Christian Science and Universal Happiness

 

John Ellis Sedman, C.S., of Los Angeles, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Down through the ages, happiness has been the great quest of mankind, and quite rightly so. We all desire happiness, and we all need it. We must have happiness, and most assuredly we can have it; for God does not withhold any good thing from any of His children. Real Life, real living, and real happiness are eternally and inseparably connected. This fact becomes obvious when we know what Life is. God is Life, eternal, self-existent, harmonious Life, existing at the standpoint of causation, and producing eternal, indestructible, harmonious life at the standpoint of effect.

Now it is clear that the one infinite harmonious God, who produces all true happiness, must Himself be eternally and ceaselessly happy. It is evident, also, that the eternal changeless happiness of God must be fully and perfectly expressed in His creation. We see indications of this fact in the spontaneous happiness of a little child, and in the joyous outpouring song of a bird. On page 481 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, '"God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss."

 

Happiness Misunderstood

Although happiness is so widely valued and desired, nothing is more misunderstood. Often people seek happiness where it is not, and then grow discouraged because they do not find it. A great many people believe that happiness is illusive and fleeting. Some think it is vague and indefinable. Many believe that happiness comes and goes for no reason that can be ascertained or understood. Others believe that if anyone definitely and deliberately seeks happiness, he will most assuredly fail to attain it. Some doubt its actuality. They think happiness is a dream. Quite naturally these people encourage and practice self-deception; because they believe that if anyone attains the goal of reality, he will find only disillusionment and misery there.

Christian Science shows the fallacy of all such views. Christian Science accomplishes this result by making plain the eternal and demonstrable facts of being. When these eternal, spiritual facts are seen and understood, happiness is seen and enjoyed. The wisest and best man who ever inhabited this earth said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." From what can the eternal truth which Jesus revealed make us free? From everything that interferes with true and everlasting happiness.

 

Happiness Spiritual

Right here let me call your attention to an important point. The happiness which Christian Science commends and which Jesus encouraged us to seek and to find, is not to be confused or confounded with any spurious, false sense of happiness. Christian Science makes plain the fact that any concept of happiness which is based upon materialism and selfishness is not true happiness. Such a concept of happiness is nothing but a fleeting, human dream, which cannot satisfy. On page 57 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy describes true happiness in these words: "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it."

True happiness is glorious reality. It is divine, universal, eternal, indestructible. Real happiness does not come and go. It does not ebb and flow. True happiness is as stable and changeless as God Himself. There is no such thing as happiness apart from God. All real happiness is in and of God. God is infinite and perfect and He never changes. God is eternal Love, and His love for His creatures never varies. God is the one infinite divine Principle. God is the Principle of eternal and universal happiness, and His law is the law of perpetual peace and changeless bliss. Everyone agrees that happiness is a mental state or condition. Christian Science makes plain the fact that true happiness is the eternal and changeless state or condition of the one infinite divine Mind which is God.

 

Not Known to God

Complete, eternal, changeless happiness is found, in its full grandeur and glory, only in the realm of eternal reality where God forever reigns, and where man in God's image and likeness forever dwells. Unhappiness is unknown to God. It never comes into His presence. It cannot, any more than darkness can come into the presence of the sun. Unhappiness is unknown to immortal man. made in the image and likeness of God; for this real spiritual man beholds and cognizes only that which God produces and cognizes. The realm of eternal reality, where God forever reigns and where man in God's image and likeness forever dwells, is heaven; and neither unhappiness, nor any other aspect of evil, is ever found in heaven.

Unhappiness is a myth, a fiction, a dream, and it is found only in the realm of dreams. Only mortals, or human beings, experience unhappiness, and mortals are unhappy only when deceived by material sense. The unhappiness of mortals is unreal, untrue, and unnecessary. It has no foundation nor support in God's infinite plan, consequently it can always be healed.

 

Must Seek It

If we would find real happiness, we must diligently seek it. We must pray for it and we must watch and work for it. If we would find true and everlasting happiness, we must seek it at its source; and we must seek it in the one and only right way, the way which God has provided. There is an old classical saying which runs as follows:

"He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool, shun him.

"He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is simple, teach him.

"He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him.

"He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise, follow him."

Who was the man who knew, and who knew that he knew? Jesus of Nazareth. What did Jesus know? He knew God and he knew man made in the image and likeness of God. He knew what we all need to know. He knew, and he proved that he knew how to solve every human problem. He demonstrated his complete mastery over sin, sickness, death, pain, sorrow, poverty, and every phase of human discord. He knew that God is the one and only cause and creator. He knew that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and perfect. He knew that God cannot and does not create evil of any sort. He understood, and he demonstrated the mythical and unreal nature of evil in every phase and aspect of it.

 

Is Indestructible

He taught and he proved that life and intelligence are not in matter, but in Spirit. He knew and he proved that true being is eternal, harmonious, and indestructible. He revealed the way which leads out of all human bondage and discord into the light of eternal and everlasting harmony and joy.

When Jesus came, many were ready and willing to listen and to follow him. They were the ones who knew not, and who knew that they knew not. These receptive hearers received with joy the glad tidings of good which Jesus revealed: They faithfully followed their Way-shower along the way which leads to eternal peace and freedom. But although they were a vast multitude, yet they were only a small fraction of the people of their times.

The vast majority, in the days of primitive Christianity, knew not, and knew not that they knew not. Consequently they saw not the glorious possibilities of the truth which Jesus demonstrated. They rejected the truth and resisted its spread. They fought Christ Jesus and his true followers at every turn of the way. These unreceptive hearers believed they could find more joy in human dreams than in the divine realities of true being. Because of this ignorance on the part of the race, Jesus' pure theology gradually disappeared from human view.

 

Teachings Not Lost

But Jesus' teaching was never entirely lost. Here and there it ministered to receptive hearts. Centuries passed. Gradually the race, wearying of its own empty dreams, began to grope its way towards the light of the eternal truth which Jesus had made so plain. Then, in the fulness of time, came the discovery of Christian Science, which is nothing more nor less than the divine, infinite Science of God which Jesus preached and practiced when he taught and healed in Palestine.

Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science in Lynn, Mass., in 1866. She spent nine years in proving the value and the truth of her discovery. In those years she healed the sick. She comforted the sorrowing. She reformed the sinning and she raised the dying. Then she gave her discovery to the world. This she did in 1875 when she published the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health.

In the last paragraph of the Preface of this remarkable book Mrs. Eddy writes these words, so characteristic of her life and purpose: "In the spirit of Christ's charity, as one who 'hopeth all things, endureth all things,' and is joyful to bear consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick, she commits these pages to honest seekers for Truth."

 

Are Happy Persons

When Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, she discovered the Science of universal and eternal happiness. Christian Scientists are known as a happy people, and they are happy. As they grow in spiritual understanding their happiness steadily increases. Any sincere seeker for eternal Truth can prove in his own experience that in Science and Health Mrs. Eddy sets forth with scientific accuracy and adequacy the Science of eternal joy and freedom which Jesus revealed and exemplified.

At this point I desire to say a few words meant especially for those who are listening to a Christian Science lecture for the first time. Often some one says, I desire to acquaint myself thoroughly with Christian Science. How shall I proceed? The correct answer is: Study thoroughly the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in conjunction with the Bible.

In every community where there is a Christian Science church there is a Christian Science Reading Room. There the inquirer is welcome. There he will find available for his use the Bible, Science and Health and the other writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and all the publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society. There he can borrow a copy of Science and Health if he desires, for these Reading Rooms have lending libraries.

If his interest deepens, there will come a time when he will want to own his own copy of Science and Health. He can then find, in any Christian Science Reading Room, the edition best suited to his own needs; for Science and Health is published in various editions, ranging in size from the small one known as the vest-pocket edition to a very large edition meant especially for Readers in Christian Science churches.

 

Adds to Happiness

Whenever an individual reaches the point where he decides to make Science and Health his daily companion and guide he has reached a point of spiritual growth which means much to his happiness. Hundreds of thousands of people can testify to the truth of what I am now saying. Just through reading and studying Science and Health thousands of people have been healed.

Every one who has made this book his constant and daily companion knows that it has benefited him in every way. He knows that it is indeed a key to the Scriptures. He knows that through the study of these two books, the Bible and Science and Health, he is acquainting himself with the eternal Truth which can and will heal and redeem all mankind.

Who knew more about spiritual happiness than any other individual who has ever inhabited this earth? Beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt, Christ Jesus. The human race in its long history has made many costly blunders. But seldom if ever has the race made a blunder more costly than its failure, through many centuries, to recognize and to value the profound happiness which Jesus understood and enjoyed, and which he came to make known to mankind.

 

Leaves Peace

Speaking to his disciples of this true spiritual happiness, near the close of his ministry, Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." When Jesus spoke these words they went home with tremendous force. Why? Because the disciples knew Jesus. Had they not been his constant companions through three marvelous years? They knew full well that he enjoyed a peace, a joy, a fearlessness that other men knew not. Had they not seen him calmly face and still a storm which had terrified them on the Sea of Galilee? Had they not seen him walking calmly over the waves of that same sea? Had they not been with him when he tenderly reached forth his hand and touched the leper before he healed him, in order to let the leper see that the man who healed him had no fear whatever of that most dreaded of all diseases?

Had they not been with him on that memorable day when certain Pharisees attempted to intimidate him by saying, "Get thee out, and depart hence; for Herod will kill thee?" And had they not heard Jesus, with calm and majestic dignity, reply, "Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected"? They knew that the things which terrified and troubled other men disturbed Jesus not one jot.

 

Healed the Sick

They had seen him instantaneously heal the sick. They had seen him raise the dead. They had seen him feed the multitudes in the wilderness. Well might they give earnest heed to those comforting words: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Ever since the days of primitive Christianity, too much has been made of Jesus as the man of sorrows, and too little has been made of him as the man of eternal and everlasting joys. Today Christian Science is correcting this error. Jesus faced the bitterest persecution that any one has ever faced. As he himself declared, he was hated by those who, because of their ignorance, hated God. It was his mission to reveal the eternal truth which operates to uncover and destroy evil.

Consequently the suppositional power of evil was arrayed against him. But he was equipped and sustained by God. He fought battles too advanced and difficult for any one else to attempt, and in every battle he triumphed. Never once did he suffer a defeat. He sounded the very depths of human woe. He drained a cup of bitterness which no one else will ever have to drain, although we must all taste of it, if we would be his true followers.

 

Suffered Hardships

But Jesus never magnified the hardships of his ministry, and these hardships, great as they were, never for a moment compared with the eternal, indestructible joy which was habitually his.

Not enough attention has been paid to Jesus' own explanations of his experiences. What did he say concerning those who are persecuted because of the righteousness they teach and live? Did he bemoan their lot? Did he say they were to be pitied, or that they were missing anything in the nature of happiness? Most assuredly not. He said to his disciples, and to all his followers: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Note Jesus' conversation and his discourses as recorded in the four Gospels. Did he dwell upon sorrow and trouble? Did he talk about evil as if it were real and terrible, and could outweigh the eternal indestructible good? He did not. In the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus set forth his practical idealism.

Concerning this sermon. Mrs. Eddy once wrote, "To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice" (Message to The Mother Church for 1901. p. 11). As we study this sermon, we see that there is in it not one lamentation, not one pessimistic statement.

 

Cite Beatitudes

Jesus opened his sermon with nine statements, which are known as the nine Beatitudes. These Beatitudes describe the stages of growth through which the student passes in his journey out of the bondage of ignorance into the light and joy of complete and perfect spiritual understanding. In these Beatitudes Jesus spoke of the blessings which come inevitably to those who follow his precepts and practices. Not one word did he say of hardships or struggles. He did not say, Pity the poor in spirit and pity those that mourn. But he did say, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," and, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."

He did not say, Unfortunate are the meek, and fortunate are the proud. But he did say, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." He said the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, all are blessed. Because of their mercy, they shall find mercy. Because of the purity of their desires and motives, they shall see God. Because of their love for their fellow men, they shall come to understand divine sonship.

 

Appeals to Mankind

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and he meant what he said, when he made his compassionate appeal to all mankind: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

On one occasion he said to his disciples, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." What a promise! Can we ever ask or desire anything more than the fullness of joy? Many people have known something of joy, because they knew something of God. To know God is to know eternal joy. But among men Jesus alone knew God perfectly. Hence he alone knew joy in its fullness,

 

Happiness Unselfish

Often people fail to find happiness because they seek it selfishly. There is no such thing as selfish happiness, nor happy selfishness. Consequently no one ever finds true happiness so long as he seeks it selfishly. If any individual is indifferent to the welfare of others or if he seeks to benefit himself at the expense of others, he thereby cuts himself off from true and lasting happiness.

Only the individual who is generous and noble, unselfish and loving, can find and enjoy real happiness. I call your attention again to page 57 of Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy writes: "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it." We all know that we can solve mathematical problems only by utilizing and obeying the law of mathematics.

It is just as certain that we can find true happiness only by utilizing and obeying the law of God. The law of God is the law of happiness. If we disobey God's law, we miss happiness, and find its suppositional opposite, unhappiness. Jesus pointed out that God, in His infinite love, bestows all good upon all His children. He assured us that everyone who seeks good in the right way will find the good which is spiritual, infinite, universal, and indestructible.

Then he defined and described the law which every successful seeker for eternal good must obey. He said, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

 

Cannot Be Divided

The good which God produces and eternally sustains can never be monopolized, neither can it be divided. God is one infinite and indivisible God; and His creation is one creation, infinite, complete, and indivisible. This fact understood is the perfect remedy for selfishness in every phase and aspect of it. Selfishness arises from the false human belief that good can be divided, personally appropriated, and monopolized.

This false belief is inseparably connected with the belief that good is material. But in reality good is always spiritual, eternal, perfect, universal. All good is found in divine Mind and its divine ideas. When this fact is admitted, we readily see how and why it is that good is universal and indestructible, and how and why it is that all the good is for everyone. Every enlightened person knows that no one can monopolize or appropriate to himself the truths of mathematics. Mathematical truth is everywhere and it is available to one and all. So it is with God's eternal, spiritual ideas. They cannot be monopolized. They can be understood and enjoyed.

Out of the false material belief that good can be divided arises all greed, strife, envy, jealousy, malice, and hate.

 

Spells Selfishness

The belief that there are many men, with many different minds and conflicting interest, spells selfishness and discord. The understanding, which Christian Science brings, that there is one infinite divine Mind, which governs and blesses all men with infinite blessings, spells unselfishness, concord, freedom, joy, and brotherly love.

Too often have we heard the remark: One man's loss is another man's gain. There is no truth and no wisdom in such a statement. In the long history of mankind, no man ever has benefited himself one jot at the expense of any other man. Everyone who understands the true nature of good knows that this is true. All good reaches us through the active operation of God's infallible law which operates to bless everyone with all blessings.

When anyone obeys God's law, he is benefited and so is everyone else concerned. On page 206 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: "In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply."

 

No Inactive Happiness

If we would find happiness, we must seek it in true activity. There is no such thing as inactive or stagnant happiness. God is ceaselessly active and He is ceaselessly happy. God's activity is forever expressed in man. Consequently man in God's image is perpetually active. He is forever expressing God's wisdom, power, and joy. Because this is true, human beings must be active in doing good, if they would perceive and enjoy true happiness.

Have you ever known anyone who was trying to find peace and contentment in the state or condition which is sometimes described as living or dwelling on Easy Street? I presume that you have; for I have known a large number of such persons. I have known people who resided on Easy Street for years, only to be forced to move away from it by a change of circumstances. I have known people who voluntary left that street, completely convinced that they could never find happiness there. Many of these people today are exceedingly active, happy, and useful workers.

Someone may say, Have you ever known a person who was inclined to be lazy, perhaps shiftless and easy-going, and who yet enjoyed a large measure of happiness? Yes, I have known a number of such individuals. What accounted for the considerable degree of happiness which they enjoyed? Simply this, they habitually entertained an attitude of good will and good nature towards everyone and everything. Good will always accompanies happiness. The individual who has nothing in his heart but good will towards others has within his consciousness one of the most important factors or elements of true happiness.

 

Hater Never Happy

The person who hates is never happy. Hatred and happiness do not and cannot dwell together. Hatred is the greatest barrier there is to happiness. Nevertheless, it still remains true that only the active and energetic worker can know the deepest and broadest happiness. Only the worker can know the fullness of joy. The reason for this is clear. The fullness of joy is found only in infinite Love, which forever expresses itself in love. Good will, when it is deep and broad enough, impels and compels the individual to work for the good of mankind.

The individual who loves the race, with a genuine, unselfish love, sees so many ways in which he can bless others by his activity that he cannot choose but be active.

In all the centuries since the time of Jesus, no one has exemplified this fact more fully than did the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. How remarkable was her activity! What a worker she was! Strong, energetic, vigorous men, familiar with her life and labors, have marveled that any one person could accomplish what she accomplished. Her published writings alone constitute a work which is gigantic. She was always toiling for the good of mankind, and the great magnitude of her labors was due to the deep love which she felt for the entire race.

 

Lived Her Counsel

Those who know her spirit and her history, know how completely she lived her counsel she gives to her followers on page 3 of her book, "No and Yes." There she writes, "How good and pleasant a thing it is to seek not so much thine own as another's good, to sow by the wayside for the wayweary, and trust Love's recompense of love."

If we would be happy and help others to be happy, we must keep ever before us the changeless perfection of God. The perfection of God underlies all true happiness. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, recognizes this fact when he said. "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Saul of Tarsus could scarcely have made such a statement.

Saul in his ignorance persecuted the followers of Jesus because he believed that God loved some people and hated others. No one could find true comfort or joy in contemplating God's character, essence, and nature, if God hated anyone. If God lacked wisdom or power, or goodness, if God had within Himself one defect or flaw, we could never find peace by acquainting ourselves with Him. But because God is the infinite perfect One, we can find complete satisfaction in becoming acquainted with God.

Ignorance of God is the cause of all human discord, and every phase of human discord vanishes when God is understood. The individual who daily and gratefully acknowledges the perfection of God thereby helps himself and others to find health, peace, joy, and freedom, here, and now.

 

Workers Comforted

In all ages, Christian workers have been sustained, comforted and inspired by the conviction that sometime they would find themselves in heaven where all is peace and joy and harmony. Surely all is well in heaven. In heaven there are no heartaches, no misunderstandings, no partings, no disappointments.

In heaven are found perfect unity and perfect concord. There Love reigns over all and governs all. But where is this heaven where everything is exactly as it should be? It is where God is, and God is everywhere. Consequently heaven is everywhere, and we can enter heaven here and now through the door of spiritual understanding.

God is not the author of two creations. God is the one infinite, perfect creator; and His creation is the one infinite, perfect creation. Because there is not a hint or a trace of evil in God, there is not the slightest trace or hint of evil anywhere in God's creation. There in this perfect creation of the perfect creator everything good and beautiful exists.

 

Are Many Mansions

Suppose some one should say suddenly to you, where do you live and why do you live there? How would you answer such a question? Are you willing to let Christ Jesus, out of his perfect spiritual understanding, supply the answer? If you are, then the answer is a beautiful and satisfying one. Jesus said; "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you." He taught as plain as day that one of those many mansions is for you. In what I am saying now, I am not speaking of any mortal, neither am I referring to any human concept of yourself. But I am referring to your real spiritual being as a child of God.

The ideas of divine Mind exist in divine Mind. Paul proclaimed this fact in his famous Mars' Hill address when he said: "In him we live, and move, and have our being."

All the children of God exist forever in heaven; for heaven is nothing more nor less than the realm of eternal reality, where God forever reigns, and where everything that God produces forever dwells. There in heaven, with all God's sons and daughters, you exist. There you always have existed, and there you will forever continue to exist. God has innumerable sons and daughters; do not hesitate, my friend, to recognize and to declare the fact that you have your eternal place in this infinite brotherhood. There is nothing conceited nor presumptuous in your taking such a stand.

 

All Are Immortal

It would be presumptuous for a mortal to describe himself as a son of God. But you are not a mortal. You are an immortal. God is your Father and your Mother, and He forever loves, blesses, sustains and preserves you. You are without beginning and without end. You coexist with God. You have eternal, indestructible identity and individuality. You have perfect, indestructible, spiritual abilities and faculties. All your abilities and faculties are forever produced by God and forever sustained by Him.

This is not a new doctrine. It is centuries old. It is being made plainer today than ever before, thanks to Mrs. Eddy's adequate, clear and correct presentation of Christian Science. But Christ Jesus taught and exemplified the fact that we are all God's sons and daughters, and that we have our eternal existence in heaven, the realm of God. Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man which "came down from heaven."

He also spoke of himself as "the Son of Man which is in heaven." In the first instance he referred to the human Jesus which appeared upon earth to make known to mortals the eternal facts of being, that they might be liberated from the delusions which hamper and bind them. But when Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am," and when he spoke of himself as "the Son of Man which is in heaven," he referred to his real eternal selfhood, the individual spiritual man if you please, which is, ever has been, and ever will be the perfect, indestructible Son of God.

 

Had Example

The human Jesus had constantly before him as his ideal the eternal, indestructible Christ, which is ever in heaven, and which cognizes only the perfect, eternal, indestructible things of God. As you study your Bible, note how Jesus ministered to the multitudes. He would teach them the eternal facts concerning God and man. He would show them how to solve their human problems by precept and example. He would heal the sick, reform the sinning, comfort the sorrowing, and raise the dead.

Then he would dismiss the people, and go apart by himself to commune with God, and to learn still more of the glorious possibilities of man made in the image and likeness of God. Sometimes, after one of these periods of quiet spiritual communion and meditation, Jesus would return to his followers and make a demonstration of spiritual power more exalted than any he himself had yet made.

It was after he had dismissed the multitude which he fed in the wilderness, and after he had spent some time alone with God and the realities of his own eternal being, that he walked over the waves of the Sea of Galilee. Let us ponder these facts, my friends. Let us joyfully acknowledge God's eternal perfection. Let us gratefully recognize and accept the fact that we are His eternal children. Let us increase our happiness and our spiritual growth by turning aside at frequent intervals to quietly ponder, and to rejoice in the perfection of our true spiritual selfhood as sons of God.

 

Science Practical

Christian Science never causes anyone to overlook human difficulties nor to neglect the solving of human problems. Christian Science is practical to a pre-eminent degree. It is here to show us how to solve our problems. It does not in any way ignore the difficulties of human beings. It comes to show them the way out of all their difficulties.

Jesus is known as the mediator, and as the Way-shower, because he came to show mankind how to abandon a false theory of life and substance for the true understanding of life and happiness. He said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Mrs. Eddy watched and worked and prayed for the same identical purpose. Before she discovered Christian Science, she longed to see everyone happy. With an all-embracing love, she prayed for the appearing of a way whereby the people might be delivered from sickness, sorrow, sin, poverty, and every other phase of discord. She found the answer to her prayer in her discovery of Christian Science. She founded the Christian Science movement, and wrote the Christian Science textbook, not to instruct the children of God, but to enlighten, to heal, and to redeem distressed and discouraged human beings. Note her own words on this point, as set forth on page 494 of Science and Health.

 

Mortals Needed Help

There she writes: "Is it not a species of infidelity to believe that so great a work as the Messiah's was done for himself or for God, who needed no help from Jesus' example to preserve the eternal harmony? But mortals did need this help, and Jesus pointed the way for them. Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good."

Christian Science practitioners are engaged in helping people to solve their problems in the one and only right way, namely, through the utilization of divine power. These practitioners are faithfully following in the footsteps of their Wayshower and of their inspired Leader when they heal the sick, bind up the broken-hearted, liberate the erring, and raise the dying by utilizing the redemptive power of divine Love.

 

Practitioners Help

These practitioners help people to solve all sorts of problems. A practitioner cannot help but smile when, as sometimes happens, a business or professional man, not yet experienced in the ways of Christian Science, makes such a remark as this: Of course, you live a sheltered life. You sit quietly in your office, working and praying, and you do not have to go out and grapple with the world as I do.

Such a remark shows how little the individual who makes it knows concerning Christian Science practice. No body of people on the face of the earth come more constantly in contact with difficult human problems of every name and nature, than do Christian Science practitioners.

These practitioners heal the sick through making known the real nature of God, His great love for all His creatures, and the real nature of health which is eternal, universal, and indestructible. They help men and women out of every phase and aspect of sin, because they reflect the compassionate love of God which never crushes nor discourages, but ever uplifts and redeems.

They deal with all sorts of social and economic problems. They show business and professional men and women how to solve their problems through reliance on divine Mind, and through practicing at all times the Golden Rule. The work of these practitioners is indispensable to the growth and the prosperity of the Christian Science movement, and to the spiritual advancement of the race. They are a tremendous influence for righteousness, peace, health, and happiness in every community where they reside and labor.

 

Aided in Work

Christian Science shows men and women how to solve the problems of unemployment with such success that I could spend hours in discussing this point and in relating instances which have come under my own observation. On page 70 of her book "Retrospection and Introspection," Mrs. Eddy writes: "Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity."

We have already seen, earlier in our discussion, that each child of God has a place to fill in the eternal realm of God. But the child of God never leaves eternity to dwell in time. What individual, then, fills his own niche in time? Only a human being, or a mortal, can fill a place in time, in human affairs, or in what we often designate as this world.

There are millions, yes billions, of mortals, and each one has his own place to fill in the human order, just as surely as each child of God has his own place to fill in the divine order. A realization of this fact routs fear concerning unemployment, and enables the individual to find his own place and to fill it.

We all have before us the great task of working out our own salvation. Only a false theory of life, which we entertain, hides from our view now the glories of eternal being. Working out our salvation is just a process of waking up. If we could drop all false beliefs instantly, we would be free instantly. But we cannot accomplish this result so quickly. We awaken by degrees.

 

Cites Material Needs

While we are engaged in this process of working out our salvation we need material food and clothing. We need farms, orchards and ranches. We need buildings, railroads, ships and airplanes. We need mines and factories. We need music and singing. We need books and paintings, and countless other things. All of this means useful work and employment for millions and millions of people.

Each individual has his place in the great work of the race, and when filling his own place each man forwards the happiness and the well-being of every other man. When, through divine guidance, a man finds his work and his place, he never deprives another man of a job. Just the reverse is the case. No child of God can ever fill the place of any other child of God; and no human being can ever take the place, or do the work, of any other human being.

When, through utilizing divine power, a man solves his own problem of unemployment and finds his work, he makes it easier for other men to find employment, too. Evil is always mesmeric; and good is always contagious. The belief in lack and unemployment is a phase of mesmerism. When a man breaks the spell of that mesmerism for himself, he makes it easier for others to awaken and to see things in a truer light. In the eternal realm of God there is no poverty, and there is no lack.

God is always meeting all our needs. Only error says there is evil. Only error says there is sickness and sorrow and lack. God is ceaselessly supplying us with all good. God is perfect and His creation is perfect; and human beings can recognize this fact, and refuse to accept as real, erroneous human beliefs.

 

God Is for All

The time has come for me to close. Remember that God is for you. Remember that His law is the only law there is, and it always operates to sustain and bless you. Remember that God is perfect, and only the good is real and true. Happiness is a glorious reality, and we do not have to believe in its suppositional opposite.

We can take our stand now on the side of happiness. I am going to leave with you, for your consideration, the wise counsel which Mrs. Eddy gives on page 10 of her sermon, "Christian Healing." There she says: "If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea."

 

[Delivered May 25, 1934, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Brooklyn, New York, and published in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 26, 1934.]

 

 

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