Christian Science: God's Great Gift to Man

 

John Weer, C.S.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

In Jesus' conversation with a woman of Samaria, at Jacob's well, he said to her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."

"If thou knewest the gift of God," said he. God's gift differs from material gifts, for it is not subject to rejection — it must be accepted ultimately, by everyone. In our blindness and self-assertiveness we may withhold acceptance and postpone a gracious yielding to the valid demands of divine law. But in ignoring the "gift of God" we deceive ourselves, for it is always at hand and is ours now. Paul declared, "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Full enjoyment of this gift awaits a change of thought on our part. That change is going on in human consciousness continuously, unfolding to each one, in proportion to his receptivity to Truth.

Christian Scientists are convinced that they have found "the gift of God," and their conviction is supported by the regenerating effect of Christian Science on human lives. This is a divine revelation, not something of human devising nor a personally contrived system. It is from the source of "every good gift and every perfect gift;" these, the Apostle James tells us, are "from above, ... from the Father of lights." This "good gift ... from above" is free to all. No one has to go anywhere to obtain it. No one has to wait for a future time. The time and the place are established. They are here and now, since God is everywhere; and wherever God is, His "good gift" is.

 

The Seed of Truth

Christian Science exerts a vital influence in the lives of all who earnestly seek to follow its rules, and they find it a real privilege to share its blessings with those who have a listening ear. They have the incentive expressed in a much-loved hymn:

 

"For we must share, if we would keep

That blessing from above;

They cease to have who cease to give:

Such is the law of Love."

 

Knowledge of true being performs but little service, even for one's self, if it is not shared. Good cannot be confined; it is universal. There is no such thing as self-centered good. Our spiritual understanding must be kept actively engaged as a missionary on the highways of human thought if it is to be of lasting use to us.

Exponents of this demonstrable Truth do not expect the world to give unquestioning credence to the claims made for Christian Science. On the contrary, they ask that it be judged by its fruits, and offer positive proof of its efficacy.

Some specific cases of healing of human problems will be mentioned during the hour devoted to this address. Christian Science heals not alone physical difficulties. It is equal to meeting and mastering every form of error, in demonstration of man's God-given dominion as declared in the very first chapter of the Bible. This dominion is all-inclusive and it touches every phase of human interests. It is exercised spiritually —  not materially, not through human will power.

 

Demonstration of Dominion

Man's God-given dominion would have to be annulled or surrendered before man could be subject to disease, poverty, sin, or death. But God would not annul, and man could not surrender, the dominion which is the very essence of man's existence. Healing in Christian Science requires an understanding of God as the perfect creator of a perfect universe which cannot lapse from perfection in any particular.

The course of a Christian Science treatment is based on perception of God's creation as wholly spiritual, as the ideas of divine Mind. It deals with all phases of discord as mortal-mind beliefs which have no real existence. For instance, the process in a treatment for physical inharmony is not to view a sick man as one who needs to be made well but as one who needs to be relieved of his belief that health is material and can be lost. Health is a condition of divine Mind and cannot be impaired. We are not to weaken our denials of the claims of evil by accepting testimony of the physical senses that there is in operation an evil influence exerting a power greater than God's. We are to strengthen our affirmations of the supremacy of good by knowing that such errors are only mortal mind's wrong concepts, temporarily obscuring the real man. Physical inharmony is not ordained or sanctioned by God. "The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being" (Science and Health, p. 227).

For example: The case of a five-year-old child, unconscious and one side helpless with infantile paralysis. In the mother's absence, the grandmother, in charge of the child and burdened with a sense of responsibility, telephoned a practitioner for Christian Science treatment. The practitioner's clear understanding that no divine law had "entangled" the child's "free limbs" quickly brought healing. The next day the child was eating normally and playing about the house, and in another day was playing in the yard.

 

Christian Science, the Harmonizer

Christian Science harmonizes the discords of mortal existence. It demonstrates that the absolute government of divine Principle controls harmoniously all that really exists. As it purifies thought, it permeates even the minutiae of human affairs.

In the realm of physics, certain laws are accepted as governing all operations, as in the exactitude of the principle of mathematics. When mathematical calculations deviate from exactness they are outside the range of mathematical laws and consequently are counterfeits.

When our thoughts about God or any element of His universe, including man, deviate from divine Principle, we place ourselves mentally, outside the range of the law of God. If we accept as genuine a concept of man in a condition of want and woe, discord and disaster, we are believing something that is totally foreign to God.

There are people who have only the most primitive concept of mathematics, but their ignorance doesn't suspend mathematical facts. It is all the more true that human misconceptions of the Science of true being cannot impede or impair the operation of the fixed divine Principle of the universe, supreme over all.

Christian Scientists learn of this producing and governing Principle and prove that God's presence and wisdom and power are vital realities, applicable to everyday human affairs. The course adopted for themselves and advocated for others involves a pronounced change in modes of thinking, revising even their concept of earthly affairs for the average man and woman.

Last year's dry leaves enrich the soil for this year's growth. Last year's joys and sorrow become the dry leaves of past experience. Their enriching lessons contribute to today's demonstration of life and intelligence. (See Miscellaneous Writings, p. 251:36.) God's plan ordains no interruption of individual spiritual growth, which is inevitably reflected in enhanced usefulness and harmony, freeing mortals from beliefs of limitation — including deterioration and decrepitude.

While Christian Science promotes longevity, it is also notably adaptable to the needs of young people. School pupils and college students who use their understanding of divine Truth gained through training at home and in Sunday School, find it an invaluable aid in their academics, sports, and social affairs. They also learn that their happiness and the esteem of their fellow students are not jeopardized by adhering to Principle in meeting arguments of error that it is smart and desirable to surrender their individuality by using tobacco or intoxicants or by other wrong or harmful indulgences.

A college senior wrote home recently: "Truly we have been given a great truth to work with. As I see others grasp for it I am awed by its power and beauty. I must be showing it in my life somewhat, for others wonder at my joy — and I wonder what would be my joy if I lived even nearer to Principle; I only hope that I shall always remember that good is not personal but the reflection of divine Love."

 

Divine Revelation

Enlightened interpretation of the teachings of the Hebrew prophets and of Jesus and his apostles elevates human thought through progressive stages of hope and faith up to understanding.

Assuredly, spiritual understanding is needful for bringing fulfillment of the Bible promises of health, holiness, abundance, happiness. These promises really constitute one and the same promise presented in varying forms — the promise of a dwelling place in heaven, harmony. Time enters into such fulfillment only to the extent that enlightenment of human consciousness is postponed.

In the study of any worth-while subject, some grasp the fundamentals sooner than others. It was inevitable that through gradual illumination of human thought there would finally come one who would discern the facts of real being and explain them.

 

Discovery and Founding of Christian Science

It was appropriate that this experience came to a cultured, Bible-loving New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy. She discovered the Christ, Truth, in 1866, and after establishing her discovery by demonstration she presented it to the world. It is not surprising that human-thought was skeptical and antagonistic for this revelation was destined to upset tradition. But today Mrs. Eddy and the Christian Science movement are widely recognized in the Christian world as important contributors to the salvation of mankind. Adherents of this religion are sincerely grateful for the respect and tolerance and approval among leaders and laymen of differing religious and  medical faiths.

Mrs. Eddy's discovery restored her from the effects of a supposedly fatal injury and launched her upon a notable career of sharing. During the years when she was establishing her discovery by demonstration she was all the while writing, writing — recording her findings and explaining the facts to humanity — and her message is transforming the world's concept of God and man.

 

Our Textbook

Nine years after Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, she published, in 1875, the first edition of her book "Science and Health." In later years she added a Key to the Scriptures, and the volume is called the Christian Science textbook. It is highly important that students and investigators of this religion possess, individually, a copy of the textbook, which contains the full statement of Christian Science. Numberless healings have resulted from the reading of the book by persons who had no previous knowledge of its teachings. In fact, the book includes a hundred pages devoted to testimonials of such healings.

A man told me that he filled a trunk with personal belongings and shipped it as a gift to a woman overseas — to a cousin whom he had not seen for years. After the trunk was on its way he found that he had inadvertently packed in it a copy of Science and Health. He did not mention this incident to his cousin, for he was happy in knowing that wherever one of those books goes it carries a message of hope and healing. In time he learned that when the trunk arrived his cousin was preparing for a surgical operation for goiter. But she found the book, the impersonal messenger of Truth, read its inspired pages, turned to God for help and received her healing in Christian Science.

 

Our Bible

Many religionists love the Bible with an abiding faith in its message and yet feel baffled in their desire to get from it an understanding of God. In the new light which Christian Science now throws on Scripture its positive value as a present-day asset is demonstrated. Formerly the Bible gave encouragement chiefly for tomorrow. Nearly always there was absence of the "now" of attainment. But Christian Science is changing that.

Students of this religion make daily use of the Bible, not as mere performance of duty but for the practical benefits they get from it. At the beginning of the day, as they devote a period to study of the weekly Bible Lesson-Sermon, carefully prepared by a committee of experienced Christian Scientists, they know that they are utilizing a vital influence for harmonious, intelligent direction of their steps for that very day and every day. Thereby they daily build better lives on an enduring foundation.

In 1895 Mrs. Eddy ordained the Bible and Science and Health as the pastor for all the churches of this denomination.

 

The Wholeness of Deity

Seven synonyms of God are enumerated by Mrs. Eddy on page 465 of Science and Health, namely: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love. It is profitable to ponder the significance of these terms as applied to human affairs. For instance, by perceiving God as divine Mind, His infinite intelligence is found reflected by all the ideas of that Mind; as Spirit, His universe is seen as wholly spiritual; as Soul, immortality is seen as entirely apart from materiality; as Principle, His unerring power becomes evident; as Life, endless being is found to be harmoniously reflected by man; as Truth, erroneous beliefs are scientifically overcome; as Love, the divine presence is more easily felt. Not only these but countless other concepts unfold to those who embrace as their very own this "good gift" which reveals all that exists in spiritual reality as ideas of divine Mind. But God, Spirit, does not and could not enter matter; nor can matter partake of the divine attributes.

When one stands within the folds of a triple mirror; his reflection in each mirror differs from the others; but the reflections represent not three individuals but three aspects of the same individual. And so God is seen, in Science, as reflected — expressed — by all that exists in the real universe, discernible only by spiritual sense. This Science reveals in myriad forms the spiritual ideas of the one divine Mind, all reflecting divine Love, and the highest of these ideas is man.

 

God's Image and Likeness

Since God is infinite Spirit, His image and likeness, man, is necessarily spiritual. The Bible records, in the first chapter of Genesis, the completion of creation — including man — and the chapter closes with the impressive statement that "God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good." The false belief that man is material is pictured by the allegory in the second chapter of Genesis, describing man as made from the dust of the ground.

God is knowable, and so is man. Both God and the genuine, perfect man are revealed as thought is spiritualized. Christian Science not only accepts but reaffirms the original account of the creation of man. We may postpone, but cannot escape, gaining knowledge of this real man.

Such knowledge is not to be gained by studying the counterfeit — mortal, material man. What we most need to know about him is enough to identify him — to distinguish him from the real. Then, the more clearly we perceive spiritual man, the more completely material man disappears. This transformation by no means deprives us of our true identity. As we apprehend man's oneness with God, we experience that illumination described by Mrs. Eddy in these words {Science and Health, p. 264): "As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible;" and she adds: "When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation, — all the glories of earth and heaven and man."

This understanding brings to human affairs the power embodied in right thinking. "It enables mortals to see beyond material limitations and environment and to rise above them. It does not come through scholarly attainment. It requires childlike simplicity and a willingness to set aside outworn theories.

The children in a class at school were given flower seeds to plant and tend during the summer. The results were to be shown in the fall at an exhibit of the best and largest flowers. One boy's home was in a tenement, and the ground he had to plant his seeds in was so hard and barren that not even weeds were growing in it. However he won the honors and when asked how he did it he said, "Well, I saw the blossoms while I planted the seeds." The little fellow had sensed the basic truth that the nature and fullness of God are expressed in His creation, "all the glories of earth and heaven and man."

 

No Material Reality

God being the only cause, nothing can originate itself or perpetuate itself independent of that cause. Since that cause is infinitely good, whatever seems to be other than good arises from false testimony. There is no room for matter or evil in a universe not only created but also maintained by the one God, who is Spirit. Our affairs cannot be detached from God and become subject to the material laws of sin, disease, and death.

Mortals are frequently convinced that the false claims of matter are genuine. They reluctantly surrender their convictions. And yet those very convictions are the source of all human woes. Mortals are slow to realize the point expressed in a preacher's statement in a sermon on "Wisdom": "It isn't the things you don't know that get you into trouble, it's the things you know for sure that aren't so."

A woman turned on her radio one day and unexpectedly heard a program of selections from the Bible and Christian Science literature. She had had several operations for a so-called incurable disease and had accepted the verdict that nothing more could be done for her. Through this radio program she became interested in Christian Science and, with the consent of her husband, secured the services of a Christian Science practitioner and thereby received her healing.

Testimony of any or all of the five physical senses, arguments based on the myriad forms of human beliefs, unthinking adherence to ancestral religious doctrines — all these are nothingized by the unalterable truth that God's universe is perfect and harmonious, and that, as declared by Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 424), "there is no room for imperfection in perfection."

 

Christian Science as an Alterative

We do not study darkness to learn about light nor analyze water to find out about fire. We need not investigate error to get the facts about truth. Error is variable, never reliable, while truth is always true and invariable. A declaration of truth cannot be successfully assailed.

Divine Truth has no loose ends or unfinished business! It is complete and awaiting our use. In order to possess it and utilize it we must earn it by obedience to God's laws. Anything neglected or imperfect in our affairs is chargeable to mortal belief, because we have not properly applied the perfect laws of God. There are no short cuts or excursion fares whereby we may reach health and happiness, the kingdom of heaven. We must travel the main line and pay full fare in the one acceptable coinage, love for God and man.

In Christian Science healing, adjustments from evil to good, sinfulness to righteousness, sickness to health, lack to plenty, come through spiritualization of thought, lifting it from a material basis to the spiritual, from the unreal to the real.

To the receptive human consciousness the message of Christian Science is always new, and refreshing. All mankind is the beneficiary of this divine gift, for it is impartially bestowed. In our true selfhood we are all richly endowed. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Nothing whatever remains for God to do that we may possess these riches. But there is a very needful thing for us to do; we must learn the truth about God and man.

 

Physical Inharmony and Wrong Thoughts

Inharmonious conditions which physical sense says are fastened to us are not ours, for they were not given to us by God. If the beauty of a rare object of art has become obscured by dust and grime, we would not judge it as the eye sees it. The dust and grime are no part of it. Soap and water or a cloth will remove the disfigurement. If we are going to be as considerate of ourselves as we are of our objects of art we shall apply enough of our understanding of the truth of being to erase from our thought the testimony of the senses and see ourselves as we really are, perfect ideas of divine Mind.

When you approach any problem with sufficient conviction of the unreality of error you are at the threshold of victory. And when you have invested your conviction with a clear enough understanding of the eternal supremacy of good over evil, victory becomes an actuality. Delayed healing of disease, prolonged enslavement to false appetite, chronic conditions of lack — these and other discordant manifestations seem to exist, but not because evil has power to create itself, assert itself, maintain itself, or to inflict itself on anyone in any form.

We have all heard the comment that someone had a sore throat because he got his feet wet. We have yet to hear that someone had sore feet because he got his head wet! Human beliefs are such that one of those statements sounds quite reasonable to most people and the other thoroughly absurd. Yet Christian Science shows that the difference is only in the mode of thinking. Both are based on the mistaken assumption that life and sensation are properties of matter. As we read in Science and Health (p. 86): "Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts." That statement is proved correct in hundreds of cases every day by Christian Scientists who scientifically exercise their God-given dominion.

Not human will power, not human ingenuity, not material means and methods, but an understanding of the things of Spirit provides the mastery over evil. Christian Science says to each one of you: "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man" (Science and Health, p. 393).

To those of you who have not yet experienced this "power divinely bestowed on man," let me remind you that the Bible declares that "God is no respecter of persons." The liberating operation of Christian Science on human lives is equally available to all.

A man was stricken one morning with a painful kidney disorder. A consultation of physicians decreed an emergency surgical operation. While preparing for removal to a hospital the man gave his consent for his wife to telephone, long-distance, to a Christian Science practitioner, by whom loving help was given. By the next morning he was healed and he drove his car for hours that day.

 

A Perfect Universe

Demonstration of the nothingness of evil is simplified when we devote our effort to resolving things into thoughts, to seeing them as they are in their spiritual reality, reflecting divine Truth, Life and Love. An important point is reached when we learn that we do not have to make harmony. God has done that so thoroughly that it transcends our present comprehension.

Human thought is intelligent only to the extent that it reflects the divine intelligence. The harmony of what we see depends on whether we see with mortal eyes or spiritual vision. No matter how discordant the scene according to sense testimony, it becomes harmonious in proportion as thought is spiritualized. Human concepts of the universe, including man, convey a finite sense of things which must be replaced by a true sense of the glories of God's creation. We need to see His universe as it is, created in perfection, maintained in perfection, complete in every particular.

A business man was not prospering and did not know how to improve his situation. He became interested in Christian Science through his wife's healing of an organic disorder. One day he pondered the question, What is wrong with my business? He concluded that the trouble was in himself, not in his business. His further reflections convinced him that his methods were selfish, he was not giving. His survey revealed that he had much to give: joy, service, love for his fellow man. By applying this idea to his business, his objectives of sales, profits, etc., gave way to a sincere desire to give. Results were speedily manifested in increased sales, ample funds, and. disappearance of the urge to "make money." His new purpose enabled him to displace unsuccessful advertising and inaugurate new advertising methods which yielded gratifying returns. In less than a year his business increased three hundred percent. He was also freed from difficult competitive conditions.

That man did not need a new location or additional capital; nor did he become a "business failure." By changing his mode of thinking, he found supply and opportunity where he had seen lack and disaster. He proved the power of Christianly scientific thinking by sharing what he had found of this "good gift" and it returned to him many fold.

 

The Master Christian

The Founder, of Christianity, Christ Jesus, preached and practiced giving. In his ministry he continuously gave; pearls of wisdom from his lips, encouragement for the downtrodden, freedom for the lame and the blind, healing for the woefully diseased. Above all he gave, simply and comprehensively, assurances and proofs that his real spiritual self, the eternal Christ, had always existed and is with us always. Christian Scientists accept his assurances. They acknowledge the divinity of the Christ, the atonement of Jesus and his resurrection and ascension as demonstrating eternal Life, "the gift of God."

For an indication of the place which Christ Jesus has in the study and practice of Christian Science, we need only note what Mrs. Eddy says in her writings. regarding the part his words and works had in revealing Christian Science to her. Her writings include notable commentaries on his ministry and on his dual personality, the spiritual and the material. Many of her descriptions are loving tributes to his example and record. In "Retrospection and Introspection" she says (pp. 91, 92): "His power over others was spiritual, not corporeal. To the students whom he had chosen, his immortal teaching was the bread of Life. When he was with them, a fishing-boat became a sanctuary, and the solitude was peopled with holy messages from the All-Father." And she adds, "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."

This most scientific man of all time disclaimed any power of his own. Said he, "I can of mine own self do nothing." But he did claim and prove his mastery of every adverse circumstance, and asserted similar mastery for all who believed on him. His sayings testify that spiritual progress of the human race is not locked up in past history. He established no barriers to the further salvation of mankind. On the contrary, he specifically promised greater works than those he had performed. Christian Science is promoting the fulfillment of his promises, for it is the Comforter, whose appearance Jesus foretold.

 

Spiritual Sense and Material Belief

Notwithstanding the world's turmoil, a spiritual awakening is evident. Humanity is learning that materialistic knowledge does not produce the most needful thing — an understanding of God, Mind. Calvin Coolidge spoke wisely when he said, "We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development; we do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power; we do not need more knowledge, we need more character; we do not need more law, we need more religion; we do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen."

It would not be reasonable to assume that achievement in the physical realm, so called, can proceed without limit but that attainment of spiritual enlightenment is at a standstill. Christian Scientists appreciate the right motives of all individuals and groups who contribute to the comfort of mankind. But they also know that all the materialistic knowledge possessed by all humanity cannot open the doorway to the kingdom of heaven.

It is gratifying that from time to time someone of renown in the field of physical research lifts his voice in favor of development of the things of Spirit. The "gift of God" is an impartation of divine Spirit. Unseen by mortal eyes, it is available to all who are ready to answer to Jesus' requirement, to "receive the kingdom of God as a little child." It is perceived only by spiritual sense.

 

Scientific Prayer

What is spiritual sense? The question has this answer in Science and Health (p. 200): "Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. It shows the superiority of faith by works over faith in words." A "constant capacity to understand God" comes through prayer. Christian Science encourages mankind to commune with God as a God at hand and to have faith in fulfillment of their prayerful desires so far as they conform with the divine plan. We should not expect a favorable response to a prayer such as that of the self-willed man who appealed to God: "O Lord, guide us aright, for we are very, very determined."

If we undertake to tell God what we need we may express what we want, which sometimes is very far from what we need. "I want" wants very much; "I need" needs very little. Faith in God, coupled with spiritual understanding, is a potent combination for bringing into realization the things that are not seen but are righteously hoped for.

Lack of faith implies a belief that God is remiss — unwilling or unable to provide for His creation — or that He is unaware of the needs of the universe. But surely that is not the mode of the divine Mind that knows all, and has all power. Even blind faith without understanding is helpful in some degree in over coming discouragement and fear.

Faith is misplaced if one relies on materiality or personality. Jesus did not teach his followers to have faith in him, but in God. He repeatedly directed their thoughts away from human personality.

According to the ordinary concept of prayer, it would be difficult to "pray without ceasing," as Paul urged, but we learn in Science that "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer" (Science and Health, p. 4).

 

True Value

We have all seen some of those ingenious contrivances, miniature full-rigged ships constructed inside glass bottles. They are examples of skillful handicraft but encased within their narrow walls they are of no practical use; they cannot even be launched into the water of a bath tub. They illustrate the uselessness of high-sounding theories and intricate analyses, of materialistic methods, which afford no permanent solution for human problems. Such methods may gratify self-esteem, or produce something that is beautiful to look at or listen to; but its value is tested when set beside certain measuring sticks, such as the questions, Does it heal? Does it lead one closer to God? Is it practical? Mental sedatives may lull to sleep some who need to be awake to the need of wholehearted allegiance to God's spiritual law.

In his epistle, to the Colossians Paul explained his exhortation with the statement, "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words." "Enticing words" are used in these days, too, to lure us from steadfast obedience to God's laws. Sometimes they are alluring offers of substitutes; sometimes fictitious claims of improvements; sometimes plausible descriptions of so-called short cuts. But there are no substitutes for Principle; no improvements upon Truth; no short cuts to spirituality.

It is recorded that Agesilaus, king of Sparta, 400 B.C., when invited to hear a man who imitated the nightingale to perfection, scornfully replied, "I have heard the nightingale itself." Anyone who has caught even a faint glimpse of true existence has much to lose and nothing to gain, by turning aside from the pathway he has entered. Nor is apathy an element of progress. An automobile may be facing uphill; but with gear in "neutral" it can travel in only one direction — down.

 

Truth Is Unalterable

Divine Truth is true everywhere and always — not just in certain geographical locations or periods of time. There are no calendars or maps in heaven, which is not a locality but "a divine state of Mind" (Science and Health, p. 291). Truth is true; not because we think it ought to be true or because somebody says it is true, but because it can't be anything but true. Changes in fashions, political opinions, transportation methods, have no effect upon the seasons or the solar system. Likewise, human beliefs have no effect upon Truth. The name we apply to it has nothing to do with making it true.

Christian Science is the Science of Christianity. Mrs. Eddy applied that name to her discovery of something which always has existed and never will end — divine Truth. Several terms were used by Jesus to designate that same Truth, such as "bread of life, "living water," and so on. There can be and are numberless theories and beliefs as to "What is Truth?" but they have no effect upon what Truth really is. Our task is not to make the truth but to learn the truth. Such learning brings realization of true existence, man's oneness with God. That oneness is never impaired or suspended in the slightest degree. Beliefs of lapse and impairment are the basis of the seeming reality of discord of all kinds — disease, sin, and death. Inharmony disappears when we see divine Truth as supreme and governing all our affairs.

No matter how blind we may be to this divine power, presence, and wisdom, it is actually protecting, rewarding and healing right now — it is not merely a future possibility but also a present actuality.

Truth is ceaselessly unfolding to human apprehension. The instrumentalities through which it operates are supported by the omniscience of divine Mind, the omnipresence of divine Love, and the omnipotence of divine Principle.

 

Loosing the Bonds

To a man imprisoned in a dungeon nothing would be more welcome than a key to open the door. He would not refuse to release himself because he had not yet learned how or why he had been confined. He might be incredulous if told that unwittingly he had been his own jailer; that he had himself surrendered his God-given freedom.

Mortals are in self-imposed, self-perpetuated bondage to disease, sin, and death. They have not freed themselves because they have not known how, or else were unwilling to relinquish the material beliefs constituting their bonds. But Christian Science is changing that. It offers us the key to freedom from every human ill. The offer stipulates certain requirements; gratitude to God, allegiance to His laws, and persistence in helping to free our fellow prisoners.

No one need doubt whether the key fits the lock. It does! It has opened the door for countless thousands and will continue "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ," as Paul expressed it.

Each one of you can accept as valid, proved beyond any justifiable doubt, this statement from page 227 of Science and Health: "Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: 'Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!' Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right."

Subservience to false material law has built the four walls of mortal man's prison. But no longer need anyone remain in bondage for want of a key to freedom; the key is freely offered by the outstretched hand of divine Love. It is yours — now — the "gift of God."

 

[Delivered May 25, 1939 at First Church of Christ, Scientist, St. Albans, New York, and published in the Brooklyn (New York) Eagle, June 3, 1939.]

 

 

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