Christian Science: Light in This Age
Helen Appleton, C.S., of Boston, Massachusetts
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer was introduced at Marshall high school auditorium, Tuesday, October 4, by Richard Owen Laughlin, who spoke as follows: "First Church of Christ Scientist, Marshall, Michigan, welcomes you, and invites you to listen to the comforting thoughts in the lecture entitled: "Christian Science: Light in This Age." Our lecturer this evening is Helen Appleton of Boston, Mass. A member of the Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Mass. Miss Appleton!"
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
The purpose of this lecture is to show you that light is come, and that it will enlighten you, and vivify and heal you. This light, the light of spiritual understanding, is your life and my life.
During this hour we shall consider together what the light of Life is; in other words, what God is; also what man is; what the universe is; and what Christ is; what and who you are, as well as what and who you are not. We shall consider together the discovery of Christian Science, and its Discoverer, Founder, Leader. We shall learn of the blessings that result from application of this Science, and of our obligations to Christian Science, to God, and to all mankind. Light, spiritual understanding, is revealing ever-present and eternal Life, is revealing God, unchanging good, who is also Mind, Love, Truth, Soul, Spirit, Principle.
Doubtless many of you here will concede with me that God is Life, the very fountain of life and light. The Bible declares (Ps. 36:9), "For with thee [God] is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." Christ Jesus, knowing that God, his Father, is the very fountain, or source, of life and inspiration, could truly say of himself that he was the light of the world, because he, the Son, reflected light; and that those who follow him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The light of the world, which Christ Jesus proved himself to be, always was, always is, and ever will continue to exist and to shine. It is the eternal Christ, Truth, the Comforter, which Jesus promised would surely come ‒ because he was going to his Father. This Comforter is understood by Christian Scientists to be Christian Science ‒ the Science or knowledge of God, which was understood and practiced by Christ Jesus. Why do Christian Scientists make this claim? Because they are proving daily that the spiritual, healing power understood by Christ Jesus is as present and as applicable in this age as it was present and applicable in the Master's age. Today Christian Scientists are healing all manner of sickness and sin, even when sickness and sin have been declared incurable. Therefore, is not Christian Science provably the promised Comforter?
Mary Baker Eddy and Her Discovery of Christian Science
After the ascension of Christ Jesus, the Comforter, the healing light, abode with the disciples for many years. But then there came a time when for a long period the light was apparently obscured, hidden by a mist of material, mortal beliefs which men allowed to enter and becloud thought. However, in 1866, the light again shone forth. Mary Baker Eddy perceived the light and the timelessness of the spiritual healing practiced by Christ Jesus. Why and how did this light appear to Mrs. Eddy? Because of her deep, spiritual nature and understanding. From her very earliest years she was turned, by a saintly mother, to the Bible and to prayer. Although the world now is generally familiar with Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science through her own healing in a time of dire physical need, the world has not yet acknowledged that Mrs. Eddy's healing was, as she states in her book, "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 24) "the falling apple" that led her to the discovery of how to be well herself, and how to make others well. She further states: "Even to the homoeopathic physician who attended me, and rejoiced in my recovery, I could not then explain the modus of my relief. I could only assure him that the divine Spirit had wrought the miracle ‒ a miracle which later I found to be in perfect scientific accord with divine law." Mrs. Eddy then withdrew from society for about three years to study and search the Scriptures. She writes that the Bible was her only textbook; and not only did it reveal to her how she was helped, but the Scriptures came to her with new meaning as their spiritual significance appeared to her thought. She began to understand the Principle and rule underlying Jesus' teaching and healing ‒ "in a word, Christian Science." Under the chapter heading, "Emergence into Light," in "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 23), Mrs. Eddy has written of this spiritual searching for truth: "When the door opened, I was waiting and watching; and, lo, the bridegroom came! The character of the Christ was illuminated by the midnight torches of Spirit. My heart knew its Redeemer. He whom my affections had diligently sought was as the One 'altogether lovely,' as 'the chiefest,' the only, 'among ten thousand.' Soulless famine had fled. Agnosticism, pantheism, and theosophy were void. Being was beautiful, its substance, cause, .and currents were God and His idea. I had touched the hem of Christian Science."
Mrs. Eddy's discovery of the Science of Christ Jesus' healing ‒ which she aptly named Christian Science ‒ was a revelation of light and life to her. And then to the world she declared it. Was it a world generally receptive and grateful? No. It scoffed, resisted, and opposed. But supported and guided by divine Love, Mrs. Eddy persevered, and finally she founded Christian Science. So Mrs. Eddy was not only the Discoverer of Christian Science, but also the Founder. For all time, for all men, Christian Science, the light of Love and Truth, has come. And today Christian Scientists gratefully and lovingly dignify Mrs. Eddy as "our beloved Leader."
Through her writings Mrs. Eddy has led thousands to light and life. And these writings can lead you also to light and life. In The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel, monthly and weekly publications of The Christian Science Publishing Society, are authenticated testimonies proving that the teachings of Christian Science do enlighten and heal. And these testimonies are not only those of physical ills, but include also those of business problems, human relationships, the making of right decisions, in fact any and all human problems needing right adjustments.
Personally I can testify that Christian Science has helped me to see the light more clearly. How vividly I remember a time in my experience when the way seemed uncertain and obscure. I was faced with the necessity of having to make a decision of much importance. In the making of this decision I had not only myself to consider, but also the loving thing for all concerned must be considered. I had been engaged to fill a summer teaching position. But, before the time came for me to go, a family need arose that necessitated my being very closely confined at home. The time arrived, however, when I must decide whether to go on to my summer teaching or to continue with the need at home. The difficulty of finding the right one, at the late date, to fill either of the places posed a serious problem. Humanly I did not know which way to turn. But I did know that divine Love, the all-knowing Mind, would reveal the right way to me if I turned to it with all my heart.
During this period of prayerful thinking I began to read a copy of the Christian Science Sentinel. I started at the beginning and read every article and editorial. By the time I had reached the testimonies of healing I was calm, and my thought was ready to receive the light that comes from an understanding of the word of Truth. As I read on, I came to a quoted line, so familiar to us all (Luke 15:31): "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." This passage seemed blazoned in light as I read it, and immediately I began to think of all the good that is God, and of all the good that belonged to me as His perfect reflection. The darkness, confusion, and indecision in my thinking gave way to enlightened understanding. Like the lifting of a curtain, the way became clear. I knew that I must go on to my teaching assignment. Sufficient attendance and care in the home was provided from quite an unexpected source, and I went forth happily, knowing that at home and with me, good and only good was present. The light of spiritual understanding had brought a blessing to all concerned. What Christian Science has done for me it will do for you in your individual problems, for God is no respecter of persons.
Knowledge of God and the Bible Basic to Understanding
How truly is Christian Science based as it is on spiritual understanding of the Bible, our infallible guide. And right here I might say that it is the King James Version of the Bible which is used in all Christian Science churches. In the first chapter of Genesis we read: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. . . . And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
Let us now turn to the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and see what she tells us about these quoted verses. In her exegesis on Genesis she writes: "The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only, ‒ that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe." She further tells us that the idea of God is presented first in light. This light is the light of Spirit, the opposite of which is matter, darkness, which obscures light. No sun or planets formed the day of Spirit (Science and Health, pp. 502, 503, 504). Thus we see that light, from the timeless beginning of creation of heaven and earth, was spiritual. It was not, and it is not, material. The spiritual light recorded in Genesis 1 was the light known and revealed by Christ Jesus, the light which no darkness can comprehend or obscure, the sanctified light that blesses all upon whom it shines. In the light of immortal life which Christ Jesus reflected, there is no darkness at all, no darkness of fear, discouragement, doubt, disbelief, sin, sickness, death. All is light. The light that God saw was good.
Spiritual light and life gleam throughout the Old Testament, now brightly, now dimly. But in the New Testament they gleam ever more and more brightly, until the "day star" itself, the sure word of prophecy of Messiah, Saviour, rises in the hearts of men. And now, through the teachings of Christian Science, the "day star" is again arising in our hearts.
But naturally you will ask, as we all have asked in times past, What about all the sickness, sin, and death we suffer today? If God made everything, and made everything very good, how do we account for all the woe, all the pain and unhappiness? Our familiar illustration from the science of mathematics serves best to elucidate. How do you account for a mistake in mathematics? If, when you are working out your mathematical problem, you come apparently to an impasse, a blind alley, you recognize there is a mistake, and you know that you must learn the truth, and start to correct the mistake. Even as in the study of the science of mathematics we learn correctly of figures, so we, through the study and knowledge of the spiritual science of the Bible, learn correctly of Life. And then we see that sin, sickness, even death, are the result of mistaken material beliefs. But by spiritual precept upon precept we are enabled to correct our mistaken beliefs, and so begin to cure our ills. As the mathematical mistake has no reality or truth in it, however persistently believed in and practiced, so the human beliefs and mistakes about life in matter have no reality or truth in them. Seen in the light of Christian Science, they disappear, and healing follows.
Healing Through Spiritual Understanding
A friend whom I know well was healed in Christian Science of what is diagnosed by materia medica as mental illness, or loss of mind. As the healing progressed, she was finally able to read understandingly in Science and Health the following paragraph (p. 407): "If delusion says, I have lost my memory, contradict it. No faculty of Mind is lost. In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness." The influx of light that came to her from this passage enabled her to see that she had affirmed loss of mind, not contradicted it. Now she saw that if God is Mind, she couldn't lose Mind, because Mind is God; and she certainly couldn't lose God, because God would never lose her. As she studied further in Science and Health, she found that truly the book became the physician, as Mrs. Eddy points out (Science and Health, p. 422). Her healing was definitely established, as the understanding of her oneness with God, Mind, became apparent to her.
The Mist of Evil
Another question you may well ask is, How do you account for the origin of material man and the universe? The Bible account is that a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. What is a mist? Does a mist not symbolize a mistake, mystification, mythological belief? Mist is certainly not clear, spiritual thinking. Mythology of course is only belief, never fact. A material, mortal sense of creation only exists as belief. It never exists as fact. Because of human misery resulting from mistaken mythological beliefs, certain priestly thinkers of Old Testament times, striving to find the light of life for men, visioned spiritual, incorporeal God and man, instead of material, corporeal God and man and a material universe; and they wrote the truth about creation, stated in the first chapter of Genesis. Then men began to see something of the light of Life. This light finally came to clear view and form in the Messiah, Christ Jesus. Mrs. Eddy says of Jesus (Science and Health, p. 356), "Understanding the nothingness of material things, he spoke of flesh and Spirit as the two opposites, ‒ as error and Truth, not contributing in any way to each other's happiness and existence."
In Science and Health we read: "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, ‒ that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle. To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is" (p. 275). This is the foundation upon which Christian Science is based ‒ God, His allness, His omnipotence, His ever-presence, His infinite Being which is Love and Life and Truth. Because of God's omnipotence and infinitude, He obviously is the only creator, and His creation includes all that is real and good, and only that which is real and good. This fact outlaws evil or error. Evil is illegitimate, unreal, untrue, and powerless to interrupt the eternal, harmonious operation of the divine Principle, Love. It is only because of men's disbelief in the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, good, that evil ever seems to be real or true.
The True Concept of Man
God's creation of man is the climax of the wonderful first chapter of Genesis. Therein we learn the nature of the real universe and all that it contains. Man, whom God created in His own image and likeness, was blessed and sanctified by God, and by Him given dominion, supreme sovereignty, over all the earth. This man is recognized by Christian Science as the only real, true concept of man. It is interesting to note that Mrs. Eddy in her definition of man in Science and Health begins by telling us what man is not. She immediately refutes the mortal, material, worldly concept of man by assuring us that man is not made up of matter or of any fleshly elements. She turns our thought at once to the Scriptures and reminds us that there we find that man is made in the image and likeness of God. She further states (p. 475) that man is "the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker." These truths about man silence forever the claims of a material sense of man, the Adam-man, molded out of dust, as having any truth or validity.
What is the way out ‒ the exodus ‒ from all the mortal mind beliefs about man, the beliefs that sickness, sin, disaster, war, accident are an accompaniment to or a necessary part of life? Light! We find light repeatedly referred to in the Bible, and inspirationally revealed in the first chapter of John. John tells us that the Light, the Word, was, existed, in the very beginning; and that the Word, the Light, was with God, and was divine. The light shone amid the darkness of disbelief and misunderstanding; but the darkness could not comprehend it. Eventually the Word became identified as Christ; in Christ Jesus it was made flesh and dwelt with men to heal sin and sickness. Christ Jesus brought to light the remedy for the mortal, sinning, and dying beliefs of men. And today, in Christ's name and in the Father's name, light has again come through the Comforter, Christian Science. Christian Science abides today and eternally. No matter how strongly the world, through mistaken beliefs, resists Christian Science, the Comforter, promised by Jesus, will continue to enlighten the receptive thought unto the uttermost end of the earth.
In dispelling the darkness of the ages each one of us has an important part to play. We must hold perpetually in our own thought the true, spiritual, perfect sense of God, man, and the universe, and then strive to live in accordance with the perfect. Only by knowing and demonstrating that man and the universe are spiritual, not material, can we reflect light and life ourselves, and help to enlighten others.
One man so lived what he understood of Christian Science and let his light so shine that he attracted a friend of mine to seek and discover what it was that gave him such peace of mind.
When my friend found that it was Christian Science, he suggested that his wife obtain Science and Health and read it. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the lungs ‒ an X ray showing the lower half of each lung gone ‒ an abnormal kidney, stomach ulcers, and a bowel disorder. She began reading the textbook for the sole purpose of obtaining peace of mind, for she was mentally distraught and much afraid. But within six months, simply through her study of the textbook, she was healed of all the physical difficulties.
However, because of fear, which still remained in her thought, she went back to the hospital for a checkup. Three doctors examined her. She was told that the lung tissue was entirely renewed and that there was nothing to show that she had ever had the disease. She writes, "Truly I had been reborn mentally, physically, and morally, and I left the hospital radiantly happy."
Her study of Christian Science continued with renewed faith and enthusiasm, and now both husband and wife have been, for many years, devoting their time to the public practice of Christian Science. The light one man saw, understood, and expressed (reflected), had brightened their path, influenced their lives, changed even their occupations.
Jesus the Christ
Not only an understanding of the name and nature of God is requisite to healing, but also an understanding of the name and nature of Christ Jesus, who came to bear witness of God. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (Science and Health, p. 332). Jesus, the human, the son of man, proved the Christ, the Son of God, the eternal idea of God.
Jesus was the son of a virgin ‒ Mary. Throughout Old Testament days spiritually-minded women were always praying that they could be the mother of the expected Messiah. But the Virgin Mary was the one who conceived the highest idea. And through her conception of God as the Father of man she brought forth her babe; and at divine direction she named him Jesus, Joshua or Saviour. He came to be known as Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ.
But still you may inquire, Of what value is an understanding of Jesus and the Christ to me? Will it heal me? Let us suppose that you have come to this lecture with a problem, perhaps with a sense of dimming sight, or hardness of hearing, or a sense of financial lack, or a fear of advancing years, or some painful physical condition, or a mental or moral trouble. Whatsoever the problem, it can be solved through Christian Science, which unfolds a correct understanding of and love of the Christ as exemplified by Christ Jesus, the Way-shower.
Pathway to Healing
Our first approach to healing may be by studying the words and works of Christ Jesus. Or it may be perhaps but a simple petition, "O God, help me!" And always God does help. As petition deepens ‒ as we turn to the Bible and Science and Health prayerfully seeking inspiration ‒ hope and faith come. We see light amid the darkness, and are enabled to contradict material sense testimony; and then to judge not according to appearances, but to judge righteous judgment. Hope and faith grow to understanding, fruition, reality. Our ascending steps are petition, affirmation ‒ affirmation of God's omnipotent and omnipresent goodness ‒ understanding, then demonstration. The result is healing, inevitably. As we maintain this correct understanding of God, the illusion of sickness and sin which tempts us can no longer abide in our thought. Consequently, we are healed. Whatever the human need, God, divine Love, always meets it, as we turn to God and reflect more and more Love, divine and universal. Love is Life.
Faith in God's goodness and unfailing power can come to us through the help of another, perhaps through the work on our behalf of a consecrated Christian Science practitioner. But faith may generate also first in our own hearts through our own understanding of divine Love and Life, and of how to work out our own salvation with reverence and persistence. Usually this kind of faith, independent of personal aid, grows through ever more and more dependence upon daily, consecrated study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, the weekly Lesson-Sermon from the Bible and Science and Health as given in the Christian Science Quarterly, and the Christian Science literature.
Perhaps with our first faint groping petition we may be very weak in faith, or even faithless. We may say ‒ like Thomas of old ‒ unless I see, I will not believe (John 20:25). But a loving, guiding, Christlike hand will help us to see, notwithstanding our unbelief. Finally we can say, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine, unbelief" (Mark 9:24). And with persistent and unfaltering belief come understanding and healing. Great, however, is the faith that can believe before it sees! Through the Old Testament we find faith in unseen good in many of the outstanding characters who previsioned the coming of the Messiah or Saviour ‒ him who did come in time, and whose work abides today and forever.
"O for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by every foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe;
"A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without;
That when in danger knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt;
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 205.)
If tempests should rage without, and within, we can, with strengthening of heart, remember the three Hebrew boys of old, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Although about to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace because of their allegiance to their God, they were unafraid, and answered the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, that they knew their God, whom they served, was able to deliver them from the fiery furnace; and that He would deliver them. But if not, they would never serve other gods, nor worship the golden image which the king had set up. We know the glorious outcome of the story. God did deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As were the three Hebrew boys delivered unharmed, with not even "the smell of fire" passed on them (Dan. 3:27), so we can be delivered unharmed and protected.
Remembrance of this instance of deliverance, and many other incidents of deliverance recorded in the Bible ‒ above all, the deliverance of Christ Jesus from the sepulcher of death ‒ certainly will enable you, who believe, to stand in time of fiery trial. Eventually all of us, both disbelievers and believers, must come to the truth. Let us accept now our glorious opportunity, and come.
The highest sense of Christian Science enables us to prevent affliction. But what a blessing to know that if we are unable to prevent affliction, Christian Science still lovingly teaches how to correct error, and how to heal unprevented adversity. Mrs. Eddy tells us (Science and Health, p. 369) that both the preventive (the prophylactic) and the curative (the therapeutic) arts belong emphatically to Christian Science, as we would readily understand if we understood true psychology, or the Science of Spirit, God. As we see the light of Life, and remain in the light, we become enlightened, all light; then we are no longer afraid of darkness.
The Unreality of Fear
Fear, ignorance, and sin are the worst foes of mankind. These foes cause all the woes of the world. What is the remedy? Certainly not fear of evil; but positive love of good, God. To make much of evil is to make evil much. We hear today of the fear of fear, and much talk that people should not be afraid. No, of course not; but the point is, how can we learn not to be afraid? Definitely and only through the love of good; and the wholehearted recognition that because God is good, as Jesus taught, good is ever present in spite of any and various claims to the contrary. Fear comes from the false supposition that there is a power, presence, and reality apart from God, infinite good. Because God is good, never varying in name or nature, and because of His omnipotence and omnipresence, fear can only be classified as an illusion, a mistaken belief about God and His creation.
Revealingly Mrs. Eddy writes that "Christian scientific practice begins with Christ's keynote of harmony, 'Be not afraid!' " (Science and Health, p. 410). This same command Jesus gave to his disciples when he went to them walking on the water. Again he gave it to Peter, James, and John at the time of the transfiguration when they were "sore afraid." "Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid" (Matt. 17:6,7). And what comfort and joy must have come to the ruler of the synagogue, Jairus, when he heard those words from Jesus' lips: "Be not afraid, only believe"! (Mark 5:36.) This command of Jesus, because of his spiritual understanding, has rung down through the ages with power and authority; and because of the teachings of Christian Science, it comes to us today with the same power and authority and compassion. It is not idle teaching, useless, or impossible of fulfillment. It includes in its statement the fundamental truth that because God, good, is all, there is in reality nothing of which to be afraid.
When we also truly evaluate man as God's, Love's, own image and likeness, we can exercise for ourselves and express for others the same healing, compassionate teaching, "Be not afraid." May we ever be aware of the counsel that St. Paul gave to Timothy: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). Note that God gives these heavenly qualities of power, love, and a sound mind. Oh, may each one of us accept God's gifts; and we shall accept them in the exact proportion that we are willing to relinquish hampering, human beliefs of fear, doubt, and worry. Man is unhampered, unafraid; unlimited; he is fearless, courageous, competent. As these facts become clear to us, we realize that because God, unlimited good, is the true center and circumference of our being, we can in reality never be outside of God. God is perfect Love, and perfect Love destroys all fear.
The law and the prophets taught prohibitions ‒ "Thou shalt not." But the Old Testament law and the prophets did not teach how not to sin and suffer. Christ Jesus alone, through divine Love, taught, "Thou shalt love," while at the same time fulfilling the old law and the prophets. He did not destroy them ‒ repeal right prohibitions ‒ but he fulfilled them through a higher understanding of God and man. Would that we today could stand universally for right prohibition, not for repeal. "Thou shall not" should be fulfilled, rather than rescinded. And when it is fulfilled, then we shall be above need of prohibitions. Not fear of the law, but love and the doing of good is the way of life.
Real Atomic Power
What a happy, peaceful, prosperous world we shall have when men, through love of good, know the divine law of Love and Life fully, perfectly, and live above fear, ignorance, sin! Then these archenemies will fade into their native nothingness. There will be no talk of "arms race," atomic and hydrogen bombs, and even worse to come. We would all do well to recall to our thoughts often the words contained in the United Nations Charter: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed." If we are to have atomic energy, it must be power for good ‒ construction, not destruction. With wonderful vision, Mrs. Eddy, years ago, wrote: "Atomic action is Mind, not matter. It is neither the energy of matter, the result of organization, nor the outcome of life infused into matter: it is infinite Spirit, Truth, Life, defiant of error or matter" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 190). She also says (ibid., p. 23), "The universe, including man, is not a result of atomic action, material force or energy; it is not organized dust."
The physical scientist of today is beginning to approximate this astounding definition given by Mrs. Eddy over seventy-five years ago. A recent newspaper editorial (The Evening Bulletin, Providence, R.I., August 17, 1953), under the caption "Astounding News," relates that at Stanford University "such a powerful microscope has been perfected that the scientists out there have been able to look ten times deeper into the nucleus of the atom than any scientists have ever looked before." But what the scientists saw is what makes the astounding news, "namely nothingness," as they described it. What they have hitherto assumed to be a "solid little ball of uniformly packed particles," to use the editor's words, turns out to be a "cottony sphere", which thins out on the edge into "almost nothingness." "And where does this lead?" the editorial asks. "Why, directly into the realm of pure idealism. There is no place else to go; because there can be no such thing as materialism, surely, when there is no material, nothing solid, to base it on. Nothing is left but ideas. We tell you . . . that this substantial proof of the nothingness of matter is the most astounding news of the century."
But to every Christian Scientist this "astounding news" is really not news; it is simply stating a fact ‒ the fact our Leader noted over seventy-five years ago. She affirmed the nothingness of matter and furthermore the allness of Spirit. Our hearts go but in humble gratitude for Mrs. Eddy's inspired vision, clarity of thought and expression which enabled her to see and to write so vividly of what the human mind is just now beginning to visualize.
Light Is Spiritual Reflection
The physicist defines light as "radiant energy." Christian Science also defines light as radiant energy ‒ the radiance of divine Love and the eternal energy of divine Mind. Light truly is the reflection of God, Spirit. Gaining even a glimpse of this light can reveal to us more than we ever dreamed possible ‒ freedom, health, peace, joy, all the good that God has in store for man. Christ Jesus has promised us that we shall have abundant life. Light and Life are here. Chaos and darkness flee before God's Word: "Let there be light." The darkness of human, material world tragedy flees before spiritually enlightened understanding. May we live in this light and help others to live in it. "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 4:6).
[Published in The Evening Chronicle of Marshall, Michigan, Oct. 14, 1955.]