Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1898)/14 Recapitulation
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. — Isaiah.
THIS chapter is from the first edition of the author's class-book, copyrighted in 1870. It is a condensation of that treatise, and important to learners. Absolute Christian Science pervades its statements, from beginning to end, and elucidates Scientific metaphysical practice. The Science of Healing, through Mind, is demonstrated on a divine basis.
Questions and Answers.
Question. — What is God?
Answer. — God is divine Principle, supreme incorporeal Being, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, Love.
Question. — Are these terms synonymous?
Answer. — They are. They refer to one absolute God, and nothing else. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on.
Question. — Is there more than one Principle?
Answer. — There is not. Principle is Divine, one Life, one Truth, one Love; and this is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Omni is adopted from the Latin adjective, signifying all. Hence God combines all-power, or potency, all-science, or true knowledge, all-presence. The varied manifestations of Christian Science indicate Mind, not matter, and have but one Principle.
Question. — What are spirits and souls?
Answer. — To human belief, they are personalities of Mind and matter, Life and death, Good and evil, Truth Terms in opposition. and error; but these contrasting pairs of terms represent opposites, as Christian Science reveals, — neither dwelling together nor assimilating. Truth is immortal; error is mortal. The one is limitless; the other is limited. One is intelligent; the other is non-intelligent. Moreover, one is real, and the other is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although it is the most important to understand, first and last.
The term souls, or spirits, is as improper as the term gods. Soul, or Spirit, signifies Deity, and nothing else. Confusion of titles. There is no finite soul or spirit. Those terms mean only one existence, and cannot be rendered in the plural. Heathen mythology and Jewish theology have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be in matter; and idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of these man-made beliefs. The Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand, to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright; and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration, and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically, morally, and spiritually.
Question. — What is the Science of Soul?
Answer. — The first demand of this Science is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” This Me is Two chief commands. Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual. The second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” It should be well understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this becomes apparent, and the true brotherhood of man will thus be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other mind but the one perfect intelligence to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.
Recollect that Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man, but as reflected by Leading point. man. The greater cannot be in the lesser. Such a belief is an error that works ill. This is a leading point in the Science of Mind, that Principle is not in its idea. Spirit, Soul, is not confined in man, and is never in matter. We reason imperfectly, from effect to cause, when we conclude that matter is the effect of Spirit; but a priori reasoning shows material existence to be enigmatical. Spirit gives the true mental idea. We cannot interpret Spirit through matter.
Reasoning from cause to effect, in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood Sinlessness of Mind, or Soul. through the idea which expresses it, and can not be learned from its opposite, matter. Thus we arrive at Truth, or Intelligence, which evolves its own unerring idea, and never can be co-ordinate with human illusions. If Soul sinned, it would be mortal; for sin is mortality's self, inasmuch as it kills itself. Error must be mortal, being the antipodes of Truth, if Truth is immortal. Because Soul is immortal, Soul cannot sin, for sin is not the eternal verity of Being.
Question. — What is the Scientific statement of Being?
Answer. — There is no life, truth, intelligence, or substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All in all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness: hence, man is spiritual and not material.
Question. — What is Substance?
Answer. — That only which is eternal, and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are Spiritual synonyms. Substance, as the Scriptures use this word in such a text as this, from Hebrews: “The Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Spirit — the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God — is Substance; that is, the only real Substance. The spiritual universe, including man, is a compound, yet individual, idea, reflecting the divine Substance of Spirit.
Question. — What is Life?
Answer. — Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, Eternity. expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity. One ceases when the other is recognized. One is finite; the other is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which involves in itself all Substance, and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited. Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.
Question. — What is Intelligence?
Answer. — Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the infinite Mind, the triune Principle, — or Life, Truth, and Love, — called God.
Question. — What is Mind?
Answer. — The only exterminators of error are the great truths that Good, or God, is the only Mind; that Infinitude and space. His opposite — called evil and devil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or truth. There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if we claimed no other, and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit, although God is infinite, that evil has a place in this infinity; for it could have no place — where all space is filled with God — except in Him.
We lose the high signification of omnipotence, when admitting that God, or Good, is omnipresent, and has The sole governor. all-power, yet that there is another power, named evil. This belief, that there is more than one mind, is as pernicious to divine theology as are ancient mythology and pagan idolatry. With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind, and that God, or Good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power, which constitute Divine Science. The existence of more than one mind was the basic error of idolatry, which assumed the loss of spiritual power, the loss of the spiritual presence of Life as eternal Truth, without an opposite error, and the loss of Love as ever present and universal.
Divine Science explains the abstract statement that there is one Mind only, by the following self-evident Self-evident proposition. proposition. If Good, or God, is real, then evil, the opposite of God, is unreal. Then evil can only seem real, by giving reality to the unreal. The children of God have out one Mind. How can Good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?
God is the Principle of Man; and the Principle of man remaining perfect, its idea, or reflection, — man, — Unchanged perfection. remains perfect. Man is the expression of God's Being. If ever there was a moment when man expressed not this perfection, he could not have expressed God; and there would have been a time when Deity was without entity, Being. If man has lost perfection, he has lost his Principle, or Mind. If man ever existed without a Principle, or Mind, then his existence was a myth.
The relations of God and man, divine Principle and its idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no Stability. lapse from or return to harmony, but holds the divine order, or spiritual law, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history, wherein God, and all which He creates, are perfect and eternal.
The opposite of Truth, — named error, — the opposite of Science, and the evidence before the five corporeal Celestial evidence. senses, afford no evidence of the grand facts of Being; even as these so-called senses receive no intimation of the earth's motions or the science of astronomy, but yield assent thereto on the basis of natural science.
Thus should the facts of Divine Science be admitted, although the evidence thereof is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense; because it is fully sustained by spiritual sense, Divine Science, the evidence of God's and man's co-existence, God is all-powerful and ever-present. Therefore there is no other power or presence, and the spirituality of the universe, including man, is the only fact of creation. “Let God be true, and every [material] man a liar.”
Question. — Are doctrines and creeds a benefit to man?
Answer. — The author subscribed to an Orthodox creed in early youth, and tried to adhere to it, until she The test of experience. caught the first gleam of that which interprets God as above mortal view. This sense rebuked human beliefs, and gave the spiritual import of all things from the divine Mind, expressed through Science. Since then her highest creed has been Divine Science, which, reduced to human apprehension, she has named Christian Science. This Science teaches man that God is the only Life, and this Life is Truth and Love; that God is to be adored, understood, and demonstrated; that divine Truth casts out human error and heals the sick.
The way which leads to Christian Science is strait and narrow. God has set his signet to this Science, The signet of co-ordination. making it co-ordinate with all that is real, which is harmonious and eternal. Sickness, sin, and death, being inharmonious, do not originate in God, or belong to His government. His law, rightly understood, destroys them. Jesus furnished proofs of these statements.
Question. — What is error?
Answer. — Error is a supposition that pleasure and pain — that intelligence, substance, life — are existent Evanescent materiality. in matter. Error is neither Mind, nor one of its faculties. Mind is Truth. Error is its opposite, a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue, — that which seemeth to be, and is not. If error were true, its truth would be error, and through this we should still lose the standard of Truth.
Question. — Is there no sin?
Answer.— All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He created was good, Sin untrue. and He made all that was made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because He is Truth, and they are not of Him. We learn, in Christian Science, that all inharmony of mortal mind or body is erroneous; and error is illusion, possessing neither reality nor identity, though seeming to be real, and identical with Truth.
The Science of Mind disposes of all evil. Truth, God, is not the father of error. Sin, sickness, and death are Redemption and duality. to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to save sinners. The God-principle is omnipresent and omnipotent. He is everywhere, and nothing else is present or has power. Christ is the idea of Truth, and this idea comes to heal sickness and sin, through Christian Science, which denies corporeal power. Jesus is the name of the man who has presented, more than all other men, this idea of God, for he came healing the sick and the sinful, and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is divine; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ.
In an age of ecclesiastical despotism, Jesus introduced the teaching and practice of Christianity, affording proof Despotism. of its Truth and Love; but to reach his example, — and test its unerring Science according to his rule, by healing sickness, sin, and death, — a better understanding of God is required, as being the divine Principle, Love, rather than the personality of the man Jesus.
Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. Jesus not understood. He demonstrated what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity. Jesus proved the Principle to be divine, which heals the sick and casts out error. Few however, except his students, understood in the least his teachings, and their glorious proofs, — namely, that Life, Truth, and Love (the Principle of this unacknowledged Science) destroy all error, evil, disease, and death.
The reception accorded to Truth in the early Christian era, history now repeats. Whoever introduces the Science of Christianity will be scoffed at, and scourged Marvels. with worse cords than those which cut the flesh. To the ignorant age in which it first appears, Science seems a mistake. Hence the misinterpretation and consequent maltreatment which it receives. Christian marvels (and marvel is the simple meaning of the Greek word rendered miracle in the New Testament) will be misunderstood and misused by many, until the glorious Principle of these marvels is gained.
If sin, sickness, and death are as real as Good, Life, and Truth, then they must all be from the same Fulfilment. source, God being their author. Now Jesus came to destroy sin, sickness, and death; yet the Scriptures aver he “came not to destroy, but to fulfil.” Is it possible, then, to believe that the evils which he lived to destroy are real, or the offspring of the Divine will?
Despite the hallowing influence of Truth in the destruction of error, must error still be immortal? Truth Unreality destroyed. spares all that is true. If evil is real, Truth must make it so; but error, not Truth, is the author of the unreal, for the unreal vanishes, while all that is real is eternal. The apostle says that the mission of Christ was “to destroy the works of the Devil.” Truth destroys falsity and error, for light and darkness cannot dwell together. One inevitably extinguishes the other. When one appears, the other disappears. “God is too pure to behold iniquity.” To Truth there is no error; all is Truth. To Spirit there is no matter; all is Spirit, divine Principle and His idea.
Question. — What is man?
Answer. — Man is not matter, — made up of brains, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures Human factors. inform us that man was made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The reflection of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because of this, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is the idea of divine Principle, not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of Being, as found in Science, where man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, or creative power of his own, but reflects all that belongs to his Maker.
And God said: “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death, inasmuch as he derives his essence from God, and possesses not a Incapacity for any evil. single original, or underived, power. Hence the real man cannot depart from holiness. Nor can God, by whom man was evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God's man, for the offspring of God cannot be evil. Mortals are man's counterfeits. They are the children of the Wicked One, or the one evil, which declares that man begins as a material embryo. In Divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable, as Principle and its idea.
Error, urged to its final limits, will be self-destroyed. It will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and Mortals and immortals. intelligence are in matter, and that this matter is man. God is the Principle of man, and man is the idea of God. Hence man is not mortal or material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God, will appear as the only and eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of Being, which may subsequently be regained. They were, from the beginning of mortal history, conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity. Mortals are material falsities. In the words of Paul, they are “without hope, and without God in the world.” They are errors, made up of sin, sickness, and death, which must disappear, to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
Learn this, oh mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual state of man, which is divine manhood, outside of all Imperishabie identity. material selfhood. Remember that the Scriptures say of mortal man: “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you;” Kingdom within. that is, Truth and Love reign in man, showing that man is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld the perfect man, who appeared to him, where sinning mortal man appears to us; in this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own image and likeness, and this healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is universal, and man unfallen, pure, and holy. Man is not a material habitation for spirit; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being divine, is reflected in nothing imperfect, or unlike the infinite Soul.
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Annihilation. Christian Science reveals him as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter's highest stratum, mortal mind, should be man, the genuine and perfect man, — the immortal idea of Being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.
Question. — What are body and Soul?
Answer. — Identity is the reflection of Spirit, in multifarious forms of this living Principle. A material body Reflection. is a mortal belief, “dust to dust.” Soul is the Substance, Life, and intelligence of man. Soul is embodied, but not in matter, and can never be reflected in anything inferior to itself.
Man is the expression of God, Soul. The Indians caught some glimpses of the underlying reality, as when Manifestation and nonentity. they called a certain beautiful lake the Smile of the Great Spirit. Separated from man, who expresses Soul, Spirit would be a nonentity. Man, divorced from Spirit, would lose his entity; but there is, there can be, no such division, for man is co-existent with God, and God is Spirit.
What evidence have you of Soul or Immortality within mortality? Even according to the teachings of natural A vacant domicile. science, man has never beheld Spirit, or Soul, leaving a body or entering it. What evidence is there in support of such a theory of indwelling spirit, except the evidence of mortal belief? What would be thought of the declaration that a house was inhabited, and by a certain kind of persons, when no such people were ever seen to go in or come out, or were even visible through the windows? Who can see a soul in the body?
Question. — Do not brains think and nerves feel, and is there no intelligence in matter?
Answer. — No, not if God be true, and mortal man a liar. The assertion is erroneous, that there can be pain Functions in equilibrium. or pleasure in matter. That body is most harmonious, in which the discharge of its natural functions is least noticeable. How can intelligence dwell in matter, when matter is non-intelligent, and brain-lobes cannot think? Matter cannot perform the functions of Mind. Error says, “I am man;” but this belief is mortal and far from actual. From beginning to end whatever is mortal is composed of material human beliefs, and of nothing else. Only that is real which reflects God.
Man is not in matter, nor of it. He is the image and likeness, the idea, or reflection, of Spirit; and Spirit Immortal birthright. cannot be reflected by matter, mortality, or sin. Mortal man is really a self-contradictory phrase, for man is not mortal, “neither indeed can be,” but immortal. If a child is the offspring of physical sense, and not of Soul, it must have a material, not a spiritual origin. With what truth, then, could the Scriptural rejoicing be uttered by any mother, “I have gotten a man from the Lord”? On the contrary, if aught comes from God, it cannot be mortal and material; it must be immortal and spiritual.
Matter is neither self-existent, nor a product of Spirit. An image of mortal thought, reflected on the retina, is Retina and cognizance. all the eye beholds. Matter cannot, of itself, see, feel, hear, taste, or smell. It is not self-cognizant, — cannot feel itself, see itself, or understand itself. Take away mortal mind, which constitutes matter's supposed selfhood, and it can take no cognizance of Spirit, or God. Does ever that which we call dead see, hear, feel, or use any of the physical senses?
“In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and Chaos and realness. darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (Genesis i. 1, 2.) In the vast forever, in the Science and Truth of Being, the only facts are Spirit and its innumerable creations. Darkness and chaos are the imaginary opposites of light, understanding, and eternal harmony, and are the elements of nothingness, or matter, — alias mortal mind.
We admit that black is not a color, because it reflects no light. So evil should be denied identity or Illustration from color. power, because it has none of the divine hues. Paul says: “For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made.” (Romans i. 20.) When the Substance of Spirit appears in Christian Science, the nothingness of matter is recognized. Where the Spirit of God is, and there is no place where God is not, evil becomes nothing, — the opposite of the Something of Spirit. If there is no spiritual reflection, then there remains only the darkness of vacuity, and not a trace of heavenly tints.
Nerves are parts of a belief that there is sensation in matter, whereas matter is devoid of sensation. Nerves and harmony. Consciousness, as well as action, is governed by Mind, — is in God, the origin and governor of all that Science reveals. Material sense has its realm apart from Science, in the unreal. Harmonious action proceeds from Spirit, God. Inharmony has no Principle. Its action is erroneous, and presupposes man to be in matter. It makes matter the cause, as well as the effect, of Intelligence, or Soul, thus attempting to separate Mind from God.
Man is not God, and God is not man. Again, God, or Good, could never make men capable of sin. It is Evil nonexistent. the opposite of Good — that is, evil — which seems to make men capable of wrong. Now, evil is but an illusion, and error has no real basis. It is a false belief. God is not the author of evil. The supposititious parent of evil is a lie.
The Bible declares: “All things were made by Him. [the divine Word], and without Him was not anything Vapor and nothingness. made that was made.” This is the eternal verity of Divine Science. If sin, sickness, and death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear. As vapor which melts before the sun, evil would vanish before the reality of Good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose Good as the reality! Man is tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else. God's Being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Like the archpriests of yore, man is free “to enter into the holiest,” — the realm of God.
Material sense never helps mortals to understand Spirit, God. Through spiritual sense only, man comprehends The fruit forbidden. and loves Deity. The various contradictions of the Science of Mind, by the material senses, do not change the unseen Truth, which remains forever intact. The forbidden fruit of knowledge, against which Wisdom warned man, is the testimony of matter, declaring existence to be at the mercy of death, and good and evil to be capable of commingling. This is the significance of the Scripture concerning this Tree of Knowledge, — this growth of material belief, whereof it was said: “In the day when thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Human hypotheses first assume the reality of sickness, sin, and death; and then assume the necessity of these evils, because of their admitted actuality. These human verdicts are the procurers of all discord.
If Soul sins, it must be mortal. Sin has the elements of self-destruction. It cannot sustain itself. If sin is Sense and pure Soul. supported, God must uphold it; and this is impossible, since Truth cannot support error. Soul is the divine Principle of man, and never sins. Hence the immortality of Soul. In Science we learn it is material sense, not Soul, which sins; and it will be found that it is the sense of sin which is lost, and not a sinful soul. When reading the Scriptures, the substitution of the word sense for soul, gives the exact meaning in a majority of cases.
Human thought has adulterated the meaning of the word soul, through the hypothesis that soul is both an Meaning lowered. evil and a good intelligence, resident in matter. The proper use of the word soul can always be gained by substituting the word God, where the deific meaning is required. In other cases, use the word sense, and you have the Scientific signification. As used in Christian Science, Soul is properly the synonym of Spirit, or God; but out of Science, soul is identical with sense.
Question. — Is it important to understand these explanations, in order to heal the sick?
Answer. — It is, since Christ is the Way and the Truth, casting out all error. Jesus called himself the Sonship of Jesus. Son of Man, but not the Son of Joseph. As woman is but another name for man, he was literally the Son of Man. Jesus was the highest human concept of a perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah, — the divine idea of God, outside the flesh. This also enabled him to demonstrate, above all other men, his control over matter. Angels announced to the Wisemen of old this dual appearing, and they whisper it, through faith, to the hungering heart in every age.
Sickness is part of the error which Truth casts out. Error will not expel error. Christian Science is the law Sickness erroneous. of Truth, which heals the sick on the basis of the one Mind, or God. It can heal in no other way, since the human, mortal mind is not a healer, but creates the belief in disease.
Here comes in the question, How do drugs, hygiene, and animal magnetism heal? It may be affirmed that they do not heal, but only relieve suffering temporarily, True healing transcendent. exchanging one disease for another. We classify disease as error, which nothing but Truth, or Mind, can heal; and this Mind must be divine, not human. Mind transcends all other power, and will ultimately supersede all other means in healing. In order to heal by Science, you must not be ignorant of its moral and spiritual demands, nor disobey them. Moral ignorance, or sin, affects your demonstration, and hinders its approach to the standard in Christian Science.
After the author's sacred discovery, she affixed the name Science to Christianity, the name error to Terms adopted by the author. corporeal sense, and the name Substance to Mind. Science has called the world to battle over this issue and its demonstration, healing the sick, destroying error, and revealing the universal harmony. To those natural Christian Scientists, the ancient worthies, and to Jesus the Christ, God certainly revealed its spirit, if not the absolute letter.
Because the Science of Mind seems to bring into dishonor the ordinary scientific schools, wrestling with Mission. material observations alone, this Science has met with opposition; but if any system honors God, it ought to receive aid, not opposition, from all thinking people. And Christian Science does honor God, as no other theory honors Him; and it does this in the way of His appointing, by doing many wonderful works through the divine name and nature. One must fulfil one's mission without timidity or dissimulation, for, to be well done, the work must be done unselfishly. Christianity will never be based on a divine Principle and so found to be unerring, until its absolute Science is reached. When this is accomplished, neither pride, prejudice, bigotry, nor envy can wash away its foundation, for it is built upon the rock, Christ.
Question. — Does Christian Science, or Metaphysical Healing, include medication, hygiene, mesmerism, or mediumship?
Answer. — Not one of them is included in it. The supposed laws of matter yield to the law of Mind, in Mindless methods. Divine Science. What are termed Natural Science and Material Laws are rules of mortal mind. The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one. Drugs and hygiene oppose the supremacy of the divine Mind. Drugs and inert matter are unconscious, mindless. Certain results, supposed to proceed from them, are really caused by that faith in them which the false human consciousness is educated to feel.
Mesmerism is mortal, material illusion. Animal magnetism is the voluntary or involuntary action of error in Magnetism. all its forms, and is the human antipodes of Divine Science. Science must triumph over sense, and Truth over error, thus putting an end to the hypotheses involved in all false theories and practices.
Question. — Is not materiality the concomitant of spirituality, and is not material sense a necessary preliminary to the understanding and expression of Spirit?
Answer. — If error is necessary to define or reveal Truth, the answer is Yes; but not otherwise. Material sense is an absurd phrase, for matter has no sensation. Error needless. Science declares that Mind sees, hears, feels, speaks, and not matter. Whatever contradicts this statement is the false sense, which ever betrays mortals into sickness, sin, and death. If the unimportant and evil appear, only soon to disappear, because of their uselessness or their iniquity, then these ephemeral views of error ought to be obliterated by Truth. Why oppose Christian Science, which instructs mortals how to make sin, disease, and death appear more and more unreal?
Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come Emergence into Life. naturally into Spirit, through better health and morals, and as the result of spiritual growth, Not death, but the understanding of Life, makes man immortal. The belief that life can be in matter, or soul in body, and that man springs from dust or from an egg, is the result of the mortal error which Christ, or Truth, destroys, by fulfilling the spiritual law of Being; wherein man is perfect, even as the “Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” If thought yields its dominion to other powers, it cannot outline in the body its own beautiful images, but effaces them, and delineates foreign agents, called disease and sin.
The heathen gods of mythology controlled war and agriculture as much as nerves control sensation, or muscles Deities of a classic age. measure strength. To say that strength can be in matter, is like saying the power can be in the lever. The notion of any life or intelligence in matter is without foundation in fact, and you can have no faith in falsehood when you have learned its true nature.
Suppose one accident happens to the eye, another to the ear, and so on, until every corporeal sense is Lost senses. quenched. What is man's remedy? To die, that he may retain these senses? Even then he must gain the understanding of spiritual sense, in order to retain immortal consciousness. Earth's preparatory school must he improved to the utmost. Really, man never dies. The belief that he dies will not establish his Scientific harmony. Death is not the result of Truth, but of error, and one error will not correct another.
Jesus proved, by the prints of the nails, that his body was the same immediately after death as before. If Death as a friend. death restores sight, sound, and strength to man, then death is surely a better friend than Life. Alas for the blindness of belief, which makes harmony conditional upon death and matter, yet supposes Mind unable to produce harmony! So long as this error of belief remains, mortals will continue mortal in belief, exposed to the mercy of chance and change.
Sight, hearing, — all the senses of man, — are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and Permanent sensibility. immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter. Hence their permanence. If this were not so, man would be speedily annihilated. If five corporeal senses were the medium through which to understand God, then palsy, blindness, and deafness would place man in a terrible situation, where he would be “without hope and without God in the world;” but, as a matter of fact, these calamities often drive mortals to seek a higher sense of happiness and existence.
Life is deathless. Life is the origin and ultimate of man, never attainable through death, but gained by walking True senses. in the footsteps of Truth, both before and after that which is called death. There is more Christianity in seeing and hearing spiritually than materially; There is more Science in the perpetual exercise of the Mind-faculties than in their loss. Lost they cannot be, while Mind remains. The apprehension of this gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf centuries ago, and will repeat the wonder.
Question. — You speak of belief. Who or what is it that believes?
Answer. — Spirit understands, and thus precludes the need of believing. Matter cannot believe, but Mind Understanding versus belief. understands. The body cannot believe. The believer and belief are one, and are mortal mind. Christian evidence is founded on Science, or demonstrable Truth, flowing from immortal Mind; and there is really no such thing as mortal mind. Mere belief is blindness, without Principle wherefrom to explain the reason of its hope. The belief is erroneous, that life is sentient and intelligent matter.
The Apostle James said, “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” The understanding that Life is God lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality.
This faith relies upon an understood Principle. This Principle makes whole the diseased, and Confirmation. brings out the enduring and harmonious phases of things. The result of our teachings is their sufficient confirmation. When, on the strength of these instructions, you are able to banish a severe malady, the cure shows that you understand this teaching, and get the benefit of Truth.
The Hebrew and Greek words, often translated belief, differ somewhat in meaning from that conveyed by the Belief and firm trust. English verb believe, and so their derivatives have more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear, in our common version, to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.
Question. — Do the five corporeal senses constitute man?
Answer. — Christian Science sustains, with immortal proof, the impossibility of any material sense, and defines Senses mental. these so-called senses as mortal beliefs, whose testimony can neither be true of man nor his Maker. The corporeal senses can take no cognizance of spiritual reality and immortality. Nerves have no more sensation, apart from what belief bestows upon them, than the fibres of a plant. Mind alone possesses all faculties, perception and comprehension; therefore mental endowments are not at the mercy of organization and decomposition. Otherwise the very worms could unfashion man. If it were possible for the real senses of man to be injured. Soul could reproduce them in all their perfection; but they cannot be disturbed, since they exist as Mind, not matter.
The less mind there is manifested in matter, the better. When the unthinking lobster loses his claw, it grows again. If the Science of Life were understood, it would be found that the senses of Mind are never Lobster and limb. lost, and that matter has no sensation. Then the human limb would be replaced as readily as the lobster's claw, — not with an artificial limb, but with the genuine one. Any hypothesis which supposes life to be in matter, is an educated belief. In infancy this belief is not equal to guiding the hand to the mouth; and as existence goes on, it yields to the reality of everlasting Life.
Corporeal sense defrauds, lies, cheats, — will break all the commands of the Mosaic Decalogue, to meet its own Decalogue. demands. How then can this sense be the channel of blessings or of understanding to man? How can man, reflecting God, be dependent on such material senses for knowing, hearing, seeing? Who dare say that the senses of man can be at one time the medium for serving sin, and at another for communion with God? An affirmative reply would contradict the Scripture, for the same fountain sendeth not forth sweet and bitter waters.
The corporeal senses are the only source of evil or error. Christian Science shows them to be false; since Organized emptiness. matter has no sensation, and no organic construction can give it hearing and sight, or make it the medium of Mind. Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony. A wrong sense of God, man, and creation is non-sense, or want of sense. Mortal belief would have the material senses sometimes good and sometimes bad. It assures mortals that there is real pleasure in sin; but the grand truths of Christian Science dispute this error.
Will-power is but an illusion of belief, and this illusion commits depredations on harmony. Human will is The will. an animal propensity, not a faculty of Soul. Hence it cannot govern man aright. Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as the motive-powers of man. Will — blind, stubborn, and headlong — co-operates with appetite and passion. Thence arises its evil. Thence also comes its powerlessness, since power belongs to Good, not to evil.
The Science of Mind needs to be understood. Until it is understood, mortals are more or less deprived of Theories helpless. Truth. Human theories are helpless to make man harmonious or immortal, since he is so already, according to Christian Science. Our only need is to find this out, and reduce to practice the Principle of perfect manhood.
“Quench not the Spirit, despise not prophecy.” Human belief — or knowledge gained from the so-called Elements dissolving. material senses — would, by fair logic, annihilate man, along with the dissolving elements of clay. The Scientifically Christian explanations of the nature and origin of man destroy all material sense with immortal testimony. This gives place to the spiritual sense of manhood, which can be obtained from no other source.
Sleep and mesmerism explain the mythical nature of material sense. Sleep shows material sense as either Sleep and oblivion. oblivion or nothingness, as illusion or dream. Under the mesmeric illusion of belief, a man will think that he is freezing when he is warm, and swimming, when he is on dry land. Needle-thrusts will not hurt him. A delicious perfume will seem intolerable. Animal magnetism thus uncovers material sense, and shows it to be a belief without actual foundation. Change the belief, and the sensation changes. Destroy a belief, and the sensation disappears.
Material man is made up of involuntary and voluntary error, of a negative right and a positive wrong, Man spiritual, man material. — the latter calling itself right. Spiritual man is never wrong. He is the likeness of his Maker. Matter cannot connect mortals with the true origin and facts of Being, in which all must end. It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality, and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his Creator.
The belief that matter and mind are one, that matter is awake at one time and asleep at another, sometimes Wakefulness and dreaming. presenting no appearance of mind, this belief culminates in another belief, — namely, that man dies. Science reveals material man as a dream at all times, and as never the real Being. The dream or belief goes on, while our eyes are closed or open. In sleep, memory and consciousness are lost from the body, whence they wander whither they will, with their own apparently separate embodiment.
Awake, we dream of the pains and pleasures of matter. Who will say, even though not understanding Christian Errant visions. Science, that this dream — rather than the dreamer — may not be mortal man? Who can rationally say otherwise, when the dream leaves mortal man intact in body and thought, but the so-called dreamer is unconscious? For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought,— namely, spiritual existence. Really, there is no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its opposite, — mortality.
Being is holiness, harmony, immortality. It is already proven that a knowledge of this, even in small degree, Disputed campaign. will uplift the physical and moral standard of mortals, will increase longevity, will purify and elevate character. Thus progress finally destroys all error, and brings immortality to light. We know that a statement which can be proved must be correct. New thoughts are constantly obtaining the floor. These two opposite theories — that all is matter, or else that all is Mind — will dispute the ground, until one is acknowledged victor. Discussing his campaign, a great general said: “I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer.” Science says: All is Mind and Mind's idea. You must fight it out on this line. Matter can afford you no aid.
The notion that mind and matter commingle, in the human illusion as to sin, sickness, and death, must Ultimatum. eventually submit to the Science of Mind, which denies this proposition. God is Mind, and God is All; hence all is Mind. On this statement rests the Science of Being, and its Principle is divine, demonstrating harmony and immortality.
The conservative theory, so long believed, is that there are two factors, matter and mind, uniting on some Conquest and conservatism. impossible basis. This theory would keep Truth and error always at war. Victory would perch on neither banner. On the other hand. Christian Science speedily shows Truth to be triumphant. To corporeal sense the sun appears to rise and set, and the earth to stand still; but Science contradicts this, and explains the solar system as working on a different plan. All the evidences of physical sense, or of the knowledge obtained thereby, must yield to Science, to the immortal sense of things.
Question. — Will you explain sickness, and show how it is to be healed?
Answer. — Like a surgeon bandaging the limb and arranging plasters, before proceeding to amputation, the Preparation. author has been preparing to answer this question. The answer involves her first discovery, the discovery that enabled her to give a demonstration of Christian Science, or healing through Mind, the method whereof is outlined in a preceding chapter, on Christian Science Practice.
Mind must be found superior to all the beliefs of the five corporeal senses, and able to destroy all ills. Sickness Condemned propositions. is an illusion, to be annihilated by Mind, Disease is an experience of mortal mind. It is fear made manifest on the body. Divine Truth takes away this physical sense of error, just as it removes a sense, of moral or mental error. That the body is material, and that matter should suffer, — these propositions seem perfectly real and natural in dreams. Every sense of life in matter is but a dream, and not the reality of Being.
If Jesus could waken Lazarus from the dream of The senses corrected. death, this proves that the Christ can improve on a lost sense. Who shall dare to doubt this consummate test of the power and willingness of divine Mind to hold man forever intact, in a perfect state, and to govern his entire action? Jesus said, “Destroy this temple [body], and I [Mind] will build it again;” and so he did, for tired humanity's reassurance.
Is it not a species of infidelity, to believe that so great a work as the Messiah's was done for himself, — or for Infidelity. God, who needed no help from Jesus' example, to preserve the eternal harmony? But mortals did need this help, and he pointed the way for them. Divine Love always has met, and always will meet, every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number, or for a limited period of time; since to all mankind, and in every hour, Deity supplies all good.
The miracle of divine grace is no miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of corporeality, as well Reason and grace. as the infinite ability of Spirit, thus helping feeble human sense to flee from its own convictions, and seek safety in Divine Science. Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but while the spell of belief remains unbroken, sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man's eternal harmony breaks this illusion with its own unbroken reality.
Which of these two testimonies concerning man are you ready to accept? One is the mortal evidence, Query. changing, dying, unreal. The other is the eternal and real testimony, bearing Truth's signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.
Our Master cast out devils and healed the sick. It should be said of his followers also, that they cast evil Followers of Jesus. out of themselves and others, and heal the sick. God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God. Truth casts out error now, as surely as it did eighteen centuries ago. All of Truth is not understood; hence its healing power is not fully demonstrated.
If sickness is true, or the idea of Truth, you cannot destroy it, and it would be absurd to attempt it. Then Destruction of all evil. classify sickness and error as our Master did, when he said to the woman, “Satan hath bound thee.” And find a sovereign antidote for error, in the life-giving power of Truth acting on human belief, a power which opens the prison doors to such as are bound, and sets the captive free physically and morally.
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His Steadfastness. likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of Being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.
Question. — How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?
Answer. — Study thoroughly the letter, and imbibe the Spirit. Adhere to its divine Principle, and follow its behests, abiding steadfastly in Wisdom, Truth, and Love. In the Science of Mind, you will soon ascertain that error Rudiments and growth. cannot destroy error. You will also learn that there is no transfer of mental suggestions from one mortal to another; for there is but one Mind, and this omnipotent Mind is reflected, and governs the entire universe. You will learn that in Christian Science the first duty is to obey one God, to have one Mind, and to love one another.
That Life is God we all must learn. Ask yourself: Am I living the Life that approaches the supreme Good? Progress. Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow “brighter unto the perfect day.” Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man. Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, or Christ, which demonstrates, with Scientific certainty, the rule of healing, upon its divine Principle, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true Being.
“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law,” — the law of mortal belief, at war with the Triumph. facts of immortal Life, — even with the spiritual law which says to the grave, “Where is thy victory?” but “when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written. Death is swallowed up in victory!”
Question. — Have Christian Scientists any religious creed?
Answer. — They have not, if we accept the term as doctrinal beliefs. The following is a brief exposition of the important points, or religious tenets, of Christian Science.
1. As adherents of Truth, we take the Scriptures for our guide to eternal Life.
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God. We acknowledge His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and man as the Divine image and likeness.
3. We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin, in the destruction of sin, and that sin and suffering are not eternal.
4. We acknowledge the atonement as the efficacy, and evidence of divine Love, of man's unity with God, and the great merits of the Way-shower.
5. We acknowledge the way of Salvation demonstrated by Jesus, to be the power of Truth over all error, sin, sickness, and death; and the resurrection of human faith and understanding to seize the great possibilities and living energies of divine Life.
6. We solemnly promise to strive, watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus, to love one another, and to be meek, merciful, just, and pure.