Christian Science: Its Advantages Free to All

 

The Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

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

 

The Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts, a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, delivered a lecture entitled "Christian Science: Its Advantages Free to All," last evening, under the auspices of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the church edifice, Falmouth, Norway and St. Paul Streets.

The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Gordon V. Comer, C.S., First Reader in The Mother Church, who said:

Friends:

On behalf of The Mother Church I welcome you all to this lecture on Christian Science.

In an article entitled "Pond and Purpose," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states the spirit of her life-purpose in these words — "to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical, operative Christian Science."

The healing work that is being done today through the ministry of Christian Science is impressing humanity with this practical and operative science of Christianity. Its means and method are being made known through the writings of Mrs. Eddy which thoroughly explain her teachings; through the uniform church services read from the Bible and from the Christian Science textbook, which services are conducted in this church and in its branches throughout the world, for all of which Mrs. Eddy provided, through the publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society inaugurated by her; and through The Christian Science Board of Lectureship established by her.

Our speaker tonight is a member of this Board of Lectureship. The subject of his lecture is "Christian Science: Its Advantages Free to All." I am sure that you will be greatly blessed by this lecture, that after hearing it you will be able to start to apply this healing and saving Truth to your own situations, and that you will desire to progress in your understanding of it.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you the Reverend Irving C. Tomlinson of this city, who will now address you.

 

The Lecture

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

From the moment of its first discovery in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science has offered advantages that have been widely recognized. The number is growing that accepts these benefits. What are these advantages? The great advantage Christian Science bestows upon men is the gain of spiritual understanding, by which they win a demonstrable sense of God and man, and the result is harmony in place of discord, the true way to peace in place of war; health instead of disease, strength instead of weakness; prosperity rather than adversity, supply rather than lack; employment in place of unemployment, work in place of idleness; freedom, not bondage; liberty, not serfdom; joy rather than sorrow; happiness rather than grief; fruitage instead of dearth; life instead of death.

Who is there in the world that does not desire these advantages? How then may we take them? By right thinking and true living; in a word, by knowing the truth.

Investigation of this subject is free to all. Christian Science Sunday services and Wednesday evening testimony meetings in The Mother Church and its branch churches throughout the world are open to all. Christian Science Reading Rooms in nearly every large city, as well as smaller ones, welcome all. Christian Science literature through its active distribution committees is placed conveniently for inquirers. Its authorized lectures are without admission fee.

What is it that hinders some from accepting God's benefits? What is it but a wrong sense of things? False education has taught mortals to look to the five corporeal senses for reliable testimony about all things.

 

The Corporeal Senses are Unreliable

The world has made a verity of the corporeal senses. What the material eye sees has been thought of as real and God-given. Many thinkers are breaking away from this false idolatry. Through Christian Science they are turning from their childish ignorance of reality to the true understanding of the genuine facts of being. Mankind is learning that this outward world, as viewed by the five senses, is not the world of God's creating, but is a counterfeit; that which seems to be but is not.

For example, in the Canadian Rockies, when one from his hotel first looks upon Lake Louise, with high mountains at its foot that appear to close in at its remote head, the lake seems to be a triangle with the base parallel to the hotel. The next day, when he climbs the mountain and looks upon the beautiful sheet of water, it appears a parallelogram with four equal sides. Only scientific engineering can disclose the truths about this gem of the mountains, for the material senses contradict themselves.

Likewise the material senses that seem to tell us the facts about God, man, and the universe are at fault in their testimony, and the truth must be discerned by an understanding of the Scriptures and the Science of being. The Scriptures reveal that God is Mind, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love. Christian Science teaches that God is the infinite Soul of every living thing, the divine Principle of all that is.

Christian Science also tells us that man "is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475). This is right in line with Biblical authority, for the Bible says that man is made in the image and likeness of God. So man is like Truth, like Love; he is the image of Mind, the reflection of Life, the expression of Soul, the manifestation of Principle. Material sense has perpetrated many deceptions upon humanity and among these is the deception that the corporeal body, physique, is man.

Has God a single one of the corporeal senses? The entire realm of material sense is outside the realm of divine intelligence. All our troubles occur in the material sense realm. Accumulation of matter is an accumulation of material sense testimony and therefore an accumulation of matter is futile to guarantee security against losses and crashes in business. Right today what has become of confidence in the material regime of business? Both rich and poor alike are uncertain and fearful. But spiritual ideas, which are real and good, are cumulative, for, "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given." For he who discerns the line of demarcation between corporeal sense and reality, between matter and Spirit, receives more spiritual ideas, more understanding, which is the substance of Spirit.

Again, to continue on this point of corporeal sense, no organic structure can make dust see. Does an unconscious mortal see, though his eye is perfect? Is there any vision where there is no mind, no consciousness? Did not the Psalmist catch a glorious glimpse of this when he said: "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?" And who is this He but divine Mind? Has this Mind visual organs? Does it not see without organic structure? The perfect understanding of "Mind-faculties'' (Science and Health, p. 487) enabled Jesus to heal blindness.

 

God Available For All Needs

One may say: "You may be able to see with the eye of spiritual sense but I simply cannot do it. I should like to know God, who, as the Bible says, 'healeth all thy diseases'. I should like to see the truth that will free me from the bondage of error, but how can I?" Christian Science makes clear that the normal thing, the natural thing, is to see God, to know the truth, and be a free man.

How then shall we remove the veil that hides reality? What constitutes the veil of obscurity but fear, ignorance, and sin? Ignorance of what God is, ignorance of what man is.

Before hearing of Christian Science, although I was an ordained clergyman and seeking God, I seemed unable to feel His nearness sufficiently to see God's promise fulfilled, that He "healeth all thy diseases." The Bible accounts of God's helpful dealings with patriarch and prophet seemed impossible in our times. But after getting an understanding of Christian Science, after infinite Mind, our God, had healed me of stubborn ailments through my silent communion with Him, God then seemed near, "a very present help" in times of trouble. Then I had a God that was close by and available for my needs.

For example, after I had learned of Christian Science, whenever I had finished a long, hard day's work and was weary and confused, I would take time to think of Him, to realize His infinite love and His omnipotent power. Then the weariness would fade away, the confusion vanish, and strength and alertness take their places. This made the God of the Bible very real and a healing influence, for my need was met. When one knows and proves that he has an all-powerful, all-loving, and ever-present helper always available, does not that kind of thinking give him confidence to meet every problem and take away all doubts?

 

The Advantage of Knowing God Aright

Christian Science taught me the supreme value of knowing God aright. As I learned more of God and Principle, I took my first step out of the old into the new. I had never thought of using the truth about God and man as a help in healing. I accepted the scholastic teaching about God and left it there. I read in the original Greek that God is Spirit, but I still clung to physical force as power and gave no heed to all-powerful, impartial Love.

When a Christian Scientist, a friend, told me a little about God as divine Principle, I got my first glimpse of Deity as practical and available. This friend explained to me that there must be a governing Principle of God's kingdom, that God is the Principle of the spiritual universe and man. When we perceive that God is Principle, then we have a Science available to solve our mental, moral, and physical problems.

Christian Science includes in its unparalleled definition of God seven synonyms, "Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (Science and Health, p. 465), and these terms are of equal rank and are interchangeable, but like the facets of a flawless diamond they flash variegated lights for our understanding. They present to our perception various aspects of divinity, as for example the primitive, unchanging essence of good; the dependability and authoritativeness of Deity, that power which rules all nations with a rod of iron, that is, an immutable Principle. This Principle is incorruptible Being; a continuing Principle which presents an aspect of eternal Life, its permanence and continuity, as well as the invariable nature of Truth and the immutability of Love. What a blessing to mankind it is to have a God we can intelligently know and lovingly call on in every emergency, try, weigh, measure what Principle is, as distinguished from material desire, human will, mesmerism, and personality.

Again, Principle is the one and only Mind, God. When this Mind is made manifest it exterminates error. God, infinite Mind, operating through spiritual law, heals the sick. The right knowing of God is the apprehension that God is Life, Truth, Love. Life is divine Love in action. Real Life is one infinite, eternal, omnipresent, indestructible, self-existent Truth. When we know Truth, we become conscious of Life, real being. This knowing is reflection — then we are in Life. Jesus said: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." To know God is real being, and Christian Science makes it possible to know God. Mortality is ignorance of Life.

We have as much of God's allness as we understand and demonstrate, but this we cannot demonstrate unless we grasp the great truth in Christian Science that there is but one Mind. Suppose a case of domestic discord. Can we not see that knowing there is but one Mind would be a help? With as many minds in the home as there are mortals these many minds might express ignorance, fear, doubt. These many minds might not have completely overcome the flesh. Human error might suggest to them, jealousy, resentment, irritation; but knowing that there is only one Mind and that Mind God, can and does put an end to the belief of many minds operating. Then the peace of this one Mind would be made manifest in the very qualities of divine Mind's own nature. We learn never to settle any subject until we refer it to Mind, God, and consider it from a correct basis.

 

Christ Jesus

In his thinking and living the Christian Scientist finds that the scientific understanding of Christ Jesus is fundamental in his healing work. What was it that made Jesus victor? He explained it, saying, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." "I and my Father are one," were his words. Not that he taught that he was God, for he said, "My Father is greater than I," but that his nature was the very nature of his Father. The Christ is the very nature and essence of God expressed. It is this nature, this Christ, Truth, that is always with us, that does the works through us as it did through Jesus; hence Jesus could say, "The works that I do shall he do also."

The invisible Christ-idea through the human Jesus reached humanity, made the Word flesh, made the Christ practical in human affairs. This application of Truth to human experience was divinity reaching humanity with salvation, with understanding, for it imparted a new basis of being. A proper understanding, a correct estimate of Christ Jesus, is essential; the revelation cannot be separated from the revelator. The Christ-idea gives to men the ability to govern corporeal phenomena by spiritual law; as our Leader says, "The Principle of these marvellous works is divine; but the actor was human" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 199).

 

Man

In Christ, Truth, is found the right understanding of man. In the light of Christ, Truth, man is lifted out of the darkness of a matter existence into the kingdom of Spirit, God. In the words of Scripture, Man is the image and likeness of God; that is, he is not of the dust, not like matter, not like flesh, but the image of his Maker, the likeness of Spirit, the idea of Mind, the reflection of divine Love.

The qualities of the animal nature do not constitute man. The real man is not physical, not material, but he is of the same nature as his creator; the nature of good, the nature of Truth, the nature of unending Life. Good is eternal; Truth never dies. Man, the real man, who is like good, like Truth, is unending. If the real man were flesh, if he had any of the elements of matter, he would be as frail, as temporal, as mortal as matter; but God's man, that each one is, Spirit's likeness, manifests dominion; he is without beginning of years or end of days. He is immutable, indestructible, immortal.

Christ Jesus had this right understanding of man, as Science and Health teaches, the same spiritual status of man which heals the sick and the sinning. It is well to picture the real man, to vision the spiritual fact, and firmly turn our thoughts away from the material concept of man, for man is not the human concept of man. We are destined to outgrow mortal definitions of ourselves. We must transplant our concept of man from the human and mortal to the infinite and divine, for such intelligent thinking is health making and harmony producing and leads the way to our heavenly estate.

 

Healings

It is this true understanding of God and man in the light of Christ, Truth, through which healing is wrought in Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy, its Founder, was ever tireless in her search for more and more of this true sense of God and man. She was the embodiment of courage. In her consciousness there was no element of weakness. Whatever the seeming discord or stubborn opposition, she rose magnificently, single-handed and for the most part alone, to meet it. Such understanding, such spiritual power, such certainty of truth, such conviction of right shone forth from Mary Baker Eddy! She knew that God had spoken and she was immovable in Truth.

Time would not permit me to relate the many cases of healing wrought by Mrs. Eddy which I saw with my own eyes. Others were related to me by Mrs. Eddy herself, or told to me by those healed, or described to me by those possessed of the facts. May I give two cases of healing by Mrs. Eddy herself that I witnessed.

A lady of Concord, New Hampshire, telephoned me for help on the day that the Christian Scientists in attendance upon the Annual Meeting of The Mother Church were visiting Concord in 1902. I asked the patient to come to Christian Science Hall, which was then my residence as well as the temporary church home. She told me that she was so ill with what the doctors called asthma and heart disease, that she knew she could not walk the three short blocks, and if she did it would be impossible to climb the few steps leading to the hall.

She arrived, however, at the hour that Mrs. Eddy was to pass in her carriage. I told her that Mrs. Eddy was expected any moment and that she had sent word to me that she would be glad to greet the waiting Scientists. Her carriage soon approached. The patient stood on the sidewalk leading to Christian Science Hall, where Mrs. Eddy could easily see her. After Mrs. Eddy had gone by, I said to the woman that I would help her up the steps into the home to have her treatment. She replied in effect: "Why, I don't need a treatment. I am healed. When dear Mrs. Eddy passed she recognized me, greeted me, and now I am well." True it was, the cure had been wrought and this woman gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Eddy as the channel of her restoration.

Out of many, I select another case of healing I witnessed, this time in the home at Chestnut Hill. One morning when the household was called into the study by Mrs. Eddy, a case of instantaneous healing was wrought by her before our very eyes. As the family entered the study, one member made her way into the room with great difficulty. She had all the appearances of one suffering from nervous prostration or great exhaustion. Mrs. Eddy saw her pitiful condition, and called the struggler to her side. Then she spoke to her with decision, rebuking the error and calling on her to come out from her mesmerism and to witness to her true selfhood. While the members of the household stood there, they saw a decided change come over the patient. Mrs. Eddy continued to rebuke the error as she teaches Christian Scientists to do, and before the eyes of those present the afflicted one was completely healed. What seemed a rebuke to a friend was a rebuke to the error, which proved its nothingness.

The evidence that it was Love which governed Mrs. Eddy is the fact that quickly the patient was completely healed. When the members of the household left the room, the restored member went about her affairs and continued from that moment the ever-faithful helper of Mrs. Eddy that she had always been. Now this healing which Mrs. Eddy did and taught is going on in the world through the religious movement which she established.

 

Service

Earnest inquirers ask: "What does Christian Science say about hard times? What antidote has it for want, depression, discouragement?" It teaches that spiritual thinking and clean living will antidote hard times, it says that unselfish service will heal depression. Because Mrs. Eddy lived in obedience to the divine Principle, Love, which she taught, she fell heir to its promises; she therefore manifested its quality of abundance.

Poverty, unemployment, hardship assailed Mrs. Eddy. Abandoned by her family, with no human source of supply, no occupation or employment, she offered her wares, — Christian Science, — all she had. They were not comprehended, not wanted; they were disapproved, rejected. But as the years went on, the operation of divine Principle in her experience brought plenty and met every need. Panics, depression, market conditions had no effect upon her status. Abundance poured in upon her, because her motive was to bring to mankind the revelation which was to help humanity. Her holdings were spiritual, a property that could not be mortgaged, foreclosed, or lost: it was the kingdom of heaven within her — and all these things were added.

Let us contemplate the example of her demonstration of supply, for Mrs. Eddy's demonstration of sufficiency is in the life she led. I shall never forget my first interview with her, in her home at Concord, New Hampshire. She had just given the "Address on the Fourth of July at Pleasant View . . . , 1897" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 251). Mary Baker Eddy was in her seventy-sixth year. She had not only spoken at length, but had listened attentively to many speakers, had served as hostess to the throng, had interviewed many of her followers, but when I took her hand in greeting, though the day was one of the hottest of summer days, she was cool and peaceful, unruffled in outward appearance, and aglow with spiritual strength. She greeted me with a loving smile. Every look, word, gesture, showed her a born leader and a true woman. This was a picture of Mrs. Eddy's sense of service (mind you in her seventy-sixth year), and this was the way I found her during my twelve years of happy service with her, always unselfed love, expressed.

Truly selfless love is the demand of the Cause she founded, for Mrs. Eddy has so modestly said of herself in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 247), "The little that I have accomplished has all been done through love, self-forgetful, patient, unfaltering tenderness."

Now let me tell you another story about Mrs. Eddy. Early in the Civil War, she learned that a young soldier was about to start for the front without a copy of the sacred Scriptures. She made inquiries and learned that the young volunteer was the eldest son of a poor widow. It was at a time when Mrs. Eddy's income was modest, and her charities to the soldiers and their families had left her on this day with but a dollar in her purse.

To her sense, the young man's need outweighed her own. She took her dollar and with it bought, a New Testament and gave it to the young defender of his country. Some time after the close of the war, when the brave soldiers were returning to their homes, there came a rap at Mrs. Eddy's door. There was ushered in a bearded man wearing a soldier's garb.

When Mrs. Eddy met him, he said: "You do not remember me, but I am the soldier to whom you gave a Testament as I was going to join my regiment. I have sought you out to thank you for the blessed book, which has always been a help to me and which was the means of saving my life."

He then carefully took from his pocket the well-worn Testament and presented it to Mrs. Eddy. Embedded between its covers was a leaden bullet. Said the soldier, "That rifle ball was meant for my heart, and I have come many miles to show you that your goodness saved my life."

 

The Remedy for Depression

Mrs. Eddy's teaching and practice point out the remedy for want, depression, and unemployment, and show how to gain supply, employment, abundance. For the spread of Christian Science Mrs. Eddy left a rich bequest to her church and this bequest was the outcome of her desire to serve. The way to get is to give. It is said that Christian Scientists are prosperous. The reason is plain. Those who give of themselves thereby reflect their Maker, the source of all supply. In accord with infinite good in serving and in giving, the law of good works on their behalf. Forsaking the false sense of self, they find themselves in the realm of spiritual sense where God, the source of supply, dwells.

In the recent period of material inflation men exalted self and lost love. In the present times of trial and stress men are endeavoring to retrace by learning to lose self and win love. They are taking up the cross by putting down self-interest and making life a loving service.

A Christian Scientist does not try to demonstrate dollars and cents. What a Christian Scientist does is to gain an unfoldment of the truth of being in his individual consciousness: this is unfolding to the truth about Life. Is not Life self-sustained? Is Life not all-sufficient? And in unfolding to Life are we not unfolding to its all-sufficiency?

What Christian Science does is to unfold to the student's thought the truth about Love; does not Love forever receive and give? There is no impoverished condition where inexhaustible Love is. A Christian Scientist awakens to the truth about substance, as Science and Health (p. 468) says, "Substance is that, which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay." When one is convinced about the true sense of substance there is no fear that it can be diminished or be lessened, — there is enough for all.

This right knowing always results in right activity, and the proof of our knowing is that righteous needs in our journey out of sense into Soul are met. We find out what we are and we find we have all. So the words of the prophet call out today to all mankind, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."

 

Mrs. Eddy's Service to Humanity

Mrs. Eddy was the herald of good times. This does not mean that she was always affluent. She has often told me that while she was writing Science and Health she had but one presentable gown and this she mended and patched times without number. But even in those days she would share.

She had absolute confidence in her message, and though none of her students encouraged her in writing the Christian Science textbook, she resolutely continued, trusting God and not personality to support her. At one time when it was needful that she visit her publisher in Boston she did not have the money to pay her carfare. She started to walk the entire distance from Lynn to Boston.

Fortunately a kindly undertaker, seeing the lone, mature figure of a delicate gentlewoman traveling along the highway invited her to share his seat with him. This offer she gratefully and graciously accepted. He did not know her, but afterward learned who she was, and told this story of her ride with him.

As time went on, through the success of her writings, she was able to give more and more to the Cause. When it took nearly all her ready funds, she set aside one hundred thousand dollars to build a suitable church in Concord for the accommodation of the vast number of visitors who were pouring into Concord from all over the world. She started to build The Mother Church during the so-called hard times of 1892 to 1894, and it was dedicated without a debt.

When this edifice was outgrown she called for two million dollars to build The Mother Church Extension, and before its completion word went out that no more money was needed. In the spirit of their Leader, since their present Publishing House is outgrown, the Board of Directors of the Christian Science church sent out word to Christian Scientists to meet this need.

Christian Scientists are erecting a commodious building and thus doing their part to stop the gap of unemployment. In this work they are proving the truth of the teachings of Christian Science. Knowing the truth of substance and living it, the law of supply, the law of addition, does work for all the abundance of good.

 

The Advantage of Effectual Prayer

This true knowing that makes God available comes from the understanding of the real nature of prayer which Mary Baker Eddy has given to the world today. Not a prayer of supplication and informing God what to do, but a prayer of realization that knows what God has for us and what He does for us. Mrs. Eddy was a woman of prayer. Her household was a house of prayer; so let us ponder the subject of prayer from the standpoint of Christian Science.

The prayer of a Christian Scientist, then, is more than that of supplication or petition. It is more than saying you haven't a headache and you know it. Prayer is entering into the closet of divine Mind and shutting the door on material sense. This is in accord with Jesus' instructions to his disciples on prayer.

Prayer — is it not a spiritual process, this gaining the ear of God? a mental action, whereby we enter into the awareness of God's presence? To do this means obedience to the rules given us for our daily living, for our daily deeds. Working thus, in constant obedience to the divine laws given us in the Bible and in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" we cannot fail to see the light that will give us guidance, love. Thus we gain the wisdom which makes inevitable the correct solution of every human problem.

Mary Baker Eddy shows us how we may come into actual touch with God's presence and have audience with Him. It is through prayer and the understanding of what real goodness is that we arrive at this consciousness of God-given dominion. As Jesus said in that wonderful prayer in the seventeenth chapter of John in which he prayed, "O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Science and Health says (p. 15), "Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error."

Again Science and Health says (p. 89), "Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent." We reach God through spiritual consciousness, through glorified thought. The right kind of thought, which is true prayer, leads us to our Father-Mother God. And so what more definite procedure could there be, to attain spirituality, than to set about to find God through learning to pray aright? That is, to have thought dwell in His presence in silent prayer until we assimilate spiritual nature, bringing out in action only the qualities of our source, God? Prayer is not the striving of the human mind, a prayer that is not just the repetition of the arguments of Truth, but a prayer in which all human selfhood is so surrendered that the divine Life itself is made manifest in righteous action; a prayer in which revelation takes place. Through such prayer we gain the grace of God which heals and which changes our natures. This silent communion with divine Mind is vital; it is a paramount factor in our salvation. Therein lies the victory over mortal circumstances and dominion over materialism.

The lack of confidence in the power of prayer is due, no doubt, to the unwillingness of the human mind to endure the mental discipline needed for the fulfillment of God's purpose. There is a certain human resistance to all that is spiritual, and this resistance makes it difficult sometimes to pray. Affairs obtrude, persons, situations, events, flood the mind. Lack of time is argued, inability to comprehend spiritual things, all hinder in our efforts to talk with God. Hence the discipline required for taking time to conquer this error. Intruding and distracting thoughts may not be easily frustrated. The incoming truth stirs mortal elements, sometimes bringing out the dregs — irritability, restlessness, and discontent. These effects, however, are simply due to the fumes of dissolving beliefs, and they will sooner or later disappear. As the spirit of true prayer is reached, all mesmerism is dissolved, for Spirit dissipates the magnetism of material things.

 

Prayer Must Be Lived

For example, let us study the experience of Jacob. Disciplined by difficulties, he wrestled all night, and when the vision came he held to it; he held steadfastly to it until "the breaking of day," that is, until his nature was transformed. So it is with Christian Scientists. As we enter the spiritual realm of pure Mind, we feel the joy and gratitude of knowing Life, Truth, and Love, and from this vantage ground we affirm with the conviction and certitude of understanding the facts taught in Christian Science — health, wholeness, life, abundance.

Spiritual understanding cannot be increased merely by expounding. We have to live our way to higher perception. That is why mere academics in all the centuries have not attained what the fisherman disciples gained comparatively at a bound. Not acumen, but spiritual living, clears the thought. "Man's moral mercury, rising or falling, registers his healing ability" (Science and Health, p. 449).

Work, carved into deeds, gives results. Life, scientifically ordered according to Principle, will result in the wonderful power by which the fishermen's boat was transported across the lake. A life ordered by Spirit forwards the spiritual new birth, and ascension from scale to scale follows.

We must remember that active participation in good is understanding. But confusion of our thought manifests itself in confusion. All sin, dishonesty, selfishness, malice, envy are manifestations of ignorance. Good deeds bring good results. Let us be in line, in active participation with the operations of divine Mind; and if we are faithful we can express the divine Mind. It is impossible to understand Truth until we have the courage to live it.

Christian Science came through prayer and only prayer can carry it on. Prayer in Christian Science illumines thought; it “lights the torch of spiritual understanding” (Science and Health, p. 202). Under the brightness of this light, mortal mind is lifted above its own false conceptions. Then the divine Mind with its order possesses consciousness, and its ideas take form to human sense as answered need. And so right thinking externalizes itself in right conditions.

Every time the light of Truth shines into our consciousness revealing the fact of God's allness and man's perfection, we catch a glimpse of the truth Mary Baker Eddy discovered; every time a healing takes place there is enjoyed the blessing which Mary Baker Eddy brought to humanity. Do not honesty and gratitude compel recognition of the debt to a discoverer of this boon to mankind? A right estimate of a revelation of so great salvation is a test of intelligence. Note how the great Way-shower tested the intelligence of his disciples by examining their estimate of himself, "Whom say ye that I am?" Even so today humanity's intelligent grasp of the truth is tested by its thoughts of Mrs. Eddy, through whom the Christ-healing has come today and through whom a more widespread interest in God is being manifested. Through her teachings has come a renaissance in this study of the Holy Scriptures, as evidenced in the phenomenal increase in the sale of Bibles.

So I conclude with a blessing written in a letter to me by Mrs. Eddy in 1905: "May our Father-Mother bless you, keep you awake to the foe and thoroughly garrisoned in His Spirit" (original letter in the archives of The Mother Church).

 

[Delivered Oct. 2, 1933, at The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and published in The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 3, 1933.]

 

 

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