Christian Science: The Discovery of Life Eternal
Paul Stark Seeley, C.S.B., of Portland, Oregon
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Two opposite concepts of life are at war in human thinking. The conflict becomes increasingly intense. One asserts that life is chiefly in material sensation, material thoughts, and material bodies. The other declares life is wholly spiritual, the individualized expression of Spirit, Mind, God. Those accepting this concept regard the mortal sense of life as the negative counterfeit of the real, which can be displaced in proportion to one's understanding of the affirmative allness of the Mind that is God, and His infinite universe of ideas.
The material theory says that life originates in a non-thinking egg, in which is a submicroscopical machine by which living bodies are developed. Physical science terms this the mechanistic theory. This never-seen minute mechanism is presumed to add cells to cells, and to imprison a mortal selfhood therein, so evolving material man. But whence comes to man the Mind and intelligence that is the most vital influence in his being? Is it thinkable that intelligence, and the limitless ideas with which it supplies man, could be confined in a mindless egg, or in any of the cells that develop from it?
The Scriptures teach that God, Spirit, is the Life of man. Said Paul, "In him [God, not matter] we live." The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, saw the complete unrelatedness of the material concept of life to the real, God-constituted life when she said (Science and Health, p. 546), "Spirit, God, never germinates, but is 'the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.'" To germinate means to sprout, to begin to grow. The Life that is eternal Mind never begins materially to sprout or to grow.
A college student elected to take a course in biology. It dealt with tadpoles and frogs, with eggs and cells, but the student kept wondering when the explanation of life would be given. Finally, he asked, "When are we going to learn what life is?" To his dismay the instructor replied, "Who knows what life is? I am sure I do not." Life remained unexplained by this study of various forms of organic matter.
Life Is Not in Matter
On page 468 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is what is called "the scientific statement of being." The opening statement is, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter." Then follows the reason, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." Christian Science stands on this unqualified denial of any real life as existing in unintelligent matter, and that all real life is the manifestation of infinite Mind, beyond the touch or taint of mortality.
Doctor Mayo once said he had taken the physical body apart and put it together again many times, but had never found anywhere in it the soul of man. Science and Health declares (p. 151), "The blood, heart, lungs, brain, etc., have nothing to do with Life, God." What, then, is the explanation of this thing we call physical organism and organic life?
Christian Science teaches that as God is the self-existing, all-substantial Mind, including in itself its limitless ideas and identities, so God's seeming opposite is the negative, substanceless, material mind evidenced and identified by a material universe peopled with a material sense of mind and life, asserting its false sense of life through personified matter and the material senses.
Mortal man and mortal body are mortal mind's image, certainly not God's image. The basic error, mortal mind, controls with its negative thought forces its mortal identities, who, in many roles, play their parts on the world stage of material existence. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they play, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they cry, but always they respond to the will of the hidden hand, the unseen carnal mind, until the real idea of life — man God-made, Godlike, God-controlled — comes to be recognized. The Science of spiritual life rings down the curtain on mortality's scene, and lifts the curtain on the kingdom of God.
"Life is in his Son"
The deeply spiritual writings of John show that the Master had no more thoughtful and receptive pupil than the beloved disciple. On the subject of life, John has given us an impressive summary of what he learned from the great Teacher. He says: "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." To have the Son of God must mean to have some understanding of Christ, Truth, of man as the son, or expression, of God, his one real Life, Parent, Mind. Have you and I the Son, or Christ-consciousness? Is sonship with God our daily, hourly sense of life? We do not really live, according to John, if our sonship with God is lost in the fable of material self. It is impossible for man to be the son of a mortal and the son of God. Which is he? The limited, temporary, material self is the fiction. The permanent, limitless, God-expressing self is the fact.
Man, as the son of God, is no theoretical concept. Every unselfish motive you or I entertain is the activity of God in His son. Says Science and Health (p. 376), "There is more life and immortality in one good motive and act, than in all the blood which ever flowed through mortal veins." Material blood has no more life in it than material water. But a truly good motive is the life-force of God, acting in the consciousness of His son. It is an expression of Life. Do you see something of what Life is? It is Mind, the intelligent, good, loving Mind. Do you see what man is? He is the identified activity of this all-wise, all-loving Mind, that by which, and in which, the Mind-Life is naturally and eternally expressed and made evident.
Life Is Indivisible, So Undivided
The material concept of life says that life is much divided-up, that every mortal has a life of his own which he may lose while other mortals keep theirs. Furthermore, the many forms of material life have varying spans of existence. A mortal may live for a century, an elephant for two centuries, some trees for sixty centuries, and certain insects for only a few days or a few hours. Again, in this divided-up sense of life, one form of life may be sick, another well, one strong, another weak. One may hear, another be deaf, one be joyful, another grieved. The material mind blights and afflicts some while favoring and fattening others for future affliction. Always it creates, ultimately to destroy, lacking the wherewithal to maintain for long its temporary identities.
The spiritual idea shows Life to be one, undivided, because indivisible. Where would you begin to divide and dissect Mind? It cannot be done, and it has not been done. The sunlight is the expression of the sun through its sunbeams. Life is the one Life — Mind and its universe of radiantly intelligent ideas, all united to their source and to each other through understanding. Mrs. Eddy quotes in her writings the lines of the poet Pope, "All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body nature is, and God the soul" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 269).
Life does not exist in fractions or fragments. Life is the infinite One, the indivisible whole, and man its son, or undivided expression. It is comforting to discover this oneness of Life, with all real selfhood included therein. It begins at once to free us from the strain of believing that man is a subdivision of mortal life, struggling to exist against forces he is taught must ultimately destroy him. Now we begin to realize that man, collectively and individually, is spiritual, sustained by God's omnipotence, dwelling in God's omnipresence.
Moses called down the corridors of time, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." In other words, Take note, all Christendom, our God is the one Life and Mind of man, undivided and indivisible. The logical and inescapable conclusion is that some life is not being born and some dying. Some is not living in a mortal "here" and some in a mortal "hereafter." Some is not at peace and some at war. Some is not cruel and some just. Some is not beautiful and some base. The one Life has one infinitely individualized manifestation, which in all its identities, great and small, expresses in the symphony of Being the harmony, loveliness, beauty, and goodness of God.
Life's Senses Abide in Love
Life, of course, possesses faculties. They are inherent in Life. They have no existence apart from Life. The faculties of sight and hearing are the natural ability of Mind to perceive what is. Mortal mind mistakenly says sight is in matter and can be impaired or destroyed by age or material forces. Science says sight is in Mind, God, now and forever, and the self-sustaining forces of Mind ensure the permanence of Mind's faculties.
In one of her poems Mrs. Eddy says (Poems, p. 7), "Love alone is Life." The truth then becomes apparent that man's true senses are the senses of Love, inseparable from Love, as permanent as Love. This fact is affirmed on page 274 of Science and Health, "The senses of Spirit abide in Love." A poet has written,
"We cannot understand save as we love;
We cannot even see save as we love.
Who owns most of the valleys, hills, and woods,
The streams, the grazing flocks?
'Tis the same man
Who owns most of the sunsets, clouds and stars.
And who is he? 'Tis he who loves them most;
For only by the measure of his love
Can he discern their perfect loveliness,
And know the joys, of their companionship."
(Clarence A. Buskirk, in Indianapolis News).
Blindness Healed by Love
The elderly mother of a son confined in a penitentiary had been blind for some years. In the penitentiary the son found Christian Science and began writing his mother of it in the terms often used by Mrs. Eddy. He wrote of God as infinite good, ever-present Love, and man Love's image and constant expression. Some time later a Christian Scientist, at the son's request, called to see his mother. To his surprise she walked toward him quickly, pulled up a chair, and asked him to be seated. She could see. She noted his surprise, then explained her healing.
When she began receiving the letters from her son with the statements regarding man as the image of Love, she realized how far she had fallen short of living up to this standard, even though she had always been regarded as a devout Christian. For many years she had held hatred toward a daughter. With the truth in her son's letters she began to correct this. She thought of all that was good and lovely in her daughter. Soon the daughter came to see her and brought a lovely gift, although for two years they had not spoken to one another. The mother continued earnestly trying to image forth only Love. In a short time she could see.
Her caller, deeply impressed, recalled and quoted John's statement, "He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness [hatred] hath blinded his eyes." "But when," said he, "you began to think as Love gave you to think toward your daughter, those powerful God-sent ideas cleared the darkness away." Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 248), "Love never loses sight of loveliness." Love never loses sight! Never has and never will. He that hath the understanding of his Sonship with the Life that is Love hath Love's unlosable sight. Our one real selfhood sees, hears, and feels with the Life and Mind that is Love.
Jesus healed all manner of disease and sin by his clear understanding of man's sonship with God, his spiritual nature, and the superiority "this" gives him over all the claims of destructive material forces. A favorite statement of Science and Health is (pp. 476, 477): "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." Christian Science is enabling us to begin to perceive, in some degree, the spiritual perfection of man as the son, or expression of God, and so today to heal the sick.
A woman past sixty-five was so afflicted with paralysis that she had lost the use of her legs and one arm. She could not talk, see, or think clearly. In a few days time she was healed through Christian Science. How? Through the realization, by the practitioner, that her only real selfhood was the son of God, the manifestation of eternal Mind, infinite good, and that this one real self was not in matter but only in Mind; that as God's own manifestation she was completely and constantly united to, and with, God, and was continuously empowered by her constituting Mind with the unimpairable ability to live, to see, to be active. These truths declared the supreme law of Spirit, and compelled negative, material law to give way, and a normal human condition to appear. Her life was found not in godless, mindless matter, but in the Father Mind, as His son, His own image, endowed with God's health, God's life, God's vitality and activity.
What does it mean to heal? One meaning is "to restore to original purity or integrity; to make whole." Christian Science does this as no other system does, for it brings to the understanding that primal God-ordered integrity and wholeness of character which makes health the normal and continuing condition of man.
Mortality Displaced by Spirituality
Mortals believe they are mortals now but that by some mysterious means they may be hereafter ushered into immortal life. Many believe mortality can suddenly cease with the stopping of the heart action and immortality suddenly appear. Christian Science refutes this illogical teaching. It declares the individual holds in his own hand the key of spiritual understanding which unlocks the door of human consciousness and enables man to think and act spiritually. He may find eternal, spiritual Life here or hereafter only in the degree that he understandingly recognizes his sonship in God, and therewith dissolves the belief of sonship in matter. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." The material sense of life and selfhood continues until displaced in individual consciousness, through individual effort, by the spiritual idea of Life and its son, man. The sense of son-ship with matter is gotten rid of only by understanding our sonship with God.
When one approaches Christian Science he may believe he is a sick and hopeless mortal with some hope of a better status hereafter. As he discovers something of his sonship with God, Spirit, Love, he begins to recognize and affirm that he is not what negative matter claims he is, but only what God, his real Life and Mind, knows he is, the individual manifestation, or son, of God. Though human thinking may not fully apprehend all that this means, that does not make it any the less true. He applies himself to realize, through study and prayer, that he is really not a mortal struggling to free himself from mortality. Rather is his only real selfhood the son of eternal Life and Mind, constituted by and living with Mind, in its uninvadable kingdom, and from that impregnable vantage point refuting the whole misconception of cause and effect, mortality's lie. :
"Destroy all their pictures"!
A friend in the legal profession had often wondered why the Lord commanded the children of Israel, when they passed over the Jordan into Canaan, to destroy all the Canaanites' pictures. Later he had occasion to be with a relative afflicted with a severe form of sciatica which confined him to his bed for a time and later necessitated the use of crutches. My friend accepted a very vivid mental picture of all this into his thought and soon was attacked by sciatica. Then he began to realize why Moses had commanded that all the Canaanite pictures be destroyed. He saw that his own suffering was the direct result of his failing to do this.
With the help of a practitioner he gained a clearer realization of his sonship with God. When the falsity of the lying picture, so aggressively presented to his thought by the material mind, was realized, he became physically free. Many mortals suffer for failing to destroy, with the true idea of Life, the false pictures thrown on the screen of mortal thought in the past. Sometimes it has been a scene of suffering, of death, of sin, of strife or cruelty. Not one of these pictures of material falsity has the least substance, truth, life, or real identity. We must erase them, destroy them with the knowledge that nothing real is found in such loveless scenes and that they are no part of our identity or our brother's identity.
Emerging from Material Life
"Emerge gently from matter into Spirit," writes Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, page 485. The first word in the admonition is "emerge." Sometimes we need to remind ourselves not to put more emphasis on the "gently" than on "emerge"! Through patience and persistence the attainment of spiritual Life with the health, happiness, and harmony which characterize it is gained, a step at a time. With the penetrating ideas of spiritual being we have to break through the shell of hard material thinking and find the freedom of the life abundant which the Master came to reveal.
A tiny chick has to make its way to freedom out of the shell which confines it. The process is not too easy. With a minute tooth, provided by nature for the purpose, it begins to peck at the imprisoning shell. The blows gradually become stronger and stronger. Not a few but ten thousand blows, or more, are needed before the shell has been broken and freedom won. The chick must persist in using the means at hand to open the way to a life-freedom that the limiting shell would deny it. Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the demand for mortals to emerge from materiality in the statement (Science and Health, p. 552): "Mortals must emerge from this notion of material life as all-in-all. They must peck open their shells with Christian Science, and look outward and upward" — outward from the limitations of material self, upward from the earth weights of materiality.
Real Life Is Timeless
Time has been well defined as "the measurement of the movement of matter bodies." That body of matter called the earth turns round on its axis, and mortals say a day has been, and that with other turnings, more days will be. When the earth, moves in its orbit around the sun mortals say a year has been. But what have these movements of lifeless matter to do with life? Is life dependent for its continuance on the number of times a sphere of cool matter moves round a ball of hot matter? The span of mortal life is not affected by the movement of these matter bodies.
What limits mortal life is the belief of the limited material mind that it is inadequate to maintain its own mortal sense of life for long. Negative mortal mind creates only to destroy and repeats the futile process until its unreality is discovered and reality is found. The Way-shower fully demonstrated the reality of his sonship with eternal Life when mortal belief said he was thirty-three. He showed us that mortal life can be abandoned whenever sonship with eternal Life is realized.
If one is seriously desirous of expressing more of the Life that is eternal, it is as unscientific to believe his selfhood is bound up in sixteen years of mortality as in sixty. To God, eternal Life and Mind, there is no sixteen-year-old, forty-year-old, or sixty-year-old mortal. The only real man — the son, or expression, of eternal Life and Love — never begins with material germination, is never materially developing, aging, or dying. He must be and is as ageless, timeless, and endless as the Life and Mind he lives to express. We should be as diligent in refuting the lies of age as the lies of disease. Our individuality isn't "getting old" any more than Spirit is getting old. Says Science and Health (p. 246): "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight." He who sees something of the Life which is God sees the need daily to repudiate the whole concept of mortal life and mortals to express it, for mortality is the sum total of falsity personified. God, Spirit, Life, and Mind, and His individual ideas are the sum total of reality identified. Have you been believing that sometime you will die? If so, may I suggest that you consider changing your viewpoint. Why? Because the Bible, logic, and revelation all show that the only real man is the son of God, or the image of God, as the first chapter of Genesis puts it. Can the image, or evidence, of eternal Mind die? Are Mind and its manifestation at the mercy of mindless forces? Regardless of whether the bundle of cells and tissues you may now accept as your bodily identity may sometime stop physically functioning, the only real "you" cannot, and will not, cease to live. Accept no future, immediate or remote, for yourself or your brother, except that of Love's designing. The continuity of Mind's ceaseless expression cannot be broken by mindless material forces, however organized. So better prepare for eternal Life. That is what Christian Science is showing us how to do. It's a joyous occupation.
As we have a divine right mentally to reject the encroachments of mortality, we have a right to reject mental and physical arguments of depleted vitality, impaired faculties, and the wrinkles of time, which the material mind so often says characterize its fleeting concept of man. Because God is the one infinite Person, His is as certainly the one real countenance as His life is the one real Life. The Bible writers saw something of this. David recognized the satisfaction that is man's when he begins to realize his right to express the countenance of good, God. He says, "Thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance."
What God's countenance is, and what man's true countenance is, as its identified expression, will naturally appear as we countenance, or accept as reality, only the Life which is Love, eternally beautiful, radiant with the joy, intelligence, and light of eternal Being. Because there is no weakness, depletion, or ugliness in the Love that is Life, there can be no real selfhood or countenance in these negative conditions. What is not of Mind cannot be in, or appear as, man. With the Psalmist we may pray, "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us."
A Wholesome Tongue a Tree of Life
Solomon surely saw something of the lifeless nature of an evil, critical tongue when he said, "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life." The converse is equally true. An unwholesome tongue is a tree of death. Everyone, happily, can have the tree of life, and no one need have in his mental garden the tree of destructiveness and death. Destructive criticism is a loveless, lifeless thing. Mortals who lend their thoughts and tongues to it do no service to their fellows and endanger their own spiritual sense.
Why do so many mortals consent to indulge in unloving, destructive criticism? Only because they still believe, so intensely, in the material concept of life as real and in the material man as the real man. One mortal does not like what another mortal is doing or saying, or what he imagines he is doing or saying, and proceeds first to think, then to voice, his displeasure. Note it is all a scene on the stage of mortality. It cannot have any relatedness to God, His kingdom, or His man. In God and His man is nothing to criticize or to be criticized. Perfect Mind, expressed by its perfect identities, knows no critical sense, nor does its son, man.
Probably not many will stop this detestable habit because someone calls it bad names. What will stop it is for you and me so to realize the loveliness and perfection of God and His creation that we lose all willingness to turn to the miserable counterfeit and waste time and thought discussing the defects and deficiencies of its temporary personalities. God gives each of us a thoroughly wholesome tongue that speaks only for Love and what Love speaks. Because we live to express the Life which is God we must live to express the Love which is God.
If one is criticized, better be more careful to examine oneself than to defend oneself. If any of the criticism is justified, be grateful to have the need for correction brought to light. If none of it is true, rejoice in its falsity, and consequent powerlessness.
The Melting Power of Love
The one power hatred and criticism cannot withstand is Love. These very mental sins have no defense against Love. This is illustrated by the following experience. A farmer's wife became interested in Christian Science. Her husband became very critical and hateful toward it and refused to drive her to or from the church some miles away. But she knew she had found God and Life, and she was faithful. Sometimes she walked in the night through ice and snow to take the electric train, some distance from the farm to attend the services.
After a time she felt the need for class instruction in Christian Science and completed her plans to go some months later to a distant city for that purpose. To defray her expenses she planted a bed of strawberry plants, hoping the returns from the crop would be sufficient for that need. No other way seemed open, as her husband continued his bitter opposition. This was later expressed by his running the lawn mower over the strawberry plants when they were about to bloom, so destroying the crop.
But the wife thrived on adversity, and she knew God's love could and would provide the way, even though for that year her plans had been thwarted. If others chose to hate, her work was to love and to trust God more. The next year the strawberries were planted again. No hate destroyed them. She had her instruction. When a Christian Science lecture was given some time later in the community the husband was glad to attend with his wife. A stony heart with its unfounded hate and bitter criticism was melting before that sense of Life that refused to express anything but Love.
Immortality Impossible Apart from Love
Only the Life that is Love is capable of enduring forever. Nothing else has the wherewithal for eternal self-sustainment and self-expression. "Without Love, God, immortality cannot appear," states Science and Health, page 312. The Mind that Christian Science refers to as Deity and Life is the Mind that is Love itself. The human, intellectual sense of mind may be cold, selfish, calculating. True Mind is warm with divine tenderness, kind with Love's gentleness. The only real intelligence is universal Love. We build for eternity as we love and live the qualities of unselfed Love. Jesus found immortality only through Love. So must we. Immortality is Love's priceless gift to man as Love's expression.
Stimulants versus Stimulus
Mortals have for centuries used stimulants to accentuate the nerves and the material sense of life, believing they gained some sense of satisfaction therefrom. Sedatives such as opium, tobacco, and other drugs serve a similar purpose in a different way. One may say, But what is the harm in an occasional smoke or drink? The harm in it is that it works to bury one's sense of life deeper and deeper in materiality, in the false material sense of life, and so separates thought from real Life, Mind, God. What urges mortals to indulge in stimulants and sedatives is negative mortal mind force impelling them to attempt to find satisfaction where no true satisfaction is.
Every puff of tobacco smoke taken in, every taste of liquor indulged, is like a vocal assertion that there is life and satisfaction in mindless matter, rather than in intelligence, Mind, God. What we all need is not material stimulants applied to matter bodies, but the vital, constructive stimulus of the Life and Mind that is Love applied to our consciousness. A temporary lulling or stimulating of the material sense is a futile substitute for the permanent solace and energizing which the one vital Mind and Life is ever ready to impart to us.
Lincoln saw into the future of the race with prophetic vision, when, nearly a century ago, he said, "Happy day, when all appetite controlled, all passion subdued, all matter subjugated, Mind, all-conquering Mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world."
Mary Baker Eddy
Only light can emit light. The great light that has come to humanity through Christian Science has come through the spiritually enlightened consciousness of Mary Baker Eddy. After years of search for reality in material theories she finally came to see the complete unrelatedness of so-called material life and selfhood to the real Life which is Spirit, God, or to man, the son, or expression of God. With John she saw that "he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Not only did she discover the revolutionary fact that Life is never in matter, but she discovered the simple, natural way for men to begin to demonstrate here their spiritual nature, their Godlikeness, and the health and happiness that are native to this, man's true status.
For some centuries the early Christians spoke of the Master's teachings not as Christianity, but as "the way" — the way of life. It is this living meaning of Christ's message that Mrs. Eddy brings out in her teachings. To her and to her followers, here is the way of life, the one divinely scientific and practical way to live, to find the Life that is God, the Life that is eternal Mind, the manhood that is the son of Life, and the rules for demonstrating these verities.
Biblical prophecy dating back many centuries foretells that there shall be two great witnesses to the saving power and love of God, pointing the way to the reality of Life. Mrs. Eddy defines these two witnesses as Christ and Christian Science (Miscellany, p. 347). Jesus proclaimed the Christ. Mrs. Eddy has given in Science and Health what the Master prophesied would be "another Comforter, . . . even the Spirit of truth." Of this message he further said, "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." This is what Christian Science is doing. It is bringing to our remembrance the vital words of the Wayshower, enabling us to understand and use the power of their truthfulness to destroy sin, disease, and materiality.
Mrs. Eddy did not originate Christian Science. She discovered it. As the Science of eternal Life it has always been. Mrs. Eddy, by reason of her humility, her single-minded devotion to the search for Life that is God, finally heard what the one Mind is forever saying to His children, and to indite for others this divinely natural message, which, in her own words (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 175), "takes of the things of God and showeth them unto the creature."
What light does the Science of Life eternal throw on the world situation of today? War, judged from the standpoint of spiritual Science, is dense ignorance, barbarism. From the standpoint of present-day human thinking, it is sometimes the only way that mortals — not yet fully understanding the omnipotence of supreme Mind — can ward off those evil forces that would, if unresisted, turn back the progressive appearing of the true idea of God and His son, man, in the thinking of men. Mrs. Eddy abhorred war, but she did not become lost in metaphysical abstractions, which human thought has not yet proved its ability to demonstrate. At the time of the Spanish-American war she wrote words which may have a present-day meaning when she said, "Great occasion have we to rejoice that our nation . . . will be as formidable in war as she has been compassionate in peace" (Christian Science versus Pantheism, pp. 14, 15).
A vital quality of democracy is that it encourages the processes of progress and salvation for all mankind. Democracy evidences a better concept of God in human consciousness. Democracy does not resist, endanger, or combat the appearing in thought of the saviour of mankind. The great improvement in human life, socially, politically, economically, that characterizes it flows naturally from its placing no form of political priestcraft between man and his God.
One thing is worse than war, and that is to be faithless to our ideals, to love our human sense of life more than those ideals. The Master saw the conflict in human thought between the human sense of life and the spiritual ideals for which all, if necessary, must be sacrificed when he said, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."
The distorted concept of law and government being aggressively presented to the world today would, if it could, wedge between the individual and his God a man-made state controlled by self-chosen mortals. Freedom of religious and political thought would be subject to the whim of the human will. No such concept springs from the Mind that is Love and eternal Life. Human will is "the motive-power of error" (Science and Health, p. 597). The true government of man is the motivating power of the all-intelligent Mind that is God. The "new order" that awaits us is the eternal order, God's order, new to darkened material thought, but forever natural to the Mind and identities that are the work of God.
The Christian Science organization has taken an unequivocal stand for the all-out defense of the democratic ideal of government, at any cost, because it regards the issue as basic. The progress of humanity, it knows, can be served, not by running the smallest chance of having foisted upon mankind a mortal man-made autocracy, but only by keeping open the unobstructed way for the fuller appearing of God's free and theocratic government of His own.
Let us know that the chief theme of the Master's teachings is still true, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," "The kingdom of God is within you." His chief purpose was to help men find the real concept of government — man, the son of the Father, Mind, governed by the same cause that constitutes him. Human governments have fallen far short of this ideal. But the footsteps toward its fuller realization must lie, not along the way charted by the self-willed mortal mind, but along those river courses of thought which, at least in some degree, evidence as their source the eternal Principle of man, the Principle which is eternal Mind, Life, and Love.
What turnings and overturnings may be before us in the material realm no human knoweth, but of the ultimate victory of that state of consciousness that most nearly represents the purposes of God, there is no uncertainty. We can all aid in hastening this result as we turn from the material scene and in our daily round recognize the vital and powerful facts proclaimed by Mrs. Eddy when she wrote on page 340 of Science and Health: "One infinite God, good, unifies, men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed."
[Delivered in January, 1942, in Oklahoma, and published in The West Tulsa News of Tulsa, Oklahoma, date unknown.]