God's Abundance Available

Through Application of Christian Science

 

Arthur C. Whitney, C.S. of Carmel, California

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Mankind today sees itself surrounded by inadequacies: lack of supply, lack of health, lack of security, lack of peace and even lack of time in which to do all that seems needful. In reality, God is illimitable divine Mind, spiritual substance, and therefore God's abundance is ever available, through the understanding and application of spiritual truth, as Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles used it. How beautiful was the conviction of dependence on God of David the Psalmist, a former shepherd boy, when he said: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." How good was a five-year-old's unwittingly wise recitation of this psalm when he said, "The Lord is my shepherd: that's all I want." And it should be to us too.

 

Prayer

How can you make God your shepherd? Through prayer. Prayer in Christian Science is based on spiritual understanding instead of blind faith or belief. Prayer is an absolute realization of spiritual facts as the truth. The opening statement in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy reads, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings" (Pref., p. vii). It requires understanding and knowing the truth, which repudiates the sense testimony, truth's opposite. Letting go the false and claiming the true brings freedom. Jesus promised this. He said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). They are works of freedom from all limitation. And remember these words of his from the Bible: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Understanding and acknowledging the spiritual facts, or the truth, and dismissing as unreal the material sense testimony is knowing the truth. This is prayer in Christian Science − prayer which heals. No discord can withstand the prayer of spiritual understanding. There is no impossible or incurable situation. And remember John's words in Revelation (21:7), "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Doesn't that make this work worth while?

 

Giving Is the Key

The prayer of Christian Science is proved in giving love by sharing. The open hand in giving is the open hand to receive. Pray by giving your brother in your thinking his divine nature and perfection. The grasping, closed, selfish hand can receive nothing, no matter how great is the present available abundance about it.

Recently I read an interesting item which stated that in Palestine there are two seas. The water in one is fresh and palatable. In the other it is slimy and unpalatable. The same river, the Jordan feeds them both with the same water. One is sought after, the other avoided. "Why," you may ask, "when both are fed by the same clear water?" The answer: The first receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop of water that flows into it, another drop flows out. The second gives away nothing. Nothing flows out of it. It hoards its income jealously. The first is the beautiful Sea of Galilee. The second, the Dead Sea.

Just so in giving is the key to desirability, freshness, and abundance. Hoarding, on the other hand, makes for sluggishness, staleness, and undesirability. Good just ceases flowing in such a consciousness. Keep the door of your consciousness open, joyously giving of your divine spiritual abundance.

 

The Arabian Chiefs and the Paris Faucets

Some thirty years ago several Arab chieftains accompanied the famous First World War character Lawrence of Arabia, to the Paris Peace Conference. These Arabs saw many wonderful things in the great city, but the most amazing sight to them was the running water in their hotel rooms. It seemed to them impossible that by simply turning a faucet they could have an almost inexhaustible flow of water without effort or expense. They had been accustomed all their lives to consider water as a scarce commodity. They knew its great value and from experience the difficulty of obtaining it.

When the work of the conference was finished and the members were about to depart, Lawrence found the Arabs trying to detach the faucets from the walls of their rooms so they could continue to have an exhaustless supply without effort in their barren deserts! It required considerable time and patience to explain that the faucets alone were utterly valueless. He finally showed them that the source of the water was a great reservoir, and that there could be no break, between it and the free-flowing faucets. They finally understood that they must have all the parts connected and working together to yield satisfying results.

We smile at the simple-minded Arab chiefs. But how about ourselves? Are we not, in like manner, often looking to and endeavoring to gain our sustenance from a job, a husband, a friend, some securities, or from a business? These in themselves are but "faucets." Are we not also tempted to look to the human body for health, freedom, strength, activity, forgetting that God alone is their source? It is of vital importance to our progress to recognize and hold to the fact that God is our limitless, ever-available, ever-operative divine Principle of the universe. He constitutes the reservoir of illimitable goodness, which finds its outlets in countless means of blessing us. It is equally important to allow no suggestion of limitation to interfere with our conscious realization of omniactive Mind and its control over our Father's abundant goodness and His loving desire to bestow it upon His children, the beneficiaries of His bounty.

Outlining how we think our blessings should come to us is the human limitation which prevents us from freely reflecting God's will and His means of supplying our needs. When we are tempted to outline we need to turn our attention to pouring out our gratitude to God for all He has given us − health, joy, freedom, plenty. We need to acknowledge His infinite ability to supply our every need, even before we are aware of it! Remember how Jesus thanked God before he called Lazarus forth from the sepulcher. Draw from the divine reservoir the divine ideas and spiritual qualities He has already bestowed, and freely and joyfully express them. Let us seek to find additional ways and means of enlarging our consciousness of illimitable goodness and right constructive activity right where we are now.

Our demonstration rests in our right thinking, not on conditions, persons, or environment. Never accept the suggestion to look to the "faucet" for anything. Never fail to keep your thinking in accord with the "reservoir." Never allow a belief or suggestion to detach your thinking from your true source, any more than you would detach a material faucet from the reservoir. Claim your legitimate connection with your divine source, as God's son, and expect His blessings without interruption. And keep the faucets wide open with constant gratitude.

Christian Science comes with tender love and compassion for you who need help and comfort, to lift your burdens, to banish fear and worry and doubt forever from your experience. It comes with spiritual understanding to wipe out all evil desires, all enslaving beliefs. Christian Science comes to free you from pain and disease, and says, "Now is the day of your salvation and freedom through spiritualizing and transforming your thinking, and NOW is the time to do it." This accords with Paul's clear statement, "Behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2).

 

Man's Divine Birthright

Did you ever realize that you are a member of the divinely royal family? Your own heavenly Father is the King of the universe, the divine Ruler and governor of all men. Each one of us is a prince of God, with a wonderful birthright as a son of the sovereign King. Realize how rich your birthright is as a son of God.

Sometimes you hear someone say of another "He was born rich." Now, that is the exact truth about you. You are a son of God and have inherited from Him the limitless treasure which is God's and which He has bestowed upon you as a birthright. It is adequate, and it is available to meet your every need TODAY. No birthright, however, would benefit you unless you first recognized that you had it, and of what it consisted: second, claimed it for your own, with gratitude to God; and third, actively used it.

Suppose you owed five thousand dollars which had to be paid today and you did not have the cash in hand with which to meet the obligation. However, suppose you had in three different banks twice the amount of money which you owed. This would do you no good unless you recognized what you had and where you had it, then claimed it, and used it for the need of the moment. Just so with your birthright of marvelous talents which God has bestowed upon you. These God-given qualities must first be recognized, then claimed by you as yours, and then actively and practically used at every opportunity.

Just so with your birthright of marvelous spiritual ideas or talents which God has bestowed upon you. Let us consider a few of your assets; they come from God, and, therefore, they are yours by reflection. There are joy, love, poise, serenity, fearlessness, perfection, freedom, immortality, indestructibility, spirituality, steadfastness, wisdom, kindness, gratitude, consecration, resourcefulness, progressiveness, contentment, assurance of all good, unselfishness, inspiration, limitless strength, dominion. These are but a few of the tremendous number that are yours. Continue each day to utilize these inexhaustible assets, and endeavor each day to recognize and use some additional qualities of God which you possess by reflection as His image and likeness. What Jesus put in the mouth of the father of the prodigal, God says to each of you, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." That is your birthright. Ponder and evaluate each one of your treasures. Seek daily to increase your understanding and utilization of them. Remember that these spiritual qualities are not dependent upon material conditions, but upon your relation to God. Claim these with gratitude, and use them. Before the infinite and readily available resources of your heavenly Father, the false claims of mortal-sense belief about man will vanish as readily as the five-thousand-dollar debt before the realization of your spiritual assets.

We need to become more fully aware of our birthright through opening our thought to receive the message of truth which heals all beliefs of limitation. The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and its many branch churches have provided means whereby we may learn more fully the bountiful good which awaits our acceptance and application of the truth. You are welcome to go to the free Christian Science Reading Room in this city, where the two textbooks of Christian Science, The Bible and Science and Health, may be read, borrowed, or purchased and other Christian Science literature is available in several languages. There is a Christian Science church here, and you are lovingly invited to attend its Sunday and Wednesday evening services. The latter includes testimonies of healing through prayer in Christian Science. The ushers here can give you the location of the church and Reading Room and hours of services.

 

God the Only Source

Christ Jesus showed us where to turn for our daily sustenance. He said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). When you seek the spiritual consciousness, you are seeking the kingdom of God. Our Master fed "five thousand men, beside women and children," with five loaves, two fishes, and the spiritual bread from heaven. This bread from heaven was his understanding that God alone was the source of all substance, and that he, as the child of God, had from that source whatever he needed. Jesus defined his purpose when he said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Remember how the Israelites were sustained day by day in a desert for forty years by God's loving care and provision? (Ex. 16:1-35.) In our Hymnal (No. 46) are these lines:

 

"Day by day the manna fell;

O, to learn this lesson well.

Still by constant mercy fed,

Give me, Lord, my daily bread."

 

Practice constantly looking to God for all good − for that which meets every need. Never look anywhere else but to God, the infinite, divine source and reality of being. Realize with the Psalmist, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps. 23:1) − "That's all I want," as the little five-year-old said.

 

Prayer Is Effectual

During the blizzard of 1947, the coldest winter in seventy years in England, due to an extreme shortage of fuel of all kinds, the electricity was conserved by cutting it off for four hours each day (known as the "power cuts"). During these power cuts no elevators were in operation in hotels, and nothing which required electricity was in operation. One had to shave by electricity before eight o'clock in the morning or go without it. One had to sit in darkness during those four hours and accommodate himself to working during hours when there was light. Meals had to be prepared at odd hours when electric fuel was available; travelers had to carry their own luggage up long flights while the lifts were inactive

A woman interested in Christian Science suffered much from cold and privation, due to the fact that the power had been cut continuously in her section of London for several weeks. She came to a lecture on Christian Science when it seemed to her that she was almost unable to be about. The lecturer gave an experience of a flyer who was shot down during the war over the Pacific, and of his rescue. He had prayed almost continuously for several hours. A reconnaissance flyer above had seen a light on the water, and thinking it might be one of our boys he had sent for a boat, which had effected the flyer's rescue. When he had been congratulated for having used his flashlight, and having thus made his predicament known, he had replied that he had had no flashlight but had just prayed. His prayer and his reaching out to God for His abundant goodness had evidenced itself to another as a light. The lecturer made the assertion that "your prayer of spiritual understanding is answered at the point of your need."

This women in question went home imbued with a vision of the possibilities of the prayer of spiritual understanding, which includes the realization that God's child possesses all that the Father has. She forgot her predicament, forgot her discomfort, and began praying earnestly. She prayed into the early hours of the morning, and suddenly her lights were turned on and they were not turned off again! She told of this experience several weeks afterward, and it was corroborated by others.

 

Know God's Presence

God, good, is all there really is. Think of God as divine presence. You can never be outside of or apart from this presence. Your dominion is assured when you give up every sense of existence apart from a consciousness of divine Love's ever-presence.

A little boy who attended the Christian Science Sunday School told his mother he would never be afraid of the dark again. When asked why, he replied. "In school the teacher says, 'Johnny,' and I answer, 'Present!' So in the dark I say, 'God,' and He answers, 'Present!' I know He is everywhere and is always with me wherever I am, and I'm not afraid any more." Take a lesson from that lad's experience, and when in distress, fear, or agony you cry out, "God!" the never-failing answer is always, "Present!" This was God's answer to Moses as recorded in Exodus (33:14), "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."

When the presence of divine Love is realized, man is seen to be free, perfect, pure and serene. In the presence of Life eternal there can be no death, no destruction. Man, being inseparable from God, the very expression of God's being, is indestructible and immortal. Mrs. Eddy says in "Unity of Good" (p. 24), "God is All-in-all; and you can never be outside of His oneness." Affirm many times a day that God's presence is with you and that you express all that God is, right now. That is your divine birthright; claim it for yourself!

 

Security

The other day I noticed that one of the most used, worn, and soiled pages in all my books is page 281 of "Miscellaneous Writings" by Mrs. Eddy. It contains a statement which, though I know it well, I love to turn to. It reads, "I learned long ago that the world could neither deprive me of something nor give me anything, and I have now one ambition and one joy." Let us all strive for the consciousness which turns away from dependence on the world for anything. We may be ready to realize that the world cannot deprive us of something, but we are not so eager to realize that the world can't give us something! We need to be alert on that point!

I once read about five kinds of dependence, four of which always fail, and one of which never fails: (1) To be dependent on material things, conditions, or circumstances makes you unstable; (2) to be dependent on other persons makes you weak; (3) to be self-dependent makes you weaker still, for that fails you in your day of greatest need; (4) to be independent is but a dream of your false pride, for no such thing is possible; (5) to be dependent on God, upon spiritual understanding, makes you strong and meets every need. Absolute dependence on God is the only real dependence. Therefore give up the belief of dependence on matter. Keep your thought turned to God. Stop depending on material sense testimony. An old Indian proverb reads, "The eagle that soars in the air, does not worry itself how it is to cross rivers."

Security comes as a result of understanding scientific dependence on God and demonstrating it. There is no real security in dependence on human government or human ways and means. Someone has said. "The best example of perfect material security is a man serving a life term in a federal prison." The kind of security you get for nothing is slavery. Looking to people or material things for security is an illusion. There is no "something for nothing." You may confidently expect to receive all you will ever need, when you turn to God alone in spiritual understanding. God never fails.

 

Jesus and the Christ

Christian Science gives a practical understanding of Jesus and of the Christ. The Christ is the manifestation of infinite, eternal, spiritual Truth − the truth of God and His child, man. The understanding of this Truth heals. Jesus' understanding of the Christ enabled him to heal sickness, sin, and lack, and to raise the dead. The Christ, Truth, which Jesus taught and which Mrs. Eddy has revealed to us in her writings, is what enables us to heal as we gain spiritual understanding.

 

Rescue of Boy Lost at Sea

Several years ago a man and his wife and their seven-year-old son started out in a boat off the southern coast of California to spend the summer fishing. Toward the end of the first day, before sunset, the mother of the boy went below to the galley to prepare the evening meal and the father went to the wheelhouse, leaving the boy on the upper deck.

Shortly afterward the father went above deck and called to the child, but he was nowhere about, and he went below and told his wife. They both went at once to the upper deck; he to the helm, turning the boat about, and she to the stern, where she continually declared the truth about their situation. She kept praying, part of the time repeating aloud the words of "The Mother's Evening Prayer" by Mrs. Eddy:

 

"O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;

O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,

Thou Love that guards the nestling's faltering flight!

Keep Thou my child on upward wing to-night."

Their son could not swim, and at this time of evening there was usually a breeze that disturbed the waters and made it difficult to see. It wasn't long before the mother realized that the father was uncertain where they were, and knew not which way to turn to locate the boy. She declared the truth again and again, realizing that God, unerring divine Mind, was leading, guiding, and directing them, and that this same Mind was the child's protection. Soon the father sighted the boy about half a mile away. They had passed him by! Later the child said he thought they were coming to help him when they turned around, but that when they passed him he just called out to God, thinking they were unable to help him. Divine Mind was directing and governing all of them, and answered his prayer for help and their prayers for guidance and strength.

They soon got the boy into the boat and tucked him into his bunk. He sustained no ill effects from being in the cold water. They had been acknowledging God's loving presence and protection. They found the child had had no fear, which accounts for his staying afloat. These three who had known Christian Science all their lives have testified to God's loving presence and His abundant goodness in many, many ways.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy is a wonderful example of one who lived the religion she professed, which God revealed to the world through her. During the first years after the discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy commanded attention by her healing works among the hopelessly sick and dying. Here, briefly, in her own words, are a few experiences from her early healing ministry:

"After my discovery of Christian Science, 1 healed consumption in its last stages, a case which the M.D.'s, by verdict of the stethoscope and the schools, declared incurable because the lungs were mostly consumed. I healed malignant diphtheria and carious bones that could be dented by the finger, saving the limbs when the surgeon's instruments were lying on the table ready for their amputation. I have healed at one visit a cancer that had eaten the flesh of the neck and exposed the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord. I have physically restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and have made the lame walk" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 105). "Had not my first demonstrations of Christian Science or metaphysical healing exceeded that of other methods, they would not have arrested public attention and started the great Cause that to-day commands the respect of our best thinkers. It was that I healed the deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the last stages of consumption, pneumonia, etc., and restored the patients in from one to three interviews, that started the inquiry, What is it?" (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 17)

After proving through demonstration that Christian Science is the revealed Word of God, she wrote "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Before she endeavored to write the revelation of the Christ, Truth, she withdrew from the world, forsook all her former activities and social contacts, and worked and prayed to be shown the way to bring this divine message of salvation to mankind. We find her own comments in this work on page 126, lines 22-31:

"I have set forth Christian Science and its application to the treatment of disease just as I have discovered them. I have demonstrated through Mind the effects of Truth on the health, longevity, and morals of men; and I have found nothing in ancient or in modern systems on which to found my own, except the teachings and demonstrations of our great Master and the lives of prophets and apostles. The Bible has been my only authority. I have had no other guide in 'the straight and narrow way' of Truth."

Although the definite rule of healing remained to be discovered by Mrs. Eddy and revealed in Christian Science, Christ Jesus clearly proved there is a law of God applicable to the healing and regenerating of man, regardless of the human discord. And he promised that he would send a Comforter who would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Christian Science has proved by its works that it is this promised Comforter. All who have experienced its healing results testify to this as a certainty and acknowledge their beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, as the Founder of this great movement which today has spread to the ends of the earth. They do not deify her, but many daily express their gratitude to God for the truth of Christian Science which her humble, loving, selfless study made available to mankind.

 

Overcoming Fear

A young naval officer told me recently of visiting a village inn in England where he found this motto over the fireplace: "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there." Whenever we refuse to open our consciousness to negative suggestions we too will find "no one there." It doesn't matter what the negative suggestion is called, it is just a suggestion and can be rejected with the assurance that Truth alone is present and powerful in our experience. In Science and Health we find this assuring statement of truth: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494). Divine Love's eternal presence and power banish every semblance of an evil presence or power. Before one could fear, he would have to be deceived into believing in the existence of something besides God, the All-in-all!

Here is a practical way of looking at the word "fear": F stands for false, the E for evidence, the A for appearing, and the R for real. In other words, fear is "false evidence appearing real.'' That is all fear is; false evidence appearing real!

 

The Eternal Present

It is essential that we take our stand with God and His good creation and realize that our only past is comprised in our eternal oneness with God. We have no other. Now is the only time there is of which we can be conscious. All that is real is a present fact. Therefore do not bemoan the past or fear the future.

One time a man started the motor on his boat, cast off the bow line, and threw in the clutch expecting to go forward. All that happened was a great commotion in the water; the boat remained where it was. Upon investigating, the man found the stern line was still hitched to the wharf! The moment he released this, the boat went forward. There are times when we cast off the bow line: make an effort to go forward in spiritual progress, and yet seem to make no headway. We need to see if we have cast off our stern line − let go of the belief that we or our brothers have a past apart from God − and, having dissolved such beliefs, go forward!

 

Act in the Living Present

One time in the early days of this country a scout got lost in the great American desert. As soon as he discovered that he had lost his bearings, like a good scout he stopped and checked up on himself. He figured that he had food and water enough for three days, and that if he proceeded in the right direction he would reach the outpost before he exhausted his supply. In any event, he decided to take a practical stand and determined not to look back and magnify any experience; neither would he look ahead fearfully, but he would maintain the fact that he was all right now, and thank God for it. He started out, and whenever the suggestion came that he should condemn himself for carelessness in getting off the trail, or when it seemed doubtful that he could reach his goal, he resolutely affirmed, "I'm all right this minute and I'm thankful!" At the end of three days he had not reached the outpost, his water and food were gone, but he was neither hungry nor thirsty as he persistently declared, "I'm all right, right now!" Before hunger and fear overcame him, he reached the outpost. Had he succumbed to fear and confusion, and let mortal belief overwhelm him, he might not have been saved. God sustained Moses when He said to him, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared" (Ex. 23:20).

Do you remember the Bible story of the disciples who were at a loss to know what to do after their Master had been crucified? One day Peter, the fisherman, said to the others, "I go a fishing." They answered him, "We also go with thee." Peter was going back to his old work, after the Master, for three years, had shown him a new and vitally important work! You recall how they fished all night and caught nothing until the Master appeared and bade them "cast the net on the right side," after which their catch was so heavy they were unable to draw in the net. Mrs. Eddy, referring to this experience, writes in Science and Health (p. 35), "Convinced of the fruitlessness of their toil in the dark and wakened by their Master's voice, they changed their methods, turned away from material things, and cast their net on the right side." Many of us need to heed this lesson and turn away from the old material way in which we have been doing things. When we are ready to stop working merely for ourselves, and to cast our nets on the right side by letting God use us in serving, helping, and healing, we will find ourselves blessed beyond human comprehension.

You will remember that after their breakfast by the sea, Jesus asked Peter, "Lovest thou me more than these?" When Peter protested that he loved the Christ, Jesus replied, "Feed my lambs" (John 21:15). This question was repeated twice, and each time after Peter's assurance, the Master added the admonition, "Feed my sheep." All of us who have gained some comprehension of the import of the healing, transforming, and regenerating work of Christian Science must heed the Master's injunction, "Feed my sheep." And when we have, we will find ourselves sustained by a deep consecration to God and a great love of serving God and our fellowman.

 

Bulletins with a Purpose

In one of the cities of England is an especially beautiful cathedral whose steeple rises half its height in a richly ornamented tower, from which the pure lines of its spire sweep unbroken to the cross which crowns its pinnacle. How like our own lives it is! The early years, overspread with a profusion of activities, are impressive in a material way. Then, when we have found a better way to follow, our path strikes out unadorned except for the sublime purity of consecration. No beliefs of self decorate the spire, and our cross is crowned with gratitude and contentment when we can hear the benediction. "Well done!" Remember the important work. Start each day with God. Draw on God for your every need. Consecrate yourself to God and let Him use you. There is no greater or more beautiful work than your Father's work for you. This brings peace, and you can gratefully say, "I really have no unsatisfied desires, and no need, for I am already complete in God." As the closing words of one of our Leader's hymns put it:

 

"My prayer, some daily good to do

To Thine, for Thee;

An offering pure of Love,

whereto God leadeth me."

(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 253.)

 

[March 21, 1954.]

 

 

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