Who Is Your Maker?
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
Is there a God?† Does God really exist?† These questions are being asked by millions.† Most people want to believe in God, but they demand a proof of His existence.† It is possible to explain the existence and nature of God scientifically.† This explanation leads to an understanding of God's creation in such a way as to bring health, abundance, and spiritual dominion to each of us.
We all know we exist.† We know there is a universe.† Either the universe is self-evolved, or it has a cause, a creator.† In the world about us we see many examples of cause and effect relationships.† No new automobile ever made a spontaneous appearance.† The existence of the car implies that there is a maker. †No apartment building rose to great heights in and of itself.† There was an architect, contractor, and builder.† A beautiful new gown - where did it come from?† Such a creation must have a creator, a designer.† Can it be different, with the universe as a whole?
Now some thoughtful people look at all the wonder and intricacy of the universe, and still say that it just-happened.† Or they agree that it has a cause but deny intelligence or consciousness or purpose to this cause; they deny that there is a creator.† Contending for the existence of a creator, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews wrote, "For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God" (Heb. 3:4).† This is the position that is taken by Christian Science.† It is rational and scientific and it can be supported by the evidence of demonstration.
Understanding the creator leads to understanding of creation, and also of what God did not create.† This understanding can improve our whole experience.† This makes it important for each one of us to know that there is a creator and what He and His creation are really like.
Now there are those who'd like to believe there's a creator, but they can't believe a white-haired person in the sky made the universe.† Neither do Christian Scientists.† But we do accept the proposition that the universe has a builder, a primal cause that is conscious and purposeful.
We ask, "What is this primal cause, this source of fundamental governing law, the divine Principle of the universe?"† We find an answer in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.† Mrs. Eddy defines the creator in a scientific manner.† She says, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465).† Let us examine this definition of the creator to see whether it is reasonable, scientific, practical, helpful.
We shall begin, as in the first chapter of the Bible, by considering the good in the universe.† What creates good?† Is it love or hatred?† Hatred doesn't create; it destroys.† It is love that creates harmony and happiness in your home.† What produces industrial peace?† Is it not the expression of love and understanding by both management and labor?† Racial tranquility - how can we find it?† Only through love and respect for people of all races.† National and international peace are brought about through love.† Love literally makes war to cease.† Even the medical profession is recognizing that hatred destroys the human system, and that love is always a good medicine.
A woman with cancer came to a Christian Science practitioner for help.† She had been having arguments with her husband, who wanted to go into a new business.† She was bitter, rebellious, and resentful.† The practitioner helped her to see that she needed to let divine Love create harmony in her experience.† She learned to acknowledge that divine Love had a beautiful and harmonious plan for man - that both she and her husband could trust God's guidance.† God, the one divine Mind, would reveal to both of them the right steps to take.† The woman began to really love and appreciate her husband.† She made a real effort to put aside selfishness and self-will.† She started to show a keen interest in her husband's business activities.† Gradually the bitterness, rebellion, and resentment left her, and the cancer soon disappeared.† The business was successful, and brought them comfort and satisfaction.
Divine Love expressed as compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and tolerance has always been the creator of good.† Our sincere prayer should be that we may let an active sense of divine Love be expressed in all we think, say, and do.† Then health, harmony, and abundance are revealed in our experience.
Is it intelligence or ignorance that is the creator of the universe?† Did ignorance ever produce a skyscraper, a great ship, a successful, career?† Ignorance doesn't create - it destroys.† Great educational systems are being set up in almost every nation in the world.† Why?† Because men realize that informed and disciplined thinking promotes individual and collective good.† Enlightened men and women select good government.† They work harmoniously in industry.† They provide healthy and happy homes.† As we let the divine Mind, that Mind which was also in Christ Jesus, be expressed in our activities, we are intelligent and successful.† We can turn constantly to this perfect Mind, God, for inspiration and guidance.† This Mind is always willing, ready, and able to help us.† But we must learn to listen reverently.† Then Mind has the opportunity to unfold good in our consciousness, and so in our experience.
Is it Truth or error that creates good?† Our spaceship headed for the moon - does it come into being as a result of a series of mathematical and engineering errors?† What make's the bank operate smoothly - truth or mistakes?† What enables a manufacturing concern to succeed - accuracy or miscalculations?† What causes strong and lasting friendships -† truthfulness or deceit?† Truth creates good.† Errors destroy.† Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).† Free from what?† From all mistakes, and their effects, free from discord, lack, sin, unhappiness, failure.† Truth is more all-inclusive than just the truth about numbers, for instance.† It is the Truth of all things, of God, the universe, and man. This Truth is constantly being revealed.† As we open our hearts to the revelation of Truth, our lives are enriched by this spiritual freedom.
Is it Life or death that creates good?† Death doesn't create.† Jesus said that he came that we might live abundantly.† He prayed not that we be taken out of the world, but that we be delivered from the evil.† People don't want to die.† They struggle to let Life be expressed.† Now the perfect divine Life isn't physically organic.† It is the Principle of all being.† Speaking of finding this true spiritual Life, Jesus once said, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt. 16:25).† Most people have the desire to let this higher divine Life be expressed through them to make their daily experience more creative, meaningful, and harmonious.† This humble desire can come to full fruition in the experience of every sincere individual.
What creates good?† Matter or Spirit?† Think of the great progress in transportation for instance.† Did matter in and of itself create the idea of the wheel, the wagon, the automobile, the airplane, the rocket ship?† Decidedly not!† There is a nonmaterial element called intelligence that inspires men to form the right human idea of all things.† And intelligence is the primal quality of divine Mind.† Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).† It is the divine Spirit that creates, enlivens, heals.† The concept of matter brings limitation, bondage, discord.† We read in the Bible, "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18).† Yes, where there is no spiritual insight, foresight, and inspiration, there is only darkness and destruction.† In the book of Job we read, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4).† As we acknowledge the reality of the divine, perfect Spirit, and let it be expressed through us, we feel uplifted, joyful - we demonstrate our true sense of dominion.
Do sensualism, drunkenness, and licentiousness create good?† Does infidelity in marriage bring benefits to the individual or society?† Historians tell us that the fall of empires has been brought about by debauchery and gross materialism.† It is God, Soul, expressed through spiritual sense that produces good.† Soul inspires great artists and composers.† Soul expressed as depth of feeling enables the musician to give an inspiring performance.† Without Soul the exhibition is cold, colorless.† Soul is the creator that brings freshness, inspiration, beauty, color, and harmony into our lives.
Principle expressed as law causes good in the universe. Anarchy, lawlessness, and crime donít produce good.† Obedience to duly constituted law brings peace, security, happiness.† Disobedience to law brings penalty and disgrace.† The application of law solves our mathematical and engineering problems.† In the natural sciences research is dedicated to discovering the physical laws underlying a given situation.† Natural scientists honor the concept of law.† They are constantly seeking to understand more clearly the exact nature of law.† In Christian Science we understand that all true law is spiritual and that its source is the overall Principle that governs the entire universe, namely, God.† As we love and honor divine Principle and seek to obey divine law, we find that this Principle creates in us health, harmony, and a divine sense of purpose.
Here then we have a reasonable concept of the creator.† It is scientific, logical, demonstrable, practical.† It is acceptable to men living in a scientific age.† The creator is not an unknown God to be found only in the heights of heaven.† The creator of good is divine Love, Mind, Truth, Spirit, Soul, Life, Principle, discovered in the depth of true being. Without these there would be only destruction, resulting in chaos, spiritual darkness, emptiness.† But with this creator we discover God's creation, God's universe, and God's man.
In the first chapter of the Bible we're told of this perfect creator and perfect creation.† God naturally and inevitably expresses His perfect nature in His own perfect, spiritual universe.† He makes man in His image and likeness, and He looks at everything that He makes and behold it is very good.
But how do we account for the evil, sin, sickness, poverty - all the evil we see about us?† We talked about this in a Christian Science Sunday School class one day, and a teenager gave an interesting answer.† He said, "If I am obedient to all the rules of arithmetic, I won't make mistakes and will get a perfect grade.† But if I am disobedient and buck mathematical law, I'll receive a poor grade."† He continued, "There is also a divine law of Life.† If I am obedient to this law there will be no evil, no sin or sickness, in my experience; but if I buck the law of God I will be in trouble.† If I disobey God's law, sin punishes itself, and I feel the effects.† When I bring my thought into harmony with God's law, the trouble is over."† That expresses it perfectly.† When we're in complete obedience to God's law, there's no evil to account for.
Shortly after this discussion I was asked to sit on the bench with a municipal judge as an observing guest.† Most of the cases before us were for robbery.† Each criminal found himself in an unpleasant situation.† Some had been in jail; others were going to prison.† In all these cases they had been bucking God's law, "Thou shalt not steal."† The unpleasant situation was the result of disobedience to the law of the state.† We who are meticulously obedient to the law of the land aren't afraid that we will be brought before a court of justice to have our freedom taken from us.
When we're just as careful to be obedient to the law of God, we shall protect ourselves from unpleasant situations. Moses gave us a simple outline of divine law in the Ten Commandments.† The first great all-inclusive Commandment reads, "Thou shalt have no other God's before me" (Ex. 20:3).† We should honor no creator but the creator of good.† If we accept the concept of a second creator, a creator of evil as well as of good, we're breaking God's primal law.
David expresses this same law when he writes, "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling" (Ps. 91:9, 10).† As we live in the understanding of the allness of God's goodness there can be no trouble - evil isn't there.
Isaiah expresses this same law when he records God as saying, "1 am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me" (Isa. 45:5). †There is no God but the one creator of good.† Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to think always in terms of the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of God and His goodness.† As we do this, evil becomes as nothing to us, it disappears from our experience.
Here someone may say, "I seek to obey the law of God.† I don't steal or kill, and yet I have troubles."† One may obey all the other commandments, but if he accepts the reality of evil, he is breaking God's first law - he is believing in the reality of something besides God and His goodness.† There is therefore always the possibility of discord.† As one understands and accepts the allness of God, he sees it is natural to love righteousness, natural for everything to run smoothly, natural to obey every law of God with joy.† He faces the suggestions of evil with divine confidence and courage, knowing that since evil is not of God it is an illusion, powerless and unreal.
Mrs. Eddy expresses the same truth when she writes, "God's law is in three words, 'I am All;' and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law" (No and Yes, p. 30).† When we argue for the reality of evil in any form, we are denying the allness of God and His goodness, we are dishonoring Him, bucking His primal law.† And we're in trouble.
In the allegory related in the second chapter of Genesis, we learn that Eve wasn't content to accept the allness of good, God.† She wanted to partake of the knowledge of good and evil.† You see, she was bucking God's primal commandment.† It was then she began to find herself in unpleasant situations.
This teaching, that since God and His goodness are All-in-all, evil, the opposite of good, must be nothing, is fundamental to Christian Science.† It is this aspect of Christian Science that bothers some people.† A clergyman once told me there was much good in Christian Science.† He studied his Science and Health regularly.† He said Mrs. Eddy had written helpful things on the subject of prayer.† But there was one phase of our teachings that he could not accept - the unreality of evil.
He said, "I teach evil is real, but that it can be eliminated through prayer."† He told me his wife once had pneumonia.† The doctors didnít think she could live until morning.† He went to her bedside and said, "Let's pray the way the Bible teaches."† When he finished praying he said, "Now let's put the whole thing in God's hands and trust Him." The wife became peaceful and fell asleep.† In the morning she awakened completely healed.† He said, "You see, I didn't deny the existence of sickness, but through prayer we eliminated it."
I told him I was glad to hear of the healing.† There was one point, however, of which I did not think he was aware. When he finished his prayer he said, "Now let's put the whole thing in God's hands."† I asked, "Do you think there is any evil, any pneumonia in God's hands?"† He looked at me silently for almost a minute, and then said, "I think I'ím beginning to see what you mean.† I guess I was really denying the existence of pneumonia right there when I acknowledged God's all-power and love."
"Yes," I replied, "and that is the reason your wife was healed.† If you had said, 'Let's put it in God's hands tomorrow morning, she would not have been healed during the night.'" †If, when you pray, you have difficulty seeing the unreality of evil, put the whole situation in God's care, knowing that there is no evil in His presence.† Then you too will begin to find good results.
In the practice of Christian Science it's so important not to think of evil as here now but as going away, for then we are making something of it.† Evil isn't real.† God never created it.† Evil is just the supposition that God and His goodness aren't All-in-all.†† As we accept God as the only creator and refuse to suppose the existence of something beside this goodness, there can't be even an appearance of evil.
A young theological student who attended a lecture in Germany was disturbed by the teaching that evil is unreal.† He asked, "How can you say evil is unreal?† Look at the prisons, hospitals, and graveyards."† I replied, "Here's the best proof people need Christian Science.† Those in prison have believed in the reality of sin.† Those in the hospitals unfortunately have believed that sickness is real.† Those in the graveyard have believed that it is inevitable for all to die."
"Well, if evil isn't real," the student came back," why did God send Christ Jesus to save us?† To save us from that which doesn't exist?"
I replied something like this:† "That people have believed in the reality of evil is self-evident.† Christ Jesus came to save us from such false beliefs, and to help us understand the allness of God and His goodness.† His basic message was, 'Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' (Matt. 4:17).† The word repent means "change your way of thinking and living.''† We need to give up false beliefs to find heaven right here and now.† That's the way Jesus healed the sick, reformed the sinners, and raised the dead."† The young man wasn't going to be easily convinced.† He protested that, whatever I might say, he was going to believe in the reality of evil.
"Well, if you want to believe that way, I can't stop you," I replied.† "But that's hell, and that's the way to find it.† But as you understand the allness of God, you begin to find heaven right here and now.† This is what the Master taught."† The next day the student called on the local Christian Science practitioner to ask questions about our religion.† He had many misgivings, but he persevered in his investigation of Christian Science.† About a year later he had awakened such interest in his professors and fellow-theological students, that the practitioner was invited to the local parish to answer questions about Christian Science.
Christ Jesus, his life, teachings, and works, are very important to us if we are to understand the nature of creation.† The world has great need for all that he taught. The basic Truth of his teaching is summarized by the Apostle John in the opening verses of his gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.† .† .† All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1,3).† You see, God, eternal good, is the great and only creator.† Evil, which is unlike God and His infinite goodness, is represented as not made, therefore unreal.
We regard these teachings as our Saviour.† We see that it isn't a mere human personality that saves us.† It is the great spiritual Truth Jesus lived and demonstrated - that's our Saviour.† We're saved as we accept this Christ, Truth, and demonstrate in our lives the allness of good and the nothingness of evil.
We don't regard the crucifixion, Jesusí sacrifice on the cross, as a means of appeasing the wrath of God.† We see it as the supreme example of how we should stand steadfastly for good, no matter what opposition, what suggestion of evil, would seem to confront us.† In his resurrection there is assurance of eternal victory for such steadfastness.† In his ascension is revealed the eternal substance of man untouched by the flesh.† Spiritual qualities and ideas identify man. As unfolded in the life of Jesus, they give evidence of the Christ - even the eternal Christ to which the Master referred when he said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 26:20).
In discovering Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy too saw that creation is wholly good, without an element of evil.† She saw further that creation isn't an event of long ago.† She writes, "Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source" (Science and Health, p. 507).† There is nothing static about the creation of good - it goes on eternally.† Speaking about this creation as described in the first chapter of Genesis, Mrs. Eddy says, "Was not this a revelation instead of a creation?Ē (ibid., p. 504.)† She saw that God, who is Spirit, good, could not be creating a discordant, material universe and man.† God creates spiritual ideas.† He is eternally revealing His own goodness.† His own nature, power, presence, and glory, to those who are spiritually ready to listen and understand.
Mrs. Eddy was ready.† For many years she had been a sincere Bible student.† She had a deep yearning to help mankind find freedom from human woes.† She had learned to listen for God's directions.† When the revelation came, she heard it.† But more than that, she acted upon it.† Her further study of the Scriptures and practice of Christian Science in healing confirmed her discovery.† She saw that the life of Christ Jesus was the most profound example of true manhood and not what some have referred to as a beautiful, ancient, fairy tale.† Jesus employed exact spiritual Science in the solution of human problems.† Mrs. Eddy rightly called her discovery the Christ Science, or Christian Science.† She presented it in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.† Jesus said, "He that be1ieveth 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 14:1.2).† Mrs. Eddy learned what it meant to go to the Father, to turn to divine Principle in the solution of every problem.† The sick were healed, sinners reformed, and the dying were restored to life.
Every scientific discovery has brought resistance, opposition, and sometimes ridicule, from unenlightened thought.† But the discovery of the allness of God and the consequent nothingness of evil brought the greatest of resistance.† Every lie conceivable was thrown at Mrs. Eddy, but she had learned from the Master to stand steadfast in Truth, in God.† She too proved that right eventually wins.† Today there are Christian Science churches all around the world.† The health, happiness, and harmony brought about by Christian Science are immeasurable.
It requires the mustering of all our spiritual resources to prove the total perfection of God's creation and the nothingness of evil.† This is the practice of Christian Science.† There is nothing superficial about this practice. We don't use formulas or just repeat beautiful words.† In her book, No and Yes, speaking of God, Mrs. Eddy writes, "As there is none beside Him, and He is all good, there can be no evil.† Simply uttering this great thought is not enough!† We must live it, until God becomes the All and Only of our being" (pp. 24, 25).† This is a real challenge.
One time I was confronted with all sorts of problems.† I didn't have money to pay my bills.† There were strained human relationships, and I was ill.† I declared the truth over and over again that God, good, was all-powerful and ever present, that evil therefore was powerless, nowhere.† But good wasn't made evident in my experience.
Then I stopped repeating words and asked myself the simple question, "Do you really believe that God is so all-powerful and ever present that evil is without power, anywhere at any time?"† I looked out of my office window over a troubled world and sighed, "It's difficult."† The material senses argued that evil was universal and real.† It was easy enough to yield assent to truth in just words; but to do so with all the heart and soul and mind, with deep convictions, was quite different.† It took radical reliance on the truth of being to be a real Christian Scientist.† I couldn't in the slightest degree use material sense testimony to determine the correct answer.† So I turned through spiritual sense to the divine Mind that doesn't merely believe, but understands the allness of good.
Again and again I asked the searching question, "Are you spiritually understanding that God is so much All-in-all that sickness, unhappiness, and lack are nowhere at any time?"† I kept turning from the material mirage to the spiritual facts. It became easier.† Finally God's eternal Truth expressed through spiritual sense was so overwhelming that I could say with conviction, "I know, even as the Father in heaven knows, the allness of good."† A wonderful sense of spiritual harmony came over me, and in a very short time all evidence of discord, unhappiness, and lack disappeared.
You see, I had lifted my prayer beyond words into the spiritual realm where the divine Mind could reveal in my consciousness pure and perfect ideas of its creating.† I was no longer bucking God's primal law, but obeying it, by understanding God's allness.† This healed me.† This is really what prayer is - turning with enlightened faith from false material evidence to the spiritual facts of God's creation. This true communion with God brings us near to Him - reveals man's oneness with God.† It inspires, reforms, and heals.
In recent years we have heard much about the dignity of man.† There are those who would say he is only an automaton, the plaything of chance, mortal and material.† But there are others who encourage us not to think of him as just a mortal, material animal.† They are glimpsing the infinite potentialities of all men.† As we understand the true character of God, the creator, we discover the real nature of man.
In Christian Science we reason logically that since the creator of man is God, the true man must be the likeness of divine Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Soul, Principle, and Mind, the expression of this divine nature.† A product always expresses the qualities inherent in the producer's thought.† Jesus said, "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit" (Matt. 7:17).† Since God, the source of all true being, is good, His fruit must also be good.† God could not create man other than His image and likeness.
To demonstrate the infinite possibilities of man, these two basics facts must be accepted.† First, the creator is perfect.† Secondly, creation is like the creator.† Ask anyone, "What's wrong with God?"† With one accord they answer, "Nothing; God is perfect."† You can't solve mathematical problems without a perfect law of numbers.† Just so, to solve human problems we start with perfect Principle.
In the second place, we must accept the self-evident fact that creation is like the creator.† Mrs. Eddy often speaks of man as the reflection of God.† If we had a mirror here and I raised up my hand, the reflection would go up also.† The image would be the same color and shape.† Here is where Christian Science differs from other religions.† They teach that the creator is perfect, but the creation is imperfect.† They often say God alone is perfect.† But this is illogical.† The reflection is like the original.† A good tree must bring forth good fruit.
May I give you another example of how this correct understanding of creator and creation is used in the practice of Christian Science?† A woman had a large blemish on her face.† She was fearful, unhappy, discouraged.† A Christian Science practitioner explained these two simple facts, that the creator is perfect, and creation is like the creator.† Finally he asked, "Do you think God has an ugly blemish in His being?"† The answer was quick and emphatic, "Of course not."† "Then man, Godís reflection, cannot have such a blemish," she was told.
"But I have this blemish," sobbed the patient.
"If that's true, then your creator must have a blemish," said the practitioner.† "But He can't have such a thing," was her persistent reply.† "Then you can't have it," was the conclusion.† She was helped to see that if she bucked God's law and argued for the reality of the blemish, she would make no progress; but if she went to the Father the way the Master did, if she began her reasoning with perfect Principle, she would have to arrive at the conclusion that there could be no such blemish.
She was encouraged to see further that God's man cannot be worried, disappointed, discouraged, or unhappy, since God, man's original cause, isn't that way.† As a result of such prayer, the growth soon disappeared, and along with it undesirable traits of character.
This same simple truth can be applied to many phases of experience.† For instance, have you ever thought of yourself as poor or limited in resources?† Well, if man, the creation is poor, then God, the creator, must be poor.† For the reflection is like the original.† But God, the creator, cannot be poor.† He is rich in spiritual resources.† He knows no limitation.† Therefore man, His reflection, can't be limited.† God supplies us with a wealth of ideas, which show each of us how to be of better service to others.† Through this true service we find abundance of good.† We recognize God, Love, as the source of all good things.
In times past we were taught that it's a Christian virtue to be poor.† But God, the perfect creator, never made a poor man any more than He made a sick or sinful man.† Jesus, the master Christian, wasn't poor.† When money was needed for the taxes, it was there.† He fed five thousand people with just five loaves and two fishes, and there were basketsful left over.† Jesus knew that man is the rich son of a rich heavenly Father, through whom every human need is abundantly supplied.† We can follow in his footsteps, and argue not for the necessity of poverty, but for abundance for everyone.† We can also remember that an individual's true worth is never measured by the material things he possesses.† Man is spiritual.† True man is never mortal nor material.† At all times he reflects his creator, infinite Spirit.
Through the power of the Christ, Truth, Jesus not only reformed the sinner and healed the sick, but through his resurrection he proved the unreality of death, and through his ascension he demonstrated that the real man is not material but spiritual.† Christian Science is presenting this same full gospel.† God, immortal Spirit, could not create a mortal material man so completely unlike Himself.† Man must be spiritual and immortal like God.† This used to be hard for me to understand, so overwhelming seemed the material evidence of a mortal material body.† For a while I thought there must be two of me, the material and the spiritual.† Then I heard a Christian Science lecture which completely revolutionized my thinking on this subject.† The lecturer told a legend which enabled me to understand my true spiritual selfhood and which showed me the reasoning process by which I might find complete salvation.† I would like to share this legend with you.
A baby prince was kidnapped by a band of gypsies.† Naturally he was brought up as a gypsy.† When he was a grown man the gypsies came back through his kingdom.† An old courtier had never given up looking for the prince.† When he saw the young gypsy, he knew he was the prince because of his resemblance to the king, and said, "Do you know who you are?"
The lad replied that he did and gave his gypsy name.† But the courtier exclaimed, "No, you are the prince of this land. "
"There must be some mistake," returned the lad.† "Can't you see I have a gypsy name and speak the gypsy language?"
"But you're not a gypsy," replied the courtier.† "That's a lie about you.† You're really the prince."
Well then there must be two of me," said the young man. "The gypsy, I know all about him.† But this prince, I know nothing of him."
But the courtier protested, "No, no, there aren't two - there's just one - the prince.† You are the prince, and you have dominion over all this land."
This naturally interested the young man, and he replied. "Well, if I'm really the prince as you say, answer me this one.† Where did all this gypsy stuff come from?"
The courtier showed him that the gypsy was just a mistaken concept of identity.† It wasn't going to do him any good to figure out where the gypsy came from.† It was just a false concept of himself, a concept to be discarded.† He needed to go to the king, identify himself, and claim his heritage.† "And remember," said the courtier, "the king will be just as happy to see you as you are to see him."
Claiming Our Heritage
So it is with us.† Most of us at one time or another think of ourselves as mortal, material, imperfect creatures. Then the Science of Christianity has come and shown us that man is spiritual and perfect, the very image of God.
We at first are incredulous, and we too say, "well, there must be two of me - this material body, this mortal sense of selfhood - I know all about it.† But the spiritual selfhood you're talking about that has complete dominion, I don't know much of it."
But, as we have seen this evening, there aren't two of us.† There's only one - the perfect likeness of God.† A perfect creator can't make anything unlike Himself.
So we have the answer to the argument, "Well, if I am really the perfect spiritual child of God, where did all this mortal, material, imperfect selfhood, with its aches and pains, its sin and limitation, come from?"
We're seeing that this is just a false sense of identity.† It isn't going to help to try to explain it.† We need to give up the false concept.† Then we can go to the heavenly Father in prayer and claim our true heritage of infinite good.† We need to identify ourselves as the son of the great King, the way Christ Jesus did.† Then we shall begin to experience our true dominion over the false sense of self and environment.
We all have a wonderful Father, a perfect creator.† As we understand the nature of the creative Principle of the universe, and 1et it create or reveal good in our consciousness, we begin to see the unreal nature of evil.† We recognize that evil has no creator.† The perfect creator could only make man in His image, spiritual, perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect.† This is the truth of each one of us.† We have never been a vagrant, a mortal, an imperfect creature.† Man has always been the perfect spiritual child of God.