Christian Science: Its Tenets and How It Heals
Earl E. Simms, C.S., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
That the method used by Christ Jesus for overcoming all human difficulties can be utilized as effectively today by Christ Jesus' followers as it was by the master Christian himself, was the keynote of a lecture given by Earl E. Simms of Austin, Texas, in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, last night.
In developing his theme, Mr. Simms told of the healing of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. He explained that Mrs. Eddy found release from serious illness because she glimpsed some aspects of spiritual law after pondering Jesus' achievement in healing the palsied man, as related in the ninth chapter of Matthew.
He also told of his own healing when, after having been under medical treatment for two months for a condition which had continued to grow worse, he turned to Christian Science for help. As the healing progressed, "many false traits of character, such as social drinking, the smoking habit, the use of profanity, and an ungovernable temper, fell away," Mr. Simms said.
The lecturer was introduced by Miss Helen Appleton, Second Reader of The Mother Church, who said:
"It is my privilege and pleasure, this evening, to welcome you, in the name of The Mother Church, to a lecture on Christian Science. This lecture is entitled, 'Christian Science: Its Tenets and How It Heals.'
"As we listen we shall learn of the fundamental truths of Christian Science as given in its tenets, and as we apply these truths in our daily experience, we shall gain a workable understanding of the healing and redemptive power of this Science. Thus we shall have a fuller knowledge of God, of His presence, His power, love, and availability, and we shall be able to say with the psalmist, 'Who is so great a God as our God?'
"Our lecturer is a member of
the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ,
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
The immortal reverberations from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address had just begun to find response in the hearts of men when another divinely inspired crusader appeared on the battlefield of human experience. Carrying high the banner of Truth which heralded freedom from fear, disease, pain, poverty, and death, Mary Baker Eddy courageously gave to the world her discovery, the Science of Christianity, which manumits humankind from the shackles of evil.
God Prepared Mrs. Eddy for Role
You will recall steps in the life
of David recorded in the Scriptures. His first appearance upon the stage of
history was as the ruddy shepherd boy chosen of the Lord over his statuesque brothers;
next we find him as the "sweet singer of
For many years, even from childhood, God had been preparing Mary Baker Eddy for her role of revelator of Truth to this age. Like David at his best, she early showed great spiritual insight and promise. Reared under the tender influence of a spiritually-minded mother and the sincere teachings of an upright and religious father, strength, love, and obedience characterized her childhood search for the spiritual things of God. Even in early years she was a profound thinker and a faithful student of the Bible. Her parents and ministers in the community were often astounded at her spiritual interpretations of certain portions of Scripture.
Because childhood frailty and weakness seemed to increase during young womanhood, Mrs. Eddy was led to investigate and try many methods of healing. Her research and efforts in this respect were unsuccessful. She found healing, however, in the inspired pages of the Bible. Hopelessly ill according to the attending physician, she was reading the narrative recorded in Matthew's Gospel where Jesus healed the man sick of the palsy when she too experienced healing.
The deep significance of this experience confirmed her profound convictions that the Scriptures contain infinitely more than the history of a people, their moral and religious codes, their music and culture. So the divine inspiration which followed her healing shone as a bright light on the Scriptures. Thereupon she began a renewed, intensive, and consecrated study of the spiritual import and practicality of the Bible.
Christian Science Never Fails
A splendid education, a capacity for long and diligent study and research, together with outstanding spiritual preparedness, were the means through which she discovered this exposition of Truth, Christian Science, which has healed and is healing untold numbers throughout the world.
Literally interpreted, the name David means "beloved." Christian Scientists reverently refer to Mrs. Eddy as their "beloved Leader." This should not be considered strange, since these people have been healed, saved, and regenerated through the Christly ministrations of her discovery. Here let me ask, Were you to find yourself in the Everglades, sinking in the mire, with all hope abandoned, and suddenly someone appeared nearby and with definite assurance said, "Fear not; take my hand and I will lift you up; I know the way out," and then led you to firm ground, freedom, happiness, health, and success, might you not be grateful? Would you reverently and affectionately refer to such a one as "beloved"? Indeed you might! Then it should be easily understood why those who have felt the loving and healing touch of Christian Science feel such tender affection and gratitude for its Discoverer. One who early witnessed many healings through Christian Science and loved its teachings wrote, "All honor to that God-loving, God-fearing woman, Mary Baker G. Eddy, whose only work is the work of love in the helping of mankind to help themselves; who has placed before her fellowmen understandingly, what man's divine rights are, and what God really is" (Science and Health, p. 647).
I belong to that ever-increasing family who can say that Christian Science was in their home at the time of their birth. My mother was interested in Christian Science before I was born. So, like a great many of you, I was reared in the Christian Science Sunday School. During those almost twenty years much was learned of the teachings of this Science. Relied on for healing, never once did it fail.
Turning to God for Healing
Soon after my Sunday School days I left home, and for several years following I became mesmerized by materiality and worldly so-called pleasures. All that Christian Science gave was still available, but little was done to secure it. Sunday morning, however, always found me in the Christian Science church, because I knew that was where my mother wanted me to be. Finally an experience arose which forced me to return wholeheartedly to God.
One day, while standing in my office, I was suddenly stricken ill and became obsessed with fear. Among my clients was one of the finest physicians in that part of the country. Perhaps it was because of my worldly way of living that I somehow did not feel that that time God could or would meet my need. So I turned to my friend, the doctor. He was most considerate and kind, but placed many medical laws over me which made me the more uneasy and fearful.
After remaining under material medicine for two months, instead of abating, the difficulty seemed to grow worse. One day, while thinking things through, perhaps I was praying, the still, small voice of Truth whispered: "Why do you not turn to God for healing? He has always healed you heretofore." Recognizing this angelic voice, I replied immediately, "That is precisely what I shall do." My friend, the doctor, was most understanding when told I was turning to Christian Science. Forthwith the medicine was disposed of, the diet sheets destroyed, the dust was wiped from the Bible and Science and Health, and serious study was begun. Lastly, the help of a consecrated Christian Science practitioner was enlisted.
During the sleepless, fear-filled nights which came, it was necessary to hold closely to God's ever-presence and all-power. The practitioner faithfully stood by me. Refuge and comfort were found in the understanding that my true selfhood was ever in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty (see Psalm 91).
Unpayable Debt of Gratitude
The healing took two years. It was completed in Christian Science. During this period I was able to be about my business almost as usual. Indeed it was a wonderful regenerative experience. As the healing progressed, many false traits of character, such as social drinking, the smoking habit, the use of profanity, and an ungovernable temper, fell away. My wife was not then a Christian Scientist, and these trying times demanded, I am sure, all the courage, love, and patience she could muster. After witnessing my healing, she became a devout student.
Is it any wonder that those precious days in the Christian Science Sunday School are a constant source of joy to me? Is it any wonder that I owe Christian Science and its beloved Discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy an unpayable debt of gratitude for the good, the happiness, joy, health, and prosperity this new-old religion has brought to me and my family over a period of many years?
Answering the question, Have Christian Scientists any religious creed?" Mrs. Eddy writes "They have not, if by that term is meant doctrinal beliefs" (Science and Health, p. 496). She then goes on to set out certain important points or religious tenets of Christian Science. Free from dogma and doctrinal beliefs, they follow closely the spiritually inspired teachings of the Old Testament and urge love for and obedience to the commands and example of our Saviour, Christ Jesus. When uniting with the Christian Science church, members sign these Tenets. They seek to understand and practice them in daily life.
The first of these divinely inspired Tenets, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (Science and Health, p. 497), shows definitely that Christian Science is founded on the Scriptures. To the Christian Scientist the Bible is the Book of Life. He traces its divine inspiration from Genesis to Revelation. He studies it daily in conjunction with the Christian Science textbook, also availing himself of the Bible Lessons prepared in the Christian Science Quarterly. The Bible used in Christian Science churches is the authorized translation known as the King James Version.
Bible Teaches Us How to Live
The Book of Life, the Bible, through its inspired pages, teaches on the one hand what life is and how it should be lived, that is, the true nature of God and man's perfect relationship to Him; and on the other hand it pictures what life is not and how it should not be lived, that is, that which is not of God and is therefore not related to man, the son of God. Witness the two separate and distinct accounts of creation recorded in the book of Genesis. In the first chapter is presented the account of spiritual creation. Man, made in God's image and likeness, is revealed in light, spiritual understanding, and is endowed with perfection, power, and complete dominion over all things. Here are the unchanging and eternal facts of creation. Here is the Bible teaching its perfect, positive way of Life.
The second chapter of Genesis, beginning with the fourth verse, sets forth the story of material so-called creation, which Christian Science proves to be mythical by citing the spiritual facts already set forth. However, this story of Adam made from the dust of the ground and Eve taken from Adam is not an unprofitable tale. In fact, when viewed in the light of Christian Science, it explains satisfactorily the fictitious and erroneous nature of Adam, Eve, and the serpent. Science and Health says (p. 526), "This second biblical account is a picture of error throughout."
Studying the Bible in the light of Christian Science, one finds that the wholly spiritual theme of the first chapter of Genesis and the first three verses of the second chapter carries right through to Christ Jesus and his ministry. In fact, each one of the great patriarchs of the Old Testament represents progress away from belief in the Adam-dream towards the Christ, which was so magnificently exemplified in the healing, saving, and regenerating works of Jesus and his followers. Paul said, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Cor. ).
Of her discovery of Christian Science and its founding, Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 126): "The Bible has been my only authority. I have had no other guide in 'the straight and narrow way' of Truth." Quite appropriately, then, she named the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Through it, the Bible, to many a locked book, obscure and confused, is unlocked, its sealed vaults are opened, and the pure gold of its spiritual import is made accessible to all.
One Supreme and Infinite God
"We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God's image and likeness" (Science and Health, p. 497). This is the second tenet, which we shall now consider.
The word "acknowledge" means to be intelligently conscious of; to own or admit as fact; to know the presence of; to recognize; to be conversant with. Of God the wise man entreated, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths'' (Prov. 3:6).
Our God is the one God, hence He is the only God. When Jesus said to that "certain ruler," "Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God" (Luke ), he declared not only that he was not God, but also the infinite goodness of God, His oneness
and His allness. Jesus left no inference or implication that God knows or admits evil, namely, sin, disease, war, fear, or death. In fact, careful study of the Gospels reveals that one time our Master carefully defined the spurious nature of evil. Addressing mortals and the mortal or carnal so-called mind, Jesus said: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John ). All of Jesus' teachings and demonstrations were based upon God's unity, goodness, and allness. Never did he leave the opposite of God, called devil, Satan, the one evil, out of the category of liar, an impostor falsely pretending power and intelligence opposed to God, infinite, supreme, omnipotent Principle or Mind.
Man's True Being Demonstrated
At this juncture, are you thinking, How can one say there is no mortal or human good when so much goodness and charity are seen in human brings? Indeed, you do see much good in human consciousness, and this is so right and Christianly scientific. Let it be understood, however, that that which is good and holy in human consciousness is not human or mortal, but is divine. Actually, it is the Christ, the consciousness of Truth, the spiritual unfoldment here and now, of God's presence and power. This ever-coming of Christ to human consciousness does not make the material so-called man spiritual, and neither does it transform a mortal into an immortal. Scientifically, it is a demonstration of man's true being in God's image and likeness. Since Jesus never left sin and evil out of the classification of lies, does not this fact impugn the reasoning which erroneously holds sin, sickness, and death to be actual? Thus Christian Science reveals through the ever-present, ever-operative Christ, the allness and goodness of God, and thus does it demonstrate the nothingness and impotency of evil. In this connection, Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 473), "Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God."
Even as Jesus taught and practiced it, the Science of Christianity, or Christian Science, rests upon the spiritual facts of being, and in no manner does it attempt to mix spiritual with material methods of healing. A house divided against itself cannot stand; so Mrs. Eddy definitely warns her followers against the least attempt to mix material with spiritual means in the healing ministry when she says, "Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized" (ibid., p. 167). This radicalness, this utter dependence on God for healing, makes Christian Science unique among Christian religions and proves its healing work is not miraculous, but divinely natural.
Of Jesus in his healing and saving office of Christ, Mrs. Eddy, writes: "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. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea" (Science and Health, p. 473).
God Revealed as Father of Man
Jesus was born of a human mother. His conception by her was pure and spiritual. A significant fact concerning Jesus' conception and birth is that it set aside fifty per cent of the common beliefs of generation by revealing God as the Father of man. Had Jesus presented any less humanness than he did, he would not have been discernible to human understanding; hence he would not be our Wayshower out of the false beliefs of the flesh. Paul said of Jesus' experience that he "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. ). Actually, the Master showed you and me how far we can and must go in demonstrating God's kingdom here on earth. He showed us how to resist and defeat every temptation of sin and disease through God's spiritual power, the Christ, the spiritual idea of Life, Truth, and Love.
As we pray, affirming God's Allness, His goodness, and His omnipotence, we find that this Christ, the true idea of God, of Life, Truth, and Love, this Holy Spirit, this divine Comforter which Jesus exemplified, comes to us, a renewal and transformation of consciousness in freshness and newness of purpose, strength, ability, health, and affluence.
My friends, do not be conservative or timid in your mental insistence that right now the Christ is here and is manifested in your true selfhood. Do not permit scholastic theology, clerical dogma, old religious theories, or the erroneous belief that material medicine has replaced the Christly method of healing to dampen your spiritual ardor and heavenly inspiration. The glorious teachings, example, and demonstrations of the Saviour, Christ Jesus, are your everlasting pattern. Therefore, obey now the Christly command to preach the gospel and heal the sick. Paul declares, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Now, let us consider the third tenet: "We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts" (Science and Health, p. 497).
Christian Science provides for the destruction of sin, that is, it handles it to its destruction. This is its provision for sin's pardon. Sin must be destroyed in order to be forgiven. Limited and finite religious theories attempt to pardon sin without destroying it, but Science shows that nothing short of sin's destruction through genuine repentance and reformation can bring about forgiveness. The unforgivable sin is failure to repent.
Sin is whatever dims your spiritual vision of God and His Christ. It is whatever subtracts from your holiness, purity, and goodness. It is whatever divides your allegiance between God and mammon.
According to the Bible, it was sin that made sinners of Adam and Eve. The sin always makes the sinner; never does the sinner make the sin. So, then, you must be alert that the lying arguments such as lust, hatred, jealousy, or revenge never enter your thought directly or indirectly and thereby make a sinner of you.
One may ask, "Since God is the only cause and creator and His creation includes all and is infinitely good, how does He destroy sin, which He obviously did not create, of which He knows nothing, and which to Him does not exist?" God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omniactive Spirit, Soul, or Mind. He is divine, infinite, supreme, eternal good, Life, Truth, Love. Being All-in-all, there can be nothing except divine Principle, God, and His perfect spiritual creation, namely, the universe, including man made in His image and likeness. These facts understood and strongly maintained constitute a law of annihilation to all that is unlike God. Then the answer is that He destroys sin through His allness, His completeness. There cannot be more than All, the All-good.
Do you believe in sin or evil as an awful reality? And has this belief convinced you of its actuality and power? If so, then you must break this mesmerism in order to be free from the effects of sin, such as sickness, disease, and death. It is our belief as well as our indulgence in sin that gets us into trouble. The belief in sin's reality is subtle and seeks to trap even those who themselves may show no inclination to sin. For example, if one sees his neighbor as a sinner or if one holds as true the intoxicated condition of the passer-by on the street who seems to be under the influence of alcohol, an indulger in tobacco, or who otherwise manifests uncleanness or disease, and if one fails to declare untrue and unreal such erroneous sense testimony on the grounds that such things are not of God, hence never a part of His man, then such a one could through his own false beliefs be the victim indirectly of these sinful conditions. Obviously, we cannot claim perfection for ourselves and deny it to our fellow man.
Spiritual Insight of Mrs. Eddy
Plainly, then, to disbelieve in sin, all evil, is to reject and destroy it for yourselves and others. Do not concede that sin has its necessities. Refuse to admit that it has place, power, or a victim to act through or upon. Having done this, then affirm that man in God's image is ever perfect, complete, pure, holy, and satisfied, without a single unsatisfied desire. Hold that man's God-given heritage of dominion reveals him the victor, the champion over sin, hence never frustrated by the false attractions of passion, worldliness, or materiality.
The fourth tenet in the theology of Christian Science is: "We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death" (Science and Health, p. 497).
Here again we see the spiritual insight the Discoverer of Christian Science had into the life of the Master and his purpose to fulfill the office of Christ, but she states plainly that our beloved Master's words and works made him our Saviour, our Exemplar and Wayshower.
Atonement eventuates in salvation, and salvation in its full sense in the Science of Christianity means at-one-ment with God. Jesus' demonstrations over sin, disease, and death for himself and others proved that man, in God's image and likeness, is ever at one with and is inseparable from God, his divine Principle. He declared, "I and my Father are one" (John ). In Science and Health we read (p. 18). "Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love."
We Must Follow Path Jesus Trod
My friends, we must follow, so fast as scientific
prayer reveals it to us, that path which Jesus trod. His precious love and life
of self-sacrifice spare us not one experience. Each of us in his own individual
way will have his
We find more of the inspired teachings of this Science in another of its tenets, as follows: "We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter" (Science and Health, p. 497).
Jesus was not crucified on his own account, that is, for his own sins, of which there were none, but because he was teaching and demonstrating Christ, the idea of Truth, for the salvation of all mankind, including you and me. Rebuking sensuality and all evil, he exposed wickedness and superstition in high places. His persecutors, jealous, bigoted, and hateful, sought to silence forever the Christ, the power and presence of God which Jesus exemplified in healing sickness and sin. Their material doctrines, erroneous human theories concerning God and His Messiah, prevented them from recognizing Jesus in the office of Christ. Hence they attempted to murder him whom Mrs. Eddy has described as "the best man that ever trod the globe" (Science and Health, p. 52).
Man Is Coexistent With God
Actually the crucifixion was the steppingstone to a greater victory. Understanding Life to be God, never in nor of matter, and without beginning or end, Jesus' final demonstration over death and the grave proved the impotency of all evil. Following the resurrection, the nail prints and the spear wound were still visible, but obviously there was no infection, no gangrene. To all who had ears to hear and eyes to see, Jesus demonstrated a system of healing far above the material methods of medicine and surgery. This system teaches that there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter, that all is infinite, divine Mind, God, and His perfect spiritual creation, man. Thus it is that Christian Science teaches that God is Life and man in God's likeness is spiritual, hence that man has a diseaseless, painless, ageless, decayless body or immortal, spiritual identity.
Are you this man? Indeed in your real being you are! Then ask yourself, "Did God create me in His image and likeness?" Indeed He did, when He created, revealed all things. Then you existed prior to this dream of life in matter as surely as you live after it. Spiritual man lives and moves through the infinite reaches of eternity, never within the finite borders of time. He is coexistent and coeternal with his divine Principle, God. His life, perfect and immortal, is untouched by the mortal's experiences called birth, growth, education, age, decay, and death.
Man is God's representative. He represents God. The false belief that man is mortal, subject to birth on one hand and death on the other, is the Adam-dream. God never made any such man. Surely, a sick, sinning, fearful, dying mortal is not and could not be God's representative, could not represent God.
So, then, refuse to believe that you are the Adam man. Start right now identifying yourself as God's representative, exercising complete dominion. Henceforth know yourself as the child of God. Enjoy your rich heritage as a joint heir with Christ.
Well do we remember how in the armed forces each wore identification tags which showed who we were. In civil life we carry identification cards which establish identity and credit. Just so Christian Science teaches that we must hold in consciousness those spiritual ideas which identify us in the realm of Spirit.
How often does one awake to a new day confronted with the aggressive mental suggestions of lack of purpose, inspiration, spontaneity, and fitness, lack of love, health, and joy! What challenges these are! And how easily such errors are dispelled when the truth of one's own being as God's representative is realized!
Now, just how can one meet these challenges to one's freedom, peace, and dominion? Simply by refusing to be responsive to such hypnotic suggestions of mortal mind. A little girl in Sunday School said, "When the devil rings my mental telephone, I just say, 'Wrong number,' and hang up."
Christian Science Destroys Evil
Through spiritual understanding of the allness of God, good, Christian Science demonstrates the nothingness of evil. God is All-in-all, as the Scriptures imply; then the so-called opposite of God, good, called evil, must be nothing, no thing, nothingness. Let us consider the products of evil, such as pain, sickness, and fear. Where do pain, irritation, and inflammation go when they no longer appear in the body? Christian Science teaches that they go where they came from – into nothingness, oblivion. Evil is never truth, but is always a lie claiming to be truth. To allow the claim is to give reality to the unreal. Hence this Science does not ignore evil, but handles it to its complete destruction. Actually, human consciousness is the battleground on which the war between good and evil, Spirit and matter, is fought. Therefore, meet the false suggestions of fear, anxiety, hatred, disease, and pain with vigor and authority, by calling them what they are – lies, false claims, erroneous beliefs, offerings of the carnal mind, not originating with God, hence devoid of presence, power, or law. Then demand evil's disappearance and destruction; order it off your mental premises. Hold firmly to the immutable fact that you are here and now endowed with divine power and wisdom, which give you complete dominion over all evil. Then sin, disease, and death will abate and disappear, and the light of Truth and Love will be found permeating your whole being.
The sixth and last tenet may well be considered a consummation of the others. Surely it demands self-sacrifice, self-denial, and unselfed love – full Christian service. Let us read it: "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure" (Science and Health, p. 497).
Christ Jesus reflected infinite, immortal, divine Mind. To have this Mind in us, we must watch and pray for it in contradistinction to erroneous, mortal, so-called mind. Having this Mind in us, we may be sure then that we also have that love in us which characterized Jesus every action.
The logic of Christian Science exemplifies true prayer. To reason about God in this Science, to realize what He is and man's relationship to Him, is to pray. This prayer affirms the presence here and now of one's own perfection, invincibility, and true spiritual nature as the son and heir, the image and likeness, of the one perfect Father-Mother God. Such prayer reconciles us to God, good; and prayer which establishes man's at-one-ment with God, divine Love, is answered prayer.
Divine Mind the Only Lawmaker
The major premise in the logic or prayer of Christian Science is that infinite, divine, supreme, perfect Spirit alone is the cause and creator of the universe, including man; that God is omnipotent good, the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise Mind, the eternal Principle, the Soul, essence, or substance of all that really exists. He is Life, Truth, and Love forever expressed.
The minor premise in this syllogism is that God's creation, man and the universe, made in His image, is exactly like Him, hence is perfect, spiritual, unchanging, and eternally good. The Scripture declares that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31).
Then the conclusion which the prophet Habakkuk reached, namely, that God created only good and that He is of "purer eyes than to behold evil" and cannot "look on iniquity" (Hab. 1:13) is well drawn.
A prominent jurist, former judge of the Supreme Court of one of our great states, after having read the Christian Science textbook through the fourth time, wrote me, "To me, the logic of Christian Science is unanswerable, and even though I may not be able to demonstrate its truths, I shall be much better off for having studied it."
Do you say, "I admit that divine Mind, God, does govern and regulate matter in some cases, but not in all"? My friend, the Christian Scientist can demonstrate daily that God, the divine Mind, is the source of all action, movement, and government, and that He is the only lawmaker. Actually, everything we do consciously or unconsciously is mental. All action is Mind, not matter. Ask yourself, "Did I bring the body here this evening or did it bring me?" Of course, the body did not bring you; you brought it! How long will it occupy that seat? Until thought tells it to move! Just so, the action and function of every part or organ of the human body are controlled through Mind, not matter, through mental, not material processes. And this mental control to produce harmony must be the divine Mind, God, the source of all harmonious action. Concerning Mind's government of the body, Mrs. Eddy writes. "Mind regulates the condition of the stomach, bowels, and food, the temperature of children and of men, and matter does not'' (Science and Health, p. 413). This truth spiritually understood removes whatever is inharmonious, namely, all that is sick, painful, or harmful.
Here you may conclude, "Well, according to this Christianly scientific method of reasoning, everything good or bad that comes into my experience is the result of what I accept into my thought and acknowledge as my own." You are definitely right, because error comes to you and me as our own thoughts. It may come first in the form of the second person saying, "You are sick, fatigued, unhappy, or afraid." If you agree with the suggestion, you find yourself declaring in the first personal pronoun "I," saying, "I am sick, I am discouraged, I am unemployed, I am lacking supply and inspiration." Surely it argues, "I am getting old, I am useless and wearing out."
Scientific Prayer Dispels Error
God is the one and only I. He is the one Ego governing all existence, and He never surrenders His sovereignty. When Moses demanded proof of God's presence and power, did He not reveal Himself as "I AM"? Scientifically speaking, as Mrs. Eddy tells us (Science and Health, p. 281), "The Ego-man is the reflection of the Ego-God," we cannot rightfully say "I am" to aught but that which expresses God, Life, Truth, Love – all that is perfect, harmonious, spiritual, and eternal. Then let us preserve our health, harmony, and happiness by declaring "I am" to God and His reflection and "I am not" to sin, disease, and death.
The defeat of the adversary is simple in Christian Science. Its scientific method of prayer dispels anything error may call itself, whether it be cancer, heart trouble, or just a crick in the neck. Just as David knew the impotence of the giant, so all Goliaths in Christian Science are stripped of their false claims to place, power, or law through prayer or scientific reasoning.
It is recorded in Luke's Gospel that Jesus gave the Lord's Prayer in response to the disciples' pleading, "Lord, teach us to pray." Then he related the "parable of importunity." He asked, "Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at , and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?" He then goes on to say that the neighbor and friend answered with several excuses as to why he could not arise and lend him bread. Then Jesus made this point: "I say unto you, Though, he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you." "Importunity" means insistent demand, refusal to be denied, never letting up.
God-Given Birthright Claimed
A friend of mine, a student of Christian Science, traveling from New York to Florida, was obliged to interrupt his trip on account of severe pain from a physical difficulty. His condition soon became known in the hotel. Persons there attempted to persuade him to enter a hospital for an operation. Being a Christian Scientist, he had no intention of relying on aught but God for his healing. He said: "Amid intense suffering, I affirmed that, in reality, I was in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Then suddenly this angel thought came to me: 'Why, my God-given birthright is freedom and dominion! I demand it right now! I refuse to be satisfied with anything short of my divine heritage!' " He said he fell asleep importunately demanding his rich legacy of perfection and liberty. Several hours later he awoke to find that a clear case of mental surgery had taken place. This man refused to be denied his spiritual birthright! Just recently he told me he has been free from that condition ever since. Remember, your birthright is spiritual perfection! Do not barter it, as did Esau for a mess of pottage, but insist upon realizing this rich inheritance here and now!
Most significant it is that these Tenets contain that Christly admonition, the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Most assuredly this is the alpha and omega of all human relationships. No negotiations, be they local, national, or international, can ever fail when inaugurated and pursued on this basic principle. Indeed, this rule includes the acknowledgment of man as the reflection of divine Love, ever expressing Love's qualities, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, justice, and unselfed love. Free from hatred, covetousness, envy, revenge, and greed, these pure, unadulterated thoughts are the steppingstones to the fulfillment of "On earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke ).
Tools Supplied for Life of Freedom
Before we part may I tell you the story of a boy who entered the manual training department of a school? The very first day in class the instructor handed him a blueprint, a hammer, saw, and nails, and, pointing to a barrel, said, "Build a chair." Even though his tools were limited and he was not familiar with reading blueprints, he obediently went about his assignment. In time he turned out a chair that was sturdy and durable.
Two years later this same boy was finishing his course in this department. As a final project, the teacher one day handed him another blueprint, pointed to a barrel, and said. "Build a chair." In his experience he had learned to use other tools, including planes, chisels, and a lathe. This time the chair he built was not only sturdy and durable, but was also a thing of beauty and loveliness.
Now, my friends, may I urge upon you the use of the tools that have been placed in your hands in this lecture; follow the blueprints: the Bible and the Christian Science textbook. Practice the Tenets you have heard, and you, too, will be able to build – build a Christly life of freedom, health, happiness, and usefulness.
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 15, 1950.]