Christian Science and Common Sense

 

Carol Norton, C.S.D.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The lecture in full follows:

 

Common Sense with the masses is the most uncommon thing in the world.

A diamond that can be called wholly perfect is very rare. So is common sense. Common Sense is mental dignity. It is king, kingdom, law and people all in one.

Common Sense is the supreme court of the human mind.

It yields its authority to no lesser power in the affairs of life.

Common Sense is the essence of impartiality, rationality, and mental sobriety.

The word "common" means normal or universal. The word "sense" is defined as the normal power of mind or understanding, and as rational perception. Hence common sense can be defined as universal, normal rational perception.

The Standard Dictionary defines common sense as "sound judgment or practical understanding. Capacity to see and take things in their right light."

Common Sense is that faculty of the mind which is gained only as the mind's movements, deductions, and perceptions represent normal mental action. Mind to be normal must act in harmony with mental law, alias Nature, or the creative Mind. As Mind and Spirit are synonymous words, normal mind action is essentially one with spiritual perception, discernment, and understanding.

The divine or Egoistic Mind, alias God, being universal Omniscience, all real mental action must be divinely scientific and exact. Perfect Mind is the essential nature of Deity. Therefore all normal mind action in individual life must partake of the mental life of universal Mind. Hence it can be logically affirmed that common sense is but another name for rational, spiritual, or mental discernment.

Common Sense then is the sense common to all normal minds.

This sense analyzes, classifies, weighs, and separates Truth from error and fact from fable. Thus it is apparent that common sense is a spiritual, not a material faculty. It has nothing to do with personal sense testimony. Common sense is a normal mind's harmonious action. It is the religious instinct in man working and operating in a healthy condition. It is judge and jury, ruler and ruled, discerner and discernment. Common sense is the exact opposite of mysticism, credulity, blind faith, fanaticism and superstition.

The word Christian is defined as one who manifests the spirit of Christ, or of His teachings, one whose profession and life conform to the teaching and example of Christ.

Science is defined as knowledge and verified by exact observation and correct thinking.

The word Christian represents the Christ type of character and stands in universal consciousness for the noblest order of manhood.

Science is exact or demonstrable knowledge.

Science is that which is self-evidently correct. It is that form of mental philosophy which can be proven correct through physical or ocular evidence. The interpretation and demonstration of the divine Omniscience of necessity is synonymous with the understanding of a divine Immanence.

All true Science is divine. Divinity is Deity.

God, the Anglo-Saxon term for which is Good, is Divinity's selfhood. Hence the only science that can reveal the nature of God and His methods of law in a correct way must be divine, or mental science.

Common Sense makes men. Men never make Common Sense. Yet it can be truthfully said that the aggregate normal sense of well poised spiritual minds constitutes the general common sense of a household, a community, a nation, or a movement.

The science of Christianity is nothing more or less than the demonstrable and practical understanding of the laws of divine Mind. Jesus taught pure Monotheism. His life represents a consistent demonstration of spiritual and social science, therapeutical or healing science, and above all else shows the triumph of Mind over matter, and of Good over evil.

Christian Science and Common Sense are synonymous. The abbreviation for Christian Science is C. S. It is not strange then that the term Common Sense has the same abbreviation, namely, C. S. Christian Science is the science of demonstrable understanding of the divine monotheism of Moses; the prophets, and of Jesus. Monotheism in philosophy stands for the science of one universal Cause, Ego, or God. In religion it signifies that the nature or being of God is universal, omnipotent, and all-inclusive.

 

Metaphysics Practical

Christian Science is practical metaphysics. For ages speculation and vague idealism have been synonymous with the word metaphysics. The term has rarely been disassociated with the names of Kant, Fichte, Spinoza, Hegel, Berkeley, Hume, and Emerson. The mental skyward flights of these teachers have had countless admirers, but their ideas have never established a science of Being, nor evolved a successful method for the mastery of sin, sickness, and materialism The general feeling of contempt on the part of a large number of minds for any philosophy that savors of Idealism or metaphysical research is well illustrated by Byron's words on Berkeley:

 

"When Bishop Berkeley says there is no matter,

It is no matter what he says."

 

But moods and mental conditions change with the progress of the thought world. In this era metaphysical and idealistic philosophy as one united system is sweeping all before it.

Common Sense, alias the normal mental understanding of Mind and Mind's laws, is thoroughly in harmony with metaphysics. Metaphysics is pre-eminently practical. Mind, or mental science, psychology and metaphysics, are but three ways of naming one science.

Mind is Causation.

Causation is therefore mental. Mind Science then is metaphysical. because above the physical or matter plane. Metaphysical Science is the practical and demonstrable Science of Mind-life and mental phenomena. It is a common sense arrangement and demonstration of mental cause and effect. It is no wise material, physical, or speculative. It is practically transcendental because in its very nature it transcends erroneous material vagaries and all sensuous philosophical speculations. It is idealistic as all true Science is idealistic, because it relates to the ideal, which is but another name for the real, actual, or eternal. The words idea and ideal are largely akin in significance. The pure meaning of idea is "thought of Pure Mind," an individual, phenomenalized expression of God, or Mind. The true meaning of the word ideal is ''standard of excellence" or "ultimate object of attainment." A science of actual ideas must be an exact science, for real ideas are divine and emanate from the Mind which is Omniscience. An ideal philosophy of Life, or Mind, must be the exact opposite of a speculative, visionary, or mystical theory of God, Man and the universe. The ideal is not a phantom. Neither is it the unattainable. Hear the age-abiding command of earth's greatest idealist, "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Metaphysics is defined as "the science of real Being: the philosophy of intimate nature or causes."

Common Sense, or normal mental understanding, and Christian Science as the demonstrable understanding of the Ego of life are in complete harmony. Metaphysical Christianity is practical Christianity. Ideas and rational divine ideas base the life and teachings of the Founder of Christianity. His religion is impersonal, hence destined to become universal. Therefore, a metaphysical interpretation and demonstration of the religion of Jesus is a scientific and common sense way of appropriating its grandeur and realizing its immortal perfection.

Ontology, the science of general being, and and psychology, or the Science of Soul, should be a vital part of Christian theology, reformation, and healing. It is self-evident from the foregoing definitions that Common Sense, Christian Science, Metaphysics, Idealism, Psychology, Ideas and Ideals are but parts of scientific and practical monotheistic Christian religion.

A series of popular and general questions concerning Christian Science answered briefly will help to show the practical unity between Common Sense and Christian Science.

 

Question. What is the religious or Christian basis of Christian Science?

Answer. God as Mind or Spirit, is All in all. The only Reality.

 

Question. What is the vital difference between Christian Scientists and religionists at large, who subscribe, at least theoretically, to this answer?

Answer. Christian Scientists accept the idea of the all-power, or allness of God or divine Mind, and proceed to the logical ultimate of this idea. Hence, their union of bodily and spiritual or moral healing. Religionists in general theoretically believe in the allness of God, but go half way in their belief. Hence, go to God, or Spirit, for soul-salvation, or perfection, and to material systems and speculation for bodily health.

 

Question. Is Christian Science natural or supernatural, and does it rely on faith or prayer cure for the healing of the sick?

Answer. It is divinely natural. God is Law because Omniscience is Deity. Hence, God and His ways, modes, or laws are unchanging and exact. Supernaturalism and miracles involve a suspension of the normal divine order. If such were the spiritual order God would be self-suspended and the eternal harmony be broken. Nature, Law and God are really one. Faith and prayer cure include petitional prayer to a personal humanized God. At the very outset they differ from the ways and means of Christian Science, which accepts God as the divine Principle or Father the Creator of health of body as well as of character,

 

Question. What does Christian Science mean when it affirms that God and Nature are one?

Answer. God is natural or universal Cause. Life is Cause, and life to be self-existent must be perfect; because Good is self-existent in itself and is capable of self-perpetuation. It is the positive or reality of all being. Evil or error is in its very nature self-destructive, and when driven to its final limits destroys itself. Hence, the Scriptural utterance, "dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." The record of every distinct evil in human history will confirm this theory. As Bryant wrote:

 

"Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.

The eternal years of God are hers.

And error wounded, writhes in pain

And dies amidst her worshippers."

 

Good alone is natural. Hence no evil comes from God, either directly or indirectly. Health is normal because natural. Health, then, not disease, should be contagious.

 

Question. If God is Mind is Mind supreme and what is meant by matter's unreality?

Answer. Mind is primary. Man thinks of things. Things cannot think of Mind. Mind thinks and things are thoughts. Mind is always first. Mind is the life-force, energy, motion, and animation. Mind is the Principle of harmony, beauty, order and infinite individuality. No eye or instrument has ever seen the original atom or molecule. It is wholly an assumption. What we call matter is but human thought externalized. Prenatal impression proves this. It also proves that the human body and all its organism is but the mental sub-division of mortal or human mind essence. Secure mental control of matter through divine Mind-power, the positive health Principle, and all organic diseases of the body can be healed. In this manner Christian Science Mind-healing dissolves cancers, cures locomotor ataxia, and restores diseased lungs.

 

Question. Is physical healing the principal work of Christian Science?

Answer. No. It is a natural accompaniment of the spiritual reform work of the system. Healing of sin and disease were one in early Christianity; they have become one in this age. Therefore, no medical enactments can interfere with spiritual healing as a necessary part of man's religion and right relationship with God.

 

Common Sense Statements

Common Sense says if sin causes disease drugs cannot cure it. If physical so-called law is part of God's plan, then pestilence, disease, storm, poisons, death dealing lightning bolts, decay, deformity, pain, sorrow, and death are heavenly and things natural, and health is a fable.

If energy or life is motion it is wholly mental and atomic; action is of and in Mind, not matter. If sickness is divinely sent as discipline, doctors and drugs interfere with God's plan.

If Christians follow Christ's example in spiritual things and in his methods for the reformation of the depraved, they should imitate his healing the sick without drugs.

If spiritual or mental healing remained in the Christian church for three centuries (and the best historians state that it did), it proves that it was a Principle that Jesus taught and used, and was by no means a special gift or a supernatural power.

If Mind originally formed the body it now governs it, not partially, but wholly, and Mind-action is behind heart action, and thought force is back of and superior to brain action.

If the resistance of temptation takes from evil the power that it would otherwise gain over mortals, the same process of mental resistance to suggestions of pain, weakness, and disease will take from these errors every iota of their power to master the body.

If Christian Science reforms (and it does) the depraved, destroys liquor and drug habits, purifies the impure, heals organic diseases like cancer, consumption, and blindness, transforms the temperament, spiritually interprets the Bible and reestablishes the religion of Jesus, the people want it. The masses will have it; logic, Scriptures and results are all on its side, and all who either willfully or ignorantly try to obstruct its mighty onward march only increase the number of its victories. Opposition to that which is both Christian and scientific only ends in hastening its general acceptance.

 

A Common Sense Financial Proposition

The question is often asked, is not Christian Science an expensive theory to live by? Does its adoption save money as well as give freedom from pain and worry? The following statement of Mr. A.'s financial condition the year before he because a Christian Scientist and a statement of his account during his first year in Christian Science will answer this question in a pertinent and truthful way. Figures do not lie and their simplicity is eloquent and convincing.

The receipts and expenses of Mr. A., the year before he became a Christian Scientist,

 

Receipts from income, 1897

$12,000

Expenses Medicine

1,000

Doctor's fees

2,000

Traveling expenses of trip for health

1,500

A business loss because of six months illness

3,000

Rent of unused church pew

500

Philanthropy

1,000

Balance left for actual living expenses

3,000

 

Receipts and expenses of Mr. A. during his first year as a Christian Scientist.

 

Receipts from income, 1898

$12,000

Expenses Medicine, doctor fees, etc.

00,000

Philanthropy

2,000

Living expenses

5,000

Pleasure trip

1,000

Money saved and invested at 6 per cent

4,000

 

A common sense comparison of the two years leads to the following conclusions. In 1897 Mr. A. spent or lost $7,500 because of ill health. He was too ill to go to church, though he paid $500 for his pew. Because of his excessive expenses he could give but $1,000 to philanthropic purposes and he had but $3,000 left above actual expenses for living. In 1898 with the same income that he had the year before he was able to give an additional thousand dollars for philanthropic purposes, had $2,000 additional available for living expenses, took an enjoyable trip to California because he wanted to see the country and enjoy life, and deposited $4,000, 6 per cent interest, in his bank. Query, It is not self-evident that Christian Science saves money?

 

Good is Natural, Health is Normal

Common Sense affirms that all that is normal, is natural. Fish need water, vegetation, the sunlight and rainfall. The birds demand the air as men need righteousness. All life is based on ideal conditions. Society is built on the ideals of law, justice, tolerance, freedom, brotherhood, love, and individual rights. A moralist is a moral idealist. A spiritually-minded man is a spiritual idealist, or perhaps more accurately a Realist, for the spiritual is the only real. Some aspects of morality represent but restraint or temperance in material conditions of error.

A mortal man is an individualization of the moral law. A man whose mind and life are pure, loving, unselfish, and metaphysical can be termed a representative or embodiment of the spiritual law. Moral and spiritual poise and strength are normal conditions to these two types of character.

Health of body is as much a condition of nature or character, as of physical organism. Health, wholeness, holiness and normality are synonymous words. Good is natural. Hence it is the immortal Principle of life. Evil or error is unnatural. Therefore health is man's normal condition. Life is mental, for Mind is Causation. Hence the real life of man is universal Mind, alias Nature God. "In Him we live and move and have our being." Above the material sense of things, says the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, all is harmony. Physical health is primarily a condition of Mind. In fact every detail of so-called organic movement, functional action, and all physical conditions are ruled by Mind, for All is Mind and there is no matter. This statement can be made to read, all that is real, immortal and perfect is Mind. All substance is Mind; what is called matter is but a subjective state, an externalization of the human or mortal mind. Or, as Mr. Huxley says, "matter is but a hypothetical cause of states of our own consciousness."

From these simple self-evident truths Common Sense makes six pertinent deductions.

First. The life, energy, or cause of all so-called organic states is mental. Hence "disease," which is a disarrangement of organic or functional conditions, should be attacked mentally not physically.

Second. All Causation is mental. Sin is first in thought, then in act, afterwards its effects appear in the body. Sickness is first either in the conscious thought or in the unconscious or subsconscious mind. (Physicians and physicists call this realm involuntary motion or latent life.) Next it appears as a defined fear, or perchance manifests itself in the bodily functions without warning. If all Causation is mental, and the primary life or force back of all matter conditions is Mind, then disease can be healed only as the mental cause is destroyed. Drugs and instruments can effect no permanent cure where the direct cause is in consciousness.

Third. Nature, or the normal condition of all things, is a universal condition. Hence a natural curative is one that is universal. Good is a universal curative for evil. Divine Mind, Nature, or God is universal. Therefore Mind can be utilized as a universal panacea or curative agency. As the scientific application of the laws of mathematics will correct any mistake, so the proper application of Christian Science Mind-healing will cure any disease. On this basis all diseases are equally abnormal and the same Principle destroys both sin and sickness. Thus the whole bodily system is brought under the control of common sense or a normal state of mind.

Fourth. People are thought of and appear. We think of a friend and soon receive a letter or communication from him. We fear a certain event or sickness and thereby precipitate its appearance. Mortals live in terror of inherited traits, tendencies, or disease, and this mood called terror evolves the very conditions most feared. Appetites and sicknesses pass over three or four generations and reappear with renewed violence begetting new misery. Men grow sleepy and yawn only to find somebody near at hand either asleep or gaping. Inventors all unknown to each other often perfect the same invention at the same time.

These things one and all are common sense proofs of the allness of Mind power.

They afford rational confirmation of the Christian Science theory that all cause, action, and contagion are mental, not physical. If telegraphy can be accomplished without wires, why should Mind need material mediums for the transference of thoughts or conditions.

Fifth. True prayer to God is mental communion with divine Mind or the universal Principle which is Law, Good, Truth, Nature, or Love. Such prayer reforms the bad man's nature through the transformation of his mind, i. e., desires. This same prayer, communion, mental mode, or habit through Christian Science brings man in normal harmony with the Parent Mind Nature, or God. This type of prayer is scientific, exact, remedial, and of infinite power. Can any earthly element or body of persons make such mental action a matter of legislative prohibition? Can human law govern a man's thoughts? Shall legislators tell us how we shall think?

Sixth. Health is man's normal condition. It should not be exceptional or sporadic. Progress should increase longevity. The present general formation of Hundred Year Clubs for the study and attainment of longevity is a conspicuous illustration of the drift of thought on this great subject. Health should not be costly. It should be as cheap as sunshine and as universal as air. Health is the product of right thinking, pure living, and is Nature's definite intention and normal order. Therefore the race should be delivered from health bills, medicine bills, bills for travel and deficiencies made necessary by continued ill health. Health, like goodness, is God's free gift to His creatures.

 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

The pathway of the world's greatest benefactors is invariably one of isolation and single lofty purpose. Contemporaneous minds rarely understand the world's great thought-leaders and teachers. Patience is the science of waiting. Hope and optimism are the essence of spiritual leadership. Individual inspiration is a thing only understood by those who receive it. A prophet is one who stands upon the mountain-tops of thought while critics occupy the foothills and the masses meander through the mist-obscured valleys. To be misunderstood while living a holy life for the benefit of suffering humanity, or for a Principle, is the most severe form of martyrdom. To be opposed by those for whom we are laboring unselfishly is the severest experience possible to a sensitive nature. To be sure of God's guidance and divine leading is to be sure of Truth. Such certainty creates a lofty and dignified indifference to the world's misunderstanding of our motives and life-purpose. To have the reputation from early childhood, that one's life has been spent at the feet of the ever-living Christ, is synonymous with having been always attentive to the divine leadings.

Not many years ago in our New World's Palestine amidst New England's rugged hills, diversified country, and pleasant valleys lived a little girl. From earliest childhood, even when surrounded with the privileges and benefits of devoted parents and a refined home, her life was lived largely apart from the usual ways and means of New England childhood. She seemed to be always waiting for voices above the human. She loved the beauty, generosity, and grandeur of Nature. She was especially unselfish with her playmates. A quiet dignity and a divine perseverance were her conspicuous characteristics. She was sensitive, yet sturdy, with the characteristic integrity of her Puritan ancestry, independent yet deferential and reachable, and at a very early age manifested strong evidence of originality, powerful individuality, and great chastity of purpose and thought.

As the years sped on and as she entered upon the larger possibilities of life her mind was self-evidently searching for something that the religion of her parents and surroundings gave not. The ills of life, its sorrows and distresses, heart-breakings and separations, bore heavily upon her sensitive nature. The sensitive depression from which she suffered was in no wise the product of pessimism or any form of morbidity of temperament. Rather was it because she felt the weight of humanity's burden and longed to lighten it. Her life-motives were especially unselfish, philanthropic, and idealistic. As a student she was penetrating, inspiring, progressive. Perhaps her strongest point was that she always worked in a direct line. One of her most marked characteristics was that if she had worked mentally in a wrong direction in her philosophical deductions she could turn around with intelligent care. Her life-purpose unfolded to her at a very early age. Before she was twenty she possessed mental maturity far beyond the average New England woman. While from the human standpoint she inherited the refinement that goes with culture of family and moral rectitude, yet there was a marked degree of spiritual grace, delicacy, and elegance which comes not from human ancestry, neither from communion with Nature. It was the exquisite coloring of the touch of the hand of divine Mind, which opens the petals of thought as it does those of the opening rose and evolves a symmetry of disposition, temperament, and poise which is at once recognized as of divine, not human origin. As the pure life unfolded, her sensitiveness to error and materialism increased, but with it came a corresponding mastery of conditions which for a long time seemed to cause great physical and mental anguish. Then life's deeper experiences were entered upon. Her medical researches were essentially humanitarian and philanthropic. Her church and religious labors represented a scope unrecognized by the creeds of the church of which she and her family were members. The Spirit more than the letter of the Gospels interested her. In religion she was a devotee but not an ascetic. Metaphysics appealed to her more than physics, and Mind more than matter. To her the divine immanence, or God in His world as ever-present Good, Love, and Truth was a vivid reality.

At an early age, and with a steady and ascending step she mounted the great marble steps of progress and passed through the wide-open door of "Life's University of Experience." Sunshine and shadow, loss and gain, victory and triumph, chastening, heart-breaking and spiritual ascension all in turn worked their divine ends. Her hope was never dimmed, her faith not once shattered, nor did she ever give up her holy and consecrated search for Truth: as from girlhood's earliest thinking days Pilate's great question, "What is Truth?" was still uppermost in her mind. As she read the life of the Pastoral Teacher of Palestine she yearned to be more closely and practically a disciple of his teachings.

She was more interested in Christianity than in sects. In religion she obeyed Principle and not person. She was always loyal to the moral standards of public opinion. But the compassionate forgiveness of Christ interested her more than the human justice of Moses.

She was merciful as well as just with her own sex. While she always labored for the just recognition of woman's rights, she also labored as earnestly for the divine rights of pure manhood. Her zeal increased with the unfolding of her life-mission, and yet all this time she was on the other side of the final revelation of Truth, which at last gave her the key to Life's mystery and made it possible for her to interpret to the world the deep truths of Christ's life and teachings.

She spent no time in intellectual drifting. Intuition and logic she united in her mental processes of reasoning. God's tender nearness as the infinite Father and Mother, the All-loving, Heavenly Parent meant more to her than vague metaphysical speculations about His personality. Creeds, dogmas, forms, ceremony, scholastic deduction and arbitrary church decisions had virtually no interest for her. In every department of her tireless energy was visible the divine perseverance which kept her always in search of the divine Power back of every real effect.

In 1866 the great civil conflict in the American Commonwealth which threatened for a while to tear asunder the hard-earned unity of the States had just closed. With the end of this conflict had also come the end of slavery. Liberty and freedom were in the hearts and upon the lips of all humanitarians. A race had been accorded its God-given privileges of liberty.

Mary Baker Eddy had been an ardent worker in the cause of freedom. With a divine enthusiasm and a reformer's zeal she caught the first glimpse of a higher and loftier freedom. This emancipation was for the races, and not only for a single race. It was for rich and poor, bond and free, ignorant and learned, religionist and infidel alike. Her ear, now sensitively attuned to God's eternal chant of harmony, caught the first distinct notes of the symphony of the religion of Jesus. The liberty of the sons and daughters of God burst upon her waiting thought. Through medical research and experiment and through the study of the Scriptures, and above all else because of life's deep experiences and prayerful years, she had been led to a condition of mind which made it possible for her to experience physical restoration after an accident pronounced hopeless. After all earthly means had failed she asked to be left alone with God, and taking her Bible she opened it. A certain passage which set forth a great promise and an essential Truth met her gaze. Her heart, made ready through life's school of preparation recognized its Redeemer. She arose wholly restored to health. Did she enter into the possession of this great gift from God selfishly and unmindful of the necessity of sharing its benefits with the race? No. She immediately withdrew from society, spent three years in the close study of the Scripture, and in prayer, meditation, and scientific research, in order that she might find the divine and spiritual Principle back of her restoration to health through divine or natural Power. At the end of this time the science of the event, which she denominated Christian Science, unfolded to her and in 1870 she published her first pamphlet called "The Science of Man," which is now the chapter called Recapitulation in the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The premise and deductions of this chapter remain unchanged from its first publishing, and to-day Christian Science class teaching is from this particular chapter.

In 1875 was published the first edition of the Christian Science text-book. At the close of the year 1898 this book had reached its one hundred and sixtieth edition of a thousand copies each.

 

Thirty-Three Years of Christian Science

The magnitude of the work of Mary Baker Eddy as Reformer, Teacher, and Religious Founder can best be observed by a brief review of the growth of the movement which she has founded and so wisely led through spiritual discernment and selfless labor over a period of thirty-three years. At the present time Christian Science has spread throughout all Christendom. It has over five hundred thousand avowed adherents and upwards of a million believers. The Mother Church in Boston, Mass., founded by Mrs. Eddy in 1879, has a general membership of about 13,000, a residential congregation of over 1,200 and has nearly 500 branches in Christendom. At the present time the movement is enjoying marked growth in England, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, South Africa and in the Isles of the Seas. The movement has its own Publishing House in Boston, Mass., and publishes a regular monthly organ The Christian Science Journal, a weekly newspaper the Christian Science Sentinel, a series of Quarterly Bible-Lessons for the churches of the denomination. It also issues a vast amount of miscellaneous literature relating to Christian Science.

During the year 1898 the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, of which Mrs. Eddy is President, was united with The Mother Church of Christian Science in Boston, Mass. The National Board of Education for the examination of Christian Science teachers was formed and met for the first time in Boston. The International Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church of Christian Science, composed of eleven official lecturers, was also established during the year. This Board is conducting a series of public lectures on the religion and therapeutics of Christian Science. The lectures are being given in all parts of the United States and Canada, and provision has also been made for European Lectureship. Great throngs of people are attending these lectures, in some instances the audiences numbering over five thousand persons. These gatherings are thoroughly representative, and are largely attended by physicians, clergymen, authors, reformers, and the thinking classes, together with great multitudes of what can be truly called "the masses." It is authentically stated that upwards of a million and a half of people have been healed of hopeless diseases during the last eighteen years through the instrumentality of Christian Science. These facts, together with the great body of untold benefits which neither tongue nor pen can accurately record, bear abundant testimony as to the practicability and grandeur of the work and spiritual leadership of Mary Baker Eddy.

As the religion of Jesus in Christian Science needs no defense, so Mrs. Eddy's great work is its own proof of genuineness. The widespread loyalty to Mrs. Eddy as Teacher and spiritual Leader, which is so evident among all Christian Scientists, is nothing more or less than common sense honest gratitude allied to scientific authority reasonably recognized. Can it be that the world has become so used to wholesale ingratitude to its greatest benefactors that it mistakes grateful loyalty, for hero-worship and abject mental surrender to so-called autocratic despotism? Common sense tells us that the world of science is not only sentimentally deferential to scientific discoverers and founders, but is scientifically loyal in following the demonstrable deductions and rules laid down by these scientific leaders and founders. The rational and mental obedience and following accorded the views of such individualities as Euclid, Newton, or Roentgen, cannot be classed with hero-worship or blind obedience. In following the truths revealed and demonstrated by these scientists, personality is not being followed, but rather impersonal truths which these men have made clear and reduced to a science.

Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. By this we man that through practical experience and research she discovered the modus operandi of spiritual Mind-healing or the method by which the Principle that we call God, could be scientifically understood and demonstrated with signs following. In other words, according to the confirmation of Common Sense, she revealed the great truth that God is the divine Principle of the universe including man, to be understood as Principle rather than to be believed in as an absentee and mysterious personality. Upon this discovery she founded the systematic work of Christian Science as both a religious and therapeutical reform. We thus have the undivided garment of Christianity as a common sense and divine Science of Being. This statement is neither a hallucination nor the vague dream of a transcendentalist. Hundreds of thousands of common sense people bear witness to its practicability, and one proof on the side of Christian Science is worth more than seventy million prejudiced objections.

When we can have Platonic philosophy without the observations of Plato, when the Decalogue and the moral code of Israel can be conceived of independent of the work and teachings of Moses, when Christianity can be studied and lived entirely apart from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, when we can think of the early Christian Church and at the same time forget the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and James, when the work of the great Protestant Reformation can exist in the minds of men and the name of Luther can be enshrouded in oblivion, when Americans shall be found extolling the liberties and grandeur of the Republic and at the same time shall manifest complete forgetfulness of the work of Washington and Adams, Franklin and Jefferson, Grant and Lincoln, then, and then only can Christian Science be thought of independent of the life, teachings, scientific discovery and spiritual leadership of Mary Baker G. Eddy. Dignified gratitude and rational common sense jointly demand that critics observe more closely the philosophy of Charles Read, "Put yourself in his place." Let all who misunderstand Christian Science and the deference that Christian Scientists pay to the scientific deductions of the Founder of their Science, strive to approach this general question from the standpoint of impartiality and common sense and then the distractions and hallucinations of blind prejudice and an exaggerated sense of personality will fade into nothingness. Adherence to the impersonal and scientific deductions of the philosophical teachings of Mary Baker Eddy represent nothing different from the loyalty of a mathematician to the unchanging rule of mathematics.

 

Christian Science Healing

A man whose common sense is well developed will not attempt systematic disobedience to the moral code. Disobedience and penalty go hand in hand. Cause and effect is a law that is never suspended. Health is as much a part of religion as morality and spirituality. In the record of Christ's life there were thirty-six conspicuous events which have been wrongly denominated miracles. Of these twenty-five were instances of physical and mental healing wrought by Jesus without drugs or material means. Healing the sick without drugs is recorded in the Old Testament and God is spoken of therein as the power that forgiveth iniquity and healeth disease. What would the work and life of Christ and his followers be separated from the general healing works which accompany his footsteps? Remove from Tissot's grand collection of pictures representative of the life of our Master, all those paintings and sketches which portrayed his healing works and what would be the practical significance of the remaining portion? Would not the very heart and soul be taken from the whole collection? Yet Christianity devoid of this element is what popular religionists want us to accept as the religion of Jesus. The healing of the sick through divine or mental power was largely, if not entirely, the cause of the great growth of early Christianity. It was the crowning glory of the life of Jesus. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He spent his time in reforming the sinner, in healing the sick, and in raising the dead. Common Sense, therefore, affirms that sin, sickness, and death are the works of the devil, or the trinitarian errors of human existence and materialism, to be gradually eliminated from the life of man by a right understanding of his immortal sinless existence.

 

What Christian Science Is Not

Christian Science healing is the exact antipode of faith cure, mind cure, animal magnetism, prayer cure, auto-suggestion, suggestive therapeutics and hypnotism. Mental therapeutics is an exact, rational, and normal system of divine Mind-healing. If spiritual, natural, and harmonious mental communion with divine Mind, alias the Over-Soul, or Supreme Being, that we call God, can be termed prayer, then Christian Science prayer is of this sort.

The germinating ground of disease is in what is known as the sub-conscious, or unconscious mind. Animation, force, energy, consciousness, life, and movement are mental, not physical. Inheritance, prenatal impressions, psychic moods, temperament, influence of early environment, religious mind training and disposition are the books of life which should be consulted in the cure of disease. Matter of itself can originate nothing.

Such scientists and thinkers as Franklin, Huxley, Tyndall, Spencer, Clifford, Haeckel, Allan, Bixby, Herschel, Kelvin and Oswald tell us that back of all the material evidences of life is Mind force. Christian Science therapeutics deals wholly with Mind in the prevention and cure of disease. There is no such thing in Science as physical causation. What is known as a physical effect is the result of an anterior cause. Christian Science is the exact understanding of mental causation. It utilizes certain universal laws of Nature. Its operations are based upon an exact Principle. it resolves matter into its primary elements mortal or human mind. It thus brings the realm of the physical under the control of the mental. It dominates the material with the spiritual, the lower with the higher, the negative with the positive. By this method it mentally dissolves a cancer, heals diseased bones, elongates limbs, destroys progressive paralysis, restores the wasted tissues of the body, and the decayed substance of diseased organs, dissolves cataracts, and cures deafness and impaired vision.

Growth, not decay, is natural. "Not death," says Mrs. Eddy, "but the understanding of Life makes men immortal." Christian Science healing is not supernatural nor miraculous. Most of its cures are in the world of organic disease. By a right application of this Principle no disease can be properly called incurable. When physicians can prove to us that there are phases of discord in music that the principle of harmony cannot eliminate, when they can show us instances where the principle of mathematics fails to correct mistakes, we will be glad to admit that there are diseases with which the laws of Nature, or divine Mind, are unable to cope. Because Christian Science practitioners are in the infancy of the demonstration of their Science, men have no right to be unjust and demand at this early date complete and successful demonstrations in all instances. Especially unjust are such demands when it is remembered that three-fourths of the people who ask for Christian Science healing represent cases that have failed to receive any relief through their ministrations.

 

Origin of Diseases

The origin of all disease, the contagion of fevers, smallpox, cholera, and grip, is the operation of mental, not physical forces. We are now told that the microbe is one of nature's scavengers, and that it is simply a low form of animal life feeding on a still lower form.

Nansen tells us that in Greenland there are no such things as colds. These widespread luxuries, he says, were left as a part of the North Temperate zone. In China physicians get no pay when they fail to cure. The diseases known to one country are unknown to another. Medical students frequently have all the symptoms of the diseases that they are studying. Fear kills people, stops the action of the heart, and turns the hair of the head gray in a single night. Jealousy, licentiousness, hatred and quick temper create hundreds of recognized diseases. Morbidity, introspection, fear, and selfishness evolve and perpetuate countless disorders. But a pure mind means a pure body.

Christian Scientists respect the honest opposition of physicists and sincere physicians whose education and practice have been along lines diametrically opposed to metaphysics. This class of opponents will be honest in investigating and accepting the higher method. When called upon to admit that medicine, either allopatic or homeopathic, is a science, Scientists politely refuse such admission.

John Mason Good, M.D., F.R.S., of London, Eng., says: "The effects of medicine on the human system are in the highest degree uncertain, except indeed that they have destroyed more lives than war, pestilence, and famine combined." Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that "mankind had been drugged to death and the world would be better off if the contents of every apothecary shop were emptied into the sea though the consequences to the fishes would be lamentable." Sir John Forbes, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, says: "No systematic or theoretical classification of disease or of therapeutic agents ever yet promulgated is true or anything like true and none can be adopted as a safe guidance in practice."

Christian Science practitioners diagnose every disease mentally in order to find its true cause. They study mental, not structural, anatomy. They spend years in deep research and practical demonstration in the realm of mental causation and in the therapeutics of mental healing. The allopath deals almost entirely with physical causation. The homeopath takes mental symptoms largely into account. The Christian Scientist deals entirely with mental causation and temperamental conditions. Results in Christian Science prove the scientific basis of its modus operandi, for it heals thousands of cases that the practitioners of both allopathy and homeopathy have pronounced hopeless.

 

Organic Diseases Healed

The following cases of Christian Science healing are offered as illustrations of the scope and possibilities of the system. Confirming details of each case, with regular medical confirmation, will be gladly furnished any sincere inquirer.

First. A case of locomotor ataxia, or progressive paralysis, attended with impaired vision and tonsillitis, had taken medicine for over three years, from one to ten doses a day, and had grown steadily worse; had had without successful results some of the best physicians in Chicago, Ill., and Buffalo, N.Y., was entirely healed by Christian Science in a few weeks.

Second. An instance of what had been pronounced an incurable cancer of the nose, pronounced such by a medical expert, treated by Christian Science and healed in three months; afterward examined by same specialist, who admitted the complete cure, but affirmed his complete failure to master the modus operandi of the demonstration.

Third. A little girl suffering from epileptic fits, having had the same from birth, at the time she began treatment was having forty spasms a day, entirely healed in less than six months.

Fourth. A case of consumption of the lungs in the second stage of that disease, accompanied with great pain, lassitude and other attendant symptoms of that disorder, healed in less than seven months.

Fifth. A case of typhoid fever in an advanced stage when Christian Science treatment began. Treatment was carried on through the absent method a common method among metaphysical practitioners. The patient was in Paris and the practitioner was in New York. Cables recording the progress of the case were exchanged, and in five days complete restoration took place.

Sixth. The case of a boy seven years old who had been drowned. After the body had gone down the third time and was fast floating out to sea with the ebb-tide, drifting some seven feet beneath the surface of the bay, it was brought to the surface and without any attempt to restore artificial breathing, or manipulate the body, complete restoration was effected through mental therapeutics. Life was made manifest in less than two minutes; the patient was out of danger in about fifteen minutes, and in thirty minutes was entirely restored through continuous treatment. The water left the stomach by natural vomiting some forty minutes after the first treatment was given.

Seventh A case of curvature of the spine and contraction of the cords of the feet, toes drawn under so that they could not be straightened, accompanied with intense suffering, in six weeks complete strength and health was demonstrated, the spine made straight and contraction of cords entirely destroyed.

Eighth A case of a lady about 40 years of age who had since her fifth year been under medical treatment for organic valvular disease of the heart. A number of physicians had pronounced the case incurable. At the time she consented to try Christian Science she was confined to her room and taking sixty drops of digitalis daily, with a liberal allowance of stimulants. In less than three months she was entirely cured and able to go anywhere and do any reasonable thing without any unnatural physical effect whatever.

Regular medical confirmation of cases two, three, four, five and eight will be furnished any honest skeptic. The principals in cases one, six and seven can be communicated with relating to the authenticity of all details cited.

 

Conclusion

Common Sense and Christian Science are synonymous terms. Christian Scientists the world over have enlisted in a campaign for the establishment of contagious health, normal strength, and individual dominion, through scientific law, over sin, materialism and disease. In their ranks are to be found thousands of former invalids, hundreds of former agnostics, materialists, Hebrew religionists, evangelical and liberal Christians. Religion and healing have become one, the undivided garment of primitive Christianity has again come into the possession of modern Christians, and rationality, logic, Scriptural confirmation and results are all on the side of Christian Science.

 

[Delivered "last week" at Stone Opera House of Binghamton, New York, as an "address of about an hour and a half" and published in The Broome Republican of Binghamton, Feb. 25, 1899. The final sections entitled "Organic Diseases Healed" and "Conclusion" were taken from a copy of the lecture published in The Scranton Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania, April 26, 1899, owing to the fact that the page from the New York newspaper on which the lecture continued was not usable. The text as recorded in the Pennsylvania paper, is believed, at this point in the lecture, to be the same or virtually the same as that in the New York paper.]

 

 

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