Christian Science: The Christianís Best Friend

 

Geith A. Plimmer, C.S., of London, England

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Geith A. Plimmer, C.S., a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, told an audience in Boston May 13 that a person's beliefs about God "have a marked effect on happiness and health."

Mankind's ills can be traced primarily to cramped beliefs and "harsh concepts of God," he said. And Christian healing comes by "yielding the mind to a true sense of His love."

Mr. Plimmer spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

He described healing prayer as "communion with God," in which "the cold letter of the human yields to the warm spirit of the divine." This communion is "a listening time," he said - a transforming experience that enables one to "humbly stand in the dignity of man made in God's likeness."

Mr. Plimmer was introduced to the audience by Gordon F. Campbell, First Reader of The Mother Church. His lecture was entitled "Christian Science: The Christian's Best Friend."

 

Christian Science Unbinds Religion

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Spontaneous freedom to express all of one's joy and power - that is surely a sign that one is in the presence of a true friend! In this sense, Christian Science is certainly the Christian's best friend, for in its atmosphere he can freely express the most joyful of all Christian powers - that of Christian healing. And yet, strangely enough, the term "religion" derives from words with exactly the opposite sense, namely "a binding back" or "holding fast." This strange contrast between restriction and freedom in religious matters is well worth examination by the Christian.

In the first chapter of Genesis, for instance, God had freely provided plants and trees for the nourishment of man. While in Christian Science we interpret this passage spiritually, it has its counterpart in the fact that the fruits of the earth are freely available for mankind's use. How did it come about then, that Jesus' opponents wanted to prevent his disciples from eating corn, when they were hungry on the Sabbath day? Plainly because these opponents' reduction of religion to mere human codes had gradually cramped their vision of the right of the sons of God to receive blessing and bounty from Him at all times.

Christian Science makes it plain that cramping theological beliefs of this kind are not just a matter of harmless religious theory; they have a marked effect on individual†† happiness and health as well. For example, is there not some significance in the fact that when Jesus had rebuked the religious leaders for their niggardly concepts in the cornfield, he went straight into their synagogue, "and, behold, there," the Bible says pointedly, "was a man which had his hand withered" (Matt. 12:10).

 

The Test Case in the Synagogue

The question naturally arises, had this poor withered hand in the synagogue any relationship to the synagogue thinking in the cornfield, which could not unclasp its sense of good generously enough to permit the disciple's hands to open for the plucking of the corn? We do not have to answer this question, for Jesus himself showed by his treatment of the case that the two were quite definitely related. They were so closely related indeed that, by making the man stand forth in the midst, Jesus appeared to use him as a test case for all time, - a test case to prove that bodies cramped by narrow-minded human theology can be healed only by the everlasting love of God for man, in divine theology.

That Jesus regarded miserable mental concepts as the basic cause of the withering is clear from the fact that he never examined the hand itself - an evident sign that he did not attribute the withering to anything physical within the hand itself. No - the fact that this most discerning of all healers addressed himself solely to the teachers of the synagogue, in healing the hand, showed that the withered hand was undoubtedly the physical effect of cramped religious teaching on one of its sensitive adherents.

Yes, Christian Science shows clearly that this coldly shrunken limb was not a problem of chemistry or physiology but of narrow theology and retracted affection. In proof of this, Jesus proceeded to deal with it solely in theological terms, which in his case always meant love instead of recrimination, divine Truth in place of human guilt, Christliness rather than criticism, patience in preference to petulance. He knew that spiritual love alone can heal conditions shrunken stiff by mental hardness. Yes, it was this generosity of his divine theology that induced Jesus to give this taut atmosphere of codes and creeds the injection it most needed, - namely, the relaxing and merciful idea of lifting from a pit, on the Sabbath day, a solitary sheep that has fallen therein. Here was a blessed and softening hint to the hardhearted that, no matter what kind of pit one has fallen into, or how, or when, or why, no law of divine Love will ever be found withholding rescue from him.

 

Manís Right to Give and Receive Good

In proof of this, with a majestic sweep of his gaze over all those teachers in the synagogue, he said to the man, "Stretch forth thy hand" (Luke 6:10), and forth it immediately came in proof of his divine right as a son of God to receive and give all things good. Mistaken religious teaching alone had bound that man. By melting the sharp limits of that teaching with larger love, Jesus' knowledge of divine Truth had the immediate effect of filling out that hand with warm liveliness and eager mobility.

You see, Jesus knew that false knowledge or sin is never man nor part of man, even when it parades as a withered hand or a self-righteous Pharisee. To Jesus, there was only one sinner in every case, namely the false belief that evil can be real, when in point of divine Truth, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). To Jesus, therefore, not only was evil unreal, but also the fear of it, and belief in punishment on account of it.

It was precisely because the Pharisees understood neither good nor evil in this clear scientific way, that they bound men, in their belief that man is a sinner. Jesus did exactly the opposite: he set men free, by binding the belief that evil can ever be part of the image and likeness of God. By binding sin and man together, of course, the Pharisees' teaching then made man captive to accusation and condemnation, heredity and deformity; whereas, by binding false belief instead, Jesus' teaching liberated both sinner and invalid.

Christian Science brings these contrasted religious outlooks, and their diverse effects on health and happiness, squarely to the Christian's attention today, to help him, as a friend, to consider seriously the trend of his own beliefs concerning God, man, and sin. Are his religious views opening his hands towards freedom and truthfulness, as he walks through the cornfields of life, or are they closing them conscientiously against these divine rights?

In this respect, the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has a contribution to make that every Christian can welcome with warmth, for Christian Science is here to "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 17).

 

ĎCramping Systemsí Rent Asunder

Nearly two thousand years ago, Christianity healed sin by destroying the false belief that produced it and restored the sick, dying, and dead by spiritual means alone. But today Christianity is often believed to have little power in these respects, except to persuade sinners that their sins are personally forgiven, and to nod the sick sadly to hospitals.

Who will deny then that Christianity today needs a friend to release her original power to heal by spiritual truth alone?

In a fearless paragraph entitled "Cramping systems," the Christian Science textbook (p. 226) courageously diagnoses the systems from which Christianity today needs to be freed; then it names the friend ordained of God to free her. These cramping systems are first, human codes; second, scholastic theology; and third, material medicine and hygiene; but let us see sympathetically now from the words of Science and Health itself just how those systems cramp the Christian's spiritual aspirations. "Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding," says the sentence explaining the causes of the cramp. Then comes the liberating friend: "Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself."

Every Christian knows from the Bible that Christ's Christianity can undoubtedly heal him of sin and sickness; but, you see, "human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene" have usually pegged his faith and understanding so tightly into materiality and medical theory that his confidence in the power of Spirit to heal him by spiritual means alone is sapped and withered. But today there is exhilarating new hope - the brightest hope, indeed, that the world has been given since the Christian era began; the Science of Christ, Christianity's best friend, is here to rend asunder these illusory fetters, so that man's divinely natural allegiance to his heavenly Father can reassert itself.

From this standpoint, it was a good sign that that man with the withered hand was found by Jesus in the synagogue, in the house of prayer. This at least showed some intuition that it was really his thought of God, not merely his condition of body, that needed healing. What a help if every invalid could but see this! Yes, the man's problem was one of theology, not one of physiology. Hence, when Christ had freed his mind from the unlawful clasp of codes and creeds, his natural allegiance to Spirit immediately leapt into self-assertion, like a released spring. No wonder the withered hand stretched out with haste to receive its share of blessing.

Let us now pause to deduce from what we have heard so far, two of the early contributions that Christian Science makes to the Christian: first, it opens up the Scriptural account of the Master's healing work with such scientific clarity that he canperceive the actual thoughts and spiritual deductions upon which that work was based; second, it rouses him to recognize that, to Jesus, sin, disease, and death were not the result of degenerating body, but of deteriorating thought, of the frightening false belief that evil is a real part of God's creation. This awakens the Christian to see why, by having a knowledge of God, the divine Mind, and believing in naught else beside His thoughts, Jesus was adequately equipped to heal every disease among the people. These two deductions are enough just now; but even they already show that, in its discovery of the Mind of Christ, of the divine law upon which Jesus worked, Christian Science is certainly not dishonoring the Christian's Lord in any way. On the contrary, it honors him as no other power on earth today honors him, by doing many mighty works of healing in his name. Let me tell you of such a healing:

 

Health Traced to Sense of Goodness

A Christian Science practitioner was once asked to help a man with serious lung trouble. The case certainly looked physical rather than mental, for there was poor general physique, indrawn cheeks, labored breathing, and an insistent cough. One day, the patient rang to complain rebelliously that some good work to which he had devoted special pride had been set at nought by his superior; some weeks later, he complained resentfully that a stranger had been undermining the good esteem in which he had always been held in his home, and then later to complain frustratedly that a church, that he had good hope of joining, had refused him membership.

As the practitioner dealt patiently with these troubles, none of which appeared to have any bearing on lung disease, he perceived that they all followed the same pattern, namely, personal goodness and high hopes followed by depreciation and disappointment. So it suddenly became clear that what the man was really suffering from was a weak or infirm sense of goodness, in other words, his problem was not a physical condition of decaying lungs depressing his mind, but a mental condition of insecure goodness impairing his lungs. Yes, it is no mere play upon words to say that this man's health was not good, because his sense of goodness was not, healthy - it was so personal indeed that it was subject at any time to attacks of hurt, resentment, and rebellion. The fact is this man had never realized that when Jesus said "there is none good but one, that is, God" (Matt. 19:17), he was not only showing the divine Mind as the sole source of goodness, he was also revealing the secret of all sound health. Practitioner and patient discussed this passage many times to clarify their vision that goodness is present in man by divine reflection, not by personal possession.

Now as the patient credited all his goodness to God in this way, instead of to himself, and then trusted God patiently to interpret this goodness to all His other children in His own way and time, a new grip or grasp was observable in his thought, a fixedness of trust, a sureness of hope, a freedom from fear. Gradually his body, being nothing but an expression of thinking, began to respond to this correction or spiritualization of thought. The cheeks filled out, the breathing became normal, and the cough disappeared. This individual was soon able to take up tennis and swimming again, and that was the end of his personal sense of goodness, alias lung disease. And a much better and more patient Christian he was, as well, for having the disease destroyed by divinely theological means alone.

The whole Christian world stands to benefit enormously by Christian Science healings of this purely spiritual kind, but they owe nothing of course to psychiatry, blind faith healing, or psychosomatic medicine. Their sole model is the Christ-healing that cured that withered hand, wherein it becomes clear that the human mind alone feels sick, the divine Mind alone heals, and Christ's infallible method receives its proper credit for healing in the twentieth century, just as effectively as it did in the first.

It is, of course, a great reassurance to the inquiring Christian to see that Christian Science healing is in fact a revival of Christ-healing based accurately on Jesus' method. This being so, an honest, earnest Christian need no more fear opening his Christianity toward Christian Science, than a bud need fear opening its petals toward its own lovely blossom.

But does this apply to the more serious aspects of Christian theology? This is a good point. The best way to answer it, I think, is to examine the transition of a sincere Christian into Christian Science.

 

Presumptuous Illusion Challenged

For years, just such an earnest Christian had yearned to understand God properly, in order to gain dominion over evil. To this end he talked with many dedicated churchmen, and prayed a great deal, finally attending his church each day to receive bread and wine in Holy Communion to help him. However, his habit of thinking of himself as a sinner seemed but to increase his affinity with evil, till after years of struggle, he was in a state of hopeless despair. But the Christian Science textbook, which he began to read at this point for the first time in his life, gradually began to change his sense of God, man, and sin in a very radical way. It showed him with full Bible authority that, in reality, God is entirely and only good, and that man, His spiritual likeness, is His naturally good and wholly spiritual child; that therefore God and man are on the same side, and that sin is merely a serious false belief about man, over which God gives us full dominion. From this, the man slowly began now to class evil as a detached and foreign lie, rather than his own inseparable and native weakness; and to challenge it accordingly as a presumptuous illusion, an upstart untruth.

As the result, he began to feel hope, encouragement, and some dominion for the first time in his long struggle; indeed, these wholesome, spiritual truths were veritable bread and wine to his hungering heart. But even better, he could tell from the improvements gradually taking place in his attitudes and habits that his spiritual communion with God, divine Truth, was proving genuinely effective, at last.

Mrs. Eddy says: "Whatever materializes worship hinders man's spiritual growth and keeps him from demonstrating his power over error" (Science and Health, p. 4). From this passage, the man gradually realized that in his particular worship, he had permitted material symbols instituted in remembrance of Jesus to take the place of the Christ, the spiritual truth of God and man, which Jesus proved to be the only genuine reformer of sinners.

Of course, he realized that in his former church, the symbols of communion were intended to point to a higher truth, but it was Christian Science which unfolded this higher truth to him in all its power and significance. Indeed, he gradually saw that in his worship of Spirit there had been a fundamental error - namely, faith in matter as a means of reaching Spirit. This error Christian Science showed him was interfering with the purity of his communion with Spirit. When it was already beginning to be thinned away a little from his thought, through his growing sense of the allness of Spirit, the man read this statement in Science and Health: "If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend?" (Science and Health, p. 34).

This passage finally settled outright his false belief that he need or could worship God from both a spiritual and a material basis. He was beginning to recognize, you see, that Christ-healing is itself proof of communion with Truth. So he promptly surrendered any further attempt to reach God through material symbols of communion. Very soon he found that he had lost his desire to smoke, his desire to drink, and his desire for medical remedies. This was immensely encouraging proof that true communion with God is unity with Spirit. Obviously unobstructed access to the Christ Comforter had begun to answer the desire for peace that cigarettes had formerly tried to satisfy, and the longing for joy that social drink had tried to satisfy, so the desire for both tobacco and alcohol forever disappeared. So also did the moodiness and joylessness that were symptomatic of his old belief in separation from God.

The question now is, was Christian Science proving friend or foe to this man's Christianity? His answer was unhesitating: "The best friend my Christianity has ever had!" he said. "It is giving me the Christ, Truth, in the place of material symbols, and healing instead of my long disappointed hopes. See, whereas in the past, I used to plead in despair for the personal forgiveness of a mortal's errors, now I humbly stand in the dignity of man made in God's likeness, and challenge those errors as fraudulent false beliefs." But, even as he said this, he felt grateful that the symbols of bread, wine, and personal communion in which he had trusted so long, had always pointed him to God, as the source of the help he needed, but only now was he beginning to understand scientifically his true relation to God as His idea, before the world was.

 

Spiritual Sense of Sacraments

It has been said that Christian Science interprets the sacraments in such a transcendental way as to put them out of human reach. Nothing could be further from the truth. The spiritual concepts this young Christian was now gaining of baptism, bread and wine, communion and eucharist, cup and cross, were so close to his daily thinking and living as to be purifying and Christianizing his whole human life. Why? Because he was now enjoying the sacraments in their original spiritual sense.

Impulse toward communion in Christian Science is not, of course, the urgency of human problems, but the immense loveableness of God. So communion in Christian Science is a listening time, not an informing time; a stimulus to challenge, not a sop to self-deception. It is a time of joy in the truth of being, of gratitude to God for the perfection and pure spirituality of His creation. Communion is also a time for accuracy in honor; for true communion honors God as Life, Spirit, and Love to whom matter, sin, disease, and death are eternally unknown; and man it honors as without beginning of years or end of days, God's very image and likeness, spiritual and perfect.

As the Christian thinks through this spiritual platform for communion in Christian Science, namely, its fixed Principle of perfect God and perfect man as basis for challenging the beliefs in sin and sickness, he will see that communion in Christian Science is not merely reverent; it is actually scientific. It was this scientific communion with the divine truth of God and man that healed that withered hand, and rebuilt those decayed lungs. Its bread of divine truth is food of hope to the hungry heart, and its wine of inspiration, stimulus and strength to the faltering heart, that I can assure you. These sacramental concepts are not above the human, obviously. On the contrary, they baptize the human with blessings from above, and every neighboring heart can feel their hallowing influence.This is proof enough that Christian Science is not substituting the sacraments, but substantiating them spiritually by changes for the better in every department of human life.

 

Prescription for Perfect Health

Yes, and best of all, Christian Science is now calling Christian healing back and giving it the place of honor among the sacraments instituted by the Master. Christian Science insists that the outward and visible sign of this holiest of all sacraments is not the actual anointing with oil or the laying on of hands, but genuine proofs in physical healing and reformed lives that the divine Mind is ever present and has all power.

When Jesus instructed us to "worship the Father in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23), he did not say "in spirit and in matter." Did we but know it, he was not merely providing here the strict design for true worship; he was also writing the prescription for perfect health and happiness. Yes, it is quite true - when the cold letter of the human yields to the warm spirit of the divine, we see that health and happiness both derive their vitality not from matter which is temporal and destructible, but direct from divine sources.

This was early made clear in the life of the one who later discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. In her girlhood she was greatly troubled by the doctrine of predestination, a harsh human code providing for some to be saved, others eternally damned. "So perturbed was I," she wrote later, "by the thoughts aroused by this erroneous doctrine, that the family doctor was summoned, and pronounced me stricken with fever" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 13).

She continues, "My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love, which would give me rest, if I went to Him in prayer, as I was wont to do, seeking His guidance. I prayed; and a soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone, and I rose and dressed myself, in a normal condition of health" (ibid, p. 13).

 

Lost Salt of Christianity Restored

As you think it through, you will see that this infant fever was in the same class as the withered hand - namely, caused by mental impressions of harsh concepts of God, and healed by yielding the mind to a true sense of His love. But it is far more significant than its simple telling may imply; for it was a pattern of prophecy for the whole brave life of this woman who was later to dare to proclaim that the way to be sinless, well, and happy is to understand the divine Love that casts out the belief that there can ever be anything to fear anywhere in the universe of perfect Mind.

By the time she was forty-one she said, "The fallacy of materia medica, its lack of science, and the want of divinity in scholastic theology, had already dawned on me" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 307). She was here nearing the perception of one of the basic teachings of Christian Science, namely, that "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter" (Science and Health, p. 468). She writes of the darkest hour before her discovery, "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" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 23). It was into this waiting consciousness of yearning spirituality that the positive aspect of her revelation, namely the allness and omnipotence of Spirit, suddenly broke with unmistakable signs of healing. This was in 1866. She speaks in Science and Health (p. 351) of how the spiritual sense of the creed came to her through the Science of Christianity and she adds, "It was the living, palpitating presence of the Christ, Truth, which healed the sick."

In 1879, Mrs. Eddy began to found a church without creeds, which, by the very nature of all she had learned from the Bible concerning thought, the divine Mind and health, is also, and inevitably, a church without drugs or ritual. Through this Church, the Church of Christ, Scientist, one can learn to keep himself morally sound and physically well solelyby knowing God aright. Today Christian Science is restoring the lost salt to Christianity. This is because The Mother Church and its many branches throughout the world are reinstating Christian healing in all its original potency.

 

Godís Ways Surprise the World

As one would expect, scientific Christianity has a textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Personally, I shall never cease to be grateful to the man who, lending me this book when I was deep in problems, said, "Don't read it to fight it. Read it with the thought that if there is any good in it for you, you will see it. There will be lots that you don't understand at first, but don't let that upset you. Just accept the little things that you can understand and agree with, and be grateful for them. The difficult things will†† explain themselves later."'

I can only say in all humility that, though my intellect and theology had many skirmishes with the ideas in this great book, yet my spiritual senses, more intelligent than my intellect, leaned forward and drank deep of its truths, like the panting hart come at last to its water brook.

Of course, the discovery of the Science of the Christ by a woman has taken the world by surprise; but God's ways always have; and praise Him for that! Certainly, I am always glad that when Jesus was once taken by surprise by a mode of God, he did not swiftly summon the skills of skepticism to kill it, but, instead, said quietly, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Matt. 11:26).

Today seems a day for building bypasses, but he who would acquire the art of Christian healing must not try to bypass Mrs. Eddy's Science and Health, for, with the Bible, this book is the way to learn it scientifically. I know from deep personal experience that the human intellect and human will will be blessed beyond their knowing, if they can but say to God's choice of this book and this woman, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."

And now, the Trinity, the last aspect of theology to move into light, in the mind of that Christian I spoke of earlier. Actually, the world owes the church a great debt for keeping this threefold aspect of God's nature steadily before humanity; but the Trinity is far too necessary for daily prayer and healing to be left a mystery, specially since Jesus bade his followers specifically to teach and baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19). Yes, we need to understand the Father, the divine Principle of life, in every prayer we utter; we need also to know the Son - not merely the person of Jesus but the Christ, the full manifestation of the Father; but how can our prayer heal, unless we also comprehend the Holy Ghost, the spirit of Truth that heals everything unlike the Father and the Son. Here then are three infinitely sacred aspects of God's nature, three distinct offices of divinity, explained by Mrs. Eddy as "God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter. These three," she says, "express in divine Science the threefold, essential nature of the infinite" (Science and Health, p. 331). Each has a vital part to play in the prayer that heals - God's nature in its self-existent aspect, its creative aspect, and its saving aspect. Let me show you now that each of these aspects is an indispensable part of the oneness of the Trinity as it heals by the brightness of its supreme glory.

A Christian Science practitioner once had an extremely difficult case. He knew every truth he possibly could, but without the slightest apparent effect. Finally, in utter helplessness he cried out in despair at three o'clock one morning, "God, show me why there is no response." The answer was like a voice in the room: "It is because of the world's unbelief in the Comforter." He saw in a flash that all his work had dealt with the Father and Son, Mind and idea, and none of it with divine Science or the Holy Comforter. In other words, His prayer had merely been twofold, not threefold or fully trinitarian in its character.

 

Divine Power Undimmed by Disbelief

With joy and inspiration refreshed by this clear guidance, he began thanking God for the Comforter and all its appearings in history, and saw clearly that the world's unbelief in it could in no wise lessen its divine power to help and heal humanity. Next morning his patient, never specially noteworthy for gratitude, said to him, "You did something for me last night!" Who did? The third office of the Trinity, the saving aspect of Truth, so important to healing that Mrs. Eddy has this to say about it: "Works on metaphysics leave the grand point untouched. They never crown the power of Mind as the Messiah, nor do they carry the day against physical enemies, - even to the extinction of all belief in matter, evil, disease, and death . . ." (Science and Health, p. 116). Yes, generous and unflagging gratitude for the scientific healing power of this Holy Ghost is an indispensable part of Christian healing.

Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20). The first effect of Christian Science on the Christian is that instead of discussing disease as a fearful possibility, he begins to discard it fearlessly as a mere mental suggestion; rather than bind himself on account of the lies of sin, he begins now to bind sin instead on account of its lies; and to love more purely becomes his ideal. So spiritual thinking gradually becomes his new high altar, with material belief its constant sacrifice. The aim of his communion is now the beauty of holiness that heals. As to the sacraments - why, as he learns to exchange the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul, the whole of life becomes sacramental - clad in radiance of spiritual reality. So his Christianity passes radically from casual partnership with matter to scientific unity with Spirit; and the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures becomes his daily bread and wine, his guard and guide.

 

Christly Inheritance Here to Claim

Now the important question is "Are such seekers and finders deserting Jesus' Christianity?" I tell you: "No - they are discovering its exhilarating spiritual Science." Then, they are not really deviating into a heresy? Most certainly not; in point of fact they are keeping pace with the maturing inheritance of Christ, with that spirit of Truth which the founder of Christianity said would be sent to guide into all truth.

But now, should the Christian expanding like this into the Science of his Master's teachings talk a lot about his enthralling discovery? No; it is much better for him to pray and prove his prayers, so that he can have fruits of healing by which others may judge Christian Science intelligently. In all these things fear not to displease others. What is pleasing in the sight of God is always pleasing in the sight of His image and likeness. Just quietly trust the Christ to interpret your spiritual progress to others.

Then should the Christian maturing in his application of Christian Science hide himself in secret isolation? Quite definitely not - she who discovered Christian Science understood the motherhood of God. The Mother Church, its branch churches, and the Reading Rooms, provided for by Mrs. Eddy, give spiritual food and opportunities for spiritual growth, indispensable to the scientific Christian in his brave proof that matter is nought because Spirit is all. Each must openly and unselfishly aid the collective salvation of the whole world. This is now the function of Christ's church in the full majesty of its Science, the Church of Christ, Scientist; and it is the new, scientific Christian's very necessary friend.

Have no doubt then: the honest seeker for Truth has divine authority in this age for studying the Science of his Lord's teachings, and for healing sickness through the divine Comforter promised by our Master. Hence God's counsel to Joshua as he stood at the doorway to the Promised Land, a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, is good counsel for the Christian today as he stands surveying Christian Science:

"Arise," he said, "go . . . unto the land . . . Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you. . . . I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. . . . Only be thou strong and very courageous" (Josh: 1-7).

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 1963, under the headline ďHealing Found in Manís Humble Communion With GodĒ.]

 

 

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