Message for 1901
1Beloved brethren, to-day I extend my heart-and-hand-fellowship to the faithful, to those whose hearts have been beating through the mental avenues of mankind for God and humanity; and rest assured you can never lack God’s outstretched arm so long as you are in His service. Our first communion in the new century finds Christian Science more extended, more rapidly advancing, better appreciated, than ever before, and nearer the whole world’s acceptance.
To-day you meet to commemorate in unity the life of our Lord, and to rise higher and still higher in the individual consciousness most essential to your growth and usefulness; to add to your treasures of thought the great realities of being, which constitute mental and physical perfection. The baptism of the Spirit, and the refreshment and invigoration of the human in communion with the Divine, have brought you hither.
All that is true is a sort of necessity, a portion of the primal reality of things. Truth comes from a deep sincerity that must always characterize heroic hearts; it is the better side of man’s nature developing itself.
As Christian Scientists you seek to define God to your own consciousness by feeling and applying the nature and practical possibilities of divine Love: to gain the absolute 2and supreme certainty that Christianity is now what Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated — health, holiness, immortality. The highest spiritual Christianity in individual lives is indispensable to the acquiring of greater power in the perfected Science of healing all manner of diseases.
We know the healing standard of Christian Science was and is traduced by trying to put into the old garment the new-old cloth of Christian healing. To attempt to twist the fatal magnetic element of human will into harmony with divine power, or to substitute good words for good deeds, a fair seeming for right being, may suit the weak or the worldly who find the standard of Christ’s healing too high for them. Absolute certainty in the practice of divine metaphysics constitutes its utility, since it has a divine and demonstrable Principle and rule — if some fall short of Truth, others will attain it, and these are they who will adhere to it. The feverish pride of sects and systems is the death’s-head at the feast of Love, but Christianity is ever storming sin in its citadels, blessing the poor in spirit and keeping peace with God.
What Jesus’ disciples of old experienced, his followers of to-day will prove, namely, that a departure from the direct line in Christ costs a return under difficulties; darkness, doubt, and unrequited toil will beset all their returning footsteps. Only a firm foundation in Truth can give a fearless wing and a sure reward.
The history of Christian Science explains its rapid growth. In my church of over twenty-one thousand six hundred and thirty-one communicants (two thousand four hundred and ninety-six of whom have been added since 3last November) there spring spontaneously the higher hope, and increasing virtue, fervor, and fidelity. The special benediction of our Father-Mother God rests upon this hour: “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
We hear it said the Christian Scientists have no God because their God is not a person. Let us examine this. The loyal Christian Scientists absolutely adopt Webster’s definition of God, “A Supreme Being,” and the Standard dictionary’s definition of God, “The one Supreme Being, self-existent and eternal.” Also, we accept God, emphatically, in the higher definition derived from the Bible, and this accords with the literal sense of the lexicons: “God is Spirit,” “God is Love.” Then, to define Love in divine Science we use this phrase for God — divine Principle. By this we mean Mind, a permanent, fundamental, intelligent, divine Being, called in Scripture, Spirit, Love.
It is sometimes said: “God is Love, but this is no argument that Love is God; for God is light, but light is not God.” The first proposition is correct, and is not lost by the conclusion, for Love expresses the nature of God; but the last proposition does not illustrate the first, as light, being matter, loses the nature of God, Spirit, deserts its premise, and expresses God only in metaphor, therefore it is illogical and the conclusion is not properly drawn. It is logical that because God is Love, Love is divine Prin4ciple; then Love as either divine Principle or Person stands for God — for both have the nature of God. In logic the major premise must be convertible to the minor.
In mathematics four times three is twelve, and three times four is twelve. To depart from the rule of mathematics destroys the proof of mathematics; just as a departure from the Principle and rule of divine Science destroys the ability to demonstrate Love according to Christ, healing the sick; and you lose its susceptibility of scientific proof.
God is the author of Science — neither man nor matter can be. The Science of God must be, is, divine, predicated of Principle and demonstrated as divine Love; and Christianity is divine Science, else there is no Science and no Christianity.
We understand that God is personal in a scientific sense, but is not corporeal nor anthropomorphic. We understand that God is not finite; He is the infinite Person, but not three persons in one person. Christian Scientists are theists and monotheists. Those who misjudge us because we understand that God is the infinite One instead of three, should be able to explain God’s personality rationally. Christian Scientists consistently conceive of God as One because He is infinite; and as triune, because He is Life, Truth, Love, and these three are one in essence and in office.
If in calling God “divine Principle,” meaning divine Love, more frequently than Person, we merit the epithet “godless,” we naturally conclude that he breaks faith with 5his creed, or has no possible conception of ours, who believes that three persons are defined strictly by the word Person, or as One; for if Person is God, and he believes three persons constitute the Godhead, does not Person here lose the nature of one God, lose monotheism, and become less coherent than the Christian Scientist’s sense of Person as one divine infinite triune Principle, named in the Bible Life, Truth, Love? — for each of these possesses the nature of all, and God omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.
Man is person; therefore divine metaphysics discriminates between God and man, the creator and the created, by calling one the divine Principle of all. This suggests another query: Do Christian Scientists believe in personality? They do, but their personality is defined spiritually, not materially — by Mind, not by matter. We do not blot out the material race of Adam, but leave all sin to God’s fiat — self-extinction, and to the final manifestation of the real spiritual man and universe. We believe, according to the Scriptures, that God is infinite Spirit or Person, and man is His image and likeness: therefore man reflects Spirit, not matter.
We are not transcendentalists to the extent of extinguishing anything that is real, good, or true; for God and man in divine Science, or the logic of Truth, are coexistent and eternal, and the nature of God must be seen in man, who is His eternal image and likeness.
The theological God as a Person necessitates a creed to explain both His person and nature, whereas God explains Himself in Christian Science. Is the human person, 6as defined by Christian Science, more transcendental than theology’s three divine persons, that live in the Father and have no separate identity? Who says the God of theology is a Person, and the God of Christian Science is not a person, hence no God? Here is the departure. Person is defined differently by theology, which reckons three as one and the infinite in a finite form, and Christian Science, which reckons one as one and this one infinite.
Can the infinite Mind inhabit a finite form? Is the God of theology a finite or an infinite Person? Is He one Person, or three persons? Who can conceive either of three persons as one person, or of three infinites? We hear that God is not God except He be a Person, and this Person contains three persons: yet God must be One although He is three. Is this pure, specific Christianity? and is God in Christian Science no God because He is not after this model of personality?
The logic of divine Science being faultless, its consequent Christianity is consistent with Christ’s hillside sermon, which is set aside to some degree, regarded as impracticable for human use, its theory even seldom named.
Our departure from theological personality is, that God’s personality must be as infinite as Mind is. We believe in God as the infinite Person; but lose all conceivable idea of Him as a finite Person with an infinite Mind. That God is either inconceivable, or is manlike, is not my sense of Him. In divine Science He is “altogether lovely,” and 7consistently conceivable as the personality of infinite Love, infinite Spirit, than whom there is none other.
Scholastic theology makes God manlike; Christian Science makes man Godlike. The trinity of the Godhead in Christian Science being Life, Truth, Love, constitutes the individuality of the infinite Person or divine intelligence called God.
Again, God being infinite Mind, He is the all-wise, all-knowing, all-loving Father-Mother, for God made man in His own image and likeness, and made them male and female as the Scriptures declare; then does not our heavenly Parent — the divine Mind — include within this Mind the thoughts that express the different mentalities of man and woman, whereby we may consistently say, “Our Father-Mother God”? And does not this heavenly Parent know and supply the differing needs of the individual mind even as the Scriptures declare He will?
Because Christian Scientists call their God “divine Principle,” as well as infinite Person, they have not taken away their Lord, and know not where they have laid Him. They do not believe there must be something tangible to the personal material senses in order that belief may attend their petitions to divine Love. The God whom all Christians now claim to believe in and worship cannot be conceived of on that basis; He cannot be apprehended through the material senses, nor can they gain any evidence of His presence thereby. Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Again I reiterate this cardinal point: There is but one Christ, and Christ is divine — the Holy Ghost, or spiritual idea of the divine Principle, Love. Is this scientific statement more transcendental than the belief of our brethren, who regard Jesus as God and the Holy Ghost as the third person in the Godhead? When Jesus said, “I and my Father are one,” and “my Father is greater than I,” this was said in the sense that one ray of light is light, and it is one with light, but it is not the full-orbed sun. Therefore we have the authority of Jesus for saying Christ is not God, but an impartation of Him.
Again: Is man, according to Christian Science, more transcendental than God made him? Can he be too spiritual, since Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”? Is God Spirit? He is. Then is man His image and likeness, according to Holy Writ? He is. Then can man be material, or less than spiritual? As God made man, is he not wholly spiritual? The reflex image of Spirit is not unlike Spirit. The logic of divine metaphysics makes man none too transcendental, if we follow the teachings of the Bible.
The Christ was Jesus’ spiritual selfhood; therefore Christ existed prior to Jesus, who said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus, the only immaculate, was born of a virgin mother, and Christian Science explains that mystic saying of the Master as to his dual personality, or the spir9itual and material Christ Jesus, called in Scripture the Son of God and the Son of man — explains it as referring to his eternal spiritual selfhood and his temporal manhood. Christian Science shows clearly that God is the only generating or regenerating power.
The ancient worthies caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah or Christ, and their truer sense of Christ baptized them in Spirit — submerged them in a sense so pure it made seers of men, and Christian healers. This is the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” spoken of by St. Paul. It is also the mysticism complained of by the rabbis, who crucified Jesus and called him a “deceiver.” Yea, it is the healing power of Truth that is persecuted to-day, the spirit of divine Love, and Christ Jesus possessed it, practised it, and taught his followers to do likewise. This spirit of God is made manifest in the flesh, healing and saving men, — it is the Christ, Comforter, “which taketh away the sin of the world;” and yet Christ is rejected of men!
The evil in human nature foams at the touch of good; it crieth out, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, . . . ? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.” The Holy Spirit takes of the things of God and showeth them unto the creature; and these things being spiritual, they disturb the carnal and destroy it; they are revolutionary, reformatory, and — now, as aforetime — they cast out evils and heal the sick. He of God’s household who loveth and liveth most the things of Spirit, receiveth them most; he speaketh wisely, for the spirit of his Father speaketh through him; he worketh well and healeth quickly, for the spirit giveth him 10liberty: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Jesus said, “For all these things they will deliver you up to the councils” and “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed.”
Christ being the Son of God, a spiritual, divine emanation, Christ must be spiritual, not material. Jesus was the son of Mary, therefore the son of man only in the sense that man is the generic term for both male and female. The Christ was not human. Jesus was human, but the Christ Jesus represented both the divine and the human, God and man. The Science of divine metaphysics removes the mysticism that used to enthrall my sense of the Godhead, and of Jesus as the Son of God and the son of man. Christian Science explains the nature of God as both Father and Mother.
Theoretically and practically man’s salvation comes through “the riches of His grace” in Christ Jesus. Divine Love spans the dark passage of sin, disease, and death with Christ’s righteousness, — the atonement of Christ, whereby good destroys evil, — and the victory over self, sin, disease, and death, is won after the pattern of the mount. This is working out our own salvation, for God worketh with us, until there shall be nothing left to perish or to be punished, and we emerge gently into Life everlasting. This is what the Scriptures demand — faith according to works.
After Jesus had fulfilled his mission in the flesh as the 11Son of man, he rose to the fulness of his stature in Christ, the eternal Son of God, that never suffered and never died. And because of Jesus’ great work on earth, his demonstration over sin, disease, and death, the divine nature of Christ Jesus has risen to human apprehension, and we see the Son of man in divine Science; and he is no longer a material man, and mind is no longer in matter. Through this redemptive Christ, Truth, we are healed and saved, and that not of our selves, it is the gift of God; we are saved from the sins and sufferings of the flesh, and are the redeemed of the Lord.
True, I have made the Bible, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” the pastor for all the churches of the Christian Science denomination, but that does not make it impossible for this pastor of ours to preach! To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice. The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood. Whosoever saith there is no sermon without personal preaching, forgets what Christian Scientists do not, namely, that God is a Person, and that he should be willing to hear a sermon from his personal God!
But, my brethren, the Scripture saith, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” St. Paul complains of him whose god is his belly: to 12such a one our mode of worship may be intangible, for it is not felt with the fingers; but the spiritual sense drinks it in, and it corrects the material sense and heals the sinning and the sick. If St. John should tell that man that Jesus came neither eating nor drinking, and that he baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, he would naturally reply, “That is too transcendental for me to believe, or for my worship. That is Johnism, and only Johnites would be seen in such company.” But this is human: even the word Christian was anciently an opprobrium; — hence the Scripture, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Though a man were begirt with the Urim and Thummim of priestly office, yet should not have charity, or should deny the validity and permanence of Christ’s command to heal in all ages, he would dishonor that office and misinterpret evangelical religion. Divine Science is not an interpolation of the Scriptures, it is redolent with health, holiness, and love. It only needs the prism of divine Science, which scholastic theology has obscured, to divide the rays of Truth, and bring out the entire hues of God. The lens of Science magnifies the divine power to human sight; and we then see the allness of Spirit, therefore the nothingness of matter.
Incorporeal evil embodies itself in the so-called corporeal, and thus is manifest in the flesh. Evil is neither quality nor quantity: it is not intelligence, a person or a 13principle, a man or a woman, a place or a thing, and God never made it. The outcome of evil, called sin, is another nonentity that belittles itself until it annihilates its own embodiment: this is the only annihilation. The visible sin should be invisible: it ought not to be seen, felt, or acted: and because it ought not, we must know it is not, and that sin is a lie from the beginning, — an illusion, nothing, and only an assumption that nothing is something. It is not well to maintain the position that sin is sin and can take possession of us and destroy us, but well that we take possession of sin with such a sense of its nullity as destroys it. Sin can have neither entity, verity, nor power thus regarded, and we verify Jesus’ words, that evil, alias devil, sin, is a lie — therefore is nothing and the father of nothingness. Christian Science lays the axe at the root of sin, and destroys it on the very basis of nothingness. When man makes something of sin it is either because he fears it or loves it. Now, destroy the conception of sin as something, a reality, and you destroy the fear and the love of it; and sin disappears. A man’s fear, unconquered, conquers him, in whatever direction.
In Christian Science it is plain that God removes the punishment for sin only as the sin is removed — never punishes it only as it is destroyed, and never afterwards; hence the hope of universal salvation. It is a sense of sin, and not a sinful soul, that is lost. Soul is immortal, but sin is mortal. To lose the sense of sin we must first detect the claim of sin; hold it invalid, give it the lie, and then we get the victory, sin disappears, and its unreality is proven. So long as we indulge the presence or believe in 14the power of sin, it sticks to us and has power over us. Again: To assume there is no reality in sin, and yet commit sin, is sin itself, that clings fast to iniquity. The Publican’s wail won his humble desire, while the Pharisee’s self-righteousness crucified Jesus.
Do Christian Scientists believe that evil exists? We answer, Yes and No! Yes, inasmuch as we do know that evil, as a false claim, false entity, and utter falsity, does exist in thought; and No, as something that enjoys, suffers, or is real. Our only departure from ecclesiasticism on this subject is, that our faith takes hold of the fact that evil cannot be made so real as to frighten us and so master us, or to make us love it and so hinder our way to holiness. We regard evil as a lie, an illusion, therefore as unreal as a mirage that misleads the traveller on his way home.
It is self-evident that error is not Truth; then it follows that it is untrue; and if untrue, unreal; and if unreal, to conceive of error as either right or real is sin in itself. To be delivered from believing in what is unreal, from fearing it, following it, or loving it, one must watch and pray that he enter not into temptation — even as one guards his door against the approach of thieves. Wrong is thought before it is acted; you must control it in the first instance, or it will control you in the second. To overcome all wrong, it must become unreal to us: and it is good to know that wrong has no divine authority; therefore man is its master. I rejoice in the scientific apprehension of this grand verity.
The evil-doer receives no encouragement from my 15declaration that evil is unreal, when I declare that he must awake from his belief in this awful unreality, repent and forsake it, in order to understand and demonstrate its unreality. Error uncondemned is not nullified. We must condemn the claim of error in every phase in order to prove it false, therefore unreal.
The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen sin, disease, and death, and he overcomes them through Christ, Truth, teaching him that they cannot overcome us. The resistance to Christian Science weakens in proportion as one understands it and demonstrates the Science of Christianity.
A sinner ought not to be at ease, or he would never quit sinning. The most deplorable sight is to contemplate the infinite blessings that divine Love bestows on mortals, and their ingratitude and hate, filling up the measure of wickedness against all light. I can conceive of little short of the old orthodox hell to waken such a one from his deluded sense; for all sin is a deluded sense, and dis-ease in sin is better than ease. Some mortals may even need to hear the following thunderbolt of Jonathan Edwards: —
“It is nothing but God’s mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful, wicked manner of attending His solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do 16not at this moment drop down into hell, but that God’s hand has held you up.”
My views of a future and eternal punishment take in a poignant present sense of sin and its suffering, punishing itself here and hereafter till the sin is destroyed. St. John’s types of sin scarcely equal the modern nondescripts, whereby the demon of this world, its lusts, falsities, envy, and hate, supply sacrilegious gossip with the verbiage of hades. But hatred gone mad becomes imbecile — outdoes itself and commits suicide. Then let the dead bury its dead, and surviving defamers share our pity.
In the Greek devil is named serpent — liar — the god of this world; and St. Paul defines this world’s god as dishonesty, craftiness, handling the word of God deceitfully. The original text defines devil as accuser, calumniator; therefore, according to Holy Writ these qualities are objectionable, and ought not to proceed from the individual, the pulpit, or the press. The Scriptures once refer to an evil spirit as dumb, but in its origin evil was loquacious, and was supposed to outtalk Truth and to carry a most vital point. Alas! if now it is permitted license, under sanction of the gown, to handle with garrulity age and Christianity! Shall it be said of this century that its greatest discoverer is a woman to whom men go to mock, and go away to pray? Shall the hope for our race commence with one truth told and one hundred falsehoods told about it?
17 The present self-inflicted sufferings of mortals from sin, disease, and death should suffice so to awaken the sufferer from the mortal sense of sin and mind in matter as to cause him to return to the Father’s house penitent and saved; yea, quickly to return to divine Love, the author and finisher of our faith, who so loves even the repentant prodigal — departed from his better self and struggling to return — as to meet the sad sinner on his way and to welcome him home.
Had not my first demonstrations of Christian Science or metaphysical healing exceeded that of other methods, they would not have arrested public attention and started the great Cause that to-day commands the respect of our best thinkers. It was that I healed the deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the last stages of consumption, pneumonia, etc., and restored the patients in from one to three interviews, that started the inquiry, What is it? And when the public sentiment would allow it, and I had overcome a difficult stage of the work, I would put patients into the hands of my students and retire from the comparative ease of healing to the next more difficult stage of action for our Cause.
From my medical practice I had learned that the dynamics of medicine is Mind. In the highest attenuations of homœopathy the drug is utterly expelled, hence it must be mind that controls the effect; and this attenuation in some cases healed where the allopathic doses would not. 18When the “mother tincture” of one grain of the drug was attenuated one thousand degrees less than in the beginning, that was my favorite dose.
The weak criticisms and woeful warnings concerning Christian Science healing are less now than were the sneers forty years ago at the medicine of homœopathy; and the medicine of Mind is more honored and respected to-day than the old-time medicine of matter. Those who laugh at or pray against transcendentalism and the Christian Scientist’s religion or his medicine, should know the danger of questioning Christ Jesus’ healing, who administered no remedy apart from Mind, and taught his disciples none other. Christian Science seems transcendental because the substance of Truth transcends the evidence of the five personal senses, and is discerned only through divine Science.
If God created drugs for medical use, Jesus and his disciples would have used them and named them for that purpose, for he came to do “the will of the Father.” The doctor who teaches that a human hypothesis is above a demonstration of healing, yea, above the grandeur of our great master Metaphysician’s precept and example, and that of his followers in the early centuries, should read this Scripture: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
The divine Life, Truth, Love — whom men call God — is the Christian Scientists’ healer; and if God destroys the popular triad — sin, sickness, and death — remember it is He who does it and so proves their nullity.
Christians and clergymen pray for sinners; they believe 19that God answers their prayers, and that prayer is a divinely appointed means of grace and salvation. They believe that divine power, besought, is given to them in times of trouble, and that He worketh with them to save sinners. I love this doctrine, for I know that prayer brings the seeker into closer proximity with divine Love, and thus he finds what he seeks, the power of God to heal and to save. Jesus said, “Ask, and ye shall receive;” and if not immediately, continue to ask, and because of your often coming it shall be given unto you; and he illustrated his saying by a parable.
The notion that mixing material and spiritual means, either in medicine or in religion, is wise or efficient, is proven false. That animal natures give force to character is egregious nonsense — a flat departure from Jesus’ practice and proof. Let us remember that the great Metaphysician healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves, which obeyed him through spiritual ascendency alone.
From ordinary mental practice to Christian Science is a long ascent, but to go from the use of inanimate drugs to any susceptible misuse of the human mind, such as mesmerism, hypnotism, and the like, is to subject mankind unwarned and undefended to the unbridled individual human will. The currents of God flow through no such channels.
The whole world needs to know that the milder forms 20of animal magnetism and hypnotism are yielding to its aggressive features. We have no moral right and no authority in Christian Science for influencing the thoughts of others, except it be to serve God and benefit mankind. Man is properly self-governed, and he should be guided by no other mind than Truth, the divine Mind. Christian Science gives neither moral right nor might to harm either man or beast. The Christian Scientist is alone with his own being and with the reality of things. The mental malpractitioner is not, cannot be, a Christian Scientist; he is disloyal to God and man; he has every opportunity to mislead the human mind, and he uses it. People may listen complacently to the suggestion of the inaudible falsehood, not knowing what is hurting them or that they are hurt. This mental bane could not bewilder, darken, or misguide consciousness, physically, morally, or spiritually, if the individual knew what was at work and his power over it.
This unseen evil is the sin of sins; it is never forgiven. Even the agony and death that it must sooner or later cause the perpetrator, cannot blot out its effects on himself till he suffers up to its extinction and stops practising it. The crimes committed under this new-old régime of necromancy or diabolism are not easily reckoned. At present its mystery protects it, but its hidden modus and flagrance will finally be known, and the laws of our land will handle its thefts, adulteries, and murders, and will pass sentence on the darkest and deepest of human crimes.
Christian Scientists are not hypnotists, they are not 21mortal mind-curists, nor faith-curists; they have faith, but they have Science, understanding, and works as well. They are not the addenda, the et ceteras, or new editions of old errors; but they are what they are, namely, students of a demonstrable Science leading the ages.
In an article published in the New York Journal, Rev. ___ writes: “To the famous Bishop Berkeley of the Church of England may be traced many of the ideas about the spiritual world which are now taught in Christian Science.”
This clergyman gives it as his opinion that Christian Science will be improved in its teaching and authorship after Mrs. Eddy has gone. I am sorry for my critic, who reckons hopefully on the death of an individual who loves God and man; such foreseeing is not foreknowing, and exhibits a startling ignorance of Christian Science, and a manifest unfitness to criticise it or to compare its literature. He begins his calculation erroneously; for Life is the Principle of Christian Science and of its results. Death is neither the predicate nor postulate of Truth, and Christ came not to bring death but life into the world. Does this critic know of a better way than Christ’s whereby to benefit the race? My faith assures me that God knows more than any man on this subject, for did He not know all things and results I should not have known Christian Science, or felt the incipient touch of divine Love which inspired it.
22 That God is good, that Truth is true, and Science is Science, who can doubt; and whosoever demonstrates the truth of these propositions is to some extent a Christian Scientist. Is Science material? No! It is the Mind of God — and God is Spirit. Is Truth material? No! Therefore I do not try to mix matter and Spirit, since Science does not and they will not mix. I am a spiritual homœopathist in that I do not believe in such a compound. Truth and Truth is not a compound; Spirit and Spirit is not: but Truth and error, Spirit and matter, are compounds and opposites; so if one is true, the other is false. If Truth is true, its opposite, error, is not; and if Spirit is true and infinite, it hath no opposite; therefore matter cannot be a reality.
I begin at the feet of Christ and with the numeration table of Christian Science. But I do not say that one added to one is three, or one and a half, nor say this to accommodate popular opinion as to the Science of Christianity. I adhere to my text, that one and one are two all the way up to the infinite calculus of the infinite God. The numeration table of Christian Science, its divine Principle and rules, are before the people, and the different religious sects and the differing schools of medicine are discussing them as if they understood its Principle and rules before they have learned its numeration table, and insist that the public receive their sense of the Science, or that it receive no sense whatever of it.
Again: Even the numeration table of Christian Science is not taught correctly by those who have departed from its absolute simple statement as to Spirit and matter, and 23that one and two are neither more nor less than three; and losing the numeration table and the logic of Christian Science, they have little left that the sects and faculties can grapple. If Christian Scientists only would admit that God is Spirit and infinite, yet that God has an opposite and that the infinite is not all; that God is good and infinite, yet that evil exists and is real, — thence it would follow that evil must either exist in good, or exist outside of the infinite, — they would be in peace with the schools.
This departure, however, from the scientific statement, the divine Principle, rule, or demonstration of Christian Science, results as would a change of the denominations of mathematics; and you cannot demonstrate Christian Science except on its fixed Principle and given rule, according to the Master’s teaching and proof. He was ultra; he was a reformer; he laid the axe at the root of all error, amalgamation, and compounds. He used no material medicine, nor recommended it, and taught his disciples and followers to do likewise; therefore he demonstrated his power over matter, sin, disease, and death, as no other person has ever demonstrated it.
Bishop Berkeley published a book in 1710 entitled “Treatise Concerning the Principle of Human Knowledge.” Its object was to deny, on received principles of philosophy, the reality of an external material world. In later publications he declared physical substance to be “only the constant relation between phenomena connected by association and conjoined by the operations of the universal mind, nature being nothing more than conscious 24experience. Matter apart from conscious mind is an impossible and unreal concept.” He denies the existence of matter, and argues that matter is not without the mind, but within it, and that that which is generally called matter is only an impression produced by divine power on the mind by means of invariable rules styled the laws of nature. Here he makes God the cause of all the ills of mortals and the casualties of earth.
Again, while descanting on the virtues of tar-water, he writes: “I esteem my having taken this medicine the greatest of all temporal blessings, and am convinced that under Providence I owe my life to it.” Making matter more potent than Mind, when the storms of disease beat against Bishop Berkeley’s metaphysics and personality he fell, and great was the fall — from divine metaphysics to tar-water!
In contradistinction to his views I found it necessary to follow Jesus’ teachings, and none other, in order to demonstrate the divine Science of Christianity — the metaphysics of Christ — healing all manner of diseases. Philosophy, materia medica, and scholastic theology were inadequate to prove the doctrine of Jesus, and I relinquished the form to attain the spirit or mystery of 25godliness. Hence the mysticism, so called, of my writings becomes clear to the godly.
Building on the rock of Christ’s teachings, we have a superstructure eternal in the heavens, omnipotent on earth, encompassing time and eternity. The stone which the builders reject is apt to be the cross, which they reject and whereby is won the crown and the head of the corner.
A knowledge of philosophy and of medicine, the scholasticism of a bishop, and the metaphysics (so called) which mix matter and mind, — certain individuals call aids to divine metaphysics, and regret their lack in my books, which because of their more spiritual import heal the sick! No Christly axioms, practices, or parables are alluded to or required in such metaphysics, and the demonstration of matter minus, and God all, ends in some specious folly.
The great Metaphysician, Christ Jesus, denounced all such gilded sepulchres of his time and of all time. He never recommended drugs, he never used them. What, then, is our authority in Christianity for metaphysics based on materialism? He demonstrated what he taught. Had he taught the power of Spirit, and along with this the power of matter, he would have been as contradictory as the blending of good and evil, and the latter superior, which Satan demanded in the beginning, and which has since been avowed to be as real, and matter as useful, as the infinite God, — good, — which, if indeed Spirit and infinite, excludes evil and matter. Jesus likened such self-contradictions to a kingdom divided against itself, that cannot stand.
26 The unity and consistency of Jesus’ theory and practice give my tired sense of false philosophy and material theology rest. The great teacher, preacher, and demonstrator of Christianity is the Master, who founded his system of metaphysics only on Christ, Truth, and supported it by his words and deeds.
The five personal senses can have only a finite sense of the infinite: therefore the metaphysician is sensual that combines matter with Spirit. In one sentence he declaims against matter, in the next he endows it with a life-giving quality not to be found in God! and turns away from Christ’s purely spiritual means to the schools and matter for help in times of need.
I have passed through deep waters to preserve Christ’s vesture unrent; then, when land is reached and the world aroused, shall the word popularity be pinned to the seamless robe, and they cast lots for it? God forbid! Let it be left to such as see God — to the pure in spirit, and the meek that inherit the earth; left to them of a sound faith and charity, the greatest of which is charity — spiritual love. St. Paul said: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”
Before leaving this subject of the old metaphysicians, allow me to add I have read little of their writings. I was not drawn to them by a native or an acquired taste for what was problematic and self-contradictory. What I have given to the world on the subject of metaphysical healing or Christian Science is the result of my own ob27servation, experience, and final discovery, quite independent of all other authors except the Bible.
My critic also writes: “The best contributions that have been made to the literature of Christian Science have been by Mrs. Eddy’s followers. I look to see some St. Paul arise among the Christian Scientists who will interpret their ideas and principles more clearly, and apply them more rationally to human needs.”
My works are the first ever published on Christian Science, and nothing has since appeared that is correct on this subject the basis whereof cannot be traced to some of those works. The application of Christian Science is healing and reforming mankind. If any one as yet has healed hopeless cases, such as I have in one to three interviews with the patients, I shall rejoice in being informed thereof. Or if a modern St. Paul could start thirty years ago without a Christian Scientist on earth, and in this interval number one million, and an equal number of sick healed, also sinners reformed and the habits and appetites of mankind corrected, why was it not done? God is no respecter of persons.
I have put less of my own personality into Christian Science than others do in proportion, as I have taken out of its metaphysics all matter and left Christian Science as it is, purely spiritual, Christlike — the Mind of God and not of man — born of the Spirit and not matter. Professor Agassiz said: “Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they had always believed it.” Having 28passed through the first two stages, Christian Science must be approaching the last stage of the great naturalist’s prophecy.
Of the ancient writers since the first century of the Christian era perhaps none lived a more devout Christian life up to his highest understanding than St. Augustine. Some of his writings have been translated into almost every Christian tongue, and are classed with the choicest memorials of devotion both in Catholic and Protestant oratories.
Sacred history shows that those who have followed exclusively Christ’s teaching, have been scourged in the synagogues and persecuted from city to city. But this is no cause for not following it; and my only apology for trying to follow it is that I love Christ more than all the world, and my demonstration of Christian Science in healing has proven to me beyond a doubt that Christ, Truth, is indeed the way of salvation from all that worketh or maketh a lie. As Jesus said: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master.” It is well to know that even Christ Jesus, who was not popular among the worldlings in his age, is not popular with them in this age; hence the inference that he who would be popular if he could, is not a student of Christ Jesus.
After a hard and successful career reformers usually are handsomely provided for. Has the thought come to 29Christian Scientists, Have we housed, fed, clothed, or visited a reformer for that purpose? Have we looked after or even known of his sore necessities? Gifts he needs not. God has provided the means for him while he was providing ways and means for others. But mortals in the advancing stages of their careers need the watchful and tender care of those who want to help them. The aged reformer should not be left to the mercy of those who are not glad to sacrifice for him even as he has sacrificed for others all the best of his earthly years.
I say this not because reformers are not loved, but because well-meaning people sometimes are inapt or selfish in showing their love. They are like children that go out from the parents who nurtured them, toiled for them, and enabled them to be grand coworkers for mankind, children who forget their parents’ increasing years and needs, and whenever they return to the old home go not to help mother but to recruit themselves. Or, if they attempt to help their parents, and adverse winds are blowing, this is no excuse for waiting till the wind shifts. They should remember that mother worked and won for them by facing the winds. All honor and success to those who honor their father and mother. The individual who loves most, does most, and sacrifices most for the reformer, is the individual who soonest will walk in his footsteps.
To aid my students in starting under a tithe of my own difficulties, I allowed them for several years fifty cents on every book of mine that they sold. “With this percentage,” students wrote me, “quite quickly we have regained our tuition for the college course.”
30 Christian Scientists are persecuted even as all other religious denominations have been, since ever the primitive Christians, “of whom the world was not worthy.” We err in thinking the object of vital Christianity is only the bequeathing of itself to the coming centuries. The successive utterances of reformers are essential to its propagation. The magnitude of its meaning forbids headlong haste, and the consciousness which is most imbued struggles to articulate itself.
Christian Scientists are practically non-resistants; they are too occupied with doing good, observing the Golden Rule, to retaliate or to seek redress; they are not quacks, giving birth to nothing and death to all, — but they are leaders of a reform in religion and in medicine, and they have no craft that is in danger.
Even religion and therapeutics need regenerating. Philanthropists, and the higher class of critics in theology and materia medica, recognize that Christian Science kindles the inner genial life of a man, destroying all lower considerations. No man or woman is roused to the establishment of a new-old religion by the hope of ease, pleasure, or recompense, or by the stress of the appetites and passions. And no emperor is obeyed like the man “clouting his own cloak” — working alone with God, yea, like the clear, far-seeing vision, the calm courage, and the great heart of the unselfed Christian hero.
I counsel Christian Scientists under all circumstances to obey the Golden Rule, and to adopt Pope’s axiom: “An honest, sensible, and well-bred man will not insult me, and no other can.” The sensualist and world-wor31shipper are always stung by a clear elucidation of truth, of right, and of wrong.
The only opposing element that sects or professions can encounter in Christian Science is Truth opposed to all error, specific or universal. This opposition springs from the very nature of Truth, being neither personal nor human, but divine. Every true Christian in the near future will learn and love the truths of Christian Science that now seem troublesome. Jesus said, “I came not to send peace but a sword.”
Has God entrusted me with a message to mankind? — then I cannot choose but obey. After a long acquaintance with the communicants of my large church, they regard me with no vague, fruitless, inquiring wonder. I can use the power that God gives me in no way except in the interest of the individual and the community. To this verity every member of my church would bear loving testimony.
Among the list of blessings infinite I count these dear: Devout orthodox parents; my early culture in the Congregational Church; the daily Bible reading and family prayer; my cradle hymn and the Lord’s Prayer, repeated at night; my early association with distinguished Christian clergymen, who held fast to whatever is good, used faithfully God’s Word, and yielded up graciously what He took away. It was my fair fortune to be often taught by some grand old divines, among whom were the Rev. 32Abraham Burnham of Pembroke, N.H., Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, D.D., of Concord, N.H., Congregationalists; Rev. Mr. Boswell, of Bow, N.H., Baptist; Rev. Enoch Corser, and Rev. Corban Curtice, Congregationalists; and Father Hinds, Methodist Elder. I became early a child of the Church, an eager lover and student of vital Christianity. Why I loved Christians of the old sort was I could not help loving them. Full of charity and good works, busy about their Master’s business, they had no time or desire to defame their fellow-men. God seemed to shield the whole world in their hearts, and they were willing to renounce all for Him. When infidels assailed them, however, the courage of their convictions was seen. They were heroes in the strife; they armed quickly, aimed deadly, and spared no denunciation. Their convictions were honest, and they lived them; and the sermons their lives preached caused me to love their doctrines.
The lives of those old-fashioned leaders of religion explain in a few words a good man. They fill the ecclesiastic measure, that to love God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. Such churchmen and the Bible, especially the First Commandment of the Decalogue, and Ninety-first Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount, and St. John’s Revelation, educated my thought many years, yea, all the way up to its preparation for and reception of the Science of Christianity. I believe, if those venerable Christians were here to-day, their sanctified souls would take in the spirit and understanding of Christian Science through the flood-gates of Love; with them Love was the governing impulse of every action; their 33piety was the all-important consideration of their being, the original beauty of holiness that to-day seems to be fading so sensibly from our sight.
To plant for eternity, the “accuser” or “calumniator” must not be admitted to the vineyard of our Lord, and the hand of love must sow the seed. Carlyle writes: “Quackery and dupery do abound in religion; above all, in the more advanced decaying stages of religion, they have fearfully abounded; but quackery was never the originating influence in such things; it was not the health and life of religion, but their disease, the sure precursor that they were about to die.”
Christian Scientists first and last ask not to be judged on a doctrinal platform, a creed, or a diploma for scientific guessing. But they do ask to be allowed the rights of conscience and the protection of the constitutional laws of their land; they ask to be known by their works, to be judged (if at all) by their works. We admit that they do not kill people with poisonous drugs, with the lance, or with liquor, in order to heal them. Is it for not killing them thus, or is it for healing them through the might and majesty of divine power after the manner taught by Jesus, and which he enjoined his students to teach and practise, that they are maligned? The richest and most positive proof that a religion in this century is just what it was in the first centuries is that the same reviling it received then it receives now, and from the same motives which actuate one sect to persecute another in advance of it.
Christian Scientists are harmless citizens that do not kill people either by their practice or by preventing the 34early employment of an M.D. Why? Because the effect of prayer, whereby Christendom saves sinners, is quite as salutary in the healing of all manner of diseases. The Bible is our authority for asserting this, in both cases. The interval that detains the patient from the attendance of an M.D., occupied in prayer and in spiritual obedience to Christ’s mode and means of healing, cannot be fatal to the patient, and is proven to be more pathological than the M.D.’s material prescription. If this be not so, where shall we look for the standard of Christianity? Have we misread the evangelical precepts and the canonical writings of the Fathers, or must we have a new Bible and a new system of Christianity, originating not in God, but a creation of the schools — a material religion, proscriptive, intolerant, wantonly bereft of the Word of God.
Give us, dear God, again on earth the lost chord of Christ; solace us with the song of angels rejoicing with them that rejoice; that sweet charity which seeketh not her own but another’s good, yea, which knoweth no evil.
Finally, brethren, wait patiently on God; return blessing for cursing; be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good; be steadfast, abide and abound in faith, understanding, and good works; study the Bible and the textbook of our denomination; obey strictly the laws that be, and follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ. Godliness or Christianity is a human necessity: man cannot live without it; he has no intelligence, health, hope, nor happiness without godliness. In the words of the Hebrew writers: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In 35all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths;” “and He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
The question oft presents itself, Are we willing to sacrifice self for the Cause of Christ, willing to bare our bosom to the blade and lay ourselves upon the altar? Christian Science appeals loudly to those asleep upon the hill-tops of Zion. It is a clarion call to the reign of righteousness, to the kingdom of heaven within us and on earth, and Love is the way alway.
O the Love divine that plucks us
From the human agony!
O the Master’s glory won thus,
Doth it dawn on you and me?
And the bliss of blotted-out sin
And the working hitherto —
Shall we share it — do we walk in
Patient faith the way thereto?