Christian Science: Demonstrable Spiritual Truth
Cyrus S. Rogers, C.S., 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 First Church of Christ, Scientist, of
The speaker was introduced by Mrs. Mary Sands Lee, as follows:
Friends: In welcoming you on behalf of this church to our lecture tonight, it occurs to me that there may be some in this audience who do not know exactly what a Christian Science church stands for - therefore it may not be amiss for me to tell you that we have but six religious tenets, written by Mrs. Eddy, and covering less than one page of her textbook.
As the first one is basic, and in a way includes the other five, I am going to repeat it to you. It is as follows: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (Science and Health, p. 497:3). And especially do we take the teachings of Christ Jesus in their entirety, not omitting his admonition to heal the sick. Indeed, we have learned that healing the sick is an inevitable incident of Christ's reconciling the world unto God; and that the 'ministry of reconciliation' committed unto us, as spoken of by Paul, (II Cor. 5) cannot be fully carried on without Christian healing.
Mrs. Eddy says in her writings (Science and Health, p. l9:1) that it was "Christ's purpose to reconcile man to God, not God to man." Other systems of religion, philosophy, and ethics have started with what is seen with the eyes and heard with the ears, and then have tried to gain a true and satisfactory concept of God - or First Cause - that can be reconciled to this material sense of existence. And of course, as the ages have proved, it can't be done.
Christian Science, on the contrary, starts with God - a perfect First Cause that is always Love - elemental good: and from this starting point carries on the joyous ministry of reconciling man to God - "not imputing their trespasses unto them," but canceling their sins and mistakes, and healing their diseases.
The subject of the lecture we are
about to hear is "Christian Science: Demonstrable Spiritual Truth."
Our lecturer, Mr. Cyrus S. Rogers, C.S., of
Mr. Rogers spoke substantially as follows:
If you were told that there is a book which explains in minute detail a scientific thought modus, whereby all disease and misery and failure can be overcome and eliminated from human experience, - a book which shows its students how to walk so closely in the path of Christ Jesus that they shall be able to repeat the works he did, - would it seem to you fanciful and too good to be true? Let me hasten to assure you, my friends, that there is indeed such a book. Simply to remind you of this fact and to impress it upon your thought is one of the greatest services I can render you. I refer to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.
In this book, for the first time in history, spiritual truth has been set forth as a demonstrable Science, which anyone may study, understand, and prove for himself. Think of such a privilege! A greater blessing and benefaction to mankind there could not possibly be.
The book was first published in 1875, and its letter and spirit were perfected by its author in order that the language and meaning might be so clear and unmistakable that no sincere seeker could err therein. It is the one standard guide to pure metaphysics and says to every student and practitioner of spiritual healing, in the words of Isaiah: "This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left."
Many years ago in time of need as great as a mortal can know, this book came into my possession in a remarkable way. It was in immediate and direct answer to prayer, to an appeal to God for help and guidance. Up to the very day when the book was placed in my hands, in an hour when my condition was desperate, I had never seen a copy of the book and did not know of its existence. It helped me at once, filled me with hope, and opened up a new world of power of which I had been entirely ignorant. It showed me the error of expecting to get a true solution to anything from a material source. My condition today is heavenly compared with the disease and suffering and darkness in which I seemed to be so hopelessly engulfed when Science and Health was first brought to my attention; and I have done not a single thing in the intervening years except to apply this teaching to my thinking.
What has thus far been proved removes all doubt that here is the solution to life's problems. Thousands of persons have had and are having the proofs of healing, and have gained the absolute conviction that the way of salvation and the day of salvation are indeed here. The human race is no longer defenseless. The weapons of our warfare are now complete, and the possibility of overcoming all evil, and of eliminating sin, sickness, and death from consciousness is no longer a Utopian dream. It is an actual experience in Christian Science. Its accomplishment has begun, and will increase with every passing day.
I have a friend who was healed of total blindness in Christian Science. She could not tell noonday from midnight. She was treated some ten weeks by a Christian Science practitioner. At the end of that time she could see to read Science and Health, and completed her healing through her own effort. Her eyes became as clear as a child's. She has devoted her life since to helping others out of darkness into light.
One time while traveling on a train
I became engaged in conversation with a man who seemed completely engrossed in
materiality and fleshly appetites. A physical body and its demands seemed to be
the only thing of which he was conscious. He asked several questions about
Christian Science, which I tried to avoid and answered as briefly as possible,
believing it to be useless to discuss the subject with one in his state of
mind. But something had evidently impressed him for he immediately sent to The
Christian Science Publishing Society in
These are the natural and inevitable effects on every consciousness which it touches of the healing and purifying stream of life which is flowing to humanity from the pages of this marvelous book.
The Bible and Science and Health, together with Mrs. Eddy's other writings, are the complete and only textbooks of Christian Science. These books are correlative. They complete and sustain each other. After many years of reading these books together, careful students invariably acknowledge the complete unity and harmony of their teaching.
Think of the comfort and beauty and power of this understanding! What a relief from the multiplicity of creeds and dogmas and beliefs which have perplexed the Christian world, based mostly upon a literal interpretation of certain passages in the Bible, and not upon a spiritual interpretation and broad understanding of its teachings as a whole.
The Bible is not a contradictory and impractical book when properly and spiritually interpreted. The spiritual understanding of the Scriptures and especially of the words and works of Jesus, as unfolded in Science and Health, reveals the Comforter or ever present Christ, the Savior of the world. Science and Health makes Bible readers and Bible lovers of every one of its students, giving them an insight into its metaphysical meaning and application, and they see that the Bible was given to us to spiritualize our sense of being. Instead of permitting it to do this, mankind had stubbornly held to its material sense of existence and tried to read that sense into the sacred Scriptures, thereby vitiating their divine purpose and influence and closing the door of salvation, until Science and Health came with its Key and opened wide the door through right interpretation. As we learn to read the Bible spiritually we begin to read our daily lives and the universe spiritually; our world becomes a thought world, a world of Spirit instead of a world of matter, and eternal life is seen to be inevitable.
Every fundamental question that has puzzled mankind through the ages, or that can be asked, is fully and finally answered in Christian Science, when thought is ready to appreciate and understand the answer. It faces every point fairly and squarely, and evades not a single issue. But let me remind you here that Christian Science is not a mere theory, a religious profession, or just a pleasant philosophy of life. It is a demonstrable Science, a living truth, and we must be ready to put into practice and demonstrate what we perceive of it as we go along.
I shall now discuss with you a few of the basic teachings of Christian Science, as set forth in the Bible and Science and Health. I do not ask you to try to accept these teachings, but with close attention and open mind to weigh and consider them. If you have received false impressions of Christian Science through chance remarks and adverse criticisms, from whatever source or motive, I am sure you will see how unjust and wide of the mark they have been. No one should be deprived of the blessings of Christian Science through misconception or misrepresentation. Each one has a right to know what Christian Science actually teaches and not be misled by what somebody who knows little or nothing of the subject says it teaches. What the critics object to, Christian Scientists would usually object to equally, if Christian Science taught anything even remotely resembling what they criticize. The fact is, that one who has not made a deep and thorough study of Christian Science and tested its teachings honestly in practice, is unable to form a correct opinion about it. What would be thought of one who had never studied mathematics, could not even work the simplest problems in mathematics making blind and emphatic statements about what mathematics teaches and what could or could not be done in it.
The Language of Spirit
Now the first thing I want to emphasize, is the fact that Christian Science has practically given us a new language. Not new words, but has greatly amplified the meanings of words. Is it not self-evident that the words of a human language, which we have been accustomed to applying mostly in a material way, are inadequate media with which to teach a purely spiritual Science, unless these words are given a higher significance? The failure to make this discrimination between the lower and the higher, the material and the spiritual meanings of words, is one of the principal causes of confusion and misunderstanding in discussing the subject, and in reading the Bible.
Near the end of Science and Health is a chapter under the heading of "Glossary." Here the spiritual meaning of a few of the important words of the Bible is clearly given. This is a key to the meaning of other words, and is certainly a fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus: "They shall speak with new tongues." Let me read to you out of this chapter the definitions of the two most important words in the language, and the very basis of Christian Science. The two words are God and man. Here is the definition of God:
"The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."
Here is the definition of man:
"The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind."
You can readily see how far removed from the ordinary sense are these definitions. Christian Science is a radical teaching; but is not a radical change in our conception of things necessary to effect radical results? What has the old material way of thinking done for us? What can it ever do for us? A divine understanding of things is opened in Christian Science; a new conception of the universe is born. The seven nouns: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, Love, Principle, contained in the definition of God, are always capitalized in Christian Science literature to distinguish them from lower considerations of the same words, and are synonymous terms, - all mean the same thing. They are the seven most appropriate terms taken from human language and given their highest significance, to define God to our thought so scientifically as to enable us to demonstrate His presence, power, and government in our lives.
Mind as God
Consider for a moment the term Mind as a synonym for God. The general belief is that mind is something personal, something in a physical body, gray matter in the brain, etc.: that each of us has a mind of his own, and so there are myriads of minds, all more or less in conflict with each other. Christian Science teaches that there is only one Mind, a universal divine Principle that pervades all space. Spiritual man reflects infinite divine Mind and is in a constant, unbroken state of unity therewith. As the Bible says: "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." Paul referred to this universal Mind when he said: "Let this Mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." A Christian Scientist is constantly endeavoring to radiate and express more and more of this perfect and infinite Mind. And he is endeavoring to silence and to express less and less of what is termed in Christian Science mortal mind.
By mortal mind is meant all negative conditions of thought, - all fearing, worrying, imagining, supposing, believing; all disease, sin, death, ignorance, superstition, materialism; in short, everything contrary and antagonistic to the real Mind or God. Paul referred to this mind as the "carnal mind," which he said is "enmity against God." Mortal mind has the same relation to divine Mind that darkness has to light. Light is positive. Darkness is negative - the mere absence of light. When light and darkness are brought together, every one knows what happens. You can know just as certainly what will happen when the activity of divine Mind and its attributes is realized in a human consciousness where mortal mind has seemed to occupy most of the ground. And you will make the greatest discovery and receive the greatest inspiration possible if you make the test fairly. The kingdom of heaven will open to you. You will find that Christian Science is indeed the Science of sciences; that it is actually demonstrable; that it is possible for us to overcome, here and now, our false mortal beliefs, and to realize and experience more and more of present spiritual good. Remember that divine Mind is absolutely perfect, pure, free; unlimited and universal in power, presence, and knowledge. It is the very substance of the universe, - the basis of all life. It is our Father and Mother, the source and origin of all consciousness and being. It is self-existent, self-contained, self-operative under its own omnipotent and harmonious law. It is God. Nothing can influence this Mind to be or do or think other than in accordance with its own nature and character. There is no hypnotism, mesmerism, suggestion, or human will in Christian Science. Every effort a genuine Christian Scientist makes is based upon this one divine Mind. It is entirely a spiritual process. It is impossible to do evil or try to work for selfish personal ends against the rights of others and be a Christian Scientist. The good which comes to humanity through the demonstration of Science, comes lawfully and scientifically, and in accordance with God's will. No one can sway or change or move divine Mind. We must all be moved by it, and let it reign supreme in our lives.
We learn that God's will for each of us is good and good only. What a change Christian Science is bringing to the thought of the world in this respect! You have heard that God sends sickness, and calamity, and death upon mankind. Christian Science positively repudiates such a belief. God is Love. His law is wholly beneficent, - always working for us and never against us; always sustaining and protecting us, and supplying every need of our being, every moment of our existence. When we see what God's will for us really is, with what eagerness and joy and complete confidence we can surrender ourselves to Him, and say from the heart, "Thy will be done." The Bible tells us, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." There is no deception in that statement. It is literally and divinely true. The good which God has in store for us is infinite, - beyond the power of human imagination to picture, and through right thinking the way is opened for its acceptance and realization.
That which seems to bring discord into evidence is mortal mind, not divine Mind. And as mortal mind is overcome and displaced in our thinking and in the world's thinking, all discordant and destructive elements must inevitably to that extent dissolve and disappear from individual and collective experience. This overcoming is to be accomplished by a prayerful, persistent, patient effort to first discriminate between mortal mind and its elements, and divine Mind and its qualities, and then to deny, resist, and reject the one; and affirm, hold to, and accept the other. That is our working basis. Any of you can make a beginning right now. Take fear for instance. That would be classified as error or mortal mind, for certainly fear has no place in divine Mind. "God hath not given us the spirit of fear," said Paul. The Bible is full of "fear nots" and "be not afraids." Then to heed this admonition and to suppress and overcome the emotion of fear you would declare you are not afraid and know the reason for your declaration. No statement is made blindly, and Christian Science is not just a shallow optimism. It is the operation of scientific, spiritual knowledge and understanding. Whatever a Christian Scientist declares and endeavors to realize in his prayer or treatment he understands, and he can explain why it is true. Otherwise there could be no power in his efforts. The reason we should not be afraid is because there is nothing in the universe to be afraid of when we understand the situation. Evil and disease are not powers within themselves. They have only the reality mankind in its ignorance and superstition has given to them. They have no intelligence with which to plan and work against us. There is no Principle to sustain them, no law by which they can operate and invade our lives and oppress us. How could there be. God is admitted to be the only creator and governor of all things. The Bible distinctly tells us that the creation is like the creator, and reason tells us the same thing if we give it a chance. Effect has to be like its cause. How could it be otherwise?
The very thing for which Christian Science has been most criticized is its explanation that evil must be, has to be, in the nature of an unreality, an illusion, or God does not exist; yet this is the only hope of salvation. What could be blinder than to say a perfect God created all things imperfectly, - that the infinite God, who is all good, created something contrary and antagonistic to His own nature, and turned it loose on His creation, which He loves with a love far above that of a human parent for his child. There is not a particle of reason, intelligence, or scientific thought in such a belief. Either we must give up our belief in evil as a reality that can never be destroyed, or we must abandon our concept of the one perfect God. There is no escaping the inexorable logic of Christian Science on this fundamental point. It holds us right there and demands demonstration. All through history philosophers and devout students have sought to discover the origin of evil. Has any origin been found? No. Why? For the all-sufficient reason that it has no origin. Evil must be seen and held as an illusion, a baseless dream, powerless and unreal, or not even a scientific beginning can be made towards overcoming it, and freeing ourselves from its oppression. We do not ask questions about the source of an illusion or unreality. We are fully occupied with proving its unreality, and as we do so it ceases to trouble us or by any subtlety to deceive us into admitting and recognizing its claim to place and power; for we have already perceived in Principle and have begun to demonstrate in experience that evil is not scientifically real, and has no place in Christianized consciousness or real being. This is not ignoring evil, but is facing it squarely for the first time; silencing its arguments, exposing and denouncing its pretenses, handling its false claims, and reducing it to its own nothingness. This requires spiritual alertness, industry, perseverance, - a constant spiritual activity, but it can be done, is being done, will continue to be done in ever increasing measure in Christian Science. Christian Scientists have enlisted as in God's army to war with sin, disease, and death in all their forms, and to keep up with increasing skill until good is proved to be all and evil naught!
Truth a Revelation
Many times Christian Scientists are criticized by those who do not understand their methods, for the way in which we use the word "truth." Truth in its highest and absolute sense, and as used in Christian Science, is a synonym for divine Mind or God. It is generally thought that the picture of things presented through the five physical senses is the truth. The Bible and Science and Health are in conflict with that belief. That is the only conflict there is. You have heard it said that a Christian Scientist says he is well when he is sick, which is tantamount to saying he is not truthful. Well, let us examine it and see. Most people have been directly and indirectly taught from childhood to believe that the only source of knowledge, the only way we can know things, is through the material senses. The schools are largely engaged in an effort to discover some final and permanent truth through these senses. The futility of all that effort ought to be self-evident to anyone who will think soberly about it. How can we learn any truth which will stand through the ages, through faculties which will not stand through the ages? If we look through a red glass, everything appears red. Look through the mortal, material senses and will not everything appear mortal? And will not every conclusion we reach about ourselves or anything, based upon material sense testimony, be a mortal conclusion and therefore untrue in the absolute and scientific sense?
Through what other channel then may we gain knowledge? The Bible and Science and Health contain a record of knowledge which not only did not come through the physical senses, but is opposed to and completely supersedes such evidence. How did these spiritual truths come to human consciousness? Through revelation or inspiration; through spiritual sense and mental unfoldment from within. Spiritually minded men through the ages have lifted their thought above matter and material evidences, and have, with varying degrees of clearness and insight into the ever present divine Mind that surrounds us, discerned something of invisible and eternal reality. Thus has inspired truth been accumulating slowly through history. Christ Jesus understood Truth and demonstrated it to perfection in his day. But spiritual truth had never been stated in its fullness and completeness and reduced to a demonstrable Science, available for every man to understand and practice, until Christian Science came. It is from the standpoint of revealed Truth that a Scientist thinks and works; and from that standpoint he is never sick. He makes his statements modestly and often silently, but deep within him he strives to be loyal and obedient to this inspired sense of Truth, however strongly opposed by material conditions. He knows that in no other way can he possibly free himself by spiritual means and prove the power of Mind over the illusory evidences of matter.
Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Will it make us free to believe or to say we are sick and miserable? Is it not clear that if we are knowing or believing anything that distresses us or makes us weak and fearful, we are not knowing the truth as Jesus used the term? If the way we are thinking is not making us free, it is not the truth which we are entertaining. What is the truth? The truth of being is that man is the perfect spiritual child of God, and not an organized piece of protoplasm thrown up here on the shore of time for a brief day to suffer and perish. The truth is that harmony, and not discord, is the law of man's being. The truth is that good only is real and that evil is unreal. The truth is that man's real origin and existence is in divine Mind, beyond the cognizance of the physical senses; that man is created by divine Mind, and exists now and forever as a perfect idea or image in this Mind. We do not see this or any absolute truth with the mortal senses. The Bible tells us that "no man hath seen God at any time," that is, materially. The pure in heart shall see God, Jesus told us. We see Him with our thought, our understanding, our spiritual sense. That is the way we are learning to see things in Christian Science, and it is from this basis that we are learning to reason and reach conclusions. The testimony of the physical senses is always unreliable even in their own realm of matter as is now generally recognized. For thousands of years they deceived men into the universal belief that the earth was flat and stationary. You are familiar with the reception the man got who first denied that belief with a larger view and higher knowledge. What has become of the flatness of the earth? That is just what will become of disease, sin, and death as we know more and more of the truth. The radio has given a staggering blow to the limitations of human belief based on the sense testimony. In fact all human advancement has been breaking away from such limitations, and this age is observing the greatest strides ever known in this direction. Progress away from a material basis and towards a freer, purer, and less limited sense of life is on wings today.
The five physical senses are not the servants of Truth or God. They are the servants of human belief. They testify outwardly to what we and mankind generally believe inwardly. "Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts," says Science and Health (p. 86). The physical senses could never testify to the presence of disease on your body, or discord in your life, unless there was a mental condition back of that illusory evidence that needs correction, which explains why the method of Christian Science is purely metaphysical and deals with thought only. When the mental origin of disease is discerned and diagnosis is mental, it becomes logical and natural to resort to mental treatment.
The Christian Scientist knows that it is vain to try to improve external conditions without improving the basic cause of those conditions in the mind. Conditions in your life and in the world today are accurate reflections of your and the general state of mind of mankind. This being self-evidently true, how vain and futile are most of the efforts which are made to improve conditions, - trying to correct effects without touching causes, trying to change everything except the one thing which should be changed, namely, the thinking of mankind! The Christian Scientist diagnoses thought, treats thought and watches for progress and improvement in thought, - a purely spiritual system. Any departure from that standard is not Christian Science. The Christian Scientist knows and has already had evidenced to him in abundant measure, that as this work is faithfully done it bears fruit beyond anything he dreamed possible, in exact accordance with God's promises. As this scientific and revealed truth is brought into our conscious thinking and feeling, as it is cultivated there, and maintained, loved, and obeyed; and as beliefs contrary to it are rebuked and cast out, the evidence before the senses begins to change. This is prayer in Christian Science, the prayer which is always answered, and which we may pray without ceasing. As this process is persisted in, the fears and beliefs in sin and disease dissolve away in consciousness, and the senses can no longer testify against us, for there are no beliefs for them to testify to. The illusory evidence vanishes, and we go forth free. This is the scientific fact, and every case of healing in Christian Science proves it anew. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health: "When numbers have been divided according to a fixed rule, the quotient is not more unquestionable than the scientific tests I have made of the effects of truth upon the sick." (p. 233) Christian Scientists all over the world are proving this constantly. Nothing could be more practical, more available, more effective. It is the one way to freedom and happiness. There is no other way.
Christian Science Not Difficult
Do not be obstructed in your progress in investigating and utilizing Christian Science, by the too common statement that it is too deep and difficult, - too hard for you to understand. We have been spiritually illiterate, it is true, and Christian Science is a complete system of spiritual education, but it is not hard to understand. Truth is in fact the only thing that can be understood. Are material things, sin, disease, and death, understandable? Christian Science is different, radically different from old methods of thinking; but should it not be easy and natural for God's children to understand His message to them?
It is equally easy and natural to prove Christian Science. Certainly our creator has given us the same power to demonstrate and prove His truth as He has to perceive it. Let us keep ourselves free and give our lives a chance. We must think and talk on the positive side and not on the negative. In watching your thinking and in analyzing it to see if it is true and scientific, keep asking yourself these questions: "Does God know that; does He say that; does it reflect Him?"
In one of Mrs. Eddy's smaller works, "Unity of Good," she makes the following significant statement: "When I have most clearly seen and most sensibly felt that the infinite recognizes no disease, this has not separated me from God, but has so bound me to Him as to enable me instantaneously to heal a cancer which had eaten its way to the jugular vein."
"In the same spiritual condition I have been able to replace dislocated joints and raise the dying to instantaneous health. Herein is my evidence, from on high, that the views here promulgated on this subject are correct." (p. 7).
Man's True Nature
The insistent belief and assumption that we can know something which God does not know, that we can feel and experience something apart from Him and contrary to His nature is the source of all our woe and must be repented of. Christian Science inspires one to see that what God does not know and did not create is a lie in some form, and he immediately resists and opposes its claim to presence and activity, and disbelieves that it can use him as its medium or mouthpiece, because he is really a reflection, an expression of God only, as the definition of man I read from Science and Health clearly indicates. This definition of man, what he is and what he is not, is treated in great detail throughout the teachings of Christian Science. In nothing does the human mind seem so slow as in giving up its mortal and material concept of man. Perhaps the reason for this is the ever present belief that the physical form the senses behold is man. "We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God," says Science and Health (p.258).
The Bible in its very first mention of man positively proclaims that he is made in the image and likeness of God. Isaiah admonished, "Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils for wherein is he to be accounted of;" Jesus said: "The flesh profiteth nothing;" and Paul said: "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh." In fact the vital theme running all through the Bible is that man is spiritual and not material. Christian Science constantly reiterates this all-important fact.
The physical sense is the Adam dream from which Christ came to save us. There is nothing else from which we need to be saved. The word "man" applies to each of us individually and to all generally. So we must make practical and demonstrate in our lives this marvelous revelation about man so entirely contrary to the ordinary belief. If we are to keep Science operative in our thought and reap the rewards, we must be consistent and stick to our Principle. Effect must ever be like its cause. Man is effect; God is cause. We reason constantly from God to ourselves. If God is not sick, we in our real individualities are not sick. If God finds no pleasure in sin, we as His image, find no pleasure in sin. Our whole effort and prayer is to realize and to maintain man's unbroken unity with and likeness to his Creator. Any other sense is an illusion, a mesmeric dream, from which Christian Science is awakening a slumbering world.
A perfect example of a human life governed by this concept of man as the image of God, has appeared just once in history. I shall never forget the love and admiration for Christ Jesus that came to me when I began the study of Christian Science and for the first time tried to demonstrate its teaching. Then and there I got an entirely new sense of greatness and of values, a sense of heroism, nobility, and grandeur, which made other characters I had so admired in history, fade from the picture in comparison. No one can have a full appreciation of Jesus' life and work until he begins the endeavor, in the silence of his own consciousness, to demonstrate the same power which our Master exercised. Christ Jesus is the one model of man, the only example Christian Scientists follow. They know that the test of their Christianity and their Science is in exerting the spiritual power and doing the works he plainly said we must do to be called Christians and his followers. He did not leave it open for any one to claim the name of Christian on the basis of profession. He placed it entirely on the basis of demonstration. There it must remain.
Christian Science is simply a scientific explanation of how Jesus did what he did. Have we not needed that explanation? It has been said that Jesus' power was miraculous and limited to his own personal experience and to his own time. He did not say that. On the contrary, he pleaded with humanity to see that the power he utilized was universally available to all. He said that the works he did we should do too. He said that the way the world would know that we were his followers would be that the same signs would follow those who follow him. He indicated clearly that there was a divine Principle involved in his works which all could understand and demonstrate. He said he could of his own self do nothing, that it was the Father that dwelt within him that did the works. It has been said that we could not be expected to attempt the works Christ Jesus did. Did he say that? Was he not our elder brother? Did he not say that his Father was also our Father? "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven," he distinctly said. Does this not indicate unmistakably that we all in reality have a spiritual origin and are spiritual and not material in our real being, and therefore are heirs to the same power Jesus exercised? Otherwise, how could we obey his instructions and do what he demanded of us? What would be the purpose in having an example if it is impossible for us to follow that example? We are born again through this revelation. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.
One criticism has been that Christian Science denies the divinity of Christ. Nothing could possibly be farther from the truth. It maintains that divinity in every statement of its teaching. It does more. It reveals the glorious and inspiring fact that the real nature of all creation is and must necessarily be like the Creator, spiritual, immaculate, divine. Any other concept is what holds us in bondage and keeps us from exercising our dominion, and is the "old man" which we are instructed to "put off." Why do we have so many opinions of our own contrary to what Jesus taught, to obstruct our development and usefulness, - always working against ourselves? If he said we could do the works he did and even greater works, we should without question accept the fact that it is possible, and arouse ourselves to activity in finding out how to do it instead of bringing forth an unending set of excuses and opinions that it can't be done. We ought to be humble enough to admit that a man who exercised complete dominion over matter and all material conditions through the power of Mind, knew what he was saying and meant what he said.
Mary Baker Eddy
It has been said that Christian Scientists worship Mrs. Eddy. They do not. They worship God alone, if they are true to Mrs. Eddy's teachings. She repeatedly instructed others to follow her only so far as she followed Christ, and turned thought constantly to that one example for guidance. Her life was a marvelous example of unselfish love and humility. She denounced, as it never before had been denounced, the error of worshipping a human personality. But there never has been a greater service rendered the race since the days of Jesus, than Mrs. Eddy has rendered it. As you begin to see what Christian Science really is, your wonder will never cease that one lone woman could have risen to such spiritual heights above the common level of belief, as to perceive this Science in divine Mind and running through all the pages of the Scriptures, and to have stated it so definitely and completely that it will remain throughout the ages as a great, ever-operative, healing leaven, working down at the roots of thought and desire to redeem and save the race. There is no possible human compensation for the benefactions Mrs. Eddy bestowed upon us when she discovered Christian Science and established it in its purity in human practice. What a friend she has been to us all! Christian Scientists love and reverence her in exact proportion to their understanding of what she has accomplished. It is impossible to have a true concept of Christian Science and not feel an overflowing gratitude to its Discoverer and Founder. Read her books; apply their teachings to your problems; feel their influence in your life, and you will know whether she is genuine or not. You will never again be troubled by untruthful statements that have, in all ages, been invented by the worshippers of matter against the spiritual and inspired leaders of the world.
My friends, Christian Science is an exhaustless subject. It is only possible in this brief hour to touch upon a few points. Let me repeat what I said in the beginning, that the full statement of Christian Science is in Science and Health. This is an open book available in the Christian Science Reading Rooms, and in libraries throughout the world for all to study and understand. There has never been a greater privilege open to a member of the human race than to have access to the contents of this wonderful book. Thousands upon thousands of persons have been healed of what are called incurable diseases and sins by reading and studying the book. In the Christian Science periodicals, weekly and monthly, and at the Wednesday evening meetings of the Christian Science churches, the world over, testimonies of healing are given. These healings include diseases and sins in all their forms and are experienced by persons in all walks of life. This healing evidence has been growing in volume constantly since Science and Health was first published, until today no fact is better established in human history than that Christian Science heals.
Science and Health tells you precisely what attitude of mind to maintain and how to think and work and pray, to experience this healing and to gain and exercise your God-given dominion. It will save you to the uttermost, if you do your part; and it will present to you an ideal of life so appealing and so inspiring that it will seem no sacrifice to give up beliefs and practices contrary to this ideal.
Let me read in closing, a few sentences from a chapter in Science and Health known as "Footsteps of Truth:"
"Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, 'I was free born.' All men should be free. 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity."
"Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: 'Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin and death!' Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right." (p. 227.)
[From a newspaper clipping, date and location unknown.]