Christian Science: The Christianity of Jesus

 

Sue Harper Mims, C.S.D.

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

The message of Christian Science to humanity is one of hope, joy, and blessedness; of longevity, harmony, and immortality, here and now. It is a message of universal love and peace. It knows no section nor clime nor sect. It is the Science of universal being for universal man, and ministers to universal human need. Nothing else on earth promises so much and fulfils so much. It offers to humanity the key which unlocks the gates of Paradise, that it may be regained. It offers the elixir of eternal life, and all may drink its spiritual draughts. It reveals to men the divine alchemy of Spirit, by which a mortal, sinning, and discordant consciousness may be transformed into a spiritual, harmonious, and immortal consciousness. Through this divine process Christian Science is establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth, the reign of individual and universal righteousness, that righteousness which is based on the right apprehension, or right thought of God and man.

It would be as impossible to tell the all of Christian Science, its teachings and infinite meanings, as it would be to count the stars in illimitable space or to number the waves on the shore of a limitless sea. This Science of infinity, whose Principle is God, is the Science of God's eternal law of good, of health, harmony, prosperity, perfection, whose phenomena constitute the reality of being.

 

The Power of Thought

Mrs. Eddy has aroused the world to grasp the power of thought, and this is restoring to Christianity its lost healing element through the presence and activity of Spirit. Said the wise man, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Mrs. Eddy has revealed the fact that Mind, or thought, is creative, or causative, and that phenomena must correspond to thought as does effect to cause. Christian Scientists have already proved enough to know that when the preponderance of thought in human consciousness is on the side of God, of spirituality, love, health, life, immortality, then sin, disease, and death will melt as vapors before the sun will disappear for lack of cause. St. James tells us that "sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death;" and Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Christian Scientists witness that Mrs. Eddy's great discovery has taught them to think more intelligently, logically, and practically about God. She says that "God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated" (Science and Health, p. 472), and the intelligent application of this true thought of God is today leavening thought, healing the sick, redeeming and uplifting humanity. To know God thus is not only "health to the bones," but it is eternal life.

All Christians unite on the same sublime definition of God as infinite Spirit, incorporeal Soul, Mind (the Mind of Christ); as supreme, spiritual Being, all-presence, all-power, all-wisdom, who is also Truth, Life, Love, the eternal, incorruptible substance of all that is, and besides whom there is naught else.

 

Law

The Scriptures teach us that God is the only lawgiver and that His laws are perfect laws. David said: "Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law. . . . The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. . . . I will meditate in thy statutes." From this supreme and ineffable grace, the divine source whence cometh "every good gift and every perfect gift," as St. James declares, can any but laws of life, health, harmony, bounty, blessedness, emanate? Christ Jesus bore witness to God's law when he annulled the false sense of law which results in sin, disease, and death. Hence St. Paul writes, "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Thus we see that Christianity as Jesus taught and lived it is simply the demonstration of God's perfect spiritual law or will, and as all science is based upon demonstrable law, or truth, Christianity must be scientific. Paul evidently had this understanding of Christianity, for he said, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." He also said, "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."

 

Theoretical Christianity

For centuries the theological world has adhered to a theoretical religion which claims Jesus' words for its foundation, but is largely indifferent to his wondrous works. Christian Science, viewing these works and words through the lens of Soul, reveals them as divinely correlated, and brings in a practical Christianity which meets every aspect of human need. It calls humanity to judge the teachings of Jesus by their fruits, as he desired. To the doubting and unbelieving of his day he said sadly, "The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me." "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works." The hour has come when human need demands a more intelligent sense of these works − when the works are beginning to illumine the words.

In the light of this understanding Christianity is lifted to the majesty of a universal, demonstrable Science, and Jesus is seen to be the most scientific man that ever walked the earth; the philosopher of philosophers; the logician of logicians; the philanthropist of philanthropists. His Science was omni-science, which permeates and embraces universal being. It is for all men and all time. Mrs. Eddy defines Christian Science as "the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony" (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1).

 

From God to Man

We often hear it said that man is "the image and likeness of God," but too often this is said while a concept of man as physical or corporeal obtains in thought. This somewhat clouds a true sense of what God really is. Human belief reasons from mortal man to God, while Christian Science reasons from God to the real man. Therefore the right way is to start with a clear concept of God, whom the Scriptures declare to be infinite Spirit, divine Mind, and then from this divine basis try to get some glimpse of what man must be as the image and likeness of such a God. If God is Spirit, then man must be spiritual, not physical; if God is Mind, then man must be idea; in a word, he must be as Mrs. Eddy declares, not physique, but the idea of Spirit. To dominate the flesh, and awake from the dream of life in matter, is the Christian warfare and attainment to which the psalmist refers when he says, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

 

The Ideal Man

There is sometimes one who says, "Christian Science is a very beautiful religion, but it is too transcendental for me." Does not humanity need and long for something that transcends this poor, fleeting material existence? Christian Science is transcendental because there never was such a transcendentalist as Christ Jesus. His every act was a transcendence of material laws and limitations. When he said, "Before Abraham was, I am," and again, "Glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was," he uttered the highest possible expression of transcendentalism. Throughout the centuries the great thinkers, seers, and prophets have caught glimpses of the fact that the spiritual alone is real. Kant, Fichte, Carlyle, all announce this glorious glimpse of Truth; but beyond this sense that every ray of light from the infinite source rarefies the atmosphere of human thought, their vision has had no practical significance to humanity. Jesus brought his transcendentalism down to suffering humanity to heal sick bodies, to comfort sorrowing hearts, to raise the dead, and thus to transcend every sense of human limitations.

Take, for instance, those two statements, "Before Abraham was, I am," and, "Glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Spiritually understood and held in thought, these two statements will heal any disease on earth. As we dwell on them, they absolutely blot out the poor material sense of being, the belief of life apart from God, this vapor, this dream, this shadow, and reveal the ideal man's indissoluble unity with his Maker. The ideal man is "a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec," "having neither beginning of days, nor end of life," taking away the sins of the world, destroying the illusions incident to a false, material sense of being. This ideal man dwells ever in the realm of infinite Light; is never conscious of matter, nor evil, nor sin, nor death; never separated from, but always in the bosom of the Father, in the Christ-mind, or divine consciousness, reflecting the infinity of Love and Life, and was, is, and ever will be the only real man.

Mrs. Eddy says, "Continuing our definition of man, let us remember that harmonious and immortal man has existed forever, and is always beyond and above the mortal illusion of any life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter" (Science and Health, p. 302). This is the immaculate concept of being, which is the Saviour of the world. Christian Science is Christ Jesus' transcendentalism made practical, as he made it practical.

 

The Logic of Christ Jesus

Christ Jesus' sublime logic is equally simple and powerful. He reasoned absolutely from the basis of one divine Principle, one Father-Mother, one cause and creator. He applied his divine logic of perfect cause and perfect effect; perfect God and perfect man, to all error. He knew that the fountain can rise no higher than its source; that from God, the divine Father, emanates all good. He knew that evil and disease and discord can no more come from the infinite and holy One than light can emit darkness or Truth express a lie. He held steadily to the divine premise of his being "I know whence I came, and whither I go; . . . I came forth from the Father, and . . . go to the Father." He planted his followers on this basic truth, and said, "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." And his prayer for universal man has this same basis, "Our Father which art in heaven."

He knew that no one can reach man's perfect spiritual being on the false basis of material origin or evolution any more than discord could express harmony or flesh express Spirit, with which it is ever at war. On a spiritual basis only could Jesus' followers be really followers or imitators of him. He came to reveal man's infinite possibilities when endued with a true knowledge of God, and man's own individual being as a son of God. He said, "Greater works than these shall he do;" that is, when man's relation to God in the splendor of the true sonship is revealed, and that God of Israel who forgiveth our sin and healeth our disease is understood, accepted, and adored, then shall the reign of Love and righteousness be established, and God's will or law be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

Spiritual Practicality

Humanity has sadly fallen into the belief that only material force (so called) is practically available, and hence material sense is constantly reviling and persecuting the dreamer or idealist. Let us recall the charming story of the fair young Joseph, of Scriptural history. Buoyant and radiant in the joyous consciousness of his spiritual dominion, illustrating that law of Love to which all must bow, he appears before the false brethren, who say, "Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him." In fulness of time it was Joseph, whose forgiving love opened to him the treasures of Egypt, who fed the famishing hope of the false brethren and was their deliverer.

In the exquisite story of Solomon's young manhood, when God said to him, "Ask what I shall give thee," he answered in these grand words: "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people." It is said that this answer "pleased the Lord," and He said, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches . . . behold I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; . . . and I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor." In later times Jesus epitomized this teaching in those great words, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

We have not made this great truth practical, because we have not grasped the metaphysics of it by understanding the power of the right thought of God, the infinite Being who clothes, feeds, and sustains man, holding him ever harmonious, and who never stops giving, or radiating His own blessedness, any more than the sun stops shining. Christ Jesus' own practical philanthropy, which was purely spiritual, illustrates these great truisms. Nothing but the Christianity of Jesus can ever harmoniously solve the world's great financial problem. We thus see the unity of Jesus: philosophy, science, logic, and philanthropy; and that all philosophy, science, and healing converge in Christian Science.

 

Christ Jesus' Work or Philanthropy

It is conceded by all Christians that the historical Christ Jesus lived and did his mighty works; that this divinely natural, Godlike man really was the Son of God, and the son of the Virgin, the mediator between flesh and Spirit, between God and men. As the apostle declares, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Jesus left the rich legacy of his transcendent life an example for all mortals to follow "Let him deny himself, . . . and follow me." In his short ministry he transcended all human limitations, he healed all manner of sickness, the naked lunatic was "clothed, and in his right mind," he cast out sin and disease by the power of Spirit, he fed the multitude, the five thousand and the four thousand, he stilled the tempest, he walked over the waves and reproached Peter because he had not sufficient faith to do likewise. He really transcended matter and space. He raised the dead, and spiritualized humanity; he made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame to walk; the tribute money was found in the fish's mouth, and all this without material aid, as not only the Scripture teaches, but as even the historian Gibbon declares was the accepted belief about the early Christians.

 

How Did Christ Jesus Heal?

Mrs. Eddy has awakened the Christian church to the recognition that healing is an essential element of Christianity. The human mind usually meets an advancing thought first with antagonism, and then with the compliment of imitation. And here I will pause to say that the healing of Christian Science has no affiliation whatever with any but purely spiritual methods. Jesus' metaphysical healing necessitated the regeneration of mind and body; and the therapeutics of Christian Science is purely spiritual, casting out disease by casting out sin.

Mrs. Eddy tells us very simply how Jesus healed. She says (Science and Health, p. 476), "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and man is pure and holy."

 

Standpoint of Spirit

Christ Jesus viewed man from the standpoint of Spirit, not matter; Soul, not sense; this is his secret and the secret of Christian Science. He came, as we are told in the Scriptures, to judge not after the sight of the eye, nor the hearing of the ear, but to judge righteous judgment. The very basis of Christianity is faith, which the apostle describes as "the substance of things hoped for." Now faith is a mental condition, yet it is substance, cause, causation; it is "the evidence of things not seen," or better, the conviction of unseen realities. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews recites the effects of faith: by it the dead were raised, the lame and the maimed were restored, the mouths of lions were stopped, fire was quenched, victories were won, the walls of Jericho fell down, Enoch was translated that he should not see death.

It is to be remembered that all can attain to this mental condition, this faith, as well as did Jesus, Peter and Paul, and other ancient worthies, and that it should and will bring about the same results because it expresses a universal law of cause and effect. But in order to do this one must deny the physical or visible evidence, and steadfastly hold to the unseen verities of Spirit. This is Christianity in its eternal, primitive purity, perfection, and power. This is what Jesus, Peter and Paul, and the ancient prophets did they held in thought to the unseen, eternal verities of being, in spite of and in reversal of material evidence; and in that consist the sublimity and simplicity of their methods and works.

Jesus came rebuking the universal sin of the world, which is seeing after the flesh instead of after the Spirit. He came reversing the prevailing theory that man is mortal and material, the worm in the dust theory, as absolutely as Copernicus reversed, repudiated, and ignored the Ptolemaic theory and every conclusion derived therefrom. Today the earth looks just as flat and stationary as it ever did, and the sun, moon, and stars seem just as subservient to the earth as when the human mind for centuries accepted that absurd and limited theory. Astronomical education and research have released us from that limited and false view of the stellar universe, and opened to our vision the splendors of a limitless sphere of central suns and systems, moving in the majesty of unerring law. Even that brilliant knight-errant of the skies, the wandering comet, is now known to be subservient to law. Christian Science reveals Jesus' work as equally revolutionary. He repudiates the Adam-dream theory, with its illusions of sin, disease, and death, and demonstrates the power and truth of his splendid premise of spiritual sonship and heirship, destroying the delusive evidences of evil.

 

The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science

Mrs. Eddy is the inspired revelator of Christian Science. The infinite, all-encompassing eternal Truth that is, God is also the infinite wisdom which is the infinite light of being. This light reaches human experience through that consciousness which offers the clearest transparency for its expression. Because Mrs. Eddy's consciousness was freer from material impediment than that of others, because she was divinely qualified, this flood-tide of Truth has shone through her and is crystallized in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

This light is irradiating consciousness with its unspeakable brightness, and is flooding the universe with God's glory. In this light the evil human mind is analyzed to its depths, and thus made ready for destruction. Its fruits are seen to be the Dead Sea fruits of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," the eating of which brought death into the world, while in Christian Science the Christ-mind is enthroned, bringing to light "life and immortality."

More and more, as we see the tireless vigil of this beloved woman, as she lovingly keeps watch over a world that is even now budding and burgeoning into the flowers and fruitage of a spiritual and practical Christianity through her work, as we see the matchless wisdom that guides the great Christian Science movement, we recognize that prophecy and poetry have foretold this marvelous hour, as expressed in that grand refrain of Goethe, "The Woman-Soul Leadeth Us On."

 

Immaculate Conception

Christian Science teaches the immaculate conception and birth of Jesus, his progressive steps in overcoming all materiality, his crucifixion, resurrection, and final ascension out of matter and beyond material vision. He was the expression of Mary's glorified, spiritual perception that God is the real Father of man, and through the humanity derived from Mary he was able to cognize, rebuke, and destroy sin and death; thus all judgment was committed unto the Son. On this basis, as the spiritual ideal, or Son of God, he came to a world asleep in the dreams of material origin or material evolution, to which the fiat of wisdom had said, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." To this condition "dead in trespasses and sins," the divine voice said, and ever says, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ [the Truth of being] shall give thee light." It was as if he found the world upside down, and he readjusted it right side up. He reversed conditions. To him of the palsied hand, resultant from this false sense of being, he said, "Stretch forth thine hand, . . . and it was restored whole, like as the other." He did not say of the disease-bound woman, God has afflicted her, but, "Satan [the lie, the false sense of being] hath bound her." To one whom he healed he said, "Thy faith hath made thee whole." To the maimed, the halt, the blind, the sick, the sorrowing, he spoke the healing words of Truth, in demonstration of the power of Spirit, to the glory of God and His law of Life.

 

The Aim and Destiny of Man

The hope which Pope tells us "springs eternal in the human breast," is ever urging mortals to the attainment of something beyond the present sense of things. Often this aspiration is for fame, for dominion over one's fellow-man, for wealth, or for distinction. Its various alluring forms the fading and evanescent experiences in human history have been like will-o'-the-wisps in the darkness of human thought. Only as we acquire dominion over evil, disease, and death do we attain the freedom of God's children, and only as we understand the life and works of Christ Jesus, as explained by our beloved teacher, Mrs. Eddy, do we get a glimpse of the real destiny or goal of man, and find a worthy and a glorious fulfilment.

Christian Science reveals Christ Jesus as not only the central figure of all history, but as the central figure of scientific attainment. In the light of Christian Science we see Christ Jesus taking, for our guidance and enlightenment, every step on the ladder that reaches from earth to heaven, from a material to a spiritual sense of being, in a constantly ascending scale of demonstration. He was always ascending, striving for the goal or culminating attainment marked by his disappearance to physical sight as he reached his unity with infinite Spirit. These ascending steps in metaphysical Science were the result of his clear spiritual vision, his understanding of the divine reality of being, that pierces the mist which rises from the ground (the material sense of origin and destiny) and sees the spiritual man and universe, perfect and spiritual because the Maker is spiritual and perfect. These ascending steps indicate the subordination of the corporeal appearance, or sense of man and the universe, to the spiritual vision wherein we ultimately will see face to face, and know even as we are known. This divine knowing is the power that rends the veil of sense and reveals the perfect man, and demonstrates God's perfect spiritual law.

The attainment of spiritual unity with infinite Spirit is and must be the true Christian aim. This attainment is not reached through death and defeat, but through Life and victory. What is the church triumphant but the church victorious over sin and disease and death? Is not this true warfare, then, between the finite belief and the infinite Truth, between the seen and temporal and the unseen and eternal, the flesh and the Spirit, the limited and the limitless, the real and the unreal? And "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" He who is the eternal Life, Mind, and Soul of all.

I remember to have once seen a picture by the artist Gerome, called "The Two Majesties." On the bleak sand-dunes of Egypt reposed a majestic lion, lord of all he surveyed, to human sense terrible, fierce, powerful. Across on the horizon was the great central sun, rising in transcendent glory, filling earth with its seemingly infinite light, conscious only of its own sublime, ineffable effulgence. Not two majesties, but the fleeting and finite arrayed against the infinite, was what the picture said to me. So when God's glory, the splendor of infinite Spirit, floods the consciousness, the fleeting, the temporal, fade into nothingness. This is also beautifully illustrated in the sweet story of Elisha and his young companion. The young man was terrified by the seeming strength of the enemy, but Elisha prayed that his spiritual vision might be opened, and behold, he saw that the mountain was "filled with an heavenly host." In our own daily experiences, when error seems so real, Love can and does open our spiritual vision to see the heavenly host, revealing that "one on God's side is a majority," and how "they that be with us are more than they that be with them."

 

The Struggle of Human Experience

Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 93), "The belief that Spirit is finite as well as infinite has darkened all history," and St. Paul declares that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." From these two passages we see that human history is really a sense or belief of limitation, a "coming short of the glory of God, good." To this sphere of limitation the Christ-idea comes, as the idea of limitless good, limitless bounty, limitless supply, health, life; and reflected in Christ Jesus, we see this idea simply rebuking a false sense of limitation. This false sense of the limitation of Spirit evolves itself into an unfolding or belief in a material man and universe, whose discord, destroying itself, dissolves before the brightness of the divine glory, the fulness of the revelation of good.

The Christian warfare is therefore with a false sense of the limitation of good in any direction, and this false belief and its phenomena are destroyed by understanding the unity and allness of divine Mind. Jesus simply applied this true sense of God's allness. We learn, then, that to be one with the Father is to be one with the divine and infinite Source, which forever radiates good, life, health, bliss; that is "without variableness, neither shadow of turning;" ever giving, as the sun is ever shining.

But, some may say, Are we to follow Christ Jesus even to the ascension? Certainly; is not he the great captain of our salvation, leading in the struggle between the flesh and Spirit, demonstrating man's spiritual dominion over all evil by spiritual vision, the understanding of the unseen, eternal, limitless good? The fallacy that Jesus is God has hidden his grand leadership and brotherhood from us. Jesus was part of the brotherhood he revealed. "I am not yet ascended to my Father," "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father," were his words to Mary Magdalene as he stood before her on the resurrection morning. He understood the realities of being; hence his transcendent power, and his culminating attainment, at the ascension, of his indissoluble unity with the Father. Theological vicarious atonement stops at Calvary. Scientific at-one-ment is attained in the ascension. This struggle and attainment of union with God was and is the only truly and completely scientific event of all human history. It stands the one divine achievement and fact toward which all development tends and points. Jesus prayed, "That they may be one, even as we are."

Christian Science, having revealed to us that this struggle is in each individual consciousness, being the conflict between belief and understanding, teaches us to deny the shadowy illusions of false sense, and rise to the understanding of the spiritual, eternal facts of being, now and ever the same. It makes it possible for us to follow Jesus in his demonstrations, by which we learn to know the omnipotent reality of Truth, to know the divine Presence and its all-embracing harmony. This attainment would seem impossible were it not that Jesus, as revealed in Christian Science, has taken each step in such a gradually ascending scale that we can see the unfolding of Love in this redemptive work. For our guidance he began with the initial step, denial of self, or belief of corporeal selfhood. He said, "Let him deny himself, . . . and follow me." Then followed the healing of the sick on the basis of man's perfect, individual being as spiritual and immortal. The true sense of being, or spiritual understanding, was thus applied to destroy the false evidences of mistaken belief.

 

In the Way of Divine Life

Beginning with the triumph over the sense evidence of sickness and sin, Christ Jesus took each step in the way of divine Life, in a constantly ascending scale of demonstration, healing every manner of disease and sin, not with drugs or hypnotism, but by the power of eternal Truth; saying to every form of error, God does not know you, for He is omnipotent good, the only cause; therefore you are a liar, without Principle, cause, or creator.

The ascending scale of his demonstrations over death shows with greater force how he resisted the testimony of the personal senses. Let us first consider the case of the daughter of Jairus, the little maid who had just died. To the material sense Christ Jesus saw the silent form and heard the sounds of wailing; but he turned away from this evidence. His spiritual sense caught the rhythm of the deathless spheres, and he saw the all-embracing order of spiritual being. Then he said, "The maid is not dead, but sleepeth;" and the materialism of that day "laughed him to scorn." Meeting the young man on the way to burial at Nain, his tender compassion caused him again to meet, deny, and overcome the material sense of things, and Spirit again bore witness that God is the eternal Life of man. Then in the case of Lazarus, dead four days, of whom also he said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him." Despite the evidence of corruption and decay, he swerved not, but cried out, "Lazarus, come forth," and Lazarus stepped forth, a witness to the indestructibility of Life and the incorruptible substance of Spirit.

Christ Jesus had a different idea of Life, Truth, substance, and intelligence, from that of mortals. Because Life to him was God, without beginning or ending, the eternal circle of Mind, he raised the dead. He knew that the Holy One could not see death nor corruption. Thus we see that the ultimate of true struggle and achievement is to find man's individual eternal being in Science. It is to reach the "glorious liberty of the children of God," deliverance from fear, from matter and its so-called laws freedom in that harmony and perfection which is the reflection of infinite good.

This subordination of the human to the divine, this surrender to the universal law of divine Love, enables us to see as God sees, to love as God loves, to judge righteous judgment, after the spiritual perception and not after the flesh. Our steps in this direction are taken only as we put off the fleshly nature and put on the heavenly qualities of justice, wisdom, mercy, tenderness, spirituality; when we are willing to crucify the earthly affections and desires, and yield to the divine operation and purification of spiritual Love and its consuming fires. The gold of human character must be cleansed of its earthly dross and burnished to reflect the divine image. Only thus can we get the victory and win the immortal crown; and while the warfare is grand, the victory is sure if we are faithful, and the glory beyond human conception. As the faithful Paul tells us, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

The ideal man (or "new man," as Paul expresses it) in Christian Science is not a vague and shadowy creation, but as tangible to spiritual sense as are objects to the material touch and vision. Mrs. Eddy says: "This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental, because the spiritual man's substantiality transcends mortal vision and is revealed only through divine Science" (Science and Health, p. 301).

 

Reflection

Christ Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," and Paul expresses the same thought when he says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Let us see by Christ Jesus' own words how clearly he taught this same thought of God and man; and this is important, since it is the basis of Christian healing. When clearly apprehended this truth is a corrective of many misunderstandings as to Christian Science. Moreover, this right apprehension of the relation of God and man enlarges the capacities, illumines the mind, improves health, increases longevity, gives man harmony, intelligence, life, here and now.

St. John in his Gospel records these sayings of Christ Jesus: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth." "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." "I speak that which I have seen with my Father." "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." "I must work the works of him that sent me."

Thus we see that the real, the ideal man, as the son of God, is the full reflection of pure intelligence, pure Spirit, incorruptible substance, immortal perfection, eternal Life. This ideal man has never been seen by mortals. When Jesus reached the full reflection, as the Christ, he became invisible to mortals. Jesus was the highest visible expression of this perfect man, and Christ Jesus remains the forever ideal for humanity to imitate. As the Christ said, through the angel, to the churches, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. . . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Christian Science is the Christ-message to the churches; each message concluding with the glorious rewards of overcoming. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." How clearly this teaches the need of the individual overcoming, and that the true vicarious sacrifice is in each individual consciousness, being with each of us the crucifying of the fleshly beliefs which hide from us man's at-one-ment with Life, Truth, and Love.

 

[Published in pamphlet form by The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1909.]

 

 

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