Chapter 4 – Addresses – Extract From My First Address In The Mother Church, May 26, 1895
From Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 !