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

Extract From My First Address In The Mother Church, May 26, 1895

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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Page 106

         Friends and Brethren:—Your Sunday Lesson, com-
         posed of Scripture and its correlative in “Science and
20    Health with Key to the Scriptures,” has fed you. In addi-
         tion, I can only bring crumbs fallen from this table of
         Truth, and gather up the fragments.

         It has long been a question of earnest import, How
         shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most
         unadored,—and where shall begin that praise that shall
25    never end? Beneath, above, beyond, methinks I hear
         the soft, sweet sigh of angels answering, “So live, that
         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

Page 107

1      instruments, praises Him; but even the sweetness and
         beauty in and of this temple that praise Him, are earth’s
         accents, and must not be mistaken for the oracles of God.
         Art must not prevail over Science. Christianity is not
5      superfluous. Its redemptive power is seen in sore trials,
         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-
         ing mists of sense, we behold more clearly that all the
10    heart’s homage belongs to God.

         More love is the great need of mankind. A pure af-
         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
         never started with time, and it cannot keep pace with
         eternity. Mortals’ false senses pass through three states
20    and stages of human consciousness before yielding error.
         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-
         dividual may become morally blind, and this deplorable
25    mental state is moral idiocy. The lack of seeing one’s
         deformed mentality, and of repentance therefor, deep,
         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.

Page 108

1      The sensitive, sorrowing saint thinks too much of it: the
         sordid sinner, or the so-called Christian asleep, thinks too
         little of sin.

         To allow sin of any sort is anomalous in Christian
5      Scientists, claiming, as they do, that good is infinite, All.
         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-
         tion in fact, is merely a falsity; spiritually, literally, it
10    is nothing.

         Not to know that a false claim is false, is to be in danger
         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
         state, namely, the knowledge of one’s self, the proper
         knowledge of evil and its subtle workings wherein evil
20    seems as real as good, is indispensable; since that which
         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
         needs only to be known for what it is not; then we are
25    its master, not servant. Remember, and act on, Jesus’
         definition of sin as a lie. This cognomen makes it less
         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

Page 109

1      which is untrue, and at the same time declaring the unity
         of Truth, and its allness? Beware of those who mis-
         represent facts; or tacitly assent where they should dis-
         sent; or who take me as authority for what I disapprove,
5      or mayhap never have thought of, and try to reverse, in-
         vert, or controvert, Truth; for this is a sure pretext of
         moral defilement.

         Examine yourselves, and see what, and how much, sin
         claims of you; and how much of this claim you admit
10    as valid, or comply with. The knowledge of evil that
         brings on repentance is the most hopeful stage of mortal
         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
         mortals. Ignorance was the first condition of sin in the
         allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Their
20    mental state is not desirable, neither is a knowledge of
         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;
         for without this the valuable sequence of knowledge
25    would be lacking,—even the power to escape from the
         false claims of sin. To understand good, one must discern
         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.

Page 110

1      Repentance is better than sacrifice. The costly balm
         of Araby, poured on our Master’s feet, had not the value
         of a single tear.

         Beloved children, the world has need of you,—and
5      more as children than as men and women: it needs your
         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
         contact with the world. What grander ambition is there
10    than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to
         know that your example, more than words, makes morals
         for mankind!

Address Before The Alumni Of The Massachusetts Metaphysical College, 1895

15    My Beloved Students:—Weeks have passed into
         months, and months into years, since last we met; but
         time and space, when encompassed by divine presence,
         do not separate us. Our hearts have kept time together,
         and our hands have wrought steadfastly at the same
20    object-lesson, while leagues have lain between us.

         We may well unite in thanksgiving for the continued
         progress and unprecedented prosperity of our Cause. It
         is already obvious that the world’s acceptance and the
         momentum of Christian Science, increase rapidly as
25    years glide on.

         As Christian Scientists, you have dared the perilous de-
         fense of Truth, and have succeeded. You have learned
         how fleeting is that which men call great; and how per-
         manent that which God calls good.

Page 111

1      You have proven that the greatest piety is scarcely
         sufficient to demonstrate what you have adopted and
         taught; that your work, well done, would dignify angels.

         Faithfully, as meekly, you have toiled all night; and
5      at break of day caught much. At times, your net has
         been so full that it broke: human pride, creeping into
         its meshes, extended it beyond safe expansion; then,
         losing hold of divine Love, you lost your fishes, and pos-
         sibly blamed others more than yourself. But those whom
10    God makes “fishers of men” will not pull for the shore;
         like Peter, they launch into the depths, cast their nets
         on the right side, compensate loss, and gain a higher sense
         of the true idea. Nothing is lost that God gives: had He
         filled the net, it would not have broken.

15    Leaving the seed of Truth to its own vitality, it propa-
         gates: the tares cannot hinder it. Our Master said,
         “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall
         not pass away;” and Jesus’ faith in Truth must not ex-
         ceed that of Christian Scientists who prove its power to
20    be immortal.

         The Christianity that is merely of sects, the pulpit, and
         fashionable society, is brief; but the Word of God abideth.
         Plato was a pagan; but no greater difference existed be-
         tween his doctrines and those of Jesus, than to-day exists
25    between the Catholic and Protestant sects. I love the
         orthodox church; and, in time, that church will love
         Christian Science. Let me specially call the attention of
         this Association to the following false beliefs inclining
         mortal mind more deviously:—

30    The belief in anti-Christ: that somebody in the flesh
         is the son of God, or is another Christ, or is a spiritually
         adopted child, or is an incarnated babe, is the evil one—

Page 112

1      in other words, the one evil—disporting itself with the
         subtleties of sin!

         Even honest thinkers, not knowing whence they come,
         may deem these delusions verities, before they know it,
5      or really look the illusions in the face. The ages are bur-
         dened with material modes. Hypnotism, microbes, X-rays,
         and ex-common sense, occupy time and thought; and
         error, given new opportunities, will improve them. The
         most just man can neither defend the innocent nor detect
10    the guilty, unless he knows how to be just; and this knowl-
         edge demands our time and attention.

         The mental stages of crime, which seem to belong to
         the latter days, are strictly classified in metaphysics as
         some of the many features and forms of what is properly
15    denominated, in extreme cases, moral idiocy. I visited
         in his cell the assassin of President Garfield, and found
         him in the mental state called moral idiocy. He had no
         sense of his crime; but regarded his act as one of simple
         justice, and himself as the victim. My few words touched
20    him; he sank back in his chair, limp and pale; his flip-
         pancy had fled. The jailer thanked me, and said, “Other
         visitors have brought to him bouquets, but you have
         brought what will do him good.”

         This mental disease at first shows itself in extreme
25    sensitiveness; then, in a loss of self-knowledge and of
         self-condemnation,—a shocking inability to see one’s
         own faults, but an exaggerating sense of other people’s.
         Unless this mental condition be overcome, it ends in a
         total loss of moral, intellectual, and spiritual discernment,
30    and is characterized in this Scripture: “The fool hath
         said in his heart, There is no God.” This state of mind
         is the exemplification of total depravity, and the result

Page 113

1      of sensuous mind in matter. Mind that is God is not in
         matter; and God’s presence gives spiritual light, wherein
         is no darkness.

         If, as is indisputably true, “God is Spirit,” and Spirit
5      is our Father and Mother, and that which it includes is
         all that is real and eternal, when evil seems to predomi-
         nate and divine light to be obscured, free moral agency
         is lost; and the Revelator’s vision, that “no man might
         buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the
10    beast, or the number of his name,” is imminent.

         Whoever is mentally manipulating human mind, and
         is not gaining a higher sense of Truth by it, is losing in
         the scale of moral and spiritual being, and may be car-
         ried to the depths of perdition by his own consent. He
15    who refuses to be influenced by any but the divine Mind,
         commits his way to God, and rises superior to sugges-
         tions from an evil source. Christian Science shows that
         there is a way of escape from the latter-day ultimatum
         of evil, through scientific truth; so that all are without
20    excuse.

         Already I clearly recognize that mental malpractice,
         if persisted in, will end in insanity, dementia, or moral
         idiocy. Thank God! this evil can be resisted by true
         Christianity. Divine Love is our hope, strength, and
25    shield. We have nothing to fear when Love is at the
         helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and
         in heaven.

         The systematized centres of Christian Science are life-
         giving fountains of truth. Our churches, The Christian
30    Science Journal
, and the Christian Science Quarterly,
         are prolific sources of spiritual power whose intellectual,
         moral, and spiritual animus is felt throughout the land.

Page 114

1      Our Publishing Society, and our Sunday Lessons, are
         of inestimable value to all seekers after Truth. The Com-
         mittee on Sunday School Lessons cannot give too much
         time and attention to their task, and should spare no
5      research in the preparation of the Quarterly as an educa-
         tional branch.

         The teachers of Christian Science need to watch inces-
         santly the trend of their own thoughts; watch that these
         be not secretly robbed, and themselves misguided, and
10    so made to misteach others. Teachers must conform
         strictly to the rules of divine Science announced in the
         Bible and their textbook, “Science and Health with Key
         to the Scriptures.” They must themselves practise, and
         teach others to practise, the Hebrew Decalogue, the Ser-
15    mon on the Mount, and the understanding and enuncia-
         tion of these according to Christ.

         They must always have on armor, and resist the foe
         within and without. They cannot arm too thoroughly
         against original sin, appearing in its myriad forms: pass-
20    sion, appetites, hatred, revenge, and all the et cetera of
         evil. Christian Scientists cannot watch too sedulously,
         or bar their doors too closely, or pray to God too fer-
         vently, for deliverance from the claims of evil. Thus
         doing, Scientists will silence evil suggestions, uncover
25    their methods, and stop their hidden influence upon the
         lives of mortals. Rest assured that God in His wisdom
         will test all mankind on all questions; and then, if found
         faithful, He will deliver us from temptation and show us
         the powerlessness of evil,—even its utter nothingness.

30    The teacher in Christian Science who does not spe-
         cially instruct his pupils how to guard against evil and
         its silent modes, and to be able, through Christ, the liv-

Page 115

1      ing Truth, to protect themselves therefrom, is commit-
         ting an offense against God and humanity. With Science
         and Health for their textbook, I am astounded at the
         apathy of some students on the subject of sin and mental
5      malpractice, and their culpable ignorance of the work-
         ing of these—and even the teacher’s own deficiency in
         this department. I can account for this state of mind in
         the teacher only as the result of sin; otherwise, his own
         guilt as a mental malpractitioner, and fear of being found
10    out.

         The helpless ignorance of the community on this sub-
         ject is pitiable, and plain to be seen. May God enable
         my students to take up the cross as I have done, and meet
         the pressing need of a proper preparation of heart to prac-
15    tise, teach, and live Christian Science! Your means of
         protection and defense from sin are, constant watchful-
         ness and prayer that you enter not into temptation and
         are delivered from every claim of evil, till you intelligently
         know and demonstrate, in Science, that evil has neither
20    prestige, power, nor existence, since God, good, is All-

         The increasing necessity for relying on God to de-
         fend us against the subtler forms of evil, turns us more
         unreservedly to Him for help, and thus becomes a means
25    of grace. If one lives rightly, every effort to hurt one
         will only help that one; for God will give the ability to
         overcome whatever tends to impede progress. Know
         this: that you cannot overcome the baneful effects of
         sin on yourself, if you in any way indulge in sin; for,
30    sooner or later, you will fall the victim of your own as
         well as of others’ sins. Using mental power in the right
         direction only, doing to others as you would have them

Page 116

1      do to you, will overcome evil with good, and destroy
         your own sensitiveness to the power of evil.

         The God of all grace be with you, and save you from
         “spiritual wickedness in high places.”

         June 3, 1895

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Love is the liberator.