Christian Science and the Quest for Security

 

John S. Sammons, C. S. of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Is there anyone in this audience who would like to have a better home, a more complete home, a happier home? Is there someone here who would like to be in better health, who would like to be relieved of pain, weariness, or weakness? Are there those present who wish to enjoy a greater prosperity, a more useful and more fruitful activity? Are there those present who desire a more friendly relationship with their brother man − to move in greater harmony with those around them, to love and be loved? Above all, is there not present with all of us a fervent desire for peace − peace for ourselves and peace for all mankind?

The answer to all these questions is, of course, in the affirmative, because any group of people gathered anywhere in the world would include some who feel great need of improved home conditions, better health, a more progressive experience, a larger measure of harmony in their relationships, and a tranquility of spirit. Our health, our activity, our relationships, our peace of mind, represent four areas of our experience that are demonstrably responsive to our thinking about them. The precepts and practice of scientific Christianity, or Christian Science, operate to spiritualize our thinking and in that degree to harmonize our experience. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," ". . . the term Christian Science relates especially to Science as applied to humanity" (p. 127). Christian Science is not an abstract philosophical treatise nor a detached contemplation of a remote deity. It is not an unsupported promise of a future freedom. Through spiritualization of thought Christian Science offers you a gentle but positive emergence from ignorance and superstition into the intelligence and understanding of a faultless Christianity and the certainty and precision of its Science.

 

God and Man Revealed as Perfect

Spiritualization of thought means to think in terms of Spirit. Mrs. Eddy writes, "In the degree that man becomes spiritually minded he becomes Godlike" (Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 6). To be Godlike is to be like God, to express His divine nature, to reflect His spiritual qualities, to drink at the wellspring of eternal Life. To spiritualized thinking, God is tangible, immediate, substantive. God is defined, in part, in the textbook of Christian Science (p. 587) as "the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal." The all-knowing discerns, apprehends, distinguishes. The all-seeing perceives, guides, protects. The all-acting creates, motivates, governs. The all-wise is infinite intelligence. The all-loving is Love, including, the inherent quality of eternality. God's essence, substance, and form is indivisible, individual, and infallible. He is impeccable, immaculate, "of purer eyes than to behold evil," and cannot "look on iniquity," as discerned and stated by the prophet Habakkuk (1:13). Hence the great I AM is not responsible for the ills that seem to beset material existence, and these should never be attributed to Him. The effect of good is always good, creation partaking of the nature of creator. Our textbook has this to say that is apposite (p. 183), "To suppose that God constitutes laws of inharmony is a mistake; discords have no support from nature or divine law, however much is said to the contrary." The allness of God and the consequent nothingness of evil is the fundamental teaching of Christian Science, a teaching that can be proved in the life of each individual student of this Science as good or God gains the ascendancy in his thinking and evil proportionably lessens until it finally disappears.

As we consider this brief scientific statement of God and His nature, we may begin to see the nature of man, our own true selfhood, as the image and likeness of divine Life, Truth, and Love. Man, then, is not a physiological entity subject to the vagaries of mindless material forces. He is not a passing episode on one of the minor planets, as has been half-humorously stated by one of our physical scientists; he is not an accident of time, a nameless offspring of chance. Man is the conscious expression of divine intelligence. He is the spiritual embodiment of those elements which constitute creation or universe. Man is the pure reflection of God's infinite purpose. God has looked upon His idea, man, and is well pleased, satisfied with the perfection of His own handiwork. An understanding of God and man in their true or real nature as perfect and indestructible is basic to Christian Science teaching and practice. It furnishes a scientific rule, which, if followed, will establish for each one of us today the harmony and order of Christian living. Mrs. Eddy has written, "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, − perfect God and perfect man, − as the basis of thought and demonstration" (ibid., p. 259).

 

Spiritualization of Thought Primary

Spiritualization of thought may be said to be the primary objective of Christian Science. To "study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit" in line with Mrs. Eddy's admonition (ibid., p. 495) brings to each student a progressive unfoldment of spiritual reality. This is immediately effective in our experience as correction, adjustment, and healing, according to our need. Christian Science recognizes these effects as important but necessarily subordinate to the spiritual understanding which makes them possible. This idea was best expressed by Jesus when he said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). Incidentally the word righteousness as used in the Scriptures is not only a recognized rule of conduct but in its higher sense represents "a quality of inherent and inalienable normality" (A New Standard Bible Dictionary, Funk & Wagnalls Co., p. 779). This is a quality of God expressed by man and from which man cannot be separated. The spiritual fact of man's righteousness is an immeasurable power for human betterment. Mrs. Eddy in her writings refers to Jesus in a number of places as a "righteous" man, and the Gospel record leaves no doubt that he possessed this "inherent and inalienable" spiritual quality through his reflection of God and demonstrated it for himself and others in an unequaled degree.

 

Christ Jesus

When the great Exemplar, Christ Jesus, needed accommodation he directed his disciples to the upper room. When the maniac was healed he was seen to be not only in his right mind but clothed. When the tax money was due it was found in the fish's mouth; the ass was ready for the Master's triumphal entry into Jerusalem; and at that memorable breakfast on the shore of the Galilean sea it was Jesus, through his understanding of God's infinite provision for man, who supplied the food. Miracles you say? No! It was this essential quality of God's righteousness in action, the Christ coming to the flesh to destroy the limitations of the carnal or mortal mind. Abram must have communed with God through Christ when he went forth searching "for a city which hath foundations." The Christ is that spiritual priesthood after the order of Melchisedec mentioned in the book of Hebrews as "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" (Heb. 7:3). It is that which Mrs. Eddy defines as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). The Psalmist recognized this changeless manifestation of God, ever active in the affairs of men, when he wrote, "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing" (Ps. 145:16).

Jesus, in his conscious oneness with God, expressed the nature of God, or good, and was secure in his understanding of divine Love. He rendered unto Caesar the things that were Caesar's, and unto God the things that were God's, sharing the infinite bounty of God's love with all who were ready to receive His blessing.

 

The Eternal Christ

Christian Science recognizes and explains the distinction which Jesus made in several important instances between his human or corporeal selfhood and God's spiritual, eternal nature with which he always identified himself and which Christian Science defines as the Christ. Mrs. Eddy has written, "Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love" (Science and Health, p. 333). You and I can open the door of our consciousness and welcome this angelic messenger, the Christ, or divine manifestation of God. With the master Christian and the patriarchs of old we can experience that peace of the Mind that is God which comes from the conscious understanding of God's presence and power expressed through our spiritual sonship. This is security.

But, you may ask, can we be at peace if bodily comforts are lacking? The answer is that the peace of divine Mind brings freedom from fear and anxiety, releases our latent energies and capacities, which in turn produce the necessities, which may seem to be lacking. Man, the expression of divine intelligence, could never lack for anything. Jesus always had what he needed when he needed it. He demonstrated the amplitude and plenitude of God's provision for His son. It is our privilege to reflect the same Mind that Jesus reflected and to experience the dominion and freedom from lack that he experienced. Paul said, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).

 

Experimental Human Measures Inadequate

Human governments have sincerely tried and are trying to satisfy human needs and to give people generally a better sense of peace and security, but it is becoming increasingly evident to thinking persons that experimental human measures, no matter how strongly buttressed by legal enactments, will not meet these needs.

An infinite and unlimited supply cannot derive from a finite and limited sense, and so long as measures to alleviate the human lot are based upon the premise that matter is substance, the results will be as limited as the concept, because inherent in this premise is the belief that there is not enough matter to go around. Therefore to attempt to overcome lack or limitation merely by distributing or redistributing matter when you start with an insufficiency would certainly not solve the problem.

But is the answer to be found in more matter for everyone, more food, more clothes, larger houses, and bigger barns? There are many who already have a surfeit of these things and yet are admittedly frustrated, unhappy, dissatisfied. On the contrary, there are those who have little if any of these material things and yet face the world with a peace of mind and serenity of spirit that cannot be shaken by the fluctuations of markets or the uncertainties of human governments.

Many, many persons of widely different environments and in greatly varying situations have found their answer to these perplexing questions and gained their security and their  happiness through an understanding of the Science of Christ, or Christian Science, and the spiritualized thinking that they have derived from its study.

The righteousness or rightness of government is the result of the righteousness of the people. A government can be no better than the thinking of the people it represents, hence the importance to the individual of a knowledge of God's government and of how to express it, first in the individual's own experience, then by developing and expanding his understanding of God's government. Thus may equity and justice be more apparent in the larger or collective forms of government.

A state can have no more wealth than it derives from its people, namely, that which they produce and contribute. In a basic sense it is the citizen that makes the state secure and not the state that makes the citizen secure. It is axiomatic, therefore, that the state can only give to its citizens that which the citizens first give to the state. While the state provides necessary and valuable aids for the individual in many ways, broadly speaking and in a fundamental sense, the state can do very little for the citizen that he cannot do for himself. The citizen then in turning to an understanding of God, the great Giver, and in striving to manifest his true spiritual selfhood as the child of God, will be a better citizen and have a better government and consequently be less subject to the disillusionments and disappointments that are the inevitable result of a wrong concept of government.

The concept of government which Christian Science presents is clearly stated by Mrs. Eddy in The Christian Science Journal for June, 1904 (p. 184): "The Magna Charta of Christian Science means much, multum in parvo,all-in-one and one-in-all. It stands for the inalienable, universal rights of men. Essentially democratic, its government is administered by the common consent of the governed, wherein and whereby man governed by his creator is self-governed" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 254).

Some people think of these questions merely as economic or sociological, but this is true only in a relative and secondary sense. Actually these questions deal with the conceptions or misconceptions of life itself. Is it not reasonable and logical, then, to turn to God, the Giver of all good, "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17), and find our substance, our security, in the expression of that divine nature which is the sum of all substance, the acme of true spiritual welfare?

I realize that these questions cannot be resolved with a few simple statements, but if we accept the example of the Master and the revelation of Christian Science we shall strive mightily to know God and through this knowledge demonstrate our security as individuals and stop looking to matter instead of Spirit, God, for relief from our sense of insecurity.

 

Happiness Is Spiritual

Mrs. Eddy has this to say on the subject: "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul" (Science and Health, p. 60).

To seek happiness in Soul, in line with Mrs. Eddy's wise counsel, is to seek happiness in God, for Christian Science reveals God as Soul and uses these terms synonymously. Security, then, which is essential to happiness, is to be found only in a spiritual sense of life and not in the changing material forms of human existence. The material sense of life has never met the needs nor produced the satisfactions for which the human heart so hungers, because, as Christian Science has demonstrated, the infinite and unlimited is not to be found in the finite and circumscribed. Hence the folly of seeking release from our difficulties merely by turning to material means.

Students of the Old Testament will have no difficulty in recalling instances when the children of Israel turned from God and placed their reliance on personal rulers. One notable case is related in the eighth chapter of I Samuel, where, despite Samuel's efforts to dissuade them, they obstinately insisted upon going the way of self-will. Christian Science teaches that the source of righteous government is God, divine Principle. Only through obedience to the divine will can we demonstrate freedom and security in national as well as in our individual affairs.

So, then, we may well ask ourselves: What is our real need? What are the satisfactions of life? Where are they to be found, and how are they to be obtained? Again, while there may be different answers to these questions, observation and experience show our real need to be for spiritualization of thought and for that peace of mind and conscious spiritual dominion that derive from it.

 

Health Demonstrated on a Spiritual Basis

When thought is at peace, thought is at ease, and when it is at ease, free from conflict, it is usually free from disease. We read in the Christian Science textbook (p. 270), "If a sense of disease produces suffering and a sense of ease antidotes suffering, disease is mental, not material." This discovery of Mrs. Eddy's, that disease is mental, offers a scientific basis for the demonstration of sound health.

Fear is a recognized cause for disease. Psychologists frequently tell their patients not to be afraid, to stop worrying, to relax, but have difficulty in showing how this is to be done. It is one thing to say, "Do not be afraid," and quite another to know why one should not be afraid. Mrs. Eddy has said, "The nothingness of nothing is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing . . ." (ibid., p. 346).

The reason why one should not be afraid, why there is nothing to fear in fact, is found in the revelation that God is good and good is all. In the infinitude of this allness there is no fear and no expression of it. Our individual realization of this truth brings to us a freedom from fear and hence a freedom from the embodiment of it in any form, such as disease or insecurity. It was under darkening clouds and in the midst of the storm-tossed sea that Jesus said to his disciples, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matt. 14:27). This immortal nature, or Christ, is always present and active when shadows darken; present to nullify either the diagnoses or prognoses of material sense; present to quiet the troubled waters of ignorance with the inspiration and gratitude of spiritualized thought. To know God is to trust Him, and where there is trust and confidence there is no fear. Thus, in striking at fear, the foundation of disease, its superstructure of symptoms, appearances, and sensations is dissipated, and sound health is restored. In cities and towns throughout the world thousands of Christian Science practitioners listed in The Christian Science Journal are bearing witness, through their healing work, to the fact that Christian Science is always the better way, and that in its study and practice is to be found the salvation which includes freedom from sickness as well as from sin.

 

Salvation Now

Salvation has been a subject of religious discussion for centuries, and in general it is agreed that the term sums up the redemptive effect of Christian living with special emphasis on the healing of sin. However, Christian Science construes this word salvation in its broadest possible meaning − as a state of perfectly balanced well-being including all the elements necessary to a successful and fruitful life. Mrs. Eddy defines salvation for us in Science and Health as follows:  "Salvation.   Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed" (p. 593). Salvation brings an understanding that turns instinctively towards the right because it knows what is right, and summarily dismisses the wrong because through spiritual apprehension it  has learned to distinguish between the right and the wrong, the true and the false. Salvation is the exemplification of spiritual law; it is the truth of being in practice; it is God's nature manifest in the affairs of men. We as individuals have to achieve salvation for ourselves. St. Paul said, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). From this admonition of the dauntless Paul we may deduce that salvation is not only an individual matter but something that is worked out, an experience that is sometimes fraught with doubts and fears and tribulation. Salvation is not an ultimate state of passive bliss, but an active understanding of man's present perfection. It is achieved through the demonstration of God's nature as divine Life, Truth, and Love.

A case in point is the healing of a young girl which came to my notice some time ago. The experience as related to me by the girl's parents took place substantially as follows: It seems that Jane came in from play complaining about her arm. Within the following four weeks she had lost the use of her entire body, even of the ability to speak or swallow. The case was diagnosed by the physicians as very serious and the condition stated to be inoperable, and they resigned the case as hopeless.

The parents then turned to Christian Science, and several months went by without any substantial betterment. It was then that they began to look within their own thinking to correct those tendencies which were unlike God. For doubt they substituted trust, for selfishness unselfishness, for irritability a friendly patience, for self-will a spiritual humility, and with it all a sincere desire and steadfast effort to prove more of the Christ in their own lives. With the gradual spiritualization of their thought Jane's condition improved, and one day she was able to speak and to move about. Shortly thereafter she resumed her place in school, completely restored to normal health, rejoining her old class without penalty for her extended absence. Since then this young lady has been physically and mentally active, doing such things as training horses, swimming, and engaging in other outdoor sports. This experience was obvious proof that Christian Science heals effectively and permanently through spiritualization of thought.

Since beginning the study of Christian Science, it has been my privilege to prove in some major and many minor instances the truth of the Christ-cure. When I first read the Christian Science textbook, I was immediately impressed by the simplicity and logic of the Science it presented. Theological questions that had troubled me were resolved with directness and reason. Confused and obscure concepts of God and man were replaced by precise and exact ideas. I was not immediately conscious, however, of any change in my thinking or in my experience. It was only after several years when I looked back that I could appreciate the change that had taken place in both respects. Then I realized that from the moment I first opened the Christian Science textbook the entire course of my life had changed. I came into a larger usefulness; habits and indulgences which had been accepted as a matter of course were dropped by the wayside. Companionships became more wholesome; my whole experience took on a sense of direction and purpose, and in due course conclusive evidence that Christian Science heals disease was found through the overcoming of a physical condition that had been chronic for a number of years.

May I tell you of my first visit to a Christian Science practitioner? I awakened one morning practically incapacitated by what appeared to be a severe case of influenza or some related disease. I was under the immediate necessity of phoning the large mercantile establishment where I was employed, to acquaint them with the reason for my absence. As my superior had a reputation for being a somewhat hard and profane man, I did not relish having to make this phone call. After a brief and thoroughly unpleasant conversation my superior terminated it by asking, "How can a Christian Scientist be sick?" As I pondered this question, I decided that the point was well taken, and concluded that if I did not know enough to help myself, there certainly must be someone somewhere who did know enough to handle the problem for me. So I turned to The Christian Science Journal seeking the name of a practitioner who lived in the neighborhood. I finally located one and managed to visit her that evening. I was graciously received by a poised, spiritually quiet woman. My difficulties did not disturb that consciousness, and after treating me silently in Christian Science for a brief period, she assured me that all would be well, and I was dismissed. The next morning I was so thoroughly healed that when reporting for work I had a hard time explaining my absence of the day before. It seemed impossible for my associates to accept the fact that a person who was very ill one day could be completely normal a few hours later. But such is the action of the divine energy when focused in spiritual understanding. It is immediate and positive in its action, and we need but turn the pages of the Christian Science periodicals or attend a Wednesday evening meeting in a Christian Science church to find a great company of witnesses to the power of the Christ, Truth, as understood and demonstrated in Christian Science.

 

Mrs. Eddy − a Great Teacher

It later developed that the practitioner who helped me on that memorable occasion had been a student in one of Mrs. Eddy's early classes.

Mrs. Eddy was a truly great teacher. Many who had the unique privilege of sitting in her classes have borne witness to the fact that her teaching transcended mere words, that the spirit of the Christ was so present and active that the veil of materiality was rent for them, and God, man, and the universe were seen in true perspective. And it is a matter of common knowledge that there were those who went forth from her classes inspired with spiritual power to heal inveterate disease.

One who was privileged to be in three of Mrs. Eddy's classes wrote of her experience, in part, as follows: "Mrs. Eddy at this time was past sixty years of age," and "was well-preserved and beautiful, not so much because of physical charm, as because there was discernible an inward light or reflection of thought that shone through her countenance. One felt drawn to a better Life just from being in her presence" (Historical Sketches, by Judge Clifford P. Smith, p. 135).

From the earliest days of her discovery Mrs. Eddy was active in imparting this Science to those about her. One of her greatest gifts to humanity was the unique provision for individual instruction and enlightenment through the regular study of the weekly Lesson-Sermon. The twenty-six topics discussed from week to week were selected by Mrs. Eddy because of their universal appeal to religious thought and broad application to human needs. Thus the student through the orderly study of the two textbooks of Christian Science, the Bible and Science and Health, comes naturally into a familiarity with the great truths of the Scriptures and the Science of their application.

It is difficult to appreciate fully, to say nothing of attempting to convey to you, the magnitude of Mrs. Eddy's work as practitioner and teacher of Christian Science. She states in the textbook that during a seven-year period she personally taught over four thousand students, at the same time discharging her duties as pastor of the first established Christian Science church, as publisher of her own works, and as editor of The Christian Science Journal. All of this time the healing work was going on, the healings demonstrating the moral and spiritual value of the Science she taught. One cannot read the little book "Historical Sketches" by Judge Clifford P. Smith, particularly the chapters on "Mrs. Eddy as a Teacher" and "Mrs. Eddy as a Practitioner," without experiencing a feeling of profound gratitude to her for her unselfed labors on behalf of the human race.

Mrs. Eddy is the revelator to this age of the new-old message of the Christ, Truth. She can never be separated from her revelation nor be denied the fruitage of her labors. The student of Christian Science continues to feel the power of her example and the living force, the spiritual authority, that clothes her words and works.

Mary Baker Eddy expressed the originality of the Mind that is Spirit, an originality that has had profound effects on the thinking in the fields of medicine, theology, and natural science. Millions who have never heard her name have been blessed by her discovery. She asserted God's allness and man's perfection, proclaimed salvation now, universal and immediate. She boldly challenged dogmatic theology. She gave fresh impetus to the teaching of St. John that God is Love. She defined God as divine Principle, as the source of immutable spiritual law. She saw matter as unreal and disease as an illusion of material sense. In Mrs. Eddy's timeless discovery and in the manner of her founding, Christian Scientists have the climate and the soil whereby and wherein through spiritualization of thought the roots of true security may take firm hold.

 

The Business of Reflecting God

The question then recurs. What is security and how is it to be obtained? With peace of mind and sound health established we have made a substantial beginning. This brings us to a third element essential to security, namely, useful and constructive work. Mrs. Eddy tells us, "From early boyhood he [Jesus] was about his 'Father's business' " (Science and Health, p. 52). The business of man is the business of reflecting or expressing the Father. We are God's representatives; may we always be active in reflecting His divine nature.

Mrs. Eddy reminds us, "Our system of Mind-healing rests on the apprehension of the nature and essence of all being, − on the divine Mind and Love's essential qualities" (ibid., p. 460). The expression of "Love's essential qualities" is applicable not only to our domestic relations but to the field of business as well and greatly needed in that realm. Can anyone think of an employer who would not like to have more activity, more integrity, more precision, more accuracy in his business and have the helpfulness, the friendliness, the cooperation that flow from the exercise of these spiritual qualities? The expression of these spiritual qualities greatly facilitates the exchange of services so necessary to the complex economy of these latter days and lessens the friction and eases the burdens that sometimes try to impose themselves upon it. Expressing God's nature, we are in a good business, a business that is always fruitful and rewarding. As we exercise the talents derived from God's nature, they become our nature, that which is natural to us. Identifying ourselves with God's qualities, we see them become that which identifies us, our real or true selfhood. This truth applied to business, understood and demonstrated as you and I are capable of doing, will operate to place us well in whatever our proper business may be and keep us there. This business will be free from tensions and pressure, free from unjust rivalries and unhappy comparisons. The essential qualities of divine Love enlarge our usefulness, increase our capacities, spiritualize our business activities, and make for success and security.

 

Security in Our Relationships

All of this brings us to the fourth, but no less important, objective, which we should accept and strive to attain, namely, harmonious relationships. The phases of war are not one, but legion. There seem to be wars between nations, peoples, races, creeds − political, social, and commercial factions. There are the rivalries of unjust competition and tyrannical power. But basically causative of war in any form is the conflict or struggle within ourselves, the struggle to do that which we should and to refrain from doing that which we would. Paul said, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Rom. 7:19).

Christian Science reveals God's government and the availability of His spiritual nature, His spiritual qualities, expressed in the Christ. This revelation enables us to individualize the Christ and make this true consciousness of man practical in human experience. Thus we can help to adjust and correct the traditional and personal views and mistaken attitudes of human society. It already has been shown how Christian Science brings to its students the tranquility of spiritualized thought and how this peace of mind establishes an assured basis for sound health. With these first two objectives attained, it is but a short step to the realization of our larger usefulness in the reflection of God's nature and to the recognition and reward that is inseparable from the intelligent use of our God-given talents.

I am sure it will be agreed readily that with spiritual security established in these three areas of our experience − that is, peace of mind, sound health, and constructive and useful work − the fourth step will be comparatively easy. When one is at peace with himself and with his brother man, enjoying the benison of health, contributing substantially to the general welfare through the exercise of his natural talents, no basis for conflict exists, and the petty quarrels, which are in quality essentially the same as the larger struggles, are forestalled.

But to go back to the topic of business for a moment. Perhaps it is unnecessary to state the obvious and say that not all business is represented by the exchange of goods and services commonly associated with it. There is, for example, the business of running a home. Home occupies a place in our thinking which gives full play to the concordant intermingling of both our activities and relationships. Home is an insistent demand upon us that can be sustained in harmony and order only as God's attributes, the selflessness of the Christ, warm the heart and satisfy the aspiration for understanding and trust. Our home should be a place of unhurried quiet, a place for spiritual repose, a sanctuary for great expectations of good and the realization of them. As God's ideas are multiplied, home is replenished, the eternal newness and unity of the spiritual creation is unfolded, and the serenity of home, as God knows it, is evidenced in human experience as a better sense of home. Where spiritual harmony prevails, the security of our home is assured.

Thus we see that through the spiritualization of thought, which is the primary purpose of the study and practice of Christian Science, the four lesser objectives are attained, that is, peace of mind, sound health, useful work, and harmonious relationships.

Mrs. Eddy has written in her work "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 15), "Nothing aside from the spiritualization − yea, the highest Christianization − of thought and desire, can give the true perception of God and divine Science, that results in health, happiness, and holiness."

 

Evil Unreal

It has been well said that while Christian Science is not difficult, self-denial, sincerity, and persistence are necessary if "a wider sphere of thought and action" (Science and Health, p. 265) is to be achieved. The inertia of mortal mind resists change and appears determined to hold its position. The sum of false knowledge plus the resistance inherent in it Paul designates as the carnal mind, a term which Mrs. Eddy further defines as animal magnetism. The question of how this false sense of evil originated and when it may have first appeared in history is not so important as the fact that divine Science exposes it as illusion or ignorance which the understanding of the truth of being dispels. A spell that can be dispelled obviously has no factual existence, no substance, no reality, and metaphysical logic decrees that this mortal mind never did originate and is not really present or active now. The timeless ideas of divine Science are simple and simply stated by its Discoverer. Very young children grasp the fact of God's love and of man's perfection.

In the Bible we have the allegory of the serpent in the garden of Eden, which represents the temptation to accept the reality of evil. The aggressive materiality of the Philistines dogged the footsteps of the children of Israel. Christ Jesus was consistently in opposition to the intellectual arrogance of the Pharisees. The resistance to Mrs. Eddy and her discovery, Christian Science, seemed to focus in the static theology of her times, a personal sense of God and devil. Indifference and apathy represent much of the resistance to Truth so evident today. Absorption in material things has its corollary in an indifference to spiritual things. But the belief that evil has endured for a long time does not change the truth that Christian Science reveals concerning it, namely, that evil is entirely supposititious and unreal.

Now the student may reasonably ask: Must this struggle between truth and error go on forever? Must we always suffer an unwelcome enemy to trail us about? No! There is a prophecy and promise in Christian Science, and there are plenty of indications in its practice that the doom of the evil one, or the one evil, is sealed. The individual finds his freedom from the supposititious force of this mistaken belief as he accepts the revelation of Christian Science that God is good and good is all. For in this revelation we find a basis for reasoning which operates in our human experience to lessen evil and its supposititious forces and eventually bring us to the point where even the memory of it will be wiped out. Mrs. Eddy covers this fact most precisely on page 288 of the textbook. There we may read, "When the final physical and moral effects of Christian Science are fully apprehended, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, Science and material sense, foreshadowed by the prophets and inaugurated by Jesus, will cease, and spiritual harmony reign."

An example of the simplicity of this Science may be found in an experience which came to my attention through the columns of the Christian Science Sentinel. About ten years ago a man suffered a fall from a ladder to a concrete pavement sustaining injuries from which he became completely paralyzed. As the doctors could do nothing to relieve the condition, he eventually took up the study of Christian Science. On a particular evening before retiring, his wife placed at his bedside the Christian Science Quarterly, together with the Bible and Christian Science textbook. The Lesson-Sermon for that week was entitled, "Adam and Fallen Man." His attention was particularly attracted to the citation from Genesis 3:11, which reads, "Who told thee that thou wast naked?" And so he asked himself. Who told me that I was paralyzed? Doctors, nurses, and friends had told him, and he had been very busy telling himself. But what did God say? God told him that man was His image and likeness, unfallen, upright, and free. So our friend decided that from that moment on he would listen only to what God said. He then went contentedly to sleep, and the next morning awakened completely restored to normal health.

This experience illustrates what has already been stated, namely, that Christian Science is not difficult to understand. As we accept its simplicity, there can be no doubt that the resistance to our understanding and demonstration of this Science will disappear and the spiritual harmony prophesied by Mrs. Eddy will be manifest.

 

A Basic Statement

There is a statement in the Christian Science textbook which is basic to all Christian Science teaching and practice. It is a statement of immeasurable power. It is a statement which is read in all Christian Science churches as an integral part of the Sunday service, a statement that Mrs. Eddy refers to as the first plank in the platform of Christian Science (see Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21), and she named it "the scientific statement of being." In the economy of language and the simplicity and directness so characteristic of Mrs. Eddy's writing, this statement epitomizes the Science of the Christ and offers to everyone impartially a working basis for demonstrating true security, that which the world is seeking so earnestly, but which may be gained only through the practice of the Christianity of Christ Jesus as revealed in Christian Science. I conclude by repeating this great statement (Science and Health, p. 468):

"There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."

 

 

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