Association 2011: Faith: the evidence of things not seen
post 2010 address letter
May 28, 2010
It has barely been a week since we were together in Madison. I left our Association meeting this year with a powerful sense of the work ahead that God has for us. The demand is clear; a more conscious, consistent prayer life. And the ability to fulfill the call comes to us from Our Father.
Please keep in touch about the unfoldment of this blessed work. Your victories as well as trials are helpful to us all and keep the focus where it belongs: on our "first love" (Revelation 2:4) Association puts into action Jesus' two great commandments: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matt 22:37-39) It is normal and natural for our love of God to expand into demonstration and sharing. As Paul often urged the Christians in the churches he visited, we should exhort and support each other.
I heard from some of you that there is great interest in having copies of the Association address. While I deeply appreciate the desire (and the expression of your promising proclivities that it indicates) it is not possible or really desirable to have the address in this form.
First, to circulate Association addresses would be a kind of publishing. The Christian Science Publishing Society is responsible for making sure that writings on Christian Science are accurate, authorized literature, and teachers and practitioners have signed agreements with The Mother Church to not do any writing or speaking which is not authorized. Teachers have no real control over what happens to copies and experience has shown that addresses that have been made available to students often receive a much wider distribution than intended. In addition to the risk of incorrect literature getting circulated, addresses are Mind's provision for a particular group at a particular time and are not designed to go out to the Field as general teaching.
Finally, while notes that you make about the address during break time or lunch can be helpful reminders of what you wish to keep before thought in your practice, the address, like class, is best received by spiritual sense. Having written copies may seem like a way to "own" the ideas, but the only way to actually do that is to put into practice the ones that made the greatest impression.
Take the inspiration of last Saturday and let it light your path. And then do write, and let us all know what unfolds!
p.s. For those wishing to read the this year's address, please let me know and we can arrange a time for you to do so. It is the policy of the Association that you can read any address that has been given since you went through class (if you attended class in 2008, then you can read the 2009 and 2010 addresses and so on).
june 2010 letter
At Association this year, we made the remark that Jesus included in the Lord's Prayer a "master class" on handling animal magnetism. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," (spiritually translated by Mrs. Eddy, "And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death" - S&H 17:10) is our guide to dealing with suggestions of discord of any kind.
And we must deal with these suggestions. Handling animal magnetism (Mrs. Eddy's term for "...the hard fact that thinking rooted in material appearances has no intention of acknowledging a transcenedent spritiual power that challenges its own legitimacy." - Peel Years of Authority pg. 67) is not an optional activity for Christian Scientists. Actually, it's not an optional activity for anyone; you either learn how to cope with mental suggestions of negativity and condemnation or you get swallowed up by them. To pretend we are not impressed by such aggressive mental manipulations without practically addressing and handling them is not really functional.
It is not amiss to say that all the trouble in the world comes from the failure to handle animal magnetism. Every report of discord we receive through the material senses, is, in reality, simply a false concept acting mesmerically in human consciousness. If the erroneous report seems real to you, then you are being handled by animal magnetism. To make nothing of animal magnetism is to handle it.
The fundamental thing to understand is that it is simply wrong to grant authority to any cause but God, good. Wrong, not because it breaks a human law, but because it is contrary to divine law, and hence to Truth; reality itself. It is by getting back to basics that we are able to recognize and handle animal magnetism. Mrs. Eddy said that the First Commandment was her "favorite text". There is nothing that remembering it, applying it, and living in accord with it cannot accomplish. (see S&H 340:15)
If we remember that there is no greater power than God, relate this fact to whatever seems to contradict divine omnipotence, and insist on the power and presence of spiritual reality, then we become the Christ treatment that handles the claims of sin, disease, and death.
To the degree that we are living with the mind of Christ, we will spontaneously handle animal magnetism and specific treatment will become more and more the natural side-effect of our at-one-ment with God.
Please check the latest letter in the Fruitage section, which tells of a student's encounter with, and handling of, animal magnetism. It illustrates the way that problems that may seem true and physically substantial must be challenged, worked through and purified by rigorous thought. Honest, earnest thought bent on recognizing the divine presence is the "weapon of our warfare... mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God."
Let us know of your progress; you "trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories" (S&H 39:8)
christmas 2010 letter
Christmas 2010 has come and gone. Or has it?
One of the students in my Sunday School class remarked that "a lot of things have felt more like Christmas this year". That led to a discussion of what Christmas feels like, and the fact that the sense of unity, love, and blessedness that we associate with Christmas have nothing to do with presents, trees, or even hot chocolate.
Christmas is awareness of the Christ, our inseparable bond with divine Love. That Christmas feeling that the Sunday Schoolers were talking about is one that we all recognize; it does feel good and when we feel it, we naturally want more of it. To the Christian Scientist, Christmas is a daily event. How glorious to actually be a Christian Scientist!
Mary Baker Eddy wrote to her students at Christmas in 1890, expressing her gratitude for the degree to which they were embracing the Christ Science:
"Beloved Students: — My heart has many rooms: one of these is sacred to the memory of my students. Into this upper chamber, where all things are pure and of good report, — into this sanctuary of love, — I often retreat, sit silently, and ponder. In this chamber is memory's wardrobe, where I deposit certain recollections and rare grand collections once in each year. This is my Christmas storehouse. Its goods commemorate, — not so much the Bethlehem babe, as the man of God, the risen Christ, and the adult Jesus. Here I deposit the gifts that my dear students offer at the shrine of Christian Science, and to their lone Leader. Here I talk once a year, — and this is a bit of what I said in 1890: "O glorious Truth! O Mother Love! how has the sense of Thy children grown to behold Thee! and how have many weary wings sprung upward! and how has our Model, Christ, been unveiled to us, and to the age!" (Miscellaneous Writings 159:10)
How much Christmas have you had this year? Have "weary wings spring upward"? What gifts have you offered at "the shrine of Christian Science"; that place where God comes before all else? The "Christmas storehouse" is always more full than mortal mind can suppose. The Christ is always present with us; written in our hearts, and more than sufficient to meet every human need.
With the new year coming up fast, thought turns to cleaning house and making resolutions. Human will is incapable of accomplishing the sorts of changes we may desire. But our very real desire for more good is a prayer which will put us in the way of genuine Christian Science; both the apprehension of it and the practice of it! Then we will realize more of the awakened spiritual sense that is Christmas.
Please do send your fruitage. As one of you mentioned in an e-mail: "it helps to get feedback from others". Besides, remembering the good that we are grateful for is a perfect way to start 2011. The title of our next Association address is, "The evidence of things not seen," and the subject will be faith - what is it, how do we get it and how do we keep it. We'll be posting the Association assignment later in January. Until then, remember: Christmas is normal, healing is natural, and our real identity is found as witnesses to God's overflowing goodness.
Association 2011 topic letter
September 12, 2010
In 1841, Scottish poet and journalist Charles Mackay wrote a book called "Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," in which he concluded that people are more prone to believe the “Wondrously False” than the “Wondrously True.” “Of all the offspring of time," he wrote, "Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome.”
Mary Baker Eddy may have been thinking of Mackay's contention when she wrote: "If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it,--no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent? Truth should not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as truth. Sickness should not seem so real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be governed by reality in order to be in harmony with God, the divine Principle of all being. " S&H130:26
To be governed by reality and be in harmony with divine Principle, we have to refer to it consistently and honestly. Just as we use a yardstick to measure distance, we use our understanding and engagement with Principle, God, to judge what is real and actual. The moment you apply a yardstick to something less than three feet, you see it for exactly what it is. In the same way, whenever we hold up God's idea (divine, supreme, incorporeal, infinite Life, Truth, and Love) and maintain spiritual sense as our standard, anything less is clearly seen as a counterfeit of the real thing. The suggestions and direful images of mortal mind lose their ability to frighten, anger, or grieve us in the face of genuine divine Love.
It's a simple practice, but one that requires effort; not effort to believe in good, but effort to remember and practice it. Though it may have been tempting for Daniel to despair and question himself and God in those moments after he was cast into the lion's den, the scriptural record only chronicles his prayer (his continued engagement with spiritual truth and trust in God's authority). Daniel wasn't trusting that he would be saved physically, he was trusting that God, ultimate good, rightfully had the last word and he understood his life to exist only in faithful relation to Principle. This faith, steeped in the First Commandment, was not blind or superstitious, but built on the solid foundation of spiritual sense, the true yardstick. Daniel's faith was there for him in his time of need because it was his constant companion at all times.
We need the real thing; not just when things are going well, but when things seem to be going very badly. We can't afford anything less in our practice, in our church; in any part of life. The social fellowship and traditions of church are not sufficient to advance the cause of Christian Science. They are not sufficient to advance our progress in Christian Science. "Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil. " 233:1 The world has need of us and we have need of our genuine, God-given selves more than ever before. Nothing but authentic Christian Science loved and lived can meet the demand.
This year's Association assignment is to actively apply the measuring stick of faith and spiritual sense to our everyday experiences. Challenge the material sense of what is going on with spiritual Truth, recognized and cherished, and let us know the results.
We are starting the assignment early this year so that we can grow in this practice, gain experience, and share our results. We will all come together again on May 28, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the Christian Science Student Center in Madison.
If you have any questions about the assignment, don't hesitate to call or write. The sooner you get started, the sooner the real measure of things will come to light.
association assignment letter
This year's Association topic ("Faith: the evidence of things not seen") is looking more and more relevant every day! We have great need of divine evidence. As we hear of "wars and rumors of wars," and face the economic, political and religious challenges of this still new century, we do well to reflect on what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives, in our church and around the world. We can be sure that it is, as always, calling us home to the recognition of divine Love and the supreme power of Spirit. And, since man's extremity is God's opportunity, perhaps we will be more than usually inclined to heed the call!
Let's begin preparing for our Association meeting by reading the book of Daniel together. Read chapters 1-7 and answer these questions:
1) Why did God set His love on Daniel?
2) What did Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, Azaariah (aka Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) expect from God? What did they think was expected of them?
3) What constituted Daniel's faith; what was it built on and how was it maintained in the upheaval of the loss of Jerusalem and his removal to a strange land?
4) How is this Old Testament faith relevant to us today?
The answers to these questions along with the practical application of your findings will form the basis of our coming together. As we've said, Association is so much more than a group of people showing up one day a year to hear a talk. It is our coming together in the Spirit, our own experience living Christian Science, and sharing the fruitage to encourage and inspire each other. St. Paul tells us that faith is "the substance of things hoped for". My hope is in the mental image of us all gathered in the communion of saints; alive to and expressive of the mind of Christ. That is more than just a nice thought. It is the real and undeniable identity we all possess and it is active, alive, and working its purpose out. May we all grow in our awareness of God's good government and our place in it!
Please do send your answers and your fruitage as it unfolds.
p.s. Just a reminder, our Association meeting is set for Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the UW Christian Science Student Center on N. Mills Street in Madison
Association 2011 study citations
Faith: the evidence of things not seen
Introduction: What’s faith got to do with it?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
S&H 135:17There is to-day danger of repeating the offence of the Jews by limiting the Holy One of Israel and asking: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" What cannot God do?
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?"
Above error's awful din, blackness, and chaos, the voice of Truth still calls: "Adam, where art thou? Consciousness, where art thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandment?"
The Scriptures require more than a simple admission and feeble acceptance of the truths they present; they require a living faith, that so incorporates their lessons into our lives that these truths become the motive-power of every act.
If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and conversation, you can finally say, "I have fought a good fight . . . I have kept the faith," because you are a better man.
If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.
The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering.
Which ought to be substance to us, — the erring, changing, and dying, the mutable and mortal, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal? A New Testament writer plainly describes faith, a quality of mind, as "the substance of things hoped for."
When divine Science overcomes faith in a carnal mind, and faith in God destroys all faith in sin and in material methods of healing, then sin, disease, and death will disappear.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who to God for your refuge have fled:
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand;
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
Section 1: The true faith
Ignorance of God is no longer the steppingstone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal.
John 4:23 the
the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
It is fair to ask of every one a reason for the faith within. Though it be but to repeat my twice-told tale, — nay, the tale already told a hundred times, — yet ask, and I will answer.
Do you believe in God?
I believe more in Him than do most Christians, for I have no faith in any other thing or being. He sustains my individuality. Nay, more — He is my individuality and my Life. Because He lives, I live. He heals all my ills, destroys my iniquities, deprives death of its sting, and robs the grave of its victory. To me God is All.
"The prayer of faith shall save the sick," says the Scripture. What is this healing prayer? A mere request that God will heal the sick has no power to gain more of the divine presence than is always at hand. The beneficial effect of such prayer for the sick is on the human mind, making it act more powerfully on the body through a blind faith in God. This, however, is one belief casting out another, — a belief in the unknown casting out a belief in sickness. It is neither Science nor Truth which acts through blind belief, nor is it the human understanding of the divine healing Principle as manifested in Jesus, whose humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth, — of man's likeness to God and of man's unity with Truth and Love.
If we are not secretly yearning and openly striving for the accomplishment of all we ask, our prayers are "vain repetitions," such as the heathen use. If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we ask; and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward us openly.
There is a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith.
¶And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Millions are believing in God, or good, without bearing the fruits of goodness, not having reached its Science. Belief is virtually blindness, when it admits Truth without understanding it.
Christian Science is not a remedy of faith alone, but combines faith with understanding, through which we may touch the hem of His garment; and know that omnipotence has all power. "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me."
To be "present with the Lord" is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science. To be "with the Lord" is to be in obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed by divine Love, — by Spirit, not by matter.
Rabbinical lore said: "He that taketh one doctrine, firm in faith, has the Holy Ghost dwelling in him." This preaching receives a strong rebuke in the Scripture, "Faith without works is dead." Faith, if it be mere belief, is as a pendulum swinging between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, is the evidence gained from Spirit, which rebukes sin of every kind and establishes the claims of God.
In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, faith and the words corresponding thereto have these two definitions, trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one's welfare to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to work out one's "own salvation, with fear and trembling." "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!" expresses the helplessness of a blind faith; whereas the injunction, "Believe . . . and thou shalt be saved!" demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.
Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality. Material sense expresses the belief that mind is in matter. This human belief, alternating between a sense of pleasure and pain, hope and fear, life and death, never reaches beyond the boundary of the mortal or the unreal. When the real is attained, which is announced by Science, joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat. Spiritual ideas, like numbers and notes, start from Principle, and admit no materialistic beliefs. Spiritual ideas lead up to their divine origin, God, and to the spiritual sense of being.
SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF MORTAL MIND
First Degree: Depravity.
physical. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit ,hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.
Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.
moral. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion , hope, faith, meekness, temperance.
Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood. Human thoughts have their degrees of comparison. Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal testimony is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has little relation to the actual or divine.
Christian Science, properly understood, would disabuse the human mind of material beliefs which war against spiritual facts; and these material beliefs must be denied and cast out to make place for truth. You cannot add to the contents of a vessel already full. Laboring long to shake the adult's faith in matter and to inculcate a grain of faith in God, — an inkling of the ability of Spirit to make the body harmonious, — the author has often remembered our Master's love for little children, and understood how truly such as they belong to the heavenly kingdom.
A child can measurably understand Christian Science, for, through his simple faith and purity, he takes in its spiritual sense that puzzles the man. The child not only accepts Christian Science more readily than the adult, but he practises it.
The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science. Without this process of weaning, "Canst thou by searching find out God?" It is easier to desire Truth than to rid one's self of error. Mortals may seek the understanding of Christian Science, but they will not be able to glean from Christian Science the facts of being without striving for them. This strife consists in the endeavor to forsake error of every kind and to possess no other consciousness but good.
Section 2: Which ought to be substance to us?
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Jesus once asked, "Who touched me?" Supposing this inquiry to be occasioned by physical contact alone, his disciples answered, "The multitude throng thee." Jesus knew, as others did not, that it was not matter, but mortal mind, whose touch called for aid. Repeating his inquiry, he was answered by the faith of a sick woman. His quick apprehension of this mental call illustrated his spirituality.
Mortals develop their own bodies or make them sick, according as they influence them through mortal mind. To know whether this development is produced consciously or unconsciously, is of less importance than a knowledge of the fact.
If men would bring to bear upon the study of the Science of Mind half the faith they bestow upon the so-called pains and pleasures of material sense, they would not go on from bad to worse, until disciplined by the prison and the scaffold; but the whole human family would be redeemed through the merits of Christ, — through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this glorious result Christian Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.
The Principle and proof of Christianity are discerned by spiritual sense. They are set forth in Jesus' demonstrations, which show — by his healing the sick, casting out evils, and destroying death, "the last enemy that shall be destroyed," — his disregard of matter and its so-called laws.
I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.
The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs, who to-day, as of yore, hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged.
Looking over the newspapers of the day, one naturally reflects that it is dangerous to live, so loaded with disease seems the very air. These descriptions carry fears to many minds, to be depicted in some future time upon the body.
More thought is given to material illusions than to spiritual facts.
We must learn how mankind govern the body, — whether through faith in hygiene, in drugs, or in will-power. We should learn whether they govern the body through a belief in the necessity of sickness and death, sin and pardon, or govern it from the higher understanding that the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death. This process of higher spiritual understanding improves mankind until error disappears, and nothing is left which deserves to perish or to be punished.
We must not seek the immutable and immortal through the finite, mutable, and mortal, and so depend upon belief instead of demonstration, for this is fatal to a knowledge of Science.
Deducing one's conclusions as to man from imperfection instead of perfection, one can no more arrive at the true conception or understanding of man, and make himself like it, than the sculptor can perfect his outlines from an imperfect model, or the painter can depict the form and face of Jesus, while holding in thought the character of Judas.
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.
The suppositional warfare between truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual senses and the testimony of the material senses, and this warfare between the Spirit and flesh will settle all questions through faith in and the understanding of divine Love.
Having faith in the divine Principle of health and spiritually understanding God, sustains man under all circumstances; whereas the lower appeal to the general faith in material means (commonly called nature) must yield to the all-might of infinite Spirit.
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.
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.
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.
When the discoverer of Christian Science is consulted by her followers as to the propriety, advantage, and consistency of systematic medical study, she tries to show them that under ordinary circumstances a resort to faith in corporeal means tends to deter those, who make such a compromise, from entire confidence in omnipotent Mind as really possessing all power.
One says: "I take good care of my body." To do this, the pure and exalting influence of the divine Mind on the body is requisite, and the Christian Scientist takes the best care of his body when he leaves it most out of his thought, and, like the Apostle Paul, is "willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again except to offend God, and you will never believe that heart or any portion of the body can destroy you.
Frequently it requires time to overcome the patient's faith in drugs and material hygiene; but when once convinced of the uselessness of such material methods, the gain is rapid.
The more difficult seems the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love.
Inspired thought relinquishes a material, sensual, and mortal theory of the universe, and adopts the spiritual and immortal.
Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love. These angels of His presence, which have the holiest charge, abound in the spiritual atmosphere of Mind, and consequently reproduce their own characteristics. Their individual forms we know not, but we do know that their natures are allied to God's nature; and spiritual blessings, thus typified, are the externalized, yet subjective, states of faith and spiritual understanding.
The Old Testament assigns to the angels, God's divine messages, different offices. Michael's characteristic is spiritual strength. He leads the hosts of heaven against the power of sin, Satan, and fights the holy wars. Gabriel has the more quiet task of imparting a sense of the ever-presence of ministering Love. These angels deliver us from the depths. Truth and Love come nearer in the hour of woe, when strong faith or spiritual strength wrestles and prevails through the understanding of God.
S&H 284:28 -32
According to Christian Science, the only real senses of man are spiritual, emanating from divine Mind. Thought passes from God to man, but neither sensation nor report goes from material body to Mind. The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.
The Gabriel of His presence has no contests. To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death.
Know, O child, thy full salvation;
Rise o'er sin and fear and care;
Joy to find, in every station,
Something still to do, or bear.
Think what spirit dwells within thee;
Think what Father's smiles are thine;
Think what Jesus did to win thee;
Child of heaven, can'st thou repine?
Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed with faith and winged with prayer;
Heaven's eternal day before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
So fulfill thy holy mission,
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim-days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight and prayer to praise.
Section 3: To purpose in your heart
We should examine ourselves and learn what is the affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way only can we learn what we honestly are.
Dan. 1:8 Daniel (to :)
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank:
Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith.
A great sacrifice of material things must precede this advanced spiritual understanding. The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration. Such prayer heals sickness, and must destroy sin and death. It distinguishes between Truth that is sinless and the falsity of sinful sense.
In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science. God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing.
SH 109:16-19 (to ;)
I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith;
Mis. 152:22 founded
founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you, safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and Love, are God's nestlings; and He will hide you in His feathers till the storm has passed. Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home.
It is difficult to say how much one can do for himself, whose faith is divided between catnip and Christ; but not so difficult to know that if he were to serve one master, he could do vastly more. Whosoever understands the power of Spirit, has no doubt of God's power, — even the might of Truth, — to heal, through divine Science, beyond all human means and methods.
The human mind acts more powerfully to offset the discords of matter and the ills of flesh, in proportion as it puts less weight into the material or fleshly scale and more weight into the spiritual scale.
Should we implore a corporeal God to heal the sick out of His personal volition, or should we understand the infinite divine Principle which heals? If we rise no higher than blind faith, the Science of healing is not attained, and Soul-existence, in the place of sense-existence, is not comprehended. We apprehend Life in divine Science only as we live above corporeal sense and correct it. Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, — our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.
Only the action of Truth, Life, and Love can give harmony.
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Dan. 1:11-12 (to 1st ,)
Then said Daniel to Melzar whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants,
And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. It shows the superiority of faith by works over faith in words.
Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil, until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.
Students of Christian Science, who start with its letter and think to succeed without the spirit, will either make shipwreck of their faith or be turned sadly awry. They must not only seek, but strive, to enter the narrow path of Life, for "wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." Man walks in the direction towards which he looks, and where his treasure is, there will his heart be also. If our hopes and affections are spiritual, they come from above, not from beneath, and they bear as of old the fruits of the Spirit.
How blest are they whose hearts are pure;
From guile their thoughts are free,
To them shall God reveal Himself,
They shall His glory see.
They truly rest upon His word
In fullest light of love;
In this their trust, they ask no more
Than guidance from above.
They who in faith unmixed with doubt
Th' engrafted word receive,
Whom every sign of heavenly power
Persuades, and they believe, —
For them far greater things than these
Doth Christ the Lord prepare;
Whose bliss no human heart can reach,
No human voice declare.
Section 4: What's in the den?
The admission of the reality of evil perpetuates the belief or faith in evil. The Scriptures declare, "To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are." The leading self-evident proposition of Christian Science is: good being real, evil, good's opposite, is unreal. This truism needs only to be tested scientifically to be found true, and adapted to destroy the appearance of evil to an extent beyond the power of any doctrine previously entertained.
Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
SH 367:10-14 (to ,)
This is what is meant by seeking Truth, Christ, not "for the loaves and fishes," nor, like the Pharisee, with the arrogance of rank and display of scholarship, but like Mary Magdalene, from the summit of devout consecration,
A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: "Ye are the salt of the earth." "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.
The physician must also watch, lest he be overwhelmed by a sense of the odiousness of sin and by the unveiling of sin in his own thoughts. The sick are terrified by their sick beliefs, and sinners should be affrighted by their sinful beliefs; but the Christian Scientist will be calm in the presence of both sin and disease, knowing, as he does, that Life is God and God is All.
I Cor. 2:5 your
your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
A saving faith comes not of a person, but of Truth's presence and power. Soul, not sense, receives and gives it.
Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. ¶Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Christians to-day should be able to say, with the sweet sincerity of the apostle, "I take pleasure in infirmities," — I enjoy the touch of weakness, pain, and all suffering of the flesh, because it compels me to seek the remedy for it, and to find happiness, apart from the personal senses. The holy calm of Paul's well-tried hope met no obstacle or circumstances paramount to the triumph of a reasonable faith in the omnipotence of good, involved in its divine Principle, God: the so-called pains and pleasures of matter were alike unreal to Jesus; for he regarded matter as only a vagary of mortal belief, and subdued it with this understanding.
Perchance some one of you may say, "The evidence of spiritual verity in me is so small that I am afraid. I feel so far from victory over the flesh that to reach out for a present realization of my hope savors of temerity. Because of my own unfitness for such a spiritual animus my strength is naught and my faith fails." O thou "weak and infirm of purpose." Jesus said, "Be not afraid"!
I suggest as a motto for every Christian Scientist, — a living and life-giving spiritual shield against the powers of darkness, — "Great not like Caesar, stained with blood, But only great as I am good." The only genuine success possible for any Christian — and the only success I have ever achieved — has been accomplished on this solid basis.
Sorrow is the harbinger of joy. Mortal throes of anguish forward the birth of immortal being; but divine Science wipes away all tears.
"What if the little rain should say, 'So small a drop as I Can ne'er refresh a drooping earth, I'll tarry in the sky.'"
Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle. A dewdrop reflects the sun. Each of Christ's little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer's declaration true, that "one on God's side is a majority."
In the eighties, anonymous letters mailed to me contained threats to blow up the hall where I preached; yet I never lost my faith in God, and neither informed the police of these letters nor sought the protection of the laws of my country. I leaned on God, and was safe.
Of this we rest assured, that every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger and firmer in understanding and obedience.
O for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by every foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe;
A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without;
That when in danger knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt;
O, give us such a faith as this,
And then, whate'er may come,
We taste e'en here the hallowed bliss
Of our eternal home.
Section 5: The baptism of Spirit
Daniel 4:28-37 (to 1st ,)
¶All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven,
Human will must be subjugated. We cannot obey both God, good, and evil, — in other words, the material senses, false suggestions, self-will, selfish motives, and human policy.
Metaphysically, baptism serves to rebuke the senses and illustrate Christian Science.
First: The baptism of repentance is indeed a stricken state of human consciousness, wherein mortals gain severe views of themselves; a state of mind which rends the veil that hides mental deformity. Tears flood the eyes, agony struggles, pride rebels, and a mortal seems a monster, a dark, impenetrable cloud of error; and falling on the bended knee of prayer, humble before God, he cries, "Save, or I perish." Thus Truth, searching the heart, neutralizes and destroys error.
This mental period is sometimes chronic, but oftener acute. It is attended throughout with doubt, hope, sorrow, joy, defeat, and triumph. When the good fight is fought, error yields up its weapons and kisses the feet of Love, while white-winged peace sings to the heart a song of angels.
Second: The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the spirit of Truth cleansing from all sin; giving mortals new motives, new purposes, new affections, all pointing upward. This mental condition settles into strength, freedom, deep-toned faith in God; and a marked loss of faith in evil, in human wisdom, human policy, ways, and means. It develops individual capacity, increases the intellectual activities, and so quickens moral sensibility that the great demands of spiritual sense are recognized, and they rebuke the material senses, holding sway over human consciousness.
By purifying human thought, this state of mind permeates with increased harmony all the minutiae of human affairs. It brings with it wonderful foresight, wisdom, and power; it unselfs the mortal purpose, gives steadiness to resolve, and success to endeavor. Through the accession of spirituality, God, the divine Principle of Christian Science, literally governs the aims, ambition, and acts of the Scientist. The divine ruling gives prudence and energy; it banishes forever all envy, rivalry, evil thinking, evil speaking and acting; and mortal mind, thus purged, obtains peace and power outside of itself.
This practical Christian Science is the divine Mind, the incorporeal Truth and Love, shining through the mists of materiality and melting away the shadows called sin, disease, and death.
In obedience to the divine nature, man's individuality reflects the divine law and order of being. How shall we reach our true selves? Through Love. The Principle of Christian Science is Love, and its idea represents Love. This divine Principle and idea are demonstrated, in healing, to be God and the real man.
Who wants to be mortal, or would not gain the true ideal of Life and recover his own individuality? I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error. On this rests the implicit faith engendered by Christian Science, which appeals intelligently to the facts of man's spirituality, individuality, to disdain the fears and destroy the discords of this material personality.
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.
The spirit of the prayer of the righteous heals the sick, but this spirit is of God, and the divine Mind is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; whereas the human mind is a compound of faith and doubt, of fear and hope, of faith in truth and faith in error. The knowledge that all things are possible to God excludes doubt, but differing human concepts as to the divine power and purpose of infinite Mind, and the so-called power of matter, act as the different properties of drugs are supposed to act — one against the other — and this compound of mind and matter neutralizes itself.
Few invalids will turn to God till all physical supports have failed, because there is so little faith in His disposition and power to heal disease.
Many say, "I should like to study, but have not sufficient faith that I have the power to heal." The healing power is Truth and Love, and these do not fail in the greatest emergencies.
Time may commence, but it cannot complete, the new birth: eternity does this; for progress is the law of infinity. Only through the sore travail of mortal mind shall soul as sense be satisfied, and man awake in His likeness. What a faith-lighted thought is this! that mortals can lay off the "old man," until man is found to be the image of the infinite good that we name God, and the fulness of the stature of man in Christ appears.
Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles, defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should reflect. Whatever purifies, sanctifies, and consecrates human life, is not an enemy, however much we suffer in the process. Shakespeare writes: "Sweet are the uses of adversity."
Hear our prayer, O gracious Father,
Author of celestial good,
That Thy laws so pure and holy
May be better understood.
Armed with faith, may we press onward,
Knowing nothing but Thy will;
Conquering every storm of error
With the sweet words: Peace, be still.
Like the star of Bethlehem shining,
Love will guide us all the way,
From the depths of error's darkness
Into Truth's eternal day.
Section 6: I will be judged of God
Dan. 6:19-23 1st the
the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
Must I have faith in Christian Science in order to be healed by it?
This is a question that is being asked every day. It has not proved impossible to heal those who, when they began treatment, had no faith whatever in the Science, — other than to place themselves under my care, and follow the directions given. Patients naturally gain confidence in Christian Science as they recognize the help they derive therefrom.
Follow the directions of God as simplified in Christian Science, and though it be through deserts He will direct you into the paths of peace.
To heal the sick, one must be familiar with the great verities of being.
It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.
We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent.
SH 392:24 Stand
Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.
The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.
Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, — as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.
"Agree to disagree" with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, consumption, or smallpox. Meet the incipient stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, "Thou art whole!"
Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of mortal opinions which you name law, and then you will not be confined to a sick-room nor laid upon a bed of suffering in payment of the last farthing, the last penalty demanded by error.
Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.
The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering.
The refutation of the testimony of material sense is not a difficult task in view of the conceded falsity of this testimony. The refutation becomes arduous, not because the testimony of sin or disease is true, but solely on account of the tenacity of belief in its truth, due to the force of education and the overwhelming weight of opinions on the wrong side, — all teaching that the body suffers, as if matter could have sensation.
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.
Mentally and silently plead the case scientifically for Truth. You may vary the arguments to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat, but be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the victor.
Let the slave of wrong desire learn the lessons of Christian Science, and he will get the better of that desire, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence.
Resist evil — error of every sort — and it will flee from you. Error is opposed to Life. We can, and ultimately shall, so rise as to avail ourselves in every direction of the supremacy of Truth over error, Life over death, and good over evil, and this growth will go on until we arrive at the fulness of God's idea, and no more fear that we shall be sick and die.
Give up the belief that mind is, even temporarily, compressed within the skull, and you will quickly become more manly or womanly. You will understand yourself and your Maker better than before.
Christian Science declares that Mind is substance, also that matter neither feels, suffers, nor enjoys. Hold these points strongly in view. Keep in mind the verity of being, — that man is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent. Remember that man's perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love.
Stick to the truth of being in contradistinction to the error that life, substance, or intelligence can be in matter. Plead with an honest conviction of truth and a clear perception of the unchanging, unerring, and certain effect of divine Science. Then, if your fidelity is half equal to the truth of your plea, you will heal the sick.
Include moral as well as physical belief in your efforts to destroy error. Cast out all manner of evil. "Preach the gospel to every creature." Speak the truth to every form of error. Tumors, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed joints, are waking dream-shadows, dark images of mortal thought, which flee before the light of Truth.
Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him.
Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew.
The Bible contains the recipe for all healing. "The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Sin and sickness are both healed by the same Principle. The tree is typical of man's divine Principle, which is equal to every emergency, offering full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. Sin will submit to Christian Science when, in place of modes and forms, the power of God is understood and demonstrated in the healing of mortals, both mind and body. "Perfect Love casteth out fear."
Father, to Thee we turn away from sorrow,
Thou art the fountain whence our healing flows;
Dark though the night, joy cometh with the morrow;
Safely they rest who on Thy love repose.
Should fond hopes fail and skies seem dark before us,
Should the vain cares that vex our days increase,
Comes with its calm the thought that Thou art o'er us;
Then we grow quiet, folded in Thy peace.
Naught shall affright us, on Thy goodness leaning;
Low in the heart faith singeth still her song;
Chastened and blessed we learn life's deeper meaning,
Thus in our meekness Thou dost make us strong.
Section 7: Some Questions and Answers
I understand and love the metaphysics of Christian Science, but when I'm are struggling with pain or aggressive physical evidence of a problem, these feelings seem to stand between me and divine Truth. How can we deal with pain and an overwhelming sense of being in a discordant physical body?
Against the fatal beliefs that error is as real as Truth, that evil is equal in power to good if not superior, and that discord is as normal as harmony, even the hope of freedom from the bondage of sickness and sin has little inspiration to nerve endeavor. When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.
SH 143:19 you
you conclude that the stomach, blood, nerves, bones, etc., hold the preponderance of power. Controlled by this belief, you continue in the old routine. You lean on the inert and unintelligent, never discerning how this deprives you of the available superiority of divine Mind. The body is not controlled scientifically by a negative mind.
Before deciding that the body, matter, is disordered, one should ask, "Who art thou that repliest to Spirit? Can matter speak for itself, or does it hold the issues of life?" Matter, which can neither suffer nor enjoy, has no partnership with pain and pleasure, but mortal belief has such a partnership.
If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.
You conquer error by denying its verity. Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil, until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.
Mis. 85:27-28 pain
pain compels human consciousness to escape from sense into the immortality and harmony of Soul.
O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain,
And wake a white-winged angel throng
Of thoughts, illumed
By faith, and breathed in raptured song,
With love perfumed.
Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show
Life's burdens light.
I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.
And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
Upon Life's shore,
'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
Mind is the grand creator, and there can be no power except that which is derived from Mind. If Mind was first chronologically, is first potentially, and must be first eternally, then give to Mind the glory, honor, dominion, and power everlastingly due its holy name.
The material senses' reversal of the Science of Soul was practically exposed nineteen hundred years ago by the demonstrations of Jesus; yet these so-called senses still make mortal mind tributary to mortal body, and ordain certain sections of matter, such as brain and nerves, as the seats of pain and pleasure, from which matter reports to this so-called mind its status of happiness or misery.
Give your patients an underlying understanding to support them and to shield them from the baneful effects of their own conclusions. Show them that the conquest over sickness, as well as over sin, depends on mentally destroying all belief in material pleasure or pain.
Health is the consciousness of the unreality of pain and disease; or, rather, the absolute consciousness of harmony and of nothing else.
Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body.
I climb, with joy, the heights of Mind,
To soar o'er time and space;
I yet shall know as I am known
And see Thee face to face.
Till time and space and fear are naught
My quest shall never cease,
Thy presence ever goes with me
And Thou dost give me peace.
Section 8: The last shall be first
Human perception, advancing toward the apprehension of its nothingness, halts, retreats, and again goes forward; but the divine Principle and Spirit and spiritual man are unchangeable, — neither advancing, retreating, nor halting.
The footsteps of thought, rising above material standpoints, are slow, and portend a long night to the traveller; but the angels of His presence — the spiritual intuitions that tell us when "the night is far spent, the day is at hand" — are our guardians in the gloom.
God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of "on earth peace, good-will toward men." Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little understanding of Christian Science proves the truth of all that I say of it. Because you cannot walk on the water and raise the dead, you have no right to question the great might of divine Science in these directions. Be thankful that Jesus, who was the true demonstrator of Science, did these things, and left his example for us.
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.
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 first must become last. Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things. For Spirit to be supreme in demonstration, it must be supreme in our affections, and we must be clad with divine power. Purity, self-renunciation, faith, and understanding must reduce all things real to their own mental denomination, Mind, which divides, subdivides, increases, diminishes, constitutes, and sustains, according to the law of God.
Third Degree: Understanding.
spiritual. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.
In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God's image appears. Science so reverses the evidence before the corporeal human senses, as to make this Scriptural testimony true in our hearts, "The last shall be first, and the first last," so that God and His idea may be to us what divinity really is and must of necessity be, — all-inclusive.
Job's faith and hope gained him the assurance that the so-called sufferings of the flesh are unreal. We shall learn how false are the pleasures and pains of material sense, and behold the truth of being, as expressed in his conviction, "Yet in my flesh shall I see God;" that is, Now and here shall I behold God, divine Love.
The chaos of mortal mind is made the stepping-stone to the cosmos of immortal Mind.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
This apodictical Principle points to the revelation of Immanuel, "God with us," — the sovereign ever-presence, delivering the children of men from every ill "that flesh is heir to." Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence; fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God.
Christian Science is not a dweller apart in royal solitude; it is not a law of matter, nor a transcendentalism that heals only the sick. This Science is a law of divine Mind, a persuasive animus, an unerring impetus, an ever-present help. Its presence is felt, for it acts and acts wisely, always unfolding the highway of hope, faith, understanding.
May the divine light of Christian Science that lighteth every enlightened thought illumine your faith and understanding, exclude all darkness or doubt, and signal the perfect path wherein to walk, the perfect Principle whereby to demonstrate the perfect man and the perfect law of God.
Let us sing of Easter gladness
That rejoices every day,
Sing of hope and faith uplifted;
Love has rolled the stone away.
Lo, the promise and fulfillment,
Lo, the man whom God hath made,
Seen in glory of an Easter
Crowned with light that cannot fade.
When we touch Truth's healing garment
And behold Life's purity,
When we find in Love the refuge
That is man's security,
When we turn from earth to Spirit,
And from self have won release,
Then we see the risen Saviour;
Then we know his promised peace.
Living meekly as the Master,
Who of God was glorified,
Looking ever to the radiance
Of his wondrous Eastertide;
Freed of fear, of pain, and sorrow,
Giving God the honor due,
Every day will be an Easter
Filled with benedictions new.