in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost" (I Thess. 1:5) and to demonstrate conclusively that "these signs shall follow them that believe" (Mark 16:17).

The revelation of the Christ to Paul's consciousness and his conversion to Christianity by the Holy Ghost are also significant in another respect. They help us to understand and appreciate the discovery and the Discoverer of the promised Comforter, Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy discovered this Science of Christianity in the year 1866 and gave the discovery to the world in 1875 in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This book, together with the Bible, Mrs. Eddy ordained as pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and may I state here that the Bible used in all Christian Science churches in English-speaking countries is the authorized King James Version.

Though this Science coincides with reason and logic, it cannot be wholly perceived through human reason. Spiritual understanding and Christliness are required. This is emphasized in Paul's teachings when he states that "the things of the Spirit of God . . . are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:14). Mrs. Eddy has written, "Ancient and modern human philosophy are inadequate to grasp the Principle of Christian Science, or to demonstrate it. Revelation shows this Principle, and will rescue reason from the thrall of error. Revelation must subdue the sophistry of intellect, and spiritualize consciousness with the dictum and the demonstration of Truth and Love. Christian Science Mind-healing can only be gained by working from a purely Christian standpoint. Then it heals the sick and exalts the race. The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting − leading us to see spirituality and to be spiritual, to understand and to demonstrate God" (No and Yes, pp. 11, 12).

From childhood Mrs. Eddy was deeply religious; she was dutiful in her prayers and devoted to the study of the Bible. On one occasion when she was ill with fever her mother lovingly counseled her to look to God for her peace and comfort. She did this and soon, she said, "A soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone, and I rose and dressed myself, in a normal condition of health. Mother saw this, and was glad. The physician marvelled" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 13).

 

Mrs. Eddy turned to God in Prayer

Her faith in God's power to heal as well as to save increased with the passing years. In middle life, with her recovery from an accident despaired of by physicians and friends, she turned, as in her youth, to God in prayer, with the result that she was instantaneously restored to health, much to the amazement of those about her. This incident was convincing proof to her that the physical healing of disease through purely spiritual means was equally as possible now as it was in Jesus' time. She spent the next three years in a diligent study of the Scriptures, seeking to find and understand the divine law by which she had been healed. To use her own words, she says: "In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only textbook. The Scriptures were illumined; reason and revelation were reconciled, and afterwards the truth of Christian Science was demonstrated" (Science and Health, p. 110).

Mrs. Eddy sought neither human praise nor personal adulation: in fact, she continually admonished her followers to turn away from her personality and look to divine Principle, God, for their guidance and help. She wrote, "Personal revelators will take their proper place in history, but will not be deified" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 308). Loyal students of Christian Science maintain in thought this appraisal of her position; at the same time they feel a deep sense of gratitude to her for the revelation of the Comforter which she has given to the world, and they recognize that a correct concept of her as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and Leader of the Christian Science movement is essential to progress in the demonstrable understanding of this Science.

Mrs. Eddy provided for weekly Lesson-Sermons to be made up of selections from the Bible and correlative passages from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The daily study of these Lesson-Sermons has become a helpful custom with students of Christian Science. They recognize the importance of this study in the protection of their thought against the mesmeric arguments of mortal mind and in the inspiration and strength which it gives them to carry on their daily activities.

Mrs. Eddy also made provision for the establishment and maintenance of Christian Science Reading Rooms, where the Bible, the textbook, and her other writings, as well as the authorized Christian Science periodicals, including The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper, may be read or obtained. The public is invited to make free use of these Reading Rooms, which afford a quiet place for study and contemplation of the spiritual truths of being.

 

True Understanding of Employment

Today many people are seeking employment, some for the first time, while others are seeking to better their present position? In either case it is essential that the individual analyze his thinking. Reconstruction and readjustment begin with right thinking. Let the one seeking employment ask himself, "What is my motive in seeking work or why do I wish to change my occupation?"

In Christian Science we learn that man always has the full-time job of expressing God and demonstrating truth, and a recognition of this fact is imperative to the successful conduct of human employment. Man is never without employment because God created man to represent Him. Man is employed just as surely as he lives, for God has no purposeless ideas. His word is, "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. . . . Therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God" (Isa. 43:21,12).

From the generally accepted concept of employment it may not appear correct to say that one is employed when there is no income. However, when an individual awakens to the fact that employment is the utilization of divine ideas and that these ideas are continually unfolding to consciousness, his problem of unemployment will be readily solved, thus proving that he has a demonstrable understanding of income.

Income signifies incoming good, the incoming of gratitude, incoming love, incoming

strength, incoming intelligence, an increasing capacity to understand and utilize the exhaustless qualities of Spirit. Since man's resources are spiritual, the individual demonstrates the availability of these resources in proportion to his realization of God's ever-presence and omnipotence. Jesus said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35).

In seeking a solution for unemployment the individual must determine how he is occupying himself and his thoughts; whether he is making full use of his time and talents where he is. "To occupy,'' in one sense, means to enter upon possession of, to fill or hold. One needs to enter upon possession of or satisfactorily fill the position he has at present before he is fitted for a better one.

Thoughts of dissatisfaction, inferiority, and failure do not come from God, and they hinder one in seeing the possibilities of advancement in one's present position and impair one's prospect of gaining a better position; but qualities of industry, honesty, and sincerity come from God and they are always in demand because they are useful and constructive.

In Psalms we read, "Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge" (75:6,7). Consider how Joseph was elevated from obscurity and slavery to a place second only to the king; Moses, from exile to a lawgiver;

David, from a shepherd to a king; Daniel, from slavery and captivity to premiership.

An individual may complain, saying that he has tried but that he cannot find work or that he is a misfit in his present position. Perhaps the difficulty is that his chief concern is the remuneration rather than useful service. His need may be ever so legitimate and his desire to meet his obligations ever so sincere, but if he thinks that money of itself will solve his problem satisfactorily, he is certain to meet disillusionment.

Wealth consists of divine substance, the value of which does not shrink. We are too often mesmerized by the thought of money, either the lack or the possession of it. Money of itself is limitation, irrespective of the amount. It you think that you can buy your living or that money is your real income, you are no better off than those who sought to purchase the gift of healing from the disciples.

 

Security the Reward of Righteousness

God has endowed man with life, then surely living is his divine inheritance. Since living comes from Life, God, we do not have to struggle for it; we have only to acknowledge this truth and demonstrate it. This makes our living secure and beyond dissipation or destruction by mortal mind; it is the reward of righteousness. If we will entertain this sense of living, we shall experience the everlasting security which is already ours as the reflection of God.

A man of my acquaintance who had been without any means of livelihood for months sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner to solve his problem. The truth was explained to him over and over again, but for a time without apparent success, that man not only is employable but is employed continuously by his creator to express Him. This reasoning seemed helpful but not completely satisfying and practical to my friend. However, he persisted in trying honestly and earnestly to accept and utilize this truth.

Finally, it became very clear to him that as long as he was expressing Godlike qualities and attributes he was actually employed. He saw that divine substance was ceaselessly coming to him in the form of incoming good from God, his real and only employer. The very day he glimpsed this fact about employment three positions were offered him, all of which were good. These positions had been available for some time, but the man was so fearful and so engrossed with the thought of money or the lack of it that prospective employers could not see him as a possible employee. His real talents and ability were obscured by a sense of bewilderment, anxiety, and fear which filled his thought.

This individual had pondered and finally was able to put into practice the admonition given in two references, one from Science and Health and the other from Prose Works by Mrs. Eddy: "The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea" (p. 90); and the other, "Know then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you or this heritage and trespass on Love" (Pulpit and Press, p. 3).

That God's creation is useful and purposeful is equally true of nations, and when we awaken to man's heritage as the son of God, we shall find that a collective idea does not interfere with or usurp the rights of other collective ideas.

 

Perfect Balance in Spiritual Universe

Differences between management and labor will be adjusted as the thought of those on both sides is elevated by the Christ, and Christian teachings or fundamentals and the practical value of the Golden Rule are seen and adopted.

In the spiritual universe, the only universe there is, there is perfect balance. Since supply and demand are spiritual, the supply always equals the demand. When we recognize this truth, we shall find an equitable balance in the human economy. As management awakens to its opportunity of seeing that its employees prosper and aids them in attaining and maintaining independence and self-respect, and labor in turn recognizes the merited role that management plays in the functioning of business, mutual respect will bring cooperation and will act as a defense against those elements of mortal mind which would exploit both labor and management.

The respective activities of labor and management will be seen as complementary rather than competitive as mankind learns greater obedience to the First Commandment, "Thou shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3), of which Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "One infinite God, good, unities men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, − whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed" (p. 340).

It has been generally accepted through the centuries by all Christians that God is able to forgive sins, and now, after a lapse of many hundreds of years, it is being accepted again by more and more people that God can heal the sick, just as He did in ancient times.

Divine or Christian healing is based on an understanding of the allness and goodness of God. An essential preliminary step to be taken in the healing of any discordant condition is to eliminate from one's thinking the belief that God sends or is responsible for disease and inharmony.

In Job we read that God is "excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict" (37:23).

Inharmony is not an entity or power and is no more capable of entering man's real being than darkness can force itself or be forced into sunlight. This illustration is easy to understand and is readily accepted. Why? Because everyone knows that darkness is only the absence of light, at the coming of which darkness vanishes. Darkness does not assume a particular or different form when disappearing, nor does it offer resistance to the incoming light, because darkness has no entity. In a similar way sin, suffering, and all kinds of limitation are powerless to invade the impenetrable harmony of man's being.

 

'Blessed Are the Pure in Heart'

In order to understand and be blessed by divine power the individual must himself be endeavoring to live in obedience to God's law and eradicate from thought and action everything that is unlike the Christ. One could no more accomplish satisfactory results with his or her prayers by living in impurity, discord, or dishonesty than he could obtain correct answers to problems in arithmetic by disobeying or failing to follow the rules of mathematics. "Blessed are the pure in heart" (Matt. 5:8) is an indisputable rule for healing in Christian Science. To be pure in heart is to acknowledge only one God and have faith in His Word.

Prayer is not asking God for temporal things, even though human necessities, for divine Love fully meets all human need without our asking, but rather is it asking Him to make us desire and accept those spiritual blessings which He has to give. Prayer is not asking God to give us intelligence, but rather is it asking Him to enable us to utilize the intelligence which He has bestowed upon man; to make us conscious of the divine substance man possesses by reflection, the health in which He eternally maintains man. Prayer is not a petition for more love, but it is learning to love: it is not a petition for truth, but it is learning to be truthful − true to self as the idea of God and to one's fellow man. Prayer is not a petition for life, but it is learning to live; it is not asking God for more power and authority, but it is learning to exercise the dominion already bestowed on man.

In order to illustrate the effectiveness of prayer I should like to relate the following incident of healing which took place as the result of Christian Science treatment. During an electrical storm one evening, a young girl of my acquaintance was badly shocked by lightning, and within a few days she began to lose the sight of one of her eyes. She was a member of a Christian Science Sunday School, and the mother was an earnest student of Christian Science. They both worked faithfully to overcome the difficulty, but the condition grew worse. Finally, the father, who was not a Christian Scientist, decided that she should be treated by a physician. He took her to a prominent eye specialist, who made an exhaustive examination, but was unable to diagnose the case or offer any treatment which he thought would be effective. His only recommendation was that she be sent to a hospital for observation.

During the next two or three days while the parents were trying to decide what they would do, the child lost the sight of the other eye. It was then that the father consented to have Christian Science treatment for the daughter, and together they sought the services of a Christian Science practitioner.

 

Spiritual Vision Helps Restore Sight

The father and mother studied the Bible and Science and Health earnestly, and the young girl did her part by learning passages which were read to her, such as the one from the Bible, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5); and from Science and Health, "The divine Principle, or Spirit, comprehends and expresses all, and all must therefore be as perfect as the divine Principle is perfect'' (p. 518); also the words from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 275);

 

"Ages have seen His might,

Father we call His name;

Nights of our mourning and sorrow end,

Light blesses opened eyes,

Joys like the dawns arise

As we see Him our God and Friend."

 

As a result of their own improved understanding and awakened spiritual vision, in three days the child's sight was restored. This happened five or six years ago, and today she has normal vision.

Paul said, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13), and, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Cor. 5:17). It is through the Christ, Truth, that we are saved − seen as we really are and always have been, perfect and immortal. Through this "gospel of Christ," "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16) is revealed as a present possibility, rather than a doubtful future event.

In the light of the ever-present Christ we see the allness of God, good, and the perfection of man and the universe. In this divine light we do not see error disappearing, but become aware of the fact that it was never present, as a reality. We see the real man's oneness with divine Principle, which precludes his agreement with sickness, sin, or limitation of any sort; we see that man is forever identified with the realities of being − health, harmony, and immortality.

When one sees himself as he really is − the son of God − he realizes that his salvation is assured and that his life is uninterrupted because it is coincident with divine Life and therefore it is everlasting.

 

Talking Serpent Just an Illusion

What is it that whispers to consciousness, or screams, as the case may be, that man is less than God's creation, that he is suffering, weak, or the victim of ill-fortune? Is it not the so-called talking serpent, which no one believes exists, and yet which practically everyone believes is talking to him of evil and disaster? Is not the conversation of the serpent just as much of an allegory as the serpent itself? Surely, then, it is time to cease believing in this illusion, since it is devoid of intelligence and reality.

An understanding of Christian Science enables one to refute the evidence of material sense, whose finiteness would contradict God's omnipotence and omnipresence. It teaches us that the reality of health cannot be assailed, weakened, or overpowered by disease and suffering. Health is not merely the absence of pain and bodily inharmony, but rather is it an active, vital, invigorated state of consciousness. It is an inherent quality of Life for which God is responsible and which He maintains by His saving power. Health consequently cannot be dissipated nor destroyed by powerless evil. Christian Science further enables us to know that fear, ignorance, and sin − the causes of disease − can be eradicated and thus kept from imposing themselves on humanity, in the same way that Jesus demonstrated the effectiveness and availability of divine power.

Since health originates in God, it is not something that is gained through an inanimate drug, neither is it dependent upon a particular locality or altitude; nor are there varying degrees of health, because health is complete, perfect, and eternal. Through the teachings of the Bible, as explained by Christian Science, we are able to perceive that we stand in the knowledge of God rather than in the wisdom of men, hence we are privileged to know the reality of health. Let us, then, begin in this very hour to claim man's heritage of health and immortality.

What is Christian Science treatment? Briefly, it is prayer − prayer which affirms God's allness and man's likeness to God. And to pray aright, the individual must have faith in and understand the power of God. In Science and Health we find that illuminating passage on prayer: "In order to pray aright, we must enter into the closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and silence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God's allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must 'pray without ceasing.' Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master's injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity" (p. 15).

 

Man Reflects Dominion of God

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus said, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.'' and the spiritual interpretation of this passage, given in Science and Health, is, "Enable us to know, − as in heaven, so on earth, − God is omnipotent, supreme" (p. 17). In being obedient to the will of God and doing the will of God, man reflects His dominion and power.

To do the will of God is to reflect the intelligence of Mind, which includes perfect vision, application, ability, and understanding. To do the will of God is to manifest the omniaction of Spirit, in which are substance and power. To do the will of God is to be the representative of Soul, which enables one to identify himself as he really is, the son of God. To do the will of God is to understand that man is inseparable from the creative, divine Principle, which eternally holds him in indissoluble relationship with itself as the creator, and the created. To do the will of God is to exemplify the continuity of Life, in which man is held securely in the eternal bonds of health und immortality. To do the will of God is to manifest the reality of Truth, by which man is governed by the divine law of order, harmony, and justice. To do the will of God is to feel and know the spontaneity of Love, which permeates and encircles man with affection, tenderness, and grace.

In doing the will of God we are enabled to partake of this unlimited divine power, using it in service to God and man. ''O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name (His power) together" (Ps. 34:3).

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor in 1950.]

 

 

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