The Discovery and Healing Mission of Christian Science

 

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

 

Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "The Discovery and Healing Mission of Christian Science" last evening under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice.

The lecturer was introduced by Harry C. Browne, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:

Friends:

I am happy to welcome you tonight, in behalf of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, of this city, to hear a lecture on Christian Science.

This lecture has an added significance at this season of the year, as it deals with the discovery of Christian Science and its healing mission. For to Christian Scientists, no two events are more linked with God's plan for peace on earth, "good will toward men," than the birth of Jesus and the discovery by Mary Baker Eddy of the Science of God, which Jesus taught and practiced.

Jesus' illustrious life and teachings gave the people of his time a clearer sense of God than they had ever known before, but the world at large did not understand his words and example sufficiently, so were able only to a limited degree, to progress spiritually.

Mrs. Eddy searched the Bible for that same spiritual understanding of God, and with the revelation that came to her, she gained that peace which was mentioned in the book of Job where it is written: "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace. . . ." Through the publication and circulation of her writings she has enabled you and me to acquaint ourselves intelligently with God and to be at peace.

 

The Lecture

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

There are few thoughtful persons in the civilized world who have not heard of Christian Science and who do not know of someone who has been healed or benefited by it. Perhaps no other religious subject in modern times has attracted so much attention in so many quarters of the globe. This wide acquaintance has resulted in part from hearing of Christian Science, from reading its literature, and from knowing of cases of healing which it has accomplished. In consequence, it has appealed to many who are looking for a better understanding of God, which will answer their questions and solve their problems.

Having great need of something that will more effectually restore health and harmony, the world turns naturally to any promising remedy. Owing to the materialism of the times, however, many first seek a cure in material means and methods, but as these and the world's allurements fail to satisfy, the tired and hungry heart looks around and above for light and his thought is then receptive of spiritual aid, for "man's extremity is God's opportunity."

From the time that Christian Science was first announced to the world it has been associated with Mary Baker Eddy. She is known as the one who discovered it, who first practiced and taught it, as the one who founded its church and who is the author of its basic literature including the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

Experience has shown that it is a great help in gaining a better understanding of Christian Science and being more successful in its practice not only to be familiar with its teachings but to see why it came, how it came, when it came and through whom it came and what its true mission and purpose are.

Let us then make a brief survey or review of the development of religious thought through the ages and see the position that the Christian Science movement and its Leader occupy in the spiritual evolution of consciousness which has taken place as shown by the history of salvation.

 

Need of Salvation

The history of spiritual development may be traced both in Bible narratives and in subsequent events. We know that there are two records of creation given in Genesis. The first, called the Elohistic record, presented in the opening chapter and in the first three verses of the second, tells of the perfect, spiritual, and finished creation made by the one infinite and perfect God, called Elohim, in which creation there is no matter, no evil, and hence no need of salvation, there being nothing from which to be saved.

In the second record, called the Jehovistic and beginning with chapter two, verse four, it is the Lord God or tribal Jehovah, not Elohim, who is credited both with creating all things on a material basis, out of dust — wherever that came from — and with introducing evil.

Obviously these two accounts are contradictory. Both cannot be true. The second record predicates an entirely different concept of God, man, and universe from that described in the first. Mrs. Eddy calls this second record the "Adam—dream," for Adam had fallen into "a deep sleep," and there is no indication given in the Bible of his ever having awakened. With this Adam and Eve concept began the history of human evil and humanity's consequent need of salvation or deliverance from it.

The talking serpent which, in this Adam and Eve allegory, was material sense asserting the reality of matter and evil and that they are good, was the sin which led to disobedience, suffering, and loss in the garden of Eden — and still does, and always will so long as there is the belief in material creation. Salvation from this Adam and Eve belief, therefore, requires an awakening from this "Adam—dream," the belief in matter, to the consciousness of the real, spiritual creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. In

analyzing this situation it is helpful to think of the second record as a kind of mist or veil, — indeed this second record refers to itself as the result of a mist, — as a mental cloud which obscures the divine light, and which must be dispelled or rent in order that the light of spiritual Truth may come to human consciousness, to human understanding.

 

Progress of Salvation

The Scriptures narrate how, at various crises in humanity's history, a saving thought found a hearing in some advanced mentality, through which as a channel it appealed to the people of its time, and in a measure awakened them out of ignorance and darkness to a better state of consciousness thus, as it were, thinning and consequently brightening the clouds of material sense which obscured their view of God as divine Spirit and of the spiritual creation.

Thus Noah, at one crisis, saved a remnant of the people from utter destruction. Later, Abraham, through his sense of fidelity and obedience, turned from idolatry, or the worship of matter, to the worship of the one invisible God and became the father of a nation through which spiritual development could advance on the basis of monotheism.

Then followed Jacob, who wrestled with material sense and overcame it, and in consequence was given the new name of Israel; then Joseph, who was able to bless his enemies, a great step in advance; then Moses, who was able to separate good from evil and give his people the moral law for the first time in human history; later, prophets, who perceived and announced successive steps out of the dark materialism of their times into a clearer state of thought where spiritual light unfolded, — the clouds having become thinner.

In due course there resulted a mentality of such exceptional purity and spirituality that actual communion with God was possible, of so high an order as to be manifested in the spiritual conception and in the birth of the immaculate Jesus. Here was a complete rift in the mental clouds, through which God and His appearing to humanity were seen clearly, culminating in the birth of Jesus the Christ, which means the coming of the Christ—idea to the world in what is commonly known as the Christian Era.

 

Jesus and Christianity

Christ Jesus came, then, as an unfoldment to the human consciousness, through a rift in these mental clouds, which clearly revealed the divine light. It was thus that he was "sent" by God, just as the sunlight is sent when it comes directly from the sun into a room as the shades are lifted. It is evident that the infinite God has always been present, but it required much clarification of consciousness to bring this fact to human apprehension.

Christ Jesus was therefore God's expression, His reflection, His manifestation. Indeed, he was His representative on earth, telling mortals of the truth of being and endeavoring to awaken them, through teaching and healing, to the recognition of the false nature of this material, evil existence and to the understanding of the true nature of spiritual, divine existence, the supremacy of spiritual power and the perfection of God's man. This spiritual, right consciousness enabled Jesus to demonstrate this truth of being for all time, and thereby to overcome the Adam and Eve belief, which is what Easter Day really commemorates.

Jesus' three years ministry began the establishment of his religion. His disciples and followers continued his work so that for three hundred years Christianity grew in spite of the most intense opposition.

To be accounted a Christian in those early days meant to have that faith in God which Jesus taught; it meant to recognize and acknowledge Christ Jesus rightly, to demonstrate spiritual power, and to overcome interfering material conditions. In a word, it meant actually to live a Christly life. Gradually, however, Christianity became more popular, and the Christians grew to be a potential political power and agency. The Emperor Constantine, observing this, caused Christianity to be adopted as a state religion, thus winning the greatly extended influence and political support which he desired.

This occurred about three centuries after Jesus' crucifixion. During those years spiritual healing was practiced quite generally by the Christians. After that period, the healing activities lessened until they practically disappeared. To be accounted a Christian from that time on, was simply a matter of ceremonial baptism, and the acknowledgment of a creed; the ability to demonstrate spiritual power was no longer considered essential. The Christian religion had become a thing of form. The spirit of Christianity was seemingly lost.

Although the clouds of material sense had rolled back sufficiently to let the divine sunlight of Jesus' coming appear, yet the world's hatred of Christianity, its hatred of spirituality, again obscured this light, once more hiding it by the mental clouds of dogma and ritualism.

 

Seed of Truth Immortal

The seed of spiritual truth, however, which was sown by Jesus and by his disciples and followers during those early years, possessed immortal life, and like yeast it leavened human consciousness. After several centuries this truth again appeared, in flashes as it were, through a few mentalities spiritual enough to see its light and feel its power in spite of the aggressive materialistic doctrines which were aimed at the suppression of its spirit together with violent persecution. These spiritual thinkers aided greatly in preparing the thought of the world for that spiritual awakening, the Reformation, which shortly followed.

Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, John Knox, and other reformers, were clear and courageous correctors of wrong teaching, bringing the Bible, God's Word, to all the people. These reformers were like rays of light breaking through the clouds and shining in the mental darkness, illuming that darkness with the light of spiritual Truth.

A number of later reformers and other Protestants sought refuge in the north of Ireland. Persecution continued, however, and after their providential deliverance from the relentless siege of Londonderry in 1689, which was endured with unwavering faith, they came to North America as pioneers, hoping here to establish their religion and their political ideals, — which they did under great difficulties.

Of a later generation of these courageous God—fearing pioneers, there was born in the town of Bow, New Hampshire, in the year 1821, a child endowed with the same sturdy religious qualities. The mother, a woman of deepest spirituality, believed in the truth of the Scriptures and in the power of God to a remarkable degree.

The little child was Mary Baker, wonderfully gifted and very receptive of spiritual ideas. Her mother talked with her a great deal of spiritual things, and read to her daily from the Bible. From early childhood she had many unusual spiritual experiences. She was a constant reader and a profound thinker and when joining the church of her parents in early youth, she refused to agree to certain doctrinal points, for she had already gained an understanding of the Bible in advance of the theological teaching of her time. She was admitted to membership, however, together with her protest.

 

The Discovery

As she advanced in years and passed through many bitter trials there developed in her mentality such a clarified, spiritual quality, that finally the light of divine Truth shone through her consciousness as a discovery because she was ready, able, and willing to accept this Truth, to be receptive of the spiritual idea, and to obey its demands.

The main points of her discovery are that God is infinite Mind and that there is really no other Mind; that man is God's spiritual idea, not a corporeal mortal; that real being is wholly spiritual, not material. This discovery meant to her the complete disappearance of the clouds of material sense, of the belief of matter as an entity, and thus made possible the revelation of the full radiance of infinite spiritual reality. Only on the basis of the unreality of matter and of all that is finite, could infinity be seen by her, or can it be discerned by anyone today.

We see, then, that the appearing of divine Truth on earth from the time of Adam to the revelation of Christian Science, came through individuals whose advancing thought could perceive Truth, and progressively grasp a higher sense of spiritual reality. This gradually lessened the obscuring mental darkness until it was finally dispelled. Divine Truth has been forever at work, but there could be no response without receptivity.

Since this revelation thus includes infinity, absoluteness, and allness, it is final and complete; hence there can be no other, for there is nothing more to be revealed. There remains only the possibility of increased spiritual understanding of this infinite Truth, and this is the work of eternity.

Jesus once said to his disciples that he had much to tell them but that they could not bear it at that time, and he promised to send the Comforter who would reveal all Truth. This Comforter which has come in his name is Christian Science, the reappearing of the Christ as the impersonal messenger coming through the clouds — the clouds of material sense — as prophesied, and in "a little book," as also prophesied, (Revelation 1:7 and 10:2) establishing the whole Truth.

Many devout, spiritually minded persons perceived divine light, caught glimpses of spiritual truth during the period of this transforming of consciousness just considered. But Mrs. Eddy received the full light, remained at the task of working out the significance of this light, and was the only one who reduced her discoveries to a demonstrable Science.

 

Mrs. Eddy's Early History

Now that we see that Mrs. Eddy was the divinely logical mouthpiece for this revelation, it may be interesting to consider briefly a few points in her early history of Christian Science and to the establishment of the Christian Science movement.

Mrs. Eddy, as a child, had been taught by her mother that God could and would heal the sick. She learned to believe implicitly in the Bible teachings and in the supremacy of spiritual power, and she never lost this conviction.

When trouble came upon her, through the loss of her husband, then of her dearly beloved mother, the subsequent plot to take her child from her, and later through domestic unhappiness, poverty, and invalidism, she still clung closely to the Scriptures, hoping for an explanation of the Bible healing. She carefully investigated several alleged curative systems, both mental and physical, and looked into anything that promised to explain how the so—called miracles of the Bible were performed, but nothing satisfied her for she found that they were not in accordance with Bible teaching.

Finally, she met with an accident which the physician, who had been called in by her friends, declared would prove fatal. This happened on a Thursday evening. She remained unconscious until the next morning. Refusing to take the medicine that had been left, she lifted her heart to God. Three days later, which was Sunday, a clergyman and other friends called after church to inquire as to her condition and found her so ill that her life was momentarily despaired of.

Mrs. Eddy requested them to leave her room and taking up her Bible, she opened it, her eyes falling upon the account of Jesus' healing of the palsied man, as recorded in the ninth chapter of Matthew. The thought came to her that if the Christ healing was possible then it is possible now and there dawned upon her the healing truth of the ever present Christ and she saw God as infinite Spirit and that there was none beside Him.

In that moment she caught a glimpse of the great fact that Life is Spirit, the only real existence, and was lifted above the physical conditions to a high spiritual plane of consciousness. Thus she was instantly healed and was able to leave her bed, dress herself, and walk into the room where her friends were awaiting the expected sad news. Imagine their astonishment when they saw Mrs. Eddy enter the room completely restored to health! They naturally inquired how she was healed and she made the significant reply, "I cannot tell you now but hope to be able to do so sometime."

Mrs. Eddy was deeply impressed by her healing and by the spiritual exaltation which she experienced at that time. She felt that she must find out how this healing was done, for she knew that it was wholly spiritual and entirely different from the results of any healing system which she had ever heard of or investigated. Withdrawing from society, she devoted the next three years to a careful, prayerful study of the Bible, seeking an understanding of Jesus' works. This study was made on the basis of the great light that had come to her at the time of her healing, namely the allness and infinity of Spirit and the nothingness of matter. During this search her thought was being prepared for the revelation of divine Truth, the final revelation of the divine Principle of scientific Christian healing, which she calls "the great curative Principle, — Deity" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 25), and which she explains as infinite, divine Mind.

 

Demonstration and Activities

After making her discovery of the true nature of God as infinite Mind, and of the healing effect of this divine Mind upon her human mind and body, she applied this healing Principle of her revelation to others in cases of disease, deformity, and many incurable conditions, and did much marvelous healing, most of it instantaneously. Thus she not only made the discovery but demonstrated it — proved it to be true.

This healing was also done on the basis of the great light that had come to her — the infinity of Spirit and the nothingness of matter. This was in the year 1866. The cures she wrought arrested immediate attention, and in the next year, 1867, she taught her first student the fundamentals of her discovery and how the healing was done. This was soon followed by other students who thus learned to do the healing work, and this is the way the Christian Science movement began and the basis on which it grew.

Several years later, in 1875, Mrs. Eddy published her epoch—making textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" — a truly marvelous achievement when one understands the attending circumstances. It is of interest to note that she was always a very close student of this book and pondered it daily. Indeed, it was her lifelong study. She made frequent alterations and revisions for the purpose of improving her presentation of the subject, but the fundamentals of her discovery and revelation always remained the same.

Mrs. Eddy at first conducted private meetings, organized an Association of her students, and gave public addresses until the need of a church became apparent. Since Christian healing as discovered and practiced by Mrs. Eddy was not welcome in the orthodox churches, she found it necessary to form one of her own. In 1879 she founded the church in Boston, Massachusetts, known as the "Church of Christ, Scientist," the first Christian Science church in the world. Later, branch organizations were formed in other cities, as persons were healed and became interested and there was a need for churches.

Then in 1892 this Boston church was reorganized on a more spiritual and permanent basis, as The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and, as The Mother Church, it became the central church of the denomination. The growth has been so great that in June, 1938, there were officially listed about twenty—eight hundred churches and societies in the world.

 

Mrs. Eddy's Leadership

Because Mrs. Eddy was the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and because she alone established the movement and inaugurated its institutions and policies, and especially because of her demonstrated understanding of Christian Science, she naturally became the human Leader of the Christian Scientists. Those of her students and followers in the early years who recognized her as such were deeply appreciative of her work and were glad and grateful for her teachings, her advice, and her admonitions. Those who refused to recognize her as a teacher sent from God and, therefore, a safe Leader, drifted away from her. Some started mental healing methods which differed from Christian Science and were antagonistic to it and still are. Refusing to be obedient to the revealed Truth she taught, they naturally failed to grasp this Truth or to be saved by it and consequently became its enemies.

No one can possibly understand Christian Science in its infinite fullness and completeness, and utilize its power in healing, without a right estimate of its Discoverer and Founder and of her work. Hence the need of emphasizing this point.

After Mrs. Eddy left us, her students and followers were compelled to depend solely upon her teachings, for they could no longer appeal to her personally. They then saw, as never before, that Mrs. Eddy's teachings were complete and supplied every need. Indeed, they saw that she was still the human mouthpiece of her revelation, not only telling them, through her writings, what the fundamentals of Christian Science include, but also through these same writings giving advice and admonition regarding their application to every individual human need, and to every condition or contingency that might arise in the movement.

Christian Scientists, therefore, recognize that Mrs. Eddy, speaking through these writings, is still their Leader — a personal Leader, though without material personality, even as Christ Jesus, though not present in the flesh, is still our Lord and Master, our Wayshower, and our Saviour, still the Christian's ideal.

Nothing that malice or ignorance may ever attempt to do can touch Mrs. Eddy in the estimation of her true followers, because they have proved for themselves the truth of her teachings sufficiently to be convinced of the divine authority of these teachings. Nor can misrepresentation ever shake her position before the world, which is already aware of the value and rightness of Christian Science.

 

The Mother Church and Branches

The position of The Mother Church in the Christian Science movement, together with its relation to the branch churches and societies, needs to be clearly seen in order that its Messianic purpose can be rightly appreciated. Mrs. Eddy prepared all the Bylaws of The Mother Church and did so with great care. They were not provided in advance of the needs they were formulated to meet, but were the result of experience. She has written regarding them, "They sprang from necessity, the logic of events, — from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause" (Church Manual, p. 3).

We see, then, that The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, which was inaugurated and established by Mrs. Eddy herself, is still governed by her through the By—laws in her Manual, and is the church in which the Christian Science movement is safely and permanently anchored.

Owing to geographical limitations, it is not possible for all Christian Scientists to attend one church. For this reason, Mrs. Eddy made provision for local branch churches.

The connection of these branches with The Mother Church is of special interest. Mrs. Eddy provided that a certain number of members of each branch shall be members of The Mother Church, thus establishing a metaphysical relationship.

She further provided that the Readers of all branch organizations shall be members of The Mother Church and thus be amenable to the provisions and discipline of its By—laws. Thus governed, these Readers are official mouthpieces through whom the authorized Lesson—Sermon of The Mother Church and its branches is given out.

The appreciation of this worldwide spiritual extension or representation of The Mother Church is a point of vital importance in understanding Mrs. Eddy's great Cause and must be obtained by Christian Scientists in order that their efforts to further this Cause may be successful.

Christian Scientists recognize membership in The Mother Church as completely identifying them with the movement, while membership in a branch provides merely for necessary and progressive local activity.

 

Teachings of Christian Science

The teachings of Christian Science on which the movement is founded, which constitute the basis of its practice and promises and which, together with their application, have been the cause of its tremendous growth, are clearly set forth in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. Mrs. Eddy has also written other books, all of which emphasize, elucidate, and amplify these teachings in a variety of forms.

Anyone can learn exactly what Christian Science teaches by reading and studying these books, especially with the use of the two Concordances to her writings, which greatly facilitates this study. Consequently there is no need for misunderstanding or controversy, for the teachings are plainly stated and, what is very important, Mrs. Eddy's own interpretation of her teachings can thus be learned. It is only in this way that the revelation can be seen free from misinterpretation.

On account of the necessary brevity of this presentation of the subject, it must suffice to call attention to the fact that Christian Science is based fundamentally upon God. Consequently we need to consider for a moment what Christian Science teaches regarding God. Mrs. Eddy defines God in her textbook as follows: "The great I am; the all—knowing, all—seeing, all—acting, all—wise, all—loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" (Science and Health, p.587).

The word Principle is here employed as one of the synonymous terms for Deity. We find this thought frequently in the Bible, for it speaks of God as "just and right," as creator, as governor, judge, lawgiver, thus defining Him as basis, foundation, cause, origin, and so forth, all of which is divine Principle.

It is but a short step from Principle to I am, the name God is recorded to have given Himself in answer to Moses' inquiry of Him. This, together with God's acknowledged almightiness and infinity and the frequent records of the voice of God to patriarchs, prophets, and others, surely indicates God to be Mind, the infinite intelligence — omniscience,

Spirit is the name for Deity which is used perhaps more than any other in the Bible. This term makes plain His omnipresence and allness, and that the divine creation is wholly spiritual, for only immaterial substance, Spirit, is indestructible, eternal, infinite, consequently the only real substance of which all real things are made.

All Christendom is familiar with the God of Truth, as the Bible teaches. Christian Science reaffirms this teaching, demonstrating the omnipotent, eternal actuality, which divinity really is, and the continuity which is its life, — its eternal Life.

Finally, the greatest definition of God in the Bible is contained in the repeated declaration, made by St. John — "God is love" (I John 4:16), the tender, sustaining, guiding Father—Mother; all—good, all—wise, all—harmonious, thus completing the perfect correlation with the Bible of Mrs. Eddy's scientific definition of God's nature and character.

So also do the teachings of the Bible and of Christian Science coincide regarding the real man, made in the "image and likeness" of this God, according to the first chapter of Genesis, not made of dust, as recorded in the second chapter; also regarding the real universe which God created, saw, and pronounced "very good," according to the first chapter of Genesis, not evil, or material, as recorded in the second chapter.

 

Christian Science Healing

All thoughtful Bible students recognize the fact that spiritual healing was an essential element of Jesus' religion and its practice. The accounts of his life and works, as given in the New Testament, substantiate this fact and tell us that he attributed the healing power to God and that he did this healing to call attention to divine power on earth and to awaken the sufferer to a right belief and faith in God, the first step in true healing, salvation, redemption.

Christian Science is doing this very thing today through its teaching and healing, and surely this evidence of the presence and power of divine Truth and Love is greatly needed throughout the world. It does this healing through the scientific, that is, accurate application of the ever operative Christ—Principle which was revealed to Mrs. Eddy.

Christian Science is, therefore, the Science of Christianity, since it is the exact, systematized, demonstrable, knowledge of the Christ—teachings and their application to human redemption, bringing to mankind moral, mental, and physical healing. Indeed the healing of sin, disease, and all other earthly misery is indispensable to human salvation.

Since Christian healing is, therefore, so important, and is again being demonstrated as Christian Science healing, let us consider this aspect of the subject for a moment, for it involves some points that are much misunderstood.

While it is true that in Christian Science the healing is done mentally through a form of prayer, as was the healing done by Christ Jesus and his followers, it is not true that the healing is accomplished through mental suggestion or will—power. It is mistakenly believed by some that Christian Science heals only cases of nervousness, hysteria, or slight indispositions which nature would take care of, or cases of which it might be said they "would get well anyway." While it is quite true that Christian Science has healed much suffering of this character it is not true that this constitutes the larger part of the work done. It is a matter of record, supported by indisputable proof, that Christian Science has healed innumerable cases of organic, structural, and malignant disease which had been so diagnosed by reputable physicians. It is the healing of serious and critical cases which proves conclusively the efficacy of Christian Science as a remedial agency. Many have been healed of diseases of a character which puzzled the diagnosticians, and many from ailments associated with immoral or unethical conditions.

 

Help Given on Business Problems

Thousands of business men and women have received help in their business troubles, complications, and resulting ills, and their activities have in a greater degree come under the government of divine Principle, under the ruling of honesty, justice, and so forth. Innumerable discordant homes have been restored to harmony through the overcoming of the appetite for liquor and other stimulants, the overcoming of jealousy, impatience, misunderstanding, anger, passion, and so on.

Diseases resulting from so—called hereditary laws, from laws of occult influences and evil purposes, which it is obvious that drugs and surgery cannot possibly heal, have in numerous instances yielded to the Christ—power of true Christian Science work, and it is evident that the power of divine Truth and Love alone heals such cases.

Christian Science healing may be demonstrated and will be differentiated from all forms of so—called mental healing, when the following points are understood:

First, that it has a divine foundation and results from the operation of divine Mind and not human will, nor hypnotism in any form. Christian Science healing will never be rightly understood nor successfully demonstrated until this point is clearly seen.

Second, that it is based upon absolute spiritual reality, the infinity of Mind, Spirit, Truth, Love, and the perfect nature of the ideas which constitute real being; thus based upon Spirit, it is demonstrated only spiritually.

Third, that it is predicated upon the consequent unreality of all that is unlike this perfect, spiritual being, namely, the unreality of matter, evil mind, mortal law and power, which constitute so—called material existence, or the "Adam—Dream."

Fourth, that it is fundamentally a corrective process, as Jesus intimated when he said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

Christian Science makes it possible for this revealed Truth to come to our consciousness through understanding, enabling us to begin to recognize as unreal much that was formerly believed to be real. It teaches us how to apply the divine Truth to this human error and "handle" the error as Mrs. Eddy terms it, and then Truth naturally corrects and destroys the error, and thus, through the brightness of His coming, harmony is established on a spiritual basis.

 

Achievements and Promises

The achievements of Christian Science, during its comparatively brief history, have been so widespread in their effects, so wholesome in their influences, so elevating in their teachings, that these results and their part in the world's redemption cannot be adequately estimated.

Many who have been healed were awakened to a better sense, which made it possible for them to begin to know God and His Son Christ Jesus aright, to understand and love the Bible as never before, to distinguish between the divinely real and the humanly unreal. It is noticeable among faithful Christian Scientists that they have higher ideals, ambitions, motives, and desires, better modes of living, than before they knew of Mrs. Eddy's teaching. This quickened thought has not only a more ethical character, but has an actual spiritual quality which only the love of God and Christ Jesus can bestow.

In the last three chapters of the Revelation of St. John (the concluding book of the Bible), we read of the reign of a thousand years with Christ, commonly called the millennium. It is recorded that the "dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan" (you will recall the talking serpent of the Adam and Eve record, material sense, which now becomes the dragon), is bound for a thousand years by "an angel come down from heaven." The account next describes the subsequent loosing of Satan, his further attempt "to deceive the nations," and his final and complete destruction. Then we read of the opening of "the book of life," of "a new heaven and a new earth," the glorious state of existence when God reigns through Christ, and when He "shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." In that day, we read, "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" — recognized as unreal.

This condition of perfect happiness, of righteous government, and the brotherhood of man in which holiness is triumphant in human relations throughout the world, has usually been thought of as a heavenly place to be reached after what is called death, instead of as a heavenly state to be experienced in consciousness today. Mrs. Eddy explains this important point very clearly in her inspired exegesis of these chapters of the Apocalypse.

 

A Present Millennium

Those who have even begun to understand the works of our Master, Christ Jesus, during his ministry on earth, can readily see that if his teachings were rightly understood and strictly obeyed, which Christian Science now makes possible, there would be no more sickness, sin, misery, nor death upon earth, for the "former things" would have "passed away" in this reign of Christ, this reign of Truth.

This mission of Christian Science, lifting the thoughts of mortals out of sin and its sequence of suffering, turning the hopes and desires of men toward God and His Christ, in other words, being transformed through the renewing of the mind, as St. Paul says, is being fulfilled among us. One after another of earth's weary ones is finding peace and harmony where formerly were fear and discord. The millennium comes individually, to him who sees the vision of a possible new heaven and new earth, and this working of God with us "to will and to do of his good pleasure" will spread until we all are conscious of His kingdom on earth. Then will the mission of Christian Science and its Leader be fully understood.

Blessed are those who have already begun to see the vision which Mrs. Eddy beheld and which Christian Science brings into human experience. Mrs. Eddy writes in her textbook:

"Take heart, dear sufferer, for this reality of being will surely appear sometime and in some way. There will be no more pain, and all tears will be wiped away. When you read this, remember Jesus' words, 'The kingdom of God is within you.' This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility" (Science and Health, pp. 573, 574).

 

[Delivered Jan. 5, 1939, at The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and published in The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 6, 1939.]

 

 

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