Communion Address, January, 1896 | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Communion Address, January, 1896

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         Friends and Brethren:—The Biblical record of the
         great Nazarene, whose character we to-day commemorate,
         is scanty; but what is given, puts to flight every doubt as
30    to the immortality of his words and works. Though


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1      written in a decaying language, his words can never pass
         away: they are inscribed upon the hearts of men: they
         are engraved upon eternity’s tablets.

         Undoubtedly our Master partook of the Jews’ feast
5      of the Passover, and drank from their festal wine-cup.
         This, however, is not the cup to which I call your at-
         tention,—even the cup of martyrdom: wherein Spirit
         and matter, good and evil, seem to grapple, and the
         human struggles against the divine, up to a point of
10    discovery; namely, the impotence of evil, and the om-
         nipotence of good, as divinely attested. Anciently, the
         blood of martyrs was believed to be the seed of the Church.
         Stalled theocracy would make this fatal doctrine just
         and sovereign, even a divine decree, a law of Love! That
15    the innocent shall suffer for the guilty, is inhuman. The
         prophet declared, “Thou shalt put away the guilt of
         innocent blood from Israel.” This is plain: that what-
         ever belittles, befogs, or belies the nature and essence of
         Deity, is not divine. Who, then, shall father or favor
20    this sentence passed upon innocence? thereby giving the
         signet of God to the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of His
         beloved Son, the righteous Nazarene,—christened by
         John the Baptist, “the Lamb of God.”

         Oh! shameless insult to divine royalty, that drew
25    from the great Master this answer to the questions of the
         rabbinical rabble: “If I tell you, ye will not believe; and
         if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.”

         Infinitely greater than human pity, is divine Love,—
         that cannot be unmerciful. Human tribunals, if just,
30    borrow their sense of justice from the divine Principle
         thereof, which punishes the guilty, not the innocent. The
         Teacher of both law and gospel construed the substitution


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1      of a good man to suffer for evil-doers—a crime! When
         foretelling his own crucifixion, he said, “Woe unto the
         world because of offenses! for it must needs be that
         offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense
5      cometh!”

         Would Jesus thus have spoken of what was indis-
         pensable for the salvation of a world of sinners, or of the
         individual instrument in this holy (?) alliance for accom-
         plishing such a monstrous work? or have said of him
10    whom God foreordained and predestined to fulfil a divine
         decree, “It were better for him that a millstone were
         hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the
         depth of the sea”?

         The divine order is the acme of mercy: it is neither
15    questionable nor assailable: it is not evil producing good,
         nor good ultimating in evil. Such an inference were
         impious. Holy Writ denounces him that declares, “Let
         us do evil, that good may come! whose damnation is
         just.”

20    Good is not educed from its opposite: and Love divine
         spurned, lessens not the hater’s hatred nor the criminal’s
         crime; nor reconciles justice to injustice; nor substitutes
         the suffering of the Godlike for the suffering due to sin.
         Neither spiritual bankruptcy nor a religious chancery can
25    win high heaven, or the “Well done, good and faithful
         servant,… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

         Divine Love knows no hate; for hate, or the hater, is
         nothing: God never made it, and He made all that was
         made. The hater’s pleasures are unreal; his sufferings,
30    self-imposed; his existence is a parody, and he ends—
         with suicide.

         The murder of the just Nazarite was incited by the


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1      same spirit that in our time massacres our missionaries,
         butchers the helpless Armenians, slaughters innocents.
         Evil was, and is, the illusion of breaking the First Com-
         mandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me:”
5      it is either idolizing something and somebody, or hating
         them: it is the spirit of idolatry, envy, jealousy, covet-
         ousness, superstition, lust, hypocrisy, witchcraft.

         That man can break the forever-law of infinite Love,
         was, and is, the serpent’s biggest lie! and ultimates in
10    a religion of pagan priests bloated with crime; a religion
         that demands human victims to be sacrificed to human
         passions and human gods, or tortured to appease the
         anger of a so-called god or a miscalled man or woman!
         The Assyrian Merodach, or the god of sin, was the “lucky
15    god;” and the Babylonian Yawa, or Jehovah, was the
         Jewish tribal deity. The Christian’s God is neither, and
         is too pure to behold iniquity.

         Divine Science has rolled away the stone from the sepul-
         chre of our Lord; and there has risen to the awakened
20    thought the majestic atonement of divine Love. The
         at-one-ment with Christ has appeared—not through
         vicarious suffering, whereby the just obtain a pardon for
         the unjust,—but through the eternal law of justice;
         wherein sinners suffer for their own sins, repent, forsake
25    sin, love God, and keep His commandments, thence to
         receive the reward of righteousness: salvation from sin,
         not through the death of a man, but through a divine Life,
         which is our Redeemer.

         Holy Writ declares that God is Love, is Spirit; hence
30    it follows that those who worship Him, must worship
         Him spiritually,—far apart from physical sensation
         such as attends eating and drinking corporeally. It is


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1      plain that aught unspiritual, intervening between God
         and man, would tend to disturb the divine order, and
         countermand the Scripture that those who worship the
         Father must worship Him in spirit. It is also plain,
5      that we should not seek and cannot find God in mat-
         ter, or through material methods; neither do we love
         and obey Him by means of matter, or the flesh,—which
         warreth against Spirit, and will not be reconciled
         thereto.

10    We turn, with sickened sense, from a pagan Jew’s
         or Moslem’s misconception of Deity, for peace; and find
         rest in the spiritual ideal, or Christ. For “who is so
         great a God as our God!” unchangeable, all-wise, all-
         just, all-merciful; the ever-loving, ever-living Life, Truth,
15    Love: comforting such as mourn, opening the prison
         doors to the captive, marking the unwinged bird, pitying
         with more than a father’s pity; healing the sick, cleansing
         the leper, raising the dead, saving sinners. As we think
         thereon, man’s true sense is filled with peace, and power;
20    and we say, It is well that Christian Science has taken
         expressive silence wherein to muse His praise, to kiss the
         feet of Jesus, adore the white Christ, and stretch out our
         arms to God.

         The last act of the tragedy on Calvary rent the veil
25    of matter, and unveiled Love’s great legacy to mortals:
         Love forgiving its enemies. This grand act crowned
         and still crowns Christianity: it manumits mortals; it
         translates love; it gives to suffering, inspiration; to
         patience, experience; to experience, hope; to hope, faith;
30    to faith, understanding; and to understanding, Love tri-
         umphant!

         In proportion to a man’s spiritual progress, he will


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1      indeed drink of our Master’s cup, and be baptized with
         his baptism! be purified as by fire,—the fires of suffering;
         then hath he part in Love’s atonement, for “whom the
         Lord loveth He chasteneth.” Then shall he also reign
5      with him: he shall rise to know that there is no sin,
         that there is no suffering; since all that is real is right.
         This knowledge enables him to overcome the world, the
         flesh, and all evil, to have dominion over his own sinful
         sense and self. Then shall he drink anew Christ’s cup,
10    in the kingdom of God—the reign of righteousness—
         within him; he shall sit down at the Father’s right hand:
         sit down; not stand waiting and weary; but rest on the
         bosom of God; rest, in the understanding of divine Love
         that passeth all understanding; rest, in that which “to
15    know aright is Life eternal,” and whom, not having seen,
         we love.

         Then shall he press on to Life’s long lesson, the eternal
         lore of Love; and learn forever the infinite meanings of
         these short sentences: “God is Love;” and, All that is
20    real is divine, for God is All-in-all.






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Love is the liberator.