Christian Science: How It Meets the Human Need

 

Elizabeth McArthur Thomson, C.S.B., of St. Louis, Missouri

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The following lecture, entitled, "Christian Science: How It Meets the Human Need," was given under the auspices of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, of Chicago, in the church edifice, 4840 Dorchester Avenue, "Thursday evening, January 24, 1939, by Mrs. Elizabeth McArthur Thomson, C.S.B., of Saint Louis, Missouri, member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. The lecture is reprinted from a previous issue of the Leader.

 

Centuries ago a sweet singer of Israel poured forth in glorious tone a message or hymn of praise to God, foretelling His unfailing goodness, protection, and love. Credited to David, this wonderful song, since called the twenty-third Psalm, stirs the hearts and thought of all Christians, for they see in it the grace of a God at once tender, loving, and most kind. Its message brings the solace and blessed assurance that God's people can depend upon Him at all times, wherever they may be, whatever may arise. Hear the impelling words of the song's immortal promise: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Could a message be more comforting, more vitally encouraging and helpful? And does not the entire Psalm, so familiar to all students of the Bible, present a concept of God which every right-thinking person can acknowledge and understand?

Are we serving the tender Shepherd, are we accepting in full His loving care? Do we heed the singer's message, let it bring us hope and cheer?  Can't we see, as did the Psalmist, what it means to trust the good?  Isn't our Shepherd forever giving, always presenting to man just what he needs of substance and health? God, your heavenly Father, loves you. He it is who cares for you.

Let us leave for a moment the period of the Psalmist, and move forward to consider briefly the time of Christ Jesus. Did he not also accept God as a tender Shepherd, whose flock was never without His loving-care? He it was who, in absolute faith, saw the Father's eternal goodness, and in works he proved what he knew and told. He it was who so sublimely taught us how to believe and not be afraid. From the message of our Saviour there has come a wealth of love. And he said our heavenly Father would send another Comforter, one that would abide with all for all time. Isn't it here now, in the form of Christian healing, the works that are done in perfect accord with the law divine?

Long after David, there appeared a woman whose love and search for Truth brought her finally to the conclusion of the Psalmist and our Master, and she, too, saw God as He really is. This woman, Mary Baker Eddy, in desperate need, after many years of experimental research in almost every method of healing, turned to the Holy Scriptures to discover, in the teachings of Christ Jesus, the true meaning of the Old and New Testament writings, the inspiring prophecies of the Bible. To her discovery Mrs. Eddy gave the name of Christian Science, for she recognized it as the Science of the Christ, the true law of Life. And it is from this Science that we draw tonight every thought of good or helpfulness, every conclusion we may reach. Through Mrs. Eddy's concept of the one God, our heavenly Father, as revealed in Christian Science, we are bound to discover the only Saviour and Redeemer, the healing Truth which never fails.

Let us reconsider briefly the times of David, look again into his words to discover something of their spirit. Why did he compare God to the shepherds? What does it mean to you and me? In David's day, a shepherd was no mere laborer or herder of lambs. Sheep at that time represented almost the entire wealth of a nation whose pursuits were largely agricultural. Most of a rich man's so-called substance consisted of the flocks he owned. A shepherd, because of the importance of his work, must have been chosen with the greatest of care, for did not the owner entrust to him practically all the goods he possessed? When David expressed his sense of God as a loving Shepherd, surely he saw in Him, in absolute Truth, what religiously-minded persons must ever desire to see, to know and prove. David, or the writer of the Psalm, has helped all mankind to understand God, what He is, and what He does for man. Acknowledging Him as a tender Father-Mother, surely helps to eliminate fear of want or thought of foe. Isn't it wise to give our substance and health into His keeping? "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: . . . and gently lead those that are with young."

 

The Bible and Prophecy

"The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" These words of Amos, a man who loved God devotedly, reveal the mission of the spiritually-minded. As early as 800 B.C., he called to the people to awaken from their satisfaction in and devotion to material possessions. With unbounded courage he took up arms against the evils of his day - essentially not unlike the present - fearlessly attacking idolatry and its kindred errors. Radically he proclaimed the order of the one Father, divine Principle, constantly drawing attention to the sacred promises of deliverance for all who trusted God and were obedient to His law.

Just "a shepherd and dresser of sycamore trees" (Smith) he was termed, but, oh, what inspiration came from his love of good and desire to serve the Lord! In the midst of plenty, Amos saw poverty and distress, and warned the people of their real famine, their vital need for what they had not. He evidently recognized the temporal quality of material possessions, and realized, at least in part, what would be required if all were to share in permanent good.

The prophecy of a people who would be free, foretold in Scripture and repeated in the writings of Mrs. Eddy, points directly to the enduring nature of all that is good, and the eventual disappearance of what is not - the beliefs of sin, disease, and death. With the coming of good in thought, purpose, and plan, the bad or erroneous must of necessity go. To know the truth about anything involves the giving up of the lie. And to know the truth about everything - the absolute fact concerning God, man, and the universe - must demand a recognition of one God and Father, one healing Christ, or Comforter, one real man whose substance must be wholly good.

Dear friends, look deep and without prejudice into the Scriptural writings and those of Christian Science. Let your motto be not only to read but to study and understand the Book divine, and the law of Christ, Truth. Ponder well the Master's teachings, how he worked to save humanity from its self-imposed limitation and diseased beliefs! Follow through the years of struggle, past and present, spiritually recognizing what occurs when mankind forsakes the good and the true. View in this day of Christian Science the healing effect of knowing the truth about God, man, and the universe. Accept His love, acknowledge Him before men, be not afraid to trust your life and work to the care of the tender Shepherd. Seek Truth earnestly, consecrate your time and thought to the gain of spiritual understanding. Learn to be obedient through your study and application of pure Science, wherein you discover what obedience is, and how you may best conform to the divine demand.

The Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, within reach of every honest seeker, provide in teaching all that anyone could possibly need or use in proving the practical nature of Christianly scientific thinking, how well it works in solving the problems of the human race.

A true concept of the Master's teachings and of the real mission of Mary Baker Eddy is a permanent help in understanding and demonstrating Christian Science. It will contribute greatly to your success in healing, in establishing the fact that there isn't any real lack of true substance nor limitation of right action, now or at any time. Christian Science illuminates the Scriptural writings, perfectly interpreting Truth for all. Its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mary Baker Eddy, unlocks the many mansions of our heavenly Father. Through Christian Science, or a spiritual consciousness of Truth, one views anew the glorious blessings prepared for all. Divine Love only awaits the world's acceptance, the acknowledgment of one God, or Mind, which is good. Him we are to worship and adore, with deepest reverence for His law. Acknowledgment, adoration, devotion - do not these terms imply specific action, individual responsibility? To the Christian Scientist they mean a pure reflection of Love, the positive acceptance of good, a firm resistance to and eventual elimination of all evil. They also include the offering of a service in scientific practice that, to the best of one's present ability, follows Christ, Truth, in daily living.

The words and deeds of the Master live today in Christian thought as a vital force and perfect example for all who would know and understand the truth about God and man. To be sure, there are some who seemingly do not wish to believe. Evil, as in Jesus' day, still claims a following, an organization through which it can impress its beliefs upon men. That isn't a new form of error nor a new activity of mortal thought. It is fathered by the same old liar with his lies, named in Scripture, Satan, or the devil, who through his Adam-man would, if he could, perpetuate the selfsame limiting and destructive claims as in bygone years. Jesus demonstrated that evil and its attendant beliefs could be utterly destroyed. In perfect self-sacrifice he offered to humanity the proof that divine Love is ever-present, ever ready to provide for human need. Do we believe and receive? Is there a desire for spiritual growth apparent in our world today? An intelligent view certainly reveals a steady trend upward, a search for Truth apart from the plans and the ways of men.  Many years ago Mrs. Eddy stated a most comforting fact. She said in part (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 370): "When the Pharisees saw Jesus do such deeds of mercy, they went away and took counsel how they might remove him. The antagonistic spirit of evil is still abroad; but the greater spirit of Christ is also abroad, - risen from the grave-clothes of tradition and the cave of ignorance. Let the sentinels of Zion's watch-towers shout once again, 'Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.' In different ages the divine idea assumes different forms, according to humanity's needs. In this age it assumes, more intelligently than ever before, the form of Christian healing." Many who are not students of Christian Science respect '"the form of Christian healing" which it presents and represents. And the Scientist is always grateful to acknowledge every evidence of good he sees, because he knows it comes from God, the source of all that is good. Through the teachings of Christian Science, he has learned to look for and expect naught but what is helpful, positively substantial, permanent and true.

 

The Healing Christ

Never at any time has the world been without some evidence or expression of divinity. Christ, the pure idea of God, so perfectly exemplified by Jesus, knocks at the door of our consciousness, day and night, lovingly awaiting our admission and acceptance, offering salvation to humankind. For the restoration of Christian healing by the Science which Mrs. Eddy discovered and revealed to this age, her followers thank God with increasing gratitude. Through it thousands have learned what it means to "lie down in green pastures: . . . beside the still waters," how to be released from weakness, inactivity, discord, limitation, and disease. Truth has given its beautiful message. Shall we not heed and comprehend? How can we hear unless we are listening? How can we have or share with others if we do not receive and give? Throughout the Bible and the writings of Mrs. Eddy, mankind is urged to listen for the voice of Truth, to accept the spiritual concept of God and of His healing Christ, and what it means to the human race.

Let us review some of Jesus' teachings on this all-important subject. In his instruction he once said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." A study of John's Gospel helps greatly to understand Christ, Truth, its impersonal nature, and the real mission of Jesus. What does he say of the one God, our Father? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What blessed words of comfort and healing! Are they for all or a selected few? "God so loved . . . that he gave," and His giving, we are told, was without "beginning of days" or "end of life." Then it must be for you and me and all, for we are His children. How can we prove it? Through Christian Science, which reveals Truth and its action, and our own part in following the teachings of Love. In it we find harmonious living, the rightful heritage of an heir of God. He gave "his only begotten Son" to His never-forgotten children, that they might know the truth about Him and man. It is the Christ exemplified in Christian living, the Truth which Jesus understood, loved, and proved.

A correct concept of Jesus' life in the flesh, midst human thinking, helps us to demonstrate what he taught. What he prophesied would come as a forever Comforter, is with us now. It is Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy's revelation of divine law. Through it we view scientifically our Saviour, the works which he did, and what they really mean to us all. In the words of Mrs. Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 103): "Jesus' personality in the flesh, so far as material sense could discern it, was like that of other men; but Science exchanges this human concept of Jesus for the divine ideal, his spiritual individuality that reflected the Immanuel, or 'God with us.' " Let Christian Science guide you, let it teach you all that you need to know. Learn to embody in thought in increasing measure the qualities that make for health and success. "God with us" - infinite good ever-present and the never-forgotten children of the one Father sharing alike in His love! What more can we ask or want?

Christ Jesus never failed to represent God, to present or give to mankind a true likeness of his Father. To him, living was loving and giving, a perfect faith expressed in deeds. Undoubtedly he discerned God's idea as the infinite expression of divine Mind, for he was able to give without stint or limit, in perfect obedience to Principle, or the rule of the one Mind. To mankind he offered all that they would take from his Father's bounty, which he knew he possessed by divine right of Love. And Mrs. Eddy in Christian Science has contributed a similar gift. Her revelation represents the active good and healing influence of divine Principle, God. It shows humankind that it need but lose its false sense of being or living, to behold the impersonal Christ and its healing power.

Christ Jesus clearly - and best of all, most naturally and simply - demonstrated in a life of goodness, love, and pure thinking, what Truth should mean to you and me. Self-offering and self-sacrifice, yes. But oh, how rich and worth while! Has he not given to the world for all time the example and proof of God's loving presence and care? After Mrs. Eddy, his faithful follower, discovered in his teachings the spiritual law and order of Jesus' work, she recorded her revelation in the Christian Science textbook, assuring her followers that her writings, with the Bible, were all they would need for religious instruction and healing. Faithful students know this and are obedient, watching against   the thought that would mislead or distract. Satisfied in Truth, as revealed in Christian Science, they have no desire for anything less.

 

Living Is Loving and Giving

"God so loved . . . that he gave." The keynote of the works of Jesus is loving and giving. How he loved and how he gave! Yet, think how often the gift was misinterpreted and misunderstood! Why? Because mankind finds difficulty in recognizing and acknowledging pure Truth, or its scientific rule. Is God dismayed or does He ever stop loving? Oh, no! He gives most where most is needed, because He works with infinite care. "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." God's thoughts about His children feed them with unfailing good. Substance to Him must be Spirit, Mind, or true thinking, with never a sense of lack, frustration, or defeat. Is this the usual idea regarding God, what He is, and how He governs? Unfortunately not, for were it so there would be much more evidence of spiritual good and its corresponding provision for the human need.

What can we do to help ourselves and others? We can use the ideas of Spirit more regularly and with greater intelligence; we can engage in better thinking, seek more faithfully and apply more definitely the rules of Science, the laws of Love. Has material thinking ever contributed anything really substantial for mankind? Look about you and consider the results of reliance upon mere human personalities, material hygiene, animal courage, or the many other remedies of human device. Then ask yourself if there isn't a positive need for better thinking, a more scientific understanding of God, His work, and man's place in the divine plan? Students of Christian Science are convinced through proof that the way out of all unsolved problems can be found in the Science of the Christ. And they see in the discovery of Mary Baker Eddy a revelation of Truth which is at once spiritually sensible, definitely intelligent, and absolutely practical as applied to humanity's needs.


Your own experience must have brought you to a longing for what Science provides, for your presence here indicates a positive search for something better than man-made methods. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Mrs. Eddy's discovery is the answer to the prayer of millions. In it there is nothing that Christians everywhere could not, if they would, legitimately endorse, support and use.

 

A Messenger of God

You may be interested in looking a little deeper into the nature and character of this fine New England woman, whose love for the people of all races and creeds caused her to devote her life in an unselfish effort to bring healing to everyone. From the time of her discovery of Christian Science unto the present moment, her life and works have been scrupulously scanned by friend and foe. In court, church, school, and drawing room, Mrs. Eddy's actions, speech, and writings have borne the scrutiny of those who wished her well and of others who would, if they could, destroy her teachings and the organizations which she founded. How did she really live and work? What has she really brought to the world, to you and to me?

Authentic biographies may be obtained at Reading Rooms, public libraries, and book stores, but a complete answer to the questions involves a definite study and some demonstrable knowledge of our Leader's revelation. One is justified in proving for himself the truth of her teaching, for this is the only real way of judging Mrs. Eddy's life and works. Many who have written of her, while not in entire accord with her religious or pathological views, have been more than willing to testify with sincerest respect to her great goodness, purity, and love of humankind. Courts have ruled in her favor, and protected her institutions when called upon to do so. Newspapers have chronicled her various achievements. Yet Mrs. Eddy herself, in the true spirit of humility and self-effacement, asks nothing more of the world or her followers than a just consideration and honest investigation of what she has actually done. Time and again she has urged her students to look for her only in her writings. There they gain not a sense of personal regard for her, but a true concept of Principle and its messenger to this age. There they view the magnitude of Christian Science and the perfect self-sacrifice of her who gave it birth. Christian Scientists love and revere their Leader for what she accomplished. Glorifying God, they continually thank Him for the beloved messenger and her wonderful message as it stands revealed to us.

Mrs. Eddy alone knew what it meant in self-offering to give her discovery to the world. But love of good and intense spiritual desire to serve and benefit the human race protected and sustained her through the tremendous duty. Bravely she prepared herself for the task. Alone, she worked with God, refusing to accept any other thought or suggestion, save that which came from good. Those who know her best realize that words can never do her justice or unfold the true spiritual significance of her revelation and demonstration.

Through membership and service in the Church of Christ, Scientist, which Mrs. Eddy founded, her followers are enabled to express, in a degree, their gratitude for their Leader. They see the value of giving her proper recognition, realizing the absolute necessity of impersonalizing good, while justly recompensing in some measure, through prayer and service, her who gave her life to God.

The Power of Prayer

Prayer has always been mankind's natural approach to the Father. It evidences a spiritual effort to reach Principle, the origin of good, that which heals and saves. True prayer is treatment in Christian Science. It is effective just to the degree of its righteousness, spiritual intent, and love of service. The right idea of prayer, its application in Christian Science treatment, has healed multitudes. Thousands stand ready to testify to its blessed efficacy in the cure of the sick and sinning.

In the Lord's Prayer, offering as it does a sure foundation upon which all right-thinking persons can build in agreement of worship, there is presented practically every type of prayer, every means of approach to God. In it can we not see affirmation, declaration, petition, acceptance, and realization? In highest praise of the Lord's Prayer, Mrs. Eddy urges a spiritual concept and understanding of it, that which she affirms "instantaneously heals the sick" (Science and Health, p. 16). To that end Christian Scientists are progressing, for their earnest desire is to prove the truths their Leader taught.       

Practitioners are frequently asked by newcomers: "How am I to pray, now that I have found Christian Science and am somewhat awake to the necessity of changing old beliefs and modes of prayer? May I pray as I did formerly, asking God for His loving help and care?" To this question, Christian Science has one answer: Continue to pray, faithfully and regularly. Students are urged to do the best they can, until a fuller realization of Truth is apparent to human consciousness, and prayer is recognized not as a mere means of pleading with God, and asking for that which may not be good, but rather as an affirmation of God's perfection and ever-presence. His infinite power to do for one and all what must be best. If one questions or doubts our heavenly Father's ability or willingness to establish good, all the petitions in the world would not remedy the evils he accepts.

Christian Scientists take the Lord's Prayer as a message of perfect faith, hope, and enduring substance. Its spiritual interpretation, given in the Christian Science textbook (pp. 16,17), enables one to see that in the Science of the Christ there is no passive profession, impractical or indefinite thinking, no discouragement or vain hope. Viewed in Christian Science, prayer is a just acknowledgment of God and His Christ, or Science - what Truth is and what it does. It unites thought with action, words with service, prayer with healing, and obedience with loving-kindness. Through the daily study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, her followers have found an abundant measure of health, joy, and peace.

 

The Ministry of Truth

At this point it may interest you to hear about a healing accomplished entirely by Christian Science prayer. A young girl about fourteen years old was confined in a children's hospital where surgeons had pronounced her seriously ill of tuberculosis of the spine. Her parents were informed that in order to speed the healing it would be necessary to change a plastic cast for a solid one in which she must remain for a long period. During this time she would not be able to move any part of her body except her head and arms. Terrorized by the picture, the child and her parents questioned everyone they knew as to the possibility of other medical or surgical aids. An associate of her father, one who had been wonderfully benefited by Christian Science, asked him if he would be willing to trust his daughter to its care. He consented, as he felt anything would be better than the course proposed by the surgeons. The child appeared hungry for help and willingly took up the study of the Christian Science textbook. In several weeks she began to walk, unassisted. A few days later she realized that she was entirely well and normal in every way. The young girl then enrolled in a Christian Science Sunday School, where she learned somewhat of the process of her healing. About eight years have passed since she was cured of the illness and inability to walk. When seen a few months ago, she came running up to tell how permanent the cure had proved to be.

The healing was a direct result of Christian Science prayer or treatment, and the child's own obedient response in studying and applying the law of Love. "The Lord is my shepherd. . . . He restoreth my soul. . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Witnesses to the healing could not fail to see that whereas the young girl had passed through the valley, her spiritual sense of God had been renewed, her health restored, through prayer alone. Not a single other means of healing had been used.

The practice of Christian Science demonstrates the value of arousing human thought to a higher, more spiritual perception of the divine order, to a truer concept of religious service and what it means. Real Science knows no failure, cannot possibly agree to unanswered prayer. Supreme in being and perfect in nature its human demonstration must of necessity depend upon the receptivity and spiritual-mindedness of the student, his ability to understand, know love, and serve the good. Christian Science is an active religion, known best by its works. Fruitage is its very being, a substantial faith that ultimates in deeds or proof.

Some months ago it was my privilege to listen to a minister of an orthodox church as he publicly related an experience he had had. He told of an incident which had occurred in his church. It was of vital concern to him. His story helps to prove what earnest Christian men and women want and need, but do not always find where they are looking for it. One day a member of his congregation, a most sincere thinker, approached to ask him if it were not possible for one to thoroughly understand Christ Jesus and his wonderful works. Speaking to the minister he said: "Won't you please prepare a sermon filled with everything you know of Christ?" Joyously his pastor accepted the call. To the work he gave most consecrated effort.

The following Sunday after the discourse was given, the pastor retired to his study, eagerly awaiting the approach of the other man. Finally he came; but his steps were lagging, and in his eyes no glint of inspiration appeared. "What's wrong?" said the minister, "Didn't I please you? Have I not helped to remove the doubt?" The man replied: "That was the finest sermon I ever heard. For it I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Intellectually, I was greatly moved and thoroughly convinced. But I am sorry to say there is no real spiritual conviction. Is there no one to help me gain what I need?" What could that fine minister say to such an inquiry? Without the Science of religion and the proofs it provides in the actual healing of doubt, discouragement, and sin, could words, however sincere, intellectual, and honest, ever substitute for the deeds the Master did? Was not the man really asking for proof in religion, for a divine teaching, or scientific thinking wherein he could see himself working, receiving, and sharing ? "Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!" Intellectually convinced, but not spiritually convicted! What a call! And who is to answer? His spiritual adviser had done his best, and grieved to think that he might have failed. But could he have done better with the usual religious teachings, the orthodox creeds and doctrines which so long have bound even the most devout ministers and members of their congregations? Knowing this pastor and his honest effort, I must say he gave his very best.

One's heart goes out to these weary wanderers, while we still know they cannot search in vain. Somewhere along the way they are sure to find Science, Christ's healing religion with its practical proof. Spiritual desire must eventually find its perfect satisfaction in Truth and Love.

Briefly contrast this man's experience with that of the young girl, who, too, was longing for help. To her there must have been given more than just an inspiring sermon, for she was satisfied through restoration of hope, health, and joy. Christian Science had shown her how to receive the Christ which redeems and saves. Not intellectually convinced, but spiritually convicted was she, else how could the healing come and stay? Truth awakens the human thought. Prepared and ready, it receives its Saviour, and comprehends Christ's Christianity, the divine law and order of his words and works.

 

Soul and Salvation

"O Science. God-sent message

To tired humanity,

Thou art Love's revelation

Of Truth that makes us free.

Thy kingdom, God, within us

Shows forth Love's sweet control.

God's idea, man, rejoices;

He knows the reign of Soul.

Christian Science Hymnal, No. 221.

 

Christian Science teaches that God is Soul, and through spiritual sense you gain positive salvation. There is no contest in the real man. But mankind needs to learn how to put off the human for the divine, how to overcome doubt, discouragement, fear, the false claims of sin, disease, and death. Science shows that success in healing is perfect faith or confidence in God, acknowledgment of His eternal presence, His never-ending power and love. Christian Science urges mankind to accept its Saviour, to look for help in the Science of the Christ, as revealed to this age. It shows that there need be no secret, dark, or mysterious method of healing, or overcoming of evil, for Truth is the light of Love. It is here and cannot be hid. Through it we view, with understanding, the Master's mission, how scientifically he worked to redeem and restore. Christian Scientists are taught never to forget their calling. They realize that to them has come a definite responsibility to keep alive, through right thinking and pure living, the religion of Christ Jesus with its practical evidence of one Mind and one good. Now is the time, here is the place, forever is its promise in the words of Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 345): "When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick."

During the past several years it has been comparatively easy for many to accept beliefs of all kinds, feeling that they were working under unusual pressure, with little or no just compensation or reward. They think of themselves as victims of circumstances which they desire to control but believe they cannot. Within various civil, political, social, and industrial orders, they have watched what appeared as vain efforts to suppress fear, human hunger, and lack of work. Yielding to discouragement, this group, seemingly large, sometimes finds it easy to believe that God has forgotten them and their needs. But He has not, and would not, for that is not His way or nature. He loves. He is just. He cares for all.

Throughout this entire period there have been constant and continuous proofs of God's help and the effect of His law. Let us view that greater army of the employed, large groups of men, women, and even children, who have refused to accept evil as real or enduring, refused to believe there was no good, no work or pay. They must have trusted in God, their Father, must have known Him, at least in part, as Love. Loving and giving, not fearing or withholding, they have found, in good measure, the blessing of Christ. Oh, my friends, relate yourselves to the tender Shepherd, see your sonship in Christ, your protection in law. The Science of being is divine, not human; it is always at work, never fails to provide. You can well understand its purpose and meaning, know what Love is and what it does for man. Christian Science treatment helps immeasurably in establishing good, in demonstrating the true sense of divine fatherhood, sonship, brotherhood, and real manhood. Through it mortals awaken to put off successfully and progressively all thoughts or things which tend to limit or retard.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Believest thou this? If you do, you can never want for anything good. Go to your Father, divine Mind and Love. Seek in Principle, not in human beings, the solution of the problems of this world. Let the message of Truth, as revealed in Christian Science, be your guide and protection in all that you do. In Christlike faith, heavenly inspiration, and understanding, let us go forth to prove how Truth saves and heals.

But one may consistently ask, How is this to be done? Active participation in good works, courage to live a Christian life - and it certainly takes courage - the cultivation of a spiritual sense of God's law and gospel, a willingness to heed and obey. While not at all easy, because of the seeming human resistance, each one can prove for himself man's reflection of good.

 

One Shepherd and One Fold

"There were . . . shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.'' God's fold needs shepherds, needs care and protection, needs instruction in learning how to love and to serve. Christian Scientists welcome  every opportunity to preach His gospel. They love to think of the Bible and of Mrs. Eddy's writings as their shepherds, for they find in their teachings the complete revelation of Truth. To these books they go with all their problems, assured of comfort, peace, and joy. Study and application of the truth therein recorded never fails to give understanding and healing to those who refuse to wander without the fold. A perfect Shepherd, and an obedient, flock - what a lesson! Isn't it always easier to follow God than the devices of men?

Christian Scientists have discovered that it is, and they pray to know more of God's love as expressed in healing. They strive to reflect more and more clearly His Christ and their Leader's teachings, for in them they see the only permanent remedy for human ills. We pray that you may leave this lecture spiritually convicted in thought and purpose, that you may share more consciously in God's goodness, awake in Truth's likeness, to find yourselves, because of increased spiritual understanding, free men and women, healthy, happy, prosperous, living, loving, giving, healing in His name. "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." In the words of Mrs. Eddy (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p.162): "May the loving Shepherd of this feeble flock lead it 'gently into green pastures . . . beside the still waters.' . . . And may their faith never falter - their faith in and their understanding of divine Love."

Human hope and faith should join in nature's grand harmony, and, if on minor key, make music in the heart. - Mary Baker Eddy.

 

[Published in The Chicago Leader, Aug. 23, 1940.]

 

 

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