Chapter One Hundred four
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Well-Rounded Demonstration Needed
To Mrs. Eddy, the action of thought was paramount. It was so vital and important, that she endeavored to surround herself with Christian Scientists who thought right about her, by beholding her as God’s perfect child. She knew that such scientific right thinking would increase her spiritual power, and aid her in circulating a greater volume of Truth to the world, and in measuring up to the standard God had set for her. The support of such scientific right thinking is a definite factor in Christian Science, a fact which is proved by the persistence requisite in students to protect themselves from a wrong estimate of themselves, held in conscious thought. It necessitates a spiritual consciousness to meet such malpractice.
In determining the value of such scientific thought in the workers, one should never try to classify them according to human standards. One might believe that Mrs. Eddy’s secretary was called upon to make a demonstration that was more valuable than that of the cook or coachman. But in Mrs. Eddy’s eyes, the need of demonstration was equal, no matter what the position was. Perhaps the demonstration of the cook or the maid was more intimate, but all were of equal value in the home. The demonstration of each member of that spiritual stronghold involved definite growth, because it involved taking those phases of daily experience which mortal mind has relegated to a common-place sense, and awakening to see the spirit of God back of them.
In Matthew 23:11, Jesus remarked, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” He also declared in Luke 13:29, “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”
Mrs. Eddy recognized the great need of a consistent and four-square demonstration on the part of her students; a complete coverage that is not confined to healing the sick, but that includes every phase of this human experience. One might imagine, that the mental workers in Mrs. Eddy’s home were in the position to grow faster in spiritual understanding, than those who served in menial positions. However, a right application of Christian Science to those menial tasks would have demonstrated the truth of Jesus’ statement, “And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” In other words, the menial tasks offered an opportunity to broaden demonstration equal to, if not beyond, what was offered by the mental work for our Leader. This is because there is more growth in a spiritual demonstration that covers the north, south, east and west, than one that is confined, for instance, to the south. Mrs. Eddy surely emphasized the importance of the tasks she set for her mental workers; yet she also recognized the urgency of applying Christian Science to one’s daily affairs and petty obligations. The great cry is for a well-rounded development in Christian Science, where Christian Science is applied to all the common-place routine of life. It is the effort to obliterate the claim of domination in all the simple daily experiences, the bodily habits that everyone yields to, to see God back of everything one does, and to make a demonstration of it.
Many students of Christian Science, who are underdeveloped in certain aspects and overdeveloped in others, need instruction that will bring out a four-square basis of demonstration. We see this error in Judas, whose overcoming of the human did not keep pace with his understanding of God. It was his failure to subject the human that caused him to betray the Master. It was his failure to make a consistent demonstration of his power over evil, through gaining a clear understanding of animal magnetism.
The vital spiritual significance of the position of a servant in Mrs. Eddy’s home lay not only in the tasks to be done but in the symbolism, since outward service is but a sign of inward service. To the advancing Christian Scientist, outward service is a continual reminder of inward service, that application of prayer and demonstration that helps to release the whole world from the domination of mortal belief. He uses all human servitude as a symbol to impress him with the fact that his human bondage is mental, and that he can never be free until he liberates himself mentally.
The greatest bondage that there is, originates in the illusion that man is free. The recognition of servitude must precede man’s escape from bondage. Hence, a condition of human bondage keeps constantly before man’s gaze the desire and necessity for demonstrating his liberty. When such a man discovers the right way to freedom, nothing can prevent him from gaining that freedom.
The man who thinks he is free, is the one who does not recognize his mental slavery. He thinks that his bodily freedom is an indication of mental freedom, when such is not the case. On the other hand, servitude is a finger that continually reminds man of the fact that he has a task before him. This is seen with the Israelites, for their servitude to the Romans caused them to desire and work for freedom. In turn, this longing and struggle made them receptive of the Christ, ready to welcome whatever promised them release from their badge of servitude, although it was a shock when they learned that the Christ came to release them, not from outward, but inward bondage.
Hence, according to Mrs. Eddy’s revelation, being a servant symbolized a recognition that man is in bondage to mortal belief, and must free himself from it. It also represented the necessity for a four-square demonstration that neglected no phase of human experience. Finally, it exemplified the teaching contained in a letter, in which she wrote concerning a position in her home “it is to be a menial for the whole world.” It reveals that man is under the solemn obligation to employ his spiritual power to the work of helping all mankind to free itself from the domination of mortal belief. Would not such a noble endeavor entitle one to be considered a true servant of all?
Mrs. Eddy wrote in 1908: “I left house, home and friends, and I gave up a large salary as a writer, in order to serve the Cause of Christian Science. I have endured all shame and blame in its behalf, and I have lived these down. This is the experience of your Leader. Are her followers willing to take up their crosses, as she has taken up hers, in order to follow Christ, or do they demand all that they humanly want? Let all Christian Scientists who come to help their Leader, answer this question to their God; otherwise let them refuse to come, and give their reply accordingly. Sad, sad thought, that money regulates the actions of so many students. Had your Leader been governed thus, Christian Science would be minus today, instead of overcoming all opposition, ruling and reigning. I have worked for all without money or price, till God paid me in His own way. It is safe to go and do likewise.”