Christian Science: Operative Christianity
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
In the edifice of First Church of
Christ, Scientist, on Sycamore street, last Tuesday evening, April 26, John
Henry Weer, C.S., of Brookline, delivered a free lecture
on the subject, "Christian Science: Operative Christianity." A large
audience heard the lecture with deep interest. The lecturer, who is a member of
the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ,
"Friends: You are cordially
welcomed to this lecture to be given by a member of the Board of Lectureship of
The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in
"The subject of the lecture is 'Christian Science: Operative Christianity.' Christian Science is the law of God which points the way to health, happiness and holiness. The mission of a Christian Science lecture may best be expressed in the words of a hymn:
" 'Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish,
Here health and peace are found, Life, Truth, and Love;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow but Love can remove.'
"It is a pleasure to present
the lecturer, Mr. John Henry Weer, of
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Perhaps some of you remember reading about a certain woman, advanced in years and financially destitute, whose father had deposited a thousand dollars in a bank in her name when she was a mere baby. There the money remained, year after year, and grew to a large sum as compound interest was added. Not until recently did the woman learn of her father's provision − and we can easily imagine her joy on gaining possession of the money.
Just as this woman's ignorance had barred her from her material means, so does ignorance deprive mortals of man's spiritual heritage of health and happiness. The woman's recent experience typifies what is occurring to thousands to whom Christian Science is revealing priceless gifts from their heavenly Father, who, in the words of Paul, "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."
Christian Scientists want to share with others this understanding which is increasingly giving freedom from human ills. In fact, our being together here right now is in furtherance of that desire, for this lecture is a gift to this community from the local church which is sponsoring it.
Operative Christianity Provable
During this hour we are spending together you will hear something of how Christian Science shows that the Christianity of Christ Jesus is operative in human affairs today, imparting a true concept of God and man and healing the varied types of evil which afflict mankind. When it is claimed for Christian Science that it is true religion, based on the healing Principle used by the Master, the world is entitled to proof. By comprehensively answering human needs Christian Science proves that it is not an impractical theory, with no well-defined starting point. It begins to enlighten each individual at the particular stage where it finds him and travels right along with him just as far and as fast as he earnestly desires. The journey continuously unfolds new scenery on the highway of spiritual understanding.
Some fellow has said that "road maps tell a motorist everything he wants to know except how to fold them up again." Christian Science gives full directions for every step in the salvation of humanity, and is not like road maps, for it never is folded up − it continuously unfolds, bringing knowledge of the truth of being, the oneness of God and man. It demonstrates that sin, sickness, and death are unreal and that their baneful effects on human existence are directly traceable to the false belief of life and intelligence in matter. It changes this belief to an understanding of divine Life, Truth, and Love.
Human thought habitually accepts the belief of two powers, good and evil, both residing in matter. It is slow to accept the fact of one power only, and that one spiritual and good. Mortals are freed from every ill that "flesh is heir to," in proportion to their realization that God's universe is spiritual, created and maintained in perfection by the infinite, divine Mind that knows only good.
Salvation Now Available
The significance of spiritual existence may not be easily apprehended by some, but even our present sense of existence is brightened when we glimpse just a little of the unfolding glory of the universe of Spirit. Such unfoldment solves our problems and reveals divine Truth as available and operative everywhere. To utilize this truth we must open wide our mental windows and allow it to pervade our thinking processes. Christian Science is always ready and adaptable to the healing of all forms of error. It repudiates the theory that mortals must reach a distant place at a remote time before gaining salvation. The light of spiritual truth admitted to human consciousness destroys the false beliefs which find expression in discord of all kinds.
In the book of Revelation we read: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him." The Christ, Truth, is continuously at the door of our consciousness, awaiting a welcome. It never intrudes, never clamors for recognition, but is instantly responsive, bringing blessings beyond human measurement. Willingness to receive, a mental receptivity, is a conscious or unconscious reaching out for the hand of God. To take hold of His hand we must know something of His nature and presence.
God Is Knowable
Verbal allegiance to God is not enough. Release from the trials of so-called material existence starts when we begin to know God aright − as we discard any concept of Him as a corporeal being and recognize Him as Spirit, unlimited as to time or locality. Christian Science teaches that God is "infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love," that these synonymous terms "refer to one absolute God" and "express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 465). Truth, as a synonym of God, may indicate the perfection of God's government of His universe. To think of God as infinite Love is to glimpse the unfailing protection of His presence. To realize that God is Spirit, and that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health, p. 468), is to rise superior to the limiting belief that life and intelligence are in matter. And to behold God as Life is to see Life as eternal.
As such thoughts about God permeate consciousness they disclose the obvious accuracy of the declaration that "in him we live, and move, and have our being." How could we exist elsewhere or otherwise, since God, Principle, Mind, is everywhere? The belief that we live in matter is an effective barrier to realization of true existence. Concepts of God as far away and unknowable disappear as we learn to know Him as He is revealed in Christian Science.
To any in the audience who perhaps are hearing for the first time that Christian Science teaches and proves God's nearness and unchangeable goodness, it may be said that such understanding is an essential element in healing in Science of all forms of inharmony − disease and disability included.
As an instance of healing in my own experience I can tell you that I sustained a severe injury by falling with my whole weight on one of my knees. According to commonly accepted beliefs I would have been incapacitated for weeks. Thanks to Christian Science these beliefs were annulled. There was no interruption of my daily activities, including the driving of a car, and in a few weeks the visible evidence of injury also disappeared. Since Life is spiritual, not material, there was in reality no more life or sensation in the knee than in the hard floor with which it collided. Realizing this, and understanding God as omnipresent, maintaining His creation in unchangeable harmony, was enough to prove the allness and supremacy of good, even though sense testimony loudly argued to the contrary.
God's Government Unlimited
We fall short of our rightful demonstrations of harmony when we entertain circumscribed views of God and His universe. The all-inclusive government of divine Principle holds unwavering control over all our affairs, even the littlest of them. These affairs seem to us important, and they do need our careful attention, but we should not assume an exaggerated sense of responsibility for them or overlook God's place in them. To maintain that God knows all, has all power, and is everywhere present, and then act as though our affairs are operating independently, is inconsistent, and Christian Science remedies such modes of thinking and acting.
Adverse circumstances sometimes seem overwhelming, but adversity is unreal, being based on a false belief of the absence of good, or God. If you feel baffled in your efforts to surmount difficulties you need to know that "with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." God does His part incessantly, and you partake of His doing just in the degree that you trust Him understandingly. Habit may prompt you to rely on material means, including human ingenuity, but they are inadequate. The more severe seems the adversity the more keen the necessity of turning directly to God. His help is instantly available when you mentally transfer your allegiance to Him, and wholeheartedly put God and His government above all else.
The more understandingly mortals trust God the more effective are their prayers. In Science, God is not appealed to as one who would withhold any needful thing from his creation. Nor are such prayers intended to tell God about needs of which He might be unaware. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says (No and Yes, P. 39); "Prayer can neither change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but it can and does change our modes and our false sense of Life, Love and Truth, uplifting us to Him." A Christianly scientific prayer seeks to establish in consciousness a realization of the perpetual harmony of God's universe.
The practice of Christian Science is based on the statement of this religion in Mrs. Eddy's principal book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Its earnest students recognize the importance of possessing, individually, a copy of this book, and all Christian Science churches make it easily available through their Reading Rooms. To study Christian Science, or even to impartially investigate it, without thoughtful pondering of the message of this textbook would be as futile as cultivating a field in which no seed was planted and expecting to reap a harvest. Apart from the Bible, no book ever written has brought to humanity encouragement and freedom such as its inspired pages impart.
Individual application of the doctrine of Christian Science may appropriately begin with the Scriptures. The Book of books is the close companion of every earnest student of this religion. Mrs. Eddy quoted the Bible freely in all her writings, and provided an illuminating key to its sacred Word, which she declared was her only authority and guide in demonstrating her discovery and giving it to the world. The King James Version of the Bible, loved throughout the world by many people and used quite generally by the members of Protestant denominations, is used by Christian Scientists in their church services. They are daily proving the correctness of Mrs. Eddy's statement, "The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood" (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 11).
No Trifles in God's Universe
Christians profess faith in God as able to help in any situation. However many seem to feel that their particular difficulties are sequestered just outside the range of God's vision, or perhaps in a little corner beyond the reach of His law of good. We never lose by submitting all of our problems, little and big, to the healing touch of Love divine. A great many so-called trifles enter into our everyday affairs. By trusting God with the relatively unimportant problems, we are preparing to trust Him to solve those which to us seem formidable. Michelangelo showed to a friend a statue to which he had made some additions and changes. "These are trifles," the friend said. The sculptor replied, "It may be so, but recollect that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
The loving message of Christian Science gives hope and courage and divine light for every phase of human existence by establishing a more harmonious mental and physical state. In Science and Health (p. 162) we read that "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies,'' and that this is because it "acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth."
Good Always Available
Good is always at hand, but we have to decide whether and when we want it above all else. Evil clamors unceasingly for recognition: its conduct is the exact opposite of the serenity indicated by the Apostle James's assurance that "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated." Good is "easy to be intreated," but if we want it we must do the entreating!
A man who had been for a long while confined to his bed by paralysis listened to a program of selections from the Bible and Christian Science literature, radiocast one afternoon during the absence of his family. He knew nothing about Christian Science, but what he heard so illumined his consciousness with spiritual light that he gained the idea that he could walk − and proved it by getting out of bed and walking. It is related that when his family returned and found him healed they thought it a miracle. But in God's realm of Spirit, healing is divinely natural, not miraculous.
Whether he was conscious of it or not, that man was ready to give his allegiance to God, and he proved that "the wisdom that is from above is" indeed "easy to be intreated." The truth about God and man, as expressed in that radio program, was of universal application. The message was not specifically intended for that helpless paralytic. His experience, and others like it, testify to the accuracy of Mrs. Eddy's statement that "The spiritual power of a scientific, right thought, without a direct effort, an audible or even a mental argument, has oftentimes healed inveterate diseases" (Rudimental Divine Science," p. 9). Numberless healings the world over are offered as proof that Christian Science is operative Christianity.
Christian Science Organization
To those in the audience who are not informed regarding the organized activities of this movement it can be said that in founding the Christian Science Church, Christ, Truth, was pronounced its foundation and chief cornerstone. True to its spiritual purpose the services of this church heal human ills.
The Christian Science denomination
is comprised of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in
Prominent among the organized activities are the Sunday schools and the periodicals issued by the Publishing Society. The activities are varied and well ordered, with many members participating. It should be understood, however, that these activities are not themselves an end − they are but means toward an end, the regeneration of mankind, through annihilation of sickness, sin, and death by spiritual means alone.
Individual growth is promoted by study of the weekly Lesson-Sermons, attendance at Sunday services and Wednesday testimonial meetings, systematic reading of the periodicals, and in due time, membership in The Mother Church and one of its branches, also class instruction with an authorized teacher.
Loving Our Neighbors
Christian Science engenders in men's hearts a sense of the brotherhood of man as a present possibility, helps them to see above and beyond surface indications, and to discern the real man, who reflects only Godlike qualities. God's love embraces and includes the whole universe, and all the ideas of divine Mind, God, reflect divine Love.
How easy it is to serve those for whom we have a deep regard! Tasks we might resent performing for strangers are willingly undertaken for those whom we love. Some of you may remember a delightful instance of unselfed love, which makes all burdens light, as related by one of my predecessors on the Board of Lectureship, and which I am privileged to repeat: "A rather frail little girl was carrying a baby half as big as herself up quite a steep hill. She was apparently having a rather hard time of it, when a kind-hearted woman seeing her predicament said to the little burden-bearer, 'Let me carry the baby up the hill. He's too heavy for you. 'Heavy'? said the little maid, 'No, ma'am, he's not heavy; he's my brother.' "
Rivalry and war − selfishness of all kinds − will be dumped overboard when our love of self is no keener than our love for our neighbor − all our neighbors. There are no geographical or time limits on our ability and duty to love all. Our thoughts can travel a million miles as promptly as they can cross this room. We can love people on the other side of the globe as quickly as those in our own town.
Dominion, Not Domination
God gave man dominion over all the earth, but Christian Science makes a clear distinction between dominion and domination. We learn from the Bible that, ultimately all must know God, and that each one must work out his own salvation. Our ability to think is our most valuable possession, and the quality of our thoughts determines our well being. In our zeal to protect those near and dear to us and to promote their progress, we need to be constantly alert to avoid depriving them of their right to freedom of thought and action. Offering friendly counsel, unobtrusively, is one thing, but requiring its adoption is another.
Christian Science condones no tendency in anyone to dominate the thoughts and actions of others in social, political or religious matters − in business, the home, the church. We may encourage others to the highest possible demonstration of Godlike qualities, but the Golden Rule demands that we all allow each other full freedom of decision − always with due regard for law and order. Thus Christian Science overcomes such habits as meddlesomeness and criticism, and discourages any inclination for one to act as a self-appointed general regulator. Disraeli said, "It is easier to be critical than to be correct."
One happy result of granting freedom of thought to others, while claiming it likewise for ourselves, is that we become less inclined to expect them to conform to our pattern and we are not so apt to develop a sense of superiority or self-righteousness.
Motives and Acts
The Manual of The Mother Church includes "A Rule for Motives and Acts" (Art. VIII, Sect. 1) which is read at all Christian Science church services on the first Sunday of each month. It declares among other things that "neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church." This calls for steadfast endeavor to be guided by divine Principle in word and deed, and especially in thinking. Neither prejudice nor partisanship is a safe guide for human conduct and thinking, nor is personal attachment or animosity.
This same rule also has something to say about "rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness." Regardless of the degree or rapidity of individual enlightenment, condemnation and criticism of others, or even of ourselves, is not warranted. We need to condemn wrong-doing of all kinds, but are not to condemn the misguided individual who is the channel for error. This applies when viewing the conduct of others or our own record. Self-condemnation and self-depreciation are never in order. Condemnation is to be directed at the error. We are to make a separation in our thoughts between evil and evildoers. A spot of grease on your coat is not part of the coat. The mud spattered onto my face by a passing automobile is not part of me. In such cases we easily make a separation between the individual and the mud, the grease and the coat. We don't think or speak of them as your grease and my mud. Likewise, we should distinguish between the real and the unreal in viewing the unlovely traits or discreditable actions of our fellow man, also his physical difficulties − and must be equally fair with ourselves.
Perhaps some of you already suspect that this is leading to a statement regarding Christian Science treatment, and that is quite right. An essential element of any healing in Science of a simple or chronic case of disease, or of an impetuous or inveterate case of sinfulness, is the making of that separation between the error and the individual. Just as Jesus did in his healing work, we must find the spiritual, harmonious real, whatever the material, discordant unreal seems to be. Because Christian Science is showing mankind how to do just that, it is freeing mortals from all kinds of human ills, and there are thousands the world over who rejoice daily that the Christianity of Christ Jesus is again operative in human affairs.
Christian Science Healing
Mrs. Eddy has written, "By universal consent, mortal belief has constituted itself a law to bind mortals to sickness, sin, and death" (Science and Health, p. 229), also that "false law should be trampled under foot." To the extent that mortals withdraw such consent they gain their freedom, because they then realize the validity and supremacy of God's law of universal perfection.
Because a woman made unusually vigorous use of an arm in learning a swimming stroke, she came under the mortal belief of over-exertion. For several days the arm became increasingly painful. Finally, one morning she told her husband that she had had a rather sleepless night. Both were students of Christian Science, so they applied their understanding to discernment of the fact that God is the only Mind; that man, as God's child, is perfect and harmonious; that it was no more possible, in Science, for her to have a discordant arm than for God to be sick. Since matter has no intelligence, it could know nothing about God, nor could it have any sensation. The arm knew no more about the exertion than did the water in which the woman swam. The over-exertion existed only as a belief of mortal mind, and the woman experienced pain and disability because of that "universal consent" about which you have just heard. In a half hour the woman was up, dressed, and healed. What had been changed? Not the arm; it was the identical arm that she had a half hour earlier! Not the exertion! Not the water! But the thought about the arm had been changed and false law had been "trampled under foot."
In all the multitude of human ills there is not one that can withstand the scientific application of God's law of universal harmony, into which human will-power enters not at all. That law operates for all mankind as thoroughly as for one individual. It takes not one kilowatt more of electricity to light this auditorium for those now assembled here than if there were only one person present − and the light of spiritual Truth is all-pervasive.
The Discoverer and Founder
Christian Science has made only a beginning in fulfilling its mission, but its record testifies to the stupendous works and wise foresight of Mary Baker Eddy. A partial list of her accomplishments includes her discovery of Christian Science in 1866; years devoted to establishing it by demonstration; publication of her book, "Science and Health," in 1875; founding of The Mother Church, in Boston; writing of the Manual containing the By-Laws of The Mother Church; organization of The Christian Science Publishing Society; establishment of daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly periodicals; ordination, in 1895, of the Bible and Science and Health as the impersonal pastor for all the churches of this denomination; publication of several books containing her writings on Christian Science; inauguration within The Mother Church and its branches of many activities for giving her discovery to the world. She established "The Christian Science Monitor," an international daily newspaper, appreciated by Christian Scientists and others all over the globe as an exceptional example of high-type journalism.
Because of her many notable achievements Christian Scientists lovingly bestow upon Mrs. Eddy the title of Leader. As a result of her loving, unselfish labors, this age has seen restored to human apprehension the same divine Principle which was the basis of the work of the master Christian, Christ Jesus. It is not only on his words, but also on his works, namely, his healing ministry, that this religion is patterned.
The Humanity of Jesus
Any discussion of the fundamentals of this religion and its adaptability to human needs revolves around the works of the Master. An accurate analysis of his works requires knowledge of his dual nature, the spiritual and the material. With all his profound knowledge of the things of Spirit, Jesus also knew intimately the commonplace affairs of his fellow citizens, shared their joys and sorrows, understood their home life and industries. His parables, vitalizing his arguments, touched human affairs in the household, the market place, the farm, and the fishing fleet, incidents in the lives of farmer and merchant, banker and laborer, vineyardist and housewife, impulsive youth and lazy servant. Their daily doings, their good traits and bad, their prejudices and ambitions, all were familiarly known to Jesus. No man has lived who so keenly penetrated the various traits which we call "human nature."
This greatest character in human history fulfilled the tenderness foretold of him by Isaiah, yet had unsurpassed courage, unequaled intelligence, and meekness beyond measure. His simplicity enabled him to mingle with people of all classes. Doubtless he was a high-class workman as a carpenter before entering upon his thoroughgoing ministry. Never was there a more neighborly neighbor. Assuredly he was a happy man, wise yet kindly, master of any situation yet approachable in demeanor. Child and patriarch, saint and sinner, poor and sick − all types of people − were among the multitudes drawn to him. He met them on their own ground, always with the purpose of turning their thoughts to God. He habitually wove uplifting lessons into the fabric of his conversations, prayers, and sermons, in fulfilling his divine mission.
The Divinity of the Christ
Christ Jesus' recognition of his mission is shown by his own statements, such as: "I must work the works of him that sent me;" "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." On appropriate occasions he courageously proclaimed "his eternal, spiritual selfhood" (Message for 1901, p. 9). "Lo, I am with you alway," said he.
Mrs. Eddy convincingly reveals his dual nature in these words (Science and Health, p. 334). "This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master's ascension, when the human, material concept, or Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes."
By removing the mystery characterizing the ordinary concept of the nature of Christ Jesus, Christian Science makes his teachings operative in today's human affairs.
The New Birth
Jesus' parable of the prodigal son contains a lesson for each one of us. Humanity is largely represented by mental prodigals whose mode of thinking has taken them on a "journey into a far country." False beliefs separate mankind from the harmony which is theirs by divine heritage. Figuratively, every misguided mortal must eventually follow the example of the prodigal, and say to himself, "I will arise and go to my father" (Luke ). That step is not difficult. It is a joyous mental achievement, accomplished by learning the truth about man's oneness with God − about the real, spiritual man − and the unreality of mortal, material man. One has taken an important step when he has been convinced that mortals cannot be the reality of man. By successive stages of unfoldment he perceives the spiritual reality of existence, and his material beliefs correspondingly disappear. Thus the new birth begins and proceeds, fulfilling Jesus' requirement that we be born again, as expressed to Nicodemus. The opportunity is open to all − the privilege of so completely revising our mode of thinking that we are made over, mentally and physically.
A recent magazine article pretty thoroughly discredited widely accepted theories that certain types of food, in conspiracy with the physical organs, specially the stomach, are responsible for various digestive ailments. It is significant of the trend of human thought that the article attributed such troubles less to food items or bodily organs than to emotional reactions, such as worry, fear, and anger.
I know a man who for many years was watchful to eat at the same meal only such varieties of food as were supposed to be on speaking terms with each other, and yet he was habitually ailing. Almost continuously he dosed himself with patent medicines and physicians' prescriptions, to cure or ward off indigestion, constipation, and so on. Christian Science came into his life and he saw that the food he ate and the medicine he used and his material body were composed largely of the same material substances, and that it was inconsistent to believe that in some forms the food and medicine were harmful, in other forms beneficial, and sometimes neutral. One day, when he had gained sufficient light through Christian Science, he discarded his elaborate stock of material remedies. For more than twenty years he has not used a drop of medicine, relies upon Christian Science, eats what he likes and when, and is uniformly free from digestive difficulties. Further evidence of the fallacy of dependence on material means is found in this man's experience with frequent headaches. Each attack awoke him at about five in the morning. He always arose and used a widely known proprietary medicine, and repeated the dose at intervals until about two in the afternoon, when the pain would vanish, supposedly conquered by the medicine. After he had discarded material remedies in favor of Christian Science, the headaches continued to arrive on schedule, and to his great surprise, each attack ended at the usual hour, and without the medicine. However, by his continued reliance upon divine Truth this problem too was met and mastered, with no recurrence for these many years. This is only one of thousands of instances wherein operative Christianity is regenerating human thought.
One Man, Not Two
When Christian Scientists speak of material man and spiritual man they do not imply that there are in reality two men − one spiritual, the other material. There is only one, the spiritual, described in the first chapter of Genesis as the image and likeness of God, Spirit. Humanity has generally accepted the contradictory account in the second chapter of Genesis, describing a counterfeit man, made from the dust of the ground.
We believe more than is good for us about this mortal, material man, the counterfeit, but as human consciousness is enlightened the counterfeit man is detected and rejected, and the truth about the real man is accepted. In this mental transformation we do not lose our true identity. On the contrary, we see ourselves more nearly as we are. Our usefulness is enhanced is we learn that we have capacities and freedom far beyond our former limited concepts. The real man must be harmonious and intelligent, because he is the expression, the idea, of divine Mind.
Divine Ideas Are Harmonious
Man is as inseparable from God, good, as the sun's rays are inseparable from the sun. The rays are not the sun, but they partake of the sun's qualities. When Jesus said that he and God were one, he meant that he was at one with God, just as the sun's rays are at one with the sun. The rays cannot change themselves or be changed. They could not cease to be unless the sun ceased to be. If man ceased to express God it would be because God ceased to be − an impossibility, of course.
It is the business of man, as an idea of divine Mind, to reflect only good. To the extent that evil thoughts are excluded from consciousness, and good thoughts are entertained, to that extent does one reflect God. "Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, − our health, our longevity, and our Christianity" (Science and Health, p. 167).
All have the God-given right to health, harmony, and happiness. These are ours by reflection, not as something inherent in ourselves. This revelation of Truth enables mortals to righteously resist the age-old beliefs of disease, heredity, sin, and poverty − to master all adverse circumstances.
You will recall the Bible account of the multitude of enemies surrounding the army of King Jehoshaphat, and how he prayed the God of his fathers for help. The spiritually-minded Jahaziel, discerning the availability of divine aid, proclaimed, "Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not your's, but God's;" "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord." And then is related the utter annihilation of the enemy multitudes and the victory of those who relied on God.
The battle of Truth against error, of good against evil, is never ours, but God's. We are not to make God's law operate, we are to let it operate − by releasing our hold on material means and methods and yielding to the harmony of divine Mind. When we do that, harmony comes in unaided, as surely as the noonday sunlight pervades the room when the blinds are raised.
Many a Christian in recent centuries has been aroused to higher hope, stronger faith, and deeper consecration by Martin Luther's stirring hymn, "Ein' Feste Burg" (A Mighty Fortress), Hymnal, No. 411:
''All power is given unto our Lord,
On Him we place reliance;
With truth from out His sacred word
We bid our foes defiance.
With Him we shall prevail,
Whatever may assail;
He is our shield and tower,
Almighty is His Power;
His kingdom is forever."
Often called the "battle hymn of the Reformation," those words are as appropriate and potent for us today, with our unparalleled facilities for study and enlightenment, as they were for the scattered few, five hundred years ago, as they blazed the way for us.
And so "whatever may assail," this demonstrable Truth, Christian Science, operative Christianity, shows you the nearness of God and the availability of His love, and says to each one of you, "The battle is not your's, but God's."
[Published in The Somerville (Massachusetts) Journal, April 29, 1938.]