Christian Science: God's Revelation of Spiritual Healing
Judge Frederick C. Hill, C.S., of Clinton, Illinois
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Before a large audience a lecture was delivered on Sunday afternoon at Brattle Hall, by Judge Frederick C. Hill, of Clinton Illinois, a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Boston, Massachusetts. The lecturer was introduced by Wm. P. McKenzie, of 10 Concord avenue, who said:
The Christian Science movement is known to multitudes chiefly because of the name borne by a newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. Yet Mary Baker Eddy had labored more than forty years before she founded this newspaper. Her book, Science and Health, With Key to the Scriptures, had touched the lives of a full generation of mankind. Great changes had to take place in human thinking before men and women were found ready and able to sustain and uphold The Christian Science Monitor. Its standard is now uplifted by an unseen host, a great multitude dwelling in gratitude because redeemed. You are invited to listen to a lecturer who in his oral discourse will make clear this process of redemption, showing how naturally and necessarily healing and salvation dawn upon the mind of one who is asking and seeking. Our Master said, "Every one that seeketh findeth."
Some look upon the world with hopeless eyes today. The nations are reaping the aftermath of war, even as it was with this country in 1866; but in that year dawned the first light of Christian Science, the restoration of primitive Christianity. And now for the world's need the light has grown until wherever the language of the text-book is spoken Christian Science is demonstrated and known.
Men make laws of restraint to forbid evil conduct, but "pure religion and undefiled", the true guidance for human life, establishes divine law in the heart. Christian Science brings to the honest thinker proof and assurance through the "healing of the mind" that Christ's Christianity is religion's self. The world needing light shall have light. Isaiah's prophecy must be realized: "Morever, the light of the moon shall be as the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." (Isaiah 30:26).
I come before you at this time to discuss Christian Science: God's Revelation of Spiritual Healing. It is not my purpose to force my conclusions upon you or in the slightest degree to disturb the thought of those holding opposite views. I do propose, however, to set forth certain truths which are radically opposed to many of the theories and practices of differing healing agencies, and, in so far as they are supported by logical facts and have authority in divine commandment, I have a right to conclude that you will be interested in knowing these truths which are the essentials of Christian Science.
Christian Science is, as its name implies, essentially Christian and its practice being predicated upon absolute law, it brings healing from sickness and deliverance from sin.
There is within the so-called human mind a fixed and abiding conviction that it is legitimate to be healthy and happy. This inherent conviction is evidence per se of the fact that health and happiness is the normal state of being. This desirable end can be accomplished only through right, scientific thinking, hence it must be perfectly clear that Christian Scientists, looking toward the idealistic or spiritual, are concerned about the mental rather than the outward or material.
I have assured you that this Science is essentially Christian. This being the case, Christian Science, as a great religious movement must be based upon a revelation of the teachings and practical truths presented in the Bible. Lest there be confusion in the thought of those who have never investigated this subject, I assure you at the outset that Christian Scientists use for their study and in all their church services one Bible authority, that of the King James version of the Old and the New Testaments. There are many religious denominations and bodies, each claiming to teach and practice the Christian religion; each claiming the Bible as authority for creed and doctrine and each claiming salvation as the desired goal. There are wide and seemingly irreconcilable differences of opinion among these Christian bodies and an utter disagreement as to the fundamentals of salvation. There is but one conclusion to be drawn; individuals have ceased to do the one natural, normal thing — that is, have ceased to think spiritually and have accepted as facts many conclusions which are not true. As a natural consequence confusion follows, as that which is untrue can never be made the foundation for that which is enduring and true. At this point it is well to understand that there is one absolute truth about everything, and regardless of one's sincerity in believing otherwise, that truth remains infallible and undisturbed for nothing in human belief can ever change that which is absolutely true.
Christian Science is presenting to human consciousness the truth about health and happiness. Health and happiness repose in divine Mind and not in the human body. No belief to the contrary can ever change this essential fact. While those holding opposite views believe that health depends upon matter, the human race has for centuries been in bondage, stricken with disease, and years of educational research and devotion to material remedies have resulted in no appreciable diminution of these mortal enemies. In fact, many new and mysterious ailments appear as a challenge to their systems. It may be asserted as a positive fact that the human mind has never devised the means for eradicating one single disease. The reason is simple. As the Psalmist declares God is the one who "forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases." Mrs. Eddy says in Miscellaneous Writings, "Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality." That fact may be brought to light and applied through a knowledge of its divine Principle. Abnormal conditions in physical, industrial and social environment can never be permanently adjusted and rest upon a stable and enduring basis until this fact is recognized.
The Discoverer and the Discovery
Christian Science as it is presented to you and to me came through the discovery by Mary Baker Eddy of the operation of absolute, fixed spiritual law. In an impartial investigation of Christian Science it is desirable, in fact quite essential, to know somewhat of its Discoverer and Founder. I feel quite safe in assuming that my early experience in the investigation of this subject is similar to yours. My first impulse was to inquire, "Who is Mrs. Eddy?" "What did she discover and found?" The answer to these questions is simple and helpful.
Mrs. Eddy was a devout and lovable New England woman, deeply interested in the Bible. Early in childhood she displayed a keen perception of the underlying truths contained in Bible narratives. Through her research and study of the Bible she noted that perfect trust and confidence in God's laws were followed by permanent and fixed results and that blessing and healing were part and parcel of His infinite plan. She concluded that God governs His universe, His creation, through infinite intelligence or absolute law and that this law, being spiritual, could be understood and applied and that when so applied renders null and void the false beliefs of law inherent in the so-called human mind. She concluded that this law could be definitely known and stated and was as fixed and unfailing as its divine Principle. She further concluded that since disease has no more authority than sin it could be cured and health restored to the body in exactly the same manner and with the same certainty of results as sin could be destroyed. During her investigation an injury caused by an accident led her to discover the spiritual law by which she was healed herself; and later, upon her restoration to health, she applied the same law to the relief and healing of others. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says: "In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science." She had discovered the absolute, fixed and eternal laws of God and had proved that they are present and operative and can be relied upon to heal the sick as they did in the time of Jesus. She found these laws "compassionate, helpful, and spiritual", and named them "Christian"; and because they constitute the absolute laws of God, are available and can be demonstrated, she named them "Science". Hence Mrs Eddy discovered and proved the divine laws of Spirit, the laws of Life, Truth and Love. After this discovery she subjected it to proof and being convinced of the healing and redeeming ministrations of these spiritual laws she determined to give to the world the benefit of her observation and discovery. Accordingly she wrote and published "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and designated it the Christian Science textbook. The reading and study of this book, in connection with the Bible, has brought health and healing to many and is indeed a key to God's inspired Word, — the Bible.
Regardless of conflicting reports, I make this positive and emphatic declaration of fact: — Mary Baker Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and has been so decreed by our courts.
After her discovery, Mrs. Eddy founded a church, "designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." So she states in the Manual. That Church, founded by her, is The Mother Church in Boston, and the church whose hospitality you are now enjoying is an authorized branch of The Mother Church.
Christian Scientists are grateful to Mrs. Eddy for her years of devotion in reestablishing practical Christianity and its lost healing art. They love her in the true spiritual sense but do not worship or deify her. They are engaged in perpetuating and applying her discovery to the needs of humanity. Because she loved God and because she also loved those who apparently did not love her, Christian Scientists are earnestly striving to make practical her saying, "A genuine Christian Scientist loves Protestant and Catholic, D.D. and M.D., — loves all who love God, good; and he loves his enemies." (Miscellany, page 4)
Reality Is Basic
It will early be discovered that Christian Science emphasizes the final destruction of sin and the healing of bodily infirmity. Some of our religious friends have offered the criticism that Christian Scientists make too much of the healing element. At no time does the human mind part with cherished beliefs or relinquish traditional claims until proof, clear and positive, has been presented showing that there is a better way. It is not surprising, therefore, that after material methods have failed and Christian Science treatment has restored health and happiness to the individual very much should be thought and made of the healing element. In fact, all Christian Science practice is healing in character whether it is applied to bodily afflictions or to other forms of discord. The healing of bodily ailments by prayer is the "eye-opener" to the sick and is positive and indisputable proof that matter is submitting to spiritual law. Likewise the false beliefs which material man calls law cease to govern and bind him in proportion to his spiritual discernment. It is natural in the consideration of this important matter that questions should come to us. I have asked myself many times, "Is there an ideal, basic state of being? If so, how may I know this ideal state? How may I become conscious of the way of escape from the baneful effects of apparent disease and disaster?" Rightly to understand and draw proper conclusions there must be a clear discernment between that which is absolutely real and basic and that which, to the senses, seems to be real and is believed by the human mind to be such.
Common experience teaches us that we are consciously or otherwise governed by and subject to fixed laws. These laws operate in an impartial, uniform manner, regardless of our understanding or recognition of them. The individual who rejects their operation or who disputes their authority through ignorance or otherwise, pays the penalty for such infraction in proportion to the magnitude of the offense. The laws of gravitation, mathematics, harmony and the laws regulating individuals in society operate uniformly and effectively regardless of the beliefs of those who are uninstructed or who for some reason refuse to recognize and accept their supreme authority. For example, a score of individuals selected from the ordinary rank and file of humanity will agree that a ball forced into the air will return to the earth, or that any object projected forward over Niagara Falls will descend to the bottom of Niagara River. When asked why these results are manifest a very large proportion of these individuals can give no explanation whatever of the law involved. Some may have a very vague and uncertain belief not based upon any scientific fact that the result is due to some force from above. Quite likely one alone can explain the theory of the operation of gravitation. During all this time gravitation is operating uniformly undisturbed by ignorance or false belief and the earth and the planets respond to its force just the same. False belief, lack of any belief in or knowledge of gravitation has not affected its operation. In the so-called material universe the law of gravitation is basic, fundamental, and is there to be understood and intelligently utilized by man.
I am sure a personal experience may be helpful in further explaining the distinction between the real and that which is believed to be real.
Some years ago I presented at a bank a ten dollar bill, a silver certificate. The usual words, "This certifies that there has been deposited in the Treasury of the United States of America, ten silver dollars, payable to the bearer on demand," was printed in the usual type across the face of this bill. I believed this bill to be genuine and, in the light of past experience, I had a right to expect that the paying teller of the bank would at once count out to me ten silver dollars or their equivalent in exchange for this bill. However, contrary to my expectations in a very short period of time the teller returned the same bill to me with the word "Counterfeit" stamped in large red letters across its face. In a moment of time and without any effort on my part the status of that bill became apparent. I no longer looked upon it as a genuine medium of exchange. It represented nothing and was nothing. It was merely a counterfeit. I no longer expected ten dollars in exchange; I was absolutely convinced that no person would ever be deceived again by that particular bill. My belief in its value was sincere but erroneous. It had escaped detection perhaps many times, yet from first to last it represented nothing, was a counterfeit and needed but the trained and skillful knowledge of that paying teller and a little red ink to destroy forever its fictitious value. Through all this experience there was a real, genuine silver certificate in circulation and its value remained absolute and undisturbed. The sincere belief of every person in the world could not make a genuine bill out of that counterfeit. The basic, fundamental value was not there. That bill was but the visible evidence of the counterfeit mind which had produced it and which, until detected, endowed it with its own fictitious value.
Mrs. Eddy has discovered and applied the laws of Spirit. The false beliefs regarding these laws or the willful rejection of them in no way affect their intrinsic value and they remain ever available to all who will understand and apply them according to their Principle. Christian Science is applying the red letters "Counterfeit" to the false conclusions and the false beliefs masquerading as realities in the human mind. It is unfolding to the receptive thought and bringing into human experience positive proof that, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter" and that "Spirit is the real and eternal." (Science and Health, page 468). This reality is the basic, fundamental state of being. The practice of Christian Science is destroying the unreal, counterfeit values of human beliefs and is bringing into view the basic, scientific facts of spiritual truth. It is furnishing undeniable proof that ignorance and false belief have no part or place in God's creation. Through Christian Science mortals are being saved from the dire effects of the testimony of the physical senses. Health and happiness are being found in divine Mind and in proportion as the laws of Spirit are understood and applied, the fundamental state of being is recognized as perfect and eternal.
Good and Evil Mental
In the consideration of Christian Science it is absolutely essential to understand the nature of good and evil and to be able to distinguish between that which is intrinsically good and that which presents merely the appearance of good.
Human laws have been devised for the protection of individuals as units in the commonwealth. Some of these laws are of ancient origin; so much so, that mankind has no knowledge of their source except that they are founded upon usages and customs which have prevailed so long that the "memory of man runneth not to the contrary." These laws like all others, are based upon the theory that there is a supreme, sovereign power, within the state commanding that which is right and prohibiting that which is wrong. It should be remembered that these laws have been formulated by the human desire to rise above the chaotic condition of no law and many of them are profound examples of the human attempt to pattern the decrees of infinite, divine justice. There is a well defined and recognized rule of law which prevails in most civilized countries that every individual is presumed to be innocent of any wrong doing until proven guilty by competent evidence beyond every reasonable doubt. This presumption is an essential and substantial part of the law of the land and it is the duty of courts and juries to maintain this presumption of innocence up to the very moment that it is overcome by the evidence. So strong is this presumption of innocence that the complaint, information or indictment against an individual can never be used in and of itself to contradict or overcome this inherent presumption with which every individual is clothed. It is further a presumption of law that every one is honest, truthful and law abiding until the contrary is shown. Also the presumption of normality in mind and body prevails and our courts guard very jealously these wise and humane presumptions. Notwithstanding, human observation and experience present evidences of crime unchecked. Moral delinquency seems to run riot, dishonesty, untruthfulness and infirmity in mind and body would wholly eclipse the desirable ends to be attained. Christian Scientists freely admit that such conditions of mind and body should not exist among Christian people. Common observation will convince any rational person that much confusion is due to the lack of absolute knowledge regarding the sources of good and evil. Christian Scientists do not close their eyes to these apparently alarming conditions. Indeed they are wide awake to the real cause and are doing the only thing that can be done to destroy these false beliefs and to maintain these humane presumptions, not merely in theory but by making them real, enduring basic laws in fact. Christian Science declares in no uncertain manner that God is the source of all good and that the human, — the carnal — mind is the procuring cause of all evil. It presents logical, irrefutable proof that man lives by divine decree, and that the Scriptural text, "In him we live, and move, and have our being" declares the real status of man and not merely an emotional theory. It declares emphatically that evil is not a person, place or thing; that it is not a cause or creator and that there is no realm or dominion over which evil is the sovereign power. In fact, it denies that evil has any power except such as it assumes in human belief and it then destroys this assumed power by overcoming the human mind with the divine Mind.
The Worship of the One True God
Christian Science is a religion and has been so decreed by the courts of our land. Its practice involves obedience to the first great commandment, "Thou shall have no other gods before me." Its keynote is expressed in the words of the Master, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first great and commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Its paramount object is worship — the worship of the one true God. Through this worship healing is experienced. It will be apparent that all true worship must rest for an enduring foundation upon the right concept of God. The wrong concept of God lays the foundation for the superstructure of false belief and idolatry. Mere human belief about God can never be substituted for nor urged in support of His real nature. To the carnal mind, essentially material, God appears as a magnified human being — a superhuman man. This conception of His nature and character has prevailed almost universally for centuries as evidenced by an illustration of "The Heavenly Father and the Evil One" in Faust. In this illustration God is portrayed as a large old man, with a long white beard, seated upon an elevated throne. Long flowing robes cover His body and in his right hand is a large sceptre. His countenance is stern and commanding and there is no evidence of compassion or love in His appearance. It is not reasonable to conclude that such a concept of God could possibly be conducive to true worship or that such a superhuman creature could possibly occupy all space and could hear and answer millions of conflicting human prayers and petitions. Such belief borders upon the ridiculous and yet many individuals are sincerely holding in thought to such a concept of God and are worshiping that concept of Him. Such practice is idolatry pure and simple. The fact that there are so many differing religious creeds and beliefs is evidence of gross ignorance and confusion as to the real nature of God. The whole human family will never be united in one brotherhood until there is a common recognition and worship of Him in His true nature and character.
Christian Science presents to you the conception of God as infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. It presents nothing about Him save that which is supported and sustained by Bible authority and which is rational and comforting. When it is perceived that God is infinite divine Mind it at once becomes apparent that like produces like, hence His creation must of necessity be mental and not material. God must be sought and found, if at all, through the avenue of divine Mind and not in or through matter. It then becomes clear that the real man whom God pronounced good lives, moves and has his being in Mind, and is a spiritual, not a material being, and because he is an idea in Mind he can and does express the qualities of that divine Mind which created him. This fact accounts for his ability to think. Even though mortals have a very faulty and imperfect knowledge of the operation of Mind and believe that thoughts have their origin in the human brain, yet thought existed before and independently of brain tissue and emanates from the one Mind, God. This conclusion is further supported by the fact that all mortals as infants are fully equipped with brain tissue. No one, however, will seriously contend that an infant exercises the functions of rational thinking. In our more advanced experience as thinkers the material elements of the brain remain the same. Thought, however, unfolds, expands and develops, eliciting the conclusion that the brain — as matter — has no inherent intelligence and is not the source of mental action.
God is also defined as infinite Love. This term expresses His divine nature and His compassionate relation to His children. This divine nature accounts for His infinite goodness and His watchful, protecting care. Since God is infinite Love, this fact implies infinite goodness; and since He possesses all power, all presence and all knowledge, it follows as a necessary conclusion that all manifestations of Him must partake of His goodness. Constituted authority, therefore, reposes in Him and is essentially good. From this argument it is apparent that there being no good in sin, sickness or death, God is not the author of them and, from His very nature, could not have a knowledge of them. Such a knowledge would imply the elements of destruction, which are no part of good and would therefore be the very opposite of infinite Life. If that which is evil and destructive does not emanate from God, from whence does it spring and from what source does it derive its seeming power? Paul says: "The carnal mind is enmity against God." Interpreted in the light of our definition that God is infinite Mind, the saying becomes clear that evil and all destructive elements have their suppositious source in the "carnal," human mind, and depend upon that so-called mind for all that they assume to be. Now, the mortal mind is a "counterfeit," an erroneous belief; it is enmity against the one true Mind, God.
It plainly appears that sin, sickness and death — all evil — cannot be maintained and exist in the presence of infinite good. These evil conditions are driven out of human consciousness and are thus destroyed by the reflecting of that Mind, "which was also in Christ Jesus." The human mind is thus reformed and, as this state of reformation progresses false beliefs, the source of all evil, are destroyed. Thus righteousness, health and eternal Life supplant sin, sickness and death, and the human being is transformed in body by "the renewing of his mind."
God is also defined as infinite Principle and Christian Scientists worship Him as such. When it is understood that there is but one omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Cause, embracing within itself all wisdom, power, truth, law, order and perfection, it will be clearly apparent that the term "Principle" is descriptive of the exact nature of the one absolute God. It will be observed that divine Principle is descriptive of the one perfect, unchangable and eternal Cause. This eternal Cause is Life, Truth and Love, and as we apprehend more of the divine nature we express in human experience a higher and a better understanding of these divine qualities. The verdict of the human senses, however, does not seem to support this happy and desirable state. The human mind, educated and instructed by processes of erroneous thinking, draws conclusions of death rather than of eternal Life; conceives of man as subject to birth, maturity and decay and concludes that all is mortal, — subject to death — as the word implies. In like manner, the human mind believes a lie rather than the truth, and envy, hatred and revenge are substituted for Love. All these erroneous conclusions, if retained in consciousness, have but one ultimate result. Death and destruction follow. It is wholly outside the range even of the most material logic to conceive of God, who is infinite Life and the creator of all that is good, as being the author of death and destruction, or to suppose that infinite Truth and Love could possibly be responsible for any state of being pregnant with evils, human delinquencies and malicious purposes. To limit or circumscribe God in any degree invites disaster at the outset. It would destroy His infinite nature and deprive Him of His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Such a god could not and does not exist and the religionist, who in his thought deifies matter, or who would take from God's infinite nature one of His qualities and bestow it upon some human belief is an idolator and a worshiper of false gods as truly as the children of Israel became such by bowing down to a golden calf, or as were the prophets and followers of Baal.
The Need of Salvation
We have heretofore seen that the so-called human mind believes itself to be a creator and seeks ways and means of perpetuating itself as well as of pursuing pleasure and happiness in matter. Its quest for perpetual existence and pleasure is disappointing for, as we have seen, this mind conceives of death as the ultimate of all things. Some plan must be devised by this assumed creator to save its creature from the dire effects of its own mortality. Accordingly, this erroneous belief proceeds to devise a speculative and nebulous place somewhere in space called heaven, as well as an opposite place called hell, with a full code of regulations governing admission to each. Notwithstanding death is dissolution, destruction, yet this carnal mind, through some vague process of reasoning, would make death the entrance to heaven and hell and would have those who, perhaps through fear, have been faithful to its decrees, ushered into heaven, and have conferred upon them eternal life as a reward of merit and likewise, would have those who reject its plan ushered into eternal destruction as punishment. My friends, there is no such heaven and there is no such hell. The Bible plainly declares that, "the kingdom of heaven is within you," and it is reasonable to conclude that if the kingdom of heaven is a state of consciousness in divine Mind its opposite hell, must also be found in the realm of the mortal mind. In the exercise of all our mental faculties, as rational individuals, we must conclude that heaven is a condition of consciousness and is to be sought and attained here and now and the only means at our command by which we may become conscious of its dwelling within us is by the process of right thinking. It is not gained merely as a future reward of merit in some habitation located by human metes and bounds. It is a real, vital condition of thought and can be experienced and enjoyed at once in proportion to the illumination of the divine Mind shining in human consciousness. Adopting the same line of argument we conclude that a wrong mental state induces fear and other erroneous beliefs and establishes in human consciousness the opposite of heaven, — torment and hell. It is common observation that sometimes mortals are as much in a state of torment and woe, — utterly lost — as though they were actually being consumed by the traditional eternal fires of hell, and there is no escape, no deliverance from this state of torment except through the avenues of right mental action and the destruction of the erroneous beliefs which have induced this state of torment. No further argument is necessary to convince the most skeptical individual that the so-called human mind, the producing and procuring cause of all human discord and misery, is sorely in need of salvation, and we shall hope to satisfy your thought that Christian Science is the revelation of that salvation.
Christ Jesus — the Wayshower
We have tried to bring your attention thus far to the fact that the carnal mind, through its erroneous beliefs, has utterly failed to comprehend the true nature of God and His plan of salvation. It must be evident then, that a mortal man, the creature of the carnal mind, is lost and without hope unless there is some rational and appreciable way by which he may renounce these errors and be healed of his false beliefs. The human mind tries to endow matter with life and there is a constant endeavor to preserve and perpetuate this concept of life in the body. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly", and "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". This is Scriptural authority for concluding that the mission of Jesus was to bring to light a higher and better sense of life and that men should know and understand eternal Life through the knowledge of God, and His son, Christ Jesus. Christian Science proclaims Christ as the wayshower in a practical manner by giving heed to his words and works and by repeating in human experience many of the signs and wonders which he said should follow them who believe on him. In fact, as he healed the sick, overcame sin and raised the dead, leaving a commandment that his followers should do likewise, Christian Scientists are humbly engaged in this healing ministry. They freely admit that the highest desirable results have not yet been attained and that human discords have not been entirely overcome. The sincere Christian Scientist, however, finds much joy in the practice of the precepts of the Master and in the contemplation of the ultimate success to be attained and he is earnestly striving to reach the high goal set by Christ Jesus when he said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do". Because Christ Jesus was richly endowed by the divine Mind he reflected that Mind. He understood God and man's relation to Him and he proved to the world man's unity or at-one-ment with God. Jesus was the highest human concept of man, and the Christ, the divine idea was the spiritual man whom Jesus described in the words, "before Abraham was, I am". He demonstrated Immanuel — God with us. Christ Jesus is the only man who living on this earthly plane displayed the attributes of an ideal, perfect man. He revealed the saving, redeeming elements of the Christ and mortals may find this redemption and salvation a practical, present help in healing bodily afflictions as well as in redemption from overt sin.
Christian Science Healing
There is a very erroneous and unchristian belief ignorantly entertained by many concerning the attitude of Christian Scientists toward the experiences called sickness and death. The opinion is often erroneously entertained that they are unmindful of these distressing human conditions and that they offer no relief to those who unfortunately suffer from these beliefs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They freely admit that these conditions call for the highest degree of human compassion and they are proving their usefulness and competency by supplying humanitarian compassion in a most effectual Christian manner.
They are healing sickness, sorrow and dire distress in the most effectual way, in fact they are doing it in the only way that holds out a ray of hope or promise for the final deliverance from these evils. They freely admit that many of those who are engaged in other modes of healing are performing noble service and are to be commended for this service and for their deeds of deep devotion in trying to relieve human suffering. They further admit that the field for service is a large one and that there should be no conflict between those who in true sincerity engage in the practice of the "healing art". Likewise, there should be due consideration and real Christian charity for all those who entertain opposing views and Christian Scientists cheerfully accord to every individual the full liberty of conscience in determining the particular mode or system which, from his viewpoint, will best promote his happiness. Christian Scientists, of course, do not agree with those who adopt the theory that there is something wrong with matter and therefore something material must be administered to restore harmonious action. They believe that the intelligent and right way is to ascertain the offending mental cause and to remove it. They know that the procuring cause is mental and they seek to correct that wrong mental condition by substituting therefor the right mental status. Now this is a safe, orderly procedure and produces gratifying results. They do not lay one straw in the way of those who hold differing opinions and they freely accord to them the full right to drug, cut, pull, beat and pound the poor human body and do the hundred and one other things which, according to their material theories, are necessary in order to arouse this body to intelligent, normal activity, providing always the one possessing that body consents to and desires such treatment. Would it seem strange that Christian Scientists should expect others to exercise the same courtesy towards them, or that they should expect to be allowed the same freedom of choice?
Christian Science Treatment — Prayer
In his epistle to the Romans Paul writes: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts." A Christian Science treatment is a conscientious effort based upon a sincere desire to bring into human experience "the enduring, the good, and the true" so that by the renewing of the mind it can be proved what is that "perfect will of God." In other words the reformation of the sinner and the healing of the sick is but proof that divine Principle, God, is present and available and is, as we have heretofore seen Immanuel or God with us. This happy and desirable mental condition is established through the medium of prayer. There is great lack of understanding among Christian people as to what constitutes true prayer. This lack of absolute knowledge is the procuring cause of much error and accounts for the erroneous belief that Christian Scientists do not pray. Such belief has no foundation in fact. They pray continually and the fruits of their prayers are rich blessings to humanity. It must be remembered however, that in their prayers they do not supplicate God to conform His will to theirs or to change His infinite design. Neither do they charge Him with human delinquencies and as a matter of course they do not petition Him to remedy or correct that which He has not created. They do pray to Him from the standpoint of sincere desire and "absolute faith that all things are possible to Him," and such prayer is answered by driving out of human consciousness the diseased, erroneous images of thought and letting in the light of God's man created in His image and likeness. In other words, the Christian Science practitioner, through the medium of prayer, is establishing a positive connection with the divine Mind.
In the practice of medicine and surgery the successful physician first makes an intelligent diagnosis of his patient's case. In fact, modern medicine is laying more stress upon successful diagnosis than it is upon the administration of a remedy. This fact is significant; it indicates that the matter physician recognizes the cause of the ailment as of more importance than the method of treatment. We certainly will agree with our friends in this particular and we frankly admit that they are proceeding in the right direction. If they follow our leading they will be compelled to adopt our conclusion as to the initial cause of disease being mental, and of course we will be glad to recommend to them the One who, as the Psalmist declares, "healeth all thy diseases." As the successful physician makes his physical diagnosis so the Christian Science practitioner is ever on the alert and actively engaged in discovering the mental status of his patient. Some of the most alarming physical conditions quickly yield to Christian Science treatment when fear, self pity, self love, self condemnation, malice, hatred, revenge and other secret, hypnotic and mesmeric influences are uncovered and destroyed. Let me give you an illustration:
On the fertile prairies of Illinois lives a highly respected and prosperous farmer. His wife and daughter constitute his family. Through years of honest thrift this man has accumulated a fortune. His farm lands are extensive and his check passes without limitation at the bank. This farmer was reared and his life has been spent in a Christian home. He is a steadfast, conscientious believer according to his understanding, in the efficacy of the Bible truths. He has made a manly effort to live his religious convictions and to be worthy of the name of a Christian. The wife, likewise, is possessed of all of the grace and charm incident to a true, noble woman. Like her husband, she has been surrounded by religious influences all her life and long before becoming a wife and mother, united with the little band of workers in the little village church. The Bible has been her companion and with the establishment of a home she and her husband have ever remembered the "family altar" and have kept it sacred. The other member of this household is an only daughter, a charming, lovely young girl just coming into womanhood. Thus far the surroundings furnish evidence for the conclusion that this was an ideal home. One thing, however, was lacking. This daughter was an invalid, — decreed by certain so-called laws of heredity to be incurable. Early in her young life the best approved material remedies were applied without success. The family physician frankly admitted his inability to cure her. The specialist applied his technical knowledge and skill without success. The schools and institutions for medical research reviewed her affliction. The decision was the same — incurable. After these successive failures there remained one hope. Religion had been a vital force in this family, and the Bible promises had never heretofore failed them. Why should not this daughter be healed by the same power of God that raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead? These parents at once applied to their faithful pastor and it should be frankly admitted that no greater tribute can be paid to the Christian ministry than the statement that the efforts of this pastor were faithfully and conscientiously given in the light of his understanding, in the effort to heal this daughter. After weeks of patient endeavor her condition remained unchanged and the family sorrowfully accepted the conclusion that her case was incurable and sought to be reconciled to the belief that "God works in a mysterious way."
At this time Christian Science came to their attention. After many struggles with the usual arguments against it the parents renounced all objections and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy and a Christian Science practitioner were secured. From the start her improvement was rapid and pronounced. At the moment, however, when the fondest hopes of parents and daughter seemed about to be realized, her improvement apparently ceased; her case became stationary and, while improved, she was not healed. Having been convinced that her procedure was right the daughter continued therein faithfully and courageously and over and over again, searched her consciousness to discover the subtle, hindering cause. Convinced that this cause was outside of her mental activity preventing her complete recovery she began to look about her and discovered that her mother was filled with remorse and self condemnation for the years of suffering and pain endured by this daughter. She likewise had a strong sense of motherly pity for the daughter and, as a result, the mother and daughter were both securely bound by the erroneous belief of sympathetic mesmerism. Upon discovering this erroneous condition the daughter quickly and effectively rebuked this subtle belief and in due course of time thereafter both the mother and the daughter were permanently and completely healed through Christian Science.
I bring this illustration to your attention in order that you may see and understand the baneful effects of ignorant, sympathetic mesmerism, operating unchecked and unconsciously under the guise of pity, remorse, or self condemnation. I want you to understand that regardless of motives, the well meaning or the sincerity back of and prompting such beliefs that they are erroneous and dangerous, and constitute a serious menace to successful healing until they are recognized and destroyed. You may inquire of me "Are you sure that Christian Science heals?" I hold no mere abstract opinion on that subject, and I answer it positively and directly. I know that it heals and I bear public testimony to the fact that years ago through Christian Science treatment I was healed of the same serious disorder which had taken my mother, a sister, and two brothers, the entire family except my father, after all material remedies had failed both them and me. The Christian Science periodicals contain testimonies of healing and if you will attend a Wednesday evening meeting in any Christian Science church or society throughout the world you will hear many testimonies equally authentic and perhaps even more convincing than mine.
The Signs of the Times
In 1854 Cyrus W. Field, a merchant of New York City conceived the idea of binding Europe to America by means of submarine cable through which messages between the two countries could be exchanged. Upon announcement of his proposed project he was at once hailed as a mad man and as one fit for commitment in an asylum. After three unsuccessful attempts, on July 27, 1866, he successfully tied the two continents by a cable which endures to this day. This success demonstrated the final linking of every nation of the world and at this time there are hundreds and thousands of miles of submarine cable connecting every habitable part of the globe. This achievement is truly a noble and inspiring monument to the vision of Cyrus Field.
Just recently through research and invention, the human voice of the President of the United States was broadcasted a distance of thirty-four hundred miles without wire or cable, with just a sending and a receiving instrument in perfect adjustment. His voice was simultaneously heard and recognized in Madison Square Garden in New York City and on the Pacific Coast. The period of time embraced between the transmission by a "runner" of the first message on a piece of crude bark to the instantaneous broadcasting of the human voice over hundreds of miles without wire or cable is rich in advancement and progress. These are inspiring monuments to the achievements of mankind. The law governing the latest invention was just as available at the time that the crude bark was used and during all of the intervening years as it was in April, 1922. The human mind, however, required years of education and unfoldment before it could relinquish the use of the bark, the wire and the cable. Thought, however, was developing and unfolding and in due time this law, awaiting a discoverer, was brought to light.
Likewise in the year 1866 Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, the Christ-cure. Her undertakings were more revolutionary and more in advance of the times than those of Field. Like him, however, when apparently forsaken by friends and acquaintances she pressed on, proving each new step until finally she gave to the world a restatement of primitive Christianity, binding it together by her statement of spiritual law more effectively than does the submarine cable. As the law of the radio broadcasting was real and available likewise the laws of spiritual healing have always been real, awaiting a discoverer to make them available for present use. Hundreds of years of idolatry and false belief had obscured these laws until revealed and unfolded in the receptive thought of Mary Baker Eddy and restated by her in Christian Science.
In the achievements of Mary Baker Eddy may we not see more than simply the founding and establishing of a great organization? May we not see the shadow of that time when "the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea?"
May we not see in the successes achieved by the instantaneous broadcasting of the human voice our close approach to the time when the operation of spiritual law shall appear to human consciousness as natural and as normal as the manifestations of material law now seem — the time spoken of by the Psalmist when he said "He spake and it was done."
In conclusion, I want to recommend an earnest, conscientious endeavor on the part of every one of my hearers to apply the Christ healing as taught and practiced in Christian Science, to the discord, misery, sin and unholy conditions in human experience. I know that this endeavor will bless you and in proportion as you understandingly destroy one element of evil in your own consciousness you are helping to destroy it for the whole world. I know of no better concluding thought to leave with you than that contained within the following admonition from the Christian Science textbook:
"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony."
[Delivered Feb. 4, 1923, at Brattle Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Tribune, Feb. 10, 1923.]