Christian Science and the Kingdom of God

 

Paul Stark Seeley, C.S.B., of Portland, Oregon

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The far-reaching ministry of Christ Jesus began when he was thirty and continued for three years. From the time he was twelve, when he said to his mother, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Jesus had probably been thoughtfully considering his great mission to humanity. A question on which he no doubt thought deeply, during the years prior to the beginning of his ministry, was, What shall be the chief theme of my teaching? The time for his work would be brief. The subject must be the one most vital to all men in all ages, the presentation must be forceful and direct, the proofs convincing. His words, recorded by Luke, show that he came to realize with complete certainty the purpose of his mission, for he said, "I must preach the kingdom of God . . . for therefore am I sent."

Jesus journeyed throughout Palestine to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west, teaching the presence of the kingdom of God, in contradiction to all his hearers saw with their eyes. His work was thorough. Says Luke, "He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." Have you yet heard these glad tidings of the presence of the kingdom of God? Has your thought responded to this greatest of themes? It was the subject ever in the forefront of our Way-shower's thinking. Should it not have the same place in our thinking? He desired us to realize that the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven as he often called it, is the most important fact for you and for me to understand. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" is his unqualified command. Are we doing so? His words are the uttered thought of the wisest and most scientific man ever on this planet. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Discoverer of Christian Science, reiterating Jesus' thought, says (p. 560), "The grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man."

When his ministry was nearly ended Jesus bade his disciples continue "to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." Finally, Matthew records Jesus' prophecy, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." His desire was for men to know that God's kingdom, law, and government are available to every individual and for all the nations.

 

The Nature of God's Kingdom

When we think of an earthly kingdom we think of a landed area where live a group of humans governed by a king, or ruler, with the power to make and enforce laws for the kingdom. The population may change, the ruler may change, the laws may change. There is, at the best, little protection from the destructive forces of sin, sickness, and death.

God's kingdom is different. Mrs. Eddy refers to it (Science and Health, p. 590) as, "the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind". God's kingdom is the realm of true thoughts, ideas, consciousness. Its sovereign is the self-existent, eternal Mind, the source and substance of every true thought and so of all true consciousness. There are no boundaries, for Mind cannot be bounded or confined. Every citizen is a son of the King, an individual expression of the sovereign, constituting Mind. What governs is the power of Mind. What is governed are the limitless manifestations of Mind, the highest of which is man. The laws are the moral, spiritual, intelligent forces of Mind ever active in man, governing and conditioning his only real being.

Things of great import are going on in God's kingdom living that never ends, beauty that never fades, health that is never broken, substance that never wanes, love that never changes. And the Bible assures us in pleasing metaphor that it is a kingdom of many mansions, with broad rivers and quiet resting places, where safety, harmony, and peace abound. There unerring Mind is ever communicating to man, declaring unto him his every thought and so lovingly governing him. God has no ungoverned man.

In the kingdom of God there is no matter, for matter is the opposite of God, Mind. Says Paul, "Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God." After all, what are they but limiting encumbrances? The physical body is a province in that realm of matter and the seat of much disturbance. Disease, blindness, dumbness, deafness, physical or mental impairment are unknown in the kingdom. Mind cannot create or tolerate them. So with poverty and lack, accidents and crime, pestilence and war. No galley with oars nor gallant ship entereth there, say the Scriptures. No war equipment nor pride of power have place.

 

No Time or Chance in the Kingdom

Time is not in the kingdom of God, eternal Mind, for all that constitutes and is in the kingdom is eternal. Man, made in the image of Mind, is ageless, timeless, possessing the unimpairable strength, action, and faculties of supreme Mind. Nor is there any sense of chance in the kingdom. Omnipotent Mind ever acts with intelligent certainty to make, maintain, and govern man and all that constitutes his life and destiny. Speculation, chance, uncertainty are unthought of by Mind, or Mind's man.

A young student of Christian Science once came to a practitioner and said he had been criticized for buying tickets on the sweepstakes, that is, gambling on certain horse races. He said he could not see any harm in it but was willing to have his mistake pointed out to him if he was wrong. The practitioner showed him that the wrong in it was that when he bought those tickets he was thinking of and believing in forces of chance. He might lose something or win much. But in the kingdom of real Mind in which he, as a Christian Scientist, was endeavoring to live and to think, in an ever-increasing measure, there was no such force as chance. The forces of unerring Mind governed with certainty and provided lovingly and constantly for him and all.

Perhaps it might seem a small thing to take a ticket on the races, but it was nevertheless a step in the wrong direction, a step away from the consciousness of the kingdom of Principle, Mind, and into the realm of belief in uncertain, undependable, material forces. It was a denial of the chanceless, continuing sovereignty of God. He saw his mistake and corrected it. Intelligent certainty, not ignorant chance, always characterizes God's government of His kingdom and of His man.

 

Where Is God's Kingdom?

Just where would you like to find the kingdom of God? Would you not like to have it just as near as possible and just as accessible as possible to you and to everyone? Well that is just where it is. It is as near to you and to everyone as it possibly can be, and it is accessible to you twenty-four hours every day. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." It couldn't be closer than that, could it? But it is rather a startling idea, isn't it? The priests and Pharisees doubtless thought he was talking foolishness, for they believed the kingdom was an attractive material place designed for a prolonged rest after mortals die. Jesus made it plain that it was not that kind of place at all, that you do not ever see the kingdom of God with the physical eyes, for they perceive only images of mortal thought, but you become conscious of it by thinking true and spiritual ideas. One enters the kingdom not by physical dying but by spiritual thinking, and there is nothing to prevent our entering now. That was the good news Jesus brought.

But how can the kingdom of God be "within you"? Please mark the Master's words "within you." Certainly he was thinking of a very different "you" than the one which appears when a mortal faces the mirror, a bundle of bones, blood, and temporary tissues, styled with variations of height, breadth, and line, but never occupying more than a few cubic feet of space. There's no place for God and His kingdom in that "you." Mrs. Eddy helps us to understand Jesus' statement when she says in Science and Health (p. 576), "This kingdom of God 'is within you,' is within reach of man's consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it."

So the kingdom of God is "within you" because it is eternally within reach of your consciousness. What is your consciousness? What's it for? What's it made of? Who makes it? How much control have you over it? These are questions worth thinking about. Your only real consciousness is an individual expression of deific consciousness, God. God, Mind, constitutes it, controls it, is it. Your true consciousness is the active, individual expression of Mind. So your true consciousness is naturally conscious of what real Mind knows itself and its kingdom of ideas. There is nothing else to be really conscious of. Jesus showed true thinking to be thinking that is ever conscious of the omnipresent God and His kingdom. He was ever conscious of this kingdom. You and I can likewise become ever conscious of this all-embracing kingdom. Because the kingdom is within our consciousness there is really nothing else there. This consciousness is the Mind of Christ, the consciousness wherewith eternal Love saves us from matter's godless kingdom. By right thinking we live with God in His kingdom. By wrong thinking we are absorbed by matter into its hell.

 

How We Find the Kingdom

Jesus told us where the kingdom is and how to find and enjoy it. His teaching was complete, not fragmentary. Right at the beginning of his ministry he said: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand;" "Repent ye." He chose his words wisely. He located the kingdom as "at hand," and he told us just how to find it "Repent ye." The Greek word translated "repent" meant "to think differently." So Jesus said, in effect, "The kingdom of God is right here; think differently, and you will be conscious of it." He did that thought differently from all that matter and mortals claimed and he found God and His kingdom, intact, and universal.

I know there are many good people who do not get enthusiastic over the thought of repentance, and one cannot blame them, for the unpopular concept of repentance has been to tell someone you had sinned and would try not to do it again. It has perhaps seemed to many like letting someone else into an unwholesome secret without any compensating gain. But when Jesus said, "Repent," he meant something much more far-reaching than that. He meant, as his teaching as a whole clearly proves, that we should change the whole basis of our thinking from a material to a spiritual basis. What does that mean? It means to accept God, eternal Mind, Spirit, as our only cause and to recognize that our only true self is therefore of the substance of Mind, Spirit, God, constituted, animated, and governed only by the power of perfect Mind. That's certainly thinking differently from the world's point of view, isn't it? That is what Jesus demanded if we are to find the kingdom. It's not a hard job, either, as one becomes increasingly aware of the truth of these great ideas and recognizes that they are the basis of the Science of Life. This "different" thinking is based on an established life Principle, and man ever united to, and governed by, this Principle, or Mind.

 

"Born from above"

Jesus was once talking with a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. The latter had been asking some questions about the Master's healing of the sick. Jesus told him that no one can find God's kingdom and His healing power until he is born again. Nicodemus was perplexed, thinking Jesus referred to a second material birth. Then Jesus explained that the point was that each individual must start from a new and higher basis in his thinking, even the spiritual as opposed to the material concept of being. To be "born again'' has been translated as meaning "born from above." In other words, it means to gain the spiritual idea of God and man, of cause and effect, in place of the old belief that matter is the cause and substance of man.

Instead of regarding material birth as your starting point, why not try thinking of infinite, eternal Mind or intelligence as your everlasting Parent, your source, your sovereign, your Mind, your all? Do this the first thing in the morning, the last thing at night, and frequently in between. Follow through from this premise and realize something of your consequent perfect selfhood. Then you'll have begun truly to repent and to be born again. Thinking that starts with matter ends with matter. Thinking that starts with Spirit, God, true Mind, goes on and on to find the kingdom of God within that thinking. This is the activity of the spiritual idea which reveals the kingdom of heaven within us.

 

Disease Not In the Kingdom

Sickness seems very real in everyday human experience, but Jesus knew it wasn't in God's kingdom at all and so was destructible. He healed thousands of sick people easily and quickly with Mind-power, the power that governs God's kingdom. Christian Science is doing this today. Here is one instance:

A Christian Science practitioner was called to a humble home to help the wife, who had been suffering for some years with gallstones. She was turning to Christian Science after receiving no help from medical treatment. When the practitioner arrived the woman was in great distress and her husband too was groaning with pain and lying on a bed near by. A dog tied on the front porch was howling. For a moment the discordant picture seemed almost to overwhelm the practitioner. Then she turned her thought from the testimony of material sight and hearing to the spiritual idea of God and His ever-present kingdom of Mind, Life, and Love. There came to her thought this statement from the Christian Science textbook (p. 489), "Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony." Confidence, fearlessness, peace began to fill her consciousness.

She saw that the picture presented by the material senses was an evil pictorial suggestion, a contradiction of intelligence, God, and incapable of having a place in His perfect kingdom and perfect man, ever governed by the forces of intelligence and Love. She remained for an hour holding steadfastly to the divine fact that outside the material sense of things all is harmony and realizing that godless evil could not intrude into the harmonious kingdom of God and His man, then and there present. Within that hour the wife was completely healed of gallstones and the husband of an abscess he had had for thirty years. The dog was peacefully sleeping on the porch as the practitioner left. A turbulent sea had been stilled by Immanuel, the true idea of God, creation, and man, realized in the God-empowered thinking of the practitioner. She thought differently from the claims of matter. She proved in a definite degree that God and His kingdom were there and His power was governing the individualities of men, women, and all the lesser ideas in the animal kingdom with the forces of Love and intelligence, which naturally produce health and peace.

 

Progressive Thinking Essential

You begin to find the kingdom within by changing your thinking. You go on finding more and more of the kingdom as you continue to change your thinking. No one can ever stand pat on the material concept of existence and find the kingdom of God.

Have you ever noticed how large a part of the Bible deals with change and overturning? Really that's the purpose of the Bible, to awaken us to the need of changing our thinking and aiding us to see how to do it. That is the object of Christian Science. "Progress is the law of God," says Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 233). The forces of infinite Mind impel and compel progress in man. David progressed from a shepherd to be the writer of psalms and a king, John from a fisherman to one of the greatest spiritual thinkers in history, Paul from a maker of tents to a star of the first magnitude in the firmament of Mind. They were willing to think differently, to progress and to change from a material basis to the spiritual idea of life. Says Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 265), "This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, . . . confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action."

What is our attitude toward change and progress? Better look it over. Do we want to hold on to the flesh or to let go? Do we want to live and die in matter or progress into the consciousness of the kingdom of God? Are we willing to hold mentally to the spiritual idea of existence and to let go of the millstones of material self? "Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony" (Science and Health, p. 324). One of the deeply embedded false landmarks is the false belief that we began to live on a certain calendar day and embodied in matter. We must abandon this lie if we are to find the kingdom of our parent Mind, God. Said Jesus, "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." The false landmarks are all the modes and habits of mortal thinking which would anchor us in matter or fence us within the boundaries of material sense.

Jesus' whole teaching was of change from the material sense to the spiritual idea of life. Patiently and persistently he worked to change material beliefs for spiritual facts in his own thinking until he finally lost all sense of a material world and found the allness of the kingdom of God. Paul demanded change, transformation by the renewing of our minds, and the putting off of the old man of materiality and the putting on of the new man of Spirit, God. A tremendous change!

 

Conservatism May Hinder

Before the kingdom of Spirit, God, becomes evident to the consciousness of the human race as a whole, there must be great intermediate changes in our social, political, economic, and educational systems. These changes are under way, though perhaps they are appearing in ways not always to our personal liking. The world scenes may sometimes perplex us. We may find it difficult to evaluate the varying concepts of government that are accepted by different nations. Sometimes there may appear to be a mixture of motives involved which makes it difficult to do so. But of this we can be sure, that whatever is genuinely good and of God, intelligent Mind, will remain and all that is not will pass away. Intense human opinions about persons and situations do not help to hasten the coming of the kingdom, but quiet, confident, God-trusting thinking does. "Who art thou that judgest?" is a question that when faced honestly often stills unjust censure of persons and nations.

Jesus did not feel called upon to criticize Caesar. He was too busy teaching and demonstrating the presence and intactness of the kingdom of God.

 

The Atmosphere of Spirit

Pure air is something everyone enjoys. Communities are endeavoring more and more to do away with the sources that pollute the atmosphere. Much effort and money is being expended to create an atmosphere in modern homes, hotels, trains, and theaters which will be neither too cool in winter nor too warm in summer. But more important even than the condition of the material atmosphere is the mental atmosphere in which we live. Men are discovering mechanical means for controlling and conditioning the material atmosphere. Christian Science is showing us just how we may improve the atmosphere of thought.

Recently I heard it said that a certain member of the British cabinet, when he spoke in Parliament, created a good atmosphere, meaning that by his spirit of good-will, fairness, and wit he brought to the occasion a mental atmosphere pleasing to all. Jesus' thinking radiated so much of the spirit of Love, the spirit of God, that little children spontaneously ran to him and multitudes of men and women followed him for days.

Mrs. Eddy uses the words "atmosphere" in a higher sense than it is ordinarily used when she refers to the kingdom of heaven as "the atmosphere of Spirit" (Science and Health, p. 590). This is the atmosphere of Truth, Love, Mind the atmosphere of the kingdom of God. We must find this "atmosphere of Spirit" in order to find the kingdom, for the kingdom is this "atmosphere of Spirit." Every genuinely good and unselfed thought brings with it something of the atmosphere of the kingdom of Spirit.

Of course you know Mark Twain's oft-quoted statement that everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. That is no longer the fact. Christian Science is doing something definite about it. It is acquainting men with the ever-presence of the atmosphere of Spirit, perfect Mind, God. It is the atmosphere of spiritual, love-filled thinking. It is found as we comprehend the spiritual idea of God, man, and the universe. Then fear of the material atmosphere lessens as man's oneness with the atmosphere of Mind appears.

It is said that in industrial and commercial pursuits more hours of labor are lost per annum by reason of colds and maladies traceable to the material atmosphere than from any other one thing. Christian Science shows that it is fear of the material atmosphere and belief in its ability to bring sickness on men that needs to be destroyed. This is done in the degree that we come to understand that man is really spiritual, not material, and lives in the atmosphere of Spirit, Mind, not in negative, gaseous matter. Mortals label the material atmosphere hot or cold and accord it power to harm or destroy them. But matter hot, or matter cold, has no more inherent power over God's man than it has over God, and millions of wrong-thinking mortals cannot alter this spiritual fact at any season of the year.

A Christian Scientist was once confronted with symptoms of a serious cold in his throat. It seemed as though he would be unable to fill several speaking engagements just ahead of him. The forces of the material atmosphere appeared to have produced an alarming condition on his physical body. Matter was claiming that it, not Mind, was controlling him and was interfering with his expressing the activity of Mind in spoken words. He knew he could be free if he could but realize clearly his spiritual nature and the atmosphere of Spirit, Mind, as the atmosphere of real being.

He reasoned that his only real selfhood was constituted by Mind of the ideas and forces of Mind. Among these ideas were such ideas as honesty, justice, kindness. He saw that they were never affected by climate, by heat, or by cold. Honesty could not be baked or frozen. Justice was the same in summer as in winter. Kindness was beyond the touch of draughts or breezes. They belonged to Mind and expressed its atmosphere. Since his one real life was constituted of these and other ideas of Mind, all as equally immune to material atmosphere as they were, how could he be in reality affected by the mindless material atmosphere any more than they were? He could not be so affected, for Mind, Spirit, God, was the one real substance and atmosphere of his being. In a few hours every symptom of the cold vanished. The spiritual idea of God, man, and the kingdom had brought to his thought an awareness of the presence of Spirit and its atmosphere of health and his oneness therewith.

 

The True Sense of Substance

What is real substance? is a question that the individual must correctly answer before he can find the kingdom, for there is nothing to or in the kingdom but real substance. Jesus once said a rich man would find it difficult to enter, or become conscious of, the kingdom of God. Later he said that with God's help the rich man could find the kingdom within. Probably Jesus wished to emphasize the point that, to find the kingdom of God within, one must have the correct sense of substance, whether to human sense he be rich or poor. The rich man may think matter is substance and he possesses it in lands, money, and so on. The poor man may believe that matter is substance and he hasn't it, but would be very well pleased if he had. Both must learn that matter is never real substance, for it is the opposite of substance, which is Mind, Love, God.

With fearless directness Mrs. Eddy challenges the common belief that matter is substance. She says in Science and Health (pp. 349, 350): "In Christian Science, substance is understood to be Spirit, while the opponents of Christian Science believe substance to be matter. They think of matter as something and almost the only thing, and of the things which pertain to Spirit as next to nothing, or as very far removed from daily experience. Christian Science takes exactly the opposite view."' On page 468 of the same book she states: "Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. . . . Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance."

Substance, we need to see, is living, active, intelligent Mind and Mind's ideas. It is neither static, inanimate nor animate matter. Substance is God, real Mind, and His thoughts. The good Samaritan, in the degree he expressed unselfish love for the man who had been robbed, expressed real substance. To the priest and the Pharisee, who passed by the thieves' victim, pride and hypocrisy were substance. One who visited South Africa years after David Livingstone explored its dark places writes of Livingstone: "As you cross his footsteps . . . men's faces light up as they speak of this kind doctor who passed there years before. They could not understand him but they felt the love that beat in his heart." That unselfed love was real substance.

Jesus understood and demonstrated that man's only real selfhood is the continuing manifestation of indestructible substance. This selfhood has the substantiality of God which it expresses. His faith, hope, mercy, wisdom, and goodness were real substance. So you and I have substance as we have and express unselfed love, true intelligence, and other qualities of God.

Because God is all substance there is no place where substance is not, for God and His ideas fill infinity. The kingdom within us is filled with the omnipresence of Life, Love, Mind, God, expressed as the real consciousness, life, and action of man. Man and substance are inseparable, as God and idea.

In the kingdom there is no effort or desire to get something one has not. There is nothing which God does not already have, is there? God is All-in-all, the sum of reality. And the substance and completeness of God are manifest only in the substantiality and completeness of man. Man, as God's expression, lives to express the tireless giving of God.

 

Bitterness Not In the Kingdom

No bitterness, no active or lurking resentment are in the kingdom-conscious thinking of man. Someone asked Jesus how many times we should forgive one who wronged us and continued to do so. Seventy times seven times, he said, which meant we should never stop forgiving, no matter how persistent error might appear to be. When we stop forgiving, which means the giving up of our belief that error can harm us through a person, we lose the spiritual idea of existence and the kingdom within, which it alone reveals. In the kingdom are God and His individual ideas, all loved by God and all loving one another by reason of His love, which they express. To believe in a material order and that we and our brother are environed therein and engaged in a duel of hateful thoughts is surely not the way "to think differently" and find the kingdom. It is the surest way to stay out of the kingdom and stay in the cockpit of matter's hell.

If evil suggestion tempts you to engage in a mental or verbal wrangle with your brother, stop. Turn thought to the infinite God and His infinite kingdom of true ideas. Think of what is there and what is active there now. Through spiritual sense you will find God is still filling infinity. His kingdom is still universal and intact and your selfhood and your brother's selfhood are thinking, acting, loving, and living in perfect concord. You must both have the same Mind, for there is but one, who ever animates you with understanding and good will to each other. What is the use of wasting time lingering in error's contentious dream, when your one true home, Love's kingdom, is at near at thought? And you will find your brother there too. If you do not find him there you haven't found the kingdom. Look again!

The spiritual idea of all things will always enable you to see your brother and yourself aright. It enabled Jesus to see through the mists of sinful personality and perceive the sinless, real selfhood of the Magdalen, the living selfhood of Lazarus, the faithful selfhood of Judas, and so to realize that sin, death, and treachery never had identity or place in the kingdom which was his home and his heaven. He had to discover this before he could fully abandon completely the counterfeit kingdom of matter for the real kingdom of deific Mind, God. We must follow in his footsteps.

 

Thy Will Be Done

A Scotch minister is reported to have prayed, "Help us, O Lord, to know Thy will, for, dear Lord, we are very determined!" Human willfulness hides the presence of God and His kingdom, and is one of the chief reasons why mortals are often slow to find the kingdom within. Why don't we do a little self-examining, ask ourselves how we ever hope to find God and His kingdom while we are listening to the selfish impulses of the human will which is thinking: "I want this, or I want that; I want what I want because I want it." If anyone wants to stay out of the kingdom there is no better way than that. The human will is the opposite of the intelligent power of real Mind, God. It works as emotion, passion, and selfish desires, which oppose the government of man by God.

Jesus made the first petition in the Lord's Prayer "Thy kingdom come" and followed it with, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," as if to indicate that the first requirement for the conscious coming of the kingdom to our thought is that we let the power and will of God, good, govern our every thought and act. As "my will" gives way to "Thy will" our oneness with God and His kingdom becomes increasingly evident.

 

Real Object of Christian Science

There are many footsteps to be taken on the thought road that brings us to the consciousness of the kingdom of God within. The falsities of the material order and that medley of error called our mortal self are not unloaded just by our desiring to do so. The first step is the subjection of matter by consciously leaning on the divine Mind. Jesus subjugated matter as the first step toward its ultimate annihilation. How is this done? By realizing, in some degree, that man is spiritual and is not in matter but in Mind, constituted and governed by Mind. This right thinking forces matter into a servient position instead of permitting it, as previously, to assume a predominant place in one's thought and experience. As our understanding of God and His kingdom increases, the aggressiveness of matter is rejected and harmony and health prevail.

The primary object of Christian Science is not merely to readjust the human order of life so that we shall not be too uncomfortable in it, but rather by steady progressive steps to demonstrate the supremacy and allness of the divine order which, as we recognize our oneness with it, supplants the transient material order. A demonstration of Christian Science takes place when, and only when, through the realization of the presence of the infinite God and His kingdom, thought is freed in some degree from fear of and belief in another power and order of existence. Then, in the degree that God, His man, His power, and His kingdom are recognized and realized as the one present and eternal fact, an improved human situation appears. A resurrection of understanding gradually takes place, confirming Mrs. Eddy's beautiful statement on page 154 of "Miscellaneous Writings," "It is the purpose of divine Love to resurrect the understanding, and the kingdom of God, the reign of harmony already within us." This purpose is surely being fulfilled through Christian Science.

 

The Daily Prayer

A brief prayer of only thirty-six words, called the "Daily Prayer," is included by Mrs. Eddy in the Manual of The Mother Church. At least once each day members of this church thoughtfully pray this prayer. Note its ideas and how important Mrs. Eddy deemed it to be for every Christian Scientist daily to ponder the kingdom of God and its coming to realization. Here are the words (p. 41); "'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" How can God's kingdom come? By becoming understood. It is and is here, but it is not going to come nearer by physical dying but by spiritual thinking. The kingdom comes to each of us as we realize the spiritual idea of existence, the idea of God as the everywhere-present Mind, Life, and Love, and man, collectively and individually, as God's Mind-governed manifestation.

The prayer indicates that the coming of the one real government and kingdom is hastened as each of us is willing to let the reign, or control, of divine Life, Truth, and Love be established in our daily thought and so rule out all sin, or the total of negative material thoughts and concepts which arise from the lie that matter is cause and man is of and in it. The influence on human consciousness of one thinker who is really striving to let God's kingdom come to realization in him is great, the influence of ten thousand such thinkers is enormous, and the influence of that great army now encircling the globe and realizing the spiritual force of this God-empowered prayer is beyond human measurement.

The deliverance of the human race from war and woe rests not so much with leagues, chancellories, and rulers as men may think, but far more with the thinking of the individuals, wherever humanly placed, who are daily realizing that the one real kingdom is the kingdom of the eternal Mind, God, universal, intact, all-embracing. Of this kingdom, Isaiah writes, "All nations shall flow unto it," and, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end."

 

Mrs. Eddy Found the Kingdom

Few, if any, among men would have chosen Mrs. Eddy, a gentle, inconspicuous New England woman, to be the messenger to make plain to the human race Jesus' teaching that the kingdom of God is ever within us. I was once a student of human philosophy before accepting Christian Science. I could not see any valid reason why Mrs. Eddy should be the one to bring a great message to mankind. Since then my viewpoint has completely changed. I have come to see that Mrs. Eddy found God and His kingdom within the reach of her consciousness because she was the one most willing to obey the Master's command, Repent, think differently from the prevailing material systems of thought. She was the individual who, in this age, was most willing to follow the mental processes of Christ Jesus, on the road of spiritual discovery. She was willing to accept the spiritual idea of existence, to think patiently and persistently from that basis, to be born again and born from above. She was willing really to sacrifice mortal self, willing to leave the false landmarks, willing to recognize and claim the unlimited capacities of the consciousness of man, even the ability to be presently conscious of the infinite God and His kingdom. She saw this was all that man is ever really conscious of, for it is all there is really to be conscious of, and men find it as they recognize and realize the spiritual idea of being.

Her discovery of these truths just at hand, but buried to material sense under its own debris of material self, was too great to withhold from anyone. The revelation belonged, as does the kingdom, to everyone. Hers was the work to publish the glad tidings, as Jesus commanded, "in all the world." Without the wisdom, the love, the energies of God working in and with her, she could not have done it. With such forces impelling her on, she could not fail to do it. First came the textbook of Christian Science in 1875, then periodicals, the organization of The Mother Church and later its branches, Bible Lessons for church services, provisions for teachers, practitioners, lectures, and even a daily newspaper, designed to report only the constructive, progressive, and worth-while in human affairs. Through her marvelous organization, through the written and the spoken word, the message of Christian Science, the message of the kingdom of God within us, goes on sounding louder and more assuring every hour.

"Fear not, little flock," said Jesus; "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Mrs. Eddy quotes his reassuring statement on page 442 of Science and Health, and says of it, "This truth is Christian Science." What is Christian Science? The truth that no one need fear, for God's own pleasure is to give each of us His kingdom right within our own consciousness, the kingdom with its certainty of health, happiness, and peace this is Christian Science. My friends, the kingdom is at hand. The kingdom is within you. You can consciously have it, enjoy it, possess it in the degree you are willing to think differently.

Consent no longer to be a man with a burden or a man with a blight. Claim your divine right to be God's man endowed with the consciousness of God's kingdom! If you have come with a burden, go away claiming your God-given kingdom, His kingdom which is yours consciously to think in, to live in, to do business in. Really you can be in no other, you can be conscious of no other, for no other really is. Think of yourself as living by God and in God and His kingdom. Think of yourself as constantly governed by the forces and laws of Mind and of your brother as so governed. Recognize and cling to the idea of a Mind-constituted, Mind-governed universe. Do this because it is the rational and true concept of being. Be less self-conscious, less matter-conscious, less body-conscious and more and ever more conscious of Spirit, Mind, God, and His kingdom. Be really conscious of God's spiritually-minded man!

 

[Delivered April 3, 1939, in First Church of Christ, Scientist, Flushing, New York, and published in The Long Island (New York) Star-Journal, April 4, 1939.]

 

 

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