Christian Science: The Science of All that Relates to God (2)
Bicknell Young, C.S.B., of Chicago, Illinois
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
In offering a lecture on Christian Science for your consideration, it is but proper to say that no attempt will be made to give a full exposition of the subject. The occasion, the circumstances and the limited time at our disposal preclude such a possibility.
Purpose of Lecture
Christian Science may be briefly defined as the Science of all that relates to God. It is to be attained through spiritual growth and understanding. It implies sincerity of purpose as well as the best intellectual effort on the part of those who would apprehend it, but upon a higher plane of thought and upon a more enduring basis than would be demanded by any other subject. We do not pretend, therefore, to give you here a demonstrable knowledge of this vast subject. For that you must seek in the pages of its text book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" written by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy. If here I shall succeed in correcting some false views or in removing some prejudice; if hope be uplifted, and expectation brightened: if some heavy heart be made lighter or some sorrow or sickness less painful; if here and there some one, touched by the spirit of the hour, should be led away from those thoughts which make for sin, disease, and death, to those which disclose holiness, health, and life, and thus take a better understanding of the way and scope of all that is meant by the word salvation as revealed in Christian Science, the loving desires of those who provided this lecture will have been realized.
The practical operation of the law of God as shown in Christian Science, healing the sick, reforming the sinful, binding up the broken-hearted, soothing the asperities of human existence, and harmonizing the conflicts of human endeavor need not be exaggerated in order to attract attention. Indeed, the bare facts are so striking as often to test credulity. Not infrequently Christian Science is so rapid and unusual in its effects as to be at total variance with all prevailing theories and practices relating to the cause and cure of disease, and the overcoming of fear and sin. The experiences of Christian Scientists justify them, therefore, in believing that Christian Science is the way of health and happiness of all mankind. They offer it to you in love, with the full conviction that it belongs to you as well as to them, since it sets forth a divine and universal inheritance.
A Corrective Science
If you were working out the problems of business with an incorrect or utterly erroneous use of numbers, it would be right for some one to help you by showing you the basic law of numbers and the rule governing them, and you would be glad of the correction. If you are working out the problem of existence with erroneous views of its origin and laws, and in ignorance of your God-given rights, it is proper for some one to correct you, and you are glad of the correction.
Infinite in Scope
The scope of this subject is not generally understood. Christian Science has become known, primarily. through the fact that it heals disease and has healed thousands of people who had been pronounced incurable by materia medica and other systems. Indeed, it presents a record in this respect that is without parallel in the history of the centuries since the time of the primitive Christian church, but this record does not constitute the whole of Christian Science, nor does it illustrate more than a measure of the completeness of its practical efficacy.
True Religion a Science
Accepted theories have rejected the possibility of a scientific knowledge of God and His laws. Indeed, the association of the words Christian and Science had at first excited the derision of prevailing belief and then aroused its scorn and abuse. Yet today the universal truth as taught in Christian Science has stirred human thought to higher views and expression even while the source of them is not acknowledged. Jesus said, "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Those who are engaged in the practical affairs of life are quick to avail themselves of what has been proven useful. They do not discard a new discovery simply because it does not accord with their previously accepted theories, or because it conflicts with past experiences. Let something new or useful be invented or found out along the lines of material science and the whole world rejoices over it, while those who find it immediately available are ready to acknowledge the discoverer with acclaim, and to reward him generously. The wonder is not that so many are interested in Christian Science, but rather, in view of all it has accomplished, that there should be anybody left who is not interested.
Mrs. Eddy discovered the Christ Science or Christian Science, through a personal experience which could leave no doubt as to the divine nature of the understanding which came to her. See Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 108).
She afterwards tested her discovery thoroughly by healing all manner of cases, not only in instances of ordinary sickness, but also in those which were considered incurable and hopeless, and many of them in one treatment. In due time her discovery became known, and finally, after thoroughly proving its unquestionable scientific value, she published the book already mentioned, by means of which others have learned to do the same blessed work.
Nothing could be happier than the name Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy gave to her discovery. It is at once exact definite and appropriate, and is justified by more than 37 years of remarkably successful practice.
Is it not true that almost anything in relation to mere material hypotheses may take the name of science unchallenged? How is it that those things which relate to God, to Spirit and His laws, which must be based upon eternal facts and must therefore be unquestionably scientific, and indeed, immeasurably more so than all other things, are relegated to the realm of belief? Any question as to the science of the Christian religion must be forever settled by any one who cares to look the matter squarely in the face. Jesus never failed in anything that he attempted. He healed all diseases, whether called curable or incurable, and without the use of drugs or any material remedies. He fed the hungry, saved sinners and raised the dead, all by the power of Spirit. He overcame the death of his own body and finally rose to the full realization of his natural image as the son of God, the son of Spirit. In other words he overcame all the laws of material existence in what is most appropriately called the ascension. These works have been considered miraculous, but there is no evidence to show that they were miraculous to him. On the contrary, they illustrated the unchanging nature of God's law, the law of good, and proved its absolute power over all evil. His method reflected the infallibility of God. Could anything be more scientific than that? That it was Christian no one will dispute; that it was unfailing and therefore scientific in the highest sense the facts prove. It was then both Christian and scientific, or Christian Science, and it must still be the same. If it healed the sick, then it can do so now, and the fact is it does so. He knew that he had a certain way of doing his works and that it could be learned. He said that those who believed in his name should do similar works, and the best interpretations indicate that to believe in His name meant to understand His teachings. He also declared: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father." Christian Science explains the words, "I go to the Father," by showing that they relate to his exalted thought, which Paul describes as "the mind which was in Jesus Christ," and which was continually seeking God and that when we go to the Father in this way, as he did, we shall realize the promise. Indeed, herein lies humanity's difficulty. It has generally believed that to demonstrate science was purely a matter of intellectual proficiency. Christian Science declares what science really is, and that its demonstration depends upon understanding and growth. All that is true in any science must relate to eternal facts, or Truth, and Truth is God. Thus all science must be seen to ultimate in Spirit or Truth, and be discerned more clearly through its science.
Christian Scientists believe in prayer. They know that to pray without ceasing is the right way to live. Humanity has prayed in some way always, and always more or less vainly, until it sometimes seems as though prayer has become merely a formal habit, yielding perhaps some comfort, but barren of practical results. Is it not clear that there must be something the matter with prayer that is unanswered? Do people generally expect an answer to prayer? Suppose for a moment that all prayers were to be answered. Can human language depict the chaos that would reign in consequence? Surely our loving heavenly Father does not disregard a righteous prayer. The general belief about prayer has been self-evidently wrong. The example of Jesus proves that the right way of praying results practically. He said, "I know that Thou nearest me always." He evidently knew that his prayer was heard. He knew how to pray in such a way as to obtain an answer. Is it sacrilegious to say that, his prayers were scientific? He referred all power to God. He said, "There is none good but one, that is God." "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not." Today similar works are done in a similar manner, not because of personality either in his time or ours, but because in Christian Science, God is an ever-present help in time of trouble, and at all other times. Christian Science still does the works of the Father as it did in the time of Jesus.
God and His Law
Jesus said: "I came to fulfill the law." What law? No doubt he meant the law of God, which to his hearers was embodied in the law of Moses. Christian Science does not proclaim a new God nor a new law, but comes declaring the same God and the same law that Jesus declared, the one infinite eternal God, and his good and unchangeable law. Christian Science declares God to be creator and cause, and subscribes to all the definitions of God given by Christian denominations generally. Furthermore, it amplifies, broadens and uplifts our thought concerning Him by declaring that God is Mind. God is divine Principle, and these definitions are most appropriate, for Mind and divine Principle indicate the very nature and essence of Deity. Mind agrees with the universally accepted declaration that God is infinite intelligence, and brings the divine fact of the omnipresence of God more clearly to our consciences. Divine Principle shows that God is unchangeable, perfect and eternal in volition and action. Could any word more fully express the nature of Him "with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning?" What is the use of words if it be not indeed to produce clear thought in relation to a given subject? No word's can change God. They only help or hinder humanity's attempt to understand Him. Personal is one of the words that have hindered. Christian Science does not deny the personality of God as some have supposed, but it must of necessity deny that infinity can be humanly personal. To speak of Cod as personal in the same sense that we use the word humanly is nothing less than sacrilege. God must be infinite personality and no other thought of His personality should be entertained. Again, to make a picture of anything, and worship it as God, would be at once called idolatrous. Is it less so because the picture is menial? St. John says: "No man hath seen God at any time." Evidently St. John meant that God could not be discerned nor pictured by physical sense.
The omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God have been declared for ages but the full import of such teachings has not been analyzed, nor have its logical results been acknowledged. The Latin prefix omni, means all. Placed before such words as potency, or power; science or knowledge; and presence, when used to describe God, it means all power, all science, or knowledge, and all presence. Therefore, whoever affirms the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God, denies all other power, knowledge, or presence; and since God is admitted to be good, such an one virtually denies any power, knowledge, or presence of evil. In fact, he denies the reality of evil, a thing for which Christian Scientists have not infrequently been condemned by those who say they believe in the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God.
Christian Science declares in accordance with the Scriptures that God is Life, Truth and Love. The law that Jesus came to fulfil was the law of this ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful God, who is Good, who is Life, Truth and Love, and whose law must conform to His infinite goodness. Does this God who is Life, Truth and Love, send disease, sin and death? Does God, who is infinite Good, do evil? Does God. who is infinite Love, cause the afflictions and sorrows of His children? Just consider for a moment. If you were all powerful and could establish law and enforce it, and could do away with all evil, would you do it or not? Would you not rejoice to see no more pain or disease among these little ones, no more terror nor sorrow in mothers' hearts, no more grief-bowed heads, no more pain-racked bodies? "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
Accounts for Evil
One of the most erroneous phases of human belief is to be found in its attempt to account for evil.
One of the popular theological ways of accounting for evil, especially when manifested as sickness or death in the instances of good people or blameless children, is to ascribe it to the inscrutable wisdom of God. Inscrutable indeed, would be the wisdom that is infinite Love and Life, and that could cease His infinity long enough to afflict His children with disease and death. Christian Science takes no part in any such lame and illogical attempt to account for evil. Indeed the infinity of God, or Good, would be thereby obliterated, for God would cease to be good to the extent that He cognized evil, cease to be infinite, no God. Because sin, sickness and death are not good, they could not originate in God, the Mind that is holiness, health and Life, and they have, therefore, merely a fabulous existence far apart from truth, or science, or God. This false sense of being is self-contradictory, a theory of opposites. Its goodness may at any moment become evil; its strength weakness; its health disease; its action inaction; its harmony discord; its order disorder; its life death. These, with all the human beliefs and theories that accompany them, Christian Science classifies together, and denominates the whole conglomeration of falsehood as mortal mind. The Christian Science practitioner operates wholly in the realm of mentality with science which declares the truth of being, and denies the error that usurps its place in consciousness. This fictitious mortal mind, as a general belief or universal false claim, is utterly divested of all supposed influence, power or law to cause or perpetuate disease; and God's law of wholeness, harmony and health to man is established.
Christian Scientists Believe in Christ
It has sometimes been asked whether Christian Scientists believe in Christ. Who is a believer, the one who preaches merely, or the one who practices? Who believes in a science such as the science of numbers, for example? Surely it will be answered, he who trusts his affairs to it. Who believes in honesty? Is it not he who is honest? Who believes in patriotism? Not necessarily the one who declaims about it, but rather, he who, like our forefathers, pledges his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor to maintain the integrity of his country. Who believes in Christ? They who only say they do, and fail to do the works of Christ, or they who trust absolutely in the teachings of Jesus and strive to do the works that he commanded? I say without fear of successful contradiction that of all people on earth, Christian Scientists believe most absolutely in Christ. They utterly repudiate the aspersion that they are unchristian. They accept, the teachings of Christ Jesus without reservation. Theories as to what constitutes orthodox religion, on the other hand, reject the healing power from the gospel and attempt to explain their failure to obey the command of Jesus to heal the sick by saying that it was intended for his time only, although there is nothing in the Bible to justify such an assumption. Hear this: "And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matthew 10: 7, 8.) If one of his commands was intended for his time only, then all were, and the whole Christian religion falls to the ground. The fact is, the healing power continued to be exercised in the early Christian church for about three centuries, and was then lost through the introduction of ecclesiasticism. The teachings of Jesus rest upon eternal truth, and his commands were equally intended for all time. He did not say that Christ would leave the earth when he left it. He declared the eternity of Christ. "Before Abraham was, I am." "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." His career reveals the power of God to govern man righteously here through the mind that was in Christ Jesus, the mind that Paul admonishes us to have. Theoretical religion in a futile endeavor to reconcile religion with changing and shifting human conditions and beliefs, has always tried to make an amalgamation of good and evil. Christian Science shows that they are opposed to each other, and that no good thing is ever attained by means of evil, nor by compromising with it. Like all other denominations Christian Science affirms that God is all power, presence, being and Mind, but unlike them all it abides unswervingly by its affirmation. It declares God to be divine Principle, and then Christian Scientists reflect that Principle practically by trusting God absolutely to heal and to save.
The Way of Salvation
The process of being saved involves progress. The steps of salvation in Christian Science are not unusual nor peculiar. As in other evangelical denominations, there must be, first, the admission or conviction of sin; second, sorrow for wrongdoing, or repentance; and third, reformation manifested in a corrected life. Theoretical belief, however, limits salvation to the cessation of sin. Christian Science declares that the love of sin must be destroyed. Because God is sinless, it shows that sin has no divine authority, no real existence; and it makes this utter denial of sin for the sole purpose of overcoming sin. It includes in salvation exemption from sickness, want, worry and woe, as well as from sin. In short, salvation in Christian Science touches everything that prostrates hope or interferes with happiness. Again in Christian Science salvation is not a death process. It is not a matter that can be postponed. The problems of life are not solved in that way. Jesus said: "If a man keep my saying he shall never see death." Would he have said that if death were necessary to salvation? The world has been taught to believe that by dying it could save itself the trouble of living correctly. Christian Science teaches that salvation is a way of righteousness. The supposition that heaven is attained through disease and death is a theory at once mysterious and wretched, and so repugnant to every normal minded person that, everyone naturally desires to avoid such an experience, even with a theory of salvation attached to it, and the efforts of all theories of healing as well as the prayers of theology, are intended to prevent a person from dying, or, according to these beliefs, from going to heaven. The path heavenward is truly straight and narrow. None know this better than Christian Scientists, but this path is not strewn with ashes, neither does it ultimate in disaster. When we learn that the fullness of religion may be attained here and now through truth and love manifested in a daily life at peace with God and man, and that such a condition brings heaven to earth we begin to cheer up. For this and for other reasons Christian Scientists are a happy class of people. We see that we may speak of God and His laws without sadness or any sense of mystery. If God is our divine Parent, He is our best friend. A knowledge of Him is salvation. We may therefore speak of salvation and heaven, the one as a joyful experience and the other as a natural condition that may become a present and welcome reality. Heaven cannot be less than satisfaction and perfect harmony and it cannot be more. The Psalmist says: "I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."
Founded on the Bible
Christian Science is founded on the Bible. The text book of Christian Science is what it purports to be, and includes, as its title indicates, a key to the Scriptures.
"Science and Health" is a commentary upon the Bible. Other denominations have commentaries, but no other book in the world has ever revealed the power of truth to heal the sick, and enabled people to learn the science of the Scriptures by which this healing is achieved. The numerous cases of healing accomplished by the perusal of this book are so authentic as to be beyond question. Thousands of people have testified to such healing, and some of them have done so under oath, in courts of law, and their testimony has not been in the least shaken by cross-examination. Some of these cases involved the most terrible diseases known to mankind. No material system has ever succeeded in healing a cancer, but Christian Science has healed hundreds of them, as well as other so-called incurable diseases, such as locomotor ataxia, tuberculosis, epilepsy and others considered less dangerous but equally incurable, such as asthma, hay fever, St. Vitus's dance. Christian Scientists, as well as other people, know such instances, and the beneficiaries of Christian Science have many of them testified to these wonderful cures, and are generally willing and glad to do so again. It is not pretended that there are no failures as yet in Christian Science practice. It would indeed be surprising if, with all the error that confronts it, our new-born understanding should reach the height of infallibility at once. Christian Science, however, is an exact science, and we expect that its unfailing power will be more and more proven as we grow in grace. For this grace we are praying daily and hourly. Should not all good men and women join in that prayer, considering that its object is the amelioration of all human suffering? In the meantime, it is, to say the least, unbecoming for advocates of material systems to demand no failures of us, while they view with complacency the immeasurably greater proportion of their own. The healing power in Christian Science is not attained through any new Bible, nor through any strange interpretation of the old one, but through the truth contained in that old Bible, our Bible, your Bible, and my Bible, and Christian Scientists have none other.
Prevailing Systems are Mysterious
Mortals are in a state of superstition about God and man, about heaven and earth, about sickness and health and life and death, and, indeed, about every other conceivable condition or thing. Furthermore, all prevailing theories, whether religious or scientific, have looked for cause in matter, for God in His opposite. Is not this the very acme of superstition? The self-evident impossibility of finding truth in error seems to have escaped human reason until Christian Science came to reveal it. The superstructure that has been reared upon such theories is well represented by the house in the parable, which was built upon the sand, and when the wind and waves of adversity, sickness or sorrow beat upon it, it crumbles. Popular science is as unscientific in this aspect as popular religion. After the most elaborate investigations, endless research and almost superhuman perseverance, it invariably arrives at a point where it can only say, "This is unknowable." Is it not clear that both theories end in self-confessed failure, the one in a mysterious belief in the amalgamation of good and evil, the other in the mystery of the unknowable?
Christian Science begins where such theories leave off. It declares that God as Cause, Life, Truth, must be knowable, and in reality the only knowable, because Truth is all there is to know. It shows that if there is anything about religion that is true, it must be based upon facts. If based upon facts, the facts may be known, since unknowable facts would be a contradiction in terms. A knowledge of God must therefore be not only possible, but imperative. How shall it be attained? If God is Mind or divine Principle, He is expressed actively and operatively in divine ideas. These must be sought and entertained until thought is transformed.
If the facts which have been declared in reference to God are are admitted, then man, His image, must be something more than that which we ordinarily see. Christian Science denies that the evidence of the five material senses can be accepted as absolute in reference to man, his real being, his health or his life. Generally speaking, man is thought to be both, material and spiritual. It is declared that he is mortal, that is, that he must die, and yet that he is the image and likeness of God, or in other words, the image and likeness of immortal life. When he is dead it is supposed that he will begin to be immortal. Christian Science shows that such theories do not reveal the truth about man. It declares that man is not material, and that a mortal cannot be the image and likeness of God, who is immortal, but is only the presentation of the evidence of the senses. Man's immortality and real being is discerned in science. Christian Science, therefore, looks away from materiality in considering man, and declares that the image and likeness of God, or Life, must be spiritual and ever-living. Man must be like Good to be like God, like Truth, like Love: he must be the likeness of the divine Mind, the image of divine Principle. This true likeness discerned in Science is the true self that all men should seek, and they should not manifest any other self. Such a course means health and harmony to those who follow it.
The Evidence of the Senses
We are all more or less familiar with the truth that even physical science discerns facts above the evidence of the senses and contrary thereto. As for the realm of thought which we characterize as religious or spiritual, it would not even exist if we were to accept merely the evidence of the senses. "Faith the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," according to St. Paul, receives no encouragement from the testimony of the senses, for according to that, man is material and mortal, and his life between the cradle and the grave is all there is of him. According to this same testimony, matter is all, and Spirit, or God, is a myth. But nobody, not even the most materially minded, accepts the evidence of the senses without reservation. Not a prayer is uttered on earth that is not a virtual declaration against such evidence. Christians rise above it continually, and should do so still more. Christian Science shows how to accomplish this. It may be difficult to conceive of a first great Cause, but it is vastly more difficult not to do so. It may be difficult to conceive of God as Spirit and man as spiritual, but if this be not true, there is no God, no Cause. Indeed, all that relates to God is contrary to the testimony of the senses.
It is clear, therefore, that we do nothing unusual in denying the evidences of the senses, but Christian Science is unusual in making this denial applicable when anything exists or arises that is contrary to the harmony of man.
No Denial of Existence
An erroneous notion prevails that Christian Scientists deny the reality of things. They do no such thing. They affirm the eternal existence of all things, including man and all the functions of man. Christian Science, however, does resolve things into thoughts and declares that all exist in their perfect individual reality and proper order in the divine Mind. Conversely, it denies the materiality of things, and in that denial includes all the discordant conditions that material things manifest. Christian Science shows how the body is controlled by mentality, consciously or unconsciously, all the time. The object of its practice is to establish consciously the control of the divine Mind over the body through the declarations of the Truth and the denial of all that is unlike it as revealed in Christian Science. This process demands the highest morality and spirituality on the part of the practitioner in order to be successful. Christian Scientists are endeavoring to purify sense and self and yet it is sometimes said that they have no baptism. They are endeavoring to commune consciously and constantly with good, with God, and yet it is said that they have no communion. Why, Christian Science practice involves both baptism and communion in the highest sense.
Comparisons With Other Systems
Various systems of healing are in existence. They are more or less material except Christian Science, which represents more and achieves proportionately more than any other, because it is purely metaphysical, resting upon a spiritual basis. It has healed almost every disease known to humanity, and the so-called incurable diseases have all yielded to its beneficent influence. Indeed, it is self-evident that if any disease is not a part of God himself, it is curable, and there must be something that can cure it. The most that can be said of materia medica is that it alleviates suffering, although unfortunately, such relief is often only temporary, and frequently brought about by means of remedies that produce worse ills than those which they relieve. Furthermore, at the same time that it strives to cure disease, it evolves new ones out of every advancing step in its so-called progress. Christian Science, on the contrary, always uplifts the patient morally and spiritually, while it heals him physically. In many cases Christian Science practitioners discover that the moral and physical are so interwoven as to be inseparable in treatment. When a man's sickness is either partly or wholly caused or perpetuated by his sins, what is the use of giving him pills? No material remedy will touch or uplift his moral nature, and some of them seem to have a contrary effect. If sin has caused the disease, whatever leaves sin untouched, cannot heal the disease. The world may well begin to learn that there is one and only one way of salvation. It must be scientific if it is to reach the cause of disease in sin and the cause of sin in mortal mind, obliterating it and its effects. Christian Scientists are in no way arrayed against those who practice materia medica. We were all believers in it at one time. We are convinced through our experience in it and in Christian Science, that we have found in the latter a better way, and we believe it to be the very best way because it is God's way as shown in the works of Jesus. We have the greatest respect and admiration for the philanthropy and nobleness of many physicians; we count some of them among our best friends, but we cannot close our eyes to the faults of the system which they represent. It has tried everything on earth and in the sea as a remedy for disease. What today is considered remedial, tomorrow becomes questionable, and next, year is discarded. The conflicting theories as to what constitutes hygienic law have been amusingly illustrated in a series of articles which have appeared during the past year in a popular newspaper under the heading "Opinions of Experts." Absolutely contrary recommendations as to the diet, bathing and exercise have appeared on successive mornings, and all founded upon reasons that were declared to be scientific. One recommends much eating; another little; one recommends certain exercises, another condemns them and recommends contrary exercises; one recommends frequent bathing, and one even declares that people should not bathe at all. These are samples of conflicting theories that characterize materia medica. It has a history of four thousand years of experiment, and is still experimenting. It is voluntarily acknowledged by most celebrated votaries to be merely an experimental system. If there were any principle underlying this system, is it not time that it should be proven? If the tabulations which present its observations and the theories which are evolved therefrom were of any absolute scientific value, should not the experimental stage be passed after thousand years? Is it not a self confessed condition of weakness that combinations of medical societies and the medical fraternity generally should come before our state legislatures at about every session and demand special legislation, the tendency of which is almost invariably to shut out all other systems. The excuse generally given that the public needs to be protected against Christian Science is groundless and puerile.
Case of Children
Christian Science is quite as good for children as for adults. Thousands of children suffering with contagious and other diseases have been restored to health and life through the intervention of Christian Science after they had been given up to die by medical practitioners. Thousands of children have been healed of chronic invalidism and of terrible deformities through the action of Christian Science when all other means have failed. Indeed, Christian Science has proven the most efficient healing agency known to man.
Is it strange that parents in these families should have more faith in Christian Science than in materia medica? Should they be condemned or punished for having learned to trust God in times of trouble as the Bible admonishes them to do? Let anyone investigate and he will find that in Christian Science families a more uniform condition of health prevails than those same families manifested when they were believers in materia medica. Christian Scientists believe in Christian Science treatment because they know from experience that their children have a better chance of living and growing up to useful manhood and womanhood under that treatment than under any other system. Christian Scientists do not advertise nor do they sanction any quackery. They make no effort to secure patients. All that come to them come voluntarily. As for public protection, Christian Scientists are the most law abiding people in the world. There is no fear that they will not observe the regulations of health boards in relation to contagious and other diseases, since they believe in the golden rule, and know that their success and happiness depend upon its literal observance.
True Mental or Spiritual Healing
Tardily the followers of material systems begin to acknowledge the part that mentality plays in disease and its cure, but as they have always looked for cause and cure in the wrong direction, so now with the perversity of long established habit of incorrect thinking, they ascribe the cures effected by Christian Science to mental suggestions, will power, hypnotism, mental science, which are spurious and not related to Christian Science. When it is declared that God heals disease through Christian Science, these people generally scoff at the idea. Wherefore is this assumption of superiority that considers itself a judge of all things? Do the failures of 4,000 years of materia medica to find the scientific way of healing the sick, does the failure of orthodox religion to do so according to the command of Jesus, endow either with the wisdom or right to judge and condemn that which heals the sick? Who should know best how Christian Science heals?
Again we quite frequently hear from the pulpit, after a recounting of a lot of mere opinions as to what Christian Science is, that there is nothing new in it; it is Buddhism or what not. Let it be said unequivocally that such assertions are mere exhibitions of ignorance. Christian Science is utterly unlike any Oriental theory of philosophy or religion. That anyone should consider them alike shows that he understands neither these theories nor Christian Science.
It is quite true that Christian Science is not new in one sense, since there can be nothing new to eternal truth. It is in accord with the Decalogue, and the Sermon on the Mount, which indeed express the essence of truth. It cannot, therefore, be new in principle, but as made applicable to the dire needs of humanity, it is new. Although the influence of mentality upon disease is now acknowledged, who was there that believed it prior to 1875, when "Science and Health" was first published? The author of that book is the first person to discern the cause of disease correctly, and to give an adequate and complete analysis of its cause, and today her book stands alone in this respect as well as in the rules for treating disease metaphysically. Christian Science shows that anything which is capable of doing evil has no origin in God, but is only a part of error. It therefore declares that hypnotism is not a proper method for treating diseases. The good it sometimes seems to do eventually results in a worse condition. Man is properly influenced by the divine Mind only, and the human mind cannot outline that influence nor picture it.
Fear is no part of God and should not therefore affect us. The fear that God is making us sick should be utterly destroyed, and can be in Christian Science. The fear that we are sick because of having broken some material law of health is equally unworthy of respect or credence, as Science proves in many instances and will some day prove universally and finally.
An Exacting But Satisfactory Study
To those who take pleasure in intellectual fields, Christian Science offers opportunities for achievement far beyond any other study.
Those who desire to make a thorough study of it will find that this infinite science tests the temper of their best intellectual steel. It is, however, the most satisfactory of all studies, because it unfolds that which is eternally true, and it can be demonstrated in a measure every step of the way. The satisfaction that one enjoys who proves the principle and rule of Christian Science for himself must be experienced to be appreciated. When he knows by experience that the truth as declared in Christian Science can be proven, and when he proves it for himself, he indeed enters into the joys of his Lord.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
Along the vista of time we see here and there the great characters that have illumed the history of the race. We scarcely dare to think what the world would have been had not there appeared from time to time a man or woman good enough and great enough to be touched by eternal truth, and brave and self-sacrificing enough to stand for it. Mrs. Eddy discovered and proclaimed to the world the God-given freedom of the race from all sickness, sin, want and woe. She revealed the science by which men may begin to realize that freedom, and enter upon their heritage of righteous dominion over all evil. Some time this knowledge had to come. According to the promise of Jesus, it was to be the spirit of truth, the comforter leading into all truth. Some one had to be good and pure above all others in order to perceive it. Any great discovery along a given line is always made by one whose thoughts, desires and studies are reaching out beyond those of other people. The world is somewhat accustomed to Christian Science today, and it is a welcome subject in many circles, and its wonderful and blessed achievements are generally acknowledged, but there was a time when Mrs. Eddy was the only Christian Scientist on earth, when she stood absolutely alone with God before the whole world and incurred the ridicule of ignorance and the hostility of theoretical forms of religion, and material modes of medicines because of her discovery of Christian Science. Today all religions and all methods of healing are somewhat touched by it. The world is uplifted by her teachings and example. Through the silent and loving influence of the science which she teaches human thought is arising somewhat from the depths of gross materialism. Where would it be today, where would we be but for the purity of purpose, unswerving perseverance and sublimity of courage displayed by Mrs. Eddy through all those years of trial and persecution? Who that has gained any knowledge of Christian Science but regards with a shudder the memory of the time when he did not possess it, when in the language of Scripture, "the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep." The gratitude of such a one will never let him forget that in his individual experience through Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, "the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" and God said "let there be light, and there was light."
It is not strange that every epithet of vilification and hatred should have been directed against this consecrated woman, since history shows that every person who has revealed a step in moral or religious reformation has been hated and maligned by that which was in need of such reformation. Though seemingly natural it is none the less reprehensible that the pulpit, which ought to welcome every hope of deliverance and every message of peace and good will, has joined in the cry of condemnation. To all of this Mrs. Eddy has never made an angry reply. Whatever others may do, she practices the gospel that she teaches, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of love.
These are the simple facts. I should consider it presumptuous to praise Mrs. Eddy. A character touched by the deepest humility and illuminated with love for God and compassion for man is Christlike. It needs no eulogy. Her life is an open book wherein are recorded only good deeds. The signs of these times are prophetic. They point to the gratitude of God that is appearing in the hearts of man for the life and works of the leader of this great movement, destined, as it is, to accomplish the regeneration of mankind.
We should be aroused to gain the freedom which is God given, which is ours by right, which is an inheritance, lawful, incorruptible, "that fadeth not away." It is is awaiting our assertion of our right to it. God is good. You cannot find a place in the universe where He ever fails to be what He naturally and eternally is. Christian Science demands, however, something more than more passive acquiescence or belief in it. Simply believing in good, offers slight protection from evil. The fangs of hatred and malice must be drawn. Actively at work in consciousness, Christian Science protects from sin, disease, accident and every evil through the power of divine Love. It is an individual as well as universal benediction. It comes to you and to me in our greatest or smallest need, revealing that which saves to the uttermost, declaring the eternal Christ, and it says with Isaiah, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come."