Christian Science: A Message of Freedom and Dominion
Charles V. Winn, C.S.B., of Pasadena, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Charles V. Winn, C.S.B., of Pasadena, Calif., lectured on "Christian Science: A Message of Freedom and Dominion" Friday night in the Murat Theater. Mr. Winn is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. The lecture was given under the auspices of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist. The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Varjo A. Anderson. The lecture follows substantially as it was given:
History records the human race's effort to obtain a greater sense of freedom. All right endeavor is impelled by a desire to overcome that which limits or restricts, and to attain that which brings freedom and liberation. The human race, on its upward march, has instinctively rebelled against anything that would try to take away its religious, political, or economic liberty. This righteous aspiration for freedom is not a mere human hope, but has its basis in divine Truth. In the very beginning of the Bible we learn that "God created the heaven and the earth." We further learn that God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion." "Dominion" means "sovereign power"; then man's freedom is a part of the divine order of things - God-bestowed and God-established. In our own immortal Declaration of Independence, that charter of American liberty, we read that God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Freedom, then, is man's natural status, bestowed on him by his creator.
In looking back upon the lives of those who have been the greatest benefactors of our race, there is one who stands out above them all - our great Master, Jesus the Christ. He possessed and demonstrated a greater measure of freedom than anyone who has ever lived. He overcame and destroyed every form of bondage that flesh is heir to. He completely annulled the seeming fetters of sin, poverty, heredity, disease, discord, and even triumphed over death itself. It made no difference whether he was in a raging storm, whether he was confronted by an angry mob, seeming lack, contagious disease, or imminent death; he experienced complete immunity and freedom from evil.
False theology has taught us that he was endowed with some supernatural power which made this possible, but the Biblical record and secular history completely refute this. The Scriptures contain unfailing proofs that many others besides Jesus availed themselves of divine power and thus attained their freedom from adverse conditions. In Gibbon's history of the Roman Empire it is recorded that this spiritual power was utilized for three hundred years after the ascension of Jesus. It was only after corruption and materiality had crept into the early Christian church that this healing power seemed to be lost and to become dormant.
Finally, in 1866, after the conclusion of a great struggle in America for human rights and liberty, there came to a gentle New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, a divine revelation that won her freedom from the results of a serious accident and impending death. Having gained her own liberation, she set about to discover the divine law that had healed her. Through prayer, earnest seeking, and a diligent study of the Scriptures, she found that her healing was not miraculous, but was in perfect accord with God's will and the divine law.
The results of her labors are most beautifully and clearly set forth in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where she writes (p. 226): "The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ's divine Science."
We know that Science is divine knowledge or demonstrable Truth. Then that which frees us, unfetters us, and redeems us is an understanding of that which is true, real, and actual. All bondage comes from ignorance or false belief, and that which frees us is spiritual enlightenment and demonstrable perception of divine facts. Jesus, our Way-shower, pointed out the way of true salvation in that majestic statement, "If ye continue in my word , . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," and in the Christian Science textbook we have this beautiful correlative (p. 390): "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony."
What, then, is this right understanding of God that makes us free, restores harmony, heals disease, and reveals life eternal? One of the first things that we learn in Christian Science about God is that He is wholly, entirely, and completely good. The Psalmist declared, "Thou art good, and doest good." Again he declares, "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." In strict accord with this scientific definition of God, Christian Science declares (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 26), "The Scriptures name God as good, and the Saxon term for God is also good. From this premise comes the logical conclusion that God is naturally and divinely infinite good."
The fact of the goodness of God at once utterly destroys one of the chief sources of mortal man's enslavement, namely, duality, or a belief in the reality and existence of both good and evil. The cardinal point of Christian Science is that God is infinite good; that He creates only good, knows only good, promotes good, and that His creation is primarily and unalterably good. Then God's handiwork expresses good, reflects good, and manifests good. There is nothing wrong or ungoodlike in or of God's creation.
The ever-availability of good at once destroys quickly and utterly the fears of the human mind, and brings freedom. It has been found and proved in Christian Science practice that much of the fear and bondage to evil springs from the belief that man lives in a creation where both good and evil operate; that he is subject to two powers, one of which is beneficent and kind, and another which is afflictive and harmful; that at one time he is controlled by that which is right, and at other times by that which is wrong.
Christian Science, the Science of infinite good, repudiates and disproves these wrong assumptions, and then the fear resulting from these false and erroneous theories is annihilated. God made man in His own likeness, and man is a part of God's creation. God governs His own creation, and hence governs man. There is only one way that God could govern His creation, including man, and that is in a just, true, and right way. In the realm of infinite reality there is nothing to fear, to induce fear or support fear. There is nothing there to frighten man or interfere with his freedom, harmony, peace, or joy. There is no power contrary to good that can enslave man. The Psalmist declared, "I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." The precepts of God show us that His power is operating for the good of all that He has made, and as we walk in the light of this truth, fear departs, and His peace is continually with us.
Nothing is more conducive to liberty than a true sense of individuality. God is infinite good, and as we discern this divine verity we see clearly that man's true selfhood must express goodness, righteousness, and virtue. In the Scriptures we learn, "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever." The word "right" means "that which is true, faultless, genuine, real, or actual." The real man can inherit only that which comes from his Father-Mother God.
The man of God's creating, the "Son of the Highest," inherits the wealth of Love, the goodness of good, the harmony of Soul, the glory of Mind. When we have rightfully and lawfully received an inheritance, the law protects us in our enjoyment of it. Of this genuine man the Bible declares, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet."
This dominion is a constituent part of man's inheritance, and can never be taken away. He cannot be separated from it, for it is forever associated with his true identity. In our human relationships we naturally try to associate with the very highest and best - with those who express noble qualities and high ideals. As we identify ourselves with the real man, the man of God's creating, the spiritually good and real are manifested in us and through us; we associate ourselves with them.
It sometimes happens in human experience that an innocent person is wrongfully accused. We learn in Christian Science that man's real self is the reflection of God's goodness. To identify ourselves with any other concept of man is always a case of mistaken identity. To accept as real a mortal concept of man brings bondage and restriction. To acknowledge only the divine concept brings freedom and liberation. To believe in a mortal, material concept of man fetters and limits us.
The textbook of Christian Science tells us that "the fetters of man's finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit" (Science and Health, p. 223). When we live in a certain community we are necessarily subject to the laws of that community. As we perceive our true selfhood, we see that man lives in good, dwells in the kingdom of good, and is subject only to the laws of good. The fetters of evil drop away, for we are no longer in the domain of error, but are in the jurisdiction of God, where freedom is the rightful and normal condition of man.
Christian Science declares and proves that true freedom is the inevitable result of right knowing. The results of this right knowing are beautifully set forth in the Scriptures when they declare that "the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." "To deliver" means "to set free from restraint; to set at liberty."
In the passage quoted from the Christian Science textbook, showing us how our freedom is won, we learn that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death must be stricken from the human mind. When they are stricken from the human mind and are replaced and dispelled by the divine facts of the divine Mind, they disappear from human experience. All that ever restricts man's enjoyment of the fullness of health and harmony, all that seems to produce suffering, is some theory, false belief, or erroneous concept which the Science of right thinking or knowledge of Truth destroys. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," not in a far-off future, but here and now.
A Christian Scientist was at one time severely injured as the result of a fall. In such cases medical belief says that one cannot walk for about three months. Through the understanding of God's law, the law of good, the law of harmony, God's eternal law of right, he was healed and was able to take up his usual duties in about three days. Man's freedom and divine rights are at hand to enjoy and utilize. Any failure to realize them is due to our failure to accept and appropriate them.
The supreme power of the universe is infinite, divine Mind, and man's divine heritage is to manifest divine Mind. When we have a clear title to a piece of property it is known as a "freehold." Man is a freeholder; he is a freeman; he has a clear title to all that is good, right, and true. If one enters unlawfully upon the property of a freeholder, he is known as a trespasser, and can be properly ejected. Anything evil, any false belief, erroneous concept, or spurious law that would attempt to restrict our full enjoyment of good is a trespasser, an intruder, or interloper.
The understanding of God as Principle is a source of freedom, dominion, and power. We think of "principle" as that which is basic, foundational, causative, reliable, and unchanging. A dictionary definition of "principle" is "source or origin; that from which anything proceeds." In John's Gospel we read that "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." Then God is the one divine Principle, basic cause, author, and maker of all that is real, right, or true. The activity of Principle always brings freedom, liberation, and concord.
Ignorance of the science of mathematics brings discord. An understanding and application of its rules brings harmony. A principle promotes the right and is opposed to that which is wrong. Anything unrighteous is unprincipled, lawless, baseless, and unreal. Anything that enslaves or engenders bondage to evil is unprincipled, for it is contrary to God's plan, loving purpose, and gracious rule. Sin is unprincipled because its tendency is to bind one who indulges in it. Disease is unprincipled, because it hampers and interferes with normal, right, and harmonious activity. Death is unprincipled, for it deprives one of his rightful enjoyment of abundant, divine, and unfettered life. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. God's creation abides in the fullness of His love, and of His infinite goodness we can freely partake.
We have a friend who was healed of tuberculosis in its last stages, in a little over two weeks' time. Another friend was healed of Bright's disease through the earnest study of the Christian Science textbook. If these diseases had been in accordance with Principle and divine law, could they have been healed? Jesus' mission was not to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law. In fulfilling that law of God, the law of good, he destroyed sin, disease, discord, death, and brought freedom and liberation to suffering humanity. God is the supreme power of the universe, and man is His image and likeness - His reflection or expression. The man of God's creation reflects divine power.
He expresses the full dominion of Principle. He is untrammeled and unrestrained by disease or any other false, adverse, limiting beliefs of error or evil. There is only one principle of any true science - never two. In music we do not have two principles, one that produces discord and another that produces harmony. There is only one, and that one brings about concord and harmony; any seeming discord is at variance with its principle and rules. There is nothing in God's kingdom to enthrall man or to hinder his enjoyment of freedom and dominion. How beautifully the hymn expresses it!
God made all His creatures free;
Life itself is liberty;
God ordained no other bands
Than united hearts and hands.
So shall all our slavery cease,
All God's children dwell in peace,
And the newborn earth record Love,
and Love alone, is Lord.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 83)
When the Science of divine good is understood, this glorious truth is fulfilled in our lives.
As we understand more and more the facts of being, the allness, the oneness, the supremacy of good, we attain our freedom from one of the most enslaving traits of the carnal mind, namely, jealousy. Good is boundless and unlimited, and all of good is available to man. He "giveth us richly all things to enjoy" is the Scriptural promise. The whole of good is man's to enjoy and reflect.
True living is not a material, organic, or fleshly experience, but is a process of true thinking and spiritual knowing. The only enjoyment of good is the consciousness of good. As we perceive and become conscious of the good which another is expressing, we are enjoying that same good. The greater our appreciation of good, no matter who expresses it, the more of good comes into our own experience. "What thou seest, that thou beest," wrote a classic writer, and as we see the fullness of good we know that it is for everyone to appropriate and enjoy.
What is it that seems to cause jealousy but the belief that someone has some form of good that is unavailable to us? Good is everywhere, so man is in its divine presence. All creation is in that divine presence. Each one is divinely equipped to see that ever-present good, and his vision of it never interferes with another's view of it. Any form of good that is available to anyone is available to everyone.
When we realize this great fact we are not envious of our brother's good, but constantly rejoice in universal good. We are not only happy that he has it, but that everyone has it. Let us suppose that one had a very keen sense of beauty and a highly developed appreciation of that which is lovely and fair. One of his favorite diversions would be to go to a beautiful art gallery and study the paintings that were there, in all their loveliness and grandeur. At times he might go alone, and at other times he would take a group of his friends along. On such occasions he would point out to his friends the beauty and grace that he had perceived through his study and contemplation. His own enjoyment would not be curtailed but greatly enhanced by his gracious sharing with his friends of his own vision of beauty and loveliness. He who shares good receives good. He knows the freedom of good, the dominion of good, the buoyancy of good. God's blessings are not confined, but are infinite - to be equally shared and enjoyed by all.
What a beautiful example of this we have in the life of Moses! By reason of his close walk with God, Moses was endowed with the spirit of prophecy and wisdom. There were two young men in the camp who also prophesied. One of Moses' trusted lieutenants came to him and said, "My lord Moses, forbid them;" But Moses replied: "Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" How beautifully our great Master brought home the same gracious lesson! The Apostle John saw one casting out devils in Jesus' name, and forbade him, but Jesus said, "Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."
Christian Science shows us how to attain our success with divine Mind, the source of all that is good, and to see clearly that all of God's children are at one with the Father and at one with one another. Great joy is ours when the good which we so earnestly desire we also desire for our brother, but the greatest joy is ours when we know that the abundance of good is already divinely his.
As we understand better the Science of good, our freedom is won from all enslaving beliefs of the human mind, including the memory of an unhappy past and a dread of the future. God is infinite good; His creation is good, His man is good, His law is good, His being is good. His creation is not and cannot be any different from the way He created it. These are divine facts, and facts can never be altered or changed. The human mind would have us believe that because of untoward conditions in the past we are limited and handicapped in the present. This is pure delusion, and has no foundation in Truth. We learn in the Scriptures that as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Whatever came into our experience that was wrong was only a wrong concept entertained. It was never true or God-created. It was never any part of reality. "The history of error is a dream-narrative," Mrs. Eddy declares. She further states, "The dream has no reality, no intelligence, no mind; therefore the dreamer and dream are one, for neither is true nor real" (Science and Health, p. 530).
God made man and gave him dominion over all the earth. This is the only man that God made. The Scriptures tell us of a man who, through a misconception or mistaken sense of things, fell into a dream, was deceived by evil, and had certain evil experiences - sin, disease, and death. This kind of man is always a dream man, and his whole experience is a dream experience. Instead of having dominion over all the earth, he seems to be dominated by that which is evil, wrong and discordant.
We readily admit that a dream is no part of our real experience, and that, no matter how terrifying our dream has been, it was never true. A dream that depicts events which seemed to have happened twenty years ago is no more true than one which portrays events of the present. A divine fact is always true, but a false belief is not true and never was true. The Bible declares, "When I awake, I am still with thee." As we awake out of the dream of evil, we cognize the eternal verity that we are in the realm of divine reality and have never been outside of it.
A young man, who was just starting out in the business world, was associated with a man who had a very serious condition of the eyes. This condition seemed to create quite a fear in the young man's thought, and many times this untoward condition would occur to his consciousness. After the young man had become a student of Christian Science, this seeming condition came into his experience in a very violent form, causing much suffering.
One day, as a result of his knowledge of Christian Science, he saw clearly that this disease had never been any part of God's creation or divine actuality. He was instantaneously healed, and the difficulty vanished and was gone forever. Full freedom was his when he saw that the trouble was not true and never had been. Paul admonishes us to forget those things which are behind. A Christian Scientist does not merely forget undesirable things which have happened in the past, but he has learned that they never were any part of God's wholly good creation.
When I was a lad I lived in a section of the country where many good people believed firmly in the existence of ghosts. In our immediate neighborhood was an empty house which they thought was a place where ghosts held forth. Evening after evening a number of people would congregate in front of this house and watch the antics of the ghosts.
Mysterious lights would appear and give forth a strange illumination. Finally it was discovered that some practical joker had put some phosphorous on the walls, and that this was the cause of the mysterious lights. When this was found out, it was the end of the ghost business. Now what became of the ghosts? They never were! They only seemed to exist in human, material belief. They were never actualities, but falsities. What a helpful and healing truth we find in the Christian Science textbook (p. 353): "The true idea of being is spiritual and immortal, and from this it follows that whatever is laid off is the ghost, some unreal belief."
Christian Science frees us and redeems us from any anxiety, apprehension, or dread of the future. God is infinite good, and He provides for His creation that which will bless, help, and protect his own. The sun can only give forth light; and God can give only good, for He has nothing else to give. In the Scriptures we read, "My expectation is from him," and again we read, "There shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off." As we think truly and live nobly, we gain a greater expectancy of good, experience more of it, enjoy it in a greater measure.
A traveler was once going through a mountainous country. One day when he was looking out of the car window, there appeared to be a beautiful lake in the clouds, and the tops of the peaks seemed like islands in the lake. The explanation was simple. The train had reached an altitude where one could secure this beautiful view, which could not possibly have been seen from a lower level. As we reach the altitude of high thinking we see a greater manifestation of good; it is constantly unfolded in a greater abundance. We then face the future with joyful and happy expectation, and not with gloomy foreboding.
A knowledge of the oneness and allness of good puts our expectation on the side of health, not disease; harmony, not discord; abundance, not lack; good, not evil. Our textbook declares (p. 426), "Expectation speeds our progress." Our journey is upward and onward when we face Godward. If we ever look back, it should be only to see how far we have come. We have come a long way when we are grateful for the great good that is with us and before us, and do not think of the evil that we have left behind.
Our great Master, who was a freeman in the very highest sense of that term, whose entire ministry was in fulfillment of the Scriptural injunction to "let the oppressed go free" and that we "break every yoke," gave us the basis for divine liberty in that majestic declaration, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." You will recall that this sublime setting forth of man's true status was in answer to the Pharisees' boast about their material ancestry. Jesus saw clearly that a belief in man's material origin would only tend to bondage, and the limitations of the flesh.
A recognition of man's divine origin would free mankind and annul the restrictions of the flesh. An understanding of man's divine sonship with God establishes his immortal status as a son of the Most High. God is Spirit, good, Soul, Truth, and Love. The man of God's creating must be spiritual, holy, and good. The child of Soul must be soulful, pure, noble, righteous, and perfect. The offspring of Truth must be truthful, harmonious, and honest. The representative of Love must be lovely, healthy, joyous, and strong.
When we learn through Christian Science who we are and what we are, our fetters are broken, and the way of freedom is ours to walk in. In the words of the Scripture, we are "delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." When a man leaves a country where tyranny and oppression prevail, he naturally desires to go to a country where freedom and liberty can be secured. When he becomes a naturalized citizen of that country, he is no longer under the jurisdiction of his former affiliation. As children of God, evil has no jurisdiction over us; we have no affiliation with it; it is not a factor in our lives. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" - not for a time, but permanently; not partially, but fully; not spasmodically, but continuously and abidingly.
As we understand God aright, as we discern our sonship as a child of God, we gain a clear and practical distinction between "dominion" and "domination." The word "dominion" means "sovereign or supreme authority;" the word "domination," "act of dominating, . . . arbitrary or insolent sway." God is infinite good, the one supreme governing, sovereign, and controlling power in the universe. He is the creator and governor of man. He gave men dominion over all the earth, but He never gave one individual dominion over another individual.
This prerogative belongs to God. God's wisdom guides man; His love enfolds him; infinite Mind directs him. Jesus manifested spiritual dominion, and this helped his disciples to realize God's loving control and unerring direction. He showed them clearly what God would have them do, and he knew that God would guard and guide His own.
What rich, grand, and glorious lives we would lead if we would adopt this attitude of our great Teacher and Way-shower. The Bible declares, "He shall direct thy paths," and our Leader has told us (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 90), "It is safe to leave with God the government of man." How quickly friction, discord, and inharmony would disappear from our lives, our homes, and all human relationships, were God's supreme control understood and lovingly applied at all times and under all circumstances.
God is infinite Mind, the all-knowing and supreme intelligence of the universe. He expresses Himself in a universe of right, true, and perfect ideas, which are under the control of His wisdom and beneficent power. In a moment of great exaltation the Revelator declared, "Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever."
A right idea, expressing this divine Mind, will bring freedom and harmony to every situation. A right idea brings concord out of discord. Surely we can trust God to bring out the spiritually good and real. When we put aside human will, human domination, and human planning, the highest degree of good and the greatest manifestation of good awaits us. Domination is selfish, tyrannical, and despotic. Dominion is unselfish, broad, tolerant, loving, and forbearing. Domination attempts to promote selfish interests, but dominion is always exercised for the benefit of the whole.
Some years ago, during the construction of a large project, a serious labor dispute arose. Many conferences were held, but they all seemed fruitless. After some delay, another conference was held. A Christian Scientist was a member of this conference, and he was knowing that since God is supreme, righteousness and equity must prevail. Everyone concerned had a right to his own opinion as to what was best, but of course there was only one right thing to do.
The right thing would necessarily be just and fair to all. A short time after the conference convened a fair, honorable, and equitable agreement was arrived at. Our work at such times is not to make others do what we would have them do, but to exercise our dominion to find out and follow what God would have us do. The aviator who faithfully follows his directions can come to a safe landing even in the midst of a dense fog. The fogs of doubt and confusion are quickly dispelled when human will and personal domination are laid aside and we earnestly and lovingly follow the way of God's appointing.
Nothing brings us a greater freedom, dominion, and true power than love; not a love that is personal, selfish, possessive, and material, but the love which Christian Science teaches its followers. It is that love which is pure, impersonal, broad, unselfish, and universal. True love reflects divine Love; crosses the boundary of mere personal attachment; uplifts, but never crushes; is expansive, but never possessive.
This was the love that Jesus brought to the world. This immaculate love does not dominate, control, or tyrannize over the object of its love. It does not monopolize, but is generous, bestowing, and healing. This love comes from infinite Soul and, when embodied in human consciousness, brings true joy and restores lost Eden. It does not cling to some person, but clings to God, and earnestly strives to reflect the graciousness of His grace. Christian Science does not decry human affection, but purifies it, uplifts it, takes away the dross of materiality, and brings forth the gold of pure spirituality.
What a joy it is when we return from a trip to share with others the beautiful views which we have secured on our journey! To secure these beautiful views we must have a camera with a clear lens and a proper focusing attachment. If the lens has a flaw in it, or the camera is not properly focused, we obtain an imperfect picture.
Evil is only a false mental picture, a distorted and perverted concept of that which God has created - the perfect, immaculate, holy, healthy, and good. As our thought is permeated with love, we look through the lens of love; we see the loveliness of God's creation, the lovely man that He has made. We have heard a great deal lately about the candid camera. The word "candid" means "pure, clear, immaculate." God is infinite Love, the only creator, the author of all that is real and eternal. As our thought is permeated with holy, spiritual love, we see God and His creation - the grand, the beautiful, and true. The camera of our thinking records the lovely, the true, the harmonious and fair.
St. John stated it thus: "We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is," and our Leader has given us this priceless gem of Truth: "What is gratitude but a powerful camera obscura, a thing focusing light where love, memory, and all within the human heart is present to manifest light" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 164). As our thought is permeated with love and we are grateful for it, we see and record health, not disease; the pure, not the impure; the perfect, not the imperfect; the true, not the false; the real, not the unreal. This is healing in its very highest sense.
The ordinary concept of healing is the restoring of bodily health, but this is a restricted concept of that term. "To heal" means "to restore to original purity and integrity." The Science of Love enables us to see man in his original purity and perfection, and then healing follows as surely as the dawn brings the light. Freedom then reigns; dominion is gained; the diseased and discordant disappear.
I knew a man who was afflicted with a painful disease for which, from a material standpoint, there was no cure. This disease involved a sense of irritation and inflammation. After he had become a student of Christian Science and had learned something of the effect of thought upon the body, he analyzed his thinking to ascertain the basic cause of his difficulty. He uncovered irritability, impatience, intolerance, criticism, resentment, bitterness, and misjudgment. When these false beliefs had been overcome by love, tolerance, kindness, compassion, and charitableness, the malady was overcome, and was gone forever.
In the Christian Science textbook we read (pp. 208, 209): "Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. . . . It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased in proportion as ignorance, fear, or human will governs mortals." The human mind has made unceasing efforts to answer the age long riddle, How does animate thinking affect inanimate matter? In Christian Science the answer is readily at hand, and is simple, logical, and convincing.
The human body is a human concept, or the embodiment of human beliefs. No clear thinker believes that the human body is the immortal identity of man. He concedes that sometime it is going to be laid off. Eventually everyone will have to put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, "which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." How is this to be done? In another verse in the passage just quoted from the Bible, we are given the Christianly scientific process by means of which this is accomplished.
We are admonished to "be renewed in the spirit of [our] mind." Since the human body is a mental concept, it is susceptible to mental conditions. As our human consciousness is purified and uplifted, as we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, as we entertain finer, higher, and nobler ideals, this improved state of thought will irresistibly express itself in a better state of health and a better, more harmonious body. This uplifted and exalted thinking is accompanied by two other great blessings.
When the troublesome mental cause of the difficulty is removed by the renewing of the mind, the healing is permanent, complete, and lasting. The patient is not only healed physically, but is benefited spiritually, morally, and financially. His whole life is improved and ennobled. The results are far-reaching and expansive. He gains his freedom not only from bodily suffering, but from many other forms of enslavement. He attains dominion not only over his body, but over all his affairs. He is restored to his "original purity and integrity,'' which is the normal and rightful condition of man. He is thus able to forget his body and devote his energies to noble pursuits and holy attainments. In the instance of healing just described, the man's whole life was transformed, enlarged, and harmonized.
Truly the Scripture was fulfilled: "He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me." He who turns to God for his healing is made every whit whole.
How grateful we should be to Mary Baker Eddy, through whom God revealed to this age this glorious message of freedom, dominion, salvation, and liberation! Her holy mission is beautifully set forth in her work "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 30):"It was to relieve the sufferings of humanity by a sanitary system that should include all moral and religious reform."
The evidence is overwhelming that she proved faithful to her trust. Each Wednesday evening, in hundreds of Christian Science churches are held testimony meetings, at which thousands of beneficiaries raise their voices in praise to God for the healing and redemption that has come to them through the teachings of Christian Science, as set forth in the writings of our beloved Leader.
Fear, ignorance, and misrepresentation tried to oppose her efforts; but they could not stay her onward way, for God was with her. In the hours of stress and trial she turned unreservedly to Him, returned love for hate, forgiveness for condemnation, unfailing charity for censure and misrepresentation, She built for time and eternity, and a lasting monument to her faithful efforts has been reared in the hearts and lives of those who have been healed of hopeless disease, redeemed from sin, and who have felt that abiding peace that God alone can give.
It is our privilege to emulate our great Leader, as she followed Christ Jesus, and to embody in our lives those golden qualities of love, purity, and humility which characterized her holy labors. As we contemplate what she has done for us, we say from our heart of hearts, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (II Cor. 9:15)