Christian Science: Its Work and Scope

Practical Application of the Science.

 

Carol Norton, C.S.D.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

In presenting to your thoughtful consideration the subject of Christian Science as an applied Science, I shall endeavor to review its practical excellence and vital work, as I have observed the operation of the system during a period of ten years in its ministry and among its people. Our time will not allow a full or detailed investigation of its religious and scientific tenets. This can be accomplished in the quiet of the home, through the thoughtful perusal of the written works of Mary Baker G. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of the system. I will, therefore, endeavor briefly to review the practical operation of Christian Science in the varied, departments of life, and strive to show that it amply proves its right to be called an applied Science, applicable to all the affairs of human existence.

 

RELIGION.

Christian Science, as its name indicates, is a religion. Christian Scientists consider it the Science of Christianity. It recognizes the impersonality of the teachings of Jesus, and emphasizes the fact that all the works of the Founder of the Christian Religion were wrought in accordance with an eternal law of Divine Mind. Hence, it elevates the idea of divine naturalness in the so-called miracles of Christ, and rejects the popular idea of the miraculous or supernatural element, Christian Science recognizes all that is true and good in the Religions of the world; but, as its name indicates, it claims to be the scientific or demonstrable presentation of the teachings of the Nazareue, whose ethical ideas and religious tenets are rapidly becoming universal. Religion, to the Christian Scientist, means works, enlightened faith, spiritual understanding, physical and spiritual healing, the application of the laws of spiritual evolution and progress to all the affairs of life, the gradual regeneration of mankind, and the ultimate establishment of the brotherhood of man under the law of Love, through the Gospel of peace. Christian Science disbelieves in religions as it disbelieves in gods. It accepts one religion, one God or Mind, and one family on earth and in heaven. It presents the idea of the Great Knowable, alias divine Mind, in the place of the ancient and anthropomorphic idea of God, which partook so largely of the nature of imperfect humanity. Creeds, doctrines, mysticism, ceremonial, scholastic intellectuality, and fear, it considers as no part of Christianity. Christian Science teaches the existence of one Father or divine Principle; one Way-shower, the man Christ Jesus, whose teachings are now spiritually interpreted by the writings of the Founder of Christian Science, and demonstrated as practical with signs following. The religion of Christian Science is impersonal, liberal, scientific, impartial, and of universal adaptation. Its idealism includes its rationalism, and its liberalism is the soul and centre of its evangelical nature. Trinitarian and Unitarian, Jew and Gentile, religionist and scientist, materialist and Truth-seeker, agnostic and infidel, all find within its teachings that which satisfies. It shows that the Mind which is God abides in the holy temple of the purified thought and chastened heart of every regenerated man and woman. It is a religion of love, tolerant, progressive, comforting, renewing. Love, pure and undefiled is the genius of Christian Science. This Love makes of one family all the children of men. It removes the possibility of human and personal contention, binds up the broken-hearted, heals the sick, converts the unbeliever, spiritualizes the mind and affections, renews the hopes, paints the gray clouds of life with a golden border, and reveals the eternal plan of God; namely, that Love, infinitely tender and infinitely pure, constitutes the abiding atmosphere of Heaven and pervades the Holy of Holies which exists in every true heart that has been, purged of worldliness and human depravity. In a sweet and satisfying way it reveals the great truth, that,

 

Love is no joy that dies apace

With the delight of dear embrace;

Love is no feast of wine and bread,

Red vintaged and gold harvested;

Love is the God whose touch divine,

On hands that clung and lips that kissed,

Has turned life's common bread and wine

Into the Holy Eucharist.

 

Perhaps the least comprehended truth of the religion of Christian Science is that of the reality of Good and the unreality of evil. Upon this pivot moves the entire structural life of its theology and religion. To the Christian Scientist this idea transcends in glory and practicability all lesser ideas. By this almost revolutionary statement Christian Science elevates a profound yet simple truth; namely, that because Good is the nature of the eternal God it necessarily becomes the positive of life. Therefore, the scientific deduction made by Christian Science is that the reality or positive actuality of Good, as Deity involves the doctrine of the unreality of that element which opposes the eternal nature of Divinity. The scientific conclusion of the whole system, therefore, is: If Good is real, actual, positive, immortal, perfect, infinite, that which contradicts the eternal nature of the positive Principle of life, alias God, must be temporal, unreal, and without Principle or actual existence, real to material sense, but unreal to spiritual sense. The practical application of this doctrine is seen in the purification of the human mind, through the accession of the primary elements of the divine Mind. Christian Science makes the idea of God scientific and demonstrable, elevates the conception of the Supreme Being as divine Principle, and enables man, through spiritual enlightenment, to awaken by degrees in the image and likeness of God, and possess the mind which was in Christ Jesus. Paul showed clearly that the yielding of thought to evil, as obedient servants of error brought men into bondage to evil, and that the way out of this serfdom was solely through the scientific demonstration of divine Mind over all error of thought. Nothing that can be said of evil is true, except that, driven to its final limits, it destroys itself. Therefore the practical outcome of this doctrine in Christian Science is the final salvation of every individual here or hereafter from all that wars against the divine nature of God.

 

SCRIPTURAL BASIS.

Christian Science is founded on the Scriptures. It throws the light of spiritual interpretation upon the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It reveals clearly in the divine plan of atonement, the advancing Messiah as the Impersonal Christ marching majestically down the centuries as the Prince of Peace, the divine Purifier and Healer of mankind. Because of its close adherence to this ideal many Hebrew religionists of this hour are accepting Christian Science in its Religion as well as its healing. The deductions of modern scholarship relating to the inspiration and authorship of the books of the Bible in no way affect the Christian Science interpretation of Scripture. While these deductions are forcing revolutionary changes in the doctrinal standards of Christendom, Christian Science, as stated in its text-hook, remains untouched, a revealed and demonstrable Science. The reason for this is most simple. It is because Christian Science affirms that the Bible teaches on an ascending scale, through parable, argument, logic, and revelation, a simple, but profound lesson. The nature of this lesson is fourfold, its scope universal, and its character divine. First: The eternal reality of Good as God and the unreality of evil. Second: The reality of Mind or Spirit as Supreme Sole Cause and the unreality of matter or flesh, i.e., materialism. Third: The inspiring fact that sin, sickness, aud death are no part of the divine plan, but errors of human belief and material existence. Fourth: The final conquest of all that wars against harmony and individual perfection, through the actualities of Divine Science, which is divinely natural, but not miraculous or supernatural.

Prayer without ceasing, silent, aspiring, deep-hearted, is especially the custom of Christian Scientists. Such prayer removes mountains, heals disease, binds up the broken torn hearts of earth, and widens the mind's horizon. Prayer of this sort brings the thoughts of man into oneness with the divine Mind, and the worship of God becomes the dally reflection of the Mind which moves only in Love's grooves, and thus governs all in harmony.

 

SCIENCE.

Christian Science claims for its basis and operation, exactness and practicability. As a Science it is logical and in its varied applications demonstrable. This latter fact removes the system from the realm of the so-called inexact sciences, and places it virtually at the head of all religious, therapeutical, and social sciences. The Science or exact knowledge of God as divine Mind must be the demonstrable understanding of Omniscience. The practical application of such a Science must cover the whole area of life and perfectly govern each part, as in its fulness it rules the whole. Deity or God being Mind or Intelligence, the only Science that can reveal the nature and laws of God must be a mental Science, or that Science which relates wholly to mental laws of cause and effect. Such a system is Christian Science. It goes to the logical ultimate of metaphysical and psychological reasoning and affirms that pure Monotheism alone is natural and real. It denies the ditheistic or dualistic theory of two opposing primary elements, mind and matter. And in this denial we are brought face to face with the great basic truth of Christian Science, namely, its statement, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All in all" (Science and Health, p. 464). By teaching the omnipotence of God as Mind and proclaiming that the changing and decaying forms of matter are but the phenomena of the human mind, it avoids the shoals of pantheism. It thus reveals the fact that the belief in the reality or divinity of matter as well as Mind constitutes genuine pantheism the theory that God is not only all, but that all materiality that exists is God and His creation.

For many years after the founding of Christian Science, religious and scientific critics persistently opposed its scientific and philosophical basis, viz., its teaching that "All is Mind, there is no matter." The dual theory or two elementary forces, mind and matter, in life or nature, had been so long believed that a system that absolutely denied what to the general mind was an axiomatic truth was at once stamped as unscientific, absurd, and undemonstrable. Again, the rapid development and elaboration of the theory of evolution and its almost world-wide acceptance, seemed to many to be a positive confirmation of the theory of dualism in nature; hence organic evolution has been accepted by a large part of the scientific world as the true theory of the creation of the universe and man. But as progress is the law of Life, and as there are no permanent stopping places along the highway of Truth's eternal unfolding, it is but natural that the ultimate statement of true, spiritual, and natural evolution should be announced almost simultaneously with the first public deductions of the world's greatest evolutionists. In 1866 Mrs. Eddy first gave to the world the keynote of the philosophy of Christian Science in the statement: "All Causation is Mind and every effect is a mental phenomenon." Causation in matter or material atoms, mind emanating from organism, and spirituality from materiality Christian Science deems an impossibility. Its teachings affirm that "all atomic action is Mind." Universal Mind manifests itself in infinite form, color, symmetry, order, individuality, and glory. Evolution has classified, and with scientific accuracy traced, the gradations of life in form and identity, from very low types up to very high ones. Christian Science admits that the infinite Mind manifests itself throughout time and eternity in an infinite creation, and that ideas as things are ever revealed in an ascending order, but it never departs from its scientific platform, which states that life ever evolves life, and affirms that decaying forms, sin, sickness, and death are not the manifestations of the One Good, the Perfect First Cause, which we call God. The growth of the Christian Science idea of matter's unreal nature, or its mental character, and the idea of Mind as the only actuality is shown by the conclusions of many of the leading natural scientists of this country and Europe.

Professor Huxley says: "After all, what do we know of this terrible 'matter' except as the name for the unknown, hypothetical cause of states of our own consciousness." Dr. Moncure D. Conway of London, England, writes in a recently published article: "A new religious statement has become necessary to adjust evolution to the spiritual consciousness, and that statement will also have to be evolved."

Christian Scientists, among them thousands of men and women of profound thought and deep intelligence, believe that the new religious statement needed to adjust the idea of evolution or spiritual progression to the spiritual consciousness of man, was formulated and scientifically enunciated by Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures," in 1875, and as therein stated, is being daily demonstrated as both Christian and scientific. This idea that matter is a thing of thought, an externalization of the human mind, and not an entity or element having independent life apart from thought or mentality, is gaining ground very rapidly in the world of thinkers.

 

MENTAL THERAPEUTICS.

In his work, "Literature and Dogma," Matthew Arnold writes: "Medical Science has never gauged, never, perhaps, enough set itself to gauge, the intimate connection between moral fault and disease. To what extent, or in how many cases what is called illness is due to moral springs having been used amiss, whether by being overused, or by not being used sufficiently, we hardly at all know, and we too little inquire. Certainly it is due to this, very much more than we commonly think, and the more it is due to this, the more do moral therapeutics rise in possibility and importance." These pertinent words of England's eminent critic and religionist bring us face to face with the physical healing of Christian Science, which should be reviewed from a two-fold standpoint. First, as a vital part of the Christian religion. Second, as a system of mental therapeutics, representing the third and final step in the evolution of medical practice. Healing the sick through spiritual law without drugs or material means frequently appears in the Old Testament. The pages of the New Testament record it as the handmaid of all moral and spiritual reform. It formed a conscious part of the work of Jesus, it was the sign that followed the footsteps of his disciples and followers, and it was the divine seal of spiritual power that blessed and advanced the early Christian Church. For fifteen centuries it has been a lost element of the Christian religion. In 1866 it was re-discovered, and in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" it is stated in its scientific as well as its spiritual significance by Mary Baker G. Eddy.

The present age is peculiarly in need of Christian healing and conspicuously in want of an exact system of mental therapeutics. The practical results of Christian Science prove that this need has been met. A careful study of Christianity as its Founder lived and taught it, reveals that healing was to thousands perhaps the greatest proof of the divine nature of the religion of Jesus. Release from bodily woe and suffering prepared many hearts in that hour for the acceptance of the truth that Jesus taught. Freedom from all types of organic and functional disease has prepared thousands for the Gospel of health and practical Christianity that Christian Science proclaims. Healing and moral-spiritual reformation proved the divinity and genuineness of Jesus' teaching. In this age the same evidences confirm the claims of Christian Science, and establish it as an agent of reform and as the restoration of primitive Christian healing. Christian Science declares that all the commands of Jesus to his followers should be obeyed. Chief among these is to be found the command to heal the sick. Jesus established the precedent for all healing, namely, divine or mental healing, without drugs. This healing was called by the people of that age the healing of the sect of the Nazarenes and of its great teacher, the man from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus and his followers were Christian metaphysicians to whom the healing of bodily disease was as natural as the healing of sin. The union of spiritual and physical healing has been re-established in Christian Science and in this age is known as Christian Science Mind-healing. In that age its nature and spiritual character, but not its science, were taught by Jesus and his Apostles. To-day, with the exactness of a demonstrable and applied science, the mental therapeutics of Christian healing are taught and scientifically demonstrated. Therefore, this healing is Scriptural and a necessary accompaniment of evangelical as well as liberal Christianity.

Discerning the need of the seamless robe of Christianity according to its Founder's words and example, Rev. Dr. A. J. Gordon, one of the leading writers and preachers of the evangelical Christian Church, thus speaks to the Church of to-day: "Oh, Church of the ascended Christ, carrying still in thy hand thy Master's commission, with no clause annulled and no vestige of authority revoked, what has happened to thee that the lame must lie at thy doors, and none can take him by the hand and lift him up, that the sick must pine on his couch, and never a cure must be expected through the prayer of Faith? Hast thou ceased to walk in the light of the Sun of righteousness that thou hast no longer any healing shadow to throw upon the sick and dying? And how is it that, instead of mourning and being humbled at the loss of these apostolic gifts, thou art lifted up with self-complacency, speaking reproachfully of such as seek for their revival, and visiting them with cold rebuke? Is it an occasion for pride that 'thou hast no healing medicines for the sick,' and that thou must say to the lame and leprous, 'Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wounds are grievous. There is none to plead thy cause that thou mayest be bound up'? My brethren, we cannot ask these questions too earnestly or repeatedly. I am weary, for one, of the excuses which Christians have framed for their impotence: telling the world that the age of miracles has passed, and that the gifts of healing have been withdrawn. The age of miracles has passed indeed, and perhaps the only reason is that the age of faith has passed. I feel as sure as I am of anything that the loss of a healing ministry is due to a change in the church and not to a change in Christ."

There have been many prophets of the good new days in which we live. Emerson with lofty optimism wrote: "I believe that the laws of Nature, which are the angels of the Most High, are rolling on to the time when the child shall die a hundred years old; when sickness shall fade from the world, and with it the sins of the soul. A glory is coming to man such as the most inspired tongues of prophets and of poets have never been able to describe." Mental Therapeutics as an exact preventive and curative system is a well established Science. Mental causation is a final cause, and by addressing the mind of a patient the Christian Scientist deals with the germinating ground of all organic and functional disease. Moods, fears, sinful and sensual thoughts, inherited beliefs, the illusion that matter has life in itself, all originate and perpetuate sickness and suffering. Cancer, consumption, blindness, deafness, skin and bone diseases, gout and deposits, drug and liquor habit are being healed constantly by Christian Scientists. Facts are stubborn things, and the simple facts of the work of operative Christian Science make its claims genuine. While the percentage of cures is large, about seventy-five per cent, the Science is really in the infancy of its demonstration. As spirituality increases in the lives of its operators, vastly greater results will be obtained. Christian Science Mind-healing, differs from systems of mental healing that the public mind often confounds with it.

Faith Cure attempts to heal sickness through faith in a personal God, who is believed to reward sufficiently strong faith or petitional prayer with occasional cures. The premise, operation, and outcome of Faith Cure thus wholly differ from the exact scientific system of mental therapeutics known as Christian Science, wherein God is the divine Principle of cure as Harmony is the Principle of music. Mind cure, suggestion, and hypnotism are based and operated upon the influence of one human mind over another. Will power is a vital element in the work of these systems, and each starts with the assumption that the human mind possesses within itself curative elements, that operate through psychical law, magnetism and thought transference.

Christian Science departs at the outset from the primary claims of these systems and denies that the human mind possesses healing, power that can destroy either evil habits or sickness. It considers the healer at all times an agent only, and the Deific Principle, alias God, the sole curative power "who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases."

 

LITERATURE.

The ideals of Christian Science are making permanent impression upon the literature of the hour. As in the drama realism is found to be true naturalness, and art to be the truthful delineation of possible, not impossible, character, Christian Science trains the mind in concise thinking and removes cumbersome methods of thought and expression. It shows that to the extent the author and writer incorporates in his work Soul-life, he reaches the heart of literary merit and ministers to the genuine wants of his readers. Books, like friends, must be truthful to wear well, pure to outlast the discords of life, and elevating to overcome the temporary mesmerism of low sensationalism. The marked rise in the tone of our current literature is traceable to the widespread demand for purity, truthfulness, and character in all the departments of life. The popular books of the period are those which present in vivid realistic ways some great question of morals, ethics, or sociology. Christian Science encourage in literature all that elevates the mind. It shows the great danger to morals and health of books and newspapers that present vivid word-pictures of vice and sensationalism. In the interest of health, good morals, and social purity, Christian Science utters a solemn protest against the widespread publishing of descriptions and pictures of disease, crime, and patent medicines, accompanied with detailed accounts and illustrations of so-called incurable diseases. It is proverbial that the reading of vivid descriptions of disease tends to the development of like symptoms in the reader's mind or body. In Germany the press is no longer allowed to print accounts of suicide because these accounts help to make this error epidemic. Our consecrated social reformers should learn a lesson from Christian Science and recognize that the constant publication of criminal action, murders, and suicides keeps a series of thought-waves in motion that sway ill minds that are open to erring or criminal suggestions. These waves of mental suggestion set in motion by sensational books and papers, and strengthened by the minds of millions of readers, who transfer by thought and speech the germs of crime and disease are the chief dangers that confront our modern civilization. "We are as liable to be corrupted by books as by companions," writes Fielding. Christian Science separates the chaff from the wheat in literature, and prepares the mind to appreciate true literary merit, making purity the corner-stone of all genuine book-making. The modern press is a marvel, and in most instances the friend of progress, freedom, and Truth. But, as with all human institutions, error tries to retard its upward steps and worthy motives and to array evil's demoralizing sensationalism and depravity, with the garments of decency and Truth. Such journalism is not only an enemy to health and morals, but to civilization, to the entire race, and to the century in which we live. Public opinion will soon demand the reformation of this abnormal type of journalism, and impersonal righteousness will cleanse the atmosphere of its foul impurities.

 

SOCIOLOGY.

Sociology, or the science of society and human association, can be called the highway to the realm of brotherhood. In a practical way Christian Science can be termed Christian Socialism, for that Magna Charta of divine democracy, the Sermon on the Mount, is the foundation of this Science, and the Lord's Prayer, which petitions that God's kingdom or rule shall come on earth as in heaven is its one great Article of Faith. The questions of capital and labor, government, business, education, practical philanthropy, all confront Christian Scientists as they do every social and religious reformer. It should be remembered that the very transcendentalism of the philosophy of Christian Science makes it of practical value to all aspects of human affairs. Because the system deals wholly and directly with mind and mental forces, and because it aims at the purification and spiritualization of thought, it at once enters the realm of mental causation, and there purifies, elevates, and corrects. This system aims at the establishment of the Brotherhood of Man, with one governing Mind, on the basis of divine Love. It shows that erring thoughts, false motives and standards, selfishness, and human fear evolve and create the perplexities that surround the questions of class strife, and the inequalities of life so prominent in the varied aspects of the great problem of capital and labor. Christian Science lays the axe at the root of the tree of human error. It demands that love shall take the place of fear, trust and confidence the place of suspicion, and the consciousness of Christian democracy and equality in individuality (for individuality can never be lost) shall overthrow the power of human greed and jealousy. Genuine reform will be a vain dream, and brotherhood a phantom, until the elements of human nature are changed by the acquisition of the Mind of the Master. Individual reform must and will end in the general reformation of the race.

 

GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS.

Christian Science, by bringing the mind into harmony with divine Mind through a gradual process of mental elimination, makes the individual a law unto himself. Man thus brought under the impersonal rule of Right, Justice, and Mercy involuntarily becomes obedient to the law. He is then by natural and true instinct a supporter of all moral and righteous government. Class legislation is fundamentally wrong. Popular government, true Republicanism, and Christian democracy, in the larger significance of these terms, will be sustained and enlarged only as the divine rights of the individual are recognized and sacredly guarded. Popular government need not be paternal in order to protect its supporters. Neither is it necessary for the individual to carry the idea of liberty so far that it amounts to lawlessness. "Unity in individuality" should be the motto of our commonwealth and the basis of government in all lands, and among all nations.

Christian Science is of vital importance and value to the business man. It intensifies the normal mental power of concentration, application, foresight, and wise conservatism. It engenders that optimism which enables the well poised and experienced business man to wait, and in cautious movement attain a legitimate and desired end. It enables the business man to read human nature more keenly, hence more accurately. Thus he is better fitted to protect himself against human subtlety and craftiness so common among those mortals who attach no value to integrity, recognize no obligations in friendship, and see no grandeur in being honest, with word and bond as one. It helps him in times of panic and in hours of fear, because it reveals the fact that the Principle of honesty, like that of spiritual perception, is God. Christian Science, through its processes of mental training, lifts business men above the petty annoyances of daily life and renders sure rewards, under the natural laws of cause and effect, to all effort and action that tend to uphold integrity, honesty, and right motive. Financial panics, so-called "hard times," and business depression, come in most cases from mental and abnormal reasons. It is but infrequently that actual and reasonable causes exist for these distressing disturbances.

Merciless waves of concrete or defined fear aggravated and increased by suggestion, press, and telegraph, sweep over the minds which constitute what is known as the business world, and manipulate conditions and values as a tornado sweeps over a forest. Constant talk about one's bodily ailments or mental woes always perpetuates and increases these troubles. The rehearsal of crime and vice tends to evolve like conditions in the life or environment of the person who dwells on such error. Business men unwittingly talk poverty, limitation, and "hard times," brood over the detailed symptoms of a diseased or sick business, and so work against their own interests and evolve either distress or actual failure. The Christian Science business man is wiser than the generation about him. He applies rational mental methods to all conditions that confront him, and by so doing avoids the torment of continued worry, fear, aud perchance catastrophe. In a public speech delivered in one of the great business centres of this country, in the midst of the last financial panic, the present Secretary of the National Treasury stated that it was his firm conviction that the business and financial world were to be likened to the human body. This body and its functions, he stated, were directly governed by the human mind and subject to its power; and that fear-waves were the most direct and potent causes of financial disturbance. Christian Science teaches that divine Love casts out fear in its multitudinous forms. The varied manifestations of fear darken the mind, perpetuate timidity, and hinder individual advancement. Therefore, the practical application of the rules of Christian Science ends in the gradual destruction of this element in the human mind.

PHILANTHROPY, EDUCATION, ART.

In all that relates to educational questions Christian Science exalts the idea that true education consists of training thought in channels of right knowledge such as will help the human mind to outgrow its ignorances and wrong tendencies. All that encourages keen insight, correct reasoning, scientific and exact mental methods, is of value. To the Christian Scientist the higher education is wholly ideal and spiritual, but eminently practical, though in advance of general educational theories. It proclaims the spiritualization of secular thought in contradistinction to the secularizing of spiritual thought and rational idealism. The philanthropy of Christian Science consists of healing the sick, reforming the depraved, teaching mankind the Science of Being, comforting the sorrowing, and showing all men how to rise from the valleys of poverty and misery into the light of true living. To lawyers this Science becomes invaluable inasmuch as it is the great interpreter of the Moral Code, and through its enlargement of the faculties of the mind it naturally increases the intuitive sense of moral right, so necessary to this profession. It also gives thought an enlarged grasp of the scope and application of the law as a whole. Art, Architecture, and Music all have their place in Christian Science. "The true work of art," wrote Michael Angelo, "is but a shadow of the divine perfection;" and Blaikie writes that "the highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout man. A scoffing Raphael or an irreverent Michael Angelo is not conceivable." Yet the highest manifestation of the beauty of things about us is but type and shadow of the grandeur that awaits the spiritualized mind. In the divine Mind exists all beauty, and as thoughts are attuned to the eternal and Infinite Beauty, all the glories of earth and heaven unfold the petals of the new born and ascending consciousness. In all parts of God's universe are evidences of His art. Nature's blending colors, shades, and order are satisfying evidences of the immortality and divinity of beauty and art. The everlasting hills towering toward the blue dome above them speak to us in silent eloquence of the eternal love and protection, of the Infinite Father. The placid lake, the winding river, and babbling brook tell of the eternal calm of Spirit and of the peace of harmonious action, for perpetual motion or progress is God's plan and man in His image forever advances in the unfolding of the infinite ideal. Truly it is written that rest is not quitting the busy career, rest is the fitting of self to one's sphere.

 

'Tis the brook's motion clear without strife,

Fleeting to ocean after its life.

'Tis living and serving the highest and best,

'Tis onward, unswerving and this is true rest.

 

Christian Science is of practical value to the artist, inasmuch as it brings the sentiments, instincts, tastes, and thoughts into harmony with the creative Mind, the Author of all art. It refines and purifies his conceptions and abilities in all ways. Art thus becomes religious and idealistic, and serves as a stepping-stone to the art of Soul and spiritual perfection. The musician gleans from the truths Christian Science metaphysics practical assistance. It has been said that "where painting is weakest, namely in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong." Thousands of musicians are Christian Scientists, and their testimony giving the result of applying its ideals to their profession is most interesting.

 

THE FOUNDER, MARY BAKER EDDY.

The Founder of Christian Science recently stated in a published interview that its adherents number over six hundred thousand believers. The magnitude of the work of the system, its healing, reformatory, and widespread influence upon the thought of the present era, demand that its tenets be soberly investigated. To its Discoverer and Founder the race owes everlasting gratitude. Hundreds of thousands, long bound by chains of suffering and error, now call her career blessed and her mission to humanity divinely ordered. She discourages personal homage. Her strongest characteristic is lofty scorn for mere personal regard or any approach toward hero-worship. She is liberal, consistent, unselfish. As a friend she is constant; as a religious teacher faithful and untiring; as a philanthropist liberal and wise, giving to private and public charities large instalments of her time and money; as a reformer courageous, with prophetic vision of a rare order; as a "Mother in Israel," tender, compassionate, forgiving; as an American woman, patriotic and democratic, yet it can be said of her that "the world is her country to do good her religion." She stands, as she always has done, the friend of the oppressed and down-trodden. Works, not professions, crown her years of toil, and willing thousands, with dignified gratitude, love to call her by the endearing term of Mother, for she has interpreted to a needy world the nature of the Divine Maternity, yea, the Father and Mother God. The restored Church of Christ on earth will be renewed, and Israel of the Spirit will enter the promised land of spiritual freedom and salvation. Whittier, the sweet singer of the Friends, tells us of this Church:

 

O heart of mine keep patience! Looking forth,

As from the Mount of Vision, I behold,

Pure, just, and free, the Church of Christ on earth,

The martyr's dream, the golden age foretold

And found at last, the mystic Grail I see,

Brimmed with His blessing, pass from lip to lip

In sacred pledge of human fellowship;

And over all the songs of angels hear,

Songs of the love that casteth out all fear,

Songs of the Gospel of Humanity!

 

CONCLUSION.

In closing, let it be stated that Christian Science stands for the Religion of Jesus, for the equality of the sexes, and for the establishment and maintenance of universal peace among the nations of the earth. It exalts the practical ideals of freedom, personal purity, sound morality, and Christian democracy. It proclaims the Gospel of good thinking, true living, and the contagion of health and happiness. It elevates the ideas of honesty, individual self-government, and liberalism, placing Principle above party in the political world, and Truth above authority in the religious. It condemns the use of fear as a means to the evolution of either right living or moral obedience, hence lays all stress on the abiding power of Love and righteousness. It teaches a Gospel of Life as opposed to death, of victorious Good in contradistinction to the outgrown and dismal theory of evil's awful power over mankind. The work of healing and regeneration goes on, the Cause of Christian Science is now fully established, and upwards of a million believers have left the beaten path of old-time theories to follow to the full noon time of health and spiritual salvation, this Day spring from on high, this Liberator, Healer, and Good-spell.

 

[Delivered at Theatre Saratoga, Saratoga, N. Y. and published as a supplement to The Christian Science Sentinel, Feb. 21, 1901.]

 

 

HOME PAGE INDEX OF LECTURES