Science And The Senses
From Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy
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Substance of my Address at the National Convention in Chicago,
June 13, 1888
The National Christian Scientist Association has
10 brought us together to minister and to be ministered
unto; mutually to aid one another in finding ways and
means for helping the whole human family; to quicken
and extend the interest already felt in a higher mode of
medicine; to watch with eager joy the individual growth
15 of Christian Scientists, and the progress of our common
Cause in Chicago,—the miracle of the Occident. We
come to strengthen and perpetuate our organizations
and institutions; and to find strength in union,—strength
to build up, through God’s right hand, that pure and
20 undefiled religion whose Science demonstrates God and
the perfectibility of man. This purpose is immense,
and it must begin with individual growth, a “consum-
mation devoutly to be wished.” The lives of all re-
formers attest the authenticity of their mission, and call
25 the world to acknowledge its divine Principle. Truly
is it written:—
“Thou must be true thyself, if thou the truth would’st teach;
Thy heart must overflow, if thou another’s heart would’st reach.”
1 Science is absolute and final. It is revolutionary in
its very nature; for it upsets all that is not upright.
It annuls false evidence, and saith to the five material
senses, “Having eyes ye see not, and ears ye hear not;
5 neither can you understand.” To weave one thread of
Science through the looms of time, is a miracle in itself.
The risk is stupendous. It cost Galileo, what? This
awful price: the temporary loss of his self-respect. His
fear overcame his loyalty; the courage of his convictions
10 fell before it. Fear is the weapon in the hands of
Men and women of the nineteenth century, are you
called to voice a higher order of Science? Then obey
this call. Go, if you must, to the dungeon or the scaf-
15 fold, but take not back the words of Truth. How many
are there ready to suffer for a righteous cause, to stand
a long siege, take the front rank, face the foe, and be
in the battle every day?
In no other one thing seemed Jesus of Nazareth more
20 divine than in his faith in the immortality of his words.
He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
words shall not pass away;” and they have not. The
winds of time sweep clean the centuries, but they can
never bear into oblivion his words. They still live, and
25 to-morrow speak louder than to-day. They are to-day
as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make
straight God’s paths; make way for health, holiness,
universal harmony, and come up hither.” The gran-
deur of the word, the power of Truth, is again casting
30 out evils and healing the sick; and it is whispered, “This
Jesus taught by the wayside, in humble homes. He
1 spake of Truth and Love to artless listeners and dull
disciples. His immortal words were articulated in a
decaying language, and then left to the providence of
God. Christian Science was to interpret them; and
5 woman, “last at the cross,” was to awaken the dull senses,
intoxicated with pleasure or pain, to the infinite meaning
of those words.
Past, present, future, will show the word and might of
Truth—healing the sick and reclaiming the sinner—
10 so long as there remains a claim of error for Truth to
deny or to destroy. Love’s labors are not lost. The
five personal senses, that grasp neither the meaning nor
the magnitude of self-abnegation, may lose sight thereof;
but Science voices unselfish love, unfolds infinite good,
15 leads on irresistible forces, and will finally show the fruits
of Love. Human reason is inaccurate; and the scope
of the senses is inadequate to grasp the word of Truth,
and teach the eternal.
Science speaks when the senses are silent, and then
20 the evermore of Truth is triumphant. The spiritual mon-
itor understood is coincidence of the divine with the
human, the acme of Christian Science. Pure humanity,
friendship, home, the interchange of love, bring to earth
a foretaste of heaven. They unite terrestrial and celes-
25 tial joys, and crown them with blessings infinite.
The Christian Scientist loves man more because he
loves God most. He understands this Principle,—Love.
Who is sufficient for these things? Who remembers that
patience, forgiveness, abiding faith, and affection, are
30 the symptoms by which our Father indicates the dif-
ferent stages of man’s recovery from sin and his en-
trance into Science? Who knows how the feeble lips
1 are made eloquent, how hearts are inspired, how heal-
ing becomes spontaneous, and how the divine Mind is
understood and demonstrated? He alone knows these
wonders who is departing from the thraldom of the
5 senses and accepting spiritual truth,—that which blesses
its adoption by the refinement of joy and the dismissal of
Christian Science and the senses are at war. It is a
revolutionary struggle. We already have had two in
10 this nation; and they began and ended in a contest for
the true idea, for human liberty and rights. Now cometh
a third struggle; for the freedom of health, holiness, and
the attainment of heaven.
The scientific sense of being which establishes har-
15 mony, enters into no compromise with finiteness and
feebleness. It undermines the foundations of mortality,
of physical law, breaks their chains, and sets the captive
free, opening the doors for them that are bound.
He who turns to the body for evidence, bases his con-
clusions on mortality, on imperfection; but Science saith
20 to man, “God hath all-power.”
The Science of omnipotence demonstrates but one
power, and this power is good, not evil; not matter,
but Mind. This virtually destroys matter and evil, in-
25 cluding sin and disease.
If God is All, and God is good, it follows that all
must be good; and no other power, law, or intelligence
can exist. On this proof rest premise and conclusion in
Science, and the facts that disprove the evidence of the
God is individual Mind. This one Mind and His
individuality comprise the elements of all forms and
1 individualities, and prophesy the nature and stature of
Christ, the ideal man.
A corporeal God, as often defined by lexicographers
and scholastic theologians, is only an infinite finite being,
5 an unlimited man,—a theory to me inconceivable. If
the unlimited and immortal Mind could originate in a
limited body, Mind would be chained to finity, and the
infinite forever finite.
In this limited and lower sense God is not personal.
10 His infinity precludes the possibility of corporeal person-
ality. His being is individual, but not physical.
God is like Himself and like nothing else. He is uni-
versal and primitive. His character admits of no degrees
of comparison. God is not part, but the whole. In His
15 individuality I recognize the loving, divine Father-Mother
God. Infinite personality must be incorporeal.
God’s ways are not ours. His pity is expressed in
modes above the human. His chastisements are the
manifestations of Love. The sympathy of His eternal
20 Mind is fully expressed in divine Science, which blots
out all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. Human
pity often brings pain.
Science supports harmony, denies suffering, and de-
stroys it with the divinity of Truth. Whatever seems mate-
25 rial, seems thus only to the material senses, and is but the
subjective state of mortal and material thought.
Science has inaugurated the irrepressible conflict be-
tween sense and Soul. Mortal thought wars with this
sense as one that beateth the air, but Science outmasters
30 it, and ends the warfare. This proves daily that “one
on God’s side is a majority.”
Science defines omnipresence as universality, that which
1 precludes the presence of evil. This verity annuls the tes-
timony of the senses, which say that sin is an evil power,
and substance is perishable. Intelligent Spirit, Soul, is
substance, far more impregnable and solid than matter; for
5 one is temporal, while the other is eternal, the ultimate
and predicate of being.
Mortality, materiality, and destructive forces, such as
sin, disease, and death, mortals virtually name substance;
but these are the substance of things not hoped for. For
10 lack of knowing what substance is, the senses say vaguely:
“The substance of life is sorrow and mortality; for who
knoweth the substance of good?” In Science, form and
individuality are never lost, thoughts are outlined, indi-
vidualized ideas, which dwell forever in the divine Mind
15 as tangible, true substance, because eternally conscious.
Unlike mortal mind, which must be ever in bondage,
the eternal Mind is free, unlimited, and knows not the
Neither does the temporal know the eternal. Mortal
20 man, as mind or matter, is neither the pattern nor Maker
of immortal man. Any inference of the divine derived
from the human, either as mind or body, hides the actual
power, presence, and individuality of God.
Jesus’ personality in the flesh, so far as material sense
25 could discern it, was like that of other men; but Science
exchanges this human concept of Jesus for the divine
ideal, his spiritual individuality that reflected the Im-
manuel, or “God with us.” This God was not outlined.
He was too mighty for that. He was eternal Life, infinite
30 Truth and Love. The individuality is embraced in Mind,
therefore is forever with the Father. Hence the Scrip-
ture, “I am a God at hand, saith the Lord.” Even while
1 his personality was on earth and in anguish, his individual
being, the Christ, was at rest in the eternal harmony.
His unseen individuality, so superior to that which was
seen, was not subject to the temptations of the flesh, to
5 laws material, to death, or the grave. Formed and gov-
erned by God, this individuality was safe in the substance
of Soul, the substance of Spirit,—yea, the substance of
God, the one inclusive good.
In Science all being is individual; for individuality is
10 endless in the calculus of forms and numbers. Herein
sin is miraculous and supernatural; for it is not in the
nature of God, and good is forever good. Accord-
ing to Christian Science, perfection is normal,—not
miraculous. Clothed, and in its right Mind, man’s
15 individuality is sinless, deathless, harmonious, eternal.
His materiality, clad in a false mentality, wages feeble
fight with his individuality,—his physical senses with
his spiritual senses. The latter move in God’s grooves
of Science: the former revolve in their own orbits, and
20 must stand the friction of false selfhood until self-
In obedience to the divine nature, man’s individuality
reflects the divine law and order of being. How shall
we reach our true selves? Through Love. The Prin-
25 ciple of Christian Science is Love, and its idea represents
Love. This divine Principle and idea are demonstrated,
in healing, to be God and the real man.
Who wants to be mortal, or would not gain the true
ideal of Life and recover his own individuality? I will
30 love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of
good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of
God wherewith to overcome all error. On this rests the
1 implicit faith engendered by Christian Science, which
appeals intelligently to the facts of man’s spirituality, in-
dividuality, to disdain the fears and destroy the discords
of this material personality.
5 On our Master’s individual demonstrations over sin,
sickness, and death, rested the anathema of priesthood
and the senses; yet this demonstration is the foundation
of Christian Science. His physical sufferings, which
came from the testimony of the senses, were over when
10 he resumed his individual spiritual being, after showing
us the way to escape from the material body.
Science would have no conflict with Life or common
sense, if this sense were consistently sensible. Man’s real
life or existence is in harmony with Life and its glorious
15 phenomena. It upholds being, and destroys the too
common sense of its opposites—death, disease, and sin.
Christian Science is an everlasting victor, and vanquish-
ment is unknown to the omnipresent Truth. I must ever
follow this line of light and battle.
20 Christian Science is my only ideal; and the individual
and his ideal can never be severed. If either is misunder-
stood or maligned, it eclipses the other with the shadow
cast by this error.
Truth destroys error. Nothing appears to the physi-
25 cal senses but their own subjective state of thought. The
senses join issue with error, and pity what has no right
either to be pitied or to exist, and what does not exist in
Science. Destroy the thought of sin, sickness, death, and
you destroy their existence. “Whatsoever a man soweth,
30 that shall he also reap.”
Because God is Mind, and this Mind is good, all
is good and all is Mind. God is the sum total of the
1 universe. Then what and where are sin, sickness, and
Christian Science and Christian Scientists will, must,
have a history; and if I could write the history in poor
5 parody on Tennyson’s grand verse, it would read
Traitors to right of them,
M. D.’s to left of them,
Priestcraft in front of them,
10 Volleyed and thundered!
Into the jaws of hate,
Out through the door of Love,
On to the blest above,
Marched the one hundred.