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, Wash., lectured at Cadle Tabernacle on "Christian Science: The Science of Divine Power" Monday evening under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Mr. Biggins, who is a member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., was introduced by Henry Andersen. The lecture follows substantially as it was given:
Today a large number of people are using what is generally regarded as power, electrical energy. In the laboratory, in the factory, in the workshop, in the home, many are thus engaged. While comparatively little is known about electricity, it is being utilized for many useful purposes. Throughout the land, rivers are being harnessed for the production of electrical energy, with the expectation that this will substantially lessen human toil and minister still further to human comfort.
Such improvements, wisely promoted, are welcome. They may serve to point our attention to the utilization of the power of divine Mind, the energy of Spirit. At this time, when the resources of the material universe are being explored to the utmost, let us take some time to inquire into the capabilities of the divine Mind, God, to explore the resources of Spirit, Soul. We hear it said that we live in an age of speed and power. But this speed is generally considered as physical, and the common conception of power is likewise more or less materialistic. May we not, therefore, pause for a time to consider a power which has been somewhat overlooked by many, the power of God, omnipotent good. This consideration is in accordance with the declaration of the Psalmist, "They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power."
In the Bible we find illuminating statements made by one who understood and used the power of God, of divine Principle, in a remarkable degree, Jesus of Nazareth. Listen to these striking words, as recorded in the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew's Gospel, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." It was his understanding of this spiritual power that enabled Christ Jesus to heal the sick, cleanse the sinning, raise the dead. The study of science, as understood by many people in civilized communities today, is generally in the realm of material phenomena. This study takes into account the action of so-called forces of nature, and of chemical properties. But why should it be thought that science relates solely to matter? While the discoveries in natural science may minister to human comfort, it has never been claimed that these achievements make one a better man, that they improve his character, that they minister to his eternal well-being.
Why, then, should we rest satisfied with that which falls so very far short of ministering to the highest needs of man? Let us consider the deeper aspects of Life, so that we may ascertain whether there is indeed a Science of being, a Science of Life and of Love, a Science of Mind, a Science of divine power. If it can be shown that there is a law governing the affairs of men which can be utilized with scientific accuracy to bring out better conditions in human lives, you will admit that this is by far the most important discovery of this age. Christian Science comes with the glad tidings that there is just such a Science, and that it is available in dealing with the problems of daily experience, that this Science is, indeed, Christian Science.
Too long has it been thought that religion was concerned with preparation for a time after what has been considered death. Men and women have looked askance and who can blame them for it? at a theory which has been concerned mainly with preparation for a state beyond the grave. You cannot blame practically minded men and women for not being interested in theories regarding a future world salvation, if these theories cannot be translated into terms of practical usefulness here and now. Christian Science has come to show us that the laws of spiritual being are essentially practical and usable in our present stage of experience. It is this that explains the steady growth and progress of Christian Science.
Jesus of Nazareth came to earth in humble guise. His birth was as lowly as it could be. He was laid in a manger, when there was no room for his mother and Joseph in the inn at which they wished to stay, and it was necessary for them to find shelter in a stable. The appearing of the Christ-idea to human consciousness was a rebuke to the splendor of the world, pride, and mere human intellect. Jesus lived through boyhood in humble circumstances. In young manhood he followed Joseph's trade as a carpenter. When he stepped forth at the age thirty, expressing the highest order of intelligence, to carry on his public ministry of preaching and healing, the people asked, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Partly on account of the lowliness of his coming, but mainly because he taught the truth about God, which contradicted their false doctrine, the Master's great work was scorned by the rabbis of his day. But today, after the years and the centuries have gone by, the greatness of Jesus the Christ is more fully acknowledged, even by those who do not yet understand Christ, Truth.
We read in the Gospel of Luke that on a certain Sabbath day Christ Jesus went into the synagogue and taught. By this time the Master had done some healing work in public, and these wonderful healings had attracted attention. The scribes and the Pharisees now watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath day, that they might be able to accuse him, according to their misconception of the Mosaic law. Think of it! They were endeavoring to find an accusation against the great Master for healing hopeless disease on the Sabbath! Well, on this particular day there was in the synagogue a man whose hand was withered. Jesus knew what the scribes and the Pharisees were thinking, and he said to the man with the withered hand, "Rise up, and stand forth in the midst." The man obeyed. He arose and stood forth. He utilized power to this extent the extent to which he understood it, and was able to utilize it. Then Jesus said to those around him, "I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?" So far as we can gather, he did not wait for an answer, but addressing the man said, "Stretch forth thy hand." Here again the man obeyed, "And his hand was restored whole as the other."
We would think that the scribes and Pharisees would be glad to see one of their fellow men freed from this disability. But were they? Oh, no! What do we read? This: "They were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus." And what did Jesus do? He simply proceeded to draw upon the infinite source, divine Love, for refreshment and renewal of spiritual power, the fuller ability to heal and save needy humanity. And so we read, "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." He kept busy in silent, ceaseless prayer. And in the morning he called his disciples, and of them chose twelve, whom he named apostles. These apostles then went forth, and preached and healed. Christ Jesus kept close to God. Thus he was able to utilize the power of God, the power of infinite divine Love.
We read further in the Bible that at one time when Christ Jesus had come to his own city, Capernaum, a man sick of the palsy was brought to him. Jesus said to him, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." Perhaps the erring one had become discouraged and needed some practical encouragement to help him to do better. Jesus rebuked sin pointedly, but he dealt compassionately with humanity. He knew how to heal disease and to destroy sin, and he told the man to be of good cheer. This caused some murmuring on the part of the self-righteous Pharisees. The Master read their thoughts aright, and said: "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." As proof of the rightness of this healing method, the man "arose, and departed to his house." The man did his part; he became active, he utilized power.
The events just narrated, as you know, took place in the early part of the first century of the Christian era. The authenticity of the records through which these events are known to us, has been acknowledged by a large number of well-trained scholars, and accepted by millions of other intelligent Christian people.
The scene now shifts to the second half of the nineteenth century. A woman who had been doing her best, by tongue and pen, to help humanity was lying ill. As she lay in pain, despaired of by physician and friends, she called for her Bible. Opening it, she read of one of the healings to which reference has been made, the healing of the man who was sick of the palsy. As she read, she felt the power of the ever-present Christ, and was healed. Like the palsied man of whom she read, she arose and walked. She utilized the power which had been revealed to her. The woman was Mary Baker Eddy.
Like the man in Christ Jesus' day, she stretched forth her hand and accepted the revelation which came to her, and was healed. After several years of searching the Scriptures and impelled by the divine power which had healed her, she wrote the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Mrs. Eddy refers to this when, in her illustrated poem, "Christ and Christmas," she writes (p. 39),
"As in blest Palestina's hour,
So in our age,
'T is the same hand unfolds His power,
And writes the page."
My friends, if we could draw back the curtain of today's history just now, and see the unnumbered thousands who have been healed, saved, blessed, as a result of reading Science and Health, never again would we be able to doubt that the power of the ever-present Christ is with us here today, operating mightily in Christian Science.
While reading the Christian Science textbook, one catches a clear glimpse of the goodness and power of God. Continual study of this remarkable textbook convinces one that Mrs. Eddy is humanity's greatest benefactor in this age, because she has imparted an understanding of God that is so practical that it can be used to improve one's own condition, and the condition of others as well. Those who have been benefited by Mrs. Eddy's life-work know well that the results wrought in their lives could be accomplished only through one who was consecrated, loving, unselfed, God-fearing, Christian. Is there anything more effective than the power of a good example? Many men and women who have lived useful lives have said that they were inspired by the example of someone whom they had met and known in early life. A noble character, unselfed, devoted to the cause of education, for instance, has been a power for good in the lives of students. The monument reared by such a character is far more enduring than that of marble or granite. The benefits of such a life are woven into the fabric of other lives, and these benefits go on and on, blessing all who are touched by this benign influence. Such a character in the highest degree was Mary Baker Eddy.
One distinct impression that I had when I read Science and Health for the first time was that here I had found the truth of being. Another impression was that in Mrs. Eddy I had found a sympathetic friend and a wise counselor. Learning of Christian Science as I did, in early youth, I found this loving, sympathetic guidance to be of great value. Can you wonder that Christian Scientists desire that others should profit by her loving counsel and far-reaching wisdom, so plainly derived from God? From my own experience I had no hesitation in accepting Mrs. Eddy's statement written in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 69): "The Principle of Christian Science is divine. Its rule is, that man shall utilize the divine power."
The student of Christian Science soon recognizes that the rule of this Science can be applied with scientific accuracy. When in the laboratory the chemist combines certain elements and produces a certain result, he believes that this has taken place through the operation of a scientific law. When in the great laboratory of human experience we apply the scientific understanding of the power of good, the power of God, and utilize this Science in the practical affairs of daily life, and healing results, surely we have the right to consider this the result of Science. Those who have accepted Christian Science as their rule of life know that this is so. They have seen it work.
Mrs. Eddy proved herself worthy to receive the revelation of the nature and character of God, and of man in God's likeness, and of the method of the Christ-cure. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 465) she makes this illuminating statement regarding the attributes, or essential qualities, of God: "The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on." Justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness! How we appreciate these qualities as we see them expressed in daily life! As we understand God as the one and only Mind, in the light of Christian Science, and discern man's true nature as the image and likeness of God, we are better able to express these Godlike qualities. Before the truth of being, as revealed in Christian Science, touched their lives, many people have had difficulty in expressing these God-qualities, even in small degree. They have not understood how to go about it. But as the nature of God becomes plainer, and man's unity with God is better understood, it is seen to be inevitable that man as God's likeness should express justice, mercy, wisdom, and goodness.
Power also is an attribute of God, since, as we read in the Bible, "Power belongeth unto God." Thus man in God's likeness reflects and expresses power and strength. Christ Jesus understood this so well that he enabled those whom he healed to express power and strength immediately, as in the two cases of healing which we have considered.
Loving-kindness is an attribute of God. Man in God's likeness expresses loving-kindness. Those who have come in close contact with Mrs. Eddy have spoken of her absolute reliance on God, of the justice, mercy, and goodness she exemplified; and among the many lovely qualities which they saw her express was that of kindness. Abraham Lincoln is credited with a statement to the effect that the secret of living lies in being kind. Mrs. Eddy had mastered this secret.
The kindness which she exemplified was derived from her understanding of divine Principle. It was more than a mere personal affair. It was accompanied by wisdom and strength, and usually it was expressed in ways which everyone could understand and appreciate. While she was engaged in the work of directing the Christian Science movement, she was never too busy to be kind. Sibyl Wilbur in her biography, "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy" (pp. 333, 334), tells that it was Mrs. Eddy's custom on the morning to make a tour of friendly inspection throughout her home. On these tours of "cheerful sociability" she spoke kind words of consideration to those who were helping in her household, her "sallies of wit or spiritual admonition" being long remembered. Sibyl Wilbur adds, "The love and reverence in which all held her made her coming an anticipation of each day."
Have you ever noticed how kindness comes back to one with a volume far exceeding the startling results of compound interest? A Christian Scientist who was motoring alone into town one morning was asked by a man who lived in the district to be allowed to drive with him to town, a distance of forty miles. The Christian Scientist consented readily, as he knew the man to be honest and trustworthy. Within ten minutes after he had allowed the neighbor to come with him, a violent blizzard arose. This man was able to ride outside and wipe off the snow from the windshield, while the car proceeded at a very slow pace, as it was out of the question to stop. Thus the visitor proved to be an angel "entertained unawares." Furthermore later, this man could not do enough to help the Christian Scientist. He was a fisherman, and thereafter from time to time supplied the Christian Scientist with fresh whitefish, and refused to accept anything in return. The utilization of the power of kindness never fails. We have the Scriptural assurance that "Love never faileth."
We make use of the power of God through prayer. We are learning that the ever-present good can be utilized by a scientific understanding of Him. The simple fact that God is All-in-all, and that man is made in the image and likeness of God, is precious beyond words. The proofs of our growing ability to utilize the power of infinite good are very encouraging, and inspire us to press on and gain a higher understanding, and consequently a better ability to prove the power of God, infinite good. Mrs. Eddy has written in "No and Yes" (p. 39): "True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection. Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us." Here is the true utilization of power, the using of the power of Love.
One day a Christian Science practitioner was explaining to her patient that God is the only power. She made clear the fact that true love and kindness dissolve hatred and malice; therefore that these good qualities express power, while hatred and malice have no power. Thus the Christian Scientist presented a new idea of power that is new to this patient and the patient was eager to learn more about it. The practitioner did not speak to the patient about disease. She did not enter into mystifying explanations as to what she had to do in order to be healed. She spoke to her in simple language, easy to be understood, of God and of His perfection, goodness, and power, and of the perfection, health, goodness, and power expressed by man in God's likeness. Through the change of thought which the patient thus gained, she found that the disease which had claimed her had disappeared, and she regained normal health. Now she had much more than physical health. She had gained a new outlook on life, a fuller realization of her infinite possibilities as a child of God. The woman was healed of a supposedly incurable disease by understanding that Love is power.
As we gain a better understanding of the power of Truth, the power of Spirit, the power of God, we shall give less and less power to evil. Christian Science has made a unique contribution to the cause of human betterment. It is this. It has revealed in a practical manner the fact that God, good, is All-power. From this premise Christian Science goes on to show that the power which evil has seemed to hold over human thought and conduct is due, in belief, to the fact that mortals have given power to evil in their own thoughts. To the extent that you admit evil to be power, to that extent only does evil seem to have power over you. In the measure that you acknowledge God, infinite good, as power, in that measure good dominates your thought, your conduct, your life. The Apostle Paul stated this truth when, in writing to the Romans, he said, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Some people have mistakenly believed that because Christian Science exposes the powerlessness of evil, one can continue to indulge in evil, and say that he is not committing wrong. But this is not so. Such a practice would be self-deception of the worst kind, and it is foreign to Christian Science. The only result of the true recognition of the powerlessness of evil, and the all-power of good, is that one finds joy in doing good, and is freed more and more from all evil influence. Beware, my friends, of the subtle perversion of Christian Science, which would lead one to believe that one can go on indulging in evil, at the same time saying that evil is unreal. Through the understanding that God, good, is the only power, the seeming power of evil is dethroned, but this fact must be proved in individual experience in sincere, straightforward, Christian living.
Those who are thus proving the power of Christian Science are enjoying a foretaste of heaven. Nothing unreasonable is demanded of any of us. Nothing beyond our ability to accomplish is expected. The divine law enters your life and mine with sweet reasonableness, lovingly, tenderly leading us on to better things by stages well adapted to our present ability. Just as the child beginning at school has lessons, to his capability, so in taking our steps in the understanding of Gods law, and of how to utilize this power, we find that our lessons are perfectly adapted to our need at each stage of our moral, mental, and spiritual development. The child can be happy at every stage of his progress at school. So we, learning our lessons in life's larger school with the aid of Christian Science, can be happy at every stage of our progress.
Sometimes objection has been made that Christian Scientists have not spent long years in the study of the human body, and in pathological research. The fact of the matter is that the conscientious, consecrated Christian Science practitioner has undergone a training that is more exacting than that which is required of the medical doctor. In saying this, I speak with due respect for the earnest efforts of cultured medical practitioners.
In the office of a certain business firm a transaction was being put through in which one man exchanged his farm for a mercantile business. Many questions arose on both sides, as many things had not been clearly seen nor arranged. This seemed to result in misunderstanding. Relationships became severely strained and finally reached an impasse, where nothing apparently could be done to straighten out the tangle of complicated problems. Each party was inclined to regard the other as dishonest and unjust, and the problem appeared to be hopeless. At this point, when skill and experience in legal practice had been exhausted, and all efforts toward an amicable settlement seemed vain, this matter was put into the hands of a Christian Scientist in this office. This Scientist had a deep-lying conviction of the power of God's law to right every wrong and bring out a harmonious adjustment. Finally the two parties to this transaction were brought together. Each point in dispute was patiently taken up and considered. The Christian Scientist, with his basic understanding of the fact that man is made in the image and likeness of God, was able to see that the error causing the disagreement was powerless; and step by step a satisfactory adjustment was made. As each point at issue was settled, a written agreement on that point was signed; and finally a mutual understanding was reached in regard to every point in dispute. The transaction went through harmoniously with advantage to both parties. A costly and bitter lawsuit had been averted through the utilization of the divine law. Justice and equity had been established.
What was it that brought about the right result in this instance? Without presuming to give a final word of explanation, let me indicate what may be very safely concluded in regard to this experience. The Christian Scientist, who was instrumental in effecting this reconciliation, knew that God is Love. He knew that God, divine Love, has created all His children, and that all men, in reality, love one another, because all have one Mind. He knew that evil, manifested as discord, misunderstanding, hatred, suspicion, is not created by God, nor authorized by God. With these true facts clearly seen through the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, he approached the problem with confidence not confidence in his own business ability, but confidence in the power of God, and in the certainty that he could be used by God to bring about the right result.
The utilization of divine power in this business transaction brought peace peace with honor. The same power utilized in the home is bringing peace, concord, and brotherly love, and preserving honor. The same power, utilized in the governments of cities, of states, of countries, and in international relationships, is capable of establishing peaceful conditions. Peace is an attribute of God, and man reflects this essential quality in peacemaking and peaceableness. Through such practical proofs of the divine power and presence, we can understand in some measure the words of St. Paul, when, in writing to the Philippians, he says, "The peace of God, which passeth all [human] understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Many who have taken up the study of Christian Science gratefully testify to the fact that it has solved for them the problem of supply. Christian Science touches this subject of supply sympathetically, as did our great Master, Christ Jesus, of whom we read, he had "compassion on the multitude." Is it not plain that our loving Father-Mother God, who owns all and controls all, can and does supply every needed good thing to all His children? God is indeed an "open fount" (Science and Health, p. 2), pouring forth all that we need. It is for us to make use of this bounty. One great step toward gaining the enjoyment of our normal supply is the getting rid of fear, fear of lack, fear of poverty, fear of the future, through the understanding of omnipresent, all-sufficing Love. As we accept the positive assurance implied in the Psalmist's statement, "I shall not want," and accept Love's abundant supply for every need, and make this our own, we shall see a great change in our experience. The enjoyment of normal supply is not, primarily, a question of having a certain amount of money. It is rather having the unshaken conviction of God's abundant provision for every need. We need a larger sense of substance, the habitual ability to look to God as the infinite source of all good, instead of looking to material things, whether they be scanty or abundant.
Thus the enjoyment of God's abundance is the expression of a true state of Mind, rather than the possession of money. This true state of Mind belongs to every child of God, by reflection. Christ Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Fear not; it is God's good pleasure to give you abundance, health, and the enjoyment of all that is good. Are we utilizing our resources diligently enough? Each one has abilities, opportunities, possibilities, beyond what he has yet realized. As we each find our true individuality as the image and likeness of God, we are finding the key to a more abundant life.
Two Christian Scientists, living in a modest country home, learned many helpful lessons by watching the birds. A small platform was hung on a tree not far from one of the windows of this home, and this platform was loaded with food, pieces of bread, fats, and broken nuts. It was noticeable that, if a few crumbs slipped over the edge of the platform, the bluejay or the chickadee which allowed the crumbs to slip, would swoop down to the ground and carefully pick up these crumbs; then, having done so, he would return to the main supply.
These birds were utilizing all the resources that were available. Wise economists, good stewards, are these little chickadees and bluejays! They were teaching a valuable lesson in economy, practiced in obedience to divine law. Did not Christ Jesus teach this lesson when he fed the multitude of five thousand, besides women and children, with a few loaves and fishes? After all had had enough to eat, he commanded his disciples to gather up the fragments, "that nothing be lost," and they gathered up twelve basketsful. Oftentimes one of the most important lessons which is needed, in order to enjoy a more abundant supply, is the wise use of what one now has, freedom from wastefulness or extravagance. One who learns the needed lessons, and puts into practice what he learns always with an abiding sense of gratitude to God will enjoy increasingly, in all practical ways, the goodness and power of God.
The healings accomplished by Christian Science today have been made possible not only by the fact that Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, but also by the fact that she founded the Christian Science movement. Thus while we appreciate our Leader's work as Discoverer, let us not forget the vital importance of her work as Founder. Mrs. Eddy saw clearly that humanity needs a church. It is well that those who adopt Christianly scientific rules of thinking and living should have the association and support of others with like ideals. For this purpose Mrs. Eddy organized the Church of Christ, Scientist, in order to promote the understanding of the sacred Christ, Truth.
The simple rules of our church are embodied in the Manual of The Mother Church, written by Mrs. Eddy. One of these rules is entitled "Daily Prayer," and it reads as follows (p. 41): "It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: 'Thy kingdom come;' let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" As we each use this prayer effectively, getting rid of our own faults, we shall help others effectively to get rid of their mistakes, faults, and failings. In this simple prayer Mrs. Eddy has contributed much to humanity's progress in religion and healing. A mistaken sense, due to false theology, has in the past led people to challenge other people's sins, while stoutly clinging to their own. The Pilgrim Fathers, and the Puritans who came later, left the older lands in order to escape persecution for their religious convictions; but they had not been established in the new land very long, when they themselves became intolerant of others. We honor those pioneers for their courage. It is well that we avoid their mistakes. The spirit of our Daily Prayer affords the remedy for intolerance. The faithful use of it will make us safer religionists, better metaphysicians, better husbands and wives, better brothers and sisters, better sons and daughters, kindlier neighbors. In using this prayer, we are utilizing the Christ-power.
As we continue to study Science and Health, we see the wisdom of giving attention daily to another rule in the Church Manual which appears on page 42, entitled "Alertness to Duty."
One of the many helpful activities of the Christian Science movement is the daily publication of The Christian Science Monitor, which was established by Mrs. Eddy in 1908. This newspaper is now well known throughout the world for the good that it is accomplishing. Some time ago, at a luncheon in the city of Boston, a well-known statistician said, in substance, that if the newspapers of the United States would allow the staff of The Christian Science Monitor to write their headlines, this country would be out of its difficulties in six months. This is a fitting tribute, well deserved, to the constructive journalism of the Monitor. For the establishment of this paper, Mrs. Eddy has won the appreciation of thinking men and women throughout the civilized world. They are according to her the tribute given by the Wise Man of old to "a virtuous woman," whose "price is far above rubies," in these words, "Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Many in this audience have proved the availability of the divine power over and over again. Others wish to know better how to begin to use this power. To the latter I would say: The means are readily at hand. Study the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. Begin by using the simple facts of being in your daily life. Keep free from complicated methods, and avoid abstruse questions. The truth of being is simple, yet it is adequate to solve the most complicated problems when sincerely applied. Do not despise the simple beginnings. Do not think that you need to be in a wider sphere, or to occupy a more important position, before you can use this power. Begin to use it now, and it will lead you step by step to higher things. Let us remember the wise counsel given by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p. 429), "We must begin . . . with the more simple demonstrations of control, and the sooner we begin the better."
The Master sent forth twelve apostles at one time, as we have already noted. Later, he sent forth other seventy disciples. We read in the tenth chapter of Luke's Gospel that after these seventy had accomplished works of healing, they "returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." In replying, the Master said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." The supposed power of evil received its deathblow as a result of Christ Jesus' work. Evil and error had been dethroned; Truth and Love had been enthroned. He went on to say, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Is there any wonder that the disciples returned "with joy"? They had seen the power of God proved over and over again in works of healing and regeneration. Joy is an attribute of God, and man in God's likeness reflects and expresses this joy. This is the joy of which Christ Jesus spoke at a later time the joy of demonstration, the joy of work well done when he said, "Your joy no man taketh from you."
Christian Science presents a grand ideal, a perfect ideal. Christian Scientists are grateful for the perfection of the model thus set before them, and while striving daily for higher attainment, they are modest in their claims as to their demonstration of this perfect ideal. But the modest beginning made by Christian Scientists today has brought much happiness into their lives. They desire to share this happiness with others.
My friends, the ever-present Christ, Truth, the Comforter, is saying to you and to me here and now, Son, daughter, be of good cheer: thy sins be forgiven thee: arise, and walk: stretch forth thy hand: the kingdom of God is within you. You enjoy the health, freedom, harmony, abundance, activity, and joy which God has conferred upon you as His own well-beloved child. Arise, and lay hold of these blessings, and make them your own.
It is our privilege to feel the joy and power of the divine presence, as indicated in our Leader's hymn, "Mother's Evening Prayer," which includes these words (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 208):
"O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling's faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight.
"Love is our refuge; only with mine eye
Can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall:
His habitation high is here, and nigh,
His arm encircles me, and mine, and all."
[Delivered March 8, 1937, in Cadle Tabernacle, in Indianapolis, Indiana, under the auspices of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis, and published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, March 12, 1937.]