What Is the Good that Satisfies?

 

Edward C. Williams, C.S.B., of Indianapolis, Indiana

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:

Has it ever occurred to you that the drive behind all human action is the desire for what people think is good?

Somewhere this very minute there are people starting out in their automobiles in search of a good time; others are hurrying to the bargain counter in search of a good thing; still others are seeking good in strong drink or at the gaming table. Even the naked savage, setting out on the hunt with spear in hand, is seeking his sense of good. But when he finds it, it might attack him and become evil instead. So who can really say what is good?

Nearly everyone will agree that whatever satisfies is good. Yet there are countless conflicting opinions about what really satisfies. One man might feel that his business is good, and in this find a certain satisfaction. But then if his business takes a downward turn, his satisfaction is gone. Another might find satisfaction in a good game of golf, only to lose it later with a poor score. Material concepts of good don't satisfy the deep human yearning for lasting contentment. Eventually mankind is compelled to look for a more permanent good. One of the deepest human instincts is to search for good. But real satisfaction is found only in the degree that good is understood.

Where do we find the good that satisfies?

In a popular magazine I read the statement that millions of people today feel desperately the need of good in the form of rest or added vitality, and they are vainly seeking it in the use of drugs, drugs commonly known as "sleeping pills" and "pep pills." Can there be anything here that really satisfies?

In another instance a woman was asked in a newspaper interview what she thought about the idea of giving up cigarettes. She replied, "I'd rather live ten years with cigarettes than twenty years without them." One might ask what pitiful idolatry, in the name of satisfaction, would induce a woman to lay ten years of her life on the altar to a poisonous narcotic.

 

Good Needs to Be Understood

Then what is the all-satisfying good which the whole world is seeking? Where can it be found? This isn't a new question. Socrates recognized it over twenty-three centuries ago in Athens when he observed that a desire for good was the motive behind everything that people did, whether they were right or wrong. And he saw that because of this, nothing was so important as a true knowledge of good.

How many in the world's population today, do you suppose could define correctly the true essence of good? The need for it is so universal that everyone is continually seeking it in many different directions, and all of these people have one thing in common − their desire to be satisfied. But in order to find consistent access to good we must understand what it is. Otherwise we might sometimes choose evil and not really know the difference. What is the good that will truly satisfy?

If men could only learn what actual good is, they could work together in achieving it. Ignorance of the true nature of good divides mortals and sets them against each other. Have you ever noticed that the more material a man's sense of good is, the more he feels he must hoard it, and even take it away from others? And the more spiritual his sense of good becomes the more he begins to share with others. The saint and the sinner are simply acting out two opposite concepts of good. They're pursuing the same thing − but in opposite directions. Fortunate indeed is the man who understands what genuine good is. It is he who finds true satisfaction.

But is there any definition for pure good − the good that will truly satisfy? Yes indeed. Christ Jesus defined good explicitly when he said, "There is none good but one, that is, God" (Matt. 19:17). And Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, makes the same basic point. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" she gives this definition of "good": "God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action" (p. 587). So here, in the teachings of Jesus and also of Christian Science, is the answer to the world's question: What is the final good? It is God.

 

Proving that Good Is God

Now Jesus didn't just say that good is God. He demonstrated it. His understanding of God as infinite good gave him unlimited access to priceless qualities that everyone is seeking today − qualities indispensable to achievement and satisfaction. They made Jesus the most effective man the world has ever known. His understanding of good gave him the spiritual intuition to discern the thoughts of others for the purpose of healing them. It gave him power to silence stormy waters with a word. It gave him authority to raise Lazarus from the dead. It gave him protection from murderous mobs. It gave him spiritual poise when he stood on trial before Pilate. It so identified him with life that he overcame death and rose from the tomb. Intuition, power, protection, poise − these aren't just good qualities which we all desire; they're qualities of God. Jesus proved that an understanding of God brings good to man. He showed us that to find good we must know God. The whole purpose of his ministry was to show us what God is and how to know Him. Everyone, sooner or later, must find his good in God. It is useless to seek good while disregarding God. This would make no more sense than trying to fly by digging a hole in the ground.

The concept of God as good gives fuller meaning to the Bible statement, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son" (Heb. 1:1,2). Centuries before Jesus' time good had appeared to mankind in various ways. Spiritual seers of the Old Testament caught glimpses of the divine perfection, and uttered their vision in terms adapted to the mentality of the period. They paved the way for the crowning event in the history of Israel, the coming of the Messiah, Christ Jesus, who not only taught, but demonstrated the absolute perfection and all-power of God.

Jesus the man, so clearly understood Christ, the spiritual idea of God, that he individualized the power of divine sonship. He is referred to in the Bible as Jesus the anointed, the Son of God (Heb. 1:2,8). Jesus was the human individual; Christ, the true idea of God and man, was the divine message which Jesus brought to humanity. The narrow concept of God as a tribal deity in early Hebrew history was broadened and elevated by the prophets. Jesus further lifted the thought of his followers to the recognition of God as the one supreme good. They came to know God, good, as a loving Father who has infinite consideration for all His children impartially.

 

Further Revelation Brought by Mrs. Eddy

But Jesus didn't say all there was to be said about God. He saw that the people weren't ready to comprehend God's nature in full, and he told his followers, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). He also said, "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). Here Jesus said plainly that more of divine revelation was yet to come.

More than eighteen centuries were to intervene before the coming of this final revelation − eighteen centuries during which world consciousness drifted into a long night.

Then, in the last-half of the nineteenth century, about a hundred years ago, extraordinary events were reported in New England − reports which couldn't be denied because there were too many witnesses. A little girl had died and the attending physician had departed; but an hour later she was healed and ran to greet her mother. At another time a teamster had been crushed under a heavily-loaded wagon; but within the hour he was healed and went back to his work. Another report said that a deformed man, sitting on the sidewalk with his knees twisted up under his chin, was healed when a passer-by stopped to say to him, "God loves you." Overjoyed, the man dashed across the street and asked a householder who the passerby was that had healed him. It was Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and the Leader of its movement.

These healings actually occurred just as I have described them. They are part of the history of Christian Science. Through the years, this history has included countless healings of all descriptions. They have resulted from the revelation of God's nature and character to this age through Mrs. Eddy. Her discovery of Jesus' method of spiritual healing was a breakthrough of divine Truth. It came logically at the point of least resistance, through the spiritualized thought of one whose love for good afforded the clearest transparency.

The Psalmist said, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart" (Ps. 24:4). Mrs. Eddy, through a lifetime of consecrated Bible study and a rare love for mankind, was inspired to see beyond traditional theology into the divine Science and law which were the force behind Jesus' words. The divine Principle of the Master's healing works, obscure until now, was revealed to her. The Scriptures were opened. She saw that what Jesus taught and demonstrated was exact Science, based upon spiritual laws and governed by divine Principle. The flawless purity of God as infinite good became clear. And with it appeared the real man in God's image and likeness, the individual expression of divine good. In humility she named her discovery Christian Science.

We're all familiar with the story of how Thomas Edison devoted himself to years of study of the natural sciences until the great idea of the electric light broke through upon him, virtually turning night into day for humanity. So Mrs. Eddy, through her study of the Bible, discovered the Christ Science which brought the spiritual illumination of the promised Comforter to this age.

Mrs. Eddy's discovery wasn't merely an intellectual theory. It wasn't just the religious opinions of a cultured American women. It was pure revelation. Its immediate effect was to heal her instantly of a severe spinal injury. Determined to understand more fully the divine law which had healed her, Mrs. Eddy devoted further years to Bible study. She put her new discovery to the broadest practical tests by healing all manner of sin and disease. And in 1875 she published the first edition of her book "Science and Health" which later was enlarged to become "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This book and the Bible are companion textbooks for all Christian Scientists.

Science and Health is not a substitute for the Bible. It's a magnifying glass through which to study the Bible, and which gathers into sharp focus the divine Science that underlies the words and works of Christ Jesus. These two books are used jointly in all services of the church founded by Mrs. Eddy. This is a worldwide church with branches around the globe, − The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

The Nature of God

In Science and Health we read: "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony" (p. 390). Then what does Christian Science tell us about God's nature, so that we may understand Him?

The Mosaic law was addressed to the needs of a nomadic people centuries before Jesus' time. It presented God primarily as a stern, tribal deity to be worshiped through ritual and burnt offering. Centuries later Christ Jesus, speaking to a somewhat higher level of culture, voiced an improved concept of God. He said that God is Spirit, "and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). He implied that with this higher sense of God the old ritual and burnt offerings were obsolete. Today's definition of God, given by Christian Science, defines God in explicit, scientific terms: "God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" (Science and Health, p. 578).

Notice that God isn't just intelligent, but is Mind itself. God isn't just truthful, but is Truth itself. God isn't just a living God, but is Life itself. This means that because there's only one infinite God, there's only one Mind, one Truth, one Life, and that, contrary to popular belief, there are not as many minds and lives as there are people. In fact, the Bible tells us that man was made in the image and likeness of the one God. That's why good is natural to man.

Think what it would be like to be the image and likeness of divine Mind, of Truth, and Life. Yet, in our true nature, this is just what we are − something far more noble and grand than mere flesh and bones. Our real selfhood is spiritual and perfect; it individualizes the qualities of God. As God's likeness, man is originally and permanently good, deriving all he is, all he has, all he knows, from God. Man is complete, and to understand this is to be satisfied.

Matter never gave us God, the one infinite Life. The real man was never born into God, the one eternal Life. God is forever, and man is His conscious expression. Man can never die out of God, the Life which is forever here. There's no place to go but here where God is, for the infinitude of God is the presence or God. That is why man can never really lose his life, his strength, his intelligence, because he can never lose God.

The supposition that a tiny portion of life has been granted to each of us in a fleshly vessel, as it were, to be used up and lost after a few years, is illogical. The Life which is God is Spirit, and Spirit cannot pass in and out of matter. Spirit is infinite and could never create its opposite, matter. Matter doesn't express God. But man does. Man is the image and likeness of Spirit, and so he is spiritual.

Man is individual consciousness. Through expressing God's qualities, he lives. He expresses God in strength, harmony, intelligence, and right activity. He lives eternally in the universe of Spirit where matter, evil, and death are unknown. This real universe is entirely good, and it is forever. What is more, man's status in this perfect universe is forever secure.

Now this can be proved in your experience. Here prayer is essential. The material concept of man denies man's Godlikeness and represents each individual as separate from God with a temporary life of his own, compounding both good and evil. But God, the author of man, is not the author of evil. Through diligent prayer we can silence this lie about man, and understand our true nature as the expression of God.

Science and Health tells us, "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer" (p. 4). Real prayer then is more than just asking for good − it's acting good, doing good, living good. The prayer of asking without acting, pleading without living, is fruitless, because it includes no habitual struggle as evidence of its authority. It brings no satisfaction. Our prayer must be lived in accord with the moral law which is just as imperative today as it has always been.

 

No Pleasure in Materiality

Any avenue that leads the pursuit of good in ways contrary to God's moral law is a dead end, a blind alley − an alley littered with the rubbish of broken lives. Sexual promiscuity, alcohol, tobacco, entice thoughtless mortals with their promise of pleasure; but they only enslave.

What about pleasure then? Is it wrong? Not real pleasure. Only the counterfeit pleasure in which one becomes servant to a material craving. Can humanity's yearning for good be satisfied by physical sensations − or are these merely cheap counterfeits of something permanent and divine? Take the so-called pleasure of smoking and drinking − it only stimulates self-indulgence ad weakens self-control. It erodes natural freedom. The fact that it becomes habitual shows that it doesn't really satisfy; it's simply moral starvation. Such pleasure has nothing in common with the satisfaction of wholesome activity and achievement.

Many teen-agers and young people today are quietly standing against the world's pressure to conform. They choose rather to conform to God's law of liberty; not to popular examples of weakness. The man of distinction is the man of Principle. Centuries ago Marcus Aurelius said: "Let people's tongues and actions be what they will, my business is to be good. And make the same speech to myself that a piece of gold, or an emerald, or purple should. Let people talk and act as they please; I must be an emerald, and I must keep my color."

Whoever would stand tall and respect himself must keep his color − the royal color of character with which God has endowed him. There's a saying: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." And someone else has said, "It takes a live fish to swim upstream; but any old log can float down."

Isn't it significant that the more this modern age progresses along scientific lines, the more understanding of mathematics is required? Mathematics is becoming more requisite all the time. What would you think if someone told you the rules of division and multiplication are outmoded, and that it's more modern to ignore their discipline? We don't twist mathematical laws to fit a social trend. We refine our understanding of these laws, and as we obey them they open the way for mankind's increasing dominion over the physical universe. Well this is even more true of the moral law. It is no more reasonable to twist or abandon the moral law than mathematical law. To do so would be disastrous. Without strict obedience to mathematical law, the Eiffel Tower would have collapsed. Because of disobedience to the moral law, empires have collapsed. And I'm talking about the Ten Commandments. They require honesty, virtue, and chastity of everyone without exception. Only in obedience to them can we find genuine, satisfying good.

Good isnít hard to find. Its evidence is all around us, and we need to cultivate the art of recognizing it. In a simple landscape the artist sees design and color which escape the untrained eye. A musician hears variations of tone and rhythm in music which are lost to the untrained ear. Cultivation of our ability to recognize spiritual good, through love of good, can bring deep satisfaction to every one of us − a conviction of the presence and love of God.

Earlier in the lecture we considered two definitions of good − one by Jesus and one by Mrs. Eddy. Let us repeat Mrs. Eddy's definition of good: "God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action" (Science and Health, p. 587). For the rest of our discussion we're going to be concerned with this definition, focusing our attention on omnipotence and omnipresence.

 

Good Is Omnipotence

Christ Jesus repeatedly demonstrated the all-power of good. He proved that power is not something outside of man, but that it accompanies the real man's understanding of God as good. He proved that wherever the understanding of good is, there power is to satisfy any need. Speaking of this Mrs. Eddy writes, "The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable" (Science and Health, p. 192).

Jesus' power was always with him. In the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, he had power to silence it with a word. The Bible tells how Jesus and his disciples were in a boat, and a great tempest arose so that the boat was covered with waves − but he was asleep. His disciples awoke him saying, "Lord, save us; we perish" (Matt. 8:25). Here we see in contrast two concepts of man. One is the material concept as shown in the disciples, afraid and helpless to do anything but go down before the merciless force of the elements. On the other hand is the Christly concept of man, clothed in the understanding of the all-power of good.

Jesus silenced the storm with his command, "Peace, be still." Mrs. Eddy refers to the turbulent mortal consciousness as "mortal mind," and it was this discordant, faithless mental state that Jesus silenced with spiritual authority. When he said "Peace, be still," he wasn't talking to wind and wave but to the turbulence of mortal mind which is outwardly expressed in physical violence, blind force, and destruction. These are the cumulative effect of discordant world consciousness, the suppositional opposite of good called evil which is self-destructive. These Satanic forces are the mesmeric pretensions of the one evil which Jesus classified as a liar and a murderer. He annulled them through his understanding that they had no substance or permanence because they were not of God. Devoid of good, they were devoid of power.

Another example of the omnipotence of good is found in the Gospel of Luke. A rich man named Zacchaeus was chief among the publicans. Publicans in those days were tax collectors and often extortioners. They were despised by the people, and the people's low estimate of Zacchaeus would suggest that he was a greedy man who needed to learn more of the good that satisfies. Zacchaeus was anxious to see Jesus, but because he was small of stature and many people were crowding around, it was impossible to get close enough. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree. You know, he really must have been eager to see Jesus to lay aside his dignity and run and climb up a tree! Can we learn something from this publican? Anyway, when Jesus came to the place he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house" (Luke 19:5). Zacchaeus came down and received him joyfully. The crowd murmured its disapproval, saying that Jesus had gone to be the guest of a man who was a sinner.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to Jesus, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and If I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." And Jesus' reply was, "This day is salvation come to this house."

Talk about power! Here's something that even the force and flame of nuclear fission could never have done. A man, who at one moment is a mercenary materialist, suddenly decides to give half of his goods to the poor, and to redress all his past injustices by restoring them fourfold. What is the transcendent power that could do this so silently, without process? It must be the omnipotence of good, demonstrated through the Christ − the power which is always where God is understood.

Mrs. Eddy repeatedly transformed people through her embodiment of the power of silent good. It was so closely a part of her that with a word, or a glance, she often shook the very foundations of human character.

A man who had a critical attitude toward Christian Science, and especially toward Mrs. Eddy, came face to face with her on the street one day. Later he said, "I never shall forget the look on her face. Any ideas derogatory to Mrs. Eddy or Christian Science vanished into thin air, and I know from that moment on I was a better man. It seemed a turning point in my life when I was thrown into contact for the first time with absolute purity."

You and I are continually making impressions upon those around us, either for good or evil. Mrs. Eddy writes, "The good man imparts knowingly and unknowingly goodness but the evil man also exhales consciously and unconsciously, his evil nature − hence, be careful of your company" (Message to The Mother Church for 1900, p. 8). Let's remember how far-reaching are the mental impressions which you and I so casually dispense to those around us each day. When I was a boy away at school, I had a very simple experience which illustrates this. A new building was being erected on the campus and one morning a workman, as he worked on the roof, sang a snatch of a popular love song of the day, about his "little turtledove." Those few words and their tune imprinted themselves indelibly on my memory; and when they come back to me, as they occasionally do, they bring with them still the cool perfume and the bright sunshine of that enchanting spring morning.

It was only the experience of a moment, yet it happened over forty years ago and I suppose I shall always carry it with me. From this we may learn how important a moment can be, the incalculable effect we have upon each other, merely in passing by. Your song, or your scowl, may be carried in another's heart for forty years. So let's be careful and pray that all of the impressions which we pass along may express Truth and Love. Some word or glance which you give to another, to a neighbor girl or boy − a student in school or a Sunday School class − may one day save a woman in a crisis, or keep a man out of prison. Indeed, the power of good is exactly where you and I are at all times, the power to be gentle, the power to be wise.

 

Disease Is Not Power

While we are talking about the power of good, we might refer to what seems to be an opposite power, the so-called destructive power of disease. Take cancer, for instance. Cancer is just another apple from the ancient tree of the belief that both good and evil are real. Today this old apple owes its popularity to the unprecedented publicity which is given it. It is filmed, broadcast, advertised, televised, until it seems to be a modern institution.

The Bible says all things were made by God, and all was good. This is fundamental to Christian Science. But disease is not good. Then God did not make it. Therefore it is not real. Disease is a false sense mentally entertained through fear. It's a subjective picture engraved upon human consciousness by mass suggestion which the victim endows with power through fear. The picture is offered to him, and he unconsciously consents to its mental contagion. Mrs. Eddy warns against this when she says, "The inoculation of evil human thoughts ought to be understood and guarded against" (Science and Health, p. 449).

The old apple with the new look isn't power at all. Good is power. Science and Health says, "One disease is no more real than another. All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind maps out the way. The human mind, not matter, is supposed to feel, suffer, enjoy. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct type and chronic form of disease. Truth handles the most malignant contagion with perfect assurance" (p. 176).

I know a lady who had three surgical operations for cancer. Her husband wasn't satisfied with the result, so he arranged a consultation with three other cancer specialists. Her surgeon promised that he would tell her frankly what their findings were. And later he came to her bedside, took her hand gently in his and asked. "Can you take it?"

"I can," she replied.

"According to medical science," he said, "you have about three months to live. We're going to let you go home for a few days. It would be well for you to settle your business affairs and make your will, then come back here so we can care for you."

My friend had heard something about Christian Science. She went home and called a Christian Science practitioner. She was healed. And three days later she easily walked four blocks to visit a Christian Science Reading Room. Later on, to satisfy her husband, she had another examination at the hospital. There was no trace of the disease.

"How did you do it?" her surgeon asked.

"I didn't do it," she replied. "God did it."

"Well," saidthe surgeon, "Christian Science handles things that we can't touch." That was fourteen years ago and she is well today.

 

God Is Omnipresence

Now it won't help us much to know that good is all-power if we believe that it can be far off or that it belongs only to the remote past and the distant future. You'll recall that Mrs. Eddy's definition of the divine good also described it as omnipresent. We need to know that divine good, divine all-power, is here today, right where we are. Think what it means to us, that good is right here! Yet how often do mortals pursue it without ever seeming to catch up with it. Might we not do better to stop pursuing good and start expressing it? Good is here. Good is God. Whoever understands good, has good. With the application of Christian Science the search for good ends and the demonstration of good begins.

We have as much evidence of good as we give evidence of good. As much as we practice of good, we have of good. This is the difference between pursuing and practicing. Christ Jesus didn't pursue good, he demonstrated good. Do we merely search the Scriptures, or do we practice the Scriptures? Are we pursuing spiritual truths or are we practicing spiritual truths? We're not doing anything very original if we just search for good, for the whole world is doing that. We must understand that good is God and God is here, and then act like it. Then we shall be satisfied.

The omnipresence of good also means the omni-absence of evil. Evil is never a presence. It's ignorance of God's presence, and the remedy for ignorance is to learn something. The only place where learning ever occurs is in consciousness, and here, by banishing ignorance with the understanding of good, we can destroy suppositional evil and its suppositional effects. This will broaden our usefulness and enable us to bring much good into our lives and into the lives of others.

Of course we must be wise in our zeal to do good for others. You may remember the story about three little Boy Scouts whom the scoutmaster sent out one morning, telling them to do their good deed for the day and then report to him. When they returned later he asked them what good deeds they had done. "We helped an old lady across the street," they replied. "Surely it didn't take three of you to help an old lady across the street," said the scoutmaster. "Well," explained one of the boys, "she didn't want to go."

Some years ago I needed to seek a fuller evidence of good in behalf of my daughter. She came home one day from playing with the neighborhood children complaining of a pain in her stomach and throat and said she wanted to go to bed. Then a high fever developed; she said she was cold, and that her legs and body ached. My wife called me at the office, and as I prayed to know how to think about this, a statement from Science and Health came to me. It says, "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government" (p. 393). I pondered this statement for some time and, as I did, the peaceful conviction came to me that it was indeed an utterance of God's unfailing law, and that this law was available in every need. I found myself feeling quite happy about it, happy in the certainty that God's law governs all things harmoniously. A familiar verse from the Bible came to me which says, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Ps. 146:5).

With a sense of peace I dismissed the whole thing and went on with my other work. When I arrived home in the evening, my wife reported that the fever had broken that afternoon. Our daughter was sitting up in bed ready to laugh and joke with me when I came in. She dressed and came to the dinner table, and afterwards went out and played with the children as usual.

The important lesson of this experience was that good is always here. All that day good had been right at hand and when at last I accepted it to the point of being happy about it, spiritual illumination comforted me and healed our daughter. It broke the dream of suffering. Suffering is not the real condition of man. Man's true spiritual selfhood is outside the dream of life in matter. Christian Science awakens humanity from the mortal belief of subjection to matter to the spiritual understanding of man's sonship with God. Then the presence of good is demonstrated.

How do we know that good is here? Because God is here − infinite divine Love, forever radiating the life-giving qualities of intelligence, strength, health, harmony. It's through spiritual man that these forces of good are expressed. As you and I express divine Love, we demonstrate our true sonship with God then the presence of good fills our experience. The Apostle John said, "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (I John 4:16). Through our expression of good we know that good is here.

What is the one thing that can lead humanity out of discord into harmony − from the belief in evil as good to the understanding of good as God? It is the Science of the Master's teachings. It's what Socrates, the philosopher, sought and Jesus, the Scientist, demonstrated. What is the great, underlying injunction of all Bible teaching, of all that has ever been learned by those who have left anything worthwhile to mankind?That injunction is "Hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). Those who obey this solemn charge advance, not by accident, not by trial and error, not under the goad of suffering, but by the demonstration of Science.

 

Taking Hold of Satisfaction

Now in answer to our opening question, "What is the good that satisfies?" we've seen that the one good is God. Then we considered the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. Must it not be true, then, that if good is all-power and ever present, this good is all-satisfying? Must it not be true, right now, that you and I in the presence of God are complete and safe and satisfied? In the immensity of God's presence man doesn't wait to be satisfied. If we're waiting to be satisfied, we've forgotten who we are. We're believing that we're mortals, sons of the flesh, separated from God. Man in God's likeness is complete and satisfied today because he understands his oneness with good today.

Satisfaction and peace can't be purchased at the drugstore. They don't come in capsules, or in bottles, or in physical sensation. The good that satisfies lies in understanding God, the final good, and our relation to this good.

Mrs. Eddy says, "The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death" (Science and Health, p. 317). Certainly to understand our true individuality in God's likeness and to conquer sin, disease, and death is the crowning satisfaction. Many in this audience have experienced this satisfaction in varying degrees, and could tell us how sweet is the victory of good over evil, harmony over discord, freedom over bondage. This victory Christian Science brings progressively into our lives. In the smallest or largest human problem, the deep satisfaction of victory can always be found in an understanding of good, the tender power and presence which is God. Then we can say with the Psalmist, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Ps. 17:15).

 

©1965 Edward C. Williams

All rights reserved

 

 

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