Christian Science: The Word of God Found Practical
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 lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Winnetka, Illinois, in the Masonic Temple, Sunday afternoon, June 10, by 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.
The subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: The Word of God Found Practical." Mr. Rowell spoke substantially as follows:
The first religious tenet of Christian Science as stated by its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, reads: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 497.) This tenet might seem to be equally acceptable to all Christian denominations, but Christian Science teaches that eternal life is to be gained through living, not by dying. For the Bible to be his sufficient guide to eternal life, then, means to the Christian Scientist that it must be his complete guide for daily living. That the teachings of the Bible promote righteousness and morality, all Christians agree, but that the Bible makes possible healthier, stronger men and women is not so generally acknowledged.
Christian Science teaches that one needs neither medical books nor material medicine if one fully accepts the Bible as his sufficient guide to eternal life, for "The Bible," as the Christian Science textbook states on page 406, "contains the recipe for all healing." That the Word, which is God, is practical to heal human ills is attested many times in the Bible. "He sent His word and healed them," the Psalmist says. In Exodus 15:26 we read "for I am the Lord that healeth thee," and in Psalms 103:2,3, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases."
Throughout the centuries there have been those who have drawn so near to God through unselfed love that they have been the agents of this healing power of the Word. Thought must become spiritualized, lifted above matter and its attendant desires before it can lay hold upon the healing truth contained in the Bible. Without this spiritual sense of the Scriptures which has enlightened human consciousness in greater or less degree throughout the ages, the Bible would have been just so much history.
Christian Science claims to be the full revelation of the spiritual import of these sacred pages, and proves its claims by reforming the sinner and healing the sick through spiritual means alone, as the Bible teaches. Christian Scientists love the Bible. They study it carefully and pray for the unfoldment of its spiritual meaning in human consciousness. The Bible is used as one of the textbooks of Christian Science. Fully one-half of each lesson found in the quarterly Bible Lessons published by the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston, Massachusetts, consists in citations from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Explanations and amplifications of these Bible texts, as found in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, complete the weekly Lesson Sermon which is studied daily and read in every Christian Science Church on Sunday.
The Bible is the authority for the whole teaching of Christian Science, and the corner stone of this teaching is the understanding of spiritual law as exemplified in Bible healing. This is "the stone which the builders rejected."
It was the earnest study of the healings related in the Bible which led Mrs. Eddy to the discovery of the fact that true Christianity is scientific. It was her spiritual mindedness, her fidelity, her love for mankind, and her perseverance in the face of almost insurmountable difficulties that made possible not only the discovery, but the establishment of Christian Science.
This knowledge of God's all power and ever presence had healed her of an injury resulting from an accident, declared by her physician to be fatal. She was convinced that this understanding would free mankind from every enslaving shackle. She had always been a faithful, earnest student of the Bible, but with her healing and the discovery that accompanied it, she delved into the Bible with increased interest, and with a definite object in view. She wanted to know the Science of her healing. She longed to help free others from the bondage of sickness which many years of invalidism had taught her is slavery indeed.
In due time she gained some measure of the desired understanding and was soon explaining the truth she had discovered to those who would listen. Many would not even listen, and many of those who did listen counseled her to drop her investigations. Mrs. Eddy applied her new found knowledge to cases of sickness and it healed others as it had healed her.
The early years following the discovery of Christian Science tested Mrs. Eddy's practical love for God and man. Any day she could have dropped the effort to clothe her discovery in exact and concrete terms. How easy it would have been to give up. She had been healed herself; she had brought health and comfort to many others, why not be satisfied. How easy to have become discouraged by the ridicule, the rebuffs, the lies of those animated by hate, and to have accepted the advice proffered by well meaning friends to leave the subject alone. But, Mrs. Eddy was as one working under orders. She had had a glimpse of the loving, ever present Christ, Truth, and this sustained and encouraged her as her discovery unfolded and finally found full expression in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
Mrs. Eddy's statement of Christian Science is a final revelation of Truth. She has given this revelation to the world in such clear words and illustrations that any earnest seeker can understand and prove its teachings. She has presented the fact of the allness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil. Nothing more can be said. Just as Jesus himself did, she has demanded demonstration as proof of understanding.
All that has been written or spoken truly on the subject of Christian Science has been based on the statement of truth as found in Science and Health. All that can ever be truly said on this subject will but present to thought in other words and illustrations the same truth that Mrs. Eddy has already expressed in perhaps a thousand ways in her textbook. Gratitude wells up in our hearts, but let us not forget that our sincerity is proved only by our deeds.
The author of the Christian Science textbook found it difficult to explain her new spiritual discovery by the use of material terms whose limited mortal significance had become deeply imbedded in thought. She adopted therefore the practice of many writers of defining her specific use of certain terms. The distinction between the terms "Mind," meaning God, and "mortal mind," meaning that which is opposed to God, illustrates the point.
Let it be understood that Christian Science does not teach that there are two different contending minds forever at variance with each other. Christian Science teaches, on the other hand, that God, immortal Mind, is the one and only Mind. The term, mortal mind, is used to explain an illusion, a delusion, as anything must immediately be detected to be which even seems to oppose itself to omnipotence and omnipresence.
In defining God as immortal Mind, Christian Science does not present a new God, but it does bring to light a true conception of the one forever changeless God, "whom to know aright" as Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (page vii), "is life eternal." This Mind, God, the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, but which is only partially recognized and very imperfectly understood by men generally, Mrs. Eddy spelled with a capital "M" and often coupled it with adjectives expressing the deific nature, such as immortal, divine, infinite.
The false sense of mind, believing in evil as well as in good, Mrs. Eddy found to be a liar and the "father of lies" and named it mortal mind. Christian Science reveals that the troubles of mankind including sin, sickness and death are directly traceable to a false concept of God or Mind, and that the right understanding of Him, the establishment in human consciousness of that Mind which is as Habakkuk says "of purer eyes than to behold evil," restores health, holiness, and eventually the kingdom of heaven.
The teaching of Christian Science, that a change from a state of disease to one of ease, from imperfection to perfection, is due to a change in thinking, though startling, is not a new Christian doctrine. That Christ Jesus taught and practiced it is shown in all the healing work he did. It was stated by Paul in these words: "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." We also read in Proverbs 23:7, "As he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he." It is necessary to grasp the difference between mortal mind and immortal Mind. With this difference definitely established one can with certainty build upon the firm foundation of one Mind, divine and wholly good.
If we look at a white rose through a piece of blue glass the rose itself appears to be blue. But the rose, in fact, is white not blue, and no one thinks of doing anything to the rose to bring it back to its original whiteness. We have but to change the glass through which we look to one of clear transparency and we see the rose as it really is. Every one knows that the color is in the glass, not in the rose. To one who looks through the lens of mortal mind at creation, man appears to be material, mortal, sick and sinful. To one instructed in Christian Science and accustomed to using the clear lens of divine Mind it is apparent that nothing has to be done to God's perfect man to bring him back to his original perfection.
If one seems to see a material, mortal, sick and sinful man, one needs but to awaken to the fact that he is being deceived by the mortal mind lens through which he is looking. As seen through divine Mind, God's perfect, changeless idea, man, will be found forever the same. Through reason and revelation, conviction is reached that the imperfections so apparent are in the lens of mortal mind and neither in Mind, God, nor in man. A false sense of mind can never see God nor the man of God's creating. Whatever it sees is distorted and colored by its own unreal hue.
A universe in which good and evil unite is the way mortal mind sees that of which the Bible says "And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Gen. 1:31). A mortal man, sick, sinful and dying, is the way mortal mind thinks of God's perfect indestructible child, of whom the Bible says "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." (Gen. 1:27). A God with a finite material body, a God of anger, one who sends flood, fire, and pestilence upon His defenseless creation; this is the way mortal mind thinks of the one infinitely good God, the Creator, of whom the Bible speaks as Spirit and as Love.
Christian Science presents the way out of this seeming conflict between real Mind and its counterfeit mortal mind. It says of the divine Mind that it is the only Mind; that it is real and true and embraces in itself all that is included in infinite intelligence. On page 180 of Science and Health we read, "If mortal mind knew how to be better it would be better." The way out then is no mysterious process at all, but a simple matter of instructing mankind with truth, the truth that there is but one Mind and that one wholly good.
Have you ever known of a selfish child's being trained into an unselfish one? What became of his selfishness? It disappeared; it gave place, we say, to unselfishness. There we have it; mortal mind so instructed with truth that it finally disappears and immortal Mind found to be the only Mind. And when mortal mind yields to the divine Mind, a better sense of health is the natural consequence. The ultimate result of thus serving divine Mind, God, is salvation, heaven, the reign of complete and perfect harmony.
Many people are unwilling to read about God, to talk about God, and especially to think about God. To them this is a subject fraught with a good deal of mystery and not a little dread, one which they would postpone to a more convenient season. But why? Surely it is because they have a false concept of God, and lack true knowledge of what He really is. If you thought that God was unable or unwilling to help you in your hour of need, that He was afar off, a partial God, the incentive to know Him better would be lost. If but one of the truths which the Bible teaches about the nature of God were more generally known, and even partially understood, this unwillingness would give place to such eagerness to know Him better, that God's kingdom on earth would soon be established.
The Christian Scientist believes with John "that God is Love." He understands divine Love, or God, to be that wise, just, compassionate intelligence that knows no limitation. Christian Science with its reasonable teaching about God and its practical proofs of health and usefulness restored through understanding God's true being is showing many the folly of avoiding this subject. If they but knew it, the study of the nature of God holds for them unlimited possibilities of health, happiness and success.
Think what it means that divine Love is the creator of the universe! How readily, how willingly one would turn for guidance and help to a Father who is divine Love. If one has made a mistake and longs to correct it, it is divine Love that quickly and fully forgives sin by destroying sin. If one is fearful, especially does he need to turn to Love, God, for in the Bible we find the promise, "perfect Love casteth out fear."
The Scriptures teach that God is omnipresent, which means present everywhere, and more fully understood, the only presence there is. Christian Science teaches that God is omnipresent Mind. Mind to be God must be infinite and also all-powerful - not a finite mind to whom man has to make known his needs, but the infinite divine Mind that knows man's needs before he discerns them himself. Divine Mind lovingly invites him into the way divine, where the supply for every need has been anticipated and awaits only man's perception and acceptance.
The infinite Mind which is impartial and unselfish Love does not bestow His rich blessings upon one man and withhold them from another. Mind's ideas, like the sunshine and the rain, bless the just and the unjust. God gives to man His pure and perfect spiritual ideas and they supply his daily needs. If health and harmony are not being enjoyed in your daily experience you need to examine your thoughts, for all erroneous thoughts must eventually be replaced by Godlike right thoughts. The remedy is as old as Christianity itself. Paul says "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."
That God exists forever and that He is self-existent, depending upon no other existence, is conceded by all religionists. God, then, can be properly considered as Life, eternal Life, Life without beginning or end, that Life from which every expression of Life is derived. What a sense of peace floods human consciousness as it becomes clear that man is indeed the likeness of God, eternal Life.
The spirit of hope, perennial in the human heart, spurs on the good resolve to enter in at the "strait gate," and journey along the "narrow way," which leadeth unto Life.
John says, according to the King James version of the Bible, "God is a Spirit." To learn that the all-loving, all-wise, and eternal creator is Spirit opens one's thought to an existence hitherto unknown. One contemplates a universe in which the realities of being, changeless and harmonious, express the nature and quality of Spirit, God; a universe into which not one thing of a mortal, finite nature enters; a universe that is the spiritual inheritance and eternal habitation of the image and likeness of God, Spirit. This is the real universe of Gods creating.
If there is anyone here who has been clinging to the mortal, material sense of life with its fleeting pleasures, its sin and death, and has found it all a cheat, Christian Science has for him a special message of hope and good cheer. Christian Science reveals that the material sense of existence is a delusion, a mesmeric state of thought, in which a lie, the material sense, has been substituted for the true, the spiritual sense of existence. Christian Science shows one how to break this mesmeric spell and enables him to lay hold of Spirit and the things of Spirit, real and tangible, here and now.
Perhaps no term as used in Christian Science has been more misunderstood than the word Principle used as a name for God. Webster defines principle in part as "A source, an origin, primordial substance." In Christian Science God is conceived of as divine infinite Principle, in other words, as divine infinite source, origin, primordial substance, governing His creation throughout eternity by His righteous, changeless laws. That God is always correct Himself and never changes His plans or laws governing His children even though petitioned by mortals to do so, does not to the Christian Scientist take away from God those gentle mother qualities of watchful care and tender interest belonging to divine Principle which is also Love.
The conviction that there is just one all powerful, all knowing, all loving, everywhere present God, who has created man in His own image and made a universe altogether good, abides in the Christ consciousness. This conviction could not come to a man from mortal mind for mortal mind knows nothing outside itself. Wherever such a concept of God is found one may be sure that the Christ, Truth, has appeared to that one and has been invited in. To Moses is attributed the authorship of the first chapter of Genesis with its history of spiritual creation. He it was who taught the children of Israel to worship God who is Spirit instead of materiality. He gave the Ten Commandments with their spiritual message to the world. Discernment and acceptance of the Christ, Truth, enabled Moses to become the great spiritual leader of many generations. The prophets proved the presence of this healing, saving Christ, Truth.
Jesus of Nazareth earned the glorious title of the Christ, not because of his virgin birth only, for the Christ was more than just a gift to Jesus. The Christ Mind came to him in its fullness through consecration to Spirit and through tireless endeavor to gain more understanding of the divine law and to put into practice the spirit of that law. Jesus did not rest upon his spiritual origin as sufficient to prove his Messiahship, but he used it to build upon. When only twelve years old we find him reasoning with the learned doctors of the law in the temple at Jerusalem. Not until eighteen years later did Jesus take up his public ministry of showing the Christ to be practical in the lives of men.
It was this same Christ, Truth, which enabled him to do the works he did, to rise from the grave and finally to ascend out of materiality altogether. His knowing that he was in possession of the Christ Mind enabled Jesus to meet and to master every adverse situation through spiritual law. Christ Jesus is our Way-shower. He said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23.) To take up the cross daily means daily denial of mortal sense testimony and daily affirmation of the spiritual facts of being.
Jesus loved mankind and did more to make men healthy, happy, and successful than anyone else who ever lived. This he did by awakening mortals to grasp the truth of spiritual existence, proving that this awakening would free them from material bondage. But lest we forget, let us turn often to Jesus' words "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12.) And let us be honest enough to accept Jesus' test of "works" in proof of the quality of our Christianity.
The real man is not material. He always has expressed and always will express God's spiritual nature. Faith in material ways and things instead of in spiritual ideas and means is the unseen sin which would keep one from realizing this truth. Christian Science is enabling mankind to see this sin whether it hides behind the pains of sense or the pleasures of sense. Man is spiritual. But for this blinding faith in material things we would have found it out long ago. This is the great truth which Jesus knew and used. His apostles and all true Christians knew it for three centuries after Jesus' ascension and this spiritual knowledge enabled them even to raise the dead. To know the only true God and His spiritual reflection, His Son, is Life eternal. To know your true selfhood as a son of God and to govern whatever you say and whatever you do in strict accordance with this understanding will heal and save you.
"God is Love," John tells us. The image of God must then be loving, kind, gentle, thoughtful, affectionate. And so under all circumstances man must be found reflecting Love. God is Truth. A lie could never emanate from Truth. No more can the real man be dishonest or untruthful. God's man can never be less than intelligent for he reflects Mind; never dead, for he reflects Life.
The mesmeric belief that matter is substance would have us think that sickness and death are inescapable. Christian Science is awakening us to the fact that there is no law to support such a supposition. The divine law of reflection denies it. Human experience may seem to have confirmed such belief but human experience is subject to change. The trend of even material medicine today is in the direction of prevention, showing that the human mind has, to some extent, conceded that sickness is not even necessary, much less inescapable. Christian Science teaches that we can overcome the temptation to be sick as surely as we can resist and overcome the desire to steal. The real man can be tempted neither to steal nor to be sick. These suggestions of evil find no corresponding response in him.
Physical scientists admit that matter is not what it seems to be. One theory advanced as to the nature of matter is that it is a form of energy, ultimately electrical in constitution. Christian Science teaches that matter is the substratum of mortal mind; that it is actually one with this mind, and that this supposititious mind is the essence of evil, of all that defrauds and deceives. Behind this teaching lies the fact, that there is but one Mind, God, who with His infinite spiritual ideas constitutes all that really exists. To believe in another mind and its creations is idolatry. The human mortal mind is ever an idolater but never knows it. It creates its own images of thought, calls them substance, matter, and then falls down and worships them. It gives to matter power even over itself, though it controls matter fully in an ignorant and sub-conscious way.
A dream state illustrates the nature of mortal mind and its control over its creation. The dreamer under the influence of his own dream may smile with pleasure as he rides a beautiful horse down the bridle path, or may cry out with terror as his horse shies and he is thrown to the ground. It makes no difference whether the dream is pleasant or afflictive, it is still a dream. All that the dreamer experiences is unreal and untrue. All of his enjoyment and suffering is delusion. The very horse he rides is of his own creating; every movement of the horse is dictated by the dreamer, and every one of his experiences is within the influence of his own thinking, if he but knew it. The dreamer may wish to prolong his pleasant dreams and to cut short his unhappy ones, but what he really needs to do is to cease dreaming.
Awakening from the mortal sense of existence is like awakening from a dream. Mortal man needs to awaken to the reality of but one Mind and its infinite spiritual manifestation. Earth-bound clinging to the pleasant dream of life and pleasure in matter subjects men to the unhappy dream of pain in matter and of death. One of the most remarkable statements in Mrs. Eddy's great book, Science and Health, is found on page 468 and reads, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all."
When one learns that matter is the elusive stuff that dreams are made of; when one realizes that matter in all of its manifestations is simply the objectification of a deceived and a deceiving mind, in that moment one begins to exercise his control over matter. He will no longer worship matter and give to it power and substantiality that it never has had and never can have. He will learn never to look to matter for pleasure or for pain, for life or death. He will learn, however, how tangible and how substantial mortal beliefs appear to the mind that produce them, and he will understand the control that mortal mind has over its own thoughts. He will also see the necessity of awakening from a deluded dream state to having in himself "this Mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus," as Paul counsels.
To know the way mortal mind creates its own thoughts (matter), gives these material concepts authority over itself while at the same time governing them, is essential to being able to protect one's self from the harmful effects of the human mind acting either ignorantly or maliciously. When Moses cast down his rod at God's command and it became a serpent. God bade him come back and handle the serpent from which he sought to flee. Through Moses' obedience the serpent became in his hands a staff upon which to lean. Wisdom bids us handle the serpent of mortal mind, see its nothingness, and comprehend the allness of God, divine Mind. Then this understanding becomes a staff upon which we may lean in our journey spiritward.
By the term mortal mind Christian Science does not convey the thought of an actual evil influence with power to create and to destroy, for no such evil influence exists. But there is great need of being alert to handle the serpent of believing in such a power and to make nothing of it. Human bondage has resulted from accepting mortal mind with its material sense of things as real, while in truth it is illusion. But one cannot turn from the human mortal mind while enjoying it and while accepting its illusions for actualities. The Scriptures say "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve " God and mammon." (Matt. (5:24.)
To be ready to turn from mortal mind and its manifestations, a man must first have realized that he is being deceived and defrauded and that the pains of sense exceed its imaginary pleasures. Then, if honest and earnest, he will work and pray vigorously and intelligently, depending upon the power of Truth, until he awakens to the fact that there is but one Mind, God, Spirit, and His infinite spiritual manifestation.
Prayer is the key which opens the door to spiritual freedom. In Christian Science prayer is not used as a means for attempting to change God or His universe. Christian Scientists realize the utter futility of such an attempt. The Bible speaks of God "With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." His universe, like Him, is forever the same. Prayer does change mortals false beliefs about God and His creation and thereby heals the sick, comforts the sorrowing, and causes the sinner to reform. Because it spiritualizes human consciousness, prayer is essential to growth. There is no problem too small or too great to be solved by earnest, persistent prayer. In fact, the more Christianly scientific a man is, the more certain he is to take every circumstance of his experience to God in prayer and to be guided aright.
Prayer is not answered simply because it may be addressed to God. Those who want answers to prayer should earnestly seek to rid themselves of self-love, self-will, and self-justification. Then they will be able to pray the prayer that never fails of an answer, "Not my will but Thine be done." God's will is done in His universe. The Psalmist pleads, "Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalms 119:18.) Righteous prayer to God is answered through His unchanging, unvarying laws. When we pray aright, that is, when our desires are in harmony with God's will, our prayers are answered. When we pray amiss, that is, when our desires are contrary to God's will, our prayers remain unanswered. But honest, earnest, unselfish, persistent effort, even though it may seem to be erring at first, will eventually bring us into harmony with God's will.
We should be grateful to know that God's ever active and always loving laws will at length compel every stubborn human will to bend to His, every selfish, false sense of love to be cleansed and purified, until at last God's kingdom is seen to be "In earth as it is in heaven." We enter the kingdom of heaven through prayer. Righteous prayer is not laborious or forced. It is a spontaneous, joyous condition of thought born of the understanding that man is the image, reflection of God, and as such has not a single thought underived from Him. Prayer would encourage sinners in sin if it enabled them to avoid the consequences of their wrong thoughts and acts by merely turning to God and asking for relief. Prayer must be accompanied by willingness to be obedient to one's highest sense of right no matter how trying the circumstances.
Healing through prayer is practiced in Christian Science. Christian Science however, is not merely a system for the healing of physical disease. It is a restatement of primitive Christianity which includes the healing of so-called physical disease among its redemptive works. The real purpose of Christianity, and therefore of Christian Science, is the overcoming of sin, and the final attainment of all God-like qualities and conditions; a complete redemption of mankind from belief in evil as presence and power. The healing of disease is important. It is a wayside sign of progress in the journey spiritward and gives one a feeling of peace and assurance that he is on the right road.
That Christian Science does heal the sick is patent to any fair minded inquirer. The testimonies of healing in the Christian Science Sentinel alone aggregate around five hundred yearly and these have all been investigated and attested. Add to these those printed in The Christian Science Journal monthly and the hundreds given at the two thousand midweek meetings of the Christian Science Churches and Societies of the world, and to these the unnumbered thousands which have never been voiced in any public forum, and a great paean of praise rises in gratitude to divine Love.
There are critics who protest that Christian Science lays too much stress upon the healing of physical disease. Lying back of this criticism is ignorance, failure to recognize the origin of disease as mental. To these critics disease is of material origin, the result of accident, of germs, of exposure to the weather, of quality or quantity of food, etc. Mrs. Eddy says on page 411 of Science and Health, "The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized."
Christian Science heals disease by healing the patient of the erroneous thoughts which produced it. This it does on the basis of the allness of God and its correlative sequel, the nothingness of evil. This is true healing indeed, healing which in every case is doing its bit to wipe out the foundation of all disease. "By their fruits ye shall know them," said Jesus. Christian Science stands judgment on this exacting but just basis.
Spiritual progress is the sure road to salvation and there is no other. Using every experience as an opportunity to put into practice your faith in God and your understanding of God and His perfect creation, is the way of progress. Approach every adverse circumstance as an opportunity to demonstrate the power and presence of God, good, to destroy evil. It will free you from the fear of evil. It will remove the bitterness from trials. It will bring to you a holy calm so that you can use the experiences of mortal existence as rungs of a ladder leading up "from sense to Soul," (Science and Health).
In this ascent from the mortal sense of things up to spiritual realities, the laws of Spirit, God, must be proved to be superior to the supposed material laws. Truth must overcome supposition. The progress of the student of mathematics is measured by his ability to solve his problems by application of the laws and rules he has been taught. Jesus' standard of progress for his followers is ability to solve the problems which arise in the school of life by the application of the Word of God as taught and demonstrated by him.
Jesus sent his disciples forth to preach the gospel to every creature, and at the same time he reminded them of the fruit this preaching must bring forth in these words: "These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils . . . they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." (Mark 16.) Our salvation is being accomplished daily as we solve our problems with the truth which Jesus taught. When God is understood as all and this understanding is demonstrated in the destruction of every mortal fault, man will be found to be the image and likeness of God, and the ultimate of spiritual progress be attained.