Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (1)
Virgil O. Strickler of New York, New York
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Before an attentive and appreciative audience, which numbered between 800 and 900 persons that comfortably filled Loew's Theatre, Sunday afternoon, Virgil O. Strickler, of New York, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ Scientist, in Boston, Mass., delivered a lecture on Christian Science, that was well worth going a long distance to hear.
The lecturer was introduced by Richard P. Verrall, a well known practitioner in New York, and a contributor to Christian Science publication, who said:
"I greatly appreciate the opportunity offered me by First Church of Christ, Scientist of New Rochelle, to welcome you here this afternoon.
"To those in this large gathering who may have come here for the purpose of ascertaining what it is in Christian Science which is attracting the attention of such large numbers of intelligent people, I will say that Christian Science is a demonstrable religion, it combines theory with practice, it proves faith by works, and fulfills the two-fold command of the Founder of Christianity to 'preach the gospel and heal the sick.'
"The gentleman who is about to speak to us came into Christian Science as a result of his own healing, and, previous to his call to the lecture field, was himself a successful practitioner of Christian Science healing."
Mr. Strickler's Lecture
The lecturer then took the floor and spoke as follows:
It is undeniable that Christian Science has healed many sick people and has brought about the regeneration of many who were the victims of sin. Among its membership are those who have been healed of intemperance, of so-called chronic and organic diseases, as well as of maladies that were acute or functional. It has healed others of sorrow, fear, unhappiness and similar diseased mental conditions that often cause more suffering and distress than physical disorders.
In every case of Christian Science healing, whether the disease was chronic or acute, physical or mental, the cure was brought about without the use of hypnotism, mental suggestion, drugs or any material means, and entirely through the application of the spiritual and meta-physical teachings of Christian Science.
The healing of the sick, however, is not the primary purpose of Christian Science. According to the teachings of this Science all sickness and disease result from error and false belief, which are summarized as sin, and when the error of belief is destroyed by the truth which Christian Science imparts, the disease disappears. Christian Science, therefore, teaches that the cause of all disease and sin is mental, and not physical, and that both sin and disease may be cured by one and the same metaphysical process, namely, by the substitution of spiritual truth in place of error and false belief in the human consciousness.
"Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free"
It is recorded in the 8th Chapter of the Gospel of John that upon one occasion when Jesus was being harassed by the lawyers and theologians, who were plying him with questions and seeking to entrap him by his answers, he turned to a group of his followers, who were standing near, and said to them, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." In all of the Bible there is no statement of greater importance to mankind than this utterance of the Master. It prescribes the remedy for every human ill. Knowledge of a thing must come through the mental and not through the physical, hence, according to the words of Jesus, mankind will be delivered from sin, disease and death not by doctoring the physical, but by filling the mental with truth. If this statement of Jesus was true it follows by irresistible logic that the enslaving conditions from which humanity suffers must be due to the belief of something which is not true. In other words, if the time is ever to come, as Jesus has declared that it will come, when the knowledge of the truth shall emancipate humanity from its bondage to sickness, sin, unhappiness, poverty, old age and death, such results can only be brought about when the knowledge of the truth shall have displaced and destroyed (out of human consciousness) the belief of that which is not true. There is no escape from this conclusion.
Christian Science shows that it is the effect produced by Truth operating in the human mentality, destroying superstition, false and vicious beliefs that must and will some day emancipate mankind from bondage to sin, disease and death.
There must be ultimate truth somewhere, and when it is apprehended by the human mind it will emancipate those who apprehended it from bondage to evil. Christian Science asserts that ultimate truth concerning God and man and their relationship is revealed by the Scriptures, and may be gained by every person when the Scriptures are rightly interpreted.
Difference Between Belief and Understanding
It is sometimes difficult for people to understand how religion can heal sickness and destroy sin. But the words of Jesus make it plain. Since it is through a knowledge of the truth that these results are accomplished the important thing for each one is to gain an understanding of truth instead of being satisfied with mere belief about it. In other words, in order to find out how religion can destroy sin, sickness and all sorts of evil condition, it is first necessary to gain an understanding as to what is religion. To gain the benefits promised in the Bible to true believers it is necessary to get rid of that which is erroneous in religious belief and practise, and to ascertain what constitutes true religion.
There are many who honestly think that it makes no difference what religious beliefs they entertain, so long as they are sincere in them. A moment's reflection, however, will show that such a theory is pernicious and destructive, for it is perfectly plain that if a thing is not, in fact, true, no amount of sincerity on the part of the believer can ever make it true. No engineer ever arrived at a correct result, no matter how sincerely he may have believed that his processes were correct, if they were not so in fact.
With respect to many things it may be unimportant whether the thing believed is true or not, but with respect to the things that people believe about God, and about themselves, and about their relationship to God, they are vital, because it will be shown that the things believed with respect to these matters, become laws that are binding upon the believer.
In trying to ascertain what constitutes religion the very first subject to be considered is that which relates to God. Every one must agree that a correct understanding of God is essential as the foundation of religion. Any system of religious teaching that is founded upon an imperfect or erroneous conception of God must necessarily fail to bring to its adherents the help and comfort for which they seek. When we look about us and see the splendid fidelity of men and women to their religious beliefs, and then see how much suffering and failure they experience, and how far short they come of attaining the good which they so honestly seek, it is a fair deduction that there is something wrong about their understanding of God.
No offense will be given, therefore, by the statement that the average person has a very indefinite and nebulous conception of God. If you were to ask a dozen people to tell you who and what God is, you would get a dozen different answers. There are some who think God is a person. How many people there are who, when they kneel down and close their eyes, and reverently pray to God, have in mind a person, or a form, or an image, to which they pray! And how many others there are who think of God as a being of anger and resentment, who sends failure and suffering to those who displease him! And are there not a great many others who think of God as a being who lives in a far-off country called Heaven, and that it is necessary for people to die, and go there, in order to see Him?
These are only a few of the incorrect beliefs which people entertain about God. When it is remembered that Jesus has said that it is the knowledge of the truth that shall make men free, in the face of such confusion of belief about Him, is it strange that people are sick and that they die? Is it not apparent that what humanity needs is a demonstrable understanding of God in place of theoretical and speculative beliefs about Him?
Yet, all the while that people have gone on believing these erroneous things about God, the Bible statements concerning him have been perfectly plain. The Bible says, for instance, that God is Love, and, since He is infinite, he must be infinite Love. Christian Science says, therefore, that infinite Love cannot be the author of evil, either in the form of sickness or sin, and that, no matter what one may think about evil, it must be accounted for in some other way than as being a part of the creation of God. Now, note the significance of that statement, for if God did not create evil, and it is manifest that He could not have created it, then it follows absolutely that evil is not eternal. For whatever God created must be eternal like Himself, and if God were the creator of evil, then evil would be eternal, and, hence, indestructible.
Christian Science presents a scientific method for the destruction of evil. No matter in what form it may present itself to the individual, whether as sickness, sin, unhappiness, sorrow or distress, Christian Science says, that since it is evil, it may be destroyed and that the destroyer of evil in every case is Truth, precisely as Jesus has declared. Wherever you find a Christian Scientist, therefore, you will find a person who is honestly striving to destroy evil out of his or her experience by means of the scientific method which Christian Science presents. While it may be true that no one, thus far, but Jesus, has been able to make a perfect demonstration over evil, yet every one will concede that Christian Scientists have, at least, made some progress, and have succeeded, to some extent, in destroying both sickness and sin for themselves and others.
The Bible further discloses that God not only is Love, but is also omnipresent. If that is so, then He is everywhere, for that is what the word means. He fills all space, and is in one place in precisely the same degree and to precisely the same extent that He is in every other place. Does that not lift one's thought above the concept of a limited God? And is it not plain that so long as people believe in a limited God, who is limited as to His form, dwelling place, or goodness, they will continue to suffer from limitations — limitations with respect to life and the duration thereof, health, strength, mental capacity, success, love, spirituality and every good thing? Christian Science makes plain that humanity can hope to be emancipated from the curse of limitations in any and all of these directions when men and women shall have given up their false beliefs about a limited God. and shall have learned the truth concerning His nature and character.
Upon one occasion they asked Jesus to tell them when the Kingdom of God would come, and he made an answer that has proved to be a stumbling block to many people from that day to this. He said, in substance, that the Kingdom of God is not a place that you can see with observation: It is not a place that you can say, Lo here it is, or Lo there it is, for behold, he said, the Kingdom of God is within you. If that statement is true, then it follows absolutely that the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, must be a state of consciousness, and not a locality. Then is it not plain that the further people go in the belief that the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, is a locality, and that it is necessary for people to die and go there in order to become citizens of that kingdom, in reality the further they are alienating themselves from it? And the more sincerely they believe that sort of thing, the more their sincerity will stand as a barrier to prevent their progress towards that kingdom.
Christian Science, therefore, pleads for a rational and demonstrable understanding of God in place of theoretical and speculative beliefs about Him.
Another subject that enters into the religious life of all people is that of prayer. Since prayer is the medium through which the connection is established between the human and the divine, it is, therefore, of great importance for every person to find out what constitutes true prayer. What are its characteristics, what is its nature, and how may it be employed so as to bring to the one who prays with certainty the blessings which the Scriptures say shall come as a result of true prayer.
It is stated in the fifth chapter of James that "The prayer of faith shall save the sick." There is no ambiguity about that language. It is not indefinite or uncertain in any particular. It is, in fact, as positive and direct a statement as can be made with human language. And yet, it would seem that one of two things must necessarily be true, either that statement in the Scriptures is wholly false, or else people have not known how to make the prayer of faith throughout the centuries. Except in sporadic instances, the sick have not been saved as the result of prayer. It, therefore, becomes a subject for legitimate inquiry in order that it may be determined, if possible, whether or not that statement in the Scriptures is true. Many people ask if Christian Scientists pray, and how Christian Science prayer differs from that of other churches, and it will doubtless prove both interesting and helpful if the difference is explained.
It can be said that almost every person is taught to make the prayer of petition, the prayer of pleading. They are taught to petition God for whatever good thing they desire, and also to petition Him to withhold whatever evil thing they seek to avoid. Running through the prayer of petition, and in fact, its very foundation and essence, is the belief that the mind of God can be changed by the petition. There is the belief that, but for the petition, God would not do the thing He is asked to do, else why ask Him? Or that but for the petition, He would do the thing, and would send the evil that He is asked not to do or not to send.
Yet, all the while that this form of prayer has gone up from unnumbered millions of agonizing hearts, the Bible has declared that God is unchanging. If God is unchanging, as the Bible declares Him to be, then is it not plain that so long as people go on in the belief that it is the function of prayer to change the mind of God to meet the human desire, in reality the further they are getting away from the true theory of prayer; and the more sincerely they believe that sort of thing, the more their very sincerity will confuse their understanding and will prevent them from making the prayer of faith which, the Bible says, "shall save the sick."
Christian Science, upon the other hand, teaches its adherents to make the prayer of realization, the prayer of affirmation. Christian Science teaches that God is infinite good, and that it is wholly unnecessary to beg or petition infinite good, to manifest good to us, for infinite good cannot do anything else except manifest good to every creature. If one should let fall an object it would be absurd to beg or petition the law of gravitation to operate. That law would operate automatically, and would pull the object down to the first obstruction. Christian Science teaches that God is Mind, or Principle, and that Mind governs through spiritual law which law is operating throughout the entire universe, and is a law of infinite good, and is manifesting good and nothing but good ceaselessly to every human being.
One person says if that is true, why, then, do people seem to have so little good, and so much that is not good? Let us look at that for a moment. If one drops an object the law of gravitation will pull it down to the first obstruction, but if the obstruction be removed, it will pull it down further and further as the obstructions are removed, until at last, if every obstruction were removed, the law of gravitation would then have its perfect work, and would pull the object to the center of the earth. That is precisely what happens through the operation of spiritual law. The law is operating in human consciousness, just as far as the obstructions will permit, which obstructions are mental qualities — superstition, false beliefs, human will and the like. As they are removed, the spiritual law will operate further and further in human consciousness, bringing good deeper and deeper into human experience, until at last, when every such obstruction shall have been removed, when the human consciousness shall have been completely evangelized by truth, and every mortal thought shall have been brought into obedience to Christ, as the Scripture commands, then the spiritual law will have its perfect work in human consciousness. In that day men and women will walk the earth free from every evil condition, no longer in bondage to sickness, sin, poverty, old age or death, but shall then be found in the conscious possession of that dominion which God said in the beginning belongs to man.
As each one shall work out this question for himself, striving to arrive at that conclusion which shall best satisfy him as to which is the true theory of prayer, one other thing can be mentioned to aid the inquirer in reaching that conclusion, and that is that through the Christian Science method of prayer hundreds of thousands of sick people have been healed. Is not this great array of proof by demonstration at least sufficient to put every thinking person upon inquiry, lest the Christian Science theory of prayer may not, in fact, be the true theory.
Every person who prays desires to know how to make a true prayer. All people desire good and not evil, and, in the main, all people are equally honest in their religious affiliations, for no one would knowingly deceive himself about so important a matter. The only reason, therefore, why people are grouped together in different religious organizations is because they honestly believe that through the organization to which they belong they will be most likely to gain the good which they so earnestly desire. Since, then, through Christian Science prayer, so many people have found health, contentment and peace, it is plain that sooner or later, every thinking person will desire to know how to pray as Christian Science teaches.
Another subject about which there is great confusion of belief, is the subject of creation. There is perhaps no subject connected with religion, or mentioned in the Bible, about which there is greater misunderstanding than there is about creation. It is surprising how many people there are who do not even know that there are two accounts of the creation in the Bible. The first account is to be found in the first chapter of Genesis, and extends down to and includes the third verse of the second chapter. Beginning with the fourth verse of the second chapter, there follows another account that is wholly different from the first.
In the first account, we are told that God created the universe, and that everything made by Him was good, and lastly, that He created man, in His image, and after His own likeness, and that he was good; while in the second account, we have the allegory about God coming down to earth, and mixing up dust and calling it man. Then follows the story of Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden, and we are told that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and that then sin appeared, and that brother murdered brother, and from that day to this that man made of dust has been a sinner and has been at enmity with God.
Christian Science accepts the first account of the creation as the spiritual and real creation and upon this foundation and basis it builds. Religious teachers throughout the centuries have erroneously regarded the Adam-man as being the real man made in the image and likeness of God, and yet the Bible nowhere says so. The Bible nowhere says that the Adam-man was made in God's image or likeness. That statement was made concerning the real man described in an account of the real creation. And religious teachers have vainly striven to make the wisdom and love of God fit the creation of a sinner.
Such a doctrine as that is impossible. It dishonors God, and degrades man. It makes God responsible for all of the sin and all of the misery from the beginning of time, and the best proof that it is not true is that it has never delivered those who believed it from evil.
How perfectly the name "mortal man" fits him. Have you ever thought of it? Mortal-mort-death, for that is what the word means. A death-man, having a death-body and a death-mind! Does anyone believe that God ever created a death-man or gave him a death-mind of a death-body? And is it not plain that so long as people conceive of themselves as being mortals, or the mortal, or death-man, so long will they continue to remain in partnership with death. Christian Science makes plain that men and women can be emancipated from that enemy when they shall have learned the truth of their own being, and of their own true relationship to God.
Christian Science teaches that man is just what the Bible says he is: that he is spiritual; that God made him in His own image and after His own likeness; and He made him perfect, and that what God made perfect has never possessed the capacity to become imperfect.
Christian Science is the only system of teaching, either religious or secular, that even makes an attempt to explain the difference between man and the Adam-man, and Christian Science does explain it and make it perfectly plain by pointing out that the Adam-man — the dust-man — the mortal of death or death-man, is nothing more or less than the false mortal concept of man — the mis-concept of man. It is precisely as though one should put on a pair of green eyeglasses. He would then look out upon a green universe. He might scrub and scour some object all he pleased, but could never remove the green from it, because the green would not be in the object though appearing to be there, for it would be in the lens through which he looked at it. The only thing necessary for the man to do in order to translate the entire universe back into its normal aspect would be for him merely to take off the green lenses through which he was looking. In like manner, the only thing necessary for us to do in order to translate what seems to be a material universe and material man back into the spiritual is to take off the false, mortal eyeglasses.
Christian Science is making plain in many ways that so long as people continue to look through mortal eyeglasses, through lenses that are composed of superstition, false beliefs, human will, pride, self-righteousness and the like, they will continue to see man and the universe as material instead of spiritual: they will continue to see a deformed and diseased man and a distorted universe. But when they shall begin to lay aside the mortal eyeglasses and shall begin to look through the lenses of the spirit — lenses that are composed of truth, spiritual understanding, meekness, humility, love, faith and purity — they will then see a constantly improving man and universe. As this mental transformation progresses, disease, sin, sorrow, poverty and the limitations of old age will disappear and the spiritual real man will begin to appear. When this transformation shall have been completed we shall then see man and the universe as wholly spiritual as they now appear to God and as they have always appeared to God, for God has never seen His children nor His creation through mortal eyeglasses. He has always seen us as spiritual, and hence to Him we have always been perfect. In that day we shall know, as in fact we have now learned, that nothing that God made is material or ever needs to be healed, and that the only thing that needs to be healed is our own false concept of that which He made perfect.
If all this were only a theory people might be justified in refusing to accept it, but Christian Science practitioners are proving daily in all parts of the civilized world that by holding the perfect man in concept, by knowing that man is spiritual and perfect and is governed by an all-loving God, and by arguing steadfastly from the standpoint of the reality of good instead of from the standpoint of the supposed reality of evil, the sick are healed, and human conditions do improve.
Christian Science, therefore, is proving step by step that the declaration made by Jesus is true, and that in proportion as the knowledge of the truth fills human consciousness, driving out error and false beliefs, men and women come into the possession here and now of their God-given dominion.
I know how difficult a thing is for people who are unacquainted with the teachings of Christian Science to understand what is meant by mental causation. Humanity has been accustomed through so many centuries to consider that all causation is vested in matter, that when we begin to discuss the subject of mental causation we are dealing with something that is unfamiliar to many. When I first turned to Christian Science, I did so for physical healing, and I was healed under circumstances that admitted of no doubt that I had been healed. I, therefore, became deeply convinced that Christian Science must be the truth, because it had wrought in me so great a change. When I was told, however, that there was no intelligence or sensation in the human body, I said that the thing was so manifestly absurd that no intelligent person could believe it for a moment, and in spite of the fact that I had been healed through Christian Science, I came very near turning my back upon it. Instead of doing so, however, I determined to make an honest effort to find out, if I could, what Christian Science meant by the statement that there is no intelligence or sensation in the mortal body.
I had not proceeded very far before I found that the statement was true, and then I found that it was necessarily true, and then I began to wonder why I myself had not thought of it long before, because it appeared so perfectly plain and obvious. It was pointed out to me that this body which people worship and fear, and which most people get down on their knees before every day and say to it, "'Oh, body, what can I do for you to-day, to keep you from hurting me?" is composed of something over 70 per cent. of water, and that the balance of it is chalk, lime, starch, potash and a few other things — that it is matter, just as truly as the ingredients of the dirt and wood are matter.
I then learned that there could be no more intelligence or sensation in matter when in the form of flesh, bones and nerves than when in the form of dirt or stone, which fact is proved whenever an opiate is given to a person and the human mind is put to sleep. The body may then be cut and gashed and the nerves lacerated, without the slightest indication of intelligence or sensation.
I thus learned that sensation and intelligence do not reside in the human body apart from the human mind.
Some day all mankind will recognize the immeasurable service that Christian Science has performed for the human race in making this fact plain. For if it be true, and it is true, that sensation and intelligence do not reside in the human body, apart from the human mind, then it follows, absolutely, that the human body cannot do anything, feel anything, or have anything, except that which the human mind first decrees, and that by educating, instructing and controlling the human mind with truth, we shall thereby control the body with truth, and the body will then be healthy and harmonious.
Just as certainly as the human body has suffered from disease and discord, and has gone down in wreckage in all of the ages of the past, as the result of wrong mental government, Christian Science is proving that in the future the body will respond with health and harmony, when it shall be governed by "that mind which was also in Christ Jesus."
Regardless of what any one may think or say to the contrary, Christian Science has proved beyond all possibility of successful contradiction, that the human body is not self-acting. It is not a self-acting machine. Since it possesses neither intelligence nor sensation in nor of itself, it can act only in obedience to the mentality that governs it.
At this point Christian Science performs an invaluable service to mankind by explaining how each one may take possession of his body and govern it harmoniously. Christian Science here declares that no one is under any obligation whatever to allow the so-called mortal mind to dictate the terms and conditions upon which he may live, but upon the contrary, it is the right and privilege of every one to be governed by the law of Spirit instead of the so-called laws of matter, and that by telling the truth to mortal mind, and thereby destroying false belief, to preserve his body in health.
To illustrate how the body responds to the mentality that governs it, study the faces of two men. One is furrowed with deep lines. It expresses bitterness, and shows that the man hates every one, and believes that every one hates him. The other is radiant with good will, and shows by its every expression that the man loves every one, and thinks that every one loves him. What is it that makes the difference between the faces of the two men? Is it not their thought? and if thought can produce such radical changes in the shape, expression and contour of men's faces, is it not plain that thought will also produce like changes in the shape and action of every organ and part of the body? For there is no part of the body that is beyond the reach of human thought, and since no part of the body possesses intelligence or sensation in nor of itself, it follows that no organ or nerve can act except in obedience to the mentality that governs it.
Also observe what happens when a person becomes angry. Immediately the functions of every organ in the body are disarranged. The liver at once begins to secrete bile, and to diffuse it through the system, so that one of the first results of a fit of anger is that the breath becomes foul. The heart action is also disturbed, either being accelerated or retarded, and the face becomes pale or flushed. Any physician will say that many deaths have occurred from fits of anger, and yet anger is only a mental quality or state.
Now let one ask himself that, since such results as these, which are witnessed daily can arise from a sudden mental impulse, does it require much thought to see that like evil results will also occur from the habitual entertainment of a wrong mental quality? Is it not plain, that hatred, and all of its subdivisions and by-products, such as malice, spite, resentment and revenge, must necessarily produce evil and discordant conditions upon the human body? And, likewise, that every evil quality of the mortal mind, such as dishonesty, jealousy, greed, avarice, self-will, fear and the like, are so many conspirators against the peace and harmony of mankind, and that until these qualities are cast out, and are displaced by the qualities of that mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," men and women will continue to suffer, sin, be unhappy, and die.
As another illustration of how the human mind governs the human body, let a mother tell her little girl that she will take cold if she gets her feet wet, and it will be so, and why? It is because the child believes what her mother says, and when she believes it, she embraces her body within her belief, and her body responds to the belief. Let the same mother tell the same little girl, that water has no more power to make her take cold when it gets on her feet than when it gets on her face, or when she drinks it, and the child may then get her feet wet every day, without the slightest bad results.
Again, one man believes that if he sleeps in a draft, he will take cold, and it will be so. Sitting right by his side is another man who believes that unless he sleeps in a draft, he will be sick, and it will be so, and there are two exactly opposite results following from the same draft, not because there is any power in the draft, but because of human belief about it, thus showing that the body responds to whatever the human mind believes concerning it.
Thus Christian Science is proving in many different directions that the body is not self-acting, that it has no intelligence to act and no sensation to feel and that in every case, it obeys and responds to the mentality that governs it.
Indeed, this fact is so plain, that when it is once pointed out, every one will readily observe instances to prove it, and the more one gives heed to it, the more it becomes plain that by controlling one's mental state of truth, he can thereby control his body, and govern its feeling and action.
Real Significance of Jesus' Words
It then becomes easy to understand the immense significance of the words of Jesus, when he said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free," for when the human mind is filled with truth instead of error, the body will respond with harmony instead of with discord. It also becomes self-evident that humanity must and will be emancipated from bondage to sin, sickness and death, not by doctoring the matter body with drugs nor through reliance upon dead ceremonies or blind unreasoning faith, but through the regeneration of the human mind.
Is that not precisely what St. Paul meant when he said, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind?" Can there be any other way for suffering men and women to be liberated from evil conditions and transformed into a state of peace and harmony except through the conscious evangelization and regeneration of the human mind?
Regardless of what one may think or believe concerning the doctrine of atonement, it is plain that there can be no such thing as vicarious regeneration. Each individual must go through that process for himself, and, either here or hereafter, he will enter into the kingdom of peace only when he shall have gotten rid of the superstitious, erroneous and vicious qualities of the human mind, and shall come to know the truth concerning God and man. Christian Science points out the way. It is the Science of right thinking and right living in contradistinction to erroneous thinking and wrong living.
Some day all mankind will recognize the immeasurable service that Mrs. Eddy has rendered to humanity by her discovery of Christian Science and the establishment of the Christian Science movement. Through her teaching she has elevated religious understanding from a theoretical to a practical basis. She has taught the world that it is the mission of religion to heal people of sickness, sorrow, unhappiness and fear, as well as to destroy sin, and has so clearly defined the process by means of which these results may be accomplished as to make it possible for every one to prove it for himself and thereby to heal himself and others. Christian Science is applied Christianity just as truly as engineering is applied mathematics. There is no mystery about it, and when one does his work correctly according to its rule, healing and regeneration must follow.
In the Bible (John xx:17) we read that Jesus said to Mary, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father: and to my God and your God." Also in I John, iii:2, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." St. Paul also wrote (Romans 5:16,17), "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ."
Christian Science demonstrates the truth of these inspired statements. It makes available as a present right and possibility man's inheritance as the son and heir of God by showing that the real man created by God is spiritual and not material; that his, life, continuity, intelligence and harmony are in Spirit and not in matter; that all of his qualities and attributes are derived from Spirit, and that every function of the real man is governed by the divine Mind. Man, therefore, expresses the divine nature, and hence he is the image of God, and as such is perfect and immortal. The material man is not the likeness of God, for matter cannot be the image of Spirit. He is the false concept of man, and the sin, disease and death involved in this false concept will disappear as false mortal beliefs are dissolved by truth. The material belief must give place to the spiritual fact in every case.
Out of the amplitude of her own spiritual understanding Mrs. Eddy has translated into human language the truth about God and man, and their relationship; has revealed a perfect divine Principle that governs mankind, and has proved that the truth taught by Jesus is scientific, and may be demonstrated to-day as of old to deliver the sinning, sorrowing and suffering from their oppressors, to set all mankind free from bondage to evil, and to establish the kingdom of God on earth.
[Published in The New Rochelle (New York) Pioneer, Dec. 20, 1918.]