Christian Science: A Religion of Results
Nelvia E. Ritchie, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
A lecture on Christian Science was
given under the auspices of Sixteenth Church of Christ, Scientist, of Chicago,
in the church edifice,
The speaker was introduced by Arthur C. Whitney, First Reader, as follows:
"Dear Friends: It is related that years ago a dear woman used to place her candle before a mirror, because she explained 'it gives almost the light of two candles that way.' About the same time a beautiful spiritual light glowed in the consciousness of another dear woman by name Mary Baker Eddy. She too, placed it before a mirror, – the mirror of service to humanity, – with the result that her sharing this spiritual light, Christian Science, has not only doubled, but multiplied its light and blessings in countless measure in the lives of many, among whom are those of this Church who seek to share that light with you. We have learned that to share is to live.
"God has sent one of His consecrated messengers to reflect this light to you here tonight, and just as light destroys darkness, so the light of Christian Science can destroy the darkness of fear, burden, lack, sin and disease for any of you that may seem to need it. What cannot the light or knowledge of God do?
"It is a joy to present to
you Mrs. Nelvia E. Ritchie, C.S.B., of Sewickley,
The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: A Religion of Results." Mrs. Ritchie spoke substantially as follows:
In the Bible, we read that Jesus said, "Freely ye have received, freely give." The purpose of this lecture is to share with you something of the teachings of Christian Science and tell you in a simple, direct way how this great religion heals, blesses, and redeems mankind. Students of Christian Science early learn the value of true giving and the blessedness of generously sharing with others their gift of spiritual understanding, that all who truly seek freedom from sorrow, sickness, discouragement, and sin may partake of health, happiness, and wholeness, – ponder the deep things of God and learn how to understand and apply the rich promises of the Bible to the problems of everyday living. For surely the greatest of all gifts is a correct understanding of God, and man as His likeness.
My first introduction to Christian Science came many years ago through attending a Wednesday evening service in a Christian Science church. The testimonies of healing which were given led me to investigate Christian Science and to study the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. As a result of this earnest study, I was healed of a disease, from which I had suffered from early childhood. Two members of my family were soon healed through the loving help of Christian Science practitioners, – one of a so-called incurable disease; the other of typhoid-pneumonia after physicians said there was no hope of recovery. During the many years that have followed, I have witnessed the healing of a substantial number of diseases and sins and have seen lives regenerated and made new through the practice of this truth.
Christian Science is the name of the religion which proves the works of God. It teaches how to express in daily living the truth taught by Christ Jesus. It is obvious that he expected his followers to understand his teaching and emulate his example, for he said: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also"; and, "Greater works than these shall he do." The world is beginning to realize that the healing of the sick is an essential part of Christianity. Christian Science is putting into operation the healing truth taught and practiced by Jesus and proving to the world by evidence unmistakable that through its teaching, the commandments of Jesus to heal the sick, preach the Gospel, and comfort the sorrowing are being fulfilled.
Discoverer and Founder
It is recorded in the Gospel of
John that as Jesus talked with his beloved disciples, he promised, in words
tender with love and compassion, that they would not be left comfortless, that
they should not be troubled and afraid, that God would send another Comforter
that would bring to remembrance all his sayings, and that this Comforter would
remain forever and teach them all things. This Comforter, or truth of being,
was again revealed to the world, in 1866, by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer
and Founder of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy was a
As a part of this great organization,
Mrs. Eddy established the Christian Science periodicals: The Christian
Science Journal, a monthly publication; the Christian Science Sentinel,
issued weekly; the two Heralds, issued in French and German; and The
Christian Science Monitor, a live, international daily newspaper. The
object of the Monitor as the Founder stated (The First Church of Christ,
Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353), is "to injure no man, but to bless all
mankind." These white-winged messengers are today encircling the globe,
carrying the glad tidings of healing, courage, hope, and peace to hungry hearts
in every land. The
Inquirers sometimes ask how
and why did Mrs. Eddy discover the spiritual law of Life, the
truth taught and practiced by our Wayshower, Christ Jesus? An answer to this
inquiry unfolded to me clearly one morning in
As my gaze rested upon that highest mountain peak, outlined against the blue sky far above all others, resplendent in all its snow-crowned beauty and purity, that lofty peak which had caught the first morning beams, – I realized how Mrs. Eddy had become the Discoverer of Christian Science. Through years of seeking, years of sorrow and suffering, her thought had been forced higher and higher. It was in an hour of great need that the teaching of Jesus so illumined the consciousness of Mrs. Eddy that she was quickly healed of a serious injury caused by an accident, and was enabled to arise from what seemed to be a deathbed. Her thought had been freed sufficiently from materiality to admit the light of spiritual revelation. In deep gratitude to God, Mrs. Eddy turned to the Bible and devoted herself to gaining an understanding of the truths whereby her healing had been received. Her purity of thought and consecration to God enabled her to reach the celestial mental peaks and rise to a spiritual height where she alone of all the world caught the spiritual light ever pouring forth from the great heart of Christ, – the wondrous, new-old, living truth taught by Jesus. As I pondered this and gazed upon the beautiful scene before me, I realized why Mrs. Eddy, whose thought was sufficiently high and near to God, had become the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and would through her writings always remain the God-inspired Leader of the Christian Science movement.
Through Mrs. Eddy's discovery, teaching, and example multitudes have been healed and are today striving to obey the Commandments and walk in the footsteps of our blessed Master; striving to understand and to obey the injunctions given in his Sermon on the Mount. Christian Science is enabling countless thousands to prove for themselves and others the practicality of the truth taught by Jesus. They are doing this by healing every form of human discord; comforting the sorrowing; proclaiming to all mankind that world-weary hearts need no longer be turned aside, but may come to the fount of living waters and be healed, through understanding and utilizing the spiritual law which Mrs. Eddy discovered and named Christian Science.
Christian Scientists are gaining, through a consecrated study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, a true knowledge of spiritual law which is enabling them to overcome and eliminate the discords of human existence, just as one who understands the laws of music is able to correct discordant tones and bring out concord and harmony in music. To work out a problem in mathematics correctly, we know one must understand something of the rule or law governing that problem. As a student of arithmetic who understands its rules can use figures correctly, just so a student of Christian Science in so far as he understands its rules can use them to demonstrate the Science and harmony of being. He can use the true ideas of being to correct and destroy the discords of material existence. When one begins to study the Science of being as taught in Christian Science, if he becomes discouraged because the problems of life are not more quickly solved, it might be helpful for him to remember his early lessons in arithmetic, – that it was necessary to learn the name, place, and value of each number; then learn to add, multiply, divide, and so forth. In learning to add, it may have been necessary to put marks along beside the numbers, to make use of fingers, or to call upon somebody for help. However, through patient, persistent study one not only learned to add correctly but finally to add a long column of figures at a glance, and as one advanced in the study, more difficult sums were quickly worked out. In solving the problems of life, progress may at first seem slow, but if we are faithful in putting into practice each day the truth we know, we shall very soon find it possible to overcome quickly discordant conditions. For one to get discouraged because he cannot solve all the problems of life at once would be like a babe who is just learning to creep getting dishearted because he could not run. As a mother will lovingly help and guide her babe in taking its first steps, just so it may be necessary for us to have a loving friend or an experienced practitioner assist us and help in guiding our steps heavenward. To work out the problems of life according to divine law, and to be able to prove our way step by step, we must understand not only the law but the divine Principle from which all real law emanates. A true knowledge of divine law corrects ignorant false beliefs just as surely as a correct working out of the rules of arithmetic corrects and eliminates mistakes.
Students of Christian Science are gaining a demonstrable knowledge of spiritual law, which is unfolding to them the facts of spiritual existence, the fatherhood and motherhood of God, and of man made in God's own likeness, as the Scriptures aver. It is a great joy to those who become students of Christian Science to find that its teachings are founded entirely upon the Bible and that there is no conflict between the teachings of Christ Jesus and the teachings of Christian Science. Because Christian Science is founded on the Bible, it will stand, and the demonstration of its teachings will more and more approach and prove the works of Jesus.
The teaching of Christian Science is so simple that children can readily understand it. In the Christian Science Sunday School, the children are taught the Scriptures. They are taught the Commandments and the Beatitudes and how to make them usable in their everyday experiences, in their home, school, and play. Recently, I was told of a little girl who had been in the Christian Science Sunday School only a few weeks when she was taken very ill with an epidemic disease that was prevalent in the neighborhood. Her mother was frightened and suggested calling in a physician immediately. The little daughter replied, "Mother, I have been taught in the Christian Science Sunday School that God is my Father and Mother, that He is ever present, caring for His children. Now if that is true, He is here right now taking care of me, and I am going to trust Him and not be afraid." The mother was so touched by these unexpected words that she left the room to ponder them. When she returned she found the child fast asleep. The little girl awakened the following morning perfectly well, dressed herself, and went to school.
Years ago, when a member of my family was being healed by Christian Science, a little girl, a neighbor, used to come over daily to remind us that God filled all space and that we should not be afraid. At an early age, this child had been placed in the Christian Science Sunday School and before she could read she would often heal herself of some discord through her understanding of God while turning the pages of the Bible and repeating the Lord's Prayer.
A child reared in a Christian Science home is taught to study the Bible, to love and trust God. He is taught obedience and consideration for others. He expresses mercy and kindness to animals. A Christian Scientist realizes that one's duty to children is not fulfilled when they are properly fed, clothed, and sheltered. Neither is it sufficient to think occasionally that God will care for them. They should early be taught obedience to right. All erroneous thoughts should be checked, rectified, and changed to right concepts, in order that they may develop into useful members of society and valuable citizens, and may have love for God in their hearts and a desire to be of real service to humanity. All this applies as well to children who have grown older.
We learn through Christian Science to value goodness, to desire the beauty of holiness, taught in the Scriptures. The teachings of Christian Science will unlock to all earnest seekers, when rightly understood, the treasures of the Bible and make its rich promises available here and now. As we understand these promises, we gain a correct concept of God, and man made in His likeness, and learn how to reflect this truth in daily living, ever striving to prove the availability of God and His laws. To understand the true nature of God enables one to understand the law of life, health, and holiness.
Christian Science teaches that the Principle of being, the first and only Cause, is God. Does it not, therefore, follow that the law governing God's perfect creation must of necessity be exact, unfailing good? Christian people whose religion is based upon the Scriptures concede that God is Life, Truth, Love, Spirit. In the Christian Science textbook, on page 465, to the question, "What is God?" Mrs. Eddy answers, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." Words cannot define God more clearly, for if we take each term, examine it carefully, we find that we have a knowable, provable God, a first Cause from which must proceed all that is real and eternal.
In the Bible, we read in the first chapter of Genesis, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Here is a complete record of creation, telling us that God made all that was made, and that He made man in His image and likeness, spiritual and perfect. If the creation of God is complete, spiritual, and perfect, as the Bible states, then another record of creation could not possibly change this true spiritual creation. Christian Science unfolds the great fact of spiritual existence and creation, maintaining with Biblical authority that God being infinite, all, because of His pure, spiritual nature, could not create anything unlike Himself. God could not create sin, disease, sorrow, poverty, death. These discords are the beliefs of the carnal mind which Paul tells us, "is enmity against God."
Christian Science declares that since God is Spirit, spiritual man, the image and likeness of Spirit, God, forever reflects all the qualities of Spirit. These qualities cannot be lost or impaired, because being spiritual and God-given they will remain perfect and indestructible throughout all time. It teaches that God, infinite ever-present good, expresses through the real man these qualities without limitation. As we begin to understand God in all His glory these divine qualities are expressed. To demonstrate this understanding through healing, right thinking, and living is the aim and purpose of Christian Science teaching and practice.
Manifestly it is necessary to understand the true nature of God, and man as His likeness. The basis of the Christian Science teaching about man is Scriptural, and is given in the first chapter of Genesis, where we read, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." Then if man is created in the image and likeness of God, he reflects all of God's qualities. Therefore, God's man reflects all intelligence, all wisdom, and is only capable of judging wisely, for Mind, God, is supreme.
This view of man as God's likeness must be held to in face of the opposite testimony of the senses, which cannot be relied upon. We are constantly confronted with evidences proving how futile it is to depend upon sense testimony. Perhaps no more pathetic illusion of the senses has ever occurred than that of the pioneers who journeyed westward in the early days. Sometimes they would be without water for themselves and their animals, when suddenly in front of them would appear a beautiful body of water sufficient to quench the thirst of all. Filled with hope and anticipation, they would urge their tired animals on at greater speed, – but oh, the sickening disappointment when they reached the spot to find that they had only seen a mirage, the false testimony of the senses.
So it is with our human experiences. Sometimes the mirage before us is green fields of selfish, human ambition, or pleasure in matter. When we finally close in upon these experiences, we find them illusions and our hunger and thirst for peace, health, and happiness still unquenched. One modern proof of the unreliability of sense-testimony is the feeling one experiences when arising in an airplane. The senses tell us that the earth is falling away, going down, down, while the fact that the plane is rising is true.
Christian Science teaches the unreality of sense-testimony. The unreality of sense-testimony becomes apparent naturally and inevitably as man's true selfhood is perceived and understood in Christian Science.
But one may say, "How am I to know the unreality of evil when it seems so real?" Christian Science answers definitely, – that only is real which is good, which is from God. God made all; His universe expresses Him; therefore, nothing unlike God has reality or can exist. Man reflects health, happiness, and harmony, because he is the infinite expression of Soul or substance, which does not sin, suffer, or cause discord of any kind. I saw the truth of this statement proved many years ago in the case of a woman who, when traveling, was healed through Christian Science treatment of so-called ptomaine poisoning after she had become unconscious. The healing was so complete she was able to continue her journey the following morning.
In Christian Science, I have witnessed the healing of rheumatism, after the individual was unable to walk or use her hands; the healing of tuberculosis, after physicians said there was no hope of recovery. Christian Science can give proof of thousands of authenticated cases of healing, many of them so-called incurable diseases. These healings have been accomplished through realizing the truth about man, that he is spiritual, the image and likeness of God; that he reflects health, happiness, and dominion. The true man, however, is not the imperfect, mortal concept of man, – the man of flesh, blood, and bones. How could an earnest seeker for Truth think for a moment that a sick, sinning, dying mortal could be the real man made in the image and likeness of God? Mankind, meaning the mortal, material concept of man, needs to awaken from the Adam-dream, the cause of all human woe; from the belief of life in matter, the belief that man is formed from the dust of the ground, to the realization of man's true birthright, his God-given dominion over all things. So long as we believe that the dust-man is real and that there is a human self-existence apart from God, we may seem to have a hard and long struggle. The study of Christian Science corrects this wrong concept of man, and disperses the mist of materiality with the sunlight of spiritual understanding. It has cleared the pathway for many a sufferer. Mists of evil, sickness, fear, may still cling to thought and try to obstruct the way, but these are rapidly being dissolved and mankind is beginning to realize something of the truth taught and practiced by Jesus.
But, one may say, "How does this truth free one from the beliefs of materiality, the illusions of the senses?" This is clearly illustrated by a rubber ball. Suppose a ball were to be held so tightly in a hand that it would be distorted until it hardly resembled a ball. Now, how could this be corrected? The answer is simple: Release the fingers one by one until the ball resumes its true form. The ball had been all right all the time, but it did need to be freed from pressure in order to express normality. The same is true of mortal man held in bondage by evil beliefs of sickness, sorrow, discouragement, and fear. He needs to be freed from the pressure of the cruel bands of materiality. Christian Science teaches how these false, material beliefs are destroyed one by one through a correct understanding of man made in the image and likeness of God. Through this understanding, all evil, which is but a seeming, is destroyed, disappears even as a belief, and man is released, set free to claim and enjoy his birthright as a child of God. By teaching and practice, Jesus fully proved and illustrated man's freedom and perfection. Of Lazarus he said, "Loose him, and let him go." Jesus taught universal freedom and Christianity and through the teachings of Christian Science the world will understand this Science of Christianity, the truth which Jesus said to know made free.
Mankind is really longing to know the truth and to be saved from all the ills of the flesh. Christian Science teaches that salvation comes through transformation of thought; that only in right thinking lies the remedy for all the ills which beset humanity. Then how to think correctly is a most important factor in working out one's salvation.
But one may ask, "How can one escape from the bondage of wrong thinking? How can one distinguish good thoughts from bad, in order to overcome the false?" Christian Science answers that all good thoughts are from God and have their origin in infinite Mind. Since God knows only good, therefore only good and perfect thoughts can emanate from this Mind. The study of Christian Science shows clearly that man reflects divine Mind, which is infinite intelligence. He is thereby endowed with the ability to think correctly, to know and to understand the truth taught by Jesus. Progress has always been accomplished by those whose thoughts have been governed by divine intelligence. Sometimes to human sense progress seems slow and we have to struggle to reach the God-crowned summit of spiritual understanding. Sometimes we seem to be in the valley of despair and sense testimony argues that we have made little or no progress, but this is not true if we have been faithful each day in utilizing the understanding we have gained. The lesson we learn in mountain climbing is very helpful. As we scale a mountain we find the valleys up along the mountain side are really higher than the peaks which we have left behind. While we pass through the depressions, however, we may lose sight of the progress we have made, but if we keep climbing on and up with a courageous heart, we shall soon find ourselves upon another peak, and from this outlook we are able to see the progress we have made; and, too, we find the time spent in the valley has been profitable, and has given the opportunity to gain strength for the next climb upward.
In working or thinking out our salvation, in taking our steps heavenward, it is mortal sense alone which argues discouragement or fear, for to spiritual sense, divine intelligence, the way is always more beautiful and glorious than words can describe. The mission of Christ Jesus was to show the way of salvation, to save the world from all evil, to overcome and abolish the belief in sin and death. It was the divine intelligence that he expressed which enabled him to be the Wayshower. Christian Science teaches that the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, the Mind which he reflected, is the divine Mind, God, and we reflect this same Mind, and are thereby endowed with the ability to understand the teachings of Jesus and to work out our salvation in the way that Jesus taught.
Christian Science is a religion of works, a religion of fulfillment. The human heart longs for freedom and joy now. A promise of happiness and peace after death has never really satisfied humanity and has kept countless numbers from desiring or seeking salvation. Of what comfort would it be to tell a man who was starving that he could have food in abundance week after next? Christian Science declares that now is the time in which to have the human longing for health, happiness, and dominion satisfied. Did not Paul explain in a graphic way that salvation is a present possibility, nay a necessity, and that each day is the day of fulfillment? Each day we must save ourselves from the habit of wrong thinking and living, from dependence upon, and belief in, things material.
One cruel belief of mortal mind from which we need to be freed is the belief that old age is accompanied by inactivity and impairment. When we advance sufficiently in right thinking to overcome this belief we shall have made great progress Spiritward. One subtle way in which error is trying to prevent us from making this demonstration over advancing age is the observance of birthdays. This celebration may seem to bring great joy to children, but it is the entering wedge of a harmful habit and a conspiracy against health and happiness, and therefore should not be indulged.
Recently I was told of a little girl who, when asked her age, replied; "Mother has only known me three years, but God has known me always." This little girl had caught a glimpse of immortality, of the continuity of being, the fact that man reflects God. However, we shall not make this demonstration so long as we permit ourselves to think we are growing old, as mortal mind counts age. The accumulation of years should bring into our experience a greater abundance of joy, health, and freedom. Christian Science is proving that this demonstration comes only with a better understanding of God, and when mortals apply this understanding to their individual problems they go forward, gaining in strength, usefulness, and dominion.
Christ Jesus was successful in demonstrating man's oneness with the Father. Through his understanding of the continuity of being, the truth that man is the emanation of God, he destroyed the manifold discordant beliefs of the flesh, manifest as evil, sickness, and death. He proved the falsity of the belief in death by raising himself from death and the grave. The virgin birth of Jesus enabled him to prove this, to discern between the false and the true, and to be the mediator between Spirit and the flesh. In the Bible we read, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.'' Christian Science teaches that Christ Jesus came as the Son of God, showing the way of salvation, and that there is no other way through which mortals may be delivered from the ills of the flesh. Being born of a human mother, he knew the needs of humanity. Christ Jesus expressed both the divine and the human; therefore he was able to explain the nature of God and man's relation to God in a way humanity could understand.
In the Christian Science textbook (p. 589) Mrs. Eddy gives this definition of Jesus: "The highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man's immortality." In the same book (p. 583), Mrs. Eddy defines Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." It was this manifestation of God that enabled Jesus to heal the sick and do his mighty works. Christian Science teaches and clearly proves through its redemptive healing work that Christ as the divine idea, or manifestation of God, is ever present and operative. It declares that the Christ power so wonderfully expressed and proved by Jesus is available to mankind throughout all time.
Mortal man, dependent upon matter, is prone to rely upon sense-testimony, upon his own ability in working out the problems of life. Through Christian Science he is learning how to rely upon God, how to separate the false from the real. He is learning how to repudiate sense testimony, how to turn to God through prayer for his protection and help; and this reliance upon God makes his own efforts for salvation effective. Through the divine nature of Jesus and his teaching, humanity has been able to apprehend the Christ. Jesus proved his teaching by his works.
Through the careful study of the Bible and Science and Health, we learn how to pray aright, and how to make the most practical use of the teachings of Christ Jesus. Countless numbers of men, women, and children are ready to testify that through this understanding they have been healed. They have been able to drop their burdens of human woe, and have found peace, health, happiness, and rest beside the "still waters" of spiritual understanding. Christian Science declares that these blessings may be secured through prayer.
It teaches that right desire is prayer. Does not this make prayer an ever available, practical help in working out the problems of life? For it is possible to desire good every waking moment. It is obvious that we are expected to pray constantly, for Paul tells us to "pray without ceasing." Paul's admonition troubled me as a child. My concept of prayer was supplication to God on bended knee. I would often wonder how the affairs of the world could be cared for if we followed the counsel of Paul literally and remained unceasingly on our knees. Christian Science teaches that it is not necessary to plead with God on bended knee for what is deemed essential in life, but rather is true prayer the affirmation and realization that, as God is good and man is His image and likeness, all good is available now. It declares that God's work is finished, as the Bible states, and that God has already given all good, success, health, and happiness to His children. This perfection is manifested in our lives in the degree that we desire holiness, – to live in obedience to God. Thousands can testify that through this correct understanding of prayer they have been healed, they have received protection, their lives have been regenerated and made new.
But one may ask, "How is it possible to keep one's thought filled with good, always to be loving and kind, when one seems to be surrounded by discordant conditions?" Christian Science answers that the way to escape from sick, miserable thoughts, which produce all human woe and suffering, is to know that because they are not of God, they are not real and have neither power nor dominion over man, for man is the reflection of God, and can reflect only what God is. Therefore, man in reality can only think pure, holy, and wholesome thoughts. Sick thoughts cause sick bodies.
To bring about healing, our prayers must be pure and unselfish. We must express patience, love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, and purity. These pure, unselfish desires will enable us to strive without ceasing, with our whole heart, for inspiration, for enlightenment, that we may radiate and express God's spiritual creation. We shall willingly and with great joy leave the old for the new, leave the old landmarks of sin, sickness, sorrow, and failure, that we may reflect His glory. We shall willingly pray for spiritual discernment and ability to impart and share this glory with others, to know that God does reveal to us here and now His infinite, holy purpose.
Christian Science teaches that God is almighty; that He is infinite, all-inclusive good, the sole Creator of the universe; that God, who is infinite good, could plan nothing less than perfection for His creation. It also teaches that man is the reflection of God, good, and in order for him to fulfill the purpose or plan of God, he must express the nature of God, the activity of good; he must think pure, holy thoughts. Today, thousands are rejoicing that through the teaching and practice of Christian Science they have gained a demonstrable understanding of the commandment of Jesus: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
However, there must first be a desire for perfection before mortals are willing to do the necessary work to bring it into human experience. The time required before mortals will perceive and maintain in thought the perfect likeness of God will depend upon the amount of darkness, wrong thinking, to be overcome, and their faithfulness in striving to overcome it. It will require constant prayer, work, and watchfulness to overcome, eliminate, and obliterate from human consciousness all that is unlike good.
But one may ask, "How can I ever gain perfection, I seem to express so little of right thinking?" We know that just as the faintest light will penetrate darkness, so a grain of spiritual light expressed as right understanding will destroy something of the darkness of materiality. To grow in understanding it would be helpful to take an inventory of our mental storehouse and discard from it all impure thoughts. Mortal mind may try to tempt us to store away in some nook or corner a few choice remnants of materiality, but if we desire peace we shall willingly and quickly clear out and destroy all erroneous thoughts based upon sense-testimony, replacing them with pure, holy thoughts. The process is simple and the results assured. When we realize the joy, health, and freedom that comes from right mental activity, we shall eagerly bar our mental door from all sick, wicked, impure thoughts. For only in spiritual, right thinking lies the remedy for all the ills of the flesh.
Christian Science is bringing to mankind an awakened and enlarged sense of true existence. It teaches that healing the sick and sinning, binding up the broken-hearted, and lifting the burden of fear, is an essential part of Christianity. Humanity down through the ages has been struggling to be freed from the bondage of fear. Today, Christian Science is lovingly and effectually removing fear and without condemnation is letting the healing thought come to the awakened consciousness. Christian Science declares that in order to master fear, prove its nothingness and cast it out, we must see that it has its seeming origin in the darkness of ignorance, superstition, and mortality. The Bible gives us an exact and unfailing remedy for fear. John said, "Perfect love casteth out fear."
What is perfect love? Christian Science teaches that God is Love. Therefore fear, which is the fruit of the carnal mind, does not and cannot originate in Love. With a correct understanding and application of man's God-given dominion over the whole earth, one may overcome all fear and successfully accomplish whatever is right for one to do.
Christian Science is the panacea for all fear and discord, in the home, social, and business life. Fear is a foe to the business man, for it argues doubt, failure, and limitation. For example: Suppose a business man should be burdened by fear, – afraid of sickness, loss, failure, or competition: afraid that he might not have the judgment to make correct decisions about business matters; or, should he be employed, afraid he might not receive merited promotion, or be fearful of losing his position. All of this fear and erroneous thinking is effectually removed through the study of Christian Science, which teaches that God is omnipotent and omnipresent; that He is to be trusted at all times; and that divine intelligence is directing all right activity and supplying all good. Therefore, man cannot express failure or lack of any sort, for man reflects all that Mind, God, has to bestow. Christian Science teaches that in God's perfect plan all His ideas have their rightful place and activity; therefore, they cannot be displaced or lack rightful employment, nor be deprived of just reward for work well done.
However, genuine success in life lies not in what we are getting, but in the faithful service we are giving.
The business man who depends upon Christian Science for his help and success finds fear, anxiety, and discouragement overcome and replaced by confidence, joy, and peace. Christian Science teaches how to think rightly about our business and our fellowmen. It demands the highest possible standard of morality; it demands honesty, purity, integrity in home, social, and business life.
On page 128 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, "Business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science, enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity." Farther down on the same page Mrs. Eddy states, "A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms." Multitudes of people are rejoicing that daily they are perceiving more clearly how to prove the truth of the statements just quoted.
Christian Science teaches, however, that one must express alertness and activity to experience and enjoy the blessings bestowed upon him by his heavenly Father, for these cannot be received while manifesting indifference or neutrality, for real life means activity, not stagnation. Man must express divine energy, for God is omniaction, that is, all action. The purpose of all true existence is to express divine activity, to prove man's oneness with the Father, and reflect Him in daily living.
Christian Science teaches that God, Spirit, is the only Cause and Creator, and that He is infinite, all-inclusive good. Also it teaches that spiritual man is the expression of God's infinite perfection, and reflects only that which is pure and holy. It would, therefore, be just as impossible to alter the perfect likeness of God as it would be to change the nature or infinitude of God. This is illustrated by placing a beautiful, perfect rose in a room lined with mirrors. The reflections will be countless, yet each reflection maintains and manifests its individuality, beauty, and perfection in color, form, and outline. "Can these reflections be changed? Can one tiny petal or leaf be touched, bruised, or destroyed?" No, not without first destroying the source from which they emanate. Just so it is impossible to touch, change, or destroy man, God's perfect reflection. Neither can man ever lose his perfect, spiritual nature, identity, and individuality. Therefore to be God's reflection and fulfill His holy purpose we must actively manifest the glory of infinite, divine Love. In no other way can the goodness and love of God be manifest to the world other than through the lives of His faithful, consecrated witnesses.
In the words of a favorite hymn (Hymnal, p. 201);
"Then, brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother!
For where love dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other;
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.
"Follow, with reverent steps, the great example
Of him whose holy work was doing good;
So shall the wide earth seem our Father's temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude."
[May 28, 1955.]