The Call of Christian Science (Extract)
Lt. Col. Robert Ellis Key, C.S.B., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Tired of the husks of materialism, humanity is striving to find God. Many ask, Is there a God? Where can we find Him? What is His nature, and what is His purpose for man? Is there a Christ, a Saviour, and what is the meaning of life? Christian Science answers these questions thus: Yes, there is a God and you can find Him. There is a Christ, a Saviour, and you can know him. There is a solution to the world's problems, and there is a vital meaning to life.
When God is understood, a new idea of life is gained, a new hope established, a new view of man and the universe revealed. In the words of St. Paul, "behold all things are become new" (II Cor. 5:17).
Can there be any confusion or discord or division in the one Mind which is God? Divine Mind is infinite intelligence. It is Life, Truth, and Love.
Christian Scientists regard Christ Jesus as their Wayshower. They revere him, and obey his instructions, but they do not believe that Jesus was God. They accept him as a Son of God. Jesus was a human man animated by the Christ, his divine nature. The title for our Master most favoured by Christian Scientists is Jesus the Christ, or Christ Jesus. Jesus was the human man; Christ, the divine ideal. The definition of the word "Christ" as given in the Christian Science textbook reads as follows: "CHRIST. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (S & H, p. 583). It will thus be seen that it was through the Christ that Jesus did his marvelous works. He claimed his inseparability from the Christ, and he is therefore known to us as Christ Jesus. The inseparability, but distinction, of Jesus and the Christ, is an important point in the theology of Christian Science. It does not imply that man is God, or that Christ is God, but rather that, man is inseparable from God and His Christ, or manifestation.
We each have a spiritual sonship with God, and this sonship must be brought to light, utilized and demonstrated. The declaration of the apostle John — "Now are we the sons of God" (I John 3:2) is literally true for each of us, and having been given this great heritage, we must claim it and demonstrate it. Our sonship with God is known to us through reflection. To quote Mrs. Eddy's words on page 281 of "Science and Health," "The Ego-man is the reflection of the Ego-God."
When Christ Jesus commanded his disciples: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48), he was not making an impossible demand. On the contrary, he was drawing attention to man's original and permanent perfection as a child of God. He was inviting his disciples to accept the perfection of his Father, the great first Cause, and the perfection of man created in God's image and likeness. Man in God's image and likeness is the expression of Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind, Principle. As the expression of divine Life, man is deathless and immortal. As the expression of divine Truth, man is honest, upright, dependable. As the expression of divine Love, man is kindly, compassionate, courageous, joyous, inspired. As long as we regard man entirely from a material standpoint, he will appear to be something utterly unlike God's image and likeness.
The material sense of man may appear to be almost an animal in appearance and behaviour. Sometimes he may appear to be a cripple, or sick, or a sinner, but God never saw or created these conditions for man. It is materialism which evolves them. The material view of creation hides God from man and man from his brother.
The Kingdom of God
On page 516 of "Science and Health" Mrs. Eddy writes: "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God."
All we know of God is known to us by reflection. The kingdom of God, the reign of law, order, love, health, holiness, is ours by reflection. Some feel that the kingdom of God is afar off. It seems to be deflected, so to speak. It appears to be outside their intimate experience. But, the promise of the Master is perpetual. He said, "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). Let the sufferer think deeply on this statement. If the kingdom of our God is within you, then fear, doubt, loneliness, sin, sickness, death are not within you, for these evils are certainly not to be found in the kingdom of heaven.
Which kingdom shall be real to us? The kingdoms of this world, or the kingdom of God and of His Christ? The book of Revelation provides the answer in these words: "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Rev. 12:10).
The kingdom of God within you means health, harmony and power within your consciousness. It is a kingdom of power. It would be of little use to frame a code of perfect laws for a kingdom unless power was provided to enforce the law.
What did the Master say about spiritual power? He said: "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19).
This promise is plain enough. You cannot have anything plainer. We have spiritual power to destroy sin, sickness, and death, and to recognize God's laws which are those that govern His kingdom. We have this power by reflection.
Sometimes the suggestion comes up that inspiration is lacking, that the path appears dark, and we cannot find God. Christ Jesus' words ring out to silence these suggestions. He said, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them" (John 17:22). The radiance of divine Truth, the glorious enlightenment of divine Love, by reflection, are ours.
Let us claim the fulfillment of these promises. Let us learn to be citizens of the kingdom of God, exercise spiritual power, and so prove the truth of Christian Science — namely, the power and glory of divine Life, Truth, and Love, are reflected everywhere.
Christian Scientists are prayerful people. They believe in Paul's admonition "Pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). They unite with all Christians in their use of the great prayer of Christendom, known as the Lord's Prayer. They feel they have gained a clearer understanding of the meaning of this prayer through the spiritual interpretation of it as given in the Christian Science textbook. The Lord's Prayer is surely a model for all prayer. Not merely because of its beautiful phraseology, but because it states certain fundamental truths, the understanding of which heals the sick. The Master said, speaking of this prayer, "After I this manner therefore pray ye" (Matt. 6:9). Not necessarily in these words, mark you, but in this manner. The Lord's Prayer contains great and vital statements of Truth, statements about God and His kingdom, about His will or reign of divine law, of the forgiveness or cancellation of sin, of God's infinite spiritual provision, and of "the kingdom, and the power, and the glory" (Matt. 6:13) of God which Science shows us is mirrored or reflected by man.
Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science near Lynn, Massachusetts in February, 1866. Owing to the effects of a serious accident, her life was despaired of by her physician. On the third day afterwards she opened her Bible at the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and read the account of the healing of the palsied man. The Scriptural narrative was illumined. Her thought was flooded with spiritual power. God revealed Himself to her — she was healed.
This event, so little noticed at the time, was destined to revolutionize the thought of the world. When Christ Jesus healed the palsied man, it will be remembered that he uttered these memorable words: "For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?" (Matt. 9:5), thus indicating that the healing of sickness and the healing of sin are alike in that they rest upon the same divine Principle. The New Testament lays emphasis on the healing work done by Christ Jesus and his disciples. This healing work continued for nearly three hundred years after the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, healing the sick was regarded as an essential part of the ministry of the Christian church. It is also evident that, during the succeeding centuries, the dogmas and doctrines introduced by materialism into the church obscured the primitive purity of the Master's teachings, and thus separated the practice of religion from that of the healing. Men came to depend upon material remedies for the healing of the body, and upon man-made theology for the health of the soul. The seamless robe was rent in twain and the stone of materialism rolled before the sepulchre. What a tragedy for humanity! But in 1866 this tragedy was redeemed. Primitive Christian healing in its spiritual and scientific nature again became available to mankind. Thus was restored the long-lost truth, that true theology and medicine are one and that the Christ is the only physician.
It is true that the healing of sin sometimes presents a more difficult problem than the healing of sickness. This, as Mrs. Eddy has pointed out, is because the sinner is less willing to part with his imaginary pleasures than the sick man is to part with his pains. But when the sinner has so suffered from the effects of sin that he turns from it with loathing, then through the application of the truth as taught in Christian Science, he can be quickly and permanently healed.
When sin in its myriad forms makes insistent demands upon us, we should ask ourselves, On which side am I fighting? Who is my master? Whom do I serve? Some forms of sin are so subtle that they almost escape notice, hence the Master's admonition to watch. It is a significant fact that he placed watchfulness before prayer. "Watch," he said, "and pray."
Many who have heard the call of Christian Science will wish to respond to it. There is no lack of opportunity in this field of labour. Nearly two thousand years ago Jesus said to his disciples: "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35). In other words, exercise your spiritual perception whatever your field of labour may be. The call comes to you just where you are, just where you are working — in the home, in the church, in the office, in the factory, in the field. It is in our work-a-day world that we can demonstrate the government of God as understood in Christian Science. It is there we can prove the truth of Mrs. Eddy's statement as given on page 379 of "Science and Health," where she writes: "The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind."
"Truth is revealed," she writes on page 174, "It needs only to be practised."