Christian Science: Divine Love in Action

 

Earl E. Simms, C.S., of Austin, Texas

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

Earl E. Simms, C.S., member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., spoke on "Christian Science: Divine Love in Action," at Santa Monica First Church of Christ, Scientist, Monday night. In his lecture, Simms, who is a resident of Austin, Tex., spoke substantially as follows:

 

Bible Chart of Life

The Bible contains the foundation stones of Christian Science. Adherents of this Science accept its inspired truths and examples as their guide in the path of eternal life. Life as a Scriptural name for God includes the eternal and harmonious existence of all being. John declares, "God is love." Therefore Life and Love are synonymous names for Deity. Then, in addition to being the Book of Life, the Bible can rightly be known as the Book of Love, because it is in its spiritual interpretation the Book of God. This Book of Love is inspired. Its inspiration rests not merely in its words or its stories, historical or otherwise, but in what the study and meditation of it does in one's daily life. Paul declares, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (II Tim. 3:16,17).

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, we read (p. 24), "Acquaintance with the original texts, and willingness to give up human beliefs (established by hierarchies, and instigated sometimes by the worst passions of men), open the way for Christian Science to be understood, and make the Bible the chart of life, where the buoys and healing currents of Truth are pointed out." Mrs. Eddy authorized the King James Version of the Bible to be used in Christian Science church services.

I am sure we all agree that reading the Bible is a good thing; systematic study of it is still better; but for the Bible to accomplish its mission of inspiring one to move to spiritual heights whereby the sick are healed and the power of sin and death are destroyed, one must understand the lives and precepts of prophets and apostles and follow daily, here and now, the teachings and example of our Saviour, Christ Jesus.

 

Your Biography and Mine

The Psalms in the Bible contain highest expressions of religious and moral sentiments. One authority says, ". . . these hymns are the most precious devotional material in the possession of the Church!" They show forth glorious conceptions of God as the creator and preserver of the universe, including man. In most assuring terms they acknowledge His directing, protecting, supporting, healing, restoring, and saving power. Mrs. Eddy shared this appreciation of the Psalms. In Science and Health (p. 200) she says, "Pagan worship began with muscularity, but the law of Sinai lifted thought into the song of David."

Psalms in which the first personal pronoun "I" appears are known as the "I" Psalms. In most cases the "I" refers to the individual. The much-loved twenty-third Psalm is a clear example. Here note the seventeen pronouns; namely, the first person "I," the objective case "me," and the possessive case "my" and "mine." Indeed, this is an "I' Psalm, which refers to the individual, to you and me.

It is worthy of note that this is a prayer solely of affirmation. It declares what God is and what He does for man. It tells the complete story of each individual's experience under the compassionate influence of divine Love. As we study and comprehend the spiritual import of this Psalm, it becomes our own spiritual biography. It is after this manner that we feel its healing power.

Mrs. Eddy quotes this Psalm in its entirety in the Christian Science textbook. She employs one of the Scriptural names or synonyms for Deity, using "Love" where the Psalmist uses "Lord." Here God is shown as divine Love in action, ever guarding, guiding, and governing His creation, man. Let us consider, then, this our biography step by step.

"(Divine Love) is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Science and Health, p. 578). The metaphor indicates that what the shepherd does for the sheep God does for man, and more. Love expresses itself, and its expression is man, the reality of your being; therefore you are ever at one with God, divine Love, and hence you express divine intelligence, power, ability, wisdom, and goodness. These are yours now. According to this holy promise you can never want for harmony, peace, love, freedom, health and happiness. Realize this!

 

God Is What the Scriptures Declare Him to Be

Although the Bible declares that God is Life, Truth, and Love, infinite Spirit, and implies that the Supreme Being is Mind, Soul, and Principle, many readers, instead of realizing that these are names for God, terms synonymous with Him, attempt to visualize God as a magnified person. Such conclusions are plainly limited concepts.

Christian Science heals sin and disease and destroys death through its demonstrable teachings that God is Life itself; that, as Life, He expresses Himself and that this expression is man in His image and likeness. Hence God is your real Life. Your life is therefore spiritual, harmonious, and eternal and must ever continue so to be. Life that is God, infinite Spirit, is in no sense related to matter; consequently Life is not dependent upon blood, heart, or a circulatory system for sustenance or manifestation.

God is Truth. Man's existence is the revelation of Truth. He can have no qualities opposite to Truth. He is innately powerful, intelligent, upright, just, and courageous. Then the opposites of these qualities, called weakness, ignorance, dishonesty, fear, and greed, are superstitious beliefs of a carnal or mortal so-called mind and are no part of Truth's man. Realize that this true man is your true selfhood; refuse to believe that there is any other man; then you will find yourself living and doing business as this man of Truth.

Jesus declared, "God is spirit." The word "spirit" is derived from the Latin "spiritus," which is akin to a word meaning "to breathe." However, man, God's image, is spiritual not because of lungs or a respiratory system, but because his divine Principle, his cause and creator, is infinite, immortal, supreme, Spirit, God. A thorough understanding of man as wholly spiritual is the divine truth which destroys false belief in matter, including pulmonary and respiratory ailments.

Here one may ask, "Since God is Spirit and His offspring, man, is of necessity spiritual, then has man a body?" Have you a body? Indeed, you have! Your identity is spiritual and, immortal, perfect, diseaseless, painless, and eternal. To embody means to express. Hence Christian Science teaches that man is the embodiment or compound expression of God's ideas. Science and Health says temple is body and is ". . . the idea of Life, substance and intelligence; . . ." (p. 595). These scientific facts destroy erroneous beliefs about your body, and through this spiritual understanding you govern it harmoniously.

"(LOVE) maketh me to lie down in green pastures: (LOVE) leadeth me beside the still waters" (ibid., p. 578). How gloriously true it is in Christian Science that divine Love is everywhere present, is All-in-all. So, all that God has is yours by reflection. You as His image and likeness express all that God is. Therefore, God is your Life, your Soul, your Spirit, your Mind, your divine Principle. Hold to these spiritual facts and you will find that you have all you need every moment. In Scriptural language, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (Luke 15:31).

In Palestine, today as of yore, at eventide along the dusty roads about Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, down to Jericho, one sees many herds being led by their shepherds to quiet resting places beside the mountain springs. One day while standing on the other side of Jordan near the site of Jericho at a spring called Elisha's Well, we saw a shepherd leading his flock to water. There were two outstanding sheep, one a bell sheep and the other a lead sheep, one behind the other leading the flock. Dwelling on this Psalm we reflected that divine Love governs and directs all, and our Saviour, Christ Jesus, shows the way, for he said, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine" (John 10:14), while the beloved Leader of all Christian Scientists followed in the way and said to her followers, ". . . follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ" (Message for 1901, p. 34). As we watched the sheep drink, each as much as it needed, these words from the Christian Science textbook (p. 13) rang in our ears: "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.' " Truly, we rest in divine Love. God's love for us gives you and me confidence and assurance, strength and intelligence, quietude, harmony, and peace. Indeed we do rest beside the still, crystal-clear springs of Love's inexhaustible affluence.

 

Jesus the Christ

According to John, Jesus said: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16,17).

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3) is the First Commandment and is familiar to all. Do we not all desire to understand and worship the one God who, according to Scripture, is infinite, supreme Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love? Some regard Jesus as God and worship him. Doubtless this is because some people have a humanized concept of God. On the other hand, perhaps it is because Jesus exemplified and demonstrated so precisely God's perfect, spiritual qualities and nature, that is, man's true selfhood as the image and likeness of God. Indeed his work in representing God was so perfect that, outside of Christian Science, it does seem difficult to make the distinction between Father and Son. He said "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), that is, one in quality but not in quantity. When we realize that our Master reflected divine qualities, this clarifies another of his sayings, "I can of mine own self do nothing," and, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (See John 5:30 and 14:10). Mary's spiritual communion with God made it possible for her offspring to exercise the office of Christ. He is the Son of God. The teachings of Christian Science concerning our Master are most understandable and practicable. They strip away all mysticism and unnaturalness concerning his mission and his purpose.

In everyday affairs we speak of Governor Smith or Smith, the Governor, meaning by this of course, the person and the office or position he occupies, the man and his business. Just so simply does Christian Science reverently explain the duality of Jesus the Christ. In the Christian Science textbook (p. 473) Mrs. Eddy writes, "Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ." She also says, "Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death" (ibid.). It may be said that Jesus is the man, while Christ is his office. Hence the Christian Scientist holds not to the human personality of Jesus, but to the Christ, God's spiritual manifestation of Himself, which destroys sin, disease, and death.

These explanations by no means subtract from the greatness and glory of our beloved Master, of whom Science and Health declares (ibid., p. 54): "Through the magnitude of his human life, he demonstrated the divine Life. Out of the amplitude of his pure affection, he defined Love. With the affluence of Truth, he vanquished error. The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced." Jesus healed because he loved! It is the same Christ, the divine manifestation of Truth, aflame with divine Love, which heals in Christian Science today.

 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

Those familiar with the life and works of Mary Baker Eddy will recall that long before her healing came, she was a profound student of the Bible. When she found herself suddenly well, following the reading of a convincing healing by Jesus, she knew that she had made a great discovery. Surely she glimpsed the fact that the great power that Jesus employed to heal the sick and sinning had healed her. Had she remained silent concerning her discovery, had she hid that light under a bushel, she would not have blessed mankind so wonderfully. Her unselfishness and gratitude to God caused her to disregard personal ease in her labors for others. She once said feelingly (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 249): "Millions may know that I am the Founder of Christian Science. I alone know what that means."

Not unmindful of the difficulties ahead, she, however, entertained great hope that the churches would see the Christliness of this healing method and adopt it forthwith, but obviously she hoped this, despite the tenacious hold false theology and material medicine had on the age. In spite of opposition from the churches, her devoutness of purpose and love for mankind would not allow her to abandon her God-ordained mission, namely, that of bringing the Comforter which Jesus promised God would send.

Mrs. Eddy spent three years searching out the spiritual facts, the divine metaphysics behind her healing. As she recorded the healing truths which were revealed to her, her pen moved across the pages inspired by a power not her own. This divinely directed study and effort produced the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," a volume more widely read and studied than any book other than the Bible. She realized that discovery, revelation, and recording were not sufficient, that there must be proof; and thereupon she went about healing the sick, the sinning, the deformed, diseased, and dying. After proving through demonstration the efficacy of her discovery, she then gave it to the world.

I have talked with a number of persons who knew the Discoverer of Christian Science personally. Several lived in her home. All have been unanimous in this appraisal of her, that is, that "no one could remain in her presence more than a short time without being convinced that her discovery and founding of Christian Science were the result of spiritual revelation and divine inspiration."

Clara Barton, the celebrated philanthropist and first president of the American Red Cross Society, although not a Christian Scientist, in an interview appearing in the New York American of January 6, 1908, said of Mrs. Eddy, "Love permeates all the teachings of this great woman, − so great, I believe, that at this perspective we can scarcely realize how great" (Twelve Years with Mrs. Eddy, by the Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson, p. 91). I asked one of Mrs. Eddy's associates, "What do you recall most vividly of Mrs. Eddy?" She answered, "Her simplicity and humility." Think of it, the greatest of women being remembered for her "simplicity and humility." Clara Clemens, daughter of the famous humorist, Mark Twain, quotes her father, who said: "Christian Science is humanity's boon . . . . She (Mrs. Eddy) has organized and made available a healing principle that for two thousand years has never been employed except as the merest kind of guesswork" (ibid., p. I).

Truly, the watchword she set for her followers,

"Great, not like Caesar, stained with blood,

But only great as I am good," (Miscellany, p. 248), she herself exemplified definitely and unfalteringly.

"(Love) restoreth my soul (spiritual sense): (Love) leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Science and Heath, p. 578). Webster defines the word "restore" in part as follows: "to reestablish; to put (a person) again in possession; to renew." God or Soul expresses in you and me spiritual or soul sense, in renewing our spiritual senses, Love penetrates with the two-edged sword of Truth the clouds of material sense testimony, rends them asunder, exposes them as false, unreal, and without power or intelligence. Spiritual sense is one's true consciousness. Divine Love makes you and me perceive and understand all things spiritually. This understanding renews and restores for us spiritual poise and equilibrium. Thus Love leads us into the narrow way, the lovely and harmonious path of righteousness, where we give glory unto Him, who restores our soul, our spiritual sense of all real being.

One may say: "So far so good, but what about the opposite of God, good, called the devil, evil, and sin? Is there no such power or influence?" Indeed, to false mortal belief there appears to be such a power, a power opposite to God, omnipotent good, which is supposed to influence and govern mortals erroneously. Fortunately, however, this is only a false belief, an erroneous statement. Christian Science teaches that God is All, all good, and there is, there can be, no erroneous fact.

Ignorantly believing that evil is as real, present, active, and powerful as is God, good, one beholds himself and others not as God's perfect, spiritual image and likeness, exercising complete dominion over all evil, but as helpless mortals subject to birth as a beginning and death as an ending; and in between these one sees mortals living lives of chance, luck and fate; lives undergoing cycles, namely, the ups and down of joy and sorrow, affluence and poverty, health and sickness, life and death.

The Bible declares, "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4). God is one and is Life. Since there are not two Gods, there cannot be two lives, one material and one spiritual; there cannot be two phases of truth or reality, one good and the other evil. We must realize that the only truth concerning all evil is that it is untrue, the product of the liar, the devil.

The allness of God, His omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient goodness, is an unchanging, irrevocable, and demonstrable fact in Christian Science and constitutes a law of destruction, indeed of preclusion to all that is unlike Him.

 

Protection from the False Belief in Evil

Thus one sees that one of the outstanding differences between Christian Science and other religions is that this Science teaches and demonstrates the unreality, the impotency of evil. One may ask, "If evil is nothing, as you say, then why does one have to be protected from it?" As the question implies, there is no need to be protected from "nothing." Were one to tell his friends, "I am desperately afraid of nothing calling itself something; this nothing is robbing me of my health, joy, activity, and prosperity," I need not tell you the category in which such a one would be placed. But were this person to say, "I have forsaken my belief in God, one power, one presence, one infinite intelligence, and am hypnotized by the false belief that sin, sickness, discouragement, and defeat are sapping my health and my life and ruining my home and business," then such a one would be stating the case accurately. Evil itself is nothing, no thing, nothingness. The allness, the goodness, of God shows this. Then let us understand that it is not the evil so-called itself, but the false belief in it, namely, the power, place, intelligence, and influence we erroneously give it in our thinking that causes the trouble. Work and study to understand this, and you will learn how Christian Science destroys the belief in evil and thereby nullifies its action.

Thus you see you are not the helpless victim of sin, sickness, pain or fear, but are the governor as you are God-governed. You are here and now divinely endowed with spiritual perfection, might, and intelligence, hence can control and govern your body and its actions harmoniously through spiritually mental means alone.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for (Love) is with me; (Love's) rod and (Love's) staff they comfort me" (Science and Health, p. 578).

 

Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear

Do you fear God as a mighty King who knows both good and evil, who tempts His children to sin, and then punishes them through sickness, accident, disaster, and death, for yielding to the temptations He, Himself, set before them? My friend, there is no such God!  Consider a moment. Could a tender, loving Father who heals, saves and regenerates, be guilty of such things? Would He treat His own offspring so unpaternally? "God is love," declared John; then, he added, "and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." He assures us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:16,18).

In Bible usage the word "fear" has two distinct meanings. For example, to fear God is to stand in reverent awe of His power, greatness, and glory − His eternal magnificence, beauty, and love, manifested in His perfect spiritual creation, man and universe. So then, fear in its higher sense is synonymous with adoration, reverence, and worship. This makes clear the Biblical statement, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Eccl. 12:13).

The fear that gives us trouble is defined as anxiety, dread, fright, panic, worry, and the like. Such fear is the direct opposite of adoration, reverence, and worship of the one God. Now, which one is true? Being opposites, they both cannot be. Fear, then, in this negative sense, is obviously lack of spiritual understanding of God as divine Love. Witness Paul's admonition to Timothy (II Tim. 1:7), "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Fear is the largest stumbling block in one's path to life abundant. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science realized this, for she writes (Science and Health, pp. 411, 414, 415); "The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin." "Inflammation is fear, . . ." "Inflammation as a mortal belief quickens or impedes the action of this system, . . ." "Inflammation never appears in a part which mortal thought does not reach." Fear's false claim to produce, to cause, or to create is the attempt of so-called mortal mind to counterfeit God, infinite Spirit, the only cause and creator, who made all that was made and declared it to be very good.

A woman suffering with heart trouble seemed to be passing on. A Christian Science practitioner was called and remained with her all night. The patient said, "Work on fear; I am so afraid." The practitioner asked, "Did God make fear?" The patient said, "No." Then the practitioner asked, "If God did not make fear, is it a power?' Again the answer was "No." Then the practitioner asked, "If God did not make fear and it is not a power, can it produce an effect?" And again the answer was an emphatic "No." So the practitioner said, "Very well, go ahead and let the lie of fear say you are afraid, but just know that God did not make fear, that it is not a power and cannot produce an effect." Note how the practitioner lifted the false belief of fear from the body and placed it in its mental category, thereby lifting the thought of the woman into the realm of Truth and Love. She was healed that very night!

Generally, we find fear based upon a belief in the past or future. Seldom are we afraid of the present moment, the only moment we can actually live. Ask yourself, "Can I relive a minute ago, or can I live a second in advance?" Obviously, you can do neither! Then your present life, your love for God with your whole heart, mind, and strength, that is, your love for all that is spiritual, perfect, and eternal and for your neighbor as yourself, constitute the divine law which frees you from the shackles of a sick and sinful past and likewise removes the awful foreboding picture of a confused and insecure future.

Do you, my friend, desire to obliterate the haunting fears of a neglected or misused past? If so, then start right now denying, rejecting, and repudiating the hypnotic arguments that you have ever been or that you have ever seen a sinning, poverty-stricken, or diseased man. Affirm that as God's image you know nothing of such errors and they know nothing of you. It is thus that you destroy evil's claims to origin, heredity, history, or chronicity.

One may say, "Well, that takes care of the past, but what about the future?" I ask, "Does one actually experience the future?" One does not! When the future comes to you and me it is the present, which Christian Science shows to be not time but the all-presence and all-power of divine Love. The fearer is a dealer in futures, which at its best is a precarious business. This erroneous dealing in futures, this business of being afraid of what one might have tomorrow that is not good or that he might lose aught that is good, is stopped in Christian Science. Such mental practice is divinely illegal.

Let us be sure then that whatever tomorrow is in the divine Mind, it is perfect and good because it belongs solely to God. Though you seem to go through the mortal experiences of birth, growth, age, decay, and death, these never touch your life, which is spiritual, unchanging, and eternal. Even though you seem to pass through periods of depression, darkness, and discouragement, hold on to your birthright, the spiritual facts of being. Never lose your enthusiasm for living! That which is termed death may result from fear of the unknown. Fear always leads to mystery and superstition and vice versa. Death is the voluntary surrendering of the known, the spiritual facts of life, for the unknown, unreal, and speculative. Death, fear in its final degree of erroneous action, can come only to those who have accepted the belief that it is powerful, irresistible, and inevitable.

Just how can one defeat the last enemy? By rejecting its hypnotic arguments for oneself and others. Repudiate the arguments that death has power to force entrance into your consciousness. Resist with divinely mental activity the universal false belief that your life as the image of God, the replete expression of Life, can come under any so-called laws of termination. Then hold that there is no power opposed to eternal Life, God, who expressed Himself as man, your true selfhood. When one denies and repudiates the erroneous beliefs that death is inevitable and powerful and understands and affirms the perfection and eternality of Life, one finds that this enthusiasm for spiritual living is the antidote for the false belief in death. I have a fine Christian Science friend, who is the most enthusiastic man I ever knew. One day while riding with another Christian Scientist, he showed his usual enthusiasm. His alertness to good, his effervescence of love and activity, caused his companion to declare, "You can never die so long as you continue that enthusiasm for living." Science and Health declares (p. 428): "Life is real, and death is the illusion. A demonstration of the facts of Soul in Jesus' way resolves the dark visions of material sense into harmony and immortality. Man's privilege at this supreme moment is to prove the words of our Master: 'If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' " Indeed, divine Love gives you His rod of power which defeats the belief in and fear of death. Thus Love comforts you here and now and all the way.

"(Love) prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; (Love) anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (ibid., p. 578). God, divine Love, is the cause and creator of all. The Scriptures declare His creation to be entirely good. Hence, he cannot be the author of the enemies, sin, war, hatred, greed, and the like, but is their nemesis, destroying them through divine justice.

Science and Health defines "oil" as "consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration" (p. 592). Divine Love anoints − endows you and me with these qualities. To understand this truth is to entertain angels. Angels are God's thoughts, which inspire us to go into the highways to preach the gospel and heal the sick. They hold man in a perpetual state of spiritual peace, completeness and satisfaction.

Understanding  the  goodness, omnipresence, omnipotence, and all-intelligence of God as infinite Spirit and yourself in His likeness, you can demonstrate the glorious and eternal fact that right where pain, disease, decrepitude, age, and distress seem to be, right there, as the reflection of God, you can be conscious only of good. Therefore you are ever clad in the armor of Love, where the arrows of hatred, the bayonets of revenge, and the secret weapons of jealousy, domination, injustice, and ignorance cannot reach you.

 

Prayer That Heals

Have you gathered from this lecture how the Christian Scientist prays? His prayers do not attempt to reconcile God to mortals, but reconcile mortals to God by lifting mortals out of their false beliefs in sin and sickness. He does not petition: "Dear God, over yonder hill lives a sick man. Will you not come down and heal him? However, if in Your wisdom You cannot do this, I will understand!" Christian Science does not condemn such petitions or petitioners, but points to a better way, a more scientific way, a proven way, the way Jesus prayed. Prayer in Christian Science exemplifies love for God and man, it is spiritual understanding of man's divine rights as the son of God.

The Christian Scientist's prayers acknowledge God to be infinite, divine, supreme, eternal Life, Truth, and Love, perfect Spirit, as did Jesus. The Christian Scientist acknowledges God as Soul, the divine Principle of all existence. He declares God to be the one Mind, infinite intelligence. These facts established in consciousness, he reasons further, in keeping with the Scriptures, that man, the image of God, has all that God has;

that nothing can be man except that which is in God and originates with and emanates from God. Hence he reasons scientifically that God cannot be sick, sinful, disabled, or die, and neither can God's creation, man, be the victim of any such evil and erroneous arguments. He realizes, therefore, that that which calls itself a sick man is a lie about his friend and neighbor and has never really touched his true selfhood. "Surely," he says, "we cannot accept as true something which we have proved to be a lie!" When evil is recognized as a lie and God's allness is realized, then evil, pain, and distress are destroyed. At that moment, our neighbor arises healthy, happy, and free.

In the Christian Science textbook (p. 454) Mrs. Eddy tells us: "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." A Christian Science practitioner who went from business into Christian Science practice found himself doing his work in a matter-of-fact way, somewhat as he had transacted business. As a result, healings were not being wrought quickly and satisfactorily. Realizing that more Christly love for God and man needed to be expressed, he began with the little things; that is, instead of answering his telephone with a cold, business "hello," he did it with a warm, loving "hello." He continued in the little things all during the day. That night at midnight he was awakened out of a deep sleep by his telephone. Before answering he prayed, "Dear God, let my heart tenderly and lovingly go out to whoever may be calling." As he answered "hello" the voice on the other end of the line said, "Thank you very much, that is all I needed to hear." She then explained that when she called she was sick and in pain but had received instantaneous healing that moment. Love had done the work without delay, argument, or contest as it always will do.

In her spiritual interpretation of that portion of the Lord's Prayer, "and forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12), Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 17), "And Love is reflected in love." This is not only an inspired statement in the Christian Science textbook, but is a declaration of a powerful, unchanging law of God, divine Love, which operates unceasingly. You may say, "Well, then, according to this law, the spiritual love and tender understanding which I express to and about others must be reflected, that is, returned to me." You are definitely right! And you can prove this great fact unfailingly if you are sincere, unselfish, and persistent in this love and understanding.

A friend of mine, a Christian Scientist, had a physical difficulty. I had not seen her for some time. When we met in her city, she joyously told me, "I am healed!" She then related that for many months she had been loving some member of her family with all her might. She said: "I just had to love them, because I knew that they were not loving me. Then one day the practical truth of that wonderful passage, 'And Love is reflected in love,' dawned in my consciousness. I realized that this divine law worked both ways. Surely, I could not rightfully maintain that I reflected divine Love and at the same time deny that my fellow man expressed Love's qualities and attributes. Since then I love everybody and everybody loves me. And I am healed!"

Now, my friend, let me ask, "Are you confronted with what appears to be an insurmountable problem in your home or in your business, or does some physical difficulty seem tenacious, chronic, and unyielding to your Christian Science treatment?" If so, then ask yourself: "How much do I love? How much Christly compassion, tenderness, patience, tolerance, and unselfishness am I expressing?" If not enough, then begin at once to correct this error. What does it mean in Science and Health when it says (p. 518) "Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud"? It means every statement or declaration of truth concerning God and man when expressed, promulgated, and backed up with tender, sincere love for God and the patient has God's might, immortality, and goodness behind it. In other words, it heals instantaneously!

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my live and I will dwell in the house (the consciousness) of (Love) for ever" (ibid., p. 578).

 

Salvation for All

The kingdom of God is here. Jesus said that it is in you and me. Then from what does one have to be saved? Mortals need to destroy the erroneous theories and doctrines concerning life, death, condemnation, future punishment, and the like and thus be saved here and now from the bad effects of these beliefs. I recall a clergyman once saying to me: "I have heard something about hell-fire and brimstone. What about that?" The answer was in Paul's words, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2). That is, right here, right now, is the time and place for us to work out our salvation. According to Jesus, heaven is not a locality and neither is hell. They are states of consciousness. Heaven is a blissful, joyous, spiritual free state of thought   wherein we are at one with God, while its opposite, hell, can be any fearful, hateful, sick, murderous state of mind. It was thus that my friend was shown that one makes one's own heaven or hell right where he is according to what is admitted into his thought. The belief in the reality of evil or hell is a phase of death, while to love God here and now with all one's heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one's neighbor as oneself is life eternal. So, my friends, it should be clear that so long as you dwell in the consciousness of divine Love, "the house of the Lord," that no sneaking devil, no aggressive form of malicious animal magnetism arguing lust or disease against you, no attacking shock troops of failure, discouragement, doubt, or fear, no erroneous arguments that Christ's Christianity does not heal, can slip up from the rear and stab you in the back. Thus you see that divine Love, your dear heavenly Father-Mother, is not only your supplier, your governor, restorer, and preserver, is not only in front directing you and on the sides protecting your flanks; but this goodness and mercy are ever following you as well, for God Himself is the very substance of your being! Truly you are His beloved child in whom He is well pleased!

 

Psalm XXIII

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

[Published in The Santa Monica (California) Evening Outlook, Aug. 30, 1949. Also printed in The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 18, 1953.]

 

 

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