Message for 1900 | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Message for 1900

Message to The Mother Church, Boston, Massachusetts, June, 1900 by

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1      MY beloved brethren, methinks even I am touched
         with the tone of your happy hearts, and can see
3      your glad faces, aglow with gratitude, chinked within the
         storied walls of The Mother Church. If, indeed, we may
         be absent from the body and present with the ever-present
6      Love filling all space, time, and immortality — then I am
         with thee, heart answering to heart, and mine to thine in
         the glow of divine reflection.

9      I am grateful to say that in the last year of the nine-
         teenth century this first church of our denomination,
         chartered in 1879, is found crowned with unprecedented
12    prosperity; a membership of over sixteen thousand com-
         municants in unity, with rapidly increasing numbers, rich
         spiritual attainments, and right convictions fast forming
15    themselves into conduct.

         Christian Science already has a hearing and following
         in the five grand divisions of the globe; in Australia, the
18    Philippine Islands, Hawaiian Islands; and in most of the
         principal cities, such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
         Washington, Baltimore, Charleston, S. C., Atlanta, New
21    Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, San
         Francisco, Montreal, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Paris,
         Berlin, Rome, Pekin. Judging from the number of the
24    readers of my books and those interested in them, over a

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1      million of people are already interested in Christian
         Science; and this interest increases. Churches of this
3      denomination are springing up in the above-named cities,
         and, thanks to God, the people most interested in this
         old-new theme of redeeming Love are among the best people
6      on earth and in heaven.

         The song of Christian Science is, “Work — work –
         work — watch and pray.” The close observer reports
9       three types of human nature — the right thinker and
         worker, the idler, and the intermediate.

         The right thinker works; he gives little time to society
12    manners or matters, and benefits society by his example
         and usefulness. He takes no time for amusement, ease,
         frivolity; he earns his money and gives it wisely to the
15    world.

         The wicked idler earns little and is stingy; he has
         plenty of means, but he uses them evilly. Ask how he
18    gets his money, and his satanic majesty is supposed to
         answer smilingly: “By cheating, lying, and crime; his
         dupes are his capital; his stock in trade, the wages of sin;
21    your idlers are my busiest workers; they will leave a
         lucrative business to work for me.” Here we add: The
         doom of such workers will come, and it will be more sudden,
24    severe, and lasting than the adversary can hope.

         The intermediate worker works at times. He says:
         “It is my duty to take some time for myself; however, I
27    believe in working when it is convenient.” Well, all that
         is good. But what of the fruits of your labors? And he
         answers: “I am not so successful as I could wish, but I
30    work hard enough to be so.”

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1      Now, what saith Christian Science? “When a man is
         right, his thoughts are right, active, and they are fruitful;
3      he loses self in love, and cannot hear himself, unless he
         loses the chord. The right thinker and worker does his
         best, and does the thinking for the ages. No hand that
6      feels not his help, no heart his comfort. He improves
         moments; to him time is money, and he hoards this capital
         to distribute gain.”

9      If the right thinker and worker’s servitude is duly valued,
         he is not thereby worshipped. One’s idol is by no means
         his servant, but his master. And they who love a good
12    work or good workers are themselves workers who appre-
         ciate a life, and labor to awake the slumbering capability
         of man. And what the best thinker and worker has said
15    and done, they are not far from saying and doing. As a
         rule the Adam-race are not apt to worship the pioneer
         of spiritual ideas, — but ofttimes to shun him as their
18    tormentor. Only the good man loves the right thinker
         and worker, and cannot worship him, for that would de-
         stroy this man’s goodness.

21    To-day it surprises us that during the period of captivity
         the Israelites in Babylon hesitated not to call the divine
         name Yahwah, afterwards transcribed Jehovah; also
24    that women’s names contained this divine appellative and
         so sanctioned idolatry, — other gods. In the heathen
         conception Yahwah, misnamed Jehovah, was a god of
27    hate and of love, who repented himself, improved on his
         work of creation, and revenged himself upon his enemies.
         However, the animus of heathen religion was not the in-
30    centive of the devout Jew — but has it not tainted the reli-

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1      gious sects? This seedling misnomer couples love and
         hate, good and evil, health and sickness, life and death,
3      with man — makes His opposites as real and normal as
         the one God, and so unwittingly consents to many minds
         and many gods. This precedent that would commingle
6      Christianity, the gospel of the New Testament and the
         teaching of the righteous Galilean, Christ Jesus, with the
         Babylonian and Neoplatonic religion, is being purged by
9      a purer Judaism and nearer approach to monotheism and
         the perfect worship of one God.

         To-day people are surprised at the new and forward
12    steps in religion, which indicate a renaissance greater than
         in the mediaeval period; but ought not this to be an agree-
         able surprise, inasmuch as these are progressive signs of
15    the times?

         It should seem rational that the only perfect religion is
         divine Science, Christianity as taught by our great Master;
18    that which leaves the beaten path of human doctrines and
         is the truth of God, and of man and the universe. The
         divine Principle and rules of this Christianity being de-
21    monstrable, they are undeniable; and they must be found
         final, absolute, and eternal. The question as to religion
         is: Does it demonstrate its doctrines? Do religionists
24    believe that God is One and All? Then whatever is real
         must proceed from God, from Mind, and is His reflection
         and Science. Man and the universe coexist with God in
27    Science, and they reflect God and nothing else. In divine
         Science, divine Love includes and reflects all that really
         is, all personality and individuality. St. Paul beautifully
30    enunciates this fundamental fact of Deity as the “Father

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         of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
         This scientific statement of the origin, nature, and govern-
3      ment of all things coincides with the First Commandment
         of the Decalogue, and leaves no opportunity for idolatry
         or aught besides God, good. It gives evil no origin, no
6      reality. Here note the words of our Master corroborating
         this as self-evident. Jesus said the opposite of God –
         good — named devil — evil — “is a liar, and the father
9      of it” — that is, its origin is a myth, a lie.

         Applied to Deity, Father and Mother are synonymous
         terms; they signify one God. Father, Son, and Holy
12    Ghost mean God, man, and divine Science. God is self-
         existent, the essence and source of the two latter, and their
         office is that of eternal, infinite individuality. I see no
15    other way under heaven and among men whereby to have
         one God, and man in His image and likeness, loving an-
         other as himself. This being the divine Science of divine
18    Love, it would enable man to escape from idolatry of
         every kind, to obey the First Commandment of the Deca-
         logue: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me;”
21    and the command of Christ: “Love thy neighbor as thy-
         self.” On this rock Christian Science is built. It may
         be the rock which the builders reject for a season; but
24    it is the Science of God and His universe, and it will be-
         come the head of the corner, the foundation of all systems
         of religion.

27    The spiritual sense of the Scriptures understood enables
         one to utilize the power of divine Love in casting out God’s
         opposites, called evils, and in healing the sick. Not mad-
30    ness, but might and majesty attend every footstep of

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1      Christian Science. There is no imperfection, no lack in
         the Principle and rules which demonstrate it. Only the
3      demonstrator can mistake or fail in proving its power and
         divinity. In the words of St. Paul: “I count not myself
         to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting
6      those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those
         things which are before, I press toward the mark for the
         prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — in the
9      true idea of God. Any mystery in Christian Science de-
         parts when dawns the spiritual meaning thereof; and the
         spiritual sense of the Scriptures is the scientific sense which
12    interprets the healing Christ. A child can measurably
         understand Christian Science, for, through his simple faith
         and purity, he takes in its spiritual sense that puzzles the
15    man. The child not only accepts Christian Science more
         readily than the adult, but he practises it. This notable
         fact proves that the so-called fog of this Science obtains
18    not in the Science, but in the material sense which the
         adult entertains of it. However, to a man who uses to-
         bacco, is profane, licentious, and breaks God’s com-
21    mandments, that which destroys his false appetites and
         lifts him from the stubborn thrall of sin to a meek and
         loving disciple of Christ, clothed and in his right mind, is
24    not darkness but light.

         Again, that Christian Science is the Science of God is
         proven when, in the degree that you accept it, understand
27    and practise it, you are made better physically, morally,
         and spiritually. Some modern exegesis on the prophetic
         Scriptures cites 1875 as the year of the second coming of
30    Christ. In that year the Christian Science textbook,

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1      “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” was
         first published. From that year the United States official
3      statistics show the annual death-rate to have gradually
         diminished. Likewise the religious sentiment has in-
         creased; creeds and dogmas have been sifted, and a
6      greater love of the Scriptures manifested. In 1895 it was
         estimated that during the past three years there had been
         more Bibles sold than in all the other 1893 years. Many
9      of our best and most scholarly men and women, distin-
         guished members of the bar and bench, press and pulpit,
         and those in all the walks of life, will tell you they never
12    loved the Bible and appreciated its worth as they did after
         reading “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. “
         This is my great reward for having suffered, lived, and
15    learned, in a small degree, the Science of perfectibility
         through Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

         Is there more than one Christ, and hath Christ a second
18    appearing? There is but one Christ. And from ever-
         lasting to everlasting this Christ is never absent. In doubt
         and darkness we say as did Mary of old: “I know not
21    where they have laid him.” But when we behold the
         Christ walking the wave of earth’s troubled sea, like Peter
         we believe in the second coming, and would walk more
24    closely with Christ; but find ourselves so far from the em-
         bodiment of Truth that ofttimes this attempt measurably
         fails, and we cry, “Save, or I perish !” Then the tender,
27    loving Christ is found near, affords help, and we are saved
         from our fears. Thus it is we walk here below, and wait
         for the full appearing of Christ till the long night is past
30    and the morning dawns on eternal day. Then, if sin and

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1      flesh are put off, we shall know and behold more nearly
         the embodied Christ, and with saints and angels shall be
3      satisfied to go on till we awake in his likeness.

         The good man imparts knowingly and unknowingly
         goodness; but the evil man also exhales consciously and
6      unconsciously his evil nature — hence, be careful of your
         company. As in the floral kingdom odors emit character-
         istics of tree and flower, a perfume or a poison, so the hu-
9      man character comes forth a blessing or a bane upon
         individuals and society. A wicked man has little real
         intelligence; he may steal other people’s good thoughts,
12    and wear the purloined garment as his own, till God’s
         discipline takes it off for his poverty to appear.

         Our Master saith to his followers: “Bring forth things
15    new and old.” In this struggle remember that sensitive-
         ness is sometimes selfishness, and that mental idleness or
         apathy is always egotism and animality. Usefulness is
18    doing rightly by yourself and others. We lose a percentage
         due to our activity when doing the work that belongs to
         another. When a man begins to quarrel with himself he
21    stops quarrelling with others. We must exterminate self
         before we can successfully war with mankind. Then, at
         last, the right will boil over the brim of life and the fire
24    that purifies sense with Soul will be extinguished. It is not
         Science for the wicked to wallow or the good to weep.
         Learn to obey; but learn first what obedience is.
27    When God speaks to you through one of His little ones,
         and you obey the mandate but retain a desire to follow
         your own inclinations, that is not obedience. I some-
30    times advise students not to do certain things which I

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1      know it were best not to do, and they comply with my
         counsel; but, watching them, I discern that this obedience
3      is contrary to their inclination. Then I sometimes with-
         draw that advice and say: “You may do it if you de-
         sire.” But I say this not because it is the best thing to
6      do, but because the student is not willing — therefore,
         not ready — to obey.

         The secret of Christian Science in right thinking and
9      acting is open to mankind, but few, comparatively, see it;
         or, seeing it, shut their eyes and wait for a more convenient
         season; or as of old cry out: “Why art thou come hither
12    to torment me before the time?”

         Strong desires bias human judgment and misguide ac-
         tion, else they uplift them. But the reformer continues
15    his lightning, thunder, and sunshine till the mental at-
         mosphere is clear. The reformer must be a hero at all
         points, and he must have conquered himself before he can
18    conquer others. Sincerity is more successful than genius
         or talent.

         The twentieth century in the ebb and flow of thought
21    will challenge the thinkers, speakers, and workers to do
         their best. Whosoever attempts to ostracize Christian
         Science will signally fail; for no one can fight against God,
24    and win.

         My loyal students will tell you that for many years I
         have desired to step aside and to have some one take my
27    place as leader of this mighty movement. Also that I
         strove earnestly to fit others for this great responsibility.
         But no one else has seemed equal to “bear the burden and
30    heat of the day.”

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1      Success in sin is downright defeat. Hatred bites the
         heel of love that is treading on its head. All that worketh
3      good is some manifestation of God asserting and develop-
         ing good. Evil is illusion, that after a fight vanisheth with
         the new birth of the greatest and best. Conflict and perse-
6      cution are the truest signs that can be given of the greatness
         of a cause or of an individual, provided this warfare is
         honest and a world-imposed struggle. Such conflict never
9      ends till unconquerable right is begun anew, and hath
         gained fresh energy and final victory.

         Certain elements in human nature would undermine
12    the civic, social, and religious rights and laws of nations
         and peoples, striking at liberty, human rights, and self-
         government — and this, too, in the name of God, justice,
15    and humanity ! These elements assail even the new-old
         doctrines of the prophets and of Jesus and his disciples.
         History shows that error repeats itself until it is extermi-
18    nated. Surely the wisdom of our forefathers is not added
         but subtracted from whatever sways the sceptre of self and
         pelf over individuals, weak provinces, or peoples. Here
21    our hope anchors in God who reigns, and justice and judg-
         ment are the habitation of His throne forever.

         Only last week I received a touching token of unselfed
24    manhood from a person I never saw. But since publishing
         Page I have learned it was a private soldier who sent
         to me, in the name of a first lieutenant of the United States
27    infantry in the Philippine Islands, ten five-dollar gold
         pieces snuggled in Pears’ soap. Surely it is enough for a
         soldier serving his country in that torrid zone to part with
30    his soap, but to send me some of his hard-earned money

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1      cost me a tear! Yes, and it gave me more pleasure than
         millions of money could have given.

3      Beloved brethren, have no discord over music. Hold
         in yourselves the true sense of harmony, and this sense
         will harmonize, unify, and unself you. Once I was pas-
6      sionately fond of material music, but jarring elements
         among musicians weaned me from this love and wedded
         me to spiritual music, the music of Soul. Thus it is with
9      whatever turns mortals away from earth to heaven; we
         have the promise that “all things work together for good
         to them that love God,” — love good. The human sigh
12    for peace and love is answered and compensated by divine
         love. Music is more than sound in unison. The deaf
         Beethoven besieges you with tones intricate, profound,
15    commanding. Mozart rests you. To me his composition
         is the triumph of art, for he measures himself against
         deeper grief. I want not only quality, quantity, and vari-
18    ation in tone, but the unction of Love. Music is divine.
         Mind, not matter, makes music; and if the divine tone be
         lacking, the human tone has no melody for me. Adelaide
21    A. Proctor breathes my thought: —

         It flooded the crimson twilight
         Like the close of an angel’s psalm,
24     And it lay on my fevered spirit
         With a touch of infinite calm.

         In Revelation St. John refers to what “the Spirit saith
27    unto the churches.” His allegories are the highest criticism
         on all human action, type, and system. His symbolic
         ethics bravely rebuke lawlessness. His types of purity

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1      pierce corruption beyond the power of the pen. They are
         bursting paraphrases projected from divinity upon human-
3      ity, the spiritual import whereof “holdeth the seven stars
         in His right hand and walketh in the midst of the seven
         golden candlesticks” — the radiance of glorified Being.

6      In Revelation, second chapter, his messages to the
         churches commence with the church of Ephesus. History
         records Ephesus as an illustrious city, the capital of Asia
9      Minor. It especially flourished as an emporium in the
         time of the Roman Emperor Augustus. St. Paul’s life
         furnished items concerning this city. Corresponding to
12    its roads, its gates, whence the Ephesian elders travelled to
         meet St. Paul, led northward and southward. At the head
         of the harbor was the temple of Diana, the tutelary divinity
15    of Ephesus. The earlier temple was burned on the night
         that Alexander the Great was born. Magical arts pre-
         vailed at Ephesus; hence the Revelator’s saying: “I
18    have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy
         first love . . . and will remove thy candlestick out of his
         place, except thou repent.” This prophecy has been ful-
21    filled. Under the influence of St. Paul’s preaching the
         magical books in that city were publicly burned. It were
         well if we had a St. Paul to purge our cities of charlatanism.
24    During St. Paul’s stay in that city — over two years — he
         labored in the synagogue, in the school of Tyrannus, and
         also in private houses. The entire city is now in ruins.

27    The Revelation of St. John in the apostolic age is sym-
         bolic, rather than personal or historical. It refers to the
         Hebrew Balaam as the devourer of the people. Nicolaitan
30    church presents the phase of a great controversy, ready to

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1      destroy the unity and the purity of the church. It is said
         “a controversy was inevitable when the Gentiles entered
3      the church of Christ” in that city. The Revelator com-
         mends the church at Ephesus by saying: “Thou hatest
         the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.” It is
6      written of this church that their words were brave and their
         deeds evil. The orgies of their idolatrous feasts and their
         impurities were part of a system supported by their doc-
9      trine and their so-called prophetic illumination. Their
         distinctive feature the apostle justly regards as heathen,
         and so he denounces the Nicolaitan church.

12    Alexander the Great founded the city of Smyrna, and
         after a series of wars it was taken and sacked. The Reve-
         lator writes of this church of Smyrna: “Be thou faithful
15    unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” A glad
         promise to such as wait and weep.

         The city of Pergamos was devoted to a sensual worship.
18    There AEsculapius, the god of medicine, acquired fame;
         and a serpent was the emblem of AEsculapius. Its medical
         practice included charms and incantations. The Reve-
21    lator refers to the church in this city as dwelling “where
         Satan’s seat is.” The Pergamene church consisted of the
         school of Balaam and AEsculapius, idolatry and medicine.
24    The principal deity in the city of Thyatira was Apollo.
         Smith writes: “In this city the amalgamation of different
         pagan religions seems not to have been wholly discoun-
27    tenanced by the authorities of the Judaeo-Christian

         The Revelator speaks of the angel of the church in
30    Philadelphia as being bidden to write the approval of this

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1      church by our Master — he saith: “Thou hast a little
         strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my
3      name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of
         Satan . . . to know that I have loved thee. . . . Hold
         that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

6      He goes on to portray seven churches, the full number
         of days named in the creation, which signifies a complete
         time or number of whatever is spoken of in the Scriptures.
9      Beloved, let him that hath an ear (that discerneth spirit-
         ually) hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; and
         seek thou the divine import of the Revelator’s vision –
12    and no other. Note his inspired rebuke to all the churches
         except the church in Philadelphia-the name whereof
         signifies “brotherly love.” I call your attention to this
15    to remind you of the joy you have had in following the
         more perfect way, or Golden Rule: “As ye would that
         men should do to you, do ye.” Let no root of bitterness
18    spring up among you, but hold in your full hearts fervently
         the charity that seeketh not only her own, but another’s
         good. The angel that spake unto the churches cites Jesus
21    as “he that hath the key of David; that openeth and no
         man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth;” in
         other words, he that toiled for the spiritually indispensable.

24    At all times respect the character and philanthropy of
         the better class of M.D.’s — and if you are stoned from
         the pulpit, say in your heart as the devout St. Stephen said:
27    “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”

         When invited to a feast you naturally ask who are to be
         the guests. And being told they are distinguished indi-
30    viduals, you prepare accordingly for the festivity. Putting

Page 15

1      aside the old garment, you purchase, at whatever price, a
         new one that is up to date. To-day you have come to a
3      sumptuous feast, to one that for many years has been await-
         ing you. The guests are distinguished above human title
         and this feast is a Passover. To sit at this table of their
6      Lord and partake of what divine Love hath prepared for
         them, Christian Scientists start forward with true ambi-
         tion. The Passover, spiritually discerned, is a wonderful
9      passage over a tear-filled sea of repentance — which of
         all human experience is the most divine; and after this
         Passover cometh victory, faith, and good works.

12    When a supercilious consciousness that saith “there is
         no sin,” has awakened to see through sin’s disguise the
         claim of sin, and thence to see that sin has no claim, it
15    yields to sharp conviction — it sits in sackcloth — it waits
         in the desert — and fasts in the wilderness. But all this
         time divine Love has been preparing a feast for this
18    awakened consciousness. To-day you have come to Love’s
         feast, and you kneel at its altar. May you have on a wed-
         ding garment new and old, and the touch of the hem of
21    his garment heal the sick and the sinner!

         In the words of St. John, may the angel of The Mother
         Church write of this church: “Thou hast not left thy first
24    love, I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith,
         and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more
         than the first.”

27    Watch! till the storms are o’er –
         The cold blasts done,
         The reign of heaven begun,
30    And love, the evermore.

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