Scientific Christian Healing
Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts
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 "Scientific Christian Healing" was delivered January 3, 1939, by Professor Herman S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Brooklyn, New York.
Professor Hering, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, spoke substantially as follows:
There is probably no question of such general interest to mankind as the one of healing — the healing of sin, sorrow, suffering, sickness — the attainment of health, harmony, success and peace. When we look about us and see the prevalent misery and wretchedness, it is very evident that the whole world is in need of healing, and that there is a great demand for some better means of healing the ills of the world, including both sin and disease, than is in general use today.
The Gospels tell us of marvelous healing done, by Christ Jesus and his followers. Many instances of the healing of physical disease are recorded. He restored a withered hand; he healed a cripple and a man born blind; he healed cases of paralysis, leprosy, dropsy, hemorrhage, epilepsy, violent insanity, and raised the dead; although these modern terms are not always used in the Bible.
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those, which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them." (St. Matt. 4:23, 24.)
"And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (St. Matt. 8:2,3).
Furthermore, he specifically commanded his disciples that they should continue the healing work, counseling them:
"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give" (St. Matt. 10:7,8).
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." (St. John 14: 12, 13.)
In connection with their missionary work Peter, Philip, Paul, and other Christian followers healed many diseases, including paralysis, lameness, deformity, insanity and even raised the dead. Indeed, healing was very generally practiced among the early Christians for about three centuries.
Does this not show that Christ Jesus set the standard of perfect healing before humanity, and, for all time? Why, then, do we seek any other? Is there a better one?
Jesus' Teachings Not Understood
Many have always believed these teachings and works, but have not understood them, much less thought to attempt repeating them. They have accepted the Bible in theory, but have not apprehended practically much of its inspiring truth. Yet even a partial recognition of the demands made by our Master's teachings upon our life and conduct, reveals the supreme importance of these teachings, and their redemptive greatness. Hence, the following questions must appeal to all thoughtful Christians: Is it possible for Jesus' teachings to be obeyed today? Are they true or not? If not true, what is the basis of Christianity? If true, why are not their healing demands fulfilled? May it not be because they are not understood?
Believers in the Bible cannot ignore the fact that spiritual healing was accomplished during Jesus' time by himself and by his disciples, and for several centuries by his followers. Admitting that this healing occurred, it is evident that it must have been effected through the operation of some law, and that there must have been Principle and Science back of it. Moreover, it is very evident that if this divine Principle and spiritual Science were known and applied today as they were then, the same healing results would follow.
Non-believers in the Bible and in what are called miracles are confronted with the fact that this healing is in great measure taking place today, in their very midst and through purely spiritual means — which fact can be determined by any sincere investigator. If they deny the availability of spiritual power this is because they do not understand spiritual law and the Principle which operates in Christian healing.
Let us then consider the divine Science on which Christian healing rests, the Principle and rule by which it operates, consider how these may be applied today, and thus comprehend the nature of scientific Christian healing.
First, it is important to recognize the fact that Christian Science is a discovery, not an invention, a formulated theory or human opinion; it is the discovery of Truth. This discovery was made by Mary Baker Eddy in the year 1866, and stated in her textbook "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" which she published in 1875.
Then reviewing our definitions we find that divine Principle is the basis of all true law; that the term "Science," coming from the Latin root "Scientia" meaning knowledge or knowing, is the term now generally understood to mean exact, definite, demonstrable, systemized knowledge of facts, laws, causes, and so on. Also that "Christian" means pertaining to the Christ, the Christ teachings; that "Christian healing" means the healing which is accomplished through the Christ teachings — the Christ, Truth. So scientific Christian healing means the healing which is accomplished through the exact, definite, demonstrable knowledge of the Christ, Truth, and the application of its law, which makes Christian healing possible to one and all today. This scientific Christian healing will be shown to be Christian Science healing.
Healing Accomplished Spiritually
At the outset we should recognize the fact that a careful study of the gospel records shows that Christian healing was effected through spiritual and not material means. Therefore, it can be explained, understood and practiced only spiritually. This is a point which should be clearly seen, for there are many who disbelieve in primitive Christian healing as well as in the healing accomplished through Christian Science, because such healing cannot be explained on the basis of physical or medical science. These opposite methods have nothing in common, and even as astronomical things must be astronomically discerned, so it is manifest that spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.
Since this healing is accomplished spiritually, no other means being used, it can be discerned and demonstrated only on a spiritual basis, which means a metaphysical basis, a basis beyond physics, and therefore apart from matter. Here is where the trouble lies, for it is very difficult for most of us to see how physical results can be obtained through spiritual means. To the materially minded, matter and material law appear to be supreme and they have little belief in any power beyond physics, or apart from matter. Still less do they understand it.
Metaphysical or spiritual power is thought of as belonging to the supernatural which many people reject, associating it as they do with mysticism and superstition. Failing to understand how a mental effort can bring about physical change they do not believe in the efficacy of prayer. They either deny the spiritual healing of the early church or else declare it to have been a mere phenomenal exhibition of divine or superhuman power. Therefore they make little effort to relate spiritual power to present human needs.
One reason for this difficulty is the failure to apprehend the relationship between the world of thought and the world of phenomena. This is due mainly to the prevailing belief in what is called matter, which is conceded to be the greatest stumbling block to an understanding of Christian healing and in fact to acceptance of the Bible itself. Let us then consider this question, though very briefly, with the hope of overcoming this stumbling block; and let us do so, first of all, from the viewpoint of common human knowledge.
Nature of Matter
Most of us have been educated to believe that there is a creative, governing, controlling power or influence called force, and that there is, in addition, a substance called matter, in which this force seems to inhere and through which it seems to act. Further, we have been taught, that this matter is an indestructible stuff, substance or entity, separate and apart from force or energy.
Recent research and discovery in the physical sciences, however, have rendered this view untenable, and matter is now regarded as something quite different from what it was formerly believed to be.
The unit of matter, called the atom, which was once supposed to be the smallest possible division of matter substance, is now affirmed by physicists to be composed wholly of infinitesimal particles of electrical energy, positive and negative charges of electricity called protons and electrons. It is thus disclosed that this atom, the basis of physical substance so-called, is a manifestation of force. Consequently atomic aggregation, or what is called material structure and growth, is an aggregation of energy or active force and not matter stuff at all.
To illustrate: If we take any material object and, by means of mechanical and chemical processes, reduce it to its ultimate theoretical limits, we first of all destroy what seems to be the object; next we destroy the residue of organized matter, reducing it to molecules, then to atoms. Then, if we separate the atoms into their constituent electrons and protons there remains of our material object nothing but a form of energy, that is to say, a theoretical manifestation of force, in which every vestige of the characteristics of matter stuff and of the original object has completely disappeared! What may be the nature and history of a separated, freed electron or proton, or a still more modern "neutron," is something for the physicist to puzzle over; and he is puzzling over it because the solution is not to be found in physics but in metaphysics.
From the physical standpoint, matter is thus seen to be the appearance, externalization or projection of force or energy, and consequently what we touch, hear, see, smell or taste, is in fact, force. To illustrate: What we touch or feel is a form of pressure which is force; what we hear is the vibration called sound, which is force; what we see is the vibration called light, which is force; what we smell and taste is a form of chemical energy or vibration, which is force. Thus matter is solely a manifestation of force; and not what it has been supposed to be. Physics does not yet know what force itself is, it being still an enigma in what is termed the physical realm.
The mathematical analysis of matter is interesting. We are accustomed to think of the size of an object in terms of its length, breadth, and thickness, but recent mathematical discoveries show that velocity, or the speed at which an object moves, is a factor in its size and thus is a fourth dimension. Let us see the point of especial interest to us in connection with this discussion concerning the nature of matter. Suppose we take a brick and move it. According to this mathematical discovery, the dimension of the brick in the direction in which it is moved, becomes smaller as the velocity becomes greater. In other words, the faster the brick is moved, the thinner it becomes. When finally the velocity of light is attained — (theoretically, of course) which is approximately 186,000 miles a second — then this dimension becomes zero, in other words, the thickness disappears. What then is the substance of that brick?
This mathematical discovery, therefore, proved definitely the conceptual, indeed, the unreal nature of matter. So from discoveries and researches in physics, chemistry, electricity, mathematics, psychology and philosophy, indeed from the basis of common knowledge, we see there is no such thing as matter stuff, or material substance.
Nature of Existence
So also from the viewpoint of materialistic philosophy and psychology, the mental faculties which we call sight, hearing, and the rest are also but different forms of vibration or force, which we have been educated from infancy to interpret, to objectify, to call by names. Actually, however, it is not matter or an object which either cognizes or is cognized, for everything is but a mental phenomenon experienced in consciousness. So we never feel, hear, see, smell, or taste matter or objects, we simply experience sense impressions.
We are, therefore, conscious of existence mentally and the things we are conscious of are mental impressions objectified — sense phenomena. Thus existence, together with all its activities, appearances and phenomena, is in fact wholly mental. Christ Jesus assuredly proved the mental nature of matter and existence when he walked on the water, stilled the tempest, multiplied the loaves and fishes, appeared to his disciples through closed doors, healed the sick, raised the dead and overcame other so-called material conditions. On what other possible basis could these experiences be explained, understood and demonstrated?
When we concede the mental nature of human existence, we take one of the first steps in the understanding and practice of Christian healing, and surmount one of the greatest stumbling blocks to harmony. For then we can see that whatever enters our existence; enters it mentally, as a state of consciousness. Consequently disease, disaster and death are but experiences in human consciousness. What else can they be? Where else can they be?
The consciousness which has a finite dimensional concept of existence, and cognizes materiality, evil and discord, St. Paul called the "carnal mind," which he said, "is enmity against God" — in other words is God's opposite. Since sin, disease and death are the carnal mind's products, Mrs. Eddy further defines it as "mortal mind," thus distinguishing it from the immortal divine Mind. She also solves the enigma of the nature of force when she says "Physical force and mortal mind are one" (Science and Health, page 484), thereby showing that all that appears to be physical or material is wholly mental.
Mental Changes Required
Thus we see that matter is wholly mental and that all discordant conditions of whatever name and nature exist solely as phenomena or experiences of the carnal, mortal mind; in other words, that the discords are only states of mortal consciousness. Therefore what are termed physical discords, are wholly mental, and not only can, but must be dealt with mentally. Hence, in order that they may be healed, it is very evident that a change must be brought about in the human consciousness, a transformation by the renewing of the mind, as St. Paul puts it. How can this be done? Mentally, of course.
The phrase "human consciousness" is frequently used by Mrs. Eddy to describe that quality of consciousness which can begin to know divine Truth, and through which the real can reach the unreal. It is a kind of clearing house where Truth can be known, error can be corrected, and harmony can be established.
Human consciousness may be termed a transitional stage of experience in which transformation takes place, through the renewal of the mind. The term "imperfect" consciousness may be said to describe the human need to which the saving Christ comes, destroying erroneous belief and renewing thought with the mind of Christ. Eventually this imperfect consciousness will be so transformed that all error will be destroyed and the perfect, wholly spiritual, harmonious nature of the real man be cognized. Thus the human thought of the suffering mortal is changed, corrected, and healing takes place. In defining "Christ" Mrs. Eddy writes: "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (S. & H., 583). Christian Science makes plain the fact that the many and varied phases of belief in truth and error, are not minds many, but merely conditions and stages of human consciousness.
It is of great importance to see that material existence is, in fact, wholly mental. We have all believed this in a degree because we know that we are conscious of existence mentally. Is not the awareness that we exist, wholly mental? Is not that awareness a form of consciousness? Does not everything enter our lives mentally as thought? How else could it appear in experience?
When we see that matter is wholly mental, we can more readily understand that our existence in its entirety is mental — that all that we experience resolves itself into a question of consciousness. From this it follows that changes, corrections, healing, must occur in consciousness through some action of thought.
In a way we have always known this without perhaps realizing it. For example: suppose we get a bill that has a mistake in it. What is that mistake? Is it the paper, the pencil, the ink, or the figures? No, it is none of these, not even the figures, because, if the figures had been used rightly, there would not have been any mistake. A mistake is wrongness, incorrectness, a false statement, and so it is wholly mental. Then the truth with which to correct it is also mental. Are not rightness, correctness, verity, and so on, wholly mental? So we have always corrected mental mistakes with mental truth. In a way, therefore, without knowing it, we have been practicing mental healing by correcting a wrong thought with a right thought.
We are also familiar with these experiences: suppose, there is discord in the kitchen due to a favorite dish having been spoiled. Or, suppose a discord occurs in the sewing room, due to the work not having been properly done. Or, again, suppose there is discord in the bookkeeping department, in the production department, in the factory — all these discords are admittedly mistakes. In every instance, something was done that should not have been done or something was not done that should have been done. These discords are all recognized as mistakes and the effort is made to find the correct rule, method, process or truth with which to correct them, and thus restore harmony.
We all know of many other discords that are admittedly mistakes. Now that we can see that existence is wholly mental, wholly a state of consciousness, we can see that discordant conditions of whatever name and nature — be they bodily, mental, moral, domestic, social, financial, or pertaining to business — are all mistakes. We can see that in every instance something was done that should not have been done or something was not done that should have been done. If we can find the truth which will correct these mistakes, then it is evident that we can establish harmony in place of discord.
Before searching for that truth, let us again be clear on the nature of mistakes; First, mistakes are wholly mental. Second, mistakes are always unreal because they are not true. If they were true, they would not be mistakes. Third, there is a truth back of every mistake; scientifically, a mistake, a misunderstanding, is always about a truth — not about an error. For example a schoolboy's belief that two and two make five is a mistake not about two and two making seven but about two and two making four. It is helpful sometimes to use the term "mistake" instead of its synonym "error," because we all know what a "mistake" is but we do not all know what "error" is. Let us then consider what this needed truth is, that we may be able to correct mistakes and to distinguish between what is real and what is unreal.
Truth is defined as that which is true, that which is actual being, that which is all, and includes all verity. Thus truth is actuality, that which constitutes real being as distinguished from phenomenal being. Indeed, truth is defined as reality. From this it follows that Truth is everywhere; without boundary or limit, and therefore is infinite.
Being infinite, Truth includes all perfection; it is complete and absolute. It is omnipotence, almightiness, having the quality of being infinitely powerful. It is omnipresence, infinite presence, having the quality of being everywhere present at the same time. For example, two and two make four everywhere. Truth is omniscience, all knowing, having the quality of infinite knowledge; it is indestructibility, eternality, having the quality of perfectness. The fact that two and two make four can never be destroyed, it is indestructible.
This infinite Truth is absolute, fundamental; self-existent, harmonious and perfect, the source, substance and law, of all real being. Thus Truth is identified in Christian Science as Spirit, the indestructible substance; as Mind, the infinite consciousness; as Soul, including all spiritual identity and individuality; as Life, the creating and immortal sustaining power of all activity and continuity; as the supreme Ego, the great I AM, the Being who was and is and ever shall be; and thus the one infinite and only true God; the God of Truth, as the Bible declares, whom St. John defines as Love, saying, "God is love." This is the God of Christian Science, as revealed to Mrs. Eddy; this is the God who is the basis of all Christian Science teaching, thinking, analysis, prayer, healing and demonstration.
Now we can understand real existence — namely that the universe created and forever sustained by God, and which is like its Creator since like begets like, is not physical nor material, but mental and spiritual. We can also understand that man, as defined in the first chapter of Genesis, is not a corporeal being but is spiritual consciousness, the immortal, perfect idea of infinite, divine Mind, the manifestation of perfect, divine Love.
Uncovering of Error
We can now begin to see that this infinite, absolute, divine Truth includes perfect God, perfect man, perfect being, and that, because it is infinite, it is everywhere and all powerful. Consequently, this is the divine Truth about which all human mistakes are made; the Truth that is misstated, falsely presented, erroneously conceived, wrongly understood, in fact, the Truth which is counterfeited. This is the Truth, therefore, which will correct every human mistake and thereby destroy all human discord and establish harmony.
Thus we can see that all reality, every expression of the divine activity, is infinite, indestructible, unchanging, perfect, harmonious, spiritual. Consequently, whatever has not these qualities is no part of Truth, is not real. Hence, matter, mortal mind and all the phenomena of material sense, being unlike divine reality, are unreal. On this basis of infinite Truth we are enabled to distinguish at any time between what is absolute, immortal, real; and what is relative, mortal, unreal.
In the treasury department of various governments, inspectors are taught the nature of genuine currency so that they may detect counterfeits, and they do. Similarly Christian Science equips us with an understanding of genuine being, the real God, the real man, the real universe, so that we can detect counterfeits.
The understanding of infinite, divine Truth is a sort of metaphysical or scientific yardstick, meter stick, measure or standard by means of which we can test every symptom, condition, suggestion, argument, or experience that may attempt to enter our thought, and determine whether it measures up to this revealed Truth, and thus whether it is real or not. We can now tell at any time whether or not anything comes from God, and if it does not, then it must come from God's opposite, and we can know how to deal with it.
Truth and Error Distinguished
Rightly apprehending the distinction between the real and the unreal, we are in a position to grasp the fact that all discord, disease, disaster and death are the products of false sense, and we are to be freed from them, as Jesus said, by knowing the truth. We certainly cannot be healed spiritually so long as these false products are believed. We cannot correct a mistake until it is recognized as such. Christian healing cannot be scientifically or successfully achieved until we distinguish clearly between the real and the unreal.
The Christian Scientist recognizes and knows the unreality of the appearance called a sick man, as well as of any other discord, in precisely the same way as a mathematician knows that two times two do not make five, even though he sees it written out; for regardless of the appearance, he knows they make four. It is his business to know this as a mathematician. So the Christian Scientist knows that there is really no sick man to be healed, but merely an erroneous concept or state of consciousness to be corrected; and it is his business to know this as a Christian Scientist, in obedience to Jesus' command: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment," which means the judgment of Truth. Christian Science makes it possible for us to begin to do this, and we have never before been able to do so; for until Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, we did not know the nature of the divine reality, nor of the human unreality, that we might differentiate accurately between actuality and appearance. Christian Scientists are frequently criticized for not believing all they see. They know better, even as the astronomer, who does not believe in all celestial appearances, knows better, because his true knowing corrects his physical sense impressions.
Truth cannot be perceived through the five physical senses. Truth is discerned only through the understanding, which is a faculty entirely apart from physical sense. To illustrate: We do not see the truth of a mathematical problem through the sense of sight or by merely looking at the figures before us. The truth lies back of the figures, and is discernible only through mathematical understanding. So, too, the real God, the real man, the real universe are perceived only through spiritual understanding. This understanding, the perception and apprehension of divine Truth, Christian Science has made possible to all.
Healing by Right Mental Action
Since Christian healing is accomplished through a transformation, or change of consciousness, it must be done mentally and must require some action of thought. Therefore, we need to consider what thinking is, in order that we may think aright, for we know that a wrong belief cannot be corrected with a wrong thought. Truth alone corrects error, and we must learn to think truth if we wish to heal spiritually, for God is Truth and is Spirit, hence Truth is Spirit and only spiritual thinking is true.
All will admit that thinking is the exercise of intelligence, and that real knowing is the activity of real Mind. Real Mind, as we have seen, is the divine consciousness, the infinite intelligence or Truth. Therefore, real thinking is the activity of divine Truth in consciousness, the activity involved in being conscious of the Truth, in other words, in knowing the Truth; consequently real thinking is right knowing, the knowing of Truth. Obviously we can know only Truth, we can never actually know error. For example: We can never know that two times two make five, because they do not; we can only believe that they do. Thus we can never know anything that is wrong, evil or material, we can never know sin, disease, death; we can only believe them.
This knowing of Truth is the activity of real consciousness, the consciousness of the real man, God's man; it is communion with our heavenly Father-Mother God, infinite Love. This knowing is true Christian prayer — "Not my will, but thine, be done" — the almost constant prayer of the Christian Scientist. Such prayer in His name is answered in healing the sick, reforming the sinner and supplying all legitimate human needs. As physical darkness disappears when light is brought to bear upon it, so the mental darkness of despair, disease and death disappears when the light of the Christ, Truth, "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," (St. John 1:9), is brought to bear upon it by being reflected in the individual consciousness through right, spiritual knowing.
A Necessary Discrimination
This scientific Christian healing is Christian Science healing and involves the knowing of spiritual Truth, the recognition of material error as error, and the application to the error of the specific, antidoting, divine Truth which corrects and heals. Therefore this healing is not hypnotism, not mental suggestion, not the mere influence of one human mind over another.
Jesus said: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free;" for by knowing the truth we reflect Truth and its action leavens our thought. This definitely distinguishes Christian Science healing from hypnotism, magnetism, occultism, or mental suggestion in any form. The mental manipulator endeavors to secure control of the patient's mentality, to dominate it and superimpose upon it or inject into it his own thought, will, purpose or desire, be this good or evil, right or wrong. This shows the great danger of such methods. Whereas the Christian Scientist, knowing the nature of God and the real man to be spiritual and perfect, recognizes the diseased and sinful conditions as false, mesmeric states of consciousness; and he applies as the healing remedy his understanding of divine Truth and Love. This remedy is always safe and can never injure, for divine Truth and Love can only bless. Surely this infinite Love is adequate, is intelligent enough, loving enough and powerful enough to supply all our needs; we have but to know divine Love in order to reflect it.
Healing of Sin
Christian Science heals sin in the same manner that it heals sickness; by knowing the truth of perfect God and perfect man and thereby recognizing the fact (1) that evil is the opposite of good, the absence of good, and thus a negative condition without Principle or power; (2) that it is no part of God's creation since in the infinity of good there can be and is no place for evil; (3) that evil is a lie, "a liar, and the father of it," as Jesus termed it; consequently it exists in human consciousness only as a false belief about good. When Christian Science reaches the consciousness of the sinner, it shows him the deceptive character of evil, and awakens him from the mesmeric dream of bondage which has hitherto held him. He is thus set free and evil no longer appeals to him. He ceases indulging in it because the desire for it has been destroyed by the presence and power of the Christ, Truth, the only healer of sin. When he is healed, the sinner does not lose anything except an illusion. He gains what is worthwhile, real manhood, "the liberty of the children of God," the joys of Spirit, without which, there is no real satisfaction.
The essential difference between the healing of sin and of disease is clearly stated by Mrs. Eddy when she says "To prove scientifically the error or unreality of sin, you must first see the claim of sin, and then destroy it. Whereas, to prove scientifically the error or unreality of disease, you must mentally unsee the disease; then you will not feel it, and it is destroyed" (Science and Health, page 461). Also "Usually to admit that you are sick, renders your case less curable, while to recognize your sin, aids in destroying it" (ibid).
Mary Baker Eddy
The love and gratitude which Christian Scientists feel toward Mrs. Eddy is not to be wondered at when one takes into account the great good which has come into their lives as the result of her teachings. People are grateful to one who has helped them out of a serious difficulty, supplied some great need or rescued them from some disaster. How much more grateful would they naturally be to one who has made it possible for them to be healed of so-called incurable disease, hopeless sorrow, the bondage of degrading sin, and of agnosticism and atheism, by revealing to them the naturalness, simplicity and truth of the Bible teachings and the possibility of their fulfillment.
I had the great privilege to be in close personal association with Mrs. Eddy for several years. I found her to be a woman of unusually fine character, whose heart was filled with love for all mankind, including those who persecuted her for righteousness' sake. She was a genuine and very spiritually minded Christian, filled with love for God and for the teachings of Christ Jesus. She possessed a high degree of metaphysical understanding and spiritual power, which fitted her to meet successfully the great demands of her high mission.
The whole world is indebted to Mrs. Eddy for her scientific and spiritual interpretation of the Bible, especially the words and works of the Master, and for her demonstration of the truth of his teaching. In the face of the so-called higher criticism, the doubt respecting the correctness of much Scriptural teaching and the denial of the possibility of obeying Christ Jesus' commands, Mrs. Eddy's proof that the Bible is true stands out as one of the greatest, most significant achievements of this age, for thereby the truth of Christianity and the rightness of its basis is scientifically established. This scientific establishment had never before been achieved.
Mrs. Eddy early learned that the Bible is the word of God, the spiritual teacher of the ages. She turned to it for light and leading when human ways and means failed to give her health or hope, and she was healed. In its inspired pages she found the Science of Christianity, the spiritual fulfillment of Jesus' teaching and practice, and named her discovery "Christian Science."
Mrs. Eddy knew God aright. She looked to divine intelligence and proved that God is Mind. She was governed by spiritual law and proved that God is Principle. She looked to God for health and proved Him to be Life. She loved all mankind and proved that God is Love. She gave her all for the "pearl of great price," the knowledge of God, and offered it to all the world.
Fulfillment of Jesus' Mission
Christian Science is the renaissance of Christianity, the rebirth and re-establishment on a scientific, demonstrable basis, of the Christianity which Christ Jesus taught and practiced. It is the fulfillment of his mission of bringing to the world salvation from sin, sickness and death. Its modest achievements of today prove the truth of its Principle and rule and enable any sincere seeker to begin to live it and to be benefited by it. It is a clarion call to every aspiring heart to awaken to the present privilege of freedom and spiritual authority over human ills and to demonstrate that the day of human redemption is at hand.
Mrs. Eddy writes:
"When will Jesus' professed followers learn to emulate him in all his ways and to imitate his mighty works? . . . It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege, of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness. Christians claim to be his followers, but do they follow him in the way that he commanded? Hear these imperative commands; 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect!' 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!' 'Heal the sick!'" (Science and Health, p. 37).
Would Jesus have given these commands unless he had known them to be the demands of Truth and possible of fulfillment? Have you ever realized that an understanding of Jesus' teachings and strict adherence thereto would remove from this world all sin, sickness, sorrow and suffering? Think of this, if you will, the next time you read the Gospels. Christian Science will show you the way of "Scientific Christian Healing" and will enable you to demonstrate this way.
It should be clearly seen that scientific Christian healing, which is Christian Science healing, is not a mere mental method or mental process involving simply the entertainment and repetition of certain thoughts. Being scientific it demands accurate, intelligent, metaphysical discernment and analysis and a correct application of its divine Principle, which must be done mentally. But above all it requires a clear consciousness of the allness of God, Spirit, and His ideas, and the nothingness of His opposite, evil, matter, and their beliefs, which constitute the carnal mind.
This illumined consciousness, this scientific, healing consciousness, which may be increasingly acquired by any one today, divine Love alone makes possible, for divine Love, reflected through right knowing and right living, is the real healer in Christian Science, the only one named by Mrs. Eddy, the only one recognized by Christian Scientists. Indeed, divine Love is the basis of scientific Christian healing.
The fact that Christian Scientists have not yet done all the wonderful works done by Jesus and his disciples, nor have yet done all that they know is possible through Christian Science, may be cause for regret but never for discouragement or criticism. They rejoice that Jesus' works prove Christian Science to be true, and they are grateful that Mrs. Eddy discovered the Science of Christian healing and gave it to the world for all to demonstrate in the degree that they understand it.
Our success in demonstrating Christian healing and in being transformed through the renewing of the mind, as St. Paul says, depends largely upon the following four fundamental points:
1. The clearness with which we know the truth of being — know what is divinely real. Does not the success of the expert accountant, called in to correct the mistakes made in the books of a business, depend upon how clearly he knows the truth of his subject?
2. The clearness with which we detect the error, recognize it as error and see it as unreal. Mrs. Eddy writes that this is "the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand" (Science and Health, p. 466). We can never correct a mistake until it is seen as such. Will not the success of the accountant depend upon the clearness with which he recognizes the mistakes as such?
3. The accuracy with which we apply divine Truth to human error and the persistence with which we correct the error all the way down the line. Will not the success of the accountant depend upon the accuracy with which he applies the mathematical truth and makes the corrections throughout the books?
4. The spiritual quality of our consciousness — the spirituality of our thought, in other words, our nearness to God. Christian Science healing is not demonstrated through will-power, hypnotism or any form of necromancy. Could the accountant correct the books through will-power, hypnotism or necromancy? He must know the truth clearly enough to recognize the mistakes and correct them. So in Christian Science, the truth must be known so clearly that the error will be recognized as error and then corrected.
Scientific Christian healing, the way to health and salvation in Christian Science, is the way to God, the reflection of divine Truth and the application, not of human power, but of divine spiritual power. This is made possible when we become conscious of nearness to God as the very reality of our being.
[Delivered Jan. 3, 1939, at Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Brooklyn, New York, and published in The Brooklyn Eagle, Jan. 14, 1939.]