Man's Existence Here and His Life-Work

 

William N. Miller, C.S. B.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

THE following address was delivered to the members of the Cambridge University Nonconformist Union (an association composed of undergraduates of that university), at Cambridge, England, on the evening of Sunday, October 28, 1900, by Mr. William N. Miller, C.S.B., a member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church of Christian Science, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.

The President, Mr. I. H. Milne of St. John's College, occupied the chair and introduced Mr. Miller.

Mr. President and Members of the Cambridge University Nonconformist Union: —

Every opportunity of imparting to others the knowledge of that which has been proved to be of surpassing value as a means of enlightening, comforting, and elevating the human race, must be a source of joy to all well-wishers towards mankind, and the joy is enhanced in this case because among those addressed are thinkers capable of investigating and willing to inquire for themselves, with an open mind, into the truth of what may be laid before them.

The very name of this Association suggests inquiry, thought, and judgment.

Speaking generally, all who have embraced and striven to support views varying from those already entertained may be termed nonconformists; and the term nonconformist, used in its widest signification, must include all reformers: "All who dare to be true, honest to their convictions, and strong of purpose" (Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker G. Eddy, p. 238).

In thinking how best to meet your desire for some information about Christian Science, and bearing in mind its great extent and depth and the necessarily limited time for its explication here, it has seemed best, besides shortly defining it, to set forth succinctly its teachings on some all-important points, — such, for example, as our existence here, and our life work, — and to leave the deductions necessarily resulting therefrom and other cognate matters for further inquiry.

In 1866 Rev. Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Science of Metaphysical Healing and named it Christian Science. This discovery unveils "Immanuel, 'God with us.' — the sovereign Ever-presence, delivering the children of men from every ill 'that flesh is heir to.' Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence, fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God" (Science and Health, p. I).

The intense longing of the human mind for some satisfying explanation of man's existence here and his real lifework has led to investigation and deep reflection by thinkers in all ages.

Those who have attempted to solve these questions unaided by the Bible, have been compelled invariably to leave them unsolved, and to content themselves with deciding how best to deal with man — the admittedly existent but unaccounted-for factor in the problem.

Whether virtue, pleasure, or whatever else should be followed as a life-pursuit, has depended, for the most part, less on the arguments and prestige of the philosophers upholding the different objects, than on the temperament and surroundings of their pupils.

Investigations which leave unaccounted for man's existence here but attempt to ascertain his life-work, may seem to have a certain practical value, but they start with an admission of defeat, are necessarily imperfect, and are deprived of all aid that might be obtained from a satisfactory explanation of man's existence here. I go further, and say that the second question — man's life-work — cannot be settled until we have solved the first one — how is man's existence here explained?

The coping-stone on the wall and the frescoes on the ceiling are all well enough in their respective places, but for all practical purposes the foundations claim the first consideration. Without revelation no real explanation of man's existence here has ever been obtained. Theories, no doubt, have been advanced, some beautiful and ingenious, but all as unsubstantial and illusive as dreams. Christian Science, which is founded on the Bible, takes the account of the creation given in the first chapter of Genesis as the true one.

The illimitable cannot be outlined or restricted in any way. He who said, "Let there be light," and there was light, also said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."

The only description we have of man is that God created him in His image, male and female. For the purpose of inquiry, let us take mortal, sinning man as the starting-point and assume that this admittedly imperfect being is the image of the infinite God and see what conclusions will follow. A moment's thought shows this assumption to be absolutely untenable. Taken at his best what kind of man is he? The physiologist observing him critically may say, "How beautiful! How wonderful! What a perfect outline! How admirably adapted for its work each part of this human mechanism is, and what a complete and perfect whole the parts united form!"

The philosopher may worship the intellect, and point with triumphant satisfaction to the results of its investigation and the thought embodied in its sentences of deep wisdom and in its great works of art and utility.

The moralist, though, is unfortunately not so sure of the propensities of this being; his theory is that though he may act rightly yet there is great risk of his acting wrongly, and he concludes that the only safe course to be taken is to instil into him, by years of study and training, correct views of his duties and obligations, and to enforce on him the necessity for performing them.

But when we see this complicated form always requiring attention and regulation, when we see it wear out, become sick and die, and this boasted reasoning faculty become unhinged, an unreliable, nay, a dangerous guide — worse than childish — these imperfections in every direction convince us that dying man is not the image and likeness of the living, infinite God. Assuming him to be God's image and likeness, what kind of a Creator would such a creation point to?

Who, with any knowledge of painting, contemplating the imperfect effort of a beginner, would imagine its author to be a great artist?

Defective work necessarily implies a defective workman.

To uphold sinful, sick, and dying man as God's creation requires an imperfect God, and no such being exists.

The assumption that this man was originally the image and likeness of God, but fell from his high estate, implies also an imperfect Creator — a God whose creation could deteriorate.

The man created in God's own image and likeness cannot, therefore, be mortal, sinning man.

In order to find out something more of man let us examine the description and account given of his Creator and see if that will aid us.

Upon this inquiry we enter reverently, deeply impressed with the vast importance of arriving at only accurate results, and resolved to proceed cautiously and to test fully each conclusion reached.

Except by the unthinking and the bigoted, no one with honest purpose can be considered presumptuous for entering on any task, however nearly associated it may be with the inquiry into Deity and His purposes. Incomplete success, or perhaps even failure in obtaining answers to inquiries, fraught with so much of interest to mankind, cannot fail to be beneficial by reason of the stimulus they must give to further effort.

We learn of man, the creation, by contemplating God, the Creator. All attempts by painters or sculptors to convey ideas of God through their arts, no matter how exquisite the works or gifted the artists, are but opinions and utterly valueless except in so far as they may stimulate mind.

Commencing, then, with God as the Great First Cause, let us see if by contemplating Him we cannot get some ideas approaching correctness about man.

The Being who is omnipresent cannot be outlined, for outline means restriction. Outline, however extended, impliedly asserts that there is space outside of the object outlined. This disputes the omnipresence of God. His omnipresence shows us that the very portions of space occupied by you and me and all other material objects, including the earth itself, cannot exclude God from His occupancy of the identical space so apparently in the exclusive possession of mortal man and other material objects.

The same quality — omnipresence — convinces us that God cannot be a person or personal, the idea involved in these words being also restrictive, yet God is individual in the sense of His being a complete whole, indivisible.

Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," says, "It is impossible to conceive of such omnipresence and individuality except as Mind" (p. 227).

Having obtained some faint conception of the nature of God as Mind, we realize that His creation cannot be material — cannot be so different in character from its Creator.

God's man, made in His own image and likeness, must therefore be mental, spiritual, perfect, and consequently free from all infirmities, such as sin, sickness, and death. To the same effect is Paul's statement, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God," and consequently the children of God are not the children of the flesh.

Mortal man, conscious only of himself, exclaims, "But who am I?" "Where did I come from?" "How do you account for me?" We might, if so disposed, fairly enough turn on him and ask him to account for himself, but we will not stop here, but consider what he is.

Apart from his own testimony we know nothing of him. It is he that tells us that what he sees, hears, feels, smells, and tastes constitute man.

Naturally we want some evidence outside of himself to testify of him. We remember Jesus said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." Having regard to man's own story about himself, which begins and ends with himself, we are reminded of the Western farmer, who, on being asked why he, who had so much land, was buying more, replied, "To raise more corn;" and when asked, "Why to raise more corn?" replied, "To feed more hogs;" and when further asked, "Why to feed more hogs?" replied, "To buy more land." So the little round goes on: "To buy more land to raise more corn to feed more hogs."

Investigations of this kind are like the treadmill in which the person treading never gets beyond his starting-point.

Reliance upon the testimony of the physical senses is continually leading us astray. The older an observant man grows the less reliant is he on evidence of this character. Illusions by which we have been misled are being exposed daily.

"I never would have thought it!" is a phrase in common use. Our cherished opinions of yesterday yield to others to-day, and they in their turn make room for others still.

What does this mean but that the testimony of the physical senses is being reserved perpetually, either by reason or the discovery of new facts?

Prejudices may, and no doubt do, hold their ground in spite of increased knowledge, but this supports our view, for prejudices are not in reality decisions founded on testimony, but decisions formed and clung to in spite of evidence, and rest on untested foundations or foundations no longer relied on. Every day's experience shows us that the eyes fail to see and the ears to hear. Without them, we think we do not see or hear, but with them do we see or hear? Thought, when engrossed with its own objects, fails to recognize the most beautiful views and sounds. "So absorbed was I that I neither saw nor heard," is an ordinary expression. The fact that pre-occupation interferes with sight and hearing shows them to be dependent on something besides the eyes and ears — the thought behind them. Of but little use are the organs for seeing and hearing unless the thought is alive to what is going on.

Quite apart from defective testimony, or want of testimony, arising from pre-occupation, we find that wrong impressions are continually being produced owing to defects in the retina and ear-drum. Besides the wrong impressions resulting from these causes one is continually called upon to revise and often to reverse conclusions arrived at through the testimony of the physical senses.

A little over a year ago, while driving along the shore of Lake Ontario with a friend, we saw two ships with canvas spread sailing in the sky about half way between the horizon and a point in the heavens immediately overhead. The eyes testified falsely — it was a mirage, what is called a true mirage — one in which the object seen is not inverted. Standing on the deck of an ocean steamship at night the stars to the front of the mast seemed to be moving rapidly from side to side. Here reason had to correct the sight and show that the rolling of the ship caused the illusion. Seated in a railway carriage at rest, how difficult to believe that our carriage is not the object in motion instead of one moving on an adjoining track.

For many years I lived near a public school, and though at regular intervals a bell was sounded for recess, dismissal, etc., yet the ringing of the bell was by me unnoticed except at nine o'clock in the morning, when I expected to hear it.

Equally unreliable and misleading must be pronounced the testimony derived from the senses of smell, touch, and taste. Many to whom this testimony has been addressed have long ago learned its inconclusive nature, and that results, similar in character, often follow from different causes. Instances of how indefinite and unreliable this testimony is will occur to every thinker.

The question here arises as to how testimony of this kind should be dealt with. In a lawsuit, if the evidence of a witness is shown to be absolutely untrue in any one material particular, no one says, "O, he has made other statements in his evidence which are not shown to be untrue, let us treat these as reliable until they are shown to be false." No, the belief in the veracity of the witness being shaken, his whole testimony is pronounced unreliable.

Notwithstanding what has been said, some one may urge, "I find these senses, even if they are to a certain extent discredited, most useful." Let us consider, then, whether with them at their best we learn anything of the real. A word or two about that of which they testify, namely matter, may help to clear thought.

The testimony of the physical senses tells us about material things, otherwise matter. Matter is required to enable them to testify, and their evidence is about matter exclusively. We have already shown the testimony itself to be unreliable owing to the infirmities of the witnesses. At most, matter is but a result. Of what is it a result? Did God, who is Spirit, create it? In one of the latest English dictionaries Spirit is defined as "Vital force, the soul," and matter as "That which occupies space and with which we become acquainted by our bodily senses." Spirit and matter are opposites — one can never correctly say spiritual matter, or material spirit. In a division consisting on the one hand of Spirit and on the other of that which is not Spirit, matter would be included in that which is not Spirit.

Mrs. Eddy, in dealing with creation says, "Spirit has created all, in and of Spirit. God never created matter, for there is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made; for, as the Bible declares, without the Logos, the Wisdom or Word of God, 'was not anything made that was made'" (Science and Health, p. 230).

Those who attribute reality to matter feel constrained to do so by reason of their acquaintance with it through the physical senses, for apart from these senses there is no proof whatever of its existence; there is, moreover, the fact that considered as a result, matter is causeless. Who ever heard of a result without a cause? For the purpose of investigation admit that matter is real and what follows?

God is, as the Scriptures declare Him to be, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, then He must be the reality, and if matter is likewise the reality, then God must be either excluded from the particular portions of space occupied by matter, when He would cease to be omnipresent, or He would be in matter, occupying the very portions of space in the possession of matter, in which case the destruction of any part of matter would necessarily destroy some part of God.

If God is omnipresent, then matter cannot be the reality — God fills all spaces, irrespective of matter.

There are no doubt those who fail to appreciate the force of the arguments derived from the Scriptures owing to their want of faith in the Bible.

In the absence of revelation their knowledge, such as it is, of the nature and character of the great First Cause must necessarily be limited, as it can only be acquired through the evidence afforded by the physical senses, material testimony, and the exercise of the reasoning faculties.

Without direct testimony as to the Great First Cause, and with no standard from which to learn of Him, inquirers, thus hampered, can only judge by the contemplation and examination of results. Conclusions thus obtained are necessarily inconclusive, often contradictory and self-destructive, and they generally lead the honest seeker into the theory of negation — agnosticism. Theories so derived are destructive, not constructive.

Although we know matter to be the unreality, yet while contemplating the glorious sunlight, the fretted sky at sunset, the bright vistas of stream with over-arching trees, and the soft green sward in the early summer, one cannot but rejoice in the thought of what the real and spiritual creation must be, the human sense of it being so beautiful.

Referring to our existence here, Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 146, 147): —

"Mortal existence is a dream, it has no real entity, but saith 'It is I.' Spirit is the Ego which never dreams, but understands all things: which never slumbers, but is ever conscious: which never believes, but knows: which is never born and never dies. Man is the likeness of this Ego. He is not God, the Ego; but like a ray of light which cometh from the sun, man is the outcome of God, and reflects His light.

"Mortal mind and body are one, and that one is called man; but a mortal is not man. A mortal may be weary or pained, enjoy or suffer, according to the dream he entertains in sleep. When that dream vanishes, the mortal finds himself experiencing none of those dream-sensations. To the observer, the body lies on the bed, undisturbed and sensationless, and the mind seems to be absent.

"Now I ask, Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? There cannot be, since whatever appears to be a mortal mind or body is a mortal dream. Matter has no more sense as a mortal man, than it has as a tree; but the real man is immortal.

"Upon this stage of existence goes on the dance of mortal mind. Mortal thoughts chase one another like snowflakes, and drift to the ground. Science reveals Life as not being at the mercy of death, nor will it admit that happiness is ever the sport of circumstances."

Man's apparent existence here in the flesh is not the reality.

To quote again from Mrs. Eddy: "Existence continues to be a belief of corporeal sense, until the Science of Being is reached" (Science and Health, p. 242).

How this false belief as to the reality of our existence in the flesh originated is a matter of but little importance compared with the seeming fact of its existence and the necessity for displacing it.

This belief, like evil itself, is but a negation, a belief in the absence of the reality.

The conclusion as to man's apparent existence just arrived at suggests the vital necessity for awaking him out of this dream of life in matter, and brings us to the second point — man's real life-work.

What is man's life-work and how to perform it, has been the problem of the ages. It would occupy time unnecessarily to discuss or even state the views from time to time advanced on this question by those outside of Christian Science. Not only have many varied opinions been expressed and advocated by different individuals, but I venture to say that no one, over whose head any number of years has passed, can truly claim to have always believed and adhered to the views embraced by him at the outset of his career.

Without any will of our own we find ourselves in this world with the certainty that we are to remain here but for a limited period. No guarantee can be obtained that any one will live for even a day, and the outside limit of existence does not much exceed three-score years and ten. Under these conditions what ought to be the course of a sensible person? Naturally, to find out, if possible, what will eventually become of him, and to see what, if anything, can be done to improve his position; and, having procured all information, resolutely to work out his problem. A thoughtful man would hesitate, and a wise man refuse to expend all his time and energy in acquiring that which he would have no certainty of enjoying or making use of; the efforts of such man would, in the nature of things, be proportioned to the benefits he would expect from them.

Before entering on the subject of our real life-work, I wish to exclude the suspicion of harboring even a thought of detracting from the noble efforts of those who by purse, word, or pen, the liberal outstretched hand or the kindly word of advice and encouragement, have helped or are helping our "poor, forlorn, and shipwrecked brothers." But while giving unstinted praise to all who are affording loving sympathy and aid to those in distress, we must not disregard the fact that such efforts, if not inspired by the greatest wisdom, afford but temporary relief and are in reality of only limited value.

Our great life-problem here, the importance of which cannot be exaggerated, is to awake ourselves out of this belief of life in matter, and in the awakening to acquire for ourselves and impart to others the true Science of Being.

Whatever tends to make us happy, comfortable, and contented in this dream answers no good purpose, as it serves but to prolong it and extend its illusive effects. Whoever, by giving us the understanding of the reality, enables us by knowledge in place of suffering, to emerge from the unreality, is our real, our greatest benefactor.

No one bearing in mind even one tenth of the distressing circumstances recurring to each of us, including the fear of death and the vivid pains and heart-burnings connected with even the quickly vanishing pleasures and enjoyments of our earthly existence, and the uncertainty as to the future, no one can for a moment underrate the importance of understanding and overcoming all misleading beliefs as to the real character of our supposed existence here and our life-work. To the belief or dream of life in matter can be traced all our infirmities, manifesting in sin and sickness and resulting in death.

Having stated what man's real life-work is, how to perform it next demands attention. We find the destruction of the false makes clear the true course to be pursued.

There is but one way of emerging from this dream of life in matter: by overcoming — by that renewal of mind which transforms the body, and so leaving through life-victory.

Apart from the spiritual interpretation of the Christ method of saving mankind, as explained in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," no light is thrown on this method.

Jesus understood and adopted this way, overcoming death and leaving this plane by his ascension, clothed with a body freed from all material taint.

Christian Scientists at all times adopt the teaching and strive to follow the example of the great Way-shower, Jesus the Christ, who said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." They are striving to make and are making his wonderful instruction and example practical to the sojourners in this world, just as practical a guide to them as the North star to the ancient mariner.

Jesus did not consider death an enemy to be submitted to, but looked at it as an enemy to be overcome, and, what is more to the purpose, he showed by his own recorded practical experience how to overcome it.

It has been and is too much the habit to give but an academic assent to the mission of Jesus or to refer to his example as one incapable of being followed.

Whoever attempts to aid his fellow-men by holding up the example of Jesus as one possible really practically to be followed, just as soon as the surprise, I had almost said the consternation, caused by so daring an attempt, is allayed, is certain to be asked, "Surely you do not mean to say that you can overcome death?"

If Jesus is the Way-shower, what did he show? He showed us how to live, not that we must die in order to live. He said, "Verily, verily. I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

After his crucifixion Jesus made himself known to his disciples. To two of them as they walked to Emmaus, later to the eleven when he said, "Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a Spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Later on he made his identity clear even to the unbelieving Thomas, who had said, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

After the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God," Jesus significantly said, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

Possibly some may object that the example of Jesus was not given for us to follow. Jesus was emphatically the Way-shower. Are we to suppose that he was not the Way-shower in the culminating act of his life, that his way-showing was restricted to acts of a minor character? It is for those who urge such a view to endeavor to support it; that which cannot be supported need not be demolished, it falls by its own weight.

It is possible advocates of such a view as this may come forward, for there are some willing to uphold nearly every position that can be taken, including such even as necessitate the alteration of the sacred Scriptures to support them.

Others may contend that the example of Jesus was one we could not follow even if we would. Bearing in mind the varied, but invariably wonderful, works of Jesus, we find instances of his having raised the dead, and we gladly recall his words, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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."

Included in every community are some who are prosperous and contented with their present condition, fairly free from care, having a religion not too exacting and who persuade themselves that that with which their fathers were satisfied, imperfect though it may be, should answer every purpose for them. Would that I could awaken all such, but, if unable, I can at least express the hope that Science, not suffering, will be their awakener, for all, sooner or later, must come to the understanding of the reality of their Being.

Just one word as to the practical method of doing this life-work.

We are told in Proverbs, in regard to man, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." But few passages in the Bible express a truth the thoughtful man more readily accepts than this. He pictures to himself the careers of his friends and contemporaries, their successes and failures, and sees why they succeeded, why they failed. It was because, in their particular lines, they had or had not thought rightly before acting, — success indicated right thinking, failure wrong thinking.

He sees, too, that the material body exhibits in a large degree the thought that governs it, presenting practically a photograph of the thought by which it is governed.

Of late we have been looking at the "mortal mind," as it is termed, to distinguish it from the real Mind, which is God, but rising to a higher plane we learn that this one and only Mind, God, governs all harmoniously. His government necessarily involves the destruction of everything inconsistent with itself and shows us that the "mortal mind" is but a false belief in an intelligence and power apart from God. This false belief is destroyed in proportion as we realize the absolute and all-inclusive government of God and His character.

Mrs. Eddy in one of her works (Unity of Good, p. 2), referring to those who draw nearer to the divine character, says that they are "practically able to testify, by their lives, that as they come closer to the true understanding of God, they lose all sense of error."

The process of destruction is not always immediate, some beliefs seem to be more tenacious and difficult to overcome than others, but we must continue to strive and show daily, by our life and conversation, the progress we are making until we have in us that Mind which was in Christ Jesus; then the overcoming will be manifested and ever-present Life will be recognized as the reality.

The destruction of false beliefs is all that is needed to clear away the mists surrounding man's existence here, his life-work, and also his hereafter, and to allow the reality to be seen. It is a mistake to assume that it is for a future life of happiness, in a locality called heaven, one must prepare. Heaven is a condition of Mind — harmony — "not a locality" (Science and Health, p. 187), and the Kingdom of Heaven is "the reign of harmony in Divine Science" (Science and Health, p. 581).

Jesus told the Pharisees in reply to their inquiry as to when the Kingdom of God should come, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you;" that is, within consciousness.

According to St. John those who have reformed their thought have everlasting life, and have already passed from death unto life. (John, 5 :24.)

Shortly, then, our life-work is to gain the true understanding of God, thereby simultaneously to destroy all false beliefs, and to obtain that Mind which was also in Christ Jesus.

"The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but its dead body, — pulseless, cold, inanimate" (Science and Health, p. 7).

Recognizing the necessity for supporting by proof His mission, Jesus the Christ, in answer to the inquiries of John's messengers, said, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

In like manner to show that Christian Science is no mere opinion or theory, but the Truth, no one is asked to embrace it without inquiry, and proofs are afforded weekly in every Christian Science Church of its healing power by the testimonies of those healed.

Although the proof is the fact of the healing, yet the healing itself, to quote Mrs. Eddy, is but "the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness" (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 9). It is the "Ho, every one that thirsteth" of Isaiah.

Those desirous of learning more about the all-important doctrines taught in Christian Science, such as cannot be compressed within the compass of a short paper or lecture, will find them set forth in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," which has already reached its 200th edition of one thousand copies each.

In America, where Christian Science was discovered a little over thirty years ago, it has over a million believers and about six hundred regularly organized churches. Included among its adherents are men representing the learned professions as well as practical business and working men, many of whom are of the highest degree of intelligence; and the cause is spreading with marvelous rapidity.

No Christian Scientist would consider any paper or lecture on Christian Science as even approaching completeness which failed to make reference to Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy as its Discoverer and Founder. As related in her book, "Retrospection and Introspection," Mrs. Eddy, for years prior to her discovery, had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause, and in the latter part of 1866 she learned with certainty that all causation was in Mind. Her immediate recovery from the effects of an injury, incurable by doctors or surgeons, led her to the discovery of how to heal herself and others. After her recovery, for the period of three years, she devoted her time exclusively to learning the Principle by which she had been healed. The Bible was her only text-book; it answered her questions as to how she was healed and enabled her to understand the spiritual meaning underlying Jesus' teaching, — the Principle of spiritual knowledge and metaphysical healing. This she set forth in her said text-book which was first published in 1875. Since then her life-work has been to make clear to the world the knowledge of God which is eternal life. For years, misunderstood and receiving no aid from those even from whom she might reasonably have expected it, she trod the wine-press alone; but she ever unflinchingly upheld the banner of Christian Science. The Christ Principle could not always, however, remain unrecognized; the marvelous cures effected through it of diseases of all kinds at length attracted attention and inquiry, which resulted in other truth-seekers ranging themselves by her side, and the tide of battle between Truth and error turned in favor of Truth, and she, whose dauntless courage and endurance could not be affected by temptations prompted by adversity, is now being rewarded by success and prosperity.

Not later than in September last thousands of citizens of the State of New Hampshire, the place of her birth and for years her home, at their State Fair, accorded to her, as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, a reception and welcome, rarely, if ever, paralleled in its unanimity and heartiness.

Unmoved by either adversity or prosperity, revered and beloved by all who know her and who appreciate singleness of purpose, purity of life, love to humanity, and self-abnegation, she presents an object-lesson of devotion to Principle which should and does inspire others to help their fellow-men in their progress from matter into Spirit  — from sense into Soul.

 

[Delivered Oct. 28, 1900, at Cambridge University Nonconformist Union, Cambridge, England, and published in The Christian Science Journal, January, 1901.]

 

 

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