Christian Science: The Revelation of Truth
Blanche K. Corby, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
It was an earnest and thoughtful audience, evidently "expecting to receive something," which assembled in Harvard Theatre, North Cambridge, last Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, to listen to a lecture on Christian Science by Blanche K. Corby, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, California.
In introducing Mrs. Corby, Robert E. Buffum, Esq., of Cambridge, said:
Friends: Of the many helpful statements of the Master one of the most comforting is that inspired and oft quoted declaration by him on that memorable occasion after his resurrection. Ever since they were uttered have the words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," given comfort, strength and healing. The Master was speaking not only to his disciples who had assembled on the mountain in Galilee, where they received this consoling message, but also to his followers throughout all time.
Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that Christian Mind-healing "is imperious throughout all ages as Christ's revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, which remains inviolate for every man to understand and to practice."
We are, therefore, authoritatively assured that Christ, Truth, is permanent and in all ways is sufficient to meet the needs of the human race. Although in this age individuals may imperfectly demonstrate the teachings and practice of Christ Jesus as revealed and required by Christian Science, nevertheless, Christian healing will go on and on, gathering beneath its ministering wings those who from time to time are ready to receive the fulfilment of God's promises "until they shall all come to know me (God) from the least of them unto the greatest of them."
Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who also established the Christian Science movement and originated its form of government, was a pure minded, courageous and compassionate woman. She loved mankind. She expressed this love in many ways, one of which was to provide for lectures on Christian Science through the instrumentality of a Board of Lectureship. It is quite fitting that women should serve on this Board.
The one who is to address you is a woman well qualified to speak on the subject of Christian Science, being a member of this Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. It is my privilege and pleasure in behalf of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, under whose auspices this lecture is given, to present Mrs. Blanche K. Corby, C.S.B. of Los Angeles, California.
The following is a full report of the lecture:
The message that Christian Science brings to the world today is one of good cheer; it is one of hope, comfort, health — complete salvation. To a world stricken with suffering and unrest, Christian Science offers deliverance from all the discords of life. Everyone desires to live because life is natural and normal, and a knowledge of the best means whereby life may be conserved and made harmonious is indeed most worthy of one's thought and consideration. Humanity generally has not looked to God for daily and hourly help in times of trouble. It has not believed that God is available under all conditions and circumstances; but there is no human condition so desperate, no disease so obstinate that man cannot be released from it through divine aid, for God, who is Love, is all powerful.
Man's understanding of God reaches the pinnacle when he declares and knows that God is Love. This synonym for God is the highest concept of him. It is the tender, compassionate sense which was expressed by Christ Jesus in his work.
Because Christian Scientists no longer have a personalized, limited sense of God but speak of him as Divine Principle, the objection is sometimes made that this term applied to Deity seems abstract and cold, but as the true meaning of the word principle is basis or foundation which governs all that proceeds from it, we find that the term is a most appropriate one for God.
Every thinking person cognizes things that exist; because of his belief in the existence of things, he believes that there is a first cause or creator. Christian Science proclaims that God is the cause of all created things. It declares God to be omnipresence and omnipotence, the all-inclusive infinite One, or, as Mrs. Eddy so comprehensively states, "The Adorable One," which includes all life, law, power, intelligence, and action. This all-inclusive omnipotence or the one presence is best understood as Mind. The one omnipotent Mind or one conscious Being is expressed after its own kind; then all that expresses it must be mental because the activity of mind is thought. Everything is mental, whether upon a good or evil, a spiritual or material plane. All that we are conscious of today is the result of thought, that we exist as mortals is the result of thought that has gone before. All the history of the past and all present human activity are mental. Every human achievement — every discovery brought to light — is the result of somebody's thought. If it were possible for thought to cease on earth today, complete inaction, which is death, would result. All that engages man's attention, the daily routine of business, of home and family, the great manufacturing activities, agricultural development, all the pursuits of life, would cease. Every complaint of the body is expressed through thought. If man could not think he could not be conscious of bodily pain and discomfort; it is only when all things are resolved into thought, into mental conditions, that the mystery of evil disappears. All wrong thought with its discordant results can be corrected by right thinking which can be continued only from the standpoint of changeless Truth, divine Principle or spiritual unfoldment.
Salvation is gained through right thinking. Many theories of salvation have been presented to the world, but only one has proved satisfactory and unfailing. Christ Jesus came as the Way-shower; he declared and demonstrated a full and complete salvation. Jesus did not teach that a man must die in order to be saved or reach God; nowhere in the Scriptures is found any authority for saying that he considered evil and death at all necessary or in accord with divine law; but he did say, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."
When the beginner in Christian Science reads in the Scriptures that God pronounced his creation good; that he was satisfied with it; that he was entirely satisfied with man made in his own image and likeness; that this man was given dominion over all the earth; the question is sure to arise, what has taken place that man is not expressing his God-given dominion today? Christian Science reveals to this age the fact that nothing has happened to weaken or to destroy man's God-given dominion. It is impossible that man, made in the image and likeness of God, could fall into evil and sin, yet the belief that he did so fall has caused all the sorrow and suffering on earth. The beginner further asks, "If God is infinite good, where did evil come from, what is its cause and origin?" When we learn to think in accord with divine Mind, we find that evil in individual consciousness disappears and that, therefore, the only cause for evil or sin is a false belief, a wrong thought, and not a spiritual fact. In the degree that man ceases to think evil, evil and sin disappear; and proportionately as that disappearance takes place, goes all the mystery of evil; all its presence and power.
The first step toward freedom from evil is generally taken through the desire for physical healing. The healing method of Christian Science, the healing method used by Jesus, is unique, but there is no mystery, nothing supernatural about it. It is the simple teaching of Jesus, the spontaneous and natural result of better thinking. The physical healing in Christian Science is not for the purpose of making a man more comfortable in materiality, of enabling him to eat more food without discomfort, or to indulge more freely in appetites and passions without evil effect, but the sole purpose of physical healing is to reveal the truth about life. Christian Science heals the sick to establish the fact of the reality of God or good, and it heals the sinner to prove the unreality of sin or evil. Christian Science does not teach that sickness and evil do not seem real to the human consciousness; but it does teach that the human consciousness is a false consciousness that expresses itself according to its false beliefs in all the phenomena of evil and sickness, and that healing through correction or overcoming is accomplished only through the understanding of God and his law.
Throughout human history man has deified himself, he has created God in the image and likeness of a mortal instead of finding that he himself is the image and likeness of God. Because God has been believed to be a mighty being manifesting jealousy, anger, revenge, visiting his wrath upon his people; the belief that might is right has grown to the utmost. As the result of this growth human history is a record of the cruelty of the human will. Since the days of Pharaoh, prominent characters have wielded the iron rod of tyranny and despotism as exemplified by Xerxes when he commanded his soldiers to shout as they lashed the waves of the Hellespont, "Xerxes, thy master, bids thee be still;" until today, we see the worst propensities of man incorporated in some forms of government as law. Because of the deification of the mortal or material mind and its beliefs, the statement is sometimes ignorantly made that the healing of Christian Science is wrought through suggestion, or the action of the human mind, — one mind controlling another human mind. In order to correct this accusation made against his healing works, Jesus said, "If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?" (Matt 12, 27), and showed that evil cannot correct evil. The human mind, unillumined, and uninstructed in spiritual law, cannot possibly understand spiritual healing, nor the means by which it is accomplished; so it insists that it must be after its own method — that is, the operation of the human will through hypnotism or what is popularly called modern psychology. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
The teacher of mathematics does not subject his pupil to a state of hypnosis in order to teach the science of numbers, but reveals to him the principle of mathematics, the truth about numbers. If each step in the solution of a problem were mentally imposed upon the more yielding thought of the child, he would not be trained to think for himself; on the contrary, he would be schooled in the habit of responding to suggestion from without. The pupil, to be alert and progressive, must be taught to think correctly, he must be free from the personal domination and control of the teacher. In like manner, the Christian Science practitioner knows that the human will must be divorced from every Christian Science treatment; indeed the human will can not give a Christian Science treatment. The practitioner's part in the healing work is to reveal to the patient the science, or truth of being. This truth at work in the consciousness of the sufferer heals and saves. The human mind believes fundamentally in both good and evil, and that which has evil as a fundamental quality cannot heal. It is wholly through the action and operation of spiritual law that the sick are healed. Christian Science treatment creates a desire to know and and to do the will of God. It is regenerating in its influence. Mesmeric suggestion and hypnotism weaken the subject's ability to do what is right. His subjection to another mentality in the least degree is in itself an evil. Healing is not accomplished through concentration nor holding the thought for others, but through consecration of thought and purpose and love for God and man. The reading of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," has cured thousands of sickness and sin; one hundred pages of the book contain testimonials of healing through the reading alone. No mesmeric suggestion is used in the book to accomplish such results, no human domination or control is exercised, but the revelation of truth contained in those pages opens the understanding, and healing follows as a natural consequence.
The objection is sometimes made that Christian Science practice does not take into account the symptoms of disease. It does, however, recognize the symptoms but only to analyze the mental cause which has produced the physical suffering. If the mental cause is found to be hatred, fear, resentment, grief, or anxiety, what prescription could be administered internally, or what application could be applied outwardly that could possibly correct such cause of disease? Because the popular forms of healing deal with the effect instead of the cause, there is a long list of so-called incurable diseases; incurable, only because some men have said that they cannot cure them. Jesus never said that disease is incurable or difficult to heal, but instead he did say to the woman who had been bowed together for many years, "Satan hath bound thee;" in other words, her belief in evil had caused her physical infirmity. The majority of cures wrought by Christian Science have been of diseases pronounced incurable, and the great ranks of Christian Scientists today are composed largely of those who have been compelled to turn to God for aid because some man had said he could not heal them. That is indeed a happy day when we learn that man cannot heal, but that God can and does.
Centuries of time can never make a lie or false claim true, for it was false from the beginning; neither can centuries of misconception diminish the power of God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Mankind's Greatest Enemy
Fear is the arch-enemy of humanity, and many are those who are living under its constant pressure and know not how to escape from its bondage. Throughout all time man has bowed down to fear as to a false god, and is confronted by its suggestions in all the activities of human existence. Fear attends his advent into the world, and throughout his life he is educated to be afraid; afraid of the food he eats, the air he breathes, and of the wind that blows; he is afraid of his brother man, afraid of his own body, and afraid of God. Little wonder that he is sick and in trouble. Christian Science reveals that God's universe including man was created without fear, that the real man has no fear of disease, contagion or epidemic, therefore fear is without hope and without God, and anything without God has no real existence, because God is the only creator. Christian Science says to the sorrowing and fearful, you are suffering only from false beliefs, the result of ignorance and fear; ignorance of the changeless laws of God, good, and fear of the ever-changing laws of man. An example of the instability of the laws of man lies in the belief of a former generation which considered tomatoes to be a deadly poison, while today they are recommended as a most wholesome food. The Christian Science practitioner knows that man needs to be freed from ignorance and fear, which he recognizes as the predisposing cause of disease. The sick are healed to establish the fact of the reality of good and the unreality of error. The healing in Christian Science is not confined to physical healing alone, but may be applied throughout the whole range of human experience. It is indeed so intensely practical that it can be used in the routine of everyday life. Since God is the only cause or creator, all real law emanates from him, and there is no peace or safety in living in disobedience to his law. The engineer who spans the yawning chasm over which great trains are rushed in safety, owes his accomplishment to absolute obedience to the laws governing construction. These laws were in existence in prehistoric days, but man was limited in the execution of them because of his ignorance of them. Christian Science is the religion of opportunity. There is an old and hackneyed saying that opportunity knocks but once at man's door, old and hackneyed and almost universally believed. When it is understood that opportunity is a divine idea or right thought, therefore boundless and unlimited, and that it is always knocking at the door of consciousness, man will enjoy success instead of failure, and when he knows success from the standpoint of Principle, he will be able to understand the failures of the past and profit thereby.
One of the greatest torments that beset mankind is the fear of lack. The law of infinite Mind includes no provision for poverty and lack. Christian Science teaches that the amplitude of God is the sufficient supply of man enabling him to be fed and clothed and is the true substance which is changeless and imperishable. Jesus, the man of God, knew no lack nor limitation. He turned water into wine when there seemed to be a lack at the marriage feast, he multiplied the loaves and the fishes when the multitudes believed there was no bread, he found gold in the fish's mouth when the disciples said there was no money for taxes. Throughout his whole career he constantly supplied the needs of humanity, proving that God is a God of abundance. At the most crucial moment in his whole career, when forsaken of men, even by his own disciples, Jesus was forced to prove the abundance of life by overcoming death on the cross. When he declared, "Thy will be done," he overcame death, because in declaring the will of God he declared the law of life. In overcoming death, man's most feared enemy, he proved the continuity of consciousness, — the eternality of life.
It is generally accepted by all Christians that Christianity relates essentially to the system taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus and it is also believed that Jesus' plan of salvation reveals the true way; in the healing of disease, raising the dead, and in all the works of his ministry, he was bearing witness to the Truth in accordance with the law of God. Christianity is not the creed of any sect; it is the demand of God to be Christlike and to prove faith by works. The Christians of the world believed in Jesus as a teacher and spiritual leader instead of a healer, but it was wholly by his works that he proved his divinity. True religion is not a theory, but a knowledge of the science of being, to be wrought out in life practice. The need of the world today for a religion which inspires its followers to emulate Christ Jesus in his teachings and practice is fully met by Christian Science. If Christians are to continue in the Word as followers of Jesus, they must prove they accept it to be true by doing the works. Jesus proved what he knew by what he did. All that he said and did was from the basis of the demonstrated Christ, Truth, and the same Christ, Truth, is as available and demonstrable today as when Jesus lived upon earth. A so-called law that can be annulled or set aside; that some supernatural event may be produced, was never a law but a belief; the law of infinite Mind is eternal and unchanging and cannot possibly be violated or set aside that so-called miracles may be performed. Jesus did not violate but fulfilled all law, and individually he did all there was to do, and then said to his followers, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," (John 16, 43), the world of material sense, and his is the example for all time.
The Christ or Truth by which Jesus overcame the world, Paul said, "Was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life," (Hebrews 7:3). Mrs. Eddy defines Christ as "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error," (Science and Health, p. 583). All through human history great spiritual leaders have proclaimed the Christ. Abraham departed from the idol worship of his fathers, because he discerned something beyond the material sense of existence and proclaimed the one God as Spirit. Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets who followed were able through spiritual discernment to look beyond the veil of matter, and to discern the Christ, Truth, or Saviour of the people, with signs following. After centuries of trial and great suffering, with here and there a glimpse of the Christ, Truth, which gave strength and courage to those who discerned, came John the Baptist declaring, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand;" and immediately following came the greatest prophet of all, the man, Christ Jesus, who gave a demonstration of the Christ, Truth, so clear and practical that it will forever remain a dispensation among men.
The healing of the early Christian church was a natural part of its religion and will always remain the natural part of Christianity. Again came the long night of materialism as the result of the waning faith of the early Christians in the power of God to save them from persecution. In their dire distress they yielded to the temptation to which we are all subjected under pressing circumstances, and made the mistake of looking away from the power that had always helped them to mere materialism; instead of turning to God they turned to a human personality, and perhaps to one of the most subtle and deceitful personalities that history records. They looked to Constantine to befriend them and because of turning from Principle to person their power to heal was lost. Ritualism and ceremony usurped the proofs that Jesus required of his followers, and for centuries preaching and profession were considered the essentials of Christianity; then there appeared in fulfillment of prophecy a woman bringing a new light upon the Scriptures, a vision of the eternal Christ coming, as of old, because of the world's great need. Christian Scientists believe that the revelation of truth has appeared today in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. What will be the place in human history of this book that has again revealed God to man and that has given such liberation to humanity, such certainty of deliverance? Can its revelation be anything less than the revelation of the same healing Christ, Truth, of the ages? In asserting that Christian Science heals today as it did long ago we have only to offer the teaching of Jesus, the proofs of his ministry, and the fruits of our work. This practical operation of Christianity will always be the witness of Christ.
Christian Scientists do not claim that the full scope and measure of healing has been accomplished today; they are constantly striving for the mind of Christ, that they may do better work today than yesterday. Progress is the eternal unfoldment of Truth in individual consciousness, and the growth of a student of Christian Science is the proof of his faith.
Prayer is supposed to have a place in the daily life of every consistent Christian, and is generally believed to be the means by which man communicates with God; Jesus attached so much importance to the right concept of prayer that he gave the greatest of all prayers, beginning, "Our Father, which art in Heaven." Nowhere did Jesus, teaching as he did that he was not God, instruct his followers to pray to him; neither did he instruct them to appeal to any other personality, but without intercession, to approach God with loving confidence. How many good Christians have absolute confidence that prayer is always answered? The crying need of the world is to know how to pray aright, to pray the righteous prayer which availeth much. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" contains a chapter on prayer which is accepted by Christian Scientists and acknowledged by many other advanced thinkers to be the greatest treatise on prayer ever written. In this chapter Mrs. Eddy says, "desire is prayer," then she clearly sets forth what the right desire and purpose of prayer must be; her exposition is in exact accord with the teachings of Jesus. Christian Science teaches that by constantly thinking the truth we fulfil Jesus' command to pray constantly. The truth, the spiritual fact about all things, exists, and the knowing of this is the constant or righteous prayer.
Mortal mind, the supposed opposite of God or Spirit, always presents an inverted sense of things; it believes only in itself and comprehends all things from its own standpoint and after its own likeness. If its claims and beliefs are the inversion of truth, then the very opposite of what material sense claims is true; to gain the experience of answered prayer we must hold thought to the spiritual reality of things. Jesus, when he instructed his disciples in prayer, said, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Much of the prayer of the world has been uttered for material things or for the fulfillment of human desires and it is never answered. Jesus denounced such prayer, but the moment we know that God has given all good to man and that all good now and eternally is, that moment we begin to receive the benefits of prayer and experience its blessings. That moment may be the present moment — "Now is the day of salvation," cried Paul to a people who were looking to a future salvation, and Christian Science declares that today is the day of salvation to those who demonstrate the same Christ, Truth.
Mankind has emerged but slowly out of paganism because it has not known how to pray intelligently. It has prayed to every kind of graven image, and to a humanized sense of Deity which, after all, is only its own graven image. Christian Science treatment is prayer, but it does not create nor change anything but false beliefs, neither does it operate because of any mental argument, but because it declares and demonstrates the spiritual facts of being; true prayer is deliverance from evil beliefs, and is the process by which man gains heaven here and now. Christian Scientists have many proofs of the protecting power of prayer, or right thought. This does not mean that God selects Christian Scientists upon whom to bestow especial protection, but it does mean this, — that faithful Christian Scientists, like Daniel in the lions' den, like the Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, may have protection in the hour of danger because they know their God — this is the promise of Scripture and it is most impressively set forth in the Ninety-First Psalm which says "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." We are always protected when we abide in the consciousness of divine Mind and do not wander out into the mazes of human belief. Christian Science teaches that the individuality and identity of God's creation is forever preserved and expressed. It does not teach that creation is ultimately absorbed, or merged into one spirit. The individuality of each idea is forever expressed.
Christian Scientists accept the teaching of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and believe that the golden thread of Truth which runs throughout unites all ages as the Christ is revealed. Science and Health has given an illumination to the Scriptures that enables the student to comprehend their spiritual import. If the Bible is God's word to his people then it is for us today to know and to understand it. No longer do Christian Scientists read the Scriptures in a perfunctory manner, but it is their delight to read and study them daily. "The last fifty years have witnessed an intensity and breadth of interest in Bible study unprecedented in the history of the Christian church," is the testimony of no less an authority than the Rev. C. I. Scofield, D.D., editor of the Scofield Reference Bible.
The first tenet of the Christian Science church reads, "We take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life;" Christian Science teaches unreservedly, as necessary for sound doctrine, what are considered the essentials of religion; it teaches that there is one infinite, omnipresent Father-Mother God, the creator of all. It teaches the divine sonship in the ever-present Christ; the Holy Ghost, or Comforter, in the unfolding consciousness of fatherhood and sonship; the atonement or man's at-one-ment with God through Christ as demonstrated by Jesus when he proved that life is eternal; the baptism of Spirit, which cleanses from the impurities of the carnal or fleshy mind; and the resurrection through progress and growth in Truth into the complete satisfaction and perfection of God and his likeness.
The Bible as a book of human history would be of no more value today than any other ancient history were it not for that thread of Truth which has preserved it throughout all time and has made it sacred to all Christian people. The Christian warfare, the strife in individual consciousness, is ever the same in the overcoming of evil with Truth, therefore, the experiences of the people of God, of every prophet and apostle, depict the conflict between good and evil experienced by every mortal. Religious history presents different conditions of thought; the story of Job's life is illustrative of the life of every man born into the flesh. Mortal man, like Job, has looked in vain for a contented state of mind. Searching for satisfaction and happiness he has plunged into every pleasure only to find disappointment. Business and the accumulation of money have been the resort of many to gain content and peace of mind, but the goal has ever been a will-o'-the-wisp just ahead but never within grasp. Men have been prone to believe that there is no religious teaching that is satisfactory or dependable, and at last arrive at that place in their experience where they exclaim, "All is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:14). At this point they may be ready for Christian Science and when they understand it they can then declare, as did Job, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."
Mortal mind has within itself no saving grace. It suggests its own sense of happiness and pleasure; if man chooses to look to matter for satisfaction he must accept all the suffering that accompanies this belief. Jesus' statement, "The flesh profiteth nothing," is identical with the statement of Science and Health in what is known as the Scientific Statement of Being, that "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation." Christian Scientists have found that the teaching of their textbook does not vary one hairsbreadth from the teaching of the Bible.
The Discoverer and Founder
Little more than fifty years ago there was just one Christian Scientist on earth, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. She says in "Retrospection and Introspection" that from her very childhood she was impelled by a hunger and thirst after divine things, a desire for something better than matter and apart from it. This spiritual desire made her always consecrated in thought and purpose to the endeavor to know and to understand God.
Mrs. Eddy came of devotedly religious parents, and became a member of the Congregational Church when a very young girl, even though her confession of faith was not in accord with the strict and relentless theology of that day. She had discerned God as Love, and through this discernment lost her fear of the old Calvinistic decree of predestination. With maturing years came the conviction of the unreliable nature of all things material, and at last she was left to die as the result of an injury supposed to be fatal. She then called for her Bible, and while reading of the cures wrought by Jesus realized that God was as able to heal then as in centuries past and she immediately arose from her bed restored to health. Centuries of time had not annulled God's promises, and with her healing came the determination to know the science or truth of that which had wrought such a change in her life. She devoted years to the research; and at last, in the divine and natural order of events, in 1875, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" was given to the world. This experience is most comprehensively set forth in her book, "Retrospection and Introspection," a short biographical account of her own life. She writes of her great discovery, "My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so. . . . I then withdrew from society about three years, — to ponder my mission, to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind that should take the things of God and show them to the creature, and reveal the great curative Principle, — Deity.
"The Bible was my textbook. It answered my questions as to how I was healed: but the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing, — in a word, Christian Science.
"I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual. God I called immortal Mind. That which sins, suffers, and dies, I named mortal mind. The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow. Soul I denominated substance, because Soul alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual entity, but His corporeality I denied. The real I claimed as eternal; and its antipodes, or the temporal, I described as unreal. Spirit I called the reality; and matter, the unreality."
Not one statement of Science and Health is presented as hypothesis or as theory of human opinion, but every statement issues from the standpoint of demonstration and proof. From Plato, the pagan philosopher, to the more advanced thought of Emerson includes centuries of time but only here and there is there a glint of light. No human philosophy or theory has ever solved the problem of life demonstrably as no human theory can solve the belief of evil and matter, from which belief issues all sin, disease, and death; only the teachings of Jesus, the master metaphysician, made clear today through Science and Health, are equal to so great a demand. Mrs. Eddy says of Jesus that he "was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things and found the spiritual cause." Because Mrs. Eddy "plunged beneath the material surface'" she has revealed to this age the same available Christ, Truth, which heals and saves. She proved to be a most consecrated follower of Christ Jesus and claimed nothing more for herself. Throughout all time, here and there, men and women of uplifted thought have been able to heal through faith, but they had no knowledge of divine law or of the process by which healing might be accomplished for all. Their experiences were fragmentary and not the result of a knowledge of Principle. It is no miracle to accomplish results when one is shown the way through a scientific rule and its application, but the great miracle was this, that in a world and age of abject materialism, a woman appeared, who through steadfast faith in God and a desire to know His will in order to help mankind, was able to peer back through the centuries of error, ignorance, and darkness and perceive again the Christ idea. This was the miracle, and yet it was the inevitable action of Truth. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy has set forth a scientific system with definite rules for practice, which will enable any sincere seeker to prove the truth of her revelation. In the early years of her ministry, with sublime patience and courage, she waited, worked, and prayed, until she gained a handful of students to assist her in raising the standard of Christian Science on earth. Today Christian Science is known throughout the whole world; in many villages and remote places there is a society or church organization and most of the larger cities have many overflowing churches. Mrs. Eddy also established The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel, monthly and weekly publications invaluable to students of Christian Science. Later she founded the great international daily called "The Christian Science Monitor," a newspaper circulated and read throughout the world and generally acknowledged as entirely reliable in its statements. She also founded and directed many other activities in connection with the church, which were designed to be, and always will be of great benefit to humanity. This accomplishment was the result of one woman's clear understanding of God and reliance upon Him.
Humanity has slowly outgrown its ancient beliefs and its many false gods, while history shows that woman has but slowly arisen from a state of captivity and bondage. It is this ancient belief that has been the basis of any opposition there has been to Mrs. Eddy's leadership. She has ever been the great friend of woman and through her teachings many of us have been given strength and courage to meet the problems of life successfully. Christian Science does not advocate the superiority of woman; its appeal is for universal spiritual suffrage, which will equalize and unify the thought of men and women, and will emancipate the whole human race from sin, disease and death. Mrs. Eddy has revealed the way of deliverance for woman in the way of salvation for all mankind. Christian Science has made better men and women and it has elevated womanhood as it has purified manhood by giving a nobler citizenship to the world.
It would be strange indeed if Christian Scientists do not love and revere Mrs. Eddy for her unselfish devotion and commemorate her great works for the blessings that they individually feel have been their portion as the result of her consecrated life work. She never encouraged the slightest personal adulation, but always turned her followers to the worship of God, away from personality to Principle. Humanity will sometime realize that it can never repay its debt of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
The Christian Science church founded by Mrs. Eddy stands for pure democracy, the brotherhood of man, universal participation, growth, and culture, where each individual has his place in divine Mind and cannot usurp the place of another. The true understanding of God reveals the true brotherhood of man. Knowledge of God is true education and only as the spiritual sense is gained through the study of the letter, can the truth be demonstrated; to have merely an intellectual sense of Christian Science without the spiritual perception of its teaching is to lose its real import and be barren of fruits. "The letter and the spirit must both bear witness and then signs follow."
The world travailing in anguish and sorrow has great need of the Comforter today, but the great convulsing problems can be settled ultimately only through the understanding of Principle. As Christian Scientists look out upon the world's great tumult, resulting from conflicting thought, they are not dismayed nor discouraged. They know that God governs the universe and that the earth is to be transformed. The progress of individuals as well as that of nations is according to their concept of Deity, and the universal understanding of God will end all strife and warfare, and bring a permanent peace. Christian Scientists believe that day will come when "all shall know Him from the least unto the greatest" and God's love shall be manifested among men.
[Delivered Jan. 25, 1920, at Harvard Theatre in North Cambridge, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Chronicle, Jan. 31, 1920. A number of capital letters not in accord with standard Christian Science style have been changed in this transcript and a few punctuation marks have been added where judged helpful for clarity.]