Christian Science: The Resurrection and the Life
Clarence W. Chadwick, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The scientific presentation of the subject of Christian Science, involving as it does the vastness of infinity, is destined to encounter a wide range of human belief, theory and opinion; and the question naturally suggests itself, Why is it that Christian people, actuated by the same lofty aims and ambitions, working side by aide in their daily vocations, and having the same definite goal before them, should differ so radically in their thought of the infinite?
Centuries have passed since these assuring words of the prophet Jeremiah: "They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord;" and the positive promise of the Master, "There shall be one fold and one shepherd," and still there is a deplorable lack of unity among professing Christians throughout the civilized world, and still we find "an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God." Why is it? The answer is plain; forgetting that spiritual things can be only spiritually discerned, humanity has been trying to know God, to see good, through the human mind or material senses. Almost unconsciously it has drifted farther and farther away from the Mind that was with Christ Jesus, and "the commandments of men" have taken the place of sound doctrine. Christian Science has come as the resurrection of primitive Christianity and its lost art of healing, and all who will, may prove by demonstration the verity of its teachings. It is not the purpose of this lecture, however, to force conclusions upon so important a subject, but to speak from that viewpoint of the Science which has enabled its adherents to find in it a satisfying explanation of the phenomenon of human existence.
Point of Agreement
There is perhaps one basic thought upon which all religionists agree at the very outset − namely, Consciousness is. We all assent to the fact that we are in a conscious state of being or existence, and that without such consciousness we would cease to exist. So far, so good. But when we attempt to call this consciousness good, we immediately plunge into an abyss of darkness from which the Christian world for centuries has been struggling to extricate itself, that of mingling good and evil, calling evil good and good evil. This dualistic concept of consciousness has been the seeming cause of untold suffering and torment to the human race. It is evident then that from it humanity must escape if it would ever reach what is called heaven. Hence its need of a Saviour.
Here Christian Science steps forth into the arena of mental activity and gives a definition of consciousness which enables us to differentiate between what is real and eternal and what is unreal and temporal. It defines consciousness as the one infinite intelligence or Mind, which is God, or Spirit. It makes clear to the receptive thought that the so-called consciousness of both good and evil is not in spiritual accord with the nature of God or good. Real consciousness being God, it is infinite, all comprehensive and ever-present. The moment this super-sensible fact is admitted we are divinely empowered to begin the all-important work of purifying that consciousness which claims the capacity and privilege to know evil as well as good.
Transformation of Human Consciousness
This one statement on page 276 of Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy, "Real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God," has already aroused a slumbering world from its dream of life in matter to the great need of mental transformation, for it is the abnormal human consciousness that is referred to in the scriptural passages; "No man hath seen God at any time," and "There shall no man see me and live." Is it any wonder that the apostle admonished, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind"? This renewing of the mind involves the separation of good and evil in consciousness, of right thought and wrong thought, a mental process which every human being must undergo before he can fully awaken to the perfection of being. Heaven is, always has been, and always will be, not a locality, but a divine harmonious state of consciousness into which no erroneous or evil thought ever entered or ever can enter. It therefore follows conclusively that all wrong thought must be purged from consciousness, and that our heaven will be found here and now just to the extent that we reject the evil and lay hold of the good. How to distinguish between right and wrong thought will be our main concern. Right thoughts or ideas in Christian Science are emanations of the one divine Mind or intelligence. They are the only avenues or channels through which the one Mind finds expression. We could not conceive of an expressionless Mind or intelligence. Wrong thoughts are human beliefs only, therefore finite, mutable and mortal. They do not convey intelligence or real Mind to man. They have neither Principle, power, nor law to sustain them, and no mission to perform. Wrong thoughts are no part of real consciousness. In no way does God sanction or uphold them. But how shall we detect and cast out such counterfeits of reality? Obviously by gaining an understanding of genuine or right thoughts. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The right idea of intelligence or Mind and of what constitutes its expression or manifestation will certainly free us from any mistaken sense of Mind. It is always a knowledge of the truth which corrects and does away with mistakes. So long as we place both good and evil on the same level of human belief we fail to understand the true nature of either. The moment we accept good as supreme and as the spiritual reality of being, that very moment do we acknowledge a divine Principle or law which operates mentally through the idea of infinite good to destroy all belief in evil. Here, then, is the way out of our dilemma.
Right Mental Activity
If two men are in a frenzied state of thought, and almost upon the point of inflicting bodily injury upon each other, we all know that a certain degree of right mental activity on their part will soon restore harmony, in fact, we cannot think of any other possible means of bringing about such a result. If a pupil in mathematics becomes confused in thought and cannot work out his problem, we know that the influence of right thought will soon adjust the difficulty and enable him to solve his problem. We all acknowledge that his state of consciousness must change before he can complete his work.
If a friend is prostrated with grief, thinking that life is drear and lonely, we know and acknowledge that the application of rightly directed thought will very soon act as oil upon the troubled waters, and mourning will be turned into joy. If fear overwhelms one we admit that a thought of God's power and presence very soon banishes the fear. Then why should not the poor sick man, suffering from some ailment which has no possible existence outside of the realm of mortal consciousness, be healed through the operation of God's thoughts? The activity of right thought is no finite or limited capacity. Neither is it any respecter of persons, troubles or diseases. It is as natural for right thought to heal as it is for the sun to shine. All of the mental disorders which we know yield to the exercise of right thinking are capable of producing what are termed physical or bodily diseases. To say then that such diseases, which are only a different form or error, cannot be healed by mental means is to dispute the practical application of spiritually enlightened thought.
When the right idea of God as being the one infinite all-good consciousness enters the area of pure thinking and reasoning capacity, the activity of righteousness is allowed to assert itself, and just as darkness is displaced by the light, so are wrong thoughts displaced by scientific or God-like thoughts. The moment the true idea of Mind enters individual consciousness, real constructive mental work begins therein. This idea, operating through law and as law, demands the perfect readjustment of finite human consciousness. The divine idea is Mind's true and lawful representative, and Mind has no other. It is the only agent that is clothed with power and authority to carry out the purposes of its Principle, God. Let us never forget that the only real power in the universe is divine Mind and is expressed or reflected through its own idea, never through changing human beliefs. In all directions, far and near, we hear of the continuous unfolding of this universal idea of Mind, of the wonderful healing and transformation of human thought, of the peace and joy and happiness that have entered into the world through its loving ministrations, and we are led to exclaim, "Is not this the Christ?"
The Christ Within
The world is fast losing its limited personal sense of the Saviour of men and is looking more to the Christ within. Is it not a present resurrection and spiritual Life that Christians are most deeply interested in? Christian Science urges upon all mankind the necessity of opening the door of consciousness to receive this king of glory, this ever-present saving Christ idea which comes as of old "with healing in his wings." David cried, "Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." This certainly conveys an impersonal concept of the Christ, Truth, a divine activity or influence which is indeed mighty to heal all our diseases. Every human failure to prove the power of good is a failure to leave all for Christ. Whenever human will surrenders to the divine there is a victory won on the side of Truth, but not before. The great Teacher of mankind, whose consciousness was ever dominated by the Christ idea, said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." What a rebuke to pride and human will power! If all who profess to love the Truth could grasp the metaphysical viewpoint of the great apostle when he said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" they would be in touch with the only healing and redeeming activity known to the world. This Christ idea speaking through Jesus said, "Without me [severed from me] ye can do nothing." This statement is of vital import to the whole world, for severed from the understanding of the true idea through which the nature of divinity is imparted to humanity, we would all find ourselves in a very sad plight, without healing or salvation. As we stop to ponder the thought that good can find expression only through goodness, Love only through that which loves, Truth only through that which is truthful, we can begin to see the intimate relationship between God and His idea. They are indissolubly connected, so that they never have existed and never can exist separate and apart from each other. The Christ-idea, therefore, was never for one moment separated from the Father, but through the pure humanity of Jesus it found its normal and harmonious manifestation in those wonderful words and works which are today as never before attracting world-wide attention.
In the experience of humanity a right idea is always a saving idea. When it is seen that an erroneous concept of God is really responsible for all the evil in the world, it will naturally follow that a right concept of Deity will be the only means of correcting such evil. And this correction will take place in human consciousness, where all belief in evil must obtain. Thus we find in Christian Science that the right idea of good frees us from everything that is unlike good; the right idea of health enables us to overcome disease; the right idea of Love destroys all sense of hate; the right idea of power enables us to prove the dominion of good; the right idea of supply makes it possible to conquer all belief in poverty or lack; the right idea of success leads to the overcoming of all merely selfish or worldly aims and ambitions; the right idea of Spirit turns the light of spiritual understanding on matter and robs it of all life, substance and intelligence, thus enabling us to overcome its discordant conditions and so-called laws; the right idea of causation does away with belief in secondary or evil causes; the right idea of activity leads to the subjugation of the self-assertive human will; in other words, the right idea of God, man and the universe is our present means of escape from all that would separate us from God, good. Is not this "the resurrection, and the life"?
As human consciousness becomes purged of the dross of materialism, it is resurrected from a false material sense to a higher or spiritual sense. Only through this thorough purification of thought can we come face to face mentally with things spiritual and eternal. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," good. God is not revealed to humanity through a good and evil consciousness. Whoever insists upon owning such a consciousness has not therefore partaken of the resurrection. This fact is one that should receive more thoughtful consideration at the hands of all Christian people, for it most vitally concerns the welfare of all humanity. The most unnatural of all unnatural things is to believe that evil is any part of real consciousness. Such belief does not honor our Creator. The possibility of finally attaining a perfect state of consciousness is patent to all Christians Scientists, and there is untold joy and happiness and satisfaction in striving for its accomplishment, here and now. It pays daily dividends in a renewed sense of health, strength and happiness. Only through the coming of Christ, of the true idea of God, can this ever take place.
When Christ appears, the tares (wrong thoughts) are bound in bundles to burn, while the wheat (good thoughts) is gathered into the Father's storehouse. He who is first to acknowledge that the dual consciousness of good and evil is in absolute need of a Saviour is the first to acquaint himself with God and to be at peace.
Love for Christ Jesus
There are no people on earth who feel and express more genuine affection and love for Christ Jesus than do Christian Scientists. They not only believe but they understand why he is to them "the resurrection and the life." They reverently acknowledge him as the Saviour of the world, and they are striving to keep his commandments. They know only too well that something more than lip service is required to enable them to follow in his mental footsteps. They realize that the whole plan of salvation is nothing short of a mental and moral healing and regeneration, whereby the so-called human consciousness surrenders to the divine, which, as has already been stated, "is cognizant only of the things of God." This being the case we must begin now to think our way into the kingdom of heaven. No one of us will ever reach this harmonious state without being conscious of it. It is not an experience outside of or independent of consciousness. The apostle knew this when admonishing us to have in us the same Mind that was in Christ Jesus. He knew that there was a mental crucifixion and resurrection for us all to pass through before we can become conscious of good only. The Christ idea of purity, operating in human consciousness, offers to Christian Scientists, as well as to all others the only means of escape from wrong thinking and its attendant discordant effects. Jesus taught "as one having authority and not as the scribes." What gave him authority to speak as never man spake and to do the works which the scribes and Pharisees did not and could not do? Was it not his transcendent sense of the naturalness of Spirit? He recognized the sovereignty of good and yielded uncompromising obedience thereto. This very obedience endowed him with power from on high, and in the measure of our obedience to this same divine Principle, which Science calls God, and which is no respecter of persons; we too can reflect the same power.
Is it sacrilegious for us to lay claim to our divine inheritance, to think and to act as if we possessed at least a measure of divine intelligence? Could we very well do otherwise if we are to allow the Christ Mind to control us?
Good All Power
One of the very first things which the student of Christian Science does after gaining even a faint glimpse of the truth of his being is to give all power to good and none to evil. The door to the kingdom of heaven is opened to him the moment he does this. Then he wonders how he spent so many years in believing in two powers while calling one of them omnipotent. The inconsistency of such a mental attitude never before appeared to him. He now sees where it was the main barrier to his moral and spiritual growth. This one point in metaphysics is so simple that multitudes of professing Christians stumble over it. They pray earnestly for deliverance from evil, but never once does it seem to occur to them to give all power to good by withholding all from evil. They may declare with the lips that God is almighty, but they still believe that there is an evil power. This bars the door to the coming of Christ, Truth, to the coming of that spiritual activity, which corrects and destroys all mistaken belief in a good and evil power. When all Christian people are ready to take Jesus at his word and to call evil a self-constituted lie as he did, they will comprehend for the first time the true significance of omnipotence, and meekly, humbly and joyfully begin to do the healing works which he did. When referring to the divinity of this very teaching Jesus said: "If any man will do his (God's) will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Do the harsh critics of Christian Science ever go so far as to apply the sacred rules of this Science before proclaiming their false impressions of its teachings? If they did, they would cease to condemn a religion which they have failed to understand metaphysically. The omnipotence of good is not an argument, it is a spiritual or supersensible fact, and can be understood only through the practise of good "with signs following." Arguing against its validity or practicability will never repeat the works of the Master nor help any one to understand his sacred teachings.
Some one is no doubt questioning as to what it is that prevents our admitting and proving the supremacy of good. Is it God keeping us away from himself? Impossible! Is it the consciousness of good, or the supposed consciousness of a power or presence opposed to good? Evidently the latter. In its explanation of this very point Christian Science has proved itself more than a friend to humanity, for it not only makes clear to us our weak points, but it also shows us how to correct them. It leaves us in no doubt as to changes which must take place in consciousness before we can attain to right-mindedness. It tells us in unmistakable terms that the evidence before the five physical senses is not the reality or substance of life.
It tells us we must heed the admonition of the apostle, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." From what must we awaken? Not from a conscious state of existence which is real and eternal. That would be impossible. The apostle would have us infer that we "are asleep, even dead, but that Christ will give us the light of understanding to awaken from this dream sense of existence. It may be humiliating to some to be told that they are "dead in trespasses and sins," but sooner or later the admission of a mortal consciousness which knows nothing of health or salvation will be made by all mankind. It is from this false sense or consciousness that every human being must eventually, here or hereafter, awaken that he may become conscious of the true idea of God, good. It is then that he begins to partake of "the resurrection, and the life." Paul referred to it as the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It means the "new creature" in Christ, in other words, a God-corrected mentality.
A mentality which has been thus corrected by the right idea of good is one that is mentally alive or awake to metaphysical facts, and is dying daily to sense testimony. Wherever the Christ activity has begun to find expression in individual consciousness, behold a better man or woman, one who is more practical, more honest, more loving, more sympathetic, more generous, more considerate, more capable in every respect. There is not a single human activity that is not experiencing this leavening and healing influence of the Christ-idea today. Disobedience to God's law is what retards normal human progress, while obedience to it leads immediately to a present participation in all that makes for the mental, moral and physical uplift of humanity.
Mary Baker Eddy, the acknowledged Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was a truly wonderful woman. Her genuine nobility of character, her intensely religious nature, her unbounded love for God and humanity, her untiring labors for the good of mankind, her sublime courage and trust, made her one of the world's greatest of religious Leaders and Teachers. The one dominating feature of her life was that she had learned the meaning of Love and how to reflect it toward friend and foe alike. She claimed no infallibility nor sought any personal aggrandizement. Those who knew her best affirm that she was a wise spiritual counselor and a true friend. The spirit of Christian charity controlled her every thought and action. When she was reviled, she reviled not again. She said of her former church: "I love the orthodox church, and in time that church will love Christian Science" (Miscellaneous Writings, page 111.) Christian Science did not originate in Mrs. Eddy's human mind. It was the Christ idea of the oneness and allness of divine Mind that found expression in her purified mentality. She had reached a purified mental height which made it possible for the Christ consciousness to assert itself as the law and dominion of good. She yielded willing and loving obedience to this spiritual evangel, and as a result of this obedience Christian healing is again an established fact in our midst. The Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is the natural and logical outcome of Mrs. Eddy's unselfed devotion and fidelity to the spiritual idea. It is doubtful whether any one of her followers has as yet been able to feel or to express his full measure of gratitude for what has come to the world through the devotion and self-sacrifice of this noble woman. It cannot well be measured by any human standard. The dawning of the spiritual idea in Mrs. Eddy's Love-chastened consciousness is the greatest mental phenomenon that could ever be experienced by a human being. Its importance to the human race is beyond comparison. It is "the resurrection and the life" to all who humbly appropriate it and begin to live according to its divine requirement.
Life, How Learned
Nothing could be more fatal to one's happiness and success than to entertain a mistaken sense of life. The Christ method of learning Life is made plain in Christian Science. It is so simple and practical that young and old alike may readily adopt it. The Master clearly defined eternal Life, and Christian Science has adequately interpreted his words: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." In the light of Christian Science it is evident that a right knowledge or understanding of God and His Christ makes us the inheritors of Life eternal here and now. Such knowledge is absolutely dependent upon scientific or right thinking.
The acceptance and adoption of right thoughts or ideas inaugurates in individual consciousness an activity which dissipates all wrong thinking, and must eventually destroy all belief in sin and death. The advent of this mental awakening in individual experience marks our entrance into eternal Life. Every kind act on our part, every loving sacrifice for the good of others, means just so much of deathless Life for us here and now; in other words, the more good we do and embody, the more permanent becomes our sense of Life. Malice, envy and hatred, all sinful thinking, brings suffering and death into the world. Right thinking brings health and peace and joy and life. As the apostle expressed it: "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." The deathless Christ-idea spake through Jesus: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." How shall we follow the great Wayshower except as we begin to think as he thought? His whole life was one continuous service of thinking and doing good. His mission on earth was to abolish from consciousness all thought of death, and to bring "life and immortality to light through the gospel." Could this have been done through any human power, mind or intelligence? No, Jesus wrought through the divine idea which forever expresses divine wisdom, power and intelligence. Without the operation of this divine idea in human consciousness the gospel of "on earth peace, good will toward men," would never have been taught or demonstrated. It constitutes the very life blood of the Christian religion. The universal peace of nations is absolutely dependent upon it. The unprecedented growth and success of the Christian Science movement is wholly due to the activity of the true idea of God as voiced to the world in Mrs. Eddy's discovery of the Science of Mind-healing.
Right mental action is necessarily constituted of right thoughts or ideas. It is not expressed through finite human thought. Why were there no healing works accredited to John the Baptist? Because, according to his own admission, he was not in possession of the Christ consciousness. Jesus said of John: "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." This somewhat remarkable statement would indicate that the least degree of spiritual understanding is greater than anything possessed by the so-called human mind as typified in John. This ought to prove to all thinking persons the futility of looking to any human source for healing or redemption. If the very highest and purest type of human thought could not heal in John's time, it cannot be expected to do so today. This leads at once to the subject of healing as understood and practised in Christian Science.
What Is It That Heals?
After what has already been said about the spiritual idea one will naturally anticipate the answer to the question, What is it that heals? It must be that which expresses activity, law and intelligence, and what does this except God's perfect idea? The only power which operates through the idea of infinite good is God, the one Mind, as Jesus clearly indicated when he said, "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." This understanding of the power that heals separates Christian Science healing from all systems which employ the mesmeric or counterfeit forces of the human mind or will. The Christ method of healing is rapidly spreading throughout the civilized world, because of a universal demand for it, and a readiness to receive metaphysical instruction.
Curing vs. Healing
Christian Science makes a clear-cut distinction between physical curing and mental healing. It does not deny the many instances of seeming restoration to health effected through various human systems, but it does declare that until the true idea or understanding of God is relied upon to do the work, the Christ healing has not been effected. It declares that real healing can be accomplished only through that intelligent mental activity which decrees the destruction of wrong motives and of the desire to sin. Then is the individual "free indeed," for the Son, the Christ idea, is the only channel through which such healing could come. The limited operation of human consciousness does not lay the axe at the root of the trouble; it is palliative rather than corrective. It deals almost wholly with physical symptoms and so fails to grasp the one all-important subject of mental causation. Christian Science healing reasons from cause to effect, and thus first establishes in thought what it would have externalized on the body. It knows that because the body is embraced in consciousness the only way to reach the body is through Mind, through consciousness, not through unconscious matter. It says to the sick and suffering; Fear not, resist the thought of disease, know that it is not a manifestation of intelligence and that God forbids all belief in it; awake mentally and lay claim to better "things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." The power of spiritual or right thought is your unfailing remedy.
It goes without saying that only a Christian Scientist knows how to give a Christian Science treatment. It requires honesty, humility, compassion, moral purity and spiritual understanding to give a treatment in Christian Science. The expression or reflection of God through His own pure thoughts or ideas, constitutes scientific treatment, just as the sunlight expressed or reflected through its own rays results in the dissipation of darkness. Simple though the process is, no one but a Christian can understand it or use it. It is beyond the ken of human will power or "mental suggestion" even to attempt to give a Christian Science treatment. Why? Because treatment is not the influence of one human mind over another. It is the activity of the Word of God in human consciousness. It is prayer in its highest and truest sense.
What of the results of scientific treatment? Observation and experience both compel the admission that the most successful and salutary influence known to the world today is the practise of Christian Science. As a prophylactic or preventive with both children and adults it has no compeer. Unnumbered cases of healing of nearly every known disease, many of these pronounced incurable by the ablest medical authorities, stand as living monuments to the power of Truth. So many such instances of healing are in evidence that practically the whole world agrees on one point, that Christian Science does heal the sick. And it is fast acknowledging something of still greater moment, that what is called physical healing in Christian Science is but the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, which characterizes the Christ consciousness. Christian Science teaches us to seek "first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," and through obedience, moral and physical healing ensues to prove that we have touched the hem of the seamless robe of righteous thinking. Christian Science declares that there can be no reformation without a change of consciousness. Standing upon this basis it becomes the only sure character builder. There are thousands in the various walks of life whose lives have been radically and permanently transformed through the ministrations of Christian Science. In finding the pearl of great price, the mental process by which they can work out their own salvation, they have learned to discriminate between the consciousness of good, and, that of the uncorrected carnal or mortal mind which is enmity against good. This enables them to be more useful men and women in every department of life and to fill important posts of duty for which their mental awakening has specially prepared them.
Christian Science offers the one and only solution of the temperance problem because it recognizes false appetites as residing in mortal consciousness, and consequently deals with them mentally rather than externally. One Christian Science treatment has frequently cast out the demon of intemperance in its very worst form. It has also healed the morphine, cocaine and other demoralizing habits. Where there has been "first a willing mind" there is no form of human degradation and vice that has not yielded to the activity of right thought. Right treatment is necessarily corrective and reformatory, and when it has eliminated sin from thought (by sin we mean all erroneous thinking); it has wiped out the cause of all the discordant conditions of earth. This is precisely what Christian Science is doing. It recognizes the healing of disease as always incidental to the conquering of the moral fault under whatever guise it may appear.
The world's literature is rapidly becoming permeated with higher ideals of life, resulting from the leavening influence of the Christ idea of purity. The cause of clean journalism has received a mighty impetus in the publication of The Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper for the home, free from all demoralizing news items and from unreliable advertising. Could any one deny the effective operation of right thought in projecting such a stupendous educational enterprise? Surely not. In national, state and municipal activities we witness the steady advance and achievement of corrected thought. What but the spiritual idea, expressing the power, law and dominion of invincible right, could inspire and lead on such a mighty mental conflict as is now being waged throughout the world between right and wrong? Truly says our Leader: "The world feels the alterative effect of truth through every pore" (Science and Health, p. 224). There are countless thousands of earth's people who want to be right with God, and to be of service to their fellowmen, and Christian Science is satisfying their longings as nothing else can. Why? Because it is "the resurrection and the life" to all who would know and do the will of the Father. To be right with God it is absolutely necessary to understand who man is and how he is related to God.
The Real Man
Thoughts emanating from the brain never defined the real man, God's image and likeness. They never defined anything spiritually or scientifically. The man spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis was never in partnership with evil in any form. He was and is the mental embodiment of all that is good, pure and true. The world as yet knows very little of this man because he is the perfect expression of a perfect Mind or intelligence, and human consciousness is not yet sufficiently purified to grasp the idea of spiritual perfection. Is this man a wholly unknown quantity in human experience? Indeed not! On the contrary, wherever we witness some deed of kindness, some unselfish act, some manifestation of justice and mercy, of love and compassion, there we catch a glimpse of the real man. And when every ungodlike thought is ruled out of consciousness, and nothing but the attributes of good are in evidence, the active manifestation or expression of these attributes will constitute true manhood and womanhood. It must, therefore, be evident to all that the more active we are in reflecting good, the sooner will the spiritual idea or the new man be revealed to the whole world. This is the great work that Christian Scientists are engaged in, and they have abundant proof that it is the spiritual healing activity of the Christ, Truth, which is destined to leaven the whole lump of mortal consciousness. There is no other way out of bondage, for "without me (the Christ consciousness) ye can do nothing." "No man cometh unto the Father but by me," said Jesus.
Christian Science is daily and hourly proving the eternality of God and His man. It is lifting thought out of matter into the realms of pure Mind, out of physics into metaphysics, out of sinful sense into sinless Soul. In no other way will the true brotherhood of man ever be established.
A Practical Suggestion
Christian Science docs not quarrel with any one over the subject of matter, but it makes this practical suggestion, that we keep thought away from matter long enough to discover first the modus and action of the spiritual idea. If we will but accept trustingly the idea of the supremacy of divine Mind, and apply it to the correction of some distressing physical or mental condition, according to rules laid down for scientific practise, the healing, which is sure to take place, will throw a new light upon matter, a light which must forever silence all opposition to whatever Christian Science has to say about the nothingness of matter. Fortunately for the human race matter cannot interpret Spirit, else all would be matter. But as mortals grow in spiritual understanding their sense of matter changes and they awake to the great fact that "All is infinite Mind, and its infinite manifestation, for God is all in all" (Science and Health, p. 468). Upon this sure foundation any honest Truth seeker may prove by degrees his God-given dominion over matter. The atomic theory, and that is all that it ever was − a mere theory − has not advanced the health or morals of mankind. It has never enabled any one to become spiritually minded. It has never revealed the Christ idea to humanity. Instead it has upheld death and denied eternal Life to man. Should Christian Science be condemned for explaining away a theory which has never even claimed to purify and to elevate human consciousness? It does this not by argument but by demonstration.
Demonstration is the one thing that is always right and never requires any argument to sustain it. Talking Christian Science without practising its precepts is not demonstration. The practical overcoming of evil with good gives one divine authority to "speak the word of God" with power. Demonstration never ensues from working with or through matter, nor through material thought. There is just one premise which permits of scientific demonstration and that is the supremacy of divine Mind. Real Mind never mixes with anything. For this and no other reason does it heal the sick and reform the sinner. Whatever works from two bases necessarily denies the omnipotence of good and fails to demonstrate the truth of being. Demonstration is not simply willing things to come our way. It is not saying, "Peace, peace; when there is no peace." It is the willing surrender of self will and self interest for the good of humanity. It is always the conquest of self. It is the practise of the Golden Rule and not profession.
Belief vs. Knowing
There may be some people who believe, erroneously of course, that Christian Science is capable of doing evil as well as good. This same opinion was lodged against the Master of old by those who accused him of casting out devils through Beelzebub. But no one can ever know that Jesus did evil, nor will any one ever know that Christian Science is capable of accomplishing evil. Blind human belief and knowing are two different things. The human mind so-called can believe anything, but to know involves a knowledge of facts. One might believe that the earth is flat, but he could not know it to be so; or that two and two are five, but he could not know it. There are two points we should not overlook while considering this subject. The first is, that whatever we may believe concerning any fact does not change or alter the fact itself − it still remains a fact. The second is this, that the moment the fact becomes known in any given case, the belief previously entertained, however plausible or real it may have seemed to be, vanishes as a dream. All who really know what Christian Science is have surrendered changeable human belief for spiritual or demonstrable understanding.
Erroneous mental belief is very much like counterfeit money, the instant it is detected for what it really is it is proven worthless, and by every honest person is withdrawn from circulation. We do well to stop and ponder what a different world this would be, here and now, if all belief in evil were withdrawn from circulation.
The Way Out
The surest and safest way of ridding one's self of any and all erroneous belief relative to Christian Science is to procure a copy of its textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and to study it along with the Bible. Simply reading these books with a view to criticizing them from an intellectual standpoint will avail little. It is the honest student who scales the summit of right conclusions concerning spiritual things. He will naturally look deeply into Science and reach the point of demonstration before passing judgment.
There is no more profound subject
than the Science of being, and those who would know what Christian Science
teaches and be able to demonstrate it
should confine their study to the published works of our Leader and to the
authorized literature of The Christian Science Publishing Society in
In our efforts to understand and to prove the glorious truths of Christian Science, it behooves us not to be "weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." May we all learn to "stand still" and see the salvation of good with us, learn to silence the material senses and realize that the eternal God of Life, Truth and Love is our refuge, and "underneath are the everlasting arms." Then can we say from the heart, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift," Christian Science.
[From a pamphlet published by The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1913.]