The Philosophy and Practice 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

 

"The Philosophy and Practice of Christian Science" was the title of a free lecture delivered Friday evening at Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, 9 East 43rd St., Manhattan, by Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The lecture delivered by Professor Hering was substantially as follows:

 

The Christian Science movement now extends throughout the civilized world and its growth commands the attention and respect of all thoughtful people. It is winning increased support and interest not only from those in need of relief from the misfortune and misery which the world imposes, but also from those engaged in the world's cultural development.

It is important to have it clearly seen from the outset that Christian Science is not an invention, a formulated theory nor a system humanly devised, but that it is truly a discovery, a disclosure of divine Truth and its human application.

This discovery of Christian Science was made in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, a New England woman whose ancestry was noted for honesty and valor and whose quality of mind made it possible for this Truth to be perceived by her.

Mrs. Eddy named her discovery Christian Science, a term exactly describing its nature as found by her in Christ Jesus' words and works and therefore, Christian, and as found by her to be exact and capable of proof and therefore scientific. She called it the Science of Mind, the Science of divine Spirit, and its whole teaching and demonstration bring to light the spiritually mental realm of divine Mind. A full statement of this discovery is presented in Mrs. Eddy's textbook entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," which she published in 1875.

While Truth, being divine reality, has necessarily always existed, it has not been fully known nor understood, and its practice as a healing and redemptive agent has not been generally believed in nor employed. The truth of the Bible statements had not been fully grasped previously because it was not discerned. Bible language had not been deciphered because it was not spiritually understood, and therefore Truth had not been practically applied until its philosophy and Science were revealed through Christian Science.

The great need has always been to understand what Truth is, so that a right concept of existence may be obtained. This is what Christian Science makes possible for it constitutes a complete philosophy of life; and it is the purpose of this lecture to present briefly the philosophy and practice of Truth afforded by this Science.

 

True Philosophy

The term philosophy has a high and important meaning and needs to be correctly understood, for it is often misconstrued and used in a speculative and impracticable way. Philosophy means, etymologically, "the love of wisdom," connoting a search for knowledge of causes, laws, reasons, powers and elements, which explains facts and existence. The philosophy of Christian Science is based on ontology, "the science of real being" (Standard) unfolding the original and ultimate Principle underlying and explaining all existence.

The philosophy of Christian Science therefore includes its teachings regarding the nature of absolute existence, that which actually exists and is demonstrably true; and also, an analysis of finite human existence, that which only seems to exist and is not absolutely true; together with a practical application of Truth to the solution of human problems.

Philosophy as popularly presented consists largely of speculations concerning material existence and of deductions based upon materiality. This has been called materialistic philosophy.

Idealistic philosophy includes the analysis and teaching of abstract truth in contradistinction to concrete reasoning on the basis of matter. True philosophy therefore involves absolute Truth and is the philosophy that Mrs. Eddy refers to in her writings when she speaks of "the teachings of Jesus, whose philosophy is incontestable," and of "Divine philosophy" (No and Yes, p. 21). She also refers to the fact that Jesus "knew that the philosophy, Science, and proof of Christianity were in Truth, casting out all inharmony" (Science and Health, p. 271).

On the other hand, she writes, "Human philosophy, ethics, and superstition afford no demonstrable divine Principle by which mortals can escape from sin" (ibid,, p. 99). She also says "the only philosophy and religion that afford instruction are those which deal with facts and resist speculative opinions and fables" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 64).

Mrs. Eddy deals with this question in a very illuminating way in the chapter entitled, "True Philosophy and Communion," and in the article entitled, "Science and Philosophy," in her book, "Miscellaneous Writings," pages 344 and 359. The great difficulty with philosophy has been that while it seeks for truth and attempts to state it, it has been deceived by physical existence, believing it to be actual and real. Philosophers could not see the unreality of material existence because, for one thing, they had nothing to put in its place. Now that the infinite, absolute truth of being has been discovered by Mrs. Eddy, we can know what is real, that is, spiritual and everlasting, and consequently can recognize what is unreal, the inexistence of that which is not real, not spiritual, and not everlasting.

 

Analysis of Physical Sense

We obtain our concept of existence largely from the testimony of the five physical, corporeal senses. From childhood we have been educated to interpret the impressions received through these senses and to believe them. In other words, we believe that through these physical senses we cognize a real material world about us.

Let us then analyze the testimony of these senses for a moment. In the case of sight, when there is no light at all, we see nothing evidence that it is only light and its impressions that we see. According to physics, light is a wave motion, a form of energy or active force, and its effect upon consciousness we have been educated to objectify and call an external object. What we seem to see with the eye is therefore only an objectified sense impression superinduced by force in some form.

The case with the other senses is similar. Hearing is an impression made by a vibration called sound. Touch, taste, and smell are likewise mental impressions resulting from various forms of vibration or active force. We see, then, that the five physical senses testify only to impressions produced by force, not by matter.

Human philosophy and psychology are unable to account for material objects and matter except as objectified sense impressions. As there is no evidence of the existence of so-called material objects as concrete, substantive entities, these objects can be cognized or classified only as mental impressions. A moment's thought will show us that the only evidence we have of the existence of anything is a mental impression.

Furthermore, it has been mathematically proved that the mass and size of an object change with its velocity. This certainly proves that the so-called matter object is not a fixed, solid thing, but that its seeming substance is an erroneous, material concept; impressionistic and variable.

 

Analysis of Matter

Modern physics shows that what is called the atom, formerly believed to be the smallest possible particle of matter, is composed wholly and entirely of energy, that is, of electrical stresses and strains, positive and negative charges of electricity. Atomic aggregation into elements, material substances, and objects, is therefore an aggregation of energy. Consequently what is called matter consists solely of energy or active force. Modern physics, we now see, proves that there is no such thing as matter stuff, and that everything we see, hear, feel, taste or smell, is energy, the effect of force, that is, a form of vibration. Unfortunately however, physics does not teach what force is. In textbook and dictionary it is defined by its effects, but not as what it is.

Here Christian Science presents a very wonderful discovery that largely defines the nature of physical sense testimony. On page 484 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, we find this original announcement, "Physical force and mortal mind are one." The physical force which we cognize and the mind with which we cognize it, are one. In other words, physical force is what Mrs. Eddy terms mortal mind, and is thus wholly mental. Consequently, everything that we see, hear, feel, taste or smell is mental. This discovery solves the ancient philosophical riddle of how to account for existence without a suppositional entity called matter. When we see that existence is really mental, that consciousness, the awareness of being, and all that constitutes it, is necessarily mental, we can see that the only existence is a mental one. This recognition, therefore, settles the question of physical sense testimony, in so far as the nature of matter is concerned.

 

Physical Sense Testimony Weighed

Now we need to consider whether or not this mental sense of existence and its impressions are real. It is very easily conceded that mental impressions are not necessarily real or true just because they seem to be so. We all know that distance, sound, perspective, and mirages, mislead judgment until it is corrected by an understanding of the facts. This shows that we cannot correctly gauge the testimony of the senses without a knowledge of the facts involved.

It is also interesting to consider that we cannot cognize truth through the physical senses. For instance, we do not see the truth of a mathematical problem by merely looking at it through the sense of sight. Without some understanding of mathematics that truth cannot be seen. Mathematical truth, therefore, is seen through mathematical understanding, which is a very different faculty from that of physical sense.

For the same reason truth of any sort, as for example, the truth in law, logic, the trades and professions, the arts and sciences, is perceived, not merely through physical sense, but solely through understanding these subjects.

From this analysis we finally realize the startling fact that we never perceive anything real through the physical senses we cognize only sense impressions. The question then naturally arises, if physical sense testimony is not true, if what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell is largely unreal, what then is true? In other words, what is Truth? This question has been asked throughout the ages.

 

Truth as Actuality

Truth is defined in the dictionaries substantially, as actual being, the real state of things, spiritual reality, the fact. We deduce, therefore, that Truth, in Science, is established Principle, fixed law, verity, actuality, reality. The term truth is also used in a lesser sense, to describe the state of being true, conforming to fact, and so forth. We need to distinguish clearly, therefore, between absolute Truth which is the actuality and reality of being, and relative truth which is simply the apparent fact concerning anything. Absolute Truth is independent, self-existing, indestructible, unaffected by anything else. It is infinite in quantity, in character, in quality, in location, in presence, infinite in capacity, in excellence, and in perfection. It is of vital importance for us to understand what infinity means, for this term, infinity, defines the nature of all real existence.

Christian Science teaches us that infinity includes not only vastness and perfection but also the allness of quality and being. In the realm of mathematics, for example, we can stay in one place and know everything from simple arithmetic to higher mathematics. This shows us that all there is of mathematical truth is present everywhere. All there is of metaphysical truth, is likewise everywhere. We can know all there is to know, anywhere. This helps us to see that right where a discordant condition seems to be, there, actually, is only the harmonious activity and presence of Truth. And so we understand that the presence of Truth, when realized, is a healing presence destroying disease and sin and freeing humanity.

Since Truth is infinite it is infinite power, and this power enables Truth to remain true and so to resist destruction.

Truth being infinite is all there is, all real being and existence. Therefore it includes all actual realities and qualities. Through Christian Science humanity is awakening to these facts, and is beginning to see that real power, intelligence, substance, cause, law, life, action, love, are true, that they are mental and spiritual, and, therefore, are included in infinite reality and constitute its nature.

Christian Sciences teaches that this infinite absolute divine Truth, is God, the God who includes all the attributes of Truth, Mind, Spirit, and fulfills all the standards and promises of the Bible rightly understood.

 

Spiritual Discernment

Some people at first find it difficult to understand the teaching of Christian Science. Although they understand the English language they do not at once grasp the meanings conveyed by Mrs. Eddy through the English words she employs. In fact, she tells us how difficult it was for her to express in finite material terms the spiritual ideas that were revealed to her. In this connection she writes: "The chief difficulty in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought lies in this, that like all other languages, English is inadequate to the expression of spiritual conceptions and propositions, because one is obliged to use material terms in dealing with spiritual ideas" (Science and Health, p. 349).

Metaphysically, it is of course impossible for the infinite to be fully perceived through the finite. A certain degree of spiritual understanding, spiritual intuition is required to grasp the spiritual truths of the statements in Christian Science, just as a certain degree of mathematical understanding is necessary to grasp the meaning of the statements in arithmetic.

A figure on a blackboard, for instance, has no value to a person who does not understand what it represents. The mathematical number, which is a mathematical idea or value is not inherent in the figure, but is represented by it. The number or idea is everywhere yet it cannot be seen by the physical eye. It can be discerned only mentally, for mathematical truth is purely mental. We can all have this idea and use it by knowing it. In order therefore to understand a mathematical expression one has to understand the mathematical truth presented by the figures in the expression.

Just so, we do not grasp the spiritual truths in Mrs. Eddy's statements of Christian Science by merely reading the words. We need to cultivate spiritual understanding in order to grasp the spiritual ideas expressed in the language of Christian Science. This we can do, if we honestly desire to, through the prayerful study of Science and Health. This aids the attainment of the spiritual quality of thought which makes it possible to discern spiritual truth. This attainment is or should be, the endeavor of every earnest seeker of Truth.

 

How to Understand Christian Science

What then can we do further to aid in this attainment? Let us see what we do in mathematics, for example.

Mathematical understanding is cultivated and attained, first by earnest desire, second by faithful study, third by continued application. Thereby the student puts mathematical truths into practice, and so grows in mathematical understanding as he applies these teachings and rules by working out problems.

In a parallel manner the attainment of spiritual understanding calls for earnest desire, faithful study and consecrated practice; and by this means our understanding of Christian Science will develop. When Jesus made the memorable statement, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," he qualified it by saying "If ye continue in my word, then . . . ye shall know the truth." To continue in his word, evidently means having the right desire to know the teachings of Jesus, becoming acquainted with them and putting them into practice by living according to them to the best of our ability. So may each one of us improve his consciousness and begin to know the spiritual truth which frees humanity from the bondage of materiality and evil.

When Jesus promised that he would send the Comforter, saying, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth," (John 14:16,17) he not only said that he would send all truth, but that he would send what he termed the "Spirit of truth."

Consequently, as we read, study and ponder, we should strive to lift our thoughts above materiality into the realm of spirituality, above the corporeal and personal to the incorporeal and impersonal, even into the realm of spiritual Truth, where we can commune with God and clearly realize that which is true.

This spirit of Truth is therefore the important point in the study and application of Christian Science whereby all may understand and practice genuine Christianity. Because Truth is Spirit, we are spiritually minded in proportion as we are Truth-minded. The truer our concept, the more spiritual it is.

 

Christ Jesus

The teaching of Christian Science regarding Christ Jesus is vital to gaining a correct understanding of the philosophy and practice of Christian Science and its successful demonstration. Let us see what Mrs. Eddy's own definitions in her textbook are (Science and Health, pp. 589, 583):

"JESUS. The highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man's immortality."

"CHRIST. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error."

Mrs. Eddy also writes:

"The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. Jesus was a human name, which belonged to him in common with other Hebrew boys and men, for it is identical with the name Joshua, the renowned Hebrew leader. On the other hand, Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God's spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which was taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment. The proper name of our Master in the Greek was Jesus the Christ; but Christ Jesus better signifies the Godlike" (Science and Health, p. 333).

His appearing was in the way of the flesh and also after the manner of the Spirit. This dual nature gave him a full understanding of the needs of humanity. It also endowed him with spiritual power whereby to apply to these needs the healing truth of what man really is as the child of God, or expression of perfect Mind. This healing power made him the Messiah or Christ, the Savior.

We can now understand how it is possible for God to work in us, how as the Bible says, the Christ can be in us, for since God is Truth, God is with us as Immanuel when we know Truth and thus reflect it in human consciousness. As we know and reflect the divine Mind, we have in us the mind of Christ, as St. Paul says. Consequently, the right knowing of God, the understanding of divine Truth, is the illumination of the Christ or the coming of the Christ to human consciousness. This is what makes it possible for us to apply the Truth to all our human problems.

Christian Science is therefore the coming of Christ as impersonal Truth, as divine Science, unfolding to the human consciousness as a final revelation.

 

Evil

The human mind has always been puzzled over evil, and the reason for this is that evil has always been considered to be a reality. When we see the nature of reality to be infinite good, we can see that evil is the supposititious absence of good, the reverse of good; in short that evil is a negative condition due to human ignorance of good. This makes it possible to recognize evil as an illusion and then dispel that illusion with the spirit of Truth, the spirit of divine Love. Since Love is the Principle of good, the application of this Truth to the appearance of evil destroys that appearance just as darkness is destroyed when light is brought to bear upon it.

It can easily be seen that evil, being unrelated to God, has no principle, no real cause or power. This scientific fact came to Mrs. Eddy through revelation, and through the study of her writings we can now readily understand and apply it, finally proving the unreality of all evil. We can see that evil has no Mind, because God, good, is the only Mind; that it has no substance because divine Spirit is the only substance; that evil has no real Life because God is the only Life. Consequently, evil is mindless, inert, nothingness, and can seem to be real only to a deceived material sense. Since Christian Science makes it possible for us to see the true nature of God, of Truth, as infinity, as allness, all-inclusiveness, perfection, it enables us to see evil, error, as nothingness, naught.

 

Life

The question, What is Life, puzzles human thought about as much as the question, What is Truth. Indeed, we are perhaps especially interested in the nature of life because it has to do with our present consciousness of being. It is evident that life is existence and is also the continuity of existence. Believing, however, that our human existence is material, we believe that life is a product of materiality. And this looking for life in matter, or resulting from matter, induces the belief that life is a form of force physical, chemical and biological. It thus leads us to believe that life is due to some chemical action and that it not only originates in material force, but also is sustained and supported by this force. Through this analysis we find that all its manifestations are due to force in some form. Since we now see that force is mind, we can see that this human life which we look upon as material is really mental, and if we can see that life is consciousness then we begin to approach the real nature of life. Further analysis shows us that even human life does not have a material origin but that it is a counterfeit or misrepresentation of something beyond human sense.

The following mathematical analogy may give us a helpful point of view. We can all see that that which makes and perpetuates any mathematical fact, is not in the material figures or symbols, but is the mathematical truth which is back of the figures. It is therefore mathematical truth which is the life of the mathematical fact. Briefly, then, if we may use these terms in that way, mathematical truth is mathematical life.

Similarly, we can see that the truth of any idea is its life; and so we can begin to realize that real Life, our life, proceeds from infinite divine Truth, which gives to all its ideas their existence and which everlastingly perpetuates that existence.

When we see that Truth cannot be destroyed and that Life is eternal, immortal, this understanding of immortality gives us a new sense of existence and makes it clear that our life is not dependent upon matter or any finite material conditions, for Life is infinite Truth, immortal Love; God is our real Life.

Christian Science thus enables us to understand Christ Jesus' statements in which he refers to himself as "the life," explains the bread of life and declares that he brought life to us; for now we see that Christ Jesus through his words and his works brought to human consciousness the divine Truth which is Life. Through understanding this we see him rightly, for he said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Briefly then, knowing God through the Christ is real Life.

 

Nature

Philosophical thinkers are particularly interested in nature its origin and cause, its substance and existence. By the term nature, is usually meant the power which produces existing phenomena and the agencies which carry on the processes of material creation. This includes the forces, energies, laws and substances which constitute the existing system of things, as defined by material sense.

Since Principle is cause, origin, a formative and progressive power, it is that from which all spiritual or real things proceed. It is also evident that divine Principle is the source or essence of real Life, and that this Principle, therefore, produces all real spiritual phenomena. By analogy we can see that while God's creation is entirely spiritual, this creative divine Principle and its spiritual law are dimly symbolized by the material appearance or counterfeit of God's creation, which we call nature.

We recognized a while ago that existence is consciousness and is mental. Consequently material nature is mental. Real nature is a phenomenon of divine Mind, and so is divinely mental. It is impossible to account for the multitudinous forms of material life, their development and variety, color and beauty, other than as faintly indicating the activity and loveliness of divine Mind.

Then when we consider the destructive forces, decay, disaster, and so forth, there seems to be in nature a contradictory combination of a mind which is good and a mind which is evil. This false seeming virtually accuses what Mrs. Eddy calls "the God of nature" (Science and Health, p. 44) of being the author of both life and death, good and evil, harmony and discord. These contradictions need to be cleared up and Christian Science does this. The divine Principle, which is the infinite cause of real spiritual being, can no more create an opposite or be the cause of discord than mathematical principle can be the cause of mistakes and confusion in the student's mathematical calculations. So we see that the finite, physical, discordant concept or appearance of things is due solely to a perverted, distorted material sense.

 

Real Nature

Understanding divine Principle rightly as the source of real nature, we can glimpse that which Mrs. Eddy terms "the divine Mind-force" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 331). She explains that this "force is Spirit" and not matter and she further tells us that "Adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are properties of Mind. They belong to divine Principle, and support the equipoise of that thought-force, which launched the earth in its orbit and said to the proud wave, 'Thus far and no farther.'" She goes on to say that "Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things. We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification" (Science and Health, p. 124).

These passages show us that physical force is mortal mind and real force is divine Mind. It further shows us that so-called physical substance is matter and real substance, the substance of Truth, is Spirit. And this makes it possible for us to distinguish clearly between the nature which is God's creation and that counterfeit nature which appears to us through physical sense.

Real creation is therefore the activity and the unfolding of divine Truth. In the textbook, Mrs. Eddy writes: "By its own volition, not a blade of grass springs up, not a spray buds within the vale, not a leaf unfolds its fair outlines, not a flower starts from its cloistered cell" (Science and Health, p. 191).

We are now enabled to see the truth about the divine and the human, and about the mental nature of existence, and the clearer we see this truth the clearer can we see the operation of nature. We can now comprehend the germination of seeds, the growth of plants, the reason for root, stem, leaf and flower, the great variety of plants and animals, because all this indicates the endeavor of mortal mind to imitate and counterfeit the phenomena or ideas of infinite divine Mind. There is no other explanation of the wide variety of nature, its ceaseless activity, its perpetuating qualities, its continuing development, its beauty and usefulness, than the fact that these phenomena are primarily not material but are the evidences of the mental basis of material creation as a counterfeit of God's perfect work.

It then becomes plain to us, how and why with regard to both animals and plants what we term nature tends to restore, to heal, to replace. This tendency of nature to heal its wounds, operates merely as a counterfeit of the healing power of the divine Truth and Love, whose energies and activities are perpetual and harmonious.

Through the revelation of Christian Science, we learn to know the true God, to understand the spiritual universe, and to see what nature really is in essence. Then as the divine Mind informs the human consciousness, our surroundings become more harmonious. This is being proved by many farmers who are Christian Scientists, and who have experienced wonderful results from the application of the truth of Christian Science in connection with all their activities. Knowing, as they do, that the true law of nature is the law of God, has brought many healing results with animals and crops, in agriculture and forestry, and other phenomena of nature. Thus we see again the operation of Christian Science and the benefit to humanity of understanding divine Mind's healing power.

 

Mrs. Eddy

It was not a mere accident that Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science. A careful study of her life shows that she was spiritually prepared for her mission. She seemed to be especially influenced even before her birth and during her early childhood by the spiritual thoughts of her mother, and of some of her mother's friends. She was a spiritually precocious child and even before she could read, manifested great interest in serious conversation and in Bible readings. She learned to pray when she began to talk, and engaged in frequent prayer quite simply and naturally.

Rather than join her playmates she often sat at her mother's feet and listened to the conversation of her parents and their friends as they discussed religious and philosophical subjects. She attended school at various academies and was specially tutored by her brother Albert, a graduate of Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., who became a distinguished lawyer. She relates that she received from him "lessons in the ancient tongues, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin." She also said that her "favorite studies were natural philosophy, logic, and moral science" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 10).

From childhood Mrs. Eddy believed that God could heal the sick, and, as the years went on, she became more and more interested in the endeavor to find out how the healing recorded in the Scriptures was done. Knowing that this healing was accomplished mentally, she studied homoeopathy, believing that this practically drugless method arrived at its results through mental power of some sort. To this end, she also investigated spiritualism and other systems, none of which, however, she found satisfactory because they were not in accordance with the Bible teaching.

Later on Mrs. Eddy met with a serious accident in which her spine was injured; and the physician pronounced her case hopeless. The healing which she received on that momentous Sunday morning, when her life was despaired of, was the result of spiritual light received while reading the ninth chapter of Matthew's Gospel, which light she recognized as the truth, and this truth thereafter was the basis of her research and work.

She then withdrew from society and for three years devoted herself to close study of the Bible. During this time the discovery of the divine healing power gradually unfolded to her as the revelation of Truth, which she later demonstrated by doing extraordinary healing work. In due time she incorporated this healing revelation in her famous textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," thus presenting it to the world.

I am increasingly grateful for my personal acquaintance with Mrs. Eddy and for my close association with her during a number of years. Her faithfulness, consecration, self-sacrifice, and humility as observed by me were remarkable.

 

Summary

What, then, are the fundamentals of the philosophy of Christian Science?

First, the absolute truth that God is infinite Mind, that man is His spiritual idea, and that the universe is God's perfect spiritual expression; in other words, the facts of reality.

The second fundamental is that the nature of so-called material existence is wholly mental, a state of consciousness; and thus, since reality is spiritual and infinite, all that is material, evil, and finite is unreal.

What, then, are the fundamentals of the practice of Christian Science?

The first essential is a clear, spiritual consciousness of reality knowing the real God, the real man, and the real universe.

Another fundamental is the clear recognition of the unreality of God's opposite, namely, matter and its products, materiality, sickness, disaster, death.

Then on this basis of what is divinely real and the consequent recognition of all discordant conditions as errors, as falsities, Christian Science deals with these conditions as mistakes, and corrects them by the accurate application of divine Truth. This healing power is brought to bear upon these mistakes through the right knowing of the Christ, the spiritual idea of the curative Principle, divine Love, as demonstrated originally by Jesus, and again made available in this Christ Science.

Briefly then, the philosophy of Christian Science is really the philosophy of divine Truth, of divine Mind, and the practice of Christian Science is the application of Truth, of Mind, and, strictly speaking, is Truth-healing, or, as Mrs. Eddy terms it, Mind-healing.

Above all, it should be clearly borne in mind that, judging it by its teachings and its works, Christian Science is the Comforter. It brings God to human understanding, restores primitive Christianity and its essential element of healing, and furnishes a rational, logical and demonstrable interpretation of the Bible. Especially does it furnish an understanding of the teachings of Christ Jesus, which understanding enables us to be truly obedient to these teachings and to receive the promised blessings.

Through knowing and applying these teachings rightly we can achieve freedom from the evil influences of the world, we can be healed and redeemed, and this actual Comforter will bring unspeakable comfort and full regeneration to humanity. Thus Christian Science presents, on a divine basis, a workable solution of personal problems and also of all world problems.

In the Gospel according to St. John (15:26 and 16:13) we read: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." And, "he will guide you into all truth."

 

[Delivered Oct. 30, 1936, at Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, 9 East 43rd St., New York, New York, and published in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, of Brooklyn, New York, Oct. 31, 1936.]

 

 

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