Christian Science: A Religion of Scientific Trust in God

 

James G. Rowell, C.S., of Kansas City, Missouri

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A free lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Seattle, in First Church edifice, Friday evening, April 7, by James G. Rowell, C.S., of Kansas City, Mo., member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

"Christian Science: A Religion of Scientific Trust in God" was Mr. Rowell's subject and was given substantially as follows:

 

Jesus depended absolutely upon God. He confessed himself powerless to do the mighty work which he did accomplish except he depended upon God. He taught his followers to depend upon God, how to trust Him scientifically.

 

Discoverer and Founder

From her earliest childhood, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was learning how to depend upon God. Her mother taught her when a little child to look to God for guidance. When she read to her that Daniel prayed three times a day for spiritual guidance, little Mary Baker, her biographer tells us, prayed seven times daily, chalking down on the wall of the shed each prayer in succession for a while until it became a fixed habit.

Mrs. Eddy tells us in "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 13) of an incident which occurred when she was twelve. "My mother," she relates, "as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love, which would give me rest, if I went to Him in prayer, as I was wont to do, seeking His guidance. I prayed; and a soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone, and I rose and dressed myself, in a normal condition of health." Years later, even before her discovery that true Christianity is scientific, Mrs. Eddy's reputation for goodness, piety and reliance upon God in prayer is attested by the following incident. A mother, solicitous for the welfare of her child, brought the baby to Mrs. Eddy and implored her to ask God to heal its blindness. Mrs. Eddy lifted her thought to God and returned the child to its mother, assuring her that God is able to keep His children. The child was healed.

Mrs. Eddy was healed again herself, at the age of forty-five, through lifting her thought to God. This experience, to use her own words, "was the falling apple, that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24). Never for an instant did Mrs. Eddy let go of the glimpse of the Comforter which had come to her in this healing. Nine years after her healing in Lynn, nine years spent in reading the Scriptures and searching for a positive scientific rule, Mrs. Eddy published her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science. During these nine years her thought was constantly being turned from trust in matter and the material sense of being to a better understanding of God and the things of Spirit, and therefore to a greater, more scientific trust in Him. During these years, too, she was testing her understanding of scientific Christian healing by healing many cases of sin and of sickness.

 

The Textbook

In the textbook of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy explained her discovery so simply, so clearly, and so logically that what had been her Comforter now became the Comforter to all those who read this book sympathetically and practiced the precepts found therein. The spirit of Truth now began its work of purifying and enlightening the thought of countless readers and students of the textbook, teaching them how to trust God scientifically and duplicating in their experience what scientific dependence upon God had accomplished for Mrs. Eddy. This book is still teaching countless numbers the true meaning of Christian trust in God. On page 28 of "Retrospection and Introspection" Mrs. Eddy says: "Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things. . . . He (God) must be ours practically, guiding our every thought and action; else we cannot understand the omnipresence of good sufficiently to demonstrate, even in part, the Science of the perfect Mind and divine healing."

Is there, then, a sure way, a way which goes beyond blind faith, a scientific way to depend upon God? Mrs. Eddy says there is and explains it fully in her textbook. On page 428 she says: "To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear, this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true. Thus we may establish in truth the temple, or body, 'whose builder and maker is God.' "

If we would learn to trust God with confidence let us examine first the nature of God and His creation and then, in the light of these spiritual facts, let us look a little more closely at some of the false trusts and material evidences that have seemed to keep us from following the instruction given in the Bible to acknowledge Him in all our ways.

 

God

Paul, going about the city of Athens, saw temples and altars on every side. These had been erected to the many Greek gods of whom the people stood in superstitious awe. There was even one "To the unknown God." We of today are not so different from those old Athenians, are we? Well may we ask ourselves whether we are worshiping at any strange altars altars erected to money, to worldly pleasure, to business, to selfishness, to sickness, to fear, to ancestor worship, to family, to superstition, to custom, to social class altars to thousands of petty gods to whom many bow daily?

When Paul had gained the ear of the Athenians he then proceeded to tell them about the true God, "God that made the world and all things therein" about the great practical, spiritual truths which he had learned about God and His imperishable creation. It is evident from what he said to the Athenians, as recorded in the Scriptures, that Paul knew God as divine, incorporeal, self-existent, creative Mind in which "we live, and move, and have our being."

"Mrs. Eddy's definition of God," an eminent doctor of divinity has said, "will eventually find its place in all Christian churches." It is given on page 465 of Science and Health and reads, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." In another place Mrs. Eddy says that "God is All-in-all" (Science and Health, p. 468). It is very important that we get a clear, right understanding of the true God. When faith or trust in God rests upon spiritual understanding instead of blind belief about Him, it is scientific. The result in human affairs of such scientific trust in God's ever present power is what is known in Christian Science as demonstration. What is it that is being demonstrated or shown forth what but God's perfection, His allness?

A woman who suffered from such impaired vision that she had to feel her way with a cane or be led by the hand whenever she stepped outside her own home, is an honored relative of our family. The eye condition was one of long standing. She had tried every material method of cure recommended to her by many physicians without receiving any lasting benefit. Christian Science was mentioned and finally, after a mental struggle, she consented to try it. While listening to the practitioner's explanation of God's allness, His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, it dawned upon her with sudden clearness that blindness had no place in God's allness, and that therefore blindness was not a real part of her. Better vision was soon apparent and within a few days her sight was restored. Overjoyed, she was relating the experience to her sister. A small nephew who had often led her about by the hand overheard the story with wide-eyed wonder. Slipping away, he ran back with a needle and a spool of thread which he offered to his aunt saying, "Can you thread a needle, auntie?" She threaded the needle, thus proving even to doubting little Thomas that she had truly been healed. Many exacting tests have been applied to thousands of cases of Christian Science healing.

Christian Science is truth-cure. In other words, it heals through applying scientific spiritual truth to each situation. When the woman mentioned above realized a clearer spiritual insight into the real nature of God, her impaired material sense of sight yielded to her better sense of vision. To learn the real spiritual truth about all things should be the aim and ambition of each one of us.

 

Christ Jesus

Summarizing his ministry, which was of such recognized value to the world that it dated the Christian era, Jesus said to Pilate, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." There is no other reason for living. This one of expressing God, in other words, of bearing witness to Truth, includes all the good reasons one can think of for our being here at all. There can be no higher purpose in life than to become master of the truth of being and to express this understanding in our contacts with each other. No greater benefit can come to mankind than that to be derived from understanding God and His creation from knowing the truth about all things.

Jesus found few who were able or willing to receive the revelation of Truth which he longed to impart to them. He knew that there must be preparation of the heart and mind a practical purification of ideals, motives, and desires before Truth can be comprehended and practiced, for he said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

The spirit of Truth which Jesus understood and to which he bore witness was the Comforter to him, to his disciples, and to countless others. His disciples, at first, as well as those he had healed, identified this healing understanding, or divine Comforter, with the bodily presence of Jesus. Jesus felt such concern about this mistaken sense which confused the healing Christ, Truth, with his physicality that he declared to his disciples, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you."

Trust in matter is one of the "false trusts" of which we should beware. We cannot avail ourselves of the Comforter, the spirit of Truth, or benefit by its presence while we cling to matter as the avenue and instrument of Truth and good, in other words, as the manifestation of God. In another place Jesus pointed to the true sense of substance when he said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." This spiritual sense of substance or the truth about substance, which the Christ, or Comforter, has revealed, seems to the worldly-minded to be a stumbling block to their acceptance of the Christ, Truth. Matter and the forces of the selfish human mind seem real to them. These false gods are even now being shown up for what they are. Matter, in the form of material possessions, is proving to be the least dependable, the least substantial, of a man's possessions. People are grappling with problems in new ways. Unselfish service is being found practical. Demonstration of supply, for example, is being found possible through doing loving, unselfish things for others with no thought of getting something for one's self. This law of God, "Love is reflected in love" (Science and Health, p. 17), has been found operative when all channels for supply seemed closed. Even though it may seem difficult for the world to accept Truth, yet it must accept it, for Truth is the world's greatest need. Truth, accepted, lived, and demonstrated will solve all the world's problems, and nothing else can. Jesus did not resort to material means or methods in a single instance. He overcame sin, sickness, and death with Truth through divine Mind, or Spirit, not through recourse to matter. He met and overcame hatred and malice through unselfed love and not through selfish human will. The method of Christian Science is the method of Christ Jesus. It is above all Christian. The world is seeing and acknowledging this fact. Purified yet a little more through suffering, the worldly-minded will turn the stumbling block into a stepping-stone, and God, good, and His kingdom will be found to be right here, substantial and tangible, where evil has seemed so long to be so real.

 

Christianity

Mrs. Eddy's discovery revealed three facts; first, that Christianity is Science; second, that corporeal sense is error; third, that God, divine Mind, is substance. These spiritual facts understood and demonstrated destroy error, heal sickness and sin, and reveal the fact that harmony is universal.

Christianity is the Science of being, the facts about God and His creation made comprehensible and practical to mankind. It has to do with man's relationship to God and to his fellows. Both of these relationships, Christian Science teaches, are scientific, being based on divine Principle and governed by laws emanating from divine Mind. God is the parent, and man, His offspring. All men, in truth, are children of the one creator, God, and are therefore brothers. The laws of God hold all men in scientific relation to each other as well as to God, their common Father-Mother. Ultimately all mankind must demonstrate or express this true relationship. I know of two jobless, homeless men who have become for the time being helpful members, each of a different family. Instead of being compensated in money for the work which they are able to, contribute to the family welfare, they are paid in terms of food and clothes and a desirable room which they may call their own, things which the humble families which they have joined can afford to share with them. In both cases it is a happy arrangement, mutually beneficial. When the errors in human relationship are handled scientifically and adjusted according to the laws of true Christianity, we shall all live in happy, helpful relation to one another. Do you think that would fall far short of being heaven on earth? In truth, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all," as Mrs. Eddy states (Science and Health, p. 468). Christ, Truth, came and is still coming to human consciousness to destroy the errors of this false consciousness so that the eternal, harmonious, divinely regulated universe of God's creating may be revealed.

 

Corporeal Sense

Corporeal sense is a term used by Christian Science to mean the bodily senses, the five physical senses; in a word, the human, mortal mind, or material consciousness. It is acknowledged that corporeal sense has been mistaken in the past, that it has often given up an admitted falsity for a better belief. A well-known physical scientist, E. E. Free, writing in The Century Magazine for July, 1929, is authority for the following statements: "Matter as everybody imagined it back in 1895 has disappeared from the universe." "Time and space as realities have vanished from Einstein's universe." It is only while the process of change in thought is taking place that there is stubborn resistance and bitter opposition. The stubbornness of the resistance and the bitterness of the opposition depend upon the nature of the change under consideration. If it be one mainly in name for example, a change from the molecular to the atomic or from the atomic to the electronic theory of matter, there is no serious resistance or opposition from corporeal sense. Where the change is revolutionary as in Christian Science, which questions the reliability and even the actuality of the corporeal senses and advocates the allness of God, divine Mind, then the issue becomes a conflict, the only satisfactory termination of which will be Truth understood and demonstrated in the exaltation of the fact and the destruction of the lie.

Trust that is founded upon a lie is "of few days, and full of trouble." Trust to be scientific must be based upon Truth. As consciousness has to do with being, knowing, having, doing, et cetera, then the truth about consciousness is the foundation of an enlightened trust.

Christian Science is a revelation of Spirit, God. It did not come to Mrs. Eddy as a development or outgrowth of corporeal sense. Indeed, it is antagonistic to corporeal sense. Christian Science reveals that true consciousness is God, divine Mind. It follows that corporeal sense is but a semblance of consciousness, sometimes cultured and refined, ever deceiving, defrauding, and enslaving those who accept it as consciousness. In Science, true consciousness and corporeal sense are opposites. The inescapable deductions of reason bring us to the conclusion that if God, Spirit, divine consciousness, is real and true, then mortal mind, so called, or corporeal sense, is not consciousness, and is unreal and untrue. On this proposition rests the Science of being. Any departure from it is fatal to a knowledge and demonstration of Science.

The following facts establish the claim of Christian Science that real consciousness and corporeal sense are opposite. Real consciousness, God, is Truth, "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever;" corporeal sense is continually changing. That which it accounts true today, it sees as false tomorrow. In divine Mind, all is good, nothing entereth this Mind "that defileth . . . or maketh a lie;" to corporeal sense evil is just as real as good, and lies are accepted for facts until their nothingness is understood. "Real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God" (Science and Health, p. 276); while corporeal sense is conscious only of that which is changeable, finite, material, destructible, and false.

Paul had the Christianly scientific understanding of consciousness. He said, "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." We can, with profit, recall at this time that Adam was not warned against a real evil that had power to harm him. It was against "the knowledge of good and evil," or the consciousness of "good and evil," that "wisdom said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." What wisdom did for Adam yesterday it is doing for us today, if we have ears to hear. When the serpent, corporeal sense, talks to us, do we accept its perversions for actualities? If so, we but follow along with Adam, the old man, in his meanderings in the realm of personal sense. But, if we have heard the call of Christ, Truth, the new man, and are obedient thereto, we shall, in the words of James, "resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We cannot resist corporeal sense as long as we look upon it as our best friend. Christ, Truth, alone, can reveal real consciousness and the deceitfulness of corporeal sense.

Just a bit of scientific reasoning is enough to show us that dependence upon matter and trust in the corporeal sense of things is false. We have but to ask ourselves: Does the sun rise in the east? Is the earth flat? Do the rails of the railroad track down which we look come together in the distance? Our eyes say, Yes. But the scientific answer to all of these questions is, of course, No. Our material sense of sight has to be corrected by right reasoning before it will yield to the facts. Optics tell us that every image on the retina of the eye is corrected by right reasoning before it is accepted. The human mind does this correcting unconsciously. And so it appears that even those who boast that they believe only what they see, are unconsciously altering everything they see by what mankind has agreed to consider the correct interpretation of phenomena. As Christian Scientists, we are constantly and consciously correcting erroneous sense impressions. Christian Science corrects false sense testimony; not by belief, however, but by spiritual, scientific fact. Is a man sick if the material senses indicate that he is? Christian Science teaches us that man is God's reflection, spiritual, not material, and cannot be sick. Matter can make no rules or conditions for man. Has an accident occurred? No, not even if our eyes tell us that it has, for in God's kingdom that is, right here and now every one of God's created ideas is in its right place; not one of them interferes with any other one, and all is harmony. We find that sense testimony is false testimony and must be corrected by scientific right reasoning. Agreement with the belief that sickness and accidents are real will bring them into our experience, for thought externalizes itself. Knowing scientifically the unreality of sickness and accidents, we are protected from these unhappy experiences.

Accepting of corporal sense testimony necessarily means acceptance of matter as real. Corporeal sense and matter are one and inseparable and are the source of all false trusts. But if God is All-in-all, as the Scriptures indicate, what is corporeal sense, or mortal mind, including its grosser substratum, matter what but nothing claiming to be something; a false belief claiming life, intelligence, and substance, gifts never bestowed upon it by infinite Life, intelligence, and substance, God?

All education is reasonably predicated on the fact that corporeal sense can be changed. Christian Science, recognizing this fact, teaches the scientific way of replacing error with Truth, evil with good, disease with a scientific sense of health, self-seeking with unselfed love, fear with confidence, anger with charity, etc. There is nothing in Christian Science to lead one to tear down that which is fleeting and false until he has something more constructive to put in its place. Christian Science teaches its followers to rejoice in the promise of order, beauty, goodness, and grandeur offered by our present sense of the universe, until through progress and purification we attain to a higher sense. Beliefs will continue to be exchanged for better beliefs, until corporeal sense disappears all together and divine Mind is found to be the only Mind. Thus the beauties of nature, for example, will be found to be far more beautiful and enduring as we approach that scientific spiritual sense where perfection reigns.

 

Substance

The great positive, spiritual fact of being revealed to Mrs. Eddy, the one which constitutes the essence of Christian Science, is that God, divine Mind, is all-inclusive substance, the one and only substance. Divine Mind, Spirit, includes its spiritual ideas from the least to the greatest. Not one of Spirit's infinite ideas is, has been, or ever can be extinct for a moment, nor does a single identity have any existence or being outside of divine Mind. Spiritual ideas are without beginning and without end. They are real, tangible, and substantial. Nothing but divine Mind is substance.

As divine Mind is everywhere present in its entirety, the absence of substance or the absence of any manifestation of substance is an impossibility. Lack is a false belief resulting from mortal mind's ignorance of God and its fear that there is some place where God, good, is not. It is a lie to be destroyed by the truth that divine Mind, God, is one, is All, is indivisible, and is everywhere present.

Substance, as Christian Science reveals, is divine, ever present, all-inclusive Mind, or Spirit; whereas matter is but a false mental concept of substance, a belief inseparable from its believer, corporeal sense. These important facts about substance need to be grasped by every seeker for Truth. This understanding equips its possessor with the transcendent power of Christ, Truth, which overcomes evil with good, error with Truth, false beliefs with spiritual facts, a sense of lack with the consciousness of abundance. The truth about substance must be realized and in some measure demonstrated before one's trust in God becomes a scientific trust.

Scientific trust in God as true substance was proved effective by a widowed mother and her only child, a son of nineteen. The boy was attacked with a very painful condition of the back which was shortly afterwards accompanied by a temperature. A physician was called; he diagnosed the case as an ulcerated condition of the kidneys and said there might be need of an operation. Fear was much in evidence. A Christian Science practitioner was then called. The mother, in her anxiety for her son's welfare, wished to keep both the physician and the practitioner. The impossibility of holding to two such opposite methods was made clear to her, and she and her son were asked to make their decision. They had a heart-to-heart talk and came to the conclusion that they would turn away from all material promises of aid and place their trust whole-heartedly in God, Spirit. That night, the fever left him, and the boy partook of food for the first time in a week. In four or five days the young man was back in school. One of the false trusts, then, upon which mortals are tempted to lean is matter. When one learns that matter is but an illusory sense of substance, he realizes how futile is his trust in it.

 

Spiritual Understanding Necessary

Trust even in God, to be scientific, must be honest. Mrs. Eddy says that honesty is the basis of spiritual power. If one is puzzled to know why certain problems have not been solved, let him examine himself. A friend who had labored in Christian Science to help a dear old lady finally brought to light that, although she had turned to God for healing, she still clung in thought to a certain remedy that she might use in case Christian Science failed to heal her. Mrs. Eddy warns us against a faith divided between "catnip and Christ" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 52). Only radical reliance on Truth brings healing. When it was pointed out to the woman that her allegiance was divided and that healing depended upon trusting God completely, she was healed, for she took her stand for one definite, divine power, undivided and supreme. Mrs. Eddy says: "Divine Mind rightly demands man's entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser loyalty" (Science and Health, p. 183).

Many times we think that we are honest when stress of circumstances would quickly prove us otherwise. The story of Tom will illustrate this point. Tom was lowly born, grew up on the street, and drifted into drinking, gambling, and much sin, from which he was rescued by some good friends and induced to come to church. He became greatly interested in the minister and began, not scientifically, but blindly, to trust God in prayer. One day he came to the minister much disturbed and confused, and confessed that he had lost faith in prayer. He said that he had been praying a long time for something and that his prayers still remained unanswered. At length it came out. Tom had been praying for ten thousand dollars. He had allowed plenty of time and yet he had not received the money. Tom related how he had planned to spend this large sum. He wanted to paint the church it needed it. He wanted to add materially to the minister's salary the minister also needed it. He mentioned many other helpful ways in which he would like to spend the money, last but not least of which was to buy a modest home for his faithful wife. All of these proposed ways of spending the money, when he got it, seemed legitimate and right to Tom and yet his prayer had not been answered. The minister encouraged him to persist. Meeting him perhaps a week later on Derby day (for this happened in Kentucky) the minister saw that Tom was very much excited. In such a hurry was he that they had hardly time to exchange words as Tom climbed aboard the street car bound for the fair grounds. The minister said, "Tom, what would you do if you had that ten thousand dollars this morning?" Without, a moment's hesitation the answer came, "I'd buy that pacer of George Smith's, the finest little mare in all Kentucky." After the laugh had subsided in the church where the minister was relating this story, he added thoughtfully, "The Lord must have known all the time, that's why He hadn't answered Tom's prayer."

In the light of Christian Science, Tom's prayer is seen to be lacking in honesty. Doubtless Tom thought he wanted to do all those gracious, selfless things. When pressed by temptation, however, his inmost desire was revealed. He really wanted "the finest little mare in all Kentucky." "Honesty," Mrs. Eddy tells us, "is spiritual power" (Science and Health, p. 453). With what hidden mental reservations do we pray? Do our prayers lack honesty? Is that the reason why some of them are not answered? Are we praying for well bodies instead of deeply desiring to be healed of malice and hate and of many ugly traits of character? Do we want well bodies that we may enjoy the pleasures of the senses a little longer? Do we pray for prosperity that we may buy furs and diamonds and automobiles and perhaps "the finest little mare in all Kentucky"?

It may be helpful right here to examine Tom's prayer a little more closely, for Christian Science teaches that righteous prayer is always answered. Tom's prayer was found lacking in honesty. What else, if anything, was wrong with it? In the first place, Tom probably thought of God as a grand but nebulous being in far-away place called heaven one who heard or not, just as He pleased, the prayers which suppliant mortals addressed to Him. Tom had no concept of God as divine Principle, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning," as the Bible teaches. He did not know that God could not do otherwise than answer righteous prayer that whether prayer is answered or not depends upon the quality of the prayer. He did not realize that God had already bestowed all good upon men, else he would not have implored God for what was already his through the law of reflection. If Tom had been a Christian Scientist he would never have petitioned God for ten thousand dollars. He would have known better not that God's abundance of right ideas may not be appreciable to men in terms of what they call money. But Tom would have known that Christian Science teaches that righteous prayers are not for things, specifically outlined, as if one had to tell the all-knowing how to bless His children. Christian Scientists pray, if they expect their prayers to be answered, not for things, but for wisdom and light with which to be able to grasp and to use some of the unlimited riches with which their creator has endowed man. Having examined Tom's prayer just this far, one sees that there are many reasons why Tom did not receive the ten thousand dollars besides the one which is so obvious, that he wouldn't have spent it wisely had he received it.

A loving, faithful Christian Science practitioner was once complimented by a caller on the splendid financial demonstration she and her husband had made. The practitioner expressed great surprise. "Financial demonstration!" she repeated, "why, I have never thought of such a thing as our trying to make a financial demonstration for ourselves, and if my husband has, he has never spoken of it to me. We have both been busy trying to be as helpful to as many people as our love for humanity drew to us and divine Love has taken good care of us that is all." A great many people are spending time and mental energy in an effort to make what they call a financial demonstration, who would be more profitably employed in less selfish, more loving thinking and service for their fellow men. God has already bestowed all upon His children, and this all of good is ever available through His law of reflection. Suggestions of lack should not be ignored, of course, but should be destroyed on the basis of God's allness. To "forget self in laboring for mankind" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 155) is a sure way to prove God's abundance.

 

Courage

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding," the Bible teaches us, but very often we find ourselves tempted by human self-reliance and a sort of animal courage to think that we can do something as of ourselves. True self-reliance is God-reliance. Animal courage, that quality of thought which has to do with the expression or assertion of the human will or self, seems to be highly prized among mortals. In truth, it is a product of the human or carnal mind and must be brought into subjection to divine Truth and Love or it will prove harmful to the one through whom it is expressed and to society at large. Animal courage is one of the false trusts of which thought must be divested before one can ascend to the spiritual altitude of unselfed love where divine power is available.

Moral courage, on the other hand, is a state of spiritualized human thought that takes its stand for righteousness, goodness, and perfection. Moral courage blesses all. The strength of moral courage is divine might. It enables its possessor to stand and see the glory of the Lord, the triumph of Truth. Through it the individual refuses to be swayed by delusion, by the testimony of the corporeal senses; he is no longer influenced through fear of being made to appear ridiculous or queer; he is no longer a mere follower of the crowd; he is conscious of his spiritual being and obedient to spiritual sense. Moral courage is a vital, everywhere present, ever available characteristic of Christ, Truth. It must be put into active use by every true Christian. If we are to gain spirituality we must be morally courageous. We must be good and do good even though our good be evil spoken of, though we are maligned and misrepresented, though we are laughed at and scorned. These things only spurred Jesus on in his journey from sense to Soul. If our courage be moral instead of animal we shall use these experiences as stepping-stones in the spiritualization of our thoughts and desires, that we too may overcome the world and the flesh, as our Way-shower taught us to do.

 

God, Alone, Trustworthy

Do we need Christian Science to warn us against leaning too heavily upon frail mortals? One common form of trust in persons attributes to another the power and ability to make one happy or unhappy, when the spiritual fact is that God created man in His own image and after His likeness to express His joy and peace. Another form of trust in persons places one's health and even one's existence under the skill and wisdom of another, when the truth is that God is man's life and that man in God's likeness is eternal. We are sometimes led to believe that our supply depends upon another, when the truth is that every one of God's children reflects for himself the infinite substance of Spirit. Another form of trust in persons leads mortals to depend upon another's goodness and spirituality or even another's suffering for sin, to free them from sin, when the truth is that no vicarious atonement is necessary or even possible in a world in which none of God's creatures has ever been separated from Him. Everyone has the privilege and is even faced with the necessity of working out his own salvation in the way that Jesus taught. Wise mothers begin to teach their children in infancy to look, not to them, but to God, for guidance and protection, for health and supply. And we older children are being driven by experience to learn this same primary lesson. Indeed, Christian Science reveals that trust in persons is but one more of those false trusts that must give place to scientific trust in God.

 

God's Abundance

What shall we say of world conditions? Will scientific trust in God heal them, too? It can, and will. The present condition of want and woe is teaching more plainly than words ever could the law of God, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Lust is at the bottom of it, and lust let loose, is war, lust for power and prestige, lust for money, lust for blood, lust for sense satisfaction. As we have sown in lust, is it any wonder that we should reap in lack? For is not lust confession of belief in lack? Behold the world believing in lack and experiencing lack in the very midst of the greatest abundance of good things that the world has ever known! Is it not anomalous? However can it be explained except as fear and greed? And whatever can heal fear and greed except scientific trust in God? God's abundance is now and always has been sufficient for all of His children. Again we have the privilege and are forced by necessity to prove this scientific fact. And many are doing it. All could do it if they but knew how how to prove that each one of us is in his right place, serving God as a channel for the expression of His endless and bountiful supply of right ideas. Mrs. Eddy says in a little article entitled "Angels," "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307). Meanwhile let us lend a helping hand whenever possible. Let us share of our abundance as well as show our brothers how to claim their heritage. Our infinite supply of true substance can only become apparent through using what we have demonstrated of it. Mrs. Eddy says of Science that it "operates unspent," (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353).

In the light of Mrs. Eddy's spiritual discovery, there must necessarily follow a great overturning in human thought. Trusts that the human mind has considered righteous and legitimate are being found to be false, lawless and worthless, and trust that measures up to the standard of scientific Christianity is taking their places.

All Christians are agreed that Christ Jesus was the highest human representative of God. We find it recorded in the Scriptures that Jesus overcame lack and brought to light God's abundant provision for His children; that he stilled the storm and revealed peace; that he replaced disease with health and even annulled death, disclosing life and normal activity in the very place which death had seemed to occupy. In fact, all of his ministry of record was spent in teaching the allness of God, good, and in making naught of the things that seem to afflict mankind. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." And again he said, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."

Through scientific trust in God, Jesus brought out harmony and perfection for himself and many others, and showed to all who are willing to place absolute reliance upon God the way to prove that only the harmonious is real.

 

[Published in The Seattle (Washington) Daily Times, April 7, 1933.]

 

 

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