On the threshold of the twentieth century, will you please send through the Globe to the people of New England, which is the birthplace of Thanksgiving Day, a sentiment on what the last Thanksgiving Day of the nineteenth century should signify to all mankind?
New England’s last Thanksgiving Day of this century signifies to the minds of men the Bible better understood and Truth and Love made more practical; the First Commandment of the Decalogue more imperative, and 265“Love thy neighbor as thyself” more possible and pleasurable.
It signifies that love, unselfed, knocks more loudly than ever before at the heart of humanity and that it finds admittance; that revelation, spiritual voice and vision, are less subordinate to material sight and sound and more apparent to reason; that evil flourishes less, invests less in trusts, loses capital, and is bought at par value; that the Christ-spirit will cleanse the earth of human gore; that civilization, peace between nations, and the brotherhood of man should be established, and justice plead not vainly in behalf of the sacred rights of individuals, peoples, and nations.
It signifies that the Science of Christianity has dawned upon human thought to appear full-orbed in millennial glory; that scientific religion and scientific therapeutics are improving the morals and increasing the longevity of mankind, are mitigating and destroying sin, disease, and death; that religion and materia medica should be no longer tyrannical and proscriptive; that divine Love, impartial and universal, as understood in divine Science, forms the coincidence of the human and divine, which fulfils the saying of our great Master, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love, will reflect this purified subjective state in clearer skies, less thunderbolts, tornadoes, and extremes of heat and cold; that agriculture, manufacture, commerce, and wealth should be governed by honesty, industry, and justice, reaching out to all classes and peoples. For these signs of the times we thank our Father-Mother God.
To my sense, the most imminent dangers confronting the coming century are: the robbing of people of life and liberty under the warrant of the Scriptures; the claims of politics and of human power, industrial slavery, and insufficient freedom of honest competition; and ritual, creed, and trusts in place of the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Your article on the decrease of students in the seminaries and the consequent vacancies occurring in the pulpits, points unmistakably to the “signs of the times” of which Jesus spoke. This flux and flow in one direction, so generally apparent, tends in one ultimate — the final spiritualization of all things, of all codes, modes, hypotheses, of man and the universe. How can it be otherwise, since God is Spirit and the origin of all that really is, and since this great fact is to be verified by the spiritualization of all?
Since 1877, these special “signs of the times” have increased year by year. My book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” was published in 1875. Note, if you please, that many points in theology and materia medica, at that date undisturbed, are now agitated, modified, and disappearing, and the more spiritual modes and significations are adopted.
It is undoubtedly true that Christian Science is destined 267to become the one and the only religion and therapeutics on this planet. And why not, since Christianity is fully demonstrated to be divine Science? Nothing can be correct and continue forever which is not divinely scientific, for Science is the law of the Mind that is God, who is the originator of all that really is. The Scripture reads: “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Here let us remember that God is not the Alpha and Omega of man and the universe; He is supreme, infinite, the great forever, the eternal Mind that hath no beginning and no end, no Alpha and no Omega.
Heaven is spiritual. Heaven is harmony, — infinite, boundless bliss. The dying or the departed enter heaven in proportion to their progress, in proportion to their fitness to partake of the quality and the quantity of heaven. One individual may first awaken from his dream of life in matter with a sense of music; another with that of relief from fear or suffering, and still another with a bitter sense of lost opportunities and remorse. Heaven is the reign of divine Science. Material thought tends to obscure spiritual understanding, to darken the true conception of man’s divine Principle, Love, wherein and whereby soul is emancipate and environed with everlasting Life. Our great Teacher hath said: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you” — within man’s spiritual understanding of all the divine modes, means, forms, expression, and manifestation of goodness and happiness.
The nuptial vow should never be annulled so long as the morale of marriage is preserved. The frequency of divorce shows that the imperative nature of the marriage relation is losing ground, — hence that some fundamental error is engrafted on it. What is this error? If the motives of human affection are right, the affections are enduring and achieving. What God hath joined together, man cannot sunder.
Divorce and war should be exterminated according to the Principle of law and gospel, — the maintenance of individual rights, the justice of civil codes, and the power of Truth uplifting the motives of men. Two commandments of the Hebrew Decalogue, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” and “Thou shalt not kill,” obeyed, will eliminate divorce and war. On what hath not a “Thus saith the Lord,” I am as silent as the dumb centuries without a living Divina.
This time-world flutters in my thought as an unreal shadow, and I can only solace the sore ills of mankind by a lively battle with “the world, the flesh and the devil,” in which Love is the liberator and gives man the victory over himself. Truth, canonized by life and love, lays the axe at the root of all evil, lifts the curtain on the Science of being, the Science of wedlock, of living and of loving, and harmoniously ascends the scale of life. Look high enough, and you see the heart of humanity warming and winning. Look long enough, and you see male and female one — sex or gender eliminated; you see the designation man meaning woman as well, and you see the 269whole universe included in one infinite Mind and reflected in the intelligent compound idea, image or likeness, called man, showing forth the infinite divine Principle, Love, called God, — man wedded to the Lamb, pledged to innocence, purity, perfection. Then shall humanity have learned that “they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God.” (Luke 20 : 35, 36.) This, therefore, is Christ’s plan of salvation from divorce.
God hath thrust in the sickle, and He is separating the tares from the wheat. This hour is molten in the furnace of Soul. Its harvest song is world-wide, world-known, world-great. The vine is bringing forth its fruit; the beams of right have healing in their light. The windows of heaven are sending forth their rays of reality — even Christian Science, pouring out blessing for cursing, and rehearsing: “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground.” “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The lie and the liar are self-destroyed. Truth is im270mortal. “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: . . . for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The cycle of good obliterates the epicycle of evil.
Because of the magnitude of their spiritual import, we repeat the signs of these times. In 1905, the First Congregational Church, my first religious home in this capital city of Concord, N.H., kindly invited me to its one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary; the leading editors and newspapers of my native State congratulate me; the records of my ancestry attest honesty and valor. Divine Love, nearer my consciousness than before, saith: I am rewarding your waiting, and “thy people shall be my people.”
Let error rage and imagine a vain thing. Mary Baker Eddy is not dead, and the words of those who say that she is are the father of their wish. Her life is proven under trial, and evidences “as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Those words of our dear, departing Saviour, breathing love for his enemies, fill my heart: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” My writings heal the sick, and I thank God that for the past forty years I have returned good for evil, and that I can appeal to Him as my witness to the truth of this statement.
What we love determines what we are. I love the prosperity of Zion, be it promoted by Catholic, by Protestant, or by Christian Science, which anoints with Truth, opening the eyes of the blind and healing the sick. I would no more quarrel with a man because of his religion than I would because of his art. The divine Principle of Christian Science will ultimately be seen to control both religion and art in unity and harmony. God is Spirit, and “they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit 271and in truth.” If, as the Scriptures declare, God, Spirit, is infinite, matter and material sense are null, and there are no vertebrata, mollusca, or radiata.
When I wrote “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” I little understood all that I indited; but when I practised its precepts, healing the sick and reforming the sinner, then I learned the truth of what I had written. It is of comparatively little importance what a man thinks or believes he knows; the good that a man does is the one thing needful and the sole proof of rightness.
In a modest, pleasantly situated home in the city of Concord, N.H., lives at eighty-six years of age the most discussed woman in all the world. This lady with sweet smile and snowy hair is Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, Founder and Leader of Christian Science, beloved of thousands of believers and followers of the thought that has made her famous. It was to this aged woman of world-wide renown that the editor of The Evening Press addressed this question, requesting the courtesy of a reply: —
Editor of The Evening Press: — To your courtesy and to your question permit me to say that, insomuch as I know myself, what is “nearest and dearest” to my heart 272is an honest man or woman — one who steadfastly and actively strives for perfection, one who leavens the loaf of life with justice, mercy, truth, and love.
The real man was, is, and ever shall be the divine ideal, that is, God’s image and likeness; and Christian Science reveals the divine Principle, the example, the rule, and the demonstration of this idealism.
EDITOR’S NOTE. — The Cosmopolitan presents this month to its readers a facsimile of an article sent to us by Mrs. Eddy, with the corrections on the manuscript reproduced in her own handwriting. Not only Mrs. Eddy’s own devoted followers, but the public generally, will be interested in this communication from the extraordinary woman who, nearly eighty-seven years of age, plays so great a part in the world and leads with such conspicuous success her very great following.
Mrs. Eddy writes very rarely for any publications outside of the Christian Science periodicals, and our readers will be interested in this presentation of the thought of a mind that has had so much influence on this generation.
The Cosmopolitan gives no editorial indorsement to the teachings 273of Christian Science, it has no religious opinions or predilections to put before its readers. This manuscript is presented simply as an interesting and remarkable proof of Mrs. Eddy’s ability in old age to vindicate in her own person the value of her teachings.
Certainly, Christian Scientists, enthusiastic in their belief, are fortunate in being able to point to a Leader far beyond the allotted years of man, emerging triumphantly from all attacks upon her, and guiding with remarkable skill, determination, and energy a very great organization that covers practically the civilized world.
I for one accept his wise deduction, his ultimate or spiritual sense of thinking, feeling, and acting, and its reward. This sense of rightness acquired by experience and wisdom, should be early presented to youth and to manhood in order to forewarn and forearm humanity.
The ultimatum of life here and hereafter is utterly apart from a material or personal sense of pleasure, pain, joy, sorrow, life, and death. The truth of life, or life in truth, is a scientific knowledge that is portentous; and is won only by the spiritual understanding of Life as God, good, ever-present good, and therefore life eternal.
You will agree with me that the material body is mortal, but Soul is immortal; also that the five personal senses are perishable: they lapse and relapse, come and go, until at length they are consigned to dust. But say you, “Man awakes from the dream of death in possession of the five personal senses, does he not?” Yes, because death alone does not awaken man in God’s image and likeness. The divine Science of Life alone gives 274the true sense of life and of righteousness, and demonstrates the Principle of life eternal; even the Life that is Soul apart from the so-called life of matter or the material senses.
Death alone does not absolve man from a false material sense of life, but goodness, holiness, and love do this, and so consummate man’s being with the harmony of heaven; the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of Life, even its all-power, all-presence, all-Science.
Dear reader, right thinking, right feeling, and right acting — honesty, purity, unselfishness — in youth tend to success, intellectuality, and happiness in manhood. To begin rightly enables one to end rightly, and thus it is that one achieves the Science of Life, demonstrates health, holiness, and immortality. *
Will the dear Christian Scientists accept my thanks for their magnificent gifts, and allow me to say that I am not fond of an abundance of material presents; but I am cheered and blessed when beholding Christian healing, unity among brethren, and love to God and man; this is my crown of rejoicing, for it demonstrates Christian Science.
Christian Science can and does produce universal fellowship. As the sequence of divine Love it explains love, it lives love, it demonstrates love. The human, material, so-called senses do not perceive this fact until they are controlled by divine Love; hence the Scripture, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Permit me to say, the report that I am sick (and I trust the desire thereof) is dead, and should be buried. Whereas the fact that I am well and keenly alive to the truth of being — the Love that is Life — is sure and steadfast. I go out in my carriage daily, and have omitted my drive but twice since I came to Massachusetts. Either my work, the demands upon my time at home, or the weather, is all that prevents my daily drive.
Doing unto others as we would that they do by us, is immortality’s self. Intrepid, self-oblivious love fulfils the law and is self-sustaining and eternal. With white-winged charity brooding over all, spiritually understood and demonstrated, let us unite in one Te Deum of praise.
Since Mrs. Eddy is watched, as one watches a criminal or a sick person, she begs to say, in her own behalf, that she is neither; therefore to be criticized or judged by either a daily drive or a dignified stay at home, is superfluous. When accumulating work requires it, or because of a preference to remain within doors she omits her drive, do not strain at gnats or swallow camels over it, but try to be composed and resigned to the shocking fact that she is minding her own business, and recommends this surprising privilege to all her dear friends and enemies.