Chapter 2 — The Christian Science Textbook | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 2 — The Christian Science Textbook

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1     MATTER is but the subjective state of mortal mind.
       Matter has no more substance and reality in our
3     day-dreams than it has in our night-dreams. All the way
       mortals are experiencing the Adam-dream of mind in
       matter, the dream which is mortal and God-condemned
6     and which is not the spiritual fact of being. When this
       scientific classification is understood, we shall have one
       Mind, one God, and we shall obey the commandment,
9     “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

       If nineteen hundred years ago Christ taught his fol-
       lowers to heal the sick, he is to-day teaching them the
12    same heavenly lesson. Christ is “the same yesterday,
       and to-day, and forever.” “God is Love,” the ever-
       operative divine Principle (or Person, if you please) whose
15    person is not corporeal, not finite. This infinite Person
       we know not of by the hearing of the ear, yet we may
       sometimes say with Job, “But now mine eye [spiritual
18    sense] seeth Thee.”

       God is one because God is All. Therefore there can
       be but one God, one Christ. We are individually but
21    specks in His universe, the reflex images of this divine
       Life, Truth, and Love, in whom “we live, and move,
       and have our being.” Divine metaphysics is not to
24    be scoffed at; it is Truth with us, God “manifest in the
       flesh,” not alone by miracle and parable, but by proof;


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1     it is the divine nature of God, which belongs not to a
       dispensation now ended, but is ever present, casting out
3     evils, healing the sick, and raising the dead — resurrect-
       ing individuals buried above-ground in material sense.

       At the present time this Bethlehem star looks down
6     upon the long night of materialism, — material religion,
       material medicine, a material world; and it shines as of
       yore, though it “shineth in darkness; and the dark-
9     ness comprehended it not.” But the day will dawn and
       the daystar will appear, lighting the gloom, guiding the
       steps of progress from molecule and mortals outward and
12    upward in the scale of being.

       Hidden electrical forces annihilating time and space,
       wireless telegraphy, navigation of the air; in fact, all the
15    et cetera of mortal mind pressing to the front, remind me
       of my early dreams of flying in airy space, buoyant with
       liberty and the luxury of thought let loose, rising higher
18    and forever higher in the boundless blue. And what of
       reality, if waking to bodily sensation is real and if bodily
       sensation makes us captives? The night thought, me-
21    thinks, should unfold in part the facts of day, and open
       the prison doors and solve the blind problem of matter.
       The night thought should show us that even mortals
24    can mount higher in the altitude of being. Mounting
       higher, mortals will cease to be mortal. Christ will have
       “led captivity captive,” and immortality will have been
27    brought to light.

       Robert Ingersoll’s attempt to convict the Scriptures of
       inconsistency made his life an abject failure. Happily,
30    the misquoting of “Science and Health with Key to the
       Scriptures,” or quoting sentences or paragraphs torn from
       their necessary contexts, may serve to call attention to


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1     that book, and thus reveal truths which otherwise the
       reader would not have sought. Surely “the wrath of man
3     shall praise Thee.”

       The nature and truth of Christian Science cannot
       be destroyed by false psychics, crude theories or modes
6     of metaphysics. Our master Metaphysician, the Galilean
       Prophet, had much the same class of minds to deal with
       as we have in our time. They disputed his teachings on
9     practically the same grounds as are now assumed by many
       doctors and lawyers, but he swept away their illogical
       syllogisms as chaff is separated from the wheat. The
12    genuine Christian Scientist will tell you that he has found
       the physical and spiritual status of a perfect life through
       his textbook.

15    The textbook of Christian Science maintains primitive
       Christianity, shows how to demonstrate it, and through-
       out is logical in premise and in conclusion. Can Scien-
18    tists adhere to it, establish their practice of healing on
       its basis, become successful healers and models of good
       morals, and yet the book itself be absurd and unscientific ?
21    Is not the tree known by its fruit? Did Jesus mistake
       his mission and unwittingly misguide his followers? Were
       the apostles absurd and unscientific in adhering to his
24    premise and proving that his conclusion was logical
       and divine?

       “The scientific statement of being” (Science and Health,
27    p. 468) may irritate a certain class of professionals
       who fail to understand it, and they may pronounce it
       absurd, ambiguous, unscientific. But that Christian
30    Science is valid, simple, real, and self-evident, thousands
       upon thousands attest with their individual demonstra-
       tions. They have themselves been healed and have


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1     healed others by means of the Principle of Christian
       Science. Science has always been first met with denun-
3     ciations. A fiction or a false philosophy flourishes for a
       time where Science gains no hearing. The followers of the
       Master in the early Christian centuries did just what he
6     enjoined and what Christian Science makes practical to-
       day to those who abide in its teachings and build on its
       chief corner-stone. Our religious denominations interpret
9     the Scriptures to fit a doctrine, but the doctrines taught
       by divine Science are founded squarely and only on the
       Scriptures.

12    “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is not
       inconsistent in a single instance with its logical premise
       and conclusion, and ninety-nine out of every hundred
15    of its readers — honest, intelligent, and scholarly — will
       tell you this. The earnest student of this book, under-
       standing it, demonstrates in some degree the truth of its
18    statements, and knows that it contains a Science which
       is demonstrable when understood, and which is fully
       understood when demonstrated. That Christian Scien-
21    tists, because of their uniformly pure morals and noble
       lives, are better representatives of Christian Science
       than the textbook itself, is not in accordance with the
24    Scriptures. The tree is known by its fruit. The student
       of this book will tell you that his higher life is the result
       of his conscientious study of Science and Health in con-
27    nection with the Bible.

       A book that through the good it does has won its
       way into the palaces of emperors and kings, into the
30    home of the President of the United States, into the chief
       cities and the best families in our own and in foreign
       lands, a book which lies beside the Bible in hundreds


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1     of pulpits and in thousands of homes, which heals the
       sick and reclaims sinners in court and in cottage, is
3     not less the evangel of Christian Science than is he
       who practises the teachings of this book or he who
       studies it and thereby is healed of disease. Can such a
6     book be ambiguous, self-contradictory, or unprofitable
       to mankind?

       St. Paul was a follower but not an immediate disciple
9     of our Lord, and Paul declares the truth of the complete
       system of Christian Science in these brief sentences:
       “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which
12    are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after
       the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
       hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Was
15    it profane for St. Paul to aspire to this knowledge of Christ
       and its demonstration, healing sin and sickness, because
       he was not a disciple of the personal Jesus? Nay, verily.
18    Neither is it presumptuous or unscriptural or vain for
       another, a suckling in the arms of divine Love, to perfect
       His praise.

21    A child will demonstrate Christian Science and have
       a clear perception of it. Then, is Christian Science a
       cold, dull abstraction, or is that unscientific which
24    all around us is demonstrated on a fixed Principle and
       a given rule, — when, in proportion as this Principle
       and rule are understood, men are found casting out
27    the evils of mortal thought, healing the sick, and uplift-
       ing human consciousness to a more spiritual life and
       love? The signs of the times emphasize the answer
30    to this in the rapid and steady advancement of this Sci-
       ence among the scholarly and titled, the deep thinkers,
       the truly great men and women of this age. In the


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1     words of the Master, “Can ye not discern the signs of
       the times?”

3     Christian Science teaches: Owe no man; be temperate;
       abstain from alcohol and tobacco; be honest, just, and
       pure; cast out evil and heal the sick; in short, Do unto
6     others as ye would have others do to you.

       Has one Christian Scientist yet reached the maxi-
       mum of these teachings? And if not, why point the
9     people to the lives of Christian Scientists and decry the
       book which has moulded their lives? Simply because
       the treasures of this textbook are not yet uncovered
12    to the gaze of many men, the beauty of holiness is not
       yet won.

       My first writings on Christian Science began with notes
15    on the Scriptures. I consulted no other authors and read
       no other book but the Bible for about three years. What
       I wrote had a strange coincidence or relationship with the
18    light of revelation and solar light. I could not write these
       notes after sunset. All thoughts in the line of Scriptural
       interpretation would leave me until the rising of the sun.
21    Then the influx of divine interpretation would pour in
       upon my spiritual sense as gloriously as the sunlight on the
       material senses. It was not myself, but the divine power
24    of Truth and Love, infinitely above me, which dictated
       “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” I
       have been learning the higher meaning of this book since
27    writing it.

       Is it too much to say that this book is leavening
       the whole lump of human thought? You can trace its
30    teachings in each step of mental and spiritual progress,
       from pulpit and press, in religion and ethics, and find
       these progressive steps either written or indicated in the


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1     book. It has mounted thought on the swift and mighty
       chariot of divine Love, which to-day is circling the
3     whole world.

       I should blush to write of “Science and Health with
       Key to the Scriptures” as I have, were it of human origin,
6     and were I, apart from God, its author. But, as I was
       only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine
       metaphysics, I cannot be super-modest in my estimate of
9     the Christian Science textbook.




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Love is the liberator.