Gavin W. Allan, C.S.B., of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
A free lecture on Christian Science entitled "Christian Science: The Science of Government" was delivered January 26, 1939, by Gavin W. Allan, C.S.B., of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City.
Mr. Allan, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, spoke substantially as follows:
Government is a subject in which everyone is interested. Many of us are apt to think of government as something which is connected more or less intimately with our country's capital; as the exercise of authority in regulating and controlling the actions of the people, presumably for the good of all.
Government may, however, have a more intimate signification. Government, like charity, begins at home. There is, for example, such a thing as self-government, proper self-government. Such a statement may arouse certain questions. Do I govern myself? Am I both the governor and the governed? Is right government something that can be learned and practiced? Has it an invariable Principle which can be understood and demonstrated? If so, how can it be learned? Questions such as these are being asked every day. Let us turn to Christian Science to see if they can be answered satisfactorily.
Doubtless we have all felt at times that we did not know enough to govern ourselves rightly, and yet right government is always possible. Did not our Master prove during his ministry that He whom the Bible calls God, and Love, and our Father, is available to man at all times to the solution of his every problem? In her definition of God in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 587), Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, uses these terms: "The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence." If we could be governed by that "all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise" Mind we should surely be governed rightly.
Humanity's discords can largely and quite properly be attributed to ignorance — ignorance of God, ignorance of what is really true about ourselves as God's representatives. The more we understand of God and His good government of His creation, the more harmonious will we be in every department of our lives. Mrs. Eddy has stated this with characteristic clarity in one sentence in our textbook (Science and Health, p. 390), "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony."
If our lives have been discordant, if in our search for the cause of such discord we find that we have been harboring thoughts of fear, selfishness, or hatred, have we instinctively felt that our need was a better understanding of God and our relationship to Him? Yet therein lies the only remedy. These mental qualities we have just mentioned are phases of what Paul called "the carnal mind," which is the opposite of God, the divine Mind, and have never produced anything but discord. They could not do anything else.
But how can we acquaint ourselves with God and our true relationship to Him? During our Master's life on earth he revealed God to men as no one else has ever done. It we but read carefully the record of his life as given in the Gospels, we cannot fail to grasp some of the spiritual facts of being: God's love for us, His presence with us, His care for us, and our sonship with Him. Then if we turn to the Christian Science textbook we shall find this relationship explained and illustrated in many ways, and as we put this growing knowledge into practice we shall find that we are developing an understanding of God and man which cannot be shaken, because it is founded upon Principle. Not only so, but this understanding will be apparent in our lives in better health and morals, in many sacrifices of self, and in a willingness and an ability to serve our fellow men.
As recorded in the twelfth chapter of Matthew, Jesus once asked, "How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" Commenting on this passage Mrs. Eddy has written (Science and Health, p. 399); "How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? . . . Mortal mind is the 'strong man,' which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be removed."
To one who is struggling with sickness a Christian Scientist might say: How are you thinking of yourself? Are you afraid of your body? Can it do anything of itself? Can it plan any sort of campaign against you or carry it out? Does it know whether it is full or empty, hot or cold, wet or dry? If it does not know anything and cannot do anything, should you fear it?
The Christian Science textbook tells us (p. 410) "Christian scientific practice begins with Christ's keynote of harmony, 'Be not afraid!'" But Christian Science is not content with telling the fearful one not to fear. It shows him how to stop.
Suppose that just here we detach ourselves from our fearful thoughts of ourselves long enough to inquire what is really true about ourselves. Writing to the Corinthians Paul said, "To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him." This God the Bible defines as Love, ever-present and infinite. To assist us in defining God to ourselves, Christian Science uses two other words which have proved to be wonderfully illuminating to many. They are "Mind" or divine Mind, and "Principle" or divine Principle. Now let us think of God as infinite Love, divine Mind, or divine Principle, and man as His child, enfolded in His love, governed by divine Mind, as obedient to divine Principle, as the image in a mirror is to the object in front of it. This is a partial statement of what is true about ourselves. But how clearly does it reveal that there is nothing to fear, that the statement of the Psalmist can be depended upon today: "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."
But someone may say, It is not my body I have been fearing, it is disease, a disease which has a specific name and particular symptoms, and I fear it will grow worse. Has disease any intelligence? Can it call itself anything? Can it map out a course and follow it? Does it know when to start, where to settle, or where to go? Let us see what Christian Science has to say. On page 391 of our textbook we may read: "Disease has no intelligence to declare itself something and announce its name. Mortal mind alone sentences itself. Therefore make your own terms with sickness, and be just to yourself and to others." Also on page 419, "Disease has no intelligence with which to move itself about or to change itself from one form to another. If disease moves, mind, not matter, moves it; therefore be sure that you move it off. Meet every adverse circumstance as its master."
That last sentence, "Meet every adverse circumstance as its master," implies that we have the right to be, that we have the ability to be, and that we are in a position to be, masters of "every adverse circumstance."
Now it is true that disease may have other causes than the one we have mentioned, fear, but the body is not one of them. Mrs. Eddy has told us in our textbook (p. 411), "The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin." There you have them, the whole list. If these are the foundations of sickness, would not their opposites, fearlessness, understanding, and righteousness, be the foundation of health? Fearlessness, based on the recognition that God is Love and that His love completely enfolds us at all times; understanding, an understanding of God and our relationship to Him; righteousness, every thought brought into obedience to the Christ; in other words, our being entirely submissive to, and responsive to, God's good government.
Anyone who contemplates the works of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, will be startled by the vastness of her achievement. In 1866, no one had heard of Christian Science; today its organization encircles the globe. Then, but one voice began proclaiming its new, yet old, message. Today its gospel may be heard in any part of the world. Wendell Phillips once declared, "One with God is a majority," or, "one on God's side is a majority" (See Miscellaneous Writings, p. 245, and Pulpit and Press, p. 4). Mrs. Eddy has not only quoted with approbation this statement, but has also proved it true.
In her brief autobiography entitled "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 24) Mrs. Eddy tells us: "It was in Massachusetts, in February, 1866, . . . that I discovered the Science of divine metaphysical healing which I afterwards named Christian Science. The discovery came to pass in this way. During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.
"My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so."
The name Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy gave to her discovery, was greeted with derision, because science had come to be regarded as the very antithesis of theology, notwithstanding the fact that Thomas Aquinas, one of the clearest thinkers of the thirteenth century, had defined theology as the only absolute science known.
In 1866 Mrs. Eddy was the only Christian Scientist, and she was without any of the means usually regarded as essential to the establishment of a great movement. She had, however, some understanding of God and His laws, and she put this understanding into practice. She began to heal others. One of her earliest demonstrations was the instantaneous healing of a boy of what was called a bone-felon. Shortly thereafter she healed a young man of a fever, and a little later a woman who had not walked for sixteen years (See Life of Mary Baker Eddy, by Sibyl Wilbur, pp. 142-144). But Christian Science is much more than a system of healing sickness. It goes to the very root of the matter. It aims at the eradication of those mental causes which produce sickness. It reveals that in order to be healthier each patient must be a better man. It is true that Christian Science emphasizes physical healing. It does so because Jesus did so. As Mrs. Eddy has pointed out in our textbook (p. 131): "Jesus' works established his claim to the Messiahship. In reply to John's inquiry, 'Art thou he that should come,' Jesus returned an affirmative reply, recounting his works instead of referring to his doctrine, confident that this exhibition of the divine power to heal would fully answer the question."
About the year 1867 Mrs. Eddy began to teach Christian Science. Her first class had but one pupil. Some fourteen years later she opened under a state charter the Massachusetts Metaphysical College where, during the following seven years, she taught some four thousand students. In 1883, to meet the ever-broadening requirements of the movement, Mrs. Eddy established the Journal of Christian Science, of which she was not only editor but publisher. Some years later she started a weekly publication now called the Christian Science Sentinel. Every issue of these periodicals has carried to their readers authenticated testimonies of healing through Christian Science. But the publication which Mrs. Eddy started in 1908, when she was eighty-seven years of age, produced the greatest astonishment. She named it The Christian Science Monitor. The conception of it, the name, the motto, all were her own. Its object was, as she herself stated, "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353).
The services to mankind we have thus far mentioned, and they would have been more than ample for any individual, are but a tithe of Mrs. Eddy's accomplishments. To continue, she wrote and published, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science, many prose works, a book of poems, and the Manual of The Mother Church, of which I shall speak later.
She organized the Christian Science church; conceived and established its form of government; provided for its many activities, such as the Board of Lectureship, the Committees on Publication, the Reading Rooms where anyone may read the literature, and all the other et cetera of a vast and growing organization.
The purpose of every one of these activities is to heal mankind. They have no other primary purpose. Who can measure humanity's debt to Mrs. Eddy?
But to return to the subject of government. Many of us have in our immediate environment others who are very close to us — our families. Our social unit is not the individual, but the family; and the harmonious government of a family may frequently involve the facing of problems which might come but seldom to the solitary individual: problems of instruction, obedience, and continuous self-immolation. There is probably no other art that requires so much education, so much wisdom, and so much practice as the art of living justly and charitably with others. The larger the household, the greater the number of mentalities through which self may endeavor to assert itself, and self has quite a family. Here are some of them: fear, jealousy, hatred, self-importance, self-righteousness, self-justification, self-will — trouble-makers every one.
If these qualities were always recognized as impersonal errors they would deceive no one, and would have little opportunity to cause trouble, but if, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to personalize these evil tendencies, to admit that one member of the family is governed by this one, and another by that, and then because of this permit ourselves to deal unfairly with, or dislike the person, we shall allow evil to gain a foothold which may not be quickly dislodged.
What is the remedy? Jesus once said, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." We shall do that statement no violence if we change it somewhat. Whatsoever ye would that men should think of you, think ye even so of them. If others would think of us as God's children, God's ideas, governed by Him and by Him alone, they would be thinking truly about us. Not only so, but every such thought would be helpful to us, helpful because true.
If we would that men should think truly about us we should be careful to think truly of them. Of every member of the family? Yes, of every one, even the one who seems inclined to be willful. But it may be asked, Should we be blind to the faults of others? Should we allow the young to grow up untrained? Should they be permitted to do as they like? Should we not teach them obedience? Certainly children should be taught to be obedient. No one should do as he likes unless he likes to do right. We should remember, however, that the one who is best able to help another to overcome erring tendencies is he who possesses a better, higher, truer concept of that person than that person has of himself.
Frequently we may find it helpful to consider what it was that enabled Jesus to help others so effectually. Whether the belief to be overcome was sickness, sin, or death, our Master proved that it could be done immediately. What equipped him to do this? Was it not that he entertained a "correct view" of what man really is? Our textbook answers this question in a sentence. This is it: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick" (Science and Health, p. 476). If "this correct view of man" enabled Jesus to help others, how important that we should endeavor through Christian Science to acquire "this correct view."
But to look at the other side of the question. Insubordination can find no hiding-place in Christian Science. Hear this statement from our textbook (p. 236): "Children should obey their parents; insubordination is an evil, blighting the buddings of self-government. Parents should teach their children at the earliest possible period the truths of health and holiness. Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple verities that will make them happy and good.
"Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right. While age is halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides towards Truth."
Each member of the family must learn implicit obedience to right. The child should obey the parent's command, and the parent should see that he is subservient to Principle in giving the command. In this the parent may find that he has an obedience problem at least equal to that of the child. Children learn more readily by example than by precept, so the parent who would have rightly governed children should see to it that he is rightly governed himself.
Jesus once said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven;" that is, if you are yourself governed by God others will see it and glorify God, or render homage to God, by seeking His government of themselves. You see Christian Science insists that one deal primarily with the fellow under his own hat. Get him straightened out; his light will shine, others will see it and desire to follow.
Those expressions or manifestations of self referred to a few moments ago, such as self-will, self-righteousness, et cetera, must not be ignored. Ignoring an evil does not overcome it. Evil must be recognized for what it is and what it claims, and must be intelligently dealt with in order to overcome it. Such manifestations of self are really false opinions, false beliefs, and can be overcome only through an understanding of what is really true about man. The false belief needs to be instructed out of itself into an understanding of what man is and what governs him.
What, then, are the facts? That God is our Father and all we are brethren; that in our real selfhood each one of us reflects all the qualities of God; that we are absolutely dependent upon God for all we are and all we have; that all the life, intelligence, wisdom, health, and energy we possess are being given to us moment by moment; that in our relationship to each other our duty is to continuously reflect those God-qualities; that our work is reflection, never domination; in short, to quote from the Manual of The Mother Church (p. 40), "In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness."
There is another institution which is close to many of us, and in which we should be vitally interested, namely, the church. In our textbook (p. 583) Mrs. Eddy defines "Church" in part as follows: "The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick." If each branch church is to live up to this definition it must be governed rightly. This can be done only through the members' recognition and demonstration of what "Church" really is, namely (to quote from the same page of our textbook), "The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle."
The government of all Christian Science churches is outlined in the Manual of The Mother Church. The Rules and By-laws therein were just as much a revelation to Mrs. Eddy on the subject of church government as were the contents of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" on Christian Science. They were written at different times and as occasion demanded, and they have covered adequately every situation that has arisen within the movement.
Here is a paragraph which is of basic importance, and which operates as a safeguard to the movement as a whole. It will be found on page 74. This is it: "In Christian Science each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government, and no individual, and no other church shall interfere with its affairs." This By-law combats two outstanding weaknesses of the human mind; the desire to control others, and the willingness to be personally controlled. Both of these tendencies are phases of self which must be held in check before righteous government can be established.
Christian Scientists are striving to be followers of our Master. To those who would follow him Jesus left a never-to-be-forgotten command, "let him deny himself." This does not mean that one should deny his existence, but that he should deny all those tendencies that are so intimately related to a false sense of self, together with material selfhood itself; such tendencies, for example, as self-will, self-righteousness, and self-justification. Such qualities, if given sway, would bring discord into any organization, and prevent for the time right government.
Probably one of the greatest trouble makers is self-will. It manifests itself in wanting what is called "my way." Its victim usually believes that his way is the best way, and he therefore urges with all the suavity and force at his command that his way be adopted. He clings to his way and refuses to change. However unimportant the question to be decided, self-will, if permitted to rule, will cause dissension.
When the issue to be decided is not of great importance, it would be well for each member to hold his views not too tenaciously, to exercise at times the privilege of giving up; to co-operate willingly with the majority, and to do his utmost to preserve a spirit of harmony and brotherly kindness. These are of vastly more importance than whether the building is to be painted pink or blue.
Sometimes, of course, there may arise questions upon which a Christian Scientist can take only one side: questions involving right and wrong, questions involving Principle. In such cases one must take the side of right and refuse to change. But most of the decisions to be made by an organization are not of this kind. They are more largely choices: choices of persons, locations, material, colors, times and places, disposition of funds, et cetera. Such choices are not usually between right and wrong, but are preference of feasibility and fitness. Such decisions, however, demand of us all the intelligence and wisdom we possess, and in the measure that each member lays down his own will, and seeks selflessly and earnestly the guidance and government of Mind will such questions be decided in the best way.
There will be dictators in human affairs just so long as there are persons who desire, or are willing to accept, dictation. The responsibility for dictatorships rests not only upon the dictators but also upon those who make dictatorships possible, those who because of mental laziness, indifference, or apathy permit others to think for them. When each member of an organization is sufficiently interested in its purposes and work to do his own thinking; to reflect intelligence, wisdom, energy, and activity, qualities which are ever available to him as God's expression; when he is eager and willing to be governed by divine Principle, and will assume his share of the responsibility for righteous government, dictatorships will be no more.
If man is anything he is designed to reflect God mentally. Humanly speaking, the most difficult job one can set himself is to think, and especially to think larger thoughts. This is a task that is almost universally avoided. If only someone would think for us; if only someone would tell us what to do; if only someone would tell us how to vote; this is the prevailing attitude of mortal mind. That is the basis of dictatorships.
Each Church of Christ, Scientist, will fulfill its God-intended mission only as each member continuously consecrates himself anew to the unselfed service of divine Principle, and resists those tendencies of the carnal mind which would lull him into uselessness.
The interest of the individual should extend to an even wider circle — the nation. There government is all too frequently influenced by politicians in their partisan activities. A partisan is defined as "a strongly devoted adherent to a party, often an unreasoning, blind, or fanatical one." A partisan might be inclined to consider party before the state, the advantage of a part before the good of the whole; whereas good government implies "the greatest good to the greatest number."
The Christian Science movement publishes, as I have said before, a newspaper, an international daily newspaper. Whether the word "news" is a combination of the initial letters of the points of the compass, north, east, west, and south, these at least indicate the coverage of the modern newspaper. The function of the news columns of a paper is to record and explain the news as it occurs. It does this in order that its readers may have the necessary information to form their own opinions and decisions. In addition to publishing the news most papers have an editorial column or page in which to express the views and policies of the publishers, in matters of news and politics.
Under the heading "Politics" the Boston Post of November, 1908, published the following: "Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy has always believed that those who are entitled to vote should do so, and she has also believed that in such matters no one should seek to dictate the action of others.
"In reply to a number of requests for an expression of her political views, she has given out this statement: —
"I am asked, 'What are your politics?' I have none, in reality, other than to help support a righteous government; to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself." (Miscellany, p. 276)
After quoting this last sentence, the Monitor (August 12, 1936) says editorially (I shall quote it only in part): "This statement governs the Monitor's editorial policy in matters of politics. . . . The Christian Science Monitor is independent and nonpartisan. It expresses neither animosity nor attachment, to party or personality. . . . The Monitor believes in democratic self-government. It believes that the individual citizen cannot and should not abdicate the responsibility of thinking for himself by delegating that function to another. . . . The need for individual thinking and individual thinkers was never greater. . . . Good government must be achieved first in individual consciousness illumined by an improved understanding of God's government in order that the most enlightened human government may pattern the divine. . . .The Monitor never loses sight of the fact that spiritual individualism is the essence of Christian teaching, that man's reliance must first of all be upon God and man's reflected ability. . . . and that man is impelled to do what is right spiritually."
Politics as defined by the dictionary is, "The science and art of government." It is therefore something in which each of us should be so vitally interested that he would do his utmost to elect as his representatives those who have the highest concept of government. The art of government should be peculiarly the field of action of the Christian Scientist, for is he not learning that God alone governs, and that the Science which deals with God's government of man and the universe is the only science of government? When the inhabitants of a country are completely subject to God's government their politics will be scientific.
But what is politics as it is frequently practiced? Is it not an inordinate struggle for place and power? Is it not an endeavor to place someone in a position where patronage can be distributed? Does it not frequently descend to an effort to live on the community, or as Milton so aptly put it, "to mold the subjection of the people to the length of the foot that is to tread on their necks?" With such a conception of politics the Christian Scientist has no part.
There are, however, other errors which frequently enter into the control of nations beside the desire for place and power. There are certain tendencies which are negative, such as mental laziness, indifference, and apathy, which although negative in character may be quite as potent for evil as the more positive qualities. Let me illustrate. A well-known man of affairs, in an address to the Congress of American Industry, said: "One of my young associates attended a party with his wife the night following our recent State election. Forty young people were present. As a matter of interest, he asked how many of them had voted the day before. Out of forty there were three. These forty people have been privileged beyond the mass of their fellows. On them society has showered its richest gifts. And the entire contribution of thirty-seven of the forty to the service of their nation is to sit in their club and their drawing rooms and criticize the government."
If those who have the advantage of education, if those who have been trained to think, do not use these gifts in the service of their country, and if those who have not the same background of culture and education are busy every moment for selfish ends, how can we expect righteous government? Which class is to blame? Emphatically both.
An enlightened citizenship is the need of the hour. Individual liberties are under constant and subtle attack, and alertness is required to safeguard popular government, and civil and religious freedom. Autocracies may be superficially efficient. But efficiency is not the primary purpose of democracy. If the primary social purpose were efficiency, that is to get things done and done quickly, one of the best methods would be to hire a good tyrant and set him to work. One difficulty might be, of course, to find a good tyrant. But democracy's primary purpose is not efficiency. It is enlightenment, education. It is to so educate each individual that he may be fitted to assume intelligently his share of the responsibility for good government.
The state was made by men for men. Men were not made for the state. Each individual within the state has a right to choose his calling and to change it; the right to constructively criticize the government, and to change it if necessary. Democracy is based upon an equality of rights: the right of individual communion with God; the right to reflect divine intelligence and activity; and not the right only, but also the inherent ability and capability of man to reflect God's good government.
Speaking one day on the subject of democratic government, Theodore Roosevelt said, "The majority of the plain people will, day in and day out, make fewer mistakes in governing themselves than any smaller class or body of men will make in trying to govern them." This is akin to Talleyrand's remark, "There is one person wiser than Anybody and that is Everybody."
The seventeenth chapter of John is directly applicable to the working out of national problems and the dissemination of the truths of Christian Science to the world. In the first part of the chapter is the record of Jesus' prayer for himself and his work; in the second part, his prayer for his disciples and their work; and in the next, his prayer for all mankind.
Through Christian Science the student will soon learn that his health, his value to his family, to his church, and to his country, depends upon the quality of his mental processes. There can be nothing so important to a nation as the character of the citizenship which comprises it, for its government is dependent upon the degree of right thought actuating the individuals who make up the whole. Countries can awake to the true sense of nationhood only as the thoughts of the individuals yield obedience to the demands of Principle.
To this end the Christian Scientist prays daily (I shall quote from the Manual of The Mother Church, p. 41), "'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" The mission of Christian Science is not only individual, but collective. Its purpose is to bring salvation not only to individuals, but to the world; to establish improved social and political conditions, no less than improved and eventually ideal individuals.
Everyone, to the extent of his knowledge, can employ the rules of Christian Science, but in no science is success more contingent upon the fulfillment of the specified conditions. To all who would solve their problems in this way this requisite of our Master must never be lost sight of, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness."
Our Master has been earth's greatest witness to the supremacy of good. He dealt with evil as an impostor, a liar. With his knowledge of God he annulled sickness, poverty, and enslavements of various kinds, all of which were manifestations of the misgovernment of the carnal mind. The works he did are possible for us today in exact proportion to our understanding of the truth of being.
To the Old Testament, we are indebted for the Commandments; to the New Testament, for its record of our Master's life, and his translation of the Commandments from rules prohibiting outward acts to those prohibiting wrong thought processes; and to Christian Science, for what is known as the "scientific statement of being." It will be found on page 468 of our textbook. I shall quote it. "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."
From the moral soundness implanted by the Commandments, and the graces of Spirit instilled by the Beatitudes, we must go on to the exact thinking inculcated by this "scientific statement of being," in order that our lives be governed by divine Principle. Thinking must be, of course, an individual matter, but it is through the thinking of individuals that families, churches, and nations are governed, and Christian Science has a governmental as well as an individual application.
This has been defined by our Leader in the Christian Science textbook, as follows (p. 340): "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scriptures, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."
"A Christian Scientist," Mrs. Eddy has told us (p. 367), "occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' 'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.' Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory."
[Delivered Jan. 26, 1939, at Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, and published in The Brooklyn Eagle, Jan. 28, 1939.]