Christian Science: Not a Mere Name, but Absolute Science
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Bicknell Young, C.S.B., of Chicago, Ill., lectured
at Cadle Tabernacle, Monday, under auspices of First Church of Christ,
Scientist, on the subject of "Christian Science: Not a Mere Name, But
Absolute Science." Doyle C. Rowland introduced the lecturer who is a
member of The Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of
Christ, Scientist, in
It is a matter of common information that Christian Science teaches the unreality of evil. In fact, the unreality of evil is one of the propositions of this Science. As a proposition it cannot fail to be found reasonable and demonstrable in the exact proportion that it is understood. It cannot, however, be understood without at first being duly considered. It is admitted to be religiously and scientifically revolutionary. It is not lightly made.
No one was ever more acutely cognizant than was Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, that the trials and sufferings of mankind are so universal, harrowing, and destructive that should any system advocate a casual or superficial view or treatment of them it would antagonize intelligent people and be worthy only of rejection. Such, however, is not Christian Science doctrine, for this Science is essentially Christian and humanitarian, and the postulate of the unreality of evil is advanced and advocated for the sole purpose of enabling mankind to overcome evil instead of being overcome by evil.
The chief difficulty seems to lie in the commonly accepted belief that science relates to things rather than to thoughts. Because of this, material objects are supposed to embody both the power and law by which they are controlled, or become uncontrollable. With this view, science appears to be exclusively material, and the primal, active value of correct thought is unrecognized and consequently left out of the curriculum of scholastic instruction.
Our investigation of this subject should therefore be instigated by the same unprejudiced interest that the word science generally arouses. It is readily admitted that from the standpoint of the material senses one could neither discern nor prove the unreality of evil. Neither would human history nor material experience justify the statement that good alone is real and consequently that all forms of evil are unreal.
These basic propositions of spiritual Science are those of Spirit. They rest upon spiritual truth. Christian Science must, therefore, of necessity, provide means for that true spiritual culture which, though contrary to the testimony of the senses, has proved exceptionally sanative and redemptive.
If one objects to Christian Science on this account one might just as reasonably object to the science of astronomy. The child in the first grades of school is taught and accepts astronomical facts which are contrary to the testimony of the senses, and the higher discoveries of astronomy are still more exacting in this respect. In recent times, astronomers, by means of more powerful lenses than were formerly obtainable, have been able to discover the light of stars not previously discernable, incredibly distant from our earth.
One of these stars, recently much discussed, is, according to the mathematics of astronomy, so remote from our earth that if it were extinguished this moment, notwithstanding the fact that light travels at the rate of one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles a second, it would still be shining for us a hundred and fifty million years hence.
All this is contrary to the testimony of the senses, and the magnitude of it utterly incomprehensible to the human mind, yet nobody feels that astronomy is absurd, or uses any opprobrious epithets towards the astronomer because of his announcement of these stupendous astronomical facts.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect." (p. 268) A symposium of the views of certain distinguished modern scientists, published in 1931 in the New York Times as interviews, shows that Mrs. Eddy's words above quoted were extraordinarily prophetic, for these views all coincide in substance with what Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, of Cambridge University, England, is reported to have expressed in the following words: "Consciousness is fundamental. It is meaningless to speak of the existence of anything except as forming part of the web of consciousness."
They agree in saying that matter is not the foundation of things, yet there was a time not so long ago when all the intellectual world advocated the theory that everything is primarily material, and that even thought itself sprang from matter. From the interviews referred to we see that many natural scientists today unite in saying that you cannot be sure of the actual existence of matter apart from your consciousness of it. The logical conclusion of such a statement, a conclusion at which they must all eventually arrive, is that material thought constitutes matter.
This fact was announced by Mary Baker Eddy from the standpoint not of matter but of spiritual discernment and understanding, far more scientifically and helpfully, more than sixty years ago. She showed that the basis of all human suffering and woe is not to be found in matter but in human belief, and that the way of overcoming the innumerable human beliefs with which humanity afflicts itself is necessarily divine, and not less scientific because of being necessarily divine. She thus went far beyond the conclusions of physical scientists, however interesting such conclusions may be, for it will readily be admitted that the remedy for our woes immeasurably transcends in value any analysis that can be made of them, and Mrs. Eddy gave this remedy to the world in and as Christian Science.
The consciousness of matter is thus seen to be the consciousness of sin, sickness, and death. Such false consciousness is impossible in the light of God's perfection and is therefore designated as unreal in Christian Science, in order that it may be supplanted by the understanding of reality or divine consciousness, in which there can be no sin, sickness, nor death. This statement, however, of the distinction between consciousness when applied to matter and consciousness as used fundamentally in Christian Science implies much more than physical science can present, and is capable of an elaboration far beyond the present opportunity, for the admission that consciousness is fundamental, if persisted in, must logically result in the recognition of the fact that there is fundamental consciousness, the divine, self-existent Principle, or entity, of man and the universe, expressed in the words, God is Mind.
Thought cannot go back of one infinite consciousness, and consequently thought which approximates this consciousness approximates divine power, and therefore approximates the harmonious operation of divine law. In Science and Health (p. 107), we read, "Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence; fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God."
So it is to be observed that it is no longer the habit of intelligent people to scoff at Christian Science, as they formerly were ignorantly led to do, by assuming and saying that it was neither scientific or Christian. There is now little scoffing, and any opposition found among the well-informed exists chiefly because Christian Science is too scientific and too Christian to be gauged or explained by material systems of science or traditional beliefs of religion.
Nevertheless, this Science, though strictly metaphysical, as it must be in order to be the Science of Mind, has none of the aspects of emotion or mental excitement. It is characterized by divine logic, expressing Spirit, the omnipresence of the divine Mind, and is humanly demonstrated to be practical and wise above anything that is ordinarily associated with the word Science.
While no comparisons can exist between infinite Science and the human concept of science or art, yet by way of illustration it may be said that when Mary Baker Eddy perceived that God, the first great Cause of all true phenomena, is Mind, Principle, and that perfection must be the only real law, the event was no more mysterious to her than was to Beethoven the coming of the Eroica symphony. We recognize the naturalness of the latter by associating it with musical genius, but is there no such thing as spiritual genius? From the standpoint of pure reason the divinely natural state of intelligence and true intellectuality is spontaneity, unhampered by the limitations of process or method; yet that this Science should become humanly available a method was essential.
The Science of Mind is the science of thoughts, for it is obvious that without thoughts there would be no science of any kind. It must be admitted, however, that the magnitude of divine Science has been somewhat obscured to casual observers by the very thing that has brought this Science so insistently to the attention of mankind. I refer to the vast number of instances of healing of diseases that have been traditionally regarded as incurable.
Needless to say, this makes the same appeal to a suffering race that it did in the time of Jesus and his immediate disciples, and while this proof of the practical value of spiritual Science may seem of small import to the intellectual observer who conceives the word Science in the grandeur of its meaning, it may be entirely different with that same observer if, being condemned to die because of a disease called incurable, he should find himself restored to life and health through the activity of Christian Science.
Therefore it need hardly be said that this science is apprehensible and demonstrable by means of facts. They constitute the equipment of Christian Science practitioners. No practitioner could possibly demonstrate anything which is not already true. Health, therefore, in common with other blessings, can only be gained and maintained because it exists divinely. In its primal significance it means spiritual wholeness. Demonstrated in behalf of the human being, it brings to pass the normality of the so-called human mind and body, and so gained must be retained by ever increasing spirituality of thought and endeavor. Consequently, health, being primarily a divine provision, must not merely be sought, but it must be claimed by the insistent affirmation and realization that it exists now in all its perfection as an inevitable phenomenon of the spiritual creation.
Material systems provide no means by which this scientifically mental attitude concerning the divine, eternal nature of health can be gained and maintained. Education is the only way by which to gain and maintain this spiritual point of view and make it practical in healing the sick. Vacillating steps of fear and ignorance have no permanency, no Principle, and therefore no invariable rule. Science alone, springing from its original source, Mind, Principle, God, can ultimately satisfy the reason and justify the hope of an intelligent and courageous race.
The basic doctrine of Christian Science is that thoughts which sincerely declare God aright rest in the supremacy of that rightness. They enable us to take intelligent cognizance of whatever dangers or difficulties may confront us, and they give us courage and wisdom and divine power with which to face the uncertainties and trials of human existence. This existence, except for the occasional gleams of spiritual light to be observed in its history, is a state of self-deception.
Mankind, failing to exercise intelligence intelligently, is imposed upon by mere human opinions, claiming all the authority and power of Truth. Consequently, not having known enough to know God aright, the human race accepts its experiences as if they were the realities of true being. It believes disease, lack, and death, and thinks and talks disease, lack and death, and therefore experiences disease, lack and death. Much of its education is to the effect that those afflictions are real, even if they are not right. Thus, every materialistic system of healing disease is a kind of disease in itself, because it is predicated upon the reality of evil. The propositions of Christian Science, on the contrary, are that only health and life and the abundance of good are eternal and real and that they are ever present and available through the demonstrable understanding of Truth.
Now let it be repeated, all this does not appear upon the surface. It cannot appear there, for everything that is actually meant or implied by the word Science takes place in the realm of intelligence, which is not a visible realm. All real Science is Mind Science, an irrefutable fact, even though, as yet, it be not universally recognized.
The way in which the healing takes place is mental, or, to speak more accurately, spiritual. It is well known that the practice of this Science is not associated with material remedies or material systems of any kind. It is also well to state that Christian Science has nothing in common with thought transference, or telepathy, or mental suggestion, or hypnotism, and in no respect resembles any other method usually called mental. It is Christian, with none of the aspects of paganism or magic. Every thought that accurately explains Christian Science, every thought that makes it correctly apprehensible, every thought that is employed in the true practice of this Science, is of divine origin. The whole trend of this Science is to glorify God, good, and to enable mankind to lay hold upon the divine power and utilize it to meet the human need.
That mind is in matter and dependent upon matter, and that one so-called mind may influence another, appears to be true according to the material senses; but all this is erroneous in all of its aspects and the error of it may be easily discerned by perceiving that if such an influence really existed and could be exerted it might be used to injure quite as much as to bless individuals or mankind.
Not human beliefs, nor the human will, but the spiritual understanding of divine facts constitutes the enlightenment, inspiration, and activity of true mental treatment. As these facts are gained they are found to be so desirable, so altogether lovely and loving, that their nature is easily recognized, and by means of them the divine Presence is found to be natural and available.
Thus, instead of gauging our thought by the merely material appearance of things, and instead of accepting the testimony of the senses as real or final, we are able to perceive in the realm of pure spirituality the redemptive and healing facts. To gain these facts requires enlightenment. In the Christian Science textbook the author writes on page 295, "The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane," and the unmistakable intention of the illustration is to the effect that the less window-pane and the more light, the better for all concerned.
The theories and educational systems which teach that mind is dependent upon matter and is evolved by matter are so utterly contrary to intelligence that they are unworthy of acceptance on the part of any intelligent person. There is no such thing as intelligent matter. This is so obviously true as to be almost axiomatic. The research carried on through centuries by material scientists has never revealed any intelligence in the non-intelligent thing we call matter. It is a vain endeavor to seek it there. This wonderful possession can only be accounted for by understanding that God, the divine Mind, is really the source of it, and accordingly we must seek the source of all real intelligence through spiritual culture. In the exact proportion that this is done we shall find that this supreme gift can be exercised according to its original nature in behalf of ourselves and others. In this connection we should experience the joy of unbounded gratitude.
Misled by materialism we invest material things and material gain with values wholly spurious and utterly misleading. Already we have in our possession that which outweighs them all. There is not a person here or elsewhere who would exchange his intelligence for the wealth of the world, supposing that it were possible to do so. We need to remember this, for we are inclined to seek something outside of the realm of consciousness, the realm of intelligence, but Jesus said that this realm is the realm of the kingdom of heaven.
It is acknowledged even by thinkers who are not Christianly scientific that the possible achievements of intelligence are far beyond anything that has yet appeared, and Christian Science shows us that even such advanced views are but slight indications of possibilities transcending anything yet achieved.
The world of sense, the world of materialism, mixes health and disease, good and evil, life and death, all up together and calls them all equally real. Only in Christian Science does one learn to distinguish the real from the unreal and to maintain the distinction and make it practical. If we are not educated out of the mere appearance of things and still hold to the belief that it is normal to exercise intelligence in a material way exclusively and that sin, disease, and lack, and sorrow, and death, are real, then thought having no association with the divine Mind cannot function divinely in our behalf, and thought thus perverted works against us.
In this mistaken way the human race, with rare exceptions, has always used its greatest gift against its own welfare. It was so in ancient times. The prophets, according to their perception of spiritual truth, would admonish the people to obey God. Sometimes the admonition was temporarily heeded, then again neglected or repudiated for extended periods of time. Such is the erroneous history of the human race as recorded in the Bible. Now we claim to be far in advance of them. Should we not be more clear and more consistent than they? We have the advantage of greater education, greater opportunities, greater everything that human beings are led to value. Jesus admonished his disciples in the words, "Feed my sheep," but there is no feeding of the sheep if the sheep will not eat.
Let us make no mistake. This Science does not require us to ignore our difficulties or diseases or troubles of any kind. None of us is in a position to ignore anything, and it is most undesirable that we should attempt to do so. Science, properly understood, enables us to take cognizance of the phenomena with which we have to deal. This is strikingly true in the practice of Christian Science. So doing, by means of the instruction which Christian Science affords, we are equipped with divine power, and can deal with whatever confronts us. Lacking Christian Science such is not the case. By means of it, correctly practiced, one can overcome his diseases, his lack, or any other afflictions, because he can master fear.
Fear is a fundamental error. It is contrary to intelligence, and gives activity to the most regrettable of all phases of ignorance, which is ignorance of God, thereby producing a brood of sorrows for mankind. It has no foundation, no equity, and therefore no entity, no Principle, no mind. God could not conceive of fear; consequently there is no fear. Christian Science faithfully adhered to and practiced can progressively rid us of fear, and even a primary understanding of this Science makes fear less active, until we may arrive, step by step, at a realization which reduces fear to what it actually is, a myth.
Therefore, in the endeavor to overcome fear one needs to gain the realization that there is no other Mind than God, and this fact needs to be affirmed and realized as far as possible at the very moment when one appears to be afraid, for this is the moment when one needs to say and realize the unreality of fear. When fear is destroyed, disease disappears.
The Bible says that God gave man dominion, which means the extinction of fear. This dominion is not desire or ambition. It is rather the peace that passeth all human understanding or belief. It is not habitually achieved or exercised, but it might be both in this or any hour, because it springs from the right idea of God. In the light of it, a sincere appeal to God for help is worthy of the certainty of a response which can be found only by associating thought with the divine Mind, and by making thought worthy of that primal and real relationship. Praying in this way is praying aright.
Science makes the answer to prayer a necessary and inevitable characteristic of prayer, for real prayer, as taught in Christian Science, is the understanding and authorization of divine power. Such understanding has no element of uncertainty, and cannot be restricted in its influence by the erroneous opinions of mankind.
It is not merely asking that the darkness be dispelled, it is realizing the light which dispels the darkness. It establishes health and life as divine and permanent, and conversely, rejects any evidence to the effect that they can ever be changed or have ever been changed to disease or deterioration or death. In the same way human needs of any kind are so disassociated from materiality as to give place to the divine law as expressed by the prophet to the widow in the words, "The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail."
Christian Science shows that whatever appears to be evil or material is erroneously mental, that is to say, a belief and not a reality, and that the correction of it is to be found only in the demonstration of the Mind that is God, good, just as Jesus illustrated.
Thus thought emanating from the real and eternal, acts according to its divine source. It lifts one above the realm where troubles seem to be, and shows that such a realm and its troubles are unnatural and unreal. The natural realm of real being is where there is no trouble. It is called heaven. When Jesus said it is within you he allowed that it is a mental or spiritual state attainable anywhere at any time, and that the Science by which it may be thus attained is the only really natural science.
We find heaven in just the measure that the ideas which reveal it awaken in ourselves that hospitability which should be accorded to them. When Peter, in answer to the question asked by Jesus, "Whom say ye that I am?" replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus commended his spiritual perception in the words, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven," showing unmistakably that the thought expressed by Peter was the inspiration of the divine Mind.
In our age an inspired disciple, seeing far more of the true nature of being than Peter was able to discern, has given to the world the Science of that impersonal power declared in the words, "Thou art the Christ." This Science brings to light the perfection of divine power and the power of divine perfection. Jesus admonished his disciples to claim it, in the words, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He knew that such a spiritual attitude was the only one that could so associate thought with omnipotence as to bring about the unfailing result of health and life.
This oneness of spiritual thought with the divine Mind discloses the practicability of the presence of God. To gain the realization of this presence has been the aim and end of all religion, yet so erroneous have been prevailing religious beliefs concerning the divine presence that today the great majority of mankind regard that presence as remote, and believe that it can be gained only by going to a different place from that which we now occupy, and that the way to that place is death.
All such theories are contrary to reason and equally contrary to the true interpretation of revelation. According to any sense of existence, we cannot attain an object by going in a direction opposite to that wherein it is to be found. It is universally admitted that God is ever living; then it follows inevitably that the way to find God and heaven is through Life and not through death, and that the presence of God can never be attained until the belief that it is attainable through death is exchanged for the fact that it is attainable only through the recognition of Life as the present and eternal reality.
The power to demonstrate Christian Science must therefore be had by education, and this education must be spiritual. The unfolding of spiritual ideas constitutes it. They find expression according to their nature. They manifest Spirit. On the other hand, materiality is not expressed by ideas, but by beliefs. It is tentative and experimental, and is acknowledged so to be. All the habits and laws of materiality in human life and living are uncertain, deceptive, often afflictive, sometimes even murderous, and always mortal. Matter, enthroned by wrong education, offers no security, and frequently means only disappointment, demoralization, and disaster. Experiencing despair, human beings turn from such misleading and delusive ways, and find the peace and security of true enlightenment in divine Science.
The desirability of attaining spirituality has been advocated by the Christian world throughout the centuries, but the Science of Spirit, by means of which spirituality is alone attainable, appears for the first time in this Science. It is not an invention. Mary Baker Eddy did not make it. She discovered it. I believe that it could be shown that all that is spiritually valuable in prior history tended to that event. It was the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus, "He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth."
There is then a new dispensation, and we are in the midst of it. It reveals a new heaven, the real one, the harmony of Mind and its manifestation. From this revelation of the new heaven and by means of this revelation, the new earth is appearing. The change thus brought about in the material concept of heaven and earth may apparently be somewhat disconcerting to material observation, but the divine Principle demonstrated in these changes proves that spiritual evolution, resulting in permanent harmony, is all that is taking place. Because of the incalculable importance of this discovery and its universal value, the growing appreciation of Mrs. Eddy and her great work is far above that which is generally associated with personality. In the history of mankind, persons appear to come and go, but the origin of Christian Science is eternity, wherein the limitations of time and sense disappear. Its nature is prophetically proclaimed in the words of Isaiah, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth."
This Science being Mind Science, comes in the realm of thought, where it must come. It cannot be dissociated from Mrs. Eddy, because she discovered and announced its Principle and rule. For that reason the discovery and the Discoverer of Christian Science stand together, and all true history of the discovery must maintain that unity. The event was both divine and human. It was in no wise restricted by personality, notwithstanding that it came through Mrs. Eddy's personal experience.
In divine Science, God is the infinite One, and therefore incomparable. The word God signifies no possible competitor, competition or comparison. Our affirmation, God is Mind, in the measure that it is realized, gives the character of divinity to intelligence. This affirmation is a statement of primal, eternal truth. As often as it is made it tends to make us not only appreciative but wise, and it ever increasingly clarifies our perception of the difference between that which is human and divine. So doing, it clothes us with true appreciation of the great and good characters which have so abundantly blessed mankind.
Wisdom so demonstrated is of divine origin, even though it appears to be human in its manifestation. It leads one to understand Mary Baker Eddy through a devoted study of her works, and shows that we appreciate her most and love her best when we heed those Christian and scientific admonitions in which her writings abound. Jesus announced the way of true respect and real love when he said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Christian Science clearly shows that the power which Jesus exercised was in no way dependent upon his personality, or his birth, or upon his resurrection or ascension, but wholly upon the impersonal truth, ever present and immutable as law, constituting his understanding, the divine Christ.
In this connection, it may be remarked that the works of Jesus are as deeply significant as his words. We understand both just in the measure that we attain something of his sublime character. This is equally true of all that relates to him. There is no way of understanding him except in the way that he understood himself. His way was unquestionably the way of pure metaphysics. It bore no resemblance to matter or personality. His promise is, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," meaning, of course, that divine power is available to us through the right understanding of God, even unto the extinction of all sin, disease, and death.
Naturally, the way must be scientific because in no other manner can the certainty and accuracy of Truth be proved. Science and Health defines intelligence in the words: "It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle — Life, Truth, and Love, — named God." (p. 469) Our ability to think good thoughts instead of evil thoughts indicates unmistakably that the divine quality of intelligence, thus defined in Science and Health, is ours by original right. It is unquestionably the ultimate mission of thought to express divine intelligence. Education to this end is provided in Christian Science. It involves spiritual training and mental discipline, for Christian Science rests upon and operates by divine power, and its law is found immutable in overcoming evil in any and every form, in the exact proportion that thought attains the understanding of that power and law.
Now understanding may and must appear to be our understanding, yours, mine. Really, it coexists with divine Mind and is not dependent upon either of us or all of us. The impersonality of it, the desirability of it, the promise and fulfillment of it are set forth remarkably in the eighth chapter of Proverbs, which represents wisdom and understanding as saying, "I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." In order that this promise may be fulfilled, it is necessary that understanding, rather than the apparent possessor of it, should be glorified.
The habit of regarding ourselves as nothing more or less than personality may at first make it difficult for us to understand our real selfhood, as brought to light in Christian Science. The basic statement of this Science, God is Mind, shows unmistakably that understanding, not personality, associates us with God. In this connection it is well to observe that the traditions, theories and superstitions of material sense, and the educational systems incidental thereto, have led us to believe that we personally include our understanding, whereas the scientific fact is that the understanding of God is inclusive spiritual sense.
For this reason, in glorifying the spiritual sense of ourselves rather than the material sense of ourselves, we do not lose ourselves, but on the contrary find ourselves to be what Science declares we really are, the manifestation of God.
All this is in strict consonance with the proposition already advanced, which is that in pure Science one can demonstrate only that which already exists as an eternal fact.
Upon this proposition of reality and the law of its Principle rests the ability exercised by practitioners of this Science to overcome sin and disease for others and for themselves. It is attainable now in some degree by anyone, and in ever increasing measure progressively by everyone who sincerely and studiously seeks it.
It is set forth in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, in unmistakable terms. This book is a textbook, for the reason that it teaches the actual Science of Mind-healing, and shows how one may educate one's self to apprehend and exercise divine power, and thus progressively pursue the path of pure spiritual self-culture so satisfactorily and so conclusively as to rely upon divine power under all circumstances.
The Christian Science textbook is unique in this and in other respects. I believe, and thousands of people believe with me, that with the exception of the Bible, it is the most important book that has ever been given to the human race. It is a book for the learned, because it shows that true intellect is originally divine. It is a book for the unlearned, because it arouses both the desire and purpose to overcome limitation through spiritual intelligence. It is a book for the humanly wise, because it lifts wisdom far above the realm of pride or ambition, and it is a book for the unwise, because it establishes judgment based upon Principle.
If we are to have life and have it more abundantly, as Jesus promised, we must necessarily do away with the false educational beliefs which conceive and perpetuate sin and sickness by ascribing reality to them, and this demands a science equal to that task. By the same token, this science must be understandable. If God could not be understood it would be the same as if He did not exist, and He might just as well not exist; but that God can be understood and His natural presence and power demonstrated is shown every day in the practice of this Science.
Our textbook points out that the spirit of Truth and Love, which of course means the understanding of Truth and Love, must accompany the letter of this Science. For this reason the practice of this Science is never stereotyped. Thought which approximates in any degree the divine Mind must be ever advancing. Consequently the real practice of Christian Science has none of the elements of mere routine, nor of the meaningless repetition of word or thought, and the method defined as affirmation of Truth and denial of error, when properly followed, involves one in the most progressive endeavor that can fall to the lot of a human being. The Bible says, "Behold, I make all things new," and this is exactly the experience in the daily life of an active Christian Scientist.
The mathematician, astronomer, physicist, or natural scientist of these times who admits that all phenomena are mental by saying consciousness is fundamental, has not yet touched the hem of the garment of Christ, but there is the encouraging fact that his hand is extended in the right direction.
The Christian Scientist first looks within in the endeavor to bring about a correction of that which appears to be exterior to himself. In these times, adverse conditions may be found useful in arousing the desire for divine help and in awakening the ability to receive it.
The Christian world unites in declaring the omnipotence of God. The Bible teaches the impersonality of this omnipotence in the words, "God is love." To admit the omnipotence of Love by recognizing that God, Love, is Mind, enables intelligence to approximate this omnipotence, thereby ennobling Science and vitalizing religion by freeing both from what the Discoverer of Christian Science aptly terms "the atheism of matter."
The God who is Love and the Love which is God is the one and only God. There is no competitor, no opposer, to this omnipotence.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." The sentimentality attached to the word love has more or less hidden its universality and omnipotence. Christian Scientists, in common with the rest of mankind, have often found themselves hampered by the superimposed erroneous concepts of the wonderful words, Mind, Love, the real understanding of which bestows the divine power to heal the sick and bless the race.
In the Christian Science textbook occurs the beautiful passage (p. 494), "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." Christian Scientists have been greatly inspired by it. They repeat it to themselves and often encourage others by means of it, but the fullness of its promise has not always been evident, for it is clear that if divine Love is to meet every human need then Love must be the only presence.
In the measure that this occurs through intelligent understanding of Love, the divine Principle of all being, it will be found that consciousness perceived in the grandeur, majesty, and power of its real meaning is divine, fundamental, and final. Seeking this divine source of man and the universe we experience the fulfillment of the prophecy found on page 191 of the Christian Science textbook: "As a material, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misapprehension of existence, the spiritual and divine Principle of man dawns upon human thought, and leads it to 'where the young child was,' — even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus the whole earth will be transformed by Truth on its pinions of light, chasing away the darkness of error."
[Delivered at Cadle Tabernacle, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis, Indiana, and published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis; date of the lecture and of its publication unknown.]