Neil H. Bowles, C.S.B., of Atlanta, Georgia
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Delivered in Tulsa Municipal Theatre, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tuesday evening, September 18, 1962, under the auspices of Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist, Tulsa. The lecturer was introduced by Mrs. Helen C. Thompson, who said:
Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist, Tulsa, welcomes you. We are glad that you have come to hear a lecture entitled: "Christian Science Meets Humanity's Needs." Jesus' teachings were simple and practical. He said that men could know the truth, and the truth would make them free. Christian Science is a practical religion and when understandingly applied it gives us freedom from every type of bondage. It solves every problem; it meets every human need; it heals a sick body, a sick mind, or a sick business. Our speaker is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is my happy privilege to present Neil H. Bowles of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Bowles.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Tonight we are going to discuss how Christian Science meets human needs and how it meets the challenges of the changing times. Of course, humanly, times have always been changing. But the real significance of the changing times is that the people of the world are being forced to give up their restrictive, friction-producing concepts of life. Today, we are witnessing the rapid awakening of the dormant, the slumbering thought in many parts of the world. This awakening will irresistibly lead those who are receptive to Truth on a search for a more spiritual sense of life. Why a more spiritual sense of life? Because it is being proved that the true facts and harmonies of life are gathered only from an understanding of spiritual reality.
In the common parlance of today, we often hear of a new discovery referred to as a break-through. What, of course, is meant is that some mystery of the physical universe has yielded its secret to the expanding thought of some researcher. In other words, intelligently directed thought is breaking through the unknown and discovering much useful knowledge.
Well, the discovery of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy in the year 1866 was the greatest break-through of all times. It was a break-through that affects every aspect of human existence.
What did it break through? It broke through the veil of mystery or spiritual ignorance that had seemed to obscure the real nature of the origin of man and the universe. It broke through every belief in hazardous, limited, discordant, and perishable life, and revealed that God, the only real Life, is harmonious and eternal. It revealed that every aspect of Life is wholly spiritual, and that therefore the real man and the real universe are wholly spiritual. It revealed that true Science is divine, that Deity is understandable, and that true medicine is divine Mind, God, not matter.
Because Christian Science is a religion, and affirms that the spiritual is the only reality of being, that does not mean that it is antagonistic to other religious groups, to human research and invention, or to materia medica. It stands by itself, on its own merit, a complete and demonstrable system of divine metaphysics. Because Mrs. Eddy was always deeply interested in spiritual things, she spent many years of her life in searching the Bible. She was convinced that the Bible contained the answer to life's problems. Of this period in her life, when she was searching for the truth, she writes in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 109): "The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration." Thus the true nature of God, man, and the universe dawned in Mrs. Eddy's waiting and receptive thought, and the true meaning of spiritual reality was revealed to her. She named her discovery Christian because it coincides with the teachings of Christ Jesus, and Science because it is demonstrable, or provable.
So the purpose of this lecture is to explain why, according to the revelation of Christian Science, the realties of Life are wholly spiritual and how the spiritual can be demonstrated as real and tangible here and now.
In order to understand the meaning of spiritual reality, an intelligent explanation must be made of the source or cause of man and the universe.
The Bible has named that source God and declares that He made all things, — man and the universe. Over the period of recorded history people have believed in many gods and have given them special offices. This belief in many gods created a conflict of powers. Some gods were thought to be at war with others. But Moses perceived that there could be but one supreme God and commanded the Hebrew people that they should worship no other. He gave them the First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). With this commandment came monotheism or the worship of one God.
There was Science involved in Moses' teaching, and Mrs. Eddy discovered it. She saw, and has explained in her teachings, that there is but one creative Principle, cause or source. Order and harmony are maintained in man and the universe, by Principle, just as one principle or rule governs in mathematics. She saw too that the Bible teaches that God is All-in-all. She explains with scientific reasoning that the supreme cause or power of the universe is one, is all-inclusive in its nature, and is therefore omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
On the basis of scientific reasoning, she discovered that harmony and eternality are facts of existence, that harmony is always the effect of Principle and is eternally so. She saw too that creative Principle is the only Life, substance, and Mind of the universe, indeed the only consciousness, Truth, and Love of the universe. She saw that God is Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love, and that He would have to be thus defined to be All-in-all.
Now let us reason about God's allness. If the all-inclusive cause or Principle is omnipresent Spirit, then the emanation of Spirit must be spiritual. It can be nothing else. From this description of God or the creative cause and Principle of the universe, we can understand the supremacy of Spirit; we can understand that the spiritual is eternal and indestructible, it is divinely intelligent and infinitely harmonious.
Christian Science claims with scientific reasoning that that which is supreme is actually unopposed. So Christian Science teaches that God or Spirit, supreme substance, does not know life, substance, or intelligence opposed to Himself. God does not know materiality or a man as carnal. We are told in the Bible, in the book of Habakkuk (1:13), that this is so. Here is what it says of God: "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." Thus we see why Christian Science insists with Biblical authority and with scientific reasoning that the spiritual facts of existence are the only true facts.
The world's most urgent need is to reach a willingness to learn to reason from a spiritual, scientific basis. It needs to learn what spiritual reality means. The businessman needs to know it. The politician needs to know it. The teacher needs to know it. The doctor needs to know it. Everybody needs to know it. So let us reason further on what it does mean.
The Apostle Paul explained it this way. He said (Romans 8:6,7), "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God." A dictionary defines the word "carnal" as the opposite of spiritual. Now Paul's statement is clear and understandable. He plainly indicates that the spiritually minded and the carnally minded are in opposite states of thought. The carnal state he said is enmity against God, Spirit, while the spiritual state is in compliance with God's law, and is life and peace.
There is no mystery about what the word "spiritual" means. It describes a state of perfect, harmonious consciousness, an immortal condition of thought. We do not have to go anywhere to attain spirituality. It is present and attainable here and now.
The carnally minded see life as material and physical. What they see is finite and perishable; it can be destroyed. The carnally minded dishonor God by believing that He created mortal life and its suffering. The spiritually minded recognize that true and perfect Life is harmonious, and that it cannot be destroyed because God Himself is Life, the source of all the manifestations of Life.
Earlier I said that the teachings of Christian Science are Christian because they coincide with the teachings of Jesus. I think it should be an acceptable statement to every Christian to say that Jesus certainly understood spiritual reality. His ministry was based on it. His demonstrations of divine power were the evidence that he understood God and His spiritual idea, man.
Christian Science makes a strong point of Jesus being the Way-shower, which Christ, the divine idea of God, is the way. It teaches that the facts of Life, God, are understandable, and it proves by its works of healing that Christian Science is in strict accord with the teachings of Christ Jesus. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health, (p. 98), "Mystery does not enshroud Christ's teachings, and they are not theoretical and fragmentary, but practical and complete; and being practical and complete, they are not deprived of their essential vitality. The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual."
Now Jesus was endowed with a transcendent spiritual understanding of God and this understanding was demonstrated throughout his earthly ministry. This spiritual understanding enabled him to perceive the true nature of existence as wholly spiritual. With this understanding of spiritual reality Jesus met and mastered every form of error that confronted him. You may recall that even he was tempted to believe that materiality and human power are desirable. We are told in Hebrews (4:15), "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." When he was tempted to believe in a substance and power opposed to Spirit, God, Jesus gave that reply which has been the Christian's watchword ever since. He said (Matt. 4:10), "Get thee hence, Satan." With his understanding of the facts of Spirit, Jesus healed, as the Bible recounts, all manner of diseases among the people. He also overcame the so-called laws of the physical universe by many marvelous demonstrations of spiritual power. Amongst these were his walking on the waves, the stilling of the tempest, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the grave for four days. It was all these proofs of spiritual power that made Jesus the Way-shower and earned for him the divine title of Christ or Saviour.
Christian Science teaches that the Christ, Truth, which Jesus understood and taught, we can grow to understand; that the works he performed, we can learn to perform, and it insists that all this is supported by Jesus' own statement, where he said (John 14:12), "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." If Jesus' ministry is to be of practical value to us we must stand on the reasonable assumption that we can understand and utilize the same truths which he understood and used.
I have said that Christian Science teaches that God does not know materiality or man as carnal. That raises the question, "How can God help humanity if He knows nothing about matter, the condition in which humans appear to live?" Christian Science answers this question by explaining that matter and all its effects are of the carnal state of consciousness which Paul referred to as "enmity against God." It explains that matter is not real, but is the objectification of the carnal mind. Let me illustrate. Did you ever have a dream that so impressed you that the memory of it lingered with you all day, yes, even for many days? In this dream you may have believed that you saw people, places, and things. But did you? Just how real were these people or objects? While the dream lasted they doubtless seemed very real, solid, and tangible to you. But were they actually real? Your reason tells you they were not real. They were only as real as your dream made them.
Let me give you another illustration. Suppose you attended a movie with a friend. While there you went to sleep and dreamt while your friend stayed awake. Physically you were present with him and in the same surroundings. But because you were in one state of consciousness and he in another, your experiences were entirely different. Taking into consciousness what was being portrayed on the screen, your friend may have laughed, wept, experienced great joy or fright while you saw nothing of it. Whose experience was nearest to being real? Neither was actually real, but both seemed to be genuine to the individual.
Now remember, I told you Christian Science teaches that God as Spirit or Soul is the source of all true consciousness. Well, there is a great difference between the consciousness of spiritual reality and the so-called consciousness which involves mortal existence. You have seen in the illustrations I have just given you that the human being seems to be capable of dwelling in more than one state or stage of consciousness, although not at the same time. Even though he may have dreams or flights of fancy, he always manages to get back to the state of consciousness that is most solid and real to him. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 397), "Mortals are no more material in their waking hours than when they act, walk, see, hear, enjoy, or suffer in dreams."
So true consciousness is wholly spiritual. It is the reflection of the infinite consciousness, or Mind. But there seem to be many other dream states of consciousness. However these are never actually real — never really substantive. While they may, and do at times, express something of the hues of spiritual consciousness, yet to whatever degree they include the inharmonious beliefs of the so-called mortal consciousness, they are unreal and mythological, — substanceless, like the dream. In Jeremiah (23:28) we read, "The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord." Well, what is the dream to your waking, your true consciousness? Nothing! Then reason must convince you that there is in truth but one consciousness, and that one spiritual. Consciousness has no beginning or ending, so it is imperishable. The belief in perishable life or consciousness, so-called, is but one of the dream states that is only as real as deluded human thought believes it to be. As human thought becomes enlightened by the recognition of the scientific fact that there is and can be only one Life or infinite consciousness, its effects will be seen as only a dream belief about the one and only true consciousness.
All forms of matter are actually destructible. Yet mortals continue to classify matter as substance. But the true meaning of the word "substance" is that which is indestructible. Nobody who believes that matter is substantial can give a satisfying explanation of its origin or nature. Some physicists think that the original and primitive form of matter was hydrogen gas, and that through certain pressures and combustions the various planets were formed. Then through eons of time came the various forms of animate and inanimate life upon the earth. In the past some physicists have held to the theory that the universe is wearing itself out, — that there will be a time when it will cease to exist. More recently, there have been those that have contended that the universe had no beginning, and that it will have no ending. They think that the universe is constantly expanding, and as certain gases and forces spend themselves, these are replaced by newly created gases and forces. But they still consider the universe to be material and believe in perishable life within the universe.
These speculations, and they are entirely speculations, represent the gropings of human thought endeavoring to explain existence and the universe on a wholly material and physical basis. But so long as matter is the basis of research, mankind will remain in ignorance of true substance. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 293), "The material so-called gases and forces are counterfeits of the spiritual forces of divine Mind, whose potency is Truth, whose attraction is Love, whose adhesion and cohesion are Life, perpetuating the eternal facts of being."
As long as one holds to the false belief that man and the universe are material, his whole basis of reasoning is fallacious. Christian Science shows that a false sense of life and consciousness is all there is to the so-called material universe. It teaches that matter, materiality, the belief in perishable substance, is nothing more than a mistaken sense of the imperishable, the indestructible substance which is God Himself. As this fact is seen, even in small part, human consciousness begins to expand and to comprehend the spiritual nature of being. The allness of Spirit and the unreality of matter was Mrs. Eddy's discovery, her saving revelation to this age.
When Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science in 1866 and presented it to the world through Science and Health in 1875, and announced that Spirit is the only reality and that matter is unreal or a dream state, she stirred considerable opposition from the pulpit, the press, and the medical profession. But she also won the support of some of the most advanced thinkers of her time. She lifted the theological veil of mystery from God and His creation; she defined Science as divine; and she proved Mind or God to be the only true medicine or healing power. The proofs of healing her metaphysical system has provided bear eloquent testimony to the truth of her discovery.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, which Mrs. Eddy established, has grown into world-wide proportions. It could only have prospered on the basis of the reasonableness of her teachings and on the proof of its healing effect. Christian Science has appealed to the sick, but it has also appealed to the advanced thinker interested in spiritual reality. Christian Scientists are to be found among the successful men and women everywhere Christian Science is known. As human thought has been expanding, under the constant leavening influence of the teaching of this religion, many clear-thinking people are coming to accept the Science and truth of Mrs. Eddy's teachings.
Mrs. Eddy was a deep and discerning thinker. She was made so by her great love of God and man and her deep desire for spirituality. She has defined God as Mind and has indicated that intelligence is a quality of Mind. She has explained, with scientific reasoning, the Bible teaching that God, who is All-in-all, is the only source of true intelligence. On the basis of scientific reasoning, Mrs. Eddy has introduced to the world the conclusion that what appears as finite, discordant, and perishable life is only a false concept of carnal mindedness which, of course, is always based on ignorance of God or Spirit. The spiritual understanding of God as the only real source of intelligence is the only answer to the disturbing challenges of this age. Recognizing God as the source of all true intelligence is expansive to human thought. Christian Scientists have proved this in abundant measure for themselves and for others who have turned to Christian Science to solve their human problems.
So under the leadership of Mary Baker Eddy, whose leadership will forever continue, because it is found in her inspired writings, Christian Scientists meet the challenges of the times with the calm and joyous assurance that their understanding of God, as the one infinite source of intelligence, is indeed adequate to solve every human problem.
Have you ever asked yourself, "What am I, why am I here, and what is my real purpose in life?" The answers to these questions are obtainable in the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's spiritual and scientific revelation of spiritual truths. Let me explain. Mrs. Eddy has scientifically explained the first two terms used in the Bible to describe the nature of man. These terms are "image" and "likeness." Remember, it says in Genesis (1:26), "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Let us think about that statement for a moment. Isn't it easy to understand that that which is the image and likeness of God is the perfect image and likeness of Him? Mrs. Eddy, with scientific reasoning, points out that the man God created is wholly spiritual, the likeness of Spirit. Well, if man is the likeness of Spirit, God, he must not be flesh and blood. If he is the likeness of God he could not be flesh and blood.
Christian Science scientifically explains man's true nature. It shows that man, being the perfect likeness of God, is wholly and completely the likeness of Spirit. He is not made up of matter or mortality, but he is wholly and completely the perfect likeness of the one divine consciousness or Soul. He cannot be governed by a false sense of law because he is wholly and completely the perfect likeness of divine Principle, the source of absolute law. He cannot be mortal or destructible because he is wholly and completely the perfect likeness of eternal Life. He cannot be inharmonious, discordant, and untruthful because he is wholly and completely the perfect likeness of infinite Truth. He cannot be unloving, hateful, and revengeful because he is wholly and completely the perfect image and likeness of divine Love.
You may rightly ask, but what about the obvious? What about the people we see as flesh and blood mortals? Are they the likeness of Spirit? Certainly not! What we behold as mortal existence is the dream state of consciousness, the carnally minded state that falsely believes man to be something other than God's perfect image and likeness. Remember, Paul tells us that that sort of thinking is enmity against God. You have seen how solidly a dream can be believed. You have also seen how what you know to have been a dream can linger in thought for a long time after you have awakened. But the fact remains, that no matter how real the dream may seem, it is still nothing more than a dream. Well, the mortal sense of man is only a dream sense of the man who is the image and likeness of God and who is wholly spiritual and harmonious. Paul, understanding something of this dream state or physical sense of man, caught glorious glimpses of man's wholly spiritual nature. He said (I Cor. 13:9-12): "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
Man, as Christian Science reveals him, is not a mortal and material being becoming immortal and spiritual. The only fact of man's being is his perfect and eternal nature as the image or reflection of God. It includes his spiritual pre-existence, his present spiritual existence, and his eternal spiritual existence. Since man is the image and likeness of God, as the Bible says he is, then man is inseparably related to God. This fact was revealed to Mrs. Eddy, and she supports it with scientific reasoning. She says in Science and Health (p. 470), "Man is the expression of God's being. If there ever was a moment when man did not express the divine perfection, then there was a moment when man did not express God, and consequently a time when Deity was unexpressed — that is, without entity."
So if we accept the fact that man is the image of God and is inseparably related to God, then we can accept the fact that man was never born into mortality or materiality, nor does he, nor can he, live in it or die out of it.
It is a fact of nature that like produces like. Therefore man, being the likeness of God, he is and must be as eternal as God. Man, the true likeness of God, never had a beginning, nor will he ever have an ending. Man's divine sonship is not a personal gift from God; it is his spiritual relationship to God, — his scientific relationship as perfect, indispensable effect of perfect Cause. Man's sonship is his unity with God, good, with divine Truth, Life, and Love.
Now how does a spiritual or correct view of God and man serve to meet the human need? Why, by healing the sick on a wholly spiritual basis, by healing human conflicts, and by destroying the belief in limited supply. I am going to tell you of two cases in which Christian Science met human needs through prayer or spiritual means.
First was the case of a bitter conflict between two business partners. Their activities were quite expensive, but they literally hated each other because of rivalry, jealously, greed, and selfishness. There was a third man, a Christian Scientist, with whom they had done a considerable amount of business and with whom they had not always been entirely fair. But he faithfully held to the truth that man is God-like; that the spiritual qualities of integrity, unselfishness, and justice are man's true qualities, and that the carnal manifestations of hatred and dishonesty were really no part of man but were only a false sense of man, like the dream of discord one has in sleep.
These troubled relationships went on for some time. But one day one of the partners went to see the Christian Scientist, and what do you think he wanted? He wanted the Christian Scientist to use his efforts to settle the differences between his partner and himself.
The spiritual truths of God and man the Christian Scientist had been maintaining had become a leavening, a purifying influence to the disturbed mental atmosphere in which he had been included with these partners. The partners' differences were soon settled through the prayerful efforts of the Christian Scientist.
My friends, the conflicts and the upheavals we see intensified in the world today will be met as the power of spiritual understanding is recognized as the only saving influence for mankind. Only through the spiritual understanding of God and His perfect creation can the carnal beliefs of hatred, malice, envy, revenge, jealousy, anger, and fear be destroyed. As these errors are destroyed we shall see the establishment of "peace on earth, good will toward men." Those who understand the power of prayer in Christian Science have a special obligation and responsibility to mankind to be faithful in the practice of its leavening teachings.
The second case I want to tell you about was that of the healing of a woman who sustained a broken collarbone and a badly shattered arm socket. Christian Science treatment was started at once. After several days a son became alarmed and insisted on taking his mother to have the condition X-rayed. After thoroughly studying the prints, the technician and the doctor in attendance assured the mother and son that all bones were perfectly set and the knitting was well under way. The Christian Science treatment given had caused the bones to be perfectly set without the use of material means.
How did the practitioner treat this case or pray for the woman? Well, he did not address God and ask Him to heal her. Why? Because his concept of prayer, as he had learned of it in Christian Science, did not hold God to be a personalized deity whom we must implore to help us. Actually God's work is already done and it is perfect and complete.
The practitioner started reasoning from the spiritual facts of Life. He reasoned that since God is Life, really the only Life there is, and that man is the image and likeness of God, man's being could not be endangered or damaged. He reasoned and mentally argued that since real Life is Spirit and man is wholly spiritual, there could be no breakage or matter in Life, or in man. The practitioner saw that inharmony or discord of any nature, is but a phrase of the dream state we have been discussing. The dream state disappears when the true spiritual facts of Life become established in human consciousness. So his treatment was designed to correct with the truth of real being the error of belief that the image and likeness of God could be injured. This brought the woman's consciousness into accord with the ever operative law of God. The truth operated effectively as a law of adjustment and healing to the discordant condition.
Is this an isolated case? Indeed not! I could tell you of many other cases of broken bones that have been healed in this same way, by spiritual means alone without medical aid, and where no splints or slings were used while the healing was going on.
Prayer or treatment in Christian Science always starts with the knowing or spiritual understanding of infinite perfection. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 259), "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration." There is nothing supernatural about healing in Christian Science any more than Jesus' healing works were supernatural. Healing in Christian Science comes about as the result of understanding that which is spiritual and real and seeing the discords of mortal existence as errors of belief, not realities. Some who have not understood the terminology of Christian Science have objected to the statement that discord and suffering are errors of belief. But Christian Science does not teach that these discords should be ignored — that we heal them merely by turning our backs on them. The point to understand is that they are errors of belief because they are the opposite of the perfect facts of Life. By rejecting these errors and turning thought to the contemplation of the true, the spiritual facts of perfect God and perfect man, the perfect law of God becomes operative in human consciousness and healing follows. Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 447), "The recuperative action of the system, when mentally sustained by Truth, goes on naturally."
St. Paul asked (Acts 26:8), "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Well, Christian Science asks, "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should heal a broken bone, that God should heal any disease, that God should meet every human need?" I will tell you why people sometimes doubt God's power. Because the human mentality that questions the power of Christ, Truth, has not yet reached the point in spiritual growth where it understands that there is actually only one law or influence governing and controlling man and the universe, and that an understanding of this law brought to bear on any human discord adjusts, corrects, or heals it.
Because the human mentality classifies discord as either simple or difficult, they seem to be so. For example, usually a little scratch on the finger does not overly concern the average person. He pays little or no attention to it and expects it to heal, and it does. But take a broken bone or one of the so-called serious diseases, and the attitude toward it is different. The human mind tries to picture the physical processes that must take place in order for the healing to come about and doubts the power of divine law to make the adjustment and do the healing work. But Mrs. Eddy proved that a spiritual understanding of God and His perfect law applicable universally is adequate to heal the scratched finger, the malignant disease, or to adjust the broken bone.
Christian Science gives to the world a spiritual, scientific sense of prayer. It lifts prayer out of the realm of ignorance and superstition and reveals the Science of it. Yes, the Science of prayer! The prayer of the Christian Scientist is no less devout or reverent because it departs from the sense of God as a personal deity, who may or may not hear our prayers, or who may or may not be willing to heal us. The Christian Scientist stands before the majesty of God with complete confidence in His omnipresence and omnipotence.
Christian Scientists have no doubt that prayers are answered because they have been healed by praying. They have proved that by the method of understanding God's goodness and omnipotence and rejecting the discordant mortal beliefs, instead of merely imploring God's mercy, they can spiritualize their thoughts. This process corrects the errors of belief and establishes harmony in human consciousness. Then healing naturally follows.
Christian Science is available to meet the whole world's needs. Yes, when utilized, it meets every human need. It meets that need in the consciousness of humanity, for it is only in the consciousness of humanity that any need exists. Christian Science is bringing the leaven of spiritual Truth to human consciousness. Unnumbered people have seen sickness, poverty, and strife healed in their experience as they have been spiritually enlightened through the study of Christian Science. The leaven of Truth is twofold in its purpose. It redeems as well as spiritually instructs. It teaches that the infinite resources of good are available to every man through a spiritual understanding of Life, substance, and intelligence. In the infinitude of substance, there is no poverty, no lack, no error or evil of any kind. An understanding of the infinite nature of God, man's creator, is redemptive because it destroys friction, selfishness, jealousy, and envy. It unfolds the spiritualizing influence of divine Love. It answers the questions, "Why are we here, and what is our purpose here?" The answers are, of course, to glorify the allness of God, good, to recognize the perfection of man, to contribute our efforts to furthering the leavening process of Truth in world consciousness. If you have ever longed for success, you can find it in understanding and obeying God. We can all gauge the measure of our own stature as spiritually minded thinkers by our willingness to lend our full measure of unselfish service in making the leaven of Truth increasingly available to the people of the world. No human achievement is more rewarding or satisfying than that of rendering unselfish service to God and our fellowmen.
So the problems, the upheavals, the strifes, the sickness, the sin, and discord that confront the people of the world do not appear as troublous days to the Christian Scientist. He does not fear the future. He rests assured that through mankind's increasing spiritual understanding, humanity's problems will ultimately all be solved and harmony will be fully established.
He looks upon the challenges of these times with a joyful sense of expectancy, — expectancy of good, of course. He keeps this sense of joy in the midst of the disturbance and dismay expressed by those who have not come to realize the power of spiritual understanding. He knows that his salvation, as well as the salvation of mankind, comes through the continuous spiritualizing process that is so clearly and understandably explained in the teachings of Christian Science. He sees and understands that Christian Science is the Comforter or spirit of Truth promised by Jesus. He finds his joy and happiness in making the truths of divine Science available to the people of all the world.
[Delivered Sept. 18, 1962, at Tulsa Municipal Theatre, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, under the auspices of Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist, Tulsa, and published in The Tulsa County News, Sept. 24, 1962.]