Certain and Complete Healing Available for All
John D. Pickett, C.S., of
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:
In Isaiah we read, "For the
Lord will . . . yet choose
Christian Science says to the stranger, says to all humanity the bondage of sorrow and sickness disappears in your experience as you learn to understand God's infinite love for you, the child of His creating. Fear and loneliness fade from your experience as you find your spiritual home in the beauty and joy of God's eternal creation. How can you find this true home? This is a good and meritful question and brings an answer of excellence. Many of us here tonight have asked the same question. Many have found the answer in Christian Science – an answer which has brought to us a true sense of home, a true sense of God's ever-present love for all mankind. It has brought healing, comfort, security, and a renewed freshness of purpose.
The Bible Reveals Man's True Home
Do you, too, desire the answer? One very illuminating answer is given in the Bible by Isaiah, the prophet. He says (11:1,2), "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." This prophecy refers to the coming of Christ Jesus, but points as well to the coming of the Christ to every human consciousness, to your consciousness. For that, stranger, was the mission of Jesus – to reveal to you your Christ selfhood, your true consciousness, your true home. Jesus' mission was to reveal to you your true identity as the child of God, to show you how to free yourself from the bondage of the enslaving senses. He proved that the Christ destroys the enslaving beliefs of matter and enables you to avail yourself of the comfort and joy of divine Love.
The children of
Moses named his first-born son "Gershom," which means "a stranger here," for he said, "I have been a stranger in a strange land" (Ex. ). Moses when in a strange land had felt the divine ministration and provision which called forth these words.
Christian Scientists love the Bible. They use the King James Version. They fully accept its sacred teachings that man is the child of God. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible records mankind's ceaseless struggle for release from the bondage of human suffering and his persevering search for the security that is found only in the recognition of man's true home, his oneness with divine Love. Home! Security! They are never assured in the dream world of mortal existence. Home, peace, security are only to be found in the inseparable and eternal nature of God and man as revealed by Christ Jesus. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 254).
Jesus' teachings and deeds have increasingly revealed through the centuries the eternal, spiritual nature of man and his oneness with God – his Father. Yet he was a stranger. In writing of Jesus, John said: "The world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (John ,11). Jesus. speaking of himself, said, "No man knoweth the Son, . . .'' and sensing the stranger's need for love and recognition said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:27,28). By his ascension out of the material body and his disappearance from mortal existence, Jesus proved salvation from mortal life is not by way of the grave, but through spiritually awakening to our oneness with God, divine Love. He was specific in his refutation of death as a way to man's oneness with God. Paul pointedly asked, "O grave, where is thy victory?" (I Cor. 15:55)
Salvation Through Realization of Man's Spiritual Nature
Jesus' deeds showed both the sinner and invalid that a complete and full salvation was within the present possibility of every sincere seeker of the Mind of Christ. The spiritual truths, taught and demonstrated by Jesus, enabled one of his disciples, John, to prove that salvation comes through the spiritualization of individual human consciousness. John unforgettably sets forth his experience in the book of Revelation as follows; "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . 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 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. 21:1,3,4).
Mrs. Eddy understood the full significance of this remarkable experience of John and its implication that the way of salvation is through unfolding stages of individual consciousness. The Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," reveals the scientific significance of John's experience as follows: "This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. This shows unmistakably that what the human mind terms matter and spirit indicates states and stages of consciousness" (p. 573).
The scientific truths of Christian Science come through individual spiritualization of thought. The physical scientist of today confirms Mrs. Eddy's statement that there is "no . . . substance in matter" (Science and Health, p. 468). Experiments in atomic fission have revealed what Mrs. Eddy almost a century ago discerned spiritually to be the temporal nature of matter. Human consciousness is losing its faith in material remedies. The world is searching for a dependable remedy. Enlightened thought is looking to Spirit, God, for healing. Religion, also, is increasingly reflecting the broader sense of God as Life, Truth, and Love, and is beginning to acknowledge God's power to heal the invalid as well as the sinner, as taught by Christ Jesus and revealed by Christian Science. Human thought is becoming less of a stranger to the scientific truths of divine Mind and is finding its true source to be in the universe of Spirit. Through Christian Science humanity is increasingly proving man's heritage, his oneness with divine Love.
The Blessings That Come with Man's True Recognition of Home
A little boy, a pupil in a Christian Science Sunday School from the time he was two and a half years of age, lived with relatives until after the war, when he rejoined his family reestablished in a distant city. Throughout this period, there came to this boy no sense of separation. He had learned in Christian Science the inseparable unity of his loved ones in the spiritual allness of divine Love. He had learned in the Christian Science Sunday School to rely on the power of God's love to heal all problems. He brought this love and spiritual assurance to his re-established home. His childlike faith in God renewed his mother's reliance on God's power to heal and brought his father into Christian Science for the first time. All three attended Christian Science services regularly. A year later his relative with whom he formerly lived received a gift with a card addressed by the boy. The child's writing on the card read, "With love from us." As she read the words "from us," the security and oneness that came from the boy's sense of the unity of his home also filled her heart.
Security Found In Spiritual Sense of Home
Social workers tell of the sense of security that comes with the established unity of the home. Christian Science brings to man the conviction of unity and security that comes with the spiritual sense of home. It reveals to the stranger his rightful place in the consciousness of divine Mind and brings to him the true understanding of Paul's words, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
The student of Christian Science is enabled to see that the ills of mortal life stem from the false sense of being estranged from God, divine Love. The spiritual understanding of the fatherhood of God brings the realization of our true place in the brotherhood of man. Mrs. Eddy, writing of God's power to gladden the heart, states (Science and Health, p. 121), "So we have goodness and beauty to gladden the heart; but man, left to the hypotheses of material sense unexplained by Science, is as the wandering comet or the desolate star – 'a weary searcher for a viewless home.' " Elsewhere she writes, "The present self-inflicted sufferings of mortals from sin, disease, and death should suffice so to awaken the sufferer from the mortal sense of sin and mind in matter as to cause him to return to the Father's house penitent and saved" (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 17). Yes, our trials often serve quickly to return us to reliance on divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy's complete acceptance
and her profound spiritual understanding of Jesus' teaching of the fatherhood
of God brought to her the revelation of the Holy Comforter, divine Science, and
revealed to her the protecting love of God's motherhood. It is on this
spiritual basis of God's fatherhood and motherhood and man's oneness with Him
that Mrs. Eddy established the Christian Science church. Church is defined in
the Christian Science textbook thus: "The structure of Truth and Love;
whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that
institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the
race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the
apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science,
thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick" (p. 583). The
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
In her early life, Mrs. Eddy faced many of the tribulations which arise from the belief that man can be estranged from Love's tender care. It was her refusal to accept the belief that man could be separated from God, and her scientific discernment of man's oneness with Him, that led to her discovery of Christian Science. Let me give you her experience as set forth in her own words: "The trend of human life was too eventful to leave me undisturbed in the illusion that this so-called life could be a real and abiding rest. All things earthly must ultimately yield to the irony of fate, or else be merged into the one infinite Love. . . . Previously the cloud of mortal mind seemed to have a silver lining; but now it was not even fringed with light. Matter was no longer spanned with its rainbow of promise. The world was dark. . . . Thus it was when the moment arrived of the heart's bridal to more spiritual existence. When the door opened, I was waiting and watching; and, lo, the bridegroom came! The character of the Christ was illuminated by the torches of Spirit. My heart knew its Redeemer. He whom my affections had diligently sought was as the One 'altogether lovely,' as the chiefest, the only, 'among ten thousand.' . . . Being was beautiful, its substance, cause, and currents were God and His idea. I had touched the hem of Christian Science" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 23).
Her spiritual revelation of man's oneness with divine Love came to Mrs. Eddy at a time when an attending physician and her friends believed her to be near death. As she was reading the account of Jesus' healing of the palsied man in the Gospel of Matthew, the truth of man's eternal perfection illumined her consciousness and revealed to her man's oneness with God. She was instantly healed. This incident led to her discovery of Christian Science and its laws of spiritual healing. Later Mrs. Eddy set forth these spiritual laws in the Christian Science textbook, a book which has brought healing and happiness to countless thousands.
Christian Science Reunites the Stranger with Home
Let me tell you of one instance with which I am personally familiar, where Christian Science reunited the stranger with the universal oneness of divine Love and brought health, happiness, and success once more into his life A young man and his father were associated in a successful business. After the passing of his father, the young man turned to alcohol to console his grief and to stimulate his endeavors. As a result, he found himself in a very bad state. His business was no longer successful, his family life was insecure, and he found himself estranged from his friends. In short, he was a stranger to all the good he once knew. Years passed, each one seeming to be increasingly hopeless.
One day, at the depths of despair, he was led to try Christian Science. Like the prodigal son of the Bible, he turned from the depths of despair and estrangement to a sense of man's oneness with God, divine Love, as revealed to him by Christian Science. His thirst for alcoholic drinks vanished as he came into the realization and inspiration of his true manhood. He studied the Christian Science Lesson-Sermon daily and attended church services regularly. His business once more became successful. Old indebtedness was repaid. Love radiated his home life. Like Job, his later years became more successful than his first. He was no longer a stranger. He found himself no longer absorbed in evil, no longer an isolated mortal, but reunited in the oneness of divine Love.
Two Healings Resulting from the Recognition of Man's True Nature
Two of this man's experiences show how Christian Science improves every phase of human experience. When our friend first began to look to Christian Science for help in his business, his income increased sharply. At the end of the year, however, he found that his indebtedness remained the same. He later made this significant observation: "I found that I had been believing it was money that I needed to pay my debts. With the help of a Christian Science practitioner, I sought a fuller understanding of brotherly love and tried each day to gain a true sense of my relationship to my fellowman. The next year my debts were all paid. Love had accomplished what money alone had been unable to do."
Our friend was able to rejoin the same golf club from which he had been forced to resign many years before. In his youth, although he had been one of the club's best golfers, he always failed in crises to win the club championship. Years later, after rejoining this same club, although his golfing companions were men twenty-five years younger, he won the club championship. The same victory came to him again the second year through what he called the effortless harmony of divine Love. He said he learned in Christian Science there is neither strain nor competition in divine Love. He proved that true friendliness and spiritual love bring out the best in every man and enable him to reflect divine power. His victory seemed everyone's victory. It was seen that age cannot limit man's true qualities. Christian Science was perceived to have restored what intoxicating drinks had taken away. This man is no longer a stranger either to his friends or his community. Living in obedience to the truth of Christian Science, he commands the respect and love of all who know him. His example has freed many from the false belief that smoking or drinking is necessary to the demonstration of true friendship or a successful business.
The happy man is that man who has learned to yield to the government of divine Mind, the only true government and the only real Mind. That country governed by law rather than by despotic personal rulers more nearly reflects the spiritual government of divine Mind. Enlightened countries of today are turning to government by law rather than by enslaving personality. Individual freedom, growth, and progress are nurtured in those countries governed by law. So in individual experience Christian Science proves that joy sings and freedom beats in the hearts of those who are governed by divine law rather than by the false claims of the enslaving physical senses. Christian Science brings to the man governed by spiritual understanding that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth.
Christian Science is mistakenly thought by some who are unacquainted with its divine Principle to be the doctrine of the human mind over matter. Christian Science healing is not using the human mind to heal matter. It is the power of the divine Mind, God, over all the ills peculiar both to the fleshly mind and physical body. It proves that the ills of mortal mind and body yield to the power of the divine Mind, manifesting itself as spiritual law. The power of this true Mind, or the Mind of Christ, present in every individual consciousness – your consciousness – enables you to prove the supremacy of spiritual law over all the evils of the flesh.
Jesus and the Christ
The teachings and works of Christ Jesus are based on the power of spiritual law manifested through his Christ nature. Christian Science distinguishes between Jesus and the Christ. Jesus was the human man; the Christ, his divine nature by which he demonstrated the power of Spirit to destroy every inharmonious belief of the flesh, including death itself. Jesus told his disciples that his healing power had its source in his recognition of man's oneness with God, his Father. He said, "Believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him" (John ). To the question, "If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly," Jesus answered, "The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me . . . I and my Father are one" (John ;25,30);
Mrs. Eddy, referring to these words of Jesus, writes, ". . . not that the corporeal Jesus was one with the Father, but that the spiritual idea, Christ, dwells forever in the bosom of the Father, God, from which it illumines heaven and earth; . . ." (Science and Health, p. 334). The Mind of Christ Jesus the Bible unmistakably implies to be the true Mind of every man. The Bible authorizes you to accept this Mind that was the source of Jesus' works and commands you to understand and demonstrate it in healing your fellowmen. Christian Science is today enabling thousands to fulfill Jesus' command to heal and to bless their fellowman through the power of the Christ.
In the scientific understanding of man's place in the government of divine Love, the unreal qualities of loneliness, discouragement, old age, lack, and self-condemnation disappear. In their place come the divine qualities of joy, activity, health, and peace. As we express these higher qualities, we partake of the blessings that come to those who are governed by the Christ. Then we find ourselves no longer strangers to God's love, but friend and brother in the true fellowship of those striving to prove their likeness to their Maker.
As the individual is obedient to the Bible's command to "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5), he is able to prove the divine qualities of health, intelligence, love, abundance to be an integral part of his true being. These desirable qualities are as much a part of your Christ nature as light is with the sun or water with the sea.
The True Nature of God and Man Revealed
The spiritual understanding of God's divine nature and of man as God's reflection brings health to mind and body, love to home and family, success to our business activities, and assures the fulfillment of our prayers.
Christian Science teaches that God is Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love: the all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal Father-Mother. These terms for God are synonymous. They are found either directly stated or implied in the Bible. They reveal the essence and wholeness of Deity. Christian Science enables the student to progressively understand the supreme nature of God as the only Life, the only intelligence of the universe, including man. Christian Science reveals that man is essential to the full expression of God's nature. It enables man to know himself as the image or reflection of God. Our textbook states, "If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless – no Father" (Science and Health, p. 306).
The spiritual understanding of this statement destroys the false suggestion of the carnal mind that one could ever be unwanted or unneeded. The understanding of man's essential place in God's divine nature uncovers the malicious purpose of error in attempting to make man believe himself estranged from his divine Principle, God. Christian Science exposes the falsity of error's attempt to make you, God's son, you who are essential to the full expression of His nature, believe yourself unneeded, unwanted, and separated from His love. Christian Science brings to man the spiritual understanding of his oneness with divine Mind that enables him – enables you – to fulfill your divine mission to glorify the Father, to assume your rightful place as a representative of divine Love.
To young people about to enter marriage and the establishment of a home of their own, Christian Science brings the assurance of Love's fulfillment. Some mortals look upon marriage as an experience filled with uncertainties, but those who spiritually understand man's true nature as Love's idea are equipped to demonstrate an ever-increasing sense of security and sweet renewal of affection. Mrs. Eddy writes, in the chapter on Marriage in the Christian Science textbook, "Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it" (p. 57). The affections of the husband and wife who understand Love's higher nature unfold naturally into unity of spirit. This unity brings to marriage partners the interchange of confidence and sympathies which enable them to prove home to be the dearest spot on earth. Also in the chapter on Marriage, Mrs. Eddy writes, "Unity of spirit gives new pinions to joy, or else joy's drooping wings trail in dust" (p. 58), and later she adds (p. 58), "Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity, – these constituents of thought, mingling, constitute individually and collectively true happiness, strength, and permanence."
God's Children Reflect Love's Perfection
Children of Christian Science homes, with the advantage of a higher spiritual sense of being should be able to demonstrate more confident intellects, better balanced minds, and sounder constitutions. Children of Christian Science homes partake of the beauty and harmony of their parents' understanding of Love's divine nature and in turn reflect it in their life, their school activities, their relationships with others, and in healthy constitutions. Passing years bring an increasing proof that joy and peace are eternal qualities which progressively unfold in the home united in the radiance of divine Love.
How Christian Science Heals
The question is often asked by the stranger, "How does Christian Science heal?" One answer could well be, By bringing to human consciousness the spiritual understanding of the true nature of man and the universe and by its exposure of the illusory nature of matter. The healing power of Christian Science rests on the Christianly scientific basis of being. Mrs. Eddy writes: "The Scripture declares, 'The Lord He is God (good]; there is none else beside Him.' Even so, harmony is universal, and discord is unreal. Christian Science declares that Mind is substance, also that matter neither feels, suffers, nor enjoys. Hold these points strongly in view. Keep in mind the verity of being, – that man is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent" (Science and Health, p. 414). And later she writes: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought" (Science and Health, p. 495).
Spiritual Healing Illustrated
Thirsty travelers in the desert tell of seeing mirages of water and trees only to find their resultant hopes unsatisfied and betrayed. So it is with those who look to the carnal mind for health, security, peace. Christian Science heals by exposing the mirages of the desert of sensual experience. Jesus did not heal by treating matter as real or using material remedies. He healed by awakening the individual to his perfect, eternal, spiritual nature as the child of God. Christian Science explains the work of Jesus as based on divine Principle. It enables you to prove that the Mind that he used is your real Mind, to express the love that he expressed, and thus to heal as Jesus healed.
Healing Power of Prayer in Christian Science
You may ask: "How can I find the Christ within myself? How can I know myself as the child of divine Love?" The answer? It is one word – prayer! How simple is prayer in Christian Science!
Your desire to know your true self as God's child is prayer. The fact that you are at this lecture is because of your desire or prayer. Mrs. Eddy writes, "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds" (Science and Health, p. 4). Always realize that achievement comes in the degree that you reflect and express through prayer the activity of divine Mind and thus forsake the obsolete ways of mortal thought. The student of Christian Science soon learns that prayer, to be effective in our desire for health and spiritual freedom, is more than pleading with God to fill our needs. He soon ascertains that a clear understanding of the true nature of God and man expressed in love and good deeds assures answered prayer. Prayer is the Christ way of humility. Prayer will establish your oneness with divine Love.
Mrs. Eddy writes, "Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spiritual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord's Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick" (Science and Health, p. 16). She then gives the spiritual interpretation of Jesus' prayer, wherein is revealed the infinite nature of God and His creation and His relationship to man as Father-Mother – divine Principle, Love.
Christ Jesus understood the divine relationship of God and man. His prayer – the Lord's Prayer – inspires consciousness and presents the spiritual view of man that heals instantly.
Jesus could say, "Our Father," because he understood the universality of Love.
Jesus could say, "which art in heaven," because he listened to the things of Spirit; because his thoughts dwelt on the spiritual ideas of God.
He could say, "Hallowed be thy name," because he reflected the Christ, which reveals man's oneness with God.
The Master could say, "Thy will be done," because of his confident obedience to Principle, divine Love.
He could say, "in earth, as it is in heaven," because his life was consecrated to the glorification of his Father, God.
The Wayshower could say, "Give us this day our daily bread," because he never let the fear of tomorrow hide from him the spiritual opportunities of today – the ever-present now.
He could say, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," because he beheld in Christian Science the perfect man as the expression of Love.
He could say, "Lead us not into temptation," because he knew the salvation that comes with the understanding of Love's true nature.
Jesus could say, "Deliver us from evil," because he was at all times spiritually prepared to resist the temptations of the carnal mind.
Jesus could say, "Thine is the kingdom," because he was ever aware of the kingdom of heaven, the realm of unerring Mind expressed by himself and all men.
The Master could say, "Thine is the power," because he proved and taught others to prove, the power of divine Love to destroy sin, disease, and death.
He could say, "Thine is the glory," because he knew the Christ power within himself and all men to be the source of Love's mighty works.
Jesus could say, "forever," because he knew the Christ, the true nature of man, would forever continue to manifest itself, in the eternal relationship, of God and man.
The Lord's Prayer is the prayer which we can all use just as our Master did.
[Nov. 29, 1957.]