Christian Science: The Religion of Divine Law

 

Jacob S. Shield, C.S.B.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

[Introduction by C. B. Garrison.

["On behalf of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of this city, I welcome you to our semi-annual lecture. These lectures are given for the purpose of correcting wrong impressions of Christian Science, which have come about through misunderstanding, prejudice and persecution. I have a great deal of compassion for those who feel opposed, for I was at one time in the same position.

["I had been in very poor health for over five years, and had tried many means of finding help. In all, I had been treated by twelve different doctors and had tried other forms of treatment, such as dieting, electric treatments, medicated baths, etc. Failing to find any permanent results and after being pronounced incurable, I decided to investigate Christian Science. I procured the text-book and began to read. At first I was disappointed, as I saw it was along spiritual lines, and I was not interested in things spiritual; but as I read I became deeply interested and on retiring that first night, I rested better than for years, and awoke knowing that a great change had taken place in my condition, and the hope came to me that I was going to get well. I got down the Bible, which had been a closed book to me, and through the study of these two books, my condition improved hour by hour, with the result that in four short days I was well.

["You can, no doubt, realize what a blessing this was to me, and I was deeply grateful, but what I value most has been the spiritual uplifting and peace that comes when one learns that God can be known and His love and presence realized here and now. I am also very thankful that selfishness, criticism, despondency and discouragement have been very largely overcome through the application of Christian Science. Nine years ago I began this study, and my interest has grown day by day.

["What Christian Science has done for me it will do for all, for God is no respecter of persons.

["Years ago it was my privilege to have lived a neighbor to the lecturer of the evening and what I saw Christian Science do for him inspired me to learn what it was that was bringing him health, peace and happiness. I therefore take great pleasure in presenting to you my friend and your friend, Jacob S. Shield, C.S.B., of Chicago, Ill, Member of the Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., who will now address you."]

 

[The Message.

[Mr. Shield is a convincing speaker and he deeply impressed his audience with the logic and force of his message. His analysis of the law of spiritual healing as discovered by Mrs. Eddy was delivered in a manner which could not but give every auditor food for thought.

[In part the speaker's message was as follows:]

 

There is in all men, individually and collectively, an inherent, instinctive respect for the law, even human law, which at best is faulty. The purpose of our discourse is to present Christian Science to you as based upon divine law, the function through which God's infinite good is operative in the universe and man. Law is synonymous with truth, order, justice, equity. Therefore to prove that Christian Science is based upon divine law, we must prove that it is exact and right; that it pertains to a system perfect in its operation, conforms to a proper standard and violates no right, gives to every man his due, and above all is universal in its adaptability.

The Mosaic law, revealed to all men for all time from Mount Sinai, was the first exposition of the divine law which should govern man in his relationship to God as well as to his fellowman. From it spring all human laws and moral codes. The first commandment is supreme and all inclusive in its declaration of God and its warning against the recognition of any power or law as originating in anything that is physical or material. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" is the origin and basis of all true religion. Upon it was founded the ancient confession of faith of the Jewish people: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

Christ Jesus taught this same law, saying, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." It is written that when a lawyer asked of him, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus answered: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

 

First Demand of Science

Christian Science accepts the law in all its completeness, as expounded by both Moses and Christ Jesus. On page 467 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, we read: "The first demand of this Science is, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' . . . The second is like unto it, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' " And again, on page 9, we find; "Dost thou 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind'? This command includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity."

Resting under divine promise, confident that God would provide for and sustain them, the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as the later prophets, manifested the power of God, through faith; attained unusual length of years, and through spiritual intuition imparted the Messianic prophecy, foreseeing the fulfillment of the promises in Christ Jesus. Jacob probably adhered most closely to the word of God. He it was who first discerned the basic rule of divine law that there must be a separation or division, in consciousness, of evil from good. He realized that man cannot serve two masters. Therefore he fought with the evil suggestions within himself, not letting go the angel − the thought of God − until he had won the struggle. Then it was that his name was changed from Jacob to Israel, which means "soldier of God."

 

Overcoming Evil

The overcoming of evil thoughts results in a divine state of consciousness. It is this purified thought, or consciousness, which is the promised seed to be blessed throughout the entire world. Some time every man will wrestle with the error within himself, even to the point of overcoming every thought at variance with God. Then will he have earned the name "Israel" − "soldier of God" − and become one of the "children of Israel." He will be of the "chosen people" because he has chosen God. The promise of the Revelation is, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."

In the Old Testament narratives we can find a long list of works wrought by the power of God through the faith of those who confidently relied upon Him. Moses' transformation of the rod into a serpent; the leprous hand and its healing; the passage through the Red sea; the sweetening of the waters of Marah; the falling of the manna from the skies; the production of water from the rock; the healing of Miriam's leprosy; Elijah's increase of the widow's meal and oil; the raising of the widow's son from death; the rain which fell in answer to prayer; the translation of Elijah; the deliverance of the Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace, and the preservation of Daniel from the lions, − all are important records of God's power and the direct result of the operation of divine law.

These Old Testament wonders are greatly intensified in their significance to humanity by the works of the man Jesus and his apostles in their adherence to the same law. The thousands who were healed, and the power he exerted over all material conditions and forces, give striking evidence that not only did he have the unbounded faith in God evinced by the patriarchs, but that he understood the operation of divine law and its practical use in earthly life.

By adhering strictly to the original divine law and turning away from all false gods in matter; by giving to God the glory, honor, dominion, and power everlastingly due His holy name, following as closely as they can the commandments of the master Metaphysician, Christian Scientists are today healing the sick and reforming the sinner, − in a measure repeating the works of the patriarchs and Christ Jesus.

 

Seeking Practical Religion

Thoughtful men are beginning to realize that religion must be more than a mere belief. They are learning that it cannot be inherited, transferred, or adopted; that it is not the chattel of any particular organization or church, and that it is not acquired by fasting or feasting. They are asking for a more practical religion; for less dogma and more love; less ritualism and more spirituality; less creed and more works; less scholasticism and more truth.

Humanity wants to know God, − the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the prophets and of Christ Jesus. They want a God whom they may know as a Father, kind, merciful, just, true; who, as the psalmist says, "forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;" a God who hides not Himself from His children, but desires that they should know Him; a God who is a very present help in time of trouble. The religions of the world have failed to answer the heart's appeal. The searcher for Truth has been made to believe that nothing definite can be known until the portals of human existence close behind him. The man who is hungry and thirsty will seek food and drink wherever he can find it, and the same is true of him who is hungry and thirsty for spiritual food and drink.

Christian Science is doing much to satisfy this craving by giving men a scientific, demonstrable religion, a religion not so much of preaching as of works. Thousands upon thousands have been touched by this ministry of redemption, healing, and regeneration. Every sorrow comforted, every pain relieved, every sin overcome, every misfortune reduced, every prejudice annulled, every disease healed by the power of God, proves the efficacy of divine law; makes man more reverent toward God, and more gentle and tolerant toward his fellowman. Christian Scientists know God not as a magnified personality, but as Mind; the Mind which is infinite good, infinite Love, infinite Life, infinite Truth. All that men know that is good, true, and worthy, is the manifestation or expression of divine Mind. God is the Mind of man, and divine law demands that man shall have no other God, hence no other Mind.

 

God as Love

The Christian Scientist's favorite appellation for God is Love. The word Love expresses the divine nature and the tender relation between God and His creation. Moved with an upwelling flood of gratitude for the conscious sense of Immanuel, or "God with us," men in all ages have tried to image forth the depth of God's love for His children; but no human thought can conceive it, or human tongue express it, even when most aware of His brooding tenderness and watchful care, −

 

For the love of God is broader

Than the measure of man's mind;

And the heart of the Eternal

Is most wonderfully kind.

 

The unwavering affection of a mother for her little ones, perhaps the most perfect love human beings can know, is but a reflection of the divine, the ever ready and willing arm of protection, the tireless attention, the loving admonition, the bountiful provision of God for His own. David sang of Him as a shepherd guarding his flock, guiding them to green pastures, and beside still waters, while Jesus saw in Him "the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." Christian Scientists accept God as their creator, as their guide and shepherd, as their provider, as their friend, as their physician; indeed, as the very substance of their existence, "for in him we live, and move, and have our being."

Another of the descriptive synonyms for God, as we know Him in Christian Science, is divine Principle, which signifies that God, divine Mind, encompasses within Himself all wisdom, truth, law, order, and perfection of being. Principle alone has these unchanging qualities. In our worldly affairs we speak of the principle of mathematics, for it also holds within itself all truth, law, order, and perfection pertaining to numbers; and as all numbers have a perfect, and inseparable coexistence with what we call the principle of mathematics, just so man and all the universe are coexistent with the divine Principle of being. God, the perfect Mind, Love, and Principle which governs man and the universe, has never been absent for a moment, but mortal man has excluded Him from his realization by dwelling in the mists of materiality and evil.

If one stands in the bright sunlight with twenty veils over his eyes, the light will seem to be darkness, but as these veils are removed the light becomes clearer. Mortal man has had more than twenty veils over his mental eyes, and they have excluded the divine light. These veils consisted of belief in idolatry, bigotry, sorcery, slavery, witchcraft, superstition, hate, war, fear, laws of disease, and the like. One by one these veils are falling away, and as they go from us the light of true being becomes clearer. When all the darkening veils shall have been taken away, man's immortal being will be realized. This will bring the kingdom of heaven.

St. Paul writes in his first epistle to the Corinthians: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." Man must separate wrong from right thinking, even as one separates dross from gold, tares from wheat, impurities from water. This process leaves the pure, the good, the true, the eternal.

 

The Mission of Christ Jesus

Only one man has lived upon this earth who can be referred to as a perfect or ideal thinker, − the man Christ Jesus. He understood and demonstrated the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God, and permitted no compromise of this all-inclusive truth to enter his consciousness. God was all-in-all to him. He instructed others to accept God in the same spirit, especially those who were blinded with ceremonial, ritualistic and material worship, but his teaching, works, and mission were greatly misunderstood, and remain so in a large degree even to this day. Many honest Christian people believe Jesus to be God, and address much of their prayer and worship to him. Others disbelieve him entirely, and use every possible argument to discredit his Messiahship, his works, and the narratives relating to him. Christian Science corrects these widely differing beliefs.

Christianity was misunderstood by both Jews and Gentiles, because they misapprehended the nativity and object of its Founder. The Jews, who had their own ideas as to what a Messiah should be, refused to believe that the wisdom and power of God, whom they declared omnipotent, and creator of all, could create anything contrary to their own belief of human conception. The Gentiles, misconstruing the sayings of Jesus, hailed him as Saviour and king, but failed to recognize him as the Wayshower, and the exemplar of God's perfect man, whose works and ways they would have to emulate.

Christian Science declares that Christ Jesus represented the divine origin of man, rendering evidence, within the grasp of human comprehension, that God is the only creator. Jesus was different from all other men in that the divine nature predominated in him, while in all other men the human seems to predominate. Jesus was Mary's highest human conception of the divine man. Christ was the spiritual and eternal nature imparted of God. Mary's human concept, or Jesus, passed away in the ascension; but the Christ, the divinely created man, who lived before Abraham was, continues to live, forever. All men are truly born of God, and when their spiritual comprehension grasps and understands this fact, the mortal and material will disappear, and every man will partake of the nature of Christ. In verification of this I quote from the third chapter of the first epistle of John: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear [when man's real being is recognized], we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

Thus a Christian is not one who merely believes in Jesus, but one who, like Christ, recognizes within himself, and demonstrates the divine nature and harmony, and so rises above all discords, errors, and limitations, that the human disappears. Job says of the mortal: "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not." Isaiah says: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?"

 

Divinely Created Man

Referring to the divinely created man, David sang: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." The Jewish people had expected a Messiah long before the birth of Jesus. Prophecy foretold his coming, but the coming was not in the manner expected. They anticipated the coming of a mighty king, who would overthrow the power of their oppressors and restore their material kingdom. They could see no likeness, in their conception of the Messiah, to the humble babe born in a manger. Their disappointment and irritation at the seeming failure of their hopes was so intense that every accusation which might prove that Jesus was not the one they expected, but an impostor, was eagerly believed and magnified, until nearly the entire populace was in confusion and frenzy,

Notwithstanding the false accusations against him, and the indignities and assaults to which he was subjected, Jesus fulfilled the mission for which he came. What he thought regarding those who opposed him may be summed up in the words uttered in the moment of his greatest trial, when he said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." He knew that the time would come when his words and his deeds would be understood and justified. I can well picture to myself the false judgment of those poor deluded mortals who clamored to make away with the object of their blighted hopes. The prejudice of those people reached the highest degree that is possible to humanity; so great, indeed, that its influence is still felt throughout the world. I regret to acknowledge that I felt it. Yes, felt it every day of my life until I came to Christian Science, and then it only left me when I realized that Jesus was the best friend mankind ever had on this earth.

When the first positive conviction dawned upon me that Jesus came to present to the world a godly wisdom by which sin, disease, and death could be eliminated, and when I realized how patient, meek, loving, kind, and forgiving he was through all his suffering, I was touched first with a deep sense of shame and remorse, and then by a sense of love and gratitude. In that moment of awakening I found the real Christ, the true Son of God. That there is a divine law, wisdom, and power which was a secret from the world, is evident by the marvelous demonstrations of Jesus.  Such wisdom is referred to in the Scriptures as the wisdom of God, against which worldly wisdom is called "foolishness." The entire Bible teems with references pertaining to such wisdom, as in Proverbs: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. . . . She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." Also, "Get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding."

Christian Science shows that Jesus comprehended this godly wisdom. With it he was enabled to prove the vast difference between mortal mind and immortal Mind. His mission was, first, to demonstrate his own understanding of divine power and law; and second, to teach all men that the same power and law is universally available. He understood the law which leads men to the realization of eternal life. The world only knew the erroneous mortal mind law which leads to death. These laws are contrary one to the other, as St. Paul relates in his letter to the Romans: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

 

Jesus Overcame Material Law

Jesus overcame the so-called law of material force by calming a raging sea and stilling a violent storm. He overcame the laws of physiology, anatomy, pathology, and materia medica by healing the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, and by raising the dead. He overcame the laws of production by turning water into wine, and feeding the thousands with a few loaves and fishes, − concluding with more than the original supply.

He overcame the law of gravity by walking on the water. He overcame the law of mortality by overcoming death for himself and others. Finally, he overcame the law of material or physical existence by his ascension. Is it not overwhelmingly evident that his mission was to demonstrate the superiority of divine power and law over the mortal and material law?

The same law which Jesus used centuries ago is operative and available today. Divine law is always present and universal because it is infinite. That it is not circumscribed to personal possession is verified by Jesus' own words: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." He came showing the "way, the truth, and the life." He came to bring to light the ideal man, the man with wisdom and power, the man whom God creates, and the only kind of man God ever created. Jesus desired that humanity should know the true status of being, and sought to teach them how to reject the evil and the erroneous conditions which hide the real man. Paul gives a similar admonition in his epistle to the Ephesians: "Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and . . . put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

 

Jesus Not God

No reference can be found in the Scriptures wherein Jesus ever claimed to be God. Indeed, quite the reverse is true, as is evident from the statements: "I can of mine own self do nothing." "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." His saying, "I and my Father are one," referred to man's coexistence with God, the union of cause and effect. If a ray of light could express its relation to the sun it would say, "I and the sun are one," not one and the same, but at one, linked together, the reflection of the sun.

Jesus' further statement, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father," evidently referred to the quality of cause and effect as identical. The context shows that he had no intention of conveying the idea that those who saw his physical structure had seen God. What Jesus wished to convey was that those who discerned the quality of godliness, the good, the Life, the Truth, the power which he had shown forth, had seen the same quality which comprises the allness of God. From the same reasoning, one who has seen the smallest measure of water has really seen the quality of the mightiest ocean.

God can only be known and seen in quality, never in respect to quantity. God is infinite, and no man can ever comprehend or include infinity, but may continue to understand infinity more and more, forever. Jesus came to bring "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. . . . On earth peace, good will toward men." "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly," were his words.

 

Healing by Early Christians

Jesus taught his disciples how to heal the sick and reform sinners, and they in turn taught others, so that, as history records, the healing was practiced for nearly three centuries after the crucifixion, and then it became so densely overshadowed by the evil in mortal mind that the human consciousness could no longer retain it. By departing from the law of Moses and his trust in God, and failing to heed the fulfillment of the law as expounded by Christ Jesus, mankind perverted spirituality to materialism; true religion to superstition; religious zeal to fanaticism; divine wonders to necromancy and black art; divine science to occultism; divine influence to animal magnetism and hypnotism; spiritual joys to physical pleasures; spiritual desires to lust for material things; the help of God in times of sickness to drugs and other material means.

Nevertheless, Truth has always remained, and was again brought to light by Mrs. Eddy. We know that the kingdom has not suffered by the lapse, and now in these latter days all can find the way by which to know themselves as Christ Jesus knew himself. Paul writes, in Romans: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The Son of God is the image and likeness of God. God is Spirit. All must eventually learn that man is spiritual. In reality, man has but one nature, the divine. The human or material is fictitious and unrighteous. The universal belief that man has two natures is the cause of all our troubles. It is the original sin, and will hold humanity in bondage until one nature, one God, is universally acknowledged. Again Paul says: "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Man is divinely endowed with the ability to overcome the material or carnal mind, and thereby work out his perfect, harmonious at-one-ment with God.

 

Personal Experience

When I first took up the study of Christian Science, it seemed impossible that my thought could ever become spiritualized, for I had always been very material. Business and pleasure occupied my entire attention. I was not accustomed to seeking my help through prayer, therefore I could see no probability of regenerating such a mind. One evening, while thus contemplating the seriousness of my situation, I opened the Bible, and verses five and six of the third chapter of Proverbs came to my notice: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

I pondered over these declarations long and earnestly, and finally concluded to do as they directed, that is, acknowledge God in all my ways. Thus, whenever I rode or walked, I declared God as the power which permitted it. I affirmed His wisdom in every transaction, and accredited every supply to Him, with gratitude. I did not go to sleep without acknowledging Him to be the giver of all rest and peace; and so, whatever I did, wherever I went, I had God in my thought continually.

To my surprise, in a comparatively short time I found this kind of thinking quite natural, desirable, and extremely satisfying. I found myself rejecting sin. I was learning to think in a spiritual way, and yet such thinking was practical. I had evidence of this from a better state of health, and good desires which came to me. I felt an unceasing inclination to help others, to forgive my enemies, and to be more kind, just, true, and honest. I had a great wish to pray and to heal the sick − all things which I had never known before. I am thankful to say that I have made progress from the very hour when I first determined to have God with me in all my thoughts. Many of my acquaintances have had and are having similar experiences, for Truth not only has the quality of being believed, but the faculty of self-proof as well.

 

Health from Good Thinking

If you were the only person in the world, and you had been thinking good and evil as the world generally does, and then you should conclude to discontinue this way and decide to think exactly as the commandments and the Sermon on the Mount direct, and you should carry this out to the very letter, that is, think and do only that which is good, pure, and upright, then where would evil be? Evil has no principle, law, or government to uphold it. It is only what you permit it to be in your thought. Hate, jealousy, anger, and revenge are devils, and they are our worst enemies to health and happiness. Good thoughts, such as childlike trust in God, kindness, love, gentleness, purity, honesty, uprightness, reflect health, harmony, and beauty upon the body; while their opposites, trust in material help, hate, jealousy, dishonesty, immorality, and the like, express discord and sickness in the body.

Nearly half a century ago Mrs. Eddy discovered that all disease is mental rather than physical, − the illusion of false mentality, − and that such illusion can be eliminated, and harmony restored, by scientific or true thinking, which is the exercise of divine Mind. The truth and efficacy of her discovery have been demonstrated by the healing of all kinds of disease, sin, sorrow, distress, and poverty. Mrs. Eddy declares on page 411 of Science and Health, that "the procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin." Of these, fear is doubtless the most prolific. The most acute cases of bodily pain and sickness can be overcome by restoring confidence in God and His ever present sustaining influence.

What is true of the human body is also true of the body politic. A panic produces a discordant state in the arteries of trade, in the manufacturing and commercial centers, so that nothing seems to move in perfect harmony.  The dictionaries define panic as "extreme or sudden causeless, unreasonable fright." To cure such a condition, confidence must be restored. It was the great cry, during the panic of 1907, that everything would be righted if only the fear of the people would relax. If all people were taught to think from a scientific standpoint, there would be no more panics, because they would then have confidence in the protecting and sustaining care of their heavenly Father, and thus lose the sense of anxiety in regard to their supply. They would believe in the verity of the statement of our Master, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Breaking the law of the first commandment, having other gods, indulging in idolatry, is the greatest of all evils, and yet nearly every one is more or less involved in this error. Idolatry does not consist solely in the worship of material images. Parents often make idols of their children; men worship persons and professions; artists worship their art; students worship earthly wisdom; pet animals and physical adornments absorb the affections; wealth, fame, worldly ambitions and pleasures often fill the consciousness and exclude the needed spiritual thought. These are idolatrous and harmful. Humanity excuses them by calling them "hobbies," and the peculiar results they produce, "eccentricities of the professional."

Mrs. Eddy has named the sum total of all wrong thought mortal mind. All that pertains to evil, sin, sorrow, sickness, pain, disaster, war, and death, originate and have their seeming existence in this so-called mind. On the other hand, all that relates to life, health, peace, harmony, and perfection, have their origin and eternal existence in divine Mind.

 

Prayer without Ceasing

Christian Scientists are sometimes said to be a prayerless people. No aspersion could be farther from the truth than this. Christian Scientists believe in prayer "without ceasing." We believe in keeping thought active in the right direction, in order to expel all the errors of false training and to separate the mental chaff from the wheat, as did Jacob of old in his conflict with evil. We believe we should never cease to acknowledge God's supremacy over all, and His loving and merciful kindness to His children.

Our prayer is not so much in supplication to God for help, as in acknowledgment of the good which he already has given. If one had a gold mine filled with the precious metal, he would not think it consistent to pray for gold, but would expect to help himself to that which was already his. Christian Scientists do ask God for guidance, wisdom, and help. They know that He has given them all things, and that their need is only to awake from their dreamy, mortal mind sense to avail themselves of His infinite goodness. Scientists try to become wholly submissive to the divine will, and to be ever alert to resist thoughts which are unlike good. This is their prayer, and it conforms to the Scriptural admonition:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil [evil], and he will flee from you."

When a Christian Scientist is tempted to think of pain or sickness, he immediately turns against it and declares for the allness, completeness, and absolute perfection of God's creation, which is expressed in man. He refuses to believe that pain or disease is any part of perfection. This resistance of ungodly thought, if correctly understood, prevents the error from entering the consciousness, hence it cannot exist. When in this way good results obtain, it proves that God, divine Mind, is the healer of all our diseases.

You who can see through the density of mortal mind, and can realize for an instant the eternal perfection which the heavenly Father has bestowed upon you (though you may seem to have been afflicted from the day of your birth), may go forth from this place free from disease and pain, for such is the law of good over evil. It is that kind of prayer which healed the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, and it is that kind of prayer which heals the sick today. The Saviour said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

When Christian Scientists understand enough of Christian Science, they will not only heal all cases of disease, but will do so instantaneously. At present we are glad even to touch the hem of the Christ-garment. We are still like the children who demonstrate the simpler degrees of mathematics. Christian Scientists love the Bible. They declare it to be the Book of all books, as it is the Book of life. Its inspired pages contain the secrets of all being. All that pertains to Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy gleaned from divine inspiration and the Bible. She found that the Bible has a twofold meaning, one the literal or material, and the other the spiritual. This discovery cleared up the seeming contradictions and revealed the divine order of being.

With the help which Christian Scientists receive from their textbook, the study of the Bible becomes an inspiration. The seemingly dark and hidden sayings which have puzzled the ages, become clear and luminous under the searchlight of Christian Science, and Christian Scientists hunt for the new and priceless gems in the stimulating pages of that dear old book, even as the miner expectantly and eagerly digs for treasure.

 

Mrs. Eddy’s Healing

Mrs. Eddy's first awakening to the divine healing power came to her when, from the effects of an accident, her recovery seemed beyond all earthly hope. Her early spiritual training tended to inspire confidence in the power of God to heal the sick, so when man had reached his extremity and failed, she turned to God to verify that early confidence. Her healing was instantaneous! From that moment the new light of Truth dawned upon her which in the Preface of Science and Health (p. viii.) she describes as "the first steps of a child in the newly discovered world of Spirit."

Mrs. Eddy had discovered the law of spiritual healing, and she brought the blessed message to the world that there is a comforter for every sorrow, however despairing; that there is a law of restoration for every fear and disease; a purification for every sin, and a panacea for every ill. Because it is the same law known to and taught by Christ Jesus, and because its operation is governed by scientific Principle, Mrs. Eddy named it Christian Science. It is undoubtedly the "Comforter" and the "Spirit of truth" which the Master promised would come again, − and it has come, to remain forever. "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,"

Christian Scientists worship God only. The imputation that they worship otherwise is wholly false. It is our greatest concern to live in strict obedience to the law as given in the first commandment. The success of every Christian Scientist depends upon it. Indeed, to have absolutely no other gods than the one infinite Mind is the rule with which all healing is accomplished. Because of the numberless blessings which have come to them through Christian Science, Christian Scientists revere the name of Mary Baker Eddy, and love her with true sincerity and tenderness. Through her discovery of Christian Science, God has made His face to shine upon enslaved humanity. Because Mrs. Eddy was obedient to the command to love God above all things, she loved humanity also, and lived a life of constant, prayerful devotion to God, in order to save the fallen and heal the sick. She sought no earthly glory or favor. All she asked was that men should hear the divine message which makes free.

On Bedloe's island, in New York harbor, stands a colossal bronze statue of a woman holding aloft a lighted torch, symbolizing "Liberty enlightening the world." It is an inspiring and noble idea − a figure full of meaning, seeming to assure to the alien the liberty, well-being, and happiness of which he has dreamed, and making light the harbor in a glad "welcome home" for every returning wanderer. Even so there is another harbor, at the entrance whereof every storm-tossed man who has sailed the uncharted sea of error will find − Christian Science! The spiritual understanding of a woman holds aloft this light of Truth and liberty, enlightening the world, and showing the alien and the wanderer the way to enter the promised land − "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."

 

[The introduction, set off in brackets, was published in The Morning Star of Rockford, Illinois, Dec. 11, 1914. The text of the lecture as given here came from a pamphlet published by the Christian Science Publishing Society in 1915.]

 

 

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