Christian Science: The Science of Pure Christianity
Florence Middaugh, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Universal peace is available here and now through trust in and acceptance of God's goodness, and power, said Florence Middaugh, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, in a lecture in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, last night.
Instead of assuring harmony, material inventions have often engendered fear, discontent, and unrest, Miss Middaugh stated. However, she added, mankind's scientific progress need not be characterized by chaos, destruction, and suffering.
Spiritual understanding of God and the real universe, including man, is bringing mankind release from sickness, sin, sorrow, and other problems of everyday living, she declared.
Miss Middaugh is a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship. Her lecture, which was given under the auspices of The Mother Church, was entitled, "Christian Science: The Science of Pure Christianity." She was introduced by Theodore Wallach, C.S., First Reader of The Mother Church.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Is there a way out of the darkness of human thinking? Is there a plan upon which all men can agree that will bring about enduring peace, harmony, and universal brotherhood? These are grave questions facing mankind today, but Christian Science answers them with perfect assurance and confidence to the satisfaction of all who turn to its teachings for light and guidance.
That the world today is in great need of healing from the mesmerism of evil beliefs is beyond doubt. Mankind is seeking release from sickness, sin, sorrow, loss, discontent, and woe. It may startle the world to know that the perfect plan for its redemption and healing was presented centuries ago and is available here and now. It is stated in simple Biblical terms, "Thou shalt have none other gods before me'' (Deut. 5:7).
Through centuries past, it is possible to trace an effort to obey this law, but evidently the law itself was not sufficiently understood or obeyed, for the history of the world seems to be a discordant and blind groping toward the light.
It is axiomatic that to find a way out of darkness one needs light; Christian Science turns the searchlight of Truth upon the Bible, opening the Scriptures, that all may read and understand. Jesus of Nazareth said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has written, "Our thoughts of the Bible utter our lives" (Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 4).
Jesus' spiritual understanding of the Scriptures equipped him as none other to lead men out of darkness - out of false thinking - and to show them how to work out their own salvation. He taught that God alone is the source of all good and that nothing else can benefit and redeem mankind.
When it is declared to the world that the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, presented by Jesus, if studied and practiced, would bring about an adjustment of every human problem, many do not pause long enough to consider this statement, much less investigate it. Our divinely inspired Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, said almost three quarters of a century ago, "The Bible contains the recipe for all healing" (Science and Health, p. 406).
In her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy found revealed the divine power of spiritually right thinking, in contrast with the powerlessness and instability of material thinking, subject to change and destruction, which Jesus so consistently proved to be deceptive.
Behind all the issues facing mankind today lies a deeper question now forcing itself upon the world. Which shall we choose, the light and understanding, the pure idealism that has formed the value and ideals of our plan of civilization, the freedom of man, or the deceptive opposite domination, suppression, and control now rising up from the lowest depths of materialism?
As Christ Jesus opened the thoughts of his followers to the clear meaning of the Old Testament, so today, Christian Science illumines the Scriptures through spiritual understanding of the Christ, Truth. It teaches that for men to know and love their Father-Mother God as He really is, they must prove their love and devotion to good alone, to all that is pure, wise, and righteous. It means there can be no acceptance of evil as real, or coequal with good. There is no secondary power, and trust in and acceptance of the good that is God reveals to humanity the unreality of the claims of evil. Christian Science assures us that the perception of reality, through the understanding of the real universe and man, is as practical and demonstrable in the affairs of men now as in the time of Jesus.
It is quite evident, however, that in order to perceive this spiritual fact clearly, and prove it, a change of thinking is essential.
Why is it that all the teachings of Jesus find so little response in human consciousness? May it not be because men find his demands more than they are willing to obey, or think, perhaps that his commands were intended only for a bygone age?
Now is the time to heal the mesmerism of this false belief, and Christian Science gives men the ability to do this by teaching them the truth about creation. For moral and spiritual growth, one must begin by knowing God to be Spirit; it is not possible to demonstrate Christian Science by trying to apply the rules of scientific being to a mortal sense of life.
The first words of the Bible are, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). In explanation of this text Mrs. Eddy says: "The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only; - that is the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe" (Science and Health, p. 502). Thus we learn the self-evident fact that God is infinite, eternal, divine Mind, the only cause and creator, and that God created His universe after His own likeness, harmonious and perfect.
In the Science of Genesis, stated in the first chapter, we find the pattern for spiritual existence. The following and legendary Scriptural text of Genesis reverses the all-inclusive mandate of God and represents Him as repeating creation materially. This suppositional creation is what St. Paul calls the "middle wall of partition" (Eph. 2:14). This mist, or obstruction - this mythical creation - is wholly illusory. Each one must decide for himself which record of creation he will accept, but only the true record points the way to eternal life.
Today we are at the beginning of a new order in human experience, the regime of the final revelation of Truth, known in Christian Science as the Science of Christ. This Science, with its tender message of healing, is teaching men that the close of one era and the beginning of a new one, which bears witness to a higher and better understanding of God, need not be characterized in human experience by chaos, destruction, and suffering. Christian Science is teaching mankind to erase the record of dreams by awakening to present-day possibilities.
One may question, "How can I erase the record of events when faced with the results of a war that seems to affect my everyday life?" It is quite evident to the thinker that the upheaval so apparent in the world today points to the need of men and nations for a purer and better concept of existence. This better way is supplied in Christian Science by its teaching humanity to know and understand God.
On page 330 of Science and Health we find these words: "God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man."
Perhaps it may help one better to realize the nature and all-inclusiveness of God if a clearer understanding of the word "infinite" is obtained, for a true sense of infinitude gives the correct view of God. Webster defines infinite as "boundless." As understood in Christian Science, infinite means "the only." The infinite cannot be contained in the finite, else God would not be infinite, divine Life. Truth and Love can never lose for one instant His inexhaustible and indestructible nature. It is the understanding of the infinite and only God, who created the spiritual universe as revealed in the first chapter of Genesis, which eliminates all thoughts of gods many. Belief in gods many has crept into the minutiae of human experiences because men have allowed their concept of God to become materialized. Impoverished is the thought that does not accept the infinity of God, good.
God as Spirit fills all space and knows no doubt, confusion, or fear. God as Mind knows no opposition. Divine Mind is aware of its own completeness, its own infinite spiritual content. It is government - power and law - to its own creation.
Mrs. Eddy's grand definition of God as "The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal" (Science and Health, p. 587), brings us face to face with present perfection and the realization of infinity.
Here and now we can turn from human desires, false concepts, and awaken to recognize the divine standard of perfection, by acknowledging God as the great I AM and man as His reflection.
It is only the dream of materiality that would mesmerize one into believing that man could ever be unlike God. The important question for each one to decide is whether he believes that Mind is in matter, that evil is Mind, or knows that there is but one infinitely good God, one Christ, one creation, including spiritual man.
Man's heritage is wholly good, and he expresses good in every activity. Our work is to recognize present perfection as the forever fact and manifest it in human character.
Man is and ever must be one with God. "I AM THAT AM" indicates perfection and completeness, the effortless activity of infinite Mind, expressing and revealing itself within its own self-containment.
When Jesus said, "I and my Father are one," did he not mean that all there was to him was the divine reality, and that the all-active, divine Principle is ceaselessly and spontaneously expressing itself in its divine idea, man? God has already identified man as His reflection, for in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 27, we read, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." In Christian Science whatever assertion one makes as "I" must be in full accord with Deity to be true. As one checks his use of the word "I" he may be astonished to find he is forgetting his infinite possibilities as a son of God. Man is wholly spiritual, so let us be ever aware of this great fact of being and not try to identify the man of God's creating with materiality. If we know that God is the only creator and man His reflection, we cannot logically think of ourselves as mortals; but is not this what one may be either ignorantly or thoughtlessly trying to do?
Sometimes one may make the mistake of maintaining that he is here in the flesh and must make concessions to mortal man - that he is working out of the flesh into spiritual existence. There is no authority in Christian Science for such an argument. Man as idea is as inseparable from God as a sunbeam is from the sun. Each sunbeam possesses all of the qualities of the sun; yet we cannot say that it is the sun, for it is only reflection. Have you ever tried to capture a sunbeam? It shines on the beautiful landscape, in the gutter, on the lovely flower, but it never takes on the qualities of that upon which it shines. It remains its self. So man, as an idea of God, possesses all the qualities of God and is inseparable from Him. Mrs. Eddy says: "God is indivisible. A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God's fulness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God" (Science and Health, p. 336).
To understand the true sense of being, we must understand an all-important word used in Christian Science - one. The oneness of God and man constitute true being, one infinite selfhood, expressed and reflected within the all-inclusiveness of Mind. Then all that is actually going on at any time is going on in the realm of the self-completeness of infinity.
To one uninstructed in Christian Science this may seem difficult to comprehend at first, but the all-knowing Mind completely eradicates all beliefs, fears, and limitations of the pseudo mind, and reveals itself to each one of us.
Man's oneness with God is his identification, and he cannot be linked with any phase of materiality. He is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, or death. We know our true identity in the exact proportion that we know God.
One may accept all this theoretically, yet not know how to apply these truths to his own experience. Jesus taught us how to utilize them. Christendom generally accepts Jesus as the Way-shower, but it is one thing to acknowledge a guide and quite another to follow him.
We usually think of Jesus' resurrection and ascension as experienced at the end of his career: yet he was laying the foundation for these triumphal demonstrations of divine power when he was but a boy questioning and answering the doctors in the temple. He was ever about his Father's business, and he learned step by step to accept truth and reject error.
In the wilderness, at the beginning of his three year ministry, we find Jesus crossing swords with evil. The temptations that face men today are the same as those that faced Jesus. From the standpoint of his divine sonship and spiritual status as a child of God, he restored harmony by yielding to human conditions only for the purpose of correcting them. That is possible for each one today as he learns to vanquish error in his own consciousness through the supremacy of Truth.
In the wilderness, Satan offered Jesus the counterfeit of that which he already possessed. Let us examine the first temptation that came to Jesus at that time. It is strangely like the one that faces men today, namely, to give prominence and importance to material means and ends. It would tempt one to believe the task at hand is too great for spiritual reliance and must be handled materially. The subtle tempter would operate now as then through dependence upon and respect for so-called physical laws and bodily necessities. It would control and dominate through material means. Evil attempted then, as now, to regiment individual thinking. Jesus showed us clearly that it is in each individual consciousness that this erroneous intent must be thwarted.
Can we doubt that the unfoldment of Truth and Love in Jesus' thinking brought to the surface every quality of thought upon which evil suggestion could operate to tempt him - qualities of thought which in his early experience he had not yet corrected?
By his faithful allegiance to God, Jesus taught us how to detect the tempter and to challenge and resist its attempts to stultify thinking. Every thought that presents itself to us should be measured by the standard of our oneness with God. If sickness tempts us, we can know that because it is discordant, God never created it. If loss or lack argue, we can refuse to accept them, for God's creation is complete, lacking nothing. Christian Science assures us that it is the same unfoldment of Truth and Love that blessed Jesus that operates in our own consciousness to uncover the evil to be destroyed.
It is the mission of Christian Science to liberate thought from the confused and restricted sense of materiality to comprehend the eternal and the real.
Today we hear much about the world we want, and the demand for progress is greater than ever before. The last half century has been so crowded with human inventions that mankind has long ceased to be incredulous over the astonishing outcome and is ever expectant of greater progress. The scope and greatness of modern invention is not to be considered lightly. It is steadily pushing back the ignorance and limitation of the ages. These inventions, however, have not brought the harmony and contentment that were intended, but rather have engendered discontent, fear and unrest in human thought. Invention for the betterment of humanity must be constructive, not destructive. One definition of "invention"' in Webster's dictionary is "the act of finding out." In Science and Health (p. 195) we read: "Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal."
Then the process of "finding out" is the discovery of better ways to eliminate mortal mind and matter. Today earnest research is beginning to reveal to mankind the need to control invention. On the other hand, Christian Science helps one to understand the way out of materiality by reversing the fables of material belief and the fear of their consequences by uprooting and destroying the suggestion that matter is actual.
The same question that has been paramount in human consciousness for centuries is voiced today, "How can I find eternal Life and the kingdom of heaven?" Social, civil, medical, and religious systems endeavor to answer these questions.
Jesus gave promise of the kingdom of heaven, using a short parable to illustrate its coming into human consciousness. He nowhere actually described this kingdom, but his life revealed it. To use his own words, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Matt. 13:33).
It was the leaven of good which Jesus taught his disciples to use. He warned them of the leaven of Herod, the false leaven that would strengthen trust in matter and minds many. If we want this leaven of Truth to operate in our lives, we must be willing to change our thinking, for it is evident that a change must take place before the results of the leaven of Truth can be realized.
In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy has devoted an entire chapter to the grouping of three outstanding fields of thought - Science, Theology, and Medicine - as having an important meaning for all in their true classification and definition. The world has always handled each of these subjects as entirely separate and unrelated to the others. Christian Science shows a definite relationship between them. With unerring wisdom Mrs. Eddy has exposed the pretensions of the doctrines of evolution, heredity, false education, and challenged the claims of false theology and material science. She saw the deceptiveness and inadequacy of the teachings of the material sciences, so called, and recognized that if one would find the primal cause he must find God as Spirit, not matter, operating through His unerring, spiritual law. She has given a complete and satisfying interpretation of these great subjects, contrasting the spiritual and the material concept of them.
The whole structure of human education today is inadequate to equip one to meet everyday experiences. Christian Science offers the solution for humanity's difficulties by regarding existence from the standpoint of Spirit, not matter. In Science and Health (p. 118) Mrs. Eddy says, "In their spiritual significance, Science, Theology, and Medicine are means of divine thought, which include spiritual laws emanating from the invisible and infinite power and grace." The human mind has placed an entirely mortal concept on these great fields of thought. Science, theology, and medicine as the world views them, stand for avenues of human intelligence rather than means of divine volition. In order to gain the true understanding of these subjects as explained in Christian Science, one must reverse his thinking and put them in their rightful place as ideas of Mind, indissolubly joined together.
The Science Jesus taught is changeless and spiritual, untouched by materiality. His theology was the healing Truth, and his medicine was divine Mind, not matter. He healed by the power of God.
The mission of Christian Science is to imbue religion and medicine with the essence of the divine nature and give fresh impetus to faith and understanding that our thought may rest intelligently upon God.
Science, as understood materially, implies a search for perfection. Natural science, so called, is always searching for something, but it does not acknowledge Truth as God. Christian Science starts at the standpoint of perfection and acknowledges God as All-in-all.
It is logical to assume that since God is All-in-all and God is Spirit, then all that can be classified as real Science must be embodied in an understanding of God, the all-inclusiveness of divinity. Then, if one wants to know the true Science or spiritual fact, he can find it by reversing the material belief.
One can best understand the true Science of being by learning how Jesus healed by his practical application of the operation of God's law. Christian Science reveals that the teachings of Jesus were natural and scientific, because they demonstrated the law of Life, Truth, and Love.
Jesus talked of a new order to be brought in, while his disciples were looking for an old one to be restored. Is that not what men are looking for today? Through corrected thinking we find that the new order as Jesus perceived it is brought about as men receive the Christ, Truth.
Men have long asked the question, "How did Jesus heal the sick?" Jesus explained this convincingly; yet the world refused to accept it. He healed the sick by knowing the truth about God and His perfect creation, including man. His theology healed because he manifested exact and scientific knowledge of God. This is the theology of Christian Science.
Anciently, Christians proved their religion by healing sin, sickness, and death, but modern religions attempt only the healing of sin. We learn in Christian Science that the promise of redemption from sin, sickness, and death is not vain, but is demonstrably true, following exact knowledge of God.
Let us be ever aware of this healing Christ that, by its very nature of purity and holiness, exposes and uproots the mental deformity in human consciousness. In Science and Health, we read (p. 138); "Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning."
Perhaps no other topic so holds human thought today as does the question of medicine. Here, as in other avenues of human practice, Christian Science assures us that the mental standpoint must change.
Mortals believe that they exist in a material universe and live in a material body, and so naturally seek to gain understanding of this universe through the physical sensations of this body. Can we wonder that starting from this viewpoint, changes are varied and numerous? Divine metaphysics shows us that material appearances are not what they seem to be, but are false mental pictures which can be seen only from the suppositional standpoint of mortal mind, or mind in matter.
One may ask how he can reach the true standpoint of divine metaphysics. The answer is, To see that ignorance, doubt, fear, and disease grow less and less real in his thinking until they finally disappear. This means letting awareness of reality displace things that seem to be. In Science and Health (p. 339) we find these words: "The basis of all health, sinlessness, and immortality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed, but it must be understood."
Medicine has so long been identified in human thought as a means of curing disease and sickness that its true meaning has been obscured. God being the only cause and creator, He created medicine, but that medicine could only be in accord with His nature, spiritual not material. Since true health rests in divine Mind, matter is not a factor in divine metaphysics. God's remedy for discord of every nature is spiritual.
It is a recognized fact that the people's improved views of God have improved the theology and practice of religion and medicine. In the realm of material medicine today, many physicians are beginning to treat the physical state by first administering to the mental, admitting that the procuring cause of disease is mental. The leaven of Christian Science is beginning to work in just this way in medical practice.
In Christian Science we have no discoveries to make in matter, no methods to try out, no experiments to make on patients. The medicine of Christian Science is divine Mind, and it heals by the realization of the true nature of health and harmony as realities of being and man's true heritage. To be ever awake to these spiritual facts and demonstrate them is the essential way to heal the pitiful ills of mankind and still further to ensure universal salvation from the belief of mind in matter.
Slowly, but surely, humanity is awakening to realize that all disease is primarily mental. Christian Science is revealing that spiritual truth, as Jesus taught and demonstrated it, in spiritual healing.
As we realize the all-inclusiveness of God and His ever-availability and man's inseparability from Him, our thought naturally reaches out for a closer communion with the creator of all good.
Through the medium of prayer man's fellowship with God comes into conscious expression. True prayer is characterized by pure thinking. It results in deep love and adoration, which bring our lives into accord with divine Life, our Father-Mother, Love. Righteous prayer removes all obstacles and enables and encourages men to bring all their activities into the realm of God and into obedience to His law.
What prayer is so potent as silent prayer as revealed in Christian Science! Mrs. Eddy says in "No and Yes" (p. 39), "What but silent prayer can meet the demand, 'Pray without ceasing'?" Silent, ceaseless prayer teaches us to guard our thought constantly. The God who weighs our prayer according to motives answers according to His infinite wisdom. The unwise man who turns from his prayers to follow the influences of animal magnetism, seeking satisfaction in material prosperity, ease in matter, or who, perhaps, indulges in criticism, condemnation, or gossip, finds that spiritual desires have gone out, and materialism, indifference, and skepticism have crept in.
Christian Science demands spiritual activity for its demonstration. One of the most effective instruments with which to stir the human mind is gratitude. If we keep gratitude in our hearts, there will be no going to sleep through lack of interest or incentive.
Perhaps we little know how great a part gratitude plays in healing discord of any kind. Our acquaintance with the word of God shows us that gratitude is best expressed in deeds. Gratitude shines like a ray of light through the teachings of Jesus. The gratitude he taught is a constant, conscious attitude of thought. It never changes in its degree, and as we work and pray with right motives, God opens the way to peace and harmony.
A present realization of spiritual facts makes us turn more unreservedly to God in prayer. The thought that hungers and thirsts after righteousness is best filled by silent communion with the Father. What we desire to be and how quickly we find these desires fulfilled, depends largely upon how much we individually hunger and thirst right now for spiritual truths. "Search me, O God, and know my heart" should be a prayer often on our lips.
We can best help others by keeping a clear concept of man and his spiritual needs. A poem reads:
"I gave a beggar from my store
Of well earned gold.
He spent the shining ore
and came again and yet again
Still cold and hungry as before
I gave a thought, and through
that thought of mine
He found himself, the man,
Fed, clothed and crowned
with blessings manifold,
And now he begs no more."
Anyone who strives to know what God is and what man is, will find through prayerful communion with God that bad habits will disappear, inferior attractions will be replaced by more desirable ones, and taste in every direction will be purified and improved. In "Miscellaneous Writings" we read (p. 322), ". . . it is God that feedeth the hungry heart, that giveth grace for grace, that healeth the sick and cleanseth the sinner."
Today mankind is seeking healing, surcease from discord of every nature. In Christian Science we find an entirely different concept of healing. It is not merely the result of using Christian Science to overcome discordant material conditions, but it is a steadily growing awareness of the harmonious operation of divine law that is always present.
One may ask, "How can I learn to utilize this law?" One may begin by checking his own thinking, not once but constantly. Healing in Christian Science is a constant challenge to thought. It is a sovereign antidote for error through the action of Truth, eliminating error in human consciousness, setting the captive free.
Men govern the human body largely by faith in drugs, hygiene, and medical science, so-called. In Christian Science we learn that all discord is dispelled before the rights of divine intelligence, and one can demonstrate the power of divine Mind over every function and action of the human body.
One thing requisite in spiritual healing is the elimination of fear. Fear is an illusion, but it seems very real to the frightened mortal sense. Fear that is prompted by ignorance and superstition can be dispelled, but to cure the effect of fear caused by sin, one must rise above both fear and sin. Healing in Christian Science controls error with Truth, and its ethical and physical effects cannot be separated.
We have said much in this lecture about Christian Science and its operation and its great benefit to mankind, but have said little of its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy. One can no more understand this Science in its purity without a correct understanding of Mrs. Eddy than one can comprehend Christianity without true knowledge of the words and works of Jesus.
Mrs. Eddy's inspired and therefore accurate perception of the teachings of Jesus was made possible only by her love and obedience to God. She could no more resist the desire to record and share her discovery with others than the sun can cease to shine. The truth she discovered is its own interpreter, and she proved faithful to her revelation of it by refusing to allow personal sense to stand in the way. She perceived the Science of Life and its activities so clearly that she was able to demonstrate it.
The world knows more of Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science than as the revelator of Truth to this age. As the Discoverer she proved her love, alertness, and obedience to God. As the Founder she manifested divine intelligence and her recognition of spiritual law. As the Leader she showed unerring ability to carry out divine commands. As the revelator of Truth Mrs. Eddy has brought prophecy into active use. She proved that there is no division between God's promises and their fulfillment. Mrs. Eddy was able to illustrate by her life that it is possible to put into action "the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind" (Science and Health, p. 200).
If one would know what the infinitude of God means, let him study the words and works of Mary Baker Eddy. She has drawn aside the curtain of materiality and shown us the actuality and permanency of Spirit.
Christianity as applied in Christian Science is the only way to understand and to teach the Scriptures. It is entirely practical, for the gospel promises the grace of God to help men to obey its teachings.
True Christianity bestows the power to fulfill its own ideals. Viewed from a material standpoint, one might shrink from the responsibilities that seem to confront mankind today. Instead of standing aghast at the great spectacle of evil, we can stand firm and unafraid. We can see the unreality of a world in subjection to error which has no creator or right to existence.
One must begin in his own thinking to uproot evil. In Science and Health we read (p. 492), "For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence."
One must begin with the fundamentals of Christian Science to find the solution of any problem. Especially is this true in these present-day difficulties. Let us take but one of the essential qualities of thought that play such an important part in world adjustment today, that of peace.
Where does man's desire for peace come from? What stirs the intent to translate this desire into law and order? Certainly such desire comes from God and must be expressed in an entirely different way from that followed by the world.
Christian Science has brought to the world a new sense of brotherhood, a new spirit of tolerance and genuine cooperation. It is a religion of peace, brought to the world by the master Christian. Its divine Principle has been revealed and elucidated in Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science. Each one must ask himself how he is measuring up to this ideal way of living. The kingdom of heaven can never be established in the consciousness of men by force, and it is absurd to employ any but spiritual means to extend the reign of the gospel Jesus taught. Then it is quite logical to assume that each one must establish peace within himself.
In a world torn by war and its concomitants, yet yearning for peace, what good is this teaching of peace if we do not use it? It is time for each one to understand the real essence and mission of a peacemaker and make greater efforts to fulfill its requirements.
If one would prepare for peace, he must uproot all warlike thoughts. The spirit of tolerance must be established in individual consciousness. There is no wrong that cannot be righted by spiritual means. More can be done for the lasting benefit of humanity by moral persuasion, education, and by scientific prayer than is generally realized.
Today hostilities of war have largely ceased, and men and nations are striving for world adjustment by written agreement; yet, if hatred, fear and suspicion are still in the hearts of men, they have but laid aside the visible weapons, while the invisible forces of evil are still to be reckoned with. Destructive beliefs are the worst enemies of mankind.
The peace that Christian Science teaches is more than peace as the world defines it, more than mere release from strife and conquest. It is far more than the elimination of quarrels and disagreements. It is that which gives us serenity and confidence to face evil and master it. It brings Love into the foreground and gives contentment and dominion. He who finds such peace can truly help his fellowman. This peace not only brings tranquility among men, but it reconciles men to God.
It may seem difficult in the present-day struggle for stability to maintain poise, when that upon which men have depended seems losing its foundation and leaving nothing to take its place. Now is the time to take extra care not to accept any of the confusing suggestions of mortal mind, to watch and pray that we follow God.
Let us apply Christianity as Jesus taught it, and as Mrs. Eddy also taught and demonstrated it. Thus we can prove that the peace of God is universal.
If with Paul we can say, Nothing can "separate us from the love of God," then we can know that oceans and continents cannot separate men and nations, that race and nationality cannot be the means of creating warfare. Regardless of race, color, or locality, we are all the children of God, dwelling in unity and friendliness in His kingdom.
In ancient times, between the turrets of the stone castles, men strung wires from the towers to make an Aeolian harp. When there was a calm there was no sound, but when it stormed and the wind blew, exquisite music filled the air. Their harps were so strung that they turned the fury of the storm into sweetest melody, and harmony rose above the discord.
Ours is the opportunity to develop an understanding of good, a perception by which we realize one God and His spiritual universe, including man.
If we would do our part in helping to establish world peace, let us clear from our lives all obstacles of ignorance, fear, hatred, jealousy, and false ecclesiasticism. As we manifest this peace in our lives we are ready to do the work that God has given us to do.
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 14, 1954.]