Christian Science: The Democracy of Mind — God (1)
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
Right to Be Here
That it is the undoubted right and privilege of every person to know the truth, is a proposition with which all will readily agree. Therefore we may be assured at the outset that it is a right thing for us to be here seeking to know the truth, — seeking to know something of the healing truth involved in Christian Science.
Christian Science is meeting the warm approval and commendation of humanity wherever its influence is felt or known throughout the world today, because it is meeting the needs of a humanity sick of its sufferings and wearied with its superstitions; because it is bringing to this humanity the cheering message — and proof — that there is rest, peace, joy, health, strength, and an inexhaustible supply of the heavenly Father's loving kindness and care where only the ashes of unanswered prayers seemed to remain.
Not to Destroy
It is not the purpose of this lecture rudely to challenge or compel the relinquishment of any cherished religious belief, or the abandonment of any sustaining or upholding ideal, opinion, or thought which may have heretofore been a source of comfort and help to any one. In fact, and in this connection it will be a surprise to many, and of interest to all, to know, even if it were possible to compel all the people of the world at once to adopt the religion — and the healing methods of Christian Science, Christian Scientists themselves would be the first to oppose and nullify any such procedure, because the Christian Scientist knows better than most people that it would be just as impossible to legislate a man into the acceptance of a certain form of religion as it would be to legislate him into the acceptance of a certain form of healing treatment.
Religion and Healing Defined
Here it may be stated that if man is to attain to the full benefit of either religion or healing, they must be to him as simple and necessary, as universally available and certain, as that two and two make four.
Religion properly defined is that which clarifies and makes available the simple fundamental facts concerning God, man, and the universe: while religion which fails to do this, mystifies and submerges clear thought, and by reason of this mystification can accomplish no good purpose of religion. Healing, properly defined, is that which establishes the recognition of perfect harmonious consciousness; while matter, or material medicine, being a part of material existence, a part of material consciousness, can accomplish only the mental suggestion involved in such material consciousness, and cannot, by reason of the limitations and uncertainties of such material consciousness, be the procurer of any truly scientific results in healing.
Not Related to Mortal Mind
It will be evident, therefore, that Christian Science is not related to and should not be associated in any way with mental suggestion, hypnotism, spiritualism, mental hygiene, or any circle, church, cult or society which bases its teachings and practice upon the use of the human mind, the human will, or the human personality as a religious or healing factor or control. On the contrary, Christian Science has to do with the being, government and operation of the divine Mind, or God, as well as the perfect, harmonious continuity of creation, man and the universe.
Statement Regarding Church
Further, it is not the purpose of this lecture to ask you to become members of the Christian Science church. Here it may be well for me to read a few lines from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, who is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. The reference is found on page 35 and reads as follows: "Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are new-born of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love — casting out error and healing the sick." It will be observed that these simple words are in full accord with those well-defining words of the Master: "By their fruits ye shall know them."
Purpose of This Lecture
This lecture, however, has quite a definite purpose, and if as a result of our being together in this brief interval there shall come to any one of you a brighter outlook upon a dreary existence; if there shall come freedom from pain, sickness and suffering, some alleviation of sorrow, sadness, and grief; if evil shall be to you less of a reality, less of an inevitable necessity, therefore capable of being escaped from, because God is good, then, my friends, the complete purpose of the lecture will have been attained, and God's will which certainly must contemplate the lessening of sin, sickness, sorrow, death, and disaster, is done.
Misconceptions Re Will of God
It should be universally recognized and known that the will of God must be good. And yet whenever mankind has come upon some tremendous calamity, or when some great circumstance of evil has in its magnitude outstripped a personal capacity for evil accomplishment, or when some blunder of the physical universe has demonstrated the instability of material laws, mankind has generally taken refuge in the "will of God," "divine providence," the "dispensation of providence," as a reason for something which it could not explain in any other manner, hence the continuation of superstition and fear. Such an awful imputation against Deity would not be made if it were not due to a false sense concerning God, man and the universe.
Will of God Is Good
There are hundreds of thousands of men and women and children in all lands who have learned and are learning daily in Christian Science that God's will is, must be, good: that God, who is infinite Truth, Life, Love, can only be good; and then instead of bowing in supreme agony to the will of God, they have found that they might hasten forward with gladness and joy to meet and welcome the will of God, knowing that it can only mean good!
Understanding Determines Progress
It surely must be the will of God that His children should know Him aright. The Scripture of Jeremiah declares, "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Whatever mankind has known or believed concerning God in all ages has determined its happiness, harmony, health, peace, prosperity, progress, and development. For when a stone or a stick was worshiped as Deity, the rocks and forests formed the dwelling places of men; when a tribal God was worshiped as Deity, the might and prowess of warriors determined tribal security and progress; when agnosticism reared an altar "to the unknown God," mere intellectuality measured the faith and accomplishment of men; and when in the fullness of time, Christ Jesus declared, "God is a Spirit [or, as stated in another translation, "God is Spirit"]: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," then began the decline of that priesthood of matter, the material sense of God and man, which had so long withheld from humanity its rightful progress and development. Right here is encountered a fact the significance of which may never be forgotten or lost sight of; namely, that with this true idea of God which Christ Jesus inculcated, came his many mighty works of healing and regeneration, as well as those of his students and followers, which continued upward of three centuries thereafter. In fact it was concerning these very works of healing and regeneration that Christ Jesus sent word to John the Baptist that they were the evidence or witness of the Messianic or Christ way.
Today this true idea of God which is declaring the Science of Christianity has reappeared in Christian Science, bringing the same healing and regenerative message which characterized its advent two thousand years ago.
Misconceptions Concerning God
It must be apparent to an unprejudiced consideration that there has been some misconception, or at least inadequate understanding, concerning God, and one such popular misconception has been that which assumes and depicts God as being more or less humanly personal, of magnified proportions, patriarchial, and kindly in aspect. This seems to be a concept which has found favor among artists quite generally, and may well be said to represent a concept toward which the human mind quite naturally turns.
A short time ago there was exhibited in an eastern city a collection of paintings of the Cubist school, among which was one that attracted a great deal of attention and comment. Upon a blue background were depicted a group of spheres or globes, from which, extending downward, were numerous crystals or rays in bright red and gold. Nothing more! To this painting the artist had appended the title, or name, God.
Of the two concepts of God here referred to it is possible that the latter might be productive of the greater good; for while the former would leave one with a vary comfortable sense of a kindly disposed personage and impel the observer to no further inquiry, the latter would inevitably impel the observer to inquire, What is God? And if he is sincere in his inquiry he will find an answer commensurate with his sincerity, — "Ask, and ye shall receive."
There are certain primitive or fundamental statements in this connection which are so innate and obvious as to require no argument to establish their acceptance — they are self-evident, namely, — that existence indicates or expresses Mind, intelligent cause; that without Mind there can be no existence; that Mind therefore is the necessary precedent, cause, or creator of existence. Otherwise stated, existence, or that which exists, is the necessary subsequent effect, result or creation of Mind. This Mind, then, infinite in its perfection, immeasurable and inexhaustible in its capacity, continuity, and resource, must be the divine Principle of man and the universe; must be that which we mean or should mean when we think or say God.
Mind Omnipresent, Incorporeal
Indeed, it would be impossible to conceive of God except as all-wise or infinite Mind; and as there is no place where Mind is not, God, who is all-wise, infinite Mind, is omnipresent, hence incorporeal. And being incorporeal, it would be just as obviously erroneous to think or speak of God as humanly personal or corporeal as it would be to think or speak of two times two making seven. One might mistakenly believe that two times two make seven, just as one might mistakenly believe that God, who is infinite Mind, or divine Love, is humanly personal or corporeal; but just so surely as one would run into countless difficulties through the mistaken belief that two times two make seven, just so surely would he run into countless difficulties — sin, sickness, death, and disaster — through the mistaken belief that God, who is infinite Mind, or divine Love, is or can be corporeal, humanly personal, or physically outlined in any manner whatsoever. The Scripture declares; "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.''
God is Love
In language inspired and inspiring the beloved disciple John, who fulfilled so wonderfully the great trust reposed in him by the Master, "Tarry till I come," declares that "God is love"; — love that is without beginning and without ending, "the same yesterday, and today, and forever," as defined and interpreted by Principle and Truth.
How much humanity has needed to know this God who is infinite Love! And yet how little opportunity there has been to effect this knowing, because of the false belief and superstition concerning God with which the education of humanity has been environed.
Man Considered as Unworthy
A grave error in this connection which has existed in all times has been that of thinking man to be unworthy, of himself, to enter into the holy of holies, "the secret place of the most High," and to know God aright; also that of comparing godlike majesty with the majesty of earthly kings, earthly princes, potentates, and earthly dignitaries generally, into whose presence the man of ordinary daily life might not be expected to come at will. Yet how different this would be if the majesty of God were understood to be the majesty of infinite creative Mind! One does not hesitate to come before the majesty of Mind to know the eternal fact involved in the exact relation of numbers. The majesty of God requires only to be known aright.
False Consciousness of Man
What is it that argues against man's worthiness in this connection? To this false sense, or false consciousness, the word of God comes today in Christian Science, sounding the hidden depths and corners of this consciousness, as it came to Adam in the garden of old: "Who told thee that thou was naked?" What is this but a false sense, or false consciousness, concerning God and man and the universe?
"A Murderer From the Beginning"
Was it not this very false sense, or false consciousness, that Christ Jesus himself denounced and unmasked when he declared to those who were reviling his teachings: ''Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." Paul designated this "murderer from the beginning" as "the carnal mind," which he immediately defines as "enmity against God."
Mrs. Eddy characterizes this same condition of thought as mortal mind, and proceeds at once in Christian Science to show how it may be overcome and escaped from — not by ignoring its claims or fearing them, but through the recognition and demonstration of man and the universe created and forever maintained in perfect continuity by one infinite creative Mind, or God.
Objections to Right Idea
Occasionally some people are found, although the number is rapidly diminishing, who profess to believe that a part of the teachings of Christ Jesus were intended only for his immediate followers; that the perfection which he inculcated was to be attained at a future time, in some future state; that the man of today might not aspire to such things. Probably the person contending in this way would be perfectly satisfied to believe that Christ Jesus did not mean it for him when he declared '"The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Indeed such a one might be very well likened to the little boy who went with others of his playmates upon an outing into the country. All during the day he was observed apprehensively upon the outer edge of the games, never entering joyously into the sports of his fellows. Upon being asked why he had not gathered the wild flowers and enjoyed himself with his playmates, he replied that his mother had told him that morning to be sure to have a good time — and look out for snakes! So the little fellow had been looking for snakes all day.
It would be very possible to do so, but I am sure you will agree that it would be tremendously poor policy for one to go through life looking for snakes. One would miss thereby the kingdom of heaven.
True Idea Necessary, Authorized
All of the teachings of Christ Jesus point clearly not only to the propriety but to the imperative necessity for gaining a true understanding of God, and of truly understanding man's unity with Him.
The words of the Master in this connection are clear and conclusive, and may not be misinterpreted in the least: "If ye continue in my word, . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." "This is life eternal, that they might know thee." As though to silence forever the human cavil that it might be blasphemy for man to be god-like, to be as he was created by God, the Master said to His disciples: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one . . . even as we are one," "Take my yoke upon you."
No one has ever attained greater facility of expression through parable and metaphor than Jesus, and this last selection is particularly appropriate as indicating his perfect unity or oneness with the Father. The yoke is made use of to divide a burden or load between two, so that two may work together as one. The illustration in this instance indicates man's unity or oneness with God, whereby mankind are healed and blessed and their burdens lightened. Having no other mind, intelligence, or thought than the one creative Mind, or God, whom Jesus called the Father, he was always thinking God's thoughts. And this was his yoke.
Genesis of Material Existence
In the first chapter of Genesis it is recorded that God created man in His own image and likeness, and pronounced good all that He made. In the second chapter it is recorded that the Lord God made man from "the dust of the ground," and he became a material organism with a soul inside it. No explanation is given, no reason advanced in the Scripture for the appearance of this second creation; but it cannot in any event be assumed as a reason therefor that the infinite, all-wise creator, God, was dissatisfied with His own image and likeness. Therefore this second creation, the Adamic priesthood of matter, or material sense of God and man, appearing as it does without reason, and involving the impossible inconsistency, namely, the attempted organization of spirit and matter, which is just as impossible and inconsistent as the organization of light and darkness, is without authority, without principle, without law, hence without reality.
Spiritual Existence All Inclusive
The Christian Scientist does not propose to waste any time in trying to find out where something came from which he knows has no existence in reality. He does not propose to waste any time in looking for snakes. He has found that he is happier, healthier, more harmonious in every way, that he is finding the kingdom of heaven, in the degree that he wakens out of this sleep, dream, mist, or material sense of God and man.
It may be represented that Christ Jesus appeared in the flesh and that this is an argument sustaining the necessity of material sense. But Christ Jesus himself states upon this very point, "It is the spirit that quickeneth. the flesh profiteth nothing." In this connection it might be well to ask one's self just how much or how little is nothing. Speaking again of his own true selfhood as the manifestation of Spirit, or God, Christ Jesus declares, "I am the way," and "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." No man cometh unto the Father save by the yoke of unity, or oneness with God which Jesus inculcated. In the appearance of Christ Jesus, therefore, there must be recognized, not an authority commending the Adamic priesthood of matter, or the material sense of God and man, but the eternal, never-fading, unparalleled evidence that God the Father, or infinite creative Mind, is Love. As the manifestation of this infinite, ever-present Love, Christ Jesus presents to humanity the perfect, man.
And this, my friends, is the man that Christian Science declares to you; the man who becomes apparent as the manifestation of eternal Mind, or God; the man who forever reflects God's unchanging law.
Law Involved in Christian Science Healing
The healing and redemptive works of Christian Science afford proof to thoughtful persons that the results in question are not fragmentary or haphazard in their nature and occurrence: but by reason of their magnitude, multiplicity, and permanence, they belong to and are rightly classified as the effect of law, superior to and forever above material so-called laws, which result in discord and disintegration.
This is just another way of saying that the fact of health and harmony must appear in relation to the true understanding of God, as inevitably as the figure four appears in relation to the numbers two times two.
Definition of Law
The term law may be and is variously defined, but in its true and highest meaning law may be said to be that which manifests or makes known the enduring stability of Truth, the perfect continuity of Life, the unchanging unity or oneness of Love; in other words, that which reflects or manifests the authority or potency of all-inclusive creative Mind, or God.
One may insist, however, at this point that law should represent the substantiality of matter.
Matter: Instability, Disappearance
In the endeavor to arrive at the permanent origin, ultimate form, or primal state of what is called matter, physical science has come upon numerous disappearing hypotheses. To illustrate: Until not so very long ago physical science looked upon the atom as representing the ultimate form or primal state of matter. Of comparatively recent date, however, advanced physicists are quite in agreement that what is known as the electron has superseded and displaced the atom as the ultimate form of matter. The electron has been described as a point of force or a swirl in the ether: it has, of course, never been seen by the physical senses; in fact, but very little indeed is known concerning the electron, except that it indicates the passing of what yesterday was looked upon and accepted by physical science as the primal state of matter.
In other words, in attempting to arrive at the permanent origin, ultimate form, or primal state of what is called material substance, matter is seen to disappear. Prof. Wilhelm Ostwald, a well-known authority, states in substance on page 242 of his "Outlines of General Chemistry," Ed. 1912, that the conception of matter is too indefinite for it to be regarded as one of the constituents of phenomena. Please to remember that this is a statement of physical science regarding matter, and that matter is the foundation of physical science.
Further, one views the immediate or local forms of matter with which humanity is environed, also the material residue of ancient ages, and discovers in each of these emphatic evidences of the changing, shifting, and loosening grasp of matter, and is crowded inevitably to the conclusion that there is a force continually at work disintegrating and destroying the assumed stability of material laws.
At this point an interesting inquiry presents itself to physical science, namely: May not the disappearance of matter involve and foreshadow the disappearance of material law? Writing from the viewpoint of physical science. Prof. Walter Nernst of the University of Berlin, states: "It has often been assumed in the past that any real law of nature must be absolutely true; at present this can no longer be accepted, at least everything points to the conclusion that there are no such laws at all, but that all so-called laws of nature are more or less exact, but never completely so, and that a limit can be reached in every case where the law entirely fails" (Theoretical Chemistry, English Edition, 1911, p. 4).
While these statements may be of interest, I desire to say that they are not made from the standpoint of Christian Science. They have been gone into thus at length simply to show that even from a wholly materialistic basis the pursuit of definite conclusions from such basis can only ultimate in negative results, although it may be said that if one must follow this long. dark, and dreary way, these negative results may at length, by reason of their very fruitlessness and hopelessness, turn the weary seeker after Truth toward the contemplation of infinite Mind, or God, as the source of all reality.
It is hardly necessary to state that Mrs. Eddy did not arrive at her understanding of the fundamentals of Christian Science from any such materialistic deductions as these. As early as the year 1866, she made the denial of the substantiality of matter, and today, fifty years thereafter, physical science has announced the practical disappearance of any ultimate form of primal state of matter cognizable to the physical senses; but from an entirely different basis and with entirely different results; for while physical science has pursued matter to its point of disappearance, and finds itself in the rather equivocal position of standing upon something which, even according to its own conclusions, has no existence in reality, Christian Science, recognizing man and the universe created and forever sustained in perfect continuity by infinite Mind, or God, has established an enduring substantiality, of the increase of which "there shall be no end."
That is all very interesting, remarks an inquiring friend, but what is that going to do for the man who has a pain in his head? Would you say that he has no head? By no means! The gentleman would undoubtedly object to losing his head in such an unceremonious manner. The trouble is not with the head, nor with the atom, nor yet, with the electron, but with the material so-called law, which is the effect of false material consciousness, or mortal mind, the "murderer from the beginning," which "abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." Therefore there can be no real, true, genuine property or quality of law in anything that belongs to this false consciousness, or "murderer from the beginning," because "there is no truth in him."
But what are you going to do about it? persists our inquiring friend. The law is there, established; you cannot change it or escape it. But with all kindly deference to our friend, that is just exactly what Christian Science proposes to do and is doing in every case of healing and regeneration. Law which fails to maintain stability is no longer law. When the fact of its instability appears, it ceases, by reason of that fact, to be law.
Therefore, turning away from that which has proved its insufficiency and instability — in the language and spirit of the great apostle to the Gentiles, "forgetting those things which are behind," — we look elsewhere. When the sick man is healed in Christian Science, something has taken place. It cannot be said that that which has destroyed a condition of discord and sickness, and established a condition of health, harmony, and happiness, is nothing, Effect implies cause. Therefore that which has destroyed sickness and distress and established health and harmony must be truly substantial; must be at least the substance hoped for by the weary sufferer; must be the evidence or law of perfect creative Mind, or God — the law which manifests and makes known the enduring stability of Truth, the perfect continuity of Life, the unchanging unity or oneness of Love. And this is the law, my friends, which Christian Science declares to you; the law which, when properly understood and applied, abrogates and sets aside the false material consciousness, or "murderer from the beginning"; abrogates and sets aside the false material law, which, together with the evidence of its instability, — the pain in the head, — disappears, and God's will is done. In this way, and in this way only, will "the first heaven and the first earth," the instability of matter, pass away.
Christian Science Assurance
When we speak of the real man, the real existence, and the real law, please do not understand that it is the purpose of Christian Science to destroy or deprive you of anything which may seem necessary and good to you. It is not the purpose of Christian Science to destroy but to fulfill. Christian Science has come to establish the recognition and demonstration of man and the universe as created by God.
Those who are sick and suffering naturally ask the question, How shall I avail myself of this healing and regenerative law of Truth, and Life, and Love? The answer here is simple, clear, and conclusive, and may not be involved in any manner, namely, Study well the Christian Science textbooks, the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." I repeat, study these textbooks well and lovingly, and you will find as a result of this desire on your part, as a result of this study and contemplation, that you are being blessed and healed and your burdens lightened; that you are being led in green pastures and beside still water.
Bible: Correct Interpretation
The question is sometimes asked, Why do Christian Scientists refer so freely and continuously to the Bible? There are several reasons for this: In the first place, the Christian Scientist has learned and is learning daily what the Bible contains. He has come to love with a sincere devotion this book, the leaves of which have been turned and studied by our fathers and forefathers before us. He has learned and is learning that it has a message of definite good when interpreted rightly, and that this right interpretation is bringing to him glad and infinite meanings.
Early Study by Mrs. Eddy
In her work, "Retrospection and Introspection," speaking of "The Great Discovery" (p. 34), Mrs. Eddy informs us that in the year 1866 she was healed of an illness, the result of an injury, which neither medicine nor surgery could reach. At that time she withdrew from society for a period of three years, in order that she might search the Scriptures, seeking to know how she had been healed, for she realized that her healing was related to a divine fact or spiritual law. During this period, she informs us, the Bible was her only textbook; it answered her questions as to how she had been healed; and the Scriptures had for her a new meaning, in which she apprehended the spiritual import of Jesus' teachings and demonstrations.
Bible Studied Consistently
It is a recognized fact that Christian Science has made more Bible students than any other single cause in ancient or modern times, and the Christian Scientist is the most active, consistent, and happy student of the Bible to be found anywhere in the world. He is making a daily study of the Word in conjunction with "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and is doing this not because of any bounden duty on his part, but because he has found that he is better morally, physically, spiritually, and in every way, as the result of such procedure.
Under these circumstances it would be most incongruous indeed if the Christian Scientist was not found familiar with his Bible, constantly relating its passages to his daily experiences, making use of such references and passages in giving point and emphasis in the illustration of meanings which might not be so well made in any other language.
Discoverer and Founder Established Place of Bible
If Mrs. Eddy's work had consisted only in establishing the place and use of the Bible in this incomparable manner, she would be considered a most remarkable woman indeed, and one to whom humanity would render a tribute of love and respect.
In addition to this there are hundreds of thousands of men and women and children throughout the world who have been healed of their sickness and pain, healed of their sorrow and grief, healed of their sin and misery, because Mrs. Eddy has been a citizen of the world. (See Science and Health.) And it is not a strange thing that these who have been thus healed should treasure with sincere gratitude the gift of Christian Science which this kind friend and gentlewoman has laid upon the altar of humanity.
Characteristics of Giving
If there is one word which might more than another indicate something of the character and purpose of Mrs. Eddy, I think it might be the word giving. Mrs. Eddy was always ready and willing to give to a cause that was worthy. Above all, she was always giving, giving, giving of the gift of Christian Science which had been so freely given to her. And in the final disposition of her estate to be used "in extension of the religion of Christian Science" as taught by her, she has accounted well for her stewardship, and given to humanity an eternal legacy of enduring love.
Simplicity and Strength
Mrs. Eddy's faith and trust in God, and her confidence in the ever-presence of divine Love, was the simple faith and trust and confidence of a little child, and this, together with the courage, strength, and zeal of one who had caught the vision of a great purpose, made her the most tender and loving, and yet the most compassionately firm and constructive, character of her time.
Consistency and Agreement
By far the majority of those who have been healed and blessed through Christian Science have come to know Mrs. Eddy by means of her writings, in all of which there is to be found a continual help and inspiration, and above all, a most beautiful consistency in the statement of Principle and practice throughout. This consistency, my friends, is not the careful, studied consistency of one who feared that she might utter something contradictory in its nature, but the simple, straightforward consistency of one who heard the demands of God, and neither hesitated nor feared to correlate those demands in the Science of being, or Christian Science.
Conclusion: Science of Being Necessary
Humanity has come to recognize that there is a science for very nearly everything in the world except human existence. It has learned that there is a science of music and a science of numbers, whereby the discords attendant upon these may be dispelled and harmony established.
This same humanity, sick of its sufferings and wearied with its superstitions, has come to the point of saying, expectant with hope, — May there not be a science available whereby the discords, sickness, and distress of human existence may be dispelled, and happiness, harmony and health established in place thereof, with at least equal facility and certainty?
Science of Being Available
That there is such a science of being, Christian Science affirms, declares, and is proving. The statement of this Science, or the "scientific statement of being," may be found throughout all the pages of the Christian Science textbook, but will be found concisely summarised on page 468. This statement is earnestly commended to the thoughtful contemplation of those who are in need of help and guidance.
Christian Science Invites Demonstration
There are certain definite rules whereby the science of music or numbers may be demonstrated. These rules are wholly mental, and relate to a man's thinking. There are also definite rules whereby the Science of being, or Christian Science, may be demonstrated. These are likewise wholly mental or spiritual, and relate to a man's thinking.
As illustrating the necessity for right thinking and right acting, Jesus pictured a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who "fell among thieves." They beat, bruised, and left him in sore distress. There journeyed that way, in turn, a priest and a Levite, both of whom seeing the man and his condition, "passed by on the other side." Later there came that way a Samaritan, who, seeing the man and his condition, went to him, lifted him up, and cared for him until he was well. As indicating the point of his illustration, or parable, Jesus declared to his inquirer, "Go, and do thou likewise," — or as did the Samaritan. It is evident that the priest and the Levite, although looking at the same object, did not see the sane thing that the Samaritan saw, else they would have done likewise, or even as did the Samaritan.
It is the will of God, the purpose of infinite Mind, that man should know the truth. And you may begin at once in Christian Science to discriminate between the unreal and the real, between the untrue and the true, to reject and deny the suggestions of false material consciousness or "murderer from the beginning," and instead to appropriate as yours the things that belong to immortal man, the things that forever reflect the eternal creative Mind, or God, and in the identity thus established to be free!
[Delivered June 17, 1917 at the Temple Theater in Cortland, New York, and published in The Cortland Standard, June 18, 1917. The title has been supplied from a later version of the lecture, published in The Highland Democrat of Peekskill, New York, Nov. 9, 1918,]