Christian Science: The Law of God
William D. Kilpatrick, C.S., of Detroit, Michigan
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Mr. William D. Kilpatrick, C.S., a member of the board of lectureship of The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., delivered, on Friday evening, January 18, a free public lecture on Christian Science, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Wilmette, in the church edifice. Hugh Stuart Campbell, first reader, introduced the lecturer. Mr. Campbell said:
With the banner of Christianity unfurled in Palestine where naught but the call of the Koran was heard for centuries; — with a panorama of events making history in obscure and half forgotten places — Joppa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, — how natural for thoughts of progressive thinkers to turn with awakened interest to the cradle of Christian faith, and more seriously consider the glorified ministry of him who founded a religion of love and good works, and who, at the close of an exalted career pronounced this benediction: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
You will recall an incident in the beginning of that ministry, when Jesus, returning to his boyhood home in Nazareth, was invited to read in the synagogue. You remember he turned to the book of Esais where it was written, "He sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," and he closed the book and said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." You recall what happened; — the unbelievers thrust him from the synagogue.
My friends we should be grateful that this age is more tolerant, for when Christian Science proclaims again to suffering humanity — "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears," hope springs up in many a heart. Joyfully is the truth received by the sick and sinning when "with signs following" God is revealed as an ever operative, healing and saving Principle, available to all who are willing to seek with an open mind.
Mrs. Eddy says in the text-book of Christian Science (p. 565), "Christ, God's idea, will eventually rule all nations and peoples — imperatively, absolutely, finally — with divine Science." This reign of harmony revealed and demonstrated by Christian Science is already governing the motives and acts of thousands upon thousands of followers in every land. That you may learn more of this practical religion, is the message presented tonight and we cordially welcome you to hear the messenger who is a loyal member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.
Friends, it is a pleasure and privilege to introduce Mr. William D. Kilpatrick, C.S., of Detroit, Michigan, who will now address you.
I have chosen for the subject of my discourse "Christian Science: The Law of God."
Present-day interest in Christian Science is finding expression in a demand for a wider dissemination of its message of hope and good cheer — in a hungering and thirsting for a fuller understanding of this pure gospel of the Christ. It is being universally asked: What is Christian Science? What does it teach? What are its accomplishments? On what authority does this religious movement within the short span of a generation command the respectful consideration of a world?
It is the purpose of the Christian Science literature, of Christian Science church services and of Christian Science lectures to answer these questions, and, if, perchance, we shall have been able this evening to throw some little gleam of light on that book of all books, the Holy Bible; if, perchance, we shall have been able to awaken the smouldering spark of hope and encouragement in the breast of some sin-burdened, sick, hopeless or suffering man or woman, we shall consider the hour well and profitably spent.
The world's interest today in Christian Science lies in the world's necessity for Christian Science. Long-suffering humanity is in sore need of a live, vital, dynamic, constructive, spiritual religious awakening, — an awakening predicated, not on hectic outbursts of fanciful, fanatical fervor and temperamental mesmeric enthusiasm, but an awakening resulting from sober, prayerful, thoughtful and sanctified convictions. The world is demanding something besides mere formalism, something besides the hollow mockery of creed and ritual, something besides a religion that offers mere speculative, future possibilities in place of a truly Christ-like religion that can point to its present works as evidence of its divine authority.
Humanity has arrived at the point where it demands a religion which it believes to be wholly true, untainted by human opinions and conjecture, without one element of error, founded on the Bible and restoring the teachings and works of the Master. That, my friends, is why it is turning to Christian Science. The proof of its divine origin rather than its profession has set the face of the world towards this religion.
Definition of Christian Science
Probably the briefest and one of the most comprehensive definitions of Christian Science is found in the book "Rudimental Divine Science" by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, where she describes it "as the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony." It will be noted that "universal harmony" in this definition is the ultimate, and its accomplishment the result of the interpretation and application of "the law of God."
The religion that is to bring about "universal harmony" must necessarily be based on a clearly defined, unchanging, ever-present, demonstrable law or Principle. Its teachings must be capable of proof; then it necessarily follows that they are wholly true and without one least element of the false or untrue. Humanity has had its full quota of religions based partly on truth and partly on error, and is today groaning under a surfeit of religious creeds, each differing from the other.
Law is unchanging and inexorable. Law knows no opposing power or principle. The laws of mathematics cannot be hindered, thwarted, usurped or set aside. No matter how erroneous our opinion of the laws of mathematics may be, its laws remain ever the same, unchanged throughout all time. If not one person on the face of the earth ever knew one single, simple law of mathematics, that would in no wise alter its laws or the fact that its laws exist and always have existed unchanged in their perfection. And so we find that the law of God always has existed, unaltered, eternal and perfect, but that, except in a few instances, this law has been hidden from mankind throughout the ages.
To emphasize the fact that his works were in exemplification of the Truth he taught — were evidences of an understanding based on a demonstrable law of God, Jesus did not resort to argument — to finely chosen speech delivered to his followers with ostentatious formalism, but rather, in answer to the question put to him by the emissaries sent from John the Baptist, — "Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?" Jesus replied simply, "Go your way and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, to the poor the gospel is preached." The recital of his works was, to his sense, sufficient proof that his teachings were divinely ordained and in strict explanation of God's law. The works of Jesus proved that they were predicated on a premise wholly right and that no element of error was present. He must have been working from a perfect understanding of God's immutable law.
Universality of God's Law
The object of all Christian endeavor should be to prove the Master's teachings to be true by doing works that he did. The healing works of Jesus were not given us merely to show what he could do. Christian Science proves that these works were given to the world by Jesus in demonstration of a divine, ever-present, demonstrable law, that humanity, through his example, might know and understand this law and be able to intelligently apply this knowledge. This law of God must, from the very nature of God and his relation to man and the universe, be universally and eternally applicable. It must be at the command and for the benefit of all of God's children throughout all of God's creation. Thus we find that the law employed by Jesus in his mighty works is the same law that enabled the Israelites to pass on dry land through the Red Sea, that restored her son whole to the Shunammite mother, that delivered the three Hebrew young men from the fiery furnace, that enabled Daniel to dwell unharmed in the den of lions, and the same law whereby the apostles and the early Christians for some centuries after the time of Jesus obeyed the Master's commands by doing his works. And this is the same law through which Christian Science is today bringing to humanity the world over relief from its sufferings and misery.
Jesus, Demonstrator of God's Law
That the teachings and practice of Jesus were predicated on a hypothesis wholly spiritual to the complete exclusion of matter and its so-called laws, Jesus' own words and works leave no doubt. The entire purpose and import of his career were to educate mankind away from the belief in a material universe as real and into the understanding of man and the universe created by God, spiritually — a universe governed by the law of God, Spirit, and not subject to chance, change and the mutations of time.
There is no known physical law or so-called law of matter that Jesus did not completely annul and overthrow through his intelligent application of God's law. At the wedding feast Jesus turned the water into wine, proving once and for all that material qualities and phenomena are mental and have no authority of their own in the presence of an intelligent understanding and application of God's law. In the healing of the son of the nobleman at Capernaum when a long distance from the sick man, and in the instantaneous transportation of the ship across the sea of Galilee, Jesus demonstrated that time, place and space are mental qualities and that they may all be eliminated through the correct application of the law of God. Jesus stilled the tempest, quieted the winds and the waves, proving that even the elements of the material world are subservient and subject to God's law. He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee, proving of no effect the law of gravitation in the presence of an intelligent understanding and application of divine law. Jesus fed a great multitude of people with seven loaves and a few small fish, thus proving that man's supply is purely mental, that it is abundant, ever-present and available, not dependent upon matter or material conditions and discrediting forever the belief in the necessity for poverty, lack and limitation of every name and nature. Jesus proved by healing the multitudes of sick that disease is not of God and hence has no authority to fetter man; that matter does not make a man sick and that matter and its so-called laws have no part in the healing and the health of mankind. He proved by raising Lazarus from the dead and by his own victory over the tomb that there is no divine decree, authority or law back of the condition called death, and at the instant of his ascension he proved the utter nothingness of matter and the supreme allness of Spirit.
Yet Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill." Taking, then, his works in support of his words, is it not obvious that his efforts were for the purpose of establishing an understanding in the consciousness of humanity of a law of Spirit, or God, which would supersede all so-called physical laws, thereby proving matter and its laws to be unreal and not of God, hence powerless?
It cannot be readily imagined that Jesus was sent to annul or destroy God's law. This would have been an impossibility, for God's law, we are repeatedly told in the Bible, is omnipotent. Furthermore, of what benefit would it have been to humanity, to Jesus or to God, for Jesus to set aside God's law for the mere space of a moment, even though he were capable of so doing, in order to perform his miracles? Could there be any other explanation of Jesus' mission than that it was for the express purpose of relieving mankind of the burden of self-imposed, so-called laws of matter, in submitting to which they have subjected themselves throughout the centuries to conditions of sin, sickness and death?
Christian Science and Matter
Christian Science has received its inspiration from a pure, spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Bible teachings constitute the warp and woof of Christian Science and in its somewhat startling assertion that the spiritual is the real and eternal and matter the unreal and temporal, it points to the Bible, to the words and works of Jesus and to its own accomplishments in substantiation of the truth thereof. Christian Science is proving itself to be the truth by proving the Bible true.
Christian Science shows us that matter is the veil of misunderstanding through which mankind have been laboriously peering throughout the centuries, and that underneath this covering of mortal unreality lies all the sin, sickness, misery and unhappiness to which humanity has been ever subject.
What, then, shall we do with matter? By what process of reasoning shall we begin its elimination? Jesus said "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing," and Jesus never uttered an idle word. We are further admonished many times and in many ways in the Bible to have that mind in us "which was also in Christ Jesus." The book of Proverbs tells us that as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he," and on one occasion Jesus said, in reply to the question as to the whereabouts of heaven, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there; for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." These Bible passages show clearly that the whole problem of salvation from materiality is a mental one.
Christian Science teaches that matter is nothing but mortal mind or human thought objectified — that behind every material expression there lies a perfect, spiritual idea of God governed by God's law and subject alone to God. The whole operation, then, of salvation from matter and its so-called laws of sin, disease and death, involves establishing in consciousness the God-idea, or spiritual reality, in place if this counterfeit concept. "For to be carnally (mortally) minded is death" says Paul, "but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." And he goes on to say, "Because the carnal (or mortal) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But" he continuies, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." That is, if so be that the spiritual fact of being dwell in consciousness to the complete exclusion of all else.
This journey out of a sense of materiality, is, to be sure, not an easy one to travel. To attain the spiritual ultimate at a bound is an impossibility. Christian Science is a stern, though loving, taskmaster and its demands are as distinct and as clearly defined as are the rules and laws of mathematics. There must be a beginning along most elemental lines. Each step in progress must be in proof of an advanced understanding of God and His law. Before the higher demonstrations of spiritual law can come there must be the putting into practice of what we understand in a small way. Before we walk we must creep. Before we raise the dead we must heal the sick. One step follows another.
If then, the material universe is merely a concept of the mortal mind, an externalization, to the human consciousness, of mortal thought, and the true or spiritual creation is the embodiment of ideas of the divine Mind, of which mortal thoughts are the counterfeit, must not our task of putting off the false and putting on the true, consist in plucking out and removing, one by one, those erroneous concepts that go to make up a so-called material universe, and in place thereof plant the true spiritual ideas? And is it not clear that in undertaking this work we must begin with the more simple problems? That was the way Jesus started, and when he had cast out the last element of mortal belief he found himself at the Mount of Ascension, where all materiality fades into its native nothingness and the true, the spiritual and eternal, were his forever. To replace hate and malice with love, to replace dishonesty with honesty, impurity with purity, jealousy and revenge with forgiveness, greed and selfishness with charity, impatience with patience, self-righteousness, self-love and self-pity with self-forgetfulness and self-abnegation may not seem of vast importance, but to follow the footsteps of the Master and to demonstrate the law of God by healing the sick and casting out the myriad of mortal inharmonies, these changes in our thought process are an absolute necessity.
The Physical Senses
But, it may be objected, how can one help believing in the reality of matter when matter may be seen with the eye, when it may be touched and handled, when we taste and smell it, when we hear its myriad of sounds and noises? Let us here refer to a very pertinent and explicit statement made by St. Paul bearing on this very point. In his epistle to the Romans, St. Paul says, "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." "Mortify" — what does that mean? It means "to silence," "to deaden." "Through the Spirit" — what does that mean? That means, through the understanding that all things are spiritual and that nothing is material. Now, what are the "deeds of the body" that Paul here admonishes us to "silence" or "deaden" through an understanding of all things as spiritual? Why, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing — the testimony of the five physical senses. These are the deeds of the body. These, in fact, constitute all the known faculties of the fleshly or mortal man, and all that we know of the material universe or ever will know is cognized through these senses. And we are told plainly enough by St. Paul that we are to "mortify" or "silence" their testimony.
We have been living all these years reading and hearing read this passage of Scripture just quoted, the while we have been nursing the delusion that the five physical senses furnish us the only evidence of existence and consequently must be God-endowed. Yet this passage of Scripture is plain and is in strict accord with all of the teachings of the Master. "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." That is, that not until, through the perception and understanding of God, man and the universe as spiritual, we recognize the five physical senses are creations of erring, mortal thought, shall we begin to experience that life vouchsafed us by St. Paul in this passage of Scripture.
Now what is our authority for believing, or through what medium do we believe, that the material senses of seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling and hearing are real and God-given qualities? What is it that makes these faculties seem real and essential to us? What is it that bears to us evidence of their reality? Why, nothing but this mortal or carnal mind which is back of all material phenomena and which St. Paul tells us must be put off. It is the human or mortal mind, instead of matter, that sees, feels, tastes, smells and hears. Take away the mind of a mortal and what testimony can the five physical senses utter? Completely silence his mentality and all the argument in the world cannot make a man believe that he sees, feels, tastes, smells or hears. Nothing of a material nature impresses him. He is not even cognizant of the mortal body in which he is supposed to reside. So it should be perfectly apparent that the evidence of the senses cannot correctly inform us of the true qualities of man governed by an immutable law, for the five physical senses may be silenced while law and its manifestations can never be.
Following this understanding, that the physical senses, which furnish the only evidence of the physical man, are nothing but manifestations of the mortal mind, operating without the realm of fixed law, it necessarily follows that the underlying cause of all phenomena evidenced by these senses must be the product of that same mind. Any of the so-called inharmonies of man manifested by a disturbed physicality must necessarily be the result of the same mind or cause underlying physicality. Consequently, the remedy for all so-called physical inharmonies lies in the correction of the false sense of law or cause, the result of the mind responsible for these inharmonies. This, obviously, cannot be accomplished through mortal mind, the mind that creates these inharmonies, for mortal mind operates by virtue of no fixed law of God to give it permanency or authority in any new condition which its whims might create. Certainly then, we have but one source of correction and that is the divine Mind, or God, which is perfect, which knows no inharmony, neither variableness nor shadow of turning, but which is "the same yesterday, today and forever."
This corrective process lies in displacing these false concepts of creation, of man and the universe, and the multitude of conflicting mortal laws supposed to govern their relations to each other, with the correct understanding of God and his creation and the laws governing it. In his work of demonstrating the powerlessness of the so-called laws of matter the Christian Scientist has only to deal with so-called mortal mind and the divine Mind. Matter and its accompaniments do not constitute a least part of his considerations as he recognizes matter as merely a phase of mortal thought. The Christian Scientist recognizes the divine Mind, or God, as true and mortal mind as the lie about the Truth. There must be truth underlying every lie. A lie cannot be told about anything but the truth. Therefore, the only problem before the Christian Scientist is that of replacing the lie with the truth. In his remark "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it," Jesus clearly shows that mortal man with his sin, sickness and death constitutes the lie about the true man or the man of God's creating, and, incidentally, that the only devil there is is the mortal mind which Jesus here states to be a lie. When we truly perceive that this entire operation is a mental one and that the mortal evidences of sin, disease, poverty, sorrow and even death, are illusions of this mortal mind then the enormity of any situation, no matter how apparently grave, assumes less formidable proportions and the possibility of deliverance and ultimate complete salvation spurs on our efforts to more certain achievements.
Have you ever heard it said that Christian Scientists are a prayerless people — that they do not believe in prayer? You probably have; I have. Do you know what a real Christian Scientist does from the time he awakens each day to the time he goes to sleep at night? He prays. If there is any one thing that the Christian Scientist finds will bring him peace, health, prosperity and happiness, it is prayer, and he finds that the more he prays the more of peace and health and prosperity and happiness are his. Therefore, the more of these desirable qualities or conditions he manifests the more you may be sure he prays.
I have gone to some length in an endeavor to explain to you the cause of humanity's slavery, its sickness, its want and woe, and I have endeavored, in a way, to make plain to you humanity's remedy for these ills as taught in Christian Science. Now, it may be asked, by what means is this remedy to be intelligently and effectively applied? How is one to start out to prove that man in God's image and likeness is not subject to the laws of matter, the laws of sin, sickness and death, when seemingly all one knows of existence embraces a knowledge of these evils? My friends, you start out by praying, you continue praying and you never cease praying.
True prayer is one of understanding. It comprises a knowledge of the facts of existence, even though faintly discerned at first, and it finds expression in that mental attitude which claims for one-self that God-bestowed freedom vouchsafed to all of God's children — man's birthright of dominion over all the earth — over all evil and materiality. At the tomb of Lazarus Jesus exemplified true prayer in the statement, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always," whereupon Lazarus, who had been four days in the tomb, walked forth.
True prayer engendered from an earnest, honest longing to be God-like rejects as any part of God's kingdom that which has to do with the ills of the flesh and proclaims the omnipotence and omnipresence of the law of good — the law of God. Prayer consists of knowing the truth about God and man. When this truth is mentally understood and consistently clung to, regardless of the evidence of the senses, then will begin to break through the clouds of darkness the gleams of light which presage a fuller radiance as the sense dreams are vanquished, and then will begin a more comprehensive apprehension of the meaning of that passage in the prayer of all prayers, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
Since the coming of Christian Science to the world, religion and material methods of healing have undergone some radical and startling changes. Most of us here can well remember how Christian Science was ridiculed, laughed and scoffed at, persecuted and prosecuted for its revolutionary teaching that matter cannot create or cure disease and that all true therapeutics lies in an understanding of God, or divine Mind, the only Cause or Creator. The indignities which were heaped upon Christian Science for declaring that material remedies cannot cure disease are too numerous and too distressing to repeat. What is the attitude of the world today in this regard, solely as a result of the teaching of Christian Science? Why, almost the complete abandonment of the theory that matter can heal, and this by members of a profession who but a few short years ago proclaimed omnipotent powers for their nostrums. Many physicians today tell us they seldom or never administer drugs for curative purposes. They have found out that there is no intelligence, power, principle or law in a drug. They are learning the truth of what Mrs. Eddy discovered fifty years ago, namely, that it is not the drug that heals.
In the January, 1917, issue of "Public Health," a monthly publication of the Michigan State Board of Health, publicity is given to a statement by Dr. George Goler as follows: "Real medicine is advancing, so that we have almost arrived at that stage where our patients do not pay us for medicine but for advice, and we — some of us at any rate — have almost come to the point where we are willing to neglect the medicine altogether, and our patients have learned that we are able to do them more good without medicine than with it."
Christian Science has distinctly proven that there is but one "preventive medicine," and that is the understanding of man's God-given freedom from disease as taught in Christian Science. The New York Telegraph editorially prints the following: "The decrease in the death rate in the United States began when the Christian Scientists started their uplifting work. Christian Scientists have made this a nation of optimists. Men and women have 'got into the habit of being well,' as Oliver Wendell Holmes said. Christian Scientists have worked without ceasing to show their fellowmen that sin, sickness and death are abnormal conditions of mortal mind and they have succeeded. No group of religionists in America has ever had such an effect on the people, an effect for good, spiritually and bodily — as have the Christian Scientists. * * * The good health of the country shows the result of that work. Figures prove it."
And permit me to read briefly from a sermon delivered by Dr. William S. Sadler, a physician of Chicago, Illinois, at a large Chautauqua gathering at Bay View, Michigan, in the summer of 1916. The Doctor's words are reported in part as follows: "The examples set by Christian Scientists should put to shame every complaining, growling Christian on the face of the earth. I am a physician, so you can't try me for heresy. The time is coming when love will guide us away from the tortures of feeling. The Christian religion, if universally lived, would banish all illness and disaster. It is the only religion that is psychologically sound. When the love of God and of each other is perfected in us it will cast out all fear."
What, my friends, do you imagine would have happened to the good Doctor if he had uttered these sentiments from a similar setting before the influence of Christian Science was felt in the world?
At this point let us pause just long enough to pay our brief respects to our little friend, the germ, and to the germ theory. I refer now to the bad — the wicked germ. We are told that there are good germs, but they do not seem to be popular. The bad germ is the only one we hear much about. Do you know that if there were one iota of truth in the present day teaching and theory about the germ there would not be a man, woman or child here this evening? If the germ theory were scientific and had the sanction of God this old world would have been depopulated almost before it was populated.
Consider for a moment the preposterous idea of a loving God, a loving, compassionate, omnipotent Father saying to His children: — "Children, I am sorry to have to disillusion you, but what Moses wrote in the book of Genesis about man being made 'in the image and likeness of God,' having dominion over all the earth, and what the Bible teaches from cover to cover about the loving kindness and protecting care of the Father and His love and compassion for His children is all a myth. You must hereafter place no confidence in God. Instead of being your protector and ever present help in trouble I am just the opposite. My purpose is to accomplish the complete undoing of my children, and to assist me in my task I have created the wicked germ. I have made him the deadly enemy of all my loved ones. I have given him infinitely more power and intelligence than I have given my children and I have placed him in everything you eat, drink, handle or see. The germ is indeed 'the chosen of the Father,' and you, my children, are his prey. He has explicit instructions from me to accomplish your destruction and I have endowed him with the power and intelligence to carry out this purpose. He shares omnipotence with me while you, children, are abjectly helpless in his presence. It is my purpose that sooner or later each of you shall fall victim to his prowess."
That picture, my friends, is not what might be called a beautiful one, is it? Yet it is not overdrawn in the least particular. I submit that the teachings of the germ theorist completely eliminate God or any idea of God as necessary to the creation or salvation of man. Infinitely more to be avoided than the germ is the fear and dread of it as well as the mental picture of disease and the fear of it engendered by reading these false theories, and by reading so-called health talks and descriptions of diseases appearing so profusely in the press of the country at the present time.
It was not many years ago that Christian Science was severely criticized for its teaching that spiritual healing is as essential a part of the Christian religion as preaching, notwithstanding the fact that almost invariably the injunction of Jesus to preach the gospel was coupled with the command to heal the sick. The claim of Christian Science that the works of Jesus were examples to all humanity throughout all time of what may be accomplished through an understanding of God and His law was met with most emphatic opposition. To claim the ability to heal the sick as did Jesus was called heresy. And now today, what do we find? Almost every religious denomination calling itself Christian teaches, in a measure, its belief in healing as a necessary part of Christianity. Some religious denominations are even now endeavoring to establish within their church a system of healing as a part of their denominational teachings. And in all their advancement along this line of light you may be sure that Christian Science wishes its sister religions Godspeed.
But, as pioneers in this age in the healing work as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus, Christian Science, speaking from a half century of experience, warns all who would undertake to emulate the Master in his work of healing the sick, to ponder well his words. To those who would depart from the path marked out by Jesus and reiterated in the teachings of Christian Science, it urges caution. To attempt to build on a dual foundation of matter and Spirit, to bow allegiance in the slightest degree to material methods, to recognize aught but the one Mind, to depend on any but God and His law, means ship-wreck and disaster. There is but one way and that is the way taught in Christian Science, the way by which every disease known to mankind has been healed, the way by which the healing work is being accomplished today in nearly every city, town and hamlet in the civilized world, as it was twenty centuries ago in the hills of Galilee. It is the way by which Christian Science has healed and is healing organic as well as functional diseases, such diseases as tuberculosis, intemperance, cancer, tumor, curvature of the spine, organic heart disease, locomotor ataxia, malformation of children, diabetes, gall-stones, Bright's disease, blindness, deafness, apoplexy, appendicitis and all the ills to which flesh has been considered heir.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
The mental process of complete evangelization involves unwinding oneself from the snarls of mortal ignorance; it involves individual purification of thought. The perception of the truths of Christian Science does not come readily to the mind so filled with animality that there is little abiding place therein for aught else. The mind must be gradually emptied of that which does not lead to spiritual discernment. The less of materiality we believe and the more of spirituality we know, the more of the kingdom of heaven is ours. Therefore, the perception and discovery of Christian Science must have been the result, on the part of its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, of a most thorough purification of thought. To so purify mentality that what Mrs. Eddy has taught us becomes apparent is not small task for most of us. What degree of purification, then, with naught but the guiding hand of Divinity, through the help of the Holy Bible, must have been Mrs. Eddy's! What hours of earnest, prayerful, selfless endeavor must have been given by her that humanity might know of this Truth that makes men free! The entire history of Christian Science from the moment its truths began to dawn faintly upon its Discoverer to the present time, marks it as a revelation come from God; as, indeed, the fulfillment of prophecy. But what of the trials and the triumphs of her to whom the world owes a debt of gratitude which it is now only beginning to pay? What of the moments of tearful expectancy that were hers awaiting the world's approval when first she faintly and almost fearfully lisped her convictions born of years of study, privation and prayer? What of the time of testing that was hers when, without malice or resentment at the world's bitter heartlessness, she patiently waited with outstretched hands, her face toward heaven and a prayer on her lips, asking — begging us, to stop for one little moment — just long enough to hear her simple story, the story of Jesus and his Christ? What of those times, my friends, and those trials? Think you that aught but the power that comes from on High could have enabled one lone woman to stand and face the world's hatred as did Mrs. Eddy? And what must have been her joy when the first weary traveler along life's main haltingly gave ear, then, pondering, finally became her lone disciple! What joy must have been hers at the coming of the second, and the third, and others, and still others to partake of that fountain of living water! And what should be the measure of joy and gratitude of every Christian Scientist today as looking about, he contemplates the multitude of happy, healthy, hopeful folk in all quarters of the globe, willing worshippers of the teachings of this one, noble, New England gentlewoman!
Mrs. Eddy discovered the divine laws of Life in the year 1866 and gave to her discovery the name of Christian Science, — Christian, because it is pre-eminently a repetition of the teachings of the great master Christian; because it is loving, compassionate, Christ-like and universal in its adaptations and bestowals; because, through a correct application of its teachings, the works of Jesus of Nazareth may be emulated, and his command to go into all the world and preach the gospel and heal the sick, complied with; Science, because through the correct application of law, as laid down in its teachings, positive and predetermined results will follow as necessarily and as certainly as daylight follows the night. A religion to accomplish the works of the Master must be scientific. A religion to be scientific must be Christian.
Advancement along the line of spiritual endeavor is purely individual and one's journey heavenward depends entirely on individual effort and accomplishment. And so I ask you this evening, in taking thought on this subject, to consider it solely and alone in connection with your Bible and the light that may be thrown on this Holy Book through the teachings of Christian Science. What advancement in the line of spiritualization of thought may be yours; what victories over sin and disease you may be able to accomplish for yourself and for others will depend on your own efforts. Christian Scientists will be able to point the way a bit clearer at times, but no one can open for you the gates of the kingdom of heaven. This you must do for yourself. And, if you are earnest, my friends, in your efforts to seek the kingdom nothing will hinder you in your progress, for you will have your aim set on the goal of purity and holiness and naught but the eternal perfection of God and His universe will have abiding place in your consciousness.
[Delivered Jan. 18, 1918, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Wilmette, Illinois, in the church edifice, and published in The Lake Shore News of Wilmette, Jan. 24, 1918.]