Christian Science: The Revelation of Abundant Life
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, California, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science: The Revelation of Abundant Life." last evening under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First, Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice.
The lecturer was introduced by Miss Florence S. Middaugh, C.S., Second Reader in The Mother Church, who said:
It is with much pleasure that I welcome you here this evening.
One of the greatest joys of our human experience is the privilege of giving. Christ Jesus recognized and exercised this privilege more than anyone the world has ever known. His way of giving, however, mankind largely rejected because they were not spiritually minded enough to comprehend its significance.
Jesus taught that the source of all good is God, and that God gives abundantly to His children, and that in order to give of this good to another, one must first be willing and ready to receive from his heavenly Father.
Christian Science is teaching us how to receive this good and to share it with our fellow man. Mary Baker Eddy, its Discoverer and Founder, was more receptive and able to receive the gifts of God than anyone in this age, and she in turn claimed the joy of giving it to the world.
Among the many provisions which she made for the purpose of reaching those who seek an understanding of this truth, was the establishment of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, whose members travel to every part of the globe with a message of assurance and comfort.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Let me ask you to go back in thought over a long lapse of centuries and contemplate one of the most dramatic scenes in history. It occurred during the ministry of our Way-shower, Jesus the Christ. As he went about doing his beneficent works among men our Master came upon a man who had been blind from his birth. With that sublime compassion and unfailing tenderness with which he was endowed, and relying on that ever-present power of God by means of which he did his mighty works, he restored the man's sight. One would naturally suppose that those who saw this beneficent result accomplished would rejoice and be glad, but the carnal mind, even as it does today, began to question Jesus' authority to perform such mighty works. In justification of his actions and in explanation of his glorious mission he uttered those sublime words which for all time explained the reason for his coming and the purpose of his loving ministry: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
With such a tangible proof before them as the blind man's healing, what hopes this ringing declaration of Truth must have aroused! What courage it must have inspired! How faith must have increased in God's healing presence! To those who for so long had been feeding on the dry husks of doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, what a source of encouragement it must have been to witness an incontrovertible proof of a living, divine afflatus which would bring into evidence that fullness of Life divine which could and would destroy all human ills. Christian Science has come to this age to acquaint humanity intelligently with this same ever-abundant divine Life. It is saying to every humble seeker for good: I am come that you might have life and that you might have it in all its fullness and unfailing grandeur.
The Psalmist sang. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." What is this path which leads to the fullness and richness of life? Jesus, our great Master, revealed it for all time when he declared, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." To know God, then, is life eternal - that abundant life where limitation, disease, and mortality are unknown. To gain the unlimited and affluent sense of life is the great privilege of everyone and leads to that fullness of joy which is man's true heritage. To reach the high goal we must understand the great fact that life is purely and entirely spiritual. The human mind, unenlightened by divine facts, has very largely thought of life as material, organic, mortal, and finite. It has conceived of life largely in terms of physical processes, mortal events, or material conditions. And yet, upon careful thought and close analysis, we can readily see that human life is mortally mental and not corporeal. In speaking of "my life," "his life," or "her life'' to what do we refer? Do we not have in mind what one thinks, what he knows, that of which he is conscious? Such phrases as, "He leads a very peaceful life." "He has a very happy life," "His was a very useful life," show us conclusively that we frequently think of life entirely apart from bodily conditions or the physical concept of it. In thinking back over some of the beautiful experiences which have come into our lives, the surrounding conditions and attendant circumstances have largely faded from memory, but the love and graciousness expressed linger on and on. Sometimes the human events do not readily recur to thought, but, the kindness which shaped the events is never forgotten. We may know very little about the material conditions or personal habits of someone and yet, as we observe his kindly deeds and noble acts, we think of him in the words of our immortal Shakespeare, "He hath a daily beauty in his life." What a beautiful thing to be said of anyone!
Since human life is humanly mental or a process of human thinking, then true life is wholly spiritual, or the expression of divine thinking. We learn in Christian Science that God is divine, eternal, unchanging Truth. Since to know God is life eternal, then real life is a knowledge of divine facts or the ideas of Truth. God is also infinite, boundless, and unchanging good; then real life is unchangeably and infinitely good. God is infinite good and is infinitely manifested; then life is bounteous, unrestricted, and free. God is infinite Spirit. Since God is Life and Spirit, then true life is spiritual, holy, right, and true: it is not evil, but good: not wrong, but right; not mortal, but immortal: not material, but supersensible. Since God is good and Life, the only life there is, is a good life. God is Life and God is Mind. Mind expresses itself in true ideas or divine concepts. The only true ideas are ideas of Life. We used to think that each one had a life of his own, separate from God, but we have learned in Christian Science that since God is Life and infinite, there is one infinite Life manifested through all creation and that God's creation is Life-expressing and Life-manifesting. Since God is Life and infinite Love, then true life is the manifestation of Love. God's love is expressing, surrounding, and protecting every form of life. Every idea of God is held securely in His tender care and all-enfolding love.
In the light of the foregoing facts, how easy it is to understand the true purport of Jesus' ministry! His every thought, act, word, and deed was for the purpose of bringing into barren and unhappy lives that life more abundant, that fullness of joy, that abiding peace of God which would enrich human experience with all-satisfying good. He was bringing to the consciousness of mankind that true knowledge of God which meets the deepest human need here and now. His purpose was to teach and demonstrate that understanding of eternal life which enables humanity to attain the divine mastery of evil, making it possible for them to experience a life of holiness and sinless joy. His mighty works were object lessons on how to achieve and retain that richness of life, that affluence of good, that perfect health, that freedom from sin which are the inevitable fruits which result from a right understanding of God as Life, and its demonstration.
One of the cardinal teachings of our great Master, which Christian Science strongly emphasizes, is the ever-presence of God. When Jesus sent his disciples out to heal and teach, he said, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." We have always thought of heaven as a place where life reigns supreme and where death never comes. Since the kingdom of heaven is at hand and God is ever present, then Life and its perfect expression is always present. Since life eternal consists in knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, then eternal life is not a future state, but a divine understanding, here and now. The opportunity to have that life more abundant, to know the divine facts of being, is not dependent upon time. Good is ever-present, and to know and understand good is an ever-present possibility. That life more abundant is never postponed. It is here and now to be enjoyed and appropriated.
How beautifully Jesus proved this in the case of the woman who was bowed together and could not even lift herself up! The Biblical account tells us that she had been in that condition eighteen years. Jesus knew that such a condition was not the work of God - that it was utterly contrary to the perfect law of Life, God. He knew that this woman was lawfully entitled to express the fullness of life, the perfection of life, the normality of life. No one could have a normal, useful, or successful human experience while laboring under such a handicap as this woman was laboring under. Jesus knew that divine life, perfect, life, God-bestowed life was right there where imperfection seemed to be, and that nothing could repress its perfect manifestation and full expression. He not only restored her, but fully explained the reason for her difficulty and why it was overcome. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 579), we find Abraham defined as follows: "Fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being." Jesus said that this woman was a daughter of Abraham and that Satan had bound her. The word "Satan," in its original meaning, signifies one who falsely accuses; a lying spirit. This woman was a child of God, and her natural status was one of faith in divine Life and the eternal Principle of being. When this fact was discovered, the lying belief that she was imperfect, abnormal, and infirm was destroyed by the eternal truth and she went free. The divine fact had replaced the falsehood - the eternal truth, the temporal dream.
God is infinite Life, ever present and fully manifested. Time has nothing to do with it. The belief that this woman's difficulty had seemed to cover a period of eighteen years was powerless and impotent to delay or deter the divinely adequate manifestation of infinite good and irrepressible life. Man is the expression of God, the child of Life, the heir of immortality. God is expressing in His creation everything that is essential or requisite to true, harmonious being. St. Paul says, "Your life is hid with Christ in God;" hence man's life is always associated with completeness, not incompleteness; perfection, not imperfection; fullness, not inadequacy; continuity, not cessation.
Man is in the realm of Life, where that life more abundant reigns supreme.
Christian Science not only declares these great facts as a beautiful ideal, but as demonstrable verities. Most of the adherents of Christian Science are those who at one time were skeptical of its rightness and many were openly antagonistic. What has brought about such a beneficent change but unassailable proofs that it does bring into human experience that life more abundant, which heals quickly, wholly, and permanently. There was a lady who was born blind in one eye. Her parents did everything humanly possible to correct this condition, but without success. Many years after she had reached maturity she became a student of Christian Science. One day, while calling on some friends, she remarked that she hoped nothing untoward would happen to her good eye. One of her friends replied, "Do you not know that you are the perfect, child of God?" A physical difficulty from which she had been suffering disappeared very quickly, but she thought nothing about the blindness. Some time later she started on a motor trip and one day, while driving through the country, she discovered that her sight had been perfectly restored. Now what had happened? There was no more of good or life there than there always had been. This woman was simply awakened to an understanding of true life and its faculties in all their perfection, completeness, and eternality.
Every healing in Christian Science, thousands of which are taking place daily, is an irresistible proof of that life more abundant, that clear perception of boundless good which our Father-Mother God has bestowed on all His creation. Not one least form of true life, not one particle of good, not one least manifestation of Love is ever absent, unobtainable, or unavailable. God is Life, and His creation expresses His completeness and perfection. What is disease but a belief that something essential to life is absent or lacking? God's creation is not deficient in anything, but expresses the fullness of health and harmony. As we perceive this great truth we gain a released sense of life, an unfettered consciousness of life - that life more abundant. This true Christian healing does more than merely remove bodily discomfort; it enables us to live courageously and fearlessly. It destroys physical ills in order that we may be useful and of service. It takes away the burdens of human experience and replaces them with life's joys and triumphs.
During the late war my wife and I were given the privilege of ministering to the boys in a large army camp. In that camp was a boy who had been shot in the foot, and as a result tuberculosis of the bone had set in. After medical skill had entirely failed in its efforts to relieve him, he sought help in Christian Science. The result was a perfect healing and we have in our possession a photograph showing a full and complete restoration. Christian Science healing in this instance did far more than merely restore him to physical soundness; it equipped him to go out into life to perform his mission there unhandicapped and unfettered. We learn in the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 481) that "God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." As the child of God, man expresses God's nature and character. God and man are inseparable, so man's life is forever united to "infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss." The fetters of false beliefs cannot limit this man, for his life comes from an unlimited source - God, Himself. The apostle tells us that the "gift of God is eternal life." God's gifts are perfect gifts and cannot become imperfect, impaired, inadequate, or ungodlike.
As we understand God aright, as we perceive the eternality of life, as we gain a clearer sense of that life more abundant, then we learn that true life is one of endless opportunity and unlimited achievement. So much of human experience is spent in vain regret over what might have been or so-called "lost opportunities." In the realm of Truth, Life and its infinite possibilities are always at hand. Good is ever present, only awaiting our appropriation and enjoyment of it. Opportunity is never lost; the ability to lay hold upon good is never forfeited. No doubt the human verdict had been passed that the condition of the woman who was bowed together for eighteen years was hopeless. Jesus saw at once that it was her divine and inalienable privilege, yea, her God-bestowed right, to manifest at once normal and harmonious conditions. It is never too late to have that life more abundant which the Father has freely bestowed on all His children. True life is that which knows and reflects God, and the opportunity to know God aright is never withdrawn. The true way of life ever leads to higher attainments and greater achievements. The "path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." He who follows the light of Truth, the way of holiness, the path of righteousness, forever obtains a finer, nobler, and better life.
Christian Science declares and demonstrates that disease is no part of Life, but is entirely extraneous to it. We read in the first chapter of Genesis that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Since God is Life and the only creator, His creation is a creation of Life and its manifestation. God saw and sees His creation as embracing every form of true life. If any form of life were lacking, God's work would not and could not express completeness. St. John tells us that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . In him was life; and the life was the light of men.'' Disease never adds any form of good nor in any way promotes life. On the contrary, disease seems to impair life, to interfere with its normal activity. Jesus treated disease as an impostor or intruder that would try to rob man of his rightful heritage - that life more abundant. He cast out these enemies of man and replaced them with health and harmony. Jesus knew that disease never contributes anything to life; on the contrary, if it is not overcome it leads to death. Surely that which leads to death could not have any element of life.
Death is the result of an ignorance of Life, so it is utterly foreign to life. Disease and death are the supposed absence of Life, but Life, God, is ever-present; therefore disease and death are mere negations, devoid of truth and divine reality. Almost every form of the healing art, outside of Christian Science, works from the negative standpoint in its efforts to effect a cure. It is no wonder that such efforts are for the most part unsuccessful and that a very large percentage of diseases are considered incurable. The word "incurable" has been defined as "not admitting of remedy," and "remedy" as "that which corrects an evil of any kind." There is not, and never will be, any incurable disease - a fact which Christian Science is repeatedly proving. Where there seems to be a failure, the proper remedy has not been applied with sufficient understanding. Christian Science gives us the unfailing remedy - that true knowledge of God which acquaints us with life eternal. It shows us how to dwell in thought upon health, not disease; harmony, not discord; perfection, not imperfection - on that which is right, not that which is wrong. As we gain the true knowledge of God; as we cognize that which is real and true; as divine facts fill our consciousness to the exclusion of disease and wrong, the words of the Scriptures are renewedly fulfilled in that life more abundant, “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.”
The beneficent results of this true knowing, this positive thinking, were most beautifully demonstrated in the case of a friend of mine who had been suffering from an obstinate case of stomach trouble. He had consulted over thirty physicians, but without obtaining relief. He then secured some medical books and began to study his own case. He finally turned to Christian Science and in a few days was perfectly healed. What he needed was spiritual enlightenment and when the light of truth revealed to him that life more abundant, he was restored to harmony, peace, and health. We are inhabitants of the realm of Life, where health is ever-present and where disease never comes. In speaking of wisdom, the wise man said, "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." As we lay hold upon infinite good and the ideas of good, unchanging Truth and the ideas of Truth, Spirit and its perfect ideas, the glory of God's perfect creation unfolds to our awakened vision. We cannot study astronomy in a cave; we cannot find beauty in ugliness: we cannot find the harmonious in the discordant.
As we know God as He really is, infinite good, boundless Love, eternal Life, limitations disappear, handicaps are removed and life more abundant is made manifest. True life is true knowing - knowing God; and since all ideas proceed from God, infinite Truth, man's life is no more limited than God is limited. It is never fettered or finite, but infinite. We read in Job, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Life does not proceed from matter, is not limited by matter, and is not restricted by matter. The only seeming limitations are due to our narrow and finite sense of life. God is infinite good, and as we grasp this fact, we see that life cannot be repressed nor its manifestations restricted. Activity is an element of life and cannot be restrained. Joy is an element of life and cannot be repressed. Peace is an element of life and cannot be curtailed. Goodness is an element of life and is not, and cannot be circumscribed. Life and its infinite capacities, its unbounded capabilities, its endless opportunities, its fetterless freedom are here and now to be enjoyed by everyone.
In the Christian Science textbook we learn 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). The breath of the Almighty, infinite good, has given man life, governs his life, maintains his life, and protects his life. It is now generally agreed by the most advanced natural scientists that matter is only a mental concept. The body, then, must be only a mental concept. The person who thinks he lives in a material body is living in a material concept of body. As he sees or cognizes the eternal fact that man really lives in Soul, not body, in the consciousness of limitless good, not finite evil, his fetters are broken, the yoke is taken away, and he goes free. There is nothing in true life, nothing in Soul, which can hold man in bondage. The breath of the Almighty hath given to man the freedom of life, the abundance of life, the illimitability of life, the glory of life - life eternal and unconfined. The Bible tells us that "in him we live, and move, and have our being." Man lives in God, where every form of good is expressed and where evil is never expressed.
The individual life which expresses God manifests true ideas, noble qualities, and holy thinking. Those qualities are not confined to a material body. Is honesty encased in a mortal body? Is kindness restricted to a human embodiment? Can justice be confined in matter? Decidedly, No! All true spiritual qualities are independent of and wholly apart from material or bodily conditions. To be sure, we can express those qualities in our human experience, but they do not proceed from matter, they are not involved in matter and cannot be limited by matter. The Bible tells us, He "is thy life, and the length of thy days." Man lives because God lives. God is the very infinitude of Life and good. This infinity of good is expressed through man. Man has access to all the ideas of Life. The real man expresses or reflects eternal Life, limitless Soul, boundless Love. Could God limit man's life to a mortal body and hedge him about with finiteness, mortal boundaries, and restrictive hindrances?
As we gain this true understanding of life, this enjoyment of life more abundant, this clear perception of Life in God, not in the body, then we attain a mastery of the body which is priceless. Jesus, our great Exemplar, did not ignore the human body, but restored it to its normal functions and harmony. He even called Lazarus back from the tomb and restored his body to its rightful activity. As we understand true life as it really is, as God created it, infinite good, that uplifted state of consciousness inevitably manifests itself as a better sense of body. Our thinking is not in our body, but our body is in our thinking, and as we express more of the qualities of true life, namely, purity, goodness, and sinlessness, our body is embraced in our uplifted consciousness and manifests more of true harmony.
Jesus came that we might have life and that we might have it "more abundantly." He came to do the will of the Father, and His loving will is always manifested as abiding health, perfect action, continuous bliss. The endless round of harmonious being is God's plan for all His creation, Anything that would attempt to interfere with that plan, that divine provision of joyous, healthful, and perfect life, is baseless and powerless. In Revelation we read, "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." The streams that flow from the fount of infinite Love are pure streams, life-giving streams, whose healing waters are for all. Even the most parched and barren lives bear abundant fruitage whenever these streams touch human consciousness. They sweep away the accumulations of error, for the power of omnipotence is behind them. A lady was suffering from an abnormal growth. One day, when working on her problem, she begun to ask herself what this condition was, that is, from a strictly material viewpoint. The answer came that it seemed to be an accumulation of matter. She then began to take a mental inventory to find out what false belief she had been accumulating in her thinking. As, one by one, many false beliefs were uncovered which had been harbored in her thought and these erroneous concepts were cast out by the true ideas of Life and Truth, her trouble was entirely overcome.
As we allow the streams of good to flow freely through our consciousness they not only bless us, but many, many others as well. Let us suppose a man had a very valuable parcel of land on which he grew abundant crops. His land was irrigated by a lovely creek which not only served him, but the land of a number of others as well, thus allowing many to share in its benefits. Suppose one day selfishness crept in and the man decided to dam up his stream in order to keep all the water for his own benefit. What, would be the result? The stream would become stagnant, stale, and insipid. As we gain that life more abundant we become sharers, not absorbers; reflectors, not holders-on. What a beautiful example we have of the sharing of more abundant life and its healing power in the case of the healing of the lame man at the "Beautiful gate of the temple"! You recall how the infirm man lay daily at the temple gate to ask alms of passers-by. Peter and John had gone up to the temple to pray, to commune with God in order to gain a clearer understanding of the Life divine. As they were about to enter into the temple the lame man asked an alms. Little did he realize the unspeakable blessing which he was about to receive. As Peter looked upon him he saw through the mist of mortal belief, the false sense of life and its seeming imperfections, to the real and true. Then followed that remarkable declaration, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" - and behold the result! This unfortunate man whose life had been cramped, narrow and limited by his seeming affliction “stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Peter's gift of life more abundant, that understanding of infinite good and its perfect manifestations, far transcended the highest earthly gift which he could have bestowed upon the man. Peter revealed to him his real self as a perfect child of God.
The word "temple," in its original meaning, signified "a most holy place," and in the Christian Science textbook "temple" is defined as "the idea of Life . . . ; the shrine of Love" (Science and Health, p. 595).
We may not have much to give in a material way, but as we reflect the rich graces of Spirit, the loveliness of Soul, the graciousness of Love, we help many others, many of our fellow pilgrims, to leave their false sense of life and enter God's temple, the true "idea of Life," the "shrine of Love." As they enter there, their diseases are healed, the deformed are made whole, the dying are raised to life and health - yea, to that life more abundant.
As we enter into the temple of true consciousness, real life, we see the real man, God's man, the only man there is. There are not two men: one material, the other spiritual; one living, the other dying; one a sinner and one a saint. There is only one, who expresses and represents the one creator, God. Since man is the representative or likeness of God, he expresses God fully and completely. The true man reflects the truthfulness of Truth, the loveliness of Love, the goodness of God. This man is God-created, God-governed, God- protected, and God-guided. As we identify ourselves with this real man we gain our true, divine selfhood, the only begotten of the Father. In the Christian Science textbook we learn that the "sinless joy, - the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain - constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual" (Science and Health, p. 76). We all know that the earth is round and yet there are only two men on record who have actually seen the curvature of the earth. Why? Because they are the only ones who have risen high enough above the earth to see its actual shape. The eternal verities of God do not change; we only see more of them. The unlimited divine beauty and goodness of man are forever expressed by the children of God.
This true view of man brings into human experience that richness of life, that fullness of life, that life more abundant. The Bible tells us, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." As we recognize our divine sonship we live truly, nobly, unselfishly, and grandly. Our lives become expansive, broad, joyous, and elastic. We see things in their right proportion. We look for the real man, the true selfhood of everyone, the true man of God's creating. Thus we behold the man who expresses eternal Life, who embodies eternal Truth, who manifests the majesty of good, the glory of Soul. "He that hath the Son hath life;" he dwells in the realm of Life, the jurisdiction of Life. We live in our thinking, we dwell in consciousness, and as we are conscious of the real man and his divine sonship we are in the kingdom of Life. The only creation there is, is the creation of Life; for God, who is infinite Life, could not create a universe wholly unlike Himself, subject to dissolution and death. Jesus, in referring to his real self, declared his divine sonship in those sublime words when he spoke of himself as "the Son of man which is in heaven." Man is in God's presence; he is in the presence of Life, harmonious life, fearless life, courageous life - that life more abundant.
The human sense of things would try to make us believe that we are in a world of disaster, misfortune, chance, poverty, disease, danger, and death, but we are not. We are in heaven, the domain of infinite good, the kingdom of joyous and deathless life, the affluence of life, the allness of life. The seeming creation of sin, suffering, sorrow, and discord is only an unreal shadow, without actuality or verity. How do we enter into the kingdom of Life? By seeing who we are and what we are. In our true or spiritual selfhood we are the children of God, the heirs of Life, the immortal ideas of infinite Mind. We are celestial inhabitants of God's kingdom, the realm of the real, the heaven of Soul. No material change ushers us into God's presence, but a change of consciousness from sin to holiness and good. I once lived near a lake which was quite shallow for a considerable distance from shore. By reason of the shallow water storms quite frequently caused rough water. A man lived on the shore of the lake who owned a speed-boat with which he assisted many persons to safety. One night he heard cries of distress out on the lake from a man who thought he was in great danger. He immediately went to the rescue of this man, whose motor, it seems, had refused to work, so that disaster seemed imminent. The resultant fear was very great. When the rescuer reached the man in distress he explained to him that at that point the water was very shallow and that he could easily have stepped out of the boat and waded ashore without the least difficulty. The fearful man thought he was in the realm of danger, but as a matter of fact he was safe all the time. What he really needed was enlightenment or knowledge. The man of God's creating abides in good; he is safe in good; he is always in contact with good. Christian Science tells us to stand up mentally, to rise spiritually, to dwell consciously in true life, the life divine.
As we lay hold upon that life more abundant, that true spiritual consciousness of life, we gain the power of life, the dominion of life, the true strength of life. In the Bible we read, "The Lord is the strength of my life,'' and in Hebrews we are told that Jesus the Christ was "made, not, after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." What is it that seems to render our human sense of life weak, infirm, and insecure, but the belief that life is mortal, material, limited, and finite? When God gave man dominion over all the earth, he endowed him with the divine ability to express Life in all its amplitude, fullness, and strength. He equipped man with the capacity to reflect his Maker, the supreme power of the universe. Power is not in man, but is manifested through man. As the Psalmist so clearly states it, "It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect." God is Life, supreme and omnipotent, and this supreme and all-powerful Life is reflected through man. If man did not reflect dominion he would not be God's image and likeness: he would be an imperfect likeness. Perfection could not manifest itself in imperfection; strength cannot express weakness. The only man whom God could create, who would properly represent Him, would be a powerful man, a strong man, a successful man, a man created after the power of an endless life. Man is endowed with power from on high to express every quality of Life.
Every quality of Life proceeds from God, infinite Life; hence it has omnipotence behind it. He “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things,” the apostle declared, and as we express the true qualities of Life we are at one with the source of all life, God Himself. We have allied ourselves with the supreme power of the universe. Just think of the millions of homes that today are being supplied with light, heat, and power by electric current generated by means of water power! This power of falling water has been there for centuries, but only after the streams have been properly harnessed has it been made available to mankind. The power did not have to be brought into being: it only had to be appropriated. As we understand God aright, do His will, live as He would have us live, God's power is always working with us and for us. "God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." The power of good is manifested through goodness, the energies of Spirit through spirituality, the vitality of Truth through truthfulness.
He who would have that life more abundant, he who would gain the fullness of life, the true greatness of life, the power of an endless life, can gain it in no better way than through a life of love and service. Love lived and exemplified begets an expansive life, an unhampered life, whose joys are unfading, whose success is unfailing. Love is energizing, invigorating, and vitalizing. How easy it is to see that life and love are synonymous! Love always promotes life, inculcates health, fosters ability, obviates friction, precludes failure and destroys fear. The path to eternal life is the path of love, for the way of love is always the way of overcoming. Love is constructive, not destructive; uplifting, not tearing down; confident, not fearful; co-operative, not frictional. Love has no destructive element; hence it never destroys life, impairs life, nor restricts life. A loving life, a kindly life, is a life unafraid, a courageous life, a dauntless life. Every time we express a loving thought, a helpful thought, a constructive thought, we are partaking more of that life divine, that life more abundant, that life which is one with the Father. It is then that a mortal, narrow, and finite sense of life as material, evil, and limited fades away as an earthly dream. As the poet has so beautifully and clearly expressed it:
We live in deeds, not years; . . .
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
- Philip James Bailey
We often wonder how the aviator, flying through the dark, cold, sleet, rain, fog, and storm keeps straight to the course. It is because he is guided by a radio beam, and as long as he is on the course he hears a certain sound. When he deviates from the course, he gets a warning signal which quickly calls him back to the right path. Through her tireless labors and her love for God and man our great Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, has provided us a "guiding beam" to the Father's house, by enabling us to understand the teachings of our Way-shower, Christ Jesus. How grateful we should be to Mrs. Eddy, whose teachings have done so much to bring into human experience that life more abundant!
Even in her youth her constant aim was to help others to a better and truer sense of life. Although severely handicapped by physical ills, poverty, and adverse circumstances, she pressed bravely on. Finally, at a time when death seemed imminent, she caught the vision of that great law of being which she has aptly denominated ''the resuscitating law of Life" (Science and Health, p. 180). As a, result, she began to experience that life more abundant, a life of service and usefulness. She gave the understanding of this law of life and love to the world in her immortal textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” and, as a result, thousands upon thousands of people have been restored to life, health, and activity. No one could have a more priceless treasure than this textbook, which, when studied in connection with the Holy Bible, brings that greatest of all gifts, the understanding of Life divine, whose peace is unending, whose glory is abiding. Nothing can more surely enrich our lives than an unswerving loyalty to and reverence for her who has shown us the way to that life more abundant, a life of sinless joy. As we follow her precepts with love and gratitude we find our comfort, and peace in
The freer step, the fuller breath,
The wide horizon's grander view;
The sense of Life that knows no death. -
The Life that maketh all things new.
(Hymn 218 - Christian Science Hymnal)
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 1938.]