A Reasonable and Rational View of all Things
Francis J. Fluno, M.D., C.S.D.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:8).
Here is an invitation to reason together with the most High God; to have a quiet interview with the great I Am, an invitation to spend an hour apart from daily toil and care, and have a confidential talk with divine intelligence; to seek counsel and advice from Spirit, God, who will always give you wise and fatherly counsel, because He is wisdom and intelligence itself: who will always give you the most tender, loving, and motherly advice, because He is the Spirit of good, the Spirit of Love.
It is the infinite, the eternal, the omnipresent One that invites you, the One who is never away from home, who is never absent, who is always present and everywhere present; the One who is never preoccupied, or too much engaged, or has some one else to attend to; or who has forgotten his appointment or His invitation to come and reason with Him.
Did you ever think of God as the everywhere present Mind, the high and holy Mind, the Spirit or Principle of being; wisdom, Love; who is always ready to hear and answer your questions, no matter how small or how insignificant, or how great or how important they are? To reason with God, however, is not to have a superstitious, sanctimonious, or incomprehensible interview with a personal or corporeal deity, whom you may believe in but with whom you have no acquaintance it is to have a friendly, comprehensive, and intelligent communion with divine Spirit, the one pure and perfect Mind.
Do you ask if that pure and perfect Mind could have evil thoughts, and still be a pure and holy Mind? ''Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity," wrote the prophet Habakkuk. This answer comes quick and sharp and right to the point, and leaves not a doubt nor a shadow of misunderstanding. Then you will find, by further reasoning, that this same Mind not only could not think an evil thought, but could not evolve or beget anything which could have an evil thought: therefore the man of His creating never could have and never did have an evil thought.
Did you ever think of God in something the same way that you might think of the principle in mathematics? That although there are ten thousand, or ten million, or any number of different people, and in any number of different places, all calling upon it at the same time, and each one with a different problem, it can attend to all at the same time, and to each one as though he or she were the only one? That no matter how frequently you come or how long you remain, it is always ready to receive you, and willing to stay with you until your question is answered, until your problem is solved and you are satisfied?
Did you ever take your petition to God, Spirit, Love, in the same way and with the same persistency and earnestness that you would take a problem in mathematics to its principle, and with the same determination to know and understand and have it demonstrated to you? By working over the problem, until finally the reasoning dawns upon you, you solve the problem by an understood law, and it is demonstrated to you, and you not only know it to be correct, but you know why it is correct. You know it is not only true for you, but it is true for every one; that it is true for all time, and for all peoples and tongues and all generations, in every land and in every clime; that what is demonstrably true for you in a law of mathematics, is equally true for every one.
Likewise, did you ever come face to face with the proposition that in the great scientific fact of being what is true for one is true for all, that what is true for one is true for every one? That ''God is no respecter of persons"? That what He gives unto one, He gives unto all? If He gives eternal life to any one, He gives eternal life to every one. If He has given eternal salvation to any one, then He never did, never can, and never will give eternal damnation to another. He has never bequeathed to one the opposite of what He has bequeathed to another, and man has no power to change the unchanging purposes of an unchanging and omnipotent God.
You remember the Master said at one time, "What I say unto you I say unto all." You remember also that he said to one who was a sinner, "Thy sins be forgiven thee;" to another who was lame, "Arise and walk;" and to another who was a leper, "I will, be thou clean;" and to another who was dead, "Come forth." Then the fact stares you in the face that what he said to any one of these he said to every one. You wonder how this can be; you may be willing it should be so, but you do not see how it can be so. You may be willing to say, "Thy will be done," but you cannot see how it is already done: and yet it is a scientific fact and if it is true in one instance, it is true in every instance that if the sins of one be forgiven, then are the sins of all.
You take that grand old book the Bible; you look it over and you read, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Then you go and reason together with God; with Spirit, Truth, and Love, until finally the great Principle of all being dawns upon you, and you see how it is that your sins, though many, are all forgiven and your name is written in the book of life.
God and His Creation Spiritual and Pure
You find God to be the pure and perfect Spirit or Father of all creation, and man the offspring of that pure and holy One; then it follows that you cannot admit of sickness or sin as belonging to man, without predicating the same of his creator; and that which does not belong to God cannot rightfully belong to you. You find God, the eternal Principle of all being, to be unchangeable; that He is "yesterday, and to-day, and forever" the same. Then we must admit that He is not granting forgiveness today, and tomorrow withholding it; that He is not healing the sick in one age, and in another age withholding that healing power.
Since He is unchangeable, and "no respecter of persons," what is ever to be ours is waiting for us now, and what is for one is for every one. Then it follows that the great Master, he who did only the will of God, never did anything for any one that God has not already done. When he spoke peace to a troubled heart, he knew that this rest was already spoken in heaven. When he granted forgiveness to a penitent sinner, he knew that out in the great universe of Love this pardon was waiting for him. When he spoke the healing word to the sick and suffering one, he knew it was in accord with the unchanging will of God. He never granted anything to anyone that God had not already granted, not only to that one, but to every one. You see that what is true for you is true for all; what is true for one is true for every one and is true for all eternity; and that there never has been a time when it was not true. You know it is scientifically true, and you know it is Christianly true, because you have reasoned together with Christ, the Son of the most High God; and because you have reasoned together with the most High God Himself. Since we are "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ," therefore the saying, "All that the Father hath is mine," is as true today as when it first was uttered; and must, in the great fact of being, be as true of you and me as it was of him who said it. And the converse must also be true: that which the Father hath not is not mine.
Christian Scientists have been accused of being a prayerless people; but Christian Scientists are learning to "pray without ceasing." For their hearts' desire is to know God, and to this end they are seeking day and night. They are not praying a personal God to do something He has not done, or to give them something He has not given; but they are in constant communion with God the Father, to know what He has already done and to know the things He has already given. In other words, instead of begging God to give them something they think they have not, or are not in possession of, they are finding what they already have in their possession, although they knew it not; for if, as Paul says, "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," then surely, if we find what we have, we will have enough; and Christian Scientists, in constant communion with the most High God, are both learning to know Him, whom to know is life eternal, and to find what He has in store for them, that which mortal eye has not seen, nor finite sense has ever known.
Christian Science Not Physical Science
Some are objecting to Christian Science on the ground that it couples the word Science with the word Christian; and well they may, because from their standpoint the word science means physical science; and they do not see that physical science has no part nor parcel with Christian Science; that one is directly opposite to the other. Physical science is based wholly and entirely upon sense testimony, and all its conclusions are deductions drawn from hypotheses based upon the evidence of the senses; while Christian Science has its foundation in the most High God, the eternal Spirit, or divine Principle, Life, Truth, Love. This is ultimate; beyond it you cannot go, higher you cannot reach, because there could be nothing more living than Life to create life; nothing truer than Truth to evolve truth; and nothing more loving than Love to beget love. It is, therefore, conclusive and final. Christian Science is a logical deduction drawn from that ultimate, absolute, and divine Spirit, God; and is therefore absolute and divine Science; is as demonstrable as the science of numbers, and is as primal, present, and everlasting as the eternal God. It is, therefore, the Science of God and man; hence it is the Holy Ghost, or Comforter; the "Spirit of truth" that leads, in the way of all truth, and testifies of Christ. Christ said, "When the Comforter is come, . . . even the Spirit of truth, . . . he shall testify of me: . . . he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Christian Science does testify of Christ; it corroborates all the statements that he made, explains away all doubts concerning his teachings, and clears up all the mysteries connected with his life and demonstrations. Christian Science is not, therefore, physical science; and the world is fast recognizing the fact that they are very remote from each other; in fact, that they have nothing in common, one with the other.
Christian Science is not only absolute, ultimate, and demonstrable Science, but it is also absolutely Christian; because it teaches nothing but kindness and love, and peace and good will to all; it teaches right toward all, and wrong toward none; it teaches right doing as well as right preaching, and it absolutely and entirely despises all wrong doing. It teaches that "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." In other words, it teaches that unless your right doing shall exceed the right doing of the very highest ideas of right, or right doing according to the finite sense, you can in no wise enter into the kingdom of harmony.
Legislating Against Christian Science
Attempts have been made in many instances to legislate against the practice of Christian Science; but in every instance these have been due to a misunderstanding of what Christian Science is and what its practice consists of. As soon as explanation has been made of its kindliness and helpfulness, and its utter lack of coercion or any attempt to press its mode of treatment upon anyone in any way, no necessity has been found to legislate against it; so that in most cases, instead of Christian Science losing its case, it has gained a point in the estimation of men.
The thought also has been
expressed that little children should be protected against Christian Science
treatment; but, far from little children needing any protection, they take to
Christian Science very readily themselves, as the most natural kind of help in
times of sickness and trouble, and in many cases need no treatment other than
what they are able to do for themselves. The Master said, "Suffer little
children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of
heaven." Little children often give testimonies in our public meetings, of
demonstrations over sickness and suffering, accidents and misfortunes that come
to them; and not only over these things, but over anger, malice, hatred, and
jealousy that arise in their hearts. In some instances little children, in
their perfect confidence and childlike simplicity, have been known to make
demonstrations over sickness, disease, and discords where older ones have failed;
thus corroborating the statements of Jesus, "Except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
"Whosoever shall not receive the
Christian Scientists do not press their religion or their Christian Science healing upon anyone, not even on little children; but it is fair to suppose that what people find is good for themselves in times of sickness and suffering, they would like their families to have. Little children, in most cases, not only respond very quickly to Christian Science treatment, but they very readily learn to practice it for themselves; and not only are they healed of their ills and also able to help others, but it helps them in their education, their schooling. It raises them to a higher moral standard, for Christian Science is elevating in every possible way. No one, when he learns what Christian Science is, and what it can do for those little ones who are so soon to take our places in the ranks of public and social life, in civil and religious reform, would have the children exempted from it.
It is not reasonable to suppose that anyone, when he learns what Christian Science is and what it can do for the world, and especially for the little children, would, if he could, keep from those little ones, or from any one, that simple Christ-cure which is provided by divine Love, especially when they remember that our silent cities are peopled with thousands and millions of little children who never heard of Christian Science, who never heard from anyone in their hours of suffering the blessed invitation, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not."
In view of all this, we may be excused when we ask, with the psalmist, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" Christian Science does not come with anything but the greatest blessing and the highest good. It comes in the name of Christ, with healing in its wings. It does not come like a mighty conqueror; like a conquering army whose one and only thought is to conquer, to devastate and destroy. If this were the case, well might the people imagine terrible things; well might they be afraid. If Christian Science came like the sweeping tornado, the consuming conflagration, or some dread and loathsome scourge, if this were the nature of Truth's appearing, as it comes in Christian Science today, then surely the world might tremble; but this is not the nature of Truth's appearing. Christian Science comes today, as Truth has always come, with only the message of peace in its wings. It comes with a healing balm for every one, a restorative for the sick and suffering, a reprieve for the penitent sinner, with joy for the sorrowing and life for the dying. It brings comfort to the mourner and solace to the bereft; it is bread for the poor and supply for the needy; it is a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless. Christian Science has nothing in its teachings or in its practice but the highest good and the greatest blessings for all mankind. It can do good, but it cannot do evil; it can do right, but it cannot do wrong. It has not one element of evil or wrong in its teachings or in its possibilities.
The Ideal Religion
Christian Science is the ideal religion: it includes and comprehends those religious teachings that every one is looking for and that every one should recognize as soon as he sees them practiced by any one. It is a pure and undefiled religion. It teaches the allness of God in its purest and highest signification. It teaches the absolute perfection of God, and consequently the absolute perfection of man; that man, the image and likeness of his Maker, must of necessity be as perfect as his Maker. The effect must always be like the cause. The demands of Christian Science regarding man are precisely the demands of the Master when he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Christian Science is not another religious belief. A mere belief is next to worthless; belief, as the term is applied at the present day, is a very weak word; there is perhaps not another word in the English language that means so little as the term belief. Christian Science is not taught from the standpoint of belief, but from the standpoint of understanding, the same as mathematics is taught. Fancy a person attempting to teach or demonstrate mathematics on the basis of belief! What teacher in mathematics, after solving a problem for a pupil, ever asks him if he believes it? Does he not, rather, ask him if he understands it? Would the student's belief or disbelief change a fact that is logically true and demonstrably correct? What avails it whether we believe that three times seven are twenty-one? If we accept it does that make it true? or if we reject it, does that make it false? Is not a fact still a fact, whether we accept it or whether we reject it?
Are we not each and every one of us humble and helpless before the little simple problem that two and two are four? Can we, by any possible effort on our part, make it any more or less a fact than it already is? Can we, by any possible effort on our part, substantiate a fact that already is a fact? Can you make two and two four? Have you any power to make it any more or less than what it already is? Likewise, in the great scientific fact of being, have we any power to make man any more or less a child of God than he already is? If man is the image and likeness of God, just how would you go to work to make him any more so? Or just how would you go to work to make him any less so? Have we any power vested in ourselves to change eternal facts, or to make them any more or less a fact? Is there anything left to us but to find what already is a fact, and then let it be so? Did you ever think of the little word "Amen," "So be it," or "So let it be"? Are we ready to say in all things, "Thy will, not mine be done."
Deals with Facts and Not Beliefs
Can we change eternal facts, or make them any more a fact than they already are? Are not God and His laws fixed and forever the same? "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." You see Christian Science deals with facts, and not with beliefs; and facts are stubborn things; especially eternal facts.
Finite facts, so called, such as sickness and health, pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, evil and good, are changeable, and therefore are not facts; hence in Christian Science they are called beliefs. Belief is a word that applies only to the mortal and finite, and cannot be used in Science. Even physical science has no use for the term belief; and most emphatically is this true in the absolute Science of being. Christian Science never embarked a statement on the frail hypothesis of belief! There is no belief in Science. Science is based upon divine Principle; the Spirit or Principle of intelligence, God; God is omniscience; and omniscience does not need to believe; it knows.
Along the finite plane; i.e., from the plane of sense testimony, we use the word belief; and some beliefs are better than others; but all fall short of understanding. Beliefs as beliefs, whether good or bad, vanish when understanding appears. It is better to have a belief of health than a belief of sickness, except that a belief of health is more deceiving than a belief of sickness, because we are led to think that it is the true health, when really it is not; for a belief of health can be changed to sickness, as we all know. What is called physical health, which is only a belief of health, is unreliable, while true health, such as Christian Science teaches, is not liable to sickness or disease, because it is based upon eternal law, the law of Life, the Life that is God. This is the true health, and it is perfect and unfailing because it is the law of the perfect and unfailing One. If you are studying this law, you are studying the perfect and the only law of health.
Did you ever think of health as one of the laws of the Lord? Mind you, we do not mean to say that mere physical health, so called, is a law of the Lord; but true health, such as Christian Science teaches, is a perfect and unfailing law of Life, Truth, and Love, and is as reliable and unchangeable as the eternal and unchanging God. God the eternal and ever-living God must have eternal and unfailing health, else He would sicken and die. So health is surely a law of the Lord; and he who studies this law will grow into an understanding of health, into a better, a more perfect state of health, which will be manifested on the body in what is called physical health. Not only will there be manifested a better and more permanent physical health, so called, but there will be a better and more healthful mental state and condition; a spiritual uplifting and regeneration; a stronger desire to do right and be right; to love righteousness and hate iniquity.
Yet, as we said before, if you have not reached this higher health, this health that is born of understanding and demonstration, this health that is the law of the Lord, it is better to have a belief of health than of sickness, of right doing than of wrong doing, of honesty than dishonesty, of kindness than unkindness, of truthfulness than untruthfulness; better to have the thought of morality than immorality; of virtue than of vice, for whatever thought predominates, that thought will show forth in the body, in your deeds, your actions and conditions, and it will, in belief, be the ruling power of your mortal life, for the body acts in obedience to the governing thought.
Every one knows, in a measure at least, that the body responds to the dictation of thought, hence we say it is better to have good beliefs than bad beliefs, better the belief that has an upward tendency than the one that has a downward tendency; so while Christian Science does not teach belief, yet it does not disparage, but rather encourages high and ennobling beliefs. At the same time, it educates up out of belief into understanding; it does not quench the smoking flax, but fans it to a flame.
Christian Science comes to rob the world of no good thing that it has ever known. It teaches that unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the very highest idea of right from the mortal standpoint, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven; and it likewise teaches that unless your health exceed the health of the most healthy, from the physical standpoint, you have not yet found the health that is taught in Christian Science and belongs to the children of God, and this kind of health we must needs find before we can enter the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of harmony.
Christian Science does not teach men to become law-breakers, but law-abiding citizens; it teaches that we must not break the law, but that we must keep it; that "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
One criticism against Christian Science is that it is only a fad, a mushroom theory, a Jonah's gourd that has come up in a night to wither in a day; but Christian Science, far from being a ''snowflake on the river," is planted on the rock, Christ, and will stand forever. It is the Science of Christ, the Science of Life; and though finite sense has seen it not, yet it has forever been and will forever be. Christian Science is not the finite sense of being, which is the false sense of being, but the eternal fact of being; and like the science of numbers, forever stands immutable and unchangeable.
Healed by Reading Textbook
Christian Science has come to stay, and we might as well be getting acquainted with it and see what it is that is demanding so much attention. It will do you no harm to look into it. Hundreds and thousands of desolate homes have been made cheery, bright, and happy, just by looking into Christian Science. Hundreds and thousands of sick and invalid mothers have been given to their families in health and wholeness, just by reading the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy. Hundreds of homes that were once made miserable by a debauched and sin-stricken father and husband, have been made happy just by looking into Christian Science. It has come like an angel of mercy to many a poverty-stricken and drink-blighted home: it has taken the desire for strong drink from many a poor, fallen, and unhappy husband and father, and today happiness and prosperity reign where unhappiness and poverty did much more abound. Not only has the appetite for strong drink been overcome, but the tobacco, opium, and morphine habits have been cured, the poor unfortunates have been made free, absolutely healed of all desire for those things. Christian Science has no elements of destruction in its nature; it does not come to tear down, but to build up; it comes not to rob or to plunder, it comes just as the Christ came of old, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
There are those who find fault with the price of Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science; who say that the price is too great, compared with other books of the same size.
They ignore the fact that the character of the work should be taken into consideration; that it is a textbook, and that textbooks exceed in price the cost of any other book; that the time and study given to compile such a work is great and the sale comparatively small. Besides, you know, you may buy chaff for two cents a cart-load; but if you want wheat, you will have to pay a good price for it.
In most instances, those who question the cost of the book get nothing from it; they keep their sickness, their suffering, their fault-finding, their unkindly feelings, and their necessities. On the other hand, those who study and practice the teachings of this book, in most cases find their health restored, their sufferings eliminated, their hearts enlarged, their love for their fellowmen broadened; they have a more elevated idea of God and man, they find their wants supplied, their business capacities enlarged, and many other comforts and blessings are added unto them.
Textbook an Education
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science, is a library in itself, and a comprehensive and extended study of it leads one into the avenues and along the lines of the highest and best. It is a true educator, because it is broadening and enlarging in its scope and tendency. It heals sickness, destroys sin, dethrones bad habits; it overcomes vice, villainy, hatred, and immorality, and leads out of and above all evil tendencies; it is elevating, edifying, enlarging, and refining in its teachings.
No one can come in touch with Christian Science teaching without feeling its beneficial effects, its educating and uplifting influences. It educates out of the common superstitious religious beliefs of a corporeal deity, a personal devil; a place called heaven and another called hell; out of the superstitious belief of such things as foreordination and eternal punishment for the children of God. It brings mankind into an understanding of Truth and true being; into a more perfect understanding of God and man, a more conscious companionship with God the Father, a more exalted and a more sacred nearness to Christ our Saviour. It develops a deeper, broader, and higher love for our neighbor; a more tender regard for the lower animals, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and even the creeping things of the earth; for plant life, and all creation.
As the old Grecian mythology has gone out under the advancing steps of knowledge and education; as the belief in fairies, ghosts, and goblins all supernatural beings is disappearing under the proof and demonstration of their non-existence; as the emancipation from slavery has been effected by educating out of that wrong into a better, a more Christlike, a more humane way, and as the religion of pagan Rome has died out under the governing and controlling power of Christ's kingdom on earth, in like manner all superstitious beliefs of a corporeal deity, a vengeful god, a personal devil, a place called hell and another place called heaven, with all the superstitious beliefs growing out of these vagaries, together with all sickness and all disease, all sorrow and sighing, sinning and dying, all these false beliefs will be overcome, cast out, and eternally obliterated by the advancing steps of a higher education, the more perfect understanding of Truth and true being that has come to the world in the name of Christian Science. In their place will be found health, harmony, "on earth peace, good will toward men;" the burning fires of hell as a place of torment only a superstitious personified picture of mortal sense, made out of the same material as the old Grecian gods of mythology will sink into the same utter nothingness; and that heavenly city, on some far-away shore, in some unknown and unknowable locality, will give way to the higher understanding of the teachings of Christ, the kingdom of heaven within, for the kingdom of God is not a place, but a state or condition; the reign of harmony, the government of divine Science; the absolute law of right.
No Mesmerism in Science
Some of those who think themselves averse to Christian Science, but who are only averse to their own beliefs of it, are saying the day of miracles is past; and so it is, but not in the sense in which they speak. To the Christian Scientist those demonstrations of Jesus and the apostles which the world calls miracles or wonders are manifestations of divine Principle, not yet wholly understood, but now brought to light in Christian Science and being performed by all who understand the law and who are striving to live the Christ life ''in spirit and in truth."
One of the charges brought against Christian Science is that it can do evil as well as good, and this might be so if it were the human mind that is used in Christian Science work; but that is the very thing which Christian Science is ruling out. No one ever thinks of bringing any mesmeric or hypnotic or magnetic influence to bear in the study of the science of numbers; he studies and practices mathematics understandingly. Likewise Christian Scientists do not use magnetic or mesmeric or hypnotic influence in the study and practice of the Science of being; even in their silent treatments they bring no such power as that to bear, they deal with the subject understandingly.
Fancy a person attempting to teach or practice mathematics without an understanding of it. While he might say some things that were true, yet they would carry no weight, because he has no understanding of his subject. Christian Scientists in their study, practice, and teaching of Christian Science, deal with the subject understandingly, and this naturally and necessarily rules out any and all hypnotic or mesmeric influence.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, the textbook of Christian Science, from cover to cover teaches that the human mind, so called, cannot heal the sick; that the human mind causes sickness, and therefore cannot heal it. The whole burden of its teaching, from first to last, is that sickness, evil, sin all discord of whatever sort is never really healed except through the divine Mind, the Mind of God, the Mind that was in Christ Jesus; and that Mind is not capable of doing evil, for it has no properties of evil to dispense, because it is the Mind of God, the "Spirit of truth" itself.
Science and Health teaches that God never did an evil thing, never could do an evil thing: that He is capable of all good, but not capable of evil. It not only teaches that He is not capable of doing evil, but that He is not capable of producing evil; that He produces all good, but cannot produce evil, for if He were the producer of evil, then He must be the source of evil, which would certainly be the evil spirit himself.
The Study of Genesis
Christian Scientists believe in the Bible. You believe in the Bible; i.e., you believe that the Bible teaches the truth. You have read the first chapter of Genesis. No doubt you all have read that chapter many, many times; but did you ever make a study of it, to the end that you wanted to find out just what things were made and what were not made, just what things God produced and what He did not produce? You will find a complete list there of all the things that God made; and His work was finished, so nothing was made after that. Did you ever notice that there is no sickness, no sin, no evil, and no death listed there?
When God made man, He just made plain, common-sense man; "male and female created he them,'' "in His own image, in the image of God created he him." He did not attach a long list of diseases to man. He put not even a suggestion of sickness, sin, or death, or any human ill upon him; He just made good, plain, honest, straightforward man. God did not consider any of those things essential to the welfare and comfort of the man whom He made. If He had, He most surely would have made them for him and given them to him. Neither did God make any medicine for man. He did not say, I have put medicinal properties and qualities into the plants, the minerals, and the insects. He neither made sickness, nor medicine to heal sickness. His creation had no use for either of them.
The best remedy for any disease is not to have the disease. Would any of you think it the part of wisdom to make something you knew was not fit to exist, and then have to make something else to destroy it? Do you not deem God's wisdom at least equal to that of mortal man? You see Christian Science takes a reasonable, common-sense view of things; there is nothing unreasonable, or overdrawn or far-fetched about Christian Science.
Christian Science is the Comforter because it answers all questions and solves all problems; it brings comfort, because when your questions are answered it brings rest. You are not worrying and fretting with beliefs and speculations, wondering whether this be true or if that be true, or whether anything is true, or what is the truth anyway; you are comforted, you are at rest. Christian Scientists are noted for their happy faces and satisfied looks and actions, and this is remarked even by those who decry what they think is Christian Science. The secret is that they have found the Comforter: their questions are answered and they are at peace. From the fact that they have been able to demonstrate this in a small way, they see the grand possibilities before them of a final and complete triumph the inheritance of all things. Christian Science is not a belief, it is not speculation, it is not founded upon hypotheses; it is based upon the eternal God, the divine Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love. It is the eternal fact of being, and woman has brought it to the world.
Womans Work and Womans Hour
Yes, woman gave Christian Science to the world; and this is a pretext that is being brought forward as a reason for not accepting Christian Science, a woman is at the head of the movement.
You remember the Master said on one occasion, "Whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." What Christ meant was, that they were determined to find fault anyway: and if it were not one thing, it would be another. They found fault with John because he did not eat, and they found fault with the Master because he did eat. Those who find fault with Christian Science because a woman brought it, would be just as ready to find fault with it if a man had brought it.
Christian Science has come to the world, and from the very nature of its being must destroy the serpent of material sense; and a woman must bring it, because the seed of the woman, you will remember, was to bruise the serpent's head. Christian Science is here and a woman brought it. It is doing its work, and it will continue to do its work until that work is done; and woman will stand by it until the end, for none but the woman thought has love enough to defy the seeming powers of mortal sense and brave the fury of the spirit of darkness, to risk all for the sake of Christ, Truth, and His kingdom to come, and His will to be done "in earth, as it is in heaven."
Yes, woman brought Christian Science to the world; and it is the power of God unto salvation, to all them that understand. It is the grand truth of being that has come to rid the world of error, and it was found of her by communing with the most High God. I thank God every day that one was found who had the moral courage to open the seven seals of error with truth; who, when she found the truth, had the moral courage to stand up in the face of a sin-drunken world and proclaim that truth which will liberate the world from the misery of its own debauch, from the chains of its own forging, from the pains and death of its own false conception, from the grave of its own digging and the hell of its own device.
If this is woman's hour, then who shall stop it? Who will dare to come forward and say it shall not be? Who will dare to say the time has not come when omnipotent Love shall stretch forth His right hand over the seething, surging sea of mortal sense, sickness, pain, and death, of sin and iniquity, of human woe and dread calamity, and shall say, It shall be no longer? If God's hand rests upon this hour, then let no mortal presume to say what shall or shall not be.
If this is woman's work and this is woman's hour, if infinite wisdom has entrusted her with this grandest charge of heaven, the bringing into and establishing in the world the divine Science of being that is destined to revolutionize the world and bring about that glorious day when all shall dwell together, one shepherd and one fold, then surely we who proverbially are of the stronger sex, instead of standing on our dignity ought to feel that certain degree of humility which will make us willing subjects, helpers, and auxiliaries in the grand work she has to do and which she is so nobly and faithfully performing.
Love Works Gently and Kindly
Christian Science is in our midst, and is destined to revolutionize the world, physically, scientifically, morally, mentally, religiously, and spiritually; but for the comfort of those who are not yet ready to take it up and make it their study and their life, and right here let me say I would not advise any one to do so until he himself is ready to take such a step, for the comfort of such, let me say that although Christian Science is destined to revolutionize the world, from every possible standpoint and to all extents, yet you need not be afraid; it will not do it all this year, nor yet this century, in fact, it may take centuries to accomplish this mighty task, so no one need be afraid his vocation will be injured.
When Love works a revolution it is done so gently and so kindly and so lovingly that the world hardly knows it is being done. The ministers in each of the several denominations will fill their places and have their followers just as long as they wish to preach their doctrine, and the people of each denomination will find some one to preach to them just as long as they want to hear it. The medical practitioner will find plenty of practice just as long as he wants to practice his profession, and those who desire the medical help will find physicians to attend to their cases. The druggist will find plenty to sell drugs to, as long as he wants to sell drugs, and those who wish drugs will always have a druggist to go to as long as they want drugs.
Christian Scientists do not go out on a crusade to break open saloons, drag out whisky barrels and smash them open in the streets. Christian Science works no such change as that. When the untamed mortal thought works a revolution, the "kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force;" but Christian Science is the Science of Christ, the Science of Love, and works no devastating changes in the world. It comes not to hurt or to harm; each and all can go on with his profession or vocation, so long as the world considers it legitimate, until he gives it up of his own volition.
Christian Scientists have no quarrel with the physicians. As a class they are a noble, self-sacrificing band of workers, doing all that they know how to promote the general welfare of mankind, working and studying sedulously and unceasingly to discover ways and means by which they may help their fellowmen and allay the suffering in the world today. Some day they will know better what Christian Science is; that its primal object and only mission is not merely the healing of the sick; that while it comes to bless mankind in every way, it must of necessity have healing in its message. Then will they bless the Science of Truth and of true being, that comes to do for them and for the world what they have been laboring so earnestly and faithfully to accomplish.
Christian Science comes not to hurt, but to heal; it will not hurt or harm any one, but will heal every one, for every one and every thing has some malady, some evil condition or habit that Christian Science can heal. It comes with no elements of destruction in its nature; it comes only with healing in its wings. There will be no harm done if Christian Science is left to itself; it has never yet been found guilty of any of the charges that have been brought against it. It has stood the test of every accusation, and has come off more than conqueror in every trial; and so long as Christian Scientists adhere strictly to the teachings of absolute Christian Science, they can do no harm, they can only do good.
Christian Science heals of insanity, but never causes it. Thousands go insane on account of a lack of Christian Science, but never because of Christian Science. Suppose you become converted to a belief in Christianity, and being very conscientious, you wish to live a purely Christian life; but finding you are unable to come up to the standard you have made for yourself, you are seized with the idea that you are numbered among those who are predestined to eternal damnation. Under this appalling belief you are fast becoming mentally unbalanced, when Christian Science comes to your rescue, and you are not only healed of your mental derangement, but the dark foreboding of even the possibility of such a thing as eternal damnation much less a predestination thereto is lifted from your mental horizon. You then become a devoted follower of Christ in understanding and demonstration.
Christian Scientists are sometimes thought fanatical; but this does not disturb them, when they remember that it was often said of the Master that he had a devil. It is a generally conceded fact that the insane think every one else crazy; and the well-established crank always thinks it is the other fellow who has wheels.
Our Leaders Great Work
The Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the
Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and the author of ''Science and
Health with Key to the Scriptures" (which book, coupled with the Bible, is
the only recognized textbook of Christian Science), is doing a work that few
others would be able to do or are capable of doing, for she has the general
oversight and charge of the entire Christian Science work, which has now not
only spread all over the United States and Canada, but is rapidly spreading
over Europe. It has also found its way into
Churches have been and are being
built all over this country, and also in Europe, and these churches are filled
every Sunday morning and every Wednesday evening with people who are, as a
rule, well balanced; they are not all crazy, at least they are all at large
yet. These church buildings, as one has aptly remarked, are conspicuous in that
they lack the usual legal plaster of such edifices, alias a mortgage.
The Mother Church is a striking illustration. At the Annual Meeting in
These conditions do not indicate that Christian Science is on the wane, as critics have sometimes tried to affirm: on the contrary, numbers are increasing surprisingly, in the geometrical ratio of ten for every one: that is, every one who comes, brings ten. Instead of there being a great dearth of men among all these people, investigation proves a greater percentage of men in Christian Science ranks than in almost any other denomination; and this is because men are finding it practical, not only for their health, but also in their business life, their financial affairs, their family and social relations, their happiness, and their spiritual and eternal welfare.
As time goes on and Christian Science continues to advance its standing in the world, and it is seen what a wonderful delivery has come to mankind, the name of Mary Baker G. Eddy will stand out like a star of the greatest magnitude. She will be honored and renowned as the greatest philanthropist and the greatest deliverer the world has ever known, save him who, heralded by the heavenly hosts, brought "on earth peace, good will toward men."
Now sweeping down the years untold,
The day of Truth is breaking;
And sweet and fair the leaves unfold,
Of Love's immortal waking.
For flower and fruitage now are seen,
Where blight and mildew rested;
The Christ to-day to us has been
By word and deed attested.
His living presence we have felt,
The "Word made flesh" among us;
And hearts of stone before him melt
His peace is brooding o'er us.
With love and peace and joy supreme,
We hail the new appearing;
From out the darkness and the dream,
The hav'n of rest is nearing.
For God is all; and Christ the way
Earth's meek and bold defender
Has cleft the night, and lo, the day
Bursts forth in mighty splendor.
[Published in pamphlet form by The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1908.]