Christian Science Reveals the Facts of Spiritual Existence
Harold Molter, C. S. B., of Chicago, Illionois
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Member of the Board of Lectureship
of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.,
delivered a lecture on Christian Science entitled "Christian Science
Reveals the Facts of Spiritual Existence" at noon yesterday at The Oaks
Theater. This lecture was given under the auspices of First, Second and Third
Churches of Christ, Scientist,
Christian Science Explains Revelation
Ever since the appearance of the Scriptures, earnest students of religion have tried to interpret their many inspired statements. However, it remained for Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science, to go to the very heart of the Bible and reveal its true meaning to mankind. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 32), ". . . the First Commandment of the Decalogue, and Ninety-first Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount, and St. John's Revelation, educated my thought many years, yea, all the way up to its preparation for and reception of the Science of Christianity."
As the facts of Christian Science are unfolded to you in this lecture, you will find a few references to the book of Revelation. Mrs. Eddy refers to the Revelation of St. John as the acme of Christian Science as it is revealed in the Bible. However, it should be understood that Christian Science is not primarily an interpretation of the book of Revelation. It derives its authority from the words and works of Christ Jesus and of Biblical prophets and apostles. Christian Science presents the spiritual interpretation of the inspired Word of the entire Bible.
In her book "Science and
Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy refers to
The word "angel," used in the Bible, is not correctly represented by the mythical creature with wings, of old theology. It means good or evil thoughts or messages. The good angels which appeared to various Biblical characters were really pure thoughts or messages coming directly from God to spiritually-minded men and women. The evil angels were lies about these pure messages. Mrs. Eddy explains that the angel which appeared to John, accompanied by a rainbow, was a message from God to men, bright as a rainbow in its promise. It was as clear to understand as the sun is bright, and the understanding of it consumed or destroyed evil. But the message was clothed with a cloud. This is a significant point. The cloud refers to the fact that spiritual truth is only dimly seen by men until their thoughts become purified. Then the mists of ignorance are dispelled, and the angel, or the divine message, comes into full view. Speaking of her own discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy writes in her autobiography, "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 27), "The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh universe − old to God, but new to His 'little one.' "
The bright angel described by the Revelator had in his hand a little open book, and his one foot was upon the sea and the other upon the earth. Mrs. Eddy implies (Science and Health, p. 559) that this book represents the truth which she discovered and revealed − the great spiritual truth, Christian Science, which gives man dominion over evil and its effects, sin, sickness, death, and all other mortal conditions.
Birth of the Man Child
This great message of the truth
about God and His creation, which was revealed in some measure to
In the twelfth chapter of Revelation,
Mary Baker Eddy
Mrs. Eddy's experience as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science is typical of the experience of the woman in the Apocalypse. To Mrs. Eddy there came, through great travail and painful experiences, a vision or revelation of the truth about God and man, which enabled her to bring forth the complete Science of creation, which Jesus before her had already proved in his mighty healing works.
Mrs. Eddy received her childhood training in a deeply religious home, from a truly Christian mother and a God-fearing father. Early she had learned to love the Scriptures and to pray earnestly to God for guidance. Her life up to the age of forty-five was devoted to an eager search for the true God, for she could not accept the concept of God as a great physical being who judges the earth and its inhabitants from a throne high in the heavens and sends pain, punishment, and plagues to His creation.
In an hour of severe physical and mental trial, Mrs. Eddy caught a glimpse of Christian Science and found herself instantly healed of a serious physical injury sustained in a fall on an icy pavement which had threatened her earthly existence. Like the woman pictured in the Apocalypse, she was really giving birth to the man child − to the positive truths about God and His spiritual creation. Speaking of this and subsequent experiences, she writes in Science and Health (p. 109): "The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. . . . When a new spiritual idea is borne to earth, the prophetic Scripture of Isaiah is renewedly fulfilled; 'Unto us a child is born, . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful.' "
No one can ever occupy the place of Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer, Founder, Leader, and revelator of Christian Science. She is the one, and the only one, who discovered and formulated the complete Science of the primitive Christianity taught and practiced by Jesus. She has revealed in her writings the great spirit of Truth promised by the Master in the fourteenth chapter of John when he said, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." This Comforter is the Science of Christianity. It is now possible for any sincere student of the Bible to find in Mrs. Eddy's writings the true interpretation of the Scriptural teachings and thus to discern and demonstrate the great spiritual facts of existence.
Nature of God
And what, specifically, are these facts of spiritual existence which John symbolically refers to as a man child who is to rule our lives with a rod of iron? The first and fundamental point is that God is All. "But," you may be thinking, "that is what I have always believed." Let me ask you, then: "What is God? And does your concept of Him rest on what the Bible teaches or on what some teachers have mistakenly believed it taught?"
In the first chapter of Genesis there is an account of creation in which it is recorded that God created the universe, made man in His image and likeness, gave him dominion over all things, and then looked on His creation and saw that it was very good. Immediately after this description of a perfect creator and His perfect creation, there follows the second chapter of Genesis, evidently written by a different author. In this second account it is stated that a mist went up from the earth, and that a certain Lord God, a creator with material hands, made man by mixing clay and breathing life into the nostrils of the material form which he created. Then follows the story of Adam and Eve, a picture of sin, disease, and death, which today is repeated in a world sunk into the materiality expressed in bitterness, fear, hatred, lack, and frustration.
In the story of Adam and Eve,
which is a picture of mortals and mortality, its author has tried to explain creation
as seen through a mist, or cloud, that is, through the evidence of flesh and
blood, or of the material senses. But Jesus taught that we cannot reach the
understanding of heaven and creation through the evidence of these senses. When
Peter referred to him as the Christ, the Master said (Matt. ), "Flesh and blood hath
not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." And Paul
writes (I Cor. ),
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
If we desire to get the truth about God and man, we must reverse the flesh and blood evidence of creation and find that truth in the very opposite of the testimony of the senses. For example: it is plain from the most casual examination of the Bible and of Jesus' teachings that God is not imperfect, ignorant, nor unconscious, for He knows all, and, therefore, He must be the one perfect, intelligent, divine Mind. He is not material, for Jesus testifies that God is Spirit. He is not revealed through the mortal senses and can never sin, for He is pure, sinless consciousness, or the one immortal Soul. Certainly, He is the opposite of confusion and lawlessness, for He is unchangeable and governs all through spiritual law or order, and, therefore, He must be the one perfect cause, or divine Principle. He is the very opposite of death, inaction, and stagnation, and, therefore, He is indestructible Life, the source of all movement. He has nothing in common with discord, error, evil, lies, mistakes, and, therefore, He is absolute Truth. He is the very opposite of fear, hatred, inharmony, lack, selfishness, and, therefore, He is all-embracing and unceasing Love.
Thus we see that one of the great facts which Mrs. Eddy discovered and revealed is the pure, perfect, unchanging nature of God in His fundamental aspects, as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love.
Nature of Man
Since God is revealed in Christian Science as the opposite of death, fear, hate, ignorance, inharmony, lawlessness, matter, mortality, and sinfulness, then man, His image and likeness, can never possess or reflect those undesirable qualities. Man is not the mortal presented by the material senses. He is complete, eternal, fearless, free, intelligent, loving, perfect, pure, sinless, spiritual, upright. And since God is unchanging Principle, His man can never reflect or express any other qualities than those which belong to his creator.
Paul states the facts regarding
man's perfection clearly (
Now, before any of you ask the question, "But what about the material body and the material earth?" I should like to show you how the spiritual concept of God and His creation will help a man and his family. A Christian Scientist was once called to see a woman who had been given up by the doctors, who said she was dying of cancer. Arrangements had been made for her burial, and the minister had postponed his vacation to conduct the funeral service. When the Christian Scientist arrived at the home, she was met by the husband, who told her that the doctors had given the patient only thirty minutes to live; everything had been tried, and he was resigned to God's will.
The practitioner saw immediately that this man had the mortal, material view of creation and a false concept of the creator, God. She began to show him that, since God is Spirit and all good, it could not be His will for His child to suffer and die, for she was in reality God's child and not the child of material parents. The acceptance of these basic facts of Christian Science, presenting a new concept of his wife to the husband, as active, fearless, free, spiritual, upright, well, enabled him to give excellent cooperation to the practitioner, and in a short time his wife was healed.
The mortal, material concept of existence, with its discord, ignorance, lack, materiality, sin, suffering, want, and woe, will gradually give way to the concept of a perfect God and His perfect spiritual creation. Human existence will be improved in proportion as this is done consistently and systematically.
The Carnal Mind: Material Sense
But what is this so-called material existence, with its persons, places, and things, with all of its complexities, its fear, lack, sin, sickness, and death? We may look for the answer to the Bible and to Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of it. Throughout the Scriptures the materiality, evil, and discord pictured from Genesis to Revelation are attributed to the serpent, also called the adversary, evil, Satan, and, in its magnified sense, the great red dragon.
This mortal, material sense of creation, which in the Bible is called the carnal mind, and which Mrs. Eddy calls mortal mind, stands for evil, or error in all of its imaginary forms. It is the very opposite of God and His spiritual creation. It is the belief, or lie, that there is such a thing as matter, and that there is life in matter. It is the sum total of the evidence of the material senses. It is the animal instinct in mortals, which attempted to kill the pure Jesus, and which would lead them to kill each other.
To understand the so-called material creation, this product of the material senses, called evil, Satan, or the red dragon, let us consider the following. Every one of us has read books or attended motion pictures that have seemed so real that they have stirred within us intense excitement and even physical and mental discord. Yet all of the time they were fiction, imagined or invented, not true and not real. For the moment, they seemed real and true to us and affected us deeply.
Now the evidence of the material senses, or mortal mind, is fiction. Jesus described this sum total of evil as a liar and its lies. The so-called material universe is a fiction, a lie, an illusion about God's creation, and it is no more real than the dreams we have in sleep. This material universe and all of its conditions are proved to be untrue and unreal, through the birth in individual human consciousness of the so-called man child of John's Revelation, or, in other words, the spiritual idea of existence, as revealed in Christian Science.
In Christian Science we learn how the activity of truth destroys evil and its effects, sin, sickness, and death, and how Truth reveals itself to all who become receptive to its voice. It was revealed to Moses in the wilderness and to Daniel in the lions' den, to Jesus during his forty days in the wilderness and when he was working out the problem of existence in the bleak tomb. Mrs. Eddy describes the wilderness (Science and Health, p. 597) as "the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence." Thus, the vestibule in which the lies of material sense give way to the spiritual facts of existence is revealed as individual human consciousness, quickened by faith and understanding.
The following experience shows how this corrective activity goes on. A friend told me that a man in her community, an earnest Christian Scientist, was stricken with a severe illness which rendered him an object of pity to the people in his town. He had striven earnestly to gain a clear understanding of the spiritual facts of his true existence, but the illness persisted. Nevertheless, despite the suggestions of discouragement and frustration, he continued to seek a clearer sense of man's individuality as a perfect idea of Spirit. Then one night, as my friend stood at the desk in church announcing a hymn to the congregation, this man walked into the church, erect and well, and his hair, which had been white, had turned black just as quickly as he was healed. The healing came when he grasped the significance of Mrs. Eddy's statement in Science and Health (p. 249), which reads as follows: "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine 'powers that be.' Such is the true Science of being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological." This experience shows how the discords of material sense were exchanged in the vestibule of quickened human consciousness for the facts of spiritual existence, which resulted in healing.
Christ Jesus was the Wayshower for all men. He knew the spiritual fact, or the reverse of every claim of the material senses. When he saw five thousand hungering people and a few loaves and fishes, he gave thanks that spiritual good is eternally available, and found the material supply at hand with which to feed the multitude. He rejected the so-called law of gravity, which claims to pull men down, and acknowledged only the law of Spirit, which upholds its ideas, and so he walked on the waves to his storm-tossed disciples. He acknowledged that Life is eternal and indestructible and raised himself and others from what the material senses call death.
The spiritual facts of existence, which dispelled the lies of mortal sense in the consciousness of Jesus, made him the Messiah, or the God-anointed man. These spiritual facts of existence, active in the consciousness of any sincere individual, constitute true spirituality, or the Christ, or as it is also called in the Bible, the Holy Ghost.
That we may gain a clear concept of the Christ, let us consider the following facts. When an automobile is delivered to an individual, it is of no use to him if he permits it to stand idle in his garage. But when the gasoline, which is not a part of the automobile, is ignited, it explodes, and the resulting energy gives life to the motor and movement to the wheels. The automobile then becomes an instrument of usefulness to the owner. Similarly, the spiritual facts of existence, properly regarded, are not mere statements written in a book, but vital truths, active in human consciousness, supplying it with alertness, usefulness, and the spiritual testimony which frees it from the discords of mortal sense. This spiritual activity of truth in the consciousness of the human Jesus made him the Messiah, or messenger of God. This pure spiritual activity, this Christ or Messiah, is present in the consciousness of every one of us and must be recognized as ever available to dispel the false beliefs of sin, disease, discord, lack, want, and death.
Prayer, Healing, and Salvation
To the disobedient and ignorant mind, the power of the Christ may first come as a severe discipline, a rod of iron. Such a mentality resists the reign of Spirit, finds it irksome and troublesome, and difficult to obey. But to the pure in heart, to those who are receptive to the Christ, the rod of iron becomes a source of power, an angel of light and love, bringing the spiritual fruits of health, peace, plenty, and protection from the lies of mortal sense.
Speaking of the Christ as the active manifestation of Spirit in human affairs, Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 565), "The impersonation of the spiritual idea had a brief history in the earthly life of our Master; but 'of his kingdom there shall be no end,' for Christ, God's idea, will eventually rule all nations and peoples − imperatively, absolutely, finally − with divine Science."
The activity of the Christ always results in healing and human betterment. This spiritual sense of progress is the only true salvation that individual human consciousness can ever experience. Every act of healing is an experience of salvation. Every action of the Christ, in replacing mortality with immortality in the vestibule of human consciousness, is an evidence that man is at one with God. This recognition of the spiritual man's unity with God is the only real atonement, or true spiritual at-one-ment.
The individual's acknowledgment of man's at-one-ment with Spirit, as revealed in Christian Science, is true prayer. Prayer is not asking or imploring God to give us something. It is the recognition, in a sincere, honest heart, that the Christ, the spiritual truth of existence, is ever present to dispel all erroneous conditions of mortality. The Christian Scientist derives his method of prayer from the Bible, and it is summarized in the sixth tenet of Christian Science (Science and Health, p. 497), which reads as follows: "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure." Such a prayer, exemplified in daily living, moves mountains.
The power of such righteous prayer is illustrated in the following experience. The representatives of an industrial organization were negotiating a wage and labor contract with the officials of a union, and the prospect of a harmonious solution appeared slight. One of the executives, an earnest Christian Scientist, repeatedly and silently maintained that the one perfect Mind governed all, and that only good will, honesty, justice, and complete understanding could be received and imparted by the participants. The discussion soon became quiet and orderly, and a contract satisfactory to all was signed. One of the officials who had appeared especially objectionable and aggressive expressed gratitude for the harmonious results. Thus the recognition of the presence of that Mind which was in Christ Jesus had established right human relationships, and such prayer will ultimately bring peace and good will to all mankind.
Our prayerful activity as Christian Scientists is to examine our thoughts constantly, to see what we are accepting as true about ourselves and others. Individual human consciousness is like a field of battle in which false beliefs appear to challenge the spiritual facts of existence. It is the seeming conflict of the testimony of the material senses with the evidence of Spirit. The Revelator speaks of the activity which goes on in human consciousness as follows (Rev. 12:7,8): "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven."
In the Bible the angel Michael, like the teachings of Christian Science, brings active enlightenment to the consciousness of the individual and dispels the lies or illusions of the material senses. The activity of the angel Michael is illustrated in the experience of Jesus when, in the wilderness, he resisted the temptation of evil with the powerful arguments of truth, and it is recorded that, "behold, angels came and ministered unto him" (Matt. ). The angel Michael is also represented in the moral courage and spiritual strength of David when he faced the Goliath of fear alone and exposed the lying claims of the material senses.
In the Bible we are introduced to another angelic messenger named Gabriel, who represents divine Love. This angel illustrates the quiet and instant recognition of man's unity with God, in which there is no argument, but the unshaken confidence and awareness of God's presence, maintaining His ideas in a state of eternal harmony and perfection.
The strong arguments of truth, represented by the angel Michael, lead thought up to the point of at-one-ment, or actual communion with God, where consciousness is wedded to the Christ. Then the angel Gabriel takes over and ends the conflict. In the presence of Truth there is no error, and in the presence of Love there is no conflict, only peace, health, and harmony. The Gabriel thought came to Elijah when the still, small voice spoke to him out of the tempest, and to Jacob after he had wrestled all night with the angel Michael. It came to our beloved Leader when, at the point of death, she opened her Bible to the healing of the palsied man and felt the glow of Spirit's presence, lifting her to health and usefulness after years of physical and mental suffering.
In her sermon "Christian Healing" (p. 10) Mrs. Eddy writes: "If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea."
Triumph of Truth and Love
Science and Health and our Leader's other writings, together with the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science periodicals, the Christian Science Sentinel, Journal, and Heralds, and other authorized literature, are available to the public at Christian Science Reading Rooms throughout the world. These publications supply the individual with many strong arguments of spiritual Truth. Often just one statement from our Leader's writings opens the way for healing.
Our Leader tells us to admit the facts of Christian Science. A little child, in its first lessons in arithmetic, obediently follows its teacher's instructions, and although it does not understand the principle governing the solution, it correctly and easily solves simple problems. Let us not resist the statements of Truth which we find in Science and Health. Let us accept, with childlike receptivity, the angel messages which they reveal, and they will instantly solve the problems which present themselves to human consciousness.
The great war in consciousness, pictured by John, in which the angel thoughts fought the dragon, resulted in the casting out of the serpent. The Revelator says he was cast unto the earth, and his angels, or evil thoughts, were cast out with him. Every false belief of life in matter, as first presented in the story of Adam and Eve, must return to the place of its origin − nothingness. The warfare of the Christian Scientist is not a warfare against evil as something, but a recognition of Spirit and its spiritual creation as All-in-all, thus proving the utter unreality and lifelessness of evil and its effects, inharmony, lack, sin, sickness, and death. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 454); "The understanding, even in a degree, of the divine All-power destroys fear, and plants the feet in the true path, − the path which leads to the house built without hands 'eternal in the heavens.' Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error."
To the individual confronted with the testimony of the material senses, the presence and power of God may seem afar off. But human suffering has its compensation, for it often serves to correct erroneous thoughts and conditions and leads the individual, through the abandonment of error, to find peace and health in the arms of divine Love.
Thus we see how "man's extremity is God's opportunity." Christian Science teaches us that divine Love is ever present to meet all human needs and to bring full compensation for all of earth's woes. In Science and Health (p. 574) our Leader writes, "The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares."
A friend told me of an experience which illustrates how, despite human discord and suffering, thought is led through Christian Science to the recognition and proof of God's all-encompassing love and care for His beloved ideas. This man's wife had left him unexpectedly and had taken with her their young son and all of the funds which he had accumulated. He became despondent and seriously ill and was without position and resources. Then, in a moment of deep dejection and frustration, when to mortal sense a multitude of evil beliefs seemed to have been poured forth upon him, his brother offered him a copy of Science and Health. As he examined its pages, his thought was awakened to the fact that here was a logical, practical, spiritual interpretation of the Bible. He began to study, and soon the truth of being dawned in his consciousness. Then he experienced health and found constructive work, and later a companion who loved Christian Science as he did. Still later, he became reunited with his son, who had completed his college education, and found that he, too, was interested in Christian Science. Today this man is a busy Christian Science practitioner and is helping others to understand and prove the spiritual facts of existence, that they also may enjoy their birthright of spiritual perfection.
Man's Incorporeal Nature
When Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple, the Jews asked him for a sign to show them that he was acting by divine authority. The Master said to them (John ), "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Here he referred to the fact that, although men attempted to kill him and to destroy his material body, he would raise that body through the recognition that man has an indestructible, perfect, spiritual body or identity, which no mortal conditions can touch. In his ascension Jesus surrendered wholly the belief that he had a material body and proved his perfect individuality, or identity, to be in the image and likeness of Spirit. Thus he found himself, through the demonstration of complete innocence and purity, as the image and likeness of God, a spiritual idea, dwelling forever in the radiance of Spirit.
This heaven-bestowed, incorporeal individuality and unity with Spirit is the birthright of every one of us. It dawns on each one and grows to full effulgence as the spiritual facts of existence are successively recognized in human consciousness.
The manner of this final appearing is beautifully presented in the following lines of Thomas Moore, as quoted by our Leader (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 51);
"When from the lips of Truth one mighty breath
Shall, like a whirlwind, scatter in its breeze
The whole dark pile of human mockeries;
Then shall the reign of Mind commence on earth,
And starting fresh, as from a second birth,
Man in the sunshine of the world's new spring,
Shall walk transparent like some holy thing."
Speaking of the time of this
appearing to individual human consciousness, Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and
Health, p. 573): "Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being
will surely appear sometime and in some way. There will be no more pain, and
all tears will be wiped away. When you read this, remember Jesus' words, 'The
[Published in The Berkeley (California) Daily Gazette, Feb. 3, 1950.]