Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (2)
Paul Stark Seeley, C.S.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
It was a large and highly appreciative audience which gathered at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Monday night, to hear the lecture of Paul Stark Seeley, C.S., of Portland, Oregon, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.
The speaker was introduced in appreciative words by Oscar G. Bauman. In full, the speaker said:
The Present Times
That we live in a time filled with great events is today an oft-repeated saying, and the saying is beyond question true. Men and nations are feeling a power and impetus to better things. The hold of time is loosening and changes heretofore committed to centuries take place in a day. In social, civic, economic and religious thought revolutions are following revolutions, turning and overturning the very roots of established systems. Right and reason are supplanting mere precedent and opinion. The moral impulse of millions has been quickened and multitudes are sacrificing all that earth holds dear for the preservation of their ideals of freedom, justice and good.
If the thought of the great body of mankind could find expression at this period, that expression would doubtless be one of dissatisfaction, in varying degrees, with things as they are, an earnest desire for the establishment of a better order, coupled with a somewhat blind faith that it is to be, but an uncertain sense as to the method of its accomplishment. More than ever before of earth's people are reaching out in an earnest effort for better things quickened by these present times, to effect a change from the tribulations and uncertainties of mortal existence and to find that sure foundation upon which men and nations may safely build; that peace foundation that not only excludes the terrors of physical conflict but also insures relief from the ravages of sin, sorrow, disease, and every earthly woe.
The time, it seems, is at hand when as never before men are ready to stop and ponder, aye to think on the supremacy of good and the way to its present demonstration. Carlyle has said, and truly, that "A thinking man is the worst enemy the prince of darkness can have." Mrs. Eddy, with keen appreciation of the present period, says on page vii of the Preface of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity." Surely the world is questioning its systems which have failed to bring to it in the time of its greatest need security, happiness, health, and peace. Its theories of man-made material beliefs are falling and in the ruins there is beginning to appear the foundation of that true creation in which all religion, science and medicine are one; and all real life and being is seen to proceed from and be the expression of eternal spiritual Truth.
Such indeed is the course of human thought, such the tide of human yearning. The world driven by its suffering and anguish is hungry of heart and thirsty of soul for an answer to its question, "How can good be attained, how can harmony, health and peace be surely accomplished and established?" To this momentous question its science and religion make faint reply, but its heart continues to long for the answer.
Christian Science Defined
With the assurance of that which has been tried and proven, Christian Science presents to the world, not a new denominational dogma, but the eternal truth about God, creation, and man, based on reason, logic, and demonstration. It asserts that an ever-operative law of good, which is superior to every phase of evil, exists, that this law may be understood and used by man to overcome every evil condition with which he may be confronted. It recognizes the heart hunger of men and nations and supplies the one and only antidote for evil of every kind. These are bold claims, but Christian Science is proving its assertions to be as true as the law of God which gave them birth and which has brought to this religious movement a vitality, vigor, power and fruitfulness that is giving to it pre-eminence and merited consideration among thinking men.
Christian Science has been defined by Mrs. Eddy in her work entitled Rudimental Divine Science, page one, "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony." Universal harmony is surely what the world is desiring, what you and I want in our daily life and all its relationships, for universal harmony excludes all evil, discord, sickness, and woe. Christian Science presents, interprets, and demonstrates this law of good so that all who will may presently enjoy its unlimited blessing. What then is this law, how is man to lay hold of and to use it in his daily life? Let us address ourselves to these questions.
Consciousness and Being
Whatever may be our shade of religious thought, we can readily agree that we are, that is, that we exist and have being. Life is a fact to us because we think and have consciousness. In our consciousness our motives, our purposes, our relationships are formed, the whole course and order of our life activity determined. No experience good or bad, no joy nor sadness, no sense of truth nor reality but comes to us through our thinking. Our consciousness is our life realm. We can only know or experience that of which we think, and the boundaries of our world are broad or narrow, its conditions harmonious or discordant, according to the make-up of our consciousness. Our conscious sense about ourselves, our fellows, the universe and its cause is our concept of creation, our being and our selfhood.
Mortal Thought Confused
Looking into the consciousness of the world at large we find a divided sense of life and being, widely varying points of view, mental cross currents, acting and counteracting upon one another. Good and evil appear in conflict in every department of human life. Religion, medicine, and science are viewed from a hundred different angles, and on social, political, and economic questions men are of a multitude of minds. In this complexity of human thought, in this labyrinth of world opinion, one looks for a standard but none is to be found. Men are as far apart as the poles in their beliefs as to where they came from, and as to whither they are bound. Cause is to them a thing of mystery, and destiny a matter of conjecture. Confusion and division seem exalted and unity and certitude seem hidden from men's minds. Can this confusion of mortal thought be disentangled? What is the solution? Is there a rational, provable explanation of mind's processes, of cause and effect, of good and evil, or is life a mystery, man the marionette of evil forces, the puppet of chance and circumstance, and creation an unexplainable enigma?
Looking into this maze of a world confused, divided and discordant, Christian Science places before men the unvarying standard of spiritual Truth, a lodestar and unerring guide to lead them out of the turmoil of worldly belief into the peaceful latitudes of consciousness which are correlative with true being. With the understanding of the spiritual truth about God and man the simplicity of good supplants the complexity of evil, order takes the place of chaos, and man's conscious sense lays hold of the priceless verities of eternal life and spiritual law.
The Primal Cause
Since we can all agree that we are, that is that we have consciousness, let us next consider what is the origin and cause of man's consciousness. An answer to this question must be an answer to the important question, What is the origin of man? Man and his consciousness are one.
Reason tells us that the cause of man must be intelligent, that intelligence indeed must be its primary quality. A moment's consideration shows us that intelligence is found only in Mind, is the native substance and essence of Mind. Indeed Mind and intelligence are inseparable, synonymous; and it is therefore intelligence, or Mind, that Christian Science accepts as the rational and primal cause of man. Mind or intelligence is the source of conscious being, that from which we spring, "the fountain of life," as the Psalmist has expressed it. All that can truly have being must then be conceived by and be the expression of true Intelligence. From this fundamental premise Christian Science never deviates in its deductions or conclusions.
True Intelligence Is God
It is apparent that between Mind and consciousness there is the closest relationship. Consciousness is the active expression of Mind. Mind does not exist outside of consciousness.
Mind is, we readily see, the very substance of life and as taught in Christian Science is Life. Again since Mind or intelligence embraces all that is true, there being no mindless or unintelligent truth, Mind must be Truth. Wisdom of course characterizes intelligence or Mind and its entire expression, or creation. This statement leads us to see that goodness, unity, and harmony — the expression of wisdom — must characterize Mind and its expression. Evil, discord, and distress betray absence of wisdom or entire unrelatedness to real Mind or intelligence. Erring human thought is not real intelligence and bears no relationship to God. Goodness and harmony are correlated with intelligence, evil and discord are coincident with ignorance.
The highest signification of intelligence is Love, the truest synonym for God. We thus come to see that this one intelligence, this one altogether good Mind, Life, Truth, and Love is that primary cause to which mortals have given the name of God, and that the totality of good or the sum total of intelligence is the person of God.
Evil Not of God
Let it be well noted that an altogether intelligent and good cause cannot initiate, or produce an unintelligent or evil effect. Evil is not an adjunct of intelligence nor is immortal Mind sponsor for sin, mortality, discord and disease. Who will say that intelligence, wisdom and love are responsible for such scenes us today stand forth in bold relief in the world of matter and mortality, when multitudes are afflicted with sorrow and millions contend in strife, and when for many the sun of life seems all but darkened? Surely God is not the author of such scenes. Habakkuk well expressed the entire separateness of God or intelligence from evil when he said, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity."
To make God responsible for evil at once gives it place as eternal reality, thereby forever forestalling hope of harmony, peace, and brotherhood. It impugns God's wisdom, power and love, enthrones Satan, and damns mankind to perpetual sorrow, discord, and dismay. Such a belief is the depth of pessimism. Christian Science is a religion of joy and gladness for it propounds an intelligent optimism based on a usable understanding of the supremacy of good and the way to its present demonstration. Good does not associate nor collaborate with evil. God does not fraternize with the devil.
The Presence of God
While recognizing the goodness of God it is important for us to recognize the fact of God's presence and how we may find Him. The world has for too long been deceived by false concepts of God as distant, unknowable and unreachable, except perchance, as some have believed, by an intermediary. God is spiritual good and everywhere we find spiritual good, we find God. God is to be found in thought, through spiritual thinking, and nowhere else. Understanding good is knowing God, doing good is expressing God. "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you," said Jesus, that is, within your consciousness. Wherever then we find the expression of spiritual good, that is wherever we find the manifestation of goodness, love, kindness, honesty, and purity, right there is God being expressed.
Evil, matter and the world deny the presence of good, but whenever we rightfully turn thought from the negative claims of evil to the positive facts of spiritual good, we find good there waiting for us, God present with us, just as Jesus stated.
God is not affected by the physical concepts of distance or space. God isn't somewhere, He is everywhere. God is not up there and man down here. The here and there of mortal sense does not affect the everywhere of God. No matter what man's mortal environment may be, be he in the home, the office, the factory, the farm or the battlefield, God is as near to man as thought.
The fuller recognition of social and economic justice by men of all classes, by capital and labor, by employers and employees, but portends the fuller appreciation of the ever-presence of God, the common good, for as Mrs. Eddy has so well said in The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, page 287, God is "practical good." Not abstract, theoretical, and distant but concrete and practical, presently knowable, whose law is today understandable and applicable to every problem in human life. This foundational premise of God as practical, universal and impartial good, is the only rock on which the church universal and church triumphant can be built, as Jesus pointed out to the enlightened sense of Peter. My friends, in these times of mental trial let us remember this that spiritual good alone is infallible, and good understood and lived is the only earthly representative of God.
Man the Expression of God
If God be divine intelligence, or the altogether good Mind, what is the true status of man? We all know that Mind is manifest only through its ideas. Therefore, the true status of man, the creature of intelligence, is the idea of Mind, the individual expression of God, the offspring of intelligence, or the son of God, as the Bible puts it. Creation and man because they express God, must be co-existent and co-eternal with Him. Thus since man is to God as effect to its cause the eternity of man is established, for if spiritual man could have a beginning or an ending there would be some time when eternal Mind would be unexpressed, therefore not Mind.
The real man, since he is the expression of God, must be like Him in quality, for effect cannot differ in quality from its cause. He is in reality mental, spiritual, and expresses only goodness, purity, love and truth, the perfect creature of a perfect cause. Thus we see that Jesus's admonition, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," simply means to rid consciousness of all evil and mortality and gain the true spiritual sense of being which enables man to express his perfect, natural and divine identity.
The Real Man Is Spiritual
The real man is not a physical organism that like to a jack-in-the-box appears and disappears. He is the creature of Mind. Matter is Mind's opposite, never its partner nor medium. Man does not live because of matter, but in spite of it. Matter is not the creator, destroyer, or arbiter of his being. Man does not live by sufferance of evil but by decree of God. He is not a variable mixture of good and evil whose moral mercury rises and falls according to the atmosphere of temptation and circumstance, a mixture diplomatically adjusted to keep him on speaking terms with the devil, without too seriously offending God. No, man is in reality the eternal and constant idea of Mind, Life, Truth, Love. How indeed would intelligence, honesty, love, purity, goodness, and justice be expressed save through the consciousness and activity of man?
A reciprocal relationship exists between cause and effect for cause is manifest and known only through its effect, and the effect depends for its whole life upon the cause. God is cause, man effect. God is your life and my life and all real life. He depends on you and me to express Him.
"Ye are the temple," that is, the consciousness or expression, "of the living God," said Paul. You and I and all ideas of Life are the only agency of divine expression. We cannot change nor abandon our function nor relinquish our responsibility. God must maintain man perfect and harmonious to sustain His prestige as Deity. Man must know and express God aright, if he is really to be. "In Him," said Paul, "we live, and move, and have our being." How much of this great statement do we realize!
Matter Opposed to Spirit
Looking into the consciousness of mortal man we find a very different concept of God, creation, and man than that which we have been considering. This concept makes matter to be cause from which man seems to be evolved by a material mind which operates through matter. Man is a creature of flesh, sinful, corrupt and perishable instead of the expression of God, perfect, pure, and eternal. In this corrupt, material concept is found division, strife, sickness, grief, fear, injustice and hell. Ignorance and confusion about life, its origin and ultimate, characterize this mortal sense of being. Mortal man knows nothing of what precedes or follows this short earth span. He is hopeful of better things, perhaps, but ignorant of how to attain them. Good is limited and obscured instead of being natural and abundant. Things of beauty are but for a moment and all that appears perishes and dies.
Matter in some form seems to be everywhere and thus offers a direct contradiction to the ever-presence of Mind or intelligence. This mortal sense of creation which makes matter its god would subordinate divine intelligence to mortal ignorance, supplant all-powerful good with all-mighty evil; supersede the ever-presence of good which is heaven with the ever-presence of evil which is hell. Which of these concepts of creation is true, the material or the spiritual? Both cannot be for each is the exact opposite of the other. "I have set before you," said the prophet, "life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose!" This is the demand that is pressing you and me and all mankind today, a demand that will never cease until we have chosen and chosen aright — aligned our thinking with the true cause, divine intelligence and its law.
Mortality the Lie
For every true fact there is a lie about it, even about God and His creation. As God and His creation is the one altogether good Mind, expressed in ideas of life, goodness and love, so the lie is the altogether evil mind and its manifold expression in matter, sin, sickness and mortality. One is the sum total of good, the other the sum total of evil.
No matter how much or how long believed, a lie never evolves into truth but remains a lie to be destroyed by truth. However manlike a scarecrow may appear, it never evolves into a man. Only the crow is fooled by the scarecrow. The world, like the crow, has been fooled by a counterfeit, make-believe, — we might use a word from the front and say — camouflage man. The devil is a master at camouflage. Deception is his business. Christian Science, shows you and, me how not to be fooled by the camouflage of evil but through a knowledge of spiritual reality to pierce the mask of mortality and find our true spiritual selfhood.
Separates True From False
Christian Science separates in the consciousness of men the mortal sense of being from the immortal, the material from the spiritual, and establishes in your consciousness and in mine the real God-ordained sense of being which means to us freedom from the throes of mortality and brings us happiness, health and true being. It points out that in our consciousness we have been accepting and holding to a material sense of creation as here, with the hope of a spiritual creation hereafter. Spiritual Truth, it affirms, does not wait on time nor is the goodness of God deferred into futurity. Jesus made the unequivocal statement, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," that is, the realm of supreme good is here and now to be known, understood and so enjoyed by man.
Unfoldment of Truth
Since the first faint ray of spiritual Truth dawned in that state of individual consciousness which we call Adam, separating and condemning sin and evil as opposed to the moral law of good, there has been going on in the consciousness of mankind a gradual mental progression out of the darkness and grossness of materialism into the light of spiritual Truth. This first call of Truth to the unillumined mortal consciousness is graphically illustrated in the allegorical Scriptural account of the material creation as "Adam, where art thou?" or, as Mrs. Eddy has so aptly interpreted it on page 307 of Science and Health, "Consciousness, where art thou?" We may interpret this important question thus, "What are you, O mortal man, thinking about? Are you accepting as real the evil or the good sense of creation, the material or the spiritual concept of God and man, cause and effect?" This is the question that is sounding louder and louder in the thought of mankind, a question that cannot be avoided nor an answer long delayed.
This period of 6,000 years since Adam has been for mankind a period of gradual growth into a clearer, concept of God, intelligence, and the operation of His laws in man and the universe. Today we live in what students of the prophetic scriptures agree with practical unanimity are "the latter days," and Christian Science is here to interpret the "latter days" as the time when good shall be demonstrated to be supreme and eternal, and the end of the world of material belief to be at hand.
Spiritual Truth Discerned
As the highest mountain peak is first touched with the rays of dawn, so in the history of spiritual unfoldment it is to those states of consciousness less engrossed in matter than those about them that the rays, the ideas of Truth, are sure to appear. Following the history of spiritual unfoldment during the six thousand years since Adam we see that Abraham because of his trust in good and his fidelity to his highest sense of Truth, became the leader and protector of a nation destined to be the channel for great benefits to mankind. It was Moses whose moral courage made the power of good manifest for that same people in their hour of need, and gave expression to their highest discernment of the moral law, preserved for us in the ten commandments. Elijah, Elisha, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others in their time and place discerned in some considerable degree the underlying spiritual Truth of being and gave of what they saw and understood for the betterment and further advancement of mankind. Of an age different from our own, with widely divergent customs and language, they were nevertheless animated by the one right motive, were seeking the solution of the same life that confronts all men of all ages.
Christ Jesus' Work
Discerning in some measure the necessary steps in human development before the full understanding and demonstration of spiritual Truth could be apprehended and accomplished by mortals, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Micah foretold the coming, at the proper time of a fuller revelation of the spiritual Truth than they had perceived. And so a little less than twenty centuries ago there was given to mankind through the consciousness of the man Christ Jesus a fuller and more complete revelation of the law of God and its operation in human affairs than had ever before been manifest to mortals. The sick were healed, the sorrowing comforted, the dead raised, all in direct contravention of the world's — that is matter's and the human mind's — sense of law, but in direct fulfillment of God's law, for said Jesus, "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
He spoke of the sick as those whom Satan had bound, and all evil he denominated "a liar." The false laws of evil and matter he destroyed in his work of fulfillment. Laws of physics were broken when he walked on the waves and stilled the sea, laws of material limitation — demand and supply — were set at naught when he fed the five thousand, laws of materia medica were nullified when he healed the ten lepers, laws of optics were made void when he opened the eyes of the blind, and finally the backbone of finity and mortality itself was broken when he raised the dead and proved spiritual consciousness to be eternal and supreme over all mortality by coming forth from the tomb unscathed by the tempests of evil's hate that culminated in the crucifixion. His was a message of life and love, free from ritual. It was for the hearts, the consciousness, of men. "I am come," said he, "that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly," more abundantly than matter had allowed.
For himself, Christ Jesus claimed no supernatural power. In his works he saw but the natural operation of the law of God, intelligence, operating to maintain the integrity of its creation against the encroachments of evil belief. Paul has said, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," that is, all holding the mortal material concept of creation, symbolized in Adam, accept death as real and so experience it, so those having the spiritual consciousness of being which Christ Jesus showed to men shall thereby demonstrate eternal being.
Coming of Comforter
The coming of Christ Jesus made a rift in the density and darkness of materialism but he knew too well the devilishness of evil and its hold on the thought of mortals to presume that the world, wedded to its fleshpots of sin and sensualism, would at once become Christian or seize with zeal the message of the supremacy of good. Though his coming was heralded with the words, "On earth peace, goodwill toward men," he himself said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword," foreseeing the struggles the world would pass through and the suffering it would endure ere men would be willing to relinquish their slavemasters of erroneous beliefs in matter and mortality and gain the peace and brotherhood that come with the spiritual understanding that he exemplified. The struggle thus indicated between the forces of good and evil, inaugurated by the teachings of Christ Jesus in the first century of the Christian era is being consummated in the minds of men and nations in the twentieth. The right of man to be governed by his maker free from the tyranny of human will and the domination of physical might is here and now to be determined.
The Truth taught by Christ Jesus based the Christian era and made manifest to men the fatherhood of God. His message was the Christ, even the knowledge of God and man, the only way by which man cometh to know the Father Mind. Knowing the hardness of the hearts of mortals, buried in materialism and false belief, he said to his followers, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," but foreseeing the time when the world would be ready to receive the full explanation and corroboration of his teachings he foretold that there should come the Comforter who, he said, "shall teach you all things" and "guide you into all Truth." John too, in his vision at Patmos, saw in the course of spiritual unfoldment the time when there should come the full and complete revelation of spiritual Truth, which, he prefigured in the twelfth chapter of Revelation as "a woman clothed with the sun" who "brought forth a man child," destined "to rule all nations with a rod of iron." This full unfoldment of the knowledge of Mind, Truth — the Comforter — the Father-Mother God, came to Mary Baker Eddy In the year 1866 and has been given by her to the world in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, whose leaves are, in the prophetic words of John, "for the healing of the nations."
Mary Baker Eddy
Mrs. Eddy's ancestors came to the new world for religious freedom, and the atmosphere of her childhood home in the hills of New Hampshire was that of the early Puritans, strong in their religious convictions, honest and energetic in their daily living. In the family circle of eight Mrs. Eddy was the youngest and enjoyed the care of a tender and loving mother and affectionate interest of an older brother. It was these two who seemed to exercise the greatest influence on her early years. As a girl she soon evidenced a natural inclination toward religious study and independent thought. Reared amid the doctrines of everlasting punishment she chose rather the concept of God as Love, much to the consternation of her somewhat severe father. As a child she displayed an unusual thirst for knowledge and in her early girlhood studied with her older brother moral science and natural philosophy, and became master with his help of the Latin, Greek and Hebrew grammars. She soon became known as a prodigy of learning. Her thought turned naturally toward spiritual matters and she early acquired a close acquaintance with the Bible characters. Of her feelings at this period she has since written: "From my very childhood I was impelled by a hunger and thirst after divine things, — a desire for something higher and better than matter — to seek for the knowledge of God, as the one great and ever-present relief for human woe."
When a girl, Mrs. Eddy became a member of the Congregational church and was for a time under the instruction of her pastor, who said of her, "Bright, good, pure, aye brilliant! I never before had a pupil of such depth and independence of thought. She is an intellectual and spiritual genius. She has some great future, mark that." The sunshine of girlhood soon changed to the deepest shadows and in the first few years of womanhood she was separated by the shifting scenes of earth from all those she had held most dear, and became a widow dependent on others. It was the trials of these years that caused her to search more earnestly for that understanding of God's law which she felt must be knowable by man. When a child Mrs. Eddy had experienced healing through relying on her faith in God and now again in these years of tribulation she again found that she could heal serious physical disorders through reliance on Him. More than twenty years previous to her discovery of Christian Science she had become convinced that the cause of all disease was due to wrong thinking and could be healed through an understanding of the law of God. It was to learn the exact science of God, the law which she felt governed the works of Jesus, the early Christians and her own, that she ever directed her thought.
In 1866 Mrs. Eddy, after suffering a severe accident which endangered her life, and receiving no aid from medical attendance, turned and as best she then knew placed her trust in the law of God as the healing agency. The healing was quickly accomplished and with it came a clearer realization of the modus of the law from which it resulted. For nearly ten years following her remarkable recovery Mrs. Eddy searched the Scriptures and labored to more fully understand this law and give it correct expression in human terms. As a result of her labors she published in 1875 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which corroborates the vital message of Christ Jesus and lucidly explains the law of spiritual healing, the world's one hope for salvation from human woe.
Opposed by ridicule, hatred, jealousy, treachery, and misrepresentation this lone woman faced the massed forces of materialism, and with but the single thought of bringing good to earth through a clear and demonstrable knowledge of God, she never turned back in the stupendous undertaking which she soon saw it would be, to firmly found in human thought, the eternal, spiritual truths of being so hidden and obscured by the world's clouds of doubt, dogmatism, ecclesiasticism, and false material belief. Beginning to teach, with cobblers from the shoe shops of Lynn, Massachusetts, as her first pupils, she walked for years in paths of thorns, for there were few indeed, to receive her message. Here and there, however, there was one to listen and to hear, and in 1879 the first Christian Science church was formed in Boston, Mrs. Eddy serving as its pastor. She continued to teach classes of increasing numbers, to edit the first publication of the movement, The Christian Science Journal, and to direct with wisdom and love the movement's advancing footsteps.
Until mankind knows much more of the ways of evil than it does today it cannot begin to appreciate the monumental work accomplished by this consecrated woman, who in the later years of her human life discovered and gave expression to the spiritual Truth that is now overturning the consciousness of the world, and afterwards by dint of her vision, courage, wisdom, boundless charity, and love so firmly established and so wisely protected that great Truth with an organization at once, democratic, efficient, and harmonious that the storms of persecution, hate and treachery have beaten against it in vain and it stands today stronger than ever before, increasing its activities, enlarging its borders and bringing to all men through its many avenue of service the ministry of reconciliation, even the ministry which reconciles man to his God.
It is but a small tribute to note here that in recent years Mrs. Eddy has received from her townspeople and neighbors at Concord, New Hampshire, through the Mayor and City Council, official expression of their esteem and respect, that she has been designated by a Governor of her state as that state's greatest woman, that Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, whose work of service to mankind has placed her in the first rank of all women, has been glad to accord to Mrs. Eddy the place of "the nation's greatest woman." Here indeed it is but to interpret the logic of events to add that ere the hour-glass of this century is run, Mary Baker Eddy will receive her rightful place in human history as the world's greatest woman. Lest per chance any might wrongly think of her idea of greatness let it be said as she has stated to her followers,
"Great, not like Caesar, stained with blood,
But only great as I am good."
— The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, page 248.
Let us remember that we can no more understand and demonstrate spiritual Truth without recognizing and valuing rightly the great Christian characters who have declared it, than we can discern the sun when blinded to its rays.
Mrs. Eddy's life purpose has been beautifully stated in the first issue of The Christian Science Journal, in stating that periodical's intent. It was "To bring to many a household health, happiness and increased power to be good and to do good; — to kindle all minds with a common sentiment in a regard for and understanding of infinite Truth."
With the growth of the movement its Leader established the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly publication, and later Der Herold der Christian Science, a monthly publication in German. A similar publication is now being published in French. In 1908 Mrs. Eddy founded The Christian Science Monitor, the world's only international daily newspaper, which with quiet power is shedding the light of honesty among earth's shadows, and with an eye single to truth, is unraveling the skein of confusion in the affairs of men and nations. The purpose of this paper, also, wonderfully epitomizes her own life purpose. Indeed it was her purpose and is the purpose of the whole Christian Science movement, and it is this, "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind."
Christian Science blesses mankind by showing the practical and only way to demonstrate harmonious being. Christian Science teaches that the salvation of mankind from evil and mortality consists in the separation in consciousness of the false material sense of God, man, and creation from the true sense of God and man as spiritual and eternal, dividing between Adam and Christ. Failure to separate the real from the unreal, calling evil good and good evil, entertaining a confused and divided sense about creation as part material and part spiritual has cost men ages of agony and the end is not yet.
As the farmer separates the grain from the chaff, the miner the gold from the dross, so must mankind separate the good from the evil and cast out of consciousness all that is not the expression of good. God, the manifestation of divine intelligence.
Mrs. Eddy has aptly summarized this need in her writings. On page 261 of Science and Health she says, "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." This admonition helps us to recognize the force of Jesus's great statement of the one way by which life and freedom are attainable when in twelve words he stated the law of God for man's complete salvation thus. "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."
The world is becoming accustomed to momentous changes in the consciousness of men, established systems and customs are overthrown in a day. These but herald the greatest change which has but begun, even the change from a material to a spiritual basis of thought and action.
War Is Mental Conflict
Mankind hasn't found it an easy task to rid consciousness of the false beliefs of generations and the struggles in doing so have been many and varied. Though war itself engross us in the defense of the highest good we now know, let us remember that all conflict is predicated upon opposing states of consciousness, upon differing beliefs of the human mind about life, substance, and reality. War is a strife between different mental concepts of which the physical conflict is but the outward evidence. "The flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh." "The carnal mind is enmity against God," said Paul. In other words, the evil mind is the enemy of good.
Therefore the war today is the conflict of mental forces, of differing states of consciousness, and that state of thought having the most of good, the most justice, the most of love in it is bound to prevail, because it most nearly though yet imperfectly expresses God and His law. Its victory cannot be for selfish gain but for the good of all mankind, that the law of good and justice may be more fully established among men.
It should renew our hope that the world has advanced to that point in its thinking at which its people have been willing to lay down their earthly all for an ideal unseen, untouched, even unknown to physical sense, yet so real and tangible to consciousness that millions have given of their life and treasure for its preservation and protection. Through the ruins and ashes of material systems the foundations of the eternal order are surely beginning to appear.
The Diabolism of Evil
The opposition to good we all experience, in our consciousness, the inward rebellion, the doubt, the fear, the earthward gravitation, the drag that seems to bind us to error, rivet us to mortality, what is it. what is its modus and how is man to overcome it? It is persistent mental suggestion pounding like a trip hammer the thought of mortal man. The line of its argument, with which men have become so mesmerized that they do not analyze it, until Christian Science awakens thought to spiritual Truth, may be presented thus:
"I matter and carnal mind am cause. I conceive, evolve, and produce man. I am the arbiter of his destiny. His life is but a span. The cradle and the grave are the limits of his being. Having conceived him I govern, and environ him. My laws he must obey. He shall be pained when I so decree, shall fail, be unhappy, hateful and undone as my fancy orders, and finally I will make him sick and destroy him for my blessing is a curse, my way damnation.
"I am subtle and sly and by craftiness and dishonesty I can deceive all men and be their master. By specious arguments of pride and power I cause men to think themselves as gods destined to rule by their human will. Thus do I set brother against brother, nation against nation, contradict the unity of good, set at variance men and nations and make the brotherhood of man a mockery. Lies, sickness, murder, famine, pestilence and pillage are my pastime for I am the enemy of life and truth and of all that is good. To contradict every right purpose, to thwart every right desire is my aim and my glory. Dishonesty and intrigue, of these I am master. Hell is the fact, heaven a theory. I, matter and carnality, am the god of this world, worshipped by men and nations and I manipulate them all for my malign intents. I make them, terrify them, destroy them. Give heed to me, obey my laws. Woe be to him who defies my will, who dares combat my decrees."
Mankind has not lacked for desires to throttle this enemy of human welfare but it has lacked the wisdom and understanding with which to direct and protect its desires for good and to bring them to fruition. Christian Science shows that through affirmative, scientific right thinking, that is knowing spiritual Truth, every mode of evil may be denied and overthrown by the operation of the law of God.
To the braggart Goliath of materialism Christian Science says, "1 accept your challenge to decide whether good or evil is to be supreme in the consciousness of men, for I know what you are, your diabolical and murderous intents, and I know how to thwart them all. You are the lie about Truth, nothing more, and the Truth understood is your destroyer as Jesus stated.
"Your boldness and craftiness lack intelligence and power and get you nothing in the realm of God. Your persistent and seeming proximity do not fool me a particle for I know eternal Truth and know that you are no part of it and cannot become part of it. You lack divine authority, sanction, and law and can never become part of the divine order. You are just what Christ Jesus called you, a liar and murderer, and because you are what you are you cannot frighten God or faze man one whit. You are impotent to hurt or to harm any part of Mind's creation, Truth's expression, nor can you unmake or destroy what God has made.
"Your diseases, sins, subtlety and intrigues are exposed and rendered null by the light of intelligence and your attempts to set at naught moral law and reign by human will and physical force are destined to failure. Your cunning is exposed and your end determined. Because you are what you are annihilation is your portion. You are growing less every hour and your final struggle to maintain your reign on earth in the minds of men and nations is doomed to failure.
"Absolute good is the only God, and the law of good to evil is 'Thou shalt surely die.' God is All and there is none else, and His creation is the universe of good embracing all kindreds, nations and peoples who in their true and ultimate being express Him, the one Life and intelligence of all. No power can disrupt, disturb, or violate the integrity of that which God has made. His Love embraces all in infinite moral unity."
Thus with scientific argument and affirmation Christian Science teaches men to meet at the point of consciousness every evil suggestion, seem it small or great, and through the realization of the actuality of spiritual reality throttle and overthrow evil's lying sense.
Democracy and Autocracy
Christianity rightly understood is the touch-stone of democracy, for without Christianity — the Science of true law and true loving — democracy is but sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. From the truth about equity, law and government as taught by Christ Jesus democracy — standing for the rights of conscience, individual freedom, socially, economically, religiously, and medically — derives its impetus and power.
Democracy is derived from two Greek words meaning rule and people, hence the rule of the people. All government is primarily mental. Democracy is that government expressed through the consciousness of all or the larger part of the people. Autocracy is the government by the will of one or a few. Democracy is the certain evidence of mankind's mental growth away from the domination of material force and human will, and his progression toward that true government which is found in the one altogether good Mind, the common intelligence, source and ruler of all.
Autocracy, whether it be found in national councils, religious or medical hierarchies, or in the thought of individuals, is but evil's claim to power. It is the carnal mind which is ever the enemy of God. Autocracy is the lie about God's government, for it is the rule of human will, recognizing no law but its own selfish evil desire. God's government is the rule of universal intelligence, impartial and just to all. The rule of human will violates the rights of conscience, stultifies moral and spiritual growth, and confines within the prison walls of material sense the lives and thoughts of individuals, sects, and nations.
Autocracy in any form, whether it be in your consciousness or mine, in one government or another, has no sanction from God and will finally be banished from the thoughts of men as they lay hold of God's law, the natural governor of all. The goal toward which the world is progressing through its anguish and suffering is the one universal democracy, the theocratic democracy, wherein all men are governed by their common parent Mind, unvarying intelligence, and its law.
United States of America
Because they discerned an ideal of freedom, justice, and truth the founders of this great nation were able to bring forth the United States of America, a mental concept resting in the thought of its people, and representing in the consciousness of the world the highest conception of government that the world at large has yet been able to perceive. The United States of America, favored indeed among nations, points the way to that higher and larger united state of consciousness which shall in due time include all nations and kingdoms in the one true government founded in the common understanding of God and His law.
Who indeed can fail to discern the signs of the times wherein all economic, moral, social, civil, theological, yes and medical problems are turning to the polar star of Truth, practical good, for their solution? Christian Science holds the key to the law of practical good and its application, and the key is for you and me and for all who have the wisdom to discern it and put it to use today.
In closing let me quote from the Christian Science textbook, page 340, one of the most beautiful passages, especially appropriate to the times in which we live — the latter days.
"One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."
[Delivered Dec. 9, 1918, at First Church of Christ, Scientist, St. Joseph, Missouri, and published in The St. Joseph Observer, Dec. 14, 1918, where it appeared on Page One as the lead article. A much shorter copy of this text has been removed from the index, but remains online.]