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The Truth About Christian Science
The stale saying that Christian Science "is neither Christian nor science!" is to-day the fossil of wisdomless wit, weakness, and superstition. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
Take courage, dear reader, for any seeming mysticism surrounding realism is explained in the Scripture, "There went up a mist from the earth [matter];" and the mist of materialism will vanish as we approach spirituality, the realm of reality; cleanse our lives in Christ's righteousness; bathe in the baptism of Spirit, and awake in His likeness.
Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 30:22-32
"one with God is a majority"I have loved the Church and followed it, thinking that it was following Christ; but, if the pulpit allows the people to go no further in the direction of Christlikeness, and rejects apostolic Christianity, seeking to stereotype infinite Truth, it is a thing to be thankful for that one can walk alone the straight and narrow way; that, in the words of Wendell Phillips, "one with God is a majority."
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 245:23
"those who profess to follow Christ"Why do those who profess to follow Christ reject the essential religion he came to establish?
Science and Health, p. 27:28-29
"the lethargy of mortals, produced by man-made doctrines"When will Jesus' professed followers learn to emulate him in all his ways and to imitate his mighty works? Those who procured the martyrdom of that righteous man would gladly have turned his sacred career into a mutilated doctrinal platform. May the Christians of to-day take up the more practical import of that career! It is possible,yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman,to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness. Christians claim to be his followers, but do they follow him in the way that he commanded? Hear these imperative commands: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect!" "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!" "Heal the sick!"
Why has this Christian demand so little inspiration to stir mankind to Christian effort? Because men are assured that this command was intended only for a particular period and for a select number of followers. This teaching is even more pernicious than the old doctrine of foreordination,the election of a few to be saved, while the rest are damned; and so it will be considered, when the lethargy of mortals, produced by man-made doctrines, is broken by the demands of divine Science.
Jesus said: "These signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Who believes him? He was addressing his disciples, yet he did not say, "These signs shall follow you," but them"them that believe" in all time to come. Here the word hands is used metaphorically, as in the text, "The right hand of the Lord is exalted." It expresses spiritual power; otherwise the healing could not have been done spiritually. At another time Jesus prayed, not for the twelve only, but for as many as should believe "through their word."
Science and Health, p. 37:16-20 np
"Sneers at the application of the word Science to Christianity..."The strictures on this volume would condemn to oblivion the truth, which is raising up thousands from helplessness to strength and elevating them from a theoretical to a practical Christianity. These criticisms are generally based on detached sentences or clauses separated from their context. Even the Scriptures, which grow in beauty and consistency from one grand root, appear contradictory when subjected to such usage. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" [Truth].
In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless. Proof is essential to a due estimate of this subject. Sneers at the application of the word Science to Christianity cannot prevent that from being scientific which is based on divine Principle, demonstrated according to a divine given rule, and subjected to proof. The facts are so absolute and numerous in support of Christian Science, that misrepresentation and denunciation cannot overthrow it. Paul alludes to "doubtful disputations." The hour has struck when proof and demonstration, instead of opinion and dogma, are summoned to the support of Christianity, "making wise the simple."
In the result of some unqualified condemnations of scientific Mind-healing, one may see with sorrow the sad effects on the sick of denying Truth. He that decries this Science does it presumptuously, in the face of Bible history and in defiance of the direct command of Jesus, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel," to which command was added the promise that his students should cast out evils and heal the sick. He bade the seventy disciples, as well as the twelve, heal the sick in any town where they should be hospitably received.
If Christianity is not scientific, and Science is not of God, then there is no invariable law, and truth becomes an accident. Shall it be denied that a system which works according to the Scriptures has Scriptural authority?
Christian Science awakens the sinner, reclaims the infidel, and raises from the couch of pain the helpless invalid. It speaks to the dumb the words of Truth, and they answer with rejoicing. It causes the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the blind to see. Who would be the first to disown the Christliness of good works, when our Master says, "By their fruits ye shall know them"?
If Christian Scientists were teaching or practising pharmacy or obstetrics according to the common theories, no denunciations would follow them, even if their treatment resulted in the death of a patient. The people are taught in such cases to say, Amen. Shall I then be smitten for healing and for teaching Truth as the Principle of healing, and for proving my word by my deed? James said: "Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works."
Is not finite mind ignorant of God's method? This makes it doubly unfair to impugn and misrepresent the facts, although, without this cross-bearing, one might not be able to say with the apostle, "None of these things move me." The sick, the halt, and the blind look up to Christian Science with blessings, and Truth will not be forever hidden by unjust parody from the quickened sense of the people.
Jesus strips all disguise from error, when his teachings are fully understood. By parable and argument he explains the impossibility of good producing evil; and he also scientifically demonstrates this great fact, proving by what are wrongly called miracles, that sin, sickness, and death are beliefsillusive errorswhich he could and did destroy.
It would sometimes seem as if truth were rejected because meekness and spirituality are the conditions of its acceptance, while Christendom generally demands so much less.
Anciently those apostles who were Jesus' students, as well as Paul who was not one of his students, healed the sick and reformed the sinner by their religion. Hence the mistake which allows words, rather than works, to follow such examples! Whoever is the first meekly and conscientiously to press along the line of gospel-healing, is often accounted a heretic.
It is objected to Christian Science that it claims God as the only absolute Life and Soul, and man to be His idea,that is, His image. It should be added that this is claimed to represent the normal, healthful, and sinless condition of man in divine Science, and that this claim is made because the Scriptures say that God has created man in His own image and after His likeness. Is it sacrilegious to assume that God's likeness is not found in matter, sin, sickness, and death?
Were it more fully understood that Truth heals and that error causes disease, the opponents of a demonstrable Science would perhaps mercifully withhold their misrepresentations, which harm the sick; and until the enemies of Christian Science test its efficacy according to the rules which disclose its merits or demerits, it would be just to observe the Scriptural precept, "Judge not."
There are various methods of treating disease, which are not included in the commonly accepted systems; but there is only one which should be presented to the whole world, and that is the Christian Science which Jesus preached and practised and left to us as his rich legacy.
Why should one refuse to investigate this method of treating disease? Why support the popular systems of medicine, when the physician may perchance be an infidel and may lose ninety-and-nine patients, while Christian Science cures its hundred? Is it because allopathy and homoeopathy are more fashionable and less spiritual? In the Bible the word Spirit is so commonly applied to Deity, that Spirit and God are often regarded as synonymous terms; and it is thus they are uniformly used and understood in Christian Science. As it is evident that the likeness of Spirit cannot be material, does it not follow that God cannot be in His unlikeness and work through drugs to heal the sick? When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick.
It is sometimes said, in criticising Christian Science, that the mind which contradicts itself neither knows itself nor what it is saying. It is indeed no small matter to know one's self; but in this volume of mine there are no contradictory statements,at least none which are apparent to those who understand its propositions well enough to pass judgment upon them. One who understands Christian Science can heal the sick on the divine Principle of Christian Science, and this practical proof is the only feasible evidence that one does understand this Science.
Anybody, who is able to perceive the incongruity between God's idea and poor humanity, ought to be able to discern the distinction (made by Christian Science) between God's man, made in His image, and the sinning race of Adam.
The apostle says: "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." This thought of human, material nothingness, which Science inculcates, enrages the carnal mind and is the main cause of the carnal mind's antagonism.
It is not the purpose of Christian Science to "educate the idea of God, or treat it for disease," as is alleged by one critic. I regret that such criticism confounds man with Adam. When man is spoken of as made in God's image, it is not sinful and sickly mortal man who is referred to, but the ideal man, reflecting God's likeness.
It is sometimes said that Christian Science teaches the nothingness of sin, sickness, and death, and then teaches how this nothingness is to be saved and healed. The nothingness of nothing is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing, and that its nothingness is not saved, but must be demonstrated in order to prove the somethingnessyea, the allnessof Truth. It is self-evident that we are harmonious only as we cease to manifest evil or the belief that we suffer from the sins of others. Disbelief in error destroys error, and leads to the discernment of Truth.
Science and Health, p. 341:1-346:16
"yield to reason and revelation"We cannot serve both God and mammon at the same time; but is not this what frail mortals are trying to do? Paul says: "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." Who is ready to admit this?
It is said by one critic, that to verify this wonderful philosophy Christian Science declares that whatever is mortal or discordant has no origin, existence, nor realness. Nothing really has Life but God, who is infinite Life; hence all is Life, and death has no dominion. This writer infers that if anything needs to be doctored, it must be the one God, or Mind. Had he stated his syllogism correctly, the conclusion would be that there is nothing left to be doctored.
Critics should consider that the so-called mortal man is not the reality of man. Then they would behold the signs of Christ's coming. Christ, as the spiritual or true idea of God, comes now as of old, preaching the gospel to the poor, healing the sick, and casting out evils. Is it error which is restoring an essential element of Christianity,namely, apostolic, divine healing? No; it is the Science of Christianity which is restoring it, and is the light shining in darkness, which the darkness comprehends not.
If Christian Science takes away the popular gods,--sin, sickness, and death,it is Christ, Truth, who destroys these evils, and so proves their nothingness.
The dream that matter and error are something must yield to reason and revelation. Then mortals will behold the nothingness of sickness and sin, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness. The harmonious will appear real, and the inharmonious unreal. These critics will then see that error is indeed the nothingness, which they chide us for naming nothing and which we desire neither to honor nor to fear.
Science and Health, pp. 346:30-348:2
"We propose to follow the Master's example."Are we irreverent towards sin, or imputing too much power to God, when we ascribe to Him almighty Life and Love? I deny His cooperation with evil, because I desire to have no faith in evil or in any power but God, good. Is it not well to eliminate from so-called mortal mind that which, so long as it remains in mortal mind, will show itself in forms of sin, sickness, and death? Instead of tenaciously defending the supposed rights of disease, while complaining of the suffering disease brings, would it not be well to abandon the defence, especially when by so doing our own condition can be improved and that of other persons as well?
I have never supposed the world would immediately witness the full fruitage of Christian Science, or that sin, disease, and death would not be believed for an indefinite time; but this I do aver, that, as a result of teaching Christian Science, ethics and temperance have received an impulse, health has been restored, and longevity increased. If such are the present fruits, what will the harvest be, when this Science is more generally understood?
As Paul asked of the unfaithful in ancient days, so the rabbis of the present day ask concerning our healing and teaching, "Through breaking the law, dishonorest thou God?" We have the gospel, however, and our Master annulled material law by healing contrary to it. We propose to follow the Master's example. We should subordinate material law to spiritual law. Two essential points of Christian Science are, that neither Life nor man dies, and that God is not the author of sickness.
The chief difficulty in conveying the teachings of divine Science accurately to human thought lies in this, that like all other languages, English is inadequate to the expression of spiritual conceptions and propositions, because one is obliged to use material terms in dealing with spiritual ideas. The elucidation of Christian Science lies in its spiritual sense, and this sense must be gained by its disciples in order to grasp the meaning of this Science. Out of this condition grew the prophecy concerning the Christian apostles, "They shall speak with new tongues."
Speaking of the things of Spirit while dwelling on a material plane, material terms must be generally employed. Mortal thought does not at once catch the higher meaning, and can do so only as thought is educated up to spiritual apprehension. To a certain extent this is equally true of all learning, even that which is wholly material.
In Christian Science, substance is understood to be Spirit, while the opponents of Christian Science believe substance to be matter. They think of matter as something and almost the only thing, and of the things which pertain to Spirit as next to nothing, or as very far removed from daily experience. Christian Science takes exactly the opposite view.
To understand all our Master's sayings as recorded in the New Testament, sayings infinitely important, his followers must grow into that stature of manhood in Christ Jesus which enables them to interpret his spiritual meaning. Then they know how Truth casts out error and heals the sick. His words were the offspring of his deeds, both of which must be understood. Unless the works are comprehended which his words explained, the words are blind.
The Master often refused to explain his words, because it was difficult in a material age to apprehend spiritual Truth. He said: "This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
"The Word was made flesh." Divine Truth must be known by its effects on the body as well as on the mind, before the Science of being can be demonstrated. Hence its embodiment in the incarnate Jesus,that life-link forming the connection through which the real reaches the unreal, Soul rebukes sense, and Truth destroys error.
In Jewish worship the Word was materially explained, and the spiritual sense was scarcely perceived. The religion which sprang from half-hidden Israelitish history was pedantic and void of healing power. When we lose faith in God's power to heal, we distrust the divine Principle which demonstrates Christian Science, and then we cannot heal the sick. Neither can we heal through the help of Spirit, if we plant ourselves on a material basis.
The author became a member of the orthodox Congregational Church in early years. Later she learned that her own prayers failed to heal her as did the prayers of her devout parents and the church; but when the spiritual sense of the creed was discerned in the Science of Christianity, this spiritual sense was a present help. It was the living, palpitating presence of Christ, Truth, which healed the sick.
We cannot bring out the practical proof of Christianity, which Jesus required, while error seems as potent and real to us as Truth, and while we make a personal devil and an anthropomorphic God our starting-points,especially if we consider Satan as a being coequal in power with Deity, if not superior to Him. Because such starting-points are neither spiritual nor scientific, they cannot work out the Spirit-rule of Christian healing, which proves the nothingness of error, discord, by demonstrating the all-inclusiveness of harmonious Truth.
The Israelites centred their thoughts on the material in their attempted worship of the spiritual. To them matter was substance, and Spirit was shadow. They thought to worship Spirit from a material standpoint, but this was impossible. They might appeal to Jehovah, but their prayer brought down no proof that it was heard, because they did not sufficiently understand God to be able to demonstrate His power to heal,to make harmony the reality and discord the unreality.
Our Master declared that his material body was not spirit, evidently considering it a mortal and material belief of flesh and bones, whereas the Jews took a diametrically opposite view. To Jesus, not materiality, but spirituality, was the reality of man's existence, while to the rabbis the spiritual was the intangible and uncertain, if not the unreal.
Would a mother say to her child, who is frightened at imaginary ghosts and sick in consequence of the fear: "I know that ghosts are real. They exist, and are to be feared; but you must not be afraid of them"?
Children, like adults, ought to fear a reality which can harm them and which they do not understand, for at any moment they may become its helpless victims; but instead of increasing children's fears by declaring ghosts to be real, merciless, and powerful, thus watering the very roots of childish timidity, children should be assured that their fears are groundless, that ghosts are not realities, but traditional beliefs, erroneous and man-made.
In short, children should be told not to believe in ghosts, because there are no such things. If belief in their reality is destroyed, terror of ghosts will depart and health be restored. The objects of alarm will then vanish into nothingness, no longer seeming worthy of fear or honor. To accomplish a good result, it is certainly not irrational to tell the truth about ghosts.
The Christianly scientific real is the sensuous unreal. Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal in divine Science. The physical senses and Science have ever been antagonistic, and they will so continue, till the testimony of the physical senses yields entirely to Christian Science.
How can a Christian, having the stronger evidence of Truth which contradicts the evidence of error, think of the latter as real or true, either in the form of sickness or of sin? All must admit that Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life," and that omnipotent Truth certainly does destroy error.
The age has not wholly outlived the sense of ghostly beliefs. It still holds them more or less. Time has not yet reached eternity, immortality, complete reality. All the real is eternal. Perfection underlies reality. Without perfection, nothing is wholly real. All things will continue to disappear, until perfection appears and reality is reached. We must give up the spectral at all points. We must not continue to admit the somethingness of superstition, but we must yield up all belief in it and be wise. When we learn that error is not real, we shall be ready for progress, "forgetting those things which are behind."
The grave does not banish the ghost of materiality. So long as there are supposed limits to Mind, and those limits are human, so long will ghosts seem to continue. Mind is limitless. It never was material. The true idea of being is spiritual and immortal, and from this it follows that whatever is laid off is the ghost, some unreal belief. Mortal beliefs can neither demonstrate Christianity nor apprehend the reality of Life.
Are the protests of Christian Science against the notion that there can be material life, substance, or mind "utter falsities and absurdities," as some aver? Why then do Christians try to obey the Scriptures and war against "the world, the flesh, and the devil"? Why do they invoke the divine aid to enable them to leave all for Christ, Truth? Why do they use this phraseology, and yet deny Christian Science, when it teaches precisely this thought? The words of divine Science find their immortality in deeds, for their Principle heals the sick and spiritualizes humanity.
On the other hand, the Christian opponents of Christian Science neither give nor offer any proofs that their Master's religion can heal the sick. Surely it is not enough to cleave to barren and desultory dogmas, derived from the traditions of the elders who thereunto have set their seals.
Consistency is seen in example more than in precept. Inconsistency is shown by words without deeds, which are like clouds without rain. If our words fail to express our deeds, God will redeem that weakness, and out of the mouth of babes He will perfect praise. The night of materiality is far spent, and with the dawn Truth will waken men spiritually to hear and to speak the new tongue.
Sin should become unreal to every one. It is in itself inconsistent, a divided kingdom. Its supposed realism has no divine authority, and I rejoice in the apprehension of this grand verity.
The opponents of divine Science must be charitable, if they would be Christian. If the letter of Christian Science appears inconsistent, they should gain the spiritual meaning of Christian Science, and then the ambiguity will vanish.
The charge of inconsistency in Christianly scientific methods of dealing with sin and disease is met by something practical,namely, the proof of the utility of these methods; and proofs are better than mere verbal arguments or prayers which evince no spiritual power to heal.
As for sin and disease, Christian Science says, in the language of the Master, "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." Let discord of every name and nature be heard no more, and let the harmonious and true sense of Life and being take possession of human consciousness.
What is the relative value of the two conflicting theories regarding Christian healing? One, according to the commands of our Master, heals the sick. The other, popular religion, declines to admit that Christ's religion has exercised any systematic healing power since the first century.
The statement that the teachings of Christian Science in this work are "absolutely false, and the most egregious fallacies ever offered for acceptance," is an opinion wholly due to a misapprehension both of the divine Principle and practice of Christian Science and to a consequent inability to demonstrate this Science. Without this understanding, no one is capable of impartial or correct criticism, because demonstration and spiritual understanding are God's immortal keynotes, proved to be such by our Master and evidenced by the sick who are cured and by the sinners who are reformed.
Strangely enough, we ask for material theories in support of spiritual and eternal truths, when the two are so antagonistic that the material thought must become spiritualized before the spiritual fact is attained. So-called material existence affords no evidence of spiritual existence and immortality. Sin, sickness, and death do not prove man's entity or immortality. Discord can never establish the facts of harmony. Matter is not the vestibule of Spirit.
Jesus reasoned on this subject practically, and controlled sickness, sin, and death on the basis of his spirituality. Understanding the nothingness of material things, he spoke of flesh and Spirit as the two opposites,as error and Truth, not contributing in any way to each other's happiness and existence. Jesus knew, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."
There is neither a present nor an eternal copartnership between error and Truth, between flesh and Spirit. God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors. How then is it possible for Him to create man subject to this triad of errors,man who is made in the divine likeness?
Does God create a material man out of Himself, Spirit? Does evil proceed from good? Does divine Love commit a fraud on humanity by making man inclined to sin, and then punishing him for it? Would any one call it wise and good to create the primitive, and then punish its derivative?
Does subsequent follow its antecedent? It does. Was there original self-creative sin? Then there must have been more than one creator, more than one God. In common justice, we must admit that God will not punish man for doing what He created man capable of doing, and knew from the outset that man would do. God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." We sustain Truth, not by accepting, but by rejecting a lie.
Jesus said of personified evil, that it was "a liar, and the father of it." Truth creates neither a lie, a capacity to lie, nor a liar. If mankind would relinquish the belief that God makes sickness, sin, and death, or makes man capable of suffering on account of this malevolent triad, the foundations of error would be sapped and error's destruction ensured; but if we theoretically endow mortals with the creativeness and authority of Deity, how dare we attempt to destroy what He hath made, or even to deny that God made man evil and made evil good?
History teaches that the popular and false notions about the Divine Being and character have originated in the human mind. As there is in reality but one God, one Mind, wrong notions about God must have originated in a false supposition, not in immortal Truth, and they are fading out. They are false claims, which will eventually disappear, according to the vision of St. John in the Apocalypse.
If what opposes God is real, there must be two powers, and God is not supreme and infinite. Can Deity be almighty, if another mighty and self-creative cause exists and sways mankind? Has the Father "Life in Himself," as the Scriptures say, and, if so, can Life, or God, dwell in evil and create it? Can matter drive Life, Spirit, hence, and so defeat omnipotence?
Is the woodman's axe, which destroys a tree's so-called life, superior to omnipotence? Can a leaden bullet deprive a man of Life,that is, of God, who is man's Life? If God is at the mercy of matter, then matter is omnipotent. Such doctrines are "confusion worse confounded." If two statements directly contradict each other and one is true, the other must be false. Is Science thus contradictory?
Christian Science, understood, coincides with the Scriptures, and sustains logically and demonstratively every point it presents. Otherwise it would not be Science, and could not present its proofs. Christian Science is neither made up of contradictory aphorisms nor of the inventions of those who scoff at God. It presents the calm and clear verdict of Truth against error, uttered and illustrated by the prophets, by Jesus, by his apostles, as is recorded throughout the Scriptures.
Why are the words of Jesus more frequently cited for our instruction than are his remarkable works? Is it not because there are few who have gained a true knowledge of the great import to Christianity of those works?
Sometimes it is said: "Rest assured that whatever effect Christian Scientists may have on the sick, comes through rousing within the sick a belief that in the removal of disease these healers have wonderful power, derived from the Holy Ghost." Is it likely that church-members have more faith in some Christian Scientist, whom they have perhaps never seen and against whom they have been warned, than they have in their own accredited and orthodox pastors, whom they have seen and have been taught to love and to trust?
Let any clergyman try to cure his friends by their faith in him. Will that faith heal them? Yet Scientists will take the same cases, and cures will follow. Is this because the patients have more faith in the Scientist than in their pastor? I have healed infidels whose only objection to this method was, that I as a Christian Scientist believed in the Holy Spirit, while they, the patients, did not.
Even though you aver that the material senses are indispensable to man's existence or entity, you must change the human concept of life, and must at length know yourself spiritually and scientifically. The evidence of the existence of Spirit, Soul, is palpable only to spiritual sense, and is not apparent to the material senses, which cognize only that which is the opposite of Spirit.
True Christianity is to be honored wherever found, but when shall we arrive at the goal which that word implies? From Puritan parents, the discoverer of Christian Science early received her religious education. In childhood, she often listened with joy to these words, falling from the lips of her saintly mother, "God is able to raise you up from sickness;" and she pondered the meaning of that Scripture she so often quotes: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
A Christian Scientist and an opponent are like two artists. One says: "I have spiritual ideals, indestructible and glorious. When others see them as I do, in their true light and loveliness,and know that these ideals are real and eternal because drawn from Truth,they will find that nothing is lost, and all is won, by a right estimate of what is real."
The other artist replies: "You wrong my experience. I have no mind-ideals except those which are both mental and material. It is true that materiality renders these ideals imperfect and destructible; yet I would not exchange mine for thine, for mine give me such personal pleasure, and they are not so shockingly transcendental. They require less self-abnegation, and keep Soul well out of sight. Moreover, I have no notion of losing my old doctrines or human opinions."
Dear reader, which mind-picture or externalized thought shall be real to you,the material or the spiritual? Both you cannot have. You are bringing out your own ideal. This ideal is either temporal or eternal. Either Spirit or matter is your model. If you try to have two models, then you practically have none. Like a pendulum in a clock, you will be thrown back and forth, striking the ribs of matter and swinging between the real and the unreal.
Hear the wisdom of Job, as given in the excellent translation of the late Rev. George R. Noyes, D.D.:
Shall mortal man be more just than God?
Shall man be more pure than his Maker?
Behold, He putteth no trust in His ministering spirits,
And His angels He chargeth with frailty.
Of old, the Jews put to death the Galilean Prophet, the best Christian on earth, for the truth he spoke and demonstrated, while to-day, Jew and Christian can unite in doctrine and denomination on the very basis of Jesus' words and works. The Jew believes that the Messiah or Christ has not yet come; the Christian believes that Christ is God. Here Christian Science intervenes, explains these doctrinal points, cancels the disagreement, and settles the question. Christ, as the true spiritual idea, is the ideal of God now and forever, here and everywhere. The Jew who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist; he has one omnipresent God. Thus the Jew unites with the Christian's doctrine that God is come and is present now and forever. The Christian who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist. Thus he virtually unites with the Jew's belief in one God, and recognizes that Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God. This declaration of Jesus, understood, conflicts not at all with another of his sayings: "I and my Father are one,"that is, one in quality, not in quantity. As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."
I have revised SCIENCE AND HEALTH only to give a clearer and fuller expression of its original meaning. Spiritual ideas unfold as we advance. A human perception of divine Science, however limited, must be correct in order to be Science and subject to demonstration. A germ of infinite Truth, though least in the kingdom of heaven, is the higher hope on earth, but it will be rejected and reviled until God prepares the soil for the seed. That which when sown bears immortal fruit, enriches mankind only when it is understood,hence the many readings given the Scriptures, and the requisite revisions of SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES.
Science and Health, pp. 348:14-361:32
"the manner of God's appointing"Must Christian Science come through the Christian churches as some persons insist? This Science has come already, after the manner of God's appointing, but the churches seem not ready to receive it, according to the Scriptural saying, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Jesus once said: "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." As aforetime, the spirit of the Christ, which taketh away the ceremonies and doctrines of men, is not accepted until the hearts of men are made ready for it.
Science and Health, p. 131:13
"the reappearance of the Christianity which heals the sick"The prophet of to-day beholds in the mental horizon the signs of these times, the reappearance of the Christianity which heals the sick and destroys error, and no other sign shall be given. Body cannot be saved except through Mind. The Science of Christianity is misinterpreted by a material age, for it is the healing influence of Spirit (not spirits) which the material senses cannot comprehend,which can only be spiritually discerned. Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses do not express Christian Science; much less can they demonstrate it.
Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening grasp of creeds, the demonstration of Christian Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science. It is imperious throughout all ages as Christ's revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, which remains inviolate for every man to understand and to practise.
For centuriesyea, alwaysnatural science has not been considered a part of any religion, Christianity not excepted. Even now multitudes consider that which they call science has no proper connection with faith and piety. Mystery does not enshroud Christ's teachings, and they are not theoretical and fragmentary, but practical and complete; and being practical and complete, they are not deprived of their essential vitality.
The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual. Human philosophy, ethics, and superstition afford no demonstrable divine Principle by which mortals can escape from sin; yet to escape from sin, is what the Bible demands. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," says the apostle, and he straightway adds: "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians ii. 12, 13). Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding. None may pick the lock nor enter by some other door. The ordinary teachings are material and not spiritual. Christian Science teaches only that which is spiritual and divine, and not human. Christian Science is unerring and Divine; the human sense of things errs because it is human.
Science and Health, p. 98:4-17 np
"human doctrines"Jesus bade his disciples beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees, which he defined as human doctrines. His parable of the "leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened," impels the inference that the spiritual leaven signifies the Science of Christ and its spiritual interpretation,an inference far above the merely ecclesiastical and formal applications of the illustration.
Science and Health, p. 117:29
"Christian Science, as defined and practiced by Jesus, heals the sick"Doctrines that deny the substance and practicality of all Christ's teachings cannot be evangelical; and evangelical religion can be established on no other claim than the authenticity of the Gospels, which support unequivocally the proof that Christian Science, as defined and practised by Jesus, heals the sick, casts out error, and will destroy death.
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 193:7
"the Science of Spirit"Referring to the materiality of the age, Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." Again, foreseeing the persecution which would attend the Science of Spirit, Jesus said: "They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service; and these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor me."
Science and Health, p. 31:25
"the lash"The cross is the central emblem of history. It is the lodestar in the demonstration of Christian healing,the demonstration by which sin and sickness are destroyed. The sects, which endured the lash of their predecessors, in their turn lay it upon those who are in advance of creeds.
Science and Health, p. 238:31
"materialistic beliefs about God"The mission of Jesus confirmed prophecy, and explained the so-called miracles of olden time as natural demonstrations of the divine power, demonstrations which were not understood. Jesus' works established his claim to the Messiahship. In reply to John's inquiry, "Art thou he that should come," Jesus returned an affirmative reply, recounting his works instead of referring to his doctrine, confident that this exhibition of the divine power to heal would fully answer the question. Hence his reply: "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." In other words, he gave his benediction to any one who should not deny that such effects, coming from divine Mind, prove the unity of God,the divine Principle which brings out all harmony.
The Pharisees of old thrust the spiritual idea and the man who lived it out of their synagogues, and retained their materialistic beliefs about God. Jesus' system of healing received no aid nor approval from other sanitary or religious systems, from doctrines of physics or of divinity; and it has not yet been generally accepted. To-day, as of yore, unconscious of the reappearing of the spiritual idea, blind belief shuts the door upon it, and condemns the cure of the sick and sinning if it is wrought on any but a material and a doctrinal theory. Anticipating this rejection of idealism, of the true idea of God,this salvation from all error, physical and mental,Jesus asked, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Did the doctrines of John the Baptist confer healing power upon him, or endow him with the truest conception of the Christ? This righteous preacher once pointed his disciples to Jesus as "the Lamb of God;" yet afterwards he seriously questioned the signs of the Messianic appearing, and sent the inquiry to Jesus, "Art thou he that should come?"
Was John's faith greater than that of the Samaritan woman, who said, "Is not this the Christ?" There was also a certain centurion of whose faith Jesus himself declared, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
In Egypt, it was Mind which saved the Israelites from belief in the plagues. In the wilderness, streams flowed from the rock, and manna fell from the sky. The Israelites looked upon the brazen serpent, and straightway believed that they were healed of the poisonous stings of vipers. In national prosperity, miracles attended the successes of the Hebrews; but when they departed from the true idea, their demoralization began. Even in captivity among foreign nations, the divine Principle wrought wonders for the people of God in the fiery furnace and in kings' palaces.
Judaism was the antithesis of Christianity, because Judaism engendered the limited form of a national or tribal religion. It was a finite and material system, carried out in special theories concerning God, man, sanitary methods, and a religious cultus. That he made "himself equal with God," was one of the Jewish accusations against him who planted Christianity on the foundation of Spirit, who taught as he was inspired by the Father and would recognize no life, intelligence, nor substance outside of God.
The Jewish conception of God, as Yawah, Jehovah, or only a mighty hero and king, has not quite given place to the true knowledge of God. Creeds and rituals have not cleansed their hands of rabbinical lore. To-day the cry of bygone ages is repeated, "Crucify him!" At every advancing step, truth is still opposed with sword and spear.
Science and Health, pp. 131:26-134:3
"Man-made doctrines are waning."Man-made doctrines are waning. They have not waxed strong in times of trouble. Devoid of the Christ-power, how can they illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial of the possibility of Christian healing robs Christianity of the very element, which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in the first century.
The true Logos is demonstrably Christian Science, the natural law of harmony which overcomes discord,not because this Science is supernatural or preternatural, nor because it is an infraction of divine law, but because it is the immutable law of God, good. Jesus said: "I knew that Thou hearest me always;" and he raised Lazarus from the dead, stilled the tempest, healed the sick, walked on the water. There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.
Science and Health, p. 134:14-30
"The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration"Theology and physics teach that both Spirit and matter are real and good, whereas the fact is that Spirit is good and real, and matter is Spirit's opposite. The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration,by healing both disease and sin; and this demonstration shows that Christian healing confers the most health and makes the best men. On this basis Christian Science will have a fair fight.
Science and Health, p. viii:9-16
"theology has [never] described man as created by Spirit"Neither anatomy nor theology has ever described man as created by Spirit,as God's man. The former explains the men of men, or the "children of men," as created corporeally instead of spiritually and as emerging from the lowest, instead of from the highest, conception of being. Both anatomy and theology define man as both physical and mental, and place mind at the mercy of matter for every function, formation, and manifestation. Anatomy takes up man at all points materially. It loses Spirit, drops the true tone, and accepts the discord. Anatomy and theology reject the divine Principle which produces harmonious man, and deal--the one wholly, the other primarilywith matter, calling that man which is not the counterpart, but the counterfeit, of God's man. Then theology tries to explain how to make this man a Christian,how from this basis of division and discord to produce the concord and unity of Spirit and His likeness.
Physiology exalts matter, dethrones Mind, and claims to rule man by material law, instead of spiritual. When physiology fails to give health or life by this process, it ignores the divine Spirit as unable or unwilling to render help in time of physical need. When mortals sin, this ruling of the schools leaves them to the guidance of a theology which admits God to be the healer of sin but not of sickness, although our great Master demonstrated that Truth could save from sickness as well as from sin.
Science and Health, p.148:7-2
"human systems disappoint"The present codes of human systems disappoint the weary searcher after a divine theology, adequate to the right education of human thought.
Science and Health, p. 234:21
"Popular theology"Popular theology takes up the history of man as if he began materially right, but immediately fell into mental sin; whereas revealed religion proclaims the Science of Mind and its formations as being in accordance with the first chapter of the Old Testament, when God, Mind, spake and it was done.
Science and Health, p. 557:22
"God dies not"The Christian saith, "Christ (God) died for me, and came to save me;" yet God dies not, and is the ever-presence that neither comes nor goes, and man is forever His image and likeness. "The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians iv. 18.)
Unity of Good by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 62
"The next step for ecclesiasticism"The next step for ecclesiasticism to take, is to admit that all Christians are properly called Scientists who follow the commands of our Lord and His Christ, Truth; and that no one is following his full command without this enlarged sense of the spirit and power of Christianity. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do," is a radical and unmistakable declaration of the right and power of Christianity to heal; for this is Christlike, and includes the understanding of man's capabilities and spiritual power. The condition insisted upon is, first, "belief;" the Hebrew of which implies understanding. How many to-day believe that the power of God equals even the power of a drug to heal the sick! Divine Science reveals the Principle of this power, and the rule whereby sin, sickness, disease, and death are destroyed; and God is this Principle. Let us, then, seek this Science; that we may know Him better, and love Him more.
Though a man were begirt with the Urim and Thummim of priestly office, yet should deny the validity or permanence of Christ's command to heal in all ages, this denial would dishonor that office and misinterpret evangelical religion. Divine Science is not an interpolation of the Scriptures, but is redolent with love, health, and holiness, for the whole human race. It only needs the prism of this Science to divide the rays of Truth, and bring out the entire hues of Deity, which scholastic theology has hidden. The lens of Science magnifies the divine power to human sight; and we then see the supremacy of Spirit and the nothingness of matter.
The context of the foregoing Scriptural text explains Jesus' words, "because I go unto my Father." "Because" in following him, you understand God and how to turn from matter to Spirit for healing; how to leave self, the sense material, for the sense spiritual; how to accept God's power and guidance, and become imbued with divine Love that casts out all fear. Then are you baptized in the Truth that destroys all error, and you receive the sense of Life that knows no death, and you know that God is the only Life.
To reach the consummate naturalness of the Life that is God, good, we must comply with the first condition set forth in the text, namely, believe; in other words, understand God sufficiently to exclude all faith in any other remedy than Christ, the Truth that antidotes all error. Thence will follow the absorption of all action, motive, and mind, into the rules and divine Principle of metaphysical healing.
Whosoever learns the letter of Christian Science but possesses not its spirit, is unable to demonstrate this Science; or whosoever hath the spirit without the letter, is held back by reason of the lack of understanding. Both the spirit and the letter are requisite; and having these, every one can prove, in some degree, the validity of those words of the great Master, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."
It has been said that the New Testament does not authorize us to expect the ministry of healing at this period.
We ask what is the authority for such a conclusion, the premises whereof are not to be found in the Scriptures. The Master's divine logic, as seen in our text, contradicts this inference,these are his words: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." That perfect syllogism of Jesus has but one correct premise and conclusion, and it cannot fall to the ground beneath the stroke of unskilled swordsmen. He who never unsheathed his blade to try the edge of truth in Christian Science, is unequal to the conflict, and unfit to judge in the case; the shepherd's sling would slay this Goliath. I once believed that the practice and teachings of Jesus relative to healing the sick, were spiritual abstractions, impractical and impossible to us; but deed, not creed, and practice more than theory, have given me a higher sense of Christianity.
The "I" will go to the Father when meekness, purity, and love, informed by divine Science, the Comforter, lead to the one God: then the ego is found not in matter but in Mind, for there is but one God, one Mind; and man will then claim no mind apart from God. Idolatry, the supposition of the existence of many minds and more than one God, has repeated itself in all manner of subtleties through the entire centuries, saying as in the beginning, "Believe in me, and I will make you as gods;" that is, I will give you a separate mind from God (good), named evil; and this so-called mind shall open your eyes and make you know evil, and thus become material, sensual, evil. But bear in mind that a serpent said that; therefore that saying came not from Mind, good, or Truth. God was not the author of it; hence the words of our Master: "He is a liar, and the father of it;" also, the character of the votaries to "other gods" which sprung from it.
The sweet, sacred sense and permanence of man's unity with his Maker, in Science, illumines our present existence with the ever-presence and power of God, good. It opens wide the portals of salvation from sin, sickness, and death. When the Life that is God, good, shall appear, "we shall be like Him;" we shall do the works of Christ, and, in the words of David, "the stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner," because the "I" does go unto the Father, the ego does arise to spiritual recognition of being, and is exalted,not through death, but Life, God understood.
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 193:22-196:27
"the Pharisees scorned the spirit of Christ"Christian Science is more than a prophet or a prophecy: it presents not words alone, but works,the daily demonstration of Truth and Love. Its healing and saving power was so great a proof of Immanuel and the realism of Christianity, that it caused even the publicans to justify God. Although clad in panoply of power, the Pharisees scorned the spirit of Christ in most of its varied manifestations. To them it was cant and caricature,always the opposite of what it was. Keen and alert was their indignation at whatever rebuked hypocrisy and demanded Christianity in life and religion.
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 373:30-8
"He at last paid no homage to forms of doctrine or to theories of man"Jesus urged the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life,even God, good. He rendered "unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." He at last paid no homage to forms of doctrine or to theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved, not by spirits but by Spirit.
To the ritualistic priest and hypocritical Pharisee Jesus said, "The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."
Science and Health, p. 19:29-8
"belief in a human doctrine"It is essential to understand, instead of believe, what relates most nearly to the happiness of being. To seek Truth through belief in a human doctrine is not to understand the infinite.
Science and Health, p. 285:32-3
"her highest creed has been divine Science"Question.Are doctrines and creeds a benefit to man?
Answer.The author subscribed to an orthodox creed in early youth, and tried to adhere to it until she caught the first gleam of that which interprets God as above mortal sense. This view rebuked human beliefs, and gave the spiritual import, expressed through Science, of all that proceeds from the divine Mind. Since then her highest creed has been divine Science, which, reduced to human apprehension, she has named Christian Science. This Science teaches man that God is the only Life, and that this Life is Truth and Love; that God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated; that divine Truth casts out suppositional error and heals the sick. The way which leads to Christian Science is straight and narrow. God has set His signet upon Science, making it coordinate with all that is real and only with that which is harmonious and eternal. Sickness, sin, and death, being inharmonious, do not originate in God nor belong to His government. His law, rightly understood, destroys them. Jesus furnished proofs of these statements.
Science and Health, p. 471:22-12
"the scales of God"When [the Christian Science textbook] was first issued, critics declared that it was incorrect, contradictory, unscientific, unchristian; but those human opinions had not one feather's weight in the scales of God.
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 372:1-4
"neither tongue nor pen can overthrow it"In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only textbook. The Scriptures were illumined; reason and revelation were reconciled, and afterwards the truth of Christian Science was demonstrated. No human pen nor tongue taught me the Science contained in this book, SCIENCE AND HEALTH; and neither tongue nor pen can overthrow it. This book may be distorted by shallow criticism or by careless or malicious students, and its ideas may be temporarily abused and misrepresented; but the Science and truth therein will forever remain to be discerned and demonstrated.
Science and Health, p. 110:13
"If they did understand it, they could demonstrate this Science"Shall religious intolerance, arrayed against the rights of man, again deluge the earth in blood? The question at issue with mankind is: Shall we have a spiritual Christianity and a spiritual healing, or a materialistic religion and a materia medica?
The advancing faith and hope of Christianity, the earnest seeking after practical truth that shall cast out error and heal the sick, wisely demand for man his God-given heritage, both human and divine rights; namely, that his honest convictions and proofs of advancing truth be allowed due consideration, and treated not as pearls trampled upon.
Those familiar with my history are more tolerant; those who know me, know that I found health in just what I teach. I have professed Christianity a half-century; and now I calmly challenge the world, upon fair investigation, to furnish a single instance of departure in one of my works from the highest possible ethics.
The charges against my views are false, but natural, since those bringing them do not understand my statement of the Science I introduce, and are unwilling to be taught it, even gratuitously. If they did understand it, they could demonstrate this Science by healing the sick; hence the injustice of their interpretations.
To many, the healing force developed by Christian Science seems a mystery, because they do not understand that Spirit controls body. They acknowledge the existence of mortal mind, but believe it to reside in matter of the brain; but that man is the idea of infinite Mind, is not so easily accepted. That which is temporary seems, to the common estimate, solid and substantial. It is much easier for people to believe that the body affects mind, than that the body is an expression of mind, and reflects harmony or discord according to thought.
Everything that God created, He pronounced good. He never made sickness. Hence that is only an evil belief of mortal mind, which must be met, in every instance, with a denial by Truth.
This is the "new tongue," the language of them that "lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover," whose spiritual interpretation they refuse to hear. For instance: the literal meaning of the passage "lay hands on the sick" would be manipulation; its moral meaning, found in the "new tongue," is spiritual power,as, in another Scripture, "I will triumph in the works of Thy hands."
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 246:26-248:7
"the danger of questioning Christ Jesus' healing"The weak criticisms and woeful warnings concerning Christian Science healing are less now than were the sneers forty years ago at the medicine of homoeopathy; and the medicine of Mind is more honored and respected to-day than the old-time medicine of matter. Those who laugh at or pray against transcendentalism and the Christian Scientist's religion or his medicine, should know the danger of questioning Christ Jesus' healing, who administered no remedy apart from Mind, and taught his disciples none other. Christian Science seems transcendental because the substance of Truth transcends the evidence of the five personal senses, and is discerned only through divine Science.
If God created drugs for medical use, Jesus and his disciples would have used them and named them for that purpose, for he came to do "the will of the Father." The doctor who teaches that a human hypothesis is above a demonstration of healing, yea, above the grandeur of our great master Metaphysician's precept and example, and that of his followers in the early centuries, should read this Scripture: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
The divine Life, Truth, Lovewhom men call Godis the Christian Scientists' healer; and if God destroys the popular triad--sin, sickness, and deathremember it is He who does it and so proves their nullity.
Christians and clergymen pray for sinners; they believe that God answers their prayers, and that prayer is a divinely appointed means of grace and salvation. They believe that divine power, besought, is given to them in times of trouble, and that He worketh with them to save sinners. I love this doctrine, for I know that prayer brings the seeker into closer proximity with divine Love, and thus he finds what he seeks, the power of God to heal and to save. Jesus said, "Ask, and ye shall receive;" and if not immediately, continue to ask, and because of your often coming it shall be given unto you; and he illustrated his saying by a parable.
The notion that mixing material and spiritual means, either in medicine or in religion, is wise or efficient, is proven false. That animal natures give force to character is egregious nonsensea flat departure from Jesus' practice and proof. Let us remember that the great Metaphysician healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves, which obeyed him through spiritual ascendency alone.
Message for 1901 by Mary Baker Eddy, pp.18:4-19 np
"those who break faith with divine Science"He that touches the hem of Christ's robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing,in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love. Alas for those who break faith with divine Science and fail to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are dwellers still in the deep darkness of belief. They are in the surging sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave.
What must the end be? They must eventually expiate their sin through suffering. The sin, which one has made his bosom companion, comes back to him at last with accelerated force, for the devil knoweth his time is short. Here the Scriptures declare that evil is temporal, not eternal. The dragon is at last stung to death by his own malice; but how many periods of torture it may take to remove all sin, must depend upon sin's obduracy.
Science and Health, p. 569:11-28
"The obstinate sinner, however, refuses to see this grand verity"Whosoever understands Christian Science knows beyond a doubt that its life-giving truths were preached and practised in the first century by him who proved their practicality, who uttered Christ's Sermon on the Mount, who taught his disciples the healing Christianity which applies to all ages, and who dated time. A spiritual understanding of the Scriptures restores their original tongue in the language of Spirit, that primordial standard of Truth.
Christian Science contains no element whatever of hypnotism or animal magnetism. It appeals alone to God, to the divine Principle, or Life, Truth, and Love, to whom all things are possible; and this Principle heals sin, sickness, disease, and death. Christian Science meets error with Truth, death with Life, hate with Love, and thus, and only thus, does it overcome evil and heal disease. The obstinate sinner, however, refuses to see this grand verity or to acknowledge it, for he knows not that in justice, as well as in mercy, God is Love.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 180:3-21
Questionable MetaphysicsIn an article published in the New York Journal, Rev. ---- writes: "To the famous Bishop Berkeley of the Church of England may be traced many of the ideas about the spiritual world which are now taught in Christian Science."
This clergyman gives it as his opinion that Christian Science will be improved in its teaching and authorship after Mrs. Eddy has gone. I am sorry for my critic, who reckons hopefully on the death of an individual who loves God and man; such foreseeing is not foreknowing, and exhibits a startling ignorance of Christian Science, and a manifest unfitness to criticise it or to compare its literature. He begins his calculation erroneously; for Life is the Principle of Christian Science and of its results. Death is neither the predicate nor postulate of Truth, and Christ came not to bring death but life into the world. Does this critic know of a better way than Christ's whereby to benefit the race? My faith assures me that God knows more than any man on this subject, for did He not know all things and results I should not have known Christian Science, or felt the incipient touch of divine Love which inspired it.
That God is good, that Truth is true, and Science is Science, who can doubt; and whosoever demonstrates the truth of these propositions is to some extent a Christian Scientist. Is Science material? No! It is the Mind of Godand God is Spirit. Is Truth material? No! Therefore I do not try to mix matter and Spirit, since Science does not and they will not mix...
The numeration table of Christian Science, its divine Principle and rules, are before the people, and the different religious sects and the differing schools of medicine are discussing them as if they understood its Principle and rules before they have learned its numeration table, and insist that the public receive their sense of the Science, or that it receive no sense whatever of it.
Again: Even the numeration table of Christian Science is not taught correctly by those who have departed from its absolute simple statement as to Spirit and matter, and that one and two are neither more nor less than three; and losing the numeration table and the logic of Christian Science, they have little left that the sects and faculties can grapple. If Christian Scientists only would admit that God is Spirit and infinite, yet that God has an opposite and that the infinite is not all; that God is good and infinite, yet that evil exists and is real,thence it would follow that evil must either exist in good, or exist outside of the infinite,they would be in peace with the schools.
This departure, however, from the scientific statement, the divine Principle, rule, or demonstration of Christian Science, results as would a change of the denominations of mathematics; and you cannot demonstrate Christian Science except on its fixed Principle and given rule, according to the Master's teaching and proof. He was ultra; he was a reformer; he laid the axe at the root of all error, amalgamation, and compounds. He used no material medicine, nor recommended it, and taught his disciples and followers to do likewise; therefore he demonstrated his power over matter, sin, disease, and death, as no other person has ever demonstrated it.
Bishop Berkeley published a book in 1710 entitled "Treatise Concerning the Principle of Human Knowledge." Its object was to deny, on received principles of philosophy, the reality of an external material world. In later publications he declared physical substance to be "only the constant relation between phenomena connected by association and conjoined by the operations of the universal mind, nature being nothing more than conscious experience. Matter apart from conscious mind is an impossible and unreal concept." He denies the existence of matter, and argues that matter is not without the mind, but within it, and that that which is generally called matter is only an impression produced by divine power on the mind by means of invariable rules styled the laws of nature. Here he makes God the cause of all the ills of mortals and the casualties of earth.
Again, while descanting on the virtues of tar-water, he writes: "I esteem my having taken this medicine the greatest of all temporal blessings, and am convinced that under Providence I owe my life to it." Making matter more potent than Mind, when the storms of disease beat against Bishop Berkeley's metaphysics and personality he fell, and great was the fallfrom divine metaphysics to tar-water!
Christian Science is more than two hundred years old. It dates beyond Socrates, Leibnitz, Berkeley, Darwin, or Huxley. It is as old as God, although its earthly advent is called the Christian era.
I had not read one line of Berkeley's writings when I published my work Science and Health, the Christian Science textbook.
In contradistinction to his views I found it necessary to follow Jesus' teachings, and none other, in order to demonstrate the divine Science of Christianitythe metaphysics of Christhealing all manner of diseases. Philosophy, materia medica, and scholastic theology were inadequate to prove the doctrine of Jesus, and I relinquished the form to attain the spirit or mystery of godliness. Hence the mysticism, so called, of my writings becomes clear to the godly.
Building on the rock of Christ's teachings, we have a superstructure eternal in the heavens, omnipotent on earth, encompassing time and eternity. The stone which the builders reject is apt to be the cross, which they reject and whereby is won the crown and the head of the corner.
A knowledge of philosophy and of medicine, the scholasticism of a bishop, and the metaphysics (so called) which mix matter and mind,certain individuals call aids to divine metaphysics, and regret their lack in my books, which because of their more spiritual import heal the sick! No Christly axioms, practices, or parables are alluded to or required in such metaphysics, and the demonstration of matter minus, and God all, ends in some specious folly.
The great Metaphysician, Christ Jesus, denounced all such gilded sepulchres of his time and of all time. He never recommended drugs, he never used them. What, then, is our authority in Christianity for metaphysics based on materialism? He demonstrated what he taught. Had he taught the power of Spirit, and along with this the power of matter, he would have been as contradictory as the blending of good and evil, and the latter superior, which Satan demanded in the beginning, and which has since been avowed to be as real, and matter as useful, as the infinite God,good,which, if indeed Spirit and infinite, excludes evil and matter. Jesus likened such self-contradictions to a kingdom divided against itself, that cannot stand.
The unity and consistency of Jesus' theory and practice give my tired sense of false philosophy and material theology rest. The great teacher, preacher, and demonstrator of Christianity is the Master, who founded his system of metaphysics only on Christ, Truth, and supported it by his words and deeds.
The five personal senses can have only a finite sense of the infinite: therefore the metaphysician is sensual that combines matter with Spirit. In one sentence he declaims against matter, in the next he endows it with a life-giving quality not to be found in God! and turns away from Christ's purely spiritual means to the schools and matter for help in times of need.
I have passed through deep waters to preserve Christ's vesture unrent; then, when land is reached and the world aroused, shall the word popularity be pinned to the seamless robe, and they cast lots for it? God forbid! Let it be left to such as see Godto the pure in spirit, and the meek that inherit the earth; left to them of a sound faith and charity, the greatest of which is charityspiritual love. St. Paul said: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
Before leaving this subject of the old metaphysicians, allow me to add I have read little of their writings. I was not drawn to them by a native or an acquired taste for what was problematic and self-contradictory. What I have given to the world on the subject of metaphysical healing or Christian Science is the result of my own observation, experience, and final discovery, quite independent of all other authors except the Bible.
My critic also writes: "The best contributions that have been made to the literature of Christian Science have been by Mrs. Eddy's followers. I look to see some St. Paul arise among the Christian Scientists who will interpret their ideas and principles more clearly, and apply them more rationally to human needs."
My works are the first ever published on Christian Science, and nothing has since appeared that is correct on this subject the basis whereof cannot be traced to some of those works. The application of Christian Science is healing and reforming mankind. If any one as yet has healed hopeless cases, such as I have in one to three interviews with the patients, I shall rejoice in being informed thereof. Or if a modern St. Paul could start thirty years ago without a Christian Scientist on earth, and in this interval number one million, and an equal number of sick healed, also sinners reformed and the habits and appetites of mankind corrected, why was it not done? God is no respecter of persons.
I have put less of my own personality into Christian Science than others do in proportion, as I have taken out of its metaphysics all matter and left Christian Science as it is, purely spiritual, Christlikethe Mind of God and not of manborn of the Spirit and not matter. Professor Agassiz said: "Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they had always believed it." Having passed through the first two stages, Christian Science must be approaching the last stage of the great naturalist's prophecy.
It is only by praying, watching, and working for the kingdom of heaven within us and upon earth, that we enter the strait and narrow way, whereof our Master said, "and few there be that find it."
Of the ancient writers since the first century of the Christian era perhaps none lived a more devout Christian life up to his highest understanding than St. Augustine. Some of his writings have been translated into almost every Christian tongue, and are classed with the choicest memorials of devotion both in Catholic and Protestant oratories.
Sacred history shows that those who have followed exclusively Christ's teaching, have been scourged in the synagogues and persecuted from city to city. But this is no cause for not following it; and my only apology for trying to follow it is that I love Christ more than all the world, and my demonstration of Christian Science in healing has proven to me beyond a doubt that Christ, Truth, is indeed the way of salvation from all that worketh or maketh a lie. As Jesus said: "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master." It is well to know that even Christ Jesus, who was not popular among the worldlings in his age, is not popular with them in this age; hence the inference that he who would be popular if he could, is not a student of Christ Jesus.
After a hard and successful career reformers usually are handsomely provided for. Has the thought come to Christian Scientists, Have we housed, fed, clothed, or visited a reformer for that purpose? Have we looked after or even known of his sore necessities? Gifts he needs not. God has provided the means for him while he was providing ways and means for others. But mortals in the advancing stages of their careers need the watchful and tender care of those who want to help them. The aged reformer should not be left to the mercy of those who are not glad to sacrifice for him even as he has sacrificed for others all the best of his earthly years.
I say this not because reformers are not loved, but because well-meaning people sometimes are inapt or selfish in showing their love. They are like children that go out from the parents who nurtured them, toiled for them, and enabled them to be grand coworkers for mankind, children who forget their parents' increasing years and needs, and whenever they return to the old home go not to help mother but to recruit themselves. Or, if they attempt to help their parents, and adverse winds are blowing, this is no excuse for waiting till the wind shifts. They should remember that mother worked and won for them by facing the winds. All honor and success to those who honor their father and mother. The individual who loves most, does most, and sacrifices most for the reformer, is the individual who soonest will walk in his footsteps.
To aid my students in starting under a tithe of my own difficulties, I allowed them for several years fifty cents on every book of mine that they sold. "With this percentage," students wrote me, "quite quickly we have regained our tuition for the college course."
Christian Scientists are persecuted even as all other religious denominations have been, since ever the primitive Christians, "of whom the world was not worthy." We err in thinking the object of vital Christianity is only the bequeathing of itself to the coming centuries. The successive utterances of reformers are essential to its propagation. The magnitude of its meaning forbids headlong haste, and the consciousness which is most imbued struggles to articulate itself.
Christian Scientists are practically non-resistants; they are too occupied with doing good, observing the Golden Rule, to retaliate or to seek redress; they are not quacks, giving birth to nothing and death to all,but they are leaders of a reform in religion and in medicine, and they have no craft that is in danger.
Even religion and therapeutics need regenerating. Philanthropists, and the higher class of critics in theology and materia medica, recognize that Christian Science kindles the inner genial life of a man, destroying all lower considerations. No man or woman is roused to the establishment of a new-old religion by the hope of ease, pleasure, or recompense, or by the stress of the appetites and passions. And no emperor is obeyed like the man "clouting his own cloak"working alone with God, yea, like the clear, far-seeing vision, the calm courage, and the great heart of the unselfed Christian hero.
I counsel Christian Scientists under all circumstances to obey the Golden Rule, and to adopt Pope's axiom: "An honest, sensible, and well-bred man will not insult me, and no other can." The sensualist and world-worshipper are always stung by a clear elucidation of truth, of right, and of wrong.
The only opposing element that sects or professions can encounter in Christian Science is Truth opposed to all error, specific or universal. This opposition springs from the very nature of Truth, being neither personal nor human, but divine. Every true Christian in the near future will learn and love the truths of Christian Science that now seem troublesome. Jesus said, "I came not to send peace but a sword."
Has God entrusted me with a message to mankind?then I cannot choose but obey. After a long acquaintance with the communicants of my large church, they regard me with no vague, fruitless, inquiring wonder. I can use the power that God gives me in no way except in the interest of the individual and the community. To this verity every member of my church would bear loving testimony.
Message for 1901 by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 21:6-31:18
"...Christian Science must be judged, not by what its critics say against it, but by what it really is and what it is accomplishing."
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