The Science of All that Relates to God (1)
Bicknell Young, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Semi-annual Lecture of
We give below a condensed report
of the lecture by Bicknell Young, C.S.B., member of the Christian Science Board
of Lectureship, in Symphony Hall,
Friends: — We are here for a candid consideration of one of the most serious subjects of our age; one which involves not only the health, happiness, and general welfare of the present, but the hope of the future.
The rapid progress in all lines,
the frequent discoveries and inventions, affording constant surprises in
novelties, have cultivated in the public mind a condition of expectancy and
toleration which is quite prepared to give a hearing to all new subjects. And,
since we have before us a representative audience assembled from the advanced
He is one of the many distinguished professional men who have left all to spread the gospel of Christian Science. He is a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship and is, therefore, an official lecturer of the church which he represents.
It is with great pleasure that I
now introduce to you the speaker of the evening, Mr. Bicknell Young of
Mr. Young said in part:
Christian Science may be briefly defined as the Science of all that relates to God. It is to be attained through spiritual growth and understanding. It implies sincerity of purpose as well as the best intellectual effort on the part of those who would apprehend it, but upon a higher plane of thought and upon a more enduring basis than would be demanded by any other subject. We do not undertake to give at this time a demonstrable knowledge of this vast Science, for that you must seek the pages of its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" written by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy. If I may but succeed in correcting some false views, or in removing some prejudice; if hope be uplifted, and expectation brightened: if some heavy heart be made lighter or some sorrow or sickness less painful; if here and there some one, touched by the spirit of the hour, should be led away from those thoughts which make for sin, disease, and death, to those which disclose holiness, health, and life, and thus acquire a better understanding of all that is meant by the word salvation as revealed in Christian Science, the loving desires of those who provided this lecture will have been realized.
Accepted theories have rejected the possibility of a scientific knowledge of God and His laws. Indeed, the association of the words Christian and Science has at first excited the derision of prevailing belief and then aroused its scorn and abuse. Yet today the universal truth as taught in Christian Science has stirred human thought to higher views and expression, even while the source of them is not acknowledged. The wonder is, in view of all Christian Science has accomplished, that there should be anybody left who is not interested.
Mrs. Eddy discovered the Christ Science, or Christian Science, through a personal experience which could leave no doubt as to the divine nature of the understanding which came to her. Upon this point let me quote from her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
"When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, — called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, — is the false testimony of false material sense — of life in matter: that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit" (p. 108).
She afterward tested her discovery thoroughly by healing all manner of cases, not only in instances of ordinary sickness, but also in those which were considered incurable and hopeless, and many of them in one treatment. In due time her discovery became known, and finally, after thoroughly proving its unquestionable scientific value, she published the book already mentioned, by means of which others have learned to do the same blessed work.
Nothing could be happier than the name Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy gave to her discovery. It is at once exact, definite, and appropriate, and is justified by more than thirty-seven years of remarkably successful practice.
True Science and Prayer
Is it not true that almost anything in relation to mere material hypotheses may take the name of science unchallenged? How is it, therefore, that those things which relate to God, Spirit, and His laws, which are based upon eternal facts and must therefore be unquestionably scientific, immeasurably more so than all other things, are relegated to the realm of belief? Any question as to the science of the Christian religion must be forever settled by any one who cares to look the matter squarely in the face. Jesus never failed in anything that he attempted. He healed all diseases, whether called curable or incurable, and without the use of drugs or any other material remedies. He fed the hungry, saved sinners, and raised the dead, all by the power of Spirit. He overcame the death of his own body, and finally rose to the full realization of his natural image as the son of God, the son of Spirit. In other words, he overcame all the laws of material existence in that which is most appropriately called the Ascension. These works have been called miraculous, but there is no evidence to show that they were miraculous to him. On the contrary, they illustrated the unchanging nature of God's law, the law of good, and proved its absolute power over all evil. His method reflected the infallibility of God. Could anything be more scientific than that? That it was Christian, no one will dispute: that it was unfailing and therefore scientific in the highest sense, the facts prove. It was both Christian and scientific, or Christian Science, and it must be still the same. If it healed the sick then, it can do so now, and the fact is, it does so in the thousands of instances in which it has been and is scientifically applied. He knew that he had a certain way of doing his works and that it could be learned. He said that those who believed in his name should do similar works, and the best interpretations indicate that to believe in his name meant to understand his teachings. He also declared, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father." As explained in Christian Science the words, "I go to the Father," relate to his exalted thought, which Paul describes as "the mind which was in Christ Jesus;" and which was continually seeking God, and when we always go to the Father in this way, as he did, we shall realize the promise.
It is self-evident that nothing
can be more scientific than "knowing." Jesus said, "Ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Paul said, "Pray
without ceasing." Can there be any doubt about the scientific nature of
prayer? Christian Scientists believe in this ceaseless prayer. Humanity has
prayed in some way always, and always more or less vainly, until it would
sometimes seem as though prayer had become merely a formal habit, yielding some
comfort, perhaps, but barren of practical results. Is it not clear that there
must be something the matter with a prayer which is unanswered? Do people in
general expect an answer to prayer? Suppose for a moment that all prayers were
answered. Could human language depict the chaos that would ensue? Is it not
certain that an all-wise and infinitely loving Father could never answer a
prayer involving any sort of harm or discomfort to any of His children? Could a
mere selfish petition ever be answered? It is related of Solomon that he prayed
for knowledge or wisdom with which to do his work, and that God was so pleased
with his prayer that He gave him not only knowledge but riches and honor above
all men that had been before him. Jesus said, "Seek ye first the
God and His Law
Jesus said that he came to fulfil
the law. What law? No doubt he meant the law of God, which to his hearers was
embodied in the law of Moses. Christian Science does not proclaim a new God or
a new law, but comes declaring the same God and the same law that Jesus
declared, the one infinite, eternal
God, and His good and unchangeable law. Christian Science amplifies, broadens
and uplifts our thought concerning God by declaring that He is Mind, divine Principle, and these
definitions are most appropriate, for Mind and divine Principle indicate the very nature and essence of Deity. Mind agrees with the universally
accepted declaration that God is infinite intelligence, and brings the divine
fact of the omnipresence of God more clearly to our consciousness. Divine
Principle shows that God is
unchangeable, perfect, and eternal in volition and action. Could any word more
fully express the nature of Him "with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning"? What is the use of words if indeed it be not
to produce clear thought in relation to a given subject? No words can change
God. They only help or hinder humanity's attempt to understand Him. Personal is
one of the words that has hindered. Christian Science does not deny the
personality of God as some have supposed, but it must of necessity deny that
Infinity can be humanly personal. To speak of God as personal in the same sense
that we use the word humanly is nothing less than sacrilege. God must be
infinite personality, and no other thought of His personality should be
entertained. Again, to make a picture of anything and worship it as God, would at
once be called idolatrous. Is it less so because the picture is mental?
The omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God have been declared for ages, but the full import of such teaching has not been analyzed, nor have its logical results been acknowledged. The Latin prefix, omni, means all. Placed before such words as potency or power, science or knowledge, and presence, when used to define Deity, it means all power, all science or knowledge, and all presence. As Science and Health well asks, "How can there be more than all?'' Therefore, whoever affirms the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God, denies all other power, knowledge, or presence; and since God is admitted to be good, such an one virtually denies any power, knowledge, or presence to evil. In fact, he denies the reality of evil, a thing for which Christian Scientists have not infrequently been condemned by those who say they believe in the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God.
Christian Science declares in accordance with the Scriptures that God is Life, Truth, and Love. The law that Jesus came to fulfil was the law of this ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful God, who is good, who is Life, Truth, and Love, and whose law must conform to His infinite goodness. Does this God, who is Life, Truth, and Love, send disease, sin, and death? Does God, who is infinite good, do evil? Does God, who is infinite Love, cause the afflictions and sorrows of His children? Just consider for a moment: If you were all-powerful, and could establish law and enforce it, and could do away with all evil, would you do it, or not? Would you not rejoice to see no more suffering among these little ones, no more terror or sorrow in mothers' hearts, no more grief-bowed heads, no more pain-racked bodies? And "Shall mortal man be more just than God?"
Evil Accounted For
One of the most erroneous ways of accounting for evil, especially when manifested as sickness or death in the instances of good people or blameless children, is to ascribe it to the inscrutable wisdom of God. Inscrutable indeed would be the wisdom that is infinite Love and Life, and that could cease His infinity long enough to afflict His children with disease and death. Christian Science takes no part in any such lame and illogical attempt to account for evil. Indeed, the infinity of God, or good, would be thereby obliterated, for God would cease to be good to the extent that He cognized evil, cease to be infinite, therefore no God. Because sin, sickness, and death are not good, they could not originate in God, the Mind that is holiness, health, and Life, and they have, therefore, merely a fabulous existence far apart from truth, or science, or God. Sin, disease, and death, with all the human beliefs and theories that accompany them, Christian Science classifies together and denominates the whole conglomeration of falsehoods as mortal mind. In Christian Science this fictitious mortal mind, as a general belief or universal false claim, is utterly divested of all supposed influence, power, or law to cause or perpetuate disease;
and God's law of wholeness, harmony, and health to man is established.
Christian Scientists Believe in Christ and Salvation
It has sometimes been asked if Christian Scientists believe in Christ. Who is a believer, the one who preaches merely or the one who practices? Who believes in a science such as the science of numbers, for example? Surely, it will be answered, he who trusts his affairs to it. Who believes in Christ? They who only say they do, and fail to do the works of Christ? or they who trust absolutely in the teachings of Jesus and strive to do the works that he commanded? I say without fear of successful contradiction, that of all people on earth, Christian Scientists believe most absolutely in Christ. They utterly repudiate the aspersion that they are un-Christian. They accept the teaching of Christ Jesus without reservation. Orthodox religion, on the other hand, rejects the healing power of the gospel and attempts to explain its failure to obey the command of Jesus to heal the sick, by saying that it was intended for his time only, although there is nothing in the Bible to justify such an assumption. Hear this: "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." If one of the commands of Jesus was intended for his time only, then all were, and the whole Christian religion falls to the ground. The fact is, the healing power continued to be exercised in the early Christian church for about three centuries, and was then lost through the introduction of ecclesiasticism. Jesus did not say that Christ would leave the earth when he left it. He declared the eternity of the Christ. "Before Abraham was, I am." "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." His career reveals the power of God to govern man righteously here and now.
The steps of salvation in Christian Science are not unusual or peculiar. As in the teaching of other evangelical denominations, there must be first, the admission of sin, or conviction; second, sorrow for wrong doing, or repentance; and, third, reformation — a corrected life. Theoretical belief, however, limits salvation to the cessation of sin, and the hope of heaven after death. Christian Science declares that the love of sin must be destroyed. Because God is sinless, sin has no divine authority, no real existence; and it makes this utter denial of sin for the sole purpose of overcoming sin. It includes in salvation exemption from sickness, want, worry, and woe, as well as from sin. In short, salvation in Christian Science touches everything that prostrates hope or interferes with happiness. Again, in Christian Science, salvation is not a death process. It is not a matter that can be postponed. The problems of life are not solved in that way. Jesus said, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." Would he have said that if death were necessary to salvation? The world has been taught to believe that by dying it could save itself the trouble of living rightly. Christian Science teaches that salvation is a way of righteousness. The supposition that heaven is attained through disease and death is a theory at once mysterious and wretched, and so repugnant to every normally minded person that every one naturally desires to avoid such an experience, even with a theory of salvation attached to it and the efforts of all theories of healing as well as the prayers of theology are intended to prevent a person from dying. The path heavenward is truly straight and narrow. None know this better than do Christian Scientists, but this path is not strewn with ashes, neither does it ultimate in disaster. When we learn that the fulness of religion may be attained here and now through Truth and Love manifested in a daily life at peace with God and man, and that such a condition brings heaven to earth, we begin to cheer up. We see that we may speak of God and His laws without sadness or any sense of mystery. If God is our divine Parent, He is our best friend. Salvation is therefore a joyful experience, and heaven a natural condition that may become a present and welcome reality. Heaven cannot be less than satisfaction and perfect harmony, and it cannot be more. The Psalmist says, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."
Founded on the Bible
Christian Science is founded on the Bible. The textbook of Christian Science is what it purports to be, and includes, as its title indicates, a key to the Scriptures. Mrs. Eddy says, "For three years after my discovery I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing; searched the Scriptures, read little else; kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. . . . In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only text-book" (Science and Health, pp. 109, 110).
The Bible has become a new book to us, and the most interesting book in the world, through the light which Christian Science throws upon it.
Science and Health is a commentary upon the Bible. Other denominations have commentaries, but no other book in the world has ever revealed the power of Truth to heal the sick, and enabled people to learn the Science of the Scriptures by which this healing is achieved. The numerous cases of healing accomplished by the perusal of this book are so authentic as to be beyond question. Thousands of people have testified to such healing, and some of them have done so under oath, in courts of law, and their testimony has not been in the least shaken by cross-examination. Some of these cases involved the most terrible diseases known to mankind. No material system has ever succeeded in healing a cancer, but Christian Science has healed hundreds of them, as well as other so-called incurable diseases, such as locomotor ataxia, tuberculosis, epilepsy, and others considered less dangerous but equally incurable, such as asthma, hay fever, St. Vitus's dance. Christian Scientists, as well as other people, know such instances. It is not pretended that there are no failures as yet in Christian Science practice. It would indeed be surprising if, with all the error that confronts it, our new-born understanding should reach the height of infallibility at once. Christian Science, however, is exact Science, and we expect that its unfailing power will be more and more proven as we grow in grace. In the mean time, it is, to say the least, unbecoming for advocates of material systems to demand no failures of us, while they view with complacency the immeasurably greater proportion of their own. The healing power in Christian Science is not attained through any new Bible, nor through any strange interpretation of the old one, but through the truth contained in that old Bible, our Bible, your Bible and my Bible; and Christian Scientists have none other. Jesus said, "Search the Scriptures." Christian Scientists are joyfully obeying this injunction, and through Christian Science they are realizing in a great measure the fulfilment of the promises contained therein.
Prevailing Systems are Mysterious
Mortals are in a state of superstition about God and man, about heaven and earth, about sickness and health, about life and death, and, indeed, well-nigh every other conceivable condition or thing. Furthermore, all prevailing theories, whether religious or scientific, have looked for cause in matter, for God in His opposite. Is not this the very acme of superstition? The self-evident impossibility of finding truth in error seems to have escaped human reason until Christian Science came to reveal it. The superstructure that has been reared upon such theories is well represented by the house in the parable which was built upon the sand, and when the winds and waves of adversity, sickness, or sorrow, beat upon it, it crumbled. Popular science is as unscientific in this respect as popular religion. After the most elaborate investigations, endless research, and almost superhuman perseverance, it invariably arrives at a point where it can only say, "This is unknowable." Is it not clear that both theories end in self-confessed failure, the one in a mysterious belief in the amalgamation of good and evil, the other in the mystery of the unknowable? Any person who has followed either or both with the hope of having his reason satisfied, or his belief in eternal life confirmed, has found his condition best described in the words from Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat:
Myself when young did eagerly frequent,
Doctor and saint and had great argument,
Came out by that same door,
Wherein I went.
Christian Science begins where such theories leave off. It declares that God, Life, Truth, must be knowable, and in reality is the only knowable, because Truth is all there is to know. It shows that if there is anything about religion that is true it must be based upon facts. If based upon facts, the facts may be known, since to speak of unknowable facts is to express a contradiction in terms. A knowledge of God must therefore be not only possible but imperative. How shall it be attained? If God is Mind or divine Principle, He is expressed actively and operatively in divine ideas. These must be sought and entertained until thought is transformed.
If the facts which have been declared in reference to God are admitted, then man, His image, must be something more than that which we ordinarily see. Christian Science denies that the evidence of the five material senses can be accepted as absolute in reference to man, his real being, his health, or his life. Generally speaking, man is thought to be both material and spiritual. It is declared that he is mortal; that is, that he must die, and yet that he is the image and likeness of God, or in other words, the image and likeness of immortal Life. When he is dead, it is supposed that he will begin to be immortal! Christian Science shows that such theories do not reveal the truth about man. It declares that man is not material, and that a mortal cannot be the image and likeness of God who is immortal. A mortal is only a presentation of the evidence of the senses. Man's real being and immortality is discerned in Science. Christian Science therefore looks away from matter in considering man and declares that the image or likeness of God is not to be found in physical personality but is indicated in mental and moral quality. Man must be spiritual and ever-living to be like Spirit, like Life. Man must be like good to be like God, like Truth, like Love; he must be the likeness of the divine Mind, the image of divine Principle. This true likeness discerned in Science is the true self that all men should seek, and they should not manifest any other self. Such a course means health and harmony to those who follow it.
The Evidence of the Senses
Respecting the realm of thought which we characterize as religious or spiritual, it would not even exist if we were to accept the evidence of the senses. According to their testimony, matter is all, and Spirit, God, is a myth. But nobody, not even the most materially minded, would accept the evidence of the senses without reservation. Not a prayer is uttered that is not a virtual declaration against such evidence. Christians rise above it continually, and should do so still more. Christian Science shows how to accomplish this. It may indeed be difficult to conceive of a first great Cause, but it is vastly more difficult not to do so.
It is clear, therefore, that in denying the evidence of the senses we do nothing unusual. Christian Science, however, is unusual in making this denial applicable when anything exists or arises which is contrary to the harmony of man.
Christian Science shows how the body is controlled by mentality, consciously or unconsciously, all the time. The object of its practice is to establish the conscious control of divine Mind over the body. This demands the highest morality and spirituality on the part of the practitioner in order to be successful. It means constant and conscious communion with good, with God.
Comparison with Other Systems
Various systems of healing are extant. They are all more or less material except Christian Science; which represents more and achieves proportionately more than any other, because it is purely metaphysical, and rests upon a spiritual basis. It always uplifts the patient both morally and spiritually while healing him physically. In many cases, Christian Science practitioners discover that the moral and physical are so interwoven as to be inseparable in treatment. When a man's sickness is either partially or wholly caused or perpetuated by his sins, what is the use of giving him pills? No material remedies will touch or uplift his moral nature, and some of them seem to have a contrary effect. If sin has caused the disease, whatever leaves sin untouched cannot heal the disease. The world may well begin to learn that there is one and only one way of salvation. It must be scientific if it is to reach the cause of disease in sin, and the cause of sin in mortal mind, obliterating it and its effects. Christian Scientists are in no wise arrayed against those who practice materia medica. We were all believers in it at one time. We are convinced through our experience in it and in Christian Science, that we have found in the latter a better way, and we believe it to be the very best way because it is God's way as shown in the work of Jesus. We have the greatest respect and admiration for the philanthropy and nobleness of many physicians. We count some of them among our best friends, but we cannot close our eyes to the faults of the system which they represent. If the tabulations which present the observations of materia medica together with the theories which are evolved therefrom, were of any absolute scientific value, should not the experimental stage be passed after four thousand years? Is it not a self-confessed condition of weakness and fear which impels our medical brethren to go before state legislatures demanding special legislation the tendency of which is almost invariably to shut out all other systems? The excuse generally given that the public needs to be protected against Christian Science is groundless and puerile.
Christian Science is quite as good for children as for adults. Thousands of children suffering with contagious and other terrible diseases have been restored to health and life through the intervention of Christian Science after they had been given up to die by medical practitioners. Thousands of children have been healed of chronic invalidism and of terrible deformities through the action of Christian Science when all other means have failed. Indeed, Christian Science has been proven the most efficacious healing agency known to man. What therefore can be thought of the proposition that Christian Scientists may be permitted to employ Christian Science for themselves, but shall be compelled by law to use a less efficacious system for their children whom they love more than themselves? Is it strange that the parents in these families should have more faith in Christian Science than in materia medica? Should they be condemned or punished for having learned to trust God in times of trouble as the Bible admonishes them to do? Let any one investigate, and he will find that in Christian Science families a more uniform condition of health and harmony prevails than those same families manifested when they were believers in materia medica. Christian Scientists believe in Christian Science treatment because they know from experience that their children have a better chance of living and growing up to useful manhood and womanhood. As for public protection, Christian Scientists are the most law-abiding people in the world. There is no fear that they will not observe the regulations of health boards in relation to contagious and other diseases, since they believe in the Golden Rule and know that their success and happiness depend upon its literal observance.
Spiritual Healing the True Mental Healing
Tardily the followers of material systems begin to acknowledge the part that mentality plays in disease and its cure, but as they have always looked for cause and cure in wrong directions, so now, with the perversity of long-established habits of incorrect thinking, they ascribe the cures effected by Christian Science to mental suggestion, will-power, hypnotism, or mental science, which is spurious and not related to Christian Science. When it is declared that God heals disease through Christian Science, learned materialists usually scoff at the idea. Wherefore this assumption of superiority, which considers itself a judge of all things? Do the four thousand years of failure on the part of materia medica to find the scientific way of healing the sick, or the failure of orthodox religion to heal according to the command of Jesus, — do these endow either one with the wisdom or right to judge and condemn that which heals the sick? Who knows best how Christian Science heals?
Again, we quite frequently hear from the pulpit, after a recounting of a lot of mere opinions as to what Christian Science is, that there is nothing new in it; it is Buddhism, or what not! Let it be said unequivocally that such assertions are mere exhibitions of ignorance. Christian Science is utterly unlike any Oriental theory, philosophy, or religion. That any one should consider them alike shows that he understands neither these theories nor Christian Science.
It is quite true that Christian Science is not new in one sense, since there can be nothing new to eternal Truth. It is in accord with the Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount, which, indeed, express the essence of Truth. It cannot, therefore, be new in its Principle, but as made applicable to humanity's dire needs it is new. Although the influence of mentality upon disease is now acknowledged, how many understood it prior to the publication of Science and Health? The author of that book was the first person to discern the cause of disease correctly since the time of the Master, and to give an adequate and complete analysis of this cause. Science and Health is the only book that enables us to give a correct diagnosis of disease, and it is the only book that teaches how to heal metaphysically. Christian Science is even more opposed to wrong mental methods than it is to material ones. It declares that hypnotism, mental suggestion, so-called suggestive therapeutics, will-power are not proper methods for treating disease. They are not founded upon divine Principle but are only a product of "carnal mind" or error. No matter if it be declared in books with high-sounding or deceitful titles that such methods were employed by Jesus, the self-acknowledged fact that they may be used as readily for evil purposes as for good, shows that they are neither Christ-like nor scientific, therefore not his methods. The good they sometimes seem to do invariably results in worse conditions. Man is properly influenced by divine Mind only, and the human mind cannot outline that influence or picture it.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
Along the vista of time we see here and there the great characters that have illumined the history of the race. We scarcely dare to think what the world would have been had not there appeared from time to time a man or woman good enough and great enough to be touched by eternal Truth, and brave and self-sacrificing enough to stand for it. Mrs. Eddy discovered and proclaimed to the world the God-given freedom of the race from all sickness, sin, want, and woe. She declared the Science by which men may begin to realize that freedom and enter upon their heritage of righteous dominion over all evil. Some time this knowledge had to come. According to the promise of Jesus, it was to be the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter leading into all truth. Some one had to be good and pure above all others in order to perceive it. Any great discovery along a given line is always made by one whose thoughts, desires, and studies are reaching out beyond those of other people. The world is somewhat accustomed to Christian Science today. It is a welcome subject in many circles, and its wonderful and blessed achievements are generally acknowledged, but there was a time when Mrs. Eddy was the only Christian Scientist on earth, when she stood absolutely alone with God before the whole world and incurred the ridicule of ignorance and the hostility of theoretical forms of religion and material modes of medicine because of her discovery of the Science by which the gospel is made more available. Today all religions and all methods of healing are somewhat touched by it. The world is uplifted by her example. Through the silent and loving influence of her teaching, human thought is being lifted somewhat from the depths of gross materialism. Where would it be today, where would we be, but for the purity of purpose, unswerving perseverance, and sublimity of courage displayed by Mrs. Eddy through all those years of trial and persecution? Who that has gained any knowledge of Christian Science can but recall with a shudder the memory of the time when he did not possess it, when, in the language of Scripture, "the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." The gratitude of such an one will never let him forget that in his individual experience, through Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, "the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, Let there be light, and there was light."
Is it not strange that every epithet of vilification and hatred should have been directed against this consecrated woman? Yet history shows that every person who has initiated a moral or religious reformation, has been hated and maligned by that which was in need of such reformation. It is both unnatural and reprehensible that the pulpit, which ought to welcome every hope of deliverance and every message of peace and good-will, has frequently joined in the cry of condemnation. To all this Mrs. Eddy has never made an unkind reply. Whatever others may do, she practices the gospel which she teaches, — the gospel of Christ, the gospel of Love.
These are the simple facts. I should consider it presumptuous to praise Mrs. Eddy. A character touched by the deepest humility and illumined with love to God and compassion for man, is Christ-like. It needs no eulogy. Her life is an open book wherein are recorded only good deeds. The signs of these times are prophetic. They point to the gratitude to God that is appearing in the hearts of men for the life and works of the Leader of this great movement, destined, as it is, to accomplish the regeneration of mankind.
We should be aroused to gain the God-given freedom which is ours by right, which is an inheritance, lawful, incorruptible, "that fadeth not away." It is awaiting our assertion of our right to it. God is good. You cannot find a place in the universe where He ever fails to be what He naturally and eternally is. Christian Science demands, however, something more than mere passive acquiescence or belief. Simply believing in good offers slight protection from evil. The fangs of hatred and malice must be drawn. Actively at work in consciousness, Christian Science protects from sin, disease, accident, and every evil through the power of divine Love. It is an individual as well as a universal benediction. It comes to you and to me in our greatest or smallest need, revealing the eternal Christ, who saves to the uttermost: and it says with Isaiah, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come."
[Delivered April 14, 1904, at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, under the auspices of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, and published in the Christian Science Sentinel, April 30, 1904.]