Christian Science: The Religion of Right Resistance
John C. Lathrop, C.S.B
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Christian Science is spreading steadily throughout the world. A religion, a medicine, and a Science which meet the universal need cannot fail to receive universal acceptance. The world wants to know the truth. It long has waited for that righteousness, purity, and understanding — the Spirit of the Truth — foretold by Jesus, that healing balm which is to heal all the nations. "The time of the end" prophesied by Daniel is here and now. Said that prophet, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, but the wicket shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Dan. 12:10).
End of All Error Now Possible
Throughout the ages mortals have been taught that affliction and suffering are from God, whose will mortals must not resist. Thus fear has been engendered, and sin, disease, and death have held sway. The purpose of this lecture is to show that "the time of the end" of these errors is at hand, that is to say, that it is now within the power of every mortal to end this ignorance, and to gain that understanding which will purify thought and make it white, revealing Christ's religion of right resistance or the true method of healing disease, sin, and death.
Right Government of the Body
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the textbook of Christian Science: "We must learn how mankind govern the body, — whether through faith in hygiene, in drugs, or in will-power. We should learn whether they govern the body through a belief in the necessity of sickness and death, sin and pardon, or govern it from the higher understanding that the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death." (Science and Health p. 251.)
The endeavor of the human mind to govern the body has indeed been pathetic. Beliefs, theories, and rules have been as multitudinous, conflicting, and tempestuous as the waves of the sea. A cure for disease which seems effective today is abandoned tomorrow. Quackery is a thing universal, and no imposition is too great for the credulity of man. So the whole gamut of human faith in matter is run and rerun and strained to the breaking, until finally in its extremity, like the sinking Peter, human faith turns to the spiritual, to Christ, Truth, and cries, "Lord, save us."
Statistics of Material Ways and Means
A few statistics will show the results of faith in material ways of governing the body. It has been computed that the average inhabitant of the United States is on the sick list nine days during each year, making a total of 2,500,000 years of illness, for the entire population each year. The direct cost of this aggregate of illness for doctors and medicine alone is $1 a day a person, amounting to at least $1,000,000,000 a year for the whole population. This is only the direct loss in money from illness, the indirect loss being many times as great.
On the other hand, medical journals have estimated and have deplored the fact that more than 40 per cent of the people of the United States decline to use drugs and poisonous nostrums in the treatment of disease. A venerable doctor said, "The older physicians grow, the more skeptical they become of the virtues of medicine, and the more they are disposed to trust to the powers of nature." The president of the American Therapeutical Society said, "The educated physician of today rarely speaks of curing, but constantly managing a disease." A doctor once said to a friend, pointing to his forehead, "There is no pain below here." Doctors now say that joy, laughter, and happiness aid digestion, and that sorrow, fear, and anxiety have the opposite effect. A prominent surgeon has made this enlightening assertion, "When man realizes that God did not create disease any more than He created whiskey, and that disease and drunkenness are solely due to man's ignorance and weakness, he begins to appreciate the part he has to play in the prevention, relief, and cure of disease."
Right Healing a Question of Right Resistance
The question of healing disease or sin is, as Mrs. Eddy sums it up, the question of the correct government of the body. It is the great question of control or right resistance. Shall the material body control man, or shall man govern and control the body and all its beliefs? This virtually means: Shall man control matter, or shall inert and mindless matter control man? You see a snake in a dream; but when you wake up and see only a table, the snake ceases to alarm you. It is just so with the beliefs about matter and the material body. We should wake to see the real man, and we should awake now.
God and Man Correctly Revealed
Christian Science is becoming universally accepted, and is doing its great healing and redemptive work because of its correct teaching about God and man. Christian Science awakens the thought to understand a God who is ever present, practical and provable, and to a man who is obedient to God's nature and government, a man who is like his creator — in other words, who reflects God. God and man are shown to be not corporeal, limited, and erring, but are proved to be what Christ Jesus showed them to be, spiritual, eternal, loving, vital, active, and to be so here and now. God is Spirit, All-in-all, the one Father-Mother Mind, the one and only creator or parent of man, who is God's spiritual idea, the perfect likeness or child of God. This teaching of Christian Science about God and man, thus briefly stated, may at first seem transcendental, but it proclaims the Principle of all true existence, the foundation and starting point of all reality, and carried out in thought and realization, it reveals the idea or power which wholly disposes of matter and all the evil and sick beliefs of the material body. It is an entirely consistent and common sense summary of Bible teaching regarding God and man, and as it is stated in Science and Health, it explains the divine Principle and rules which work out the entire plan of Christian salvation, enabling righteousness to overcome the world, the flesh, and all evil. Now, your endeavor to understand these spiritual ideas through human effort may seem discouraging, and like the experience of the little boy who tried to carry the water in a basket; though he tried and tried, each time found his basket empty. He was about discouraged, when looking closer into his basket, he exclaimed, "Why, how clean the inside of the basket is!" Though our thoughts seem not to hold much spiritual truth, we find that they gradually become cleansed.
Right Resistance is True Common Sense
General Foch of France said, "A battle won is a battle in which one will not own one's self beaten." Ruskin wrote, "When the heart sinks the boat sinks." Persistence in right will move mountains. Right control, resistance, and persistence will master all things. This pathway of life is the pathway of true common sense and true common sense is the sense common to God and His man. It is the sense that will become more and more common as men grow more and more in spiritual understanding: it is the sense that makes a man the master of himself and of all circumstances.
True Common Sense Versus the False
I ask you: Is it common sense to obey the beliefs of fears, superstition, and ignorance, which result in disease, discord, and death? Is it common sense to believe that the earth is flat or that the sun revolves around it just because the sense of sight so testifies? Would it be common sense to believe that the clock in your room is not ticking plainly because your ears do not always hear it? Or would it be common sense to say you are not wearing clothes because you do not always feel them on you? Is it common sense to walk by sight and not by faith as Paul admonished, or is it common sense to give up solving any big problem just because the material senses do not comprehend it? Then neither is it common sense to accept the material testimony about disease and pain just because the lying material senses say there is life and sensation in matter. Can mindless matter feel pain, or is it thought that feels it? If it is not the thought, then why do doctors stupefy the thought with an opiate to lessen the pain? Common sense will some day be defined as the God-given sense which controls the material senses and thus controls the body, disease, sin, and death. This higher sense is spiritual sense, man's true sense as revealed by Christian Science.
Christian Science shows matter and the sense of matter to be one and the same, and as the opposite of Spirit, which is All-in-all; matter and the material senses are found to be illusory and wholly unreal. Nothing great or good would ever have been discovered or established, the world would never have been benefited by reforms, if spiritual sense had not prevailed over material sense and launched out into deep waters of faith in the unseen power of Spirit, God.
Value of Self-Control and How Gained
What the whole world needs is true self-control. Wars, famine, pestilence, and pain will be prevented by such self-control. The world is comprised of individuals and in order to have a free and perfect world, each individual must contribute his part and learn self-control. With individual self-control, order, peace, and prosperity will naturally follow. The person who can properly control himself has dominion over the flesh and all evil. Christian Science shows self-control to be gained by having a correct sense of one's self as made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit. Lack of self-control is the result of thinking of one's self as made in the likeness of matter. The likeness of matter is as limited, failing, and discordant as matter is, and from this limited sense comes what is commonly known as self-consciousness.
Self-Consciousness: Its Effects and Cure
You all know what self-consciousness is and what it does to you, if you haven't known what causes it. Christian Science discloses the cause of self-consciousness, and how it and its effects are wholly overcome. The effects of self-consciousness are legion. Probably all our fear and worry, weakness and pain, all diseases, all beliefs of lack — lack of supply, lack of strength, of health, lack of happiness of joy, lack of freedom, lack of love, all false pride, sensitiveness, envy, and jealousy, in short, all discord, disease and sin are traceable to self-consciousness, or the wrong consciousness of one's self. Gain the right consciousness of yourself as made in the likeness of Spirit, and this true sense will destroy the false sense and all sick and sinning beliefs. This is natural and normal self-control. It is freedom, ease, and harmony. Thus, Christian Science shows that true self-control gives man the power of resistance and of dominion which is his natural birthright as God's child, the power to resist and to destroy disease and sin of whatever nature.
The Truth About Matter and Germs
We are told that it is not necessary to contract disease if one's power of resistance is good, that if you have a good resistance or vitality, so-called, you need not, for instance, fear germs. We are also told that there are good germs and bad germs, and that the bad germs in the body make contact warfare on the good. If the good germs are able to resist the bad, the result is health, otherwise the result is disease. The truth about germs, as Christian Science shows, is that as matter has no life or intelligence, there can be no bad germs or good germs. It shows these conditions to be merely bad thoughts or good thoughts. Many are now realizing this, and that if the thoughts are watched and kept good, one has nothing to fear from a minute particle of matter called a microbe or germ. Is it reasonable to suppose that man created in God's likeness is helpless before a germ so small that a microscope is unable to discover it? The great mistake is in ignorantly believing that resistance is in matter, — in blood, heart, muscles, nerves, etc., which are inert and mindless. Christian Science shows that resistance to evil is not in matter, and could not be. It shows that resistance to disease is wholly mental; it is right thinking, strong, wholesome, happy, correct thoughts, and such thoughts, coming from the divine Mind, God, from Truth and Love, will destroy all wrong thoughts and their effects called disease, evil, and death. Truly it has been said, "We are not what we think we are, but what we think, we are."
A Right and Wrong Thought Resistance
Having shown that thoughts are things, and that matter is mindless, and unreal, Christian Science takes the next step and shows that there is a right thought resistance and a wrong thought resistance, a right control and a thought control which is decidedly evil and harmful. It shows that resistance, to be corrective and healing, must have behind it the unlimited power of the divine Mind, and not have behind it the limited influence of the so-called material mind or human will. The human will, based on the belief that life, substance, and intelligence are in matter, is selfish, blind, aggressive, and is capable of doing all evil. Such thoughts are the very opposite of the unselfish and pure thoughts of Truth, Life, and Love. Truth, Life and Love, the divine Principle of man's being, reflected by unselfish spiritual thoughts, are what heal the sick. Thus Christian Science teaches the opposite of human will-power. Therefore, control and resistance may be and often are willful and personal, the selfish attempt on the part of one person to dominate and control the thoughts of another person, which is done, Christian Science shows, from motives either ignorant, fraudulent, or malicious. It shows that these evil mental suggestions are the aggressive thoughts of the material sense which believes that intelligence and power are in matter. The premise thereof being a lie, the effect is really negative and powerless, but the deception thereof must be seen, faithfully guarded against, and prevented.
Christian Science Distinguished From All Other Healing Methods
We see now what distinguishes Christian Science from all other forms and methods of healing. Often one hears it said that some one's discourse or reasoning, or some form of faith healing or mental healing, is just like Christian Science; or, what is more subtle, that some one is presenting Christian Science in a more simple and palatable form than the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science has done in the Christian Science textbook. Such claims decidedly do not stand the test of analysis and proof. The theories thus referred to invariably are found to be the opposite of Christian Science, inasmuch as they are based on material reasoning, on the reality of matter, evil, and sin, or what is just as important, they ignore the imperative demands of Christian Science, namely, that the workings of evil and sin must first be unmasked, then denounced and overcome in order to prove their unreality. Christian Science is the exact opposite of so-called mind cure, mental science, New Thought, spiritualism, theosophy, and all other forms of will-power and faith cure, all of which are material human theories.
Material Superficial Methods Do Not Really Heal
Christian Science shows that the sick and sinner cannot be really healed by superficial methods, and therein it proves its great mission and vitality. It proves that faith in material methods merely lulls to sleep or covers over the underlying error. This error is always mental, and while it may be temporarily quieted, it is not destroyed until the false sense of life and pleasure in mater is overcome. Then the liability of repetition or relapse of the error is removed. This is how Christian Science proves itself to be the Holy Comforter or Spirit of truth foretold by Jesus by holding out the hand of complete hope and healing to all sufferers, including those who are said to be beyond the power of material means.
Right Resistance is True Prayer to God
Some people have imagined that Christian Science is a religious faith in which believers claim that they cannot suffer from cold, hunger, and sickness provided they keep cheerful and stoutly deny that there are any such things. Christian Scientists do understand how to keep cheerful, but mere cheerfulness and blind resistance to evil are not the spiritual understanding which prevents suffering and heals disease. It is right resistance to fear, sickness, and death which understands and thoroughly heals the sufferer, therefore right resistance is true prayer to God. True prayer to God, Christian Science shows, will prevent disease and discord as well as overcome them. The spiritual understanding of how rightly to resist ignorance, fear, and sin will prevent such thoughts taking effect in sickness, sin, and death. This spiritual understanding, which all may acquire through the study of Christian Science, is not a blind faith in the intervention of a personal God, but quite the opposite: it is bringing thought into harmony with God, the divine Mind; it is the understanding that all disease and sin are nothing more than the false beliefs of life and intelligence in matter, which right thoughts about God and man will rightly resist and destroy. Such resistance is claiming man's spiritual oneness with God, with all the harmony and happiness this includes, and such claiming is the true believing which successfully resists evil and disease, and which constitutes true prayer to God.
Practical Effects of True Prayer
Christian Scientists are the strongest of believers in prayer to God. They follow the scriptural advice and pray continually and importunately. They pray morning, noon, and night, and learn to pray wisely and effectually. They do not wait for the hour of suffering in which to seek God, but they are daily and hourly claiming and realizing man's oneness with divine Mind, and denying material beliefs, which proceed not from this one and only Mind. This mental claiming and denying is true prayer, the prayer of understanding, as any one can discover; it is the argument of Truth which silences the arguments of error; it is the Christian Science treatment which "asks, seeks, and knocks" until the door of true harmony and health is found wide open, and the thoughts of evil and disease are cast out and destroyed. This is not the prayer of mere faith, nor the selfish prayer of aggressive will-power, but the intelligent seeking "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," when all right things shall be added unto you.
Value of Christian Science as a Preventive
Christian Science, understood and proved, not only cures all diseases, but consistently teaches how to prevent disease, and as a preventive it is worth even more to mortals than as a curative. It has been said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and, "A stitch in time saves nine." Jesus said the same thing in these words, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." (Matt.5:25) An agreement is a settlement, therefore Jesus presumably meant, settle quickly with the adversary; in other words, while the conditions are simple prevent the error getting rooted and grounded, and thus save multiplied trials and suffering. Science and Health teaches that "the procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin" (p. 411). These causes, then, are to be prevented as well as uncovered and destroyed.
Prevention and Abolishment of Fear
Prevention of fear is one of the chief functions of Christian Science, and its complete success in this would alone justify its holy mission. To abolish fear is to remove the exciting cause of most of mortals' troubles. Probably two-thirds of all disaster, pain, disease, and death is caused by fear. A great poet writes: "Fear is a state of indolent weakness and susceptibility, which makes it easy for any foe to take possession of us. In Egypt, Napoleon visited those sick of the plague in order to prove that the man who could vanquish fear, could vanquish the plague also. He felt he risked nothing in giving his army an imposing example." It is definitely established in the medical world that fear and worry weaken bodily resistance to disease, and that fear, worry, and depressing conditions are active causes of poisonous secretions which produce disease.
It has been said of the Christian Science assertion that there really is nothing to fear in the world, that this is mere bravado, not bravery. Fearlessness is, however, something very different from blind bravado. A multitude of good people will gratefully testify that they have lost much if not all of the fear, worry, and anxiety they formerly experienced: that Christian Science has done this, either through help from others, or what is still better, through their own spiritual understanding. This spiritual understanding of the allness of good or divine Love, and the understanding of man's present perfect spiritual being as God's likeness will prevent sickness and silence the suggestions of fear, and many thousands are proving this every day. Fear of disease of all kinds, fear of loss and poverty, fear of accident and suffering, fear of sin and fear of death, all fear, is the effect of a false belief of life, substance, and intelligence in matter. Change these thoughts with the ideas of Truth and Love, as taught in Christian Science, and you prevent and destroy the fear. Every one can master fear, ignorance, and sin, but to do this requires much more than blind faith, will power, or suggestion. It requires an understanding of God, and of man as made in His likeness.
God the One and Only Creator of Man
Christian Science is of supreme value to mankind because of its pure teaching about creation and man. All mortals are weary of suffering, sorrow, and disease, and should be ready to consider the giving up of whatever causes them. This Adam man and Eve woman, of whom we read in the second chapter of Genesis, created one from dust and the other from a rib, this material man with all his limitations and errors, surely all can see is not the man to whom God gave domination over all things. Nobody can believe that. Jesus vehemently denounced the Adam or material creation as "the father of lies" and so it is proved, the lie of life and pleasure in matter. Jesus admonished, "Call no man your father (your creator) upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Heaven is defined as a pure state of consciousness within man. Therefore the one and only Father and Mother of man is the creator of whom we read in the first chapter of Genesis, the one Spirit or divine Mind, who created man in His likeness. The likeness or image of Spirit is spiritual and not material. The real man today, therefore, is what he always has been, spiritual, the likeness or reflection of God, Spirit, and he is not this counterfeit false man, the likeness of matter. This consistent teaching of Christian Science is happily substantiated by the facts of healing and regeneration. Any one can prove it. Strict belief in one creator and one creator and one creation, the spiritual, will create in man thoughts of purity, harmony, strength, dominion, health, peace, and happiness, whereas belief in the reality of a second or material creator and creation produces thoughts of impurity, evil, discord, disease, decadence, and death. The one creation has no similarity or relation to the other: the line is sharply drawn by Christian Science. Only one creation is real, the material creation is false and unreal.
A Material Creation Cannot Be Blended With the Spiritual
Christian Science shows that all must sooner or later face this irresistible truth about creation, namely the inconsistency and the penalty of attempting to blend the material beliefs of creation with the spiritual, to excuse or to justify in any way that which is counterfeit, when God has said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof (the knowledge of good and evil) though shalt surely die." The purity of the teachings of Christian Science constitutes its underlying stability and permanence, constitutes its consistency with the inspired Word of the Bible, with the highest thoughts held by the prophets and apostles, and especially with Jesus' pure teachings and example. Isaiah wrote, "Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, . . . for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. . . . For thy Maker is thine husband." Said Jesus, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." These sayings cannot be misinterpreted when the underlying truth of creation is revealed. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 170), "Spiritual causation is the one question to be considered, for more than all others spiritual causation relates to human progress." She also says (p. 262), "The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin."
The Real Family and Brotherhood of Man
The understanding of true spiritual creation discloses the real universe of man, wherein is the real family and brotherhood of man. Said Jesus, Who is my mother and who are my brethren but they who do the will of my Father which is in heaven? We read in the book of Job, "What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?" The history of Cain fully illustrates the evil of material creation, and is the first instance on record of the rupture of the brotherhood of man. As the first offspring of material Adam and Eve, conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity, this material child of the material belief of life and sensation in matter, soon manifests the results of this belief, and limitation, jealousy, and hatred seek to slay his brother. The fruits of material creation are quickly seen, and it is found that material creation contains not the sense of true brotherhood. These material, selfish, lustful, dishonest, destructive thoughts can only destroy themselves, and thus they go on and out to dwell in the land of Nod, — the land of mist and dreams from whence they came. On the other hand, in God's creation, in the true Motherhood and Fatherhood of God, good, will eventually be found all love and unity, all purity and peace. Christian Science shows that in this spiritual creation will be found all God's perfect ideas — the perfect thoughts of God, constituting the true family of man, the true brotherhood, true society, true friendship, help, and harmony. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 267): "The offspring of God start not from matter or ephemeral dust. They are in and of Spirit, divine Mind, and so forever continue." In this universe of Spirit, existing here and now, each individual or idea of God unfolds eternally the joy and satisfaction of perfect development.
Right Knowledge is Right Gratitude
Paul wrote in his wonderful thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." It should be cause for universal satisfaction that Paul's happy day of true knowledge has come, which is "the time of the end" foretold by Daniel, that we need no longer see through a glass darkly, but may see face to face — may know God and man even as we are known. It should be reason for unending gratitude to that one in this age whose spiritual gifts and consecrated devotion have made possible this spiritual understanding. They would be ingrates and cowards, still seeing through dark glasses, thinking indeed as children, speaking as children, did not the growing multitudes who are the beneficiaries of the healing and regeneration of Christian Science proclaim the deep debt of love and gratitude they owe the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, which reveals the Christ, Truth, to this age.
Mary Baker Eddy
Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's: and unto God the things which are God's." That is all Mary Baker Eddy has desired. As a member of her household for eighteen months, I know this. I know that she rendered unto God the things which are God's, rendered unto Spirit only the things which are God's. She was a consistent child of God, a consistent Christian Scientist. She did not seek to blend good with evil, nor did she dress up evil and attempt to make it appear to be good, nor was she fooled by the deceitful material senses' deifying their own creation, and calling matter the creation of Spirit, God. It was her discernment of true creation that qualified her to be first to discover the Christ, Truth, in this age. She rendered unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. She knew that light has no communion with darkness, nor Christ with Belial, in other words, that Spirit and Truth could not be amalgamated with matter and evil. Mary Baker Eddy was a Christian and a Scientist who consistently followed the teachings of Christ Jesus. She once wrote, "Follow your Leader, only so far as she follows Christ." (Message for 1902.) In her book Science and Health, she quotes from his teachings 255 times, and by daily living she has striven to fulfill all his commands, not alone the single commandment to preach the gospel, but the imperative ones to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils," since he said, "freely ye have received, freely give."
My friends, posterity will judge Mary Baker Eddy by her works, — the millions of healed and benefited lives resulting from her discovery and labors. Mrs. Eddy was unselfish and consecrated beyond what the world knew. The members of her household will all attest the fact. Night and day the year around for fifty years she was at her post watching and working for you and for me. All will admit that it must have required rare virtues to carry on this Cause through years of darkness, and finally with God's help to bring it into the light. Said the apostle, "Love seeketh not her own, . . . beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Naught but divine Love, obedience to divine Principle, could have sustained Mrs. Eddy in her mighty task, and history will record that she triumphed, for through her inspired Leadership there has been built up a great religious, scientific, and healing movement which already encircles and leads onward the world.
Jesus' Commands Cannot be Escaped
Christian Science has come to show that Jesus' promises must be fulfilled; that his rules and commands cannot be escaped. Excuse, evasion, procrastination, pride, ingratitude, fear, or ignorance will never get a man into heavenly harmony, for "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Said Jesus, "Not every one who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Jesus persistently strove to define what is meant by the kingdom of heaven. He used twelve different parables to show that heaven does not come from without, but is a mental state within man. Paul defined heaven as "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," which are wholly mental states. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions" — many states and stages of consciousness — "I go to prepare a place for you." He said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Our Father which is in heaven, Christian Science teaches, is the divine Mind, and no man cometh unto the divine Mind but by the Christ, Truth, that is, through the understanding of the Christ as the spiritual idea of God.
Distinction Between Jesus and the Christ
The relation of the human Jesus to the spiritual idea, the Christ, is an essential tenet in the teaching of Christian Science: it is vital to the understanding and demonstration of its divine Principle. For centuries the world has been working up to this point. For centuries the deifying of matter and the personalizing of Spirit have limited, confused, and negatived Christian prayers, so that the healing Christ, as the idea of divine Principle, as the Son of God, as the idea of omnipotence and omnipresence, has practically been lost sight of in the healing and saving of mortals, hence the delay and disappointment in Christian efforts. No wonder God is humanized and mortals deified, and healing and saving results are reversed when the way to God, the light of the world, is practically obscured and unused. Jesus said, "Without me ye can do nothing." Jesus demonstrated the Christ, and Christian Science shows how he did this, not with blind faith, but through his understanding of divine Principle, of the oneness and allness of divine Mind, Spirit. This Christ, Truth, or true idea of God, this spiritual sense, casts out all thoughts of evil, fear, and sickness, and frees mortals from the physical ills called disease and death.
All Must Follow Jesus' Example
The works that I do, Jesus said, shall he that believeth on me (understandeth me) do also; "and greater works than these shall he do." It is the privilege and it is the duty of every man, woman and child, to obey these imperative commands, to work out his own salvation, to follow in Jesus' steps. All must sooner or later take these footsteps, for there is no other way under heaven by which man may be saved. Long as the world sought to know what these true steps were and to walk in them, but with little success and progress. These steps are veritable steps, and they are not found through ease or complacency, pride or pomp, for they are not physical nor personal steps. They are the demonstration of the divine Principle and rules of true spiritual thinking and living. Christian Science has come in the ripeness of time to blaze anew the footsteps of the Christ, Truth, the pathway which Jesus trod, the way to health, to holiness, and life eternal. It proclaims that the sick man need not be sick, neither need the poor man be poor. It proclaims the individuality, independence, and freedom of man as God's likeness. This true individuality necessarily gives to the female thought the same equality and rights as to the male.
Christian Science Corrects by Degrees
Christian Science proves that there is no justice or truth in the belief in a vengeful Deity, in a personal, all-powerful devil, in an inevitable hell, or in disease or death. These are only the fears of a false material sense, which the spiritual sense of God as divine Principle, Love, and of man as His likeness, will change. Christian Science inspires interest not in the fear of punishment, but in the blessings of good. It affirms the inspiration of the Bible, and shows we need not live our lives in blind faith, and that there is a higher step beyond mere faith, the step of spiritual understanding, which all must sooner or later take. Christian Scientists still eat, sleep and wear clothes, habits which will continue naturally so long as a mortal body is manifested, but which will continue under improved beliefs. The baser beliefs of the body will be overcome first. Christian Science, like mathematics, is to be demonstrated by degrees. The simpler problems of life are to be solved first.
Christian Science as the Holy Comforter Has Always Existed
My friends, Christian Science is nothing new. It existed in the divine Mind when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Christian Science is not a new creation; it is not a theory, it is a discovery and a demonstration of an eternal divine idea. All must appreciate that in God's infinite nature and wisdom, He naturally must provide his own interpreter. Jesus called this interpreter the Holy Ghost or Holy Comforter, a light which the darkened thought could not comprehend, but which came to Jesus in full radiance and which he said would be revealed to that thought which was born "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In the ripeness of time, in accord with Jesus' prophecy, the light of the Holy Comforter has again come, is again discovered, and a multitude of good people with joy and gratitude acclaim Christian Science to be this divine Comforter in this age.
Available to All
The purpose of Christian Science is right. None can deny this, and while at first it may seem abstract, this is always the nature of Spirit. To the humble and honest heart it teems with joyous hope and promise, the promise that every man, woman and child can learn to help himself. While he can and should possibly at times get help from others, each must learn sometime to bear his own burden, work out his own salvation. Each can now be his own physician and take real nature's medicine, the healing balm of Truth and Love. I myself can testify to have virtually been reared and educated in this faith. For thirty-seven years I have daily proved practical its divine Principle and rules, first for ten years in the business world, next for twenty-two years as a regular practitioner in healing the sick, and since as a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship. It has been to me the way to freedom, to joy, to health, to heaven, and from the very depths of an honest conviction I would advise every person here present to strive in his own individual way, as I have done, to possess this "pearl of great price," this leaven which Jesus said, "a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal (three kinds of material theories) till the whole was leavened."
Happiness is divine, it is deeper than shallow material pleasure. Drummond rightly says, "Half the world is on the wrong scent in the pursuit of happiness. They think it consists of having and getting, and being served by others. It consists in giving, and in serving others. There is no greatness in things. The only greatness is unselfish love" — which inspired utterance beautifully points the pathway of Christian Science. A motto of Christian Science may be said to be: Give, give, give; give wisely and well, but give; for the everlasting secret of receiving health and wealth is the Bible injunction first to "bring all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith," that is, first humbly to empty out whatever closes or clogs the streams of divine Love; then will be opened "the windows of heaven", then will the activities of divine Principle be seen and proved, and then divine Love will pour you out a blessing of health, of joy, of wealth, and of happiness, that "there will not be room enough to receive it."
[Delivered in The Glove Theater, date unknown, and published in the The Morning Herald of Gloversville, New York, Dec. 4, 1922. The title of the lecture was supplied from another copy.]