Christian Science: Its Declaration of Independence For Man

 

George Nay, C.S., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

My friends, when you heard the subject of this lecture did your thoughts travel back to the ringing words of that Declaration of one hundred and eighty years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Christian Science has come to teach us the true meaning of independence, of life, liberty, happiness, government, and the connection between independence and the consent of the governed. In her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gives us these inspiring words of great assurance: "Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration of Independence. God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love" (p. 106).

 

True Independence a Practical Possibility

When, then, is true independence? We think we are independent if we are so politically or financially. But are we aware that we are independent in the basic respects of life, intelligence, substance, and over-all success? Or do we believe that life and health depend upon the body, intelligence upon the formation of the brain, substance and supply upon the availability of certain forms of matter? And do we hold that our freedom and our happiness depend upon what others may do or not do to us? If we do, then we have admitted that in all these important aspects we are far from independent, for we are dependent upon matter, blind chance, and the whim of circumstance; then we have left God out of our reckoning, and we are living - quite needlessly - a life of fearful dependence upon the interplay of evil and good.

Christian Science teaches that this sense of subjection, this fear of the unknown, is bondage to "an unreal master," it is a delusion which can be destroyed, and our actual independence, our freedom and happiness in life can be demonstrated. The Bible, that marvelous record of man's successful striving against subjection to disease, calamity, and sin, teaches that this independence is the truth of our being. It is our birthright that can be practically realized and enjoyed through a holy dependence upon God, but not upon God as a mythical Being, mysterious and indefinable, but rather upon God understood and demonstrated as all-wise divine Love, the only law-giver.This dependence is not fearful bondage, but confident reliance upon Truth itself; it is true spiritual independence.

To gain freedom from the old bondage, from the haunting sense of uncertain good and certain evil, we must begin to question the validity of this bondage and ask. What is life? Is it something material? If it is, if there is life in matter, then life depends upon matter and is exposed to the alternation of strength and weakness, good fortune and bad. But if life is not in matter, it is independent of it. Then let us ask: What am I? What is God? What is my relationship to God, and is that relationship governed by chance or by law? And finally we shall have to answer the question, If there is no life in matter, what is matter? The answers to these questions are basic to the understanding of our true being and to the attainment of our independence of matter, chance, and misfortune.

 

Being and Intelligence Are of God

In our attempt to define life, let us first recognize that every manifestation of life is an expression of intelligence. Intelligence is a spiritual quality or power, and its presence indicates consciousness. Human observation seems to show many degrees of intelligence, each limited to a different extent in understanding and therefore in activity. But the truth is that intelligence is purely spiritual, hence it has in reality no degrees of development, but is always at the point of completeness, infinite in understanding and activity. Since intelligence is the capacity which distinguishes reality from seemingness, truth from error, substance from the mere pretense of it, true intelligence cannot be misled into believing in a falsity, that is mistaking it for reality. Mrs. Eddy defines intelligence as follows: "Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle, - Life, Truth, and Love, - named God"†† (Science and Health, p. 469).

God, then, is infinite Mind or Truth, the source of understanding; He is Life, or all true consciousness, and Love, all-knowing, all-giving, all-protecting. He is indivisible, for there is no way to divide infinite Mind and make a portion of it a personal possession by confining it in a material container called brain. Divine Mind, Truth or Life, cannot be conceived of as being in anything, but contrariwise all that is real is in this Mind, not in any physical sense, but existing as part of the limitless realm of Truth, the realm of eternal good, the realm of divine Love.

 

Synonyms and Attributes of God

In her writings Mrs. Eddy uses more than sixty appellatives for God, among which she chose seven descriptive terms as giving the full and rounded definition of the Supreme Being. We have already mentioned Mind, Life, Truth, Spirit, and Love. While these terms are to a certain extent in agreement with the prevailing Christian teachings about God, the Christian Science term "Soul" for God constitutes a fundamental departure from all the old teachings about both God and man.

According to Webster, soul is "the essence, substance, animating principle . . . of life, or of the individual life . . ." Since it is generally believed that life is in the material body,†† Webster's definition would place soul - admittedly not a material thing - within the material body. But in reality being is inseparable from the manifestation of intelligence, which is incorporeal, spiritual. The life of the individual is therefore the manifestation of divine Mind, of God, who is the only Life. He is the Soul of man, the animating power, the substance and essence of all true being. Soul, then, is not a personal possession, not a human quality, but is God, divine Truth, Life, and Love. That this teaching of Christian Science is leavening scientific and religious thought is shown by the fact that Webster in the later editions has added the Christian Science definition from Science and Health over Mrs. Eddy's name, "Soul or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else" (p. 466), and it also quotes, "Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized but not in matter" (p. 477).

The term for God that we have not yet mentioned which Mrs. Eddy has given us is divine Principle. It fully describes God as the infinite source and giver of all good, of all that man needs to identify himself with the parent Mind, his Father - Mother God. As origin, Principle determines the nature of all that emanates from it; therefore it is fundamental governing power. And because the relationship of man to God is spiritual and permanent, man lives under the righteous, all-intelligent, all-beneficent government of divine Principle and consents to no other.

Christian Science teaches that these seven terms for God are synonyms, that is, they are interchangeable without a change of meaning. The only difference between them is in the limited human sense, and it is precisely this more or less material sense of them that has to be spiritualized if the oneness of God's nature is to be understood.

All synonyms for God should be used by the student of Christian Science with equal clarity and with equal benefit. It takes the understanding of all seven, and of their synonymity, to describe to ourselves the nature, essence, and wholeness of God. And it is through such impartial use of these synonyms that our own understanding of God will continue to unfold.

Like the synonyms, so the attributes of God are as one in their action. A mortal uninstructed by divine Love may express power without wisdom, justice without mercy, or love without intelligence; but the qualities of God which comprise the divine nature act in unity, for they are inseparable. The divine nature is an indivisible whole. It was best expressed by Christ Jesus, whose understanding and humility, whose tenderness and might, whose unebbing strength and ready compassion mingled inextricably with each other. This is the nature of the real man, God's perfect likeness, which we have the God-bestowed ability to reflect and express in daily life. It is through this reflection that we achieve the full measure of our independence of aught save infinite God and the full measure of protection from all that would claim to rob us of it.

 

The Real Man Is Spiritual

The outcome of God's creative activity is the universe of spiritual ideas. These ideas reflect and thereby bear witness to God's perfection, His intelligence, His Love, His immortality. They exist in eternal unity with their Maker and are inseparable from Him, for obviously one cannot separate or isolate a spiritual idea from its parent Mind in which it forever lives, moves, and has its entire being in freedom, safety, and undisturbed happiness. The variety, beauty, and unchanging harmony of God's universe are maintained by the uninterrupted functioning of God's law of life. Life is not fought for in God's universe, liberty is never endangered, happiness is not pursued, for these are the very elements of the kingdom of God, fixed, present, permanent.

We say that we live. If life were material, it would be expressed by mere material, mechanical motion. A machine moves, but it does not live, for it is not conscious; it is incapable of thought. But thought is the result of spiritual activity; therefore the material body, or any part of it, cannot do the thinking. Consciousness spiritually mirrors or images forth - reflects - the eternal activity of divine Mind, the Mind, the consciousness, the Life of all. We know that we have character, morals, intellectual and spiritual capacities. Where are these to be found? Can a material body contain them? Since it cannot and does not, we must conclude that the fleshly body is not the man of capacity, the man of character, spiritual sense, and goodness, that the material body is not the individual spiritual being which is the real man. Man lives because he is the expression of divine Mind.

The real man is not contained in, threatened, or overwhelmed by matter and its evils. He is the work or reflection of God and is forever sustained by Him. Man lives in the absolute freedom of the realm of unchanging good, independent of matter, independent of everything materiality includes and implies. Because man, God's man, is independent of the evils which the material, false sense of life claims are within him, he is independent of the evils which claim to be around him, for there is nothing in the divine idea to respond in kind to the appeals, temptations, and excitements of evil. Christ Jesus said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14.30). Man is free, healthy, successful, and joyful because he is sinless within and invulnerable from without. In Science and Health we read (p. 200), "Life is, always has been, and ever will be independent of matter; for Life is God, and man is the idea of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not subject to decay and dust." Man is immortal. He can never be deprived of his God-given rights to life, liberty, and happiness, all of which are spiritual and therefore his by reflection.

Let me relate how a Christian Scientist proved this in a trying situation when she had no human means to turn to. She lived in a country where people have been deprived of their basic liberties and where Christian Science has been forbidden. She received permission to visit beyond the guarded boundaries of her country and as soon as she recrossed the border on her way home she felt safe in mailing to her own address a box of clothing and placed in the bottom of the box an envelope containing some Christian Science periodicals. She herself intended to arrive home a few days later. In due time the box arrived, but the envelope was empty. She found in it a card advising her in official language that the printed matter had been removed for these were prohibited in her land by the law that forbade the practice of her religion.

At first she was inclined to be frightened, for severe penalties were usually meted out to those caught with Christian Science literature in their possession. But immediately she corrected her thought and declared that the Father-Mother God would return the papers to her, for these represented the true substance she so badly needed and from which she could not be separated. She realized that God is the only Mind, the Mind and motivating power of all His children who reflect Him and are governed by Him, and by Him alone; that all cause, all action, and all effect belong to God. Two days later a little package came in the mail. Upon opening it she found the periodicals which had been taken from her box by the authorities. The address on the envelope as well as her own address as the sender had been carefully copied from the original package. Even the stamps were of the right amount. The envelope contained no explanation.

The incident proved the governing power of divine Principle which impels man to act with justice and love. It proved to her that she was independent of the tyranny of evil and that evil has no law that divine Love cannot nullify. Since then she has been able to supply herself with these periodicals without harm or hindrance. The Psalmist sang with conviction, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne" (Ps. 89:14).

 

 

 

Evil Identical with Matter

It is axiomatic that all fear of evil - therefore all subjection to it - is the outcome of the belief in its reality and power, coupled with an ignorance of God and His law of good which assures complete freedom from this bondage.

Christian Science has revealed the fact that in the human mind, evil, both as cause and as effect, is always connected with matter, either with matter as substance, like material riches or the material body, which is a denial of the allness of God, or as materialistic, evil thinking. Human belief holds that intelligence and life are properties of matter and wholly dependent upon it. Therefore subjection to any form of evil, whether physical or mental, is actually the outcome of the belief in the reality of matter, of living matter, of thinking matter, of man in matter.

It is self-evident that protection from this false sense can come only from a higher, a spiritual sense. True independence, or freedom from what Mrs. Eddy calls the awful and oppressive bondage now enforced by false theories, is gained only when the truth about God the governor and man the governed is understood in Christian Science. This understanding destroys the belief in the reality of evil and in its power to interfere with God's government and thereby with the life, liberty, and happiness which man has under God's law.

 

Matter and Mortal Mind

What, then, is matter? It appears to be substance, and it is the material senses which tell us that it is. But these senses also say that matter is perishable. What is perishable substance? It could originate only in a creator that had within itself the element of perishableness which it would naturally impart to its creation. But this same element would cause the creator itself to perish, for destructive power cannot sustain itself; if it is destructive, it is also self-destructive. Therefore that which is perishable can only be a phenomenon without a creator, an effect without a cause - an illusion. Because this false sense of reality comes to us through the material senses, matter is the delusion of those senses. These senses are in turn inseparable from the false state of consciousness which sees matter - its own delusion - as substance and the seat of intelligence and life.

The sum total of all deluded thinking arising from this error Mrs. Eddy named in Christian Science, mortal mind. It is the waking dream wherein matter appears as reality

and as the cause of its own conditions, the false consciousness which believes that man exists in, feels, sees, and acts through matter. Therefore matter is but the subjective state of mortal mind, its unconscious substratum, its error of statement concerning reality, intelligence, power, law, and causation. All of matter's conditions, its qualities, abilities, and disabilities, are but mortal mind's illusions. Mrs. Eddy writes, "We can never treat mortal mind and matter separately, because they combine as one" (ibid., p. 397).

To understand the unreality of matter is to have dominion over its intimidations, to be immune against its claims. Only as we understand the nothingness of matter can we fully grasp the allness, all-power, sole presence, and eternal, active goodness of God. And to understand God is to love Him and mold our character to conform to His nature. It is to realize and safeguard our independence as children of God.

 

 

 

Jesus and the Christ

The one who understood best the unreality of matter and its consequent powerlessness to create or to destroy was Christ Jesus. He was fully independent of matter and its evil claims and could help others to freedom from them. He exemplified the true self-government, reason, and conscience of the real man.

Christian Science reveals that the unreality of matter is but the necessary corollary, the unavoidable sequel, to the allness of God. The understanding of these two facets of the same truth enables us to live up to the First Commandment, which is the basis of primitive, scientific Christianity: "Thou shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). Christian Science teaches that this "me" is infinite Spirit, the one God, without material accompaniment, and that the real man is His reflection, without a single material element or trace of error. The deep inborn conviction of this truth formed the divine character of Jesus, was the motive power of his every thought and act, and the essence and significance of his teaching, which Mrs. Eddy recognized as the Christ. She writes, "Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death" (Science and Health, p. 473). This freedom from the belief in matter, with its sickness, sin, and death, is the full salvation which Jesus brought. It can be gained, here and now, through the understanding of Christ in Christian Science. This was the knowledge which enabled Jesus to heal instantly. This, and nothing else, demonstrates Christian Science.

Even though the manner of Jesusí birth, the nature and accomplishments of his life, and his resurrection set him above everyone who has ever confessed his name, we have his own unmistakable assurance that God will reveal Himself to anyone who earnestly reaches out for the understanding of His nature; for the Christ, the divine message from God brings to the human consciousness the truth of man's spiritual sonship, is ever present and will impel the human consciousness to conform itself to the divine pattern set for the human family by the great Way-shower in his Sermon on the Mount. It is this spiritualization of thought and character which opens the door to Christian Science healing. This is the way of salvation. This is the way to true independence which the Master lived and taught, the way to the fetterless liberty, fearless spiritual knowing, and assured happiness of the Life which is God. This is the way of Christian Science. Our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, has written: "In proportion as matter loses to human sense all entity as man, in that proportion does man become its master. He enters into a diviner sense of the facts, and comprehends the theology of Jesus as demonstrated in healing the sick, raising the dead, and walking over the wave. All these deeds manifested Jesus control over the belief that matter is substance, that it can be the arbiter of life or the constructor of any form of existence" (Science and Health, p. 369).

 

Progress of Physics Toward Metaphysics

How far has the world come towards the recognition of this basic implication of the healing acts of Jesus? There are few indications that up to the time of the first publication of Science and Health the challenge implicit in these healings was sensed either by natural science or by the Christian religions.

The old classical physics of the nineteenth century was built unquestioningly on matter as objective reality with supposedly immutable laws and observable phenomena. Religions mistook the healing works of Jesus for miracles, the momentary setting aside of the laws of matter by special dispensation which would never again be available. They did not understand that these acts were great lessons in the fulfillment of the spiritual law of Life, not through the setting aside but through the annulment for all time of all the laws of matter, thus proving man's independence of them.

It was in 1875 that the unreality of matter and the sole reality of Spirit, God, was first presented by Mary Baker Eddy with inescapable logic and put before the world in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" as a profound religious fact, impelling the reader to choose between the reality of matter and the reality of God. On page 270 Mrs. Eddy writes with the same irrefutable logic: "Matter and Mind are opposites. One is contrary to the other in its very nature and essence; hence both cannot be real. If one is real, the other must be unreal. Only by understanding that there is but one power, - not two powers, matter and Mind, - are scientific and logical conclusions reached."

Let us look at some of the conclusions of present-day theoretical physics, and let us bear in mind that all of these have been arrived at since Christian Science was first presented to the world.

The old, unquestioning attitude toward matter as fixed substance no longer exists. Some of its so-called laws have already been proven untrue, and others are under keen reexamination. Even the reality of the law of gravity is in doubt. The measuring rods of matter are losing their reality. The mass and the size of a body, for instance, are no longer considered unchanging, for we are told that mass increases and size decreases with the velocity of the motion of the body and that matter disappears entirely when it moves with the velocity of light.

Present-day physics states that time and space also have no objective reality; that they are but human concepts, man-made aids in the measurement of matter; that space signifies merely therelationships or order of material objects, and time but the order of material events; that without objects there is no space, without events, no time. Mrs. Eddy defined "time" some sixty or seventy years ago as "Mortal measurements: limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; . . . (ibid., p. 595). Her use of the word "space" indicates that it represents the infinity of Spirit, never the limited place in which, matter claims to exist; a figure of speech pointing to the opposite of matter.

How does physics define matter itself today? As physical substance? The American physicist, Dr. Clyde Snook, said in 1928, "Matter is the interpretations, entirely erroneous, given by the human mind, to the infinitely varied activities of an infinite mind."

Sir James Jeans prophetically said of the material universe, "Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality." And he continues: "the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. . . . If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must have been an act of thought."

Another conclusion of modern physics is that in all the world of matter there is no purely self-creative process. This is exactly what Mrs. Eddy declared generations ago when she wrote, "Matter is not self-creative, for it is unintelligent" (Science and Health, p. 157).

 

 

 

Mary Baker Eddy, the Revelator

How did Mrs. Eddy come to know, eighty years ago, these present-day conclusions of modern physics? She was not a physicist; she was not a mathematician. Also, unlike the natural scientist, Mrs. Eddy arrived at these truth without going through any intermediate steps. Her knowledge of them, so far ahead of the science, and the way she achieved it, illustrate the nature of revelation and determine her position in the history of mankind's spiritual development as the revelator of the truth of being, Christian Science, the Science Jesus taught. This also points to her character, for it takes Christlikeness to discern the Christ. She could not choose herself for the role of revelator; God had to choose her, and she had to be aware of His call. The way she had to travel, during the more than forty years after her discovery, was the rugged path of the spiritual pioneer. It demanded of her the utmost in ability to be guided by God alone and devotion to her God-given purpose sparked by an inspired vision of its long-range meaning for the human race.

Her early experiences, her education and interests served to prepare her for the reception of her great discovery. Then followed the period of search for the explanation of the spiritual power which healed her, and simultaneously, the proving of its constant availability and therefore its scientific nature. Nine years elapsed before she was ready to publish the results of her researches, backed now by ample proof, in the first edition of Science and Health.

The next phase of her life-work was founding the Church of Christ, Scientist, and during the succeeding thirty or more years, guiding, extending, and protecting it. In all this she needed great spiritual vision and an outgoing love which could not have been less than God-inspired.But the truth of revelation and the work, all the outcome of the selflessness and wisdom of her purity of her thought, sustained her and carried her and her discovery, Christian Science, to victory. The purpose of her church was and is as she has said, "to reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." And in this it has been remarkably successful. To her, indeed, apply the prophetic words of Randolph A. Cecil, uttered in 1561, and graven in stone on the monument to the Reformation in Geneva: "The voice of a single individual is capable of bringing more of life to us than the dissonances of five hundred trumpets with their assault on our ears."

 

Prayer and Christian Science Treatment

The proving of man's independence of evil through the destruction of its claims is the practice of Christian Science. Christian Science treatment is the prayer of realization and understanding, of faith firmly rooted in the clear view of the Christ, of perfect God, unchanging and all-creating, and man, His beloved child, as His spiritual likeness. This is what spiritual sense knows and declares; therefore it is not mere sense testimony but Truth's own evidence of reality. Christian Science heals through such prayer, but prayer without love is ineffective, for without love one cannot feel and really know God as Love and the goodness and protected harmony of man.

Christian Science treatment is scientific prayer because it is deep and reverent communion with a God understood; it is the declaration and realization of man's freedom from the suggestions of discordant sense testimony. It is not asking God to be God, but declaring man to be forever man, the image of infinite Mind. The textbooks of Christian Science are the Bible and Science and Health. In English-speaking countries the King James Version of the Bible is used. These textbooks give us a demonstrable understanding of God and His law.

To know God is to be happy, and to be happy is to be grateful, grateful for His endless care of us, grateful for things already received. Only in this way can we discern and thereby receive more of His blessings.

A woman who was seeking healing of a physical condition called on a Christian Science practitioner. After a recital of symptoms and suffering, she exclaimed, "Oh, I will be so grateful when I am healed!" The practitioner replied: "It will be too late then!" She looked the picture of amazement and asked what he meant. He explained to her that gratitude is not an article of trade or barter, given in exchange for something else, measure for measure. Rather is it our permanent attitude toward God, an indication of our understanding of His infinite goodness and of the true inward grace this understanding has brought to us. He explained that God's goodness is not just for an occasion or for a few, but constant, unchanging, holding all in His own harmony, under His guidance and protection. The expiation found its mark. There were some quick tears followed by a complete change of attitude toward Christian Science and by a recognition of that in her character which really needed healing. Shortly afterward she found herself well.

If, as Mrs. Eddy declares, right reason is a component part of spiritual independence, human will is one of its destroyers. Reason liberates; human will enslaves, for it blinds mortals to God's government and subjects one to the tyrannical misgovernment of error. Human will has no place in Christian Science.

Human will, however, is not to be confused with right or spiritual resistance, with the definite shutting of the door of thought against the suggestions of danger in matter, pain in matter, pleasure in matter, or relief through matter. Spiritual resistance is born of the firm and confident declaration of our independence of the suggestions of evil, on the basis of their understood unreality.

Error cannot spread except through acceptance, through consent. Mrs. Eddy teaches, "Common consent is contagious, and it makes disease catching" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 228). That being the case, individual dissent, scientific, and radical, is our protection against the temptation to sin, to have a contagious disease, or to succumb to the bondage†† of smoking and drinking. When we "rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good" (Science and Health, p. 393), as our Leader urges us, we declare our God-given independence and will enjoy happiness and freedom.

Persistence in good is necessary to both practitioner and patient. There are times when we must steadfastly maintain the allness of God in the midst of conditions that would tend to discourage, until the error of belief yields and health and harmony alone are evident. But this insistence upon the truth of being must never be allowed to become - though stress of circumstances perhaps - the work of mere human will, but as with the Shunammite woman, this insistence must continue to be the outcome of uplifted thought, of a steadfast clinging to God and His idea. The calmer, the more spiritually joyful we remain, the clearer will be our sense of Truth and the quicker will be the healing.

 

The Power of Prayer

Let me tell you the story of a modern Shunammite woman who by refusing to accept the over-whelming testimony of the senses resuscitated her child through a remarkable faithfulness to God. She received word that her little daughter, who was in a summer camp five hundred miles away, was sick and in the infirmary. Immediately she left for camp and found the child in apparently critical condition from what appeared to be a respiratory disease. She telephoned a Christian Science practitioner, who promised to support her work and help the child.

All that day and the following night the young mother sat by the bedside and nourished her child with the scientific truths designed to destroy the error that man's life is dependent upon the organs for breathing. She also protected her own and the child's thought from fear and from the thought surrounding them, which was not sympathetic to Christian Science but rather condemnatory of it. She also had to rise above the temptation to resent the uncooperative, intolerant treatment she and her child were receiving.

By morning the young girl was partially incoherent, and the mother sensed the great fear of those in the camp who felt responsible for the reputation of their institution. She was presently told that she could no longer stay in the camp and that an ambulance was ready to take them to the only place within reasonable distance where they could stay - a small hospital in a tiny settlement 75 miles away.

Throughout this time the mother maintained a calm and steadfast faith in the power of Christian Science in the way our Leader teaches us to do: "Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious - as Life eternally is - can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not" (ibid., p. 495). On the long trip to the hospital she chose to follow the ambulance so that she might audibly declare all the way the present power of God and His Science and the powerlessness of evil, disease, and insistences of materia medica, and of all opposition to Christian Science.

At the hospital the case was diagnosed as advanced lobar pneumonia with complications. This information the mother promptly conveyed to the practitioner and then told the hospital that she wished to take her daughter home. They reluctantly agreed to release the child on her own responsibility, urging that she hospitalize her as soon as she could so that the child might receive the emergency medical treatment which would give her the opportunity to survive.

After wrapping the child in a blanket and placing her comfortably on the back seat, she

started late in the evening on the one-hundred-and-fifty-mile drive through the thick forest to the nearest city, where she hoped to meet her husband and find shelter. Throughout the drive she wasted no time in self-pity, but recalled hymn after hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal, singing them aloud with the uplifted conviction their words inspired. She kept on declaring the truth that man is not surrounded by materialistic thought but by the love of God which protects and sustains him; that man's health, strength, and undiminished vitality are independent of all that mortal mind entertains about them for man is and always will be God's unchanging individual reflection. She felt in an inspired way, the dominion of truth over error and knew that both she and her child were safe and well in God's omnipotent care.

By the time they arrived in the city and came to the hotel, the child was able to walk into the lobby unaided. In the morning she had some breakfast - the first food she had been able to take in days - and a few hours later entered the plane that would take them home, without any sign of disability or discomfort.

Christian Science treatment continued, and she was completely healed with not a sign of the experience remaining. A few weeks later she resumed all her normal summer activities.

Such are the wonderful possibilities of Christian Science, even under trying conditions, for it brings to view our independence of all that would enslave us by presenting the spiritual evidence that we are free, and always will be, in the eternity of the Life divine, free to realize and utilize the unlimited power of God's goodness. The understanding of our spiritual independence clears the vision, nullifies fear, ensures health, brings unburdened joy and spontaneous success. It verifies Jesusí words, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19). This freedom is implicit in the Word of God, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . (Gen. 1:26).

Christian Science has brought this dominion, the joy of fearless living, within reach of every one of us.

 

[Published in The Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) News, June 27, 1957.]

 

 

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