Christian Science: A Practical Daily Religion
John Henry Weer, C.S., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
John Henry Weer, C.S., of Brookline, Massachusetts, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science: A Practical Daily Religion," last evening under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice.
The lecturer was introduced by Ralph B. Scholfield, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
It gives me much pleasure to welcome you here tonight. The title of the lecture we are about to hear is "Christian Science: A Practical Daily Religion." From my own experience I know that Christian Science is a practical daily religion. But for Christian Science I should have fallen a victim to dreadful depression. Christian Science has given me health instead of frequent sickness. It has also done what all else failed to do, namely, to give me an object in life. This object is of a truly practical nature and is summed up in the words of the Psalmist: "That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations."
The practice of Christian Science shows us that as we are truly happy we give happiness to others. Similarly it shows that as we understand God to be the divine source of health, and that health is our divine legacy, we can bring healing to the sick and sorrowing.
And so I have found the practical religion of Christian Science to be neither a mystery nor a burden, but a joy and a vital impetus in my life. And I know that our lecturer will help you to seek and to find more of that vital impetus.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
There is a story about a couple of small boys who stood beside a sculptor, looking up at him as he used his mallet and chisel in carving a statue from a big block of marble. One little fellow said to the other. "Don't you wish you could do that? It must be awfully hard to do." The other boy answered, "Why, that isn't hard, he just knocks off what he doesn't need." Probably all of us would like to cast off something we do not need − poverty, sickness, sin, unlovely traits of character − any one or perhaps several of the things that impair our well-being. How to be rid of these is a question which has always perplexed humanity. Yet the source of freedom was clearly declared thousands of years ago to be God, "who," the Bible tells us, "forgiveth all thine iniquities; . . . healeth all thy diseases; . . . redeemeth thy life from destruction." It is distinctly in accord with the mission of Christian Science to apply that declaration to human affairs in a practical way.
The World's Need for Practical Christianity
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, has said (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 232): "This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture. Why, then" she asks, "should religion be stereotyped, and we not obtain a more perfect and practical Christianity?"
Christian Science reinstates and demonstrates the same divine Principle which Christ Jesus preached and practiced nineteen hundred years ago. And we should remember that his immediate disciples and their followers also demonstrated the same Principle during the next two or three centuries. It was then lost to human knowledge until rediscovered by Mrs. Eddy in 1866. Through this new-old religion divine Truth is practically applied to everyday human needs. As we learn of the supremacy of Truth we become the victor over human ills. Such a victory is not gained by self-will but must be won by surrender of old, outworn beliefs which hold mankind in bondage to sickness, sin, and death − and by realization of the allness of God, good.
The Way to Freedom in Christian Science
Mankind's search for health and happiness is continuous. It will go on until fulfillment of the Biblical promise that all shall know God and dwell in the harmony of His kingdom.
All the disappointments, defeats, unfulfilled hopes of men and women down through the ages have not been enough to fully discourage the human race. Why have not their endeavors brought a larger measure of freedom and happiness? Since the methods employed have all along been in accord with the theory of life and intelligence in matter, would it be illogical to question whether there might not be something wrong or lacking in those methods?
Christian Science answers that question with an unqualified, "Yes!" It goes further. It provides a comprehensive explication of the remedy for all human ills, in what is known as the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mary Baker Eddy. And it is the function of the Christian Science movement to make that remedy available to all in a practical, common-sense way.
It is not the will of a loving and all-wise God that His children should lack any needful thing. Christian Science says to you and to me and to everyone everywhere, "God, divine Love, is ever with you; He never neglects you, but always protects you; never punishes or afflicts, but rewards and heals − heals not alone tomorrow and next month and next year and so on, but heals today, this very hour." Surely, there can be no room anywhere in God's universe for anything unlike God. It is easy to believe, though, that one who had not had that great fact proved in his own experience or under his own observation might ask, "What about the visible evidences to the contrary − sickness, poverty, sinfulness, and their baneful effects on human existence?" Well, Christian Science rejects all testimony of the five physical senses on the ground that it pertains solely to mortal, material man − not to the real, spiritual man, the image and likeness of God, announced in the first chapter of Genesis.
An important point in the salvation of mankind from sickness, sin, and death is the distinction that must be made between Spirit and matter, or, in other words, the real and the unreal; the original, true account of creation as wholly spiritual − that is, like God, who is Spirit − and the later false account which says that God resorted to matter for creation of His own likeness. Mortal, material man is an illusion, the supposed product of the false creation depicted in the second chapter of Genesis as occurring when "there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." This in the face of the fact that creation of the real, spiritual man − the image and likeness of God − had already been correctly described in the first chapter of Genesis! These contradictory accounts cannot be reconciled, but Christian Science explains them and imparts a true concept of God, with a provable understanding of man's relation to God.
Mental Change of Base Is Way to Harmony
Man being the image and likeness of God, it is obvious that as we gain knowledge of God we gain also knowledge of our real selfhood, through transformation of thought. In Paul's Epistle to the Romans we read, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." That passage briefly describes the operation of Christian Science on the human mind, regeneration by an entirely mental process, independent of human will-power. As expressed in Science and Health (p. 162), "The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind."
Those who approach Christian Science to question and investigate open-mindedly usually find in it something that sounds reasonable and looks attractive. It seems to offer a way out of their difficulties. However, some think that to turn to Christian Science might deprive them of cherished ideals or practices, valued interests or associations. But that is not what happens. The process involves relinquishment, not dispossession. Practices and purposes are not taken away by Christian Science, they drop away as they are replaced by something better. For everything dropped something more desired takes its place. The happy experience of leaving false landmarks, entirely a mental process, proceeds so gradually and naturally that one feels no sense of loss but of gain. The process may be likened to the experience of a student at college. He does not obtain a full education in his freshman year. He is more likely to discover that there is a vast field before him and be inspired to push on. He does not lament the disappearance of his youthful misconceptions as they are displaced by his expanding knowledge of the subjects he studies. In that expanding, nothing true is impaired. His immature ideas and ignorant beliefs need to be reshaped by accurate knowledge. So it is with the student of Christian Science. Every step forward brings enlightenment and incentive for further endeavor. To those of you who have not yet embarked upon this experience, let me say to you in all earnestness that it offers to exchange your former concepts of God and His universe, including man − offers to exchange such concepts for better concepts − and to show you that you do not have to wait for God to do something for you. God has already done all. As there unfolds in human consciousness an understanding that divine Life, Truth, and Love are supreme − that sin, sickness, and death are unreal because they are not sanctioned by God − men gain salvation; that is, they are saved − from what? They are saved from the effects of their own erroneous beliefs. In this way the everlasting lessons in the Bible are practically applied to the solution of human problems.
The Bible Is Guide to Eternal Life
Christians in general believe that salvation from the difficulties confronting them today and those which they fear for the future is somehow obtainable through their Bible. Christian Science demonstrates that salvation is indeed available today, proportionate to one's relinquishment of beliefs of life and intelligence in matter and acceptance of the truths of spiritual existence.
In explaining how she set forth and demonstrated Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy declared that the Bible had been her only authority and guide. Christian Scientists love their Bible and study it intensively − the same King James Bible so widely used throughout Christendom − and take it as their guide to eternal life.
Right Endeavor Promotes Progress
To know God as immeasurably patient and tender, always right at hand − as combining in Himself every good and worthy attribute − is to love God above all else. No one need feel discouraged if his first steps in Christian Science do not immediately bring a workable understanding of Christian Science and a satisfying knowledge of God. Making a beginning is the first requisite. Progress follows in proportion to earnest and rightly directed endeavor.
Our desire to do right may not always lead us to exactly the best way, but experience teaches many helpful lessons. So, we need not feel any sense of defeat or failure if it becomes necessary to change or even reverse our course in any undertaking. If we recognize such experiences as a part of our education out of erroneous beliefs we will not indulge in self-condemnation or self-pity over misdirected efforts or unfulfilled expectations, once we have seen the error and corrected it.
It is a rule in Christian Science that we must appraise ourselves and others according to today's motives and efforts, not yesterday's.
In fact, much of human progress comes through learning what not to do. When being interviewed by a magazine writer, Thomas A. Edison once told that he and his assistants had made many hundreds of laboratory experiments in their efforts to perfect a certain invention on which he was then working, and still had not found the right way. That seemed rather bad to this journalist, and he expressed his sympathy to Mr. Edison. But he replied; "You need not feel sorry for us, for we now know hundreds of ways how not to do it and are that much nearer the right way."
Mistakes, misdeeds, miscalculations, misfortunes − all untoward experiences − result from erroneous thoughts, but these experiences are useful for the lessons they teach as scientific right thoughts lead to greater enlightenment.
At every step along a wrong course, God, divine Love, is right there. Sooner or later, as we read in Isaiah, "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
The Universal Operation of Divine Principle
Ever since Jesus walked among men, spiritually minded men and women have yearned for a renewed manifestation of the divine Principle which he understood and used in his healing ministry. Humanity has needed that great boon and still needs it. Many are now finding it in some measure through the study and practice of Christian Science. There was nothing mysterious, supernatural, or complicated in Jesus' work. It was his understanding of divine, spiritual law which enabled him to perform his mighty works. He did not create the power he derived from that law of Spirit. It had always existed and was and is operative everywhere. When Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am," he meant that his real spiritual selfhood, the image and likeness of God, had always existed. That same fundamental truth enabled him to say, "Lo, I am with you alway."
No one can conceive of any fact in mathematics as having a beginning or ending. No one can think far enough into the past or future to conceive of a single moment when seven times four could be anything but twenty-eight. Nor could anyone contemplate a single spot in the entire universe where the correct answer would be different.
If a miscalculation is made and set down in figures the mistake is mental, and it cannot rightly be blamed upon the figures. Nor is the erroneous calculation entitled to be called mathematics; it is a counterfeit, and when detected, a simple change in the figures records the correct answer.
A wrong thought of any kind is corrected when replaced by a right idea. That is what occurs in healing in Christian Science. Through illumination of human thought, scientific right ideas replace mental images of disease manifested on the body, of poverty manifested on the pocketbook, of sinfulness manifested in wrong actions, and so on. To the extent that men discern and understand the spiritual truth of man's eternal, harmonious oneness with God do they prove their dominion over the ills of mankind. The truth about man's relation to God and about man's harmonious existence is no more subject to deviation or impairment than is the mathematical fact that seven times four is
Furthermore, Jesus did not teach that from among the millions who have peopled the earth for uncounted years, God had selected a few favored individuals to be given dominion over evil − through the ministry of Christ Jesus. The Principle used by Jesus was and is available to everyone. This fundamental rule in Christian Science finds its warrant in Jesus' own declarations, recorded in the New Testament, such as, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."
Effect of Christianly Scientific Prayer
An entire chapter in Science and Health devoted to the subject of prayer begins with this statement (p. 1): "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, − a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love."
A Christianly scientific prayer is a prayer of affirmation as well as petition. It does not simply ask God to gratify some desire or grant relief from troublesome circumstances. It affirms that God knows and supplies our every need. It asks for light wherewith to apprehend the existing completeness and perfection of God's universe. Such prayer is not addressed to a far-away deity. God is seen as very near, as all-loving, a God who would withhold not one needful thing from His children. But Christian Science encourages no one to expect God to gratify selfish desires, which do not lead us closer to Him. Our desires must be in harmony with the divine plan if our prayers are to reach the Mind that knows all.
Healing Inharmony in Christian Science
We are also told in Science and Health (p. 269) that, "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." Those words pertain to an essential point in the healing in Christian Science of physical inharmony and all forms of error.
Healing of disease Jesus declared to be the proof of his divine selfhood, but his chief objective was to reform the thinking of men and thereby raise the standard of their words and deeds. Mrs. Eddy has declared (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 2), "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness."
Jesus' fellow citizens saw mortal man, subject to all forms of discord and suffering, but he beheld in Science the perfect man, the image and likeness of God. Because he saw above and beyond the counterfeit, he healed suffering humanity. In other words, he resolved "things into thoughts" and exchanged "the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul."
To emulate the works of Christ Jesus we must learn that notwithstanding the finite forms presented by the testimony of the physical senses we must look beyond these forms to behold the real man. A material body is not man, the image and likeness of God, Spirit. If it were, there would need to be as many gods as there are human beings, since no two of us are exactly alike. A material body, healthy or unhealthy, is merely the expression of a material, mortal mind. But hear these encouraging words from Science and Health (p. 254): "Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much," This educational system, Christian Science, is teaching mortals the world over, how to demonstrate the problem of real being; how to delineate upon their bodies thoughts of health rather than sickness; how to gain harmony where inharmony of all kinds seems to be.
The Discovery of Christian Science
As has already been mentioned,
Christian Science was discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, a cultured
Referring to events of the next few years, Mrs. Eddy has written (Science and Health, p. 109), "For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule."
In 1875, she first published her
book, Science and Health. From the time that book was written down to the
present day, men and women have been healed of many types of human ills by
reading its pages. Many thus healed had no previous knowledge of Christian
Science and no hope or expectation of gaining a healing. Yet they were released
from troublesome conditions of one kind or another − including chronic
cases of disease. Of course, the mere reading did not accomplish these
healings. The illumination of human thought, which came with the reading, did.
In 1895, Mrs. Eddy ordained the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to
the Scriptures" the impersonal pastor of The Mother Church, The First
Church of Christ, Scientist, in
In this connection, this interesting and inspiring definition of Church appears in the Glossary in Science and Health (p. 583): "The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.
"The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick."
The Christian Science church was founded by Mrs. Eddy to commemorate the word and works of the Master, with Christ, Truth, as its foundation and chief cornerstone. With such a spiritual foundation it is natural that the services of this church heal, because they conform to the description of Church as just given.
In addition to writing the textbook and founding her church, Mrs. Eddy established many activities within the church − including daily, weekly, and monthly periodicals − for making her discovery available to the whole world. One of these periodicals, by the way, is The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper, which is widely appraised by newspaper editors and other competent authorities as an outstanding example of efficient, clean, dependable journalism.
Another point worthy of mention in
connection with this particular topic is the fact that Mrs. Eddy did not claim
that Christian Science was something new, nor do her followers. For example,
the American continent was not created by Leif Ericsson, the venturesome
Norseman. The continent existed and he discovered it about the year 1000 and
God Is the Only Cause and Creator
Christians agree that God is the only cause and creator, but their concepts of what God is and how He governs His universe vary greatly. Based on the Biblical declarations of God as the only creator, and of His creation as good, Christian Science teaches that God is All-in-all; that He is divine Principle, Love; that He fills all space, is "all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal" (Science and Health, p. 587). This teaching is fundamental in the practice of Christian Science, whose adherents ask only that it be judged by its fruits.
For example, two young women − sisters − went to the office of a Christian Science practitioner. One went to ask for Christian Science treatment for a nervous condition. The other, afflicted with a painful organic difficulty, of many years' standing, for which she was regularly using material remedies, had no thought of seeking help in Christian Science − for she was there merely to assist her sister in making the call on the practitioner.
However, before she left, she did casually mention her case to the practitioner, who, in a kindly way, reassured her as to God's ability and readiness to heal. The young woman was pensive for a few moments, and then she remarked, "Well, that may be so, but God isn't here, and my medicine is, so I think I'll stick to the medicine." In the conversation which immediately followed, the practitioner so clearly explained God's ever-presence, and the impartial availability of divine Love for meeting every human need, that the young woman was then and there instantly healed of that organic disorder. And that the healing was complete and permanent is shown by the fact that it occurred more than twenty years ago and that the young woman has ever since been the picture of health.
She learned on that occasion, in a very definite way, about a practical religion, which not only teaches but proves the nearness of God, of whom we have already heard, in the quotation from the Bible, as He "who healeth all thy diseases" and "redeemeth thy life from destruction."
A correct concept of God is essential if we are to know Him and love Him for what He is and does. Some who had denied the existence of God have found Him through Christian Science by learning that their disbelief or skepticism had to do with an incorrect, impossible concept of God; perhaps as a mighty potentate, a magnified human being, dwelling in a remote kingdom in the sky. A rational, practical concept of God comes as we learn that He is Spirit, present everywhere; All-knowing Mind; eternal Life; unalterable Truth; infinite Love.
False concepts of God and man are obstacles to enjoyment of the blessings which are the rich heritage of God's children. How imperative it is that each one should know God! Such knowledge is the key to our very existence. Any sense of life apart from God, who is Life, is unreal. Christian Science teaches that God, infinite Mind, divine Principle, governs the universe, including man, in perfect and perpetual harmony. It demonstrates that a comprehensive knowledge of this fact is both needful and adequate for overcoming evil. It declares that it was such comprehensive knowledge that enabled Jesus to do the work which he said God sent him to do. It proclaims that harmony is attained by mankind in proportion as the human mind is transformed by spiritual understanding.
The unobtrusive yet effectual operation of Christian Science silences discord with harmony and brings a sense of calm and peace such as is expressed in these lines of the poet Longfellow:
"Let us then labor for an inward stillness, −
An inward stillness and an inward healing;
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions.
But God alone speaks in us, and we wait
In singleness of heart, that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will, and do that only."
Christian Science offers much to all sincere seekers. Its earnest students want to share the knowledge they have gained while expanding their own understanding. Profiting by Mrs. Eddy's expressed and proved love for the people of all faiths − religious, medical, and other − her followers would serve their fellowmen willingly and winningly, without insistence or ostentation. They lovingly invite their brothers and sisters the world over to at least investigate for themselves, free from prejudice, this revelation which is abundantly enriching human existence. In striving to let their lives attest their sincerity they have always this wise counsel from their Leader (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany. p. 247): "It is not a stern but a loving look which brings forth mankind to receive your bestowal, − not so much eloquence as tender persuasion that takes away their fear, for it is Love alone that feeds them." "Tender persuasion"! what a world of compassion, humility, and brotherly kindliness you and I can find woven into those two words. With an understanding heart, one who has learned and proved the nearness of God can do much by "tender persuasion" to alleviate the ills of mankind.
Those who have proved the practicality of Christian Science in human affairs rejoice in their privilege of having a part in disseminating the most glorious message that has come to mankind since Christ Jesus walked and talked with men.
Jesus Pointed Out the Way to Salvation
Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" showed his sympathetic recognition of the ills of mankind, also his ability to clearly describe the remedy. We all need salvation, and consciously or unconsciously, all are seeking salvation from circumstances and conditions that are afflictive, discordant, undesirable or, at least, unsatisfactory. Jesus pointed the way by his entreaty, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Thousands are learning that his appeal was not empty, as they apply it to their own affairs by the light which Christian Science throws upon the Scriptures. They rejoice in having found a practical religion for quieting forebodings, healing sickness, supplying daily needs, overcoming sinful habits, reforming unlovely traits, dissolving grief and sorrow, and arousing a greater love for their neighbors − all through learning more of the truth about God and man.
Any sincere seeker for Truth can find that he does not have to make the laws of divine Mind operate, that they are already operating. The presence of God, Mind, everywhere, insures the instantaneous, complete, and spontaneous operation of His divine law of harmony. It means much to learn that we are not the objects of chance but subject to the unerring direction of divine Mind. Its authority being divine, it includes in itself all the power there is along with all the intelligence there is, and is mellowed and hallowed by all the love there is, because these are attributes of God.
Need for Beholding the Perfect Man
With spiritual enrichment of thought there comes a desire to know ourselves and our neighbor aright. An essential element of Christian Science practice is persistent seeking to behold man as God knows him. That is what Jesus did. Thereby he healed multitudes − not just scattered individuals, but multitudes − and he healed them of all kinds of disease and deformity. As described in the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 476), "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." Everyone needs to learn that material man is not the real man who always has been, is now, and always will be healthy, holy and happy. Here is a never varying rule and an always reliable promise in Christian Science (Science and Health, p. 261): "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." Without a doubt that message has brought comfort and courage and confidence − and on more than one occasion − to many in this audience, and in the simple, logical, practical method which those words indicate you and I can reject wrong thoughts, from which many of our troubles come, and find the way to salvation.
When any false belief, based on the claim of a power or intelligence apart from God, seeks recognition it is our privilege and duty to reject it. God has given us the ability to reject it, regardless of its origin or type. Mrs. Eddy assures us (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 83): "If the error which knocks at the door of your own thought originated in another's mind, you are a free moral agent to reject or to accept this error; hence you are the arbiter of your own fate."
That assurance is not mere theory; it is provable in Christian Science.
Teachings of Jesus Fully Accepted
The prominent place which Christian Scientists give to Christ Jesus is indicated by the religious tenets of Christian Science. Three of these are devoted entirely or partly to acknowledgment of the divinity of Christ, the atonement of Jesus, and of his resurrection and ascension as demonstrating eternal life.
The distinction made in Science between Christ and Jesus is shown by Mrs. Eddy's definition of Christ as (Science and Health, p. 583), "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error," and her definition of Jesus as (ibid., p. 589): "The highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man's immortality."
Christian Scientists acknowledge Christ as the divine Spirit which animated Jesus and enabled him to demonstrate the Principle of eternal Life. They accept the teachings of Christ Jesus in their entirety. They strive to prove that his promise, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also," as already quoted, is as applicable today as when it was first uttered. They rejoice in their measurable success, attested by numberless written and oral testimonials of healing. They know that as their understanding grows their healings will be quicker and more certain. In all their healing work they gratefully acknowledge Christ Jesus as "The Wayshower."
Surmounting Adversity In Christian Science
If adversity suddenly confronts you, you will find it worth while to banish fear by remembering that since God is everywhere, good is everywhere, and that consequently a right solution is at hand. Such an attitude insures you a peaceful and intelligent approach to the problem. It will provide you with a happier outcome proportionate to your clear reliance upon the one, all-knowing, divine Mind.
The value of Christian Science in emergencies is seen in the fact that its action being the operation of divine Truth, we do not have to vitalize it, but to adopt it for our needs. As light unfailingly extinguishes darkness so does Truth annihilate error. As knowledge irresistibly supplants ignorance, so does good overcome evil. There is nothing obscure or complicated in Christian Science. It is usable alike by the sick and the healthy, the poor and the rich, the child and the adult, the kindergarten pupil and the college student, irrespective of social or scholarly attainments.
A little girl, a pupil in a Christian Science Sunday School, was taken suddenly ill with severe pains in her ear. When her mother asked if she wanted a doctor she said, "No, mother, I want a practitioner, but until she comes please read to me from Science and Health and I will be all right." This quieted the fears of the mother, who had not yet begun the earnest study of Christian Science, and she read aloud from a certain page, as directed by the little girl. Both were comforted, and the child was healed. Her Sunday school training had prompted her to seek divine aid and she received it. On the page to which the child had directed her mother is this passage which the little girl had learned in Sunday school (p. 14): "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, − neither in nor of matter, − and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well." By reading and accepting the scientific truths expressed on the pages of this book, many men and women, with no prior knowledge of Christian Science, have had their consciousness so illumined by spiritual light that they have literally found themselves suddenly well − healed of acute and chronic sicknesses. What they have obtained is available to all, since God, good, is impartial in bestowal of His love. His omnipresence makes null every claim of evil for all who yield themselves to the healing power of Truth.
Man's God-Given Dominion Over Evil
But we are to remember that evil has no power of its own with which to disfigure or destroy, to cause deterioration or decrepitude, or to rob man of a single iota of his God-given dominion. Evil can only try to do these things. It seems to succeed sometimes but by a partnership to which it contributes only counterfeit claims while we contribute credulous acceptance of its claims. It isn't what error tries to do to us but what we do to it that counts most. Evil is always lawless. It persistently seeks to rob us of our God-bestowed heritage by deceiving us. When evil has once deceived us and we have found it out, we should be alert enough to see that it does not fool us again − in the same way, at least! When one has learned that evil is powerless in the presence of Truth it can no longer delude. Its false claims are nullified in proportion to our realization of God's omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience − His power, presence and wisdom.
In Science, we learn that "error, when found out, is two-thirds destroyed" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 210). It is then our duty to complete its nullification by refusing to believe its false claims of power to give pleasure or pain, to be harmful or attractive. Each idea of divine Mind has the intelligence to detect and the ability to nothingize all that is evil, to discern and realize all that is good.
When the man blind from his birth was healed by Jesus, the neighbors were skeptical, even scornful. They subjected this former blind man and his parents to an unfriendly questioning, such as would have confused them and destroyed their joy if their convictions had not been based on solid proof. But the man who was now seeing for the first time, finally gave an answer which will continue as a challenge down through the centuries: "One thing I know," said he, "whereas I was blind, now I see;" "If this man [Jesus] were not of God, he could do nothing."
Likewise, there are multitudes today, gaining spiritual vision through Christian Science, who can say, "Whereas we were blind to the presence of God, good, and to the availability and impartiality of divine Love, now we see that in proportion to our understanding of God we can prove the words of Jesus, 'Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.' " And thereby they are testifying to the practical Christianity of Christ Jesus, which is now restored to this age.
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 21, 1937.]