Christian Science: The Science of Christ

 

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science was given under the auspices of Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist, of Chicago, in the church edifice, Michigan Boulevard at Forty-fourth Street, Tuesday evening, January 24, by 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 subject of the lecture was "Christian Science: The Science of Christ." Mr. Seeley spoke substantially as follows:

Everything accorded a place in your thinking or in mine should justify itself by constructive influence for our betterment and so make for the betterment of the human race. This applies to religion. Religion is probably the greatest single influence that has place in the consciousness of men. What is the justification for religion? Why should you, or I, give time and effort to think of things religious? Unless there is a rational answer to these questions religion can hardly claim our thoughtful consideration.

Every individual is confronted with evil, evil that will either be submitted to or overcome, and the overcoming of which would add to his well-being and the world's betterment. Religion should give to men the inspiration and knowledge to cope with and to master the thoughts and influences that degrade and debase. Religion should afford true comfort in times of sorrow and distress. Religion should enable men to be successful in their human pursuits, happy in mind, healthy in body. It should explain rationally and demonstrate practically the basic facts of existence. It should show men how to progress out of this temporary material existence to that truer state of consciousness, often called heaven. That Christian Science meets satisfactorily these needs for those who study it thoroughly and practice it correctly is attested by intelligent adherents in all parts of the world.

 

Jesus Overcame All Trouble

Religion has usually carried with it the thought of saving men from something. It is often said that Christ Jesus came to save. He is called our Saviour. The word "save" means to preserve or rescue from destruction. When a person in danger is saved, the saving consists in freeing the person from forces which would harm or destroy him. Salvation is a saving of mankind from destructive forces, or thoughts. Most of us desire to be saved, or freed, from some form of trouble. Human troubles are of many sorts, sometimes physical, sometimes mental, often financial, and not infrequently they arise from unhappy relationships with our fellows. Christ Jesus saved men from trouble, all kinds of it. By so doing he showed that trouble is not the condition of life which God makes or supports. He proved there is a way by which all trouble may be eliminated from human experience.

For instance, there was brought to him on one occasion a woman of degraded character. She was in deepest trouble, troubled within by her sin and troubled without by her accusers. The world to her was a sea of trouble. But Jesus had a different concept of existence from that which material thinking believes in. With wisdom that was divine he silenced her accusers by asking that he who was without sin cast the first stone, and then with the same wisdom he opened for her the door of hope by showing her she needed but to cease sinning to find a better order of womanhood. His wisdom and love changed in a moment her world.

He was traveling one day from Capernaum to a city called Nain. Near the city's gate he met a funeral procession; the only son of a widowed mother was being carried out. Jesus, moved with compassion by the mother's grief and knowing that the power of God, good, was capable of removing all trouble, even to overcoming death, halted the procession, approached the bier, and said to the lifeless form, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise," and, as Luke relates the incident, "he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother." Death and grief were banished in an instant by this man who understood God's way of freeing men from trouble. With the understanding of spiritual or divine life he wiped out the sense of death. To his exalted spiritual thought a funeral procession was  no evidence that man had died. It was his God-given understanding that life and good are real and permanent, and sin, sickness, and death are unreal and transient that enabled him to displace all trouble with harmony.

 

Trouble One with Materiality

Many persons have come to believe that a certain amount of trouble is inevitable. In the material concept of existence that is true. Trouble is woven into the very warp and woof of material existence. Painful birth, untimely death, and many trials in between, such is the tale of mortal existence. There is nothing in material thinking that can avert trouble for any length of time. But there is no reason why we should go on wearing indefinitely the garment of material consciousness with its trouble patterns. Jesus realized this. He was clothed with a different state of mind. He had a better point of view. He was clothed with the Mind of Christ, or spiritual consciousness. We can, and sometime we must, put on the same garment.

An express package of poisoned food may be sent us but we cannot be compelled to accept it. The decision whether to take or to reject must be ours. So it is with the modes of material mind. No law compels us to accept them. The Mind of Christ enables us to reject them and if we have accepted them to cast them out.

Some months ago Henry Ford was quoted as saying: "You cannot conquer the material plane from that level; you must go up one step into the plane of mind. The conquest is always from above." We cannot rid ourselves of material troubles while thinking materially, thinking the thoughts of fear, selfishness, and sickness, but we can get rid of them as we think from a higher plane of thought, think the thoughts of the Mind which is God, good. That is what Christian Science is teaching us to do.

 

Christ, the True Idea

Parents strive to implant in the minds of their children right ideas. They teach them that honesty, kindness, faithfulness, are right ideas which they should entertain and allow to control their motives and acts. Parents do this because they know that where an idea of honesty is firmly rooted no thought of dishonesty will have a chance to control. Right ideas are the child's defense from wrong concepts.

Christian Science teaches that God, the parent Mind, has implanted in the consciousness of His children spiritual ideas which are always there as a defense for us to use against wrong thoughts of every nature. Divine Mind has given and is giving to men the true idea of God, His nature, His laws, His creation, and His man, - a complete defense against ignorance. Mind has given and is giving to men the spiritual, or divine, idea of life and how to live and how to think in order to be happy and well.

Christ Jesus came to show men that this God-given idea, or spiritual idea displaced the neg-ative concept of each one of us and that we can utilize our understanding of it to cast out every kind of trouble, every form of wrong thinking. Because we may not have realized the presence of this higher, or spiritual, idea of God, creation, and man, does not change the fact that it has always been here. The forces and laws which made possible Colonel Lindbergh's flight to Paris have always been here, but it took the courage and wisdom of a Lindbergh to use them. The true, or spiritual, idea of God and man, the saving idea, has always been here. But it takes an awakened spiritual thought to perceive and utilize it.

 

The Christ Science

As honesty saves the child from dishonesty, so spirituality saves us from materiality. The affirmative idea displaces the negative concept with its attendant troubles. This spiritual idea of God, creation, man, so well understood by Jesus, is the Christ, your Saviour and mine. Christ is defined in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, on page 583, as, "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Christ, then, is the manifestation of divine being which comes to you and me to destroy the misconceptions of material thinking. Jesus told us of this true or divine idea of being and showed what a recognition of it would accomplish.

Many have believed that Christ was simply one part of Jesus' name. But Christ is the true idea of God, coexistent with Mind, and understanding of the Christ is imparted to you and me by divine Mind. Referring to the eternal presence of the Christ, or true idea of God and man, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am," and, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." The Christ or true idea of God and man comes to your consciousness and mine and delivers or saves us from earth's misconceptions as we accept the divine concept of existence, so displacing the trouble-producing sense.

Christian Science is called the Christ Science because it deals solely with the Christ or true idea of God, creation, and man and shows men how to enjoy the healing and saving power inherent therein. This Science reduces everything to a mental basis. It teaches that the material universe and material, perishable man are manifestations of a material mind. They are the objectified expression of material thought. Your body, your home, your business, all are expressions of thought. Perhaps you have not regarded things in this way. It will pay you to do so. For as you do and relinquish material misconceptions for the Christ-idea, the spiritual idea of existence, earth's troubles will be disciplined by heaven's harmonies.

The Christ idea reveals God to be the causative Mind and man's true self to be the individual mode, or expression, of the deific Mind. Perishable material life and selfhood, it shows, are the negative opposite of the divine and permanent life and manhood.

 

Matter a Vacuum

What do you think a material body is? Perhaps you may say it is a physical organism made up of material elements. But what are material elements? Dr. Willis R. Whitney of the General Electric Company, in a paper entitled, "Matter - Is There Anything In It?" says ". . . The most we know about it is that it is almost entirely space. It is as empty as the sky. It is almost as empty as a perfect vacuum." When Mrs. Eddy declared in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in 1875, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation," she was greeted with ridicule. Physical science now says that matter is almost a perfect vacuum, emptiness. Can life, or intelligence, or substance reside in a vacuum, or in any organic association of vacuous atoms?

According to a distinguished English scientist, our bodies are but many tiny specks floating in a void - a vacuum again. If all waste space between these specks were eliminated and the particles collected into one ball the body would be reduced, he asserts, to a tiny speck just visible with a magnifying glass. "If a man think himself to be something," says Paul, "when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.''

What is a mortal's weight if his body is but a tiny speck divided up and afloat in a void? Surely space does not have weight, and a speck hardly visible under a microscope would have no perceptible weight. What weighs? Weight must be a materially mental concept. It is determined not by foods that enter the body but by thoughts that enter the mind.

 

Matter Is God's Opposite  

The deductions of physical scientists mentioned caused a leading English newspaper to conclude that the properties and qualities of the electron, and therefore of the material world, are mathematical expressions, numbers, thoughts. "The material world," it says, "is mind." Physical science reduces matter to mind but then does not know what to do with it. It fails to recognize the negative nature of this mind and the affirmative nature of the divine Mind and its power to displace the negative. But Christian Science says that the mind which is expressed by the material world and material man is not real mind. Why? Because it denies intelligence, the essential quality of Mind. There is no intelligence in matter, in hate, in disease, in sin, in death and destruction. Yet the material world is made up largely of these. So while using the word "mind," for there seems to be no other to use, we need to see that the opposite of God, who is true Mind, is a negative sense of mind which when closely examined is not mind at all. It is devoid of intelligence.

Christian Scientists are in no wise indifferent to the beauties of a seemingly material universe but they see them not as the final unfoldment of God's handiwork, but merely as a hint of the imperishable beauties of the spiritual order which cannot decay or be destroyed. The divinely real creation possesses the permanence of eternal Mind.

It is materiality that hides the kingdom of God, good. It is materiality that testifies of mortality and obscures immortality. It is matter and a material mind that gives us the only evidence we have of sin, evil, sickness, and unhappiness. Matter and material-mindedness is the one barrier between men and God, the only denial of the presence and power of God, supreme good. Christian Science rejects it, refutes it, and shows the way to its destruction. This Christian Science shows matter to be unreal because it has no relationship to Mind, God.

 

Corporeal Consciousness

Have you ever thought how much human effort is given to providing for and taking care of human bodies? The greater part of the human race is engaged, directly or indirectly, in providing for the upkeep of physical bodies which physical science now tells us are but a collection of vacuous electrons, or vacant domiciles. Surely we appear to be much environed in what Mrs. Eddy terms "corporeal consciousness." But a great change is under way. The corporeal man is being surrendered in some goodly measure. Thought is on the march toward the goal where men will do something better than minister to material bodies. The Christ, at work in the consciousness of men, is silently but surely accomplishing the purpose of true religion as defined by President Coolidge, "to deliver man from the servitude of the body and exalt him to the service of Soul."

 

Life Not in Matter

"Christ Jesus realized that life and true manhood is not in matter. "It is the spirit," he said "that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." Unless one is content to regard himself as a composite of many specks afloat in a void, something next door to a vacuum, will not the deduction of even physical science compel him to look away from matter to something more substantial if he is to learn what constitutes man? Where can he look except to divine Mind? It has been truly said that "one may know all that is to be known about matter and yet know nothing that needs to be known about man."

The Christ reveals true manhood to be the individual expression of God, as spiritual and as substantial as God. Christ Jesus knew the material sense of life and manhood, with its diseased and dying bodies and troubled and sin-filled minds, to be the outcome, not of divine intelligence, but the outcome of that negative and untrue sense of mind, the opposite of the Mind which is God. True Mind expresses itself only as Mind and never enters, nor is dependent on, its opposite, matter - lifeless specks afloat in a void.

The head of the Department of Zoology in one of our well-known universities recently stated in one of his lectures: "The preponderance of evidence today tends to prove that life is something outside of matter. But if we as zoologists accept that we will have to stop our material experimentations and turn to the study of religions and psychical things. And so we hold to the belief that life is in matter hoping that some day we may substantiate our belief by analyzing life completely in biological chemistry. And this will only be complete when we can take matter and build a human or animal being out of it." Moses saw further than the zoologist when he gave to the Israelites the answer as to what life is. Referring to the divine Spirit, or Mind, he said, "He is thy life."

 

"The Greater Illumination"

The zoologist just mentioned may not be ready to turn his thought to things religious, but many of his fellows are. A leading journal of chemistry recently carried this editorial comment: "It appears to us that a turn in the habits of thought of many men of science is coming about. . . There appears to be coming over a considerable number of leading men of science an enlivened reverence for that which is beyond human knowledge. The present tendency . . . seeks the Greater Illumination." Can we look anywhere for this "Greater Illumination" save in the realm of pure Mind?

 

God Is Divine Intelligence

Edison has declared his belief in "a supreme intelligence pervading the universe."   Christian Science agrees with such a definition of God if by "supreme intelligence" the one divine Mind is referred to, and it teaches that this divine, supreme intelligence pervading the universe of Mind pervades the thinking of man and annihilates all non-intelligent concepts. Does any disease express supreme intelligence? Do you think it has any place in real Mind? Is it not like hate, a negation, a denial of intelligence? If intelligence does not conceive and support disease what does? Nothing, replies Christian Science, save what supports any falsity, namely blind belief in it. The Christ, or divine idea, of Life dispels blind belief by implanting in our consciousness the true concept of man as the child, or individual idea, of God.

Nothing can be real unless it possesses intelligence as its cause. A statesman recently said: "Envy, malice, uncharitableness, class jealousies, race prejudices, and international enmities are not realities. They do not abide. They are only the fictions of unenlightened comprehension." "The fictions of unenlightened comprehension" are the fictions of a blind material mind. Disease is as much a fiction of unenlightened comprehension as the sin of hate. Malice, jealousy, prejudice are of the same stuff as disease. What says, "I am sick”? Examine closely and you will find it is a material state of consciousness that is giving matter more place and power than it is attributing to God. Christian Science is helping us to separate disease from our sense of manhood, to see it as a negation the same as dishonesty and to silence it with the realization that health is the divinely natural status of man, the idea of God.

That the Christ-power inherent in the spiritual idea of manhood is being recognized by physicians of note is evidenced by the statement of a world renowned surgeon, who is quoted as saying, "I am God's child,” has saved many a person who looked up from the marble slab at the surgeon's knife. So the world moves on. Through the clouds of a negative and untrue material mind the true idea of man as God's child, the individual mode of eternal Mind is being honored and recognized.

 

Man Is Divine Idea

Man, then, instead of being an organism of specks afloat in a void is defined in Christian Science as the idea of God, of Mind. You and I include in our individuality many ideas. Our selfhood is compound, compounded of many right ideas all derived from and associated by God, the parent Mind. Idea is the only mode for Mind's manifestation. Now the idea of Mind is entirely a concept within Mind. Idea is always effect, never cause. As idea, man has no power to create anything, but he has ability to be the perfect and continual expression of imperishable Mind. Idea has no will of its own, no life of its own, no substance of its own, no power of its own, yet as idea it is forever expressing divine Life, divine will, divine being, divine activity.

Because our true self is idea, with all the life, substance, and power of eternal Mind to support us as such, we see that the thinking of the real man is the thinking that expresses the activity and being of divine Mind. In such thinking there is no personal will nor human volition. It is the constant, spontaneous, individualized expression of God, untouched by any secondary or intervening influence.

Men take pride in tracing their human ancestry back to kings, conquerors, and statesmen. What a joy to know that all may trace their real lineage back to the primal intelligence, perfect Mind. Not infrequently it is said that there is a divine spark in all of us. So far so good, but Christian Science shows that the whole of man's true selfhood is divine, for that self is nothing less than the individual idea of God. The real man is one hundred percent divine.

 

The Great I AM

It would seem that all who agree that there is a first cause can agree that that cause is intelligent. Nothing can be prior to intelligence. Intelligence cannot be derived. It is primal and in itself is causative. Because Mind, or intelligence, can have nothing to originate it, it must be self-existent. It is likewise self-sustained, for there is nothing else to sustain it. It is also self-expressed, for there is nothing else to express it. Intelligence could not evolve its opposite and make it the medium for expressing intelligence. It knows no opposite. Self-existent, self-sustained, sell-expressed, it is the All-in-all, the single reality embracing all cause and all effect, the great I AM.

As the Christ is the idea which God, or Mind, imparts to you and me of Himself, or ourselves, or our brother, even the true idea of all cause and effect, so the false concept of cause and effect, the mortal and material sense, is the opposite of Christ. The Christ unites us to God and His work. The mortal concept would bury us in matter and its falsities. The Christ is the true concept; material belief is the wrong concept of existence. Christ bespeaks one supreme, intelligent power. Materiality argues divided and destructive authority.

 

Breaking Limitations

Ben Johnson once said of a certain English king that his soul lived in an alley. The tendency of material thinking is to keep men living in a mental alley with birth at one end and death at the other and a procession of diseased bodies and unhappy minds passing continually through. Jesus came to lift thought to the broader realms of spiritual consciousness, to get men out of the ruts and alleys of matter and help them to realize the presence of the true universe where Love and intelligence hold sovereign sway.

In a park in one of our larger cities is a polar bear. He is in a large enclosure with ample room to move about, and yet he confines his movements within a small area. He walks about six steps forward and six steps back, forward and back, forward and back. When the keeper was asked why the bear did this he explained that the bear had been brought up in a cage where there was just room enough for him to take those few steps forward and back. He had thus acquired "the small cage habit" and though now he has plenty of room that "small cage habit" is fixed in his thought. He is a prisoner, imprisoned by his false belief.

As mortals we have "the small cage habit" - a few steps forward, a few steps back, forward and back, forward and back.  We have been imprisoned in a material misconception of existence by our habits of thought derived from false education. Hope and fear, success and failure, happiness and sorrow, characterize mortal existence. We take a few steps forward and then go back. The Christ idea is here to destroy the false bounds of material belief, to show us that we can be continuously healthy and joyous and useful and free, that we have a place in God's great plan, a part to fill now and always in the expression of everlasting intelligence.

Traditional thinking is not always correct thinking. Our fathers may have held concepts which they may have far outgrown and would not wish us to hold. It is the wrong concept of creation and creator that imprisons. It is the true concept, or idea, the Christ, which makes free.

 

The Healing Christ

It was Jesus’ clear understanding of the Christ, the true idea of God and man, which enabled him to pierce in the transfiguration the flimsy figment of the veil of material existence and communicate and associate with those removed by many centuries from the calendars of the earth. It was this same spiritual-mindedness which enabled him fearlessly to face all the phases of material belief and prove their falsity. He rejected the "seem-so's" of material life and accepted the "is-so's" of spiritual life. The veil that enshrouded a time world, the leprous bodies of men, the palsied form, the blinded eyes, were to him all of the same stuff, the fiction of a negative mortal mind futilely denying the universal presence of divine intelligence and spiritual life evidenced by the real man. As we understand more and more of the Christ idea which uplifted the thought of our Way-shower above the false phenomena of matter we too can see through and beyond earth's shadows into the realm of reality and harmony, and it is this Christly thinking which deprives sickness, sin, and death of place and power.

 

Growth in Understanding

How do we obtain the Mind of Christ that is to be our deliverer? Here a little and there a little. It appears in us as we silence a thought of resentment and replace it with a thought of kindness, as we crowd out a thief thought of envy with a sense of gratitude, as we master a suggestion of fear with a realization that God is possessed of all power and we are in Him, as we halt the urge of sin with the idea of man's God-given perfectness, as we overcome sickness with the recognition of man's divine superiority to ill health and material law. The Mind of Christ comes to us as the allness of God and God's universal expression becomes apparent as the one great fact of being.

The consciousness of God and the spiritual order is not had without honest, persistent effort. A well-known English clergyman has said. "It is natural and inevitable that if we spend sixteen hours of our daily life thinking about the affairs of this world, and about five minutes thinking about God, this world seems about two hundred times more real to us than God." What percentage of our waking hours are we giving to the securing of an intelligent concept of existence and the underlying cause which is responsible for our being? The press of the world would say there is little time for spiritual things. It is likely to go on saying so, as long as we supply an ear to listen. So long as mortal mind can keep us engrossed with its hypnotic suggestions, and our chief interest is in the things which are temporary and transient, it has separated us from the things that are actual and real.               

 

Approach to God

Prayer in Christian Science is recognized as the one way of approach to God. Mrs. Eddy has defined prayer as "the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us" (No and Yes, p. 39). How is the love of God made manifest so that we may utilize it? God is Mind. Mind is manifest only through ideas, so God's love for us, which is Mind's love for us must be made manifest through ideas which this Mind is ever imparting to us. These ideas are the ideas of hope, of faith, of joy, health, wisdom, and understanding; ideas that answer the great questions, Who am I, and, Why am I, and, What is my part in God's great plan? Could God's love be expressed in a more vital, a more substantial way than that, by filling our consciousness throughout all eternity with right ideas of being which unite us to God?

As we accept and utilize these right ideas each day and hour we pray aright. The Master counseled us when we pray to enter into the closet, shut the door, and pray to the Father; that is, to turn away from matter and material sense, from worldly duties and human thoughts, and seek God and His thoughts. He also said, "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." There is no barrier but our own ignorance, no withholding on God's part. Principle is constant and dependable, not vacillating and whimsical, in its bestowals. The good and harmonious, the real and intelligent order of existence is now, to be found and enjoyed. The cost is a right desire, honest and persevering effort.

 

Material Evidence False

A boy who was a student of Christian Science had occasion to apply his knowledge of God to heal his pet dog injured by an automobile, and he did so successfully. The injury seemed severe, and when the boy's father returned home in the evening and saw the dog his face expressed considerable concern. Quickly the young son detected the father's thought and said, "Father, don't see those things you're looking at." The advice was scientific. Zephaniah writes, "Thou shalt not see evil any more." Mortals have been so engrossed in seeing the material conditions they have been looking at that the unreal nature of those things has become something they are reluctant to admit. If we are ever to heal the sick with the power of God we must cease to accept material testimony at its own valuation of itself and measure its truthfulness by the degree of intelligence or non-intelligence it manifests. Only the divinely intelligent is real.

Jesus looked at Jairus' daughter and said, "She is not dead." He spoke of Lazarus as being asleep. The Psalmist saw fear as a falsity, unrelated to true manhood, when he wrote, "There were they in great fear, where no fear was." Paul puts it all very positively when he writes, "In the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God." Let us learn to agree to disagree with the testimony of matter which is only a denial of Mind, God.

Matter claims all that belongs to God. In some form, liquid, solid, or gaseous, it claims to be everywhere. It claims to possess and exercise supreme power. It claims to be intelligent. The Christ reveals divine Mind to be infinite, manifest only as Mind. The Christ reveals all power inherent in and exercised by deific Mind, and all intelligence and science as residing in this Mind. To God and His ideas matter is unknown, for it is negative and unknowable. Can Mind know what is mindless?

Of course it is not all easy going in the demonstration of spiritual life and manhood.   Progress sometimes seems slow. We may be misunderstood and our motives questioned. Discouragement argues to delay us. But if we never start we never arrive. Every ideal has had to be affirmed against ages of material opposition and denial before being recognized and accepted as fact. Yet it was fact or reality all the time. So with the spiritual idea, or ideal; it must be courageously affirmed and clung to until consciousness accepts it as fact. The Christian Science movement with its well authenticated cases of healing of all manner of disease is most convincing evidence that the mental affirmation of spiritual truth in contradiction to the testimony of material sense produces positive results.

Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he came to discover the law of gravitation and his reply was, "By incessantly thinking about it." Christian Science is teaching men to hold incessantly in thought to the Christ, or spiritual idea, of existence. Says Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 495): "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought." When we think intelligently about God we must be thinking with God, be His idea. Then we express the joy and health which is His gift to men. A Christian Science treatment aims to realize the spiritual fact that there is no sickness or sick man in God's universe, and that matter's testimony to the contrary is a substanceless lie, lacking in divine sanction or support.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

Near the close of the eighteenth century a young Englishman, William Wilberforce, began to work for the liberation of all slaves in the British Empire. He discerned the idea of human justice and gave his life to its furtherance. After more than forty years of untiring toil against political indifference and selfish greed, victory was substantially won, and the British Government set August 1, 1834, as the day when all slaves in the Empire were to be declared free. On the last night of their slavery the negroes of the West Indian Islands went up to the hilltops to watch for the dawn of the day which would bring them freedom as the sun's rays first touched the waters of the sea. In faraway Africa were millions of other black men under the British flag equally affected by the emancipation decree but who had not yet realized its import. Yet the same decree assured for them and their posterity freedom from human bondage.

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science labored for more than forty years to advance the cause of divine justice; first herself to discover the Christ, or spiritual idea of God and man, which liberates men from all trouble, and then to establish that discovery in the thoughts of men. Wilberforce worked to free a single subject race from servitude. Mrs. Eddy labored to bring to the entire human race the message of divine emancipation from the bondage of a material mind. After more than half a century there are still many who have not given ear to this message of liberation. But the message remains to bless all as rapidly as they will turn from the self-imposed bondage of material thinking.

Twenty years before discovering the Christ Science Mrs. Eddy had become convinced by reason and experiment that mind is the one certain remedial agent, the source from which all permanent healing must come. How many of us would stand alone in the world and pursue a single purpose for twenty years? Consider the patience, the courage, the persistence which were expressed in those years of toil to know more of the deific Mind and the laws of healing which that Mind has evolved to maintain the integrity of creation and man. Sometimes when you or I may be tempted to be discouraged with the measure of our progress toward our ideal, let us recall the experience of her who for twenty years was working and waiting for her budding faith to unfold into the bloom of understanding.

Almost everyone will agree that much remains to be learned about God and spiritual life. Until the advent of Christian Science spiritual being had largely been relegated to the future and beclouded with mystery. If much remains to be known is there any good reason why it should not become known? Has ignorance a reason for its continuance?  And if there is much to be learned is there any good reason why Mary Baker Eddy, a pure-minded and spiritually   inclined woman, should not be the one to perceive it? Mrs. Eddy's years of labor were rewarded, first by a healing of herself effected by some glimpse of God's presence and power. Then followed several years of further search of the Scriptures out of which there finally came to Mrs. Eddy a comprehensive understanding of the Christ idea, the true idea of God, creation, man.

Christian Scientists have proved to their satisfaction that the message of this Christ Science is what Jesus referred to as the Comforter which he foretold should come and "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Christian Science is bringing comfort, health, and happiness to men and is calling to remembrance the promises of Jesus, promises of health, joy, abundant life, and freedom from every woe.

 

Man Is Never Independent

Men are more apt to accept God as the creating cause than they are to accept Him as the power that controls them. Mortals are prone to believe themselves detached creatures hewing out their own little niche in the world of affairs by fair means or foul. Yet in truth we find that we are always subordinate to divine-Mind or yielding ourselves to the impulses of a material mind. "Ye are not your own," says Paul, indicating that we are ever under some influence outside ourselves. Mortal man may strut and brag of living his life in his own way with a feeling of fine independence, only in the end to find that he has been the blind puppet of a hidden power that fed him on egotism only the more easily to enslave him. Either God or the devil is our controller. We may all profit by listening to the counsel of Mrs. Eddy on page 195 of Science and Health, ''The point for each one to decide is, whether it is mortal mind or immortal Mind that is causative."

 

"High Living" Not Life

The phrase "high living" is sometimes used to describe the sense of living which is a surrender to selfish enjoyment and the appetites and passions of the flesh. The Christ, or true idea of Creator and creation, shows that such living is not real life at all. It is the poor counterfeit that mocks intelligence, laughs at goodness, and denies God. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." The material mentality laughs at its own ignorance without knowing it.

True goodness is not narrowness. It is the intelligent and permanent order of being. Only in the goodness that expresses the love and intelligence of God is there any hope for happiness that endures, for health that continues, and for life free from the fear of death.

 

The Evil of Alcohol

Some are asking why men should not drink moderately if they wish. The Christ, or true idea of Life and manhood, shows that indulgence in alcohol in any degree is contrary to the law of Mind, for the reason that alcohol is a stimulant which stimulates - what? Material sense, or the false sense of life. What is fraudulent and false should hardly be stimulated and encouraged.

Would there be any consistency in a man desiring to build a home to work most of the day building and constructing and then for a short time digging underneath the foundations and undermining the entire structure? So the individual who desires to erect in his thinking the spiritual, or true, concept of manhood is undermining all his constructive efforts by taking into his body that which can do nothing but accentuate the belief of material life and pleasure in the flesh. It has been truly said, "No man has a right to do as he pleases except when he pleases to do right."

Because alcohol is nothing but a mode of mortal mind stimulating the material sense of life it is inherently evil and never can have any legitimacy in the universe of God. Our nation has seen this great truth in some measure and has said to the world that no longer will we tolerate this evil under the sanction of our law. The appetites and passions of mortals may not be silenced in a day, and the fight to eliminate this materializing influence has, perhaps, only begun. But as there is a God who is good, the use of alcoholic liquors can surely never again be stamped with legality in the same land which has become the cradle for the appearing of the Christ idea in this age. Said the Master, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up."

With prophetic vision the great Lincoln wrote in 1842, "Happy day when - all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected - mind, all-conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world." Here the purpose of the one true Mind is spoken. Here the objective of the Christian Science movement is declared. Its consummation will be accomplished as you and I admit to our consciousness the Christ, the true idea of God and man, of life, and all that is, the Christ which illuminated the consciousness of Jesus and lifted his thought into freedom from a matter body and a matter world, the Christ which will do the same for every creature, the Christ which eternally speaks to us in the words of John, "behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

 

[The Chicago Leader, Feb. 3, 1928.]

 

 

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