The Power of a Right Idea
From Addresses by Martha Wilcox
The greatest thing that can possibly come to human consciousness, has come to us in this present age. This greatest thing is the divine idea of God and what He is in manifestation or man, as one Being. This spiritual fact of one Being has existed from everlasting to everlasting. This spiritual fact that God and His manifestation, man, is one inseparable Being has always existed in Principle, but was made visible in concrete form for the first time with the birth of Jesus.
Whenever we make the statement in Christian Science that “God and man is one inseparable Being,” or that “Principle and its idea is one,” these statements may mean much to us, or they may be mere words to us. This Oneness of God and His manifestation, man, means that man, as God’s idea of Himself, alone can do nothing. It means that God alone, without man, can do nothing, not even exist. Whatever is done within the spiritual realm of the spiritual universe, God, alone, without man, does not do it. In fact, whatever is done, whatever the circumstance or event, God and man as manifestation, do it together as one inseparable Being.
If there was such a thing as sin in the world, it would be God and man as manifestation, inseparable as one sin. If there were such a thing as death in the world, it would be God and man as one inseparable Being, dying and being the death. Since we cannot attach sin and death to God, we cannot attach them to man, because God and man are one inseparable Being. God, without man, cannot be immortal, but God and man as one inseparable Being is immortal, is Life eternal. This powerful divine idea that God and man is one inseparable Being, active in human consciousness, is indeed our Saviour.
This revelation came to Mary’s consciousness as the result of her self-conscious communion with the Holy Ghost or Science of Being, which was her mind. The patriarchs and prophets discerned that this divine idea of spiritual power existed as a fact in God or Spirit, and believed that it would be expressed visibly in human consciousness, in some future time and in some unknown manner.
But Mary was the first to give concrete proof of the spiritual power of the divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being in the form of Christ Jesus. We, as Christian Scientists, will be ready to progress when we live our lives from the standpoint of this revealed Truth that God and His manifestation, man, is one inseparable Being or is I AM THAT I AM. This divine idea active in human consciousness is Almighty Power expressed humanly.
The Prophet Isaiah
The prophet Isaiah appraised the appearing of the divine idea of God and His manifestation, man, as one inseparable Being. When this idea appeared to Isaiah, he appraised it as “Unto us a child is born.” And, immediately, he appraised even this first faint appearing of this divine idea, as being in the fullness and completeness of its divine character. He appraised this divine idea as “Wonderful, as Counselor, as the mighty God, as the everlasting Father, as the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
If we, like Isaiah, recognized that even this first, faint appearance of a right idea in our consciousness is the almighty God, and is already full, complete, finished, perfect, and permanent, the results would be amazing. How few of the infinite ideas that knock at the door of our human consciousness are recognized as the almighty God, and are given admittance, and allowed to unfold in their completeness and perfection and permanence. I fear, not many of them. They are forgotten almost instantly.
When Isaiah, the great Hebrew prophet, wrote the outstanding statement, “For unto us a child is born,” this divine idea was far in advance of its tangible, concrete appearance in human consciousness. When Isaiah wrote this prophecy, he was not referring to a little babe lying in a manger, he was referring to a divine idea that already existed in Principle; he was referring to the eternal fact that God and His manifestation, man, is one inseparable Being.
Isaiah visioned so-called human life as evolved from God, divine Principle, not from matter or personality. Isaiah visioned man, the infinite idea of God, as begotten of the one Principle of all Being; he saw man as untouched by sin and death; he saw Deity, divine Mind, manifested; he saw God the Son made visible; he saw coincidence of the human with the divine. This, too, was the vision that was born of Mary’s human consciousness by the Holy Ghost or divine Science, and to which Mary gave concrete visible manifestation.
Isaiah visioned the joy in heaven and in earth when this mighty idea, God and his manifestation, man, as one inseparable Being, would be presented in concrete form to the world, even though to material sense this divine idea appeared as a babe. Millions of babies had been born before this particular baby was born in the little town of
Bethlehem, but not one of these millions had been heralded by an angel throng, or a star in the East.
A Savior Was Born Which Is Christ, the Lord
The angel said unto the shepherds, “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Saviour (an infinite idea) which is Christ, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11) The angel did not say that a child was born, but he said a Saviour is born, and this Saviour is Christ, the Lord, the divine idea, the living conscious irresistible Truth of the ONENESS OF GOD AND MAN that makes all men free.
This was a remarkable event. Nothing like it had ever appeared on earth before. The narrative continues, “and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God (not praising a baby) and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.” These angel visitants beheld not the human concept called a babe, but they beheld the concrete visible idea, the Saviour.
Caesar’s Reign as Governor of Rome
At this time, Caesar Augustus was governor of Rome, and his supposed power and law was so great that he did as it pleased him with the lives and property of three million people. Never before had a mortal swayed such power, and never again will a mortal sway such power. Why? Because unto us has been born a divine idea, a Saviour. And when correctly appraised as almighty God, this divine idea or Saviour in our human consciousness, is irresistible POWER AND LAW, which demonstrates ITSELF. When the hosts of heaven heralded the appearance of this divine idea, this Saviour, Christ, the Lord, Caesar Augustus realized there was being established on earth a permanent empire clothed with divine Power and Law, and that his seeming power and law would fade into its native nothingness.
Mary’s Concept of Jesus
To the shepherds, Jesus was IMMANUEL. To them Deity had taken the form of flesh and blood. But Mary’s concept of man had risen above matter and material sense, and while others might see man as flesh and blood, Mary’s idea of man was God’s idea of Himself, the Christ. Mary’s mode of consciousness was the Truth, the Christ, and she gave her true conception of man visible birth.
By reason of Mary’s divine conception and its visible proof, she clearly understood that in every instance, whether it was sin, sickness, or death, Christ Jesus was to give to the world, the proof of the supremacy of Spirit, Mind, over matter or mortal mind. This was Jesus’ mission in the world. And this is also our mission, as Christian Scientists, in the world today. We, too, are to give proof of the supremacy of Spirit or Mind, over matter or mortal mind. And we do this as we understand that the divine idea is man, the Christ, and not a personality.
Mary at the Wedding Feast
“There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and Mary, the mother of Jesus was there.” (John 2:1) It was at this wedding feast that Mary demanded of Jesus that he give proof or evidence of the power of Spirit or Mind over matter or mortal mind. Mary said to Jesus, “They have no wine;” to their sense they had used up their wine, their supply of wine was exhausted. Indeed, Mary perceived that they had no wine, that is, no inspiration; they had no understanding with which to perceive that the underlying fact of all visible things is inexhaustible. Mary demanded of Jesus that he give proof or evidence of this fundamental, operative, inexhaustible, divine idea which is our Saviour from all want and lack.
Jesus said to his mother, “Mine hour is not yet come.” But this was not Mary’s sense of the divine idea. Had she not given visible proof of the invisible fact of God, as Christ Jesus? Jesus, no doubt, had yet to ascend above restrictions that material suggestions seemed to impose upon him.
Mary knew that there must be the human proof or evidence of the invisible, inexhaustible God or infinite Good that underlies all visible things. She knew that evidence of this fact or divine idea must be in concrete, tangible, visible form at that very hour. She had the understanding, and the absolute faith that God, Mind, the creative Cause, is ever in operation, and of necessity must present His own ideas or evidences. Therefore, she could say unhesitatingly to the servants at the wedding feast, “Whatever he saith unto you, do it.”
Jesus knew that a divine idea or spiritual, inexhaustible fact was underlying the human sense of water, and because of this understanding, he turned the human sense of water, according to sense perception, into wine; that is, he turned the limited sense into an inexhaustible sense, and the human sense of the guests was satisfied. Any human sense of need is supplied by divine idea or the spiritual, inexhaustible fact underlying the need, and this fact or idea appears to us in the form that best satisfies our human sense. There is a divine idea or divine basis for everything that appears to us humanly.
At this wedding feast, it was demonstrated for all people throughout the ages, that any human sense of need is supplied by the divine idea, or the spiritual, inexhaustible fact underlying the need, and this fact or idea appears to us in the form that best satisfies our human sense of need, whether that sense of need is health, home or business.
Christian Science teaches us, that when we look beyond all mortal sense testimony, beyond all limitation, to Mind, for the divine fact, we express it instantly. When we look for the fact of Mind, then Mind outlines Itself as that fact to meet the present need. In other words, the supply appears spontaneously in the form that best satisfies our human sense of that reality. This coincidence of the divine fact and the human need is our Christ Jesus that is with us always. From our Bible we read, “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt.28:20) Not a personal, but an impersonal Saviour is with us unto the end of all sense of need. At the wedding feast, Mind, the mind of Jesus, spake and it was done. The water was wine, instead of water. Not an instant intervened between Mind as the inexhaustible, invisible fact and the visible evidence of the fact.
Ideas Should Become Tangible
Far too many useful and important ideas appear in our human consciousness and remain there as mere ideas. We fail to present these ideas in visible, tangible form. Every right divine idea that comes to our human consciousness is begotten of God or Mind, and should be cognized as the almighty God, who of necessity, unfolds and presents His own ideals and evidences humanly, visibly, and at hand, according to the human sense of need.
Statements From Mrs. Eddy
Mrs. Eddy once said, “To affirm that which is true, is to assert its possibility.” She also said, “By affirming that to be true, which to all human reasoning or sight, seems not to be true at all, you can bring it to pass.”
The power and the infinitude of Mind, make every affirmation of Truth instantly available. When we affirm a fact, we are asserting or enforcing the possibility of that fact. By affirming that which is true, we can bring it to pass, because “the bringing it to pass” is simply the cognition in our consciousness of that which already is.
What a vision of success and achievement is unfolded in us, when once we understand that God and man, Good and Its manifestation, is one inseparable Being. What certainty and assurance come to us, when we appraise even the first idea that appears in our consciousness, as a divine inexhaustible fact, as the almighty God, complete, finished, perfect and permanent.
More and more should we demand of ourselves, that we give proof of these fundamental, operative, divine ideas which are our Saviour. And as we put these divine ideas to work in our consciousness, we too, shall see the coincidence of the human with the divine fact.
The Star of the East symbolizes divine Science. It was the star of divine Science that guided the wise men to the birth of a more spiritual idea, even the Virgin Mother’s immaculate conception and visible presentation of man’s real being. It is so necessary that we let divine Science guide our thought to this idea of God and man as one inseparable Being, and that we accept and demonstrate this true idea in our daily lives. This true idea of God and man as one inseparable Being will prove to be our Saviour from all personal sense, from all want, and age, and sin, disease, and death.
It is remarkable how often divine ideas and divine experiences appear in our human consciousness as angels. And how often we are unaware of them as being angels. In the general sense, we think of angels as disconnected from God and as external to our consciousness. But in truth or fact, angels are divine Mind’s powerful impressions of good appearing in the human consciousness.
Angels are as real as any other part of God’s creation. It is the carnal mind in us, that has classified man, the compound of divine ideas or experience of good, as “a little lower than the angels.” In the spiritual account of creation, man is represented as God’s grandest product. God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen.1:26) Man was not made of a lower order; he was not made “a little lower than the angels.” Man is the divine ideas, or divine experiences, or angels, as God created them. These powerful spiritual impressions of good that come to the human consciousness, is man in the image and likeness of God.
The angel of the Lord, or these ideas or experiences of good, appear to us when our consciousness is prepared to receive them. Angels are Mind’s messages, powerful impressions of good. They are truly mental and must be mentally received by us in our individual mentality. Angels, divine ideas, or experiences of good, are exalted thoughts, healing truths, positive right convictions that appear to us as our human thought.
These “angel visitants” come to us as a “Still small voice within us;” they come as a great enlightenment, as an unfoldment of truth; they come as a surprising thought or conviction, as just the right thing to say, or to do. As a rule, angels come suddenly, but in a timely way. They usually come as promptings or as restraining intuitions. Isaiah portrayed the appearing of angels to our mentalities, when he wrote, “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21) To those mentalities in tune with the divine Mind, these angel visitants, divine ideas, or experiences are innumerable. They are the incidents of every hour and are the privileged lot of every individual. Angels are the invisible essence and substance of our visible experiences. Through them the invisible appears visible in human consciousness.
Angel messages, divine ideas or divine experiences are invisible to human consciousness, but become externalized in ways that can be seen and understood. The angel Gabriel, representing the “might of God,” came invisibly to Zacharius. The old priest’s mentality was so filled with the firm conviction that “with God all things are possible,” that this truth externalized itself or was made visible to Zacharius, as his long desired son who later became John the Baptist. Zacharius, whose whole heart’s desire was that he might have a son, was earnestly striving after righteousness; his right thinking was about God and man as one inseparable Being. His mentality was in oneness with divine Mind, and it was quite natural that the angel or divine idea of God’s omnipotence came as a sudden conviction that “with God all things are possible.”
God’s goodness is impartial. He does not withhold anything from us. These “angels of His presence” are something which we, in our ignorance, are withholding from ourselves. Miracles do not just happen. When we change our inmost thought to accord with “The angel of His presence,” this puts into operation spiritual law, which causes the externalization of that which from the beginning has already been bestowed.
This morning in our amplification of “The Power of a
Right Idea,” the idea of God and man as one inseparable Being, we shall begin with the first faint gleam that came to human consciousness. This first faint gleam of the power of the divine idea, which is the Saviour of mankind, appeared in the consciousness of Eve in the Garden of Eden. And we shall follow the unfoldment in human consciousness of the almighty power of this divine idea or Saviour up to our present age, where it has culminated in its entirety as divine Science or Christian Science.
Growth of the Divine Idea as Portrayed in Biblical History
We who are awake to the truths of Christian Science, know that no experience of which we are humanly conscious, just merely happens. The sense of our human experience may be sadly awry, but nevertheless, everything of which we are conscious is in the order of divine Science.
Since everything is in divine order, it is quite enlightening and worthy of our consideration, that the seven successive, fuller unfoldments of the Christ, the divine idea, or our Saviour were made visible to the world, through seven women portrayed in the Scriptures.
These seven women who unfolded the Christ in human consciousness were:
First: Eve, called “the mother of all living.” (Gen. 3:20)
Second: Sarah, called “a mother of nations.” (Gen. 17:16) Sarah was the mother of Isaac, a child of promise.
Third: Miriam, a prophetess, who at the Red Sea, sang the song of triumph for the supremacy of Spirit over matter and evil. (Ex. 15:20, 21)
Fourth: Deborah, called “a mother in Israel.” A prophetess who said to Barak, “Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand.” (Judges 4:14)
Fifth: Ruth, the gentle gleaner, who said, “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Sixth: The Virgin Mary, who said of herself, “For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)
Seventh: The woman in the Apocalypse. Without doubt the woman in the Apocalypse is typified by Mary Baker Eddy, who has given to the world the impersonal, universal Christ in divine Science. (Rev. 12)
The Christ, or divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being, could come only through woman, could come only through woman’s receptive recognition of the Fatherhood of God and the scriptural sonship of man. The word “woman” as it is used in the Scriptures represents a type of consciousness.
Today, when speaking of these seven women, we would miss the mark entirely were we to think only of seven female personalities. The term “woman,” as used in the Scriptures, refers to modes of spiritual discernment, or to a purity of consciousness. The high spiritual quality of thought maintained by these seven women, was the medium through which divine messages from God were made visible to the world.
Since our time is limited, today, we shall consider only three of these seven women through whom the divine idea or Saviour has appeared: Eve, the Virgin Mary, and the Woman in the Apocalypse, typified by Mary Baker Eddy.
Eve, the woman in the Garden of Eden, prefigured the coming of the Christ, or the divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being which is our Saviour. Eve means a beginning; Eve typifies an appearing or a beginning of a more righteous thought that came to the human consciousness to deliver all mankind from evil.
The first faint gleam that the Christ or Saviour was not a personality, but was mental and spiritual in character, appeared in the consciousness of Eve in the Garden of Eden. And, it has taken us a long time to discern that our Christ or Saviour is found wholly within our secret thought, and must be understood as the divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being.
As time passed on, this divine idea of the Christ or Saviour that first appeared to Eve, became clearer, and finally became visible in concrete form as the Babe Jesus, who grew into the spiritually mental stature of the power of Spirit, as Christ Jesus. And lastly in our day, this divine idea of the Christ or Saviour, this mode of righteous thought, has unfolded as the impersonal understanding of divine Science.
This first day of human awakening came to the consciousness of Eve when she faintly glimpsed the divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being. And the unfoldment in our consciousness of this same divine idea of God and man as one inseparable Being is our Saviour, which will eventually lead us all to that seventh day of spiritual unfoldment, wherein this inseparable Oneness is fully understood, and “the serpent” or false sense is cast into “the lake of fire” or into the consuming Truth of God’s infinitude.
A Religious Fable
In religious history, it is generally admitted that the woman Eve was not a human personality. This narrative of the Garden of Eden is a scriptural allegory or great religious fable. This fable and the lesson it taught were handed down from generation to generation, to impress upon thought the distinction between good and evil, and the effects of good and evil. This fable was personified by Adam and Eve, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and is a misstatement about God and His spiritual creation as set forth in the first chapter of Genesis.
Modes of Consciousness
The Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, together with the serpent, all typify states or modes of consciousness. Eve was a mode of consciousness in which the spiritual idea of God and His creation had its beginning. When the Truth appeared in the thought of Eve, this true spiritual sense enabled her to recognize the serpent or the lie of personal sense which she had accepted as her thought. Eve saw the contradictory natures of good and evil, and discerned the folly of believing that both were true.
The Enmity of the Serpent
The enmity of the serpent against the woman, specifically mentioned in the first and last books of the Bible, does not imply a radical discrimination between men and women. This “enmity” against woman or the spiritual mode of consciousness, illustrates the antagonism of the carnal mind towards spirituality, whether found in the consciousness of man or woman.
This “enmity” between the serpent, personal sense, and the woman, spiritual sense, is the inherent and irreconcilable conflict between the flesh and the Spirit, or between the spiritual and sensual elements; or between truth and error in human consciousness.
The serpent, personal sense, and the woman, spiritual sense, are opposite modes of thought. On the side of the serpent or personal sense are all the debasing influences which impel mankind toward moral and spiritual corruption. On the woman or spiritual sense side, is found every uplifting and regenerating influence that touches human consciousness. It is through spiritual sense or spiritualized consciousness, typified by woman, that humanity finds deliverance from the subtleties of the serpent or personal sense, and awakens to the true consciousness that God and man is one inseparable Being.
Hope Was Born in Eden
A divine hope was born in Eden when human thought first became impressed with the distinction between good and evil. This divine hope was born when “woman,” the mode of righteous thought, recognized the claims of personal sense as something not to be admitted, but to be denounced and dispelled.
When Eve discovered that she had been lured into a state of error through mesmeric subtlety spoken of as the “serpent,” she recognized, somewhat, the purity and spirituality of God’s creation. And this germ of spiritual awakening in human consciousness increased, and will continue to increase, until it displaces all sense of evil in every human consciousness, and the seventh day or the light of divine Science unfolds in its fullness.
Mrs. Eddy in speaking of the “woman” says, “Truth, cross-questioning man as to his knowledge of error, finds woman the first to confess her fault. She says, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat;’ as much as to say in meek penitence, ‘Neither man nor God shall father my fault.’ She has already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent. Hence she is first to abandon the belief in the material origin of man and to discern spiritual creation. This hereafter enabled woman to be the mother of Jesus and to behold at the sepulchre the risen Saviour, who was soon to manifest the deathless man of God’s creating. This enabled woman to be first to interpret the Scriptures in their true sense, which reveals the spiritual origin of man.” (S&H 533:26)
The Virgin Mary
From the very moment that Isaiah uttered the prophecy, “Hear ye now, O house of David; the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa.7:13,14) From that very moment throughout the years, every daughter of Israel not only longed to become the mother of “The Anointed One,” but thought it possible that she might become the mother of “The Anointed One.” Therefore Mary, in common with all Jewish maidens of her period, cherished the hope of becoming the mother of the long expected deliverer of Israel.
The World of Mary’s Day
History tells us that the world of Mary’s day was drowning in its foully materialistic thinking. Rome, the most important city, had set up the worship of the Emperor, the adoration of a human personality, as her religion. In the province of Galilee, where Mary lived, there were many established religions and political parties: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes, the Lawyers, and the revolutionists, all waiting the hour to strike Rome.
The conception held by these groups concerning the deliverance of Israel was wholly a material conception. What remained of the morality and spirituality of the Israelites was, at this time, found only among the common people.
A Group of Metaphysical Thinkers
And sacred history tells us that in this province of Galilee, and among the common people, was a little group of metaphysical thinkers. Right in the midst of this dense materialistic thinking of the upper class, was this little group, this remnant of Israel who practiced pure and undefiled religion. They taught and practiced the most beautiful moral precepts. In fact, they were full of light in that black night of materialism. Many of the best literary productions nearest the advent of Jesus, were written in Galilee by these religious thinkers.
This little remnant of Israel was undiscouraged for Israel’s deliverance. Their faith in God was unshaken by the blood ravages of Rome. They worshipped the true God of all the religions of that day; none approached the Hebrew religion in purity of doctrine or cleanness of life as shown forth by this little group of metaphysicians.
Deliverer of Israel
The greater portion of this province of Galilee, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes, the Lawyers, and the revolutionists all looked for a materialistic deliverer to save them from the Roman Emperor. But this remnant of Israel, this group of metaphysicians, looked for a deliverer who would purify his people. They realized that Israel’s woes were the result of her false and unrighteous thinking. Hence, this little group looked for a spiritual King who would deliver Israel from its materialistic mode of thought.
According to prophecy, their Deliverer must belong to the highest order of Being. He was to be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and He was to be born of a virgin of the family of David. (Isa. 9:6) His mission would be the salvation of His people and of all mankind. (Isa. 49:6) To Him would be given everlasting dominion, glory, and a kingdom, and all people would serve Him. (Dan. 7:14)
To the Hebrew, his belief in prophecy was wholly beyond the interpretation of man. His beliefs were deeply intrenched in his thought. They had been prophesied by patriarchs and prophets, and handed down as fixed spiritual and mental laws of thought. To the Hebrews, prophecy was a fixed fact. And, too, they had demonstrated so many amazing experiences, that they were confident that a spiritual deliverance would also be their experience.
Since this prophecy was a fixed law to this little remnant of Israel, they made themselves ready for the coming promised deliverer. They purified their thought and made many marvelous demonstrations which logically followed their spiritual thinking.
This little group knew from actual experience that spiritual law set in motion by purified and spiritualized thought, was far more effective than the forcing of political issue through material aggression or human will.
Mary’s Vision of the Deliverer of Israel
Mary belonged to this group. So naturally her vision of the Deliverer or Saviour of Israel was far from that of a mere political restorer who would set up in material splendor the ancient throne of David. Mary knew that this Deliverer or Saviour of Israel, who was awaited not only by Israel, but by the whole world, must be one who would demonstrate Israel; that is, one who would set forth the real man in the image of Spirit. Mary realized that nothing short of an immaculate conception or a deep purity of thought could bring into human visible form, a Being, who for the task before him, must be spiritually endowed, as no human being had ever been endowed before.
Mary was deeply religious, a woman of strong character and super-intelligence. She was far from the “clinging vine” type to which so many have ignorantly assigned her. It is interesting and wonderful to learn how Mary, within herself, prepared for the coming of the Saviour. She was familiar with the Scriptures and knew that an immaculate conception would not just happen. She knew that an immaculate conception could take place only if the purity of the virgin’s thought was sufficiently demonstrated.
Mary knew that the angel of the Lord, the divine idea, the reality of Being, could come to the virgin’s human consciousness in concrete visible demonstration only when that consciousness was prepared and ready both mentally and spiritually. She knew and understood the spiritual law that made invisible spiritual facts become humanly and materially visible to mankind.
Mary was familiar with the miracles of the ancient patriarchs and prophets. She clearly understood why the burning bush was not consumed. (Ex. 3:2) She understood, in some measure, how “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24) She knew why the pot of oil failed not. (II Kings 4) She knew how Elisha’s own mind could say, “Thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.” (II Kings 4:43) She no doubt understood how and why the temple was rebuilt by King Cyrus. (Ezra) How and why there was rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem under Nehemiah.
Mary no doubt prayed and sang the songs of David. To her, the Psalms were the same source of comfort and consolation as they have been to both Christian and Jew alike, down through the ages. Mary knew and understood the demonstration of Zacharius and Elizabeth, and she had seen many more demonstrations of spiritual import wrought out into concrete visible expression.
Mary knew that with God, her own mind, all things were possible. She knew that in all these experiences, the might of God or Mind came to the human consciousness as powerful impressions of Good, and then these mental spiritual impressions were externalized to mankind in concrete visible forms.
Things and Events Do Not Just Happen
Mary knew that all things, circumstances, conditions, and events do not just happen. She clearly understood that any thought held in the mentality tends to express or externalize itself in outward or visible form. Therefore, Mary firmly believed that the longing and the undaunted faith in the certain coming of Israel’s deliverer, would sometime become externalized.
Mary knew that if she, a virgin, were to become the mother of the Saviour, this demonstration could only be made through her spiritual understanding of the Fatherhood of God. Her demonstration made, then indeed, God would be the Father of her child, and her child would truly be the Son of God.
The annunciation, as recorded by Luke, was Mary’s announcement to herself, and to those who looked for Israel’s deliverer, that she was to be the mother of the Saviour, who would save, not only Israel of that day, but all generations to come. This annunciation represents Mary’s own reasoning; her communion with the angel, was her communion with her own inner self. In a larger sense, her annunciation was her communion with God, her own mind. This indeed, was the power and operation of the divine idea in human consciousness.
In this annunciation, Mary said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:46-50) This annunciation by the Virgin Mary, is the greatest poem in Hebrew literature. I will say it is the greatest poem that has ever been written.
Mary Called Her Son, Jesus
Since Mary, herself, was of royal lineage, she knew that God would give to her son, the throne of David. Mary named her son “Jesus,” because Jesus was synonymous with Joshua, a renowned leader in Israel, and Mary’s son would indeed be a leader. The name Jesus also comes from the Greek form of Je-hosh-us which means Jehova, the healer. And why should Mary not attach to her son those qualities which in sacred history were promised to the Son of God.
When the angel, that mighty impression of good, appeared to Mary and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,” Mary answered this angel, saying, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:35, 38)
False theology has made the world believe that this statement made by Mary to the angel, was made in a spirit of mere pious resignation on her part, and that Mary had little or at least very little to do with giving a Saviour to the world. But since “The Key to the Scriptures” has unlocked for us the “Science of Mind,” Mary’s statement, “Be it unto me according to thy word,” reveals Mary’s thought as being on a lofty plane of spiritual power and realization. This statement was a confident assertion that nothing, not even the bringing forth of Israel’s deliverer, was impossible with God. Her words were the acknowledgment of spiritual law.
A Fundamental Law in Christian Science
A fundamental law in Christian Science has been revealed to us. This law is, that things do not merely happen. Thought held persistently within our mentality tends toward the externalization of itself in outward and visible forms. The thought of the whole Hebrew nation, a thought born in the Garden of Eden, lay back of Jesus, the Saviour, and forced him into view.
The Virgin Mary’s state of mind was the mighty God, the law of divine Science. This law, set in motion in the consciousness of Mary, gave us a Saviour who saves us from all sin, disease, age, want, war, and death. This law, active in the consciousness of Mary, gave visible proof that the Father of man was not a material personality, but was an all-creative Principle, known to Israel as their God.
Let us review some of the vital points in this lesson. First: The divine idea or spiritual fact, held persistently within the mentality, will externalize itself in outward and visible forms.
Second: The divine idea , when correctly understood as the Mighty God or as active, powerful, conscious Good, holds within itself the power to demonstrate itself.
Third: Things do not merely happen. There is a divine basis for every human thing, circumstance, condition and event.
Fourth: It is spiritual law, active in human consciousness, that causes spiritual facts to become humanly and materially visible to mankind.
Fifth: The divine idea or Saviour will come to our human consciousness in concrete visible demonstration only when our consciousness is prepared and ready both mentally and spiritually.
The Woman in the Apocalypse
Through “The Woman in the Apocalypse,” Saint John, the Revelator, portrays a greater vision, a brighter light of understanding, a higher spiritual thought process, than was portrayed even by the spiritualized thought of the Virgin Mary.
Jeremiah, in his day, prophesied concerning the spiritual thinking that was to come. He said, “the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” (Jer. 31:22) By this, he meant that the inspired woman thought would finally grasp the full wonder of God’s man, and would demonstrate this real man in human consciousness.
And Jesus, in his day, prophesied that spiritual thinking, or a higher understanding of the divine idea, would appear in human consciousness as the “Comforter.” He said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” (John 14:16, 17) And Mrs. Eddy, in her day, further enlightens us by saying, “This Comforter, I understand to be divine Science.”
John’s Apocalyptic Vision
St. John’s Apocalyptic vision completes the beautiful picture of woman’s place in prophecy. This vision completes the seventh day of unfoldment of spiritual thinking. To St. John, “There appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and behold a great red dragon, stood before the woman to devour her child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness where she is nourished for a time, and the great dragon was cast out.” (Rev. 12)
In this vision, St. John presents spiritual thinking typified as “a woman clothed with the sun.” This divine idea or spiritual thinking typified by woman, is pictured as radiant with the light of spiritual understanding, with matter under her feet, and crowned with a diadem of victory. This divine idea or spiritual thinking typified by woman, appears in this apocalyptic vision in the fullness of spiritual understanding.
In this vision, the woman brought forth a man child. Woman, portrayed as the fullness of spiritual understanding, brought forth Christian Science, which is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Error, typified by the great dragon, resists this revelation. In other words, the spiritual sense of Life, Truth, and Love appearing as Christian Science, is confronted by the dragon or serpent of personal sense.
But the divinely illumined consciousness or woman thought, is given two wings of a great eagle; she is given the understanding of the omniaction of conscious Life, with which she flies into the wilderness. And Mrs. Eddy defines “wilderness” as “the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.” (S&H 597:17)
Mrs. Eddy speaks of this woman in our textbook. She says, “The woman in the Apocalypse symbolizes generic man, the spiritual idea of God; she illustrates the coincidence of God and man as the divine Principle and divine idea.” (S&H 561:22)
The Complete Demonstration
Again, woman typified as spiritual thinking appears in John’s apocalyptic vision. This time, she is seen in a great high mountain as “the bride,” “the Lamb’s wife.” The Lamb’s wife is the word of God, understood and demonstrated. The Lamb’s wife is Christian Science which explains, and presents, and demonstrates, the Christ method of healing.
It is through the application in individual consciousness of Christian Science, this Comforter given to us by Jesus, that the works done by Christ Jesus are repeated. “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matt.11:5)
Mary Baker Eddy
Let us now consider our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy. Without doubt, Mary Baker Eddy typifies the woman in the Apocalypse. That is, Mrs. Eddy typifies or embodies all the characteristics of the pure woman thought that was portrayed in St. John’s vision. Mary Baker Eddy showed forth, or prefigured, or exemplified the spiritual consciousness portrayed in that great vision, and presented that spiritual consciousness to the world in concrete visible form as divine Science.
Mary Baker Eddy stands for something far greater than a good personality or a great human being. When correctly estimated, she stands for the complete revelation of Christ in human consciousness. She stands for egoistic consciousness, the revealed Christ.
The Virgin Mary perceived the Christ and presented the Christ to the world through Jesus. But this was not enough. One more step must be taken. A positive rule must be given to humanity by means of which all mankind could demonstrate the Christ.
“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” given to the world through Mary Baker Eddy’s perception of the Christ, explains divine Science or the Comforter prophesied by Jesus, and is leading humanity into all Truth. Mrs. Eddy received the Christ Truth into her consciousness, and then gave the Christ Truth to us in her writings. Nothing further is required to guide us into all truth. We look for Mrs. Eddy in her writings where the revealed Christ is to be found.
St. John in his Revelation tells us, “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, and he had in his hand a little book open.” (Rev.10:1, 2) Mrs. Eddy tells us that this “little book” in the hand of the angel and Science and Health are one and the same. She refers to this little book in our textbook, where she named it “Truth’s volume.”
The truth that we have today, is the same truth that unfolded in the Garden of Eden in the consciousness of
Eve. It appeared in a much fuller degree in the spiritual thinking of the Virgin Mother. And this same truth has come to us as a full, complete, divine Science through the purity of our beloved Leader.
Things Do Not Just Merely Happen
This revelation of divine Science, given to the world by Mary Baker Eddy, did not just merely happen; like the Virgin Mother, Mary Baker Eddy prepared herself for this divine mission. She tells us in our textbook that “I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration.” (S&H 109:20)
Mrs. Eddy spent three years in the study of the Bible. After this intensive study of the Scriptures, in order to discover and understand spiritual law, she put her findings to a severe test by healing the sick and the sinning, and raising the dying to life and health. After this intensive preparation, which covered a period of years, she published “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” which will stand the test of the ages. “Science and Health” is Mrs. Eddy’s revelation of provable spiritual law.
Through the reading of “Science and Health,” thousands upon thousands have been healed of sickness and sin and have been enabled to live happy and useful lives. Is it any wonder that Christian Scientists love and revere their Leader? Is it any wonder that we are deeply grateful to her for the revelation of divine Science?
Mrs. Eddy fulfilled scriptural prophecy. In this age, she has brought to us the true meaning of the woman thought in St. John’s Apocalyptic Vision. This woman thought is divine Science and Mrs. Eddy speaks of this woman thought or pure consciousness as “Truth’s immortal idea is sweeping down the centuries, gathering beneath its wings the sick and sinning.” (S&H 55:15, 16)
Practical Operative Christianity
Today, there is a world crisis in religion. Many deep thinkers regard our long established religions as devoid of spiritual power. They feel that many churches should be classified as the angel classified the church of the Laodiceans, when he said, “Because thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:16, 17)
Thinking persons realize that we need more than fear or force, or even good-will based on better business, to save the postwar world. They firmly believe that a religion based on practical Christianity is the only hope of civilization. Christian people who are awake to this world crisis in religion, are crying out for an operative Christianity; for active practical salvation; for a living faith; for a deeper understanding of God and of themselves. They are crying out for divine theology that was made manifest through Christ Jesus.
Are we awake to the fact that multitudes will come to Christian Science for help at the close of this great world struggle? Why will they come? They will come because of the full-orbed promise that they shall find healing and restoration of both mind and body. And when the test for the fulfillment of this promise comes, let it not be said of Christian Scientists that, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” (Dan. 5:27)
Mrs. Eddy’s Definite Life-Purpose
Mrs. Eddy records her life purpose. She says, “My lifepurpose is to impress humanity with the genuine recognition of practical operative Christian Science.” And she further says to us, “drink with me the living waters of the spirit of my life-purpose.” (See Mis. 207:3-4)
There was no doubt in Mrs. Eddy’s mind that she had a definite purpose in life to fulfill, and what this definite purpose was. No matter what others might do, this divine purpose was definitely fixed and established in her thought, and she knew that she must follow this definite direction in life in order to fulfill her divine purpose, and give to humanity a visible proof of a practical operative Science when applied to human affairs.
When we recognize the magnitude of her purpose, the far reaching results of the fulfillment of this purpose; what it has meant in our lifetime to have an unfailing, everoperative Science to apply to our human affairs; and when we realize that an even greater unfoldment will come to future generations; we may well marvel, and express our gratitude for this blessing that has appeared to us in our world.
Jesus’ Definite Life-Purpose
Jesus, too, was keenly aware that he had a definite purpose in life to fulfill. In answer to Pilate’s question, he said, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” (John 18:37)
Both Jesus and Mrs. Eddy had a clear sense of the signification of their so-called human experience. They recognized that no one ever was born out of due time. They knew that they had a definite purpose to fulfill, and they knew that they had the power and intelligence from God with which to fulfill that purpose.
Our Definite Life-Purpose
Are we, as Christian Scientists, awake to the fact that we, too, have a definite life-purpose? And are we following a definite direction in life in order to fulfill this divine purpose? Today, as never before, we need to recognize the significance and value of the existence of each so-called individual. We should watch, and not become mesmerized with the seeming lack of value that is placed on the individual at this present hour. We should not just close our eyes and permit our thought to stand dormant concerning this lack of appreciation for human existence.
Let us bear in thought that there is nothing external to our own consciousness. Our own mind sees and feels its own projected thought. Our own mind does not see or feel another outside itself, or other than itself or unlike itself. When we see another, we are seeing ourself. We see and feel only the contents of our own mind. St. Paul in speaking to the Romans said, “Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Rom. 2:1)
In order to fulfill our definite purpose and be a visible witness for Truth, we should be keenly aware of our present individual existence in its higher spiritual aspects. We should be deep thinkers, we should vision happier days for the human family. We should prove that an abundant practical life is the one eternal Life at hand. We should participate in, and rejoice in, the present fulfillment of this present liberating dispensation, the dispensation of the coming of the Son of man, which is the Reality of all things being made visible in human consciousness.
As individual Christian Scientists, we need a greater love for God and a greater love for man in our hearts, in order that our sublime life-purpose may be carried out into effect. Each one of us has a sublime task to perform. We should so live, and so love, that God or Truth is made comprehensible to us, and that we may hear His voice saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isa. 30:21)
We Should Impress Humanity With Operative Science
What does it mean to impress humanity with practical operative Christian Science? The word “practical” means that which is available, usable, or valuable when in operation. The word “operative” means the quality of action. It means to have the power of action within, which will produce results. “The term Christian Science relates especially to Science as applied to humanity.” (S&H 127:15, 16) Then “practical, operative Christian Science” means a Science that is available to human consciousness and is active in the production of results, when applied practically and intelligently to human affairs.
Jesus Impressed Humanity With Practical Results
Jesus, as the reflection or evidence of Mind, had no action, ability, or power underived from God. His action, ability, power were God’s action, ability, and power ever operative as practical results. Jesus imparted to and impressed humanity in a practical way throughout his every day experiences, with what the Father-Mind revealed of Itself to him. He healed the sick, fed the hungry multitude, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the deaf ears, provided the tax money, and raised the dead. Surely, such deeds were the active and practical results of his divine theology within himself.
Mrs. Eddy Also Impressed Humanity With Practical Results
Mrs. Eddy, too, as the reflection or evidence of Mind had no action, ability, or power underived from God. It was God’s action, ability, and power that impressed Mrs. Eddy in a practical way with what the Father-Mind revealed of Itself to her as Christian Science. And she demonstrated this Science through her daily living and experiences, by healing the sick, raising the dead, and by committing to the pages of a book, her sublime discovery. This, indeed, was impressing humanity with a practical, operative Christian Science.
Each Individual Must Impress Humanity With Practical Results
So, each one here today, as the reflection or evidence of Mind, has no action or power underived from God. We are the action, ability, and power that God is being in manifestation, and this action, ability, and power that God is being in manifestation is ever operative in producing results.
It should be our purpose to impart to and impress humanity with what our Father-Mind has revealed of Itself to us of divine Science, and demonstrate this Science in our daily lives and experiences. We have the ability and power from God with which to impress humanity with what divine reason, revelation, and demonstration have given us.
No matter how circumscribed our sphere in life may be, we have within ourselves a definite direction to follow, and a life-purpose to fullfill.
There never has been a time in the history of Christian Science, when Christian Scientists need to so clearly hear the within voice of Truth, and to know there is nothing external or outside their own consciousness. Within our individual self is the battlefield, and there, too, is found the victory. We need to watch our thought that it does not become confused with the issues of the day. We need to be spiritually keen and alert in our thinking. We need to be “undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses” and prove that “Science (is) still enthroned.” (S&H 306:25, 26)
At this hour, humanity stands at the threshold of a mental overturning, an overturning unparalleled in human history. Jesus prophesied this hour. He said, there would be “upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity.” (Luke 21:25) Then followed his prophecy of encouragement and hope in these words, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:26, 27)
The Coming of the Son of Man
This prophecy of Christ Jesus, interpreted according to Christian Science, means far more than is seen on the surface. What is the coming of the Son of man?
The Son of man is not a person, but is the expression of the God-Mind in its totality of life, substance, and intelligence. These expressions of life, substance, and intelligence, appearing in the highest sense comprehensible to human consciousness, are the COMING OF THE SON OF MAN.
The prophecy reads, “Then shall he send his angels.” This means that God or Mind will send His messages, His mighty mental and spiritual impressions, into the hearts of men at this time; just as He did to the patriarchs and prophets, to Zacharius, to Mary, to the Revelator, and to Mary Baker Eddy, if we are prepared to receive them and desire these saving messages as they did.
These angels are the God-Mind made comprehensible, practical, and visible in the human consciousness of this day. Who can doubt that many are the saving angels that come to the men on the battlefields, on the sea, in the air, as well as to the business man, and to the wife or mother in the home, when they, in their thinking, reach out to God or Truth as their only deliverer.
The prophecy reads, “He shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” God’s elect are not persons, are not saints, are not even those who classify themselves as Christian Scientists. No. “The elect” are God’s revelations of Himself, revelations of His life, His substance, His intelligence, appearing in our individual experiences. Life, substance, and intelligence are God’s essential qualities or revelations, and are His elect.
God or Mind reveals Himself in His essential quality of life, which gives to God, man and everything in the universe, the sense of eternal existence. God or Mind reveals Himself in His essential quality of indestructible substance, which gives to God, man and everything in the universe the eternal sense of dimension or sense of filling space. God or Mind reveals Himself in His essential quality of intelligence, which gives to God, man and everything in the universe the conscious qualities of feeling, knowing, and being.
At this time, God’s elect, conscious life, conscious substance, and conscious intelligence, as they are in their reality, are appearing in fuller and clearer degrees in our human experiences. These spiritual and omnipotent operations of God or Mind, typified by the four winds, is the spiritual understanding that is coming to the human consciousness. This spiritual understanding is coming universally and practically and is the coming of the SON OF MAN.
Wherever these spiritual and omnipotent operations of God appear in human consciousness, even though in a limited degree, or in the uttermost parts of the earth, right there, in that place, God or Mind is gathering together in unity, His elect, His infinite qualities of life, substance, and intelligence as they are in reality, and He is lifting them up to the uttermost parts of heaven, or is lifting these qualities in human consciousness to their highest degree of reality.
Are we, under whatever circumstances we may find ourselves, looking within? Are we letting the divine understanding reign and be ALL? Are we comprehending and experiencing eternal Life, concretely? Are we experiencing the substance of God, that is free from discord and decay? Is our intelligence the pure consciousness of God without restrictions and limitations? If we, as Christian Scientists, are experiencing in some degree, these qualities in our daily living, then we have a practical, operative Christian Science.
Spiritual power does not just happen to come to us. Spiritual power is forever at hand, but it appears to us only as we put off the material sense of life.
It is natural for us, at times, to long for the quiet days of the past. And some Christian Scientists are content to remain in the same old mental and metaphysical grooves. So-called mortal mind tenaciously resists stir and change. Nevertheless, progress or higher unfoldments in any field of endeavor, whether economic, educational or metaphysical, is not made without a launching out into newer and higher modes of thought.
In order to gain spiritual power and fulfill our divine purpose in life, we must prepare our thought. We must educate mortal mind out of itself by bringing every wrong thought in our mentality into captivity, into obedience to the Christ Truth.
Mrs. Eddy spent many years in study and in the healing of incurable disease before she gave to the world “Science and Health.” Both Mrs. Eddy and Jesus learned to do by doing, and learned to be by being.
Mrs. Eddy sets forth inescapable requirements by which we prepare our thought and gain that higher understanding which gives us spiritual power. She says, “thought must be spiritualized, in order to apprehend Spirit. It must become honest, unselfish, and pure, in order to have the least understanding of God in divine Science.” (Ret. 28:9-12) This is a very emphatic admonition that we as Christian Scientists need to heed.
How Do We Spiritualize Thought?
What is the process through which thought is spiritualized? The process is “the translation of man and the universe back into Spirit.” (S&H 209:22) Through translation, we exchange our mode of material thought about man and the universe, and in so doing, we become the spiritual fact of man and the universe. Our progress spiritward depends upon the translation of matter into Mind. (See Mis. 25:12; p. 74:15)
Mrs. Eddy makes the following statement in our textbook, “The compounded minerals or aggregated substances composing the earth, the relations which constituent masses hold to each other, the magnitudes, distances, and revolutions of the celestial bodies, are of no real importance, when we remember that they all must give place to the spiritual fact by the translation of man and the universe back into Spirit.” (S&H 209:16-22) Why are these things of no real importance? Because we do not see these things as they are in fact. We see only our material concept of them. Mortal mind or the lie has classified these spiritual ideas as matter or “objects of material sense,” and we, through immortal Mind, must translate these material sense objects back into their originals until we see them as divine ideas.
Let us be honest. How many of us, a few weeks ago, translated Mount Vesuvius and its rocks back into originals, back into divine ideas, perfect and eternal as Mind? Our textbook says, “rocks and mountains stand for solid and grand ideas.” (S&H 511:24) How many of us translated the hidden, blind, destructive forces of matter that were attached to Mount Vesuvius, back into their originals, back into the almighty forces that adhere in Spirit only? So-called mortal mind says that the hidden, destructive forces attached to Mount Vesuvius, are the destructive forces attached to our world today, and are remote, and apart from us, and over there. “Over there” is always here. The so-called mortal mind that is over there, is the same mortal mind that is here. The same destructive forces that seem to be over there, are here within the realm of our own individual mind. Perhaps the degree is not the same, but the quality is the same.
Unless we, through our own immortal divine Mind, translate those seeming destructive forces back into their originals, back into the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of divine Mind, we shall continue to see and feel mortal mind’s thought objectified. It is only through translation that we lose the material sense of things, and our thought becomes spiritual.
To what extent are we translating ourselves, our bodies, and their so-called functionings back into their originals, back into divine ideas and divine functionings?
Mortal mind has classified us as matter and has given us a material sense of body and its functionings. But through translation, immortal Mind gives us the originals; gives us man in God’s image and likeness; gives us body as Mind’s embodiment of right ideas; gives us functions as perpetual operations of Mind forever eternal and harmonious.
When we translate the objects of material sense, the things of our universe, ourselves, our bodies and their functionings, into their originals, we do not deal with anything external or objective to ourselves. No. We replace the material sense object and its operations with divine ideas, and we do the replacing wholly within the realm of our own thought. This is the process through which our thought becomes spiritualized, so we may apprehend Spirit.
The universal belief that ideas have become material things, is the fundamental lie. What any material thing may seem to do or to be, is a lie about the eternal fact, at hand. What is called a material body, or a material mountain, or a world war, or a poor business, is a false human concept of a divine idea at hand. It is the belief that ideas have become material and that man must have life and consciousness through the medium of matter. Through translation, we gain freedom from these false beliefs, and experience the divine facts in their reality.
Translation Gives Us a New Tongue
Mrs. Eddy says Jesus’ “earthly mission was to translate substance into its original meaning, Mind.” (Mis. 74:15 17) She also says, “The great difficulty is to give the right impression, when translating material terms back into the original spiritual tongue.” (S&H 115:9-11)
In order to give the right impression when we translate material terms back into the original spiritual tongue, we must grasp the spiritual sense of the original. Could any of us be affected by altitude, if we but knew that we include within ourselves the spiritual fact, the only fact of altitude? The mountain, the grand and lofty idea of God, is not outside of us, or apart from us, but it is of the compound of ideas that is us.
Through translation of man and the visible universe back into the spiritual fact of man and the universe, we shall finally see and know that an elephant, or a planet, or an airplane is not larger or mightier than ourself. We shall see all things as thought forms, or ideas, or spiritual facts, included within us and as possessing all the qualities and attributes of God.
As Christian Scientists, we are to grasp the spiritual sense of the originals. The spiritual originals can only be discerned spiritually. Translation gives us an entirely new sense of things and gives us a new language. Old terms have a new meaning. This new meaning, or new sense of things, is called by Mrs. Eddy “religion’s ‘new tongue.’” (Mis. 25:15)
When we translate into the new tongue, we change what we have been calling matter or material substance, back into the original spiritual meaning. Mrs. Eddy says, “‘The new tongue’ is the spiritual meaning as opposed to the material. It is the language of Soul instead of the senses; it translates matter into its original language, which is Mind, and gives the spiritual instead of the material signification.” (Hea. 7:6-10)
As stated before, Mrs. Eddy admonishes us that our thought must not only become spiritualized in order to apprehend Spirit, but it must become honest, unselfish, and pure in order to have the least understanding of God in divine Science. (See Ret. 28:9)
As I pondered this word “honest,” it came to me that in order to have the least understanding of God in divine Science, we must be as honest in our thinking as divine Principle is honest. To be honest, our reliance upon material things, must be transferred to a perception of, and dependence upon, spiritual things. There is only one honesty. Therefore, any degree of honesty that we see or know humanly, must identify divine Principle.
A personal sense of honesty is always better than dishonesty, but honesty as a personal virtue is merely a sense of personal goodness, and is devoid of the Principle of honesty.
It requires understanding on our part to discern between honesty as God’s idea, and a false sense of honesty which is a lie of personality endeavoring to make itself equal with God. A personal sense of honesty seeks to glorify person, but in Christian Science, our one motive for being honest is to glorify God. And we glorify God and manifest honesty as a spiritual power, only as our thinking identifies with divine Principle.
Next, in order to have an understanding of God in divine Science, we must be unselfish. What does it mean to be unselfish or unselfed? It does not mean a personal virtue. Unselfishness is spiritual self-hood. To be unselfish, we think in terms of the one Mind, the one man, the one body. Unselfishness is the Christ idea loved, understood, and lived. Unselfishness as a personal virtue includes minds many, personal wills, and personal desires. We often see human motherhood and fatherhood showing forth a false sense of unselfishness. Since man identifies with God, this fact excludes any self-hood apart from
God. To see and know God as ONE and ALL, is to be unselfish or unselfed in our thinking. When we give up a personal sense of ourself, and let God be ALL, then we manifest spiritual power.
Also our thought must be pure in order to understand God. Pure thought is always associated with the one infinite Mind and never with mind in a so-called material body. Pure thought does not originate with persons. Its source and origin are in God and is forever reflected forth as man’s pure thinking, and feeling, and knowing.
As our thought becomes spiritualized, so that it apprehends Spirit; as it becomes honest, unselfish, and pure; to the degree that it understands God in divine Science, there is a corresponding spiritual power manifested in our so-called human existence, our so-called human body, and our so-called material world.
Spiritual power is the result of the spiritualization of our thought. God’s ideas require no spiritualizing process. They are already spiritual. It is only the human concepts that need to be improved and spiritualized through translation.
Mrs. Eddy has translated the spiritual originals into language that is comprehensible to us. Likewise, we should strive to translate the originals of all ideas and qualities that appear in our consciousness, into thoughts and language that is comprehensible to us and to others.
All too often we repeat statements from our textbook with no attempt on our part to translate our thought to them, back into Spirit or the new tongue. It is only through translation that our human concepts are improved, and our spiritual power is increased. It is only through translation that we have the signs following.
The Theology of Jesus
Mrs. Eddy is emphatically insistent that our thought must become spiritualized; that through translation, our thought must become honest, unselfish, and pure. And she is even more insistent that all students of Christian Science must understand the theology of Jesus, in order to have the signs following that Jesus had, because of his theology.
Mrs. Eddy says, “The theology of Christian Science (which is the theology that Jesus had) is contained in the volume entitled ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.’” (Pul. 55:21-23). She also says, “It was this theology of Jesus which healed the sick and sinning. It is his theology in this book and the spiritual meaning of this theology, which heals the sick and causes the wicked to ‘forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.’” (S&H 138:30-2)
The Theology of Jesus Was Divine Science
The theology of Jesus was the scientific knowledge of Truth that he entertained in his consciousness. His theology was his own divine Mind, or his own divine Intelligence. His theology was not a theory but a demonstrable Science, called by Mrs. Eddy, Christian Science or divine Science. The theology that Jesus used was capable of proof and was demonstrated by Jesus in healing the sick and the sinning, raising the dead, and walking over the waves.
The Theology of Other Religions
There is a great difference between the theology of Jesus and the theologies of the many different systems of religion. Religion is a term which covers an immense field, ranging from the most primitive faith up to the highest spiritual understanding. But religion in its broadest sense is the affection and conduct expressed through the individual’s highest human concept of God. The theology of all systems of religion, except Christian Science, is based more or less on creeds and doctrines.
To a great extent, the theology of all systems of religion, except Christian Science, is scholastic theology. Much of what these religions know about God and man has been gained from the theological seminaries, and savors of human intellect and reason, based on a human concept of God and man. Scholastic theology is quite different in its nature from the divine theology that was taught and practiced by Jesus.
We must not forget that scholastic theology has done much for the human race. Any sincere belief in God does much for mankind. The scholastic theology of the Christian Church has kept alive the Christ, and this alone has been a marvelous contribution to religious growth. But the scholastic theology as taught by Christian churches does not redeem the human race from matter, sin, sickness, and death.
There are more than 200 Christian religions that are founded on creeds and doctrines, besides the many so-called heathen religions. The question is often asked, “Are all religions, in their last analysis, a question of creeds, doctrines, rites, and ceremonies?” It is true that the significance of true religion is often lost in the multitude of interpretations imposed upon it. The word “religion” is usually identified with minor moralities, conventional forms, technical orthodoxies, ecclesiasticisms, cultisms, and denominationalisms.
Pure Religion or Vital Christianity
But true religion or vital Christianity is not based on creeds or doctrines, and it is not necessarily found in lofty cathedrals. Christian people believe that vital Christianity is essential in the saving of mankind, and that pure religion is the hope of salvation. There are thousands of persons desiring a practical religion, a living faith, a deeper understanding of God and man, and they will find it in the divine theology of Jesus as set forth in the Bible and the Christian Science textbook.
Pure religion, with all the divine ideas and qualities, is to be found only in the human heart. These ideas and qualities which constitute pure religion, are utilized and expressed visibly in art, in science, in music, in literature, in statesmanship, in business, and in pretty much anything else to which the individual may devote his thought.
Truly religious individuals are not confined entirely to ritualistic forms and scholastic theories, any more than they were in our Lord’s time. Truly religious individuals represent or evidence forth the Christ ideas and qualities, and are today recasting the whole human concept for a higher mode of life. The Christ-life within the individual is becoming visible, universally as ONE HOLY CHURCH; as one spiritualized consciousness.
This is as it should be. The Christian churches, as a whole, were never more truly religious in their relations than they are today. Their one need is the control and guidance of the Christ-Truth within, as revealed through Christian Science. And unless many signs are misleading, this inner light of understanding, this impersonal Christ within, is breaking forth anew in numerous modes and methods.
Redemption From Scholastic Theology
Each one of us needs to be redeemed, more and more, from scholastic theology. Each one of us has much false scholastic theology clinging to us, that we are practically unaware of, even though we classify ourselves as Christian Scientists. It is this scholastic theology that is hindering us from expressing to the world that inner light, that Christ within, which permits of “signs following.” We should examine ourselves and see to what extent our thought is the teaching of false theology.
For instance: Do we believe that we were ever born? Do we believe that we have a personal life that lives in a personal body? Do we believe that as a personality we are a sinner and must be saved from sin? Do we believe that we as a personality can become sick and can die? Do we believe that we can be poor, wretched, and robbed, and dominated? Do we believe in evil, in war, in storms, in shipwrecks, in lack of tax-money? In other words, do we believe in another power and presence, other than the one almighty God? Do we believe that we, individually, are other than this one almighty God in expression? If so, we are accepting false theology as our religion.
Mrs. Eddy says, “Scholastic theology makes God manlike; Christian Science (or the theology of Jesus) makes man Godlike.” (Mes.’01 7:3) She also says, “Popular theology makes God tributary to man, coming at human call; whereas the reverse is true in Science.” (Un. 13:3) It is quite true that the theology of Jesus is today shaking creedal and doctrinal foundations, which have been believed to be solid for time and eternity.
Our Former Concept of God
Generally speaking, we might say that before Christian Science revealed the theology of Jesus, our concept of God was “The unknown God” whom we ignorantly worshipped. Our concept of God was that He was wholly apart from us and governed us very much as a mother governs her child, rewarding us according to worthiness or unworthiness.
Our Present Concept of God
But now, our concept of God is greatly enlarged. We understand God numerically, as one Being; as one Whole and ALL. We think of God as an infinite incorporeal Being, the only Being, the very being of each one of us. We think of God as the only consciousness, and we know there is no other consciousness. We do not think of Consciousness as the effect of God or Mind, or as produced by God or Mind, but that God or Mind, in fact, is Consciousness and there is no other consciousness. We think of God, or Mind, or Consciousness, as all-inclusive; as an inseparable, indivisible unity of Good. We think of God, or Mind, or Consciousness as revealing Himself to Himself; since there is none outside of Himself, or beside Himself, to whom He can reveal Himself. We think of God as one infinite Self. We think of God as His own interpreter.
Our Former Concept of Man
Before Christian Science revealed the theology of Jesus to us, man was a personal, material, mortal existence, wholly apart from God. We believed that the mind and body of man could be separated. We believed that sin, sickness, and death were inescapable.
Our Present Concept of Man
But now, our concept of man is greatly enlarged. We have learned that the Science of Being includes man. Think of the sum-total of all that God or Mind brings into expression, THAT IS MAN. Think of full representation of what God or Mind is mentally and spiritually, THAT IS MAN. Think of God or Mind presenting Himself, infinitely, presenting His faculties, His all-seeing, and allknowing, His infinite operations and movements, allenergy, all-action; what these are consciously to Him, as Himself, THAT IS MAN.
Think of God or Mind presenting Himself, again and again, to Himself, never twice alike; presenting His spiritual senses, His infinite elements of form, color, quality and quantity, THAT IS MAN. Think of God or Mind presenting again and again, His beauty, His art, His order, His immensity, THAT IS MAN AS REFLECTION OR EVIDENCE.
Man represents or evidences, infinitely and consciously, all that God, his Mind, is.
Let us think of man as the infinite Intelligence of God or Mind, as the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of God. Let us think of man as the immanence of God or Mind; as the compound of infinite ideas indwelling in their Cause or divine Principle. Let us think of man, the spiritual compound idea, as the subjectiveness or the essence of what God is, as Himself. What God or Mind knows Himself to be, MAN IS THAT.
A ray of light is the sun’s own shining. So let us think of each one of us right here as God’s own shining. Let us think of each one of us as God’s own consciousness living; as God’s own consciousness loving; as God’s own consciousness understanding; as God’s own conscious creating; as God’s own conscious Being. Man is the conscious activeness of God or Mind. All that God or Mind senses Himself to be, is man in His image and likeness.
God or Mind is presenting Himself at this time, as man, in far greater usefulness, far greater activity, a far greater measure of abundance and sublimity than we have ever known before. Life is being expressed more and more, in its original buoyancy, freshness, and fairness and freedom from restrictions.
Someone will say, all this that you say about man is beautiful, but it is far beyond what we can demonstrate in our present age. But, let us not forget that God or Mind demonstrates His own ALLNESS. All things are possible to
God. He is a living conscious Power that demonstrates Itself. He presents Himself in tangible, concrete proofs or demonstrations as man and the universe.
Our part, as Christian Scientists, is to abide in the spiritual fact that we are God’s image and likeness; that we are spiritual, not material; that we are, not shall be, perfect and immortal. We should not let the accuser be a law unto us, but we should be a law unto ourselves.
God and Man as One Being
I should like to repeat a paragraph that we used at the beginning of this morning’s lesson. Whenever we make the statements that “God and man is one inseparable Being” or that “Principle and its idea is one,” these statements may mean much to us in Christian Science, or they may be mere words to us.
This oneness, according to the theology of Jesus, means that man, as God’s idea of Himself, can do nothing. It means that God alone, without man, can do nothing, cannot even exist. Whatever is done within the realm of the spiritual universe, God alone without man does not do it. Whatever is done, whatever is the circumstance, or the event, God and man do it together as one inseparable Being.
If there were such a thing as sin in the world, it would be God and man sinning as one inseparable sin. If there was such a thing as death in the world, it would be God and man as one inseparable Being, dying and being death. Since we cannot attach sin and death to God, we cannot attach them to man, because God and man is one inseparable Being. God, without man, cannot be immortality. God and man as one inseparable Being is immortal Life. This understanding that God and man is one inseparable Being is indeed our Saviour. This is the divine theology that was taught by Jesus and presented to the world as Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”
Our coming together on these Association Days is not repetition in the usual sense. It is not doing just the same thing year after year. Each Association Day is a day of further revealment of higher unfoldments in our human consciousness, of those things which are already spiritual facts. This should be to us an inspirational day, a day in which to progress both mentally and spiritually. In each Association, there is at least one outstanding idea which, if accepted in consciousness, will unfold and bless, and heal us throughout the year. This right idea is a living, conscious, irresistible power which demonstrates itself, and works the works of God. There have been many healings during the past year by those students in the Association, who have learned to “be still and know” that this right idea or the Christ within his own consciousness demonstrates Itself. Like the Master Teacher, all teachers of Christian Science ascend into higher revealments of truth to their students. So, throughout this work, I shall amplify, enlarge, or elucidate the power of a divine idea when it is made active in human consciousness.
The power of right or divine ideas that we see and feel today, will become clearer and more real tomorrow. We become increasingly conscious of the power of these ideas by the increasing use we make of them. The unfoldment in our human consciousness of the power of divine ideas is infinite and limitless in scope, “since God is the light thereof.” This divine power will continue to unfold throughout all eternity.
Never in all history has the human mind expressed the qualities of Deity in such immeasurable degrees and in such concrete visible forms as at this present time. When correctly understood, the qualities of power, capacity, exactness, precision, coordination, etc., that are so outstanding in this world-conflict, are all evolved by divine Mind, and are in the divine Mind only.
Then the question arises, how can these divine qualities of power, and capacity, and coordination, etc., appear to us as destructive forces? It is because so-called mortal mind has translated these divine qualities and their functionings as destructive, and then sees and feels its own destructiveness objectified. Mortal mind is ignorant that God and His manifestation, man, is one inseparable Being.
We are learning that all these supposed destructive powers, hidden in the blind forces of matter, when correctly understood, are divine powers that adhere only in Spirit. Through the understanding of Christian Science, we are, more and more, translating all power, and substance, and action, as well as man and the universe, back into Spirit. It is through translation that the subjective qualities of Mind are revealed.