Prof. Hermann S. Hering, C.S.B., of Boston, Massachusetts
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Probably no religious subject in modern times has ever become so widely known and attracted so much attention in so many quarters of the globe, as has Christian Science. It is a subject of interest not only among English-speaking people the world over, but also among the people of virtually all civilized nationalities. There is scarcely a country on earth where its literature is not read. Translations of various articles have been printed in ten or more languages.
Thoughtful people everywhere are familiar with its name, although unfortunately many such have a wrong concept of its teachings and of its accomplishments. Hence it is especially for the benefit of these latter, though also for the purpose of recalling to the minds of Christian Scientists what they already know, that the general question of the origin and development of the Christian Science movement, together with the teachings and accomplishments which constitute its part in the world's redemption, will be briefly considered.
Christian Science was discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in the year 1866. The discovery came about in this wise: Mrs. Eddy, as a child, had been taught by her mother that God could and would heal the sick. She learned to believe implicitly in the Bible teachings and in the supremacy of spiritual power, and she never lost this conviction.
When trouble came upon her, first, through the loss of her mother, then her husband, the subsequent plot to take her child, and later through domestic unhappiness, poverty, and invalidism, she clung very closely to the Scriptures, constantly seeking for an explanation of the Bible healing. She carefully investigated many curative systems and looked into anything that promised to explain how the so-called miracles of the Bible were performed, but she found nothing to satisfy her search.
Finally after an accident which her physician declared would be fatal, she opened her Bible and read the second verse of the ninth chapter of Matthew. While doing so, she realized clearly that the healing which was done in Jesus' time could be repeated now. Her thought rested absolutely on God and was lifted above the physical conditions to a high spiritual plane. In this mental condition she was instantly healed, and was able to leave her bed and walk.
This happened on the Sunday following the accident, which occurred on a Thursday evening. At that time a minister and some other friends who had called to inquire after her condition and found her critically ill, were waiting in another room. They were therefore astounded to see Mrs. Eddy presently walk into the room, dressed and completely restored to health. When asked how she was healed, she replied that she could not tell them then, but hoped to be able to do so sometime. When her physician called, he claimed that his medicine had healed her, but she showed him the pellets untouched in her table drawer.
She was greatly impressed by her healing and by the spiritual exaltation which she experienced at that time. She felt that she must find out how this healing was accomplished for she knew that it was wholly spiritual and totally unlike the results of any healing system which she had ever before heard of or investigated. She therefore withdrew from society after this experience and for three years studied the Bible, seeking for an understanding of Jesus' works. As a result of this search she gradually received the revelation of the Principle of scientific Christian healing, which she calls "the great curative Principle, — Deity." (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 25) and which she describes as infinite, divine Mind.
After making her discovery of the true nature of God as infinite Mind, and of the healing effect of this divine Mind upon human minds and bodies, she applied this healing Principle in cases of disease, deformity, and even death, and did much marvelous healing, most of it instantaneously. While the cures she wrought aroused astonishment among a few, a number of years elapsed after she began the healing work, before she found a few who wanted to know how the healing was done. These she taught, and as she had no textbook or other published writings, she made notes of the main points of her teaching and circulated them among her students. She later prepared a pamphlet entitled, "The Science of Man," which was her first published work, to be used by students in connection with her class teaching. Her students learned to do the healing work, and the Cause of Christian Science began to grow.
In 1875 she published her epoch-making textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," — a truly marvelous achievement. She was always a very close student of this book, pondered it daily, and made frequent alterations and revisions for the purpose of improving her presentation of the subject. The fundamentals of her revelation, however, have always remained the same.
Organization and Activities
Mrs. Eddy at first conducted private meetings and later gave public lectures, until the need of a church organization became apparent. She then founded the first church in Boston, Massachusetts. After this, organizations were formed in other cities, as persons were healed and became interested. Thus, from one student in the early seventies, and one church in the year 1879, the growth has been so great that in 1925 there were over two thousand churches and societies listed in the official organ, The Christian Science Journal, as branches of The Mother Church, and about eight thousand recognized practitioners.
The completion of The Mother Church edifice in 1894 marked an epoch and was followed by greatly increased growth. In 1906 an extension of this edifice seating over five thousand was dedicated. There are now hundreds of church edifices belonging to the Christian Science denomination and many more are in course of construction.
Mrs. Eddy established the first periodical, The Christian Science Journal, in 1883, and to this have since been added two other monthlies, one quarterly, one weekly, and the daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, with an aggregate circulation of many hundreds of thousands.
Similar growth has been made in the Board of Lectureship, inaugurated by Mrs. Eddy in 1898, and also in the Publishing Society, which began in a very humble way.
Result of Spiritual Work
It must be evident to any unprejudiced thinker that this phenomenal growth of the Christian Science movement has been fundamentally a spiritual one, and that the outward material evidences simply represent an externalization of its acceptance and practice. A large proportion of its followers first became interested in Christian Science through the healing. They had been ill — in many cases had been given up by the physicians as hopeless cases. Christian Science healed them and they began to read and study the subject. This is the usual story.
The Christian Science movement therefore is the result of works, — the progressive works of Christian Scientists who are continually healing themselves and others and thus working out their spiritual salvation.
Having now seen why Christian Science is a subject of great and growing interest in the world, and is so firmly established in human experience, let us next make a brief survey or review of the development of religious thought through the ages and see the position that the Christian Science movement occupies in the spiritual evolution which has taken place, as shown in the history of salvation.
History of Salvation
The nature of human existence and the history of spiritual development may be traced both in the Bible narratives and in subsequent events. There are two records of creation given in Genesis. The first, as described in the opening chapter of Genesis and in four verses of the second chapter, tells of the perfect, spiritual, and complete creation made by the infinite and perfect God, called Elohim, in which creation there is no matter, no evil, and hence no need of salvation.
In the second record, beginning with chapter two, verse six, it is the Lord God or tribal Jehovah who is credited both with creating all things on a material basis out of dust and with introducing evil. With this Adam and Eve concept, which Mrs. Eddy calls the Adam-dream, begins the history of human error and humanity's consequent need of salvation.
This Adam and Eve record predicates a different God, man, and universe from those described in the first chapter. The mesmeric state of thought which believed in a material God and a material creation is the so-called original sin, which led to disobedience, suffering, and loss. Salvation from this Adam and Eve belief therefore requires an awakening from this material mesmerism into the consciousness of the real, spiritual man as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.
The Scriptures narrate how, at every crisis in humanity's history, a saving thought found a hearing in some advanced mentality, which appealed to the people of its time and led them out of ignorance and darkness into a better state, thus brightening and thinning the clouds of material sense which obstructed their view of God as divine Spirit.
Thus Noah at one crisis saved a remnant of the people from utter destruction. Abraham later, through his sense of fidelity and obedience, turned from idolatry to the worship of one God and became the father of a nation through whom spiritual development could advance on the basis of monotheism.
Then followed Jacob, who wrestled with material sense and overcame it, and who was given the new name of Israel; Joseph, who was able to bless his enemies; Moses, who separated good from evil and gave his people the moral law; later, prophets who could see and announce successive steps out of the material darkness of the clouds of sense: until finally a mentality appeared, of such exceptional purity and spirituality, that actual spiritual communion with God was possible, a consummation which resulted in what is termed the immaculate conception of Jesus. Here was a complete rift in the clouds, for God was seen clearly, and thereby the first coming of the Christ was rendered possible.
Jesus and Christianity
Christ Jesus came, then, because the spiritual unfoldment to the human consciousness made it possible, because the rift in the mental clouds clearly revealed the divine light. It was thus that he was "sent" by God, just as the sunlight comes directly from the sun into the room when the shades are lifted. It is evident that the infinite God has always been ever-present, but it required much clarification of consciousness to bring this fact to human apprehension.
Christ Jesus was therefore God's reflection, expression, yea, His representative on earth, teaching mortals the truth and endeavoring to awaken them, through teaching and healing, to the recognition of the false nature of material existence and the understanding of the divine reality, the supreme power of God and the perfection of man. This right consciousness healed the Adam and Eve belief.
Jesus' three years' ministry began the establishment of Christianity and his disciples continued his work so that Christianity grew in spite of the most intense opposition from both orthodox church and state. To be accounted a Christian in those days meant the faith in God which Jesus taught, the recognition and acknowledgment of Christ Jesus, the demonstration of spiritual power and the sacrifice of all interfering material demands — in a word, the actual living of a Christly life. Gradually, however, Christianity became more popular, and the Christians grew to be a potential, political power and agency. It was then that the Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity and made it a state religion, thus winning greatly extended influence and support.
During the three hundred years following Jesus' crucifixion, healing had been practiced quite generally by the Christians. After that period, the healing activities lessened until they practically disappeared. To be accounted a Christian, from that time on, became simply a matter of ceremonial baptism and the formal acknowledgment of a creed. The Christian religion became a thing of forms — the spirit of Christianity was apparently lost.
Jesus undoubtedly foresaw the antagonism which would attack his teachings and endeavor to destroy them, yet he gave proofs of the correctness of his doctrine and thus made possible the establishment of his religion by his followers.
Although the clouds of material sense had rolled back sufficiently to let the divine sunlight of Jesus' coming appear, the world's hatred of Christianity again shut out this light, and spiritual enlightenment was once more engulfed in dogma and formalism.
Seed of Truth Immortal
The seed of spiritual Truth, however, which was sown by Jesus, his disciples, and his followers during those early years, contained immortal life, and like yeast, it again began to leaven the human consciousness. Thus, after many centuries this Truth again appeared, in flashes as it were, through mentalities that were spiritual enough to feel its power, in spite of the materialistic doctrines which were leading to the suppression of its spirit. Aided by these spiritual thinkers the thought of the world was being prepared for a successful reformation.
Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, John Knox, and other reformers were clear and courageous correctors of wrong teaching and champions of freedom of thought, bringing God's Word, the Bible, to all the people. These reformers were like rays of light breaking through the clouds and shining in the darkness. Later reformers and protestants were those who in 1689 were driven into the north of Ireland. Persecution continued and after the siege of Londonderry, they came to the United States, as pioneers, to establish both their religion and their political homes.
From a later generation of these God-fearing, courageous pioneers, a child was born in Bow, New Hampshire, in 1821, who had a most unusual mentality. The mother of this child was a woman of the deepest spirituality who believed in the truth of the Scriptures and in the power of God to a remarkable degree and who counted among her friends many far in advance of the times in religious and philosophical thought.
This little child was Mary Baker, wonderfully gifted and very receptive of spiritual ideas. Her mother talked with her a great deal of spiritual things, and she had many unusual spiritual experiences. She was a constant reader and deep thinker. When, at the age of twelve years, she was about to join her parents' church, she refused to agree to certain doctrinal points, for she had already gained an understanding of the Bible that was in advance of some of the theological teaching of her time. As she grew older she developed a mentality of such a clarified, spiritual quality that the divine light of Truth broke through her consciousness as a discovery because she was ready, willing, and able to hear the Truth, be receptive of the spiritual idea, and obey its demands.
This discovery, that God is infinite Mind and that "there is none beside him," that reality is wholly spiritual, and that man is His spiritual idea, was the complete disappearance of the clouds of sense which made possible the revelation of the full radiance of reality. Since Mrs. Eddy's revelation includes infinity, absoluteness, and allness, it is a final revelation and there can be no other for there is nothing more to be revealed.
We see, then, that the appearing of divine Truth on earth, from the time of Adam until now, has come through improved mentalities, which could perceive this Truth, and by whose progressive recognition of a higher sense of spiritual reality the obscuring darkness was lessened.
Apostles and reformers were "prepared," in so far as their mentalities were clarified and they could thus receive Truth. Divine Truth is forever at work, but until there is receptivity there can be no response.
Jesus stated that he had much to tell his followers but they could not bear it at that time, and he promised to send the Comforter, who would reveal all Truth. Christian Science is this Comforter, the second coming of Christ, the impersonal messenger appearing through the clouds of sense and establishing the whole Truth. The perpetual coming of the Christ is the natural manifestation of Truth to human consciousness and is not a supernatural event.
Many devout, spiritually minded persons have received divine light, caught glimpses of spiritual truth, during the period of this transforming of consciousness. But Mrs. Eddy was the only one who received the full light, remained at the task of working out the reasons for this light, and reduced her discoveries to the basis of a demonstrable Science. She demonstrated her discovery by performing many wonderful cures, and she taught her students this method of spiritual healing so that they also did marvelous healing work.
One man, Christ Jesus, and eleven disciples, left such an impression upon the world through their teaching and healing, that it has endured up to the present day, and Mrs. Eddy's discovery of the true Principle of this teaching and healing has saved it for the world in this age, and will extend its Christ-power throughout all time.
Mrs. Eddy's Leadership
Those who have claimed to have a newer or higher revelation, that is, an improvement on Mrs. Eddy's teachings, by means of an interpretation based upon their own concepts instead of upon the understanding of Mrs. Eddy's statement of her discovery, have thereby proved that they did not grasp the truth given in her statement and have not demonstrated it. No one could possibly understand Christian Science rightly and see its infinite fullness and completeness, without a right estimate of its Discoverer and Founder and of her work.
Because Mrs. Eddy was the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and because she alone established the movement and inaugurated its institutions and policies, and especially because of her demonstrated understanding of Christian Science, she became the natural human leader of the Christian Scientists. Those of her students and followers who recognized her as such, were deeply appreciative of her work and were glad and grateful for her teachings, her advice, and her admonitions. Those of her students, in the early days, who refused to recognize her as a teacher sent from God and a safe Leader, drifted away from her and started mental healing methods which were antagonistic to Christian Science. Refusing to be obedient to her teachings, they failed to grasp or to be saved by the Truth she was teaching and subsequently became her enemies.
In later years, while appreciating the loyalty of her earnest followers, Mrs. Eddy recognized the fact that there was too much dependence upon her personality. Therefore, repeatedly and emphatically she urged and requested her followers to look to her teachings instead of to herself, for she saw that the strength of her cause and the successful growth of her students depended upon the degree in which they demonstrated her teachings and made them their own, and the extent to which they rose above personal dependence.
After Mrs. Eddy passed from this earth, her followers were compelled to depend solely upon her teachings, for they could no longer appeal to her personality. They then saw, as never before, that Mrs. Eddy's teachings were complete and supplied every need. Indeed, they saw that Mrs. Eddy was still the human mouthpiece of her revelation and was not only telling them through her writings what the fundamentals of Christian Science include, but also through these same writings giving advice and admonition regarding their application to every human condition and necessity. Christian Scientists recognize the fact that Mrs. Eddy is still their human Leader, though not present in the flesh, — a personal Leader without the element of material personality.
Just as in the early days many were tempted to stray from her teachings through the seductive arguments of a so-called new or higher revelation, so others who craved a human personality as a leader have also strayed from the path of spiritual, scientific, and safe progress as laid down by Mrs. Eddy for the benefit of her followers.
The Mother Church
The position of The Mother Church in the Christian Science movement, with its relation to the branch churches and societies, is unique, and we cannot have a right concept of what the movement means and of what it is accomplishing unless this point is clearly seen.
Mrs. Eddy began in a small way to organize a church with her few students and interested friends, and left the management of this church more and more to its members. Experience compelled her, however, to disorganize and reorganize twice, until a satisfactory manner of church government was devised in the present Mother Church, which is founded on a wholly spiritual basis. The form of government thus instituted required the Board of Directors to administer the By-laws of the church, a procedure which simplified the whole question and safeguarded the business affairs of the church, as well as the spiritual welfare of all its various activities, while at the same time requiring of all its members support of its provisions and individual demonstration of the church as "The structure of Truth and Love" (Science and Health, p. 583).
Mrs. Eddy prepared the By-laws of The Mother Church with great care. They were not provided in advance of the needs they were formulated to meet, but were the result of experience. She has written regarding them, "They sprang from necessity, the logic of events, — from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause" (Church Manual, p. 3). The By-laws were proposed, adopted, amended, removed, published or not published, just as Mrs. Eddy's wisdom, inspired by prayer and spiritual demonstration, dictated.
We see, then, that The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, which was originated and established by Mrs. Eddy, is still governed by her through the By-laws in the Manual, and is the church in which the Christian Science movement is anchored.
The Branch Churches
Owing to geographical limitations it is not possible for all Christian Scientists to attend one church. Therefore, Mrs. Eddy made provision for local churches. The government of these organizations must be purely democratic, since each one is distinctly a local demonstration.
The connection of these branch organizations with The Mother Church is, however, of special interest. Mrs. Eddy has provided for a Lesson-Sermon, to be prepared by a Bible Lesson Committee, which is the Lesson-Sermon read in The Mother Church, as well as in all branch churches and societies.
She has also provided that the Readers of all branch organizations shall be members of The Mother Church and thus be amenable to its provisions and disciple. These Readers are, therefore, local representatives of The Mother Church, governed by it through its By-laws, and mouthpieces through whom The Mother Church Lesson-Sermon is given out. Here is a definite metaphysical connection, by which the branch becomes a channel or arm, and by means of which The Mother Church is extended throughout the world, notwithstanding the fact that these branches are organically independent and self-governed.
The appreciation of this spiritual extension or representation of the Mother Church throughout the world is a point of vital importance in understand Mrs. Eddy's great Cause and must be obtained by Christian Scientists in order that their efforts to further the Cause might be successful.
Teachings of Christian Science
The teachings of Christian Science on which the movement is founded, which are the basis of its practice and promises, and which have been the cause of its tremendous growth, are clearly set forth in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. Mrs. Eddy has also written other books, all of which emphasize, elucidate, and amplify these teachings in a variety of forms. Any one can learn what Christian Science teaches by reading and studying these books.
On account of the necessary brevity of this presentation of the subject, it must suffice to call attention to the fact that Christian Science is based fundamentally upon God, that consequently we need to consider for a moment what Christian Science teaches regarding God. Mrs. Eddy defines God as "The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" (Science and Health, p. 587).
Divine Principle is one of the synonymous names employed in the Christian Science textbook for God, and the Bible is full of this thought when it speaks of God as Creator, as "just and right," as governor, judge, law, thus defining Him as basis, foundation, cause, etc., which Principle is.
It is not a difficult step from Principle to I AM, the name God is recorded to have given Himself in answer to Moses' inquiry. The frequent records of the voice of God to patriarchs, prophets, and others indicate God to be Mind, the infinite intelligence, or omniscience.
Spirit is the name for Deity which is used perhaps more than all others in the Bible and which makes plain His omnipresence and allness, and that the divine creation is wholly spiritual, for only immaterial substance is indestructible and eternal.
All Christendom is familiar with the God of Truth who is Life, of whom the Bible teaches, and which teaching Christian Science reaffirms and demonstrates, proving the omnipotent actuality which God really is.
Finally, we find the greatest definition of God in the repeated declaration made by St. John that "God is love" (I John 4:16), the saving, preserving, guiding Father-Mother, all-knowing, all-wise, all-harmonious, thus completing the perfect correlation with the Bible of Mrs. Eddy's scientific definition of God's nature and character.
So also do the teachings of the Bible and of Christian Science coincide regarding man who was made in the "image and likeness" of God, and the universe which God pronounced "very good."
Redemption Includes Healing
It should next be seen that Christian Science is the Science of Christianity, namely, the exact systematic, demonstrable knowledge of the Christ teachings and their application to human redemption. When we understand the mission of Christ Jesus we see that his teachings were intended, by saving mortals from the misery, wretchedness, and ungodliness of material living, to bring to them salvation, — redemption from the world's evils.
It is evident that this redemption includes healing — moral, mental and physical. A record of Jesus' life and works, as given in the New Testament, shows that he always attributed the healing results he obtained to the power of God. Indeed, in Jesus' work the healing was done to call attention to divine power and to awaken the sufferers to a right belief and faith in God.
Mrs. Eddy called Christian Science the Science of Mind-healing, metaphysical healing, spiritual healing, etc., and the fact that its healing is accomplished by the power of God, through spiritual understanding, is established beyond doubt to-day. Therefore Christian Science is truly divine Science, the Science of divine Being, the Science of the Principle of all existence and of its operation. This operation includes the inter-relationship of all God's creation; and, when applied to the solution of human problems, it means the redemption of mortals, through divine power.
Christian Science Healing
Since the healing of sin, disease, and all other earthly misery is an essential part of the world's redemption, and since Christian Science brings about this healing, let us consider this question for a moment, for it involves a subject that is greatly misunderstood.
It is, of course, a fact that in Christian Science the healing is done mentally, which has led some who are unfamiliar with Christian Science to believe that its healing is accomplished through a form of mental suggestion. It is also believed by some that Christian Science heals only cases of nervousness and hysteria, or slight indispositions which nature would take care of, or cases concerning which it is said they "would get well anyway." It is quite true that cases involving hysteria, fear, and imagination have been healed, but these by no means constitute the larger portion of the work done. It is a matter of record, supported by indisputable proof that Christian Science has healed innumerable cases of organic and structural diseases which had been diagnosed as such by reputable physicians. It is the healing of serious and critical cases which proves most strikingly the efficacy of Christian Science as a healing agency.
Christian Science healing may be demonstrated and will be differentiated from other forms of mental healing when the following points are understood: first, it has a divine foundation and results from the operation of divine Mind and not human will; second, it is based upon absolute reality, the infinity of Mind, Spirit, Truth, and the perfect nature of the ideas which constitute real being; third, it is predicated upon the unreality of all that is unlike perfect spiritual Being, namely, the unreality of matter, evil mind, mortal law and power, which constitute so-called material existence, or the "Adam-dream"; fourth, it is fundamentally a corrective process, as Jesus intimated when he said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
It is sometimes asked why every person who receives Christian Science treatment is not healed. In the first place the Bible tells us that Jesus "did not make many mighty works," among his own countrymen, "because of their unbelief." It is quite evident that his great wisdom prevented him from attempting to heal those persons who were not ready to be healed spiritually.
It is a curious fact, recognized by nearly all Christian Science practitioners, that many sufferers really do not want to be healed through Christian Science. They would like relief from physical suffering but do not want to give up the sinful causes or habits of thought which in many instances have led to the suffering. Moreover, on the other hand, when we bear in mind the world's essential materiality which St. John referred to when he said, "The carnal mind is enmity against God," it is rather to be wondered at that so much good healing is being accomplished.
When the disciples brought to Jesus a case which they could not heal, he rebuked them and spoke of their "little faith." He also told them that prayer and fasting were requisites for such healing. Prayer here evidently meant the deep spiritual communion with God which Jesus so plainly taught, and fasting included abstinence from all material beliefs — in other words, leaving all for Christ.
Can anything be simpler than unity, oneness, allness? Apparent difficulties in understanding Christian Science are only complicated impressions due to the strangeness of the new point of view presented regarding the primary facts of the nature of reality and the apparent nature of unreality. When these points are recognized and admitted, the healing method of Christian Science will be seen to be very simple.
It is evident that spiritual truths can be apprehended only spiritually — the Scriptures tell us that spiritual things must be spiritually discerned, just as astronomical truth, including astronomical phenomena can be grasped only through astronomical understanding.
Since we have been educated materially and have learned to be impressed and governed by the five physical senses, a great change is required in our thought in order to develop the spiritual senses, the discernment of spiritual truth and good — namely, spiritual understanding. The simplicity of Truth is then clearly seen.
The achievements of Christian Science, during its comparatively brief history, have been so widespread in their effects, so unseen in their influences, so elevating in their teachings, that these results and their part in the world's redemption cannot be adequately estimated.
Its most conspicuous result has been the healing of mortals from sin, disease, and untold misery. Any careful observer will find that the Christian Science church membership is composed almost entirely of persons who have been healed of some physical or moral ailment. Only a small percentage have come into Christian Science because of any other appeal than its promise of healing.
Many have been healed of diseases of a character which puzzled the diagnosticians, and many from ailments associated with unethical or immoral conditions. Disease resulting from so-called hereditary laws and from wrong environment, from family and business complications, laws of occult influences, and evil purposes, which it is obvious that drugs and surgery cannot possibly heal, have in numerous instances yielded to the Christ power of true Christian Science work.
Thousands of business men and women have received help in their business troubles and resulting ills, and their activities have been established on the foundation of divine Principle, under the ruling of honesty, justice, etc. Thousands of discordant homes have been restored to harmony through the overcoming of the desire for liquor and other stimulants, the influence of jealousy, impatience, anger, passion, etc.
Many who have been healed have awakened to a better sense which made it possible for them to know God aright, to understand and love the Bible. Indeed, a love for God and man and a love for spiritual truth and life is a characteristic of those who have been healed through Christian Science.
Furthermore, the effect of Christian Science prayers for the world, the constant use of Mrs. Eddy's "scientific statement of being," as read in the Sunday services, and the spiritual and loving thoughts of Christian Scientists toward all mankind have had a great influence in improving the general conditions of the world's thought, and have aided considerably in the world's redemption.
It is very noticeable among faithful Christian Scientists that they have higher ideals, ambitions, motives, and desires than before they knew of Mrs. Eddy's teaching and that these are not only of a more ethical character but have a spiritual quality which only the love of God and Christ Jesus can bestow.
In the twentieth, twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the book of Revelation we read of the reign of a thousand years of peace with Christ, commonly called the Millennium. It is recorded that during this period the "dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan," is bound by the "angel come down from heaven." The account next describes the subsequent loosing of Satan, his further attempt "to deceive the nations," and his final destruction in "the lake of fire and brimstone." Then we read of the opening of the "book of life," of a "new heaven and a new earth," and the glorious state of existence depicted when God reigns through Christ and when He shall "wipe away all tears from their eyes." In that day, we read, "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away."
This period of perfect happiness, of righteous government and the brotherhood of man, during which holiness is triumphant in human relationships throughout the world, has usually been thought of as a heavenly place to be reached after death, instead of as a heavenly state to be experienced in consciousness today. Mrs. Eddy explains the fallacy of this commonly accepted belief very clearly in her analysis of the twenty-second chapter of Revelation.
A Present Millennium
Those who have begun to understand the works of our Master, Christ Jesus, during his ministry on earth, can readily see that if his teachings were strictly obeyed, there would be no more sickness, sin, misery, nor death upon earth. It is helpful at all times to think this over and to realize what a changed and wonderful world this earth would be if the faithful practice of Christian Science were universal.
When, therefore, we grasp the fact that Christian Science is the Science of Christianity, and involves Principle, law, substance and power, which any one can understand and apply, we see why it has been humanly possible for the world's redemption to begin, and the Millennium to be experienced now. The reign of Christ means the reign of Principle, of Mind, of Spirit, of Soul, of Life, of Truth, of Love, in consciousness as divine idea. If Christian Science were everywhere accepted and practiced, if even a majority of the people in the world were Christian Scientists and were successfully living up to its teachings, this wonderful spiritual life, redolent with true happiness, joy, and satisfaction, abounding in heavenly harmony and divine peace, would be possible today. Is this not an achievement worth striving for?
Mrs. Eddy writes: "Christ's Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God" — (Science and Health, p. 271).