Christian Science: The Science of Unlimited Good
Winn, C.S.B. of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Many centuries ago the prophet Isaiah was meditating upon the things of God. In a moment of great exaltation he declared, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Was this good and wise man expressing mere human emotion, or was he setting forth a divine fact? Christian Science declares and demonstrates that he was stating an eternal verity, even the ever-availability of the refreshing waters of Truth.
Christian Science the Law of God
Christian Science is the law of God, unlimited good. The understanding of this Science unseals the fountains of limitless good in accordance with the definition which Mary Baker Eddy gives of Christian Science in one of her writings entitled "Rudimental Divine Science." There she defines Christian Science as "the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony" (p. 1). This succinct and clear statement of what Christian Science is bases its entire philosophy, practice, and demonstration.
Mrs. Eddy's definition of Christian Science is not a mere intellectual precept, but it is an eternal truth which has been unfailingly proved in the life of our Leader. Through this law she was healed of disease, raised from what appeared to be her deathbed, and restored to a life of service and usefulness which has blessed the whole world. She saw and proved that the law which Jesus used to heal the sick and raise the dead, to restore sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, is just as operative, just as available, and just as potent to heal now as it was in his day and time.
Webster's dictionary defines law as "that which is laid, set, or fixed." A law, then, must be unvarying, impartial as to persons, operative everywhere at all times, and it must be certain in its results. A so-called law which operates for one and not for another, which acts in one way at one time and in a different way at another, which works in one place and not in another, cannot be law, but must be lawless, baseless, and powerless. It is only a belief, changing and variable, uncertain and unreliable. The law of mathematics has never been known to fail, and it is never affected by time, place, circumstances, or conditions. When it is properly applied the result is always the same; it is equally available to all persons. Christian Science proves conclusively that the law of God when understood brings true freedom and reveals the kingdom of heaven, unchanging harmony, here and now.
True Nature of God
If we would discern aright the nature of law, we must perceive the character of the lawgiver, or the source from which law comes. In the definition of Christian Science which we have just been considering, we learn that it is not only "the law of good," but that it is "interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony." His law must of necessity be a law of unlimited good, wholly beneficent in its purpose, wholly kind in its operation, wholly just; a law which blesses, heals, and redeems everyone. God's law has behind it the power of immeasurable good; its exercise promotes the highest degree of good. As we perceive this eternal fact we exclaim with the Psalmist, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day," and we reiterate this sublime statement, "Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight." When something lovely comes into our experience we exclaim, Oh, how delightful! God's law always manifests His boundless goodness, His unfailing mercy, His tender grace.
To interpret means to make plain, and to demonstrate means to prove. Christian Science explains simply and logically the true nature of God and man in His likeness, and then proves these verities by incontrovertible works. Our great Master declared, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Theorizing and idle speculation do not get us anywhere; but nothing can outweigh actual proof.
Mrs. Eddy says in her textbook (p. 146), "Divine Science derives its sanction from the Bible." In the opening chapter of the Bible we read, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." The Scriptures repeatedly set forth the fact that God is omnipotent or all-powerful; that He is omnipresent or everywhere; that He is omniscient or all-knowing. We can now quickly discern the Science of unlimited good, its unfailing affluence, its limitless resources.
"Good and upright is the Lord," the Psalmist declared, and in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, we read (p. 286): "In the Saxon and twenty other tongues good is the term for God. The Scriptures declare all that He made to be good, like Himself, − good in Principle and in idea. Therefore the spiritual universe is good, and reflects God as He is." We are all seeking good. We may differ in our concepts of good and how it is to be obtained. In reality there is only one Science of good, which Christian Science reveals in all its fullness. This Science, when understood, removes all limits that we might place upon divine power and shows us clearly that its law is unfailingly operative and instantly available.
Understanding of God, Good, Overcomes Evil
We lay hold upon this infinite good and its limitless power through spiritual understanding and right thinking. Job declared, "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." As we dwell in thought upon the allness and oneness of good, we disassociate ourselves from the belief in evil. As we recognize the supremacy of good, we become aware of the impotency of evil. By knowing that which is right, we unknow and unsee the wrong.
Christian Science does not ignore evil, but overcomes it. This is not accomplished through blind optimism, but through resolute knowing; through the clear realization that, since good alone is real, evil must be unreal and untrue. As Mrs. Eddy has declared in her book "Unity of Good" (pp. 9, 10): "What is the cardinal point of the difference in my metaphysical system? This: that by knowing the unreality of disease, sin, and death, you demonstrate the allness of God. This difference," she goes on to say, "wholly separates my system from all others." Christian Science gives us that mental alertness which enables us to detect the specious claims of evil. Then by knowing the allness of good we see that these false claims are baseless and unreal.
God is infinite good. That which expresses Him is righteous, good, and true. Anything that is not good is unrighteous, baseless, lawless, lifeless, powerless, worthless. He who maintains this supremacy of good in his thinking finds that the power of good is working with him and for him. It is this activity of good, this rule of universal harmony, which heals disease, banishes suffering, establishes perfect concord.
I have a friend who was suffering from tuberculosis and rheumatism. He was also a victim of the tobacco habit and the liquor habit. He finally turned to Christian Science treatment. His thought was illumined with the all-power and ever-presence of the divine good, and as a result he was instantaneously healed of his physical difficulties and freed from his bondage to liquor and tobacco. He later became a Christian Science practitioner. What a beautiful proof of that great promise, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
God, Good, the Only Lawgiver
The Apostle Paul said a great deal about the conflicting laws of the flesh and of the Spirit, and how to gain the mastery over the claims of the flesh. The same mortal mind today would have us believe that there are two kinds of laws governing man; that he is sometimes subject to the law of health and at other times to the law of disease; that at one time he may be under the law of concord and at another time he is liable to discord. But, like Paul, we know there is but one Lawgiver. Since good is universal, everywhere present, and supreme, its law is the only law.
This means that God's will is that all His creation shall enjoy the unbounded good that He has freely and bountifully bestowed upon all. A young lad was afflicted with diabetes and heart trouble. His mother had been a materia medica nurse and naturally turned to material means for help, but these completely failed to bring any relief. She then turned to Christian Science, and her boy was entirely healed. He was an aviator in the late war, and passed the most rigid Army physical examination. At times it was necessary to fly at very high altitudes, and even there his heart action was normal. The Science of unlimited good, through its law of universal harmony, had established his freedom and health. As Mrs. Eddy has written in Science and Health (p. 72), "Not personal intercommunion but divine law is the communicator of truth, health, and harmony to earth and humanity." The Scriptures declare that God is Love, and in the Christian Science textbook (p. 502) we read: "The creative Principle − Life, Truth, and Love − is God." Divine Love is the creator, source, and origin of all that is real and true. As we conform our lives to this Principle, Love, unlimited good comes into our experience, enriches our lives, and unfolds to us the great, the grand, and the good. "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land," is the promise, and God's promises never fail. The Christian Scientist has proof after proof that unlimited, good ever flows from that infinite Love whose constant bestowals give full evidence of the riches of His grace, and of His perfect law.
How steadfastly we should hold to that glorious promise, "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly," and its beautiful correlative, found in Science and Health (p. 302), "It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his." Man is made in the image and likeness of God. An image is that which reflects the original. It possesses nothing of its own, but has all by reflection. God never fails to express Himself through His image, His idea, or manifestation. Unlimited good manifests itself in unbounded goodness. Man is the reflection of God's power and goodness, and there is no opposing power that can restrict, inhibit, or prevent the expression of that power in man.
A Christian Scientist sustained a very serious loss through trickery and dishonesty. However, he turned to God in prayer. In answer to his prayer he realized that man cannot lose that which divine Love bestows, and he resolutely rejected every suggestion of resentment, bitterness, or retaliation. In a very short time a beautiful gift from an entirely unexpected source was received, which more than compensated for the seeming loss. Then later what apparently had been lost was entirely recovered. Unlimited good is never depleted, nor can it ever disappear. The only thing that disappears is the false sense which has beclouded or obscured our vision of it.
The beliefs of time, age, false education, are all swept aside when the Science of unlimited good is understood, practiced, and demonstrated. The activity of good is never too late, but is prompt, instantly available, always at hand. A man who turned to Christian Science for help was healed of a cancer on the face when he was ninety years of age, and at ninety-two he was healed of defective vision. The promise is to him who walks uprightly, and the righteous who walk with God are never deprived of His blessings − the full effulgence of good.
Primitive Christianity Restored
Christian Science restores the healing of primitive Christianity. It heals and redeems in the same way that Jesus, our great Master, did. How grandly he proved the Science of unlimited good, its healing grace, its restoring power, its transforming influence. He never restricted his ministry to the sinner, for he knew that God's power, the power of infinite good, is equally available to the sick man, the demented man, the one striving to overcome lack, to everyone, no matter what his seeming problem. He declared, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." We have no record of his sending anyone away who earnestly, sincerely, and honestly came to him for healing; nor did he ever recommend any other means than the spiritual. He proved the truth of his own words, "With God all things are possible." The power of unlimited good is divinely adequate to heal every disease, to solve every difficulty, to remove every obstacle, to adjust every discordant situation.
You will remember that on one occasion they brought to the Master a paralytic lying on a bed. It is related in the ninth chapter of Matthew that when Jesus saw him he declared, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." Almost immediately Jesus was conscious of the critical thoughts of some of the scribes who heard him. And he said, "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?" Good works do not need extended arguments to justify them. What Jesus did really precluded any question as to the rightness of his action. His command was, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house." The Science of unlimited good brings to us a full salvation, a complete release from every form of bondage, whether it be sickness, sin, or some other phase of error.
This Christ, Truth, which Jesus manifested and which released the paralytic from his unfortunate condition, is again demonstrated in Christian Science. The Christ is defined by Mrs. Eddy as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). It is telling us today in firm but gentle tones to lift our thought into the realm of unlimited good, to go unto our house − the true habitation of Soul − where health is ever present, harmony is fully manifested, and joy knows no bounds; where peace is continuous and abiding; where love reigns triumphant.
Christian Science makes a clear distinction between Jesus and the Christ. As the definition just given makes clear, the Christ is the expression of God and is therefore eternal. Jesus was referring to this eternal Christ, Truth, when he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." The early prophets caught glimpses of the Christ, Truth, but it was not until the advent of Jesus of Nazareth that the Christ was fully manifested so that the human consciousness could see and understand man's oneness with the Father which Christ Jesus manifested. Mrs. Eddy has defined Jesus as "the highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man's immortality" (Science and Health, p. 589). Jesus appeared in the flesh, but he expressed the Christ, Truth, the Christ-spirit, the Christ-idea which saves and heals.
Christian Science shows the naturalness, the normality, the rightness of health, harmony, and goodness. Health is not a personal possession to be accepted or rejected at will, any more than is goodness. Health, like goodness, is a quality of God, and it is reflected or expressed by all of God's children alike. Health and wholeness are synonymous terms, according to the dictionary. Health, freedom, and concord are not something gained by a long struggle and then precariously retained. They are innate in man, God's image and likeness. God is infinite good, and His work is wholly good; His law is wholly good, and His entire creation expresses the wholeness, the completeness, of God, good. "Ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power," the Bible assures us. "Science," writes Mrs. Eddy (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 60), "reveals Life as a complete sphere, as eternal, self-existent Mind." When we look at a rainbow from the earth we see only an arc, a part of it; but when we view it from an airplane we see the complete circle. The Science of unlimited good is able to lift us to exalted heights from which we can see creation as it naturally and normally is − good, beautiful, whole, and right. In the Mind that is God, in the realm of that which is actual and true, everything requisite for full, joyous, and harmonious being is fully manifested and illimitably expressed. The abnormal and imperfect are no part of man, but are wholly apart from his true being.
At one time I saw a collection of beautiful stones which had been gathered with much care and patience. The colorings were exquisite and the blending of the different shades a delight to behold. Among them was a gray, drab-looking stone, and one naturally wondered why anything so colorless and unattractive should be found among those that were so beautiful. It was then explained that what was seen was only the outer covering. When that was removed and the inner stone polished, it was beautiful just like the others.
As the encumbering beliefs of material sense, the erroneous concepts of the human mind, the false covering of the carnal and fleshly are removed, man stands forth in his pristine purity, nobility, and greatness. Thus is the Scripture verified, "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace."
Man is forever at one with unlimited good, for God and His creation are inseparable; Principle and its idea are in perfect unity. "I and my Father are one," said Jesus, and that perfect relationship of Father and son is never disrupted. On another occasion Jesus declared, "I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me." Jesus knew that he was always with the Father and the Father was always with him. Man is in God's presence. He is in the presence of infinite Life, and infinite Life is ever present to sustain its ideas, to express in them the glory and the grandeur of Life.
Our efforts to demonstrate the Science of unlimited good must never be selfish, narrow, or confined. You cannot bring out limitless good when you start with selfish, limited, narrow or self-centered motives. You cannot use the Science of infinity to bring about finite, selfish schemes and plans. In the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 410) we read, "Selfishness does not appear in the practice of Truth or Christian Science." To demonstrate the Science of unlimited good we begin with individual purification, and as our own thought is uplifted and unselfed, our own difficulties vanish, and then we are equipped to do our part in promoting the universal good. Self-reformation always leads to greater usefulness. We all can learn a lesson from the good brother who arose in prayer meeting and said, "Lord, let Thy kingdom come, beginning with me." When our mental window-pane is clean and bright, we see our neighbor in his true light.
Infinite good is always at hand; the resources of infinite Mind are ours to appropriate; the riches of infinite Spirit only await our utilization. The Science of unlimited good shows us how to use them wisely, to employ them unselfishly, to utilize them generously. To do big things, we need a heart full of love for man and God. The opportunity to express good, do good and manifest good is always ours. In reality man exists at the standpoint of opportunity, for he is in the very presence of good. In a recent magazine article it was prophesied that eventually we would have airplanes that could travel at a rate of speed so great that one could be in continuous light. In the face of recent progress, that day may not be far away. Unselfed love, magnanimity, and graciousness keep the light shining on our path, and this light leads us on to unlimited possibilities and unbounded achievements. As a great man once said, "There is dew on one flower and not on another because one opens up and takes it in, while the other closes and the drop runs off."
Due to atmospheric conditions the spoilage and loss were very great with the goods sent overseas during the late conflict. A Christian Scientist was given the opportunity to work on this problem. He turned unselfishly and confidently in prayer to divine Mind for an answer. In a short time God revealed to him an idea which brought about a perfect solution which blessed many and saved our government vast sums of money. The idea revealed was how to make a quick-drying paint in which to immerse the tin cans and thus prevent the collection of rust which heretofore had eaten through the tin and spoiled the contents. God's love includes all and excludes none, and the Christian Scientist should reflect this all-inclusive love, abide in it, so that everyone who comes into his presence will feel the warmth of kindliness and tender compassion.
I know of a young Christian Scientist who was an officer overseas and who had charge of his squadron. Not only did he pray for his own safety and protection, but he prayed also for that of his entire squadron. As a result not one of his men was injured.
Mary Baker Eddy has given us this ideal of service (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 195): "To do good to all because we love all, and to use in God's service the one talent that we all have, is our only means of adding to that talent and the best way to silence a deep discontent with our shortcomings." The Science of unlimited good shows us clearly how to envision that universal good which operates impartially, governs graciously, enfolds tenderly, embraces fully. As the hymn so beautifully puts it:
"Immortal Love, [is] forever full,
forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never ebbing sea.''
The Omnipresence of Good
A few years ago a lady was kind enough to come to one of my lectures. She was suffering from a very serious trouble which was causing much pain and discord. During the lecture she seemed to be in such distress that she arose and was about to leave. Just then I declared, "There is nothing going on anywhere but the activity of good." When she heard these words she sat down and was instantaneously healed. She later wrote me a beautiful letter of gratitude which I have kept in my files. It is this realization of the omnipresence of good and its invincible power or omnipotence that blesses and heals. It is this conscious recognition that God is with us, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, which lifts us above the discords of earth.
Webster defines "present" as "being before, in view, at hand." God and His perfect creation are at hand. The Science of unlimited good enables us to behold it. It is present before any seeming discord arises. God, good, divine Love, infinite Mind, is primary, basic, and foundational. Good is always first. Our view of good and its perfect manifestation may be temporarily obscured, but the good remains intact, safe, secure, sound, unfailingly expressed.
The theology of Jesus enabled him to see perfect health where disease seemed to be; to see unlimited abundance where lack seemed to be; to see the manifestation of love where hate seemed to be. Jesus admonished us to "judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." The only righteous judgment, the only judgment that is right, is that judgment which knows the allness of good, the goodness of all that God has made, the rightness of divine reality, the completeness of all that has actual and real being.
The Christian Scientist does not accept that which appears to be, but that which actually is. He stands guard at the portal of his consciousness, and when evil appears his motto is, "Don't take it in." The error that is never taken in, or admitted, cannot cause us any trouble, but if we allow it to come in we have the unwelcome task of putting it out. How prompt was our Master, Jesus the Christ, to reject any report of an adverse condition. He was a faithful sentinel who accepted only that which is true in the sight of God.
When the report came to Jesus about his friend Lazarus, he instantly repudiated the false report and declared, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God." He knew what our heavenly Father knows of the perfection of creation, and he refused to accept any other picture of Lazarus. As a result, Lazarus was fully restored to his normal and harmonious condition; the abnormal and inharmonious were destroyed.
This same truth once brought a beautiful experience of healing to me. I was seized with a very acute attack of suffering while on a public conveyance, and the suggestion was very insistent that as soon as I arrived at my destination I should try to find out the seeming cause of the trouble. Then the healing Christ sent me this angel thought: "Good is ever present, and right where evil seems to be, there we find the loving presence and healing power of infinite good. Why look for something that was never there?" I was completely healed and the malady was gone forever.
Man's True Identity
When we listen to God and His holy messages, we discern unlimited good. We do not need to credit error's silly reports, for they are all fake messages, baseless rumors, false suggestions.
During the late conflict our government established a board of censorship, whose duty it was to see that no news or information be published that might in any way aid the enemy. The Christian Scientist establishes a strict board of censorship over his thinking. Through the Science of unlimited good he knows what is real, what is true, what is worth while, what has real value. He conforms his thinking to this high standard and rigidly excludes every suggestion of lust, hate, fear, disease, discord, malice, selfishness, or revenge. We are very careful that we plant only good seeds in our flower gardens, seeds which will bring forth beautiful blooms. How much more earnestly we should tend, protect, and cultivate our mental gardens that we may have those beautiful blooms of purity, kindness, honesty, and goodness. Every right thought, every good idea, has the power of unlimited good behind it to enforce it, to bring it to righteous fruition. He who identifies himself with the high and holy is empowered by God to enjoy the fullness of good.
This question of identity is one of great import. As we know God aright, as we understand that He is unlimited good, as we discern His true nature as infinite Mind, boundless Love, and all-harmonious Soul, we find our true identity, our real selfhood and actual individuality. The word "idem," from which identity comes, means "the same," so man, who is the image and likeness of God, must have a Godlike nature; he must express the qualities of good. "I and my Father are one," Jesus said, and Mrs. Eddy confirms this in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany." Mrs. Eddy says (p. 165), "As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good." Anything ungoodlike, material, carnal, diseased, evil, discordant, or base is never associated with the man of God's creating, is no part of his true identity, is never in any way allied to his true selfhood. There is only one God, and there is only one man in His image and likeness, including all the sons and daughters of God.
A certain man had struggled long and in vain against the tobacco habit. He thought he was using Christian Science to gain his freedom. One day a beautiful unfoldment came to him about his identity. He saw that this false appetite was no part of his true self as the man of God's creating and therefore it had no power over him. The very fact that he was resisting an enslaving habit was the proof that it was no part of his true identity, for surely he would not be resisting himself. It was only a false suggestion tempting him to believe in it. When he excluded the foreign agent from consciousness, saw who he really was as a child of God, he was free.
Through the Science of divine good we gain a clear distinction and understanding of the difference between mortal man and immortal man. The word "mortal" means "that which is subject to death," so that which is mortal is temporary, finite, and doomed to pass away. The real man, God's man, who according to the first chapter of Genesis is made in God's image and likeness, is the reflection of infinite good. Since God, good, is eternal and indestructible, the real man is immortal, perfect, and divine.
As we identify ourselves with this immortal man, this man of God, then the mortal, material concept of man which is never true or real is erased and cast out. In this way we can carry out the admonition of the Scriptures, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; . . . and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
The word "holy" means "complete and entire," and as we see that this immortal man is the only man, as we discern his divine completeness, then the seeming discords of mortality are put off and the harmony of immortal and true being is gained.
Life Is Good
Instead of looking for life in matter, or in the abundance of things, the Psalmist turns our thought to God, "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." From the fountain of unlimited good flows freely all that makes our lives blessed. That Life is diseaseless, without limitation; it is permeated with harmony; it is ageless, sinless, perfect, divine, changeless, immutable, good. "He is thy life, and the length of thy days," and as we understand this limitless Life restrictions drop away, the fetters of false belief are broken, the freedom and grandeur of Life are our sure possessions, our abiding status. Mrs. Eddy says, "Life is Mind, the creator reflected in His creations" (Science and Health, p. 331), and this describes that true Life which is untouched by mortality, is never affected by material conditions, but remains intact, safe, secure, unrestrained, unconfined.
The healing Christ lifts our burdens, dispels our worries, removes our fears, banishes discord, and proves that we are always under "the law of God, the law of good."
What is it that makes human life seem drab, dreary, unsatisfying, and unsatisfied? What but the belief that life is material, hedged about by material limitation, subject to disease, misfortune, and disaster. The Bible declares, "Your life is hid with Christ in God," and that life is never touched by mortality and evil. God is the one infinite Life, and man, as God's reflection, has an imperishable life, a triumphant life, an immortal life, a glorious life.
Christian Science is repeating to
suffering humanity that gracious promise of our Master, "I am come that
they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Man is
forever in the
"Saviour from death is He;
Life is our heritage;
Mercy and goodness forever guide;
Ours is the risen Christ,
Daily we keep our tryst,
And evermore in Love confide."
Our resurrection into this Life more abundant comes not through any material change, but through spiritual ascension; through a rising above a material, circumscribed, or finite sense of life into the realm of unlimited good, unfathomable Mind, all-surrounding Soul, all-encompassing Love. Man's eternal dwelling place is that heavenly habitation which knows no bounds or limits. There divine fullness, the treasures of Soul, and the riches of Spirit are forever his to enjoy without stint, limitation, or measure.
How shall we enter upon, gain, and retain this unlimited good, this rich, grand, full, and sublime Life? There is only one way, and that is through love. Our great Master accomplished more in his brief span upon earth than anyone who ever lived. He showed us how to live, how to put off the finite, and how to lay hold upon the infinite. He was the Wayshower and pointed out the way which leads to Life eternal. His admonition was, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," and later he told those who followed him that the two great commandments in the law were to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Here, then, is the true way of life, the life of fadeless joy, unfailing success, the life that is rich, full, and overflowing with good.
It is this understanding of what Life really is which will bring peace to the world, bind up its wounds, assuage its grief, bring solace to the sorrowing, and set their feet firmly in the path which leads to the millennial dawn. We hear much today about reconversion, restoration, a new order, a new way of life. Any movements for human betterment should receive our hearty support, but they alone will not be sufficient. "To convert" means "to produce the spiritual change called conversion . . . to change the heart and moral character." Reconversion, then, must be a changing back from the selfish, the wrong, the ignoble, and the base, to the holy, the right, the noble, the great, the unselfish, and the true.
What is more delightful or pleasure-giving than a beautiful garden? There is no rivalry there, no jealousy, no contention, no strife, no conflict. Each flower gives forth its own beauty, exhales its own sweetness; does what it was created to do − bless and uplift all who behold it. Mrs. Eddy says, "When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded" (Science and Health, p. 205). Wars then cease, friction is replaced by cooperation, strife by brotherly love, and peace is firmly established. The kingdom of heaven − abiding harmony − is found to be at hand, unfailingly expressed.
We can never be too grateful that Christian Science has shown us how to pray aright so that we can appropriate God's richest blessings. I knew a lady who was in the last stages of tuberculosis. She had fallen away to eighty pounds and was given only a few days to live. A friend presented her with the Christian Science textbook, and one day her eye fell upon this passage (Science and Health, p. 425): "If the body is diseased, this is but one of the beliefs of mortal mind. Mortal man will be less mortal, when he learns that matter never sustained existence and can never destroy God, who is man's Life." Her consciousness was so illumined with that new view about Life, its eternality, infinitude, and perfection, that she was instantaneously healed.
All healing in Christian Science is brought about through true prayer, through the understanding of God, the one infinite Life, who maintains all creation in unchanging perfection. As has been repeatedly set forth, God is infinite good. He is the creator only of good, and this good is everywhere present. In Christian Science we do not petition God to give us good, but through spiritual understanding we realize the presence of infinite good, which is supremely active and always available to man.
The healing prayer in Christian Science is one of realization, a clear perception of God's goodness, power, and love. The usual term for Christian Science practice is treatment, but the healing is always accomplished through true prayer.
The entire first chapter of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, is a treatise on prayer. In "No and Yes," another of Mrs. Eddy's writings, the basis of prayer is set forth in these words (p. 39): "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection. Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us. Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is." As we utilize and lay hold upon the boundless love of God, our consciousness is filled with the recognition of His all-power and the potency of that power to heal, to save, and to bless. As we "include all mankind in one affection," then His love is always with us; we can pray without ceasing, and no matter where we are we can be in an attitude of true prayer.
Righteous prayer does not strive to change God but enables us to change our thinking so that our desires and thoughts are in accord with Him. As our thinking is at one with good, we prove that healing statement in our textbook (Science and Health, p. 192), "Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power."
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
As we contemplate what this Science of unlimited good has brought to us and what its promise is for the future, our hearts are filled with gratitude to God and his faithful servant, Mary Baker Eddy. Even as a child she learned how to turn to Him in every hour of need, to trust His promises, to seek His unfailing help, to rely on His all-supporting love. This faith carried her through many years of suffering, poverty, betrayal, loss, and disappointment. Her faith received its full reward when, in an hour of great need, suffering, and impending death, God revealed to her the great truths of Christian Science. She saw that God's power knows no boundaries of time or space; that it is just as potent to heal and save at any time as it was in Jesus' time. Through this realization she was healed. Through diligent study and devoted effort her spiritual vision constantly increased. After she had repeated and convincing proofs of the truth of her discovery by healing all types of disease, she gave it to the world. Her main work is the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," from which I have quoted today. She devised and established many ways and means to protect and foster her discovery in all its purity. Her life was rich in good works, the inevitable fruitage of the love, humility, and purity which she embodied and expressed.
It is our priceless privilege to follow faithfully on and gain the vision she beheld − far beyond and above the human and material. To us has been given a sacred trust, and as we walk with God in love and humility our reward will be great. Our Father will bless our efforts, and we shall receive His holy assurance, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
[Oct. 9, 1948.]