Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (1)
A. A. Sulcer, M.D., C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock an immense audience of citizens of Los Angeles, Riverside, Pasadena and other Southern California cities and towns gathered at Simpson tabernacle to hear an interesting exposition of the theories and practices of Christian Science as expounded by Dr. Abraham A. Sulcer, C.S.B., of Riverside, Cal. The doctor has for twenty-seven years practiced medicine in the allopathic school at Riverside. Seven years ago he abandoned the regular practice of medicine and began the study and practice of Christian Science. He was one of the seventy students called by Mrs. Eddy in November, 1898, and received at that time at Boston, Mass., the degree of C.S.B., given by the Massachusetts Metaphysical college. This institution was incorporated and empowered to confer degrees in 1881, and was the only college of its kind so empowered. Dr. Sulcer is one of the twelve lecturers composing the board of lectureship of the Christian Science church.
The people began to fill the building at 2 o'clock, and were entertained between that hour and the beginning of the lecture by F. H. Colby, who rendered several selections on the fine pipe organ of the tabernacle. The platform was profusely decorated with callas, roses, smilax and palms. Dr. Sulcer is a model of punctuality, stepping on the platform at exactly 3 o'clock. He was accompanied by A. H. Naftzger, president of the Fruit exchange, who introduced the lecturer in a brief address, saying:
"Ladies and Gentlemen: The invitation extended to me by the lecturer of the hour of saying an introductory word was due to the kindness of his heart, and not to my relation to the cause, since my understanding of the doctrine of Christian Science is not such as to entitle me to be nominated as I am. I trust that what I lack in an understanding of it is more than made good in my admiration of the fruits of the doctrine as exemplified in the uplifting and inspiring lives of Scientists whom I have known.
"It may well be said that religion in its objective phase is a matter of interpretation; subjectively it is a matter of experience. Whatever we may know of the theories of Christian Science, many of us have witnessed such demonstrations of its benefits as to win our esteem.
"It comes, as I understand it, with a glad note of hope, to those who are in doubt and discouraged; it promises relief from sickness and redemption from sin; to chase the lines of care from the face and inspire a supreme love and dispel the torment of fear. Whatever will achieve these things that I have enumerated challenges our interest and attention. Your presence here this afternoon is the best proof of your willingness to lend a patient ear to what the lecturer may say of this new thought.
"My first acquaintance with the lecturer, years ago, was when he was engaged actively in the practice of what I believe he sincerely thought was the healing art. With equal confidence he will tell you now what he thinks of a better way, and I am sure that you will listen attentively and without prejudice, even if possessed by heredity or acquired teachings of opinions contrary to the explanations of his honest belief. None of us care to fear an honest thought or to express it. I take pleasure in introducing to you Dr. A. Sulcer of Riverside."
Dr. Sulcer, who is, in appearance, one's beau ideal of the old family physician, tall, grave, with calm, pleasant face and long white beard, possesses every characteristic likely to inspire confidence. Dr. Sulcer said:
Dr. Sulcer's Address
Ladies and Gentlemen: It is with great pleasure that I thank you for your presence here this afternoon and with pleasure that I thank our chairman for his kindly introduction. There is little time and much to say in it — so much that much, very much, must be left out, — but before entering into my subject, which I will do immediately, I wish to assure you that the audience which here greets me is but one of the thousand indices of the wonderful progress of our cause and of the interest which it is everywhere exciting. I can assure you further that the spread of the gospel of Truth and its prospects in its friendly but earnest grapple with fossilism and prejudice are those of absolute certainty of success.
It is a common thing to speak lightly of the unprogressiveness of those compelled to earn their livelihood by the labor of their hands, whether they be independent tillers of the soil or the builders and artisans of the city, but in all candor we may well ask if among human beings there are many classes so bound by tradition and fettered by practice as the members of the learned professions, and whether among them there have been any, slower to accept new thoughts and conditions or to revert to those once abandoned but now found good, than those of theology and medicine. Still, recent years have witnessed great changes in the awakening of even these dense conservatives — ecclesiastics and Esculapians are becoming restless and reaching out for more in a sort of consciousness that they, after all, have not yet grasped all Truth.
The so-called occult, once so vigorously denounced and denied by both professions is now receiving — in a restricted way — the earnest attention of both. As one example, medical men, after fighting hypnotism for years and even denying its possibility, are now using it, and asking in many cases for laws to prevent its use by any except themselves. But medical men are still ignorant of the Principle of true metaphysical practice — they have to learn that in order for the healing power of this Principle to be made operative, the patient should never yield his own mentality to the despotism of another human mind. Such mental practice is unscientific and fraught only with evil to both the operator and his victim. The patient should never be hypnotized, but rather aroused from his hypnosis — his deadened sense in material life — the "deep sleep" from which the Adam race has not yet been awakened.
Fear the Great Factor
Physicians have always been careful of what they might say to their patients, knowing that doubt or fright on their own part would affect them unfavorably, but the law under it is now being seen to be wider in its application than was once supposed.
Dr. T. W. Topham lately contributed an interesting article to the Los Angeles Times on "Incipient Disease Cured by Subconscious Action of the Mind." I will quote very briefly an item or two which shows that the doctor has caught a glimmering of the true light.
He says: "A young woman patient of mine consulted me about a hard lump in her throat, which had gradually been getting larger for some time. She seemed very much troubled about it and confessed to me that there were very few moments in the day in which the fear of its developing into a malignant growth was absent from her mind. On examination I found in her throat the purple congestion which is frequently encountered in connection with cancer. On consulting another physician I decided that on account of her fear it would be not only useless but cruel to enlighten her as to the real condition of her throat. So we constantly referred to the swelling as a simple and common enlargement of the gland. The patient, thus reassured, ceased thinking about her throat, and after a few weeks the swelling began to diminish in size and at last completely disappeared." This, you may say, is an exceptional case. Grant it, yet it goes to show that such fear thoughts may have tangible effects on the physical plane.
Quoting further he says: "Nothing so enervates and demoralizes the whole nature as fear. In one form or another it is responsible for nearly all the evil which curses the world." Here our physician has struck a large section of the truth and stated it clearly and impressively in two or three lines. This nutshell summing up has been the teaching of Christian Science for a third of a century. It is a fact that "nothing so enervates and demoralizes the whole nature as fear." All the seeming ills of this mortal body are due to the errors and fears of mortal mind. Do away with those fears, those errors, and the seeming evils accompanying them must go.
And how shall we do away with them? The mere changing of the currents of thought, the current of your thought and of the thoughts in contact with yours is a change in the direction of an unlimited power. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." When you once realize the literal omnipresence of God — the actual fact of your being literally immersed in divine Love — and that if you will not merely cease to imagine evil, but will rest upon the promises of God to supply you from the fullness of his perfection as is your right and privilege, then will there be much more than a doing away with physical pain and illness, there will be an influx of divine power which will enable you to assert your dominion over self, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Consonance With Common Belief
In a previous lecture I endeavored to show that those statements in Christian Science which one at first feels most inclined to reject do not conflict with logical deductions from the latest and highest phases of natural science; and I now affirm that the essential elements of our doctrine are not so antagonistic to common belief as is generally supposed and that this can be shown when Christian Science and common belief are brought face to face in simple language. That which gave us our loved Science was, as was said at the Congress of Religions, "a fresh discernment and apprehension in the human consciousness of things which are eternal." Mrs. Eddy, in her own paper before that Congress, truly said, "The healing power of Truth . . . is as ancient as 'The Ancient of Days.' It lives through all Life and extends through all space." The underlying principles of the Science are not new. If they were really new, as Mrs. Eddy further said, "they would be false, for Truth is eternal." In point of fact the basic principle is no stranger to us, it is even familiar, and familiar not only to ourselves, but to those who have scarcely heard of the religion taught by Jesus the Christ.
The so-called heathen has been taught for untold ages that that which appears to be a maya, or illusion; that that which we think we are and feel and see is but an image of deluded thought, deceptive, unlasting and unreal; that the permanent, the never-dying, the truly real, is only found in the absolute and in the Christ spirit which is its representative, from which and in which is everything that really is or has been or will be. Krishna is represented as saying thousands of years ago, "I am the origin of all; all things proceed from me." . . . "I am the Ego which is seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all existing things." . . . "Whatever creature is permanent, of good fortune or mighty, also know it to spring from a portion of my energy." . . . "I established this whole universe with a portion of myself, and remain separate."
Creation God's Perfection
From their beginning both synagogue and church have taught that by his mere command God brought into existence all that is; that he spake the words and from an absolute void suddenly and miraculously appeared the earth, the sun, the moon, the star bedecked firmament; that at this resistless fiat a universe was created out of nothing. Without fully realizing it, they have believed, with the followers of Krishna, that he "established this whole universe with a portion of himself and remained separate."
[If, as Christ tells us, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor a corrupt tree good fruit; and if, as is taught by heathendom, Jewry and Christendom, all that is is from God, and God is infinite good, is it not a perfectly logical deduction that there can be no real evil?]
How could evil fruit spring from the perfect tree, God? And if before the creation there was nothing but God, what else could anything have primarily sprung from? If everything is from God, then everything is good, for a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. And is not the premise acknowledged to be as sound as the conclusion? Who disputes either that all is from God or that God is infinite good? But it remained for our beloved instructor and leader, the Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, to fully grasp this truth, to perceive its universal application to all nature and to every phase of life, to lucidly present it, and to bring it within the understanding and reach of all. With nearly all the world already acknowledging that God is infinitely good, that everything is from God, that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, it surely should not be a shock to any thinking mind, nor a difficult truth to acknowledge, that there can be no real evil, and that supposed evils are due wholly to morbid creations of mortal mind.
Harmony Natural Law
When, also, we reflect that God is Spirit, and that his word teaches that man was made in his image, we must conclude that the real man is spiritual, and that the spiritual image and likeness of God must contain divine possibilities of perfection. Moreover, Jesus' miracles were intended to teach that Spirit is all-powerful and matter subservient to that power. It was through God's Holy Spirit that Jesus wrought; it was through God's Holy Spirit that his disciples were to work. Jesus taught that his followers could do as he did and that they could do it by the same means. He taught us that through the Father we might not only do the same works as himself, but also said, "And greater works than these shall ye do also." If this statement is true, if his followers can do his works and greater, through what power are they to do it? Can it be supposed for a moment that it is some lesser force than the force he used? Surely there is no one here who would for a moment claim that Jesus meant to teach that without God his followers could do more than he did with God. If he wrought through the power of the Father and if he promised the same power and greater to others, they certainly must also work through the Father's power, and that is all that Christian Scientists have ever claimed. They claim that God, the infinite Spirit, the one Mind, can and does cure all ills, physical, mental, moral, not by arbitrary decree, but by natural law — for cure is merely the coming into the conscious possession of our own by the casting out of fear and erroneous thoughts, and leaving man unfettered and in the enjoyment of his birthright — the full presence of God's perfection.
Christian Scientists declare that "Healing the sick is a natural phenomenon of Scientific Christianity, of the understanding of Jesus' teachings, this declaration being confirmed by the fact that as his followers perceive and understand the real significance of his work, they are able to manifest that knowledge by healing disease." They teach that "Christian Science shows us how to take God's word and apply it in overcoming sickness as well as sin." We are practicing Christian Science only as we are growing less envious, less greedy, less selfish in all their expressions, by striving to love our neighbor as ourselves and keeping God's commandments — "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." They teach that when Jesus said, "these signs shall follow them that believe; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover," the promise was perpetual. That "the purpose of this great life-work extends through time and touches universal humanity; its Principle is infinite, extending beyond the pale of a single period or a limited following." (Science and Health, page 224.)
Healing Power Universal
Not only did Jesus heal the body as well as the mind, not only was healing one of the invariable accompaniments of the Christ work, not only did his disciples follow his direct example and instructions in that respect, "going through all the towns and healing everywhere," not only did Jesus assert that the healing of disease and the casting out of bad influences were a sign of those who believe, but when John complained to him that the disciples had seen a man casting out devils in his name and said that they had forbidden it, Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us," proving that the power was not to be confined to the few under his immediate influence. The divine records emphatically show that Jesus did not teach for those alone who were then with him. He said, "I and my Father are one." He also said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches," showing our close and real relationship to him and to the Father; and he continued, "He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." He further said, "If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." And again, "He that believeth on me, the works that I shall do shall he do also," and yet again, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." It seems impossible that such an expression as "even unto the end of the world" should be used did Jesus have in mind only those who were so soon to die, and if he had referred to being with them in the hereafter he would not have limited it to "the end of the world," for it would have been to infinity — throughout the everlasting. There was no limit as to time, no limit as to personality save in the one point of the readiness of that personality to conform to the divine law, and the history of Christian Science has been a continual and continually increasing demonstration of the truth of his words.
Once more, before leaving this part of my subject, let me reiterate that divine Mind, infinite Spirit, is all powerful; and that the demonstrations of Jesus were intended to show the Spirit's complete mastery of matter, to give relief to human suffering, to teach us all the true source of this infinite power, to teach us that it is ours for the using, and to show that healing of body and of spirit rightly go hand in hand.
We assert everywhere, on all occasions, and teach without ceasing, not only that God is all-power, but that he is All-Good. We everywhere teach that all cures are effected simply by welcoming with perfect trust and belief the presence and power and beneficence of the Divine, and by casting out and utterly ignoring all else. It was through that holy and perfect and all-embracing influence that Jesus healed both mind and body, and it is through that same Spirit that perfect healing still does and always must produce the only complete and lasting cures.
Lack of grasp of the real meaning of Christian Science is often evinced by those whose studies should have made them better informed even though failing to make them broader; and in this connection the report of the proceedings of a recent evangelical convention in Los Angeles furnishes food for thought. That grave and supposedly learned body faced the terrible problem of healing by divine power, and, viewing it not only with unbelief, but with alarm, gathered itself together with the following, which was adopted:
"Whereas certain tendencies of modern thought, belonging to the present day, are influencing many by their insidiousness, and gradually leading some away from the central truths as set forth in the Holy Scriptures, to their own destruction and the weakening of the true faith in others.
Resolved, that this convention views with deep concern the thoughtlessness which prevails to a serious extent in these matters, and pronounces its emphatic disapproval and enters its solemn protest against the common isms of the day, especially calling attention to the pernicious influence of so-called Christian Science, and warns all to beware of this school in particular, which [minimizes in effect the individuality of the] Creator, and tends to undermine the faith once delivered to the saints."
To those who know what Christian Science really is, it is a curiously interesting bit of psychology that a body of men whose profession is that of spiritual leadership should presume to speak with authority of that about which they manifestly know so little. Nothing but the grossest ignorance of their subject could lead any body of would-be teachers to speak seriously of Christian Science as in any way "minimizing" the Creator when its most pronounced teaching, the very basis of all its doctrine, lies in the absolute infinity and all-embracing character of that Creator. We are told that Tertullus denounced Paul to Felix as a "pestilent fellow," and now in this dawn of the twentieth century, those earnestly recommending a study of the life and teachings which inspired Paul, those who venerate the words, the character, the divinity of Christ, those who insist upon an unremitting struggle to follow as nearly as may be possible his example and commands, those who urge the highest attainable purity and uprightness in life and thought, those who declare Divinity itself to be the only true pattern and goal, are denounced by these earnest Christians at Los Angeles as "pernicious." We hope that they may live longer and learn more.
In many places opposition has been of a more aggressive and practical character, but the Scientist is not disturbed by the attempts which have so frequently been made to prevent the practice of the Christ healing by legislative enactments. All such efforts must fail. At every turn God has raised up champions, and the cause, with constantly increasing power, goes on. The law is no longer dominated by irresponsible rulers, and in regard to prosecutions under it, Robert Redfield of the City Law Dept., Chicago, said in an interview, "I have not delved very deeply into Christian Science, but in the strict letter of the law I fail to see how any exponent of that faith could be held criminally responsible for what practically amounts to a negative act. As well might practicing physicians be held accountable for the death of patients."
James Todd, States Atty. under Jacob J. Kern, Illinois, said: "The only question in my mind is whether Christian Scientists or the doctors allow the greater number of people to die. There is no law compelling a man to summon a physician when he is sick. There is no law which says he must summon a doctor of any particular school, whether a homeopath or an osteopath, or a Christian Scientist. If Christian Scientists could be prosecuted for a failure to save the lives of the people they attempt to cure, so could regular physicians."
One of Mr. Todd's points is especially worthy of notice; there is no law compiling a man to summon a physician when he is sick. No one can be prosecuted if he does not summon one. It it his indisputable right to summon no physician at all. If he chooses to ask the presence of a Christian Scientist, it is clear he is no worse off physically and in no worse predicament before the law than he would be had he remained alone. There would be no one to arrest had he chosen to have no physician — there should be no one to arrest if he wishes the spiritual support of the Christian Scientist.
In certain states strenuous efforts have been made by the combined forces of allopathy, homeopathy and eclecticism for the passage of bills designed to suppress the practice of Christian Science, but in each state stronger minds with ready tongues and pens have been found to fearlessly denounce the attempted restrictions. Garrison of Massachusetts, Thomas of Colorado, Tallman of New York, and scores of less known lovers of justice have struck telling blows.
A restrictive bill passed the Colorado legislature and came before Governor Thomas for his signature. Governor Thomas is acknowledged to be one of the strongest lawyers of the West. He vetoed the bill and I regret that time is too short to give you the masterly message which accompanied the veto; and to give it in fragments would be to give but a faint idea of it as a whole. After stating his reasons for the veto he says: "These comments are not extreme for it must be remembered that those who believe in and practice the various arts of healing that are ostracized by this bill, form a very large portion of every community. Nor are they confined to the ignorant and superstitious portions of society. They number in their ranks thousands of the most refined, intelligent, and conscientious people. They recognize in many modern methods of giving relief to the sufferers, a religious or spiritual element that appeals to their best and tenderest sympathies. They recognize a subtle psychic force in mental healing, a power to overcome disease by the operation of mind and personal influence, which no argument can shake, or ridicule disturb. Others equally intelligent and discerning put their faith in the osteopath, the magnetic healer, the hydropathist, etc. The benefits they claim and the cures they narrate are not imaginary. Shall the government enact by statute that these people shall no longer enjoy their beliefs or put them into daily practice? Shall it officially declare these people to be criminally wrong and the three schools legally right? By what authority does it so declare?"
Even the rudest and most uneducated men cannot for any length of time be deluded into acting against their own interests, much less the average enlightened citizen; he is quite disposed to follow the apostolic injunction, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." These are questions with which the government has no authority to interfere: they are questions which can be settled only in the sacred sanctuary of each individual consciousness.
"Book Notes," published in Providence, R. I., very aptly says, "In this city, within a year, died two persons. Eighteen 'regular' physicians 'practiced' upon one of these persons without ever having discovered the actual disease — ("and, by the way, do you not think the word full of suggestive meaning in this connection?") — the nineteenth acknowledged he could not tell without a surgical operation, and that is not always infallible. How many doctors have operated for appendicitis to learn that the patient only had "cramps" and not appendicitis at all. In the other case the person was treated for years for a disease which the person never had; the knife at last disclosed the fatal character of the disease and the folly of all the regular practice upon the patient. Now, if you propose punishing Christian Scientists when they fail to cure, you shall apply the same law to yourselves; let every 'regular' be hanged who fails to diagnose truly and who fails to apply what all other regulars regard as the specific remedies. It is time the medical profession was brought to a sense of its absurdities."
"The Appeal to Reason," Girard, Kansas, says: "James Mooney, a well-to-do farmer of Macon, Mo., in excellent health except neuralgia, while in Chicago, was induced to have an 'operation' performed. Twelve doctors performed the 'scientific' treatment and Mr. Mooney expired under the operation. Was that murder, or not? Had that been poor Christian Scientists or other unorthodox practitioners they would have been arrested and the regulars would be demanding their blood. It is different, you know, who does the killing, and whether the law looks upon it as 'regular.'" These are quotations without comment from myself, but every one in my audience knows full well that these attacks upon the regular profession are better founded than any ever made upon Christian Science.
Homeopathy vs. Allopathy
You know full well that I am not a believer in the administration of even infinitesimal doses of medicine. So far am I from the theory of "similia similibus curantur," which, logically interpreted, must mean, if you are afflicted with evil take more of it, that I believe evil should not be administered in any form, in large or small doses, in the full strength drug or in its minutest triturations. The only "fire" I would use with which to "fight the devil," is the fire of holiest Love and infinite Truth.
Nevertheless, there has been a success in the practice of homeopathy from which I wish to draw a lesson. Hahnemann, its founder, was born in 1776 and lived a little more than 88 years. This was an epoch hidebound by ancient prejudices. For eleven years he was a regular practitioner, then, struck by the fact that a drug had produced upon a man in health the symptoms it was supposed to cure in a sick one, he entered upon a course of experiments which convinced him that "like cures like."
He applied his method to the patients of an insane asylum with success, and bitter warfare was waged against him. In 1818 a malignant form of typhus broke out in Leipsic, patients became so numerous that it was necessary to divide then amongst the physicians of the city. Seventy-three were allotted to Hahnemann, who treated them homeopathically and lost but one — an old man — out of the entire seventy-three. No other record equaled his, but instead of this fact making him friends, it made him new enemies and the old ones became more bitter. Here was a man persecuted, not because he failed to cure, but because he did not agree with the common beliefs of his time. For the same reason that the rulers of the Jews imprisoned Peter and John — not because they failed to cure, but because their teaching was contrary to the religious sentiment of their time.
Sets of tables compiled a few years ago by Dr. Buchner and by Dr. Routh and made up from the reports of the great hospitals of New York and of Europe show an astonishingly lower death rate in the homeopathic hospitals than in the allopathic. According to excerpts from the report of Dr. Buchner for New York during a period in which thousands of cases were treated, eleven of the most generally fatal diseases were treated, by each school; the average death rate of allopathic patients was nearly three times that of the homeopathic. In each of the eleven diseases the percentage of deaths was smaller in homeopathy than in allopathy. The nearest approximation of percentages was in typhus fever, in which the allopathic death rate was sixteen and the homeopathic thirteen and three-tenths, while the greatest difference was shown in erysipelas, in which the allopathic death rate was twenty-three, and the homeopathic of one per cent, the allopathists losing in this disease nearly twenty-nine times as large a proportion of their patients as their homeopathic competitors.
Healing the Power of Thought
Again I wish to call your attention to the fact that I am no homeopathist, and I apprehend that you will not accuse me of trying to win others to an indorsement of his cult; still I have found the comparison profitable because so suggestive of other things. The figures taken from Buchner and Routh embrace those diseases generally conceded to be the most difficult to deal with, and the contrast is great enough to warrant the conclusion that the actual percentage of success was largely in favor of the school giving the least medicine. And this point becomes specially interesting and suggestive when taken in connection with the results of the practice of Christian Science.
The homeopathist, whose use of drugs is a minimum, effects a greater percentage of cures than the allopathist, and the Christian Scientist who not only uses no drugs at all, but does not attach to his practice the misleading idea that even the least power inheres in drugs, has a better record than either. There is absolutely no other class of practitioners whose percentage of success is so great as that of the Christian Scientists; there is absolutely no class of people whose death rate is so low as that of Christian Scientists; there is absolutely no class of people so free from disease as Christian Scientists. No other treatment is so successful in acute cases, no other treatment can approach it in chronic cases. In fact, its success with "chronics" given up by the regular school has perhaps brought more people to an acquaintance with the teachings and an understanding of the practice of Christian Science than any other one thing. Six years' experience and observation in the practice of Christian Science, and twenty-five years' experience and observation as a regular physician — judged, not by my own practice alone, but by that of brother physicians — is the basis upon which I unhesitatingly and unqualifiedly made the foregoing statement.
As is well known, the allopathist does not like to consult with the homeopathist. Nothing affords him more genuine amusement than the assumption that real potency lurks in the infinitesimal dilutions administered by the disciples of Hahnemann. The very thought of it invariably makes him inwardly smile. And I have often smiled with him, for certainly it does seem absurd that when a drug has been so diluted that scarce a drop of it could be found in a whole hogshead of water and that when of this attenuation a drop or two has been stirred into two-thirds of a tumbler of water there shall be in a spoonful occasionally dealt out for a dose, enough strength to master all the bad chemical combinations possible to a thoroughly diseased body. How often have I, and how often have you, heard the allopathist say, with a smile on his face and disgust in his voice, that the cures of the homeopathist are not made by the tinctures and pellets — that they are never made except in cases which would have recovered without any medicines at all. I repeat that I have often smiled with him, but now I smile not only with him, but at him, for I know that he is in the same boat with the homeopathist although he is ignorant of it. The secret of all cures, no matter what the school, no matter who the practitioner, is a secret no longer; it lies in the power of thought, and thought only.
Christian Science Method
Instead of drugs in any amount, in any strength or weakness, make Mind the basis of operation, give liberal doses of joyous aspiration; urge unlimited indulgence in purity of thought and action; draw measureless draughts, as a free gift, upon the Father's healing spirit. God's entire universe is one vast reservoir of Love and health and happiness which we may have for the taking. We have only to do away with all harmful thoughts and fears, surrender our belief in any power opposed to God, and believe only in the perfect, and drink joy and vigor without stint from this reservoir divine.
That is the Christian Science method — we believe it is the Christ method — the only method whereby suffering humanity can be radically saved from sickness, sorrow and sin.
And the cures wrought by this divine Principle are not confined to ailments resulting from weak nerves and hysterical imaginations, as so many suppose. The ills mastered by it are named by nearly every noun in the vocabulary of human suffering. Every Christian Scientist will thoroughly endorse the statement of Mrs. Eddy, who says — "To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure organic disease, I have found Mind more potent than all lower remedies." In the short time remaining at my disposal there is no room to speak of the almost infinite varieties of trouble relieved by the practice of true Science, but after speaking of what first drew my own attention to it I will mention three cases of widely varying nature which have come under my own notice, and which I choose from amongst those which can be given partly in the words of grateful hearts narrating their experience in letters of thankfulness to their demonstrator.
Dr. Sulcer's Conversion
For years I had been convinced that no physician, no matter how great, could be certain of the result of any particular line of treatment in any particular case, but the thought was brought home to me with terrible intensity when I saw material remedies fail in the hands of one of our most learned and experienced physicians during the illness of my own beloved son, who, at the age of 17 years, yielded up his young life a victim of typhoid fever. Although I had previously derided Christian Science I had heard of excellent results indisputably due to it. I had intelligent friends who were ardent in their praise of it, and without the least expectation of being convinced myself, I determined to meet it fairly and squarely with as serious study as I could possibly give to anything else, and the result was a thorough conversion to its teachings and the adoption of its practice. Strangely enough, among the first cases I was called to attend was one similar to that of my son — a youth of about his age, attacked with the same disease as that which had prevailed against all the resources of medicine, and which came while all its dreadful recollections were still fresh in my mind. To all human appearances this case, in its complications and malignancy, warranted a much more unfavorable prognosis than the former, yet it was treated by Christian Science, wholly without the intervention of material remedies of any kind whatsoever, and the treatment resulted in complete recovery. I had before reached a point at which I did not doubt, I now positively knew, the Truth.
The first of the three cases referred to is a peculiar one. A lady writes: "When a child 6 years of age I had whooping cough, and to make it worse, before I had recovered from this I had measles with its attending cough added to the other. I remember two years of terrible suffering. I was twice salivated with calomel. Once, for nine days, my tongue was so swollen that all that went into my throat was a few drops of liquid at a time. Caustic was used many times to burn out my mouth and throat, and I became a little skeleton. An unquenchable thirst made its appearance after the whooping cough began to subside. My mother called my drinking so much a habit, but the physician in attendance said 'It is no habit, and if you wish your child to live, give her all the water she wants.' I so quickly drank a pitcher full and called for more that my mother filled a bucket with water, put a dipper into it, and set it by my bed at night, and in the morning it was always nearly all gone." This is enough to give an idea of a case which no physician was able to relieve, which became chronic, and which was still in full power when she reached the age of 39. Then her attention was called to the Christ healing. Again I will quote her own words. "When I told the Scientist my troubles and asked her if she thought I could be helped, she replied, 'You can be made well.' I asked her how long it would take, and she said, 'I do not know, but assure you it will not take so long as it has taken the M.D.'s to try to cure you.'" In six or eight weeks she could sleep all night without a desire for water and without waking, and soon after was entirely free from the trouble from which she had so long been a sufferer. She is now 46, is still well, and rejoices in the ability to help others who ask for aid.
A little lad was thrown from his bicycle, badly injuring his hip. He suffered intensely for the next six months. During that time he never attempted to step on his foot, was nearly helpless, could neither dress nor undress, was carried whenever moved. His limb became drawn up and shrunken, and his whole frame was greatly emaciated. At this time he was taken to the private hospital of a specialist in spinal and hip diseases at Santa Barbara, and the mother was told that it was hip disease, that he must always be a cripple, and that he "must inevitably suffer much for the next six months." A pair of crutches, a special shoe, and an iron brace were ordered and fitted and the boy was to lie in bed for the next month in order to wear the brace. Medicine, also, was prescribed and obtained. That night the mother, broken-hearted, passed by the Christian Science hall, which was open and lighted. She had been strongly prejudiced — had heard that the Scientists rejected the Bible,— but decided to go in and see what it was like. It was a testimonial meeting. The very first words she heard were from the Bible — "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free." — Speaking of the testimonies she writes, "Some were of physical, some of spiritual healing, and all seemed filled with the Christ Love. O! could I tell what joy came to me over the possibility that my child could be made well in the same way. The whole world seemed changed while sitting there." The next day she found the Scientist and I will again give her own words. "She assured me that my boy could be healed and that I would better dispose of the brace, shoe and crutches, as he would not need them under Christian Science treatment. The Scientist asked me to remain while she treated Ernest. This seemed strange to me as he was not with me, but I believed with all my capability in Christian Science. When I returned to him he immediately said, "Mamma, the pain has about all gone from my hip. What made it stop aching, do you think?" I told him all about it, and O, what beautiful child faith he manifested! And that night, the first time since the accident, we both slept soundly until morning." Treatments were continued; shoe, brace, and crutches were disposed of; the third day the lad rode on the street car; the fifth he walked three-quarters of a mile; in two weeks he was taken home; and in three was perfectly well; hip and knee joint supple, and that limb as straight and useful as the other.
The third case is told by another mother, who says: "The eldest in years and the youngest of the Christian Scientists of Santa Barbara wants to write you a few lines; though the sentences will be broken, yet you will not mind when I tell you that I am 82 years old, and have just commenced to live, — just commenced to understand what Jesus Christ came for and what his teachings mean. I want to tell the world what a comfort Christian Science has become to me who have been traveling this desert of life for the better part of 100 years. Although I have been a member of the Methodist Church for many years, still I did not know what God is till I listened to the Christian Science interpretation of Him." Then she tells the story of a loved son of bright promise who won a captaincy in the Civil War, but who, in that war, contracted so strong an appetite for liquor as to lead to almost complete ruin. Twice, as the years rolled on, he took the Keeley cure, and each time, after it, seemed to drink more deeply than before. Day after day and night after night the faithful mother prayed for her son, and year after year the seeming hopelessness of the case increased.
Then Christian Science stepped in. In it was the help needed for her "boy" — and "boy" he always will be to her mother love, grizzled veteran though he is. Unknown to him, a brother and the brother's wife commenced to treat him. After a time they heard that the captain had stopped drinking, though they got no direct word from him, and the mother writes: "But after a long time my dear boy came to see us, and Oh! how changed he was! I knew at once that what we had heard was true." That night the son accompanied them to a Christian Science meeting and, after it was over, said: "Now I know what has always seemed so strange to me — somebody has treated me in Christian Science. I did not know myself at all. I felt the desire for liquor going and was surprised over the strangeness of it all. Finally I threw out what was in the bottle and have had no appetite for it since." None of you need to be told of the tremendous power lying in a chronic liquor habit of between thirty and forty years' standing, nor of the effectiveness and worth of a treatment which will cure it. Although for want of time, I have given but one case of inebriacy, yet I could give scores of others of just as pitiable wrecks from intemperance who have been washed and cleansed and redeemed and are today singing the glad song of deliverance through the healing and saving power of Christian Science.
Not only have I myself seen disease, in all the forms and complications familiar to the busy practitioner, healed by the divine potency underlying Christian Science, but I have also witnessed its power to restrain and destroy evil inclinations and to invigorate and strengthen all the activities of virtue. It lifts the thought above the low plane of sensual gratification to the high plane of constancy, white-robed purity, and true devotion.
Discoverer and Founder
The discovery and exposition of the truths of Christian Science, and the resultant spiritual elevation and physical betterment of mankind, have been due to a wisdom and insight which we believe could not have been attained except through divine inspiration and guidance. Their recognition and establishment, their astonishing development in the face of wide-spread opposition, the perfect harmony existing between all organized branches, and again, between them and their loved Founder, have been achieved through sagacity, patience, and administrative genius so great as to be marvelous. In the colossal work so smoothly, so quietly, so rapidly accomplished, our leader has displayed not only those gifts which place her upon the highest spiritual pedestal of her time, but which mark her as the greatest religious general the world has ever seen. No sword has been unsheathed, no mailed hand invoked; no living creature has been mangled or crushed or made sore in body or bitter in soul; not so much as one drop of blood has been shed, but Love, and Love only, the balm of healing and the gentle Spirit of white-winged peace have won the hearts and souls of those who have come under the calm, strong, sweet influence of her whom we delight to call our Mother.
And right here I wish to give an illustration of the beauty as well as strength of her character. When others were saying the most grossly malicious things about her, when her teachings were being misrepresented orally and in print, and her followers seemed ready to bitterly resent it, she merely requested them to go on unmoved in faith and perfect trust, to say no bitter things, to love their enemies, and to make known the Truth not by violently combating those in error, but simply by the patient and persistent presentation of the right. And again when an opposite condition appeared — when her ardent pupils were inclined almost to adore her personality and began to feel that her very contact with objects of material sense was sufficient to endow those objects with curative powers, she gently rebuked them. I will quote in this connection a part of a letter she wrote which surely cannot fail to impress all with her truly unassuming and unselfish nature. As late as last April she writes: "Ask thyself, Do I enter by the door and worship only Spirit, and spiritually? or, Do I climb up some other way? Do I understand God as Love, the divine Principle of all that really is, the infinite Good than whom there is none else, and in whom is all? . . . Matter, nor man, nor woman, can ever heal you or pardon a single sin; while God, the divine Principle of nature and man, when understood and demonstrated, is found to be the remote, predisposing and present cause of all that is rightly done.
"I have the satisfaction of sending you weekly, by Mr. Mann, alias our 'best man,' flowers that my skilful florist, Mr. Eaton, has coaxed into loveliness despite our winter snows. Also I hear that the loving hearts and hands of the Christian Scientists in Concord send these floral offerings in my name to the sick and suffering. Now, if these kind hearts will only do this in Christ's name, the power of Truth and Love will fulfill the law of righteousness. . . . Today our great Master would say to the aged gentleman healed from the day my flowers visited his bedside, 'Thy faith hath healed thee.' The flowers were imbued with no intrinsic healing qualities from my poor personality. The scientific healing faith is a saving faith; it keeps steadfastly the great and first commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before Me' — no other than the spiritual help of Divine Love. Faith in aught else misguides the understanding, ignores the power of God, and, in the words of St. Paul, appeals to an unknown power, 'whom therefore ye ignorantly worship.' . . . I shall scarcely venture to send flowers to this little hall if they can be made to infringe the Divine law of Love even in thought. Send flowers and all things fair and comforting to the dear sick; but remember that it is not he that giveth the flowers that conferreth the blessing, but 'my Spirit, saith the Lord;' for in Him was life, and that life is the light of men."
Surely no sweeter disclaimer or more modest depreciation of the tendency of ardent admirers to laud human personality and think of it as the repository of the power which she knows inheres only in Divinity itself, ever came from an acknowledged leader of millions. Certainly greater tact could not be shown than that by which she leaves no uncertainty as to the intent and finality of her rebuke while so administering it as not to wound, but rather to win, yet greater depth of love.
As to whether her teachings are based upon the eternal truths of God there is perhaps no better test than that given by the Master himself when he said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Her doctrines are being demonstrated in hundreds of thousands of cases and in every quarter of the globe. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" has its answer everywhere, and its application extends to the very trend of the mind. Look to the right place and you will get what you look for. Look to good and you will find it. Look to God and you will find Him. And God and Good are the same. Many a man thinks he looks to or for a thing merely because he wishes for it; but the mere wish, even the most earnest desire, does not win what is longed for.
It is not taught that as a man wishes in his heart, so is he; it is taught that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." A man may be ill, and wish for health, and worry night and day because he hasn't it, and spend thousands of dollars and years of time searching for and never find it. He is not thinking in his heart that he has it — he is wandering amongst the thorns and thistles of erroneous beliefs and how could he expect to gather sweet, juicy grapes and rich, nutritious figs? He is not looking in the place where he might find them. He is not looking where they grow. Let him look to God, all Good. Let him look to divine Truth and Light and Love which God's own infinite and perfect presence sheds about him everywhere, surrounding him, filling him, permeating everything, really and truly infinite and unstinted, and absolutely free. Believe in it with perfect faith, take it in joyous thankfulness without questioning, and health and strength and peace and love and happiness are yours beyond a doubt. Many a poor suffering soul has had faith in its God, whom it ignorantly worshiped, has said, "Not my will but thine be done," has borne pain unflinchingly, and rejoiced in the hope of heaven and an eternity free from suffering and full of joy. Yet it has not been freed from that suffering, and many would say, "Here is one, if there ever was one, who is immersed in the very spirit of God. Why, if you are right, was he not made well?" "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Such souls ask support; they get it. They believe that the heavenly Father is to free them from pain when the body is gone; and they realize in proportion to their belief. But they lack that understanding of the divine Principle of healing, which enables one to realize, through demonstration, that God's promises are not merely for the future, but that they are for now as well.
Christian Science demonstrates that "God in very deed dwells with men on the earth;" that the infinite Father has given us all that is comprised in health and strength; that it is all about us everywhere; that in his perfect goodness we may draw upon it as freely as upon the free air of heaven; that it is ours not merely in "the eternal future," but that it is ours now.
This is the secret of Christian Science, it is the secret of the Christ cure. All is good. Throw aside cankering mortal thought. Live in the Christ thought — in the thought and the knowledge that All is Good: that the best that is is freely yours; and it is yours now; that you do not have to wait for death to begin your perfect eternity . . . and you will find that "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
[Delivered Feb. 10, 1901, at Simpson Tabernacle, located on Hope Street between Seventh and Eighth, in Los Angeles, California, and published in The Los Angeles Herald, Feb. 11, 1901. Light editing of the lecture was done to correct minor lapses that occurred in preparation of the newspaper account; more active intervention was required to resolve other issues. Owing to a mix-up on the part of the typesetter, one part of the lecture in the Herald report is unintelligible. The sentence in brackets, which gives a proper rendering of that section, comes from a much shorter report of the lecture as given later in the year. In the ecclesiastical resolution quoted later in the lecture, seven words (set off here in brackets) were inadvertently omitted by the typesetter and were added to this transcription through recourse to a newspaper report in The Los Angeles Herald of May 18, 1899.
[A lengthy account of Gov. Charles S. Thomas's veto of a restrictive bill passed by the Colorado legislature, cited above, was provided by muckraking journalist B. O. Flower in an editorial in The Coming Age magazine of August 1899 entitled "Governor Thomas's Notable Veto of the Medical Trust Bill". Other articles quoting the portions of Thomas's comments were "Christian Science and Legislation" by Judge Clifford P. Smith in The Christian Science Journal of October 1905 (reprinted in 1906 in a booklet of The Christian Science Publishing Society of the same name) and "Christian Science and Religious Liberty" by Edward W. Dickey, a Christian Scientist living in Santa Barbara, California, in the Michigan Law Review of February 1906. Some of Thomas's remarks were also included in Christian Science: Its Legal Status: A Defense of Human Rights by Judge Clifford P. Smith, issued by The Christian Science Publishing Society in 1914.]