Christian Science: Healing through Spiritual Correction

 

Herschel P. Nunn, C.S.B., of Portland, Oregon

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

Jesus' Healing Work

A beautiful example of the healing work of Christ Jesus is that recounted in the ninth chapter of John, which is entirely devoted to the healing of a man blind from his birth. Here is a true presentation of healing through spiritual correction. First Jesus corrected the thought of his disciples. They saw before them a mortal sinner, whereas Christ Jesus beheld the perfect spiritual man of God's creating. "And his disciples asked him, saying. Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

Did not Jesus there announce the fundamental purpose of man, God's image, namely, to show forth, manifest, or express the works of God? Never was man intended to show forth the evils of sin, disease, and death. Never was man material or mortal, never made of dust.

Jesus showed his utter contempt for such a belief. "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."

Would that we could so easily wash away our false belief of life in matter and come seeing the perfect creation of divine Mind, the universe of spiritual ideas!

 

Some Objections Answered

I am going to read something to you. "The apostle says: 'For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.' This thought of human, material nothingness, which Science inculcates, enrages the carnal mind and is the main cause of the carnal mind's antagonism." That is from a chapter entitled "Some Objections Answered" in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. It is found on page 345 of that chapter, which is a clear example, in its entirety, of spiritual correction.

Practically all of the objections recorded in this chapter are fundamentally the same - the objection to the teaching of Christian Science that the spiritual is the real and the material is unreal. This is mortal mind's resistance to the exposure of its nothingness. This chapter might be considered in a sense correlative to the ninth chapter of John's Gospel, when Jesus' healing of the blind man acted as a spiritual correction of the false theology of his day.

The objections of the people to Jesus' healing of the man blind from birth were as fundamental as those directed at Christian Science today. It is the belief of life in matter refusing to yield to the revelation of the allness of God, good.

One of the specific purposes of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship as set forth by Mrs. Eddy is that of correcting false impressions of Christian Science and its teachings. The statement just quoted from our textbook is part of Mrs. Eddy's correction of the general misconception as to what man really is, clearly pointing out the difference between man, spiritual man, the image and likeness of God, and mortal man, the false human concept of man. Christian Science teaches that the only man there really is, is this perfect man of God's creation, the man which Christ Jesus beheld when his disciples saw a blind and sinning mortal.

One of the most impelling and direct statements as to this spiritual, perfect man is that found in Science and Health on page 470: "Man is the expression of God's being." Our textbook states this beautiful thought in many ways, speaking of man as the reflection, emanation, outcome, expression, divine idea, of God. All of these terms signify a relationship of at-one-ment, or oneness between God and man, the Father and the son, divine Principle and divine idea, which Christ Jesus expressed in his profound statement, "I and my Father are one."

When the man, healed of his blindness, was questioned by the Pharisees as to his healing and maligned by them, they said to him: "Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner." The man answered, "Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." What a courageously simple, convincing answer this was! For it he was cast out of the synagogue. That was unutterable disgrace for a Jew - a great price to pay. But how glorious the reward! "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" Then comes that remarkable second healing of sight of the man born blind, when his mental eyes were opened to behold man as the perfect son of God. "And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe."

Are we willing to have our eyes opened that we may see? Are we willing to accept "this thought of human, material nothingness, which Science inculcates," so completely and unreservedly that our sonship with the Father, our oneness with God, becomes to us what it became to our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, when she turned away from her former orthodox teaching and discerned the Science of Christianity?

With the birth of a spiritual sense of religion she perceived, as she says in the chapter under discussion, "It was the living, palpitating presence of Christ, Truth, which healed the sick" ("Science and Health, p. 351).

 

Mrs. Eddy's Healing

Mary Baker Eddy's first glimpse of the reality of being, which resulted in lifting her from what was thought to be her deathbed, was an example of healing by spiritual correction. Her reading of the healing of the palsied man in the ninth chapter of Matthew brought a flood of spiritual light which enabled her to rise above the beliefs of fear and death entertained by her friends and neighbors. This spiritual illumination corrected the thought that she was dying, and led her to refuse the acceptance of the inevitableness of death believed by those surrounding her.

Subsequent study of the Bible illumined by her pure spiritual understanding brought her to the recognition of the law underlying her healing, the law of God, of divine Principle, which is available to humanity, bringing surcease from sorrow, freedom from the bondage of sin - instead of sickness, health; in place of frustration, spiritually substantial happiness. Through this spiritually illumined thought and through divine revelation she thus discovered the Science of Christianity or Christian Science. Thus it was that Mary Baker Eddy became the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and the God-inspired Leader of the Christian Science movement.

That process of healing which, in this lecture, I have termed spiritual correction is explained by Mrs. Eddy in her work "Miscellaneous Writings," page 198, where she says, "All suffering is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil; of adherence to the 'double-minded' senses, to some belief, fear, theory, or bad deed, based on physical material law, so-called as opposed to good, - all of which is corrected alone by Science, divine Principle, and its spiritual laws."

In presenting her revelation, Christian Science, to the world, Mrs. Eddy encountered difficulties in the expression of her ideas. As she indicates in the textbook, she was constantly engaged in the task of spiritual correction of material terms that they might express spiritual ideas. Many of the objections to Christian Science arise from the fact that the reader, or student, carries his material concept of a term into his attempt to grasp the meaning of the new tongue of Spirit.

We can achieve a workable understanding of this Science only as we gain the spiritual sense of its teachings. Of untold value to Christian Scientists in attaining this spiritual consciousness is Mrs. Eddy's gift to them of the publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society, which was founded by her. First in importance among these is the Christian Science Quarterly, containing the weekly Bible Lesson-Sermon which is read in our churches at the Sunday services and which Christian Scientists study daily. These sermons are made up of references from the King James Version of the Bible and correlative passages from the Christian Science textbook.

The Christian Science Journal is published monthly; the Christian Science Sentinel, weekly. Both of these contain metaphysical articles on topics related to one's everyday application of Christian Science to living - to problems of home, school, church, business, relations with others in daily experience. They also contain convincing, carefully verified testimonies of healing through the study and demonstration of Christian Science. The Christian Science Monitor, Mrs. Eddy's last great gift to mankind, is an international daily newspaper, presenting, from the standpoint of constructive thinking, news of the world, to the world.

I once heard one Christian Scientist ask another: "How did Christ Jesus feed the multitude?" The other, who had been a practitioner for many years, replied: "Just as God would do it." Is not that the reply we should make to the question, How can I heal the sick? Just as God would do it.

You see, here in this experience of the feeding of the multitude, Jesus, the human man, was aware of the need of the people for bread, while Jesus, the Christ, viewed the situation in the light of Truth. The Mind that was also in Christ Jesus, of which Paul speaks, was the Mind which is God, the one and only Mind. From the standpoint of the one Mind, Christ Jesus saw the perfect man, abundantly supplied with all good. Here was the perfect attitude of spiritual correction, the spiritual fact of abundance, replacing, correcting the belief of lack expressed by the multitude.

Those who have become spiritually quickened in Christian Science may see evidence of the divine shining through the human in all so-called human activity.

 

A Remarkable Evidence of God's Protection

In the Christian Science Sentinel for June 2, 1945, is a truly remarkable testimony of God's protection, guidance, power. The writer was a man employed in a wartime job as a shipfitter in New England's largest shipyard. In four degrees above zero weather he was at work installing "swash lids" on fuel tanks in a large combat vessel, work which required much crawling through cramped areas. After installing thirty-nine of these lids, he found he had missed one. He was tempted to leave this one unfinished, but although numb with the cold, he decided to complete the work he had been given to do.

These swash lids open inward, and must therefore be installed from the inside of the tanks. They are bolted in place and then the hinge is welded on. He hardly had strength enough to get this last lid in place, but finally secured it. He found that he had left his wrench outside, where, he did not know, so he decided to tighten the bolts by hand. This accomplished, he welded the hinge in place. He then found that the welding had caused a distortion of the steel which had added a strain somewhere so that he could not remove the bolts, and that he was imprisoned by his own hand in the fuel tank, deep in the hold of the ship. He realized he must demonstrate the truths which he had so often professed. Each aggressive suggestion that came to him was met and corrected by a counterfact. He was continually conscious of the subject of the Christian Science Bible Lesson-Sermon of that week, "God the Preserver of Man." He says, "When Satan whispered, 'You're alone and no help will come,' I knew that God was infinite, ever present, and that therefore I was not alone." Even the fear of death was met when the suggestion came that he might be imprisoned there in that icy cold for hours before he would be found. Then the truth came to him: "God is your Life; you cannot die."

Evil suggestion prompted him to cry out, to pound on the steel, to seek another opening, to use his welding rod to burn the bolts off. He knew he could not possibly be heard midst the roar of rivet guns at work, that there was no other opening, and wisdom led him to see the danger of attempting to burn the bolts off, as that procedure might result in welding them on. All the while he had been attempting with all his strength to twist the bolts out, even to the point of tearing the flesh of his hands. It came to him that he must stop all human striving and trust wholly to God. It required actual physical effort to take his hands away from the bolts. But finally he put them down in his lap and spoke to God: "God, I'm listening." The change was wonderful. From here on I shall use his own words. "A message from an article which appeared in a Christian Science periodical, entitled 'God's Law of Adjustment,' came to me. The statement was, 'If a man were drowning in mid-ocean with apparently no human help at hand, there is a law of God which, when rightly appealed to, would bring about his rescue.' With this thought came absolute calmness, a sense of peace, a certainty of God's nearness, a positive assurance of deliverance. I waited and heard the direction, 'Take out the pin in the hinge.' Even as I moved to obey, the dark angel said: 'What good will that do? The bolts hold the lid, not the hinge.' But there was no contest. I knew the voice that I would follow. I removed the pin from the hinge, dropped my hands into my lap and waited. Again the voice came: 'Take out the bolt at the left. My fingers grasped the bolt at the left and strained to twist it. It moved. I took a new hold, putting my whole effort into keeping it turning until it came free. I continued removing one bolt after another until only one remained that I could not move.

"Again I dropped my hands to my lap and waited. The words of a much-loved hymn can best describe the amazement I felt as I saw my deliverance working out step by step,

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou

Shouldst lead me on;

I loved to choose and see my path;

but now Lead Thou me on.'

"The angel voice said, 'Pull down on the lid.' The lid bent as I pulled with all my strength so the hole was partly open. The impulse came to try to wedge my way through. But the right thought came in time: 'Don't try that; you will get caught part way and be unable to go ahead or back. Pull down again.' This time there was more than the strength of muscles. The threads were stripped from the bolt and the lid crashed into my lap. I was free!"

 

How God Meets Our Needs

This is an impressive proof that God meets our human needs. How did this occur? God could not have known of this man's situation, God who knows man only as His spiritual idea, always harmonious, never in danger, never fearful. How satisfyingly our Leader answers this when she says in her work "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 307), "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies." Spiritual ideas appear to us in a form to meet our present need, whatever the need may be. This man's study and practice of Christian Science, the fact that he had learned to depend upon this Science for healing of his ills, led him to turn naturally to God in this extremity. The ever-presence of infinite intelligence, his complete surrender of the human to the divine, brought such calm, sure clarity of thought that he immediately saw the right next step to take. Indeed, "God gives us His spiritual ideas," supplying us with every need, be it for food, for intelligence, for ability, for companionship, for home, for spiritual understanding.

In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 81) we read: "In the desolation of human understanding, divine Love hears and answers the human call for help; and the voice of Truth utters the divine verities of being which deliver mortals out of the depths of ignorance and vice." This is a beautiful example of the way Christian Science speaks to beginners in the study of this Science, giving assurance of their prayer being heard by the Father. As they learn more of the Truth, they come to understand how the human call is answered even though the perfect God knows nothing of the error in the human experience which needs to be healed.

The prayer of petition for the Christian Scientist is often the preliminary step which leads to the prayer of spiritual illumination. We turn to God for guidance, praying for understanding, knowing all the while that we possess this understanding because of the very nature of our being as the outcome of God, His reflection. Prayer is the native atmosphere of the devoted Christian Scientist. It is his natural state of thought.

How natural it was for our friend to turn to God in prayer in place of frantically shouting and beating the hatch cover with his hands! Every turning away from evil suggestion with the acceptance of a spiritual behest, every silencing of false desire with the realization of present spiritual satisfaction, is prayer, and "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

Here was the law and rule of spiritual correction applied to every suggestion of evil, the law of God operating to silence fear, lack of wisdom, lack of trust in good, with the assurance of divine guidance present and available at a time of human need.

 

Unreality of Sin

One of the often voiced objections to Christian Science is its teaching that sin is unreal.

A noted preacher one time said that if we were all to believe in the unreality of sin we should become anemic as a race, saying that red-blooded individuals glory in the battle with sin as a great reality which they must subdue and overcome.

With what simple assurance Mrs. Eddy answers this objection when she asks (Science and Health, p. 348), "Are we irreverent towards sin, or imputing too much power to God, when we ascribe to Him almighty Life and Love?" She continues, "I deny His cooperation with evil, because I desire to have no faith in evil or in any power but God, good. Is it not well to eliminate from so-called mortal mind that which, so long as it remains in mortal mind, will show itself in forms of sin, sickness, and death?"

Was our friend in the hold of that ship "irreverent towards sin" when he refused to listen to the suggestions of mortal mind, obedience to which would have resulted in disaster to him? It was because he turned unreservedly to God and did "ascribe to Him almighty Life and Love" that he found his freedom. If God, good, is seen as all power, evil, error, must be seen as no power.

This is the great point of difference between Christian Science and all other teachings, namely, that matter and evil are unreal, because the spiritual and good alone are real. Only good can be the creation of an infinitely good God.

We read in the book of Habakkuk, "Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. . . . Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity."

Consciousness which is aware of man's oneness with God, knowing but one Mind, sees clearly that evil is not in that knowing. The one Mind which cannot "look on iniquity" could never have been the creator of iniquity. Sin, disease, and death are iniquities unknown to God. They are therefore illusions, hallucinations of the human mind, which fade into nothingness when the reality of being is realized.

Again let us take note of Mrs. Eddy's teaching on this vital point. She says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 335): "One mercilessly assails me for opposing the subtle lie, others charge upon me with full-fledged invective for, as they say, having too much charity; but neither moves me from the path made luminous by divine Love. . . . The notion that one is covering iniquity by asserting its nothingness, is a fault of zealots, who, like Peter, sleep when the Watcher bids them watch, and when the hour of trial comes would cut off somebody's ears. Such people say, 'Would you have me get out of a burning house, or stay in it?' "

It is these people, you see, who would claim that Christian Scientists, in knowing the unreality of evil, would consider the fire unreal and stay in the burning house.

How wisely our Leader answers this question: "Would you have me get out of a burning house, or stay in it?" as she continues in this article: "I would have you already out, and know that you are out."

Was it not this clear knowing of himself as the idea of infinite Mind, forever expressing the intelligence of this Mind, that led our friend step by step out of that fuel tank in the hold of the ship? You see, in his real being, as the divine idea of God, he was not in a material place bounded by six sides, imprisoned in matter. The moment he insisted upon recognizing his true selfhood, he became obedient to our Leader's injunction: "I would have you already out, and know that you are out." A spiritual idea is not in matter. Man as a spiritual idea is infinitely conscious of his reflection of infinity, not circumscribed by matter, bound by its laws, hindered by its limitations. This fact, as proved by our friend, is a law of liberation from any material condition which would seem to circumscribe, bind, or hinder us - it is a law of release, a law of freedom, a law of dominion. This again is healing through spiritual correction.

If you find yourself, in belief, surrounded by walls of sickness, fear, or sin, Christian Science will enable you to know that "you are out," you are free. Infinity is your true abode and nothing can wall-in infinity.

 

The Law of Adjustment

Adjustment is defined by Webster as "the establishing of a satisfactory relationship between personal needs and desires and the requirements of the environment; also, the relationship so established."

Christian Scientists are helping many in problems of postwar adjustment. How shall we apply our rule of spiritual correction to these problems? How shall we help to establish "satisfactory relationship between personal needs and desires and the requirements of the environment"?

First, what is the primary need and how much do wrong human desires interfere with the recognition of that need? What was the primary need of our friend in the hold of the ship? Primarily, not to get out, but to be shown the way to get out. Getting out would necessarily follow. Seeking first the kingdom of God is the primary need in every problem - the right job, the right place to live, the right next step to take will necessarily follow.

The fundamental need is a metaphysical rather than a physical one. Do you really see that? Do you see that when the human is completely surrendered to the divine the human need begins to be cared for by the divine law of adjustment?

A much-loved statement from our textbook (p. 494) says: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." Humanity's fundamental need is for divine Love. Drop your hands into your lap. Stop trying to turn the bolts by sheer will power, and let the presence of divine Love appear!  Our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 321): "My heart is filled with joy, that each receding year sees the steady gain of Truth's idea in Christian Science; that each recurring year witnesses the balance adjusted more on the side of God, the supremacy of Spirit; as shown by the triumphs of Truth over error, of health over sickness, of Life over death, and of Soul over sense."

When the balance is "adjusted more on the side of God" than on the side of human wants and desires, the presence of God, the power of God, the law of God, become to us not only the law of our being but the actual fact of our being. The presence of divine consciousness excludes the seeming presence of any other consciousness - excludes fear, worry, human outlining, and in quietness and confidence the individual knows the next step to take.

 

The Consciousness of Health

"The true consciousness is the true health," says our Leader in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 298). And, of course, the false mortal, material so-called consciousness is the false sense of health and the only disease, because disease is not something in consciousness, it is the false consciousness, or false belief of error, sin, sickness, sorrow, death.

In the consciousness of the one Mind complete freedom from restriction of belief is found. Nothing can restrict divine Mind. Divine Mind knows all - knows everything that is true and real.

A friend of mine recently told me of her healing in Christian Science in 1912. At the time of this healing she had been an invalid for eight years. Finally she was reduced to sixty-five pounds in weight, was totally blind, had severe curvature of the spine, and an advanced case of diabetes. The physician who had tried faithfully to help her, after consultation with seven other physicians, told her mother he could do no more. Another physician who had been called came out from her room and said she was dying; in fact, that she was practically gone then. The mother was not a Christian Scientist, but she was a devout Christian and turned unreservedly to God in prayer. She said that just as if a voice had spoken to her she heard, Turn to Christian Science. In a short time she had a Christian Science practitioner working on the case. In about three hours my friend spoke to her mother and asked for nourishment. In three days she was walking about the house, her sight fully restored, her back straight, and the diabetic condition entirely and permanently healed. The following week she attended a Thanksgiving service in one of our churches. One can well imagine how fervently, joyously, gratefully she took part in that service. For many years my friend has been an active Christian Science practitioner.

What clear evidence of the fact that body is consciousness and not matter in such a healing! If those eyes were blind in matter, if that spine was curved in matter, if that diabetes was a condition of matter, could there have been that remarkable change in three hours? The healing took place because God's omnipresence was realized. The understanding of the omnipresence of good displaced the false belief in the presence of error. Faith in the omnipresence of spiritual being displaced faith in the material sense testimony called disease - the lie about real existence. Through spiritual correction the infinite presence became the activating law of the occasion.

Real Christian Science treatment or prayer of affirmation proceeds from the standpoint of recognition of the omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence of God. Omniscience is all there is to knowing; omnipotence, all there is to Mind, Life, Spirit, Principle, all there need to be; and omnipresence, that is naturally all there is to substance - anybody's substance, everybody's substance - all there is to body, all there ever can be.

What unmistakable evidence that convincing healing of my friend is of the permanence, the continuity of being! The fact that the structure of her body changed because of a change in her mentality shows unmistakably that a person's body is mental and not material. Our Leader says, "Mortal body and mind are one" (Science and Health, p. 350). Real mentality does not die. The more assured we become of the fact that there is but one Mind, the more aware we are of the qualities of this Mind; the more truly we demonstrate that one Mind as our Mind, the Mind which we reflect, then the more truly shall we realize the immortality of this divine Mind; therefore, of our Mind.

Just as we see body and estate changing with the constant change in human thought, so shall we know that change will continue in the human sense of being until the mortal is put off and the fullness and completeness of the immortal appears.

 

The Divine Shining through the Human

Two statements from the textbook may well be considered together. After pointing out the material basis of theories of mental medicine or mind-cures, Mrs. Eddy says: "Such theories have no relationship to Christian Science, which rests on the conception of God as the only Life, substance, and intelligence, and excludes the human mind as a spiritual factor in the healing-work" (p. 185). It is important to see that the human mind, however enlightened, is not the healer. The divine Mind heals, and there is, in reality, but one Mind.

The other statement occurs after the author has spoken of the healing works of Christian Science as the result of the operation of natural law, when she says (Pref., p. xi): "They are the sign of Immanuel, or 'God with us,' - a divine influence ever present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,

 

To preach deliverance to the captives (of sense),

And recovering of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty them that are bruised."

 

In the light of the statement that Christian Science "excludes the human mind as a spiritual factor in the healing work," we comprehend the nature of the "divine influence ever present in human consciousness." This is the actual presence of divine Mind itself, shining through its counterfeit or opposite, the human mind or consciousness, and exposing the nothingness, the darkness, of beliefs of sin, sickness, and death. It is of the greatest importance to our clear understanding of our Leader's teachings that we do not think of the human consciousness or human mind as a God-created entity which knows Truth itself. Only God, the one Mind, can know Truth, and only in the reflecting of this Mind, as our Mind, the one and only Mind of the real man, can we know Truth.

The healing Christ is the evidence of omnipresence, Mind revealing its pure ideas. Soul expressing its holy substance, Spirit evidencing the fact that being is not in matter but is eternal, spiritual unfoldment of good. The presence of omnipresence is the all-presence of good which necessitates the total and complete absence of evil, disease, death.

The Christ is the divine idea, the divine manifestation coming to replace human incompleteness with its completeness. That transitional state of thought which Mrs. Eddy terms the human consciousness is in process of being spiritually corrected and reduced to its native nothingness.

This is not two separate things brought into accord - the human and the divine - but the falsity, the nothingness, the nowhereness of all that is mortal appearing because of the wholeness, allness, completeness of the divine recognized, realized as the only reality of being.

Such awareness of true being precludes the possibility of a human mind or human consciousness which eventually becomes a divine reality through the coming of the Saviour, even Christ, Truth.

 

Christ Jesus' Expression of Divine Intelligence

Have you ever thought of that statement about Jesus, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" That is explained by Mrs. Eddy's statement in Science and Health (p. 89), "Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them."

Jesus was spiritually-minded enough to know as divine Mind knows, to be conscious of the spiritual fact, the divine idea. Then because he was the highest human concept of the divine idea of man, he expressed through that concept, language which portrayed the divine idea in words which human thought could comprehend.

Jesus seemed to be without enough money to pay his tax. Sufficient money to meet our needs is evidence in human experience of divine Love's abundant supply of all things good. Abundance of supply is then a divine idea which becomes evident to us as abundance of food, clothing, shelter, money. Jesus was so clearly aware of his Christ-expressive selfhood, which was constantly conscious of spiritual abundance, that the money to pay the taxes of Peter and himself appeared in a fish's mouth.

 

Man's At-one-ment with God

When the false theological sense of atonement is corrected through spiritual understanding there appears one of the most helpful and valuable aids to growth which Christian Science offers in its teaching. The basic truth about the doctrine of atonement is that men are not saved by another man's goodness or demonstration of dominion, but by their own spiritual growth, their own proving of the truth of being, their own attainment of the saving, redeeming graces of Spirit. Christian Science teaches that atonement is at-one-ment, unity, oneness with God.

God and man are not at-one in the sense that man is God, or God, man, but in the sense that they are one in being. Since there is but one Mind, man has no mind but God, no intelligence, in reality, but the divine intelligence. Anyone who is conscious of his true, -his spiritual selfhood may say: God is my Life; God is my Soul; God is my Spirit; God is my Mind, because he knows that as the image, the individual reflection, the outcome, emanation of God, he is not in any way separated from God. Christian Science teaches that there are not souls many, spirits many, minds many, because there is but the one Soul, the one Spirit, the one Mind, which is infinitely individually reflected.

How marvelously this consciousness unselfs our thinking! In the awareness of our oneness with the Father we joyfully acknowledge as did Christ Jesus, "I can of mine own self do nothing. . . . The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." Can we not see this beautiful statement as Jesus' way of saying to his followers that the expression of the Christ they witnessed in his words and works was not a human mind separated from God, expressing what God told him to express, but as I have said, the actual presence of divine Mind itself, shining through its counterfeit or opposite, the human mind or consciousness, and revealing the nothingness, the darkness of beliefs of sin, sickness, and death?

As the divinity of him, the godliness of him, the Christ which Jesus expressed, his true individuality, came to the illusion of the belief of intelligence in matter, and revealed that Christ-expressing consciousness as the one divine Mind evidencing itself as the only real intelligence or consciousness of man.

Mrs. Eddy says in "Unity of Good" (p. 60), "Christ cannot come to mortal and material sense, which sees not God. This false sense of substance must yield to His eternal presence, and so dissolve;" and again, on page 24, "All consciousness is Mind; and Mind is God, - an infinite, and not a finite consciousness. This consciousness is reflected in individual consciousness, or man, whose source is infinite Mind. There is no really finite mind, no finite consciousness."

In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 356) we read, "A radiant sunset, beautiful as blessings when they take their flight, dilates and kindles into rest. Thus will a life corrected illumine its own atmosphere with spiritual flow and understanding." A life which has been corrected through the daily living of Christian Science does indeed show forth true Christ-likeness in the ripening experience of this constant spiritual correction. In thus seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, which is both fundamental and indispensable to this spiritually corrected life, the student finds supreme satisfaction, glorious spiritual remuneration for any renunciation of worldly ease and riches. All mankind, the whole world, is blessed by such a life, because the atmosphere of true thought is as infinite as its source, divine Mind. So as the life corrected illumines "its own atmosphere with spiritual glow and understanding" does it lighten the world, bless the world, heal the world, and do its unselfish part in redeeming the world.

 

 

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