Christian Science: Its Healing Power
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
Mrs. Elizabeth McArthur Thomson, C.S.B., of St. Louis, lectured on "Christian Science: Its Healing Power" Tuesday evening in the Murat Theatre, under the auspices of the First Church Christ Scientist. Mrs. Thomson is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. The lecturer was introduced by Mrs. Lottie E. Klintworth. Her lecture follows substantially as it was given:
The question, What is Truth, and where may it be found? comes to us today in many interesting forms. The constant inquiry into the cause and cure of war, accident, sin, sickness, and death indicates humanity's desire to discover the facts regarding human conditions, and to establish a successful method of healing.
To some, the human effort to find Truth, the truth about man and the universe, may appear only as wishful thinking. But wiser men and women will view all honest search throughout the fields of science, theology, and medicine with due respect for both the work and the worker. Everyone is interested in healing. But how to heal and be healed, that is a question still being asked by many persons even after centuries of exploration, analysis, and experimentation along practically every material course.
Christian Science, the perfect Science of living, reveals that God in His inspired Word has provided the perfect answer to every human question, together with the only permanent method of cure. Awaiting the time when all mankind will recognize the truth of being and be healed, true Scientists will go on faithfully working, without fear or discouragement, without acceptance of the thought of failure or defeat. Christian Science shows that war, accident, sin, sickness, and death can disappear from the earth. Realizing that nothing but a spiritual knowledge and understanding of God, Truth, will lead the world out of its distressing conditions, wise men and women will make even more vigorous efforts to know, reflect, and express the truth which God has revealed through this Science, which all can comprehend and use.
Christ Jesus, the greatest thinker and worker of all times, as he stood accused of the Jews, and awaited Pilate's question, "What is truth?" made probably the greatest proclamation of healing of his or any age. Hear his words and consider their import: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." Christian Science has appeared in this age to reveal the truth to which Jesus referred. And from its study and practice we learn that the end of Jesus' work was the demonstration of harmonious, eternal life; and that the cause for which he came, his mission in the so-called human experience, was the proof of man's complete unity with and expression of the one God who is Love.
Jesus taught that the power he reflected came from no human source, that it was never dependent upon any material agency or organization. Rather did he continually declare that all real power had its origin in divine Principle, the source of all true being. Shortly before the crucifixion, the Master substantiated this fact through his words: "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one." One in what? One in divine Spirit, in spiritual authority and power, one in acknowledgment of the real source of good. Jesus' words indicate that he recognized that not only he himself but everyone possesses the intelligence and ability to discern the one good, and, thereby, understand and demonstrate scientific healing with its provision of true substance or supply. Through a perfect consciousness of his relation to the Father, Jesus went on to prove the utter powerlessness of evil of every sort.
The spiritual understanding of God as Father, and of man as son or idea of God, enabled Jesus - and will enable us - to meet every condition with a consciousness of victory over evil. It is both correct and normal to anticipate health in body and mind, success in work, and a peace on earth that is just and secure.
A demonstration of true Science will bring to mankind a sense of brotherhood that can never be overthrown. Mortal mind, so called, with its legions of erroneous suggestions and wrong methods of work, would have us believe that Christianity - and those who practice it - is powerless before the hosts of evil. But the inspired Word of the Bible, combined with the teachings of Christian Science, will continue to refute all such false claims. The certainty of the divine Word, and the positive surety of its ultimate fulfillment, find ready admission and acceptance by those who refuse to acknowledge evil as permanent and real.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science, loved God above all else. A most intelligent and spiritually minded person from early youth, Mrs. Eddy kept up her search for the ultimate cause of all things, and looked hopefully for the permanent cure of human ills. That her search was not in vain is proved by her own marvelous healing, as well as the healing of thousands of those who have adopted her teachings.
Mrs. Eddy, in prayerful contemplation of the Bible and of our Master's teachings, finally realized that work so great as that of the early prophets and that of our Saviour must have had its beginning in a divine law that is absolute, supreme, and irrevocable. Mrs. Eddy was certain that no human condition or provision could have brought forth such a man as Jesus, the Christ, with his wonderful method of healing. Cured as she was by spiritual means alone in 1886, she began to see that nothing outside of perfect, unchangeable, divine law or order could provide the means whereby the Saviour lived, worked, and healed.
After years of study and research, Mrs. Eddy saw with spiritual clarity the underlying Principle and rule of scientific being, saw Truth as it is, with its healing power. Her nature being what it was - wholly unselfish, and filled with love for God and mankind - she could not possibly be satisfied to rest alone in her discovery and healing. She must go on with the work, and share the blessing with all mankind.
The orderly footsteps taken by our Leader, the crosses and persecutions she endured over the years, could not be outlined within the scope of one lecture. One would have to know each step of Mrs. Eddy's human experience to appreciate, even in a degree, what our Leader endured and overcame in her efforts to discover and reveal the truth. But what she found in the inspired Word of the Bible prepared and fortified her for the work she was divinely led to do. The truth of being, which Jesus revealed - hidden as it had been for centuries under a mass of material observances and literal interpretations almost devoid of the spirit - dawned upon Mrs. Eddy's consciousness, and in the clear light of divine revelation, she saw what could be and must be done for mankind.
It was not long after her discovery that Mrs. Eddy realized what the work required in self-offering and self-sacrifice. Undaunted, she rose above almost heart-breaking human situations and conditions. Through her own reflection of the divine consciousness, Mrs. Eddy was able to shut out the personal sense of hardship and suffering.
Aided by God alone, Mrs. Eddy was able to write the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It is the textbook which provides for all mankind a spiritual, practical pattern and method of Christianly scientific teaching and healing. Thousands do know what our Leader has done. Few, if any, realize what her discovery and work entailed. Ridicule, condemnation, isolation, desertion by family and friends - these were a few of the things our Leader endured. But out of the years of patient study, prayer, and self-sacrifice, there has come in our age this great healing agency. It is Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, the perfect Science of Life, Truth, and Love.
Jesus prayed that God's kingdom, the manifestation of divine power, would be realized here on earth as in heaven. Christian Science proves that the reign of absolute good is at hand, and that God's power can be demonstrated. Mrs. Eddy has given to the world its greatest present-day blessing. And some day the whole world will give back to her genuine gratitude for the work she has done. Her followers are doing this now every time they think and express the pure idea of Truth,
Speaking of her discovery, Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health. Pref., p. viii): "The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration, - by healing both disease and sin; and this demonstration shows that Christian healing confers the most health and makes the best men. On this basis Christian Science will have a fair fight." And a few pages farther on she states (p. x): “The author has not compromised conscience to suit the general drift of thought, but has bluntly and honestly given the text of Truth. . . .
By thousands of well-authenticated cases of healing, she and her students have proved the worth of her teachings.” After all, what better proof could one have than the healing of thousands? Curing the sick, as well as the needy and sinning - is not that sufficient proof of the right idea of God and His work for man?
Mrs. Eddy looked deep into spiritual reality, and discovered the glorious signification of the inspired Word, or the divine law. In it, she recognized the Principle of true being and living. Seeing that God is infinite goodness, recognizing and accepting the light that never fails, Mrs. Eddy was able to provide for mankind the thing that it needs. Her discovery and teachings reveal how spiritual-mindedness, so native to all good men, women, and children, could and should be used at all times.
Spiritual consciousness saved Mrs. Eddy's life after physicians had pronounced a death sentence from the effects of a fall. Christian Science, as revealed by Mrs. Eddy, will continue to bring to those who fully accept it the greatest blessings. All religiously minded persons prove the truth of being in some measure. Christian Science helps mankind to demonstrate freedom along every line.
Present-day conditions present a great need for intelligent, spiritual direction in everyday affairs. That mankind requires more than merely human planning and help is quite evident to all who see as they should. Were we to submit to the general thought regarding world war, sickness, and limitation, we might easily be made to believe that there is no way out.
The various claims of the carnal mind, with its evil suggestions and acceptance of a power other than good, would tend to discourage even the best of thinkers. But all true Christians will refuse to rely upon the verdict of error. Christian warriors will continue to prove that goodness and spirituality are always more powerful than any so-called carnal thinking, planning or weapon. Firm in his faith that God is always at hand to protect and to govern, the Christian Scientist accepts his spiritual responsibility as well as his so-called human duties. He remains steadfast at his post, and works regularly for the redemption and permanent healing of all mankind.
He is willing to lay down a false human sense of life to take on a living, purer consciousness of himself, his friend, and his brother. Every Christian Scientist worthy of the name is constantly helping to correct the illusions and delusions of material sense, helping to destroy the false concept of God and man. Through his own powerful right thinking and action, such a one will continue to render effective spiritual service.
In all work for ourselves and others we can anticipate a substantial lessening of the so-called forces of evil until there is absolutely no sin, disease, or death to be overcome. Christian work requires a large measure of universal love and understanding, as well as great patience in the persistent effort to manifest more of the spirit of Truth. God's warriors, His beloved sons and daughters, are armed with divine Love. Love's weapons are the ideas of Truth, and they are more powerful than any claim of evil.
Christian Science teaches that man reflects all that God is and all that He has. Knowing that there are indispensable human footsteps yet to be taken, the Scientist avails himself, at the present time, of every conceivable thought of goodness, small though it may appear to be. From the standpoint of present acceptance of the one God, the one Spirit, he proceeds and progresses into a life that is richer in divine substance and love.
Science enables us to perceive that the only real universe is the universe of Spirit, and that mortals must finally accept the government of divine, impartial Love. The Christian Scientist is willing to work and to wait until all are ready to accept the divine law and order while he looks to the Christ to chart the course of his own life. The promise of Holy Writ for the world, with the fulfillment of divine prophecy, finds ready acceptance by all true Scientists.
Claims of warring nations and of sick, sinning, or discordant humanity should be met with thoughts of Truth and Love. Let us pray with a consciousness of present-day spiritual blessing, and prove by our thought and deeds that we have found the way. The whole world awaits the completed demonstration of divine Science. Seeking the pure ideas of Truth and abiding in Spirit, we can prove that we have found the light which does not fail.
We cannot progress by attempting to tear down another's good work or sincere effort. We must be willing to let God destroy evil in His own good time and way. Humanly speaking, our footsteps should be those which indicate not only a full recognition of every good measure, but a positive assurance of relief from all phases of materiality through man's perfect reflection of the divine Mind. God will annihilate everything or thought unlike Himself. We can rest in that spiritual fact.
To this end - for the destruction of evil - was Christian Science born. And for the Cause of Truth, we too, like Jesus, the Christ, and the Discoverer of Christian Science, must be willing to work as faithful witnesses to the teachings of Truth. God never deserts His loyal followers. Of that fact there is abundant proof not only in the Bible, but in the lives of all those who have proved that they love only good. Christlikeness among men will always bring blessing and healing, and bring to fulfillment the promises of the inspired Word.
It is true that evil or ungodly thinking has no place in God's plan for the redemption and healing of mankind. But divine Spirit with loving-kindness does provide a purifying way. Why? Because Principle, the source of all creation, never ceases to bless and to cherish. Such is the nature of Love and the result of its law. Even wayfaring men, fools, or those seemingly ignorant of God's direction can awaken to the truth about themselves and be healed. Science shows that mankind can rid itself of the grime and the soil of carnality, for God is available to all.
For all human ills He provides the necessary spiritual knowledge and understanding. His way of salvation through His Science is safe and sure. Through His inspired Word and the teachings of Mrs. Eddy, Love gives the required discipline and correction. But with Truth comes also joy and healing. Man never need fear the workings of God.
We may think of ourselves as wayfaring ones and sometimes even fools, because of the things we may have said or done. But God knows us only as His blessed and obedient children, and as such we are never outside of His care and His love. In Holy Writ, as interpreted by Christian Science we discover man's true selfhood and place. It is a selfhood capable of representing true affection and wisdom in healing, coinciding with good judgment in the order of human affairs. To everyone in bondage to sin, sickness, or limitation there can come a vision of Christ and its healing power. In the words of one great humanitarian, "Man must be free to find God in his own way; and when he finds God, he finds truth; and that truth makes him free."
Yes, freedom to find God is our greatest blessing. But it must be by way of God's appointment, else failure ensues at the start, and the end is not good. Spiritual sense is our best guide for the journey, for it takes us away from worldly sense into heaven-filled Soul. We desire much good, do we not? Then we must be prepared and ready for service. In that service, spiritual sense will always be our best guide and protection. Relying on Truth, we cannot fail to heal and be healed.
In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 298), "Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality." Let us consider briefly each of these necessary qualities.
Viewed humanly, the use of "intuition" might be construed by some as an impractical measure, one without good sense or usefulness. Mortals generally are quite skeptical to the value of intuition, relegating it rather to the supernatural or impractical method of solving human problems and affairs. But in Science intuition is recognized as a quickening spirit, as the active exercise of divine consciousness, an exercise so much needed by all.
Inherent in all the sons and daughters of God, and only awaiting acknowledgment and acceptance by mortals, the quality of divine intuition proves to be one of the most useful in overcoming the claims of the flesh. True intuition is an angelic message coming directly from God, from divine Mind. To hear His voice, heed and use the quickening spirit, is to become conscious of good and what it provides. As we cultivate and exercise spiritual intuition, we shall have less and less cause for grumbling. Our complaints will disappear in a true vision of Love.
The term "hope" seems to need but little explanation, for mankind knows quite well its value and help. Hope, in Science, is inspired by the truth of being. It is joyful anticipation of continued health and success. Real hope waits upon God, with an all-pervading sense of the accompaniment of Truth. Scientists view hope as never senseless or useless, but as alive with joy and always productive of good. Hope must precede a staunch faith in scientific healing, precede a faith which can prove that God is impartial Love.
"Faith," in reality, is absolute reliance upon the one Mind, the all-good. True faith has its birth in the rule of Principle. And the divine order shows that the human sense of faith must prove itself worthy of love. Scientific faith embodies not only trustfulness, but trustworthiness. As such, our confidence in God will have its proof of infinite good. Absolute faith, Science shows, is complete spiritual understanding, the quality named next in the pattern of Love.
In Science, "understanding" is perfect spiritual consciousness, a true knowledge of God, which excludes all but the good. Understanding is the intelligent concept of Love, of Love that has no thought of sin, materiality, or carnality, but is conscious of God-given health and harmony, of good will among men. Real spiritual understanding is productive of all the good that is apparent in divinity. Therefore, in exercise or demonstration of that quality, we can aid in bringing to human consciousness the best there is - the best in thought, in work, and in substance or supply. We can have fruitage of the right kind. And Christian Science provides it in a service to the one God whom Scientists understand to be the one Father and Mother of all.
"Fruition" is a term dear to every Scientist, because in it he discerns the definite provision of Love.
As God, Spirit, sees and gives only good, so the real man, His perfect image and likeness, must partake of an abundance of right ideas which are productive of good in full measure. God, being what He is, His creation, the real man and the real universe, must be the perfect reflection of divine goodness and love, with a plentiful harvest of right ideas or things. True being is explained in Christian Science, and there we see reality for what it is.
The term "reality" may seem difficult to explain, but in Science the word is used to express the absolute truth. Probably it is the thought which the human being most resents, because reality, like its Principle or source, rejects every erroneous sense of a person, a place, or a thing. Reality is grounded upon absolute Being. Not an atom of matter, or false thought of human being, not a single sense of that which is untrue, unreal, or limiting can exist in the realm of absolute Truth. Reality includes only health, harmony, and immortality.
Where but in a perfect Science could one find such revelation and teaching? Christian Science presents the opportunity to demonstrate that man is free, unlimited, and joyous. The real man is without envy or hate. In humble gratitude we can well thank God for the work of Christ Jesus and that of our Leader. Through membership and service in the Church of Christ, Scientist, we can give sustaining evidence of our allegiance to Truth and of our willingness to promote good through our beloved Cause. Membership in church and activity in our movement have brought endless blessings to God's faithful ones.
Without a true sense of the Science of being, one is left well-nigh stranded before the claims of mortal birth, human life, and untimely dying, with their many false beliefs. To escape these illusive and delusive suggestions, one is compelled to look beyond the so-called sciences of the world. The ways of mortal belief have done little to prevent illness, want, and the destructions of war. Today we are faced with the necessity to manifest a higher degree of intelligence, a larger sense of universal love, a more compassionate tolerance, and a courage that does not fail. The brotherhood of man must supersede the idolatrous worship of persons or nations.
Scientists are learning to speak the word of Truth with more and more conviction. They recognize evil for what it is; not as a reality, but as a definite false claim operating through mortal consciousness in clever, deceptive ways. But as one writer announces, "All evil bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction." With this fact in mind we can advance fearlessly against all forms of error.
Materiality, carnality, with its warring weapons, today is claiming that the Christian way of living is fast disappearing from the face of the globe. That is a lie. But to prove it so, one must do more than just wishful thinking. One must think and act as possessing all power over evil, and continue to demonstrate in a divine service that the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man are practical ideas which have their proof in a pure Science.
There is wise counsel in Mary Baker Eddy's words (Science and Health, p. 29): "Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing." The Christian sword is the pure and perfect idea of Truth, and through its use, evil beliefs are uncovered, removed, and destroyed.
There is unquestionable evidence that our Leader recognized the work that had to be done if the whole world was to be freed of fear, greed, hate, and destruction. Mrs. Eddy's demonstration in her own life, combined with the proof of her work in the lives of her loyal followers, witnesses to the fact, and presents conclusive evidence, that the exercise of God-given intelligence and spirituality is the most powerful weapon mankind can use in establishing freedom and peace. To know the fact about error is very different from accepting it and indulging in evil. Scientists do not overlook war, sickness, sin, or death. But they refuse to believe that these false claims are inevitable, a necessary part of human experience.
Scientists know that the power of God is ever present and that it can be manifested right here on earth. Mrs. Eddy's followers anticipate the triumph of Truth over diabolical beliefs and workings. They are confident that the Cause of Christian Science, moving forward under the spiritual animus of divine, impartial Love, will continue to prosper and spread its glorious fruitage upon earth and humankind.
In the Bible, in the fifteenth chapter of Luke's Gospel, there is presented a most interesting study. In it we may view the three forms or modes of evil most generally accepted by humankind. Jesus' parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, as related by Luke, provide profitable study and bring helpful lessons for us all. Silly, ignorant, and malicious modes of wrongdoing might reasonably be the interpretation of the means of evil represented in the straying sheep, the lost money, and the wayward son.
It is silly, though human thought may suggest it as an innocent adventure, to wander away from a shepherd and a pasture which are providing all that one needs. The lost sheep was not compelled to leave the protecting fold. The lamb's silly idea of perhaps greener pastures away from the shepherd must have brought a testing time and a return under many thoughts of loneliness and fear. Nevertheless, the shepherd was always there awaiting only recognition and obedience. And the silly little lamb was soon restored to the fold. Better never to have left Love's protecting arm, but good to see the possibility of return.
In the parable of the lost coin we may see a woman's plight as she swept the house in search of that which had seemingly disappeared. No doubt, the labor brought beneficial training. Yet, the use of intelligence and the exercise of a right sense of memory would have prevented the so-called trial. To lose the coin, and then have to spend time in searching, surely isn't the best way to think and act. But even so, while under the belief of deprivation or frustration, one can still prove that divine Mind is at hand.
Is it not human ignorance of Truth which causes all our losses, and is not the remedy a conscious reflection of the divine Mind? Our own worldly affairs, like those of the above mentioned woman, demand more intelligent thought and action. We do not need to lose what we have and then spend hours in recovery.
Truth teaches that it is possible, yes, necessary, to protect our supply, of good. As we recognize the value of a divine reliance and an intelligent approach to the human problem, less and less time will be spent in useless seeking. Yet we, too, like the woman, can rejoice that the lost can be restored. We should rejoice in the fact that ignorance will finally yield to spiritual enlightenment. Through the lesson of the woman there can come much useful teaching. The coin, evidently representing something very good, was found, but its recovery entailed work that could have been avoided. Divine Love, through its Science, shows that there is a better way.
Only a clear, divine realization of the absolute fact of being can help us to understand the parable of the prodigal son. Full of meaning and of great help to those who would know and demonstrate man's true relationship to his Father, this parable is a healing sermon which one does well to study and to heed. The dissipation and wastefulness of so-called mortal or carnal minds are sorry things to contemplate.
Science shows that to the thought which willingly yields itself to evil there must come the necessary awakening. Either through sufficient suffering, or through an acceptance of divine Science, mankind partakes of the lessons it needs. Prodigality in any form should have its correction. Love asks nothing of us but what we can give. The schooling which comes through the discipline of a true education is Love's way of proving our worthiness to receive.
'"Over a wounded sense of its own error, let not mortal thought resuscitate too soon," counsels Mrs. Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 146).
Why? Because the practice of Science proves that a too quick release from spiritual discipline and training may cause human thought to revert again to its own carnal ways. We can well let evil be destroyed in accordance with the divine order. It is true, as the parable illustrates, that perfect Love, as represented by the Father, does welcome home and bountifully provide for the returning penitent. But only after, not before, the prodigal, himself, sees the evil in his own thinking, and humbly praying for forgiveness, seeks the right way home.
How often human thought yields to silly, ignorant, and malicious forms of evil! But such a course is not necessary, and Christian Science shows why. All can learn to work and pray as Jesus did. The Master's prayers healed the sick and the sinning, and met every human need with a proof of divine Love. We must not be misled by error's claims and boastings. They are lies which can and will be destroyed by the faithful followers of the inspired Word.
Speaking of the scientific practice of Jesus, Mrs. Eddy writes (Retrospection and Introspection p. 92), "The method of his religion was not too simple to be sublime, nor was his power so exalted as to be unavailable for the needs of suffering mortals, whose wounds he healed by Truth and Love." Glorious words, not only of promise, but replete with the consciousness of practical fulfillment here on earth. Right desire and consistent, persistent prayer are the best means of salvation. It is thus that the healing works of Christian Science are made to appear.
Let me tell you of a healing accomplished entirely by Christian Science prayer, or treatment. The man of whom I speak became interested in Science through the instantaneous healing of his wife, of a congenital hip and pelvic condition. Shortly after this healing, the man was seized by a most insidious suggestion, namely, that he, himself, could no longer carry on his work because of inability to concentrate and think. He was an officer of a large company, holding a well-paid position. Heretofore he had commanded the respect and admiration of his superior officers, who looked to him for great progress in the business. Growing more and more fearful and disturbed at the condition of his thought, the man came to a state bordering on complete mental collapse, alarming to his superiors and other co-workers,
Before relying entirely upon Christian Science, he was encouraged to seek a medical diagnosis. The physician's verdict revealed low blood pressure, a run-down physical condition, with other complications. A short time after the medical examination, a case of appendicitis became apparent. Wavering between medical practice and Christian Science treatment the man reached a state of despair which culminated in a desire for self-destruction. With suicide in thought, one day he climbed to the top of a building in a great city, from which he had decided to leap. As he was about to do so, his thought turned for an instant to review what he had seen and known of Christian Science healing. Instead of jumping, there came to him an irresistible desire to see a practitioner. Yielding to the better thought, he telephoned for an appointment, and was urged to come at once for help. The patient and loving counsel and work of the practitioner finally resulted in complete healing.
Claims of incompetency, severe pains, beliefs of lack due to many absences from his office, discord in the home which had developed from a divided thought - all these false claims yielded to a pure consciousness of health and harmony that has been permanent. In the man's own words: "The healing brought a greater manifestation of power and ability than I had ever known before. This truer sense of good brought in its wake a large bonus from the company, with added monthly compensation, which has ended a thought of limitation covering many years." Fear, discouragement, pain, and inharmony have been overcome. As the man remarked, "I now know what Nehemiah meant when he said, 'The people had a mind to work.' " True selfhood, and with it, proper self-control, have come to this man through God's perfect Science. This man is now experiencing freedom in health and abundant supply. Through Mrs. Eddy's revelation he has learned that all is well in God's kingdom, and that is the place in which he must stay.
Centuries ago, the great Roman scholar, Pliny, spoke of the early Christians as "binding themselves by a sacramentum to commit no kind of crime" (Hastings' Bible Dictionary). In those days the word "sacrament," as applied to a Roman soldier's oath, had an unusual meaning. Translated into English it reads: "We were called to the warfare of the living God in our very response to the sacramental words" (ibid.).
What a calling! In her writings, Mrs. Eddy quotes the early scholar, Pliny, in his description of the character of true greatness, as follows (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 150): "Doing what deserves to be written, and writing what deserves to be read; and rendering the world happier and better for having lived in it." She adds to this thought one of her own and says, "Strive thou for the joy and crown of such a pilgrimage - the service of such a mission." What better example for a life of Christian character!
The Christ is at hand, and the holy warfare is glorious. There is no need to fear, for divine Love is always near. To human sense, the so-called ships of state may seem to strike troubled waters. "Be not afraid, only believe," said the greatest healer, minister, and statesman of all times. Not to be afraid, but to love, understand, and use the Science of the Christ! Would not the result be the same as it was with Jesus - a complete dominion over evil, with a victory that is beneficial to all humankind?
The followers of Mary Baker Eddy fully subscribe to the teachings of the Master, and to the religious Tenets of the Christian Science organization. In accordance with the last of these Tenets (Science and Health, p. 497), "we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure."
The king of a great country recently chose as a benediction for his people, at an hour of apprehension and travail, the words of a poet: "I said to a man who stood at the gate of the years: 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown,' and he replied: 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.' " To these beautiful words, may I add one of Mrs. Eddy's references to Jesus' work and our part in it (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 92): “May we unloose the lachets of his Christliness, inherit his legacy of love, and reach the fruition of his promise: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ ”