Christian Science Proclaims the Gospel of Freedom

 

Margaret Morrison, C.S., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Miss Margaret Morrison, C.S., of Chicago, Illinois, lectured on "Christian Science Proclaims the Gospel of Freedom" Monday night in Cadle Tabernacle under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Miss Morrison, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., was introduced by Mrs. Irene Burton. Her lecture follows, substantially as it was given:

 

Truth Makes Free

Perhaps no saying of Jesus the Christ is more familiar or more frequently quoted than that ringing statement to his disciples given in the Gospel of John: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The human race has always been engaged in a struggle for freedom. Many have been the wars fought in the hope of gaining or maintaining this freedom - freedom of the individual to worship according to his conscience and to work out his own salvation. But the repetition of history proves that freedom does not come through the devastations of war, but through the enlightenment of Truth - that Truth which was demonstrated by Christ Jesus, discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, and later elucidated by her in its exact Science.

On page 220 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, we read: "The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ's divine Science."

"Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself" (ibid.). Later on, speaking of this, her crusade against these enslaving beliefs, she says, on the same page, "I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged."

Let us pause here for a few words of grateful tribute to this brave crusader, Mary Baker Eddy. Alone, with only her vision of Truth, without money or influence and with few favorable friends, but with fathomless faith in God she met the relentless and cruelly warring elements of the carnal mind and won her way, triumphantly, into the realm of spiritual freedom, "where fetters fall and the rights of man," or the right man, "are fully known and acknowledged." Not only did she enter into freedom herself, but she opened the way for all who will to enter into the realm of Mind and to dwell in its infinitude of goodness and harmony. Thank God for her courage, her compassion, her undaunted perseverance, her practical spirituality, which enabled her to discover and to reveal to the world the exact Science of that Truth which the great master Metaphysician, Christ Jesus proved and promised should make free.

 

Truth Frees from Idolatry

What is that from which mankind needs to be freed? It may all be summed up in one word - "idolatry," what Mrs. Eddy has designated as "pagan and Christian idolatry" (Science and Health, p. 340), "the atheism of matter" (p. 580). This means the belief in more than one God, one power, one creation, or at its very best, the belief in one God who is a mixture of good and evil, Spirit and matter; that is, a God divided against Himself and that, therefore, cannot stand. It means the belief in minds many instead of the one creative, all-inclusive Mind, supreme in intelligence and power. That one Mind, governing all, does not send out other minds separated from itself any more than the sun sends out other suns. Therefore, there is no personal mind of my own or your own, wandering about by itself - separated from the one infinite Mind, and getting itself into all kinds of trouble.

There was a condition attached to Jesus' promise of freedom - "If ye continue in my word." What is this word of Jesus in which one must continue? Even this: "God is a Spirit" - or more accurately translated, "God is Spirit" - "and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." This, then, is our starting point from which to know that truth which reveals the freedom of man: "God is Spirit."

Perhaps that word "Spirit'' may seem a bit nebulous, spectral, un-solid, or impractical to those unaccustomed to its use in Christian Science, so let us consider it in contrast to that which is called matter, which seems to us so familiar, practical, and solid. That which is called matter is mindless; Spirit is Mind. So-called matter is non-intelligent; Spirit is divine intelligence. Matter is finite, limited; Spirit is infinite, measureless.

Matter is inanimate, feelingless. Spirit is animate, divine Love. Matter is substanceless, liable to discord and decay; Spirit is substance, immortal, indestructible conscious substance. So-called matter or mortal mind is the medium of death; Spirit is eternal Life. In other words, Spirit is causation, the one Supreme Being, immortal Mind, omniscient intelligence. Then, to escape the idolatry that seems to blind mankind to Truth and bind them to error, we must not only believe but understand this one God, which is all-intelligent, creative Spirit.

God to be God must be one, sharing His power with no other, and to be creative He must be good; so we have one infinite good God who is creative intelligence or Mind. To worship Him "in spirit and in truth" is to honor Him as Spirit with our every concept of Life and its activities, to acknowledge no life or mind apart from Him. This is the word or teaching of Jesus. Let us continue in this word and find the simplicity and freedom of Life, indivisible in the unfoldment of its own infinite being. This means one substance, one man, one universe cognized and contained in the one infinite Spirit or Mind.

What, then, becomes of that which we call matter? Jesus disposed of that, too. Speaking of the evil thinking and acting of the carnal mind he said: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it." Therefore, this mind which claims to be matter, the opposite of Spirit, and which Mrs. Eddy calls "mortal mind" - this mind which says the earth is flat when, in fact, it is round, which says you are sick when, in truth, you are well - this mind is a lie and the father of lies.

In other words, it and its claims are nonexistent to Truth. No matter how entrenched in belief its claims seem to be, no matter what wonders its so-called science may seem to produce, it still is in the realm of unreality, of deluding beliefs, and it is proved nothing in the presence of the allness of Spirit. These are the two cardinal points of scientific Christianity: the nothingness of matter, the allness of Mind, which means the nothingness of evil and the allness of good.

This fact is iterated and reiterated throughout the writings of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She says in Science and Health (p. 62): "The 'man of sorrows' best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with divine Love." What is called matter, then, is the suppositional creation of a nonexistent mind, otherwise an illusion. This is true, no matter how substantial those illusions may seem to be to the physical senses. Even so modern and distinguished a physical scientist as Sir James Jeans says they are but a "smeared picture of the clear-cut reality which we believe to lie beneath." Someone may have a sense of fear at the thought of giving up these dear, familiar things of the senses, feeling that it leaves one up in the air with nothing, to stand on, as it were. Do not fear. There is no vacuum. The space is already filled with the substantial, indestructible, and transforming ideas of Spirit.

 

Freedom Found in "Fetterless Mind"

The Spirit which is God Christian Science calls "fetterless Mind" (Science and Health, p. 74). What a breath of freedom the very words bring, "fetterless Mind"! This Mind is invisible, indivisible, ever-conscious substance, all activity and power, eternally unsullied in its purity, undiminished in its vigor, unmarred in its loveliness, unlimited in its goodness. This Mind being God, and man being the reflection or expression of God, man must be this fetterless Mind's expression of itself in all its freedom, infinite individuality, and perfection.

Just what does this mean to us here today? Is it practical? Yes, my friends, it is the most practical thing you can know. Pure spirituality is potent practicality. Jesus was the most spiritually-minded man ever known and at the same time the most practical. No material means ever conceived of have brought about such practical results as did his spiritual understanding. He needed none of the material so-called remedies, none of the drugs and nostrums devised by superstitious beliefs, to heal the sick. He needed no electricity to transport himself from place to place with safety and immediacy. The same power that healed the side healed the Magdalen. The same power that supplied the loaves and fishes stilled the tempest and enabled Jesus to walk on the water. This is the "seamless" garment of the Christ, the undivided power of Truth. Yes, true spirituality is potent practicality, so do not be afraid of being too spiritually-minded. Love is more practical than fear or hate; it bestows and maintains harmony. Joy is more practical than grief; it strengthens and vivifies. Peace is more practical than strife; it constructs and establishes. Honesty is more practical than chicanery; it prospers and succeeds.

To be thus spiritually-minded does not cause one to drift into abstractions, into dreamy absentness from activity. Rather does it make one more keenly active, more alert to detect, to meet and master every claim of error with its opposite truth. Just as the more thoroughly one knows the rules of mathematics the more instantly he detects and corrects a mistake in computation, so the more completely and consistently one understands the truth of spiritual being, the more instant and complete dominion he has over the untruths of material existence, To be truly spiritual-minded is to be in an ever-increasing degree, alert, intelligent, resourceful, industrious, persistent in good, wise, kind, generous, aware of omnipotence, selfless, triumphant.

In its ignorance of the truth about itself, mortal mind has sought freedom from the evils of its false beliefs within the realm of those same beliefs. These efforts are and must perforce continue to be futile. It is a truism to say that that which is the cause of error cannot remove error; the cure of an ill cannot be found in the cause of that ill, and so it is that mortal mind cannot find a remedy for its ills within its own borders. The inventions of mortal mind cannot of themselves enlighten mortal mind or free it from its self-imposed limitations and sufferings. As, through the revelation of the allness of divine Mind, so-called mortal mind becomes liberated from its superstitions and bondage to false beliefs, it finds expression in many, to itself, amazing inventions and discoveries, which tend to finer and more comfortable ways of living. Unless, however, these marvels are leading mankind to truer evaluation, to true, spiritual views of Life, they will not be found making for better morals or better health. They will not be found bringing to mankind freedom from the beliefs of greed, lust, tyranny, injustice, infidelity, hate, or cruelty.

Electricity, which Mrs. Eddy defines (Science and Health, p. 293) as "the sharp surplus of materiality," cannot bestow upon mankind intelligence, health, wisdom, understanding, peace, or joy. It never has and never can give to mankind a single one of those qualities of Mind that make life desirable, healthful, immortal; and, unless these qualities of Mind are being cultivated and expressed, the would-be serviceable inventions and discoveries will expand only to mortal mind's own destruction.

We have proof of this in their devastating use in the warfare of today. At best, these marvels of the mechanics of mortal mind can serve only as parables to point to the wonders of immortal Mind as demonstrated by Christ Jesus. Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 360), "No advancing modes of human mind made Jesus;

rather was it their subjugation, and the pure heart that sees God." He was the Way-shower of the one and only way to freedom. St. Paul knew this well when he wrote to the Corinthians, "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

 

Man Proved Free From Evil

Accepting this true concept of God and man, we find man to be as free as the "fetterless Mind" of which he is the expression. Man, in Truth, is just as free from disease and all evil as is God, whose reflection he is. Jesus proved this irrefutably in his healing works, and Christian Science is, in a degree, proving it today. Sickness and disease are the lies of that carnal mind which is the father of its own lies. They are a part of the myth, "the atheism of matter." Keeping this in mind, the spiritual healing of the most malignant and stubborn disease is seen as a natural and normal activity of the perfect Mind that is God, and the only Mind that, in reality, has existence. Mrs. Eddy explains this healing most clearly in the textbook where she speaks of "the life-giving power of Truth acting on human belief, a power which opens the prison doors to such as are bound, and sets the captive free physically and morally" (p. 495).

It was this "power of Truth acting on human belief" which Jesus demonstrated in healing the leper. This was wholly a mental activity and not a changing process of so-called matter. The mortal belief of disease was displaced by the spiritual fact of health. An illusion of the sense was dispelled, and man's untouched, harmonious being was brought to light. This change of consciousness was experienced as physical healing and the leper made clean. The same was true in healing the man born blind. The truth that the faculties of man are spiritual, and not material, and that they are from everlasting to everlasting maintained in their perfection by the omnipotent Mind of which they are the expression, was demonstrated.

One can demonstrate only that which is already an established fact in the truth of being. One could not demonstrate health unless it were the fact of being already existing in Truth. Truth is. It can never be relegated either to the past or the future. It is, "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." You do not have to wait for it to be made true. So you do not have to wait for man to be made Godlike. He is Godlike - not through any human effort to make him so, but because it is the truth of his being. God and man, Principle and idea, is one.

Truth, then, is the same today as it was in the time of Jesus, and, when understood, it is just as potent to heal. This was proved in a case of which I know. A woman whose eardrums were destroyed when she was a young child had for many years been under the consequent belief of total deafness. Then she was found of Christian Science. "The life-giving power of Truth acting on human belief" was demonstrated on her in this age. She was completely healed, and today has most keen and perfect hearing.

On page 227 of Science and Health the author, Mrs. Eddy says, "The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being." The truth of this statement was proved by Peter when he healed the man "lame from his mother's womb," who sat begging at the gate Beautiful of the temple and who, at the word of Truth, sprang up, "walking, and leaping, and praising God." Another healing of which I know; similar to that, took place in this day.

This was the case of a young child three years old who had never been able to sit or walk, but presented a mental picture of totally helpless non-intelligent flesh. This child was instantly healed - made free - through the tender ministry of Truth as taught in Christian Science, and began at once to manifest all the intelligent activity of a normal child of that age. At the same time her father was instantly healed of a malignant disease, which materia medica had given up as utterly hopeless. Thus the "live-giving power of Truth acting on human belief" was again proved potent to heal today as in the day of Jesus the Christ.

It is clear, then, that true healing in Christian Science is metaphysical, not merely physical, although it is always apparent to the physical senses. Its holy aim and its effect is to reveal man's spiritual status, his true being. It is not merely to change a material sense of sickness into a material sense of health, a material sense of poverty into a material sense of wealth, a personal sense of sorrow into a personal sense of joy. Its purpose and its effect is to bestow the spiritual substance of all good, what St. Peter has called "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away." Coming into this true inheritance, one comes into perfected harmony in all phases of living.

"Ye shall know the truth" and, abiding in the truth, the truth you know "shall make you free." Jesus did not say, Ye shall know about the truth. He did not say, Ye shall know the truth, and then you must do something to help it make you free. It is not the human so-called mind knowing something about God, trying to reflect God, that heals, but it is the divine Mind, the presence of God Himself, that reveals the truth of being and sets free. Truth itself, when scientifically known and retained as consciousness, outshines false beliefs and reveals the invincible fact of man's freedom from all evil. Knowledge of the truth about the false arguments of the carnal mind gives you dominion over any situation whatsoever that may confront you. "Ye shall know the truth." That is your part. It is the part of Truth to make you free.

No shackles can be placed on graces of the mind,

Nor fetters ever bind an action that is kind.

Joy can wing its way, enraptured, calm, and free.

And faith can find the balm of healing ministry.

The patience that would bloom into Love's perfect flower,

And courage, and content know no enchaining power;

And honesty aid strength and sweet humility,

And purity and hope can ne'er imprisoned be.

For as the sun in freedom sheds its light abroad,

So man is now the free expression of his God.

 

Seamless Garment of Truth

Christian Science has restored to us the seamless garment of the Christ by proving that the same power heals both sin and sickness. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 210), "Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process." The outstanding example of the healing of sin is, of course, that of the Magdalen, out of whom were cast seven devils. In this story is made plain the difference between the teachings of Moses and Jesus. Moses represented the moral law, which demands penalties, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," denoting a God who knows both good and evil, punishing one and rewarding the other. Jesus represented the spiritual law of that God who is divine Principle, and is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." The beloved apostle expressed it most succinctly when he said, "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The story of the Magdalen is a perfect example of the difference in these two teachings. The law of Moses would have stoned the Magdalen. The grace of Christ healed the Magdalen. The light of the beauty and tenderness of this story shines undimmed throughout the ages, a perfect example of true forgiveness. In the light of infinite divine Mind, which is Love, the unreality of sin was so clear to Jesus that all desire to sin was destroyed in the mind of the sinner, and she was set free.

This true forgiveness, which wipes out the sin or error as unreal, precludes any possibility of self-righteousness, any sense of "Oh, yes, he was most unkind to me. He maligned me and did me a deadly injury, but I forgave him." Magnanimous "I"! There is no personal "I" in forgiveness, as there is none in Love or Principle. Principle, Truth, alone forgives effectually. That it does by knowing only the one Mind and its manifestation as omnipotence, omnipresence, omniaction, thus ruling out of consciousness anything needing forgiveness, destroying the belief of persons injuring or being injured.

Let us bear this fact well in mind: sin as well as sickness is healed metaphysically. One may ask himself: "Am I as ready to deny that my brother is dishonest, lazy, or immoral as I am to deny that he has rheumatism or heart trouble? Is there a little remnant of the law of Moses lurking in my heart that thinks the sinner should be punished, and that would take much secret satisfaction in seeing him punished rather than enlightened and liberated?" Naturally, this does not mean that one can continue sinning and declare it nothing. That in itself would be one of the greatest of sins non-intelligent thinking. It may seem necessary at times to rebuke the belief of sin with severity, but the rebuke should be imbued with that understanding love that separates man from the claim of sin and sets him free. A poet has said:

 

"Walking in a quiet way

I heard today

a wise man say:

'Would you rather see your foe

driven low

or driven high ?

Reply!

Reply!

Would you rather see your foe

suffer harm

or suffer change?

On a point as needle-small

trembles all.'

 

It was strange

walking in so still a way,

In a twilight of alarm,

this to hear a wise man say."

 

God, Truth, Unlimited

One of the most blinding and binding beliefs of mortal mind idolatry is the belief in limitation, in a finity. Mrs. Eddy has some very interesting things to say about "finity," "finiteness." For instance, she gives it as one of the definitions of "serpent" (Science and Health, p. 594), who, in the allegorical description of creation given in the Bible, represents the first lie or claim of life in matter. Mrs. Eddy says in her book "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 67), "The first iniquitous manifestation of sin was a finity." Again in another of her writings (The People's Idea of God, p. 2) she speaks of the "belief of God" being "unfinited." This is what a knowledge of the liberating Truth does for us.

It enables us to unfinite our concept of God and His expression of Himself, man. In this way we also unfinite our concept of Life and see Life is Mind, indivisible, never in any way or at any time associated with matter, never confined in or subject to matter bodies, never dependent on matter as a medium of expression. Life is joyous, sinless, incapable of discord, decay, or defeat. Error, the lie, cannot defeat Life, Truth. Life has nothing to do with either calendars or calories. The superstitious belief that Life is in matter includes the belief that Life must pass out of matter and go somewhere. Life does not come and go, any more than Truth comes and goes. Life is ever present and available. It is to be found only in divine, fetterless Mind and its divine qualities. Those divine qualities are never found in matter of any form - not even in what is called a human body or person.

According to physicists the human body is made up of purely material elements, ingredients of the simplest kind, such as you serve on your dining table, salt, sugar, water, etc. Can these ingredients do your thinking for you? No matter how finely organized they may seem to be, can they confer upon you intelligence, love, courage, joy, peace, health, pleasure, or pain?

Christian Science teaches that the human body is not composed of material elements and ingredients, but that it is composed of false mental concepts of Life, substance and creation, to be corrected by spiritual understanding of the supreme Principle of life called God. This spiritual understanding saves us from that body idolatry which is the result of ignorance and superstition, false education, and which is the seeming cause of all fear.

These false concepts of Life and creation cannot stand in the light of pure logic. It is a scientific impossibility for the greater to be confined in the lesser, for intelligence to be subject to non-intelligence, for Mind to be imprisoned in matter, for Spirit to be subject to the flesh, for man, the expression of God, to be confined in the slave of a physical body.

It is both a scientific and moral impossibility for evil to overcome good. The testimony of the physical senses contradicts this. They often present to us the picture of a good human being overcome by disease and an honest mortal defeated by trickery. But, on analysis, it will be found that the goodness or the human so-called mind is always mixed with a belief in evil, and so ceases to be pure goodness. The suppositional human mind thinking good is, of course, a better belief than the same mind thinking evil, but it is still in the realm of unreality - supposition. It is still a false sense of mind, dealing with material beliefs, balancing good and evil. It is not the one and only divine Mind, incapable of knowing or cognizing evil. Jesus rebuked this personal sense of goodness when he said: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God."

This mixture of good and evil is the explanation of the seeming injustice of good mortals sometimes experiencing suffering and of honesty disarmed by dishonesty and deceit. When honesty is mixed with a fear of dishonesty and belief in its power, the position of the honest human being is weakened, and he becomes the victim, not of dishonesty, but of his own belief in dishonesty and fear of its power. So it is with some phases of the human mind which seem to be perfectly moral, generous, kind, and loving, and yet seem to suffer from some painful disease. Again that sense of goodness is mixed with the belief in the reality and power of evil in the form of disease or, perhaps, in some hidden sin, and so this sense of goodness becomes impure and the victim of suffering because of its own idolatry.

Today we may repeat the words of the Apostle James: "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." Pure monotheism acknowledges only blessing, the blessing of that one Mind which is infinite and good and knows no evil. This Mind is not, never has been, and cannot be conscious of anything but its own infinitude of perfection and power. It never has been nor can it ever be in any way touched or shadowed by the falsities or evil experiences of its supposititious opposite. This utterly good Mind is the Mind of man, your Mind by reflection. Scientifically to know this Mind and to claim it as your selfhood is to experience the freedom which is man's birthright as the expression or image of God. It is to lay hold on eternal Life.

 

Life Free From Belief of Time

We read in the Christian Science textbook: "Organization and time have nothing to do with Life." "Life is, like Christ, 'the same yesterday, and today, and forever' " (Science and Health, p. 249). This being true, Life is exactly the same for us today as it was ten years ago or twenty or fifty years ago, just as vivid, pure, and active, just as fresh and vital and full of interest. We must claim this spiritual fact for ourselves and refute the claim of physical sense that life is in the physical body and dependent on it, that we can live in a full amount of vigor and activity up to a certain point, climb the hill of life, up to a peak as it were, and then we must, inevitably, begin to go downhill. This is called "growing old." Now, this growing old business is never really a physical process, but merely a mental argument, an illusion, which must be overcome through enlightenment, through a knowledge of this Truth that makes free. We must learn to live out of old age. We can never die out of that belief any more than we can out of any falsity.

We might learn a lesson from a wee lad, three and a half years old, who had known only the very careful teaching of Christian Science. When asked one day how old he was, he looked up into the face of the questioner with a surprised air, and said, "I haven't any old." Old age is not a law of God, a real condition to be entrenched in consciousness and supported by material means. It is a lying belief of the senses to be dispelled by the spiritual fact of eternal Life, which is the law of God for man. Understanding the true nature of Life, we shall not cling to nor endeavor to preserve by material means the fleeting freshness and beauty of the false belief of youth in matter, which belief inevitably leads to age in matter. We shall not try to renovate the old life, patch it up, shake it, or beat it to make it clean, exercise or diet it to keep it fit. We shall accept the new life of Spirit with its everlasting freshness, activity, strength, and beauty, whose faculties are never dimmed and whose joys never fade.

 

Freedom of Supply

As Truth brings release from the lie of limited life, so does it bring the same release from that of limited supply. As man is spiritual, his supply is spiritual, never material, ever present and ever possessed by man. He does not have to get it; he possesses it as the substance of his own being. Is it not one of the greatest forms of idolatry, the belief that money is the source of supply; that without money one cannot be fed, clothed, or sheltered, without money one cannot carry on his business, without money, indeed, one cannot live? Money, in too many instances, takes the place of God in human calculations. And so, either through the mesmeric fear of being without it or from love of gratification of the senses its possession brings, men are tempted into thoughts and actions that are utterly contrary to the nature of God and their own true nature as sons of God, and that are fatal to their success and harmony.

Let us examine this belief that money is that which supplies mankind with the necessities of life and see what foundation there is for it, even from a human point of view. Can money produce any one of the things that humanity believes necessary for its own existence? Is it money or Mind that originates and produces those ideas expressed to human sense as seed and grain-filled field, fruitful tree and the herb whose seed is in itself, or fish of the sea or fowl of the air?

Is it not plain that matter, mortal mind, cannot possibly originate or produce one of those things which it deems necessary for its own existence? Not one. Creative Mind, divine Love, alone originates and produces that which meets every seeming human need. Then, let us turn from this phase of idolatry, this money worship, directly to divine Love, honoring God with an absolute acknowledgment of His law of goodness and abundance, and we shall see our so-called needs met, not meagerly, but with divine Mind's expression of its own abundance; not for the gratification of material sense or indulgence of extravagant personal tastes; not because we have taken thought for our so-called human needs, desires, or extravagances, but because we have completely lost sight of these mesmeric claims, and found satisfaction and completion in the truth of being as the expression of infinite spiritual good. All these things are added. They are never the demonstration - only the addition.

We see, then, that good cannot be measured. It cannot be made finite. Mortals attempt to measure by their little yardstick of need or desire, but the law of Love is infinite in its abundance. Abundance is not the stagnation of accumulated material wealth, but it is the activity of ever-unfolding spiritual ideas. This abundance is secure and ever present. It never takes unto itself wings, but is continually expressing itself in health, happiness, beauty, comfort, food, clothing, and shelter. Can you measure love or joy or peace and say, "I can have just so much"? Accept and express the abundance of your true being and do not confine yourself to being a channel of good.

That is one of the most limiting of all mortal thoughts and always indicates separation. It implies not good itself but something through which good flows in smaller or larger measure according to the boundaries of the would-be channel. Man is not a channel for good, not a separate thing through which good flows, but good itself expressed in its infinite abundance. So, do not be what is called a channel for good. Be the expression of good, measureless good.

What are some of the simple yet substantial qualities of the divine Mind that constitute man's supply? St. Paul gives us a list of them in what he calls the "fruit of the Spirit." You are, no doubt, all familiar with them, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Let us deal briefly with the first three - love, joy, peace - which are purely spiritual, and bring us into line with liberating Truth. How can the cultivation of these spiritual qualities serve practically to work out the would-be troublesome "problem" of earning a living, providing food, clothing, shelter?

It will be conceded that no quality feeds, nourishes, and sustains thought as does spiritual love, the expression of the divine Principle Love. Then, as one becomes conscious of this perfect Love that casts out fear, as his consciousness is, indeed, Love's expression of its own harmony, free from pride, fear, ambition, self-seeking, he is fed. Can one doubt that under the ever-operating law of God, Truth, human food will be added? That is the law and the promise - the Truth that makes free. Love itself is the demonstration. When Love is reflected in love, need ceases to be, and Love is found expressing itself in its own nature of abundance.

Where can one find more radiant raiment than joy, the joy that is the direct reflection of God, the garment of praise that He gives us for the spirit of heaviness? Someone may claim that he has nothing to be joyful about, but everything to make him sad and anxious. That is one of the most deceptive of all the lies of the senses. Man in his true nature is continuously expressing joy. Let the sorrowful belief be changed for the fact of joy which is independent of any material conditions.

Let the fluctuating, uncertain sense of personal joy or pleasure be put aside for the deep, satisfied, and satisfying joy of the son of God. When one thus becomes aware of his birthright and accepts this radiant gift, his living is transformed and he is clothed, in a priceless garment, indeed. Again, can anyone doubt that under the unfailing activity of Truth, the human clothing will be added? This joy is itself the demonstration, and expresses itself in its law of perfection, clothing the human sense in beauty and bounty.

And so we come to peace, the peace that has no trafficking with doubt, and recognizes none of the uncertainties of material beliefs, the peace that enables one to "lean on the sustaining infinite," as Christian Science bids us do (Science and Health, Pref., p. vii), not clutch at it in fear and anxiety in an effort to use it for material ends. When this invincible peace is made one's own, he is sheltered; and under the unerring law of God, human shelter will be made manifest. Again this consciousness of peace is the demonstration, and that peace expressed itself in what is experienced as human shelter - that which is added.

"Against such there is no law." So we may know that no circumstance or combination of circumstances, however complicated or menacing their arguments may seem to be, has power to prevail against this impregnable and basic consciousness of good. There is no power in evil - in Truth there is no evil - to dim the light of love reflecting Love, to quench the spirit of joy that flows from the source of joy, or to disturb the serenity of that peace which rests on the understanding of omnipotence "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and painful effort addeth nothing thereto."

The acquiring, then, of that which meets the human needs is primarily, the spiritual unfoldment of Truth, and thus freedom is won and the burden of material thought-taking is lifted. This does not in any way mean a spirit of idleness, a sitting-around vaguely waiting for a miracle to happen. Miracles do not happen. They are the effect of immutable, divine law operating to correct the false human concept of things. The activity of Truth shining through the mist of matter seems a miracle to material sense, but is, in reality, the normal activity and condition of that which is actually and uninterruptedly going on in the realm of divinity or Truth.

 

Freedom to Be Claimed

And think not that it is an idle thing to claim the freedom and sublimity of your true being, to refuse reality or identity to all and everything that is unlike God. It is a joyous and constant task to find and declare one's identity in Truth, in divine ideas and qualities of God. This, your true identity, remains forever untouched, undimmed by dream, unscarred by the seeming experience of supposititious life in matter. To claim that identity involves an unceasing demand to look away from the claims of physical sense to the divine Principle of being, for there only can one find his true status. Can the physical senses persuade us that we are sick when we know that the very substance of our being is Spirit, incapable of discord or decay? Can sense testimony make us believe that we are sad, lonely, hateful, critical, unloving, or unloved, when the Principle and substance of our being is Love itself?

It takes courage, great courage, thus to identify one's self with Spirit and the things of Spirit. When tempted to criticize and condemn, to voice error of any kind, it takes courage, patient courage, to stop and ask oneself, "Is it Principle or person that would so speak or think?" It takes courage, persistent courage, to refuse to identify one's self with disease when it seems to be manifested in one's own personal sense of body.

It takes courage, shining courage, when the senses say one is discouraged, depressed, in despair, to claim, and express the joy and freedom, the radiance of one's true being. But joy can no more be separated from right thinking than shining can be separated from a ray of light. It takes courage, unwavering courage, to refuse to identify one's self with poverty when one's purse is empty. It takes courage, my friends, holy courage, to look through the mist of tyranny, hatred, cruelty, and greed seemingly dominant in the world of material beliefs, and see the omnipresence of Love filling all space.

It takes courage, sublime courage, to look through the lie of war, the claim of physical force to power, and to see and know that the truth of the universe is peace, inviolate, actual peace, never for one instant interrupted, and that the power of universe is Spirit, invincible in its omnipotence. But we have this courage through the Christ, Truth, which sweeps away "the refuge of lies" and asserts its own supremacy.

 

Invincibility of Truth

Understanding confidence in the power of Love, the invincibility of Spirit, is much needed in this seemingly war-stricken world. It is needed more than ever before because a greater effort than ever before is being made by the carnal mind to mesmerize humanity into accepting its claims, particularly the claim that might makes right and that material force is power. Under this mesmerism men's hearts fail for fear, and their minds are at times darkened by doubt and dismay. They doubt the power of good and question God. They question the presence of justice and mercy in the land. They feel themselves helpless before the hypnotic suggestion of confusion and defeat.

It is imperative that we turn away from this false mentality with its dark pictures of delusive beliefs, to that one Mind whose supremacy is never invaded and whose invincible brightness outshines all the hypnotic beliefs of boastful materiality. This invincible power of Spirit was well illustrated in the experience of the Israelites as related in the twentieth chapter of II Chronicles. The story tells how their enemies came against them in such great numbers that they seemed utterly unable to meet them with material force.

Turning to God, Jehoshaphat prayed, saying, "We have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee." Then came "the spirit of the Lord" upon one of their number, who declared, "Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." Further words of encouragement bade them trust fully in the power of righteousness, and assurance was given that the battle would be won for them by this power. They went out to meet their enemy with "singers unto the Lord" going "before the army" praising "the beauty of holiness," with the result that their enemies destroyed one another, and the field of battle with the riches of the foe was left to those who put their trust in God.

To do away forever, then, with this warfare for what is conceived of as freedom, mankind must learn to understand and obey that spiritual Truth which alone makes free. They must learn that qualities of Mind, attributes of Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, justice, intelligence, mercy, purity, integrity, being allied to Deity, alone have power and true value. It is true that the individual who cultivates these qualities, who regards them as the paramount values and necessities of life, dwells in the safety of omnipotence and progresses into ever-increasing prosperity, peace, and freedom.

The nation whose citizens so live, progresses towards new inventions and ways of freedom, freedom from the trammels, the bondage, the limitations of material beliefs, into paths of spiritual supremacy and splendor unknown to material sense. To keep one's thought in obedience to divine Principle, to be aware of the truth of one's own being as the expression of omnipotent, irresistible Love, is to dwell in the consciousness of safety at all times, even in the midst of the dangers of war. There is always safety in the conscious truth of one's being. The Son of God is in every seeming fiery furnace to save and deliver. This has been proved over and over again by those serving in the front of battle.

In the infinite Mind or Spirit there is not and never has been war. Christian Science enables us to keep awake to this invincible fact. God is governing His universe in immutable righteousness and justice. His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. The call has come to every Christian Scientist, yea, to every Christian, to stand unmoved with this dictum of Scripture: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth." There must be no doubt of this invincible truth.

As we stand in intelligent awareness of it, it will be our privilege to see "the refuge of lies," the pretended forces of evil, swept away before the omnipotence of that Truth which alone makes free. Man is free. Each one of you, my friends, is free to become scientifically aware of and to enjoy all the health, peace, power, love, beauty, and abundance of that Mind whose activity is the truth of your being. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," and "stand fast . . . in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."

 

[Published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, Indiana, April 17, 1942.]

 

 

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