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
Peter B. Biggins, C.S.B., of Seattle, Washington, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, delivered a lecture on Christian Science under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Oakland, in the Scottish Rite Temple, 1547 Oak Street, Oakland, California, Friday evening, August 29, 1941, at 8 o'clock.
The lecturer was introduced by Nels V. Nelson, First Reader of the church, who said:
Today there is much need for correct application of the healing power of Christian Science to problems confronting mankind. It is only through correct application that right results are obtained. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 412, tells us, "The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and destroy disease, sin and death." And, in one of her other writings, Rudimental Divine Science, page 1, in answer to the question "How would you define Christian Science?" she says: "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."
We have the law. What each and all of us need is to understand and correctly apply it. The healing results of correct application are sure.
Students of Christian Science are grateful to their Leader for making it possible for them to understand and apply this law of God to discordant problems, thereby bringing into the experience of themselves and others the harmony of health and joy.
One of the activities established by Mrs. Eddy for this purpose is the Christian Science Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
A member of this Board is with us this evening. The subject of his lecture is: "Christian Science: How to Apply it."
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Oakland, welcomes you here and is looking forward with you to a better understanding and application of this great Truth with its inevitable results of healing.
We are grateful to our Lecturer, Peter B. Biggins, of Seattle, Washington, and happy to present him to you. Mr. Biggins.
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
Today it is a matter of common knowledge that Christian Science is giving to those who study and apply it health of body, peace of mind, and an ever-expanding hope for better things. Many people are endeavoring to learn how these good results are brought about. It is my purpose to answer some of the questions you may be asking as to how to apply this Science to your own individual needs.
Christ Jesus made clear the basis of the application of Truth to the needs of humanity, when, in his Sermon on the Mount, he said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He set forth the grand results of this correct application when, at the end of this discourse, he said, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." That rock is Christ, Truth. That is the rock on which the teaching of Christian Science is built. That is the foundation of its practice, the basis of its practical application to your needs and to mine.
According to the account in Matthew, about the time when Jesus delivered his Sermon on the Mount, he went into the home of Peter, one of his disciples. Here we may gain an interesting sidelight into the helpfulness of Jesus in the homes which he visited. He found that the mother of Peter's wife was suffering from a fever. Our Master, with his clear sense of the truth of being, his recognition of perfect God and perfect man, perfect Father and perfect child, healed her of the fever instantly. "He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them." While she was ill, others ministered to her. As soon as she recovered, she ministered to them. This is always the effect of healing in Christian Science. It awakens the unselfed desire to help others as one has been helped, and it imparts the ability to do so.
In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains the basis on which Christ Jesus healed the sick, in these words on page 476: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." Where mortals saw a sick, sinning, dying mortal, Jesus saw God's perfect image, healthy, happy, holy, and well, expressing the activity and abundance of Life and Love. It is our privilege and necessity to replace the false sense of ourselves and of others with the true and perfect sense. Our Master said, "Be ye therefore perfect," because he understood that man as God's idea already is perfect. Peter had witnessed many such healings. He had listened to the teaching of the Master as they sat on the hillside in the golden Palestinian sunshine, as they walked through the cornfields, as they sailed the Sea of Galilee in tiny fishing boats. As a result of this teaching, he also had learned to apply this practical truth taught by the Master, this truth about perfect God and perfect man. So in after years he was able to testify courageously to the power of the Christ. In explaining to a Roman centurion named Cornelius, the operation of the Christ-power, he said, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
This statement points to the practicality of Jesus' mission. It indicates the source of his power — "God was with him." Omnipotent good was with him. Therefore impotent evil vanished from his presence. The nature of disease is also clearly shown here, in these words, "healing all that were oppressed of the devil," seemingly oppressed by evil. The sufferers were healed as a result of the Master's perception of the presence and supremacy of good. Thus it is plain that disease is never true, because it contradicts the truth of being, the fact that man is made in the image and likeness of God. For the same reason discord of any kind is never true. Man, as God's image, is always healthy and harmonious, and disease never belongs to him.
Christ Jesus obviously understood that God is perfect Love, and he himself perfectly reflected Love, as proved by his ministrations. Mrs. Eddy presents a helpful point in the application of the truth to the healing of disease, when she writes in Science and Health (p. 412), "The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness." This precious sense of God's loving control over His own creation is important in Christian Science healing. I have seen many cases of fever quickly healed in this way, by the realization of the fact that divine Love governs all. This realization brings peace to the troubled heart. It silences and dispels the clamor of the physical senses, all surging fears, confusion, doubt, and darkness. Christian Science, as Jesus also proved, is doing much more than healing individual cases of fever. It is healing seemingly hopeless organic as well as functional disease. It is stilling the feverish turmoil of the human mind, which seems to be harassed about so many things today. Those who have enjoyed the healing power of the Christ know its efficacy. All may prove it for themselves.
Those of you who are in need of healing can accept and apply in your own experience the sacred truths used by our Master and by his disciples, and today revealed in Christian Science. God governs His creation with unerring wisdom and love. He has already given to you, as His perfect child, health, happiness, wisdom, joy, strength, and abundant supply. All these blessings are as truly yours as are the genial sunshine and the fresh air. This wisdom discerned makes clear the proper step needed in solving every human problem, in meeting rightly every situation in life, however difficult or trying it may seem to be. You have never been, never can be separated from your Father-Mother God, divine Principle, Love. As you recognize that Spirit fills all space, and that you are, in reality, spiritual, inseparable from Spirit, you are gaining the understanding which will free you from any sense of lack, and open up to you unlimited possibilities. The tender presence of the Christ will comfort you in any sorrow, support you in every trial, make you victorious — over self — in every seeming conflict.
Let us consider further how Christ Jesus applied the truth to the healing of the sick. A man came to him complaining that he could not see. When the blind man was healed, he went away saying, in effect, "I can see." Mrs. Eddy, in telling of this healing, writes in her book, "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 258): "When, through Mind, he [Jesus] restored sight to the blind, he figuratively and literally spat upon matter; and, anointing the wounded spirit with the great truth that God is All, he demonstrated the healing power and supremacy of the law of Life and Love." The application of the great fact of God's allness healed the man.
From Jesus' own words we may learn further how he applied his understanding of the truth of being. He said, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." In this simple statement lies the key to the Master's application of this demonstrable Science of being. He obeyed the divine will, not the will of the so-called carnal mind. Our Master understood that God is perfect and that man, His creation, is perfect, like Himself. On this basis, he taught us to turn away always from the imperfections of mortal, material, personal sense to the glorious perfections of immortal spiritual sense, the eternal state of man governed by divine Principle.
The prophet Isaiah, in foretelling the coming of the Christ, said, they "shall call his name Immanuel;" and Matthew, in repeating the prophet's words, adds, "which being interpreted is, God with us." In other words, the helpful, loving ministry of our great Master, exemplifying the Christ, was evidence that God is here, dispelling evil and showing forth only good. Mrs. Eddy has written in Science and Health (p. 34), "If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other commemoration is requisite, for demonstration is Immanuel, or God with us; and if a friend be with us, why need we memorials of that friend."
In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on the Gaspe Peninsula, there stands a cape which in earlier days was known as Cap Desespoir — Cape Despair. Today, as for many decades past, it has an effective lighthouse, whose kindly light gleams across the water for many miles. Now it is known as Cap d'Espoir — the Cape of Hope. Many people have at some time come to the place where they have almost despaired of finding the solution of life's problems. In their extremity they have been led to investigate Christian Science. With the coming of the light of Truth, this proves to be the turning point in their lives. Their "point of despair" becomes their "point of hope." The despair of recovery — hopelessness as to being able to meet life's difficulties — gives place to confidence in the fact that divine Love solves every problem, heals every ill. They awaken to the fact that God is with them. This is their demonstration, their proof of Immanuel.
Christian Science enables us to see that we are living in God, living in good, and not in matter. Therefore there is nothing in God's universe of which man need be afraid. Plainly, no one could be afraid of unlimited good. No one could be terrified over the fact that man is the image and likeness of the infinitely good creator. In fact, the realization of the truth that God, good, is All, and man is His likeness, is the certain remedy for fear. Even physicians, working from a material standpoint, recognize that fear has much to do with disease. Christian Science makes this still clearer. By the continual contemplation of the truths taught in Christian Science, the student finds that fears which formerly bound him disappear, and he becomes more fully aware of the presence of divine Love, which casts out fear. Some people seem to be afraid in the dark, while they are less afraid in daylight. Fear is always an evidence that one's thought is more or less darkened. It is man's privilege to abide in the light of Truth, in the sunshine of Love. This ability is acquired by entertaining thoughts of Truth and Love.
Man, made in God's likeness, is ever aware of the presence of spiritual light, of good, power, purity, justice, order, health and harmony. In this consciousness of Truth there is no error. With this abiding sense of Love there is no hatred, malice, envy, fear, anger, jealousy, or revenge. In this constant awareness of purity and power there is no weakness, no sensuality. In the light of good, expressed in justice, order, health, and harmony, there is no darkness, no disease, no disorder, no injustice, no evil of any kind. Man in God's likeness is never conscious of the seeming opposites of the radiant realities of being.
A business man, while living at his summer home, was stricken with a serious intestinal disease. He was rushed back to his home city, being taken on a stretcher from the railway station to the hospital. Here an emergency operation was performed on him. Some months later he underwent a second operation, and still later a third. After all of these operations he was no better, but much worse. He then went to well-known surgeons, who informed him that if he would put himself in their hands, and undergo another major operation, this difficulty might be overcome, but they held out no hope that it would bring the desired result. They also informed him that he was a victim of tuberculosis and advised him to go to a warm climate, and put his affairs in good shape. This verdict plunged him into a state of hopeless despondency.
He did not consent to undergo this operation, but in his extremity, at the advice of a friend, he called on a Christian Science practitioner. He had no hope that Christian Science could help him. He believed it was now too late. During his talk with the practitioner, it seemed to him that a great weight like thousands of pounds was lifted off his shoulders. Up to that time he had been unable to walk the length of a city block without great pain. When he left the practitioner's home he seemed to be walking on air. He forgot about the tramcar he had meant to take, and walked back to his hotel, a distance of about two miles. After a good night's sleep, the best he had had for months, he felt that after all he was not bound hand and foot, and that he just needed to become better acquainted with his true birthright, his perfect spiritual selfhood, in order to find complete freedom. His "point of despair" had been changed to a "point of hope." Next morning he went to a Christian Science Reading Room and bought a copy of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and a copy of the Bible. He then left for the west coast, and while there he spent some time reading Science and Health. During a sudden attack, he bought some compounds and appliances from a chemist's shop, intending to use them on his return to his temporary home. The package which he bought was lying on one side of his dresser, and Science and Health on the other. He picked up the package, and was about to break it open, when it seemed that a voice, speaking to his consciousness, said, "Wait." Then he recalled how a little reading of Science and Health had helped him, and he concluded that if he settled down to a consecrated study of the truth it contained he would find complete freedom from his physical difficulties. He did so, and persevered in his study. At once he found relief from pain, and immediately the wounds began to heal. He returned home a few weeks later completely healed. At the same time he was healed of biliousness, constipation, and other recurring ills. The tuberculosis also vanished; and some years later, when medically examined for life insurance, he was found to be so well that a policy for a very substantial sum was issued to him. Today he is in excellent health, actively engaged as senior partner in a business with far-reaching scope. He became a member of a branch church, and of The Mother Church, and has taken active part in the work of his church.
In considering how to apply Christian Science to one's individual needs, one important point should be noted. In order to apply Christian Science consistently, correctly, and continuously, one needs to be in sympathy with the Christian Science organization. By this I do not mean that in order to be healed you must join the Christian Science church. One may be healed instantaneously even before he gains an understanding of Christian Science. But this fact is plain: those who go forward and prove progressively the possibilities of Christian Science for good in their lives, naturally conform to its requirements. This brings them into harmony with the educational and religious system of Christian Science. This fact is evidenced eventually by their membership in The Mother Church and in a branch church, and their active participation in these activities.
Jesus preached or revealed Christ, Truth, in his Sermon on the Mount, to which reference has been made; and the Christ, Truth, is being revealed today through the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons. Anyone who faithfully studies these Lessons daily cannot fail to make progress in all those things which mean most in life. The Christian Science Lesson-Sermon preaches an effective sermon without sermonizing. It presents a wholesome standard of morals without moralizing. It affords a righteous basis for human living without self-righteousness. It imparts true goodness, free from sanctimoniousness. In short, it upholds the original, genuine, perfect standard of the Christ.
There are people who recognize and appreciate the fruits of Christian Science, who are not yet willing to agree with this teaching. The fact is that Christian Science and its fruits are inseparable, and to acknowledge its fruits is to admit it efficacy. To illustrate: you go up to an apple tree, laden with delicious apples, and you pluck as many as you wish and enjoy them. But suppose you were to say, I enjoy these delicious apples, but as for the tree on which they grow, I have no use for it. How could you enjoy the fruit if you removed the tree? How could you appreciate the fruits of Christian Science while trying to keep this teaching out of your reckoning? The fruits which you appreciate are the outcome of the soundness of Christian Science teaching, and it is natural that you should love this teaching as much as you now appreciate its fruits.
It will be readily admitted, that the teachings of the schools deal mainly with those things which are cognized by the five physical senses — touch, taste, hearing, sight, and smell. All the research in natural science is in the realm of these physical senses. There is among thinking people, however, a growing recognition that something else, something higher, is needed — something that is not perceived by these five physical senses, but is cognized by spiritual sense. Is it not true that we all need something which will give us higher thoughts? May not this be what the prophet meant when he represented God as saying, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." Do not we need a spiritual animus? The Bible records that Elihu said to Job and his three friends: "There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." God is Spirit, and man reflects Spirit, and it is through inspiration from Spirit that we understand life aright, and discern the present perfection of God and man. It is through this inspiration that we gain the desire for this understanding. Christian Science meets a vital human need by appealing to man's spiritual sense. This does not prevent us from giving practical attention to our human affairs. On the contrary, it enables us to fulfill our obligations better.
Since the understanding of Christian Science can be applied to every human situation, it is a glorious work to discover the specific application of Truth to the various needs of the human family. Experience in Christian Science leads one to the inescapable conclusion that the solution of every human problem is afforded in the pages of Science and Health. That is a large claim. Nevertheless it is true. The spiritual truth expressed therein is sufficient, when rightly applied, to meet every need. In this textbook, Mrs. Eddy gives specific instruction as to the application of spiritual truth to heal physical disease and other phases of inharmony. We are wise to use her teaching as she gives it. The student finds the use of the Concordance to Science and Health and the Concordance to her other writings helpful in applying the specific facts of Truth to his own specific requirements. In the latest editions of Science and Health there is published at the end a comprehensive list of marginal headings. The use of these also is an aid to finding the desired topic in our textbook.
Mrs. Eddy gained her spiritual enlightenment from the Bible. She learned, and proved scientifically, that the truths set forth in this sacred volume can be applied definitely to the healing of disease. Her writings abound in clear explanations of Scripture. These help the student to make practical use of the precious truths which the Bible contains.
Sometimes we find a child or young person who has difficulty with some particular line of study. He may be good at composition, excel in languages and in music, but seem to be very deficient in mathematics. The proper application of Christian Science corrects this defect. The faculties of divine Mind are perfect, and man reflects Mind's perfect faculties. Knowing that God's man reflects the one unerring and perfect Mind, one is led to do rightly all that one has to do. This spiritual method, properly applied, is infinitely superior to the methods devised by the human mind to make up for its defects.
Many people engaged in athletics, who have suffered from strains and dislocations, have been helped through the application of Christian Science. Whereas, before learning of this teaching, they had taken weeks to recover while using material so-called remedies, they have been very quickly, ofttimes instantaneously, healed by Christian Science. Not the application of oil, or ointments, or liniments to one's body, but the application of spiritual truth to one's thinking, brings true and permanent healing, and freedom from pain and disease.
What has been said here about how to apply Christian Science is not meant to be exclusive. It is not intended as a final word on the subject. It has been given simply to illustrate how this truth has been applied. The possibilities of application are unlimited. Each individual who studies Science and Health finds applications suited to his own individual need. Hence the wisdom of turning to the Bible and Science and Health for the light and help that are needed.
We recall that Peter, when speaking of the curative work of Christ Jesus, said that he healed "all that were oppressed of the devil." If you wish to learn the nature of this "devil," that seems to oppress humanity, you cannot do better than read what Mrs. Eddy has written on this subject on page 584 of Science and Health. Here we find this illuminating definition: "Devil. Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor mind; the opposite of Truth; a belief in sin, sickness, and death; animal magnetism or hypnotism; the lust of the flesh, which saith: 'I am life and intelligence in matter. There is more than one mind, for I am mind, − a wicked mind, self-made or created by a tribal god and put into the opposite of mind, termed matter, thence to reproduce a mortal universe, including man, not after the image and likeness of Spirit, but after its own image.'"
How skillfully Mrs. Eddy has analyzed the nature of evil! By her definition of devil as animal magnetism or hypnotism, she put her finger directly on the solution of the problem of evil, as no one else has done since the days of Jesus of Nazareth. Our Master, when seeking to open Peter's eyes to the nature of evil, said to him: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
It is worth noting that, as modern translators make clear, our Master used the plural pronoun "you" when he said, "Satan hath desired to have you." Thus he indicated that Peter was not the only one who was being tested. The disciples of Jesus were not the only ones who were being put to the test. Humanity itself was being tested at that crucial hour, just as it is being tested today. We note that the Master then spoke more definitely to Peter himself, using the singular pronoun, "I have prayed for thee." The efficacy of the Master's prayer is self-evident. History attests it. Although Peter denied his Master at the critical moment, when he should have afforded his unwavering support, he learned his lesson. He awoke to the suppositional nature of evil, or animal magnetism, in its efforts to arrest the healing work of Truth. Thereafter Peter stood firmly for the Truth which he professed. He learned how to withstand the suggestions of animal magnetism or hypnotism; and from the depths of his own experience he counseled others to resist the devil, "stedfast in the faith," strong in the understanding of the supremacy of divine Truth and Love.
Mrs. Eddy, in telling of the effect, upon her own consciousness, of Christ, Truth, writes in "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 31), "The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material; for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe, — the heart's untamed desire which breaketh the divine commandments." Mrs. Eddy was quickly healed by this divine power; and it may be said of her, as it was said of the mother of Peter's wife, "she arose, and ministered unto them." From the time of her healing and throughout her long and useful career, Mrs. Eddy's life was one of loving ministration to the needs of humanity. Today it is freely acknowledged by increasing numbers that it is right that Christians should heal the sick by means of their religion. It is because of Mrs. Eddy's ceaseless lifework that this admission is so freely made.
A newspaper man, a representative of the New York Herald, at one time called on Mrs. Eddy. An account of his interview was later published in that paper. In it he wrote (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 345, 346): "We talked on many subjects, some only of which are here touched upon, and her views, strictly and always from the standpoint of Christian Science, were continually surprising. She talks as one who has lived with her subject for a lifetime, — an ordinary lifetime; and so far from being puzzled by any question, welcomes it as another opportunity for presenting another view of her religion."
Thus did Mrs. Eddy show the broad applicability of her teaching to every human problem. Her contemporaries marveled at her youthfulness, even when her years were advanced. They noted the radiant health she expressed, after she had been lifted from the couch of invalidism. They remarked on the scope of her mentality, her poise and maturity of thought. She exemplified the facts which she had proclaimed in her teaching. She had an exalted sense of spiritual reality. She saw that the perfection of being is present and available here now. Here was no merely abstract sense of Truth. It was what she herself has spoken of as "the living, palpitating presence of Christ, Truth, which healed the sick" (Science and Health, p. 351). She used the word of Truth effectually in her own healing work. In Science and Health she has made clear how to use the word of Truth. She has also taught what is necessary in Christian living, whereby the use of the word of Truth is vitalized.
Christian Science kindles right desire, the longing for spiritual good. This right desire, this fervent prayer, steadfastly maintained, will glow into a fuller radiance, until the actual perfection of being — which is really always here — is seen to be the all and only. Depravity is as a shadow that hides man's true and spiritual selfhood, as a cloud seems to shut out the sunshine and the clear, blue sky. But "behind the clouds is the sun still shining." The clear blue of the sky is always there, and you see it when you rise above the cloud, or as the cloud is dispelled by the sunshine. Depraved beliefs and practices do not belong to man. They belong to depravity. Depravity is evil, devil. Man, in reality, is not "oppressed of the devil." It is only depraved sense that is oppressed. The understanding of the Christ reveals man as perfect now. This understanding of man's perfection as God's idea frees the individual from the depraved beliefs which have seemed to take possession of human consciousness.
Oftentimes in the morning you have seen beautiful cloud effects, the rising sun tinting many a dark cloud with golden beauty. Thus it is, too, in one's experience, as the sun of Truth arises with healing in its wings. Much that is beautiful in human character comes to light as Truth gains the ascendancy in thought. It is right to cherish all that is beautiful, noble, and good, for these are expressions of man's true selfhood. With the first coming of the Christ-idea to one's consciousness evangelization has begun, and will continue until all that does not belong to man's true and perfect selfhood has been displaced. This salvation is for everyone. All men will eventually gain this understanding. The clouds are dispersed as men yield to the redeeming influence of the Christ. As this goes on, there is less sin, less sickness, less poverty, less discord, of every kind, and man expresses more of his normal freedom, strength, and harmony.
In "Rudimental Divine Science" Mrs. Eddy outlines briefly the simple fundamentals of her teaching. The question is asked in this book (p. 8), "How should I undertake to demonstrate Christian Science in healing the sick?" And Mrs. Eddy answers: "As I have given you only an epitome of the Principle, so I can give you here nothing but an outline of the practice. Be honest, be true to thyself, and true to others; then it follows thou wilt be strong in God, the eternal good. Heal through Truth and Love; there is no other healer." One of the immediate effects of the study of Christian Science is that it impels us to be more honest with ourselves. Sometimes when we have an unpleasant experience we may be apt to blame someone else for it. However, in the light of Christian Science, we are led to correct our own thinking first. Then we find that the results are harmonious.
Work in Christian Science, whereby healing is accomplished, is not a labored process of the human mind. It is the spontaneous, ceaseless activity of the divine Mind, expressed through enlightened thought, diligently applied. It is not the doctoring of a diseased physical body. It is an awakening to the reality of being, the clear recognition that man is God's likeness. This is true healing. It is not the forcing of conclusions by human will. It is the yielding of the human will to omnipotent harmony, established by the divine will. It is not making oneself or others perfect. It is the realization of the immutable fact that man in God's likeness already is perfect. It is not changing anything real. It is changing the false evidence which has seemed to hide that which is real. It cannot be reversed, delayed, impeded, nor interfered with by personal sense. It is the immutable decree of divine Principle. It is, in fact, in accordance with the inspired saying of Scripture: "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."
The greatest need of humanity and of each individual is to be so conscious of the perfection and presence of God as to bring out harmonious results in human lives. When Moses was proceeding to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land of promise, and had a keen sense of the greatness of this undertaking, he received this assurance from God, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." This is always the result of the consciousness of God's presence, practically utilized. It brings rest, peace, and security to the human heart. How greatly this is needed by all men and women today! Most people in times of stress reach out to a power outside of themselves. How desirable it is to understand how to do this intelligently all the time, thus to be "strong in God"! Christian Science enables us to do this in a most effectual way. It assures us that God is good, practical good, demonstrable good. Herein lies the efficacy of Christian Science, the strength of its appeal, the success of its application. People who have ignored religion, because they could not see that it was practical in everyday affairs or in meeting the many problems of life, have revised their conclusions and embraced Christian Science when they have seen, as this teaching makes clear, that God is practical good, good rendered practical.
In the sweet consciousness of God's dear presence, we find true companionship; and the result is that in human experience that which is most needful for our growth and development comes to light. In this realization of God's nearness, we find an abundant supply of right ideas, and that is seen in the availability of all necessary resources enjoyed humanly, here and now. In this sense of God's supremacy is true health, and this is manifest in physical, mental, and moral healing. By this recognition of God's true nature we find our rightful activity, and this is externalized in the right work which we are able to do with helpfulness to others. In other words, the practical realization of God's presence and perfection, and of man's perfection of God's idea, necessarily has its outward results in better human conditions along every line. All that is good will come to you as you allow yourselves to be led lovingly by the hand of Truth in the way of wisdom. Thus you are finding what belongs to your true spiritual selfhood, and limitations fall away. This is the result of the practical application of Christian Science. This is your demonstration, your proof of Immanuel. God is with you.
[Delivered Aug. 29, 1941, in the Scottish Rite Temple, 1547 Oak Street, Oakland, California, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Oakland, and published in The Oakland Tribune, Sept. 3, 1941.]