Proving Our Dominion Over Evil Through Christian Science
Herbert E. Rieke, C.S.B., of Indianapolis, Indiana
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Everyone is interested in liberty, not only political freedom, but also freedom from fear, disease, poverty, and war.† Individuals want to prove their dominion over material conditions instead of becoming slaves to them.† Christian Science shows that this may be accomplished by understanding the supremacy of God as Spirit.† Our Master taught that God is Spirit.† The Bible also reveals through many passages that God is infinite, All.† Isaiah recorded God as saying: "I am the Lord, and there is none else" (Isa. 45:5).† Christian Science reasons logically that since God is Spirit and there is none else, then all reality must be spiritual; and what we call matter, the opposite of Spirit, must be illusory, a false sense of reality.
Most individuals have accepted without question this false sense of material reality.† They have believed in an external material universe, about which they have opinions and by which they are bound and limited.† Christian Science shows that what we really perceive in the so-called material universe about us is the human mind's concept of reality.† Therefore, our real freedom from the limitations of materiality comes as we give up the human material sense of reality for God's spiritual idea of all creation.† Then we begin to behold things as they really are, spiritual, beautiful, and harmonious.
May I use a simple illustration to show how the quality of our thinking determines our view of the universe about us?† You start out one beautiful spring morning with the happy thought that God as the one divine Spirit lovingly governs all and manifests His divine nature through His entire spiritual creation.† You feel a refreshing breeze on your face.† A cardinal is singing joyfully from a treetop.† You admire the blue and yellow crocuses blooming in your lawn. Then you meet a friend and greet him with a cheery, "Good morning."
"What's good about it?" he replies grouchily.† You see, because he has been entertaining some gloomy material concepts in regard to reality, creation does not appear beautiful and inspiring to him.
It is the same with every phase of our experience.† Mankind only sees its own basic concept of reality.† Therefore, it is very important what we conceive of as real.† Most individuals are taught to believe in the reality of both positive and negative forces and conditions, such as God and the devil, good and evil, life and death, love and hate, Spirit and matter.† Thus, as they view the universe they see evidence of these positive and negative forces with, possibly, some neutral conditions.
In the allegory related in the second chapter of Genesis we are told that Eve was not satisfied to think in terms of the allness of God as good.† She wanted to partake of the knowledge of good and evil.† As she thought in terms of the reality of both the positive and negative characteristics of human existence, she began to see evidence of material discord and limitations.
Even the physical scientist of today examining the minutest atom sees only a symbol of the human mind's conviction in regard to reality.† Since he, along with most of mankind, has believed with conviction in the reality of positive and negative forces, and since he, more or less, has accepted the Newtonian law of physics, that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, is it any wonder that he sees in the atom a varying combination of negative and positive forces interspersed with some neutral elements?
Most physical scientists are still dealing with the elements composing the atom as though they were objective material phenomena separate from the mind perceiving them.† They are also searching for and working with what they call material laws, with which they hope to explain reality.† But it is interesting and encouraging that some are beginning to get a glimpse of the fact that without mind nothing really exists.† Christian Science emphasizes the fact that mind is not the derivative of matter.† Divine Mind and its idea is primary, the Alpha and Omega of all existence.
Now an interesting and important question to propound is this: Since we only perceive our concepts and convictions of reality, how would the universe appear to an individual who did not believe in matter as real, but who understood the positive force of good, of infinite Spirit, alone as real?† How would creation in its overall grandeur and its minutest detail appear to one who understood the omnipotence of God as good, and did not believe in the reality of an opposing power called evil?† How would things appear to one who comprehended the eternality of divine Life and did not believe in death, who knew that God, as divine Love, was almighty and that hatred, therefore, had no power to destroy?† Would not creation appear altogether different from the spiritual point of reference that positive spiritual forces and conditions alone are real?
Well, there was such an individual - Christ Jesus.† He had absolute faith in the positive power of God, and therefore challenged the false belief that evil, hatred, and death have power to interfere with the harmony of God's man.† The positive condition of health was so real to him that the opposite called disease had to disappear wherever he went.† The evidence of sin and death likewise gave way before his conviction in the omnipotence of God as Life.
On one occasion Jesus walked on the water to his disciples.† He knew that the positive power of Spirit upholds man as a spiritual idea, and that there was no material attraction called gravitation to pull him down.† Peter asked that he too might walk on the water, and he succeeded as long as he acknowledged only the uplifting power of Spirit.† But when he heard the wind and saw the waves boisterous, when he accepted the concept of himself as a mortal and of an opposite material force, he began to sink.† The Master lifted him up and said: "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matt. 14:31.)† Why should Peter - why should any of us - doubt the power of Spirit to uphold man?
Jesus not only demonstrated his dominion over all material conditions through his understanding of the omnipotence of God as Spirit, but also he helped others to find this absolute faith which enabled them to see God's creation as it really is, spiritual and perfect.† The disciple, John, tells us that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.† "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev. 21:1).† John had learned to look at everything from the positive spiritual point of view.† In this new vision of heaven and earth there was no evil, no sorrow or crying, no pain or death, for these former things were passed away.
Let us acknowledge the omnipotence of God, the reality of all the positive forces of being, and let us reject as unreal the concept of negative, opposing forces.† Then we too shall behold the universe full of health, peace, and happiness.
We shall begin by considering the nature of God, the Supreme Being.† In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465).† These seven synonyms define the eternal nature of God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.† His suppositional opposite, such as the carnal mind, matter, hatred, and death, must therefore be powerless and unreal.
As we honor the positive force of divine Life as infinite, the belief in the reality of a negative material force called death begins to give way.† Since divine Life is omnipresent, there is no room for death.† In the textbook Mrs. Eddy says: "Life is real, and death is the illusion" (p. 428).† We can be so sincere and active glorifying the concept of divine Life that the illusion of death and its contributing factors, disease and old age, have no opportunity to enter thought.† Then we, too, shall begin to behold the spiritual universe wherein there is no death, no decay, no decrepitude.
God as truth is absolute and powerful.† The negative opposite called error is powerless.† As we gain an understanding of eternal Truth as taught in the Holy Bible, and as we live this Truth in our daily affairs, then mortal errors begin to disappear.† Even the fear of making mistakes fades away as we acknowledge the allness of truth, we can consecrate our thought so completely to the reality of Truth that no suggestions of faults and imperfections enter consciousness.† That's how we gain the vision of the new heaven and earth.
The omnipresence of divine Love assures us that Godís tenderness is always with us to protect and guide.† The Bible says that Jesus was moved with compassion and then he did outstanding healing work.† Love was with him.† As we rejoice that divine Love is with us, that it is dynamic and real, then we see hatred as devoid of power or presence to harm. This is the way Mrs. Eddy states the positive presence of Love.† She says in Science, and Health (p. 340); "Divine Love is infinite.† Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love."
The world has believed that there are good and positive thoughts, but also bad and negative thoughts - that both varieties are present and powerful.† Christian Science shows that all good thoughts proceed from the one divine Mind, or God.† All negative or evil thoughts come from the carnal or mortal mind.† Divine Mind is positive and powerful.† Mortal mind is negative and therefore powerless.† As we turn to divine Mind constantly for guidance and inspiration, then mortal mind with its lying suggestions of evil becomes as nothing in our experience.† Then we see reality as constituted of the divine ideas and conceptions of this one perfect Mind.
Since divine Soul is supreme and universal, the faculty of Soul-sense, or spiritual sense, is the only true sense.† This positive spiritual sense is substantial and vital.† The negative opposite called material sense is really non-sense, want of sense.† We can love the spiritual sense of being with such devotion that we see there is no negative, sickly sense of things, no sinful, material sense to becloud our vision of reality.
God as divine Principle is omniactive, and therefore the only motivating force, governing and controlling all. There is no negative force to influence erroneously, to cause accidents, disorder, and inharmony.† Through our consecration to God as divine Principle or cause, we can demonstrate the non-existence of all bad effects such as unhappiness, limitations, sin, disease, and death.
Let us pause for a moment to see what we have been doing.† Instead of believing in positive and negative material forces as real, we have been honoring the positive elements of the Supreme Being as absolute.† We have denied the power and presence of negative elements.† Instead of looking at the universe through a glass darkly, darkened by belief in negative concepts, we have faced reality to behold creation as God sees it, from the positive standpoint of the omnipresence and omnipotence of good.† As we give up negative concepts of reality, the material sense of the universe disappears, and we begin to behold God's spiritual creation as the expression of all the positive elements of the Supreme Being.† Thus we see Spirit and its manifestation as real and eternal; and we see matter as non-existent.
God, in all His perfection, is ever-present, actively making Himself manifest.† The result is the true spiritual universe including perfect, individual man.† We become aware of this true man in proportion to our understanding of the nature of the perfect God who is the source of his being.† In our textbook we read (p. 470): "Man is the expression of God's being."† Therefore, this true man expresses infinite Love, wherein there is no hatred.† He manifests divine Truth that knows no error, and divine Life that includes no death. He radiates divine Soul in all its beauty, harmony, and purity.† He reflects the infinite intelligence of divine Mind and the substantial nature of Spirit.† Divine Principle governs every function and phase of his existence.
Many individuals, because of their lack of knowledge of the Science of man, have not been aware of this perfect, spiritual man.† They have thought of man as of few days and full of trouble.† They have not liked this mortal picture but have not known what to do about it.† Christian Science shows us how, through prayer, we can change our entire viewpoint of life and reality.
We learn that prayer includes much more than asking God's forgiveness and pleading for material blessings.† Prayer is communion with the eternal realities of the Supreme Being.† In our textbook, Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 16): "The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration."† "Demonstrate" has two meanings: first to prove with scientific certainty: secondly, to show forth or exhibit.† The highest prayer is a divinely mental process of proving to ourselves with scientific certainty that since man is the expression of Godís perfect being, he cannot show forth, exhibit, or demonstrate any ungodlike characteristics or tendencies.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Through our study of Christian Science we are learning that it is not enough to make beautiful statements about God, the universe, and man.† We must demonstrate the non-existence of mortal errors that would becloud the vision of perfect manhood.† Let us here consider several of these negative tendencies.
Eliminating Tendency to Criticize
We'll begin with destructive criticism.† This negative tendency distorts the view of reality.† In our textbook we read (Science and Health, p. 476): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.† In this perfect man the Savior saw Gods own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." When we see man as a sinning mortal, we are identifying ourselves with a sense of mortality.† Jesus said: "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matt. 7:1).† But when we look at reality through the lens of divine Science, we see man as God creates him, perfect and free.
May I illustrate how this heals?† One day my wife and I were discussing a friend who was not getting ahead in his profession.† I said: "I think he's lazy."† My wife replied: "I don't think he's alert." I added: "He doesn't go about things intelligently."† We continued our criticism until I experienced great pain in my hip.† A hip bone had slipped out of place.† We realized that we needed to reverse every negative thought we had expressed about our friend.† We rejoiced that as a reflection of divine Life man expresses initiative and a right sense of activity.† As the manifestation of Mind he reflects intelligence and alertness. When we had reversed every lie we had voiced, with the truth of man, the hip bone slipped back into place; the pain was gone; and I have never had any trouble since.† But that wasn't the best part of the experience.† Almost immediately this individual began to take advantage of every opportunity to serve others until he became a most respected and successful man in his profession.† As we devote our energies to appreciating God's perfect, spiritual man, rather than finding fault with a mortal sense of manhood, we not only demonstrate our own dominion and freedom; but we help others to find theirs.
Let us consider the error, fear, that we need to prove unreal.† Fear is a negative mental process of standing in awe of the possibility of the absence of God and His loving protection and guidance.† Jesus said: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).† There is no reason for standing in awe of the suppositional absence of good, called evil.† If you stand in front of a bright light, you will be aware of the bright rays.† If you turn from the bright light and face the shadow, you will be in darkness.† That's what fear is -† contemplating the shadows of evil as real and powerful.† If we persist in doing this we may find ourselves manifesting a darkened discordant sense of things.† For, as Job says, what we fear comes upon us.† The remedy for fear is to face the light of spiritual understanding, the allness of God, good.† Then we can express nothing but good.† Paul writes: "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3.18).† When we love God supremely by recognizing Him as All-in-all, we awaken to the fact that there is really nothing to be afraid of.
Here is another error we need to demonstrate to ourselves as unreal - doubt, doubt in regard to the power and presence of the Supreme Being.† When I was serving as Air Force Chaplain I met a young officer who told me he was a doubter, a disbeliever.† I told him I was too.† I disbelieved in many things such as sin, disease, and death.† I didn't believe in smoking tobacco, drinking intoxicants, or living an immoral life.† Everybody has faith, and we all have doubts.† The only trouble is that sometimes we get our faith and doubt mixed up; we have faith in evil and doubt the good; whereas we should always have faith in good and doubt the evil, to find true peace and happiness.
Then I told him a short parable.† There was a farmer who had a horse and a mule.† He hitched them up to a wagon and said: "Giddap."† The horse began to pull forward, but the mule persisted in backing up.† Then a bright idea came to the farmer.† He attached a pair of shafts to the back of the wagon and hitched the mule up backwards.† Then when he said, "Giddap," the horse pulled forward, and the mule backed up helping to push the load.† Then I told the young officer that we all have a horse called "faith" and a mule called "doubt." We need to harness not only our faith but also our doubts. We need to put our doubts to work by doubting or disbelieving the reality of evil.† Then we'll find our faith in good strengthened.† In Science, and Health (p. 346) we read: "Disbelief in error destroys error, and lead to the discernment of Truth."† The next Sunday the young officer was in church and soon began the study of Christian Science.† Divine Mind builds into the fabric of each spiritual idea absolute faith in the power and presence of God and His goodness.
Now let us consider the importance of refusing to accept as real the negative quality of egotism.† Egotism has two principal phases.† First, there is the belief that we can do something of ourselves without Godís help; and, secondly, the belief that we are better than others.† Egotism detracts from our expression of true manhood.† Jesus, the greatest man the world has ever known, said: "The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do" (John 5:19).† He also counseled us to love our neighbor as ourselves.† Through the study of Christian Science people are learning to turn constantly to God for spiritual guidance.† With joy they give God credit for all the good they express or accomplish.† Because of our spiritual understanding of God's perfect man, we look for spiritual good in everyone.† This eliminates that limiting sense of comparison which might tempt us to believe that we are better than others.† The positive quality of true humility brings grace and strength to character.
The spiritual man of God's creating expresses the positive quality of unselfishness.† It is not the purpose of man to get, to absorb, to accumulate material things.† His true destiny is to give, to radiate, to reflect infinite good.† Our Master never used the word "get" except in an altogether different sense when he told selfishness and all evil to get out; but he had much to say about giving.† "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom" (Luke 6:38).
At one time Jesus was sharing his spiritual inspiration with a multitude of five thousand.† When the people became hungry the disciples wanted to send them into the village to get victuals.† Jesus reversed that whole thought of getting and said: "Give ye them to eat" (Luke 5:13).† The disciples depreciated their supply, saying they had only five loaves and two fishes, which were certainly not enough for so many.† Jesus took what they had and gave thanks.† Then he gave the food to the disciples and told them to divide it with the multitude.† All were fed abundantly.† As we appreciate the good we have and use our talents to bless and feed others with spiritual inspiration, we too shall find enough for our needs and basketsful left over.
Don't try to get riches.† See man as the unlimited expression of infinite Mind, who devotes his reflected energies to sharing his spiritual wealth of ideas with others.† Then you will never lack anything.
Never try to get health as though it were a material commodity from without to be purchased.† Acknowledge that well-being is an ever present spiritual quality inherent in man, and learn through Christian Science how to express this true health.
Don't try to get acquainted with people.† Give sincere interest in the welfare and happiness of others, and you will find a host of friends.† At one time, when I was in college, I was lonely.† I didn't seem to be able to get acquainted with people.† Then I discovered my error.† It was this negative thought of getting.† I asked myself how I could give more abundantly to my university, to the Cause of Christian Science, and to the welfare and happiness of other students.† Soon it dawned on me that our university did not have a Christian Science College Organization as provided for in the Manual of The Mother Church.† Steps were taken, and before long an Organization was flourishing destined to bless the university, the Cause of Christian Science, and many students in the years to come.† Incidentally I began to find a host of friends.† Since God is the giver of all good, man lives to express this spiritual quality of unselfish giving.
Let us vigorously nullify the negative beliefs of hatred, resentment, and enmity.† In answer to the question as to the best way to heal instantaneously, Mrs. Eddy once said: "It is to love! Just live love - be it - love, love, love.† Do not know anything but Love.† Be all love.† There is nothing else.† That will do the work.† It will heal everything; it will raise the dead.† Be nothing but love" (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Second Series, pp. 49, 50).† We can never afford to allow hatreds and dislikes, jealousy, envy, or resentment to separate us from this divine power of Love.† These errors must be repudiated, annihilated, and demonstrated as nonexistent in our experience that we may behold man as he really is, the idea of divine Love.
Other phases of error we need to demonstrate as unreal are laziness, apathy, a 1ack of alertness.† Paul wrote to the Ephesians: "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 5:14).† Christian Science shows that humanityís troubles come from a negative mesmeric sleep, a failure to be awake to the great spiritual facts of being.† Science teaches us how to be alert in detecting and repudiating all mortal errors about the perfect man.† Through the healing activity of Christian Science, the Christ, Truth, breaks the mesmeric dream that man is mortal and discordant, and awakens the individual to the reality of man's perfect spiritual sonship with God.
The world is beginning to see that disease is a hypnotic dream.† A friend of mine recently asked an eminent physician how hypnotism was used in healing.† The doctor replied: "You can't hypnotize people into being well.† That would be dangerous and could bring basic damage to the individual.† What I try to do is de-hypnotize them.†† They have already sold themselves a bad bill of goods through autosuggestion and through what they have read in newspapers and heard over television.† I try to awaken them."† For almost a century Christian Science has been awakening people from the mesmeric dream of sickness, not through the activity of the human mind or will-power but through the holy influence of the Christ, which reveals the spiritual idea in regard to all things.
May I show you how Christian Science heals through awakening people to the truth of being?† A woman had all the symptoms of cancer.† To facilitate her awakening a Christian Science practitioner asked her: "what do you think of life?"
She replied: "I don't know.† It's a great mystery.† There is so much confusion."
The practitioner asked her where she had acquired this concept.† She didn't know.† She had thought that way for a long time.† Then she was asked what kind of reading she enjoyed.
She answered quickly: "Mystery stories, crime and murder."† Might that not be one of the reasons she seemed to have a confused, mixed-up sense of life?† And this false concept of life was being manifest as a disease called cancer.† She was asked to put aside such entertainment and devote her energies to a careful study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook.† Here, she found an altogether different concept of life.† The mystery was dispelled for she learned that God is divine Life manifested in harmonious consciousness and spiritual activity.
Her thought was soon far above the mortal sense of life with its conflicts, murder, and rebellion.† She began to find real pleasure in the joyful song of birds, the growth of flowers in her garden, and in attending Christian Science church services.† As her interest changed, her concept of life and its manifestation changed.† Within thirty days all evidence of cancer was gone.† The mesmerism was broken.† She was no longer duped into believing that man is a mortal creature caught in the maelstrom of conflicting, evil, material forces.† She had awakened to the true meaning of spiritual growth as expressed in Science and Health (p. 258): "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis."
Now of course, Christian Science does not indicate that everyone who reads mystery stories will have cancer, but it does teach that we must be very careful what we accept as true in regard to life.† Not long ago a little boy came to his mother while she was entertaining friends and exclaimed (you see, he had been watching a television commercial): "Mamma, I'm beer hungry."† Christian Science shows us how to protect our thought and the loved ones in our family so that we do not accept a counterfeit, material sense of life instead of the true spiritual life which is the manifestation of God, good.
Now we have discussed the way to find individual salvation through the prayer of demonstration.† We have seen the importance of accepting the positive spiritual qualities of being as real, and of rejecting or proving as non-existent all negative concepts that would becloud our spiritual vision of reality.† But this is not enough.† We do not live unto ourselves alone; we live in relationship to all of God's creation.† To find complete salvation we must uplift our concepts of others until we behold them also as God's perfect children.† In our textbook we read (p. 18): "Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage.† His mission was both individual and collective."† Jesus not only demonstrated perfect individual manhood, but also he showed others how to find true salvation.
Jesus saw the importance of individual spiritual development and salvation.† He did not permit the thought of the masses or the demands of his family to swerve him from his life-destiny to prove himself the perfect Son of God.† A one time he spent forty days and nights alone in the wilderness, proving with scientific certainty that his individual nature included not a single element of evil or even a suggestion of evil.† He knew that only as he demonstrated his oneness with God could he help others.
But Jesus was no recluse.† He shared with others the spiritual inspiration he found through his communion with God.† He knew that the Christ means Immanuel, God with us - not just God with me, but God with us, with all of us.†† He recognized his responsibility to awaken others from the mesmeric dreams of sin, disease, and death.† He found his own heaven by proving that the Principle he lived could eliminate the sufferings of others.† He saw that the Christ, the Savior of the world, includes the spiritual understanding of the universal nature of God.† He saw God, good, as present not just with himself but with everyone.† He truly demonstrated Immanuel, God with all of us.† Hear his words: "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:22).† Individual salvation was not enough for the Master.† He worked for universal salvation.† Because of his great love for mankind, he showed us all how we can prove sin, disease, and death to be nonexistent in our experience.
During our time there has been another individual who saw the importance of both individual spiritual development and loving service to others.† I am speaking of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.† From the time she was a little girl on up through her entire career she was always seeking to improve herself and to be of comfort and inspiration to others.† In her biography written by Sibyl Wilbur (The Life of Mary Baker Eddy, p. 27) we find this interesting statement: "When she discovered that Daniel prayed three times daily, she formed the habit of doing so likewise.† A curious fact is that she kept a record of these prayers in order to examine herself from time to time to learn if she had improved in grace."† It is related in the same biography that Mrs. Eddy as a little girl had such a sincere desire to comfort others that she could not endure to hear the calves bawl or the pigs squeal in their own farmyard without an effort to comfort them (p. 21).
In her book Retrospection and Introspection (p. 24), Mrs. Eddy writes: "My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so."† After discovering the Science of Christianity, the Holy Comforter promised by the Master, Mrs. Eddy spent three years in careful research in the Bible seeking the Science of Christianity that would enable her to help others effectively.† She thoroughly demonstrated the divine Principle of healing and then taught others to heal the way the Master did.† She founded The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and established its periodicals.† She also established a metaphysical college.† Then at the height of its prosperity, she closed the college and retired to a quiet, New Hampshire town, where she could devote her thought to further spiritual growth which would enable her to perfect the church organization.† When this was accomplished she moved back into the Boston area to be close at hand in founding The Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper, of which she says (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 355), "The next I named Monitor, to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent.† The object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind."
Mrs. Eddy spent much time every day in quiet study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, and in silent communion with God that his qualities of spiritual good might be expressed individually through her.† But she, too, was no recluse.† She also understood the Christ as Immanuel, God with all of us.† Her own individual salvation was not enough for her.† She, too, must help all mankind to demonstrate the non-existence of all the errors that produce sin, poverty, war, and death.
We all can learn many valuable lessons from these two great individuals.† You and I also have a two-fold mission - to further our own spiritual growth and to help others.† We, too, must regularly retire from the demands of human affairs to pray quietly for that inner peace and spiritual understanding that enables us to be of most help to our fellow men.† Students of this Science find it helpful to study daily the Christian Science Bible Lessons, which include inspiring passages from the Bible and Science and Health.† Christian Science literature also brings comfort and enlightenment.† More than all else Christian Scientists are learning to pray daily for themselves.† They pray to let the positive elements of God's nature be expressed through them, and to prove with scientific certainty the non-existence of negative, human errors.† They pray to work out their own individual salvations.
But like Christ Jesus and his faithful follower, Mrs. Eddy, we, too, must come down into the valley and let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.† We find our own peace and security by helping others to find theirs too.† We must never be so busy taking care of our own human and spiritual needs that we forget to be helpful to others, or so busy trying to help others that we neglect our own spiritual development.
In family life we have a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate balanced interests.† Parents do most for their children who emphasize both individual spiritual development and family responsibilities.† In some homes there is a tendency toward totalitarianism.† Individual initiative and development are unduly suppressed for the so-called good of the family.† This prevents full development of the talents of the individual.
On the other hand, when children are allowed to have their way to such an extent that there is little sense of responsibility to the family and society, we are encouraging a selfish characteristic that might make children misfits in society later.† But when individual development and family responsibility are equally emphasized, children learn to use their best talents for the good of all.
It is the same with the nation.† What is really needed in every nation is a proper balance between the individual development of every citizen and the true sense of social responsibility toward all other citizens.† When everyone just thinks selfishly of his own interests without due regard for the welfare of others - this can only result in anarchy.
On the other hand, when individual development, education, initiative, and inspiration are unduly suppressed for the so-called good of the state - this extreme dries up the fountains of spiritual inspiration and knowledge which alone can bring true progress to a nation.† Individual interests and the welfare of the community do not have to be in conflict in the nation any more than in the family.† A proper balance between these interests enhances the spiritual strength of the nation and the individual.† Christian Science encourages mankind to avoid extremes.† It shows us that God is the divine Principle of all being which holds all things in proper balance.† It enables us to respond to this divine influence to find our true individuality and our ability to contribute our best to society.
Are not these ideas also true in regard to the family of nations?† Each nation should be free to develop its own spiritual, social, and economic welfare according to its own light, and at the same time pledge itself to work cooperatively with all other nations in helping them to make the best use of their own resources.† To outline humanly that all nations must solve their problems just the way ours does, or that a nation must blindly follow the leadership of some other nation, is to neglect true individual national development.† As we respect the rights and aspirations of all nations, and as we co-operate in the family of nations, we shall, find that this does not need to interfere with our own national development.† It can improve our welfare as it improves the welfare of all nations.
Christian Science is showing us how to pray effectively for ourselves and the world.† Christ Jesus realized the infinite possibilities of accomplishment through prayer.† He said: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).† Certainly we could not improve on the quality of the individual healings brought about by the Master.† What then could he mean by these greater works?† Was he not thinking of the universal demonstration through prayer of the unreality of all war, poverty, disease, ignorance, social injustice, and tyranny?
Here is the great challenge for all scientific Christians.† Let us also go daily to the Father, let us turn to the divine Principle in prayer and discover the positive, beautiful, practical, and inspiring ideas of God, the universe, and man.† Let us demonstrate with scientific certainty the nothingness of negative mortal errors.† Then we shall see the new heaven and earth and help others to find that perfect society described by our Master as the kingdom of heaven.