Miscellaneous Writings/Chapter 08
PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT
“Thy Will be Done”
THIS is the law of Truth to error, “Thou shalt surely die.” This law is a divine energy. Mortals cannot prevent the fulfilment of this law; it covers all sin and its effects. God is All, and by virtue of this nature and allness He is cognizant only of good. Like a legislative bill that governs millions of mortals whom the legislators know not, the universal law of God has no knowledge of evil, and enters unconsciously the human heart and governs it.
Mortals have only to submit to the law of God, come into sympathy with it, and to let His will be done. This unbroken motion of the law of divine Love gives, to the weary and heavy-laden, rest. But who is willing to do His will or to let it be done? Mortals obey their own wills, and so disobey the divine order.
All states and stages of human error are met and mastered by divine Truth's negativing error in the way of God's appointing. Those “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” His rod brings to view His love, and interprets to mortals the gospel of healing. David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word.” He who knows the end from the beginning, attaches to sin due penalties as its antidotes and remedies.
Who art thou, vain mortal, that usurpest the prerogative of divine wisdom, and wouldst teach God not to punish sin? that wouldst shut the mouth of His prophets, and cry, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace,” — yea, that healest the wounds of my people slightly?
The Principle of divine Science being Love, the divine rule of this Principle demonstrates Love, and proves that human belief fulfils the law of belief, and dies of its own physics. Metaphysics also demonstrates this Principle of cure when sin is self-destroyed. Short-sighted physics admits the so-called pains of matter that destroy its more dangerous pleasures.
Insomnia compels mortals to learn that neither oblivion nor dreams can recuperate the life of man, whose Life is God, for God neither slumbers nor sleeps. The loss of gustatory enjoyment and the ills of indigestion tend to rebuke appetite and destroy the peace of a false sense. False pleasure will be, is, chastened; it has no right to be at peace. To suffer for having “other gods before me,” is divinely wise. Evil passions die in their own flames, but are punished before extinguished. Peace has no foothold on the false basis that evil should be concealed and that life and happiness should still attend it. Joy is self-sustained; goodness and blessedness are one: suffering is self-inflicted, and good is the master of evil.
To this scientific logic and the logic of events, egotism and false charity say, “ ‘Not so, Lord;’ it is wise to cover iniquity and punish it not, then shall mortals have peace.” Divine Love, as unconscious as incapable of error, pursues the evil that hideth itself, strips off its disguises, and — behold the result: evil, uncovered, is self-destroyed.
Christian Science never healed a patient without proving with mathematical certainty that error, when found out, is two-thirds destroyed, and the remaining third kills itself. Do men whine over a nest of serpents, and post around it placards warning people not to stir up these reptiles because they have stings? Christ said, “They shall take up serpents;” and, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” The wisdom of a serpent is to hide itself. The wisdom of God, as revealed in Christian Science, brings the serpent out of its hole, handles it, and takes away its sting. Good deeds are harmless. He who has faith in woman's special adaptability to lead on Christian Science, will not be shocked when she puts her foot on the head of the serpent, as it biteth at the heel.
Intemperance begets a belief of disordered brains, membranes, stomach, and nerves; and this belief serves to uncover and kill this lurking serpent, intemperance, that hides itself under the false pretense of human need, innocent enjoyment, and a medical prescription. The belief in venereal diseases tears the black mask from the shameless brow of licentiousness, torments its victim, and thus may save him from his destroyer.
Charity has the courage of conviction; it may suffer long, but has neither the cowardice nor the foolhardiness to cover iniquity. Charity is Love; and Love opens the eyes of the blind, rebukes error, and casts it out. Charity never flees before error, lest it should suffer from an encounter. Love your enemies, or you will not lose them; and if you love them, you will help to reform them.
Christ points the way of salvation. His mode is not cowardly, uncharitable, nor unwise, but it teaches mortals to handle serpents and cast out evil. Our own vision must be clear to open the eyes of others, else the blind will lead the blind and both shall fall. The sickly charity that supplies criminals with bouquets has been dealt with summarily by the good judgment of people in the old Bay State. Inhuman medical bills, class legislation, and Salem witchcraft, are not indigenous to her soil.
“Out of the depths have I delivered thee.” The drowning man just rescued from the merciless wave is unconscious of suffering. Why, then, do you break his peace and cause him to suffer in coming to life? Because you wish to save him from death. Then, if a criminal is at peace, is he not to be pitied and brought back to life? Or, are you afraid to do this lest he suffer, trample on your pearls of thought, and turn on you and rend you? Cowardice is selfishness. When one protects himself at his neighbor's cost, let him remember, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it.” He risks nothing who obeys the law of God, and shall find the Life that cannot be lost.
Our Master said, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup.” Jesus stormed sin in its citadels and kept peace with God. He drank this cup giving thanks, and he said to his followers, “Drink ye all of it,” — drink it all, and let all drink of it. He lived the spirit of his prayer, — “Thy kingdom come.” Shall we repeat our Lord's Prayer when the heart denies it, refuses to bear the cross and to fulfil the conditions of our petition? Human policy is a fool that saith in his heart, “No God” — a caressing Judas that betrays you, and commits suicide. This godless policy never knows what happiness is, and how it is obtained.
Jesus did his work, and left his glorious career for our example. On the shore of Gennesaret he tersely reminded his students of their worldly policy. They had suffered, and seen their error. This experience caused them to remember the reiterated warning of their Master and cast their nets on the right side. When they were fit to be blest, they received the blessing. The ultimatum of their human sense of ways and means ought to silence ours. One step away from the direct line of divine Science cost them — what? A speedy return under the reign of difficulties, darkness, and unrequited toil.
The currents of human nature rush in against the right course; health, happiness, and life flow not into one of their channels. The law of Love saith, “Not my will, but Thine, be done,” and Christian Science proves that human will is lost in the divine; and Love, the white Christ, is the remunerator.
If, consciously or unconsciously, one is at work in a wrong direction, who will step forward and open his eyes to see this error? He who is a Christian Scientist, who has cast the beam out of his own eye, speaks plainly to the offender and tries to show his errors to him before letting another know it.
Pitying friends took down from the cross the fainting form of Jesus, and buried it out of their sight. His disciples, who had not yet drunk of his cup, lost sight of him; they could not behold his Immortal being in the form of Godlikeness.
All that I have written, taught, or lived, that is good, flowed through cross-bearing, self-forgetfulness, and my faith in the right. Suffering or Science, or both, in the proportion that their instructions are assimilated, will point the war, shorten the process, and consummate the joys of acquiescence in the methods of divine Love. The Scripture saith, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” No risk is so stupendous as to neglect opportunities which God giveth, and not to forewarn and forearm our fellow-mortals against the evil which, if seen, can be destroyed.
May my friends and my enemies so profit by these waymarks, that what has chastened and illumined another's way may perfect their own lives by gentle benedictions. In every age, the pioneer reformer must pass through a baptism of fire. But the faithful adherents of Truth have gone on rejoicing. Christian Science gives a fearless wing and firm foundation. These are its inspiring tones from the lips of our Master, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” He is but “an hireling” who fleeth when he seeth the wolf coming.
Loyal Christian Scientists, be of good cheer: the night is far spent, the day dawns; God's universal kingdom will appear, Love will reign in every heart, and His will be done on earth as in heaven.
“Put up Thy Sword”
While Jesus' life was full of Love, and a demonstration of Love, it appeared hate to the carnal mind, or mortal thought, of his time. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.”
This action of Jesus was stimulated by the same Love that closed — to the senses — that wondrous life, and that summed up its demonstration in the command, “Put up thy sword.” The very conflict his Truth brought, in accomplishing its purpose of Love, meant, all the way through, “Put up thy sword;” but the sword must have been drawn before it could be returned into the scabbard.
My students need to search the Scriptures and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” to understand the personal Jesus' labor in the flesh for their salvation: they need to do this even to understand my works, their motives, aims, and tendency.
The attitude of mortal mind in being healed morally, is the same as its attitude physically. The Christian Scientist cannot heal the sick, and take error along with Truth, either in the recognition or approbation of it. This would prevent the possibility of destroying the tares: they must be separated from the wheat before they can be burned, and Jesus foretold the harvest hour and the final destruction of error through this very process, — the sifting and the fire. The tendency of mortal mind is to go from one extreme to another: Truth comes into the intermediate space, saying, “I wound to heal; I punish to reform; I do it all in lore; my peace I leave with thee: not as the world giveth, give I unto thee. Arise, let us go hence; let us depart from the material sense of God's ways and means, and gain a spiritual understanding of them.”
But let us not seek to climb up some other way, as we shall do if we take the end for the beginning or start from wrong motives. Christian Science demands order and truth. To abide by these we must first understand the Principle and object of our work, and be clear that it is Love, peace, and good will toward men. Then we shall demonstrate the Principle in the way of His appointment, and not according to the infantile conception of our way; as when a child in sleep walks on the summit of the roof of the house because he is a somnambulist, and thinks he is where he is not, and would fall immediately if he knew where he was and what he was doing.
My students are at the beginning of their demonstration; they have a long warfare with error in themselves and in others to finish, and they must at this stage use the sword of Spirit.
They cannot in the beginning take the attitude, nor adopt the words, that Jesus used at the end of his demonstration.
If you would follow in his footsteps, you must not try to gather the harvest while the corn is in the blade, nor yet when it is in the ear; a wise spiritual discernment must be used in your application of his words and inference from his acts, to guide your own state of combat with error. There remaineth, it is true, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; but we most first have done our work, and entered into our rest, as the Scriptures give example.
In the May number of our Journal, there appeared a review of, and some extracts from, “Scientific Theism,” by Phare Pleigh.
Now, Phare Pleigh evidently means more than “hands off.” A live lexicographer, given to the Anglo-Saxon tongue, might add to the above definition the “laying on of hands,” as well. Whatever his nom de plume means, an acquaintance with the author justifies one in the conclusion that he is a power in criticism, a big protest against injustice; but, the best may be mistaken.
One of these extracts is the story of the Cheshire Cat, which “vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.” Was this a witty or a happy hit at idealism, to illustrate the author's following point? —
“When philosophy becomes fairy-land, in which neither laws of nature nor the laws of reason hold good, the attempt of phenomenism to conceive the universe as a phenomenon without a noumenon may succeed, but not before; for it is an attempt to conceive a grin without a cat.”
True idealism is a divine Science, which combines in logical sequence, nature, reason, and revelation. An effect without a cause is inconceivable; neither philosophy nor reason attempts to find one; but all should conceive and understand that Spirit cannot become less than Spirit; hence that the universe of God is spiritual, — even the ideal world whose cause is the self-created Principle, with which its ideal or phenomenon must correspond in quality and quantity.
The fallacy of an unscientific statement is this: that matter and Spirit are one and eternal; or, that the phenomenon of Spirit is the antipode of Spirit, namely, matter. Nature declares, throughout the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, that the specific nature of all things is unchanged, and that nature is constituted of and by Spirit.
Sensuous and material realistic views presuppose that nature is matter, and that Deity is a finite person containing infinite Mind; and that these opposites, in suppositional unity and personality, produce matter, — a third quality unlike God. Again, that matter is both cause and effect, but that the effect is antagonistic to its cause; that death is at war with Life, evil with good, — and man a rebel against his Maker. This is neither Science nor theism. According to Holy Writ, it is a kingdom divided against itself, that shall be brought to desolation.
The nature of God must change in order to become matter, or to become both finite and infinite; and matter must disappear, for Spirit to appear. To the material sense, everything is matter; but spiritualize human thought, and our convictions change: for spiritual sense takes in new views, in which nature becomes Spirit; and Spirit is God, and God is good. Science unfolds the fact that Deity was forever Mind, Spirit; that matter never produced Mind, and vice versa.
The visible universe declares the invisible only by reversion, as error declares Truth. The testimony of material sense in relation to existence is false; for matter can neither see, hear, nor feel, and mortal mind must change all its conceptions of life, substance, and intelligence, before it can reach the immortality of Mind and its ideas. It is erroneous to accept the evidence of the material senses whence to reason out God, when it is conceded that the five personal senses can take no cognizance of Spirit or of its phenomena. False realistic views sap the Science of Principle and idea; they make Deity unreal and inconceivable, either as mind or matter; but Truth comes to the rescue of reason and immortality, and unfolds the real nature of God and the universe to the spiritual sense, which beareth witness of things spiritual, and not material.
To begin with, the notion of Spirit as cause and end, with matter as its effect, is more ridiculous than the “grin without a cat;” for a grin expresses the nature of a cat, and this nature may linger in memory: but matter does not express the nature of Spirit, and matter's graven grins are neither eliminated nor retained by Spirit. What can illustrate Dr. ——'s views better than Pat's echo, when he said “How do you do?” and echo answered, “Pretty well, I thank you!”
Dr. —— says: “The recognition of teleology in nature is necessarily the recognition of purely spiritual personality in God.”
According to lexicography, teleology is the science of the final cause of things; and divine Science (and all Science is divine) neither reveals God in matter, cause in effect, nor teaches that nature and her laws are the material universe, or that the personality of infinite Spirit is finite or material. Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” Now, what saith the Scripture? “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
It is admitted that mortals think wickedly and act wickedly: it is beginning to be seen by thinkers, that mortals think also after a sickly fashion. In common parlance, one person feels sick, another feels wicked. A third person knows that if he would remove this feeling in either case, in the one he must change his patient's consciousness of dis-ease and suffering to a consciousness of ease and loss of suffering; while in the other he must change the patient's sense of sinning at ease to a sense of discomfort in sin and peace in goodness.
This is Christian Science: that mortal mind makes sick, and immortal Mind makes well; that mortal mind makes sinners, while immortal Mind makes saints; that a state of health is but a state of consciousness made manifest on the body, and vice versa; that while one person feels wickedly and acts wickedly, another knows that if he can change this evil sense and consciousness to a good sense, or conscious goodness, the fruits of goodness will follow, and he has reformed the sinner.
Now, demonstrate this rule, which obtains in every line of mental healing, and you will find that a good rule works one way, and a false rule the opposite way.
Let us suppose that there is a sick person whom another would heal mentally. The healer begins by mental argument. He mentally says, “You are well, and you know it;” and he supports this silent mental force by audible explanation, attestation, and precedent. His mental and oral arguments aim to refute the sick man's thoughts, words, and actions, in certain directions, and turn them into channels of Truth. He persists in this course until the patient's mind yields, and the harmonious thought has the full control over this mind on the point at issue. The end is attained, and the patient says and feels, “I am well, and I know it.”
This mental practitioner has changed his patient's consciousness from sickness to health. The patient's mental state is now the diametrical opposite of what it was when the mental practitioner undertook to transform it, and he is improved morally and physically.
That this mental method has power and bears fruit, is patent both to the conscientious Christian Scientist and the observer. Both should understand with equal clearness, that if this mental process and power be reversed, and people believe that a man is sick and knows it, and speak of him as being sick, put it into the minds of others that he is sick, publish it in the newspapers that he is failing, and persist in this action of mind over mind, it follows that he will believe that he is sick, — and Jesus said it would be according to the woman's belief; but if with the certainty of Science he knows that an error of belief has not the power of Truth, and cannot, does not, produce the slightest effect, it has no power over him. Thus a mental malpractitioner may lose his power to harm by a false mental argument; for it gives one opportunity to handle the error, and when mastering it one gains in the rules of metaphysics, and thereby learns more of its divine Principle. Error produces physical sufferings, and these sufferings show the fundamental Principle of Christian Science; namely, that error and sickness are one, and Truth is their remedy.
The evil-doer can do little at removing the effect of sin on himself, unless he believes that sin has produced the effect and knows he is a sinner; or, knowing that he is a sinner, if he denies it, the good effect is lost. Either of these states of mind will stultify the power to heal mentally. This accounts for many helpless mental practitioners and mysterious diseases.
Again: If error is the cause of disease, Truth being the cure, denial of this fact in one instance and acknowledgment of it in another saps one's understanding of the Science of Mind-healing. Such denial dethrones demonstration, baffles the student of Mind-healing, and divorces his work from Science. Such denial also contradicts the doctrine that we must mentally struggle against both evil and disease, and is like saying that five times ten are fifty while ten times five are not fifty; as if the multiplication of the same two numbers would not yield the same product whichever might serve as the multiplicand.
Who would tell another of a crime that he himself is committing, or call public attention to that crime? The belief in evil and in the process of evil, holds the issues of death to the evil-doer. It takes away a man's proper sense of good, and gives him a false sense of both evil and good. It inflames envy, passion, evil-speaking, and strife. It reverses Christian Science in all things. It causes the victim to believe that he is advancing while injuring himself and others. This state of false consciousness in many cases causes the victim great physical suffering; and conviction of his wrong state of feeling reforms him, and so heals him: or, failing of conviction and reform, he becomes morally paralyzed — in other words, a moral idiot.
In this state of misled consciousness, one is ready to listen complacently to audible falsehoods that once he would have resisted and loathed; and this, because the false seems true. The malicious mental argument and its action on the mind of the perpetrator, is fatal, morally and physically. From the effects of mental malpractice the subject scarcely awakes in time, and must suffer its full penalty after death. This sin against divine Science is cancelled only through human agony: the measure it has meted must be remeasured to it.
The crimes committed under this new régime of mind-power, when brought to light, will make stout hearts quail. Its mystery protects it now, for it is not yet known. Error is more abstract than Truth. Even the healing Principle, whose power seems inexplicable, is not so obscure; for this is the power of God, and good should seem more natural than evil.
I shall not forget the cost of investigating, for this age, the methods and power of error. While the ways, means, and potency of Truth had flowed into my consciousness as easily as dawns the morning light and shadows flee, the metaphysical mystery of error — its hidden paths, purpose, and fruits — at first defied me. I was saying all the time, “Come not thou into the secret” — but at length took up the research according to God's command.
Streams which purify, necessarily have pure fountains; while impure streams flow from corrupt sources. Here, divine light, logic, and revelation coincide.
Science proves, beyond cavil, that the tree is known by its fruit; that mind reaches its own ideal, and cannot be separated from it. I respect that moral sense which is sufficiently strong to discern what it believes, and to say, if it must, “I discredit Mind with having the power to heal.” This individual disbelieves in Mind-healing, and is consistent. But, alas! for the mistake of believing in mental healing, claiming full faith in the divine Principle, and saying, “I am a Christian Scientist,” while doing unto others what we would resist to the hilt if done unto ourselves.
May divine Love so permeate the affections of all those who have named the name of Christ in its fullest sense, that no counteracting influence can hinder their growth or taint their examples.
There is immense wisdom in the old proverb, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” Hannah More said, “If I wished to punish my enemy, I should make him hate somebody.”
To punish ourselves for others' faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another's bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it, It is our pride that makes another's criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another's deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another's self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.
A courtier told Constantine that a mob had broken the head of his statue with stones. The emperor lifted his hands to his head, saying: “It is very surprising, but I don't feel hurt in the least.”
We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God.
Nothing short of our own errors should offend us. He who can wilfully attempt to injure another, is an object of pity rather than of resentment; while it is a question in my mind, whether there is enough of a flatterer, a fool, or a liar, to offend a whole-souled woman.
Hints to the Clergy
At the residence of Mr. Rawson, of Arlington, Massachusetts, a happy concourse of friends had gathered to celebrate the eighty-second birthday of his mother — a friend of mine, and a Christian Scientist.
Among the guests, were an orthodox clergyman, his wife and child.
In the course of the evening, conversation drifted to the seventh modern wonder, Christian Science; whereupon the mother, Mrs. Rawson, who had drunk at its fount, firmly bore testimony to the power of Christ, Truth, to heal the sick.
Soon after this conversation, the clergyman's son was taken violently ill. Then was the clergyman's opportunity to demand a proof of what the Christian Scientist had declared; and he said to this venerable Christian: —
“If you heal my son, when seeing, I may be led to believe.”
Mrs. Rawson then rose from her seat, and sat down beside the sofa whereon lay the lad with burning brow, moaning in pain.
Looking away from all material aid, to the spiritual source and ever-present help, silently, through the divine power, she healed him.
The deep flush faded from the face, a cool perspiration spread over it, and he slept.
In about one hour he awoke, and was hungry.
The parents said: —
“Wait until we get home, and you shall have some gruel.”
But Mrs. Rawson said: —
“Give the child what he relishes, and doubt not that the Father of all will care for him.”
Thus, the unbiased youth and the aged Christian carried the case on the side of God; and, after eating several ice-creams, the clergyman's son returned home — well.
Perfidy and Slander
What has an individual gained by losing his own self-respect? or what has he lost when, retaining his own, he loses the homage of fools, or the pretentious praise of hypocrites, false to themselves as to others?
Shakespeare, the immortal lexicographer of mortals, writes: —
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
When Aristotle was asked what a person could gain by uttering a falsehood, he replied, “Not to be credited when he shall tell the truth.”
The character of a liar and hypocrite is so contemptible, that even of those who have lost their honor it might be expected that from the violation of truth they should be restrained by their pride.
Perfidy of an inferior quality, such as manages to evade the law, and which dignified natures cannot stoop to notice, except legally, disgraces human nature more than do most vices.
Slander is a midnight robber; the red-tongued assassin of radical worth; the conservative swindler, who sells himself in a traffic by which he can gain nothing. It can retire for forgiveness to no fraternity where its crime may stand in the place of a virtue; but must at length be given up to the hisses of the multitude, without friend and without apologist.
Law has found it necessary to offer to the innocent, security from slanderers — those pests of society — when their crime comes within its jurisdiction. Thus, to evade the penalty of law, and yet with malice aforethought to extend their evil intent, is the nice distinction by which they endeavor to get their weighty stuff into the hands of gossip! Some uncharitable one may give it a forward move, and, ere that one himself become aware, find himself responsible for kind(?) endeavors.
Would that my pen or pity could raise these weak, pitifully poor objects from their choice of self-degradation to the nobler purposes and wider aims of a life made honest; a life in which the fresh flowers of feeling blossom, and, like the camomile, the more trampled upon, the sweeter the odor they send forth to benefit mankind; a life wherein calm, self-respected thoughts abide in tabernacles of their own, dwelling upon a holy hill, speaking the truth in the heart; a life wherein the mind can rest in green pastures, beside the still waters, on isles of sweet refreshment The sublime summary of an honest life satisfies the mind craving a higher good, and bathes it in the cool waters of peace on earth; till it grows into the full stature of wisdom, reckoning its own by the amount of happiness it has bestowed upon others.
Not to avenge one's self upon one's enemies, is the command of almighty wisdom; and we take this to be a safer guide than the promptings of human nature. To know that a deception dark as it is base has been practised upon thee, — by those deemed at least indebted friends whose welfare thou hast promoted, — and yet not to avenge thyself, is to do good to thyself; is to take a new standpoint whence to look upward; is to be calm amid excitement, just amid lawlessness, and pure amid corruption.
To be a great man or woman, to have a name whose odor fills the world with its fragrance, is to bear with patience the bufferings of envy or malice — even while seeking to raise those barren natures to a capacity for a higher life. We should look with pitying eye on the momentary success of all villanies, on mad ambition and low revenge. This will bring us also to look on a kind, true, and just person, faithful to conscience and honest beyond reproach, as the only suitable fabric out of which to weave an existence fit for earth and heaven.
Whatever man sees, feels, or in any way takes cognizance of, must be caught through mind; inasmuch as perception, sensation, and consciousness belong to mind and not to matter. Floating with the popular current of mortal thought without questioning the reliability of its conclusions, we do what others do, believe what others believe, and say what others say. Common consent is contagious, and it makes disease catching.
People believe in infectious and contagious diseases, and that any one is liable to have them under certain predisposing or exciting causes. This mental state prepares one to have any disease whenever there appear the circumstances which he believes produce it. If he believed as sincerely that health is catching when exposed to contact with healthy people, he would catch their state of feeling quite as surely and with better effect than he does the sick man's.
If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil, since God is omnipresence, how much more certain would be the doctor's success, and the clergyman's conversion of sinners. And if only the pulpit would encourage faith in God in this direction, and faith in Mind over all other influences governing the receptivity of the body, theology would teach man as David taught; “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
The confidence of mankind in contagious disease would thus become beautifully less; and In the same proportion would faith in the power of God to heal and to save mankind increase, until the whole human race would become healthier, holier, happier, and longer lived. A calm, Christian state of mind is a better preventive of contagion than a drug, or than any other possible sanative method; and the “perfect Love” that “casteth out fear” is a sure defense.
Improve Your Time
Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. A great amount of time is consumed in talking nothing, doing nothing, and indecision as to what one should do. If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present.
Three ways of wasting time, one of which is contemptible, are gossiping mischief, making lingering calls, and mere motion when at work, thinking of nothing or planning for some amusement,—travel of limb more than mind. Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much.
All successful individuals have become such by hard work; by improving moments before they pass into hours, and hours that other people may occupy in the pursuit of pleasure. They spend no time in sheer idleness, in talking when they have nothing to say, in building air-castles or floating off on the wings of sense: all of which drop human life into the ditch of nonsense, and worse than waste its years.
|“||Let us, then, be up and doing,|
|With a heart for any fate;|
|Still achieving, still pursuing,|
|Learn to labor and to wait.”|
It was a beautiful group! needing but canvas and the touch of an artist to render it pathetic, tender, gorgeous. Age, on whose hoary head the almond-blossom formed a crown of glory; middle age, in smiles and the full fruition of happiness; infancy, exuberant with joy, — ranged side by side. The sober-suited grandmother, rich in experience, had seen sunshine and shadow fall upon ninety-six years. Four generations sat at that dinner-table. The rich viands made busy many appetites; but, what of the poor! Willingly — though I take no stock in spirit-rappings — would I have had the table give a spiritual groan for the unfeasted ones.
Under the skilful carving of the generous host, the mammoth turkey grew beautifully less. His was the glory to vie with guests in the dexterous use of knife and fork, until delicious pie, pudding, and fruit caused unconditional surrender.
And the baby! Why, he made a big hole, with two incisors, in a big pippin, and bit the finger presumptuously poked into the little mouth to arrest the peel! Then he was caught walking! one, two, three steps, — and papa knew that he could walk, but grandpa was taken napping. Now! baby has tumbled, soft as thistle-down, on the floor; and instead of a real set-to at crying, a look of cheer and a toy from mamma bring the soft little palms patting together, and pucker the rosebud mouth into saying, “Oh, pretty!” That was a scientific baby; and his first sitting-at-table on Thanksgiving Day — yes, and his little rainbowy life — brought sunshine to every heart. How many homes echo such tones of heartfelt joy on Thanksgiving Day! But, alas! for the desolate home; for the tear-filled eyes looking longingly at the portal through which the loved one comes not, or gazing silently on the vacant seat at fireside and board — God comfort them all! we inwardly prayed — but the memory was too much; and, turning from it, in a bumper of pudding-sauce we drank to peace, and plenty, and happy households.
This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture. Why, then, should religion be stereotyped, and we not obtain a more perfect and practical Christianity? It will never do to be behind the times in things most essential, which proceed from the standard of right that regulates human destiny. Human skill but foreshadows what is next to appear as its divine origin. Proportionately as we part with material systems and theories, personal doctrines and dogmas, meekly to ascend the hill of Science, shall we reach the maximum of perfection in all things.
Spirit is omnipotent; hence a more spiritual Christianity will be one having more power, having perfected in Science that most important of all arts, — healing.
Metaphysical healing, or Christian Science, is a demand of the times. Every man and every woman would desire and demand it, if he and she knew its infinite value and firm basis. The unerring and fixed Principle of all healing is God; and this Principle should be sought from the love of good, from the most spiritual and unselfish motives. Then will it be understood to be of God, and not of man; and this will prevent mankind from striking out promiscuously, teaching and practising in the name of Science without knowing its fundamental Principle.
It is important to know that a malpractice of the best system will result in the worst form of medicine. Moreover, the feverish, disgusting pride of those who call themselves metaphysicians or Scientists, — but are such in name only, — fanned by the breath of mental malpractice, is the death's-head at the feast of Truth; the monkey in harlequin jacket that will retard the onward march of life-giving Science, if not understood and withstood, and so strangled in its attempts.
The standard of metaphysical healing is traduced by thinking to put into the old garment of drugging the new cloth of metaphysics; or by trying to twist the fatal magnetic force of mortal mind, termed hypnotism, Into a more fashionable cut and naming that “mind-cure,” or — which is still worse in the eyes of Truth — terming it metaphysics! Substituting good words for a good life, fair-seeming for straightforward character, mental malpractice for the practice of true medicine, is a poor shift for the weak and worldly who think the standard of Christian Science too high for them.
What think you of a scientist in mathematics who finds fault with the exactness of the rule because unwilling to work hard enough to practise it? The perfection of the rule of Christian Science is what constitutes its utility: having a true standard, if some fall short, others will approach it; and these are they only who adhere to that standard.
Matter must be understood as a false belief or product of mortal mind: whence we learn that sensation is not in matter, but in this so-called mind; that we see and feel disease only by reason of our belief in it: then shall matter remain no longer to blind us to Spirit, and clog the wheels of progress. We spread our wings in vain when we attempt to mount above error by speculative views of Truth.
Love is the Principle of divine Science; and Love is not learned of the material senses, nor gained by a culpable attempt to seem what we have not lifted ourselves to be, namely, a Christian. In love for man, we gain a true sense of Love as God; and in no other way can we reach this spiritual sense, and rise — and still rise — to things most essential and divine. What hinders man's progress is his vain conceit, the Phariseeism of the times, also his effort to steal from others and avoid hard work; errors which can never find a place in Science. Empirical knowledge is worse than useless: it never has advanced man a single step in the scale of being.
That one should have ventured on such unfamiliar ground, and, self-forgetful, should have gone on to establish this mighty system of metaphysical healing, called Christian Science, against such odds, — even the entire current of mortality, — is matter of grave wonderment to profound thinkers. That, in addition to this, she has made some progress, has seen far into the spiritual facts of being which constitute physical and mental perfection, in the midst of an age so sunken in sin and sensuality, seems to them still more inconceivable.
In this new departure of metaphysics, God is regarded more as absolute, supreme; and Christ is clad with a richer illumination as our Saviour from sickness, sin, and death. God's fatherliness as Life, Truth, and Love, makes His sovereignty glorious.
By this system, too, man has a changed recognition of his relation to God. He is no longer obliged to sin, be sick, and die to reach heaven, but is required and empowered to conquer sin, sickness, and death; thus, as image and likeness, to reflect Him who destroys death and hell. By this reflection, man becomes the partaker of that Mind whence sprang the universe.
In Christian Science, progress is demonstration, not doctrine. This Science is ameliorative and regenerative, delivering mankind from all error through the light and love of Truth. It gives to the race loftier desires and new possibilities. It lays the axe at the root of the tree of knowledge, to cut down all that bringeth not forth good fruit; “and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” It touches mind to more spiritual issues, systematizes action, gives a keener sense of Truth and a stronger desire for it.
Hungering and thirsting after a better life, we shall have it, and become Christian Scientists; learn God aright, and know something of the ideal man, the real man, harmonious and eternal. This movement of thought must push on the ages: it must start the wheels of reason aright, educate the affections to higher resources, and leave Christianity unbiased by the superstitions of a senior period.
Who that has tried to follow the divine precept, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them,” has not suffered from the situation? — has not found that human passions in their reaction have misjudged motives?
Throughout our experience since undertaking the labor of uplifting the race, we have been made the repository of little else than the troubles, indiscretions, and errors of others; until thought has shrunk from contact with family difficulties, and become weary with study to counsel wisely whenever giving advice on personal topics.
To the child complaining of his parents we have said, “Love and honor thy parents, and yield obedience to them in all that is right; but you have the rights of con- science, as we all have, and must follow God in all your ways.”
When yielding to constant solicitations of husband or wife to give, to one or the other, advice concerning difficulties and the best way to overcome them, we have done this to the best of our ability, — and always with the purpose to restore harmony and prevent dishonor. In such cases we have said, “Take no counsel of a mortal, even though it be your best friend; but be guided by God alone;” meaning by this, Be not estranged from each other by anything that is said to you, but seek in divine Love the remedy for all human discord.
Yet, notwithstanding one's good intentions, in some way or at some step in one's efforts to help another, as a general rule, one will be blamed for all that is not right: but this must not deter us from doing our duty, whatever else may appear, and at whatever cost.
The olden opinion that hell is fire and brimstone, has yielded somewhat to the metaphysical fact that suffering is a thing of mortal mind instead of body: so, in place of material flames and odor, mental anguish is generally accepted as the penalty for sin. This changed belief has wrought a change in the actions of men. Not a few individuals serve God (or try to) from fear; but remove that fear, and the worst of human passions belch forth their latent fires. Some people never repent until earth gives them such a cup of gall that conscience strikes home; then they are brought to realize how impossible it is to sin and not suffer. All the different phases of error in human nature the reformer must encounter and help to eradicate.
This period is not essentially one of conscience: few feel and live now as when this nation began, and our forefathers' prayers blended with the murmuring winds of their forest home. This is a period of doubt, inquiry, speculation, selfishness; of divided interests, marvellous good, and mysterious evil. But sin can only work out its own destruction; and reform does and must push on the growth of mankind.
Honor to faithful merit is delayed, and always has been; but it is sure to follow. The very streets through which Garrison was dragged were draped in honor of the dead hero who did the hard work, the immortal work, of loosing the fetters of one form of human slavery. I remember, when a girl, and he visited my father, how a childish fear clustered round his coming, I had heard the awful story that “he helped ‘niggers’ kill the white folks!” Even the loving children are sometimes made to believe a lie, and to hate reformers. It is pleasant, now, to contrast with that childhood's wrong the reverence of my riper years for all who dare to be true, honest to their convictions, and strong of purpose.
The reformer has no time to give in defense of his own life's incentive, since no sacrifice is too great for the silent endurance of his love. What has not unselfed love achieved for the race? All that ever was accomplished, and more than history has yet recorded. The reformer works on unmentioned, save when he is abused or his work is utilized in the interest of somebody. He may labor for the establishment of a cause which is fraught with infinite blessings, — health, virtue, and heaven; but what of all that? Who should care for everybody? It is enough, say they, to care for a few. Yet the good done, and the love that foresees more to do, stimulate philanthrophy and are an ever-present reward. Let one's life answer well these questions, and it already hath a benediction:
Have you renounced self? Are you faithful? Do you love?
Mrs. Eddy Sick
The frequent public allegement that I am “sick, unable to speak a loud word,” or that I died of palsy, and am dead, — is but another evidence of the falsehoods kept constantly before the public.
While I accord these evil-mongers due credit for their desire, let me say to you, dear reader: Call at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, in 1889, and judge for yourself whether I can talk — and laugh too! I never was in better health. I have had but four days' vacation for the past year, and am about to commence a large class in Christian Science. Lecturing, writing, preaching, teaching, etc., give fair proof that my shadow is not growing less; and substance is taking larger proportions.
“I've Got Cold”
Out upon the sidewalk one winter morning, I observed a carriage draw up before a stately mansion; a portly gentleman alight, and take from his carriage the ominous hand-trunk.
“Ah!” thought I, “somebody has to take it; and what may the potion be?”
Just then a tiny, sweet face appeared in the vestibule, and red nose, suffused eyes, cough, and tired look, told the story; but, looking up quaintly, the poor child said, —
“I've got cold, doctor.”
Her apparent pride at sharing in a popular influenza was comical. However, her dividend, when compared with that of the household stockholders, was new; and doubtless their familiarity with what the stock paid, made them more serious over it.
What if that sweet child, so bravely confessing that she had something that she ought not to have, and which mamma thought must be gotten rid of, had been taught the value of saying even more bravely, and believing it, —
“I have not got cold.”
Why, the doctor's squills and bills would have been avoided; and through the cold air the little one would have been bounding with sparkling eyes, and ruby cheeks painted and fattened by metaphysical hygiene.
Parents and doctors must not take the sweet freshness out of the children's lives by that flippant caution, “You will get cold.”
Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does; for these are strong promoters of health and happiness. All education should contribute to moral and physical strength and freedom. If a cold could get into the body without the assent of mind, nature would take it out as gently, or let it remain as harmlessly, as it takes the frost out of the ground or puts it into the ice-cream to the satisfaction of all.
The sapling bends to the breeze, while the sturdy oak, with form and inclination fixed, breasts the tornado. It is easier to incline the early thought rightly, than the biased mind. Children not mistaught, naturally love God; for they are pure-minded, affectionate, and generally brave. Passions, appetites, pride, selfishness, have slight sway over the fresh, unbiased thought.
Teach the children early self-government, and teach them nothing that is wrong. If they see their father with a cigarette in his mouth — suggest to them that the habit of smoking is not nice, and that nothing but a loathsome worm naturally chews tobacco. Likewise soberly inform them that “Battle-Axe Plug” takes off men's heads; or, leaving these on, that it takes from their bodies a sweet something which belongs to nature, — namely, pure odors.
From a religious point of view, the faith of both youth and adult should centre as steadfastly in God to benefit the body, as to benefit the mind. Body and mind are correlated in man's salvation; for man will no more enter heaven sick than as a sinner, and Christ's Christianity casts out sickness as well as sin of every sort.
Test, if you will, metaphysical healing on two patients: one having morals to be healed, the other having a physical ailment. Use as your medicine the great alterative, Truth: give to the immoralist a mental dose that says, “You have no pleasure in sin,” and witness the effects.
Either he will hate you, and try to make others do likewise, so taking a dose of error big enough apparently to neutralize your Truth, else he will doubtingly await the result; during which interim, by constant combat and direful struggles, you get the victory and Truth heals him of the moral malady.
On the other hand, to the bedridden sufferer administer this alterative Truth: “God never made you sick: there is no necessity for pain; and Truth destroys the error that insists on the necessity of any man's bondage to sin and sickness. ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ”
Then, like blind Bartimeus, the doubting heart looks up through faith, and your patient rejoices in the gospel of health.
Thus, you see, it is easier to heal the physical than the moral ailment. When divine Truth and Love heal, of sin, the sinner who is at ease in sin, how much more should these heal, of sickness, the sick who are dis-eased, dis-comforted, and who long for relief!
“Prayer and Healing”
The article of Professor T——, having the above caption, published in Zion's Herald, December third, came not to my notice until January ninth. In it the Professor offered me, as President of the Metaphysical College in Boston, or one of my students, the liberal sum of one thousand dollars if either would reset certain dislocations without the use of hands, and two thousand dollars if either would give sight to one born blind.
Will the gentleman accept my thanks due to his generosity; for, if I should accept his bid on Christianity, he would lose his money.
Because I performed more difficult tasks fifteen years ago. At present, I am in another department of Christian work, “where there shall no signs be given them,” for they shall be instructed in the Principle of Christian Science that furnishes its own proof.
But, to reward his liberality, I offer him three thousand dollars if he will heal one single case of opium-eating where the patient is very low and taking morphine powder in its most concentrated form, at the rate of one ounce in two weeks, — having taken it twenty years; and he is to cure that habit in three days, leaving the patient well. I cured precisely such a case in 1869.
Also, Mr. C. M. H——, of Boston, formerly partner of George T. Brown, pharmacist, No. 5 Beacon St., will tell you that he was my student in December, 1884; and that before leaving the class he took a patient thoroughly addicted to the use of opium — if she went without it twenty-four hours she would have delirium — and in forty-eight hours cured her perfectly of this habit, with no bad results, but with decided improvement in health.
I have not yet made surgery one of the mental branches taught in my college; although students treat sprains, contusions, etc., successfully. In the case of sprain of the wrist-joint, where the regular doctor had put on splints and bandages to remain six weeks, a student of mine removed these appliances the same day and effected the cure in less than one week. Reference, Mrs. M. A. F——, 107 Eutaw Street, East Boston.
I agree with the Professor, that every system of medicine claims more than it practises. If the system is Science, it includes of necessity the Principle, which the learner can demonstrate only in proportion as he understands it. Boasting is unbecoming a mortal's poor performances. My Christian students are proverbially modest: their works alone should declare them, since my system of medicine is not generally understood. There are charlatans in “mind-cure,” who practise on the basis of matter, or human will, not Mind.
The Professor alludes to Paul's advice to Timothy. Did he refer to that questionable counsel, “Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake”? Even doctors disagree on that prescription: some of the medical faculty will tell you that alcoholic drinks cause the coats of the stomach to thicken and the organ to contract; will prevent the secretions of the gastric juice, and induce ulceration, bleeding, vomiting, death.
Again, the Professor quotes, in justification of material methods, and as veritable: “He took a bone from the side of Adam, closed up the wound thereof, and builded up the woman.” (Gen. ii. 21.)
Here we have the Professor on the platform of Christian Science! even a “surgical operation” that he says was performed by divine power, — Mind alone constructing the human system, before surgical instruments were invented, and closing the incisions of the flesh.
He further states that God cannot save the soul without compliance to ordained conditions. But, we ask, have those conditions named in Genesis been perpetuated in the multiplication of mankind ? And, are the conditions of salvation mental, or physical; are they bodily penance and torture, or repentance and reform, which are the action of mind?
He asks, “Has the law been abrogated that demands the employment of visible agencies for specific ends?”
Will he accept my reply as derived from the life and teachings of Jesus? — who annulled the so-called laws of matter by the higher law of Spirit, causing him to walk the wave, turn the water into wine, make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dead to be raised without matter-agencies. And he did this for man's example; not to teach himself, but others, the way of healing and salvation. He said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.”
The teachings and demonstration of Jesus were for all peoples and for all time; not for a privileged class or a restricted period, but for as many as should believe in him.
Are the discoverers of quinine, cocaine, etc., especially the children of our Lord because of their medical discoveries?
We have no record showing that our Master ever used, or recommended others to use, drugs; but we have his words, and the prophet's, as follows: “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?” “And Asa . . . sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers.”
Veritas Odium Parit
The combined efforts of the materialistic portion of the pulpit and press in 1885, to retard by misrepresentation the stately goings of Christian Science, are giving it new impetus and energy; calling forth the vox populi and directing more critical observation to its uplifting influence upon the health, morals, and spirituality of mankind.
Their movements indicate fear and weakness, a physical and spiritual need that Christian Science should remove with glorious results. The conclusion cannot now be pushed, that women have no rights that man is bound to respect. This is woman's hour, in all the good tendencies, charities, and reforms of to-day. It is difficult to say which may be most mischievous to the human heart, the praise or the dispraise of men.
I have loved the Church and followed it, thinking that it was following Christ; but, if the pulpit allows the people to go no further in the direction of Christlikeness, and rejects apostolic Christianity, seeking to stereotype infinite Truth, it is a thing to be thankful for that one can walk alone the straight and narrow way; that, in the words of Wendell Phillips, “one with God is a majority.”
It is the pulpit and press, clerical robes and the prohibiting of free speech, that cradles and covers the sins of the world, — all unmitigated systems of crime; and it requires the enlightenment of these worthies, through civil and religious reform, to blot out all inhuman codes. It was the Southern pulpit and press that influenced the people to wrench from man both human and divine rights, in order to subserve the interests of wealth, religious caste, civil and political power. And the pulpit had to be purged of that sin by human gore, — when the love of Christ would have washed it divinely away in Christian Science!
The cry of the colored slave has scarcely been heard and hushed, when from another direction there comes another sharp cry of oppression. Another form of inhumanity lifts its hydra head to forge anew the old fetters; to shackle conscience, stop free speech, slander, vilify; to invite its prey, then turn and refuse the victim a solitary vindication in this most unprecedented warfare.
A conflict more terrible than the battle of Gettysburg awaits the crouching wrong that refused to yield its prey the peace of a desert, when a voice was heard crying in the wilderness, — the spiritual famine of 1866, — “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.”
Shall religious intolerance, arrayed against the rights of man, again deluge the earth in blood? The question at issue with mankind is: Shall we have a spiritual Christianity and a spiritual healing, or a materialistic religion and a materia medica?
The advancing faith and hope of Christianity, the earnest seeking after practical truth that shall cast out error and heal the sick, wisely demand for man his God-given heritage, both human and divine rights; namely, that his honest convictions and proofs of advancing truth be allowed due consideration, and treated not as pearls trampled upon.
Those familiar with my history are more tolerant; those who know me, know that I found health in just what I teach. I have professed Christianity a half-century; and now I calmly challenge the world, upon fair investigation, to furnish a single instance of departure in one of my works from the highest possible ethics.
The charges against my views are false, but natural, since those bringing them do not understand my statement of the Science I introduce, and are unwilling to be taught it, even gratuitously. If they did understand it, they could demonstrate this Science by healing the sick; hence the injustice of their interpretations.
To many, the healing force developed by Christian Science seems a mystery, because they do not understand that Spirit controls body. They acknowledge the existence of mortal mind, but believe it to reside in matter of the brain; but that man is the idea of infinite Mind, is not so easily accepted. That which is temporary seems, to the common estimate, solid and substantial. It is much easier for people to believe that the body affects mind, than that the body is an expression of mind, and reflects harmony or discord according to thought.
Everything that God created, He pronounced good. He never made sickness. Hence that is only an evil belief of mortal mind, which must be met, in every instance, with a denial by Truth.
This is the “new tongue,” the language of them that “lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover,” whose spiritual interpretation they refuse to hear. For instance: the literal meaning of the passage “lay hands on the sick” would be manipulation; its moral meaning, found in the “new tongue,” is spiritual power, — as, in another Scripture, “I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.”
The Greeks showed a just estimate of the person they called slanderer, when they made the word synonymous with devil. If the simple falsehoods uttered about me were compounded, the mixture would be labelled thus: “Religionists' mistaken views of Mrs. Eddy's book, ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,’ and the malice aforethought of sinners.”
That I take opium; that I am an infidel, a mesmerist, a medium, a “pantheist;” or that my hourly life is prayerless, or not in strict obedience to the Mosaic Decalogue, — is not more true than that I am dead, as is oft reported. The St. Louis Democrat is alleged to have reported my demise, and to have said that I died of poison, and bequeathed my property to Susan Anthony.
The opium falsehood has only this to it: Many years ago my regular physician prescribed morphine, which I took, when he could do no more for me. Afterwards, the glorious revelations of Christian Science saved me from that necessity and made me well, since which time I have not taken drugs, with the following exception: When the mental malpractice of poisoning people was first undertaken by a mesmerist, to test that malpractice I experimented by taking some large doses of morphine, to see if Christian Science could not obviate its effect; and I say with tearful thanks, “The drug had no effect upon me whatever.” The hour has struck, — “If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”
The false report that I have appropriated other people's manuscripts in my works, has been met and answered legally. Both in private and public life, and especially through my teachings, it is well known that I am not a spiritualist, a pantheist, or prayerless. The most devout members of evangelical churches will say this, as well as my intimate acquaintances. None are permitted to remain in my College building whose morals are not unquestionable. I have neither purchased nor ordered a drug since my residence in Boston; and to my knowledge, not one has been sent to my house, unless it was something to remove stains or vermin.
The report that I was dead arose no doubt from the combined efforts of some malignant students, expelled from my College for immorality, to kill me: of their mental design to do this I have proof, but no fear. My heavenly Father will never leave me comfortless, in the amplitude of His love; coming nearer in my need, more tenderly to save and bless.
What a word! I am in awe before it. Over what worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the underived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the alone God, is Love.
By what strange perversity is the best become the most abused, — either as a quality or as an entity? Mortals misrepresent and miscall affection; they make it what it is not, and doubt what it is. The so-called affection pursuing its victim is a butcher fattening the lamb to slay it. What the lower propensities express, should be repressed by the sentiments. No word is more misconstrued; no sentiment less understood. The divine significance of Love is distorted into human qualities, which in their human abandon become jealousy and hate.
Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow and thus lighting the dark places of earth.
Address on the Fourth of July at Pleasant View, Concord, N. H., before 2,500 Members of The Mother Church, 1897
My beloved brethren, who have come all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic shore, from the Palmetto to the Pine Tree State, I greet you; my hand may not touch yours to-day, but my heart will with tenderness untalkable.
His Honor, Mayor Woodworth, has welcomed you to Concord most graciously, voicing the friendship of this city and of my native State — loyal to the heart's core to religion, home, friends, and country.
To-day we commemorate not only our nation's civil and religious freedom, but a greater even, the liberty of the sons of God, the inalienable rights and radiant reality of Christianity, whereof our Master said: “The works that I do shall he do;” and, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” (with knowledge obtained from the senses), but “the kingdom of God is within you,” — within the present possibilities of mankind.
Think of this inheritance! Heaven right here, where angels are as men, clothed more lightly, and men as angels who, burdened for an hour, spring into liberty, and the good they would do, that they do, and the evil they would not do, that they do not. From the falling leaves of old-time faiths men learn a parable of the period, that all error, physical, moral, or religious, will fall before Truth demonstrated, even as dry leaves fall to enrich the soil for fruitage.
Sin, sickness, and disease flee before the evangel of Truth as the mountain mists before the sun. Truth is the tonic for the sick, and this medicine of Mind is not necessarily infinitesimal but infinite. Herein the mental medicine of divine metaphysics and the medical systems of allopathy and homoeopathy differ. Mental medicine gains no potency by attenuation, and its largest dose is never dangerous, but the more the better in every case.
Christian Science classifies thought thus: Right thoughts are reality and power; wrong thoughts are unreality and powerless, possessing the nature of dreams. Good thoughts are potent; evil thoughts are impotent, and they should appear thus. Continuing this category, we learn that sick thoughts are unreality and weakness; while healthy thoughts are reality and strength. My proof of these novel propositions is demonstration, whereby any man can satisfy himself of their verity.
Christian Science is not only the acme of Science but the crown of Christianity. It is universal. It appeals to man as man; to the whole and not to a portion; to man physically, as well as spiritually, and to all mankind.
It has one God. It demonstrates the divine Principle, rules and practice of the great healer and master of metaphysics, Jesus of Nazareth. It spiritualizes religion and restores its lost element, namely, healing the sick. It consecrates and inspires the teacher and preacher; it equips the doctor with safe and sure medicine; it encourages and empowers the business man and secures the success of honesty. It is the dear children's toy and strong tower; the wise man's spiritual dictionary; the poor man's money; yea, it is the pearl priceless whereof our Master said, if a man findeth, he goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth it. Buyeth it! Note the scope of that saying, even that Christianity is not merely a gift, as St. Paul avers, but is bought with a price, a great price; and what man knoweth as did our Master its value, and the price that he paid for it?
Friends, I am not enough the new woman of the period for outdoor speaking, and the incidental platform is not broad enough for me, but the speakers that will now address you — one a congressman — may improve our platforms; and make amends for the nothingness of matter with the allness of Mind.
Well Doinge is the Fruite of Doinge Well
This period is big with events. Fraught with history, it repeats the past and portends much for the future.
The Scriptural metaphors, — of the woman in travail, the great red dragon that stood ready to devour the child as soon as it was born, and the husbandmen that said, “This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours,” — are type and shadow of this hour.
A mother's love touches the heart of God, and should it not appeal to human sympathy? Can a mother tell her child one tithe of the agonies that gave that child birth? Can that child conceive of the anguish, until she herself is become a mother?
Do the children of this period dream of the spiritual Mother's sore travail, through the long night, that has opened their eyes to the light of Christian Science? Cherish these new-born children that filial obedience to which the Decalogue points with promise of prosperity? Should not the loving warning, the far-seeing wisdom, the gentle entreaty, the stern rebuke have been heeded, in return for all that love which brooded tireless over their tender years? for all that love that hath fed them with Truth, — even the bread that cometh down from heaven, — as the mother-bird tendeth her young in the rock-ribbed nest of the raven's callow brood!
And what of the hope of that parent whose children rise up against her; when brother slays brother, and the strength of union grows weak with wickedness? The victim of mad ambition that saith, “This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours,” goes on to learn that he must at last kill this evil in “self” in order to gain the kingdom of God.
Envy, the great red dragon of this hour, would obscure the light of Science, take away a third part of the stars from the spiritual heavens, and cast them to the earth. This is not Science. Per contra, it is the mortal mind sense — mental healing on a material basis — hurling its so-called healing at random, filling with hate its deluded victims, or resting in silly peace upon the laurels of headlong human will. “What shall, therefore, the Lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.”
It is sometimes said, cynically, that Christian Scientists set themselves on pedestals, as so many petty deities; but there is no fairness or propriety in the aspersion.
Man is not equal to his Maker. That which is formed is not cause, but effect; and has no underived power. But it is possible, and dutiful, to throw the weight of thought and action on the side of right, and to be thus lifted up.
Man should be found not claiming equality with, but growing into, that altitude of Mind which was in Christ Jesus. He should comprehend, in divine Science, a recognition of what the apostle meant when he said: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”
Advantage of Mind-healing
It is sometimes asked, What are the advantages of your system of healing?
I claim for healing by Christian Science the following advantages: —
First: It does away with material medicine, and recognizes the fact that the antidote for sickness, as well as for sin, may be found in God, the divine Mind.
Second: It is more effectual than drugs, and cures where they fail, because it is this divine antidote, and metaphysics is above physics.
Third: Persons who have been healed by Christian Science are not only cured of their belief in disease, but they are at the same time improved morally. The body is governed by Mind, and mortal mind must be corrected in order to make the body harmonious.
While gratefully acknowledging the public confidence manifested in daily letters that protest against receiving instruction in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College from any other than Mrs. Eddy, I feel, deeply, that of necessity this imposes on me the severe task of remaining at present a public servant: also, that this must prevent my classes from forming as frequently as was announced in the October number of the Journal, and necessitates receiving but a select number of students. To meet the old impediment, lack of time, that has occasioned the irregular intervals between my class terms, I shall continue to send to each applicant a notice from one to two weeks previous to the opening term.
Mary Baker G. Eddy.
Spirit and Law
We are accustomed to think and to speak of gravitation as a law of matter; while every quality of matter in and of itself, is inert, inanimate, and non-intelligent The assertion that matter is a law, or a lawgiver, is anomalous. Wherever law is, Mind is; and the notion that Mind can be in matter is rank infidelity, which either excludes God from the universe, or includes Him in every mode and form of evil. Pantheism presupposes that God sleeps in the mineral, dreams in the animal, and wakes in a wicked man.
The distinction between that which is and that which is not law, must be made by Mind and as Mind. Law is either a moral or an immoral force. The law of God is the law of Spirit, a moral and spiritual force of immortal and divine Mind. The so-called law of matter is an immoral force of erring mortal mind, alias the minds of mortals. This so-called force, or law, at work in nature as a power, prohibition, or license, is cruel and merciless. It punishes the innocent, and repays our best deeds with sacrifice and suffering. It is a code whose modes trifle with joy, and lead to immediate or ultimate death. It fosters suspicion where confidence is due, fear where courage is requisite, reliance where there should be avoidance, a belief in safety where there is most danger. Our Master called it “a murderer from the beginning.”
Electricity, governed by this so-called law, sparkles on the cloud, and strikes down the hoary saint. Floods swallow up homes and households; and childhood, age, and manhood go down in the death-dealing wave. Earthquakes engulf cities, churches, schools, and mortals. Cyclones kill and destroy, desolating the green earth. This pitiless power smites with disease the good Samaritan ministering to his neighbor's need. Even the chamber where the good man surrenders to death is not exempt from this law. Smoothing the pillow of pain may infect you with smallpox, according to this lawless law which dooms man to die for loving his neighbor as himself, — when Christ has said that love is the fulfilling of the law.
Our great Ensample, Jesus of Nazareth, met and abolished this unrelenting false claim of matter with the righteous scorn and power of Spirit. When, through Mind, he restored sight to the blind, he figuratively and literally spat upon matter; and, anointing the wounded spirit with the great truth that God is All, he demonstrated the healing power and supremacy of the law of Life and Love.
In the spiritual Genesis of creation, all law was vested in the Lawgiver, who was a law to Himself. In divine Science, God is One and All; and, governing Himself, He governs the universe. This is the law of creation: “My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.” And that infinite Mind governs all things. On this infinite Principle of freedom, God named Himself, I am. Error, or Adam, might give names to itself, and call Mind by the name of matter, but error could neither name nor demonstrate Spirit. The name, I am, indicated no personality that could be paralleled with it; but it did declare a mighty individuality, even the everlasting Father, as infinite consciousness, ever-presence, omnipotence; as all law, Life, Truth, and Love.
God's interpretation of Himself furnishes man with the only suitable or true idea of Him; and the divine definition of Deity differs essentially from the human. It interprets the law of Spirit, not of matter. It explains the eternal dynamics of being, and shows that nature and man are as harmonious to-day as in the beginning, when “all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made.”
Whatever appears to be law, but partakes not of the nature of God, is not law, but is what Jesus declared it, “a liar, and the father of it.” God is the law of Life, not of death; of health, not of sickness; of good, not of evil. It is this infinitude and oneness of good that silences the supposition that evil is a claimant or a claim. The consciousness of good has no consciousness or knowledge of evil; and evil is not a quality to be known or eliminated by good: while iniquity, too evil to conceive of good as being unlike itself, declares that God knows iniquity!
When the Lawgiver was the only law of creation, freedom reigned, and was the heritage of man; but this freedom was the moral power of good, not of evil: it was divine Science, in which God is supreme, and the only law of being. In this eternal harmony of Science, man is not fallen: he is governed in the same rhythm that the Scripture describes, when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”
The spiritual elevator of the human race, physically, morally, and Christianly, is the truism that Truth demonstrates good, and is natural; while error, or evil, is really non-existent, and must have produced its own illusion, — for it belongs not to nature nor to God. Truth is the power of God which heals the sick and the sinner, and is applicable to all the needs of man. It is the universal, intelligent Christ-idea illustrated by the life of Jesus, through whose “stripes we are healed.” By conflicts, defeats, and triumphs, Christian Science has been reduced to the understanding of mortals, and found able to heal them.
Pagan mysticism, Grecian philosophy, or Jewish religion, never entered into the line of Jesus' thought or action. His faith partook not of drugs, matter, nor of the travesties of mortal mind. The divine Mind was his only instrumentality and potency, in religion or medicine. The Principle of his cure was God, in the laws of Spirit, not of matter; and these laws annulled all other laws.
Jesus knew that erring mortal thought holds only in itself the supposition of evil, and that sin, sickness, and death are its subjective states; also, that pure Mind is the truth of being that subjugates and destroys any suppositional or elementary opposite to Him who is All.
Truth is supreme and omnipotent. Then, whatever else seemeth to be intelligence or power is false, deluding reason and denying revelation, and seeking to dethrone Deity. The truth of Mind-healing uplifts mankind, by acknowledging pure Mind as absolute and entire, and that evil is naught, although it seems to be.
Pure Mind gives out an atmosphere that heals and saves. Words are not always the auxiliaries of Truth. The spirit, and not the letter, performs the vital functions of Truth and Love. Mind, imbued with this Science of healing, is a law unto itself, needing neither license nor prohibition; but lawless mind, with unseen motives, and silent mental methods whereby it may injure the race, is the highest attenuation of evil.
Again: evil, as mind, is doomed, already sentenced, punished; for suffering is commensurate with evil, and lasts as long as the evil. As mind, evil finds no escape from itself; and the sin and suffering it occasions can only be removed by reformation.
According to divine law, sin and suffering are not cancelled by repentance or pardon. Christian Science not only elucidates but demonstrates this verity of being; namely, that mortals suffer from the wrong they commit, whether intentionally or ignorantly; that every effect and amplification of wrong will revert to the wrong-doer, until he pays his full debt to divine law, and the measure he has meted is measured to him again, full, pressed down, and running over. Surely “the way of the transgressor is hard.”
In this law of justice, the atonement of Christ loses no efficacy. Justice is the handmaid of mercy, and showeth mercy by punishing sin. Jesus said, “I came not to destroy the law,” — the divine requirements typified in the law of Moses, — “but to fulfil it” in righteousness, by Truth's destroying error. No greater type of divine Love can be presented than effecting so glorious a purpose. This spirit of sacrifice always has saved, and still saves mankind; but by mankind I mean mortals, or a kind of men after man's own making. Man as God's idea is already saved with an everlasting salvation. It is impossible to be a Christian Scientist without apprehending the moral law so clearly that, for conscience' sake, one will either abandon his claim to even a knowledge of this Science, or else make the claim valid. All Science is divine. Then, to be Science, it must produce physical and moral harmony.
Dear readers, our Journal is designed to bring health and happiness to all households wherein it is permitted to enter, and to confer increased power to be good and to do good. If you wish to brighten so pure a purpose, you will aid our prospect of fulfilling it by your kind patronage of The Christian Science Journal, now entering upon its fifth volume, clad in Truth-healing's new and costly spring dress.
Heart to Heart
When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts.
I just want to say, I thank you, my dear students, who are at work conscientiously and assiduously, for the good you are doing. I am grateful to you for giving to the sick relief from pain; for giving joy to the suffering and hope to the disconsolate; for lifting the fallen and strengthening the weak, and encouraging the heart grown faint with hope deferred. We are made glad by the divine Love which looseth the chains of sickness and sin, opening the prison doors to such as are bound; and we should be more grateful than words can express, even through this white-winged messenger, our Journal.
With all the homage beneath the skies, yet were our burdens heavy but for the Christ-love that makes them light and renders the yoke easy. Having his word, you have little need of words of approval and encouragement from me. Perhaps it is even selfish in me sometimes to relieve my heart of its secrets, because I take so much pleasure in thus doing; but if my motives are sinister, they will harm myself only, and I shall have the unselfish joy of knowing that the wrong motives are not yours, to react on yourselves.
These two words in Scripture suggest the sweetest similes to be found in any language — rock and feathers: “Upon this rock I will build my church;” “He shall cover thee with His feathers.” How blessed it is to think of you as “beneath the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” safe in His strength, building on His foundation, and covered from the devourer by divine protection and affection. Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.
Things to be Thought Of
The need of their teacher's counsel, felt by students, especially by those at a distance, working assiduously for our common Cause, — and their constant petitions for the same, should be met in the most effectual way.
To be responsible for supplying this want, and poise the wavering balance on the right side, is impracticable without a full knowledge of the environments. The educational system of Christian Science lacks the aid and protection of State laws. The Science is hampered by immature demonstrations, by the infancy of its discovery, by incorrect teaching; and especially by unprincipled claimants, whose mad ambition drives them to appropriate my ideas and discovery, without credit, appreciation, or a single original conception, while they quote from other authors and give them credit for every random thought in line with mine.
My noble students, who are loyal to Christ, Truth, and human obligations, will not be disheartened in the midst of this seething sea of sin. They build for time and eternity. The others stumble over misdeeds, and their own unsubstantially, without the groundwork of right, till, like camera shadows thrown upon the mists of time, they melt into darkness.
Unity is the essential nature of Christian Science. Its Principle is One, and to demonstrate the divine One, demands oneness of thought and action.
Many students enter the Normal class of my College whom I have not fitted for it by the Primary course. They are taught their first lessons by my students; hence the aptness to assimilate pure and abstract Science is somewhat untested.
“As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.” As mortal mind is directed, it acts for a season. Some students leave my instructions before they are quite free from the bias of their first impressions, whether those be correct or incorrect. Such students are more or less subject to the future mental influence of their former teacher. Their knowledge of Mind-healing may be right theoretically, but the moral and spiritual status of thought must be right also. The tone of the teacher's mind must be pure, grand, true, to aid the mental development of the student; for the tint of the instructor's mind must take its hue from the divine Mind. A single mistake in metaphysics, or in ethics, is more fatal than a mistake in physics.
If a teacher of Christian Science unwittingly or intentionally offers his own thought, and gives me as authority for it; if he diverges from Science and knows it not, or, knowing it, makes the venture from vanity, in order to be thought original, or wiser than somebody else, — this divergence widens. He grows dark, and cannot regain, at will, an upright understanding. This error in the teacher also predisposes his students to make mistakes and lose their way. Diverse opinions in Science are stultifying. All must have one Principle and the same rule; and all who follow the Principle and rule have but one opinion of it.
Whosoever understands a single rule in Science, and demonstrates its Principle according to rule, is master of the situation. Nobody can gainsay this. The egotistical theorist or shallow moralist may presume to make innovations upon simple proof; but his mistake is visited upon himself and his students, whose minds are, must be, disturbed by this discord, which extends along the whole line of reciprocal thought. An error in premise can never bring forth the real fruits of Truth. After thoroughly explaining spiritual Truth and its ethics to a student, I am not morally responsible for the misstatements or misconduct of this student. My teachings are uniform. Those who abide by them do well. If others, who receive the same instruction, do ill, the fault is not in the culture but the soil.
I am constantly called to settle questions and disaffections toward Christian Science growing out of the departures from Science of self-satisfied, unprincipled students. If impatient of the loving rebuke, the student must stop at the foot of the grand ascent, and there remain until suffering compels the downfall of his self-conceit. Then that student must struggle up, with bleeding footprints, to the God-crowned summit of unselfish and pure aims and affections.
To be two-sided, when these sides are moral opposites, is neither politic nor scientific; and to abridge a single human right or privilege is an error. Whoever does this may represent me as doing it; but he mistakes me, and the subjective state of his own mind for mine.
The true leader of a true cause is the unacknowledged servant of mankind. Stationary in the background, this individual is doing the work that nobody else can or will do. An erratic career is like the comet's course, dashing through space, headlong and alone. A clear-headed and honest Christian Scientist will demonstrate the Principle of Christian Science, and hold justice and mercy as inseparable from the unity of God.
The assertion that I have said hard things about my loyal students in Chicago, New York, or any other place, is utterly false and groundless. I speak of them as I feel, and I cannot find it in my heart not to love them. They are essentially dear to me, who are toiling and achieving success in unison with my own endeavors and prayers. If I correct mistakes which may be made in teaching or lecturing on Christian Science, this is in accordance with my students' desires, and thus we mutually aid each other, and obey the Golden Rule.
The spirit of lies is abroad. Because Truth has spoken aloud, error, running to and fro in the earth, is screaming, to make itself heard above Truth's voice. The audible and inaudible wail of evil never harms Scientists, steadfast in their consciousness of the nothingness of wrong and the supremacy of right.
Our worst enemies are the best friends to our growth. Charity students, for whom I have sacrificed the most time, — those whose chief aim is to injure me, — have caused me to exercise most patience. When they report me as “hating those whom I do not love,” let them remember that there never was a time when I saw an opportunity really to help them and failed to improve it; and this, too, when I knew they were secretly striving to injure me.
Comparisons are odorous. — Shakespeare.
Through all human history, the vital outcomes of Truth have suffered temporary shame and loss from individual conceit, cowardice, or dishonesty. The bird whose right wing flutters to soar, while the left beats its way downward, falls to the earth. Both wings must be plumed for rarefied atmospheres and upward flight.
Mankind must gravitate from sense to Soul, and human affairs should be governed by Spirit, intelligent good. The antipode of Spirit, which we name matter, or non-intelligent evil, is no real aid to being. The predisposing and exciting cause of all defeat and victory under the sun, rests on this scientific basis: that action, in obedience to God, spiritualizes man's motives and methods, and crowns them with success; while disobedience to this divine Principle materializes human modes and consciousness, and defeats them.
Two personal queries give point to human action: Who shall be greatest? and, Who shall be best? Earthly glory is vain; but not vain enough to attempt pointing the way to heaven, the harmony of being. The imaginary victories of rivalry and hypocrisy are defeats. The Holy One saith, “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river.” He is unfit for Truth, and the demonstration of divine power, who departs from Mind to matter, and from Truth to error, in pursuit of better means for healing the sick and casting out error.
The Christian Scientist keeps straight to the course. His whole inquiry and demonstration lie in the line of Truth; hence he suffers no shipwreck in a starless night on the shoals of vainglory. His medicine is Mind — the omnipotent and ever-present good. His “help is from the Lord,” who heals body and mind, head and heart; changing the affections, enlightening the misguided senses, and curing alike the sin and the mortal sinner. God's preparations for the sick are potions of His own qualities. His therapeutics are antidotes for the ailments of mortal mind and body. Then let us not adulterate His preparations for the sick with material means.
From lack of moral strength empires fall. Right alone is irresistible, permanent, eternal. Remember that human pride forfeits spiritual power, and either vacillating good or self-assertive error dies of its own elements. Through patience we must possess the sense of Truth; and Truth is used to waiting. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
By using falsehood to regain his liberty, Galileo virtually lost it. He cannot escape from barriers who commits his moral sense to a dungeon. Hear the Master on this subject: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Lives there a man who can better define ethics, better elucidate the Principle of being, than he who “spake as never man spake,” and whose precepts and example have a perpetual freshness in relation to human events?
Who is it that understands, unmistakably, a fraction of the actual Science of Mind-healing ?
It is he who has fairly proven his knowledge on a Christian, mental, scientific basis; who has made his choice between matter and Mind, and proven the divine Mind to be the only physician. These are self-evident propositions: That man can only be Christianized through Mind; that without Mind the body is without action; that Science is a law of divine Mind. The conclusion follows that the correct Mind-healing is the proper means of Christianity, and is Science.
Christian Science may be sold in the shambles. Many are bidding for it, — but are not willing to pay the price. Error is vending itself on trust, well knowing the willingness of mortals to buy error at par value. The Revelator beheld the opening of this silent mental seal, and heard the great Red Dragon whispering that “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
We are in the Valley of Decision. Then, let us take the side of him who “overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,” — of such as barter integrity and peace for money and fame. What artist would question the skill of the masters in sculpture, music, or painting? Shall we depart from the example of the Master in Christian Science, Jesus of Nazareth, — than whom mankind hath no higher ideal? He who demonstrated his power over sin, disease, and death, is the master Metaphysician.
To seek or employ other means than those the Master used in demonstrating Life scientifically, is to lose the priceless knowledge of his Principle and practice. He said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Gain a pure Christianity; for that is requisite for healing the sick. Then you will need no other aid, and will have full faith in his prophecy, “And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd;” but, the Word must abide in us, if we would obtain that promise. We cannot depart from his holy example, — we cannot leave Christ for the schools which crucify him, and yet follow him in healing. Fidelity to his precepts and practice is the only passport to his power; and the pathway of goodness and greatness runs through the modes and methods of God.
“He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Homœopathy is the last link in material medicine. The next step is Mind-medicine. Among the foremost virtues of homœopathy is the exclusion of compounds from its pharmacy, and the attenuation of a drug up to the point of its disappearance as matter and its manifestation in effect as a thought, instead of a thing.
Students of Christian Science (and many who are not students) understand enough of this to keep out of their heads the notion that compounded metaphysics (so-called) is, or can be, Christian Science, — that rests on oneness; one cause and one effect.
They should take our magazine, work for it, write for it, and read it. They should eschew all magazines and books which are less than the best.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Cleanse your mind of the cobwebs which spurious “compounds” engender. Before considering a subject that is unworthy of thought, take in this axiomatic truism: “Trust her not, she's fooling thee;” and Longfellow is right.
Close of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College
Much is said at this date, 1889, about Mrs. Eddy's Massachusetts Metaphysical College being the only chartered College of Metaphysics. To make this plain, the Publishing Committee of the Christian Scientist Association has published in the Boston Traveler the following:—
“To benefit the community, and more strongly mark the difference between true and false teachers of mental healing, the following history and statistics are officially submitted:—
“Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy obtained a college charter in January, 1881, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto (including the right to grant degrees) under Act of 1874, Chapter 375, Section 4.
“This Act was repealed from and after January 31, 1882. Mrs. Eddy's grant for a college, for metaphysical purposes only, is the first on record in history, and no charters were granted for similar colleges, except hers, from January, 1881, till the repealing of said Act in January, 1882.
“The substance of this Act is at present incorporated in Public Statutes, Chapter 115, Section 2, with the following important restrictions: In accordance with Statutes of 1883, Chapter 268, any officer, agent, or servant of any corporation or association, who confers, or authorizes to be conferred, any diploma or degree, shall be punished by a fine not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars.
“All the mind-healing colleges (except Rev. Mrs. Eddy's) have simply an incorporated grant, which may be called a charter, such as any stock company may obtain for any secular purposes; but these so-called charters bestow no rights to confer degrees. Hence to name these institutions, under such charters, colleges, is a fraudulent claim. There is but one legally chartered college of metaphysics, with powers to confer diplomas and degrees, and that is the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, of which Rev. Mrs. Eddy is founder and president.”
I have endeavored to act toward all students of Christian Science with the intuition and impulse of love. If certain natures have not profited by my rebukes, — some time, as Christian Scientists, they will know the value of these rebukes. I am thankful that the neophyte will be benefited by experience, although it will cost him much, and in proportion to its worth.
I close my College in order to work in other directions, where I now seem to be most needed, and where none other can do the work. I withdraw from an overwhelming prosperity. My students have never expressed so grateful a sense of my labors with them as now, and never have been so capable of relieving my tasks as at present.
God bless my enemies, as well as the better part of mankind, and gather all my students, in the bonds of love and perfectness, into one grand family of Christ's followers.
Loyal Christian Scientists should go on in their present line of labor for a good and holy cause. Their institutes have not yet accomplished all the good they are capable of accomplishing; therefore they should continue, as at present, to send out students from these sources of education, to promote the growing interest in Christian Science Mind-healing.
There are one hundred and sixty applications lying on the desk before me, for the Primary class in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and I cannot do my best work for a class which contains that number. When these were taught, another and a larger number would be in waiting for the same class instruction; and if I should teach that Primary class, the other three classes — one Primary and two Normal — would be delayed. The work is more than one person can well accomplish, and the imperative call is for my exclusive teaching.
From the scant history of Jesus and of his disciples, we have no Biblical authority for a public institution. This point, however, had not impressed me when I opened my College. I desire to revise my book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” and in order to do this I must stop teaching at present. The work that needs to be done, and which God calls me to outside of College work, if left undone might hinder the progress of our Cause more than my teaching would advance it: therefore I leave all for Christ.
Deeply regretting the disappointment this will occasion, and with grateful acknowledgments to the public for its liberal patronage, I close my College.
Mary Baker G. Eddy.
Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. — Isaiah lix. 14.
When the press is gagged, liberty is besieged; but when the press assumes the liberty to lie, it discounts clemency, mocks morality, outrages humanity, breaks common law, gives impulse to violence, envy, and hate, and prolongs the reign of inordinate, unprincipled clans. At this period, 1888, those quill-drivers whose consciences are in their pockets hold high carnival. When news-dealers shout for class legislation, and decapitated reputations, headless trunks, and quivering hearts are held up before the rabble in exchange for money, place, and power, the vox populi is suffocated, individual rights are trodden under foot, and the car of the modern Inquisition rolls along the streets besmeared with blood. Would not our Master say to the chief actors in scenes like these, “Ye fools and blind!” Oh, tardy human justice! would you take away even woman's trembling, clinging faith in divine power? Who can roll away the stone from the door of this sepulchre? Who — but God's avenging angel!
In times like these it were well to lift the veil on the sackcloth of home, where weepeth the faithful, stricken mother, and the bruised father bendeth his aching head; where the bereft wife or husband, silent and alone, looks in dull despair at the vacant seat, and the motherless little ones, wondering, huddle together, and repeat with quivering lips words of strange import. May the great Shepherd that “tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,” and binds up the wounds of bleeding hearts, just comfort, encourage, and bless all who mourn.
Father, we thank Thee that Thy light and Thy love reach earth, open the prison to them that are bound, console the innocent, and throw wide the gates of heaven.
Loyal Christian Scientists
Pen can never portray the satisfaction that you afforded me at the grand meeting in Chicago of the National Christian Scientist Association in 1888. Your public and private expressions of love and loyalty were very touching. They moved me to speechless thanks.
Chicago is the wonder of the western hemisphere. The Palmer House, where we stopped, is magnificent and orderly. The servants are well-mannered, and the fare is appetizing. The floral offerings sent to my apartments were superb, especially the large book of rare flowers, and the crescent with a star.
The reception in the spacious rooms of the Palmer House, like all else, was purely Western in its cordiality and largeness. I did not hold interviews with all with whom I desired to, solely because so many people and circumstances demanded my attention that my personality was not big enough to fill the order; but rest assured my heart's desire met the demand.
My students, our delegates, about one thousand Christian Scientists, active, earnest, and loyal, formed a goodly assemblage for the third convention of our National Association, — an assemblage found waiting and watching for the full coming of our Lord and Christ.
In Christian Science the midnight hour will always be the bridal hour, until “no night is there.” The wise will have their lamps aglow, and light will illumine the darkness.
Out of the gloom comes the glory of our Lord, and His divine Love is found in affliction. When a false sense suffers, the true sense comes out, and the bridegroom appears. We are then wedded to a purer, higher affection and ideal.
I pray that all my students shall have their lamps trimmed and burning at the noon of night, that not one of them be found borrowing oil, and seeking light from matter instead of Spirit, or at work erroneously, thus shutting out spiritual light. Such an error and loss will be quickly learned when the door is shut. Error giveth no light, and it closes the door on itself.
In the dark hours, wise Christian Scientists stand firmer than ever in their allegiance to God. Wisdom is wedded to their love, and their hearts are not troubled.
Falsehood is on the wings of the winds, but Truth will soar above it. Truth is speaking louder, clearer, and more imperatively than ever. Error is walking to and fro in the earth, trying to be heard above Truth, but its voice dies out in the distance. Whosoever proclaims Truth loudest, becomes the mark for error's shafts. The archers aim at Truth's mouthpiece; but a heart loyal to God is patient and strong. Justice waits, and is used to waiting; and right wins the everlasting victory.
The stake and scaffold have never silenced the messages of the Most High. Then can the present mode of attempting this — namely, by slanderous falsehoods, and a secret mind-method, through which to effect the purposes of envy and malice — silence Truth? Never. They but open the eyes to the truth of Benjamin Franklin's report before the French Commissioners on Mesmerism: “It is one more fact to be recorded in the history of the errors of the human mind.”
“The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice.”
No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme. Though clouds are round about Him, the divine justice and judgment are enthroned. Love is especially near in times of hate, and never so near as when one can be just amid lawlessness, and render good for evil.
I thunder His law to the sinner, and sharply lighten on the cloud of the intoxicated senses. I cannot help loathing the phenomena of drunkenness produced by animality. I rebuke it wherever I see it. The vision of the Revelator is before me. The wines of fornication, envy, and hatred are the distilled spirits of evil, and are the signs of these times; but I am not dismayed. and my peace returns unto me.
Error will hate more as it realizes more the presence of its tormentor. I shall fulfil my mission, fight the good fight, and keep the faith.
There is great joy in this consciousness, that throughout my labors, and in my history as connected with the Cause of Christian Science, it can be proven that I have never given occasion for a single censure, when my motives and acts are understood and seen as my Father seeth them. I once wondered at the Scriptural declaration that Job sinned not in all he said, even when he cursed the hour of his birth; but I have learned that a curse on sin is always a blessing to the human race.
Those only who are tried in the furnace reflect the image of their Father. You, my beloved students, who are absent from me, and have shared less of my labors than many others, seem stronger to resist temptation than some of those who have had line upon line and precept upon precept. This may be a serviceable hint, since necessities and God's providence are foreshadowed. I have felt for some time that perpetual instruction of my students might substitute my own for their growth, and so dwarf their experience. If they must learn by the things they suffer, the sooner this lesson is gained the better.
For two years I have been gradually withdrawing from active membership in the Christian Scientist Association, This has developed higher energies on the part of true followers, and led to some startling departures on the other hand. “Offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come.”
Why does not the certainty of individual punishment for sin prevent the wrong action? It is the love of God, and not the fear of evil, that is the incentive in Science. I rejoice with those who rejoice, and am too apt to weep with those who weep, but over and above it all are eternal sunshine and joy unspeakable.
The March Primary Class
To the Primary Class of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, 571 Columbus Avenue, that Assembled Feb. 25, 1889, with an Attendance of Sixty-five Students.
My students, three picture-stories from the Bible present themselves to my thought; three of those pictures from which we learn without study. The first is that of Joshua and his band before the walls of Jericho. They went seven times around these walls, the seven times corresponding to the seven days of creation: the six days are to find out the nothingness of matter; the seventh is the day of rest, when it is found that evil is naught and good is all.
The second picture is of the disciples met together in an upper chamber; and they were of one mind. Mark, that in the case of Joshua and his band they had all to shout together in order that the walls might fall; and the disciples, too, were of one mind.
We, to-day, in this class-room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind; for then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind; as when the earth was without form, and Mind spake and form appeared.
The third picture-lesson is from Revelation, where, at the opening of the seals, one of the angels presented himself with balances to weigh the thoughts and actions of men; not angels with wings, but messengers of pure and holy thoughts that say, See thou hurt not the holy things of Truth.
You have come to be weighed; and yet, I would not weigh you, nor have you weighed. How is this? Because God does all, and there is nothing in the opposite scale. There are not two, — Mind and matter. We must get rid of that notion. As we commonly think, we imagine all is well if we cast something into the scale of Mind, but we must realize that Mind is not put into the scales with matter; then only are we working on one side and in Science.
The students of this Primary class, dismissed the fifth of March, at close of the lecture on the fourth presented their teacher with an elegant album costing fifty dollars, and containing beautiful hand-painted flowers on each page, with their autographs. The presentation was made in a brief address by Mr. D. A. Easton, who in appropriate language and metaphor expressed his fellow-students' thanks to their teacher.
On the morning of the fifth, I met the class to answer some questions before their dismissal, and allude briefly to a topic of great import to the student of Christian Science, — the rocks and sirens in their course, on and by which so many wrecks are made. The doors of animal magnetism open wide for the entrance of error, sometimes just at the moment when you are ready to enter on the fruition of your labors, and with laudable ambition are about to chant hymns of victory for triumphs.
The doors that this animal element flings open are those of rivalry, jealousy, envy, revenge. It is the self-asserting mortal will-power that you must guard against But I find also another mental condition of yours that fills me with joy. I learned long ago that the world could neither deprive me of something nor give me anything, and I have now one ambition and one joy. But if one cherishes ambition unwisely, one will be chastened for it.
Admiral Coligny, in the time of the French Huguenots, was converted to Protestantism through a stray copy of the Scriptures that fell into his hands. He replied to his wife, who urged him to come out and confess his faith, “It is wise to count the cost of becoming a true Christian.” She answered him, “It is wiser to count the cost of not becoming a true Christian.” So, whatever we meet that is hard in the Christian warfare we must count as nothing, and must think instead, of our poverty and helplessness without this understanding, and count ourselves always as debtors to Christ, Truth.
Among the gifts of my students, this of yours is one of the most beautiful and the most costly, because you have signed your names. I felt the weight of this yesterday, but it came to me more clearly this morning when I realized what a responsibility you assume when subscribing to Christian Science. But, whatever may come to you, remember the words of Solomon, “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not go unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”
You will need, in future, practice more than theory. You are going out to demonstrate a living faith, a true sense of the Infinite good, a sense that does not limit God, but brings to human view an enlarged sense of Deity. Remember, it is personality, and the sense of personality in God or in man, that limits man.
Obtrusive Mental Healing
The question will present itself: Shall people be treated mentally without their knowledge or consent? The direct rule for practice of Christian Science is the Golden Rule, “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye.” Who of us would have our houses broken open or our locks picked? and much less would we have our minds tampered with.
Our Master said, “When ye enter a house, salute it.” Prolonging the metaphysical tone of his command, I say, When you enter mentally the personal precincts of human thought, you should know that the person with whom you hold communion desires it. There are solitary exceptions to most given rules: the following is an exception to the above rule of mental practice.
If the friends of a patient desire you to treat him without his knowing it, and they believe in the efficacy of Mind-healing, it is sometimes wise to do so, and the end justifies the means; for he is restored through Christian Science when other means have failed. One other occasion which may call for aid unsought, is a case from accident, when there is no time for ceremony and no other aid is near.
The abuse which I call attention to, is promiscuous and unannounced mental practice where there is no necessity for it, or the motive is mercenary, or one can to advantage speak the truth audibly; then the ease is not exceptional. As a rule, one has no more right to enter the mind of a person, stir, upset, and adjust his thoughts without his knowledge or consent, than one has to enter a house, unlock the desk, displace the furniture, and suit one's self in the arrangement and management of another man's property.
It would be right to break into a burning building and rouse the slumbering inmates, but wrong to burst open doors and break through windows if no emergency demanded this. Any exception to the old wholesome rule, “Mind your own business,” is rare. For a student of mine to treat another student without his knowledge, is a breach of good manners and morals; it is nothing less than a mistaken kindness, a culpable ignorance, or a conscious trespass on the rights of mortals.
I insist on the etiquette of Christian Science, as well as its morals and Christianity. The Scriptural rule of this Science may momentarily be forgotten; but this is seldom the case with loyal students, or done without incriminating the person who did it.
Each student should, must, work out his own problem of being; conscious, meanwhile, that God worketh with him, and that he needs no personal aid. It is the genius of Christian Science to demonstrate good, not evil, — harmony, not discord; for Science is the mandate of Truth which destroys all error.
Whoever is honestly laboring to learn the principle of music and practise it, seldom calls on his teacher or musician to practise for him. The only personal help required in this Science is for each one to do his own work well, and never try to hinder others from doing theirs thus.
Christian Science, more than any other system of religion, morals, or medicine, is subject to abuses. Its infinite nature and uses occasion this. Even the humanitarian at work in this field of limitless power and good may possess a zeal without knowledge, and thus mistake the sphere of his present usefulness.
Students who strictly adhere to the right, and make the Bible and Science and Health a study, are in no danger of mistaking their way.
This question is often proposed, How shall I treat malicious animal magnetism? The hour has passed for this evil to be treated personally, but it should have been so dealt with at the outset. Christian Scientists should have gone personally to the malpractitioner and told him his fault, and vindicated divine Truth and Love against human error and hate. This growing sin must now be dealt with as evil, and not as an evil-doer or personality. It must also be remembered that neither an evil claim nor an evil person is real, hence is neither to be feared nor honored.
Evil is not something to fear and flee before, or that becomes more real when it is grappled with. Evil let alone grows more real, aggressive, and enlarges its claims; but, met with Science, it can and will be mastered by Science.
I deprecate personal animosities and quarrels. But if one is intrusted with the rules of church government, to fulfil that trust those rules must be carried out; thus it is with all moral obligations. I am opposed to all personal attacks, and in favor of combating evil only, rather than person.
An edition of one thousand pamphlets I ordered to be laid away and not one of them circulated, because I had been personal in condemnation. Afterwards, by a blunder of the gentleman who fills orders for my books, some of these pamphlets were mistaken for the corrected edition, and sold.
Love is the fulfilling of the law. Human life is too short for foibles or failures. The Christian Science Journal will hold high the banner of Truth and Love, and be impartial and impersonal in its tenor and tenets.
It was about the year 1875 that Science and Health first crossed swords with free-love, and the latter fell hors de combat; but the whole warfare of sensuality was not then ended. Science and Health, the book that cast the first stone, is still at work, deep down in human consciousness, laying the axe at the root of error.
We have taken the precaution to write briefly on marriage, showing its relation to Christian Science. In the present or future, some extra throe of error may conjure up a new-style conjugality, which, ad libitum, severs the marriage covenant, puts virtue in the shambles, and coolly notifies the public of broken vows. Springing up from the ashes of free-love, this nondescript phœnix, in the face and eyes of common law, common sense, and common honesty, may appear in the rôle of a superfine conjugality; but, having no Truth, it will have no past, present, or future.
The above prophecy, written years ago, has already been fulfilled. It is seen in Christian Science that the gospel of marriage is not without the law, and the solemn vow of fidelity, “until death do us part;” this verity in human economy can neither be obscured nor throttled. Until time matures human growth, marriage and progeny will continue unprohibited in Christian Science. We look to future generations for ability to comply with absolute Science, when marriage shall be found to be man's oneness with God, — the unity of eternal Love. At present, more spiritual conception and education of children will serve to illustrate the superiority of spiritual power over sensuous, and usher in the dawn of God's creation, wherein they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels. To abolish marriage at this period, and maintain morality and generation, would put ingenuity to ludicrous shifts; yet this is possible in Science, although it is to-day problematic.
The time cometh, and now is, for spiritual and eternal existence to be recognized and understood in Science. All is Mind. Human procreation, birth, life, and death are subjective states of the human erring mind; they are the phenomena of mortality, nothingness, that illustrate mortal mind and body as one, and neither real nor eternal.
It should be understood that Spirit, God, is the only creator: we should recognize this verity of being, and shut out all sense of other claims. Until this absolute Science of being is seen, understood, and demonstrated in the offspring of divine Mind, and man is perfect even as the Father is perfect, human speculation will go on, and stop at length at the spiritual ultimate: creation understood as the most exalted divine conception. The offspring of an improved generation, however, will go out before the forever fact that man is eternal and has no human origin. Hence the Scripture: “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves;” and the Master's demand, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”
To an ill-attuned ear, discord is harmony; so personal sense, discerning not the legitimate affection of Soul, may place love on a false basis and thereby lose it. Science corrects this error with the truth of Love, and restores lost Eden. Soul is the infinite source of bliss: only high and holy joy can satisfy immortal cravings. The good in human affections should preponderate over the evil, and the spiritual over the animal, — until progress lifts mortals to discern the Science of mental formation and find the highway of holiness.
In the order of wisdom, the higher nature of man governs the lower. This lays the foundations of human affection in line with progress, giving them strength and permanence.
When asked by a wife or a husband important questions concerning their happiness, the substance of my reply is: God will guide you. Be faithful over home relations; they lead to higher joys: obey the Golden Rule for human life, and it will spare you much bitterness. It is pleasanter to do right than wrong; it makes one ruler over one's self and hallows home, — which is woman's world. Please your husband, and he will be apt to please you; preserve affection on both sides.
Great mischief comes from attempts to steady other people's altars, venturing on valor without discretion, which is virtually meddlesomeness. Even your sincere and courageous convictions regarding what is best for others may be mistaken; you must be demonstratively right yourself, and work out the greatest good to the greatest number, before you are sure of being a fit counsellor. Positive and imperative thoughts should be dropped into the balances of God and weighed by spiritual Love, and not be found wanting, before being put into action. A rash conclusion that regards only one side of a question, is weak and wicked; this error works out the results of error. If the premise of mortal existence is wrong, any conclusion drawn therefrom is not absolutely right. Wisdom in human action begins with what is nearest right under the circumstances, and thence achieves the absolute.
Is marriage nearer right than celibacy?
Human knowledge inculcates that it is, while Science indicates that it is not. But to force the consciousness of scientific being before it is understood is impossible, and believing otherwise would prevent scientific demonstration. To reckon the universal cost and gain, as well as thine own, is right in every state and stage of being. The selfish rôle of a martyr is the shift of a dishonest mind, nothing short of self-seeking; and real suffering would stop the farce.
The cause of temperance receives a strong impulse from the cause of Christian Science: temperance and truth are allies, and their cause prospers in proportion to the spirit of Love that nerves the struggle. People will differ in their opinions as to means to promote the ends of temperance; that is, abstinence from intoxicating beverages. Whatever intoxicates a man, stultifies and causes him to degenerate physically and morally. Strong drink is unquestionably an evil, and evil cannot be used temperately: its slightest use is abuse; hence the only temperance is total abstinence. Drunkenness is sensuality let loose, in whatever form it is made manifest.
What is evil? It is suppositional absence of good. From a human standpoint of good, mortals must first choose between evils, and of two evils choose the less; and at present the application of scientific rules to human life seems to rest on this basis.
All partnerships are formed on agreements to certain compacts: each party voluntarily surrenders independent action to act as a whole and per agreement. This fact should be duly considered when by the marriage contract two are made one, and, according to the divine precept, “they twain shall be one flesh.” Oneness in spirit is Science, compatible with home and heaven. Neither divine justice nor human equity has divorced two minds in one.
Rights that are bargained away must not be retaken by the contractors, except by mutual consent. Human nature has bestowed on a wife the right to become a mother; but if the wife esteems not this privilege, by mutual consent, exalted and increased affections, she may win a higher. Science touches the conjugal question on the basis of a bill of rights. Can the bill of conjugal rights be fairly stated by a magistrate, or by a minister? Mutual interests and affections are the spirit of these rights, and they should be consulted, augmented, and allowed to rise to the spiritual altitude whence they can choose only good.
A third person is not a party to the compact of two hearts. Let other people's marriage relations alone: two persons only, should be found within their precincts. The nuptial vow is never annulled so long as the animus of the contract is preserved intact. Science lifts humanity higher in the scale of harmony, and must ultimately break all bonds that hinder progress.
Mistaken views ought to be dissolving views, since whatever is false should disappear. To suppose that human love, guided by the divine Principle, which is Love, is partial, unmerciful, or unjust, indicates misapprehension of the divine Principle and its workings in the human heart.
A person wrote to me, naming the time of the occurrence, “I felt the influence of your thought on my mind, and it produced a wonderful illumination, peace, and understanding;” but, I had not thought of the writer at that time. I knew that this person was doing well, and my affections involuntarily flow out towards all.
When will the world cease to judge of causes from a personal sense of things, conjectural and misapprehensive! When thought dwells in God, — and it should not, to our consciousness, dwell elsewhere, — one must benefit those who hold a place in one's memory, whether it be friend or foe, and each share the benefit of that radiation. This individual blessedness and blessing comes not so much from individual as from universal love: it emits light because it reflects; and all who are receptive share this equally.
Mistaken or transient views are human: they are not governed by the Principle of divine Science: but the notion that a mind governed by Principle can be forced into personal channels, affinities, self-interests, or obligations, is a grave mistake; it dims the true sense of God's reflection, and darkens the understanding that demonstrates above personal motives, unworthy aims and ambitions.
Too much and too little is attached to me as authority for other people's thoughts and actions. A tacit acquiescence with others' views is often construed as direct orders, — or at least it so appears in results. I desire the equal growth and prosperity of all Christian Scientists, and the world in general; each and every one has equal opportunity to be benefited by my thoughts and writings. If any are not partakers thereof, this is not my fault, and is far from my desire; the possible perversion of Christian Science is the irony of fate, if the spirit thereof be lacking. I would part with a blessing myself to bestow it upon others, but could not deprive them of it. False views, however engendered, relative to the true and unswerving course of a Christian Scientist, will at length dissolve into thin air. The dew of heaven will fall gently on the hearts and lives of all who are found worthy to suffer for righteousness, — and have taught the truth which is energizing, refreshing, and consecrating mankind.
To station justice and gratitude as sentinels along the lines of thought, would aid the solution of this problem, and counteract the influence of envious minds or the misguided individual who keeps not watch over his emotions and conclusions.
The divinity of St. John's Gospel brings to view overwhelming tides of revelation, and its spirit is baptismal; he chronicles this teaching, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another.”
Jesus, who so loved the world that he gave his life (in the flesh) for it, saw that Love had a new commandment even for him. What was it?
It must have been a rare revelation of infinite Love, a new tone on the scale ascending, such as eternity is ever sounding. Could I impart to the student the higher sense I entertain of Love, it would partly illustrate the divine energy that brings to human weakness might and majesty. Divine Love eventually causes mortals to turn away from the open sepulchres of sin, and look no more into them as realities. It calls loudly on them to bury the dead out of sight; to forgive and forget whatever is unlike the risen, immortal Love; and to shut out all opposite sense. Christ enjoins it upon man to help those who know not what he is doing in their behalf, and therefore curse him; enjoins taking them by the hand and leading them, if possible, to Christ, by loving words and deeds. Charity thus serves as admonition and instruction, and works out the purposes of Love.
Christian Science, full of grace and truth, is accomplishing great good, both seen and unseen; but have mortals, with the penetration of Soul, searched the secret chambers of sense? I never knew a student who fully understood my instructions on this point of handling evil, — as to just how this should be done, — and carried out my ideal. It is safe not to teach prematurely the infant thought in Christian Science — just breathing new Life and Love — all the claims and modes of evil; therefore it is best to leave the righteous unfolding of error (as a general rule) alone, and to the special care of the unerring modes of divine wisdom. This uncovering and punishing of sin must, will come, at some date, to the rescue of humanity. The teacher of divine metaphysics should impart to his students the general knowledge that he has gained from instruction, observation, and mental practice.
Experience weighs in the scales of God the sense and power of Truth against the opposite claims of error. If spiritual sense is not dominant in a student, he will not understand all your instructions; and if evil dominates his character, he will pervert the rules of Christian Science, and the last error will be worse than the first inasmuch as wilful transgression brings greater torment than ignorance.
A Cruce Salus
The sum total of Love reflected is exemplified, and includes the whole duty of man: Truth perverted, in belief, becomes the creator of the claim of error. To affirm mentally and audibly that God is All and there is no sickness and no sin, makes mortals either saints or sinners.
Truth talked and not lived, rolls on the human heart a stone; consigns sensibility to the charnel-house of sensuality, ease, self-love, self-justification, there to moulder and rot.
The noblest work of God is man in the image of his Maker; the last infirmity of evil is so-called man, swayed by the maëlstrom of human passions, elbowing the concepts of his own creating, making place for himself and displacing his fellows.
A real Christian Scientist is a marvel, a miracle in the universe of mortal mind. With selfless love, he inscribes on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page of reality the living, palpable presence — the might and majesty! — of goodness. He lives for all mankind, and honors his creator.
The vice versa of this man is sometimes called a man, but he is a small animal: a hived bee, with sting ready for each kind touch, he makes honey out of the flowers of human hearts and hides it in his cell of ingratitude.
O friendly hand! keep back thy offerings from asps and apes, from wolves in sheep's clothing and all ravening beasts. Love such specimens of mortality just enough to reform and transform them, — if it be possible, — and then, look out for their stings, and jaws, and claws; but thank God and take courage, — that you desire to help even such as these.
Comparison to English Barmaids
Since my residence in Concord, N. H., I have read the daily paper, and had become an admirer of Edgar L. Wakeman's terse, graphic, and poetic style in his “Wanderings,” richly flavored with the true ideas of humanity and equality. In an issue of January 17, however, were certain references to American women which deserve and elicit brief comment.
Mr. Wakeman writes from London, that a noted English leader, whom he quotes without naming, avers that the “cursed barmaid system” in England is evolved by the same power which in America leads women “along a gamut of isms and ists, from female suffrage, past a score of reforms, to Christian Science.” This anonymous talker further declares, that the central cause of this “same original evil” is “a female passion for some manner of notoriety.”
Is Mr. Wakeman awake, and caught napping? While praising the Scotchman's national pride and affection, has our American correspondent lost these sentiments from his own breast? Has he forgotten how to honor his native land and defend the dignity of her daughters with his ready pen and pathos?
The flaunting and floundering statements of the great unknown for whose ability and popularity Mr. Wakeman strongly vouches, should not only be queried, but flatly contradicted, as both untrue and uncivil. English sentiment is not wholly represented by one man. Nor is the world ignorant of the fact that high and pure ethical tones do resound from Albion's shores. The most advanced ideas are inscribed on tablets of such an organization as the Victoria Institute, or Philosophical Society of Great Britain, an institution which names itself after her who is unquestionably the best queen on earth; who for a half century has with such dignity, clemency, and virtue worn the English crown and borne the English sceptre.
Now, I am a Christian Scientist, — the Founder of this system of religion, — widely known; and, by special invitation, have allowed myself to be elected an associate life-member of the Victoria Institute, which numbers among its constituents and managers — not barmaids, but bishops — profound philosophers, brilliant scholars.
Was it ignorance of American society and history, together with unfamiliarity with the work and career of American women, which led the unknown author cited by Mr. Wakeman to overflow in shallow sarcasm, and place the barmaids of English alehouses and railways in the same category with noble women who minister in the sick-room, give their time and strength to binding up the wounds of the broken-hearted, and live on the plan of heaven?
This writer classes Christian Science with theosophy and spiritualism; whereas, they are by no means identical — nor even similar. Christian Science, antagonistic to intemperance, as to all immorality, is by no means associated therewith. Do manly Britons patronize taprooms and lazar-houses, and thus note or foster a feminine ambition which, in this unknown gentleman's language, “poises and poses, higgles and wriggles” itself into publicity? Why fall into such patronage, unless from their affinity for the worst forms of vice?
And the barmaids! Do they enter this line of occupation from a desire for notoriety and a wish to promote female suffrage? or are they incited thereto by their own poverty and the bad appetites of men? What manner of man is this unknown individual who utters barmaid and Christian Scientist in the same breath? If he but knew whereof he speaks, his shame would not lose its blush!
Taking into account the short time that has elapsed since the discovery of Christian Science, one readily sees that this Science has distanced all other religious and pathological systems for physical and moral reformation. In the direction of temperance it has achieved far more than has been accomplished by legally coercive measures, — and because this Science bases its work on ethical conditions and mentally destroys the appetite for alcoholic drinks.
Smart journalism is allowable, nay, it is commendable; but the public cannot swallow reports of American affairs from a surly censor ventilating his lofty scorn of the sects, or societies, of a nation that perhaps he has never visited.
A Christian Science Statute
I hereby state, in unmistakable language, the following statute in the morale of Christian Science: —
A man or woman, having voluntarily entered into wedlock, and accepted the claims of the marriage covenant, is held in Christian Science as morally bound to fulfil all the claims growing out of this contract, unless such claims are relinquished by mutual consent of both parties, or this contract is legally dissolved. If the man is dominant over the animal, he will count the consequences of his own conduct; will consider the effects, on himself and his progeny, of selfishness, unmercifulness, tyranny, or lust.
Trust Truth, not error; and Truth will give you all that belongs to the rights of freedom. The Hebrew bard wrote, “Trust In the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Nothing is gained by wrong-doing. St. Paul's words take in the situation: “Not . . . (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.”
When causing others to go astray, we also are wanderers. “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Ask yourself: Under the same circumstances, in the same spiritual ignorance and power of passion, would I be strengthened by having my best friend break troth with me? These words of St. Matthew have special application to Christian Scientists; namely, “It Is not good to marry.”
To build on selfishness is to build on sand. When Jesus received the material rite of water baptism, he did not say that it was God's command; but implied that the period demanded it. Trials purify mortals and deliver them from themselves, — all the claims of sensuality. Abide by the morale of absolute Christian Science, — self-abnegation and purity; then Truth delivers you from the seeming power of error, and faith vested in righteousness triumphs!
Advice to Students
The true consciousness is the true health. One says, “I find relief from pain in unconscious sleep.” I say, You mistake; through unconsciousness one no more gains freedom from pain than immunity from evil. When unconscious of a mistake, one thinks he is not mistaken; but this false consciousness does not change the fact, or its results; suffering and mistakes recur until one is awake to their cause and character. To know the what, when, and how of error, destroys error. The error that is seen aright as error, has received its death-blow; but never until then.
Let us look through the lens of Christian Science, not of “self,” at the following mistake, which demands our present attention. I have no time for detailed report of this matter, but simply answer the following question sent to me; glad, indeed, that this query has finally come with the courage of conviction to the minds of many students.
“Is it right to copy your works and read them for our public services?”
The good which the material senses see not is the only absolute good; the evil which these senses see not is the only absolute evil.
If I enter Mr. Smith's store and take from it his garments that are on sale, array myself in them, and put myself and them on exhibition, can I make this right by saying, These garments are Mr. Smith's; he manufactured them and owns them, but you must pay me, not him, for this exhibit?
The spectators may ask, Did he give you permission to do this, did he sell them or loan them to you? No. Then have you asked yourself this question on the subject, namely, What right have I to do this? True, it saves your purchasing these garments, and gives to the public new patterns which are useful to them; but does this silence your conscience? or, because you have confessed that they are the property of a noted firm, and you wished to handle them, does it justify you in appropriating them, and so avoiding the cost of hiring or purchasing?
Copying my published works verbatim, compiling them in connection with the Scriptures, taking this copy into the pulpit, announcing the author's name, then reading it publicly as your own compilation, is — what?
We answer, It is a mistake; in common parlance, it is an ignorant wrong.
If you should print and publish your copy of my works, you would be liable to arrest for infringement of copyright, which the law defines and punishes as theft. Reading in the pulpit from copies of my publications gives you the clergyman's salary and spares you the printer's bill, but does it spare you our Master's condemnation? You literally publish my works through the pulpit, instead of the press, and thus evade the law, but not the gospel. When I consent to this act, you will then be justified in it.
Your manuscript copy is liable, in some way, to be printed as your original writings, thus incurring the penalty of the law, and increasing the record of theft in the United States Circuit Court.
To The Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, which I had organized and of which I had for many years been pastor, I gave permission to cite, in the Christian Science Quarterly, from my work Science and Health, passages giving the spiritual meaning of Bible texts; but this was a special privilege, and the author's gift.
Christian Science demonstrates that the patient who pays whatever he is able to pay for being healed, is more apt to recover than he who withholds a slight equivalent for health. Healing morally and physically are one. Then, is compiling and delivering that sermon for which you pay nothing, and which you deliver without the authors consent, and receive pay therefor, the precedent for preaching Christian Science, — and are you doing to the author of the above-named book as you would have others do unto you?
Those authors and editors of pamphlets and periodicals whose substance is made up of my publications, are morally responsible for what the law construes as crime. There are startling instances of the above-named law-breaking and gospel-opposing system of authorship, which characterize the writings of a few professed Christian Scientists. My Christian students who have read copies of my works in the pulpit require only a word to be wise; too sincere and morally statuesque are they to be long led into temptation; but I must not leave persistent plagiarists without this word of warning in public, since my private counsel they disregard.
To the question of my true-hearted students, “Is it right to copy your works and read them for our public services?” I answer: It is not right to copy my book and read it publicly without my consent. My reasons are as follows: —
First: This method is an unseen form of injustice standing in a holy place.
Second: It breaks the Golden Rule, a divine rule for human conduct.
Third: All error tends to harden the heart, blind the eyes, stop the ears of understanding, and inflate self; counter to the commands of our hillside Priest, to whom Isaiah alluded thus: “I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me.”
Behind the scenes lurks an evil which you can prevent: it is a purpose to kill the reformation begun and increasing through the instructions of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;” it encourages infringement of my copyright, and seeks again to “cast lots for his vesture,” — while the perverter preserves in his own consciousness and teaching the name without the Spirit, the skeleton without the heart, the form without the comeliness, the sense without the Science, of Christ's healing. My students are expected to know the teaching of Christian Science sufficiently to discriminate between error and Truth, thus sparing their teacher a task and themselves the temptation to be misled.
Much good has been accomplished through Christian Science Sunday services. If Christian Scientists occasionally mistake in interpreting revealed Truth, of two evils the less would be not to leave the Word unspoken and untaught. I allowed, till this permission was withdrawn, students working faithfully for Christ's cause on earth, the privilege of copying and reading my works for Sunday service; provided, they each and all destroyed the copies at once after said service. When I should so elect and give suitable notice, they were to desist from further copying of my writings as aforesaid.
This injunction did not curtail the benefit which the student derived from making his copy, nor detract from the good that his hearers received from his reading thereof; but it was intended to forestall the possible evil of putting the divine teachings contained in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” into human hands, to subvert or to liquidate.
I recommend that students stay within their own fields of labor, to work for the race; they are lights that cannot be hid, and need only to shine from their home summits to be sought and found as healers physical and moral.
The kindly shepherd has his own fold and tends his own flock. Christian students should have their own institutes and, unmolested, be governed by divine Love alone in teaching and guiding their students. When wisdom garrisons these strongholds of Christian Science, peace and joy, the fruits of Spirit, will rest upon us all. We are brethren in the fullest sense of that word; therefore no queries should arise as to “who shall be greatest.” Let us serve instead of rule, knock instead of push at the door of human hearts, and allow to each and every one the same rights and privileges that we claim for ourselves. If ever I wear out from serving students, it shall be in the effort to help them to obey the Ten Commandments and imbibe the spirit of Christ's Beatitudes.
Editor of Christian Science Journal: — You will oblige me by giving place in your Journal to the following notice. The idea and purpose of a Liberty Bell is pleasing, and can be made profitable to the heart of our country. I feel assured that many Christian Scientists will respond to this letter by contributions.
Mary Baker Eddy.
Columbian Liberty Bell Committee,
1505 Penna. Ave., Washington, D. C.
To the Daughters of the American Revolution: —
It has been determined to create a Columbian Liberty Bell, to be placed by the lovers of liberty and peace in the most appropriate place in the coming World's Exposition at Chicago. After the close of the Exhibition this bell will pass from place to place throughout the world as a missionary of freedom, coming first to the capital of the nation under the care of our society.
Then it will go to Bunker Hill or Liberty Island, to the battle-field of New Orleans (1812), to San Francisco, to the place where any great patriotic celebration is being held, until 1900, when it will be sent to the next World's Exhibition, which takes place at Paris, France. There it will continue until that Exhibition closes.
When not in use in other places, it will return to Washington under the care of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Washington will be its home, and from there it will journey from place to place, fulfilling its mission throughout the world.
The following is the proposed use of the bell : It shall ring at sunrise and sunset; at nine o'clock in the morning on the anniversaries of the days on which great events have occurred marking the world's progress toward liberty; at twelve o'clock on the birthdays of the “creators of liberty;” and at four o'clock it will toll on the anniversaries of their death. (It will always ring at nine o'clock on October 11th, in recognition of the organization on that day of the Daughters of the American Revolution.) . . . The responsibility of its production, and the direction of its use, have been placed in the hands of a committee of women representing each State and Territory, one representative from each Republic in the world, and a representative from the patriotic societies, — Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, the Lyceum League of America, the Society of German Patriots, the Human Freedom League, and kindred organizations.
The National Board of Management has placed upon me the responsibility of representing the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution upon the General Committee, and this circular is sent to every member of the society, asking for her personal cooperation in making the undertaking successful. In creating the bell it is particularly desired that the largest number of persons possible shall have a part in it. For this reason small contributions from many persons are to be asked for, rather than large contributions from a few. They are to be of two kinds: —
First: Material that can be made a part of the bell; articles of historic interest will be particularly appreciated gold, silver, bronze, copper, and nickel can be fused.
Second: Of money with which to pay for the bell. Each member of the society is asked to contribute one cent to be fused into the bell, and twenty-five cents to pay for it. She is also asked to collect two dollars from others, in pennies, if possible, and send with the amount the name of each contributor. In order that the bell shall be cast April 30th, the anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States, we ask every one receiving this circular to act at once.
In forwarding material to be melted into the bell, please send fullest historical description. This will be entered carefully in a book which will accompany the bell wherever it goes.
. . . As the motto has not yet been decided upon, any ideas on that subject will be gratefully received; we will also welcome suggestions of events to be celebrated and names to be commemorated.
Very cordially yours,
ex-Vice-President General, D. A. R.
Contributions should be sent to the Liberty National Bank, corner Liberty and West Streets, New York, and a duplicate letter written, as a notification of the same, to Miss Mary Desha, 1505 Penna. Ave., Washington, D. C., or to Miss Minnie F. Mickley, Mickleys, Pa.
We would add, as being of interest, that Mrs. Eddy is a member of the above organization, having been made such by the special request of the late Mrs. Harrison, wife of the ex-President, who was at that time the President thereof. — Ed.
When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts. Oh, may you feel this touch, — it is not the clasping of hands, nor a loved person present; it is more than this: it is a spiritual idea that lights your path! The Psalmist saith: “He shall give His angels charge over thee.” God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the “Peace, be still” to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.
Deification of Personality
Notwithstanding the rapid sale already of two editions of “Christ and Christmas,” and many orders on hand, I have thought best to stop its publication.
In this revolutionary religious period, the increasing inquiry of mankind as to Christianity and its unity — and above all, God's love opening the eyes of the blind — is fast fitting all minds for the proper reception of Christian Science healing.
But I must stand on this absolute basis of Christian Science; namely, Cast not pearls before the unprepared thought. Idolatry is an easily-besetting sin of all peoples. The apostle saith, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
The illustrations were not intended for a golden calf, at which the sick may look and be healed. Christian Scientists should beware of unseen snares, and adhere to the divine Principle and rules for demonstration. They must guard against the deification of finite personality. Every human thought must turn instinctively to the divine Mind as its sole centre and intelligence. Until this be done, man will never be found harmonious and immortal.
Whosoever looks to me personally for his health or holiness, mistakes. He that by reason of human love or hatred or any other cause clings to my material personality, greatly errs, stops his own progress, and loses the path to health, happiness, and heaven. The Scriptures and Christian Science reveal “the way,” and personal revelators will take their proper place in history, but will not be deified.
Advanced scientific students are ready for “Christ and Christmas;” but those are a minority of its readers, and even they know its practicality only by healing the sick on its divine Principle. In the words of the prophet, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”
Friends, strangers, and Christian Scientists, I thank you, each and all, for your liberal patronage and scholarly, artistic, and scientific notices of my book. This little messenger has done its work, fulfilled its mission, retired with honor (and mayhap taught me more than it has others), only to reappear in due season. The knowledge that I have gleaned from its fruitage is, that intensely contemplating personality impedes spiritual growth; even as holding in mind the consciousness of disease prevents the recovery of the sick.
Christian Science is taught through its divine Principle, which is invisible to corporeal sense. A material human likeness is the antipode of man in the image and likeness of God. Hence, a finite person is not the model for a metaphysician. I earnestly advise all Christian Scientists to remove from their observation or study the personal sense of any one, and not to dwell in thought upon their own or others' corporeality, either as good or evil.
According to Christian Science, material personality is an error in premise, and must result in erroneous conclusions. All will agree with me that material portraiture often fails to express even mortal man, and this declares its unfitness for fable or fact to build upon.
The face of Jesus has uniformly been so unnaturally delineated that it has turned many from the true contemplation of his character. He advances most in divine Science who meditates most on infinite spiritual substance and intelligence. Experience proves this true. Pondering on the finite personality of Jesus, the son of man, is not the channel through which we reach the Christ, or Son of God, the true idea of man's divine Principle.
I warn students against falling into the error of anti-Christ. The consciousness of corporeality, and whatever is connected therewith, must be outgrown. Corporeal falsities include all obstacles to health, holiness, and heaven. Man's individual life is infinitely above a bodily form of existence, and the human concept antagonizes the divine. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” on page 229, third and fourth paragraphs, elucidates this topic.
My Christmas poem and its illustrations are not a text-book. Scientists sometimes take things too intensely. Let them soberly adhere to the Bible and Science and Health, which contain all and much more than they have yet learned. We should prohibit ourselves the childish pleasure of studying Truth through the senses, for this is neither the intent of my works nor possible in Science.
Even the teachings of Jesus would be misused by substituting personality for the Christ, or the impersonal form of Truth, amplified in this age by the discovery of Christian Science. To impersonalize scientifically the material sense of existence — rather than cling to personality — is the lesson of to-day.
My answer to manifold letters relative to the return of members that have gone out of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, is this; While my affections plead for all and every one, and my desire is that all shall be redeemed, I am not unmindful that the Scriptures enjoin, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
To continue one's connection with this church, or to regain it, one must comply with the church rules. All who desire its fellowship, and to become members of it, must send in their petitions to this effect to the Clerk of the church; and upon a meeting being called, the First Members will determine the action of the church on this subject.
In this receding year of religious jubilee, 1894, I as an individual would cordially invite all persons who have left our fold, together with those who never have been in it, — all who love God and keep His commandments, — to come and unite with The Mother Church in Boston. The true Christian Scientists will be welcomed, greeted as brethren endeavoring to walk with us hand in hand, as we journey to the celestial city.
Also, I would extend a tender invitation to Christian Scientists' students, those who are ready for the table of our Lord: so, should we follow Christ's teachings; so, bury the dead past; so, loving one another, go forth to the full vintage-time, exemplifying what we profess. But some of the older members are not quite ready to take this advanced step in the full spirit of that charity which thinketh no evil; and if it be not taken thus, it is impractical, unfruitful, Soul-less.
My deepest desires and daily labors go to prove that I love my enemies and would help all to gain the abiding consciousness of health, happiness, and heaven.
I hate no one; and love others more than they can love me. As I now understand Christian Science, I would as soon harm myself as another; since by breaking Christ's command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” I should lose my hope of heaven.
The works I have written on Christian Science contain absolute Truth, and my necessity was to tell it; therefore I did this even as a surgeon who wounds to heal. I was a scribe under orders; and who can refrain from transcribing what God indites, and ought not that one to take the cup, drink all of it, and give thanks?
Being often reported as saying what never escaped from my lips, when rehearsing facts concerning others who were reporting false charges, I have been sorry that I spoke at all, and wished I were wise enough to guard against that temptation. Oh, may the love that is talked, be felt! and so lived, that when weighed in the scale of God we be not found wanting. Love is consistent, uniform, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, unutterably kind; even that which lays all upon the altar, and, speechless and alone, bears all burdens, suffers all inflictions, endures all piercing for the sake of others, and for the kingdom of heaven's sake.
A Great Man and His Saying
Hon. Charles Carrol Bonney, President of the World's Congress Auxiliary, in his remarks before that body, said, “No more striking manifestation of the interposition of divine Providence in human affairs has come in recent years, than that shown in the raising up of the body of people known as Christian Scientists, who are called to declare the real harmony between religion and Science, and to restore the waning faith of many in the verities of the sacred Scriptures.”
In honest utterance of veritable history, and his own spiritual discernment, this man must have risen above worldly schemes, human theorems or hypotheses, to conclusions which reason too supine or misemployed cannot fasten upon. He spake inspired; he touched a tone of Truth that will continue to reverberate and renew its emphasis throughout the entire centuries, into the vast forever.
Words of Commendation
Editor of The Christian Science Journal: — Permit me to say that your editorial in the August number is par excellence.
It is a digest of good manners, morals, methods, and means. It points to the scientific spiritual molecule, pearl, and pinnacle, that everybody needs. May the Christlikeness it reflects rest on the dear readers, and throw the light of penetration on the page; even as the dawn, kindling its glories in the east, lightens earth's landscape.
I thank the contributors to The Christian Science Journal for their jewels of thought, so adapted to the hour, and without ill-humor or hyperbolic tumor. I was impressed by the articles entitled “The New Pastor,” by Rev. Lanson P. Norcross, “The Lamp,” by Walter Church, “The Temptation,” a poem by J. J. Rome, etc.
The field waves its white ensign, the reapers are strong, the rich sheaves are ripe, the storehouse is ready: pray ye therefore the God of harvest to send forth more laborers of the excellent sort, and garner the supplies for a world.
Church and School
Humbly, and, as I believe, divinely directed, I hereby ordain the Bible, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to be hereafter the only pastor of The Church of Christ, Scientist, throughout our land and in other lands.
From this date the Sunday services of our denomination shall be conducted by Readers in lieu of pastors. Each church, or society formed for Sunday worship, shall elect two Readers: a male, and a female. One of these individuals shall open the meeting by reading the hymns, and chapter (or portion of the chapter) in the Bible, lead in silent prayer, and repeat in concert with the congregation the Lord's Prayer. Also, this First Reader shall give out any notices from the pulpit, shall read the Scriptures indicated in the Sunday School Lesson of the Christian Science Quarterly, and shall pronounce the benediction.
The First Reader shall read from my book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” alternately in response to the congregation, the spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer; also, shall read all the selections from Science and Health referred to in the Sunday Lessons.
The Reader of the Scriptures shall name, at each reading, the book, chapter, and verses. The Reader of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” shall commence by announcing the full title of this book, with the name of its author, and add to this announcement, “the Christian Science textbook.” It is unnecessary to repeat the title or page. This form shall also be observed at the Communion service; the selections from both the Bible and the Christian Science textbook shall be taken from the Quarterly, as heretofore, and this Lesson shall be such as is adapted to that service. On the first Sunday of each month, except Communion Sunday, a sermon shall be preached to the children, from selections taken from the Scriptures and Science and Health, especially adapted to the occasion, and read after the manner of the Sunday service. The children's service shall be held on the Sunday following Communion Day.
No copies from my books are allowed to be written, and read from manuscripts, either in private or in public assemblies, except by their author.
Christian Scientists, all over the world, who are letterly fit and specially spiritually fitted for teachers, can teach annually three classes only. They shall teach from the Christian Science textbook. Each class shall consist of not over thirty-three students, carefully selected, and only of such as have promising proclivities toward Christian Science. The teacher shall hold himself morally obligated to look after the welfare of his students, not only through class term, but after it; and to watch well that they prove sound in sentiment, health, and practical Christian Science.
Teaching Christian Science shall be no question of money, but of morals and of uplifting the race. Teachers shall form associations for this purpose; and for the first few years, convene as often as once in three months. Teachers shall not silently mentally address the thought, to handle it, nor allow their students to do thus, except the individual needing it asks for mental treatment. They shall steadily and patiently strive to educate their students in conformity to the unerring wisdom and law of God, and shall enjoin upon them habitually to study His revealed Word, the Scriptures, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”
They shall teach their students how to defend themselves against mental malpractice, but never to return evil for evil; never to attack the malpractitioner, but to know the truth that makes free, — and so to be a law not unto others, but themselves.
Class, Pulpit, Students' Students
When will you take a class in Christian Science or speak to your church in Boston? is often asked.
I shall speak to my dear church at Boston very seldom. The Mother Church must be self-sustained by God. The date of a class in Christian Science should depend on the fitness of things, the tide which flows heavenward, the hour best for the student. Until minds become less worldly-minded, and depart farther from the primitives of the race, and have profited up to their present capacity from the written word, they are not ready for the word spoken at this date.
My juniors can tell others what they know, and turn them slowly toward the haven. Imperative, accumulative, sweet demands rest on my retirement from life's bustle. What, then, of continual recapitulation of tired aphorisms and disappointed ethics; of patching breaches widened the next hour; of pounding wisdom and love into sounding brass; of warming marble and quenching volcanoes! Before entering the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, had my students achieved the point whence they could have derived most benefit from their pupilage, to-day there would be on earth paragons of Christianity, patterns of humility, wisdom, and might for the world.
To the students whom I have not seen that ask, “May I call you mother?” my heart replies. Yes, if you are doing God's work. When born of Truth and Love, we are all of one kindred.
The hour has struck for Christian Scientists to do their own work; to appreciate the signs of the times; to demonstrate self-knowledge and self-government; and to demonstrate, as this period demands, over all sin, disease, and death. The dear ones whom I would have great pleasure in Instructing, know that the door to my teaching was shut when my College closed.
Again, it is not absolutely requisite for some people to be taught in a class, for they can learn by spiritual growth and by the study of what is written. Scarcely a moiety, compared with the whole of the Scriptures and the Christian Science textbook, is yet assimilated spiritually by the most faithful seekers; yet this assimilation is indispensable to the progress of every Christian Scientist. These considerations prompt my answers to the above questions. Human desire is inadequate to adjust the balance on subjects of such earnest import. These words of our Master explain this hour: “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
My sympathies are deeply enlisted for the students of students; having already seen in many instances their talents, culture, and singleness of purpose to uplift the race. Such students should not pay the penalty for other people's faults; and divine Love will open the way for them. My soul abhors injustice, and loves mercy. St. John writes: “Whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”
My Students and Thy Students
Mine and thine are obsolete terms in absolute Christian Science, wherein and whereby the universal brotherhood of man is stated and demands to be demonstrated. I have a large affection, not alone for my students, but for thy students, — for students of the second generation. I cannot but love some of those devoted students better than some of mine who are less lovable or Christly, This natural affection for goodness must go on ad libitum unto the third and fourth and final generation of those who love God and keep His commandments. Hence the following is an amendment of the paragraph on page 47 of “Retrospection and Introspection”: —
Any student, having received instructions in a Primary class from me, or from a loyal student of Christian Science, and afterwards studied thoroughly “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” can enter upon the gospel work of teaching Christian Science, and so fulfil the command of Christ. Before entering this sacred field of labor, the student must have studied faithfully the latest editions of my works, and be a good Bible scholar and a devout, consecrated Christian.
These are the indispensable demands on all those who become teachers.
Two points of danger beset mankind; namely, making sin seem either too large or too little: if too large, we are in the darkness of all the ages, wherein the true sense of the unity of good and the unreality of evil is lost.
If good is God, even as God is good, then good and evil can neither be coeval nor coequal, for God is All-in-all. This closes the argument of aught besides Him, aught else than good.
If the sense of sin is too little, mortals are in danger of not seeing their own belief in sin, but of seeing too keenly their neighbor's. Then they are beset with egotism and hypocrisy. Here Christian Scientists must be most watchful. Their habit of mental and audible protest against the reality of sin, tends to make sin less or more to them than to other people. They must either be overcoming sin in themselves, or they must not lose sight of sin; else they are self-deceived sinners of the worst sort.
A Word to the Wise
Will all the dear Christian Scientists accept my tender greetings for the forthcoming holidays, and grant me this request, — let the present season pass without one gift to me.
Our church edifice must be built in 1894. Take thither thy saintly offerings, and lay them in the outstretched hand of God. The object to be won affords ample opportunity for the grandest achievement to which Christian Scientists can direct attention, and feel themselves alone among the stars.
No doubt must intervene between the promise and event; faith and resolve are friends to Truth; seize them, trust the divine Providence, push upward our prayer in stone, — and God will give the benediction.
This interesting day, crowned with the history of Truth's idea, — its earthly advent and nativity, — is especially dear to the heart of Christian Scientists; to whom Christ's appearing in a fuller sense is so precious, and fraught with divine benedictions for mankind.
The star that looked lovingly down on the manger of our Lord, lends its resplendent light to this hour: the light of Truth, to cheer, guide, and bless man as he reaches forth for the infant idea of divine perfection dawning upon human imperfection, — that calms man's fears, bears his burdens, beckons him on to Truth and Love and the sweet immunity these bring from sin, sickness, and death.
This polar star, fixed in the heavens of divine Science, shall be the sign of his appearing who “healeth all our diseases;” it hath traversed night, wading through darkness and gloom, on to glory. It doth meet the antagonism of error; addressing to dull ears and undisciplined beliefs words of Truth and Life.
The star of Bethlehem is the star of Boston, high in the zenith of Truth's domain, that looketh down on the long night of human beliefs, to pierce the darkness and melt into dawn.
The star of Bethlehem is the light of all ages; is the light of Love, to-day christening religion undefiled, divine Science; giving to it a new name, and the white stone in token of purity and permanence.
The wise men follow this guiding star; the watchful shepherd chants his welcome over the cradle of a great truth, and saith, “Unto us a child is born,” whose birth is less of a miracle than eighteen centuries ago; and “his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
My heart is filled with joy, that each receding year sees the steady gain of Truth's idea in Christian Science; that each recurring year witnesses the balance adjusted more on the side of God, the supremacy of Spirit; as shown by the triumphs of Truth over error, of health over sickness, of Life over death, and of Soul over sense.
“The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Press on, press on! ye sons of light,
Untiring in your holy fight,
Still treading each temptation down,
And battling for a brighter crown.
In reply to all invitations from Chicago to share the hospitality of their beautiful homes at any time during the great wonder of the world, the World's Fair, I say, Do not expect me. I have no desire to see or to hear what is to be offered upon this approaching occasion.
I have a world of wisdom and Love to contemplate, that concerns me, and you, infinitely beyond all earthly expositions or exhibitions. In return for your kindness, I earnestly invite you to its contemplation with me, and to preparation to behold it.
Message to The Mother Church
Beloved Brethren: — People coming from a distance expecting to hear me speak in The Mother Church, are frequently disappointed. To avoid this, I may hereafter notify the Directors when I shall be present to address this congregation, and the Clerk of the church can inform correspondents. Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Lore they demonstrate, is the great Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them “beside the still waters.” By any personal presence, or word of mine, your thought must not be diverted or diverged, your senses satisfied, or self be justified.
Therefore, beloved, my often-coming is unnecessary; for, though I be present or absent, it is God that feedeth the hungry heart, that giveth grace for grace, that healeth the sick and cleanseth the sinner. For this consummation He hath given you Christian Science, and my past poor labors and love. He hath shown you the amplitude of His mercy, the justice of His judgment, the omnipotence of His love; and this, to compensate your zealous affection for seeking good, and for laboring in its widening grooves from the infinitesimal to the infinite.
- See the revised edition of 1890.
- See edition of 1909.