Christian Science: The Way of Salvation Which Christ Jesus Revealed

 

John E. Sedman, C.S., of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Evanston, Illinois, in the church edifice, Chicago Avenue and Grove Street, Monday evening, April 23, by John Ellis Sedman, C.S., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The speaker was introduced by Mrs. Ina B. Brown, Second Reader, as follows:

It is a pleasure for us, the members of this Church, to welcome such a splendid audience tonight.

The large attendance at these lectures proves beyond a doubt that throughout the entire world there are many who are seeking a better understanding of God, because they hope and have confidence that this understanding will meet their problem.

I found when I learned more about God, that my problem of sickness was met. Many years ago, when my life had been given up by the kind and loving doctors, I was healed through Christian Science. Since then I have had no other physician.

Therefore I know that it is possible for everyone here to find his salvation tonight.

The lecturer this evening is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. He is to tell us of "The Way of  Salvation Which Christ Jesus Revealed."

Mr. Sedman spoke substantially as follows:

 

In the tenth chapter of Luke, it is recorded that Jesus at one time sent forth seventy disciples, with instructions to go out by twos into certain cities and villages. Wherever they were hospitably received, these disciples were to heal the sick, and to say to the people, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." When these seventy men returned, they reported with joy that they had been successful in their healing work. Thereupon Jesus rejoiced. The gospel records that the great Master said to his students: "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."

If, at any time prior to the advent of Christ Jesus, one person had said to another, Is there anyone who can tell me how I can enter into the kingdom of heaven, how I can come into the enjoyment of all that is good and beautiful? the correct answer must always have been, in effect, There is not a person upon earth who can perform that great service for you. But when Christ Jesus began his ministry, the situation changed. Then if one man had said to another, Tell me what I must do to be saved, any man, who knew enough, could have answered truly, Follow the teaching and practice of Christ Jesus, who is now preaching and healing in Palestine, and you will enter into the spiritual enjoyment of all good.

Christ Jesus understood God. He knew what the race needed to deliver it from bondage, and to usher it into the enjoyment of eternal peace and happiness. St. Paul truly declares, "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Jesus came to show the way of salvation for all men. He succeeded, completely, gloriously. Sooner or later every man will awaken to the realization of that great fact, and will work out his salvation in the way Jesus of Nazareth taught.

On one occasion Jesus said, in explanation of the purpose of his great work for humanity: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Again he declared, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." What more important question can occupy the thought of any man or woman of today than this, "How can I gain, and do all in my power to help others to gain, that understanding of God which is eternal life? We all know with what happy anticipation people journey to a new section of country in order to make their first acquaintance with some beautiful scenery which they have not seen before or to become still better acquainted with the grandeur and beauty which they have previously enjoyed. We all know what joy has come into our lives through association with grand and noble men and women. Sometimes a single hour spent with one of God's noble men or noble women, stands out as something for which to be increasingly grateful down through the years. With what earnestness then, with what eagerness, should we embrace every opportunity to become better acquainted with our heavenly Father, the Giver of all good.

Why has not the race given more willing and joyful heed to the Scriptural admonition, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace''? There are many reasons for this apparent apathy.  Prominent among them stands this, that false doctrines have presented God in such an unlovely and unlovable light that they have quite naturally caused people, who accepted these doctrines, to turn away from contemplation of the nature and character of the Supreme Being. A young woman was asked how she thought of God before she became interested in Christian Science. She replied, "Oh, I did not think much about God. I preferred to think of Jesus; because I thought he was so much kinder than God."

False doctrines have indeed made that appear to be the case. But Jesus knew and taught something entirely different. He said of the healing power he exerted, "If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." Jesus knew that every instance of healing, every comforting word or deed, which reached humanity through him but exemplified God's beneficent love for His creatures expressed through Christ Jesus, the Way-shower who came to do God's will. So plain did Jesus make this fact to his students that his disciple, John, declared: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The student of Christian Science, studying daily the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, soon learns to trace the good that comes into his experience to God, with the same unerring certainty with which we all trace sunlight to the sun. He comes to know with equal certainty that evil of any kind cannot emanate from God. "The blessing of the Lord," says the Bible, "it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."

Now it is not enough merely to believe in God. God must be understood. It is not enough for us to believe in the law of mathematics. Such a belief will not enable us to solve a single mathematical problem. We must gain an understanding of mathematical law, if we would have practical results in that field of endeavor; and we measure our understanding of mathematical law by our ability to solve problems which fall under that law. Jesus taught his followers to understand God. We must gain that same spiritual understanding.

 

God, the One Infinite Cause

One of the most important things to understand concerning God is that He exists always at the standpoint of causation, and that He alone exists at that standpoint. Man and the universe exist always at the standpoint of effect or creation; they never exist at the standpoint of causation. God is the one and only cause and creator, who produces, sustains, and governs the one and only real effect or creation, spiritual man and the spiritual universe.

From this great fact, it follows that man can possess no underived power, wisdom, or ability. The effect can do only what the cause impels and empowers it to do. Jesus recognized this fact, and acted upon it at every turn of the way. He said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." The nature of God, the cause, must determine the nature of the effect, or creation, which God produces. Like produces like. The first chapter of Genesis says that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." That is the only way God could create man, - a man in quality and kind like Himself. A perfect God can create only a perfect man, and a perfect universe.

Now mankind theoretically admits that God is perfect, but is very slow to grasp what that fact really implies. In the first chapter of Genesis, with its wonderful account of creation, the statement is made five times that God, beholding His creation, "saw that it was good." And the last verse of that chapter declares that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Jesus taught and proved the perfection of the everlasting God. He taught that God is good, and all that He produces is good. What a joyful note John strikes in the beginning of his first epistle, where he imparts to others Jesus' teaching on this point, that their joy may be full. "This then," writes John, "is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." As John goes on with his epistle, he rejoices likewise in the unalterable perfection of the man whom God creates and sustains.

Christian Science completely disagrees with the Adamic theory of creation and all its  corollaries. Christian Science repudiates the doctrine that the man whom God creates and sustains ever fell, or ever could fall.

Please remember that when we take issue with theological dogmas, long believed, we are not taking issue with anything which Jesus taught, or with any part of the inspired teaching of the Bible. We agree with all that Jesus taught. We stand squarely on the inspired teaching of the Bible. The first tenet of Christian Science, written by its   Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, reads (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 497): "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life."

According to the Adamic theory of creation, God existed without man until some six thousand years ago. This view presents man as a mere afterthought of the creator, an experimental addition to God's earlier creation. And this experimental creature is represented as soon falling into error, and causing his creator trouble.

Christian Science makes clear the fallacy of this theory. It shows exactly why man as created by God is upright and spiritual and absolutely essential to God. The Bible clearly indicates that God is the divine, infinite Mind: and Christian Science explains and amplifies this grand fact. Mind is that which knows. Since God, the divine Mind, is perfect, then the divine Mind must be unlimited or infinite; for any limitation in divine Mind would indicate a lack of intelligence, or imperfection. The infinitude of divine Mind renders impossible the existence of other minds; and thus God, the one and only cause and creator, is seen to be the one and only Mind, - the original al1-knowing One. Since the divine Mind is perfect and complete, this Mind must know every good thought, or spiritual idea, which can be conceived by unlimited intelligence. Now God is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." It follows then that God always has known, and always will know every good and beautiful idea. Consequently everything that enters into God's perfect creation, every one of His perfect ideas, always has existed and always will exist. There is no escape from this logic; and it completely disposes of the commonly accepted but entirely illogical and impossible definition of creation as the bringing into existence of something which previously did not exist. God is the infinite creator, in the sense that He is the one and only cause which produces, sustains, and governs the one and only effect, spiritual man and the spiritual universe; but the entire effect is coexistent with its cause and, like the cause, is eternal. God could no more dispense for a moment with one of His perfect, spiritual ideas than He could cease to be. And man is God's highest idea. Christ Jesus drove home this point of the imperishable, indispensable nature of the real being of man, when he declared to his disciples, "There shall not an hair of your head perish."

The Bible clearly teaches that God's creation completely satisfies Him; and every idea therein is blessed and is a blessing. When something of this truth dawned upon Abraham, it found expression in this prophecy, "I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." As a single sunbeam manifests all the qualities of light, so the individual, spiritual man, the child of God, manifests the attributes of God, and reveals the quality of God's perfect being. Hence Jesus' declaration, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." But as it takes the innumerable rays of sunlight to express the full majesty and glory of the sun, so it takes all men to manifest the full glory of God's eternal being.

Recognition of the fact that God is forever governing His perfect creation, and that all contained therein is essential and is in its proper place, brings to the individual a sense of peace with regard to himself and all his fellowmen. It reveals the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man as eternal and unalterable facts. It dispels all indifference and all enmity. The loving mother cannot be indifferent to the welfare of her child because she recognizes that its welfare is inseparable from her own. Similarly, one individual cannot be indifferent to the welfare of any other, when it has become clear to him that where material sense says there exists only an imperfect mortal, spiritual sense reveals man, made in the image and likeness of God, - man who is necessary and dear to God, and who exists to express God's perfect being.

Jesus taught his disciples that all men should call God, Father, as he did, and look upon themselves, in their true spiritual being, as sons of God. John, expounding Jesus' true theology, makes this remarkable declaration concerning the true being of man: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." Here we have a plain, clear declaration, in the inspired Word of the Bible, that the man whom God creates never sins or falls, but remains forever upright, pure, perfect, spiritual.

By this we do not mean that the human conceptions of man, or in other words mortals, are perfect. We all know that a false concept of something is not that something. Mortals are no more like the real spiritual man than false human concepts of God are like the perfect, eternal Supreme Being. False concepts can be changed and improved; and they need to be. Mortals vary according to the degree of enlightenment they possess concerning the real nature of God and man. Plato uttered a great truth when he said, "What thou seest, that thou beest." What mankind needs above all else is spiritual enlightenment. The highest type of humanity is the one who knows best what God and man are.

 

God, the Infinite Person

Frequently the question is asked, Is God personal? Now no helpful or intelligent answer can be given to this question, without carefully considering what is meant by the word "personal." Does the question mean, Is God anthropomorphic? That is, Is God like a human being, subject to anger, jealousy, changeableness; does He have a physique like a mortal; is He finite and limited? If such be the meaning of the question, then the answer is, No!

But, on the other hand, if the question means, Is God the ever-present, ever-conscious  Supreme Being, who loves and understands all, and who may be loved and understood by all? then surely the answer is, Yes. For, as we have already seen, God is the self-existent, self-sustaining, eternal, all-wise, infinite One, who knows all that is knowable, and who produces and sustains, loves and governs, all that has actual existence. Christian Science makes plain the fact that not only is God personal, in the higher meaning of that term, but that indeed God is the infinite Person. On page 116 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes: "As the words person and personal are commonly and ignorantly employed, they often lead, when applied to Deity, to confused and erroneous conceptions of divinity and its distinction from humanity. If the term personality, as applied to God, means infinite personality, then God is infinite Person, - in the sense of infinite personality, but not in the lower sense. An infinite Mind in a finite form is an absolute impossibility."

The individual who would understand God aright must never lose sight of the fact that God is the ever conscious, ever active Supreme Being. Not only does God know, and love, and understand; but true thinking and true affection are made possible to men solely because God, the one infinite cause, is the all-knowing, all-loving divine Mind, which is reflected by man and the universe. All true thoughts emanate from God, and remain forever under His government and care. In her book, "Unity of Good," page 48, Mrs. Eddy makes this statement: "To me God is All. He is best understood as Supreme Being, as infinite and conscious Life, as the affectionate Father and Mother of all He creates; but this divine Parent no more enters into His creation than the human father enters into his child. His creation is not the Ego, but the reflection of the Ego. The Ego is God Himself, the infinite Soul."

The fact that God is the Supreme Being makes possible and necessary the existence of His real identities with their individualities. The materialistic view that we exist as conscious thinking beings, but that we have been evolved by and from non-intelligent matter, is a theory which Christian Science shows to be entirely illogical and therefore impossible. Like produces like. Only God, the ever conscious Supreme Being, can produce His conscious creatures. Thus the individualities of men exist because God is the infinite Person, and as such creates countless spiritual individualities to express His nature. All these spiritual individualities exist in God, and are governed by Him. God knows, understands, and loves them every one.

Mrs. Eddy's perception of the fact that God is divine Principle has done much to clarify thought concerning the nature of God and concerning the nature and source of true law. Prior to the discovery of Christian Science, the more enlightened portion of the race became accustomed to think of the word "principle" as relating to that which is obedient to law or sustains law, and which is unchangeable, stable, reliable. But the word "principle" was not understood to be inseparably connected with divine consciousness or intelligence. Mrs. Eddy was the first to define and to use this grand word in its highest and most exalted sense. She perceived the fact that there is in reality but one Principle, and that Principle must be divine, infinite, and conscious. She saw that God, divine Love, is the one and only Principle, as surely as He is the one and only Mind. She saw also that, just as the beauty of the sky and the flowers points to the beauty that resides in the divine Mind and must be expressed, so the reliability and stability found in the law of mathematics point to the unchangeableness of the one eternal cause, God. On page 221 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," Mrs. Eddy says, "What are termed in common speech the principle of harmonious vibration, the principle of conservation of number in geometry, the principle of the inclined plane in mechanics, etc., are but an effect of one universal cause, - an emanation of the one divine intelligent Principle that holds the earth in its orbit by evolved spiritual power, that commands the waves and the winds, that marks the sparrow's fall, and that governs all from the infinitesimal to the infinite, - namely, God."

The terms Principle and Love when used together, as they so frequently are in the writings of Mrs. Eddy, to describe the nature of the Mind which is God, convey as clearly as words can the infinite and unalterable tenderness of the Supreme Being. To an age, ready to a certain degree for that revelation, Jesus made known the divine fatherhood of God. To an age which valued more highly than any previous age the grandeur of true womanhood, Mrs. Eddy revealed the divine motherhood of God. On page 332 of her book, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes, "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation."

 

Prayer

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you," says the Bible. Prayer plays an essential part in this process of drawing nigh to God. In a broad sense, everyone prays more or less. The words of a well-known hymn express a vital truth:

 

"Prayer is the heart's sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed;

The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

"Prayer is the simplest form of speech,

That infant lips can try;

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high."

 

A selfish, a petty, a wrong desire is a false prayer. A noble, an unselfish, a grand desire is a true prayer. Everyone should devote thought to the subject of prayer and learn how to pray. Prayer will naturally become more intelligent, and consequently more fruitful, as the individual increases his understanding of God.

Often the question is asked, Do Christian Scientists use petition when they pray, as other Christians do, or do they confine themselves to affirmations of truth, and denials of error? Christian Scientists have confidence in the efficacy of clear, firm affirmations of truth and vigorous denials of the false arguments of error, when such affirmations and denials rest upon spiritual understanding. But Christian Scientists follow Christ Jesus in all things, and the great Master proclaimed in unmistakable terms the importance which he attached to the right kind of petitions. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus not only said, "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you," but he also said, "Ask, and it shall be given you"

Since God is perfect, it is impossible for Him to change or to be changed. God is always sustaining and governing His creation aright; and since He knows all that can be known, He needs no information or advice. Prayer, then, can in no way change God. But human minds and lives need to be transformed by the divine power. An earnest, sincere turning to God in prayer, asking for His guidance and blessing, plays an important part in this transforming process.

When Solomon became king over Israel he realized that the human mind could find within itself nothing that could prove adequate for the solution of the difficult problems

which would devolve upon him as ruler over a great nation. He therefore turned to God, the divine Mind, for help. It is recorded in the Bible that when God said, "Ask what I shall give thee," the young king replied, "Give . . . thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people."   Solomon's appeal was answered by an inflow of "wisdom which not only blessed him and his people, but continues to bless us today through the pages of the Bible. Centuries later, James, a faithful follower of the Nazarene, gave to all mankind the inspired counsel, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

How did Christian Science come to be discovered, and why was Mrs. Eddy the one who discovered and founded Christian Science? Mrs. Eddy discovered and founded Christian Science, because that was the work which God gave her to do. God equipped her for the great work she did. He protected, sustained, and empowered her when she did it. In no other way could such a work be done. It was God's beneficent law that prepared Moses for the work he did. It was God who commanded Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Because that was the work which God fitted him to do and gave him to do, he alone could do it. There are no accidents in the divine order; and there is no chance about the way in which divine truth becomes known to humanity.

When Jesus was visiting many cities and villages, teaching and preaching, and, as the Scriptures record, healing "every sickness and every disease among the people," his heart went out to the multitudes about him because of their great need for spiritual enlightenment. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Then Jesus said to his twelve disciples. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Jesus knew that no man could help in the gathering of that harvest unless God equipped him, and sent him to labor there. When the great Master was bringing the work which he did upon earth to its completion, he said to his heavenly Father, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

There were many things which played an important part in Mrs. Eddy's preparation for her discovery of Christian Science. Most important of all was the spirit which animated her. From early childhood she was imbued with a love for God and a love for mankind. She was brought up in a home where the Bible was constantly read and studied. She was instructed from its pages from the time she could remember. She was taught, by her mother, to believe in divine healing; and she had some striking proofs of the power of prayer to heal while she was still a child. As life expanded and deepened, she tasted the tragedy of human life to the full. It was proved to her how helpless are mere human efforts to meet the deeper needs of the race. She was forced ever nearer and nearer to God for comfort, and for surcease of sorrow. She saw the great need of humanity for deliverance, and she longed with a love that was deep, broad, and all-embracing, to see the whole race set free.

In the year 1866 Mrs. Eddy met with a serious accident. All human efforts in her behalf proved futile, and hope for her recovery was abandoned. When death seemed just at hand, her thought turned completely and unreservedly to God for help. She asked her friends to withdraw and to leave her alone with her heavenly Father and His great gift to humanity, the Bible. Then she opened her Bible at the ninth chapter of Matthew. She read there the account, familiar to all Bible students, of the man whom Jesus healed of the palsy. As Mrs. Eddy read, her consciousness was illumined. She grasped the great fact that since God never changes, and since He is "no respecter of persons," the same divine power which delivered the man sick of the palsy was present and operative to deliver her. She perceived this and other great truths so clearly that she was healed.

From the point of vision thus gained, and with the Bible as her only textbook, Mrs. Eddy pressed on until she discovered the Science of Christianity, or in other words, Christian Science. It was revealed to Mrs. Eddy that Jesus did his mighty works not as a supernatural worker who could set aside God's law, but as a scientific worker who understood, obeyed, and utilized God's law, and thereby accomplished naturally the glorious results which made humanity marvel. Mrs. Eddy recognized that all the world needed for its complete deliverance was a correct and full understanding of that truth which Jesus revealed and practiced.

After her discovery, Mrs. Eddy’s next great task was to found Christian Science. If the truth which Jesus knew had been revealed to her she could prove that fact by doing the works which Jesus said could be done by those who understood his teaching. This she did. She healed the sick with marked success; and she taught others to heal. Finally she was ready to give her discovery to the world. In order to present her teaching properly, it was necessary for her to express her meaning with scientific accuracy. Moreover, she had to cover the ground with an adequacy sufficient to make plain every point which the student must grasp in order to gain, step by step, a perfect understanding of that Science which Jesus taught and lived and which is destined to redeem the whole human race. This achievement Mrs. Eddy accomplished. Consequently, when she published "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in 1875, she was able to proclaim with certainty in that wonderful book (p. 174): "Truth is revealed. It needs only to be practised."

A few years after the publication of Science and Health, it became evident to Mrs. Eddy that, in order to present the Science of Christianity to the world, she must organize a church of her own. This she did, aided by a little band of followers, in 1879. A few years later at Mrs. Eddy's request, this church was reorganized, and given its present name, The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Under Mrs. Eddy's wise leadership, this church steadily grew and prospered.

Mrs. Eddy gave to this church the Church Manual, which contains the by-laws under which this church and its many branches are governed. She gave to her church its periodicals, The Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, the Heralds of Christian Science; and a great daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. She gave to her church the Christian Science Quarterly, which contains the Lesson-Sermons read in all Christian Science churches. She gave to her church The Christian Science Publishing Society where all these great instrumentalities for good are published.

Christian Scientists realize more fully, with every forward step they take, the tremendous debt of gratitude which they owe for the manifold blessings of God which have reached them through the work of Mary Baker Eddy. They realize that they can pay this debt only through faithful obedience to her teaching, and through service to mankind. Mrs. Eddy was always known to Christian Scientists as their Leader, and so she will always be known. This is natural and inevitable. Christ Jesus is our only Way-shower, Master, Saviour. He is just as much the Way-shower of every true Christian of today, as He was the Way-shower to the Christians of the first century. In a similar way, Mary Baker is the only Leader the Christian Science movement has ever had, or ever will have.

 

Christ Healing

We all recognize the world's great need of deliverance. Humanity needs to be delivered from pain, poverty, strife, grief, sin, sickness, and death. Now no individual can do much towards freeing himself or others from these discordant conditions, so long as he thinks of God as responsible, in any way, for the distresses of mankind. How grateful we should be that the true theology, which Christ Jesus taught and practiced, makes plain the fact that God does not and cannot afflict anyone. A clear realization of this fact has healed many a case of sickness and many a case of grief.

Jesus never connected evil in any way with God. He traced discords of all sorts to the opposite of God, in other words, to the devil or Satan. Indeed, John says of Jesus' mission, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." When Jesus healed the sick, comforted the sorrowing, raised the dead, he utilized God's redemptive power, and he destroyed the works of Satan. His own words leave no room for doubt on this point. When someone objected because he healed a woman on the Sabbath day, Jesus called attention to the fact that people provide for the needs of their animals on that day, and then said: "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"

Now what is the devil whose works the Master came to destroy? As the word "God" means good, so the words "devil" and "Satan," as used in the Bible, simply mean the opposite of good, or evil. Since God is the one infinite cause and creator, who produces all that has actual existence, and since He cannot produce anything unlike Himself, it is evident that God can have no real opposite. This relegates evil to the realm of unreality, and that is exactly where Jesus placed evil in his teaching and in his practice. When the great Master said, "If ye continue in my word, . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," he certainly meant that the truth which he was revealing would set the race free from all its woes. He also certainly meant that all those woes are illusions and not facts; for all the truth which a man might learn could never set him free from a single fact.

A chief factor in every case of sickness is fear. In one of his remarkable discourses Jesus said to his disciples, "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." Jesus knew that there is no real reason for fear. He taught his disciples how to rid themselves of fear. No man can be afraid who clearly perceives that God is the only power there is and that God is wholly good, or in other words, is divine Life, Truth, and Love. Hence John's  declaration, "Perfect love casteth out fear. . . . He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

The understanding that God is Love is the perfect remedy for pain. Pain is intimately connected with fear and cruelty. We all know how cruel, despotic, human rulers have conducted themselves, what hardships and distress they have imposed upon their subjects. We all know something about the patience, the forbearance, the kindness which benevolent rulers have manifested. If there existed a cruel God, He would produce pain and inflict it upon His helpless creatures. But since God, the Supreme Being, is so beneficent and kind that His very essence and nature are aptly described in the phrase, God is Love, the true God could not possibly produce such a thing as pain. This banishes pain to the realm of false belief or delusion. In Christian Science practice it has been proved, and is daily being proved, that a clear realization of the grand fact that God is Love casts the belief of pain out of human consciousness.

A wonderful accession of spiritual enlightenment, health, and freedom will come to the human race whenever it ceases to look upon death as an ancient and honorable institution which has divine sanction. Paul calls death "the last enemy that shall be destroyed." He refers to Jesus as "our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." Jesus' teaching and practice indicate beyond question that he regarded death as an error to be resisted and overcome through divine power. He commanded his followers not only to heal the sick but to raise the dead. At Nain, he stopped a funeral procession, and restored to his widowed mother the young man who was being borne in that procession. He went to the house of Jairus, whose little daughter had just succumbed to the last enemy. On the way he comfortingly said to Jairus, "Fear not: believe only." He said to the mourners who had gathered at that house to grieve: "Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose." He raised his friend, Lazarus, four days after he had been laid in the tomb. Last of all, he allowed those who persistently opposed and resisted his teaching to take him and crucify him. Three days after, he appeared to his disciples. At intervals through a period of forty days, he instructed them. Then he ascended, or in other words, rose above the human sense of things to the divine. His true spiritual selfhood continues to exist, as it always has existed, in infinite Spirit, the perfect Son of the perfect Father. Thus he furnished the proof for all time that man in God's image is eternal and indestructible, and that death is a delusion and a falsity which can and must be overcome, that mortality may give place to immortality.

When Christ Jesus instructed his disciples to preach the gospel, he told them also to heal the sick. The record of healing made by Jesus' followers in the first century is a glorious one. A careful study of that remarkable book of the Bible, The Acts of the Apostles, makes plain this fact.                               

When Mrs. Eddy organized her church, she emphasized the importance of healing by the divine method which Christ Jesus and his disciples practiced. The Christian Science movement has grown, and is growing, because Christian Science heals. Just through reading "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," a host of people have been delivered from bondage, and ushered into a blessed peace and freedom. Daily it is being demonstrated, wherever active, alert Christian Scientists are found that the truth heals today just as it did in the days of primitive Christianity. The testimonies given every Wednesday evening in the Christian Science churches, and the well-authenticated   testimonies of healing, published in The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel, clearly indicate that the practice of Christian Science is blessing the world to an extent far beyond the ability of any man to measure.

"Whatsoever is born of God," says John, "overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." The faith here referred to has no connection with blind belief or mere credulity. Credulity and blind belief are just as apt to cling to evil and falsity as they are to that which is true and good. True faith on the other hand is trust in that which is good and true. True faith is always intelligent. It is always desirable. We can never have too much of it. Faith intuitively feels that the good is real even before the good is understood. It precedes spiritual understanding, and the two are inseparably connected. When the good that the individual has trusted through faith is understood, then faith merges into spiritual understanding. Faith plays an exceedingly important part in spiritual healing. Jesus' most common remark to those he healed was, "According to your faith be it unto you." He healed with certainty and with ease because his own trust in good was boundless. On page 200 of her book, "Miscellaneous Writings,'' Mrs. Eddy says, "It was the consummate naturalness of Truth in the mind of Jesus, that made his healing easy and instantaneous." Why should we not trust completely and unswervingly in the good? God, the one and only cause, is good; and all that He produces is good.  Why should we ever trust in evil, or ever fear it? Evil is always abnormal, unnatural, unGodlike, and therefore unreal and powerless. Daily we can increase our trust in good, and diminish our false belief in evil. Daily we can increase our understanding of God and the real man. By this spiritual activity we are working out our salvation and aiding others. We are helping to make apparent the nothingness of evil. We are helping to bring nearer the grand day when God will be universally understood, and the perfection of man and the universe will be universally recognized.

 

[From a Chicago newspaper clipping, Aug. 24, 1928.]

 

 

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