Christian Science Reveals Divine Love in Action
Albert Clinton Moon, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
A lecture on Christian Science
entitled "Christian Science Reveals Divine Love in Action" was
delivered last Tuesday evening in First Church of Christ, Scientist,
Mr. Moon was introduced by Mr. Warren R. Yackey, First Reader.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Christian Science brings to us the glad message of divine Love's unlimited power and present potentialities for mankind. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, who is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science may be found the Tenets of this new-old religion, based wholly on the recognition of God's supremacy. The first tenet reads, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (Science and Health, p 497). Christian Science makes known to mankind this "inspired Word" and the practical import to us here and now of the Biblical revelation that God is Love.
From the Scriptures, especially the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (which are biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, the Founder of Christianity), we learn that Jesus, wholly through spiritual means, healed the sick and sinning as the evidence of the truths he taught. He instructed his followers to do the same, and the Gospels, together with the book of Acts, contain records of their healing works. Christian Science shows mankind how to demonstrate the truths Jesus revealed.
The many wondrous things Jesus did and taught showed God to be a loving Father, infinitely merciful, having that limitless compassion which is tender enough to ease the burden of every weary pilgrim, but so just that He requires unswerving adherence to Principle; strong enough to protect all and so good that He must always bless and heal.
In her book entitled "Miscellaneous Writings," Mrs. Eddy says, "Christian Science translates Mind, God, to mortals" (p. 22). And in the Christian Science textbook we read, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465). A careful study of this definition and the synonyms it includes does indeed translate or make God known to mankind. These synonyms show that His nature, His essence, and His wholeness are that of Spirit, the divine and only substance of the universe, the loving Father and Mother of all. They show Him to be Soul which includes the beauty of holiness; to be Principle that governs all His children through His law, holding them always as true sons of God. And He is their infinite intelligence, or Mind. He is actually our Life, our continuity of being. What He is constitutes Truth, or reality, so what is unlike Him has no actuality. But the term "Love" gives us the clearest idea of God.
Perhaps we may feel we know a good deal about love; we use the word frequently. Too often, however, it is used merely in connection with the gratification of material sense. We love one person because he does what we like. We do not love another because he does not do what we like. But when we understand and use the word "Love" as the name for God, it conveys to us that love which satisfies our longing for goodness, for purity, completeness, health, and harmony
Thinking of God as divine Love, the only cause and creator of the universe, we rightly conceive His creation to be entirely spiritual, the effect of Him who constantly imparts goodness, loveliness, and spirituality to all. In Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, it is recorded that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). God calls that good which is Godlike. Hence man, God's image and likeness is wholly spiritual perfect, sinless, and altogether lovely. Man is the generic name for all the individual expressions of God's goodness and completeness.
This man is the real selfhood of the man that you are and that I am. He is always safe, because divine Love governs all the activities of his universe. He is abundantly cared for, because he reflects the affluence of Love. All that is good belongs to him by divine right. Living in the atmosphere of sinlessness and goodness, he has unassailable health. He has no conflicts because he knows but one Mind. Because all the ideas of God included in him are concordant, he has joy unlimited. Since he coexists with his Father-Mother divine Love, he has no beginning, no decrepitude, no disintegration, no end. He is always at the standpoint of freshness, vigor, and renewal. In the omnipresence of Love he dwells. In the omniscience of Love he is known. In the omnipotence of Love he fulfills his creator's good purpose.
Let us remember that this Godlike creation and that which appears to humanity as material, temporal, unhappy, sick, and sinning creation cannot both be real. God's creation is real, and the material sense of creation is unreal.
When contemplating so-called material existence many have echoed Job's lament (Job 14:1) "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." But mortals are counterfeits of God's creation, deceptive material imitations of man who is made in God's spiritual image and likeness. The counterfeit is not real. It has not the ring of the true metal, and its spurious promises to give mankind health, happiness, and continuity through matter, not having the support of God, divine Love, fall one by one. Thus, materiality is uncovered as synonymous with sin, disease, and death.
Just as we would refuse knowingly to accept counterfeit currency in payment of accounts due us, let us no longer accept the counterfeit material sense of being as our due, but rather accept our incorruptible inheritance, our perfect, spiritual relationship with God. Christian Science declares material existence to be a mortal dream from which all must awaken to real life in Spirit, divine Love. How is this done? Through positive spiritual thinking and living.
Awareness of God is true religion, and knowledge of the source and reality of true being is true Science. Hence true religion and true Science are inseparable. Christian Science declares the eternal oneness of true religion and Science. Jesus' teachings are provable statements of perfect religion and perfect Science. He subdued materiality because matter is the essence of that which is destructive and destructible. It is the seeming opposite of pure Love, spirituality, goodness, and divine reality. Jesus left his example for us; so Christianly scientific religion today continues to explain away matter and reveal God, Spirit, as the only substance.
The world's enlightened thought concerning matter's substantiality is rapidly changing. Some years ago Sir James Jeans, a famous natural scientist, wrote, "The universe is a world of pure thought." And not long ago a prominent daily newspaper, when commenting on the findings of a celebrated physicist, facetiously headlined its article, "Matter ain't what it used to be, if it ever was!"
What mortals term matter is actually limited, finite, mistaken belief. On one occasion an individual was asking for Christian Science treatment for a painful foot condition. In order to awaken him to the unsubstantial nature of matter I asked, "Where is your foot?"
"Why, right here," he said, pointing to the offending member.
I asked again, "But where is here?'"
He seemed baffled for a moment, but finally said, "Well, since I can think of my foot, my foot must be in my thinking!" He accepted the logical conclusion that what was in his thinking could only be thought and not the solid substance it appeared to be. He saw too that thought which does not originate in God cannot be real. He intelligently denied that he existed as matter and recognized that everything which constituted his true being was spiritual and perfect now, because he could only exist as God's spiritual image and likeness. These truths brought healing, for his foot was restored to normality. Mrs. Eddy assures us (Unity of Good, p. 46), "The scientific man and his Maker are here; and you would be none other than this man, if you would subordinate the fleshly perceptions to the spiritual sense and source of being."
Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy, the beloved Leader of Christian Science, was a devout student of the Bible from childhood. An understanding of God as Love was evident early in her life. As a young girl, when joining the Protestant church of which her parents were members, she quite fearlessly took her stand for the fact that salvation is universal, that God's goodness and love are available for all. She had to oppose the time-honored doctrines of her minister. He was of the old school which held firmly to the creed of unconditional election of some to be saved and others to be lost, but finally he relented and accepted her into membership together with her divergent, though loving, view.
The story of how her discovery of God's healing power took place is well known and authenticated. As a result of a severe accident, her life was despaired of. On the third day after this had occurred, her pastor, before going to his church service, called at her home to pray with her and bid her what he believed would be a final farewell. Mrs. Eddy's love for the Bible, which had so influenced her life, caused her to request her copy of this Book of books. As she read in the ninth chapter of Matthew about the Master's healing of the man sick of the palsy, she glimpsed the spiritual truth that the healing works performed by Jesus were not miraculous but were accomplished through the operation of the ever-present changeless law of divine Love. She arose from her bed healed. When her pastor returned at the close of his service, he was astounded to see her walk to the door to meet him.
Mrs. Eddy's conviction that salvation
is universal and impartial grew in her until it included the practical
understanding that God's law brings salvation from sickness as well as from
sin. She devoted her life to seeking and gaining a fuller understanding of the
rules for demonstrating this Science of healing. She gave this knowledge to
mankind in her published writings. Through revelation, right reasoning, and
actual demonstration she learned
that Christian healing is accomplished through letting "this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus," as
Many fine biographies of Mrs. Eddy, which may be obtained at all Christian Science Reading Rooms, show clearly that only the activity of divine Love in her consciousness could have impelled her to accomplish what she did. Her great love for mankind enabled her to surmount tremendous obstacles in fulfilling her mission. Selfish consideration for her own comfort had no place in her life of service to others. She truly exemplified divine Love in action.
Would it not have been a great privilege to have known Mrs. Eddy? We may think that knowing her was an experience confined only to those who were her contemporaries, but she has herself told us that everyone, for all time, may know her. She has clearly stated that all may find her in her writings, and that those who look for her elsewhere lose her instead of find her. If any of us had visited her and she had told us the glorious thoughts that God had given her, would we not have felt that we knew her? Her writings record these thoughts, which she has given to mankind fully and freely. As we discern and assimilate her teachings, we know her.
Mrs. Eddy lived many centuries after Jesus, yet she knew him well, for she understood the love that motivated and inspired him. Because of this she was able to make the practical import of his life, his words, and his works available to us. She has taught us to know and love him and to follow his example. As we know the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science we learn for ourselves her meaning to mankind. Through finding her in the only way she said we could find her, we have the privilege and opportunity of receiving her instruction and counsel, her admonition and rebuke, and the loving encouragement which her writings continue to give to all seekers for Truth.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, founded by Mrs. Eddy has many activities, all with one aim − to make Christ known to humanity as the healing and saving power of divine Love. In all church services the readings from the King James Version of the Bible and from the Christian Science textbook present the truths of being in unadulterated form. The public is invited to attend the Sunday services, as well as the Wednesday testimony meetings where they can hear students of Christian Science tell how they have learned of God's great love and have experienced divine Love's healing, transforming effect in their own lives.
In many areas of the world, radio and television programs are being given, in which individuals who have received healings through Christian Science tell of them in a most instructive and inspiring way. Helpful articles and testimonies of healing may be found in the Christian Science Sentinel, The Christian Science Journal, and many foreign language Heralds which are designed to meet the universal need for enlightenment. All of these periodicals were established by Mrs. Eddy, as was The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper, of which she has said, "The object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353). It provides mankind with an unbiased appraisal of human affairs and includes in each issue one article on Christian Science. The Monitor has a large circulation, not at all confined to Christian Scientists, because many business people, government officials, physicians, and theologians, who value its truthful news and objective views, are numbered among the regular subscribers.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, which was organized by Mrs. Eddy, is governed for all time by the Manual of The Mother Church, of which she is the author. Christian Scientists recognize the Church Manual as an instance of spiritual government, which provides not only for the government of the Church but also for the harmonious self-government of each individual member. Many have found that in seeking a higher sense of obedience to the Church Manual many personal problems have been solved. Speaking of this in her book, "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy says, "This church is impartial. Its rules apply not to one member only, but to one and all equally. Of this I am sure that each Rule and By-law in this Manual will increase the spirituality of him who obeys it, invigorate his capacity to heal the sick, to comfort such as mourn and to waken the sinner" (p 230).
The advancing course of knowledge that has led men to higher attainments in scientific fields is an ever-recurring illustration of truth correcting errors that were previously accepted and universally believed to be fixed facts. A flat earth never had to be changed into a round earth. People did have to gain a true sense of the earth, and then their belief in its flatness, and their fear that men would fall off of it if they ventured too far out to sea, disappeared. Thus enlightenment pushed back the boundaries of mankind's limited thought and provided them with new lands and new worlds. So also will our expanding concept of God as Love, and His creation as altogether lovely, push back the false limited beliefs that have so long held us in bondage and reveal man as he really is, the spiritual son of God. Breaking the shackles of erroneous, restrictive thinking about our loving Father Mother God, we shall no longer be subject to the false belief that God made man material and imperfect, that He creates sickness and afflicts man with it, that He makes man subject to sin but then punishes him for indulging in it; or that He causes man to face a final, fearful ordeal of death for the purpose of attaining eternal Life in a far-off heaven. God's law understood heals all of these evils
Jesus gave the command, "Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself" (Mark 12.31). Is not, therefore, the attainment of a loving, correct sense of one’s own true selfhood the first step in learning to love others? One must acknowledge the fact that now he is the son of God: now is he actually created in the likeness of God, divine Love, now has God made him free from sin and sickness. Proportionately as he does this, will he find himself manifesting health and purity.
Love One Another
As one admits that he himself is the child of God, he is ready for the next step. We read in the textbook of Christian Science (p 572) " 'Love one another' (I John, iii. 23), is the most simple and profound counsel of the inspired writer."
Someone may ask: "But how can I love others? I see on every side people doing things that are not right and of which I disapprove. How can I love such people?" Let us remember that to love means to think of each individual as God knows him, to recognize that right where material, mortal man seems to be, in reality there is the son of God. If several people were in a dark room and one turned on the light for himself, the others who had been in the darkness could also see their surroundings in the light he had provided. In the same way, our recognition of the spiritual fact concerning man will not only make us loving but will bring enlightenment and healing to the individual who may seem to be unloving, unhappy, or ill, and aid him to realize his true selfhood as the loving, happy, and healthy child of God. Let us see all men embraced in, and governed by, divine Love.
We may well start this corrective, obedient thinking with those closest to us, our own families. One may think he has always loved his family, but has he really done so? Has one always thought of his family as children of God, reflecting the attributes or qualities of God, such as holiness, harmony, wisdom, goodness, the perfection of health and well-being? Watch the healing effects of such thoughts! Let the business man or woman go to his work each day knowing that he is going out to meet the sons and daughters of God, and nothing else. Proportionately as one does this kind of constructive, Godlike thinking, he will find joy coming into his daily life, a sense of health and harmony far above anything he has before known, and he will immeasurably bless everyone with whom he comes in contact.
Love Meets the Human Need
On the walls of many Christian Science churches may be found these encouraging words from the Christian Science textbook: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494). How does divinity that knows nothing of sickness or sin touch humanity with the blessing of health and purity? Spiritual facts have their origin and being in God. Humanity has the ability to think spiritual facts and thus demonstrate the human and divine coincidence, that is, humanity governed by divinity.
All Christians will agree that God constantly expresses the qualities which nullify all evil. When these God-qualities are manifested by humanity, human experience is actually governed by the divine. Purity is a quality of God, so it is natural to man in God's image. When one realizes this truth, and claims and accepts God's purity in his own individual consciousness, God's quality will then govern his human actions, the very actions that might have seemed physical. How true it is that human thought is objectified in human experience!
Have we not all at times seen the face of someone flushed and distorted because of a wrathful thought entertained by that individual? Would one apply ointments, salves, or physical manipulation to that face to bring it back to its normal, happy appearance? No, indeed. One would undertake to change the person's thought with love. One would endeavor to replace the angry thought with loving, joyous thinking, and if this were accomplished, would not the face immediately respond? Right where anger and distortion had been manifested would be a face wreathed with smiles, manifesting Love's government. Often unhappy, fearful, or sinful thought distorts the human body and calls it diseased. Christian scientific correction of thought is God's means of healing the body.
The practice of Christian Science is not one mind controlling another. It is not mesmeric influence. It is not the exercise of human will power. Christian Science practice is the effective utilization of prayer. This prayer is the recognition of the perfection and spiritual nature of God and His creation, man and the universe. Prayer also includes the denial that there is either mental or physical power opposed to God.
So-called Incurable Disease Healed
A young man had reached a state of semi-invalidism, suffering from what had been diagnosed by his physicians as a nervous breakdown, a back injury that was steadily growing worse, for which it seemed necessary to wear a steel support, and foot trouble that required specially built shoes containing inside and outside supports. He also suffered from rheumatism, said to be incurable, resulting from the back injury. This often kept him in bed for weeks at a time. He was taking much medicine for his condition and having a number of shots every week. The kindly physicians finally said that they could do nothing more for him, that all he could do was to make the best of the situation, and that the problems would just have to be part of his experience from then on.
At this point his young sister, who was attending a Christian Science Sunday School and learning of God's love and healing power, requested him to have the help of a Christian Science practitioner. He gave his consent. The practitioner began to give him Christian Science treatment at once and assured him of God's love for him explaining that God, who is Love, would no more afflict His children than the young man himself would afflict those whom he loved; hence, what seemed so real to him was neither true nor permanent. The practitioner called attention to Mrs. Eddy's statement, "Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized" (Science and Health, p. 167). From that day on the young man had no further medical attention and took no material medicine. He began to improve at once. He bought a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and studied it daily in connection with the Bible.
A short time later he realized that he was entirely healed, and that not once since having turned unreservedly to God through Christian Science had he been troubled with any of the rheumatic attacks. He stopped wearing the back support, and as a matter of fact never used or needed it again. The foot trouble likewise disappeared, and no further thought was given to it. Later, in World War II, he served in the Armed Forces for three years, in a special branch of the service that required an unusually stiff medical examination, which showed him to be in a state of excellent health.
A small boy realized the helpful relationship between practitioner and patient. He had been ill, and his mother requested Christian Science treatment for him from a Christian Science practitioner. The child became well in a very short time and was so overjoyed that he said to his mother, "Wasn't it wonderful of the practitioner to heal me?" When the practitioner was told about this, he was most grateful for the healing, but admonished the mother to tell her son that it was God who had healed him. The boy thought a moment and then said, "Yes, that's right, but he was the middleman!"
We do indeed have the sacred privilege of being the one who mediates between what is true and what is false concerning man, establishing in consciousness the spiritual facts of true being which heal the sick and save sinners, thus rejecting as powerless and untrue all that is unlike God. Jesus clearly explained his healing works, when he described himself as "a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God" (John ).
Love's Infinite Supply
Can the love we express help us solve problems involving inadequate supply? It can. Since God made all that was made, did He not make income for everyone, abundant supply for all? And must that supply not be the effect of divine Love, hence lovely, perfect, without limitations? Mrs. Eddy writes, "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307).
What needs to be corrected in order that an adequate supply may appear? The answer is, our own sense of supply. How often do we hear people say of their income, "Well, it's all right, what there is of it." Isn't this belittling supply and attributing to it lack and limitation, rather than loving God's abundance? The supply that God creates must of necessity express both the quantity and quality of God. It must be adequate, ever present, and equally available to all.
Jesus was faced with a situation where thousands were needing food. The few loaves and fishes present seemed wholly insufficient for so many hungry people The disciples, accepting the testimony of their material senses, said, "What are they among so many?" (John 6:9) The Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus blessed the supply that was present. That is, he accepted as true the spiritual sense of supply, and instead of belittling it as the others were doing, he loved what supply really is, the spiritual ideas that God continuously gives. This true love of Godlike supply destroyed in some measure the belief in supply as limited and meager, and the people with him saw in the spiritual light he manifested, a better sense of the infinitude of supply than they had seen before. This was evidenced as enough to meet their human need. Love is the native atmosphere of God's ideas, and these ideas are magnified in the human consciousness that loves them.
During a period of business depression a student of Christian Science lost his position and found that the bank in which he had his savings had been closed. His available funds seemed wholly inadequate to meet obligations he had incurred. He turned to the truth he had been learning and said to himself: "The only thing that can cause me to suffer is the fear of lack I might be tempted to entertain. If I claim my divine right to express courage, to love, bless, and accept the limitless supply God is always giving me, I must of necessity have the evidence as that which meets my human needs."
Holding firmly to the fact that he was the reflection of God and therefore expressed fearlessness and assurance, he thanked God for the supply he knew was being showered upon him by divine Love. This correct thought changed his human concept of himself from a fearful mortal engulfed in debt and lack to a spiritual sense of himself as the courageous, abundantly cared-for son of God. His fear vanished, and the evidence of his changed thought immediately appeared as a most unlooked-for position. The remuneration was very small, but he conscientiously applied every available dollar to payment of his obligations, constantly dwelling on the fact that Love's abundance to him multiplied through use and that it could not diminish. In a short time he was able to joyfully tell a close friend who had known all the circumstances of his plight, "I am completely free from debt." "Impossible!" said the friend, "you have not received enough salary to have done this." However, his freedom from debt was true, because Love's supply had been appreciated as ever unfolding and never diminishing. When one pays just obligations, he is actually acknowledging that good has been received. The more good one acknowledges, the more one has; and this truth is demonstrable; as this student continued to prove from that time on.
The business of God is altogether lovely, and man reflects or expresses that business. The recognition of this fact will invariably give one a proper business and a happy and rewarding experience. Would any one of us feel happy and contented in an atmosphere where we knew we were disliked? No, we would probably want to leave the atmosphere. Do not supply and business react in much the same way and leave one's experience if unloved? So be sure to love what supply and business really are. Recognize that the only business there is, is God-created; that your true business is the reflection of God's qualities. Then put these qualities into action in all the details of what you humanly call your business. Know that your supply is made of divine, inexhaustible, lovely ideas which God constantly pours forth. As a result you will see your business and your supply grow and unfold in a way that abundantly meets the human need.
The Coming of Christ
The recognition that man is spiritual, the image and likeness of divine Love, is the coming of Christ to human consciousness. Christ is the spiritual idea of God, which brings healing and regeneration to humanity. Jesus so perfectly demonstrated Christ, God's ideal, that he is rightfully known for all time as Christ Jesus. He was our example, our Master, and our Way-shower. Our Leader explains his mission in these words: "Jesus mapped out the path for others. He unveiled the Christ, the spiritual idea of divine Love" (Science and Health, p. 38). Today, through Christian Science, we are learning that each individual Christian honors Jesus by demonstrating Christ, this "spiritual idea of divine Love," in his own daily life. The great Way-shower said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John ). Christ is confined to no person or time. Although Moses lived many centuries before Jesus, a New Testament writer speaks of Christ being with Moses (I Cor. 10:4; Heb. ).
Christian Science has given humanity the Comforter promised by Jesus, for Christian Science brings the comforting knowledge that all may demonstrate the infinitely varied Christ, "the spiritual idea of divine Love," and find salvation from every variety of error. To follow Jesus in demonstration of Christ is to replace false mental concepts in thought with "the spiritual idea of divine Love." So doing, we shall see divine Love in action.
Let us accept divine Love's spiritual idea of health, and be well. Let us accept divine Love's spiritual idea of abundance, and have true security. Let us accept divine Love's spiritual idea of man; then shall we realize with Paul that we are here and now "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom ).
[Published in The Oildale (California) News, Jan. 28, 1959.]