Christian Science: The Leaven of Truth
Ralph B. Scholfield, C.S., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"Christian Science: The Leaven of Truth" was the subject of a lecture Jan. 8 by Ralph B. Scholfield, C.S., of London, England, at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Brooklyn. His text follows in full:
One of the most remarkable statements made by the Founder of Christianity was, "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." From the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth it appears that the great theme of his preaching and practice was life. As evidence of this he healed the sick, fed the hungering, stilled the storm, raised the dead, and finally overcame death for himself,
From childhood the question uppermost in our own thoughts or in those of our parents is, How is our life to be sustained? At various crises in our experience this question may change into, How are we to ward off evil, disease, or death? The systems that attempt to solve these problems are very numerous, and might be classified, broadly speaking, as theology, physiology, philosophy, materia medica, and so forth. If we group them under the main headings ‒ science, theology, and medicine ‒ we shall include the most important of many teachings devised for the maintenance of man's life. These three words ‒ science, theology, and medicine ‒ have a most important meaning for us all, when we perceive them as something beyond human theories.
Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 118), "In their spiritual significanc, Science, Theology, and Medicine are means of divine thought, which include spiritual laws emanating from the invisible and infinite power and grace." The human mind has dragged these words down to a lower plane, and thus science, theology, and medicine stand usually for human knowledge or modes of mortal thought rather than means of divine thought. In order to arrive at the true meaning of these words it is necessary to restore them to their rightful position, where they represent the ideas of God, who "'spake, and it was done," and who, in the words of John, "made [all] that was made."
Knowledge of Truth Foretold
In order to bring about this new understanding a radical change in human thought must take place. The Master said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This prophecy indicates what we may reasonably call the coming of the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom of heaven is not regarded by Christian Scientists as a mysterious celestial condition or a hypothetical millennium. We recognize it to be the state of freedom, harmony, and life brought about by exact knowledge ‒ or the scientific knowledge of absolute truth.
Jesus gave a short parable to illustrate the coming of the kingdom of heaven. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." The coming of this kingdom, then involves some kind of change comparable to the action of leaven upon meal. It is reasonable to assume that the leaven of which Jesus spoke was that divine influx of Truth which produces a radical change in material modes of thought. This view is supported by the fact that Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the wrong sort of leaven, namely, the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which, according to Matthew's Gospel, were merely human doctrines. Jesus brought the leaven of Truth and of Spirit into these modes of mortal thought. His science knew no limitations of matter, his theology acknowledged only one God, one power, one presence, namely, infinite Love or Spirit. And his medicine was divine and spiritual, not material.
Change in Human Systems Evident
In human affairs science, theology, and medicine have been separated into three vast systems of independent study. Sometimes those who follow some branch of natural or physical science have no interest whatever in theology or in medicine. Sometimes the theologian considers medicine and science to be branches of learning with which he has little in common. However, it is true that these three modes of mortal thought are changing, and are becoming more interdependent. With this change there is both intellectual and spiritual progress. To illustrate: The physical sciences are progressing inasmuch as they are showing in their own way mankind's increasing liberation from material limitations, and they are extending perception and understanding into realms of thought hitherto vague and mysterious. Theology is progressing, inasmuch as it is gradually giving up the old idea of God as a finite person liable to wrath and vindictiveness, and is substituting therefore the perception of God as infinite intelligence, or Mind, Spirit, and Love. And medicine is progressing inasmuch as it is paying less attention to the physical body and more attention to the mind and character of the patient.
Mrs. Eddy says in her textbook, Science and Health (p. 107): "Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence; fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God." And so let us now investigate the way in which Christian Science is changing our ideas about science, theology and medicine, thereby enabling us to gain some practical knowledge of the nature of God, who is man's Life. The word "science" in its pure meaning can apply only to exact and absolute knowledge of primal power, cause, and law. The definition of science as the organized search for truth is misleading, for it deals only with a limited knowledge of truth. It does not embrace Truth itself or the pure Science of God, or Mind. The natural scientist is always looking for truth beyond the realm of human belief and theory. Consequently new discoveries reveal the old doctrines of so-called science to be temporary beliefs. The pure Science which stands forever is the Science of Truth. There can be only one pure science and that is the Science of God, the one and only cause or Mind. This Mind was revealed to Moses as the great "I AM," the primal and only self-existent, positive, and infinite power. When the term "science" is used to indicate the human observation of the material and stellar universe or study of the anatomy of the physical body, it is usually an inaccurate use of the word, for this so-called science is not exact knowledge.
To the Christian Scientist the term "physical science" stands for human knowledge. The very mutability of this knowledge shows it to be based on material reasoning and to have no spiritual, eternal foundation. Christian Science maintains that Science in its true meaning is changeless. What is termed natural science draws its deductions from matter and so-called material law, especially when applied to the treatment of disease. But Christian Science admits as scientific those deductions only which are drawn from the one divine, infinite Principle, God. Paul indicates the correctness of this standpoint in his epistle to the Romans, Chapter 11, verses 33-36: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! . . . For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things."
Importance of Accuracy
It is only fair to say that the natural scientists have proved the vital importance of exactness and accuracy in their observations. And the Christian Scientist knows he must be no less exact and accurate. His observations are made from the standpoint of the infinity of Spirit. In healing, this enables him to observe the mental and spiritual status of the patient. In this way he diagnoses accurately and deals with the cause of the disease.
In Science and Health (p. 128) Mrs. Eddy writes: "The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His government of the universe, inclusive of man." This makes the word "Science" of great importance to you and me, and renders it no longer the monopoly of the academically or intellectually minded, but the interest and joy of all.
It is therefore necessary to gain some understanding of God's laws and of His government if we are to perceive the full import of the word "Science." To do this we must first have some definition of the Lawgiver, God; and the Christian Science textbook (p. 465) defines God as "infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." The laws emanating from this one great and only Lawgiver must be like Him. This is supported by Scripture in these words: "The law of the Lord is perfect"; "the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart." Paul declares there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit, which he enumerates as love, joy, peace, goodness, and so forth. In a beautiful description of the spiritual Jerusalem, man's true home or heaven, Isaiah says that there "The Lord is our lawgiver . . . he will save us . . . And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick."
Jesus' Works Scientific
With this knowledge of God as the only Lawgiver Jesus never submitted to the human so-called laws of limitation, disease, or death when he saw that it was necessary to give a practical proof of the law of God, which James terms "the perfect law of liberty." That is why Mrs. Eddy has said that Jesus was "the most scientific man that ever trod the globe" (Science and Health, p. 313). It is impossible for anyone to understand Science in its true meaning without some perception of how Jesus worked and thought. His works have often been regarded as miracles, and yet how natural and effortless they were. The word "miracle" is defined as follows in the Christian Science textbook (p. 591): "That which is divinely natural but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science." Christian Science teaches that the life and works of Jesus were the divinely natural phenomena of Science, for they manifested the law of God, of Life, and of Love.
Science Demands Obedience to God's Law
Spiritual life, intelligence, freedom, health, and good are divinely natural, but you and I have to learn them humanly. They do not come to us by luck or by chance, but they come by obedience to scientific, divine law. Here is an illustration: A Christian Scientist serving in the war was afflicted with all the symptoms of a very severe disease called trench-feet, which was generally regarded as incapacitating men for months and often for years. This man understood enough of Christian Science to perceive that the scientific and divinely natural status of man is freedom and life, and that there is no law against peace, joy, and life. By acknowledging with all his heart that God is absolutely the only power and presence, he was wonderfully, but not supernaturally, healed in a few hours. This healing was certainly miraculous, but not in the ordinary sense of that word. It was a divinely natural phenomenon of Science, by which the laws of God and His government of man were obeyed and proved to be practical.
The marvelous order and control, manifested not only in our planet but in the boundless stellar universe, cannot ultimately be dependent upon electricity, radiation or mathematical formulae. They are dependent upon law and order, which, in their turn, are dependent upon Love or infinite Mind, the one I AM, whose eternal wisdom made all that was made, and made all spiritual and good. Attempting to comprehend creation through the material senses is not Science. Attempting to solve economic or political chaos through mortal and material methods alone is not Science. Every true or scientific solution or remedy must be based wholly on God, Spirit, in order to be Science. The basis of true healing of economic trouble and disaster is shown in the history of the children of Israel to be obedience to God's law. Behind the great First Commandment lies a profound Science. That the prophets of old caught the spirit of this Science, if not its actual letter, we see in these words of Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Science Brings Practical Results
Sometimes it is asked, Can Christian Science help in a case of unemployment? Let us put it in these words, is it divinely natural to be active, employed and useful? Yes, it is. Then Science, in its true sense, can come to our aid. One of the reasons why this is not more widely manifested is that mortals often think that employment can only come by changing matter and material conditions, whereas it can only come by a change of thinking and character. Here is an illustration: A Christian Scientist, through unforeseen circumstances, was prevented from taking up a certain profession for which he had qualified. He was left without work and with no special training in any other direction. Instead of indulging in self-pity, pessimism and hopelessness he decided that he could at least be occupied constructively in his thinking. He began to reason and to understand that it is divinely natural to be useful and active in thought. His prayer was to be in that sphere of action; however mean and lowly, where he could be of most use to mankind. He did not aim for wealth or position. He looked for work primarily within himself, and not only in outside affairs. This right employment within produced right employment without. At first, it was only an insignificant job. But it gave him invaluable experience, and in two years it developed into important work. Since that time, many years ago, that man has never been without useful and constructive work.
Science Protects From All Evil
The Bible is full of illustrations of the support and protection that follow scientific obedience to God's laws. Some may ask, How can obedience to God's law save a man from fatigue, shipwreck, disease, and so forth, and how can it protect a man in business? Obedience to law means obedience to Science. Obedience to Science means obedience to primal power, cause or God. That power is never opposed to harmony, but supports it. "Order is heaven's first law" is a well-known saying. That is why Mrs. Eddy says that "under divine Providence there can be no accidents" (Science and Health, p. 424). Pure Science protects man not only from doing foolish things himself, but from other people's folly also.
In the ninety-first Psalm we read, "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Dwelling in God, or, in other words, acknowledging constantly God's omnipotence and omnipresence, is obeying God's law, and enables man to see, and even to foresee, the way in which to go. The writer in the Proverbs says, "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." In Christian Science right and pure thinking does not mean merely pious thinking. It means thinking from the standpoint of divine law and order. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 135), "The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law." And so we see that Christian Science is leavening the human concept of the term Science, or true knowledge, and is gradually restoring it to its proper place, in which it refers to the laws of Spirit, God, and to His government. The Science of Life, or God, is indicated in those words of Jesus, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Theology in Its Pure Meaning
"The theology of Christian Science includes healing the sick" (Science and Health, p. 145). With these words Mrs. Eddy indicates one great difference between Christian Science and what is commonly known as scholastic theology. It may be well to note that she does not say that healing the sick is the whole of Christian Science. The word "theology" has changed its significance, owing to constant misuse. Instead of meaning the actual "Science of God, His nature and attributes," as defined in a well-known dictionary, it has come to signify any kind of study that has a belief in God as its basis. In other words, it has declined into a mode of mortal thought, and Christian Science has come to restore it to its rightful place, as a means of divine thought. Pure theology presents the truth about God, the perfection of His creation, and the understanding and application of His laws. It must be exact knowledge, and may be defined as the Science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, and of His laws and government. The life of Christ Jesus, his doctrine and his works of healing sickness, sin, and death, manifested this exact or scientific knowledge of God. Jesus himself said, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee." In other words, Jesus knew the existence, character, and attributes of God and His laws. But his theology did not stop here, for he said in the same context, "I have manifested thy name." This knowledge and manifestation of the name or nature of God who is infinite Life and Love is the theology taught by Christian Science.
In this age practical proofs are demanded of doctrines. Christian Science proves that redemption from sin and disease is not a vague promise or prospect, but that this redemption follows the scientific, exact knowledge of God.
Injured Boy's Belief
I knew a boy who was injured while playing football at school. This boy was attending a Christian Science Sunday School, and knew that his religion was practical in all difficulties. According to the rules of the school, a doctor was called in to see him. In the meantime, the boy, instead of giving in to the injury and to self-pity, tried to know as God knows. He understood enough to recognize that infinite Life, Mind, or Love knows only good and therefore knows no evil, no injury, no disease. He acknowledged God's omnipotence to be instantaneously applicable. To him God was not three mysterious persons in one, nor was his theology a superstitious belief in God, but it was the Word of Mind or infinite intelligence, enabling him to speak with authority to all that is unlike God. To the surprise of every one the boy was back at his games in a very short time. The doctor, in giving him permission to play, told him that he appreciated the great value of Christian Science in the boy's life.
Some of us may have a species of theology which teaches that God knows or even produces evil, disease, and so forth. This teaching adulterates theology, which cannot be pure unless it deals only with the knowledge of God (not evil), His nature and attributes. Jesus once indicated that certain more obstinate conditions of disease are healed only by "prayer and fasting." This consecration is a part of the theology of Christian Science. To heal disease we do not need to know more about disease, but rather, more about Life, or God. I knew a man healed by Christian Science of a bad condition of eczema. The healing took some considerable time, but by patience and prayer he proved his God-given authority over that disease. Instead of thinking ceaselessly of his body and trying to make it well, he used the theology of Christian Science which teaches us God's nature and attributes. He studied the nature of God, and as he became conscious of, or understood God as Love he ceased to be conscious of disease.
Faith is usually associated with people's idea of theology. The faith that Christian Science demands is not blind belief; it is understanding. We cannot suppose that Jesus had a blind belief in God's power to heal the sick and raise the dead. His remarkable authority over these conditions proved that his faith was advanced to spiritual understanding. His prayer and his practice were one, and they consisted of the utilization of the "godliness which animated him," as Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 26).
The Divinity of Christ
Sometimes it is objected that Christian Science denies the divinity of Christ. But this is not so; Christian Science clearly distinguishes between Jesus and Christ. While Jesus expressed, as Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 332), "the highest type of divinity, which a fleshly form could express in that age," the word Christ "is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus" (p. 333). The meaning of the word Christ is "the anointed." The Christian Science textbook defines Christ in these words: "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error'' (p. 583).
It is related that John the Baptist doubted whether the Christ was being manifested in Jesus, for he asked, "Art thou he that should come?" In reply to this Jesus referred to no doctrine, but rather to his healing works. He implied that the great test for the correctness of all theology is in the question, Does it heal sickness and sin? You will find that the theology of Christian Science does heal.
And so the leaven of Christian Science is leavening the whole lump of scholastic theology, showing that the practice of healing sickness and sin and all the evils which culminate in death is the test of pure spiritual religion. This leaven teaches us that it needs no creed to bring the kingdom of heaven nearer to us than it is now, but that "the pure in heart . . . see God." Isaiah gives us a beautiful description of true religion in these words: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? . . . Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily. . . . And the Lord shall guide thee continually."
Medicine in Its Pure Meaning
In her textbook Mrs. Eddy devotes an important section of over twenty pages to the special consideration of medicine. At the very outset she deals with the question of precedence between God and matter. She says on page 142: "Which was first, Mind or medicine? If Mind was first and self-existent, then Mind, not matter, must have been the first medicine. God being All-in-all, He made medicine; but that medicine was Mind. It could not have been matter, which departs from the nature and character of Mind, God." A dictionary defines medicine as "the art of preserving and restoring health." With this definition of medicine before us it may be wise to consider, first of all, what is the nature of health. Health is frequently believed to be a condition of the body, of the physical organs and so forth. But leaven of change and progress is at work, and many people are beginning to see that mental conditions, such as fear, anger, vice, and so forth have direct effects on health. In other words, health is being admitted to be a matter of consciousness, at least in part. A verse from the Proverbs supports this view in these words: "A sound heart is the life of the flesh; but envy the rottenness of the bones."
The morbid thoughts of envy, hatred, and fear put mankind to sleep, and leave the door of thought open for disease to enter. A sound heart, a heart strengthened and protected by spiritual aspiration, understanding, compassion, and love, is the spiritual armor that wards off what Paul terms "the rulers of the darkness of this world" ‒ which include disease.
The Medicine of Christian Science
And so Christian Science teaches that medicine, or the art of preserving and restoring health, requires first and foremost the preservation and the restoration of spiritual qualities. Materia medica fights disease with material means. Christian Science says with Paul: "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The warfare of the Christian Scientist against disease, or, if you prefer it, the Christian Science art of preserving and restoring health, is based on rules. This warfare is not blind will-power, hypnotism, or suggestion. It is the practical application of unvarying laws.
The Greatest Law of Healing
The first and greatest of these laws is the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Christian Science explains this in brief as meaning that there is in reality only one power and presence, namely, God, infinite Life and Love. The importance of this law cannot be overestimated, whether you are a patient or a practitioner. Think what it implies. It declares that whether the five physical senses agree or not, the fact remains that God, and not disease or evil, is absolute, supreme, and ever present. Christian Science casts down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Life, Love, or God. It is impossible to obey the First Commandment in full and to be diseased at the same time. The honest effort to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, the divine manifestation of God, preserves and restores health.
I knew a man who had been a victim of rupture for the greater part of his life, and had to wear a support for years. Through a small understanding of Christian Science he began to acknowledge the absolute omnipotence and omnipresence of God, which the First Commandment implies. By obeying this pure scientific rule in his thoughts, he was freed from fear and from the conviction that matter determines the condition of man's health and life. In a very short time he was healed.
In Christian Science we do not merely make the negative statement that disease does not exist. In mathematics you do not correct a student's mistake by telling him that his answer to a problem is incorrect. It is showing him the positive fact that makes the correction. So in Christian Science, instead only of telling an invalid that his disease is unreal, we help him gain some perception of that which is actually real, namely, God, the all-inclusive, ever present Life and Love. We strive to be able ourselves and to enable the patient to gain such a clear knowledge of God that he proves the power of those words in the Lord's Prayer, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory."
When God means more to us, when we grasp His grandeur, glory, and infinity, even to a small extent, we cease to be conscious of, or to be dominated by, that which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, whether it be called evil or disease. It makes no difference whether the disease is called organic or functional. It must yield to the First Commandment obeyed.
Another rule in Christian Science healing is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Some may well ask, What has this to do with healing? Christian Science shows that it is a rule of the utmost importance, because it brings to our attention the great power of love. John says that "perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment." Here, then, is a definite statement as to the nature of one of the weapons of our warfare and how it acts.
It is probable that many people here long to be able to help mankind, or at least to heal some friend of disease. But outside of Christian Science we feel utterly helpless to do so. You will remember that earlier in the lecture we saw how Christian Science in its healing or its medicine requires the preservation and restoration of spiritual qualities. Love in its true sense is a spiritual quality. It is a dynamic force or power, because it is one with primal power, or God. This love is not emotional. It is coupled with understanding.
Let us have an illustration. When you see a sick person, do you accept that as the true self of the man? Do you take the position of the priest and Levite and pass by on the other side with an inner conviction that the case is hopeless? Or do you look behind the external appearance, like the good Samaritan, who knew that, in spite of the evidence of the physical senses, true manhood was there to be restored and preserved? This love of true manhood enables us to bring healing to the sick.
To love your neighbor as yourself is to look beyond the vain imaginations and the strongholds of false education about man's nature and to love man for what he is, not for what he may appear to be. Try to practice this yourself. Remember that behind the appearance of sickness and evil, there stands that self of which the Prodigal gained a faint glimpse when he "came to himself," and thus began his own regeneration. Hold to that self both for yourself and your neighbor. Love it, and you will find that it increases your ability to love more universally. This alone opens up to you the knowledge of God. This is the weapon that casts out disease and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God as All-in-all. Strive to realize that infinite Love has no consciousness of disease, and that disease is thereby deprived of reality ‒ past, present and future.
A Standard of Perfection Necessary
This leads naturally to another rule of healing, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Some people think that this rule is quite beyond the power of human obedience, even though Paul says to the Romans, "The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
One reason that this rule is not better understood and obeyed is that mortals study and observe imperfection and evil far more than they study and observe perfection and God. The sculptor must study his model most closely to make a faithful reproduction. He looks at his model first and then, at his reproduction. Mortals reverse this, and study the nature of mortality first and the nature of God second. Here Christian Science shows us the vital necessity of understanding the nature of God, the great "I AM" and His likeness, man. With God and man in His likeness as our model we detect at once that what is termed a sick man is not God's likeness at all. To restore and preserve that likeness is true healing, but it is a spiritual, and not a carnal or material process. The weapon of this warfare is perfect God and perfect man as our "basis of thought and demonstration" (Science and Health, p. 259). And this casts out the imagination or the solid conviction called disease. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 261), "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts."
I knew a man in charge of some large works and employing some hundreds of men. Before becoming a Christian Scientist he would constantly have the fear that disease, dishonesty, carelessness, accident, and so forth, might occur amongst his employees. But Christian Science changed all that. He began to use the medicine that deals with character, and as Paul says, to be "renewed in knowledge," namely, the knowledge of God's Allness and man's perfection. The divinely natural, but not miraculous, effect was that his experience began to assimilate the perfect model. Statistics showed that evil of all kinds, especially accidents and disease, were eliminated most remarkably from amongst his employees, even far beyond the records of several adjoining works.
Disease Never Incurable to the Christ
The last rule in Christian healing that I would refer to is contained in these words of Jesus, "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." With these words before us it cannot be wise or right to regard any disease as incurable. Suppose you are faced with what is termed an incurable disease. You have before you the beliefs of materia medica on the one hand, and the teachings of Christian Science on the other. Materia medica says that there is no hope, that disease is a power, a substantial fact and presence. Christian Science says that God, Spirit, is the only power and presence. You cannot possibly admit both these propositions at once, for they are opposites. We cannot serve God and the doctrines of the carnal mind at the same time.
I know a minister of religion who for many years was much opposed to Christian Science, whereas his wife was an adherent thereof. He became very ill, but still would not listen to his wife's entreaties that he should give Christian Science a trial. Finally the doctors gave him up completely, saying that he could live only a very short while. At this stage he consented to give Christian Science a chance. Man's extremity enabled him to put aside pride and human will. This gave the Christ an unopposed entry into his character and experience. And the inevitable result was his quick healing, which he himself freely admitted was due to Christian Science.
The Efficacy of Spiritual Healing
Jesus' words and works point to the fact that the weapons of his warfare were not carnal, but spiritual. He met disease and death with the consciousness of Life as God, omnipresent and eternal. In the experience of his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension he met and mastered the last enemy, the last high thing that attempts to exalt itself against the knowledge of Life, or God. He overcame all the claims of medicine, surgery and hygiene. Christian Scientists know that there is a better way than material medicine and surgery; and even if we do not understand this way in its entirety at present, yet, like Christ, the Comforter, it is with us always.
Some years ago I knew a woman whose arm was broken very badly. She did not know anything of Christian Science at the time, and in setting the bones the doctors had to insert a metal plate. By some mistake a screw or a piece of metal was left loose in the arm. After the arm healed, this piece of metal began to cause her very much pain. At this point she heard of Christian Science and felt that she did not desire another operation in order to have the metal extracted. She believed that Christian Science could meet the case for her. One day while she was thinking about the absolute omnipotence and omnipresence of God, she perceived clearly that the presence of God must eliminate all that is unnecessary and out of order. Her prayer was an understanding of those healing words in the Psalms, "That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations." That night the metal came away of its own accord.
So Christian Science is leavening the art of medicine with spiritual rules. The weapons of its warfare are not carnal, but they demand of us, firstly, to acknowledge and adore only one God, one Life and power; secondly, to love; thirdly, to admit only perfect God and perfect man to be the reality of being; and lastly, to follow and obey the demonstration of omnipresent Life and Love given by the Master.
It seems that Mrs. Eddy stands alone in her assertion that science, theology, and medicine are means of divine thought and not modes of mortal thought, study and experiment. In restoring these words to their rightful position of dignity and divinity Mrs. Eddy has given hope, joy, and practical encouragement to thousands who have been wandering in the wilderness of doubt and despair. In my travels round the world I have met men and women of large experience in the human modes of science, theology, and medicine who understand that Mrs. Eddy has indeed lifted the meaning of these words "high above the perishing fossils of theories already antiquated," and has enabled us to "grasp the spiritual facts of being hitherto unattained and seemingly dim" (Science and Health, p. 147).
Before publishing her writings on Christian Science she devoted a long period to the practice of her religion, in order to be able to write from experience. Many records of her healing works, her benevolence, her sympathy, compassion and understanding are left by those who knew her and often even by those who did not agree with her teachings. That she was public-spirited and solicitous for the good of her country and the world was shown by her words and actions. To give only one illustration: When she left the City of Concord, New Hampshire, to live in Boston, the Mayor and Aldermen of Concord adopted resolutions unanimously expressing their regret over her departure, and their appreciation of her life in their midst.
One of the most wonderful achievements of her later years was the institution of an international daily newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor. This newspaper is leavening human thought by having as one of its objects "to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353). It can be read by young and old alike, without the evil and poisonous suggestions so often associated with what is termed news.
Christian Science the Spiritual Leaven
In the modes of mortal thought named science, theology, and medicine Mrs. Eddy has hidden the leaven of spiritual thinking. She counsels us always to think and to act from the basis of the great First Commandment. Her attitude can best be expressed in the words of St. Paul, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
Mrs. Eddy saw that without practical proof the leaven of Truth would not be understood or appreciated. Her life was devoted to lifting and enabling others to lift the burdens of sorrow, sickness, and evil from the experience of mortals, thereby giving them access to that liberty which is from God.
Christian Science is leavening science by proving that the exact knowledge of God is the only pure Science, and that this Science opens to us the door of freedom from material limitations with the proof that "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Christian Science is leavening theology by showing that theology in its true sense is the Science of God, and that this divine knowledge eliminates evil and disease from human experience. Christian Science is leavening medicine by proving that medicine in its true meaning is the scientific action of God, or Mind, who "healeth all thy diseases."
Therefore may we not paraphrase the quotation from the gospel which I gave at the beginning of this lecture in these words. He that liveth and understandeth the Science, Theology, and Medicine taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus, proves that man's life is "hid with Christ in God." The results of healing that follow this understanding are not miraculous, but they are the divinely natural evidence of Immanuel, or "God with us."
[Published in The Brooklyn (New York) Daily Eagle, July 3, 1937, and reprinted by request from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 12, 1935.]