Christian Science: The Way of Active Peace (Summary)
Lela May Aultman, C.S.B., of Denver, Colorado
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Miss Lela May Aultman of Denver, Col., formerly of Scarsdale, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a special lecture on Thursday, March 3, at the First Church of Christ Scientist, Bronxville.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Jesus was a great teacher, because he not only taught the truth, but he proved what he taught. His life was the clearest expression of the Christ which humanity had ever seen, and for this reason he has been given the honored title of Christ Jesus.
When Jesus healed, he never asked the patient to describe symptoms, asked nothing about a broken physical law which was supposed to have caused the trouble; nor did he recommend drugs or surgery to heal it. He knew that it is God's will that man should have life, health, and abundance of good.
Mary Baker Eddy discovered the practical application of divine power to our own daily lives, and proved the correctness of her discovery by healing the sick and redeeming sinners, through her understanding of the Christ, Truth.
Does Christian Science honor Christ Jesus? Indeed it does, and after the manner he himself prescribed (John 14:15), "If ye love me, keep my commandments." These commandments included both "preach the gospel" and "heal the sick" (Mark 16:15, Matt. 10:8). The healing work of Christian Science conforms to the pattern given by the Master, for it is healing through prayer, without the use of drugs or other material remedies.
Mrs. Eddy was an exact metaphysician. This enabled her to present to the world the exact Science of Christianity, the true understanding of God and man, and the way to apply God's law of omin-active good to solve the problems of humanity. The healings she accomplished through her own application of this Science were quick, thorough, and lasting.
The Christian Scientist earnestly studies the Bible and the writings of Mrs. Eddy, including the Christian Science textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and from these sacred books learns to understand the power of divine law to liberate mankind from sickness and sin, from sorrow and failure.
For centuries before the discovery of Christian Science, God had been thought of as corporeal, with the virtues and weaknesses of mortals. Prayer had been offered to a far-off creator, who sometimes blessed and sometimes punished His creation; who gave good and took it away. Christian Science erases this self-contradictory view of God. On every page of the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy magnifies the changeless goodness of God, His infinite power and love.
We know that God is, because we see Him expressed in man's goodness, intelligence, and love. We read in Science and Health (p. 324), "Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God."
Man is not a human being, combining good and evil. He is divine Mind's expression of its own intelligence; the spiritual idea evidencing the order and rightness of Principle. Through man, the very presence of divine Love's comfort, steadfastness, and generosity is made manifest.
Thought filled with the realization of God's omnipotence, of His unfailing love, His ever-presence could not at the same time believe in the presence or power of sickness, hatred, destruction.
Are there conflicting forces warring in your consciousness? Have we any control over whether or not such warring can go on in our thought? The decision is entirely ours. Conflict is a mental state. We can be at war without a shot being fired. Let us be intelligent enough to exercise our God-given dominion, to welcome into thought everything which expresses peace, and reject whatever bears witness to conflict.
Just as Jesus was at peace though humanly surrounded by conflicting elements, so we can have mental stillness and serenity when our consciousness is filled with spiritual light and love, no matter what discordant forces seem to rage around us.
Mrs. Eddy describes for us (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 224) the various human histories, opinions, and tastes which are expressed in the world, and since human life necessitates the finding of a way for people with these differing backgrounds to work together harmoniously, she counsels, "Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it."
The Christian Scientist does not ignore evil. There is no place in the theology of Christian Science for an attitude of passive resistance or non-resistance to error. We defeat evil by expressing peace which is active, vital, vigorous.
Paul understood the mental nature of evil, and thus realized that the way to destroy such an enemy must also be mental. Missiles sitting in a warehouse do not set forth to kill people. Atomic force itself could not start a war. It is envy, hatred, lust for power, fear, etc., which engender conflict. So these are the things we must conquer with love, spirituality, and righteousness. Each individual whose life bears witness to God's supreme rule, is contributing to the peace of all mankind.
The realization of God's all-power; the acknowledgment that man created in God's image has only the qualities which express God's perfect nature, annuls the belief of sin disease, and fear. This is the basis on which Christian Science heals.
Let us never fear the aggression of evil. Good is the aggressor. Truth destroys lies; Love annihilates everything unlike itself. When light and darkness seem to meet, it is light which attacks, for the darkness disappears. Just by being itself light makes darkness impossible. The vital, enthusiastic, joyous living of the qualities of Godlikeness, eliminates evil from one's experience.
Under God's government all things work together harmoniously, controlled by divine law, expressing infinite progression, newness of unfolding ideas, intelligent fulfillment of God's holy purpose. This is active peace.
[Delivered March 3, 1960, at First Church of Christ, Scientist, 10 Tanglewylde Avenue, Bronxville, New York, and published in the Review Press-Reporter of Bronxville, March 10, 1960. The title of the lecture and the street address of the church were supplied from appearing in the same newspaper's Feb. 25th issue.]