Christian Science: The Availability of Good Revealed
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., gave a lecture on "Christian Science: The Availability of Good Revealed" at Cadle Tabernacle Monday night, under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist. Mrs. Flora M. Rauh introduced the lecturer, who is a member of The Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. His lecture was given substantially as follows:
It has been well said that everyone is in need of some form of good. To find a human being wholly satisfied with his lot would be a rare discovery. To attempt to find one whose every human need is abundantly supplied would be a futile search. Everyone could use more of good than he now possesses. Then are we constantly striving toward the unattainable? Are our best efforts doomed to result in failure? Are our earnest labors to go unrewarded? Emphatically, no! Hear the loving appeal of the prophet of old, "To, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." The greatest teacher of all time, Jesus the Christ, thus counseled his followers: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Here we have an invitation and a promise that are without restriction; they know no bound of clime or race; they are free from partiality or limitation; they are universal and permanent.
From whom does this invitation come? From the ever-present Christ, revealing infinite Love, the source of all good, the one and only creator, the one perfect cause, the origin of all that is true and real. It is an invitation to sit at the table of infinite Love and partake of the infinite good that our Father-Mother God has freely prepared for all. It is a perpetual call to quench our thirst at the fount of illimitable good, to come to the banqueting house of infinite Soul. The call is to everyone, at all times and under all conditions. It is not limited as to time, restricted as to place, or partial as to persons. It is universal in its appeal, is never withdrawn, nor suspended.
How is one to avail himself of this good? How is one to attain these unrestricted blessings? How is one to bring them into his individual experience? How is one to gain these rich possessions? Christian Science answers all these questions to anyone's perfect satisfaction. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 236), Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, "Hence the importance of Christian Science, from which we learn of the one Mind and of the availability of good as the remedy for every woe." What a solace to struggling humanity! What a source of encouragement to everyone in need to know that there is an infinite good that is always available and is divinely adequate to furnish an unfailing remedy for every problem; that there is a divine ever-presence potent to meet and satisfy every human need! What greater blessing could come to anyone than to learn this eternal fact?
To learn is to gain an understanding or comprehension of something, that is, to discern its true nature or character. To avail ourselves of the power of God or good we must understand God's nature and character. To demonstrate or to utilize a truth we must understand that truth. Our ability to demonstrate a fact is dependent on our understanding of that fact, hence the admonition of Scripture, "Incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding." And again, we read in Proverbs, "With all thy getting get understanding." This is the mission of Christian Science, to teach us the exact and unerring truth about God, infinite good, and thus enable us to be good, do good, experience good, to lay hold of good, to demonstrate good. There must be a Science of good, and as we perceive it we can prove it and avail ourselves of it.
On page 587 of the Christian Science textbook we have this most helpful definition of good: "God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action." Christian Science uniformly teaches that to God belong three great verities: that He is omnipotent or all-powerful; omniscient or all-knowing; omnipresent or everywhere present. In strict accord with true Christianity, Christian Science adheres to these fundamental truths and it also shows us how we can practically apply them. It carries them out to their logical conclusion and divine fruition. The results prove its correctness.
To understand God as Mind is of great helpfulness in making good available. In fact, until we learn of God as Mind we cannot really understand His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, but when we see that He is the one perfect Mind, then we can grasp the further facts that He is all-powerful, that He can be everywhere, that He can and does know everything that is good and true. There is an old saying that "knowledge is power," and since God is infinite Mind and all-wise, according to the Scriptures, He must be the only power. A simple appeal to human reason shows us clearly that power and knowledge go hand in hand. The man who builds a bridge is able to do so because of his knowledge of bridge construction. His ability to do the work is the direct result of his understanding. He who knows most clearly what is requisite in building a bridge can most effectually apply that knowledge. Since God is infinite good and the only Mind, He is the only power, for there is none beside Him; there is nothing opposed to Him who is All. The Bible declares, "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." God is All: there is nothing beside Him or beyond Him. God is the only creator, and He would not and could not create a power opposed to Himself.
There is only one way that God or Mind can manifest Himself and that is through ideas. Since God is good, and Mind, then His ideas must be good ideas. Those ideas must express the power of the creator of those ideas. They must have all the potency of the power behind them. A loving idea has all the power of Love behind it; a truthful idea has the power of Truth behind it; an idea of life has the power of infinite Life behind it; a spiritual idea has the omnipotence of Spirit behind it; a spiritual idea has the omnipotence of Spirit behind it. In order to demonstrate the availability of good, the unfailing remedy for all our woes, we simply have to express and reflect good ideas. Then the power of those ideas becomes operative in our experience, and whatever is obstructing our harmony is proved impotent, powerless. A wrong belief is powerless in the presence of a right idea. The false belief has nothing to support it; the right idea has omnipotence behind it. We read in the Christian Science textbook (p. 518), "Love giveth to the least spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud." A spiritual idea expresses and reflects the divine energy that brought it into being.
In Jeremiah we read, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil." God is infinite good; He creates only that which is good, cognizes only that which is good, and perpetuates that which is good. He necessarily knows only that which He creates, and is unfamiliar with anything else. Since God is Mind and good, His creation consists of good ideas which manifest His goodness, His love, and His loving nature. Man is God's image and likeness, according to the Scriptures, and must image forth the true ideas that constitute God's creation. The power and goodness of God are reflected through man, and as we realize this eternal fact, God's power is manifested in our human experience to establish that which is right and to overthrow that which is wrong. As we identify ourselves with infinite good the power of omnipotent good becomes operative in our experience. A man had seemingly been in bondage to evil for many years. He became a student of Christian Science and learned that good is the only power; that the only influence operating in his life was the influence of good; and then the bondage ceased. Evil was proved to be impotent when good was understood as omnipotent. The availability of good proved the unavailing nature of evil. Man is wholly separate from evil, but is ever at one with good, God. God is never unmindful of His own offspring; so man is in constant contact with good.
Since man is inseparable from God he is inseparable from good and the power of good. When we reflect the goodness of God then the unlimited power of God is working with us and for us. Our revered Leader has told us in her book, "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 189), that "the meek Nazarene's steadfast and true knowledge . . . of the nature and the inseparability of God and man - made him mighty." When we have the Mind of Christ we are at one with God and all His attributes. We identify ourselves with universal good and separate ourselves from what seems to be personal evil.
Any attribute of God carries with it the power that is divine. God is infinite good, and His law promotes good and annuls the wrong. God is the author of that which is right; so that which is unrighteous has no foundation in fact, and is unenforceable. The power of right is irresistible and supreme, since God, good, governs righteously. "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne," sang the Psalmist; hence right and justice can never be defeated. They are always the victors, for good is always available to bring to pass the highest good. The purposes of omnipotent good cannot be thwarted. He who is on God's side triumphs over error and evil, for God is with him. A student of Christian Science once lost her position through what seemed to be unfairness and injustice. She determined to take the following attitude. She said to herself: "It makes no difference what anyone else does. I utterly refuse to entertain one thought of bitterness, resentment, or condemnation, but I am resolved to keep my thought full of love and kindness." In just a few days an offer came to study in her favorite profession for several years with all expenses paid. The seeming power of injustice was swept aside by Love's presence and power. A loving thought is at one with omnipotent Love and anything contrary to love cannot withstand its supreme sway. "One on God's side is a majority." Every loving thought is known to God and God crowns it with invincible energy.
The omnipotence and ever-availability of good are most effectually proved in the healing of all manner of disease in Christian Science. Its power to heal is now recognized and commended by many good physicians. It is not at all uncommon for conscientious physicians to recommend Christian Science in cases where their own efforts have failed. That the power of omnipotent good is available to the sick man as well as to the sinner should be evident to all. If God's power were not available to the sick man then it would be limited in its operation. God is boundless and illimitable good, and His power is always on the side of harmony. If good could cause inharmony it would cease to be good. Such a condition could never occur, for a good cause could not bring about an evil effect. "God is harmony's selfhood," Mrs. Eddy states in "Unity of Good" (p. 13), and He holds His creation in immaculate perfection. His love being boundless, everything requisite for the harmony and joy of His children is always available. Disease is a belief of incompleteness or of disturbed harmony - something essential for concord seeming to be lacking. Good is ever at hand and always available; it is always accessible to man, for if any form of good were absent, God would not be fully expressed.
How beautifully our great Master, Jesus the Christ, proved the all-power and ever-availability of good! Truly he proved that, as our Leader says in her textbook (Science and Health, p. 13), "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals." What a clear example of God's all-sufficient power and the ever-nearness of that power we have in the case of the healing of blind Bartimaeus! According to the Scriptural narrative, Bartimaeus sat by the wayside begging. He thought he was dependent on others for his supply of good. No doubt he had heard of Jesus, for when he passed by, Bartimaeus appealed to him for healing. Mortal mind tried to keep Bartimaeus from the good and charged him to hold his peace, just as it does today try to hinder our efforts when we are reaching out for ever available good. But "he cried the more a great deal." He was determined not to be denied his access to the healing Christ. The result was a perfect healing, and Bartimaeus' sight was perfectly restored. According to the Scripture, the result was immediate. The action of good was instantaneous, thus proving that good cannot be postponed or delayed. The last part of the narrative is one that we may well ponder, for it declares that he "followed Jesus in the way." So when we have gained the Christ vision we should press on to a fuller realization of God's power and love, and thus gain a greater realization of His healing power.
Another beautiful example of the availability of good to heal is the case of the ten lepers. According to the Bible, the lepers met Jesus as he entered a certain village and asked him to have mercy on them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves unto the priest. Now it was the Jewish custom that one who had been healed of leprosy should go to the priest and offer certain sacrifices as an acknowledgment of and gratitude for his healing. But note that Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest before the healing had taken place, apparently. But as they went they were cleansed. The acknowledgment and recognition of the power of good, as manifested in their obedience, brought that ever-available good into immediate manifestation, and the disease or seeming absence of good disappeared at once. Good is at hand, its power ever operative, and as we see that good is, and are obedient to it, it is immediately externalized in our experience.
The Scriptures declare that God is good, infinite Love; that He is a God of truth; that His work is perfect; that His ways are right and true. They also declare, "It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect." The power of God, infinite, ever available good, always promotes health, perfection, harmony, goodness, rightness and holiness. Infinite Love would necessarily exercise its power to perpetuate its harmony and perfection, that which it had brought into being. His power is on the side of perfection, not imperfection; completeness, not incompleteness; adequacy, not inadequacy; abundance, not lack. As the children of God, we can utilize this power at all times and in every situation. The understanding of how to use this power is a protection and defense against adverse conditions, no matter how menacing they may seem to be. God's power is a spiritual power, and as we dwell in spiritual consciousness, His power is our refuge and defense, our Immanuel.
Undoubtedly you have read with interest the accounts of the ascents into the stratosphere far above the earth. It has been discovered that there are no storms there. So, as we ascend mentally into the atmosphere of the real, we find only God's power operating there, and a sure and an abiding peace is ours.
God's law of perfection is a law of complete annulment to any so-called law of imperfection. The law of perfection is divinely enforced; the so-called law of imperfection is powerless and unenforceable. God's law operates intelligently, wisely, and beneficently. It is established and maintained to bring about that which is righteous and good. Any so-called law of evil is nonsensical or unintelligent. A suppositional law of ignorance, darkness, or false belief cannot stand or have any power when the law of perfection is rightly understood. A lady was suffering from a so-called incurable disease. An article on Christian Science fell into her hands, and she was fully healed. What took place? Her thought was spiritually illumined, spiritually enlightened, and her real perfection as a child of God was revealed. Falsity was gone; reality was revealed.
The Apostle John declares, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In ever-available good there is no darkness, no disease, no lack, no sin, no discord, but there all is light, and harmonious being. God is the infinity of good, now and forever. The light of Truth reveals the infinity and universality of good. As we walk in that light its treasures are made manifest. In one of our western states one of the most beautiful caverns ever known has been discovered. It is full of lovely and interesting formations. It has been there for many centuries, but only recently has come to light. God's bounty and beauty are not afar off but near, to be seen and enjoyed. As light was brought into the cavern its magnificence and exquisite beauty became apparent. As the radiance of Truth and Love illumines one's consciousness, the beauty of holiness, the gems of love, the beauteous formations of Spirit appear to awakened thought. In the words of one of our hymns (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 201):
"Hid treasures it reveals
To all who know its power;
And all who will may light receive
In this most gracious hour.
"Then open wide your heart
To Truth and Light and Love;
You then shall know your life is hid
With Christ in God above."
Since God is ever available good, good is ever present, forever expressed, forever at hand, and divinely near. It is never absent, afar off, unavailable, or unattainable. We read in the Bible, "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord." And in our textbook we are told, "God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence" (Science and Health, p. 471). Since God is the only presence, anything unlike God is never present. We have believed for so long in the seeming presence and power of evil that such a statement seems startling, but when we put the fact of the ever-presence of good to the test and it is proved divinely true and provable, we are assured of its eternal verity. Since God is All, He is all-enfolding, all-encircling, and all-enveloping. God's universe, including man, lives, moves, and has its being in God, ever present good; then we are always in the presence of God, and all that is requisite for the harmony and peace of man is right where we are. Wherever God is, man is, since God and man are inseparable; then where God is, health is, harmony is, and perfection is. All good emanates from God; therefore good must be everywhere expressed. Good is never lacking nor absent.
From beginning to end the Bible declares God's presence and power, and we only have to awaken in order to see, to feel, and to enjoy this beneficent presence and power. How beautifully Paul proved this in healing Eutychus! You recall how Eutychus fell down from the third loft and was picked up dead. How clearly Paul declared the ever-presence of life when he said, "Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him!" As a result, Eutychus was fully restored. God is the life of all His creation, and that creation is life-expressing, life-manifesting. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." God could not withdraw Himself from the universe, and not one least portion of life could ever be lost or unmanifested. What a beautiful proof of the ever-availability and divine sufficiency of good we have in II Kings, fourth chapter! A large number needed food, but there seemed to be only twenty loaves of bread and ears of corn. The servitor said to the prophet, Elisha, "What, should I set this before an hundred men?" The response was, "Give the people, that they may eat," and they were all bountifully fed, and some was left over. Divine sustenance and provision are never lacking or inadequate. God's providing is bountiful, sufficient, abundant.
How gloriously this ever-presence and inexhaustibility of good is proved in the healing ministry of Christian Science! Surely everyone will admit that health is a good and desirable thing. Then it must be a constituent part of God's good creation. It is never absent from God's creation, and it is forever associated with man. Disease could no more be in God's perfect creation than discord could be in harmony. We do not need to go anywhere to obtain health. We do not have to create it, but to discern it. In our textbook we read (p. 276), "Harmony in man is as real and immortal as in music. Discord is unreal and mortal." We do not have to secure harmony and health, but to acknowledge and be grateful for them. Harmony and health are normal; discord and disease are abnormal. Disease is lawless; health is lawful. Health is natural; discord is unnatural. As we grasp these eternal facts our expectancy is on the side of health; our faith rests in God-bestowed harmony.
Good Is Divinely Natural
How beautifully our children who have learned in Christian Science the naturalness and legitimacy of good, demonstrate the truth! I have a friend who was sliding down an incline on a playground with his little girl on his lap. He was very seriously injured by catching his foot on the side of the incline. His own efforts to help himself were not so fruitful as he wished; so he asked his little girl to help him. She went a short distance away, sat down under a tree, and gave him a treatment. When she returned he asked her what she did, and she said, "I said, 'Thank you, God, for making Daddy's ankle well.'" A short time later, the father asked the little girl to help him again. She replied: "Oh, no! I thanked God for making you well," and a perfect healing was the result. Such a clear perception and scientific understanding of God's power, goodness, and love must bless and heal.
Since God is good, ever present, always available, then good is ever near to guide us and lead us aright. There must be a right thing to do in order to make good available in our experience. God has done His part, and we can know what is our part. Before we knew of Christian Science we generally turned to God in a crisis, after our human efforts had failed. Christian Science shows us how to turn to God first, and under His unerring guidance we thus avoid misdirected efforts. The Scriptures admonish us to refuse the evil and choose the good. Good is primal; good is foundational; good is first; ever at hand, and uniformly attainable. The government of God is supreme; His wisdom unerring. His law ever-operative. Then as we turn to Him first, we do not have to retrace our steps; our way is upward, forward, and Godward. "He shall direct thy paths," we read in Proverbs; and as our only desire is to do good and express good, we are at one with the purposes of God; the way is clear; the path unobstructed. God's plan brings out the highest expression of good. When we walk with Him, and lay aside human will, His wisdom guides our footsteps to the highest and best. God bestows, but never withholds good. We can not have too much of good to please Him, and he who seeks God aright will be unfailingly led to do that which is in accord with his highest interest and noblest attainment. Ever available good is not withheld from him whose goodness is enlisted in God's service; God has use for it.
The understanding of God's ever-presence is a sure remedy for lack of every description. The Psalmist sang, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." One version of the Bible reads, "I shall not lack," and in our textbook we have this beautiful rendering, "[Divine love] is my shepherd: I shall not want" (Science and Health, p. 578). God is infinite Love, and His creation expresses the fullness of His love. Not the slightest lack could be realized in the reflection of that inexhaustible love. Out of God's divine allness good has a full and adequate manifestation. As we understand and apply this basic truth, everything requisite for full, harmonious being is fully manifested. The need is primarily mental; the supply is spiritual. To some, this may seem rather impractical, but in actual demonstration it is proved to be intensely practical and workable, namely, demonstrable.
A man who had been suffering with a severe case of stomach trouble, and had found no relief from material remedies, finally went to a Christian Science practitioner for help. During the visits to the practitioner it was uncovered that the sufferer was entertaining a very deep sense of resentment. When this was uncovered and cast out by a realization of Love's ever-presence and allness, the disease instantly disappeared. The man's need seemed to be a very acute physical need, but, was it? Not at all! The need was purely spiritual, and when the material belief was cast out and God's presence and power were acknowledged, the seeming lack of harmony was replaced by the peace of God, and a perfect healing resulted. This does not mean that a certain mental cause always produces the same physical effect, but as the false beliefs of the carnal mind are cast out by gaining the Mind of Christ, as error is replaced by truth, as hate is supplanted by love, we must have lovely, healthy conditions in the body. As our Leader so beautifully states it in Science and Health (p. 248), "Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love - the kingdom of heaven - reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear." We need the ideas of God, His holy thoughts which are accessible to all, and to God lack is unknown. A manufacturer, who had a large business, was once confronted with a very serious problem. On account of the material obstacles, there seemed to be no way out. The manufacturer was a Christian Scientist, and turned to ever-available good for a correct solution of his problem. Very soon an idea unfolded to him which completely solved the entire difficulty. The need had seemed to be a physical one, but, was it? Not at all! The need was for a right idea, and when the right idea was revealed to him by God, all seeming obstacles vanished. The Christ, Truth, man's unfailing shepherd, had led him to the right idea, and he no longer lacked.
A man who had a chronic trouble for years and had tried many material remedies, all to no avail, finally went to a Christian Science practitioner for help. He was requested to read Science and Health, but was very reluctant to do so and, although he was helped by the practitioner's work, he did not receive a complete healing. His practitioner labored with him very earnestly, but he was still unwilling to do his part, to read and help himself. One night he had a very severe attack and tried to telephone to the practitioner, but the line was busy. He tried again and again, but the line was still busy. Then he became very impatient, and began to pace the floor. Finally, his eye fell on his unused copy of Science and Health, and he began to read, although still very angry. As he read, these words flashed into his consciousness, "Why, there is no busy line between God and me." He was instantly healed, the pain was gone, and that was the last attack of that disease he ever had. His need seemed very material, but what he really needed was humility, teachableness, obedience, and a willingness to do his part. A most beautiful program may be going through the air, but if we do not tune in on the proper wave-length, the lovely harmony is unheard.
Mrs. Eddy has given us the most beautiful and practical definition of angels: "God's thoughts passing to man" (Science and Health, p. 581). God's thoughts are ever-present, and as we are mentally hospitable to them they tarry with us, and reveal to us the omnipotence, the omnipresence, the ever-nearness of good. What healed the man of whom we have spoken? It was the angel of His presence, that clear perception that nothing can come between God and man. Man is present with his Father-Mother God, and God is not unmindful of His own creation. In the Bible we are told that "the reapers are the angels." God's garden is a perennial garden, and as we entertain His angels we must reap the reward of every righteous effort, the fruition of every sincere endeavor. In Love's garden the blooms of holy purposes, unselfish efforts, and loving desires are never blighted, for the showers of heaven and the streams of love bring them to full maturity. Thoughts proving God's ever-presence shine forth to glorify and bless their creator. One of our hymns beautifully expresses this sentiment (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 3):
"A grateful heart a garden is,
Where there is always room
For every lovely, Godlike grace
To come to perfect bloom."
What a joy it is to have such a garden!
Since God is omniscient, He is the only intelligence, the only activity. Then infinite good is the only intelligence, the all-knowing Mind. All the wisdom and intelligence of God is available to man, as God's reflection. Man is divinely intelligent, and knows no limitation. All limitation is a belief of lack of intelligence, a seeming lack of ideas, but since God is ever-available good, man could not lack any good idea. Man is God's expression or offspring; then he must know the divine facts about Life, Truth, and Love. As the reflection of infinite good, he must be a good man. Divine intelligence knows nothing but good about man, and man knows the God who is infinite good. How different this is from what was formerly believed about man before Christian Science enlightened us as to his true status! It was thought that man had fallen, and that through laborious effort he was going to get back to where he had been. Man has never fallen, but mortals' concept of man has fallen far short of man's true stature. By seeing man as God sees him, we uplift our concept to the heights of holiness, or wholeness, and the distorted concept is erased. We read in our textbook, "Love never loses sight of loveliness" (Science and Health, p. 248). It must be self-evident that Truth knows nothing but that which is true about man; Love knows only that which is lovely; Life knows only a man who is life-expressing.
We know that when a beam of sunlight passes through a prism the light is broken into the seven primary colors. The prism when held in the light does not make the colors. They are already included in the light, and the prism reveals them. The light of Truth does not change man, but reveals man as he really is, the blessed son of a perfect creator. Since "Love never loses sight of loveliness," it never knows anything but that which is lovely about man. Truth knows only that which is truthful; Life knows nothing but that which is living; good knows only goodness; Spirit knows only spirituality. Through the use of larger and more powerful telescopes, many, many stars which before were invisible become visible. They previously existed in space, but now are becoming visible through expanded thought. Through the prism of divine Science we are seeing more clearly what man is, and are unseeing what mortals claims he is, but actually is not. In our human relations we naturally want to associate with those with whom we have common ideals and from whom we receive benefit. Association is primarily mental, and Christian Science teaches us to associate only with that concept of man which is uplifting and ennobling. We should not wish to be frequently in the company of those whose words and actions are unideal and unethical; neither should we mentally associate with any concept of man which is imperfect or ungodlike. As we associate with the real concept of man, the mortal concept fades out, and man is seen as altogether lovely and lovable.
Was not this true understanding of God's man the basis of our great Master's success? If they brought to him a man who apparently could not walk, he said in substance: "You are God's man, fully capacitated to walk, and express rightful activity"; and the man would express perfect action. When he was called to heal Jairus' daughter he said, "She is not dead, but sleepeth," and the maid arose. He saw, not a dead child, but a child of Life, a living child. He did not see a sinner, but the immaculate son of God; and man, the pure reflection of God, appeared. He did not see man as poor, but as abundantly provided with the substance of good. If we have any doubt as to what to think about man, we have only to ask ourselves, What does God know about man? How is God beholding man? Jesus said at the tomb of Lazarus, "Loose him, and let him go." As we lose our distorted concept of man, we see who man really is, and know clearly what he is not; the wrong is cast out of thought, and the right idea comes in.
When we are on intimate terms with the real man and dissociate ourselves from the false and erroneous concept of man, we not only enrich and ennoble our own lives, but we call forth that which is noble and true in others. As the majesty and nobility of man dawns on our vision and that vision is incorporated into our thinking, we arouse others to the same high plane of thinking. In one of our large cities was a barren waste of land, apparently useless. A man who had a great vision of beauty lived in that city, and he conceived a plan to transform the wasteland into a beautiful park. The undertaking was seemingly most unpropitious, but through faithful adherence to his vision, with patience and unceasing effort, that sandy waste has become one of the most beautiful parks in the world. The poet has said:
"Be noble! and the nobleness that lies
In other men, sleeping but never dead,
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own."
Good attracts good; nobility arouses nobility. What finer occupation could one be engaged in than that of trying every day to see more of God's man and to behold more of his grandeur and majesty?
As we are faithful to our vision of ever-present good and the real man of God's creating, we live in a new heaven and a new earth. Humanly speaking, each one is living in an individual world, a world of his own mental concepts. His environment is that of his own thinking. From a human standpoint each one's environment is but the objectification of his own thinking. As our thinking becomes purified and idealized, that ennobled state of thought externalizes itself in a better sense of everything, and we dwell in a higher state of consciousness, where the grand, true, and noble are our constant associates. We do not separate ourselves from the world, but from worldliness; not from people, but from the wrong concept of people; and thus we live in a world of fadeless ideals, spiritual beauty, infinite perfection. We may walk on earth, but our thoughts can be in heaven. In making a movietone a soundproof room is required. All sorts of din and extraneous noises may be heard outside, but they cannot be heard inside the soundproof room. As we dwell in ever-present good, the joys and harmony of ever-available good are ours; the din of mortal sense is unheard. We are in God's holy temple; we are walking with angels. We are permanent inhabitants, for we can never get outside of nor beyond infinite, ever-present, omni-active good. It is not always possible to be just where we desire to be, but our thoughts can be where we want them to be. Nothing can control our thinking but God, for every idea that man entertains comes from God, and God, ever-present good, controls His own ideas.
As we entertain the ideas of Truth, we are in Truth's realm, which Truth controls. As we reflect the ideas of Love, we are in the jurisdiction of Love, which Love controls. As we entertain the ideas of Life, we are in the kingdom of Life, where Life reigns supreme. We may draw the shades and shut out the light, but we do not stop the sun from sending forth its benignant rays. The light of omni-active good is forever shining, its glory undimmed, its grandeur never obscured. As heirs of the kingdom which is the heritage of every child of God, our ability to think good, manifest good, and avail ourselves of good is inalienable, undeniable, and unassailable. "My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart." If our rights are denied us we appeal to our government to protect us. The government and activity of good annul, reverse, and neutralize the supposed activity of evil and its decisions, for the supremacy and omnipotence of truth, good, and right are never reversed. A traveler in a foreign land carries his credentials with him to establish his identity and to maintain his rights. Our credentials as sons of the Most High have been issued by infinite good and can never be canceled nor lost.
As we experience more of good, enjoy more of good, and gain a higher understanding of good, we are increasingly grateful to Mary Baker Eddy, who brought the revelation of the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of good to this age. From early childhood Mrs. Eddy was an earnest seeker for good. Her efforts to gain a greater understanding of God, His power and love, were untiring. After many years of faithful seeking, in an hour of great need, her endeavors were rewarded not only by her own healing, but by the revelation of the Science of good which she has properly denominated Christian Science. She saw that there was a law of God, a law of good, which, when properly applied, would make good available to every honest seeker and which would heal mentally, morally, and physically. As we are grateful for this revelation we necessarily are grateful to the revelator. True gratitude enriches and uplifts the human character, and when we are grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her love, her patience, her fidelity, we cannot help but gain a greater understanding of the truth which she taught. To keep her memory green and to be true to her teachings is indeed a great privilege. She walked so close to God, loved Him so supremely, obeyed Him so implicitly, it is no wonder that she saw the light of heaven, revealing the allness of good, its divine and unfailing power. The understanding of God which she brought to the world is for everyone everywhere. Its sublimity, glory, and ever-availability will be ours in increasing measure as we remember her beautiful words (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 174), "Each day I know Him nearer, love Him more, and humbly pray to serve Him better."