Christian Science: The Science of Christianity

 

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

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," so declared the beloved disciple John (John 1:1,3). These statements are correlative to those of the writer of the first chapter of Genesis, where he says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. . . . And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:1,31). In Christian Science these are absolute statements of absolute facts. Indeed, they are profound in their spiritual significance. Do they challenge your thought? The teachings of Christian Science make them easily understood and practical. Plainly that which is practical can be practiced, hence is demonstrable. So you can demonstrate here and now that God is the only cause and creator and that His creation is entirely good. The word "only" means "one and no other." Therefore, since the only God created only good, there is no creator or cause of evil.

Christ Jesus declared God to be Spirit. His creation, then, must be and is spiritual. It could not be otherwise, since even according to natural law like produces like. Consequently man, including the universe, is primarily and finally spiritual and good. These conclusions are logically sound!

Christian Science, its practice and demonstrations are based on these Scriptural facts. The teachings and demonstrations of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, confirm them. Jesus proved the allness and goodness of God, Spirit, and Spirit's creation. In view of this, then, should the metaphysical statement, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 468), confuse or confound you? Obviously it should not, even though it maintains that everything that is perceived by the physical senses is devoid of life, truth, intelligence, or substance, hence is temporal and unsubstantial. Actually the foregoing facts are precisely what Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, discovered in 1866, and later stated in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 468), thus: "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."

When Mrs. Eddy declared that all is infinite Mind, God, and God's manifestation or creation and denied the reality and existence of matter, some physicists and many religionists took her to task on these points, while others regarded her discovery too ridiculous to consider seriously. This, however, did not deter her in her unselfed efforts to free mankind from the false beliefs in the reality of matter and to thus establish God's kingdom of Life, Truth, and Love here on earth.

Mrs. Eddy was a student of both Greek and Hebrew. Her broad education, together with her studies and research, caused her to be accurately informed on many subjects. It is to be remembered, however, that her discovery of the allness of God, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter did not come through study of human philosophies, doctrines, or laboratory experiments, but from spiritual inspiration and divine revelation gained through exclusive study of the Scriptures together with humble, prayerful communion with God, the divine Principle of all real being. Mrs. Eddy understood what she wrote. She understood and demonstrated fourscore years ago that the universe and man are spiritual, are governed by God, and are therefore under deific law, hence free from every phase of destruction or disaster.

Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science is a simple but inspiring story. It is about a woman who, through years of spiritual preparation and study, received the revelation of God's healing power. You will recall that throughout history, particularly Bible history, spiritual revelation came not through rituals, creeds, or ceremonies, but through spiritualized thought. It became apparent to the consciousness ready to receive the revelation. Unfortunately, prevalent religious belief is that the great spiritual inspiration and unfoldment which came to the patriarchs of Old and New Testament days are finished and cannot be repeated; whereas Jesus taught, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8).

Truly, she who discovered Christian Science and founded this religion which has encircled the globe and is healing tens of thousands through its Christly ministrations lived a life of simplicity and purity, self-sacrifice and love. In an authorized biography of Mrs. Eddy by the Reverend Lyman P. Powell, an Episcopal rector, entitled "Mary Baker Eddy: A Life Size Portrait," you will read how when suffering from the effects of an accident, a severe fall on the ice, which the attending physician said would prove fatal, Mrs. Eddy was suddenly healed while reading in the Bible of an outstanding healing by Jesus. This aroused her to the realization that the healing power which Christ Jesus employed was operating here today.

Most of those who are known as Christian Scientists have come to this Science because of its healing ministry; others have come because in its teachings they have found most satisfying and demonstrable facts concerning God and His Christ; while those who like myself have been reared in it remain constant because they have proved it to be the way of Life which our Saviour taught and exemplified.

 

Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?

Humankind has ever been faced with the question, "Is the universe, including man, evolved by atomic force?" This momentous question has become definitely acute with the discoveries that are being wrought through research in matter, such as that of the nuclear physicist in atomic energy. Obviously activities in the physical sciences have brought many useful things through research in physics, chemistry, electronics, aeronautics, and other fields. It is not the purpose or mission of Christian Science to tear down or discredit those achievements of those who achieved them. The teachings of Christian Science and its practice in healing the sick and sinning never retreat from the spiritual facts of being; they never surrender man's God-given birthright of freedom and dominion over all things; they never lose sight of the fact that All is infinite Mind, God, and its infinite manifestation, and that man and the universe reflect God. So, after studying and practicing Christian Science, one is bound to conclude that its Discoverer and Founder was far in advance of the physical scientists of our day.

According to Webster, the universe is "the totality of existing or created things, including the earth (with all on or in it), hence all creation." To uninspired material sense the universe, including man, seems material, temporal, and finite, while to spiritual sense the universe, including man, is spiritual, eternal, and forever perfect. Science and Health says: "The universe reflects God" (p. 502); "In the universe of Truth, matter is unknown" (p. 503).

The word "evolve" is derived from the Latin "evolvere," to "roll out, unroll, unfold." It means to develop gradually, that is, to come forth gradually into being; undergo evolution. In its original sense of unfoldment, the word "evolve" is not unchristian or unscientific because man, finished and eternal, ever presents unfoldment. He is ever expressing newness, freshness, strength, ability, and affluence, God's goodness, power, and love. He emanates from God. He is at once and forever God's image and likeness, hence does not grow according to any materialistic evolutionary plan or scheme.

Material evolution theories would have man start from the lowest form of material life and gradually progress from one form of matter to another, namely, from one atom to two atoms, to three atoms, and on and on until the glomeration becomes man a mass of matter. Finally, a mortal is developed. All this is summed up by some physicists as the story of man evolved from molecule to monkey and from monkey to man. Surely this could in no case be man made by God in His image and likeness, man to whom He gave dominion, whom He saw and declared to be very good.

Many of you here can recall the time when to the physical scientist a so-called matter universe and matter man were held as palpable realities, while Spirit, the divine Mind, and the spiritual universe, including man, were considered abstract, transcendental, and next to nothing. It is true that some but not all of the men and women of physical science have reached the conclusion, as did Mrs. Eddy, that matter is nothing, no thing, nothingness, and that all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation; but unanimity in this respect may not be far off. Why? Because right now, through recent discoveries, physicists agree that matter this building and that seat you are occupying is composed almost entirely of space. Too, it is agreed that that which you call your body is almost one hundred per cent space. For example, it has been agreed that if a person's body were reduced to where all the space was eliminated, such a body would become a very small speck, invisible to the naked eye. The eminent authority, Sir Arthur Eddington, of Cambridge University, says, "It we eliminated all the unfilled space in a man's body, and collected his protons and electrons (that is, his atoms), into one mass, the man's body would be reduced to a speck just visible with a magnifying glass" (The Nature of the Physical World).

Now, mind you, this does not elevate physical science to the plane of Christian Science, and neither is it agreed by all physicists that your physical body is nothing, but that it is almost entirely space. In this space, according to modern science, circulate tiny particles of electrically charged matter. The Christian Science textbook defines electricity as ". . . the sharp surplus of materiality which counterfeits the true essence of spirituality or truth, the great difference being that electricity is not intelligent, while spiritual truth is Mind" (p. 293).

Since, then, the mortal body is at once space and infinitesimal parts, which parts if collected into one mass would be a mere speck discernible only with a magnifying glass, should not we ask which is it, the space or the speck, that manifests sickness, disease, and pain? Which is it that becomes inflamed, irritated, and crippled? You are definitely right. Since in reality there is no truth, life, intelligence, nor substance in matter, pain and disease are erroneous theories, false beliefs of a mortal or carnal so-called mind, which mind in truth and in fact can have no existence, power, or intelligence, since all is infinite Mind, God, and its infinite manifestation. One material scientist recently expressed himself thus: "The findings of nuclear physicists sound the death knell of materialism, as an explanation of the universe and as a philosophy of life." Does all this indicate agreement between physical science and Christian Science? No, it doesn't. Let it be stated this way: some of our great men of science are gradually returning to the manger; they are turning towards the Christ, Truth, which Jesus taught, demonstrated, and exemplified.

So, my friends, we must return to the humble but powerful teachings of the Bible, namely, that man, your true selfhood, is the exact and complete likeness of God, in which there is not a single element of error, matter, or electricity; that man is not evolved by atomic force, but is made and governed exclusively according to divine law; that he is neither the subjective nor objective state of matter or the carnal mind, but is ever spiritual, perfect, complete, harmonious, joyous, and free as the idea of infinite Mind. So, then, strive to understand and realize that in your real being you are this man, here and now. The Christian Science textbook says (p. 259), "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, perfect God and perfect man, as the basis of thought and demonstration."

 

Christian Science and the Bible

As this lecture progresses, that is, as Christian Science unfolds in your consciousness as the Science of Christianity, you will see that it is founded on the Scriptures. Its teachings and practice scientifically coincide with the spiritual precepts and methods employed by Jesus and his followers. Concerning her discovery and founding of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy has written (ibid., p. 110): "In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only textbook. The Scriptures were illumined; reason and revelation were reconciled, and afterwards the truth of Christian Science was demonstrated." The famous naturalist, Louis Agassiz, said: "Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they have always believed it." At one time or another Christian Science goes through these stages in the thought of the individual.

Webster defines the word "science" in part as follows: "accumulated knowledge systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws." Science in its pure and original sense, as used in Christian Science, is precise, exact, demonstrable knowledge of God's laws and Jesus' method of employing or invoking these laws, thereby revealing the truth concerning man under God's government. Truly, Christian Science is the law of God. Its logic never deviates from the inspired teachings of the Bible. Mrs. Eddy authorized the use of the King James Version of the Bible. This Bible is used in Christian Science churches and is studied daily by all Christian Scientists in English-speaking countries.

 

The Correct Concept of Science

Let us continue our discussion of Christian Science as Science. I am sure we agree that to be scientific a rule or law must unfold with a definite degree of sequence or logic. Christian Science is divinely logical. Its premises are absolute truths concerning God, the universe, including man, and the governing laws of Spirit. Therefore, they cannot be fully understood through material human thinking, and neither can they be reconciled to mortal thought. Obviously, a premise which attempts to mix spiritual statements and spiritual facts with material views cannot produce an absolute conclusion. So, then, the scientific reasoning of Christian Science can be properly appraised only through spiritual-mindedness and not otherwise. To attempt to discuss Christian Science from material premises is to miss its high spiritual import. This is why a Christian Scientist and a so-called opponent seldom make progress in a discussion; that is, until the opponent ascends the spiritual ladder of reasoning, thus abandoning the relative and material for the absolute and spiritual.

Here one may say, "Well, that is the difficulty with Christian Science; it is too transcendental, too high spiritually for me to attain and understand." Of course, this is not true! The carnal mind will ever tell you, if you listen, that you cannot gain the ear and right hand of Omnipotence, that you cannot approach God. But you can!

You may be sure that when you begin your reasoning, your prayers, with clear, positive statements of what God is, and your perfect indestructible relationship to Him, you will feel the operation of God's law with reference to the difficulty at hand, whatever it may be. It is then that you understand what it means when it says in Science and Health (p. 93): "Divine logic and revelation coincide. If we believe otherwise, we may be sure that either our logic is at fault or that we have misinterpreted revelation."

 

Jesus and the Christ: the Healing Grace of God

The Christ, Truth, comes to us right where we are. It always comes to one who prays for divine guidance, inspiration, and protection. It was the Christ, the power and presence of God, which empowered Elijah when the iron floated on Jordan; Elisha when he raised from the dead the son of the Shunammite mother; Moses when he led the children of Israel through the Red Sea; and Daniel in the lions' den. Jesus exemplified Christ, Immanuel or God with us. His teachings and his healing work were the Christ in action.

Here you may say, "I was taught that Jesus and Christ were the same, that Christ was just another name for Jesus." Unfortunately, many have been taught this, hence they see no need to make deeper investigations. Actually, Jesus is the name of the man born of the Virgin-mother. Literally translated, Jesus means Saviour. On the other hand, Christ is the divine title of Jesus. Christ means the Anointed One, the Messiah, Immanuel or God with us. Speaking of the office of Christ and how it would be administered, Isaiah, the prophet, who lived many centuries prior to Jesus, wrote (Isa. 61:1,2), "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Our Master established his claim to the Messiahship when, in the temple at Nazareth, he read this passage from Isaiah, declaring, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:21).

 

Water into Wine: a Logical Conclusion

Do you believe, as some do, that the healing and saving work accomplished by Jesus and his followers was done before basic material medicine as we have it was discovered? This is a mistake! Material medicine was very active during Jesus' time and even long before. In fact, Hippocrates, the Greek physician, known as "the father of modern medicine," lived over four hundred years before Jesus' time. He said, "The nature of the body is the beginning of medical science." Plainly, this belief includes the erroneous conclusion that there is life, intelligence, and substance in matter. Hippocrates was the inventor of humoral pathology, that is, the treatment of disease through the basic humors or fluids in the human body. Does not this theory as well as his theories concerning diet imply that man's life is made up of and dependent upon chemical actions and reactions? I am sure it does. But this could hardly be true when the Bible declares that God is Life, infinite Spirit, and that He created man in His image and likeness.

Jesus' religion, his Christianity, and his medicine were one. He never separated them. He did not resort to Spirit for his religion and to matter for his medicine. He healed the sick and the sinning by the same spiritual means and promised, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

The medicine of Christian Science is the divine Mind. Unlike Hippocrates, who spoke solely from the standpoint of the human body, namely, that man is material and is composed of parts, organs, and humors, which become sick and die, Mrs. Eddy declares: "Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements." "Man is spiritual and perfect; . . ." (Science and Health, p. 475). Then man is not, cannot be physique, but is the exact image, the precise likeness, of God, infinite Spirit. Understanding man and his body to be one and that one to be the spiritual idea of God, Mrs. Eddy continues, "Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love" (ibid., p. 477).

The Master's first demonstration of spiritual law after he began his ministry was that of turning the water into wine at Cana of Galilee and is an outstanding proof of the mental nature of matter and of Mind's complete power and control of all things. It was by this same spiritual understanding and power that Elijah multiplied the meal and oil for the mother and her son at Zarephath.

Research reveals outstanding reasons for the turning of water into wine by our Master. One is that it was the opening gesture of a great career; another, that it was the loving obedience of a loving son. These reasons are obviously true, but isn't it unreasonable to believe that a career so great as Jesus' would be opened with only a gesture or by an example of human obedience? Truly, the magnificence of what is called the "first miracle" is much more profound and Godlike in purpose and consequence than can be grasped through casual considerations. Jesus' performance here must be considered in relation to the spiritual nature of his origin and early life as well as his life during the three years of his public ministry.

The Hebrew law required that a boy attain the age of twelve before taking part in religious activities in the temple. Hence we find Jesus at this age talking with the learned men in the temple at Jerusalem, "both hearing them, and asking them questions." It is recorded in Luke's Gospel that "all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers" (Luke 2:47).

Were you to ask a chemistry professor the question, "Of what is life composed?" the reply might be, "Life is made up of and is dependent upon chemical action and reaction." Unfortunately, the chemist who would make this answer would not have grasped the spiritual facts of life or the science of being. His view of life would be that it was material and temporal, hence subject to disease and death. One chemistry professor, however, said to his class recently, "Chemistry has not a leg to stand on save that which is mental." In other words, chemical action and reaction are dependent upon mortal belief pure and simple.

Eighteen years elapsed between Jesus' experience with the learned men in the temple and the inauguration of his ministry when he turned the water into wine. During this interim he must have thought often on these discussions and perhaps thereafter had many similar ones. Surely our Master realized that the major problem which confronted humankind was this erroneous theory that there is or can be life, truth, intelligence, or substance in matter; this erroneous belief that life is made up of and is dependent upon chemical action and reaction, resolving itself into sickness, inharmony, and disease. When Jesus changed the water into wine, he showed, that as the chemistry professor said, "Chemistry has not a single leg to stand on save that which is mental." Did he not accomplish thereafter every healing of disease and sickness and overcome death by following through along this line? In this connection, Mrs. Eddy has written (Science and Health, p. 210): "Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation. Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process." Truly, Jesus proved all to be infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, that God is All-in-all. This explains why the Christian Scientist never accepts material medicine's theories, diagnoses, or prognoses as law, but relies radically on God for healing.

 

God Understood

The whole of Christian Science its religion, its prayer, its practice and demonstration is based on understanding God. To the Christian Scientist, God is infinite, divine, supreme, eternal Mind, Soul, Principle. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, all-intelligent Life, Truth, and Love. Jesus declared God to be Spirit, hence He is not corporeal but incorporeal. My friend, in order for you to demonstrate God's presence and power, in order for you to heal yourself and others of sin and sickness, God must be All-in-all to you.

Here someone may say, "That all sounds very simple, but tell me more of how I can proceed in spiritualizing my consciousness and thus heal myself and others." First of all, you must know God as the cause and creator of the spiritual universe, including man. Christian Science teaches this and recognizes no other creator or creation. It stands on the Scripture, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1,3). From this Christian Science concludes and demonstrates that God is Mind. Since there is only one God, there can be only one Mind. Then in reality there are not minds many yours and mine, one group opposed to another, and so on. Because man is the expression of God, he expresses the divine Mind. Scientifically speaking, man is the idea of Mind. These facts thoroughly understood and practiced dissolve the persistent arguments that there are as many minds as there are persons.

Human psychology as taught in our colleges deals exclusively with the so-called human mind, the existence of which persists only in mortal belief. This so-called mind is kaleidoscopic in nature. It presents an enigma to itself. It doesn't understand itself and never can, because it is not based upon fact, but upon a limited, warped, material belief. So, my friend, do not trust human-mind testimony or conclusions; they do but fool thee. Divine psychology, the Science of divine Mind, is based entirely on God. It is spiritual understanding of His ever-operative, all-intelligent, all-powerful laws. The divine Mind is immutable: truly it is the same yesterday, today, and forever always good. As God's image and likeness you express this divine Mind; therefore you should understand and declare, "God is my Mind."

Now let us see how important it is to you to understand this. We need only to consider momentarily that all the trouble, discord, animosity, distrust, anxiety, and fear there is in human beings, and in the family of nations, is the result of the universal false theory that there are minds many. If you have trouble with your neighbor, it is because one or both of you do not understand the oneness of Mind. If you fail to sell a customer a helpful product, or fail to conclude a mutually advantageous contract, it is mainly because the rule that God is the only Mind and governs and directs all has not been properly applied. Under this system of divine Mind all must be helpful and advantageous. There can be no advantage one over another. Whatever blesses one must bless all. Thus you see you do not have to have a meeting of the minds in the commonly accepted sense to have helpful and harmonious agreements, because Christian Science reveals that in reality you and all men are already of the one Mind, God.

Let us consider further God as Mind. What emanates from Mind? What does Mind create? Ideas, of course! Hence Christian Science teaches that man expresses or manifests Mind's attributes, namely, intelligence, wisdom, ability, understanding, inspiration, and many more. These are your qualities as the offspring of God. Mind supplies the spiritual ideas which make you successful, happy, and free.

Here someone may ask, "Then what is the correct name for the erroneous setup which you have called 'minds many'?" Christian Science names it mortal mind. This mortal so-called mind offers us all the error that seems to influence us adversely. So we must understand that this so-called mind is not mind at all, but is a false belief, a lie about Mind. The allness, the oneness, of God as Mind proves this.

 

God Is Love

We can continue to enlarge our concept of God by considering Him as Love. Love is synonymous with the other terms we have employed for God. It is interesting, however, to consider that Love has certain qualities or attributes which are peculiarly its own; for example, tenderness, spiritual affection, mercy, unselfishness, generosity, and constancy are some of the qualities which we attribute to God as Love. Is it important for you and me to know this? Indeed it is! It is vital to our spiritual progress. Why? Because whatever is true concerning God as Love is true about man, the reflection of Love. Obviously, then, as you enlarge your concept of God, you also enlarge and perfect your concept of man. Thus you see how systematic, how scientific, how logical the teachings of Christian Science are.

 

God Is Truth

The Scriptures declare that God is Truth. So considering Him, we find that Truth also has qualities which may be said to be its own; for example, truthfulness, fairness, uprightness, justice, integrity, and trustworthiness are attributes which fit Truth precisely. Through spiritual unfoldment you and I should be able to add many more to these. As you break the limitations concerning God in your consciousness, you begin to recognize yourself and your neighbor as expressions of Truth, hence exercising Truth's infinite capacities. It is thus that you behold and love your neighbor as yourself. You behold him as expressing the attributes of his divine Principle, Truth. Truly, your concept of yourself and your neighbor does keep pace with your concept of God. Is not this the scientific explanation of the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

 

God Is Life

The Psalmist sang, "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27.1) Many times the Bible declares God to be Life. God is eternal, that is, without beginning or end. He is not subject to age, wear, tear, disease, or death. God is your Life; then you manifest all the properties of Life, namely strength, power, newness, freshness, activity, and eternality; and there in reality are no opposite qualities. The erroneous beliefs that speak of sin, sickness, disease, and death as attributes of life never refer to God as Life or to man as the manifestation of Life.

 

Handling Evil Through Impersonalizing It

One of the most satisfying teachings of Christian Science is its impersonalization of evil, that is, the separation of evil from persons. Science and Health says of evil (p. 71), "It is neither person, place, nor thing." Evil is the action of the mortal so-called mind which Jesus termed the liar and the father of lies and Paul said was enmity against God. Evil suggestions always come in the form of person, place, or thing. They would distract your attention from the real culprit, mortal mind, and distort the facts concerning your fellow man and your surroundings. Here someone may say, "I can follow this spiritually mental reasoning, but what I should like to know is, is it demonstrable in my affairs?" Indeed, it is!

A man entered a large business establishment one day. He was a massive fellow and quite belligerent. His conversation was loud and abusive. He felt that he and his family had been wronged by the employees of this concern. Those who tried to quiet and satisfy him seemed only to irritate him more.

A Christian Scientist sat at his desk in the rear of this large office. When the man uttered his first remark, the Christian Scientist began at once to mentally declare, "There is only one kind of man, and he is God's exact likeness, hence expresses only Love's qualities, love, wisdom, understanding, and the like." He denied that the so-called qualities of hatred, meanness, and revenge, which this man seemed to be expressing, were any part of him, but declared they were lies about him, hence could not influence him in any way. After praying in this manner for a few minutes, the Christian Scientist sent word asking the man to come in to see him. The man kicked open the swinging gate leading into the office and dragged his feet noisily across the floor. The Christian Scientist's thought did not deviate from God and man in His likeness. He did not look up until the man stood directly in front of his desk. Then he said quietly, "Well, my friend, what seems to be your trouble? Sit down and tell me about it." The man stood quietly for a moment, then in a most gentle manner said: "I don't know. I don't suppose I have any trouble." What happened to this man? He responded to spiritual understanding, to love. He expressed his true birthright as the son of God. He was the exact man the Christian Scientist held him to be. What did he see in the Christian Scientist? He saw something of what the Christian Scientist was knowing about man, and responded to it. The conversation from then on was most pleasant, and the Christian Scientist was able to further help his new friend out of his difficulty. Had the Christian Scientist failed to impersonalize the evil, had he indulged in the erroneous thinking that he had a mean, ugly, misunderstanding man on his hands, he perhaps would have been in for a battle. Love and spiritual understanding broke the hypnotic spell of evil. All this, to the great amazement of the many employees in this office who were most anxious to learn, as they put it, "just what happened to that man between the time he nearly kicked that gate off its hinges and when he stood before that desk." The explanation, as you see, was a simple one. The recognition that the law of Love alone governs man had proved effective.

A woman who had a so-called incurable disease went to a Christian Science practitioner. She told the practitioner that she had been healed in Christian Science of many difficulties. "But now," said she, "a difficulty I have had for some time has not been healed and is causing incessant pain." The practitioner sensed that the woman was holding on to something erroneous of which she needed to rid herself. He told her he would take her case, provided she would do precisely as he directed. This she agreed to do. Said he, "You must think of yourself as going to the largest Christian Science church you can think of." Obviously the practitioner used "church" figuratively, in its spiritual sense of the secret place of the Most High, the sanctuary of spiritual thinking. He said: "Get there early. Take a seat where you can observe everyone who comes in. Then imagine that everyone whom you have ever known your parents, grandparents, and other relatives, your school friends and teachers, even that lawyer who did not seem to act right by you, the merchant who shortchanged you, and the banker who charged you usury all are coming into that mental church. As each one comes in, you must see him as he really is and not as he seems to be, that is, as God's perfect image and likeness, possessing and expressing only God's qualities and attributes. You will recall," said he, "what Science and Health (ibid., pp. 476, 477) says, namely: 'Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.' "

The woman returned to her home and obediently thought of herself as in church. The practitioner continued Christian Science treatment. Several times her husband reported that his wife was suffering intensely. With each report the practitioner lovingly said, "I will continue to pray; tell her to stay in church." After more than twenty-four hours, the woman reported that the pain was unbearable but, said she, "I am still in church." "Good," said the practitioner; "stay there, and I will continue to stand by." A short time later the patient reported that the pain had ceased and that she was healed. Here someone may ask, "What was this woman healed of?" We shall not attempt to name it, but this we know, that as error was eliminated from her consciousness through this cleansing process and was replaced with the scientific facts of man's being, the healing was accomplished.

In this connection a woman wrote to me and said: "I had been ill with influenza and did not seem to gain my entire freedom. In talking with the practitioner, she read me a letter you had written telling of the woman who stayed in church. That letter," said she, "has remained in my thought constantly. That afternoon, in the same manner as indicated above, I found a large Christian Science church. I, too, got there early. My family came in, also my playmates and people with whom I had had bad experiences. I was amazed to find that as each one came in, errors were apparent in my thought of them which in some cases I never before realized were there. As man's real attributes were realized, these were destroyed so far as I was concerned. I found, too, in cases where the healing in my consciousness was not complete, that various ones returned to my thought. For example, there was a manager who bragged that he had stolen enough from me to buy a restaurant. He couldn't have done this because, as I brought him into church, I realized that God never made a dishonest man and that as God's perfect idea he reflected only God's qualities. Too, there was a brother who had broken my mother's heart, and as a result she lost all desire to live. I thought I had forgiven him for the things he said and did, but how many times he returned and faced me in church until I saw him perfect. The list was a long one. It took me seven hours, but I stayed in church and I was healed! Not only did the aftereffects of influenza disappear, but, in addition, there is scarcely any trace remaining of what material medicine called a skin cancer on my side." This woman closed by saying, "My life did not really begin until my introduction to Christian Science last September."

 

Squaring Accounts with Each Passing Hour

Perhaps you recall the story of the volcano El Paricutin in Mexico. It presents an interesting study of volcanic action and how gas and heat accumulate in the earth and finally explode, thereby devastating the countryside and otherwise causing great damage. This volcano gave advance notice of its coming with numerous earthquake shocks. One day an Indian, a resident of Paricutin, went from the village with his wife to a small plot which he owned nearby. As they worked, they heard rumblings beneath the ground; these grew in intensity until they resounded like the roar of a freight train. A little later these simple folk saw narrow columns of white gas rising from the edges of a slight depression in the earth. Soon the small columns changed to thick black clouds, accompanied by violent explosions of dust, rock, and red-hot fragments. Terrified, they abandoned the scene and ran to warn their neighbors of the impending danger.

Christian Science, the Science of Christianity, comes now to warn you of the dangers of allowing hatred, covetousness, revenge, greed, and fear of sickness and death to accumulate in your consciousness. To refuse to be a party to the hypnotic arguments of error is a simple thing; but like many simple things, it is sometimes difficult to accomplish. The teachings of our Wayshower, Christ Jesus, demand that you begin at once to cast out of your consciousness every thought that does not emanate from God. To the Pharisee, blind with bigotry, intolerance, and ignorance, he said, "Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also" Matt. 23:26).

Mrs. Eddy writes (Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 17), "It is wise to be willing to wait on God, . . . to hate no man, to love one's enemies, and to square accounts with each passing hour." Now, how does one go about squaring accounts with each passing hour? Simply by refusing to allow error to find an abiding place in his consciousness.

At this point are you thinking: "I understand what you are saying, but I'm in a bad spot. I have allowed many errors to accumulate in my thought over a period of many years. I'm a human volcano, ready to erupt most of the time! What am I to do?"

 

Prayer Is the Way of Salvation

From what has already been said I am sure that you realize that your primary need is to know God better and to know yourself as His perfect creation and to live accordingly. How is one to do this? Through study, prayer, and consecration to good. In Christian Science prayer and treatment are one and the same. To treat means "to handle." Paul declares (II Cor. 10:3-5), "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Mind you, the apostle says that the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God, not matter; mighty through scientific Christianity, not through the science, so called, of matter.

Then to handle error, every form of evil, to its utter destruction is to deny it existence, place, power, or intelligence on the ground that God did not make it. God made all that was made and declared it to be very good. We must repudiate and reject every suggestion or symptom of disease or sin. We should never treat sin, sickness, or disease as real, present, or powerful. To do so would tend to the belief that there is more than one God, namely a power opposed to omnipotent, omnipresent, all-intelligent, all-active Spirit, Principle, Soul, or Mind, Life, Truth, Love. We must handle error as lies, false claims, erroneous beliefs of the carnal so-called mind, which is enmity against God and His goodness.

Are you at this time confronted with the erroneous suggestions of pain, fear, disease, or failure? Have these lies, through their false hypnotic arguments of persistence, heredity, age, wear, and tear, discouraged you? If so, then begin right now to resist these errors by denial and repudiation. Declare often: "I do not believe in the reality of disease, discord, or death. I do not believe in the false theories of pain, infection, contagion, or poison. I know that God did not make fear. He made nothing to fear. He made nothing that can fear. Therefore fear is without power, hence cannot produce an effect. I do not believe in nor do I accept the laws, so called, of material health. I do not believe that God's creation is governed or even influenced by any such so-called laws. I do not believe that I am or that I have ever been a sinner. I do not believe in the false theories of heredity, age, wear, and tear. I do not believe in the theories of material medicine concerning disease, malignancy, or incurability. I do not believe in the propaganda of material medicine concerning disease. I do not accept directly or indirectly either the diagnoses or prognoses of material medicine."

Having done this, then assert your freedom and dominion in the name of Almighty God. Declare with power and conviction: "I acknowledge, adore, and serve one divine, infinite, supreme, perfect God. He is my Father-Mother. He created me in His image and likeness, the image and likeness of Spirit, when He created all things. God has never changed from perfection, and neither have I lost perfection or fallen from grace. I am not a sinner; my true selfhood has never sinned. Therefore I am not being punished for sins of omission or commission. I am God's expression or manifestation of Himself. I haven't a single quality underived from God. I am His representative. He governs, guides, and preserves me with His spiritual law of Life, Truth, and Love, which has omnipotence behind it to enforce its tender, healing, and saving edicts."

Let us sing with the Psalmist: "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" (Ps. 103:1-3).

My friend, does not all this point the way of salvation? Is it not a demonstration, a proving of the practicality of Paul's statement, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2)? Thus you see that you do not have to pass into another sphere to experience heaven, which Science and Health defines as "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul" (p. 587). You live it right here. Christian Science opens to you this Christianly scientific way. Truly, "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God" (ibid., p. 254).

 

 

HOME PAGE INDEX OF LECTURES