Christian Science: Universal Christianity (2)

 

Carol Norton

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

In presenting to your consideration the subject of Christian Science I am well aware that I am inviting you to the contemplation of the most widely and earnestly discussed phase of modern religious and scientific philosophy. In the history of human progress extreme reactions in religious and philosophical systems invariably prove two truths. First that real Truth is not only omniscient-all-scientific, but intermediate-midway between human extremes of thought. Second, the extreme nature of the reaction proves the depths to which the life of the age has sunk in materialism and in its very radicalism is prophetic of a new order of harmony and progress. This audience of Truth-loving people has assembled here not only to give Christian Science a fair and impartial hearing but to ascertain the extent to which all thinkers are agreed as to what really constitutes Universal Christianity, or Universal Religion.

 

Essential Unity

Sad it is that men allow life's non-essentials to separate them and cripple the grand results that come from unity in essential ideas and methods. It is pitiful that they allow externalism, misunderstanding and blind prejudice to control the right hand of sympathetic fellowship and humane co-operation. In presenting Christian Science as an interpretation and demonstration of Christianity capable of universal application and utility, I desire to address my statements and deductions to those types of thinkers who individually and collectively represent and comprise the thought-world of Christendom, Judaism and perhaps that of the majority of the great religions of mankind. I do not ask you to accept anything that is a menace to either right, reason, or common sense. I desire to divide what I shall denominate the general consciousness of the era in which we live into seven classes. These classes make up the thought masses. I shall confine my analysis almost exclusively to the mind and mental constitution of Christendom. Let it be borne in mind that what is true of the religious thought of the followers of Jesus Christ is largely true of the adherents of the other great religious systems of the world. After all there is a universal spiritual instinct throughout all ages among all peoples. Therefore the doubts, fears, superstitious beliefs, aspirations, hopes, longings and ideals of all are to greater or less degree similar, and while differing in expression they unite in one universal, hungry, heartfelt, beseeching prayer, What is Truth? Religion is a unit. It is a grand immortal whole. It exists independent of dogma, opinion, mysticism and external worship. Scholastic systems are legion in number and fragmentary in character. Religion is universal. Theories are human. Religion is divine. Its component parts are the heavenly harmonies of divine character made manifest in the image and likeness of the eternal Perfection. Some systems of religion are wholly racial. Others purely geographical and crude. Others provincial and materialistic.

But ONE RELIGION can be accounted universal. Who shall name it? Who shall be pure enough to recognize its power and stately proportions, or be spiritual enough to face its dazzling glory? Who shall recognize it and speak its holy name? From the voice of the Eternal One comes the answer. he who is of a pure heart and honest spirit, who loveth the Good and serveth his neighbor, he who knoweth the blessedness of ministry and the grandeur of unselfish love. What shall be the answer of such an one? On the ascending scale of spiritual discernment he will reply: Its name is Universal Christianity. Its One Way-Shower is Christ and his Dispensation of the Spirit is Christian Science, whose triumphant ministry heals the sick, reforms the depraved, comforts the sorrowing, interprets the sacred Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity, and with stately march establishes the kingdom or reign of Heaven, harmony, on earth.

 

Seven Types of Thought

The seven types of thought to which I have already referred as being the ones into which general consciousness naturally divides itself, are as follows: Hebrew Religionists, evangelical and liberal Christians, agnostics, idealists, materialists and deists. The time allowable for a single lecture forbids an exhaustive analysis of the beliefs held by these seven classes of minds. The real object of our assemblage here will be attained through a just, but brief consideration of the pertinent message that Christian Science bears to each of these great classes. Let it be remembered that each class of believers or non-believers is reaching out in greater or less degree for the real, for the knowledge of Truth. It is our sacred privilege to meet all half way and by parable, argument and demonstration show forth the Way of Ways, i.e., Scientific Christianity.

Christian Science will be found to be in possession of the substance and divinely demonstrable actuality of the truths that are suggestively shadowed forth in many of the ideas common to the mind of Christendom. Its originality exists in its consistent Monotheism, through which it affirms the reality of Good and unreality of evil, the substantiality of Mind and the nonsubstantial character of matter. A correct acquaintance with the religious systems of the world will confirm the statement that I now make without reservation or modification. In the enunciation and demonstration of those cardinal ideas Christian Science stands absolutely alone and without peer as the scientific understanding of Universal Christianity, whose basis of demonstration is divine Mind, whose method is Divine Science and whose ultimate is individual immortality for man and the identity of universal creation.

 

Hebrew Religionists

The moral sense of life and conduct as registered in what is known as the Hebrew Moral Code is the crown jewel of Hebraic tradition and history. A right sense of the moral law as taught by Moses and borne witness to by the Major and Minor prophets of Judaism reveals Christianity according to the Founder Jesus of Nazareth, as the logical spiritual outcome of the work of the Law and the Prophets. Hence the words of Jesus, "I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." The Sinai of the Old Testament gave the Ten Commandments. The Sinai of the New the sermon on the Mount.

Jesus proved his genuine loyalty to the law in summing up the whole duty of man as love to God and love to his neighbor. He gave but one new commandment which can be truly called the Eleventh, when he said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you," but few of the Hebrews of Jesus' time discerned the spirit of the moral law. They clung to its letter, but were asleep to its spirit. Hence the admonition of Jesus that men should obey what the religious teachers of the period taught when they quoted Moses and the Prophets, but should not pattern their lives after the practices of those who sat in Moses' seat, but did not the things which Moses commanded. From the literal sense of the law Jesus deducted or removed the element of retaliation, which finds its best expression in the phrase, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." His new commandment introduced the element of forgiving affection and included a man's enemies as well as his friends. In a right comprehension of Christianity no sectarian sense of religion can abide. A spiritual grasp of the teachings of Moses and the Prophets is a direct highway to the rational and spiritual understanding of the teachings of Christ contained in the four gospels. Hence the true sense of spiritual Judaism inevitably leads to a true sense of Christianity, for the two are one. This marriage was wrought two thousand years ago by a member of the priesthood of Melchisedec, known to men of that day as Jesus the Reformer, to men of this period as Jesus the Christ. An eminent authority in Judaism, writing editorially in one of the leading Jewish papers of America, has recently said, "Christianity must stand or fall with Christian Science; the two cannot be logically separated."

 

Evangelical Christians

To evangelical Christians Christian Science bears an earnest message. We want you to know the true Evangelism of our system. We believe in One Supreme God, the divine US of Genesis, the infinite Father and Mother God of the Holy Scriptures, the Creator of the male and female of universal creation. We believe that God is personal to each one of His children or creatures and being infinite in nature He is of necessity infinitely personal, and an infinite person or divine Being is therefore impersonal Supreme Individual Being. Hence the Scriptural designation of God as I AM, Truth, Light, Love, Spirit (Mind), Creator, Good, not humanized person, but pure Spirit. We believe in the Scriptures as the inspired Word of Good God. We trace the ascending order of inspiration and carefully separate the human mind utterance from that of the spiritually illumined thought. We believe that the knowledge of evil and the love and worship of it constitute the whole and only fall of man. We affirm that man's resurrection to spiritual life and his regaining of Paradise must and will come through his loss of the consciousness of evil and his growth into the exclusive consciousness of the allness of Good. Because we believe in God as All-in-all, perfect in nature and supreme in goodness, we deny that evil, the opposite of God's nature, has reality, i. e., divinity or immortality abiding in it. The authoritative confirmation of this glorious fact is given by Jesus Christ in his words which for all time analyze the character of evil. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the Truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaking a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John viii:44). We believe that above and apart from the material sense of things the true image and likeness of God in man and the universe abides in perfection and perpetual dominion. The teaching of the Bible confirms this conclusion and Jesus gives it special endorsement in his utterance in relation to the kingdom of God: "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!, for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke xvii:20-21).

We believe in the divinity and Messiahship of Christ, in his immaculate origin and ministry of regeneration, teaching and healing and in his mediatorial office as Saviour. We see in Christ and his utterances the law of the Word and believe that through the spiritually scientific understanding of the tenets of his faith the kingdoms of this world will become "the kingdoms of God and of His Christ." We honor the Christian ministry wherever it bases its activities upon the great commission of Jesus Christ given to his disciples throughout the ages, "Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel." But we also believe that the second command of this commission, "Heal the sick," is as important and time-enduring as the first. Therefore we affirm that the followers of Christ in this age should heal bodily disease, as well as moral disease by one and the same method.

We believe that the evangelical Faith "once delivered to the saints" should in this day be accompanied with the original apostolic signs of healing and regeneration. Therefore because these signs do follow the acceptance of Christian Science we consider it Christianity according to Christ.

 

True Spirituality

We want you who so dearly love symbolism, and who through it offer up your prayers to God, to His Son, and to the great Throne of Grace to know the sacred sense in which we hold the word worship. Our faith teaches us the power of true piety, the transcendental glory of chastity and purity. It interprets the spiritual substance resident in the Holy Eucharist when partaken of in a wholly spiritual way without material accompaniments. It gives the true significance of the communion of Saints, the real Apostolic Succession which down through the ages brings as by an unbroken chain the spiritual priesthood of holy men and righteous princes of the Church. We believe in the sacredness of Holy Writ in the inspired message of the Prophets, in the great lessons set forth in the records of psalmist, patriarch, and the holy men of all time. We believe in the glorified events surrounding the birth of Christ's forerunner.

We enter into prayerful adoration of the spiritual sense to which Mary bore witness in "the Magnificat" and recognize that through this consciousness the Holy Spirit blessed both Elizabeth and the Virgin and brought to each the spiritual conviction that their prayers and aspirations had been heard of God. Its holy inspiration told Elizabeth that she had been privileged to give to the world the greatest light that had been born of woman, and to Mary the most favored among women, the spiritual certainty that she was to give to the world its spiritual deliverer, emancipator and Messiah. The virgin Mother whose soul-sense and chastity spoke through creation's primal order gave to us Love's best gift to man our Lord and Savior. His life was her recompense and his victory over death and the grave proved to that sweetest, tenderest of women that her woe and tears shed as a living halo over the burden of his martyrdom were not in vain. The Scripture appellation, or name of our Lord's mother, was "hand-maid of the Lord," or one who waits close to the hand (power) of God. Thus by virtue of her spiritual acquaintance with the eternal Nature became she the most blessed among Women. Down from the cross upon the upturned, sorrowing face of this Mary his Mother beloved looked earth's most faithful son, and said in the pathos of filial affection, "Woman, behold thy son," and then to John, "Behold thy mother." Mary, to Christian believers the dearest among the names of women, received his last earthly ministration and was last to look up to and into those eyes that untiringly spoke of love, and Mary, most triumphant of names was the first name that he spoke after the Resurrection. Thus in the sweetness of its own holy fragrance liveth this name in our midst to-day, a synonym of the chaste virginity, merciful love and abiding constancy that constitutes true womanhood in all ages and in all true religion. We believe in the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ as being in accordance with the divine and spiritual law of creation. We affirm that it was not miraculous nor did it represent a suspension of the divine law. But in that day and at that hour it represented the spiritually divine sequence and immaterial manifestation of the spiritual thought-ascension that reached its scientific culmination in this event once and forever. We believe in the annunciation, self-offering and purification of the Virgin. We believe that the stations of the cross began with the manger birth of the world's Savior and ended only when that cross was laid down on Calvary's summit. We find in the Motherhood of God the real divine Maternity, and recognize that Mary's spiritual communion with this infinite Motherhood and Fatherhood gave to the world the career and manhood which said, "Who is my mother and who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt. xii: 48,49,50). We believe that his works of healing and spiritual control, including the raising of the dead and his control of natural elements represents the privilege of each true follower of his throughout time. Hence his words to his followers through the ages, "the works that I do shall ye do also and greater works than these shall ye do." We bow before the ideal manhood that he represented and prayerfully and patiently strive to reproduce in our careers and hearts its symmetrical outlines of divine grace. We believe in the baptism, temptation, betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. We believe that by his stripes, by his sufferings out of the flesh, we are healed and led from earth to heaven not through a vicarious Atonement, but through the individual imitation of his life.

 

The One Church

We love the Church and believe it to be the Body of Christ on earth. To us the true catholicity is that evangelism and obedience to Jesus' teachings which enables us to emulate his career, heal the sick, regenerate the sinner, raise the dead, and establish his heavenly kingdom of brotherhood on earth. We believe that he founded his Church on that type of spirituality which manifested itself through Peter in a moment of spiritual uplifting and reveals now, as it did in that hour to the discerning disciple, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God! It shows that the Church of Christ is founded on the rock only as its superstructure and activities are established on the doctrine of the allness of God and the spiritual supremacy of Mind as God. We believe in progression beyond the grave, and that heaven is reached only through full sanctification. We believe in the ministering spirits and angels of God as the divine impartations which God sends to man through the agencies of meditation, communion and aspiring prayer. We look forward to the time when there will be but one Fold and One Shepherd. This Fold will be those who have been redeemed through the redemptive powers of the Lamb of Innocence and this Shepherd will be the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, which Christ promised he would send to lead into all Truth. We believe in the Holy Universal Catholic Church as the visible and invisible body or life of Christ, and that we unite with this Church only as we drink his cup and eat his flesh in spiritual living. This Holy Church is the abiding place of the Spirit, the redeemed live therein in the beauty of holiness, in the bliss of immortal salvation. The voice of the Revelation speaks and tells us his vision of the Church and those who tabernacle there.

"And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. xxi: 3,4). The poet pictures this Holy Church in significant language:

 

"One holy church of God appears

Through every age and race,

Unwasted by the lapse of years,

Unchanged by changing place.

 

Her priests are all God's faithful sons,

To serve the world raised up;

The pure in heart her baptized ones;

Love, her communion cup.

 

The truth is her prophetic gift,

The soul, her sacred page.

And feet on mercy's errands swift

Do make her pilgrimage."

 

Liberal Christians

To liberal Christians the message of Christian Science is one of liberal love and inspiring hope. Ours is a liberal plan of salvation from depravity, physical pain, bodily disease, fear, worry and human woe. Christian Science is in truth the "Higher Liberalism". It includes emancipation from physical or bodily inharmony through the operation of spiritual law as well as deliverance from materialism of thought and action. It is therefore real Christian liberalism. We believe in the One God of Israel, the God of the Prophets, of Moses, of the Baptist, and the "Our Father" of Jesus. We believe in the strict unity of the divine Nature, that God is ONE and infinitely perfect in nature. We believe in the divine Omniscience, and therefore cultivate a scientific method of spiritual thinking and action as the true method of demonstrating the government of this divine all-ruling and all-sustaining Omniscience. We believe in the dignity and divinity of man's nature, that he inherits from God only that which is Godlike, and therefore we believe in man as the divine image and likeness of Good, immortal in destiny and perfect in nature. We affirm that spiritual evolution, or individual progression is synonymous with eternal Life. We accept the idea of the final salvation of all mortals from evil, suffering and death. We believe in the Atonement of Christ as his divine demonstration of at-one-ment with God, the Ego of his spiritual nature. We believe in the inspiration of the Bible and that the sole object of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is the setting forth of the two central truths of existence, namely, that in God and the spiritual universe (which is the real abiding place here and now of the spiritual man), there is no evil, no pain, limitation, disease or death. Second, that the material sense of life is in itself the fall of man that Paradise regained is the Eden of existence of man, attainable through the spiritualization of thought and the destruction of the belief in matter and material phenomena as real and actual. The whole trend of the Sacred Writings bears witness to this two-fold conclusion, and this to us is the only "higher criticism" worthy of rational contemplation.

 

Heaven and Hell

We believe in prayer as the heart's communion with the Over-Soul. To us Love is Synonymous with God, and therefore we recognize that where divine Love abides there exists also the protecting presence of the Most High. We do not believe that creeds, dogmas, mysticism, scholastic opinions, decisions of church councils, traditionalism, materialistic philosophy or the theories of so-called organic evolution based on physical causation are any part of true religion. To us religion means the worship of the Father in Spirit (Mind) and in Truth. We disbelieve in fear and the possible horrors of present and future punishment as legitimate motive powers for the evolution of either moral or spiritual character. We believe that the kingdom of Heaven is within, and that both hell and Heaven are states of mind and include place, phenomena, environment and both physical and mental sensation. We accept the spiritual leadership of Jesus Christ and in him recognize the perspective ideal of our own possible attainment. We affirm that loyalty to Christ means direct unswerving obedience to all his commandments. We accept him as the Way-Shower, from earth to Heaven and in him recognize both Son of God and Son of Man. To us he occupies in the history of human progress and religion a conspicuously original place without any past or present equal.

We reject the notion that his so-called and miscalled miracles were either supernatural events or myths written into the Gospel narrative. We affirm the divine naturalness through which he healed the sick, reformed the sinner, cast out devils, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, controlled the elements, multiplied so-called material substances, walked over the water, conquered death on the cross, healed himself in the tomb and demonstrated out of and above material environment and body forty days after his Easter appearance in the event denominated his Ascension. We do not believe that the age of miracles has passed, because we are convinced that there never was such a period, inasmuch as there was never a time in which God either suspended the eternal order of the universe or allowed it to be interfered with. We believe that the omnipotence and omnipresence of Good, as God, precludes the possibility of real (actual) evil. We therefore affirm that Good being positive, evil is negative the supposititious absence of Good. To us this solves the mystery of evil the silent, unspeaking Sphynx of the centuries. We reject the idea of real matter inasmuch as we see in dualism (the common notion of mind and matter, good and evil commingling) the basic error of past and present philosophy, religion and science. We deny God's cognizance of or participation in the destructive elements of nature, such as hurricane, tidal wave, lightning, pestilence, famine, germ contagion and earth's disease bearing miasma. We strive to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's". Therefore we feel that we have the right to call Christian Science not only scientific Christianity, demonstrable and practical in the details of human affairs, but the liberalism of which the Hebrew writer spoke when he said, "The liberal man deviseth liberal things and by liberal things shall he be judged."

 

Agnostics

To the world of agnosticism Christian Science addresses itself with no tone of uncertainty, with no superstitious hope, or mere traditionalism. We desire you to know that we respect the courage of the man who says "I do not know". We recognize that throughout the history of the human mind its wishes have been ever parent to its thoughts and theories. In other words, men, especially in things that relate to religion, God, and a future state of being, are prone to build their theories upon premises that their wishes establish as foundations. We are well aware of the fact that your agnosticism is in many cases mental deference to the unproven things of life. In other instances it can be correctly denominated humility. In others chronic skepticism, and in perhaps most cases we shall be obliged to admit that the latent cause of agnosticism is the mental inability to comprehend the perpetual dualistic war of human existence the continued action and reaction of the elements of Good and evil, Life and death, growth and decay, harmony, discord and catastrophe, joy and sorrow. We honor the mind that is too humane and loving to accept the false notion that God is directly or indirectly the author of the misery, disease, cruel separation and suffering that so universally afflict the human race and all animate and inanimate creation. It is the protest of kindly, just and thinking hearts against the iniquitous, inhuman and cruel idea that we move to that distant far-off divine event of which Tennyson wrote, over the dead and diseased bodies of suffering humanity. Such theories of evolutionary progress, such pagan conceptions of a good God are the potent causes of whatever infidelity, atheism, skepticism and chronic agnosticism exist in Christendom, Judaism, or in any of the great households of religion throughout the world. We want you to know that our philosophy teaches that God and His creation are wholly apart from the chaos visible to the physical senses. We believe in the words of the Founder of Christian Science that "God is to be understood and demonstrated as divine Principle." We believe in a scientific and exact habit of thought as the only way of rational approach to the understanding of the divine Nature and its harmonious government of the universe and man. We believe that the demonstration of Life over death, Mind over matter, purity over impurity, Love over fear and hate, health or harmony over bodily disease and pain is the one and only divinely scientific proof that can be accepted as conclusive evidence that there is a God in Heaven, and that this God has a scientific plan for the government of the universe and man. To the agnostic thought we say, that as the student is asked to accept on faith the statement that one is an integer, or whole number, in order that he may begin positive mathematics, and by actual demonstration prove the accepted premise correct so we invite all who would seek the divine knowledge of God to be fair, just and reasonable in the acceptance of the premise that Mind is Causation therefore, that Mind is God and God being all, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation." Hence the universe and man in reality express the perfect Nature of the self-existent First Cause. On this premise the problem of life can be worked out. It has been well said that "Truth is intermediate and mediatorial." Transcendental as it may appear to physical sense, the practicability of this premise can be made self-evident in the destruction of sin, in the healing of all forms of bodily disease, in the control of elementary error, and finally in the scientific demonstration of immortality in man and the universe. To the consideration of these great premises we invite your sober attention and offer to you physical and ocular evidence of our most radical deductions and predictions.

 

Idealists

Glad tidings of Good, Christian Science brings to that class of life's Realists called Idealists. To you our message is of especial comfort and sacred value. Christian Science shows that Idealism is genuine realism, and that the Ideal is the actual and not the phantom. It sanctifies the relationships of daily life by purifying the mind and purging the affections of earthly dross. From the grand idealism of Christian Science, through which the natural Divinity of all that is real is brought to light, art receives a new name, its type and prophecy of the eternal glory. Literature is lifted to levels of honest character-portraiture, of Soul-life aflame with the heavenly heart-tints of courage, human constancy and true love. Such literature uplifts while it interests and raises the thought, broadening and educating it, while it understands the heart and its demands. Music takes on new harmonies with which to speak to the hearts of men of the music of the eternal order and the grandeur of joy and exaltation. The drama enters a new world of worth, promises and possibility by depicting the realism of that which is noble, chaste and truly interesting. Nature, that transcendent mirror that reflects the color, and infinitude of the divine Creator and Architect, through Christian Science, takes on new grandeur and glory. In tune with its order and its exquisite moods of peace, glory, diversity and full life, man's nature bursts its shell of sense and mounts as on the wings of eagles to commune with the infinite Ideal God. Through Christian Science and its demonstration the great problems of sociology, brotherhood, commercial competition, finance, government, law, reform, universal peace, education, medicine, sanitary reform, child training, the sex question, temperance, heredity and religion are brought directly and practically under the adjusting Science of Mind, its law of Love, and normal mental control. The Ideal which rightly and scientifically governs each one of these great departments of twentieth century society is proven by Christian Science to be Mind-Principle and one with eternal Law. Thus what is called secular is lifted to the dignity of the divine levels and the law of Love, Good, is proven to be Omnipotent, applicable to the minutiae of human affairs.

 

The Sublime Vision

The Ideal though unseen is still here, inviting the recognition of the pure in heart, awaiting the resurrection of its own. Emerson discerningly says, "The Sublime Vision comes to the pure and simple soul in a clean and chaste body." Thus Christian Science gives to love its true meaning, to human affection new constancy and poise, to family and married life, fresh beauty and safeguards of unselfishness, health and ministering tenderness. Friendship it clothes with garments of praise, chastity, loving kindness, fidelity and individual loveliness. Above all else it gives to it that affectionate reciprocity which is in itself the only real obedience to Christ's command, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This is the keystone in the great arch of friendship, its crown of glory, its throne of power. Thus Christian Science reveals the childlike in the divinely mature, and the perpetual youth of Soul in the character that is loving and pure. Such idealism grasps the celestial facts of being here and now and rising above the earth-fogs of sin, disease, materialism and death reaches the heights of sinless humanhood amidst the eternal ways of Good. Perfection is an ideal condition, health is an ideal state, immortality is ideal living, in harmony with an Eternal Ego. Christian Science, great as the claim may seem, reveals the highway that leads to these states and names them practical living possibilities here and now. Heaven is forever this side the grave. Yea, only as material selfhood descends into the grave of its own imperfection and nothingness will the heavenly kingdom be entered by man. Therefore to all idealists we would say you have full authority from reason, intuition and from Nature for your hopes. Remember that the Master Idealist set the example, led the way and commanded his followers in all ages as follows: "Be ye perfect (ideal) even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect (Ideal)."

 

Materialists

To all calling themselves materialists let Christian Science speak the "Peace be still" of regenerative Love. As was of old, the message of Jesus, know that it is compassionate, forgiving, and filled to overflowing with the love that is merciful, with the mercy that is just. Oh, you who in our midst think that you find real pleasure in materialism and sensual gratification, we would have you know the operation of the eternal law of cause and effect that "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap". We would have you count the cost levied by this law upon yourselves and upon your offspring, a cost whose payment you should soberly consider. The Christian Science healer who labors night and day prayerfully by the bed of suffering breaking the bread of hope and courage to the thousands who have suffered "many things of many physicians, and who have been nothing benefited," laboring perhaps for months to turn a sinner from the error of his way, healing the drunkard, delivering the drug user from the serfdom of his habit, comforting the sorrowing, emancipating the crippled child from its deformity, healing, strengthening all who ask for help, knows yes, soberly knows the real need of every nature that thinks it finds pleasure in materialism. We believe that many careers surrender themselves to materialistic pleasure in order to drown the horrors of a cruel world and the anticipated terrors of that one which is to come. We say to you with all the affection and compassion of Christ's followers, taste and know the pleasure, the bliss, the satisfaction and infinite meaning of righteousness, moral integrity, purity, love and the joys of Soul. Remember that eternal suffering means that as surrender is made to the lower nature, disease, pain and inharmony result. This is the case in this world or plane of consciousness, and the same law will obtain in the next.

Not the death of corporeality, but the death of false sources of pleasure and gratification will usher men into glorified being and immortal freedom. Well do the Christian Scientists know the large-heartedness and compassion of that nature which in many instances is so peculiar to earth's Magdalens and Prodigals. Upon this very element the Master built the superstructure of the new life of the sorrowful, repentant woman of Palestine. Remember his tender words, "She loveth most to whom most is forgiven." So to all who look in wrong directions for the pleasures that seem to satisfy or for a time apparently drown the misery of human existence, let Christian Science say with the emphasis of divine Love, "Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more." Let this infinite, long-suffering, merciful, forgiving love lead all who now love sin to the feet of the impersonal Saviour, Divine Science, which "taketh away the sins of the world," and christens with the new name of innocence and righteousness earth's wanderers and sin-lovers.

 

Deists

Christian Science addresses to that great class of minds known as Deists words of fraternal greeting. With you we are privileged to share many common ideals and convictions. Deism is defined as acknowledgment of the existence of God. This acknowledgment at once evolves a unity, which though not born of understanding is predicated of a common conviction, namely, that God, Mind, exists. This affirmative statement opens the way for a final scientific unity in premise, demonstration and conclusion. With you we believe in one Mind, and in the words of Malachi ask, "Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?" The Mind that is God is ever over His own, whose Sustainer, Deliverer, Ruler He eternally is. "Beautiful it is," says Carlyle, "to understand and know that a thought did never yet die that as God, the Originator thereof hath gathered it and created it from the whole past, so God will transmit it to the whole future." It is thus that the heroic heart, the seeing eye of the first times, still feels and sees in us of the latest, that the wise man stands ever encompassed and spiritual embraced by a cloud of witnesses and brothers, and there is a living literal communion of saints, wide as the world itself and as the history of the world! To you who are Deists we say we believe so radically and practically in the All-Power of One Supreme Mind that we wholly disbelieve in any other so-called force, energy or element. Therefore we believe that the allness of God means the absolute supremacy of Mind, or Spirit, in the so-called physical realm as well as in the moral and mental. Hence the divine Mind-healing of disease that forms such an important part of Christian Science. This healing is the exact opposite of hypnotism, mind-cure, faith-cure, suggestion, incantation and animal magnetism. Its method is scientific, exact, simple. Its rules are those of true Nature (Mind), and its demonstration successful in the ratio that the Principle (God) is understood by the healer and obeyed in right living and pure thinking. Your deistic views will enlarge their borders as this simple truth of the divine Immanence clarifies the mental world of your daily being. You will see that the masses are recognizing that Christian Science has laid hold of primal deism and is giving the physically needy and the soul-hungry facts for theories, health for disease, reason for mysticism, and the peace of Love for the torment of human fear. The people are recognizing in it the Truth that saves and, in its harmonies, the music of the harps of God.

It is recorded of the teaching of Jesus that "the common people heard him gladly." The only true public opinion, the spirit of common law, and the citadels of constitutional liberty, are all on the side of that which works for the common good, elevates moral integrity, promotes life, liberty and happiness, and makes health, rather than disease, contagious. Therefore the lawful character of Christian Science healing abides in the good that it accomplishes. It makes debtor to it hundreds of thousands of sick people who have been helpless sufferers in the hands of common medical methods until this evangel of healing and salvation entered the precincts of their lives and experiences. Therefore it is lawful, humane and right.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

In the unfolding history of divine progress the eternal I AM, the infinite US, individualizes Himself and Herself through a representative. In the ascending order of creation set forth in the first chapter of the book of Genesis woman is presented as the highest type of creation, and is therefore named last in the creative plan. Throughout the history of spiritual and human progress men and women have labored side by side for the elevation of the race. The spiritually-minded of the house of Israel recognized in Christ Jesus the embodiment of the Messianic hope. Spiritual Christianity is therefore one with the true Israel. The Fatherhood of God, which has been in the past so largely interpreted and represented by the masculine mind, is now as in Genesis giving place to the elevation of the thought of the divine Motherhood of the creative US. Without reservation, and as a sacred privilege, I soberly declare that the work of Mrs. Eddy is already the most stupendous of any woman of human history. Think it not strange that this revered spiritual leader is beloved, when over a million grateful hearts turn to her in gratitude and thanksgiving as the instrument through whom God has recorded the spiritual truths of Christian Science by which their diseases and sins have been taken from them. I bear willing witness to the sympathetic and unselfish philanthropic character of her life and deeds. As a Reformer she is courageous, humble and unswerving in her adherence to the principles of Right, Justice and Love. As a philosopher, logical and fearless in her conclusions. As the Leader of a world-wide movement and a great religious body she manifests remarkable foresight, judgment and executive Leadership. Calmly, prayerfully and lovingly she tells the world in her book, Miscellaneous Writings, "With armor on, I continue the march, command and countermand; meantime interluding with loving thought this afterpiece of battle. Supported, cheered, I take my pen and pruning-hook, to 'learn war no more,' and with strong wing to lift my readers above the smoke of conflict into light and liberty."

 

"Pure as a child they say,

Bright as a new born day

True as a builder a square,

White as a lily fair.

Patient as budding spring

Sweet as the chimes that ring,

Peaceful as evening sun,

Swift as the brooklet's run,

Loving as nature's ways

Such is the love that stays

This is the love she brings

To hallow the common and gladden the great

And sanctify all that is pure.

 

Conclusion

Christendom will be reunited. The hope of the ages will be realized. The Apostolic Catholic Church, whose seed was sown in the soil of the Master's life, and whose growth has been protected and nurtured by the holy lives of Christian history, will be re-established. The understanding of what constitutes universal Christianity will make Christian unity possible and practical. Christian Science, or scientific Christianity, can alone fulfill the prophecies and promises of Christ, and prove with signs following to every honest heart the beauty and worth of Christ's promise, "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your rembrance whatsoever I have said unto you." In a way before unapproached in the history of humanity, Jesus, his teachings and words engage, in a virtually dominating sense, the consciousness of this hour. In turning backward over the brief space of eighteen centuries we enter the birth and cradle-land of the Christian religion. The religious teachers and reformers of Israel who preceded the life and work of Christ bore witness to the Dispensation of the Son, and in this hour Christian Science or demonstrable Christianity, is bearing witness to the Dispensation of the Spirit, with works of healing and regeneration as evidences of its divine origin and sacred significance. Upon the canvas of history stands forth the life of Christ. A Reformer of reformers, he stands alone. A world-wide religion is the outgrowth of his life, a glorious idealism for individuals and nations the outcome of his triumphant ministry. He formed no ecclesiastical institutions, nor did he establish a creedal system of religion. He appealed to the hearts of men and taught that the Heavenly kingdom was within the purified consciousness of man and of woman. His journey through pastoral Palestine was a continued succession of spiritual triumphs. On certain days he healed thousands afflicted with disease. On other occasions the dead were raised, processions of mourning were turned into marches of triumph and rejoicing, and the tombs which gave up their dead at his command were transformed into monuments of immortality instead of death. The lepers, isolated, separated from humanity and known by all as unclean, driven into the living death of the leper colonies, were cleansed, and given back to their dear ones. Insanity, dementia, paralysis, palsy, blindness, deafness, hemorrhages, epilepsy, moral depravity, licentiousness and self-righteousness all yielded to the healing power that he and his disciples exercised in their demonstration of Christian Mind-healing. Sin he denominated moral error. He cured all evil by the application of the laws of Good. Sickness, pain and death he termed physical errors, and to them he applied the same law, the eternal Principle of the universe as the healer of disease as well as sin, and to his followers in all ages said, "The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do."

 

A Mighty Company

In closing I ask you to picture a mighty company of men and women and children in this age and in our midst, in number many hundred thousand, again singing Hosanna to God and chanting blessed is he, blessed is she that cometh in the name of the Lord (Good). I ask you to think of this mighty company as scattered over all parts of the civilized world. Some in our great centers of population, amidst the busy throngs of city life, others in distant hamlets, some in far away lands, and in the isles of the sea. Among their number are thousands of little children rejoicing in health and freedom because they have been healed and freed from blindness, deafness, deformity, crooked limbs, curved spines and organic bodily diseases. In this vast army are to be found hundreds and thousands of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends rejoicing in the affluence of health and spiritual dominion, having been healed of such diseases as consumption, cancer, diabetes, paralysis, locomotor ataxia, heart and skin diseases, blindness, deafness, deformed limbs, nervous prostration, inherited appetites, liquor and drug habits. These people, like the ancient followers of the humble Nazarene, have witnessed the second coming of Christ, experienced healing at the hands of Impersonal Spirit which as the Comforter has come in the fulfillment of the promise of Christ to bring this needy world, and to this particular period of human history, the great truth that the age of miracles has not passed, but that the compassionate, healing and saving love of the eternal Christ abideth in our midst to-day

 

To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],

And recovering of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty them that are bruised.

 

[1903.]

 

 

HOME PAGE INDEX OF LECTURES