Christian Science:

A Foundation for World Brotherhood and Peace

 

Arthur G. Whitney, C.S., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

A lecture on Christian Science was given today at Orchestra Hall by Arthur C. Whitney, C.S., a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

The address was entitled "Christian Science: A Foundation for World Brotherhood and Peace." It follows:

 

Prayer based on spiritual understanding of God is an effectual force in world affairs and eventually will lead men to world peace.

True prayer is knowing the truth about God and man, he said. Such prayer brings human thought into line with divine order, law, and perfection. He explained that according to Christian Science this dispels and dissolves the negative qualities in human thinking which lead to war − and thus enables men individually and collectively to find the way to peace.

This is the ideal that enlightened men and women look forward to in world relations. Paul in the Scriptures tells us, "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). In truth, we are all sons of one creator and parent, our heavenly Father-Mother, God. His likeness is forever the same − spiritual, perfect, and Godlike. That is the man Christian Science presents. That is the man you really are.

During this hour let us seek for an increasing awareness of God's infinite presence, power, wisdom, and love right here with us, now. Let us become more conscious that man is the child of God, and therefore Godlike and spiritual. Let us reject as counterfeit the mortal sense of man, which is carnal, material, selfish and untrue.

In order to tell you how Christian Science is aiding world brotherhood and peace let me turn to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. This book and the King James translation of the Bible are the two textbooks used by students of Christian Science. Christian Scientists constantly study these two books.

 

What Is God?

Let us find there what Christian Science teaches about God. An understanding of God's nature and allness is the key to brotherhood and peace. Mrs. Eddy explains the nature of God in these words: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (Science and Health, p. 465). On another page she adds (p. 340): "Divine Love is infinite. Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love . . . One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations: constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' . . . and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."

 

Spiritual Consciousness Is Realm of Reality

The fundamental teaching of Christian Science is that God is All-in-all. The Bible speaks of God as divine Spirit, or, we might say, infinite spiritual consciousness. This spiritual consciousness is the permanent realm of the real to Christian Scientists, and it is right here, now.

Christian Science teaches that since God, Spirit, is all there really is, matter and material things, while apparent to the physical senses, are actually unreal.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy wrote (p. 129), "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things." In the same book she also wrote (p. 41), "Like our Master, we must depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being."

 

Wane of Materialism

The advanced thinkers of the world are beginning to discern this fact. Belief in the reality of matter and material things is gradually dissolving before spiritual understanding. Among many encouraging signs of this is a statement by the Dean of Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School. He writes: "Let us face the fact that what the world must have is a fuller cultivation of those qualities which are best termed spiritual . . . for on their strength depends our own survival. The good old days of billiard-ball atoms, Euclidean geometry, and the indestructibility of matter are now gone. . . . Matter in the old sense indeed has ceased to be. The universe in which our fathers felt so comfortably at home has vanished. . . . Great things are in the air, exciting new ideas in the sciences which may still further modify our understanding of the universe. This is no day to be dogmatic or complacent, for almost anything can happen now. The idealist who follows the ancient highway of the spirit toward reality has gained a more respectful audience than was his a half-century ago. . . . Belief in something constant and unchangeable, call it by whatever name we will, is a necessity not only for religion but equally for science and the arts, and forms a common meeting-ground and starting point for men who travel on the highway of the mind and those who use the road of the spirit."

He continues with this alert observation: "Man, not matter, is the chief problem of the world today."

 

True Concept of Man

Christian Science offers the right answer about man. Let us examine what it teaches about man and his relationship to God.

God is the sole creator of the universe, including man. He is the divine Father-Mother of all. All men are united by God in one universal brotherhood. Peace is the natural consequence. Man is the permanent expression of Spirit and, hence, is spiritual. Man is not what the material senses present him to be, that is, a mortal with a separate mind of his own and dependent on material things for his existence. That concept of man is but a counterfeit of the real man, who is wholly spiritual and dependent alone on God for life, health, intelligence and harmonious control. Man is eternally inseparable from God. If you will study Mrs. Eddy's clear two-and-a-half-page explanation of man in Science and Health, beginning on page 475, you will gain a clear understanding of man, the son of God, the man you really are.

 

Know Ourselves Through Spiritual Understanding

John says in the Bible, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" (I John 3:2). We are brothers. Let us begin to know ourselves through spiritual understanding, rather than through the perverted carnal mind's material sense testimony. Christian Scientists accept the Bible teaching that man is the son of God now. Therefore we all have one Father-Mother. We are spiritual, not material.

 

Brother

One day a Christian Science practitioner went into his new office in a building that was not completely finished. He greeted a workman who appeared to be of foreign extraction and who spoke with an accent. The practitioner asked casually, "Well, brother, how is the work going?" The man stopped his work, looked up in amazement, and asked humbly, "What did you call me?" The practitioner replied, "I called you 'brother.' " The man said, "I have been in this country a long time, and no one has ever called me that before." How hungry men are for even a small expression of love and brotherhood!

 

Effectual Prayer

Prayer to God is the most vital force in the world today, because it is the very presence and power of God expressing itself. Never underestimate the power of the prayer of spiritual understanding to meet any human need.

The key to effectual prayer is to follow the inspired instructions of Christ Jesus, our Wayshower. In the Bible he tells us with directness and simplicity one way to pray. He says, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

Prayer in Christian Science is very simple. It is not difficult to find spiritual truths about God. The Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings are full of them. For instance, when you acknowledge that God is limitless, spiritual presence or consciousness which is right here with us now, then ponder that truth and seek to comprehend and understand it. You will gain a conviction that it is the truth. You can acknowledge it with divine conviction and authority. Should you be tempted to believe that something contrary to God, such as a contagion of disease, is present, it will then become natural to repudiate the mental picture claimed by material sense. Mentally and verbally repudiate and reject it as false and valueless, just as you would reject a counterfeit bill. Then peacefully rest in that spiritual consciousness. You have known the truth. You have prayed. Knowing the truth does its part in fulfilling Jesus' statement, "and the truth shall make you free."

You do not know the truth in order to make it true. It is true already. You know the truth in order to harmonize your thinking with the spiritual reality; this brings its evidence into your experience. Consciousness and evidence are one.

 

Rouse Yourself Mentally From Material Sense

You need only to rouse yourself mentally from the mortal or material sense of things to become conscious of the wonderful spiritual facts that exist right here and now. God has endowed man with dominion over whatever is mortal, material, or unlike God. Man is included in God. All that God created is good, permanently and unchangingly. To realize and know such spiritual truths is to pray.

Never believe that you are far from God, nor think that you are merely close to Him. You are actually inseparable from God. Never think of yourself except as a full expression of God, evidencing true being.

Science and Health reveals the law underlying Jesus' teaching and healing method. It contains a seventeen-page chapter entitled "Prayer," devoted to understanding and applying prayer. Christian Scientists continually study this chapter with the purpose of making prayer more practical.

 

Universal Prayer

Never forget the fact that God is supreme and ever present. Just as the nature and power of God or Truth are infinite, so the nature and power of the prayer of Truth or spiritual understanding are likewise universal in scope. It is just as effectual to heal and transform thought in every other part of the world as it is right here, now, in this auditorium. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel."

How can each one of us go into all the world more effectually than through universal prayer? All true prayer is universal in its very nature. God's Word cannot be limited. Truth and Love are infinite. Omnipotence and omnipresence cannot be confined. All the presence and power of God is right here − and everywhere. You are inseparable from that presence and power, as is your brother man. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15.) How can you preach the gospel to every creature? Universal prayer is the only way I know, and it is an effectual way.

 

Works With Limitless Power and Intelligence

Then Jesus continued: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18). Christian Science, which teaches what God is by demonstration, works with limitless power and intelligence. Properly applied through prayer, this Science of the Christ can dispel all the so-called ills of the world. No tyranny or domination can stand against it. As Jesus, our beloved Master, said, "With God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

 

An Example of Universal Prayer

A man was once healed through prayer in Christian Science of what the physicians told him was an incurable disease. His gratitude to God was very great. He decided that he had wasted years of his life in the endeavor to accumulate material things which did him no good in his time of need. He turned to the Bible, which he had never before read, and set to work studying what the Master so practically showed us how to do in the four Gospels. He also studied for hours each day in Science and Health. There was awakened in him a great desire to pray and to help others, but no one came to him seeking spiritual help. Then the thought occurred to him to watch the daily paper and to know the truth: to pray, as Christian Science teaches us, about the needs of his local community, of his country, and of the world. Whenever he found something which seemed oppressive or distressing, he repudiated it and wiped from his thinking every vestige of that false, material sense. He replaced it with the conviction of the spiritual truth, that which God knew of the situation, namely, ever-present, all-harmonious, infinite, active good. As he applied universal prayer to the error that came to his attention, he found a great peace, joy, and satisfaction in this living love for God and man. He had found a way to love his brother practically and to pray for him impersonally and effectually. This satisfied him, something that his accumulation of material riches had never done. Soon requests for help in Christian Science came to him, some from places far removed from his own locality.

 

Not Enough to Just Listen to the Truth

Universal prayer reaches over all the world. What a wonderful thing it would be if every one of us, instead of accepting false pictures of international strife and discord, were silently to repudiate as untrue every erroneous mental picture that presents itself, whether it comes through the daily papers or the radio, and to realize the spiritual facts about God and man. This is praying the universal prayer of spiritual understanding. It is not enough to listen to the truth, to read it or to say it; you must know it, and often persist in knowing it, until the mesmeric evidence of the material sense is dissolved through spiritual consciousness and conviction. This is simple and practical prayer in Christian Science, and it protects as well as heals. Your heavenly Father-Mother God says to you, if you are troubled, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isa. 41:10).

 

The War Isn't Over

A Christian Science chaplain, upon returning to this country after VJ-Day, said to me: "The war isn't over. The only war there ever was is with material sense, with the beliefs of the carnal mind, and we need to continue fighting that more alertly and vigorously." He was right. The job of each one of us is to fight that war by transforming his own thinking, rejecting the carnal and material sense pictures, and learning to think more spiritually each day.

Christian Science teaches us that God, Mind, is All-in-all (see Science and Health 468-9). Therefore, consciousness is fundamental to existence, and everything is mental. No matter what comes to your consciousness, or what it appears to be, it comes either as a spiritual truth, an idea of God, or it comes as a suggestion or belief of the carnal mind. If it is good or Godlike, take it in, believe it and utilize it. If it is unGodlike, see it as a suggestion which is untrue, one which you must repudiate, regardless of appearances, just as you would reject a counterfeit bill as valueless. You put the spiritual truth in its place and hold to that. That is praying. Love this job of knowing the truth and make your sense of dependence upon God, or Truth, so great that you cannot be deceived and made fearful or disheartened, regardless of what the material sense testimony presents. Let us see the situation as Paul did, and with him say, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31.)

 

Don't Start a War

A Canadian religious periodical during the last war brought out a helpful thought when it printed the following item under the heading, "Don't Start a War." It reads: "A lot of people pray for peace and hope that the peace after this war may be permanent but never dream of ending the little wars in their own lives. They tolerate feuds in their family circles and in their business and social circles. If all who read this yearned enough to put an end to these little wars (and they will occur to you as you read this), they should be doing something concrete to make the coming peace permanent. We shall never help to get peace in the world so long as the things that make wars abound in our own lives." What we need is a change in the hearts of men first more than a change in governments. Government will improve in the measure that we improve.

 

Five Steps

There are five steps in your effectual work of bringing the peace of God and true brotherhood into operation. (1) This step is to begin in the quiet of your own thought to look to God for the peace of God that is your divine birthright and to continue until you find a love, serenity, and tranquility that stays with you. The first step is always "beginning with me." (2) The next is to carry this peace of God into your home with sufficient patience, tolerance, love, and forgiveness and to let the peace of God be active there. (3) Next, extend this same basis of thought to your fellow church members and friends until no one of them can be to you less than a perfect son of God, a brother. This basis dissolves all feuds, and we see the true brotherhood of man expressed. (4) The next step is to reach out in your thought to your community, and then to the nation, cleansing from your thought any divisions, partisan, sectional, or historical. (5) The fifth step is to extend your understanding of love and peace to the very uttermost parts of the earth, to all nations and all men. See God's allness and man as wholly Godlike and loving. Don't let go until the peace of God and the brotherhood of man are satisfyingly real, universal, and permanent. That is universal prayer, or prayer for the world.

 

'Beginning With Me'

A consecrated Chinese Christian, a leader in his nation, used to pray for the church in China and for those whom it was endeavoring to serve. He prayed for the spiritual quickening of its members and would always end his prayer for spiritual quickening by adding, "beginning with me." What an example for each one of us, "beginning with me." Those words have become indelibly fixed in my thought.

 

Spiritually True Concept of Him Is Your Brother

Man is God's child, Love's spiritual idea, governed and controlled by divine Love and depending only upon divine Mind, not on man. Therefore, you must love your neighbor as yourself − and your neighbor may be in Russia, China, or anywhere else in the world. Your spiritually true concept of him is your brother. He truly is your brother, whether his name is Jones, Rubiloff, or anything else. Take him to your heart with great compassion. Let us remember that the only real race is made up of the sons of God; the only real nation is the kingdom of God on earth, here, now. We are all brothers. It is not necessarily what men seem humanly to be that we are to love, but what they really are as God's likeness. Proportionately as we recognize and love man in his true selfhood, we discern more evidence of it.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

The beloved revelator of Christian Science to this age, Mary Baker Eddy, has given us the Science of the Master's teaching about God, man, and prayer in such form that it can be understood and applied practically.

Through her consecration to God, Mrs. Eddy was enabled to lift and enlarge and enlighten the lives she touched. It is a joy to realize that today her inspired writings are reaching out through the whole world and are lifting, enlarging, and enlightening the lives they touch. How arresting is this message from her "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 279), spoken to a class of students: "We, today, in this class-room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind; for then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind."

Let us here tonight resolve to consecrate ourselves wholly to the service of this one Mind, which is God; to pray daily for the world and for all men with unwavering spiritual conviction that the influence of this truth which we effectually realize in prayer will be felt universally; to know that all ungodlike beliefs that would oppress and separate men do dissolve under the impulse of this prayer of spiritual understanding; to expect now the eternal reign of God's infinite government of universal, divine Love; and to see at hand the brotherhood of man evidenced among all nations. Let us make this work of praying for the fulfillment of world brotherhood our individual task right here now − and let each one of us add, "beginning with me."

 

Taught Many, Performed Remarkable Healings

Through her unselfed love and her wholehearted desire that all men might grasp and benefit by the Science of Christ Jesus' teaching which she brought to the world, Mrs. Eddy labored many years to establish the Church of Christ, Scientist. She was its first pastor. She taught many others the Science of Mind-healing, and herself performed many remarkable healings, before she devoted her energies more largely to the leadership of this great movement which embraces the whole civilized world.

 

The Christian Science Monitor

While God's weapon of universal prayer is being used increasingly, another weapon our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, gave us is flooding the world daily with facts about true government and the universal brotherhood of man. It is The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper, whose purpose is "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (Miscellany, p. 353). Through its far-flung circulation, this newspaper is leavening and preparing thought throughout the world for the acceptance of world brotherhood and all that goes with it. Its alert, unselfish purpose is bearing much fruit. The news appearing in The Christian Science Monitor offers a basis for loving, world-wide prayer for peace and brotherhood. It should be so used.

Every alert Christian Scientist prays daily, " . . . and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" This is a portion of the "Daily Prayer" given in full in the Manual of The Mother Church, page 41.  It demonstrates Christian Science, the practical religion of love and brotherhood.

 

'Only the dawn wind'

In some places today hysteria, fear of war, fear of the atom bomb and of inconceivable destruction grip many unnecessarily. Civilization is not headed for destruction. Be not afraid, even if the horizons of material sense grow more black and threatening.

Once a traveler was crossing the Pyrenees with a trusted guide. In the dead of night, as day was approaching, a howling wind arose, growing more terrifying and seemingly more devastating each moment. At last, in his blind terror, the traveler cried out, "Oh, this must be the end of the world!" Replied the guide; "Have no fear. This is only the dawn wind."

The "dawn wind" of the universal prayer of spiritual understanding is gradually bringing into the open and then dispelling the vicious beliefs of the carnal mind which would becloud human thought. Great seems the turmoil, and some are deceived into unwarranted fear. Then comes the assuring thought that this upheaval, or as Christian Science calls it, chemicalization, can destroy only the temporal things of evil that are unlike God. What sweet assurance there is in these words of an old hymn, "The storm may roar without me" − the storm may roar without my being involved in it at all; I stay in the consciousness of the peace of God in perfect serenity. And let some more words of the same hymn fill your heart:

"My hope I cannot measure,

My faith in life is free;

My Father has my treasure,

And He will walk with me."

(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 148.)

Trust God. Be not deceived.

 

Be at Peace

Daniel got out of the lions' den by understanding the control which divine Love held over all, not by fighting with the lions. The prophet Isaiah speaks these words: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee (on God); because he trusteth in thee (in God)" (Isa. 26:3). Be at peace. All is well. All will be well. But do your part faithfully, daily, with the universal prayer of spiritual understanding. Know it. Remember the "dawn wind," and have no fear! Our beloved Leader once said, "No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 277).

 

Pray with Expectancy

Today demands action on the part of every one of us, spiritual action, prayer, active partnership with God. Christians need to do more than they have ever done before. It has been said that Christians are often the greatest enemies of the Christian church, because they are feeble examples of their cause. Let there be none such among us.

Recent increasing recognition of the power of universal prayer and its more active use today opens up a bright prospect for preventing war and bringing permanent brotherhood and peace among men and nations.

 

Enemies to Be Dealt With

The real battle lines are clearly drawn today. They are never between men or nations, but between the spiritual and godlike on the one hand, and the carnal and ungodlike on the other. There are no limiting boundaries to God's kingdom on earth. God's kingdom includes all men and nations without discrimination.

 

False Mental State of Materiality Unlike God

Then there appears to be the worldly kingdom of the carnal mind: that false, mental state of materiality with its apparent evidence of all that is unlike God. It includes such false beliefs as selfishness, aggression, domination, viciousness, greed, envy, jealousy, malice, hatred, revenge. These are the enemies we need to deal with in our own consciousness through prayer. No lust for power and control can permanently dominate nations and peoples. Christian Scientists recognize the necessity of great alertness and watchfulness at this stage of the world's growth in understanding. We stand ready to take proper human footsteps in dealing with the apparent evil in the world. Obedience to love will fulfill the vision that faith and spiritual understanding have given us.

The Christian's Weapon

The Christian's weapon is prayer. Praying with spiritual understanding, and living this prayer every waking hour, seven days a week, checks the errors which are impelled by ignorance and fear. This prayer knows the deception, impotence, and unreality of every evidence of the carnal mind. It is the prayer that replaces errors in consciousness with the opposite spiritual realities, the things of God; prayer that sees all men as perfect, spiritual, the sons of God, and wipes out the concept of man as mortal, material, and unlike God. Our weapons include prayer that realizes that all nations are in reality part of the great universal kingdom of God, infinite, divine Mind or intelligence; prayer that sees all men as free subjects of the kingdom of God and happy members of the universal brotherhood of man, today and forever; prayer that recognizes that man has one Mind and that Mind is God, and one nature and that nature Godlike; prayer that sees that the spiritual consciousness alone is real and that the mortal, material, carnal sense of things, although apparent, is false, impersonal, impotent, and unreal; prayer that knows that nothing is impossible to God, who is All-in-all, and includes man and all that is good.

 

You Are Your 1st Concern; Gain Through Prayer

The one each of us needs to be concerned about primarily in this activity is himself. Remember that statement, "beginning with me." Don't wonder too much about what any one else is doing. Just think of what you can do "with God." Put God's love, wisdom, and power into active expression through prayer. Live it in every contact today, and every day, letting God work through you. Never belittle what God can do through you. Mrs. Eddy once said, "Man is God's image and likeness; whatever is possible to God, is possible to man as God's reflection" (Miscellaneous Writing, p. 183). Have faith that God's Word can do any needful thing through you. His Word is the spiritual truth you know and apply. Have such confidence in your utilization of His Word. It is prayer that makes Christian Science a practical religion.

Brotherhood and peace are realities to us now. Let us live them in our hearts and lives, through love. Let us steadfastly walk and talk with our Father-Mother God, divine Love.

In conclusion ponder how comforting and reassuring these words from our Hymnal (No. 139) can be to you tonight:

 

"I walk with Love along the way,

And O, it is a holy day;

No more I suffer cruel fear,

I feel God's presence with me here;

The joy that none can take away

Is mine; I walk with Love today.

"Come, walk with Love along the way,

Let childlike trust be yours today;

Uplift your thought, with courage go,

Give of your heart's rich overflow,

And peace shall crown your joy-filled day.

Come, walk with Love along the way."

 

[1946.]

 

 

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