Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1898)/03 Footsteps of Truth
FOOTSTEPS OF TRUTH.
Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servant; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord, wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine anointed. — Psalms.
THE best sermon is the practice of Truth, and its Practical preaching. demonstration through the destruction of sin, sickness, and death. Knowing that one affection will be supreme in us, and take the lead in our lives, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.”
We do not build safely on false foundations. Truth makes a new creature, wherein old things pass away and “all things are become new.” Passions, selfishness, appetites, — all sensuality, — yield to spirituality, and the superabundance of Being is on the side of God.
We cannot fill vessels already full. They must first The vessels of Truth. be emptied. Let us empty ourselves of error. When the sun shines, let us not hug our tatters close about us.
The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in Truth through floodtides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis.
Grafting holiness upon unholiness, and supposing that sin can be forgiven when it is not forsaken, is as foolish as straining out gnats and swallowing camels.
The Scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God's will must be universally done.
If men would bring to bear upon the study of the Science of Mind half the faith they bestow upon the Divine study. so-called pains and pleasures of material sense, they would not go on from immorality to immorality, until disciplined by the prison and the scaffold; but the whole human family would be redeemed by the merits of Christ, — the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this glorious result Christian Science brings the light of divine understanding.
Outside of this Science all is unstable error; but immortal man in accord with the Principle of his Being, Harmonious life-work. God, neither sins nor suffers. The days of our pilgrimage will multiply instead of diminish, when God's kingdom comes on earth; for the true way leads to Life instead of death; and earthly experience develops the finity of error and the infinite capacities of Truth, wherein man has dominion over all the earth.
Our beliefs about a Supreme Being contradict the practice growing out of them. Error abounds where Truth Belief and practice. should “much more abound.” We admit that God hath almighty power, is a “present help in time of trouble;” and yet we rely on a drug to heal disease, as if senseless matter had more power than omnipotent Spirit.
Common opinion admits that a man may take cold in the act of doing good, and that this cold may produce fatal pulmonary disease; as if evil could overbear the Colds quite unnecessary. law of Love, and check the reward for doing good. The Science of Christianity endows Spirit with omnipotence, assigns sure rewards to righteousness, and denies that matter can heal or make sick, create or destroy.
If God were understood, instead of merely believed, this understanding would establish health. The accusation Our belief and understanding. of the rabbis, “He maketh himself as God,” was really the justification of Christ, for to the Christian the only true Spirit is God. This thought incites to a more exalted worship and self-abnegation. Spiritual perception brings out the possibilities of Being, destroys reliance on aught but God, and so makes man the image of his Maker in deed and in Truth.
We are prone to believe either in more than one Supreme Ruler, or in some power less than God. We imagine that Mind can be imprisoned in a sensuous body. When the material body has gone to ruin, when matter has overmastered life, and destroyed itself, then we try to believe that the deathless Principle, or Soul, may escape from it and live.
The sinner is a suicide. Sin kills itself, but death is regarded as a stepping-stone to immortality and bliss. Suicide and sin. The Bible calls death an enemy; and Jesus overcame death, instead of yielding to it. To him, therefore, it was not the threshold over which he must pass to Life and glory.
God has no need to kill a man, in order to give him eternal Life, for God Himself is this Life. He is at once the centre and circumference of Being.
All forms of error support the false conclusions that there is more than one Intelligence; that material history The only Intelligence and Substance. is as real and important as spiritual history; that mortal belief is as conclusively mental as immortal Truth; and that there are two separate, antagonistic entities and beings, two powers, — namely. Spirit and matter, — resulting in a third person (mortal man) who carries out the delusions of sin, sickness, and death.
The first power is admitted to be Good, an intelligence called God. The second power, evil, is the opposite of Good. It cannot therefore be intelligent, though so called. The third power, man, is a supposed mixture of the first and second powers, of Intelligence and non-intelligence, of Spirit and matter.
Such theories are evidently erroneous. They can never stand the test of Science. Judging them by their fruits, False theories. they are corrupt. When will the ages understand the Ego, and see only one God, one Mind, or Intelligence?
False and self-assertive theories have given sinners the notion that they can create what God cannot, — namely, sinful mortality, usurping the name without the nature of Mind; but in Science it can never be said of a mortal, that he has a mind of his own, distinct from God.
The belief that God lives in matter is pantheistic. The error which saith Soul is in body. Mind is in matter, and Good is in evil, must unsay it, and cease from such utterances; else God will continue to be hidden from humanity, and mortals will sin without knowing that they are sinning, will lean on matter instead of Spirit, continuing to stumble with lameness, droop with dyspepsia, consume with disease, — all because of their blindness, their false sense concerning God and man.
When will the error of believing that there is Life in matter — and that sin, sickness, and death are creations Creation perfect. of God — be unmasked? When will it be understood that matter has no intelligence, life, or sensation, and that the opposite belief is the prolific source of all suffering? God created all through Mind, and made all perfect and eternal. Where then is the necessity for recreation or procreation?
Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil) we can catch clear True idea. glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we can perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of Good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.
When we realize that there is but one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbors as ourselves is unfolded to Golden Rule. us; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man's normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels, where selfishness reigns.
Selfishness tips the beam of human existence towards the side of error, not towards the side of Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind throws our weight into the scale, not of Spirit, but of matter.
When we fully understand our relation to God, we can have no other Mind but His, — no other Love, Wisdom, or Truth, no other sense of Life, and no consciousness of the existence of matter, or error.
The power of the human will should be exercised only in subordination to Truth; else it will misguide the judgment, Will-power unrighteous. and free the lower propensities. It is the province of spiritual sense to govern man. Material, erring, human thought acts upon the body, and through it injuriously.
Will-power is capable of all evil. It can never heal the sick, for it is the prayer of the unrighteous; while the exercise of the higher sentiments — hope, faith, love — is the prayer of the righteous. This prayer, governed by Science instead of the senses, heals the sick.
In the Scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all; as Jesus showed with the loaves and fishes, — Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.
Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for the brief space of a few years, and then taking it away Death and birth. by death? Is God creating anew what He has already created? The Scriptures are definite on this point, declaring that His work was finished and that it was good.
Can there be any birth or death for man, — the spiritual image and likeness of God? Instead of God's sending sickness or death. He destroys them, and brings to light immortality. Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes, and subsequently correct them. God does not cause the mother to weep over the loss of her child.
There are evil beliefs, often called evil spirits; but No evil in Spirit. these evils are not Spirit, or they could not be evil. There is no evil in Spirit. God is Spirit; and proportionately as we advance spiritually, evil becomes more apparent and obnoxious, until it disappears from our lives. This fact proves our position, for every Scientific statement in Christianity has its proof. Error of statement leads to error in action.
God is not the creator of an evil mind. Indeed, evil is not Mind. We must learn that evil is the awful deception Subordination of evil. and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; Good is not helpless; nor are the laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary. Without this lesson, we equally lose sight of the perfect Father and of the divine Principle of man.
Body is not first and Soul last, nor is evil mightier than Good. The Science of Being repudiates self-evident Evident impossibilities. impossibilities, such as the amalgamation of Truth and error in cause or effect. It separates the tares and wheat in time of harvest.
There is but one primal Cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause; and there can be no Causation. reality in aught which proceeds not from this great and only Cause. Sin, sickness, disease, and death belong not to the Science of Being. They are the errors, which presuppose the absence of reality.
The spiritual fact is the Scientific fact in all things. The spiritual fact, repeated in the action of man and the whole universe, is harmonious, and is the ideal of Truth. Spiritual facts are not inverted; the opposite discord, which bears no resemblance to spirituality, does not appear. The only evidence of this inversion is obtained from suppositional error, which affords no proof of God, Spirit, or the spiritual creation. Material sense defines all things materially, and has a finite sense of the Infinite.
The Scripture says, “In Him we live, move, and have our Being.” What then is this seeming power, independent Seemingly independent authority. of God, which causes disease and cures it? What is it but an error in belief, — a law of mortal mind, wrong in every sense, embracing sin, sickness, and death? It is the very antipodes of Immortal Mind and spiritual law. It is not in accordance with the goodness of God's character that He should make man sick, and then leave him to heal himself. It is absurd to suppose that Spirit will produce disease, and leave the remedy to matter.
John Young, of Edinburgh, writes: “God is the father of Mind, and of nothing else.” Such an utterance is The wilderness voice. “the voice of One Crying in the wilderness” of human beliefs, and preparing the way of Science. Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven, — the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost, or remain forever unseen.
Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. A mortal man Sickness in thought. possesses this body, and he makes it harmonious or discordant, according to the images of thought impressed upon it. You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness. You should banish all thoughts of disease and sin, and other beliefs included in matter. Man, being immortal, has a perfect, indestructible Life. It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased, in proportion as it is governed by ignorance, fear, and human will.
Mind, supreme over all its formations, and governing them all, is the central sun of its own systems Central truth. of ideas, the Life and light of all its own vast creation; and man is tributary to divine Mind. The material and mortal body, or mind, is not the man.
The world would collapse without Mind, without the Intelligence which holds the winds in its grasp. Neither philosophy nor skepticism can hinder the march of the Science which reveals the supremacy of Mind. The imminent sense of Mind-power enhances its glory. Nearness, not distance, lends enchantment to this view.
The compounded minerals or aggregate substances composing the earth, the relations which constituent Spiritual translation. masses hold to each other, the magnitudes, distances, and revolutions of the celestial bodies, are of no real importance, when we remember that they must all give place to the spiritual fact, by the translation of man, alias the universe, back to Spirit. In proportion as this is done, will the universe be found harmonious and eternal.
Material substances, astronomical calculations, and all the paraphernalia of speculative theories, based on the hypothesis of life and intelligence resident in matter will ultimately vanish, swallowed up in the infinite calculus of Spirit.
Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. It shows the superiority of faith by works over faith in words. Its ideas are expressed only in “new tongues;” and these are interpreted in the translation of the spiritual original, into the language which human thought can comprehend.
The Principle and proof of Christianity are cognizable to the spiritual sense, as set forth in Jesus' demonstrations, Jesus' disregard of matter. through his disregard of matter and its so-called laws, and his healing the sick, casting out error, and destroying death, — “the last enemy to be overcome.”
Knowing that Soul and its attributes are forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, and thus brought to light the Scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies, to give a better understanding of Soul and salvation. Jesus healed the sick and destroyed sin, by one and the same metaphysical process.
The phrase mortal mind is really a solecism; for Mind Solecism. is immortal, and Truth pierces the error of mortality as a sunbeam penetrates the cloud. This so-called mind acts against itself, and is self-destructive, in obedience to the immutable law of Spirit. Error “soweth the wind, and reapeth the whirlwind.”
What is termed matter, being unintelligent, cannot say, “I suffer, I die, I am sick, or I am well.” It is Matter mindless. mortal mind which speaks thus, and appears (to this so-called mind) to make good its own claim. To mortal sense, sin and suffering are real; but immortal sense includes no evil or pestilence. Because it has no error of sense, it has no sense of error, therefore it is immortal.
If brain, nerves, stomach, are intelligent, — if they talk to us, tell us their condition, and report how they feel, — then Spirit and matter, Truth and error, commingle, and produce sickness and health, Good and evil, Life and death; and who shall say whether Truth or error is the greater?
The sensations of the body must either be the sensations of mortal mind or of matter. Which are they? Sensation. Is it not provable that matter has no sensation? Is it not equally capable of proof that matter exists in human belief only, and not in the spiritual understanding of Being?
The sensation of sickness and sin exists only in belief. When a tear starts, does not mortal mind produce the effect seen in the lachrymal gland? Without this so-called mind, the tear could not appear. This action of the mind shows the nature of mortal cause and effect.
It should no longer be said in Israel that “the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set Heredity. on edge.” Sympathy with error should disappear. The transfer of the thoughts of one erring mind to another would only serve to prolong discord and illusion.
If it be true that nerves have sensation, that matter has intelligence, that its organization causes the eyes to Nerves painless. see and the ears to hear, then, when the body is dematerialized, those faculties must be lost, for they are not immortal as Mind; whereas the fact is that only through dematerialization can these faculties be conceived of as immortal.
Nerves are not the source of pain or pleasure. We suffer or enjoy in our dreams, but this pain or pleasure is not communicated through a nerve. A tooth extracted sometimes aches again in belief, and the pain seems to be in its old place. A limb amputated has continued, in belief, to pain the owner. If the sensation of pain in the limb can return, and be prolonged, why could not the limb reappear?
Why need pain, rather than pleasure, come to this mortal sense? Because the memory of pain is more vivid. I have seen an unwitting attempt to scratch the end of a finger which had been cut off for months. When the nerve is gone, which we say was the occasion of pain, and yet the pain remains, it proves sensation to be in the human mind, not in matter. Reverse the process, take away this mind instead of a piece of the flesh, and nerves have no sensation.
Mortal mind has a modus of its own, undirected and unsustained by God. It produces a rose through seed The lilies and roses. and soil, and brings thc rose into contact with the olfactory nerves, that they may smell it. In legerdemain and credulous frenzy mortal mind believes that unseen spirits produce the flowers. God alone makes and clothes the lilies, and this He does through Mind.
Because all the methods of Mind are not understood, we say the lips or hands must move in order to convey Mentality and miracle. thought, that the undulatious of the air convey gound, and possibly that other methods involve so-called miracles. The realities of Being, its normal action, and the origin of all things, are unseen to mortal sense; whereas the unreal and imitative movements of finite belief (which would reverse the infinite modus and action) are styled the real. Whoever contradicts that supposition is called a deceiver, or said to be deceived. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” and as a man spiritually understandeth, so is he in Truth.
Mortal mind conceives of something as either liquid or solid, and then classifies it materially. Immortal and The Good indefinable. spiritual facts exist above and beyond this mortal and material belief. Good is self-existent and self-expressed, though indefinable as a whole. Every step towards goodness is a departure from materiality, and is a tendency towards Spirit. Material theories partially paralyze this attraction towards infinite, harmonious, and eternal Spirit, by an opposite attraction towards the finite, temporary, and discordant.
Sound is a mental impression, made on human belief. Sensation spiritual. The ear really hears not. In Divine Science sound is communicated through the senses of Soul, in the spiritual understanding.
Mozart experienced more than he expressed. The rapture of his grandest symphonies was never heard. Music. He was a musician beyond what the world knew. This is even more strikingly true of Beethoven, who was so long hopelessly deaf. Mental melodies and strains of sweetest music supersede conscious sound. Music is the rhythm of head and heart. Mortal mind is the harp of many strings, discoursing either harmony or discord, as the hand which sweeps over it is human or divine.
Before human knowledge dipped to its depths into a false sense of things, — into belief in material origins which discards the one Mind and true source of Being, — it is possible that the impressions of Truth were as distinct as sound, and that they came thus to the primitive prophets. If the medium of hearing is wholly spiritual, it is normal and indestructible.
If Enoch's perception had been confined to the evidence before his material senses, he could never have “walked with God,” or been guided into the demonstration of Life eternal.
Adam, represented in the Scriptures as formed from dust, is an object-lesson for the human mind. Like Adam and the senses. Adam, the material senses return to dust, are proven erroneous. They go out as they came in, for they are still the error, not the Truth of Being. When it is learned that the spiritual sense, and not the material, conveys the impressions of Mind to man, then Being will be understood, and found to be harmonious.
We bow down to matter, and entertain finite thoughts of God, like the pagan idolater. We fear and obey what Idolatrous illusions. we consider a material body, more than we do a spiritual God. Modern knowledge, like the original Tree of Knowledge, multiplies our pains. Our illusions would rob God and slay man; and then would spread their table with cannibal tidbits, giving thanks meanwhile.
How transient a help is mortal sight, when a wound The senses of Soul. on the retina may end the power of light and lens! but the sight or sense of what is real can never be lost. Neither age nor accident can interfere with the Soul's senses, and there are no other real senses. It is evident that the body has no sensation of its own, and that there is no oblivion for Soul or its faculties. Spirit's senses are without pain, and they are forever at peace. Nothing can hide from them the harmony of all things, and the might and permanence of Truth.
If Soul could sin, or be lost, then Being and Immortality would be lost, with all the faculties of Mind; but Soul-sin impossible. Being cannot be lost while God exists. Soul and matter are at variance, from the very necessity of their oppositeness. Mortals are unacquainted with the reality of existence, because matter and mortality do not reflect the facts of Spirit.
Spiritual vision is not subordinate to geometric altitudes. Whatever is governed by God is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of Intelligence and Life.
We are sometimes led to believe that darkness is as real as light; but natural science affirms darkness to be Antipodes. only a mortal sense of the absence of light, at whose coming darkness loses the appearance of reality. So sin and sorrow, disease and death, are the suppositional absence of Life, God, and they flee as phantoms of error before Truth and Love.
With its divine proof. Science reverses the evidence of the senses at every point. Every quality and condition of mortality is lost, swallowed up in immortality. Immortal man is the antipodes of mortal man, in origin, in existence, and in his relation to God.
Socrates, because he understood the superiority and immortality of Good, feared not the hemlock poison. Socrates. Even the faith of his philosophy spurned physical timidity. Having sought his spiritual estate, he recognized the immortality of man. The ignorance and malice of the age would have killed the venerable philosopher, for his faith in Soul and his indifference to the body.
Who shall say that man is alive to-day, but may be dead to-morrow? What has touched Life, God, to such The serpent of error. strange issues? Here theories cease, and Science unveils the mystery and solves the problem of man. Error bites the heel of Truth, but cannot kill it. Truth bruises the head of error, and crushes it. Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting?
The understanding that the Ego is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or Intelligence, begins at once to Servants and masters. destroy the errors of mortal sense, and to supply the Truth of immortal sense. It makes the body harmonious. It makes the nerves, the bones, and the brain servants, instead of masters. If the body is governed by the higher law of Mind, its members are in submission to Life and Truth. The great mistake of mortals is to suppose that man is both matter and Spirit, both good and evil.
If the decision were left to the corporeal senses, evil would appear to be the master of Good, and sickness to be the rule of existence; while health would seem the exception, death the inevitable, and Life a paradox. Paul asked (2 Corinthians vi. 15): “What concord hath Christ with Belial?”
When you say, “Man's body is material,” I say with Paul: Be “willing rather to be absent from the body, and Personal identity. to be present with the Lord.” Give up your belief of mind in matter, and have but one Mind, even God, and let this Mind form its own likeness. The loss of man's identity, through the understanding which Science confers is impossible; and the notion of such possibility is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in the principle of their grand harmony.
Medical schools may inform us that the healing work of Christian Science, and Paul's peculiar Christian Supposed catalepsy. conversion and experience, — both of which prove Mind to be Scientifically distinct from matter, — are indications of unnatural mental and bodily conditions, or even of catalepsy and hysteria; yet if we turn to the Scriptures, what do we read? Why, this: “If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death!” and “Henceforth know we no man after the flesh!”
That Scientific methods are superior to others, is seen by their effects. When the Divine Mind or Truth once Fatigue. conquers a diseased condition of the body, that condition is destroyed scientifically and it does not reappear. When Mind once gives rest to the body, the next toil will fatigue you less, for you are working out the problem of Being in Metaphysical Science; and in proportion as you understand the control Mind has over the body, you will be able to demonstrate it. The Scientific and permanent remedy for fatigue is to learn the power of Mind over every illusion of physical weariness, and so destroy this illusion; for matter cannot be weary and heavy-laden.
You say, “Toil fatigues me.” But what is this me? Talking muscles. Is it muscle or mind? Which is tired, and so speaks? Without mind, could the muscles be tired? Do the muscles talk, or do you talk for them? Matter is non-intelligent. Mortal mind does the talking; and that which affirms weariness, first made that weariness.
You would not say that a wheel is fatigued; and yet the body is just as material as the wheel. If it were A weary wheel. not for what the human mind says of the body, the body would never be weary, any more than the inanimate wheel. An understanding of this great fact rests you more than hours of repose.
The body is supposed to say, “I am ill.” The reports of sickness may form a coalition with the reports of Coalition of sin and sickness. sin, and say, “I am malice, lust, appetite, envy, hate.” What renders both sin and sickness difficult of cure is, that the human mind is the sinner, disinclined to self-correction, and believing that the body can be sick, independently of mortal mind, and that the divine Mind has no jurisdiction over it.
Why pray for the recovery of the sick, if you are without faith in God's willingness and ability to heal Sickness akin to sin. them? If you believe in that, why do you substitute drugs for the Almighty's power, and employ a doctor to lead us contrary to God's will?
Treat a belief in sickness as you would sin, with sudden dismissal. Resist the temptation to believe in matter as intelligent sensation or power.
The Scriptures admonish us to “run and not be weary, . . . walk and not faint.” The meaning of that passage is not perverted by applying it literally to moments of fatigue, for the moral and physical are as one in their results. When we wake to the Truth of Being, all error, pain, weakness, weariness, sorrow, sin, and death will be unknown, and the mortal dreams forever cease. My method of treating fatigue applies to all bodily ailments, since Mind should be, and is, supreme, absolute, and final.
In mathematics we do not multiply where we should subtract, and then say the product is correct. No more Affirmation and result. can we say, in Science, that muscles give strength, that nerves give pain or pleasure, or that matter governs, and then expect that the result will be harmony. Not muscles, nerves, or bones, but mortal mind makes the whole body “sick and the whole heart faint;” whereas divine Mind heals all ailments.
When this is understood, we shall never affirm concerning the body what we do not wish to have true. We shall not call the body weak, if we would have it strong; for we know that the belief in feebleness must obtain in the human mind before it can be made manifest in the body, and that the destruction of the illusion will be the removal of its effects. Science includes no rule of discord, but governs harmoniously. “The wish,” says the poet, “is ever father to the thought.”
We may hear a sweet melody, and yet misunderstand the science which governs it. Those who are healed Remedy and its science. through Metaphysical Science, not comprehending the Principle of the cure, may misunderstand it, and impute their recovery to change of air or diet, not rendering to God the honor due to Him alone. Entire immunity from sin and suffering cannot be expected at this period, but we may look for some abatement of them; and these Scientific beginnings are in the right direction.
We hear it said: “I exercise daily in the open air; I take cold baths, in order to overcome a predisposition Hygiene ineffectual. to take cold; and yet I have continual colds, catarrh, and cough.” Such admissions ought to open people's eyes to the inefficacy of hygiene, and induce them to look in other directions for cause and cure.
Instinct is better than misguided reason, as even nature declares. The violet lifts her blue eye to greet the early spring. The leaves clap their hands as nature's untired worshippers. The snowbird sings and soars amid the blasts, he has no catarrh from wet feet, and procures a summer residence with more ease than a nabob. The atmosphere of the earth, kinder than the atmosphere of mortal mind, leaves catarrh to the latter. Colds, coughs, and contagion are engendered solely by mortal belief.
Mortal mind produces its own phenomena, and then The reflex phenomena. charges them to something else, — like a kitten glancing into the mirror at herself, and thinking she sees there another kitten.
A clergyman once adopted a diet of bread and water, Volition far-reaching. to increase his spirituality. Finding his health failing, he gave up his abstinence, and advised others never to try dietetics for growth in grace.
The belief that either fasting or feasting makes men better, morally or physically, is one of the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, concerning which God said, “Thou shalt not eat of it.” Mortal mind forms all conditions of the mortal body, and controls the stomach, bones, lungs, heart, and blood, as directly as the volition of will moves the hand.
I knew a woman who, when quite a child, adopted the Graham system to cure dyspepsia. She ate bread and Starvation and dyspepsia. vegetables only, and drank nothing but water, for many years. Her dyspepsia increasing, she decided that her diet should be more rigid; and thereafter she partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, this meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread, without water. Her physician also recommended that she should not wet her parched throat until three hours after eating. She passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation, and then made up her mind to die, having exhausted the skill of the doctors, who kindly informed her that death was indeed her only alternative. At this point Christian Science saved her; and she is now in perfect health, without a vestige of the old complaint.
She learned that suffering and disease are the self-imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of Being; that God never decreed disease, — never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom; and it is equally far from Science, in which Being is sustained by God. These truths, opening this woman's eyes, relieved also her stomach, and she ate without suffering, “giving God thanks;” but she never again enjoyed her food as she had expected to, when she was still the slave of matter, — thinking of the fleshpots of Egypt, feeling childhood's hunger, and undisciplined by self-denial and Science. Her new-born understanding, that neither food nor Mind and stomach. the stomach, without the consent of mortal mind, could make her suffer, brought with it another lesson, — that gustatory pleasure is a sensuous illusion, a phantasm of mortal mind, diminishing as we better apprehend our spiritual existence, and ascend the ladder of Life.
This woman learned that food neither strengthens nor weakens the body, though mortal mind has its material methods of doing this work, one of which is to declare that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. She learned also that mortal mind makes a mortal and sickly body, because it governs it with mortal opinions.
Food had less power to help or to hurt her, after she availed herself of the fact that Mind governs man, and she had less faith in the so-called pleasures and pains of matter. Taking less thought about what she should eat or drink, consulting the stomach less and God more about the economy of living, she recovered strength and flesh rapidly. For many years she had been kept alive, as was believed, only by the strictest adherence to hygiene and drugs, and yet she continued ill all the time. Now she dropped drugs and hygiene, and was well.
She learned that a dyspeptic was very far from the image and likeness of God, — having “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,” — if eating a bit of animal flesh could overpower her. She finally concluded that God never made a dyspeptic; while fear, hygiene, physiology, and physicians had made her one, contrary to His commands.
The cure alike for dyspepsia and sin is to consult matter not at all, and to eat what is set before you, Life only in Spirit. “asking no questions for conscience' sake.” We must destroy the false belief that life and intelligence are in matter, and plant ourselves upon what is pure and perfect. Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man's finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of Soul, in matter instead of Spirit.
Matter does not express Spirit. God is omnipresent. If He is all and He is everywhere, what and where is Soul greater than body. matter? Remember that Truth is greater than error, and we cannot put the greater into the less. Soul is greater than body. If it were once within the body it would be smaller, and therefore could not be Spirit.
The question convulses the world, “What is Truth?” Many are ready to meet this inquiry with the assurance Convulsing question. which comes of understanding; but more are blinded by their old illusions, and try to “give it pause.” “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
The efforts of error to answer this question by some ology are vain. Spiritual rationality and free thought are the accompaniments of approaching Science, and cannot be put down. They will emancipate humanity, and supplant the doctor's pills.
Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from Heralds of Science. its erroneous dream are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound, as Truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the aggravation of error foretells its doom, and foreshadows the triumph of Truth. Truth will overturn, until “He whose right it is shall reign.” Longevity is increasing;, and the power of sin diminishes, for the world feels the alterative effect of Truth through every pore.
As the crude footprints of the past disappear from the dissolving paths of the present, we shall understand better the Science which governs these changes, and plant our feet on firmer ground. Every sensuous pleasure or pain is self-destroyed with the lapse of time. There should be painless progress, attended by Life and peace, instead of discord and death.
In the record of nineteen centuries, there are too many sects and not enough Christianity. Centuries Sectarian opposition. ago religionists were ready to hail an anthropomorphic God, and array His vicegerent with pomp and splendor; but this is not the manner of Truth's appearing. Of old the cross was Truth's central sign. The modern lash is less material than the Roman scourge, but it is equally cutting. Cold disdain, stubborn resistance, opposition by church and press, are the croaking harbingers of Truth's full-orbed appearing.
A higher and more practical Christianity, capable of meeting human wants in sickness and health, stands at the door of this age, knocking for admission. Will you open or close the door upon this angel visitant, who cometh, as he came of old to the patriarch, at eventide?
Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, “Slavery is abolished.” The Emancipation. power of God bringeth deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Wisdom. What is this supposed power, which opposes itself to God? Whence cometh it? What is it that binds man with iron shackles to sickness, sin, and death? Whatsoever enslaveth man is opposed to the divine government.
You may know when Truth leads, by the fewness and faithfulness of its followers. The march of Truth's followers. generations bears onward the banner of freedom. The powers of this world will fight, and command their sentinels not to let Truth pass the guard until it subscribes to their creeds and systems; but Science, heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on. There is some tumult, and a few rally to its standard.
The history of our country, like all history, illustrates the might of Mind, and shows human power to be Immortal sentences. proportionate to its embodiment of right motives. A few immortal sentences, breathing the principles of divine justice, have been potent enough to break despotic fetters, and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon's mouth. Love is the liberator.
To legally abolish unpaid servitude in the United States was hard, but the abolition of mental slavery Physical and moral servitude. is a more difficult task. The despotic tendencies inherent in mortal mind, and always germinating in new forms of tyranny, must be rooted out through the action of the divine Mind.
Men and women, of all climes and races, are still in bondage to material sense, ignorant how to obtain their freedom. The rights of man were vindicated in a single section, and on the lowest plane of life, when African slavery was abolished in our land. That was only prophetic of further steps towards the banishment of a mere wide-spread slavery, found on higher planes of existence and under more subtle and depraving forms.
The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of Liberty's crusade. this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind, and that its freedom should be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ's Divine Science.
God has built a higher platform of human rights, and built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made Cramping systems. through code or creed, but in demonstration of “peace on earth and good-will to man.” Human codes, theology, medicine, and hygiene fetter faith and understanding. Science rends asunder these fetters, and man's birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.
I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master, in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.
The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of House of bondage. their own beliefs, and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs who to-day hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea, and the wilderness; but I pressed on, through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall, and the rights of man to freedom are fully known and acknowledged.
I saw that the law of mortal belief included all error, and that, even as oppressive laws were disputed, and Higher law. mortals were taught their right to freedom, so the claims of enslaving senses must be denied and superseded. The higher law of the divine Mind must end human bondage, or mortals will continue ignorant of man's inalienable rights, and in subjection to hopeless slavery, because their mental masters enforce ignorance as the guarantee of continued obedience, servitude, and suffering.
Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the Native freedom. legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, “I was free born.” All men should be free. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity.
Christian Science raises the standard of liberty, and cries: “Follow me! Escape from the bondage of Standard of liberty. sickness, sin, and death!” Jesus marked out standard the way. Citizens of the world, accept the “glorious liberty of the children of God,” and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your mind with error.
If God had instituted material laws to govern man, disobedience to which would have made him ill, Jesus would not have disregarded those laws by healing in direct opposition to them, and in defiance of material conditions.
The transmission of disease, or of certain idiosyncrasies of mortal mind, would be impossible if this great Inheritance. fact of Life were learned, — namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter it, for Life is God. Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear.
The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when he enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion. God-given dominion over the material senses. Mortals will some day assert their freedom in the name of Almighty God. Then they will control their own bodies, through the understanding of Divine Science. Dropping their present beliefs, they will recognize harmony as the spiritual reality, and discord as the material unreality.
If we follow the command of our Master, “Take no thought for your life,” we shall never depend on bodily conditions, structure, or economy; but we shall be masters of the body, dictate its terms, and form and control it with Truth.
There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence is all-powerful, and to acknowledge any other power is to Humbled pride. dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless. It should have humbled the pride of the priests, when they saw the demonstration of Christianity excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.
If Mind is not the master of sin, sickness, and death, they are immortal; for it is already proven Error not immortal. that matter has not destroyed them, but is their basis and support.
We should hesitate to say Jehovah sins or suffers; but if sin and suffering are realities of Being, whence did they emanate? God made all that was made, and Mind signifies God, — infinity, not finity. Not far removed from infidelity is the belief which unites such opposites as sickness and health, holiness and unholiness, calls both the offspring of Spirit, and at the same time admits that Spirit is God, virtually declaring Him good in one instance, and evil in another.
By universal consent mortal belief has constituted itself a law to bind mortals to sickness, sin, and death. Self-constituted law. This customary belief is misnamed material law, and the physician who upholds it is mistaken in principle and in methods. The law of mortal mind, conjectural and speculative, is made void by the higher law of immortal Mind, and should be trampled mider foot.
If God cause man to be sick, sickness must be good, and its opposite, health, must be evil; for all that He Sickness not divine. makes is good, and will stand forever. If the transgression of God's law produces sickness, it is right to be sick; and we cannot if we would, and should not if we could, annul the decrees of Wisdom. It is the transgression of a law of mortal mind, not of matter or of divine law, which causes the belief of sickness. The remedy is Truth, not matter.
If sickness is real, it belongs to Immortality. If true, it is a part of Truth. Would you attempt, with drugs or without, to destroy a quality or condition of Truth? But if sickness and sin are illusions, the awakening from this mortal dream, or illusion, will bring us into health, holiness, and immortality. This awakening is the coming of Christ, the appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick. This is the salvation which Cometh through the divine Principle demonstrated by Jesus.
It would be contrary to our highest ideas of God to suppose Him capable of first arranging law and causation Divine impossibilities. so as to bring about certain evil results, and then punishing the helpless victims of His volition, for doing what they cannot avoid doing. Good is not, cannot be, the author of experimental sins. God can no more produce sickness than goodness can end in evil, or health occasion disease.
Does Wisdom make blunders, to be afterwards rectified by man? Does a law of God produce sickness, and Soothing syrups. man put that law under his feet by healing sickness? According to my understanding, the sick are never really healed by drugs, hygiene, or any material method. These merely evade the question. They are soothing syrups to put children to sleep, satisfy mortal belief, and lull its fears.
We think we are healed when a disease disappears, though it is liable to reappear; but we are never thoroughly The true healing. healed until this liability is removed. Mortal mind being the remote and exciting cause of all suffering, the cause must be obliterated through Science, or the physical senses will get the victory.
Unless an ill is rightly met and fairly overcome by Truth, it is never conquered. If God destroys not sin, Destruction of all evil. sickness, and death, they are not destroyed in mortal mind, but seem to this mind to be immortal. What God cannot do, man need not attempt. If God heals not the sick, it is because He cannot or will not. In either case feebler attempts would be hopeless, for no lesser power equals the infinite All-power.
If God makes sin, if Good produces evil, and Truth results in error, then Science is helpless; but there are no antagonistic powers or laws, either spiritual or material, creating and governing man through perpetual warfare. As God is not the author of these human discords, we may accept the conclusion that they have only a fabulous existence, and are of human instead of divine origin.
To hold yourself superior to sin — because God made you superior to it, and governs man — is true wisdom. Superiority to sickness and sin. To fear sin is to misunderstand the power of Love, and the Divine Science of Being in man's relation to God, — to doubt His government, and distrust His omnipotent care. To hold yourself superior to sickness and death is equally wise, and in accordance with Divine Science. To fear them is impossible, when you fully apprehend God, and know that they are no part of His creation.
Man, governed by his Maker, having no other God, — planted on the Evangelist's statement that “all things were made by him [the Word of God], and without him was not anything made that was made,” — can triumph over sin, sickness, and death.
Many theories, relative to God and man, neither make man harmonious nor God lovable. The beliefs we Denials of divine power. commonly entertain about happiness and life afford no scathless and permanent evidence of either. Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal Being is found only in Divine Science.
Scripture informs us that “with God all things are possible,” all good is possible to Spirit, — but our prevalent theories practically deny this, and make healing possible only through matter. These theories may be false, but the Scripture is true. Christianity is not untrue; but religions which contradict its Principle are false.
In our age Christianity again demonstrates the power of divine Principle, as it did eighteen hundred years ago, by healing the sick and triumphing over death. Jesus never taught that drugs, food, air, and exercise could make a man healthy, or that they could destroy human life; nor did he illustrate these errors by his practice. He referred man's harmony to Mind, not matter, and never tried to make of none effect the sentence of God, which sealed His condemnation of sin, sickness, and death.
In the sacred sanctuary of Truth are voices of solemn import, but we heed them not. It is only when the supposed Silent voices. pleasures and pains of sense pass away in our lives, that we find unquestionable signs of the burial of error and the resurrection to spiritual Life.
There is no place or opportunity in Science for error Profession and proof. of any sort. Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs, rather than professions, of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death, by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.
Perfection is seen and acknowledged only by degrees, in the midst of imperfection. The ages must slowly Utopia. work up to it. How long it must be before we arrive at the demonstration of Scientific Being, no man knoweth, — not even “the Son, but the Father;” but one thing is certain, that error will continue its delusions until the final goal of gladness is assiduously earned and won.
Already the shadow of His right hand rests upon the hour. Ye who can discern the face of the sky, — the Signs of promise. sign material, — how much more should you discern the sign mental, and compass the destruction of sin and sickness by overcoming the thoughts which produce them, and understanding the Truth which corrects and destroys them. The mission of our Master was to all mankind, including the very hearts which rejected him.
The quotient, when numbers have been divided by a fixed rule, is not more unquestionable than the Scientific Counteraction. tests I have made of the effects of Truth upon the sick. The counter fact, relative to any disease, is required to cure it. The argument of Truth is designed to rebuke and destroy error. Why should Truth not be equally efficient in sickness, which is solely the result of error?
Spiritual draughts are healing, while material lotions interfere with Truth, even as ritualism and creed hamper Spirit. If we trust one, we distrust the other.
Whatsoever inspires with wisdom, truth, or love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human Crumbs of comfort. family with crumbs of comfort from Christ's table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.
We should put aside our false beliefs daily, become more familiar with health than with sickness, with good Murderous guests. than with evil, and never admit a discordant thought. We should dismiss those unpleasant guests — sin, sickness, and death — from mortal mind, in order to guard the body from them, as watchfully as we bar our doors against the approach of thieves and murderers.
If proper ward were kept over that lazar-house, that dismal cell and slaughter-house of infamy, mortal mind, Invisible iniquity. the brood of evils which infest it could be cleared out. We must begin with this so-called mind, and empty it of sin and sickness, or sin and sickness will never cease. The present codes of human systems disappoint the weary searcher after a divine theology, adequate to the right education of mortal thought.
Sin is thought before it is acted. You must control it in the first instance, or it will control you in the second. Jesus declared that to look with desire on forbidden objects is to break a moral precept. He laid great stress on the action of the human mind, unseen to the senses.
Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no greater harm than one's belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and Truth build a strong defence. Better suffer a doctor infected with smallpox to attend you, than be treated mentally by one who obeys not the Christian requirements of Science.
The teachers of our private and public schools should be selected with as direct reference to their morals Teachers. as to their learning. Nurseries of character should be strongly garrisoned with virtue. School-examinations are one-sided. It is not so much academic education, as a moral and spiritual culture, which lifts one higher. The pure and uplifting thoughts of the teacher, constantly imparted to pupils, will reach higher than the heavens of astronomy; while the debased and unscrupulous mind, though adorned with gems of scholarly attainment, will degrade the characters it should inform and elevate.
Physicians, whom the sick employ in their helplessness, should be models of virtue. They should be wise Physicians. spiritual guides, when material things cease to bring ease or hope. To the tremblers on the brink of death, who understand not the Truth which perpetuates Being, such physicians should be able to teach it; that when the heart is willing and the flesh weak, the patient's feet may be planted on the rock Christ Jesus, the basis of spiritual power.
Clergymen, standing on the watchtowers of the world, should uplift the standard of Truth fearlessly. They Clergymen. should so raise their hearers spiritually, that those hearers will love to grapple with a new idea, and so broaden their own thoughts. Love of Christianity, rather than of popularity, should stimulate clerical labor and progress. Truth should emanate from the pulpit, and never be strangled there. A special privilege is vested in the ministry. How shall it be used? Sacredly, — in the interests of humanity not of sect.
Is it not professional reputation and emolument, rather than the dignity of God's laws, which many leaders seek? Do not inferior motives inspire their infuriated attacks on those who reiterate Christ's teachings in support of his example of Mind-healing?
A mother is the strongest educator, either for or against crime. Her thoughts form the embryo of Mothers. another mortal mind, and unconsciously mould it, either after a model odious to herself, or else, through divine influence, “according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hence the importance of Christian Science, wherefrom we learn the One Mind, and the availability of Good as the remedy for every woe.
Children should obey their parents. Insubordination is a growing evil, blighting the buddings of self-government. Children. Parents should teach their children, at the earliest possible period, the truths of health and holiness. They are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple verities which will make them happy and good.
Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right. While age is halting between two opinions, or battling with false belief, youth makes easy and rapid strides toward Truth.
A little girl, who had occasionally listened to my explanations, wounded her finger badly. She seemed not to notice it. On being questioned about it she answered ingenuously, “There is no sensation in matter.” Bounding off, with laughing eyes, she presently added, “Mamma, my finger is not a bit sore.”
It might have been months or years before her parents would have laid aside their drugs, or reached the mental height their little daughter so naturally Good seed. attained. The more stubborn beliefs and theories of parents often choke the good seed in the minds of themselves and their offspring. Superstition, like “the fowls of the air,” snatches away the good seed before it has sprouted.
Children should be taught the Truth-cure among their first lessons, and kept from discussing or entertaining Teaching children. theories or thoughts of sickness. To prevent the experience of error and its sufferings, take care to keep out of the minds of your children sinful and diseased thoughts. The latter should be excluded on the same principle as the former. This is Christian Science.
Some invalids are unwilling to know the facts, or hear about the fallacy of matter and its supposed laws. Unwilling invalids. They devote themselves a little longer to their material gods, cling to a belief in the life and intelligence of matter, and expect this error to do for them more than they are willing to admit the only living and true God can do. Impatient with your explanation, unwilling to investigate the Science of Mind, which would rid them of their complaints, they hug false beliefs and Suffer the delusive consequences.
Motive and action are not rightly valued before they are understood. It is well to wait till those whom you Patient waiting. wish to benefit are ready for the blessing; for Science is working changes in personal character as well as in the material universe.
To obey the Scriptural command, “Come out from among them and be ye separate,” is to incur society's frown; but society's scorn, more than its flatteries, enables one to be Christian. Losing her crucifix, the Catholic girl said, “I have nothing left but Christ.” “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
To fall away from Truth in times of persecution shows that we never understood Truth. From out the bridal-chamber of Wisdom there will come the Opportunity and persecution. warning, “I know you not.” Unimproved opportunities will rebuke us when we suddenly claim the benefits of an experience we have not made our own, try to reap the harvest we have not sown, and wish to enter unlawfully into the labors of others. Truth often remains unsought until we seek this remedy for human woe, because we suffer severely from error.
Attempts to conciliate society, and so gain dominion over mankind, arise from worldly weakness. He who leaves all for Truth forsakes popularity and gains Christianity.
Society is a foolish juror, listening to only one side of the case. Honesty often comes too late to secure a Society and intolerance. verdict. People with mental work before them have no time for gossip with false law or testimony. To reconstruct timid justice, and place the fact above the falsehood, is the work of time.
The cross is the central emblem of history. It is the loadstar in the demonstration of Christian healing, whereby sin and sickness are destroyed. The sects which endured the lash of their predecessors, in their turn bestow it upon those who are in advance of themselves.
Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and Clearer views. we get clearer views. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity.
The wicked man is not the ruler of his upright neighbor. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The watchword of Christian Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.”
To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed, and whom we acknowledge and Sandals of truth. obey as God. If Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter must then submit to Spirit. The objects we pursue and the Spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning.
Mortal mind is the acknowledged seat of motives. It forms material concepts, and produces every discordant Antagonistic fountains. action of the body. If action proceeds from the divine Mind, it is harmonious. If it comes from erring mortal mind, it is discordant, and ends in sin, sickness, death. Those two opposite sources never mingle in fount or stream. The perfect Mind sends forth perfection, for Mind is God. Imperfect mortal mind sends forth its own resemblances, of which the wise man said, “All is vanity.”
Nature voices natural law and divine Love, but human belief misinterprets her. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, Lessons of nature. giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, all point to the invisible Intelligence above them. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons. The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.
In the order of Science, wherein the Principle is above what it governs, all is one grand concord. Change this Perpetual motion. statement, suppose Mind to be in matter, or Soul in body, and you lose the keynote of Being, and there will be continual discord. Mind is perpetual motion. Its symbol is the sphere. The rotations and revolutions of the universe of Mind go on unconsciously.
Mortals move onward towards good or evil, as time glides on. If they are not progressive, past Progress demanded. failures must be repeated until all poor work is effaced or rectified. If at present satisfied with wrong-doing, we must become dissatisfied with it. If at present content with idleness, we must learn to loathe it. Remember that mankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.
In trying to undo the errors of sense one must pay, here or hereafter, the utmost farthing, until the body is fully brought into subjection to Spirit. The divine. method of paying sin's wages involves unwinding one's snarls, and learning from experience, through pangs unspeakable, how to divide between error and Truth.
“Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” He who knows God's will, and the demands of Divine Science, and yet refuses obedience thereto, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Sensual treasures are laid up “where moth and rust doth corrupt.” Mortality is their doom. Sin breaks in Wages of sin. upon them, and carries off their fleeting joys. The sensualist s affections are as imaginary, whimsical, and unreal as his pleasures. Falsehood, envy, hypocrisy, malice, hate, revenge, steal away the treasures of earth. Stripped of its externals, what a mocking spectacle is error!
The Bible teaches transformation of the body by the renewal of Spirit. Take away the spiritual signification Transformation. of Scripture, and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice. The error of the ages is preaching without practice.
The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of Love, healing sickness and destroying sin. Our Master said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Our aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness. We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed, and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity.
The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that such as see God are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration.
It is “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,” than for a mortal to enter the Kingdom of Spiritual baptism. Heaven. Through spiritual baptism and regeneration, mortals put off false individuality. It is only a question of time when “they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest.” Denial of the claims of matter is a great step toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom, and toward triumph over the body.
There is but one way to Heaven and harmony, and Christ shows us this way. It is to know no other reality The one only way. than Good, or God and His reflection, to have no other consciousness of Life's demands, and to rise superior to the so-called pains and pleasures of matter.
Self-love is more opaque than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve, with the universal solvent of Love, the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love; for these war against spirituality, and are the law of sin and death.
The vesture of Life is Truth. According to the Bible, the facts of Being are commonly misconstrued; for it Divided vestments. is written: “They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.” The Divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency, without seam or rent. Mere speculation appropriates only a part of the divine vesture, while inspiration restores every part of the Christly garment of righteousness.
The finger-posts of Divine Science show the way our Master trod, and require of Christians the proof which he gave, instead of mere profession. We may hide spiritual ignorance from the world, but can never succeed in the Science and demonstration of spiritual Life through ignorance or hypocrisy.
The Divine Principle which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, Ancient and modern miracles. from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age, and triumph over sin and death. It crowned the demonstrations of Jesus with unsurpassed power and Truth. But the same “Mind which was also in Christ Jesus” must always accompany the letter of Science, in order to confirm and repeat the ancient demonstrations of prophets and apostles. That those wonders are not more commonly repeated to-day, arises not so much from lack of desire as from lack of spiritual growth.
The clay cannot reply to the potter. The head, heart, lungs, and limbs do not inform us that they are dizzy, Mental telegraphy. diseased, consumptive, or lame. If this information is conveyed, mortal mind has conveyed it. Neither immortal and unerring Mind, nor matter, — the inanimate substratum of mortal mind, — can carry on such telegraphy; for God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil,” and matter has neither intelligence nor sensation.
Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred, and Life has no partnership Annihilation. with death. Truth, Life, and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God.
Sickness, sin, and death are not true and good. They are false errors, which Truth never created. Perfection Deformity and perfection. does not animate imperfection. Inasmuch as God is good, and the fount of all Being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity. Therefore it is not produced by Truth, but by illusion, and is the mirage of error. Divine Science reveals these grand facts. On their basis Jesus demonstrated Life, never fearing or obeying evil in any form.
If we derive all our conceptions of man from what is seen between the cradle and the grave, happiness and goodness can have no abiding-place in him, and the worms will rob him of all; but Paul writes: “The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Man, undergoing birth, maturity, and decay, is like the beasts and vegetables, — subject to laws of decay. If Decadence. man were dust in his earliest stage of existence, we might admit the hypothesis that he returns eventually to his primitive condition; but man was never more nor less than man.
If man flickers out in death, or sprang from nothingness into Being, there must be an instant when God is without His idea, when there is no full reflection of Mind.
Man is neither young nor old. He has neither birth nor death. He is not a beast, a vegetable, or a migratory Man not evolved. mind. He does not pass from the mortal to the Immortal, from evil to Good, or from Good to evil. Such admissions cast us headlong into darkness and dogma. Even Shakespeare's poetry pictures age as infancy, as helplessness and decadence, instead of assigning to man the everlasting grandeur and immortality of God's image.
The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion, are illustrated in a sketch from the history of an English lady, published in the London medical magazine, called The Lancet.
Disappointed in love in her early years, she became insane, and lost all account of time. Believing that she Perpetual youth. was still living in the same hour which parted her from her lover, taking no note of years, she stood daily before the window, watching for his coming. In this mental state she remained young. Having no consciousness of time, she literally grew no older. Some American travellers saw her when she was seventy-four, and supposed her a young lady. She had not a wrinkle or gray hair, but youth sat gently on cheek and brow. Asked to guess her age, those unacquainted with her history conjectured that she must be under twenty.
This instance of youth preserved furnishes a useful hint that a Franklin might work upon with more certainty than when he coaxed the enamoured lightning from the clouds. Years had not made her old, simply because she had taken no cognizance of the passing years, or thought of herself as growing old. Her belief that she was young proved the bodily results of such a belief. She could not age while believing herself young, for the mental state governed the physical.
Impossibilities never occur. One instance like the foregoing proves it possible to be young at seventy-four; and the Principle of that illustration makes it plain that decrepitude is not a law or necessity of nature, but an illusion which may be avoided.
The Infinite never began nor ended. Mind and its formations can never be annihilated. Man is not a Infinitude. pendulum, swinging betwixt evil and Good, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, Life and death. Life and its faculties are not measured by calendars. The perfect and immortal are the eternal likeness of their Maker. Man is by no means a material germ, rising from the imperfect, and endeavoring to reach Spirit, above his origin. The stream rises no higher than its source.
The measurement of Life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age. The rising sun of virtue and Truth marks the morn of Being. Its manhood is the eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material sense of beauty fades, the radiance of Spirit should dawn upon the enraptured sense with brighter glories.
Never record ages. Minute chronological data are no part of the vast Forever. Time-tables of birth and Records of time. death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. But for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, we should enjoy more than threescore years and ten, and yet maintain our vigor, freshness, and promise. We shall continue to be always beautiful and grand, whenever mortal mind so decrees. Each succeeding year will then make us wiser and better in looks and deeds.
Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin True Life. the demonstration thereof. Beauty and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, instead of into age and ugliness.
Acute and chronic beliefs reproduce their own types. The acute belief of physical life comes on at a remote period, and is not as disastrous as the chronic belief.
I have seen age regain two of the elements it had lost, sight and teeth. A lady of eighty-five, whom I knew, had The eyes and teeth. a return of sight. Another lady, at ninety, had new teeth, incisors, cuspids, bicuspids, and one molar. One gentleman, at sixty, had retained his full set of upper and lower teeth, without a decaying cavity.
Beauty, as well as Truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as Eternal beauty. mortal belief. Custom, education, and fashion form the transient standard of mortal beauty. Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a beauty of its own, — the beauty of Spirit. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind, reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which exceed all material sense of it.
Comeliness and beauty are not dependent on mortals. Beauty possesses those qualities before they are The divine loveliness. perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of Life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind, and reflects the charms of His goodness in form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness.
The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the beauty of Spirit, shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay.
The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body, into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of heavenly harmony.
Love never loses sight of beauty. Its halo rests upon its object. One marvels that a friend can ever Love's endowment. seem less than beautiful. Men and women, of riper years and larger lessons, ought to grow in beauty and immortality, instead of lapsing into age and ugliness. Mind constantly feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought, and destroying the errors of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb.
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model, in order to perfect his conceptions. We are all sculptors, Mental sculpture. working at various forms, moulding and chiselling our thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have we not accepted the material model? Are we not reproducing it? Are we not aided in our work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms? Do we not hear, from all mankind, of the imperfect model? Is the world not holding it before our gaze continually? The result is that we follow those lower patterns, limit our life-work, and adopt into our own experience the angular outline and deformity of material models.
To remedy this we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form Perfect models. perfect models in thought, and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let harmony, health, unselfishness, goodness, mercy, and justice form the mind-pictures, and sin, sickness, and death will diminish, until they finally disappear.
Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have but one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing its own models of excellence.
Let the male and female of God's creating appear. Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us Renewed selfhood. into newness of Life, and recognizing no mortal or material power as able to destroy, Let us rejoice that we are subject to the Divine “powers that be.” Such is the true Science of Being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.
Mind is not the author of matter, and the Creator of ideas is not the creator of illusions. Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is All-in-all. The Infinite never began, and will never end.
Life, like Christ, is “the same yesterday and to-day and forever.” Organization and time have nothing to Dreams. do with Life. You say, “I dreamed last night.” What a mistake is that! The I is Spirit, which never slumbered or wandered into delusion. The mortal mind is the dreamer.
Sleep is a phase of the dream that life, substance, and intelligence are material. The mortal night-dream is sometimes nearer the fact of Being than are mortal thoughts when awake. The dream has less matter as its accompaniment. It throws off some material fetters. It falls short of the skies, but makes its mundane flights quite ethereal.
Man is the reflection of Soul. He is the direct opposite of material sensation, and there is but one Ego. Blunders. We run into error when we divide Soul into souls, multiply Mind into minds, and suppose error to be Mind, Mind to be in matter, matter to be a lawgiver, unintelligence to act like Intelligence, and mortality to be the matrix of immortality.
Mortal existence is a dream, it has no real entity, but saith “It is I.” Spirit is the Ego which never The Ego. dreams, but understands all things; which never slumbers, but is ever conscious; which never believes, but knows; which is never born and never dies. Man is the likeness of this Ego. He is not God, the Ego; but like a ray of light which cometh from the sun, man is the outcome of God, and reflects His light.
Mortal body and mind are one, and that one is called man; but a mortal is not man. A mortal may be weary Awaking. or pained, enjoy or suffer, according to the dream he entertains in sleep. When that dream vanishes, the mortal finds himself experiencing none of those dream-sensations. To the observer, the body lies on the bed, undisturbed and sensationless, and the mind seems to be absent.
Now I ask. Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? There cannot be, since whatever appears to be a mortal mind or body is a mortal dream. Matter has no more sense as a mortal man, than it has as a tree; but the real man is immortal.
Upon this stage of existence goes on the dance of mortal mind. Mortal thoughts chase one another like snowflakes, and drift to the ground. Science reveals Life as not being at the mercy of death, nor will it admit that happiness is ever the sport of circumstance.
Error becomes more imperative as it hastens towards self-destruction. This action of mortal mind on the Abscess and fever. body is illustrated by an abscess, which grows more painful before it bursts and suppurates, or a fever, which becomes more severe before it abates.
Fright is so great, at certain stages of mortal belief, as to drive that belief into new paths. In the illusion of Fright. death, mortals wake to the knowledge of two facts: (1) that they are not dead; (2) that they have but passed the portals of a new belief. Truth works out the nothingness of error in just these ways. Sickness, as well as sin, is suicidal, — an error culminating in self-destruction.
We should learn how the human mind governs the body: whether through faith in hygiene, through drugs, Mortal-mind government. or through faith in will power; whether mortals govern the body through a belief in the necessity of sickness and death, sin and pardon, or from the higher understanding that the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the human mind through Truth, leads it to relinquish error, and find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, and death. This process of higher understanding improves mortal mind until error disappears, and nothing is left which deserves to perish or be punished.
Ignorance, like intentional wrong, is not Science. Ignorance must be seen and corrected before we can attain harmony. Inharmonious beliefs, which rob Mind, calling it matter, and deify their own notions, imprison Ignorance. themselves in what they create. They are at war with Science, and established, as our Master said, “a kingdom divided against itself,” which “cannot stand.”
Human ignorance of Mind, and of the recuperative energies of Truth, occasions the only skepticism regarding the pathology and theology of Christian Science.
When human belief learns even a little of its own falsity, it will begin to disappear. A knowledge of Disappearance of human belief. error and its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal mind and body finally disappear, and the eternal man, created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized in the true likeness of his Maker.
The false evidence of material sense contrasts strikingly with the testimony of Soul. Material sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality, and says:
I am unjust, and no man knoweth it. I can cheat, lie, rob, murder, commit adultery, and elude detection by Testimony of sense. smooth-tongued villany. Brutal in propensity, deceitful in sentiment, fraudulent in purpose, I mean to make my short span of life one gala day. What a nice thing is sin! How the proud reveller succeeds, where goodness fails! The world is my kingdom, where I sit enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter. But a touch, an accident, the law of God, may at any moment annihilate my peace, for all my fancied joys are fatal. Like bursting lava, I but expand to my own despair, and shine with the resplendency of doom.
Soul, bearing opposite testimony, saith:
I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Testimony of Soul. Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of Being, imperishable glory, — all are mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme, and give all, for I am Mind. I am the Substance of all, because I am that I am.
I hope, dear reader, I am leading you into the understanding of your divine rights and Heaven-bestowed The divine prerogative. harmony, — that, as you read, you see there can be no power (outside of erring mortal mind and your own belief) able to make you sick or sinful, and that you are conquering error. Knowing the falsity of material sense, you will assert your prerogative to overcome the belief that you are sick.
If you believe in and practise wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right. Matter Conscious wrong-doing. can make no opposition to these right endeavors, against sin or sickness, for it is inert, mindless. So, if you believe yourself sick, you can alter this wrong belief and action without hindrance from the body.
Believe not in any supposed necessity for sin, sickness, or death, knowing (as you ought to know) that God never requires obedience to a law of matter, for no such law exists. Sin and death are destroyed by the law of God, which is the law of Life instead of death, of harmony instead of discord.
If you venture upon the quiet surface of error, and are in sympathy therewith, what disturbs the waters? What is there to strip off error's disguise?
If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of Truth, you will encounter storms. The cross and crown. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown. Pilgrim on earth, thy home is Heaven. A stranger, thou art the guest of God.