Christian Science: The Revelation of Spiritual Power
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
What is power? Where is it, and how can you and lay hold of and use it? These are the important questions. Power is the native ability of creative Mind to constitute, maintain, and govern its infinite manifestation, spiritual creation and man. Says the Psalmist, "Power belongeth unto God," and Paul says, "There is no power but of God," and, "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." God is often referred to in the Bible as the Almighty. To be almighty, God must possess all the might there is, that is, have all power. Then to find real power men must find and know God. Mrs. Eddy speaks of "spiritual understanding — the true knowledge of God — as imparting the only power" (Miscellaneous Writings. p. 3). If you wish to possess the power to solve mathematical problems, you obtain it by acquiring an understanding of the principle of mathematics, by opening your thought to mathematical facts. In the proportion you understand mathematics, you possess the ability to solve mathematical problems. The understanding of mathematics includes the power to demonstrate mathematical rules. The understanding of God reflects God's power. You reflect God's power as you understand the Life, or divine Principle, which we call God.
God Is All That Is
Since all power is with God, and we possess it only as we understand God, it is of first importance that we have a correct concept of God. God, Christian Science teaches, is not anywhere in matter, is not in what we think of as the sky, the earth, or the sea. God is not in the material sense of universe. God is Mind, Spirit; and Mind, Spirit, cannot be in its opposite, the negative and material order or consciousness. God's creation is not material, but spiritual, and so never findable in the material concept of existence. Said Jesus, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Much of the confusion in religion has arisen because men have supposed God to be where He is not; have tried to conceive God as something which eye can see, or material sense cognize. Darkened material thinking cannot commune with or understand the divine intelligence or Mind which is God, but as you think spiritually you find your mental oneness with the presence and nature and substance of the source of spiritual thinking, God, Love, Mind.
Christian Science teaches that God is not merely an important factor in creation. God is the sum of all that is real, intelligent, the totality of true Mind, including its every manifestation. "God," says Mrs. Eddy, "must be found all instead of a part of being" (No and Yes, p. 12); also, "God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power" (Science and Health, p. 473).
Mind Power Is the Messiah
Christian Science teaches that the power of divine Mind is the Saviour, or the Messiah for humanity. Jesus explained and proved that the spiritual power of the Father, divine Mind, is the Saviour of men from the ignorant, mindless, material forces which are evidenced in sin, sickness, and death. Said he, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." In other words, divine Principle or Mind, operating in the human consciousness accomplishes the subjection of every evil force and condition which would contradict the supremacy of God. Mind-power accomplishes this saving of men by enlightening, that is, educating them out of material, ignorant thinking into spiritual, God-empowered thinking.
Man Endowed with God's Power
Christian Science is in accord with the Bible teaching that man's real being is not in, or limited by, a material, organic body, but is the individual expression of Spirit, Mind, God. As God, Spirit, cannot be found in the material order, no more can God's man, the expression of God, be in matter, the opposite of God. Physical science attempts to find life in material, chemical elements, physical organs, physical sense, and physical action, and makes no headway at all in its attempt. Recently a well-known physical scientist expressed his conclusion, resulting from many years of endeavor to discover what man is, in these words: "Man is an ensemble of one million billion specialized amoebas (cells) tied together with unknown bonds." Surely this is not a conception of man which aids in the attainment of a truly scientific and satisfying sense of Life.
Paul says, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." Mrs. Eddy designates the material creation, including material man, "an enigma" (Science and Health, p. 124), that is, something that is unexplainable. Every effort of physical science to explain it, confirms the correctness of her analysis. One of the leading members of the medical profession in the United States of America recently published a book entitled, "Man the Unknown." Christian Science disagrees with the assumption that man is unknown. It teaches that both God and man are altogether knowable, but not knowable through the physical senses. They can only be apprehended through spiritual sense, the perceptive power of eternal Mind. Man, as taught in Christian Science, is the individual, spiritually mental manifestation of God, mentally like God in quality. God, divine Mind, manifests Himself through the spiritual creation and spiritual man.
Power in Spiritual Thinking
If you desire electric power for your home, you establish connection with the power plant. Power is there to make your home light, but it will not force itself upon you. You must do your part in order to obtain it. So with God's power. It forever exists to enlighten man, but each individual must, by the quality of his thinking, find God's power within him. God's power is found within us in the degree that we entertain God's thoughts. They bring God's power to us. No one can ever find and use the power of God except as he thinks spiritually, for it is spiritual thinking alone that unites us with God and His unlimited power.
Men spend much time in improving the methods of agriculture, manufacture, transportation, and so on. Would that we might spend much more time improving the quality of our thinking, and by so doing, bring our human affairs under the control of God's healing, omnipotent power. Spiritual thinking is the activity of divine power.
To Philip, Jesus once said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" Jesus, of course, did not mean that everyone who had seen his physical personality had seen God, but what he meant was that those who were able to appreciate his spiritual qualities of thought would therein discern the manifestation of God. "Honesty," says Mrs. Eddy, on page 453 of Science and Health, "is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help." Meekness is another spiritual quality essential to the possession of God's power. Human willfulness, like dishonesty, forfeits that power. If one is truly sincere in striving to improve the quality of his thinking, he soon learns that criticism, irritability, apathy, sinful indulgence, must be relinquished if he is ever to find God and His power. The real man reflects God in spirituality, and in no other way. God is his Mind, so man reflects God, Mind, and his thoughts express the activity of Mind.
We may not all yet be able to have clothes of the best quality, but we can all have thoughts of the highest quality, divine quality. Inferior quality of thinking is what separates us from God's presence and God's power. There is one, and only one way to limitless power; it is through thoughts of spiritual quality. Spiritual power and spiritual quality dwell together. We have the former as we entertain the latter.
Power Inseparable from Truth
Truth and power live together. What is true, when consciously known, reflects the power to free from what is false. The true sense of mathematics, when realized, carries in its truthfulness the power to immediately free from an ignorant sense of mathematics. So the true idea of God carries with it the power to free from ignorance of God any consciousness that accepts it. The true idea of man has in itself the power to completely free life from every misconception of man. The power of Truth operative in Truth's ideas is our savior from ignorance of what is true.
The primal quality of Truth is intelligence, so the primal quality of man, Truth's witness, is intelligence. Another most important quality is goodness. One must be truly intelligent in order to be truly good, and one must be truly good in order to be truly intelligent. Mistaken mortals sometimes think it is smart to be bad and useless to be good. Jesus expressed spiritual power because he was so genuinely good, that is Godlike, in quality, so genuinely loving, just, meek, honest, and spiritually discerning. "The good you do and embody," says Mrs. Eddy, "gives you the only power obtainable" (Science and Health, p. 192). This was perfectly illustrated in Jesus' wonderful career. He showed that one embodies good by doing good and that power is inseparable from real goodness.
Tiny insects, sometimes almost too small to be seen, will prevent a beautiful rosebud from coming to bloom. The bud may be a good bud, but it is prevented from coming to bloom unless the insects are detected and removed. Sometimes in our experience we may have excellent desires. They grow and bud but they never bloom, and the reason is that bad or weak qualities of thought, often not recognized and corrected, prevent our desires from coming to fulfillment. Selfishness, self-will, apathy, material indulgence, bad temper, the letter of Science accepted as though it was the spirit of Truth, hinder the higher desires from coming to bloom.
God's Power Kills Fear
One of the greatest blessings that comes from the discovery that all power belongs unto God is the lessening of fear in us, and finally its complete annihilation. Why is anyone ever afraid? Simply because he believes that there is somewhere an evil and dangerous power that can in some way operate in him or on him to make him sick, subject him to accident, to loss, failure, discord. If one had to accept the testimony of the material senses such a conclusion would seem justified. But through spiritual thinking one discovers that such a belief is not basically true because God, intelligent good, has all the real power there is. Power belongs to intelligence rightfully, inevitably, and man is the individual expression of both the intelligence and the power of God. Man filled with the spirit of divine power is fearless because unassailable, beyond the touch of error's vain assumption to power. This fact recognized one's fear goes as his understanding of God grows.
No one can actually have any fear of the power of God. God's power never harms anything true. It destroys only what is negative, false, fraudulent. God's power is always constructive, intelligent, loving, sustaining, and protective. It preserves, not destroys; heals, not makes sick. Fear comes not from God, but from ignorance of God, His allness and power. Says the Bible. "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power." ''The spirit of ... power" is God's continuing gift to you and me.
In the chapter on Christian Science Practice in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says (p. 391), "Fear is the fountain of sickness," and (pp. 411, 412), "If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed. The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, front which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness." The Christian Scientist bases his thinking for the destruction of fear and disease on the divinely scientific concept of a God-governed man. This concept displaces the ignorant material one of a fear-controlled, matter-dominated man. This foundational, spiritual fact of creation, as Mrs. Eddy in beautiful phrase tells us (Science and Health, p. 521), needs to be "engraved on the understanding and heart 'with the point of a diamond' and the pen of an angel."
The Christian Scientist knows that he has glimpsed only in a small degree the import of these truths of scientific perfection, but his hold on them grows and strengthens. He clings to them steadfastly as the cornerstone of the Science of Life. He refutes the whole argument of the material senses that his individuality is embodied in and limited by organic matter and so separated from God, and he strives to realize the spiritual fact that the only true self he has is forever superior to, and apart from, matter and forever united to God, and embodies God-bestowed power.
The Christian Scientist knows in some degree, and daily declares, that his only real self is fearless because God, his only real Life and Mind, is fearless. He thinks and declares from day to day, and hour to hour, that real life reflects Life, God, divine intelligence, substance, and is the individualized activity of the power of God.
Real Life Includes Power
The coming of Jesus was a startling experience for those of his time, accustomed as the people were to subservience to the rule of priestcraft and of Judaic man-made law. Suddenly there appeared among them a man who had little regard for all their forms and rituals, a man who really understood God and His power, and proved that he did so by his healing works. Here was a man who without the least egotism said, "All power is given unto me," and proved his God-given capacity to use divine power to stop sinful thinking and subdue the forces that produce sickness and death. Says Mrs. Eddy (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 58), "With our Master, life was not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying sense of power that subdued matter and brought to light immortality." Here is a good test as to how much real manhood we have found. Is ours just a sense of existence, running with the currents of material life; or are we gaining a sense of divine power, the power of vital, universal good, within us? Naturally, God, the substance, Mind, and Life of spiritual man, empowers him with the ability and power to be all he should be, to do what he should do, as the perfect and immortal witness of the Almighty.
Human Will Not Real Power
The deceptive counterfeit of God's power is the human will which often seems so much a part of mortal selfhood. It is not the true motivating power of man, but is the negative, material sense of mind, God's opposite, driving and impelling mortal minds or mortal personalities. How is it that the human will comes to have so much influence over mortals? Mrs. Eddy gives the answer. "Elevating evil to the altitude of mind gives it power," states Mrs. Eddy (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 6). That is what we mortals have ignorantly been doing, elevating this blind, selfish, stubborn, ignorant force called the human will "to the altitude of mind." And it is not real mind at all. It urges, pushes, drives on the one who elevates it to the altitude of mind, posing as his own consciousness. Until he discovers its fraudulent nature he is deceived by it and is impelled hither and thither in ways quite the opposite of the ways of wisdom and intelligence. Human will is not Mind. It must be recognized as an alien outside the realm of Mind, a would-be usurper of the will of wisdom. You and I, then, need to be separating the human will and its impulses from our sense of Mind, for just so sure as we are willing to accept the human will as our consciousness we elevate it to the altitude of mind, and enthrone it with power over us. When you feel a willful urge to sin, to be angry, to have your own willful way, stop. Know that that is human will. Declare your unwillingness to elevate it to the altitude of mind.
True Meekness Gives Real Power
How does one get rid of the human will? By examining from day to day one's thoughts, desires, impulses. Are they expressing the will of unselfish good, God, the purposes of Love to bless and benefit all and to relate all in harmony and peace? If we are to get rid of the human will we must realize that our individuality is always effect, never cause. God alone is the cause of everything that is true. We get nowhere by trying, in a blind and ignorant way, to be the cause of anything and so to take over the prerogative of Deity. All-intelligent Mind is ever present to guide our every thought, decision, and judgment. In our true being we are not will-driven mortals but Love-governed children of God. "Meekness," says Mrs. Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings. p. 260), "moderating human desire, inspires wisdom and procures divine power." Again we see that the way to divine power is to strive to reflect the Mind of Christ. Meekness is a quality that links thought to God and omnipotent power.
Mortals foolishly strive, struggle, conspire, sometimes electioneer, to secure some human place and temporary power, only to find how empty such success is. Human place, of itself, cannot give any abiding satisfaction or sense of accomplishment. It is, though, often an opportunity for useful service. But what helps the individual is his unselfed serving, his spiritual attainments, not the place. Again many strive their lives through for material possessions, believing therein will be satisfaction. But no one has found it there, and no one ever will. Satisfaction is found in thinking of spiritual quality, not in possessing material things in quantity.
Evil Only Destroys Itself
Jesus refers to the evil sense of power as "the power of darkness," That is a most accurate description of the blind, devilish, destructive. material forces. The stealing powers that frighten and terrify, the powers that often come to be habitual in impelling to sin, dishonesty, deceit, cruelty, are all powers of darkness. How many of these dark forms of negative power are we accepting? Christ Jesus and Christian Science have come to turn thought from these ignorant, satanic powers to the power of God. Fortunately evil's only power is to destroy itself. It is powerless to destroy one iota of intelligence and good. Evil, material forces may seem to wreck and destroy the lives of men and nations. But these experiences are always confined to the transient realm of material thinking of which they are a part. They appear terribly tragic to those who accept the material order as substantial and real. But they never come into, nor substitute themselves for, that realm of spiritual reality and activity Jesus was conscious of when he said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." A lie eventually exposes, and so destroys, itself. So does the lying sense of existence, the material sense, but it is more quickly destroyed as men learn of and realize, as did Jesus, the present intactness of the spiritual kingdom of God.
Error destroys itself, but neither your selfhood nor my selfhood is ever included in this self-destructive process. The negative, material order, its personalities, conditions, and forces, is always of itself and by itself in the realm of negative belief and never supersedes or mingles with the kingdom of Life, Truth, and Love.
Jesus' statement, "All power is given unto me," applies to your real selfhood. He spoke what is true in regard to every real individuality, for the only agency through which the omnipotent power of God, good, can be manifested is in the true individuality of man. In "Pulpit and Press" Mrs. Eddy says (p. 3), "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love." Christian Science is awakening men to realize that they constantly have "the sovereign power to think and act rightly," the power to think and live happily, healthfully, harmoniously, successfully, the inherent power to overcome the sense of sickness and the urge to sin.
As the individual expression of God, you have every right to deny all the lying, limiting arguments of matter and to realize and affirm that you have the power of irresistible, omnipotent Mind, working in you, for you, with you, to exalt, inspire, purify, and spiritualize your consciousness and bring you into joyous at-one-ment with omnipotent Love.
Human Thoughts Powerless
When Jesus came before Pilate, Pilate said to him, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?" The Master's reply was, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." Pilate knew his power did not come from above. It was only the temporary power of the human law. Jesus knew so well that the power of God which was supporting him and his work was superior to all human power that Pilate's claim to power gave him no concern.
Many mortals suffer unnecessarily because they ignorantly believe that some Pilate or Pilates, sometimes a group of them perhaps, have power to do them harm, power to injure them with criticism, hatred, antagonism, or directed malice. Let them follow carefully Jesus' mental processes and know that no negative, ignorant, material thinking has one atom of power against God's man. The "power of darkness" can never deprive a candle of its own light. The candle light has a native power against which all the darkness in the world cannot avail. No more can the darkened thinking of one mortal, or many mortals, affect the God-enlightened consciousness of one man. Between a ray of light and a world of darkness there is no contact. One is positive, the other negative. Between man, whose being is a beam of living, intelligent light, and the darkness of material, hateful, unkind thinking there is never even a momentary link or contact.
Evil mental practice, sometimes designated malpractice, is as powerless against God's man as it is against God, for man is of and in God. It fails utterly by reason of its inherent powerlessness to touch or harm the affirmative consciousness that knows man's divine origin and power, and his natural, conscious at-one-ment with the omnipotent Mind. Evil thinking has not the smallest degree of power from God. The one absolute intelligence cannot, and does not, ever yield its man or its power to darkness, malice, and ignorance. Where, then, can evil obtain power? It cannot obtain any real power from anywhere. Whatever power it may seem to have it obtains from mortal mind, and we ignorantly believe in it, just as the dreamer believes in his dream. You may believe that a black cat, or the number thirteen, has some evil power, or that an evil-thinking mortal can hurt you with his thoughts, but fortunately your superstitious belief does not make such baseless beliefs true. You may suffer from your false belief while you entertain it, but whenever you are ready to think truthfully — ready to awaken from your dream — you can be free from it and its consequences. It is not evil that has power. It is your belief that it has power which needs to be destroyed. An understanding that God has all power will do this. Nothing else will.
It is a good practice daily to ask yourself the question, Where is power? Realize that to God, infinite, affirmative Mind, alone belongs all power. Furthermore Mind, intelligence, possesses every individual agency through which power can operate. This one Mind-power is always constructive, protective, sustaining, never harmful or destructive. Ask yourself the question, Since God has all the power there is, how much power is left for evil? None. I can then rely with perfect confidence on the power of God to protect me, to govern my thinking, my acts, my judgments. All my hopes I commit to the power of God. As Mrs. Eddy says in one of her poems (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 388), "Thou to whose power our hope we give." Let us give our every hope to God's loving, wise, all-embracing power.
God Is Everywhere Omnipotent
Orthodox religion has conceded God's power to overcome sin, but it has been uncertain and hesitant to admit God's power always to overcome sickness and subjugate matter. Yet that is what Jesus spent most of his time doing. In every detail of his human experience he recognized the spiritual power of good, God, whether the need was to make a sick body well, a base mentality wholesome, or to overcome the limiting forces of matter which said intelligence could not at once provide food for a multitude, and that material weight and space could separate man from the place where it was right for him to be. Mrs. Eddy cautions Christian Scientists not to "limit in any direction of thought the omnipresence and omnipotence of God" (Science and Health, p. 445).
Every moment we are thinking. Our thought goes out in a great many directions. Sometimes the direction is toward our homes, our dear ones, our businesses, employment, our church and its associations. Sometimes the direction may be along lines of recreation or education. Again thought goes out in the direction of pressing problems that demand our attention and solution, it may be supply, or the overcoming of ill-health, or the conquest of some sin or false appetite. But whatever the direction may be, we must learn not to limit the omnipotence and omnipresence of God in that direction. The varied human situations that our thought may go out toward must be seen as always subject to the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. His power and His presence made manifest in a perfectly ordered spiritual creation subdues the false belief in and fear of any situation which erring mortal mind may present to contradict the reality of His allness.
Our dear ones are supported and protected by His omnipotence, embraced in His omnipresence. Business activity is fundamentally the activity of omnipotent Mind and is truly expressed in that Mind's harmonious omniaction. In matters of church and other human associations the spiritual fact is the basis of our thought, God omnipotently working in the consciousness of all to govern, control, order, and unify for the accomplishing of His purposes.
Mortals are inclined to regard the matter of making a living as a pretty serious matter. It certainly is much too serious a matter to leave out of it the one fact that will make it a normal and harmonious undertaking. That one fact is the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. Recognize the fact that it is God's power which animates, controls, directs, supplies, and provides. See that there is no real presence but God's presence, made manifest by a universe of intelligent, Love-governed individualities. His power and wisdom operate so that "under the deific law ... supply invariably meets demand" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 45). Your living does not come basically from some person, or some company. It comes from God. Never trust any lower power or presence to provide for you. To be sure, the supply may appear through some human agency, but always it is basically made possible by the power and present activity of intelligent Mind, God. Trust that Mind and have no other trusts. Neither possessions nor persons are the source of supply, but always the one omnipotent Mind that constitutes all, possesses all, and provides for all by working in, governing, and constituting all.
The Bible a Message of Power
Jesus was a student of the Bible, or so much of it as was then existent. He studied it because he knew the value of the ideas it presents. He deplored ignorance of the Scriptures among the people, and to that ignorance attributed their erroneous ways of living and thinking. On one occasion he said, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." Had they known the Scriptures, they would have known "the power of God," for the Scriptures exist to acquaint men with spiritual power. "The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power" (Science and Health, p. 131). Mrs. Eddy was a deep student of the Bible, and she admonishes Christian Scientists to habitually study the Scriptures. "The Bible," she says, "was written in order that all peoples, in all ages, should have the same opportunity to ... become God-endued with power" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 190).
Truth's Healing Power
A few years ago in southern Illinois a woman lay grievously afflicted with tuberculosis. Her physicians told her that one lung had ceased functioning and that only a small portion of the second was active. They told her she might live a week, a month, or possibly two months, but that they could do nothing for her, and that the end was near. One Friday a Christian Scientist visited her and left some Christian Science literature for her to read. The patient accepted it, and after reading it asked her husband to arrange for the Christian Scientist to come the next day, Saturday, to see her. She came at nine in the morning and remained until one in the afternoon, explaining to the patient the love and power of God, and God's willingness and ability to heal her. Before the Christian Scientist left, the patient asked her to give her Christian Science treatment.
The Christian Scientist prayed for the patient in accordance with the teachings of Christian Science. She worked earnestly to realize what was the spiritual fact in regard to the patient, that her only real Life was God, Spirit, Mind, never infused into matter and never made subordinate to material forces that could afflict her with disease and death. She knew that eternal Love makes and maintains its witness, man, indestructible as Mind's own manifestation, as incapable of being consumed as is Mind. For some hours she pondered the great, eternal facts of God and the perfection of His man, and knew that these truths existed as the savior for the patient from the godless, powerless claims of ignorant matter and material force.
What happened? Sunday morning the patient awakened with a sense of life and freedom she had not known for years. She desired to arise and dress herself, something she had been unable to do for a long time. Reluctantly her husband and nurse consented. But they could not believe such a change had taken place. She was, however, entirely able to do so and then asked her husband to take her to the Christian Science church for the Sunday service. They walked several blocks to the church and back again after the service. Her lungs were functioning normally, and she was well on her way to a complete healing which came through the further application of Christian Science treatment. Today she is a whole, healthy, active worker in a Christian Science church.
What saved this woman from the consuming forces of matter? The power of God, her real Life, Mind, and Soul, operating in the spiritual quality of thought of the Christian Scientist. Spiritual thinking is power because it is Truth, active as individual consciousness.
Christian Science and God's Power
It is said that something more than four hundred years ago Leonardo da Vinci wrote an accurate and scientific thesis on airplane flight. But it was several centuries before the ideas which da Vinci discerned were put into daily practice, after the Wright brothers made the first actual flight in an airplane. Nearly two thousand years ago Christ Jesus both taught, and put into daily practice, the true ideas of the spiritual Science of Life. But the ideas he so clearly perceived and so definitely demonstrated were resisted by the inertia of centuries of material ignorance of spiritual reality, and after a comparatively brief period became to men largely a theory, unadapted to their everyday needs.
But the ideas he understood and utilized were true and provable. They could not remain forever lost or obscured by material ignorance, any more than the ideas of air flight which da Vinci perceived could be indefinitely hidden from men. Mind's natural purpose to enlighten consciousness cannot be indefinitely deferred by the darkness of ignorance. But the Wright brothers worked for years to make the ideas governing air flight their own. They had to make use of certain qualities of thought to achieve their goal. Persistence, patience, accuracy, self-sacrifice were some of these.
So Mrs. Eddy, in order to perceive the meaning of the basic ideas of being which Jesus so clearly discerned, had to be willing to improve with spiritual ideas the quality of her thinking. She was naturally religious in her attitude toward life, had become affiliated in early years with an orthodox church. But that was not enough. There had to be years of patient, persistent searching of the Scriptures, years of trial and experiment in her determined search for the Science of healing by divine power. Her deep faith in God enabled her to lay hold of that most powerful quality, moral courage, and with it to press on in her search. Honesty of purpose, humility, purity, were some of the other qualities of thought which enabled her to find, feel, and use the power of the Almighty. Nothing but the power of God could have enabled her, a retiring, gentle, New England woman unaccustomed to the strivings of men, to face a world of opposition to all she had to give. But through the spiritual quality of her thinking she had found the source of all real power. She came to the place where she knew, with the Psalmist, that "power belongeth unto God." Through her works thousands were healed. She made the demonstration of God's power the foundation of the Christian Science church, and that is its foundation today and forever. It was the power of intelligent Mind that communicated and revealed to Mrs. Eddy the true ideas which she has made available for all. In Science and Health, page 109, she says, "The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power." It was the power of true Mind working in her which wisely defined the footsteps for the establishing of the Christian Science movement and its co-ordinated activities, adapted to the world-wide dissemination of the message of God's supreme power. It is the omnipresent, omniactive power of untiring Mind that is and will continue to be the reliance of Christian Scientists for the guidance, protection, and direction of this God-empowered movement and the accomplishment of its purpose to heal from sickness, deliver from sin, and free from every condition of thought and being which is less than the expression of real Life, God.
One of Jesus' greatest statements was, "Behold, I give unto you power . . . over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." No stronger statement could be phrased in regard to the supremacy of spiritual power — "power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." No hurt can come to those who embody this power by thinking as he thought, by using the spiritual qualities of thinking he possessed. No hurt can come either, through the body, or through physical or material laws, or times, or conditions, or by means of the evil thinking of one, or a few, or a multitude of mortals. "Nothing shall by any means hurt you"! The promise of dominion over and exemption from every lie of "the power of darkness" Christian Science is bringing to fulfillment for those who are willing to recognize and use the spiritual qualities of thought which give consciousness the limitless power of man's limitless God. With John they hear a voice saying. "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ."
[Delivered Nov. 12, 1937, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Detroit, Michigan, and published in The Grosse Pointe (Michigan) Review, Nov. 18, 1937.]