Chapter 4 – Addresses – Extract From My First Address In The Mother Church, May 26, 1895 | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 4 – Addresses – Extract From My First Address In The Mother Church, May 26, 1895

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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         MAY 26, 1895

         Friends and Brethren: — Your Sunday Lesson, com-

18    posed of Scripture and its correlative in “Science and

         Health with Key to the Scriptures,” has fed you. In addi-

         tion, I can only bring crumbs fallen from this table of

21    Truth, and gather up the fragments.

         It has long been a question of earnest import, How

         shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most

24    unadored, — and where shall begin that praise that shall

         never end? Beneath, above, beyond, methinks I hear

         the soft, sweet sigh of angels answering, “So live, that

27    your lives attest your sincerity and resound His praise.”

         Music is the harmony of being; but the music of Soul

         affords the only strains that thrill the chords of feeling

30    and awaken the heart’s harpstrings. Moved by mind,

         your many-throated organ, in imitative tones of many

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1     instruments, praises Him; but even the sweetness and

         beauty in and of this temple that praise Him, are earth’s

3     accents, and must not be mistaken for the oracles of God.

         Art must not prevail over Science. Christianity is not

         superfluous. Its redemptive power is seen in sore trials,

6     self-denials, and crucifixions of the flesh. But these come

         to the rescue of mortals, to admonish them, and plant

         the feet steadfastly in Christ. As we rise above the seem-

9     ing mists of sense, we behold more clearly that all the

         heart’s homage belongs to God.

         More love is the great need of mankind. A pure af-

12    fection, concentric, forgetting self, forgiving wrongs and

         forestalling them, should swell the lyre of human love.

         Three cardinal points must be gained before poor

15    humanity is regenerated and Christian Science is dem-

         onstrated: (1) A proper sense of sin; (2) repentance;

         (3) the understanding of good. Evil is a negation: it

18    never started with time, and it cannot keep pace with

         eternity. Mortals’ false senses pass through three states

         and stages of human consciousness before yielding error.

21    The deluded sense must first be shown its falsity through

         a knowledge of evil as evil, so-called. Without a sense

         of one’s oft-repeated violations of divine law, the in-

24    dividual may become morally blind, and this deplorable

         mental state is moral idiocy. The lack of seeing one’s

         deformed mentality, and of repentance therefor, deep,

27    never to be repented of, is retarding, and in certain mor-

         bid instances stopping, the growth of Christian Scientists.

         Without a knowledge of his sins, and repentance so severe

30    that it destroys them, no person is or can be a Christian


         Mankind thinks either too much or too little of sin.

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1     The sensitive, sorrowing saint thinks too much of it: the

         sordid sinner, or the so-called Christian asleep, thinks too

3     little of sin.

         To allow sin of any sort is anomalous in Christian

         Scientists, claiming, as they do, that good is infinite, All.

6     Our Master, in his definition of Satan as a liar from the

         beginning, attested the absolute powerlessness — yea,

         nothingness — of evil: since a lie, being without founda-

9     tion in fact, is merely a falsity; spiritually, literally, it

         is nothing.

         Not to know that a false claim is false, is to be in danger

12    of believing it; hence the utility of knowing evil aright,

         then reducing its claim to its proper denominator, —

         nobody and nothing. Sin should be conceived of only

15    as a delusion. This true conception would remove mortals’

         ignorance and its consequences, and advance the second

         stage of human consciousness, repentance. The first

18    state, namely, the knowledge of one’s self, the proper

         knowledge of evil and its subtle workings wherein evil

         seems as real as good, is indispensable; since that which

21    is truly conceived of, we can handle; but the misconcep-

         tion of what we need to know of evil, — or the concep-

         tion of it at all as something real, — costs much. Sin

24    needs only to be known for what it is not; then we are

         its master, not servant. Remember, and act on, Jesus’

         definition of sin as a lie. This cognomen makes it less

27    dangerous; for most of us would not be seen believing

         in, or adhering to, that which we know to be untrue.

         What would be thought of a Christian Scientist who be-

30    lieved in the use of drugs, while declaring that they have

         no intrinsic quality and that there is no matter? What

         should be thought of an individual believing in that

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1     which is untrue, and at the same time declaring the unity

         of Truth, and its allness? Beware of those who mis-

3     represent facts; or tacitly assent where they should dis-

         sent; or who take me as authority for what I disapprove,

         or mayhap never have thought of, and try to reverse, in-

6     vert, or controvert, Truth; for this is a sure pretext of

         moral defilement.

         Examine yourselves, and see what, and how much, sin

9     claims of you; and how much of this claim you admit

         as valid, or comply with. The knowledge of evil that

         brings on repentance is the most hopeful stage of mortal

12    mentality. Even a mild mistake must be seen as a mis-

         take, in order to be corrected; how much more, then,

         should one’s sins be seen and repented of, before they

15    can be reduced to their native nothingness!

         Ignorance is only blest by reason of its nothingness;

         for seeing the need of somethingness in its stead, blesses

18    mortals. Ignorance was the first condition of sin in the

         allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Their

         mental state is not desirable, neither is a knowledge of

21    sin and its consequences, repentance, per se; but, ad-

         mitting the existence of both, mortals must hasten through

         the second to the third stage, — the knowledge of good;

24    for without this the valuable sequence of knowledge

         would be lacking, — even the power to escape from the

         false claims of sin. To understand good, one must discern

27    the nothingness of evil, and consecrate one’s life anew.

         Beloved brethren, Christ, Truth, saith unto you, “Be

         not afraid!” — fear not sin, lest thereby it master you;

30    but only fear to sin. Watch and pray for self-knowledge;

         since then, and thus, cometh repentance, — and your

         superiority to a delusion is won.

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1     Repentance is better than sacrifice. The costly balm

         of Araby, poured on our Master’s feet, had not the value

3     of a single tear.

         Beloved children, the world has need of you, — and

         more as children than as men and women: it needs your

6     innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontami-

         nated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you

         preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through

9     contact with the world. What grander ambition is there

         than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to

         know that your example, more than words, makes morals

12    for mankind !

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