Christian Science: The Democracy of Mind — God (2)
William W. Porter, C.S.B., of New York, New York
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
When Mrs. Eddy, many years ago, wrote these significant words in the Preface to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "The time for thinkers has come,'' she pointed to the advent or dawn in human consciousness of universal brotherhood — the democracy of Mind or God. The religion of Christian Science is simple, clear and natural; so simple and clear indeed as to be readily understood and just as readily assimilated by every man, woman and child. The teachings of the great Galilean Prophet were rejected by many of the leaders of his day because they did not understand the simplicity of those teachings; because their material sense of worship as well as their material sense of healing hid from their view the simplicity and therefore the substance of these teachings. The religion of Truth, or the language of Truth, is always simple and clear.
It Is Right To Be Here
It is the undoubted right and privilege of every person to know the truth; therefore we may be assured at the outset that it is well for us to be here seeking to know the truth, — seeking to know something of the healing truth involved in Christian Science.
Christian Science is gaining the approval and commendation of thinking people throughout the world today wherever its influence is felt or known, because it is meeting the needs of a humanity sick of its sufferings and wearied with its superstitions; because it is bringing to all mankind the cheering message — and proof — that there is rest, peace, joy, health, strength, and an inexhaustible supply of the heavenly Father's lovingkindness where seemed to be only the ashes of unanswered prayers.
Autocratic Methods Opposed
It is not the purpose of this lecture rudely to challenge any cherished religious belief, or to compel the abandonment of any sustaining or upholding ideal, opinion or thought which heretofore may have been a source of comfort and help to anyone. In fact, even if it were possible to compel all the people of the world at once to adopt the religion and the healing methods of Christian Science, Christian Scientists themselves would be the first to oppose any such procedure, because Christian Scientists know better than do others that it would be just as impossible to legislate a man into the acceptance of a certain form of religion as it would be to legislate him into the acceptance of a certain form of healing treatment.
Religion and Healing Defined
If religion and healing are to bring to mankind their full benefits, they must be to him as simple and necessary, as universally available and certain, as that two and two make four.
Religion, properly defined, is that which clarifies and makes available the simple fundamental facts concerning God, man, and the universe; while religion which fails to do this mystifies and submerges clear thought, and by reason of this mystification can accomplish no good purpose of religion.
Healing, properly defined, is that which establishes the recognition of perfect harmonious consciousness; while matter, or material medicine, being a part of material existence, a part of material consciousness, can accomplish only the mental suggestion involved in such material consciousness, and cannot, by reason of the limitations and uncertainties of such material consciousness, be the procurer of any truly scientific results in healing.
It will be evident, therefore, that Christian Science is not related to and should not be associated in any way with mental suggestion, hypnotism, spiritualism, mental hygiene, or any circle, church, cult or society which bases its teachings and practice upon the use of the human mind, the human will, or the human personality as a religious or healing factor or control. On the contrary, Christian Science has to do with the being, government, and operation of the divine Mind, or God, as well as the perfect, harmonious continuity of creation, man and the universe.
The Christian Science Church
Furthermore, it is not the purpose of this lecture to ask you to become members of the Christian Science Church. It is quite important that this should be clearly understood, since Christian Science is not engaged in a work of proselyting, and whether or not a person ever becomes a member of the Christian Science church will depend upon something more on his part than mere inclination or passive assent to become such a member. That this be more clearly understood it may be well for me to read a few lines from the Christian Science textbook, ''Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, who is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. The reference is found on page 35 and reads as follows: "Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are new-born of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love, — casting out error and healing the sick." It will be observed that these simple words are in full accord with those well-defining words of the Master: "By their fruits ye shall know them."
Purpose of This Lecture
This lecture, however, has a purpose; and if as the result of our being together in this brief interval there shall come to any of you a brighter outlook upon a dreary existence; if there shall come some freedom from pain, sickness and suffering, some alleviation of sorrow, sadness and grief; if evil shall be to you less of a reality, less of an inevitable necessity, and that it is possible to escape from it because God is good, then, my friends, the complete purpose of the lecture will have been attained, and God's will, which certainly must induce the lessening of every erroneous belief, is done.
Understanding Determines Progress
It is of interest to note that whatever mankind has known or believed concerning God in different ages has determined its happiness, harmony, health, peace, prosperity, progress and development; because whatever humanity has known or believed concerning Deity has been supreme in human consciousness, and whatever is supreme in human consciousness must of necessity determine its progress and development, as, when a stone or a stick was worshipped as Deity, rocks and forests formed the dwelling-places of men; when a tribal god was worshipped as Deity, the might and prowess of warriors determined tribal security and progress; when agnosticism reared an altar "to the unknown God," a certain intellectuality measured the faith and accomplishment of men; and when in the fullness of time Christ Jesus declared, "God is a Spirit (or, as stated in another translation, "God is Spirit"); and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth," then began the decline of that priesthood of matter, the material sense of God and man, which had so long withheld from the world its rightful advancement. Right here is encountered a fact the significance of which should never be forgotten or lost sight of; namely, that with this true idea of God which Christ Jesus taught came his many mighty works of healing and regeneration, as well as those of his students and followers, which continued upward of three centuries. In fact, it was with respect to these very healing and redemptive works that Christ Jesus himself sent word to John the Baptist when the latter was in prison, indicating that they were the witness or evidence of the Messianic or Christ way; and today this true idea of God which is declaring the Science or certainties of Christianity has reappeared in Christian Science, bringing the same witness, or evidence of healing and redemptive works which characterized its appearance two thousand years ago.
Misconceptions Concerning God
In the fifteenth chapter of II Chronicles it is recorded that "Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law." It must be apparent to an unprejudiced observer that there has been a great deal of misconception concerning God, or at least a wholly inadequate understanding of Him, and since it is true that whatever mankind has known concerning God in all ages has determined the happiness, harmony, health, peace, progress, prosperity and development of mankind, it is just as apparent that there is great need in individual human consciousness for a right and adequate understanding of Him. One common misconception has been that God is a being, more or less humanly personal, of magnified proportions, patriarchal and kindly in aspect; at least, this seems to be a concept which has found expression through the thoughts of artists in different periods of the world's history, and may be said well to represent a concept toward which the human mind, uninstructed, turns quite naturally.
A short time ago there was exhibited in an eastern city a collection of paintings of the Cubist school, among which was one that attracted a great deal of attention and comment. Upon a blue background was depicted a group of spheres or globes, from which, extending downward, were numerous crystals or rays in bright red and gold. Nothing more! To this painting the artist had appended the title, or name, God. While viewing this painting the thought occurred with respect to the two concepts of God to which we have here briefly referred, that this latter concept, startling as it appeared at the first glance might be productive of the greater good; for while the former humanly personal concept undoubtedly would leave one with a very comfortable impression of a kindly disposed personage but would impel the observer to no further inquiry — the latter concept would inevitably sooner or later impel him to inquire, What is God? And if he is sincere in his inquiry he will find an answer commensurate with his sincerity.
There are certain primitive or fundamental statements in this connection which are so obvious as to require no argument to establish their verity. They are self-evident, namely, that existence indicates or implies Mind; that without Mind there could be no existence. This Mind then, infinite in its perfection, immeasurable and inexhaustible in its capacity, continuity and resource, must be the divine Principle, Cause or Creator of man and the universe; must be that which we mean or should mean when we think of or say "God."
Indeed, it would be impossible to conceive of God except as all-wise or infinite Mind; and as there is no place where Mind is not, God, who is all-wise, infinite Mind, or divine Love, is omnipresent, hence incorporeal, and here we come face to face with "the beauty of holiness;" face to face with that peace that the world, or material sense, cannot give. Christian Science teaches the omnipresence of God, or infinite Mind, or divine Love, and he who understands this will never again suffer under any traducing depression, discouragement or fear that he can ever be separated from God in any hour of need. Being incorporeal, it would be just as obviously erroneous to think or speak of God as humanly personal or corporeal as it would be to think or speak of two times two making five; but just as surely as one would run into countless difficulties through the mistaken belief that two times two makes five, just so surely would he run into countless difficulties — sin, sickness, death and disaster — through the mistaken belief that God, who is infinite Mind, or divine Love, is or can be corporeal, humanly personal, or physically outlined in any manner whatsoever. The Scriptures declare: "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." It might be well to ask oneself just how much difference really exists between the graven stone or wooden image and the graven menial image to which mankind generally has bowed in worship.
I am aware that many will say, But I am not holding any such material concept as this of God; — and if it be true, a great step has been taken in advance. The next step is of equal if not of greater importance, namely, to ask oneself the question: What is it then, that l am holding in consciousness as God, — to what am I living in obedience as God?
Moses, speaking with his followers of God, urged them to love and obey Him "Who is thy life." The teachings of Jesus indicated clearly that his understanding of God was the understanding of truth, for does he not speak of the Comforter as "the Spirit of truth" who will lead into all truth?
God is Love
In language inspired and inspiring the beloved disciple John, who fulfilled so wonderfully the great trust reposed in him by the Master, "Tarry till I come," declares that "God is love!" — love that is without beginning and without ending, "the same yesterday, and today, and forever," which may be defined or interpreted as Principle or Truth.
How greatly humanity has needed to know this God who is infinite Love! And yet how little opportunity there has been to gain this understanding because of the false beliefs and superstitions concerning God with which education has been environed.
Man Falsely Considered
A grave error in this connection has been that of thinking man to be unworthy, of himself, to enter into the holy of holies, "the secret place of the most High," that is, to know God aright. It is a mistake to compare the majesty of divine Love with the majority of earthly kings, princes, potentates and earthly dignitaries generally, into whose presence the men of ordinary daily life would not be expected to go at will. How different this would be if the majesty of God was understood to be the majesty of infinite creative Mind or divine Love, which knows all and meets impartially every need!
What is it that argues against man's worthiness in this connection? It is a false sense or false consciousness, to which the word comes today in Christian Science, sounding the hidden depths and corners of this consciousness, as it came to Adam in the garden of old: "Who told thee that thou wast naked?"
A Murderer From the Beginning
Was it not this very false sense, or false consciousness, that Christ Jesus himself denounced and unmasked when he declared to those who were reviling his teachings: "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." Paul designated this "murderer from the beginning" as "the carnal mind," which he immediately defines as "enmity against God."
Mrs. Eddy characterizes this same condition of thought as mortal mind, and proceeds at once in Christian Science to show how it may he overcome and escaped from, — not by ignoring its claims or fearing them, but through the recognition and demonstration of man and the universe reflecting as perfect idea the one infinite creative Mind, Spirit or God.
Objections to Right Idea
Occasionally some people are found, although the number is rapidly diminishing, who profess to believe that a part of the teachings of Christ Jesus were intended only for his immediate followers; that the perfection which he inculcated was to be attained at a future time, in some future state; that the man of today might not aspire to such things. Probably the person reasoning in this way would be perfectly satisfied to believe that Christ Jesus did not mean it for him when he declared, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand;" "The kingdom of God is within you" — not afar-off, to be experienced at some remote time and in some far-distant place. The Christian Scientist is demonstrating and proving in his daily life that health and happiness, harmony, righteousness, peace, the kingdom of God is indeed at hand and within, and one who persists in the refusal to participate in such heaven-bestowed blessings, who persists in looking into sin, disease, death and disaster as inevitable necessities, is deliberately excluding himself from the kingdom of heaven upon earth.
Indeed such a one might be very well likened to the boy who went with others of his playmates upon an outing into the country. All during the day he was observed going about in a most fearful and apprehensive manner upon the outer edge of the games or poking timidly among the stones and leaves, but never entering joyously into the sports of his fellows. When asked why he had not gathered the wild flowers and enjoyed himself with his playmates, he replied that his mother had told him that morning to be sure to have a good time — and look out for snakes! So the little fellow had been looking for snakes all day.
It would be very possible to do so, but I am sure you will agree that it would be tremendously poor policy for one to go through life looking for snakes. One would miss thereby the kingdom of heaven.
All the teachings of Christ Jesus point clearly not only to the propriety but to the imperative necessity for gaining a true understanding of God and of truly understanding man's unity with Him.
The words of the Master in this connection are clear and conclusive: "If ye continue in my word, . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." "This is life eternal, that they may know thee." As though to silence forever the human cavil that it is blasphemy for man to be godlike, to be as he was created by God, the Master said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one . . . even as we are one." "Take my yoke upon you."
No one has ever attained greater facility of expression through parable and metaphor than Jesus, and this last selection is particularly appropriate as indicating his perfect unity or oneness with the Father. The yoke is made use of to divide a burden or load between two, so that two may work together as one. The illustration in this instance indicates man's unity or oneness with God, whereby mankind are healed and blessed and their burdens lightened. Jesus had no mind, intelligence, consciousness or thought apart from God, and having no consciousness or wisdom apart from God, he always was thinking God's thoughts; always thinking thoughts that reflected Love; thoughts that reflected Truth; thoughts that reflected Life; — and, this was his yoke.
Genesis of Material Existence
In the first chapter of Genesis it is recorded that God created man in His own image and likeness, and pronounced good all that He made. In the second chapter it is recorded that the Lord God made man from "the dust of the ground,'' and a material sense of man appears with a soul inside. No explanation is given, no reason advanced in the Scripture for the appearance of this second creation; but it cannot in any event be assumed as a reason therefor that the infinite, all-wise creator, God, was dissatisfied with His own image and likeness. Hence this second creation, the Adamic priesthood of matter, or the material sense of God and man, appearing as it does without reason and involving an impossible inconsistency, namely, the attempted organization of spirit and matter, is just as impossible and inconsistent as the organization of light and darkness, which is without authority, without principle, without law, hence without reality.
Spiritual Existence All Inclusive
The Christian Scientist does not propose to waste any time in trying to find out where something came from which he knows has no existence in reality. He does not propose to waste any time in looking for snakes. He has found that he is happier, healthier, more harmonious in every way, that he is finding the kingdom of heaven in the degree that he wakens; out of this sleep, dream mist, or material sense of God and man.
It may be represented that Christ Jesus appeared in the flesh and that this is an argument sustaining the necessity of material sense. But Christ Jesus himself states upon this very point, "it is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiled nothing." In this connection it might be well to ask oneself just how much or how little is nothing. Speaking again of his own true selfhood, that concerning which he declared, "Before Abraham was I am," and, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end," speaking thus of his own true selfhood as the Wayshower, Christ Jesus declared, "I am the way," and "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." No man cometh unto the Father save by the yoke of unity or oneness with God which Jesus inculcated. In the appearance of Christ Jesus, therefore, there must be recognized, not an authority commending the Adamic priesthood of matter or the material sense of God and man, but the eternal, unparalleled witness or evidence that God the Father — infinite creative Mind — is Love; for Christ Jesus as the manifestation of this ever-present Love presented to humanity the perfect man.
And this, my friends, is the man that Christian Science declares to you; the man who becomes apparent as the manifestation of eternal Mind or God, the man who forever reflects God's eternal, unerring, unchanging law.
Law Involved in Christian Science Healing
The healing and redemptive works of Christian Science are no longer looked upon as strange, mysterious phenomena. On the contrary, these healing and redemptive works afford proofs to thoughtful persons that the results in question are neither fragmentary nor haphazard in their nature and occurrence; but by reason of their magnitude, multiplicity and permanence, they belong to and are rightly classified as the effect of law.
This is just another way of saying that the fact of health and harmony must appear in relation to the true understanding of God as inevitably as the figure four appears in relation to the numbers two times two; it cannot be otherwise if God is to be to us what we mean, or ought to mean, when we think of or say, God.
Definition of Law
The term law may be and is variously defined, but in its true and highest meaning law may be said to be that which manifests or makes known the enduring stability of Truth; the perfect continuity of Life; the unchanging unity or oneness of Love; in other words, that which reflects or manifests the authority or potency of all-inclusive creative Mind, or God.
One may insist at this point that law also represents the substantiality of matter, but the legitimate question may here be raised: Is it possible for matter to be the basis of any real, true, enduring property or quality of law?
Matter, Its Instability and Disappearance
In the endeavor to arrive at the permanent origin, ultimate form, or primal state of what is called matter, physical science has come upon numerous disappearing hypotheses. To illustrate: Until quite recently the atom was looked upon as representing the primal state of matter, but now is superseded and displaced by what is called the electron. The electron so far transcends the atom in the direction of infinite individuality that it never has been seen by the physical senses; in fact, but very little indeed is known concerning the electron except that its appearance today indicates the passing or disappearance of what yesterday was looked upon, recognized and known as matter.
In other words, in attempting to arrive at the permanent origin, ultimate form, or primal state of what is called material substance, matter, or yesterday's concept of matter, is seen to disappear. Professor Wilhelm Ostwald, a well-known authority, states in substance on page 242 of his "Outlines of Chemistry," Ed. 1912, that the conception of matter is too indefinite for it to be regarded as one of the constituents of phenomena. Please remember that this is a statement of a physical scientist regarding matter, and that matter is the foundation of physical science. At this point an interesting inquiry presents itself, namely, Does not the disappearance of matter involve the disruption of physical law?
One views the immediate or local forms of matter with which humanity is environed — views also the material residue of ancient ages, and in each of these he sees emphatic evidences of the changing, shifting and loosening grasp of matter; so that one is inevitably faced with the conclusion that there is a force continually at work destroying the assumed stability of material laws.
While these statements may be of interest, I desire to say that they are not made from the standpoint of Christian Science.
Mrs. Eddy did not arrive at her understanding of the fundamentals of Christian Science through any such materialistic misunderstandings as these. As early as the year 1866 Mrs. Eddy recognized the unsubstantiality of matter, and today, fifty years thereafter, physical science has announced from an entirety different basis the practical absence of any ultimate form or primal state of matter cognizable to the physical senses; for while physics has pursued matter to its point of disappearance, and finds itself in the rather equivocal position of standing upon something which even according to its own conclusions has no existence in reality, Christian Science, recognizing man and the universe reflecting as perfect ideas the eternal substance of one infinite creative Mind, Spirit or God, has established an enduring substantiality of which there shall be no end.
That is all very interesting, remarks an inquiring friend, but what is that going to do for the man who has a pain in his head? And here is the answer: The trouble is not with the head, nor with the atom, nor yet with the electron, but with the material so-called law which is the effect of false material consciousness, or mortal mind, the "murderer from the beginning," which "abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." Therefore there can be no real, true, genuine property or quality of law in anything that belongs to this false consciousness, or "murderer from the beginning," because "there is no truth in him."
But what are you going to do about it? persists our inquiring friend. The law is there, established; you cannot change it or escape it. With all deference to the opinion of our friend that is just exactly what Christian Science proposes to do and is doing in every case of healing and regeneration. Law which fails to maintain stability is no longer law. When the fact of its instability appears it ceases, by reason of that fact, to be law.
Therefore, turning away from that which has proved its insufficiency and instability, — in the language and spirit of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, "Forgetting those things which are behind," — we look elsewhere. When the sick man is healed in Christian Science, something has taken place. It cannot be said that that which has destroyed a condition of sickness, discord, distress and suffering, and established a condition of health, happiness, harmony and peace, is nothing. Effect implies cause. Therefore, that which has destroyed a condition of sickness, discord, distress and suffering and established in the place thereof a condition of health, happiness, harmony and peace must be truly substantial; must be at least the substance hoped for by the weary sufferer; must be the evidence or law of perfect creative Mind or God, — the law which manifests and makes known the enduring stability of Truth, the perfect continuity of Life, the unchanging unity or oneness of Love. And this is the law, my friends, which Christian Science declares to you; the law which, when properly understood and applied, abrogates and sets aside the false material consciousness, or "murderer from the beginning;" abrogates and sets side the false material law which, together with the evidence of its instability, — the pain in the head, — disappears and God's will is done. In this way, and in this way only, will "the first heaven and the first earth," the unstable evidence of matter, pass away.
Christian Science Assurance
When we speak of the real man, the real existence, and the real law, please do not understand that it is the purpose of Christian Science to destroy or deprive you of anything which may seem necessary and good to you. It is not the purpose of Christian Science to destroy but to fulfill. Christian Science has come to establish the recognition and demonstration of man and the universe as created by God, and surely, with the righteousness of such purpose, none may find the occasion for complaint nor the pretext for quarrel.
Relation to the Bible
The question is sometimes asked, Why do Christian Scientists refer so freely and continuously to the Bible? There are several reasons for this: In the first place the Christian Scientist has learned and is learning daily what the Bible contains. He has come to love with a sincere, deep, lasting devotion and loyalty this book, the leaves of which have been turned and studied by our fathers and forefathers before us. He has learned and is learning that it has a message of definite good when interpreted rightly, and that this right interpretation is bringing to him glad and infinite meanings, health, happiness, harmony, and peace.
Early Study by Mrs. Eddy
In her work, "Retrospection and Introspection," speaking of "The Great Discovery" (p. 24), Mrs. Eddy informs us that in the year 1866 she was healed of an illness, the result of an injury, which neither medicine nor surgery could reach. At this time Mrs. Eddy felt constrained to withdraw from society for a period of three years in order that she might have uninterrupted opportunity to study the Scriptures. She must know how she had been healed, for she realized that her healing was related to a divine fact or spiritual law. During this period, she informs us, the Bible was her only text-book; it answered her questions as to how she had been healed; and the Scriptures had for her a spiritual meaning, in which she apprehended the spiritual import of Jesus' teaching and demonstration.
Bible Studied Consistently
Moreover, it is a recognized and well-known fact that Christian Science has made more active, earnest, happy, consistent, daily students of the Bible than any other single cause in ancient or modern times. This is not at all strange because the Christian Scientist is making a daily study of the Word in conjunction with "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,'' and is doing this not because of any bounden duty on his part, nor because somebody has told him to do so, but because he has found that he is a better man for so doing, — that there is in his consciousness less and less of envy, malice, hatred, revenge, with their kindred ills, and that there is in his consciousness more of loving compassion — that he is loving his neighbor as himself — that he is happier and more harmonious in every way as a result of such study and contemplation.
Under these circumstances it would be most incongruous indeed if the Christian Scientist was not found familiar with his Bible.
Mrs. Eddy's Work
If Mrs. Eddy's work had consisted only in establishing the place and use of the Bible in this incomparable manner, she would be considered a most remarkable woman indeed, and one to whom humanity should render a tribute of love and respect.
In addition to this there are hundreds of thousands of men and women and children throughout the world who have been healed of their sicknesses and pains, healed of their sorrows and griefs, healed of their misery and sins, because Mrs. Eddy has been a citizen, not merely of local environment, but a citizen indeed of the world.
Please do not misunderstand my purpose in thus speaking of Mrs, Eddy. Christian Scientists do not attempt to deify, to worship or exalt the personality of Mrs. Eddy in any manner, and if any of you have ever heard a charge made to that effect you will know that it is very far indeed from being true; but it would be most strange if those who have been healed and regenerated should seem to be lacking in their expressions of the deepest gratitude for the character and life of this gentlewoman, together with the gift of Christian Science, which she has so lovingly laid upon the altar of humanity.
If there is one word which might more than another indicate something of the character and purpose of Mrs. Eddy, I think it might be the word giving. Mrs. Eddy was always ready and willing to give to a cause that was worthy. Above all, she was always giving, giving, giving of the gift of Christian Science which had been so freely given to her. And in the final disposition of her estate to be used "in extension of the religion of Christian Science" as taught by her, she has accounted well for her stewardship, and given to humanity an eternal legacy of enduring love.
Simplicity and Consistency
Mrs. Eddy's faith and trust in God, and her confidence in the ever-presence of divine Love, was the simple faith and trust and confidence of a little child; and this, together with the courage, strength and zeal of one who had caught the vision of great purpose, made her the most tender and loving and yet the most compassionately firm and constructive character of her time.
By far the majority of those who have been healed and blessed through Christian Science have come to know Mrs. Eddy by means of her writings, in all of which there is to be found a continual help and inspiration, and above all, a most beautiful consistency in the statement of Principle and practice throughout. This consistency, my friends, is not the careful studied consistency of one who feared that she might utter something contradictory in its nature, but the simple, straightforward consistency of one who heard the demands of God, and neither hesitated nor feared to correlate those demands in the Science of being, or Christian Science.
Science of Being Necessary
Humanity has come to recognize that there is a science for very nearly everything in the world except human existence. It has learned that there is a science of music and a science of numbers whereby musical discords and mathematical inaccuracies may be dispelled and harmony restored.
This same humanity, sick of its sufferings and wearied with its superstitions, has come to the point of asking, expectant with hope, May not there be a science available whereby the discords of human existence can be expelled with at least equal facility and certainty?
Science of Being Available
That there is such a Science of Being, Christian Science affirms and is proving. The statement of this Science, or the "scientific statement of being," may be found throughout all the pages of the Christian Science textbook, but will be found concisely summarized on page 468. This statement is earnestly commended to the thoughtful contemplation of those who are in need of help and guidance.
Relation to World War
We are living today in a period of revelation, the unfolding of Christian Science, which reveals man governed by Principle, Truth and Good.
It is also well to recognize in this connection that there never has been a revelation of truth without an uncovering of error. Against the autocratic evils of personal control the nations of the world are waging today a tremendous warfare, and men and women who are consecrated to the ideals of Principle and Truth are under the responsibility and obligation to see to it that none of these evils of personal control shall arise out of the conflict and sacrifice, in the guise either of philanthropy, philosophy or human welfare; — in the guise of socialism or democracy; — in the guise even of religion or church, whereby the autocratic evils of personal control, political, ecclesiastical, medical or otherwise, might be re-enacted again in human history.
On page 96 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" the revered Leader of Christian Science has recorded these words, which are of particular significance to Christian Scientists as well as to all right thinking men and women: "During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error."
When the Government of the United States, as the highest representative of righteous democracy, is assailed by the autocracies of personal control, Christian Scientists will be the first to assail what is wrong; to uncover and detect the evil mental forces which are being consciously directed to overthrow and destroy, and having thus discerned what is wrong, will be found defending the principles of righteous government in the manner and place where each is best fitted to serve, whether such activities are to be expressed in the lines of armed conflict or in the watchtowers of mind, guarding that priceless trinity in humanity of thought, word and action, governed by Principle and Truth.
[There is one thing, however, that we need to know in connection with the war, and that is that the war will not be ended through the heat of hatred. We need to know that this great nation is not sending forth its great armies of noble young manhood burdened with the heat of hatred. And we need to know just as clearly that these armies are not going into the atmosphere of hatred.
[The war will be ended only as there is gained the true concept of what is taking place in the world today. As it will be seen that men are not merely fighting against men, nations are not merely fighting against nations, but that a truly spiritualized thought — the Christ consciousness — is demanding expression in the conduct and affairs of nations, as well as of men — with the result that the autocracies of personal control — ecclesiastical, political, medical and otherwise — seeing a reckoning at hand, are striving vainly to avoid this time of reckoning through the cruel subterfuge of war!
[Thus we see that the battle is not against flesh and blood but in the language of St. Paul is "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
[Into the true concept of what is taking place in the world today comes the tender compassion of Christian Science unfolding the exact and undeviating demands of Principle and Truth which says to the raging sea of personal control or personal dominion — "thus far and no farther."]
As an illustration of the necessity for right thinking and right acting, Jesus pictured a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who "fell among thieves." They beat, bruised, and left him in sore distress. There journeyed that way, in turn, a priest and a Levite, both of whom seeing the man and his condition "passed by on the other side." Later there came that way a Samaritan who, seeing the man and his condition, went to him, lifted him up, and cared for him until he was well. Indicating the point of his illustration or parable, Jesus said to his inquirer, "Go, and do thou likewise," — or as did the Samaritan. It is evident that the priest and the Levite, although looking at the same object, did not see the same thing that the Samaritan saw, else they would have done likewise, or even as did the Samaritan.
Men and women who are sick and suffering from any form of so-called incurable illness, suffering from the unending bitterness of sorrow or grief, suffering from the sting and reproach of some hidden secret or open sin, — wearied with the ceaseless contemplation of perpetual evil, are naturally interested to ask themselves the question, How may I avail myself of this healing and redemptive law of Truth, of Life, of Love? To any such I would say that any friend or acquaintance of yours who is a Christian Scientist, any Christian Scientists wherever they may be found, will be willing to share with you the inspiration and help of their experience — will be glad to aid in pointing you the way whereby the same happifying experiences which have come into their lives may likewise come into yours. You have free access to the Bible. You have just as free access to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," and these are the textbooks of Christian Science which are to be studied lovingly and well; — study these two books then, and you will find that as a result of your desire for the truth, as a result of this study and contemplation on your part, you are being blessed and healed and your burdens lightened — that you are being led indeed to green pastures and beside still waters. For it is the will of God that man should know the truth, it is the purpose of infinite Love that man shall know the truth. You may begin at once in Christian Science to discriminate intelligently between the unreal and the real, between the untrue and the true, to reject and deny the suggestions of false material consciousness or "murderer from the beginning." and instead, to appropriate as yours today the things that belong to immortal man, and in the identity thus established you may be free!
[Delivered March 3, 1918, at Regent Theatre, Medford Street, Arlington, Massachusetts, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and published in The Cambridge Tribune, March 9, 1918. The portion of the lecture in brackets was added from another copy of the lecture, published in The Highland Democrat of Peekskill, New York, Nov. 9, 1918, from which the lecture title is also supplied.]