Christian Science:

The Religion Which Teaches True Spirituality

 

Elisabeth F. Norwood, C.S.B., of Brookline, Massachusetts

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

True health, true happiness, and a right sense of man's nature can be attained through spiritual understanding of God as infinite perfection, and of man as the reflection of God, Mrs. Elisabeth F. Norwood, C.S.B., Christian Science lecturer, told a Boston audience last night.

The spiritual understanding of God enables one to heal the sick and thus fulfill Christ Jesus' commands - which are "as imperative today as when he gave these commands," she stated.

Mrs. Norwood, who is a resident of Brookline, Mass., spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship. Her subject was "Christian Science: The Religion Which Teaches True Spirituality."

The lecturer was introduced by Thomas E. Hurley, C.S.B., First Reader of The Mother Church, who said:

On behalf of The Mother Church, it is my happy privilege to extend to you a most cordial welcome this evening to hear a lecture on Christian Science entitled "Christian Science: The Religion Which Teaches True Spirituality. "

The question might well be asked, What is it that distinguishes Christian Science from all other religions in the teaching of true spirituality? One fundamental point would be that Christian Science alone teaches the infinitude, the allness, of Spirit, God, and the consequent nothingness of matter. One is really spiritually minded only to the extent that he understands the reality and omnipotence of Spirit and the unreality and powerlessness of its opposite, matter. The lecture we are about to hear will help us see how we may gain this true spirituality and how it may practically be put to use in daily life.

Our lecturer this evening is a member of the Board of Lectureship of this Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. It gives me much pleasure to present Elisabeth F. Norwood of Brookline, Massachusetts.

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

The Bible has posed this searching question, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" (Ps. 24:3.) The Psalmist answers (verse 4): "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully." Christian Science teaches one how to attain clean hands and a pure heart, by healing him morally as well as physically. In fact, moral regeneration cannot be separated from physical healing in the practice of Christian Science. By attaining true spirituality through moral regeneration one becomes worthy to "stand in his holy place."

Since spirituality is a quality of God, man in God's likeness already possesses it; but the work of each one of us is to prove that in reality we are made in God's image, possessing by reflection this divine quality.

 

 

 

Road to Spirituality Leads to Blessings

In human experience there are those who seem to express the degrading qualities of Adam, who stands for falsity and error; but there are those who express faithfulness to good, as Abraham did, and moral courage which characterized Moses. There are those who, like Jacob, have repented of duplicity and struggled with the material senses until the light of true inspiration has entered their consciousness. There are those who might be called "Josephs" because of their loving attitude toward their enemies, or "Benjamins" who are quick to renew affections. Somewhere between the state of consciousness which Adam represents, and the state of consciousness which the great Master, Christ Jesus, exemplified, each one finds himself. But, at whatever state or stage of consciousness one seems to be, if he will accept for his goal the Mind of Christ, which healed morally as well as physically, he will eventually attain true spirituality and be worthy to ascend into God's holy hill.

If one should hesitate to take the road leading to spirituality, let him remember that because this road calls for one to be Godlike it is not a confining, tedious road; it is simply being a true Christian. The road to spirituality is bright with glory and achievement, and leads to joys and blessings to which no other road can lead.

The Master, the most spiritually-minded person the world has ever known, did not gain spirituality through any worldly measure, through personal following or adulation, but through consecration and through spiritual motives and aims. In "Miscellaneous Writings" Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has this to say about the life of Jesus (p. 162); "Materiality, worldliness, human pride, or self-will, by demoralizing his motives and Christlikeness, would have dethroned his power as the Christ." Since the Master could gain spirituality only through Christliness, one would be lacking in intelligence to think that he could gain it by pursuing any other method.

The spiritually-minded person does not cling to human will, but bows graciously to the divine will. He never causes disunity in the home, in business, in church or social affairs. He is not disturbed by lack of appreciation from others; he is working to be Godlike, to please God as the Master pleased Him, and he does not let petty, worthless arguments block his progress, dim his vision, and cause him to stray from the road which leads into God's holy hill.

 

Truth Uncovers Wickedness of Error

Spirituality enables one to serve God with his whole heart, and make his offering to the Most High, worthy of God's acceptance. You recall that Cain's sense of things was so material that his offering to God of "the fruit of the ground" (Gen. 4:3) was not acceptable to God, while Abel's more spiritual thinking led him to offer to God "the firstlings of his flock" (Gen. 4:4), an offering acceptable to Deity. If, instead of letting jealousy creep into his consciousness, Cain had rejoiced in his brother's progress and success, and had made his own thinking more spiritual, he could have rendered unto the Lord an acceptable offering and started to travel on the road to spirituality.

If one is tempted to resist the demands of spirituality, he should at once recognize what is at work - materiality seeking to kill spirituality in his consciousness. Evil claims the ability not only to keep the materially-minded on a material basis, but to use them to block the spiritual progress of others. Materiality claims that it can be dishonest without being known to be so, that it can be deceitful, and that its deceit will not be detected; but Truth uncovers all error and reveals its wickedness. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 216) Mrs. Eddy writes: "Spirituality lays open siege to materialism," and she asks, "On which side are we fighting?"

You may remember that after his resurrection the Master showed himself to his disciples several times before his ascension. On the occasion of his last spiritual breakfast with them on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus said to Simon Peter (John 21:15), "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" Peter answered, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee." The Master said unto him, "Feed my lambs." Again the Master asked, "Lovest thou me?" and again Peter answered, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee." The Master said, "Feed my sheep." A third time the Master asked Peter the same question and again Peter answered, "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee"; whereupon the Master repeated, "Feed my sheep." Peter was grieved because the Master asked him the third time, "Lovest thou me?" But it must have been that the Master did so to impress upon Peter the necessity of loving the Christ more than the world, of loving spirituality more than materiality, of loving Principle more than person. Only true spirituality will enable one to feed with spiritual food the Master's lambs - those seeking the Christ; only true spirituality will enable one to feed the Master's sheep - those advancing in an understanding of the Christ, Truth.

 

Godís angels Lift Us Into Harmony

Spirituality enables one to hear God's angels with their holy messages, to entertain them and to feel their presence, while those engrossed in materiality cannot hear these holy visitants. In Science and Health (p. 298) Mrs. Eddy writes: "Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be." On the next page she adds, "My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes."

Here the sepulcher must stand for a mental state, sealed by discouragement, darkness, and despair. Perhaps the human belief which has sealed the consciousness of one person is disease, and his fondest earthly hopes of health, activity, and service to mankind have been buried. With another, the human beliefs of sorrow and loneliness may have buried his fondest earthly hopes of happiness and companionship; for another, perhaps the human belief of failure has buried his earthly hopes of success and achievement. What is the human need of all those whose joys and hopes are entombed by these false beliefs? Their need is to know God's ever-presence and His love.

Their need is, as an old hymn tells us (Hymn No. 158), to

"Rest, beside the weary road,

And hear the angels sing,"

hear their messages of spiritual intuition and inspiration which counteract all false beliefs.

All through the Old and New Testaments we read of the part played by angels in delivering, preserving men from evil. It was an angel which showed Jacob, as he wrestled with the erroneous sense of life and intelligence, pleasure and pain in matter, the unreality of his error. And Jacob entertained the angel until his consciousness was flooded with a light which transformed his nature, and he was free to go on his way.

Elijah was about as discouraged as a man could be when he sat down under the juniper tree; he was filled with doubt, his life was in danger, and his hopes were sealed in a mental sepulcher. What happened? An angel, a heavenly thought from God, inspired him, lifted his thought above the material sense of things, and he arose mentally and physically, and went unto Horeb, the mount of God.

The Apostle Paul has described the mental warfare which was experienced by Jacob and Elijah as the warfare between the flesh and the spirit. The aggressive mental suggestions of the flesh were tempting these holy men with the belief of life, substance, and intelligence in matter, fear, lack, and sorrow. But the fruit of the Spirit, coming as the angels of God's presence, with its hope and faith in a higher power, silenced the whispering suggestions of the flesh and delivered these holy men. God's angels deliver us from every terrifying aggressive suggestion by lifting consciousness above the arguments of error into the harmony of His loving presence.

Angels strengthened the Master when, in agony in the garden of Gethsemane, he was proving the impossibility of matter being real, and demonstrating that Life is deathless. It was an angel which carried John "away in the spirit,", and showed him "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God" (Rev. 21:10). Because Mrs. Eddy listened to and entertained angels, the world has Christian Science today.

One day when great multitudes were gathered unto Jesus, "he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore" (Matt. 13:2). And he spake this parable unto them: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Matt. 13:33).

 

Mrs. Eddy Revealed the Comforter

Mrs. Eddy has taken this leaven, the leaven of spiritual Truth, and hid it in science, theology, and medicine. This leaven is at work destroying all false theories as to science, theology, and medicine. This leaven will continue to work until science, theology, and medicine, as taught and demonstrated by the Master, are understood by mankind. Then "the kingdoms of this world" (Rev. 11:15) will have become the kingdom of God.

Because Mrs. Eddy had attained more spirituality than anyone since the Master, God called her to be His messenger to this age and to all ages to come. He called her to reveal the Comforter promised by the Master.

Mrs. Eddy worked alone with God in presenting Christian Science to the world; but she was able to face the world's opposition to the Christ, Truth, and fulfill her great mission because she was God-directed and God-inspired.

Before Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, she was healed of a condition caused by a fall on the ice and pronounced incurable by materia medica, by reading in the Bible the account of the Master's healing of the palsied man. This experience led Mrs. Eddy earnestly to study the Scriptures for three years. This study revealed to her God's great healing power, and its availability at all times. With her thought inspired by this study of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy wrote the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

Before publishing this book, Mrs. Eddy proved the Science it contains by healing all types of disease, reforming the sinner, and by doing the works which the Master promised his followers they should do. In her textbook Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 108), "Whence came to me this heavenly conviction, - a conviction antagonistic to the testimony of the physical senses? According to St. Paul, it was 'the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.' " Under God's guidance, Mrs. Eddy established the Christian Science organization, thus becoming the Founder of Christian Science. This organization is governed by the Church Manual written by Mrs. Eddy.

Some people are under the impression that Christian Scientists adore Mrs. Eddy, but that is not so; they reverence the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who always turned her followers away from her personality to her writings. Mrs. Eddy sought no personal following or homage, but in humility wrote, "Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ" (Message for 1901, P. 34).

 

King James Version of Bible Used

Sometimes it is reported that Christian Scientists have a Bible of their own, but that is a mistake, for Christian Scientists study the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, and use it at all Christian Science services, and it is used and sold at the Christian Science Reading Rooms. These, rooms are open and free to the public. In these rooms, in addition to the Bible are all of Mrs. Eddy's writings, and here the Christian Science periodicals may be read and obtained.

In Miscellaneous Writings Mrs. Eddy says (p. 252), "Christian Science is not only the acme of Science but the crown of Christianity."

Christian Science teaches in accordance with the Scriptures that there is but one God, who is All-in-all; that He is all-power, all-presence, all Science. Christian Science teaches the unerring intelligence of God as Mind, the incorporeality of God as Spirit, the beauty and holiness of God as Soul, the unvarying perfection of God as Principle, the endless existence of God as Life, the infallibility of God as Truth, and the eternal loveliness of God as Love.

It may seem more difficult for one to understand God as Soul than to know Him in His other synonyms. This is because of the false beliefs about Soul, the false teaching that there is more than one Soul, that each mortal has a soul of his own within his material body, and that this soul is capable of sinning. Soul is God, never in matter, and incapable of sinning. The reason Soul is eternal is that it is sinless. In order to understand Soul, one must turn away from the false sense of mind in matter, away from the material sense to the spiritual sense of God and man, of substance and Life. A line in one of the hymns in the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 64) reads, "From sense to Soul my pathway lies before me." The pleasures of material sense lead one away from God, while the pleasures and joys of Soul lead one to God. Mortals have a material sense of existence. Immortals have a spiritual sense of existence.

When John the Baptist, who confessed, "I am not the Christ" (John 1:20), saw Jesus coming unto him he said (1:29), "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." In the Glossary of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy defines "Lamb of God" as follows (p. 590): "The spiritual idea of Love; self-immolation; innocence and purity; sacrifice." Christ Jesus demonstrated to the fullest degree these divine qualities - innocence, purity, self-immolation; and he sacrificed more than can be measured in order to teach mankind the all-power of Love. Therefore he is entitled to be called the "Lamb of God."

 

 

 

Christ Jesus Proved Life to Be Eternal

Later "John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me. Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1:32-34).

In the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of harmony, where there has never been a need for a Wayshower, all of God's children are sons of God. Only to Christ Jesus belongs the title "Lamb of God." According to the Bible Christ Jesus is the Messiah. By healing all who came to him, by raising the dead, and reforming the sinner, the Master proved that he was the Messiah, or Christ. The early prophets, because of their spirituality, caught glimpses of the Christ, which Mrs. Eddy defines (Science and Health, p. 583) as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error."

Jesus was the human man, manifesting the divinity of the Christ. The Christ was the spiritual, eternal idea of God, invisible to the material senses, dwelling in divine Mind. As Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 29), "The Christ dwelt forever an idea in the bosom of God." By his resurrection from the grave, Christ Jesus proved for himself and all humanity that Life is eternal and deathless, that Life is God. By his ascension he proved that man's unity with God is indestructible.

Christian Science shows how the Christ is always present to prove the unreality of sin, disease, and death by revealing the allness of Life, Truth, and Love.

In the first chapter of Genesis, we read about God and His spiritual creation. That God is Spirit, Jesus declared when he said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). In this spiritual creation the stars, the firmament, and the waters, the cattle, the fowls of the air, are all spiritual ideas; and man, God's likeness, is spiritual and includes all right ideas. According to verse 31 in this first chapter of Genesis, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Then we read, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Gen. 2:1).

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 521), "All that is made is the work of God, and all is good." Then she adds, "We leave this brief, glorious history of spiritual creation (as stated in the first chapter of Genesis) in the hands of God, not of man, in the keeping of Spirit, not matter, - joyfully acknowledging now and forever God's supremacy, omnipotence, and omnipresence."

 

Man Is Conscious of Good Only

The second chapter of Genesis, presenting God and man from a material basis, is a dream-narrative, an allegory. It is the very opposite of the true history of God and man as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, for in this narrative man is a mortal, made of the dust of the ground; man is a sinner, he is not the image of God, Spirit. This is a terrible departure from the perfect man of God's creating, having dominion over all. After reading in Science and Health the description of the spiritual creation where God is Mind, and man is harmonious and immortal, we find this admonition (p. 521): "We should look away from the opposite supposition that man is created materially, and turn our gaze to the spiritual record of creation, to that which should be engraved on the understanding and heart 'with the point of a diamond' and the pen of an angel."

All God's ideas express in some degree the qualities, the loveliness, the nature of their creator; but man, God's greatest work, His true reflection, His glory, is "the climax of creation," as Mrs. Eddy writes in "No and Yes" (p. 17), and is the full expression of God.

Being an idea in divine Mind, man is an individual consciousness; conscious of all that God is conscious of, conscious of His perfection, and the reflected perfection of himself. He is conscious of true health, true happiness, and true relationship. He is conscious of the dominion which God has bestowed on him, conscious of endless joy and freedom. The perfect man of God's creating is not subject to sin, disease, and death, but is subject to Life and Truth and Love.

It is mortal man, the unreal man, who in belief is in bondage to these errors. The Master gave definite proof that God's man is not subject to evil in any form, for he healed all who came to him, whether they were blind, deaf, dumb, maimed, or sinning, and he raised the dead.

What enabled the Master to restore life to Jairus' daughter, although those who were with him "laughed him to scorn" when he said, "The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth" (Mark 5:39)? What enabled the Master, when stopping a funeral procession in the streets of Nain, to raise the dead young man and deliver him to his mother (Luke 7:14)? What enabled Jesus to call Lazarus forth from the grave (John 11:43)? It was his spirituality and his understanding of God as the only Life. It was the Master's spirituality which enabled him to see man as already God's spiritual, perfect man - the very likeness of Life. If the Master had seen man as less than perfect, he could not have healed him. If he had seen man as dead, he could not have raised him from death.

In "Unity of Good" Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 11): "Jesus required neither cycles of time nor thought in order to mature fitness for perfection and its possibilities. He said that the kingdom of heaven is here, and is included in Mind; that while ye say, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest, I say, Look up, not down, for your fields are already white for the harvest; and gather the harvest by mental, not material processes." If the Master had thought it was necessary to wait for man to "mature fitness for perfection," he would have been accepting sickness, sin, and death as present; if he had used any process other than mental process, true prayer, he could not have done his mighty works. The Master looked away from the "supposition that man is created materially," he turned his "gaze to the spiritual record of creation," and found man already perfect, free, immortal.

When teaching the Galatians the power of the Christ, Truth, Paul said (Gal. 3:3), "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Man created by Spirit has continued in the Spirit, perfect as his creator.

 

Spiritual Healing Is No New Thing

Spiritual healing is no new thing. The Word of God has healed those turning to Him for healing. In the Old Testament we read of Miriam's healing of leprosy when Moses called upon God to heal her (Num. 12:13). We read of the Shunammite's son being restored to life by Elisha (II Kings 4:35), and the raising from death of the widow's son by Elijah (I Kings 17:22). Because of their spirituality these prophets turned to God for healing, and proved that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

A Christian Science treatment heals, because it is prayer, which gives all power to God. It is an acknowledgment of God's perfection and man's perfection. In Christian Science practice, one wields the two-edged sword of Truth, using one edge to prove the allness of Mind, using the other edge to prove the nothingness of matter; using one edge to prove the ever-presence of health, the other edge to prove the nothingness of disease.

Mortal man does not willfully believe in matter and material so-called laws, but ignorantly, unconsciously accepts the false testimony of corporeal sense. When one is not well acquainted with God and His law, he forgets that man's only existence is in Mind. Believing that man lives in matter one accepts fear and doubt into his consciousness, the precursors of sickness and inharmony. If it seems more difficult for one to solve his own problems than to heal others of their ills, let that one remember that the scribes and priests said of the Master, "He saved others; himself he cannot save" (Mark 15:31); but the Master proved that one who understands God and God's great love can save himself: he can save himself from believing in a power apart from God, and prove that his true spiritual identity is as indestructible as Truth.

When reading of the many healings by the Master and his disciples and those who faithfully followed his teachings, one realizes that there can be no greater joy on earth than the joy of healing the sick, raising the dead, and reforming the sinner. What could bring more happiness than to put back into a mother's arms the babe she thought had died; to destroy through the realization of God's great healing power the suffering of one in bondage to material sense; to say to the cripple, "Rise up and walk," and to the sinner, "God made you free from sin," and see that one reform?

 

Spirituality Needed to Bring in Harvest

My mother was healed by Christian Science treatment many years ago. Doctors had diagnosed her case as a diseased condition of the nervous system and had pronounced it incurable. The compassion of the doctors who gave this verdict was very great. But the case was incurable only to the system of medicine which could not cure it. When my mother turned to Christian Science for healing, she was quickly and permanently healed. Materia medica had diagnosed her case from a physical basis. Christian Science diagnosed it from a mental state, which was one of sorrow and grief. This mental state, where joy had seemed to die, had found expression in a physical condition - the dying of the nerves; but when Christ, Truth, entered her consciousness sorrow vanished and joy reigned again. God knows no grief; Truth knows no disease; health is the truth of man's being, and happiness reigns in his consciousness.

When the Master called for laborers in the Father's vineyard, he was calling for the spiritually - minded, for only true spirituality will enable one to bring in the harvest, the healing fruitage. The Master's commands to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and raise the dead are as imperative today as when he gave these commands.

Mrs. Eddy's call to her followers to do the healing works of the Master is as imperative today as when she was personally with us, and wrote in Science and Health of the healing work, "I long to see the consummation of my hope, namely, the student's higher attainments in this line of light" (p. 367). In the Scriptures we read, "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Ps. 107:20).

I can tell you of a person who was healed of blindness while listening to the Word of God at a Sunday service in The Mother Church. I can tell you of another who was healed of deafness at a Christian Science lecture, and of another who was freed from a state of mental anguish of two years' standing when she read in her local newspaper the following title of a Christian Science lecture, "Christian Science: The Religion of Love, Which Heals." This statement so registered in this person's consciousness that she was instantaneously healed. She was so grateful for her healing that she began attending services at the nearest Christian Science church and placed her child in the Christian Science Sunday School.

In order to heal the sick and comfort the sorrowing as the Master did, one must live the life which Christian Science teaches one should live; a life of goodness, compassion, pure affection, true loyalty. Responding to the demands of Christian Science, one cannot fail to become more humble and meek, more patient and Christlike, less sensitive to the darts of error, less impressed by popularity, position, and wealth, and more and more impressed by the wonders of true spirituality.

 

Evil Powerless Because God Is All

The mental arguments used in healing the sick bring thought closer to Truth, closer to Love. But when one has gained the full realization of the perfection of God and of man, when one has attained the full measure of the spirit of Christ, and the true facts of being have become a living part of his consciousness, he no longer has to argue these facts, he is aware of them, and he instantly heals as the Master healed.

Let us enumerate a few of the fundamental truths which one should understand in order to heal the sick: that God's Word is supreme; that the forces of evil are powerless because God is All-in-all; that God is man's Life, indestructible, ever present, and never dependent on matter; that disease is unreal; that man-made material health laws are never true laws; and corporeal sense testimony has no foundation.

Sometimes we hear one say that he would like to be healed of some bad habit, perhaps the habit of using intoxicants, but he does not wish to be healed by using human will. To resist wrongdoing is not using human will. We read in the Bible, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7); and in Science and Health, "Resist evil - error of every sort - and it will flee from you" (p. 406).

To resist the temptation to steal, to kill, to lie, to do anything wrong is not using will power; it is resisting the suggestions of evil, and holding to the fact that man is not the victim of evil suggestions, but subject to the guidance of good. It is human will which causes one to take steps not directed by God, to outline affairs solely from a human basis, and not call upon God for His guidance. In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" Mrs. Eddy writes, "Attempt nothing without God's help" (p. 197).

Sometimes we seem to have not only physical problems to overcome, but lack of supply as well. This problem can be met by Christian Science, for it is only an argument of mortal mind that man can lack that which is good. Right supply is very good; therefore there is only one direction in which to look for it, straight to God, the Giver of all good. God knows nothing about dollars, and bank accounts, but He knows the power of His law to produce harmony in every realm. God has many avenues through which to bless and supply His children, and these avenues are kept open by the continuous activity of His spiritual law, which at the same time closes all avenues through which error would work to deprive one of right supply.

Mortal man is inclined to outline just how his supply should come, and if he looks only to this source he may miss the call of an angel telling him of an avenue of which he has not thought. But a Christian Scientist does not drift like a ship without a rudder. Mrs. Eddy approves of shaping one's course, but it must be done scientifically. She says, "He who has shaped "his course in accordance with divine Science will endure to the end" (Science and Health, p. 96). When the Master directed Peter to go to the sea, and take money for his taxes out of the fish's mouth, he did not demonstrate dollars, he demonstrated the spiritual fact that God's law is ever present, ever operating, supplying every human need.

One never, through prayer, demonstrates material things; he demonstrates the power of divine Love, which has already supplied man for eternity with all good. As the truth about supply unfolds in one's consciousness, he never worries about supply, he never recklessly spends that which has come to him as the result of giving to God all power to supply his every human need, but he thanks his heavenly Father for his constant care, and wisely spends the dollars.

 

Ever-Presence of Divine Mind

One engaged in an honest business may rightfully claim for that business God's divine control. God is not aware of a human activity, but His control is ever present, ever supreme, and under that divine power there can be no limitation of good, no inactivity, but there must be activity, cooperation, progress, and a right fruitage.

Our Master's admonition, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," if heeded, will surely bring the promise "and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). As "these things" are "added" they take their rightful place - they become secondary in one's experience. Love of money, love of material things, docs not dwell in the consciousness of the spiritually-minded; but it is spirituality which enables one to demonstrate the law of God, which annuls the arguments of mortal mind with its limitation of good.

Mrs. Eddy's love for humanity was so strong and so faithful that, regardless of the persecutions which the uncovering of error brought to her, she revealed the workings of the carnal mind just as the Apostle Paul did when he wrote at such length about the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. Mrs. Eddy uncovered the hidden workings of evil in order to save mankind from the snares of evil thinking.

Mrs. Eddy classified all error, including evil thinking, under the term "animal magnetism," and in Science and Health she writes (p. 103), "It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful." Then she adds, "This belief has not one quality of Truth."

In reality there is but one Mind, God, good. In that Mind there is nothing animal, nothing magnetic. In belief there are minds many, minds evil, malicious, and ignorant. This belief has no foundation, it is not real, and one who knows the ever-presence of infinite, divine Mind cannot come under its seeming power. The carnal mind has no power to reach or influence one who is righteous and who is identifying himself with God and God's divine control. Paul writes, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

 

Progress Calls for Steadfastness

Animal magnetism claims to work through all kinds of evil suggestions. When animal magnetism suggests to one that he is afraid, he should stand securely on the true facts about God and man, and understandingly declare that he is not afraid and he knows why, because God is All, and God is good. Fear is an unreal quality, and to bow down to that which can be logically proved to be unreal is not intelligent thinking. The Apostle John has given a most satisfying remedy for fear in the following words: ''There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18).

The ninety-first Psalm teaches that one dwelling in "the secret place of the most High," identifying himself as a spiritual idea, at one with God, has no reason to fear.

This Psalm not only declares the all-power of God, but sets forth all claims of animal magnetism as powerless. In this Psalm (verses 2-11) we read, "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

Friends, the kingdom of evil is nowhere, for the kingdom of good is everywhere.

Every mortal has before him the necessity of working out his own salvation. The Apostle Paul writes, "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2), and Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 39), "Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science." The warfare of each one is a mental warfare, for his work is the regeneration of human consciousness. One's onward march calls for courage and steadfastness when one encounters the wilderness of doubts and fears, when one passes through the Red Sea with the billows of mortal mind surging around him. But one will be able to walk over the waves of error as he holds before him the example of the Master, whose words and works light the way for all mankind to a present-day salvation, an individual salvation, a full salvation.

 

Star of Science Lights the Way

The revelation which Christ Jesus signified by his angel to the Apostle John (Rev. 1:1) included his counsel to the seven churches in Asia, with glorious promises to those who overcome evil, to each one that works out his salvation, even to the refining of the gold in human consciousness. One promise reads, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

Another promise reads, "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations" (Rev. 2:26). To this promise is added, "And I will give him the morning star" (Rev. 2:28). Perhaps the most glorious promise is the last, which reads, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21).

At the close of his revelation to the Apostle John, the Master said, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16).

The wise men of old followed the star, guiding them to the Christ, Truth. The wise men of today follow the guiding star which is ever shining through divine Science. This star will light the way for everyone who lets that star shine in his heart until the day dawns for him, and he proves that his only real being is God's perfect man, reflecting true spirituality.

 

[Published by The Christian Science Monitor, May 9, 1950.]

 

 

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