Frank C. Ayres, C.S., of Indianapolis, Indiana
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Delivered in Convention Hall, Tuesday evening, December 4, 1951, under the auspices of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The lecturer was introduced by Mr. Lawrence Hartman, who said:
Third Church of Christ, Scientist, warmly welcomes you to hear this lecture on Christian Science entitled, "Christian Science: The Revelation of True Safety." Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures", where she refers to Paul's admonition to the Corinthians, writes as follows: "'Now', cried the apostle, 'is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation' — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science."
Our lecturer, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, will tell us how Christian Science can be an ever-present guide to our permanent safety and well-being.
I now take pleasure in presenting Mr. Frank C. Ayres, of Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Ayres.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
The world today is crying out for safety. It has been proved that safety cannot be found in matter or in the physical strength of men. Where then can it be found? Christ Jesus gave us an answer when he said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). He was not troubled, he was not afraid, for he found peace, true safety, in a clear understanding of God. "Not as the world giveth," but as God giveth, gave he peace unto men. Mankind will not find true safety until it has gained a practical understanding of God. That is why Christian Science is of vital interest today: because "not as the world giveth" but as God giveth, Christian Science makes plain our Master's understanding of God.
Christ Jesus also said that to obey the two great commandments, to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27), would enable man to live, to inherit eternal life. Here then is an answer to man's individual safety. Might not these commandments contain an answer to world safety? Will the threat of penalty forever stay an evil hand? What except the power of God's love reflected to our fellow man will finally destroy mistakenly guided motives which endanger the peace of the world today? Where except in a correct understanding and faithful living of true neighborliness can we find an answer?
When mankind learns how to love God supremely and his neighbor as himself, as Jesus did, and sincerely practices such love, we will have eternal peace.
Take courage, friend; Christian Science shows that it is divinely natural to love supremely the God that Jesus knew and to love correctly the neighbor that Jesus saw. For Christian Science reveals that God has never failed to maintain the real you and the real me in perfect spiritual harmony and absolute security; that God knows nothing about mankind's dream of matter and evil and that right where mankind has been fooled into believing that life is material, limited, and perishable, life has always been spiritual, unlimited, and eternal; that God has always filled the earth with the knowledge of these facts of being and that this knowledge is a part of the Christ, Truth, that Jesus knew so clearly. It has always been possible for mankind to have perceived this Truth. The Bible records mankind's struggle to find it. The Commandments unfolded to Moses because of his glimpse of Truth; a great revelation came to Paul, and other glimpses are set forth in the Bible; and the New Testament tells how Jesus foresaw and prophesied a final and complete revelation in a promised Comforter.
Christian Science reveals that Comforter. This great final revelation came to a gentle New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, who had grown spiritually close to God and clearly recognized the same Christ, Truth, which Jesus demonstrated. As this Truth poured into her spiritually ready consciousness, she stepped out of deep material darkness into a new country, a new world, into God's true country, God's true world.
Mrs. Eddy looked deeply into the infinity of reality; and just as light uncovers and destroys darkness, so this light of Christ, Truth, that flooded her consciousness and which she accepted with childlike humility uncovered the unreality of the false material sense of life and creation that had previously seemed so real and formidable to her.
In her textbook, which contains the full revelation and is entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she makes these bold statements (p. 468); "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."
These were startling statements when first uttered — perhaps startling to you now — but not so startling today to the world in general, since many material scientists have now found that material objects are only mental perceptions.
Since matter is not real and God is infinite Mind, Spirit, All-in-all, and since man is His image and likeness, not material, but spiritual, then the kingdom of heaven is possible of demonstration right now. Keep in mind that just as basic as the revelation of God as infinite Spirit is the discovery that matter, all of the testimony of the material senses, is unreal. Basic also is the discovery made by Christian Science that since God is revealed as infinite and omnipotent Love, filling all space, then evil is powerless, unreal, occupying no place.
Professor John S. Marshall, formerly of Albion College, Michigan, now of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, said in substance: "Physical existence is all relative, while beyond it lies the eternal, perfect, harmonious expression of life, wherein goodness and beauty are inseparable. . . . Evil is not to be found there, because it lacks absolute permanent reality, since it tends to its own destruction." (From a paper read in Chicago, Illinois, September 9, 1933, and reported in The Christian Science Monitor of September 11, 1933).
Man does not have to go anywhere to find heaven, for Christian Science reveals that heaven has always been here. He just has to awaken from his mesmeric dream. The real man is living in heaven now and always has been. Man is free, harmonious, and perfect now. There is no other man. If you look at a beautiful white rose through blue glasses, you will see a blue rose, though there never has been anything but a perfect white one. We don't have to do anything to the blue rose to find the white one except to remove the blue glasses; so to find perfect man we don't do anything to a so-called mortal man. We just remove the false lenses of material sense and spiritually perceive perfect, spiritual man. Man is not mortal now and never has lived in the bondage and tyranny of a material sense of life. Putting off the old false sense of man and putting on the Christ-understanding of man is purely a spiritually mental process. The change takes place in human consciousness, for Christian Science reveals that the material body is just the objectification of mortal thought. So as human consciousness is cleansed little by little of its mesmerizing false belief, it is putting on more and more of the Mind of Christ, and the human expression or body keeps improving in the process. It becomes less and less mortal and more and more harmonious as human consciousness accepts Christ, Truth, and discards false belief.
God could never get into mortal man's dream of a life apart from God because it never was true. God is Truth itself, conscious only of true being. But God, as divine Principle, has always maintained for mankind the correct answers for its self-deceived sense, just as the principle of mathematics does not get into the mistakes of the mathematician — does not know anything about them — but does always contain the correct answers to the mistakes and stands ready to correct them.
How do we know that Mrs. Eddy was worthy of this revelation, this promised Comforter? We know this by her works and by her life.
Just as Jesus referred to his works of healing to prove that he was the promised Messiah, so Mrs. Eddy can refer to her works of healing to prove that she was the revelator of the promised Comforter. She healed many cases of desperate illness, including consumption where the lungs were mostly consumed, malignant diphtheria, carious bones, cancer; also insanity, blindness, deafness, lameness, the crippled, and those that had never walked, and usually in from one to three interviews. She accepted the Christ, Truth, that unfolded to her without question. It became unshakable conviction, which enabled her to heal readily.
What kind of a life did Mrs. Eddy live? She was born of substantial New England stock, of parents religious and highly respected. She was as well educated as any young girl of her day, was a brilliant scholar, and made a substantial living as a writer for newspapers and other publications. She was always spiritually-minded and lived a helpful and irreproachable life. With the coming of the revelation came her own much-needed physical healing.
Thereafter she expressed radiant health and was constantly about her Father's business. Those who lived with her and knew her best tell how she listened intently day and night for God's voice to direct her in her life purpose, "to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical, operative Christian Science" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 207).
No follower of Christ Jesus walked more closely in Jesus' footsteps, no follower loved mankind, including his enemies, more than she. She knew God as Father-Mother Love and exemplified that Love constantly. To the end of her human life she labored for mankind, and one of her greatest gifts came in her last years, namely the establishment of a daily international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, with her stated purpose, "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353).
All through the Christian Science textbook we find statements of the absolute truth concerning God, man, and universe appearing side by side with the scientific explanation of the unreality of the false counterfeit sense of these statements.
God could reveal only Truth, but this Truth uncovers the falsity of mankind's mesmeric dream; both are needed for mankind's salvation, so we find both appearing side by side in this practical textbook.
Let us take two examples of this revealed Truth — one concerning God, the other concerning man. Let us assume that they are true, then let us reason from that basis and see how the Christ, Truth, can unfold in our consciousness and begin to dissolve our mesmeric, mistaken sense of God and man. Mrs. Eddy defines God as: "The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" (Science and Health, p. 587). God as the great "I am" fills infinitude, is never absent, and excludes any being apart from Himself. The all-knowing God knows without process all that there is to be known. As the all-seeing, God perceives and is conscious of all. As the all-acting God, He alone is the source of all beneficent action. The all-loving God is ever Love, the only true Love, which loves all. Since God is eternal, He knows, sees, acts, is wise, and loves eternally.
Our Leader defines man as "the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind" (Science and Health, p. 591). Then man's individual being is divinely authorized, is as final and assured as God Himself. As a complete representation of Mind, man individually reflects and expresses in quality all that God is as Mind. Therefore, man eternally knows, sees, acts, and expresses wisdom, without limit as God does, and only as God does. God being Spirit and Principle, man's being and action are spiritual, and are governed harmoniously by divine law; since God is Soul, man expresses the radiancy of Soul and is divinely beautiful and ever satisfied. Since God and God alone is Life and intelligence, man is not subject to any material process of life; he has never been born into matter, is not and never was dependent upon heart, blood, bones, muscles, or brain for life, activity, or intelligence. Since God is Truth, man is always truthful, upright, and sinless; since God is Love, man is divinely considerate and never indifferent, selfish, or hateful. Since God is substance, man reflects the divine substance, or God, and can never be weakened, can never be injured or destroyed.
These scientific facts hint the many correct conclusions that can be drawn from the foregoing brief statement of this revealed Christ, Truth, of God and man. They indicate how you can begin to think about your true selfhood. They give you a glimpse of the spiritual meaning of the two great commandments: to love God supremely and "thy neighbour as thyself." Can't you love that kind of God or that kind of man? Can't you see how the Bible begins to unfold to you? Take Jesus' words, for example, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). Can't you see that Jesus spoke of his true spiritual selfhood, forever at one with God?
The man Jesus was human, but what he knew and practiced of the Christ, Truth, was divine. Mrs. Eddy says in her work "No and Yes," page 36: "The human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being, — holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death." Jesus' resort to his spiritual selfhood enabled him to think divinely and gave him power to subdue his own material sense of selfhood and finally discard it for the divine.
Christian Science and its followers revere Jesus for what he did for mankind. They recognize him as the promised, perfect presenter, illustrator, and demonstrator of the Christ, Truth, which has been and always will be mankind's Saviour. No one could ever take the place of Jesus. Mrs. Eddy said, "Earth has not known another so great and good as Christ Jesus" (First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 221.). He was mankind's perfect Exemplar. The Christ-selfhood to which he resorted is the true Christ-selfhood of everyone, and Christian Science reveals how we can resort to the same Christ-selfhood. The real man, our spiritual identity, is the expression of the one source, namely, God; our true being is as celestial as his, as divinely controlled and directed.
Since man is celestial, the perfect reflection and expression of God in all His beauty and loveliness, how should we start our day? By being grateful that the foregoing fact is true. We could even take time for a spiritual shower of Truth to wash away the aggressive material sights and sounds that argue that this is not true. We could start with gratitude for our revealed knowledge of God; that He is infinite Mind, Spirit, Life, Truth, Love; and contemplate deeply the significance of any or all of these synonyms of God. Rejoice that as infinite Mind He is our Mind, our intelligence, our guidance, our direction, our inspiration, our protection. And since He is infinite, there is no other mind — no mortal mind, no aggressive suggestion, no hatred, no envy, no criticism, no faultfinding. Remembering that God is infinite Love and that man is the reflection of Love, we can be grateful that Love fills all space and that all creation is expressing Love and is compassionately interested in the welfare of every living creature. This understanding would start us loving our brother and expecting love from him; start a day of proving "Love is reflected in love" (Science and Health, p. 17). If we have any held-over memories of hurts or injustices, we can turn our shower upon them — deny that they ever had presence or substance.
As we set ourselves to accept the spiritually mental shower, we will find that the spiritual truths that we need will unfold to us, and as they unfold they will open our eyes to the aggressive suggestions lurking around, trying to darken our day, and we can apply these truths in denial of the particular suggestions. Sometimes it helps to voice these truths out loud and let them assure us of the power of Truth and the powerlessness of the error. And occasionally it helps to have a loved one join us. Then especially is it helpful to voice our truths and denials out-loud, and each is blessed by the other's spiritual listening, affirmation and denial. One can voice and the other can listen, and the listener can become the voicer as the first voicer is about ready to quit. And this process can be continued again and again until you have covered about everything with your spiritual shower and like the sheep, in our favorite Shepherd hymn, are washed clean. By all means let us start our day claiming our divine inheritance — start the day as sons of God and do our best to act as sons of God during the entire day. If we get a head start on aggressive evil suggestions, they will not catch up with us. This by no means sets forth a complete spiritual shower, but it indicates how you might proceed. It indicates how students of Christian Science might pray. For humbly and reverently yearning for and clinging to the Christ, Truth, of God and man with deep love and grateful heart, expectantly applying the truth to dissolve false belief of self or neighbor, is prayer and treatment in Christian Science in obedience to the two great commandments.
Here is an illustration of answered prayer when a student of Christian Science held steadfastly to a simple statement of spiritual truth. A woman went to a Christian Science practitioner in great distress because a lump on her body had developed to alarming proportions. Among other things, the practitioner explained to her that because God is all-acting, then His action must be going on right where the destructive force claimed to be, and since God is Love, His action must be loving, always operating according to God's beneficent law to bless and heal her. After the treatment, although not conscious of any improvement in the physical condition, she dismissed the practitioner and decided to rely entirely upon the simple truth which she had accepted, that the Christ was operating to bless right where the growth claimed to be. Within a few months she called the practitioner to report in great joy that she had been completely healed; the growth had disappeared, leaving no sign of where it had been.
As we cherish the Christ, Truth, and let it burn brightly in consciousness, it will uncover what might be termed hindrances to our progress.
One hindrance is our reluctance to let go of the belief in a material inheritance. Personal sense argues that it would be disloyal to our family not to think that we have inherited their good traits. Yet human goodness does not compare with the spiritual goodness which is ours because of our eternal oneness with our Father-Mother God. The belief of inherited evil tendencies, which may appear only as the searchlight of Truth lights up the dark places of human consciousness, can be the secret hindrance to our happiness and success. A monstrous cheat is the inherited belief that we are incapable of carrying through to a good end. Haven't you known people who are capable of almost anything and yet because of some unnatural reluctance fail to push forward to their best success. The saying, "I would if I could, but I can't would," is not true about God's man. Man reflects God's will and ability; man can do all things because all things are possible to God and to man as God's reflection.
It is most encouraging to contemplate the now-ness of man's spiritual perfection; that now he is complete in true form, mind, faculties, strength, health, courage, and dominion; that he lacks no good, expresses no deformity or shortcoming, needs no remaking. Yes, this is the man you are now; this man was never born and will never die. This is the man you can love as yourself and as your neighbor. This is the man you continue to love and be loyal to as dear ones pass from your sight. Their true being is perfect now. There is no here and over there in God's sight. Those seeming to be away have just as much good, just as much opportunity to claim and prove their divine heritage, as do we. You will not help them or yourselves by yearning for their human presence. You can safely leave them in the tender care of your Father-Mother Love. Our dear Leader said, "He who dwelleth in eternal light is bigger than the shadow, and will guard and guide His own" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 134). Clinging to the human sense of anyone clogs your progress heavenward and is always disloyal to man, whom you now know to be divine.
In taking the position of being perfect man, be assured that, humanly speaking, you will not grow faster spiritually than you are ready to grow; that you will not take on more of the nature of God than you can comfortably bear. The light of the Christ will be only as bright to you as you are prepared for and will shine to destroy your errors only where you open the door. If you are desirous of obeying God's will, you will not assume a goodness you have not proved. You will be faithful to daily tasks and obligations. You will first demonstrate your religion at the place where Truth finds you. God will bless you right where you are.
You can rest assured that you will not need to discard anything good in your present make-up. As a student of Christian Science, you may use petitionary prayer, but you will no longer plead with God to give you health, supply, position, or a companion, because you will be claiming your completeness as His perfect spiritual reflection. You may pray for more spiritual understanding, more spiritual love, more purity. You will yearn to express more of God's nature, to be more obedient to divine Principle, to let go of the so-called pleasant places in the material dream, and to live courageously the spiritual truths that you know. You will desire to exchange your human plan for yourself and others and accept and fit obediently and graciously into God's wonderful design. Your prayers will be to know yourself and others as God knows you and them, and to behave as God plans, minute by minute, for your true behavior.
You can still use your conscience, that little instrument that tells you what is right and what is wrong, where to go and where not to go. You will increase its usefulness as you exchange it for your true spiritual sense of listening and hearing, which you will now understand better as you accept the Christ, Truth, that you are one with God as His idea and know because He knows. You will be grateful that God, infinite Principle and Love, has complete understanding in Himself in His ability to take care of His creation, and that He constantly loves to do so, and that man, God's image and likeness, reflects this faith, this ability, this constant love, and — that you are that man. You will be grateful that God, infinite Soul, is satisfied with the perfection, the beauty, charm, grace, loveliness, variety, eternal freshness, newness, and completeness of His own Soul-creation, and that man reflects that satisfaction and joy, and — that you are that man. You will be grateful that God, infinite good, is free from all faultfinding, criticism, jealousy, or hate and that man reflects this freedom, and — that you are that man.
Loving ourselves within the radius of the searchlight of Truth, we will be good neighbors because we will know how to bless. The searchlight will not leave out our neighbor but will show his beauty and goodness to be equal to but not greater than ours. Loving him as we correctly love ourselves, we will see him safe in God's love. We cannot love his injustice, his dishonesty, or his willfulness, and we do not have to, because we now see that they are no part of his true being and are only indications of how he seems to be still mesmerized by a false sense of himself.
A student of Christian Science was suffering from a condition of poisoning with uncomfortable breaking out on the skin. As she was walking the floor in great distress, a co-worker, not a student of Christian Science, came to her, saying that she hoped that her jealousy and anger of the past several days had not caused the student to suffer. The Scientist lovingly explained that the thoughts of another have no power to harm unless accepted as harmful. She assured her friend that she held nothing but love for her and that in no way was she blaming her suffering on another. Great relief was expressed on the face of the co-worker when she understood that she was not being blamed, and the student was so grateful to see that relief that her own healing was instantaneous.
Through that experience this student learned to watch her own thinking to see that her thoughts were loving enough to include her neighbor. She reasoned that although man's true safety is in God's love, yet there was something she could do for her neighbor by seeing him safe in that love; and so her challenge through the years has been, "Am I seeing my brother safe in God's love?" Let us each answer to ourselves right now, "Am I seeing my brother safe in God's love?"
There is only one way to love, and that is to do it; to make the spiritually mental effort required. Our unselfish spiritual desire to bless another is the reflection of God's love. It is a hint of God's infinite tender consideration for everything that lives. We should claim our reflected capacity to love others as God loves us. Mankind knows little about true spiritual love, but we can at least begin to refuse to indulge anything that is its opposite. We should constantly yearn to take the sting out of our own and out of our brother's unlovingness by knowing its unreality and powerlessness. Any act that is not loving is a waste of time — a slowing up of our march heavenward.
Nothing is important about man, nothing is of real interest about him, except his perfection as the son of God. Nothing is important about our lives, about our affairs, about our relationships with others, except the spiritual truth about them. Thinking of ourselves and others as persons revolving in a material round is deadening to our own and our brother's progress; but identifying ourselves and others with the Christ, Truth, brings healing and aids steps heavenward.
Here is part of a helpful poem:
"In the words of the young man whom Jesus met,
She too asked: 'Lord, "what lack I yet?" . . .
What is my need, all else above?'
The answer came, 'To love, to love!'"
(Maxine Le Pelley, in The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 69, No, 2, p. 90.)
We need to love our neighbor in order to gain our own full salvation. Failing to see our neighbor as God's perfect reflection, we deny our own perfect sonship with God. We consent that evil has presence and power, accept evil's view for God's view, and darken our own thought.
We can always begin by loving our neighbor's welfare. We can daily think toward everyone we meet, "Can I help you?" Rejoicing in our own completeness, we will not be stingy or greedy, thinking that another's loss is our gain. We will not burden another's steps because we are not ready to be strong.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, "You cannot run away from a weakness: you must sometime fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now and where you stand?" (Amateur Emigrant) The study of Christian Science, my friends, will not relieve you of the need of overcoming evil. It will show up more clearly than before your own errors as well as those of your neighbor. But with Christian Science you can now fight them skillfully and without fear. You can be courageous because you know that all evil is illusion, which is devoid of any power except that which you mistakenly give it. Your spiritual weapons completely out-balance evil's boasted strength. Childlike willingness to obey the Christ, Truth, as it unfolds will make your struggle light and assure success.
There are the lines of the hymn,
"O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing."
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 158)
The time of our resting is dependent upon the time of our listening. If we are listening obediently, the Christ as revealed in Christian Science will show up the errors which are doing the most to hinder our progress, and we will welcome the opportunity to overcome them, even if this overcoming involves a struggle. But the spiritual overcoming is glorious, because it is the way heavenward; the winning reward is priceless, the joy gained unspeakable.
The young people of today are faced with a great challenge. They especially need our loving interest. Jesus was a great neighbor to the young; he himself was young, and youthful John leaned on his bosom.
The faithful young student of Christian Science today, though in military service, will expect miracles. He will accept his opportunity to love friend or foe, knowing that Love is the liberator. He will expect that his understanding and reflection of God's infinite and all-powerful love will protect him from cruelty or undue hardship. He will expect all-powerful Love to be superior to evil's hate. He will expect to prove life and protection here; and confident in his knowledge that his true substance is spiritual and that it can never be harmed, disfigured, nor destroyed, he will overcome his fear of death. He will take comfort in the assurance that those who have gone through the experience of death have grown in spiritual understanding and power because of their faithful fight and that a higher sense of life and harmony is abundantly blessing them now. And if ever faced by cruel torture at the hands of evil tormentors, he can take comfort in the remembrance of the power of the Christ-understanding and the love that Jesus proved when he rescued the Mary, taken in adultery, from the angry mob of scribes and Pharisees poised to stone her to death. Do you recall the story of Jesus' great challenge, his great counterattack when they tempted him, saying, as recorded in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John: "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? . . . Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst" (John 8:5-9).
As he wrote on the ground, might not Jesus have discerned the sins of her accusers and have written them away in the sands? Might not his great compassion during those tense moments, as he saw this woman's true nature, which enabled him to say to her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11) — might not that compassion have discerned the true nature of her accusers and healed those of receptive heart of their sins, now self-seen? We know with what effect his compassion touched her. This defense was one of Jesus' greatest acts as an exemplary good neighbor. He was being obedient to the two great commandments, and his obedience brought safety to himself as well as to the woman.
The young man and woman of today will take comfort that the faithful prayers of their loved ones, uniting with their own prayers, can hold them safe and secure and bring evidence after evidence of God's loving care for them and for their neighbor. They will take comfort in the many proofs of the power of spiritual prayer made by young Christians in the past. Sufficient understanding of God's all-power and of man's perfect spiritual being could hold one safe in the presence of an exploding shell — yes, even of an atom bomb; for eternal Spirit cannot be touched by matter, and God's idea can never be harmed or destroyed. Mankind is as safe as it spiritually understands itself to be.
"Love is the liberator" (Science and Health, p. 225). Oh, if all Christians today would unite in fervent daily prayer filled with warmest love for friend and foe! Our faithful Leader pled with us to pray each day, "thy kingdom come," and, "may thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" (Manual, p. 41). It is not so much that we do not know how to pray, but that our love of our neighbor is not sufficient to defeat the evil mesmerism that keeps us from helping him. If faithfully praying in accordance with our highest understanding, shall we not expect to see evidences of the eventual dawn of peace? Spiritual understanding and obedient living of the two great commandments, to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" and to "love thy neighbour as thyself," are mankind's best and only final security, the only way to permanent peace and eventual full salvation.
In an early Christian Science Sentinel, we find the following introduction and poem:
"'Little children, love one another,' said three times in a voice of unutterable tenderness and meaning, is, by some, supposed to have been the last public speech of John as Bishop of Ephesus.
"Into the hearts of the list'ning throng
Passeth the peace from above,
For John, the Beloved, is talking,
Telling his children of Love.
"'Little children, love one another.'
This is the message he brings;
For John is ambassador loyal
Of his Lord, the King of Kings.
"'Little children, love one another,'
Again he says, low and sweet.
Would you know where he caught that accent?
John sat at the Master's feet.
"'Little children, love one another;'
He has said these words three times
And their echo round earth is ringing,
One of the sweetest of chimes.
"So often this message I'm hearing
I seem to be of that throng;
And oh, may I learn to repeat it
In practice, – John's tender song."
(B. I. Best, in Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. II, p. 419.)
[Delivered in Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Dec. 4, 1951, and published in The West Tulsa News, Dec. 13, 1951.]