The Science of the Teachings of Christ Jesus
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Mankind's greatest need is renewed
trust in God's power and clearer comprehension of the teachings of the Master,
Miss Florence Middaugh, C.S.B., of
"The teachings of Christ Jesus are just as vital, fresh, and impartial now as when he uttered them," Miss Middaugh declared.
To comprehend his words and works and to make them practical in daily living, thought must be spiritually enlightened, she said. A member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, she spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, on the subject "Christian Science: The Science of the Teachings of Christ Jesus."
Miss Middaugh was introduced by Mr. Arthur P. Wuth, First Reader of The Mother Church.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Think of the joy of having at hand the assurance of enduring peace, harmony, and brotherly love. Think what it would mean to realize, even in a measure, that all the discord, sickness, and unhappiness in the world are dreams, illusions, having no history, no entity, and having nothing whatever to do with God's perfect creation - the universe and man in His image and likeness.
Perhaps there is a greater longing for stability and peace in the hearts of mankind today than ever before, because men are awakening to realize that their cherished hopes are not impossible of accomplishment.
The stir, the awakening, that is manifest all over the world today is not happening by chance. It is the effect of Truth in human consciousness, bringing evil to the surface to be destroyed. We read in the Bible, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him" (Ezek. ).
Christian Science offers the way of universal salvation, for the truth it teaches brings light and understanding to human consciousness, enabling men to rise out of the darkness and fear of evil beliefs to understand the true way of life.
Darkness can only be dispelled by light. The record of the one and only creation begins with light, as related in the first chapter of Genesis, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." This light runs like a golden thread throughout the Scriptures, proclaiming God's divine plan of redemption for mankind from sickness, sin, and death.
For centuries men have asked, "What and where is God?"
In the Bible, God is frequently referred to as "Father," and this understanding of Him has brought courage and strength to multitudes in time of need. Christian Science teaches us to know the nature of the Father and brings Him closer to us in a clearer realization of His allness and oneness.
Referring to the absolute oneness of God and man, we read in Isaiah, "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? . . . I am God, and there is none else" (46:5,9).
To Jesus came the revelation of
God as Spirit, Truth, Love, but a name most dear to him was "Father."
Even as a child Jesus instinctively turned to Spirit as Father. The Bible
records that as a boy of twelve he took a pilgrimage to
It remained for our Leader to give the fuller meaning of God as "Mother," thus indicating the completeness of the Godhead.
God, as both Father and Mother, as
the only One, reveals to us a true sense of selfhood. Man, as God's offspring,
expresses all the qualities of the manhood and womanhood of God, Spirit. Courage,
tenderness, strength, love, and nobility, while not originating in man, are the
qualities or attributes of Deity, which he reflects. When Moses, fearful of his
ability to obey the command of God to lead the children of
A little lad was invited to a roller skating party. He had been skating about forty minutes when he fell, breaking his arm in two places. Others were greatly concerned but the mother pushed the child on his skates to the door and to her car. The hostess protested that the arm was broken in two places and needed attention. The mother thanked her and told her not to worry - that all was well. On the way home, mother and son declared the truth as they had been taught in Christian Science. When the mother had the child on his bed, she called a Christian Science practitioner for help.
No sooner had she finished speaking than the father of the little lad who was giving the party was at the door. He was a medical doctor. He asked to see the boy's arm, as he had been told it was broken. He was lovingly told that they had called a Christian Science practitioner. The doctor said, "O, I know you can use Christian Science for many things but not for a broken arm." The mother thanked him and said they would rely upon Christian Science but if he really wanted to help, he could return the skates to the rink, which he did. The child was soon asleep.
For three days and nights the pain was very difficult and the practitioner asked the parents if they wished to rely upon mental surgery. They asked the boy if he wanted a doctor to set his arm and he staunchly replied that he wanted only Christian Science treatment. That was the answer of the parents to the practitioner, "We shall depend upon God alone." Eight days later the boy was back in school and in fourteen days he was using his arm in a normal way. He is very active in sports and the arm has never given him any difficulty.
This same healing presence is with us today. To know God as revealed in Christian Science is to be aware of His perpetual presence, wisdom, and strength. If we are confronted with discord, sickness, or opposition in the home, office, church, or in our daily contact with our fellow man, our remedy is at hand, for the true understanding of our divine Father-Mother is our reminder that obstacles, limitation, and opposition are not in the realm of divine Mind and hold no power over man, as the divine likeness.
Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, as recorded in Luke's Gospel, illustrates the unfailing love of God. In the narrative, a man has two sons, one wayward and irresponsible, who asks for his share of the inheritance and goes into a far country and spends all he has in riotous living. The other son, who remains at home, has the same inheritance, but he does not recognize it as such. He is sullen, envious, and selfish. Each son receives the same loving consideration. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science tells us that "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 13).
Parents who train their children to love and obey God bless them beyond measure. Are we as careful to obey God? Are we honest in our assertions as to our obedience to Him? To obey Him is to love Him and all that He creates. We read in Science and Health, "You will learn that in Christian Science the first duty is to obey God, to have one Mind, and to love another as yourself" (Science and Health, p. 496).
The health, harmony, and happiness of men depend upon how they obey the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). If we would obey and love God, we must know and understand His spiritual universe.
In the Bible are two distinct records of creation. The first indicates that God is the only cause and creator and that man is His perfect likeness; the second records pantheism, the belief of life in matter as opposed to the might of Spirit, and describes man as mortal, or the counterfeit of the man of God's creating.
Since God, Spirit, is the only cause and creator, and He made all good, there can be found no second creation. Any supposition of a material universe is only a false concept of spiritual reality. Since there is no second creation, there can be no second selfhood.
Christian Science teaches us, that if we evaluate correctly, we can but recognize the one spiritual creation. Mrs. Eddy writes, "God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence" (Science and Health, p. 471).
The words and works of our Master, Christ Jesus, are of paramount importance to us today, because of the remarkable clarity of his instruction, as well as the unfailing certainty with which he healed all manner of discord.
A record of the life of Jesus shows him to have possessed spirituality far above his fellow men both before and after his era. He based his teachings and established his church upon the all-inclusive love and presence of God. He claimed no life, intelligence, nor power apart from his heavenly Father. He not only understood the oneness, or unity, of God and man, but he demonstrated it. Therefore, he could say to his disciples, "I and my Father are one" (John ).
Mrs. Eddy tells us: "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage. His mission was both individual and collective" (Science and Health, p. 18).
How did Jesus teach his chosen disciples? His method was simple, yet profound. He taught by parable and example, for his followers could better comprehend his meaning in plain terms of everyday life. He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John ). He saw the poverty of mortal existence, and taught his followers the richness of spiritual living, by giving them straightforward, fundamental rules of conduct that led to continued self-improvement, enabling them to exemplify the nature of the infinite.
The essence of Christ Jesus' great Sermon on the Mount is, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). In the Beatitudes prefacing this sermon, are briefly outlined the requirements and rewards of true character. Jesus might have summed up all the Beatitudes by saying, "Blessed are they who live as I live." We may assume that he would have said this in all humility, for he taught, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John ); "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John ). He also said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John ). He spoke to his immediate disciples, but his teaching is for all.
It is possible for any man, in any place, to meet the requirements of the Beatitudes. Why should we not fill our lives with the miracles of grace outlined in these teachings? Is it asking too much for us here and now, to rise above the false attraction of worldliness by keeping our thoughts so purified by closeness to God that we may say with Jesus, "I and my Father are one"; that is, not one in quantity, but one in the qualities of spiritual being? Is it not possible that we may dwell so consistently in the realm of God that His will may be known to us? Does it not seem a logical thing that one should begin with himself to understand his Maker and pattern the divine nature?
After giving the Beatitudes, Jesus told his disciples what those who lived according to the divine standard would mean to the world. He said: "Ye are the salt of the earth: . . . the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid" (Matt. , 14).
Christian Science teaches us so beautifully how to heed the Master's admonition to be the light of the world. Mrs. Eddy says: "Let your light reflect Light. Have no ambition, affection, nor aim apart from holiness. Forget not for a moment, that God is All-in-all - therefore, that in reality there is but one cause and effect" (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 154, 155).
Every genuine student of Christian Science longs to express the Christ. It brings to the individual the realization of one's true selfhood as inseparable from the Father. Its influence is felt within, awaiting our recognition, acceptance, and demonstration. The Christ is the nature and power of God, Spirit, which enabled Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead. Christian Science distinguishes clearly between Jesus and the Christ. Jesus was corporeal; Christ is incorporeal. It was Jesus' spiritual understanding of the nature of God that enabled him to demonstrate the Christ, the idea or reflection of God, Spirit.
It was the supreme naturalness, the purity, and intelligence of Jesus that enabled him to represent the Christ, his real selfhood. He lived among men and proved by his understanding of the allness and oneness of God that good is ever present and available to all. Mrs. Eddy defines "Christ" as "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583).
When Jesus said to the man with the withered hand "Stretch forth thine hand", it was the Christ that healed; and the man obediently stretched forth his hand, "and it was restored whole, like as the other" (Matt. ).
On a business trip several hundred miles from home, a man suddenly suffered extreme pain while in the company of two personal friends who were physicians high in their profession. All symptoms were apparent of what they, in sincere alarm, called acute appendicitis. To them there was but one way to avoid fatal results, and they did their best to persuade him to make use of the means of materia medica. Their insistence was so strong that it was necessary for him to ask for a chance to rest, but this was granted only after he had promised to tell them when their well-meant services would be accepted. Mortal mind was arguing that this claim was real, powerful, and frightening. Depending entirely upon the fact that God is the only creator, he telephoned a Christian Science practitioner for help. She reasserted the truths of God's laws as set forth in the Bible and in the writings of Mrs. Eddy. She also pointed out man's true heritage of health and freedom. Meanwhile, he reexamined for himself the true nature of creation and the complete absence therein of anything but good.
In a very few hours the two friends were advised that the healing which had been confidently expected by both the practitioner and patient had taken place. These friends were amazed and incredulous when told that there no longer existed any pain or symptoms of the trouble. In fact, they were so incredulous that they insisted upon their right as friends to be shown. At first the inclination was to deny them this proof but after prayerful consideration, the request of the two physicians was granted. When they could not find a single evidence or indication of the false claim which had so frightened them, they were amazed even more.
When Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (John 9:5), he referred to his real selfhood, the Christ, as "the way, the truth, and the life'' (John 14:6). When he said to the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was within them, was he not referring to the nature of the man he knew, the image and likeness of God, reflecting the perfection of the Father? The perfect man is your true selfhood and mine.
What does it mean to see man as Jesus saw him? It is logical to assume that when he healed the sick, he never made a reality of the discord as an objective evil to be destroyed or changed. He knew the nothingness of all error. He knew all reality is in God and His spiritual universe, and he taught and demonstrated on that basis.
One may ask, "How can I express the Christ?" One may begin by expressing the qualities of good - mercy, kindness, purity, love, and so on - by correcting errors of temperament, forgiving offenses, uprooting criticism, and overcoming prejudice and hate.
The Christ removes discord, sin, and sickness by exposing the erroneous thoughts that induce them, and it reveals the divine idea that corrects and dispels them. Christ Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Matt. ).
The teachings of Christ Jesus are just as vital, fresh, and impartial now as when he uttered them. How may we understand and demonstrate them today? His words and works are simple and clear; yet to comprehend them and make them practical in the daily life, thought must be spiritualized. Through the discovery of Christian Science as given to the world by Mrs. Eddy, all may understand and put these teachings into daily use.
Mrs. Eddy writes: "Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth" (Science and Health, p. 316).
Matured workers in Christian Science are quite familiar with the record of the life of our great Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, but those just beginning to study Christian Science need to understand her life and recognize her mission.
From early childhood Mary Baker Eddy was a devout student of the Scriptures and a deep thinker. It was indeed a power not her own that enabled her to cling steadfastly to the truths she had learned in her Bible. She never deviated from the Scriptural teaching that God is the only power and presence.
Many of the qualities of character that made her the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science appeared in childhood. She early learned self-discipline and loving compassion. She loved every living thing, and her great desire was to contribute to the world something to eliminate suffering and want.
Fragile health made it necessary for her to withdraw from the country school which her brothers and sisters attended, and she was privately tutored during most of her girlhood. She learned quickly, and her tutors and the pastor of her church recognized her as unusually intelligent and a brilliant scholar. She was spiritually endowed to a very great degree.
After her remarkable healing from the effects of an accident and invalidism of many years standing, Mrs. Eddy discovered what she had long yearned to know - the power of God that enabled Christ Jesus to heal instantaneously. She was healed after the accident by reading the account of the healing of the palsied man as recorded in the ninth chapter of Matthew. She knew that God had healed her, and for three years she searched the Scriptures that she might understand the law that had brought about her recovery.
Mrs. Eddy's healing is of great importance to the world, for through this very occurrence and her love for and obedience to God, Christian Science was given to this age. When the glorious radiance and power of Christ, Truth, flooded her consciousness, her lifework became clear to her, and she devoted herself wholly to the healing and purifying power of Truth.
After several years of patient toil, study, prayer, and self-sacrifice, she wrote the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Only those who were close to her knew of her magnificent courage, untiring perseverance, and illimitable love that enabled her to record her discovery. The proof that her work was impelled by divine Mind is the fact that her writings are a constant source of healing and inspiration to her followers and lead them to understand and make practical the entire meaning of Christ Jesus' teachings.
Mrs. Eddy revealed to mankind the things of God that are eternal and cannot be changed or interfered with. She discovered the healing power of Love and taught how one can understand and utilize this power.
Her understanding of the teachings of Christ Jesus came to her through revelation and without human aid. As a result of her unerring reliance upon divine Mind, and her love and devotion to Christ Jesus as the Founder of Christianity, the complete and final revelation of Truth was unfolded to her.
Mrs. Eddy was unknown and alone when she discovered Christian Science. Today this Science is known and studied by thousands all over the globe.
Mary Baker Eddy is the revelator of Truth to this age. Through her discovery of Christian Science the power and government of Spirit, God, is made available to all.
Christ Jesus, comforting his disciples when he explained to them that he must leave them, said: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. . . . If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:1,15,16).
The Comforter did come as Jesus promised, but men sought it in matter, not Spirit, and it was imperceptible to them. Mrs. Eddy, with her keen perception of Truth, found it again in divine Science, where it had always been.
Christian Science is the religion that Jesus came to establish. It is in complete accord with the first chapter of Genesis where it is stated that God spake and it was done. Jesus taught the way of salvation from sin, sickness, and death. He spoke to dull material followers and left no written rules. He taught as he was directed by divine Mind and left the results with God.
Christian Science interprets the teachings of the Master and awakens humanity to the meaning of Jesus' great instruction. This Science leaves the beaten path of human doctrines and reveals the truth concerning God, man, and the universe.
Since this Science has been given to mankind its tender ministrations have been extended over the entire civilized world. Through its textbook, through the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and through the other writings of Mrs. Eddy, its literature, church services, Sunday Schools, and lectures, Christian Science is steadily leavening the thoughts and lives of men, healing the sick, and reforming the sinner, even as in Jesus' time.
There are many ways in which divine Science awakens and instructs mankind in everyday living. May we consider briefly one or two ways that make this Science of great benefit to anyone who sincerely wants to know God aright.
It is quite evident today, in all nations, that men are demanding their right to freedom. God made man free, and no so-called power of evil can quench his true birthright or trespass on his divine heritage.
Christian Science shows us that man's freedom must come spiritually, a mental freedom from fear, ignorance, and sin, and that only divine Mind can give the right to such release. Freedom comes to men from choice and not necessarily through strife and struggle. It is the result of mental self-knowledge and demonstration of Christ, Truth. We read in Science and Health: "Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love" (p. 106).
Another falsity of the carnal mind that this Science repudiates is the age-old belief that evil is as real as good, if not more powerful. We understand by divine logic that as God created all and made it good, evil does not exist as an entity, for it has no origin, no intelligence, and it is not of God.
He who believes in evil has not yet found freedom from idolatry. One might not worship a graven image, yet the belief in any power apart from God is to have faith in His opposite. If we see evil as it is - a lie - it cannot intimidate, control, or make us love it, or in any way curb our spiritual activity and make us serve it in the name of good.
Mortals try to destroy evil through persons and things. The revelation of Truth shows us that only the power of Spirit can dispel evil and prove its nothingness.
Christian Science with its key has opened the Bible for men to read and understand. In the book of Revelation we read, "These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (3:7).
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark ). Centuries ago, Christ Jesus taught his followers to heal through the Christ, Truth, and today the same glorious lessons are being taught through Christian Science. The Christ is "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever."
Before Mrs. Eddy gave her discovery to the world she proved it fully, and knew that this proof could stand the test of Science, for it heals the same now as in Jesus' time.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is the complete textbook of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy writes, "In 1895 I ordained that the Bible, and 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,' the Christian Science textbook, be the pastor, on this planet, of all the churches of the Christian Science denomination" (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 382, 383).
Lesson-Sermons as presented in the Christian Science Quarterly are read as the sermon in every church service in Christian Science churches throughout the world. There are twenty-six subjects. These Lesson-Sermons are composed of citations from the King James version of the Bible and Science and Health under a different subject for each week. They are studied by men and women of different races, occupations, and environments, in many nations.
The beginner and the matured worker have the same privileges, read the same lessons, and have exactly the same fare before them. The message of these Lesson-Sermons is individual and collective, and they are available to meet the special need of each individual, as well as every national and international problem.
What is prayer? It is learning to commune with God, to understand Him as Life, Truth, Love, and to exemplify the love He has bestowed upon us. Prayer is a bond of unity with God, whereby we can learn to think affirmatively, recognizing that He made man capable of fulfilling His commands.
Mrs. Eddy writes, "Who would stand before a blackboard and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem?" and she answers the question thus: "The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution" (Science and Health, p. 3). Thus it follows that we shall not ask God for something He has already given us, but willingly work out our own salvation under His unerring guidance and receive the blessing therefrom.
The disciples had no doubt observed the ease and supreme naturalness with which Jesus met and mastered every form of evil which confronted him, and said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1).
The Master knew that mankind's great need was, and is, to understand that God, good, is ever present and the only power, and he gave his disciples that prayer which we call the Lord's Prayer, and which not only met their need, but is available to meet the need of all mankind for all time. He said, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name" (Matt. 6:9).
Jesus gave to the world the highest type of the prayer of petition, and as we study this prayer with its spiritual interpretation given by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, we, too, can pray understandingly and live our prayer by refusing to accept anything in our consciousness unlike the kingdom of heaven as set forth in the Lord's Prayer. It is only when we cease to pray correctly that problems appear real and aggressive. There are no problems in God's universe.
Perhaps one phase of our Master's prayers that is often overlooked is gratitude. Jesus always thanked God before his prayers were answered, and he prayed expecting good.
Are we truly grateful to God for what He is and for the good that He has bestowed upon us? Gratitude is an integral element of the real man. Prayer is a constant desire to live in obedience to God. We who profess to love God supremely have the opportunity to prove our love by expressing the qualities of Spirit, including joy, purity, honesty, health, and holiness.
Paul said, "Pray without ceasing." Some may be tempted to think that they are too busy to pray ceaselessly, for they have a notion that they must withdraw from others to pray. Privacy is indeed an ideal setting for prayer, but one can establish a quiet sense of privacy wherever he may be, even under difficult circumstances.
A businessman was in conference, and things were not going very smoothly. Angry words were being freely voiced. Could he pray then? Most assuredly. He was an earnest student of Christian Science, and just the words "Our Father" established in his thinking the availability of the ever-present, universal God and at the same time revealed the true sense of relationship - Fatherhood, sonship, and brotherhood. Almost immediately the atmosphere cleared, and adjustments came quickly and harmoniously for all concerned.
Mrs. Eddy reminds us that she retired three times a day to pray for all those who were sick and in sorrow. She also writes, "In the midst of depressing care and labor I turn constantly to divine Love for guidance, and find rest" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 133). This Mrs. Eddy expects her followers to do, to look away from earth to heaven, not hesitatingly, but rightly, joyously, and confidently.
And what of the practice which accompanies true prayer? It is futile to think we can pray and at the same time not mold our lives in conformity with our prayers. Christ Jesus gave clear, vital precepts for the practice of the Science of Christianity. He emphasized two points in particular: love God supremely, and thy neighbor as thyself.
If one needs an example of prayer in practice, let him review the familiar and well-loved parable of the good Samaritan, as recorded in the tenth chapter of Luke. A lawyer was questioning Jesus, not for information, but to confound him. After reluctantly admitting that love for God and one's neighbor is essential to ensure eternal life, the lawyer said, "And who is my neighbour?" Jesus' compassionate and understanding response to this question bears a healing message to all.
In the narrative, the Samaritan was the man not afraid to do what priest and Levite failed to do - go to the aid of a traveler who had been set upon by thieves, stripped of his raiment, mauled, and left to die. The Samaritan did not hesitate to go where he was - where robbery, cruelty, and corruption seemed to be - and help the sufferer. He supplied his immediate need and comforted him.
In contemplating this parable, why is it we so often think of the needy one as other than ourselves? Have we not all at some time fallen among the false beliefs, the thieves of the carnal mind that would rob us of our God-bestowed peace, abundance, and health? Can we not be good Samaritans to ourselves and pause where we are, in the events of a busy day, to pour wine and oil into our wounds?
Mrs. Eddy's definitions of "wine" as "inspiration; understanding," and of "oil" as "charity; gentleness; prayer," are arresting (Science and Health, pp. 598, 592). Let us give attention to these definitions and apply them in our daily lives, for they are ingredients needed in all daily endeavor. Christian Science teaches that the real man is the man of God's creating; so let us claim the same spiritual perfection for ourselves as for others, else we deny neighborliness.
It is quite evident that nations, as well as men, need a basis of understanding, a foundation upon which to co-operate and progress. Unity is founded upon one basis, the one all-inclusive Mind, not many minds. What if mathematicians, one teaching arithmetic, one geometry, and another a branch of higher mathematics, should disagree over their common subject? This is not likely to happen, for mathematicians are taught to obey the rules of the subject they teach, if they would succeed. If such a division should occur, it is certain that an understanding of the basic principles of mathematics would be sufficient to correct the differences. So can the people of the world succeed in living harmoniously together if they have a common and unfailing basis of operation, the one perfect Mind, God.
It is obvious that men and nations can be friendly and still be utterly lacking in understanding of each other's problems and activities. Without true understanding, there can be no permanent peace, no certainty, and no stability.
King Solomon gave the world a remarkable recipe for helping to answer today's troublesome questions when he prayed to God, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?" (I Kings 3:9).
It is evident to the intelligent observer that the human mode of living is changing. This is a challenge to the alert student of Christian Science, for it gives him an opportunity to see God's creation as it is, changeless and eternal, and to correct his own thinking and living, that he may be better able to do his part in helping mankind to build with solid masonry.
One may ask himself am I accepting a second creation even in belief? Change is mortal, and true harmony and happiness do not come from a change of material conditions, but by gaining the right concept of God, man, and the universe, and then in living in accordance with these facts. He who rises spiritually to see the perfect creation is never afraid of so-called chance or change.
The world asks: "What can we do to make sure the civilization that has been gained so far, and is so precious, will not be disintegrated in an atomic blast? What can we do to enable all mankind to move forward toward the goal of spiritual betterment and not be held back by material development?"
Today in the face of the world's great need, these questions challenge the hearts and thoughts of men. The student of Christian Science need not be disturbed by these questions nor caught in the world's mesmerism of fear. He knows that he has the great privilege of dematerializing and impersonalizing every situation, refusing to give power to error and its claim to attach itself to men and nations.
Christian Science answers the world's questions and points the way to spiritual satisfaction of all who understand its truths. The answers can always be found through the study of our two textbooks, the Bible and Science and Health.
The world unknowingly feels the peace and power of true thinking, and Christian Science is meeting the human yearning for peace in a remarkable way by arousing in the thoughts of men the desire for something more substantial and lasting than their outgrown beliefs and the practices of materiality.
Mankind is experiencing one of the most decisive periods in human history, and we of the twentieth century have the privilege and opportunity to uphold the teachings of Christian Science that liberate and heal. To deal with world thought, today calls for keener enjoyment in surmounting the obstacles of mortal thinking, instead of yielding to anxious and gloomy forebodings of evil.
Let us take a quick survey of world conditions as they seem to be. Men have resorted to strife, war, and destruction to settle their differences, but suddenly the world finds war and its material weapons an outlaw. The war of yesterday has given way to today's cold war. The atomic and hydrogen bomb have brought war with its modern material weapons to a stalemate, because the power men have given to matter threatens to extinguish them.
It is quite logical that evil must be uprooted to make way for the truth of being. Christian Science teaches us that God is the only cause and creator, the All-in-all, and that man is His image and likeness. He who knows what God is and what man is, is never afraid of destructive beliefs.
Perfection Is Purely Spiritual
We read in Science and Health, "Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God" (p. 228). Christian Science reveals to the world that growth in the spiritual understanding of God must keep ahead of man's capacity to organize material forces. Let us remember that our real intent is to understand God and His law and demonstrate man's oneness with Him.
What more evidence do we need that perfection is purely spiritual than the serenity and beauty of holiness which are manifest in our lives as we realize our divine sonship? Think of our heritage, our rich reward for loving God! Our oneness with Him as His spiritual reflection is a miracle of greatness.
It is quite evident that the world today needs a resurgence of the teachings of the Master. We all need to love more and cease hating; to prove in individual lives, and hence in national and international affairs, the eternal truths of Christian Science. In other words, the need of all mankind is exactly what the Bible teaches and Science and Health substantiates - a renewal of understanding and trust in God and a clearer comprehension of our Master's teaching.
This is the path of lasting peace and security that the world is seeking. This path is straight and narrow, and how grateful we can be that it is; for in it we walk safely with God, and we hear in the words of the Scriptures, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isa. 30:21).
May I ask you to ponder deeply these words of Mary Baker Eddy which uphold the teachings of Christ Jesus: "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills 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 than can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed" (Science and Health, p. 340).
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 17, 1961, under the headline "Teachings of Christ Jesus Lift Mankind Above Discord.".]