Christian Science: A Practical Religion in Today’s World

 

Gordon H. Smith, C.S.B., of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A free lecture entitled "Christian Science: A Practical Religion in Today's World" was delivered by Gordon H. Smith of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last Sunday afternoon, November 26, in Westwood Village. The lecture was presented by Twenty-eighth Church of Christ, Scientist.

A native of Chicago, Mr. Smith was educated at The Principia and the University of Chicago. Prior to entering the practice of Christian Science healing, he was in the insurance business. He served for eight years as Christian Science Committee on Publication for the State of Wisconsin. In 1958 he became an authorized teacher of Christian Science.

The lecturer was introduced by George Ledbetter, First Reader of the Church.

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

Effective Remedy for World's Ills

I knew a man many years ago who had an optimistic philosophy toward the world about him and, with it, a delightful sense of humor. When things had gone wrong or had reached a point where there appeared to be no solution, or when newspaper headlines and radio broadcasts presented vivid pictures of alarming and hopeless conditions on the world scene, he had a favorite expression. He would cock his head to one side and, with bright blue eyes dancing as he peered out from beneath white, bushy eyebrows, would say: "It's a great world! Glad I'm not in it!"

This man's humorous remark seemed to imply that he refused to place himself mentally in a world of frustratingly unresolved problems. The solution of a problem cannot be found within the limited confines of the problem.

Each generation is inclined to think that its particular period in human history is presenting more alarming challenges than ever before. The complexities of diverse   ideologies with their mounting tensions among nations, the inevitable demand by underprivileged peoples for their independence and freedom from centuries of exploitation, these demands being attended by violence of shocking proportions, . . . these, and many more, are among an array of imposing fears and pressures confronting us in today's world. But, if we in this so-called "space age" think that the frightening aspects of the world in which we live are more dangerous than what they seemed to the people of earlier periods, all we need to do is to look back into history.

Let me read what Jesus had to say on this subject nearly two thousand years ago. This is from the King James Version of the Bible (Matt. 24:6, 7, 10-13), "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. . . . And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Rather interesting, isn't it? The scene changes, but the errors facing the people of Jesus' time were much the same as those confronting us today. And what is most significant is the fact that the effective remedy for overcoming them has remained unchanged throughout the centuries.

What is this effective remedy? It must be the understanding of the fact that there is a supreme governing intelligence controlling the universe and man in perfect harmony.   Otherwise chaos and doom would long since have prevailed. This Supreme Being is God who is All.

 

Mrs. Eddy Loved the Scriptures

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, entertained an abiding faith in God as omnipotent and omnipresent good from the time she was a small child. She loved the Bible. It was in daily use in the Baker household. As she grew to womanhood, she was besieged with a series of problems in the form of long periods of ill-health, loneliness, and near-poverty. These culminated in a serious accident which almost resulted in her death. As was her habit, she turned instinctively to her Bible; and in reading the account of the healing of the palsied man by Jesus in the ninth chapter of Matthew, she glimpsed something of the spiritual truth of God's allness and man's oneness with Him and found herself completely free from the effects of the injury. Her remarkable healing so stirred her that she devoted the next three years to searching the Scriptures to find the Science of this healing. Hers was indeed a discovery. It was not the conception of something previously non-existent or unknown. It was the revelation of the basic truth that God is All, the source of all intelligent being.

 

Appreciation of Mrs. Eddy's Place Enlightening

Evaluating correctly Mrs. Eddy's place as Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of the religion of Christian Science is important to its students. A correct estimate of the revelation includes a correct estimate of the revelator. Perhaps I am more than a little conscious of the importance of this because it was quite some time before I came to appreciate Mrs. Eddy in a right way. I considered myself an active church member when I suddenly realized that I was somewhat annoyed when Christian Scientists spoke of Mrs. Eddy in an appreciative way. Then one summer I picked up the biography of our Leader written by Sibyl Wilbur, and when I had finished reading it, my attitude in this respect had changed completely.

 [I glimpsed for the first time something of the immensity of her work in the discovery of Christian Science and the founding of the Christian Science movement with its manifold activities, writing its textbook, and providing for the government of her church under the By-Laws of the Church Manual. I began to see that the motive and purpose which impelled her to carry out this great work were divinely inspired and motivated and revealed to her by the only causative Mind in the universe, called God. I knew that Christian Science was regenerating my whole life, and I was genuinely grateful for this. Then, it suddenly came to me, how could I be less than grateful for the one who was responsible for bringing this practical way of life to me and to the world?]

Christian Scientists revere and respect Mrs. Eddy for her untiring and unselfish contribution to the world, and I know that in my experience this correct appreciation of Mrs. Eddy was an important accomplishment. It has continued to ripen in my thought over the years in a very wonderful way and has, I am sure, strengthened my understanding of the practical nature of Christian Science.

 

[Prodigal’s Testing Time at College

You see, I had experienced the healing power of Christian Science many times since childhood and had witnessed countless healings among members of my family. When I was in college, ugly growths appeared on the fingers of both my hands. This caused considerable embarrassment on my part, and I tried as much as possible to keep them out of sight because others would become alarmed at their appearance. My family asked if I would like to have Christian Science treatment, but I expressed a desire to consult a doctor. They very wisely did not interfere with my decision. You see, I was going through a period of great indecision and confusion about many things as sometimes happens to young people in college.

At a hospital, several specialists were called in, and their unanimous diagnosis was that the condition was cancerous. X-ray treatments were advised, agreed upon quickly, and continued for some months, during which time the condition grew progressively worse.

By this time, I was really frightened and began to do some serious thinking. I questioned myself why I had turned away from the healing method I had found so reliable for so many years. At this point, I was very much like the prodigal son who, in his extremity, after wandering in a far country, finally "came to himself," as Jesus parable points out, and returned to his father. I, too decided to turn wholeheartedly to my Father-Mother God whom I had learned to know as the great Physician for the healing I then felt I could joyfully and confidently expect. It was as though a great weight had lifted from my shoulders. That night I wrote to a Christian Science practitioner and asked for treatment, stating that I was giving up all medical treatment. The healing came swiftly. Within three weeks every vestige of the growths had completely vanished, and the healing has been permanent.

Is it any wonder that I never again was tempted to waver from radical reliance God for healing of physical ills as well as for divine direction in my daily affairs?]

 

God Is All

In the Bible, God is referred to as Life, Truth, Love, Spirit. Mrs. Eddy uses three other synonyms for God, all of which are clearly implied in the Scriptures. These are Principle, Mind, and Soul. Through her discovery of the Science of Being, she has revealed and given to the world an understanding of the true nature and character of God as our loving Father-Mother embracing His spiritual idea, man, as His perfect expression of Himself. She has expanded on this basic premise all through her textbook and her other writings.

Understanding God as immortal Life, without beginning or end, as infinite, endless being, indestructible and eternal, invigorates and sustains one's daily experience. Understanding God as immutable Truth, impervious to anything unlike Himself, brings into one's experience an uninvadable equanimity that is unfluctuating. Understanding God as all-inclusive Love, gracious Being, holding man forever in its tender embrace, makes one more compassionate, gentle, and kind. The understanding of God as Spirit, incorporeal, the source of inspiration and unfettered purity, makes one unresponsive to the aggressive temptation to sin and brings freedom and joy into one's life. Understanding God to be Principle, changeless, loving, and operating imperatively in its government of man and the universe, brings one's activities under the control of the divine will. The understanding of God as Mind, as perfect intelligence, as the source of true knowledge and all conscious being, is shown forth in one's affairs in terms of more purposeful order and achievement. The orderliness of Mind, understood and maintained, inevitably results in a well-ordered life. The understanding of God as Soul, as ever free and unencumbered by matter, as the essence of radiant beauty, power, and grace, is evidenced in one's experience as quietness and assurance and enduring strength.

 

Dominion Man's Birthright

It is through a spiritual understanding of the true nature of God which Mrs. Eddy's discovery has brought to light that we comprehend the true nature of man as His perfect, fearless, upright, sinless expression. The first reference to man to be found in the Bible is in the first chapter of Genesis where God declares that He is making man in His image and likeness and follows this up immediately by bestowing on man absolute dominion. And we can't remind ourselves of this too often! But where would you say dominion is first exercised or practiced? Wouldn't it be within the individual spiritual consciousness, which is all there is to man, the ideal man of God's creating? Where else except in consciousness is dominion realized? The answer is obvious, of course! In Bible language this dominion is described as being over fish, fowl, cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing. But these words simply express the unparalleled, sweeping dominion with which man is spiritually endowed. The exercising of divine dominion, then, is a primal function of man as the true likeness of God, supported by the never-failing energy of divine law. As we perceive the natural order and continuity of this divine control which Christian Science teaches, we begin to practice it in our affairs with ensuing good results. One's dominion, then, is over the false belief that there is a power apart from God.

And so, in keeping with our subject that Christian Science is a practical religion in today's world, we find this to be true because it shows that dominion is native to man's being and experience because it is God-given.

But, a clear distinction needs to be made between spiritual man, who is the very expression of God and endowed by God with absolute dominion, and so-called mortal man pictured by the physical senses. This man appears to be embraced in physicality and at the mercy of matter. But this appearance is wholly deceptive. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" the textbook authored by Mrs. Eddy, tells us (p. 477), "Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter's highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be man, - the genuine and perfect man, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated."

And right here, too, we need to understand that there is just one kind of man, and that spiritual, not two kinds, one spiritual and perfect and the other material and imperfect. If man were first mortal, no amount of prayer would ever make him immortal. But the statement by our Leader just quoted emphatically declares that the real, genuine, perfect man is the immortal idea of being. He is not becoming this real man. He is this man - NOW and forever! In the proportion that you and I claim our real identity to be this man, the image of imperishable Spirit, not the image of destructible physique, will we find ourselves experiencing the harmony this truth reveals. We must deny the belief that we ever had a mortal conception, for the divine Mind has no opposite called mortal mind to conceive a mortal man, and so no such man actually exists.

 

Unreality of Matter

Basic and peculiar to the teachings of Christian Science is its uncovering of the unreality of matter. Matter is not the substance it appears to be. Even many physical scientists admit this and in their researches have reduced matter to energy. And what is energy? A dictionary defines it in part as, "the capacity for performing work." But there must first be the thought of the work to be performed, must there not? There is no performance without the thought which energizes the performance. And so consciousness is first and is that which conceives of the capacity for performing. Matter, therefore, is not true substance but a mental misconception of true substance. Mrs. Eddy defines substance in part as follows (Science and Health, p. 468): "Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay." And I'm sure that the most confirmed materialist would not credit matter with this definition. The world in general believes that matter is real and, at the same time, believes that it is destructible. And yet, how can that which is absolutely real ever be destroyed? It cannot, of course!

Time and again, throughout her writings, Mrs. Eddy is showing the unreality of matter and evil. Perhaps one of the most striking exposes of matter as unreal and insubstantial ever written is to be found in Science and Health in answer to the question (p. 468), "What is the scientific statement of being?" Here Mrs. Eddy, with convincing logic, declares that matter is devoid of substance, power, life, or intelligence because all that is real is God and His infinite spiritual expression or idea, the spiritual universe which includes spiritual man, and this constitutes the only true manifestation! Thus, man is seen to be spiritual, not material.

To those here who are not familiar with this remarkable statement may I recommend that you study it carefully. It is found on page 468 of Science and Health. It will help you to understand why matter is not actual substance, is not real. It will bring into your experience a wonderful sense of freedom from bodily ills such as you have never known before. You see, sickness and disease are the result of one's acceptance of the false claim that matter is intelligent and real and that it holds within itself the issues of life and death. It does not! [Those here who have already found healing in the study of "the scientific statement of being" know very well, I am sure, the greater sense of dominion which its continued study will bring to them.]

 

Christian Science Heals Sin

Christian Science not only heals sickness as we have but barely indicated but it heals sin as well. It also offers salvation from human frailties such as less than the strictest honesty in business dealings, in marriage relationships, and from the temptation to believe that genuine satisfaction is found in the use of alcohol or tobacco. It liberates from such false traits as envy, jealousy, resentment, righteous indignation, self-will, hatred, and the like. How does it do this? On the basis that such errors are not in accord with the nature and character of God. Therefore, they find no expression in God's image, man.

Christian Science lays great importance on the need of the individual to be saved from sin, from the erroneous belief that indulgence in any form of evil can bring satisfaction, happiness, success.

In speaking of the physical healings brought about through Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 150), ". . . but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, - to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world."

I once knew a man who had become an alcoholic. Social drinking had become compulsive drinking as the pressures of business and other demands mounted. His problem with liquor was not helped by the fact that his wife, too, was an alcoholic. His case history was typical of so many combating this problem. He was highly regarded in his industry and had a good income but gradually slipped to a point where he could no longer get a position in the line of work to which he had devoted years of effort.

In desperate circumstances, he was directed to call upon a Christian Science practitioner, not knowing quite what to expect. The practitioner explained something of the nature of God as infinite good, compassionate Love, and of man as the sinless, satisfied expression of all-embracing Love, having complete dominion over his affairs and not the victim of bad luck or the actions of others. He was told that it was impossible for him to escape from his true status as the son of God, upright, pure, and free: but that he could escape from the belief that he was a sinful mortal in bondage to a depraved appetite. The man was so restless and impatient as the practitioner quietly talked to him that he paced the floor of the office. This was obviously not what he wanted to hear. He needed a job and money to pay his rent and buy food, and he needed them now. The practitioner went on to explain that the only way he could help him was through prayer in Christian Science and assured him he could be healed of the desire for alcohol and bring order to his chaotic personal affairs but that he would have to be willing to do his part by beginning to study the weekly Lesson-Sermons from the Christian Science Quarterly and certain citations which would be given him. This almost infuriated him, and he abruptly stalked out of the office. The likelihood of his ever returning seemed slim.

A week later, he suddenly appeared again and, with an attitude greatly subdued, said he needed the help offered and would gratefully accept it. He was shown how to read the weekly Lesson-Sermons and was directed to a Christian Science Reading Room, one of which is maintained by every Church of Christ, Scientist, where he could borrow a copy of Science and Health, a Bible, and a Christian Science Quarterly.

This was the beginning of a long but steady climb back to respectability. Being unemployed at the time, he spent many hours at the Reading Room and saw the practitioner several times a week. The most noticeable thing was an immediate change in his mental outlook from arrogance and false pride to that of humility and willingness to accept any employment that might be available. The regeneration in character going on within this man's thought was remarkable. It resulted very quickly in his complete release from the desire to escape from his problems by turning to alcohol. There followed a succession of menial jobs and periods of depression, but he remained steadfast in his endeavor to apply to his daily experience what he was learning through the teachings of Christian Science of the true nature of God and of man's unbreakable coexistence with Him. In their frequent visits, the practitioner continued to pray diligently for him and to audibly express many truths to him somewhat along these lines: God, unquenchable Love, has no opposite called unsatisfied longing or lost opportunity. God, imperative Principle, has no opposite called self-will, latent resentment, envy, jealousy, hatred, or remorse. God, unerring Mind, has no opposite called a restless, wavering mind. God, infallible Truth, has no opposite called dishonesty, infidelity, or fate. God, undepletable Spirit, the only substance, has no opposite called lack, limitation, or destructible matter. God, radiant Soul, has no opposite called material sensibility or unbearable environment. God, irrepressible Life, has no opposite called a blighted life.

He drank in these truths. His economic recovery was not rapid at first, but he was learning to claim the truth regarding his real identity as the child of God, and he expressed gratitude constantly for this. His wife, too, found her freedom from alcohol. Today this man has a fine position with a well-known firm. He enjoys the respect of his employer for his excellent conduct and production of business. He is a member of The Mother Church and of a branch church where he is serving as an usher and in other capacities. To see him with his head erect, his eyes clear, and a look of serenity and quiet dominion is a wonderful thing indeed.

This instance of how a man's life has been renewed through the saving Science of Christianity is proof that it offers and demonstrates the practical way to overcome the temptation of false appetites. It does this by overcoming the false thoughts which result in the belief that man, God's infinite expression, can ever be less than His perfect likeness.

 

Jesus Expressed Christ

God's revelation of Himself to Moses as (Ex. 3:14) "I AM THAT I AM" is one of the most dynamic utterances made in recorded history of God's immediate, all-encompassing presence. This immediacy of God denotes that He is infinite consciousness, having conscious knowledge of Himself and of His infinite manifestation. This divine consciousness or Mind is infinite individuality and, therefore, constitutes the consciousness of individual spiritual man, the only real man, the son of God. And this is the man that you are, now and ever will be, - the man I am and ever will be!

Jesus realized this immediacy of God's presence, for he proved it in such practical ways in his healing, saving ministry and knew that the power to heal the misery of sickness and to redeem from the blight of sin was the power of the ever-present healing Christ. He said (John 10:30), "I and my Father are one." This was generally misunderstood by his contemporaries, for they thought he was making himself equal with God. But he was referring to the Christ, his true selfhood, as being one with God, with his Father, as he reverently referred to God. This oneness with his Father which he spoke of is the inseparability which forever exists between God and His Christ. Christian Science teaches that they are one in being but distinct in office, in function. It was not to the human Jesus that the Master was referring when he affirmed his oneness with God but to his true selfhood, the Christ-idea, or image of God. It is interesting that he was not afraid to identify himself in this way. He did so consistently and followed it up with innumerable proofs of healing. But he never took credit himself as having humanly   accomplished these healings. He was constantly calling the attention of his listeners to the truth that it was the power and presence of God operating irresistibly as the healing Christ which did the works.

Mrs. Eddy, in discovering the Science of Christianity, perceived the true distinction between Jesus the man and the divinity of the Christ or Godliness which animated him; and she set this forth with great clarity in her textbook, Science and Health.

In the degree that we gain this understanding of the Christ and demonstrate it in our daily lives do we see that Christian Science becomes a practical religion for us in today's world.

 

The Little Foxes

Now, let's consider how the practicality of this Science of being may be applied to some of the more complex and difficult problems of human relationships. The mental disturbance produced by bitterness and resentment felt toward others is often evidenced in physical distress of some sort; and yet, the source of the trouble is seldom recognized. In a short but rousing statement in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy has said (p. 411), "Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a material state." We may call it a material state, and usually do, but it is still a mental state, - and we need to recognize that it is a falsely mental state which is referred to here. It is not the divine Mind, which never externalizes itself in or as anything material. This Mind unfolds its own spiritual ideas; and this unfolding, or divinely mental activity, when realized, regenerates the thought of the individual.

The education of the centuries has presented a picture of a world full of mortals, each with a mind of his own, knowing good and evil. This is a completely inverted concept of the true, spiritual account of being given in the first chapter of Genesis. This inverted viewpoint is not an entity, and it no more constitutes an actuality than does a mistake in mathematics.

When we encounter conflicts in our relations with others, the temptation, of course, is to want to change the other fellow. But Christian Science shows plainly that we do not need to change the fellow out there. We need only to change our false concept of man and see man as he really is, the very expression of God's being, hence perfect. With this realization comes the blessed liberating understanding that each of us in his true being is, here and now, this real man, spiritual and perfect. We should actively identify ourselves in this way and not as frail mortals. And this is a spiritually mental activity. It takes place in one's own thought. It consists of relinquishing a mental misconception and exchanging it for the divinely true and real sense of things, - and to be willing to do this! How easy it is to identify self-will, for instance, with the other fellow and fail to see its mesmeric operation in one's own thought! "Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, - this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony," our Leader writes in Science and Health (pp. 323, 324). And, significantly, she continues, "The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress." And so it is the willingness to be more childlike and not arrogantly opinionated, the willingness to leave the old preconceived notions for the always fresh, healing recognition of man as the perfect expression of self-existent Love, that renders thought receptive and blots out the petty, fretful, dispositional traits that all too frequently flare up in haughty self-righteousness and breed sickness and disease.

St. Paul caught a clear glimpse of the need to watch one's thought when he said (Rom. 6:16), "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" It was Paul, also, whose spiritual discernment prompted him to say (II Cor. 10:5), "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."

And so, it is the "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" that each of us must do, . . . and want to do! The willingness to approach each day, each moment, with childlike expectancy of good and to be alert not to yield our thought to the mesmeric spell of self-will, of peevishness, and other false dispositional traits is an important step in making our days happy, free, and wholesomely productive of good.

 

Long-standing Disorder Healed

The experience of the small son of a friend of mine illustrates how Christian Science heals a long-standing physical problem. The boy was troubled with what had been medically diagnosed as a serious intestinal disorder, and surgery was recommended as the only possible corrective measure. The young mother, however, had attended the Christian Science Sunday School and was convinced that (Matt. 19:26) "with God all things are possible," as she had been taught there; and she decided to rely completely on Christian Science as a means of help for her son. Calling a Christian Science practitioner, she asked for treatment. Noticeable improvement was evidenced at once, and within a month the healing was complete. This occurred more than five years ago, and the healing has been permanent.

Now, some may be asking, "How did this come about?" "What happened to bring about this result?" - "Just what did the practitioner do?" Well, he began by realizing that God is All, - that (Gen. 1:1), "In the beginning God" was the only creator, making man in His image and likeness as perfect, as Himself. The practitioner saw that man, being the outcome of Spirit, is spiritual; that he is made up of spiritual qualities, not material organs. He realized that any estimate of man's well-being or his life-prospects based on the limited viewpoint of the five physical senses was a misconception and, therefore, causeless and non-effective. Also, he knew that the only valid diagnosis ever made is the one found in Genesis 1, 31st verse, where it states, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Consequently a medical diagnosis never deals with spiritual man, the true likeness of Spirit, but only with a misconception of man, called a mortal. And so any negative and fearful predictions made about this child had no foundation in fact and could produce no continuing bad effects. The practitioner's prayer or treatment, based as it was upon absolute spiritual truths concerning God's allness and the real man's unbreakable relationship with Him, also specifically denied the possibility that the fears engendered by false education could in any way hamper the healing power of divine Love's all-embracing, tender presence. He further realized that when St. John said (I John 4:18), "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear," he must have seen that Love, being All, could conceive of nothing outside of itself about which it had to be afraid. John's declaration continues, ". . . because fear hath torment," and indeed it does. It provides the fodder for the beliefs of sickness, disease, and failure to feed on. Healing always results when fear is dispelled by the understanding that there is no fear in the liberating atmosphere of all-inclusive Love. And this is what occurred in this case.

 

Treatment Is Prayer

You may have noticed that we have referred to Christian Science treatment as prayer. Some of you may be thinking, "I've prayed many times and have felt, for the most part, that my prayers have gone unanswered. Just what kind of prayer constitutes a Christian Science treatment?"

Well, it is a prayer of affirmation, of acknowledgment, that God is All; that He is self-existent Mind or intelligence. It is not a mere petition to a corporeal God for something material as one might petition a mortal to do something for us. True, scientific prayer includes the positive admission that there is but one Mind because there is one God and that the universe, including individual spiritual man, is His perfect manifestation. It also makes a clear distinction between the real man of God's creating and so-called mortal man, the offspring of the flesh. We do not pray to change a sick, sinning, unhappy, unsuccessful, or aging mortal man into a healthy, pure, happy, successful, or youthful spiritual man. Such prayer unswervingly acknowledges that there is but one kind of man, spiritual and perfect, because there is but one Father-Mother God who is Spirit, all-inclusive Mind. The practitioner realizes that this Mind forms and preserves the very individuality of the real man and governs the entire universe, including man, in perfect harmony. He denies the belief that there is any other kind of man, any other kind of universe, and knows that the notion that there is a deficient man or an ailing world is but a false mental suggestion, a myth, utterly impossible and non-existent. He knows there is no mind apart from God to know or to accept the suggestion that the spiritual facts regarding perfect God and perfect man can be reversed. These truths remain forever supreme and effective in what is called the physical realm as well as in the spiritual. This prayer, or Christian Science treatment, is the unqualified acknowledgment that God is All and that there is none else. This is why it is effective. James describes it in these words (5:16), "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Today's world, with its "cold war" and rumors of an impending "hot war," its pressures, strains, fears, and frustrations, needs more than ever before the liberating balm which only a spiritual understanding of God and His Christ or divine nature of man can bring to a troubled world. Through the study of Christian Science we gain this understanding of the Christ and learn to apply it to meet the human need.

And now, in closing I'd like to read from Science and Health what Mrs. Eddy has to say on this timely subject (p. 96): "This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth."

 

[From a clipping of a Chicago area newspaper, date unknown. Added text within brackets is from the same lecture published in The Christian Science Monitor, March 29, 1963. The lecture was also published in the Tampa (Florida) Independent, March 2, 1962.]

 

 

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