Godís Gift of Divine Healing Is Available to Everyone
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
For many centuries physical scientists have investigated matter, what it is, how it develops, and what becomes of it. However, experiments and investigations on a material plane have convinced these thinking people that matter is not what it appears to be.
Years ago, when the atomic theory of matter was accepted generally by physical scientists, it may have come as a surprise to them when a New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, made this startling statement in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all" (p. 468).
Mrs. Eddy searched the Scriptures and discovered the underlying law of the great healing works of Christ Jesus and proved her discovery to be of far-reaching, practical use. On the basis of the allness of God and the unreality of matter, she established her spiritually mental method of healing sickness and sin, and of overcoming all forms of discordant material conditions.
Mrs. Eddy's spiritually mental method of healing - by this I mean her method entirely based on God, Spirit, the divine Mind, and not on the activities of the human mind - has proved to be of the greatest benefit to mankind, of which many people living today can testify.
Many physical scientists now acknowledge that matter is not solid substance but that, as one physical scientist, Dr. Donald H. Andrews, states, ". . . the atom, instead of being a solid ball, is really almost nothing but empty space, . . . and, since we are made of atoms, it means we are practically nothing but empty space too." But don't be disturbed. I have not come here to address "empty space," and in the course of this lecture I will show you how substantial and essential you are, for man is just as essential to God as the ray of light is to the sun. In this age Christian Science has revealed the great spiritual fact that God, Spirit, or Mind, and His creation, the spiritual universe, including man, is inseparably one; one an quality, not in quantity. God, Mind, is forever the greater, holding within Himself all His own spiritual ideas. The teachings of Christian Science leave no vacuum, but this that is called "empty space" is already filled with God, Spirit, and His spiritual ideas,
Christian Scientists believe in God as one infinite, supreme, self-existent, underived, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Being, one all-inclusive Mind, unchanging Principle, eternal Life, demonstrable Truth, compassionate divine Love, sense-rebuking, sense-controlling Soul, purifying Spirit, the one loving Father and Mother of the universe.† This all-inclusive Mind, God, is the creator of the universe, including man. As like produces like, the creation must be like its creator in quality and substance. Man as the image and likeness of God must express all the qualities of the fatherhood and motherhood of God.
As each number has its value, place, and activity in the infinite calculus of numbers, so each idea of God has its value, place, and activity in the divine Mind. God needs each one of His ideas, and all His ideas are controlled and governed by divine law in perfect and eternal harmony and are, therefore, forever in their right relationship to each other.
Under the government of this divine law nothing needs to be adjusted, for everything is in perfect order; nothing has to be replaced, for nothing is ever missing; nothing has to be produced or re-created, for everything is eternally complete. Nothing in reality needs to be healed, for the whole creation, man, including the spiritual universe, is the self-expression of God's perfect Being. This perfect creation is presented to us in the Bible in the first chapter of Genesis, where we are told that God, Spirit, spake and it was done, and this spiritual account of creation ends with the words; "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."
In the following two chapters of Genesis an allegory is told. It presents a totally different material account of creation in which is portrayed a remarkable incident. Whoever wrote the allegory of Adam and Eve must have had wonderful prophetic vision, in which he saw the final destruction of evil, and how this material sense of creation would eventually be destroyed. Let us look for a moment at this allegory in the light of Christian Science. We find that when God questions Adam and Eve, after their disobedience in the garden of Eden when they had eaten of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam blames God and the woman for his fall. "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12). Not so did Eve; her answer was: "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13).
What is this talking, tempting serpent, this evil, animal, deceitful, fraudulent something which God never created? It is that same error or evil to which Jesus referred as "a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44).
But let us return for a moment to Eve, for in her answer lies a fundamental fact in Christian metaphysical healing: "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3.13). We read in the allegory that God now speaks to the lying, deceiving power of evil: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). In that part of the Christian Science textbook entitled "Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes on page 534: "This prophecy has been fulfilled. The Son of the Virgin-mother unfolded the remedy for Adam, or error;
and the Apostle Paul explains this warfare between the idea of divine power, which Jesus presented, and mythological material† intelligence called energy and opposed to Spirit."
And now let me illustrate how wonderfully this prophecy has been fulfilled by Christ Jesus in the healing of sickness and sin. Take, for example, the ninth chapter of the Gospel of St. John. We read there of Christ Jesus healing the man blind from his birth. Looking for cause in matter, the disciples of Jesus asked him (John 9:2), "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" implying that heredity or sin was the cause of the man's blindness. But Christ Jesus, accepting no other origin of man than the divine Mind, rejected the so-called law of heredity, and beholding only the spiritual, sinless man, made in the image and likeness of God, replied, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3). Then, showing his utter contempt for matter, he "spat on the ground" (John 9:6), that is, he spat on that which was believed to be the substance and origin of material man, namely, "the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7), and Jesus "made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay" (John 9:6). Then he immediately told the man to wash in the pool of Siloam; in other words, to cleanse himself of the false belief of the material origin of man - the Adam-creation - made from the "dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7). And the man returned seeing.
How did Christ Jesus do his great healing work? By never failing to identify himself and all mankind with the divine idea of sonship - the Christ. Referring to his own spiritual nature he said: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), and, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). And Mrs. Eddy tells us in her book "No and Yes"; "Jesus' true and conscious being never left heaven for earth. It abode forever above even while mortals believed it was here" (p. 36).
I should like to say that Christian Scientists differentiate between the eternal Christ and the human Jesus, the Founder of Christianity, who so perfectly embodied the divine idea of Christís spiritual sonship with God. The Christ is spiritual, eternally coexistent with God, "his only begotten Son" (I John 4:9), without even a trace of materiality. There is but one Christ, which exists eternally as idea in the divine Mind. The Christ is incorporeal. The Christ was never born, was never tempted, never suffered on Calvary, never died.† The Christ never experienced the crucifixion or resurrection; the Christ coexists with God as His spiritual, ideal man - the image and likeness of God. The Christ, or spiritual idea, was unconscious of sin, sickness, and death, matter and evil. The Christ was invisible to the so-called physical senses, but remained forever with the Father, his divine Principle, Love.
On the other hand, our great Master, Christ Jesus, was human. The human child, Jesus, was conceived through the influence of the Holy Ghost permeating the pure thought of his spiritually-minded mother. On account of his spiritual origin Christ Jesus was able to express the Christ more than could any man in that age. From his earliest years he was fully conscious of his divine origin and of his eternal life. He knew that he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14): "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." And also of the prophecy of Micah, who names the very place where the Messiah was to be born: "but thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel" (Mic. 5:2). Now, Jesus was our Wayshower. He saw the dream mortals were dreaming, and being awake to the dream and unreal nature of life in matter, he was
able to lift men out of the belief in the realty of sin, sickness, and death. He taught mortals the true origin of man and that divine Life, Truth and Love were the power in his healing and regenerating work. On one occasion he said, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10).
The man who walked on the water, thus overcoming the so-called law of gravitation; the man who overcame time and space by being immediately on the other side when crossing the lake, thus demonstrating the omnipresence of man as the idea of omnipresent Mind; the man who raised Lazarus from the dead by knowing that man's eternal life is God; the man who healed sickness and sin, stilled the storm, and fed the multitude, that man could have avoided the experience on the cross. In the Bible we read how, on several occasions, Christ Jesus withdrew himself from his persecutors. He could therefore, had he so desired, have withdrawn himself from the experience of the crucifixion. But through his compassionate love for all mankind he submitted to the ordeal on the cross in order to show mortals by his resurrection that man's eternal life is God, therefore deathless. It was envy, greed, and hatred of spirituality which crucified the human Jesus of Nazareth, but it was his Christ-consciousness, or understanding of his spiritual nature, that overcame death, and finally, through his complete exaltation above all matter, demonstrated man's true nature in the ascension.
This greatest man that ever lived understood and demonstrated the truth of being, but he did not leave a definite rule for the healing and prevention of disease.
Christ Jesus, our great Master, knew much more than he could reveal even to his disciples. He knew that the human consciousness was not yet ready to understand deep metaphysical truths; therefore he said to his disciples: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth" and "he will shew you things to come" (John 16:12, 13).
When that time came, in other words, when, through spiritual evolution, the human consciousness had been prepared, then the full and final revelation of Truth was made manifest. Thus it was that in the nineteenth century a pure and spiritually-minded woman, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered the Science of divine metaphysical healing, and named her discovery Christian Science.
It was Mrs. Eddy's fervent hope that Christian Science would be accepted universally by the Christian Church; but when she saw that this hope did not materialize she realized the necessity for establishing her own Church, where primitive Christianity, and its lost element of healing, could be taught and practiced. The result was the establishment of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. Today there are branch churches and societies throughout the world, all protected and governed by the Rules and By-Laws laid down by Mrs. Eddy in the Manual of The Mother Church.
Mrs. Eddy went through many phases of human experience while searching for the underlying, divine Principle of the teachings and healings of Christ Jesus. With only the King James Bible as her guide, she came to definite conclusions; namely, that in the allness and omnipotence of God, or Spirit, matter, Spirit's opposite, must be unreal, and that that which seemed to be material substance was only the subjective state of what she termed mortal mind. She saw that the physical healings by Christ Jesus and his disciples resulted from the operation of the divine Truth in human consciousness. In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy has revealed the complete, divine Principle and rule of individual and universal harmony.
So now we are without excuse for neglecting the commands of Christ Jesus to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils" (Matt. 10:8).
Everyone can now learn how to work out his problems, and heal the sick spiritually and scientifically.† Let us therefore praise God for the gift of healing that is bestowed on man. This healing work is done through prayer.
Prayer in Christian Science is not asking God to bring into our experience something we have planned or outlined as being best for us, nor is it the submission, in false humility, to suffering of any sort because one believes it to be the inevitable will of God. Such an admission would presume that God, Spirit, or Mind knows its opposite, matter.
Prayer in Christian Science is the acknowledgment of the present spiritual perfection of man and the universe based on the understanding that they exist as the reflection of Spirit, or Mind. To pray is to know and to be. It is to know what God knows, and to express it as one's true selfhood. What does God know? God, the infinite Mind, knows only His own infinite allness. If He is All-in-all, has all power, is ever present, and includes all true knowledge, then there can be no other selfhood outside of His infinitude. This infinite selfhood is expressing itself, and the effect is the perfect spiritual man, including all of God's ideas.
Prayer in Christian Science is the denial of whatever is discordant in human experience and the affirmation of the spiritual fact of harmonious being. Such prayer constitutes a Christian Science treatment.
To illustrate: A woman suffering from a serious internal complaint, and whom the medical profession could not heal, turned to the study of Christian Science and asked for treatment from a Christian Science practitioner.
The practitioner had that day made a careful study of the illustration Mrs. Eddy gives in the Christian Science textbook of a spiritually mental treatment (Science and Health, pp. 430-442). In this illustration the argument of truth is used to destroy the beliefs of the carnal mind. The practitioner saw clearly that if God or Spirit, is All-in-all, matter with all its erroneous beliefs must be unreal. On this basis the practitioner denied the evidence which personal sense, or evil, presented. Fear, pain, discordant activity, medical, physical, man-made laws were declared powerless and without reality in the omnipresence of God, who is infinite divine Love.
The practitioner realized that where the physical, or personal, senses seemed to present a suffering, frightened patient, there was, in reality, God's perfect, sinless, spiritual idea, the beloved and loving child of God, untouched by any erroneous belief of the carnal mind. The woman was not only healed physically, but some faults of character also disappeared.
And now some of you may be thinking: it is all very well to believe in a perfect God and His perfect creation, but how can we account for all the seeming evil in the world, with its sin and sickness, wars and poverty, its sufferings and its upheavals in nature? On pages 60 and 61 of her great work "Miscellaneous Writings," Mrs. Eddy gives a very clear explanation; she writes: "Evil in the beginning claimed the power, wisdom, and utility of good; and every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief. Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality; and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief, in all its manifestations, reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand."
In Webster's Dictionary part of the definition of "counterfeit" reads, "That which is made in imitation of something with a view to deceive; a forgery." And that is, in substance, how our great Master classified the devil or evil, namely, as a lie and a liar, in whom there is no truth. The infinite God, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, can have no opposite, for God cannot oppose His own omnipresent infinitude. Therefore, that which we seem to perceive with our material so-called senses is only a dream condition, or, as Mrs. Eddy refers to it, "some matter belief. "
Fear, ignorance, sin, or malicious intentions may cause a temporary mist which seems to hide, or distort, the true spiritual creation until the sunlight of the truth of being dispels the mist. And so that which today appears as destructive atomic force and electricity is only the misconception, or the seeming manifestation, of the false belief that there is substance and power in matter when, in reality, God, or Spirit, is the only power and substance. This is beautifully illustrated in the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of St. John where we are told of an incident when Jesus heard the voice of his Father. To some who stood by, this same voice sounded as the voice of an angel, but to the multitude, it was as if it thundered. There is no place where God is not, therefore, there is no place where His reflection is not.† We must subordinate to the truth of being the false conceptions of man and the material universe which the physical senses present. We must do this, not only for ourselves but also universally. To accept the truth of being for ourselves and still believe that others are imperfect, sick, old, poor, incompetent, or wicked, involves the danger of bringing these erroneous beliefs into our own experience.
In Christian Science we must claim mentally that which we already spiritually are, namely, perfect and Godlike. This mental attitude will bring harmony into our present experience.
Christian Science teaches that salvation from all error or evil can be attained here and now. This is in accordance with the statement by St. Paul, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2).
Christian Science teaches that salvation cannot be attained merely through faith in another's works and demonstrations. It is individual, and involves spiritual understanding of the supremacy and allness of God, Spirit, and the unreality of matter with its erroneous beliefs of sin, sickness, and death. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, spiritually understood and practiced will do more for our salvation, spiritually as well as physically, here and now, than all the faith in another's exemplary life and demonstration.
The metaphysical system of Christian Science, healing sickness as well as sin and overcoming discordant conditions of every sort, is opposed to spiritualism, hypnotism, human will power, or mental suggestion, and does not rest merely on the declaration of truth on an intellectual basis.
Christian Science prayer or treatment must be based on the deep conviction and the spiritual understanding of the omnipotence of God. It is feeling and knowing that the infinite God knows no sin or sickness. It is listening for, and hearing, the still small voice of spiritual sense. It is logic based on revelation, inspiration, and spiritual understanding. It is God, Truth, revealing Himself in His own manifestation or reflection, man.
Let me illustrate: Late one evening in the blackout during the Second World War, a Christian Science practitioner living in London was called to the bedside of a very sick man of great age who was living in a hotel. On arrival the practitioner found the patient delirious. The hotel management explained that the patient must be moved as they could not be responsible for nursing or feeding him, and certainly they made this evident by sending up to his bedroom food quite unsuitable for an invalid. The evidence of the senses seemed alarming, and more so because there was no vacancy in a Christian Science Nursing Home, nor was a Christian Science nurse available. The practitioner sat by the bedside of the patient praying. Soon the patient became quiet and fell asleep, and the practitioner then left. It was very late and pitch dark outside, and while walking down the entrance steps of the hotel she fell and sprained her ankle. No taxi was available, and the practitioner had to walk. On arrival home she felt quite exhausted, and her ankle was in a very bad condition. On the table beside her lay a Concordance to the Christian Science textbook, and opening it to the page of the quotations under the heading "man is" she read them all. Here are some of the quotations she read: "man is coexistent with God," "man is deathless, spiritual," "man is found in the likeness of Spirit," "every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind," "Spirit is God, and man is His likeness."
She read about seventy such statements regarding man, and then read them all again, pondering over each. Suddenly she realized that the feeling of exhaustion had completely left her, and getting out of her chair she found that her ankle was healed. Feeling very grateful and free she went to bed. Early the next morning her telephone rang, and a very happy voice said, "I am so grateful: I am all right." It was the patient of the night before. He was no longer a patient; he was healed, and was again able to become a useful member in his Christian Science branch church.
The material universe is but the objective state of what we term mortal mind or the collective beliefs of mortals. These beliefs are fostered through generations of false education, and seem real to us in the measure that we accept them.
This explains how an innocent little child, knowing nothing about sickness, and not fearing it, may develop an illness; for example, let us say measles. The child lives, according to the testimony of the physical senses, in an atmosphere of human thought where thousands of people are believing in the reality of measles, are fearing it, talking about it, and believing in the medical law of contagion. And when the child manifests the symptoms of this sickness the surrounding thought of anxiety is in no way helpful; whereas, correct scientific thinking, based on the Science of Christianity, could have prevented the illness or quickly set the child free.
God is Life, and His divine idea, man, can never be separated from God, and therefore His child is eternally in the care and under the protection of divine Love.
Surrounded by false beliefs, obtained from the testimony of the physical senses and held by the majority of mankind not educated in the things of Spirit, or Christian Science, mankind is apt to accept as real these false beliefs, sometimes even unconsciously.
Believing in the reality of pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, life and death, and good and evil in matter, we manifest these erroneous beliefs in our lives, our homes, our business, our governments, and our bodies. Only when we understand the nothingness of matter by understanding the oneness and allness of God, or Mind - can we exercise our dominion over such false beliefs.
The Apostle Paul has put this into simple words when he wrote to the Philippians, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).
The gray matter within the skull, called brain lobes, does not think, although it appears to act according to man-made laws. The human consciousness is that state of thought where false, material beliefs must be rejected, silenced, or cast out. These false beliefs must be exchanged for divine ideas, or the Christ-consciousness.
All is infinite Mind, one infinite divine consciousness. As we accept into the human consciousness, the spiritual ideas which emanate from the divine Mind, the belief of a counterfeit consciousness, with its errors of good and evil in matter, will fade from our experience. Then we shall find that God and His perfect creation is present here, and we shall feel that peace, happiness, and harmony which only the attainment of the Christ-consciousness can bring.
Today some of the Protestant churches are investigating divine healing. Is not this a tacit acknowledgment that Christians should heal the sick? But not until the nothingness of matter is understood, as taught in Christian Science, or not until that "empty space" to which I have already referred is spiritually understood to be forever filled with the allness of Mind and Mind's perfect ideas, can scientific, spiritual healing be practiced. It is Truth expressing itself. The human mind is not a factor in such healing. It is the Christ, or spiritual idea, which comes to the human consciousness and there destroys the false belief.
From the first glimpse to the final revelation of the Christ, Truth, from Eve's first realization that neither God nor man is the origin of evil, to the great discovery of
Christian Science through Mary Baker Eddy, evolution and progress rest entirely on a spiritual basis and development. John the Revelator foresaw the final result of this spiritual evolution as "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 21:1), which will appear when through the understanding of the Science of Christianity, the false belief of life, intelligence, and substance in matter is destroyed, and the true creation of God - spiritual and perfect - is realized. On pages 573 and 574 of the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy writes: "Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in some way. There will be no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away. When you read, this, remember Jesus' words: 'The kingdom of God is within you.' This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility."