Retrospection and Introspection

Retrospection and Introspection

Foundation Work

30As the pioneer of Christian Science I stood alone in this conflict, endeavoring to smite error with the falchion of Truth. The rare bequests of Christian Science are costly, and they have won fields of battle from which the dainty borrower would have fled. Ceaseless toil, self-renunciation, and love, have cleared its pathway.

    The motive of my earliest labors has never changed. It was to relieve the sufferings of humanity by a sanitary system that should include all moral and religious reform.

    It is often asked why Christian Science was revealed to me as one intelligence, analyzing, uncovering, and annihilating the false testimony of the physical senses. Why was this conviction necessary to the right apprehension of the invincible and infinite energies of Truth and Love, as contrasted with the foibles and fables of finite mind and material existence.

    The answer is plain. St. Paul declared that the law was the schoolmaster, to bring him to Christ. Even so was I led into the mazes of divine metaphysics through the gospel of suffering, the providence of God, and the cross of Christ. No one else can drain the cup which I have drunk to the dregs as the Discoverer and teacher of Christian Science; neither can its inspiration be gained without tasting this cup.

31    The loss of material objects of affection sunders the dominant ties of earth and points to heaven. Nothing can compete with Christian Science, and its demonstration, in showing this solemn certainty in growing freedom and vindicating “the ways of God” to man. The absolute proof and self-evident propositions of Truth are immeasurably paramount to rubric and dogma in proving the Christ.

    From my very childhood I was impelled, by a hunger and thirst after divine things, — a desire for something higher and better than matter, and apart from it, — to seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe. The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material; for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe, — the heart’s untamed desire which breaketh the divine commandments. As says St. James: “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

    Into mortal mind’s material obliquity I gazed, and stood abashed. Blanched was the cheek of pride. My heart bent low before the omnipotence of Spirit, and a tint of humility, soft as the heart of a moonbeam, mantled the earth. Bethlehem and Bethany, Gethsemane and Calvary, spoke to my chastened sense as by the tearful lips of a babe. Frozen fountains were unsealed. Erudite systems of philosophy and religion melted, for Love unveiled the healing promise and potency of a present spiritual afflatus. 32It was the gospel of healing, on its divinely appointed human mission, bearing on its white wings, to my apprehension, “the beauty of holiness,” — even the possibilities of spiritual insight, knowledge, and being.

    Early had I learned that whatever is loved materially, as mere corporeal personality, is eventually lost. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it,” saith the Master. Exultant hope, if tinged with earthliness, is crushed as the moth.

    What is termed mortal and material existence is graphically defined by Calderon, the famous Spanish poet, who wrote, —
      What is life? ’Tis but a madness.
         What is life? A mere illusion,
         Fleeting pleasure, fond delusion,
      Short-lived joy, that ends in sadness,
         Whose most constant substance seems
         But the dream of other dreams.