Christian Science: Salvation for Humanity (2)
William W. Porter, C.S.B., of New York, New York
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The presentation of Christian Science to-day, as throughout its history, is strengthened by the premise that no person is expected to accept any part of this Science of salvation otherwise than as it appeals to thought through the unimpeachable logic of reason and revelation; and let it here be recognized that revelation itself is that orderly process of understanding in which thought is led by Christ, the true idea of Love, out of the dim chambers of mystical existence into the mount of transfiguration where the nature of true being appears.
In Christian Science, salvation from sin, sickness, and limitation is not a haphazard, uncertain future experience, but is the fulfilment of right desire according to law.
Law may be defined as exact and inevitable procedure. Spiritual law may be said to be the true idea of infinite Love or God operating in human thought.
Referring to his words and to the fidelity with which they express lawful activity Jesus declared: "If ye continue in my word, . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Here is a clear statement of salvation indicating that salvation is in accordance with law, God's law of fulfilment. Jesus did not transcend law; he fulfilled it; that is, he carried out the promises lawfully. The influence of Christian Science upon human thought is natural and lawful.
We read in the Scriptures: "He sent his word, and healed them." The creative cause called God must be expressed or manifested, and this expression, or manifestation, must come to the consciousness of men by means of the idea which reveals the nature of true being or God. This Word, or true idea of God, is tangible and true, although obviously it is not a material thing which can be weighed on the scales or measured with a yardstick; it is the divine or true idea of God. This true idea of God, entering human consciousness by the gateway of Christian Science, forms and reforms human thought until, through this process of evangelization, thought truly reflects the nature of the divine Mind or God.
The solution for every problem exists in the divine Mind. Because of this the nature of the divine Mind must be recognized to be identical with infinite Love. That is reasonable, is it not? Hence the activity of the divine Mind exists, as the law of Love, alike for every person. On page 17 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, one of the most concise statements of this law is found in these words, "Love is reflected in love." Here is a definite statement of unimpeachable law. Let it control your thinking for a moment. God is Love. When the true idea of Love is present in your thinking you will find that your health, your business, your home, your sense of life are controlled by the law of infinite Love or God.
Throughout the ages mankind has looked ever toward the promises. The children of Israel looked toward the promised land; yearningly; they sang psalms and comforted themselves with visions of a land flowing with milk and honey; and many are still viewing afar off this traditional land of promise, waiting to cross some material borders in order to reach it. Subsequent promises bespoke the advent of a Deliverer whose name should be called Wonderful, the Prince of Peace. Inspired thought voiced the promise: "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16). Jesus promised the coming of the Comforter which should unfold the way of Truth. During the intervening centuries human thought has looked steadily, eagerly toward these promises, viewing them always through the uncertain mists of the future.
With human thought ever looking to the attainment of salvation in the hereafter, is it surprising that the people, their leaders and teachers have been slow to hear and to understand the message of fulfilment which the Nazarene Prophet brought to tired, waiting humanity?
One of the evil results of looking into the future for salvation is found in delayed healing from sin, sickness, failure, and lack. When suffering from these evils it is difficult, apart from Christian Science, to believe that relief from the discordant condition is straightway at hand. The inability to see that the healing balm is instantly found in Christ, the true idea which reveals the nature of God, is due to the educated beliefs that salvation is in matter or in a future state. This evil of procrastination may be broken, and health may be found, if one will only begin to realize that the fulfilment of the promises is not a reward to be obtained in a hereafter state, but that it is the unfailing and lawful activity of Love, in response to pure desire or prayer, here and now. Any one may begin at this moment to experience the fulfilment of God's promises. Regardless of what mortal consciousness may argue about you for sin, sickness, failure, sorrow, you may at once begin to experience freedom from these evils by holding your thought rightly related to God.
The beginner may ask how he is to gain this realization. On page 465 of Science and Health is to be found the following definition of God: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." When you think of God in the light of this definition, — and you will be surprised and gratified to learn how constantly and helpful this definition will be present with you, — you will find that your understanding of God is growing in wonder and joy as Christ, the true idea of God, unfolds the grandeur of God's nature to your eager, hungry thought. When you think of God as the Love which has tenderly mothered man and the universe throughout the ages "world without end," when you realize that Love's government is related just as much to you and to your affairs as to the worlds in space or to the orderly progress of the seasons, you will find that your day is much brighter, that discordant conditions are disappearing, that confidence is growing where fear held sway, that evil habits are leaving you, that good is becoming distinctly attractive, and that your influence and usefulness are finding expression in ever-widening activities of good. You will really prove in this way that God's law, the law of Love, is always present to meet your human needs.
The promises have been ready for fulfilment throughout the ages. The trouble is that men have been busy preaching about a future salvation, looking forward to the future for the fulfilment of the promises, until this has become a sort of traditional rite or religious attitude of thought. It is this attitude of thought which hastened to exclude from human experience the idea of salvation whenever it has lawfully appeared. Truth, however, chooses its own time and place as well as its messenger of manifestation.
The Discoverer and Founder
The healing of Mrs. Eddy in the year 1866 from a so-called incurable illness was to her the evidence of a present salvation, or the fulfillment of promise. This incident revealed to Mrs. Eddy the all-important fact that a healing and regenerative influence is associated with a radical or scientific reliance upon God. With this great revelation, there came to Mrs. Eddy a strong desire to learn how her healing had been wrought in order that she might bring this understanding to those who suffered.
In the book, "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy," by Sibyl Wilbur, is recorded interesting details of how, step by step, healings were brought about in the lives of other people through the ministrations of Mrs. Eddy. As others were healed of sickness and sin, the Science of the healing process began to unfold clearly in her thought; and Mrs. Eddy saw distinctly that the healing and regenerative influence associated with a radical reliance on God is not and never was a supernatural power, but the natural effect upon the human mind and body of Truth understood and demonstrated. Then followed a period of consecrated study, and the writing down in a precise and orderly way of the logical conclusions growing out of these unusual experiences. These conclusions, together with the premises of Christian Science and rules for its practice, are embodied more or less in all of the writings of Mrs. Eddy, but more particularly in the book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." To present here a recital of the life and works of Mrs. Eddy would take more time than we have at our disposal. Such a recital would naturally include the details of how Mrs. Eddy founded and developed Christian Science in the face of what seemed to be overwhelming odds and opposition. It would include the history of how Science and Health was written and published, — an incident filled with startling unfoldment as well as the proof of marvelous protection. It would tell of how a church was organized, and later reorganized into The First Church of Christ, Scientist, The Mother Church, in Boston, Massachusetts, with its branches extending into all parts of the civilized globe. It would set forth the organization of various church activities and related interests; the editing and publishing of weekly and monthly periodicals; the founding of a College and a Board of Education to perpetuate the correct teachings of Christian Science; the establishment of a daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, which has been pronounced by representative men and women to be the ideal of ascendant journalism; the formation of a system of church government, the Manual of The Mother Church, which has won the admiration and the commendation of the brightest judicial thinkers of the times. To carry out any one of these activities is a task which might well represent the life-work of any highly trained industrial captain. As thought is removed from her immediate day, the divine idea which molded and shaped Mrs. Eddy's nature becomes more and more apparent. Mrs. Eddy did not become the Leader of Christian Science because she desired to be a leader. The power which impelled her progress was irresistible and final, and she became a leader because of her love for God and for humanity. Mrs. Eddy's life-work will stand as an enduring monument depicting fearlessness and faith, and pointing human thought with infinite tenderness to the compassionate and sheltering nature of God.
Christian Science Preserved
Mrs. Eddy gave to her discovery the name Christian Science. This name will always identify and distinguish the discovery. With rare insight also she founded the institutions necessary to protect and preserve the integrity of Christian Science teachings and works.
Human thought begins to understand today that Mrs. Eddy did not build the structure of Christian Science with "untempered mortar" — upon the foundation of human personality. One of the far-reaching effects of Mrs. Eddy's teachings is to turn the thoughts of Christian Scientists away from the contemplation of her personality to divine Principle. Thus Christian Scientists have learned the doctrine of pure Christian Science. When questioned concerning his teachings Jesus replied, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." Christian Scientists have learned that the doctrine of Christian Science is of the divine Mind or God, and that its coming is in fulfilment of promise, and for the salvation of the race.
The religion which Jesus and his followers practiced healed the sick and regenerated thought. It thus gave evidence of spiritual power. In this the teachings of Jesus differed from the religious teachings of his day. Had the teachings of Jesus been obeyed in name and in purity, mankind to-day would know less of sin, sickness, and death. History, however, bears no record of any distinguishing name given to these teachings or to this religion in those early days. Human thought succeeded in merging certain features of Jewish ritualism and pagan priesthood into a system of religion which adopted the name of Christ; but this system, thus formed, was not able to bring forth the spiritual understanding necessary to heal the sick. As a result of this, within three centuries thereafter, the healing power disappeared from the early church. The uplifting and healing influence of Love unmistakably associated with the Nazarene and his followers is what distinguished the teachings of Jesus from the systems of his day. When therefore, this influence disappeared in the third century, we are compelled to admit, whether we want to or not, that dogma began to take the place of demonstration. When dogma is substituted for demonstration it is not long before unbelief and agnosticism begin to ask, Where is thy God?
Much of the discord and woe of the world is due to the lack of understanding concerning the nature or character of God. The main hindrance to the development of the true understanding of God is to be found either in an admitted or a hidden state of agnosticism or unbelief. In the presence of Christian Science agnosticism disappears. The basic teachings of this Science unfold the nature of Truth, or God, in a reasonable light. Agnosticism says, I do not know. Christian Science reveals the idea of true being or God: it dispels ignorance, which is the basis of agnosticism, with the simple facts of understanding. Christian Science shows that God does not need to be reconciled to men. It is very, true, however, that the thought of men needs to be reconciled to God. This reconciliation Christian Science effects by revealing the true nature of God which heals and satisfies sick and tired humanity.
Mankind, it may be observed, possess the capacity to think. In our thinking, however, it is not so important for us to know whether material man sprang from monkeys or from protoplasm. That, after all, matters very little, except that such speculations may lead to confusion, as in the case of the man who fell asleep and dreamed that he was protoplasm, and who, when he awakened was puzzled, and wondered if then he might not really be protoplasm dreaming that he was man. The really important thing for us to know about man is whence comes his ability to think. This is not an underived capacity with man — something has created it. Obviously that which is responsible for the power to think is Mind, because thought is a property or quality of Mind. Should you believe that it is what you call your human mind which creates the capacity to think, try to bestow this capacity upon something. Where will you put it? In the brain, in the stomach, in the heart, the lungs, the blood, or the bones? And after you have decided where you will place this capacity, just how will you go about to make it think? Of old it was Job who pondered: "Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?" The conclusion is natural that what you call the human mind — that which you would identify with the human brain — is not Mind, because it cannot bestow the ability to think. That which creates and bestows the ability to think is infinitely above the human mind; it so far transcends the human mind that it must be identified as the divine Mind or God, and as nothing else.
The inarticulate cry of humanity to-day is: Tell us about God!
Truly, if men are to believe in God, then must God be revealed to men as something, other than a mystery. God must be revealed to the understanding. The Scripture says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). God, the divine Principle of man, cannot be known through the physical senses. In Christian Science God is known through the spiritual idea, or Christ, which reveals the eternal Principle of the universe and man. And there is no other way than the way of Christ, or the spiritual idea, by which God can be known of men.
Whether a man follow the leading of revealed truth or what he is pleased to call his reason, the conclusion is inevitable that a governing power, or what we call God, exists. For the sake of illustration, no one will contend that the universe is controlled either by the genius or the hands of men. The universe and its government may be accepted as an object lesson indicating by goodly and precise activity something of the nature of a governing power which transcends human capacity. If we are agreed upon this we must, in the nature of things, accept the statement that the universe is controlled by a power apart from men. This power, by reason of its goodly operation, evidenced by "the early and latter rain," and by fruitful harvest, meeting the needs of mankind as a mother meets the needs of her children — this goodly power must be recognized to be infinite Love.
Men have marveled that the study and the understanding of true being or God as revealed in Christian Science should bring healing to the sick, reformation to the wrongdoer, cheer to the sorrowing, strength to the weak, and life to the dying. But why should it be thought strange that the nature of God understood unfolds the harmony of true being?
To know God to be infinite Mind, transcending mightily the limitations of the human mind, unfolds the comforting and kindly assurance of the actual omnipresence of God. It is a fact which brings no little comfort to the Christian Scientist that no place exists where infinite Mind is not; hence the presence and protection of the divine Mind or God may be enjoyed everywhere.
This understanding of God to be ever-present as infinite Mind destroys the fear of separation or oblivion. One learns in Christian Science that because there can be no extinction of the divine Mind, one can never be separated from the living God. In this idea revealed by Christian Science, which unfolds the actual presence of the living God, — the ever-active divine Mind, — may be found the explanation of the remarkable effectiveness of what is called in Christian Science absent treatment. Herein likewise is found the explanation of the many instances of absent healing performed by Jesus, notably the healing of the centurion's servant, the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, the nobleman's son who was sick at Capernaum, besides many others. Here also may be seen the fulfilment of that earlier Scripture, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Moreover, in this way, Christian Science shows that no necessity exists for the attempt to project the human mind by some tremendous effort of the human will to a remote point in the endeavor to heal the sick. The divine Mind is already there. Christian Science teaches that the law of salvation with respect to any specific need begins the moment this basic fact is understood and declared. When a person learns that two times four are eight, have always been eight, — that nothing can ever happen to injure or change this eight with respect to two times four, — a mathematical truth begins to control his thinking. Let a person gain some understanding of the true nature of God as infinite Mind, and of the unchanging nature of man's relation to the divine Mind, — that man is image and likeness, has always been and will always be image and likeness, — then this understanding will begin straightway to establish in his thought the consciousness of true being. It is this consciousness of true being which rehabilitates the wrong thinker, which heals the sick, which comforts the sorrowing, and which brings life to the dying. There is no mystery in all of this, no occult subtlety. It is the Christianly scientific action of the divine Mind upon the human mind and body.
To know, as taught in Christian Science, that God is infinite Life, without beginning or end, enables thought to embrace and enjoy the true idea of selfhood; because man in God's image and likeness is the image and likeness of infinite Life. One thus begins to enjoy,
"The freer step, the fuller breath,
The wide horizon's grander view,
The sense of Life that knows no death,
The Life that maketh all things new."
(Christian Science Hymnal.)
The loving Counselor of mankind gave this message to the world: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Christian Science proves that this more abundant life is to be known and enjoyed in daily experience, — here! And why should this not be so? Do not the Scriptures declare "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living"? God is the living God!
The understanding which unfolds the nature of God to be infinite Love enables one to rise above the fears and limitations involved in a sense of personal attachment, and as well to gain the larger meanings of Love synonymous with divine Principle or God. The term Principle used by Mrs. Eddy as a synonym for God is sometimes objected to on the ground that it is cold and lifeless and loveless. This is a wrong impression, however, which is due to a misconception of the term. Perhaps no better illustration can be found than is present just here to indicate the harmful influence of misconceptions. Webster gives "primordial substance" as one of the definitions for Principle; that is, that which is substantial, eternal, unchanging. Every one will agree that the permanence of a goodly state or thing, such as happiness, health, or true consciousness, is desirable and worthy to be attained. But how shall we gain this idea of permanence? All of these desirable and worthy states depend upon the nature of Principle for their permanence, because only the nature of Principle can impart the idea of enduring substance to creation. Love is lovely and beautiful only as it reflects the properties of permanence. All mankind desire to know love; but none desire to know love as transient and uncertain. Where is the desirable quality of permanent love to be found? And how is it to be obtained? Mrs. Eddy over and over associates the names divine Principle and Love; and in doing this she has introduced into human thought the term for Love which voices the longing and hope of mankind to know that which is forever dependable, the eternal motherhood of God. The nature of the divine Mind or God is infinite; and the reward for the consistent desire to know God aright is the ever-increasing capacity to know more of God.
Salvation, according to dictionary definitions, is safety, understanding, health, deliverance; that is, freedom from fear, ignorance, sickness, failure, grief, destruction. That which brings this deliverance or salvation is accounted the Deliverer, the Comforter of them who mourn, the great Physician, the messenger of good-will to mankind.
Salvation also may be said to be the reciprocal or responsive effect of pure desire or prayer; the nature of God fulfilled in man; or God's law of "image and likeness" in operation.
We can all agree with the self-evident proposition which we have already considered, that mankind possess the capacity to think. Indeed, we may go even a step further, and agree that the ability to think at all implies the capacity to think rightly. There begins the process of salvation.
It is the province of both Christianity and Science to demonstrate the nature of divinity, that is, the nature of truth with respect to all things; in other words to make clear the idea of true being.
Having agreed upon these primary statements we can take the next step and agree that it is easier to think rightly than wrongly when thought is controlled by the spiritual, — the true idea of being or God.
Human experience shows that every person is seeking salvation or freedom from some from of discord — physical sickness, idleness, disappointment, grief, failure, poverty, evil habits, weakness. Christian Science is unfolding salvation from these discords as rapidly as mankind can see that they are impositions of false knowledge and without Principle or God. This Science teaches that as desire is rightly related to the divine Principle Love, the true idea of God, will, in the nature of things, guide the thought of mankind into the understanding of the true existence.
Salvation, health, success, are things of consciousness or states of thought. These states of consciousness are produced not by the human mind, but by the divine Mind or God; and this spiritual development as demonstrated by Christian Science is the effect of law, — the law of God which is set in motion with respect to any specific need by pure desire or prayer.
Prayer and Healing
The prayer of Christian Science removes expectancy from the realm of conjecture; it is based upon the conviction that man's true being is in spiritual understanding.
In Christian Science prayer is not a petition to Deity asking God to do something, or to give something to the petitioner. Nor does the Christian Scientist try to outline to God how certain things are to be brought about. On page 1 of Science and Health we read that "desire is prayer." Here we have what seems at first to be a new definition of prayer. Yet it is not so new after all, because back of every prayer or petition ever offered to Deity is a desire for something. Take away this desire and you take away the incentive to prayer. Yes, you take away the very prayer itself. It naturally follows, then, that the more unselfish the prayer or desire, the more nearly it reflects true prayer and wins its quick response. Perhaps nothing can be more unselfish than the desire to know God aright. And to know God in this way is to enjoy the nature of prayer as it is referred to by Jesus: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). Is it not easier to "believe that ye receive them" when you understand that God is Love, and that this Love eternal has nurtured, cradled, and met every need of all creation throughout the ages? And your needs are not apart from these.
One may say, I desire to know God with all my heart. How am I to go about it? The Christian Scientist knows of but one way in which to go about it. A consistent study of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" has brought a better understanding of God to hundreds of thousands of persons, and has revealed what heretofore have been called the hidden meanings of the Bible. No "introductory" or "explanatory" books are needed to enable you to understand Science and Health. The book which has unlocked the Bible and revealed its treasured meanings to millions of readers needs no other interpreter than an honest heart and a true desire to know God. And it may be said just here that this very honesty of purpose, this very desire to know God, is in itself the quiet energy of the divine Mind finding its manifestation and bringing salvation to men.
But how does this work out in specific performance? one asks. You are confronted with a problem of poor business, or no business at all. Now what is the basic error of the situation? Is it not the belief that business can be poor and that man can be a failure? But this cannot be said of man who reflects divine intelligence and Truth. And there is no other man. The truth exists with respect to health, business, and all things; and this truth, in response to desire or prayer, unfolds to human thought the health, business, and universe of God's creating in which no imperfection or failure can appear.
In Christian Science, as one turns his thought intelligently and in the prayer of pure desire toward God, he closes out of his consciousness the lie about his business, about his health, or abut anything else, and when this is done the law of God begins to operate in his behalf, and Christ, the true idea of God, governs his business, his health, and all things that are to him related.
In Christian Science Christ Jesus is the Wayshower; that is, he shows the way by revealing what is the nature of the real man. Jesus was conscious of man and the universe from the point of reality. This reality which Jesus saw in man and the universe, and which appears to-day in Christian Science, transcends the knowledge of matter and the limitations of physical sense. Jesus' true understanding of God enabled him to see man aright, — to see the man of God. When different phases of erring mortality were brought before him Jesus consistently refused to see them as real; he refused to see reality in matter. Said he, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh [or matter] profiteth nothing"; and Paul said, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus said that those who followed his way, or his nature, should do the works which he did. He indicated that there is no way to gain freedom except by following in the way of his nature. At no point in his teachings does he say that this nature is such that it cannot become the nature of every God-knowing and God-loving man, woman, and child. On the contrary he has said, "If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him"; that is, if any man understand my nature — what I am will come in to him. The doctrines of men based upon material misconceptions of his nature have enveloped the life of Jesus and his teachings with mysticism. The result of this has been that his true character or nature which alone — as he pointed out — can save and succor mankind, has become a mere tradition. By revealing the true teachings of Christ Jesus as being unrelated to matter and the physical senses, Christian Science will check the misrepresentation of Christianity.
Christian Scientists know that Jesus of Nazareth was as Mrs. Eddy has said, "the most scientific man that ever trod the globe" (Science and Health, p. 313); and they are honest in their desire to understand the truth, or the Science of his teachings. They are experiencing much of the joy, happiness, health, success, which Jesus said would appear as a result of following in his way, or in his nature. They have not yet attained all of the promises; but they have gained much ground. They are happy and never discouraged. Among the many lessons taught by Christian Science is one which stands out like a rock in a weary land: there is a beauty in goodness more rare and priceless and more to be desired than all material possessions, and more healing than all the phantom dreams of matter.
Old Age Versus Right Activity
Mankind born into mortal consciousness comes straightway under the influence of a consciousness which seemingly has been prepared for them; and they begin to think and to act under the impulses of educated tendencies. This mortal consciousness attempts to set up laws for its people; laws of health, of success, of happiness, and it seems to enforce these so-called laws except where Christian Science is shown to exist and to govern mankind under the law of God. One of the tendencies of mortal mind is named "heredity." This so-called law claims to bring over with a new-born mortal the weaknesses and evils of previous generations, all in contradiction of God's law, which demonstrates the continuity of good. The fact that human beings are healed under God's law as revealed in Christian Science proves that the influence of this false consciousness is not of necessity any part of human experience. Thus may be seen how utterly illegitimate and without foundation is the assumed dictatorship of mortal consciousness, and how utterly foreign this consciousness actually is to the nature and needs of mankind.
In the line of human generation mortal consciousness proceeds to evolve other laws or beliefs and names them "astrological laws" or "planetary influences." So runs the list on and on, becoming more and more involved and mysterious.
Christian Science denounces this entire range of beliefs in hereditary and planetary "influences" involving evil tendencies and disposes of them in Christ's own way. Jesus said: "Call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." The import of this injunction is made clear in Christian Science. Its effect is to relate thought and desire to God. Mrs. Eddy writes that Christian Science "resolves things into thoughts" (Science and Health, p. 269). By recognizing God to be divine Mind, and man to be the manifestation as idea of this Mind, Christian Science rightly relates thought to God, and thus establishes the true idea of relationship into which no sense of mortal heredity can come.
One favorite diversion of mortal mind is the birthday habit, — the attempt to measure man in terms of years. Twelve months after a child is born he is said to be one year old; and he then begins to have birthdays upon which, with certain festivities, he celebrates the belief that he grows old. Following the age-mark of birthdays he becomes a young man, a middle-aged man, and finally he is said to be an old man, bent, weak, and decrepit — tottering on. Not an attractive picture by any means, but it is the picture which mortal consciousness impresses upon the thought of mankind until men reproduce the picture in their own experiences. The birthday habit helps amazingly to paint the picture.
How often do men and women look forward to the time when they can lay aside their useful occupations; and how often do they plan to find the pleasant hillside overlooking the quiet valley where they may settle down in comfortable rocking chairs to enjoy a peaceful state of — stagnation. One may, of course, with perfect right find the quiet place for study and contemplation with comfortable things surrounding him, and enjoy them; but one should be careful to know that mortal mind is not setting up the measuring stick of years and whispering into his consciousness that he has completed his career and that now it is time to settle down to a fruitless round of inactivity and diversion.
The demand of Christian Science at all times is Scriptural: "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Under the heading of "Love's endowment" Mrs. Eddy writes on page 248 of Science and Health as follows: "Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom. Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb."
Christian Science enables men to have one God and to look to the infinite Mind for guidance. By rightly relating desire to the divine Mind thought begins to manifest the wisdom and activity of this Mind, in whose government there is found no incentive to carry men against men and class against class. The antagonisms which obtain among human personalities, the conflicts which arise between classes, will cease only when men learn, as taught in Christian Science, that there is a supreme governing Principle which controls harmoniously all existence, and that the nature of this Principle is found to be the nature of unchanging Love.
One may say that if this be true then Christian Science has solved an age-old problem, — that of antagonism or conflict between men and classes. And this is the exact fact. Christian Science reveals a universe which is filled with spiritual or true ideas, — ideas of health, agreement, courage, kindness, confidence, — God's ideas; and these ideas are becoming more potent and permanent than are the educated beliefs in sickness, old age, war, conflict, death.
Christian Science imparts the true idea of man and creation in the midst of imperfection; and this true idea unfolds unity of thought and agreement, together with the consciousness of health, confidence, and success. Think for a moment what this revelation means! Men and women surrounded by a world of failure, sickness, and conflict suddenly learn that these distortions are not legitimate; that they are trickeries and impositions; and that there is at hand in Christian Science a new heaven and a new earth wherein is found the consciousness of true being. Think of what this understanding means to men and women who have heretofore believed that the only way they can escape from this world of failure, sickness, and conflict is to die out of it! Have you ever pictured to yourself a day in which evil tendencies, sickness, death, would not be known? Yes, you have thought of it; and you have yearned to see the dawning light of that day. This era is at hand in Christian Science. Like the wireless and the radio it always has been here though unrecognized by human thought.
To-day Christian Science has revealed the Science of salvation which is unfolding to human thought with infinite tenderness the nature of divine Love and its availability to meet human needs, whatever those needs may be. In this revelation of divine Love is found the fulfilment of that Scripture which declares. "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ."
[Published in The Erie County Independent of Hamburg, New York, Sept. 18, 1924.]