Peter B. Biggins, C.S.B., of Seattle, Washington
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"Christian Science: God's Rich Blessing to Humanity" was the subject of a Christian Science lecture delivered in the Auditorium, Tuesday evening, March 17, by Peter B. Biggins, C.S.B. of Seattle, Wash.
Christian Science, as discovered, taught, and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, brings blessings into the lives of those who receive its healing message, and it is a joy to tell about this blessedness and blessing. Christ Jesus, who understood God so well, has said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." This rich blessing, the understanding of eternal Life, is gained by knowing God aright. So it is well worth our while to consider the true nature and character of God.
Christian Science teaches that God is divine Principle, the infinite source or origin from whom man proceeds. God is divine Mind, Truth and Love, Spirit, Soul, Life; He is divine intelligence, infinite substance, our Father-Mother, the cause and creator of all that really is. God has revealed Himself throughout succeeding generations to those who have been prepared to receive Him. Thus there came to Abram of old a clear revelation of God. Abram lived on the plains of Mesopotamia about the year 1900 B.C. He turned from the pagan worship to which his fellow countrymen were devoted and caught a clear glimpse of the one God, who is revealed in Christian Science as the one Mind, the supreme intelligence, who, though invisible to the physical senses, governs the universe and man in perfect harmony. Abram and his family left their native country, and later came into Canaan. God promised that He would bless him and his family, and all humanity in these words: "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: . . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Abram was faithful to his new vision of the one God, and so we see a remarkable unselfishness expressed in his life. This resulted in continual spiritual growth for Abram, and when be had attained the age of ninety years and nine, he received a higher revelation. He then heard the voice of God saying, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
Abram's glimpse of the omnipotence and perfection of God made a great change in his experience. As a result his name was changed from Abram, meaning "high father," to Abraham, meaning "father of a multitude." The true and perfect nature of God had appeared to Abraham. At the same time he saw the need of walking before God of taking every necessary human footstep in working out the problem of being. This revelation of the nature of God and true being, and of the practical method of using it, has been recorded in the Scriptures, and thus it has been preserved.
Whenever this light of divine Truth comes to an individual, it brings some measure of salvation from evil, that is, from the belief in evil. It makes one more active, and better able to express one's true individuality. As this glorious light enabled Abraham to exercise more faith in God, so this light, coming to us today through Christian Science, frees us from the tendency to doubt God and to be afraid of evil. When these errors, doubt and fear, are removed from human consciousness by spiritual understanding, we are entering the kingdom of heaven. Instead of depending upon material things for happiness, health, or supply, it is better to turn from this limited sense to the infinite possibilities resident in divine Mind. This intelligent trust in God frees from a sense of apathy, or inertia. It imparts increased alertness, diligence, persistence in doing good. This consciousness of Truth saves from all evil beliefs, dishonesty, suspicion, fear, doubt, hatred, resentment, revenge. It imparts a higher sense of honesty, courage, confidence, affection, forgiveness. This consciousness of Truth frees the thoughts of men from the belief in disease by imparting the understanding of God's saving health.
Salvation from error is wrought as we gain a clear sense of the present perfection of God and man. Even a glimpse of this spiritual fact awakens one to take all practical steps towards its realization. It reveals the possibilities of complete salvation. This salvation can begin here and now and continue until that which is false and unreal has been dispelled. Our salvation lies in conscious at-one-ment with God. Well does Isaiah represent God as saying, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
This does not mean that the Christian Scientist closes his eyes to the evils that are apparent in the world. Far from it. The understanding which Christian Science brings makes one more keenly conscious of the need of getting rid of all that is unlike the Mind of Christ. Instead of teaching that evil is as real or powerful as good, or more real or powerful than good, it makes clear that evil can and must be overcome by the diligent practice of good. Thus it teaches practical salvation, a present redemption from evil.
The revelation of the one true God which Abraham had gained was enjoyed also by his descendants, by Isaac, by Jacob, and by the children of Israel. The vision of Truth caught by them, and in an outstanding degree by Moses and the prophets, had prepared the more spiritually minded among the Jewish people for the coming of the long-looked-for Messiah, or Christ, the anointed one. The true method of salvation was revealed in its perfectness by Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus, illumined by the unfailing light of Christ, Truth, worked out in the right way all the problems of human existence. Jesus' life was one of blessedness and blessing. We see in his life unfailing strength, kindness, and justice, purity, tenderness, unlimited wisdom and intelligence. In his words and deeds he was obeying his divine Principle, God. We see this, for instance, in his well-known Sermon on the Mount. This great sermon contains a comprehensive statement of the simple rules of Christian living. We may see in Christ Jesus' works throughout his ministry a remarkable coincidence with his words as contained in this great sermon, which is full of blessing. We recognize that he reflected the healing power of the divine Mind. In his entire life, we see the nature of God clearly manifested. Mrs. Eddy, referring to Jesus' achievement, writes in her book "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 199), "We learn somewhat of the qualities of the divine Mind through the human Jesus."
Because Jesus taught and practiced eternal Truth, his teaching is as applicable to the needs of the present day as it was to the needs of his own day. He came preaching the gospel of the kingdom. He declared that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He illustrated the coming of this kingdom by simple parables, in which, among other things, he commended diligence in business, faithful stewardship. The Master taught and practiced diligence in the Father's business, and he wisely took much time for quiet meditation on the law of God, an example which is followed by many thoughtful men and women in this present day. Christian Science Reading Rooms afford to busy men and women the opportunity to commune with the divine Mind, the source of true strength and inspiration. Who can estimate what it means to busy people who replenish their lamps with the oil of gladness during the noon hour at these Reading Rooms, and go back to their duties with clarified mentalities to solve the perplexing problems of the day? Christ Jesus states the reward of true watchfulness and diligence in these words: "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them."
We can discern the consummate love exemplified by the appearing of Jesus, and demonstrated in his life. What but infinite divine Love and its expression could strip the disguise from the seeming "mystery of iniquity," and prove its powerlessness, in the light of Truth? As we trace in the gospel records his life of goodness, as we note in the light of Christian Science his words and his works, we understand better the divine Principle upon which those words and works were based. Spiritual growth will continually enlarge our appreciation of Jesus of Nazareth.
When Jesus had been sufficiently prepared for his great life-work, and entered upon it at the age of thirty years, he was imbued with the Holy Spirit. With this fuller inflow of spiritual light, he was given the new name, Messiah, or Christ, the anointed of God. The Christ was the spiritual selfhood of Jesus, and it was through the power of Christ, Truth, that Jesus performed the mighty works of healing and restoration of which we read in the four Gospels. Jesus, speaking of the Christ, said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." This Christ, or Truth, was the light which the spiritually minded had glimpsed in the earliest times. This was the light which Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham discerned. Hence Jesus' words, as he spoke of the Christ, "Before Abraham was, I am." Paul speaks of Christ as "the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Jesus' mission on earth was to impart to humanity the understanding of Christ, and thus to redeem men from evil. He taught that man, in reality, is the perfect child of a perfect Father, and therefore not the victim of evil. He said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Christian Science teaches that man's true individuality is the reflection of the divine Mind, the image and likeness of God. This true individuality is spiritual and perfect. Individual character is far more potent, far more real and tangible, than mere corporeality. What is it that you appreciate in your friends? Is it not some quality of thought? The unselfishness, the nobility, the intelligence, the fidelity, which you see expressed by those with whom you are associated are these qualities material? Obviously not. Do they belong to corporeality? No. Do not such qualities as these truly represent your friends? Yes, assuredly. These mental, moral, and spiritual qualities belong to the true individuality of man. How much more tangible and real these qualities are than weight, height, or any other material evidence or condition! Well, it should not be difficult to see that man whom you may have believed to be material, or both material and spiritual, is not material at all, but wholly spiritual and mental; and this is just what Christian Science teaches. Man is made in the image and likeness of God.
Nothing that is unlovely belongs to the real man. A diamond, when it is discovered in the field or in the mine, is hidden by crude elements. It is, to use a familiar expression, "a diamond in the rough." The expert worker skillfully removes these rough elements, and lo! there may come to light a gem of the first water, perfect in purity and transparency. The crudities never belong to the diamond. They never affect the diamond, even though they seem temporarily to hide its beauty and to be a part of it. The false elements which seem to hide the real, spiritual man from view do not belong, and never did belong to him. They never touch or affect his true being. They are simply illusions of the material senses. Whether one believes that these false mental qualities are due to heredity, environment, or education, one can get rid of them through the understanding of the truth of being.
The individual who grasps this fact, and becomes busy in working out his salvation, is very watchful that he does not entertain any erroneous concept regarding himself or his fellow man. He habitually strives to gain a fuller understanding of the one divine Mind, and through the uplifted consciousness thus gained he sees that man is the image and likeness of perfect Mind. He discerns in a measure the Science of being. He then rejects any evidence of imperfection regarding himself or another, and refuses to admit that error of any kind belongs to man. Thus he bears witness to the truth. Thus he is learning to love his neighbor as himself. Thus he expresses the Mind of Christ. He is beginning to see that the real man is born of God, and inherits only those qualities which are good and true an unfailing and eternal birthright. In the light of Truth, errors engendered by false education fade away before the fact that divine Mind has ever been imparting to His beloved child ideas of divine Truth and Life and Love. The beliefs of false environment yield as one sees that man always lives and moves and has his being in infinite, divine Mind, wherein man enjoys unlimited possibilities for good. Day by day the shadows of sin, disease, and fear are fleeing before the light. These facts are intensely practical. They become more tangible as we use them.
The God of Abraham is your God and mine. The light which Abraham glimpsed may come to you and to me. That light is the Christ, Truth, to which the Apostle John refers as "the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." It was this light which came to Mary Baker Eddy when in her time of physical need she turned to God, and was healed. It was this light which guided her in writing the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This same light comes with healing touch to each one who reads this textbook with humble, receptive thought.
Throughout Bible history we note that many a time when God's people were sorely oppressed by their enemies, God raised up a prophet, or one divinely inspired, to accomplish their deliverance. The Scriptures are full of such incidents. Divine Love has richly blessed humanity today by bringing anew the promise of deliverance from evil. It took the unerring insight of true womanhood to discern aright humanity's need today, the need of understanding the Science of the Christly method of healing. Mary Baker Eddy was the one best prepared spiritually to respond to the mandate of good, to do this great and needful work.
Mrs. Eddy was remarkably well fitted for the work she had to do. As a child, she was richly blessed in having a mother of devout character, and she grew in wisdom and in love for God and man. This fact is evidenced by her poems, written in childhood. These poems show a remarkable degree of spirituality, and they are distinctly prophetic of the great work as a spiritual Leader, which she was to perform in later life.
Mrs. Eddy, in her young womanhood, was deeply and actively interested in many reforms. After her return from the South she opened an infants' school which was somewhat in the nature of kindergarten schools today, and from time to time she substituted in the New Hampshire Conference Seminary during the absence of regular teachers. She also took an active part in the promotion of temperance. It was, in fact, while returning from a temperance meeting that she met with an injury, subsequent recovery from which led her to discover Christian Science, and to give it to the world as true Science.
A number of instances are on record during the latter days of the Christian era, as well as in the earlier days, wherein Christlike characters have experienced healing by spiritual means. Mrs. Eddy's experience, however, is outstanding for this reason, that she was thereby impelled to find out how this healing had been accomplished. In this patient search for a definite understanding of the divine Mind which had healed her, Mrs. Eddy showed absolute consecration to the spiritual ideal to which her life was devoted. She healed through spiritual means alone many cases of supposedly hopeless disease. These practical proofs of the value of the divine Science which she discovered prepared the way for the reception of her book, Science and Health. Sibyl Wilbur, in "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy," tells of her patience and perseverance in writing the Christian Science textbook, which fully sets forth her discovery. In a small room on the attic floor of the little house on Broad Street, Lynn, Mrs. Eddy pursued her Scriptural study and research, and finished her manuscript of this book. Her devotion to her ideal was suitably expressed by the framed inscription which adorned the wall of this little room, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Mrs. Eddy wisely discerned the need of an organization to protect and foster the new discovery of spiritual healing. For this reason she established The Mother Church, the helpful activities of which insure to the seeker for Truth the means of progressing spiritually. The Mother Church, visible among men as the type of universal Truth and Love, is a blessing to all. It stands as an ideal type of self-government, helping those who are ready for this help to enjoy their God-bestowed rights. The establishment of The Mother Church on its sound and permanent basis is a glorious consummation of the plan of divine Love, as reflected by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy's work will remain to help and bless all mankind.
It is a memorable day in one's experience when one is awakened to an understanding of God in Christian Science. I well remember my own experience. Having left my home and come to a new country, I found a church of the denomination of which I had already been a member. One Sunday evening in this church a sermon was preached on the subject of Christian Science. Much was said in favor of spiritual healing; and one fact stands out above all others. Reference was made to an elderly lady who had been an invalid for many years. When she read in the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health, p. 2) the words, "God is Love," she arose healed. This made a deep impression on me. Unfortunately for the purpose of the sermon, however, much was said in criticism of our revered Leader, Mrs. Eddy. Immediately things began to happen very quickly in my experience. I found in the public library of that city the Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal, the weekly and monthly periodicals of the Christian Science movement and I was much impressed by the beauty of the thoughts expressed therein. I felt sure that I had found the truth for which I had been looking. I immediately obtained from the Christian Science Reading Room in that city a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and I am grateful for the rich blessings which have come into my life through studying this book and imbibing to some measure its teachings. This book breathes forth the spirit of Christ, bringing blessings to the earnest reader, correcting and dispelling false beliefs. Like thousands of others I am grateful that Mrs. Eddy was not content merely to enjoy the fruits of this discovery herself, but that she went on with her valiant work as the Founder of the religion of Christian Science, providing for its many activities, including the issuing of the periodicals, through which so many are being led to find the Christian Science textbook, the true Key to the treasures contained in the Bible.
One of the first things to impress the beginner in this study is the great love for the Bible which Christian Science awakens in his thought. If he has been a student of the Bible, he finds that, in the light thrown upon it by the Christian Science textbook, it becomes a new book to him. If he has not already studied the Bible, he is agreeably surprised to find the wealth of inspiration, comfort, and strength he derives from it. The Bible which Christian Scientists study is the Authorized Version, the King James Version. This book is read in all Christian Science churches in conjunction with Science and Health.
The light which came to patriarch, prophet, and apostle has been committed to the later ages through the inspired Word of the Bible. This light could never be wholly extinguished. Even during what have been called the Dark Ages this light was not wholly lost. As time went on, the Bible was translated into English. The invention of the printing press greatly aided the dissemination of this light of Truth imparted by the Bible. Thus the Bible came into the hands of the common people who then, as in the time of Jesus, heard the Word gladly. The Word of God speaks to us through the Bible. As we study the Scriptures to gain their spiritual meaning, we commune with God, acquaint ourselves with the divine Mind, and so gain true peace. Paul, in writing to the youthful Timothy, says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
Many daily newspapers today are freely publishing quotations from the Bible. Some newspapers are doing this every day. This is, indeed, good news. Wherever the Bible is read aright it brings a fuller measure of light and spiritual progress. Men, women, and children, rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated, find therein the bread and water of Life. Speaking of the Bible, Mrs. Eddy writes in her book "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 363), "The Bible is the learned man's masterpiece, the ignorant man's dictionary, the wise man's directory."
In the experience of every individual there comes the time when he is awakened to a keener desire to know God better and to express the reality of man's being. Whether this desire comes sooner or later it comes inevitably, and then the individual has begun to pray aright; he has begun to utilize divine power. Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Here is the basis of effectual prayer. Thus man communes with God through Christ. Do Christian Scientists pray? Yes, unceasingly. The Christianly scientific prayer is one of humility and love. Mrs. Eddy tells how Christian Scientists pray when she writes in Science and Health (p. 15) these words: "Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice, not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings."
True prayer cannot be used to accomplish an evil purpose. It can be properly used only to do good. If one should attempt to pray to God, who is infinite good, to injure a fellow being, such a mistaken individual would be simply injuring himself. Anyone who would attempt to pray with any other motive than that of blessing and helping mankind, himself, and others is asking amiss, and such prayer is powerless and fruitless. True prayer always blesses, uplifts, purifies, and heals. When Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem, where Jesus was about to give his final proof of the powerlessness of malice, envy, and hate to destroy him or his work, this little band of early Christians approached a village of Samaria. We read in the Gospel of Luke that the people of this village did not receive Jesus hospitably. The disciples, not yet fully awakened to the Christliness of Jesus' healing message, said to their Master, "Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" But Jesus turned and rebuked his disciples, saying, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
The healings effected today by Christian Science are similar to those performed by spiritual power in the early days of the Christian era. Christian healing, as practiced in Christian Science, is more widespread today than in any other period of the world's history. It is clearly the function of the Christian church to carry on the apostolic work of healing the sick through spiritual power, and the Church of Christ, Scientist, is performing this vital function. Daily, hourly, throughout the world, wherever the Church of Christ, Scientist The Mother Church and its branches is established, this healing, redemptive work goes steadily on.
Time and time again I have seen cases of supposedly hopeless disease healed instantaneously, as this light of divine Truth as revealed in Christian Science has dawned upon the thought of sufferers. Those who have been enslaved by liquor, opium, and other phases of vice have found freedom through the Christ-power, invalids who have spent weary months and years in seemingly hopeless invalidism, have risen from their beds well, even when they were believed to be in "the valley of the shadow of death." These results are being continually repeated in the practice of Christian Science. In the experience of those who are healed by Christian Science, there is being fulfilled today in large measure the promise given by God through the prophet Malachi: "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings."
How is this healing wrought? How may each one utilize and enjoy this healing power? These questions are best answered by a careful study of Science and Health. People are being healed every day by reading this book. They are helped by the Christ-spirit which pervades this volume, and they find that their burdens are dropping away, and they are enabled to understand man's true being, which is ever harmonious. One gains light and liberty by turning thought to God and rejoicing in man's unity with God.
Among the many healings resulting from the reading of Science and Health, which have come to my attention, is the following, related to me by a good friend of mine. He had been a successful lawyer in one of America's large cities, but he had become addicted to the use of liquor and drugs. In his distress resulting from enslavement to these habits, he was tempted to end what he believed to be his life. He decided, however, at this time to go to a Christian Science Reading Room, where he found Science and Health. He read in this book until he came to these words of Mrs. Eddy, on page 250: "Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God." He was instantaneously healed of the desire to use drugs. A few weeks later, as he continued to study Science and Health, he was healed of the desire for liquor. He found a new joy in living. These healings proved to be permanent.
Christian Science presents the fundamental fact that God is All-in-all, and that man is God's image and likeness. The practice of Christian Science is the intelligent utilization of this fact to the healing of disease, and in all the details of living. You can see, then, that Christian Science is essentially Christian and scientific. In the true sense of the term, Christian Science dispels discord with the light of spiritual truth, and thus immortal man, the only man there is in reality, comes to light. Christian Science is not associated in any way with and bears no resemblance to hypnotism, mesmerism, or theosophy. The only influence Christian Science acknowledges is the influence of the unerring divine Mind; the only wisdom, the wisdom of God. Through Christian Science practice, harmonious results are realized in proportion as thought is in accord with the eternal law of God. True thought proceeds from the divine Mind, God. It is ever harmonious. It is ever active. It manifests, indeed, the ceaseless activity of the divine Mind, from which it emanates. Christian Science imparts true spirituality. The real man is the product of God's creative power, and he exists eternally as perfect as God made him. As patriarch, prophet, and apostle have beheld this truth in the Science of being, and realized man's unity with God, they have been endued with the Holy Ghost.
Christian Science makes clear the allness of divine Mind, and the nothingness of matter. If there are those who believe matter to be solid, tangible, and substantial, it may be a great relief to them to know that even natural scientists do not regard matter in this way. Of all the thousands who have engaged in the elusive pursuit of trying to find out what matter is, not one has ever been able to announce a positive or conclusive fact to prove the existence of matter. The simple reason is that matter is unreal, nonexistent in Truth.
Medical theories which were accepted by many a few years ago have been discarded today as useless. Some time ago a physician told me that his costly library of medical works would be of little or no value in five or ten years. Such is the value of speculations regarding matter, and of descriptions of the supposed properties of matter! Many conscientious medical men, seeing the disappointing results of material means, are becoming increasingly receptive to spiritual truth; their thoughts are becoming in a degree dematerialized and spiritualized. Such medical men freely acknowledge the beneficial results of Christian Science. A number of them are becoming Christian Scientists. When this physician told me of the expected decrease in value of his medical library, I could not help contrasting this with the priceless and enduring value of the Christian Science textbooks, the Bible and Science and Health and Mrs. Eddy's other writings. The truths contained in these inexpensive volumes are being more clearly seen day by day and more fully demonstrated. These truths will stand when speculations regarding matter have passed into oblivion.
One may say: Well, if matter is unreal, what about this universe? What about the men and women whom we see? Do you mean to say that this universe does not exist? Oh, no; it is to material sense that the universe appears to be material, but the real universe, God's universe, is wholly spiritual. It is here now, and is far more beautiful than what is seen materially. God's man is here and he is real and substantial. As we gain the true spiritual standpoint, we see God's universe and man.
Let us consider a simple illustration. A man was going down to his office one morning. His heart was heavy and sad. As he went, he gained a new standpoint. He became confident of success. Immediately his step became sprightly; he noticed the sunshine, and heard the song of the birds. He met many friends whose ready smile met with his glad response. The sun had been already shining; the birds had been singing; his friends greeting him. But he had not been alert to notice them. Now his own mental attitude had changed, and everything looked different. Probably everyone in this audience has had an experience of this kind. One's own mental attitude has a direct bearing on what one sees and hears, and how one sees and hears it. Let us carry this illustration still further. We have Scriptural authority for knowing that God, Spirit, has created all. Since God could make nothing unlike Himself, it is plain that God's universe must express Him; that is, it must be spiritual. Christian Science, instructing us in this fact, opens up new possibilities of thought. Doubtless everyone in this audience loves to view the beauties of nature, the cloud effects, the rainbow, the rising and setting sun. As you do so, it is possible to look beyond the material appearance and through spiritual sense behold what God has made, to discern the realities of being which these beauties of nature symbolize. Then you are catching a glimpse of the truth of spiritual being.
Abraham's Chaldean countrymen deified the sun and the moon and the stars. Abraham departed from that pagan worship when he discerned the one true God. At one time God had led Abraham forth and said to him, "Look now toward heaven, and tell (count) the stars, if thou be able to number them;" and continuing, God said, "So shall thy seed be." May we not conclude that God was giving to Abraham a helpful lesson as to the infinitude of God's universe and man? Is it any wonder that Abraham enjoyed God's affluence in his affairs? As we understand the infinitude, the spirituality of God's universe and man, limitations will drop off, and we shall prove more fully our possibilities as children of God. As yet we have just begun to do this, but it is well to see the possibilities, and to work patiently on, trusting God to show us the way.
God's universe is spiritual. The mistake is with mortals, who wrongly believe that it is material. Mortals, viewing the universe materially, conceive that it is of a destructive nature, and they theorize about this destructiveness. Nevertheless, spring continues to follow winter; green leaves shoot forth, from bush and tree; seedlings spring from the earth, providing food for man and beast. These phenomena cannot be explained on a purely material basis. They never have been explained thus. We are nearing the true explanation, as we recognize that infinite Mind is expressed, that divine Mind's law of ceaseless growth and development is manifested.
Viewing the universe and man from a material standpoint, mortals have concluded that sickness, sin, and death are inevitable. Christian Science, with its simple explanation of God's universe and man as spiritual, strips the mask from these illusions. God never sent nor authorized sin, sickness, and death. This truth destroys these errors, and brings to light the beauty of holiness, health, and life everlasting. He made man upright, immortal, harmonious, free, joyous, well; and His man remains as He created him, ever advancing to a higher enjoyment of God's goodness. Paul, writing to the Christians at Corinth, says, "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace."
When Moses was about to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, he saw a bush which burned, but was not consumed a type, surely, of the indestructible nature of true substance. He then heard the voice of God saying, "I am . . . the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." In later centuries Christ Jesus spoke of this experience of Moses, bringing home the lesson that man is deathless, by saying, after referring to the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, "He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." It was generally believed that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead, yet here Christ Jesus referred to them as alive. He brought home this priceless lesson in true being still further in his parable in which he told of two men, one of whom was very poor in this world's goods, and the other very rich. When they passed from this plane, the rich man was depicted as suffering torment. The poor man, rich in faith, was described as being in Abraham's bosom, near to the state of thought that Abraham exemplified. Christ Jesus, who has told us these facts, understood Life aright. He knew how to raise people from the dead, and to raise himself from the dead. He knew how to depict exactly the facts of being, which to many of us have seemed hard to understand.
There is no sin, no disease, no sorrow so deeply rooted but divine Love can eradicate it, because of the infinite depth of Love. Man's being is at one with divine Love. From everlasting to everlasting, man is and has been and ever will be at one with God, held securely in the embrace of the eternal Mind, safe in Science. No evil, therefore, has ever befallen God's child, who is made in His own image. All the evil that seems to be, or to have been, is in the so-called realm of mortal mind, whereas there never has been any such thing to the realm of immortal Mind, the kingdom of heaven, the only realm there is, in reality. Paul says, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Through the helpful ministrations of Christian Science, a new ideal has come, not only to those of mature years, but also to the youth of the present day. We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel: "It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." So young people, today, are having the opportunity to catch the vision of Truth as revealed in Christian Science, and so to express strength and purity in thought and life, finding thus a higher happiness and success. While conditions at present apparent in the world require the earnest thought of every thinking man and woman, can we not see a bow of radiant promise? Youth is being encouraged and enabled by Christian Science to utilize the might of divine Mind, thus gaining true liberty, that liberty which is found in being good and in doing good.
Education is being enriched today by a new factor, the understanding of spiritual reality imparted by Christian Science. This spiritual method, based on the understanding of the one Mind, divine consciousness, is much more practical and effectual than material systems. This new spiritual ideal is enabling those of the rising generation to live happily and helpfully in the present, and to grow to manhood and womanhood expressing a higher order of intelligence, a greater degree of nobility of character, a fuller measure of usefulness in this busy, active, upward-striving age. Children are today gaining in Christian Science a love for God's law, and so learning more of man's higher nature. While there is in educational activities, on one hand, a materialistic trend, there is, on the other, a growing tendency to give heed to the divine law. This is indicated by the passing of an act in North Dakota a few years ago, which requires that the Ten Commandments shall be displayed in every public school room in that state. We find, furthermore, a widespread reading of the Scriptures in schools. We find it in university fraternities and sororities.
Christian Science is not merely "another denomination." It is not "just another sect." Christian Science is the law of life. When this is seen, the term "Christian Science" will never be used lightly. Words are symbols of thought. The words may be easily spoken, but care and attention are required in order that the thought may be comprehended. How easy it is to speak the word "life"! How vast is the true concept of Life. Does it not take much patience, watchfulness, and love to understand Life? Our relations with our fellow men give us continual opportunities to use what we understand of Life, God, and of man, who is the true expression of Life. What happiness it gives us when we see in the simple affairs of daily living the proof that a valuable rule of Life has been properly applied!
What a blessing it is to know that God's law is ever available to solve the problems of human existence! As we each cast out of thought unjust criticism, suspicion, fear, hatred, anger, impurity, impatience, and every false sense that may claim to find lodgment there, remembering that these are not realities, but merely beliefs, then angels come and minister unto us, and we find our lives becoming more harmonious. Our useful work is less hampered, our helpfulness greatly enhanced. This is the practice of true forgiveness. This is essential to Christian healing and living. Here we see the change that Christian Science is making in individual character and life, in so far as this teaching is faithfully applied. It enters into all the details of one's life, strengthening all that is good, and insuring the success of all righteous endeavor.
One of our hymns says (Christian Science Hymnal; No. 51):
"God's will is done; His Kingdom come;
The Potter's work is plain.
The longing to be good and true
Has brought the light again.
And man does stand as God's own child,
The image of His love.
Let gladness ring from every tongue,
And heaven and earth approve."
[March 17, 1936.]