Christian Science: ‘On earth peace, good will toward men’

 

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, of Chicago, in the church edifice, Hyde Park Boulevard and Dorchester Avenue, Thursday evening, April 22, by 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.

The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: 'On earth peace, good will toward men.' " Mr. Rowell spoke substantially as follows:

 

Standing one day on the step of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., a man looked out over the reflecting pool. He saw in the agitated water what seemed to be the tottering shaft of the Washington monument. It swayed, and was broken, to be righted and broken again. It leaned, now this way, now that. Its trembling instability might have alarmed the man had he not looked above to the granite shaft itself standing perfectly still, steadfast, intact, unaffected by the wind which seemed to mar its reflection.

The changing mortal sense of creation, at best, gives only a faint intimation of the existence and true nature of God. To the erring material senses, the winds of mesmeric suggestion seem able to mar and often to efface the image of God, as reflected in man and the universe. The search for God amidst erring mortal concepts is doomed to failure. The understanding and practice of the truth about God, man, and the law through which God creates and governs His universe is the only road to peace for men and nations. Christian Science presents to mankind the truth about God and His creation.

The Bible, Christian Science points out, teaches mankind to look for God above the testimony of the physical senses, to divine, infinite Mind, which is also divine Love. In infinite, divine, supreme, incorporeal love, which is, as the Scriptures teach, forever the same, the seeker finds the true God, who is ever-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Christian Science reveals, too, the true nature of the seeker, himself, for it shows that man, the reflection, expression, or idea of God must be like God, spiritual, not material. It points out that the distortions of God's reflection, which appear so real to the human sense of things, are no part of our Father-Mother God nor of man. It teaches further that God, divine Mind, has not only created man through His law of reflection, but preserves and governs him through the law or will of divine Love, God's good will toward man.

In quietness and peace the pool returns a true likeness of the noble shaft whose image it reflects. In the calm, clear light of scientific thinking, God is discovered to be unchangeable Love, which is also Spirit, and man is found to be like Him, a steadfast, true reflection of the divine Mind.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of God in her book entitled "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 124) that He is "unchangeable, all-wise, all-just, all-merciful; the ever-loving, ever-living Life, Truth, Love: comforting such as mourn, opening the prison doors to the captive, marking the unwinged bird, pitying with more than a father's pity; healing the sick, cleansing the leper, raising the dead, saving sinners." Every thought, yes, every word used in this statement is to be found in some Bible reference to God. The Bible is the basis for the whole teaching of Christian Science. The Bible, and a scientific explanation of the Bible, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'' by Mary Baker Eddy, are the two textbooks used by Christian Scientists. Both of these books teach that God's creation is like Him, spiritual, harmonious, the expression of good, only – of God, Himself. God's creation, like Him, exists in peace, and will, therefore, last forever.

 

Peace a Spiritual Reality

Peace is not stagnation: it is the quiet activity of divine Love. It is the atmosphere of spiritual reality which men can and eventually must demonstrate in every circumstance in which they seem to find themselves. Our individual peace is our individual demonstration of the spiritual fact that peace is the forever harmonious state of true consciousness. Christian Science explains the will or law of God, shows us how to apply it to our problems and to prove by demonstration that the peace of God is within and all about us.

True consciousness recognizes but one God, one divine Mind. Peace is to be found only in acceptance and worship of this one harmonious, holy Mind. If we find ourselves ill, disturbed or confused, it is evidence that we are not having in us that "mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus," that one divine Mind. Acceptance of and obedience to an erroneous sense of Mind, God, is idolatry. There is no peace to be found in idolatry. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 146); "The first idolatry was faith in matter."

 

Matter a False Mental Concept

Christian Science reveals that matter is not an actual entity. It is but a false belief about Spirit, God; it is error's attempted reversal of the true concept of substance. The more advanced physical scientists are agreed that matter may be, in the last analysis, a mental concept, but they do not yet see that it is a falsely mental concept of true substance, which is Spirit. That there is life, truth, and intelligence in this false concept is a part of the claim of error or belief, in matter. This lie Christian Science destroys by the realization that matter is no part of the expression of God, and that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation," as worded by Mrs. Eddy in what is known as "the scientific statement of being," found on page 468 of Science and Health.

Christian Science teaches that Life is God and cannot be confined in matter. The belief that matter contains, expresses, or has an influence over Life is a false delusive belief about Life. Christian Science breaks the claim that matter is a thing outside of mortal thought. It shows that the only existence matter even seems to have is as a false concept of the deceived and deceiving mortal sense of Mind. Life in matter is impossible, for Life, God, is infinite Spirit.

There is no truth in matter. The world of sense impressions is shown by Christian Science to be but a dream world – a mesmeric state of consciousness. Christian Science breaks this dream and shows that there is no truth in it. God is Truth, and God is not in matter, nor even expressed by matter.

Intelligence can never be confined in matter. It partakes of the infinite nature of divine Mind. Intelligence is not of matter nor in matter. It does not emanate from matter – brain. Intelligence is God. It is not originated nor conveyed by matter – nerves. Being God, it is therefore ever-present. Matter, brain, nerves, glands, etc., do not originate, convey, or derange intelligence. Being God, intelligence is reflected harmoniously in each individual expression or idea of God. There is but one Mind, and that one divine Mind is, in consequence, all there is to your intelligence and to mine.

Finally, the belief in matter, this first claim of idolatry, says that matter is substance.  Christian Science refutes this claim. The Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 468) defines substance as "that which is eternal and incapable of discord or decay." Spirit alone measures up to this definition – Spirit alone is substance. The sudden appearance of leprosy on the hand which Moses drew from his bosom, and its instantaneous healing, and when, at the command of God, he drew it forth the second time, "whole as the other," proved matter to be only a variable, human concept of true substance. This proof Christian Science furnishes daily in the instantaneous healing of physical disease. Material states and conditions are not what they seem to be. They can be proved to be only of "such stuff as dreams are made of" and deceive only those who accept them as real.

Matter could not be changed instantaneously from one state to another if it were really substantial. True substance cannot be changed at all. It is changeless. The changes which we think we see in matter are but changes in human belief. Improved physical states are but improved mental concepts objectified. All false beliefs, with their attendant discords, will finally disappear as reality is understood and demonstrated. Substance will no longer seem to be material but will be appreciated in its spiritual, mental nature.

 

Christian Healing

The true concept of God and of man as the perfect, spiritual reflection of God operates in human consciousness to destroy all deflected or distorted beliefs about life, truth, intelligence, and substance. This restoration of truth in consciousness reconstructs the body. As we give up the false concept of God as conscious of evil and of man as created materially, and accept the spiritual fact that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health, p. 468), we may expect and shall receive healing – quick and complete healing.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God," said John. This spiritual fact realized renders powerless every false belief about us. It is the "peace, be still" to sin, to sickness, and even to death itself. The fact is that the man of God's creating is, in consequence of his origin, not material, but spiritual. His very nature lifts him above the errors of human belief. He lives in the atmosphere of divine Truth, and no error however disguised can deceive him in the least. God maintains him in perfect peace, undisturbed by discord of any kind. His life, therefore, is eternal. This is the spiritual fact about each one of us. Christian Science teaches men how to correct the errors or false beliefs which they hold in thought about themselves and others. The scientific and sure result of this correction is healing.

Physical healing is an important form of the demonstration of peace on earth. The belief of the erring human mind in life, intelligence, and substance in matter is replete with sin, disease, and death. When this false belief is corrected by the truth that neither life, truth, intelligence, nor substance is or can be in matter, harmony is found expressed in the very place which disease had seemed to occupy. Ease in matter must not be mistaken for true peace, however. Physical healing is but one step out of the false belief that matter has any real existence at all. Further demonstration will lead to the realization and finally to the demonstration that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health, p. 468). Meanwhile Christian Science is healing those who turn to it wholeheartedly for relief from discord of every nature. Healing is important. It is right to be free from sin, to be well and harmonious. God does not discipline His children through sickness, although sickness often drives men to turn from matter to Mind, from the material sense of pleasure and pain in matter to the pure joy of Life, revealed by the spiritual sense of existence.

Christian Science presents to mankind this healing truth of being through many avenues. Attendance and participation in the Sunday and Wednesday evening services of the Christian Science church has brought healing to countless men and women. These services are free and hold out a loving hand of welcome and healing to all. The authorized Christian Science periodicals coming daily, weekly, and monthly into the hands of seekers for health and peace have, through statements of spiritual truth, healed many. Some have found healing when attending a Christian Science lecture and many through earnest study of our textbooks in the privacy of their own homes. Free Christian Science Reading Rooms are open to the public where one may spend a few minutes or day after day in the study of the authorized Christian Science literature. The spiritual truths these books and periodicals contain have lifted thousands into realization of health and peace.

Christian Science treatment heals sin and sickness. Sometimes one who seeks help of a Christian Science practitioner fails for a time to receive it. There may be various reasons for this, one of which may be lack of spirituality and growth on the part of the practitioner. Jesus rebuked his disciples who had failed to heal a certain case, and Mrs. Eddy points out the necessity for Christian Science practitioners to live daily closer to the life of Christ. Most practitioners – all of them perhaps – are striving to be better Christians, better Scientists, better healers. On the other hand, there is a part to be assumed by the seeker in this partnership of practitioner and patient. Too often the seeker forgets the admonition of wisdom, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Healing, obviously, is one of the things which are to be added. Too often the seeker wants to be healed – the rest can wait. One's compassionate love goes out to anyone struggling for health, but experience teaches that the healing power of God is always present and operates invariably when the laws and rules of its operation are observed.

A woman whose time and interest had been centered largely in social affairs turned to Christian Science for the healing of a cancer. Before doing so, she had tried all material ways known to herself and to her friends without success. She went from one Christian Science practitioner to another, all of whom worked faithfully to heal her, but apparently without success. Her thought was being leavened by Truth, however, for she finally said to herself: "It may be that I shall never get my healing through Christian Science, but the concept of God which it offers satisfies me and nothing can keep me from learning to know God better." Her interest in Christian Science was now manifested in earnest endeavor to get an understanding of spiritual things. Worldliness lost its attraction; she spent hours every day absorbed in the study of her Bible and Science and Health. One day the pain seemed worse than ever, but strengthened by spiritual understanding she faced it courageously. Addressing the mental claim, she declared that she was through with it. Nothing else seemed to matter, now that she was learning to know God better. The pain subsided and has never returned. She has been well and happy for years, still devoting her time to learning more about infinite good and gratefully helping others to realize God's presence and power, His peace.

Healing results from the coming of the Christ to individual human consciousness whatever the manner of its coming. The Christ, Mrs. Eddy tells us, is "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). Christian Science treatment is prayer, the realization of the presence and power of God, who, through His Christ, Truth, meets every human need.

 

Evil or Error Exposed

Ignorance of the nature of evil, error, and the mistaken belief that there is power in it, robs men of peace. The cure for this ignorance is the spiritual understanding that reveals perfect God and perfect man as all. Christian Science shows that evil is error, that is, that it is in the nature of mistaken or wrong thinking; it is only a false belief or claim that there is another mind or creator, another power or god opposed to the one infinite divine Mind, God. Christian Science teaches that there is but one God; that there is no evil in God; that He is good only and that He is all. To believe that evil is real – is something – actually breaks the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" – no other mind or power than supreme good.

Evil often tempts men to pass on to others erroneous suggestions, false beliefs, through the spoken or written word. If we would free ourselves from the seeming effects of wrong thinking, we shall have to take a firm stand. We shall have to get busy in the destruction of such falsities and refuse to become, even in belief, a channel through which to pass along and thereby give temporary life and effect to evil. We must stop this chain letter of evil by refusing to be a party to its plans. Let us not forget that the law, "to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey," is still in force. This false claim of a mind separate from God – this evil mind with its lack and limitation, its greed and fear and distrust – seems to mortals to be able to deprive men of their God-given heritage of peace. The truth is that there is nothing to keep men from enjoying the presence of good, God. Paul calls us "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;" but we must face the false claim of another mind, another god, with vigilant, vigorous, mental protests of truth, for no such erring mind exists.

A friend testifies to the harm that unintentional wrong thinking produced in her own experience and that of her family and the great good which came to them through her scientific right thinking. Her husband seemed to be controlled by an appetite for strong drink. This particular pay-day evening, long past the hour for their dinner, while she was trying to keep the food warm and palatable, a great wave of resentment came over the wife. She was sure that her husband was in some saloon spending the money that they needed so urgently for clothes and furniture and even for food. She indulged in considerable self-pity and condemnation of her husband until finally she came to herself with a start. She had become interested in Christian Science, and she suddenly realized that this was not the way that Christian Science taught one to think.

She began to retrace and to correct her thinking. She reasoned with herself: "Alcohol is simply non-intelligent matter; it cannot take from me or my family that which it is necessary and right for us to have, that which God has given us. It cannot take from me my self-respect; it cannot make me dishonest and poor and fearful; it cannot make me full of hatred and condemnation of my fellow man. I love God and man and nothing can influence me to do otherwise."

A great sense of peace and joy came to her with this spiritual realization. When her husband came home, his pocket contained but a small part of his weekly wages, but the wife did not lose the inspiration that had come to her and the satisfaction it had brought.

About two weeks later her husband said to her. "I know now what you meant by 'that terrible whisky breath.' I met Bob downtown today, and as we talked his breath nearly knocked me down." "How could you tell?" asked the wife with interest. The husband replied, with a superior smile, "I knew you hadn't noticed it, but I've not had a drink for two weeks, and what is more, I don't want one either." He was permanently healed.

The human mind must, in obedience to divine wisdom, dip itself seven times in the Jordan of divine Truth to be cleansed of its leprosy, its wrong thinking. It must acknowledge the truth about God as Mind, as Spirit, as Soul, as Principle, as Life, Truth, and Love, and it must admit that man is the reflection of God in all His attributes and powers. Then will it be proved to be truth that there is but one God, one Mind, and but one man, the spiritual likeness of God.

To accept the erroneous suffering, self-imposed suggestions of mortal mind or to allow another to do our thinking for us is idolatry. Idolatry in any form seems to disrupt man's harmonious reflection of God, his peace. It breaks, in belief, the first or great commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods [no other mind] before me." If we continue in the way of erroneous suggestion, the kingdom of heaven – that is, peace and harmony – will be shut out of consciousness completely. This false mental state is the only hell there is – but rest assured, it is hell enough. We must arouse ourselves to cast off all false beliefs or mesmeric suggestions, and to accept in their place the testimony of the spiritual senses, which bear witness only to divine realities. Thus only will harmony and peace become real in individual consciousness.

 

Unlimited Substance and Opportunity

To be at peace we must realize that there is never in reality any lack of good, of justice, of mercy, of health, of love, for these Godlike qualities belong to each individual man of God's creating. There is no foundation in Truth for fear of lack or for greed. Abundance is the true heritage of God's children. Rightly understood, each one of us possesses, by reflection, all good. "God is no respecter of persons." In His sight there is no "inferiority," no "superiority"; no social classes pitted against each other in their struggle for substance and peace. God is our Father-Mother, and we are all His children, equally beloved, heirs of His boundless intelligence, His infinite resourcefulness and power. Humanly speaking, one man may not be aware of his inheritance, or one may make better use of the right ideas which have come to him from divine Mind than another, but God is impartial in His bestowals. God gives His ideas equality of opportunity for self-expression. Equality of opportunity demands of man, of course, equal responsibility. Preparation for expected opportunity is part of the responsibility of each one of us. As has been well said: "Opportunities come to every man. Ninety-nine out of a hundred men, however, are always seeking opportunities instead of preparing for them. What good is an opportunity if you are not prepared for it?" Losing oneself in loving service for mankind is the scientific way to prepare for opportunity and to prove God's abundant provision for each of His children.

Peace in Justice

There is no peace without justice. To enjoy peace, we must realize that justice as a quality of God is reflected by every man. Injustice in the form of domination in the home, the office, in school, in industry is one of the greatest foes of peace. But it is no greater than insubordination. Freedom is found only in respect for and obedience to law. Peace is God's will done; evil overcome with good; the right proved to be right. Peace rests only on the standard of good realized as supreme.

 

Enemies Made Friends

Sometimes men and nations imagine that they have enemies. "Love your enemies, . . . do good to them that hate you, . . . and despitefully use you" is one of the laws of God, obedience to which brings peace. How is it possible to be obedient to this great peace-making commandment? Scientific Christianity shows us the way. It teaches us to separate in our thinking the real man, the image of God, from the evils or errors of belief which claim to be a part of him. It shows us that no man is an enemy of any other man: that in truth man has no enemies: that the only enemies that men even seem to have are they of their own household, the false beliefs they sometimes seem to entertain about themselves and other men.

Recently a man related an experience to me which I feel sure will help all of us to find and to preserve our peace. He thought he had three enemies, men with whom he had quarreled on various occasions. Two of these men he always avoided, fearing to be drawn into an exchange of angry words. The third he had not spoken to for years. One day he sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner on a problem of supply. The practitioner pointed out that divine Love is our infinite supply, and that we demonstrate of this supply only what we allow ourselves to express of it; that the love we express to others opens the streams of love for ourselves. He called attention to the fact that hatred, self-interest, so-called righteous indignation and indifference open no channels of good will among men, but that our reflection of divine Love in love to our fellowmen meets our human needs.

The man went away uplifted and determined to express more love to others. Then he thought of his three enemies. Here, it was evident, was an opportunity. He decided to embrace it. He went over the whole ground, separating in his thinking each man from the errors which seemed to be so much a part of him. He could love the good qualities he knew each one expresses. The unlovely traits, he now realized, were no part of the real individuality of these men. He acknowledged the possibility of mistake in his own position. He regretted not having been alert enough to refuse to entertain unloving criticism. He realized, too, that it is never too late to make amends. He saw that God's creatures or ideas cannot be separated or estranged from one another, for all are held together by the laws of God, the laws of divine Love. Within thirty-six hours after he began to think scientifically about the situation, this man had proved that he had no enemies. One by one, in ways that would seem miraculous to the ordinary thinker, he had met and made friends again of the three whom he had but a few short hours before counted as his enemies. It is needless to add that divine Love reflected, met, and is still meeting this man's needs.


If we are humble enough, so-called enemies may in a very real sense be better friends to us than our indulgent friends. Those who compel us to look within, to exam in our thinking, and to correct it, are really doing more for us than those blindfolded friends who are always patting us on the back. Christian Science shows those who think they are enemies how to become friends, and teaches friends how to be better friends to each other. " 'God bless my enemies; make them Thy friends; give them to know the joy and the peace of love,' " was one of our beloved Leader's daily prayers (Miscellany, p. 220). From her deep yearning for justice and peace to be demonstrated on earth as it is in heaven, came also the "Rule for Motives and Acts" (Art. VIII, Sect. 1) found in the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts (p. 40). It reads, in part: "Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness."

This individual demonstration of peace points to the possibility of the demonstration of peace among nations – of world peace. "War," Mrs. Eddy says, "is in itself an evil, barbarous, devilish. . . . war weakens power and must finally fall, pierced by its own sword" (Miscellany, p.278). But shall we wait for war to be destroyed by its very iniquity? Shall we not strive rather to "overcome evil with good"?  Divine Principle, understood and obeyed by individuals in their relations with each other, is sufficient to solve every international problem. Divine Principle is Love and Love is divine Mind. If all the inhabitants of the earth acknowledged one Mind, one God, peace would enfold the world with prosperity and joy. In a peace which results from the demonstration of divine Love, each nation will find freedom, abundance, and protection. Each one of us must do his part. Upon the thinking of each one of us depends the peace of the world.

 

Purity Requisite

There is no peace, even from a human standpoint, without purity. Peace results from right thinking, right living, selfless loving. Peace is the triumph of meekness, the victory of innocency, the "fruit of conquered sin" (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 276). Jesus, the Bible tells us, was tempted in all ways, but these temptations were powerless to move him; they found no response in him. His purity was his protection – his peace. Peace is never license to indulge self-will, the will of the flesh. It is liberty to reflect the divine will, the will of God – God's "good will toward men." Sensuous indulgence, sense-gratification never leads to peace. It is a selfish foe to peace. Man is truly self-governed only when he is governed by divine intelligence and obedient to divine law. True self-government brings peace. Peace calls for self-knowledge, for self-sacrifice, for self-discipline, for humility, for the surrender of the will of the flesh to the will of God. Purity is evidenced more in deeds than in words. When we put into practice the truth we already know, progress towards peace is certain and rapid.

A friend's successful attempt to hold his thought in line with strict purity, and the benefits which came to him, as a result, should be a stimulus to all seekers for freedom and satisfaction. The inspiration gained from the healing of what had been almost chronic tonsillitis spurred this man on to attempt other demonstrations. His healing had come through his own reading and application of the truth of being, as unfolded in Science and Health and the Bible. Gratitude and honesty soon compelled him to question the appetite for tobacco which he had indulged for years. He found that the so-called satisfaction which nerves and tobacco promise is not satisfaction at all, but a delusion, a fleeting, illusive counterfeit, an ever-increasing demand for just one more indulgence. Obedience to a faint gleam of spiritual enlightenment led him to look away from matter to infinite divine Mind for satisfaction. After a struggle in which fidelity to his uplifted spiritual sense of satisfaction replaced blind obedience to nerves and narcotics, the bondage was broken and he found permanent, unvarying satisfaction and peace in man's God-given completeness.

The selfish indulgence of others in the smoking habit now began to annoy my friend. To be compelled to breathe the smoke-filled air exhaled by fellow passengers in trains and busses was abhorrent to him. Suggestions of unfairness and injustice fairly filled his thought. My friend saw that he was still the victim of one of the phases of the tobacco hallucination, still giving power to tobacco. He believed that it could annoy or be disagreeable. He saw a higher step yet for him to take. He had given up the belief in nicotine to satisfy; so he must give up the equally erroneous belief that tobacco could annoy him or separate him from peace. He saw that the so-called opposite of good is not something to be merely avoided, not something to condemn in others, but is really nothing – no thing, a lie without a real past, or even a present. Finally, he realized that right there, in what he thought of as smoke-laden air, disagreeable odors, discomfort, and injustice, the one infinite intelligence, God, was conscious only of His infinite perfect manifestation; was enjoying the presence of good, freedom, and purity; was maintaining and experiencing righteousness and justice.

He had a clear realization of man's oneness with God. Peace now reigned in his thought where discomfort, impatience, and injustice had been so much in evidence such a short time before. This peace and satisfaction far transcended that which pure air is credited with giving. It was that peace which passeth all human understanding. Our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, outlined the unfailing way to happiness and peace when she said, "The warfare with one's self is grand" (Miscellaneous Writing's, p. 118).

 

Righteous Prayer

Righteous prayer is the sure road to peace – peace of mind, peace between men and nations, peace with oneself. "Cleanse thou me from secret faults" voices human aspiration for good, for peace. The prayer of petition, however, often fails to take account of spiritual reality. Prayer which is the affirmation of spiritual fact does this and assures humanity of the presence and power of divine Love. We must know and feel that God is Love; that He is Life; that He is Truth, and that man reflects Him. We must know and feel, too, that divine Love loves us and allows nothing to separate us from Him. Abiding in spiritual truth and practicing it daily in our lives will bring to us our heritage of peace.

Christ Jesus demonstrated "peace on earth, good will to men" by healing them, through prayer, of sorrow, sickness, and sin. To Mary Baker Eddy we owe the discovery of the scientific nature of true prayer – the method which Jesus used in his healing work. She not only learned how to follow the example of Jesus by healing, scientifically, but she taught others how to do these very works as Jesus said his true followers must do. We who are here tonight are, all of us, beneficiaries of the patient, self-forgetful love of this motherly New England gentlewoman. God's "good will to men," His peace, is now available to all through His laws, as explained by Mrs. Eddy in her published writings.  Love for God and grateful appreciation of all who have labored unselfishly for us will help us to understand and to enjoy this flawless peace – the "peace on earth" heralded by the messengers of divine Love so long ago. Jesus is the Way-shower. Mrs. Eddy's spiritual-mindedness and purity of purpose made of her the Discoverer of the spiritual laws and rules which governed Jesus' demonstration of the way.

The desire that the will of God prevail is a form of true prayer. Striving to let that Mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus is true Christian prayer. Abiding in Truth and practicing it daily in our lives will bring to us our heritage of peace. Jesus' sublime humility was voiced, as explained in our textbook, (Science and Health, p. 33), as " 'Not my will, but Thine be done' – that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me." This renunciation of all allegiance to human will led Jesus to victory over death itself – to the enjoyment of that peace which is life eternal.

We must pray, watch, and work for peace, but we must do this scientifically. We must realize that the peace of God is a reality, the presence of which can be, indeed must be, proved by each one of us. This divine peace is not concealed from spiritual sense, for as we watch, work, and pray for spiritual understanding, we are enabled to see more clearly God's will done on earth – His omnipotence and omnipresence proved – His peace, our peace.

 

Salvation Individual

Peace is individual. It is possible for each one of us to be at peace here and now. Peace seems to the human mind to depend upon others – what they say or do, how they act. In truth, our individual peace really results from divine Science, the law or good will of God demonstrated in our individual thinking and acting. Each one of us is responsible for his own peace, for his own manifestation or demonstration of the will of good, of God. We must accept this responsibility to see and to do God's will for ourselves. Christian Science reveals to each one of us how to work out his own salvation, his peace. In Science and Health (p. 467) we are taught: "It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established."

The prophet Isaiah wrote, "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Through Christian Science, this prophecy is being fulfilled. The spiritual understanding of God and man will bring to full fruition the purpose and promise of Christianity, "On earth peace, good will toward men."

 

[Published in The Chicago Leader, April 23, 1937.]

 

 

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