Christian Science: God's Promises Fulfilled (Extract)
Walter S. Symonds, C.S.B., of San Antonio, Texas
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Throughout the ages men have been seeking a true knowledge of their origin, of their purpose, and of the substance of their existence. In every field of activity we have seen this effort expanded and have noted the unremitting toil of mortal man's search.
The Psalmist, contemplating the facts of God's creation, said (Ps. 139:14), "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Who is it that has not wondered at the questions, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Ps. 8:4). Who is it that has not felt the joy and hope revealed in the promises found in the Bible?
Instinct To Worship
Deep in the heart of the aboriginal man, there was a profound instinct to worship a god or gods, to attribute creation to a force or forces beyond the grasp of human knowledge. Grossly material people demanded a god they could touch or see. Their imaginations took form in a supposed power resident in the sun, the moon, or the stars. They saw in the hills and mountains, the forests and streams, the dwelling places of deities whose wrath must be appeased.
Yet in all these efforts to find God in matter, there has been no satisfaction.
Mrs. Eddy defines God in "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures" (p. 465), "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." Then in "Miscellaneous Writings" (pp. 258, 259) she says, "God's interpretation of Himself furnishes man with the only suitable or true idea of Him: and the divine definition of Deity differs essentially from the human. It interprets the law of Spirit, not of matter. It explains the eternal dynamics of being, and shows that nature and man are as harmonious to-day as in the beginning, when 'all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made.'"
Since God is the only creator, one who contemplates the order and symmetry of the universe can feel the presence of a divine intelligence or a Supreme Being. Experiments with matter fail to determine the First Cause, and so material scientists are confused about the origin of man. While mortal man has been delving into matter for God, Christian Science has simply turned to God as Spirit and from this basis has rationally proved that Spirit and Mind are synonyms for God.
The life and teachings of Christ Jesus have given us the clearest concept of the infinite eternal God and the oneness of His being. The Bible declares His creation and sets forth the promises for unfolding His ideas. Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 327), "Reason is the most active human faculty." Reason shows us logically and distinctly that the one God created the spiritual universe; and Christian Science, using this same logic, points out unmistakably this spiritual fact and the unreality of the material belief of creation.
God's Undeviating Law
In Ecclesiastes (7:29) we read, "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Mortal man is still seeking inventions, and in the line of matter he is producing marvelous things, but his problem, "What is man that thou are mindful of him?," is still unsolved through his material investigations. On numerous occasions there have been stories of scientists trying to photograph the soul leaving the body, but such have proved futile. Wonderful as all of the achievements of material scientists may seem, none has provided a satisfactory explanation of the real man.
On the other hand, a spiritually-minded New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, a deep and consecrated student of the Bible and an earnest, prayerful seeker for Truth, discovered in 1866 the undeviating law of God which heals the sick and regenerates the lives of men. She called this law Christian Science and set about demonstrating its possibilities. She sought to make the presentation clear and unadulterated for all posterity. To this end she wrote the Christian Science textbook, founded the Christian Science movement, and organized the Christian Science church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. Organized in 1879, this great religion has had a marvelous and unprecedented growth. It has encircled the globe, and is known in nearly every nation.
Healing is not a mysteriously involved process, not the enunciation of abstract and complicated terms. It results from the simple and humble truths uttered by Jesus. Christian metaphysics was demonstrated by our Way-shower, Christ Jesus, and its logical sequence through his life and works. Hence, Christian Scientists ponder daily the Bible, the Authorized or King James Version, and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health. Such studies do not lead to confusion and uncertainty, but to the fulfillment of God's undeviating law.
God's promises as outlined in the Bible by the prophets of old and by our Master, Christ Jesus, are first prophesied to us, and then their fulfillment substantiates them. To have full confidence in God we must have faith, and then we must put into practice those things which honor God and deny mortality. The Ten Commandments enunciated by Moses were meant for all time. And Paul says in Ephesians (6:2) that the first commandment containing promise is (Ex. 20:12), "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
In this time of conflicting theories and intense propaganda, material and mortal opinions crowd in upon the bewildered thought of humanity, and like Job they question God's goodness. The gross materialist denies the existence of God and finds in his reasoning clouded speculation and flimsy theories about the origin of man. On the other hand, the Christian Scientist firmly declares that God is the only creator and unflinchingly, unreservedly affirms that there is no other power. This he proceeds to prove. As he spiritualizes his thinking, he, like Job when he prayed for his friends, finds that the Lord has turned his captivity and enriched him beyond measure. Mrs. Eddy says, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Science and Health, p. 494).
So mortal man searching matter for a cause for man, finds no evidence of spiritual reality. It is only by turning to God as Spirit and understanding that man is spiritual, not material, that one realizes the nothingness of matter and the allness of God. Mrs. Eddy so forcefully declared this truth years ago that it has resounded around the globe, and thousands of earnest seekers have testified to its healing power. She says (Science and Health, p. 55), "The promises will be fulfilled."
In this world of hurry and disturbed affairs, much of the thinking of mortals is devoted to the problem of securing adequate food, clothing, and shelter. Along with this concern for everyday welfare frequently goes the fear of lack and the belief of God's unwillingness or inability to supply human needs. Jesus said (Luke 12:27,28): "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Here is one of the great promises to man.
No Lack in Divine Mind
Man is created by God, and God does not let His creation go unattended. There is no lack in divine Mind.
One who knows the true source of his supply has great confidence in God, whether he be rich or poor in his worldly goods. He knows that his prayers will be heard and answered. Mrs Eddy tells us in Science and Health (p. 7), "The 'divine ear' is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied."
Christian Science strips off the mystery of man's relationship to God and explains that his being is mental, not physical, thus setting free the circumscribed human thought to discern the infinite. Instead of looking into matter to find man, it turns its gaze in the direction of heaven and discovers man unfallen, upright, pure, and free. Then one realizes there is no longer a question of divine Mind's control over the universe. One proceeds on the firm premise, that man is the son of God, to demonstrate God's government of all. As one grows in this perception, he advances farther and farther from the material hypotheses that are based upon belief in matter as cause and consciousness. As Science and Health says p. 191), "The human thought must free itself from self-imposed materiality and bondage." "God made man free. Paul said, 'I was free born.' All men should be free" (Science and Health, p. 227).
This challenge is accepted by Christian Science.