Christian Science: Its Ministry of Reconciliation
James G. Rowell, C.S.B., of Kansas City, Missouri
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
James G. Rowell, C.S.B., of Kansas City, Missouri, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled, "Christian Science: Its Ministry of Reconciliation," last evening under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul Streets.
The lecturer was introduced by Ralph B. Scholfield. C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
"I expect that everyone here knows that Christian Science lays great emphasis on the importance of both prayer and spiritual healing, and regards both as essential.
"I remember many years ago hearing the statement made that one of the great differences between the Christian Science concept and other concepts of prayer, is that the other concepts teach men to say ‘God help me,’ meaning thereby ‘May God help me.’ Christian Science, on the other hand, teaches a man to say 'God helps me,' meaning thereby 'God actually does help me.'
"I have had the privilege of traveling in many countries in the world, and have seen for myself that Christian Scientists are proving that prayer as taught by Christian Science does heal. After learning something of the divine help as explained by Christian Science, I never wished to rely on material means again; and Christian Science has indeed healed me from much physical sickness and pain.
"Our lecturer, from his abundant experience, will tell us more of Christian Science, and of the true prayer and healing embraced in its teachings. I have now much pleasure in introducing James G. Rowell, of Kansas City, Missouri, a member of the Board of Lectureship of this church."
Mr. Rowell spoke substantially as follows:
One of the most comforting and helpful stories of all literature is to be found in the Bible. Because this story is so satisfyingly told in the King James Version and because this translation of the Bible is the foundation on which are based the Christian Science Bible Lessons, studied daily by Christian Scientists and read each Sunday in all Christian Science churches, I shall repeat from this version the story in the words ascribed to Jesus by Luke: "A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants. Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
This well-known story is allegorical, of course, typical of the experience of mortal man. It shows the false perspective of mortals: first their dullness, apathy, and lack of appreciation of spiritual Truth, the Father, divine Mind and His ideas; and second, their exaggerated evaluation of and belief in that which is fleeting and false and apparent only to the material senses. It shows that driven by resultant deprivation and suffering, mortals are compelled to abandon belief in the false claim of a mind or intelligence separate from God, a mind filled with idolatrous, deceptive, enslaving beliefs and superstitions, which it calls creation. It shows that an ultimate awakening through Science or suffering, or both, from all that is erring, deceptive, and fraudulent is required of mankind by Truth's inexorable, although loving, demands. It shows that this abandonment of the false and reconciliation to the spiritual fact that God is the only Mind, brings one into realization of the eternal, harmonious realities of being; perfect God and perfect man, including God's perfect, changeless universe, the Father's house, the kingdom of heaven.
Before attempting to discuss Mary Baker Eddy's discovery, Christian Science, permit me to say that an honest effort, a willingness on the investigator's part to give to the Discoverer rightful credit for having discovered, painstakingly tested, verified, and put into available book form this "Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 107) which she named Christian Science, is a vital step in gaining from her discovery that demonstrable knowledge which is the sole proof of understanding it.
All mortals have, like the prodigal in the allegory, strayed into a far country. For Mrs. Eddy, the far country was a land of bondage to matter, a land of invalidism, of limited supply, of mental and bodily suffering. Though a devout student of the Bible from her youth, she found that her own prayers failed to heal her. The prayers of her devoted parents and those of the church of which she was at that time a member also failed to heal her. But when, later, she too, like the prodigal, came to herself, that is, recognized but one God, one divine Mind, and realized that man was the spiritual offspring of this one wholly good Mind, this understanding became a present help. Like the prodigal, she turned away from the false, material sense of things to Soul, the Father's house. This spiritual insight lifted her out of invalidism into health and service for her brother man.
Attracted by Spirit and led on by unselfed love, the love of divine Love, she walked with divine Mind. So close to God was she that she was enabled to repeat in remarkable measure the works of our great Way-shower, Christ Jesus - the very thing the Master said that his followers must do. Further, Mrs. Eddy explained her discovery so simply that the child and the one without education, as well as the scholar, might be able to understand and demonstrate it. This explanation she embodied in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The Bible and Science and Health are the two textbooks of Christian Science.
The great love and humility of the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of the Christian Science movement should win and hold the affections of all seekers for Truth. In one of her messages to The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, she says in part, "Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ" (Message for 1901, p. 34).
Those who have followed Mrs. Eddy as a Leader - not blindly, but with friendly critical appraisement of her teachings - have found that Mrs. Eddy with great humility has followed Christ, faithfully. This has been proved to them by the results of Christian Science in their own lives and in the lives of fellow students.
Christian Science points to right thinking and consequent right doing as the way out of the dilemma in which men seem to find themselves. Webster defines the verb "to think" as "to exercise the faculties of judgment." In the light of this definition, the ability to think possessed by human beings is not the ability to originate thoughts, but rather the ability to judge thoughts or suggestions presented to them. This ability enables men to separate right ideas or truths from errors or lies, to recognize and appreciate reality, true substance, and value, and to discard as unreal, mesmeric and superstitious beliefs with their resulting discords. Truly, it is the capacity or ability to think that fixes responsibility and awards dominion.
To be able to separate right ideas from fleeting false beliefs we must have a basis from which to begin our estimate of the thoughts which come to us and a standard by which to measure them. Christian Science, through spiritual understanding, reveals the one true basis on which right thinking rests. This basis is God, divine Mind, the Principle or source of all right ideas. Science reveals, too, the true standard by which to test thought. This standard is the right idea, or the truth about everything.
The ability to detect a lie, a falsity, or mesmeric suggestions as a lie, and to classify it as nothing - not as something - is a vital first step in the right direction. It is just as essential to right thinking as is the ability to recognize a spiritual fact and to accord to it its rightful place in true consciousness. In other words, to judge righteous judgment, we must deny error or evil and accept and use spiritual Truth. Evil is not something of itself; it is merely an erroneous belief about something. The truth about lies - their nothingness - can no more be ignored or overlooked than can the truth about spiritual facts - their immutable reality. Both are important. Both are essential.
Not long ago, I saw something which made me look within and examine my thinking a little more closely. I noticed first that a concrete pavement was wearing badly; that it had several holes in it which were being enlarged by the wear and tear of daily use. Looking more closely, I found small pieces of rotting wood half embedded in the cement where every hole appeared. Carelessness on the part of some workman had made his paving job a poor one, because he had allowed bits of wood to usurp the place of some of the stones in his material. What of our thinking? Are we building solid, serviceable mental homes, or are we allowing carelessness to put into consciousness erroneous suggestions, lies, false beliefs - waste materials, all of them - in place of the stones of right thinking which we know we should use?
Christian Science teaches that the suggestions that come to us as the testimony of the material senses are erroneous, and proof of our dominion over this testimony is required of us in order to preserve the harmony of our being. We should recognize as imperative the necessity of judging righteous judgment in regard to every thought-visitant that comes to consciousness. No errors should be allowed to slip through. Our decisions govern us. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 392), "Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they lake."
This point of gaining dominion over material sense testimony was easily grasped by a lad of my acquaintance. He was wearing shorts and golf hose one cold winter day. A solicitous friend inquired, "Aren't your knees cold, my boy?" "No, they're no colder than I tell them they are," answered with finality this young student of Christian Science, who believed that his God-given "dominion over all the earth" naturally included dominion over his own knees.
If our decisions master us whichever direction they take, it follows that health, happiness, usefulness, supply - in fact, everything that concerns us - depends in great part at least upon what our judgment sanctions and admits to consciousness, or dismisses as unreal and thus renders powerless.
A wise man was once asked by a young man just starting out to make his way in the world, what he could do to insure a successful career. The wise man replied. "Think, my boy; you will have so little competition."
Those who base their thinking upon divine Mind or Principle and measure their thoughts by the standard of the Christ-idea are assured of success - in health, in human relations, and even in business.
Christian Science does not teach that we can think our way into the kingdom of heaven, if by that is meant that we are now outside of the kingdom of heaven. That Christ Jesus understood that the kingdom of heaven is a divinely mental stale, in which the true identity of each individual exists throughout eternity, is shown when he said, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
In fact, we Christian Scientists do not even think ourselves into health. We have been falsely accused of believing that this can be done. Instead, we think our way out of the delusions, the deceptions, the lies of material sense about health. Health is harmony. It is the natural, eternal state in which the one Mind's ideas forever dwell. Our right thinking discloses, it does not create, that real, ideal state, the kingdom of heaven, harmony.
Reasoning of this kind can be applied to what is called depression, lack, loss. These are falsely mental stales, delusions of mortal mind, out of which right thinking lifts us, by allowing Christ, Truth, the divine Comforter, to reveal to us our real selfhood as the man of God's creating, the heir of all good. Mrs. Eddy puts it in a little article called "Angels'' (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307): "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies."
The basis upon which true thinking rests, we have said, is divine Mind, Spirit, the one infinite Father-Mother God, divine Principle or creator. In a scientific sense, divine Mind is the only true thinker. The thinking which is the activity of divine Mind is not in the nature of judging between the true and the false, between good and evil, for to God only the true and good have any existence at all. God's thinking, if we may use that term to express Mind's activity, is in the nature of knowing.
In reality, spiritual man knows by reflection just what God knows, but men must learn to understand, to love, and to obey God, before they can become conscious of this spiritual fact and demonstrate it in their lives. Men must learn to know the good and the true, the expression of God, as distinguished from all erroneous concepts of creation. They must, learn to love goodness and to choose it - in other words, to judge righteous judgment.
It is not unusual to hear God referred to as a Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This trinity is explained in Christian Science not as three persons in one person, but as three indissoluble offices or functions included in the one divine Mind. First, there is God as Father-Mother, the one self-existent creator, divine Mind; secondly, God, as expressed through His son, the sum of all right ideas, called man; thirdly, the spirit of God, of Truth and Love, the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter. This trinity, as explained by Christian Science, is natural and fully understandable as the one first cause, including and inseparable from its effect - its idea, man - and the Comforter, the law or will under which divine Mind and its ideas function eternally in perfect order, harmony, and peace. God cannot be fully understood nor can His reflection, man, be fully demonstrated until God is conceived of in His threefold, essential nature.
In the first chapter of Genesis man is spoken of as made by God, in His own image and likeness. The image and likeness of divine Mind, then, must include or reflect every attribute, every natural characteristic and quality of its perfect original. In Science and Health (p. 475) Mrs. Eddy defines man in part as "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas." Man, then, is just as mental and spiritual as is divine Mind, his Maker, and can be, indeed must be, so understood. Mind's offspring or children are tangible and real to the Mind or intelligence that conceives them. They function practically, usefully and harmoniously under the laws of divine Mind, the Comforter. It is impossible to conceive of the real man as outside of or removed from divine Mind, or as functioning under any law or rule or will other than that of God. Man is God's expression of His own nature. He is forever an inseparable part of the Holy Trinity, and must be so understood in Christian Science.
The third office or function of divine Mind is called in the Bible the "Holy Ghost," the "Comforter," the "spirit of Truth." The Comforter is an inseparable, integral part of divine Mind. It is the will of God, His law, both for Himself and for His image and likeness, man. God governs and directs man and the universe through His Comforter, His divine law. This divinely mental influence reaches and blesses all mankind.
A demonstrable understanding of the Comforter, divine Science, - is the Christian's prize, his sufficient reward. It was the most cherished possession of Christ Jesus. It was this spiritually mental equipment of Jesus that enabled him to heal the sick, reform the sinner, raise the dead. He was able to set aside every so-called material law and its supposititious effect with the actual law of Spirit, the will of Life, Truth, and Love. This divinely mental influence which actuated Jesus was not just a special gift bestowed upon him, by his heavenly Father, to set him apart from all others. Rather is it a spiritual law, a divine Science, a provable, unchangeable, demonstrable knowledge, a spiritual heritage, belonging to all of God's children. It is a part of the real being of every individual in this room, just as it was of all those who lived before as well as during Jesus' time.
Jesus lived according to this ever-living, ever-loving spirit of Truth, or will of God, and through both precept and example made it comprehensible to mortals. In recognition of his discernment and demonstration of spiritual law, Jesus was given the title of "the Christ," the one by whom all men were to learn how, through the pardon, the destruction, of their sins, to become reconciled to God.
The terms Holy Ghost, Comforter, spirit of Truth, Christ, Christian Science, all refer to the intelligence of divine Mind, the law or will of God. In 1866 this divine Comforter was revealed to Mrs. Eddy, and she named her discovery Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy's statement of her understanding of the will of divine Mind, as found in Science and Health, may be discerned and demonstrated by quickened human consciousness. In this demonstration, each individual man will find his spiritual at-one-ment with God, his atonement.
As we realize the spiritual facts revealed in the following words of Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 275), "No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows," and lay claim to no other wisdom, truth, love, life, or goodness, we shall gain a demonstrable understanding of the Comforter, Christian Science. This knowledge demonstrated reconciles man to God. It sets aside all that is erroneous, "leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed" (Science and Health, p. 3401, and reveals man's eternal at-one-ment with his Father.
Whatever in belief seems to oppose, deny, defile, or dethrone the one divine Mind, inclusive of man, "the compound idea of God," and of the Holy Ghost, the law of God, is merely the false belief in a supposititious mind and its distortions or counterfeits, which it calls creation. This wholly fictitious state of thought is termed in Christian Science, mortal mind. Jesus called it "a liar, and the father of it." Paul named it the "carnal mind," and said that it is "enmity against God."
Christian Science reveals that matter is not the substantial thing it seems to be, but is simply the grosser substratum of mortal mind. Mortal mind is fully and wholly responsible for every material objectification, action, form, color, and condition that it beholds. Although Christian Science uncovers the hidden activities and camouflages of mortal mind, it recognizes no reality in them, for the spiritual facts of being remain true and all-powerful. As our textbook words it, ". . . Mind, God, is the source and condition of all existence" (Science and Health, p. 181).
In further extension of its nature as a deceiver, mortal mind has ignorantly or maliciously sidestepped its responsibility for its dependent substratum or obedient effect, matter. It has, moreover, endowed matter as idol-worshipers endow an idol or image, with a kind of counterfeit intelligence and power. Meanwhile, it deceitfully assumes the role of dependence on matter and the material senses for its sensations and manifestations. Christian Science points out that it is mortal mind, not matter, which is the responsible and guilty one, although the two are really one, and that one a material-mindedness or animal magnetism.
This mental mist that Life, Truth, intelligence, and substance are in or of matter is the only basis there is for the bondage of mortals to sin, disease, and death. It is the only devil there is. The more specific name for it is animal magnetism. This belief in the reality of evil, its ability to unite with, mingle, or cooperate with good, or to set itself up in opposition to good, is the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Of this tree, wisdom said to Adam, "Thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The effect is still the same; death, obliviousness to reality, Truth, strict purity. The liar is the father only of lies.
The terms devil, evil, mortal mind, or animal magnetism are used to designate that which is falsely mental, extending, in belief, from total depravity up to and including the slightest departure from strict purity. But let us not forget that no evil belief, great or small, is any part of the man that God knows. Nor is there any law by which it can fasten itself to man's concept of himself.
Christian Science, in its ministry of reconciliation to God, demonstrates the eternal oneness of divine Mind and His compound idea, man, including the universe; and at the same time the utter falsity, the nothingness, of whatever seems to be in opposition to the harmony, universality, and perfection of God and His expression.
When a man falls asleep and dreams, he seems to himself to have an inseparable common identity with the dreamer. His identity is severed from that of the dreamer only by awakening to the falsity and unreality of his dream-consciousness. The dreamer and the dream have vanished into their native nothingness, proving by this that the dreamer and the dream were one. The awakened mortal, not the dreamer, goes on in the daily round of mortal affairs.
Let us try to apply this reasoning to the case of mortal man and man's real, spiritual individuality. In belief, the mortal and the individual man seems to have an inseparable, common identity which can be dissolved or brought to an end only by awakening the individual consciousness to the falsity and unreality of physical-sense consciousness or mortal mind. The mortal disappears as mortal mind is put off, proving that mortal man, so called, and mortal mind, so called, are one. Both disappear into their native nothingness, while the individual guided and governed by Christian Science, the intelligence of divine Mind, discerns his true spiritual selfhood as a child of God, an immortal, who lives and moves and has his uninterrupted and unimpaired being in the one infinite Mind.
This does not mean that mortals will some day become immortals. It does mean that mortals will some day be seen for what they are - false beliefs masquerading as men. The false mortal sense will be reduced to its native nothingness, and men will find that the truth about themselves is that they have been all the time not the children of men, but the sons of God.
A mortal, so called, is not the offspring of another creator, because there is in truth but one creator, God. Rightly understood, men have no real existence as mortals. A mortal is just a way of looking at man. It is the way he seems to be when he is looked at through the lens of mortal mind. The unenlightened human thought accepts him as man, the man that God made. The enlightened, or Christianized, thought sees in him only a poor counterfeit of God's man, a kind of man who seems to believe that he has a mind of his own, but who is merely expressing a supposititious opposite of that divine Mind which is God.
What mortal mind suggests - that mortal man does. In these days of advertising, mortal mind's suggestions have been multiplied; their name is legion. Its most vicious suggestions have been clothed in the latest fashion and made to appear alluring and more than respectable. To smoke, to drink intoxicants, to gamble, to indulge in sense-pleasure of every kind is depicted in evil's most winning way. Only the beginning of the story is ever told, however. We never see spread out on a billboard in drab and greenish yellow, in faded brown and dirty black the last chapter or even the ones in between. Did you ever see on an alcohol billboard the picture of a boy sprawled on the floor of a dirty cabaret, face cut and bruised, manhood forgotten, still clutching in drunken stupor the empty alcohol bottle? Do you see his beautiful companion of the billboard being carried out of this wretched place, womanhood forgotten, too drunk even to hide her shame? No, you will never see such a billboard as this, but you can see plenty of actual life-pictures even worse than this - last chapters of that story so appealingly told in delightful color and style, that billboard you pass every day in your own fair city.
It does not take very great insight into mortal mind's ways to find out that what is masquerading under approval of public opinion and fashion is simply mortal mind's attempt to enslave mankind and to justify the whole miserable business. It is plain that the Christian must take his stand against these suggestions. As Mrs. Eddy points out (Science and Health, pp. 82,83) "It is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one." A grain of spiritual understanding enables one to say no when he should say no and yes when he should say yes. It helps one to see that all that is worthwhile is to reflect Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, and that which does not express God, Spirit, is valueless and baneful. It frees one from the effects of condemnation or ridicule or hate, for it shows one the falsity of that mind which condemns or hates righteousness, and the glorious reality of the real Mind which is God, good, and which rightly condemns sin - delusions of all kinds.
The Christian is not afraid of blustering or subtle or insulting human opinion. He is not intimidated by it. He has the spiritual understanding and the moral courage to be good and to do good, in spite of all that may be said or done against it. Jesus was not halted or turned aside in his progress heavenward by the human mind's condemnation and denunciation. He is our brave and loving example.
A certain congressman was having a hard time explaining his vote on a measure objectionable to the right-minded members of his constituency. At last he said, "But gentlemen, you don't understand the outside pressure brought to bear on a man in my position!" "Outside pressure!" roared an old sea captain, "Where were your inside braces?"
Christian Science, my friends, will furnish you with all the inside braces you will need. With such inside braces as purity, honesty, love of good, moral courage, and spiritual understanding, all outside pressure will be as nothing, for you will find yourself enjoying the strength and satisfaction of the Mind of Christ.
Christian Science has done much to advance the cause of temperance, sanity, and the abolition of crime and poverty. It has struck at the very foundation of the alcohol, tobacco, and drug habits. It has done this by revealing the spiritual fact that there is but one real Mind, supreme over all its infinite manifestations, and that man controlled by divine intelligence is forever satisfied and complete, exercising through the law of reflection his God-given dominion over the universe. From this point of view, the appetite for alcohol, narcotics, and stimulants appears false, absurd, and empty. This normal, scientific temperance expresses itself in the individual human being as joyous, satisfied, total abstinence.
The so-called will of the flesh or mortal mind, which is expressed through mortals, is the supposititious opposite of the will or intelligence of divine Love. When this so-called mind or intelligence begins to learn a little of its own falsity, it will awaken and begin to put off its false beliefs and accept, in their place, divine Truth. As this goes on, the individual begins to change, to become better, to enjoy better health, to draw nearer the realization of his real selfhood as a child of God. Finally, mortal mind will give way altogether, and men will find their real existence not as mortals, but as immortals, the children of God.
Mortality swallowed up in immortality is the one hallowed and inevitable result of the demonstration of God's laws in their compassionate ministry of reconciliation.
As may be deduced from this discussion of good or right thinking and its supposititious opposite, evil or erroneous thinking, the one who puts into his study and practice of Christian Science the most earnest endeavor is making ready to receive the most bountiful reward. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" is one of the laws of divine justice with which we are all familiar.
A Christian Science practitioner worked faithfully for three months to heal a case of dropsy without there being the slightest manifestation of physical improvement. He was encouraged to go on, however, by the earnest desire and persistent daily effort of his patient, a young woman who was devoting eager hours to gaining an understanding of God and man and their relationship. The practitioner could see that she was making marked spiritual progress. Suddenly, one day, quite without warning, a decided change took place in her physical condition, and within ten days this young woman was completely healed and has remained so.
If we should find ourselves feeling that we cannot understand Christian Science, or that Christian Science is not doing for us what we have been led to expect of it, we may also find if we look a little more closely that we belong in the same class with the dear old lady who complained at the Sunday dinner table that she had not liked the sermon and did not get anything out of it. Her little grandson who had accompanied her to church and whose sharp eyes had missed nothing of what went on when the collection plate was passed, asked logically, "Well, Grandmother, what did you expect for a penny?"
We know that it takes hours of persistent study and practice to make a good musician or a dependable accountant. Those students are planting for an abundant harvest of good who sow hours of devoted study of the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and then practice what they have learned in good, clean, honest, active Christian lives.
Many people have been healed of disease and sin through reading and studying Science and Health. They have gained a provable knowledge of Christian Science through studying Mrs. Eddy's explanation of this Christ Science, the divine Comforter, as given in this book and in her other writings. Many have been healed through reading a statement of spiritual fact found in one of the Christian Science periodicals published in Boston, Massachusetts - The Christian Science Journal, the Sentinel, the Herald, which is issued in several languages, or in that great Christian international daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. Some have been healed by reading an explanation of the truth of being as printed in an authorized Christian Science lecture. It is the Truth that heals and one of the simplest and most satisfying ways of getting an understanding of this Truth is through reading.
As the truth about God, man, and the divine Comforter dawns in receptive human consciousness, the fetters of fear, ignorance, and sin are severed. When these bonds are seen to be false and devoid of power, men turn, like the prodigal son, from the snares and delusions of material sense to the spiritual facts of divine consciousness, the Father's house, where health, peace, and abundance - all good - are waiting the awakened and repentant ones.
I know a woman who was healed of tuberculosis through her persistent study of the Bible and Science and Health. The Christ, Truth, about God, man, and God's law was instantly welcomed into her hungering and thirsting consciousness. Continuing to read and study for hours every day, she was fed and nourished with the bread of Life. Fear, ignorance, and sin were erased from consciousness, and with them went all there was to her consuming illness. She has for many years been well and strong. I witnessed the healing of a soldier from shell shock as he gained from the reading of Christian Science pamphlets what in his own words was "just what I have been looking for all my life - an understanding of God and man." I know a young woman who discarded braces without which she had been unable to walk. This followed an influx of spiritual enlightenment which came to her during the reading of a Christian Science lecture.
All disease and sin should vanish before the spiritual light which enters consciousness through the reading and study of the truth of being unfolded in the Christian Science textbook and amplified through other channels provided by Mrs. Eddy. This complete freedom from disease and sin would result invariably, except that not infrequently there is on the reader's part a deep conscious or unconscious love of sin, fear of suffering, or unwillingness to exchange the material, the false, and fleeting for the spiritual, the true, the eternal. This tenacity of error seems to prolong the warfare between Spirit and the flesh begun in human consciousness when even a little spiritual light reaches it, in spite of self-will, self-love, and self-justification. Eventually, victory will rest on the side of Christ, Truth, for error never fails to yield to Truth practiced in daily life.
In its ministry of reconciliation, Christian Science uncovers and destroys the human hatred of Truth and the devious, subtle workings of error in its hidden, mental ways of deluding, deceiving, and defrauding mankind.
Christian Science treatment heals the sick and reforms the sinner. Christian Science treatment is prayer in its highest conceivable form. It is the activity of hallowed thought or spiritual-mindedness which lifts benighted human consciousness to behold some measure of the unimpaired, uninterrupted, divinely mental Trinity. Even a glimpse of this perfect unity of God, man, and the law by which God governs His creation silences the liar and annihilates the most stubborn lies, alias sin and disease.
The conscious or the unconscious, the ignorant or the malicious agreement with a lie about either cause, effect, or law disrupts in that consciousness the Holy Trinity, divine reality, as revealed by the Science of being. This error manifests itself in discord of some name or nature.
In every case of disease or sin brought to Christian Science for healing, cause, effect, and law must be handled Christianly and scientifically. The truth about cause, effect, and law reveals their oneness, their spiritual unity, their unbroken perfection. This unity of cause, effect, and law constitutes complete reality, from which nothing can be taken away and to which nothing can be added.
In her Message to The Mother Church for 1900 (p. 5) Mrs. Eddy, speaking of the Holy Trinity, says: "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost mean God, man, and divine Science. God is self-existent, the essence and source of the two latter, and their office is that of eternal, infinite individuality."
Who can possibly conceive of a cause separate either from its effect or from its law under which both itself and its effect function? An effect removed or divorced from its cause, or the law under which it was intended to operate, is an impossibility. A law without a source or without a purpose to perform, an effect to govern, is an absurdity.
The individual through his God-provided understanding of and inseparability from Christ, Truth, divine Science, the laws of the infinite, is enabled to demonstrate Truth, his divine Principle. Thus he beholds his own true individual God-purposed identity, as well as that of all other individuals included forever in the eternal unity of good. Thus the individual becomes reconciled to God and His infinite manifestations.
The one who gives a Christian Science treatment sees as real only the spiritual man who expresses through law, divine Science, the eternal, harmonious, infinite nature of God. This correct view of man heals disease and sin and lifts the individual Spirit-ward.
The realization that divine Mind is wholly responsible for each individual's identity throughout eternity, that divine Mind's laws of Life, Truth, and Love are always operating in behalf of each individual, is powerful enough to dispel instantly and completely any aggressive mental suggestion, manifesting itself as cancer, organic disease, accident, or discord of any kind. Christian Science, in its ministry of reconciliation, unfolds reality. It shows that, man is, as Mrs. Eddy words it (Science and Health, p. 516), "coexistent and eternal with God."
Remember, friends, the reconciliation of the prodigal son of the allegory to his father began immediately after his awakening to the deception which had led him astray. He began to take actual steps in the direction of the father's house. Some of these steps may not have seemed easy, but all of them, slowly perhaps, but surely, brought him just a little nearer. Each day led on from dissolving views of the past to a wider, clearer horizon. Remember, too, that "when he was yet afar off" his father saw him and had compassion on him. Then, in appreciation of his son's meekness and humility, born of repentance, the father clothed him with the best robe, and acknowledged his sonship with a ring, the symbol of Life without beginning and without end.
The way to our Father's house is plain. It is to acknowledge no other reality but God, good, and His expression. Let us arise. Let us awaken to our eternal at-one-ment with Life. Let us make David's song our song: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."