Christian Science: Its Unlimited Possibilities

 

Robert Stanley Ross, C.S.B., of New York, New York

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 Eleventh Church of Christ, Scientist, of Chicago, in the church edifice, 2840 Logan Boulevard, Monday evening, March 21, by Robert Stanley Ross, C.S.B., of New York City, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: Its Unlimited Possibilities." Mr. Ross spoke substantially as follows:

 

My friends, would you like to know how to be well and happy? Would you like to know how to be free from fear and worry? Would you like to know how to be sure that all is well with your family, your friends, and your neighbors? More important still, would you like to know how to be kindly disposed toward all mankind and have them kindly disposed toward you? Of course you would, even while an unspiritual point of view may be arguing that all this would be an impossible attainment outside of heaven; impossible, that is to say, prior to the change called death.

 

Divine Law Always Available

Ah! but it is not an impossible attainment. There is a way, and it is the purpose of these lectures on Christian Science to make it plain. Does mathematical law, for example, place any obstructions, either here or hereafter, in the path of those who would scale the heights of numerical achievements? Does mathematics teach that there will be anything possible in the hereafter that is not possible now? Certainly not! One need only to bring enough alertness, obedience, and application to bear in order to prove this to be true. The same rule holds good with reference to the demonstration of divine law, which is the law of unlimited possibilities to all who progressively respond to its demands.

In other words, Christian Science has come to show mankind that divine law is the law of health, joy, and blessedness to present human experience. It has come to show that there is as much good available to us today as there was yesterday and as there will be tomorrow. Yes, it has come to show that, if it will be possible for us to do God's will in the future, it is possible for us to do it now. Accordingly, it can no longer be truthfully said by anyone, who is willing prayerfully to turn to divine law for help, that he is as one "having no hope, and without God in the world."

Contrary to common belief, there is no mystery about Christian Science healing. Anyone can understand it. The clearer one senses its unlabored simplicity, the easier it is for him to utilize its divine Principle. Through this Principle the healing power becomes available to all as certainly as it was to those Biblical characters whose lives we contemplate with admiration and reverence. Surely, "God is no respecter of persons"! He loves you and me as impartially as He loved them. The great difference between them and us is due, not to divine favoritism, but to the fact that they both recognized that God loved them and prayerfully rejoiced in it; whereas we do not. We are inclined rather to look to the future in which to utilize the law of ever-present Love; whereas they knew, in words of Paul, that "now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

 

Spiritual Discovery

You and I are living in times of thrilling adventure and amazing discovery. We are living in what is commonly referred to as a scientific age. Knowledge of physical science is rapidly enlarging. Recognizing that whatever is valuable must first be useful, our tendency, as practically-minded people, is to reduce everything to a workable basis. In addition to  mathematics, astronomy, architecture, navigation, and chemistry, we now have the science of electricity, engineering, economics, physics, geology, acoustics, mineralogy, aeronautics, and so on, to mention only a few.

In view of this world-wide tendency to reduce human modes to a systematic, workable basis, should we not be prepared to welcome the very Science of being, the Science of Life, or Christian Science? Not long hence, the world at large, still judging (reasoning) according to appearances, will wake to the fact that Mary Baker Eddy has not only founded and led a great religious movement, but that she has accomplished, in the realm of spiritual discovery, that which entitles her to preeminence amongst the scientifically great of all ages. She has made it possible for all who will to judge righteous judgment. That is to say, she has made it possible for all who will to reason in terms of reality and to heal by the spiritual power which it imparts.

Columbus believed there were undiscovered lands beyond the sea. Galileo believed there was a basic law governing the stellar system. Newton believed there was an invariable law which caused the apple to fall. Watt saw in a spouting kettle the possibilities of the steam engine. Franklin believed there was a law of relationship between lightning and electricity. Marconi believed there was a law by which messages could be transmitted without the use of wires. And Mary Baker Eddy believed there was a divine law governing in perfect harmony the real or spiritual universe including individual, impersonal, spiritual man. All these discoverers searched and found, after which they no longer believed; they knew.

Unlike all others, however, Mrs. Eddy's discovery transcended the realm of sight and sound. It lifted her consciousness above the dream of time into eternity, and beyond the sense of space into infinity. She learned that the divine Principle, starting point, or working basis of Christian healing was the absolute truth about God, man, and the universe, namely, infinite good or present spiritual perfection. She saw that what the Bible refers to as creation having taken place in six days, was simply the author's figurative way of saying that self-existent Truth or divine reality dawns upon individual human consciousness - sometimes slow, sometimes fast - in six successive periods of spiritual unfoldment, the seventh day symbolizing ascension, or consciousness rising entirely above matter or material belief, into the allness and everywhereness of Spirit.

Writing on page 520 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says, "The numerals of infinity, called seven days, can never be reckoned according to the calendar of time. These days will appear as mortality disappears, and they will reveal eternity, newness of Life, in which all sense of error forever disappears and thought accepts the divine infinite calculus."

Creation, then, is really revelation. It is the progressive dawning of the light of ever-present good upon your thought and mine until the mental darkness disappears entirely, even as material darkness recedes and finally disappears before the light of day. The veil, be it understood, is not on God, but on us. It is a symbol of human ignorance, "which vail is done away in Christ," Truth. In other words, when self-existent Truth, infinite Spirit, or divine Mind, fully dawns upon so-called human consciousness, all ignorance, material belief, or error is dispelled or "done away." Then one becomes scientifically aware of a universe in which fear, selfishness, and competition are unknown; a universe created and governed in perfect harmony and impartiality by divine Principle, Love.

To illustrate: Some time ago, a mother was startled by the terrified cries of her little daughter. She hurried downstairs and learned that the child had opened a door leading to the darkened living room, had looked in, and believed she had seen things that frightened her. The mother calmly entered the room, drew back the curtains, and rolled up the shades, flooding the room with light. Looking about, she saw that she was alone; that all the furniture was in its place, and that the room in every other way presented its usual harmonious aspects. She then called the little girl. The child tiptoed to the door, cautiously looked in, and recognized that her fears were groundless. Soon she was undisturbed and happily at play.

Is not the attitude of all mankind similar to that of the little girl? Are they not believing fearfully that they are living in a discordant material world and are the more or less helpless victims of sickness and temptation, discouragement and failure, disaster and death? But, thanks to the enlightenment which Christian Science imparts, we are learning that it is all a mistake. We are learning that our suffering has been due wholly to a finite sense of the infinite. The Scripture declares, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Instead of admitting that we are afraid of this, that, and the other thing, we can now truthfully say: "Thank God, I am not afraid. I know that all that is real is spiritual, harmless, and good. I know that all is well."

 

Science of Healing

No doubt everyone in this audience will admit that only the possible has ever been accomplished, and that whatever has been accomplished once can be accomplished again. The sole condition is the knowing how. Christian Science declares that, because the teaching and practice of Jesus were in full accord with divine law, there must be a Science of Christianity or Christian Science; there must be a way, by following which, others can do what Jesus did. Referring to the universal, eternal nature of his teaching, Jesus said, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

"But," someone may be asking, "how can we be sure that Christian Science is in accord with the teaching and practice of Jesus?" To this question Christian Science replies that the truth taught by Jesus is demonstrable. It is as capable of healing today as it was then. Jesus, be it understood, did not use drugs, surgery, nor other material means, nor did he recommend them to others. Nevertheless, he healed by a process that was evidently unfailing. All sorts of diseases yielded quickly to his method of treatment. Even those who were born blind, deaf, dumb, and physically deformed, found themselves normal as the result of his loving influence. Furthermore, he declared that this evidence of healing power would be the sign by which his true followers would always be known.

Although Christian Scientists are not so presumptuous as to believe that they have reached the exalted spiritual status of Jesus they are compelled, nevertheless, by the Master's own words, to admit that it is possible through meekness, obedience, and love. If it were not possible, why did Jesus declare that we must do the works that he did and, in time to come, "greater works"? Was the most loving of men so unloving as to issue a commandment that could not be obeyed? Here, then, is the yardstick - spiritual healing - with which to determine whether Christian Science corresponds to the Christianity of Jesus.

Then the question naturally arises, "How did Jesus heal the sick?" Some may answer that it was because he was divine. But even this would not explain how his immediate followers and the early Christians for two and a half centuries successfully invoked this healing power. Were they also divine? Our great teacher never claimed that the son of Mary was the ideal man. None other than the incorporeal idea is "the "only begotten Son of God," the only type of man whom Spirit creates. It was the Master's mission to reveal God's image and likeness. In order to make plain his position, Jesus referred to himself simply as "a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God."

Therefore, in order to be accounted true, Christian teaching must be demonstrable. If unable to endure this test, one's religious beliefs are obviously in conflict with Truth. To say that there is no Science of Christianity is the same as saying that Christianity is a false teaching. But Christian Science declares that, because Jesus' healings were clearly in accord with divine law, similar results will follow whenever others are willing, like the Master, to conform their lives to the requirements of that law. It is highly important, therefore, that mankind should acquaint themselves with this law of infinite Spirit, learn how to apply it and prove its efficacy in their own and others' lives.

 

Perfect God, Perfect Man

Obviously, that which is the effect of Spirit or divine Mind must be spiritual and not material. It must be more undimensional, imponderable, and unconfined than sunlight, air, and radio waves. It cannot be seen, measured, nor weighed. It recognizes no barriers. It is unlimited. For these reasons, spiritual existence is immune to sin, disease, and death. It is beyond the reach of accidents. Nothing has ever happened to it, and nothing ever will. On the other hand, that which is unlike Spirit, namely, mortality, is untrue. Its experiences are illusions. It must, therefore, be relegated to the realm of unreality. Is not this pure monotheism? Is not this in keeping with the infinity of Spirit? Is not the oneness and allness of divine Mind, God, the very basis of Christianity?  Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."

What, then, is matter or evil? It is collective material-mindedness externalizing itself in a suppositional material world. Therefore, with the dissolution of material-mindedness, the suppositional world will disappear, even as the belief in a flat earth was dispelled by the truth that the earth is round. Did the flat earth become round? No; for the earth had always been round. Where did the flat earth go? Nowhere; for it never existed. The only change that took place was a change in the human point of view. Where, then, will matter go? Nowhere; for it does not exist. The only thing we need to understand about matter and evil is their unreality, their nothingness, their nowhereness. When Jesus recognized this fully, he disappeared as an earthly personality. He did not die out of matter, however. By consciously abiding in Spirit, he overcame entirely the belief of an existence apart from God.

During the Middle Ages, when the earth was believed to be flat, God was supposed to be aware of a flat earth. Similarly, because mankind, as a whole, believes the universe to be material, infinite Spirit is supposed to be aware of a material, finite universe. Christian Science, however, differentiates between what God knows and what mortals believe. It declares that what God knows is spiritual and real, and that what mortals believe is material and unreal. When Paul wrote that "the things which are seen are temporal," but that "the things which are not seen are eternal," he reached the inevitable conclusion; for if God is infinite Spirit, the real universe must be spiritual, and not material. Even natural scientists, such as Jeans and Eddington, Einstein and Compton, are helping to dispel the error that presupposes a material universe and a material, mortal, personal man.

Worshipping God as infinite Spirit or Mind, and tenderly looking upon the true selfhood of all as spiritual instead of material, purifies the human mind and empowers us to heal by spiritual means. This was the basis of the Master's uniformly successful practice. Referring to this method on pages 476 and 477 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy."

 

Christian Science Unique

All of which should help to make clear what I mean when I say that Christian Science is the only religious and medical system known to men that does not presume to do something with, to, or for matter. Instead of trying to make bad matter good, sick matter well, unemployed matter employed, and dead matter alive, Christian Science declares, in view of Mind's allness and everywhereness, that man, the idea, image and likeness, or reflection of divine Mind, God, has nothing whatever to do with matter either one way or the other. It declares that man is, like God, incorporeal, inorganic, spiritual; hence he is always above and beyond the reach of discord and disease, always safe.

Now, all of us need to understand clearly that fear and worry, wrongdoing and sickness, unemployment and want, disaster and death - all evil - are associated, not with your real self, but with a material, corporeal, bodily sense of existence claiming to be you, which sense must be unreal if, as the Bible tells us, God is true and material sense a liar. Accordingly, our fundamental need is never the getting of material health, happiness, home, friends, employment, money and so on, but the giving up of the belief that man is either sick or well, poor or prosperous, alive or dead in matter or a material body.

In other words, the human body expresses a material or mortal belief; hence, the only way to deprive this universal, mesmeric belief - commonly referred to as material law - of a subject, object, or victim, is to dematerialize, spiritualize, or purify human consciousness. It must have been this process that preserved unharmed the Hebrew boys in the flames of the Babylonian furnace, protected Daniel in the den of lions, took Jesus unseen through the midst of the mob, and liberated Paul and Silas from prison.

The moment one recognizes that man, as God's image and likeness, is not a mortal with either good or bad bodily parts, but the invisible, impersonal, impalpable idea of divine Mind, God, he will find his prayers answered and his human needs supplied, whatever they may seem to be. Truthfully, it can be said that the more we stop trying to be well in matter, the less we shall be liable to sickness in matter. In this way we shall begin to realize our fondest hopes. The Scripture reads, "No good thing will he [God] withhold from them that walk uprightly;" that is, from them that think and live above a selfish, personal, bodily sense of things.

Allness of Spirit

This practice of trying to change discordant matter into harmonious matter, when the truth is that there is no matter, hinders instead of helps those who are in need of healing. God, Spirit, Mind, made you spiritual and perfect; hence, spiritual and perfect you will always be, sense testimony to the contrary notwithstanding. This unity of cause and effect, God and man, divine Principle and idea, must be the basis of one's prayers or treatments in order to demonstrate in human experience true Christian Science healing.

Can there be infinity of Spirit and something else? Can there be allness of good and something besides? If we accept the allness and everywhereness of Spirit, we must - in order to be logical and consistent - admit that neither the first electron of energy, nor the first atom of matter, nor the first mortal or Adam-man has ever really appeared. Why, then, should there be any further mystery about human discord? Is it not due simply to the supposed denial of Truth - to the supposed denial of the allness of God? And why should there be any further mystery about heaven or harmony? Is it not simply the appearing to human consciousness of ever-present good?

Several months ago, for example, a young man who had been out of employment for quite a while called upon a Christian Science practitioner for help. The practitioner said:

"You say that God is Love and that God is infinite, and yet you say that there is a young man out of employment and otherwise in distress. Isn't that the same as saying there is something else than, or in addition to, Love's allness? Do we not live and move and have our being in infinite Spirit, not as mortals, but as divine ideas?" He admitted that we do. "Isn't a material, bodily personality, either employed or unemployed, a belief in something besides the everywhereness of Spirit?" He admitted that it was.

Then the practitioner asked the young man how one would have to proceed, according to the foregoing in order to find employment. The answer, in effect, was that he would have to look upon himself as an impersonal, all-sufficient, spiritual idea, instead of an isolated material personality believing himself to be out of employment. Well, that young man left the practitioner's office and, in less than an hour, called on the telephone to say that, just as though a hand were leading him, he had gone straight to a particular place, applied for a job, and had been assigned to the type of work for which he was best fitted. He has been steadily employed ever since.

As soon as that young man was prepared to lift his thought above a supposed mortal struggling for a livelihood and to recognize his true self as an impersonal, divine idea or individual spiritual awareness, maintained and sustained in perpetual unity with divine Mind, God, his problem was solved. Unresistingly casting his burdened sense upon the ocean of infinite Love, he was willing that it should carry him where it would; he was willing to leave results entirely to God's unfailing laws of adjustment. The human effect was the same as if infinite Love had been aware of his finite plea and had quickly supplied it.

 

Mortal Mind Unreal

Now, everyone will admit that he is never really where the night-dream says he is, and that he is not doing the things it says he is doing. Similarly, Christian Science reveals that man is never where the daydream of material sense says he is, and that he is not doing the things it says he is doing. Dwelling forever an idea in divine Mind, man (your true self) is experiencing only infinite good at all times. In infinite Mind, there are no mortals, either asleep or awake, nor any mortal experiences. Therefore what so-called mortals seem to need is not to be healed or saved from realities calling themselves sin, sickness, and death, but in the light of God's allness, to demonstrate the unreality of material sense. This is all that God requires of mankind. As a reward for our obedience, we shall find ourselves experiencing humanly an unfolding sense of health, happiness, and freedom.

According to all this, it should be clear to us that the practice of Christian Science healing is wholly spiritual. It is the effect of Truth or divine Principle upon so-called human consciousness, and not the action of one human mind upon another human mind.  Christian Science has no relation to will power, mental suggestion, or hypnotism. It is infinite Mind appearing, and material, finite, personal belief disappearing. For this reason, only those who are reconciled to the living of honest, upright, unselfish lives can hope to demonstrate for themselves and others the healing and saving power of Christian Science. Since the human body is the effect of the so-called human mind, whatever spiritualizes the mind, inevitably improves the body.

Some time ago, for example, a woman who was suffering from a malignant growth, called upon a Christian Science practitioner for help. Recognizing, through spiritual insight and observation, that the sufferer was hatefully inclined and the slave of a bad habit, the practitioner enlisted the woman's enthusiastic cooperation in overcoming these errors. Within a comparatively short time, the hateful disposition gave way to kindness and the harmful habit to moral courage and strength. Soon, the malignant growth dried up and disappeared without trace. Referring to the modus operandi of spiritual healing, Paul wrote: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

In other words, Christian Science is a reasonable, logical, understandable explanation of Scriptural healing. Through it, the teaching of the Master becomes a demonstrable Science, and Jesus is accorded his rightful place as the most loving, the most scientific, and the most triumphant man that ever walked the earth. So consistently did Jesus think and live in obedience to the law of Truth and Love that his practice was uniformly successful. The power to heal was always transmitted through him because his life was always in harmony with the divine source of power, which is God. According to available records he did not lose a case. Christian Science shows how others may follow the Master's example.

 

No Ideal Location

Now let us suppose - for the sake of illustration - that tomorrow morning the newspapers and radios should announce that a place had been discovered where everyone could, for the effort, enjoy health, happiness, and plenty. What would happen? Before nightfall, it would probably set in motion the greatest migration of mortals that the world had ever witnessed. All conceivable means of transportation would be pressed into service. It is safe to assume that highways and railroads, steamship and air lines, would be taxed to their utmost. Millions of pilgrims, here and abroad, would probably be joyfully on their way to the land of unlimited promise.

Notwithstanding all this, however, let us suppose also that in your community you were to encounter from day to day persons who should complain about their lack of health, lack of happiness, and lack of supply. What would be your reaction? No doubt you would wonder why they were not either on their way to the place where their needs would be met, or at least preparing to go. No doubt there would be, in your opinion, no valid excuse for complaining, provided it were humanly possible for them to go. Not even the most cherished beliefs or customs - whether racial or social, religious or medical - would warrant depriving themselves of the immeasurable benefits awaiting them. On this point, most of us are probably in agreement.

Obviously, however, no such wholly satisfying location will ever be found on this or any other planet. And why?  Because a mere location, in itself, is incapable of making everyone happy. If it were, its effect would be uniform. All would react to it identically.   Complete satisfaction, however, is heaven, and heaven is inward instead of outward, spiritual instead of material. It is a life to be lived instead of a place to be located. It is found only when and where there is practicable awareness of God's ever-present, impartial goodness and love.

The Scriptures tell us that when Moses looked for God in a particular locality, God told him that the place where he stood was holy ground; and, when Jesus was asked in what manner the kingdom of God should come, he said in effect (1) that it could not be seen; (2) that it was neither here nor there in matter; and (3) that it was within instead of without. By this Jesus must have meant that heaven or harmony depends upon one's ability to look upon his present surroundings from a spiritual and unselfish, instead of from a material and selfish, point of view.

 

Convincing Demonstration

To illustrate: A Christian Scientist was one day endeavoring to accomplish an important work in the midst of a medley of disturbing sounds emanating from the open windows of a business enterprise located on the floors below. Quite overlooking these evidences of industry and employment, the student was on his way to complain to the superintendent of the building when he stopped abruptly and asked himself whether, in case of bodily discord, he would resort to material treatment for relief. Of course he would not; he would work out the problem in accordance with the standard of Christian Science practice, the standard of present spiritual perfection.

Returning forthwith to his office, he opened the Bible to one of his favorite passages (Isaiah 32:17, 18) and read: "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Aided by a concordance, he then turned to the following correlated passages in Science and Health (p. 306) and read, "Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, - is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal."

Prompted by these inspiring assurances, the Scientist prayerfully gave thanks for the truth that man is now and always in the peaceable habitation, the sure dwelling, and the quiet resting place of Love's ever-presence and that in this presence there is no discord. The work was effectual; for from that moment the sounds ceased to have any disturbing effect on him. With a heart overflowing with gratitude, he thanked God for enabling him to prove that it was possible through Christian Science for one to be undisturbed and happy in the very midst of what seemed to be discord and confusion. With conviction based on proof he could say with Habakkuk, "The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."

 

Harmony Is Heaven

Heaven, then, is not a place to which we may go and find harmony awaiting us. It is gained only by opening our hearts and minds to the ever-presence of Truth and Love, and living in accordance therewith. This may be done in any place, and at any moment. Probably the beloved John one day believed that heaven was in a particular locality; but later on he saw clearly that heaven was awareness of the divine ever-presence, filling all space and being fulfilled in the lives of men. Writing in the book of Revelation, John refers to "a new heaven and a new earth," evidently meaning that he had attained a newer, truer, and more loving outlook upon life.

This reflection of divine Love is the power which resolves all things into harmony. It brings plenty out of poverty, sweetness out of bitterness, loveliness out of deformity, and light out of darkness. He who is truly loving is never in want, whether of health, happiness, home, friends, employment, or money. By thinking lovingly, speaking lovingly, and acting lovingly, his every need is supplied. He who loves, harms no one. He is the friend of all mankind. To him the way of the cross (obedience to Truth and Love) is the path to peace, and its reward is the crown of rejoicing.

Doubtless some of us will recall the story about a man who one day set out to find the temple of fame. Believing it to be on the summit of a far-off mountain, he spent years reaching his destination, only to learn that the temple of fame was to be found in the midst of the valley whence he came. Similarly, it may be that many of us have sought a distant heaven, only to learn eventually that heaven is not to be found by going somewhere, whether here or hereafter, but by being practicably truthful, unselfish, and loving wherever we are, in the everyday walks of Life. To his own question, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" the Psalmist replies, "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully."

And so I repeat that no ideal location will ever be found in the realm of matter or, more accurately speaking, the realm of material belief; for matter has no reality, presence, nor power apart from belief. Nevertheless, there is a way by which we can realize our fondest earthly hopes and - wonder of wonders! - we can accomplish it without so much as changing our location. We can stay right where we are and, through the teaching of Christian Science, change our point of view from a material to a spiritual, from a harsh and selfish to a helpful and loving, basis. Through this change, we can learn how to heal the sick, overcome lack, and destroy for ourselves and others the indulgence of false appetite and other phases of wrong-doing.

No truer and more illuminating lines have ever been written than those which will be found on page 248 of Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy says, "Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love - the kingdom of heaven - reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear."

 

Beliefs versus Needs

Evidences of healing by spiritual means have become so widespread that most observing persons will now admit that Christian Science, rightly understood, destroys fear, bestows happiness and contentment, and promotes compassion and helpfulness. They will admit also that Christian Science is capable of making healthy and strong those who are hopelessly ill; that it can set free those who are addicted to narcotics, alcohol, nicotine, and other enslaving drugs; and that it can make discordant homes harmonious, comfort the sorrowing, and inspire the discouraged with new hope and fresh initiative.

This is the same as saying that Christian Science is capable of solving every human problem, including the problem that may seem to be yours, whether it be physical, moral, or financial. On this account, Christian Science should appeal favorably to everyone. That many are responding to its compassionate appeal is evident in the world-wide and rapid growth of the Christian Science movement. "But," someone may be saying, "why does not everyone respond to it? If what you say is true, why does not the whole world eagerly embrace its teaching?" To those unacquainted with the carnal mind's antagonism to spiritual truth, these are hard questions. Only Christian Science can answer them satisfactorily.

No doubt, all professing Christians believe that, if they had lived in the days of Jesus, they would have unhesitatingly embraced his teaching and become his followers. To have seen him heal leprosy, blindness, insanity, deafness, epilepsy, and raise the dead would - we now confidently say - have convinced everyone. But did it convince everyone in those days? It should have done so; but, instead of joyfully accepting the healings as unquestionable proofs of divine power, some of those who were witnesses became enraged, declared the healings were the work of the devil, and hastened to report Jesus to the authorities at Jerusalem. The latter, in turn, sought to put him to death, lest all the people should follow him. To defend their theological beliefs, even to the extent of shedding innocent blood, seemed to be more important than to learn the practicable truth about God and man.

 

Love Blesses All

This reminds me of an incident that occurred a year or two ago. One of my neighbors, upon finding a nest full of motherless birdlings, sought to feed them; but whenever his loving hand would draw near enough to the nest, the open mouths would instinctively close. When he tried leaving food on the edge of the nest, they would not touch it. Had not my neighbor been thoughtful enough to put the birdlings into an already well-filled nest where they were fed by the mother of another brood, those birdlings would have died of starvation.

I have related this incident in the hope that it will help to illustrate why everyone did not accept Jesus as the true representative of God. They dearly longed, even prayed, for the promised Messiah, who, they believed, would come in a particular, predetermined, humanly outlined way. But because he came quite differently; because he came meekly illustrating the power of impartial, divine Love to free the people from mental bondage to sin, disease, and death, instead of a warlike monarch who would free the nation from political bondage to Rome, they misunderstood his loving mission and rejected the blessings he came to bestow upon them.

It is this same mental attitude which today prevents some persons, even when in great need, from accepting the helping hand of Christian Science, notwithstanding the proofs of healing which it presents. Their preconceived notions about the manner of Christ's reappearing would seem still to be more important than the supplying of their human needs. Though spiritually famished, they would starve rather than accept, from the hand of a stranger, the absolute truth that comforts and heals and saves.

Now, my friends, who among you wants to shut out helpfulness? Who wants to permit his fears, his doubts, and his suspicions to rob him of the limitless opportunities for good which Christian Science reveals? Thanks to Mary Baker Eddy, never again need anyone starve spiritually; for she has shown us that the bread of Life is always at hand for the asking. She has shown that the truth explained and proved by the Master is omnipresent. Through her teaching, this truth is now available to all who are willing to receive it.

Referring to the all-healing, all-protecting, all-providing Truth, which is forever knocking for admittance to your consciousness and mine, the Revelator writes, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Are you willing to listen? Are you ready to open the door? Are you prepared to entertain Christian Science and become acquainted with its unlimited possibilities? These are momentous questions and only you can answer them.

 

[Published in The Chicago Leader, April 1, 1938.]

 

 

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