Christian Science Applied to Mankind
A. Hervey-Bathurst, C.S.B., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
On Sunday afternoon Mr. A. Hervey-Bathurst C.S.B. of London, England, delivered a lecture on Christian Science to a large assembly at the Harvard theatre. In introducing the lecturer, Torrance Parker of Belmont said:
"Friends: Those of you who have studied Greek will recall the story of the oriental monarch, who whenever his cooks served anything particularly choice would eat a little of it and then send a slave post haste with the balance to some friend with the message: 'The king having tasted of this and having enjoyed it greatly desires that you may taste and enjoy it likewise.'
"In like manner, we, who have received many blessings from Christian Science and derived from its study great happiness and peace, desire that our friends may taste and enjoy it also.
"One of the ways provided by our leader, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, by which we can bring this subject properly and accurately to the attention of our friends who may wish to hear about it is through the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. These lecturers have all devoted themselves to the study and practice of Christian Science. They have themselves realized its benefits, demonstrated its Principle, and are both qualified and ready to explain its operation. They can speak with authority.
"I now have the privilege of introducing to you a member of that Board, Mr. A. Hervey-Bathurst, C.S.B. of London, England."
Mr. Bathurst's lecture was as follows:
"To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings." With these words Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, commences the Preface to her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and the presence of this audience affords sufficient proof that these blessings have come, and still continue to come, into the experience of those who are students of this vast subject upon which it is my privilege to speak to you today.
The Discoverer and Founder
It is not only interesting, but it is gratifying to notice how mankind is awakening to appreciate Mrs. Eddy and the movement she founded, — a movement which, in less than fifty years, has encircled the globe.
In the year 1866 Mrs. Eddy made the discovery which she named "Christian Science." It came about as the result of her instantaneous recovery from the effects of a severe accident which the physicians had declared must terminate fatally. Mrs. Eddy had always been a deep and constant student of the Scriptures, and it was therefore natural that, in her extremity, she should turn to the Bible. It was then she proved, through her instantaneous recovery to perfect health, that the method of healing taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus was the natural fulfillment of divine law, a law just as operative and consequently just as available in this age as it was nineteen hundred years ago.
For three years after making her discovery Mrs. Eddy studied the Scriptures and the Scriptures only, and proved, by healing a large number of cases — many of them pronounced incurable by the physicians — that she had discovered the scientific rules whereby the sick had been healed, the sorrowing comforted, and the sinner reformed nineteen hundred years previously by Christ Jesus and his disciples. The result of her devoted and consecrated study of the Bible was her publication in 1875 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, upon which every Christian Scientist depends for his enlightenment, instruction, and guidance.
On page 2 of "Rudimental Divine Science," by Mrs. Eddy, we read: "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness." Nevertheless, the great majority of people turn to Christian Science because they have failed to find relief from physical suffering, in spite of having tried many of the innumerable material methods and remedies practiced or advertised today. Were I to ask you what you think the world is most in need of at this moment, you would probably reply, "Good health." Think for an instant and you will realize how great a proportion of the conversation one hears is on the subject of health, or rather ill-health. Now, Christian Science shows us, not only how we have a right to, and can obtain, good health, but how we can retain it.
Broadly speaking, there is, and I think you will agree, no difference between what mankind needed in Jesus' time, and what mankind needs today. The remedy also is exactly the same now as it was then. Was there not sickness and suffering in Jesus' time? Was there not also envy, hatred, malice, dishonesty, deceit? Were not exactly the same conditions or claims of evil apparent among men in those days that we see today? And were not all these conditions healed by Christ Jesus and his disciples? Did not the Master reveal the only remedy, and is there not abundant proof that the remedy was successful? Why, then, was that remedy ever dropped, and others substituted which have failed of success? Is it not time that the practical nature of Christianity, as it is demonstrated by Christian Science, be universally recognized?
Do not think, however, that Christian Science is merely a system of physical healing. Indescribably wonderful as is the experience of physical healing which it brings, it is a small thing when compared to the spiritual regeneration which is inseparable from its physical healing.
The question which naturally arises at this point is, How is physical healing brought about by Christian Science treatment, and without drugs or recourse to materia medica? To find the answer to this question we must go back about two thousand years when the humble Nazarene declared that he had not come to destroy but to fulfill the law and the prophets. He showed that the fulfilling of God's law consisted in the healing of sickness and the destruction of sin, sorrow, fear, and all discord, through the correct concept of God and man.
Remember also that Jesus not only healed the sick and accomplished all his other works alone with God, but taught his disciples to do likewise, and it is sufficiently clear from the New Testament history how successful they were.
Let us consider this question for a moment. I believe you will agree that the law of God, which Jesus fulfilled, has not changed. If, therefore, it was not in accordance with the law of God nineteen hundred years ago that a man should be sick or bound by sin, and the understanding of the law of God at that time healed the sick and reformed the sinner, surely the understanding of that same law will accomplish similar results today. In order that we may understand the law of God, we must, however, first understand God. Before we can understand God, we must desire and be willing to learn — be willing to pray in the words of the Psalmist, "Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me."
The healing through Christian Science is brought about through spiritual understanding, or the knowledge of the truth. Just as the knowledge of the fact that three times three are nine corrects the mistake of some child who says three times three are eleven, so the knowledge of the truth about man in his relation to God will heal the mistaken belief that man is separated from God or can suffer from some physical trouble.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 467): "We reason imperfectly from effect to cause, when we conclude that matter is the effect of Spirit; but a priori reasoning shows material existence to be enigmatical." Christian Science teaches and proves, therefore, that truth or reality can only be attained, or the healing accomplished to the extent that we are clear as to what cause is, and therefore as to what effect is. How do you think Jesus and his disciples healed the sick and did the many other mighty works? Did Jesus accept as true what the physical senses were arguing? He understood the unity of God and man: he recognized man's birthright, his true heritage, — his likeness to his heavenly Father, — and he likewise knew that no arguments or suggestions of the carnal or mortal mind could prevent him from fulfilling God's law, or demonstrating or proving what he knew. It was the true or exact knowledge of God and His creation, or cause and effect, which enabled Jesus to fulfill his mission and rouse a dormant world from the mesmeric belief that man is a hopeless sufferer, subject to circumstance, buffeted by evil, controlled by sickness, sorrow, death.
The Works Must Be Done
The question here arises, Are not we, you and I, and not only all Christian Scientists but all Christians, to heal the sick and do the other works that Jesus and his disciples did? The answer is most emphatically, Yes. Did not Jesus say, "'He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also"? Now, the day when people were willing to accept blindly whatever was told them, whether from the pulpit or anywhere else, is past. This is said to be essentially a practical age; therefore people are demanding proof rather than mere statement, practice rather than theory. This is why so many in the hour of misery, disappointment, or sickness, turn to Christian Science. They know, perhaps, of friends who have been comforted, or healed of some serious physical trouble through Christian Science treatment, and so have been given practical understanding of God as a very present help at all times and under all circumstances.
This is why there are so many Christian Scientists today — why so many Christian Science churches are springing up all over the world — because the understanding of Christian Science includes the recognition or proof of the powerlessness of evil, and necessarily means the destruction, removal, or healing of discord.
Why, it may be asked, is any one ever ill, if evil is powerless? Not because they like it? Rather is sickness the result of fear, perhaps an unconscious fear, or a universal false belief. It will be found that fear is practically at the bottom of all difficulties, and is the origin of nearly every discordant condition, whether manifested in the form of sickness; discord in the home or the community; strife between political parties; disagreements between statesmen; international difficulties, or their possible outcome, war.
By revealing God as the one creator or the great First Cause, fear, this bug-bear of mankind, is destroyed and so proved to be powerless. In Christian Science we learn to reason correctly. We begin to understand causation, and consequently gain a true concept of creation or effect. But in order to perceive the metaphysical facts revealed by Christian Science, we must have a genuine desire for Truth, and faith or spiritual understanding. "Faith," the Apostle Paul wrote, "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." That is the faith we need — a faith as simple and trustful as that of a little child.
In speaking on this matter, I will assume that we all accept the following, which is one of the tenets of Christian Science: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life (Science and Health, p. 497).
Perhaps the most familiar reference to God in the Bible is that wonderful statement, I John 4:8, "God is love." Yet how many people still look upon God with fear, and still feel that any reference to the Deity must be made with bated breath. Is it logical, I would ask you, is it practical, to fear Love? How few people realize that God is the greatest, the best friend they have, the best guide, adviser, and comforter. The prophet Jeremiah wrote: "Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord."
The beloved disciple stated clearly that God is Love, and Jeremiah indicates with equal clearness the omnipresence, or all-presence, of God. Is it not logical, then, to state that a correct understanding of God includes the recognition and demonstration of the omnipresence of divine Love? And does it not inevitably follow that such an understanding must finally eliminate the belief in hate? Let us amplify this statement. Picture to yourself a locality where no one is hating, no one is feeling even uncharitably toward his neighbor. Would not the happiness of those individuals be assured in such circumstances? Would it not mean for them the elimination of misery? And if a sufficient number of individuals ceased entertaining any thought of hatred through their recognition of the omnipresence of divine Love, would it not mean the overcoming of strife, the end of war, — war or conflict between individuals, between communities, between nations?
Therefore through a Christianly scientific or demonstrable understanding of God, attained through Christian Science, we get rid of what might be described as the basic error of the carnal mind as St. Paul calls it, or mortal mind as Mrs. Eddy defines it.
Christian Science supplies a satisfying, scientific, and therefore practical answer to the question, What is God? On page 587 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy gives the following definition of God: "The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."
Perhaps the synonym for God most frequently used in Mrs. Eddy's writings is "divine Mind," defining the "all-knowing, all-seeing," ever-present God, or good. Could the great First Cause or creator be unintelligent or less than intelligent? Surely not. Can intelligence be better defined than by the term "Mind"? And could you conceive God to be inactive or unconscious, or less than all-knowing or omniscient? What better term, then, could be used than "divine Mind" to define God, the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient good? If not all, doubtless the majority of us here accept the usual definitions of God as Love, Spirit, to be holy, all powerful, and ever present. You believe that God is omnipotent; that is what Christian Science teaches. Christian Science also teaches that God is Love, Spirit. Therefore the teaching of Christian Science is not in conflict with what you believe about God: on the contrary, it is based upon it, or agrees with it. Therefore, that there is but one God, one cause or creator, we all agree. Consequently, there is but one divine Mind, knowing all, — all-inclusive, — and the effect of the great First Cause or creator must be like it, for does not like invariably produce like? We see, then, that this one and only cause could not create anything, or could not be expressed or reflected in anything, unlike itself. Therefore we have a perfect God or creator; perfect cause and perfect effect, manifestation or creation, including man.
Salvation from Evil
Since this is true, the opposite must be false or untrue. What is the opposite? It is the belief that God causes sin, sickness, evil, and death; and that His universe, including man, is liable to express these discordant conditions. Now this belief (and please note that I use the word "belief") is untrue, and Christian Science affords the only way of salvation from this mistaken belief. Think, then, what such a message must mean to the invalid who has turned to Christian Science for healing. Many of you have doubtless experienced the indescribable joy that comes with that message, that it is not God's purpose you should suffer, and you need no longer be limited by an opposite and false belief. Hope begins at once to spring forth with the result that every Christian Science practitioner knows so well.
You will remember that St. Paul says in his epistle to the Romans 8:6, "The carnal mind is enmity against God." He went even further than that when he said, "To be carnally minded" (or, as the Revised Version has it, "the mind of the flesh") "is death; but to be spiritually minded" (or "the mind of the Spirit") "is life and peace." It is, then, the carnal or mortal mind that declares sin and sickness to be true. The less, therefore, we have to do with the carnal mind or the flesh, the better.
The first step, then, is to refuse to believe the testimony of the carnal mind, refuse to accept the arguments of sin, sickness, discord, death, which emanate from this so-called mind. St. Paul shows us how we can do this when he says, "Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord." The way, therefore, is as he further states, "to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." In other words, it is to understand and prove that the one divine Mind, God, is omnipresent and omnipotent.
Testimony of Physical Senses Unreliable
How, you may say, can you expect me to reject what the physical senses say? To such a query I would reply, Are you not already doing that every day? I need quote but the familiar illustration of the sun appearing to travel across the sky from east to west, whereas you know it is the earth which is revolving. So, then, astronomy has revealed the unreliability of the physical senses with regard to the sun; but Christian Science has shown us how this unreliability is very much more far-reaching than would at first appear to be the case.
Christian Science shows that the belief that man need sin, suffer, or be controlled by sickness, vice, or any form of discord, is a mistaken or false belief. A false belief or a mistake can only be corrected by the knowledge of the truth. It is, then, the truth about God and man demonstrated, that corrects these mistaken beliefs. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." No man is "free" so long as he is bound by sickness or sin or fear, and the freedom from the bondage of sickness, sin, fear, and all discord is the healing which is so widely recognized throughout the world today, — the healing, by Christian Science treatment, through the understanding and demonstration of the truth about God and man.
If, then, Christian Science brings to mankind the fulfillment of this promise of deliverance from all the ills the "flesh is heir to," is it not surprising that there should be opposition to, or even reluctance to accept the teachings of Christian Science?
Simplicity of Christian Science
While I would emphasize the simplicity of Christian Science, I would remind you that Christian Science affords no exception to the rule that anything worth having is worth making an effort to acquire. Some one here may be familiar with the remark, "I don't understand Mrs. Eddy's book. I cannot apply what she teaches." To such an one I would say that Christian Science is as simple as primitive Christianity; in fact, it is primitive Christianity rediscovered or given back to us in such a manner that all can again understand and practise it, and if we will but persevere we will certainly succeed. You need only have a degree of honesty sufficient to enable you to accept and practise what alone will regenerate you and all mankind. Mrs. Eddy defines, in the Christian Science textbook, honesty to be "spiritual power," and the student who is honest with himself or herself will most certainly succeed eventually. The fact is, we must love God, love Truth for Truth's sake, and not merely turn to God from the selfish motive of desiring more ease in the senses, or merely freedom from some physical trouble.
As you begin to take in, through practical application of them, the teachings of Science and Health, you realize that a transformation or reformation is taking place. A new light is dawning, and you feel and declare, in the words of St. Paul, "Behold, all things are become new." Why? Because you are being "born again": because you are beginning to recognize the truth about God, man and the universe; because you are beginning to understand that God is indeed at hand, here and now with you, "a very present help;" that man, created by God, is the image of God or Godlike; that man is not separated from God, but is now at-one with his Father-Mother, God.
You are beginning to understand, also, that it is not necessary for man to implore and beseech God to do something He has not done. In recognizing the truth, we begin to see that the statement of the perfection of God's creation, found in the first chapter of Genesis, is not only true but demonstrable.
This brings us to the question of prayer. What is prayer? In my experience, as it is in the experience of innumerable others, one of the greatest blessings and revelations of Christian Science is the understanding of how to pray aright. You may say, What is there to pray about if God, Principle, or divine Mind, is infinite, all, and man is His expression? The answer is, Just so long as there is any belief in the presence, power, or effect of evil, will it be necessary to "pray without ceasing." Prayer is not only the desire for the knowledge of the truth, but it also exemplifies or demonstrates it. For example, suppose you understand something about Christian Science, and have demonstrated the truth of what you understand by healing yourself or others of some physical troubles. Some one then comes to you and, says, I am suffering and I want you to help me — to give me a Christian Science treatment. You have learned at least something of the truth regarding God and man, and by reason of your knowledge, you can prove or demonstrate it. In asking for treatment, the patient is reaching out for Truth. His honest desire is prayer, but it is probably rather along the lines of blind faith. The Christian Science treatment given by the Christian Science practitioner would be prayer based upon understanding, — the understanding or knowledge of the truth about man as the reflection of God. That knowledge of the truth frees, because it destroys the erroneous or false belief about man, and the patient is healed.
Desiring, recognizing, accepting, and affirming these divine facts about God, man, and the universe constitutes prayer: —
Pray'r is the heart's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Pray'r is the simplest form of speech,
That infant lips can try;
Pray'r the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.
Pray'r is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air:
His watchword overcometh death —
He enters heav'n with pray'r.
(Christian Science Hymnal, p 91.)
Such prayer is answered. Why? Because the old, false beliefs, refuted by the knowledge and affirmation of the truth, die of their own inanition, and that which we declare to be real is proved to be a present actuality, and God's will is done — "In earth, as it is in heaven."
In this way, through Christian Science, we learn and prove that man has dominion, — dominion over all the earth, over all that is unlike God.
Availability of Christian Science
Can you imagine a greater privilege, a greater blessing, than to be able to go to some sufferer who has appealed to you for Christian Science treatment — can there be any more glorious privilege than to be able to say to such an one: Fear not, our Father is indeed a God at hand and not afar off, a very present help in trouble? The same God who healed the sick, comforted the sorrowing and raised the dead through Christ Jesus nearly two thousand years ago, is doing the same today.
Did not Jesus Christ and his disciples not only teach but demonstrate the healing that is the inevitable outcome of a correct understanding of God? That same teaching is as available and as demonstrable today as it was then, and it is consequently just as much within your reach now as it was available for the man let down through the roof on his couch, or the woman "whom Satan hath bound," or the man with the withered hand.
The Christian Science practitioner having a reason for the faith that is within him, can speak with authority, — the authority born of experience, and the patient being receptive, or desirous of the truth, is healed; for, in those grand words of Whittier: —
The healing of the seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life's throng and press,
And we are whole again.
Mesmerism, Spiritualism, and So Forth, Foreign to Christian Science
The healing through Christian Science is brought about, then, through a correct, scientific, or demonstrable understanding of God, or divine Mind. Therefore Christian Science is the true Mind-healing, and has nothing whatever to do with the manipulation of the human or mortal mind. There is nothing in the nature of mesmerism, hypnotism, spiritualism, or any other "ism" in Christian Science. No Christian Scientist could adopt such methods. Were he to attempt to do so, he could no longer practice Christian Science, for he would be attempting to work from a basis that is not a true basis, and would sooner or later awake to realize this. At the same time, history has a way of trying to repeat itself, and just as Jesus was accused of casting out devils by Beelzebub, so Christian Scientists today are accused sometimes of working with mesmerism, or in some way which is really the absolute antithesis of Christian Science.
I have heard it said, You must have a very highly trained brain or an unusually fine intellect to be able to be a Christian Scientist. What a misunderstanding of the simplicity and purity of Christian Science that shows. Did not Jesus say, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."
Also, it is well to remember that the first people to hear and accept the teaching of the Master were the humble fishermen, who could scarcely be classed as highly educated. Let me add also, that with all its simplicity, Christian Science is the greatest thing in the world, for it reveals the truth, the facts of being. There is not a moment when Christian Science cannot be practiced: there is not a place where the truth cannot be demonstrated: there is no problem however small — however great — that Christian Science will not solve. It is your privilege to commence, from this very moment, to practice what you now understand of Christian Science, by refusing to be party to or accept a lie, or whatever is not true with regard to God, man, and the universe. You will be as gratified by, as you will be grateful for, the wonderful blessings that you will reap as the result of your honest efforts. Through Christian Science, we begin to recognize reality; we change nothing, but we get rid of false concepts. We stop deceiving ourselves or allowing ourselves to be deceived. In other words, we begin to find heaven, not a distant, far-off place, but here at hand, or heaven on earth, for we begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said, "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).
Importance of Loving Our Neighbors
With this new birth, this awakening to see the powerlessness of evil, think how we can begin intelligently to fulfill our duty towards our neighbor, especially perhaps, in connection with the social and labor unrest, and other similar problems with which we are all familiar. Does not Christian Science afford the solution — the only solution — for are we not beginning to see, through Christian Science, how the universal brotherhood of man is no longer a dream, perhaps never to be realized, but a present possibility, may I not say, reality? Let us no longer limit the power of God, or good. Suppose we go from here and hear some one enlarging upon the illness of some one else, or complaining because of bad times which they declare are leading to financial disaster. Cannot we commence at once to apply the remedy by refusing to admit that God, the loving Father, ever gave authority to evil? Then as we persist in practicing this right thinking, this acknowledgment of God's omnipresence and omnipotence, we shall witness wonderful results, for Truth is power: error is impotence and cannot stand.
Take also the daily newspapers. You read them, or should do so, intelligently, and you already know how much better off the public would be if a great deal of what is printed had never been published. The press or journalism is, therefore, in need of transformation, and you can begin immediately to help along these lines. So take your daily newspaper and read it henceforth, first with a great desire to help mankind, and secondly, with a clear concept of the power of right thinking.
The Christ Revealed Through Christian Science
Is not the recognition and demonstration of the presence of God, which is made possible through Christian Science, a wonderful experience? Is it not indeed the "new birth"? Jesus said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."
Now Christian Science, or the knowledge of Christ, Truth, is surely testifying of Jesus the Christ. This awakening to the recognition of the facts of being is the coming of the Christ, which Mrs. Eddy defines as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (Science and Health, p. 583). It is the recognition of what Jesus referred to when he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." That was his true spiritual selfhood. Then since Jesus, who revealed the Christ, is the Way-shower, have not we also to demonstrate our divine sonship, our true spiritual selfhood? And is not Christian Science showing us how to do it — how to "have the mind of Christ," as the Apostle enjoins us? And as we recognize the Christ, Truth, the Christ is again made manifest in the flesh through the healing of sickness and the destruction of sin — the Comforter taking away the sins of the world. And yet the carnal or mortal mind is still opposed to the Christ, as it was opposed to Jesus. Today, however, the Christ may be rejected by some; but the final revelation of Truth has come, and the day is hastening on when, as was prophesied by Jeremiah "they shall all know me (God), from the least of them unto the greatest."
That knowledge constitutes the atonement or at-one-ment, or unity of Father and son, God and man. It does away with the unfortunate teaching of man being a "miserable sinner." It reveals man's true nature, and shows him how to avail himself of his God-given birthright, his divine sonship. It shows man how to be, what he really is, what God made him, and shows the foolishness of his believing in what he is not.
St. John declares, "Now are we the sons of God." Now, not some day. We have therefore to wake up and learn to demonstrate what we really are, the image and likeness of God, the expression or reflection of divine Mind, expressing the love, power, joy, freedom, and satisfaction which are inseparable from God.
I know no language that can adequately describe the peace and happiness that come with this awakening. It is what occurred to the prodigal son who "came to himself," gave up feeding on the empty husks of materiality, the belief of pleasure and, equally, of pain in the senses or matter, and went to his Father, took up again, or recognized his true sonship, and was welcomed while he was a long way off.
That experience has been the experience of thousands of men and women who today owe all to Christian Science, for through its teachings they have found God, have found themselves as children of God, have proved the hollowness and emptiness of the false beliefs and delusions of the lies of the carnal or mortal mind, and met with a welcome and found a present sense of heaven far beyond anything they have ever imagined possible.
Christian Science the Way of Salvation
Christian Science, then, is a tree known by its fruits. Is Christian Science the way of salvation? It is. I can give that affirmative answer with conviction and joy — as the result of experience. Did not Jesus say, "The kingdom of heaven is within you"? Every student of Christian Science is demonstrating this divine fact in the measure that he discerns it.
Since Christian Science is the way of salvation, the final revelation of Truth, should we delay to walk in that way that has been so clearly pointed out by that great and good woman, Mary Baker Eddy, who was sufficiently awake and alert, spiritually to discern the truth and the practical, scientific way of practicing it?
In our household affairs, in our business, and in whatever may be our profession, we are practical enough — most of us. Why, then, where our religion is concerned, should we be satisfied with what we do not understand or by what does not afford definite and practical proof of its efficacy?
With the first insight into this great subject, we begin to recognize and reject the claims of evil more readily. We think less of evil, we begin to understand what God is, what man is in his relation to God, what we are. Then we begin to recognize who our neighbor is, and we awake to the fact that his true self is just as Godlike as is our own real self. 'Then we find no difficulty in loving our neighbor as ourself. But how can we do so, so long as we do not know, have not yet found, ourself?
Now every one of us in this hall knows more of God, His omnipotence and omnipresence, than we did an hour ago. Every one of us can commence, from this moment, to benefit by that knowledge and put it into practice. Don't think you have to wait. Then, with the success that will attend your every effort, you will be able to repeat or sing with the fervor and gratitude born of actual experience, those beautiful words of Mrs. Eddy's Communion hymn: —
"Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the pow'r of the Word?
'Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord."
Christian Science is primitive Christianity rediscovered and revealed to this age. It shows mankind the savior from all the ills the "flesh is heir to" by revealing the true or practical nature of God, and consequently of man in His image and likeness. Christian Science reveals the truth which the Founder of Christianity declared "shall make you free," and the knowledge of the truth about God and man affords the solution of all the problems with which mankind may be faced. The understanding of Christian Science reveals the presence and power of God, or good, not only where health is concerned but also with respect to the innumerable questions with which mankind is coping today, whether financial, labor, social, political, national, or international. Above all, Christian Science is preeminently simple and, as was indicated in an earlier part of this lecture, the demonstration of the teachings of Christian Science depends mainly upon the willingness of the student to recognize or understand the great First Cause, or God. to be Spirit, and His creation, including man, to be spiritual.
In conclusion, I will read these words from page 98 of the Christian Science textbook: "The prophet of to-day beholds in the mental horizon the signs of these times, the reappearance of the Christianity which heals the sick and destroys error, and no other sign shall be given. Body cannot be saved except through Mind. . . . Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening grasp of creeds, the demonstration of Christian Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science. It 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 practise."
[Delivered Oct. 22, 1922, at the Harvard Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Chronicle, Oct. 28, 1922.]