Science and Health/3 Spirit and Matter
SPIRIT AND MATTER.
If happiness and Life are of the body, personal sense is man, and man is matter, an intelligent body, but sickness, sin and death do not constitute immortal man, neither are these Spirit.
Nothing false or impure is for a moment embraced in immortal Soul; these are mortal, the destructive elements of matter-mind. The best sermon ever preached is Truth demonstrated on the body, whereby sickness is healed and sin destroyed. Knowing that one will be supreme in the affections, and take the lead of our actions, the Master said, “Ye cannot serve two masters,” well knowing that which determines our place in Christianity proves also whether man is the servant of Soul, or sense, of God, or man. If Spirit governs man, sin does not tempt him, the so-called laws of matter make him sick, or limit his Life and usefulness. Straight and narrow is the path of science, and few there be who go in thereat.
The Truth of man makes a new creature; “old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new.” When personal sense is exchanged for the science of being, “all things become immortal and harmonious;” every belief of matter as substance, Life, or Intelligence, must be destroyed before man is found the image and likeness of God; Christian perfection is won on no other basis. In the scientific unity between Soul and body, or God and man, Soul is not in body, but man is embraced in Spirit, even as Principle contains its idea and is controlled by it. Intelligence embraces and governs the harmonious heavens and earth where His “will is done.”
Man controlled by Wisdom, Truth and Love has no physical suffering, his body is harmonious; but the belief of Soul in body and Spirit in matter is governed alone by personal sense, by beliefs of sickness, sin and death, doctrines, theories, etc., hence it is ever getting wrong, and finally goes down, and this man is proved mortal. The man of sense is instinct with lies, and is the “old man to be put off” before God's idea the immortal man is understood; as Paul has it, before the “new man is put on.” What the apostle called the “new man,” is what the science of being, so new to the world of sense, will bring out when not strangled by error and persecution.
Theories and doctrines that presuppose Soul in body, and God in man, by grafting holiness into unholiness, make sickness, sin and death Truth, or God error; giving the lie to science, and constituting a barren stereotyped belief, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Why man is not realized perfect, “even as his Father,” his harmonious Principle “is perfect,” is owing to the belief an Intelligence other than God can direct him away from Truth, Life and Love, when it is but the error of personal sense that does this, and not an intelligent evil; there is but one Intelligence, and this is God.
Our beliefs of a supreme Being commence, saying, He hath almighty power and is a present help in times of trouble, and end with a drug or a rainy day superior to Him; the understanding of God changes this position, giving omnipotence to Spirit, and no power to matter. Intelligence in matter would negative the omnipotence of Spirit. Mortal error is at war with immortal Truth, and is the sick, sinning and dying belief named mortal man that saith, death is the master of Life.
Error abounds where Truth would much more abound, were God understood, and the scientific relationship of Soul and body as Principle and Idea, and the impossible union of Spirit and matter fully apprehended. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” that is, I am Soul and not body, Spirit and not matter, hence there is but one Intelligence or Soul because there is but one God; recollect “I” signifies God, and not man; Principle, and not person; Spirit, and not matter; and this is the science of Soul and body that enables us to heal the sick on the Principle or Truth of man; viz., that “in God we live, move and have being”; Spirit and not matter holds the issues of Life.
The accusation most denunciatory to Jesus, the great demonstrator of the science of being, was this: “He maketh himself as God”; but this, also was the point that made him all he was more than other men. When this fundamental Truth is understood, it will be found to induce not only more exalted worship, but self-abnegation, a higher spiritual apprehension of the supreme Being, and the ability to bring out all the possibilities of being; it destroys also the belief in matter, and finds man in God; the mistaken opinion that Soul is in the body, or any portion of God in man would rob the All-wise of some omnipotence and Wisdom. Theories and beliefs either admit more than one God, or less than a God; we must break the bars of personality and let go the belief of God in matter, and get out of man into God, to reach the science of Life and be rid of sickness, sin, and death; so long as Life and Intelligence are supposed to be in matter, man will be mortal. The belief that is fatal to science, to man's harmony, and to God's omnipotence supposes a portion of Jehovah is imprisoned in a body of sensuality and death, to escape thence when this body has gone to ruin in His keeping, mastered Omnipotence, and destroyed itself, or when God the Life of man has killed the body, to get out of it, into the science and circumference of being.
The smallest portion of holiness was never inside of sin, or mixed in any manner with it. The good we see, and say it is in man, is outside of him; mortal man, or mind in matter, is morally and scientifically impossible, even to God. The belief that good and evil, God and devil, Spirit and matter mingle in the least, or take the same individuality, is the error called mortal man. There are degrees of comparison, however, in error, the lesser one is the less material man, hence the more transparent to Truth, outside this error the good in connection with mortal man, is outside of him, instead of inside. The idea of God outside the belief of Life in matter is immortal man; we catch glimpses of him when the clouds of error are less dense, and at times melt into such thinness we perceive the image and likeness of God in some word or deed that reveals somewhat of the true being, even the immortal man, sinless and eternal. Not, however, that a mortal man embraces one atom of goodness; all is sin and sense there, but that the good outside of him at times shines through him like the sunbeams that the vapory cloud cannot hide. The less we admit matter intelligent, and cease to call the body “I,” the more we gather ourself in the good, outside of evil, and the sooner will God be understood, and man will be found the image and likeness of God.
Admitting Soul is in the body, and Life and Intelligence matter, as well as God; the infinite gets into the finite, and even then cannot control the body in which He dwells; contending bodily conditions are beyond the control of Intelligence; we employ matter remedies to do what is not even expected of Omnipotence, and mortal man limps with lameness, droops with dyspepsia, or consumes with pulmonary disease, etc., until this so-called man yields up the ghost.
We should hesitate to say God sins and suffers, although the logic of such reasoning would be this; if God dwells in person or man we must confess to atheism and submerge Intelligence in matter. How far is the belief removed from infidelity, that unites Spirit and matter, and employs the latter to heal the sick, thus tacitly acknowledging matter superior to God. This error cannot be understood, or it would not be tolerated.
There are evil beliefs, and these falsely called evil "spirits.” There is but one Spirit, viz., Life, Love, and Truth; and this is sufficient for all things, and a “very present help in time of trouble”; but when knowledge takes the responsibility to say matter is more potent than man's Maker, is it well to suppose Christianity can mix with this belief, so opposite to Jesus' teachings, and demonstrate as he did the science of being, casting out error, and healing the sick.
To understand that “I” is Intelligence, and this the one God, enables man to gain the immortality of Soul, and to destroy the errors of sense, and make the body harmonious and eternal, because it is governed by Spirit; but to believe ourself nerves, bones, brain, etc., is to accept the aid of matter to control the body, virtually admitting God incapable of the entire government of man. If brains, nerves, etc., are intelligent, then Spirit and matter commingle, and sin and holiness, sickness and health, Life and death, good and evil, are mixed, and who shall say which is one or the other, for this would be a matter of opinion. Our Master destroyed this doctrine when He said, “there is no fellowship between God and Belial.” If man is Intelligence, there are gods many; or if Intelligence is in man, the greater enters into the lesser; and God becomes less than man, and there is no God; 't is in vain we insist on such self-evident error! Those self-conscious of any goodness are also conscious of Love and Truth, outside of matter.
If man would pay due allegiance to God, what stronger argument has he by which to overcome sickness and sin, than to regard these not made by God, “who made all that was made;” and because they were not, that they are without creation or reality. To trample on sin by holding yourself superior to it, is wisdom; but to fear it, bringeth a snare, because you acknowledge some power or Intelligence superior to God. To trample on the belief of sickness, and to regard yourself superior to it, is wise; but to fear sickness, causes it, by acknowledging its supremacy over you. If you possess Love, Wisdom, or Truth, you have Life, that is superior to death, sickness, or sin, and you ought to prove this fact by demonstration.
If thought is startled at the strong claims of the science of being, and doubts them, are we not surprised also, by the claims of evil? but admit them, although discord is unreal and Truth not as surprising or arbitrary as error.
When sound is interpreted by personal sense, it is but a belief that may be lost with a single change of opinion regarding it, but where it exists in its Principle, we hold it in Soul, and a self-conscious capacity undying. The belief that the so-called dead speak audibly to the living, gives a mental impression the same as other beliefs, and has no more reality than those. Sound is produced by mental impressions, and not by the action of air on the mechanism of the ear. Hearing is not dependent on matter, but depends either on belief or the understanding. Those believing in “spirits,” may produce to personal sense the impression of sound that has the same reality to them as the more common modus operandi has to others. It is mind alone that hears, and mind that gives the impression of sound; and this is proved by clairvoyance.
One individual believes he must use his hands to bring a rose in contact with the olfactories; and another, equally sincere, believes legerdemain can do this; and a third, that the so-called dead handle the rose for him; but each one has produced this phenomenon by his belief, and only because the method is more common to let limbs, lips, and ears express the mind's volition, and sound to sense, other methods we call miracles. As a man thinketh, so is he in error; but as a man understandeth, so is he in Truth. A belief of sickness, coming in contact with another belief of health, is sometimes negatived, and the sick feel better, and this is the only point of science that the mal-practitioner adheres to. The supposed sensations of body are the impressions of one's own mind, or that another mind produces, in no case do they proceed from matter; at length they may become a belief of inflammation, suppuration, paralysis, stiffness, etc.; but in no instance do they originate in matter.
Again, one mind coming in contact with the grief of another is depressed, and a tear starts; now has not mind in this instance produced an effect on the body, upon the lachrymal glands? and not more readily, or distinctly on the eyes, than an internal organ. Mind produces diseased bones, and governs alone the entire internal viscera, and this is the explanation of all disease. The excellent author, John Young of Edinburgh, says, “God is the father of minds, and of nothing else;” surely this is the voice of Truth, crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of moral science, even the reign of Spirit over matter. Scourging Truth out of synagogues will not hide it forever. The signs of to-day point to the era when all that really is, will be understood Spirit and its phenomena; and already the shadow of this right hand rests upon the hour.
The inquiry should no longer be, can mind produce sounds, faces and forms? but what is the best method of training mind here, to produce good instead of evil, that materialism, which depends wholly on mechanical construction and matter conditions for cause and effect, and the evil results from mediumship, may cease forever.
The Jews' determination to recognize God only as person and a king, has not forsaken this age; nor have our creeds and ritualism in other respects quite washed their hands of Rabbinical error. To-day echoes back the cry of bygone centuries: “Crucify him that maketh himself as God,” Spirit, and let matter have dominion over man.
Because Jesus understood God better than did the Rabbis, he arrived at the conclusion in advance of them he was Spirit and not matter, and that these never blend; also, that there is but one Spirit, or Intelligence, therefore but one God, one Life, Love and Truth. All forms of belief deny this in the main, and contend that Intelligence is both God and man, that there are two separate entities or beings exercising antagonistic powers; also, that matter controls Spirit, that man is both matter and Spirit, and the supreme Being is God and man; also, that a third person named devil, is another Intelligence and power, and that these three different personages, viz., God, man, and devil blend in one person. When we possess a true sense of our oneness with God, and learn we are Spirit alone, and not matter, we shall have no such opinions as these, but will triumph over all sickness, sin, and death, thus proving our God-being. That we are Spirit, and Spirit is God, is undeniably true, and judging by its fruits, (the rule our Master gave) we should say this is not only science, but Christianity; but the shocking audacity that calls itself God, and yet demonstrates only erring mortality, surprises us! Some one has said Christianity must be science, and science Christianity, else one or the other is false and useless; but neither of these is proved thus, hence they are inseparable in demonstration. When looking to mortal man for evidences of Life and Truth, we find sin and death stronger than either of these, hence we must look away from body to soul; not in mortality is Spirit that is infinite and blest. It is impossible to shut up the infinite in man; we cannot be both Spirit and matter, for these are opposites. Again, if God is both within and without all things, then all is God. When we say the body is matter, we say with Paul, then you must certainly be “absent from the body, to be present with the Lord,” even Spirit. But to be absent from the body, materia medica calls death, yet Jesus and Paul knew Life is not in the body. The belief that Life and intelligence blend with matter is the foundation of all misapprehensions of God and man; and we shall prove we are Spirit that mixes not with matter, when this opposite error or belief goes down in death, until it is finally destroyed; yet we shall see, hear, feel, &c., all the same, and independent of matter organizations, which we now deem indispensable to these faculties of Soul. Sooner or later we shall all learn the fetters of our infinite capacities are forged by belief only, and that matter is not substance, Life, or Intelligence. When we understand Spirit better than to think it person or man, or to call it matter and place Life that is supreme in mortality, we shall clothe our bodies with immortality, and not until then.
In science we find Spirit and idea harmonize, and man's existence in Soul, the substance and Principle of the idea we name man. There are no personal senses in Spirit, where thy neighbor is as thyself; thus the command to hold no Intelligence in matter, but to love God, Spirit, with all thy heart, Soul and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself, Jesus said, embraced all law and prophesy. In this relationship of Soul and body, otherwise of God and man, what is one man's meat is not another's poison; but what feeds one feeds all, even as Jesus illustrated with the loaves and fishes, when Spirit instead of matter supplied food for the multitude.
How long before we arrive at the full understanding of the science of being, no man knoweth, not the idea but the Principle, not the son but the Father; yet one thing is certain: we shall destroy sin, sickness and death only as we gain this understanding of science, the Truth of man.
We talk of evil spirits, but there is no evil in Spirit; all discord proceeds from the belief of Spirit in matter; but our slow progress from material stand-points to-day, portends a long night to the traveller. Whoso opens the way with science is a stranger and pilgrim at present, that marks out the path for future generations.
On the Western Hemisphere, some immortal sentences broke the fetters, and demolished whipping-posts and markets for man, but tyranny would go down in blood, and the breath of freedom must come through the cannon's mouth. The abolition of negro enslavement, however, did not destroy slavery. We have slaves to personal sense, that are hopeless servants, knowing not how to obtain their freedom. The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick and sensual are wearing out years of servitude, dragging their slow length along, chained to the belief the body is their master; and this belief must be abolished, or mankind submit hopelessly to the worst form of slavery. This state of man, however, is not legitimate, and cannot continue forever; even now, in prophetic vision, we see man free as the sons of God, and matter no longer his master; the abolitionists of negro slavery, in discerning the rights of man, foresaw the doom of slavery. Sickness, sin and death belong not to the government of God; neither are we their helpless slaves; they could not conquer man in a single instance, did he understand his authority over them, and assert his freedom in the name of Almighty God, adopting the scientific position that Intelligence controls matter.
A few sentences of the science of being, understood, would enable man to grasp the standard of liberty. Citizens of the world, accept their glorious import and gain your freedom! This is your divine right; a belief and not law has bound you, and to a condition of mind and not matter; all the sickness, sin and death on earth are caused by mind, even the belief of man; matter is not cause, and when you destroy the belief that it is, its power over you will flee; you possess your own body and make it harmonious and immortal, or discordant and mortal. You, the Intelligence, embrace the body in comprehension and completeness; put away, then, the error of belief that matter embraces you in mystery and disease; “you” the Soul and circumference of being, (for the body is but the idea of “you,”) are a law to your members, and the law-giver that makes your body discordant or harmonious, according to the ignorance or understanding, the error or Truth that governs it. Matter has no Intelligence to rule over you; say then to the error whereby you submit to your body, “Depart, ye that work iniquity.”
Truth will establish the kingdom of heaven on earth, even the reign of harmony wherein is neither sickness, sin, nor death, and trample out this trio of error; had God constituted laws of matter with power to make man sick, Christ would not have abrogated those laws by healing the sick, contrary to them. All evidence of physical law and personal sense is destroyed in the science of being.
Personal sense, takes no cognizance of the earth's motion, and beholds the sun making a diurnal round. Science, contradicting personal sense, taught the olden astronomer the sun is our solar centre, and the earth turning on its axis, revolves around it. So at the focus of optical vision when sky and earth appear to meet, and clouds and ocean join hands, science proves them remote as at the nearest points of vision. Again, the barometer, that little prophet of storm and sunshine, declares it fair when personal sense sees nothing but murky clouds and drenching rain-drops. To personal sense, severing the jugular vein takes Life, and destroys man; but to science, Life goes on the same as before, it being indestructible and eternal; for man cannot be destroyed. Science takes all proof out of the hands of personal sense, and makes void this error, interpreting phenomena with reason and revelation based on their Principle. Science destroyed Ptolemy's vague theory that earth is the centre of the solar system; and revealed the harmony of the spheres, on a reversed plan.
Personal sense declares Life is in man, and matter is intelligent; that brains, nerves, etc., are seats of pain or pleasure, also, of disease and death; therefore Soul is tributary to the body and in mortality. Theories of anatomy, physiology, etc., make the same blunder with Soul and body that Ptolemy did with the sun and earth; he made the sun tributary to the earth, they make Soul secondary and tributary to the body; but science has destroyed one, and in time will master the other error, overruling the evidence of personal sense altogether, and thus reveal the harmony of man and the universe, on a reversed statement. The Principle of man is Soul, and Soul is Spirit, and this is the only Life, Intelligence, or substance of the universe; all is tributary to Soul. Earth borrows light and heat from the sun, the body borrows Life and Intelligence from Soul. As earth is opaque, having no light of her own, so the body material is a lifeless, unintelligent belief; but the spiritual body reflects Life, Love and Truth.
Copernicus marked out the pathway of science in the heavens, and we at a later date would point out the science of Life or Principle of harmonious being; but before Copernicus spake, astrography was a mystery, and the geography of the heavens a myth. The Chaldean shepherd saw in a comet the fate of empires, and read the fortunes of man in a star; no higher revelations than the horoscope hung out upon empyrean, yet earth and heavens were bright, and bird and blossom glad in the sunshine. So to-day we have Truth, Life and Love to gladden man, but leaving him to the interpretations of a belief or personal sense makes him as the wandering comet and desolate star.
“Man never is, but always to be blest.”
The Ptolemic system, or error regarding the heavenly bodies, could not effect the vital interests of man, like the error of belief, relating to our body, that reverses the order of science and assigns to matter the prerogative of Spirit; making man the most inharmonious phenomenon of the universe. When we admit Spirit governs man, and demonstrate this, in our control over the body, sickness, sin and death will disappear; for nothing evil or mortal comes from Spirit; but if we would divide Spirit into persons called “spirits,” putting Soul in body and Spirit in personality, we make an unaccountable blunder, and lose the science of being. The senses of Soul are without pain, and forever at peace; nothing can hide from them the beauties of Truth; but what a transient trust is the eye, when the power of light and lens may all end with a prick of the retina. To understand our being is to hold sight immortal. The science of Soul preserves the sight, and there is no physical science; the Principle of all phenomena is Intelligence and Life, unconfined to matter; where the altitude of the eye need not be perpendicular to the geometrical plane; whatsoever is governed by Soul instead of sense, is never deprived of the action or blessing of Intelligence.
We should never ask after the condition, structure, or economy of the body, but take no thought about it; — Soul governs man better than sense, and for the body to be sensationless is science. The compound minerals or aggregate substances that compose the earth, the relations constituent masses bear to each other, or the magnitudes, distances, revolutions, etc., of the celestial bodies, are of no real importance, for all this must give place to the spiritualized understanding, that matter is not substance, and when we admit this, man will be found harmonious and eternal, even the idea of God, that expresses the harmony of being.
Material substance, geological calculations, etc., will be swallowed up in the infinite Spirit that comprehends and evolves all idea, structure, form, coloring, etc., that we now suppose are produced by matter. The spiritual perception of man and of the universe constitutes the true idea of both. While Columbus was putting down one of the errors of personal sense, and giving freer breath to the globe, the hands of ignorance and superstition were chaining the honest limbs of the brave old navigator; starvation and disgrace looked him in the face, but sterner still had been the fate of him whom history has since immortalized, had his discovery embraced a Principle, undermining sensuality. Age nor accident interferes with the senses of Soul; the body has no sensation; it cannot see, hear or feel, notwithstanding the belief to the contrary. Understanding this truth, the Master knew no loss of our faculties can occur except to belief; therefore he knew how to handle personal sense, by putting it under his feet, which enabled him to restore sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb.
If it be true that sensation is in nerves, hearing in the ear, sight in the eye, etc.; when these organs are lost our faculties are gone, therefore they cannot be immortal in Spirit, when the reality is they are immortal only thus; personal sense returns to dust, and gives place to spiritual sense, wherein we find not a faculty lost, and nothing gone except sin and suffering. Because the so-called personal senses are mortal we must admit them error, a belief, and not the Truth of man.
What we call laws of nature are as able to destroy the immortality of Soul, as body, or take from man one jot of what God hath given. “To the unknown God, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship,” be these laws inscribed. Idolatry keeps pace with civilization, when instead of wood or stone we bow to drugs, flesh-brush, flannel, etc., etc. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me, is the command of Wisdom; no Intelligence in matter, no imaginary physical law, but the one supreme spiritual law of being, namely, the Truth of Soul and body.
Discord and suffering proceed not from God, from Soul, but sense; should man obey Intelligence alone, happiness and harmony would be universal. In the days of Jesus and his students, Truth healed the sick; and would to-day do this, and make man perfect; admitting this Truth, there is but one Intelligence, and this God, governing man, yea, Spirit triumphing over matter. Man worships material forms of religion, cringes to popular favor, delves deeper into matter, straining at gnats and swallowing camels; popular humbug is the more merited name for modern knowledge, that like the ancient “tree,” greatly multiplies our pains, sin and mortality.
An absolute and perfect Principle, named God, governs man and the universe harmoniously; belief, and personal sense never yet made a harmonious man, or universe. Jesus taught and proved by demonstration, our dominion over matter; also, that a sinless and immortal existence is obtained only through triumph over the body. The Scripture saith, all things are possible to Spirit; but our theories practically deny this, and make healing the sick possible only to matter; but theories are false and the Scripture true. Beliefs rob God and slay man, then spread their table with cannibal titbits and give thanks. Christianity is not dishonest, but our religions are; to rule mankind and conciliate society at the expense of Truth, yea, to be popular is the weakness of the world. He that leaves all for Truth, and is falsely accused and hated because of Christianity, is wise; the world will believe error and be slow to admit Truth. In this manner the man of sorrows gave to a mocking world the demonstration of the science of being. The cross is the central emblem of history, individually and collectively; all must take it up, and deny pleasure or pain, of personal sense. The history of science over eighteen centuries ago, will repeat itself; persecution for righteousness sake has begun, and those very sects that bore the lash in the past, are the first to flog progress to-day. Jewish rites and ceremonies, and the more modern creed, and ritual, as types and shadows, point to the coming of the Truth of being when the substance or Spirit of those emblems shall appear in demonstration; hence when their Spirit or Truth is gained, all forms should be laid aside; we cannot serve two masters, and keep the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
We worship spiritually only as we cease to worship through material forms; the material must and will give place to the spiritual; let it be so then, and not as in the fable, because the wind blows that would take off the cloak, hug more closely what the wind should remove. Displace the belief of God in matter, or Soul in body, and happiness and immortality will be understood, and never can be until this is done. We gather not grapes of thorns; nor fill vessels that are unemptied.
To empty mankind of error so that Truth may flow into the mind, is the work before us; and those commissioned for this work will suffer tribulation such as has not been since the beginning. When Truth advances, error must recede, but will cry out as it goes: “Why art thou come hither to torment me before the time;” persecution, however, advances the true idea, for it sets thought at work on the subject at issue. Our individual sufferings for Truth, serve to spiritualize us; hence the benediction on those persecuted for righteousness sake, “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Christianity is not a creed, doctrine, or belief; but the demonstration of Life, Love, and Truth; it is not a special gift from a personal Jehovah, but the understanding of God, that is gained through much tribulation in the world, but great peace in Truth; error must and will make war on Truth, because it is proof, and not profession. The Principle of being that makes man harmonious we cannot reach through material rites or the worship of a personal God. The one scientific statement of being, is that neither man nor matter has substance, Life or Intelligence. There is a wide difference between the interpretation belief and opinions give of Christianity, and that which the science of Life demonstrates. Jesus and his students healed the sick, because of their spirituality: they healed with Christ, Truth, and not in the name of Christ, but in the practice thereof. We have no need of creeds and church organizations to sustain or explain a demonstrable platform, that defines itself in healing the sick, and casting out error. The uselessness of drugs, the emptiness of knowledge that puffeth up, and the imaginary laws of matter are very apparent to those who are rising to the more glorious demonstration of their God-being.
The mistake the disciples of Jesus made to found religious organizations and church rites, if indeed they did this, was one the Master did not make; but the mistake church members make to employ drugs to heal the sick, was not made by the students of Jesus. Christ's church was Truth, “I am Truth and Life,” the temple for the worshippers of Truth is Spirit and not matter, even the Principle of man and the universe that calls on those professing godliness, to understand God, and to be absent from the body to be present with Him, and to claim their right of membership by destroying sickness, sin, and death. Is there any higher Christianity than this?
No time was lost by our Master in organizations, rites, and ceremonies, or in proselyting for certain forms of belief: members of his church must answer to themselves, in the secret sanctuary of Soul, questions of the most solemn import. First, am I surely gaining a victory over matter, and present with Spirit, present with Love and Truth, supping with them and they with me, gaining this oneness with God, of which Jesus spake, thus rising superior to personal sense, and conquering sickness, sin and death; am I caring less and less for earthly pleasures or pains, and getting out with the sinner and in with the saint? The true answer to these inquiries will set us all right; they are the only signs significant of the burial of the body with Christ, and its resurrection with God, Truth, compared with which rites and ceremonies sink into insignificance. We have no record that forms of church worship were instituted by our great spiritual teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, and we learn the improbability of this, in the science of God, that he taught and demonstrated. Said he, “The time now is when they that worship the Father should worship him in Spirit, and no longer in Jerusalem,” (the wealth and learning) “of our temples”; a magnificent edifice was not the sign of Christ's Church.
Anciently the followers of Christ, Truth, measured their Christianity by the control it gave them over sickness, sin and death; whereas the more modern forms of religion leave out the first proof, and substitute observances for a test of the latter; but we are learning slowly, as the centuries pass, to leave forms and doctrines, and require the primitive tests of Christianity. If we accept the mere letter of moral and spiritual science and omit the Spirit, we shall not gain the great Truth that destroys sin as well as sickness, but omit the important point that heals the sick. We must watch and work more for the Christianity of the science of being than its other points, and must make our first proof if we would succeed in healing, for this more than all else gives success.
When its science is made clear to the understanding, it presents a thorough explanation of the Principle whereby Jesus and his disciples healed the sick, cast out error, and raised the dead. We may not hope to explain in this limited volume his great Truth and science of being to the full understanding of our readers, insomuch as our own and their beliefs hide its quick perception, and to change their views with Truth is the labor of teaching. It requires experience and time for the spiritual advancement of some students, while others assimilate Truth as the great want of their being. We can only sow the seed in this book, and trust the Lord of harvest to give the fuller sense of harmonious being.
In centuries past, Jesus founded Christianity on the spiritual basis, that neither ritualism, doctrine nor belief, but Wisdom, Truth and Love make Christians, and cast out error, and heal the sick; but to-day church forms are held responsible for Christianity, and drugs and matter-laws to heal the sick.
To ascertain what our progress is and what our state of Christianity, we have only to learn what God we acknowledge and obey. If we are progressing, God will become less personal and material to our understanding, and more practical, matter will be yielding to Spirit, and the Spirit we manifest will reveal us; personal sense, that is the basis of all sin and error, cannot judge of Christianity. Admitting matter capable of good and evil to man, robs God of supremacy, and would despoil his dominion, making it a kingdom divided against itself that cannot stand. When we get right in regard to Deity, motives and deeds, not professions, will be the standard of Christianity, and we shall gain continually in its proof and practice. Many a rank hypocrite at heart makes clean the outside of the platter. Our theories of God and man admit incapacity in Spirit which robs God, and is the impediment to man's harmony. Those that peruse this book with prejudice, or who will not read it at all, must fail to understand our purpose or Principle; but many, we trust, will read carefully, and if the seed falls into good and honest hearts, those will eventually bear fruit, and understand how the science of God heals the sick; sooner or later all will feel the need of this Truth. When you attempt to demonstrate healing according to the Principle herein stated, you will see every point in our statement is needed to help you; but not until you prove this, will you admit it; and alas! little Truth is demonstrated healing the sick by our rules, without the Spirit.
We are Soul, Spirit, and not matter; and it is quite as impossible to be both as to serve God and mammon. Let science interpret God, and man will become harmonious and immortal. You can rest assured of the impossibility to enter into the understanding of science by any other door than Truth that emanates from Principle, and all the opinions and beliefs of man can never change this unerring standard. When God revealed to us the science of being, and it became necessary to test it, we healed in every instance. When an individual highly spiritual comes in contact with us, we feel refreshed and strengthened, and vice versa. But our experiences will reveal fully the inevitable persecutions, false accusations, unworthy students, etc., that hinder the footsteps of science; " “our heritage is unto us as a speckled bird; and birds round about would devour us.” When we became as it were an involuntary detective, the good drawn to us and the evil repelled, we took this loving hint from our Father to work out a rule for understanding individual character, the evil of which was at first well-nigh hidden from us, and now recognize the hand that has bestowed all these experiences.
Motive and act are not appreciated until the general thought reaches their stand-points, and sees the earthly sacrifice they demand, or until the individual we bless is ready for the blessing.
The science of being not more palpably reverses the evidences of personal sense than unspiritual individuals put a false construction on its explanations; but the time cometh when all, from the least unto the greatest, must understand the Truth of being, and bring their bodies into harmony with its requirements. Though error has both field and forum to-day, Truth is gradually changing the material universe; understanding this we yield patient obedience to a patient God, and labor on, for the redemption of man is precious. Those in former years inspired of God, healed the sick and cast out devils, error, but the point is unsettled in our own mind whether they really understood how they did this, having left no explanation of it; perhaps like natural musicians they caught the tones of moral and spiritual science without being able to explain them. The Bible that contains it all has been our only text-book; we found, also, the Scriptures have both a literal and spiritual import, but the latter was the especial interpretation we received, and that taught us the science of Life outside of personal sense. We learned the Principle of being must be understood to make man right, and that this was a step infinitely beyond the power of faith; it was “to know in whom we have believed,” to comprehend through Christian experience the way to health and holiness, to Truth and Life. To reach this Horeb height where God is understood, even in part, we must be growing purer; we cannot perceive the Principle of Science without this, “for none but the pure in heart shall see God.” Purity is the baptism of Soul, — “the answering of a good conscience,” for a clean Spirit washes the body of all foulness, and signifies such only as understand Truth. As soon may a camel go through the eye of a needle, as man carry the filth of the flesh into the kingdom of heaven, the reign of harmony; we cannot learn harmony of discords; then wherefore seek in mortal bodies the glorious sense or proof of Truth, Life and Love? These are not in matter, not in the body, or personal sense, and it is only a question of time when we shall all learn this; eternity will reveal it to all.
“Cutting off right hands and plucking out eyes” means to become spiritual. Denying sense is the way to the joys of Soul, and until belief gives place to the spiritual understanding that Intelligence is not in matter, we shall not advance many steps towards harmony or heaven. The sensualist's happiness consists in things of sense, his God is matter, person instead of Principle, and body instead of Spirit; his affections are imaginary, whimsical, and unreal; passion, falsehood, malice, hypocrisy, etc., are, alas! what it is to be sensual. Strip the sensualist of his cloak, and what a loathsome spectacle he becomes; he would shrink from beholding himself, and blush to be identified with such being. Talk not of making scientists of elements such as these, the very basis of error must be changed before we can unloose the sandals of Truth. Either in time or eternity a sense of desolation must come to the wicked, darkness and unutterable woe before they lay down matter for Spirit.
Mind is the seat of motive and action, and forms individual character; if this source be corrupt, it sends forth impure streams. Take away wealth, fame, and the organizations of society that weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and we get the view of a man. Break up clans, equalize wealth with accessions of honesty, and worth will be decided by Wisdom; evil is predominant now, the wicked man is master of his more upright neighbor, but success in error is defeat in Truth. “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, for lo! I come quickly, and my reward is with me,” is the watchword of science. The voice of Sinai and the sermon of the mount are pursuing man, and will overtake the age. Truth has been uttered in its application to every want of man, but the world slumbers; when will the wakening be?
Peals, that should startle the dream of error, are sounding in our ears; marvels, calamities, perils and sin much more abound now that the understanding is making higher demands on man; and if its voice be not suffocated, longevity will increase, sin diminish, and the world feel the alterative effects of Truth through every pore. Aggravation of error foretells its doom, and because of the madness of sin we know Truth is nigh, even at our doors, and “will overturn until He whose right it is shall reign.” What is Truth? is the question that convulses the world to-day; hence its throes to put down radicalism and free thought, which purge better than a doctor's pills, and to have this question decided permanently in favor of some 'ism. The march of time we cannot stay, for progress is engraven on its banners; those whose kingdom is of this world will fight for their positions, and furnish their sentinels with orders “not to let Truth pass their guard unless it subscribes to their sect”; but Truth has passed already beyond the pointed bayonet; and there is a little tumult still, and rallying to its standard; we must labor in faith many long years, still hoping the hour is not far off of a higher and practical Christianity. Truth is liberty; its followers hoist the standard of freedom; engraven on its banners we read, slavery is abolished, my body is no longer my master, I claim the freedom of the Sons of God. What power opposed to divine Wisdom is it that binds man to conditions of sickness, sin, and death? Is it not the body material? Then is not this body an enemy to man? But this foe is not stronger than Omnipotence, and is not a tyrant without a master. The humble Nazarene rebelled against its power, and through his demonstration of healing proved matter a fable; showing, despite the Rabbi's pride, his understanding of God exceeded theirs. Intelligence is the master of sickness and sin, else these are immortal, and evil equal to good. Away with the belief that something outside of himself, over which he has no control, makes man sick and a sinner, and finally kills him, but must stop here for it proposes to carry him no further than perdition. If man is hopelessly at the control of matter, of sin, and death, he is annihilated; for error is not immortal. But we have no faith in the necessity of sin, of sickness, or death, because God has no part in these. It is impossible to hide behind the plea, “I am not advanced to this science and higher understanding of Life, therefore I cannot triumph over sickness, sin, and death.” Then quicken your experiences, for your tardiness is without excuse. Every day and hour has its demands on man, saying, “where art thou? hast thou gained some conquest over error to-day, or resigned thyself more contentedly to its slavery?”
We do not stand still, but are moving forward or backward, as time glides on and the centuries repeat history. If not progressing, we must live over the past until its poor work is erased. If we are satisfied with being wrong, we must become dissatisfied with it; or if content with having done nothing, we must learn to loathe our leisure. Undoing, in time or eternity, the errors of sense, we learn to improve every opportunity to do our work well, and bring our bodies into subjection to Soul. This unwinding one's ways, learning from experience, and partitioning between error and Truth, means something. Nothing short of the suffering that comes of sin will turn man away from it; therefore, “He chasteneth those whom He loveth.” Wisdom lets alone the “greatest sinner” for a period, until the awakening cometh, when he must pay the uttermost farthing. Those perceiving the demands of the science of being, and refusing obedience thereto, “will be beaten with many stripes.” To heal the sick with Truth, we must understand what is right, and what is wrong; hypocrisy is impossible in science; be master of sin, to control your own or another's body in science. Neither a mere mental process of healing, nor manipulation is the science of being; it is sheer folly and ignorance of its Principle to say you can heal scientifically, and be a hypocrite; this is the greatest mistake of all.
Graham's system, hydropathy, physiology, etc., were considered improvements on allopathy, because they employed less drugs; but if drugs are abstractly the antidotes for disease, why consider it a step in progress to diminish their quantity, especially when sickness increases? Surrendering, in any direction, the control we should hold over our bodies causes disease, and a demand for drugs does this, by giving reins to matter instead of Spirit. To transfer our own power into the hands of matter is destructive to the science of being that employs Intelligence alone to control the body, and remedy all the ills that flesh is heir to. The science of being purifies mortal mind, even as impurity is destined in matter by the introduction of some cleansing agent. When Truth reaches the mind, the body manifests the effects of an alterative, proving it is mind that moves matter even though we place this mental weight in the belief that drugs, air, exercise, and so forth, are benefiting us, calling it these things only that affect our bodies. When Truth reaches the understanding it stirs individual error to a change of base; and the wrong and right strive together until victory is decided on the part of immutable harmony. This chemicalization, or change, often follows our explanations of science, the effect of which is that the patient recovers; disease comes to the surface during the chemicalization, like a fermenting fluid, and throws itself off, sometimes in violent perspiration, eruptions, increased secretions, and discharges. We have observed with our students, and with the sick, a constant recurrence of morbid symptoms, moral and physical, till the conflict is decided on the part of Truth. We never witnessed as much effect from what is termed a change of heart, or from cathartics or alterative medicines, as we have seen follow the introduction of the science of being into the minds of the sinner, or the sick; like the little leaven, it leavens the whole lump. These undeniable facts establish the Principle that mind controls the body. Patients with certain mentalities, or students with wrong tendencies and habits, are more difficult to heal or to teach, than others differently constituted. Three classes of students honor Science least, and give the teacher most trouble. The first, whose bigotry and conceit are fixed facts, and the central views, a mysterious God, and natural devil; the second, so early depraved they impersonate innocence, never failing to utter a falsehood, looking you blandly in the face, or to stab their benefactor; the third, so iron-clad with a belief or doctrine, that the bullets of Truth roll off without making an indenture. Errors are the least perceived that lie not upon the plane of your own experience, and sink so deeply into the nature of others that you never realize a serpent lies in your path until you feel its bite.
Society is often a silly juror, that judges according to testimony on one side; and honesty often agrees too late on its verdict, for fear of wronging the criminal; hence people with work on hand have little time to furnish gossip with law and evidence. To reconstruct timid justice and let Truth be heard above falsehood, is the work of time; a good cause cannot be popular at first; to live wrong and talk right, avails little in benefiting one's self or others. The spiritually-minded, and honest man, although his beliefs are built in solid masonry of thought, is open to the approach and recognition of Truth; therefore he is the only apt student of the science of Life; we have no task in teaching him, nor does he persistently turn back to error; or avenge himself on us. Such an one should be a Paul to the modern Romans; his treasures are Truth, not laid up on earth. Aspirations pure and God-ward, steadfast purpose, honesty, understanding, and independent action, alone fit us for the science of Life.
The evil deceive the good, but putting aside the vail that falls between goodness and depravity; one has a more unerring guide than the other; this guide is repugnance to evil, and their first impressions with regard to individual character. When the good suffer from contact with certain individuals, it is a hint that something is wrong in those individuals; but this hint is not always heeded, and then comes the irresistible conflict and separation between them, for good can never join hands with evil to gain peace, place, or power. The impure are at peace only with the impure, virtue is a rebuke to vice; and Truth to falsehood, etc. Whosoever, therefore, has drank at the fountain of Soul to the purification of sense, is in the harmony of science that blends not with sin. Let him come in contact with the sick, or sinner, a tobacconist, or an imbiber of alcoholic drinks, and though a word be not exchanged between them, in a majority of cases the scientist will exterminate sickness and the bad habit; but in some instances an individual is too opinionated, or dishonest, to yield without a struggle, or to acknowledge when he has yielded, and only in case he does this, will the good done be recognized above the evil. The meeting of opposite minds, is a spontaneous separation when this commences, the unconscious individuals are enemies without the preliminaries of becoming such; else they unite on a new base, and the evil yield to the good or the subtlety of error, conquers even the latter; this separation of tares and wheat is obedience to Science.
Never soil your garments with conservatism, or let another's error dim the lustre of your own Truth; always separate yourself from evil. Right is radical, and those walking in the light are like eyes accustomed to the light, that must have it, for they cannot see in darkness; while those accustomed to darkness, like it, and push boldly on. Flowers turn to the sun, or fade and lose fragrance in the darkness. If you have grown out of former things, hesitate not to put them away, and fear not, for conscience' sake, to overstep the boundaries and break the strong chains of old opinions. You must take up this cross if you follow Christ, Truth, and never hold on to what you cannot understand, or breathe an immoral atmosphere that you cannot purify. When error confronts you, spare not the rebuke, or the explanation that destroys it, if you would benefit yourself or others; but if, “having ears they hear not, neither will they understand, that they might be converted and you might heal them,” thereafter let them alone, but be sure you drop into no conservative position; always keep well burnished your own armour. To sustain yourself in Truth, you must meet error with a protest, and once beholding the beauty of holiness, you are willing to leave all for it. To gather yourself with sinners hardens the heart. When the spiritual sense of being unfolds Life's harmonies, you will take no risks in the policy of error; far better is a frugal meal with contentment and virtue, than the many gods of luxury and sense. If you are not a Christian to-day, delay not to become one, for no opportunity equals the present. We are not neutral; all have some weight; then let the influence we exert be thrown in the right scale.
Nothing is mortal that deserves to continue; therefore decay belongs not to Truth; all that dies is the offspring of belief, and not understanding. Left to the government of Truth, all would be found harmonious and eternal. Nothing in matter equals the power of mind; the baneful effects of an evil associate are more terrible than earthquakes or pestilence. The influence one mind holds over another should be understood and guarded with stronger keepers than it is. The following rules, observed, would open the way for science.
Teachers of primary and high schools should be selected as much for their morals, as learning; these nurseries of character should be strongly garrisoned, and parents demand a faithful fulfillment of such high trusts. The examination of schools should embrace this thought, paramount to all others, that education is both classical and spiritual, to lift one's being higher; schools should not be applauded for a good show, while the thoughts of teachers constantly imparted to their pupils are disregarded, and any thing but pure and uplifting. Physicians, whom the sick employ under circumstances of great helplessness, should be the guardians of virtue, and spiritual guides, when Life and death tremble in the balance; not only should they be able to impart soundness of body, but a higher moral tone of being. Clergymen, standing on the watchtowers of the world, should grasp most firmly, and hold more fearlessly the standard of scientific Truth; they should be teachers that turn the sinner from his way, heal the sick, and cast out error from the land. Husbands and wives should fulfill their tender trusts wisely and well; yielding faithful obedience to the law of spiritual Love, aiding each other to gain its harmonies through the blessing of mutual affection lifting the being higher. Children should obey their parents; insubordination is a growing evil in the nursery and through the land; parents should teach their children Truth through precept and example, and love them, if they would be loved in return. Abstain from secular labor and frivolous amusements, on the Sabbath, observing it as a day of rest and spiritual improvement.
Human will is capable of much evil; by gaining the mind's consent against the convictions of conscience, it may turn the judgment whithersoever it wills. To guard and govern the action of mind, enables you to hold the body in subjection. The world is better for all those honest Soul-inspired ones, who govern sense, and sit down at the right hand of Wisdom. The hypocrite can do little with Truth, and cannot understand the Principle of scientific healing: in discord himself he cannot impart harmony to others. You may learn the letter of this science that enables you to gain its Spirit, but the next question is, have you improved your opportunity, and gained its Spirit? if not, you are unfit to heal the sick metaphysically.
Touched by the Principle of his grand symphonies, a Mozart or Beethoven experienced much more than he ever expressed in music; each was a musician before the world knew it; so to catch the divine harmonies of Soul, we must rise in the scale of being through the understanding of science, and experience, in order to demonstrate. Love gives forth its own concord, to correct the discords of sense; and whatsoever inspires us with Love, Wisdom or Truth, whether it be song, sermon, or science, will bless the human family; let us gladly welcome every crumb that feeds the hungry; and every drop that bears to the thirsty, living waters.
The literal meaning of the Scripture is not its highest sense; its spiritual signification is what explains God and man. Church rites and ceremonies have nothing to do with Christianity, and more than this, they draw us towards material things; hence away from spiritual Truth, and all Truth is spiritual. To depend on medicine or the so-called laws of health, prevents the sick being healed by Truth; and to observe rites and ceremonies prevents the Spirit that is Truth. We shall all learn we cannot serve two masters. Physics act against metaphysics, for these opposites produce different results; and if we trust one we mistrust the other. When the metaphysics of the science of being are understood, we shall not believe in physics; in which case we cannot produce the effect through medicine we did before. All seeming effects from matter are effects of mind, that constructs the æriform, liquid, or solid; matter is inertia; all action is mind. Certain forms of belief we call substance, and name matter, others more rarefied, mind; the discordant, mutable and mortal, are not realities, they are beliefs and illusion; the harmonious and undying are all that is real; Principle, and its idea is the only reality. To depend on personality is error; words cannot always be depended upon, and are sometimes less real than thoughts; treasures in matter are all lost. Persons are not to be trusted; Principle, is all there is to trust; hence, the greater reliability of science, than all else; but this word, science, will not be appended to humbugs, when once we catch its meaning. “Absent from the body and present with the Lord,” were Paul's directions for a scientist, for this is spiritual understanding reaching outside of personal sense, and material things. Life, Truth and Love displace the material with the spiritual, but they are self-expressed, and self-existent; nothing is wanting in them. Not that Soul is voiceless, but that it is incapable of jargon, or words “such as hypocrites use.” “Let us lay aside the weights that so easily beset us,” for the better proofs of Christianity in love to our neighbor, and a perceptible gravitation toward Spirit, and away from matter, whereby man is governed by Soul, instead of sense, by God, instead of man. As religion yields creeds and rites, it will build on the great corner-stone, Truth, the church of Christ. Creeds are beliefs instead of understanding, products of man instead of God. A higher state of existence will be attained only as we lose the beliefs of personal sense, and gain spiritual sense. When we lose our opinions and theories that are false, we shall find God the Principle of being, and the only antidote for all the ills of mind and body; Truth makes man harmonious as nothing else can.
To help us ascend the scale progressive, we naturally appeal to the pulpit, so efficient on the side of right, in all our mighty struggles; and rejoice that in some instances already, it is preaching away creeds, and in their place preaching “Christ, and him crucified”; in other words, Truth, and the persecution it meets from error.
Already we find materia medica losing matter, and gaining mind, and the latter more potent to heal the sick. Homœopathy is a step in advance of allopathy simply because matter is fading out of its doses, and mind supplying its place; it takes the moral symptoms largely into account in diagnosing disease, whereas allopathy consults only the physical; the former method is a step toward spirituality, and the science of life. Homœopathy proves the more you exterminate the drug, the more potent becomes the dose, and its pharmacy is your process of mentalizing the vehicle, as you shake and count; the higher attenuations become more potent, as mind, instead of matter, and with spiritual natures, the less matter and more Truth is the grand secret of success in healing.
The ages are passing from the material to the spiritual, and to make this passage more pleasant and beneficial we should welcome the fact, and aid it with the understanding. As the cruder foot-prints of the past disappear, let us retain primitive simplicity as much as possible in our customs and habits; resting assured that no imaginary pleasure of sense is lost without its higher recompense in Soul. For being to quicken into Truth and Life, outside of matter, is not a trance, nor the change called death; nor is there anything in it to awaken dread, or superstition; it is the foot-steps of progress, that we all must take to be immortal; in science, it is as natural and painless a development, as the unfolding of buds into blossoms. When we shut out the belief of Life in matter, the transition from matter to Spirit, will not be through death; but Truth and Life, brought to light; the Master said, “I will not leave you comfortless, I, Truth, will come unto you.”
Life is not realized in the belief of death, nor of Life in matter; we must empty the mind of all this error, before Truth can flow in. Life in matter is but a dream that must be exchanged for reality, by awaking to the science of Life, wherein Spirit is found the only real being. If we would gain the harmony of being, we must begin by admitting the delusion of personal sense, otherwise error will continue until the awakening comes with the tortures of “the rich man,” and the dream of Life in matter ends in suffering, thus proving itself error.
Life is harmony and immortality, impossible to harness to sickness, discord, and death. Love is universal goodness and blessedness, that mixes not with suffering and sin. Truth is infinite understanding, without an error to obscure its perfect peace, and these three are one in Soul, but many to sense; then do you lose happiness or caste by finding yourself Soul, instead of sense. Material man loses his individuality, but the spiritual, never; his identity is as immortal as the Soul of man. The man of personal sense loses his identity with all its pleasures and pains, but the man of Soul possesses his individuality on this safe platform, to wit: that there is no personality; being is spirit.
Man gives neither shape or comeliness to beauty; it has these before he perceives them; distinct outline, coloring, etc., are of Soul, else their idea were not given in the universe and man; therefore, beauty is a thing of Life, the offspring of Intelligence, and not matter. The world would collapse without Intelligence and its idea; there is no chance for argument here, philosophy nor skepticism can change the scientific fact that God is and was; and that man, His reflex shadow is, and was forever. We find no diminution of happiness in learning we are Spirit and not matter, Soul and not body; but a vast increase of all that elevates, purifies, and blesses man. Sickness, sin, and death are all that is mortal, and these come only from ignorance, that clings to personal sense and silences the voice of Soul; therefore science reveals the so-called pleasures or pains of personal sense, illusion, and that there is no sensation in matter; the opposite belief that denies this is not the utterance of man's Principle, not the true tone, but the discord. Spirit is concord, matter discord. If it was understood that Life is Wisdom, Truth and Love, and not sickness, sin, and death, things of sense, man would be immortal, and spared the experience of sin. We find the so-called pleasures of sense nearly unknown in infancy, and well nigh lost in age; showing us at both extremities they are nothingness—things of belief alone. Nutriment, one of the parent's beliefs of personal sense, that is first transmitted to their offspring, is nothing but instinct in infancy, instead of pleasure, for appetites and their gratification grow through education into many demands, that instinct forbids. In both biped and quadruped we find belief develops only error, and that instinct is better than reason misguided. Birds, governed by instinct, sing and soar; drenched with the shower, they dry their plumage without having catarrhs, or wetting their feet, are not victims of pulmonary disease; instinct procures them summer residences, even with less difficulty than wealth affords.
Every pleasure we lay up in the storehouse of personal sense, is lost; sickness, sin, or death, destroys it; but joys of Soul are laid up in the immortal storehouse of spiritual sense, where thieves cannot break through and steal. A happy Spirit (and there is none other,) is independent of circumstances, accident, or age; optic nerves never robbed it of light, nor a broken bone of limbs, nor disease of a sound body. Matter may break through sense and steal, but it cannot through Soul, nor take away joys that are spiritual. A sick, crippled, or dying man is not the image of God, of Life, and Truth. Nerves have nothing to do with pain or pleasure; nerves may be destroyed, and pain be left. We suffer physically in dreams, but nerves are not the occasion of this pain. Sometimes a tooth that has been extracted, aches again, in belief. After a limb has been amputated a sense of pain is felt in the old spot; and we find a limb lost, according to one belief, and aching according to another; we have seen an unwitting attempt to scratch the end of a finger that had been cut off for months. When the nerve is gone that we say occasioned pain, but the pain is left, we naturally conclude sensation is mind and not matter; now reverse the case and let mind be absent from the body, or lulled by an opiate, and sensation is lost and nerves are of no avail. The so-called pleasures, or pains, of personal sense, are beliefs only, instead of nerves. Learning the nothingness of personal sense, is the basis of science; this point proved, was our scientific standpoint for healing the sick through mind instead of matter; physical effects, we learned, are not the result of physical causes; that diseases are beliefs, that, ruled out of mind, are ruled out of the body.
Most forms, or stages of disease that the body manifests, is remedied on this scientific mental basis; we have tested this in too many instances to doubt it. When medicine is taken and the sick recover, faith and not the medicine, has done this, whereas the almost universal belief is that medicine, or laws of health heal the sick; and because doctor, nurse, patient, and people believe this, according to their faith so is it unto them. But take from this weight of mind and belief some mental power, destroy some confidence in these menus, and they will do less for the sick, and destroy all faith, and they are powerless. The cure wrought through the science of being is not the result of faith, but understanding. I never found a quotient proving numbers divided according to the rule of mathematics, more unquestionable than my tests of this science; but to gain prominence for this Truth until it is understood, is impossible; perfection, in the midst of imperfection, is slow to be seen, and slower to be acknowledged. The mental opposition to it at present, throws the great weight of universal belief, (the only prop of materia medica) against the science of Life: but notwithstanding all this, it will live, because its Principle is Truth, independent of belief. The Principle that made harmless the poison viper in the hands of Paul, and from the boiling oil delivered the Evangelist unharmed, that healed the sick, triumphed over sin and death, and crowned the meek brow of Jesus, is immortal; therefore we need not fear what man can do unto it. Setting aside personal sense, the error that so easily besets man, let us strive to attain this demonstration that Jesus set before us. Enough already has been accomplished, by prophet and apostle, to shut all lips in regard to its Truth; but one thing is sure, that whoso learns the letter only of science, without possessing its Spirit, will not be able to repeat their demonstrations. The age will at length require demonstration, in place of doctrine and belief, and the Christian will at length preach only what he practices. As mortal man, and the mist of knowledge enveloping man in darkness disappears, the first appeal will be to reason or philosophy, to plant our next footstep, before we understand the higher and spiritual resources of being; but when this period arrives, and before former things have passed away, the reaction of mind will be fearful. Theology, (I say this not with reference to Christianity,) and materia medica have failed to demonstrate what Jesus taught and demonstrated; and why we have not followed his precepts and example is not so much from lack of desire, or willful disobedience, as lack of understanding.
In earlier periods, even the cross that should symbolize a denial of personal sense, was made an instrument of torture. Error is sometimes deceit; again, it is a misconception of Truth, and the desire to grow better is attended with more sermons and ceremonies than understanding and practice. A clergyman once adopted a diet consisting of bread and water, to increase his spirituality, and continued it six weeks, but finding his health failing, he gave it up, advising others never to try fasting to grow in grace. But we will add a leaf of experience here, showing how personal sense, or belief of any sort, shuts out harmony and science. When quite a child we adopted the Graham system for dyspepsia, ate only bread and vegetables, and drank water, following this diet for years; we became more dyspeptic, however, and, of course, thought we must diet more rigidly; so we partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, and this consisted of a thin slice of bread, about three inches square, without water; our physician not allowing us with this ample meal, to wet our parched lips for many hours thereafter; whenever we drank, it produced violent retchings. Thus we passed most of our early years, as many can attest, in hunger, pain, weakness, and starvation. At length we learned that while fasting increased the desire for food, it spared none of the sufferings occasioned by partaking of it, and what to do next, having already exhausted the medicine men, was a question. After years of suffering, when we made up our mind to die, our doctors kindly assuring us this was our only alternative, our eyes were suddenly opened, and we learned suffering is self-imposed, a belief, and not Truth. That God never made man sick; and all our fasting for penance or health, is not acceptable to Wisdom, because it is not the science of being, in which Soul governs sense. Thus Truth, opening our eyes, relieved our stomach, also, and enabled us to eat without suffering, giving God thanks; but we never afterwards enjoyed food as we expected to, if ever we were a freed slave, to eat without a master; for the new-born understanding that food could not hurt us, brought with it another point, viz., that it did not help us as we had anticipated it would before our changed views on this subject; food had less power over us for evil or for good than when we consulted matter before Spirit, and believed in pains and pleasures of personal sense. As a natural result, we took less thought about “What we should eat or what drink,” and, fasting or feasting, consulted less our stomach and our food, arguing against their claims continually, and in this manner despoiled them of their power over us to give pleasure or pain, and recovered strength and flesh rapidly, enjoying health and harmony that we never before had done.
The belief that fasting or feasting enables man to grow better, morally or physically, is one of the fruits of the “tree of knowledge,” against which Wisdom warned man, and of which we had partaken in sad experience; believing for many years, we lived only by the strictest adherence to dietetics and physiology. During this time we also learned a dyspeptic is very far from the image and likeness of God, from having “dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, or beasts of the field”; therefore, that God never made one; while the Graham system, hygiene, physiology, materia medica, etc., did, and contrary to His commands. Then it was we promised God to spend our coming years for the sick and suffering; to unmask this error of belief that matter rules man. Our cure for dyspepsia was, to learn the science of being, and “eat what was set before us, asking no questions for conscience' sake;” yea, to consult matter less, and God more. When we govern our bodies by the understanding of this great Truth, that Spirit forms its own conditions of body, we shall be perfectly harmonious; we should not hold the body a seat of pain or pleasure, but be able to dictate terms to it, even as to a muscle that we admit is dependent on mind for its action. But to attain this government over the body requires more instruction and explanation than we have space for in this book; we always advance slowly with students, requiring them to digest one part of the science before giving out another, and so on. We hear it said, “I go into the open air daily to overcome a predisposition to take cold; and yet I have continual colds.” Yes, and you will not listen to the explanation that frees you from catarrhs and makes you better in mind and body, if it conflicts in the least with old opinions or beliefs. The freedom of the sons of God you persecute because it is a step outside some 'ism, or the favorite “tree of knowledge” proscribed by Wisdom. Your teachers inform you, God sends sickness, when the Scriptures say, He cures it; also, that His laws are carried out through drugs, food, air, exercise, etc., which would make matter intelligent, and the law of God that walks over matter of none effect. The peril to the professions, if your eyes are opened to the science of being, is regarded by your leaders, and the laws of God disregarded, so far as health is concerned. They have not discerned, yet, the governing Principle of being. The Bible teaches us to transform our bodies by the renewing of the Spirit; explaining the Scriptures without understanding their application to heal the sick, does little more towards making man harmonious than moonbeams to melt a plane of ice. If you understood the science of being, your thoughts, resting on the sick and afflicted, would do more toward their recovery than all the drugs, manipulations, and long prayers ever adopted. The error of the age is teaching without proof, and not practicing what you preach. Personal sense is error; but the Principle of all being is infallible; therefore, the nearer we approach unto it, the nearer we are to God, that appoints us more solemn trusts as we advance higher, but if false to His commissions, in vain do we attempt to cover it from Wisdom. You may hide your ignorance of spiritual things from the eyes of the world, but can never gain the understanding and demonstration of the science of Life, without an honest, high, and God-given purpose. Sin is thought before it is deed, and you must master it in the first, or it conquers you in the second instance. Jesus said, to look with foul desire on forbidden objects, breaks a moral precept; hence, the stress he laid on the character of a man that is hidden from our perception. Evil thoughts reach farther, and do more harm than individual crimes, for they impregnate other minds and fashion your body. The atmosphere of impure desires, like the atmosphere of earth, is restless, ever in motion, and calling on some object; this atmosphere is laden with mental poison, and contaminates all it touches. When malicious purposes, evil thoughts, or lusts, go forth from one mind, they seek others, and will lodge in them unless repelled by virtue and a higher motive for being. All mental emanations take root and bear fruit after their own kind. Consider, then, the guilt of nurturing evil and impure thoughts, that send broadcast discord and moral death. Sooner suffer a doctor infected with small-pox to be about you, than come under the treatment of one that manipulates his patients' heads, and is a traitor to science.
These points are so vital to the success of all learning to heal the sick in the science of being, we hesitate not to name them, even as we urge their importance when teaching, and we never withdraw aid or interest from a student unless we have found him unworthy his place. Through a metaphysical mode of healing, patients cannot be made harmonious by a dishonest or impure-minded practitioner; it is the Truth of being that heals in science, and who will say this doctor possesses it? We have classified sickness, error, and to destroy another's error we must conquer our own. If you are fettered by sin you are unfit to free another from the fetters of disease; could you break the manacles from other wrists, with your own hands bound? and yet this would be equally easy. A little that is true regarding man's being, does wonders for the sick, so infinite are the resources of Truth; but alas! how much more good could be done by the good and honest practitioner, with more Truth. When a student learns the rules of this science we expect him to use them according to their Principle, or not parade his poor example before the world as a demonstrator. Our hands have been made weak by this mal-practice; we must not seek the approval of man, but of God, leaving futurity to explain us and our motives. It is science to do right, and nothing short of this can lay claim to it. The injunction to “come out from the world and be separate” has its inevitable fulfilment in Christianity, not only from the natural tendency of opposites to separate, but because the abuse it receives from sinners who verily believe they do right to wrong Truth, or cannot see the wrong they do, separates them. The spiritual are apart from the material from the necessity of opposite natures. The immortality of man is only gained by his spirituality, hence material things are not what he needs; besides, all things are finally resolved into Spirit, their ultimatum, for Life and heaven are of Spirit. What fellowship, then, hath light with darkness, and matter with the kingdom of heaven that shall come on earth? Mortal man is but a dream; even the belief that Life, sensation and substance are matter, all of which the ultimatum of being proves illusion. A dream comes in darkness, and this belief comes from error, an ignorance of real existence; but the light of science will awaken us all to the understanding of Life that is real, and the grave is not its goal; sickness, sin, and death, enter not into Life; they are mortality's self. The dream that Life or Intelligence is in matter, Soul in body, and God in man, is fatal as it is false. To admit Spirit in matter is an attempt to limit the limitless, and make immortality a myth; like saying frost is in fire, and with this belief dream you get into the fire, but are glad to waken to live and recognize Life independent of your illusion or matter. Science reverses every belief of personal sense, for every condition of mortality is destroyed in immortal man. Socrates understood this when pledging the superiority of Spirit over matter in a cup of poison hemlock, refusing to care for the body mortal. The malice of that age would have killed the venerable philosopher because of his high regard for spiritual things and indifference to the body. When nothing that loveth or maketh a lie is left, the reign of Spirit will come on earth; science will not always wait, but lifting its voice far above the centuries, will be heard, and old things be done away, and all become new. Who can say that man is alive to-day and to-morrow dead? What has touched Life to such strange issues? matter may destroy itself, but cannot destroy Spirit. What, then, has unstrung this harp of many strings? Theories stop here, and science alone rolls back the mystery and solves the problem of immortal man. Error bites the heel of Truth, but cannot destroy it; Truth bruises the head of error and kills it; error is mesmerism; one lie scaring off another and taking the rule itself; but Truth is science walking over all lies. Christianity is open seige with the world; on which side are you fighting? Popularity gained by dishonesty, is smoking flax ready to perish. The wrong you do another weighs most heavily against yourself, for at some time Truth will adjust the balances. As soon think to make evil good, as to benefit yourself by injuring others. If the balance of your character is wrong you lose the weight of Truth, and work not in science; if you treat the sick mesmerically, or with medicine, you are calling on your gods, like the worshippers of Baal, but they are not the Prophet's God, the Principle of being; the moral mercury is what rises or falls your demonstration, according to the amount of Truth you possess. Worshipping in temples made with hands; loving the world and listening to the demands of personal sense, is not the true worship. Then let the Christian who has grown away from forms and ceremonies, enjoy his worship in the right way, viz., Spirit and in Truth. If we come out from the world, as the Scripture demands, and are separate, we shall have its frowns instead of flatteries, and they will enable us, more than its favors, to be a Scientist. Losing her crucifix, the poor Catholic said, “I have nothing left now but Christ,” and this was not greater ignorance of God than to fall away from Truth because of persecution. If we have God on our side, what need we more? Loving error more than Truth we shall not separate ourself from the world, but wait on its approval until sickness comes to dull this false sense of happiness. When we silence the demands of conscience, at some future hour we shall hear the reply, “darkness leadeth not into the guest-chamber of Wisdom; ye cannot enter now.” Our unimproved opportunities gone, are not easily reproduced; nor can we borrow Wisdom, therefore we must then learn from suffering. The hour of darkness will come to those who improve not the preparatory school of the present, to fit them for the future, but would step suddenly into all the benefits of experience; alas! what were the science of being to them in that hour?—a blessing? yea, a blessing infinite. The dream of Life in matter, based on the evidence of personal sense, will vanish ere long, when we would gladly turn from its fading vision and the pains of sense, to peace and immortality; but the accumulated error of years dies slowly, and sometimes with severe struggles. As a general rule, man will not seek Truth until suffering shows him the need he has of it, or science opens the eyes of his understanding to see it; for science guides man safely over the quicksands and shoals, making Life what it is, harmony, and not discord. Personal sense is a broken reed that leaves man to fall to the earth; but science raises him up to the resources within himself. The very logic of Truth declares the higher and more enduring claims of Spirit over matter in all our experiences, showing that something besides the body, and perishable things of earth, demand our care and must furnish our support. Soul is heard above the din of sense, saying to error, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Man should obey the voice of Wisdom outside his body, that calls him away from a sense or contemplation of sickness, sin, and death, to harmony, health, and Life.
It is not from matter, personal sense, or from doctrines and beliefs, that we catch divine echoes. We must be “absent to the body to be present with the Lord;” only by caring less and less for the body, shall we attain harmony and Life. Our Master's command “Take no thought what ye shall eat, or what drink,” etc., means something. We must seek God, Spirit, outside of our bodies, and through a disregard for them, and not until we find Truth thus, shall we ever obtain it. Looking to the body for pleasure or pain, for Life or death, is error, and asking amiss to consume it on our lusts. After severe toil, we say, I am fatigued, naturally concluding the muscles have been overtasked and need repose; but our only safe and permanent method to overcome a sense of fatigue is to deny the ability of personal sense, to make us weary, and let mind triumph over matter, with the opposite argument, that saith, I am not tired, for the “I” is Spirit, and not matter; bid the physical report depart, even as you would a temptation to sin. It is science, to put down the arguments of personal sense, with the higher ones of Soul. Why this mental method of curing physical ailments is better than yielding to the feeling of tired, and taking a respite from labor, is because it is the science of being, that Spirit should control matter; action or sensation belongs not to matter, independent of mind, and when you conquer through mind, the next occasion for fatigue will find you less apt to feel it, and you will not suffer from fatigue as you did before; the belief that body has a sense of fatigue independent of what mind says, is error, that the opposite Truth of being will destroy.
Your body is as unconscious of action, or weariness, setting aside what mind says in regard to this, as a wheel, and to understand this point in science, will rest you as hours of quiet would not. Make a scientific test of this, if you please, and you will find it true; but in order to do this, you must understand how to hold and strengthen the mental argument against the physical, and guard against the influence of other minds, that embrace opposite beliefs. When through the Truth of man you gain one victory over the error, it will bring out a faint understanding of the Principle that controls being harmoniously. A disposition is often manifested to get rid of this physical part of science, by saying the fatigue did actually occur, but you psychologized the individuals to think they were not weary; this argument, however, is weak in behalf of the old positions regarding mind and body, for it admits the power of mind over matter, and this is just what you need to admit first, and next to understand its Principle, and not to mesmerize a man to make him wise, or yield to the error that belief is superior to understanding. The difficulty to understand science is, personal sense comprehends it not, that wars against it, for belief will not and cannot accept a Principle understandingly. We hear a sweet melody, and not knowing how it is produced, may explain it superstitiously, and leave the thing in mysticism. The sick often recover through the science of being; but not comprehending the Principle of their cure, misinterpret it, and do not render to God the things that are God's; but give them to Cæsar, saying, medicine, a change of air, or some supposed law of matter, did it. How often have we seen, in chemicalization, produced by the introduction of the Truth of being, relating to disease, given a misinterpretation by an ignorance of its real cause. We look for cause and effect in matter; whereas science finds all causation, mind; that which is produced by the mind of Soul, harmonious, and by the so-called mind of matter, inharmonious. The belief from infancy to age, that muscles are tired and body inharmonious, is error, and this error in the premises, leads to the error in conclusion, viz., that they are tired. Admitting fatigue a sensation of matter that belongs to muscles and nerves, we find rest only in respite from toil, thus admitting matter intelligent; but when we understand a sense of fatigue is one of mortal mind's beliefs, and not a sensation of matter, we begin to master it, and can continue the exercise without the same fatigue or injury.
To gain entire immunity from suffering and sin, and perfect control over the belief of personal sense, or our bodies, we must be perfect in science; a thing not to be looked for at this period; but if we abate the demands and sufferings of personal sense, on the Principle laid down, it is sufficient for a beginning. In doing this even, it will be found that in science we cannot multiply where we should divide, and the answer be right; that we cannot say to muscles, you have strength, and to nerves, you have sensation, and to matter, you hold sway as well as Spirit, and then control our body, with the opposite Principle of being; we must deny all sensation or Intelligence to matter or the body, with the understanding that Spirit is all that possesses Intelligence, before we can demonstrate in harmony the science of being. We are tired according to one belief, and rested according to another, and we should understand that every condition, or supposed sensation of the body is but a belief of the mind, and not Truth, the reality of Life. Understanding this, we remove the condition of mind, that affects the body, by destroying the belief producing it, whatever this may be, and the effect will immediately be seen on the body. On this Principle we bring our bodies into subjection to Soul, the immortality of man; and this makes them harmonious and immortal, because it takes them out of the hands of personal sense and mortality. When matter or muscles claim, “I am tired,” let Spirit contradict this; first, because matter cannot feel, nor report a feeling; and secondly, that mind can, and that mind, and not matter is what suffers. Soul, instead of sense, controls the universe and immortal man; but reverse this order of science, and we say man is controlled by mortality. There is but one God, or Intelligence, and our bodies are not this Intelligence, and cannot say, I am tired, or sick. Again, there is but one Spirit, to utter itself, or report for man, and this voice is Life and Love that never produces suffering, and never made man sick, nor a sinner. The Truth, that neither Intelligence, Life, nor Substance dwelleth in matter, is the basis of harmony in the universe and man. Even the desolate regions of the cold North, the sunny tropics, the everlasting hills, the winds and mighty billows, the vale, the flowers and heavens, all point to Intelligence, outside of matter; whereas sickness, sin and death are our only evidences of Intelligence, God, in matter, and these do not represent God. In the science of creation, man is harmonious and eternal; but attempt to put Soul in body, and sensation in matter, and we loose the key of harmonious being, and discord continually. The head says I am diseased, or the stomach, I am deranged, and the body, I am sick, or filled with lusts, hatred, malice, envy, and all manner of concupiscence; and what renders the case hopeless, is the belief that Spirit cannot stay all this jargon. Error has another shift, that God created this state of things, and that sickness, sin and death, are His messengers, sent by Wisdom who is not able or willing to destroy them. Then wherefore pray for the recovery of the sick, or that God will turn the sinner from his evil way, and employ a doctor to do what Omnipotence refuses to do? “In Him we live, move, and have being”; what, then, is this power independent of God, that causes disease and then cures it? Does God make man sick, and leave him to cure himself, Spirit send disease and leave its remedy with matter? Life, Love, and Truth never produced disease and death, nor caused man to sin, and then punished him for sinning, nor made man sick, in order to heal him. Man is not supreme, and God secondary, body first, and Soul last; and evil stronger than good; this is not the science of being, but the error of sense. The clay cannot reply to the potter, why hast thou made me thus? head, heart, lungs, etc., cannot say we are sick, sinning and mortal, and Spirit, the immortal and unerring Principle of man has made us thus, and is the author of all this discord, He that made man in his own image and likeness. Man that God created is the offspring of Spirit, and not matter, the product of God and not man, and is immortal and harmonious. The base, the foul, and mortal, malice, lust and lies, God has nothing to do with, nor do these belong to immortal man, who is the representative of Spirit and Truth; they are what we term mortal man, but are in fact nothing but error; for man is not mortal, and error has no reality; it is neither God, nor His idea. Perfection acts not through imperfection. God has nothing to do with the belief of Life in matter. The Principle of being never produced sin and discord, therefore they never were produced. “God made all that was made,” and God has nothing to do with sin, sickness, or death, only to destroy these beliefs. Jesus demonstrated this for man. Spirit is cause, and there is no effect from any other cause; hence there is no reality in what proceedeth not from this great and only cause. Sin is error, and error the absence of all that is real or true; sickness and death are error; therefore they are neither real nor true. Matter has neither action nor Intelligence of its own; it can dictate no terms to man, and because God sends not sickness, sin and death, that surely never came from Life, Truth and Love—they never were sent, and are but the dream and illusion of personal sense, or Life in matter. We know this Truth will not be seen and acknowledged until this dream be disturbed by it, or broken up, nevertheless it is Truth, and the science of being. The only evidence we have of sickness or death is from personal sense, that is inadequate to recognize Soul, or the immortality of man, that alone reveals his harmony.
Again, sickness, sin and death are without evidence in truth, which is the immortality of man; there they disappear; the only evidence we have of their reality is in mortality or error; but nothing real is mortal. If matter can heal the sick, and mind cannot, it is more powerful than mind, and if God sends sickness, it is opposed to His government to heal it; and if matter produces its own conditions, it acts against itself, and will be self-destroyed. Our opposite views abuse the science of being, and give the lie to Truth. Has the clay power over the potter, is matter self-acting and independent of God, thus prior and superior to Spirit? To reap where Truth hath not sown, is to gather error; such contradictory statements as these “soweth the wind and reapeth the whirlwind.” It is belief alone or mortal man, that holds matter as God, intelligent, self-creative, and self-acting; Truth finds it unintelligent, neither living nor dying, sick nor well. God has no part in suffering, sin or death, and there is no reality where God is not. If God made man to be sick, it is right that he should be so, and wrong to heal him; man cannot if he would, and should not if he could, annul the decrees of Wisdom. If sickness is a reality, it is a condition of Truth; and do you claim that drugs can destroy a condition of Truth? But if, as is the case, sickness is but a belief, therefore but a dream and illusion, the waking must come from Truth and understanding, that alone can destroy it; and this is Christ healing the sick.
If man is at the disposal of man and matter, of drugs and worms, he is not “the image of God,” and is mortal, but mortality is not man—it is nothingness, the sooner gone the better, for reason and revelation repudiate it. Man is immortal, but he is not Intelligence in matter, else he were mortal; man is the idea of God, the idea of Spirit, therefore he is not subject to laws of matter, to sickness, sin or death. Science reveals the fact that there is no Intelligence in matter, and that all righteous government is Spirit that speaks and it is done; never for a moment admitting matter controls man. The belief that God is the author of sickness, sin and death, or that an opposite power named devil or matter is the father thereof, implies a power independent of and over and above God; while there is no separate might or Intelligence from Spirit, and to talk of “spirits” is narrating ghost stories. There is but one Spirit, even God, and this is always right because it is Life, Truth and Love; matter is but a belief of Spirit, Substance and Life where these are not, and out of this error and belief, we make all suffering, sin and death. Does Wisdom commit mistakes to be rectified by man, does God send sickness and man destroy it, thus undoing what He has done? That which is perfect cannot produce sickness, sin or death; and if God cannot destroy these, they are immortal. Nothing to my understanding exceeds the power of omnipotence, and the sick are never really healed except through God, Intelligence; the power of drugs, electricity and matter is but a belief: it is mesmerism and not science that claims Truth, Life or Intelligence in matter bestowing a blessing that God cannot; and the so-called cures of these agents continue only so long as the belief lasts. Truth, Life and Love have got it all to do sometime, for they alone accomplish all that continues and is harmonious. If God heals not the sick it is because He cannot or will not, and in either case what chance would there be for matter, or man to heal? Can drugs do more than Wisdom, or change the unalterable Truth? or if God can heal the sick and does not, wherefore should man presume to do it. The error of sickness ought to be as apparent as the error of sin. When a man is sick, has God made him sick? No! Can He heal him? Yes. But does He that creates wisely destroy his own creation, or what are we to conclude? “That all things were made by Him, and without Him there was nothing made that was made”; in other words, that all that he created was “good,” and what is not good has no creation, and therefore no reality. To really understand that pleasure and pain belong not to matter, heals the sick. Cold, heat, exercise, study, food, infection, etc., etc., never caused a sick nor a healthy condition of man. Nerves, brain, blood, bones, liver, lungs, heart, etc., never determined the Life of man; scrofula, fever, consumption, rheumatism, small-pox, or any other disease never produced pain or inharmony; not one of these can make a single hair white or black, mar or change the creation of God; they are not creators in the smallest sense. If God produced disease, it is good, for all was good that God made.
Mortal man is improved, oftentimes, by sickness because it is error destroying itself; a fermenting stage in which it throws itself off to some extent; again what is named dying is but one belief destroying another; a belief of death destroying a belief of Life in matter. Belief saith an ulcer becomes more painful as it hastens to its end in suppuration, for error grows more imperative before it kills itself. Death is but a chemical change, in which some disease that is supposed to kill a man, reaches its own self-destruction; and we admit certain diseases, such as measles, whooping-cough, etc., never recur a second time; even thus when we say consumption has killed a man, he has only wakened out of the dream of Life in matter, that was never a reality, to live on as before, and find himself not dead, and consumption beaten ever thereafter. This is just what Truth finally does with all sickness, sin and death; lets them prove their own nothingness, that the science of being may appear. Man is not dead when the body mortal is admitted lifeless; the Life of man was never in the body, and to admit this, is the first step towards immortality. Heaven, earth, and man, all the eye seeth, will pass away, and personal sense yield to spiritual sense, which is the only real sense; and the supposed life of matter, to Life that is God. To understand that Spirit and its immortal idea, the universe and man, are all that is real, is the kingdom or reign of harmony that is to come. The only reality of Life or Substance, is Spirit.
The different phases of error, or mortal belief, are the conception, birth, and death of man and matter, together with the pleasure, pain, sickness and sin of personal sense; all of which are discords, and harmony proves discord not the Truth of man. Once understanding the nothingness of error, we should never again regard it with fear or submit to its false government. Sin is the strongest error, because it embraces a belief of pleasure in matter, that a belief of suffering alone can destroy. Wisdom allows sin to commit suicide. That sickness, sin and death are error and illusion, and that the happiness and Life of man are undisturbed by this error, is science. We should not regard our bodies the source of happiness and being, but find these Soul, and not sense; even the Principle of being that produces harmonious and immortal man. Opposed to this science are the vast array of beliefs, saying lo! here, and lo! there; that would reach perfection and immortality on the merit of another's suffering and experience, instead of the higher understanding of God. We have no schools of healing on the Principle that Jesus taught; yet he required of his followers, all, to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and leave all for Truth. A religion privileged through wealth and fraternity of interests, is not the first step towards Christianity. A popular 'ism was not what our Master pinned his faith upon; he taught taking up our cross, denying sense, and living Soul, to follow Truth; and this did not include sickness, sin, and death, nor pre-suppose that brain, nerves, stomach and so forth, hold the issues of Life. Truth made man upright; it was error that sought out the invention of sin, sickness, etc., of wrong-thinking and wrong-acting, saying man is both a sinner and saint, dust and Deity; these were the beliefs of personal sense or different phases of mesmerism. Children were blessed by Christ, Truth, because of their emptiness of these beliefs by which they were better able than adults to enter into the science of being. While age is halting between two opinions, or battling with some personal sense, children make easy and rapid strides towards Truth. A little girl who had listened to our explanations, severely wounding her finger, proved this, concluding, “it cannot hurt me, for there is no sensation in matter,” this result followed to the delight of all, and the next day she came running to her mother with laughing eyes and cheeks aglow, informing her “my finger is not a bit sore, and you have done nothing for it.” It might have taken months or years for her parents to have gained her position, and laid aside their drugs. We see, through the daily proofs of this science, the power of education on the mind, and how “out of the mouth of babes hast Thou perfected praise.” The older and stubborn beliefs of adults may even choke this good seed in the minds of their offspring; like unto the “fowls of the air” they carry it away, because of their want of understanding, before it can take root.
As in mathematics a reversed statement proves the rule, so, also, in the science of life, for example:
There is no pain in Truth, and no Truth in pain; no matter in mind, and no mind in matter; no nerve in Intelligence, and no Intelligence in nerve; no matter in Spirit, and no Spirit in matter, etc. That man should lose his identity because Soul is not in body, and Intelligence in matter, is quite as impossible as that tones of music should be lost in their Principle. Theories and doctrines have never yet explained Spirit and matter, but the Scriptures have, and as science demonstrates them, namely, Life and its idea. “Thou shalt surely die,” is the sentence of Wisdom daily executed on the belief of Life and Substance in matter, and yet man is not dead; then wherefore doubt belief is error, and man idea and not Substance, and Spirit the only Substance, because it is the Principle of man and the universe. This science of being cannot be seen at once in the midst of so many beliefs that deny all explanations of man, spiritually, and accept only a material anatomy of him, calling bones, sinews, head, heart, etc., man. These theories cannot be true, if man is immortal, and science and revelation reveal him the “image and likeness of God”; man, therefore, is immortal, and that which is mortal, is not man. If we understood God we should have reached nearer the Principle that proves him immortal; our grand mistake is to suppose man both mortal and immortal. The question arises at every point of theories, what is Truth? and the answer to this, Christ built his church upon over eighteen hundred years ago, namely, I am God, and man is the offspring of Soul and not sense; but this answer was not understood then, and has since been interpreted variously. His garment of truth we have rent and cast lots for, but the answer Jesus accepted as explaining man and God is the unchanging and eternal science of being; “Thou art Christ, the son of the living God,” for “I am the Truth and Life,” takes all Intelligence out of matter, and yields no homage to personality, making Christianity the foundation of right-thinking and right-acting, and through which we reach our God-being, and not rites and ceremonies, nor the persecuting clans that would stereotype progress. Peter said, “Thou art Christ,” and on this statement that Intelligence is Spirit, and not matter, and that “I,” is God, and not man, was built the church of Christ, the superstructure of Truth and its demonstration, which was, casting out error and healing the sick. Jesus reiterated this when saying “I and the Father are one”; in other words, that “I” signifies Spirit and not matter, Principle and not person, and “no man cometh unto the Father” (the understanding of this Principle), “but through Me,” Truth. Sin has no foundation when we admit our bodies are not intelligent. Sickness is without a foothold on this platform; it is the Truth of man that destroys personal sense; therefore, that alone can destroy sickness, sin, and death. The mission of Jesus was to separate material belief from spiritual understanding, and to show that Truth never mixes with error. Good and evil, Spirit and matter, are separate now and forever. Jesus knew we must understand this, or never reach the harmony of being. This is the science of Life that enables us to come out from the world and be separate; to reach the moral distance between Life that is Spirit and the supposed life of matter, and live apart from all that is sickness, sin, or death. This is the Truth that brings to light immortality. Jesus knew personal sense was error, and that there is no personal sense or Intelligence in matter; therefore that all the reports of this sense are chimeras that the Truth of being overthrows. This advanced standard of being is not yet understood, although it is over eighteen centuries ago that Jesus taught it, and they received not his sayings. Science, not personal sense, Principle and not person, understanding and not belief, must interpret Jesus' demonstration; for Truth and not error, Life and not death, health and not sickness, is its Principle. In order to follow Christ, Truth, we must show by our example, what Truth demonstrates; namely, that it casts out error and heals the sick; and then shall we fulfill the prediction of Jesus when he said, “The works I do ye shall do.” The doctrines of man are not built upon the Rock of Truth; theology leaves in mystery the science of God that Jesus not only explained but demonstrated. There is no Life or Principle in man that proves him immortal, hence we have no resource but to annihilate the belief of Life and Intelligence in matter, and understand God, the Principle of man and his immortality.
Beauty is eternal; but the beauty of matter passes away, fading at length into decay and ugliness. Custom, habit, opinions and belief form the transient standard of material beauty; but beauty is a thing of Life, exempt from age or decay, and to be this it must be a thing of Spirit. Immortal man and woman (and there are none other), are unfading perfection, models of beauty that reflect all loveliness insomuch as they are “the image and likeness of God,” of Soul and not sense. But in order to reflect beauty the body must represent only the perfect and immortal. To become less sense and more Soul, is the recipe for beauty; but to reach its standard we must put all sin, sickness and sorrow under the feet of our God-being, and rise superior to them; retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body, to the unchanging quiet and glorious freedom of impersonal bliss. The embellishments of person are a poor substitute for the beauty of Spirit shining resplendant and eternal, over age and decay. Measuring Life by solar years robs youth, and hourly gives uncomeliness to age. The rising sun of virtue and Truth is the morning of being, and its manhood eternal noon, unmarked by a setting sun. When beauty fades to personal sense, it is not lost to Soul, and affection marvels our friend could seem aught but beautiful. It is the belief of sickness, sorrow, and of solar years, that mars the face and form. I say the belief, because science admits no reality in aught but God and His idea. To Spirit a thousand years are as one day; hence, a man of years and experience is ripening into higher beauty and excellence instead of growing old; mind is feeding the body with immortality, if it supplies it with Truth, and taking away the error of personal sense that says a day points to a nearer tomb; our body neither suffers nor enjoys. When will it be understood that “I” is impersonal, even mind and not matter? Until this point is gained in the science of being, man will go on in belief, a pendulum between joy and sorrow, sickness and health, Life and death, even as at present. Is man tottering and ready to perish, or sick and sinning, the likeness of Omnipotence? are Life and all our faculties measured by calendars, and beauty a thing of decay? or is there a mortal man that grows, matures and decays, out of which springs the perfect and immortal man? Verily such admissions leap headlong into error. Science proves a corrupt fountain sendeth not forth pure streams, and the same fountain both sweet and bitter water. Solar years, that stamp the wrinkle on the brow, are the effect of man's reckoning, and not God's; they are a belief of personal sense and not the understanding of Soul. Mortal man is old only by admitting he is thus; for it is mind and not matter that makes the body what it is. Intelligence without beginning and without end is the data (if such it can be called), of Life; man is not young or old; he is and was eternal as the idea of God. Man has neither birth nor death; he is not a vegetable animal, nor a transmigrating mind, passing first into a mortal body, and thence to the immortal; this belief is a relic of heathenism; we have no beliefs that are not. Personality is not man, therefore the body mortal is but a belief of man, and not the reality of him. Life, Truth, and harmony are the reality of being, and man is the idea of these; hence the body mortal is but belief and error, discord and death. Shakespeare's description of age presents a picture of mortal man; our bodies are not the repositories of us, else all would go down to dust. I is Spirit and not matter, and Spirit never for a moment entered or animated matter. If happiness is personal sense, joy is a trembler and builds on sand; or if materiality is man the very worms do rob us.
To understand Intelligence nor Life are in the body, is to conquer age and hold being forever fresh and immortal. The error of growing old is seen in the history of an English lady, as narrated in the London Lancet.
In early life she was disappointed in love, became insane, in which she lost the calculation of time, and lived only in the hour that parted the lovers, never afterward recognizing the lapse of years, and speaking only from that sad hour. The effect of this was, she literally grew no older, and when seen by some of our American travellers at seventy-four years of age, presented the entire appearance of youth, not a wrinkle or gray hair marred the picture, but youth sat gently on cheek and brow. Before being informed of her history the visitors were asked to judge of her age, and each placed her under twenty. This instance of preserved youth suggests a point in science not to be overlooked, and which a Franklin might have built upon, or a Newton, with more certainty than the falling apple; years had not made her old, and wherefore? because she did not believe she was growing old, but lived according to another belief in the hour of youth, the result of which was, time could not make her aged, for the body represented the belief. Mind must say she was growing old, or the body would not present the aspect of age. She was young because during all those years she had never believed she was becoming old, therefore time fell powerless at her feet. Impossibilities never occur, and one such instance as the above, proves it not impossible to be young at seventy-five years of age, but the Principle of this proof is worth more than the bare fact; it explains the cause of decrepit age, and how to avoid it. Never record years and keep time tables of births and deaths, if you would preserve the full faculties of womanhood and manhood. It is only because every hour of our years, mind is admitting we are growing old, that it is difficult to present three score years and ten unmarred by age. It is not the years but the belief that years make man infirm, that brings the infirmity of age; “as a man thinketh so is he.” A belief of acute disease — and all disease is belief — is more readily destroyed than the chronic, because mind has not settled the question so decidedly, nor admitted the belief as long; the mental force of habit is not as strong in one case as in the other. The belief that man has birth, maturity and decay, is simply saying he is a vegetable animal, the animal not fit to live, and the vegetable incapable of Life. Soul is Spirit, and Spirit Life; God, neither an infant, adult, nor decrepit; and man is “the image and likeness of God,” then what precedent have we for the growth, maturity and decay of man. If man were matter, a tree, or a monkey, in his earlier stages of existence, we might admit his growth and decay; but he is the reflex shadow of Spirit, and Spirit knows neither infancy nor age. If man goes out in decay or death, there is a time when Jehovah is left without a likeness or representation, and Soul is without even an image, and Principle loses its idea. Reasoning from the premises that Soul is in body, and Spirit and matter mingle, our only logical conclusion is, that man goes down with matter, and is annihilated. But Spirit forms man, and is not in that which it creates; can the sculptor bury himself in the statue he is chiseling, and inside the marble work out his model, at every point of progress giving it new outlines and touches? Nor is God, the Soul and Intelligence of the universe and man, divided into larger or smaller proportions, or “gods” which enter man and matter. There is but one God, even the Intelligence outside of matter, that is a unity and not integral parts, neither mixed up with error, decay, or death. The Principle of man is outside its idea; mortal man would possess no ponderability if permeated by Spirit, and Spirit be ponderable if it dwelt within matter. Reason permitted scope, and guided by revelation repudiates theories so suicidal to the science of being; for theories are false, and science is true. Take away the belief, that limits, and sensation in matter constitute man, and you have immortal man the idea of God, and remove personality from your belief of God, and you have the infinite principle, even God that is Love. If Intelligence is in man and matter, what is there outside of these to govern the heavens and earth that “declare thy glory.” Intelligence in matter, and outside of it, also, would be two powers, the unerring and immortal, and the erring and mortal in perpetual warfare; there is no Omnipotence, or Omnipotence is all there is. “Dust to dust” was not spoken of man; we know all that God produces needs no erasure, and cannot be blotted out, for it is the idea of Spirit and not matter.
Life is the same yesterday, to-day and forever; anachronism and organization have nothing to do with it. Life gives immortality to all it creates; what is not Life, Wisdom, Truth or Love, and their idea, is but a fading error, and empty dream. We say, “I dreamed last night”; would that we understood better than this the wide difference between Soul and sense. “I,”signifies Intelligence, the Principle of man, that never slumbers nor wanders into illusion; belief is the only dreamer, and its dream says, Life and Intelligence are in matter; to be sure sleep is one of the phases of this dream, also the nightly thoughts get nearer the Truth of being, that silence the waking dream of substance matter, and yet convey the body whithersoever you will, for this comes nearer the reality of man's existence than the waking dream of Life in matter; and is sometimes prophetic. We have no occasion to find fault with science because it repudiates personal sense, if we would not quarrel with a man for waking us from a nightmare, that produces suffering real to belief, but unreal to science. Our past and present views of man and God, have not made man harmonious or immortal, nor God, Love; hence the need of a change of views, as in the science of man. The man intoxicated would be let alone, because he thinks inebriety is enjoyable, but waking out of this error changes his belief, and this error of personal sense becomes apparent. So at the final demand of Wisdom, understanding will comprehend the falsity or nothingness of the claims of personal sense. We say mortal man is born to suffer and die, but mortal man is matter, and does matter suffer? Science will at length destroy this ignorance relating to Soul and body, and teach us the harmony of both never yet gained on the old platforms, and never can be. Why not, then, begin in this direction to-day, and not scoff at demonstrative Truth, because you cannot see it with eyes, feel it with nerves, etc., “for having eyes, you do not see.”
Children should be taught this science, the first lessons they receive, and the education of personal sense kept out. Never discuss the so-called laws of matter, food or raiment; rule out of mind sickness, sin and death, give not error all your thoughts; looking in opposite directions, and away from such thoughts, is all that will ameliorate the sharper and longer experiences of getting out of them, either in time or eternity. To be out of an imaginary existence in matter, and realize one's self not body but Soul, is the ultimatum of being. When the belief of happiness in personal sense wanes, and the enjoyment of the intellect and affections increases error is fading out, and Truth is lifting its glad voice above the centuries; yea, above the horizon of animality and sense. If we part not with the imaginary joys of personal sense, appetites, passion, malice, pride, etc., at the suggestions of science, we must at some future time suffer from these sufficiently, to be glad to relinquish them. Leaning on error proves it a broken reed that pierces to the heart; but do you ask, why should we suffer for innocent enjoyments? Because pain or pleasure of the body is not a reality, it is a belief only; and this belief is error, opposed to the Truth of being, and at some time we must learn this. It is not through enjoyment, but suffering, we learn the error of Life in matter, and outside of suffering it can only be learned of science; which do you choose for a teacher?
A farm, a merchandise, a husband, wife, etc., may hide this science from individual perception; therefore said our Master, we must leave all for Truth, or we are not worthy of it; and this leaving all means much, even the relinquishing of the belief of personal sense, for the understanding of the science of Life. 'Tis folly to scoff at what is not understood, or to deny the claims of science; rather should we test the Principle of its statements by the rules laid down, and so sure as this Principle is sufficiently understood, to apply its rules to man, we shall bring out his harmonious being in accordance with it. The loving discipline our Father gives to teach us the science of being, in the nothingness of material things, is the schoolmaster that leads us to Christ, Truth. We know the desponding reply personal sense makes to the demands of Soul; but we also know, “Thou shalt surely die,” is Soul's verdict on sense; but error dies not at once either in time or eternity.
When the miser loses his gold he has little left, and when the sensualist loses his five personal senses, what he has left is Soul, not understood by him, and the body is mortal until Life is understood, therefore, be wise to-day; willful ignorance culminates in outer darkness, and the future will reveal the great error of leaving the work of time for eternity. The end and aim of being is happiness; but this can only be attained through righteousness; we cannot possess the love of this world and be right, for it shuts out God, that is Love; one will be master in the affections, and personal sense tramples on the pearls of spiritual sense. Adhere to the latter and you will be able to govern the former, but yield to the former and the latter will leave man to sickness, sin and death. If you have stripped sin of its disguises, you have done well; but expect your good to be evil spoken of, or if you have pointed out the straight and narrow way of science, remember you will be persecuted for righteousness sake. This is the cross, take it up; it wins the crown, then wear it. Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger here, thou art the guest of God.