The Christian Science
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
CHRIST JESUS (Matthew 24:14)
Volume 14, Number 4 October 2006
Christian Science Endtime Center P. O. Box 27539, Denver, CO 80227
“The more I understand true
humanhood, the more I see it
to be sinless, — as ignorant
of sin as is the perfect Maker.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
This is a reprint of The Christian Science Standard, Vol. 10, No. 3,
authored and edited by Stanley C. Larkin in October 1999.
UNDERSTANDING “DIVINITY EMBRACING HUMANITY” 1
IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION
The teaching of “divinity embracing humanity” is essential to our salvation, — our transfiguration, — in the endtime. A misunderstanding of Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching on this subject impedes and retards individual and collective spiritual growth. It would prevent Christian Scientists from understanding and demonstrating the human and divine coincidence which is the way of escape from the material sense of things.
This misunderstanding has become a variant teaching which is called absolutism, also referred to as abstractness. The problem with this variant teaching is that it wipes out the human instead of recognizing that it has to be saved. This variant was presented in a lead article in 1917 in the Christian Science Sentinel entitled “Mortal Mind and Human Mind” by Frederick Dixon. 2 Bliss Knapp, CSB, 3 a close friend and devoted follower of Mrs. Eddy, recognized the absolutism presented in the article, and in response, he wrote a letter dated September 10, 1917, to the Christian Science Board of Directors. 4
TWO OPPOSITE AND DISTINCT MEANINGS
OF THE WORD HUMAN
Mr. Knapp writes in his letter:
From my study of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, I have reached the conclusion that she employs the word human in two opposite and distinct meanings, both of which may be noted as the human is seen to be influenced or swayed by the mortal mind or by the divine Mind. That is made particularly clear in Science and Health, page 190:21-31, and also 573:5-9. In the latter reference, Mrs. Eddy specifically declares that “one human consciousness” is “that consciousness which God bestows.” It must therefore be as imperishable as God from whom it proceeds. Whereas the “unillumined human mind” expresses a material vision, and must be mortal mind.
We must understand Mrs. Eddy’s usage of the word “human” as she employs it in “two opposite and distinct meanings.” As the “human” is “influenced or swayed,” it can be made to coincide with reality or with mortal mind. To escape the endtime catastrophes, our individual human consciousness must be made to coincide with reality.
To substantiate Mr. Knapp’s point that Mrs. Eddy “employs the word human in two opposite and distinct meanings,” we quote from an editorial in 1914 by Mrs. Annie M. Knott, CSD, who was called to Boston by Mrs. Eddy to be an editor of her periodicals and to see that her teachings were strictly adhered to:
While it is true that she [Mrs. Eddy] makes a clear distinction between man as God’s likeness and the material and mortal concept of man, it is noteworthy that she seldom uses the word human, or any of its derivatives, without pointing upward, away from the false to the true, from the perishable to the enduring, from the material to the spiritual. 5
Mr. Knapp gives two references illustrating the point in his research where he sees that Mrs. Eddy uses the word “human” in “two opposite and distinct meanings.” His first reference is from Science and Health, page 190:21-31:
The Hebrew bard, swayed by mortal thoughts, thus swept his lyre with saddening strains on human existence:
As for man, his days are as grass:
As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;
And the place thereof shall know it no more.
When hope rose higher in the human heart, he sang:
As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.
. . . . . . .
For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light shall we see light.
In the first verse the “human” was “swayed by mortal thoughts” and the vision was material. “Mortal” means death, that which perishes. In the latter verse, as divinity embraced humanity, “hope rose higher in the human heart” and the vision became more spiritual; it took on the “opposite” meaning.
The second reference which Mr. Knapp gives of Mrs. Eddy’s usage of “human” in “two opposite and distinct meanings” is:
This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. (S&H 573:5-9)
The marginal heading for this paragraph is “Man’s present possibilities.” The “human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows,” is the human that “is seen to be influenced or swayed . . . by the divine Mind.” The “unillumined human mind” (the “opposite”) where “the vision is material” is “seen to be influenced or swayed by the mortal mind,” — that which is an illusion or a false sense.
Mrs. Eddy’s entire paragraph reads:
The Revelator had not yet passed the transitional stage in human experience called death, but he already saw a new heaven and a new earth. Through what sense came this vision to St. John? Not through the material visual organs for seeing, for optics are inadequate to take in so wonderful a scene. Were this new heaven and new earth terrestrial or celestial, material or spiritual? They could not be the former, for the human sense of space is unable to grasp such a view. The Revelator was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see, — that which is invisible to the uninspired thought. This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. This shows unmistakably that what the human mind terms matter and spirit indicates states and stages of consciousness. (S&H 572:23-12)
There is only the God-created spiritual consciousness, for as Mrs. Eddy says, “God is all true consciousness.” (Unity of Good 4:12-13) What divine Mind bestows is spiritual illumination. As the human consciousness is illumined and uplifted through Science by immortal Mind it becomes more transparent, becomes illumined, until the “purely good and spiritual consciousness” (ibid. 23:24) is demonstrated.
Mrs. Eddy refers to St. John’s consciousness — “that consciousness which God
bestows” — as a “scientific consciousness.” 6 We demonstrate that illumined or inspired human consciousness with the “understanding of Christ in divine Science.” 7 John went through “states and stages” of elevating consciousness to reach the level of the “scientific consciousness” by which he could see the new heaven and the new earth. That is what we all have to do. Mrs. Eddy writes: “Mortals are free moral agents, to choose whom they would serve.” (Unity of Good 60:17-18) So mortals choose either to be swayed by mortal mind and thereby be unillumined, or they choose to be swayed by divine Mind and be illumined.
As the human consciousness is swayed and influenced by divine Mind, it is uplifted until it becomes the “scientific consciousness.” If the human consciousness is swayed by mortal mind, it becomes darkened, unillumined, mortal. Mrs. Eddy describes these “states and stages of consciousness” in the “Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind” as follows:
SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF MORTAL MIND
First Degree: Depravity.
PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear,
depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, de- Unreality
ceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease,
Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.
MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, com- Transitional
passion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance. qualities
Third Degree: Understanding.
SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding,
spiritual power, love, health, holiness. Reality
In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as
God’s image appears. (S&H 115:19-5)
In the first degree Mrs. Eddy is describing the “unillumined human mind.” In the third degree she is describing the “scientific consciousness.” As the human consciousness is rising to the third degree, it passes through the second degree in steps and stages and expresses the transitional qualities.
St. John’s consciousness was being continually uplifted until he reached the third degree whereby he saw the new heaven and the new earth (the only heaven and earth, the transfigured state), — what to unillumined humanity appeared as a material heaven and earth. What we need to do is to regain that spiritual consciousness. John’s consciousness had risen to the point where, instead of the material heaven and earth, he could see the reality from the “opposite” standpoint, and so must we.
To transfigure we must reach the same stage of consciousness that John did when he saw the new heaven and the new earth. As Mrs. Eddy says: “John saw the human and divine coincidence, shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration, — reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God.” (S&H 561:16-20)
To reach this spiritual consciousness, we must live a life of piety as Peter says: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be . . . .” (II Peter 3:11) Piety means devotion to God, based on the fact that all these things are to be dissolved. To be pious, we must sacrifice the things that are to be dissolved, — the qualities of the first degree and their objectification. We are pious if we are actively striving in our daily lives and activities to overcome those qualities of the first degree that ascribe themselves to personality. Mrs. Eddy writes:
Good demands of man every hour, in which to work out the problem of being. Consecration to good does not lessen man’s dependence on God, but heightens it. Neither does consecration diminish man’s obligations to God, but shows the paramount necessity of meeting them. Christian Science takes naught from the perfection of God, but it ascribes to Him the entire glory. By putting “off the old man with his deeds,” mortals “put on immortality.” (S&H 261:32)
ABSOLUTISM WIPES OUT THE HUMAN
In his letter Mr. Knapp writes:
In Mr. Dixon’s article entitled “Mortal Mind and Human Mind,” as published in the Sentinel of September 1, 1917, he considers one phase of the problem very ably, but ignores completely the other phase, and a half truth leaves the problem in the worst kind of an error. The confusion that results from such a one-sided view [Dixon’s article] is directly referred to in Miscellany page 235:1 entitled “Inconsistency,” and again on page 217:16 entitled “A Correction.”
The “one phase of the problem” or “half truth” which Mr. Dixon considers in his article is his claim that “mortal mind . . . and human mind are equally and absolutely unreal.” 8 He then concludes that because, in his view, they are equal, the human mind needs to be dismissed and “destroyed.” His one-sided view completely casts away the human.
Mr. Knapp gives as references two articles written by Mrs. Eddy in The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany that explain the problem. In both references Mrs. Eddy is describing the danger of absolutism or abstractness. The first reference is:
To teach the truth of life without using the word death, the suppositional opposite of life, were as impossible as to define truth and not name its opposite, error. Straining at gnats, one may swallow camels.
The tender mother, guided by love, faithful to her instincts, and adhering to the imperative rules of Science, asks herself: Can I teach my child the correct numeration of numbers and never name a cipher? Knowing that she cannot do this in mathematics, she should know that it cannot be done in metaphysics, and so she should definitely name the error, uncover it, and teach truth scientifically. 9
If one declared only for life without handling (denying) the belief of death, the declarations would not be made practical in the human experience. Confusion results from reading Mr. Dixon’s article because truth cannot be taught scientifically from a “one-sided view.” Mrs. Eddy says that even she cannot teach without the absolute statements and their correlatives as she notes in the next reference referred to by Mr. Knapp.
In the last Sentinel [Oct. 12, 1899] was the following question: “If all matter is unreal, why do we deny the existence of disease in the material body and not the body itself?”
We deny first the existence of disease, because we can meet this negation more readily than we can negative all that the material senses affirm. It is written in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science” (p. 296).
Thus it is that our great Exemplar, Jesus of Nazareth, first takes up the subject. He does not require the last step to be taken first. He came to the world not to destroy the law of being, but to fulfil it in righteousness. He restored the diseased body to its normal action, functions, and organization, and in explanation of his deeds he said, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Job said, “In my flesh shall I see God.” Neither the Old nor the New Testament furnishes reasons or examples for the destruction of the human body, but for its restoration to life and health as the scientific proof of “God with us.” The power and prerogative of Truth are to destroy all disease and to raise the dead — even the self-same Lazarus. The spiritual body, the incorporeal idea, came with the ascension.
Jesus demonstrated the divine Principle of Christian Science when he presented his material body absolved from death and the grave. The introduction of pure abstractions into Christian Science, without their correlatives, leaves the divine Principle of Christian Science unexplained, tends to confuse the mind of the reader, and ultimates in what Jesus denounced, namely, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. 10
The “correlatives” apply to the human condition; so we see, that if one considers only “pure abstractions . . . without their correlatives,” that “ confuses the mind of the reader.” In this way Mr. Dixon confuses his readers. By using pure abstractions, he negates the whole human mind rather than presenting the “states and stages of consciousness” implied by Mrs. Eddy’s quotation of her own statement from Science and Health in the above reference: “An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science.” (S&H 296:28)
In other words, Mr. Dixon would have us “negative [prove unreal] all that the material senses affirm” without taking the “first” step. Negativing “all that the material senses affirm” is the last step. We do not negate the human, because it is the human that has to go through all the “improved belief” steps. However, Mr. Dixon negates everything connected with the human and, consequently, the “states and stages of consciousness” necessary for the human to coincide with the divine. Thus he really negates divinity reaching and embracing humanity. So we can see why Mr. Knapp said that this is the “worst kind of an error.”
Mrs. Eddy shows us that Jesus took the “first” step when he “restored the diseased body to its normal action, functions, and organization.” The last step to be taken was the ascension in which the material body was completely put off through transfiguration. The human and divine coincidence had to be achieved before the ascension.
Note that in both of Mrs. Eddy’s articles , “Inconsistency” and “A Correction,” she likens absolutism or “pure abstractions” to straining at gnats and swallowing camels. She is using that analogy to rebuke absolutism. She is clearly warning Christian Scientists not to be absolutists.
The danger of absolutism or “pure abstractions” is clearly brought out in an article by Bessie May Teorey entitled “The Danger of Abstractness.” The following are excerpts:
Students of this new-old scientific Christianity love to read and to hear the absolute statements of truth regarding God, man, and the universe which their Leader gives to the world.
Jesus walked the highways of the human sense of his universe, making spiritual facts practical by meeting his brother’s need and speaking his brother’s language. . . . Never did he disregard humanity’s cry for release from the bondage of false material sense. Our Leader writes (Science and Health, p. 25), “The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.”
Students of Christian Science who search for Mrs. Eddy’s absolute statements of Truth exclusively, thus neglecting their correlatives, which emphasize the demand of Science — the necessity of students’ bringing absolute facts to life through Christly works — are lending themselves to a false influence.
Our useful human surroundings should be seen as evidence that Love is meeting our present need. Knowing this, we love to fulfill our human obligations; and we never abandon them because we feel that they may be a hindrance to our spiritual progress or that we have outgrown them. We see that actually there is no material universe, because all is God’s manifestation, but that human concepts must be uplifted and purified until spiritual concepts fully appear.
Such balanced thinking and acting brings a joyous, exhilarating sense of living to the student, resulting in his experiencing satisfaction and fulfillment right where he is.
Throughout her writings our wise Leader uses the words strive, labor, and battle many times. She makes it plain that God’s work is perfect and that it is finished, but that the human consciousness must be evangelized before this absolute fact can be evidenced in human affairs. To bypass the necessity of facing the false beliefs of sin in the individual is a sin in itself and hinders spiritual growth. 11
WHAT CHRIST COMES TO SAVE
Quoting again from Mr. Knapp’s letter:
If for example honesty, which Mrs. Eddy names on page 115:26 of Science and Health as one of the transitional qualities, is interpreted by one “swayed by mortal thoughts” (190:21), it may lead one to believe that his honesty is a personal possession, humanly circumscribed, — a condition of the flesh. The mortal thought about it fortunately does not change the fact of honesty from Principle. So, “When hope rose higher in the human heart” (190:27), and one sees honesty from Principle, the human quality has been illumined, and in the illumined sense of it we see the true humanhood to which Mrs. Eddy refers in Unity of Good page 49:8. 12 That must be what Christ came to save. Christ could not save anything mortal; but by illumining the true humanhood, he could save it from the darkness of mortal thoughts, just as light always dispels darkness.
Here Mr. Knapp is referring to the pages 115 and 116 of Science and Health where Mrs. Eddy outlines the three degrees in the “Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind” as previously quoted on page 5 of this Standard. This translation deals only with the manifestation of attributes or qualities. Attributes are qualities which ascribe themselves at all times to their cause.
The attributes given in the first degree ascribe themselves to personality. These qualities point to personality, and thereby produce personality. In this first degree mortals seem to have personality unreached or un-embraced by divinity. But even if mortals seem to be in this first degree, the potential is there for them to rise higher, — to become immortal, or as Mrs. Knott says, “to become the sons of God.” 13 As divinity reaches humanity and Christ appears in consciousness, divinity reaches the human in the first degree and lifts us step by step out of the first degree.
The second degree is the transitional state. It has transitional qualities which are ascending to the third degree, the “spiritual.” In the second degree divinity is reaching and embracing humanity as mortals are blending their thoughts of existence with the spiritual. Mrs. Eddy writes: “When mortal man blends his thoughts of existence with the spiritual and works only as God works, he will no longer grope in the dark and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven.” (S&H 263:7) So the mortal has to be lifted up to and through the transitional second degree where the human is blending with the spiritual.
This concept of blending is as the tares and the wheat which grow side by side until the harvest as Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health:
The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest; then, Science separates the wheat from the tares, through the realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness. (S&H 300:13)
“True humanhood” is what Christ comes to save. Christ does this by illumining true humanhood. Man is governed by Principle, not by personality. Christ lifts “true humanhood” out of the personal into the impersonal. The qualities in the second degree become illumined by our choosing to be influenced and swayed by divine Mind through Christ, and then “true humanhood” is revealed and saved from the first degree. We must have the transitional state of the second degree because that is where the human rises to the divine.
It is essential to our demonstration of the human and divine coincidence to recognize that the qualities of the third degree are attributes which forever point to divine Principle, not to person. They are spiritual and always ascribe themselves to God who is Principle, — the opposite of personality. They reveal Principle in true being.
The qualities of the third degree are: “Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.” (S&H 116:2) There is no personality in these, — only Principle and individuality. These qualities absolutely express Principle and its idea. As Mrs. Eddy says: “Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe.” (S&H 465:17)
These seven attributes, are forever manifesting the one Principle. They are reality. “Principle and its idea is one” and is constituted of its attributes including the seven named in the third degree. These attributes of Principle exist in the realm of reality.
As we bring these attributes into conscious awareness, step by step they bring us out of the land of bondage, so to speak, — out of the land of personality, — into the realm of “Principle and its idea” which is one. In the realm of humanity, “Mortals who on the shores of time learn Christian Science, and live what they learn, take rapid transit to heaven . . . . 14 This is the second degree, by which mortals make “transit” to heaven: “In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God’s image appears.” (S&H 116:4-5)
The qualities of the third degree do not manifest the character of God as being anthropomorphic, — manlike. Principle and its idea is right here in front of us, and these attributes of the third degree are our means for putting on the character of God 15 without any sense of personality. We have to get into the realm of Principle and its idea, and we do so by establishing these qualities of the third degree in human consciousness.
TRANSITIONAL QUALITIES: THE SECOND DEGREE
Mr. Knapp also writes in his letter:
Mrs. Eddy has defined the word “Moral” on page 115:26-27 of Science and Health, by naming what she terms the “transitional qualities.” They are qualities of the moral law of Moses which Christ Jesus came, not to destroy but to fulfil (Matt. 5:17, 18), as explained in the definition of Moses on page 592:11-15 of Science and Health. The Beatitudes, moreover, explain the exact process of that transition by qualities of true humanhood. (John 1:17)
John 1:17 says: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The “qualities of the moral law of Moses” are the “transitional qualities” which Mrs. Eddy gives in the second degree as: “Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.” (S&H 115:26-27) “Evil beliefs disappearing” is the state of the second degree. “Humanity” is the keynote, and the human consciousness objectifies this state in “honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.”
In Bible history the human was on an ascending scale. Moses received the Ten Commandments which expressed higher second degree qualities to humanity. He came and brought the moral law, — the law of morals. These morals, or attributes, are ascribing themselves to the character of God. As these qualities were recognized and demonstrated, they led to the promised land where they continued to develop a higher humanity in the transitional process. Divinity reaching and embracing humanity was apparent even in the earliest times in Bible history as shown by Enoch who walked with God and was transfigured.
ALL QUALITIES HAVE FORCE
When the moral law and the Beatitudes are demonstrated, the transitional qualities appear in our human affairs with the force of law. These qualities are a law, — a force. All qualities have force that either strengthens the belief in personality, as in the first degree, or, as in the third degree, they support the realization of divine Principle.
Mrs. Eddy defines Moses as: “A corporeal mortal; moral courage; a type of moral law and the demonstration thereof; the proof that, without the gospel, — the union of justice and affection, — there is something spiritually lacking, since justice demands penalties under the law.” (S&H 592:11-15) The transitional qualities were expressed in the Mosaic law with such force that it liberated an entire nation from physical bondage. Even so, these transitional qualities were only demonstrated to a degree, and justice demanded “penalties under the law.”
Mrs. Eddy tells us in Retrospection and Introspection that the Sermon on the Mount is a series of great lessons on “humanity and divinity.” 16 As divinity embraced humanity and the human consciousness rose higher, the Beatitudes were brought to human apprehension. They present a higher expression of the transitional qualities found in the second degree. As we demonstrate these transitional qualities, we bring that force and power into our experience.
When St. John saw the new heaven and earth with no body therein, he was experiencing the force of the attributes of the third degree. The first degree qualities no longer had any force in his life. He had reached that higher plateau (third degree) where he saw no qualities of person but only the attributes of divine Principle.
“LAW IS EITHER A MORAL OR AN IMMORAL FORCE.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
Mrs. Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings:
The distinction between that which is and that which is not law, must be made by Mind and as Mind. Law is either a moral or an immoral force. The law of God is the law of Spirit, a moral and spiritual force of immortal and divine Mind. (Misc. 257:6-10)
To repeat, Mrs. Eddy gives the qualities of the first degree as: “Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.” (S&H 115:21-24) These qualities of the first degree seem to have force in mortal experience as the human is influenced and swayed by mortal mind. By allowing human thought to be swayed by mortal mind, mortals are bringing to bear the “immoral” force with the results brought out by Mrs. Eddy in Miscellaneous Writings:
The so-called law of matter is an immoral force of erring mortal mind, alias the minds of mortals. This so-called force, or law, at work in nature as a power, prohibition, or license, is cruel and merciless. It punishes the innocent, and repays our best deeds with sacrifice and suffering. It is a code whose modes trifle with joy, and lead to immediate or ultimate death. It fosters suspicion where confidence is due, fear where courage is requisite, reliance where there should be avoidance, a belief in safety where there is most danger. Our Master called it “a murderer from the beginning.”
Electricity, governed by this so-called law, sparkles on the cloud, and strikes down the hoary saint. Floods swallow up homes and households; and childhood, age, and manhood go down in the death-dealing wave. Earthquakes engulf cities, churches, schools, and mortals. Cyclones kill and destroy, desolating the green earth. This pitiless power smites with disease the good Samaritan ministering to his neighbor’s need. Even the chamber where the good man surrenders to death is not exempt from this law. (Misc. 257:10-31)
We cannot ignore the first degree. When the human is swayed by mortal mind, it sticks to the first degree and the force that goes with it, and mortals experience the suffering as described in Mrs. Eddy’s words quoted above. What we entertain humanly in thought carries with it the immoral force attributed to these first degree qualities of depravity.
The time has come when the moral force of the second and third degrees is being brought to bear on individual and collective human consciousness through Science (Mrs. Eddy’s teaching), and it cannot help but destroy the first degree. The second degree is mortal man blending “his thoughts of existence with the spiritual” 17 and coming up out of the first degree.
HUMAN FOOTSTEPS ESSENTIAL
Mr. Knapp continues in his letter:
The effect of Mr. Dixon’s article is to confuse thought concerning the position of the Mosaic law, the Beatitudes, and the office of the Christ – in other words the human footsteps so essential to the Science of Christian Science. (Science and Health page 253:32 and 254:19)
The confusion is caused by the wholesale negating of the human. Instead of divinity reaching and embracing humanity, negating the human wipes out that process. If we deny the human, then we are eliminating our route or pathway to the kingdom. We must not deny the human. We must recognize that there is the sense of the “human” that is contrasted with mortal mind; that is what can coincide with the divine. We have to work with the “human” in order to show the coinciding of the human with the divine.
The following are the citations to which Mr. Knapp is referring:
The divine demand, “Be ye therefore perfect,” is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable. Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can “run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint,” who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much. 18
But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual. 19
We must take the “indispensable” human footsteps. Confusion results from ignoring the human and eliminating the human footsteps. We must not wipe out the human or human consciousness as worthless and unreal. The human consciousness is that to which we appeal in order to demonstrate the perfect man, — sinless, diseaseless, deathless. Mrs. Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings:
Every individual character, like the individual John the Baptist, at some date must cry in the desert of earthly joy; and his voice be heard divinely and humanly. In the desolation of human understanding, divine Love hears and answers the human call for help; and the voice of Truth utters the divine verities of being which deliver mortals out of the depths of ignorance and vice. This is the Father’s benediction. It gives lessons to human life, guides the understanding, peoples the mind with spiritual ideas, reconstructs the Judean religion, and reveals God and man as the Principle and idea of all good. (Misc. 81:22)
The human is reaching out to the divine, and that “human call for help” is heard “divinely and humanly” which is why we must not wipe out the human as worthless or unreal. Again, Mrs. Eddy writes in Unity of Good:
I believe in the individual man, for I understand that man is as definite and eternal as God, and that man is coexistent with God, as being the eternally divine idea. This is demonstrable by the simple appeal to human consciousness.
But I believe less in the sinner, wrongly named man. The more I understand true humanhood, the more I see it to be sinless, — as ignorant of sin as is the perfect Maker. (Un. 49:2)
So we see that we cannot wipe out the human. If we do, we wipe out that to which we are to “appeal.” Appealing to human consciousness is the way to demonstrate Christian Science and our coexistence with God; but this demonstration is made only as human consciousness is swayed and influenced by the divine Mind and not by mortal mind. As we make this “simple appeal to human consciousness,” divinity embraces humanity and we have the way of escape from the catastrophes of the endtime through “true humanhood.”
* * *
1 Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 561:16-20.
2Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. XX, No. 1, 1 Sept. 1917, p. 1.
3"At about the time that he wrote this letter, Mr. Knapp was holding two important posts at headquarters in Boston, serving as Secretary of the Board of Lectureship (June 1910 to June 1918) and as Treasurer of The Mother Church (November 1917 to June 1918)." Charles Theodore Houpt, Bliss Knapp, Christian Scientist (Brentwood, MO: Clark-Sprague Inc., 1979) p. 180.
4Ibid., pp. 178-9.
5Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. XVII, No. 1, 5 Sept. 1914, p. 10.
6Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p. 573:7-13).
7"The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, — constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual. This state of existence is scientific and intact, — a perfection discernible only by those who have the final understanding of Christ in divine Science. Death can never hasten this state of existence, for death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears." (Science and Health, p. 76:22).
8Christian Science Sentinel, Vol. XX, No. 1, 1 Sept. 1917, p. 1.
9Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 235:1-13.
10Miscellany, pp. 217:16 - 218:20.
11 The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 73, No. 5, May 1955, pp. 251-253.
12 "The more I understand true humanhood, the more I see it to be sinless, — as ignorant of sin as is the perfect Maker." (Mary Baker Eddy, Unity of Good, p. 49:8).
13 The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 21, No. 3, June 1903, p. 161. See also The Christian Science Standard, Vol. 10, No. 2, August 1999, p. 16.
14 Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 205:31-1.
15 In the "Second Advent" article Mrs. Eddy defined Christ as the character of God. (Essays on Christian Science Ascribed to Mary Baker Eddy, compiler G. C. Carpenter, [Providence, 1961], p. 48).
16 "Where did Jesus deliver this great lesson — or, rather, this series of great lessons — on humanity and divinity?" (Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 91:13-14).
17 Science and Health, p. 263:7-10).
18 Science and Health, p. 253:32-15
19 Ibid., p. 254:19.