Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1889)/10 Platform of Christian Scientists
PLATFORM OF CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS.
Here I stand. I can do no otherwise; so help me God! Amen.
|And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,|
|The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,|
|The solemn temples, the great globe itself, —|
|Yea, all which it inherit, — shall dissolve,|
|And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,|
|Leave not a rack behind.The Tempest.|
I. God is supreme, the only Life, Substance, and Intelligence of the universe and man. Eye hath neither seen God, nor his perfect likeness, man. Neither the whole of God nor the whole of man can be discerned by the human senses. Hence the personality of God and man are unknown, and left to human conjecture.
II. God is Mind. He is Divine Principle, not person. He is what the Scriptures declare Him to be, — Life, Truth, Love.
III. God includes all, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal.
IV. God is Spirit, and Spirit is infinite. There is but one Spirit, because there can be but one Infinite, and therefore but one God.
V. Spirit is the only Substance, — “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Things spiritual and eternal are substantial; the material and temporal are insubstantial.
VI. God is the only Life “When Christ, our Life, shall be manifested, then will ye also be manifested with him in glory;” man will be found in God's image and likeness, perfect and eternal.
VII. God is Mind; and there is but one Mind, because there is but one God.
VIII. Mind is deathless, limitless, eternal, and never enters the finite. Intelligence never passes into non-intelligence. Therefore Mind is never within matter; the Unlimited is never limited; the Eternal cannot be in the temporal, nor the Immortal in mortality.
IX. God is Soul, or Spirit, and Spirit hath no outline. Soul is neither a limited mind nor a limited body; therefore it cannot be a person. Soul is Divine Principle. Nothing but Spirit can contain Spirit, because Spirit is larger than all else. God can be reflected, and is known by His reflection. If Eternal Mind originated in personality, it would be limited, having a finite beginning. At first limited, it would ultimately return to its limitations, and hence would be finite. The Infinite and Everlasting have no starting-points.
X. Man was and is the idea of God, — the conception of Eternal Mind, co-existent and co-eternal with it. Man was forever in God, or Mind. Therefore Mind can never be in man; for idea was never material. Man is ideal. A portion of God could not enter man, or that portion would become finite, losing the character of Deity, and becoming less than God. Wholeness is the measure of the Infinite God, and nothing else can express that infinity. Infinity can only be reflected by humanity, not contained in it. The Scriptures say that God is “all in all.” All that possesses being or reality is Mind, and there is no such thing as matter. In God all is harmony, and there can be no discord. In Divine Life there is no death. In Infinite Good there is no evil. Everything in the universe of God is His idea.
XI. Divine Science shows that matter and mortal body are the illusions of human belief, which seem to appear and disappear, to mortal sense alone. When this belief changes, as in dreams, the material body changes with it, going wherever we wish, and becoming whatsoever belief may decree. It is obvious that matter has no Divine Principle or proof. Material sense has never seen God, or man made in His likeness. Material man is not the likeness of Spirit, or perfection, and the infinite idea, or reflection, is as invisible, to the limited senses, as the Infinite Principle. Man and God, or Principle and its ideal, are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal. The Science of Divine Principle and its idea furnishes the rule of perfect being, and brings immortality to light.
Besiege sickness, sin, and death with the scientific rule of health and Life, and you ascertain that my statement is true, for it heals the sick and sinful as no other method can. This Science understood leads to eternal harmony, and brings to light the pure ideal of God, and man as made in His likeness; whereas the opposite belief — that man has beginning and end, that he is both Soul and body, both spiritual and material, sensual, sick, and dying — terminates in discord, in the error that is met and destroyed by Truth. Human mortality proves that error has been ingrafted into both the premises and conclusions of material and mortal humanity.
As the mythology of pagan Rome has yielded to a more spiritual idea of Deity, so shall our material theories yield to spiritual ideas, until the finite gives place to the Infinite, sickness to Health, sin to Holiness, death to Life, and God's kingdom comes “on earth as in heaven.”
XII. Man's consciousness, thought, and Mind are borrowed from God. Woman (a higher term for man) gives the full spiritual compound idea of Him who is Life, Truth, and Love. Spirit has created all, in and of Himself. God never created matter, for there is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made; but, as the Bible declares, God “made all that was made.”
XIII. In Christian Science the rule is that none but the pure in heart can see God. In proportion to his purity is man in the proper order of his celestial being, and able to demonstrate Life, even as Jesus did.
XIV. God makes good only, and evil cannot proceed from good. There is but one true Spirit, and neither spirits many nor gods many. There is no evil in Spirit, because Spirit is God. The notion that evil and good can be combined in one nature, is a delusion that must yield to Science. All human theories are destitute of real foundations.
XV. Mind is infinite, the only Ego. Limits impose ignorance. In Science man cannot lose his individuality; but in material sense he does lose it. Material personality is not unfettered, nor is it a perfect state of happiness. Sensualism is not real bliss, but bondage. The Ego (or the I) must be in accord with the Father, according to Christ's word. In Science man is made perfect, even as the Mind that forms him. The Truth of Being is harmonious and immortal; but error is untrue and mortal.
XVI. Since God is omnipotent and omnipresent, there is no room for His opposite. Divine pardon destroys sin, Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no forgiveness. God's spiritual pardon involves the final destruction of sin. The evil-doer can receive no encouragement from the fact that Science teaches that sin is the unreality of being; for the sinner is making a reality of sin, and thus heaping up “wrath against the day of wrath.” He is joining in the conspiracy against himself, — against his awakening to see the awful unreality by which he has been deceived. Only those who forsake sin can understand its unreality.
XVII. The name Adam is from the Hebrew adamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness. The word Adam should be regarded as identical with the Latin dæmon. Originally demons were not always considered as evil beings, but as partly good, though now the word is used exclusively of harmful and mischievous spirits. Somewhat in this way ought Adam to be thought of: as a dam, an obstruction, as error opposed to Truth, — as standing for that which is accursed, spoiled, or undone. Jehovah pronounced matter accursed, from whence error sprang, and blessed the earth “for man's sake.” From this it follows that Adam was not the ideal man. The ideal man was revealed in due time, as Jesus the Christ.
XVIII. Truth, spiritually discerned, is scientifically understood. It casts out error and heals the sick. Christian Science differs from material science; but not on that account is it less scientific. On the contrary, Christian Science is preeminently scientific, being based on Truth, the Principle of all Science.
XIX. Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune God, or Divine Principle. They represent a trinity in unity, three in one, — the same in essence, though multiform in office. The Holy Ghost reveals this triune Principle, and is embodied in Divine Science, leading into all Truth. Christ means the God-anointed, or the Messiah. Christ Jesus was the man set apart by God, as His word come to the flesh. Mary's conception was spiritual, for only such purity could reflect the ideal of Truth and Love, which was to be incarnate in the good and pure Jesus. Into the divine ideal of manhood the sensual element cannot enter. Thus it was that Jesus became the coincidence, the agreement, of the divine and human.
He was a mediator between humanity and Spirit — the voice of Truth, speaking to the human senses through Science. As Paul says, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” He was the rebuke of Spirit, dispelling the illusions of the senses. With this Divine Mind he healed the sick and cast out evils, disease, and death, arising from a belief in materialized Mind.
XX. Our baptism is a purification from the flesh. Our church is built on Christ, the Divine Principle of the man Jesus. We can unite with this church only as we are new born of Spirit, — as we reach the Life that is Truth and the Truth that is Life, — bringing forth the fruits of Love, casting out error and healing the sick. Our eucharist is spiritual communion with the Father, the one Spirit. Our bread is that “which cometh down from heaven.” Our cup is the cross-bearing inspiration of Love — the cup that our Master drank, and of which he said, “Drink ye all of it.”