The Religion of Enlightenment and Glorious Liberty (Extract)
Oscar Graham Peeke, C.S.B., of Kansas City, Missouri
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The Great Teacher
A great many years ago a man who has since been generally considered the greatest teacher who ever inhabited this planet was preaching one morning in the temple at Jerusalem. On this occasion he had pertinent things to say about enlightenment and liberty. "I am the light of the world," he declared, referring to the Christ, the divinity which controlled him, "he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Man is God's Reflection
Because man is created in God's likeness, he possesses all the qualities of his creator, by reflection. As each ray of light from the sun is an expression of the nature and quality of that orb, even so, in a far higher sense, the true being of each one of us manifests infinite Mind, or God. This illustration gives one a clear sense of his inseparability from God, and helps one to see the necessity of intelligently denying the existence of any mind except God, the divine Mind.
The logic is indeed lame which declares that God, divine Spirit, has created man as he is seen through material sense and explained by physiology and anatomy. Such logic falls before the revelation and demonstration of Christian Science.
The true understanding of God and of man's real being, inseparable from Him, confers a glorious sense of freedom and true dominion. Then how wise to seek this understanding. The way is plainly marked in Christian Science. The following statement from Science and Health (p. 316) is enlightening: "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship."
Here someone may inquire, Is it not difficult to lose sight of mortal selfhood? No, it is not if one really desires to think rightly and live rightly, to reject false material sense testimony, and to love God or good supremely.
Does one desire to attain and retain good health, live in harmony and peace of mind, have freedom from financial and other cares? Does one especially need the ministrations of the Comforter? Then let him turn from sin and mortal selfhood to find his true individuality and identity. The identity of man and of all things never has been seen in the darkness of mortal, material concepts. In the light of spiritual understanding, individuality or true identity is clearly defined.
God's Perpetual Demand
It is stated in Science and Health (p. 255),"'Let there be light,' is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres." These changes take place in the human consciousness through Christianly scientific demonstration.
Looking back over the past centuries one may well be appalled at the results of the consideration of man from the viewpoint of material sense testimony. What do we find? Apparently the belief that light and darkness can dwell together — a haphazard existence of chance and change, sickness and disease regarded as realities and oftentimes God-sent, poverty and sorrow always strongly in evidence, wars and disasters becoming ever more violent, and death regarded as an inescapable reality — truly a chaotic sense of things.
But the light of Christian Science reveals man as God created him, in His own likeness and having dominion over all the earth. This enlightenment displaces the darkness of ignorant beliefs about man, shows the unreality of sin, eliminates discordant physical conditions, confers health and peace of mind. The chaotic sense of things gives place to orderliness, and the discords of sense no longer hold sway.
God Answers True Prayers
The selfless desire to accept and utilize God's gift is prayer which God hears and answers. Words are vain unless the thought back of the words is in conformity with the nature of divine Principle. True prayer is Christianly scientific, therefore it is simple. Little children, unspoiled by false beliefs, readily understand how to pray.
If we fashion our prayers after the pattern of the Lord's Prayer, which is affirmative of God's adorable nature, and indicative of the government of the universe, including man, through God's law of divine Love — as is seen in its spiritual interpretation in Science and Health (pp. 16, 17) — if we do this reverently and understandingly, with childlike trust in God, we are blessed and all our needs are supplied.
Other exalting prayers are given in the Bible for our profit. The twenty-third Psalm, read with reverence and spiritual understanding, has brought comfort and healing to many. The ninety-first Psalm indicates the complete protection that is at all times available to those who love God — no matter how dangerous the situation may appear to be. King Solomon's prayers for a wise and understanding heart whereby to judge the people, and its answer, give assurance that right desire is always bountifully rewarded.
No one had ever loved God so greatly as did Jesus. And how thankful he was to his heavenly Father at all times! He also loved his fellow men so much that he wept because of their apparent unwillingness to learn to love and trust God as he did. He healed readily because he loved greatly — because he was so marvelously endowed with the Christ.
Every earnest student of Christian Science practices his religion. Demonstrating the truth about God, man, and the universe is the basis of this religion. Christian Scientists, therefore, at all times and in all circumstances endeavor to cognize man as God's reflection. So doing they benefit the world, for scientific right thinking goes forth with power immeasurable.
"O magnify the Lord with me," sang the Psalmist. We should keep on enlarging our comprehension of God, and certainly of man also, for his true being is God's perfect likeness.
Christian Science is the Comforter
Today untold numbers of people are being sorely tried. They greatly need the ministrations of the ever-loving, ever-compassionate, and ever-present Comforter, Divine Science.
As on that glorious resurrection morn many centuries ago, the question was asked of Simon Peter, "Lovest thou me?" so today the Christ is asking you and me, "Lovest thou me?" Peter was grieved when asked the third time, "Lovest thou me?" But we need not be grieved when the question repeats itself today. Rather let us answer it joyfully and gratefully — as free and enlightened individuals — "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee." So doing we shall uncomplainingly go forth to do our part in world reconstruction, ready and eager to feed the sheep of His pasture and lambs of His fold.