Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (1)
Frank H. Leonard, C.S.B.
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Frank H. Leonard delivered a lecture on "Christian Science" to an audience of more than 800 in the Auditorium of the James John High School, St. Johns, Oregon, Friday evening, April 25th. The speaker was introduced by the First Reader, Mrs. Percie Helen Stalker, who said, in part:
In behalf of the Christian Science Society of St. Johns, I welcome you here this evening to hear a reason for the hope that is within the heart of every Christian Scientist. Christian Science is occupying the attention of many thinking people today, because the Scriptures are being fulfilled and thousands are testifying that they have been healed of sickness and cleansed of sin, through the interpretation by Christian Science of the truth as taught and demonstrated by Jesus. Although we may differ on points of doctrine, still there are certain fundamental desires in which we are all mutually interested. We all want health, happiness and success. Since material means and methods have been inadequate to meet this great human need, mankind are fast waking to see that their greatest need is to know more about God and man's relationship to Him. This larger understanding of God which Christian Science brings is liberating mankind from sickness, sin, sorrow and limitation. The object of these lectures is that "these good tidings of great joy" may encircle the earth and enrich the lives of all mankind, and that those who may have any misconception of Christian Science may be enlightened. We have with us this evening one who is authorized and well qualified to speak to us on this subject: A member of the Board of Lectureship of The First Church of Christ Scientist of Boston, Massachusetts Mr. Frank H. Leonard.
Mr. Leonard's address was as follows:
A Celt being asked to define a critic, responded, "A critic is one who is most down on what he is least up on." No one has ever believed he has criticized Christian Science from the basis of knowing what Christian Science is. Ignorance of the great subject can no longer be excused on the basis or inability to gain correct information as to what it is, whence it comes, and what it accomplishes. Christian Science lectures are given so that those who may desire may become familiar with it from the stand point of those who have studied Christian Science, have applied and proved it.
The Bible teaching, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," is familiar to all. The question arises, What are we to know the truth about, and from what will this knowing free us? We are to know the truth about God, and this knowing will free us from all misapprehension and false educational theory relative to Him, which has held humanity in bondage and misery, wretchedness and woe, for uncountable generations.
One may safely say that way down deep in the heart of every sincere Christian is the constant desire to know God better, so as to be able to serve Him in conformity with the teachings of the Master. Mrs. Eddy, from her early girlhood, had this desire to know God better, and the time came when this knowledge was necessary, for according to the medical profession, she was fatally injured as the result of an accident. When she was informed that there was no possible hope for her recovery, Mrs. Eddy turned instantly to her Bible and asked that she might be left alone with it. She was familiar with the Bible statement, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." She realized that the so-called fatal injury was neither a good nor a perfect gift, and therefore it could not have come from "the Father of lights." So, seeking Truth with the determination to find it, it was revealed to her, the result being her perfect healing from the effects of the accident, and a better physical condition than she had ever manifested during her earthly career.
After Mrs. Eddy's healing, her heart's whole desire was to be able so to set forth the Truth that had literally made her free, that all mankind might know and be privileged to accept it, and receive the benefit that had come to her in knowing it. She had no guide other than the Bible, and for three years separated herself from friends, relatives and the ordinary comforts of every day living in order that she might be able to do this. It required self-sacrifice and constant, consecrated study and realization as to the right method of thought procedure. So that at the beginning of her work she found herself face to face with this question, — "May Truth be inductively discerned, or must it be deductively revealed?" And as she worked and prayed over this question, she discarded the inductive line of reasoning and adhered absolutely to the deductive.
The inductive line of reasoning is that which discerns an object and calls it an effect: then analyzing backwards from the effect, discerns something which it terms its cause. When one interested in knowing the cause, inquires, "Is that really the cause of that effect?" the inductive reasoner is forced to say, "No, not the real cause; it is the secondary or perceptive cause, the cause you may see." If one is earnestly desirous of knowing the real cause, he would respond, "I am not interested in any intermediate investigation; tell me the real cause of that effect." Whereupon the inductive reasoner, from his basis of reasoning, would be compelled to say, "You are asking for something it is impossible that you should know, for real cause is unknowable." As human inductive reasoning teaches us we may not know real cause, it is, in Bible language, "a liar, and the father of it," there is no truth in it, it is of its father the devil, and has been a murderer from the beginning of any possible hope of the attainment unto that knowledge of God which would make man free.
One might query, "Was not Mrs. Eddy healed?" "Yes." "Was not that an effect?" "Yes." "Did she not reason inductively from that effect to find the cause, God?" "No. she did not. Mrs. Eddy turned to God first, with the absolute faith that if she did so aright, it would bring her the freedom the Bible promised." She found God, and the result was her healing. What she did not comprehend was how it had been accomplished, and her three years of study, which preceded her first writings on the subject of Christian Science, revealed to her the way in which all must walk in order that they may find salvation from everything unlike God.
The inductive line of reasoning is that which bases human philosophy, and human philosophy has not an utterance which it can finish with a period. It is one tremendous question mark with no answer; and the profoundest students and greatest thinkers along its inductive line finally reach the point where they frankly confess that they do not know enough to know what they do not know, the result being that tens of thousands of those who are termed the intellectual masters of the world because of their study, have come to where they doubt the existence or being of God. The Bible commands us to abstain from anything which makes our brother stumble or offends him or makes him weak, and as this line of reasoning has led uncounted thousands to doubt the being or existence of God, it should be clear to every Christian thinker that it is impossible from that basis ever to gain a right comprehension of God — Him, whom to know aright, is life eternal.
Mrs. Eddy started her investigation with the realization that God is, and that as cause and effect agree, all things that really are must be like God in quality and character. So she strove to find the Christ, the man and the universe that co-exist with God and are eternally like him: In other words, she stopped trying to find a God that is like man, and strove to find a man that is like God. As she did this, she came face to face with the false theory, belief and idea of inductive reasoning, and the question had to be decided as to where she would take her stand. Should she accent the theory, or establish the fact? Either one or the other was wrong. The Bible teaches: "No man can serve two masters." . . . "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." . . . . "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation." So she realized there was no middle-of-the-road position that could be taken where one seeking after God could cling to the spiritual and the unspiritual, the real and the unreal, the infinite and the finite, and believe them all creations of God. So, in spite of the testimony of the physical senses, regardless of the wrong education of the ages, she took her stand against the things temporal though seen, and with the substance of things hoped for but not seen; and the result of this standing revealed to her the glory of God and the great truth relative to Him, which is the foundation of all the redemptive and healing work that is accomplished in the ministry of Christian Science — namely, that God is infinite Mind.
One not comprehending this statement in its reality, might be led to say, "If I accepted the teaching that God is infinite Mind, I should be compelled to give up my personal God and I cannot do that, because if I did, I should have no God left to pray to, because I cannot pray to Mind." God said, "Come now, and let us reason together;" and, in obedience to Him, let us reason together briefly on this question of God being infinite Mind, doing it with the predetermination that we will cling only to that which comes to us as good as the result of this reasoning together, even though it may call upon us to give up some things which before have seemed very near and dear and perhaps sacred to us. One might instantly inquire, "Will I have to give up sacred things in order to become a Christian Scientist?" The answer is, "No. One would have to give up nothing but human opinion and that is nothing sacred."
To illustrate what is meant by this statement, — let me ask if you have ever considered what a narrow, arrogant, bigoted, unbending, unchanging and unyielding thing Truth is? It never bulges out a little at one place or yields a little at another to suit one's idea relative to it. The world may have a thousand million ideas about Truth and all of them be wrong; and the time comes when every human opinion about Truth will have to be abandoned: for not until we know Truth as Truth knows itself in all its infinite perfection, shall we reach the point where we will find the absolute freedom which is the reward of those who seek God in spirit and in truth. Most of us who are Christian Scientists today were formerly members of the denominational churches, and none have been called upon to give up one good thing which was learned in the old church home. In becoming Christian Scientists, we have, however, found the human misapprehension and wrong theory relative to God destroyed, and that it is the enlarged sense of God thus acquired which brings to one the happiness and joy which should go and do go hand-in-hand with real knowledge of and obedience to the teachings of Jesus the Christ.
In reasoning on this subject of God being infinite Mind as against the belief in a personal God, let me ask this question: Did you ever converse with the body of a friend? Did you ever call on a friend, and finding him sound asleep, draw your chair beside the couch on which he reclined and engage in an animated half hour's conversation with his body, and then leave him, feeling edified by reason of what you had said and he had not? Did you ever pray to the body of God? Don't you know, when you think of it, that every prayer or petition in our highest consciousness that has been addressed Godward has been addressed unto that Mind which was also in Christ Jesus? We know that is where it has been addressed, when we think of it; for we know it is Mind that knows. It is Mind that thinks. It is Mind that guides, guards, governs, controls and protects.
Christian Science, in teaching that God is infinite Mind, is not asking that we worship a new God. It is simply an imploring appeal that we lay off our mortal misapprehension and humanized wrong belief relative to Him in order that we may know the God who is unlimited, unconfined and everlasting Life, Truth and Love: for not until we know God in this infinite way can we possibly conceive of His infinite capacity, ability and desire to bless: and not until we do conceive of this, does it seem the rational or normal thing to do to go to Him in our every hour of trial, whether that trial may seem to be mental, moral, physical or financial.
The Mind that Christian Science teaches God to be is not the personal mind with which the world is familiar, for frankly speaking, the belief in personal mind, or that there are as many minds on earth as there are persons, literally constitutes hell on earth. We realize that this statement is true the instant we begin thinking about "minds many." Could there ever have been a quarrel had it not been for the belief in two minds? Could there ever have been any jealousy? As we cast our mind's eye back over history, both sacred and profane, it will dawn upon us that nearly all of the murder, lust, rapine, war, horror and disaster with which the sons of men have been afflicted during existence is directly traceable to the effort or endeavor of some person or set of persons to enforce their human will or opinion upon the rest of the brethren, even though its enforcement might call for the slaughter of half of them. It was human opinion and not Christ's religion that in bygone days applied the instruments of torture to and burned at the stake those who strove to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience when it led them away from the generally accepted theory as to what that religion should be. So, of course this mind, so-called, is not the one Christian Science refers to when it teaches that God is infinite Mind. Mrs. Eddy designates personal mind very clearly and directly when she characterizes it as "mortal mind," and then instantly tells us that even that is a misnomer or no name. Owing to the limitations of language at the present time it seems to be necessity to call nothing something in order to say that it is nothing; and Mrs. Eddy gave the very best possible designation of personal mind when she called it "mortal mind." The Bible is equally explicit in its designation of personal mind which it calls "carnal mind," teaching us, not that if we are carnally minded we are at enmity with God, but that carnal mind itself is enmity with God. The Bible doesn't teach us where we are going or what will happen to us if we are carnally minded. It tells us, "to be carnally minded is death," thus indicating that if we are carnally minded we are dead. Of course that doesn't refer to what we think of as physical death: and we realize the truth of this statement when we remember that Paul said, "I die daily." I am sure there is no one who has ever read this statement thoughtfully who believes that Paul meant that he died physically every day.
This statement of Paul's is one of the profound spiritual teachings of the Bible, and as it has not coincided with general belief, it has been passed over as being one of those things that God in His infinite wisdom has decreed that it is not wise for us to know at this time. The Bible is our guide to eternal life. There is nothing within its covers that we do not need to help us find eternal life. Realizing the truth of this, is it possible to conceive that God, Christ or the disciples ever left anything for our use and benefit that we could not use or be benefited by? When we come to study the context of our Bible in the light and with the illumination which Christian Science throws upon it, we find therein not an unknowable thing, not a mystery, not even an apparent contradiction; for we no longer are held in bondage to the letter, which the Bible tells us kills, but have the full liberation in the spirit of the Word which maketh alive, meaning to every one, as he grasps it individually, eternal life.
Saul was one of the best known exponents of the scholastic theology of the Judaic faith and was heart-whole in his desire to serve God and believed that he best did so as he persecuted the followers of Jesus the Christ. Because his desire was single to serve God, the light came to him as he was on the road to Damascus, in which was revealed that his own teaching had been the letter and that the teaching of the Master was the Spirit. As the scales fell from his eyes and his understanding was enlightened, he went out to undo in the ministry of the Spirit what he had done in the following of the letter, changing his name to Paul. We realize why he changed his name to Paul as soon as we become familiar with the fact that the meaning of Paulus, of which Paul is a shortening, is "little," for we see he desired all to know that in his scholastic theological teaching, it had been much of human opinion and little religion, and even as they heard his new name, it should bring to them a realization that the new teaching was much of God and only so much of himself as was necessary to be the mouthpiece through which God could speak. Paul found himself in this new ministry, coming face to face with the old teaching that had seemed so sacred and precious to him in every phase of thinking. The command was, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve," and taking his stand on God's side, he literally died daily in the Lord to the belief in a law, power, force, influence apart from Him and the reality of those things which before had seemed the very essence of religious teaching.
Paul's experience is not peculiar to himself, but is simply an indication of what all of us have to undergo as we turn our backs upon the mutable and mortal, and set our faces in the direction of the immutable and immortal. The Bible teaching, "to be carnally minded is death," means that never from the carnal mind viewpoint will we gain the true knowledge of God or that peace which passeth understanding.
In the same verse in the Bible where it teaches "to be carnally minded is death," it also teaches "to be spiritually minded is life and peace." The spiritual Mind which is life and peace is the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, and this is the Mind Christian Science refers to when it teaches that God is infinite Mind.
It is natural that the inquiry should be made as to what there is in the Bible that may be used as a foundation for the teaching that God is infinite Mind. In the first place, the teaching relative to the nature of God indicates that He cannot be less than infinite Mind. The Bible teaches God is omnipotent. What does that mean? It means that He is every particle of real power that there is in all eternity. Our trouble has been largely associated with our misapprehension relative to eternity, for the world at large has believed eternity would begin for it when it had passed through the "valley of the shadow." Christian Science dispels this belief and teaches us that it won't do anything of the sort, because eternity was, is, and always will be; for it is just as much eternity now as it was when the "morning stars sang together," and as it will be eternity when the experience of St. John the divine in which he saw both death and hell cast into the lake of fire and all evil annihilated and destroyed, and the establishment of God's eternal effulgence and radiance on earth as it is in heaven becomes the experience individually of all of us, as we work our way out from sense into Soul and from darkness into light; therefore according to the Bible, God is every particle of real power there is now.
The Bible also teaches that God is omnipresent. That doesn't mean that there is any place, either great or small, where God is not; but means, — if one may be permitted to use such phraseology in the expression of his thought, — that there isn't a pin prick of space in all the unlimited, unconfined and unbound eternity where God is not.
Then, too, the Bible teaches that God is omniscient, and this is an absolute teaching that He is infinite Mind. In becoming Christian Scientists we have not found it necessary to give up either common sense or logic. Rather have we found them enlarged to an unspeakable degree, because based upon the Mind that knows no limitation. So let us use common sense and logic relative to this statement, "God is omniscient," and see where it leads us. To say that God is omniscient is to say that He is all of the demonstrable, provable, applicable — or, in other words, all the real knowledge there is in eternity.
Now, what is knowledge? It is the manifestation of applied intelligence. What is intelligence? The manifestation of concentrated thinking. What is thinking? The activity of thought. What is thought? The activity of Mind. So the statement, "God is omniscient" is correlative with the statement, "God is infinite Mind." All will agree it is impossible to put a quart of water in a pint bottle all at the same time; and agreeing with this, perforce will necessitate the agreement with the statement that we cannot put all of the knowledge there is in all eternity in less than all of the Mind there is in all eternity. And when we think of God as all the real power, all the presence and all the knowledge there is in eternity, it is impossible that we conceive of Him as less than infinite Mind.
To further enlarge on this subject of God as infinite Mind — let us consider the first verse of the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, wherein we read, "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:" then, let us consider the statement in the first chapter of Genesis wherein we read, "In the beginning . . . . . . God said." And according to St. John, the Word is God; so, according to him, that statement is, In the beginning, the Word said. Using simple logic with this statement, what does it reveal to us? That the word is the audible expression of the thought which accompanies and precedes it and that thought is the activity of Mind; and therefore, the statement, ''In the beginning . . . . God said," In the beginning the Word said, is correlative with the statement, Mind said, Let us make the earth and the fulness thereof, and it was so. Let us make man, both male and female, in our image and likeness, and it was so.
When we have reached this stage of thinking right about God, we will know that all the demands the Bible makes upon men are mental. It demands faith — that is a mental process. It demands trust — that is a mental process. It demands obedience — that is a mental process. It demands that we shall acquire knowledge — and that is a mental process. It teaches us that the "wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." thus indicating to us it is not man's wisdom to which reference is made when it teaches that wisdom is precious above the price of rubies and demands that we shall acquire it. Then, it demands prayer — and prayer is a mental process. "Why," some one might exclaim, "I have been told that the Christian Scientists do not believe in prayer." Such misapprehension could be based on nothing other than that the Christian Scientists, aside from the Lord's Prayer with the spiritual interpretation which Mrs. Eddy has given us of that prayer, are not given to praying audibly. Why? Because the Bible teaches, "when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." The Bible also commands, "Pray without ceasing," and constant prayer is nothing other than the so thinking right about God that His glory shall be manifested in all things and all ways. The Christian Science prayer is not one of endeavor to tell God what he ought to do, but it is the prayer of thanksgiving unto Him because He has done all things and we are awakening to the realization of His ever-presence. The Bible also demands of us that we shall "grow in grace," and growth in grace is growth unto an enlarged and sweeter, holier and purer knowledge of God which shall develop into the understanding of Him and His allness.
The contemplation of these mental demands which the Bible makes upon man brings us to the realization that none may do wrong who think right, and makes us discern that this whole question of salvation resolves itself into right thinking about God, which brings the right realization of His creation and the comprehension of man in His image and likeness. The Christian Scientists have been misunderstood in their statements they make relative to man's never sinning and never doing wrong; and that their meaning may be made clear, let us consider real man. One may inquire: "What do you mean by real man?" The answer is, — "The man that God made in His image and likeness." Then the inquiry may come, — "Does not Christian Science teach that God is infinite Mind?" The answer is "Yes." "Well, then, what is the image and likeness of Mind?" The Christian Scientist will respond to that by frankly saying he does not know; because, as the Bible teaches, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him:" but it does give the all-compensating assurance that we shall be satisfied, when we awake, with His likeness.
The next question on the subject of man might be, "Don't you think the human man is the man that God made?" The answer is, "No." Then the query, "Why?" "Because the Bible teaches that God is 'of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.' He will not permit His 'Holy One to see corruption.'" The Bible further teaches that mortal man is born in iniquity and conceived in sin, and Isaiah commands, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils." No one believes that the image and likeness of God was ever born in iniquity or ever conceived in sin.
Have you ever given thought to what "image and likeness" means? It means exact reflection. If you are a man and have stood in front of a mirror, a woman never looked back at you out of it. Neither if you raised your right arm did it raise its left. It was exactly like yours in form, feature and activity. Did you ever see the distorting mirrors or reflectors that are at some places of amusement? If you stop in front of one, you look as though you were nine foot wide and an inch high. You are not, but that is what you look like. If you step in front of another, you look as though you were nine feet high and an inch wide. You are not, but that is what you look like in that imperfect reflector. Would one ever gain a true idea of what was being reflected so long as he continually kept his gaze fixed upon a distorting reflector? No, not until he turned his back upon the imperfect reflector could he gain any idea as to what was being reflected therein.
We have had but one perfect reflector or man on the face of the earth, and that was Jesus of Nazareth. It requires not only the perfection that is to be reflected, but it requires the perfection of the reflector also in order that we may have a true sense of that which is being reflected; and Jesus of Nazareth, in his earthly mission, healing the sick, cleansing the leper, casting out evil and raising the dead, disclosed the spiritual Christ, indissolubly associated with His Father in Heaven, the man who is perfect even as is his Father in heaven, the man Christian Science is teaching the whole world to strive to find, that doubt and fear and unbelief may be destroyed from off the face of the earth so we may have the realization of the kingdom of God and His righteousness which the Bible teaches are "within," — not meaning within the human frame, but within the right comprehension of God, His Christ, His man and His universe.
We now have arrived at a point where, because of right thinking about God, we are able to separate the real from the unreal, and to realize that it is from the unreal that man must be saved. Perhaps no teaching in Christian Science has seemed so incomprehensible as that wherein we learn that while Life, Truth and Love are real, sin, disease, pain and death are unreal. In presenting for your consideration what Christian Science means in teaching that these things are unreal, I will take the statement relative to disease and pain for illustration. Speaking now after the manner of men, — if one is suffering intensely from pain when he hears the statement, "Pain is unreal," he is liable to turn to the one making it and say, — "If you had such a pain as I have, you would not talk about its being unreal but you would know, as I do, that it is the real thing." The Bible teaches, — "As he thinketh in his heart, so he is;" and so long as a man in his heart thinks that pain is real, to him it will continue so to appear, and under such circumstances I know of nothing that can be done other than to let him go on and have the pain as long as he wants it. It is exclusively his own business, and no Christian Scientist will interfere to destroy it until asked to do so.
I can appreciate the position of one making such a statement, for I have stood where he stands. According to the medical profession, I was born with an incurable organic disease, and not until my early manhood did I know what it was to have a day that was ever free from misery, wretchedness, suffering and pain, and I was thoroughly convinced that my pain was the real thing. I had so much of it that I knew where it was going what would happen to me if it arrived. Then came the time when we could not stay together any longer — either the pain had to go or I did. Our family physician, recognizing this condition of affairs, told my parents that all things that could be done had been done and for me dissolution was imminent. We are all familiar with the ancient maxim, — "Man's extremity is God's opportunity," and in my case as well as that of countless others, it proved to be, for Christian Science was presented to me at that, my hour of direst extremity and greatest need, and I turned to God for my help, even as it teaches us to do — and it is needless to say I did not turn in vain, for after a period of treatment comprising three months, our family physician, upon his own initiative, re-examined me and, as the result of the examination, said that I was as perfect a physical specimen as he had ever examined during his professional career. The examination was had and statement made in the month of March, 1885; and from that day to this, Christian Science, as revealed to the world through Mrs. Eddy, has met every diseased condition that has presented itself to me, has destroyed it and left me free.
We are all more or less familiar with the history of Thomas who doubted the Master's resurrection, and have generally accepted the belief that he left this plane of existence many centuries ago. Perhaps the Thomas part did, but the doubting part did not, for so long as the belief in carnal mind exists, so long will doubt, fear and unbelief present themselves to us, for they are all handmaids one to the other, and one cannot possibly endure without the others. It is this phase of doubt which might lead one, on listening to a testimonial of healing through the agency of Christian Science, such as I have related, to say, — "Well, I do not know; I did not see you. You might have been sick and you might not have been sick. How do I know?" So far as I personally am concerned, you know only what I tell you; but the efficacy of Christian Science in its healing ministry is not dependent upon the testimony of one nor one million persons; for, because it has fulfilled the promises of the Bible, Christian Science today encircles the globe, and there is scarcely a village, hamlet or countryside in the civilized world where, upon inquiry, one would fail to find those who are living testimonials to the fact that Christian Science does heal the sick.
If one desires honestly to know what Christian Science accomplishes, he may ascertain from his friends, relatives and neighbors. Would it be too much if I were to suggest to one who desires to know, that it would be the part of wisdom to ask a Christian Scientist? "Well," one might object, "Christian Scientists are prejudiced." Shall we term it prejudice when we find one who has been lifted out from the depths insisting that he knows he is well and what made him so? A parallel case in our Bible would be that one who had been blind from his birth, and after sight had been given to him by the Master, was questioned and troubled by the scribes and Pharisees in an endeavor to confuse him as to what had happened and how he had been healed. He brushed all of their philosophy, all of their doubt and unbelief, out from his own consciousness, by saying to them in the simplest and most direct way, — "whereas I was blind, now I see." It is not prejudice that makes the Christian Scientists stand like a rock against the suggestion that the religion of Jesus the Christ does not heal. It is the knowledge that the Comforter of promise is in our midst, Scripture is fulfilled, and the Word that heals is doing its work individually and collectively for all those who, in meekness and humility, are willing to lay self aside and let the Spirit of the Christ enter their thought.
The Bible teaches us the Master said, "He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do; because l go unto my Father." And in his words, I ask you, "Believest thou this?" Do you believe that he healed men, and that the doing of the works that he did is accomplishable by any who believe on him? He healed the sick, cleansed the leper, cast out evil, raised the dead and walked on the water. Do you believe that he who believes on Jesus the Christ shall do these selfsame works in exactly the manner in which they were done by the Master? It may be said the healing of the sick and the other things aside from the healing from sin are an impossible accomplishment at this day. One may reasonably ask, "Why?" The response generally speaking, is that the Master had a special dispensation enabling him to do these wonderful works and that the dispensation has passed from the earth. I am unable to find anything in the Bible that justifies such a conclusion or authorizes such a statement. The Bible teaches us that we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. Again in His words, "Believest thou this?" It teaches further, that the Master said, "Though heaven and earth shall pass away, my words shall not pass away," and, "Lo, I am with you alway." Do you believe this? Do you believe that the words of our Master and the Christ are with us all of the way, even as he said? If your answer is "Yes," then we are in no different position relative to our Saviour today than were those who walked the earth nineteen hundred years ago; and if our faith, not blind but intelligent, is akin to that of a little child, we shall turn unto Him believing, in our every moment of distress, hearing anew the command, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. . . . Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee;" and we shall feel drop from us the burden of our unbelief.
Then one may say, — "But I do not see that the Christian Scientists walk on the water any more than the non-Christian Scientists do," and from the human standpoint this is so; but what does it indicate? That the Master made a misstatement? Or, what the Christian Scientists so readily admit, namely, that they have not yet sufficiently grasped in its infinite allness the Mind that was in Christ to bring out the ultimate works which he said should go hand-in-hand with absolute obedience? It is well for us to remember, however, in this connection, that Jesus the Christ was not the only one who walked on the water. Peter did so. You will recall how, as all the disciples were gathered together in a ship, they saw the Master come walking toward them upon the water, and Peter, with his always-present desire to do everything the Master did, cried unto him, — "Bid me come unto thee," and the Master said unto him, "Come." Then Peter clambered down over the side of the ship, and as his feet came in contact with the water, he found it to be a firm foundation on which he could stand; so, loosing his hold upon the ship and turning his back upon it and with his thought and gaze fixed wholly upon the Christ, he walked the water even as did the Master.
Then the time came when he forgot the Master and thought of Peter, and at that selfsame instant down he went. But this apparent failure on Peter's part to make a perfect demonstration of walking upon the water furnishes one of the greatest object-lessons for the benefit of humanity in the whole Bible. Peter was a fisherman. He lived on, around and in the water and he knew that a short distance behind him was the ship that he had so recently left and yet, as he found himself sinking, not for one instant did he turn his back upon the Master in an endeavor to find a material means to help him out of his difficulty, but with outstretched arms, recognizing that the Christ is the only Redeemer, he cried unto him, "Save me!" and the Master reached out and grasped him and saved him, thus indicating to us that even though we seem to sink to the point of being overwhelmed, if we will keep our thought fixed steadfastly upon that same "elder brother," we shall grasp the outstretched hand and find our salvation accomplished.
To summarize the teaching of Christian Science relative to reality and unreality, — it means simply this: Life, Truth and Love are real because they are the same yesterday, today and forever, and are eternal. Sin disease, pain and death are unreal, because they are mutable and changeable and are to be destroyed and annihilated. Or, to put it even more simply, — Life, Truth and Love are real because they are like God: sin is unreal because sin is unlike God. Disease and pain are unreal because disease and pain are unlike God. And death is unreal because death is unlike God, who to know aright is life eternal and in whom "we live, and move, and have our being."
Christian Scientists have had and still continue to have a love for Mrs. Eddy that language can never express, because she has taken us near to God. She has taught us what He is. She has made Life, Truth, Love, Mind living realities, and has taught us our natural environment and our spiritual birthright; and as humanity grows to realize that her teachings in "Science and health with Key to the Scriptures, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (p. 468), is the fulcrum which bases the insistent demand that man shall do to man as he would that man should do to him, and man's inalienable right to everything that makes for health, happiness and harmony, — the whole world will join in that same gratitude, realizing that after all, it is just part of our thanksgiving unto God for His wonderful goodness and mercy unto the sons of men. In her writings, Mrs. Eddy has set forth the truth relative to the spirit of the word of our Bible in so simple and direct a form that he who is seeking after Truth in the spirit of the word, may instantly comprehend, and the veriest child understand. When one seeks Truth for Truth's sake, he will find that the Christian Science text-book unlocks the door which leads to the straight and narrow way wherein we shall find the fount of every blessing of which all may drink freely.
My appeal to you is that you procure Christian Science literature and study it and ponder its teaching, and then when the time comes that all seems dark, without a ray of light as though God had left you and the waters of adversity had closed over your head, take the Christian Science text-book, study it, ponder its teaching, and in meekest humility and self-abnegation turn to God even as it indicates; and if you do this, you will find, as have the Christian Scientists in countless thousands and millions of instances, that when we take our burden unto the Lord — He who is a very "present help in trouble" — we shall leave it at the foot of the cross and come away in happiness.
Then do we know that the message of Christian Science is a message of hope, a message of joy, a message of activity. We know it is the glad tidings that no longer have we an unknown God — that no longer must we continue to ignorantly worship. We know, based on the Mind that is in Christ, that now we walk in the Spirit and no longer fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We know, putting all things else behind, how to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," for "of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever." Our Master said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," and as a parting thought for you, in his words, let me ask you. "Believest thou this?"
[Delivered April 25, 1913, at the James John High School, St. Johns, Oregon and published in The St. Johns Review, May 2, 1913, on Page One across more than four of the seven columns on the page, then jumping to the back page, where it took up about three-quarters of the page.
[In this lecture, Mr. Leonard says, "If one desires honestly to know what Christian Science accomplishes, he may ascertain from his friends, relatives and neighbors." It is interesting, in this connection, to read the following excerpt from an article entitled "A Year's Experience" by the Rev. Charles D. Reynolds, published in The Christian Science Journal of September, 1900, which treats his first year as a Christian Scientist and tells the stories of those around him who had been touched by Christian Science:
["This has been the happiest year of my life, and, judged by the actual practical good results accomplished, the most successful one. I have seen what are called failures in Christian Science as well as successes, but the latter have been so unmistakably and overwhelmingly convincing, that no reasoning being could possibly mistake them. Evidences of the presence of divine goodness are seen on every side, and willing minds, hearts, and hands testify. In the house in which I live resides a woman rescued from a life of perpetual suffering and despair which no material remedy could cure or divert. Across the lawn from this house lives a lady for whom Science has done more in a few weeks than thirteen years of drugging and hospital life had accomplished. A few doors from the opposite side resides an elderly woman, sent home from the hospital a year ago, and informed that she could do no more work unless she desired to take her life. She has cooked and cleaned and worked almost day and night, her face radiant with the peace of heaven; she realizes that in Science disease has not one iota of power to lay her low, and it hasn't. Not far away lives an old man who had had a shock and had not heard the clock tick or strike for a long time. One day not long ago he awoke and heard it tick and strike; life has so changed in every manner for him that he testifies that he feels as if he had 'struck heaven.' What human being, Christian or calling himself pagan, will cast the first stone at this old man's newborn joy?
["On another street is a home that was not a home, for discord and unhappiness reigned, but now exultation and peace and gentleness. A gentleman who keeps a store testifies that for a single season's treatment for his invalid wife he paid five hundred dollars, and then she was given up to die. She has long since dismissed servants and does all her own housework. Another lady near by has just accepted a fine church position as soloist in a large city church. She knows, and others know, that she owes her voice to Christian Science.
["I take a letter from my pocket relating to a lady with a partially paralyzed leg and entering the last stages of the morphine habit. It reads thus: 'I consider Mrs. _______ healed. She has been to services to-day and last Sunday. The severe stomach trouble, the partially paralyzed leg, as well as the morphine pains and appetite, have disappeared. Thank God for this beautiful Christ-Truth.'
["And so I might continue to enumerate many cases of smaller or greater applications of healing. And now add to this the mental and moral healing which is invariably felt and accompanies this physical healing, or rather the physical healing which accompanies the mental and moral healing, and what do half-a-dozen or so apparent failures to heal amount to, especially when it is known that in some of these the conditions were not complied with, — surroundings unfavorable or directions disobeyed?"]