MY BELOVED BRETHREN: — If a member of the church is inclined to be uncharitable, or to condemn his brother without cause, let him put his finger to his lips, and forgive others as he would be forgiven. One’s first lesson is to learn one’s self; having done this, one will naturally, through grace from God, forgive his brother and love his enemies. To avenge an imaginary or an actual wrong, is suicidal. The law of our God and the rule of our church is to tell thy brother his fault and thereby help him. If this rule fails in effect, then take the next Scriptural step: drop this member’s name from the church, and thereafter “let the dead bury their dead,” — let silence prevail over his remains.
If a man is jealous, envious, or revengeful, he will seek occasion to balloon an atom of another man’s indiscretion, inflate it, and send it into the atmosphere of mortal mind — for other green eyes to gaze on: he will always find somebody in his way, and try to push him aside; will see somebody’s faults to magnify under the lens that he never turns on himself.
What have been your Leader’s precepts and example! Were they to save the sinner, and to spare his exposure 130so long as a hope remained of thereby benefiting him? Has her life exemplified long-suffering, meekness, charity, purity?
Do we yet understand how much better it is to be wronged, than to commit wrong? What do we find in the Bible, and in the Christian Science textbook, on this subject? Does not the latter instruct you that looking continually for a fault in somebody else, talking about it, thinking it over, and how to meet it, — “rolling sin as a sweet morsel under your tongue,” — has the same power to make you a sinner that acting thus regarding disease has to make a man sick? Note the Scripture on this subject: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The Christian Science Board of Directors has borne the burden in the heat of the day, and it ought not to be expected that they could have accomplished, without one single mistake, such Herculean tasks as they have accomplished. He who judges others should know well whereof he speaks. Where the motive to do right exists, and the majority of one’s acts are right, we should avoid referring to past mistakes. The greatest sin that one can commit against himself is to wrong one of God’s “little ones.”
Know ye not that he who exercises the largest charity, and waits on God, renews his strength, and is exalted? Love is not puffed up; and the meek and loving, God anoints and appoints to lead the line of mankind’s triumphal march out of the wilderness, out of darkness into light.
131 Whoever challenges the errors of others and cherishes his own, can neither help himself nor others; he will be called a moral nuisance, a fungus, a microbe, a mouse gnawing at the vitals of humanity. The darkness in one’s self must first be cast out, in order rightly to discern darkness or to reflect light.
If the man of more than average avoirdupois kneels on a stool in church, let the leaner sort console this brother’s necessity by doing likewise. Christian Scientists preserve unity, and so shadow forth the substance of our sublime faith, and the evidence of its being built upon the rock of divine oneness, — one faith, one God, one baptism.
If our Board of Directors is prepared to itemize a report of the first financial year since the erection of the edifice of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, let it do so; otherwise, I recommend that you waive the church By-law relating to finances this year of your firstfruits. This Board did not act under that By-law; it was not in existence all of the year. It is but just to consider the great struggles with perplexities and difficulties which the Directors encountered in Anno Domini 1894, and which they have overcome. May God give unto us all that loving sense of gratitude which delights in the opportunity to cancel accounts. I, for one, would be pleased to have the Christian Science Board of Directors itemize a bill of this church’s gifts to Mother; and then to have them let her state the value thereof, if, indeed, it could be estimated.
After this financial year, when you call on the members of the Christian Science Board of Directors to itemize or audit their accounts, these will be found already itemized, and last year’s records immortalized, with perils past and victories won.
132 A motion was made, and a vote passed, at your last meeting, on a subject the substance whereof you had already accepted as a By-law. But, I shall take this as a favorable omen, a fair token that heavy lids are opening, even wider than before, to the light of Love — and By-laws.
MASSACHUSETTS METAPHYSICAL COLLEGE,
571 COLUMBUS AVENUE,
BOSTON, March 21, 1885
Dear Sir: — In your communication to Zion’s Herald, March 18, under the heading, “Prayer and Healing; supplemental,” you state that you would “like to hear from Dr. Cullis; and, by the way, from Mrs. Eddy, also.”
Because of the great demand upon my time, consisting in part of dictating answers through my secretary, or answering personally manifold letters and inquiries from all quarters, — having charge of a church, editing a magazine, teaching Christian Science, receiving calls, etc., — I find it inconvenient to accept your invitation to answer you through the medium of a newspaper; but, for information as to what I believe and teach, would refer you to the Holy Scriptures, to my various publications, and to my Christian students.
It was with a thrill of pleasure that I read in your article these words: “If we have in any way misrepresented either Dr. Cullis or Mrs. Eddy, we are sorry.” Even the desire to be just is a vital spark of Christianity. And those words inspire me with the hope that you wish to be just. 133If this is so, you will not delay corrections of the statement you make at the close of your article, when referring to me, “the pantheistic and prayerless Mrs. Eddy, of Boston.”
“When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. . . . But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
I hope I am not wrong in literally following the dictum of Jesus; and, were it not because of my desire to set you right on this question, I should feel a delicacy in making the following statement: —
Three times a day, I retire to seek the divine blessing on the sick and sorrowing, with my face toward the Jerusalem of Love and Truth, in silent prayer to the Father which “seeth in secret,” and with childlike confidence that He will reward “openly.” In the midst of depressing care and labor I turn constantly to divine Love for guidance, and find rest. It affords me great joy to be able to attest to the truth of Jesus’ words. Love makes all burdens light, it giveth a peace that passeth understanding, and with “signs following.” As to the peace, it is unutterable; as to “signs,” behold the sick who are healed, the sorrowful 134who are made hopeful, and the sinful and ignorant who have become “wise unto salvation”!
And now, dear sir, as you have expressed contrition for an act which you have immediately repeated, you are placed in this dilemma: To reiterate such words of apology as characterize justice and Christianity.
Beloved Students: — Meet together and meet en masse, in 1888, at the annual session of the National Christian Scientist Association. Be “of one mind,” “in one place,” and God will pour you out a blessing such as you never before received. He who dwelleth in eternal light is bigger than the shadow, and will guard and guide His own.
Let no consideration bend or outweigh your purpose to be in Chicago on June 13. Firm in your allegiance to the reign of universal harmony, go to its rescue. In God’s hour, the powers of earth and hell are proven powerless. The reeling ranks of materia medica, with poisons, nostrums, and knives, are impotent when at war with the omnipotent! Like Elisha, look up, and behold: “They that be with us, are more than they that be with them.”
Error is only fermenting, and its heat hissing at the “still, small voice” of Truth; but it can neither silence nor disarm God’s voice. Spiritual wickedness is standing in high places; but, blind to its own fate, it will tumble into the bottomless.
135 Christians, and all true Scientists, marching under whatsoever ensign, come into the ranks! Again I repeat, person is not in the question of Christian Science. Principle, instead of person, is next to our hearts, on our lips, and in our lives. Our watchwords are Truth and Love; and if we abide in these, they will abound in us, and we shall be one in heart, — one in motive, purpose, pursuit. Abiding in Love, not one of you can be separated from me; and the sweet sense of journeying on together, doing unto others as ye would they should do unto you, conquers all opposition, surmounts all obstacles, and secures success. If you falter, or fail to fulfil this Golden Rule, though you should build to the heavens, you would build on sand.
Is it a cross to give one week’s time and expense to the jubilee of Spirit? Then take this cross, and the crown with it. Sending forth currents of Truth, God’s methods and means of healing, and so spreading the gospel of Love, is in itself an eternity of joy that outweighs an hour. Add one more noble offering to the unity of good, and so cement the bonds of Love.
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS’ ASSOCIATION OF
THE MASSACHUSETTS METAPHYSICAL COLLEGE
My Beloved Students: — You may be looking to see me in my accustomed place with you, but this you must no 136longer expect. When I retired from the field of labor, it was a departure, socially, publicly, and finally, from the routine of such material modes as society and our societies demand. Rumors are rumors, — nothing more. I am still with you on the field of battle, taking forward marches, broader and higher views, and with the hope that you will follow.
The eternal and infinite, already brought to your earnest consideration, so grow upon my vision that I cannot feel justified in turning aside for one hour from contemplation of them and of the faith unfeigned. When the verities of being seem to you as to me, — as they must some time, — you will understand the necessity for my seclusion, and its fulfilment of divine order. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”
All our thoughts should be given to the absolute demonstration of Christian Science. You can well afford to give me up, since you have in my last revised edition of Science and Health your teacher and guide.
I recommend that the June session of this honorable body shall close your meetings for the summer; also, that hereafter you hold three sessions annually, convening once in four months; oftener is not requisite, and the members coming from a distance will be accommodated by this arrangement.
When I gave you a meagre reception in Boston at the close of the first convention of the National Christian Scientist Association, it was simply to give you the privilege, poor as it was, of speaking a few words aside to your teacher. I remember my regret, when, having asked in general assembly if you had any questions to propose, I received no reply. Since then you have doubtless realized that such opportunity might have been improved; but that time has passed.
I greatly rejoice over the growth of my students within the last few years. It was kind of you to part so gently with the protecting wings of the mother-bird, and to spread your own so bravely. Now, dear ones, if you take my advice again, you will do — what?
Even this: Disorganize the National Christian Scientist Association! and each one return to his place of labor, to work out individually and alone, for himself and for others, the sublime ends of human life.
To accomplish this, you must give much time to self-examination and correction; you must control appetite, passion, pride, envy, evil-speaking, resentment, and each one of the innumerable errors that worketh or maketh a lie. Then you can give to the world the benefit of all this, and heal and teach with increased confidence. My students can now organize their students into associations, form churches, and hold these organizations of their 138own, — until, in turn, their students will sustain themselves and work for others.
The time it takes yearly to prepare for this national convention is worse than wasted, if it causes thought to wander in the wilderness or ways of the world. The detail of conforming to society, in any way, costs you what it would to give time and attention to hygiene in your ministry and healing.
For students to work together is not always to cooperate, but sometimes to coelbow! Each student should seek alone the guidance of our common Father — even the divine Principle which he claims to demonstrate, — and especially should he prove his faith by works, ethically, physically, and spiritually. Remember that the first and last lesson of Christian Science is love, perfect love, and love made perfect through the cross.
My counsel is applicable to the state of general growth in the members of the National Christian Scientist Association, but it is not so adapted to the members of students’ organizations. And wherefore? Because the growth of these at first is more gradual; but whenever they are equal to the march triumphant, God will give to all His soldiers of the cross the proper command, and under the banner of His love, and with the “still, small voice” for the music of our march, we all shall take step and march on in spiritual organization.
139 N. B. I recommend this honorable body to adjourn, if it does not disorganize, to three years from this date; or, if it does disorganize, to meet again in three years. Then bring your tithes into the storehouse, and God will pour you out a blessing such as you even yet have not received.
On December 10, 1889, I gave a lot of land — in Boston, situated near the beautiful Back Bay Park, now valued at $20,000 and rising in value — for the purpose of having erected thereon a church edifice to be called The Church of Christ, Scientist.
I had this desirable site transferred in a circuitous, novel way, at the wisdom whereof a few persons have since scrupled; but to my spiritual perception, like all true wisdom, this transaction will in future be regarded as greatly wise, and it will be found that this act was in advance of the erring mind’s apprehension.
As with all former efforts in the interest of Christian Science, I took care that the provisions for the land and 140building were such as error could not control. I knew that to God’s gift, foundation and superstructure, no one could hold a wholly material title. The land, and the church standing on it, must be conveyed through a type representing the true nature of the gift; a type morally and spiritually inalienable, but materially questionable — even after the manner that all spiritual good comes to Christian Scientists, to the end of taxing their faith in God, and their adherence to the superiority of the claims of Spirit over matter or merely legal titles.
No one could buy, sell, or mortgage my gift as I had it conveyed. Thus the case rested, and I supposed the trustee-deed was legal; but this was God’s business, not mine. Our church was prospered by the right hand of His righteousness, and contributions to the Building Fund generously poured into the treasury. Unity prevailed, — till mortal man sought to know who owned God’s temple, and adopted and urged only the material side of this question.
The lot of land which I donated I redeemed from under mortgage. The foundation on which our church was to be built had to be rescued from the grasp of legal power, and now it must be put back into the arms of Love, if we would not be found fighting against God.
The diviner claim and means for upbuilding the Church of Christ were prospered. Our title to God’s acres will be safe and sound — when we can “read our title clear” to heavenly mansions. Built on the rock, our church will stand the storms of ages: though the material superstructure should crumble into dust, the fittest would survive, — the spiritual idea would live, a perpetual type of the divine Principle it reflects.
141 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, our prayer in stone, will be the prophecy fulfilled, the monument upreared, of Christian Science. It will speak to you of the Mother, and of your hearts’ offering to her through whom was revealed to you God’s all-power, all-presence, and all-science. This building begun, will go up, and no one can suffer from it, for no one can resist the power that is behind it; and against this church temple “the gates of hell” cannot prevail.
All loyal Christian Scientists hail with joy this proposed type of universal Love; not so, however, with error, which hates the bonds and methods of Truth, and shudders at the freedom, might, and majesty of Spirit, — even the annihilating law of Love.
I vindicate both the law of God and the laws of our land. I believe, — yea, I understand, — that with the spirit of Christ actuating all the parties concerned about the legal quibble, it can easily be corrected to the satisfaction of all. Let this be speedily done. Do not, I implore you, stain the early history of Christian Science by the impulses of human will and pride; but let the divine will and the nobility of human meekness rule this business transaction, in obedience to the law of Love and the laws of our land.
As the ambassador of Christ’s teachings, I admonish you: Delay not longer to commence building our church in Boston; or else return every dollar that you yourselves declare you have had no legal authority for obtaining, to the several contributors, — and let them, not you, say what shall be done with their money.
Of our first church in Boston, O recording angel! write: God is in the midst of her: how beautiful are her 142feet! how beautiful are her garments! how hath He enlarged her borders! how hath He made her wildernesses to bud and blossom as the rose!
Written on receipt of a beautiful boat presented by Christian Scientists in Toronto, for the little pond at Pleasant View. The boat displays, among other beautiful decorations, a number of masonic symbols.
My first impression was to indite a poem; my second, a psalm; my third, a letter. Why the letter alone? Because your dear hearts expressed in their lovely gift such varying types of true affection, shaded as autumn leaves with bright hues of the spiritual, that my Muse lost her lightsome lyre, and imagery of thought gave place to chords of feeling too deep for words.
The symbols of freemasonry depicted on the boat wakened memory, touched tender fibres of thought, and I longed to say to the masonic brothers: If as a woman I may not unite with you in freemasonry, nor you with me in Christian Science, yet as friends we can feel the 143touch of heart to heart and hand to hand, on the broad basis and sure foundation of true friendship’s “level” and the “square” of moral sentiments.
My dear students may have explained to the kind participants in beautifying this boat our spiritual points, above the plane of matter. If so, I may hope that a closer link hath bound us. Across lakes, into a kingdom, I reach out my hand to clasp yours, with this silent benediction: May the kingdom of heaven come in each of your hearts!
It gives me great pleasure to say that you, principally the Normal class graduates of my College, well known physicians, teachers, editors, and pastors of churches, by contributions of one thousand dollars each, husband and wife reckoned as one, have, within about three months, donated the munificent sum of forty-two thousand dollars toward building The Mother Church. A quiet call from me for this extra contribution, in aid of our Church Building Fund, found you all “with one accord in one place.” Each donation came promptly; sometimes at much self-sacrifice, but always accompanied with a touching letter breathing the donor’s privileged joy.
144 The granite for this church was taken from the quarries in New Hampshire, my native State. The money for building “Mother’s Room,” situated in the second story of the tower on the northeast corner of this building, and the name thereof, came from the dear children of Christian Scientists; a little band called Busy Bees, organized by Miss Maurine R. Campbell.
On this memorable day there are laid away a copy of this address, the subscription list on which appear your several names in your own handwriting, your textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” and other works written by the same author, your teacher, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;* without pomp or pride, laid away as a sacred secret in the heart of a rock, there to typify the prophecy, “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; . . . as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land:” henceforth to whisper our Master’s promise, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
To-day, be this hope in each of our hearts, — precious in God’s sight as shall be the assembling of His people in this temple, sweet as the rest that remaineth for the righteous, and fresh as a summer morn, — that, from earth’s pillows of stone, our visible lives are rising to God. As in the history of a seed, so may our earthly sowing bear fruit that exudes the inspiration of the wine poured into the cup of Christ.
To-day I pray that divine Love, the life-giving Principle of Christianity, shall speedily wake the long night of materialism, and the universal dawn shall break upon the spire of this temple. The Church, more than any 145other institution, at present is the cement of society, and it should be the bulwark of civil and religious liberty. But the time cometh when the religious element, or Church of Christ, shall exist alone in the affections, and need no organization to express it. Till then, this form of godliness seems as requisite to manifest its spirit, as individuality to express Soul and substance.
Does a single bosom burn for fame and power? Then when that person shall possess these, let him ask himself, and answer to his name in this corner-stone of our temple: Am I greater for them? And if he thinks that he is, then is he less than man to whom God gave “dominion over all the earth,” less than the meek who “inherit the earth.” Even vanity forbids man to be vain; and pride is a hooded hawk which flies in darkness. Over a wounded sense of its own error, let not mortal thought resuscitate too soon.
In our rock-bound friendship, delicate as dear, our names may melt into one, and common dust, and their modest sign be nothingness. Be this as it may, the visible unity of spirit remains, to quicken even dust into sweet memorial such as Isaiah prophesied: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”
When the hearts of Christian Scientists are woven together as are their names in the web of history, earth will float majestically heaven’s heraldry, and echo the song of angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
To The Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, and to the dear children that my heart folds within it, let me 146say, ’Tis sweet to remember thee, and God’s Zion, with healing on her wings. May her walls be vocal with salvation; and her gates with praise!
My Beloved Students: — I cannot conscientiously lend my counsel to direct your action on receiving or dismissing candidates. To do this, I should need to be with you. I cannot accept hearsay, and would need to know the circumstances and facts regarding both sides of the subject, to form a proper judgment. This is not my present province; hence I have hitherto declined to be consulted on these subjects, and still maintain this position.
These are matters of grave import; and you cannot be indifferent to this, but will give them immediate attention, and be governed therein by the spirit and the letter of this Scripture: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.”
I cannot be the conscience for this church; but if I were, I would gather every reformed mortal that desired to come, into its fold, and counsel and help him to walk in the footsteps of His flock. I feel sure that as Christian Scientists you will act, relative to this matter, up to your highest understanding of justice and mercy.
My Beloved Students: — Another year has rolled on, another annual meeting has convened, another space of time has been given us, and has another duty been done and another victory won for time and eternity? Do you meet in unity, preferring one another, and demonstrating the divine Principle of Christian Science? Have you improved past hours, and ladened them with records worthy to be borne heavenward? Have you learned that sin is inadmissible, and indicates a small mind? Do you manifest love for those that hate you and despitefully use you?
The man of integrity is one who makes it his constant rule to follow the road of duty, according as Truth and the voice of his conscience point it out to him. He is not guided merely by affections which may some time give the color of virtue to a loose and unstable character.
The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him ever the same, — at all times the trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen.
He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, — full of truth, candor, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather fail of success than attain it by reproachable means. He 148never shows us a smiling countenance while he meditates evil against us in his heart. We shall never find one part of his character at variance with another.
The Rules and By-laws in the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, originated not in solemn conclave as in ancient Sanhedrim. They were not arbitrary opinions nor dictatorial demands, such as one person might impose on another. They were impelled by a power not one’s own, were written at different dates, and as the occasion required. They sprang from necessity, the logic of events, — from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause; hence their simple, scientific basis, and detail so requisite to demonstrate genuine Christian Science, and which will do for the race what absolute doctrines destined for future generations might not accomplish.
Beloved Brethren: — Until recently, I was not aware that the contribution box was presented at your Friday evening meetings. I specially desire that you collect no moneyed contributions from the people present on these occasions.
Let the invitation to this sweet converse be in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, 149come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Invite all cordially and freely to this banquet of Christian Science, this feast and flow of Soul. Ask them to bring what they possess of love and light to help leaven your loaf and replenish your scanty store. Then, after presenting the various offerings, and one after another has opened his lips to discourse and distribute what God has given him of experience, hope, faith, and understanding, gather up the fragments, and count the baskets full of accessions to your love, and see that nothing has been lost.
My Beloved Brethren: — Lips nor pen can ever express the joy you give me in parting so promptly with your beloved pastor, Rev. Mr. Norcross, to send him to aid me. It is a refreshing demonstration of Christianity, brotherly love, and all the rich graces of the Spirit. May this sacrifice bring to your beloved church a vision of the new church, that cometh down from heaven, whose altar is a loving heart, whose communion is fellowship with saints and angels. This example of yours is a light that cannot be hid.
Guided by the pillar and the cloud, this little church that built the first temple for Christian Science worship shall abide steadfastly in the faith of Jesus’ words: “Fear 150not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” May He soon give you a pastor; already you have the great Shepherd of Israel watching over you. Give my forever-love to your dear church.
Beloved Brethren: — Space is no separator of hearts. Spiritually, I am with all who are with Truth, and whose hearts to-day are repeating their joy that God dwelleth in the congregation of the faithful, and loveth the gates of Zion.
The outlook is cheering. We have already seen the salvation of many people by means of Christian Science. Chapels and churches are dotting the entire land. Convenient houses and halls can now be obtained wherein, as whereout, Christian Scientists may worship the Father “in spirit and in truth,” as taught by our great Master.
God is universal; confined to no spot, defined by no dogma, appropriated by no sect. Not more to one than to all, is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect Him — that reflect Love. Again, this infinite Principle, with its universal manifestation, is all that really is or can be; hence God is our Shepherd. He guards, guides, feeds, 151and folds the sheep of His pasture; and their ears are attuned to His call. In the words of the loving disciple, “My sheep hear my voice, . . . and they follow me; . . . neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
God is a consuming fire. He separates the dross from the gold, purifies the human character, through the furnace of affliction. Those who bear fruit He purgeth, that they may bear more fruit. Through the sacred law, He speaketh to the unfruitful in tones of Sinai: and, in the gospel, He saith of the barren fig-tree, “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?”
God is our Father and our Mother, our Minister and the great Physician: He is man’s only real relative on earth and in heaven. David sang, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Glorious things are spoken of you in His Word. Ye are a chosen people, whose God is — what? Even All. May mercy and truth go before you: may the lamp of your life continually be full of oil, and you be wedded to the spiritual idea, Christ; then will you heal, and teach, and preach, on the ascending scale of everlasting Life and Love.
Beloved Pastor and Brethren: — “As in water face answereth to face,” and in love continents clasp hands, so the oneness of God includes also His presence with those whose hearts unite in the purposes of goodness. Of this we may be sure: that thoughts winged with peace and love breathe a silent benediction over all the earth, cooperate with the divine power, and brood unconsciously o’er the work of His hand.
I, as a corporeal person, am not in your midst: I, as a dictator, arbiter, or ruler, am not present; but I, as a mother whose heart pulsates with every throb of theirs for the welfare of her children, am present, and rejoice with them that rejoice.
May meekness, mercy, and love dwell forever in the hearts of those who worship in this tabernacle: then will they receive the heritage that God has prepared for His people, — made ready for the pure in affection, the meek in spirit, the worshipper in truth, the follower of good.
Thus 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.
Exercise more faith in God and His spiritual means 153and methods, than in man and his material ways and means, of establishing the Cause of Christian Science. If right yourself, God will confirm His inheritance. “Be not weary in well doing.” Truth is restful, and Love is triumphant.
When God went forth before His people, they were fed with manna: they marched through the wilderness: they passed through the Red Sea, untouched by the billows. At His command, the rock became a fountain; and the land of promise, green isles of refreshment. In the words of the Psalmist, when “the Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”
God is good to Israel, — washed in the waters of Meribah, cleansed of the flesh, — good to His Israel encompassed not with pride, hatred, self-will, and self-justification; wherein violence covereth men as a garment, and as captives are they enchained.
Christian Scientists bring forth the fruits of Spirit, not flesh; and God giveth this “new name” to no man who honors Him not by positive proof of trustworthiness. May you be able to say, “I have not cleansed my heart in vain.”
Sir Edwin Arnold, to whom I presented a copy of
my first edition of “Science and Health with Key to the
Scriptures,” writes: —
Peace on earth and Good-will!
Souls that are gentle and still
Hear the first music of this
Far-off, infinite, Bliss!
Beloved Brethren: — The spreading branches of The Church of Christ, Scientist, are fast reaching out their broad shelter to the entire world. Your faith has not been without works, — and God’s love for His flock is manifest in His care. He will dig about this little church, prune its encumbering branches, water it with the dews of heaven, enrich its roots, and enlarge its borders with divine Love. God only waits for man’s worthiness to enhance the means and measure of His grace. You have already proof of the prosperity of His Zion. You sit beneath your own vine and fig-tree as the growth of spirituality — even that vine whereof our Father is husbandman.
It is the purpose of divine Love to resurrect the understanding, and the kingdom of God, the reign of harmony already within us. Through the word that is spoken unto you, are you made free. Abide in His word, and it shall abide in you; and the healing Christ will again be made manifest in the flesh — understood and glorified.
Honor thy Father and Mother, God. Continue in His love. Bring forth fruit — “signs following” — that your prayers be not hindered. Pray without ceasing. Watch diligently; never desert the post of spiritual observation and self-examination. Strive for self-abnegation, justice, meekness, mercy, purity, love. Let your light reflect Light. Have no ambition, affection, nor aim apart from holiness. Forget not for a moment, that 155God is All-in-all — therefore, that in reality there is but one cause and effect.
The pride of circumstance or power is the prince of this world that has nothing in Christ. All power and happiness are spiritual, and proceed from goodness. Sacrifice self to bless one another, even as God has blessed you. Forget self in laboring for mankind; then will you woo the weary wanderer to your door, win the pilgrim and stranger to your church, and find access to the heart of humanity. While pressing meekly on, be faithful, be valiant in the Christian’s warfare, and peace will crown your joy.
Beloved Students: — Because Mother has not the time even to read all of her interesting correspondence, and less wherein to answer it (however much she desires thus to do), she hereby requests: First, that you, her students’ students, who write such excellent letters to her, will hereafter, as a general rule, send them to the editors of The Christian Science Journal for publication, and thereby give to us all the pleasure of hearing from you.
If my own students cannot spare time to write to God, — when they address me I shall be apt to forward their letters to Him as our common Parent, and by way of The Christian Science Journal; thus fulfilling their moral obligation to furnish some reading-matter for our denominational organ. Methinks, were they to contemplate the universal charge wherewith divine Love has entrusted us, 156in behalf of a suffering race, they would contribute oftener to the pages of this swift vehicle of scientific thought; for it reaches a vast number of earnest readers, and seekers after Truth. With love,
Beloved Christian Scientists: — Please send in your contributions as usual to our Journal. All is well at headquarters, and when the mist shall melt away you will see clearly the signs of Truth and the heaven of Love within your hearts. Let the reign of peace and harmony be supreme and forever yours.
I proposed to merge the adjourned meeting in the one held at Chicago, because I saw no advantage, but great disadvantage, in one student’s opinions or modus operandi becoming the basis for others: read “Retrospection” on this subject. Science is absolute, and best understood through the study of my works and the daily Christian demonstration thereof. It is their materiality that clogs the progress of students, and “this kind goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting.” It is materialism through which the animal magnetizer preys, and in turn becomes a prey. Spirituality is the basis of all true thought and volition. Assembling themselves together, and listening to each other amicably, or contentiously, is no aid to students in acquiring solid Christian Science. Experience and, above all, obedience, are the aids and tests of growth and understanding in this direction.
My Dear Student: — It is a great thing to be found worthy to suffer for Christ, Truth. Paul said, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” Reign then, my beloved in the Lord. He that marketh the sparrow’s fall will direct thy way.
I have written, or caused my secretary to write, to Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, of Toronto, Canada (you will find their card in The C.S. Journal), that you or your lawyer will ask them all questions important for your case, and requested that they furnish all information possible. They will be glad to help you. Every true Christian Scientist will feel “as bound with you,” but as free in Truth and Love, safe under the shadow of His wing.
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” This I know, for God is for us.
My Beloved Student: — In reply to your letter I will say: God’s ways are not as our ways; but higher far than the heavens above the earth is His wisdom above ours. When I requested you to be ordained, I little thought of the changes about to be made. When I insisted on your speaking without notes, I little knew that so soon another change in your pulpit would be demanded. But now, after His messenger has obeyed the message of divine Love, comes the interpretation thereof. But you see we both had first to obey, and to do this through faith, not sight.
The meaning of it all, as now shown, is this: when you were bidden to be ordained, it was in reward for your faithful service, thus to honor it. The second command, to drop the use of notes, was to rebuke a lack of faith in divine help, and to test your humility and obedience in bearing this cross.
All God’s servants are minute men and women. As of old, I stand with sandals on and staff in hand, waiting for the watchword and the revelation of what, how, whither. Let us be faithful and obedient, and God will do the rest.
In the April number of The Christian Science Journal you will find the forthcoming completion (as I now think) of the divine directions sent out to the churches. It is satisfactory to note, however, that the order therein given corresponds to the example of our Master. Jesus was not ordained as our churches ordain ministers. We have no record that he used notes when preaching. He 159spake in their synagogues, reading the Scriptures and expounding them; and God has given to this age “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” to elucidate His Word.
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!”
I look at the rich devices in embroidery, silver, gold, and jewels, — all gifts of Christian Scientists from all parts of our nation, and some from abroad, — then al160most marvel at the power and permanence of affection under the régime of Christian Science! Never did gratitude and love unite more honestly in uttering the word thanks, than ours at this season. But a mother’s love behind words has no language; it may give no material token, but lives steadily on, through time and circumstance, as part and paramount portion of her being.
Thus may our lives flow on in the same sweet rhythm of head and heart, till they meet and mingle in bliss supernal. There is a special joy in knowing that one is gaining constantly in the knowledge of Truth and divine Love. Your progress, the past year, has been marked. It satisfies my present hope. Of this we rest assured, that every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger and firmer in understanding and obedience.