Christian Science:

The Operation of Divine Law in Human Affairs

 

Peter V. Ross, C.S.B., of San Francisco, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

Peter V. Ross, C.S.B., of San Francisco, member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., delivered a lecture on Christian Science at the Strand theater, Sunday evening before a very thoroughly interested audience which listened to his statements with the utmost interest.

The speaker was introduced by Jesse Clore of Alamo who recounted some of the early history of the church in this county and spoke of the advancement which has been made in membership in the short space of a comparatively few years. Following this Mr. Ross was introduced and delivered the following lecture:

 

When we look out upon the world at large and contemplate the beauty and order manifested on all hands and in every direction, and then consider that what we see through the restricted avenue of the physical senses is not the fullness but at most only a hint of the grandeur of the spiritually real phenomena which fill all space, we are at once led to inquire concerning the origin of things. We cannot conceive of their being here by accident or chance, nor by virtue of their own power or volition, but we are persuaded, if we think seriously upon the subject, that they are creations of law and intelligence, and that underlying them is some grand, beneficent purpose.

Naturally different people at different periods of time have entertained widely varying conceptions as to the origin, cause or creation of things.The ancient Hebrews, for example, conceived the Creator as an enlarged human being - Jehovah by name - a sort of king having the uneven temperament and the local jurisdiction of a chieftain or monarch. But in course of time, with the expansion of Jewish thought, Jehovah gave place to Elohim "whose presence bright all space doth occupy, all motion guide."

One reason the Bible holds absorbing interest for thinking people is, that it portrays this unfoldment of the Hebrew conception of Deity from a primitive sense of God as corporeal, circumscribed and human, toward an enlightened conception of God as being everywhere present, as having all intelligence, as possessing and exercising all power, unseen and unseeable to the physical senses.This enlarged conception of Deity was the priceless contribution from the Jewish race to Western civilization, made at a time when paganism and mythology flourished even in cultured Greece and Rome.

 

Modern Concept of Deity

But there still remains through all the centuries the necessity for a more tangible concept, a more definite definition of Deity, to meet the practical needs of humanity; and this came, only fifty years or so ago, through the inspired thought of Mary Baker Eddy, when she discerned, as she writes on page 465 of her great book Science and Health, that "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. This definition is abundantly sustained by Scriptural authority. Thus Moses, encouraging his followers during their struggles in the wilderness, reminds them that God is Life. Paul refers to God as Mind when, in writing to the Philippians, he admonishes them to have that Mind which was in Christ Jesus. Jesus, finding the Samaritan woman at the well in an inquiring mood, says to her, "God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." While John, whose association with the Nazarene has transformed him from the impetuous Son of Thunder to the gentle Apostle of Peace, can say, "God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Nor is there any escape from the logic of Mrs. Eddy's definition of Deity. For when we concede, as we do, that God is everywhere present and all-knowing, we are driven to the conclusion that He must be Mind. Nothing other than Mind can be all-knowing and measure up to omniscience. But Mind, ever animate and ceaselessly active, cannot be dissociated from Life. Therefore we are led to see that God is Life as well as Mind.Mind and Life, however, in their true sense, are inseparable from Love, which reminds us of the Apostle's declaration that God is Love.But mind, life and love, as humanly manifested, are lamentably imperfect.Only as Love is unselfish, Mind unerring, Life above disease, can they properly be held to be Deity. In other words, only as they are sustained and vitalized by Principle are they worthy names for God.And on the other hand, only as Principle is not abstract and mindless but imbued with Life, Mind and Love, is it entitled to be regarded as Deity.Then are they all transferred from the realm of the human to the divine.

 

Opposing Minds

It is not denied that there appears to be another mind opposed to or at enmity with the divine Mind which is God. This baser mentality, of which more will presently be said, seems to find expression in a material man and in a material universe, whereas divine Mind finds expression in a spiritual man and in a spiritual universe.Jesus pronounces this so-called mind a lie and the father of lies, while Mrs. Eddy, recognizing its fictitious character and definitely distinguishes it from the divine Mind, designates it mortal mind, for its supposed man and creation, being physical, are subject to disease and death.

It is important to keep this distinction between the spiritual and the material, the real and the unreal, in thought, and remember that when Christian Science insists, as it does insist, that man is perfect, without sin or sickness, it refers not to the mistaken mortal sense of man as physical with finite form and outline, but to the spiritual and real man of divine Mind's creating; not to the counterfeit man described in the second chapter of Genesis as made by Jehovah out of the dust of the ground, but to the genuine man described in the first chapter of Genesis as made in the image and likeness of God, of Elohim.

At this point some one may say: "It may be true, in the absolute, that God is Mind and that man is spiritual and perfect, but what has that to do with me in my present seeming material condition with its difficulties and distresses?"It has just this to do with your problems.Suppose, for example, that you appear to be sick.Now instead of dwelling upon your aches and pains, try to dismiss them from thought; for they are not yours, they are not realthings nor genuine thoughts, they are only false suggestions springing from mortal mind. Then direct attention, as best you can, to the great truth that Life - your Life - is God, and that since God is everywhere and always expressing Himself perfectly, Life is everywhere and always functioning harmoniously and uninterruptedly, even where the distress seems to be.The result, as you hold steadfastly to this truth, will be a change in consciousness, whereby your sense of sickness, which is false, gives place to a sense of health, which is true.

Self-Defense

Suppose, again, that you appear to be worried or confused, that your mind seems dull or impaired, or that your personal or business problems defy solution.There is no remedy so near, none so effective, as for you calmly to insist that the all-knowing Mind which is God is never disturbed, never weary, never inadequate, and that this Mind expresses itself through you and guides you in every right effort and undertaking. You will then find your thought clarifying and expanding. You will, find, too, that while of yourself you can do nothing, you can with the help of divine intelligence operating through you, cope successfully with the difficulties at hand.

Or suppose you have been upset by sinful desires or habits. There is no certain, permanent relief, except to know that since God is Principle, you, His likeness, are a man of Principle, with whom evil has no affinity and to whom evil thoughts make no appeal.Evil thoughts, like sick thoughts, do not originate with God or with man.They are not yours.Therefore you need not harbor or respond to them.They come from mortal mind and hence are no part of the reality of being, no part of your true thinking or experience. Taking this stand, and refusing to entertain evil thoughts, you will find that they become less and less persuasive, more and more unreal.For, says Holy Writ, God saw everything that He had made, and He made all that was made, and behold it was very good.Resist the devil, evil, says James, and he will flee.But you can resist evil effectively only as you see that evil thoughts are not your thoughts, and that, since good is all, evil actually is nothing.

Suppose, once more, that you seem cast down with sorrow or discouragement.It is at least a trifle reassuring to remember that much of the trouble which heretofore has harrowed you never actually happened, did it?But speaking seriously, is there anything so comforting, so healing, as to remember that God, the only power and presence, is Love?Therefore, He does not and cannot visit you with affliction or perplexity, and there is no other power to do so. Really, then, there is no cause or ground for unhappiness.God cannot, by reason of His very nature, do less than surround and sustain you with loving kindness and fill your life with peace and joy.

Thus it is that a right sense of Deity has a most vital and practical interest to people in their everyday affairs and troubles, for it enables them to appreciate that God is not only the controlling and sustaining influence of man, but also the very fount and fibre of man's being.From this vantage ground people dispute, with measurable success, encroachments of disease, disaster, and every condition threatening their existence or menacing their well-being.They see that they are not held "in the fell clutch of circumstance," but that they are, in so far as they order their thoughts and lives uprightly, safely hid "under the'' shadow of the Almighty" where danger and discomfort cannot find nor molest them.

 

Perfection of Man

But this sense of security is attainted only by industrious, intelligent effort, for anyone at all given to introspection must be impressed with the apparent controversy, almost constantly going on in consciousness, between right thoughts and wrong thoughts.

Each individual seems to find in himself not one but two conflicting persons, the spiritual and the material, the good and the bad, the well and the sick.Paul speaks of being torn by these two conflicting emotions when, in his letter to the Romans he says: "I find that a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members."

The mental battle, thus vividly described by Paul, is simply the attempt of false mortal mind thoughts to establish themselves in human consciousness and thereby usurp the legitimate place of true thoughts from divine Mind.This state of thought, this mentality, which seems partly good and partly bad, is sometimes referred to as the human mind. But every Christian Scientist is proving, since evil has only a fictitious existence, only such power as mortals concede to it, that one right thought can chase a thousand wrong thoughts and that two good thoughts can put ten thousand evil ones to flight, which gives promise of an end to the battle sometime, with a desire for and a consciousness of good only.Then there is the more or less constant argument, silently going on in the mind of every individual, between the forces of health and the supposed forces of disease.The controversy is purely mental, although its results may eventually appear upon the body.This ultimate outward appearance has given rise to the supposition that health and disease are physical conditions, that health is promoted by material process, and that disease is healed by material remedies.

But the fact is that the individual lives in consciousness rather than in a material body, and that he is well or sick, according as his thoughts are wholesome or unwholesome. Health and disease are opposite states of mind, as truly as are joy and despair - a fact which explains why correcting the thought of a sufferer, through the application of Christian Science, cures his ailments.Since the individual lives in consciousness, what he thinks constitutes what he is.What he thinks also constructs his environment, shapes and colors all the externals of life.The individual then is not a creature of circumstances nor of heredity, but of his thoughts, and these he can, with divine help, control until his thinking gives way to the thinking, indeed is the thinking, of the one Mind which is God, that Mind which was in Christ Jesus, and which produced in him, and as given opportunity, will produce in others, the man without sickness, sin, or imperfection.

 

Christ Jesus

For centuries Hebrew prophecy foretold the coming of this perfect man - the Messiah or Christ.But the prophecy was seldom correctly interpreted and eventually came to mean, with the generality of Jews, that in course of time a great warrior, comparable to Joshua, would appear and deliver them from their enemies and oppressors.But in the fullness of time there appeared one person among the Hebrews, a woman, who was able to glimpse, to at least faintly conceive the true man.Her conception was mental or spiritual, quite apart from mortal usage, and she named her child Jesus - all of which Mrs. Eddy explains in her writings.Matter and material laws appear creative or causative only because human belief seems to invest them with this power.True causation is mental and spiritual, and when fully recognized, needs no material accompaniments.

In this incident the Word, to use the language of St. John, was made flesh, that is, spiritual law was made operative in the material realm to the elimination of physical law and belief.And this process continued throughout the earthly career of Jesus.When twelve years of age, for example, while at the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem he became absorbed in discussions with the learned doctors, engaged in his Father's business, as he put it, "All that heard him," so the Scriptural narrative runs, "were astonished at his understanding and answers."The Word was made flesh on that occasion, in that divine intelligence found expression in him to the exclusion of the humanly childish thought which might have been expected at his age.Then there was that moral sense which made him a dutiful son and a good carpenter before he became the Teacher and Savior.But more conspicuously was the Word made flesh in those remarkable deeds of his later years, when often mistakenly called miracles, when the supposed laws of disease and of matter generally were made to yield to the higher law of Spirit, and people were healed of all manner of sickness and even raised from the dead.

Jesus did not make his complete demonstration at once.He did not escape from materiality and mortality at a single bound, but step by step.Tempted at all points, like we are, he began, as we begin, with the easier demonstrations, resisting the ordinary mortal mind arguments of sickness, selfishness, and sensuality.Thereby the human gave way before the divine in him something as it does in other individuals.Rejecting as unreal and none of his, all thoughts but those emanating from the divine Mind, he gradually escaped from the confusion of a dual sense of man and of things as both good and evil and became cognizant only of the good, the real, the spiritual. At last came the ascension, when the humanity of Jesus gave place entirely to the divinity of the Christ. Then he entered into the unobstructed sphere of Spirit, where the ills and the bonds of the flesh relax their hold and slip away into oblivion.

It is reasonably certain that Jesus' followers did not fully understand the Science involved in his supreme demonstration.In fact they looked for his early return to complete his work of bringing the world to an end.They did not realize that he had finished his course and brought an end to earthly things so far as they touched him. Thereby he gained his own freedom and showed others how to secure theirs.It remained for Mrs. Eddy, eighteen centuries later, to discover and state in terms intelligible to the masses, the divine law underlying Jesus' teachings and practice.Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, discerned the true man; Jesus demonstrated his own identity with the Christ; while Mary Baker Eddy made the basic Science of it all so plain that he who runs may read.

The practical importance of all this is, that the way is made clear for every individual in these times to put into effect the Science which Jesus employed and thereby bring out in himself the true man, that is, establish a state of consciousness which knows only unbounded good and life harmonious.For spiritual law can be made operative with men today as certainly as it was in the case of Jesus.Students of the Bible there are, it is true, who doubt whether Jesus' birth, his wonderful works, his resurrection and ascension took place as recorded in the Gospels.But he who denies the possibility of these things denies, does he not, the possibility of escape from materiality and mortality?If Christ Jesus did not master disease and death, how can others hope to master them?Yet master them the individual must if he would attain immortality.Submitting to them means annihilation, not the resurrection and the life.Few things are more pathetic, few more obstructive of spiritual growth, than the disposition to reject portions of the Scripture which run counter to those human opinions and speculations, which, at best, are only partial truths and which in the aggregate constitute what Paul characterizes as "science falsely so called," when he adjures his friend Timothy, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called."

 

Discovery of Science

When it was revealed to Mary Baker Eddy, as she describes the revelation in her writings, that Christianity, she permitted no obstacle to divert her from establishing, for the benefit of mankind, the trust which had been committed to her.First there was, on her part, the receptiveness to spiritual truths which qualified her to receive the revelation. Then there was the courage to put the revelation into practical operation in the face of all the opposition which human ingenuity could fashion or invoke.The receptiveness came because she lived in obedience to the divine will, like the prophets of old she walked with God and hence could hear His voice and understand His message.Her indomitable purpose was to make known to humanity the way of escape from its difficulties.

People are sometimes heard to say that they cannot accept Mrs. Eddy's views.They forget that Mrs. Eddy has not put forward her own opinions, she has promulgated the fundamentals of divine Science as they have been revealed to her.They forget that Mrs. Eddy has not created Science, she has discovered it, discovered those unerring truths which have always been at hand, awaiting recognition and utilization by man.People may like or dislike Christian Science, accept or reject it, but they cannot hold Mrs. Eddy responsible for what it is.Science is what God made it.It is of divine not human origin.

Electricity has always been in the world, ready to do man's bidding and lighten his burdens, but the penetrating vision of an Edison was needed to discern the hidden forces and harness them to service.People do not blame Edison nor hold him responsible for what electricity is.They use it and are grateful to him for the incalculable good he has done.Possibly there are those who scorn to ride in an elevator, preferring to walk up long flights of stairs, or refuse to listen in on the radio, because, they have been told, it is the work of the devil.But the average person is quick to make use of those inventions which tend to brighten and happify existence.So thoughtful people are coming more and more to disregard the advice of hostile, ill-informed critics and to investigate and try the Science of Christianity and prove for themselves that it fulfills its promise.

Certain commentators on American civilization deplore what they are pleased to call its materialistic bias and its lack of spiritual or religious leadership.How superficial and misleading such criticism is should be apparent to the most casual observer.For since the early Christian era there has arisen no greater religious leader than Mary Baker Eddy. Nor since that time has the world witnessed a greater religious movement than Christian Science.This movement, launched by Mrs. Eddy scarcely more than half a century ago, has already overleaped the boundaries of our country and encircled the globe, plowing its way through the sullen selfishness and sordidness of the age and planting in human consciousness the virile seeds of truth which in due season will spring into universal health and righteousness.

 

Material Appearances

Let us return to a consideration of the universe of matter and physical objects, briefly alluded to a moment ago, which seems to greet us on all sides.It is important to analyze and dispose of this phenomena because it is the source of our difficulties.Modern chemistry finds that matter is not the solid substance it seems to be, but resolves it into force, energy, or influence.A recent authority on the subject writes: "It is a crude, inadequate and impossible idea, this naive conception of matter as something solid, heavy, hard, inert, indestructible, impenetrable, colored and surfaced."And again he says: "The progress of science (that is, physics and chemistry) is continually toward a dematerialization of matter.Physical analysis resolves the crude, heavy, solid stuff that our senses show us, into finer and finer particles, further and further apart, until these practically disappear into mere points of radiating influence." But all this does not help the situation.It merely changes the form of matter, when what is needed is the elimination of the belief in matter.

Now Christian Science agrees with so-called physical science when the latter asserts that matter is not the hard indestructible stuff it seems.But the agreement goes no further, for when physical science declares that matter is energy and then accepts this energy as real, Christian Science insists that matter is the lower or denser stratum of mortal mind, and then disposes of the whole affair by the bold yet logical assertion that mortal mind has only a seeming existence, for divine Mind is the only Mind, of which mortal mind is merely the counterfeit or imitation.Matter is therefore left without foundation or substance.It is reduced to a vagary of a mind which seems to but does not exist.Matter thus becomes a problem not of physics but of metaphysics.Its claim to existence is transferred to the mental realm.

For the human or mortal mind, acting upon the inadequate information furnished by the five senses, misinterprets everything it contemplates, whether a tree, a landscape, or a star.It looks out upon the universe, and, unable to comprehend the beauty, perfection and vastness of the scene, it forms a limited, cramped, distorted concept of things.This distortion or misinterpretation of real things constitutes matter and mortal existence. Matter, then, is mental, or more accurately speaking, falsely mental, for it is simply the imperfect concept which the human mind frames when it contemplates spiritual reality.

But this condition is not beyond redemption, for as the human mind expands and clarifies under the influence of Truth, it gains a more accurate view of things.They lose something of their supposed finiteness and imperfection.This process of correction and reconstruction, as it proceeds, will bring about a more and more enlightened perception until finally a melting away of mortal mind leaves only the real Mind and its universe of wonder and glory.Then matter, that is, the mistaken sense of things, will disappear, and with it all the trouble, disaster and suffering which follow in its train.

 

Mind and Body

With these truths in mind, let us consider, for a moment, the human body, for it is the form of matter which most vitally concerns us.The human mind, because of its inability to see things in their fullness, seems to reduce spiritual man to a creature of flesh and bones.It visualizes man, who actually is incorporeal and without dimensions, as a figure normally five feet, nine inches in height, one hundred and sixty pounds in weight, and three score years and ten in duration.This is the physical senses inadequate concept of what man is.It is a poor caricature of the real man, a supposed target for accident and a lodging place for disease.

But when we close our eyes and, so far as possible, silence the voice of the material senses, we see how immeasurable and boundless man is.We see that he is not incased in a body of fixed dimensions, but that he is as free and unconfined as thought itself.Indeed man is a thing of thought, a perfect emanation of the one perfect Mind. His absolute freedom and safety are graphically suggested in Jesus' statement to Nicodemus: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

What an individual is, then, depends upon what his thoughts are.Otherwise stated, the individual exists as a state of consciousness.This consciousness of himself mortally may be small, cramped, sickly, but it has the possibility of limitless expansion through the coming in of Godlike thoughts and the going out of erroneous thoughts.By this process of mortal mind giving way before divine Mind, the individual, as time goes on, gains a truer and truer, a larger and larger, a healthier and healthier concept of himself, until at last he enters into that sense of life which knows no pain, limitation, or imperfection.He is "born again" into the spiritual consciousness.This transformation is not hastened by centering attention on the body, but by directing thought, as Paul advises, to whatsoever things are lovely and of good report.In this way the attributes of immortal Life are incorporated in individual existence to the exclusion of the gross and sensual for consciousness grows by what it feeds upon.

However we may view the situation, there is no escape from the conclusion that man, in the last analysis, is the likeness of Mind, not of matter.He is not an aggregation of cells, but an aggregation of true thoughts.Even the body is a mental concept.It is the lower stratum of the individual's thinking.That is why it seems to have intelligence and sensation.The action of the various organs changes as thought changes.Joy quickens while fear slows down, or in extreme cases, entirely stops the vital functions.Even the form or contour of the mortal body improves as thought improves.

Hence it is that spiritual treatment in Christian Science normalizes the functions of the body and improves its outward appearance even to the extent of correcting deformities. Functional sluggishness is akin to mental sluggishness.Physical deformity, like moral deformity, is mental.It is said, and it is true, that in Science we do not treat the human body, as such.Yet in treating and correcting the human mind we, in effect, treat the body, for they are only different strata of the same mentality.

Physiology insists that brains and nerves control the body, but the fact remains that the human or mortal mind, though the individual is largely unconscious thereof, assumes to govern the mortal body and direct its functions.We have no difficulty, therefore, in seeing that when the human mind is supposed to be normal the body functions normally and is, as we say, well; but when that mind is distracted by worry or anger, the bodily functions, in belief, are necessarily deranged and there is sickness.Even a machine will not operate smoothly or satisfactorily when the power which propels it is erratic.

 

Right Mental Attirude

How can a mentality clouded by vice or agitated by malice or upset by fear give proper direction to the body?Over and over again has it been found in Christian Science practice that when some lurking sin, fear, or hate, has been detected in the mind of the patient, and antidoted or destroyed by love and truth, his physical suffering so-called has been relieved.Thus it is apparent that disease, whatever its name or type, has its origin and support in thought, and can be cured, only by normalizing the mentality of the sufferer.This is precisely what Christian Science treatment does.It overcomes disease by overcoming the false thoughts which are responsible for disease.

It should not be inferred that well people are necessarily very good or that ill people are necessarily very bad.The consequences of wrongdoing do not always overtake the offender immediately.Nor on the other hand, does obedience to the letter of the Commandments avail the individual against incursions of disease, if he believes that germs are deadly, or indulges, on occasion, in what he calls righteous indignation, or fails to utilize, his knowledge of Science to close the door of his mental home against the lying suggestions of mortal mind.

But to these good people whose healing seems to be delayed let it be said that no right effort is wasted.Every attempt to think and act along the lines mapped out by Christian Science brings you one step nearer to relief.The way to escape is prepared.Others have found it.That you will do so is as certain as that God reigns.Until that happy time arrives you will not be tempted beyond what you are able to bear.Gratitude for blessings already received, cheerfulness in the presence of trials, confidence in God's purpose and power to heal, determination to rely upon Science and upon Science alone, will speed the day of release.Meanwhile, remember the assurance of him who fought the good fight as few have fought it: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

 

Past Mistakes

The trials and bitter experiences of by-gone days which may seem to have left you mentally impaired or exhausted, have never touched real Mind, that "Mind which is God and which, serene and all-comprehending, is the source and substance of your intelligence - your true mentality. So the suffering and the hardships which may seem to have shattered your health, have never touched that Life which is God and which, eternally perfect and unimpaired, is, as Paul says, in you and through you, the very fabric of your being.

If the consequences of mistakes, which you may seem to have made, try to rise up out of the past to embarrass or torment you, your protection lies in realizing the fact that everything which is not in accordance with Principle, whether past, present or future, is unreal.The follies and errors of last year, like the dreams of last night, form no part of your actual life experience; and when you repent and reform, sincerely and thoroughly, they become as though they never had been.They were written upon the sand. Repentance, reformation, and restitution have washed them away, for, in Science, the forgiveness of sin is the destruction of sin.They can no longer be read or remembered against you as henceforth you press resolutely forward in righteousness.

Hold to these truths, live up to them as best you can, for thereby you bring health and strength and peace into your experience; thereby you pray with effect, pray, in a degree, as Jesus prayed, whose prayers had such tremendous healing efficacy and which were, as Mrs. Eddy describes them on page 12 of Science and Health, "deep and conscientious protests of Truth, - of man's likeness to God, and of man's unity with Truth and Love." Such prayer awakens you somewhat to your oneness with Divinity, which necessarily makes you the recipient of all the attributes which go to make up the perfect man.

 

The World of Business

[When the individual begins to appreciate his union with divine Mind and Life, his intellectual and moral development keeps pace with his improvement in health. Abandoning the false notion that intelligence inheres in himself, in his brain, and accepting the fact that genuine intelligence is of the all knowing Mind in which he has his very being, he finds his thoughts clearer and steadier. Nor are the finer qualities lacking, such as honesty, sympathy and other graces of character. Hence it is that he brings added capacity and increased efficiency to his daily work and affairs, whether he is an employee or an employer, a mechanic or a professional man, a farmer or a captain of industry.

[It is inevitable that such a person should succeed in whatever enterprise he is led by divine Mind to undertake. His business is seen to be his Father's business, to which he brings the ability of his Father-Mother God. Business ceases to be merely a means of profit to himself. It becomes a means of service to others, reasonably profitable to himself, assuredly, but first of all helpful to others in furnishing them the things necessary to their welfare. When a man recognizes that he is engaged in God's business, instead of a selfish venture of his own, he must of necessity escape the anxiety and confusion which oftentimes accompany personal enterprises, and he enjoys the confidence and capacity which God confers on those engaged in His service and which makes success a moral certainty.

[Many well-meaning people have tried to conduct their business according to the Golden Rule, but sometimes, notwithstanding their high purpose and industrious efforts, they have ended in bankruptcy. The trouble has been that, at the most, they have had no stronger support than a blind faith that God in His goodness would prosper the enterprise. Along with this inadequate faith they have harbored in thought the fatal inconsistency that greed, dishonesty and other supposed enemy forces have power. The business has thus been left exposed to the inroads of assumed foes and has collapsed for want of proper protection.

[A Christian Scientist, in the same circumstances, immediately takes account of these enemies, not leaving them to operate unchecked, but nullifying them by a scientific realization that since they have no foundation in Principle, they have no existence in fact: but he recognizes that until their nothingness or impotence is realized they seem to be able to work havoc. He does not ignore them, but copes intelligently with them and defeats their sinister and otherwise destructive purpose. He tries, and measurably succeeds in the attempt, to realize that man is actuated and controlled, by honesty, that man has the desire and the ability to meet his obligations, and that dishonesty can exert no influence over man. People respond to this right mental attitude, this correct estimate of man's character, and in dealing with the individual who entertains it they approximate that integrity with which God has endowed all men. If they are his customers, they pay their bills: if they are his employees, they do their work.

[The person in need of a position, relying upon divine Mind for guidance, and willing to render the service which this Mind designs for him, finds his place, and having found it, is given, by that same Mind, the capacity for performing the work. Recognizing the business as God's, rather than the personal affair of his employer, he has no sense of being personally dominated. He is less concerned about his rights than about his duties. Performing them faithfully, he finds his rights recognized, for the business is directed by divine Principle, which rules out injustice, adjusts the relations of employer and employee amicably, and affords them both sufficient supply while bringing to the public a needed service well performed.

[A person who seems to be ill tries, in Science, to realize that actually he is well, and knows it. So a person who seems to be out of employment tries to realize that man is already in his place and active in God's service. Like the planets, which are held in their orbits by gravitation, the individual is held in his place and directed in his course by divine Principle. But while this is true in the absolute, and he holds to it mentally, he does not omit to take the human footsteps best calculated to bring him into line with employment and thereby make human conditions conform more nearly to the ideal. These steps he takes with more than ordinary wisdom and effort, because he is enlisting divine intelligence in his behalf; and if his mental work has been thorough, few of such steps may be needed.]

It is clear that the individualís health, ability, and morals are improved as he recognizes his union with the deific nature.In the same way and for the same reason his supply of worldly things, the necessities of life, the facilities for conducting his business, the opportunities for plying his trade, are made adequate, so that lack, poverty, and idleness become obsolete.Poverty or lack of any sort is, in its last analysis, a mental condition just as disease or ignorance is.In fact lack or deficiency is a type of ignorance, a failure on the part of the individual to realize that God supplies the real man liberally with everything needful; indeed, that all that the Father has is the son's also, in so far as the son, by intelligent obedience to the law of righteousness, makes it possible for him to receive the abundant blessings which God bestows.

This inward realization of the abundance of supply compels the outward sense of supply to conform to what is needed to meet the legitimate demands of the individual.It is another case of the Word being made flesh, or of spiritual law being made operative in human affairs, whereby the material world is made to yield whatever is necessary for daily needs.Putting it in another way, the individual's thought, in response to the touch of Truth, is lifted to the point where it begins to lose its restricted view and take in the limitless plenty supplied to all those who walk uprightly.

In the practical application of Science to every day affairs, what is done is to take the things of the Spirit and show them to the creature, that is, present the facts to the individual who is confronted with difficulties.The individual may seem to be cast down with a sense of fear, hate, pain, sorrow, or want; but when he is shown the things, the truths of Spirit, that is, the presence of love, peace, confidence, health and plenty, his mistaken view of himself and of his environment begins to give way to the true vision, cognizant only to the good, the perfect, the plenteous.

Then he finds himself surrounded and supplied with such as he needs in his home, his business, his profession - food, equipment, opportunity, ability, health, happiness.For it is more normal to experience even material plenty and health than to experience want and disease. Eventually, as the individual grows in understanding and grace, and in ability to live in accordance with the law of righteousness, he discovers how true it is that the external semblance of things belies spiritual immensity, and that nothing which exists in the universe of good is denied him.

 

[Published in The Crawford (Indiana) Journal , Oct. 19, 1925. Also published in The Chicago Leader, Dec. 6, 1940. A few paragraphs have been added from a 1926 copy of the lecture and set off in brackets.]

 

 

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